Reunited in Love of Israel

What a blessing to reunite with dozens of like-minded friends who love Israel! I’m in Washington DC, joining a couple hundred fellow graduates of the Christian Friends of Yad Vashem Leadership Conference.  Those Leadership Conferences, held at the Holocaust Museum and Research Center in Jerusalem, seek to bring together Christian leaders from around the world to study specifically about anti-Semitism and the Holocaust.

At last night’s reception, I counted at least 15 of my 27 classmates from 2015, and we had a great time catching up with one another.  Most of us are actively involved one way or another in sharing the truth about anti-Semitism and the Holocaust.  We were greeted by Dr Susanna Kokkonen (Director of Christian Friends of Yad Vashem) and welcomed by Shaya Ben Yahuda (Yad Vashem International Relations Director), both very dear friends of ours.  We were also welcomed by Cary Summers from Museum of the Bible, a supporting partner in the Conferences, as well as these Reunion/Refresher events.

During the evening, we were reminded that anti-Semitism is on the rise and, though painted with a different brush, is still the same picture the world ignored prior to the Holocaust.  After that, the world said, “Never again,” yet the BDS movement and Jewish hatred on college campuses (often sparked by radical Palestinian agendas) are rampant.  Friends, as Christians we cannot be silent.

As the evening progressed, we were treated to a special live production of “Portrait of Courage: A Call to Action,” performed by volunteers of Operation Exodus.  This was a depiction of what life was like in Jewish communities in Europe prior to the Holocaust, how covertly things changed, and the life-saving results of a few non-Jews who took action (sometimes at the risk of their own lives) to rescue Jews from the rampage of the Nazi killing machine.  It was quite moving and very well done, and certainly served as a call for us not to be silent in the current state of affairs.

Operation Exodus is dedicated to fulfilling a mission the prophet Isaiah described this way:

Thus says the Lord God,

“Behold, I will lift up My hand to the nations
And set up My standard to the peoples;
And they will bring your sons in their bosom,
And your daughters will be carried on their shoulders.
~Isaiah 49:22

Indeed, God is calling the nations to bring His sons and daughters home.  Yes, we have a responsibility in that!  Given the current rise of anti-Semitism, there is a growing call for American Jews to return home.  Most seem very happy and content in America (just as they were in Europe), but I wonder…will the same sudden destruction, brought about by American anti-Semitism, overtake them like a storm, as the German version in the 1930’s did?  God forbid!

Those ignorant of past mistakes are bound to repeat them.  Let’s not be part of that crowd.

At the end of the program we saw a short video about a group of young men who individually made aliyah (return to the homeland).  More tomorrow, but I leave you with this:

Is the BDS Movement Hurting Palestinians?

Great question…and you may be surprised by the answer!  BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanction) is a worldwide movement aimed at destroying Israeli economy.  It is targeted primarily at Israeli companies doing business in the West Bank because it is said they are hurting the Palestinian economy by being there.

But, is that true?  Many indicators say absolutely not, but listen to what Palestinians who work for those companies say.  Then, decide for yourself whether or not the BDS Movement is hurting the very people group they are allegedly trying to help!

 

Interesting…no?

Just yesterday we prayed for the peace of Jerusalem.  Part of that prayer is that the Prince of Peace would make Himself known to all people, including Palestinians.  Pray that the lies being perpetrated by the BDS Movement will be uncovered, and that Palestinians will begin to have an understanding of what true peace is all about.

Perhaps they just need to work side-by-side, as they do in the factory you just saw!  Food for thought…and fodder for prayer!

A Shout Out to Followers in Finland!

Related image

Hi Finland…I see you!  Blog statistics lately have shown Finland to be the second most represented country (after only the United States) in viewers to this blog.  Thus, I want to say hello, and I want to share with others around the world that Israel has a very good friend in Finland!

I am so blessed to see followers from around the globe, and I’m happy to have the privilege of interacting via comments, Google+ and other venues with many of you from places such as Guatemala, Papua New Guinea, Israel, Spain, and many other places.  I am grateful for you all!

Related imageToday, though, I would like for you to consider Finland.  A small, beautiful European country situated between Russia to the east and Sweden to the west (1/4 of which is north of the Arctic Circle), Finland represents a shining light when it comes to Israel.  For example, for over 25 years, the “Finnish Route” provided a way for Russian Jews to make aliyah (return to the homeland) to Israel.

There was a time (in the 1990’s) when so many Russian Jews were returning to Israel that many chose to circumvent the congestion by going through Finland.  Today, though the congestion has subsided considerably, some Russian Jews continue to make use of the “Finnish Route” to the homeland.  International Christian Embassy-Jerusalem staff members help make that possible.

On a continent where BDS and other anti-semitic sentiment runs rampant, there is remarkable support for Israel in Finland.  Many Finnish towns and villages demonstrate solidarity with the Jewish people, and it runs across denominational lines.  (See here for more information.)

Finally, you may or may not know that the International Christian Embassy has a branch in Finland, which has been operational since 1984.  For those of you in Finland (or able to read Finnish), the ICEJ’s website is a great source of information, and you will find it in Finnish here.

So, to my friends in Finland, THANKS for following, and thanks for being a vital part of the worldwide family that loves and supports Israel!

Intel Purchases Israeli Mobileye for $15.3 Billion

In the largest acquisition ever of an Israeli high-tech company, Intel just announced the purchase of Mobileye for over $15 billion.  Accounting for over 70% of the advanced driver assistance/anti-collision systems in the world, Mobileye’s mission is to reduce motor vehicle accidents and injuries.

According to Mobileye’s website:

Mobileye has invested over 15 years in R&D to gain an unparalleled know­how. The company is the global leader in the development of monocular vision­-based advanced collision avoidance systems, providing system­-on­-chip and computer­-vision algorithms to run Driver Assistance Systems (DAS) customer functions such as Lane Departure Warning, Vehicle Detection for radar-­vision fusion, Forward Collision Warning, Headway Monitoring, Pedestrian Detection, Intelligent High Beam Control, Traffic Sign Recognition, vision­-only Adaptive Cruise Control, and more.

Not only is it a boon in Israeli technology, but it is expected by some experts to take US chip-making giant, Intel, into new markets beyond their semiconductor flagship.  According to Reuters:

The stakes are enormous. Last year, Goldman Sachs projected the market for advanced driver assistance systems and autonomous vehicles would grow from about $3 billion in 2015 to $96 billion in 2025 and $290 billion in 2035.

This is just one more obstacle for those intent on developing the BDS Movement (Boycott, Divest, Sanction), in attempts to cripple Israel’s economy.  Short of discarding many of the electronic gadgets we own, it is virtually impossible to boycott Israeli products!  Praise God for giving the Jewish people such incredible creativity and innovation!  They have given the world many products and equipment in the fields of agriculture, medicine, military,  technology and much more.  Indeed, they are an innovation nation!

Hey gang, on a separate note, I hope you’ll follow along later this week when I post some material from my latest Bible study.  We’ll examine 4 Biblical principles regarding Israel, and, as an extension, God’s dealings with Israel and the nations.  So, pull up a chair and join us as we study!  You will be blessed!