Israel's New Response to Rocket Fire
In an interesting turn of events, Hamas is attempting to prevent terrorist groups from sending rockets into Israel from Gaza. They are doing this at the request of Egypt, which has warned them not to spark a flare up with Israel, as Egypt would intervene in Israel's favor. Israel then announced a new policy where instead of simply bombing an area in Gaza in response to rocket fire, Israel will use a more targeted response against those directly responsible for the attack. This requires real-time intelligence so as not to hurt civilians, and the new approach will also encourage a more favorable international view of Israel’s efforts to protect her civilians. (Ynet)
Please pray for cessation of rocket attacks, and for protection for civilians and innocent people on both sides of the conflict.
Israel Ranked the 10th Most Powerful Nation
The National Power Index rates nations on economy, military, population, technology, energy, security, and foreign affairs, weighing each category according to importance. Israel was ranked 10th behind the United States, China, Russia, France, Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany, India and Canada. Israel ranks high in technology and scientific progress, as well as holding significant influence in the Middle East because of its military capacity. (Israel National News)
Praise God for Israel's growth and influence.
High Poverty Rate among the Elderly in Israel
Israel has the highest poverty rates among the elderly in the developed world. Israel's elderly population is relatively small compared to twenty-one other nations, with only 9.9% of Israelis aged 65 and over. During the formative years of the modern State of Israel, pension programs through one's place of employment were not established. The result is that many elderly Israelis are now struggling to make ends meet, especially Russian immigrants who arrived in Israel in the late 90s while nearing the end of their working years. Although one can receive a retirement supplement in Israel, there are restrictions: one must have minimal savings and cannot own land or vehicles. (Jerusalem Post)
Please pray for God's provision for the elderly in Israel, and praise God for Chosen People Ministries' benevolence ministries that serve many needy Israelis.
Chosen People Ministries Reaches Out to Holocaust Survivors
For the past few years, Chosen People Ministries has organized events especially for Holocaust survivors in Israel. Staff members visit these elderly men and women in their homes, sharing words of encouragement and reading the Bible. One of Chosen People Ministries' workers in Israel writes, "All of the Holocaust survivors to whom we have ministered have heard the Gospel; we pray for them and hope that by God's mercy, they will receive Him. Although many are passing on, there are many who are alive and we have a tremendous opportunity to continue our special ministry to them as time allows us!"
Please pray for these dear people, who have endured great suffering, to put their faith in the Messiah who can wipe every tear from their eyes.
Netanyahu: We Will Not Uproot a Single Israeli
Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Prime Minister Netanyahu made a statement regarding the Jordan Valley that he "does not intend to evacuate any settlement or uproot any Israeli citizen." This came in response to a press conference with Secretary of State John Kerry, in which Kerry said, "If talks fail, Israel's democratic future is at stake." John Kerry has been working very hard to push forward a peace plan between Israel and the Palestinians, and he senses that if this fails, both sides will be harmed. (Haaretz)
Please pray for this peace process and for both sides during this difficult time, ultimately, that many would see Jesus as the only giver of true, lasting peace.
Numerous French Jews Making Aliyah
Immigration from Western European countries was on the rise in 2013 – up by 35%. The country with the highest immigrants to Israel was France, making up 64% of the totals for 2013. More Jews immigrated to Israel from France than the United States, even though the United States has a larger Jewish population. Both the slow economy and the rise of antisemitism in France have contributed to this trend. French Jews are afraid to use visible Jewish symbols in public, and many are fearful of attacks. (Tablet Magazine)
Please pray for safety and security for the French Jewish community, and rapid adjustment for those who are now making Israel their home.
New York City is Israelis' Most Desired Travel Destination
According to a recent survey, if Israelis could travel anywhere, 24% of them would want to travel to New York City. Thailand was chosen second, with 18%. Closer destinations in Europe, such as London, Barcelona, Rome, Prague, and Berlin, lagged behind in the rankings with only 10% of the vote. (Ynet)
Please pray for Chosen People Ministries' ongoing outreach to the thousands of Israelis who come to New York City each year, especially in the summer!
Canadian Prime Minister Visits Israel
Israel was happy to welcome Stephen Harper, the Canadian Prime Minister and one of Israel's staunchest supporters among the world's leaders. While addressing the Knesset, Harper said that he believes Israel has a right to be independent in defending itself. Even if Harper were to lose the elections next fall, the next winning party would likely be just as supportive of Israel. (Haaretz)
Praise God for this wonderful friendship between Israel and Canada, and please pray for its continuation.
Israel's X Factor Music Contest Winner
Rose Fostanes recently won Israel’s X Factor music contest with her tremendous voice and personality. She is not actually an Israeli citizen; she is from the Philippines and has been working in Israel for six years as a caregiver. Over 20,000 Filipinos work in Israel as caregivers, sending home large portions of their earnings to family in their home country. Rose has also worked in Egypt and Lebanon, and she has not been to the Philippines for the past two years. Despite winning the contest, she cannot work as a singer or sign contracts in Israel because her work visa only allows her to work as a caregiver. (JTA)
Please pray for this community in Israel, who care for the elderly and infirm. Many are believers.