“The LORD gives strength to His people;

the LORD blesses His people with peace.”

Psalm 29:11 (NIV)

Shalom, my friend.

No matter what you’re facing today – personal challenge, obstacle to faith or overwhelming brokenness – the Scriptures promise that God is close at hand to bring strength and peace. 

There’s no greater promise we have from God – which was ultimately realized in the coming of His Son, Yeshua (Jesus), the Messiah.

That’s why I hope that, as you claim God’s strength and peace for your own life, you’ll join with me and everyone at Jewish Voice as we pray for Israel.

We must stand together, remain watchful and vigilant . . . and ask God to strengthen His people, give them peace and change the hearts of their enemies.

And as you pray, please continue to pray for Jewish Voice and the work we’re doing together for the Jewish people in Israel and around the world.  

ALLEGED MEETING BETWEEN LIBYAN AND ISRAELI OFFICIALS MIGHT INDICATE FUTURE NORMALIZATION

The Jerusalem Post reported late last week that Mossad Director David Barnea and Libyan Prime Minister Abdulhamid Mohammed Al-Dabaiba recently met in Jordan to discuss normalization and security cooperation.

This is only months after another alleged meeting took place in November when Saddam Haftar, son of Libyan warlord Gen. Khalifa Haftar, flew to Ben-Gurion Airport for meetings with Israeli officials.

Neither of the above have been officially confirmed by officials in either Israeli or Libyan camps. And The Jerusalem Post can only speculate the purpose of the meetings – assuming they took place – if security and normalization were the topics for discussion.

The Jerusalem Post reports that it’s unclear these Libyan officials could even carry out normalization with Israel given the ongoing chaos the country has been in for years.

Just last month, Libya’s long-awaited elections were delayed. And it is unclear uncertain if the various on-again and off-again warring groups will be capable of ever carrying out the elections, let alone altering decades of officially hostile relations with the Jewish State.  

IRAN’S GROWING NAVAL THREAT IN THE GULF 

According to Defense News, Iran’s naval forces and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) added the Alvand destroyer, four Martoob al-Sabehat 15 Type submarines and 110 combat speedboats in 2021.

And a top official says there’s more to come. Iran has ambitious plans to build a 6,000-ton destroyer and giant submarines, Rear Adm. Amir Rastegari, who heads the Iranian Defense Ministry’s Marine Industries Organization, told local news outlets last April.

Experts say the buildup of naval forces in Iran represents a rising threat to its neighboring countries.

“Iran has recently tried to modernize its Navy, which is primarily designed for the defense of [the] Persian Gulf against foreign navies,” Sina Azodi, a nonresident fellow at the Atlantic Council and a visiting scholar with the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University, told Defense News. The “Iranian Navy has historically been its smallest force.”

Unconventionally, Iran has two naval forces: its regular naval forces and the IRGC Navy. However, they have different missions and scopes of operations.

“The IRGC Navy and the Iranian Navy have two separate command structures,” Azodi said. “While some of their responsibilities overlap, the primary difference is the methods and strategies of operation.”

Azodi asserts that while the IRGC Navy focuses on hit-and-run tactics and asymmetric operations using fast boats, the traditional Navy consists of frigates, submarines and corvettes.

This focus, according to Azodi, is due to the fact that “Iran has been largely out of the arms market, and countries under U.S. pressure are reluctant to sell major weapons systems.” He said Iran sees this asymmetric approach as “quite effective against larger navies.” 

COVID STILL CLIMBING IN ISRAEL, BUT NO MAJOR RISE IN SERIOUS CASES

The Times of Israel reports that Israeli hospitals are reporting a significant drop in the number of seriously ill patients who need to be ventilated due to infection with the Omicron variant.

Even as the numbers of those infected with COVID-19 continue to climb, with 43,815 new cases detected as of last week, there was no major rise in serious cases (257). And only 64 required ventilator treatment.

According to Health Ministry and hospital officials, Omicron has less of an effect on the lungs, compared to previous variants. And requires shorter hospitalization.

Local, Israeli doctors are reporting that that those in a serious condition with Omicron were likely to leave the hospital after 5 days, compared to an average stay of 10 days with the Delta variant.

According to The Times of Israel, the Omicron virus variant has raced across Israel over the past week, leaving the country with 231,494 active patients, 198,099 of whom were diagnosed over the past seven days – a rate three times higher than the previous week. The rampage has left 171,296 Israelis in quarantine due to infection or exposure. And the death toll in Israel, since the start of the pandemic, rose by 27 over the past week to reach 8,290. 

LET US PRAY TOGETHER

Please pray with me for:

  • God to move in the hearts of world leaders and give wisdom to address the global threat of a nuclear Iran
  • God’s protection to be upon His people in Israel who are constantly facing threats and violence from surrounding enemies
  • God to give insight in how to address, protect and move ahead as the Jewish people, Israel and the world continue to feel the impact of COVID-19
  • Peace in the hearts and minds of the people of Israel and their enemies
  • Jewish people to recognize Yeshua (Jesus) as their Messiah

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