Israel in the News Nov/Dec 2014
Intel to Invest $6 Billion in Israel
Intel will spend $6 billion to upgrade its Kiryat Gat chip manufacturing plant in one of the biggest single investments ever by a foreign company in Israel. The deal is expected to generate thousands of jobs.
Under the deal, Intel will get a grant of $300 million over five years and be eligible for a tax reduction over 10 years. Intel will guarantee to hire at least 1,000 workers and spend hundreds of millions of shekels on products and services in Israel.
Intel is by far the largest international firm operating in Israel. Over the past 40 years, the company has invested over $10 billion in Israel and employs some 10,000 people. According to a company official, about 30,000 Israelis are employed in companies that do business with Intel.
U.S. Reportedly Helped Hezbollah
Mohammed Afif, the new head of public relations for the Lebanese-based, Iranian-backed terror organization Hezbollah, gave a rare New York Times interview as Lebanese experts reveal his group is indirectly receiving American intelligence aid in its fight against Islamic State (ISIS).
The United States sent new weapons to the Lebanese army, which coordinates with Hezbollah. Likewise, U.S. intelligence has found its way to Hezbollah, according to Lebanese experts.
In contrast to the blasé, indirect provision of intelligence and weapons to a terror group in Lebanon, U.S. President Barack Obama blocked a routine Hellfire missile shipment to Israel during Operation Protective Edge and ordered strict supervision on future transfers.
Hezbollah remains antagonistic to America over Syria, where it has joined Iran in supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad against the very rebels the U.S. is arming. However, the ISIS threat has indeed raised talk that the U.S. may even join forces with Hezbollah’s sponsor, Iran.
Afif blamed Americans for causing ISIS by supporting Syrian rebels, saying, “This beast which you raised up, as in past cases, you find it’s dangerous for you.”
Mossad Seeks New Recruits
The Mossad, Israel’s secret intelligence agency, has launched a new website in six languages to recruit men and women interested in covertly defending the Jewish state. The new site can be viewed in English, Hebrew, French, Russian, Arabic, and Farsi.
A statement announced, “The goal of the upgraded site is to make the organization more accessible to potential recruits who may not be exposed to the variety of positions—in operations, intelligence, technology and cyber, and administration—available.”
“The State of Israel has been—and remains—under daily, tangible threats,” said Mossad Director Tamir Pardo. “We must continue to recruit the best people into our ranks so that the Mossad might continue to lead, defend and allow for the continued existence of the State of Israel.”
WCC Demands Israel Release Terrorists
The World Council of Churches (WCC) has called on Israel to release jailed terrorists, despite the severity of their crimes and the abundance of terrorists immediately returning to terror.
NGO Monitor notes that WCC is a collective of “347 churches, denominations and church fellowships in more than 110 countries and territories” and wants to end Israel’s “illegal occupation.”
An event called World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel, organized by the WCC’s Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum (PIEF), equates “Palestinian political prisoners”—including jailed terrorists— with the Jewish people leaving Egyptian oppression in biblical times.
The WCC calls for the release of all jailed terrorists, whitewashing their crimes. One such terrorist is listed by name in the PIEF dossier: Ayman Sharawna.
As a “political prisoner” being jailed by “the occupation,” Sharawna was arrested in 2002 for his role in multiple terrorist attacks, including a bombing in Be’er Sheva that wounded 18 people. He was released in the 2011 Gilad Shalit deal.
Sharawna was rearrested in 2012 after returning to terrorism with Hamas in Gaza but was released again in 2013. After his second release, he publicly announced his return to terror.
Yet the WCC lists Sharawna as the type of “political prisoner” whose release was an “achievement.”
Anti-Missionaries Lose Lawsuit
The Eshel Hashomron Hotel in the Jewish town of Ariel in Samaria recently cancelled an “anti-missionary” conference and was sued for doing so.
The conference was organized by leading rabbis who have expressed concern over growing Christian and Messianic Jewish activity in the area. The rabbis characterize all such activity as “missionary” in nature. The case was dismissed by the Petah Tikvah district court.
In fact, what they label as “missionary activity” is not illegal in Israel. What is illegal is offering monetary reward as an incentive for conversion and attempting to convert minors. All other forms of sharing one’s faith are protected under Israel’s laws regarding freedom of religion.
Israel Today (israeltoday.co.il)
Five-Year High in the Jewish year 5774—a 28 percent increase over the year 5773 and the highest number of the past five years.
Immigration from France has more than doubled, from 2,650 in 5773 to approximately 6,000 in 5774, marking the first time in history more immigrants arrived from France than any other country.
Islamists Force Palestinian Church From Its Building
Seven years of harassment and attacks by hard-line Muslims have finally forced a Palestinian church in East Jerusalem out of its building. Calvary Baptist Church moved out after Islamists threatened the landlord.
The persecution started immediately after the congregation moved there in 2007. First a Muslim attacked a member with a knife. Then someone tried to set the building on fire, said Pastor Steven Khoury. Next came vandalism and then physical attacks on children coming to church.
Twice before Muslims have forced the Jerusalem congregation to leave a building it was using for ministry.
Hard-line Muslims tend to be more tolerant of the ancient churches than evangelical ones that actively spread the message of Christ.
Khoury is no stranger to persecution. His father, a pastor, ministered in East Jerusalem and Bethlehem. During that time, Khoury’s uncle, George Khoury, attended a three-day prayer conference and accepted Christ as his personal Savior. He became a changed man and the inspiration for the church established by the elder Khoury. George’s favorite verse was Matthew 16:25: “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it, and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.”
The verse became prophetic when a neighbor began frantically knocking on George Khoury’s door one night. Muslims were trying to take an elderly man’s house from him by force. George took the man into his house to protect him and then walked outside to face the Muslims. They beat him to death with a metal rod.
“When they were beating him, they were saying, ‘It’s okay, he’s a Christian,’” Pastor Khoury said.
“If you’re a Christian living in an apartment or you’re a Muslim who has received Christ, it’s going to be very dangerous for you to do worship, music and Bible teachings in your apartment…because of threats and danger issues,” Steven Khoury said.
Yet Khoury said his congregation is determined to stay in Jerusalem and do what he feels God has called them to do.
by Morning Star News (morningstarnews.org)