VFI News Apr 12, 2022

Tourists afraid to come to Israel

Tourists are afraid to come to Israel & Israel no longer has freedom of action in Lebanon, listen to Barry for more!

  • 1:06 - Tourists afraid to come to Israel
  • 1:57 - Israel no longer has freedom of action in Lebanon
  • 2:39 - Israel concerned over Iranian takeover in Syrian Golan
  • 04:03 - Police detain PA ‘governer’ in Jerusalem
  • 06:08 - Netanyahu declares that current Government’s days are numbered
  • 08:11 - Ukraine will be like Israel, not Switzerland says Zelenksy
  • 09:56 - Israel’s seventh Census launched

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77% of Evangelicals Think Iran will Use Nukes to ‘Wipe Israel off the Map’

More than three-quarters (77%) of Evangelical Christians believe that if the Iranian regime were able to build a nuclear weapon, its leaders would use it to carry out their repeated threats to “wipe Israel off the map” and “bring about a second Holocaust,” according to a new survey.

The poll was conducted by McLaughlin & Associates between March 17 and 22 and asked questions of 1,000 American adults. The Joshua Fund is a non-profit organization founded by Joel and Lynn Rosenberg to “mobilize Christians to bless Israel.”

In general, two out of three Americans (67.6%) said they believe that Iran would use a nuclear weapon against Israel, while only 12.5% said that they did not believe a nuclear Iran posed a threat to the Jewish state. Nearly 20% of Americans said they did not know.

When broken down by religion, nearly half (49.7%) of atheists said they believe Iran wants to destroy Israel with a nuclear weapon, 59.3% of agnostics, 40% of self-identified “secular” Americans, 80% of Jews, 71.2% of Catholics and 74.9% of Protestants, compared to the 77.1% of Evangelicals.

The survey also asked how respondents feel about the Iranian nuclear deal in general.

The question was, “Do you believe that the new nuclear deal that the international community is negotiating with the leaders of Iran will make the world safer or more dangerous?”

The majority of Protestants and Evangelicals, and close to half of all Americans, said that the deal “will make the world more dangerous by lifting economic sanctions, giving Iran’s government enormous oil revenues, and making it easier for Iran to fund - and hide - its efforts to build nuclear weapons.”

Less than one-third (31.3%) of respondents said they believe the deal will make the world safer by preventing Iran from building nuclear weapons.

When broken down by religion: 24.2% of atheists believe the deal will make the world more dangerous, 47.8% of agnostics, 12.1% of self-identified “secular” Americans, 41.3% of Jews, 48.7% of Catholics, 51.9% of Protestants and 55.3% of Evangelical born-again Christians. (JPost / VFI News)

“Lord, we pray that You will protect Israel and the world from a nuclear war.”

The articles included in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Vision for Israel. We try to provide accurate reporting on news pertinent to Israel, the Middle East, the diaspora, and Jewish issues around the world—and we hope that you find it both informative and useful for intercessory prayer.

Iran Says US not Showing Necessary Will to Revive Nuclear Agreement

Tehran on Monday, April 11, questioned Washington’s will in reaching an agreement to restore the 2015 nuclear agreement that GOP then-president Donald Trump destroyed, with key sticking points unresolved after talks halted last month.

Iran has been engaged for a year in negotiations with France, Germany, Britain, Russia, and China directly, and the United States indirectly to revive the deal, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Negotiations in the Austrian capital Vienna aim to return the United States to the nuclear deal, including through the lifting of sanctions on Iran, and to ensure Tehran’s full compliance with its commitments.

“We really don’t know if we’ll get a deal or not, because the United States hasn’t shown the necessary will to reach an agreement,” Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said.

“What remains are the decisions of Washington,” he added.

Earlier this month, Khatibzadeh’s counterpart in the State Department Ned Price said it was Tehran that was not giving way to make a deal possible, but that Washington still believed there was an “opportunity to overcome our remaining differences.”

The US unilateral withdrawal from the accord in 2018 under then-president Donald Trump and the reimposition of biting economic sanctions under a “maximum pressure” campaign prompted Iran to begin publicly rolling back on its own commitments. (TOI / 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

Israel to Rebuild 40 Kilometers of its West Bank Security Barrier

Israel plans to rebuild 40 kilometers of its 470-kilometer West Bank security barrier in the northern Samaria area by replacing the wire fencing with nine-meter-high concrete blocks.

The security cabinet approved the reconstruction and a NIS 360 million initial budget on Sunday in the aftermath of two terror attacks in Bnei Brak and Tel Aviv that claimed eight lives.

The new barrier will run from the Salem area to the Bat Hefer region. It "will be comprised of concrete, protective equipment, and additional technological components," the Defense Ministry said adding that "it will be up to 9 meters high and will replace the fence that was built about 20 years ago."

The project will be led by Brigadier General Eran Ofir and work is slated to begin as soon as possible. The bulk of the 525-kilometer barrier, designed to prevent terror attacks, has fallen into disrepair and has gaps throughout by which thousands of Palestinians cross into sovereign Israel to work.

The system of surveillance and maintenance that was designed to ensure that the barrier would be effective was never maintained, despite the NIS 8 billion already spent on the project. (JPost / VFI News)

The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him. - Psalm 28:7

Bahrain, UAE Condemn Tel Aviv Attack

Bahrain on Friday, April 8, condemned the terrorist attack that took place in Tel Aviv on Thursday evening, in which three Israelis were murdered.

The Bahraini Foreign Ministry described the attack as a “terrorist operation” and offered condolences to the families of the victims and the Israeli government.

"We reiterate the Kingdom of Bahrain's position that opposes all forms of terrorism and violence no matter the motives and the justifications", the ministry said in a statement quoted by Reuters.

The United Arab Emirates’ embassy in Israel later also condemned the attack, offering condolences to the families of the victims.

Both the UAE and Bahrain normalized ties with Israel in late 2020 as part of the US-brokered Abraham Accords.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett recently made a historic visit to Bahrain, where he met with Bahraini Crown Prince and Prime Minister Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa at his palace.

“God, we ask that You advance the cause of peace between Israel and the rest of the region, and promote wellbeing and harmony in all areas of the Middle East.”

Sapari Tama (Won't You Tell) | Batya Segal

This 17th-century Jewish poem (piyut) was written by Rabbi Sa'adya ben Amram and has remained a beloved song throughout history. With both Hebrew and Yemenite Arabic, this beautiful ballad is an ode to the connection between body and soul. It is a testament to how the body and mind are one; our bodies do not limit our soul’s purpose, but rather support it. We must merge these parts of ourselves to fully serve our ultimate purpose. While our souls know the bliss of heaven, our bodies must remain on earth where we may only learn of paradise. When the two are in harmony, we can know peace.

Israel Ready to Export Gas to Europe via Egypt in September

Israel is preparing to step into the gap in Europe’s energy market left by sanctions on Russian natural gas as soon as this summer, according to Energy Minister Karin Elharrar.

“The European energy market is facing a substantial shortage following the Russia crisis,” Elharrar said. “Israel sees an opportunity, and will take full advantage of it.”

Russia provides Europe with about 40% of its natural gas consumption per year – more than 150 billion cubic meters (BCM). Israel cannot entirely take Russia's place, but eastern Mediterranean states can provide about 20 BCM annually, most of which would come from Israel. The US promised Europe 15-20 BCM of liquefied natural gas (LNG) following the Russia sanctions, and Qatar is expected to export 20-30 BCM to Europe.

“We’re not a replacement for Russian gas, but we have a good amount that we can export,” a senior diplomatic source said this week, commenting that the energy issue comes up as “a huge issue for everyone” in most conversations between top Israeli officials and foreign counterparts.

“The question is what is the quickest and most cost-efficient method, and what is most beneficial to all those involved,” said the source.

Elharrar and EU Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson established a working group on energy, which Egypt will be joining as well.

The working plan, based on an agreement between Elharrar and her Egyptian counterpart that has yet to be finalized, is for Israeli natural gas to go through Egypt’s plant for liquefaction and then exported to Europe. (JPost / VFI News)

Moody's Upgrades Israel's Outlook to Positive, Affirms A1 Rating

Global rating agency Moody's on Friday, April 8, upgraded the Israeli government's outlook to "positive" from "stable" and affirmed its sovereign credit rating at "A1"

Moody's said the key drivers for the change in outlook included the government's reform agenda that aimed to address longer-term challenges and the agency's expectation of a further reduction in the government's debt ratio.

Israel's economy grew 8.2% in 2021, above forecasts by the country's central bank, after a 20.2% contraction in 2020. Israel's annual inflation rate hit 3.5% in February, the highest since 2011.

The Bank of Israel is expected to hike its interest rates this week, the first tightening in over a decade, to combat rising inflation from strong economic growth and the labor market.

Israeli Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman announced earlier this week the country's budget deficit likely fell to between 1.5% and 1.6% of the gross domestic product in March, and that he intended to cut petrol taxes due to spiking fuel costs.

The agency also said Israel's affirmation of the A1 rating balances the economy's growth prospect and resilience against the government's relatively high public debt burden.

Moody's also noted that the Israeli government's debt affordability metrics were somewhat weaker than its peers. (JPost / VFI News)

“God, we thank You for the prosperity of Israel, and ask that You continue to bless your people.”

Israeli Researchers Find Potential Answer to Deadly Autoimmune Disease

New findings open a novel direction for developing future treatment against an incurable and devastating disorder.

Researchers at three Israeli institutions have demonstrated that supporting cells called fibroblasts, previously seen as uniform background players, are vital against some diseases. A subset of these cells may be part of the cause of scleroderma – a rare autoimmune disease that affects the skin. This was revealed in the study, which was published on Wednesday, April 6, in Cell (a peer-reviewed journal).

In the Weizmann Institute, Hadassah, and Rambam collaboration, scientists collected skin samples from nearly 100 scleroderma patients and from a control group of more than 50 healthy volunteers, in the largest study of this kind ever done to investigate the disorder.

“Scleroderma is one of the most frustrating disorders to treat – we can alleviate some of the patient’s symptoms, but usually we cannot significantly affect the cause of the disease, block its progression or reverse its course,” said Prof. Chamutal Gur, a senior physician in the Rheumatology Department at Hadassah University Medical Center, who was drawn to lead the study for both professional and personal reasons: two of her cousins suffer from the disease.

Scleroderma (from the Greek skleros, meaning “hard,” and derma, meaning “skin”) is identified by the formation of an abnormally hard, inflexible layer of skin on the arms, legs, and face.

Its manifestations vary greatly among patients. In about a third of the cases, the disease, which mainly strikes women aged 30 to 50, advances rapidly and spreads beyond the extremities, causing life-threatening damage to internal organs. Immune-regulating drugs that normally bring relief to people with autoimmune diseases are less effective in scleroderma, which has a higher mortality rate than other rheumatic disorders. (JPost / VFI News)

Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. - 3 John 1:2

Israel's Second Astronaut Launched into Space

The final countdown to the launch of the Rakia mission was heard in Cape Canaveral, and Eitan Stibbe will become Israel's second-ever astronaut as he flies onboard the Axiom mission 1 (Ax-1) to the International Space Station.

The mission, led by Israel’s Science and Technology Ministry and the Ramon Foundation, selected 35 different experiments for Stibbe to undertake during his 10-day stay in orbit.

The experiments cover a wide variety of different fields of study, including testing or demonstrating the viability of certain technologies, observing scientific phenomena, studying mechanisms of theorized concepts, and groundbreaking tests on food and agriculture.

Also on board with Stibbe is a sculpture made by Tel Aviv University physicist Dr. Yasmine Meroz and artist Liat Segal. Dubbed the "Impossible Object," this water sculpture can only form in space amid the absence of gravity. The sculpture is made of brass pipes and rods that carry water. In zero gravity conditions, the water envelops the brass to form a 3D shape that resembles an endless staircase.

Ax-1 is the first fully private space mission headed by Houston-based start-up Axiom Space. The four took off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida onboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The crew was set to dock at the ISS on Saturday, April 9.

The mission was originally slated for a March 30 launch, but it was postponed twice to give more time to complete pre-launch processing work. (JPost / VFI News)

The suggestions, opinions, and scripture references made by VFI News writers and editors are based on the best information received.

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