JNN NEWS, P.O. Box 7411, Jerusalem 91073, Israel,
News Update May 18th 2013 –
“He will bring justice to the poor of the people; He will save the children of the needy, and will break in pieces the oppressor.” Ps 72:4
REPORT: RUSSIA SENDS WARSHIPS TO SYRIAN COAST: Russia has sent a dozen or more warships to patrol waters near its naval base in Syria, a buildup that US and European officials see as a newly aggressive stance meant partly to warn the West and Israel not to intervene in Syria’s devastating civil war, according to reports on Friday. On Thursday, Syria’s official news agency SANA reported that five Russian warships had crossed the Suez Canal and entered the Mediterranean Sea.
A Russian Navy spokesperson said this was the first time in decades that Russian warships sail in the area. The Russian defense minister said: “The Russian Defense Ministry started setting up a special force of warships in the Mediterranean in order to protect Russia’s interests in the region.” Meanwhile, the New York Times disclosed Russia has sent advanced anti-ship cruise missiles to Syria. The missiles are an improved version of the Yakhonts, which Russia has previously provided to Syria and have been outfitted with advanced radar that makes them more effective. (Ynet) Be alert in prayer to the ever-increasing military threats against Israel resulting from the spiraling Syrian crisis.
RUSSIA CONTINUES WITH PLANS TO SELL S-300 TO ASSAD: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced Thursday that Russia would remain committed to previously signed arms deals “regarding agreements pertaining to aerial defense weapons.” Despite the fact that PM Benjamin Netanyahu flew for a lightning visit to Russia with the clear intent of preventing the sale of S-300 missiles to Assad’s regime, the Russians reiterated two days later that they refused to budge from their contracts. According to Lavrov, Russia will not sign any new deals with the Syrian government, but is nonetheless obligated to previous commitments. “We do not want to break any international law, but also do not want to hurt our good name as arms suppliers.” Sources in Jerusalem said what counts is actions and not statements, noting that implementation of the 2010 agreement between Russia and Syria has been delayed a number of times. They said Israel has already expressed its message, that new weapons in Syria undermine the area and there’s a danger they will be transferred to Hizbullah.(Ynet/INN)
US WARNS RUSSIAN MISSILES MAY PROLONG SYRIAN CONFLICT: A Russian shipment of anti-ship missiles to Syria could strengthen President Bashar Assad’s forces and extend the conflict, the top US military officer said on Friday. “It’s at the very least a regrettable decision that will embolden the regime and prolong the suffering, so it’s ill-timed and very unfortunate,” said General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Dempsey was referring specifically to the anti-ship missiles sent by Russia. The missiles,
called Yakhonts, are equipped with advanced radar that renders them more effective. Also on Friday, United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon voiced
disappointment over Syria’s refusal to let UN inspectors enter the country to check reports about the use of chemical weapons. (Ha’aretz)
TERROR GROUP: ROCKET FIRE ON THE GOLAN NOT AN ACCIDENT: A Syrian group took responsibility for firing two mortars at Israel Thursday. The rockets were fired at the Hermon ski site. No one was injured. This is the first time since the beginning of the civil war in Syria that the Hermon was targeted. The upper section of the Hermon has been closed to visitors, but the lower section was still open, officials said. The IDF has increased its patrols and surveillance in the area. There have been several recent incidents of mortar shells fired from Syria hitting different areas of the Golan. Until now, it was thought those shells were fired by accident, but the notification by the “Shahid Brigades” – a part of another terror group called “Free Palestine Movement” – has triggered a reevaluation of those incidents by defense officials. The group apparently works in coordination with the Syrian government, which declared recently it would encourage terror attacks against Israel, in the wake of the bombing of convoys that were transporting chemical weapons from Syria to Hizbullah terrorists. In a video message, the group said that it fired the rockets on the occasion of “Nakba Day,” the date Arabs have chosen to mourn their defeat when Israel was established in 1948. “We tell the Zionists that we are opening a campaign of revenge.” (Arutz-7) “Arise, O Lord, do not let man prevail; let the nations be judged in Your sight.” Ps 9:19
ISRAEL HINTS: WE’LL STRIKE SYRIA AGAIN: A senior Israeli official signaled this week that Israel was considering further military strikes on Syria to stop the transfer of advanced weapons to Islamist Hizbullah – and warned President Assad against any kind of retaliation against the Jewish state. He said, “Israel is determined to continue to prevent the hand-over of advanced arms to Hizbullah. The transfer of such weapons to Hizbullah will destabilize and endanger the entire region. If Syrian President Assad reacts by attacking Israel, or tries to strike Israel through his terrorist proxies, he will risk forfeiting his regime, for we will retaliate. Israel has so far refrained from intervening in Syria’s civil war and will maintain this policy as long as Assad refrains from attacking Israel directly or indirectly,” the official added. (INN/Ha’aretz) Pray that Israel’s warning to Syria will be recognized and heeded. Pray for the continued exposure and obstruction of advanced weapons transfers to the Lebanon-based Hizbullah terrorist group and other rouge terrorist entities.
OECD: ISRAEL IS POOREST OF ALL DEVELOPED COUNTRIES: Israel has the highest poverty rate among OECD countries, according to a report released by the 33-nation Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development this week. The data revealed that Israel’s poverty rate stood at close to 21% of the population in 2011, compared to the 11.1% average among the rest of the members. Labor MK Itzik Shmuli said, “This report only reinforces what we have all been feeling in our stomach for a while: There are too many poor among us and the gaps between the haves and the have-nots are increasing,” he said. The finance minister’s plan “is worsening the situation and puts another 50,000 children and 20,000 elderly below the poverty line,” said Shmuli.(J.Post) “I am poor and needy, yet the Lord thinks upon me. You are my help and my deliverer. Do not delay, O my God.” Ps 40:17
LAPID: WELFARE DOESN’T END POVERTY, WORK DOES: Finance Minister Yair Lapid on Thursday said the answer to poverty is work, not government welfare support. Responding to criticism of his recently approved budget, which cut child allowances, and an OECD report that pegged Israel’s poverty level in 2010 as the highest among developed countries, Lapid told Israel Radio, “Allowances don’t take people out of poverty, they keep people in poverty. Work brings people out of poverty.” Lapid pointed out that in Israel, two groups contributed to overall poverty more than any other: the ultra-Orthodox and the Arabs. “It is already sad that there are groups that are predefined as poor,” he said, arguing that his budget and upcoming reforms would push those populations into the workforce in greater numbers. (J.Post)
TENS OF THOUSANDS OF HAREIDIM PROTEST ENLISTMENT: An estimated 30,000 hareidi Jews took part Thursday in a Jerusalem protest against plans to conscript hareidi men into the military. The multitudes gathered next to the IDF’s Jerusalem enlistment center. Protesters set garbage cans on fire, threw rocks, glass bottles and other objects at police, injuring at least eight officers, two of whom were hospitalized with moderate wounds. Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich said he was appalled by the protesters’ violence and vowed the rioters would be punished. He stressed that “Criminal behavior, illegal protests and assault of officers will not change the equal share of the burden law and the government’s firm stand on the issue.” Police said all eight arrested during the violence will be prosecuted. (J.Post/Ynet) Pray Israel’s hareidi sector will be willing to shoulder its part in the temporal responsibilities of the nation. This can be achieved by doing stretches of national service in lieu of active military duty, and working like others – a biblical injunction – rather than insisting on special government benefits or resorting to welfare in order to support large families, while men study Torah. “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work.” Exod 20:9,10
BOSTON MARATHON SUSPECT: MY BROTHER BECAME A MARTYR: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is being held on suspicion of last month’s bombing and shooting attacks in the Boston area, wrote on the wall of the boat where he hid from police that the bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon was revenge for the killing of Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to sources cited Thursday. He wrote, “When you attack one Muslim, you attack all Muslims,” and referred to the Boston victims as “collateral damage.” Tsarnaev wrote that he did not mourn his brother Tamerlan, who was killed in a shootout with police, calling him a martyr. (Arutz-7)
CELEBRATING SHAVUOT IN THE RAIN: Across the country, thousands of Israelis celebrated the holiday of Shavuot Wednesday. However, heavy rains extinguished the barbeque fires and drenched traditional cheeses, prompting many to return home and enjoy the holiday in the comfort of their balconies instead of in national parks. The rain began late Tuesday, starting in the north. During the night it steadily moved southwards, leading residents all over the country to report heavy lightening storms throughout the night. “This is real winter, it looks like we’re in February not May,” one meteorologist said. The best news the rain brought was the 15-25 mm recorded in the Kinneret region, filling Israel’s ever depleted reservoirs. (Ynet)
SAVE THE DATES FOR THE 2013 ROOTS & REFLECTIONS TOUR – UK JUNE 2-10 – US JUNE 1-11: Due to high demand, we have decided to open up a second bus for the fourth annual Roots & Reflections tour this June: Journey to the Center of the Earth. We have 10 places left and would love to see you come and have a great time. Join Barry Segal for this exciting excursion that will mingle ancient as well as modern Israel at its very heart. Together, we will explore sites ranging from the ultra-modern beaches of Herzliya to the archaeological wonders of the City of David – plus much more. The full tour price for UK residents, including airfare and hotel accommodations, is £1599 per person. To book your UK reservations now contact Polly at Arch Tours – Telephone: 01372 843678 – Mobile: 07971 169639 – email: email@example.com. The USA price including flights and hotels is $3575 per person. For flights from the US contact Heather at JDI Travel – Tel: 248-340-9191 ext. 10 – Fax: 248-340-0307 – email: firstname.lastname@example.org . For further information visit our website at http://www.josephstorehouse.co.uk/events/roots-and-reflection-tour.html
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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
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