NETANYAHU TO DISCUSS IRAN, NOT ANNEXATION, WITH TRUMP: PM Binyamin Netanyahu traveled to Washington on Mon. 13 Feb. 2017, for a series of meetings with senior White House officials and lawmakers on Capitol Hill. The Prime Minister has been slated to meet with both President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, along with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Based on reports, Netanyahu will emphasize the Iranian nuclear deal and the Iranian regime's attempts to destabilize the Middle East. Netanyahu has urged President Trump to place the Iranian conundrum at the top of his Middle East agenda. Regarding the Israeli-Arab conflict, senior political officials said Netanyahu will offer to restart negotiations with the Palestinian Authority – so long as they have no preconditions. Netanyahu will emphasize, however, that since he took office nearly eight years ago, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has refused calls for direct negotiations without preconditions, and is unlikely to change his position. On construction in Jewish communities across Judea & Samaria, Netanyahu has indicated he needs to clarify Trump’s position on the matter. Significant policy changes in Judea & Samaria, such as annexation of major towns or large construction projects outside of the ‘consensus blocs’ will not be raised during the meeting. Officials say the Prime Minister is unsure of President Trump’s position on Israeli construction in and control of Judea & Samaria, and is hoping to test the waters without raising core issues directly. (Arutz-7) Pray for this week’s meetings between USA President Trump and Israel’s PM Netanyahu that there will be ground laid for addressing Iran’s ongoing support for terrorism, hostility towards Israel and the West and defiant testing of ballistic missiles. Pray also that there will be clarity of understanding between the two leaders regarding construction across Jewish communities in Judea & Samaria
NETANYAHU TELLS ISRAELIS TO CALM DOWN OVER TRUMP MEETING: Israel’s PM Netanyahu is meeting with USA President Donald Trump in Washington on Wed. 15 Feb. 2017. Right-wing Israelis especially are anxious over the gathering, hoping that Netanyahu will take advantage of Trump’s sympathy for Israel to end the charade of the land-for-peace process. And if he doesn’t, Netanyahu could be in for a political firestorm at home. Education Minister Naftali Bennett wrote on Facebook that if Netanyahu and Trump come out of the meeting and mention a commitment to the two-state solution, “it will impact us directly for years to come. It will be an earthquake.” Like many Israelis, Bennett sees in Trump an opportunity for Israel to wrest itself free from a destructive peace process that has only brought decades of escalated conflict and bloodshed. At Sunday’s 12 Feb. 2017 cabinet meeting, Netanyahu tried to downplay the significance of the discussions, insisting that even with a president like Trump, there are limitations. “I understand that there is great excitement in advance of this meeting, driven by various motivations. But I only have one motivation: My utmost consideration is to ensure Israel’s security and strengthen our relationship with the United States as well as the joint interests that stand behind it,” Netanyahu told his ministers. “To think that there are no limits with Trump is a mistake,” he added. “After eight years of complicated maneuvering in the Obama era, we need to continue to act judiciously during the Trump era.” (Israel Today) Pray that patience among Israel’s leaders and citizens will prevail during the early months of USA President’s Trump’s presidency as he continues to familiarize himself with the critical issues in the Middle East through his advisers and also leaders in the region – but also that the subject of Israel’s major-block settlements, their expansion and eventual annexation will not be swept under the rug. Intercede that solid networks of trust and friendship will be established between Israel and the Trump administration wherever it is merited.
HOTOVERLY CALLS FOR GRADUAL SOVEREIGNTY: Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) on Sunday 12 Feb. 2017, expressed hope that PM Netanyahu would act to apply gradual sovereignty over Judea & Samaria. "In the years when we did not dare to ask for sovereignty we lost. We lost justice, truth, the Israeli story. In the years when we told the world that we can resolve the matter in a compromise because we are a peace loving nation, we did not engage in a struggle for justice in Israel. We learned the hard way that you cannot divide the country. We uprooted Gush Katif and we received the terrible Gaza which is bad for both Israelis and Palestinians," she continued, adding that during a meeting with Netanyahu last week, she urged him to apply sovereignty. "It can be done in a gradual manner, starting with the greater Jerusalem area and from there applying Israeli law on the entire settlement enterprise and later to sovereignty from the sea to the Jordan. We represent half a million people who want the law which applies to them to be the Israeli law and not the Civil Administration and the military regime. It is the settlers who are really under occupation, and it's time to end the occupation.” Hotovely noted that while the Iranian issue is an important one which Netanyahu should discuss during his meeting with President Trump this week, "it is more important to tell the world why we are here, because when we tell our truth, we’ll have stability all around us.” (Arutz-7)
MK YEHUDA GLICK: ISRAEL’S SUPREME COURT ‘HAS BECOME A THREAT TO DEMOCRACY’: Knesset Member, Yehuda Glick (Likud) criticized the Supreme Court on Sunday 12 Feb. 2017, as he expressed his support for a bill which would prevent the court from overturning laws passed by the Knesset. In a radio interview, Glick said: "This is a situation in which there is an existential threat to our democracy. There is an election for legislators every four years. When the Supreme Court has decided that it will decide what is good for us, then unfortunately, the Supreme Court has become a threat to democracy. Once again the Supreme Court annuls laws, and it is not entirely clear where that authority comes from. We need to get back to a reality in which there is a balance and each side knows its limitations. As soon as the Supreme Court shows that it preempts authority and rules independently, and does not allow a place for democracy, we must bring this phenomenon to a halt," Glick said. (INN) Intercede that the proposed bill which would prevent Israel’s Supreme Court from overturning laws passed by the Knesset will be passed and put into effect. In addition to undermining and annulling laws passed by duly elected and appointed Knesset members, Israel’ court receives millions of dollars from European governments and foreign-backed NGO’s used to defend terrorists and their families.
‘EUROPE SHOULD STOP UNDERMINING ISRAEL’S SOVEREIGNTY’: A new report shows how European governments defend terrorists in Israel's Supreme Court. The report focuses on the NGO "HaMoked: Center for the Defense of the Individual," which submits dozens of petitions to the Supreme Court on behalf of terrorists and their families. The report aims to raise public awareness about the phenomenon of foreign-government backed NGOs operating in Israel’s Supreme Court in order to alter Israeli policy, specifically in regards to state-sanctioned home demolitions as a means to deter terrorism. The flood of petitions submitted to the Supreme Court hampers the ability of the IDF and Defense Ministry to operate. This sentiment was echoed in 2016 by Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman: "There is currently a war of legal attrition being waged by international bodies funded by other international elements, including European countries." According to the report, from 2012-2016 HaMoked received over 15,500,000 NIS from the European Union, United Nations, and 11 European governments: Belgium, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, Holland, Finland, France, Germany, Norway, Spain and the United Kingdom. In addition, from 2008-2012 HaMoked received nearly 3,000,000 NIS from the New Israel Fund, and in 2014, HaMoked received 3,300,000 NIS from a Palestinian-Arab foundation based in Ramallah. The new report released by the "Im Tirtzu" movement exposes the industry of foreign government-funded lawfare that works to provide protection for terrorists in court. Arutz-7) Im Tirtzu is an extra-parliamentary movement that works to strengthen and advance the values of Zionism in Israel.
PA TV HOST SLAMS Al-AYYAM NEWSPAPER FOR CALLING WAILING WALL BY ITS JEWISH NAME: A Palestinian Authority television station berated a PA newspaper for referring to the Western Wall as "the Wailing Wall" and implying by the use of that term that the Jewish people have a historical connection with the site. The host of the TV program stated: "The Palestinian daily Al-Ayyam from this morning: 'The Israeli Ministry of Transportation announced that the project for extending the high-speed Tel Aviv-Jerusalem train line up to the Al-Buraq Wall (i.e., the Wailing Wall) in the Old City of Jerusalem, has entered the stage of a feasibility study.' I don't know how Al-Ayyam can write 'Wailing Wall' on its front page, and not even put quotation marks." The PA Ministry of Information issued a book in 2012 instructing journalists and citizens not to engage in "the Israeli and American dissemination of poisoned terms" to describe many objects and places. The Star of David was only to be called the "six pointed star," and the Western Wall was only to be called the "Al-Buraq Wall." Terms which implied a Jewish connection or Jewish presence were to be suppressed. The Ministry of Information also issued guidelines requiring the use of language sanitizing acts of terrorism and murder against Israeli civilians, going so far as to mandate that suicide bombings be referred to as "Martyrdom-seeking operations." (Palestinian Media Watch)
ISRAELIS LEAD SECRET OPERATION TO DELIVER COATS TO REFUGEES IN SYRIA: Refugees in Syria will soon be receiving donated winter supplies - but they won’t know that the coats and boots keeping them warm came from Israel, an enemy state. Any logos or tags featuring Hebrew writing has been removed from the more than 100 tons of supplies collected by three Israeli groups, in order “to protect the effort and the recipients,” according to a statement. The organizers collected about 3,000 boxes of blankets, coats, sleeping bags, gloves, boots and other winter supplies as part of an initiative dubbed “Operation Human Warmth.” The items have been taken to a collection point. From there, a partner aid organization is facilitating the delivery of the goods to the refugees, who won’t know their country of origin. The representative said the delivery date and method could not be revealed due to the sensitive nature of the situation. (J.Post)
ISRAEL MAKES LIST OF BEST COUNTRIES FOR FAMILIES: A new report by InterNations lists the nineteen best countries to raise a family listed Israel third, just behind Finland and the Czech Republic. The UK and USA were not on the list. Each country was rated based on safety, cost of living, childcare availability and affordability, quality of education, and healthcare. Israel was listed in the top three countries, coming in just behind Finland and the Czech Republic. Just behind Israel, in places four and five, were Austria and Sweden. (Arutz-7)
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