Mike Pence Is Coming To Israel

“All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord and all the families of the nations will bow down before him, for dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations.” Ps. 22: 27-28

MIKE PENCE IS COMING TO ISRAEL: USA VP Mike Pence will travel to the Middle East Jan. 19-23, with other stops in Egypt and Jordan to meet with their leaders. In Israel on the last two days of the trip, the vice president is scheduled to meet jointly with PM Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin, and to address the Knesset. He also is scheduled to visit the Western Wall and Yad Vashem. Palestinian leaders refuse to meet with Pence in the wake of President Donald Trump’s recognition last month of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Pence postponed a planned mid-December visit to Israel so he could preside over the vote on a tax overhaul favored by Trump. The original trip had included meetings in Bethlehem with Palestinian Authority officials. On the newly scheduled trip, prior to visiting Israel, Pence will meet in Egypt on 20 Jan. 2018 with President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and in Jordan on 21Jan. 2018 with King Abdullah II. At President Trump’s direction, the Vice President is traveling to the Middle East to reaffirm the commitment to work with the USA’s allies in the region to defeat radicalism that threatens future generations. The Vice President is looking forward to meeting with the leaders of Egypt, Jordan, and Israel to discuss ways to work together to fight terrorism and improve our national security.” (JTA) Once again, please pray for visiting VP Mike Pence. May his words be God-given and anointed with wisdom. Intercede for traveling mercies, divine protection and a sense of welcome in his travels.

DEFENSE MINISTRY PUSHING BILL CUTTING PA FUNDS OVER TERRORISTS’ SALARIES: The PA pays an estimated NIS 1.2 billion annually to terrorists in Israeli prisons or to the families of those killed by Israel. The government will submit legislation to deduct an equivalent amount the Palestinian Authority pays terrorists and their families, from tax and tariffs Israel collects for the PA, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said this week. “I think the PA encourages and incentivizes terrorism,” said Liberman. The PA pays an estimated NIS 1.2 billion annually to terrorists in Israeli prisons or to the families of those killed by Israel. The terrorists’ salaries are anchored in PA law, and the amount increases with every Israeli they kill. The amount of the payments that the PA gives is in accordance with the severity of the crime, meaning whoever murdered gets much more money than those who just threw Molotov cocktails or rocks or only injured someone, that is direct encouragement of terror,” Liberman added. In addition, Liberman said that the longer the prison sentence the more money someone gets, such that someone who gets a life sentence for murder, gets more money. “We must put a stop to it,” he stated. (J.Post) Pray that as the Palestinian Authority gets what is deserves in terms of large financial cut for its support of terrorism - that it will topple the pride and stubbornness constantly exhibited by this group that operates a mere cut above the worst of terrorist entities.

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MAJOR JEWISH GROUPS BACK CUTTING PALESTINIAN AID: Major Jewish organizations are expressing support for the idea of reducing USA aid to the Palestinians after President Trump mentioned the possibility last week. Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, said the Palestinian Authority "has proven tone deaf to every previous USA warning about its actions, so perhaps some reduction in aid would finally get its attention." He said the administration "has a right to standards for aid that it provides, and where countries violate those standards, or trample human rights, then the USA absolutely has a right to withhold aid - especially when all the USA is asking the PA to do is to negotiate. AIPAC spokesman Marshall Wittmann said, "We have supported and continue to support reductions in assistance to the Palestinian Authority based on actions such as payments to families of terrorists and violation of its peace process commitment to direct talks with Israel, instead seeking to have the international community endorse Palestinian objectives."

B'nai B'rith International said, "It is reasonable for the USA to use foreign aid as one of several mechanisms for responding to instances where its own interests, or the interests of its allies, are threatened. The Palestinians have refused to negotiate directly with Israel, have failed to comply with their obligations under previous agreements, and have chosen instead to pursue an anti-Israel, anti-USA agenda at the United Nations." David Harris, CEO of the American Jewish Committee, said, "If the Palestinian Authority balks at advancing the peace process, or if it engages in anti-American rhetoric or behavior, then, of course, it's appropriate to send a strong message of disapproval, including a cut in support." (JNS)

TRUMP TELLS PALESTINIANS TO KISS AMERICAN MONEY GOODBYE: USA President Donald Trump this week warned that if the Palestinian Authority does not become more conciliatory in its approach to Israel, then it will no longer receive American financial aid. The Palestinian leadership has painted Trump's recent recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as a major obstacle to peace, going so far as to reject any further American role in the peace process. Trump's White House has responded that the Palestinian Authority was itself an obstacle to peace long before he ever came to the White House. Trump himself said that was evidenced by the Palestinian regime's latest refusal to even come to the negotiating table. The president tweeted that "with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?" (Times of Israel)

ISRAEL’S CABINET CONCERNED ABOUT MILITARY DEVELOPMENTS IN THE NORTH: Israel’s political-security cabinet has met many times in recent weeks and discussed Iran's presence in Syria and Lebanon, and especially how Israel should deal with the changes taking place on the border with Syria. A recent ceasefire agreement between the USA, Russia, and Jordan left Iranian-backed militias just three miles from the Israeli border. In addition, a recent report indicated that Iran is establishing a permanent military base outside El-Kiswah, located 14 kilometers (8 miles) south of Damascus. Israel's public diplomacy systems have been very active, mainly on the diplomatic front, in warning of the danger of Iran's presence close to the Israeli-Syrian border. PM Netanyahu himself is involved in this campaign – and has recently held many conversations with leaders from across Europe. Netanyahu describes to them the situation, outlines the security assessments of the problems that may arise on the border and which create a significant threat to Israel, and asks for their support on this issue. In addition, talks are being held with members of the USA administration. In this context, Netanyahu recently told the Saban Forum in Washington, "We will not allow that regime to entrench itself militarily in Syria as it seeks to do for the express purpose of eradicating our state." (Arutz-7)Continue to pray for constant protection for Israel’s northern borders and for the scattering of Israel’s enemies there.

IRAN BANS ENGLISH IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS AFTER LEADERS WARNING: Iran has banned the teaching of English in primary schools, a senior education official said, after the country's Supreme Leader said early learning of the language opened the way to a Western cultural invasion. "Teaching English in government and non-government primary schools in the official curriculum is against laws and regulations," said Mehdi Navid-Adham, head of the state-run High Education Council. (Free Beacon)

IRAN REGIME HAS SUSTAINED A SERIOUS STRATEGIC BLOW: Even if the Iranian regime survives the recent wave of anti-government protests, "it will have sustained a serious strategic blow," says Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Yossi Kuperwasser, former head of the IDF's intelligence research division. "All of a sudden, it became apparent that there is not a lot of support for turning Iran into a hegemonic power in the region and for the Islamic idea. It turns out that it is just an empty slogan." The current protests are about the very idea of the Islamic republic. "The protests, in large part, reflect a demand not just for reform but for a revolutionary change," he says. "The blow sustained by the regime as a result of everything that has happened in the last week is massive. Its entire legitimacy was shaken to the core. It obviously won't be able to continue to easily justify the support it provides to all kinds of terrorist organizations in the Arab sphere."

"They don't want to be a part of an Islamic republic, first and foremost. This idea of having a religious cleric dictate the conduct in the country is no longer acceptable to them. They are saying, 'We don't want to live in an Islamic republic, we want to live in an Iranian republic. This is a blow that will impact all of Iran's supporters and all its proxies - in the northern front, in Gaza, wherever there is reliance on Iran. Those who thought that Iran was an awakening giant that is progressively expanding its grip on the Middle East, and can become the regional hegemony as a Shiite Iranian axis, understand now that beneath all that power hides a weak system that can't even enlist the support of its own people. It is somewhat reminiscent of the Soviet Union prior to 1989 - inside, everything was rotten, and ultimately, it collapsed." (Israel Hayom)

ISRAELI COMPANY SAYS IT HS PRODUCED THE TINIEST CHERRY TOMATO: The "drop tomato" is about the size of a blueberry and the Kedma company says it is the smallest one ever cultivated in Israel, perhaps even in the world. Says a grower: "It just explodes in your mouth." They say bigger is better, but in the succulent world of cherry tomatoes, one Israeli company is going smaller than ever before. It’s a point of pride in a country known for its agricultural innovation, where fruits and vegetables are taken seriously and where several strands of the cherry tomato were first invented. “The idea is that it is comfortable,” said Ariel Kidron, a Kedma grower. “You can throw it in a salad, you don’t need to cut it. It just explodes in your mouth.” The seed, originally developed in Holland, was modified to match the arid growing conditions in southern Israel. Rami Golan, of the Central and Northern Arava Research and Development center, who accompanied the project, said it was definitely the smallest ever to be grown in Israel - where tomatoes are incredibly popular. The tiny tomato, smaller than a one shekel Israeli coin, is offered in red and yellow varieties and will be presented to the public at a international agricultural fair in Israel later this month. Early indications are it could be a big hit. (Google)

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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