“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.” 
Psalm 122:6 (NIV)

Shalom, my friend. 

As a partner of Israel who loves the Jewish people, I’m sure you’ve been watching and waiting for this week’s start of nuclear negotiations with Iran in Vienna.

It’s no exaggeration to write that the safety of Israel, and even the world, is at stake in these discussions.

But the truth is … all of this is entirely out of our control. The only thing you and I can do – the only thing we can control – is how we respond to what God has commanded us to do: “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.”

That’s why I encourage you to not feel overwhelmed by the darkness or the enemy today. Don’t give in to dismay. Obey God. Obey His command. Reach out to Him now – on behalf of Israel and the Jewish people. But also with whatever challenge or heartbreak you might be facing right now. God will give you peace.

Thank you again for praying with us and for us. 

ISRAEL’S PRIME MINISTER SENDS A SHARP MESSAGE AS NUCLEAR NEGOTIATIONS WITH IRAN RESUME 

World powers and Iran reconvened in Vienna on Monday, after a nearly six-month break, to negotiate an Iranian return to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal.

The Jerusalem Post reported that Israel’s Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, sent a sharp message to the international community to be tough on Iran. As reported by The Jerusalem Post, Prime Minister Bennett said that Iran’s goal in the talks is for the U.S. to lift sanctions while the Islamic Republic does almost nothing in return.

“Iran won't just keep its nuclear program; from today, they'll be getting paid for it,” the Prime Minister warned.

Further, Bennett pointed to Iranian authorities shooting protesters in Isfahan in recent days, as well as a recent remark by Iran Armed Force spokesman Brig.-Gen. Abolfazl Shekarchi as characteristic of the regime’s intentions: “We will not back off from the annihilation of Israel, not even one millimeter.”

The Prime Minister concluded by saying, “Iran deserves no rewards, no bargain deals and no sanctions relief in return for their brutality. I call upon our allies around the world: Do not give in to Iran's nuclear blackmail.”

According to The Jerusalem Post, Israel opposes the JCPOA because it insufficiently limits Iran’s uranium enrichment. Rather, it legitimizes further enrichment after the agreement expires – potentially paving the way for an eventual nuclear bomb. Lastly, the JCPOA does not address Iran’s other violent actions in the region.

However, senior Iranian officials have said they are only willing to negotiate the lifting of sanctions and not about its nuclear program.

TOP ISRAELI DEFENSE OFFICIAL ANNOUNCES UPCOMING DEFENSE DEAL WITH MOROCCO

The Times of Israel reported late last week that Israeli and Moroccan officials signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will bolster security cooperation between Rabat and Jerusalem. This includes sharing sensitive security intelligence and holding joint exercises.

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz was in Morocco for the signing, making a public show of cooperation between Israel and an Arab state on sensitive security issues.

According to The Times of Israel, Jerusalem and Rabat are both deeply involved in the fight against international Islamic terror groups like Islamic State and Al-Qaeda, which operate both in Israel’s area of the Middle East and in Africa.

Israel’s primary enemy Iran and its proxy Hezbollah are also believed to be involved to a certain extent in the current Moroccan-Algerian conflict.

When asked about the importance of the historic security partnership with Morocco, Zohar Palti, the head of Israel’s Defense Ministry’s Political-Military Bureau, told The Times of Israel, “Morocco has been fighting terror on a number of fronts over the years, and it is a country that has fought Al-Qaeda and the global jihad.”

ISRAELI TREATMENT FOR SEVERE COVID-19 CAN REDUCE MORTALITY BY 70% ACCORDING TO PHASE II CLINICAL TRIAL DATA

The Jerusalem Post reported late last week that Bonus BioGroup released new data showing that the 30-days survival rate of 50 severely ill hospitalized patients with oxygen saturation of 93% and below and diffuse pneumonia who received up to three doses of the company’s MesenCure treatment was 94% – meaning 47 out of 50 patients survived. 

When comparing the first 30 patients in the trial to 60 similar patients who were used as a control group, the outcome is even more striking: only 6.7% of the patients treated with MesenCure died due to COVID-19 or its complications, compared to 23.3% of the control group.

New drugs by Merck and Pfizer are showing the likelihood of success for treating mild patients in the early stages of the disease. But the MesenCure is the first potential drug of its kind that could help save the lives of the most severe COVID-19 patients. 

Beyond the mortality results, MesenCure was also found to shorten the hospitalization period of the treated patients by 45% from an average of 17.2 days to only 9.4 days – a difference of eight days. 

Based on these results, Bonus BioGroup’s CEO, Dr. Shai Meretzki said he is hopeful that soon Bonus BioGroup will be able to treat a lot more patients not only in Israel but in other parts of the world. He said the company is preparing the data to submit to regulators in the United States and Europe. 

LET US PRAY TOGETHER

Please pray with me for:

  • God to move in the hearts of Iranian leaders and bring wisdom and peace to the nuclear negotiations that are currently taking place in Vienna
  • 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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