“Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down that the mountains would tremble before you!… Come down to make your name known to your enemies and cause the nations to quake before you!” Isa. 64:1-2
RUSSIA AND TURKEY ARE BECOMING ALLIES, OVERSHADOWING ISRAEL: An emerging Russia-Turkey alliance in defense and energy will have long-term effects on the Middle East and Israel. This comes in the wake of Turkey acquiring Russia’s S-400 air defense system and the development of the TurkStream pipeline, which stretches across the Black Sea from Russia to Turkey. As Turkey and Russia grow closer, they inevitably also grow closer in their efforts to end the Syrian conflict, as well as other regional and international issues. This has led Turkey away from its traditional alliance with the US, and focused on a new alliance structure with Russia and other allies, for instance, a Turkey-Qatar and Russia-Iran alliance, in which they share certain interests. In the long term, a closer block of Russia-Syria-Iran-Turkey-Qatar may emerge, alongside other powerful states such as China, India and central Asian actors, some of which seek to challenge the US. This has long-term implications for Israel because Israel is a close US ally that opposes the rising power of Iran in the Middle East. Israel enjoyed close relations with Turkey up until the mid-2000s when things soured under Turkey’s current administration. Russia and Israel enjoy good relations today, but what happens if their interests begin to not coincide in places like Syria, where tensions already exist? Russia and Turkey are discussing joint production of civilian aircraft and helicopters. Tass News says that they may also begin joint exploration for energy in the Mediterranean. It is clear that a defense and energy alliance is growing. Israel has its own energy interests in the Mediterranean and its own defense relationships. The long-term effect of the Russia-Turkey alliance is in its infancy, but joint defense work and energy exploration should be taken more seriously by neighbors in the Middle East. (J. Post) Pray that Israel will not be deceived by the Russian government’s seemingly favorable inclinations towards the Jewish state.
TURKEY’S ERDOGAN: ‘WHOEVER IS ON ISRAEL’S SIDE, WE ARE AGAINST THEM’: “Whoever is on the side of Israel, let everyone know that we are against them,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said last week. Erdogan made the comments as he addressed senior provincial officials from the ruling AKP party in Ankara. “We do not approve of silence on the state terror that Israel blatantly carries out in Palestine,” Erdogan said. Erdogan has a history of slamming the Jewish state and its leader, PM Benjamin Netanyahu. The Turkish president made waves last year when he said that the spirit of Adolf Hitler had re-emerged among some Israeli policymakers. In March 2019 a spokesperson for Erdogan slammed Netanyahu for comments he had made regarding the Nation-State Law, inspiring Netanyahu to say that “Turkey’s dictator Erdogan attacks Israel’s democracy while Turkish journalists and judges fill his prisons. What a joke!” Erdogan’s party took a beating in mayoral elections in June 2019, breaking his aura of invincibility in his country and delivering a message from voters unhappy over his policies. The United States said last week it was removing NATO ally Turkey from the F-35 program after Ankara purchased and received delivery of Russian S-400 missile defenses. (J. Post)
US-ISRAEL SUCCESSFULLY TEST MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEM IN ALASKA: The United States and Israel successfully carried out “a high altitude hit-to-kill engagement” with a co-developed anti-ballistic missile interceptor system in Alaska, officials announced Sunday 28 July 2019. The Arrow-3 Interceptor missile achieved a “major milestone” in its development during a successful flight test where the system effectively intercepted a missile target outside the atmosphere, according to the Missile Defense Agency (MDA). “This unique success in Alaska provides confidence in future Israeli capabilities to defeat the developing threats in the region,” said MDA Director Jon Hill. Israeli PM Netanyahu said this week that the Arrow 3 gives his country the “ability to act against ballistic missiles fired against us from Iran and from any other location.” Arrow 3, along with the Iron Dome, David’s Sling and the Arrow 2 systems is part of the multi-layered shield Israel is developing to defend against rockets fired from Gaza and Lebanon, as well as Iran’s long-range missiles. The announcement of the Arrow-3’s success comes just days after Iran successfully test-fired its Shahab-3, a medium-range ballistic missile, which flew more than 600 miles. The missile tests come amid heightened tensions between Tehran and the West. (Fox)
IRAN RESTARTING ACTIVITIES AT ARAK HEAVY WATER NUCLEAR REACTOR: Iran will restart activities at the Arak heavy-water nuclear reactor, according to the head of the country’s Atomic Energy. Ali Akbar Salehi made the announcement to lawmakers earlier this week. Heavy water can be used to produce plutonium, which is used in nuclear warheads. Renovations recently were completed on the Arak heavy-water plant, which allows it to increase its capacity. At the beginning of July 2019, Iran announced that its stockpiles of enriched uranium had breached the limit set out in the nuclear deal it signed with the world powers. Since the Trump administration pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal one year ago and reimposed economic sanctions, Iran has begun to abrogate parts of the deal. (Arutz-7)
UNRWA FACES ALLEGATIONS OF CORRUPTION, ‘SEXUAL MISCONDUCT’: An internal ethics report has alleged mismanagement and abuses of authority at the highest levels of the UN agency for Palestinian Arab refugees and their descendants even as the organization faced an unprecedented crisis after US funding cuts. The allegations included in the report by the agency’s ethics department are now being scrutinized by UN investigators. It describes “credible and corroborated” allegations of serious ethical abuses, including involving UNRWA’s top official, Commissioner-General Pierre Krahenbuhl. It says the allegations include senior management engaging in “sexual misconduct, nepotism, retaliation, discrimination and other abuses of authority, for personal gain, to suppress legitimate dissent, and to otherwise achieve their personal objectives.” One senior official named in the report has left the organization due to “inappropriate behavior” linked to the investigation while another has resigned for what the agency called “personal reasons.” The report was sent to the UN secretary-general in Dec. 2018 and UN investigators have since visited UNRWA’s offices in Jerusalem and Amman, collecting information related to the allegations. (INN)
SANDERS: OUR POLICY CANNOT JUST BE PRO-ISRAEL: Senator Bernie Sanders, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination in the 2020 elections, criticized PM Netanyahu and said the US cannot prioritize the wants and needs of Israel if it wants to help bring peace to the Middle East. “I think what has happened is in recent years under Netanyahu, you have an extreme right-wing government with many racist tendencies,” charged Sanders. “Palestinian Arabs deserve to be treated with dignity and respect”. Sanders said he would “absolutely” consider using the billions of dollars in military aid that the US sends to Israel each year as leverage to force the Israeli government to act differently. He criticized the Trump administration over its overtures to Israel, asserting that they could put at risk the peace negotiations with the Palestinian Arabs. Despite being Jewish and having spent time in Israel, Sanders has a history of problematic statements on the Jewish state. (Arutz-7) In the words of one blogger, “How about Sanders treating Jews with ‘dignity and respect.’ No missile attacks, suicide bombings and rock attacks from Palestinians.”
ISRAELI JUDO TEAM SCORES GOLD MEDAL WIN: The Grand Prix competition in Zagreb, Croatia ended Sunday evening 28 July 2019 with another medal for members of the Israeli judo delegation. After young judoka Tohar Butbul won the gold medal at the prestigious competition the previous evening, his fellow Israel delegation member, Peter Paltchik, won the bronze medal in the under 100 kg weight category. This month, the Israeli delegation will leave for the World Championship in Tokyo, where the Olympic Games will be held in a year. (INN)
ISRAELI RECYCLING TECHNOLOGY AIMS TO REVOLUTIONIZE GLOBAL WASTE: Despite increasing efforts to recycle some unwanted household goods, the destination for the vast majority solid waste is some form of landfill, releasing methane and other damaging greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. As the world throws more away, global plastic production and consumption is also rising sharply – expected to soar from 350 million tons to 1.35 billion tons annually by 2050. While increased waste and plastic demand both provide significant cause for concern, one Israeli company’s innovative technology promises a solution to both worrying trends at the same time. “We are taking a polluting material, turning it into a new natural resource and replacing a scarce material – that’s a blessing to the industry,” said UBQ co-founder Jack Bigio. Unlike the climate-negative plastics that dominate the market, producing one kilogram of UBQ material saves 11.7 kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions and a total industrial offset value of 14.5 kilograms. In other terms, producing one ton of UBQ is equivalent to stopping the melting of 35 square meters of Arctic ice, or the sequestration of 540 trees over 10 years old. One industrial-level operational UBQ facility, with a capacity of producing 80,000 tons per year is equivalent to taking over 565,000 cars off the road for a single year. Produced from unsorted household waste, the worldwide-patented bio-based product is a homogeneous composite material that can be mixed with plastics in the end-product plastic industry. A glance at the company’s international and scientific advisory board is likely to instill confidence in customers. It includes Nobel Prize winner Prof. Roger Kornberg, celebrated nanotech specialist Prof. Oded Shoseyov, leading patent practitioner Dr. Ilan Cohen, sustainability pioneer John Elkington and former EU commissioner for climate action Connie Hedegaard. (J. Post)
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