“Ánd many brought gifts unto the LORD to Jerusalem, and presents to Hezekiah king of Judah: so that he was magnified in the sight of all nations from thenceforth” (II Chr.32:23)
“Because of thy temple at Jerusalem shall kings bring presents unto thee” (Ps. 68:29)
Dear Intercessors for Israel:
This week Israel is hosting its largest diplomatic conference ever. Forty nine heads of state are in the city to observe the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camps. This paramount tragedy has united nations from around the world in its observance. Russian President Vladimir Putin is here, as well as Vice President Pence from the United States, and French President Emmanuel Marcon. Even Prince Charles who is making his first ever “official” visit is here to represent the Royal Family and the United Kingdom, is present. These kings, ministers and president s are all being protected by an army of some 6,300 police officers. security agents and the IDF. With many roads and streets closed and security details blocking access to parts of the city, Jerusalem’s normally congested traffic is even worse.
In remarks given during this World Holocaust Forum, Vice President Pence urged his listeners “to keep battling against the rising tide of vile anti-Semitism.” President Putin declared that the world must act with “Vigilance to spot the first signs of hatred.” Most telling, was the remarks of German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier who expressed his deepest sorrow for the Holocaust, saying that “We Germans still have not learned from history.”. Steinmeier then warned that “spirits of evil are re-emerging in the form of anti-Semitism.” He finished his speech by reciting a prayer in Hebrew.
The presence of so many noted attendees is a great honor to this little nation. They have like the scriptures note, brought “presents” to Jerusalem. President Putin is dedicating a memorial to honor the 600,000 to 1.5 million victims of Leningrad (St. Petersburg) siege. Israeli President Rivlin has also hosted many of these world leaders, who give honor and respect to this unique Jewish nation. Many of these leaders have gone to the Western Wall (Kotel) to pray, bringing as it were “gifts” to the LORD (Ps. 68:29).
A counter opinion against the World Holocaust Forum was issued by Al Hayat al Jadida (the New Life), a Palestinian newspaper, urging its readers to commit murders/ and terror attacks against these world leaders attending. Al Hayat declared that one murder would cancel this event. This newspaper reminded its readers that the real holocaust is being carried out by Israel against the Palestinian people. Hamas, the Iranian-state sponsored terror organization in control of the Gaza Strip, marked this conference with protest demonstrations, and by launching balloons against Israel carrying explosives.
A Change of Heart
The anti-Israeli rhetoric and anti-Jewish hatred voiced by Palestine is not held by all Muslim leaders. This week in what has been called a “ground-breaking” visit by Islamic leaders, a delegation of 62 prominent muslins from 28 countries, visited Auschwitz. This delegation was led by Sheikh Mohammed al Issa, the secretary general of the Muslim World League which represents over a billion Islamic followers worldwide. Sheikh Mohammed declared “To be here, among the children of Holocaust survivors and members of the Jewish and Islamic communities, is both a sacred duty and a profound honor,” Al-Issa said. “The unconscionable crimes to which we bear witness today are truly crimes against humanity. That is to say, a violation of us all, an affront to all of God’s children.” (www.usnews.com)
“The visit comes as Saudi Arabia works to be seen abroad as a moderate and modernizing country following decades of adherence to a hardline interpretation of Islam known as Wahhabism. The Muslim World League, under al-Issa’s leadership, has embraced the effort” (www.foxnews.com)
Lip Service or a Breakthrough?
It is commendable that so many leaders from so many nations outwardly condemn anti-Semitism, which has become a rising problem anew worldwide. Even so, many of these leaders still support BDS movements, push for a “Peace plan” between Israel and Palestine which is based on an unworkable, outdated “Two State” solution”, refuse to accept a unified Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty and in fear of world opinions keep their embassies in Tel-Aviv. Still, with this great meeting of world leaders in Jerusalem, perhaps there is a God-ordained breakthrough on the horizon. Can we not pray that 2020 may herald a year of new relationships between Israel and rest or world?
“Deal of the Century”
Midway through the World Holocaust Forum, Prime Minister Netanyahu and the leader of the Blue and White Party Benny Gantz were invited by President Trump for talks regaining his long-awaited Middle Eastern peace plan. President Trump tweeted that this plan would be “the best offer ever presented to Israel, and contains significant movement of Israel’s border parameters.” Sources familiar with this new peace plan state that it contains recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over the Jordan Valley. Israel is also given the “title deed” to Jerusalem, but may also have to give up lands.. Netanyahu and Gantz will meet with President Trump on January 28th.
Palestinian President Abbas as well as other Palestinian Authority. leaders have repeatedly rejected all “peace plans” that formulate any change to their past demands. The P.A. insists that Jerusalem must be recognized as being its capital, that any division of land must be along the pre-1967 borders (thus all of the Old City of Jerusalem would be under P.A. control, and the right to millions of its so-called “refugees” to return to Israel. Therefore, in light of the P.A. rigidity to negotiate, it is unlikely that President Trump’s peace plan is going to make any progress. Zechariah prophesies that “in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it” (Zec. 12:3).
Israel will be holding its third election within a year, in an effort to form a government. Prime Minister Netanyahu remains in office until a successful new governing coalition can be formed. Recent polls still show the electorate divided. The prospect remains that a even after this election is held, a majority coalition may not be formed, thus mandating a fourth election. Pray for Israel. While this nation is in a crisis, it is still functioning well. No “peace deal” can be accepted without a government /Knesset in power to approve of it. Pray that in God’s perfect timing. an effective governing coalition be voted into office.
Knesset Plenum voting on P.M. Immunity
Prime Minister Netanyahu still faces prosecution for bribery charges and manipulating the press, but the justice ministry has not set any dates for a trial. Legally he can still remain in office, since he is innocent until proven guilty. The Knesset is meeting on January 28th to discuss/vote on a measure regarding Netanyahu’s immunity to these charges while he is still in office. If this immunity is removed, then he may be asked to resign. Th apostle Paul counsels to pray “for kings, and for all that are in authority, that we may lead a quiet ane peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” (II Tim. 2:2).
The Rains of Heaven
Israel has seen one of its wettest seasons ever, this year. Numerous records for rainfall have been broken and the Lake of Galilee is less than a meter from being full. The rainy season in Israel lasts until late March or even April, so the Lake may reach its limits by later this spring. If that happens, the flood gates at the Lake’s southern outlet to the Jordan River may have to be opened. That would be another miracle, and perhaps prophetic: May God open His floodgates of mercy, and revival over this land. Israel has been in a drought for many years and this rainy season is particularly welcomed. Rain in scripture is referred to as a blessing after a drought, and a symbol of God’s love and teachings to spread over the world, and even as a flood to wash away sin. Joel prophesies: Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.
Gene and Marylois/House of Peace