“Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life. You stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes; with your right hand you save me.” Ps 138:7
NETANYAHU: UPCOMING PARIS CONFERENCE COULD LEAD TO FURTHER ANTI-ISRAEL ACTION AT UN: A France-hosted international diplomatic conference set to be held on 15 Jan. 2017, could lead to further action against the Jewish state at the United Nations, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu warned this week. In remarks delivered to a group of Israeli ambassadors at a Foreign Ministry conference in Jerusalem, Netanyahu stated, “The Paris conference is a futile conference, but there are signs that they will try to take decisions reached there and have them become another decision at the UN Security Council. We are entering a big diplomatic effort in order to succeed in avoiding this.” Last week the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations urged French President Francois Hollande to cancel the planned summit. Wide-spread concern are that the Obama administration could – following the recent passage of the anti-Israeli settlement Security Council resolution last week – take a “further damaging step” against the Jewish state before President-elect Donald Trump takes office. On 3 Jan. 2017, B’nai B’rith International President Gary P. Saltzman said that the Paris conference would “provide the international community an opportunity to gratuitously gang up on Israel. The past two weeks have already seen Secretary of State John Kerry deliver a speech unfairly blaming Israel for the current impasse and the UN Security Council pass a resolution broadly condemning the Jewish state. The Paris summit should not take place, as it will only further embolden the Palestinians and disincentivize them to negotiate.” (Algemeiner)
HISPANIC CHRISTIAN GROUP JOINS LOBBYING EFFORT AGAINST ANTI-SETTLEMENT UN VOTE: A leading pro-Israel Latino organization is planning to mobilize its supporters to lobby Congress next week to reject UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which deems Israeli settlements “illegal.” The Hispanic Israel Leadership Coalition (HILC) rejected the resolution, passed 23 Dec. 2016 by the UNSC, saying it denies “the Jewish people rights to their own homeland” and ”threatens the very survival of Christians to our holy sites in the biblical heartland.” Pastor Mario Bramnick, president of the HILC – described as the largest pro-Israel International Latino Christian organization in America – said the resolution strengthens “the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel and it will lead to more world court actions based on international law.” Bramnick said that the HILC “intends to work with our friends in President Donald Trump’s administration and in Congress to defund the morally bankrupt United Nations,” adding, “We also call upon evangelicals and elected officials across the nation to affirm President-elect Trump in rectifying the reckless actions of President Barack Obama.” HILC plans to join other Christian groups and church leaders to encourage Congress to pass a resolution condemning that of the Security Council and to urge Obama not to return to the UNSC for an additional anti-Israel move. (Algemeiner) Pray that the out-pouring of disapproval from US and global politicians, social groups, Christian and Jewish organizations will prevent the Obama-team from making still another blow against the Jewish State before leaving office.
ABBAS COMPLAINS OF FISCAL WOES – INTERNATIONAL FUNDING OF PA AT HALF OF FORECAST: Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told reporters on 3 Jan. 3016 that the drastic failure to meet the level of international donations to the PA that were forecast for the year has resulted in a budget deficit of almost 15% of the GDP. According to PM Rami Hamdallah, the PA had counted on donor nations providing about $1.02 billion, but to date the PA has raised only $640 million. The biggest benefactor in past years has been Saudi Arabia, but this year Riyadh decided to demonstrate its displeasure at political differences with President Abbas and ended its monthly stipend of roughly $20 million. The PA was also stung by the change in the way some nations channeled their contributions. The US, for example, backed away from direct contributions to the PA budget and began directly funding specific programs so the dollars no longer pass through the treasury. Abbas’ cabinet declared a severe austerity program “in all fields.” (Media Line) The truth is that world parliaments are waking up to the fact that the PA uses much of its aid to fund terrorists. “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse.”Gen 12:3
‘MEIN KAMPF’ BECOMES BEST-SELLER IN GERMANY IN 2016: The annotated edition of Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” sold 85,000 copies in the one year since it was released in print for the first time since World War II. The manuscript is in its eighth printing, according to the Spiegel newspaper, which noted that the book topped its best-seller list in April, 2016. The 70-year copyright in the German state of Bavaria of the anti-Semitic tract, whose title means “My Struggle,” expired on 1 Jan. 2016, allowing it to be published in the country. The Munich Institute for Contemporary History said it published the book in hopes that the new edition would help destroy the book’s cult status. Its first run of 4,000 sold almost immediately. Institute director Andreas Wirsching said, “It turned out that the fear the publication would promote Hitler’s ideology or even make it socially acceptable and give neo-Nazis a new propaganda platform was totally unfounded. To the contrary, the debate about Hitler’s worldview and his approach to propaganda offered a chance to look at the causes and consequences of totalitarian ideologies, at a time when authoritarian political views and right-wing slogans are gaining ground.” (INN) Andreas Wirching’s comments attempt to put a positive slant on the resurfacing popularity of Hitler’s “Mein Kamph.”
6000 CHINESE CONSTRUCTION WORKERS TO ARRIVE IN ISRAEL: China has agreed for thousands of migrant construction laborers to work in Israel in a bid to alleviate a housing crisis in the Jewish state, the Israeli government said Wed. 4 Jan. 2017. The agreement would see 6,000 Chinese workers arrive in Israel in the six months after the formal signature of the deal expected at the end of Feb. 2017. Israel’s Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said the arrival of the Chinese workers would “energize efforts to solve the housing crisis”. Housing costs in Israel have been rising steeply since 2008, according to Bank of Israel data, significantly impacting the cost of living. Kahlon, whose Kulanu party ran in the 2015 general election on a platform of lowering living costs, came under fire after an Aug. 2016 government report showed apartment prices had risen by eight percent in a year. (Arutz-7)
ORIGINAL NAME OF JEWISH NEIGHBORHOOD RESTORED BY MOROCCO’S KING: A historically Jewish neighborhood in Marrakesh will have its original name restored on the orders of King Mohammed VI. The Essalam neighborhood will be renamed El Mellah, and the original names of the streets and town squares also will be restored, according to reports. The order comes from the king following a request by the president of the Jewish community. The Moroccan Interior Ministry said the king made the decision in order to “safeguard the civilizational heritage of the Kingdom as well as the cultural heritage of all the components of Moroccan society.” Variations of the word “mellah” in Arabic and Hebrew mean “salt.” The Jewish neighborhood was surrounded by a high wall. Earlier last month, the king attended the rededication of the Ettedgui Synagogue in Casablanca, whose restoration was funded in part by a government grant. (Arutz-7)
HIKERS FIND SECOND TEMPLE PERIOD ENGRAVINGS OF MENORAH IN JUDEAN CAVE: Hikers had a close encounter with history last weekend, while exploring a water cistern in a Judean cave. They came across the engraving of an ancient seven-branched menorah from the Second Temple period on its bedrock walls. Three members of the Israel Caving Club – Mickey Barkal, Sefi Givoni and Ido Meroz – said they decided to explore caves in the lowland region of South-Central Israel after hearing about their beauty off the beaten path. “We began to peer into them, and that’s how we came to this cave, which is extremely impressive with rock-carved niches and engravings on the wall. When we realized this is an ancient depiction of a menorah, we became very excited,” Meroz added. “Its appearance was quite distinct. We left the cave and reported the discovery to the Israel Antiquities Authority.” The engraved image has a base with three feet, and depicts the menorah that stood in the Temple during the Second Temple period, the IAA said. Another engraving by the menorah included a cross, and what appears to resemble a key that is characteristic of antiquity, as well as other engravings, some of which have yet to be identified. (J. Post) “For your people love every stone in her walls and cherish even the dust in her streets.” Ps 102:14
The suggestions, opinions and scripture references made by JNN writers and editors are based on the best information received.
Blessings from Jerusalem,
Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff