Inside Israel

Israeli Baseball Team is Olympics-Bound

A team photo of the Israeli national baseball team. (Photo: Israel Association of Baseball)

For the first time, Israel’s national baseball team has qualified for the Olympics and will be playing at the 2020 Tokyo summer Olympic games. There will be six teams in the competition. Israel is the first to qualify for the tournament, and Japan automatically qualifies to send their team since they are the host nation. The remaining teams will be determined in the coming months. Almost all the players on Team Israel are citizens of both Israel and the United States, many playing in college and a few who are former professional players. Israeli athletes have already qualified for the Olympic games in rhythmic gymnastics and show jumping, which is an equestrian event. Please pray for safety and equality for all the athletes at the Olympic Games.

Read more at Times of Israel…

Political Statement Fine Imposed from the Eurovision Games

This past May, the major song contest, Eurovision, was hosted in Tel Aviv. During the finals, the competitors from Iceland, a band called Hatari, displayed scarves with Palestinian flags. As a result, Eurovision organizers, stating that the action directly broke the contest rules banning political gestures, imposed a fine. The Icelandic group is known to oppose Israel’s presence in the West Bank, and appealed the fine. The penalty was upheld even after the appeal. It is not known how much Iceland’s public broadcaster will have to pay. Please pray that the Lord would soften the hearts of those who hate Israel.

Read more at Times of Israel…

Prime Minister Netanyahu Canceled United Nations Visit

Foreign Minister Israel Katz to attend the event on PM’s behalf (Photo: AFP)

For the first time since 2010, Prime Minister Netanyahu did not appear at the United Nations General Assembly to speak in front of world leaders. He canceled his speech and sent Foreign Minister Israel Katz in his place. The decision came as a result of his party, Likud, not winning enough seats in the recent elections to form a coalition government. Instead, he chose to remain in Israel and continue mediation with Kahol Lavan’s Benjamin “Benny” Gantz in an attempt to form a unity government. His United Nations speeches in the past have been met with surprise and anticipation, as he has used props and, in 2018, revealed nuclear factories in Israel’s neighboring countries. A visit to the United States to meet with President Trump has also been canceled. Please pray for the members of the United Nations General Assembly, that they would seek the Lord to lead and guide them as they lead their countries and people; and for the leadership in Israel, that they would work together to form a strong national government.

Read more at YNet…

Israel Sees An Increase in Russian Jews Making Aliyah

Jewish immigrants from Russia and Ukraine arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv, January 30, 2018. (Photo: AP/Ariel Schalit)

Israel is seeing a surge of Russian Jewish immigrants like in the early 2000s, when many made aliyah (immigration to Israel). In the past four years, nearly 40,000 people have moved to Israel from Russia, as compared to almost 37,000 during the entire decade from 2005–2015. As a result of President Vladimir Putin’s policies, many are experiencing a decrease in personal freedoms. There has also been a rise in crime and an economic downturn. In addition, Russian Jews are starting to feel singled out as an ethnic and religious minority—a classification of people that Putin is generally thought to dislike. And although antisemitic attacks and incidents in Russia are not common when compared to the United States and Western Europe, they are on the rise and appear to be increasing in severity when they occur. Please pray for the safety of the Jewish people in Russia, that many would come to know Jesus is the Messiah!

Read more at Times of Israel…

Happy New Year!

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is celebrated by Jewish communities all throughout the world. In Israel, the two-day holiday will see buses, shops, and schools closed so families and friends can get together to celebrate the closing of one year and the hopes and dreams of the year to come. The shofar (ram’s horn) is blown and apples and honey are eaten to wish a sweet New Year. From our Israeli staff to you—May the Lord bring you a blessed and sweet year to come. Thank you for praying for our work and for the salvation of the Jewish people!