VFI News December 24, 2021

Israel's Omicron Hysteria & Fourth Booster Shoot in Israel?!

Israel's Omicron hysteria is taking over the airports and snowstorms in the north!
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  • 00:38 - Israel is a Jewish State and will remain so says Ra’am’s Abbas
  • 01:07 - Omicron - More countries added to Israel’s red list
  • 01:24 - Israelis over 60 to receive fourth Covid booster shot
  • 02:21 - Ant Israel candidate elected as Chile’s new president
  • 04:16 - 25cm of snow on Mount Hermon
  • 06:02 - Satanic temple coming back to Illinois (edited)
  • 07:38 - Mother’s smartphone use could damage toddler development
  • 08:57 - Link to VFI Christmas time in Bethlehem video

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Merry Christmas!

Our team at Vision for Israel wants to wish all of our readers a very Merry Christmas!

As you enjoy your celebrations, may we remember that Yeshua is the reason for the season. We send blessings of love, light, and joy to you and your family and we pray that God will bring peace to all in the new year.

Iran’s Regime Posts Threatening Image of Israel

An Arabic language Twitter account of the Islamic Republic of Iran on Sunday, December 19, published an image that shows the planned burned elimination of the Jewish state in 2022.

The picture shows Israel composed of nails and matches and a book of matches next to words in Hebrew and English declaring: “Just try and you will see.”

The book of matches, which is situated next to Israel in the image, says “Ballistic matchstick” and shows an Iranian regime flag on it. The apparent message is that the clerical regime is prepared to detonate the matches to destroy Israel in 2022.

The tweet came from the Islamic Republic of Iran’s account. The account says it joined Twitter in February 2020 and has 39,800 followers. On December 15 the Tehran Times wrote on its front page “One wrong move,” with military targets listed within Israel.

Sheina Vojoudi, an Iranian dissident who fled the Islamic Republic of Iran due to repression, told The Jerusalem Post, that "The Islamic Republic in Iran is only provoking Israel, it's been years that the Islamic Republic is threatening to wipe Israel off the map but now it's become more serious because the regime knows that the end for this evil regime has come, especially after Vienna Talks. (JPost / VFI News)

“God, we ask that you protect Israel from evil, and from those who wish to destroy it.”

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.

Israel is a Jewish State and Will Remain So

“The State of Israel was born as a Jewish state, and it will remain one,” Ra’am (United Arab List) leader Mansour Abbas said on Tuesday, December 21, at a conference of the Hebrew Economic Newspaper Globes.

The statement by Abbas in an interview with Channel 12 analyst Muhammad Magadli was considered historic because it is very different from the view of Arab parties until now.

The point of view of Arab parties in the past has been that Israel should be a state of all its citizens, not a Jewish state. Arab parties have supported changing the Law of Return to make it easier for Arabs to move to Israel and gain a majority.

Balad Party leader Sami Abou Shehadeh said, “Only a state of all its citizens can bring about justice and full equality among all citizens,” Abou Shehadeh said

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked (Yamina) and Ra’am faction head Waleed Taha met for the first time in weeks late Tuesday night, in an effort to resolve their differences. Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) mediated between Shaked and Taha.

Taha has been boycotting votes in the Knesset plenum to protest statements Shaked has made about his bill, which would hook up more than 50,000 illegally built Arab homes to the national electricity grid. With a thin majority, the coalition cannot handle his boycott continuing to Wednesday’s votes in the plenum.

Ra’am MK Mazen Ghenayim threatened to bring about the end of the coalition over the bill on Tuesday in an interview with KAN’s Arabic radio station. But Abbas has repeatedly downplayed the coalition crisis.

“I am satisfied with the process we started,” Abbas said at the Globes conference. “We are inside. Now is the time to know how to play the game. That means improving our steps and finding solutions to problems.” (JPost / VFI News)

Omicron Variant: More Countries Added to the Red List

The government approved the Health Ministry’s recommendation to classify the United States, Italy, Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Morocco, Portugal, Canada, Switzerland and Turkey as “red” states and place them under a travel ban on Monday, December 20.

The recommendation also requires the approval of the Knesset Law and Constitution Committee. The committee is set to meet for this purpose on Tuesday morning, just hours before the measure is supposed to come into effect at midnight between Tuesday and Wednesday.

Israelis are not allowed to travel to red countries unless they receive special permission from a governmental Exception Committee. In addition, if they return to Israel, they need to be quarantined for a minimum of seven days, even if they are fully vaccinated.

Individuals who are not considered protected are required to remain in a coronavirus hotel for seven days.

The group of red countries already includes the UK, Denmark, the United Arab Emirates, Ireland, Norway, Spain, Finland, France, Sweden, South Africa, and several dozen other African nations.

“We do not intend to close the skies, but it could be that in practice this is what is going to happen,” said coronavirus commissioner Prof. Salman Zarka, speaking before a joint session of the Knesset Health and Constitution committees.

Israeli borders have already been closed to foreign nationals since the end of November, with very limited exceptions.

All the travel restrictions are set to expire on December 29, but they might be extended, as it has already happened twice in the past month. Countries remain on the red list until the authorities decide to change their status. (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

Anti-Israel Candidate Elected as Chile's New President

Gabriel Boric, a 35-year-old left-wing lawmaker who has been sharply critical of Israel and Chilean Jews who support it, was elected president of Chile in a landslide victory this weekend.

Boric, who came to fame as a student leader, won with 56% of the vote, 12 points over his conservative rival, José Antonio Kast, a right-wing pro-Israel politician.

The election left many Chilean Jews feeling uneasy because they had to choose between Boric, who has encouraged Chilean Jews to lobby for Israeli territorial concessions, and Kast, a right-wing pro-Israel politician whose father likely was a Nazi and who has defended the legacy of Augusto Pinochet, the head of Chile’s military dictatorship that killed thousands of dissidents in the 1970s.

Most Jews seemed to be siding with Kast, telling the Jewish Telegraphic Agency last month that their community was experiencing “a feeling of siege.” Of the 111 Chileans living in Israel who voted from abroad, 73 cast their ballots for Kast, compared to just 33 for Boric, according to Chile’s national elections database.

In his victory speech, Boric promised to “firmly fight against the privileges of a few” as he seeks to advance his vision for Chile’s future.

“I guarantee that I will be a president who cares for democracy and does not risk it, listens more than speaks, seeks unity, and attends to the needs of the people daily,” he said.

The Jewish Community of Chile, a nonprofit representing communal interests, congratulated Boric in a short statement, wishing him and his government “much success” and praising the transparency of the country’s elections. It concluded, “We will continue to work for a democratic, diverse Chile where minorities are respected. “

The official group representing Chile’s roughly 18,000 Jews has a complicated relationship with Boric. In 2019, it sent him a Rosh Hashanah gift along with a note expressing a desire for a “more inclusive, respectful society with more solidarity.”

“I appreciate the gesture but they could start by asking Israel to return the illegally occupied Palestinian territory,” Boric wrote after posting a picture of the gift to Twitter.

Boric’s criticism of Israel is longstanding. As a lawmaker, he supported a bill proposing to boycott Israeli goods from the Golan, Judea and Samaria, and areas of Jerusalem that came under Israeli control in 1967.

“God, we ask that you strike antisemitism and exclusion from your world.”

Christmas Aid for Arab Christians in Bethlehem | Vision for Israel

For the people of Bethlehem, Coronavirus has hit hard. Between travel restrictions, closures, and mounting bills—people have been hurting. But thanks to your heroic support, we’re able to provide vital assistance to people in need—regardless of their background or religious affiliation.

Learn more about blessing Israel in practical ways, and how you can restore lives by spreading love and compassion, and by distributing humanitarian aid and disaster relief to those who need it most.

Storm Carmel Brings 25 cm of Snow on Mt. Hermon, Kinneret Rises 2 cm

Twenty-five cm of snow has accumulated on Mt. Hermon, and the Kinneret has risen by 2 cm, as winter storm Carmel continued to hit northern and central Israel on Tuesday, December 21.

About 25 cm of snow accumulated in the lower part of the Hermon ski resort, which is closed to visitors until further notice.

Meanwhile, the Kinneret rose by two cm to 210.76 meters below sea level on Tuesday morning. The lake is 1.96 meters below the upper red line that marks a full lake and 2.25 meters above the lower red line that marks a dangerously low lake.

Storm Carmel brought heavy rainfall to central and northern Israel on Monday, with 37.5 mm of rain falling in Jerusalem, 24.7 mm falling in Tel Aviv, 63.1 mm falling in Haifa, and 75.1 mm falling in Safed. The highest amount of rainfall was recorded in Amikam, with 96 mm of rainfall recorded on Monday.

Further rain showers were expected in northern Israel and along the coast on Tuesday, with concerns of flooding as well as more snowfall on the Hermon.

The high winds brought by the storm gradually weakened throughout the day. It was colder than usual for this time of year.

The storm is the third named storm in the Eastern Mediterranean Group of EUMETNET, which includes the meteorological services of Israel, Greece, and Cyprus. Other Hebrew names in the list of names for the 2021/2022 season include Irit, Joel, Lavi, Ora, and Raphael. (JPost / VFI News)

Satanic Temple’s Holiday Display Coming Back to Illinois Capitol Rotunda

The Illinois State Capitol Rotunda will feature a holiday art display from the Satanic Temple that will stand alongside other religious exhibits.

This year’s installment, the third for the organization, will feature the satanic figure Baphomet depicted as a baby to celebrate the holiday Sol Invictus, the State Journal-Register reported.

The Satanic Temple is a social activist organization that is an outspoken supporter of women’s reproductive rights, the separation of church and state, and several other social justice issues.

According to the organization’s website, Sol Invictus is a “celebration of being unconquered by superstition and consistent in the pursuit of sharing knowledge,” and has its origins in the cult of Sol in pre-Christian Rome.

“This year’s tradition marks a greater urgency in the Baphomet’s message of harmony and reconciliation,” Satanic Temple’s director of campaign operations Erin Helian said in a statement, obtained by The State Journal-Register.

The display will be installed at 1 p.m. Monday, December 20, at the rotunda in Springfield, overseen by members of the congregation.”

The display has been a source of controversy with local Christian leaders. A Nativity scene was installed at the rotunda recently at an event sponsored by the Diocese of Springfield, where Bishop Thomas Paprocki said the Satanic Temple’s displays “should have no place in this Capitol or any other place,” according to The State Journal-Register.

“Our real message is to re-establish pluralism,” Greaves told the Journal-Register. “It doesn’t mean that people with opposing viewpoints have to be in conflict.”

The Satanic Temple’s first holiday installation at the rotunda was in 2018, followed by another installation in 2019 called “Knowledge is the Greatest Gift,” which featured the forearm of the biblical Eve beside an apple and snake. (NYPost / VFI News)

"Lord, we pray that you will bring satanic activity to an end. We ask that you would bring people into Your light and expose the lies of the enemy."

Syrian Soccer Player Expelled from National Team after Match with Israeli Coach

Syrian soccer player Firas Al-Khatib was expelled on Monday, December 20, from the national team after he played in a showcase match with an Israeli coach.

The Syrian Olympic Committee announced that Al-Khatib was being expelled from the National Olympic Committee and General Sports Federation for "violating the values and ideals of the organization and deviating from its national principles."

The showcase match at the FIFA Arab Cup starred former soccer players from Arab countries and around the world. The team of world legends was coached by Israeli Avram Grant. Three Algerian soccer players withdrew from the match and several Arab players erased the Israeli flags from their shirts in protest against Grant's involvement.

Al-Khatib, for his part, expressed shock at the Syrian Olympic Committee's decision, writing in a post on his social media accounts that the penalty was "unjust" and that he was not summoned in advance to provide answers about the situation.

The soccer player stressed that he was not aware that Grant was participating in the match and that he has documents that can confirm this. He added that Grant's name was not on the list he was provided with before the match and that he was only made aware that Grant was participating on the day of the match.

Al-Khatib stated that, despite Grant's participation, he decided to take part in the match "due to his concern for the presence of Syria's name on such a festive occasion." He added that he was "surprised" by the presence of the Israeli flag on the shirt he wore and that he had clearly removed the flag from the shirt, as did a number of other players.

The soccer player apologized to "supporters of the Palestinian cause in all parts of the world and to the Palestinian people everywhere" for any "psychological distress" his participation may have caused. He stressed his "firm position" on the Palestinian cause which matches up with the position of the Syrian state. (JPost / VFI News)

Mothers’ Smartphone Use Could Damage Toddler Development

Parents distracted by their smartphones could be causing long-term developmental damage to their toddlers because they aren’t interacting with them enough, according to a recently published study by researchers at Tel Aviv University.

The research found that interaction between mothers and toddlers is reduced by up to a factor of four when the mother is using her smartphone, the university said in a statement about the research.

“The consequences of inadequate mother-child interaction can be far-reaching,” cautioned Katy Borodkin of the Department of Communication Disorders at the Stanley Steyer School of Health Professions, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, and who led the study.

There is a “high probability” that the research findings apply to fathers as well, Borodkin said, as men and women have similar patterns of use for their smartphones.

Borodkin noted there is currently no research suggesting that parental use of smartphones actually affects child development, “as this is a relatively new phenomenon,” but the findings indicate an “adverse impact on the foundation of child development.”

Researchers studied dozens of mothers as they interacted with their toddlers aged 2 to 3. The mothers were told the experiment was to examine the link between the interests of a mother and a child, making them unaware of the real purpose, which was to examine their interactions, Borodkin explained.

Mothers were told to browse a designated Facebook page and like videos and articles they found interesting while their children were at play. In other sessions, they were told to read a printed magazine while marking articles of interest, also while playing with their toddlers, and finally to play with their child when the smartphone and magazine were not in the room.

Borodkin said the experiment was designed to simulate real-life situations when a mother divides her attention between her child and her smartphone. Her subjects behaved naturally, “splitting their interest between the toddlers and the smartphone and magazines.”

The sessions were videotaped and then carefully examined frame by frame to quantify the mother-child interactions.

Tel Aviv researchers specified three elements in mother-child interactions and studied how participants in the experiments performed in each one. (TOI / VFI News)

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” - Proverbs 22:6

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

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