JNN News Update Jan. 18, 2017

NGO REPORT PAINTS GRIM PICTURE OF STATE OF CHILDREN IN ISRAEL: Policy makers should lose sleep over the grim findings of the 2016 State of the Child report, Vered Vindman, director-general of the National Council for the Child said on Mon. 16 Jan. 2017. Vindman presented the report, which presents an overview across all aspects of the life of children in Israel to President Reuven Rivlin. “The rate of poor children is still inconceivable, the gaps between children are still significant and outrageous, the huge number of children going to the emergency room has not decreased, the number of children at risk and abuse victims did not decrease," she said. "There are too many hardships and too few responses in education, welfare, health, law enforcement and the protection of children," she added. According to the report at the end of 2015 there were some 2,768,700 children living in Israel accounting for 33% of the population. Of these, some 70% are Jewish, some 23% are Muslim, 1.5% are Christians, 1.6% are Druze, and some 3% are unaffiliated.

"A third of Israel's citizens are children," Rivlin said. "This is an incomprehensible number for a young and innovative country whose future is still ahead of her." The president noted a disturbing statistic, which found that 839,377 children were living in poverty in Israel and that some 10% of these children go to bed hungry. “A hungry child will grow up to be an adult that lives under stress, fear and even in distress," he said. "This report sends us to work. We need to stop the trend of poverty, to fight crime and open more avenues for enrichment and excellence." (J. Post)

FOREIGN MINISTRY CHALK UP PARIS CONFERENCE AS A WIN FOR ISRAEL: Israel Foreign Ministry Director General Yuval Rotem hailed the lackluster outcome of Sunday's 15 Jan. 2017, Paris peace conference as a victory for Israel. The Paris conference imposed "no new obligations" on Israel and "finished without any mechanism to apply or follow up" on the provisions it outlined, Rotem told Israel Radio. He noted that the conference's concluding declaration included "the direct recognition of a national home for the Jewish people" and the affirmation that "the only way to arrive at peace is by means of direct negotiations between the sides." Israeli officials noted that "problematic passages" from the recent UN Security Council resolution on the settlements were not included in the Paris document, and that Secretary of State John Kerry promised that no further action against Israeli settlements is planned at the Security Council. Rotem also noted the absence of the British and Russian foreign ministers at the Paris conference. (Times of Israel) “You kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling.” Ps 2:10-11

TRUMP’S UN AMBASSADOR BLASTS WORLD BODY’S ANTI-ISRAEL BIAS: President-elect Donald Trump's nominee to be ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, blasted the global body over its treatment of Israel at her Senate confirmation hearing, on Wed. 18 Jan. 2017. "Nowhere has the UN’s failure been more consistent and more outrageous than in its bias against our close ally Israel," Haley said in the opening remarks before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. "Any honest assessment also finds an institution that is often at odds with American national interests and American taxpayers." Noting that the United States contributes 22 percent of the UN budget, far more than any other country, Haley said, "Are we getting what we pay for?" She also promised to work with USA lawmakers to pursue what she described as "seriously needed change" at the United Nations. The UN’s anti-Israel bias is well-known and was even acknowledged by its former Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, before he stepped down at the beginning of this month. Haley’s hearing came weeks after the UN Security Council passed Resolution 2334 which was critical of Israel’s presence in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem. Some Republican lawmakers, led by South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, have threatened to cut USA funding for the UN following the anti-Israel resolution. (Reuters)

TRUMP TO BE SWORN IN USING TWO BIBLES: President-elect Donald Trump will be sworn into office using two Bibles - one belonging to Abraham Lincoln, and the other a gift from his mom, the inaugural committee announced this week. “In his first inaugural address, President Lincoln appealed to the ‘better angels of our nature,’” said committee chair Tom Barrack “As he takes the same oath of office 156 years later, President-elect Trump is humbled to place his hand on Bibles that hold special meaning both to his family and to our country,” Barrack added. The Lincoln Bible, a burgundy velvet-bound copy, was used by two other presidents for their swearing-in: Lincoln in 1861 and Barack Obama in 2009 and 2013. Trump’s family Bible was given to him in 1955, by his mother when he graduated from Sunday Church Primary School at First Presbyterian Church in Queens. (NY Post)

TRUMP: JARED KUSHNER WILL 'BROKER MIDEAST PEACE' FOR THE WHITE HOUSE: While serving as a senior adviser in the White House, Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, will work to help broker a Middle East peace deal. Trump said that Kushner, Ivanka Trump's husband, would take on the task of negotiating peace between Israelis and Palestinians– an appointment Trump has previously floated due to the fact that Kushner "knows the region, knows the people, knows the players." Kushner has no previous diplomatic experience, but steered Trump's foreign policy throughout his presidential campaign and subsequent presidential transition. “What we know, he’s a really tough, smart guy, and we hope he will bring new energy to our region,” Israel's defense minister, Avigdor Lieberman, said of Kushner. (J.Post) “For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers” Prov 11:14. Intercede earnestly for Donald Trump and his carefully chosen administrative team that they may strengthen and lead the USA with wisdom and clarity, and cultivate among the nations respect and support for Israel. Pray also for the physical protection of Donald Trump from political and religious extremists.

TRUMP APPOINTS FRIEND OF JARED KUSHNER TO SERVE AS ASSISTANT TO PRESIDENT: Donald Trump has named Reed Cordish, a real estate developer who is friends with his son-in-law Jared Kushner, as assistant to the president for intra-governmental and technology initiatives. Cordish, who is Jewish, will be responsible for initiatives requiring multi-agency collaboration. He will also focus on technological innovation and modernization, according to a statement by Trump’s transition team announcing the appointment. Christopher Liddell, who will serve as assistant to the president and director of strategic initiatives, and Cordish “have led large, complex companies in the private sector, and have played instrumental roles throughout the transition,” Trump said. “Their skill sets are exactly what is needed to effect substantial change, including system wide improvement to the performance of the government.” David Cordish also is a board member of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a prominent lobbying group on behalf of Israel. (JTA)

SWISS GOVERNMENT HOSTS $85,000 EVENT AIMING TO UNIFY HAMAS AND FATAH: The Swiss government and a Finnish NGO doled out almost $85,000 to host a workshop in Geneva to unify the EU and USA classified terrorist organization Hamas with the Fatah party, according to a report published this week. The eye-popping revelation said Switzerland’s Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) organized meetings between Hamas and Fatah officials over a two-day period. Swiss government representatives and MPs have met with Hamas politicians over the years. The Swiss government, according to the article, maintains “a friendly relations with Hamas.” Switzerland is not a member of the EU and has declined to label Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist entities. Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzook, the number two man in Hamas, was provided with a visa to travel to Switzerland. The Swiss paid nearly $72,000 for the talks. The Finnish NGO contributed $18,000. The tone on social media was that the event costs could have been better used for construction projects in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

In a stinging criticism of the Hamas and Fatah meeting, Dominik Feusi, a senior editor with the news outlet, Basler Zeitung, wrote that a more important priority for the Swiss government is “engagement against the anti-Semitism and Arab racism that is co-funded by Switzerland.” He called for the Swiss government to abolish funds for NGOs that promote agitation and terrorism. Feusi wrote there can be no peace between Israel and the Palestinians because the Palestinians wage terror against Israel and seek “to destroy the only democracy in the region.” (J.Post)

WHAT IS HAMAS? Hamas is one of the largest and most influential Palestinian groups that, along with the more moderate Fatah party, serves as one of the two primary Palestinian political factions. Founded in 1987, Hamas is a USA-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization violently opposed to the state of Israel. Hamas has exercised de facto rule over the Gaza Strip since wresting the territory from its rival Fatah - which governs the Judea and Samaria - in 2007. The two parties have made overtures of reconciliation in the wake of the Arab Spring revolutions, but progress on this score has proven elusive. The goal of Hamas is an Islamic fundamentalist Palestinian state. Its manifesto advocates the destruction of the state of Israel, and calls for the raising of "the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine." Hamas was founded by Sheikh Ahmed Yassin an activist in Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. (The Muslim Brotherhood is commonly referred to as “the Father of all terrorist organizations.”) In 1973, he founded the Islamic Center to coordinate the Brotherhood's political activities in Gaza. Yassin established Hamas as the Brotherhood's local arm in December 1987, following the outbreak of the first Intifada, a Palestinian uprising against Israeli control of Judea & Samaria, Gaza, and East Jerusalem. Iran has been one of the chief supporters of Hamas and despite disagreements between the two entities, Iran continues to funnel money to Hamas. (JNN)

WHAT IS FATAH? Fatah is a secularist group and was founded by Yasser Arafat in the late 1950s to promote the armed struggle to liberate all Palestine from Israeli control. Arafat took over as chairman of the executive committee of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1969, a year that Fatah is reported to have carried out 2,432 terrorist attacks on Israel. Upon joining the PLO – a confederation of secular Palestinian parties – Fatah went from being a resistance group to a legitimate political party and the largest faction within the PLO. As a result, Fatah is no longer considered a terrorist organization by the USA although it is associated with terrorist wings and responsible - along with them - for inciting and carrying out violence against Israel. As stated by leading news commentator, Robert Spencer, there is little if any difference between the two Palestinian factions, Fatah and Hamas. Both share the same Islamic outlook towards Israel that makes peaceful coexistence with the Jewish State impossible. Both believe that no state ruled by non-Muslims on what they consider Muslim land has any legitimacy; there are no theological differences between them, but only relatively minor differences of strategy and of strictness in their observance of Islamic law that mainly arise from Fatah’s origins in Sixties-era socialism as opposed to Hamas’ birth as an explicitly Islamic movement. Fatah is also more inclined to be patient, while Hamas is significantly less so. Fatah is willing to make deals with the “Infidels” (Israel) as stepping stones to greater progress toward the ultimate goal of destroying the Jewish state. Hamas tends to see such deals as trimming, and prefers not to compromise even temporarily. (JNN)

The suggestions, opinions and scripture references made by JNN writers and editors are based on the best information received.

Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff

Keep informed on breaking Israel-related and Middle East news. To subscribe, at no cost, to twice weekly mailings of JNN News go to: www.jnnnews.com

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JNN News Update Jan. 15, 2017

PARIS DRAFT WON’T RECOGNIZE CHANGES TO PRE-1967 LINES: Dozens of countries are expected this weekend to reiterate their opposition to Israeli settlements and call for the establishment of a Palestinian state as "the only way" to ensure peace in the region. France is hosting more than 70 countries on Sunday 15 Jan. 2017 at a Mideast peace summit, in what will be a final chance for the Obama administration to push through its positions for the region. According to a draft statement obtained by media sources on Friday 13 Jan. 2017, the conference will urge Israel and the Palestinians "to officially restate their commitment to the two-state solution." It also will affirm that the international community "will not recognize" changes to Israel's pre-1967 lines without agreement by both sides. Israel has settled some 600,000 of its citizens in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem, which Palestinians claim for a future independent state. Israel captured both areas in the 1967 Six-Day War after surrounding Arab armies threatened to attack, or did attack, Israel. Israel reunited Jerusalem shortly after the Six-Day War when it annexed the eastern half. Israeli PM Netanyahu has ruled out a return to the 1967 lines, and many members of his coalition oppose Palestinian independence and support expanded settlements both on ideological and security grounds.

The summit comes on the heels of a UN Security Council resolution last month that condemned the settlements as illegal. The resolution passed 14-0 after the United States declined to use its traditional veto power and instead abstained. Netanyahu has rejected the UN resolution and accuses the Obama administration of conspiring behind Israel's back. Israel has refused to participate in the French conference, which Netanyahu this week claimed was "rigged" against his country, and would not be conducive to peace. (Ynet) Intercede according to God’s promise as the nations again attempt to gang up on Israel this Sunday, 15 Jan. 2017, to divide her land with terrorist entities. "The scepter of wickedness shall not rest on the land allotted to the righteous." Ps 125:3

HUNDREDS RALLY FOR ISRAEL IN NYC AHEAD OF PARIS PARLEY: Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the Permanent Mission of France to the UN in New York on 12 Jan. 2017, to express their support for Israel ahead of an international conference on Middle East peace set to be held on 15 Jan. 2017. The gathering was sponsored by the North American Coalition for Israel, which is made up of more than 50 organizations. Under the banner “Shame on the UN,” public figures, clergy members and victims of terrorist attacks gathered together with members of the Jewish community, demanding that the UN “immediately cease its unjust targeting of Israel and focus on real issues such as Syrian Genocide and Global Islamic Terror.”

Event organizer Hillary Markowitz, said the protest had several goals: “The UN, President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have really been attacking Israel,” she said, slamming the recent Security Council resolution against Israel as an abomination. “We are asking the USA to stop funding the UN until it does what it’s supposed to do,” she said. “We will NOT allow the UN and its gang of Israel haters to target Israel unjustifiably,” read a Facebook invitation to the event. “The UN’s attempt to revise and erase Jewish history is deplorable. We call on the UN to focus on REAL issues such as Syrian Genocide and Global Islamic Terror instead of vilifying Israel unjustly.” Markowitz said the choice of location was due to the parley in Paris “where they will try to force Israel to go back to the pre-’67 borders with Jerusalem, and we are standing with our Christian and Jewish brothers to say it’s ridiculous. The conference itself is a preamble to the UN – then they will try to get a resolution,” she said. Israel sees the French-led conference as an effort to impose a settlement on it and will not take part. (J. Post) Intercede urgently against the UN and the out-going Obama administration's attempts try to undermine the strength, legitimacy and security of the Jewish state: “For Zion's sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem's sake I will not remain quiet, till her vindication shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch.” Isa. 62:1”

NEW YORK JEWRY PROTESTS ANTI-ISRAEL UN RESOLUTIONS: Hundreds of people from the New York Jewish community gathered outside the headquarters of the UN in New York on Wed. 11 Jan. 2017 in the cold to protest the latest anti-Israel resolutions which have been recently passed by the organization, including Security Council Resolution 2334, which declared all Jewish presence over the 1949 armistice lines to be illegal. The demonstration was organized by a group of rabbis from the Rambam yeshiva high school in Lawrence, New York. Demonstrators protested the UN's obsession with and bias against Israel, and will call on Congress to cut USA funding to the UN. The US funds about 22% of the UN budget. Three months ago, the UNESCO world heritage organization passed a resolution denying any Jewish connection to Jerusalem or the holy sites within, such as the Western Wall and the Temple Mount. The sites were referred to only in their Arabic names. (Arutz-7)

GRAHAM AND CRUZ: BLOCK TAXPAYER’S DOLLARS FROM GOING TO UN: Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Thurs. 12 Jan. 2017, introduced a law that would block taxpayer dollars from going toward the UN, in response to the anti-Israel Resolution 2334 passed by the Security Council last month. Graham and Cruz said the resolution, which the United States abstained from, was a step too far in attacking Israel and must be undone. "Twenty-two percent of the money to fund the UN comes from the American taxpayer. I don't think it's a good investment for the American taxpayer to give money to an organization that condemns the only democracy in the Middle East," said Graham. A day after the UN resolution passed, Cruz called on the United States to withhold funding to the global body until it reverses its decision. Similarly, Graham announced his intention to introduce the legislation shortly after the vote. Cruz also said on Thursday that the resolution was coordinated by American diplomats and allowed to pass by President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry. "On the way out, he's struck out repeatedly at Israel and he's done real damage," he said. The best way to mitigate that damage is to get the resolution undone, and the Republican Senators said they believe the easiest way to do that is to stop paying for the UN. "If you cut off their money, that gets their attention and I think we've got real prospects of seeing this thing moved through Congress," added Cruz. (Arutz-7) Pray that this resolution blocking USA funding of the anti- Israel UN will find favor and be passed by Congress.

74% OF REPUBLICANS SYMPATHIZE WITH ISRAEL OVER PALESTINIANS: The difference between the proportion of Republicans and Democrats who sympathize with Israel over the Palestinians is the largest it has been since surveys dating to 1978, according to a new report. While 74% of Republicans sympathize more with Israel than the Palestinians, the number is 33% for Democrats, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted Jan. 4-9, 2017. A majority of Democrats, 60%, said there is a way for Israel and a Palestinian state to coexist peacefully, while less than half of Republicans, 44%, believed that to be possible, the new Pew survey found. (INN)

GERMAN COURT JUSTIFIES SYNAGOGUE ATTACK: A German regional court has ruled that an attempt by three Muslims to burn a synagogue was motivated by 'anti-Israelism', not anti-Semitism. The perpetrators will not be jailed. The ruling is akin to a “carte blanche for attacks on Jews,” and is itself anti-Semitic, according to the European Jewish Congress. The organization reacted with "outrage and disbelief" to the decision. The German court in the city of Wuppertal, affirming a lower court decision, ruled that a violent attempt to burn the city's synagogue in 2014 was a justified expression of criticism of Israel’s policies in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. (Israel launched Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014 to stop Hamas rocket attacks into Israeli territory.) The arson assault caused €800 damage to the synagogue. The attack took place on the anniversary of Kristallnacht, a Nazi pogrom which left a hundred Jews dead and where over 1,000 synagogues – including the original synagogue in Wuppertal – were burnt and destroyed. “It is unbelievable that attempts to burn a synagogue have been equated with displeasure of Israeli government policies,” said Dr. Moshe Kantor, President of the EJC. “This court decision equates to open season on Jews.” (INN/J. Post)

KING SOLOMON-ERA FORT IN SOUTHERN ISRAEL REVEALS ITS SECRETS: Archaeologists in Israel are unraveling the complex history of an ancient military fortification dating to the reigns of Kings Solomon and David. The gatehouse complex, which dates to the 10th century B.C., was unearthed in Southern Israel’s Timna Valley in 2014. Recent analysis of organic remains found within the fortification’s donkey stables, however, has given experts vital clues about the people who inhabited the fort. Experts were able to study animal bones and dung preserved in the hyper-arid climate of the Timna Valley. “When we uncovered the stables, the material was so well preserved and ‘fresh’ that we could not believe it is 3,000 years old,” said Erez Ben-Yosef of Tel Aviv University, one of the excavation leaders. “Only when the dates came back from the lab we were reassured that indeed these were the remains of stables and other activities from the time of David and Solomon.” (Fox)

FORBES TRAVELER: ‘ISRAEL HAS THE BEST RESTAURANT SCENE IN THE WORLD': Israel has the “best restaurant scene in the world,” a Forbes magazine contributor declared this week. “Fine dining has given way to fun dining” in recent years, noted veteran world traveler Ann Abel, who explained that more and more people are favoring “informal joints that serve excellent food in a sophisticated setting, but don’t take themselves too seriously. Some of the best restaurants today are ones where you sit elbow-to-elbow with others, dishes circulate family-style, and the progression of courses is interrupted for socializing, sunshine breaks outside, and dancing between - or atop - the tables. And that’s at lunch,” Abel wrote. “By that score, it’s hard to name a restaurant scene that’s more appealing than Israel’s.” She described a number of her favorite eateries in the Jewish state, including a “beautifully cluttered old coffeehouse” in the north, and an organic goat cheese farm and restaurant hidden in the hills of the Galilee. Abel also applauded the menagerie of North African, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food traditions that influence Israeli cooking, noting that the “most pedestrian of eating excursion” through Tel Aviv’s Carmel Market turned into a “a grand food tour of countries.” The “blissful simplicity” of Israel’s food “makes it rich in flavor” she wrote, describing the focus on fresh seafood, vegetables and grilled meat, and applauding the abundance of vegan choices. (Algemeiner)

The suggestions, opinions and scripture references made by JNN writers and editors are based on the best information received.

Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff

Keep informed on breaking Israel-related and Middle East news. To subscribe, at no cost, to twice weekly mailings of JNN News go to: www.jnnnews.com

HELP DEFEND ISRAEL OVER SOCIAL MEDIA: Follow JNN updates on Facebook and Twitter you can "like" and "retweet" items you feel are important to share. Also, you can share video reports on our YouTube channel. We are also on Google+, Linkedin, Tumbler, and LiveStream. Don't underestimate how much this can help.

JNN News Update Jan. 12, 2017

'TRUMP TO FORGE AHEAD WITH JERUSALEM EMBASSY MOVE DESPITE OPPOSITION': The incoming Trump administration plans to move ahead with its plans to move the USA embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem regardless of criticism from Arab nations, media sources reported on 9 Jan. 2017. USA President-elect Donald Trump's team has reportedly informed regional allies of the plans. Unnamed Israeli officials have speculated that the move could be announced as early as 24 May 2017, on the Israeli holiday "Jerusalem Day" that marks the reunification of the capital in the 1967 Six Day War. The report emerged after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas sent a letter to Trump urging him not to relocate his country’s embassy in Israel when he assumes office “as it will have destructive consequences on the peace process, the two state solution and the safety and security of the region.” In addition, USA Secretary of State John Kerry said last week that relocating the embassy would cause “an explosion, an absolute explosion, not just in Israel, but throughout the region.” PM Benjamin Netanyahu told a group of reporters on a state visit to Azerbaijan last month that Trump’s plan to relocate the embassy is “great.” (J.Post) “The Lord will extend your mighty scepter from Zion, saying, ‘Rule in the midst of your enemies!’” Ps 110:2 ISRAEL REVOKES RESIDENCY STATUS OF JERUSALEM TERRORIST’S FAMILY: Israeli Minister of the Interior Aryeh Deri has decided to revoke the permanent resident status and corresponding social benefits for 13 members of Jerusalem terrorist Fadi Al-Qunbar's family, following consultations with the Israel Security Agency and the Immigration Authority. Four IDF officers were murdered in the terrorist attack on Sunday, 8 Jan. 2017. Such a measure has previously never been implemented and prevents the family from appealing to the High Court of Justice, as they are not Israeli citizens. Deri decided on the measure after discussions with PM Benjamin Netanyahu, who supported the move. The decision is viewed as a means of deterrence against prospective attackers. In the future, in cases of terrorism involving permanent residents of Jerusalem who are not citizens of Israel, all family members - including cousins, nephews, aunts and uncles - will lose their permanent residency status immediately. "This is a decision that signals a new era against terrorism and terrorists who use their status as permanent residents of Jerusalem to carry out attacks against citizens," Deri said. "Let this be known to all who are plotting, planning or considering carrying out an attack, that their families will pay a heavy price for their actions." Meanwhile, MK Yaakov Margi on Mon. 9 Jan. 2017, tweeted that were it up to him, the terrorist should have been interred with the head of a pig - an animal whose very touch is considered unclean in Islam - thereby preventing him from obtaining his afterlife reward of 72 virgins. (Ynet/Arutz-7) Pray that Israel’s government will continue to put into operation deterrents that will end brutal terrorist attacks against her people.

 The UN Security Council condemned the truck-ramming attack in Jerusalem that left four Israeli soldiers dead. The statement tweeted late Sunday, 8 Jan. 2017 by Sweden’s mission to the United Nations “condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist attack” in the eastern part of the city on Sunday and expressed condolences to the families of the victims and the government of Israel. Sweden holds the rotating presidency of the Security Council this month. “The members of the Security Council reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security,” the statement said, and that the council finds any acts of terrorism “criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation.”

The soldiers were killed and upto 17 were injured when the driver of a large truck, a resident of an eastern Jerusalem neighborhood, drove into a group of soldiers who had just exited a bus on the promenade in the Arnon Hatnatziv. The driver then reversed back over the bodies after he had hit them before being shot by a civilian tour guide. The Security Council late last month passed a resolution by a vote of 14-0, with the Unites States abstaining, condemning Israeli settlements, calling them illegal and an obstacle to achieving peace with the Palestinians and the Arab world. The Security Council, however, made scant mention of Palestinian terrorism against Israelis as being "an obstacle to achieving peace." (JTA)

‘MY LOVE ANSWER ME’: Shiri, debri eeti dachouf… chaim sheli, debri eeti - “Shiri, speak to me urgently… My love, speak to me.” Those were the frantic final Whatsapp messages sent to IDF Lt. Shir Hajaj by her mother, Meirav. They will forever remain unanswered, for Shir Hajaj was among the four young Israeli soldiers run down and killed by a Palestinian terrorist on 8 Jan. 2017. Meirav Hajaj later said that when she first heard about the truck ramming attack at the Haas Promenade in Jerusalem, she feared that foreign tourists had been targeted. She later realized that her daughter’s army unit had gone there for an educational outing. Meirav frantically sent Whatsapp messages and called to make sure Shir was OK. As the family prepared to bury Shir Hajaj the following day, her mother described her as a “flower, a crown jewel.” Her distraught father later told reporters “These are our children, we send them to the army knowing they may not come back. Did I ever think this would happen to me? Never.”

The other three soldiers killed in the attack were all honored with heart-wrenching messages from family and friends published by the Israeli media on Mon. 9 Jan. 2017, as the nation mourned. By the end of the day, all were buried. Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, Shlomo Moshe Amar cried out at the funeral of Shir Hajaj, "How long, Lord? How long shall the wicked triumph? How long must we see such grief? How long must we see parents cry bitterly over tragedies perpetrated by the wicked who have no limit to their evil? How long, Lord?" Seventeen more young soldiers were wounded in the attack. Two of them remain in serious condition, fighting for their lives. (Ynet) Please continue to intercede that families and friends of Israel’s latest terror victims will be comforted in the midst of their heart-breaking grief. Pray for the speedy and complete recovery of those wounded.

2 SOLDIERS KILLED IN JERUSALEM TRUCK-RAMMING ATTACK ARE USA CITIZENS: Two of the four Israeli soldiers killed in the truck-ramming attack in Jerusalem on 8 Jan. 2017, were American citizens. Erez Orbach, 20, from a community south of Jerusalem was an citizen, according to a USA Embassy official. He holds American citizenship through his mother. Shira Tzur, 20, of Haifa, also had American-born parents. (JTA)

BBC DESCRIBES TERROR ATTACK AS ‘SHOOTING OF TRUCK DRIVER’: The British Broadcasting Corporation’s coverage of the terror attack by an Arab truck driver in Jerusalem sparked controversy, after a headline by the news outlet emphasized the shooting of the terrorist and downplayed the attack itself. The headline in question described the terrorist as a “Driver of a lorry,” writing that he was shot after “allegedly ramming pedestrians.” “Driver of lorry shot in Jerusalem after allegedly ramming pedestrians, injuring at least 15.” Four Israelis were killed in the purposeful attack in which a truck drove onto a promenade filled with Israeli soldiers, reversed slightly and ran them over again. World Jewish Congress diplomatic corps member Gabriel Rosenberg blasted the BBC over the report, calling the headline “absolutely disgraceful,” guilty of “portraying the perpetrator as the victim.” While the BBC headline evolved in the hours after the attack, the outlet repeatedly avoided describing the incident as an act of Arab or Islamic terror. Honest Reporting news portal pointed out that “The BBC has a habit of attributing terror attacks to inanimate objects or vehicles. And so it was the case with an appalling truck ramming terror attack that took place in Jerusalem that has, so far, claimed the lives of four Israelis and injured many more.” (Arutz-7)

MIAMI JCCs EVACUATED AFTER RECEIVING BOMB THREATS: Police evacuated hundreds of people, mostly children from two Jewish Community Centers (JCC) in the Miami area of South Florida on Monday morning 9 Jan. 2017. About 300 children were evacuated from the Dave & Mary Alper Jewish Community Center at approximately 11:00 AM, following a bomb threat towards the building. Police immediately conducted a sweep of the building to determine if it is safe. A number of people were evacuated from another JCC in Miami only a few minutes earlier. The Miami Beach Jewish Community Center was evacuated at about 10:45 AM following another bomb threat made to operators at the facility. Police conducted a sweep of that building as well. The Miami-Dade Police stated they are unsure if there is a correlation between both threats. (Arutz-7)

ROCKS SMASH STAINED-GLASS WINDOWS OF PHILLY SYNAGOGUE FOR SECOND TIME: The stained-glass windows of a Philadelphia synagogue have been shattered by rocks for the second time in two months. Rocks the size of a baseball were thrown through three windows at Temple Menorah Keneseth Chai, a nearly century-old Conservative synagogue in the city’s historic Tacony neighborhood, shortly before 7:30 PM on 6 Jan. 2017. On 2 Dec. 2016 a rock was thrown through one of the same windows in the second-floor sanctuary just before the start of Friday night Sabbath services, according to the report. No one was injured in either attack. The building is clearly marked as a synagogue. Synagogue president Malcolm Adler told reporters that members of the congregation are “very hot, very upset.” (JTA)

The suggestions, opinions and scripture references made by JNN writers and editors are based on the best information received.

JNN News Update Jan. 10, 2017

FOUR KILLED, 15 WOUNDED AS TRUCK RAMS INTO ISRAELI SOLDIERS IN JERUSALEM: A Palestinian who may be linked to ISIS rammed his speeding truck into a group of Israeli soldiers in Jerusalem Sunday, 8 Jan. 2017, killing four people and wounding 15 others before being shot dead in one of the deadliest attacks in a year-long campaign of violence, Israeli police said. Five people were arrested Sunday -- including the assailant's father and brother -- in connection with the attack. "This is part of the same ongoing battle against the global scourge of terrorism," PM Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement. "We can only fight it together, but we'll fight it." Netanyahu said the truck's driver had been identified and appeared to be "a supporter of ISIS." Speaking at the scene of the slaughter, Netanyahu added there "definitely could be a connection" between Sunday's horrific attack and similar ISIS truck attacks that took place in France and Germany in recent months.

Security camera footage showed the truck barreling at a high speed off the road and into the crowd of people in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood. The fatalities included three women and a man in their twenties. The truck’s windshield was riddled with bullets, as police and first-responders responded to the scene. Several victims had to be extricated from underneath the truck. Israel's police chief Roni Alsheich told reporters the attacker was from an Arab neighborhood in east Jerusalem and forces had no advance warning. He refused to elaborate, and a gag order was placed on further details pending an investigation. Israel's rescue service MDA said the dead included three women and a man, all in their twenties. Of the 15 wounded, one was in serious condition. The attack matched the deadliest in a more than yearlong wave of Palestinian shooting, stabbing and vehicular attacks against Israelis. Last June, a pair of gunmen killed four people at a popular Tel Aviv tourist site. (Fox) This is a sad and tragic time in Jerusalem, as we mourn the loss of our young people, and grieve over the injured due to more senseless terrorism. Pray for the swift and complete recovery of those wounded and the comforting of families who have experienced such sudden loss. Continue to intercede against terrorist violence in Jerusalem and surrounding areas.

MKs: PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY EDUCATION SYSTEM INCITEMENT INFLAMED THE TERRORIST: "We should have full control over the education system in the East Jerusalem neighborhoods," said deputy foreign minister Tzipi Hotovely reacting to the deadly truck ramming attack at the Armon Hanatziv promenade in Jerusalem on Sunday 8 Jan. 2017. Hotovely claimed that the terrorist who carried the attack was exposed to incitement. "It is impossible that students living that close to the center of our capital will say that their dream is to be a shahid [martyr]. The international community needs to demand complete halt of terrorism, and complete shutdown of the terror-education industry," she added, referring to the upcoming peace summit in Paris next Sunday 15 Jan. and recent UN Security Council resolution 2334. Deputy defense minister Eli Ben-Dahan echoed the notion that PA incitement has lead to the attack. "I invite USA Secretary of State John Kerry and the representatives of the states in the UN Security Council to come over to Jerusalem to witness the results of the Palestinian incitement that they endorse, and to see who we are dealing with."

"The roots of the problem are in the incitement in the Palestinian education system, calling to kill Jews," said MK Moti Yogev. "We should revise our approach to education in East Jerusalem; make it under our control in the neighborhoods under our sovereignty, including UNRWA schools." MK Amir Ohana claimed that the solution to this kind of attacks is to allow more citizens to bear arms. "The first responder to the attack was a local tour guide that shot the terrorist and prevented further casualties. He joins a long line of citizens that carried weapons and thwarted terror attacks in recent wave." Culture and sport minister Miri Regev said "We are dealing with the roots of terrorism that starts with incitement in the education system and in the Palestinian media. We are currently in an uncompromising battle to defeat the Islamic terrorism nests." (Jerusalem Post)

DANON: ATTACK A DIRECT RESULT OF INCITEMENT: Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon has responded to the truck attack in Jerusalem by saying, "Today we saw evil and cruelty incarnate. This murderous attack is a direct result of murderous Palestinian incitement. I call on the Secretary General and the Security Council to condemn this terror attack immediately." Danon added, "The fanatical terrorism that struck in Berlin and Nice did not discriminate in its victims, and neither did the attack in our capital of Jerusalem today." Jerusalem's mayor, Nir Barkat, said there was "no limit to the cruelty of the terrorists who use every means to murder Jews and damage the routine life in the capital of Israel." Meanwhile, the Gaza-based Hamas terrorist group, praised the attacker on Twitter. "We bless the courageous and heroic truck operation in Jerusalem," the group tweeted. Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, is pledged to Israel's destruction. Likewise the sister of terrorist truck driver’s told Arab news sources that “God chose him for this martyrdom. Thank God. We are patient and we thank God for this. it is the most beautiful martyrdom.” The driver of the truck who rammed into a group of Israeli soldiers, killing four and injuring 15 others on Sunday, 8 Jan. 2017 was shot and killed. He will no doubt be honored as a “martyr” by the Palestinian Authority and Israel’s other antagonists. (INN/Israel Today)

USA CONDEMNS ATTACK: The State Department of the United States has condemned Sunday's fatal truck attack in Jerusalem Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner issued a statement that read, "We condemn in the strongest possible terms today's horrific vehicular attack by a terrorist in Jerusalem.ý There is absolutely no justification for these brutal and senseless attacks. Weý condemn the glorification of terrorism now or at any time and call on all to send a clear message that terrorism must never be tolerated. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the four Israeli soldiers who were killed, and we hope for a full and fast recovery of those injured." the statement concluded. (Artuz-7)

TED CRUZ CONDEMNS ATTACK: Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) reacted to Sunday's truck attack in Jerusalem by saying, “Today we saw yet another horrific attack by a Palestinian terrorist in Jerusalem. The United States stands unshakably with our ally Israel, and with the Israeli Defense Forces soldiers who were the targets of this attack. IDF soldiers bravely defend the people of Israel, protect them and keep them safe. The terrorists targeting them are the enemies of peace, which can never be achieved while terror groups like Hamas incite violence and the destruction of Israel. Our prayers are with the IDF, and with the victims of this attack and their families.” (Arutz-7)

INCITEMENT IN PALESTINIAN TEXTBOOKS: UN-run schools in Judea, Samaria and Gaza use textbooks which negate the very existence of Israel and teach that the Western Wall and Cave of the Patriarchs are exclusively Muslim holy sites which the Jews strive to occupy. These textbooks - written by the Palestinian Ministry of Education - are used in schools run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Gaza, Judea & Samaria. The UN schools don't teach Palestinian children to recognize Israel as a country - not within the 1947 borders, nor any borders at all. Holocaust Denial and hatred of Israel is rampant in PA schools. Materials are directed at educating PA Arab children toward Jewish genocide and are opposed to forwarding peaceful co-existence with Israel. Furthering out-and-out lies and obstacles to peace, last month committees of the UN passed resolutions that referred to the Temple Mount only by its Muslim name, denying, despite archaeological, historical and biblical proofs of the Jewish connection to the site of the First and Second Temples, the local of thousands of years of yearning by Jews who mention it daily in their prayers and pray in the direction of the Temple Mount. Muslims pray towards Mecca and the Temple Mount does not appear in the Koran. (Arutz-7)

ABBAS AIDE: MOVNG USA EMBASSAY A ‘DECLARATION OF WAR’: Mahmoud Al-Habbash, senior advisor to PA chairman, has warned Donald Trump in a sermon not to move the American embassy to Jerusalem. Moving the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would be a “declaration of war”, a senior adviser to Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas has warned. Mahmoud Al-Habbash, who is Abbas’ adviser on religious and Islamic affairs, made the comments in a sermon on 6 Jan 2016, which was broadcast on PA TV and attended by Abbas himself. “The entire Muslim world will not accept it. Occupied Jerusalem is our eternal capital, the capital of our existence and the capital of our state,” he warned. Habbash further stressed that “it isn't possible to compromise on or negotiate over Jerusalem.” Trump repeatedly promised during the campaign to move the embassy if elected. His campaign manager Kellyanne Conway indicated last month that moving the embassy to Jerusalem "is a very big priority” for Trump, while media reports in Israel at the time indicated the transition team for Trump is already looking into possible locations in Jerusalem for the embassy. (INN)

HAMAS ANGRY AFTER FACEBOOK BLOCKS ITS PAGES: Hamas on Saturday 7 Jan. 2017 blasted Facebook’s administration after the social media giant blocked dozens of accounts and pages supporting the movement. Facebook’s crackdown on Hamas-affiliated pages followed the launch of a social media campaign by the group promoting the actions of arch-terrorist Yahya Ayyash. Ayyash, nicknamed The Engineer, was a Hamas terrorist who built the bombs used in a number of the group’s suicide attacks which killed dozens of Israelis in the 1990s. Israel eliminated Ayyash in January of 1996 using an explosive laden cellular phone. As part of the anniversary, Hamas supporters launched a campaign promoting the actions of Ayyash, and adopted the slogan “Be Like Ayyash,” prompting Facebook to shut down more than a hundred pages and accounts.

Husam Badran, a Hamas spokesman, described the closure of Hamas’ support pages as a “persistent collusion of the Facebook administration with Israeli occupation policies,” and urged Palestinian Facebook users to look for other, more efficient, alternatives. Facebook, as well as other social media websites, have in recent months cracked down on Hamas-affiliated pages. In April, Hamas expressed anger after Facebook and Twitter shut down multiple accounts linked with the Al-Qassam Brigades. Both social media giants, together with Google, have been facing a concerted campaign by Jewish and pro-Israel activists, to take action against anti-Semitic incitement. Activists and terror victims’ rights campaigners allege the companies are turning a blind eye to the torrent of hate which helps inspire deadly terrorism in Israel. Facebook is even facing a lawsuit for allegedly allowing terrorists to coordinate attacks via its platform. (INN) Intercede for the continuation of this crack-down on social media use for the purposes of terrorist incitement and attack coordination. Pray that strong penalties will be imposed on those who promote terrorist violence and upon those who publish it.

HELP DEFEND ISRAEL OVER TWITTER AND FACEBOOK: Follow JNN updates on https://www.facebook.com/VisionForIsrael and https://twitter.com/visionforisrael and "like" and "retweet" items you feel are important to share. Also, you can share video reports on our YouTube channelhttp://www.youtube.com/VisionforIsrael. Don't underestimate how much this can help..

The suggestions, opinions and scripture references made by JNN writers and editors are based on the best information received.

JNN News Update Jan. 8, 2017

CHRISTIANS THE MOST PERSECUTED GROUP IN WORLD FOR SECOND YEAR: A report from the Italian-based Center for Studies on Religions, determined that 90,000 Christians were killed for their beliefs worldwide last year and nearly a third were at the hands of Islamic extremists like ISIS. Others were killed by state and non-state persecution, including in places like North Korea. The study also found that as many as 600 million Christians were prevented from practicing their faith in 2016. The findings continue a disturbing trend from the previous year in which Christians around the world endured horrific acts of persecution, including imprisonment and beheadings. According to one expert, “There are many places on earth where being a Christian is the most dangerous thing you can be.”

Christians continue to be under siege from ISIS radicals in Syria and Iraq. Likewise, members of the faith also under increasing pressure in Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations. The Christian population in Iraq alone has plummeted from 1.5 million in 2003 to current estimates of 275,000 and could be gone for good within just a few years, according to activists. The dwindling numbers are due to genocide, refugees fleeing to other countries, those who are internally displaced, and others hiding in plain sight and not allowing their faith to be publicly known. Despite these issues, experts say that the faith has continued to flourish despite growing opposition. “The persecution of Christians has failed to suppress the faith,” said one source. “On the contrary, Christianity appears to be rapidly growing beneath the surface." As Christian persecution sweeps across the Middle East, only one country stands out as a beacon of hope where Christians are safe to live and are thriving – Israel. (Fox) Intercede for God’s beloved members of the persecuted church. Pray for their comforting, courage, protection and boldness to share their faith under life-threatening conditions. “I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. Mt 16:18

HOUSE OVERWHELMINGLY VOTES TO CONDEMN UN RESOLUTIONS OF ISRAEL SETTLEMENTS: The House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted on 5 Jan. 2016 to rebuke the United Nations for passing a resolution criticizing Israeli settlements. Lawmakers voted 342-80 in favor of the bipartisan non-binding resolution, which declares unwavering support for Israel and insists that the United States reject any future UN actions that are similarly "one-sided and anti-Israel." A visibly angry House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis. opened debate on the resolution by saying that the Obama administration "abandoned our ally Israel when she needed us the most." Do not be fooled," Ryan said. "This UN Security Council resolution was about one thing and one thing only. Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish, democratic state. These types of one-sided efforts are designed to isolate and delegitimize Israel. They do not advance peace, they make it more elusive." The House measure divided Democrats, 109 of whom joined 233 Republicans in approving the measure.

Israel's ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, said the resolution "proved once again that the USA-Israel alliance is based not only on shared interests, but also on shared values. This special relationship has endured the test of time and I have no doubt that it will continue to be strengthened in the future." Israel and its supporters lashed out at Obama for his decision to abstain and allow the UN Security Council to approve in late Dec. 2016, a resolution calling Israel's settlements in Judea & Samaria and east Jerusalem "a flagrant violation under international law." The USA has traditionally used its veto power as a permanent member of the Security Council to scuttle resolutions that condemn Israel. (Fox)

NETANYAHU THANKS USA CONGRESS FOR OPPOSITION TO UN RESOLUTION: Israel’s PM Binyamin Netanyahu addressed members of the USA House of Representatives on 6 Jan. 2016, thanking them for their support of Israel in the face of the anti-Israel resolution adopted by the UN Security Council last month. “After the outrageous anti-Israel resolution at the UN, the USA House of Representatives voted yesterday resoundingly to support Israel and reject this one-sided resolution. Democrats and Republicans alike know that the Western Wall isn't occupied territory. I want to thank the House of Representatives which reflects the tremendous support Israel enjoys among the American people. Thank you, America. Thank you, Congress.” On Thursday the Republican-controlled House voted to rebuke the UN for Resolution 2334, calling upon the White House to veto future UN measures which seek to impose solutions to final status issues, or are one-sided and anti-Israel.” (Arutz-7) “He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.” Ps 37:6

ISRAEL CUTS UN FUNDING FOLLOWING ‘ANTI-SETTLEMENT’ RESOLUTION: Israel announced on 6 Jan. 2017, it would be suspending a significant portion of its annual contributions to the United Nations for 2017, in response to the approval of UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which condemned Israel’s presence in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem. The Israeli Mission informed the UN that the cut, amounting to approximately six million dollars, is an act of protest and represents the portion of the UN budget allocated to anti-Israel bodies. Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon said, "It is unreasonable for Israel to fund bodies that operate against us at the UN. The UN must end the absurd reality in which it supports bodies whose sole intent is to spread incitement and anti-Israel propaganda." Danon added that "now is the time to implement real change at the UN. We seek to stop the practice where the UN is used solely as a forum for unending attacks against Israel." Israel's cut in funding is the first in a series of steps under consideration by the Foreign Ministry and the Israeli Mission in reaction to the recent Security Council resolution. (Arutz-7)

ISRAEL SPY SATELLITE DISCOVERS SECRET RUSSIAN MISSILE CACHE IN SYRIA: An Israeli spy satellite has discovered a number of Russian mobile short-range ballistic missiles stockpiled in Syria, news sources reported on 6 Jan. 2016. In high definition photos taken by the Israeli "Eros B" satellite, the weapons, dubbed "Iskander" missiles, are clearly seen on trucks inside an army base in Latakia, located in western Syria. The pictures seemingly prove what western intelligence agencies have long suspected: Russia has provided Syria with a wide array of the most advanced missiles in its possession. Before Friday, evidence of the missiles had been scarce, given the fact that the Russians and Syrians had cached the weaponry in secretive strategic locations. Strong rainstorms, however, forced the Russians to transfer the missiles to different locations using trucks, leaving them exposed to documentation. The "Iskander" missile, which has a range of up to 500 kilometers, is a medium range ballistic weapon that has the capacity to carry nuclear warheads and is superior to the older "scud" missile model. In tests the weapon can strike a target within a seven meter radius, as opposed to the scud which strikes within a 450 meter radius. Syria has been engulfed in a bloody civil war over the past 5-years that has seen close to 500,000 people killed and millions displaced from their homes. Russia has been an integral part in propping up current Syrian President Bashar Assad, who has been accused of carrying out crimes against humanity. (J.Post) Continue to pray regarding the military buildup by Israel’s enemies on the northern borders. Intercede that the Jewish state will not be immune to the possibility that Russia, whose leaders claim to be working in co-operation with Israel’s leaders as they carry out activities in Syria, could prove to be a treacherous entity. Pray for the safety of Israel’s northern border communities.

GUANTANAMO DETAINEES TO BE FREED AS OBAMA PLANS MASS TRANSFER OF FANATICS: President Obama is planning to transfer at least 18 more Guantanamo Bay detainees within days after announcing that four prisoners are being sent to Saudi Arabia, media sources have learned. The group being released will be drawn from those held at Guantanamo - who include an accused senior al Qaeda bomb-maker, the terror group's top financial manager, and two intended 9/11 hijackers, who have all been held in the Cuba-based USA detention facility for more than a decade. According to a military source briefed on the process, as total of 22 detainees are being prepared for transfer out of the camp before 20 Jan. 2016.

On 5 Jan. 2017, the Pentagon announced the 'transfer' of four detainees to Saudi Arabia. A source revealed there will be three more sets of transfers before Obama leaves office on 20 Jan. 2017. Although the White House has not specified which inmates will be transferred next – or which foreign countries have agreed to accept them – it has indicated that this will be a priority for Obama in his final days in office. Inside Guantanamo Bay's detention facilities, where 59 'worst of the worst' according to military and intelligence officials are currently held, Obama plans to transfer as many as he can before leaving office. A series of those already freed from the Cuban facility have gone straight back to jihad. President-elect Trump pushed back on Obama's plan to release additional detainees this week, calling it “dangerous.” “There should be no further releases from Gitmo,' wrote Trump on Twitter. “These are extremely dangerous people and should not be allowed back onto the battlefield.” (UK Daily Mail)

ISRAEL HARNESSING SUNSHINE WITH WORLD’S TALLEST SOLAR TOWER: Israel's fledgling solar industry is making a leap forward with a large-scale project boasting a 250-meter solar tower, the world's tallest. The Ashalim project in the Negev desert is made up of three plots, each with a different solar technology. When completed by 2018, together the fields will generate enough energy for 130,000 households. The amount of electricity will be comparable to large-scale solar fields in California and Chile. Solar towers use a solar-thermal method: Thousands of mirrors focus the sun's rays onto the tower, heating a boiler that creates steam to spin a turbine and generate electricity. Encircling the Ashalim tower are 50,000 mirrors. (ABC)

The suggestions, opinions and scripture references made by JNN writers and editors are based on the best information received.

Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff

JNN News Update Jan. 6, 2017

BABY BORN IN VFI’S FIRST DONATED AMBULANCE: Vision for Israel & The Joseph Storehouse team receives many dozens of thank-you letters throughout the year from those who have received financial aid, household appliances, medical equipment, school supplies, and so much more from our humanitarian aid organization. We are always so happy to read how people have been helped and comforted by our efforts. The first thank-you letter of 2017 was a great way to start our year: This story of hope and birth was written by a representative of Magen David Adom (Israel's national emergency medical, disaster, ambulance and blood bank service) from the American branch. He had this to say: “I am pleased to report that your ambulance with the MDA team, while transporting an expectant mother to the hospital, helped to deliver a baby boy on December 29, 2016 at 7:26 p.m. I am happy for you that your ambulance was used so early after being put into service to help bring life into the world. May you be richly blessed for blessing Israel. Shalom, J.” The ambulance referred to was the first one purchased by and donated on behalf of Vision for Israel & The Joseph Storehouse in late October 2016. It is already in service in Israel’s central region. We have purchased a second ambulance which will arrive sometime in January 2017.

NETANYAHU: UPCOMING PARIS CONFERENCE COULD LEAD TO FURTHER ANTI-ISRAEL ACTION AT UN: A France-hosted international diplomatic conference set to be held on 15 Jan. 2017, could lead to further action against the Jewish state at the United Nations, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu warned this week. In remarks delivered to a group of Israeli ambassadors at a Foreign Ministry conference in Jerusalem, Netanyahu stated, “The Paris conference is a futile conference, but there are signs that they will try to take decisions reached there and have them become another decision at the UN Security Council. We are entering a big diplomatic effort in order to succeed in avoiding this.”

Last week the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations urged French President Francois Hollande to cancel the planned summit. Wide-spread concern are that the Obama administration could - following the recent passage of the anti-Israeli settlement Security Council resolution last week - take a “further damaging step” against the Jewish state before President-elect Donald Trump takes office. On 3 Jan. 2017, B’nai B’rith International President Gary P. Saltzman said that the Paris conference would “provide the international community an opportunity to gratuitously gang up on Israel. The past two weeks have already seen Secretary of State John Kerry deliver a speech unfairly blaming Israel for the current impasse and the UN Security Council pass a resolution broadly condemning the Jewish state. The Paris summit should not take place, as it will only further embolden the Palestinians and disincentivize them to negotiate.” (Algemeiner)

HISPANIC CHRISTIAN GROUP JOINS LOBBYING EFFORT AGAINST ANTI-SETTLEMENT UN VOTE: A leading pro-Israel Latino organization is planning to mobilize its supporters to lobby Congress next week to reject UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which deems Israeli settlements “illegal.” The Hispanic Israel Leadership Coalition (HILC) rejected the resolution, passed 23 Dec. 2016 by the UNSC, saying it denies “the Jewish people rights to their own homeland” and ”threatens the very survival of Christians to our holy sites in the biblical heartland.” Pastor Mario Bramnick, president of the HILC - described as the largest pro-Israel International Latino Christian organization in America - said the resolution strengthens “the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel and it will lead to more world court actions based on international law.” Bramnick said that the HILC “intends to work with our friends in President Donald Trump’s administration and in Congress to defund the morally bankrupt United Nations,” adding, “We also call upon evangelicals and elected officials across the nation to affirm President-elect Trump in rectifying the reckless actions of President Barack Obama.” HILC plans to join other Christian groups and church leaders to encourage Congress to pass a resolution condemning that of the Security Council and to urge Obama not to return to the UNSC for an additional anti-Israel move. (Algemeiner) Pray that the out-pouring of disapproval from USA and global politicians, social groups, Christian and Jewish organizations will prevent the Obama-team from making any further visits to international gatherings for still another blow against the Jewish State before leaving office. ABBAS COMPLAINS OF FISCAL WOES - INTERNATIONAL FUNDING OF PA AT HALF OF FORECAST: Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told reporters on 3 Jan. 3016 that the drastic failure to meet the level of international donations to the PA that were forecast for the year has resulted in a budget deficit of almost 15% of the GDP. According to PM Rami Hamdallah, the PA had counted on donor nations providing about $1.02 billion, but to date the PA has raised only $640 million. The biggest benefactor in past years has been Saudi Arabia, but this year Riyadh decided to demonstrate its displeasure at political differences with President Abbas and ended its monthly stipend of roughly $20 million. The PA was also stung by the change in the way some nations channeled their contributions. The USA, for example, backed away from direct contributions to the PA budget and began directly funding specific programs so the dollars no longer pass through the treasury. Abbas’ cabinet declared a severe austerity program “in all fields.” (Media Line) The truth is that world parliaments are waking up to the fact that the PA uses much of its aid to fund terrorists. The Palestinian Authority pays all terrorists in Israeli prisons a salary of up more than 4 times the average salary in the PA. Great Britain suspended 25 million euro to the PA in October 2016 over the salaries that are paid to Palestinian terrorists and their families. There are also pushes in the USA Congress and the EU Parliament to halt funding for the Palestinian Authority due to the payments to terrorists and the constant incitement to commit attacks against Jews. The USA provides the PA with $400 million in funding annually. The EU provides 250 million euros each year to the PA, and various other countries within Europe also provide individual funding to the organization. Pray that all governments and global organizations will stop paying into the coffers of the Palestinian Authority until it ceases to support and honor jailed terrorists who carry out murderous attacks against Israel. Could it be the PA is running short on cash due to a scriptural promise for those who hate Israel? “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse.”Gen 12:3

‘MEIN KAMPF’ BECOMES BEST-SELLER IN GERMANY IN 2016: The annotated edition of Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” sold 85,000 copies in the one year since it was released in print for the first time since World War II. The manuscript is in its eighth printing, according to the Spiegel newspaper, which noted that the book topped its best-seller list in April, 2016. The 70-year copyright in the German state of Bavaria of the anti-Semitic tract, whose title means “My Struggle,” expired on 1 Jan. 2016, allowing it to be published in the country. The Munich Institute for Contemporary History said it published the book in hopes that the new edition would help destroy the book’s cult status. Its first run of 4,000 sold almost immediately. Institute director Andreas Wirsching said, “It turned out that the fear the publication would promote Hitler’s ideology or even make it socially acceptable and give neo-Nazis a new propaganda platform was totally unfounded. To the contrary, the debate about Hitler’s worldview and his approach to propaganda offered a chance to look at the causes and consequences of totalitarian ideologies, at a time when authoritarian political views and right-wing slogans are gaining ground.” (INN)Andreas Wirching’s comments attempt to put a positive slant on the resurfacing popularity of Hitler’s “Mein Kamph.” Far more likely it has and will become a tool of inspiration to European anti-Semites with far more nefarious intents.

6000 CHINESE CONSTRUCTION WORKERS TO ARRIVE IN ISRAEL: China has agreed for thousands of migrant construction laborers to work in Israel in a bid to alleviate a housing crisis in the Jewish state, the Israeli government said Wed. 4 Jan. 2017. The agreement would see 6,000 Chinese workers arrive in Israel in the six months after the formal signature of the deal expected at the end of Feb. 2017. Israel’s Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said the arrival of the Chinese workers would "energize efforts to solve the housing crisis". Housing costs in Israel have been rising steeply since 2008, according to Bank of Israel data, significantly impacting the cost of living. Kahlon, whose Kulanu party ran in the 2015 general election on a platform of lowering living costs, came under fire after an Aug. 2016 government report showed apartment prices had risen by eight percent in a year. (Arutz-7)

ORIGINAL NAME OF JEWISH NEIGHBORHOOD RESTORED BY MOROCCO’S KING: A historically Jewish neighborhood in Marrakesh will have its original name restored on the orders of King Mohammed VI. The Essalam neighborhood will be renamed El Mellah, and the original names of the streets and town squares also will be restored, according to reports. The order comes from the king following a request by the president of the Jewish community. The Moroccan Interior Ministry said the king made the decision in order to “safeguard the civilizational heritage of the Kingdom as well as the cultural heritage of all the components of Moroccan society.” Variations of the word “mellah” in Arabic and Hebrew mean “salt.” The Jewish neighborhood was surrounded by a high wall. Earlier last month, the king attended the rededication of the Ettedgui Synagogue in Casablanca, whose restoration was funded in part by a government grant. (Arutz-7)

HIKERS FIND SECOND TEMPLE PERIOD ENGRAVINGS OF MENORAH IN JUDEAN CAVE: Hikers had a close encounter with history last weekend, while exploring a water cistern in a Judean cave. They came across the engraving of an ancient seven-branched menorah from the Second Temple period on its bedrock walls. Three members of the Israel Caving Club – Mickey Barkal, Sefi Givoni and Ido Meroz – said they decided to explore caves in the lowland region of South-Central Israel after hearing about their beauty off the beaten path. “We began to peer into them, and that’s how we came to this cave, which is extremely impressive with rock-carved niches and engravings on the wall. When we realized this is an ancient depiction of a menorah, we became very excited,” Meroz added. “Its appearance was quite distinct. We left the cave and reported the discovery to the Israel Antiquities Authority.” The engraved image has a base with three feet, and depicts the menorah that stood in the Temple during the Second Temple period, the IAA said. Another engraving by the menorah included a cross, and what appears to resemble a key that is characteristic of antiquity, as well as other engravings, some of which have yet to be identified. (J. Post) “For your people love every stone in her walls and cherish even the dust in her streets.” Ps 102:14

The suggestions, opinions and scripture references made by JNN writers and editors are based on the best information received.

JNN News Update Jan. 5, 2017

USA CONGRESS PLANS TARGETED LEGISLATION AGAINST UN: The House of Representatives plans to vote on a resolution this week that will condemn the UN for its targeting of Israel. Over the course of the next hundred days, Republicans hope to penalize the UN for its passage of a resolution condemning Israel over its settlement enterprise. Members of the House and Senate are considering legislation that would cut funding to the UN after its vote. But it is "too early" to draft such legislation, said one senior congressional aide familiar with the deliberations, because leadership is not yet clear on the direction that incoming President Donald Trump will choose to go on the matter. Several GOP members are optimistic the Trump administration would support additional actions. But legislation sanctioning the UN would likely face Democratic opposition - even in the context of defending Israel from future condemnations. Additionally on 3 Jan. 2017, three Republican Senators introduced legislation that would fulfill America’s commitment to Israel by relocating the USA embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The move came just 12 days after the Obama administration’s abstention from the UN Security Council vote to condemn Israeli settlement expansion in Judea & Samaria. (J.Post/Fox) EQUATING JEWISH SETTLEMENTS AND PALESTINIAN TERRORISM: Israel has been wracked by a wave of stabbings and shootings and rocket attacks from Palestinian terrorists over the last two years [as well as for decades]. Kerry spent a few minutes on that in his recent biased and deeply flawed UN speech targeting Israel for its settlement expansion, but only in order to draw moral equivalence with Jews building additional bathrooms in East Jerusalem, the capital of Israel. “The truth is that trends on the ground, violence, terrorism, settlement expansion, and the seemingly endless occupation, they are combining to destroy hopes for peace on both sides,” Kerry said. This is nonsense. Before there were any Jewish settlements – when Israel did not control Judea, Samaria, or Gaza – the Palestine Liberation Organization called for the “liberation” of Palestine, meaning the complete destruction of Israel. The problem isn’t people building homes. It’s Palestinians murdering Jews, and refusing to accept that any home built by a Jew ought to exist in the Middle East.

Case in point is that UN-run schools in Judea, Samaria and Gaza use textbooks which negate the very existence of Israel; teach that the Western Wall and Cave of the Patriarchs are exclusively Muslim holy sites which the Jews strive to occupy. These textbooks - written by the Palestinian Ministry of Education - are used in schools run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Gaza, Judea & Samaria. The UN schools don't teach Palestinian children to recognize Israel as a country - not within the 1947 borders, nor any borders at all. Furthering out-and-out lies and obstacles to peace, late last year, committees of the UN passed resolutions that referred to the Temple Mount only by its Muslim name, denying, despite archaeological, historical and biblical proofs of the Jewish connection to the site of the First and Second Temples, the local of thousands of years of yearning by Jews who mention it daily in their prayers and pray in the direction of the Temple Mount. Muslims pray towards Mecca and the Temple Mount does not appear in the Koran. Even this week, an eminent Israeli archaeologist was nearly ejected by Muslim guards from the holiest site in Judaism, located in Jerusalem, for calling it by its real name - the Temple Mount. (Ynet/Daily Wire/Arutz-7) Pray for corruption in the UN to be exposed and finally dealt with and for its de-funding.

HUCKABEE CALLS UN RESOLUTION AN ACT OF HATE: Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee slammed UN Security Council Resolution 2334 as an act of hate and contempt against the State of Israel and criticized Secretary of State John Kerry's speech against construction in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria during a visit to the Knesset Tues. 3 Jan. 2017. "I'm not here today to in any way suggest a course of action for Israel. That's the sovereign duty of a sovereign state to decide for itself," Huckabee said in the Knesset. "John Kerry's speech last week was without any historical precedent at all. No perspective. He made the ridiculous and irrational statement that Israel can either be a Jewish State, or it can be a democracy, but it can't be both...Mr. Secretary, it is both."

He accused Kerry of fundamentally misunderstanding Israel. "The only way that statement makes any sense at all is if you take faith and religion out of the equation of who Israel is. Be happy about your history. Be proud. Your history tells you where you came from and where you are going. The UN Resolution was an act of hatred and contempt. Very rarely are Syria, North Korea, Russia, etc. condemned. Israel is condemned far more. There are more condemnations in the UN when Israel builds houses than when Iran builds a nuclear reactor," Huckabee said. "The world doesn't hate you because of where you are, but because of what you are - and especially because of who you are. The Muslim world is far larger and there is no justification for Israel to withdraw from the territories. To divide Jerusalem is like asking King Solomon to divide the baby in half." he added. "I hope that President-elect Donald Trump will not let the people in Washington draw him into the swamp of inactivity. There is a saying: Do it big or go home. You need to do it big, and you are already home," he said in conclusion. (Arutz-7)

BENNETT ON FOX NEWS: 'UN RIDICULOUS BODY FIGHTING FREE WORLD’: Israeli Politician Naftali Bennett has defended calls to reign in the United Nations for its warped approach in condemning Israel while condoning ruthless dictatorships. Bennett defended the calls to cut UN support in the wake of the recent anti-Israel Security Council resolution, stating that the UN is a "ridiculous body fighting the free world rather than fighting terrorism." Bennett said that the UN's "warped" view of reality caused it to focus obsessively on Israel rather than on other countries like Iran and Venezuela which are "huge abusers of human rights." Bennett responded to claims that Israel is violating international law by building settlements and is working to prevent a two-state solution by stating that "There is already a Palestinian state in Gaza and it turned into a terror state firing rockets on Tel Aviv. There is no room for another terror state in the heart of Israel. Israel is not violating international law by building in its own territory. It was granted to us by the League of Nations in 1920 and the Bible also gives Israel full rights over the entire land of Israel." (Arutz-7)

B’NAI BRITH DECRIES PLANNED MIDDLE EAST SUMMIT IN PARIS: B’nai B’rith International protested plans for an upcoming Middle East peace conference at which 70 countries are expected to attend. In a statement issued Wed. 4 Jan.2016, the organization said the summit, scheduled to occur in Paris on 15 Jan., "figures to be a one-sided farce and an impediment to peace. This conference will provide the international community an opportunity to gratuitously gang up on Israel. The past two weeks have already seen Secretary of State John Kerry deliver a speech unfairly blaming Israel for the current impasse and the UN Security Council pass a resolution broadly condemning the Jewish state. The Paris summit should not take place, as it will only further embolden the Palestinians and disincentivize them to negotiate,” B’nai B’rith International President Gary P. Saltzman said. “The Paris summit may set the stage for yet another one-sided UN Security Council resolution, which would continue to cloud the prospect of a negotiated peace. By prejudging the outcome of future negotiations, repeatedly castigating Israel, and pressuring the Jewish state to make unilateral concessions, the international community continues to encourage Palestinian rejectionism,” B’nai B’rith CEO Daniel Mariaschin said. (Arutz-7) “Let them curse, but You bless; when they arise, let them be ashamed, but let Your servant rejoice.” Ps 109:28

THE UN’S STUNNING ANTI-ISRAEL BIAS: Israel is not the biggest problem in the Middle East, by a long shot. But you wouldn't know that from the disproportionate way in which the UN has treated the country. To this day, 47 resolutions concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have been adopted by the UN Security Council. In 2016 alone, 18 resolutions against Israel were adopted at the UN General Assembly in September, and 12 resolutions were adopted in the Human Rights Council. There is nothing unique about the Israel conflict deserving such disproportionate attention. Baluchistan, Kurdistan, Cyprus, Kashmir, and Taiwan are but a few other disputed territories not fetishized like Palestine is at the UN and in our media. All of these disputes involve deep religious, historic, and political meaning for their respective parties.

Why is it that Israel is expected to integrate - and does a reasonable job of including - the 20% of its population that is Arab, yet a Jewish presence of 500,000 settlers in any future Palestinian state is deemed "an obstacle" to the two-state solution? [Not one Jew, according to peace conditions set up by Palestinian Authority is to remain or be allowed to live in land ceded to the Palestinians in any final agreement. Right now, over a million Arabs live inside Israel.] Are Palestinians assumed to be ethno-fascists? Are they not capable of building a multi-ethnic state just like Israelis? Is this how low the standard is to which the West holds Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims? In reality, Israel has been the perennial excuse used by Arab despots seeking to silence their domestic opponents or the foreign critics of their ferocious repression. To call for greater freedoms in these countries where there was little or none was to be accused of "Zionist collusion." (Daily Beast)

FATAH THREATENS ‘BLOODSHED’ IF TRUMP MOVES EMBASSY: Following the lead of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, the Fatah leadership has announced their intention to start a new intifada if USA President-elect Donald Trump follows through on his promise to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. According to MEMRI, Fatah Central Committee member Sultan Abu al-Einein said on Alghad TV, "I believe that any American act of stupidity will ignite the Palestinian territories. We must prepare for a confrontation with the new USA administration, which has clearly and audaciously declared that Israel and its settlements are legitimate and legal." He also blamed his threat on Israeli "arrogance" and "settlement activity," claiming both Israel and the USA would "bear responsibility for the return of bloodshed in the Palestinian territories." (MEMRI)

The suggestions, opinions and scripture references made by JNN writers and editors are based on the best information received.

JNN News Update Jan. 3, 2017

ISRAEL’S BEN GURION AIRPORT SEES 11% RISE IN PASSENGER TRAFFIC IN 2016: Business boomed for Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport in 2016, with 17,387,971 passengers making their way through the airport on flights last year - an increase of 11%, or 1.6 million passengers, from 2015. At the same time, Eilat’s Ovda Airport reported a 97.8 % increase in passengers in 2016, after it was exempted from landing fees while construction continues on Israel’s new Ramon Airport, scheduled to open in 2017. Since Israel signed the Open Skies agreement with the European Union in 2012, which has brought more flights to and from European countries at reduced prices, traffic at Ben Gurion Airport has increased by around 50%. Passengers to and from six countries have led the growth at Ben Gurion: Turkey with 1.6 million passengers; the USA with 1.45 million passengers; Germany with 1.23 million passengers; Italy with 1.5 million passengers; and Russia and France, each with 1 million passengers. “In the fifth year of the Open Skies policy with the EU, the skies should open completely,” said Israeli Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz. “The Israeli citizen has benefited, as have the Israeli airlines.” (Algemeiner) “Your gates will always stand open, they will never be shut, day or night, so that people may bring you the wealth of the nations-- their kings led in triumphal procession.” Isa 60:11

NEW YEAR TERROR ATTACK IN ISTANBUL LEAVES 39 DEAD – ISIS CLAIMS RESPONSIBILITY: New Year’s revelers at an Istanbul nightclub became the latest targets of terror when a man reportedly dressed in a Santa Claus costume opened fire in a crowded night club. At least 39 were killed with dozens wounded, some critically. Fifteen of the dead were identified as foreign nationals, including one young Israeli women. Another Israeli was hospitalized with wounds she suffered during the attack. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the brutal New Year's assault. The terrorist gunned down a policeman and a civilian standing outside the popular Reina nightclub before entering and turning his rifle on the crowd. Almost 200 people died in a series of terror attacks in Turkey during 2016; the first deaths of 2017 coming less than two hours into the New Year. The terrorist managed to avoid a police deployment of 17,000 officers on duty New Year ’s Eve in anticipation of the possibility of an attack. (Medialine/J. Post/Ynet) MERKEL: ISLAMIST TERROR IS ‘GREATEST THREAT’ TO GERMANY: Islamist terrorism is the biggest challenge facing Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel said in her New Year message. Referring to the deadly truck attack in Berlin by a Tunisian asylum seeker, she said it was "sickening" when acts of terror were carried out by people who had sought protection. She said 2016 had been a year of "severe tests." But she also said she was confident Germany could overcome them. Twelve people were killed when Anis Amri drove a truck at crowds at a Berlin Christmas market two weeks ago. Earlier in the year, a teenage Afghan refugee wounded five people in an axe attack on a train in Wuerzburg and a Syrian whose asylum application had been refused blew himself up outside a bar in Ansbach, wounding 15 other people. The attacks have led to severe criticism of Merkel's policy of admitting more than a million refugees and migrants in 2015. (BBC)

ISRAELI AMBASSADOR ON NEW UN SECRETARY- GENERAL: ‘JUST BE FAIR’: Former Portuguese prime minister Antonio Guterres took over from Ban Ki-moon on Sunday 1 Jan. 2017 as the UN’s new secretary-general, and Israel has one request: Just be fair. “I met with him and was impressed with his wide knowledge of the United Nations and the international arena,” said Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon. “I hope we can turn a new page with him.” Danon acknowledged that Guterres has a difficult job when it comes to Israel and the Middle East. “I told him that the UN system creates so much negative energy against Israel, we just want him to be objective and able to withstand the tremendous pressure against Israel that exists inside the United Nations.”

Guterres was not the only change in the UN that took effect on Sunday. The composition of the Security Council changed, with five rotating members finishing their two-year term and five new countries taking their place. Of the five countries that exited were three of the four that sponsored the anti-settlement resolution against Israel last month: Venezuela, Malaysia, and New Zealand. The fourth sponsor, Senegal, will remain on the council for another year. Israel’s position on the Security Council will improve slightly, with Kazakhstan – a country with which Israel has strong ties, and to where PM Benjamin Netanyahu traveled last month – replacing Malaysia, with which Israel has no diplomatic ties. More good news for Israel is that Ethiopia – one of its closest friends in Africa – will replace Angola, and that Spain will be replaced for one year by Italy, and the other year by The Netherlands, two EU countries whose voting record on Israel in international forums is better than Spain’s. (J.Post)

TRUMP: ISRAEL IS VERY IMPORTANT TO ME: USA President-elect Donald Trump on 31 Dec. 2017, stressed the importance of Israel and criticized Secretary of State John Kerry over his recent comments that the Israeli settlement enterprise is an obstacle to peace. "We have to protect Israel. Israel, to me, is very, very important. We have to protect Israel," Trump told reporters in Florida. He also said with regards to Kerry’s statements, “I disagree with what he has done with Israel.” Trump last week criticized the UN and the Obama Administration for treating Israel "with disdain and disrespect" and urged Israel to "stand firm" until he takes office in Jan. 2017. The President-elect said he would work to achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) despite the fact that the vote at the Security Council made it more difficult. (Arutz-7)

THINK TANK - HEZBOLLAH ‘THE MOST SERIOUS MILITARY THREAT FACING ISRAEL’: With its formidable arsenal of missiles trained on the Jewish State, the Lebanon-based terrorist group Hezbollah remains the most serious military threat facing Israel, a national security think tank claimed in a report released Mon. 2 Jan. 2016. The Institute for National Security Studies noted, however, that the chance of another conflagration with Hamas, the de-facto ruler of the Gaza Strip, is higher than that of a war with Israel's neighbor to the north. Israel's military believes Hezbollah has between 100,000 and 120,000 short- and medium-range missiles and rockets, as well as several hundred long-range missiles, with the medium-range missiles capable of reaching Tel Aviv. Israel fought a devastating war with Hezbollah in 2006, and closely monitors the group's activities. More recently, the Iranian-funded terrorist organization has been fighting alongside Assad's forces in Syria's civil war. Hezbollah never disarmed after Lebanon's 1975-90 civil war and is the country's most powerful armed force. (I24) Pray for Israel’s northern and southern borders according to God’s promises: “No longer will violence be heard in your land nor ruin or destruction within your borders, but you will call your walls Salvation and your gates Praise.” Isa 60:18

JORDAN ARMY CHIEF: ISIS IN GOLAN HAVE ANTI-AIRCRAFT MISSILES: Jordanian Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mahmoud Freihat warned in a media interview on 31 Dec. 2016 that ISIS fighters have anti-aircraft missiles. Freihat referred specifically to the Syria-Jordan-Israel border, near the Golan Heights area. "This faction is a constant and close threat to Jordan. Some of the areas its fighters are in are a kilometer away from the border," he said. "They have tanks, armored vehicles, anti-aircraft missiles and machine guns that can hit the military posts on the frontline." In truth, the ISIS was reported to have seized Russian anti-aircraft missiles a few weeks ago, when they recaptured the Syrian town of Palmyra, and they are not the first terrorist group to have anti-aircraft abilities. The USA Congress also may have contributed, by allowing the USA to sell anti-aircraft missiles to Syrian rebel groups, despite the high risk they would fall into ISIS' hands. (Arutz-7)

REPORT: KINNERET ROSE 23 CENTIMETERS IN DEC.: The Kinneret's (Sea of Galilee) water level rose 23 centimeters in Dec. 2017. The current water level is 61 centimeters below the lower red line, and 4 meters 81 centimeters below the upper red line, which signals the lake has reached maximum capacity. Even though Dec. 2016 was the wettest month since 1992, the Sea of Galilee is the lowest it's been since January 2012. Currently, the Kinneret needs another 60 centimeters of rainfall until it reaches the lower red line. The rains in northern Israel are expected to carry on in the coming weeks as well. (J.Post/Arutz-7) Continue to pray for abundant rains to fall upon Israel this winter and spring. “Be glad, people of Zion, rejoice in the Lord your God, for He has given you the autumn rains because He is faithful. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before.” Joel 2:23

The suggestions, opinions and scripture references made by JNN writers and editors are based on the best information received.

Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff

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JNN News Update Dec. 31, 2016

27,000 NEW IMMIGRANTS ARRIVE IN ISRAEL IN 2016: The number of new immigrants to Israel was 27,000 in 2016, down from 31,000 in 2015, the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption said 29 Dec. 2016. Immigration from Russia rose from 6,600 to 7,000. There was also a rise in the number from Brazil - 760 compared with 497. Some 5,500 immigrants from Ukraine arrived in 2016 compared to 7,221 in 2015. French aliya totaled 5,000, down from 7,900. "Israel continues to draw Jews from around the world seeking to live lives of meaning and identity," said Chairman of the Jewish Agency Natan Sharansky. (J. Post) “May the Lord, the God of your ancestors, increase you a thousand times and bless you as he has promised.”
Deut 1:11

ISRAEL’S ECONOMY GROWS BY 3.5% IN 2016: Israel's economy grew by 3.5% in 2016, the Bank of Israel's Research Department said 28. Dec. 2016. Unemployment dropped to a record low of 4.8%. Overall investments jumped by 10%. The inflation rate was a negative 0.3%, the third consecutive year in which the Israeli economy has seen a negative inflation rate. (Israel Hayom) “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” 3 John 1:2

BENNETT’S MESSAGE TO THE UN FROM MT. HERMON: "Israel will stay here forever. No speech and no Security Council resolution will change that fact." Standing on snowy Mt. Hermon in the Golan Heights as people skied by in the background, Education Minister Naftali Bennett gave a message to the UN in light of the recent anti-Israel resolution that was passed in the UN Security Council and John Kerry's speech on his "vision" of PA-Israel peace in which he heaped blame on Israel. “I’m standing at Mt. Hermon, Israel’s tallest mountain. It’s a thriving ski center, full of tourists, as you can see. Just five minutes to the east is Syria. Five minutes from here, the Syrian government and ISIS have butchered over half a million men, women, and children. The UN resolution from this week suggests that this is occupied territory and should be handed over to those enemies. Obviously, that’s absurd. Israel will stay here forever. No speech and no Security Council resolution will change that fact. You have Israel thriving and a terror state five minutes from here in an abyss of murder. We will prevail,” he said.

Speaking with CNN sources following Secretary of State John Kerry’s speech this week in which he criticized Israeli communities in Judea & Samaria as presenting an obstacle to peace, Bennett pointed out that Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005 and gave the area to Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas. The result was a “terror state” in Gaza, as Hamas took over the region and has fired thousands of rockets at Israeli territory. “There is already a Palestinian state formed in 2005 in Gaza and they turned it into a terror state. Anyone in their right mind cannot imagine forming another one right here in Jerusalem, our eternal capital.” Bennett also stressed that Judea & Samaria are not “settlements.” “We’re not occupying any land. One cannot occupy his own home. These are not settlements. We have about 650,000 Israelis living in eastern Jerusalem and Judea & Samaria. Big cities. We’ve been here for thousands of years. We’re staying here. Americans have been living in America for about 200 years, while Jews have lived in the land of Israel for 4,000 years. So how dare anyone call the land of Israel ‘occupied territory’. This has been our home forever and will be our home forever.” (Arutz-7) Pray Israel will stand strong in a resolve to provide much needed housing for its citizens and peruse its rights to expand long standing, well established and thriving Jewish communities – despite international unmerited and lopsided disapproval.

BRITAIN SCOLDS SECRETARY OF STATE KERRY OVER ISRAEL – EDGING TOWARDS TRUMP: Britain upbraided USA Secretary of State John Kerry for describing the Israeli government as the most right-wing in Israeli history, a move that aligns PM Theresa May more closely with President-elect Donald Trump. Amid one of the United States' sharpest confrontations with Israel since the 1956 Suez crisis, Kerry said in a speech that Israel jeopardizes hopes of peace in the Middle East by building in Judea & Samaria and East Jerusalem. May responded that it was clear the settlements were far from the only problem in the conflict. “Israel had coped for too long with the threat of terrorism. Focusing only on the settlements was not the best way to achieve peace between Jew and Arab.” London also took particular issue with Kerry's description of Netanyahu's coalition as "the most right-wing in Israeli history, with an agenda driven by its most extreme elements." "We do not believe that it is appropriate to attack the composition of the democratically-elected government of an ally," May's spokesman said when asked about Kerry speech in the State Department's auditorium. By openly criticizing Kerry, who will leave office shortly, May moves British policy closer to Trump than its other European allies such as Germany and France. (Ynet)

AUSTRALIA’S FOREIGN MINISTER: “WE OPPOSE ONE-SIDED RESOLUTIONS AGAINST ISRAEL”: Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said that her country would not have joined ranks with its neighbor New Zealand in voting for UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which passed unanimously last Friday 23 Dec. 2016 with a USA abstention. “Australia is not currently a member of the UN Security Council and therefore not eligible to vote on UNSC resolutions.” Bishop noted that "in voting at the UN, the Coalition government has consistently not supported one-sided resolutions targeting Israel.” New Zealand and three other members in the Security Council (Senegal, Venezuela and Malaysia) sponsored the resolution, which condemns all Israeli settlements in territories won by Israel from Jordan during the Six-Day War in 1967, including Jerusalem’s Old City. (Ynet)

DOZENS OF NEW ZEALAND PRO-ISRAEL GROUPS SLAM GOVERNMENT FOR ROLE IN PURSING ANTI-ISRAEL UN RESOLUTION: Over two dozen pro-Israel groups and hundreds of individuals in New Zealand have penned a letter to PM Bill English strongly criticizing his government’s support for last week’s UN Security Council resolution targeting Israel. “We are ashamed of the role of New Zealand in this travesty and feel betrayed by our government,” the joint letter states. “New Zealand partnered with Malaysia, Senegal and Venezuela to sponsor the resolution, countries which do not share our liberal Western values. The resolution has been praised by [terrorist groups] Islamic Jihad and Hamas. This is nothing to be proud of.” The letter to English - signed by 27 organizations, including the New Zealand Jewish Council, Zionist Federation of New Zealand, International Christian Embassy New Zealand and B’nai B’rith New Zealand, in addition to 900 Jewish and non-Jewish private individuals - said the country’s actions in the Security Council have brought “ignominy” on New Zealand.

“It has caused opprobrium among international commentators, calls for boycotts of our goods by supporters of Israel around the world, and demands for an end to our burgeoning relationship with Israel, from which New Zealand has more to gain economically,” the letter stated. “As Prime Minister, we believe it is incumbent upon you to make a public statement on the Resolution and its implications,” the letter said. New Zealand’s hand in passing the anti-settlement UN resolution also brought the criticism from Jewish news website Tablet Magazine, which noted New Zealand’s history as “a Colonialist state founded on the theft of indigenous Maori land.” (Algemeiner)

‘OBAMA’S PRESIDENCY WILL GO INTO THE DUSTBIN OF HISTORY’: Prominent author and Harvard Professor Emeritus of Law Alan Dershowitz sharply criticized President Barack Obama in a media interview on 30 Dec. 2016, saying he believes “Obama will join Jimmy Carter as somebody who will always stand against Israel, but who will be tossed into the dustbin of history when it comes to the Middle East.” Dershowitz said he believes once USA President-elect Donald Trump takes office on 20 Jan. 2016 there would be nothing left of the hostility of the current administration toward Israel. "I don't think it will have a big impact any more than Jimmy Carter's hatred to Israel had an impact on American policy," he said. Dershowitz, who had been a longtime Democrat and Obama supporter, blasted Obama for allowing the passing of the UN Security Council resolution condemning the settlement enterprise in Judea & Samaria. Obama's conduct, said Dershowitz, was as act of vengeance against Prime Minister Netanyahu. (INN)

JEWISH AMERICAN LEADERS URGE FRANCE TO CANCEL PEACE CONFERENCE: Leaders of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations on 30 Dec. 2016 called on French President Francois Hollande to cancel or, at least, postpone the international meeting on Middle East peace his country has scheduled for 15 Jan. 2017 in Paris. Stephen Greenberg, Chairman, and Malcolm Hoenlein, Vice Chairman and CEO of the Conference of Presidents, called the planned conference “ill-conceived, poorly timed and damaging to prospects for peace.” They said that “In the aftermath of adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which was a significant step backward in achieving direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, and Secretary Kerry’s speech on Middle East Peace earlier this week, the international community should not plunge forward with the ill-conceived and poorly timed Paris conference. Now is a time for serious reflection on how peace can best be achieved, not for another sham forum in which the usual one-sided outcomes against Israel are the likeliest result.

“There are a number of compelling reasons to postpone the conference, including the impending transition to a new USA administration on January 20,” they pointed out. “It makes no sense that the next administration is precluded from participating in a discussion of an essential component of USA foreign policy with which it will be engaged. Possible outcomes would add further uncertainty that will harm future prospects while unnecessarily inserting a new element of instability to the region. We urge the USA to announce that it will not participate at this time, in light of all the above considerations. We call on leaders of all the invited countries, as well as members of the administration and Congress to work to cancel the Paris meeting and refocus on the parties coming together for direct negotiations without pre-conditions. Israel has long sought direct talks, it is time for the Palestinian leaders to stop evading their responsibility and seeking to use international forum to avoid the only true path to a lasting peace.” (Arutz-7)

The suggestions, opinions and scripture references made by JNN writers and editors are based on the best information received.

Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff

JNN News Update Dec. 30, 2016

CRUZ: OBAMA AND KERRY WILL BE REMEMBERED AS ISRAEL’S ENEMIES: Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Wed. 28 Dec. 2016 blasted President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry following Kerry’s speech on the Middle East peace process earlier that day. "Like bitter clingers, Obama and Kerry are spending every last minute of this administration wreaking havoc domestically and abroad. With their last breath in office, they have struck at Israel, through the UN and through today's disgraceful speech,” he charged. "These acts are shameful. They are designed to secure a legacy, and indeed they have: History will record and the world will fully understand Obama and Kerry as relentless enemies of Israel. Their actions were designed to weaken and marginalize Israel, and to embolden its enemies,” added Cruz.

"Today's speech -- like Kerry's 2014 remarks likening Israel to an apartheid state -- will inflame rising anti-Semitism in Europe. It will encourage the mullahs who hate Israel and hate America. And it will facilitate growing legal assaults on Israel through transnational legal fora,” he warned. "Kerry's speech drew a stunning moral equivalence between our great ally Israel and the Palestinian Authority, currently formed in a 'unity' government with the vicious terrorists of Hamas. Kerry declared the Hamas regime in Gaza ‘radical,’ in the same way he declared the duly-elected government of Israel ‘extreme.’ He declared vicious terrorism sponsored by Hamas equal to Israeli settlements in the West Bank [Judea & Samaria]. His speech attempted to lay out an historic and seismic shift towards the delegitimization of our ally, Israel, and the further empowerment of the Palestinian Authority.

"Kerry's central conclusion, that 'Israel can either be Jewish or democratic, it cannot be both' is an inanity that passes as profound only in Ivory Tower faculty lounges. There are roughly 50 majority-Muslim countries in the world. There is one -- only one -- Jewish state. And yet, for Kerry and Obama, that is too much. The Israeli Knesset has 17 elected Arab members. It has Muslim members and Christian members. In contrast, one searches in vain for Muslim countries that have elected Jewish representatives,” Cruz pointed out. "America is an unshakable friend of Israel, and we are horrified at what has transpired this week,” he said, predicting that “Obama's and Kerry's shameful conduct will backfire, will be short-lived, and will inspire a bipartisan repudiation of their radical anti-Israel agenda.” (Wash.Times)

TOP SENATE DEMOCRAT SAYS KERRY’S SPEECH INFLAMED EXTREMISTS ON BOTH SIDES: Incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said Secretary of State Kerry inflamed tensions between the Israelis and Palestinians with his 28 Dec. 2016 speech. "While Kerry mentioned Gaza in his speech, he seems to have forgotten the history of the settlements in Gaza, where the Israeli government forced Israeli's there to withdraw from all settlements and the Palestinians responded by sending rockets into Israel. [From 2006-2016, there have been 10,412 rocket attacks, at an average of 947 per year, the highest number being fired during Israel’s three wars with Gaza: 925 during the 2008-9 war, 845 during the 2012 war and 3,852 during the 2014 war.] This is something that people of all political stripes in Israel vividly remember. While he may not have intended it, I fear Secretary Kerry, in his speech and action at the UN has emboldened extremists on both sides." Kerry's rebuke of the Israeli government set off a wave of criticism from lawmakers in both parties. Republicans denounced what they said was the Obama administration's harsh treatment of a steadfast ally. (The Hill)

KERRY’S RAGE AGAINST ISRAEL: John Kerry delivered a marathon speech Wed. 28 Dec. 2016, excoriating Israel. It's not for lack of USA diplomacy that there is no peace. In 2000 then-President Bill Clinton brought Israeli and Palestinian leaders to Camp David to negotiate a final peace agreement, only to watch Palestinians walk away from an offer that would have granted them a state on nearly all of Gaza, Judea & Samaria with a capital in East Jerusalem. That failure was followed by another Palestinian terror campaign. Israelis remember that they elected leaders - Yitzhak Rabin in 1992, Ehud Barak in 1999, Ehud Olmert in 2006 - who made repeated peace overtures to the Palestinians, only to be met with violence and rejection. Israelis also remember that Netanyahu ordered a settlement freeze, and that also brought peace no closer. The lesson is that Jewish settlements are not the main obstacle to peace. The obstacle is Palestinian rejection of Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state in any borders. A Secretary of State who wishes to resolve the conflict could have started from that premise, while admonishing the Palestinians that they will never get a state so long as its primary purpose is the destruction of its neighbor. (Wall St. Journal)

OBAMA TO ISRAEL: DROP DEAD: A headline that would become famous appeared in the New York Daily News in Oct. 1975 after then- president Gerald Ford denied federal assistance to spare the city from bankruptcy. It read: “Ford to City: Drop Dead.” President Obama has told Israel much the same. By instructing his UN ambassador not to veto a resolution condemning Israel for building so-called “settlements” on disputed land, the president has aided and comforted that nation’s enemies. The USA’s abstention will inevitably invite stepped-up attacks against Israelis, as well as calls for more boycotts by the European Union, whose ugly anti-Semitic past and present is well documented. In the Middle East, symbols can be more important than substance, and this symbolic act will send a strong message to Israel’s enemies. Israeli PM Netanyahu called the resolution a “shameful ambush” and “distorted,” noting, “It states that the Jewish quarter and Western Wall in Jerusalem are occupied, which is absurd.” Netanyahu, who has had a tense relationship with President Obama, suggested he expects better relations between the USA and Israel after Donald Trump becomes president.

Netanyahu has often cited history to show how the Jews were in the land long before Arab peoples showed up and started rewriting the past to the point that it belongs in the fiction section of bookstores. What makes anyone think that what Israel does, or does not do, has any effect on the behavior and declared religious mandate of those dedicated to eliminating the country and killing and/or expelling every Jew from it? Did unilaterally relinquishing Gaza bring Israel closer to peace? It did not. Instead, it invited Hamas to use the region as a launching pad for terrorist attacks. It is the same with agreements between Palestinian and Israeli leaders. Israel released terrorist prisoners and got more terror. Israel gave up land and got more terror. Only the deliberately blind and deaf who refuse to believe the stated and repeated goals of Palestinian leadership and much of the Arab world and Iran to eliminate Israel still think that the key to peace and stability lies solely with that country. (Wash. Times) Continue to pray for PM Netanyahu and for the Jewish state’s government heads that they may have much needed strength and shrewdness at this time - also protection from both tremendous spiritual warfare and temporal pressures in their dealings with the Palestinians, the UN and the Obama administration.

NETANYAHU: ARABS ‘ETHNICALLY CLEANSED’ JEWS FROM JUDEA & SAMARIA: Not Israel, but the Arabs are responsible for “altering the demographic composition” of Judea & Samaria by ethnically cleansing the area of Jews in 1948, PM Netanyahu said continuing his aggressive rhetoric against Friday’s 23 Dec. 2016, anti-settlement resolution at the UN. “The anti-Israel resolution that just passed in the UN Security Council is based on the argument that Israel is ‘altering the demographic composition’ of Judea & Samaria,’” Netanyahu wrote on his Facebook page. “The UN has consistently ignored the fact that Jews were ethnically cleansed from these territories in 1948, which is why there were no Jews in the area until after 1967.” The resolution, supported by 14 nations on the 15-nation Security Council, with the USA abstaining but allowing it to pass by not using its veto, condemned “all measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, including east Jerusalem, including the construction and expansion of settlements, transfer of Israeli settlers, demolition of [terrorist’s] homes and displacement of Palestinian civilians, in violation of international humanitarian law and relevant resolutions.”

Netanyahu pointed out that in 1929, it was the Arabs who massacred the Jews in Hebron; that in 1948, Jews were expelled and murdered in Gush Etzion, Kalya (near the Dead Sea) and Atarot, north of Jerusalem. “The Arab Legion also ethnically cleansed the Jews who were living in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, and then blew up all of the synagogues there,” he wrote. “Not a single Jew remained in any of the territories conquered by the invading Arabs in 1948. The reaction of the United Nations to this reality? Silence.” Pointing out that the League of Nations in 1922 ratified the Balfour Declaration that “awarded national rights to the Jewish people – and only the Jewish people – in the Land of Israel,” Netanyahu said that this was later adopted by the UN and “is a binding document under international law that defines the international legal status of the Land of Israel.” The UN has no legal justification for its resolution on Friday, he wrote, “only ignorance and malice.” (J.Post)

THE UNKINDEST CUT OF ALL, RIGHT IN THE BACK: If Israel were a nation in human form, like Uncle Sam or Marianne, the feminine symbol of France, long, bloody knives would be protruding from both back and breast. The man with blood on his hands would be President Obama, who departed from decades of American policy under several presidents both Republican and Democrat, and refused to veto a UN Security Council resolution rebuking Israel for its settlement construction. The president’s action, or rather lack of action, is nothing less than treachery by the man who presents himself as a great friend of Israel. His long knives plunging deep, are a malevolent farewell gesture of contempt for the only democracy in the Middle East. Coming from the United States, for so long Israel’s most reliable friend, this was “the unkindest cut of all.” The reaction across America has been swift and angry, from left and right, liberal and conservative, Democrat and Republican.

Liberal Democratic law professor Alan Dershowitz recalls in disbelief that soon after Obama’s first inaugural the president called him into the Oval Office promising “he would always have Israel’s back.” Dershowitz didn’t get the president’s real meaning at the time - that he would have Israel’s back so he could stab it in the back.” The president’s fading administration tries to wrap itself in sheep’s clothing, blaming the “absence of any meaningful peace process, as well as the accelerated settlement activity,” but the text of the resolution goes far beyond the settlements: It would make the Western Wall, Israel’s holiest site, illegal in international law. It labels 600,000 Israelis as ‘flagrant violators of international law.’ The goal of the initiators of the resolution was not to achieve a better two-state solution, but to deny Israel the right to defend itself and, ultimately, the right to exist as a sovereign Jewish state. Israel will survive this legal onslaught and continue to thrive. Meanwhile, the Palestinians will have no state. (Wash. Times) “Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned against me.” Ps 41:9

The suggestions, opinions and scripture references made by JNN writers and editors are based on the best information received.

Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff

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