.; A compilation of news reports from the past week for the information of those committed to ..praying .. for the restoration of Israel
David’s Comment: A Pivotal Week for the USA and Israel
Proverbs 21:1 The heart of the king is in the hand of the LORD and He like rivers of water, He turns it whichever way He pleases
This week saw the new president of the United States visit Jerusalem. It was the first official international visit that President Trump has made since he took office early this year. The political decisions that he makes in light of this weeks visit to the Middle East could have dramatic and long lasting effects for Israel, the USA and the much of the world. Apart from the intense and increasing political turmoil surrounding him and his administration at home, as with every former president since the end of the Six Day War in 1967, President Trump finds himself being ‘sandwiched’ between both sides of the Arab / Israeli conflict. Both Israeli PM Netanyahu and the leader of the so called ‘Palestinian Authority’ recently met the president at the White House, and gave him their side of the conflict, surely in the hope that he would favour the position of the country they represent. The president’s first stop on his Middle East mission was Saudi Arabia, where I am also sure the leaders he met with tried to convince President Trump to see the conflict in the Middle East from their position.
After his meetings in Saudi Arabia, Air Force One flew to Tel Aviv, i which was also a landmark, bring the first official direct flight from the Saudi Kingdom to Israel. The question that most Israelis and Arabs, as well as political leaders and the news media were asking was “will President Trump keep his election promise, and announce the relocation of the US Embassy to Jerusalem ? The US senate passed a law in 1995 that stipulated the relocation of the US Embassy back to Jerusalem, but every president since that time has frozen the action. The reason for the freeze is that every government has rightly understood that moving the embassy will kill the (already dead) peace process, and could even lead to a major war. As a result of Arab pressure, every nation which once had their embassy in Jerusalem, relocated it to Tel Aviv in the early 1980’s. That move was really a strong statement that Jerusalem is not the capital city of Israel. What other nation is told by the rest of the world where its capital city can or cannot be located ? Even more importantly, the GOD of the Bible, the Creator of the Universe, clearly states in His Word that Jerusalem is the eternal capital city of the nation He has chosen as His address on the Earth – Israel. Any refusal or opposition to recognising Jerusalem as the Israel’s capital city, is open rebellion against the Creator.
Two of President Trump’s pre-election promises were to make America great again and to move the US Embassy back to Jerusalem. Those two promises are connected. If Donald Trump truly wants to make the USA the great world leader that it was before the previous president caused the USA to lose that position, I believe Trump must take the lead and instruct the relevant government departments to begin the process to move the embassy back to Jerusalem, and he will see other nations follow America’s lead. The outcome of the president’s Middle East visit will be pivotal for Israel, but it will be far move pivotal for the future of the USA and the other nations, if they continue to oppose GOD by refusing to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city.
By the time you are reading this comment, President Trump will be on his way back to the White House. Once he is back at his desk in the Oval Office he will have some serious decisions to consider. Will he or won’t he keep his promises to the people of America and the people of Israel. Will he give priority to follow the will of GOD, or will he make the USA’s relationship with the Muslim nations the priority?
As the opening verse from Proverbs 21 says, GOD can turn the heart of President Trump to follow His plans and purposes. We need to pray that GOD will indeed move by his Spirit on President Trump to raise him up to be a true ‘Cyrus’ and carry out His will concerning Jerusalem and the embassy. Let’s also continue to pray for Benjamin Netanyahu to continue to be bold and stand strong against all national and international pressure to take Israel into a peace agreement with any other nation.
The LORD bless you as you bless Israel by standing in defense of her right to exist on the land given to the Jewish people by the God of Israel. Lets pray that Israel will turn back to their God. Do not be silent, but share this with your fellow Christians, share it with your pastors, and with anyone you have a chance to speak to. Lets also pray for that breakthrough to the Muslims, and please remember to pray Divine protection for all of the soldiers in the IDF.
Shabbat Shalom …… David & Jose
This Weeks News Items
1. PM Netanyahu Sets Boundaries for Peace Ha Aretz News May 22nd
As U.S. President Donald Trump arrived in Israel on Monday and spoke of creating an alliance of regional powers ? essentially, making the Middle East great again ? Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sounded a cautionary tone, setting out apparent red lines for possible future talks with the Palestinians. The president was speaking at an official reception minutes after Air Force One touched down on what is believed to be the first direct flight from Saudi Arabia to Israel. In welcoming Trump on the tarmac at Ben-Gurion International Airport, Netanyahu said that Israel extended its hand in peace to “all our neighbors, including the Palestinians.” Both Israeli and Palestinian officials have spoken of the possibility of resuming talks without preconditions. Netanyahu, however, said that the peace Israel seeks with the Palestinians is “a genuine, durable one, in which the Jewish state is recognized, security remains in Israel’s hands, and the conflict ends once and for all.” Pray that PM Netanyahu will not be drawn into any kind of peace agreement that is not authorised from Heaven
2. Israel & Arab Nations Happy that Obama is Gone Israel Today News May 22nd
Israel was not the only country in the Middle East happy to see Barack Obama out of the White House. President Donald Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia over the weekend served as a very public slap in the face of his predecessor. And it was the Saudis, not Trump, who delivered the blow. Saudi newspapers Okaz and Al-Madina noted that there was a lot of frustration with Obama’s defeatist policies regarding Iran, and that Saudi Arabia sees Trump as heralding a new era of strength in the face of such enemies. Al-Sharq al-Awsat, a Saudi-owned newspaper published in London, went a step further, publishing a caricature of a wreath being laid at a tombstone reading “Obama’s Policies.” In the days leading up to his trip, a number of regional officials, like the Foreign Minister of Bahrain, said that Trump understands the Middle East far better than Obama could ever hope to. Let’s pray that Donald Trump meets the expectations of all who voted for him
3. No Breakthrough for Peace with Abbas Jerusalem Post May 21st
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas inherited from his predecessor, Yasser Arafat, an authority that is completely malfunctioning. Nothing has changed over the past 20 years; the PA still fully relies on contributions from other countries and on Israel’s government for electricity and transportation infrastructure. During all these years, the PA has never developed any industry and almost every Palestinian family depends on Israeli employers for its livelihood. The most likely scenario is that Abbas will do nothing remarkable before disappearing into the annals of history. We should hope that the next PA leader will revolutionize the Palestinian community, be willing to support a peace settlement that Israel can also live with, and forgo fantasies and unrealistic aspirations. The writer is a former brigadier-general who served as a division head in the Israel Security Agency. Lets continue to pray that no peace plan apart from YHVH’s peace plan will ever be put in place
4. President Trump Did Not Mention “Palestinian State” While in Israel Times of Israel News May 23rd
Israeli right-wingers got what they saw as a major endorsement for their policies when US President Donald Trump failed to publicly mention a Palestinian state even one time during his two-day visit. That stands in sharp contrast to Obama, who focused heavily on the Arabs’ desired outcome of the peace process. Already when PM Benjamin Netanyahu visited Washington in February, Trump made clear that he wasn’t married to the two-state solution, and would be giving Israel far more leeway than previous presidents when it comes to outlining the parameters of a viable and lasting peace deal. Many Israelis felt that Trump and Netanyahu disagreed somewhat on the list of priorities in the region, Trump appearing to take the Arab position that all other regional ills would be lessened, if not solved, by Israel and the Palestinians reaching an agreement. He also did not address the issue of relocating America’s embassy to Jerusalem, a major electoral campaign promise. But there was a lot for Israelis to be pleased about. Not least of which the timing of Trump’s visit, coinciding as it did with the Hebrew calendar anniversary of Jerusalem’s reunification under Israeli rule exactly 50 years ago. Trump also became the first sitting US president to ever pray at the Western Wall, another subtle affirmation that the contentious Temple Mount is indeed Jewish and belongs in Jewish hands. All in all, Trump showered Israel with love and praise, and the Israelis more than reciprocated. Pray that President Trump does not push Israel to negotiate for another state on their Promised Land
5. Violence on the Temple Mount One Day After Trump’s Visit Israel Today News May 25th
President Trump made a big statement by visiting the Western Wall while in Jerusalem this week. And that statement was that the site is indeed one holy to Jews (and Christians). It was a major repudiation of Muslim claims that the Temple Mount is holy only to Islam and that the Jews have no connection to it, even thought the New Testament speaks repeatedly of the JEWISH Temple Mount. And just a day after Trump left the region, Muslims responded to his statement by attacking Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount. A group of Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount attempted to assert their right to pray there, and were immediately and violently attacked by Muslims. Israeli police removed the Jewish group and arrested three of the Muslims. Throughout the incident, Muslims can be seen cursing Jews for daring to enter the Temple Mount, which is today occupied by Islamic shrines. Lets continue to pray that full control over the Temple Mount be restored to Israel
6. Tens of Thousands Celebrate Jerusalem Day Times of Israel News May 25th
Tens of thousands of people marched around the Old City waving flags and singing at the annual Jerusalem Day parade on Wednesday, to celebrate 50 years since the reunification of Jerusalem during the 1967 Six Day War. There were fears of unrest ahead of the march, with a much larger than usual participation due to the special anniversary, and also the fact that for the first time, police gave permission for the parade of mainly Jewish Israelis to walk around the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem, through the Arab neighborhoods in the east of the city. The march has been marred by violence and racist chants against Arabs in recent years and police warned Tuesday that they would have ?no tolerance for physical or verbal violence.” This year, delegations from around the world participated in the annual parade, known as the Jerusalem Day Flag March. Led by predominantly religious Zionist teenagers decked in white and blue, the colors of the Israeli flag, groups from around the world sang and danced in colorful costumes as they marched from the center of the new city to the Old City. Lets give thanks to the LORD for the city of Jerusalem, the eternal and undivided capital city of Israel
7. Six Day War Movie is a Big Hit Ha Aretz News May 25th
A Christian docudrama, which claims to ?prove the prophecy of the return of the Jews to their homeland,? has become a box office hit, making over $1.6 million on its first day. The CBN Documentaries docudrama ?In Our Hands: The Battle for Jerusalem,? recounting Israel?s Six Day War and its conquest of East Jerusalem, debuted in the United States on Tuesday to sold-out audiences. The film, written and directed by Erin Zimmerman, was broadcast in 733 cinemas, grossing more than $1.6 million. The Box Office Mojo site ranked it the third highest grossing movie that day and 113rd highest grossing docudrama since 1982. Produced for the Six Day War?s 50th anniversary, the film combines interviews and a reconstruction of historic events from the war, telling the story of the IDF?s Paratroopers Brigade?s capture of the eastern part of the city. ?For centuries, their nation has been in exile. For a generation, they had been without access to their ancestral city,? the film?s official website says. ?For six days, surrounded by enemies, Israel stood alone?and changed history.? Gordon Robertson, the CEO of CBN, told the Faithwire site he hoped the movie has a double impact ? ?point people toward God and start a conversation about Middle Eastern foreign policy.? Lets pray that many Jews and Gentiles will come to faith in Yeshua after watching this movie