“But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever,
the purposes of His heart through all generations.”
Psalm 33:11 (NIV)
Thank you for standing with Israel and for your love and support for the Jewish people. Your partnership means a great deal to me and to the ministry of Jewish Voice.
We also want to offer my encouragement with the words from Psalm 33 above – no matter what is happening in Israel, in our country and around the world, we can be confident in the plans of our God. He is in control from generation to generation and He is worthy of our trust and love!
In Israel this week, the outcome of the election continues to dominate the news as leaders meet to try to create a workable government and avoid yet another election.
You’ll also find news about a new super-fast COVID-19 test developed by an Israeli company, confirmation from the U.S. regarding Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and Iran continuing to violate the UN nuclear agreement. There is also a story about one Palestinian’s shocking experience after participating in a conference call with Israelis.
Again, thank you for your interest and for your prayers and support.
Netanyahu Secures Most Recommendations but Still Lacks Clear Path to Assemble a Coalition
On Monday, three parties (New Hope, Joint List and Ra’am) refrained from endorsing any candidate for prime minister. This ensures that Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu would have the most recommendations to form a government.
But to assemble a coalition, 61 seats are needed for a majority. After President Reuven Rivlin’s meetings with the 13 factions in the new Knesset (legislature) meant to determine who to task with forming a government, 52 members of the Knesset recommended Netanyahu, 45 recommended Lapid. Yamina recommended its leader, Naftali Bennett, and three parties recommended no one, The Jerusalem Post reported.
So Netanyahu still lacks a clear path to assembling a coalition, but his rivals also did not appear to have many options for clinching a government.
“… Democracy Has Exhausted Itself.”
As he began the meetings, Rivlin lamented that “at the moment, I can’t see a way to form a coalition.”
He also said if his first choice to form a government fails, he may kick the mandate back to the Knesset to make a choice, rather than giving a second person a chance to do so first, according to The Times of Israel.
The president added that “after four election campaigns, democracy has exhausted itself.”
The outcome of Monday’s discussions is up in the air. Neither the pro-Netanyahu bloc of parties nor the anti-Netanyahu camp has a clear path to a majority following the March 23 vote, which was Israel’s fourth inconclusive election in two years.
Super-Speedy Israeli COVID-19 Test Granted European Approval, Could Help Boost International Travel
Last week, an Israeli company said it received European approval for its rapid coronavirus test and was ready to help kickstart international travel.
Their test uses a handheld SpectraLIT machine which eliminates the need for complex lab equipment. It shines light through samples and gives immediate results using the spectral signature (matter reflects different light signatures, depending on its composition).
This means that airport staff who currently are required to collect test samples and send them to labs will simply have a machine at hand and be able to give test results for travelers after just 20 seconds of analysis.
The system, which is being piloted at 36 hospitals around the world, received European Medical Devices Directive approval for a swab version of its test, which allows it to start rollout across the European Union.
“Despite the global rollout of vaccination efforts, COVID-19 still needs rapid diagnostic solutions to take steps back to normality, including international travel, and this represents an important milestone,” Eyal Zimlichman, a senior doctor at Sheba Medical Center who helped develop the technology, told The Times of Israel.
The test was developed by Newsight together with Sheba Medical Center under the newly formed Virusight Diagnostic.
UN’s Nuclear Watchdog Says Iran Is Enriching Uranium
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nation’s atomic watchdog, has determined that Iran is now enriching uranium with a fourth cascade of advanced IR-2m centrifuges at its underground nuclear facility in Natanz, according to a report late last week.
“On 31 March 2021, the Agency verified at [the Fuel Enrichment Plant] that: Iran had begun feeding natural UF6 into a fourth cascade of 174 IR-2m centrifuges,” a report by IAEA cited by Reuters said. UF6 is uranium hexafluoride, which is fed into centrifuges for enrichment.
This move by Iran is the latest bold violation of the nuclear deal. The goal appears to be to pressure the Biden administration as Iran and the U.S. are at a standoff over who should make the first move to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
The Biden administration has repeatedly said it will return to the nuclear deal if Iran first returns to compliance, while the Islamic Republic is demanding that the U.S. lift sanctions before it returns to the deal, The Times of Israel reported.
The intent of the JCPOA is to curb Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear bomb. The country started violating the agreement in 2019 in response to a U.S. withdrawal from the deal under the Trump administration and a reimposition of U.S. sanctions against Iran in 2018.
US Report Reaffirms Jerusalem As Israel’s Capital
The U.S. recently released its latest Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. This annual report is the first one authored by the Biden administration and it affirmed that Jerusalem was the capital of Israel.
But it also reintroduced language that spoke of Israeli occupation of territory, a two state solution for peace and gave a nod in the direction of Palestinian Authority rights to sections of Jerusalem.
The report looked at human rights issues in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza as part of its global analysis on nearly 200 nations.
Both the Biden and Trump administrations clarified that the U.S. has recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital since 2017. Neither report clarifies the boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, but both state that the boundaries are subject to negotiations, according to The Jerusalem Post.
Both reports also affirm Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which the U.S. recognized in 2019.
Let Us Pray Together
Please pray with me for:
- A peaceful God-inspired solution for Israel’s government following the country’s fourth inconclusive election in the past two years
- Continued support for Israel from the U.S. and wisdom for the U.S. in dealing with Iran and the JCPOA nuclear agreement
- Jewish people to recognize Yeshua (Jesus) as their Messiah