Storks Enjoying Israel's Hula Lake

“Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, ‘The Lord has done great things for them.’" Ps. 126:2

STORKS ENJOYING ISRAEL’S HULA LAKE: Nearly half a million storks stop annually in Israel for food and rest, nearly all the ones from Europe and Asia. 40 storks arrived in Israel this week and briefly rested at the Hula Lake to eat and gather strength before the next leg of their journey to Europe. This is the first flock of storks to arrive in Israel this winter. Hula Lake is the place to watch thousands of migratory birds and birds of Israel. The Hula Valley in the Upper Galilee has developed an internationally acclaimed bird watching park. Twice a year, no less than 390 species of birds pass through the area; water fowl, birds of prey and songbirds. Conditions are so good for these visitors that increasing numbers stay for the winter season rather than continuing their migratory flights. Water buffaloes and wildcats, unique flora and fauna also flourish in the area. The Hula Lake is visited by more than half a billion birds during the migrating season and was selected by Wildlife as one of the ten most important nature observation points on earth in 2009. The stork is often mentioned in the bible where it is admired for its wing-span and feats of flight. (J.Post/JNN) The prophet Jeremiah himself admired storks when he noticed that "The stork in the sky knows her appointed seasons." Jer. 8:7

‘ISRAEL – USA RELATIONS ARE FLOURISHING’: Speaking at news conference in Jerusalem, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said that the current period is a “flourishing” one for Israel-USA relations. “In Israel we try to maintain a bipartisan strategy and work with any administration that the American people choose, but that being said there is very good cooperation with the current administration.” Regarding how she sees Israel’s relationship with the USA affecting negotiations with the PA, she said that “There is no partner, there are no negotiations. We think that the gap between the Israelis and Palestinians is far too great to be bridged, and if the Prime Minister decides to have negotiations, I don’t think there will be any outcome". Regarding efforts of the Justice Ministry to advance sovereignty in Judea & Samaria, Shaked said that “For every law the government supports, we are making efforts to implement it in Judea & Samaria as well, in order to normalize life there. In addition, we are developing judicial tools that will enable official recognition of 'settlements' and buildings in Judea & Samaria, something which the government has neglected for a long time. When I entered office, I established a team to find judicial solutions to problems that we have there.” (INN)

ISRAEL, EGYPT SIGN LANDMARK $15 BILLION NATURAL GAS DEAL: The Israeli company Delek Drilling and its American partner Noble Energy have signed a $15 billion deal to supply the Egyptian company Dolphinus Holdings with 64 billion cubic meters of natural gas over the next ten years. The transaction is the largest so far for Israel’s new gas export industry. Observers report that although the bulk of the gas will be earmarked for Egyptian domestic consumption, it is expected that the agreement will ultimately lead to Egypt becoming an export hub for the Israeli gas. There are two major gas fields being worked in Israel, the Tamar field which is already operative and the huge Leviathan field which won’t go operational for another year. The Egyptian-Israeli agreement deals with gas from the Tamar field. The Israelis already have a massive contract in place: a $10 billion deal to supply Jordan with 45 billion cubic meters of gas that was signed in 2016. Notably, the first two massive contracts are with the two Arab states that have signed peace treaties with the Jewish state. (Medialine)

70,000 HINDUS RALLY FOR ISRAEL IN INDIA: Over 70,000 Hindus held a pro-Israel rally in Kolkata (Calcutta), India last week. There were calls for India to stand by Israel and move its embassy to Jerusalem. For many in India, Israel has become synonymous with survival, creativity and prosperity. One of the key goals of the rally was to urge the Indian government to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Hundreds of rally participants carried signs stating, “Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel.” “Moving our embassy to Jerusalem will honor Israel’s long-standing commitment to peace and strengthen the bond between our two ancient peoples,” said Tapan Ghosh. (J.Post)

INTEL TO BUY MOBILEYE FOR $15 USA BILLION IN LARGEST PURCHASE OF ISRAELI TECH. USA: USA giant Intel Corp. said that it has agreed to buy Mobileye, a Jerusalem-based developer of advanced vision and driver assistance systems, for $15.3 billion. The American chipmaker hopes the purchase will position it as a leading technology player in the fast-growing self-driving car market. Mobileye develops the sensors and artificial intelligence that allow a vehicle’s on-board computer to essentially know where it is in relation to other vehicles, pedestrians and the surroundings, the key technologies needed for cars to eventually safely drive themselves. The deal, the largest ever purchase of an Israeli high-tech company, was hailed across Israel as a sign of the country’s technological prowess. “Congratulations to Mobileye! Israeli genius, Israeli pride,” PM Netanyahu tweeted. “Israel is a superpower in knowledge, technology and innovation,” said Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis. “The fact that large international companies see potential in Israel and are seeking to acquire Israeli companies that lead their prospective fields is a source of national pride for our technological strength,” he said. (Times of Israel)

HEBREW U. RESEARCHERS SHOW WHICH FOODS PREVENT, PROMOTE DEMENTIA: Foods can determine whether someone will suffer from dementia in later years, according to researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment in Rehovot. A large-scale international study that included the university recently examined how food affects brain health for people aged 50 and older. The researchers were able to show that diet affects the risk of dementia. Among the foods proven to prevent dementia are: blueberries (not just the juice), healthful fats (as in olive oil), nuts (in small amounts to avoid excess calories), and fish. Other beneficial foods include: beans and legumes, fruits, low-calorie dairy products like yogurt, chicken and whole-grain cereals. Among the foods that have been shown to promote dementia are: fried foods, sugary foods, processed foods, red meat, fat, cheese and salt. (J.Post) “Worship the Lord your God, and His blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you.” Ex. 23:25

HUMAN BONE TISSUE GROWN IN LAB USED TO REPAIR ISRAELI MAN’S LEG: "Game changing" surgery to regrow part of a legbone using human tissue created in a lab has been undertaken at Emek Medical Center in Afula, Israel. The man involved lost two inches (five cm.) of his shinbone in a serious car accident. For the experimental tissue-engineering technology, fat cells extracted from the patient were used to create constituent parts which were then grown on a biodegradable scaffold over the course of two weeks. Semi-solid live bone tissues that resulted were then placed back into the patient's body. Because the cells used to grow the bones are from the patient, this helps to minimize the risk of rejection. (UK Daily Mail-UK)

ISRAELI HOUSEHOLD DEBT LOW BY DEVELOPED WORLD STANDARDS: The rate of household debt in Israel is lower than in developed countries, and definitely in comparison with countries like Switzerland and Australia. According to the Bank of Israel's financial stability report for the second half of 2017, household debt in Israel totaled 42% of GDP. This means that this debt can grow by 50% before reaching what is defined as high by international standards. What explains the relatively low level of debt? Israelis are not as big savers as the Germans, for example, and spending on private consumption is rising rapidly. In recent years, spending on private consumption has even taken the place of exports as the economy's growth engine. Given both the growth of private spending and the negligible prevailing interest rate for the past three years, household debt could have been expected to balloon, but this did not happen. The Bank of Israel believes that the reasons for the absence of a credit bubble lie in the rapid rise in wages in recent years, which has enabled Israelis to pay for their shopping sprees from their own resources, without any need to increase leverage. Some also attribute the low level of debt to relatively undeveloped state of the credit market in Israel, owing to the fact that there is no real competition to provide credit. (J.Post)

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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