PRAYER UPDATE FROM ISRAEL–JANUARY 23, 2017
The Temple Mount, looking north from the window of
“Eternal God, bless President Donald J. Trump, and America, our great nation. Guide us to remember the words of the Psalmist: ‘Who will dwell on your holy mountain, one who does what is right, and speaks the truth. Who knows that when you eat the labor of your hands you are praiseworthy. That he who sows in tears, shall reap in joy. Because the freedoms we enjoy are not granted in perpetuity, but must be reclaimed by each generation.”
(From prayer by Rabbi Marvin Hier at Inauguration of Donald Trump)
1. ISRAEL AND THE CHANGE OF GOVERNMENT IN AMERICA
“Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him.” (Daniel 2:20-23 NIV).
I. We are in a season of great and portentous shifts occurring across the western world—changes in leaders (England, the United States; soon in France, the Netherlands, among others); changes in international alliances (“Brexit”); shifting demography of people-groups (within Syria, Iraq, the refugees emanating from these and many other countries). The astounding election of Donald Trump into the office of President of the United States and his inauguration this past Friday is, of course, the most recent and perhaps far-reaching seismic movement of Change.
Amid the furor of controversy, the roiling spectrum of opinion across the media around the world—blessings, thanksgiving, relief; fury cursings and contempt, fear—one thing is for certain, much of what has come to be assumed (in some cases imposed) as “the norm” in America and among those whom she influences during recent years is about to be turned upside down. Whichever country we’re from, we had better be awake, alert, humbly seeking the counsels of God and to be carried along on the wave of what He is doing.
Israel has, of course, been closely observing the elections in the US. While pundits around the world were drawing positive or negative conclusions regarding Mr. Trump’s address on Friday, it is interesting to see, as reflected in the media here, what was catching Israeli attention: “Trump hears sermon on biblical protection of Jerusalem before swearing-in” read one headline. “President Trump puts fight against ‘radical Islamic terrorism’ at heart of inauguration speech” trumpeted another.
After eight years of an American administration persistently reproachful of Israel and her policies, openly hostile to our Prime Minister, and seemingly indifferent to our concerns regarding threats of nations openly intent on our destruction, our present government and a majority of our people now find themselves looking forward cautiously but hopefully to a change regarding relations with our largest and closest ally. We have felt the US Congress with us—may we actually be on the brink of a season of friendly and harmonious alliance with both Legislative and Executive branches of that government?
As of now, there seem to be strong signals that President Trump desires warm relations with Israel; that “settlements” and the “two state solution” are no longer the items for immediate critical focus. That he and Mr Netanyahu may be able to work together in a mutually respectful way. Yesterday evening they spoke for 30 minutes on the phone. President Trump has invited the Prime Minister to meet with him in Washington next month.
*For forging of a relationship between President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu blessed by the counsels of God. For the showing of genuine respect and honor between them.
* For President Donald Trump, Daniel 2:20-23 (above). That He will acknowledge WHO has placed him in his seat of authority. That he will allow the light of God’s mercy to shine within him—revealing deep and hidden things. That he will learn humility in this office—look to the God he acknowledged in his speech for wisdom and knowledge—strong among them knowledge of the fear of the Lord regarding His sovereign land and people Israel.
*For a strengthened alliance between the Israeli and American government. That leaders in both Israel and the United States will realize that their first allegiance is to their God—and out of this will come the alliances with other nations which God will bless with His strength and protection.
*For Prime Minister Netanyahu. That for as long as God has appointed him to lead Israel, he will remain in office—and be free. That he will seek Divine Guidance in his relationship with President Trump.
II. AMONG THE FIRST THORNY ISSUES: MOVING OF THE US EMBASSY TO JERUSALEM.
On January 23, 1950, the First Knesset of Israel proclaimed “Jerusalem is and has always been the capital of Israel.” Since late 1949, our government has operated from there. The US Embassy has been in Tel Aviv, its officials travelling regularly to Jerusalem to conduct business with Israeli officials. Soon after the Jordanian army was driven from its occupation of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria (50 years ago this coming May 24th ), Israel annexed all of Jerusalem as her undivided capital. The annexation was not acknowledged by the international community; eventually all foreign embassies left the capital. This makes Israel the only nation whose foreign embassies reside outside its capital. Because Jerusalem’s permanent “status” is by the international community considered still unresolved, even considering it officially as a part of Israel is often denied (if an American baby is born here, its place of birth will be “Jerusalem”—but not “Jerusalem, Israel”).
On October 23, 1995, the US 104th Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 for initiating and funding the moving of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem—to be completed no later than May 31, 1999. The act also called for Jerusalem to remain an undivided city and for it to be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel (Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995—Wikipedia). Then President Bill Clinton refused to sign the bill into law, forcing it after ten days to become valid by default. The bill, however, contained a waiver, allowing a President to suspend its execution every six months if he deems it necessary in the interest of US national security interests.
Since that time, Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama have all continually made use of this waiver. There are many concerns—probably chief amongst them, a desire not to anger what America considers to be current allies—Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan. We believe there to be deeper, spiritual powers at work here—powers which do not want the return of an acknowledged Hebrew/Jewish presence and authority to the city (See “gates of hell” threat below, and Scriptures in 1st prayer point below).
Although previous presidents have promised while campaigning to move the Embassy, Donald Trump appears to be the first to seriously plan on doing it. This past week, his press secretary affirmed once again that he has not forgotten his pledge. Awareness of this intention has raised expected turbulence in many sectors. On January 14th a Fatah Palestinian official declared that if Trump follows through, “all chances for peace and stability will be lost…The gates of hell will be opened in the region and the world.” (“Fatah official: Moving US embassy in Israel will ‘open the gates of hell’”: The Jerusalem Post, 15 Jan 2017 13:26 IST; Emphases ours.).
The Kingdom of Jordan has threatened that doing so will be “crossing red lines,” and this past Sunday King Abdullah II held special consultations with Palestinian President Abbas regarding this issue. A Jordanian minister afterwards stated that relocation of the embassy would “constitute a death blow to Washington’s role as a fair mediator in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians and disregard for international resolutions that consider Jerusalem occupied territory” (“Abbas, Jordanian king agree to fight against US embassy relocation to Jerusalem”: ynet news.com; 22 Jan 17 19:00; Emphases ours.). And during the recent Paris Peace Conference, France’s foreign minister called Trump’s proposal a “provocation” which he “can’t do” ; that it would have “extremely serious consequences.”
* That governments of nations would cease separating Israel and its government from the city in the Jewish State which God has called all His covenant people to bless and not to forget—where His holy mountain is, upon which He has promised that “the house of Israel, all of them in the land, will serve me…” (Ezekiel 20:40).
* That God will guide President Trump regarding movement of the US Embassy—that he will move in courage and integrity—and in God’s perfect timing. That Israel’s leaders will move with discretion in her efforts to encourage the move.
* That other countries will be encouraged to move their embassies to the true capital of Israel.
2. FRENCH COURT OF APPEALS DECLARES ISRAEL IS “LEGAL OCCUPANT OF THE WEST BANK” (Judea and Samaria).
The following significant report is by our friend Gene Little.
In a stunning decision handed down by the 3rd Chamber of the French Court of Appeals in Versailles, France, on January 12th, 2017; Israel was declared to be the “legal occupant of the West Bank.” A legal suit brought by the Palestinian Authority against Israel’s light rail and the French companies that built it was dismissed in a court action. Overlooked by the media, this is the first time since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, that an independent, non-Israeli court has been called upon to examine the legal status of West Bank territories under international law, beyond the political claims of the parties. Keep in mind though, that the Court’s findings have no effect in international law. What they do, and it’s of the utmost importance, is to clarify the legal reality.
The Versailles Court of Appeals conclusions are as resounding as the silence in which they were received in the media: Israel has real rights in the territories, its decision to build a light rail in the West Bank (East Jerusalem) or anything else in the area is legal, and the judges have rejected all the arguments presented by the Palestinians. For more information on this decision, please go to : (www.dreuz.info/2017/01/13/israel-is-the-legal-occupant-of-the-west-bank-says-the-court-of-appeal-of-versailles-france/).
–Dr. Gene Little ; Jerusalem Greetings, Jan 20, 2017
The San Remo Agreement of 1920 leading to a declaration by the League of Nations, which became International Law in 1923 (and which has never been rescinded) also gave Jews legal right to live in the land west of the Jordan River (which includes Judea and Samaria). Although the above ruling in Versailles was made over a week-and-a-half ago, it has scarcely seen the light of day in western or middle-Eastern media.
* That the LORD of Heaven, upon whose shoulders true righteous government rests, will uphold righteous degrees regarding dwelling in land which He has bequeathed by covenant to Jacob’s seed.
* His blessing upon those with the courage and righteous sense to issue such decrees!
* That He will bring His people Israel into that land, and establish them in righteousness there—to live and dwell in harmony with what other peoples He chooses also to dwell there.
–Norma and Martin Sarvis