Inside Israel

Turkey Stops All Trade with Israel

Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a visit to Russia in 2020 (Source: Wikimedia Commons/Mikhail Klimentyev /Russian Presidential Press And Information Office/TASS)

Last week, in an effort to damage Israel’s economy, Turkey declared it would stop all imports and exports with Israel. Normally, Turkish imports to Israel cost about five billion dollars a year. Since October 7, Turkish President Erdogan has sought to weaken ties with Israel through vicious speech, welcoming Hamas leadership in Turkey, and collaborating with South Africa’s allegations of genocide at the International Court of Justice.

Turkey is one of Israel’s biggest trading partners. Israel will need to find replacements very quickly, hopefully through friendly countries like England, Germany, Greece, the Czech Republic, and Hungary. Foreign Minister Israel Katz said, “Erdogan crossed a line and blocked Israeli exports and imports. This is how a dictator behaves, trampling on the interests of the Turkish people, businessmen, and ignoring international trade agreements.”

Please pray for quick solutions so Israel’s trade and industry, which the war Hamas started on October 7 has already jeopardized, can continue.

Read more at YNet News . . .

Israel Observes Holocaust Memorial Day

As Israel commemorates Holocaust Memorial Day (Yom HaShoah), many agree this will be the most important day of remembrance in seventy-six years. In 1959, Israel chose this day (28 Nisan) to remember the six million Jewish people slaughtered in the Nazi genocide because it was the day the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising started.

The horrors and fear resulting from the barbaric attacks of Hamas on October 7, remind many Jewish people of the pogroms (massacres) against Jewish communities in Europe in the early- to mid-twentieth century. Jerusalem held ceremonies, along with Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Memorial Museum, where six Holocaust survivors lit six torches to signify the six million lives lost. On this day every year, a siren sounds across the country, and everyone comes to a stop for two minutes.

In Poland, at the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, the thirty-sixth “March of the Living” took place. Fifty-five Holocaust survivors took part in the solemn gathering. Of the fifty-five, seven came from Israel. Each of the seven were directly affected by the Hamas massacre–either by living in a Gaza border community or having a family member who was murdered or taken hostage.

“The link between the Holocaust, experienced by Jews 80 years ago, and the horrors of the onslaught of October 7 underscores our collective obligation as a nation and society to remain resilient, to defend ourselves, and to continue shaping the remarkable narrative of our people,” said Haim Taib, who is the president of the Menomadin Foundation and leads Israel’s October 7 delegation to the March of the Living.

Please pray for these Holocaust survivors who have lived through so much and are now seeing and experiencing a resurgence of hatred and violence against Jewish people.

Read more at The Times of Israel . . .

Israel Begins Evacuation of Rafah

Evacuation map published by IDF for residents of eastern Rafah—May 6, 2024 (Source: IDF Spokesperson’s Unit)

Israeli forces have sent flyers, texts, phone calls, and announcements in Arabic ordering the civilian population in different parts of the Rafah area in Gaza to start evacuating. Gazan cities are divided up by numbered zones on the map, and Israel is requesting around 100,000 people to evacuate. Gaza City is still off limits as a dangerous area where terrorists are still active. Defense Minister Yoav Gallant spoke with US Defense Secretary Llyod Austin saying, “There was no choice left, and this meant the start of the Israeli operation in Rafah.”

Gallant was referring to Hamas’ recent close-range mortar attack on the Kerem Shalom crossing, where Israeli forces were helping humanitarian aid trucks enter Gaza. The mortars killed three Israeli soldiers and wounded eleven others. Evidence indicates three Hamas battalions are still hiding among the civilians in Rafah. To stop Hamas from launching more rockets and mortars into Israel, Israel needs to enter Rafah. Ahead of any campaign in Rafah, Israeli is giving civilians a wide humanitarian corridor for movement with abundant field hospitals, tents, food, water, medicine, and other supplies.

Please pray Israel’s actions in Rafah are successful in dismantling Hamas rule and safeguarding non-combatants.

Read more at The Jerusalem Post . . .

Chosen People Ministries Serves and Ministers to Holocaust Survivors

As Israel remembered Holocaust Memorial Day, some on our staff took time to make home visits to Holocaust survivors to sit, listen to, and pray with them. Of course, they pulled out their best—tea cups and biscuits served on pretty plates. It always brightens up their day when visitors come to give special attention, as many are home-bound and lonely.

Our staff also organized a gathering of Holocaust survivors in Jerusalem to come to our ministry center where a team of Korean believers were waiting to bless them with Korean food and a special cultural event. Again, the special listening ear, times of prayer, and reading from the Scriptures are priceless. Finally, next week, our staff will take fifty Holocaust survivors for a three-day getaway full of games, story-telling, and touring. Most of the fifty people are from evacuated areas of the country and have been living away from their homes since October 7.

Not all the Holocaust survivors we serve are believers in Jesus, so please pray they will have open ears and hearts as our staff minister to them.