Israel Ranked As 8th Most Influential Country In The World

Apr 23, 2019

“At your rebuke, O God of Jacob, both horse and chariot lie still.  You alone are to be feared.” Ps. 76: 6-7

PASSOVER 2019: PLEASE HELP VISION FOR ISRAEL TO MAKE THIS A JOYFUL CELEBRATION FOR THOSE IN NEED: Passover, a seven-day commemoration of the Jewish Exodus from Egypt, began this year in Israel at sunset on Friday 19 April, and ends at nightfall on Friday 26 April. Families and friends across the country are gathering in homes, halls, and hotels to celebrate the annual Seder meal and week-long festivities. Together the nation is remembering in song and story the biblical deliverance, under the leadership of Moses, from the slave pits of Egypt, the ten plagues preceding it, and escapes from death because of the blood of the Passover lamb. Every year, thanks to the generous donations of our supporters, Vision for Israel is able to help hundreds of families by providing gift cards for purchasing holiday food, so they can celebrate with dignity. This year, our team has given gift cards to terror victims, Holocaust survivors, and needy families in our communities. Throughout the holiday we hope with the help of our partners to reach 1,000 families, with a gift of approximately $150 per family. Please help us to attain this goal. Your donations are vital and appreciated at

Follow our link on Facebook to learn more about what VFI is accomplishing in a fundraising drive for Passover:

ISRAEL RANKED AS 8TH MOST INFLUENTIAL COUNTRY IN THE WORLD: USA News & World Report has ranked Israel as the world’s eighth-most influential country in the magazine’s 2019 version of its annual list. The report describes Israel as “the only Jewish nation in the world, a small country on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea” that has had a large influence on global affairs. For its relatively small size, the country has played a large role in global affairs,” the article said. “The country has a strong economy, landmarks of significance to several religions and strained relationships with many of its Arab neighbors.” The rankings for “Most Influential Country” are based on “a global perceptions-based survey,” the magazine said, “and countries are ranked based on the highest scores among more than 11,000 informed elites in a compilation of five country attributes: leader, connected to the rest of the world, influential culture, politically influential and strong international alliances.” Israel came in ahead of several influential countries including Canada, Australia, and India. The United States, Russia, and China dominated the top three spots. (J.Post) “'At that time I will gather you; at that time I will bring you home. I will give you honor and praise among all the peoples of the earth when I restore your fortunes before your very eyes,' says the Lord.” Zeph. 3:20

EXCITED CHIMPS GET MATZAH FOR PASSOVER: Humans are not the only creatures that enjoy the change in menu over Passover. Several species of animals at the Ramat Gan Safari love to chow down on matzah as well. The Ramat Gan Safari begins preparations for Passover just like any Jewish family. Just as Jewish families meticulously remove all traces of chametz from their homes, the Safari goes over every pedestrian path and animal enclosure in the 250-acre zoo to ensure they are as clean as humanly possible - as well as clean of chametz. The animals which receive matzah over Passover include apes, elephants, and other animals in the free-range part of the zoo. The bread that is left in the zoo before the holiday is usually given to Yossi the Elephant, the largest elephant in captivity in any zoo in the world. Yossi can eat eight loaves of bread a day. The matzah and the bread are not the main dish for the animals, but merely supplement the fruits and vegetables they receive. Still, the chimpanzees at the zoo are very excited when they receive matzah, and videos taken at Safari show them eagerly chowing down on the rare treat. In addition, the Safari ordered thirteen tons of kosher for Passover animal food for the holiday. (Arutz-7)

TRUMP’S PEACE PLAN WILL BE (ALMOST) EVERYTHING ISRAEL WANTS IT TO BE: There were those who were concerned that after recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital, moving the USA Embassy here, and giving a thumbs-up to Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, President Donald Trump was going to require some pretty big concessions of the Jewish state in his soon-to-be-released scheme for Middle East peace. But France's outgoing ambassador to the USA, Gerard Araud, signaled last week that the Jewish state has no need to worry on that front. Araud acknowledged that he doesn't know the details of Trump's plan, rumored to be a full 50 pages long, but that he does know it will be "very close to what the Israelis want." Days earlier, a senior USA official believed to be Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt was cited by Israel as hinting that the term "two-state solution" won't be part of Trump's plan. This official noted that since Israelis and Palestinians understand the term differently, it was pointless to use it as the basis for a peace agreement. Araud, said that Trump's "Deal of the Century" was almost certainly "doomed to fail." The French ambassador praised Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, for thinking outside the box in coming up with their plan, but said that both men had gravely underestimated the Palestinians' willingness to choose "suicide" over a more reasonable outcome that doesn't meet all their demands. Indeed, the Palestinian leadership has already rejected Trump's offering before it's even been released. That really shouldn't come as much of a surprise, considering that Yasser Arafat previously turned down a final status agreement offered by former-USA President Bill Clinton and then-Israeli PM Ehud Barak that met 95% of Palestinian demands, including control over large parts of eastern Jerusalem. (Israel Today) “The way of peace they do not know; there is no justice in their paths. They have turned them into crooked roads; no one who walks along them will know peace.” Isa. 59:8

UKRAINE: FIRST COUNTRY OUTSIDE ISRAEL WITH JEWISH PRESIDENT, PM: According to exit polls from Ukraine’s presidential elections that country is set to become the only one in the world besides Israel whose president and prime minister are both Jewish. Comedian Volodymyr Zelensky’s dramatic lead in exit polls Sunday 21 April 2019 — in many of them he received more than 73% of the vote — was so overwhelming that it prompted a concession of defeat by incumbent Petro Poroshenko even before the official results were in. If Zelensky is sworn in as president, his prime minister will be Volodymyr Groysman, a Jewish politician who was the mayor of the city of Vinnytsia. To some of Poroshenko's critics, the landslide success by the politically inexperienced Zelensky was not surprising in light of widespread resentment over the persistence of corruption under Poroshenko, who was elected in 2014 on a platform that vowed remedial action on exactly that front. More unusual to some, however, was how Zelensky’s appears to have won the elections so decisively in spite of how his Jewish ancestry – his mother, Rima, is Jewish and he has jokingly referred to this during the campaign. After all, Russia and other critics claim Ukrainian society has a serious anti-Semitism problem and legacy. “Imagine, a pure-blooded Jew with the appearance of a Sholom Aleichem protagonist wins by a landslide in a country where the glorification of Nazi criminals is enacted into law,” wrote Avigdor Eskin, a Russian-Israeli columnist, in an analysis published earlier this month by the Regnum news agency. (J.Post)

SMOTRICH: IGNORE FRANCE, LET PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY COLLAPSE: MK Bezalel Smotrich (United Right) called on Israeli PM Netanyahu to reject outright French President Emmanuel Macron's demand to transfer frozen tax funds to the Palestinian Authority. In Feb. 2019, the cabinet approved the implementation of the freeze on funds to the Palestinian Authority, which was passed by the Knesset in July 2018 and offset 502,697,000 shekels ($138,426,818) from funds transferred from Israel to the PA. "I call on the Prime Minister to forcefully reject the French hypocrisy, and to send Macron to pressure Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to cease paying salaries to terrorists," Smotrich said. "As long as the Palestinian Authority encourages terror against Israel and pays salaries to terrorists, we cannot give it even one shekel. Let it collapse. We'll get two birds with one stone." Likud MK Avi Dichter echoed Smotrich's words, slamming Macron's demand. "I wonder what the French President would say if he found out that the Palestinian Authority is paying a salary of 12,000 NIS ($3,341) per month to Carlos the Jackal, who is sitting a life sentence over there after carrying out serious terror attacks," Dichter said. "For President Macron's information, the law passed with an outstanding majority of 87 MKs. We are determined to fight terror with every tool and every strategy. President Macron, here's a free tip from someone who fought terror for nearly 50 years: When you fight terror, any country which doesn't count change ends up counting bodies." (Arutz-7)

USA TO ELIMINATE IRAN OIL WAVERS AFTER 2 MAY 2019: The Trump administration won't renew waivers that let countries buy Iranian oil without facing USA sanctions, according to sources familiar with the matter. The current set of waivers - issued to China, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Turkey - expire on 2 May 2019. Other suppliers, including Saudi Arabia and the UAE, will offset the loss of Iranian crude on the market. "The maximum pressure campaign could not be maximalist until the administration cut off Iran's oil exports," said Mark Dubowitz, CEO of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. "With this decision, Iran's economy will be under severe pressure as its hard currency earnings dry up and its foreign exchange reserves plummet."  Greece, Italy, and Taiwan have already reduced their Iranian oil imports to zero. The administration's ramping up of its "maximum pressure" campaign is meant to starve the regime of the cash it needs to perpetuate its malign activities around the world. Iranian oil exports in March were at 1 million barrels per day, down from 2.5 million bpd in April 2018. (Washington Post/Bloomberg)

IRANIAN TERROR NETWORK EXPOSED IN CENTRAL AFRICA: The security forces in Chad and the Central African Republic have arrested an Al-Quds Force unit that sought to advance Iranian interests in Africa. Israeli news sources reported days ago that Chad, along with the Central African Republic, had uncovered an Iranian unit operating in their territories and other countries and arrested its members.  According to the report, the unit called "Saraya Zahara" established infrastructure of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force in Central Africa, with the aim of attacking Western targets in these countries. In addition, the unit has operated in various African countries, including Chad, Sudan, and Eritrea, and has tried to establish additional terror cells in African countries and help pro-Iranian elements take control of various countries in the continent. (J.Post)

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