Small Steps Of Progress In Israeli Coalition Talks

Nov 11, 2019

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Eph. 6:12

SMALL STEPS OF PROGRESS IN ISRAELI COALITION TALKS: Israel’s political leaders are still struggling to put together a unity government with a little more than a week to go for Blue and White chief Benny Gantz to reach a breakthrough in the ongoing political stalemate. The centrist Blue and White and secular-nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu parties have reached preliminary agreements on several issues in ongoing coalition talks. The negotiating teams for the two parties reached a consensus on several economic issues, including raising income for the elderly and disability payments. Thus far, however, there has been nothing conclusive on the most important issue – that of religion and state. However, Blue and White said the two parties had agreed on the issue in principal during previous meetings. Yisrael Beiteinu, which won eight seats in the second round of elections in Sept. 2019, may hold the key to the establishment of any coalition government. However, party head Avigdor Lieberman has stated he will only support a unity government composed of Blue and White, PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party, and his own Yisrael Beiteinu. (JNN) Continue to intercede in this vitally important issue that Israel will reach the goal of a fully functional unity government this month. Pray that the God of Israel will put his appointed men and women into place who have wisdom and knowledge for the nation’s security needs, compassion for people who are struggling with poverty, such as the elderly, Holocaust Survivors, and people with disabilities.  Pray for a political team that will be able to deal with the dangers of Iran as well as being equipped to further good relations with previously estranged Arab nations. 

USA: THE WORLD MUST ADDRESS IRAN’S NUCLEAR  ESCALATION: Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo said late last week: "Iran's latest nuclear escalations reflect the regime's intentions all along to extort the international community into accepting its violence and terror while it undermines the sovereignty of its neighbors. Members of the international community who are rightly concerned with Iran's latest attacks and provocations should imagine how Iran would behave with a nuclear weapon. The United States will never allow this to happen. Iran's expansion of proliferation-sensitive activities raises concerns that Iran is positioning itself to have the option of a rapid nuclear breakout. It is now time for all nations to reject this regime's nuclear extortion and take serious steps to increase pressure. Iran's continued and numerous nuclear provocations demand such action." (USA State Department) Pray that world leaders will be in agreement and find effective ways to end this regime’s destructive nuclear and military goals – also that the Iranian people who want political and social change but live in fear of expressing their discontent will be encouraged in their hopes. Intercede also for the protection of the leaders and members of Iran’s rapidly growing underground church.

HELP VFI TO PREPARE FOR EMERGENCY CRISIS SITUATIONS: Israel’s increasing military threats from Iran and Iranian-backed terrorist groups on both the southern and northern borders could at any moment develop into a war.  VFI, as well as the entire nation, must be equipped for this possible crisis with emergency measures and supplies. Please help us to prepare with a financial gift at Your donations are vital and appreciated.

NETANYAHU: IAEA CONFIRMS THAT IRAN LIED ABOUT ITS NUCLEAR PROGRAM: Israel’s PM Netanyahu said on Thur. 7 Nov. 2019: "A year ago, speaking at the UN, I exposed Iran's secret nuclear warehouse in Turquzabad. This morning, a special board meeting of the IAEA published its findings on Iran's activities in the no-longer secret facility. The IAEA now confirms that Iran lied. And that Iran continues to lie. Everything I told you a year ago has now been confirmed by the IAEA. The IAEA has verified that the Islamic Republic has been violating the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Iran continues to hide its secret nuclear weapons program. It's time for the nations of the world to resist Iran's aggression and terror. It's time to snap back sanctions. It's time to pressure Iran until it changes its ways. Iran must stop attacking the nations of the Middle East, and it must stop threatening to destroy Israel. Europe must stop stalling. It must act against Iranian aggression now." (Prime Minister's Office)

UNPRECEDENTED NOVEMBER HEATWAVE IN ISRAEL: December is on the horizon with still no sign of autumn in Israel.  The swimming season has been officially declared as being over, but people are still showing up for water sports along the Mediterranean coast, at the Sea of Galilee and natural springs across the country.  Israel is in the midst of a record heatwave. The last time the temperatures soared so high at this time of year was in 2010 when the fire erupting from the extreme heat on Mount Carmel in northern Israel, lead to the death of 44 people. So far this month, the hot desert air that has blown in from Saudi Arabia and Jordan has lasted seven days; but it not over. Meteorologists say it is expected to continue for at least another week. (JNN) Intercede for rain and cooler temperatures. Pray that Israel will be shielded against dangerous fires at this time. “Now may God give you of the dew of heaven, and of the fatness of the earth, and an abundance of grain and new wine.” Gen. 27:28

ISRAELI DRIVERS: “RECKLESS AND  IMPATIENT”: No matter what circle of fellow travelers one may be sharing a car within Israel, it doesn’t take long before the topic of “crazy Israeli drivers,” surfaces. It’s a wonder that more instances of road-rage do not occur when habitually there’s a person behind your vehicle that honks three seconds before the light turns green, or you’re already going ten miles over the speed limit and the car in the rear-view mirror looks as though it’s ready to climb in your trunk. The driver then flicks his brights off and on in case you’re not getting the message.  The modern-day road habit, however, that is of major concern to so many of us in Israel is that of texting while driving.  It happens all the time.  According to Rachel Tevet-Wiesel, the head of the National Road Safety Authority, when you text while driving, it increases your chances of dying in a car accident by tenfold. But people keep texting. Tragically, since the start of 2019, there have been more deaths on the roads in Israel than there were for the whole year before. Since the start of 2019, 275 people have died on Israel's roads.

When Tevet- Wiesel was asked in a media interview how is the Israeli driver different from the European driver? Her response was, “They are less disciplined, less patient, less courteous and messing with their phones constantly. Other countries have reduced the speed limit in urban areas to just 30 km per hour - can you imagine what kind of an uproar there would be here if we did the same? It's just not going to happen.”  When asked if the Israeli driver is dangerous, she said, “Not dangerous, but rather reckless. A driver needs to follow the law and take responsibility for themselves and their kids.” Drinking and driving is another big problem:  Last weekend 88 drivers were caught driving under the influence of alcohol. Some 4,000 traffic stops were made, focusing on violations that endanger road users.  In finality, “dangerous” and “reckless” are synonyms when it comes to the enemies of road safety. In spite of the fact that Israel has state of the art roads; it hasn't helped decrease the number of casualties. Many of us who are praying people have agreed that we never get into a car these days without sending up a prayer for protection on the road from the impatient, the distracted, those who text and drive and the intoxicated. (JNN)  Please pray for stiff penalties to be put into place for those who text while driving, for those who speed and endanger other drivers with reckless, rude behavior and those who drive while intoxicated.  Pray that both young and old will be aware of road safety.

ISRAEL REMAINS ALERT FOR THE NEXT BIG EARTHQUAKE: Running along the Great Rift Valley, Israel has a massive earthquake roughly once every 100 years. The last one was in 1927 with a magnitude of more than 6, that killed 500 people. Israeli experts believe because of population growth and high-rise construction, an earthquake of the same magnitude today would kill approximately 7000 people.  Last week, an earthquake measuring 3.4 on the Richter-scale hit northern Israel. The epicenter of the tremor, which caused no damage or casualties, was 10 kilometers north of the city of Tiberias. But according to Dr. Ron Avni of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, while the temblor wasn't strong, it is proof that the Great Rift Valley (the edge of a tectonic plate running parallel to the Jordan River) is active -  and a devastating quake could cause major damage in Israel in the foreseeable future.  "A rough estimate is that once every 100 years, devastating quakes occur across the rift," said Avni. He pointed out that “the local population in 1927 was much smaller than it is today. Ninety years before that one, in 1837, an earthquake destroyed the northern city of Safed, killing thousands. And even 50 to 60 years before that we had another devastating one. Today we are 92 years away from the last big quake”, said Avni. He noted that there is a program to reinforce public buildings, schools, community centers, and hospitals.  “What needs to worry us are the buildings constructed in the 60s and 70s that are not properly reinforced for such an occurrence”, he warned.  (JNN)  Pray that residential properties, as well as commercial buildings, schools, and hospitals, will be properly reinforced to stand in the event of a major earthquake.  Pray according to scripture: “The heavens and earth will shake, but the Lord will be a shelter for His people and the strength of the children of Israel.” Joel 3:16

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

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