“It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.”

Psalm 118:8 NIV

No matter the outcome of this week’s U.S. election, we can trust that our God is in control. The results have not taken Him by surprise and that should be of great comfort. As it says in Psalm 118:8, “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.”

In the news, interesting developments continue to come out of the Abraham Accords. One being the potential sale of F-35 stealth jets from the U.S. to United Arab Emirates (UAE). The U.S. has an agreement to reserve a “qualitative advantage” in military arms for Israel above other Middle East nations. To uphold this agreement, it’s being reported that the U.S. will grant Israel access to a sophisticated satellite system that can track missiles and other objects from space using infrared sensors as well as advanced F-35 capabilities. 

Another news story that got my attention relates to passports. It was announced that U.S. citizens born in Jerusalem can now choose to list their place of birth as Israel on their passports. This means the U.S. is formally recognizing that the entirety of Jerusalem is part of Israel. As expected, the Palestinian Authority has denounced this decision, stating that it violates international law. 

I’ve included more detail in the news stories below.  

White House plans to go forward with sale of F-35 jets to UAE 

The United States and United Arab Emirates (UAE) are planning to have a letter of agreement for the sale of F-35 fighter jets in time for UAE National Day, celebrated on December 2. 

The White House notified Congress of its intent to sell 50 F-35 jets to the UAE. The U.S. legislature could vote to block the sale, sources said. 

Initially, Israel opposed the prospective sale, but changed its perspective last year after what it described as guarantees from the U.S. that Israeli military superiority would be preserved, according to The Jerusalem Post. 

Late last week, U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper met with both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz during a visit to Israel. 

“As defense minister for the State of Israel, I am telling you this evening that the United States continues to be committed to Israel’s security and its qualitative and technological advantage in the Middle East,” Gantz said. 

U.S may give Israel access to missile defense satellites 

The U.S. plans to grant Israel direct access to highly classified missile defense satellites and ensure Israel gets critical defense platforms quickly by using production slots planned for the U.S. armed forces. This is reported in Breaking Defense, a digital magazine on the strategy, politics and technology of defense. 

In light of the potential sale of F-35 fighter jets to the UAE, Israeli Defense Minister Gantz traveled to Washington two weeks ago to press for an agreement. Discussions continued when U.S. Defense Secretary Esper traveled to Israel last week. 

Israeli sources say the agreement guarantees Israel’s supremacy for decades to come. 

In addition to the missile defense satellites and more conventional weapons, the agreement could include access to the F-35’s sophisticated computer systems, Forbes reported. 

This is crucial for Israel with the likely sales of F-35 jets to the UAE and other Arab states such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar. In June, two more F-35 jets were added to Israel’s arsenal, bringing their total to 16. By 2024, Israel will have 50 of the elite fighter jets. 

U.S. citizens born in Jerusalem can now list Israel on their passports 

Last Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that “effective immediately” American citizens born in Jerusalem will now be able to list Israel as the country of birth on their passports, according to The Times of Israel. 

In a statement, Pompeo said the policy change is “consistent” with U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of the city as Israel’s capital and decision to move the American embassy there but stresses the administration is not taking a position on Jerusalem’s boundaries. 

U.S. to world: Yes, Jerusalem is part of Israel 

U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo struck down one of the last vestiges of American refusal to recognize not just that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital but that it is part of the Jewish state all together — all with one tweet. 

In 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump relocated the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and affirmed that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. But the United States refused to allow U.S. citizens with children born in Jerusalem to register Israel as their country of birth. 

Even though Pompeo’s tweet was about passports, the message to the world is that Jerusalem is an integral part of modern Israel, according to The Jerusalem Post. 

Palestinian Authority denounces U.S. passport decision 

A spokesperson for Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas says the PA condemns the decision to allow Americans born in Jerusalem to list Israel as their birthplace on their passports. 

“East Jerusalem is occupied land, Pompeo’s statements are unacceptable and constitute a flagrant violation of international law,” longtime Abbas spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeineh says, according to The Times of Israel. 

Let us pray together 

Please pray with me for:  

  • Peace throughout the U.S. during and after this election week  

  • Wisdom for U.S. leaders concerning the potential sale of F-35 jets to the UAE and other Arab countries and for the U.S. to keep their agreement concerning the “qualitative advantage” for Israel’s military 

  • Additional recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as we rejoice in the decision regarding passports of U.S. citizens 

  • The coronavirus infection rate to continue trending down in Israel 

  • Wisdom and protection for the people of Israel as the government continues to lift coronavirus restrictions and younger children are attending school 

  • Continued success of clinical trials to produce an effective vaccine and, in particular, that the human trials for the Israeli vaccine, that are now under way, would go well 

  • Jewish people to recognize Yeshua (Jesus) as their Messiah 

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