1. JERUSALEM THE CAPITAL
“Behold, I will bring to [Jerusalem] cure and healing, and I will heal them; and I will reveal to them an abundance of shalom and truth…I will cleanse them from all their iniquity by which they have sinned against Me. It will be to Me a name of joy, praise and glory before all the nations of the earth which will hear of all the good that I do for them…they will fear and tremble because of all the good and all the shalom that I make for her.” (Jeremiah 33:6-9).
“Look, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around; and when the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against Judah. It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured…” (Zechariah 12:2-3)
Last Wednesday was the 70th anniversary of the historic UN Resolution 181, which called for, upon the departure of the British who had overseen the mandate since WWI, a partition of Palestine into a Jewish and Arab state. This effectively paved the way for the creation of the nation of Israel the following Spring. At last there would be a Jewish homeland in what had been called Palestine; albeit, one which would lie outside the borders of Judea and Samaria, the heart of its ancient covenant territory. Jerusalem also would be separate, under an international oversight. When just over five months later the Mandate came to its end, and Israel declared her independence, the new state came immediately under attack from the armies of seven Arab states. When the smoke cleared, she was found to have gained more territory than had been allotted under the UN resolution, and the new nation had control of much of the western part of Jerusalem. The Kingdom of Jordan ruled Judea and Samaria and the Old City of Jerusalem (including the Temple Mount); Syria held the Golan Heights; and Egypt the Gaza Strip, and the Sinai Peninsula. Eighteen years later during the 1967 War, Israel gained control of all of these areas, and in 1980 effectively annexed the eastern part of Jerusalem as part of her capital. This annexation has never been recognized by the international community, nor is Jerusalem generally recognized as the “Capital of Israel”—the reason given, that the leaders of the Palestinian Arabs also demand the city as their capital, so until that conflict is settled, Jerusalem shouldn’t be labeled anyone’s. Although the Israeli government operates with Jerusalem as its capital, all 87 foreign embassies are located in Tel Aviv. In 1995 the US Congress passed a law mandating that Jerusalem be considered the capital of Israel and that the American Embassy be moved back there. However, the law included a stipulation, that an American president, if he felt it in the best interests of security, could every six months sign a waiver postponing the movement. Every president since 1995 has each six months signed the waiver. Meanwhile, the birth certificate of a child born in the city of American parents, will have only “Jerusalem” entered as Place of Birth, not “Jerusalem, Israel”. President Trump promised during his campaign that he would move the Embassy. This has been promised by the other Presidents, none of whom have gone through with their promises. Six months ago the President signed the waiver, but his office released a statement that the issue of moving was “when” rather than “if.”
This week, as time for a decision on the waiver again approaches, media sources in the US have reported that the President will make a special announcement regarding Jerusalem on Wednesday, in which he will officially recognize the city as Capital of Israel. No details of the recognition—Will it encompass all of the city, or only a portion?—have been released. It is also speculated that Mr. Trump will again sign the six-month waiver—but that the “capital” announcement will in fact mark the beginning of movement towards eventually relocation of the Embassy.
The announcement has caused a stir here. Saeb Erekat, Exec. Sec. of the PLO warned, “Any American recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel will bring about the end of the Jerusalem issue. This issue is weighty and dealing with it is playing with fire.” Hamas has threatened to begin another intifada. And, in light of the reports, Palestinian Foreign Minister Malci called Sunday for an emergency meeting of the Arab League.
Meanwhile, as though to preempt the announcement, the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly passed a resolution this week stating, “Any actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem are illegal and therefore null and void and have no validity whatsoever.” 151 states (including all EU members) voted in favor, six (Canada, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, the United States and Israel) voted against. This was one of six anti-Israel resolutions approved on Thursday. Among these was one condemning Israeli settlements and demanding withdrawal to pre-67 lines; including Israel’s vacating the Golan Heights (Who might be expected to take over from among the warring factions presently battling in Syria wasn’t specified.). Already this year, UN bodies have approved 18 resolutions which were biased against Israel.
* That God will lead President Trump in what he declares regarding the Holy City on Wednesday. Pray for godly counsel from Vice President Pence. Pray that Mr. Trump release words which will remain as blessing rather than cursing. (The words of one recent President (“Two States, Side by Side”), even though coming from one ostensibly friendly towards Israel, have reverberated like a curse throughout the region ever since; nor have they resulted in blessing to that president’s own country.
* That the US Embassy will be moved to Jerusalem, a gesture which we believe will bring blessing both to the US and to Israel, in God’s perfect timing.
* That Israel and Jerusalem will be protected from violence arising if President Trump declares the city the capital of Israel.
* Peace over Palestinian Arabs, that they not be ignited into violent hatred by Islamic forces which would like to capitalize on such a declaration. That a message would go out to them of hope and a future in dwelling peaceably with their Jewish neighbors. That the light of the Savior of all flesh will illumine them to His salvation.
2. A WARNING ATTACK AGAINST THE PRESENCE OF IRAN IN SYRIA
Friday night Israel allegedly carried out strikes against a base being built by Iranians south of Damascus and only 31 miles from the Israeli border. Some reports stated that the attacks were made by aircraft, others by missiles, including Israel’s ground-to-ground Jericho. Although initial reports stated that fatalities in the raid were Syrians loyal to Assad, Arabic media reported Saturday that twelve Iranian military personnel were among those killed in the raid. As the war against ISIS in Syria winds down, and an alliance appears to be strengthening between Iran, Iraq, Syria, Iraq and Russia (with an eye towards Turkey’s Erdowan), Israel has repeatedly stated that it will not allow Iranian military equipment and personnel in Syria. In a video made by Israel’s Netanyahu Thursday before the attack, and published Saturday night, the Prime Minister stated:
Let me reiterate Israel’s policy: We will not allow a regime hell-bent on the annihilation of the Jewish state to acquire nuclear weapons. We will not allow that regime to entrench itself militarily in Syria, as it seeks to do, for the express purpose of eradicating our state.
* That “He who guards over Israel” (Psalm 121:4) will protect her and guide her governmental and military leaders as regards response to the “intelligence” she is allowed to uncover from the camps of those nations who would do her harm. That these leaders—and those whom God is presently raising up to take their places—will be impressed by the Holy Spirit to realize that, in the end, “It is not by our sword [or military hardware] that we won the Land, nor did our arm [or armies] bring us the victory—it was HIS right hand, HIS arm, and the Light of HIS face, for He loves us” (Psalm 44:3). That Israel will turn and seek the Face of Her Commander in Chief.
* That Intercessors for Israel whom God has stationed around the world will be alert in their positionings. That they will have divine insight into what is taking place, and know how to pray accordingly. That they will, like Daniel (Daniel 12), when necessary be in a place to be assisted by the angelic when Israel is faced with the Prince of Persia and other demonic powers and principalities over nations.
* That God’s voice of encouragement and counsel will lead, encourage, and inform the believing men and women He has placed in the IDF (Israel Defense Force)—That they will rise in favor and rank—and be a light of salvation to their fellows.
* Women Warriors. Psalm 68:11-12: “Adonai gives the word, the women who proclaim the glad tidings are a great army: Kings of armies flee, they flee, and she who remains at home will divide the spoil!”
A headline in yesterday’s Jerusalem Post regarding combat positions for women in the Israeli military read, “Israeli women stepping up as men lose interest in combat roles.”
PLEASE PRAY: That godly believing women in Israel will step up into their array, both spiritually and physically, and whether positioned in the field or at home— under their commander Elohei-Ma’arkhot Yisrael—“The Army-Arraying God of Israel” (I Samuel 17:45).
* On 22 November a picture was released of Turkish President Erdogan and Iran President Rohani linking hands with Russian President Putin at a meeting place in the Russian city of Sochi to discuss, among other things, plans for a post-ISIS Syria. As we see an alliance of evil linking Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey (with Russia acting as catalyst for differences)—pray for God’s Remnant in each of these countries, that they will grow stronger and brighter; that they will become themselves “linked” in the Spirit to be led in knowing how to pray and proclaim God’s redemptive purposes for their lands and for Israel in the midst of deepening darkness. Pray for the Kurds in Iraqi Kurdistan who lie in the exact center of this crescent forming over Israel—that they be protected from the destroyer who senses their end-time redemptive call. Pray that revelation, wisdom and integrity attend their leaders, and that they rise up into their place as an army of God and a light of Issa (Yasua/Yeshua/Jesus) to the Muslim world surrounding them. Pray that their alliance with Israel stay strong and strengthen, and also their alliances with other countries whom God has chosen to stand with them.