VFI News April 16, 2021

A very special greeting on the 73rd anniversary of Israel’s founding!

Ahead of its 73rd Independence Day, Israel’s Population Stands at 9.3 Million

Two days before the eve of Israel’s celebration of its 73rd anniversary, the population of the Jewish state stands at 9,327,000, the Central Bureau of Statistics announced Monday.

That includes nearly 6.9 million Jews, accounting for 73.9 percent of the population; 1.96 million Arabs, just over one-fifth of the population; and 467,000 people of other groups, amounting to 5% of the population.

About 78% of Israel’s Jews are native-born.

Since last year’s Independence Day, 167,000 babies were born, 50,000 people died, and 16,300 immigrated to the country, according to CBS. (TOI / VFI News)

Therefore say: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will gather you from the nations and bring you back from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you back the land of Israel again.’ - Ezekiel 11:17

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.

Independence Day: Technologies Making Israel Proud in 2021

As Israel celebrates 73 years of independence, the country has cemented its place as a global tech powerhouse, with more than 60 privately-held 'unicorns' valued at more than $1 billion, more than 80 Israeli publicly-traded companies listed in the United States, and some of the most innovative ideas and technologies in the world. Here is a look at a couple of tech innovations that have made the startup nation proud in the past year.

Corona Test

A new Israeli COVID test developed at Sheba Medical Center can detect coronavirus in a fluid sample in just 20 seconds. The handheld SpectraLIT machine received EU approval just two weeks ago and is expected to help Europe return to international air travel. The test is inexpensive and more accurate than the fast antigen tests that are beginning to be used in some airports.

Cornea Implant

In January, A 78-year old blind man got his sight back with the implant of an artificial cornea, the first such operation in the world. The artificial cornea, designed by Ra’anana-based CorNeat Vision, was implanted in surgery performed at Rabin Medical Center in Petach Tikva. Upon removal of bandages, the patient was immediately able to read text and recognize family members.

The test was the first of a clinical trial which will hopefully lead to a new medical process that can rehabilitate the vision of corneally blind patients with a relatively simple implantation procedure. (JPost / VFI News)

Iran to Begin Enriching Uranium to 60%

Iran said it will begin enriching uranium to 60 percent, to its highest ever level, moving the country a step closer to the 90 percent threshold needed for military use.

It comes two days after an explosion, which Iran blamed on Israel, damaged its enrichment plant in Natanz.

The International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed it had received a letter from the foreign minister's political deputy Abbas Araghchi announcing Iran's plan to start 60 percent enrichment. The letter did not state when the process is due to begin.

Iranian state television's English-language arm, Press TV, said Araghchi claimed Iran would also be introducing another 1,000 centrifuges at Natanz, without elaborating.

Iran had been enriching up to 20 percent but Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had threatened to go to 60 percent enrichment in February if the country needed.

Enriching uranium to 60 percent purity will be the highest the program ever has done before - though still short of weapons-grade. (DM / VFI News)

Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked. - Proverbs 25:26

France, Britain and Germany: Concerned by Iran's Moves to Enrich Uranium

The European powers party to the Iran nuclear deal told Tehran on Wednesday that its decision to enrich uranium at 60% purity and install a further 1,000 centrifuges at its Natanz site were contrary to efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.

Talks between world powers, Iran and the United States are due to resume in Vienna on Thursday, but in a joint statement Britain, France and Germany said Tehran's decision to enrich at 60 percent was not based on credible civilian reasons and constituted an important step in the production of a nuclear weapon.

"Iran's announcements are particularly regrettable given they come at a time when all JCPoA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) participants and the United States have started substantive discussions, with the objective of finding a rapid diplomatic solution to revitalize and restore the JCPoA," the three countries said. (JPost / VFI News)

“God, we ask that you continue to protect your people from the threat of nuclear war.”

Natanz Attack Hit 50 Meters Underground, Destroyed Most of the Facility

The alleged Israeli attack on Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility targeted an electrical substation located 40 to 50 meters underground and damaged “thousands of centrifuges,” Iranian officials revealed in recent days.

Fereydoon Abbasi-Davani, former head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, told Iranian media on Monday that the attack hit an electrical substation located deep underground and managed to damage both the power distribution system and the cable leading to the centrifuges in order to cut power to them.

The Iranian official stressed that such an operation takes years, saying “the design of the enemy was very beautiful.”

Davani added that the substation was built underground in order to protect it from air and missile strikes and that the attack was carried out either via cyber, sabotaged equipment, or sabotage committed by agents. (JPost / VFI News)

Before destruction a man's heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor. - Proverbs 18:12


Ambushed and stoned by terrorists. In self-defense, he responded by shooting at the ground to drive them away. A few years later, in 2002, Boaz tragically lost his wife and 3 of their children in a separate terror attack. Still, Boaz is such an inspiration to us—having lived through tragedies that most of us will never experience, yet keeping an optimistic and positive outlook on life.

Fewest Seriously Ill COVID Patients Since July 2020

A total of 199 new cases of the coronavirus were diagnosed across Israel Tuesday, according to data released by the Health Ministry Wednesday morning.

Just 0.3% of tests conducted Tuesday came back positive, down from 0.4% of tests carried out Monday. That is the lowest level recorded since May 21st last year when the percentage of tests coming back positive hit 0.3%.

There are now just 3,209 known active cases of the virus in Israel, down from 3,264 on Tuesday, of which 362 are being treated in hospitals.

Of those 362 hospitalizations, 221 patients are in serious condition. That is down from 236 seriously ill patients on Monday and marks the lowest number since July 17th of last year, when there were 220 patients in serious condition. (INN / VFI News)

Behold, I will bring to it health and healing, and I will heal them and reveal to them abundance of prosperity and security. - Jeremiah 33:6

Michigan State U Jewish Students Withdraw Anti-Semitism Bill

Under intense pressure from anti-Israel campus groups, Jewish students at Michigan State University withdrew a bill to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of anti-Semitism after it had already been passed by the student association general assembly.

On March 18, the Associated Students of Michigan State University general assembly passed the resolution by 81 percent, stated Michigan State Hillel. Shortly, therefore, due to intense pressure by campus anti-Israel groups, student representatives started to withdraw their support for the bill claiming they hadn’t read the resolution before passing it.

The student assembly then released a statement attacking the IHRA definition as “silencing political thought surrounding the occupation of historic Palestine.” They recommended adopting the Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism, a definition created by those who oppose the IHRA definition. (INN / VFI News)

“God, we ask that you root out antisemitism from all its sources.”

800-Year-Old Toilet Reveals: British Jews Ate Herring, Chicken, No Pig

Jews in 13th century England enjoyed herring and chicken, did not eat pig, did not eat the hind part of cattle, and kept separate pots for meat and dairy, all as Jewish dietary laws (kashrut) require, an archaeological excavation in Oxford has revealed.

Just a few years before the expulsion of all Jews from England in 1290, a Jewish man named Jacob, son of the revered scholar Rabbi Moses of London, owned an imposing property in Oxford, known as Jacob’s Hall. Eight centuries later, the discovery of the building’s latrine has offered an incredible glimpse into Jewish life of the time. Which, perhaps unsurprisingly, did not seem to differ much from that of today – at least regarding food.

“Around three years ago, there were some plans to build in a particular site in Oxford, literally at the heart of the city,” Dr. Julie Dunne from the University of Bristol said. (JPost / VFI News)