Gold-winning American Jewish gymnast Aly Raisman has accepted an invitation from Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein to make her first visit to Israel.
Raisman, 18, who secured the Olympic gold while performing a floor routine to the melody of “Hava Nagilah,” has become known as the “Jewish Star” not only for her extraordinary athletic abilities, but also for paying tribute to the slain Israeli athletes during her shining moments
New Zealand Jewish sailor Jo Aleh and her partner Polly Powrie won the gold medal in the women’s 470 regatta, becoming the first first New Zealand women to win a sailing gold in anything other than windsurfing.
Aleh, 26, whose parents are dual Israeli-New Zealand citizens, was elated as she crossed the finish line.
News Update August 1st 2012
JNN NEWS, P.O. Box 7411, Jerusalem 91073, Israel
“The Lord will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem. The earth and the heavens will tremble. But the Lord will be a refuge for his people, a stronghold for the people of Israel.” Joel 3:16
PALESTINIAN GROUPS LASH OUT AT ROMNEY FOR CALLING JERUSALEM ISRAEL’S CAPITAL: Various radical Palestinian groups Monday criticized Palestinian Authority PM Salam Fayyad for meeting with Republican Presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, especially in wake of the latter’s statement that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Romney used the term Sunday night in the Holy City, during a trip to present himself as Israel’s closest ally ahead of the election contest with President Barack Obama. Romney said it was a moving experience to be in Jerusalem and described the city as “Israel’s capital,” to the cheers of an Israeli audience. He suggested he would move the US embassy to Jerusalem if elected president. In response on Monday, chief PA negotiator Saeb Erekat said, “We condemn his statements. Those who speak about the two-state solution should know there can be no Palestinian state without East Jerusalem. What this man is doing here is promoting extremism, violence and hatred, and this is absolutely unacceptable,” said Erekat. Terror group Hamas’ spokesman Fawzi Barhoum accused Romney of insulting the feelings of Palestinians and Muslims. “Jerusalem is the capital of the Palestinians and Palestine and we will never give it up,” said Barhoum. Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine also denounced Romney’s remarks about Jerusalem. Both terrorist factions called for a boycott against the candidate. (Ha’aretz/INN) “I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves.” Zech 12: 2-3
GIULANI: OBAMA AS ISRAEL’S ALLY IS THE BIGGEST JOKE HE’S EVER HEARD: Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani recently called President Obama “the least supportive president” of Israel in history and claimed the idea that Obama is a friend of the Jewish state to be “the biggest joke” he’s ever heard. In a video published on YouTube, Giuliani is asked a number of questions regarding the president’s record on Israel, including Obama’s remarks that negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority should be based on pre-1967 boundary lines. “That would be ridiculous if they had to go back to those territorial lines,” Giuliani said. “They’d be in such jeopardy with what’s going on in the volatile Middle East right now. As a prime minister of Israel, you couldn’t possibly agree to what President Obama is talking about.” Asked what he believes to be the significance of Obama having not traveled to Israel during his entire term in office, Giuliani responded by saying, “It isn’t just that he doesn’t go to Israel, but it’s that he has policies that are against the interest of the people of the state of Israel. I think he’s the least supportive president of the state of Israel that we’ve ever had since the state of Israel existed, Republican or Democrat,” Giuliani said. (INN)
KEY LIAISON TO JEWISH COMMUNITY FOR OBAMA CAMPAIGN DECIDES NOT TO PARTICIPATE THIS TIME AROUND: Dennis Ross, a longtime diplomat and a key architect of the Oslo peace process who worked for the Obama campaign during the 2008 Democratic primaries, has stated he won’t be campaigning for Obama this time around. Ross was a powerful asset for the president’s first campaign, speaking at synagogues in swing states and persuading Jewish voters to place their trust in Obama. This year, however, Ross decided to step aside, as Jewish voters scrutinize Obama’s less-than-friendly record on Israel. While Ross claims his reasons for abstaining from this season’s campaign stem entirely from personal and professional reasons, many have speculated he was frustrated that the policies he pursued under Obama have not reaped desired results. Josh Block, a former press aide for the Clinton administration and former top spokesman for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) said, “The fact that after three years of working on Mideast policy side-by-side with the president, Ambassador Ross has decided to sit out this campaign will certainly be understood as a message of its own, intentionally or unintentionally.” Aaron Miller, who was Ross’s deputy on the peace process during the Clinton years, said “The peace process is stuck and is likely to remain stuck. The fact is no amount of hand-holding is going to assuage the concerns and suspicions of a pro-Israel community which has now seen some of its fears realized. I wouldn’t want to try to sell Obama to the Jewish community in this environment,” Miller added. (INN) Pray US voters will seek wisdom from God and that discernment between truth and deception will be clear as Americans go to the polls in November.
ITALIAN OLYMPIC TEAM COMMEMORATES MUNICH MASSACRE: The Italian Olympic team at the London Olympic Games made a noble gesture Sunday and stood in silence outside the quarters of the Israeli team, in memory of the 11 athletes slain in the Munich Olympics 40 years ago. About 30 Italians were present at the ceremony, including Italy’s Minister of Sport, the heads of the Italian Olympic Committee and athletes. Israeli Olympic Committee head Tzvi Varshaviak and Olympic delegation leader Efraim Zinger also took part. (Arutz-7)
AUSTRALIAN JEWISH LEADERS OBSERVE MUNICH OLYMPIC MEMORIAL: Australian Jewish leaders observed a minute’s silence in honor of the 11 Israelis murdered 40 years ago at the Munich Games. Vic Alhadeff, chief executive of the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies, recounted the tragedy and lauded governments and their leaders around the world who supported the call for a minute of silence at the opening ceremony in London. He also took Jacques Rogge, the president of the International Olympic Committee, to task for his failure to heed the calls: “We deplore his decision to hold a low-key memorial ceremony away from the public eye - in the shadows, out of sight of the thousands of spectators who will be at the opening ceremony; out of sight of the 1 billion global television viewers.” Adaff then added, “The IOC - the world’s ultimate sporting arena - has yet again bowed to expediency and failed in its moral responsibility.” (Ha’aretz) Continue to pray for the security of the 38 Israeli Olympic athletes and their coaches and support staff.
CIVILIANS FLEE ALEPPO AS SYRIAN TROOPS AND REBELS BATTLE: The Syrian army has massed its forces around Aleppo, that country’s largest city, and has been pounding it with tanks and helicopter gunships. The UN said 200,000 Syrians have fled as the government continues to aim its mortars, tank and helicopter gunships on the neighborhoods seized by the rebels. Valerie Amos, the top UN official for humanitarian affairs, said in a statement Sunday, “Many people have sought shelter in schools and other public buildings in safer areas. They urgently need food, mattresses and blankets, hygiene supplies and drinking water.” Aleppo is some 30 miles away from the Turkish border and some of those fleeing the city are headed for Turkey, where tens of thousands of Syrians have already found refuge during the 17-month uprising against President Bashar Assad’s rule. Those fleeing Aleppo have described incessant shelling, shortages of food and gasoline and soaring black market prices for everyday staples. In online videos they can be seen rushing through streets against a backdrop of gunfire and climbing onto any form of transportation available to escape, including trucks, cars and even heavily laden motorcycles. (AP)
AS ASSAD TEETERS, ISRAEL PREPARES FOR BATTLE TO SECURE CHEMICAL WEAPONS: Israeli soldiers and civilians alike are preparing for possible military action to make sure Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons don’t fall into the hands of terrorist groups. Sources close to the Israel Defense Force said soldiers have been put on standby and are ready to move, while civilian demand for gas masks has jumped 66% over the last few weeks from 2,200 to 3,700 per day. The fears center around the prospect of Hizbullah obtaining Syrian chemical weapons as the Assad regime shows imminent signs of collapse. “Israel will not hold back and will respond decisively if this happens,” Israeli FM Avigdor Lieberman said. The Hizbullah terrorist group in south Lebanon - supported by both Syria and Iran - who has long called for the destruction of Israel, is the prime candidate to take possession of the armaments. (Fox News)
SUSPECTED REMAINS OF JEWS MASSACRED ON TEMPLE MOUNT DISCOVERED: The remains of thousands of Jews massacred by the Romans on the Temple Mount during the destruction of the Second Temple may have been uncovered, according to veteran archaeological journalist Benny Liss. Liss screened a video showing thousands of human skeletons in what appears to be a mass grave. He explained the film had been shot in a spacious, underground cavern in the area of the Mercy Gate near the eastern wall of the Temple Mount. Liss raised the possibility the skeletons were the remains of 6,000 Jews, mostly women and children, killed on the Temple Mount when the Romans destroyed the Second Temple. The massacre is described in the writings of Josephus Flavius who witnessed the destruction. (Fox News)
News Update July 29th 2012
JNN NEWS, P.O. Box 7411, Jerusalem 91073, Israel
“Why do the nations say, ‘Where is their God?’ Our God is in heaven;
He does whatever pleases Him.” Ps 115:2-3
SYRIA IS A NIGHTMARE FOR ISRAEL: Intelligence information being rapidly collected and analyzed by the CIA reveals Israel has many causes for concern about the day after Assad. A likely Islamist take over in post-Assad Syria would find Israel surrounded by radical Muslim elements. Of great concern to the Jewish state is also the growing possibility Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal will fall into the hands of terrorists groups such as the Lebanon-based Hizbullah. According to the CIA, the number of Syrian rebels is smaller than what is perceived in the West. In addition, the rebel leadership has been massively infiltrated by radical Muslim Brotherhood elements. CIA officials warn: Not only will there be no new Syria, there is a chance it will be similar to the current Egyptian model or to the Iraqi model, where nobody knows who controls what. The states which offer financial and military support to the rebels have no idea who they’re supporting. (Ynet) Pray much needed aid, comfort and assistance will reach Syrian civilians caught up in their nation’s brutal political upheaval. Pray also foreign governments will be rightly informed and updated as to who and what is behind opposing forces in Syria. May they not fall victim to initiating generous support of causes and Islamist entities that will render Syria in worse condition and Israel at a greater risk than before the uprising began.
NASRALLAH PLACES HIZBULLAH TERRORIST FORCES AT ASSAD’S DISPOSAL: Lebanon’s Al-Joumhouria newspaper, quoting senior political sources, revealed Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah has offered Syrian President Assad elements of Hizbullah’s special forces any time they are needed, even if they are required to be sent to open fronts to fight the revolutionaries. Nasrallah also reportedly invited the Syrian president to his personal residence, or even to meet inside the Iranian embassy in Beirut, but Assad has opted to remain in Syria because he still believes he is able to steer the ship with the help of Russian political and military experts. Additionally, a senior commander in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards weeks ago confirmed Iranian forces are operating in Syria in support of Bashar al-Assad’s regime. The West has accused Iran of providing military and technical support to Assad to quell the Syrian uprising. (Asharq Al-Awsat/Guardian) Pray the growing unity between terrorist groups and terrorist governments such as Syria and Iran will fall into discord and confusion.
HIZBULLAH RELEASES VIDEO OF ABDUCTION OF TWO ISRAELI SOLDIERS THAT LED TO SECOND LEBANON WAR: Hizbullah released a video Friday documenting the 2006 abduction of Israeli soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev. In the video, which was broadcast on the Beirut-based Al Mayadeen television, a group of Hizbullah operatives is seen penetrating the Israeli-Lebanese border fence and walking toward the road where Israeli soldiers are on patrol. The terrorists are then seen approaching a jeep, with Goldwasser and Regev presumably in it, after it was hit by an anti-tank missile. Hizbullah operatives are next viewed opening the door of the jeep and removing the two soldiers. Then the frame freezes. The video was broadcast in a special program that marked six years since the Second Lebanon War. Ghassan bin Jiddo, the Lebanese reporter who broadcast the video and who is the owner of the Al Mayadeen television channel, is known to be close to Hizbullah chief Hassan Nasrallah. Jiddo said Imad Mughniyeh personally oversaw the abduction and was present during the operation. Mughniyeh, a senior Hizbullah leader and one of the most wanted terrorists by the US and Israel was killed in 2008 by a car bomb in Syria. Hizbullah’s capture of Goldwasser and Regev on the northern border sparked the 34-day Second Lebanon War in 2006. Their bodies were exchanged in July 2008 in a prisoner swap for five Lebanese prisoners held by Israel. (Ha’aretz)
WINDSURFER ZUBARI LEADS OUT ISRAEL AT OLYMPIC OPENING CEREMONY: Israel’s Shahar Zubari led his country’s team into the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics on Friday night, bearing the Israeli flag. Immediately after the team was presented on Israeli television, the faces of 11 Israeli Olympians who were slain in the Munich Massacre 40 years ago were shown. Their names were then read out by the commentators and 30 seconds of silence held in their commemoration. (Ha’aretz) Pray for the safety of Israel’s Olympic team. Global intelligence sources have warned terrorist groups could attempt to carry out attacks against Israel’s participants during the London 2012 Olympic events.
MAYOR SAYS TEL AVIV IS A COOL CITY BUT JERUSALEM IS THE CAPITAL: Tel Aviv’s mayor has dropped the city’s long-time rivalry with Jerusalem to remind Britain that the holy city is Israel’s capital – no matter what the BBC says. The British broadcast authority, which has often been charged with bias against Israel, listed “East Jerusalem” as the capital for the “Palestinian Olympic team” while leaving Israel listed without a capital. After Israel and Jews around the world complained, the BBC partly corrected its mistake and stated that Israel’s “seat of government is Jerusalem” while still omitting Jerusalem as the capital. Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai has now come to the rescue by saying although his city is “one of the coolest cities in the world and Israel’s financial and cultural center, we are not Israel’s capital. Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.” Israel’s Olympic team decided to respond to the BBC’s assertion that Jerusalem is not Israel’s capital, by preparing a video in which Israeli athletes are seen saying they are proud to represent Israel “and its capital Jerusalem.” (INN)
WHITE HOUSE CAN’T REMEMBER WHAT CITY IS ISRAEL’S CAPITAL: White House Press Secretary Jay Carney evaded a question at a recent press briefing regarding which city the US considers to be the capital of Israel. Carney refused to disclose whether the US officially believes Jerusalem or Tel Aviv to be the capital of Israel. Persistently questioned for about a minute, a befuddled Carney only responded that, “I have not had that question in a while. Our position hasn’t changed.” During his election campaign, Obama reassured Jewish constituents that Jerusalem will remain the “undivided” capital of Israel. His stance since then has significantly changed. (Arutz-7)
OBAMA DOESN’T HATE JEWS BUT HE HATES ISRAEL: Former New York congressional candidate Asher Taub said Friday, that he hopes the next president of the US will be good to the state of Israel and to its people. Summing up President Barack Obama’s four years in office, he said, “Obama does not hate Jews but he does hate Israel. Obama does not understand the reality of the Middle East.” Taub said he believes a majority of Jews will vote for Romney and explained American Jews are disappointed with Obama for several reasons: “All US presidents have chutzpah, especially the current president, who tells the state of Israel what to do and where to build. That’s a lot of nerve. Also, Obama’s lack of support for an attack against a nuclear Iran, American Jews do not view positively,” he said. On another front, the Republican Jewish Coalition is proceeding with plans for a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign called, “My Buyer’s Remorse.” The drive uses testimonials from people who say they regret supporting President Obama due to his economic policies and his stance toward Israel. (INN) Pray G-d’s designated choice for the next US President will be put into office. Pray all conditions will be conducive to a broad turnout at the polls this November.
OBAMA SIGNS ISRAEL SECURITY BILL AHEAD OF ROMNEY VISIT: President Barack Obama signed a measure on Friday to strengthen US-Israeli military ties, a move that could score points with American Jewish voters on the eve of Republican rival Mitt Romney’s highly publicized visit to Israel. Obama also used the White House bill-signing ceremony to announce he was releasing $70 million in approved funding for Israel’s short-range rocket shield known as “Iron Dome,” a project backed strongly by the powerful US pro-Israel lobby. His reaffirmation of an “unshakeable commitment” to Israel’s security appeared timed to upstage Romney, who has accused the president of undermining Washington’s relationship with its No. 1 partner in the Middle East. The White House denied it was an election-year maneuver, even though senior administration officials have lavished attention on Israel in recent weeks. (Reuters)
ISRAEL DRAFT CRISIS THREATENS TO TRIGGER GOVERNMENT COLLAPSE: With mere days left before a court-imposed deadline to reform Israel’s military draft law expires, the nation’s political leaders are at loggerheads on how to resolve what has become perhaps the country’s most pressing and divisive domestic issue. The impasse over whether and how to scrap the mass exemptions from military service for ultra-Orthodox Jews has already cost PM Benjamin Netanyahu his largest coalition partner. With no obvious compromise in sight ahead of the Aug. 1 deadline, the issue has the potential to trigger the government’s collapse and lead to snap elections. The debate over the exemptions cuts along the nation’s secular-religious divide. Israel’s secular majority, which is required to perform two to three years of compulsory service, widely resents the exemptions, while ultra-Orthodox leaders have been adamant in their refusal to compromise, claiming their young men serve the nation through prayer and study. Earlier this month, Netanyahu dissolved a high-profile committee that recommended largely doing away with the mass exemptions. That prompted his chief coalition partner, the centrist Kadima Party with the explicit goal of ending exemptions for the ultra-Orthodox, to quit the government. Netanyahu now has presented a diluted alternative that doesn’t appear likely to be implemented either. (Huff Post) Pray this impasse will be quickly resolved between opposing political factions. A collapse of the government in the coming week could leave the Jewish state distracted and thus vulnerable to surrounding foes at a time when it most needs to be alert and focused. An eruption in the Syrian or Iranian crisis endangering Israel will necessitate leaders being able to make quick unified decisions across the entire political spectrum.