Record Number Of Tourists visit Israel in 2018

Nov 23, 2018

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Rom 12:12

RECORD NUMBER OF TOURISTS VISIT ISRAEL IN 2018: The number of incoming tourists surpassed last year’s record of 3.6 million this week and the Tourism Ministry is projecting entries will exceed four million by 31 Dec. 2018. For the country’s domestic tourism industry, that translates into NIS 18 billion in revenue since January 2018. The record comes on the heels of another achievement reached in October 2018– when 486,000 tourists arrived, setting a high mark for entries in a single month. That number is 19% more than the previous incoming tourism record set in April 2018, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics. Tourism Minister Yariv Levin attributed the recent records to his ministry’s innovative marketing activities. Since January, entries from certain European countries have soared in comparison to the same period last year, including an increase of approximately 90% from Poland, 40% from the Czech Republic, Romania and Hungary, and 35% from Italy. Significantly more tourists also came from Holland, Germany, Spain, and the United States. (J.Post) Prophecy coming true! “Your gates will always stand open, they will never be shut, day or night, so that people may bring you the wealth of the nations.” Isa. 60:11

ISRAEL HIGH SCHOOL DEBATE TEAM SNAGS FIRST PLACE IN EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP: Israel's national high school debate team was crowned champion at the European debate competition last week in Stuttgart, Germany, marking it the first win for Israel in the competition. The team performed better than 37 of the best debate teams in the world, including those of Germany, China, and the USA. They were unbeaten throughout all twelve rounds, a rare achievement in debate, even more rare for a team comprised of non-native English speakers. "It was a privilege to witness the team making history," said Elijah Kochin, the team's coach who accompanied them to Stuttgart. Kochin expressed his and the team's gratitude to the English teachers who helped the students "debate in a foreign language," as well as "the university debaters who spend their free time helping coach, judge and give feedback" to the team. (J.Post)

NGO SENDS AID TO CALIFORNIA IN WAKE OF WILDFIRES: IsraAID is sending an emergency response team to California to help communities affected by the unprecedented wildfires. After a request from local communities, IsraAID will conduct a needs assessment of the population in affected areas, promote community resilience and recovery, and distribute relief items to families currently staying in temporary accommodations.Yotam Polizer, co-CEO of IsraAID, said the Israeli team will set up operations in Chico and will focus on psycho-social support. IsraAID's team will include Israeli and USA based mental health specialists, who will work with partner organizations to support affected communities as they recover and promote community resilience. (Israel21c) 2018 is the most destructive wildfire season on record in California. Pray for the comforting and provision of those who have lost houses, businesses, and family members and for the rescue of those still missing. Intercede also that expected heavy rains in Northern Calif. this week will not cause flash flooding and mudflows.

MOSSAD PROVIDES INTELLIGENCE TO THWART HEZBOLLAH TERRORIST PLOT: The Mossad(national intelligence agency of Israel) provided intelligence to Argentina which helped successfully thwart a Hezbollah plot to attack Jewish community centers in Buenos Aires. Two citizens from Argentina were arrested this week because they had suspected links to Lebanon’s Hezbollah according to Al Jazeera. The two men, 23 and 25, were arrested in Buenos Aires after police found they had a cache of weapons including a rifle, shotgun and a number of other weapons, a report stated. Police said they found an image of a Hezbollah flag, credentials in Arabic and proof that the two had traveled abroad. The USA State Department designated as a terrorist Jawad Nasrallah, the son of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. The department also accused him of carrying out attacks against Israel in Judea and Samaria. In 1992, Iran bombed the Israeli embassy in BuenosAires, killing 29 people and injuring 242. Two years later, Hezbollah bombed the AMIA Jewish community center in the city, an attack that killed 85 people and injured hundreds. (J.Post) Continue to pray for victory and deliverance from every terrorist plot against the Jewish people. “Our God is a God who saves; from the Sovereign Lord comes to escape from death.” Ps.68:20

‘UN FOCUSED ON ISRAEL WHILE IRAN TARGETS EUROPE’: USA Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley slammed the UN Security Council for focusing on Israel's response to the nearly 500 rockets and mortars which were fired at the Jewish State by terrorists in the Gaza Strip last week while ignoring the rocket attacks and several foiled Iranian plots to murder dissidents in Europe. Speaking at a Security Council briefing on the Middle East on Mon. 19 Nov. 2018, Haley said: “While this Council remains focused on the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, it ignores other very serious conflicts in the Middle East. Iranian assassinations of political opponents are as old as the Islamic Republic itself. Iranian malign behavior does not just target one country, it targets us all. These attempts to murder their political opponents on foreign soil reflect the true nature of the Iranian regime. These attacks are precisely the sort of behavior that led the United States to re-impose sanctions against Iran on 5 November 2018. This was the largest sanctions action against Iran ever undertaken by the United States. The Tehran regime has proven itself to be the same violent and predatory group of murderers that it was in the 1980s. Our Europe allies are increasingly finding proof of that in their own front yards. We must unite in our efforts to stop this behavior before it reaches more innocent people across the world," she added.

“Yes, Israel launched airstrikes on military posts, weapons depots, and intelligence assets in Gaza. But it did so in response to hundreds rockets and mortars that were fired indiscriminately from Gaza into Israel. Neighborhoods were targeted. A bus was bombed by an anti-tank missile. Families were forced into bomb shelters to escape the barrage. Even if you accept Hamas’ excuse that it launched its missiles in response to an Israeli covert operation, you cannot escape the fact that the Gaza militants [terrorists] targeted civilians in response. Their actions were not actions of a nation exercising self-defense, but of a terrorist group seizing a pretext to kill civilians. You also cannot escape the fact that the group responsible for the rocket attacks – Palestinian Islamic Jihad – is an Iranian supported group. The PIJ is yet another terrorist proxy that Iran calls on to stoke violence and instability in the region. (J.Post)

ISRAEL LASHES OUT AT AIRBNB AFTER COMPANY PULLS LISTINGS OF HOME RENTALS IN JUDEA & SAMARIA: Airbnb announced on Mon. 19 Nov. 2018, it will remove all listings by Jews in Judea & Samaria, an Israeli-controlled disputed territory. In response, Israel said it would act to restrict Airbnb in the country, and encouraged affected Airbnb hosts to file lawsuits under Israel's anti-boycott law. Israel's Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan said he will work with USA officials to determine if Airbnb has violated laws in states that prohibit boycotts targeting Israel. About 25 states have enacted anti-boycott laws. Airbnb has thousands of listings in occupied territories and areas of extreme violence and human suffering. Yet, the company has decided to solely apply this policy to approximately 100+ Jewish-owned apartments. Former Israeli ambassador to the USA Michael Oren pointed out Turkish-occupied Cyprus, Moroccan-occupied Sahara, Tibet, and the Crimea as examples. (Fortune)

MUSLIM ACTIVIST SARSOUR ACCUSES AMERICAN JEWS OF DUAL LOYALTY TO ISRAEL: Activist Linda Sarsour criticized American Jews of a dual loyalty to Israel in a Facebook post calling for support for Congresswoman-elect Ilhan Omar, following a backlash over her announcement that she supports boycotting Israel. Sarsour wrote in the recent post that Omar is “being attacked for saying that she supports BDS (Boycott Divestment Sanctions) and the right for people to engage in constitutionally protected freedoms. This is not only coming from the right-wing but some folks who masquerade as progressives but always choose their allegiance to Israel over their commitment to democracy and free speech.” Sarsour, a leader of the Women’s March who has come under fire for not disassociating herself or the movement from Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who has made anti-Semitic and bigoted statements for decades, most recently comparing Jews to termites, also called for people to post messages of support to Omar on social media.

In the comments section on the post in response to the criticism, Sarsour singled out the Anti-Defamation League. In an online petition in support of Omar, Sarsour wrote that she was alarmed by “organizations like the ADL using their platforms to attack a trailblazing Black Muslim woman in order to undermine advocacy for Palestinian human rights.” The post raised the ire of the American Jewish Committee which responded in a tweet that: “Accusing Jews of dual loyalty is one of the oldest and most pernicious anti-Semitic tropes. No surprise to see it coming from @LSarsour. How long will progressive leaders continue to look the other way in the face of this hate? Ilhan’s campaign on last week told the Muslim Girl website that she “believes in and supports the BDS movement.” It added that she “does, however, have reservations on the effectiveness of the movement in accomplishing a lasting solution.” The statement appears to contradict her comments during a candidates’ forum at a Minneapolis-area synagogue in which Omar affirmed her support for Israel’s right to exist under a two-state solution and said she did not support BDS. (JTA)

STUNNING BIBLICAL MOSAICS REVEALED IN DETAIL FOR THE FIRST TIME: Archaeologists have released detailed images of stunning biblical mosaics discovered at the site of an ancient synagogue site in Huqoq in northern Israel. The mosaics depict Noah's Ark, the parting of the Red Sea, Jonah and the fish, and the Tower of Babel, according to researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (Fox) Visit Israel and see these treasures and hundreds like them for yourself.

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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

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