“May the Lord bless you from Zion; may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life. May you live to see your children’s children. Peace be on Israel.” Ps. 128: 5-6
REPUBLICAN REPS. INTRODUCE RESOLUTION CONDEMNING ANTI-SEMITISM: Republican Reps. Lee Zeldin, Elise Stefanik and Ted Budd introduced a resolution on Wed. 23 Jan. 2019 to condemn the rise of anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiment in politics. The resolution specifically called out Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, the leaders of the Women’s March, as well as Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar who have expressed their support for the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement. The BDS movement calls for companies and groups to protest and penalize the state of Israel over its [so-called poor] treatment of the Palestinian people. Many of those who are in opposition to the movement label it as anti-Semitic because they are only targeting one country to be penalized and not any other. Congresswoman Tlaib was also asked in the resolution to explain her relationship with Abbas Hamideh, a man who was at her swearing-in ceremony and has previously expressed his belief that Israel does not have the right to exist. “From using the oldest anti-Semitic tricks in the book to rejecting Israel’s very right to exist, blatant anti-Jewish, anti-Israel hate is growing and normalizing the discrimination against the Jewish people this world vowed it would never accept again,” Zeldin stated in a press release. “Congress must immediately and unequivocally denounce this hatred in the United States and around the world, standing in solidarity against racism and discrimination in any form.” (Daily Caller)
ISRAEL NAMED FIFTH MOST INNOVATIVE ECONOMY IN THE WORLD: Israel has been named as the fifth most innovative economy in the world, according to the 2019 Bloomberg Innovation Index. Last year, Israel was ranked in 10th place but this year jumped to fifth place as a result of better patent registration. The Start-Up Nation came just ahead of Singapore, which ranked in sixth place, while the USA only made it to eighth place after falling to 11th place last year. Japan fell to ninth place after being pushed out of sixth place by Singapore. Bloomberg placed South Korea in first place for the sixth year running since the inception of the index in 2012, due to new investments in key technologies and a regulatory plan for encouraging startups. Germany advanced to second place due to investment in production and research by many of its industrial giants, such as Volkswagen, Daimler and Bosch. Third and fourth places were taken by Finland and Switzerland, respectively. The world's second largest economy, China, only reached 16th place on the listing, while the UK lost to China for the first time, falling to 18th place. Among 2019’s lowest ranked economies were Tunisia, South Africa and Ukraine, which fell out of the top 50. Following the publication of the rankings, PM Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted his elation. "Israel is number five on the new list – five places higher than we were ranked last year," he said. "Israel is a rising global power." (J.Post)
AT $110 BILLION, ISRAELI EXPORTS WORLDWIDE MARK RECORD PERFORMANCE IN 2018: Exports to Asia grew by 20 percent in 2018, reaching $10 billion, while exports to the EU held steady at $16 billion, and exports to the United States amounted to $11 billion. Economy and Industry Minister Eli Cohen said the government’s exports goals are to cross the $120 billion mark by 2020. According to a report by the Economy and Industry Ministry and the Israel Export Institute, the increase in Israeli exports exceeds the growth seen in global trade. The data shows that the goods and services sector was the strongest performer in 2018: the export of high-tech services noted a 14% increase and a record $51 billion, while the export of electronic and chemical goods rose by 3%, reaching $60 billion. IEI CEO Gadi Arieli said that “2019 is likely to see significant challenges for exports given the projected slowdown in global economic activity over the USA-China trade war.” Cohen noted that “the international arena poses complex and difficult challenges for Israeli exporters, and I am pleased that the ministry’s various aid programs are helping exporters to cope with international markets.” (Jewish News Syndicate) “Remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.” Deut. 8:18
NATURAL GAS FIELDS GIVES ISRAEL A REGIONAL POLITICAL BOOST: A decade after discovering natural gas fields off its Mediterranean coast, Israel is feeling a geopolitical boost, building bridges with its neighbors even without significant progress being made toward peace with the Palestinians. Last week's inclusion of Israel into the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum in Cairo marked the first time Arab countries accepted Israel into such a regional alliance. "I think this is the most significant economic cooperation between Egypt and Israel since the signing of the peace treaty 40 years ago," said Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz. "The discovery of significant gas fields in the eastern Mediterranean has also political value because it brings all of us together to cooperate with each other." Israel already delivers gas to the Palestinians and to Jordan, and will begin exporting gas to Egypt in 2019. (NY Times)
ISRAAID LAUNCHING NEW AID INITIATIVE TO TRAIN MEDICAL, MENTAL-HEALTH PROFESSIONALS: The disaster-relief nongovernmental organization IsraAID has embarked on a new, international initiative to train doctors, dentists, nurses, engineers and mental-health professionals to respond to disasters. The IsraAID Humanitarian Professionals Network (IPHN) was launched mid-January 2019 in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area. “IsraAID draws on Israeli social innovation and expertise to benefit people in need around the world,” said Seth Davis, executive director of organization’s branch in the United States. “We are now leveraging our organization’s unique capabilities to train professionals in the United States interested in developing life-saving skills and joining humanitarian relief missions globally, hand in hand with professionals from Israel. The network will equip skilled individuals in hands-on disaster relief experience and provide enhanced capacity if local disaster were to strike,” added Davis. Current IsraAID missions have provided assistance in multiple disasters including the November 2018 wildfires in California; violence in Uganda; cyclones in Vanuatu; and refugee crises in Greece, Kenya and Bangladesh. “IsraAID will make Los Angeles more secure by leveraging their unique expertise in disaster response to train professionals in our community,” said Los Angeles council member Paul Koretz. “I look forward to partnering with IsraAID to help them roll out their IHPN program in California.” (Jewish News Syndicate)
TECHNION STUDENTS DEVELOP ALGEA-BASED FALAFEL TO BATTLE PROTEIN HUNGER: Ecologically friendly and nutritious microalgae that used to be a daily food source for the Aztecs in central Mexico could be making its way to Western tables in the form of a new kind of protein-rich falafel, the delicious Middle Eastern deep-fried chickpea balls. Graduate students at the Biotechnology and Food Engineering Faculty at Israel’s Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have developed what they call the Algalafel, a new kind of falafel that enriches the traditional ingredients with spirulina — a biomass of blue-green algae which in its dried form contains about 60% protein and is seen as a solution for food insecurity and malnutrition. The students won first prize in the EIT Food Project (European Knowledge and Innovation Community) as part of an innovative microalgae product development competition, held last month at the Technion. EIT Food is a pan-European consortium that focuses on promoting innovation and entrepreneurship in the food sector. “It tasted very good, almost identical to regular falafel,” said Prof. Yoav Livney, the project leader. (Times of Israel)
WOW! ANCIENT CAVE FOUND UNDERNEATH PLAYGROUND IN GERMAN COLONY: An underground cave with an ancient water cistern was accidentally discovered this week during renovation work on a playground in Jerusalem’s German Colony neighborhood. The cave was found in a public garden on Rachel Imenu Street, across from the Erlui Yeshiva. The cave is about 225 square meters, with a 40 meter-long cistern believed to be about 1500 years old, from the Byzantine period. In light of the findings, the antiquities may be incorporated into the new design for the park. (Jerusalem Life) Wow is right! You never know what you’re going to find while digging in Israel: One might unearth an ancient village while repairing a road, or a breathtaking natural wonder when breaking ground for a new building, or an abandoned treasure hidden in a Crusader wall, even a piece of ancient chard while taking a walk and glancing underneath a bush. One thing is for sure, Israel is never boring and God keeps even the smallest promises regarding His land: “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
ROOTS AND REFLECTIONS - IN ROMANIAN - WITH BARRY SEGAL: Join Barry Segal every week for his biblically based travel program focusing on the reality of life in Israel. It’s all about archaeology, history, the Bible, culture, music, the language, interviews, the food and humor. Yes, we even broadcast in Romanian (with English subtitles)! You can view VFI’s Roots and Reflection Program every week on the Romanian channel Alfa Omega TV at the following broadcast times: Friday evenings at 23:00 and Saturdays at 12:30. (Romanian/Israeli time).
MEOW! JERUSALEM MAYOR PROVIDES ANNUAL BUDGET FOR CAT FOOD: Jerusalem mayor Moshe Lion this week said he has decided to build feeding stations for stray cats in Jerusalem and fill them with food at the cost of 100,000 NIS per year. Jerusalem recently changed its garbage disposal system and began using containers that are buried in the ground, this led to thousands of complaints from worried residents who noticed that street cats are unable to get into the garbage to find food as they used to. The feeding stations will be built in neighborhoods where the new, earth-buried garbage cans are placed and cat-lovers will be encouraged to feed cats in the designed stations. The monthly estimate is that city hall will use 210 food bags a month and 2,500 bags per year. Next week the city of Jerusalem will hold a special event for cat lovers who currently feed street cats at their own expense to explain the new move and how they can be reimbursed for their feeding efforts. (J.Post) “The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.” Ps. 145:15-16
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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