“The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.” Rom. 13:12
A SERIOUS BLOW TO IRAN’S TERROR SPECIALISTS: In a bold step, USA President Donald Trump has formally designated Iran’s Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization — a move that carries serious financial implications for Tehran and lengthy prison terms for those who provide material support. This marks the first time Washington has labeled another country's military a terrorist group. The move isn’t without risk: Iran has threatened retaliation, including against USA forces in the Middle East, which is why Pentagon officials have long opposed the move. Then again, Iran also threatened massive retaliation after Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal. Instead, it now faces a collapsing economy (thanks to USA-led sanctions) and mounting internal dissent. Make no mistake about how critical the Guard is to the Iranian regime: It runs Tehran’s ballistic missile program and has long been involved in Iran’s nuclear program. It exports terrorism (through both financing and troops) and is directly involved in planning and carrying out terror attacks. It is, as Trump said, “the Iranian government’s primary means of directing and implementing its global terrorist campaign.” Sanctioning the Revolutionary Guard is vital to addressing the key elements that were deliberately omitted from the Obama nuke deal: Iran’s missile program and it's fomenting of global terror. As the president promised, withdrawing from that agreement was just one step in ratcheting up the pressure on Tehran. This is another critical step in that direction. (NY Post)
IRAN DECLARES USA A ‘STATE SPONSOR OF TERROR’: Iran's Supreme National Security Council on Mon. 8 April 2019 declared the United States a "state sponsor of terrorism" and USA forces in the region "terrorist groups", state media said. In a statement carried by the official news agency IRNA, it said the move was in response to the United States designating Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) a "terrorist organization". The council slammed Washington's move as an "illegal and foolish act". In response, it "declares that it considers the regime of the USA a 'state sponsor of terrorism' and 'the Central Command of America, known as CENTCOM' and all forces related to its 'terrorist groups'," the statement said. Part of America's vast military presence around the globe, CENTCOM's area of command covers multiple war zones and hotspots including Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and the Gulf. The USA decision came as part of already far-reaching attempts to undermine the Iranian government. (Arutz-7)
NETANYAHU SAYS ‘NO’ TO PALESTINIAN STATE: In an interview with the editor of a conservative Israeli weekly, Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu said that he has already told White House adviser Jared Kushner and USA Special Envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt that there can be no Palestinian state. In the interview, published days ago, Makor Rishon editor Hagai Segal raised the issue of USA President Donald Trump's “Deal of the Century” which, he said, would “probably be on the table immediately after the elections.” But PM Netanyahu said that he did not know when the Americans would present the plan. “I asked that question in a recent visit to Washington and I did not get an answer: If they had wanted to present the plan right after the elections, they would have said so. In any event, I stated my guidelines for the agreement. I will not accept any plan that uproots even a single settlement or settler,” Netanyahu said. Hagai Segal: “Could there be Palestinian sovereignty over Jewish settlements?” Netanyahu: “Certainly not. Not even a single one. Governance west of the Jordan River will remain in our hands. We have the responsibility for governing from a security point of view over the entire area. That is our condition.” Hagai Segal: “So what will the Palestinians get from you?” “They will run their own lives,” PM Netanyahu responded. "We have no interest in running Nablus.” He repeated that “As far as I'm concerned, there are three iron conditions: No settlers are displaced and secondly, we are sovereign from a security point of view in the entire area west of the Jordan River. Third, I will not divide Jerusalem.” (INN) “He who puts his trust in Me shall possess the land, and shall inherit My holy mountain.” Isa. 57:13
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.
TRUMP RALLIES JEWISH VOTERS IN LAS VEGAS, PRAISES NETANYAHU: President Trump proclaimed the USA-Israel relationship is better than ever in a speech before a prominent Jewish Republican group in Las Vegas on Saturday 6 April, 2019. “When I spoke to you as a candidate three years ago, America’s economy was stagnant, our military was depleted and the relationship between the United States and Israel was at probably the lowest point in history,” he said at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual meeting. He went on to speak of improved USA-Israel ties, pointing to his move to relocate the USA embassy to Jerusalem and his move last month to recognize the Golan Heights as part of Israel. “The incredible bond between the USA and Israel has never been stronger than it is right now,” the president said. The speech came with balloting scheduled for Tue. 9 April, 2019 in Israel. The vote is widely viewed as a referendum on the tenure of PM Netanyahu, who has forged an alliance with Trump. Netanyahu has won reelection three times. The race “is going to be close,” Trump predicted. Netanyahu last weekend said he will begin annexing part of the Israeli-occupied Judea & Samaria if he is reelected to a fourth straight term. He also mentioned the recent USA recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights as an achievement. (NY Post)
TRUMP ON REP. OMAR: ‘OH, I FORGOT, SHE DOESN’T LIKE ISRAEL’: President Trump elicited cheers last weekend at a Republican Jewish Coalition conference for recognizing Israel’s claim to the Golan Heights and moving the USA embassy to Jerusalem. The president also played to the crowd by mentioning the name of Muslim Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar, which drew loud boos from the audience in Las Vegas, Nevada. “Special thanks to Representative Omar of Minnesota,” the president said tongue-in-cheek. As the booing cascaded in the venue, Trump added, “Oh, I forgot. She doesn’t like Israel. I forgot. I’m so sorry.” Trump told the crowd that Republicans are taking a stronger stand than Democrats in preventing potential boycotts and sanctions against Israel, calling the boycott movement anti-Semitic. “Republicans believe that we must never ignore the vile poison of anti-Semitism,” Trump said. “If implemented, the Democrats’ radical agenda would destroy our economy, cripple our country, and very well could leave Israel out there all by herself. Can’t do that”. (Washington Times) Pray for the USA government even as that country moves toward presidential elections in Nov. 2020. Intercede that leaders will be voted in who love Israel and who will stand against issues such as anti-Semitism and abortion. “When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.” Isa. 59:19
‘BETO O’ROURKE: NETANYAHU IS RACIST’: Robert “Beto” O’Rourke, a three-time representative of Texas’s 16th congressional district and Democratic Party presidential hopeful, said earlier this week that PM Netanyahu is racist as he discussed the importance of the USA-Israel relationship. "The USA-Israel relationship is one of the most important relationships that we have on the planet," O'Rourke said. "And that relationship, if it is to be successful, must transcend partisanship in the United States, and it must be able to transcend a Prime Minister who is racist." O'Rourke has previously spoken out against Netanyahu. Earlier in March 2019, he said that Netanyahu has "openly sided with racists." He added that in a previous election, Netanyahu "warned that the Arabs were coming to the polls." (J.Post)
ANTI-SEMITIC ATTACK ON BUENOS AIRES SYNAGOGUE: Anti-Semitism has again hit Argentina. A man broke into a synagogue during Shabbat evening services on Friday 5 April 2019 and threatened worshipers in Buenos Aires. The attack took place at the Mikdash Yosef congregation in the Palermo neighborhood of Buenos Aires. During the attack, the assailant threatened the worshipers with a sharp object and threw stones at the congregants and a security guard. He also threw oil on the floor, causing several worshipers to fall on the synagogue's entrance floor. One of the guards prevented further violence by pepper spraying the attacker. The attacker shouted anti-Semitic slogans and curses against the Jewish people during the assault. He was arrested when the police arrived. Rabbi Uriel Husni, the leader of the congregation, said, "I never thought that something like this could happen. We had terror here. Together with security, we were able to stop it. We are asking for police protection for the door of the synagogue." (Arutz-7)
ISRAELI GOALIE RECOGNIZED AS WORLD’S OLDEST PRO SOCCER PLAYER: Israeli septuagenarian Isaak Hayik is the new Guinness World Record holder for the oldest living active professional soccer player. Hayik, whose 74th birthday is coming up, had sent a letter to the Guinness World Record office, but was shocked when a Guinness official showed up at last weekend’s game when he stood in as goalkeeper for his team; Maccabi Ironi Or Yehuda. “The funny thing is that when I turned to Guinness to try to break the world record, I wanted to be the oldest goalkeeper,” Hayik posted on his Facebook page. “I did not believe in my wildest dreams that the Guinness representative would declare me not only as the oldest goalkeeper, but as the oldest active soccer player in the world.” Despite losing 5-1 to Hapoel Ramat Yisrael in Israel’s semi-pro league, Hayik was ebullient after playing the entire 90-minute game, a requirement for the record. “The excitement was enormous. I came full circle in an unbelievable way,” he said. “Today, grandchildren of the players who played with me 50 and 60 years ago are my teammates.” Born in Iraq in 1945, Hayik moved to Israel when he was 5 and started playing for his team in the 1960s. (Times of Israel)
SEA OF GALILEE, DEAD SEA FILLING WITH WATER THANKS TO MARCH RAINS: Israeli water levels continue to rise. In March 2019 the level of the Sea of Galilee rose by 89 centimeters (35 inches) and the level of the Dead Sea rose 3 centimeters (just over 1 inch). March rains left the Sea of Galilee at 1.04 meters above the lower red line. It still lacks about 3.16 meters to reach its peak. The level of the Dead Sea hit 433.31 meters at the beginning of April 2019. National precipitation levels are at around 131% relative to our multi-year national average. (J.Post)
JOIN US FOR THE 2019 SUCCOT CELEBRATION: Begin now to plan for the annual Vision for Israel Succot Celebration at the Pavilion in the center of downtown Jerusalem. The dates will be 15 Oct. – 17 Oct. 2019. Take part in praise and worship with Joshua Aaron, Barry and Batya Segal, the Kadosh Dancers and local worship teams. Enjoy teachings focused on Israel and the Middle East with Dennis Greenidge, David Herzog, Barry Segal, Benjamin Siegal, Jones Boateng, Victoria Sarvadi, Tony Sperendao, Nizar Touma and more to come. 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
The suggestions, opinions and scripture references made by JNN writers and editors are based on the best information received.
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Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff