Senate Passes Anti-BDS Measure

Feb 7, 2019

“You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety. You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid, and many will court your favor. But the eyes of the wicked will fail, and escape will elude them; their hope will become a dying gasp.” Job 11: 18-20

SENATE PASSES ANTI-BDS MEASURE: The USA Senate on Tue. 5 Feb. 2019 approved by a 77-23 vote a bill that codifies $38 billion in defense assistance to Israel and which provides legal coverage to states that target the boycott-Israel movement. Among the Democratic dissenters to the bill - sponsored by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) - were declared presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris. Non-declared presidential contenders who voted against the measure included Bernie Sanders and Sherrod Brown. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee praised the Senate for passing the bill and noted, "The legislation has no impact on the right of Americans to personally boycott Israel or oppose Israeli policies. The bill's scope is limited to commercial activities between companies and state and local governments."  (JTA) More voices of protest are being raised on behalf of Israel, and ever-increasing action being taken in high places against organizations and groups that further BDS, anti-Israel bias and anti-Semitism. These changes are answers to prayer. Continue to intercede for far-reaching Western government decisions to be made on behalf of the Jewish state.

ROOTS AND REFLECTIONS WITH BARRY SEGAL ON GOD TV: 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. You can view VFI’s Roots and Reflection Program on God TV at the following broadcast times: Monday 6:00 PM ET, also on Friday, 10:30 AM ET (9:30 AM CT, 8:30 AM MT and 6:30 AM PT).

HOUSE PUSHES BILL TO FUND HOLOCAUST  EDUCATION IN SCHOOLS: A bipartisan slate of House members has introduced a bill that would grant money to Holocaust education in schools. The Never Again Education Act would establish the Holocaust Education Assistance Program Fund in the USA Treasury. The bill would combine appropriated funds and private donations. A release from the office of Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., one of the lead sponsors said the bill would “finance grants to public and private middle and high schools to help teachers develop and improve Holocaust education programs.” The other lead sponsor is Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y.  The lead sponsors, launching the bill earlier this week at the Center for Jewish History in New York City, cited reports of a rise in anti-Semitism and a decline in awareness of the Holocaust. “Anti-Semitism is on the rise around the world and here at home, and the memory of the Holocaust is fading for far too many Americans,” said Maloney, who launched a similar initiative in the last Congress which languished. “We can combat this by making sure we teach our students, tomorrow’s leaders, about the horrors of the Holocaust.”  Also present at the bill’s launch were representatives of Jewish advocacy groups and Israeli diplomats. (Arutz-7)

BRITAIN: ANTI-SEMITISM AT RECORD HIGH FOR THIRD STRAIGHT YEAR: The number of anti-Semitic incidents recorded in the United Kingdom rose to 1,652 in 2018, marking a new record for the third straight year. The report, released on Wed. 6 Feb. 2019 is based on the annual report of the Community Security Trust (CST), which is British Jewry’s largest watchdog on anti-Semitism. The numbers represent a 16% increase over the previous year. The most common single type of incident in 2018 involved verbal abuse randomly directed at visibly Jewish people in public, accounting for 29% of the annual tally, or 483 incidents. In 502 cases recorded last year, witnesses gave descriptions of the alleged perpetrators. Among them, 64% were described as Europeans and 37% as Arab, South Asian or black. Months when public debate about anti-Semitism took place in the Labour Party tended to see an uptick in incidents, the report found. Incidents directly linked to Labour numbered 148. CST has recorded anti-Semitic incidents since 1984. The number of incidents since 2013 has more than tripled from the 535 recorded that year. In the first half of 2017, the Jewish community of the United Kingdom recorded 767 anti-Semitic attacks. CST that year published a six-month report, in addition to its annual report, because of the unusual volume of incidents. In 2016, CST found that the number of anti-Semitic incidents in Britain rose by more than a third compared to 2015. (INN) Continue to pray for UK Jewish community members; that they will be protected from the growing tide of anti-Semitism in their land and government.  Pray that many Jews will make the decision to make their homes in Israel. “Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.” Ps. 37:3

S-300 DEPLOYMENT IN SYRIA PROGRESSES: An intelligence report released on Wed. 6 Feb 2019 by ImageSat International showed for the first time three out of four S-300 launchers supplied by Russia to Syria last October. This indicates progress in making the batteries operational. The advanced S-300 would be a major upgrade to the Syrian air defenses and would pose a threat to Israeli jets on missions as the long-range missile defense system can track objects, such as aircraft and ballistic missiles, over a range of 300 kilometers. Among other things, pictures of the system being unloaded were distributed, and the Russian Defense Ministry announced Syrian army teams would undergo training to operate the system. Israeli defense officials believe that the Israel Air Force can overcome the new batteries in Syria. (Arutz-7)

NETANYAHU ANNOUNCES MOSCOW VISIT AS RUSSIAN-MADE S-300 SYSTEM NEARS READINESS IN SYRIA: Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu will travel to Moscow on 21 February 2019 for his 11th meeting with President Vladimir Putin since Russia in 2015 intervened militarily in the war in Syria. The announcement came just hours before satellite images were published showing Russian-made S-300 missile defense batteries transferred to the Assad regime set up and on the verge of becoming operational. The advanced system was provided to Damascus following the downing in Sept. 2018 of a Russian spy plane by Syrian forces, an incident Moscow nevertheless blamed on Israel which minutes earlier had conducted an aerial raid targeting a nearby Iranian weapons depot. “We’re committed to continue preventing Iran from creating another war-front against us, right here opposite the Golan Heights. This is the main subject I will be discussing with President Putin,” Netanyahu asserted at a press conference. To this end, the two leaders will attempt to strengthen the de-confliction mechanism between the countries’ militaries devised to facilitate cooperation in Syria and avert accidents such as the one last year. The trip to Moscow is one of many Netanyahu is expected to make ahead of the 9 April 2019 elections, in addition to visiting Poland and India later this month and the United States and Morocco in March 2019. (Medialine) Continue to be prayerfully alert to events taking place in countries adverse to the Jewish state on the other side of Israel’s northern borders. This region, most immediately, includes Syria and Lebanon, out of which terrorist groups rabidly hostile to Israel and supported by Iran, operate.  Pray for the Lord’s angelic shields to be along Israel’s northern borders.

USA BLOCKS UN STATEMENT ON HEBRON MONITORS: The USA blocked a draft UN Security Council statement on Wed. 6 Feb. 2019 that would have expressed regret at Israel's decision not to renew the mandate of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH) after 22 years. UN diplomats said the USA did not believe a council statement on the issue was appropriate. Israeli PM Netanyahu said last week he would not renew the mandate of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron accusing the observers of anti-Israel activity. Tensions between TIPH and the Jewish community in Hebron came to a head this summer when a TIPH staff member slashed the tire of a Jewish-owned vehicle in Hebron, after which TIPH’s legal counsel slapped a 10-year-old Jewish child. (Reuters)

STATE OF THE UNION AUDIENCE BREAKS INTO ‘HAPPY BIRTHDAY’ FOR SURVIVOR OF HOLOCAUST AND PITTSBURGH SYNAGOGUE SHOOTING: The audience at President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address on Tue. 5 Feb. 2019 sang “Happy Birthday” to one of the president’s guests, who survived both the Holocaust and the Oct. 2018 shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue.  “Just months ago, 11 Jewish-Americans were viciously murdered in an anti-Semitic attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. SWAT Officer Timothy Matson raced into the gunfire and was shot seven times chasing down the killer and he was very successful,” Trump stated. “Timothy has just had his 12th surgery and he’s going in for many more - but he made the trip to be here with us tonight.” Matson was met with a standing ovation from the chamber. “Tonight, we are also joined by Pittsburgh survivor Judah Samet. He arrived at the synagogue as the massacre began. But not only did Judah narrowly escape death last fall, more than seven decades ago, he narrowly survived the Nazi concentration camps. Today is Judah’s 81st birthday,” the president added. The crowd then sang “Happy Birthday” to him. “Thank you!” Samet yelled. “They wouldn’t do that for me, Judah,” the president quipped. On Oct. 27, Robert Bowers opened fire inside the Tree of Life Synagogue, killing 11 people. Bowers had anti-Semitic posts all over his social media accounts and was armed with two pistols and an AK-47. (Daily Caller)

JOIN US FOR THIS YEAR’S SUCCOT CELEBRATION:  Begin to plan now for the annual Vision for Israel Succot Celebration at the Pavilion in the center of downtown Jerusalem.  The dates will be 15 Oct. 2019 – 17 Oct. 2019.  Take part in praise and worship with local teams.  Enjoy teachings with Dennis Greenidge, Benjamin Siegal, Barry Segal, and more to come, focused on Israel and the Middle East. Connect with local believers and congregations in the land.  Walk and dance on the streets of Jerusalem during the annual Jerusalem March!  VFI will also be marking its 25th anniversary in Jerusalem for which there will be a special celebration. For further details including times, venue location, and suggested hotel accommodations, visit our Event’s page on the VFI website at: https://www.visionforisrael.com/en/events/681/succot-celebration-jerusalem-2019-darkness-to-light

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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

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