VFI News December 23, 2022

Is Hanukkah in the Bible?

Did Jesus celebrate Hannukah? Is Hannukah in the Bible? How is Hannukah celebrated in Israel today? All this and more in today's special Hannukah episode of VFI News.

#visionforisrael #hannukah #israel

Merry Christmas and a joyful holiday season

With Christmas approaching in 2 days, we would like to wish all of our readers Merry Christmas and a joyful holiday season. We hope you receive one blessing after the other and that you enjoy the festivities from a place of health and happiness, surrounded by the people you love.

US Congressman: 'Israel Has the Right to Stop Illegal Palestinian Construction'

After the midterm elections, Binyamin Regional Council chief Yisrael Ganz flew to the United States to meet with government officials and members of Congress, in order to promote the settlement of the land of Israel.

Ganz presented the Congress members with a map that shows the Arab takeover of land, as well as the European Union's involvement in the Palestinian project to strategically take over land in Judea and Samaria. On the maps, he showed the Arab building plans that choke out the Jewish communities and main roads.

Representative and member of the Congressional Finance Committee Dr. Andy Harris (R-MD) stated that "The government of Israel has the full right to stop the illegal construction committed by the Palestinian Authority or any other body in areas under its control. The involvement of any foreign body, including the EU, is not acceptable."

In addition, the Binyamin Regional Council chief is working with members of Congress so that the US funding for the Palestinian Authority will be given for the advancement of roads and infrastructure. "If you really want to help the Arab population, you need to designate the funding for building infrastructure.

"Today, the Palestinian Authority embezzles the funds and instead of improving the lives of its population, it pollutes the environment and supports terrorism and the murder of Jews. It is better that the American taxpayer at least knows that the money that is going to the Palestinians really serves them. The way to do this is to designate the funding for infrastructure and roads." (INN / VFI News)

“God, we thank You for blessing us with powerful allies that are willing to speak out for the rightful treatment of Israel, as well as for any wrongdoings that are targeted towards it.”

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.

Paris Calls Eastern Jerusalem ‘Occupied’, After Israel Deports Palestinian-French Terrorist

France on Sunday, December 18, denounced as “against the law” Israel’s deportation of a former Palestinian security prisoner with French citizenship, and claimed that eastern Jerusalem, where the convicted terrorist resided, is “occupied.”

Israel’s Interior Ministry announced earlier in the day that Salah Hamouri, currently a lawyer and field researcher for the Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, a group linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terrorist organization, had been deported from the country.

“We condemn today the Israeli authorities’ decision, against the law, to expel Salah Hamouri to France” the French Foreign Ministry said in a statement in response.

It added that Paris had “fully mobilized, including at the highest level of the state, to ensure Salah Hamouri’s rights are respected, that he benefits from all possible assistance and that he can lead a normal life in Jerusalem, where he was born, resides and wishes to live.

“France also took several steps to communicate to the Israeli authorities in the clearest way its opposition to this expulsion of a Palestinian resident of [eastern] Jerusalem, an occupied territory under the Fourth Geneva Convention” the statement continued.

Hamouri was previously sentenced by an Israeli court to seven years in prison, as part of a plea bargain in exchange for admitting to plotting to murder the former Sephardic Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. Hamouri was released by Israel as part of the 2011 Gilad Schalit prisoner exchange deal with Hamas. (I365N / VFI News)

“When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.” - Proverbs 21:15

NGO: Iran to Execute 26 More Protesters

Amnesty International said in a Friday letter (December 16), that Iran intends to execute 26 more protesters. The letter, addressed to Iran's judiciary head Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei, noted that 11 protesters have already been sentenced to be executed, and that 15 have been given similar charges that could see them put to death.

At least two protesters have already been executed by the Iranian regime. Iranian authorities said two weeks ago that they hanged a protester convicted of stabbing security personnel during a protest in November.

Majidreza Rahnavard was executed less than a month after he allegedly stabbed two Iranian officers to death during a protest against the Islamic regime.

Rahnavard was said to have been outraged by the killings of non-violent protesters, leading to his deadly attack on security officers during a November 17th protest in the city of Mashhad. In addition to the two officers who were fatally wounded, Rahnayard allegedly stabbed four other officers.

"The 26 individuals have all been denied fair trials, including the rights to adequate defense and access to lawyers of their choosing; to be presumed innocent; to remain silent; and to receive a fair, public hearing" Amnesty said in the letter. (INN / VFI News)

“In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak, who are caught in the schemes he devises.” - Psalm 10:2

Iran Says It Thwarted Mossad Network Targeting Its Defense Industries

Iran’s Intelligence Ministry claimed on Sunday, December 18, that it thwarted a Mossad network attempting to sabotage its defense industries, in either a blow to Israel’s spy agency, or a disinformation campaign by Tehran to shift attention from its brutal crackdown on its own people over the last three months.

On one hand, the report had an unusual amount of specific and believable details relating to the alleged Mossad operations. On the other hand, Tehran’s blatant attempt to try to connect the disclosure to alleging that Israel is behind the months of popular protests, along with a past record of false claims of arrests, left the claim in doubt.

According to the Iranian Intelligence Ministry, the Mossad contacted companies that work with the Islamic Republic’s defense industries, in order to collect information.

The Mossad allegedly began working with a person named “Frank” who works as a sales manager for a company that supplies parts and is in contact with Iranian companies, according to the report.

Iranian intelligence claimed that Frank invited his employees to a seminar in Malaysia and introduced them to a man named “Hadrien,” who runs a company in Singapore that works with Iranian companies to produce carbon fiber and metal alloys. (JPost / VFI News)

“God, we ask that any false allegations against Israel will be cleared up, and that the truth will be established so that all nations can live in peace and tranquility.”

Christmas Aid for Arab Christians in Bethlehem

For the people of Bethlehem, Coronavirus hit hard in 2020. Between travel restrictions, closures, and mounting bills—people were hurting. But thanks to your heroic support, we were able to provide vital assistance to people in need during the Christmas season - regardless of their background or religious affiliation.

Israeli Soccer Fans Rejoice Over Long-Awaited World Cup Win for Messi, Argentina

Israeli soccer fans were among millions worldwide to celebrate Argentina’s hard-fought victory over France on Sunday, December 18, in a nail-biting finale game for the 2022 World Cup championship.

Fans rejoiced in cities nationwide, waving Argentinian flags and shirts as the team, led by Lionel Messi, beat France 4-2 on penalties in a stunning finale after the game ended 3-3 in extra time.

In Tel Aviv, fans poured into Dizengoff Square to sing, dance, and play in the famous water fountain to mark the win. In locales with a strong population of immigrants from Latin America, the joy was palpable.

“Messi is our Judah the Maccabee,” one fan from Kibbutz Or Haner in southern Israel told media, a fitting reference to the ancient rebel leader of the Maccabees, whose story is told on the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah.

“We dreamed of this day, we were with them all the way. It’s a victory they deserve, the team and the Argentinian people. We deserve this” said the fan, a resident of the kibbutz, which was largely set up by immigrants from Argentina and Chile in the mid-1950s.

The sentiments echoed those in Buenos Aires, where fans were also overjoyed by the victory. Throughout the match, many watching in a public square in Buenos Aires chanted the name of the team captain, often considered the world’s greatest soccer player who had long talked about how he yearned for a World Cup victory. (TOI / VFI News)

NYT Publishes Crossword Puzzle Resembling Swastika

The New York Times released its daily crossword puzzle in the shape of swastika on Sunday, December 18, Democratic Strategist Keith Edwards pointed out on Twitter.

In a later tweet, Edwards pointed out that no major media outlet had covered the incident. "So far not one mainstream media outlet has reported on this" he wrote.

Another user, @kennedytcooper, said, "Can anyone explain why the Times crossword is a swastika on the first day of Hanukkah."

This is not the first time the New York Times Crossword Puzzle has bore a resemblance to the swastika, a symbol used by various cultures but widely associated with Nazi Germany and neo-Nazism.

In 2017, the last time this occurred, the Times dismissed criticism, with the New York Times Games Twitter account saying, "Yes, hi. It's NOT a swastika. Honest to God. No one sits down to make a crossword puzzle and says, "Hey! You know what would look cool?" (JPost / VFI News)

“God, we ask that you protect your people from anti-Semitism, and that you help bring to light incidents that might be glorifying nazi ideologies.”

West Bank's Maccabee Palaces Must be Israeli National Park, Settlers Say

Israeli visitors who want to walk in the footsteps of the Maccabees and see one of the remnants of their seats of power are forced to navigate the geopolitics of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

That’s because the site of the palaces of the Maccabean High Priest Yohanan, also known as John Hyrcanus, and his son Alexander Jannaeus, are located on the edge of the Palestinian city of Jericho.

The remnants of the palaces, with their ritual baths and the ancient Hashmonaim synagogue, which King Herod converted into his winter palace, are located in Area C of the West Bank, which is under IDF military and civilian control.

Coming and going is restricted, as a result, Israelis have to travel about one kilometer (approximately six-10ths of a mile) through Area A, which is forbidden to them, before they can wander among the ruins, which include remnants of courtyards with pillars and the hall where King Herod’s throne was located.

At present, Israelis can only visit through organized tours that are coordinated with the army. Foreign tourists, in contrast, can enter through Jericho to see the palaces of the ancient Jewish warriors who were at the heart of events upon which the Hanukkah holiday that began on Sunday night is based.

“We expect that the new government will turn it into a national park and open it to the general public,” said Binyamin Regional Council deputy chairman Raful Engel. The ruins are located within his council’s boundaries. The council, along with the right-wing archaeological group Shomrim Al HaNetzach, have worked to preserve the site. (JPost / VFI News)

“The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.” - Proverbs 4:18

New S. Korea-Israel Free Trade Agreement Comes into Effect

A new free-trade agreement between South Korea and Israel came into force in Israel under a Customs Tariff Order and Purchase Tax Exemptions for Goods, published on December 5.

The free-trade agreement is more than 500 pages and deals not only with customs-duty exemptions, but also rules of origin, customs procedures, trade remedies, dispute settlements, government procurements, investments, cross-border services, temporary of business persons, telecommunications, e-commerce, intellectual property, the environment, transparency, technical cooperation and more.

In 2021, bilateral trade in goods and services totaled around $3.5 billion, about 35% more than in 2020. Of this, $1.5b. was exported by Israel, some 42% more than in 2020.

According to the Economy Ministry’s Foreign Trade Administration, the resulting customs reductions are expected to benefit Israeli purchasers of Hyundai and Kia automobiles, toys and games, soy sauce and much more. Israeli exporters are expected to benefit to the tune of about NIS 500 million.

Israeli companies will enjoy a competitive advantage in the Korean market, and Korean investments in Israel will be encouraged. More than 95% of Israeli exports to Korea should be exempted from Korean customs duty, including electrical and mechanical equipment, fertilizers, medical devices, cosmetics, plastics, fruit juices and wine.

Korea exports to Israel machinery and parts, refrigerators for industry, medical devices, electronic components, plastic products and chemicals. (JPost / VFI News)

“Wealth and riches are in their houses, and their righteousness endures forever.” - Psalm 112:3

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

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