“Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be.’” Rom. 4:18
CHRISTIANS FACE EXTINCTION IN IRAQ AFTER ISIS FORCED 125,000 TO FLEE THEIR HOMES: Christians are facing extinction in Iraq after ISIS forced 125,000 people to flee their homes, the Archbishop of Irbil has warned. Rt Rev. Bashar Warda said the Christian community had been reduced by 83% between the end of Saddam Hussein’s regime and 2014. It then dwindled further when ISIS invaded the country. He said: “Christianity in Iraq, one of the oldest Churches, if not the oldest Church in the world, is perilously close to extinction. Those of us who remain must be ready to face martyrdom.” Although the jihadist group had been expelled from Mosul in July 2017, many Christians have not returned because their homes and churches were destroyed. Warda also claimed that many fear speaking out about the persecution of Christians because they do not want to be accused of Islamophobia. He accused Britain’s Christian leaders of bowing to political correctness. Warda added: “Friends, we may be facing our end in the land of our ancestors. We acknowledge this. In our end, the entire world faces a moment of truth. Will peaceful and innocent people be allowed to be persecuted and eliminated because of their faith? And, for the sake of not wanting to speak the truth to the persecutors, will the world be complicit in our elimination?” (UK Daily Mail) Urgent is the need for ongoing intercession for the plight of persecuted Christians in Islamist countries.
COUNTRIES COME TO ISRAEL’S AID AGAINST WILDFIRES: Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu said Egypt is among several countries that sent special aircraft to help the Jewish state battle a spate of wildfires as it continues to face withering – and in some cases record high – heat. Temperatures continue to soar over the weekend, reaching as high as 48°C., (118°F.). The fires have burned thousands of acres of land in numerous locations around the country, in one case destroying most of a rural community about half-way between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Some 3,500 people were warned to evacuate elsewhere as well. The other four countries that sent firefighting aircraft are Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, and Italy. Some of the fires that broke out last week along Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip were caused by helium-filled incendiary balloons released into the air within the coastal enclave before floating eastward toward Israeli territory. “The damage is enormous, not just to the woodland, but also to the animals,” said a Jewish National Fund (JNF) official. “Large swaths of the woodland, the green lung of the Dan region [greater Tel Aviv], were burnt.” Some of the fires in the Jerusalem area were reportedly caused by falling electric wires. Israel Police officers on Friday, 24 May 2019 arrested an Arab suspect who was documented setting fire to a number of locations in Jerusalem’s Mount Scopus area. The person was identified by lookouts and his actions were documented. (Media-Line/Ynet) Pray for yet existing wildfires to be completely contained and for cooler temperatures to come to Israel.
NIKKI HALEY RECEIVES THE SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTER’S HIGHEST HONOR: The Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) granted its highest honor to former US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley on Thur. 23 May 2019 in Chicago. The Center selected Haley to receive the Humanitarian Laureate Award for “her courage and compassion in protecting global human rights and the state of Israel.” “Nikki Haley personifies the legacy of Simon Wiesenthal, who reminded the world that freedom is not a gift from heaven, rather, it is something that we must fight for each and every day,” said Rabbi Marvin Hier, SWC Founder, and Dean. “There is true evil in the world and we must come together to fight for human rights around the world,” Haley said upon receiving the award. Haley also shared with the audience about her experience being an “other” in American society, growing up in an immigrant family from India. She said that her experience being different strengthened her and led to her taking true pride in being an American. (Arutz-7)
THRESA MAY TO STAND DOWN IN JUNE: British PM Theresa May will stand down as Conservative leader on 7 June 2019. Speaking to her countrymen outside Downing Street, May said her decision was a result of her failure to convince Britain’s Parliament to back Brexit. “I have done everything I can to convince MPs to back that deal,” she explained. “Sadly I have not been able to do so. I am proud of the progress we have made over the last few years. We have helped more people than ever secure a job.” Emphasizing that her position has been “the honor of her life,” she added, “Our politics may be under strain but there is so much that is good about this country – so much to be proud of – so much to be optimistic about.” British Jews thanked May for being a “true friend” to their community following her announcement that she is stepping down. (Arutz-7/JTA)
US CALLS FOR THE DISMANTLING OF UNRWA: The United States, last week, called for the dismantling of UNRWA. Addressing the UN Security Council, US adviser Jason Greenblatt said UNRWA was a “band-aid” and that it was time to hand over services assured by the UN agency to countries hosting the Palestinian Arab refugees and NGOs. “The UNRWA model has failed the Palestinian people,” Greenblatt told the council. Last year, President Donald Trump’s administration cut all funding to UNRWA, arguing that it was flawed as Washington pressed ahead with work on proposals for an Arab-Israeli solution. Greenblatt, who along with Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner is drafting the peace proposals, said it was time to “start a conversation about planning the transition of UNRWA services to host governments, or to other international or local non-governmental organizations, as appropriate.” Founded in 1949, UNRWA provides education and health services to some five million [so called], refugees and their descendants in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the Gaza Strip, and Judea & Samaria. The organization has faced criticism for expanding the definition of “refugee” to include all descendants of refugees regardless of whether they have received citizenship in another country. The United States will hold a conference in Bahrain next month focused on the economic aspects of the peace plan that Greenblatt said has the potential to unlock a prosperous future for the Palestinians. “It would be a mistake for the Palestinians not to join us. They have nothing to lose and much to gain if they do join us. But it is, of course, their choice,” he added. (Arutz-7)
PMW REPORT: FATAH REPOSTS OFFENSIVE VIDEO QUESTIONING HOLOCAUST: An offensive video that was removed from Al Jazeera’s online website has resurfaced on the internet on the official Facebook page of Fatah, the party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. The video, which led to the suspension of two journalists, questioned the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust and claimed Jewish organizations seek to manipulate the media to gain attention and sympathy. Al Jazeera condemned and removed the video, suspending the two journalists, and released a statement saying, “Al-Jazeera stated today that it has taken disciplinary action and suspended two of its journalists over video content produced on the Holocaust.” Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah Party disagreed with the decision to remove the offensive video and re-posted it online via Facebook, complete with a transcript of the entire video. (J.Post)
FLORIDA GOVERNOR RON DESANTIS UNVEILS HUGE ISRAEL TRADE DELEGATION: More than 90 delegation members joined Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis on Saturday 25 May 2019 as he led a business development mission to Israel, his first international trip since taking office in Jan. 2019. Elected officials, state workers, businessmen, senior academics and religious leaders are participating in the six-day trip with DeSantis, who has repeatedly promised to be the “most pro-Israel governor” in America. “This group of diverse Florida leaders will represent our state and nation proudly on this historic business development mission to Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East,” said DeSantis. “Our delegation includes professionals and experts from a wide range of policy and business areas, representing every corner of our state. During this trip, we will affirm Florida as the most pro-Israel state in the nation and strengthen the bond between Florida and Israel for decades to come.” DeSantis will also give the keynote address at the 2019 Israel-American Business Summit, hosted by the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce and the US Embassy on 29 May 2019 where he is expected to present opportunities for Israeli companies in Florida. (J.Post)
NETANYAHU TO MODI ON ELECTION VICTORY: ‘WELL DONE, MY FRIEND’: With preliminary results revealing that India’s PM Narendra Modi is headed for another five-year term, PM Netanyahu wasted no time in congratulating the leader who has brought Indo-Israeli ties to new heights. “Heartfelt congratulations, my friend, on your impressive victory in the elections,” Netanyahu wrote in a tweet. “The election results are more validation of your leadership and the way in which you lead the largest democracy in the world. Together, we will continue to strengthen the great friendship between us and between India and Israel, and bring it to new peaks.” Israeli-Indian ties soared following Modi’s victory in 2014. In a testament to the strength of the relationship, Modi became the first Indian prime minister ever to visit Israel, when he did so in July 2017. Netanyahu reciprocated with a visit to India in Jan. 2018. (J.Post)
REMAINS OF 1,000 HOLOCAUST VICTIMS UNCOVERED IN BELARUS REBURIED: Volunteers in Belarus reburied the remains of more than 1,000 Holocaust victims whose bodies recently were discovered during construction work in the city of Brest. The burial last week was conducted by volunteers from the ZAKA Jewish search and rescue organization and overseen by a local Chabad rabbi. The remains were put into several coffins and placed in the ground in a religious Jewish burial ceremony. The mass grave was found in Feb. 2019, containing human remains belonging to adults and children as well as clothes, shoes and other personal items. The local contractor, Pribuzhsky Kwartia suspended construction on a housing project and called the authorities. Mayor Alexander Rogachuk said the bones belonged to “victims of ghettos,” meaning Jews imprisoned there by the Nazis during the Holocaust. (Arutz-7)
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