JNN Newsletter - December 7, 2017

“You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness." Ps. 30:11

DONALD TRUMP RECOGNIZES JERUSALEM AS ISRAELI CAPITAL, ANNOUNCES PLAN TO MOVE USA EMBASSY: In a dramatic policy shift, President Trump announced Wed. 6 Dec. 2017 that the USA is recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and he’s starting plans to move the USA embassy to the ancient city. “It is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” Mr. Trump said at the White House. “This is nothing more, or less, than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do.” The president said his decision is not intended to derail any chance of peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians. “We are not taking a position on any final-status issues, including the specific boundaries of the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem or the resolution of contested borders,” Mr. Trump said. “Those questions are up to the parties involved.” The president said he intends “to do everything in my power” to facilitate peace talks, despite his decision having infuriated many Arab leaders. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu expressed “profound” gratitude for Mr. Trump’s move, saying he shares the president’s commitment “to advancing peace between Israel and all of our neighbors, including the Palestinians. This decision reflects the president’s commitment to an ancient but enduring truth, to fulfilling his promises and to advancing peace,” Mr. Netanyahu said. (Washington Times) “If I forget you, Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill. May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth If I do not remember you, If I do not exalt Jerusalem above my chief joy.” Ps 137: 5-6

‘ONE OF THE GREATEST MOMENTS IN HISTORY’: USA senators and congressmen responded on 6 Dec. 2017,to USA President Trump's recognition of the fact that Jerusalem is Israel's capital city. USA Senator Ted Cruz said, "I enthusiastically commend President Trump for today’s courageous and heroic decision. Roughly 120 years since a pioneer of the Zionist movement, Theodore Herzl, convened the first Zionist Congress in Basel, 50 years since the reunification of Jerusalem during the Six Day War, and nearly 70 years after the United States was the first country to give recognition to the modern State of Israel, the President of the United States has for the first time formally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. This day will forever be etched in the history books as one of the great moments in history. The strongest and most prosperous country in the world has rectified what has been a historic injustice for far too long, recognizing the ancient and sacred city that has been the eternal capital of the Jewish people for over 3,000 years, and the capital of the one and only Jewish State since 1948. This sends a powerful message that rejects all those who wrongly seek to de-legitimize Israel through falsifying and erasing the profound ties that exist between the Jewish people and Jerusalem.” (Autz-7) “In that day they will say, ‘Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the Lord, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.’" Isa 25:9

TEN REASONS FOR RECOGNIZING JERUSALEM AS THE CAPITAL OF ISRAEL: 1. Jerusalem has been the official capital of the State of Israel and center of its government since 1950, the seat of Israel's President, Knesset, and Supreme Court. 2. In 1967, Jordan rejected warnings from Israel and opened an aggressive war by bombarding Jerusalem. In response and in self-defense, Israel captured east Jerusalem. 3. As such, Israel's status in eastern Jerusalem is entirely legitimate and lawful under the international law of armed conflict. 4. The 1967 unification of Jerusalem by Israel through the extension of its law, jurisdiction, and administration to eastern Jerusalem, while not accepted by the international community, did not alter the legality of Israel’s presence and status in, and governance of, the city. 5. The United States has consistently stated that the issue of Jerusalem must be solved by negotiation as part of a just, durable and comprehensive peace settlement. 6.Numerous politically-generated resolutions and declarations by the UN, UNESCO, and others, attempting to revise and distort the long history of Jerusalem and to deny basic religious, legal and historic rights of the Jewish People and the State of Israel in Jerusalem, have no legal standing and are not binding. They represent nothing more than the political viewpoints of those states that voted to adopt them.

7. The PLO and Israel agreed in the Oslo Accords that “the issue of Jerusalem” is a permanent status negotiating issue that can only be settled by direct negotiation between them with a view to settling their respective claims. The USA President, as well as the presidents of the Russian Federation and Egypt, the King of Jordan, and the official representatives of the EU are among the signatories as witnesses to the Oslo Accords. 8. Neither UN/UNESCO resolutions, nor declarations by governments, leaders, and organizations can impose a solution to the issue of Jerusalem, nor can they dictate or prejudge the outcome of such negotiations. 9. Acknowledging the facts that Jerusalem is the capital city of Israel and acknowledging that locating the American embassy in Jerusalem is the sovereign prerogative of the United States would in no way prejudice or influence the peace negotiation process. They would be an acknowledgment of a long-standing factual situation and rectification of a historic injustice. 10. Statements by the King of Jordan, the Palestinian leadership, and Arab leaders that recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital or locating the USA embassy in Jerusalem will endanger the peace process and bring a wave of violence, are nothing but empty threats and unfortunate attempts to threaten a sovereign government and incite. Surrendering to such threats of violence and terrorism would be a dangerous precedent and a sign of weakness. (Arutz-7)

250 RABBIS TO TRUMP: BE STRONG AND HAVE GOOD COURAGE: Samaria Regional Council Chairman Yossi Dagan sent a letter to the White House in support of President Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish people. About 250 rabbis from around the country signed the letter. “You have a rare privilege now to be the first president to spearhead the recognition of Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the State of Israel," the rabbis wrote. "We are sure that you will be remembered in the history of the Jewish people forever as one who stood at the fore and was not afraid. May God’s promise to Joshua be fulfilled upon you: ‘Did I not command you, be strong and have courage, do not fear and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.’” Head of the Samaria Council Yossi Dagan, as stated, transferred the letter to the White House, and said that "Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Israel, the American people understand it, everyone understands it, we support the president's decision, but remember that the State of Israel is an independent state and needs to make its decisions by itself." (Arutz-7) Pray for President Donald Trump, in the midst of this courageous move, that he will be protected against the bombardment of criticism and hatred that will come against him. Pray for angelic shields to surround him.

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ANALYSIS: UPENDING THE APPLECART: In a brief speech of 1,240 words, USA President Donald Trump did more on Wed. 6 Dec. 2017, than “just” recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital . Over the last 24 years, since the beginning of the Oslo peace process, certain tenets have come to be accepted as truths: that the only solution is a two-state solution; that there can be no long-term interim agreements; that dozens of settlements will have to be removed; that a future Palestinian state must be free of Jews; and that Washington cannot recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital until there is a final peace deal. On and off over this period, a lot of intelligent people have devoted a great deal of time and energy towards trying to bridge the chasm between the most Israel would offer and the minimum the Palestinians were willing to accept. And despite their best efforts, they couldn’t bridge the gap. Along comes Trump, the most nontraditional and nonconformist of all USA presidents, and says “enough is enough.” What has been tried didn’t work, so it’s time to try something new.

“When I came into office, I promised to look at the world’s challenges with open eyes and very fresh thinking,” Trump said. “We cannot solve our problems by making the same failed assumptions and repeating the same failed strategies of the past. Old challenges demand new approaches.” Every USA president for the last 20 years has signed the presidential waiver keeping the embassy out of Jerusalem, but it did nothing to promote peace, he said. “It would be folly to assume that repeating the exact same formula would now produce a different or better result.” In other words, the USA kept its embassy out of Jerusalem for all these years, but how did that work out for everyone? So Trump ditches the formula, and by doing so, places all on notice that what was is not what will be, and that if one sincerely wants to move the diplomatic process, it is necessary to try a different approach. Beyond righting a historical wrong in denying the Jews the right to determine where their capital is, Trump’s announcement about recognizing Jerusalem could also give the diplomatic process a badly needed jolt by forcing people to rethink long-held assumptions that have led nowhere. (J.Post)

PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY FACES MASSIVE CUT IN USA AID AS TAYLOR FORCE ACT TARGETING TERROR PAYMENTS PASSES HOUSE VOTE: The Taylor Force Act passed the USA House of Representatives by unanimous consent on Tues. 5 Dec. 2017, confronting the Palestinian Authority with the prospect of a massive cut in USA aid for as long as it maintains its policy of paying monthly salaries and other benefits to the families of slain or convicted Palestinian terrorists. Named in memory of Taylor Force – the former American army officer stabbed to death during a knifing spree by a Palestinian assailant in Tel Aviv in March 2016 – the legislation prevents the transfer of funds “that directly benefit the Palestinian Authority” for a six-year period beginning in 2018 unless the PA ends its so-called “martyr payments” policy. The Taylor Force Act also requires the PA to repeal any laws enabling or favoring the payments policy, as well as to investigate terrorist acts for the purpose of “bringing the perpetrators to justice.” The sponsors of the act in the House gave a fulsome welcome to its passage. Jewish organizations and pro-Israel groups have also deeply welcomed the USA approval of the Taylor Force Act. (Algemeiner) “You have maintained my right and my cause; You sat on the throne judging in righteousness.” Ps 9:4

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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