Israeli Prime Minister Meets with Putin
On Saturday, Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett made a sudden visit to Moscow. He spoke with Russian president Vladimir Putin for three hours. The details of the talks are not yet known. In recent days, Bennett has had multiple back-to-back phone calls with Putin and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Bennett is the first western leader to speak with Putin in person after he invaded Ukraine. Since the prime minister is an observant Jew, he does not normally work on the Sabbath. However, given the urgency and importance of these meetings, he made an exception. During the meeting with Putin, he called President Zelenskyy twice. After the meeting, he spoke with President Emmanuel Macron of France.
Upon leaving Russia, Bennett flew to Germany to speak with German chancellor Olaf Scholz. Finally, he returned to Israel early Sunday morning. Israel has been walking a tight rope with respect to the conflict. The country has good ties with both Russia and Ukraine that it wishes to retain. Israel has not placed heavy sanctions on Russia or sent military weapons to Ukraine. Still, Israel has sent hundreds of tons of aid for refugees. Israel wants to keep channels open for dialogue and mediation.
In addition to praying for the war in Ukraine, please pray for Israel’s strategic place in world diplomacy and for peace to come quickly!
Germany’s Chancellor Visits Israel
In a visit planned long before war erupted between Russia and Ukraine, German chancellor Olaf Scholz visited Israel for the first time since taking office. During his short visit, Prime Minister Bennett walked with him through Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial museum. Israel and Germany are staunch allies; the countries’ cabinets hold regular joint sessions. Germany is also Israel’s largest trade partner in the European Union.
Conversely, Germany supports Palestine’s becoming a state alongside Israel. Germany also does not support Israeli settlements in the West Bank. At the end of his visit, Scholz and Bennett held a press conference. They talked about their countries’ loyalty to each other, standing in support of Ukraine, and the talks in Vienna against Iran’s work to pursue a nuclear bomb.
Praise God for this key friendship and alliance. May it continue to grow!
Israel Sends Aid and Medical Workers to Ukrainian Border
Israel sent a plane loaded with fifteen tons of aid and a forty-person team to Romania. They will continue on to Moldova’s border with Ukraine to staff a field hospital. The team members are from United Hatzalah and are volunteer emergency medical technicians, paramedics, and doctors. Staff trained in trauma and crisis response are going as well. The team plans to help anyone at the border, no matter their nationality.
Their aid includes blankets, hygiene products, food, formula, diapers, and warm clothing. Tens of thousands are arriving at the border each day with basically just their papers and a suitcase. They also brought three Torah scrolls for religious Jews among refugees and team members. Later, the same plane will return to Israel with 160 refugees. Israel already sent 100 tons of aid earlier in the week.
Please pray that these workers will be in the right place at the right time to help those suffering after traveling long distances to safety!
Helping New Immigrants in Israel
Here is an update from one of our staff in Israel:
We expect thousands of new immigrants from Ukraine and Russia to arrive in Israel. Last week, we met with a woman from Odessa, Ukraine. She came to Israel through Poland two days before. Her son serves here in the Israel Defense Force. Now, she needs to draw up documents for aliyah (becoming an Israeli citizen), which is not an easy process. We promised to be there to help in any way possible.
After church, we got a call from a young man who had just arrived in Israel and was looking for believers. It was a sign; we prayed and decided to start a hospitality ministry for those coming from Ukraine, with a warm, safe place to stay. We will hold meetings to pray together and study the Bible. Of course, we will also be a resource for new immigrants to find answers to practical questions and adapt to the country.
Please pray that our staff in Israel will serve these new immigrants well and share the gospel with them.