VFI News September 4, 2020

Israel, UAE Start Talks to Open Embassies during Historic First Visit

Israel and the United Arab Emirates have started discussions to open embassies in each other’s countries, during a high-level government meeting in Abu Dhabi on Monday.

The countries’ foreign ministries, along with American representatives, worked on the details of the normalization deal and other bilateral agreements between the countries.

Foreign Ministry Director-General Alon Ushpiz said: “We are starting a historic process and we plan to promote the institution of full relations and opening embassies in the two countries as soon as possible to strengthen the cooperation between Israel and the UAE.

“Movement of people, goods and finance is the central key to realizing the great potential in the relations,” Ushpiz added.

Israeli and Emirati officials in other areas like science and space, civil aviation, foreign policy and diplomacy, tourism, finance, health and more met for round-table discussions of possible opportunities for cooperation, often with an American facilitator. (JPost / VFI News)

When a man's ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. —Proverbs 16:7

“God, we ask that you allow this to be a sign of more peace to come.”

UAE Serves Kosher Food to Israeli Guests

The UAE left no stone unturned as it hosted 50-plus Jewish delegates who landed in Abu Dhabi on Monday as part of a US-Israeli delegation.

Rabbi Yissachar Krakowski, Director of US-based OU Kosher - the world's largest kosher certification agency - was flown down to Abu Dhabi to ensure the food served to the Jewish guests complies with the strict dietary standards of traditional Jewish law.

Rabbi Krakowski said his job is to make sure that everything in the kitchen, including the food and equipment, meet kosher requirements.

The rabbi also ensures that all the ingredients and vegetables used for preparing the food are secured from kosher sources. "We have partnered with a local kosher caterer, Elli's Kosher Kitchen, to ensure that all the food served meets kosher requirements.”

With the normalization of relations between the UAE and Israel, Rabbi Krakowski said food from both countries will bridge the cultural gap. "There are many similarities between Jewish and Arabic food. By bringing both to the table, and letting people break bread together, we will be bringing two cultures together." (INN / JPost)

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. —1 Corinthians 10:31

'Shalom' on the Front Page of UAE Newspaper

The front page of Tuesday’s Khaleej Times, the UAE's longest-running English daily newspaper, features a photo of Monday’s historic meeting in Abu Dhabi between Israeli National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat, UAE National Security Advisor Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed and US Senior Presidential Advisor Jared Kushner.

Above the photo is the caption “Salam, Shalom”.

The first-ever direct commercial flight between Israel and the Arab Gulf touched down at the United Arab Emirates Abu Dhabi International Airport on Monday afternoon.

The plane, El Al Flight LY 971, landed in Abu Dhabi at 2:38 p.m. Israel time (3:38 local time), bringing the US and Israeli delegation to the UAE capital city for high-level talks with the UAE towards the finalization of a peace treaty between Israel and the UAE.

The flight also made history as the first time an El Al plane is known to have flown through Saudi airspace, after Saudi Arabia permitted Israel, despite not having formal relations with the Jewish state. (INN / VFI News)

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all. —2 Thessalonians 3:16

Palestinians Outraged by Israeli Delegation's Visit to UAE

Palestinians from across the political spectrum on Monday reacted with fury to the first official visit of an Israeli delegation to the United Arab Emirates and again accused the Gulf state of “stabbing the Palestinian people in the back.”

The Palestinians were “deeply pained” to see an Israeli aircraft land in the UAE, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said.

The aircraft carried the name of the “colony of Kiryat Gat, which was built on the lands of the village of Faluja, where Gamal Abdel Nasser was besieged,” he said.

Shtayyeh was referring to the military confrontation between the IDF and the Egyptian army during the 1948 War of Independence. Palestinians say Kiryat Gat was built on land that belonged to the villages of Faluja and Iraq al-Manshiya.

The Egyptian army occupied the area in May 1948, but was defeated by the IDF in a counteroffensive. The Egyptian troops included a young officer, Gamal Abdel Nasser, who later became president of Egypt. (JPost / VFI News)

Iran’s Leader: Israel-UAE Deal Will Always Be Remembered as a Betrayal

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a speech Tuesday that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) betrayed the Islamic world and Palestine by normalizing relations with Israel.

“Of course, the UAE’s betrayal will not last long, but this stigma will always be remembered. They allowed the Zionist regime to have a foothold in the region and forgot Palestine,” Khamenei said, according to Reuters. “The Emiratis will be disgraced forever for this treachery against the Islamic world, Arab nations and Palestine.”

The two countries announced a plan for integrating their economies and the UAE formally ended its boycott on Israeli goods Saturday.

Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, joined U.S. and Israeli officials Monday on the first official Israeli flight to the UAE, according to NPR. The delegation is set to advance the Aug. 13 deal and fully normalize diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Khamenei condemned the meeting between the three countries. “The UAE along with Israelis and evil Americans like the Jewish member of Trump’s family are working together against the interests of the Islamic world,” Khamenei said. (DC / VFI News)

“God, we ask that you use this as an opportunity to bring meaningful, positive change to the region—and to weaken those who would sow more chaos and harm.”

IDF Sums-up: 100 Terror Targets in 19 Nights

The IDF has attacked about 100 targets of the Hamas Islamic organization for 19 nights, the IDF concluded today.

The attacks were carried out in response to rocket launches, disturbances on the fence, and explosive and incendiary balloons launched from the Gaza Strip to Israeli territory.

As part of the attacks, military complexes in key structures, underground infrastructure, and military positions of Hamas were attacked.

"These attacks constitute significant damage to the infrastructure and military build-up of the terrorist organization Hamas. The IDF is ready for action as far as is needed to protect the residents adjacent to Gaza and the south," the IDF Spokesman said. (INN / VFI News)

Amid the Profound Impact of COVID—What Lies Ahead for US Jewry?

Hundreds of synagogues have been shuttered for months. Jewish organizations are slashing budgets and staff. Jewish community centers, saddled with empty gyms and child care centers, have laid off masses of employees.

Jewish camps closed this summer, Jewish day schools will hold only virtual sessions in the new term and kosher restaurants are going out of business.

Trips to Israel are suspended, Birthright is on hold until further notice and AIPAC, whose annual conference every March typically draws more 15,000 Israel supporters to Washington, D.C., canceled its 2021 conference.

This is what American Jewry looks like six months into a global pandemic that has killed nearly 200,000 Americans and set in motion an economic crisis of unknown scope whose impact likely will last for years.

With so much in flux and no end to the crisis in sight, what lies ahead for the world’s largest Jewish community?

Ira Sheskin, a demographer of American Jewry at the University of Miami had this to say: “While some individual institutions undoubtedly will not survive an economic crisis that seems likely to dwarf the 2008 recession, the basic building blocks of American Jewish life will weather this storm.” (JPost / VFI News)

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. —Isaiah 41:10

“God, we ask that you strengthen us during this time of trial—that we emerge from it more loving, more understanding, and more faithful than before.”

Israeli Firefighters to Help Battle California Wildfires

Israeli firefighters arrived in Sacramento, California, to assist with battling a wave of wildfires sweeping through the area.

It marked the first time that Israelis have been sent to the United States to help fight fires.

The delegation landed Sunday and is scheduled to remain for approximately two weeks. It includes 10 officers and firefighters from the Fire and Rescue Services, rescue and forest fire experts, and a Foreign Ministry representative, according to a statement from the Foreign Ministry.

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg greeted the firefighters’ arrival in the capital city with a tweet.

“As a Jewish mayor, I’m particularly proud and happy to see them come to our aid,” it said in part.

As of Monday, 18 major fires were burning across California, with over 16,000 firefighters mobilized to battle them. The fires have burned more than 1.46 million acres since they started on Aug. 15, sparked by a siege of dry lightning. (INN / VFI News)

“God, we thank you for the ways you have provided for us in our time of need. Please keep your people safe as they battle the deadly wildfires.”