USA Orders Non-Emergency Embassy Staff To Leave Iraq

May 16, 2019

“Let heaven and earth praise him, the seas and all that move in them, for God will save Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah. Then people will settle there and possess it; the children of his servants will inherit it, and those who love his name will dwell there.” Ps. 69:34-36 

USA ORDERS NON-EMERGENCY EMBASSY STAFF TO LEAVE IRAQ: As tensions continue to rise between Iran and the United States, the USA State Department ordered the departure of "non-emergency USA government employees" from Iraq on Wed.15 May 2019. The notice urged those affected to “depart by commercial transportation as soon as possible.” The statement came after USA Central Command (CENTCOM) raised the threat level in Iraq and Syria on Tue.14 May 2019 issuing a statement saying that USA troops in Iraq and Syria were on high alert against a possible “imminent” attack by Iran and its proxies. "USA Central Command, in coordination with Operation Inherent Resolve, has increased the force posture level for all service members assigned to OIR in Iraq and Syria," the statement says. "As a result, OIR is now at a high level of alert as we continue to closely monitor credible and possibly imminent threats to USA forces in Iraq." The USA State Department also issued a Level 4 travel advisory against traveling to the country. Tensions have skyrocketed between Iran and the USA in the past week following intelligence reports that Tehran and its proxies might be preparing to attack American troops or its allies in the Middle East. The Pentagon approved the deployment of a B-52 bomber task force, one Patriot missile defense battery, an amphibious transport dock and an aircraft carrier strike group to CENTCOM’s region. (Arutz-7)

NETANYAHU: UNITED IN OUR DESIRE TO STOP IRANIAN AGGRESSION: PM Binyamin Netanyahu on Tue. 14 May 2019 expressed support for USA President Donald Trump's stance against Iranian aggression. "There is a new efflorescence, a new renaissance of relations between us and many of our Arab neighbors, and many non-Arab Muslim countries. We are united in our desire to stop Iranian aggression,” said Netanyahu at an event marking the one year anniversary of the USA Embassy moving to Jerusalem. “We have to keep on strengthening the State of Israel and keep on strengthening the indispensable alliance with America,” he added. Netanyahu’s comments came as Washington deployed an aircraft carrier strike group and nuclear-capable bombers to the Gulf in the wake of unspecified threats from Iran. Hours earlier, USA President Donald Trump warned that Iran would “suffer greatly” if it targeted USA  interests. “We’ll see what happens with Iran. If they do anything, it will be a very bad mistake. If they do anything they will suffer greatly,” he said. Netanyahu has been a full supporter of Trump's policy regarding Iran. In Nov. 2018 when Trump reimposed sanctions on Iran in the wake of the withdrawal from the deal, Netanyahu welcomed the move as “a historic day”. Last week, after Iran announced it would reduce some “voluntary” commitments within the nuclear deal, Netanyahu vowed that Israel will prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. (Arutz-7)

HELP VISION FOR ISRAEL TO PREPARE FOR EMERGENCY CRISIS SITUATIONS: Israel’s increasing military threats from Iran and Iranian-backed terrorist groups on both the southern and northern borders could at any moment develop into war.  VFI, as well as the entire nation, must be equipped for this possible crisis with emergency measures and supplies.  Please help us to prepare with a financial gift at www.visionforisrael.com. Your donations are vital and appreciated.

ISRAEL MARKS ANNIVERSARY OF USA EMBASSY MOVE TO JERUSALEM: At an event on Tue. 14 May 2019 marking the one-year anniversary of the USA Embassy move to Jerusalem, Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said: "We have created a new shrine in the ancient city of Jerusalem, and we're extremely proud of it." He noted that every day tour buses drive by the embassy. Friedman added, "The move of the embassy was the validation by the strongest nation in the world that it recognized the unbreakable, historical and truthful connection between the Jewish people and the city of Jerusalem." (J. Post)

ALABAMA PASSES NEAR-TOTAL ABORTION BAN: Alabama lawmakers passed a bill on Tue. 14 May 2019 banning nearly all abortions, including those in rape and incest cases. The 25 to six vote makes it the most restrictive anti-abortion measure passed since pro-life campaigners were defeated in the landmark Roe v. Wade case in 1973.  Under the Alabama bill, the only exceptions are to safeguard the health of the mother, while doctors could face 10 years in prison for attempting an abortion and 99 years for actually carrying out the procedure. The bill was previously approved by the Alabama House of Representatives and will now go to Republican Governor Kay Ivey, who is a strong opponent of abortion. The bill comes as part of a multi-state effort to have the USA Supreme Court reconsider a woman's constitutional right to an abortion. Legislation to restrict abortion rights has been introduced in 16 states this year, four of whose governors have signed bills banning abortion if an embryonic heartbeat can be detected.  Georgia recently signed into law the so-called heartbeat bill to outlaw abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detectable - typically around the six-week mark. Republican lawmaker Terri Collins, sponsor of the legislation, said: “Our bill says that baby in the womb is a person.” Just this year, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Ohio have also outlawed abortion under the heartbeat law. (UK Daily Mail) Continue to pray that all states in America will take strong stands against abortion.  Intercede also that greater education about abortion; such as methods used causing torturous deaths to fetuses, and the devastating consequences to the mothers, will be given in schools and health institutions. Intercede that laws will be changed leading to the end of all government funding and establishment of stiff penalties for pro-abortion organizations, doctors and clinics. 

BBC ACCUSED OF COVERING UP PALESTINIAN ANTI-SEMITISM: The BBC is being accused of covering up Palestinian Arab anti-Semitism after it mistranslated in subtitles the word for “Jew” to “Israeli” several times in one documentary. The film “One Day in Gaza,” about last year’s Gaza border protests against the opening of the USA Embassy in Jerusalem, aired this week on the BBC Two channel. Among the quotes that were mistranslated was one in an interview with Bader Saleh, 24, who said that during the protests, “The revolutionary songs, they excite you, they encourage you to rip a Jew’s head off.”  The BBC translated his word, "Yahud", as "Israeli". It was one of at least five times that the word was mistranslated as Israeli. Holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt criticized the translation. “Yet another blatant example of the failure to take the scourge of anti-Semitism seriously,” she tweeted. The North West Friends of Israel in the UK also tweeted its criticism. “When Palestinians use the word ‘Yahud’ they mean ‘Jew.’ It does NOT mean ‘Israeli.' Why do you mistranslate ‘Yahud’? Are you scared of showing that Palestinians want to kill JEWS?!” (INN)

JEWISH WOMAN STABBED NINE TIMES, CRITICALLY INJURED IN SWEDEN: A Jewish woman is fighting for her life after she was stabbed on the street in the center of the Swedish city of Helsingborg on Tue. 14 May 2019. The woman, around 60-years-old, is an active member of the city's Jewish congregation. Police in Denmark has arrested a man believed to be involved in the brutal assault. According to local reports, the attacker stabbed her nine times. The alleged attacker is a Muslim man known by the Swedish police. The Jewish community believes the incident is an anti-Semitic hate crime. Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said: "Once again, Jews in Europe are in danger. Today's brutal stabbing of a member of the Jewish community in Helsingborg, Sweden, is yet another reminder that we cannot rely on fading memories of the Holocaust to keep today's Jewish communities safe, as our schools, synagogues and community centers are turning into fortresses. Our thoughts and prayers are with the injured, her family and community. Jews need to live in calm and security just like the other residents in their countries. Enough with anti-Semitic terror!"  (J.Post/Israel Hayom) Pray for this woman’s complete and swift recovery and that much comfort and love will flow out to her. 

GERMANY SEES 20% RISE IN ANTI-SEMITIC CRIME IN 2019: Anti-Semitic crime rose by almost 20% in Germany last year, the interior minister said on Tue. 14 May 2019, blaming most incidents on individuals espousing radical far-right world views. Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said around 90% of the 1,800 recorded incidents were perpetrated by supporters of radical far-right groups. The main offenses included hate speech, anti-Semitic graffiti and displaying banned signs like the swastika. "This is a development that we must confront, especially in this country,” Seehofer told a news conference, alluding to Germany’s Nazi past. “This is a job for the police as well as for the whole society.” Germany’s Jews are alarmed by the rise of the nationalist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, whose leaders have been accused of playing down Nazi crimes. The AfD denies it harbors racist views and has blamed a rise in attacks on Jews and Jewish businesses on asylum seekers from majority Muslim countries. (NY Post) Continue to pray for the European Jewish community that members will be protected from the growing tide of anti-Semitism in their lands and governments. Pray that many Jews will make the decision to make their homes in Israel. “Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.” Ps. 37:3

TEL AVIV TO HOST WORLD’S LARGEST VEGAN FOOD FESTIVAL: Vegan Fest will take place at Tel Aviv's Sarona complex from 6-7 June 2019 and according to the organizers it will be the largest such festival in the world. Vegans are those who consume no meat, dairy, fish or eggs. Tel Aviv is said to have about 400 restaurants that are either vegan or have vegan options on their menus according to the No Camels website. Over 50,000 people are expected to attend the festival which will feature 37 stalls with 26 local restaurants in participation. Live music, cooking workshops, and a children’s area will also be featured. (J.Post)

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