“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Ps. 27:14
750,000 PEOPLE VISIT WESTERN WALL DURING PASSOVER: More than 750,000 people visited the Western Wall since the start of the Passover holiday. On average, over 100,000 people visited the site each day. The amount of visitors is larger than in previous years. Mon. 22 April 2019 was particularly crowded as pilgrims made their way to the Wall to attend the Priestly Blessing prayer service, which takes place twice a year on Passover and Sukkot. The Blessing is a tradition dating from the time of the Second Temple, when priests would bless all of the Jewish people. (J.Post)
JOIN US FOR THE 2019 SUCCOT CELEBRATION: Begin now to plan for the annual Vision for Israel Succot Celebration at the Pavilion in the center of downtown Jerusalem. The dates will be 15 Oct. – 17 Oct. 2019. Take part in praise and worship with Joshua Aaron, Barry and Batya Segal, the Kadosh Dancers and local worship teams. Enjoy teachings focused on Israel and the Middle East with Dennis Greenidge, David Herzog, Barry Segal, Benjamin Siegal, Jones Boateng, Victoria Sarvadi, Tony Sperendao, Nizar Touma and more to come. Connect with local believers and congregations in the land. Walk and dance on the streets of Jerusalem during the annual Jerusalem March! VFI will also be marking its 25th anniversary in Jerusalem for which there will be a special celebration. For further details including times, venue location, and suggested hotel accommodations, visit our Event’s page on the VFI website at: https://www.visionforisrael.com/en/events/681/succot-celebration-jerusalem-2019-darkness-to-light
TENS OF THOUSANDS VISIT NATIONAL PARKS ON SECOND PASSOVER: Tens of thousands of Israelis took advantage of fair weather on Friday 26 April 2019, Pesach Sheni (or the Second Passover holiday), to visit the country’s nature reserves and national parks. The Israel Nature and Parks Authority estimated that around 80,000 people had visited by noon. Popular locations included the Yarkon National Park east of Tel Aviv; the Ashkelon National Park; Gan HaShlosha, and the Banias Nature Reserve in the north; and Massada and Ein Gedi in the south. Thousands of people were also enjoying the beaches of the Sea of Galilee. Authorities said several parks and beaches had been closed to further visitors due to the large numbers. (Times of Israel)
TWO JEWISH SIBLINGS AMONG VICTIMS OF SRI LANKA ATTACKS: Two Jewish siblings, Amelie, and Daniel Linsey, were among those killed in the Easter Sunday terror attacks in Sri Lanka. "While the intended targets of this atrocity were clearly meant to be Christian, the terrorists’ bombs did not discriminate," said Lord Leigh of Hurley, president of the synagogue where the Linsey's prayed. "The Linsey family were members of my synagogue They shared the same classes as my children. The siblings were two of eight Brits killed in the attacks. We have pledged as a community to offer our love and support to the Linsey family and do everything we can every step of the way," said Leigh. Leigh requested that the government "double its efforts to ensure that the bodies of the siblings are returned as soon as possible." (J.Post) Continue to pray for the healing of all victims of Sri Lanka’s Easter terrorist bombings and for the comforting of all the people who lost family members and loved ones.
ALL CATHOLIC CHURCH SERVICES IN SRI LANKA CANCELED: All Catholic Sunday Masses in Sri Lanka have been suspended until further notice following last week’s massacre — where two of the bombings took place at Catholic churches, church leadership announced Friday 26 April 2019. Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, Archbishop of Colombo, told reporters that church officials obtained a leaked security document that named churches — both Catholic and of other denominations — as major targets for attackers, according to Vatican News. He insisted that the faithful stay at home, for their own safety, according to the report. “We don’t want repetitions,” Ranjith said. In last week's attacks, the suicide bombers also targeted one evangelical church and four hotels. (NY Post) Pray for the safety of believers in Sri Lanka and for the preservation of churches, cathedrals, and Christian institutions throughout the island.
NEPAL DEPORTS USA CITIZEN, ARRESTS FOUR ON ALLEGATIONS OF CONVERTING PEOPLE TO CHRISTIANITY: Nepalese authorities arrested four people last week and deported a USA citizen on allegations of illegally converting people to Christianity by “allurement,” sparking outcry from Christian advocates. Police officers arrested two men and two women, one of whom is a resident of Colorado, around 8 a.m. Tue. 23 April 2019, a day after the group of four attended a conference for pastors with 70 others at a local church, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide. Police have not officially levied criminal charges against the four but have accused them of trying to convert locals to Christianity. Nepal instituted anti-conversion laws in August 2018, which raised concerns with the USA State Department as USA officials see potential for the law to be used to restrict religious freedoms. Those convicted of proselytizing or converting others to another religion face a penalty of up to five years in prison. The American citizen, identified as Oleana Cinquanta, argued the allegations of attempted conversion are false. She claimed that Nepalese authorities deported her to the USA. (Daily Caller)
UN SAYS 3RD HEZBOLLAH TUNNEL CROSSED INTO ISRAEL: A UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon last week said a tunnel discovered earlier this year by Israel had crossed the Lebanese-Israeli border, in the third such breach of a ceasefire resolution. Israel in Jan. 2019 accused Lebanese Shiite terrorist organization Hezbollah of having dug what it described as the deepest, "longest and most detailed" tunnel it had discovered. The Israeli army said the tunnel from the Lebanese town of Ramyeh -- just 800 yards from the border -- reached a few dozen yards into Israel, and descended to 55 yards underground. "UNIFIL's independent assessment confirms that this tunnel crosses the blue line in violation of resolution 1701", which ended the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah. UNIFIL has informed the Lebanese authorities about the violation and has requested urgent follow-up actions. Lebanon and Israel are still technically at war. Israel is currently building a wall along the 80-mile frontier to block Hezbollah attempts to infiltrate. Since early Dec. 2019, Israel has said it discovered six tunnels, destroying them either with explosives or by filling them with a cement-like material. Israel accuses Hezbollah had planned to use the tunnels to kidnap or kill its civilians or soldiers, and to seize Israeli territory in the event of any hostilities. The United States has designated Hezbollah a "terrorist" group since 1997. The USA last week offered a $10 million reward for information that would disrupt the group's finances. (INN) Continue to pray for the northern borders of Israel that they will remain safe from terrorist invasions and attacks. Intercede also that the terrorist group Hezbollah will be disrupted and dismantled.
ZOA CALLS TO REMOVE RASHIDA TLAIB FROM DEMOCRATIC PARTY: The Zionist Organization of America is calling on pro-Israel organizations and “decent Americans” to urge the removal of Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) from the Democratic party and Congressional committees. “Someone who knowingly and enthusiastically consorts with the most virulent anti-Semites, blood-soaked terrorists, and conspiracy theorists is clearly beyond the pale, or no one is beyond the pale,” wrote ZOA National President Morton A. Klein and Chairman Mark Levenson. ZOA based its claims partially on a video published late last month by the Israel Advocacy Movement, which unpacked the individuals that Tlaib thanked for helping her to get into office. Among those individuals are close associates of Palestinians terrorists with Jewish blood on their hands. For example, Tlaib is seen posing with Rasmea Odeh, a former member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine who was convicted by Israeli military courts for her role in the murder of two students, Leon Kanner, and Eddie Joffe in the 1969 Jerusalem Supermarket bombing. Tlaib has shared photos of Mohammed Ali, a Palestinian terrorist who stabbed three Israeli soldiers in Jerusalem in an incident that was captured on video. And she has shared praise for Imad Mughniyeh, the Hezbollah terrorist responsible for the murder of 242 United States servicemen in a 1982 suicide bombing in Lebanon against USA forces stationed there on an UN-sanctioned peace-keeping mission.
The ZOA also noted how on Tlaib's first day in office, she took a sticky note with the word "Palestine" on it and placed it with an arrow pointing at Israel, thereby indicating her support for the Palestinian Arab objective of eliminating and replacing the Jewish state of Israel. “The ZOA calls upon all pro-Israel organizations, Jewish and non-Jewish, and all decent Americans to urge Rep. Tlaib’s removal from the Democratic Party and Congressional committees,” wrote Klein and Levenson. “A terrible precedent will have been set if someone so obviously tainted with the most pernicious hatreds and associations does not inspire the party to which she belongs to expel her. In that case, the unmistakable message will have been sent that associating with vicious anti-Semites and terrorist shedders of innocent blood is no impediment to political office in the United States of America,” the message continued. (J.Post) Rep. Rashida Tlaib and those like her who promote anti-Semitism - who are friends with and being supported by terrorist organizations and their members - do not belong in the USA government. Please intercede that they will be ousted from positions of political power and influence.
AIPAC PUSHES BACK AS BERNIE SANDERS CALLS ISRAELI GOV’T ‘RACIST’: The American Israel Public Affairs Committee pushed back against Sen. Bernie Sanders for calling Binyamin Netanyahu’s government “racist.” The pro-Israel lobby, in a tweet that did not mention the Democratic presidential hopeful by name, said it was counterproductive when American leaders used “name-calling” against their Israeli counterparts. “The USA-Israel alliance serves America’s interests,” AIPAC said on Twitter. “We benefit from the close bonds between the governments and peoples. Name-calling by political leaders against the democratically elected government of Israel is counterproductive to maintaining close ties and advancing peace.” An AIPAC official confirmed that the tweet was aimed at Sanders, currently the front-runner in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. Sanders defended his outspoken criticism of Israel in a town hall broadcast from Manchester, New Hampshire, the first primary state. “The goal must be to try to bring people together and not just support one country, which is now run by a right-wing — dare I say — racist government,” he said to applause. (INN)
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Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff