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Every week, we post from seven to ten news stories from Israel with a suggested prayer focus and scripture for each one, guiding readers how to pray for Israel’s most urgent needs. This Prayer Update is also sent to over 18,000 subscribers every Friday by e-mail. Please contact us at intl.office@bridgesforpeace.com if you would like to receive this Prayer Update by e-mail.

Trump Recognizes Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel, Initiates Embassy Move

by Ilse Posselt

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Israeli and US flag projected on the stone walls of the Old City

Thursday 7 December 2017 | 6 December 2017 is one of those dates that will be remembered as a turning point that shifted an erroneous flow of history towards a truer path. After 70 years of labeling Jerusalem an occupied, contested or international city and following seven decades of denying Jewish ties to the City of Gold, yesterday America became one of the first nations in the world to recognize the city’s true status when President Donald Trump chose to break with decades of US and international policy to announce that the US formally recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and will start on the process to move its embassy from Tel Aviv.

The president’s announcement came last night just after 20:00, Israel time. Speaking from the White House’s Diplomatic Reception Room in Washington DC, Trump said, “I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver. Today, I am delivering… today, we finally acknowledge the obvious: that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. This is nothing more, or less, than a recognition of reality.”

“It was 70 years ago that the United States, under President Truman, recognized the State of Israel,” the president continued. “Ever since then, Israel has made its capital in the city of Jerusalem—the capital the Jewish people established in ancient times.”

In the seven decades since the rebirth of the State of Israel, Trump conceded, US presidents failed to recognize the city that bears the fingerprints and footsteps of the Jewish people going back nearly five millennia as the capital of the Jewish state. “In fact,” he pointed out, “we have declined to acknowledge any Israeli capital at all.”

Painting a picture of modern-day Jerusalem as the seat of “the Israeli parliament…the Israeli Supreme Court…(the) headquarters of many government ministries…home to the Israeli prime minister and president.” And it is the spot where visiting dignitaries meet their Israeli counterparts. Trump hailed the city as “the heart of three great religions” and “the heart of one of the most successful democracies in the world.”

In light of the recognition and in line with the US Jerusalem Embassy Act, Trump said, “I am also directing the State Department to begin preparation to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.” While the president assured his audience that the process of “hiring architects, engineers, and planners” would start immediately, officials indicated that the relocation itself could take years.

Passed in 1995, the Jerusalem Embassy Act acknowledged Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish people and recognized that the US embassy should be located in the City of Gold. However, the act comes with a waiver, which entitles the acting US president to postpone the relocation of the embassy for a period of six months, should the president consider it crucial to “national security.” Over the past 22 years, every successive US president has consistently signed the waiver every six months, and the American embassy has remained in Tel Aviv.

“Presidents issued these waivers under the belief that delaying the recognition of Jerusalem would advance the cause of peace,” Trump pointed out. “Nevertheless, the record is in. After more than two decades of waivers, we are no closer to a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. It would be folly to assume that repeating the exact same formula would now produce a different or better result.”

Trump was quick to point out that the acknowledgement and the prospective relocation, which drew outrage and ire from the Palestinians and Arab countries around the world, is not a deviation from the path of Israeli-Palestinian peace, which Trump hailed as the “ultimate deal” in 2016. In fact, the president held, it was a step forward, a step away from a policy that has consistently failed to advance the prospects for peace. “My announcement today marks the beginning of a new approach to conflict between Israel and the Palestinians… This is a long-overdue step to advance the peace process and to work towards a lasting agreement.”

Gratitude and Outrage

Minutes after Trump’s statement, as the streets of Jerusalem still echoed with joy and a giant light display of the Israeli and US flag painted the white walls of the Old City blue and red, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a video message to thank the president.

“This is a historic day,” Netanyahu said. “We are profoundly grateful for the president for his courageous and just decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to prepare for the opening of the US embassy here.” The prime minister also invited other countries to follow suit in relocating their embassies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Trump’s statement, Netanyahu continued, showcased the US president’s “commitment to an ancient but enduring truth, to fulfilling his promises and to advancing peace. The president’s decision is an important step towards peace, for there is no peace that does not include Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel,” Netanyahu reaffirmed.

The prime minister finished his address with another word of thanks. “The Jewish people and the Jewish state will forever be grateful.”

Israeli President, Reuven Rivlin, joined the chorus of praise. “There is no more fitting or beautiful gift, as we approach 70 years of the State of Israel’s independence,” he said. “Jerusalem is not, and never will be, an obstacle to peace for those who want peace. As it is written, ‘Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, may all that love her prosper, may there be peace in her quarters and palaces.’”

Yet not everybody shares Israel’s gratitude. In fact, Trump’s announcement caused an almost international backlash of criticism and condemnation.

Palestinian Authority (PA) President, Mahmoud Abbas, led the charge, claiming that Trump has “opened the doors of hell” and warning of “wars without end.”

In a pre-recorded speech aired on Palestine TV, Abbas claimed Jerusalem as “the eternal capital of the State of Palestine,” a phrase he borrowed from the Jewish people. “Trump’s decision will not change the reality in the city of Jerusalem. This is a Palestinian, Arab, Islamic city and it is the capital of the Arab Palestine.”

Abbas added that Trump’s statement disqualified the US from acting as a broker for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. “These deplorable and unacceptable measures deliberately undermine all peace effects,” he accused, adding that the decision is “tantamount to the United States abdicating its role as a peace mediator.”

Ahead of the announcement, Hamas, the Gaza-based terror group, has been rallying its followers towards a renewed intifada (uprising), and Fatah, Abbas’s political party and PA’s dominant party, called for the eruption of mass protests in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria.

Hamas released a statement on Tuesday calling on all Palestinians to “make Friday a day of rage against the occupation, rejecting moving the American embassy to Jerusalem and declaring it the capital of the Zionist entity.”

In Judea and Samaria, political parties headed by Fatah advocated daily protest marches for the remainder of the week, while Fatah’s youth wing issued an ominous warning that “all options [are] open for defending Jerusalem.”

A number of Arab countries echoed Abbas’s sentiments, with Turkey threatening to sever diplomatic ties with Israel, and Egypt warning of “grave consequences.”

Bracing for a Backlash

As Arab leaders, including the Turkish and Egyptian presidents, loudly voice their discontent, and the Palestinian powers-that-be incite their people to rise up, both the US and Israel are bracing for the possibility of violent backlashes. The US State Department warned of planned protests in a number of cities around the world and requested its citizens to steer clear of flash-point areas in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria.

Emergency room staff at a major Israeli hospital has also been placed “on call” for the next few days as a precautionary measure to be able to manage any injuries that may result from clashes in and around Jerusalem.

At Bridges for Peace, we join our voices with Israel and those from around the world who stand with the Jewish state to “Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her, all you who love her…” (Isa. 66:10). At the same time and in light of the threats of violence, we are committed to “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem…” (Ps. 122:6). We invite our readers to join us in prayer for the leaders of both Israel and the US for wisdom in the days going forward. We also ask for prayer that His hand of protection will be over the people of Jerusalem and the brave men and women who stand guard over this city.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 07 December 2017)

Photo Credit: Daniel Kirchhevel/Bridges for Peace

Prayer Focus
Praise God! Pray that this is only the beginning and that many more nations will make the same decision to boldly stand with Israel and move their embassies to Jerusalem. Give thanks for President Trump’s faith in the Jewish land and people and his willingness to face international criticism.

Scripture

For on My holy mountain, on the mountain height of Israel, says the Lord GOD, there all the house of Israel, all of them in the land, shall serve Me; there I will accept them, and there I will require your offerings and the firstfruits of your sacrifices, together with all your holy things.


- Ezekiel 20:40

Action

Calling Christians to Respond

by Rebecca J. Brimmer

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US President Donald Trump

Wednesday, December 6th was a momentous and long-awaited day in Jerusalem! When US President Donald Trump made his historic announcement that the United States was formally recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, we all rejoiced! President Trump went a step further and said that America would be moving their embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. As Christians, we pray that many other nations will follow suit in the very near future and make the same decision.

Trump’s speech was not popular with everyone. In fact, there is a very long list of those who are angry and critical of this decision. At this moment in time, I believe it is important to let the President know there are many Bible-believing Christians from all over the world who agree with, respect and applaud his decision.

There are several ways to do this. You can send an email to President Trump via the White House web site (click here). Or, if you prefer Facebook you can send him a comment at (click here).  When you send a Facebook message, use @realDonaldTrump and/or @POTUS or with any of the following hashtags: #WhiteHouse, #realDonaldTrump, #POTUS.

Here is a sample email:

Dear Mr. President,

          Your announcement to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to move the American embassy to Jerusalem was a courageous and bold one. I realize many pressured you against this decision and many will now criticize and attack you for it. Continue to be bold and courageous and know that many people are praying for you, your family and the American cabinet. 

Sha’alu Shalom Yerushalayim
Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem

I sincerely hope you will join me by sending an encouraging message of support to President Trump.

Rebecca J. Brimmer
International President and CEO

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 08 December, 2017)

Photo Credit: Public Domain

For Second Time in a Week, Israeli Planes Reportedly Hit Military Target in Syria

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Israeli jets reportedly struck a military site near Damascus.

Wednesday, 06 December 2017 | For the second time in a week, Israeli jets are believed to have struck a military site inside of Syria, Ynet reported Tuesday.

A Syrian military research facility in Jamraya (or Jamariya), outside of Damascus, was hit by several explosions overnight Monday. The area struck, which houses a number of military facilities including the Scientific Studies and Research Center, where Syria is believed to develop chemical weapons. (The United States Treasury Department sanctioned employees of the center in response the April 4, 2017 sarin attack on civilians in Khan Sheikhoun, in northeastern Syria.)

According to reports from media allied with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, six missiles were fired at the facilities and three were intercepted by Syrian defense systems. An AFP (Agence France-Presse) correspondent in the capital also heard loud explosions. The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that “violent explosions” shook Damascus.

There have been no reports of damage or casualties. The same site was reportedly targeted twice by Israeli jets in 2013 to destroy a convoy of Russian-made SA-17 missiles being transferred to the Hezbollah terror group.

On Friday, Israel reportedly carried out an attack on what is believed to be an Iranian military base.

An Israeli company, ImageSat, released satellite images of the suspected Iranian base after the attack.

Source: (The Israel Project originally published this article in its publication The Tower on 05 December 2017. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Major Ofer/Israeli Air Force/Wikimedia

Photo License: Wikipedia

Prayer Focus
Lift up every soldier serving in the IDF but especially those on the northern border and in the IAF as they are faced with the difficult situation of defending Israel against Iran’s presence in Syria. Ask God to keep His hand upon them and guide them in these critical times.

Scripture

My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all Your works.


- Psalm 73:26, 28

Israeli Soldier Stabbed to Death in Terror Attack

by Ilana Curiel and Yoav Zitun

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Stabbing occurred outside the mall in Arad

Monday, 04 December 2017 | A soldier who was waiting for the bus was stabbed to death outside the mall in Arad on Thursday night in what police said was likely a nationalistically-motivated murder.

The soldier from the Nahal infantry brigade, who was identified on Friday morning as 19-year-old Ron Yitzhak Kokia from Tel Aviv, tried to call for help after having been fatally stabbed, collapsing on top of a car.

Kokia was posthumously promoted from the rank of corporal to Sergeant. His funeral will took place on Sunday at 12pm at Kiryat Shaul Cemetery.

“I was driving and all of a sudden a soldier ran to me, blocking my car in the middle of a traffic circle,” the driver said. “I didn’t understand what was happening. I noticed he started throwing up. I was sure he was drunk. I stopped, and all of a sudden I saw he was throwing up blood on my car. I stopped and called for help.”

“He was conscious and tried to say something but couldn’t,” the driver continued. “We tried to help him, he fell to the ground. We called Magen David Adom and put a towel on him.”

Paramedics who arrived on the scene found the soldier unconscious and without a pulse. After resuscitation attempts failed, he was declared dead.

Police were searching the area for suspects, setting up roadblocks on Route 31 and in the entrance to the city. A helicopter was also scrambled to help search. Shin Bet [Israeli internal security] and IDF forces were also deployed to help police in search for the perpetrators.

Among other things, security forces are trying to ascertain whether the soldier’s Tavor assault rifle was stolen.

An eye witness recounted the incident, saying “Someone came up to the soldier from behind and stabbed him. I saw him lying down (on the ground). My friend called me over when it happened, he tried to stop the bleeding with a towel.”

According to Arad Mayor Nissan Ben-Hemo, “The working assumption is that this was a terror attack, but it still has yet to be determined unequivocally.”

More than 250 policemen and soldiers were deployed across Arad on Friday morning, while security forces combed the city, determining that the culprit or culprits responsible for the attack were no longer in the area.

[Mayor Ben-Hemo stated,]“I send my condolences to the bereaved family and I support the security forces in their search for the terrorists and their aides.”

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on 01 December 2017. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Ynhockey/Wikimedia

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Cry out against the startling stabbing attacks that just never seem to stop! Intercede for the nation, the mothers, fathers and siblings who hurt all over again every time there is another terror attack. Pray that they will be comforted by the presence of God. Pray that the soldiers and police will never cease to be vigilant and attentive to their surroundings.

Scripture

Be of good courage, and let us be strong for our people and for the cities of our God. And may the LORD do what is good in His sight.


- 2 Samuel 10:12

UN Body Passes Six New Anti-Israel Resolutions

by Ilse Posselt

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Western Wall, foundation to the Temple built long before the Dome of the Rock…

Monday, 04 December 2017 |  Last week Wednesday marked 70 years since 33 member states of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) gave their nods of approval for the UN Partition Plan of Palestine. The plan, which gave the Jewish people international backing to re-establish a state on parts of the land which God pledged in an everlasting covenant to their forefathers, set in motion a number of pivotal events. Nearly six months later, hours before the British Mandate expired, on 14 May 1948 the Jewish People’s Council approved a proclamation, declaring “the establishment of a Jewish state… to be known as the State of Israel.”

While Israel, Jewish people around the world and those who stand with the Jewish state celebrate 29 November 1947 as a date of much rejoicing, the UN itself fails to commemorate the day as the anniversary of the partition plan. In fact, since 1977, 29 November is set aside as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, a day on which the international body invites the global community to stand in camaraderie with the so-called plight of the Palestinians.

Every year on 29 November, the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) delegation to the UN, backed by a bevy of Arab states, usually hosts a special session as an annual platform to condemn Israel. This year was no different.

On Wednesday, UNGA passed six new Arab-sponsored resolutions against Israel, including one that brands the Jewish state as an “occupying power,” uses exclusively Islamic terms for the Temple Mount and thus disavows any Jewish and Christian connection to Jerusalem.

The “Jerusalem” resolution, which passed by an overwhelming majority of 151 “yes” votes, claimed “any actions by Israel, the occupying power, to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem were illegal and therefore null and void.”

The text referred to the Israeli capital and its holy sites in Arabic only, a strategy arguably aimed at underscoring the supposed Muslim significance. In 2015 and 2016 the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) passed nearly identical resolutions, Breaking News Israel reports.

Six countries chose to stand against the anti-Israel tidal wave to vote in favor of Jewish state’s ties to Jerusalem. These were Canada, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, the United States and the Jewish state itself. Nine nations abstained.

A further resolution passed on Wednesday condemned Israel’s presence on the Golan Heights and called on the Jewish state to hand over the area to Syria. This text was sponsored by the Syrians. A total of 105 countries approved this resolution, while six voted against and 58 abstained.

Israel’s representative labeled the resolution as ludicrous, especially at a time when Syria is embroiled in a bloody six-year civil war, and the regime stands accused of using chemical weapons against its own people while Israel treats the wounded that manage to escape the carnage.

In a historic first, Great Britain broke from casting its vote with the European Union on resolutions pertaining to Israel and the Golan Heights, and threw in its weight alongside the US in favor of the Jewish state.

“The Syrian regime’s intent is to use this additional resolution to deflect attention from its own criminal actions and indiscriminate slaughter of its own citizens,” the British delegate charged. “The duty of the General Assembly is to draw attention to international humanitarian law violations, wherever they occur. This resolution risks discrediting that vital responsibility.”

The Jewish state’s representative denounced the resolutions, saying that the UN “continued to annually adopt biased resolutions and devote precious resources… to politicized bodies whose sole purpose was to attack and denounce Israel”. The US delegate “echoed” Israel’s “opposition.”

The six resolutions and the “Jerusalem” text in particular come at a sensitive time. According to reports, US President Donald Trump may make an announcement as early as this week regarding moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Should Trump go ahead with the move, it will signal that the US gives its seal of approval that Jerusalem is indeed the capital of Israel.

Israel could certainly use the support. Especially in the light of the fact that Wednesday’s throng of anti-Israel texts may just be the beginning. According to Breaking News Israel, the UNGA is set to push through another ten resolutions condemning the Jewish state before the end of the year.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 04 December 2017)

Photo Credit: Yourway-to-israel/wikimedia

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Thank God that He is the faithful One who treasures Israel! Continue to pray for the UN, asking that voices of reason, such as that of US Ambassador Haley, would challenge those who accept the anti-Semitic rhetoric as truth. Pray for the nations that abstain to instead make the decision to support Israel.

Scripture

This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: When I bring them back from captivity, the people in the land of Judah and in its towns will once again use these words: The LORD bless you, you prosperous city, you sacred mountain.


- Jeremiah 31:23 NIV

Palestinians Launch Diplomatic Efforts, Threaten Violence over Possible US Embassy Move

by Ilse Posselt

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Israeli flags flying at the Knesset (legislature) in Jerusalem

Tuesday, 5 December 2017 |  In June 2017, US President Donald Trump signed a waiver postponing for six months any plans to relocate the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, as mandated by the US Jerusalem Embassy Act. Half a year has now passed since Trump took that action. The deadline to sign the next waiver came and went yesterday. Yet Trump did not sign. While it remains unclear whether the failure to put pen to paper constitutes any type of decision, speculation has been rife over the past weeks as to the possibility of the US president making a formal announcement in the coming days that the US might recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state and that the American embassy might soon be opening its doors in the City of Gold.

Last week, US Vice President, Mike Pence, said that Trump was actively considering “when and how” to make the move. This week reports claimed that the US President might announce the relocation as early as tomorrow, while others held that Trump might choose to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital but opt to leave the US embassy in Tel Aviv.

With the jury still out as to what exactly Trump will decide, many in Israel and the world over are hoping for an outcome that would offer international backing and recognition by a world leader to the millennia-old Jewish connection to its eternal capital, Jerusalem.

Yet not everybody shares in the expectation. The Palestinians are going to great lengths to ensure that the US president neither backs the Jewish state on the issue of Jerusalem nor moves the embassy to the Israeli capital. The Palestinian anti-Jewish Jerusalem campaign is waged on two fronts: diplomatic efforts spearheaded by Palestinian Authority (PA) President, Mahmoud Abbas, and threats of war and violence headed by Gaza-based terror group, Hamas.

The PA president launched his diplomatic onslaught on Saturday by calling eight world leaders—Egypt, France, Jordan, Kuwait, Tunisia, Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia—to enlist their assistance to stand against the relocation.

Abbas reportedly shared with these leaders the supposed dangers of moving the US embassy and requested that they intervene with Trump on his behalf.

The PA president “warned categorically that taking such a step would lead to the destruction of the peace process and would bring the region into an uncontrollable situation,” Abbas’s spokesperson, Nabil Abu Rudeineh explained.

Late last week, a PA delegation, including Majed Faraj and Saeb Erekat, two officials close to Abbas, met with Trump’s special adviser on the Middle East, Jared Kushner, to threaten that any relocation moves or an announcement that the US accepts Jerusalem as Israel’s capital would “kill the negotiations.”

Should the diplomatic effort fail to bear fruits and Trump does go ahead with the recognition or the move, Fatah, Abbas’s political party and PA’s dominant party, called for the eruption of mass protests in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.

For its part, Hamas advocated bypassing any peaceful path altogether. On Saturday the Gaza-based terror group called to “renew the Jerusalem intifada.” The Palestinians dubbed the wave of terror that broke out late in 2015 across Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem and killed 43 Israelis and four internationals the “Jerusalem intifada.”

Threats of violence by Palestinian leaders. Above, April 2016 terror attack in Jerusalem.

“We warn against such a move and call on the Palestinian people to revive the intifada if these unjust decisions on Jerusalem are adopted. We call on the Palestinian people to stand as an impenetrable floodgate and a tall wall against this decision and renew the Jerusalem intifada,” Hamas rallied its followers.

The terror group charged that “[a]ny decision to move its embassy there would be a flagrant attack on the city by the American administration” and would give Israel “a cover for continuing its crime of Judaizing the city and emptying it of Palestinians.”

While Abbas, Hamas and a bevy of other Arab world leaders threaten violence, upheaval and a complete breakdown of a peace process that have yielded no progressive results over the past seven decades, Israel’s former deputy national security adviser and the current vice president of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategic Studies, Eran Lerman, called the bullying tactics “attempts to manipulate the American administration” and counterproductive attempts to incite the Palestinians to renewed violence.

In fact, contrary to the threats emanating from the Arab world, Lerman holds that Trump giving his nod of acknowledgement to Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel could actually result in productive negotiations and thus have a positive effect on the peace plan that the Trump administration will reportedly present in the next few weeks.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 5 December, 2017)

Photo Credit: Flags-Bridges for Peace

Photo Credit: Violence-Israel Defense Forces Blog

Prayer Focus
Declare the call for rage and renewal of the Jerusalem intifada null and void! Pray for peace in the city, safety of all the volunteers living in Jerusalem, protection of our Jewish friends, the IDF and security forces who are on high alert. Ask God to guide and direct Israel’s leaders. Above all ask that the nation will trust and hope in the Lord.

Scripture

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May those who love you be secure. May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels. For the sake of my family and friends, I will say, Peace be within you. For the sake of the house of the LORD our God, I will seek your prosperity.


- Psalm 122:6-9 NIV

Netanyahu Compares Nazi Regime’s, Iran’s “Commitment to Murder Jews”

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PM Netanyahu webcasting to Saban Forum

Wednesday, 06 December 2017 | Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu compared Sunday the Iranian regime to Nazi Germany, saying in a pre-recorded speech to the Saban Forum in Washington that both were relentlessly committed to imposing tyranny and terror, and ‘murdering Jews.’

“The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia recently referred to President Rouhani as ‘the new Hitler in the Middle East,’” Netanyahu said in reference to Mohammed bin Salman’s recent comments in which labelled Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei as “the new Hitler” in an interview with the New York Times’ Thomas Friedman.

“Obviously there are some important differences between Nazi Germany and the Islamic Republic of Iran, but both regimes do have two important things in common: one a ruthless commitment to imposing tyranny and terror, and second, a ruthless commitment to murder Jews,” Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu also reiterated Israel’s policy that it would not allow Iranian military entrenchment in Syria in the speech that was taped on Thursday, a day before Israel allegedly attacked an Iranian base in Syria.

Beginning his remarks in jocular fashion, Netanyahu said “This year I want to talk about a topic that I almost never bring up: Iran. Just kidding,” before telling his listeners that if they were in his shoes “you’d talk about Iran too.”

Setting the context of the comparison, Netanyahu explained how the world reacted to Adolf Hitler’s rise to power, highlighting the then British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s policy that became known as ‘appeasement,’ symbolized by the famous 1938 agreement in which Hitler was permitted to take over portions of Czechoslovakia on condition that he commit to no further territorial expansion.

“Apparently after a Munich, Chamberlain said ‘Well. Hitler wasn’t such a bad fellow after all,’”

Foreign Minister Anthony Eden, Netanyahu said, would later reflect on the meeting between Hitler and Chamberlain.

“‘The hardest thing for me at that time was to convince my friends that Hitler and Mussolini were quite different from British businessmen or country gentlemen,’” Netanyahu quoted.

“‘My friends simply refused to believe me. They thought I was biased against the dictators,’” Netanyahu continued to quote.

Netanyahu then turned to a statement by Hitler as quoted in the Daily Mail in 1938.

“‘Believe me,’ Hitler said. ‘We shall never fight against except in self defense…’ which brings us back to Iran,” Netanyahu continued, mockingly describing the Iranian “silver-tongued foreign minister” who “charmingly explain(s) that Iran is a moderate power which harbors no hatred toward anyone. Right.

“Mr. Zarif: Tell that to the journalist tortured in Evin prison. Tell that to students shot dead in the streets. Tell that to the hundreds of thousands of dead Syrians killed by Iran’s proxies” Netanyahu said, continuing the list of human rights violations and atrocities committed by the Iranian regime.

“I speak so often about Iran because I read history. When tyrants call for the destruction of my people, I believe them,” he stressed. “I don’t have the luxury of discounting their genocidal threats.”

“So let me reiterate Israel’s policy,” he went on. “We will not allow a regime hell-bent on the annihilation of the Jewish state to acquire nuclear weapons. We will not allow that regime to entrench itself militarily in Syria as it seeks to do for the expressed purpose of eradicating our state.”

Netanyahu also praised President Trump for creating an opportunity to fix what he has frequently described as blatant pitfalls in the Iranian nuclear agreement signed under his predecessor Barack Obama.

Finally, Netanyahu predicted the day when the Iranian regime “will fall.”

“Israel will be the first in line to restore relations and rebuild our great partnership,” he said.

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on 03 December 2017. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Screenshot/PMO/MFA

Prayer Focus
Offer thanksgiving for Israel’s strong will to live after the horror of the Holocaust and to thrive in Israel, the land God promised to them. Ask God’s armies to shield and protect His people as they still have enemies who are actively seeking their destruction.

Scripture

The LORD is their strength, and He is the saving refuge of His anointed. Save Your people, and bless Your inheritance;


- Psalm 28:8-9a

Israel Desperately Needs a “Season of Rain”

by Janet Aslin

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Shoreline of the Sea of Galilee

Friday, 08 December, 2017 | Wednesday morning there were dark gray clouds on the horizon in Jerusalem. Rain had been in the forecast and as I walked to the bus stop, I wondered how much would fall? I had optimistically put my umbrella in my bag but it wasn’t raining yet. However, when I got off the bus in the city center, I felt the lightest of touches—raindrops on my face! As I walked to the BFP headquarters building, the rain became more insistent and I put my hood up, thanking the Lord for the blessing He was sending to His special land.

As wonderful as Wednesday’s shower was, the situation continues to be dire. Israel’s chief rabbi, Rabbi David Lau, issued a proclamation on Sunday calling for specific prayers for rain. And the call isn’t just for the Jewish people. As Breaking Israel News reported, the rabbi’s spokesman Pini Tenenboim said, “This is a call for Jews around the world to pray for Israel and, of course, includes non-Jews…Anyone who cares for Israel should join together and pray for rain.”

The Kinneret, or the Sea of Galilee, is often used as an indicator of the nation’s water situation. Water levels are given by how much they are below the two red lines. The Upper Red Line is the level when the Kinneret is at maximum capacity. The Lower Red Line marks the point where, if water levels fall below, ecological damage begins to occur. Finally, the Black Line is below the pipes which take water out of the Kinneret.

At this point, water levels are below both red lines and dangerously close to the Black Line. Measurements on December 6th showed Kinneret water levels to be 18.24 feet below the Upper Red Line and a mere 2 inches above the Black Line.

Israel needs more than a few good rainfalls to recover from the previous years of drought. Eddelene Marais, a 20-year Bridges for Peace volunteer, said it well: “Israel needs a season of rain!” Let’s continue to pray for the blessing of rain to fall upon Israel.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 08 December, 2017)

Photo Credit: Grandmaster/wikimedia

Photo License: wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Continue to pray for rain in the holy land, a season of rain! Pray that the water levels in the Sea of Galilee will be fully restored. Remember the farmers in the north as their livelihood depends on receiving adequate amounts of water. Pray for rain in abundance.

Scripture

For He draws up drops of water, which distill as rain from the mist, which the clouds drop down and pour abundantly on man.


- Job 36:27-28

Netanyahu Touts Growing Support for Israel among Arabs in Survey

by Joshua Spurlock

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PM Netanyahu, “We are going from strength to strength…”

Tuesday, 5 December 2017 | When Israel was first reborn as a nation, multiple Arab armies banded together to try to destroy the renewed Jewish State and there are few Arab states today that have peaceful relations with Israel. But that may be changing—at least among the common people—according to a new survey by the Israeli Foreign Ministry. “Half of the public in the countries in the Middle East that were reviewed, the assets and strength of Israel are appreciated and they believe that their country could benefit by links with Israel,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in comments on Sunday released by his office.

On a global scale, Israel is growing more popular too. “In 47 out of 54 countries, a majority of the people there believe that their country would benefit from links with Israel. This is a gigantic change,” said Netanyahu during the weekly Israeli cabinet meeting.

The Israeli leader has been busy trying to promote Israel around the world in recent months, going on trips to Africa and South America to seek out new and deeper ties with nations there. He also has repeatedly touted the secret support of Arab states as proof of Israel’s growing popularity. And he believes that those good ties won’t be secret forever.

In video comments to the Saban Forum delivered on Sunday and released by his office, Netanyahu offered a bright view of their future in the region. “When I look forward 50 or 100 years, I believe Israel will be embraced openly by its Arab neighbors, rather than in secret, in the way it’s done today,” said the Israeli premier. “I see Israel as a world power that continues to provide cutting edge technology and innovation to help people around the world.”

That technological advantage is a key reason why the global relations are expanding, Netanyahu told the cabinet. “The major diplomatic blossoming of the State of Israel is based—inter alia—on a dynamic economy, initiatives, and the development of businesses and technology. This is at the root of our strength.”

Netanyahu believes Israel is a “rising global power,” and given his many travels, he’s seen it firsthand.

“Israel is a sought-after, developed and strong country that even the citizens of countries with which we do not have official relations understand the benefit of relations with Israel,” said Netanyahu. “We are going from strength to strength and developing even more links.”

Source: (The Mideast Update originally published this article on 03 December 2017. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today.)

Photo Credit: Public Domain

Prayer Focus
Give thanks for the Arab nations whose attitude about Israel is slowly changing. Rejoice for what God is going to do among Arab nations in the Middle East as a result of PM Netanyahu’s long term vision to promote technology and have open relationships with them.

Scripture

I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.


- Genesis 12:3

Israel Declares F-35 Squadron Operational

by Yoav Zitun

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IAF Adir (mighty) F-35, now qualified for operational use

Thursday 7 December 2017 | Nine F-35 (“Adir”) fighter jets completed their pre-operational preparation period for the Israel Air Force Wednesday, with the entire squadron being declared ready to missions, completing a prolonged process that began in December 2016.

Newly formed crews that received special training prepared the F-35s for service. The crews received nine of the latest jets in the past year, with the IDF boasting the first air force outside of the American Air Force to use the jets in actual operations.

The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit noted the above fact was further proof of the special years-long strategic partnership between Israel and the United States.

Ten more jets will be joining the squadron in the next six months, followed by the gradual arrival of another batch that will form a second squadron.

With the F-35 stealth jets now operational, the air force will be able to conduct operational sorties, including attacks on enemy territory, without risking discovery by enemy radar systems.

The jets are, in fact, expected to commence operational activities in the near future, partly by flying joint missions with the force’s older fighter jets such as the F-15 and F-16.

In a letter sent by Israel Air Force Commander Maj.-Gen. Amikam Norkin to his subordinates he said, “Declaring the squadron’s operational readiness comes at a time when the air force is carrying out widespread operations on several fronts, in an ever-changing, in flux Middle East.

“The operational challenge grows more complex by the day, and is met with a quality, professional response from the air force. The F-35s’ operational ability adds a significant facet to the force’s contemporary capabilities,” Norkin wrote.

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on 06 December 2017. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: IDFblog

Prayer Focus
Pray for the pilots and ground support crews of the new fighter jet squadron. Ask for good concentration levels, sound minds and healthy bodies as these men and women play a vital role to protect Israel’s airspace and launch preemptive attacks on the enemy when necessary.

Scripture

He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day,


- Psalm 91:4-5

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