VFI News April 8, 2022

Tourists afraid to come to Israel

Tourists are afraid to come to Israel & Israel no longer has freedom of action in Lebanon, listen to Barry for more!

  • 1:06 - Tourists afraid to come to Israel
  • 1:57 - Israel no longer has freedom of action in Lebanon
  • 2:39 - Israel concerned over Iranian takeover in Syrian Golan
  • 04:03 - Police detain PA ‘governer’ in Jerusalem
  • 06:08 - Netanyahu declares that current Government’s days are numbered
  • 08:11 - Ukraine will be like Israel, not Switzerland says Zelenksy
  • 09:56 - Israel’s seventh Census launched

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Ramadan Riots: Police Detain PA Governor of Jerusalem

The Palestinian Authority “governor” of Jerusalem, Adnan Gheith, was detained on Tuesday morning, April 5, by the police, as clashes continued for the third straight day near the Old City’s Damascus Gate.

Gheith, a resident of the village of Silwan who holds an Israeli-issued ID card, was released hours later after being served with a decision to extend an IDF order banning him from entering the West Bank.

The order means that Gheith can’t arrive at the offices of the PA’s Jerusalem Governorate in the town of Al-Ram, north of Jerusalem, which is located outside the boundaries of the Jerusalem Municipality. It also means that he can’t participate in meetings with PA officials in Ramallah or in other Palestinian cities in the West Bank.

Like all Palestinian governors, Gheith was appointed by PA President Mahmoud Abbas in 2018. The governors are regarded as the PA president’s personal representatives.

Since his appointment, Gheith has been detained at least 28 times and served with orders barring him from participating in any meetings or activities in the city.

A law approved by the Knesset in 1994 bans the PA from carrying out various activities in Israel, including in Jerusalem.

Shortly after his release, Gheith was quoted as saying that his arrest came “in the context of the occupation’s crimes against our people.” He said that despite the detention and the restrictions imposed on him and other residents of east Jerusalem, “We will remain on our land, embodying our sovereignty [in Jerusalem].”

Gheith, who also holds a senior position in the ruling Fatah faction headed by Abbas, was detained hours after dozens of Palestinians again clashed with police officers outside Damascus Gate on Monday night. The disturbances began on Saturday night, the first day of the month of Ramadan. During the riots, Palestinians attacked officers with rocks, empty bottles, iron bars, and fireworks.

“God, we ask that You stop all acts of violence and terror against the people of Israel and that You will protect the residents from harm.”

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.

'Tourists Afraid to Come to Israel' Because of Terror Attacks

Travel agents are reporting that foreign tourists who were scheduled to visit Israel are now re-evaluating their options following a series of recent terror attacks, and especially the most recent terror attack in Bnei Brak, Israel Hayom reported.

Israel's tourism industry saw a significant rise in the past month, after the government reopened the skies completely, including to those who are not vaccinated against COVID-19.

"I received a not-insignificant number of phone calls from tourists who are worried about coming now because of the terror attacks," sources in the tourism industry told Israel Hayom. "They ask how much it will cost to cancel, what the situation is in Israel, and are afraid to come to Israel."

The site noted that the cancellations are not yet on a large scale, but other travel agents in the industry have confirmed the relatively high number of phone calls from foreign tourists asking whether it is safe to come to Israel during this period and what the conditions for cancellation are. Sources in the industry have also expressed hope that the phone calls are not indicative of a trend that will grow, following two years during which very few foreigners were allowed to enter Israel.

On the other hand, travel agents are reporting that there is nothing unusual about outgoing tourism, and the requests are continuing as usual. (INN / VFI News)

“God, we ask that You will bring terrorism to an end in Israel and that tourism will resume again so the economy can recover.”

Israel No Longer Has Full Freedom of Action over Lebanon

Outgoing air force chief Amikam Norkin said Israel no longer has unfettered air superiority and freedom of action in Lebanon’s skies in an interview broadcast on Tuesday, April 5.

After a drone was nearly shot down by an anti-aircraft missile over Lebanon about a year ago, Israel realized that Lebanon’s Hezbollah terror group had some capabilities it was not previously aware of, Norkin said.

Israeli officials realized aircraft were threatened by Hezbollah missiles over Lebanon and decided to reduce the number of surveillance flights over its northern neighbor, harming Israel’s intelligence-gathering capabilities, Norkin told the Kan public broadcaster.

The Iran-backed Hezbollah is believed to be holding onto some weapons, like anti-aircraft missiles, in case of war with Israel to surprise Israeli forces, the report said.

The report seemed to confirm a boast by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah in February that Israeli drone flights over Lebanon have been “greatly reduced” due to Hezbollah’s improved air defenses.

“We need to present what we can do, not only in Iran, in 2022, 2023, and on. But we also need to stand by what we cannot do, because the air force head has a huge responsibility,” Norkin said. “And based on what answers they give, decisions are made by the leadership. So I only give accurate, reliable answers about what we can do.”

The Israeli Air Force regularly acts against Iran-linked targets in Syria, and sometimes over Lebanon, but has been contending with new aerial challenges from Hezbollah and other adversaries.

The Israeli military fears that in the coming years its air superiority may be tested as Iranian-made and -designed drones and cruise missiles flood the Middle East, representing a greater threat to Israel than the simple rockets that terror groups in the region have possessed until now. (TOI VFI News)

And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. - Matthew 24:6

Israel Concerned over Iranian Takeover of Syrian Golan

With the end of Syria's civil war, the IDF has identified a new threat brought about by the demographic change and significant growth of the Alawite and Shiite population in Syria.

According to Israel Hayom, the concern is that Iran and Hezbollah will utilize the current situation to enlist supporters and activists from among the Shiite population, similar to what they have done in Lebanon.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who won the decade-long civil war, is now trying to regain complete independence for his country.

In the past one-and-a-half years, Assad seems to have been "born again": He controls over 60% of the original territory he had prior to 2011, with the rest of the area split between the Turks, Kurds (with US support), and rebels, who still have a significant stronghold in Idlib.

In addition to the territorial change, the war brought with it a significant demographic change. In 2011, prior to the Syrian civil war, Syria numbered 21.3 million citizens, 59% of whom were Sunni, 11% of whom were Alawite, and just 4% of whom were Shiite. Today, Syria's population numbers around 10 million, with Shiites representing 10% and Alawites 30%.

In other words, if ten years ago the Shiites and Alawites comprised 15% of Syria's population, today they represent 40% of the population, and their representation is only expected to increase. (INN / VFI News)

You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day. - Psalm 91:5

Sapari Tama (Won’t You Tell)—Sung by Batya Segal

Listen to this classic Yemenite tune sung by Batya in this new music video. This 17th-century Jewish poem (piyut) was written by Rabbi Sa'adya ben Amram and has remained a beloved song throughout history. With both Hebrew and Yemenite Arabic, this beautiful ballad is an ode to the connection between body and soul. It is a testament to how the body and mind are one; our bodies do not limit our soul’s purpose, but rather support it. We must merge these parts of ourselves to fully serve our ultimate purpose. While our souls know the bliss of heaven, our bodies must remain on earth where we may only learn of paradise. When the two are in harmony, we can know peace.

Netanyahu: This Government's Days Are Numbered

Opposition Leader Benjamin Netanyahu predicted that the Bennett government will collapse in the near future, following the departure of coalition chairwoman MK Idit Silman.

Speaking at the Knesset plenum Wednesday, April 6, the former premier lauded Silman for her announcement Wednesday morning that she will resign as coalition chair and quit the coalition, depriving it of a majority in the Knesset.

“During the holiday of Passover, we celebrate Israel’s exodus from Egypt to the Land of Israel, the Promised Land,” said Netanyahu. “Today, we are celebrating for a similar reason, and we commend MK Idit Silman for making the right decision.”

“We all welcome her with open arms. Idit is coming home, to the true Right, the national camp.”

Netanyahu went on to lambast the Bennett government and predicted its collapse.

“Today, Israel has a weak government. Its days are numbered. I call on more coalition MKs whose hearts are in the right place to join us: we are waiting for you. We will welcome you with honor and appreciation. You can secure your place [in heaven] with a single move that will save the State of Israel from this weak government.”

“We will establish a government that will defeat terror, stop Iran from going nuclear, that will lower taxes raised by this current government; a government that will fight crime and violence in Arab communities, and that will make sure to incorporate every Israeli citizen into the Israeli success story.”(INN / VFI News)

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. - Romans 13:1

Bibi Activists Threatened Silman before She Left Coalition

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett stated that MK Idit Silman had been threatened by supporters of opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu and Religious Zionist head Betzalel Smotrich until she "broke" and left the coalition on Wednesday, April 6.

"Idit was persecuted for months, verbally abused by supporters of Bibi and Smotrich at the most horrific level," said Bennett on Wednesday evening. "She described to me the threats against her husband Shmulik's workplace and her children in Bnei Akiva. She broke in the end."

The prime minister stressed that the "main thing we need to deal with at the moment is stabilizing the faction and the coalition." Bennett added that all the leaders in the coalition are interested in continuing the current government.

"There is an opportunity here to take this event, learn from it and correct the gaps that have been created," said Bennett. "The whole government was founded on maintaining the status quo - and not on making sharp movements."

Bennett warned that the alternative to the current coalition is more elections and possibly multiple rounds of elections, "back to the days of dangerous instability for the State of Israel."

Silman said that she "could not take it anymore," and that she could not continue undermining the Jewish identity of the State of Israel, a reference to a disagreement she had with Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz over allowing chametz (leavened grain products) into hospitals over Passover.

Netanyahu congratulated Silman on her decision, thanking her "in the name of many people in Israel who waited for this moment."

However, Labor MK Gilad Kariv said it was clear that the disagreement over the chametz was "not the real issue," adding that the government was always careful when it came to matters of religion and state.

Silman ditched the coalition after she was reportedly offered the 10th spot in the Likud Party list in a future election and the position of Health Minister should the party - led by Benjamin Netanyahu - successfully form an alternative government. (JPost / VFI News)

“God, we ask that You foster cooperation and peace in Israel, and guide our leaders to make responsible, honest decisions.”

Zelensky: Ukraine Will Be like Israel, Not Demilitarized like Switzerland after War

Ukraine plans to model itself after Israel and not Switzerland in the aftermath of the Russian invasion when it comes to issues of national security, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Tuesday, April 5.

"I think all our people will be our great army. We cannot talk about 'Switzerland of the future' — probably, our state will be able to be like this a long time after," Zelensky said. "But we will definitely become a 'big Israel' with its own face."

"We will not be surprised that we will have representatives of the Armed Forces or the National Guard in all institutions, supermarkets, cinemas, there will be people with weapons. I am sure that our security issue will be number one in the next ten years," he explained.

Ukraine has persistently resisted Russian demands that it demilitarize, with Zelensky clarifying on Tuesday that his country must have an army to defend its people against Russian aggression in the future.

There will also need to be countries that provide Ukraine with security guarantees, Zelensky said as he listed Israel as one of those countries.

"All this is being discussed at the level of advisers and leaders with France, the United States, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Poland, Italy, Israel, and there are many friends who want to join," Zelensky said. "So far, we have not received a specific list of guarantees and a list of countries that are ready to join us 100%."

Ukraine needs a small circle of states ready to help it with its defensive needs, Zelensky explained.

"We need serious players who are ready for anything. We need a circle of states that are ready to provide any weapons within 24 hours. We need individual countries on which sanctions policy really depends so that these sanctions are deeply elaborated in advance. So that in the first second when we feel the threat from the Russian Federation, these states will unite and within three days introduce everything at once, block everything," Zelensky 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 51:20

Israel’s Seventh Census Launched

Israel’s seventh national census program, the first since 2008, was launched by President Isaac Herzog at the Knesset on Monday, April 4.

The Census Bureau will survey roughly 700,000 people – 7% of Israel’s population – on demographic-related questions, such as age, gender, education level, work, and more. Data collection began on April 3 and will continue until November 30, 2022. The questionnaire can be answered online, by phone, or via a face-to-face interview.

“The census is a vital tool for a functioning and modern state,” said Herzog. “The population census is essential so that a state like ours, a member of the OECD, an advanced state in very many senses, can base itself on the data for everything it does.”

Israel last conducted a census in 2008. The country typically surveys its population every 10-15 years. Israel has hosted a census in 2008, 1995, 1983, 1972, 1961, and 1948.

“I know this is very difficult and complicated work. There are many elements at play. To everyone involved in this work, I wish great success. May we receive the statistics in the end and be able to use them,” said Herzog, who became the first citizen to fill out a census form.

Central Bureau of Statistics Director Prof. Danny Pfeffermann further supported the need for the census, saying, “Census data provides a demographic snapshot of the whole of Israeli society, socially and economically, and helps in planning and improving our common future. (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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