Defense Minister Benny Gantz Visits the United States to Talk about Iran
Last week, Defense Minister Benny Gantz visited United States Central Command Headquarters in Florida. He met with Central Command Chief General Michael Kurilla. They discussed a deepened American-Israeli partnership in areas like joint exercises, cybersecurity, and intelligence. Gantz said, “We will continue to deepen our cooperation, expand the actions required to target Iranian proxies and ensure Iran never obtains a nuclear weapon. We all understand the need to make sure Iran never has a nuclear umbrella under which it can spread terrorism and threaten the world and the Middle East.”
Israel recently purchased refueling aircraft from the United States. President Biden has said these planes will not arrive until 2024, but Israel is asking the United States to speed up delivery. If Israel attempts to take out Iran’s nuclear program, it will need to make multiple sorties and refuel mid-air. “Before departing for the US on Thursday, Gantz tweeted that the goal of his trip was ‘to send a clear message in regard to the negotiations between Iran and powers on the nuclear deal: A deal that does not knock Iran’s abilities back by years and does not restrain it for years ahead, is a deal that will harm global and regional security.’”
Please pray for Israel’s and the United States’ wisdom in dealing with Iran as world powers are trying to negotiate a deal.
Herzog to Attend Zionism Congress in Basel, Switzerland
In 1897, Theodor Herzl gathered the First Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland. Now, 125 years later, more than 400 Jewish leaders, entrepreneurs, and philanthropists will gather again in Basel to discuss the challenges of Zionism in today’s age. Israeli President Isaac Herzog will join the Congress. The Swiss government has allocated 5.7 million Euros to help secure the venue with police, clear airspace, and closing the Rhine River to boat traffic.
The Congress will open with a conference of entrepreneurs in the high-tech industry. There will also be a gala dinner at which President Herzog will give the key-note address. Herzog said, “I am astonished and filled with pride every day anew, at the sight of Herzl’s vision coming to life in front of our eyes and I feel the heavy duty and responsibility for the future of the State of Israel and the Jewish People.”
As we look back on the last 125 years of the modern dream of Israel, pray that the Lord will continue to protect the Land and its people.
Almost Half of Jerusalem’s Population in Poverty
Poverty is on the rise in Jerusalem with about 47 percent of its almost one million residents living under the poverty line. This plight is especially common among the city’s ultra-Orthodox population, since each family usually has several children. The late professor Friedman, the former head of the Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research, defined poverty as not only the lack of food but the lack of a way to improve and have a better future.
Many in Jerusalem almost completely depend on welfare services to meet their basic life needs because lack of education has kept their income low. Yeshivas (Orthodox religious schools) stress biblical and talmudic training over basic education. Other causes of poverty include having several people living in one household, the death or serious illness of a parent, and being stuck in a cycle of poverty. Those in poverty rely heavily on a few weekly donations of food and supplies to survive. Israel, known as a high-tech superpower, is also trying hard to help those on the other side of the spectrum, those in extreme need.
Please pray for Israelis who are struggling to meet basic needs.
We Also Have Opportunities to Serve the Community in Jerusalem!
Chosen People Ministries—Israel’s work in Jerusalem also includes serving the poor and needy. During the year and especially during the different Jewish holidays, we take extra time to make sure those we know in the city are well-cared for and their needs are being met.
This is especially true of the dear Holocaust survivors we see regularly—either at our weekly Bible studies, during our holiday events, or by phone or home visits. We often make a nutritious meal and bring it to them or prepare food parcels with important pantry staples and have them come and collect it. If they are not able to pick up these parcels, we deliver them.
Sometimes we have seasonal supplies like fans or heaters, which our friends receive with much excitement and joy. It is a blessing to be able to serve our community and know that we are helping those in need—even more so when their faces light up as we share about God’s love for them!
Please pray that our serving the poor will create opportunities to speak about the love of Messiah.