JNN News Update March 18, 2017
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20 March 2017 Written by  Vision for Israel
TRUMP PROPOSES CUTS TO UN, INCREASES MILITARY SPENDING: President Donald Trump unveiled the first budget proposal of his presidency Thurs.16 March 2017, one which would see a significant increase in defense spending while cutting domestic programs long targeted by conservatives. The budget outline, totaling $1.15 trillion, covers only discretionary funding, leaving entitlement programs like Social Security, for future documents to be released later this spring. Entitled “America First”, the budget proposal includes a roughly 10% boost to the USA military, amounting to some $54 billion. If enacted, that would constitute the largest defense spending increase since Reagan’s massive 1981 military spending surge. In addition, the budget plan allocates $4 billion for construction of the southern border wall, with $1.4 for immediate spending and another $2.6 billion this fall. To offset these spending hikes, the America First budget dramatically cuts foreign aid, the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget, and cuts or terminates certain domestic programs. The State Department would lose 28% of its funding – more than $10 billion – under the Trump proposal. The UN, which currently receives some $10 billion per annum from the USA, would also see a significant cut in funding. Trump said his administration would “do more with less, and make the Government lean and accountable to the people.” (Arutz-7)

STATE DEPARTMENT: ISRAEL’S AID WON’T BE REDUCED: The USA State Department clarified on Thurs. 16 March that President Donald Trump's proposed budget for the 2018 fiscal year would not reduce aid to Israel, but added that assistance levels to other nations, including Egypt and Jordan, were still being evaluated. "Our assistance to Israel is guaranteed and that reflects obviously our strong commitment to one of our strongest partners and allies," State Department spokesman Mark Toner said. "With respect to other assistance levels, foreign military assistance levels, those are still being evaluated and decisions are going to be made going forward," Toner added. The State Department clarified that "the budget blueprint includes $3.1 billion to meet our security assistance commitments to Israel." (INN)

UN CHIEF AGAINST TRUMP’S CUTS: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on 16 March 2017 spoke out against USA President Donald Trump’s plan to cut some USA funding for the world body. "Abrupt funding cuts can force the adoption of ad hoc measures that will undermine the impact of longer-term reform efforts," Guterres’ spokesman Stephane Dujarric warned. "The Secretary-General fully subscribes to the necessity to effectively combat terrorism, but believes that it requires more than military spending," he added, responding to Trump's proposal for an additional $54 billion in military spending. The UN, which currently receives some $10 billion per annum from the USA, would also see a significant cut in funding, according to the budget. Foreign Policy reported this week that the White House has instructed the State Department to cut more than half of American funding for the UN. The United States is the biggest contributor to the United Nations, paying 22 percent of the $5.4 billion core budget and 28.5% of the $7.9 billion peacekeeping budget. There were calls on Trump to cut American funding to the UN following the Security Council’s passage of Resolution 2334 which criticizes Israel’s presence in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem. (Arutz-7)

WHY THE USA SHOULD WITHDRAW FROM THE UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL: Would the USA remain a member of an organization that condemned it for human rights abuses more frequently than it did Syria, North Korea, and Iran? Yet, the USA is currently a member of the UN Human Rights Council that does precisely that to Israel, America's foremost democratic Middle Eastern ally. Over the past nine years, the UNHRC has condemned Israel 61 times, as opposed to its 16 resolutions on Syria and five on Iran. Denunciations of Israel outnumber those of all other countries combined. Repelled by this bigotry, the Bush Administration refrained from appointing an ambassador to the council. That decision was reversed by President Obama, however, who believed that a USA presence on the body could redress some of its injustices, including that toward Israel. Yet, throughout the Obama years, UNHRC denouncements of Israel only multiplied. A return to America's previous boycott of the council would be warmly welcomed by Israel. The fact that the USA not only helps fund this racist body but is formally represented on it, should be reprehensible to all Americans. Withdrawal from the council would reaffirm America's determination to stand up to hatred against Jews and any ethnic, racial, or religious groups. Quitting the UNHRC would send a moral message to the world. (Newsweek)

UN TURNS STARVATION INTO A CASH COW: Less than a week ago, Stephen O'Brien, the United Nations Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief stated, “More than 20 million people across four countries face starvation and famine. Without collective and coordinated global efforts, people will simply starve to death. Many more will suffer and die from disease.” Mr. O’Brien also said “$4.4 billion was needed by July 2017 to avert disaster.” Here is what I’d like to know: Mr. O’Brien has been in office for nearly two years now. What has he been doing all this time? What has the UN been doing? Starvation of twenty million people does not happen overnight. Why has the UN not sounded the alarm before? All of a sudden, the Internet and newsfeeds are inundated with harrowing images of emaciated children. Could the UN not tell the world about this when only five or ten million people were starving? Apparently, someone in that defunct institution calculated that it requires no less than twenty million starving people to redeem a ransom of $4.4 billion by July.

The billions of dollars the organization already receives could have cured the world’s hunger problems several times over. They could have shipped a few million of the 1.3 billion tons of excess food trashed each year and solved this crisis, but they have no interest in doing so. Starving children bring in donations. Feeding them would dry up the flow of money and kill this cash cow. More than anything, Mr. O’Brien’s declaration is an admission that the UN is rotten to the core. The sole interests of the politicians and diplomats who serve in it are their paychecks and promoting their careers. For example, consider this piece of information coming from the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). On its Frequently Asked Questions page, UNICEF USA refutes the “vicious” rumor that Caryl M. Stern, President and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, “earns more than $1 million.” In truth, the organization proclaims, Mrs. Stern “earns $521,820.” Indeed, a CEO who is a role model of austerity. (J.Post)

ORGANIZATION USED BY PA TO PAY SALARIES TO TERRORISTS IN PRISON DECLARED A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION: Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman announced on 16 March 2017 his decision to designate the 'Palestinian National Fund' as a terrorist organization, pursuant to his authority to combat terrorism. The decision to declare the fund as a terrorist organization stems from its continuous and sustained provision of massive support for entities responsible for serious terrorist activity against Israel and Israeli citizens. Among the recipients of the fund's largess - to the tune of millions of dollars - are security prisoners serving time in Israeli prisons for terrorist activity, as well as the families of the terrorists. In practice, the amount of money the terrorists receive is determined by the length of their sentence, meaning that the more heinous the terrorist attack, the more money the terrorist receives. The PNF plays a crucial role in the Palestinian Authority's economic support for terrorists who have committed attacks against Israelis, and serves as a delegate in the transferring of a significant amount of funds to terrorists. As a result of the declaration, steps will be taken to seize the fund's property and assets, both in Israel and abroad. "Security officials continue to act firmly against any entity that supports terrorist activities and operations against Israel," the Defense Minister's office stated. (INN) Intercessors, this is answer to pray that stiff penalties will be imposed on organizations that fund and glorify terrorism. Pray that this long overdue decision will succeed in drying up millions of dollars of foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority, much of which is siphoned off to the PNF for its programs rewarding jailed terrorists.

PA FURIOUS OVER TERRORIST DESIGNATION: Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas on 16 March 2017 slammed Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman’s decision to designate the Palestinian National Fund (PNF) as a terrorist organization. A statement issued by Abbas’ bureau said that the PNF is one of the institutions of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which operates according to international agreements and standards. "We strongly oppose this decision and demand that the Israeli government immediately deal with it and cancel it, as this will lead to the collapse of the foundations of the Oslo Agreement and the legal relationship with Israel," it warned. Liberman’s decision to declare the PNF a terrorist organization stems from its continuous and sustained provision of massive support for entities responsible for serious terrorist activity against Israel and Israeli citizens. The PNF plays a crucial role in the PA’s economic support for terrorists who have committed attacks against Israelis, and serves as a delegate in the transferring of a significant amount of funds to terrorists. It was established in 1964 by operatives from the PLO to manage the terrorist organization's funds in its campaign to destroy the State of Israel. (Arutz-7) Pray there will be no reversals or cancellations on this decision on the part of Israel’s Ministry of Defense.

EVANGELICAL GROUPS PLEDGE $100,000 TO SECURE BIRMINGHAM JCC: Several Evangelical Christian ministries in Alabama announced plans to raise $100,000 to help cover additional security at a local Jewish community center. The Levite JCC in Birmingham has suffered four bomb threats since the beginning of the year and been evacuated each time, disrupting its preschool and exercise facilities. More than half of the children enrolled in the preschool program are not Jewish. The security upgrades required at the JCC building will cost as much as $1 million, according to reports. The threats are part of a wave that has hit JCCs, Jewish schools and other Jewish institutions since the start of 2017. More than 150 threats have been received since the beginning of the year, according to the Secure Community Network, which coordinates security across Jewish organizations in North America. (J.Post)

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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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