VFI News Jun 3, 2022

Chag Sameach

From our team at VFI News, Chag Sameach to you and your family during this blessed season of Shavuot. May you strengthen your bond with God during this time, and feel His love wherever you go.

Classified IAEA Docs Were Stolen by Iran

Iran used stolen documents to deceive the International Atomic Energy Agency, and continues lying to the world, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett warned on Tuesday, May 31, ahead of the UN atomic agency’s board meeting next week.

IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi released a report to the agency’s Board of Governors a day earlier estimating that Iran already has enough enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon, 18 times more than the 2015 deal with world powers permitted.

The IAEA has been investigating the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program and nuclear sites that the Islamic Republic has not disclosed. One of Iran’s demands in negotiations to renew the nuclear deal was to close the probe.

“Iran has not provided explanations that are technically credible in relation to the Agency’s findings at those locations,” Grossi wrote. “The Agency cannot confirm the correctness and completeness of Iran’s declarations under its Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement.”

The future of the IAEA investigation is expected to come up at its Board of Governors meeting on June 6. (JPost/ VFI News)

“Lord, we pray that you will continue to expose Iran’s deceit and that you bring their actions to a halt.”

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’s Enriched Uranium Stockpile is 18 Times 2015 Deal Limit

The UN nuclear watchdog said Monday, May 30, that it estimated Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium had grown to more than 18 times the limit laid down in Tehran’s 2015 deal with world powers.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said in its latest report on Iran’s nuclear program that it “estimated that, as of May 15, 2022, Iran’s total enriched stockpile was 3,809.3 kilograms.”

The limit in the 2015 deal was set at 300 kilograms (660 pounds) of a specific compound, the equivalent of 202.8 kilograms of uranium. The report also said that Iran is continuing its enrichment of uranium to levels higher than the 3.67 percent limit in the deal.

The stockpile of uranium enriched up to 20% is now estimated to be 238.4 kilograms, up 56.3 kilograms since the last report in March, while the amount enriched to 60% stands at 43.1 kilograms, an increase of 9.9 kilograms.

Enrichment levels of around 90% are required for use in a nuclear weapon.

“The situation does not look very good. Iran, for the time being, has not been forthcoming in the kind of information we need from them… We are extremely concerned about this,” IAEA head Rafael Grossi said.

Iran has always insisted that its nuclear program is peaceful. Israel views a nuclear-threshold Iran as an unacceptable threat, as Tehran is avowedly committed to the destruction of the Jewish state.

Both American and Israeli officials have assessed that Iran now needs only a few weeks to amass enough fissile material for a bomb, should it choose to make one, though it would need additional time to assemble the device’s other components. (TOI / VFI News)

And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. - Matthew 24:6

Iranian Outlet Names Five Israeli Intel and Tech Experts as Potential Targets

Five Israelis could be targeted by Tehran, as the Islamic Republic continued to seethe on Monday, May 30, over the killing of a top Revolutionary Guards official, which it blames on Israel.

Under the headline “Zionists who must live in secret,” Iran claimed that the five, their families, and colleagues are “under close surveillance day and night” and that many others were potential targets as well.

Statements said the five were “involved in sabotage against Islamic countries and the assassination of activists of the Islamic Resistance.”

The named individuals are Amos Malka, a former head of the Israel Defense Forces Military Intelligence Directorate; Amir Levental, a cybersecurity expert; Gal Ganot, a former senior officer in the IDF’s 8200 intelligence unit; Inbal Arieli, a tech executive who is also a former 8200 officer; and Amit Meltzer, another cybersecurity expert.

The agency published photos of the five under the word “Wanted.”

Iranian officials have vowed to avenge the targeted killing of a senior Revolutionary Guard Corps member in Tehran last week, a shooting that Israeli officials claimed was carried out by Israeli intelligence. (TOI/ VFI News)

No weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall confute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, declares the Lord. - Isaiah 54:17

China Preps to Invade, Israel Can't Trust Beijing

Voicing concern about a possible Chinese invasion of his country, Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu warned Israel from relying too heavily on China.

“China is an authoritarian country and they do business in a very different philosophy,” Wu said in a video interview from his office in Taipei. “Sometimes they use trade as a weapon, and we have seen them practicing their weaponized trade relations with many other countries.

“They did it to Lithuania, they did it to the Czech Republic and they also did it to Australia. Sometimes they try to do that to Taiwan as well. So, when we do business with an authoritarian country, we need to be very careful. We shouldn’t allow these kinds of business relations to jeopardize our national security. And I understand pretty well that Israel also places national security very high on the government agenda,” he continued.

The statement from Wu came just a week after US President Joe Biden warned that China was “flirting with danger” over Taiwan, and promised to intervene militarily to protect the island if it is attacked.

Wu’s concern, he said, is that the Chinese are learning the wrong lesson from the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“I’m not sure whether the Chinese leaders are rational in making their own decisions. What we are seeing recently is that they seem to be gearing up a military threat against Taiwan. They seem to be trying to project their forces far beyond Taiwan,” he said. “And, therefore, it seems that China has been drawing the wrong lesson, and it seems to be trying to examine what went wrong in the Russian warfare against Ukraine to improve themselves. And if they do that, I think their determination to go after Taiwan is going to be stronger.”

To counter the Chinese threat, Wu said that Taiwan is working on multiple fronts – preparing militarily and diplomatically and trying to “make friends with as many people as possible.”

Israel, he added, was an inspirational country that Taiwan looks up to. He said that both nations can work together and learn from one another. Last July, Wu penned an op-ed in the Post together with Taiwan’s digital minister in which he called for increased cooperation with Israel, particularly in cybersecurity and emerging technologies. (JPost/VFI News)

“God, we ask that you foster peace and friendships around the world, so that we may avoid war and the loss of innocent lives.”

The Meaning of Shavuot

Batya and Barry reflect on the deep meaning behind this important holiday in the Jewish calendar—Shavuot—also called the Feast of Weeks and many other names. Explore its biblical founding and the many layers of significance that have been added over the centuries to this rich and meaningful celebration of God’s covenant with his people.

Could Israeli School Security Methods Serve as Model for US Schools?

Shooting attacks on schools in Israel are rare and the Jewish state’s preventive security measures could be a helpful starting point for improved school security in the U.S. This comes at a time of public debate on how best to secure schools in the wake of the Texas school shooting that left 19 students and two teachers dead at the Robb elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

There have been six terrorist attacks on Israeli schools since 1974. That low figure can be explained by the multiple layers of security Israel employs and the engagement of civil society in aiding the nation's law enforcement.

David Hazony, a writer and commentator on Israeli and American affairs, said that Israel "puts effort into identifying potential assailants through behavioral profiling."

Israel could not prevent attacks if its efforts were based solely on armed security guards at each school, he said. Israel "invests heavily in monitoring profiles of people.” It has a "complex, multi-layered approach" to security that uses intelligence networks to examine the acquisition of weapons and social media activity, he said.

Brig. Gen. (Res.) Amir Avivi, the founder and CEO of the Israel Defense and Security Forum (IDSF) NGO, noted that Israeli "civilian society understands the shortcomings of government, and civilian society is helping" and stressed that the volunteers are not a "vigilante" force or "militia," but will be under the strict control of the Border Police.

"They will be trained and equipped by Border Police officers and will operate in various areas, including in schools," he said. Avivi said the program is an "example of how civil society can help government institutions provide security." (FOX / VFI News)

Suriname to Open Embassy in Jerusalem

The South American republic of Suriname will open an embassy in Israel’s capital city, the country’s foreign minister said Monday afternoon, May 30.

Foreign Minister Albert Ramchand Ramdin met with his Israeli counterpart, Yair Lapid, Monday in Jerusalem, as part of Ramdin’s visit to Israel.

During the meeting, Ramdin informed Lapid that his country intends to open an embassy in Israel. Currently, Suriname’s mission in Israel is represented by a consulate in Tel Aviv.

The new embassy will be opened in the near future, Ramdin said and will be located in Jerusalem, rather than Tel Aviv, making Suriname the latest country to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital city.

During their meeting, the ministers signed an agreement on political consultations between the Israeli and Surinamese foreign ministries.

Minister Lapid offered to send Israeli humanitarian workers to northern Suriname, to help with aid efforts after severe flooding left many residents homeless. (INN/ VFI News)

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. - 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Saudi Arabia to Invest over $1 trillion in Tourism in Coming Decade

Saudi Arabia is set to spend over $1 trillion in tourism in the coming decade in a bid to attract 100 million visitors by 2030 and diversify its primarily oil-based economy.

The kingdom is pivoting from religious to leisure tourism, which it views as being a key sector in its Vision 2030 program that aims to modernize the country’s economy, according to a special report recently published by Entrepreneur Middle East in partnership with Lucidity Insights.

Erika Masako Welch is the chief content officer of special reports for Entrepreneur Middle East and helped put together the report. She told The Media Line that Saudi Arabia is hoping to become a global tourism leader.

“Working [women] are entering the workforce at breakneck speed,” Masako Welch said. “Ten or 15 years ago, you had maybe 5% of the Saudi female population in the workforce and now it’s 34%. That’s a lot of jobs that young Saudis are vying for, and those jobs wouldn’t exist unless brand new industries in tech and tourism were being developed.”

Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia announced that it had signed up Argentinian soccer great Lionel Messi to be its new tourism ambassador. After arriving in the kingdom for Jeddah Season, an art and culture festival, Messi uploaded a sponsored Instagram post from a yacht in the Red Sea with the hashtag #VisitSaudi.

Leisure tourism accounted for 55% of all global travel in 2019, according to Masako Welch’s report, which was sponsored by Saudia Airlines. Saudi Arabia has mainly relied on religious visitors – who undertake the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages – and is presently building up its leisure portfolio from scratch.

“They’re not completely new to welcoming outsiders but they’re new to welcoming everyone,” she said. “Before it was just Muslim pilgrims, which is a big business. That by itself has catapulted Saudia Airlines to make it just as big as British Airways.” (JPost/ VFI News)

Israeli Company's Device Detects COVID-19 in 20 Seconds

Virusight Diagnostic, an Israeli company that combines artificial intelligence software and spectral technology, announced the results of a study that found its Pathogens Diagnostic device detects COVID-19 with 96.3% accuracy in comparison to the common RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) test.

The study was conducted by researchers from the Department of Science and Technology, University of Sannio, Benevento, Italy, with partner company TechnoGenetics SpA.

Virusight is a collaboration between Tel Hashomer’s Sheba Medical Center ARC Innovation Center and Newsight Imaging, a company that develops CMOS (complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor) image sensor chips used in cameras and mobile devices.

Virusight’s SpectraLIT device obtains spectral signatures of the samples from mouth swabs and analyzes machine-learning algorithms that identify SARS-CoV-2. The device then sends the results to a phone or computer in 20 seconds.

The Virusight device is registered as an approved in vitro diagnostic (IVD) device. It has the CE mark for the European market and is pending regulatory approval in the United States, The United Kingdom, Latin America, and the Asia Pacific. It will be available in Europe in the coming weeks, according to the company. (JPost/ VFI News)

“Lord, we thank you for this innovative device and we ask that you continue to bring Israeli innovation to the forefront in the world, and heal this world from sickness, including Covid-19.”

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

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