VFI News Tues., May 30 — Iran Poses a Great Threat to Middle East, Fear of Nuclear Escalation| VFI News
Iran's Advancements and Controversies: Threats to Israel and the World
Explore the grave threat posed by Iran's advancements towards nuclear weapons and the escalating concerns over Tehran's nuclear program.
Discover the controversy surrounding Biden's antisemitism strategy and the arrest of a suspect planning a bomb attack.
Delve into the celebration of Erdogan's election victory and the controversy at Roger Waters' concert.
Witness the inspiring story of Holocaust survivor Helen Kahan's ceremonial first pitch on her 100th birthday at a Tampa Bay Rays game.
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Iran Is the Biggest Threat to Israel, the Middle East - Editorial
Iran continues to pose a major threat to Israel, the Middle East, and the world. Last week, during the Herzliya Conference at Reichman University, Israel’s top security and defense officials raised the alarm about Iran’s continued advances toward a nuclear weapon.
IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Herzi Halevi said that Iran has in recent years enriched uranium more than ever before. This is a major concern and means that the Islamic Republic has steered a path to nuclear capability, he indicated.
The overall picture is that Iran continues its nefarious behavior on numerous fronts and that Israel cannot let its guard down. Unlike previous conventional military or terrorist threats, Iran combines multiple types of threats into one sprawling matrix that it seeks to use against the Jewish state.
Tehran is open about its desire to attack Israel on multiple fronts. It wants to weaken Israel internally, and it supplies and funds proxies and militias around Israel – like Hamas, Hezbollah, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad – to carry out attacks against it.
It is important to focus on the comments by our senior defense officials, including Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, to understand that while we should not be overly alarmed about the Iranian threat, we also need to prepare for the continued provocations that Tehran will likely throw at us in the near term. (JPost/VFI News)
“God, we ask that You stop Iran from doing any activities that threaten the stability and security of Middle Eastern countries. We especially wish for the inhibition of its nuclear plans so that it doesn’t reach the uranium level that is necessary for the production of nuclear weapons.”
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.
US, France Say Iran Ballistic Test Worrying in Light of Nuclear Escalation
The United States and France on Thursday, May 25, accused Iran of violating a UN Security Council resolution endorsing the 2015 nuclear deal after it carried out a long-range ballistic missile test, which Paris said was worrying given the "uninterrupted escalation" of Tehran's nuclear program.
Iran successfully test-launched a ballistic missile with a potential 2,000-km range on Thursday, state media said, the latest in ballistic missile tests and satellite launches.
Iran's development of ballistic missiles poses a serious threat to regional and international security, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller told reporters on Thursday, after Iran carried out a long-range ballistic missile test.
French foreign ministry spokesperson Anne-Claire Legendre told reporters at a daily briefing: "These activities are all the more worrying in the context of the continuing escalation of Iran's nuclear program."
UN Security Council resolution 2231 calls on Iran not to conduct “any activity” related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, but the language is ambiguous, leaving it open to interpretation.
Western powers are particularly concerned because UN Security Council restrictions on missiles and related technologies last until October 2023 after which Iran is free to pursue its ballistic missile activity. (JPost / VFI News)
“God, we thank You for alerting more nations so that Iran’s threatening activities can be publicized and stopped. We trust that more of our Western allies will engage and start actively pursuing plans to control such dangerous acts.”
Iran Regime Close to Getting Nuclear Bomb, But What's the Holdup?
Iran has moved dangerously close to enriching weapons-grade uranium for a nuclear bomb, but the regime has not yet crossed the critical threshold of declaring it has built an atomic weapon.
"It’s an open question as to whether Khamenei wants to die as the father of the Shiite atomic bomb or as the one who kept the Islamic Republic on the nuclear path without provoking a war or pulling the trigger," Behnam Ben Taleblu, Iran expert at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told American media.
Aside from the technological impediments to the construction of a modern nuclear weapon, Iran’s regime has been confronted with deterrence from Israel and the United States over the years, including Stuxnet computer worm sabotage of the regime’s nuclear fuel production system.
"I think Iran's leadership to date has calculated the costs of doing so would outweigh the benefits at this juncture — mainly a destructive attack which targets its entire nuclear infrastructure," Jason Brodsky, policy director of the U.S.-based United Against a Nuclear Iran (UANI), told American media.
"Iran has not crossed the threshold into building a nuclear weapon because the supreme leader has not decided to weaponize the program," said Joel Rubin, a former deputy assistant secretary of state who served in the Obama administration.
Rubin said it was clear that Tehran was "Still open to pursuing a diplomatic path as it knows that if it crosses into weapons-grade nuclear arsenals, which it is capable of doing, the nation would be further isolated internationally — even by its allies. It would trigger a regional nuclear arms race, and Tehran would never get out from under the sanctions pressure it currently is experiencing," he said. (FN / VFI News)
“You, Lord, will keep the needy safe and will protect us forever from the wicked.” - Psalm 12:7
Jewish Groups Blast Biden’s Antisemitism Strategy; Shaped by Antisemitic CAIR
The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) blasted President Joe Biden’s new antisemitism strategy on Thursday, May 25, as it emerged that it was crafted with help from the antisemitic Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).
The strategy excludes extreme criticism of Israel from the definition of antisemitism, rejecting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition that was adopted by President Donald Trump in 2019.
The Biden strategy also lumps antisemitism in together with Islamophobia, which fails to acknowledge the fact that the two are fundamentally different and that antisemitism is frequently motivated by Islamic extremism.
Critics noted that CAIR was involved in the drafting of the document, as the White House acknowledged. CAIR has frequently used antisemitic rhetoric, blurring the boundary between criticism of Israel or “Zionism” and outright attacks on Jews and Judaism.
For its part, CAIR boasted Thursday of its involvement in crafting Biden’s antisemitism strategy and specifically praised Biden for protecting criticism of Israel.
RJC, another Jewish group, the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, a non-partisan group, and The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), the oldest pro-Israel group in the United States all blasted this strategy. (BB / VFI News)
“God, we pray for the safety and well-being of all Jews around the world. Not one of us should be subjected to hatred because of our religion or origins and we deserve to live without worries for our physical safety. We ask that all nations of the world and especially our allies proceed to protect their Jewish citizens from hate speech and hate crimes.”
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Syrian Migrant Arrested Over Planned ‘Bomb Attack’ on Swedish Church
Police have arrested a 24-year-old Syrian migrant on suspicion of planning a “bomb attack” on a church in Sweden.
The 24-year-old Syrian migrant is at least the second person to be arrested by law enforcement in relation to the “bomb attack” terror plot. The agency also arrested the individual’s 28-year-old brother in relation to the allegedly planned bombing of an unidentified church in Sweden.
While initially suspected of only being an accessory to his brother’s crime, the press release published on Tuesday, May 23, says that the migrant is now “urgently suspected of jointly preparing a serious act of violence that is dangerous to the state”, as well as the ” joint financing of terrorism”.
In a previous press release published in April, law enforcement suggested that both men are motivated by radical Islam, though according to police it is unclear whether they have any formal ties to extremist groups.
“The two Syrian nationals are said to have planned an attack with a self-made explosive belt out of a radical Islamist and jihadist attitude in order to carry out an attack against civilian targets,” it reads.
“In addition, the 28-year-old main suspect from Hamburg is said to have purchased raw materials for the production of explosive material for a few weeks via the online platform eBay and other providers.” (BB /VFI News)
“Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared.” - Proverbs 3:25-26
Arabs Celebrate on Temple Mount: Erdogan Won, Muhammad's Army Will Return
Thousands of Muslims who came to pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Temple Mount square on Sunday evening, May 28, celebrated Recep Tayyip Erdogan's victory in the Turkish presidential election. In a video from the scene, the crowd can be seen chanting: "O Jews…Muhammad's army will return to fight against you."
Hamas congratulated Erdogan on his victory and said that "this historic victory will be a new starting point for strengthening relations on the Arab and Islamic level and for supporting the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian people's right to freedom, self-determination and the establishment of a Palestinian state on its national land."
President Isaac Herzog on Sunday also congratulated Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on his victory. "Congratulations to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey on his election victory. I am convinced that we will continue to work together to strengthen and expand the good ties between Turkey and Israel."
Erdogan earlier on Sunday claimed victory over his reformist opponent, economist Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, after the polls closed across Turkey. The Turkish Electoral Body announced that with 75.4% of the vote counted, Erdogan leads Kılıçdaroğlu 53.4% to 46.6%. (INN / VFI News)
Roger Waters Dresses up as SS Officer, Compares Anne Frank to Abu Akleh
Roger Waters dressed up as an SS officer and compared Anne Frank to journalist Shireen Abu Akleh during a concert at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin two weeks ago.
Throughout the show, humanoid pigs and shady businessmen "pulling the strings" were displayed on the screen. Social media users and activists condemned the imagery as an "antisemitic dog whistle."
The screen proceeded to display the names of Sophie Scholl, an anti-Nazi activist murdered by the Nazis; Mahsa Amini, who was murdered by Iranian "morality police"; George Floyd, who was killed by a police officer in Minneapolis; and Anne Frank, who was murdered by the Nazis in Bergen-Belsen, among other individuals killed by various authorities and regimes throughout the past century.
The list also included Abu Akleh - right before Anne Frank - who is believed to have been killed by shots fired by Israeli soldiers during a shootout with Palestinian terrorists in Jenin, and Rachel Corrie, who was crushed by an armored IDF bulldozer in the southern Gaza Strip in 2003. In both cases, Palestinians claim that Abu Akleh and Corrie were targeted directly by the IDF, while the IDF says the deaths were an accident.
After the list of names, a graphic on the screen stated that "they" are so brutal "because they want to crush our resistance and keep ruling the world." After an intermission, Waters walked on stage in a SS uniform as an inflatable pig with various words and symbols and glowing eyes floated over the crowd and banners in the style of the Third Reich but with crossed hammers instead of a swastika hanging from the ceiling.
Later in the performance, Waters displayed the words "F$%& the occupation" while singing "Lay Down Jerusalem (If I Had Been God)." (JPost / VFI News)
“To whom can I speak and give warning? Who will listen to me? Their ears are closed so they cannot hear. The word of the Lord is offensive to them; they find no pleasure in it.” - Jeremiah 6:10
Holocaust Survivor Throws 1st Pitch at Yankees-Rays Game on 100th Birthday
She may not have the same velocity on her fastball as an MLB pitcher, but Helen Kahan still had plenty to be proud of as she threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees took the field on May 5 — her 100th birthday.
To prepare, Kahan watched her grandsons and great-grandsons play catch so she could get the pitching motion in her head.
Kahan stood confidently on the Tropicana Field pitcher’s mound with her daughter and son by her side. It didn’t matter that the throw only made it halfway to home plate. The crowd of more than 25,000 gave her a standing ovation as Rays relief pitcher Kevin Kelly, who caught the pitch, congratulated her with a smile and a handshake.
Kahan, of Seminole, Florida, who survived multiple Nazi concentration camps, was triumphant. “I never could have imagined celebrating a birthday like this, let alone my 100th!” said Kahan. “I’m so grateful that I am here to tell my story and help the world remember why kindness and empathy are so important for us all.”
Born in 1923 in Romania, Kahan was forced into a ghetto as a young adult before being deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau, then Bergen-Belsen and Lippstadt. As the end of the war approached, she escaped from a death march before the camp was liberated by the Soviet army in May 1945.
In addition to honoring Kahan, the Rays announced a $10,000 partnership grant with the Florida Holocaust Museum during the pregame festivities. Kahan has been a longtime volunteer educator at the St. Petersburg Museum. (TOI /VFI News)
“Lord, by such things people live; and my spirit finds life in them too. You restored me to health and let me live.” - Isaiah 38:16
The suggestions, opinions, and scripture references made by VFI News writers and editors are based on the best information received.
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