IDF Plans To Strengthen Israel's Borders

Oct 29, 2019

“And He said to them, ‘Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest awhile.’ For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.” Mk. 6:31

IDF PLANS TO STRENGTHEN ISRAEL'S BORDERS: Late last week the IDF disclosed its new five-year plan of operations with its chief of staff warning, “The situation is fragile in the north and south — and may deteriorate into a confrontation.” The publication of the plan was reportedly postponed as a result of the continuing political uncertainty in Israel, with coalition talks still underway and a caretaker government in charge. The army concluded, however, that it had “no choice but to move forward” in light of recent developments. The IDF said the proposal was intended to address “the multiplicity of events and the multiplicity of activities” on the security front. The plan was formulated through a thorough assessment of the IDF’s capabilities and was intended to address and design solutions to perceived flaws. The plan also deals with what is believed to be the central threat facing Israel: A decentralized enemy in an urban space equipped with precision weapons. This description fits both the Hezbollah terrorist organization in the north and Hamas terrorist groups in the south. IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi emphasized the threat from Hezbollah, saying, “Israel’s central strategic challenge lies in the northern arena: in the entrenchment of Iranian and other forces in Syria and the precision-missile project. In both cases, it is an Iranian-led effort, using the territory of governments that are limited in their powers,” he added. “For years, Hezbollah has ‘taken Lebanon prisoner,’ established its own army there, and it is the one that actually determines Lebanon’s ‘security policy,’” Kochavi stated. (Algemeiner/JNN) Pray that Israel’s enemies in Lebanon, Syria, Iran, and Gaza, along with terrorists among the Palestinians in Israel will be uncovered, defeated and swept away.

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ISIS LEADER ABU BAKAR AL-BAGHDADI IS DEAD, DNA REPORT CONFIRMS: ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been declared dead as a result of DNA test confirmations.  A senior Pentagon official said that the operation in northern Syria was carried out by USA Navy Seal commandos who parachuted into the area with the help of the CIA, which participated with the “local security apparatus.” The reports of the ISIS leader’s death followed a tweet by USA President Donald Trump on Saturday night, 26 Oct. 2019 in which he only wrote, “Something very big has just happened!” without providing details. Sources around the Middle East believe that USA Special Forces killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi overnight between Saturday and Sunday during a raid in Syria.  Previous intelligence assessments said Baghdadi was believed to have gone underground somewhere near the Syria-Iraq border when ISIS was driven from its last populated strongholds in the area earlier this year.  (JNN) “When the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy.”  Pr. 11:10

CREATORS OF ANTI-SEMITIC FLOAT DEEMED “NOT INTENTIALLY RACIST”: The Belgian state’s watchdog on racism has come out with its verdict on a parade float from earlier this year that was slammed as anti-Semitic. While the watchdog group agreed the float was anti-Semitic, it nevertheless deemed its creators were not intentionally racist. A float in Belgian Aalst’s Carnival’s parade’s in March 2019 displayed giant figures of Orthodox Jews with hooked noses, including one with a rat on his shoulder, clutching bags of money. Revelers dressed as Orthodox Jews danced on the float to a song about money. The spectacle provoked a torrent of condemnations, including from the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO, which called it racist. Aalst’s mayor and parade organizers have dismissed all criticism of the parade, saying it was harmless satire and not anti-Semitic. Earlier this month, the organizers printed caricatures of Jews with golden teeth and red hooked noses on ribbons meant to be worn at the next edition of the parade. The report released last week by the Inter-Federal Equal Opportunities Center, or UNIA, recommends clearing the Aalst float creators of criminal responsibility while calling for the creators and their critics to show “more empathy.” The Forum of Jewish Organizations of the Flemish Region rejected UNIA’s findings and took issue particularly with a statement in the report that suggests that Jews and other critics of the Aalst float must show “empathy and more understanding” toward the float’s creators. “It’s a cheap cliché,” the Jewish group wrote. “Jews have more than 2,000 years of experience with anti-Semitism and need no instruction about humor. Jews know better than anyone where caricatures can lead.” (JNN)  UNIA’s suggested soft touch for those who deal in racial ridicule on a giant scale, all in the name of good cultural fun with no harm intended, can only be called the height of hypocrisy.  The outrageous suggestion that more “empathy” should be shown towards the Aalst float creators already planning for next year's grotesque anti-Semitic float and puppets only adds more fire to the outrage.  Pray that these floats will be dismantled, and stiff fines imposed for any future attempted displays of such anti-Semitic images.

THOUGH I FALL, I WILL RISE AGAIN: Sunday 27 Oct. 2019 marked the first anniversary of the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, in which a gunman killed 11 people. The American Jewish Committee organized a campaign urging people to attend synagogue last Shabbat to show solidarity with Jews in light of the anniversary. The brave people of the Bridgeport Connecticut synagogue had signed up to participate in the campaign and in response were evacuated on Friday 26 Oct. 2019 after the congregation received two bomb threats. The police department said all people had been evacuated safely and that the department was looking into the threats. Just one year after a gunman killed 11 people inside Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue, congregants have outlined tentative plans to reopen the house of worship that is now the site of the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in USA history. Eleven people were killed and six were injured on 27 Oct. 2018, after a man carrying an AR-15 rifle and other weapons fired at worshippers who had gathered at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood while shouting anti-Semitic slurs. The victims, who ranged in age from 54 to 97, included two brothers who were remembered for greeting congregants at the synagogue’s doors each week and a couple who had gotten married at Tree of Life more than 60 years ago. Police charged Robert Bowers, 47, in the shooting, and federal prosecutors said in August 2019 that they will seek the death penalty against him. (JNN) “Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light.” Mic. 7:8

AMERICAN JEWS SEE INCREASING DISCRIMINATION AND ANTI-SEMITIC DANGER IN THE USA: Reports of anti-Semitic violence, graffiti, and hate speech continue to increasingly fill global headlines in proportions not seen since World War II.   According to the American Jewish Committee's chief advocacy officer, Daniel Elbaum,  in a recent survey of American Jews on the topic of anti-Semitism in the USA, some 88% believe anti-Semitism is a problem in America today, and 84% say it has gotten worse over the past five years. 35% say they have personally been the targets of anti-Semitism over the past five years. 31% avoid publicly wearing, carrying or displaying things that might identify them as Jews.  American Jews see a connection between undue criticism of Israel and anti-Semitism, with 84% saying the statement "Israel has no right to exist" is anti-Semitic. 80% said the statement "The USA government only supports Israel because of Jewish money" is anti-Semitic. 73% said the statement "American Jews are more loyal to Israel than America" is anti-Semitic. (JNN/Chicago Tribune)

PROTESTANT CHURCHES SHUT DOWN IN ALGERIA, WORSHIPPERS ARRESTED: The Muslim-majority North African county of Algeria has closed down three Protestant churches since mid-Oct. 2019. Pastor Salah Chalah, head of the Protestant Church of Algeria said the authorities retaliated against the Protestant Church of the Full Gospel of Tizi Ouzou because of a sit-in that Christians organized at the Bejaia Province headquarters on 9 Oct. 2019. Human Rights Watch said Algerian police raided the Full Gospel Church on 15 Oct. 2019 and assaulted worshipers, including Chalah. The Full Gospel Church is the largest Protestant church in Algeria, with 1,000 members. Algerian authorities closed two additional churches in Tizi Ouzou, including a 500-member church in Makouda. The USA-based International Christian Concern (ICC) advocacy director Matias Perttula said, “Reports of rising levels of religious intolerance in Algeria are once again causing a great level of concern for ICC and our partners. These church closures are completely baseless and clear indicators of persecution and harassment of Algeria’s Christians, who represent a significant religious minority. ICC plans to raise this issue with members of Congress on Capitol Hill to make them aware of these human rights violations.” According to Human Rights Watch, these three closures bring the number of Protestant churches shut down by the government since Nov. 2018 to 12. Algeria's state religion is Islam. Algerian officials estimate the number of Christians at 50,000, but others say it could be twice that number. (JNN)

NEWLY UNEARTHED BYZANTINE CHURCH HONORS UNNAMED MARTYR: Israeli researchers reported last week that a Byzantine-era church built in honor of an unnamed martyr has been newly unearthed near Jerusalem after a three-year excavation. Floors decorated with vast mosaics depicting birds, fruit and plants, colorful frescoes, and a peculiar Greek inscription that has baffled the researchers were discovered during the excavations carried out about ten miles west of Jerusalem.  Benyamin Storchan, who directed the excavation said, “We found one inscription in the courtyard of the church which dedicates the site in the memory of a ‘glorious martyr.' The martyr is unnamed and it’s still a mystery, ” said Storchan. He added that the lavishness of the complex indicates this person was an important figure. Another inscription showed Byzantine emperor Tiberius II Constantinus had helped fund the church’s later expansion. “We know of a few hundred churches in the Holy Land but this church by far surpasses most of them by its state of preservation and the imperial involvement which funded it,” said Storchan. (JNN)

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