“What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!'” Mk: 13:37
ISRAEL WILL HOLD EARLY ELECTIONS: Israel will hold early elections in April 2019 as parliament is set to dissolve amid issues over a key bill related to military conscription, leaders announced Monday, 24 Dec. 2018. Coalition heads with PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s government have decided the elections will be held on 9 April 2019 “in the name of budgetary and national responsibility,” according to a spokesman. The move comes as the coalition struggles to reach a consensus on the hotly debated bill related to exemptions from compulsory service for ultra-Orthodox Jews. Netanyau, is now in his fourth term as prime minister. His right-wing Likud party, is teetering on a razor-thin majority of 61 seats in the 120-member parliament following Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s resignation. Lieberman’s departure last month, which was the result of the controversial Gaza cease-fire deal, removed his Yisrael Beitenu party’s five seats from the coalition. Polls have indicated that Netanyah’s Likud party would remain the largest in parliament after new elections. Israeli law required a national election to be held in November 2019. (NY Post) Begin to intercede now for Israel’s coming elections.
NETANYAHU CALLS ERDOGAN AN ANTI-SEMITIC DICTATOR AS WAR OF WORDS HEATS UP: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is an ‘anti-Semitic dictator” charged Israel’s PM Netanyahu as the war of words that erupted between the two countries over the weekend, hit a fevered pitch on Sunday 23 Dec. 2018. “He has an obsession with Israel,” Netanyahu said of the Turkish leader. Erdogan “knows what a moral army is and he knows what a genuine democracy is, as opposed to an army that massacres women and children in Kurdish villages and a state, which, to my regret, is becoming more dictatorial day by day,” Netanyahu said. In a series of tweets in both Turkish and English, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu repeated a number of accusations against Israel, that were first made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan the previous day: “The occupier which kicks people lying on the ground is easily offended: @netanyahu is a cold-blooded killer of modern times, responsible for massacres of thousands of innocent Palestinians, bombing children on beaches.” Erdogan’s spokesperson tweeted, “instead of begging President Erdogan not to speak out the truth, @netanyahu should end the lawless occupation of Palestinian lands and the brutal oppression of Palestinian people. Bashing Erdogan or using Kurds as a political chip will not save him from his domestic troubles.” On Saturday, 22 Dec. 2018 Netanyahu had tweeted response to Erdogan’s statements charging: “Erdogan – the occupier of northern Cyprus, whose army massacres women and children in Kurdish villages, inside and outside Turkey – should not preach to Israel.” Earlier this year, Erdogan claimed that the spirit of Adolf Hitler had re-emerged among some Israeli policy-makers. (J.Post)
TRUMP: TURKEY’S ERDOGAN IS THE MAN FOR THE JOB IN SYRIA: Mere hours after Netanyahu dubbed Erdogan as an anti-Semitic dictator, President Trump said that Turkey’s leader is the right man for the job in Syria. Turkey will fill the void left in Syria by America’s impending departure, President Donald Trump announced Monday morning, 24 Dec. 2018 praising Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after a discussion with him on the future fight against ISIS in the war-torn country. On Sunday night, 23 Dec. 2018 a US defense official told news sources that the president had signed an order to begin the withdrawal of American forces deployed to Syria. President Trump pushed back against criticism of the move, saying that his administration had done “more damage to ISIS than all recent presidents.” The controversial decision was followed by the resignation of US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and of Brett McGurk, Trump’s special envoy for the global coalition to counter ISIS. It was later reported that President Trump spoke with Erdogan, and that he told the Turkish president that the situation in Syria was “all yours. We are done.” (INN)
MATTIS CANCELS TRIP TO ISRAEL – MCGURK RESIGNS FROM TRUMP TEAM: US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Friday, 21 Dec. 2018 cancelled a planned trip to Israel which had been scheduled for this week. The reason for the cancellation is attributed to Mattis’ resignation and his disagreements with President Donald Trump over the withdrawal of US troops from Syria. According to news reports Mattis opposed the move and tried to persuade Trump not to go through with it. A report last week said that Trump’s decision to withdraw American troops from Syria was made hastily, without consulting his national security team or allies, and over strong objections from virtually everyone involved in the fight against ISIS. Likewise, Brett McGurk, Trump’s special envoy for the global coalition to counter ISIS resigned following Trump’s announcement. In his resignation letter McGurk said that ISIS terrorists in Syria were on the run but not yet defeated. He said that withdrawing US forces from Syria would create the conditions that gave rise to ISIS. “Mr. Trump’s decision to pull out troops “came as a shock and was a complete reversal of policy. It left our coalition partners confused and our fighting partners bewildered,” he said. “I ultimately concluded I could not carry out these new instructions and maintain my integrity,” said McGurk. (Arutz-7)
ISRAEL SET TO ESCALATE FIGHT AGAINST IRAN IN SYRIA AFTER US EXIT: Israel may expand its operations against Iran in Syria if necessary, PM Netanyahu told the government at its weekly meeting as he continued to try and calm fears about the pending US troop pullout from Syria. “The decision to remove the 2,000 US troops from Syria will not change our consistent policy: We will continue to act against Iran’s attempt to establish military bases in Syria, and if necessary we will even expand our operations there,” Netanyahu said. “I want to reassure the concerned – our cooperation with the United States continues in full force and is carried out in many areas: in the operational, intelligence and other security fields,” Netanyahu said. On Sunday morning 23 Dec. 2018 Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked called Trump’s decision to withdraw American troops from Syria “bad for Israel,” explaining that it strengthens Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who she said was “an anti-Semite. The US withdrawal could lead to the transfer of more weapons to Lebanese Shi’ite terrorist group Hezbollah from Iran, Shaked said, but “we will do everything we need to prevent Iran from gaining foothold in Syria.” Shaked also condemned the effect that the American troop withdrawal would have on Kurdish militias in Syria. Last weekend, Erdogan pledged to “eliminate” these Kurdish militias along with remaining ISIS fighters. “The Kurds are great heroes,” she said, “and because of them the West succeeded in its fight against ISIS. They are allies, and I hope that they will win in their battle against the Turks. I hope that the international community will prevent Erdogan from massacring the Kurds.” (J.Post/Reuters) Pray for the protection of the Kurdish people against Erdogan threat to “eliminate” them.
IRAN: US PRESENCE IN SYRIA WAS ‘SOURCE OF TENSION’: Iran has welcomed the US withdrawal of troops from Syria, saying the US military presence in Syria had been “a mistake, illogical and a source of tension”. It was the Islamic Republic’s first comment on President Trump’s decision to pull US forces out of Syria. “From the start, the entry and presence of American forces in the region has been a mistake, illogical and a source of tension, and a main cause of instability,” said Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi. Iran is a key supporter of the Assad regime in Syria, having providing the regime with both financial aid and military advisers against a range of opposing forces since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011. Near the start of the Syrian civil war, it was reported that then-Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had personally sanctioned the dispatch of officers from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to Syria to fight alongside Assad’s troops. Ali Akbar Velayati, a top aide to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, made clear last summer that Iran would withdraw its “military advisers” from Syria and Iraq only if their governments wanted it to. (INN)
ISRAELI-MADE SYSTEM USED TO END DRONE CHAOS AT LONDON AIRPORT: The British military used an Israeli anti-drone system to ground an unmanned aerial vehicle that shuttered the airfield at London’s Gatwick Airport for over 36 hours beginning Thurs. 20 Dec. 2018 stranding tens of thousands of passengers. Flights resumed the following day at Gatwick, the UK’s second busiest airport, while police said they were still hunting for the drone operators. Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said “military capabilities” were being deployed to safeguard the airport. The UK Daily Mail reported that the British Army used the Israeli-made “Drone Dome” to bring down the UAV after police failed for hours to do so with a commercial anti-drone system. Six of the systems, which were developed by Israeli defense firm Rafael, were sold to the UK Ministry of Defense in Aug. 2018 in an estimated $20 million deal, according to Israel’s Globes financial daily. “There are a range of measures which are there today which should give passengers confidence that they are safe to fly,” Grayling, the transportation minister, told news sources. Grayling said there had been about 40 sightings of “a small number of drones” while the airport was shut down. He added that the drone disruption at Gatwick was “unprecedented anywhere in the world.” (Koenig)
ISRAEL IS THIRD MOST EDUCATED COUNTRY IN THE WORLD: Israel is the third most educated country, according to 2017 data compiled by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). 50.9% of Israelis between 25 and 64 have a higher-education degree. Canada was No. 1 (56.7%), Japan No. 2 (51.4%), South Korea No. 4 (47.7%), and the US No. 5 (46.4%). (Israel21c)
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