“The Lord be exalted, who delights in the well-being of His servant.” Ps. 35:27
BEACHES AND BALLOTS ON A SUNNY SPRING DAY: Israelis took advantage of a national holiday on Tue. 9 April 2019, casting their ballots to decide on the makeup of the 21st Knesset before heading off for some fun. More than two million eligible voters cast their ballots by 2 pm Tuesday, seven hours after the polls opened. The turnout was at 35.8%, slightly lower than the corresponding 36.7% turnout in the 2015 elections. En route to the beach or to forms of fun, Israelis all over the country took time to make their voices heard in choosing their representatives in the Knesset. Dale arrived at the polling station in Tel Aviv with her grandchildren. "They need to see what democracy is," she said. Her grandchildren enjoyed the democratic experience: "We took the ballot slip, and then grandma took a picture of grandpa voting, and it was really fun. Now we're going to photograph the spring flowers." Hadar Fuchs Rubel of Haifa said her young daughter Neta, who accompanied her to the polls, found herself with an unexpected dilemma – who to vote for. "She deliberated between the ballot slips," Hadar said. "The elections are extremely critical for me," said Sylvie, at a polling station in Tel Aviv. "I plan to go to the beach for a while, but first I am exercising my right to vote."
"As far as I'm concerned, these elections are fateful, and therefore I had a serious dilemma between going with my heart and going with my head," said Rachel, also from Tel Aviv. Rachel's young son said he knows almost everything about the elections. He named the leading candidates in the elections, Benny Ganz and Benjamin Netanyahu, and claimed to have read the Blue and White party's political platform before arriving at the polling station. Aside from their desire to vote and fulfill their civic duty, many Israelis had already planned their day of freedom. Anat and Guy Koren of Jerusalem welcomed the chance to spend the day together in the middle of the working week. "We were glad to vote early, and had the honor of going after President Rivlin," they said. "Now we are trying to decide between the Botanical Gardens in Jerusalem or perhaps a trip to the beach to catch some rays and some waves." Tamar Lapid of Rosh Ha'ayin, who was voting this year for the first time, arrived at the ballot box ready for a dip in the sea. "I am in my bathing suit," she said. "Everyone is on holiday and going to the beach." (Ynet)
86-YEAR-OLD LEAVES HOME FOR FIRST TIME IN 15 YEARS TO VOTE: Zina Bar-Ness, aged 86, had been unable to leave her home in Bat Yam, just south of Tel Aviv, for the past 15 years, due to a medical condition. But on Tue. 9 April 2019, she was determined to get past the front door so that she could vote. Leading up to Election Day, Bar-Ness decided she must make an effort to vote. She began practicing the route from her home to the polling station so that on Tuesday she could exercise her democratic right. Bar-Ness was mum on who she intended to vote for, but was happy to explain why she is so anxious to make the effort. "Everyone needs to vote," she said. " We need to not talk so much and do more. We need to vote and talk about peace." Her effort on Tuesday she said is "for the sake of the country. I want peace in our country," she says. "I have grandchildren, I have children," she says. "We deserve peace even after so many years." (Ynet)
TENS OF THOUSANDS OF ISRAELIS VISITED NATIONAL PARKS OR WERE ABROAD ON ELECTION DAY: Election Day in Israel is a national holiday and a rare weekend-like day for Israelis. The Nature and Parks Authority announced late Tuesday afternoon 9 April 2019 that more than 150,000 people were visiting the country’s extensive network of national parks. The most-visited sites were national parks at Caesarea, Masada, and Tel Aviv, and nature reserves at Banias in the Golan Heights, Ein Gedi in southern Israel, Ayoun in the Galilee and Tel Dan in northern Israel. Israelis also visited the beach in large numbers on the exceptionally warm day. Interurban public transportation was free for the public for Election Day. Meanwhile, some 60,000 Israelis were out of the country. Media sources reported from Ben Gurion Airport on Tuesday that some of the Israelis leaving the country had scheduled their trips before new elections were called at the end of last year. Others said they used the opportunity of a free day off to plan a vacation. Still, others said they had business meetings they could not reschedule. Israel does not have the option of absentee voting except for diplomats and emissaries serving abroad. (JTA)
JOIN US FOR THE 2019 SUCCOT CELEBRATION: Begin now to plan for the annual Vision for Israel Succot Celebration at the Pavilion in the center of downtown Jerusalem. The dates will be 15 Oct. – 17 Oct. 2019. Take part in praise and worship with Joshua Aaron, Barry and Batya Segal, the Kadosh Dancers and local worship teams. Enjoy teachings focused on Israel and the Middle East with Dennis Greenidge, David Herzog, Barry Segal, Benjamin Siegal, Jones Boateng, Victoria Sarvadi, Tony Sperendao, Nizar Touma and more to come. 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
TRUMP CONGRATULATES NETANYAHU ON ELECTION VICTORY: USA President Donald Trump, who gifted PM Benjamin Netanyahu with recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights just two weeks before the elections, congratulated Netanyahu on his elections victory. “I’d like to congratulate Bibi Netanyahu, it looks like that race has been won by him." Trump called Netanyahu a “great ally” and “a friend,” and characterized the campaign as “a well thought out race.” Trump also said that Netanyahu's re-election will improve the chances of peace in the region. “The fact that Bibi won means we’ll see some pretty good action in terms of peace.” he said. “Everybody said, and I never made it a promise, ‘you can’t have peace in the Middle East with Israel and the Palestinians.’ But I think we have a chance, and I think now we have a better chance with Bibi having won.” (J.Post)
AIRBNB REVERSES POLICY BANNING LISTINGS IN ISRAELI SETTLEMENTS IN JUDEA & SAMARIA: Airbnb said this week that it had reversed its decision to remove listings of properties located in Israeli settlements in the West Bank [Judea & Samaria). In Nov. 2018, the company provoked uproar in Israel and a flood of litigation when it said that it would eliminate about 200 listings in the West Bank [Judea & Samaria] settlements that are “at the core of the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians.” Airbnb’s announcement on Tue. 9 April 2019 came after it settled four lawsuits filed against it in the USA and Israel. According to a statement from the company, Airbnb will allow listings throughout Judea & Samaria but will donate all profits from its business in the region. An Airbnb spokesman said the chosen humanitarian nonprofit organizations would not be related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (NY Times) Thank you, intercessors, this is a real victory in the campaign against Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS). Continue to pray against activists operating from within businesses, on university campuses, through religious leaders and individuals who promote and participate in anti-Semitic activities or delegitimization campaigns against the Jewish state. May these continue to be confronted, penalized and silenced with great power and effectiveness.
‘NO FISHING’ SIGN SUBMERGED IN KINNERET RISING WATERS: A no-fishing sign accustomed to a low Kinneret was photographed completely submerged, as the blessed rains this year continue to fill Israel's freshwater lake. Each additional centimeter in the Sea of Galilee is 1.7 million cubic meters, equivalent to one billion, seven hundred million liters, or 374 million gallons of water. It comes out that for every centimeter the Kinneret rises, an individual could take a continuous shower for 2,776 years. Since the beginning of the rainy season, the lake has risen by about three meters. The Kinneret has to rise another three meters to be full. (INN) Thank you to all who have prayed for an abundant rainy season in Israel this year. The waters are flowing and hills and fields are carpeted with wildflowers. “May He be like rain falling on a mown field, like showers watering the earth.” Ps. 72:6
TRUMP: ‘ILHAN OMAR KEEPS ASSAULTING JEWS’: President Donald Trump slammed Minnesota Democratic congresswoman Ilhan Omar on Tue. 9 April 2019 accusing her of ‘targeting’ and ‘assaulting’ Jews, after Omar accused a Jewish adviser to the president of being a “white nationalist”. Omar, who has been embroiled in a string of controversies sparked by her accusations against AIPAC and American supporters of Israel, accused White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller – who is Jewish - of being a “white nationalist”. “Stephen Miller is a white nationalist,” Omar tweeted Tuesday. “The fact that he still has influence on policy and political appointments is an outrage.” Later that day, President Trump slammed Omar in a series of tweets, accusing her of targeting Jews. “What’s completely unacceptable is for Congresswoman Omar to target Jews, in this case, Stephen Miller.” Miller, a former aide to then-Senator Jeff Sessions, was tapped to serve as President Trump’s senior adviser following the 2016 election. He has been seen as one of the principal architects of Trump’s immigration policies. (Arutz-7)
ROOTS AND REFLECTIONS WITH BARRY SEGAL ON DAYSTAR TV: Join Barry Segal this week on Daystar TV 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. View VFI’s Roots and Reflection Program on Daystar TV at the following times: Wednesday 9:00 AM ET (8:00 AM CT, 7:00 AM MT and 6:00 AM PT) also on Friday, 11 AM ET (10:00 AM CT, 9:00 AM MT, 8:00 PT). Pray with us that many people will have their eyes opened to God’s deep love for the people and the Land of Israel through these programs. Your prayers and support are greatly appreciated.
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