News Digest — 11/20/19

11 Killed As Israel Strikes Over 20 Iranian, Syrian Regime Targets

Israel warned Iran from carrying out further attacks against the Jewish State after Israeli fighter jets carried out a wave of retaliatory air strikes against dozens of military targets belonging to the Iranian Quds Force (IRGO) and the Syrian Army on Tuesday night (19th) in Syria.  

Israeli Defense Minister Naftali Bennett said following the strikes that “the rules have changed: Any one who shoots at the State of Israel during the day will not sleep at night.  Like last week and now this week. Our message to Iran’s leaders is simple. You are no longer immune. Wherever you stretch your tentacles – we will hack them off. The IDF will continue to protect Israeli citizens.”

According to a senior official in Israel’s Defense Establishment, the “head of the Iranian octopus” sits in Tehran but continues to attempt to surround Israel with proxy groups – Hezbollah in Lebanon, Iranian militias in Syria, Islamic Jihad and Hamas.  “We have not yet threatened the head of the octopus – Tehran. But it is possible to begin approaching the “head of the Iranian octopus,” he warned.

IDF Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Hidai Zilberman told reporters on Wednesday (20th) the tens of targets struck west of  Damascus and the Syrian Golan Heights overnight belonging both to the regime of Bashar al-Assad and Quds Force were carried out within minutes and were all located within 50 miles of Israel’s border.  Some 20 targets were struck including air defense systems, surface-to-air missiles, reconnaissance sites, warehouses, and the National Defense Building at the Damascus International Airport which houses the Quds Force headquarters and other military positions.

According to the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SCHR), 11 people, including seven non-Syrians who are most likely Iranians, were killed in the Israeli strikes.  

Senior Israeli defense officials acknowledged that there were injuries and a number of Iranian fatalities.



America Has Finally Decided The Bible Is Not Illegal – Mike Evans

Today (Tuesday, 19th), the US State Department has just announced that it will no longer use the term “settlements” to describe Judea and Samaria, a term employed by the UN.  In my view, this decision means that the United States has decided the Bible, in terms of Israel, is not illegal.

Why is this a big deal?  This is a major blow to the BDS movement, which calls to “boycott, divest and sanction” the State of Israel, in addition to a snub to the recent European Court of Justice’s call to label products from Jewish businesses in Judea and Samaria.  The European Court of Justice ruled that: “Foodstuffs originating in the territories occupied by the State of Israel must bear the indication of their territory of origin.”

Regrettably, Jew-haters are able to use the land to mobilize support in their favor, resulting in the United Nations referring to this as “occupied territory” and demanding that Israel relinquish it to hostile forces.

Though, for Evangelical Christians and Israel supporters, for thousands of years, Judea and Samaria (West Bank) has been the “Bible land.”  It was never illegal. The promises read by Christians and Jews were that God gave it to Israel and called it an “eternal covenant.”

Most Christians and Jews in America grow up reading the Bible that recounted the history of Judea and Samaria.  They read of Hebron (Kiriath Arba) where Abraham purchased land with which to bury his wife Sarah in the Cave of Machpelah.  Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as well as Rebekah and Leah were also buried there. It was King David’s first capital, where he was also anointed king.

Bethel was the site where Jacob dreamed of seeing angels ascending and descending a ladder to heaven.  It too is in the heart of what is called the West Bank, or Judea and Samaria.

Prime Minister Menachem Begin, whom I worked with, said that he informed President Jimmy Carter at Camp David that the Bible was his mandate.  First Israeli Prime Minister David Ben Gurion had also stated that the Bible was his mandate.

Prime Minister Begin had told me that he had brought a list to President Carter of cities in the United States named after Bethlehem.  He had also told the president, “If the governor of Pennsylvania insisted that only Caucasians could reside in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, would you say he was a racist?  The original Bethlehem is in our Bible land; to tell me Jews cannot live there is racist!”

When President Donald Trump arrived in Jerusalem for Israel’s 50th Anniversary, Friends of Zion, my organization with its 67 million followers, had billboards spread around the city declaring, “Trump, Make Israel Great” and “Trump is a Friend of Zion.”  Little did anyone realize how much this president would do for Israel. Not only did he recognize Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, he shut down the PLO office in Washington, stopped the funding for the PA through the Taylor Force Act, and closed the consul in Jerusalem.  He has now removed the anti-Israel declaration calling Judea and Samaria’s Bible lands “settlements.”

Harry S. Truman is in history books for one reason above all, he recognized the rebirth of Israel on May 14, 1948.  Donald Trump continues to make history. For both Jews and Evangelical Christians, Trump has completed a fulfillment of prophecy.

Among the most powerful groups in the United States are the pro-Israel Evangelicals who consider these Bible lands, not “settlements.”  We believe one of the reasons America has been blessed over the years is because we have stood with Israel. This promise is taken from Genesis 12:3, ‘I will bless them that bless thee.’  And so, for Biblical reasons first and foremost, we support the State of Israel.

For humanitarian reasons, we support the Jewish people.  For historic reasons, we believe that the Bible land belongs to the Jewish people.

America has a strong interest in the Middle East.  We believe the nation of Israel is the key to that interest because of our common bonds, our common values, our common beliefs in social justice, and the godly principles on which our two countries were founded.  Israel is the firewall between radical Islam and the West.

Mike Evans is a #1 New York Times bestselling author with 98 published books.  He is also the founder of the Friends of Zion Museum in Jerusalem and also serves as a founding member of the Trump Evangelical Faith Initiative.



100 Killed In Iran Demonstrations

Over 100 people have been killed in cities across Iran as protests over the rise of fuel prices continue, Amnesty International reported Tuesday (19th).

According to Amnesty, there have been “credible reports” that at least 106 people have been killed in the anti-government protests.  However, the organization stated that it “believes that the real death toll may be much higher, with some reports suggesting as many as 200 have been killed.

The unrest erupted on Friday (15th), hours after it was announced that the price of gas would rise 200 percent.

Access to the internet was restricted a day after the demonstrations broke out.

Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahman Fazli told State TV on Saturday (16th) that security forces would act to restore calm if the protesters “damaged public properties.”

On Sunday (17th), Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khanenei expressed support for the increases in gas and fuel prices, saying the protests against the move were encouraged by Iran’s enemies.

Iran’s economy has been battered since May last year when US President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from a 2015 nuclear agreement and reimposed crippling sanctions.



India Set To Buy Advanced Drones From Israel

The Indian Air Force is in the final stages of acquiring several advanced Israeli drones, India’s Tribune newspaper reported on Sunday (17th)

According to the report, the Indian Ministry of Defense approved the purchase of ten Heron TP drones, which were said to be capable of launching air-to-surface missiles.

“We are working to finalize the deal that is estimated to be worth $400 million the newspaper quoted sources as saying.

The Indian Air Force is already said to own 110 Harop drones, self-destructing systems primarily tasked with taking out enemy radar positions.

Israel and India have maintained full diplomatic relations for 25 years.

In 2017, Israel’s cabinet approved several decisions to strengthen ties with India, including expanding exports, deepening cooperation in agriculture and water, the establishment of a joint innovation, research, and development fund, and an effort to increase tourism from India to Israel.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi became his country’s first premier to visit the Jewish state in 2017.

PM Netanyahu visited India in 2018 together with a large business delegation to enhance and strengthen economic ties as well as create joint business opportunities between Israeli and Indian business people.   



Israel Surgeons Perform World’s First ‘Artificial Meniscus’ Transplant

In Israel’s latest medical breakthrough, the country’s leading surgeons were able to successfully perform a new “artificial meniscus” transplant, making it the first country in the world to do so.

The transplant surgery could easily replace previous treatments, such as pain management and physical therapy, for people with a damaged or torn meniscus.

The surgery was performed by Dr. Gabriel Agar from Shamir Medical Center and Dr. Ron Arbel from Ramat-Aviv Medical Center, who were involved in the development of the “NUsurface Implant,” made from polycarbonate urethane, which passed clinical trials in Israel.

The implant is inserted into the knee joint through a small incision and mimics the movement of the natural meniscus.  Since the implant does not require any fixation on the bones or soft tissues, patients are allowed to return home not long after the operation is complete.

“This is an exciting time to finally put the NUsurface Implant at the disposal of Israeli patients,” said Agar.

“Persistent pain after repair of meniscus tears is a very common orthopedic problem and, until now, we did not have effective treatment options.”