“I will make you the everlasting pride and the joy of all generations.” Isa. 60:15
ROOTS AND REFLECTIONS WITH BARRY SEGAL ON GOD TV: Join Barry Segal every week for his biblically based travel program focusing on the reality of life in Israel. It’s all about archaeology, history, the Bible, culture, music, the language, interviews, the food, and humor. You can view VFI’s Roots and Reflection Program on God TV at the following broadcast times: Monday 6:00 PM ET also on Friday, 10:30 AM ET (9:30 AM CT, 8:30 AM MT and 6:30 AM PT)
ISRAEL BEGINS BUILDING MASSIVE FENCE ON GAZA BORDER: Israel's Defense Ministry announced on Sunday 3 Feb. 2019 that it has begun the final phase of construction of a galvanized steel barrier 20 feet high that will run the length of its frontier border with the Gaza Strip. The 20,000-ton barrier will extend for 40 miles along the Gaza border and have a "smart fence" that can detect Hamas attack tunnels underground. "Over the weekend we began building the above-ground barrier along the Gaza border," PM Benjamin Netanyahu told journalists. The barrier "will prevent terrorists from Gaza from penetrating into our territory on the ground," he said. “The barrier is similar to the one on the Egyptian border, but it has significant improvements and includes innovative security elements," according to the statement from the ministry. The project will be completed by the end of 2019 and will cost approximately $833 million. Israel began constructing the new barrier around the Strip in 2016. Israel first focused on the underground portion after the 2014 Gaza war in which Hamas used underground terror tunnels to attack Israeli troops. Palestinians have gathered almost weekly for a year for protests that have often turned violent. Israel accuses Hamas of using the protests as cover to carry out violence, including killing two Israeli soldiers, launching rockets and arson balloons. (CBN)
UN AMBASSADORS TOUR HEZBOLLAH TUNNELS: Dozens of UN ambassadors toured a site near Metula in the north of Israel, where the IDF discovered a Hezbollah terror tunnel during Operation Northern Shield. Engineering troops gave the diplomats a tour of the tunnel using a robotic camera. The tour was organized by Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Dannon. The diplomats met with President Reuven Rivlin and PM Benjamin Netanyahu in the morning before flying, with seven helicopters, from Jerusalem to the north of the country. During their meeting, Netanyahu stressed the Iranian chokehold on Lebanon via Hezbollah. "Iran has many branches, one of them is Hezbollah, which has now joined the Lebanese government. This is a misleading description — Hezbollah actually controls the Lebanese government and this means that Iran controls the Lebanese government," Netanyahu said. "It is important to convey this powerful message — just as we prevented the terror tunnels from reaching Israel, we will thwart any aggression from Lebanon, Syria or Iran itself.” Danny Dannon briefed the group on the tunnels discovered by the IDF. He also stressed the high cost of their construction and the Iranian funding for them.
"The ambassadors hear a lot about our border with Lebanon and Hezbollah, but when you come here and see the tunnel, you cannot argue with the facts. The Iranian money reaches our border and threatens the citizens of Israel. On the day we move to defend ourselves and the UN will want to condemn us, the ambassadors standing here will understand the reality," Dannon said. The Panamanian Ambassador Melitón Arrocha Ruíz said that he came to see firsthand the hostile activities against Israel. “We will pass on what we saw and convey how Israel is thriving, open and democratic and that we all certainly share similar rule of law values,” he said. South Sudan Ambassador Akuei Bona Malwal noted the importance of coming to see the facts on the ground: “For those of us who work in NY and hear all sorts of things, the best way is to come and see and feel exactly what is happening. We came to Israel to see the challenges and how they are being handled.” The ambassador also pointed out the absurdity of the tunnels being dug under the nose of UN peacekeepers. (Ynet)
USA WILL RETAIN SOME TROOPS IN SYRIA TO ‘PROTECT ISRAEL’: President Donald Trump said the United States would retain influence in Syria in order to protect Israel, even as USA troops are withdrawn. “We’re going to be there and we’re going to be staying. We have to protect Israel,” Trump told Margaret Brennan on CBS’s “Face The Nation” on Sunday 3 Feb. 2019. Trump suggested the continued USA presence in Iraq would be a bulwark against Iran’s influence in the region. “I want to be able to watch Iran. We have an unbelievable and expensive military base built in Iraq. It’s perfectly situated for looking at all of the different parts of the troubled Middle East. And this is what a lot of people don’t understand. We’re going to keep watching and we’re going to keep seeing and if there’s trouble, if somebody is looking to do nuclear weapons, we’re going to know it before they do,” he said. He called Iran “a vicious country that kills many people.” (JTA) Continue to intercede for the fall of the present Iranian regime, which has caused the Islamic Republic to become Israel’s worst enemy with constant threats of destroying the Jewish state and making plans to do so. Pray that new leadership will come into place which will do away with oppressive Islamist policies, robbing people of their rights and furthering poverty in Iran.
DOZENS OF HAMAS, PFLP MEMBERS HOLD SENIOR POSITIONS IN PRO-BDS NGOs: Israel's Strategic Affairs Ministry has found more than 100 links between the internationally-designated terrorist organizations Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the BDS movement. More than 30 members of Hamas and PFLP hold senior positions in BDS-promoting NGOs. Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said the new report "reveals the true nature and goals of the BDS movement and its connection to terrorism and anti-Semitism. BDS rejects Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state within any borders. They want to see Israel wiped off the map. Promoting boycotts is just a different means to achieve this goal. I am calling on all governments, EU institutions, philanthropies, banks, and fundraising platforms to end all support for organizations linked to terror." (J. Post) The Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions (BDS) movement seeks to cut economic ties with Israel. Since its beginnings well over a decade ago, BDS has never been invoked against any other country. Common sense and decency ask how a self-described "human rights" movement can single-out the only democracy in the region, while ignoring the brutal treatment of women and minorities in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Pakistan. Almost everything the Nazis said about the Jews is said today by BDS supporters regarding Israel. There is a worldwide struggle against the very existence of one country of all the countries in the world: It's not North Korea - not Iran- not Sudan. It's only Israel. Intercede against the BDS movement that seeks to further hatred against the Jewish state and to undermine Israel’s economy and for the full exposure of terrorist entities and their leaders involved in this movement.
DOZENS PROTEST OUTSIDE CARNEGIE HALL AS ISRAELI PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA PLAYS: Dozens of anti-Israel demonstrators gathered outside New York’s prestigious Carnegie Hall on Sunday 3 Feb. 2019 to protest a performance by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. The demonstration was organized by Adalah-NY, a group that supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. Protesters held up signs reading “Israel fiddles while Palestine burns” and “Boycott Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.” Despite the demonstration, the performance went ahead as planned. Over 100 musicians from the orchestra were in the USA for a week of concerts set to include performances in New York, Florida, and Michigan. Israel’s consul general in New York, Dani Dayan, was at the Sunday show. “I am proud that Israel's Philharmonic Orchestra came to New York. Israeli culture is sought after all over the world and brings pride to Israel,” he said in a statement. “No protest will stop Israeli culture from blossoming in Israel and beyond. The dogs bark, and our melody continues.” (Times of Israel)
JULIAN EDELMAN IS THE FIRST JEWISH SUPER BOWL MVP: Wide receiver Julian Edelman was named Most Valuable Player as the New England Patriots beat the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta on Sunday 3 Feb. 2019. Edelman provided some of the rare offensive highlights in a torpid defensive game with a game-high 10 catches for 141 yards. Eight of those receptions led to first-downs, keeping the ball out of the hands of the Rams’ potent young quarterback, Jared Goff. Edelman, 32, is one of only a few Jewish players in the league. Edelman has become renowned in large part because of his clutch performances in the playoffs. He has made a series of memorable catches, including one in the 2017 Super Bowl that ranks among the wildest in championship games. Edelman also has the second most postseason receptions of all time. Edelman has three seasons of over 90 receptions and two seasons of more than 1,000 receiving yards. (JTA)
JANUARY TOURISM TO ISRAEL JUMPS BY 11% COMPARED TO LAST YEAR: The number of tourists who entered Israel in January of this year represented an 11% increase in relation to January 2018, and a 35% increase from January 2017, according to the Tourism Ministry. "The rise in the number of tourists over several years is proof of the quality of the Israeli tourism industry," said Tourism Minister Yariv Levin. "I hope and believe that 2019 will continue this unprecedented momentum in tourism that we have created in the past several years." The majority of tourists to Israel are Christians (61%) followed by Jews (22%). Most hail from the USA, France, and Russia. (J.Post) “Your gates will always stand open - they will never be shut, day or night.” Is 60:11
CRANES DESCEND ON ISRAEL: Tens of thousands of cranes were seen in Israel's Hula Valley on their annual migration it was reported on Mon. 4 Feb. 2019. Early pioneers drained the swamps of the valley, which nestles among the foothills of Mount Hermon, creating an artificial lake with abundant fresh waters. Hula is now an important stopping point for birds migrating from Europe to Africa. The lake is often visited by more than half a billion birds during the migrating season and is one of the world’s most important bird observation sites on earth. (Israel Today)
JOIN US FOR THIS YEAR’S SUCCOT CELEBRATION: Begin to plan now for the annual Vision for Israel Succot Celebration at the Pavilion in the center of downtown Jerusalem. The dates will be 15 Oct. 2019 – 17 Oct. 2019. Take part in praise and worship with local teams. Enjoy teachings with Dennis Greenidge, Benjamin Siegal, Barry Segal, and more to come, focused on Israel and the Middle East. Connect with local believers and congregations in the land. Walk and dance on the streets of Jerusalem during the annual Jerusalem March! VFI will also be marking its 25th anniversary in Jerusalem for which there will be a special celebration. For further details including times, venue location, and suggested hotel accommodations, visit our Event’s page on the VFI website at: https://www.visionforisrael.com/en/events/681/succot-celebration-jerusalem-2019-darkness-to-light
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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