VFI News March 18, 2022

Plan to Establish Field Hospital in Western Ukraine Approved by Israeli Cabinet

Cabinet ministers on Monday, March 14, approved plans for an Israeli field hospital to be established in war-torn Ukraine in the coming days.

The hospital — under a project dubbed Shining Star — is slated to operate in western Ukraine for fleeing refugees for one month, a government statement said.

Budgeted at NIS 21 million, the funds are to come from the Prime Minister’s Office, the Health Ministry and Foreign Ministry, as well as the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.

The facility will be operated by Sheba Medical Center, Clalit Health Services, and medical staff from other hospitals, according to the Health Ministry.

The hospital will include wards for children and adults, an emergency room, a delivery room, and a primary care clinic.

Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz clarified last week that the hospital will be managed and manned exclusively by civilians.

The project (Kochav Me’ir in Hebrew) is named after former prime minister Golda Meir, who was born in Ukraine and was the founder of the Foreign Ministry’s MASHAV aid program, which is leading the field hospital project.

Kyiv-born Meir has become a symbol of hope for Ukrainians amid Russia’s invasion. (TOI / VFI News)

“God, we ask that you protect Ukraine from further attacks and destruction.”

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.

Israel Destroyed Hundreds of Iranian Drones in Massive Attack

Israeli forces devastated an Iranian airbase recently, destroying hundreds of drone aircraft in a massive airstrike, Ha’aretz reported Tuesday morning, March 15.

According to the report, six Israeli drone aircraft carried out an attack on an airbase in western Iran near Kermanshah in mid-February, destroying hundreds of drones.

The incident went unreported until this week and was first disclosed by Al Mayadeen, a Beirut-based media outlet aligned with the Hezbollah terrorist group and the Iranian government. Iran, an Al Mayadeen report Sunday said, has blamed Israel, though the Jewish state has neither confirmed nor denied the claim.

Al Mayadeen linked the attack on the drone base to Saturday’s, March 12, missile attack by Iran on a base in Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan, claiming the Erbil strike was retaliation for Israel’s drone attack last month.

The New York Times cited a senior US official who said that the building hit in the Erbil attack also served as an Israeli training facility.

The Kurdistan regional government has denied the claim, saying that the building struck in Erbil was a civilian facility. (INN / VFI News)

“God, we ask that You keep your people safe, and prevent war with Iran.”

Iran Has 3,000 Ballistic Missiles, Many That Can Reach Israel

Iran has more than 3,000 ballistic missiles, many of which can reach the State of Israel, commander of the United States Central Command Gen. Kenneth McKenzie said on Tuesday, March 15.

“At a military level my concern is first of all that they do not have a nuclear weapon but I am also very concerned about the remarkable growth and efficiency of their ballistic missile program,” McKenzie told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

"They have over 3,000 missiles of various types, some of which can reach Tel Aviv," McKenzie said in response to a query by the senate committee. "None of them can reach Europe yet."

In Mckenzie's written statement, he called Iran’s missile force the greatest threat to the region’s security, and that Iran has developed an arsenal of nuclear-warhead capable ballistic missiles and has tested these weapon platforms multiple times. He told the committee that over the last 5-7 years Iran has invested heavily in its ballistic missile program.

Iran has armed its proxy in Yemen, the Houthi rebels, with drones and ballistic and cruise missiles, the general wrote. The Houthis have also expressed hostility toward Israel, and have previously said that they have joined the "anti-Israel" front. They have also used these missiles and drones to attack the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

McKenzie also expressed concern about Iran's drone program. Iran's drone fleet has evolved from "commercial off-the-shelf" UAVs to drones that resemble cruise missiles in terms of increased speed, range, accuracy, resistance to electronic warfare, and warhead weight, he assessed in his statement. Iran has also been able to mass-produce the drone components, allowing them to be supplied with greater ease to the Islamic Republic's proxy network. (JPost / VFI News)

“When you go out to war against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and an army larger than your own, you shall not be afraid of them, for the Lord your God is with you, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. And when you draw near to the battle, the priest shall come forward and speak to the people and shall say to them, ‘Hear, O Israel, today you are drawing near for battle against your enemies: let not your heart faint. Do not fear or panic or be in dread of them, for the Lord your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory.’ - Deuteronomy 20:1-4

Kyiv's Mayor Learns from the IDF How to Defend Ukraine

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko has been a fighter his entire life.

The former World Boxing Organization heavyweight champion knocked out dozens of boxers from around the world during his first career.

But Klitschko, who then shifted to politics and has been the mayor of Ukraine’s capital since 2014, has never faced a fight like the current one against Russia.

The Russian army’s 64-km-long military column outside Kyiv presents a formidable challenge.

In a Skype interview with The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday, March 9, Klitschko says his models for how to win against all odds are based on Israel – a country he has visited and admires – and the IDF, which has been successful in mobilizing and maximizing its reservists.

“We have to learn from Israel how to defend our country, with every citizen,” he said. “If they love the country, they need to be ready to defend the country. We have a lot to learn from Israel because we need every citizen to defend his home and his future.”

Klitschko has built strong ties with Ukrainian Chief Rabbi Yaakov Bleich and other Jewish leaders. His father’s mother is Jewish, and he has been told many times by Jews that they wished it was his grandmother on his mother’s side who was a member of the tribe so that he would be a Jew by Jewish law.

“I am proud to have Jewish blood,” he said. (JPost / VFI News)

“You are my hammer and weapon of war: with you I break nations in pieces; with you I destroy kingdoms” - Jeremiah 15:20

Sos Asis | Barry & Batya Segal

This compelling passage is from Isaiah 61:10a, communicating thanks to a merciful God, for His salvific work. It reads: "I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness...“ Let this be a meditative reminder to you of all the blessings He bestows upon His beloved children.

Iranian FM to Visit Moscow for Nuclear Talks amid Russian Sanctions Demands

Tehran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian headed to Moscow on Tuesday, March 14, days after negotiations on an Iran nuclear deal stalled amid new Russian demands.

Ten months of talks in Vienna have brought major powers close to renewing a landmark 2015 agreement on regulating Iran’s nuclear program.

But the negotiations were halted again after Russia on March 5 demanded guarantees that Western sanctions imposed following its invasion of Ukraine would not damage its trade with Iran.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has dismissed as “irrelevant” the Russian demands for guarantees, saying that they “just are not in any way linked together.”

The current round of negotiations started in late November in the Austrian capital between Iran and Britain, China, France, Germany, and Russia, with the US taking part indirectly.

The 2015 deal gave Iran sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.

But then-president Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the accord in 2018 and imposed tough economic sanctions on different sectors, including oil exports. (TOI / VFI News)

Israel, UAE to Sign Free-Trade Agreement by End of March

The free-trade agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates is set to be signed by the end of March, Emirati Ambassador to Israel Mohamed Al Khaja said in a tweet on March 9.

Talks for establishing the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) began last November between Economy Minister Orna Barbivai and her Emirati counterpart Abdulla bin Touq Al Mari.

The deal will include "issues relating to trade in goods including regulation, customs, trade in services, government procurement, e-commerce and the preservation of intellectual property rights," Ohad Cohen, director of the Foreign Trade Administration who is leading Israel’s negotiators, said then.

There has been a massive increase in trade between Israel and its Middle East neighbors, especially since the signing of the Abraham Accords, according to data from Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics and Foreign Ministry.

Trade has increased dramatically between Israel and the UAE since the signing of the accords. Worth about $125 million in 2020, that figure reached nearly $500 m. in 2021. Some have estimated that trade will exceed $1 billion this year and reach $3 b. within three years.

The Emirates has also recently signed a CEPA with India and is in advanced negotiations with Indonesia, with a deal likely to be completed soon following a positive round of talks in February. (TOI / VFI News)

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” - Matthew 5:9

MPs Back Giving Ukrainian President Zelensky an Honorary Knighthood after Defiant Stand Against Russia

Volodymyr Zelensky has become a symbol of Kyiv's resistance since the invasion

MPs have backed giving Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky an honorary knighthood in recognition of his defiant stand against Russia.

Boris Johnson is being urged to put Mr. Zelensky forward for the title to underline Britain's support in the face of Vladimir Putin's aggression.

Mr. Zelensky has become a symbol of Kyiv's resistance since the invasion. When offered the opportunity by the West to leave the capital, he responded by insisting he needs 'ammunition not a ride'.

He has been rallying his people by broadcasting from the heart of the country and condemning Putin's 'genocidal' actions.

The Queen can award honorary knighthoods to non-British citizens in recognition of their contributions to the UK and the world. The awards technically do not mean that people are referred to as 'Sir' unless they are in a Commonwealth country - although the title is still often used.

Tory MP Bob Seely, of the Commons foreign affairs committee, told the Sun on Sunday, March 13: 'Zelensky has been a true leader. He has given a voice and set an example to his people in their hour of courage.'

Tory MP Andrew Bridgen added: 'Volodymyr Zelensky is such an inspirational leader that Putin has put a price on his head. Let's give him a knighthood instead.'

Fellow Tory Michael Fabricant said: 'I believe we should simultaneously award Volodymyr Zelensky an honorary knighthood for his outstanding and charismatic leadership of a nation - while seeking to indict Putin as a war criminal.' (DM / VFI News)

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. - Deuteronomy 31:6

85% of French Jews Believe Antisemitism is Widespread in France

A recent French survey on antisemitism found that 85% of French Jews believe that antisemitism and antisemitic sentiments are widespread in France.

The survey, published by IFOP, a French international polling and market research firm, found that 64% of the general population in the country and 85% of the Jewish community feel that antisemitism is ever-present in French society and that 68% of French Jews reported that they had faced harassment and abuse for being Jewish. Twenty percent also said they were the victims of anti-Jewish physical assaults at least once.

According to the survey, antisemitic stereotypes are held by a large majority of the country.

The poll found that 30% of participants thought that “Jews are richer than the average French person” and 37% thought that Jews had too much influence in the French economy and financial system.

Those who were over 65-years old were found to more likely harbor antisemitic beliefs than younger participants in the survey.

Attacks against Jews were found to increase sharply when the individual was wearing a religious symbol, the study also noted.

The survey found that the Muslim population in France was the most influenced by the dissemination of antisemitic propaganda. Currently, one in two Muslims believes that Jews control the French media, the economy, or the financial system, the study found. (INN / VFI News)

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. - Matthew 5:10

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

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