VFI News March 3, 2020

Dem. Candidate Sanders Voices Contempt for Netanyahu

"The moon will be dismayed, the sun ashamed; for the Lord Almighty will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and before its elders—with great glory." Isa. 24:23

Israel's FM Israel Katz last week condemned what he called a "horrifying comment," by the Jewish Vermont presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. During a Democratic debate, Sanders called Netanyahu a 'reactionary racist'. The presidential hopeful also said that if he is elected he would potentially return the USA Embassy from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv. According to Katz, those who support Israel would not back Sanders' presidential candidacy after such remarks. Katz said there was a not a Jew in the world who "hasn't dreamed of Jerusalem" and Sanders' words were so severe that he had no choice but to retort. "We don't intervene in the internal American electoral process, which is splendid," Katz told Army Radio, before saying that Sanders has a long history of attacking Israel and the things most sacred to its identity and national security. "Naturally, people who support Israel will not support someone who goes against these things." Sanders' comments at the debate came after he recently announced he would skip an appearance before the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC, which he called a "platform for bigotry." The Vermont senator has also called for cutting back American foreign aid to Israel and redirecting it to the Palestinians instead. Sanders is noted for his harsh criticism of modern-day Israeli policies. His embrace of supporters who have called to boycott Israel and been accused of anti-Semitism has raised great concerns in the Jewish state about his surging candidacy. Sanders has firmly established himself in the lead after scoring primary and caucus victories in the first three nominating states: Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada. Blue & White co-leader Yair Lapid, who aims to replace Katz as foreign minister after next week's elections, said in a recent interview that he was "very worried" about Sanders' rise because of his "lack of understanding of our unique situation in the Middle East." (VFI News)

“The Lord will reign forever. He will be your God, O Jerusalem, throughout the generations." Ps 146:10

Hundreds of Rabbis Condemn Bernie Sanders' AIPAC Comment

Nearly 350 rabbis signed a letter last week condemning Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ decision to skip the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s (AIPAC) annual conference. Sanders said days ago that he would not attend the conference, accusing the organization of bigotry. The rabbis condemned Sanders for his attacks on the organization, which has traditionally enjoyed bipartisan support among elected officials. “As strong supporters of the USA-Israel relationship and AIPAC’s role in advancing it, we reject Senator Bernie Sanders’ outrageous comment accusing AIPAC of fostering bigotry,” the rabbis wrote. “AIPAC is one of the last remaining vehicles in American politics that proactively seeks to bring Americans from across the political spectrum together to achieve a common goal,” they continued. “The AIPAC Policy conference may be the largest political gathering of Democrats and Republicans in the entire country.” Sanders is widely considered the front-runner for the Democratic nomination and would become the first Jewish president in USA history if he wins. However, Sanders has come under fire from Jewish organizations over anti-Israel sentiments expressed by his campaign, according to media sources Sanders has repeatedly trotted out campaign surrogates who support a boycott of the Jewish state, including Palestinian activist Linda Sarsour, and Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar. (VFI News)

Pray that Democratic Party Candidate, Bernie Sanders will not become the next USA president.      

Israel Says Coronavirus Vaccine on the Horizon

As concerns mount across the globe with the fast-spreading outbreak of the coronavirus, Israeli researchers claim they have developed a vaccine against the sickness for poultry and are only three months away from testing a vaccine on humans. The research team from the Galilee Research Institute, Migal which specializes in the fields of biotechnology, environmental and agricultural science, have been developing the vaccine for the past four years and claims it could be modified for use in humans within three months because of a similar DNA structure in the virus that had spread from China. "There is an urgency around the world to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus in humans, so we are working around the clock to expedite the development process and achieve an effective vaccine for the COVID-19 virus over the next 8-10 weeks and move to safety trials in humans within 90 days," said Migal CEO David Zigdon. The vaccine developed for poultry is administered orally and the human vaccine offered by us is also expected to be administered orally." Zigdon said Migal is working night and day with potential partners to help accelerate the research process in humans needed to complete the final product development and regulatory process. So far, 82,000 people (78,500 in China) have been infected worldwide. Some 2,800 have died, 2,744 of which were in China. (VFI News)

Pray for the swift development of the coronavirus vaccine in Israel and other nations such as the USA whose scientists are working around the clock to find ways to combat this disease. Intercede also for the swift recovery of those who have been infected and for effective measures to slow the spread of the virus. Pray against unnecessary fear and panic that will have long-range economic and travel effects.

Israel Urges Residents to Avoid Travel

In additional stringent measures to avoid the spread of the new coronavirus Israel's Health Ministry has tightened its current guidelines, saying all non-essential travel should be avoided. It has also advised anyone returning from Italy to remain in self-quarantine for 14 days. Italian authorities earlier said a 12th person had died in northern Italy from the virus, while the number of confirmed cases in the country rose to 374, the biggest in Europe. The United States also earlier issued a travel-advisory to Italy, urging the Americans to "exercise increased caution" over the spread of the disease. The Israeli Health Ministry said that according to their assessment "there is a high probability the disease has already spread to other regions of Europe and many other places in the world. In addition, traveling to conferences and other international congregations should be avoided, including trips to religious events where people from many countries gather together. Among the current destinations with a travel advisory are China, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Macau, South Korea, Taiwan, and Italy. (VFI News)

Pray according to scripture for those who are ill with coronavirus: "' For I will restore health unto you and I will heal you of your wounds,' says the Lord."

Saudi Arabia Halts Pilgrimages to Mecca Due to Coronavirus

The city of Mecca, which able-bodied Muslims are called to visit at least once in their lives, and the Prophet Muhammad’s mosque in Medina, were cut off to millions of pilgrims, with Saudi Arabia making the extraordinary decision to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Tourism visa-holders from countries with reported coronavirus infections will also be denied entry, the Saudi embassy in Washington said in a statement, without naming any country. The steps are reportedly subject to continuous evaluation. With the monarchy offering no firm date for the lifting of the restrictions, it posed the possibility of affecting those planning to make their hajj, a ritual beginning at the end of July this year. The government is acting to block the deadly virus as neighboring countries including Kuwait, Bahrain, Iraq, and the United Arab Emirates have flagged dozens of cases. No infections had been reported by Saudi Arabian authorities as of late last week. (VFI News)

40,000 Tel Aviv Marathon Runners Ignore Coronavirus Fears

Foreign athletes already in Israel were allowed to compete after Israel's Health Ministry said it was barring non-resident participants as Israeli officials work to keep out coronavirus. The city said last week that Health Ministry Director-General Moshe Bar Siman-Tov had authorized the participation of any runners already in the country - but did not permit the inclusion of participants who had not yet arrived in Israel. The race was kicked off by Mayor Ron Huldai at 7 a.m. Friday 28 Feb. 2020 and many streets around the city are expected to remain closed until 1 p.m. The city said its decisions were in keeping with Health Ministry directives as officials sought to stem the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. Israel has taken far-reaching steps to prevent an outbreak, including banning entry into the country to foreigners who recently visited Italy, China and a handful of East Asian countries. (VFI News)

Israel Eighth Most Expensive Country in the World

According to CEO World Magazine, the Jewish state is the eighth-most expensive place in the world to live. High rents, high prices, and high transport costs placed Israel close to the top of the countries with the highest cost of living. CEO World magazine based its assessment on a range of living costs, such as accommodation, clothing, taxi fares, utility, internet, the price of groceries, transport, and eating out. The list compared dozens of locations around the world, using “notoriously expensive” New York City as a benchmark. Based on that, Israel’s cost of living was about 80% of New York’s. Topping the list in almost every category was Switzerland, where life, in general, is about 20% more expensive than in New York. The United States overall ranked 20th on the list. Those looking for an inexpensive lifestyle should check out Pakistan or Afghanistan, which ranked as the two least expensive countries for almost every metric. (VFI News)

Killer Whale Skirts Israel's Northern Coast

Divers spotted on Friday morning 28 Feb. 2020 a killer whale off Israel's northern coast, and immediately reported the rare sight to the Nature and Parks Authority. According to the authority, this is the first time a killer whale has been seen off Israel's shores, while other whale species have been spotted along Israel's coasts from time to time. Members of the authority's maritime unit later spotted the mammal some 1.4 miles off the coast of the ancient port city of Acre, where the water is 15 meters deep. (VFI News)

A delightful and welcome surprise indeed! 

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