“And he has raised up for his people a horn, the praise of all his faithful servants, of Israel, the people close to his heart. Praise the Lord.” Ps 148:14
ARAB COUNTRIES POSSIBLY SOFTENING THEIR ATTEMPTS TO HURT ISRAEL IN UNESCO: Arab countries are possibly softening their attempts to hurt Israel in UNESCO. A resolution which is supposed to go up for vote in the organization at the beginning of May 2017, and which has been unofficially distributed, reveals a significant diplomatic breakthrough on the part of the Israeli Foreign Ministry on one of the toughest fronts Israel faces in the UN. After a series of resolutions which attempted to erase the connection of the Jewish people to the holy places in Jerusalem and to present those places as holy to Muslims only, Arab countries have decided to take a step back on the sensitive issue affecting Jews worldwide. The new resolution, which will go up for a vote in the course of a meeting on “Jerusalem, Gaza and Judea and Samaria,” has cut out significant portions of anti-Israel content existing in previous resolutions. In the past two weeks, a concerted effort by the Foreign Ministry and the delegation in Paris has taken place to soften the resolution, while, during the moments leading up to the vote, PM Netanyahu himself is expected to lead the diplomatic struggle. Israel’s Ambassador to UNESCO, Carmel Shama Hacohen, said that “when we’re talking about anti-Israel resolutions spearheaded by Arab countries, you only count your accomplishments when you’re leaving the building after the vote. It’s better to get a draft of the resolution which doesn’t directly harm our claims to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall, which are the heart of the Jewish people, but neither do we intend to sit quietly when they stab us in other places, even if they are less sensitive.” He added that “the State of Israel has decided to put an end to the obsession and incitement within international organizations, even if it takes years – and until then, to raise the price that initiators and participants in anti-Israel activity pay. There is no doubt that, with the new administration in Washington headed by President Trump and Ambassador Haley, the goal that until recently appeared to be a fantasy has become an achievable one. In any event,” he concluded, “we will work in the coming month around the world and around the clock to continue and explain the truth, of today and of history, and we will expect – but won’t build upon – the reasonableness of our neighbors.” (Arutz-7) Intercede that this new resolution will indeed be passed at the beginning of May 2017, erasing the absurd lie that Jews have no connection to the holy places in Jerusalem, rather only the Muslims.
A BRIEF REVIEW: UNESCO DENIES JEWISH CONNECTION TO THE OLD CITY OF JERUSALEM: In spite of God’s word, and thousands of years of Jewish history connected to Jerusalem, in a blasphemous move in Oct. 2016, UNESCO passed a Palestinian-backed measure that denies a Jewish connection to the Old City of Jerusalem. UNESCO, the UN body charged with protecting humanity’s cultural treasures called Israel an “occupying power” in its own capital of Jerusalem, ignoring deep Jewish ties to the Temple Mount. The resolution shunned the term “Temple Mount” in favor of its Palestinian name and demanded that Israel rescind its control over access to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which stands on the Temple Mount. The USA and some European nations fought the resolution but were easily outnumbered by Russia, China and Middle Eastern and developing nations. Opponents were also hindered by two dozen countries that refused to vote at all, delivering victory to Israel’s critics in committee. For more than 3,000 years, Jerusalem has played a central role in the history of the Jews, culturally, politically, and spiritually, a role first documented in the Scriptures. All through the 2,000 years of the diaspora, Jews have called Jerusalem their ancestral home. Jews in prayer always turn toward Jerusalem. When Muslims pray, they face Mecca. The Old Testament mentions “Jerusalem” 349 times. “Zion,” another name for Jerusalem, is mentioned 108 times but Jerusalem is not mentioned once in the Koran. As pointed out by an Israel Today commentator: The manipulation of UNESCO by the Israel-haters is a warning to the world that the Palestinian goal isn’t really a fair-minded two-state resolution, but rather to deny Jewish rights and history and ultimately force the Jews out of Jerusalem. This effort demonstrates that Palestinian opposition to coexistence is a far bigger obstacle to peace than anything Israel has done. For most Israelis, the major sticking point of the peace process is the Arabs’ refusal to accept that the Jewish people have a history, and therefore a legitimate claim, in this region. The Palestinian Authority, which submitted the resolution, was greatly pleased by last year’s UNESCO vote. (Israel Today/JNN)
PM ORDERS FOREIGN MINISTRY TO CUT $2 MILLION FOR UN FUNDING AFTER HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL PASSES ANTI-ISRAEL MOTION: Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Benjamin Netanyahu instructed the Foreign Ministry to cut $2 million from Israel’s payments to the UN, in light of the hostile proposals adopted by the UN Human Rights Council last week. This amount will be used to deepen and expand Israeli projects in the field of international assistance, and will be invested in developing countries that support Israel in international institutions. This decision is part of Israel’s campaign, in conjunction with allies such as the US, to correct the obsessive focus of the UN and its agencies on condemning Israel and the discrimination in the world body against the only Jewish state. The UN human Rights Council passed a resolution urging countries to boycott the Jewish communities of Judea, Samaria, and eastern Jerusalem. (INN)
ISRAEL’S UN AMBASSADOR HOLDS ANTI-BDS CONFERENCE: Over 2,000 representatives from various organizations, as well as pro-Israel activists, diplomats and students filled the UN General Assembly Hall in New York City for a conference on 29 March 2017 against the boycott, divestment and sanction (BDS) movement. Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon, who convened the conference, opened the event by saying: “The halls of the UN are now being infiltrated by the boycott movement. The UN’s Human Rights Council is creating a blacklist of companies and corporations operating in parts of Israel. This is pure anti-Semitism and together with the US, our greatest ally, we will keep fighting until BDS is eliminated.” US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley was the keynote speaker at the conference. “The effort to delegitimize the state of Israel being waged on college campuses and the anti-Israel obsession at the UN are one in the same. They both seek to deny Israel’s right to exist. They are both efforts to intimidate her friends and embolden her enemies. They are both extensions of an ancient hatred,” Ambassador Haley said. “And how tragic is it that, of all the countries in the world to condemn for human rights violations, these voices choose to single out Israel. Iran, Syria, North Korea and other barbaric regimes are excused by the BDS movement. It makes no sense. And it has no connection to any reasonable definition of justice,” the American ambassador concluded. (Arutz-7)
DAVID FRIEDMAN SWORN-IN AS US AMBASSADOR TO ISRAEL: Outspoken lawyer David Friedman was sworn-in at the US Ambassador to Israel on 29 March 2017 in Washington, D.C. Friedman has been aligned with the Israeli right and was narrowly confirmed by the US Senate by a vote of 52-46. Vice President Mike Pence, who spoke before swearing in Friedman as Ambassador to Israel, said that President Donald Trump is a lifelong friend of Israel and the Jewish people, and under his leadership, if the world knows nothing else, the world will know this: America stands with Israel. Pence then told Friedman, “You were literally born for this job. It’s because of families like yours that the Jewish people are such a beautiful thread and fabric of this nation.” Friedman favors moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The relocation is strongly opposed by many US allies because both Israel and the Palestinians claim the city as their capital. (J.Post/INN)
SENATE PASSES BILL TO LET STATES STRIP FUNDING FROM PLANNED PARENTHOOD: Congress approved a bill on 30 March 2017 that will let states strip federal funds from Planned Parenthood, as Republicans flexed their control of Washington and launched their first successful strike in years against the country’s largest abortion network. Democrats vowed political retributions, saying women who are already anxious over the GOP’s agenda will bristle at what they see as an assault on their health care choices. But for Republicans, the vote set them up for their first success after years of trying to dent Planned Parenthood. The bill passed on a 51-50 vote with Vice President Mike Pence, a longtime pro-life leader, breaking the tie. (Washington Times) Continue to intercede that this demonic organization, Planned Parenthood, will be stripped of all government funding and completely closed down.
HAMAS ACQUIRED HEAVY SHORT-RANGE ROCKETS, ISRAELIS FEAR PASSOVER MASSACRE: Hamas has acquired dozens of heavy, short-range rockets, intended for attacking Israeli civilian communities near the Gaza border, media sources reported on 29 March 2017. Despite their short range – a mere six miles – their massive load of explosives would enable these rockets to inflict significant damage on their targets come the next confrontation with Israel. The new weapons have been developed based on the Hamas lessons from the 2014 Gaza war, when the bulk of their mid-range rockets were blocked by Israel’s Iron Dome system over larger civilian centers, but the same system was useless against their short-range mortar shells, one of which killed a three-year-old Israeli toddler on the last day of the war. The IDF and defense apparatus are aware of this new strategy and are preparing to evacuate the civilian population in the communities alongside the Gaza Strip border – should the government give the word. Israeli social media have been warning of such an attack to take place over Passover. Tamir Idan, head of Sdot Negev Regional Council, has said that this is very serious, adding that he is in constant contact with the IDF over these threats. (Jewish Press) Intercede that Israel’s soon coming Passover holidays will not be marred by terrorist attacks in any part of the country. Pray for angelic protection upon Israel’s southern borders and that Jewish communities in this area will be kept from fear.
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