“Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.” Isa. 60:3
PRINCE WILLIAM’S ROYAL VISIT TO ISRAEL KICKS OFF: In addition to Jordan and Israel, William will visit the Palestinian Authority. The trip is being widely characterized as William’s most high-profile and politically sensitive trip yet. William, a 36-year-old grandson of Queen Elizabeth and second in line to the throne, will see religious sites, honor Holocaust victims and meet Jewish and Arab youths, and Israeli and Palestinian leaders. A spokesman for the prince, acknowledging the “well-known” and “complex challenges” in the Middle East, said William’s tour, like other visits abroad by members of the British royal family, will be non-political. William was greeted at the airport by Tourism Minister Yariv Levin. He then traveled to Jerusalem’s King David Hotel, where he will be staying during his visit. On Tuesday, 26 June 2018 he visited Yad Vashem, met separately with PM Benjamin Netanyahu and then with President Reuven Rivlin. The prince then traveled to Jaffa to watch a soccer game with the participation of Jewish and Arab children. In the evening, he attended a reception at the residence of the British ambassador, where he spoke briefly. On Wed. 27 June 2018 the prince has two events in Tel Aviv – one a meeting with youth and the other an as-yet-unannounced cultural event – before he goes to Ramallah and a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. In the evening, he will attend a reception hosted by the British consulate-general, and speak there as well. On Thursday William is expected to visit the Mount of Olives as well as the Western Wall, before flying back to Britain. (J.Post) Pray for the safety of Prince William throughout his trip. May he return to the UK with greater sympathy and understanding of Israel.
NETANYAHU CALLS PRINCE WILLIAM’S VISIT ‘HISTORIC’: Israel’s PM Netanyahu addressed the visit of Prince William to Israel on Monday 25 June 2018. “Today we will receive the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, for the first historic visit to Israel by a representative of the British royal family,” Netanyahu said. “I must say that is not exactly true because there is a representative here, and this is his great-grandmother, Princess Alice, one of the Righteous Among the Nations who saved Jews in Greece during the Second World War and asked to be buried here in Jerusalem. We, of course, welcome the Prince. My wife and I would invite all of you, but the space is a bit narrow in the Prime Minister’s residence, so we’ll wish him well on your behalf and on behalf of all the citizens of Israel – welcome!” (Arutz-7)
RIVLIN ASKS PRINCE WILLIAM TO TAKE ‘MESSAGE OF ‘PEACE’ TO ABBAS: President Reuven Rivlin on Tues. 26 June 2018 asked visiting Prince William to convey to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas a “a message of peace.” Hosting the Duke of Cambridge in his official Jerusalem residence, Rivlin said the Palestinians need to accept that Jews have returned to their ancestral homeland and that it was about time Israelis and Palestinians end their conflict. “I know that you’re going to meet President Abbas. I would like you to send him a message of peace,” Rivlin told his royal guest. “Tell him it is about time that we find together the way to build confidence. To build confidence is a first step to bring to an understanding that we must end the tragedy between us” that has been going on for 120 years, he said. Prince William — the first member of the British royal family to make an official visit to Israel since the state was founded in 1948 — also expressed the hope for peace in the Middle East, although his statements steered clear of endorsing any political position. (Times of Israel)
CORBYN: LABOUR GOVERNMENT WOULD RECOGNIZE STATE OF PALESTINE: Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition Labour Party, said last weekend that a UK government under his leadership would recognize the state of Palestine. “The next Labour government will recognize Palestine as a state as one step towards a genuine two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict,” Corbyn wrote on Twitter during a visit to Jordan. Corbyn’s support for the Palestinian cause, as well as his failure to address anti-Semitism within the Labour Party, has been roundly condemned by the Jewish community in the UK. “He issues empty statements about opposing anti-Semitism, but does nothing to understand or address it. We conclude that he cannot seriously contemplate anti-Semitism, because he is so ideologically fixed within a far-left worldview that is instinctively hostile to mainstream Jewish communities,” said a letter sent to Corbyn by the leaders of Britain’s Jewish community in March 2018. Labour narrowly lost to PM Theresa May’s Conservative Party in elections in 2017, and current opinion polls show the two parties as neck and neck. (J.Post)
BULGARIA TO OPEN CONSULATE IN JERUSALEM: Israeli PM Netanyahu said Sunday 24 June 2018 at the weekly Cabinet meeting that he spoke the previous night with his counterpart, Bulgarian PM Boyko Borisov, who informed him of the decision. Borisov visited Israel earlier this month, meeting with Netanyahu and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem. Netanyahu reported that Borisov told him that the honorary consulate will not deal only with Bulgarian affairs in Jerusalem, but with Bulgarian affairs in the entire State of Israel. “I told him that this was a welcome step and that I hoped it will quickly lead to the opening of the official and complete Bulgarian Embassy in Jerusalem,” Netanyahu said. The United States opened its embassy in Jerusalem on 14 May 2018, and Guatemala opened its new embassy in the city two days later. The Czech Republic reopened its honorary consulate in Jerusalem at the end of last month. (Arutz-7)
HISTORY IN SAUDI ARABIA AS WOMEN PERMITTED TO DRIVE: Saudi Arabian women are celebrating being able to drive for the first time in decades. At midnight on Sunday 24 June 2018, the kingdom overturned the world’s only ban on female motorists as part of reforms being led by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. Women in Riyadh and other cities began zipping around streets bathed in amber light soon after the ban was lifted at midnight, with some blasting music from behind the wheel. Television presenter Sabika al-Dosari said the end of the ban was “a historic moment for every Saudi woman” before driving a sedan across the border to the kingdom of Bahrain. The lifting of the ban, a glaring symbol of repression, is expected to be transformative for many women, freeing them from dependence on private chauffeurs or male relatives. Some three million women in Saudi Arabia could receive licenses and actively begin driving by 2020. The kingdom earlier this month began issuing its first driving licenses to women in decades, with some swapping their foreign permits for Saudi ones after a practical test. (Arutz-7)
IDF HITS GAZA TERRORISTS LAUNCHING ARSON BALLOONS: Israeli forces opened fire on Arab terrorists operating out of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip Sunday afternoon, 24 June 2018 after the terrorists attempted to launch incendiary balloons towards Israeli territory. The incident occurred in the southern Gaza Strip near the Israeli border. “An IDF aircraft targeted a vehicle used by a group of Palestinians who attempted to launch arson balloons from the southern Gaza Strip into Israeli territory,” the spokesperson said. There were no reports of casualties. In recent weeks, terrorists in the Hamas-ruled enclave have launched thousands of incendiary and makeshift explosive devices attached to kites and balloons, using them to drop the weapons into Israeli territory. The attacks have caused millions of shekels in damage to Israelis living near the border, and have struck private homes. (Arutz-7)
IDF UNCOVERS HAMAS’ OPERATING SYSTEM FOR KITE TERROR: The Hamas terrorist organization is responsible for kite terror and not a random terrorist activity by Gazan children and young adults, the IDF revealed on Sunday 24 June 2018. Arson terror, the phenomenon where firebombs are attached to kites and balloons and launched from the coastal enclave into Israeli territory and through which large areas of Israeli land around the Gaza Strip have been destroyed, is part of carefully planned acts of terror, the IDF spokesperson explained. Specifying the mode of operation, the IDF spokesperson said that Hamas commanders order the launch of such kites and balloons, as well as oversee and direct the manufacturing. The Hamas operatives who receive the orders, produce the kites and balloons and then attach the firebombs which they receive from Hamas resources. Kite production is carried out serially and in large quantities. Once the production is completed, the kites and balloons are launched from strategic points in the Gaza Strip in order to afflict as much damage to Israeli land as possible. “This is terrorism directed against the population of Israel, against Israeli agriculture and nature. The IDF is acting intensively against these terror cells,” an IDF statement read. Since 30 March 2018 some 1,000 hectares (over 2.5 thousand acres) of Israeli fields, forests and agricultural land have been ravaged by fires. They were caused by kites, balloons and inflated condoms lit and launched from the Gaza Strip. (J.Post)
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Blessings from Jerusalem,
Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff