VFI News New Iranian President is Depicted as a Reformer in the West, UN’s Guterres Seems to Coddle Iran

New Iranian President is Depicted as a Reformer in the West, UN’s Guterres Seems to Coddle Iran

New Iranian President is Depicted as a Reformer in the West, UN’s Guterres Seems to Coddle Iran . . .

'Come Back to Us': 13 Mothers of Israeli Hostages Cry Out for Their Children

In a poignant and powerful video released by the Hostages and Missing Families Forum, the mothers of 13 Israeli hostages still held in Gaza deliver emotional messages to their captive children.

The women, representing a fraction of the 120 hostages, conveyed their unwavering hope and determination for the safe return of their loved ones. “Naama, I know you. You have the strength. You have strength,” says Ayelet Levi, whose daughter Naama has been held captive since October 7.

“Keep praying, and strengthen everyone,” pleads Merav Berger to her daughter Agam, one of the IDF observers whose capture was among the most harrowing testimonies released to the public.

Sheli Shem-Tov, mother of Omer Shem-Tov, tenderly promises, “I’m waiting for you with flowers on Friday,” reminding everyone of the love and resilience that await the hostages back home. Shira Albag, mother of Liri Albeg, pleads, “I love you, and I beg you forgiveness that we haven’t succeeded yet.”

Idit Ohel, mother of Alon Ohel, reassures her son that she is “doing everything in [her] power, and soon we’ll be with you. I know this.” Through their heartfelt appeals, the mothers, who have experienced every parent’s worst nightmare, aim to show the spirit of endurance and the unbreakable bond between themselves and their children, conveying Israel’s collective hope and determination. (JPost / VFI News)

“Lord, we thank You for keeping our hostages alive for nine months and for giving strength to their families throughout this time, and we fervently pray for their quick release. We pray in Yeshua’s name that You open the way for their immediate return and that You provide for their daily material and emotional needs. May You keep strengthening them and protect them from any harm during this devastating period of their lives.”

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.

Iranian President Pezeshkian Will Not Open a New Chapter for Iran-Israel Relations - Analysis

Iran’s new president Masoud Pezeshkian won a runoff presidential election on Friday, July 5, and has become Iran’s ninth president since the Islamic Revolution in 1979. Iranian media said that out of 30 million votes, he won more than half – 16 million.

Pezeshkian is 69 years old and a retired heart surgeon. In the West, he is depicted as a reformer, a moderate who brings new “hope” for diplomacy with the Islamic Republic.

There is a proverb here that is worth recalling when hearing stories about another Iranian “reformer.” The motto is “Trust, but verify.” In fact, in this case, it’s not even worth trusting. The Iranian regime is more than just the president and he will not have much power to recast Iran’s role in the region.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is like an albatross around the Iranian state, smothering it and using it for its own needs. What this means is that the Iranian nuclear program will likely continue to advance into a weaponization phase; Iran’s proxies will continue to attack Israel; and Iran will continue to form ties with Russia, China, and other countries that oppose the West.

Iranian Armed Forces Chief of Staff Maj.-Gen. Mohammad Bagheri and Army Commander Maj.-Gen. Abdolrahim Mousavi both congratulated Pezeshkian on his victory, Iranian state media reported. These key leaders and their messages show that the armed forces want to work with their new leader. (JPost /VFI News)

The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the LORD and against his anointed… - Psalm 2:2

Guterres’s Coddling of Iran Shows the UN's Credibility Is Dying - Opinion

In a scandalous, shameful, and disgraceful statement published on June 29 by the Iranian UN Mission’s official X (formerly Twitter) account, Iran’s UN ambassador Amir Saeid Iravani blatantly, and even proudly boasted of his country’s promise to “obliterate Israel if Israel attacks Hezbollah in Lebanon.”

One may assume that nobody was very surprised by such a statement emanating from a senior Iranian official.

A multitude of similar threats to annihilate Israel emanate on a daily basis from the Iranian political and military leadership, as well as the abhorrent, weekly antisemitic sermons by senior Iranian ayatollahs and other clerics throughout Iran echoing the antisemitic sentiments of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

However, what is surprising and even shocking in this case is the fact that the ambassador’s threatening statement was issued on the Iranian official UN Mission’s Twitter account, and by no less than their permanent UN representative.

Yet, nowhere can we find any criticism by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the ostensible guardian of the UN’s Charter, calling the Iranian ambassador to task for such a violent statement that violates the basic tenets and principles behind the very existence of the United Nations. (JPost / VFI News)

“Mockers resent correction, so they avoid the wise.” - Proverbs 15:12

'We're Being Held Hostage': Lebanese TV Host Dima Sadek Criticizes Hezbollah Amid Rising Threat

Dima Sadek, a Lebanese journalist and TV host, claimed on her show last month that there is nothing left in Lebanon aside from Hezbollah and its weaponry. Sadek stated that there is no electricity infrastructure in Lebanon and denounced Hezbollah for recently threatening Cyprus, saying it cannot withstand fighting against the European Union.

“Do you know who we resemble? The passengers on the 9/11 airplanes,” Sadek said of the Lebanese public.

“We are like airplane passengers who do not see what is happening around them. We are being led by one person [referring to Hezbollah], and we have no idea where we are heading… The only thing that we know for sure is that this person is taking us to a catastrophe and certain death.”

Support for Hezbollah in Lebanon remains sharply split across sectarian lines, a 2024 poll conducted by The Washington Institute found. According to the survey, 34% of Sunnis and 29% of Christians hold a “somewhat positive view of Hezbollah,” and 89% of Shia said they have a “very positive” opinion of the group.

On Thursday, July 4, Hezbollah launched over 200 rockets and 20 drones in Israel’s Galilee and Golan regions in response to the IDF’s elimination of senior Hezbollah commander Muhammad Neamah Nasser. Additionally, on Sunday morning, between 20 and 40 rockets were launched from Lebanon in northern Israel. (JPost / VFI News)

“God, we pray for all the Lebanese civilians who are caught up in Hezbollah’s schemes and we ask in Yeshua’s name that You prevent a war with the terrorist organization. We pray that the situation radically de-escalates and that Lebanon takes the reign and dismantles Hezbollah. We thank You for continually protecting us from these terrorists and we are extremely grateful for our defense personnel who work tirelessly to ensure our civilians are safe.”

WATCH: Hineh Lo Yanum (Psalm 121:4) by Barry & Batya Segal

This psalm is a celebration of God's constant and continued protection of His people. Though we may slumber and rest, our God is constantly vigilant and watching over us. We must trust Him as our protector, and rely on Him alone for our reassurance. Though worldly entities may seem tempting, the only stronghold that is always diligent is God's love.

Calls to Violence, BDS, Hamas Ties: New UK MPs Take Hardline Anti-Israel Stances

Several of the new MPs elected in Thursday’s, July 4, UK elections have made anti-Israel comments, called for BDS, denied October 7, and have ties to Hamas and other terrorist organizations, various UK media reports have noted over the weekend.

Five pro-Palestinian MPs succeeded in ousting other candidates from their seats, effectively becoming the sixth largest party, British media said on Saturday.

Further, Israeli media reported on election day that Shockat Adam, an optometrist by trade and independent Muslim candidate, accepted his Leicester South seat on behalf of the “people of Gaza'' while holding a keffiyeh. An exclusive report by Jewish media on Saturday revealed that Adam’s brother, Ismail Patel, is the founder of the hardline Islamist group Friends of Al Aqsa and has previously visited Hamas leaders in Gaza.

According to the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, Ismail Patel, like his brother, a British citizen of Pakistani descent, has called in the past for the demise of the state of Israel, with comments such as, “The Zionist edifice… will soon fall. It’s a matter of time now.” He has also expressed support for Hamas by stating that it was not a terrorist organization and saluted Hamas for “standing up” to Israel.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated the incoming British Prime Minister Keir Starmer on his election victory and said on Friday that he is confident that the two of them can work together towards “security and peace.” (JPost / VFI News)

“The Lord detests the way of the wicked, but He loves those who pursue righteousness.” - Proverbs 15:9

‘No Future for Jews’: Prominent French Jews Decry Far-Left’s Gains in Vote

Prominent French Jews lament the electoral success of a political bloc that features a far-left party widely regarded as antisemitic in the country’s parliamentary elections.

This reaction is in response to news that the New Popular Front, which includes the Socialist Party and the France Unbowed far-left party, or LFI, garnered the highest share of the vote in Sunday’s, July 7, final round, with 175 to 205 seats according to a preliminary count, followed by the Ensemble party of President Emmanuel Macron (150 to 175) and then the far-right National Rally (115-150).

Moshe Sebbag, a rabbi for the Synagogue de la Victoire, told Israeli media that “it seems France has no future for Jews.” He advises young French Jews to leave for Israel. “But people my age, who are 50, 60, we’ve made our life here and we fear for the future of our children,” he says.

His assessment is not due solely to the left-wing bloc’s success, but to the mainstreaming of antisemitism in general in France, he says. Jean-Luc Melenchon is the leader of LFI, and in a 2017 speech called French Jews “an arrogant minority that lectures to the rest.”

He is on record in an earlier speech as celebrating anti-Israel protesters days after some of them stormed a synagogue, condemning in that speech only French Jews who demonstrated to show solidarity with Israel. (TOI / VFI News)

“Many have become my enemies without cause; those who hate me without reason are numerous.” - Psalm 38:19

'If Israel Falls, the West Falls': Geert Wilders is Europe's Last Stand Against Islam - Opinion

Many in Israel have never heard the name Geert Wilders, the leader of the Dutch right-wing Party for Freedom (PVV) that recently stormed the elections in his country. Anyone who reads this article will remember his name.

Europe has lately shifted to the right because of Islam. Europeans are beginning to wake up to the occupation - the occupation of their countries by veils, hijabs, sharia laws, and thousands of mosques, increasing crime, and “Free Palestine” demonstrations, because of the opportunity given to Islamist immigrants to settle in their countries who, instead of assimilating into the local customs, insist on being open Islamists even in the countries hosting them, without generalizing.

There are, of course, wonderful Muslims who spearhead “Live and let live.” It goes without saying that alongside a large number of extremist Muslims involved in organizing activities against the modern Western world, there are, of course, many who prefer a quiet and peaceful life - and some of them even voted for Wilders.

Geert Wilders is an enthusiastic supporter of Israel and a highly fierce critic of Islam, whose party in the past has promised to close mosques and “ban the Koran.”

In May 2024, Geert Wilders said in the Dutch Parliament: “I lived in Israel for a while, a long time ago. Then, it was still from Jordan where the terrorists entered... And then the army... looked where people were, to protect their population.” (In other words, avoid harming innocent people.) ...it’s hatred from these kinds of Islamic groups like Hamas, the Islamic Jihad group, and also Hezbollah. They deny the Jewish State’s right to exist.” (JPost / VFI News)

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” - Proverbs 17:17

Houthis Ban Music and Singing in Weddings and Reportedly Imprison Artists

The Houthi militia forces in the ‘Amran Governorate of Yemen have been conducting a large-scale intimidation campaign against male and female artists to prevent them from performing or singing at venues and events.

Videos showing violent incursions by armed Houthi militants into venues and event halls as the men arrest and abruptly end the celebrations have been circulated on social media over the past few weeks.

According to reports from Yemen, the forces have abducted over 15 wedding hall owners so far. Purportedly, these people are being held in pretrial detention centers for over two months now – under the accusation that they are refusing to pledge not to allow artists to perform at their establishments.

Other reports claimed that about 40 civilians were kidnapped by Houthi authorities, including two women – all of whom are either artists or wedding hall custodians. Moreover, especially since a new governor named Nayef Abu Kharafshah was appointed to govern the northwestern governorate of ‘Amran, the Iranian-backed militia group has reportedly imprisoned several artists along with their musical and audio equipment.

Significantly, this very same Abu Kharafshah was documented attending an event that featured musical performances, leading an Arabic media anchor to comment, “What is halal to them is haram to all others.” In another response, Yemeni bloggers launched an online campaign titled “Why were they imprisoned?” in reference to the odd circumstances of the artists’ arrests. (JPost / VFI News)

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

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