JNN Newsletter - December 4, 2017

“Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always." Ps. 105:4

REPORT: TRUMP WILL RECOGNIZE JERUSALEM AS ISRAEL’S CAPITAL THIS WEEK: USA President Donald Trump is planning to give a speech this week recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a source has confirmed. A “senior USA official” told reporters that the announcement will likely come on Wed. 6 Dec. 2017. Reports also indicate that, despite the coming announcement, Trump will not move the USA embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and will likely sign the usual presidential waiver to that effect. Until now, all previous USA presidents have held that the status of Jerusalem remains open and must be determined through bilateral negotiations. Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital would also come before a major peace push reportedly being planned by Trump and a small circle of advisers, including his son-in-law Jared Kushner and Ambassador to Israel David Friedman. Israel has long claimed Jerusalem as its eternal and united capital. The Palestinians claim the eastern parts of the city as their own and often seek to deny any Jewish connection to the city whatsoever. (Reuters)

BAR MITZVAH HIKE BECOMES A NIGHTMARE: A group of children from Samaria, who left Thurs. 30 Nov. 2017, for a planned trip approved by the IDF near the Samaria town of Migdalim, was attacked by an Arab lynch mob. Some 25 children and two adult escorts departed on the trip, which took place a significant distance from Arab villages. At a certain stage dozens of Arab rioters began to attack the participants in a planned ambush. The rioters threw stones and rocks at the children and the youths, and the group was forced to take refuge along the steep cliffs nearby, thus facing danger to their lives both from the rocks thrown at them and the dangerous terrain. Miraculously, the group found a cave in the area, where it hid until the arrival of the army.

During the stay of the young men in the cave, the rioters attempted to penetrate the cave and lynch the hikers. Dozens of additional rioters then arrived in vehicles, attacked the boys and lightly wounded three of them. A parent of one of the youths who was escorting the group was forced to shoot when he understood that they were in mortal danger. One of the rioters was hit, and after the IDF employed efforts to resuscitate him, his death was determined. Shortly thereafter the Israel Defense Forces rescued the children who were hiding in a cave and put them on a bus. One of the participants in the trip is being treated after suffering a blow to the head. Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan who also appeared at the site of the attack said, "I am sorry that this has to happen when a group of students wants to tour the area, and I give my support to the escorts, who were resourceful and protected the students' lives with determined action against the rioters." (Arutz-7) Gratitude and thanksgiving to the Lord, God of Israel for protecting these children and their escorts from greater injury and death. Pray for the complete recovery of the young man who received a blow to the head and continue to intercede against terrorist attacks in Israel.

ISRAELI SOLDIER STABBED TO DEATH: A twenty year-old man was stabbed to death in the southern Israeli city of Arad on 30 Nov. 2017 in what police said was an apparent terrorist attack. At around 22:00 local time, paramedics reported that while attending a call near a shopping mall in the small city at the edge of the Negev desert, they located the soldier who was suffered from multiple stab wounds. He died despite attempts to resuscitate him. (Times of Israel) Families of terrorist victims seldom recover from the shock of senseless, violent murders of their loved ones. Please pray that God will heal the brokenhearted who yet grieve for lost sons and daughters and other family members.

WE DESPERATELY NEED AND APPRECIATE YOUR FINANCIAL HELP: Vision for Israel continues to impart comfort and provision for many of the nation’s poor, including terrorist victims and their families, the elderly and Holocaust survivors, children at risk and entire households suffering from poverty. Please give generously at www.visionforisrael.com. For residents in the UK and outside N. America visit our website at www.josephstorehouse.co.uk. Thank you for your donations.

PALESTINIANS FURIOUS AFTER SAUDI ARABIA DOWNPLAYS IMPORTANCE OF JERUSALEM: Proponents of the Palestinian cause have tried to inflate the position of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount in Islam, and thereby paint Israel's sovereignty in this city as an affront to their religion. But, a couple years ago, renowned Egyptian scholar and novelist Youssef Ziedan acknowledged in a series of television interviews that Jerusalem holds no religious significance for Muslims. Today, it is common to hear that Jerusalem is Islam's third holiest city, being the location of the "Al Aqsa Mosque" referred to the in the Koran. Ziedan said the whole thing is nonsense: "The Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem did not exist back then, and the city was not called Al-Quds. It was called Aelia, and it had no mosques." He is far from being alone in that position. Saudis have grown increasingly frustrated with what they see as the Palestinian intransigent and treachery. Palestinian rejection of Saudi efforts to bring the Israeli-Arab conflict to an equitable end has incensed many in Riyadh, as has Palestinian support for Iran's nuclear program and collaboration between Palestinian groups and Iran's Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah. Like Israel, Saudi Arabia views Iran as an existential threat. Alienating Saudi Arabia in this manner threatens to lose the Palestinians the support of the Arab world's top powers. And yet, we see their hearts continue to harden. (Israel Today)

IS A DOOR OPENING FOR CHRISTIANITY IN SAUDI ARABIA? Stunning political developments in Saudi Arabia have some wondering if the strict Muslim-ruled Kingdom could become more tolerant of Christianity. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has said he intends to return Saudi Arabia to "moderate Islam" and open the country to all faiths. The kingdom says it has dismissed several thousand imams from mosques for spreading extremism. The percentage of Saudi Arabian citizens who are Christians today is officially zero, because conversion from Islam to Christianity has long been punishable by death. But it's estimated that between four and five percent of the population is Christian – mostly guest workers who are not allowed to worship openly. Many are hopeful that change is coming. (CBN) Pray for the Good News of Redemption to reach many in Saudi Arabia: "I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me? Jer. 32:27

GERMAN JEWS STOP WEARING KIPPOT DUE TO MUSLIM ATTACKS: Members of the small Jewish community in the West German city of Bochum announced that they will no longer wear kippot because of attacks on them by Muslim youths. Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said last week, “When I raised the issue of anti –Semitism, brought to Germany by many Arab and Muslim immigrants, with the German justice minister, I was told this issue would be dealt with in the context of the German authorities’ efforts to integrate newcomers into German life and values.” Cooper said that he has not heard of any government efforts to rope in anti-Semitism among Muslim communities in the Federal Republic since his 2014 meeting with the justice minister. The news outlet Radio Bochum first reported that a representative of the community said members will stop wearing kippot in public because they are routinely faced with insults on public streets when they are recognized as Jews. “Muslim youths attack people of the Jewish faith,” the segment said. Starting in 1941, most of Bochum’s Jews were murdered by the Nazis in Theresienstadt and Auschwitz. (J.Post)

JEWS MINORITY MOST TARGETED BY HATE CRIMES IN CANADA: Jews were the most targeted minority group for hate crimes in Canada in 2016, according to data released by Statistics Canada, the country’s main numbers-keeper. According to “Police-Reported Hate Crime, 2016,” released last week, Jews were victimized 221 times, up from 178 the previous year, a rise of more than 20%. Jews also were the most targeted religious group, followed by Catholics and Muslims, despite perceptions of a rise in Islamophobia. Hate crimes against Muslims and Catholics declined in 2016 compared to the previous year. “While Canada remains one of the best countries in the world to be a minority, anti-Semitism and hate in all forms persist in the margins of society,” said Shimon Fogel, CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs. “We are alarmed by the overall increase in hate crime, the increasingly violent nature of these crimes, and the spike in incidents targeting the Jewish community,” he said. Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre expressed similar sentiments. “Just this past month, we have witnessed swastikas being drawn on numerous buildings and even in front of a Jewish school north of Toronto,” said CEO Avi Benlolo. (JTA) Pray for the protection of Jews living abroad who face increasing acts and threats of anti-Semitic violence. Intercede that as many who are able will make the decision to move to Israel.

NEW DEAD SEA SCROLL FOUND IN ISRAEL; CONTAINS CHAPTERS OF PSALMS: A Dead Sea scroll containing the 81st to the 85th Psalms has been found at the Massada fortress near the Dead Sea where a team of Hebrew University archaeologists are currently excavating the palace of King Herod. The discovery was announced on 3 Dec. 2017, by Dr. Yigael Yadin, Israel’s former Chief of Staff, and director of the expedition. The first Biblical scroll dating from the period of the Second Temple (516 B.C. to 70 A.D.), it was found with a second non-Biblical scroll, inside the northwestern wall of the fortress. Professor Yadin said the script of the scroll is identical with that of the Dead Sea scrolls and will therefore be of great value for their study. Also found in the fortress during the latest phase of the excavation was a board of 17 silver shekels from around 70 A.D. The coins were inscribed with the words, “Shekel of Israel” and “Jerusalem the Holy.” In other parts of the fortress were vessels, baskets and weapons, several scores of spherical stones used as catapult projectiles and fragments of shields. (JTA)

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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