JNN Newsletter - May 8, 2017

“Listen to me, my people; hear me, my nation: The law will go out from me; my justice shall become a light to the nations,” Isa. 51:4

ROMANIAN PM OPPOSES TERRORIST SALARIES, UNESCO RESOLUTION: Romania opposes the Palestinian Authority’s payments to terrorist families, said its Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu during his first visit to Israel. "It is against our values and those of Israel and the EU.” Grindeanu spoke against terror at his joint press conference with Israel's PM Netanyahu, stating, “Romania remains strong working to fight against terrorism, we condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and stress there can be no justification for such acts. He stressed the fact that Israel was Romania’s strongest ally in the Middle East. More significantly, he noted that Romania was among the first countries to establish full diplomatic ties with the Jewish state, doing so on 11 June 1948, just after the end of the War of Independence. The two countries have held two intergovernmental sessions and are planning a third such meeting. Grindeanu told Netanyahu he wanted to increase economic ties in the fields of cyber and digital industries, as well as in agriculture and tourism. “Romania has a fast growing economy which offers in return potential for Israeli businesses. Romania could be seen as one of the most attractive country destinations for European and Israeli companies,” he said. (J. Post)

MAJOR PROBLEMS WITH THE STATEMENT OF PALESTINIAN PRESIDENT ABBAS: President Donald Trump last week met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. What Abbas said reveals just how deep the gulf remains between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Immediately after his opening greetings, Abbas had this to say: "Mr. President, our strategic choice is to bring about peace based on the vision of the two-states - a Palestinian state with its capital of East Jerusalem that lives in peace and stability with the state of Israel based on the borders of 1967." Talk about a slap in the face. First, Israel's 1967 borders are indefensible, as was reiterated in 2011 after President Obama seemed to advocate a return to those borders. To give one example of indefensible borders, the Netanya area of Israel would be less than 10 miles wide. Second, dividing Jerusalem will not lead to lasting peace, and it is only the Jewish people, not the Palestinians, who have a true historic claim to the city as their capital. As PM Netanyahu has said, "The idea of a divided, split, wounded city is one we will never return to."

President Abbas then emphasized the desire of his people to have a two-state solution, expressing real hope that President Trump would help broker a lasting peace agreement. "Mr. President, it's about time for Israel to end its occupation of our people and of our land after 50 years. We are aspiring and want to achieve our freedom and our right to self-determination. And we also want for Israel to recognize the Palestinian state just as the Palestinian people recognize the state of Israel." This paragraph is also fraught with problems: First, the reason for the so-called occupation is: 1. the refusal of Arab leadership to agree to previous two-state offers, first in 1937 and then in 1947; 2. the attempted Arab destruction of Israel in 1967, which Israel preempted with the Six Day War, expanding its borders in the process and 3. ongoing Arab and Palestinian attacks on the Jewish people, because of which Israel has maintained control in Judea & Samaria. To lay the blame on Israel is to have the situation backwards. Second, it is misleading to speak of Palestinian recognition of Israel. Has President Abbas, in Arabic, recognized Israel as a Jewish state? And if not, what does this imply? And what about a report from early this year stating that PA textbooks "ignore the existence of Israel"?

But the worst of President Abbas' remarks was still to come. He said, "Mr. President, I affirm to you that we are raising our youth, our children, our grandchildren on a culture of peace." A culture of peace? By naming schools after Palestinian terrorists? By celebrating them as martyrs and making them heroes for the children to emulate? By spreading false information about Israel and the Temple Mount that so provoked Palestinian young people that teens as young as 13 engaged in acts of terror? (Charisma) “Not a word from their mouth can be trusted; their heart is filled with malice. Their throat is an open grave; with their tongues they tell lies,” Ps. 5:30. (J. Post)

CONGRESS REJECTS PAYING SALARIES TO TERRORISTS: The Senate on 4 May 2017 passed a $1.1 trillion funding bill which includes a number of provisions to help Israel address security-related challenges. Senators voted 79-18 in favor of the bill, which passed the House the previous day. The Omnibus Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2017 provides $3.1 billion plus an additional $75 million in overall security assistance to Israel. The bill also contains $600.7 million for vital joint USA-Israel missile defense programs, representing a $113 million increase over FY 2016. In addition, Congress included $42.5 million for continued USA-Israel joint development of technologies to address the complex challenge of locating, mapping and destroying terrorist tunnel networks. The bill also includes a provision that reduces aid to the Palestinian Authority on a dollar-for-dollar basis for any support the PA, the Palestine Liberation Organization provides to terrorists or their families. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) welcomed the passage of the bill, saying it “applauds Congress for including key provisions to help Israel address critical security challenges in the Omnibus Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2017.” (INN)

TRUMP GIVES BACK VOICES TO THE CHURCH: President Trump signed an executive order on 4 May 2017, to make it easier for churches to participate in politics and to protect faith-based groups from being forced to pay for abortion services under Obamacare, proclaiming, “We are giving our churches their voices back.” At a National Day of Prayer ceremony in the White House Rose Garden, Trump signed the order directing the IRS not to “unfairly target” the tax-exempt status of churches and other religious organizations who engage in political speech. The president’s order is aimed at easing an IRS provision that prohibits churches from directly opposing or endorsing political candidates. The president devoted most of his comments to ending the restrictions saying he was halting “a financial threat against the faith community.” No one should be censoring sermons or targeting pastors,” the president said to thunderous applause from the audience of religious and conservative leaders, including Dr. Franklin Graham. “In America, we do not fear people speaking freely from the pulpit. We embrace it.” (Washington Post)

PENTAGON EYES IRAN-NORTH KOREA MILITARY CONNECTION: When Iran attempted to launch a cruise missile from a “midget” submarine last week, Pentagon officials saw more evidence of North Korean influence in the Islamic Republic – with intelligence reports saying the submarine was based on a Pyongyang design, the same type that sank a South Korean warship in 2010. According to USA defense officials, Iran was attempting to launch a Jask-2 cruise missile underwater for the first time, but the launch failed. Nonproliferation experts have long suspected North Korea and Iran are sharing expertise when it comes to their rogue missile programs. “The very first missiles we saw in Iran were simply copies of North Korean missiles,” said Jeffrey Lewis, a missile proliferation expert at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. “Over the years, we've seen photographs of North Korean and Iranian officials in each other's countries, and we've seen all kinds of common hardware.” When Iran tested a ballistic missile in late January 2017, the Pentagon said it was based on a North Korean design. Last summer, Iran conducted another missile launch similar to a North Korean Musudan, the most advanced missile Pyongyang has successful tested to date. Defense analysts say North Korea's Taepodong missile looks almost identical to Iran's Shahab.

Iran’s attempted cruise missile launch from the midget submarine in the Strait of Hormuz was believed to be one of the first times Iran has attempted such a feat. In 2015, North Korea successfully launched a missile from a submarine for the first time, and officials believe Tehran is not far behind. Only two countries in the world deploy the Yono-class submarine - North Korea and Iran. Midget subs operate in shallow waters where they can hide. The North Korean midget sub that sank a 290-foot South Korean warship in 2010 -- killing over 40 sailors -- was ambushed in shallow water. Perhaps most worrisome for the United States is that Iran attempted this latest missile launch from a midget sub last week in the narrow Strait of Hormuz, where much of the world's oil passes each day. (Fox) Pray according to scripture: “Rebuke the beast among the reeds, the herd of bulls among the calves of the nations. Humbled, may the beast bring bars of silver. Scatter the nations who delight in war,” Ps 68:30

UP TO 350 JIHADISTS RETURN TO BRITAIN FROM ISIS-HELD SYRIA – UK SECURITY SERVICES STRETCHED AMID FEAR OF FRESH TERROR ATTACKS: Around 350 ISIS fighters have returned to the UK from Syria, creating a nightmare for security services, it emerged on 5 May, 2017. MI5 has previously said around 850 extremists from Britain travelled to the Middle East as the terror group took control of Syria and parts of Iraq. But with ISIS now being pushed out, jihadists with British passports are fleeing back to the UK, where authorities fear they may unleash a new wave of attacks. Many of those returning were trained in the use of explosives and firearms as they took part in ISIS's bloody rampage. The flood of new jihadists is stretching the UK's security services to breaking point, with up to 30 officers required to provide 24-hour monitoring of just one suspect. It comes after a British defector from the group told how up to 300 British members of ISIS remain in the Syrian warzone. Experts believe they may be in communication with those who have returned, raising the fear of further plots. Security sources have said that around 3,000 violent Islamist extremists are operating in the UK. ISIS is currently facing multiple offensives in both Iraq and Syria, with USA-led airstrikes, Russian and Syrian forces as well as Kurdish and other groups pushing them back. (MailOnline)

EGYPT ISIS LEADER VOWS TO ESCALATE ATTACKS ON CHRISTIANS: The leader of the ISIS affiliate in Egypt has vowed to escalate attacks against Christians, urging Muslims to steer clear of Christian gatherings and Western embassies as they are targets of their group's terrorists. "Targeting the churches is part of our war on infidels," the unidentified leader said late last week in an interview by the group's al-Nabaa newsletter. He also called on Muslims who don't join jihadists to carry out lone wolf attacks across Egypt, and complained that a large number of Egyptians were antagonistic to his group's call and mission. The group claimed responsibility for twin suicide bombings that struck two of the country's Coptic Christian churches last month, killing over 45 worshipers and prompting the president to declare a three-month state of emergency. (Fox) Continue to pray for divine protection of the Egyptian Christian community that is being cruelly targeted by ISIS terrorists. May members be hidden from the eyes of evil and terrorist plots against churches and Christian property be averted.

NATIONAL INSURANCE REPORT REVEALS ISRAEL’S POVERTY REMAINS DIRE: Israel’s latest annual welfare report, released late 2016, revealed that poverty is persistently severe in the Jewish State. Vision for Israel & The Joseph Storehouse continues to provide desperately needed aid to poor Israelis. Many who suffer hardship, receive food, clothing and household necessities from our storehouse each week. Hospitals catering especially to the underprivileged and elderly obtain life-saving equipment and medical supplies, and hundreds of at-risk children are equipped with new school packs each school year. Your faithful donations help us to make these vital changes. Please continue to give at www.visionforisrael.com. For residents in the UK and outside N. America visit our website at www.josephstorehouse.co.uk.

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