Please note: I will be on annual leave from Friday, so the next report will be July 21, 2016.

The Word:  He who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers… He brings princes to nothing; He makes the judges of the earth useless. Scarcely shall they be planted, scarcely shall they be sown… when He will also blow on them, and they will wither, and the whirlwind will take them away like stubble. To whom then will you liken Me, or to whom shall I be equal says the Holy One? Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these things, Who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, by the greatness of His might and the strength of His power; not one is missing. Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel: ‘My way is hidden from the Lord, and my just claim is passed over by my God? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. (Isaiah 40:22-28)

“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.” (I Timothy 2:1-2)

*      Pointers for prayer:  As it states in 1Timothy 2:1-2, and in light of the recent UK vote of pulling out of the EU, let us bring both the UK government and the European countries before the Lord and pray that they would enquire of the Lord God regarding how they respond to this vote.  Pray too that the UK would stay united and desire to hold onto their Judeo/Christian heritage and specifically how they view the Nation of Israel.

*      In the midst of continuing troubles within Israel, which is being provoked from the Palestinian Authority (PA), pray for encouragement, strength and perseverance for the Israeli people in the face of constant physical opposition.  Pray that ordinary Jewish and Arab people, whether living in Israel proper or what the world terms as the "territories", will have a desire for reconciliation and to live side by side in peace and harmony. 

Is the world really crashing around us?   Some say… ‘Doomsday is approaching’, and one would think so by all the negative press we have been reading/viewing from the media regarding the recent EU vote of Britain leaving Europe.  I don’t often take much notice of what Politicians state, however I couldn’t help but smile at the recent comments made by the English journalist and politician Suzanne Evans, best known for being a past spokesperson for UKIP who stated, “As soon as we voted to leave the EU, the Prime Minister resigned; The Pound plummeted; The FTSE 100 lost significant ground. - Not a great start then! But then the pound rallied past February levels, and the FTSE closed on a weekly high: 2.4% up on last Friday, its best performance in 4 months.  President Obama decided we wouldn't be at the 'back of the queue' after all and that our 'special relationship' was still strong. The French President confirmed the Le Touquet agreement would stay in place. The President of the European Commission stated Brexit negations would be 'orderly' and stressed the UK would continue to be a 'close partner' of the EU. A big bank denied reports it would shift 2,000 staff overseas. The CBI, vehemently anti-Brexit during the referendum campaign, stated British business was resilient and would adapt. Several countries outside the EU stated they wished to begin bi-lateral trade talks with the UK immediately. If this was the predicted apocalypse, well, it was a very British one. It was all over by teatime. Not a bad first day of freedom.”  Well, if only it was as simple as that, however I have been shocked at the response from the ‘Remain’ campaigners and their demand for another referendum.  Like a friend of my son’s stated, “Its daft isn't it. Perhaps England should keep re-playing the football until we win the Euros. It's only fair because most of us want England to win.”  I thought that was really funny, especially in light of the Iceland result! 

However, this whole issue of Britain leaving the EU is a very serious matter, and the Remain campaigners need to accept the result and start pulling together to make Britain strong again.  However there is no room here for the Leave campaigners to gloat.  We all need to unite and as it states in 1Timothy 2:1-2, bring both the UK government and the European countries before the Lord and pray that we would enquire of the Lord God regarding how we respond to this vote.  Of equal importance, I believe the Church needs to stand up and be counted – whether half of the UK church/Christians voted to stay whilst the other half voted to leave, there is no room here for division (Psalm 133).  We need to pray that the UK would stay united and desire to hold onto their Judeo/Christian heritage and specifically how they view and treat the Nation of Israel.

In a similar way, Stephen Green, National Director of Christian Voice wrote on 27th June 2016, “What a shambles! Brexit has not just upset the political applecart but kicked the apples all around the street. The Prime Minister said he would stay on to ‘steady the ship’ but his comment about ‘why should I do the hard ****’ shows he has turned the engines off and left the wheel. Boris, who never expected Leave to win, thinks we shouldn’t rush into invoking Article 50. Meanwhile, the Opposition is in turmoil after Jeremy Corbyn’s 70% campaign to Remain. What a shambles! Continue to give thanks to God, but take no pleasure in the politicians’ discomfort. Pray for there to be a Government and an Opposition!”  To read more on David Cameron’s statement, click here.

Speaking about 'The Divine in the human', Duncan Campbell once said: “In God's creative plan, man holds a unique place, distinct in this respect that he alone of God's creation is capable of God-consciousness. This consciousness is as much a part of the human spirit as any other fact of the human beingThe consciousness of man is awakened 100 fold when the spirit of man is born again.”  If this is so, and we have the Word of God as a direct guide to God's promise for both us as individuals, and as the body of the church, along with the Promises of the Lord of the restoration of Israel... why is it that a large percentage of the church still remains asleep or worse, opposes the acts of God regarding the people and Nation of Israel?  Let each of us seek God’s face, and beseech Him that this ‘United Kingdom’ (Including Scotland, Ireland and Wales) would pull together, remain united, and stand on the Biblical foundation and principles that this nation was built upon.  Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary - Isaiah 40:28.  He is the only One we can look to.  He alone is our rock.

The cry of Fatah, echoes of ISIS   If you thought it was impossible for the Palestinian Authority, run by Mahmoud Abbas, to shock me, then you’d be wrong.  I was not only shocked, but fuming after reading a report by Itamar Marcus of the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW).  According to this latest report, Abbas' advisor and Fatah Central Committee member Sultan Abu Al-Einein is one of the many Fatah leaders who regularly refute the myth that Fatah is moderate and peace promoting. During an interview with an Arab Palestinian news agency about building peaceful and normal relations with Israel, Abu Al-Einein explained that he rejects any “negotiations, meetings, and normalization” activities and believes when a Palestinian meets an Israeli he should kill him.  In language and actions that resemble the hideous Islamic group ISIS, Mahmoud Abbas' advisor, Sultan Abu Al-Einein stated, “Regarding the matter of normalization [with Israel] and the participation of members of the Fatah leadership and members of the PLO Executive Committee in Israeli conferences, if you would ask me about my personal position, I would tell you - every place you find an Israeli cut off his head. Likewise, I am against talks, negotiations, meetings, and normalization in all its forms with the Israeli occupation.” [Donia Al-Watan (Palestinian news agency), June 27, 2016]. 

PMW’s Itamar Marcus writes, “Based on his previous statements and Facebook posts it is clear that his statement promoting murder should be taken literally. Abu Al-Einein has stated in the past that killing Jews/Israelis is not merely a Palestinian national goal but is what Allah demands of Palestinians as an Islamic necessity. After a bloody terror attack in November 2014 in which 4 rabbis were murdered during prayer in a synagogue in Jerusalem, Abbas' advisor posted pictures of the dead rabbis and a picture of their blood on his Facebook page to celebrate the murder. He wrote that the butchering of the rabbis with axes and kitchen knives was "the heroic operation at the religious Zionist institute."”

Following this, the Palestinian Authority continued with its unabated lies by teaching its youth that Israel does not exist and that all of Israel's land is part of "Palestine."   To celebrate that the World Organization of the Scout Movement in February 2016 recognized "Palestine" as a full member, PA Chairman Abbas sponsored an event for the Palestinian Scout Association this week at which senior PA officials handed out plaques of honour decorated with the PA map of "Palestine" which presents all of Israel as "Palestine".  Giving out these plaques were Jibril Rajoub, Deputy Secretary of the Fatah Central Committee and Head of the Supreme Council and Laila Ghannam, District Governor of Ramallah. Palestinian Media Watch has documented that both of them as policy deny Israel's right to exist, support terror and glorify terrorists.  This same denial of Israel's existence was taught to young children on the PA TV program The Best Home, which is entertaining very young children daily during Ramadan. In a quiz, the TV host asked a boy who called in to the program what is "the size of Palestine". The host and the puppet Ramzi taught that "the size of Palestine is 27,000 sq. km." However, the combined area of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip is only 6,220 sq. km. Only by adding the area of the State of Israel, excluding the Golan Heights, does the area of "Palestine" reach 27,000 sq. km.  See the proof via YouTube here.

So what are the fruits of all this?  Well, mayhem ensued on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount on Sunday morning, when a group of masked Arabs threw rocks, metal objects, and chairs at the Jewish people. According to police, who provided video of the disturbance, the group of 11 observant Jews were targeted in what appeared to be a premeditated attack. At least 100 Muslims shouting “Allahu Akbar” (god is greatest), as well as slurs, threw stones at the Jews. Despite being goaded by the assailants, the video shows heavily armed police remaining calm throughout the onslaught and negotiating with imams and Muslim Wakf personnel to restore calm.  Then on Tuesday June 28, Palestinians threw rocks at Jewish worshipers at the Western Wall, striking a woman of 73 in the head, on a third day of confrontations involving the adjacent Temple Mount.  Israeli Paramedics said they treated the woman at the scene for head injuries. Police arrested masked protesters they said were involved in the clashes, including the hurling of stones at the Western Wall.  The result? Muslims riot, so Jews are barred from the Temple Mount.  It’s shocking that upon the Temple Mount, freedom of worship is non-existent and Sharia Law rules.

Meanwhile, as you may remember, I reported last week that the PA leader Abbas had stated that a Jewish Rabbi had poisoned what he classed as ‘Palestinian wells’.  Well, one week later and Abbas admitted the reports of the rabbi poisoning the wells were false.  The Palestinian “President” Mahmoud Abbas back peddled on his controversial statements he made during a speech in front of the European Union (EU) parliament on Thursday that alleged Israeli rabbis had incited to poison Palestinian water wells.  A statement released by the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) late Friday evening admitted that the reports on which Abbas had based his statements were not true.  Well of course they weren’t true, as the alleged Rabbi he named responsible didn’t even exist!  Following this the Palestinian Authority released a statement that said, “After it has become evident that the alleged statements by a rabbi on poisoning Palestinian wells, which were reported by various media outlets, are baseless, President Mahmoud Abbas has affirmed that he didn't intend to do harm to Judaism or to offend Jewish people around the world.”  

While the main thrust of Abbas’s speech to the EU parliament centred on condemning the international community’s complacency with Israel’s alleged “illegal” occupation, his blatant lies regarding the Israeli rabbis made headlines and sparked outrage in Israel.  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reacted to the speech, accusing Abbas of spreading a medieval-era “blood libel.” “Israel awaits the day when Abbas stops spreading lies and dealing in incitement. Until then, Israel will continue to defend itself against Palestinian incitement, which motivates acts of terrorism,” Netanyahu said.

Lamenting UN's hostile stance towards Israel.   Meanwhile, the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has urged the United Nation’s Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to work towards freeing Israeli citizens held by the Hamas terrorist organization in Gaza.  Speaking at a joint press conference with the UN chief, who is in Israel on his last tour of the Middle East before handing over to his successor, Netanyahu lamented the UN's often hostile stance towards Israel.  Starting off rather graciously, Netanyahu stated, “The UN has a noble mandate to protect peace around the world and bring nations closer together.  During his years of service the Secretary General has travelled the globe many times in service of these ideals, ideals which Israel shares.” However, Netanyahu soon cut to the chase by stating, “I remember well when you came in Israel in 2013 you said that Israel and the Israeli people face some bias.  That's an understatement. But you also said that Israel must be treated equally at the UN. I appreciate your candour and this clear moral stance… Regrettably, the goal of treating Israel fairly remains unfulfilled across a wide spectrum of UN activities and UN forums. Your visit here comes as the UN Human Rights Council is meeting [See last week’s report regarding this subject]. As it always does, the Council will condemn Israel, a country that does more to promote and protect human rights and liberal values than any other in the blood soaked Middle East. Our progressive democracy has faced more country-specific resolutions, more country-specific condemnations at the UN Human Rights Council than all the other countries combined. And I believe this is a profound betrayal of the United Nations noble mandate. So today I want to echo your words from 2013, Israel still faces bias at the UN. I know that your desire for all countries to be treated fairly and equally remains true today. I urge you to dedicate your last six months as the Secretary General of the United Nations in trying to right this wrong. And when I say that, it's not just for Israel's sake. It's for the credibility of the UN.”

Netanyahu then spoke at length about the injustice of Hamas and the fact that they have still not released Israeli soldiers.  He stated, “I want to thank you Mr. Secretary for agreeing to meet with the Goldin, Shaul and Mangisto families. Hamas is cruelly and illegally holding the remains of our soldiers and holding our citizens. I ask you to use your standing to help return home these soldiers and these citizens. It's a humanitarian position and elementary humanitarian requirement that Hamas and its criminal activities is of course throwing into the winds. Hamas is a terrorist organization. Hamas has genocidal aims. It doesn't merely practice terrorism. It says openly that its goal is to wipe away from the face of the earth a member state of the United Nations.  I hope the UN will highlight Hamas's crimes and understand that our security measures are aimed only at keeping our citizens safe from this threat and we use judicious force in this regards. I don’t know what any other country, faced with thousands of rockets and missiles aimed at our citizens, at our children, would do differently. Many have done it differently and they have not used the restraint and the responsibility that Israel uses. I know you are aware of all this, we've spoken about it many, many times. We've had many meetings and many productive meetings and once again I want to thank you for your many years of dedicated service to diplomacy and to the advancement of noble ideals, however distant they are today. Again, I want to thank you and I want to welcome you to Jerusalem.”

CFI back on Branch FM  Once again I was back on Branch FM Radio, and this monthly radio show continues to grow with excellent feedback not just from people listening to the radio in the local area of West Yorkshire, but also worldwide, as the radio shows can be heard on the internet. The subjects covered this time were Israel's Independence Day celebrations; the BDS movement; Shavuot (Pentecost); Peace talks; feeding crocodiles in Israel and even the need to live in Caves! We hope this programme will challenge the listening and that you enjoy this.  Simply click here to listen: .  

David Soakell  

(CFI Church Liaison Officer (UK) & WoZ News Report Correspondent)  Tweet me @David_CFI

Sources: Unless stated, personal sources throughout Israel, Christian Friends of Israel UK & Jerusalem, Israeli Embassy London, The Jerusalem Post, & Israel National Radio