“For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: ‘In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength.’” Isa. 30:15
TRUMP PUTS SANCTIONS ON IRANIAN SUPREME LEADER: USA President Donald Trump targeted Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and other top Iranian officials with sanctions on Mon. 24 June 2019 taking a dramatic, unprecedented step to increase pressure on Iran after Tehran’s downing of an unmanned American drone. With tensions running high between the two countries, Trump signed an executive order imposing the sanctions, which USA Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said would lock billions of dollars more in Iranian assets. Trump told reporters the sanctions were in part a response to last week’s downing of a USA drone by Iran but would have happened anyway. He said Khamenei was ultimately responsible for “the hostile conduct of the regime” in the Middle East. Trump said the sanctions “will deny the Supreme Leader and the Supreme Leader’s office, and those closely affiliated with him and the office, access to key financial resources and support.” (Reuters)
IRAN SAYS LATEST USA SANCTIONS ENDS ‘CHANNEL OF DIPLOMACY FOREVER’: A spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry said in a tweet on Tues. 25 June 2019 that the new USA sanctions that target Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and other Iranian officials permanently end any chance of diplomacy between countries. The comment was followed by Iranian President Rouhani, who mocked the White House and said it is "afflicted by mental retardation." The USA and Iran have seen tensions increase exponentially in the past few weeks after an initial USA sanctions' squeeze that Washington said led to the attacks on two oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz. The situation became increasingly dire last week after Tehran admitted to downing a $100 million USA Navy drone. Abbas Mousavi took to Twitter to call out President Trump’s latest decision to impose additional sanctions and said the sanctions means “closing the channel of diplomacy forever. Trump’s desperate administration is destroying the established international mechanisms for maintaining world peace and security,” the tweet read. John Bolton, Trump's national security adviser, later said the USA is open to negotiations, all Iran needs to do is "walk through that open door." Trump, for his part, has been largely credited for his show of prudence while dealing with a hostile country. Trump appears hesitant to enter another hot war in the region but said that his “restraint” is not limitless. (Fox)
RUSSIA SIDES WITH IRAN AGAINST ISRAEL AND USA: Russia's top national security adviser, Nikolai Patrushev, spoke out on behalf of Iran during trilateral meetings with Israel and the USA in Jerusalem on Tues. 25 June 2019. Patrushev rejected the view held by the USA and Israel that Iran represents "the main threat to regional security" and said Israeli airstrikes in Syria against Iranian forces and its proxies were "undesirable." Iran "was and remains our ally and partner," he stressed. Patrushev also said the Russian Defense Ministry had determined that the USA drone downed by Iran days ago had entered Iranian airspace, as Tehran claims. Moreover, he lauded Iran's ongoing presence in Syria. (Times of Israel) Intercede that Russia’s true intentions and loyalties will continue to be disclosed. Israel is acutely aware of who are its enemies and faithful friends, however, intercede that there will be no misunderstandings where Russia’s elusive government and its notoriously tricky leader, Putin, stand in terms of its long-term intentions towards Israel and Russian ambitions in the Middle East.
IRAN AND THE LOOMING THREAT OF WAR: The average observer of international affairs will almost certainly claim that we are closer than ever to war with Iran. Why is this the most prevalent prediction? In short, because Iran is determined not only to undermine regional security through its ballistic missile and unmanned aircraft programs but also because it seeks to damage the world’s energy markets by blocking international waterways in the Arab Gulf and the Sea of Oman. Tehran’s plan is to use the Revolutionary Guard Corps to target USA vessels in the Arab Gulf, while their agents in Yemen — the Houthis — threaten Egypt and Sudan with missiles. Iran, on its end, continues to believe that Trump will lose his 2020 election campaign and find himself out of the White House. They are forgetting, however, that there is a large chance that Trump will win a second term and come back to punish Iran for its provocations. Now, Iran, through both its statements and its actions, intends to increasingly extend its control over the waters of the Arab Gulf. It will again try to attack the international maritime and commercial vessels in international waters. There are many signs pointing out to a rapid escalation on the ground, suggesting that if Iran continues to pursue its hostile actions, it will be confronted by a resolute American response.
The new USA Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, John Abizaid, a four-star general, and military expert, recently declared that the USA will not wait for Iran to carry out an attack before it retaliates. Instead, it will strike Iran rapidly and firmly in pinpointed preemptive operations. It is very likely that over the course of the next few weeks we are going to relive the notable American strike on the Iranian fleet in April 1988, which took place after an Iranian mine blew up the USS Samuel Roberts in the Arab Gulf. It is almost certain that such a thing may happen soon, especially given President Trump’s short temper. If Iran chooses to further escalate the situation, it is likely to do so throughout the entire region: in Yemen, Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria. But the USA, while talking about avoiding war, is preparing for a military confrontation with Iran. It is deploying more and more forces to the region and drawing plans for an attack. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani might be saying that his country is not interested in war, but we are all too familiar with Iranian hypocrisy to know that this is a lie. Iran is unable to read the political map and learn from its past mistakes and it will pay for its arrogance dearly. (Media Line)
DEMOCRATIC FRUSTRATIONS AHEAD OF THE 2020 USA ELECTIONS: The Democrats were confident that USA President Donald Trump would be impeached, or at the very least lose his credibility, by the time the 2020 elections rolled around. But as soon as Special Counsel Robert Mueller acquitted the president in his investigation, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stepped back from her efforts to impeach Trump. She did so despite great pressure she faced within her own party, partially because she knew that such a move will come back to hurt the Democrats down the road. The dilemma faced by the Democrats now is that they lack leaders like Ted Kennedy, Bill Clinton, or Barack Obama. There is not a single figurehead that can unite and lead the party in the upcoming elections and pose a credible threat against Donald Trump. Even Joe Biden, who is perceived as a prominent politician and a close confidant of Obama, lacks the charisma needed to defeat Trump and win the election. Winning the presidency is very different from winning a seat in Congress. Many clever politicians, who fared well in their bids for Congress, failed miserably at their presidential campaigns. This will likely be the case with the Democratic nominees competing in the upcoming election. The Democrats, whether they admit this or not, are truly frustrated by this situation. And while it is too soon to tell who will win the race, we can confidently say that the Democrats had hoped for a much stronger starting point for next year’s campaign. (Media Line)
PALESTINIANS “NOT WILLING TO GIVE UP THEIR MISERY,” ISRAELI HISTORIAN SAYS: The Palestinian leadership should sign on to the USA economic development plan and worry about their political status later, Hebrew University of Jerusalem historian Gadi Taub told France 24. Palestinians are wrong to reject the $50 billion USA blueprint to rebuild the Palestinian economy. "This is five times more than what it took to reconstruct Japan after World War II," he said. "If they stop sinking money into terror tunnels and corruption, they can have Singapore in Gaza. I think the one asset the Palestinians are not willing to give up is their misery. They have a leadership that is keeping them at a state of perpetual victimhood. If it was Zionism, we would have taken the money, built stuff with it, and then tried to move on to other goals, not give it up in advance." (France 24) Pray for the Palestinian people long steeped in the political and Islamist stew of death and glorification of hatred, and stubborn adherence to vengeance against Israel and the West. Intercede for hope and a new vision to be birthed in the souls of the Palestinians for both prosperity on earth and eternal life through the “good news” of the Gospel.
JERUSALEM’S TOMB OF THE KINGS TO REOPEN FOR 1ST TIME SINCE 2010: The Tomb of the Kings, a 2,000-year-old archaeological gem in the heart of Jerusalem owned by France, is to reopen to the public for the first time since 2010, the French consulate said this week. The elaborate Roman-era tomb with stone shelves that once held sarcophagi, considered among the largest in the region, opened on Thur. 25 June 2019, and will re-open on following Tuesday and Thursday mornings, the consulate's website said. Visits will be limited to 15 people in 45-minute stretches. The graves themselves will remain closed to the public for conservation and safety reasons. The vast site, located in east Jerusalem some 700 meters north of the Old City, is hidden behind a wall with a metal gate marked by a French flag. It has been closed since 2010 due to renovations costing around a million euros. A spokeswoman for the French Consulate General said that in opening the site, France was implementing a decision and a commitment "made a long time ago". Jews consider the tomb a holy burial site of ancient ancestors and seek the right to pray there. (INN
‘MAGNIFICENT’ BAPTISMAL FONT DISCOVERED AT CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY: An ancient 1,500-year-old baptismal font has been discovered during renovation work at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. The font is estimated to date back to between 501 and 600 A.D. Ziad al-Bandak, head of a Palestinian presidential committee leading the church renovation, said last week that international experts are arriving in the biblical town to examine the receptacle. Al-Bandak described the Byzantine font as a "magnificent" discovery that had been covered by a larger known vessel. The Church of the Nativity is located about 6.2 miles south of Jerusalem. A restoration project was launched five years ago to overcome decades of neglect at the historic church. Palestinian news agency WAFA reports that a ceremony to celebrate the end of the restoration project, which was planned for Nov. 2018, has been pushed back to May 2020. The postponement will allow the three churches in charge of the Church of the Nativity to undertake a restoration of the church’s grotto. (Fox) No matter what part of the land in which you might find yourself, Israel will unfold evidence of her ancient past and innovative future. “For Your servants take pleasure in her stones, and show favor to her dust.” Ps. 102:14
The suggestions, opinions and scripture references made by JNN writers and editors are based on the best information received.
Dear JNN Readers: Be sure to see what’s taking place at the Millennium center! Watch our new video at: https://vimeo.com/339869724. If you live in Israel or are touring the country we invite you to drop by and see what we are doing at this amazing new facility. We also encourage you to bring your tour groups for a visit when you travel to Israel.
JNN RECIPIENTS, FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK: Our official Facebook address is Vision for Israel. Follow us there and please hit “like” if you like us.
Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff