VFI News September 24, 2021

Israelis in Lod Seek Religious Exemption from Sleeping in Sukkah as Local Arabs Go on Rampage

For most of its history, Lod, composed of two-thirds Jews and one-third Arabs, was a model of coexistence. That dream was shattered in May when the Arabs rioted, attacking Jews in the streets carrying out arson, stone-throwing, and vandalism. The Jews reacted, sometimes violently. Prime Minister Netanyahu declared a state of emergency in Lod on 11 May, marking the first time since 1966 that Israel has used emergency powers over an Arab community. At least three synagogues were targeted by firebombs.

After the 11-day conflict between Israel and Gaza ended, it seemed that the idealistic calm had returned to the seaside city. But this was not the case. As the final Jewish high holiday of Sukkot rolled around, the Jews of Lod began to prepare by erecting Sukkot (booths). Cases of rock-throwing were being reported as were dozens of cases in which Arabs destroyed Sukkot. In many cases, the temporary structures were not only overturned but the materials from which they were built were destroyed.

Yedidyah Tzuckerman posted an image of one such Sukkah on Facebook with the caption, “The new branch of sport in Lod: destroying Jewish Sukkot”.

MK Nir Orbach responded to the post saying: “A lot of frustration and a lot of sadness. The Sukkah symbolizes our ephemerality and that we must trust our Father in heaven. May God stop the hand that corrupted this Sukkah and other Sukkot. And I demand that the Israeli police get their hands on the vandals.“ (i365 / VFI News)

In that day, I will set up again the fallen booth of David: I will mend its breaches and set up its ruins anew. I will build it firm as in the days of old. - Amos 9:11

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.

Leader of Bin Laden's Former Black Guard Obtains High Rank in Afghan Taliban

The leader of Osama bin Laden's former Black Guard and mastermind behind his escape from the U.S. bombing at Tora Bora in 2001 is now back in charge of Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.

'Anwar ul Haq Mujahid, the son of Younus Khalis, has returned with hundreds of vehicles and thousands of supporters to his family's seat of power and to a heroic welcome in Jalalabad,' a senior Afghan intelligence official who was recently deposed told the Daily Beast.

The official claims that Mujahid's command is joined by others who helped al Qaeda in 2001.

'Everyone who worked closely with al Qaeda in 2001 is back in his entourage, which arrived by air from Doha to help establish the new government in Kabul and then traveled overland this past week from Kabul to Jalalabad. He is now in charge of both Taliban and foreign fighters in eastern Afghanistan, including a Chechen contingent.'

Filippo Rossi, a journalist on the ground in Afghanistan, and a senior U.N. political official also confirmed Mujahid's return as a military commander. (DM / VFI News)

“God, we ask that you protect those in the region from the oppressive rule of the Taliban.”

Lebanon’s New PM Vows to Take Back Land it Sees as Occupied by Israel

Lebanon’s new Prime Minister Najib Mikati vowed on Monday, September 20, to reclaim territories it sees as occupied by Israel while warning that the country has the right to respond to any aggression.

Lebanese lawmakers convened on Monday to confirm the country’s new government, following a power outage and a broken generator that briefly delayed the start of the parliament session.

During the session, Mikati said that “Lebanese citizens have the right to oppose Israel’s occupation and to respond to its attacks,” according to Israel’s Kan public broadcaster.

Mikati pledged that his government would continue to work to liberate territories it sees as occupied by Israel, according to the report.

The Shebaa Farms — known in Hebrew as Mount Dov — is a small patch of land captured by Israel from Syria in 1967. Lebanon maintains that the strip of land is a part of Lebanon, despite it having been under Syrian control from the 1950s until it was captured and later annexed as part of the Golan Heights by Israel in 1981. (TOI / VFI News)

The cypresses rejoice at you, the cedars of Lebanon, saying, ‘Since you were laid low, no woodcutter comes up against us.’ - Isaiah 14:8

Lapid Speaks with Sweden FM, Renewing High-Level Contacts After 7 Years

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid announced that he spoke with his Swedish counterpart, marking the first such call between the nations’ top diplomats in seven years.

“This phone conversation, the first in 7 years between the foreign ministers of our countries, symbolizes the relaunching of relations at this level,” Lapid tweeted on Monday, September 20, after he spoke with Sweden’s Ann Linde last week.

“I appreciate her statement regarding Sweden’s strong and solid commitment to the security of Israel and her recognition in the course of our conversation of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people,” Lapid added.

Linde had tweeted on Wednesday, September 15, that the call was an “opportunity for me to wish him Shana Tova & emphasise the importance of our bilateral relationship.”

“Both of us stressed that friendship & cooperation can & must go hand with respect for each other’s convictions & differences,” she said.

The previous Swedish foreign minister, Margot Wallstrom, repeatedly enraged Israel, starting with Sweden’s recognition of a Palestinian state shortly after she took the post in October 2014. (TOI / VFI News)

Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. - Proverbs 27:17

A Joyful Song | Praise & Worship with Barry & Batya

Messianic Praise and Worship duo Barry & Batya Segal proclaim the word of God in their music. They are one of Israel's leading Messianic recording artists, two Jewish believers who reside on the outskirts of Jerusalem. Barry plays guitar for the duo, representing a style called Mizrahi, which mixes traditional Middle Eastern sounds with modern world music. Batya writes the songs and sings in both English and Hebrew. Follow the link and subscribe to their channel to stay immersed in the meaningful music of the land of Israel.


Head of ‘Russian Mafia’ in Israel Arrested Thanks to Informant

Police announced Monday, September 20, the arrest of the head of the so-called “Russian mafia” in southern Israel, crediting the successful operation to a close confidant of the mobster who it managed to turn into an informant.

Michael Tansky was arrested along with 16 other members of his crime organization located in southern Israel.

The 38-year-old subsequently appeared before the Askelon Magistrate’s Court where his remand was extended by nine days.

Police in a statement said their operation lasted roughly three months after officers managed to turn a senior member of Tansky’s inner circle into an informant, who managed to incriminate his boss and 16 others from Ashdod, Ramle, and several Bedouin villages in the south. The informant was known to police by the code name of Nikita. He was a former convict who was offered a way out of a life of crime by police in exchange for assistance in taking down Tansky.

The informant’s handlers had him carry out a number of weapon and drug sales that were used to incriminate Tansky and other suspects, police said, adding that the goal of the operation was to clip the wings of one of the most influential criminal organizations in the country. (TOI / VFI News)

“God, we ask that you continue to see that justice is served in Israel and the world over.”

Half of Jewish College Students have Hidden their Identity

Half of Jewish students have at one point hidden their Jewish identity, according to a survey conducted by the Cohen Research Group in conjunction with The Louis D. Brandeis Center last April. Additionally, 65% of Jewish students stated that they had felt unsafe on campus.

The survey also states that the longer Jewish students stay on campus, the more they feel they must hide their connection to Judaism rather than embracing it. The poll was conducted among students belonging to predominantly Jewish fraternities and sororities.

Other main findings of antisemitism in the survey included 50% of members at the leading Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi) and 69% of the members at the leading Jewish sorority Alpha Epsilon Phi (AEPhi) have personally experienced an anti-Semitic verbal attack. (JPost / VFI News)

But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. - Matthew 5:44

Yeshiva University Ranked as 68th Best College in the US

Yeshiva University (YU) continues to rise in the 2022 U.S. News & World Report Best College Rankings released this week and has secured the 68th spot – rising from No. 76 in 2021 and moving up 29 spots in the last two years.

YU also placed No. 33 in the Best Value Schools category, up from 54th position last year. This accolade recognizes the colleges and universities that offer students the best value based on academic quality and average cost of attendance. 

“This continued rise in the rankings reflects strong execution on our long-term strategy of growth through investments in the key areas of Values & Leadership, STEM & Health, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, and Great Jobs & Impactful Careers,” said Dr. Ari Berman, president of Yeshiva University. “We are moving YU forward into its next great era, and I am deeply thankful to our faculty, staff, lay leaders and students who are driving our growth.” (INN / VFI News)

Baseball: Israel Overcomes Italy 11-5 to Reach Gold Medal Game

Team Israel upset tournament host Italy 11-5 in the semifinal game of the European Baseball Championships in Avigliano, Italy. The Israeli side beat the odds as well as a powerful Italian national team managed by iconic Hall of Famer Mike Piazza. The Blue and White responded with its own icon: 41-year-old pitcher Shlomo Lipetz, who has played on Israeli national teams at every level over a period that spans 4 decades. By winning Friday night, September 17, Israel earned its first-ever berth in the European Gold Medal game and will face-off against the heavily favorited squad from the Netherlands on Sunday in Torino.

While its potent offense produced 11 runs, reaching a double-digit score for the third time in five games, the key to Israel’s success was once again its pitching. Shlomo Lipetz, having pitched for Israeli teams since 1989 thought he had earned a bye following his appearance with Israel’s Olympic squad in Tokyo last month.

The Tel Aviv native had planned to sit this tournament out to prepare for his upcoming wedding in NY only a few weeks away. “But Nate (Israel’s newly appointed Manager Fish) called me, and I got on a plane.” (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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