VFI News September 15, 2020

Netanyahu, Gantz Pay Respects on 9/11

In a statement on Twitter, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commemorated Friday those killed during the September 11 attacks on the United States.

"Today we remember all those who perished in the greatest terrorist crime in history, committed on September 11, 2001."

He added that "We shall always stand with the United States and free people everywhere in fighting the evil of terrorism."

Alternate Prime Minister and current Defense Minister Benny Gantz also noted the solemness of the day, saying on Twitter Friday "Thinking about our friends in the US today, who are marking 19 years since the unthinkable attack that robbed 3000 innocent people of their lives and changed the world forever. Let the strength and faith of the American people remind us that love will always prevail over hate." (JPost / VFI News)

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. —Proverbs 17:17

Bahrain Normalizes Relations with Israel

On Friday, King Hamad bin Isa bin Salman al-Khalifa of Bahrain and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu agreed to the establishment of full diplomatic relations between Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain, according to a White House statement.

Bahrain thus becomes the second Gulf state to normalize ties with Israel, after the UAE and Israel announced they were normalizing relations on August 13.

“This is a historic breakthrough to further peace in the Middle East. Opening direct dialogue and ties between these two dynamic societies and advanced economies will continue the positive transformation of the Middle East and increase stability, security, and prosperity in the region,” the statement said. (INN / VFI News)

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. —1 John 4:7

“God, we ask that this peace brings with it the opportunity to make great strides toward decency and dignity for all who live in the region.”

Egyptian President Hails Israel-Bahrain Normalization

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi on Friday hailed the newly announced normalization deal between Israel and Bahrain.

The Egyptian President also thanked "all those who helped achieve this historic step".

Egypt was the first Arab country to sign a peace deal with Israel in 1979, followed by Jordan in 1994.

On Friday, King Hamad bin Isa bin Salman al-Khalifa of Bahrain, and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu agreed to the establishment of full diplomatic relations between Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain.

Bahrain thus becomes the second Gulf state to normalize ties with Israel, after the UAE and Israel announced they were normalizing relations on August 13.

Prime Minister Netanyahu said that he was excited to announce a peace agreement with another Arab country - Bahrain.

"This is a new era of peace. Peace for peace. Economy for economy," he added. (INN / VFI News)

And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. —Ecclesiastes 4:12

Palestinians: 'Our Arab Brothers Have Abandoned Us'

Palestinians have reacted with outrage and deep disappointment to the Arab League’s refusal to condemn the normalization agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

The refusal of the Arab League foreign ministers to endorse a Palestinian draft resolution against the Israel-UAE agreement will pave the way for other Arab states to establish relations with Israel, Palestinian officials cautioned.

The officials denied a report that suggested the Palestinians were considering withdrawing from the Arab League to protest its attitude toward the Palestinians.

“First we thought that the United Arab Emirates was the only country that had stabbed us in the back,” a senior Palestinian official in Ramallah told The Jerusalem Post. “On Wednesday, we saw how several other Arab countries have betrayed the Palestinian people and the Palestinian issue. This is a black day in the history of the Palestinians and Arabs.” (JPost / VFI News)

Iranian Champion Wrestler Navid Afkari, Executed

Iranian wrestler Navid Afkari was executed on Saturday after being convicted of stabbing a security guard to death during anti-government protests in 2018, state media said, in a case that has sparked an international outcry.

Afkari was executed "this morning after legal procedures were carried out at the insistence of the parents and the family of the victim," the media quoted the head of the justice department in southern Fars province, Kazem Mousavi, as saying.

Afkari was convicted of killing Hassan Turkman, a water company security guard, and other charges. Iran's Supreme Court rejected a review of the case in late August.

Afkari, a 27-year-old Greco-Roman wrestler, had said he was tortured into making a false confession, according to his family and activists, and his attorney says there is no proof of his guilt. Iran's judiciary has denied Afkari's claims.

Afkari's attorney accused authorities of denying his client a family visit before the execution, as required by law.

"Were you in so much hurry to execute the sentence that you also deprived Navid of a last meeting?," Hassan Younesi said on Twitter.

There was no immediate reaction by Iranian officials to the attorney's accusation. (JPost / VFI News)

He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the Lord. —Proverbs 17:15

“God, we ask that you bring justice to those who desperately need it.”

More Fires in Beirut

A massive fire broke out at Beirut Port on Thursday afternoon, a month after a similar fire had led to a massive warehouse explosion that killed 190 people.

Beirut is still full of shattered glass and rubble from last month's tragedy.

Flames were large and analysts suggested they may be coming from oil or other stored products. While some locals take it in stride, others are fearful. They open windows so that another shock wave won’t blow down the glass.

Others point to contradictory officials’ statements. One statement saying the fire was “planned” by authorities for some reason. It was unclear why you would burn off material in the port. Another from the army says tires caught fire.

The investigation into the August 4 warehouse explosion is ongoing. Due to the political crisis in Lebanon that has seen a cabinet resign and witnessed two visits by the French president to try to pressure the country toward reforms, little has been done to find the culprits. (JPost / VFI News)

“God, we ask that you use this tragic event to make real positive change, for the people of Lebanon, and their neighbors.”

Promising Israeli Alzheimer’s Treatment to Launch Phase 1 Trial

A novel treatment for Alzheimer’s, developed by one of Israel’s top scientists, is preparing to launch a Phase 1 clinical trial and, if successful, it could change the course of the disease and arrest its progression.

The therapy, developed by ImmunoBrain Checkpoint and based on 20 years of work by Prof. Michal Schwartz of the Weizmann Institute of Science demonstrating that the immune system is needed for the maintenance of healthy brain function and repair, would contribute to the understanding of the biology of Alzheimer’s disease.

The Phase I trial will specifically test ImmunoBrain Checkpoint’s proprietary antibody, IBC-Ab002, which is targeted to enhance the immune system and induce brain repair processes in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. Earlier this month, the company won a $1 million grant from the Alzheimer’s Association to help get them closer to the trial.

Schwartz, who is now the company’s chief scientist, is considered one of Israel’s most renowned scientists. A recipient of the EMET Prize, she made revolutionary contributions to brain research, showing the role of the immune system in maintaining the brain’s health, and helping mitigate its dysfunction. (JPost / VFI News)

“God, we ask that you bring success to the many who work tirelessly to heal, and to bring greater quality to life for many.”

Soccer Star Lionel Messi to Rep Israeli Brand OrCam

Soccer star Lionel Messi is the new face of the Israeli company OrCam, which makes devices that help the visually impaired identify their surroundings.

“It’s a tremendous satisfaction to help improve the lives of blind and visually impaired people,” Messi said Wednesday in a promotional video. “OrCam My Eye is amazing! It’s magical.”

Messi, considered one of the best soccer players of all time, will be a brand ambassador for the Jerusalem-based company for three years.

This is not Messi’s first stint promoting an Israeli company. In December 2017, the Tel Aviv-based Sirin Labs hired him as its global ambassador. That company developed what it says is an ultra-secure mobile phone using blockchain technology.

OrCam was co-founded in 2010 by Amnon Shashua and Zvi Aviram, who also co-founded the self-driving car technology company Mobileye. OrCam devices attach to a user’s glasses frames and convert visual information into audio that is relayed to the user’s ear. (INN / VFI News)