“May the mountains bring prosperity to the people, the hills the fruit of righteousness. May He defend the afflicted among the people and save the children of the needy.” Ps. 72:3-4
CHILD WELFARE EXPERT: TOO MANY ISRAELI CHILDREN LIVE IN POVERTY: Israel’s leaders frequently say that the nation’s children are the future and that nothing is more important, but the state doesn’t do enough to give credence to such claims, Vered Windman, head of the legal department of the National Council for the Child, declared on Mon. 7 Jan. 2019. Her frustration was expressed following the presentation to President Reuven Rivlin of the annual statistical report on children in Israel. Speaking at the President’s residence, Windman said that the state has failed to close social gaps, and that more than 300,000 children in Israel are at risk. “Over the past year”, she continued, “there was a 50% increase in the number of cases of abuse and neglect that were confided to social workers. During the 19 years in which I have been associated with the NCC, budgets for child welfare have been limited by bureaucracy and various national priorities, and there were never sufficient funds for child welfare projects which were invariably given low priority", she said. “As is the unfortunate case every year, there is a very high ratio of children living in poverty. Of the three million children living in Israel, 865,00 are living below the poverty line, and two out of every three haredi and Arab children are living in poverty. Moreover, 340,000 children from low socio-economic backgrounds are directly at risk in terms of neglect and abuse, especially sexual abuse of which there has been a significant increase over the past year,” said Windman. (J.Post) Please intercede that Israel’s government will focus on the needs of the poor and implement programs, finances and incentives to assist children and families stricken with hardship. Pray that at-risk children and those existing below the poverty line will be fed, clothed and rescued from abusive situations.
ANNUAL REPORT ON ISRAELI CHILDREN REVEALS GRIM STATISTICS FOR YOUTH: The Director General for the Israel National Council for the Child, attorney Vered Windman, presented the annual State of Child report to President Reuven Rivlin on Mon. 7 Jan. 2019. "The data shows gaps that we cannot and will not accept," Rivlin said. "It indicates that the challenge in creating a safe space in the virtual world is still ahead of us", Rivlin continued. Likewise, Windman marked, "The results should be an important tool in the hands of the policy makers. Israel has failed for another year to defend its children. It does not prioritize its children, not even the children at risk. In face of the upcoming elections and with the harsh evidence the report shows, it is time for the political parties to present to the public a detailed plan to improve the status of Israeli children. How many more children will suffer the consequences of incompetence, lack of acknowledgment and lack of necessary funds? It is time to invest in fences to prevent further collapse rather than picking up the pieces." (J. Post)
HELPING VISION FOR ISRAEL TO ASSIST ISRAEL’S POOR: Your donations in 2018 helped us to feed hundreds of children each month and over 1,350 families received financial aid. You also enabled us to provide 7,000 children living under the poverty line with brand new school packs. There is an ongoing need to help individuals and families who suffer from lack of food and basic living essentials in Israel. Please continue to enable us to assist terror victims, children at risk, the elderly, entire households suffering from poverty and others suffering hardship in Israel. Your generous donations are vital and appreciated at www.visionforisrael.com. For residents in the UK and outside N. America visit our website at www.josephstorehouse.co.uk. “Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will reward them for what they have done.” Prov. 19:17
SENATE DEMOCRATS BLOCK ISRAEL-RELATED BILL: Legislation reaffirming USA support for allies in the Middle East, including a measure to punish Americans who boycott Israel, fell victim on Tue. 8 Jan. 2019 to a domestic political dispute that has resulted in a partial federal government shutdown. Senate Democrats used the filibuster to block an Israel-related bill they oppose principally because they want to open the government for business before Congress considers other issues. Republicans could not on Tuesday muster the 60 votes necessary to break the filibuster and allow a vote on S.1, a mini-omnibus of four Middle East-related bills that languished in the last Congress, and did not go through. Two of the components relate to Israel: One codifies into law the $38 billion the United States has agreed to give Israel in defense assistance over the next ten years. The other provides legal protections for states that pass laws targeting the movement to Boycott, Divest from and Sanction Israel, (BDS) including laws that ban government contracts for commercial entities that boycott Israel.
Democrats said the first priority of the Congress must be to reopen the government. President Donald Trump has for three weeks refused to advance spending bills as long as they do not include the $5 billion he wants to build a wall with Mexico. A number of Democrats also oppose the anti-BDS component of the bill out of concern that it infringes on speech freedoms. Four of the Senate’s 47 Democrats voted to advance the bill: Robert Menendez of New Jersey, Doug Jones of Alabama, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. One of the legislation’s fiercest opponents is Independent Jewish Senator Bernie Sanders. Also speaking out against the bill was newly elected Rep. Rashida Tlaib who strongly supports BDS and denies Israel’s right to exist. (JTA, INN)
RASHIDA TLAIB STARTS TERM IN CONGRESS ACCUSING ISRAEL ADVOCATES OF ‘DUAL LOYALTY’: A freshman congresswoman hostile to Zionism attacked a bipartisan effort to legislate against Israel boycotts in her first week on the job, accusing advocates of the bill of dual loyalty. Rashida Tlaib, a Democrat from Michigan and a Palestinian-American, took to Twitter on Sunday 6 Jan. 2019 to criticize the “Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act of 2019.” It was the first measure introduced in the new Senate, and wrapped up a host of items left over from the previous Congress into a single bill. Congress’s passage of S.1 would have codify a 10-year memorandum of understanding on military assistance with Israel, reauthorize defense cooperation with Jordan, reimpose sanctions on entities financing the Syrian government, and authorize state and local governments to combat the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. Tlaib – who openly supports the BDS movement, backs a one-state solution and does not believe in Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state – wrote that supporters of the bill “forgot what country they represent”. “This is the USA where boycotting is a right & part of our historical fight for freedom & equality,” she wrote on Twitter. “Maybe a refresher on our USA Constitution is in order, then get back to opening up our government instead of taking our rights away.” (J.Post)
USA JEWISH GROUPS DENOUNCE PALESTINIAN-AMERICAN CONGRESSWOMAN: Leading Jewish groups in the USA denounced a tweet by Palestinian-American Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) on legislation against boycotts of Israel. Tlaib wrote that the senators who are promoting the legislation "forgot what country they represent". The Jewish Democratic Council responded: "We oppose your charge of dual loyalty. It's wrong, dangerous, and hurts the cause of peace”. The American Jewish Committee tweeted a picture of Tlaib hugging a person wrapped in a Palestinian flag and wrote, "Tell us more about dual loyalty. It's particularly ironic for freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib to make the charge of dual loyalty, since she has vowed to 'be a voice' for her relatives in Judea & Samaria and declared that her 'passion for justice is rooted in my beautiful Palestine.'" (NY Post)
2 REPUBLICAN SENATORS CALL ON USA TO RECOGNIZE ISRAELI SOVEREIGNTY: USA Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Tom Cotton of Arkansas on Sunday 6 Jan. 2019 again called on the United States to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Israel is stepping up its campaign for international recognition of its claim to the strategic plateau. A joint statement by the two Republican senators came on the same day that Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu urged visiting John Bolton, the USA national security adviser, to recognize Israel’s claim to the Golan. Israel captured the heights from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War and annexed them in 1981. “Responding to the threat posed by Iran and its proxies requires ensuring that Israel can defend its territory and its citizens from attacks,” said Cruz and Cotton. “To support Israel’s right to self-defense, Washington should take the long overdue step of affirming Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.” (JTA) Israel captured the Golan Heights in the 1967 Six-Day War, after years during which the Syrian armed forces positioned there bombarded Israel's farms and towns, situated roughly 1,700 feet below, with artillery fire. The Syrians also sought to divert the headwaters of the Jordan River that flowed through the Golan Heights. The Jewish state annexed the territory in 1981, in a move never recognized by the international community - including by the United States - which still regards it as occupied. Following the conclusion of Syria’s recent bitter civil war, there remains the presence of Iran in Syria, and its ally Hezbollah operating from next door in Lebanon. Syria, Iran and the Hezbollah terrorist group are among Israel’s most dangerous and bitter foes. All of this presents a serious military threat to the Jewish state. Israel continues to hope that the Trump administration will officially recognize its sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Please intercede that this will take place in the very near future.
ISRAELI DEBATE TEAM DEFEATS BEST UNIVERSITIES IN THE WORLD: The Hebrew University of Jerusalem debate team won the World Universities Debate Championship last week in Cape Town, South Africa, in the English Second-Language category. Roy Shulmann and Elaye Karstadt competed against thousands of students from 20 countries and managed, above the rest of the teams, to convince judges of stances on a multitude of current events. In addition to Shulmann and Karstadt’s defeat of the Russian, Malaysian and Japanese teams in the final round of the championships, the Tel Aviv University team, made up of Israeli Debating League chairman Amichai Even-Chen and Ido Kotler, made it to the final rounds of the general Open competition, which includes native English speakers from around the globe. They competed against some of the best universities in the world, including Oxford University and Harvard University. Hebrew University debate team chairman, Naama Weiss, said that the Israeli teams are “used to meeting students at the competitions from countries hostile towards Israel.” However, Weiss explained that they never feel different. “We actually become friends with them,” Weiss said, regarding facing political adversaries in competition. “It is important that we hold discussions with those that disagree with us.” (J.Post)
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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