“You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat. For the breath of the ruthless is like a storm driving against a wall.” Isa. 25:4
HOUSE DENOUNCES BDS MOVEMENT IN SHOW OF SUPPORT FOR USA-ISRAEL RELATIONSHIP: The House overwhelmingly voted to denounce the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement this week, taking a bipartisan stand in support for the USA-Israel relationship. The resolution, which condemns the BDS movement for promoting “principles of collective guilt, mass punishment, and group isolation,” passed on a 398-17 vote. Democrat and Republican lawmakers alike took to the House floor on Tue. 23 July 2019 to praise the bipartisan resolution and warn about the threat BDS poses to Israel and Jewish Americans that support the state. Democrats struggled earlier this year as Republicans attempted to label them the party of anti-Semitism after Rep. Ilhan Omar made a number of controversial comments that many members of her own party considered anti-Semitic, including an incident where she accused one Democratic lawmaker of having “dual-loyalty” toward the USA and Israel. Ms. Omar and fellow “squad” member Rep. Rashida Tlaib — vocal supporters of the BDS and critics of the Israeli government — pushed back against the resolution, arguing it violated free speech. Ms. Tlaib even tweeted it was “unconstitutional.” Members on both sides of aisle rejected those arguments, saying the resolution notes the importance of free speech and the right to protest for freedoms, but that the BDS movement crosses a line. “It is an American value to express legitimate reasonable criticism of any government in the world, including our own,” Rep. Lee Zeldin said. “The BDS movement is different. And we must reject the blatant anti-Semitism injected in BDS and the delegitimizing of Israel.” (Washington Times)
BRITAIN SAYS IT IS PLANNING EUROPEAN-LED PROTECTION FORCE IN PERSIAN GULF: British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt this week said the UK wanted to establish a European-led maritime protection force for the Gulf. “We will now seek to put together a European-led maritime protection mission to support the safe passage of both crew and cargo in this vital region,” Hunt told parliament after Iranian authorities seized a British-flagged tanker in the Gulf on Friday, 19 July 2019. “We will seek to establish this mission as quickly as possible,” he said. Hunt described Friday’s incident as an act of “state piracy”. Hunt also said that a British warship, HMS Duncan that is being dispatched to the region, would arrive by 29 July 2019, joining the HMS Montrose currently in the Gulf. According to the foreign secretary, all British-flagged ships would be asked to give the British authorities notice when they plan to pass through the Strait of Hormuz, where Friday’s incident happened, “to enable us to offer the best protection we can.” But he added: “It is not possible for the Royal Navy to provide escorts for every single ship or indeed eliminate all risks of piracy”. (Times of Israel)
IRAN SAY IT’S WATCHING ALL USA SHIPS IN GULF, KEEPING RECORD OF THEIR MOVEMENTS: The head of Iran’s navy said Tue. 22 July 2019 that Tehran is observing all USA ships in the Gulf region and keeping an archive of their movements. “We observe all enemy ships, particularly those of America, point-by-point from their origin until the moment they enter the region,” said Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi. “We have complete images and a large archive of the daily and moment-by-moment traffic of the coalition forces and America,” Khandazi added, noting that the images of the vessels were captured using drones. Khandazi’s statement came amid elevated tensions in the Gulf after Iranian authorities seized a British-flagged tanker there on Friday 19 July 2019. (Times of Israel)
SAUDI MINISTER SAYS IRAN’S ACTIONS ARE UNACCEPTABLE: Saudi Arabia's minister of state for foreign affairs on Sunday 21 July 2019, condemned Iran's seizure of a British flagged tanker in the Strait of Hormuz and urged the international community to take action to deter such "unacceptable" behavior. "Any attack on the freedom of navigation is a violation of international law," Adel Aljubeir said in a Twitter post. "Iran must realize its acts of intercepting ships, including most recently the British ship, is completely unacceptable. The world community must take action to deter such behavior," he added. (J. Post)
ISRAEL BRIEFED ON USA NAVAL RESPONSE TO IRAN’S AGGRESSION IN PERSIAN GULF: An Israeli representative was present at a briefing on Sunday 21 July 2019 by USA Special Representative for Iran, Brian Hook, who provided information on the USA naval-defense operation dubbed "Operation Sentinel" being undertaken in response to recent Iranian aggression in the Strait of Hormuz. "American representatives are working with elements from the Middle East, Europe, and Asia to formulate the details" of the plan, USA Central Command said in a statement. "Operation Sentinel" is a "multinational maritime effort" aimed at protecting ships in the vulnerable waterway between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, according to the statement. It is still not clear which countries will join the effort. In an interview with Israel Radio, Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi spoke of the possibility of a confrontation between Israel and Iran over the United States' and Britain's reaction to Tehran's recent actions in the Persian Gulf, including the seizure of a British-flagged oil tanker on Friday 19 July 2019. Hanegbi said that over the past two years, Israel had "beaten the Iranians hundreds of times in Syria. Sometimes we admit it, and sometimes foreign publications expose it." He added that "if the Iranians are very limited in their responses, it's not because they do not have capabilities, it's because we are very firm about our national security. The Iranians have not retreated from the plans to establish themselves in Syria," said Hanegbi, "and this campaign has not ended yet, but they know exactly who to not mess with and who can be upset." (Israel Hayom) “Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; He lifts his voice, the earth melts. The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” Ps 46:6-7
TRUMP SAYS CHANCE OF MAKING A DEAL WITH IRAN IS DWINDLING: USA President Donald Trump said Mon. 22 July 2019 that chances of negotiating with Iran were dwindling, as he cited increasing tensions in the Gulf and blasted Tehran as the world’s top “state of terror.” The president cited a series of recent conflicts involving the Islamic Republic, including the downing of USA and Iranian drones and, most recently, Tehran’s announcement that it arrested 17 people in connection to a CIA spy ring, a claim Trump rejected as “lies.” “Frankly it’s getting harder for me to want to make a deal with Iran, because they behave very badly,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. “I’ll tell you it could go either way, very easily,” Trump added. “And I’m OK either way it goes.” He also said the United States was “ready for the absolute worst. We are very geared up. Iran is the number one state of terror in the world,” Trump said. (Times of Israel)
OREGON TO REQUIRE SCHOOLS TO TEACH ABOUT THE HOLOCAUST: Oregon Gov. Kate Brown this week signed a new law that mandates public schools in the state teach students about genocide and the atrocities committed during the Holocaust, joining a dozen other states with similar legislation. The bill was inspired by Holocaust survivor Alter Wiener, who spent three years in concentration camps, including Auschwitz. Wiener, who was killed in a traffic accident in Dec. 2018, had tirelessly advocated for Holocaust education in schools. (CNN) Pray for the study of the Holocaust to be mandatory in public schools throughout the USA. The history of Nazi Germany’s genocide against the Jewish people, wherever presented with truth and accuracy, will be a powerful tool against growing anti-Semitism and against the horror of such atrocities ever happening again.
ISRAELI TEAM WINS SIX MEDALS AT MATHEMATICS OLYMPIAD: A team of Israeli high school students won six medals at the International Mathematical Olympiad held during July 2019 in Bath, in the UK. Ido Karshon won a gold medal; Lior Hadassi, Shvo Regavim, and Roee Sinai each brought home a silver medal; and Shahar Friedman and Itay Yehuda won bronze medals. The Israeli squad finished in 15th place out of 112 competing countries with an overall score of 156 points. The USA and China took joint first place with 227 points. Education Minister Rafi Peretz congratulated the team on its success, which came a week after Israel won five medals at the International Physics Olympiad held in Tel Aviv. “The additional achievement of our math team is a source of great pride for the education systems and for Israel,” Peretz said in a statement. “Mathematics, queen of the sciences, is the engine that advances science and technology. The achievement continues to put Israel at the forefront and to ensure its qualitative advantage also for the future. I congratulate the winning students - well done to them and the team escorting them.” (Times of Israel)
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