“I will bless those who bless you.”
Genesis 12:3a (NIV)

Shalom, my friend. 

I’m thankful to God for partners and friends who are eager and generous in their support for Israel and her people. Please know you are valued and your prayers are deeply appreciated. 

That’s why I wanted to make sure you saw the anti-Semitic sentiment in the words and actions of some of America’s elected representatives last week regarding the U.S. providing critical funding for the Iron Dome Defense System. And while the U.S. remained true to one of our closest allies, we must be vigilant to continue to pray for — and stand with — Israel and the Jewish people. These are God’s Chosen People — whom He called and led thousands of years ago. And through whom He revealed His Messiah, Yeshua (Jesus), to the world through the Gospel. 

So please join me, and everyone at Jewish Voice, in praying for divine peace and for God to change the hearts of those who stand against His people. And may you and yours experience the blessing of God in a special way. 

U.S. HOUSE APPROVES FUNDING FOR IRON DOME BUT NOT BEFORE BITTER CRITICS THREATEN GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN

The U.S. House overwhelmingly approved $1 billion in new funding for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system late last week. But this approval only came after a bitter fight from vocal anti-Israel and anti-Semitic members of Congress. 

The New York Times reported the final vote was 420 to 9 to help Israel replace missile interceptors after a missile war and heavy fighting with terror groups along the Gaza Strip earlier this year.  The provision was originally included in a larger spending bill meant to fund the government through December. However, a group of vocal anti-Israel representatives stated that they would not help pass the larger bill if Iron Dome funding was included. This would have led to a government shutdown.

In response, House leaders stripped the Iron Dome provision out of the emergency spending bill and arranged a separate vote to approve the Iron Dome money.

Following the landslide vote in favor of the Iron Dome funding, one of the most vocal critics, Representative Rashida Tlaib, said, “I will not support an effort to enable war crimes and human rights abuses and violence. We cannot be talking only about Israelis’ need for safety at a time when Palestinians are living under a violent apartheid system and are dying from what Human Rights Watch has said are war crimes.”

The Times of Israel reported that May’s rocket fire included over 4,300 rockets from Hamas and other Gazan terrorists targeting Israel, which according to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), was the highest ever.

According to the IDF, 90% of the missiles fired at populated areas within Israel were downed by the Iron Dome.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) released a statement saying:

“Extremists in Congress are playing politics with Israeli and Palestinian lives. Calling to remove funding for a life-saving defensive system is an affront to our values, risks further conflict and is counter to the commitment made by Biden and supported by Congressional leadership. It’s simple: Iron Dome saves lives. Blocking funding for Iron Dome helps terrorists kill civilians.” 

ISRAEL PREPARES FOR MORE ROCKET FIRE AFTER DEADLY WEST BANK RAIDS

The Jerusalem Post reported that two IDF soldiers were injured and five Palestinians were killed after armed clashes broke out during a wave of anti-Hamas operations in the West Bank earlier this week.

According to The Jerusalem Post, the operation included a number of arrests in five different locations in the West Bank, targeting a Hamas cell that Israeli security forces had been tracking for several days. The cell was planning an attack. 

IDF told media personnel that it was possible that Hamas would decide to fire rockets from Gaza in response to the operation. “This was a Hamas cell, one that we have been following for a long time with intelligence from the Shin Bet. There’s always a chance that there can be rockets, especially since this was a Hamas cell and the group is always trying to connect Gaza to the West Bank,” IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Ran Kochav said.

The Jerusalem Post reported that the raids were led by the Duvdevan counter-terrorism unit as well as the Israel Police and Border Police YAMAM, YAMAS counter-terrorism units and the Shin Bet security services.

NUCLEAR STANDOFF WITH IRAN REMAINS UNCLEAR — ISRAEL AND U.S. OFFICIALS SECRETLY CONVENE TO DISCUSS A “PLAN B”

In the first U.N. General Assembly address early last week, U.S. President Joe Biden called on Iran to return to the nuclear deal.

According to The Jerusalem Post, since taking office in January, President Biden has unsuccessfully sought to revive the 2015 Iran deal, which former U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration exited in 2015.

“We are working to engage Iran diplomatically, to seek a return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). We are prepared to return to full compliance if Iran does the same,” President Biden said to the General Assembly. He underscored, however, that the “United States remains committed to preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.”

And while negotiations are hoped to kick start again in the near future, the potential outcome remains unclear. 

The Jerusalem Post reported that there was a deal in hand under the previous Iranian government in May for a reciprocal return to the 2015 JCPOA. But under the new radical regime in Iran led by President Ebrahim Raisi, the Biden administration is ready to engage in new negotiations – whose results would either be the same or lead to new American concessions.

The premise of Biden’s approach, reported by The Jerusalem Post, has been that he is ready to give up U.S. leverage of worldwide sanctions on Iran if the ayatollahs will cease their 60% uranium enrichment violation of the JCPOA and fully restore International Atomic Energy Agency inspections.

According to Axios, the U.S. and Israel recently held secret talks on Iran to discuss a possible “Plan B” if nuclear talks are not resumed. 

The meeting was held via a secure video conference call and led by U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and his Israeli counterpart, Eyal Hulata.

While both the U.S. and Israel are concerned about the current stalemate in diplomatic talks with Iran — including a range of issues related to the challenges and threats Iran poses to Israel — U.S. officials are reportedly willing to impose additional sanctions on Iran to get them to the negotiation table more quickly. 

Let Us Pray Together

Please pray with me for:

  • God’s grace and peace to turn the hearts of Israel’s enemies 
  • God’s protection as terror groups along the Gaza Strip — and surrounding Israel — continue to threaten His people with violence and acts of terror 
  • God’s wisdom to be poured out on the world’s leaders in handling the nuclear threat from Iran
  • 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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