USA To Transfer Embassy to Jerusalem In May 2018

“If I forget you, Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill. May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you, if I do not consider Jerusalem my highest joy.” Ps. 137: 5-6

PURIM 2018: The Jewish festival of Purim begins in Jerusalem, Israel on Thur. evening, 1 March and will continue through sunset on 2 March. It’s a celebration of redemption and a time of great merry-making as Jews throughout the world remember the deliverance from the hands of the wicked Haman, who tried to instigate the annihilation of the Jews of Persia. The Biblical Book of Esther, recited on this holiday by Jews throughout the world, tells the story of how the Jewish queen Esther and her uncle Mordecai saved the Persian Jewish community from destruction. Families and neighbors give gifts of sweets to each other, and many dress-up in costumes for festive events. A joyful Purim from our Vision for Israel staff members to friends near and far.

USA EMBASSY TRANSFER TO JERUSALEM IN MAY 2018: USA President Donald Trump announced on 23 Feb. 2018 that he'd be accelerating the transfer of the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The USA mission is slated to being moved in phases to its consular facility in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Arnona starting in May 2018. The first stages of the move are expected to see Ambassador David Friedman, and a small personal staff, take up offices at the Arnona facility, officially granting it the status of "embassy." Later, a full embassy annex will be added to the complex, with a new embassy facility to be built elsewhere in the city during the years to come. Israeli government ministers called Trump's announcement an "Independence Day gift," given that the May transfer coincides with Israel's 70th anniversary celebrations. (Israel Today) “Then the moon will be disgraced and the sun ashamed; for the Lord of hosts will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem and before His elders, gloriously. Isa. 24:23

NETANYAHU TO INVITE TRUMP TO INAUGURATE USA EMBASSY IN JERUSALEM IN MAY: PM Netanyahu is expected to invite USA President Donald Trump to Israel in May 2018 to inaugurate the USA embassy, which Washington announced will be relocated to Jerusalem on Israel’s Independence Day. Netanyahu said the USA announcement to relocate the embassy, which follows Trump’s historic declaration in Dec. 2017 to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, marked a great moment for the State of Israel. “The decision by President Trump to relocate the USA embassy to Jerusalem on the coming Independence Day, will make the celebrations even more joyful,” said Netanyahu. “Thank you President Trump, thank you for your leadership, and your strong friendship,” Netanyahu added.

The Palestinian Authority responded in anger to the news, and said “unilateral” moves will not contribute to achieving peace between the Palestinians and Israel. Hamas, for its part, warned that the decision would lead to an “explosion” in the region. Relations between the USA administration and the PA have been strained since Trump’s 6 Dec. 2018 announcement. PA President Mahmoud Abbas and senior PA officials have since stated that the USA is no longer qualified to play any role in a Middle East peace process because of its “bias” in favor of Israel, and the PA has refused all contacts with the Trump administration. (Times of Israel)

ISRAEL’S UN ENVOY PRAISES TRUMP’S EMBASSY MOVE ANNOUNCEMENT: Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon praised the Trump administration shortly after they announced that the USA embassy currently located in Tel Aviv will be moved to Jerusalem in May 2018. “President Trump’s bold decision to move the American embassy to Jerusalem this May, in honor of our 70th Independence Day, is a testament to the unbreakable alliance and true friendship between the USA and Israel,” said Ambassador Danon. The Israeli envoy also urged other members of the United Nations to follow suit, saying that the world needs to acknowledge the currently reality on the ground. “The time is now for all UN member-states to follow in the footsteps of the USA and declare that they too recognize Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the State of Israel,” he added. The State Department continues to scope out sites and architects for the construction of a larger, permanent embassy in Jerusalem. (INN)

USA OFFICIAL: USA ONLY PERMANENT UNSC MEMBER AGAINST FULL PALESTINIAN UN MEMBERSHIP: The United States is the only permanent member of the UN Security Council that opposes full UN membership for the Palestinians, said Nabil Shaath, international affairs adviser to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Last week, Abbas told the Security Council that the Palestinians plan to step up their efforts to gain full membership at the UN. “All of the permanent members of the UN support our efforts to become full members of the UN except the United States of America,” said Shaath said on 25 Feb. 2018. “The USA is really the sole obstacle in our way to achieving full membership.” The USA and Israel have historically held that the Palestinians should not make efforts to gain full membership at the UN before a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been achieved. In order to attain full membership at the UN, the Palestinians need at least nine members of the Security Council including all the permanent members to vote in favor of them becoming a full member. The five permanent members of the Security Council include the USA, France, the UK, Russia and China. (J.Post) JNN editors remind readers: The UN does not have the authority to establish states. Additionally, Palestinians are not in a position to declare statehood. Internationally accepted criteria for statehood include unified territory, capability of responsible governance and readiness to abide by international obligations. Judea & Samaria are controlled by Fatah that continues to promote and glorify terrorism – while Gaza is run by Hamas/Iran. Between Fatah and Hamas who oppose each other and vie for complete Palestinian rule, and with the Gaza-based terror groups indiscriminately lobbing rockets into Israel's towns and building terrorist tunnels to carry attacks against Israel’s border communities, the Palestinians have a long way to go until they qualify for full membership in the UN.

USA LAWMAKERS EMBRACE ISRAELI SOVEREIGNTY IN JUDEA & SAMARIA: USA lawmakers Congressmen Scott Tipton, (R-CO.) and David McKinley, (R-WV.), visiting Israel as part of a fact-finding mission this week expressed their support for Israeli sovereignty over Judea & Samaria. They added that they believed many local Arabs would embrace the application of Israeli law over the area. Following a tour led by Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely, the Republican lawmakers expressed their support for the so-called “Sovereignty Movement”, which seeks to apply Israeli sovereignty over Judea & Samaria. Congressman McKinley emphasized the importance of respecting Israeli autonomy, and allowing Israeli voters to decide questions regarding the final status of Judea & Samaria. "I think it’s important that we also give and respect the right of the Israeli people to make their own choice in what should happen in all parts of their destiny,” said McKinley, “to be able to defend their borders, to choose the laws, whether that be with the Temple Mount, or Samaria and Judea, we all need to be working together." Representative Tipton said the delegation met with local Arabs he claimed who backed the application of Israeli sovereignty, and spoke of the “importance” of having Judea & Samaria unified under “one state” with the rest of Israel. (Arutz-7)

ADVANCED RUSSIAN STEALTH JETS AT SYRIAN BASE: Russia has deployed advanced warplanes to Syria, Israeli satellite images revealed last weekend. The Sukhoi Su-57 fighter jets were spotted stationed at the Khmeimim Air Base, a Syrian base operated by Russia southeast of the city of Latakia. The Su-57 is a stealth, single-seat, twin-engine fighter jet. The fifth-generation warplane is the first aircraft in the Russian Air Force to use stealth technology. The fighter reportedly has supercruise, stealth, super-maneuverability and advanced avionics to overcome prior-generation fighter aircraft as well as ground and maritime defenses. The aircraft is expected to have a service life of up to 35 years. This poses the first confirmation that the state-of-the-art Russian jets are not only operational but in play in the civil war waged in Syria. Their use could alter the strategic balance in the conflict, a concern for Jerusalem in particular which to date has been granted by Russia relative freedom of action in Syria’s skies in order to prevent the transfer of weaponry to Iranian proxy Hezbollah and, increasingly, to target permanent military infrastructure built by Tehran in the war-torn nation. (Algeminer) Continue to pray for the safety of Israel’s endangered northern borders.

‘ISAIAH’ SEAL: MORE EVIDENCE OF BIBLICAL NARRATIVE: Hebrew University of Jerusalem archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar presented her team’s findings on a clay seal, called a bulla, which may have belonged to the biblical prophet Isaiah. Mazar said the find is especially significant because the Isaiah seal was found in very close proximity to a bulla belonging to King Hezekiah. In 2009, her team unearthed a bulla inscribed by King Hezekiah, one of Israel’s most important kings. Mazar told media sources at the time that she was “amazed” on a personal level at the find. (It was one of 22 seals uncovered in close proximity to one another.)

“We discovered the seal impression imprinted by King Hezekiah himself saying very clearly in ancient Hebrew “belongs to Hezekiah, son of Ahaz, King of Judea,” said Mazar. “We never found in archaeological excavations, scientific, stratigraphy such an item that is so close, private and tangible to any of the Israelite or Judean kings ever,” she explained. “I believe it’s as close as we can get to any biblical figure, not to mention such a figure as King Hezekiah.” The Isaiah bulla is equally exciting because of the close relationship between King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah, recorded in 2 Kings 19-20 and Isaiah 37-39. “The chances of it belonging to any other but the known prophet Isaiah are extremely slim,” Mazar wrote in an article published by Biblical Archeology Review. “No other figure was closer to King Hezekiah than the prophet Isaiah.” When Israel’s first PM David Ben-Gurion testified in 1937 before the Peel Commission – the first to recommend dividing the land according to Britain’s partition plan – he famously said, “The Mandate is not our Bible. The Bible is our mandate.” Ongoing archaeological discoveries, such as these two seals, continue to drive that point home. (Kehila News)

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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