Weekly Update: Those who sow with tears

editor - 11 September 2020

The number of countries looking to build relations with Israel grows. Today it was announced that Bahrain has joined UAE in “normalising” relations with Israel. Such agreements are destroying the myth that Arab and Muslim states cannot have strong formal friendship with Israel.

This past week Serbia and Kosovo signed documents in the Oval Office in the presence of US President Trump, in which – in addition to a wide range of other seemingly largely disconnected matters – both agreed to move their embassies in Israel to Jerusalem. The EU – predictably – responded by warning Serbia and Kosovo (both aspiring EU members) that they could undermine their EU membership hopes by moving their Israeli embassies to Jerusalem.

This is predictable, because the official and deeply-entrenched EU position has always been that Israel’s reunification of Jerusalem is illegal – further evidence of Europe’s deep resentment of Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem. In the meantime, there are reports Malawi will move its embassy to Jerusalem, and Chad is considering some form of representation in Israel’s capital (recent suggestions that Chad had agreed to move its embassy to Jerusalem were subsequently denied by the Chad government).

The Palestinian leadership continues to condemn the normalization of Israeli-Arab relations. No-one seems to be listening – except Iran and Turkey. This is tragic, the Palestinian leaders are missing a huge opportunity to advance the cause of their people.

Anti-Semitism continues to grow, worldwide. This is a deeply disturbing trend which we need to fight vigorously. And yet there are encouraging signs of hope, as the stories about Bassam Tibi and Ali Drabu show.

Israel continues to be plagued by two crises: as the Corona virus continues at alarming levels, the government has decided on a new lock-down, and there is no end in sight to the political crisis in Israel that has effectively shut down the government.

As Israel and the Jewish people head towards the High Holy days, it is good to remember that the path to peace is not easy. But: “Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.” A lesson we all need to learn.

The Editorial Team – Israel & Christians Today

Bahrain agrees to normalise relations with Israel

US President Donald Trump announced Friday that Bahrain has agreed to establish full diplomatic relations with Israel, making it the second Gulf country to do so in less than a month. Read more..


Critical need for emergency food parcels in Ukraine continues

Koen Carlier, at Christians for Israel: “Every few weeks we distribute approximately twelve thousand kilos of food products in one thousand food parcels. We distribute them among Jews in need in Ukraine and then place a new order.” Read more..

The global rise of anti-Semitism – continued 

Judith Bergman at Gatestone: “It appears that the self-righteous outrage of the wokerati is absent when the person at the receiving end of racism is a Jew.” Read more..


Bassam Tibi’s 40-year fight against Islamic fundamentalism

Ed Husein writes in Spectator that the story of Professor Bassam Tibi is a sign of hope. ‘I came to Germany as an antisemite,’ he admits. ‘We were educated that way. I used to fight with my brother who was two years younger. My mother — who was not an antisemite – but this is just the language we used then — said to me in Arabic: “Leave him. You can do this to a Jew but not to your brother.” Then I met two Jews and they changed my life.’ Read more..

My Journey From BDS activist to Israel educator

Ali Drabu, in Times of Israel: “If someone had come to me over six years ago and told me that in my final year of university, I would be graduating from a fellowship programme run by StandWithUs UK, I would have probably called them deluded, maybe even insane.” Read more..


Kosovo’s Jerusalem embassy offer 

Raphael Ahren at Times of Israel: “Pristina’s move to recognize the Jewish state is being hailed as a breakthrough, but it had long been courting Jerusalem, which balked at endorsing a unilateral statehood move.” Read more..

Israel should treat the EU like it treats us

Eldad Beck at IsraelHayom: “The European Union’s blatant and ongoing hostility toward Israel, which is now expressed as an ultimatum to Serbia and Kosovo about their decision to relocate their embassies to Jerusalem, has made it into an enemy, and it should be treated as such.” Read more..


The Real Palestinian Tragedy 

Khaled Abu Toameh at Gatestone Institute: “Palestinian leaders are so committed to condemning the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for its normalization agreement with Israel that they have no time left to notice the horrific suffering of their people in some Arab countries, particularly Syria and Iraq. Specifically, these leaders seem unperturbed that in some in Arab countries, Palestinians are mysteriously disappearing.” Read more..

Palestinians Fail to Persuade Arab Ministers to Condemn Israel-UAE Deal

Reuters/Algemeiner: “Palestinian leaders have won renewed Saudi support for statehood, but failed to persuade the Arab League to condemn last month’s normalization deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.” Read more..

Why the Erasure of History Matters

Dr. Asaf Romirowsky at BESA: “If one is to understand the present, one has to document the historical periods that preceded it. Samuel Kassow’s critical book, incisively titled Who Will Write Our History? tells the story of historian Emanuel Ringelblum and the creation of the Oyneg Shabes Archive.” Read more..


“Laughter” – Video teaching by Johannes Gerloff

Episode 36 in the series of teachings by Israeli-based Bible teacher and journalist Johannes Gerloff:

“Yitzhak”, the original Hebrew version of the name “Isaac”, means “he laughs” or “one laughs”. The natural human reaction to God’s dealing with human beings is laughter. God’s history with Abraham and Sarah, God’s plan with Israel is utterly ridiculous.


Scripture for the week: Psalm 126

A song of ascents.

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dreamed.
Our mouths were filled with laughter,
our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy.

Restore our fortunes, Lord,
like streams in the Negev.
Those who sow with tears
will reap with songs of joy.
Those who go out weeping,
carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with them.


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