JNN Newsletter - February 4, 2017

“A little while, and the wicked will be no more.” Ps: 37:10

ANTI-SEMITISM IN BRITAIN RISES TO RECORD LEVELS: The number of anti-Semitic incidents in Britain rose by more than a third to record levels in 2016, according to data released this week by the Community Security Trust (CST), which monitors incidents of anti-Semitism and provides security to Jewish communities. The group recorded 1,309 incidents of anti-Jewish hate last year, compared with 960 in 2015, a rise of 36%. The previous record number of incidents was in 2014, when 1,182 were recorded. The CST’s chief executive, David Delew, said that “the heightened level of anti-Semitism is deeply worrying and is getting worse. Worst of all is that some people clearly feel more confident to express their anti-Semitism publicly than they did in the past.” The 2014 spike in incidents was attributed to the war in Gaza that summer, which was deemed to be a “trigger event” and which saw a rise in anti-Semitic incidents throughout Europe. However, no such trigger was identified for 2016.

The 1,309 anti-Semitic incidents recorded in 2016 included 107 violent assaults, up 29% on the previous year; 65 incidents of damage and desecration to Jewish property; and 1,006 incidents of abusive behavior, including verbal abuse, graffiti and on social media. Over three-quarters of incidents were recorded in Greater London and Greater Manchester, where the majority of British Jews live. In Dec. 2016 British Interior Minister Amber Rudd promised funds totaling $17 million towards the protection of Jewish synagogues, schools, kindergartens, and museums. In response to the numbers published this week, Rudd said the government would continue “to do all we can to stamp out these vile attacks and encourage those who experience them to come forward.” (Arutz-7) Pray as anti-Semitism spirals throughout Europe that many within persecuted Jewish communities will decide to make Aliyah to Israel. “The Lord has established Zion, and in her his afflicted people will find refuge.” Isa 14:32

BRITISH PM SLAMS MUSLIM COUNTRIES FOR BANNING ENTRY BY ISRAELIS: Donald Trump's controversial ban on the entry to the USA of citizens of seven Muslim countries has also drawn attention to a less known prohibition instituted by 16 Muslim countries against the entry of Israeli citizens into their territory. The issue reached the British parliament on 1 Jan.2017, where British PM Theresa May denounced the discrimination against Israelis and called on Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn to join her in denouncing the bigotry. “We are consistent with our approach. We don’t agree with that approach of banning entry to countries by citizens and it’s not an approach that we will be taking. And I wait for the day when the right honorable gentleman opposite actually stands up and condemns it, too.” Corbyn has been accused in the past of anti-Semitic statements, such as when he appeared to compare Israel to the Islamic State in a speech within the Labor party. The list of nations that bar entry to Israeli nationals include six of the seven countries targeted by Trump’s action. The list includes Algeria, Bangladesh, Brunei, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. (Arutz-7)

CANADIAN SCHOOL EXCLUDES ISRAELIS BECAUSE OF ‘SETTLEMENTS’: A trade school in Canada which banned Israeli applicants due to Israel’s alleged “illegal settlement activity” rescinded the ban this week following an intervention by B’nai Brith Canada and members of the Canadian Jewish community. Stav Daron, an Israeli engineering student and amateur carpenter, had hoped to take a course at the Island School of Building Arts (ISBA), located in the province of British Columbia. However, when he tried to confirm his registration in Jan. 2017 he was told via email that, “Due to the conflict and illegal settlement activity in the region, we are not accepting applications from Israel.” B’nai Brith Canada noted in a statement earlier this week that refusing to provide a service on grounds of race, religion, ancestry or place of origin is prohibited by the British Columbia Human Rights Code. After receiving a legal letter from B’nai Brith, the school apologized for discriminating against Daron, noting that it had “decided to rescind any restriction placed on accepting students from Israel and apologize for any inconvenience.” (Arutz-7)

TRUMP TO IRAN: YOU'RE OFFICIALLY 'ON NOTICE': An increasingly belligerent Iran, which was handed billions of dollars from American taxpayers by the Obama administration but tested a missile this week - one of several recent violation of international rules - was put on notice by the Trump administration. The warning came from the White House national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who said “recent Iranian actions, including a provocative ballistic missile launch and an attack against a Saudi naval vessel conducted by Iran-supported Houthi terrorists, underscore what should have been clear to the international community all along about Iran’s destabilizing behavior across the Middle East.” Explaining that the Obama administration “failed to respond adequately to Tehran’s malign actions - including weapons transfers, support for terrorism, and other violations of international norms,” Flynn said the Trump administration “condemns such actions by Iran that undermine security, prosperity, and stability throughout and beyond the Middle East and place American lives at risk. As of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice,” Flynn said.

Trump already is on record criticizing the various promises, payments and commitments made to Iran by both the USA and the United Nations as weak and ineffective. “Instead of being thankful to the United States for these agreements, Iran is now feeling emboldened,” the national security adviser said. “The recent ballistic missile launch is also in defiance of UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which calls upon Iran ‘not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.’ (WND) Pray for the success of those in the USA government who oppose and have authority to bring about harsh penalties and sanctions against the Islamic Republic. Iran is clearly thumbing its nose at the world as it continues to violate international rules with ballistic missile tests, support of terrorism and ongoing threats of destruction against the Jewish state.

IRAN WON'T BOW TO 'USELESS' USA THREATS: A top adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Thurs. 2 Feb. 2017 that Iran will not yield to “useless” USA threats from “an inexperienced person” over its ballistic missile program. President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn, said the previous day that the United States was putting Iran on notice over its “destabilizing activity” after it test-fired a ballistic missile. Trump, also on Thurs., echoed that language and said that his administration was reviewing how to respond to the launch that Iran said was solely for defensive purposes. (Reuters)

USA WARNS PALESTINIAN LEADERS AGAINST SUING ISRAEL IN INTERNATIONAL COURTS: The USA has warned Palestinian leaders that suing Israel in international courts would trigger severe steps including the closure of PLO offices in Washington and an end to economic aid to the Palestinian Authority. A high-ranking Palestinian source said that President Trump signed an order to execute a congressional resolution, passed in 2015, to bar the transfer of any funds to the Palestinian Authority were it to initiate any investigation against Israel at the World Court or support such an investigation. "Messages arriving from Washington in recent days made clear that any such step by the Palestinians would lead to a severe American reaction, so much so that some talked about returning the PLO to the list of terrorist organizations," said the Palestinian source. (Ha'aretz)

THE PALESTINIAN CAUSE IS “NO LONGER THE ARABS’ PRIMARY CONCERN: The Palestinian cause is “no longer a top priority” for the Arab world, a Saudi journalist has declared. In an article published by the Saudi daily Al Jazirah newspaper - and translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) - Muhammad Aal Al-Sheikh recently wrote that the reliance of radical Palestinian groups on armed resistance “constitutes a kind of political suicide that only political ignoramuses can condone. The Palestinians need to understand that the Arabs of today are not the Arabs of yesterday, and that the Palestinian cause has lost ground among Arabs. This cause is no longer a top priority for them, because civil wars are literally pulverizing four Arab countries, and because fighting 'Islamic' terrorism is the foremost concern that causes all Arabs, without exception, to lose sleep. It is folly to ask someone to sacrifice his own problems and national interests in order to help you solve your own problems. All I can say to my Palestinian brethren is that stubbornness, contrariness, and betting on the Arab masses are a hopeless effort, and that ultimately you are the only ones who will pay the price of this stubbornness and contrariness.” (Al-Jazirah-Saudi Arabia-MEMRI)

CHRISTIANS THE MOST PERSECUTED GROUP IN WORLD FOR SECOND YEAR: In the past year, the persecution of Christians has not only increased, but it has also spread to more corners of the globe – with incidents occurring on every continent, according to a new report. The advocacy group Open Doors USA recently released the latest edition of its annual World Watch List, which ranks countries based on the treatment of their Christian populations. The group said the increase in incidents considered persecution was alarming and only getting worse. "It is appalling that Open Doors has to report that persecution has increased again in 2016 and we are still at the worst levels of persecution in modern times," said David Curry, president and CEO of Open Doors USA. "The spread of persecution has gotten worse, now hitting nearly every continent in the world. There were 23 Christians recently killed in Mexico specifically because of their faith.” The report comes on the heels of another study by the Center for Studies on New Religions that showed nearly 90,000 Christians were killed for their faith in 2016 and that as many as 600 million were prevented from practicing their faith through intimidation, forced conversions, bodily harm or even death. Open Doors said in its new report that some 215 million Christians around the globe are facing some degree of persecution. (Fox) “I have suffered much - preserve my life, O Lord, according to your word.” Ps 119:107

UK PURIM CONFERENCE 2017: PRAYER, PROCLAMATION AND PRAISE! Join us in London for a special and joyous time as we pray and celebrate Purim together in remembrance of the heroic story of Mordecai and Queen Esther and the salvation of the Persian (Iranian) Jews from the wicked plot of Haman. Esther encountered tragedy in her life, but the impact of her obedience and courage makes her story one of great victory. Not considering the consequences for herself when the Jewish people were under threat, Esther put her life at risk to save her beloved people. Esther could only achieve what she did with God’s favor and protection, so she asked her uncle, Mordecai, to call the Israelites together to fast for three days before she went before the King.

Now in this crucial time in the history of the UK, Israel and of the world we are calling you to pray with us. Just as the Israelites fasted for Esther we need to intercede for God’s people who have opportunities to reach those in power. We need to pray and proclaim victorious scriptures and decrees over those who have national and global influence and whose decisions can affect the lives of so many. We want to dedicate a special time at our Purim conference to join in unison to cry out to God. We are calling all the Joseph Storehouse prayer warriors to come and intercede, to proclaim and to praise our mighty God! Date: Saturday 11 March 2017 - Venue: The Emmanuel Centre, 9 - 23 Marsham Street, Westminster, London - Start Time: 10.30am - Cost: £12.00. per person. Reserve your place by calling the UK office at: +44 (0)1793-279111, or book online at: 
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/purim-celebration-tickets-29435218531

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