“May the Lord bless you from Zion; may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life. May you live to see your children’s children. Peace be on Israel.” Ps. 128:5-6
REPUBLICAN REPS. INTRODUCE RESOLUTION CONDEMNING ANTI-SEMITISM: Republican Reps. Lee Zeldin, Elise Stefanik and Ted Budd introduced a resolution on Wed. 23 Jan. 2019 to condemn the rise of anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiment in politics. The resolution specifically called out Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, the leaders of the Women’s March, as well as Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar who have expressed their support for the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement. The BDS movement calls for companies and groups to protest and penalize the state of Israel over its [so-called poor] treatment of the Palestinian people. Many of those who are in opposition to the movement label it as anti-Semitic because they are only targeting one country to be penalized and not any other. Congresswoman Tlaib was also asked in the resolution to explain her relationship with Abbas Hamideh, a man who was at her swearing-in ceremony and has previously expressed his belief that Israel does not have the right to exist. “From using the oldest anti-Semitic tricks in the book to rejecting Israel’s very right to exist, blatant anti-Jewish, anti-Israel hate is growing and normalizing the discrimination against the Jewish people this world vowed it would never accept again,” Zeldin stated in a press release. “Congress must immediately and unequivocally denounce this hatred in the United States and around the world, standing in solidarity against racism and discrimination in any form.” (Daily Caller)
ANCIENT CAVE FOUND UNDERNEATH PLAYGROUND IN GERMAN COLONY: An underground cave with an ancient water cistern was accidentally discovered this week during renovation work on a playground in Jerusalem’s German Colony neighborhood. The cave was found in a public garden on Rachel Imenu Street, across from the Erlui Yeshiva. The cave is about 225 square meters, with a 40 meter-long cistern believed to be about 1500 years old, from the Byzantine period. In light of the findings, the antiquities may be incorporated into the new design for the park. (Jerusalem Life)
IRISH BILL ADVANCES TO CRIMINALIZE COMMERCIAL ACTIVITY WITH ISRAEL: The Irish parliament advanced a bill on Thur. 24 Jan. 2019 that would prohibit commercial activity connected to areas that were outside Israel’s pre-1967 territory. The final tally of its first reading in the Irish lower parliamentary house, the Dáil, was 78-45, with three abstentions. If enacted, it would make Ireland the first European Union nation to criminalize doing business beyond the pre-1967 lines, including eastern Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. Violators could be subject to a fine of $285,000 or five years in prison. Fianna Fáil politician Niall Collins, who proposed the measure to the Dáil, labeled it as “a modest bill that seeks to uphold international law.” However, Israel saw it as anything but, as the government summoned Irish Ambassador to Israel Alison Kelly and warned her that “the hypocritical and anti-Semitic legislation will have severe ramifications on Israel-Ireland relations and Ireland’s standing in the region should the legislation be promoted,” and that “it would be better if Ireland confronted dictatorships and terrorist organizations rather than Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East,” according to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “Instead of Ireland condemning Syria for slaughtering hundreds of thousands of civilians, Turkey for the occupation of northern Cyprus and the terrorist organizations for murdering thousands of Israelis, it attacks Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East,” said Israeli PM Netanyahu. “What a disgrace.” (Koenig) Pray that this anti-Semitic piece of legislation will be blocked and repealed in Ireland.
THOUSANDS OF GAZANS RIOT ALONG BORDER FENCE: The violent riots along the Gaza border continued on Friday, 25 Jan. 2019 as the IDF deployed in large numbers after Hamas threatened to “immediately retaliate” to an Israeli “aggression”. The IDF said that 10,000 rioters gathered at a number of locations along the border fence, throwing grenades and rocks at IDF soldiers and at the fence. In addition, two grenades were thrown at an army vehicle in northern Gaza. Several explosions were observed in the Gaza Strip during the riots, in which a number of Palestinian Arabs were injured, according to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit. IDF soldiers responded by riot dispersal means and firing in accordance with the rules of engagement. One of the rioters was reportedly shot dead by Israeli fire. The border riots have been occurring every week since 30 March 2018. Meanwhile, in Judea and Samaria, IDF troops fired at three Arabs who threw rocks at Israeli vehicles traveling on Highway 60 north of Ofra. The three suspects received medical treatment at the scene by IDF forces. One of them died of his injuries and another was wounded. The incident is under investigation. (Arutz-7) Pray for the wisdom of Israel’s government and military leaders as they deal with weekly riots piloted by Hamas.
IRAN CONTINUES WITH ITS NUCLEAR ACTIVITIES UNABATED: Iran’s nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi has said that Iran will continue with its activities at the heavy water plant in Arak. Salehi said that Iran did not fill in the core of the reactor with cement in accordance with the nuclear deal and claimed last week that images showing that Iran had sealed the core were photo-shopped. Salehi said he was “thankful to Allah for the way in which the discussions relating to the technical aspects of the nuclear talks were conducted, as they left so many breaches in the agreement that Iran was able to exploit.” “Iran has lost nothing as a result of signing the agreement. We have preserved our capabilities in the field of enrichment. We are continuing to manufacture new centrifuges. We are doing everything we need to do.” (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
ISRAEL NAMED FIFTH MOST INNOVATIVE ECONOMY IN THE WORLD: Israel has been named as the fifth most innovative economy in the world, according to the 2019 Bloomberg Innovation Index. Last year, Israel was ranked in 10th place but this year jumped to fifth place as a result of better patent registration. The Start-Up Nation came just ahead of Singapore, which ranked in sixth place, while the US only made it to eighth place after falling to 11th place last year. Japan fell to ninth place after being pushed out of sixth place by Singapore. Bloomberg placed South Korea in first place for the sixth year running since the inception of the index in 2012, due to new investments in key technologies and a regulatory plan for encouraging startups. Germany advanced to second place due to investment in production and research by many of its industrial giants, such as Volkswagen, Daimler and Bosch. Third and fourth places were taken by Finland and Switzerland, respectively. The world’s second largest economy, China, only reached 16th place on the listing, while the UK lost to China for the first time, falling to 18th place. Among 2019’s lowest ranked economies were Tunisia, South Africa and Ukraine, which fell out of the top 50. Following the publication of the rankings, PM Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted his elation. “Israel is number five on the new list – five places higher than we were ranked last year,” he said. “Israel is a rising global power.” (J.Post)
NATURAL GAS FIELDS GIVES ISRAEL A REGIONAL POLITICAL BOOST: A decade after discovering natural gas fields off its Mediterranean coast, Israel is feeling a geopolitical boost, building bridges with its neighbors even without significant progress being made toward peace with the Palestinians. Last week’s inclusion of Israel into the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum in Cairo marked the first time Arab countries accepted Israel into such a regional alliance. “I think this is the most significant economic cooperation between Egypt and Israel since the signing of the peace treaty 40 years ago,” said Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz. “The discovery of significant gas fields in the eastern Mediterranean has also political value because it brings all of us together to cooperate with each other.” Israel already delivers gas to the Palestinians and to Jordan, and will begin exporting gas to Egypt in 2019. (NY Times)
ISRAAID LAUNCHING NEW AID INITIATIVE TO TRAIN MEDICAL, MENTAL-HEALTH PROFESSIONALS: The disaster-relief nongovernmental organization IsraAID has embarked on a new, international initiative to train doctors, dentists, nurses, engineers and mental-health professionals to respond to disasters. The IsraAID Humanitarian Professionals Network (IPHN) was launched mid-January 2019 in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area. “IsraAID draws on Israeli social innovation and expertise to benefit people in need around the world,” said Seth Davis, executive director of organization’s branch in the United States. “We are now leveraging our organization’s unique capabilities to train professionals in the United States interested in developing life-saving skills and joining humanitarian relief missions globally, hand in hand with professionals from Israel. The network will equip skilled individuals in hands-on disaster relief experience and provide enhanced capacity if local disaster were to strike,” added Davis. Current IsraAID missions have provided assistance in multiple disasters including the November 2018 wildfires in California; violence in Uganda; cyclones in Vanuatu; and refugee crises in Greece, Kenya and Bangladesh. “IsraAID will make Los Angeles more secure by leveraging their unique expertise in disaster response to train professionals in our community,” said Los Angeles council member Paul Koretz. “I look forward to partnering with IsraAID to help them roll out their IHPN program in California.” (Jewish News Syndicate)
TECHNION STUDENTS DEVELOP ALGEA-BASED FALAFEL TO BATTLE PROTEIN HUNGER: Ecologically friendly and nutritious microalgae that used to be a daily food source for the Aztecs in central Mexico could be making its way to Western tables in the form of a new kind of protein-rich falafel, the delicious Middle Eastern deep-fried chickpea balls. Graduate students at the Biotechnology and Food Engineering Faculty at Israel’s Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have developed what they call the Algalafel, a new kind of falafel that enriches the traditional ingredients with spirulina — a biomass of blue-green algae which in its dried form contains about 60% protein and is seen as a solution for food insecurity and malnutrition. The students won first prize in the EIT Food Project (European Knowledge and Innovation Community) as part of an innovative microalgae product development competition, held last month at the Technion. EIT Food is a pan-European consortium that focuses on promoting innovation and entrepreneurship in the food sector. “It tasted very good, almost identical to regular falafel,” said Prof. Yoav Livney, the project leader. (Times of Israel)
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