JNN Newsletter - February 8, 2017

“Enlarge the place of your tent, and let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; do not spare; lengthen your cords, and strengthen your stakes. For you shall expand to the right and to the left, and your descendants will inherit the nations, and make the desolate cities inhabited.”
Isa 54: 2-3

ISRAEL'S KNESSET PASSES BILL LEGALIZING 4000 SETTLER HOMES: The Israeli Knesset on Mon. night 7 Feb. 2017, voted in favor of legislation that would see thousands of housing units in Judea & Samaria outposts legalized, in a move that is already causing widespread criticism. The Regulation Law legalizes and protects thousands of Jewish homes in Judea & Samaria which were built with government backing and no knowledge of the existence of absentee land owners, but against which there are now claims of property ownership. Under the Regulation Law, the homes built on such properties will be allowed to remain, and owners with proven claims to the land will be given a choice of receiving an alternate plot of land or monetary compensation for 125% of their land's value. The law has been condemned by the previous USA administration of Barack Obama, the European Union, the UN and Israel’s own attorney general, Avichai Mandelblit, who has warned that it marks the first time Israeli legislation explicitly affirms government support for the settlements, and would openly curtail property rights of Palestinians in Judea & Samaria. (Times of Israel/Arutz-7/i24)

UK PURIM CELEBRATION 2017: 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 Esther and the salvation of the Persian Jews from the wicked plot of Haman. 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: 

‘THE NEXT STEP IS SOVEREIGNTY’: Likud MK Yehuda Glick discussed the Regulation Law, which passed its second and third readings in the Knesset on Mon. evening, 6 Feb. 2017. The Jewish communities in Judea & Samaria are “an irreversible process”, Glick explained. “If we see thousands of houses that are in danger, we have to make sure that they are legal, and therefore the law which legalizes these houses is something to which we are obligated. The Israeli government, run by Binyamin Netanyahu and the Likud party, promised our people that we positively support the Jewish settlements in Judea & Samaria, and we will do everything we can in that regard,” he said. “Eventually, our next step is implementing Jewish-Israeli sovereignty over all of Judea & Samaria,” declared Glick. (INN)

‘THE HIGH COURT WILL STRIKE DOWN THE REGULATION LAW’: Israel’s former Justice Minister Prof. Daniel Friedman said Tues. 7 Feb. 2017 that the chances that the Supreme Court will not strike down the Regulation Law passed in the Knesset are low. Friedman said that the Court will likely reject the Law on grounds that it presents a blow to private property rights. He said that “it’s true that a possibility exists in existing Israeli law regarding unregulated property, if someone built in good faith and thought that it was his land, that he can obtain the property. However, the definition in the Regulation Law of ‘good faith’ is very wide. It’s enough that the State supported it in some way for it to be considered in good faith.” In addition, Friedman asserted that the ICC’s preoccupation with the Law posed a danger to Israel. “The Hague is checking it, it’s something we’re trying to deal with,” he said. There’s no justification for the ICC to be dealing with it. The Court has a lot of problems - it doesn’t address the worst of human rights offenses happening in the world.” Nevertheless, he said that “the moment they’re dealing with it, it’s not the best thing to enact a law like this. International Law is much more much more politically biased - than our internal law. Despite the fact that I oppose the Regulation Law, use of the Hague is extreme and unreasonable - but it can happen,” he concluded.

Meanwhile MK Bezalel Smotrich plans to submit this week a bill that seeks to enable the Knesset to re-enact laws previously struck down by the Supreme Court. The bill comes amidst assessments that Israel’s Supreme Court will reject the Regulation Law, which seeks to protect Jewish towns in Judea & Samaria from third-party land claims, passed this week. Smotrich collected the signatures of the heads of all coalition parties for the bill, aside from that of Kulanu Chairman Moshe Kahlon. Speaking with reporters, Smotrich called the passage of the Regulation Law “historic.” “We are returning the decision-making process to the people,” he said. (Arutz-7) Pray according to God’s promise for Israel’s land and all the Jewish settlements, communities and cities upon it: “As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land.” Ezek 34: 12-13

USA STATE DEPT. REFUSES TO CONDEMN REGULATION LAW: Following the passage in the Knesset of the “Regulation Law,” the USA State Department has taken a “wait-and-see” approach - while, at the same time, calling on Israel’s enemies to withhold hostile action against the Jewish state. The Regulation Law legalizes and protects thousands of Jewish homes in Judea & Samaria which were built with government backing and lacked absentee land claims, but against which there are now property claims. In response to the passage of the Law, a State Department official said the USA administration was “withholding comment” for the time being. "At this point, indications are that this legislation is likely to be reviewed by the relevant Israeli courts, and the Trump administration will withhold comment on the legislation until the relevant court ruling." At the same time, the official called on the Palestinians and their supporters not to challenge the Law before the international community, claiming such action would be counterproductive to peace. "We are concerned that other actors have said they may seek to challenge this measure in multilateral fora, including at the International Criminal Court," he said. "We continue to strongly oppose actions against Israel at the ICC.” Speaking after the law was finalized, Bezalel Smotrich of the far-right Jewish Home, who was one of the forces behind the legislation, thanked the American people for electing Donald Trump as president, "without whom the law would have probably not passed". (Arutz-7)

ISRAEL’S JUSTICE MINISTER: EFFORTS TO REMOVE TERRORISM-INCITEMENT FROM SOCIAL MEDIAL PLATFORMS BEARING FRUIT: Israel’s justice minister said on 6 Feb. 2017 that the Jewish state’s efforts to combat incitement on social media were finally bearing fruit. Addressing an international cyber conference in Tel Aviv - attended by more than 70 ambassadors and attaches from around the world - Ayelet Shaked said that more than 1,400 requests to remove pages and posts containing content aimed at inciting terrorism have been partially or fully accepted as valid by Internet companies. Shaked told the gathering about the inter-ministerial task force, led by the cyber department of the State’s Attorney’s Office, established last year to locate online incitement and submit legal requests for its removal. She said that since it began operating, the task force has had a 78% success rate. The justice minister also referred to the dialogue that Israel has been conducting with major web platforms, such as Google and Facebook, to come to an understanding of the shared interest of not promoting violence. She said that though there was still a “long road ahead” in the endeavor to cause the providers to increase their level of involvement in what is going on in their platforms, “We are beginning to reap the fruits of our labor, and are finding the large Internet providers attentive.” (Algemeiner) Continue to pray against social media content aimed at inciting terrorism and hatred against the Jewish people and the state of Israel.

THE JEW WHO CHANGED THE COURSE OF THE SUPER BOWL: No one understands how Julian Edelman made the catch that led his team to victory on Sunday night, 5 Feb. 2017. Many are already calling it the greatest catch in the history of the Super Bowl. Others say it's just the craziest. "I don't know how he caught it. I don't think he knows," said teammate and New England Patriots star Tom Brady, who made the pass. The game was one of the most dramatic in the history of American football, and has been compared to Donald Trump's election victory. The Patriots were in arrears 28-3 versus the Atlanta Falcons in the third quarter of the game, but finally managed to win 34-28 in overtime. Edelman's catch was in the fourth quarter, when the Falcons led 28-20. The ball was thrown from a distance of about 25 meters, and was at first fumbled by one of the Falcons, Robert Alford. But Alford could not gain control of the ball, it hit his leg. And somehow, with perfect instincts, Edelman managed to catch it a few inches from the turf. Edelman became the star of the Super Bowl and commentators who interviewed him after the game said that the game will be remembered for his historic play. (Arutz-7)

NFL PLAYERS TO VISIT ISRAEL: In Israel “football” means soccer. But a group of 11 NFL players hope to introduce Israelis to the “real football.” They will visit Israel next week after accepting an invitation from Israel’s Tourism Ministry. They will visit holy Jewish and Christian sites and even hold an exhibition match with the Israeli football team in Jerusalem. Among the players are Super Bowl XLVIII Champions Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett, the duo of starting defensive ends for the Seattle Seahawks Defense. Bennet’s younger brother and New England Patriots Tight End Martellus Bennet, will also be part of the delegation. Also coming is ESPN Football Commentator and former NFL linebacker Kirk Morrison. (Medialine)

TEL AVIV UNIVERSITY AMONG WORLD’S TOP 10 SCHOOLS PRODUCING FOUNDERS OF BILLION-DOLLAR STARTUPS: Tel Aviv University is among the world’s top 10 schools to have produced the most founders of billion-dollar startups, according to British accounting software company Sage, Business Insider UK reported last month. According to the report, seven TAU graduates have gone on to establish “unicorn” companies — those that reach the coveted position of becoming worth at least $1 billion — an achievement that earned the Israeli institution of higher learning the number eight slot on Sage’s list. Stanford University came in number one, with 51 graduates to have reached the $1 billion threshold, and Harvard placed second, with 37 alums accomplishing the feat. (Algemeiner)

ISRAEL ZOO ANNOUNCES RARE WHITE RHINO BIRTH: A zoo in central Israel on 6 Feb. 2017, announced the rare birth of a white rhinoceros, an endangered species. Rami, a male, was born several days ago in the Ramat Gan zoological center and safari park following an 18-month pregnancy. Rihanna, his seven-and-a-half-year-old mother originally from South Africa, mated with four-year-old Atari in the safari park. Rihanna belongs to the southern white rhinoceros subspecies, of which some 20,000 remain globally. (UK Dailymail)

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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