“You give me your shield of victory and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great.” Ps. 18: 35
ISRAEL PREPS HISTORIC MISSION TO LAND ON THE MOON: The exclusive list of countries that have landed spacecraft on the Moon is set to get a new addition this year. In Feb. 2019 Israel’s Beresheet spacecraft will launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Beresheet, which is the Hebrew word for “beginning,” is expected to land on the lunar surface about two months later. Only three countries – the USA, the Soviet Union and China have made successful ‘soft landings’ on the lunar surface. Beresheet was transported from Ben Gurion airport in Israel to Orlando International Airport in Florida and from there to Cape Canaveral. The launch is targeted for no earlier than mid-February 2019. After its two-month journey, the probe will land within Mare Serenitatis in the Moon’s northern hemisphere. In addition to its science mission, Beresheet will also take a time capsule to the Moon. Consisting of three disks, the time capsule data includes symbols such as the Israeli flag and the country’s national anthem, “Hatikvah.” Dictionaries in 27 languages are also on the disks, along with the Bible and a children’s book inspired by the mission. Beresheet and its time capsule will remain on the lunar surface indefinitely. The upcoming launch and the lunar landing about two months later will be the culmination of eight years of hard work and dedication. (Fox)
VIEW ROOTS AND REFLECTIONS WITH BARRY SEGAL BROADCASTING IN THE UK AND EUROPE: 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. View VFI’s Roots and Reflection Program every week on the UK/European channel, Revelation TV at the following broadcast time: Friday evenings at 20:30. Revelation TV is available on: Website, Apple TV, App (Apple & Android), Sky 581, Freeview HD 264, Freesat 692, Christian TV Box and Roku Box.
ISRAEL’S STARTUP, REFUNDIT, WINS FIRST PLACE IN UN COMPETITION: Refundit, an Israeli startup which revolutionizes the field of tax-free shopping for tourists, won the first place prize in the World Tourism Organization travel-tech competition on Thur. 24 Jan. 2019. The global travel-tech competition, held for the first time, by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in partnership with Globalia, the leading tourism group in Spain and Latin America, sought innovative startups capable of transforming the way people travel and experience tourism. A total of 2,771 companies from 132 countries submitted their candidacy for the competition. Four of the ten finalists were Israeli. Refundit is an Israeli startup which revolutionizes the field of tax-free shopping, making the process easier and more efficient - with no lines or paperwork, saving tourists time and money. The UNTWO's competition promised the winner will have the opportunity to carry out a pilot project with the Globalia Group and the finalists will have access to the leading actors in the world tourism sector. (J.Post)
ISRAEL’S ECONOMY IS STRONG: Israel's gross domestic product has been rising at an average annual rate of 3.69% since 2000, inflation has been 1.57%, and unemployment has fallen to 3.6%. The nation of 8.4 million people has outperformed European stalwarts since 2009. Israel's GDP growth of 69% since then is more than 17 times what Austria managed and almost three times what Switzerland mustered. Among the 36 developed economies that make up the OECD, Israel will be the 4th fastest growing (tied with Chile) this year with 3.6%, behind Slovakia, Poland, and Slovenia. (Bloomberg)
$4.6 MILLION IN FEDERAL FUNDS TO GO TO HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS: Jewish Federations of North America will be distributing $4.6 million in federal money appropriated by Congress to aid Holocaust survivors. The funds will be distributed from the organization’s Center for Advancing Holocaust Survivor Care to 43 direct service agencies and six Jewish federations. Combined with matching grants, the funding will result in $6.7 million in programming for Holocaust survivor services. About one in three of the more than 100,000 Holocaust survivors in the United States lives in poverty, according to JFNA. (INN)
‘JEWS ARE ONCE AGAIN UNSAFE ON THE STREETS OF EUROPE’: At an event last week at the European Parliament in Brussels, Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog stated, “We can no longer ignore the fact that Jews are once again unsafe in the streets of Europe.” Addressing the European Jewish Congress and leaders from across Europe, Chairman Herzog spoke of the alarming rise in anti-Semitism throughout Europe: “As it pertains to anti-Semitism, we are facing among the darkest periods of Jewish history in Europe, in recent times. There are far too many examples to cite. While we respect the efforts of the governments to combat anti-Semitism, we see the urgency of this matter reflected in recent surveys and in actions taken on both extremes of the political spectrum that are employing anti-Semitism as a political vehicle. This must be stopped." He stated that anti-Semitism in Europe is not limited by economic, religious nor geographic boundaries, going on to remark that: “When 90% of European Jews say anti-Semitism has increased in their home country, we understand we are dealing with a plague.” Chairman Herzog further said: “I’m proud to be here today as a soldier of the Jewish people, as Chairman of The Jewish Agency to honor the memory of the six million Jews murdered in the Shoah." Chairman Herzog called on Europe to unite in a renewed fight against anti-Semitism, saying the lessons of the Holocaust must be taught from generation to generation. “This is the highest tribute we can give those whose memory we gather to honor today. May their memory be a blessing.” (Arutz-7)
IRISH BILL ADVANCES TO CRIMINALIZE COMMERCIAL ACTIVITY WITH ISRAEL: The Irish parliament advanced a bill on Thur. 24 Jan. 2019 that would prohibit commercial activity connected to areas that were outside Israel’s pre-1967 territory. The final tally of its first reading in the Irish lower parliamentary house, the Dáil, was 78-45, with three abstentions. If enacted, it would make Ireland the first European Union nation to criminalize doing business beyond the pre-1967 lines, including eastern Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. Violators could be subject to a fine of $285,000 or five years in prison. Fianna Fáil politician Niall Collins, who proposed the measure to the Dáil, labeled it as “a modest bill that seeks to uphold international law.” However, Israel saw it as anything but, as the government summoned Irish Ambassador to Israel Alison Kelly and warned her that “the hypocritical and anti-Semitic legislation will have severe ramifications on Israel-Ireland relations and Ireland’s standing in the region should the legislation be promoted,” and that “it would be better if Ireland confronted dictatorships and terrorist organizations rather than Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East,” according to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “Instead of Ireland condemning Syria for slaughtering hundreds of thousands of civilians, Turkey for the occupation of northern Cyprus and the terrorist organizations for murdering thousands of Israelis, it attacks Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East,” said Israeli PM Netanyahu. “What a disgrace.” (Koenig) Pray that this anti-Semitic piece of legislation will be blocked and repealed in Ireland. “May all who hate Zion be turned back in shame. May they be like grass on the roof, which withers before it can grow.” Ps. 129: 5-6
THOUSANDS OF GAZANS RIOT ALONG BORDER FENCE: The violent riots along the Gaza border continued on Friday, 25 Jan. 2019 as the IDF deployed in large numbers after Hamas threatened to “immediately retaliate” to an Israeli “aggression”. The IDF said that 10,000 rioters gathered at a number of locations along the border fence, throwing grenades and rocks at IDF soldiers and at the fence. In addition, two grenades were thrown at an army vehicle in northern Gaza. Several explosions were observed in the Gaza Strip during the riots, in which a number of Palestinian Arabs were injured, according to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit. IDF soldiers responded by riot dispersal means and firing in accordance with the rules of engagement. One of the rioters was reportedly shot dead by Israeli fire. The border riots have been occurring every week since 30 March 2018. Meanwhile, in Judea and Samaria, IDF troops fired at three Arabs who threw rocks at Israeli vehicles traveling on Highway 60 north of Ofra. The three suspects received medical treatment at the scene by IDF forces. One of them died of his injuries and another was wounded. The incident is under investigation. (Arutz-7) Pray for the wisdom and strategy of all of Israel’s government and military leaders as they deal with unrelenting antagonists, terrorist murderers and weekly riots piloted by Hamas. Intercede for the protection of IDF soldiers serving on the Gaza border.
IRAN CONTINUES WITH ITS NUCLEAR ACTIVITIES UNABATED: Iran's nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi has said that Iran will continue with its activities at the heavy water plant in Arak. Salehi said that Iran did not fill in the core of the reactor with cement in accordance with the nuclear deal and claimed last week that images showing that Iran had sealed the core were photo-shopped. Salehi said he was "thankful to Allah for the way in which the discussions relating to the technical aspects of the nuclear talks were conducted, as they left so many breaches in the agreement that Iran was able to exploit." "Iran has lost nothing as a result of signing the agreement. We have preserved our capabilities in the field of enrichment. We are continuing to manufacture new centrifuges. We are doing everything we need to do." (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Pray Western nations will be unified with effective solutions to prevent Iran from continuing with its illegal and defiant support of global terrorism, proliferation of ballistic missiles, nuclear enrichment activities, and military threats against Israel and the West.
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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