“Behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.” Isa. 60: 2-3
FAR-RIGHT, PRO-ISRAEL BOLSONARO WINS BRAZILIAN PRESIDENCY: Far-right congressman Jair Bolsonaro has won Brazil’s elections, taking an unassailable lead on Sunday 28 Oct. 2018 in the race for the South American nation’s presidency. Voters apparently looked past warnings that the brash former army captain would erode democracy and embraced a chance for radical change after years of turmoil. He will take office on 1 January 2019. Bolsonaro, who cast himself as a political outsider despite a 27-year career in Congress, is the latest of several leaders around the globe to gain prominence by mixing tough, often violent talk with hard-right positions. But he is also very much a product of a perfect storm in Brazil that made his messages less marginalized: widespread anger at the political class amid years of corruption, an economy that has struggled to recover after a punishing recession and a surge in violence. Bolsonaro is ardently pro-Israel and has declared he will move the Brazilian embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. His first international trip as president, he said, will be to Israel, with which he will seek to broaden the dialogue. He also promised to close the Palestinian embassy in Brasilia. (Times of Israel)
CLAIMING ISRAEL IS ‘ISOLATED’ JUST GOT A WHOLE LOT HARDER: The claim by Palestinian nationalists and their sympathizers that Israel is globally ostracized for failing to as of yet facilitate the establishment of a Palestinian state is easily debunked. As it so happens, Israel isn’t even all that isolated within the Arab world. For decades, the rest of the Middle East did indeed boycott the Jewish state. But that has been changing, and a couple of examples just this past week indicated a rapid acceleration of the normalization process. Israelis were surprised over the weekend to wake up to newspaper headlines informing us that PM Benjamin Netanyahu had just returned from an official state visit to Oman. Netanyahu was personally invited to the Omani capital of Muscat by the country’s leader, Sultan Sayyid Qaboos bin Said Al Said, to discuss regional issues. A day later, Omani Foreign Minister Yousuf bin Alawi addressed a security summit in Bahrain, where he urged the rest of the Arab Middle East to likewise embrace the Jewish state. “Israel is a state present in the region, and we all understand this. The world is also aware of this and maybe it is time for Israel to be treated the same as other states and to also bear the same obligations,” bin Alawi told the IISS Manama Dialogue conference.
Also over the weekend, the United Arab Emirates hosted its annual Abu Dhabi Judo Grand Slam, and, for the first time ever, Israeli judokas were permitted to compete under their national flag. Competing Israelis won three bronze medals, and one gold medal. The Israeli flag was on display as they were awarded by the Arab hosts. More than that, Israel Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev was invited to attend the competition in her official capacity. Photos of Regev with UAE President Mohamed Bin Tha’loob Al Derai quickly made waves across the region. These more recent encounters happened amid a general warming of relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia. While Jerusalem still has no official relations with any of these Arab countries, their willingness to publicly embrace the Jewish state and its leaders represents a serious change since 1 Sept.1967, when these same countries joined the rest of the Arab world in signing the Khartoum Resolution outlawing any and all ties with Israel. (Israel Today)
JORDAN TURNS TO ISRAEL AMIDST DEADLY FLOODING: As many as 20 people, mainly schoolchildren and teachers, were killed in Jordan on Thur. 25 Oct. 2018 in a flash flood near the Dead Sea that happened while they were on an outing. Thirty-four people were rescued in a major operation involving police, helicopters and hundreds of army troops. Some of those rescued were in a serious condition. Many of those killed were children under 14. A number of families picnicking in the popular destination were also among the dead and injured, rescuers said. Hundreds of families and relatives converged on Shounah hospital a few kilometers from the resort area. Relatives sobbed and searched for details about the missing children, according to one witness. King Abdullah canceled a trip to Bahrain to follow the rescue operations. Israel sent search-and-rescue helicopters to assist, an Israeli military statement said, adding that the team dispatched at Amman’s request was operating on the Jordanian side of the Dead Sea. Rescue workers using flashlights were searching the cliffs near the shore of the Dead Sea where bodies had been found. A witness said a bus with 37 schoolchildren and seven teachers had been on a trip to the resort area when the raging flood waters swept them into a valley. (Algemeiner) Israel is always among the first to respond with help and aid to those who are victims of natural disasters – whether they are friends or foes. Pray for the comforting of families in Jordan who have lost loved ones in last week’s flood. Intercede also for the swift recovery of those who are hospitalized.
ISRAELI MINISTER TO PROMOTE RAIL LINE FROM ISRAEL TO GULF STATES IN OMAN: In a sign of continued warming ties with the Arab world, Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz will head to Oman to push for a regional rail line that will link Haifa with Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States. “The initiative called ‘Tracks for Regional Peace’ is aimed at connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Arabian Gulf (the Persian Gulf) by rail via Israel as a land bridge and Jordan as a regional transportation hub,” Katz’s office said. Katz is expected to present the plan when he addresses a regional transportation conference, called the IRU World Congress, which will take place in Muscat, 6-8 Nov. 2018. According to his office, “This is the first time an Israeli Minister has been formally invited to participate in an international conference in Oman. The invitation reflects the strengthening ties between the two countries.” Katz’s visit follows a surprise trip PM Benjamin made on Friday 26 Oct. 2018. Netanyahu spoke of the visit at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting. “On Friday, my wife and I returned from a historic diplomatic visit to Oman. I met with the leader of Oman; Sultan Qaboos bin Said, a very experienced and impressive man. This is Israel’s first official visit to Oman in 22 years. In our long meeting we discussed in detail the challenges facing the Middle East. These were important talks – both for the State of Israel and very important talks for Israel’s security. There will be more,” he said. (J.Post)
TOP INDIAN OFFICIAL SEEKS ISRAELI EXPERTISE ON WASTE WATER RECYCLING: A top Indian political leader is seeking cooperation with Israel in the realm of waste water recycling, Punjab Newsline reported on Thur. 25 Oct. 2018. Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh met the previous day in Jerusalem with Israeli Minister of Energy and Water Resources Yuval Steinitz. The main agenda item was “the issue of water management to boost water conservation in Punjab,” the report said. Singh “was impressed with the fact that 95% of the sewage water was being recycled for agriculture in Israel and said Punjab would like to do the same in urban areas.” He also called Israel’s drip irrigation technology a “laudable initiative that Punjab could adopt to its advantage.” Last year, Israel and India celebrated the 25th anniversary of the official establishment of diplomatic relations. Ties between the two countries have flourished in numerous realms in recent years. (Algemeiner)
POPE CONDEMNS SYNAGOGUE SHOOTING AS ‘INHUMAN ACT’: Pope Francis on Sunday 28 Oct. 2018 condemned a deadly attack on a synagogue in Pennsylvania, calling the mass-shooting “an inhuman act of violence”, expressing his “closeness to the Jewish community”. A gunman who burst into the synagogue, in Pittsburgh, during a baby-naming ceremony and gunned down 11 people has been charged with murder, in the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in recent USA history. “We are all, in truth, wounded by this inhuman act of violence,” Francis said In Saint Peter’s Square. “May the Lord help us put out the flames of hate that develop in our societies, and to strengthen the sense of humanity, respect for life, moral and civil values and holy fear of God”. Suspect Robert Bowers, 46, reportedly yelled “All Jews must die” as he sprayed bullets into the Tree of Life synagogue during Sabbath services before exchanging fire with police, in an attack that also wounded six people. The United States is witnessing a sharp spike in anti-Semitic incidents, surging 57 percent from 2016 to 2017, according to the Anti-Defamation League, a civil rights group which has tracked anti-Semitism there since the 1970s. Saturday’s attack comes at a time of heightened tensions — a day after a Florida man was arrested for mailing explosive devices to prominent Democrats, setting the country on edge ahead of close-fought elections. (Arutz-7)
ISRAELI JUDOKA WINS GOLD MEDAL IN ABU DHABI: Israeli judoka Sagi Muki defeated Matthias Casse of Belgium in the Judo Grand competition in Abu Dhabi on Sunday 28 Oct. 2018 winning the gold medal. Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev, who was in Abu Dhabi at the time, wrote on social media, “We made history, the people of Israel live!” During the award ceremony, Regev openly wept when the Israel anthem was played. This was the first time the Israeli national anthem “Hatikvah” had been played publicly in the United Arab Emirates. Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein called Muki “a champion” and added, “It is a great feeling to hear our national anthem played for the first time in Abu Dhabi. We salute you,” Edelstein said. “You brought a great honor to the State of Israel.” On Saturday 27 Oct. 2018 Regev wrote, “Our great victory in Abu Dhabi tonight is not limited to the Judo mattress – it is also about having the Israeli flag presented in the hall.” Israeli judokas Gili Cohen, Baruch Shmalilov and Timna Nelson Levi won three bronze medals on Saturday. This was the first time Israeli judokas were able to compete under their own flag. In the past, Israelis could only compete in Abu Dhabi under the banner of the International Judo Federation. The event organizers avoided displaying any flags in the hall where the competitions were held. Flags were also not displayed while anthems were played during the medal awarding ceremony. (J.Post)
PEACE INDEX: 78 PERCENT OF ISRAELI JEWS SAY MOOD OF PEOPLE AROUND THEM IS GOOD: 78% of Israeli Jews define the mood of the people around them as good, according to the Peace Index survey of Israeli opinion taken on October 16-17, 2018. At the same time, 74% of Israeli Jews and 66% of Israeli Arabs do not believe that negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority will lead to peace. 86% of Israeli Jews believe the IDF is the most moral army in the world. (Tel Aviv University and Israel Democracy Institute) “He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. Your enemies will be clothed in shame, and the tents of the wicked will be no more.” Job 8:21-22
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