By: admin

  Together forward

For the Ethiopian Jews, settling in Israel has been a dramatic change in their circumstances. The younger generation has done better and with dedicated help and support, they will succeed in life. In many families, parents are unable to help their children with language and other skills as the older generation finds it difficult to learn the language. The elderly Ethiopians are called the silent generation, because they speak Amharic and are, therefore, left outside of the activities that require knowledge of the Hebrew language. We visit these families, especially the elderly who experience health problems and depression since many of them feel forgotten and isolated.

Ethiopian children and youth in Israel

CFI works with the Bnei Brak center where Ethiopians of all ages come. Children are offered after-school programs, mothers language and computer sessions, and group sessions for the elderly to meet others of their own age. Ethiopian Jews have come to stay in their ancestral homeland. Please continue praying and supporting them. We thank you and bless you!

Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me, for my soul takes refuge in Thee (Psalm 57:1).

January 31, 2019

Be gracious to me, O God…

Policies of the UN for the world control

In the eyes of the friends of Israel, the United Nations is exercising policy that is constantly against Israel but only seldom criticizing any other world country. The UN agencies do not have the supreme power in the world. However, with its prestige and long history, the member nations’ resolutions are a cause of concern. In 2018, the UN adopted 21 anti-Israel resolutions and only six resolutions for the rest of the world (Iran, Syria, North Korea, Crimea, Myanmar, and the United States─for its embargo on Cuba).

In December, the United States presented a draft resolution seeking to condemn Hamas for firing rockets into Israel. It failed to be adopted as the member nations did not see rockets causing any significant danger or destruction. In the list of 21 anti-Israel resolutions, the main concern is about the well-being of the Palestinians in Israel’s “occupied Palestinian land.” Syria is mentioned, but only for the Golan Heights which the UN also claims to be occupied by Israel.

The last time the UN adopted a resolution in support of Israel was in 1991 when the United States led the repeal of the “Zionism is racism” resolution under the leadership of President George H. W. Bush.

World’s 258 million migrants

It is estimated that 258 million people or 3.4 % of the world population are migrants today. On December 11, 2018, the first-ever UN member states’ conference about global migration took place in Marrakesh, hosted by the Kingdom of Morocco. World leaders from 160 countries adopted the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration to better manage international migration. In mid-December, the adopted document was presented to the UN General Assembly for its endorsement. The United States did not participate in the conference or the adoption of the Global Compact. In December 2017, the Trump Administration withdrew from the negotiations, stating that multinational agreements undermine the power of individual governments to control national borders.

 

In the light of the large riots in France, Germany and other European countries, the United States must have the rights of determining the migration policy for the safety of the American people.

Disturbing pictures from the Gaza-border violence in southern Israel filled the news in 2018. Israel was forced to use tear gas and close one of the border crossings for a while to control the situation. Sound familiar? In December, almost identical events took place at the U.S.−Mexico border as masses of South American migrants rushed to the fence, some throwing stones at the U.S. border agents. (Online news posts.)

United we pray

  • Thanking God for keeping Israel safe in 2018 from the region’s enemies of Syria, Iran and numerous terrorist groups (Psalm 140:12−13).
  • Praising God for the new and promising ties between Israel and the Gulf States (Psalm 150).
  • Proclaiming God’s promises over the Jewish people about their return from the nations (Zechariah 10:8−10).
  • Praying for God’s blessings over the Israeli legislative elections (21st Knesset) scheduled for April. The elections will end PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s fourth term in the office (Psalm 149:1−2).
  • Asking God’s comfort and peace for the seven Israeli civilians who were wounded in a terrorist attack in December. One of the victims was a pregnant mother whose baby later died. Hamas leaders called the attack heroicand the victim’sIsraeli occupation soldiers that included also the unborn baby (Psalm 142:6−7)
  • Pray God’s mercy for the world nations in the UN as just in December they failed to pass a resolution to condemn Hamas attacks against Israeli civilians (Psalm 53:2−3). 

Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me, for my soul takes refuge in Thee (Psalm 57:1).

Coming influx of French Jews?

Ministers in the Israeli government are working with plans to increase the immigration of French Jews to Israel and forming a program to better facilitate their absorption. Naftali Bennett (Education and Diaspora Affairs Minister) said in December that, in the past, Israel missed historic opportunities and many French Jews moved to the U.S., Canada and other places instead of Israel. Since 2015, only 18,000 Jews from France have made Israel their home.

A group of French Jews landing in Tel Aviv

Due to the recent anti-Semitic attacks and large riots in the French cities, Jews are more likely to move. A survey done among the French Jews demonstrates that about 40 percent or as many as 200,000 people─ have an interest in immigrating to Israel. The French Jews have been coming since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. The family lineage of most the Jews in France comes from the North African “Maghrebi Jews” of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya, dating originally back to the Roman era.

“Extraordinary times”

Speaking to a conference of Israeli ambassadors to Latin American, Asian and African countries, Prime Minister Netanyahu said that Israel is in a process of normalizing ties with the Arab world─without much progress in the diplomatic process with the Palestinians. Netanyahu said that the renewed wave of Palestinian violence in the West Bank is causing the Israeli-Palestinian ties to unravel further. Netanyahu continued by saying that Israel is much stronger in negotiations without the Palestinians being involved. “The Arab states are looking for links with strong states. Cultivating strength gives us diplomatic power,” Netanyahu stated.

Do they want peace with Israel?

Called as a historic development, Israel is experiencing a change in diplomatic ties with the Gulf States of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, the State of Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, and Kuwait. Years ago, Bahrain hosted the Arab Regional Israel Boycott Conference. Today they seem to be looking look for connection and peace with Israel. Also, Arab countries like Bahrain are interested in growing their own small Jewish communities. The main reasons for developing ties with Israel are the threat coming from Iran and that, with Israel’s brain trust and the Gulf States wealth, they together could form the most powerful region in the world. Currently, the State of Qatar works most publicly with the Israeli government. May the Lord bless those who bless Israel! (Resources: Arutz Sheva and other online news.)

El Ghriba Synagogue in Tunisia where North African Maghrebi Jews have worshipped for centuries.

Biblical leaders and earthly rulers in God’s economy

There are multiple passages in the Bible where God refers to earthly kings and rulers as His servants, His instrument, or even His anointed ones. A few of the famous rulers were not Israelites and, in fact, may have been hostile to Israel. This clearly demonstrates God’s sovereignty over the entire earth.

In Isaiah 49:3, Israel is called God’s servant: “You are My Servant, Israel, in whom I will show My glory.”  Israel’s beloved King David had a covenant with God as Psalm 89:3─4 records, “I have made a covenant with My chosen, I have sworn to David My servant, I will establish your seed forever, and build up your throne to all generations.” Psalm 89:19−20 continues, “I have exalted one chosen from the people. I have found David My servant.”

Moses was chosen to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Numbers 12 has an account about God’s meeting with Moses, Aaron and Miriam. God acknowledges Moses as “My servant Moses, he is faithful in all My household. With him I speak mouth to mouth, even openly, and not in dark sayings” (Numbers 12:7─8).

Prophet Daniel’s friends, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, were called servants of the Most High God as King Nebuchadnezzar called them out of the fire. The king blessed the God of these three friends, making a decree that any people, nation or tongue that speaks anything offensive against their God shall be punished.

Furthermore, the king allowed David and his friends to prosper in the province of Babylon.

God used Gentile rulers, like Nebuchadnezzar, as instruments to carry out His judgments against Israel for her sin and disobedience. Therefore, the Babylonian king was one of God’s servants as Jeremiah 25:9 records, “I will send to Nebuchadnezzar… My servant, and will bring them against this land, and against its inhabitants, and against all these nations round about.” This word came to pass and Jews, among other people, were taken to Babylon for the seventy-year captivity.

In return, God moved earthly kings to extend His mercy toward Israel. Cyrus, King of Persia, ordered that the Jewish exiles in his kingdom were to return home to rebuild Jerusalem and restore the Temple. In the same way, God later used the Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus as His instrument to fulfill prophecy by Augustus’ decree that Israelites were to travel to their ancestral cities for taxation purposes. This led the prophecy in Micah 5:2, “From you (Bethlehem) One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel,” to be fulfilled as Jesus was born in Bethlehem, rather than in His home town of Nazareth.

Like the biblical kings, the ancient earthly kings also perished when their kingdoms were conquered by mightier rulers as a punishment for their unrighteous governing. (Reference to NAS Bible.)

January 3, 2019

January 2019 Project:

Last years of the survivors    

Seventy-four years ago WW2 ended. We may recall that the Fuhrer of Germany, Hitler, escaped without facing any consequences, either by committing suicide or disappearing in South America. For other Europeans   ─including the surviving Jews─no escape was available. Their struggle to survive continued. The Nazis and their allies had committed one of the history’s darkest crimes against millions of the Jewish people.

There are only about 100,000 Jews still alive today of those who were in the camps, ghettos and hiding places under the Nazi occupation. When calculating also Jews who fled Germany during the war years, there are about 500,000 living survivors in the world (Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany).

Our teams continue visiting home-bound survivors around Israel to encourage, assist and pray with them. Needs are many from fellowship to walkers and financial help. The Project Forsake Them Not is funded solely by gifts from you, our friends. Your support enabled us to purchase a new wardrobe for Yevgenia to replace the one that was destroyed when her apartment was flooded during heavy rains. Your prayers made it possible for Dina to receive a new walker as her old one was no longer safe to use. The survivors like Yevgenia, Dina and many others are grateful for you, knowing that they are assisted in their last years by Christians in the nations.

Join us again in January to help to provide for these dear survivors. We thank you and bless you from Zion.

One of the survivor couples CFI teams visit in their home

“You have kept a record of my wanderings. Put my tears in a bottle. They are already in your book (Psalm 56:8−9, GWT).

Holocaust survivors’ long road   

The youngest Holocaust survivors are today over seventy years of age. Many of them have spent their last years fighting for compensations without computer skills or strength to fill in endless forms. They need assistance to take advantage of the benefits the State of Israel and a number of European countries are granting survivors in Israel.

Poland has paid a small monthly allowance since 2015. In 2016, Serbia began returning property seized by Nazis, and in May 2018, the Romanian government passed a law on returning the property to about 27,000 Jewish survivors. In addition, the Romanian government has started paying modest pensions to survivors living in Israel.

Prime Minister Netanyahu greeting survivors and their family members (JPost photo)

Recently CNN carried out a survey and found that 10% of adult Americans were not sure they had ever heard of the Holocaust. The percentage was naturally higher among responders in their 20s and 30s. Some 45% of adults failed to name a single concentration camp. We cannot claim only someone’s poor memory for such a shocking report. Our education system and the media’s ignorance of world history have a role to play.

A survey conducted in Europe found that over 30% of responders admitted that they knew nothing at all or “maybe a little” about the Nazi regime’s murder of six million Jews. What Europeans say they “know” is that Jews generally hold too much power in finance and politics. Also, many argued that Jews represent more than 20% of the world population of 7.7 billion! In fact, only 0.2% of the world is Jewish according to the Pew Research Center (Global Religious Landscape study).

Yad VaShem, the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem, said in a statement that they are troubled by the lack of Holocaust awareness and the state of anti-Semitism in Europe. The leader of the Jewish Agency, Isaac Herzog, said that anti-Semitism is a disease that must be fought before it spreads and becomes a pandemic.

Yad VaShem’s International School for Holocaust Studies (ISHS), established in 1993, focuses upon and excels in providing quality Holocaust education to diverse audiences from Israel and across the world.

In 2014, leaders of Jewish and Christian groups from Canada, the U.S., and European countries were invited to the Holocaust Museum’s 60th Anniversary. The program included daily lectures, specialty tours of the museum and meetings with the Speaker of the Knesset, the Supreme Court Judges, and the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi. (Photo: A few of the seminar participants  and a lapel pin, a symbol of Yad VaShem.)

Jerusalem’s Sephardic leader

In November 2018, Moshe Lion was elected to take the office of the Mayor of Jerusalem after Nir Barkat. Lion is an accomplished politician and a businessman. He is the first mayor of Sephardic descent. His political affiliation most fittingly is with the party called “Our Jerusalem.”

Two Jerusalem mayors: Nir Barkat and Moshe Lion (right)

The Brexit and Israel

The UK is Israel’s largest trading partner in Europe, and also, one of her most important partners in the world. As the UK’s exit from the European Union is becoming reality, export of British goods to Israel grew by 75 percent in 2018 compared to the previous year. Sale of British-manufactured arms and components to the military aircraft in Israel has substantially increased. As one of the results of the Brexit, the UK is pursuing development of independent worldwide trade policy. In return, Israel as the “world’s innovation nation” is developing new tech ties and investment opportunities in the UK.

Much of Israel’s military armament comes from the UK

Praying from the Scriptures

Unity of Jerusalem

As Jerusalem’s new mayor begins his service in the city of Jews, Muslims, Christians and groups of other religious affiliates, may we pray Psalm 133 for the entire ancient city: “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity”

Truth about Jerusalem

Due to the UN member nations’ strong Muslim presence, many of Jerusalem’s Jewish sites are called today by their Arabic names only in order to rewrite the city’s history. Pray Psalm 129 over the EU, the UN and other world political bodies concerning Israel: “May all who hate Zion be put to shame and turned back. Let them be like grass upon the housetops which withers before it grows up.”

Protection and wisdom

The Jewish nation has an ongoing struggle to keep her people safe from Gaza rocket fires and Hamas terror attacks which are reaching not only Israeli border communities but also the city of Be’ersheba.

Pay for the IDF and the communities these words from Psalm 125: “As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds His people from this time forth and forever.”

Home destroyed by Gaza rockets

 Trusting the Almighty

The past 70 years of an independent Israel is an achievement that is much more than a military victory. It is a miracle by the Almighty God. May the words recited from Psalm 130:7 speak directly to every Jewish heart: “O Israel, hope in the LORD, for with the LORD there is lovingkindness and with Him is abundant redemption.”

January 3, 2019

Operation Northern Shield

View of the Lebanon border crossing

The Lebanon border tunnels

In the first week of December, Israel conducted a large-scale operation against Hezbollah in Lebanon by detecting and destroying its cross-border tunnels. The terror entity had for months built tunnels into Israel in order to attack Israel, take citizens hostage and spread terror. The tunnels are an example of the dangerous strengthening of Hezbollah by Iran’s funds and support.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry encouraged the international community to act against Hezbollah, stating that Iranian money for tunnels came from the famous Iran nuclear deal agreement in 2015. Thanks are due to the Obama Administration for its generous financial support. 

As always, Israel came under criticism for its defensive actions. The U.S. National Security Adviser, John Bolton, was the first foreign official to express support for Israel’s efforts to defend its sovereignty. Bolton called upon the Lebanese terror group to stop digging tunnels into Israel, and Iran with its agents to cease provocations that threaten the Jewish state’s security.

UN Peacekeepers to “rescue”

Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S., Ron Dermer, thanked the Trump Administration for its unequivocal support for Israel’s right to defend itself against enemies like Hezbollah and other terror entities in the region.

UNIFIL or the UN Interim Force in Lebanon has increased patrols along the Israel-Lebanon border which is reported to be calm and stable. UNIFIL has thousands of troops to keep the peace in southern Lebanon. Sadly, since its establishment in 1978, it has failed to prevent confrontations, wars, and attacks in Lebanon and over the border. Traditionally UNIFIL troops have been anti-Israel and accused of even working with Hezbollah.

Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the UN, resigned from her position at the end of 2018. Her UN legacy will always be treasured by Israel. Much prayer is needed to replace Haley with another Israel-supportive ambassador. (Resources: The Times of Israel and other online news and posts.)

Israel-Lebanon border fence and UN peacekeepers on the Lebanon side of the border

 Prayer and “status quo”

  Some time ago, CFI Headquarters in Jerusalem took a group of twenty staff members to visit the Temple Mount in the Old City. When they entered the site with a Jewish guide, they were immediately surrounded by fifteen armed members of the Israeli Police Force. One would naturally think that the reason for so much security presence would be for the safety and protection of the visitors.

The truth, however, is painfully quite the contrary. The armed police were there to make sure that our Jewish guide in no way was praying or allowing us to pray on the Temple grounds that are controlled and managed by the Jerusalem Islamic Wagf. It is amazing the lengths that Israel must go to keep their word and allow the agreed “status quo” to continue on the Temple Mount.

The original “status quo” was reformulated after the Six-Day War in 1967 by Moshe Dayan and the Muslim religious authorities. The Jews were given the right to visit the Temple Mount unobstructed and free of charge if they respected the Muslim’s religious feelings and acted decently, but the Jews were not allowed to pray. The Western Wall below was to remain the Jewish place of prayer. Religious sovereignty was to remain with the Muslims while overall sovereignty was to be Israel ’s responsibility. However, the Muslim site rejected such an agreement. Ever since private and public visits by the Jewish people have caused problems. Therefore, Israel forbids all Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount.

As Christian Friends of Israel, it is our privilege to come alongside Israelis in times of their need. The members of the Household of Faith struggle in the midst of political demands and religious regulations. Join us in December to raise support to comfort and encourage the faith community in the Land. Thank you.

A silent night over the Holy City

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From Kristallnacht to Pittsburgh  

The night of November 9─10, marked eighty years since the shocking Kristallnacht─the Night of Broken Glass─that took place in Germany, Austria and the Sudetenland was a pogrom against the Jewish people. The night of looting, arson and mass murder was carried out by the Nazi Paramilitary forces and German civilians. The German authorities looked on without intervening. In the morning, broken glass littered the streets. Close to 100 Jews were murdered, over 7,500 Jewish businesses were destroyed or damaged and an estimated 1,100 synagogues were burned. An estimated 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and incarcerated in the recently built concentration camps.

The attacks were called a “spontaneous retaliation” for the assassination of a Nazi German diplomat by a young Polish Jew living in Paris. The Kristallnacht was followed by an additional political persecution of Jews, and it was viewed as a part of Nazi Germany’s broader racial policy. The German press portrayed opponents of this policy as disloyal to the state. While individual Catholics and Protestants took action, the church as a whole chose silence. Neighbors who were discovered to have assisted the Jewish people were given fines and prison sentences, or executed or sent to concentration camps to die. The Kristallnacht began the road to the Final Solution and the Holocaust of six million European Jews.

On October 27, 2018, a house of prayer, the Tree of Life – Or L’Simcha Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA, was in the center of the most recent anti-Semitic attack against the Jewish people. The unthinkable murder of 11 elderly members of the synagogue took place during the Shabbat morning prayers. It is alarming that the attack happened here, in the United States of America, and not in an anti-Jewish European country.

Praying on our knees

Healing and comfort to Pittsburgh

We join the Jewish world in mourning for the loss of the synagogue members─including a 97−year- old Holocaust survivor. Comfort and strength come only from the Almighty God, Whom we pray to visit the broken hearted in the Pittsburgh’s Jewish community. (CFI−USA sent a letter of condolences to the Tree of Life leader, Rabbi Jeffrey Myers.)

A true peace treaty

For the past three decades, Israel has been targeted with false “peace plans” to reduce Israel’s size and will for self-defense.  We must intercede for God’s plan for a political solution of Israel’s Arab population (Palestinians) who have never had interest in a responsible governing or peace with Israel.

Truth about Israel

The world news media spreads fabrications and one-sided views about Israel. Even friends of the Jewish people fall victims of such reports. Let’s join in the spiritual battle on behalf of Israel for the truth to come out and be broadcast daily.

Protection and peace

The Jewish state is surrounded by people and nations who continuously scheme to attack and destroy her. For the past seventy years, Israel has been drawn into wars and conflicts but miraculously surviving them all. Please intercede for peace over the entire Middle East, and wisdom for Israel’s political and military leadership.

 

Prayer for Rescue

“Rescue me, and deliver me out of the hand of aliens, whose mouth speaks deceit, and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood. How blessed are the people whose God is the LORD”  (Psalm 144:11, 15).