VFI News December 3, 2021

Iran’s Nuclear Blackmail & Tel Aviv Most Expensive City in the World to Live - VFI News

Bennet urges world powers to resist Iran's blackmail and Australia declares all of Hezbollah a terrorist organization! Barry gets down to business with this Hanukkah edition of VFI News!

#israel #themiddleast #israelipolitics #iran #proisrael #telaviv #Hezbollah #history

  • 04:03 Iran now using centrifuges to enrich uranium
  • 04:34 Bennet urges world powers to resist Iran's blackmail
  • 05:14 Australia declares all of Hezbollah a terrorist organization
  • 06:21 Malaysia Squash tournament canceled
  • 07:20 Tel Aviv most expensive city in the world to live
  • 07:08 Check out Pesi story

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Hanukkah Same’ach!

From our family at Vision for Israel to yours, Happy Hanukkah! May the Festival of Lights brighten your home and heart, and may you have a blessed and safe time with family and friends.

Chag Urim Same’ach!

Iran Now Using Advanced Centrifuges to Enrich Uranium

Iran has begun using advanced centrifuges at the Fordow nuclear facility to enrich uranium to 20%, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported on Wednesday, December 1.

According to the IAEA, Iran has begun feeding uranium hexafluoride feedstock, which is enriched to 5% purity, into a cascade of 166 IR-6 centrifuges at Fordow.

The news comes two days after Iran and Western powers resumed the long-stalled negotiations over Iran's nuclear program in Vienna.

The 2015 Iran nuclear deal only allows Iran to enrich uranium with relatively antiquated first-generation IR-1 centrifuges at the underground Fuel Enrichment Plant (FEP) at Natanz. However, Iran has consistently scaled back its compliance with the deal since former US President Donald Trump withdrew from the agreement in 2018, putting thousands at risk. (INN / VFI News)

“God, we ask that You would give the world leaders the wisdom to stop Iran from developing a nuclear bomb.”

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.

As Iran Talks Begin, Bennett Urges World Powers to Resist Regime’s ‘Nuclear Blackmail’

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett urged world powers Monday, November 29, not to “give in to Iran’s nuclear blackmail,” as negotiators from Iran and world powers gathered in Vienna to resume talks aimed at reviving a 2015 nuclear deal.

In a video statement delivered to representatives of the nations opening the negotiations with Iran, Bennett said Tehran is seeking “to end sanctions in exchange for almost nothing” and keep its nuclear program intact while receiving hundreds of billions of dollars once sanctions are lifted.

If the world powers capitulate, “Iran won’t just keep its nuclear program; from today, they’ll be getting paid for it,” Bennett warned.

The prime minister highlighted Iranian leaders’ oft-repeated desire to see Israel destroyed. “Iran doesn’t hide its intentions,” he added. “Just a couple of days ago, the senior command of Iran’s Armed Forces declared, and I quote, ‘We will not back off from the annihilation of Israel, not even one millimeter.'”

“There are those who think they deserve to have their sanctions removed, and hundreds of billions of dollars poured right into their rotten regime. They’re wrong,” said Bennett.

“Iran deserves no rewards, no bargain deals and no sanctions relief in return for their brutality. I call upon our allies around the world: Do not give in to Iran’s nuclear blackmail.” (TOI / VFI News)

For we aim at what is honorable not only in the Lord's sight but also in the sight of man. - 2 Corinthians 8:21

Israel Protests as UN Marks Partition Plan with Palestinian Solidarity Event

Israel on Monday, November 29, protested the United Nations marking the 74th anniversary of the historic vote on the partition plan, which called for a Jewish state alongside a Palestinian one in the British Mandate of Palestine, by holding a Palestinian solidarity event.

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan called the decision to hold an event in the General Assembly aimed at strengthening the Palestinian “right of return” on this day “outrageous.”

On November 29, 1947, the UN General Assembly voted to recognize the establishment of a Jewish state in parts of the Mandate. Jews jubilantly accepted the plan, while the Palestinians and neighboring states rejected it and launched what would become Israel’s War of Independence.

“On November 29th, exactly 74 years ago, the UN recognized the Jewish people’s right to a state. The Jews and Israel accepted this partition plan and the Palestinians and the Arab countries rejected it and tried to destroy us,” said Erdan.

A “right of return” is one of the key core issues of dispute in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Palestinians claim that five million people — tens of thousands of original refugees from what is today’s Israel, and their millions of descendants — have a right to return to their ancestral lands.

Israel rejects the demand, saying that it represents a bid by the Palestinians to destroy Israel by weight of numbers. Israel’s population is almost nine million, some three-quarters of whom are Jewish. An influx of millions would mean Israel could no longer be a Jewish-majority state.

Erdan particularly wants to highlight the plight of the hundreds of thousands of Jews who were expelled from Arab lands after the establishment of the State of Israel and their properties confiscated.

“By advancing and amplifying on the one side the false and dangerous narrative of the Palestinians and by silencing… the true… tragic stories of the Jewish refugees who were expelled from the Arab countries and from Iran, the UN is erasing Jewish history and distorting the truth and we will never allow this to happen,” Erdan said. (TOI / VFI News)

Erdogan Planning Steps to Improve Relations with Israel

Turkey is planning a rapprochement with Israel, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday, November 29.

Erdogan made the remarks in the context of his meeting with the United Arab Emirates’ leader Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, which was followed with a plan for the UAE to invest $10 billion in Turkey.

Those steps came after years of tensions between Ankara and Abu Dhabi, including a threat to suspend ties over the UAE’s establishment of relations with Israel in 2020 – even though Turkey has had diplomatic ties with Israel since 1949.

“They [UAE] put up a $10 billion investment plan. By putting this $10 billion into place, we will have built a very different future,” Erdogan was cited as telling reporters on a flight back from Turkmenistan, adding he would visit the UAE in February.

Asked about ties with Israel and Egypt, Erdogan said, “Whatever kind of step was taken with the UAE, we will also take similar ones with the others.”

As part of a charm offensive launched last year, Turkey has also moved to repair ties with Egypt and Saudi Arabia but those talks have yielded little public improvement.

Earlier this month, Erdogan also held a rare phone call with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and had his second call with President Isaac Herzog in several months after Turkey’s release of Natali and Mordy Oaknin, an Israeli couple detained for photographing Erdogan’s Istanbul residence. Erdogan expressed a willingness to hold a comprehensive dialogue between Israel and Turkey.

“Differences of opinion can be minimized if acted with mutual understanding in both bilateral and regional issues,” the Turkish readout of the Erdogan-Herzog call stated.

Foreign Ministry Director-General Alon Ushpiz said in an interview with Haaretz over the weekend, before Erdogan’s remarks, “There is potential for a relative improvement in Israel-Turkey ties, more than there was two weeks ago, and I think we need to examine it exhaustively.”

Erdogan has made overtures toward Israel in the past year, which could be seen as a way for Turkey to get in on the natural gas developments in the region and improve its economy. In addition, improved ties with Israel could help repair bad relations between the Turkish president and US President Joe Biden, who in an interview with The New York Times last year called Erdogan an “autocrat” who “has to pay a price.”

Israel-Turkey ties have been tense for over a decade. The nadir was in 2010 when the Erdogan-linked IHH (Humanitarian Relief Foundation) sent the Mavi Marmara ship to bust the IDF’s naval blockade on Gaza, arming some of the people aboard. IDF naval commandos stopped the ship, were attacked by IHH members aboard, and killed nine of them.

Over the ensuing decade, Israel and Turkey maintained diplomatic relations, even reinstalling ambassadors in 2016, but over the years, Erdogan harbored Hamas terrorists, backed destabilizing activities in east Jerusalem, and accused Israel of intentionally killing Palestinian children.

Meanwhile, Israel has developed close ties with Turkey’s historic adversaries Greece and Cyprus, with an emphasis on energy and defense ties. (JPost / VFI News)

“God, we ask you to bless collaborations with other countries, and allow them to be true and honest.”

Escape from the Holocaust: Pessy's Story

Pessy grew up in Leipzig and quickly bore witness to unspeakable atrocities acted upon her family and the other Jews of Europe. Her harrowing tale of escape, heroism, and redemption serves as an example—both of the inhuman treatment inflicted by the Nazis and the powerful perseverance of the faithful.

Australia Declares All Branches of Hezbollah a Terrorist Organization

Australian Minister for Home Affairs Karen Andrews declared on Wednesday, Australia became the 18th country to declare all branches of Hezbollah to be a terrorist organization. In 2003, Australia classified Hezbollah’s overseas terrorist mechanism, labeled by Hezbollah as its External Security Organization, as a terrorist organization under Australia’s Criminal Code.

“There is absolutely no place in Australia for violent extremism. There is no cause – religious or ideological – that can justify killing innocent people,” Andrews told reporters in Canberra.

Upon completion of the Australian move, any activity on behalf of Australian personalities or organizations for the benefit of Hezbollah, including financial assistance or public support for the terrorist organization, will be considered a criminal offense. The decision will give Australian law enforcement agencies many more effective tools to combat the organization’s activities in Australia.

Hezbollah in a statement “strongly denounced the Australian authorities’ decision”, saying it was “a humiliating submission to American and Zionist diktats” and served Israeli interests. The “decision and those that have preceded it will not affect Hezbollah’s position and its right to resistance”, the statement said.

Last week, Britain’s interior ministry announced that Hamas would be banned under the Terrorism Act and that anyone expressing support for Hamas, flying its flag, or arranging meetings for the organization would be in breach of the law. Violators are liable to face up to 10 years in prison. (I365 / VFI News)

Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. - Psalm 34:14

Squash Championship Canceled after Malaysia Bans Israeli Team

The Men’s World Team Squash Championship was canceled on Monday, November 29, after the host country Malaysia would not permit the Israeli team to play.

“The WSF [World Squash Federation] believes in an open and inclusive Men’s World Team Squash Championships, and the possibility that some nations would be unable to compete due to the lack of confirmation over the issuing of visas and travel authorizations by the National Authorities has led SRAM [Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia] to inform the WSF of the decision to cancel,” the WSF said in a statement.

In addition, the WSF and SRAM were concerned about the Omicron variant of Corona. Set for December 7, the championship had previously been moved from New Zealand due to pandemic-related restrictions.

The Israel Squash Association thanked the WSF leadership for its decision.

“As lovers of sports in general and squash in particular, we know how difficult it is to cancel a tournament,” ISA chairman Aviv Bushinsky said. “When all parties realized Malaysians are banning Israelis from playing, I was grateful to read the president’s letter affirming a commitment to our participation.”

Bushinsky offered for Israel to host WSF events, including teams from countries with which Israel does not have diplomatic relations.

“There is nothing more frustrating for a professional athlete than to be told that he [or] she cannot compete after years of training and preparation, yet I believe that this incident will prevent any similar discrimination in the future,” Bushinsky wrote.

The championship’s cancellation came several days after the ISA sued the World Squash Federation and the Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia at the Court of Arbitration for Sport after Israelis were banned from competing in next week’s now-canceled world championship in Kuala Lumpur. (JPost / VFI News)

“Lord, thank you for the countries supporting Israel's squash team being allowed to play.”

Tel Aviv Overtakes Paris as World’s Most Expensive City to Live In

Tel Aviv has overtaken Paris and is now ranked as the world’s most expensive city to live in, the Economist Intelligence Unit found in a new study.

According to the data, soaring price increases are contributing to the fastest rise in the cost of living for city dwellers in five years. The EIU’s 2021 index, which tracks the cost of living across 173 cities across the world, reveals Tel Aviv is the world’s most expensive city, rising from fifth place in 2020 to overtake Paris, which previously occupied the top spot.

On average, prices for the goods and services covered by the index have risen by 3.5% in local-currency terms, compared with an increase of just 1.9% this time last year.

Transport costs rose most rapidly in this year’s survey, mainly because of rising oil prices driving a 21% increase in the price of unleaded petrol, but the recreation, tobacco and personal care categories also showed strong increases.

Tel Aviv’s rise mainly reflects the strength of the shekel against the US dollar and increases in grocery and transport prices. The city that saw the biggest jump was Tehran, which rose from the 79th to 29th place as international sanctions continue to cause shortages and price increases.

The Worldwide Cost of Living reports that rankings continue to be sensitive to shifts brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey data were collected between August 16 and September 12, 2021, when freight rates and commodity prices were on an increase across the world. Combined with fluctuating consumer demand and exchange-rate shifts, the resulting supply-chain problems have fueled price rises in the world’s major cities.

The top of the list is dominated by European and developed Asian cities while the cheapest cities are mainly in the Middle East and Africa. Damascus retained its place as the cheapest city in the world to live in. It came at the bottom in seven of the 10 pricing categories, and close to the bottom in the remaining three. (JPost / VFI News)

Israeli Archaeologists Dig Up New Info on Sanhedrin Era in Yavne

New archaeological findings in the city of Yavne may shed light on the city 2,000 years ago when it was the center of Jewish life in the region and home to the Sanhedrin.

The discovery saw the first-ever excavation of a building in Yavne dating back to the time of the Sanhedrin.

The Sanhedrin were groups of twenty-three or seventy-one elders who were appointed to sit as a tribunal in every city in the ancient Land of Israel following the destruction of the Second Temple.

The findings of this excavation, initiated by the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Yavne Municipality and Israel Land Authority, indicate that the occupants of this home kept kosher and other Jewish purity laws.

This was evidenced by the presence of "measuring cups," vessels identified with Jews in the late Second Temple era that were used to retain ritual purity.

But another impressive find was found just 70 meters away: A cemetery dating back to the same period. On top of these tombs were over 150 glass vials.

“We encountered dozens of carefully arranged tombs spaced out at set distances, which probably indicates the existence of a ‘burial society’—some official body that was responsible for burial,” Israel Antiquities Authority Yavne excavation directors Pablo Betzer and Dr. Daniel Varga said in a statement.

“There are different types of tombs: some are coffins (sarcophagi), which are made mostly of stone with one lead coffin.”

The excavation directors add that “based on the cemetery’s location, it was probably established outside the boundaries of the city, in accordance with Jewish and Roman law. Were the interred individuals Jews, or pagans? It is too early to say since there are no ethnic symbols on the coffins. With all due caution, the historical records and archaeological finds raise the possibility that these are the tombs of the city’s Jewish community. If this hypothesis is correct, then at least some of the tombs, perhaps the most elaborate, may belong to the sages of Yavne, contemporaries of Rabban Yohanan ben Zakkai, Rabbi Akiva and Rabban Gamliel.”

The city of Yavne has a rich Jewish history, such as being a vital point in the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire in the story of Hanukkah. (JPost / VFI News)

For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. - Romans 15:4

In Memoriam: Our Dear Friend Marcus Lamb

We would like to take a moment and remember the life of a dear friend Marcus Lambְ, founder of Daystar Television Network. Marcus passed on to glory in the early morning hours of November 30th.

Marcus invited us onto Daystar television as guests many times and was always a gracious host, sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit, and genuinely positive. He was never ashamed of us as Jewish believers and had an incredible love for Israel, not just in words but in his actions as well.

After every visit, we would play golf together and we had a true friendship and bond in fellowship. He always loved to take time and teach me (Barry) along the way. He was kind.

Marcus Lamb will be sorely missed by us and our family from Israel. Let’s continue to hold up the Lamb family in our prayers.

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

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