“You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your word”. Ps. 119:114
RAIN ARRIVES IN ISRAEL: The water level of the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) rose by 1.5 cm as a result of the rain, and stood at a level of 214.58 meters on Thur. morning 20 Dec. 2018. The level was recorded at 1.58 meters below the lower red line and 29 cm above the black line. Three threshold lines mark the water status in the Kinneret: the upper red line (208.9 m. below sea level), the lower red line (213.2 m. below sea level), and the black line (214.4 m. below sea level). When the lower red line is reached, no pumping should take place; and the black line means irreparable damage to the Kinneret. Despite optimistic rain forecasts for the winter, the Water Authority reported in Aug. 2018 that the drought in the Kinneret basin may continue. (J.Post) Pray for a miracle of ongoing rain during the months of this year’s rainy season in Israel and that drought conditions will continue to be reversed during the winter months. “Be glad, people of Zion, rejoice in the Lord your God, for he has given you the autumn rains because he is faithful. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before.” Joel: 2:23
ISRAEL-GREECE-CYPRUS FRIENDSHIP FLOURISHES: In a signal that Israel, Greece and Cyprus are moving from being good friends to forging an actual alliance, Cyprus is in the process of creating a permanent “secretariat” to monitor the implementation of trilateral projects. Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades made reference to this development when he met in Beersheba on Thur. 20 Dec. with PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Greek PM Alexis Tsipras for their fifth trilateral meeting in just under three years. The USA – increasingly concerned about Russia’s advances in the eastern Mediterranean – has expressed both heightened interest and support for Israeli, Greek and Cypriot cooperation. (J.Post)
NETANYAHU: MY JOB IS TO PREVENT FUTURE HOLOCAUST: Israeli PM Netanyahu spoke at the opening of the annual Globes Business Conference, held at the Jerusalem International Convention Center Wed. 19 Dec. 2018. During his opening comments, Netanyahu recalled his meeting the previous day with the president of Moldova, and the role the legacy of the Holocaust must play in an Israeli leader’s service to the state. “Yesterday I hosted here the president of Moldova,” said Netanyahu, before addressing anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe which helped propel the early Zionist movement. “One of the things which motivated the founders of Israel was the 1903 Kishinev pogrom,” in the Moldovan capital, then part of the Russian empire, “which validated what Herzl had said. The scope of the pogrom was not large, relatively speaking, but it reinforced the need of the Jewish people to take its fate into its hands. During our visit to Yad Vashem,” Netanyahu continued, referring to Israel’s national Holocaust memorial museum in Jerusalem, “I told him that as Prime Minister, my first responsibility is to ensure that there are no more Yad Vashems. Most of the ancient nations of the world are gone. There are a handful of ancient nations like us; the Chinese, the Indians, and the Jews are the oldest surviving nations and cultures. My responsibility is to make sure that this state which has been restored is preserved.” (Arutz-7)
NIKKI HALEY TAKES ON UN’S ANTI-ISRAEL STANCE IN FIERY FAREWELL SPEECH: In the final monthly session of the year, former USA ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, made it absolutely clear that the United States has run out of tolerance for the UN’s bigotry towards one of America’s biggest allies. “The UN has shown itself to be hopelessly biased,” Haley told the body. “This biased obsession is not the path to peace". Haley also made it clear that proposed one-sided peace agreements were not acceptable. “It’s time we faced a hard truth: both sides would benefit greatly from a peace agreement,” Haley said. “But, the Palestinians would benefit more and the Israelis would risk more.” Haley’s fiery speech included a parting shot at the anti-Semitic passions that are widely believed to be the driving factor being many United Nations’ resolutions. “Israel is a thriving, strong, prosperous country. It has always wanted peace with its neighbors,” Haley said. “No UN resolutions, anti-Semitic boycotts, or terrorists change that." Haley will leave her post at the end of the season. USA President Donald Trump has nominated State department spokeswoman Heather Nauert to replace her. (Daily Caller) Pray for Heather Nauert to continue in the strong advocacy for Israel that has been shown by Nickki Haley, especially in the UN.
IS THE UN ASKING THE WORLD TO FUND SALARIES FOR PALESTINIAN TERRORISTS? 5,000 terrorists in Israeli jails are getting salaries from the Palestinian Authority. On top of that, 5,500 convicted terrorists that were released from jail are also getting salaries. About 1,200 arrested terrorists that are going to be released during this year are going to get a "release grant." The Palestinian Authority will have spent $350 million on incentivizing terrorism in 2018. This is about actually soliciting terror, because this money is promised to the terrorists in advance. They know they're going to get it if they are caught and put in jail. Those who really committed terrible acts and spend a lot of time in jail receive over NIS 12,000 ($3200) a month. Meanwhile, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and the Palestinian Authority issued a joint statement Mon. 17 Dec. 2018 in which they launched a $350 million appeal to “address critical humanitarian needs of Palestinians.” In the appeal, they called upon the international donor community to help in securing the requested funds for 2019 to 1.4 million Palestinians, who have been identified in need of humanitarian interventions in the Gaza Strip, Judea & Samaria and east Jerusalem.
The organization Palestinian Media Watch expressed outrage that the sum being raised by the UN and the PA is equivalent to the $355 million dollars the PA allocated in its 2018 budget to fund its payments rewarding terror. “Instead of the UN asking donor countries to contribute $350 million to provide for Palestinian 'humanitarian needs,' the UN should be joining the unequivocal call from many governments that the PA immediately stop squandering the $355 million dollars of its own funds on its ‘Pay for Slay’ policy that incentivizes and rewards terrorism, and instead spend that money on needy Palestinians," said Maurice Hirsch, head of legal strategies at Palestinian Media Watch. Hirsch added that abolishing the “Pay for Slay” policy would re-open the door for the PA to receive the approximately $215 million dollars of USA aid to the PA withheld by the American Taylor Force Act. It would also avert the imminent deduction by Israel of the PA’s expenditures on salaries for terrorists and their families from the tax revenues Israel collects and transfers to the PA. He said it would also ensure the PA would not lose funding from Australia and the Netherlands. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs/J. Post)
WORLD JEWISH CONGRESS CONDEMNS ‘VICIOUS’ ANTISEMITIC INCIDENT IN PARIS: The World Jewish Congress responded to a violent anti-Semitic attack against a woman in Paris Tues. 18 Dec. 2018. The WJC said it was extremely concerned and that it stands with the French Jewish community and deplores “this vicious act of hatred against an innocent woman.” The organization called on governments across Europe to improve security for their Jewish communities. “It is inconceivable that the Jewish community in France, or elsewhere, should have to brace themselves each day against potential threats, or have to live in fear or trepidation simply because of their identity,” said WJC Vice President Robert Singer. The victim, a woman, aged 20, said in her complaint to police that the incident had happened the previous day in the heavily Jewish suburb of Sarcelles north of Paris. She said that two teenagers hurling anti-Semitic insults robbed and hit her on a main street of a Paris suburb. Prying her cellphone out of her hands, the two assailants, struck her face while saying: “Are you afraid, you Jewess?” she told police. A passerby intervened, allowing the woman to flee to her home with a broken nose and bloody face. The two alleged assailants fled the scene. Police have been called upon to investigate and apprehend the suspects.(J.Post) Continue to intercede for the protection of the Jewish community across France against terrorist attacks and all forms of spiraling anti-Semitism. Pray increasing numbers of Jews in France will decide and take steps to make Israel their home.
IN RARE MOVE, ISRAEL CASTS VOTE AGAINST RUSSIA AT UN: Israel, which has painstakingly sat on the fence for years regarding the Russia-Ukraine crisis, took a stand at the UN on Mon. 17 Dec. 2018, voting against Moscow in a resolution condemning Russia’s Ukraine policies. The resolution voiced “grave concern over the progressive militarization of Crimea” and called on Moscow to “end its temporary occupation of Ukraine’s territory.” This vote against Russia came less than two weeks after Russia – which often abstains on votes in the UN General Assembly that are important for Israel – cast its ballot against Israel by voting against a resolution condemning the Hamas terrorist organization. That resolution failed to muster the two-thirds majority needed to pass. (J.Post)
AFTER SUSPENDING BAN ON SETTLEMENTS, AIRBNB VP TOURS JUDEA & SAMARIA: A day after Airbnb announced that it has suspended the implementation of its prior decision to remove listings in Jewish settlements in Judea & Samaria, company Vice President Chris Lehane was hosted there by Samaria Council head Yossi Dagan. Dagan said Lehane was "very impressed by the coexistence between Jews and Palestinians at the Barkan Industrial Park," the site of a deadly attack that claimed the lives of two Israeli workers shot to death by a Palestinian worker in Oct. 2018. After Lehane met with Tourism Minister Yariv Levin earlier this week, Airbnb announced: "Our policy will not be implemented. The company will continue its dialogue with the Israeli government." (Ha'aretz)
PLEASE CONTINUE TO HELP THE NEEDY IN ISRAEL: The poor and their needs for basic commodities such as food, housing, appliances and medicines are among Israel's top concerns. Think of the blessing you can be to underprivileged children, the elderly and entire families living in this Land who are beloved of the Lord. Consider His promises to you as you share your financial gifts on behalf of those who are undernourished, cannot buy necessary medicines, or pay their bills. Please continue to help Vision for Israel ease the pain of poverty by giving generously at: www.visionforisrael.com. For residents in the UK and outside N. America visit our website at www.josephstorehouse.co.uk. Your donations are appreciated. “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor, their righteousness endures forever; their horn will be lifted high in honor.” Ps. 112:9
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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