JNN Newsletter - March 4, 2017

“Those who hate me without reason outnumber the hairs of my head; many are my enemies without cause, those who seek to destroy me. I am forced to restore what I did not steal.” Ps. 69:4

JEWISH MUSEUM IN LONDON EVACUATED AFTER BOMB THREAT: A bomb threat forced the evacuation of The Jewish Museum in London. Staff and visitors were sent outside after the threat was called in Mon. 27 Feb. 2017 at noon. Children from two schools were visiting at the time. Police and security officials did not find any explosives in their inspection of the building. “This incident underlines how vital our work is,” said Abigail Morris, director of The Jewish Museum. “We welcome thousands of visitors to the Jewish Museum every year, including 20,000 schoolchildren – 95 percent of whom are not Jewish. We challenge prejudice and combat anti-Semitism by breaking down barriers and building bridges.” The hoax threat came within hours of a similar threat to the Sydney Jewish Museum. Earlier this week, 28 Jewish community centers and Jewish schools, and the San Francisco office of the Anti-Defamation League were evacuated after receiving bomb threats in the fifth wave of such threats since the beginning of the year. (Arutz-7)

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. Special guest speakers include Pastor Jones Boateng, Pastor Wes Richards, Pastor Dennis Greenidge and Pastor Candido Giraldo among others. There will be live worship with Barry and Batya Segal accompanied by Grenville Harding, authentic Jewish music from the Oysland Klezmer band and dancing from the Sh’ma Kingdom Dancers.

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

BRITISH PM: UNIVERSITIES HAVE A DUTY TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM: British PM Theresa May on 1 March 2017, called on universities in the UK to “investigate and swiftly address” anti-Semitism on their campuses. May was responding to a question asked by Conserative MP Bob Blackman during a Parliamentary session of Prime Minister’s Questions. Blackman asked about the anti-Israel activity on university campuses which often devolves into anti-Semitism. “This week, Jewish students are being subjected to intimidation, fear and anti-Semitism as a result of so-called Israel Apartheid Week. What action can my Right Honorable friend take to make sure that chancellors and principals ensure that anti-Semitism is not allowed to prosper on campuses?” May responded: “Higher education institutions have a responsibility to ensure that they provide a safe and inclusive environment for all students, and we expect them to have robust policies and procedures in place to comply with the law, to investigate, and to swiftly address any hate crime, including any anti-Semitic incidents that are reported." She added that Minister of Higher Education Jo Johnson had "recently written to remind institutions of these expectations, and he's also urged them to follow the government’s lead in adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism." (INN) The IHRA’s working definition of anti-Semitism reads: “Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

NETANYAHU: WE EXPECT EUROPE TO CONDEMN ANTI-SEMITISM: PM Binyamin Netanyahu on 1 March, 2017 thanked President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence for condemning recent incidents of anti-Semitism in the United States, urging leaders in Europe to follow suit. "Anti-Semitism certainly has not disappeared. But there is much we can do to fight back. World leaders need to unequivocally condemn anti-Semitism wherever it is found. And I appreciate the fact that in the last few weeks and days, President Trump and Vice President Pence have taken a strong stance in condemning anti-Semitism,” Netanyahu said in remarks to the Jewish People Policy Institute conference in Jerusalem. “This is what we expect too from European leaders, most of them have done it and this is what we must demand from governments around the world because Jews around the world should not live in fear," he added. “Israel’s influence is expanding as never before. And as it expands, we are garnering allies for our people everywhere,” said Netanyahu. "The entire world is coming to Israel because of our expertise in technology and in countering terrorism. And this is why I’ve never been more hopeful about the Jewish future. Israel is stronger than ever. So today I ask all of you to do two things, only two things: support Israel and fight anti-Semitism. They are one and the same,” said the Prime Minister. (Arutz-7) “No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.” Isa 54:17

ANTI-SEMITIC ACTS IN USA GAIN ATTENTION OF NETANYAHU, OTHER ISRAELI LEADERS: In addition to comments on anti-Semitism made by Israel’s PM Netanyahu on 1 March 2017, Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid also addressed the issue at the Jewish People Policy Institute conference in Jerusalem saying, “The days in which the Jewish people hid from anti-Semitism are over. We will face it together. Jews “won’t hide anymore, Jews won’t be scared anymore, and we expect the governments of the world to fight anti-Semitism decisively and with all their might” he said, stressing that the Jewish people must engaged in an “open, brave, incisive” dialogue led by Israel. Opposition leader Isaac Herzog noted at the conference: “These are scenes which are very worrying and painful. It requires special awareness in JCCs and synagogues. I am confident the Trump administration will deal with it forcefully. The USA Jewish community is strong and well organized and I trust they will overcome this wave.”

Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky also spoke out Wednesday on the subject. Expressing deep concern over the wave of antisemitic attacks and threats that have swept the USA, Sharansky called for unity. “If ever there was a line between the anti-Semitism of the far Right and the anti-Israelism of the radical Left, the demonization of Jews and the demonization of their state, it no longer exists,” he said. “These two ugly phenomena feed on one another and both run counter to the foundations of democratic societies in Europe and America,” he continued. “It is high time that all who hold democratic values dear put their political differences aside and band together to combat these expressions of hatred and violence.” Sharansky expressed faith that USA authorities will “act resolutely” to find the perpetrators, bring them to justice and prevent the recurrence of such incidents. Meanwhile, Education and Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett said that the responsibility for security of the citizens lies with the respective states in which they live. “We understand the fears among communities and the feeling of people who experienced such acts,” Bennett (Bayit Yehudi) said in a special plenum discussion in the Knesset on the matter. "We send from here our deepest support to them and we are in touch with these communities. But the bottom line is that the responsibility of the personal security of the citizens is from their governments. We call on them to find the perpetrators and to put them on trial.” (J.Post) Please intercede in agreement with Jewish leaders across the political spectrum in Israel that USA authorities will act decisively to track down perpetrators, bring them to justice and prevent the recurrence of anti- Semitic incidents and threats.

SECURITY INCREASED AROUND TORONTO JEWISH INSTITUTIONS: Police in York Region in Ontario, Canada, will increase patrols and presence at synagogues, Jewish community centers and other Jewish institutions across the region following recent threats to the Jewish community across the USA and Canada. Earlier this week, a swastika was found drawn on the board of a classroom in Toronto’s York University. Police launched an investigation into the incident. Elsewhere in Canada, B’nai Brith Canada reported that on 27 Feb. 2017 the Calgary Jewish Community Center was evacuated after an unidentified person phoned in a bomb threat at approximately 5:45 p.m. No suspicious items were found. “Religiously-motivated crimes have no place in our society,” said Ryan Bellerose, Western Canada Advocacy Coordinator of B’nai Brith’s League for Human Rights. “Canadian lawmakers must be vigilant in finding the perpetrators of such crimes and charging them to the full extent of the law,” he added. In a recent anti-Semitic incident that made headlines, a student politician at McGill University in Montreal tweeted a call to “punch a Zionist”. Igor Sadikov, an elected representative of students in McGill’s faculty of arts, faced calls for his resignation after his tweet became widely known but initially refused before finally stepping down last week. ISIS has posted a message on an ISIS-linked channel calling Muslims around the world to inflict terror on Jewish communities in the West. They advised supporters of ISIS to dress up like a Jew, conceal weapons under their coats before attacking the Jews. (Arutz-7)

ISRAEL, USA DISCUSS STRATEGY TO COUNTER UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL: Israel and the United States have held serious discussions to formulate a joint approach with regard to the UN Human Rights Council. The talks come in advance of the anticipated UNHRC publication this year of a data base – known to Israel as the black list – of companies doing business with Judea & Samaria settlements or Jewish entities in east Jerusalem. Earlier this week, USA Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Erin Barclay indicated that the Trump administration may consider pulling out of the council, in part because of its anti-Israel bias. It is presumed that the threat of the USA leaving the UNHRC could force it to change its policy on Israel. The inter-governmental body has condemned Israel more times than it has any other country. On Thurs. morning, 2 March 2017 Israel Army Radio published a transcript of a tape recording from a closed portion of a Likud ministerial meeting with PM Netanyahu after he returned from his meeting last month with USA President Trump. “During the trip I raised the question of whether the United States should remain in the Human Rights Council,” Army Radio quoted Netanyahu as saying. Likud MK Anat Berko questioned whether it would be more beneficial for the USA to remain in the UN body and retain the power to impact votes taken there. According to Army Radio, Netanyahu responded, “It’s better to leave! These organization must be delegitimized.” The USA is one of 47-member states of the UNHRC.

PALACE OF BIBLICAL KING SENNACHERIB DISCOVERED UNDER TOMB OF PROPHET JONAH: The ancient palace of the Assyrian King Sennacherib, who is mentioned in the Bible, has been uncovered. ISIS terrorists destroyed the tomb of the prophet Jonah which was on top of the palace. As ISIS is pushed out of areas in Iraq and Syria that they controlled since 2014, archaeologists are being given the chance to study new discoveries. It is thought that ISIS has ransacked various ancient tombs to collect valuables to sell on the black market in order to fund their operation. "I can only imagine how much Daesh discovered down there before we got here," archaeologist Layla Salih told media sources. "We believe they took many of the artifacts away to sell. But what they left will be studied and will add a lot to our knowledge of the period," Salih added. The palace of King Sennacherib dates back to the seventh century B.C. The Assyrian King is mentioned in the Bible in II Chronicles 32:1 which says, "After all that Hezekiah had so faithfully done, Sennacherib king of Assyria came and invaded Judah. He laid siege to the fortified cities, thinking to conquer them for himself." King Hezekiah of Israel trusted in the Lord to deliver Israel from Sennacherib and the Assyrians. You can read about the story in II Chronicles 32 or II Kings 18-19. (Christian Headlines)

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