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Weekly Update: Crisis

16 October 2020

Israel is in the midst of crisis unlike anything previously experienced. The combination of Covid-19 and political dissent is dividing the country. A trusted Israeli friend and journalist reported yesterday: “This was by any standard a sad week in Israel – for all Israelis, irrespective of political or religious ideologies. The mass protests against the government continued unabated – and, if anything, gained even more momentum. As Israel is again under a partial Covid lockdown, people are allowed to leave home for about 1000 meters. Democratic demonstrations in this lockdown period are allowed, provided social distancing is observed. Thus instead of huge mass demonstrations near the Prime Minister’s residences in Jerusalem and Caesarea, or center of Tel Aviv, we are now witnessing constant daily demonstrations on virtually every main road crossings around the country. But beyond demonstrations, the government has simply lost the trust of the people – added, maybe, by what you might call Covid fatigue.” He continued: “the term “possible civil war’ has entered the public colloquy. This goes far beyond just civil disobedience.”

On a positive note, Israel’s political, diplomatic, economic and cultural relations with many Arab and other states are improving, as witnessed by the recent “normalization” agreements with UAE, Bahrain and an aviation agreement with Jordan. But sadly this has not positively impacted the political and economic relations with the Palestinians, whose leaders have terminated all cooperation with Israel. They seem determined to reject opportunities for real development, including cooperation with Arab states, and are choosing to side more and more with the extremist regimes of Hamas, Turkey and Qatar. Several articles below discuss this in more detail.

In this time of confusion and uncertainty, it is good to be reminded of the words of 1 Chronicles 16, in which David calls on the people of Israel and all nations to ascribe glory, honor and strength to the Lord. He alone can bring true unity, peace and prosperity to Israel and the nations.

The Editorial Team – Israel & Christians Today



Why Palestinians Will Not Accept Advice from Arabs

By Khaled Abu Toameh at Gatestone Institute: 
Palestinian leaders are continuing to act not only against the advice of [former Egyptian President Hosni] Mubarak and other Arabs, but also against the interests of their own people. Read more..


Is Mohammed Dahlan the next Palestinian president in waiting?

By Neville Teller in JPost: 
Mohammad Dahlan has lived in the UAE since being driven out of the West Bank in 2011 after a bitter row with PA President Mahmoud Abbas. He is an adviser to the crown prince, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Should Dahlan succeed this time in establishing himself as Abbas’s successor, he may prove to be the new broom so long needed on the Palestinian political scene. Read more..

Palestinians are out in the cold but not forgotten in Israel-UAE deal?
By Tovah Lazaroff in JPost: 
This week the Israeli cabinet approved the agreement between Israel and the UAE. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has linked the UAE agreement with Palestinian peace. He told the government he hoped that the “broad reconciliation between Israel and the Arab world would lead to the advancement of a realistic peace between us and the Palestinians.” Read more..

The BDS movement, through anti-normalization, is bent on silencing Arabs
By Ari Ingel in JPost:
The BDS movement’s core principle of “anti-normalization” works to restrict any interaction between Israelis and Arabs. Read more..

 

Scripture for the week: 1 Chronicles 16:7-36

That day David first appointed Asaph and his associates to give praise to the Lord in this manner:

Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
    make known among the nations what he has done.
Sing to him, sing praise to him;
    tell of all his wonderful acts.
10 Glory in his holy name;
    let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
11 Look to the Lord and his strength;
    seek his face always.

12 Remember the wonders he has done,
    his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced,
13 you his servants, the descendants of Israel,
    his chosen ones, the children of Jacob.
14 He is the Lord our God;
    his judgments are in all the earth.

15 He remembers his covenant forever,
    the promise he made, for a thousand generations,
16 the covenant he made with Abraham,
    the oath he swore to Isaac.
17 He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree,
    to Israel as an everlasting covenant:
18 “To you I will give the land of Canaan
    as the portion you will inherit.”

19 When they were but few in number,
    few indeed, and strangers in it,
20 they wandered from nation to nation,
    from one kingdom to another.
21 He allowed no one to oppress them;
    for their sake he rebuked kings:
22 “Do not touch my anointed ones;
    do my prophets no harm.”

23 Sing to the Lord, all the earth;
    proclaim his salvation day after day.
24 Declare his glory among the nations,
    his marvelous deeds among all peoples.

25 For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
    he is to be feared above all gods.
26 For all the gods of the nations are idols,
    but the Lord made the heavens.
27 Splendor and majesty are before him;
    strength and joy are in his dwelling place.

28 Ascribe to the Lord, all you families of nations,
    ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
29 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
    bring an offering and come before him.
Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.
30   Tremble before him, all the earth!
    The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved.

31 Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
    let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!”
32 Let the sea resound, and all that is in it;
    let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them!
33 Let the trees of the forest sing,
    let them sing for joy before the Lord,
    for he comes to judge the earth.

34 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    his love endures forever.
35 Cry out, “Save us, God our Savior;
    gather us and deliver us from the nations,
that we may give thanks to your holy name,
    and glory in your praise.”
36 Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
    from everlasting to everlasting.