VFI News May 8, 2020

Light at the End of Israel's Coronavirus Tunnel

“Praise be to the name of God forever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him." Dan. 2:20-22

Israelis have a sense as we move into May 2020 that life is and will be returning to normal, the coronavirus has weakened its attacks on victims in the country and people are recovering more quickly. The Israeli cabinet voted this week to ease a number of emergency restrictions on public activity, following a decline in the spread of the virus. Effective immediately, public libraries will reopen, non-medical treatments on the body will be permitted, and hotels and guest houses will be allowed to operate once again. In addition, zoos, safaris, national parks, and nature reserves will be reopened to the public. The government continues to lift coronavirus restrictions, allowing greater freedom for prayer, business activity, and celebrations. Activity at swimming pools will be permitted for competitive athletes and therapy. Mall, open-air markets, and gyms were allowed to open again on Thur.7 May 2020. Beaches will remain largely closed to the general public, though some sport activity in the sea will be permitted. Outdoor public prayer groups will still be limited to no more than 19 people, but the restriction barring praying more than 500 meters from one’s home or workplace has now been lifted. Along with the new directives, officials in the Health Ministry announced Tues. 5 April that synagogues will likely be allowed to reopen by this weekend (VFI News)

Corona on its Way Out of Israel

Some 80 percent of Israeli towns and villages have reported no new COVID-19 cases for several days, with Tel Aviv among them, and only four cities nationwide have had more than five new cases in the past few days: Jerusalem, Hura, Bnei Brak, and Beit Shemesh. (Jerusalem and Hura have been under a partial lockdown, as have two neighborhoods in Beit Shemesh.) Several hospitals have not had a single new coronavirus patient in recent days, the Channel 12 TV report also said and were repurposing virus wards back into general treatment centers, though they were ready to return them to COVID-19 centers if the need arose. Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center has closed four out of its six coronavirus wards. (VFI News)

Hardship Hurts on All Levels

We at Vision for Israel, continue to call upon our readers and donors to help us meet the requests for aid and financial assistance that are pouring into our VFI offices daily. We are working day and night to meet those needs. Over a million people have been suddenly left jobless and entire families including children are suffering physically and emotionally. We are so grateful for the healing and the gradual passing of the coronavirus in our midst. But the financial aftermath is a disaster for the nation. We need supernatural divine provisions. We ask you also to take the time to review the projects we continue to undergird and the accomplishments that are taking place as you give to Vision for Israel. To see our many areas of outreach, including those to children at risk, entire families in need, the elderly, Holocaust survivors, and much more, go to https://www.visionforisrael.com/en/outreach There, click on one of the four categories and view the list of the projects with which we are actively involved in that category. Thank you and please give generously now to those amid emergency hardships in Israel. 

Israel Makes Breakthrough in Coronavirus Immunizer

Israel's Defense Minister Naftali Bennett has been presented with news of a significant breakthrough in finding an antibody to the coronavirus. It was while visiting the Israel Institute for Biological Research in Ness Ziona that he was gifted with news of the discovery. Defense Minister Bennett said, "I am proud of the staff members at Israel's Institute for Biological Research who have made a huge breakthrough. The creativity and Jewish mind have brought this amazing achievement. The entire defense establishment will continue to operate at the forefront of the fight against coronavirus. The antibody in question attacks the virus uniquely and can neutralize it in the body of the person who contracted the virus. According to researchers at the institute, led by Prof. Shmuel Shapira, the development phase of the antibody is over. The institute will now continue the patent registration process and in the next phase, the researchers will contact international companies in order to be able to produce the antibody in commercial quantities. The antibody has not been named. (VFI News)

Israel is a leader in science, medicine, technology, and dozens of other areas to assist our planet and its inhabitants to heal and to prosper. “And it shall come to pass that just as you were a curse among the nations, O house of Judah and house of Israel, so I will save you, and you shall be a blessing. Do not fear, let your hands be strong.’” Zech. 8:13

Israel Prepares To Build Its First Vaccine Factory

In a small southern town called Yeruham, the city is preparing to open Israel's first vaccine production facility, in partnership with the Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR) the announcement came after a meeting Sunday 3 May 2020 between the heads of the IIBR, Yeruham local council, and the CEO of an international pharmaceutical company. A model was presented that would allow for the quick establishment of such a facility if approved by the Israeli government. The announcement came on the heels of what Defense Minister Naftali Bennett called a major breakthrough by IIBR in the development of a COVID-19 antibody that attacks the virus, neutralizes it, marking the end of the development phase for the passive vaccine of the virus. The facility can reportedly be built in the very near future, even before IIBR completes full development and approvals for its vaccine, which it predicts will be in early 2021. According to the model, tens of millions of vaccine units, of various types, will be manufactured in Yeruham, which will ensure Israeli self-sufficiency during both regular routine and in cases of pandemics. (VFI News)

Pray according to God's promise: “I will take away sickness from among you.” Ex 23:25

Jews Hear the Invitation to Enter the Ark

Throughout April 2020, 455 new Aliyah applications were submitted to Nefesh B’Nefesh (in comparison to 302 in April 2019) and 642 individuals downloaded and began working on their Aliyah applications (in comparison to 417 downloaded applications in April 2019). Eighteen new Olim arrived at Ben Gurion airport on Monday evening 4 May as part of a Nefesh B’Nefesh group Aliyah flight, in cooperation with the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration, These Olim arrived amidst a wave of increased interest in Aliyah among North American Jews. Monday's new Olim moved directly into a designated quarantine hotel for fourteen days as mandated by the Israeli government for all new arrivals into the country. The Olim hail from New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Florida and Illinois, and will be living in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Beit Shemesh, Ramat Gan, and Yafo. (VFI)

Pray for these new arrivals in Israel to quickly adjust to changes in lifestyle, to be blessed with health and joy, and much-needed jobs. "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." Isa. 41:10

90% of USA House Calls for UN to Renew Iran Arms Embargoes

At least 384 members of the USA House of Representatives - nearly 90% - have signed a letter urging the administration to increase its diplomatic action at the UN to renew an arms embargo on Iran, congressional sources said days ago. "The UN arms embargo is set to expire in Oct. 2020, and we are concerned that the ban's expiration will lead to more states buying and selling weapons to and from Iran," said the letter, led by Reps. Eliot Engel (D-NY), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs. (VFI News)

Egypt Working Around the Clock to Combat Terrorism

Egypt has destroyed more than 3,000 tunnels along its border with the Gaza Strip in the past five years. Egyptian Army spokesperson Tamer al-Refai revealed that many of the destroyed tunnels were three kilometers long and 30 meters wide. In an interview with the private Egyptian news channel Extra News this week, Refai said: “In 2015, the Egyptian government made a decision to establish a buffer zone along the border with the Gaza Strip. These tunnels were used to threaten Egypt’s national security, including the infiltration of terrorists, smuggling of weapons, ammunition, goods, narcotic drugs, and vehicles. We established the buffer zone in stages because residents had to be relocated. They have received compensation.” Refai said that the Egyptian security forces were continuing their “heroic actions to defeat terrorists” in the Sinai Peninsula. He said that 126 terrorists were killed during the recent military operation there. During the operation, Egyptian security forces seized different types of weapons and explosive belts, he added. “We destroyed 630 explosive devices,” he disclosed. Refai said that the Egyptian Air Force targeted and destroyed 228 hideouts and shelters used by terrorists. In addition, 116 four-wheel-drive vehicles were destroyed and 266 suspects were arrested. “The Egyptian armed forces are working round the clock to combat terrorism and secure our borders,” Al-Refai emphasized. “We have scored many achievements on the ground, including the destruction of the terror infrastructure.” (VFI News)

“He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck, will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.” Prov 29:1

Israel Buys Moovit-Urban Mobility

Israel announced this week it is buying Moovit, the Israeli startup with an urban mobility app used by hundreds of millions of commuters worldwide, Moovit provides trip-planning data from public transit agencies worldwide and bicycle, scooter, ride-hailing, and car-share services. From its origins in 2012 as a provider of real-time arrival and departure data for bus and rail riders in Tel Aviv, Moovit has grown into a powerhouse providing commute-planning services for 800 million users in more than 3,000 cities in over 100 countries. (VFI)