Jewish communal leaders have thanked Foreign Minister Julie Bishop for her taking a principled stance against an anti-Israel motion put forward at the World Health Organisation (WHO) World Assembly. Australia was one of just eight countries to reject the motion condemning the Jewish State for violating “mental, physical and environmental health”. Backed by 107 member nations, it was the only proposal at the gathering that singled out a specific country for criticism. Co-sponsored by the Arab Group of States and the Palestinian representatives, the motion also called for a WHO delegation to investigate and report back on “the health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory” and in “the occupied Syrian Golan”.


In expressing their gratitude for Australia’s vote, Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) chairman Mark Leibler noted, “Despite the many serious violations of rights in relation to health in countries such as Syria, the country selected for unique disapprobation was once again Israel. “In fact, the motion also critically called attention to Israel’s record on the Golan Heights, and relied on a typically jaundiced report from the Syrian government to do so, even though the Syrian government has killed hundreds of thousands of its own people.” The letter added that the Australian stand was “all the more honourable, and welcome” because “many Western democracies voted in favour of the motion. It may therefore have been easier for our delegation to go along with the crowd, and abstain or even vote in favour. 

Leibler further pointed out that “Israel has devoted considerable resources to improving the health of residents of the West Bank and Gaza. According to the World Bank, average life expectancy in those areas in 2014 was 73, above that for the wider Middle East and North Africa. This has risen from an estimated 48 in 1967.” They added that figures from UNICEF show that the infant mortality rate in the West Bank and Gaza has fallen from 158 per 1000 live births in the 1950s to 13.5 in the West Bank and 15.5 in Gaza by 2014. He also noted that hundreds of thousands of Palestinians receive treatment in Israeli hospitals. In 2012 alone, almost 220,000 Palestinian patients were treated, more than 21,000 of them children.


The letter concluded that “these figures demonstrate how ludicrous the vote on the motion was”, and expressed AIJAC’s gratitude for Ms Bishop’s leadership “in ensuring Australia, in exercising its vote in this matter, had yet again demonstrated sound judgement, considerable courage and moral clarity”.  Bishop recently met with Jewish Community Council of Victoria president Jennifer Huppert, Beth Weizmann Community Centre chairman Sam Tatarka and Zionism Victoria vice-president Jeff Morrison to discuss the security needs of the community and Australia’s relationship with Israel. Bishop also met with women from the Knit One Give One group during her visit and was shown how they knit toys and clothes for disadvantaged children.


Source: Australian Jewish News

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A director of leftist activist group GetUp supports a boycott of Israeli products and wants to “force Israel into a perennial state of anxiety”. Fresh from revelations GetUp chairwoman Sarah Maddison campaigned for the Greens during the federal election, comes news that another board member, Sara Saleh, publicly supports the Boycott Divestment movement. In a recent speech Ms Saleh said the media fabricated news in support of Israel and claimed Israeli soldiers were banned from taking their phones into Gaza so they could not post to Facebook photos of them doing unspeakable things to dead Palestinians. “It would come as no surprise that after years of indoctrination, most Western news outlets are biased in favour of Israel, skewed at best, one-sided at worst in their media reports,” Ms Saleh said.


At the Australians For Palestine forum in March, Ms Saleh also said: “We must crack their ethno-nationalist supremacy to the very core. We must go further than resisting through remembrance alone, we must force Israel into a perennial state of existential anxiety.” During the federal election, Ms Saleh was involved in the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network’s I vote Palestine campaign, which had the support of all 51 Greens candidates. GetUp said it represented “mainstream issues important to a majority of Australians” including “economic fairness, human rights and environmental justice”. Revenue and Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer, whose seat of Higgins was also targeted by GetUp! during the election campaign, said it was “very clear” the group had a “very political agenda to support the Greens”.


“It’s disappointing that -organisations like GetUp! pretend to be non-partisan but are hyper-partisan and hyper-political,” she said. “I think any person who has supported GetUp on the basis that it wasn’t a political organisation, should reassess. GetUp needs to be much more upfront as to where the funding actually goes and whose campaign they are supporting.” The federal Labor MP for inner-city seat of Melbourne Ports, Michael Danby, said his support for Israel was one of the reasons the Greens campaigned against him. Ms Saleh refused to comment. GetUp released a statement saying: “Our board consists of experienced people with diverse interests and affiliations.”


Source: Compiled by APN from media reports

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JEWISH PRAYER FOCUS 2016 – OCTOBER 2nd – 23rd 2016

The theme for this year’s Jewish Prayer Focus is, ‘A Light to the Nations’. In Isaiah 42:6-7 and 49:6, Israel is called to be a light to the nations. Though comprising only 0.2% of the world’s population, Jews have won 20% of all Nobel prizes since 1901. Their understanding of this calling was to bring monotheism and the truth of the Torah/Bible to a world that worshipped many false gods. This message is still desperately needed today.  However, their greatest gift to humanity was to birth the Messiah, who is the Light of the World, who came to save us from sin and who will come again to rule the world.  The Light is burning again in Israel through the Messianic believers who are an ever-increasing body of Messiah across the Land. 


God is answering our prayers with many Jews giving their hearts to the Lord, especially amongst the Russian-speakers, youth and young adults.  In the Jewish Prayer Focus you can meet some of the pastors and ministry leaders, who share their insights about the Biblical Holy Days, introduce their ministries, and share prayer needs.   Each year the dates, articles and writers differ. The Jewish Prayer Focus is a 22-day call to prayer (October 2-23) for a harvest of souls amongst the Jewish people group, at the time of year when they are soul-searching and repenting in accordance with the Holy Days of the Biblical calendar in Lev 23:26-44. These include the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles, which all foreshadow the return of the Messiah.


The project is endorsed by Lawrence Hirsch (Executive Director, Celebrate Messiah, Australia) and John Dawson (President, YWAM), Rob Stearns (International Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem) and Tom Hess (House of Prayer for all Nations in Jerusalem).  All profits are returned to those for whom we are praying.  Please join us and learn the GOOD news from Israel, and see how God is moving. 

Copies of the Jewish Prayer Focus (JPF) booklet are available from JPF, PO Box 54, Kerrimuir VIC 3129, or call (03) 9090.7575 or email   Cost is: A$9.50 for one copy, $16.50 for 2, $23.50 for 3, $75 for 10, $125 for 20, including local postage. Cheques should be made payable to Living Way Christian Network Inc.  Credit card purchases or downloads of material can be made at the website  Booklets are also available for purchase at Koorong stores across Australia. 


Source: Jill Curry Jewish Prayer Focus International Cooordinator

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Israel’s Social Equality Minister Gila Gamliel has taken it upon herself to help Christian schools suffering from budget cuts by allowing 47 Christian schools to claim their formerly denied grant of 50 million Israeli Shekels, which compares to about US$12.6 million. The schools’ 3,000 teachers went on strike last September due to budget cuts. The strike ended when the Education Ministry promised the grant to the schools, but later refused to transfer the money. The conflict escalated to such an extent that Pope Francis got involved. Gamliel says she hopes to prevent a repeat of last year when children missed the first days of school due to the strike. She says she believes the schools deserve to have the money due to the education they provide for thousands of Christian students, as well as Muslims and those of other faiths. There are about 160,000 Christians in Israel and Israel’s Christian schools have been educating Israelis for centuries, although they are not officially recognized by the government.


Source: Christian Today

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