JNN Newsletter - November 27, 2017

“Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. 
They are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness.” Lam. 3:22-23


INCREDIBLE 1,500 –YEAR –OLD CHRISTIAN MOSAIC UNCOVERED IN ISRAEL: Archaeologists in Israel have uncovered a stunning 1,500-year-old Christian mosaic that was once the floor of a church or monastery. Experts found the mosaic during an excavation in the ancient Mediterranean coastal city of Ashdod-Yam, now part of the modern city of Ashdod. The discovery was announced Thurs. 23 Nov. 2017 by the Israel Antiquities Authority. An inscription in Greek dedicated to the structure’s builders offered archaeologists a vital clue. The inscription mentions a date on the ancient Georgian calendar, enabling experts to date the building. "By the grace of God (or Christ), this work was done from the foundation under Procopius, our most saintly and most holy bishop, in the month Dios of the 3rd indiction, year 292" it reads. The year 292 corresponds to 539 A.D. “This is the earliest appearance of the use of the Georgian calendar in the Land of Israel, many years before it was used in Georgia itself,” explained Dr. Leah Di Segni of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who deciphered the inscription.

Ashdod-Yam was an important city during the Byzantine period. Long hidden under sand dunes, the city is now revealing its secrets. “As far as we know, Ashdod is now home to the largest community of Jews of Georgian origin in the world,” said Dr. Alexander Fantalkin of Tel Aviv University and Sa’ar Ganor of the Israel Antiquities Authority. “Testimony to the presence of the actual Georgians in the Land of Israel as far back as the Byzantine period has been found dozens of kilometers from Ashdod – in Jerusalem and its surroundings. But this is the first time that a Georgian church or monastery has been discovered on the Israeli coast.” (Fox) “I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.” Isa 45:3

ISRAEL TRAIL IN JUDEA & SAMARIA HAILED AS ‘HISTORICAL JUSTICE’: Dr. Haggai Ben Artzi, Jewish history lecturer at Bar-Ilan University congratulated Tourism Minister Yariv Levin on changing the route of the Israel National Trail to include Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the Golan Heights. "Unfortunately, only fifty years after the Six-Day War, the Israel Trail returns to the main historical biblical part of the Land of Israel, after years of not entering the Golan, Old Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and Hevron - it was a real failing," says Ben Artzi. He notes that "the central part of the Jewish people during the First and Second Temple periods was mainly in Judea & Samaria, the Jordan Valley, Jericho, and the Golan Heights, and the Trail didn't pass by there." He hopes that the new route of the Israel National Trail will bring more Israelis closer to Jewish settlement in Judea & Samaria. "When I meet the secular travelers, they tell me that they were everywhere in the Himalayas, South America, and China, but when I invite them to Beit El, they are afraid. "Therefore, I hope that this project will bring many hikers closer to the biblical sites and the Israeli heart closer to Judea & Samaria. " (Arutz-7)

WE HAVE TIES WITH A DOZEN ARAB COUNTRIES’ Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon says that Israel enjoys warm relations with many Arab countries despite the fact that these countries officially refuse to recognize Israel's existence. "We are talking about a dozen Islamic countries, including the Arab countries that understand the potential of relations with Israel. The State of Israel is not the regional problem, it is the regional solution, so we are strengthening this cooperation." Danon also said that USA Ambassador Nikki Haley has dramatically "changed the atmosphere" at the UN. "Saudi Arabia has been rumored to be particularly close with Israel due to the two countries common fear of Iran. The Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar reported last week that the Saudi government is weighing the possible normalization of relations with Israel ahead of a planned Middle East peace program by the Trump administration which aims to not only secure a final status agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, but lead to recognition of the Jewish state by the larger Arab world. (Arutz-7) Intercede that Israel’s relationships with Arab countries will continue to improve and that they will recognize the Jewish state. Pray for unity in their stand against the most dangerous entities in the Middle East which include Iran, Hezbollah and other terrorist groups supported by the Islamic Republic. Pray that Israeli politicians, leaders and the general public would seek the Lord first in all of their endeavors to be protected from their enemies.

SURVEY: NUMBER OF ‘REFORM’ IN ISRAEL HAS DOUBLED: The number of those in Israel who define themselves as Reform Jews has doubled since 2010, according to a survey whose main points are published in Israel’s Hebrew daily Yediot Aharonot. According to the survey, 7 percent of Israelis and 11% of the secular public define themselves as Reform. In 2010, only 3.7% of Israelis defined themselves as such. The newspaper notes that this is the highest rate of self-identification with the Reform movement seen out of all surveys conducted in recent years. The survey shows that 56% of secular Jews and 38% of traditional Jews have participated in the past year in a wedding or bar mitzvah ceremony led by a Reform or Conservative rabbi. The survey also revealed that 44% of all Israelis do not identify with any religious sector; 29% identify themselves with the religious-Zionist sector; 10% with the haredi sector; 7% with the Reform; 4% with the Conservative and 5% with something else. (INN)

REPORT: UNDER PRESSURE, ABBAS RETREATS FROM PROSECUTING ISRAEL IN INTERNATIONAL COURTS: In response to Saudi and Egyptian pressure, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has pledged not to take steps to prosecute Israeli officials in international courts, Al-Khaleej Online (Dubai) revealed last week. A senior PA official said Saudi Arabia and Egypt put pressure on Abbas to bring the dispute with the USA regarding the suspension of the license of the PLO office in Washington to an end. Early this week, the USA State Department announced it would renew the license of the PLO office in Washington on condition that the PA enter into unconditional peace talks with Israel and does not prosecute Israeli officials before international courts. (Middle East Monitor-UK)

SINAI ATTACK: ASTONISHING EGYPTIAN FAILURE HAS ISRAEL WORRIED: The massacre of worshipers at a mosque in Sinai on 24 Friday 2017 – the deadliest jihadi terror attack ever in Egypt – is the Egyptian security forces’ second failure in just over a month. In the previous incident, in the Giza district west of Cairo, more than 50 Egyptian policemen were killed in a raid gone wrong at a hideout of Muslim Brotherhood terrorists. From the Israeli point of view, the two Egyptian failures are astonishing. Especially in Sinai, it’s hard to understand how after constantly fighting the ISIS Wilayat Sinai affiliate in recent years, the Egyptians have let fewer than 1,000 operatives carry out such murderous attacks. The ineffectiveness of the Egyptian security forces cries out to the heavens, especially when we remember the foreign media’s reports that Israel has been extensively helping Egypt in intelligence and the use of drones against ISIS strongholds. The United States shares the frustration and surprise; in a number of cases Washington noted to Sissi and his people that the Egyptian security forces’ preparedness was clumsy and predictable. The Egyptians are still very far from employing this method that resembles the way Israel combats terror groups. (Ha’aretz) “In that day five cities in Egypt will speak the language of Canaan and swear allegiance to the Lord Almighty. One of them will be called the City of the Sun.” Isa 19:18

IRAN’S SYRIA BASES NEAR ISRAEL HAVE ACPOCALYTIC INTENT: The locations of some of Iran’s military installations in Syria, including some within 30 miles of Israeli territory in the Golan Heights, may be motivated more by Tehran’s desire to provoke an Islamic end-of-the-world cataclysm than for strategic value, contends an expert on Shiite religious dogma. Ryan Mauro of the Clarion Project argues the bases near Israel don’t pose an imminent threat of a conventional military strike or even an asymmetrical attack. But he said the motivation is rather a desire to fulfill Shia prophecy of a showdown with the Jewish state that Iran’s religious leadership believes will prompt the coming of a messianic figure, or “Mahdi.” Iran has frequently stated its desire to destroy Israel, claiming the Jewish state is the focus of its nuclear and long-range missile program. Iran has also funneled millions of dollars into proxy enemies of Israel. There are now some 13 Iranian military installations in Syria – some manned by Hezbollah terrorists and others by Iranian Revolutionary Guard forces. (World Net Daily)

UK TO PURCHASE ISRAELI IRON DOME DEFENSE SYSTEM TO DEFEND FALKLANDS: Britain is buying Israel's Iron Dome short range missile defense system to protect the Falkland Islands according to reports in the UK media. The system is produced by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. using software developed by Israeli startup mPrest. A British Defense Ministry spokesman said, "Following an open competition we selected Rafael for a £78 million ($105 million) contract to provide the main computer system and boost our defense of the Falkland Islands." The system will be called the Sky Sabre system and the final decision to buy by the British came after France signed a deal to sell five Super Etendard combat jets to Argentina. The procurement from Rafael is part of a £280 million defense package for the Falklands announced by the British Ministry of defense in 2015. Iron Dome demonstrated its ability to intercept short range missiles fired at Israel from Gaza and over the past decade it has shot down more than 1,200 such rockets. (Globes)

WE NEED AND APPRECIATE YOUR FINANCIAL HELP: Vision for Israel continues to impart comfort and provision for many of the nation’s poor, including terrorist victims and their families, the elderly and Holocaust survivors, children at risk and entire households suffering from poverty. Please give generously at www.visionforisrael.com. For residents in the UK and outside N. America visit our website at www.josephstorehouse.co.uk. Thank you for your donations.

VFI HAS MOVED TO A NEW ADDRESS ON FACEBOOK!: Please follow our new page: VFI - Vision for Israel

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