“Evening and morning and at noon I will pray and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice.” Ps. 55:17
ROOTS AND REFLECTIONS WITH BARRY SEGAL ON DAYSTAR TV: Join Barry Segal this week on Daystar TV 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 on Daystar TV at the following times: Wednesday 9:00 AM ET (8:00 AM CT, 7:00 AM MT and 6:00 AM PT) also on Friday, 11 AM ET (10:00 AM CT, 9:00 AM MT, 8:00 PT). Pray with us that many people will have their eyes opened to God’s deep love for the people and the Land of Israel through these programs. Your prayers and support are greatly appreciated.
PALESTINIANS INSULT USA ENVOY BY SAYING HE HAS DOWN SYNDROME: In a particularly insensitive swipe at the Trump Administration last weekend, the official Palestinian Authority newspaper wrote that USA Special Envoy Jason Greenblatt's ineptitude must be the result of him suffering from Down syndrome. "Anyone who follows the prattle of Jason Greenblatt sees that his condition is very similar to Down syndrome," wrote columnist Omar Hilmi Al-Ghoul in the Sunday, 3 March 2019 edition of the PA-controlled daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida. Al-Ghoul went on to explain his conclusion that Greenblatt is literally mentally disabled: "Anyone who looks at the American envoy discovers that he has external and inner characteristics similar to those suffering from Down syndrome: He is short, his eyes are similar to Mongoloid eyes, he prattles unrestrainedly, and is politically retarded." The incredibly callous piece was written to again emphasize the Palestinian Authority's absolute rejection of any and all peace initiatives coming out of the "crippled" Trump Administration. It elicited immediate condemnation from USA Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, who tweeted: "I am disgusted - not for Jason (he has broad shoulders) - but by this utter disregard for the value of every human life." (Israel Today)
USA CONSULATE FOR PALESTINIANS MERGES WITH RELOCATED EMBASSY IN JERUSALEM: The United States consulate in Jerusalem that historically attended to Palestinian affairs officially merged with the embassy that was relocated to the holy city last May, in a move Ramallah denounced as collective “punishment” and claimed further disqualifies Washington from playing the role of “honest broker” in the peace process with Israel. According to a State Department release, there will be “complete continuity of USA diplomatic activity and consular services” and the embassy will remain “engaged in a wide range of reporting, outreach, and programming in the West Bank [Judea & Samaria], and Gaza Strip, as well as with Palestinians in Jerusalem, through a USA Embassy Palestinian Affairs Unit.” The Palestinian Authority nevertheless responded with outrage to the perceived downgrading of ties, viewing the decision as proof that the White House’s soon-to-be-released peace plan will not recognize its sovereignty over any areas of Jerusalem. By contrast, the American statement emphasized the merger “does not signal a change of USA policy on Jerusalem, the West Bank, [Judea & Samaria], or the Gaza Strip.” (Algemeiner)
PA SET TO PAY FULL SALARIES TO JAILED TERRORISTS BUT CUT CIVIL SERVANTS SALARIES: Palestinian PM Rami Hamdallah said that the government is determined to pay the full salaries of the Palestinian political prisoners [terrorists] in Israeli custody and to the families of those in prison or killed by Israeli forces. Hamdallah said, however, that the government, would only be able to pay a portion of the monthly salaries of the civil servants for the month of Feb. 2019, in light of the financial crisis affecting the Palestinian Authority (PA) as a result of Israel’s withholding of the Palestinian tax revenues. The deduction is deemed to be relative to the amount that the PA allocates for stipends paid to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli custody, as well as the families of the prisoners. Israel's security cabinet recently approved the freezing of $140,350,300 over the PA’s payments to prisoners jailed for attacks on Israelis. Israel, which collects taxes on behalf of the PA, rightly says the payments encourage further terrorist violence against the Jewish state. (Ma'an News-PA/Arutz-7) “As I have observed, those who plow evil and those who sow trouble reap it.” Job. 4:8
CORBYN CALLS ON UK TO FREEZE ARMS SALES TO ISRAEL: UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn renewed his call for a British arms embargo against Israel after a UN Human Rights Council commission of inquiry condemned Israel while ignoring Hamas violence at the Gaza-Israel border. Corbyn tweeted on Friday 1 March 2019, "The UK government must unequivocally condemn the killings in Gaza and freeze arms sales to Israel." At the same time, USA special envoy Jason Greenblatt attacked the UNHRC report on Gaza in a series of tweets. "This report is another manifestation of the UNHRC's clear bias against Israel. Hamas behaved with reckless irresponsibility and disregard for human life when it incited VIOLENT protests, breaches, and attacks at the Gaza fence-line. Hamas is directly responsible for the miserable situation of the people of Gaza." (J. Post)
ISRAEL’S MISSION TO THE MOON CARRIES HUMAN HISTORY: Israel's first spacecraft, launched last month in the first privately-funded lunar mission, is carrying a small DVD disk containing the building blocks of human civilization in 30 million pages of information. The unmanned robotic explorer named Beresheet—Hebrew for the word "genesis"— lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station atop a Falcon 9 rocket launched by the California-based entrepreneur Elon Musk's SpaceX company. According to Newsweek, the archive is dubbed the “lunar library” and is meant to be a sort of civilization backup for future generations. “One of the primary long-term challenges that we face is amnesia about our past mistakes, and the lack of active countermeasures to repeating them,” Nova Spivack, co-founder of Arch Mission Foundation, a nonprofit that backed the mission, told media sources. “For the survival of our species, we need to find ways to raise our awareness of what worked and didn't work, and we need to ensure it is shared with the people of the future,” Spivack added. The lunar archive is designed to last at least six billion years, far longer than any written records. The library reportedly includes a collection of songs, children’s drawings and writings about Israeli culture and history. It also contains the entire English-language version of Wikipedia and a guide to 5,000 languages with 1.5 billion sample translations, according to Newsweek. The spaceship, which is about the size of a washing machine, will orbit the Earth in increasingly wider trajectories until it enters the moon’s gravitational field and is expected to reach its destination in mid-April 2019. (Ynet)
SEA OF GALILEE’S LEVEL RISES 7.5 CM OVER THE WEEKEND: Lake Kinneret's water level rose 7.5 centimeters last weekend, the Water Authority announced on Sunday 3 March 2019. Since the beginning of the season, the Kinneret has risen by one meter and 87 centimeters, but still was missing 3.97 meters as of the beginning of March. The weather on Sunday saw more light local rain. Local rains occurred in the north and center of the country on Monday. On Tuesday, local showers took place in most parts of the country along with scattered thunderstorms. On Wed. 6 March 2019, the weather will be partly cloudy and will still be slightly lower than usual for the season. (Arutz-7) Please continue to pray for abundant rain for Israel’s thirsty ground and natural water sources.
‘SUPERMOON’ TO APPEAR IN PURIM NIGHT SKY: A "Supermoon" will appear in the night sky this year as Jews around the world celebrate Purim. This will be the third Supermoon of the year. The last two occurred in January and February 2019. The lunar phenomenon on the night of 20 March 2019 will coincide with both the spring equinox and the Jewish holiday of Purim. Because of the moon’s elliptical orbit, it will be closer to Earth at that time and appear larger than usual. The Supermoon is sometimes called a worm moon because, according to National Geographic, "This is when the ground begins to thaw and earthworms begin to appear." The last time a full moon fell on the spring equinox was on 20 March 1981. Purim is described in the Bible in the Book of Esther. The holiday commemorates the story of Queen Esther and Mordechai rescuing the Jewish people from the evil Haman. Celebrations begin at sundown on Wed. 20 March 2019. Shushan Purim, which is celebrated in walled cities such as Jerusalem, will begin the evening of 21 March. (J.Post) The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. Ps. 19:1-2
BAT MITZVAH FOR HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS AT WESTERN WALL: Last week, a special Bat Mitzvah celebration was held at the Western Wall for a group of Holocaust survivors who could not celebrate their Bat Mitzvahs at their 12th birthday during World War Two. The Bat Mitzvah ceremony was held in the Western Wall tunnels and was followed by a festive lunch. Certificates were given to the celebrants on the occasion. The 'Bat Mitzvah girls' were brought from Holon, Bat Yam and Tel Aviv for the special event. The event was organized by the Ezer Mitziyon organization's nursing department, which assists elderly people in Israel. (Arutz-7) Bar Mitzvah is a Jewish coming of age ritual for boys. Bat Mitzvah is a Jewish coming of age ritual for girls. When a Jewish girl turns 12, she has all the rights and obligations of a Jewish adult, including the commandments of the Torah. From that date, she takes her place in the Jewish community. This milestone is often celebrated with creative projects, monetary gifts, meaningful gatherings and joyous parties.
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
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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