“Come to me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Mat. 11:28
NETANYAHU UNABLE TO FORM COALITION GOVERNMENT – MANDATE PASSES TO GANTZ: Israel’s sitting prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu, for the second time since April 2019, has been unable to form a coalition government. He returned his mandate to do so to President Reuven Rivlin on Monday 21 Oct. 2019. Rivlin has since called on Netanyahu’s rival, Benny Gantz, who heads the Blue and White bloc, to try and form a coalition of at least 61 seats in parliament over the next 28 days. It is widely held that Gantz will be unlikely to fare any better than Netanyahu. If he does fail to form a government, an unprecedented third election in one year will take place in 2020. The prime minister claimed in a video statement that he tried to bring Gantz to the negotiating table to “prevent another election,” but said Gantz “refused time after time.” (JNN)
PRAYER REMINDER: INTERCEDE FOR ISRAEL’S NEW GOVERNMENT TO BE EFFECTIVELY FORMED SOON: Once again the call goes out for intercessors and prayer groups to intercede in this vitally important issue. Pray that Israel’s leaders will be able to form a strong and stable government and that a third national election, will be avoided. The damage to Israel as a result of soon repeated elections would be immense. The direct cost alone would be approximately 700 million shekels, a sum that equals the entire annual budget of the Science Ministry. The indirect price-tag for going back to the polls again would cost the Israeli economy more than 2 billion shekels. This would only be part of the consequences of such an outcome lengthening the current political impasse. For close to a year now Israel has been unable to carry out important procedures. Senior officials in the various ministries have said the government is “treading water.” They report that new programs cannot be approved, serious processes cannot be conducted and long-term plans cannot be adopted. The Ministry of the Economy cannot progress with reforms to lower the cost of living. The Interior Ministry is holding back major projects needed by local authorities. The appointments of senior officials – judges, the police chief – are frozen. Diplomatic processes with a direct impact on Israeli security, such as President Trump’s peace plan, have been deferred. Everything is on hold. (JNN)
YOUTUBE SERIES DOCUMENTS ANTI-SEMITIC HARDSHIPS FACED BY US JEWISH COLLEGE STUDENTS: Efforts on the part of USA colleges to grapple with the growing trend of anti-Semitic incidents on campus seem to be going nowhere as such occurrences continue to increase. A new Youtube series was recently released by the Ruderman Family Foundation which documents the challenges of Jewish college students on campuses all across the United States. Each clip shows interviews with Jewish students from different states describing their different experiences on campus with anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. One student, Elisa Caesar, shares incidents she encountered at the City College of New York stating that she received threatening letters from Palestinian activists. She additionally found swastikas painted on her door. Swastikas were also found on the dorm room door of a Jewish student at Massachusetts’ Tufts University in September 2019. A Berkley University student, Nathan Bentilila, says he was rejected by Latino and other on-campus groups because he is pro-Israel. Berkley University is known as one of the main sources of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. A Jewish student at Hofstra University campus in New York described a class discussion held by a professor in which the majority of the students agreed that the shooter in the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh was not “truly evil.” The new Youtube series which documents the on-campus experiences of American Jewish students challenged by prejudice, hate speech, acts of violence and other hostilities is a sad reflection of the nationwide spike in anti-Semitism. (JNN) Pray for Jewish-American students of all ages to be shielded from hate.
TWICE AS MANY ANTI-SEMITIC HATE CRIMES IN ENGLAND LAST YEAR: The number of religion-oriented hate crimes rose by 31%, to 7,446 from 5,680, the Hate Crime, England and Wales, 2018-19 report shows. The details reveal the number of religion-based criminal offenses against Jews in these areas nearly doubled last year. The data from the Home Office report published earlier this week lists 1,326 anti-Semitic incidents in 2018, or 18% of the overall number of hate crimes — almost twice as many as the 672 anti-Semitic incidents recorded in the previous year. (JNN)
GROUP OF IRANIAN CHRISTIANS SENTENCED TO FIVE YEARS IN PRISON: Nine Iranian Christians were sentenced this week to five years in prison for their participation in a home church in Rasht between January 31st and February 23rd of this year. Matthias Haghnejad, leader of the Iranian church was arrested in late August 2019 by members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard after holding a service in February. The other eight were detained during a series of arrests that took place in early 2019. The men were accused in their preliminary hearings of “acting against national security” (spreading Christianity) but also of “promoting Zionism.” During the hearing on 23 Sept. 2019, the defendants’ lawyer was allowed to speak briefly. However, Judge Mohammed Mogisheh reportedly did not respond to his statement. The Iranian judge is known for miscarriages of justice. He insisted during the trial that the Bible is false and called the men “apostates.” The nine Christians have said that they will appeal these sentences.
Iran is known for its mounting persecution of Christians. The Islamic Republic is listed as number 9 among the world’s top persecutors of Christians, according to Open Doors USA. Christians in Iran are forbidden to share their faith with non-Christians. Despite the Iranian government’s ongoing crackdown of Christians living in Iran, the number of Muslims converting to Christianity is growing at an explosive rate, according to the persecution watchdog group Open Doors USA. There is even talk of witnessing a Christian revival, especially among young people living in the country. A house church movement within Iran is part of that revival and has triggered “many secret meetings.” Mahmoud Alavi, the Islamic Republic’s intelligence minister, admitted early this year that Christianity is spreading throughout his country. (JNN) Intercede for divine grace, intervention, courage and the comfort of the Holy Spirit to be with these men, and many believers like them – who are suffering for their faith in Iran. Pray for the continued widespread growth of the church in Iran. “I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” Mat. 16:18
JERUSALEM’S FAVORED STONES AND CHERISHED DUST: Buried under dirt and debris, beautiful paving stones from a well-traveled street and steps leading to the Temple Mount remained silent, kept their historical secrets for centuries. According to archaeologist Ari Levy, the now uncovered road excavated over the past six years follows the natural topography of the Tyropoean Valley and leads from the Pool of Siloam which is one of the largest public ritual baths in the ancient city and the site where Yeshua is said to have healed the blind man. The passageway goes north, reaching the plaza next to the Western Wall today called Robinson’s Arch. ” Jewish pilgrims used the walkway 2,000 years ago when ascending to Judaism’s holiest site, the Temple Mount. The road is believed to have been commissioned and completed under the governance of Pontius Pilate. A recent study of coins collected at the site appears to confirm this dating. It was built over the period of a couple of decades. (JNN) “For Your servants take pleasure in her stones, and show favor to her dust.” Ps.102:14
LET IT RAIN, LET IT RAIN, LET IT RAIN: Israel’s 2019 autumn holidays came to an end this week on Monday evening, 21 Oct. Sukkot huts have been lovingly disassembled for another year and holiday decorations have been discarded or packed away. The streets of Jerusalem are not as full as they were a week ago and flights filled with visitors are leaving daily for other parts of the globe. Summer Time, as Daylight Savings Time is known in Israel will end this weekend, on the evening of Saturday night, 26 October/morning of Sunday, 27. A good time was had by all but there is a sense across the country that the quiet and return to routine is welcome. A much-desired mid-fall is advancing with gradually cooling temperatures, and Israelis have even been told they can soon expect winter to come in full force. Several days of winter weather were promised for this week including on Friday, as scattered rainfall and thunderstorms were predicted from northern Israel to the northern Negev. There were warnings for flooding in the southern and eastern streams, as well as in the Judean Desert, in coastal cities, and in the lowlands. We put on the coffee and hot chocolate, make sure that at least some minor heating is available in the house – all in hopes that chilly nights and rain will become the cozy reality this weekend. (JNN) “You heavens above, rain down my righteousness; let the clouds shower it down. Let the earth open wide, let salvation spring up, let righteousness flourish with it; I, the Lord, have created it.” Isa. 45:8
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