VFI News March 26, 2021
Passover Greetings from the VFI team!
This year, Passover falls on the eve of March 27th. It is the one Old Testament feast that perhaps most particularly points to Yeshua. This is the feast of Redemption and we celebrate it for 7 days. Yeshua is our redemption. He redeemed us out of a life of bondage to sin and brought us into freedom in Him.
Read our most recent blog about Passover:
Four Elections in Two Years Cost Israel $4.24 Billion
The total cost to Israel’s economy of four national elections in the past two years is about NIS 14 billion (around $4.24b.), according to Dr. Roby Nathanson, CEO of the Macro Center for Political Economics.
Each election costs the economy about NIS 3.5 billion, according to the thinktank’s analysis compiled by economist Ohad Porat on behalf of Lahav, the Israel Chamber of Independent Organizations and Businesses.
The cost of the day off from work for the election holiday is about NIS 2.6 billion, Nathanson said, due to lost productivity and sales for companies and wasted salary expenses. Because Election Day is a legal holiday, work that day is considered overtime and subject to 200% wages. Lahav and other organizations have long called for Israel to cancel the election holiday, claiming the cost to the economy is too great. (JPost / VFI News)
Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. - Exodus 18:21
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.
Unemployment Down to 16.7% in February as Economy Reopens
The Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics said Monday that overall unemployment in Israel dropped in February from 18 percent to 16.7%. That reflected a drop of about 50,000 unemployed people in Israel, from around 748,000 to about 698,000.
Much of Israel’s unemployment is attributed to the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus.
Israel started to reopen much of the economy during the past few weeks, as it vaccinated more and more of the population against COVID-19. Those reopenings, a major part of which started in late February, could account for the decline in jobless rates. (TOI / VFI News)
“God, we ask that you continue to bless Israel with physical and economic recovery.”
Palestinians Using Postal Bank to Avoid Israeli Law
The Palestinian Authority (PA) will use the government's postal bank to distribute "pay-for-slay" payments to Palestinian terrorists to avoid penalties by Israeli law that could be imposed on Palestinian banks that distribute the payments, Qadri Abu Bakr, the PLO's Director for Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs, told the Turkish Anadolu Agency on Tuesday.
An Israeli law last year set a deadline of December 31, 2020, for banks to stop handling the payments and to permanently close the relevant accounts.
The accounts were closed by the end of the year to avoid possible penalties. The PA paid terrorists three months’ worth of the monthly payments near the end of last year in preparation for the move. (JPost / VFI News)
For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. - John 3:20
IAF Strikes Targets in Gaza After Rocket Lands Near Beersheba
The IDF struck targets belonging to terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday night in response to a rocket that was fired from the Strip towards Israel earlier in the evening and fell in an open area near Beersheba, according to the IDF Spokesperson's Unit.
The strikes targeted sites near Gaza City in the northern Gaza Strip and near Deir Al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip, according to Palestinian reports. According to the IDF Spokesperson's Unit, the strikes targeted a site for manufacturing rockets and a military position.
"The Hamas terrorist organization bears responsibility for what happens inside and outside of the Gaza Strip, and will bear the consequences of terrorist acts against Israeli citizens," said the IDF Spokesperson's Unit. (JPost / VFI News)
You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day. - Psalm 91:5
Escaping from Kristallnacht: Pessy’s Story
We’re focusing our efforts on some of the most deserving recipients of our care and generosity—Holocaust survivors. By definition, Holocaust survivors are of advanced age, and many of them suffer from health complications, a higher risk of mortality due to Covid-19, and ever-present loneliness.
ISIS in Sinai Leader Killed in Clash with Egyptian Forces
Leader of the ISIS terrorist organization in the Sinai Peninsula, Salim Salma Said Mahmoud al-Hamadin, was killed during clashes with Bedouin and Egyptian forces near Al-Barth, south of Rafah, and near the border with Israel, according to Arabic media. A bodyguard and escort were also detained.
Hamadin, referred to as the "most dangerous and oldest of the takfiri elements in the Sinai," was responsible for the murder of hundreds of civilians and Egyptian soldiers, according to the reports. "Takfiri" is a word often used to refer to armed extremist groups, but originally referred to Muslim apostates or infidels.
The targeting of the ISIS leader was conducted as a joint operation between the Egyptian military and the Sinai Tribal Union. (JPost / VFI News)
“God, we ask that you keep your people safe.”
Suspect in Boulder Supermarket Massacre Was Paranoid, Brother Says
The 21-year-old man accused in the King Soopers grocery store massacre is a martial-arts buff with a history of violence whose own brother describes him as “very anti-social.”
Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa allegedly stalked through the Boulder supermarket on Monday afternoon with a rifle and a pistol, firing shot after shot, and stripping off his combat vest and clothing until surrendering to a SWAT team.
He was charged with one count of first-degree murder for each of the 10 people killed: Denny Stong, 20; Neven Stanisic, 23; Rikki Olds, 25; Tralona Bartkowika, 49; Suzanne Fountain, 59; Teri Leiker, 51; Kevin Mahoney, 61; Lynn Murray, 62; Jody Waters, 65; and Boulder Police Officer Eric Talley, 51.
Investigators said that after the wounded, bloodied suspect was hauled out of the crime scene, he asked for his mother.
The motive for the nation’s second major mass shooting in a week remains unknown, but a family member said he believes the alleged shooter—a former high-school wrestler who was born in Syria but raised in Colorado—is mentally ill.
Ali Aliwi Alissa, 34, told The Daily Beast in a phone interview that his brother was paranoid, adding that in high school he would talk about “being chased, someone is behind him, someone is looking for him.” (DB / VFI News)
“We ask the Body of Messiah to pray for the families of those who lost their lives, and for anyone else wounded by this horrific event.”
‘Life-Saving’ Nose Spray That Kills 99.9% of Viruses Begins Production in Israel
A nasal spray that will be marketed as capable of killing 99.9 percent of virus particles has started rolling off production lines in an Israeli factory.
The spray could have prevented much of the world’s COVID-19 infection, its inventor, Dr. Gilly Regev, said.
“We are hoping that our nasal spray will now save many lives of people in countries that are waiting for the vaccine,” said Regev, an Israeli-raised biochemist who co-founded the company SaNOtize and developed the spray in Canada. “This will be affordable and can be used for prevention, to protect from any respiratory viral infection.” (TOI / VFI News)
“God, we ask that you continue to bless Israel with medical innovations that save lives.”
Israeli Teen Outstanding Player in US Wheelchair Basketball Championship
Amit Vigoda, 18, from Omar, starred in the US College Wheelchair Basketball Championship. Vigoda, who lost his leg when he was 11, was chosen as MVP (Outstanding Player) in the tournament after he scored 24 points in the finals against an Alabama college. In the semi-finals, the Israeli teen scored 30 points, half the points of his team.
Vigoda's leg was amputated after he was born with a rare disease, but that didn't stop him from playing for ILAN Spivak Ramat Gan and Israel's team. Six months ago, he was signed by a Texas team.
"This was one of the most challenging years of my life in all respects," Vigoda said. "To move to a strange county, with a different language and new team, and learn how to be responsible and independent.” (JPost / VFI News)
“God, we thank you for the blessings you bestow on all of us—great and small.”