“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33 (NIV)
Shalom, my friend.
As we head into this new month of June, I cannot thank you enough for standing with Israel. Your love of and support for the Jewish people is more critical now than ever. It means so much to me – and to the entire ministry of Jewish Voice – to have your faithful partnership.
Please take heart in the words from John 16 above. Jesus does not guarantee things in this life will go smoothly. But, notice the last portion of the Scripture above: we can take heart; Jesus has overcome! He is the victorious One!
The news from the Middle East and Israel continues to unfold at a breathtaking pace. From the United Nations Human Rights Council’s decision to launch an investigation against Israel to a breakthrough COVID-19 treatment, there is much to be in prayer about.
Again, thank you for your continued prayers and support for Jewish Voice, Israel and Jewish people around the world.
UNITED NATIONS OPENS WAR CRIMES PROBE, CALLS FOR EMBARGO
For the first time ever, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) created a permanent fact-finding mission regarding a UN member state.
Prompted by the 11-day Israel Defense Forces (IDF)-Hamas war, the UNHRC voted 24-9 last week to launch an investigation against Israel for alleged war crimes. It called for an arms embargo against the country.
An arms embargo is a restriction or a set of sanctions applying to weaponry or sometimes also to dual-use technology. As the UNHRC is a 47-member body, a significant number (14) of these countries abstained from voting. None of the European Union countries supported the measure. The United States is not a member of the UNHRC, engaging only by observation, yet was absent from the proceedings.
The decision to call for such a probe was submitted by the Palestinian Authority and Pakistan on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. The UNHRC already calls annually for an arms embargo against Israel, and the vote adds to that annual text. Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu denounced the decision, calling it "shameful".
According to The Jerusalem Post, the actual resolution does not mention Israel or Hamas. It is instead directed at those who violate international law so that the commission of inquiry could decide to investigate both Israeli and Palestinian sides. But the language in the resolution – as well as the speeches that were given at the UNHRC, plus the fact that it was filed by the Palestinians – makes it clear that the intent was to focus on Israel.
BREAKTHROUGH COVID-19 TREATMENT TO BEGIN ADVANCED TRIAL
The COVID-19 pandemic continues claiming lives around the globe. Hope now gleams on the horizon in the form of a new coronavirus treatment, spoken of highly by Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a “miracle drug,” that has been approved by the Health Ministry for a Phase II/III trial, according to The Jerusalem Post.
A double-blind placebo trial will involve about 150 patients in moderate or serious condition who will be treated with the medication. Israel is an ideal place for the trial because the level of COVID-19 is extremely low. Prof. Nadir Arber of Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center told The Jerusalem Post that the trial will involve other medical centers throughout Israel, as well as centers in a few other carefully selected countries. For one, Georgia anticipates participating after receiving necessary authorization from the European Medicines Agency.
PRESIDENT BIDEN’S GAZA RECONSTRUCTION PLAN: PIPE DREAM OR POSSIBLE?
The Biden administration is clear about its desire to help rebuild Gaza by sending humanitarian aid, but it faces roadblocks in doing so.
U.S. officials say they want the Palestinian Authority to have a role in directing aid into Gaza so that it will acquire influence and goodwill in Gaza. With the relief and reconstruction process led by the UN and including the Palestinian Authority, Egypt and Israel, another U.S. goal is to establish a strong international monitoring mechanism to ensure the aid will benefit the people of Gaza and not Hamas.
According to Axios, Israeli officials told U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blinken that while they are ready to help get immediate humanitarian assistance into Gaza — water, food, medical supplies — several conditions will have to be met before they will allow the reconstruction effort to begin. Among others, these include a stronger monitoring system than what was previously in place so that Hamas cannot repurpose building materials for its own purposes. Israeli officials also want the Biden administration to press Egypt to monitor its border crossing with Gaza and prevent the entry of dual-use items that could bolster Hamas' military industry.
Again according to Axios, Yahya Sinwar, the Hamas leader in Gaza, claimed that Hamas would not interfere with international reconstruction efforts.
1 MILLION PEOPLE TARGETED TO RECEIVE ASSISTANCE
The recently heightened conflict between Israel and the terrorist group Hamas ruling Gaza prompted the United Nations to appeal for $95 million. The funds would go toward aid and repairs in Gaza, designated to span the next three months to meet immediate humanitarian needs and help repair key facilities.
According to Ynetnews, the region's funds coordinator says the conflict in May left 800,000 people without regular access to water and 58 education facilities, 285 buildings and more than 1,000 housing and commercial units either damaged or destroyed.
The $95 million would go toward immediate needs for food, health care, medicine, medical supplies and quick repairs of some infrastructure. Lynn Hastings, the UN humanitarian coordinator in Gaza, said most of the money would go to Gaza and some to the West Bank and east Jerusalem. Injured people would directly receive cash assistance, mental health counseling and more.
Let us pray together
Please pray with me for:
- The ceasefire to hold and for peace to continue throughout Israel
- Protection for Israel and her people from Iran, Hamas and other terror groups, as well as for Jewish people around the world from anti-Semitic attacks
- Endurance for Israel amid the UNHRC war crimes probe
- Wisdom in the process of rebuilding and sending humanitarian aid to Gaza
- Safety and success in the COVID-19 clinical trial
- A peaceful God-inspired solution for Israel’s government following the country’s fourth inconclusive election in the past two years
- Jewish people to recognize that true and lasting peace can only be found in Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah