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BPF Secretary Steve Lloyd
News concerning Israel - August 2019
Supporting Israel

Its never really out of the news I know, but apparently the latest figures from a CST report show anti-Semitic incidents across the UK have risen by 10% and much of this rise can be attributed to the antisemitism in the Labour Party!

The good news is that the new Prime Minister Boris Johnson has formed a cabinet that is very much pro-Israel……long may we see that continue.

In contrast to Labour’s anti-Zionist leader Jeremy Corbyn, Boris Johnson calls himself a “Passionate Zionist”.

He spent part of his younger years on Kibbutz Kfar Hanassi in Northern Israel, his maternal great grandfather, Elias Avery Lowe was a Moscow born Jewish textile merchant.

Back in 2007 the new Premier said “I feel Jewish when I feel the Jewish people are threatened of under attack – that’s when it comes out.

“When I suddenly get a whiff of antisemitism, its then that you feel angry and protective”

One of Mr Johnson’s first Cabinet appointments was no surprise – he chose Priti Patel as Home Secretary. Ms Patel had to leave her role as International development Secretary in 2017 over private meetings with Israeli ministers, including, allegedly PM Benjamin Netanyahu. It was during these meetings that she suggested giving aid to the IDF.

Dominic Raab the Foreign Secretary is the son of a Czech Jew and Chancellor Sajid Javid, a Muslim, also calls himself a friend of British Jewry, became the first British minister in 19 years to visit Jerusalem’s Western Wall.

Nearly all the other Cabinet ministers have supported Israel or Jewish communities in the past.

Let us pray that this cabinet and PM Johnson bless Israel and in return bring Gods blessing upon the UK.

Egypt – with all the anti-Israel rhetoric going on it is good to see Egypt making another attempt to prevent the collapse of the ceasefire between Hamas and Israel. For the first time in 2 months it has sent a delegation to the Gaza Strip for talks. This has not, however, helped with the border protests which shows no signs of abating.

Israel – The weather has brought extreme heat to the region causing many wildfires to rage across the country and strong winds have been hampering the firefighting planes and helicopters.

Settlements close to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv have had to be evacuated as flames reached houses. Students also were evacuated from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology at Haifa.

These fires have come as a result of the heatwave that has been affecting most of the country where temperatures have reached a scorching 49.9 degrees Celsius (121 F).

In stark contrast to the rest of the country, Eilat experienced unseasonal light rain.

A swarm of jellyfish measuring hundreds of kilometres is nearing the Israeli coastline according to news website Walla. It is believed to consist of tens of millions of jellyfish. But while these creatures may sting, swimmers do not need to fear for their lives. Dr Dor Adelist, of University of Haifa’s Charney School of Maritime Studies said “Science does not know of a single death from a jellyfish sting in the Mediterranean”.

France – Henriette Cohen, France’s oldest survivor of Auschwitz, has died at the age of 101.

She stayed silent for four decades about the horrors she lived through at the death camp before finding the strength to describe it to younger generations. She believed it was necessary to speak out so “no one could deny the Holocaust”.

President Emmanuel Macron paid tribute to her as a “courageous and strong woman”. Henriette’s prison number was A-8541, tattooed on her forearm, and was still clearly legible when she died.

Trump Peace Plan – Although the peace plan has not been fully rolled out yet, pieces of it are emerging as they are put to the PA and others.

In July The White House hoped to woo the Palestinians by offering them a $50 billion (£39 billion) deal which would create a million new jobs, halving the percentage of poverty among the Palestinian population, reduce unemployment in the West Bank and Gaza from 30% to single digits. It also included the construction of a £4 billion pathway – a road or possibly a railroad – between the West Bank and Gaza. It also seeks to inject £745 million into the tourism industry for the Palestinians.

But… the Palestinians have dismissed it all as a ‘bribe’.

This rejection seems to fly in the face of Abbas, who had indicated that he was prepared to sit down at the negotiating table with the Israelis.

It also came in the wake of a warning that the PA is on the verge of collapse. The UN’s special co-ordinator to the Middle East peace process, Nickolay Mladenov warned the Security Council: “The Palestinian government is facing a very serious financial crisis. Unless resolved, it risks triggering a series of dangerous developments that will be difficult to contain, including the collapse of the Authority”.

In response Benjamin Netanyahu has stated “We’ll hear the American proposition fairly and with openness. “I cannot understand how the Palestinians, before they even heard the plan, reject it outright.”

Israel has repeated its position that it must retain a presence in the strategic Jordan Valley, the part of the West Bank that borders Jordan.

On a personal note, in July I visited Poland, specifically to go and see the concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. Whilst waking around I heard the sound of the Shofar. I looked toward the famous railway entrance and saw a large contingent of Israeli military marching down the rail track with Israel’s flag held high. It was a wonderful sight to behold.

Pray for the IDF and IAF as they defend the boarders and continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

Every blessing, Maranatha.