Israel Update



"Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: ‘May those who love you be secure. May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.’ For the sake of my family and friends, I will say, ‘Peace be within you. ’ For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your prosperity.” Ps 122: 6-9  

ISRAEL’S INDEPENDENCE DAY:   Israel's 63rd Independence Day will be celebrated this year starting at sunset, May 9, 2011. It will be preceded by Remembrance Day, during which time the nation will pay 24 hour homage to its fallen heroes starting at dusk, Sunday May 8. “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” Rom 12:15

DEATH TOLL IN EGYPT CHURCH CLASH RISES TO 12 KILLED AND 232 WOUNDED:  The death toll from a sectarian clash over the alleged conversion of an Egyptian Christian woman to Islam rose to 12 on Sunday as the country's prime minister called an emergency cabinet meeting to discuss the violence. Witnesses said around 500 conservative Islamists known as Salafists massed outside the Saint Mina Church in the Cairo suburb of Imbaba on Saturday demanding that Christians hand over a woman they said had converted to Islam. Tensions flared, gunfire broke out and the two sides threw firebombs and stones. Soldiers and police rushed to the church, fired shots in the air and used tear gas to separate them. One witness said later that another church in the same area was on fire and had been severely damaged. It was some of Egypt's worst sectarian violence since January and offers a new test for the generals who took power after the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak in a popular uprising. (J.Post/Google News) Pray for this latest outbreak of violence against Christians in Egypt to be quickly quelled and for households to be comforted who have lost family members. May He heal those who have been injured.

MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD HEAD SAYS DUMP TREATY WITH ISRAEL: Mohammed Badia, head of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, called over the weekend for the government to end the peace treaty with Israel. According to a tracked broadcast of Badia speaking in a Cairo mosque, he called for an end to all normalization of relations with Israel, the opening of the Rafiah crossing between Gaza and Sinai, an end to sales of natural gas to Israel, and a reconsideration of the Camp David accords. He also called for a new intifada by Arabs in Israel. (INN)

WHO CAN I TRUST WITH MY DONATIONS?  Many people ask, "Where can I send my financial contributions and be sure they reach the people who need them most?"  As an employee of Vision for Israel & The Joseph Storehouse, I have witnessed since 2006, food, clothing and household goods go out to the poor, often twice a week. Thousands of dollars of hospital equipment have been freely given to old age and care institutions that simply can't afford new beds or other medical necessities. School packs have been prepared annually for thousands of needy children. Additionally, when there have been catastrophes abroad, Vision for Israel & The Joseph Storehouse are among the first to send necessary supplies to alleviate the distress. Your donations are needed and welcomed at  Make your online donations today. For residents in the UK and outside North America visit our website at   (Hannah)

SYRIA UPRISING DEATH TOLL INCHING TOWARDS 1000: Syrian security forces have shot dead at least 800 civilians since pro-democracy protests erupted seven weeks ago, Syrian rights groups Sawasiah said over the weekend. On Saturday, Syrian tanks stormed the mostly Sunni city of Banias raising sectarian tensions in a country swept by protests against the rule of President Bashar Assad. At least six civilians were killed in the attack, including four women. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed the death toll. The attack on Banias came hours after the US, reacting to the death of 27 protesters on Friday, threatened to take new steps against Syria's rulers unless they stopped killing and harassing their people. Tanks, troops also stormed residential neighborhoods in Homs, Tafas, Dael, and mass arrests continue in Banias. Additionally, some 17 people were killed in fighting between security officers and prisoners at Baghdad counter-terrorism detention center early on Sunday, a security official said. Last week UN Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon asked Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad to end the crackdown against anti-government activists in which hundreds have been killed or injured. (Ha’aretz/Google News)

ASSAD’S FALL WOULD BENEFIT ISRAEL:  In his first public speech since the end of his term as head of Israel's Mossad foreign intelligence agency, Major-General Meir Dagan said Israel would be better off if Bashar Assad is deposed from power in Syria. This scenario would halt aid to Hizbullah, weaken Iran's influence and strengthen Saudi Arabia - all of which are beneficial developments for Israel, he explained. He assessed, however, that Assad and the minority Alawite sect's regime would fight opposition to the bitter end, because they have no other option. Their choices are "win or die" and they know it, he said. Regarding Iran, Dagan said Israel must not allow the Persian power to acquire nuclear arms. However, he continued, an aerial attack on Iran's nuclear plants is a stupid idea that has no advantages. “Whoever attacks in Iran must understand he may be opening a regional war in which missiles will be fired by Iran and Hizbullah in Lebanon," he said. "The Iranian problem needs to be presented as an international problem, and action should continue to be taken to delay Iran's nuclear development." (INN)

KHAMENEI TELLS AHMADINEJAD: REINSTATE INTELLIGENCE CHIEF OR RESIGN:  Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has given President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad an ultimatum over the reinstatement of the country's intelligence chief, a local website reported Friday. Khamenei, who, according to the constitution, has the final say on all state affairs, vetoed Ahmadinejad's decision last month to dismiss Heydar Moslehi. In a meeting last week between Khamenei and Ahmadinejad, the ayatollah pushed the president to either accept Moslehi or resign. Ahmadinejad has not yet responded with a final decision on the supreme leader's ultimatum. Khamenei firmly supported Ahmadinejad following his 2009 re-election, a vote that was overshadowed by allegations of election fraud. Local media has speculated the dispute between the supreme leader and the president runs deeper than the disagreement over the dismissal of the intelligence chief. (Ha’aretz)

HAMAS POLICE BREAK UP PRO-BIN LADEN RALLY IN GAZA: Gaza's Islamist rulers Hamas on Saturday broke up a Salafist protest against the killing of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in a US raid in Pakistan last week. Dozens of Salafists - conservative Islamists who have clashed with Hamas - gathered in Gaza City's main square holding up posters of bin Laden and chanting "We warn you America, we warn you Europe." Some banners read "We are all your soldiers Osama" and "Osama is alive inside us." Hamas police forces cordoned off the square, stopped protesters from marching through the streets and ordered them to leave. Hamas' head in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh had denounced bin Laden's killing as an assassination "of an Arab holy warrior." Analysts said he was trying to cool tensions with Salafist groups who consider Hamas too moderate and call for a fundamentalist version of Islam based on the faith followed by its founders. Hamas, classified by the US and the European Union as a terrorist group over its violence against Israel, signed a unity deal last week in Cairo with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ more secular Fatah movement. (Ha’aretz) “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” Isa 5:20

SARKOZY WANTS PA TO RECOGNIZE ISRAEL AS JEWISH: PM Binyamin Netanyahu in Paris on Thursday said French President Nicholas Sarkozy wants the PA to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. "What I heard from President Sarkozy is that they must recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people," Netanyahu said outside the Elysee Palace in Paris. Netanyahu described his meeting with Sarkozy as "good, far-ranging and friendly." He told reporters, "I heard from President Sarkozy that anyone who wants to make peace with Israel must state in the clearest manner that he is committed to peace with Israel, to peace and not to terror. I heard similar things yesterday in Britain and I think that in Paris and in London there's an understanding that whoever wants to make peace must commit to peace and not to the complete opposite.” Netanyahu's statement runs counter to reports Sarkozy, like some other European leaders, might recognize PA statehood without waiting for a comprehensive bilateral peace accord, and would seek a UN resolution to that effect. (INN)

YESHA LEADERS WRITE UN: A letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon from Yesha Leaders explains that the Bible, the Quran, and international agreements document Israel as being the Land of the Jewish People. The signatories threatened to sue Ban if he continues “to ignore the historical and legal facts enclosed in this letter and continues with the present unjust and illegal policies of the United Nations.” They cited the Bible as “recording for all time the awarding of the Land of Israel to the forefathers of the Jewish People by the Creator of the world.” They also wrote Ban, “The entire Land of Israel was promised and granted to the Jewish People as recorded time and again in the opening Five Books of the Hebrew Bible, accepted also by the adherents of the Christian faith, and confirmed in various places in the holy book of Islam, the Quran.” Documents presented to Ban include the Balfour Declaration of 1917 that stated British policy of establishing a “National Home for the Jewish People” in Israel, then known as Palestine; The San Remo Resolution of April 25, 1920, by which the Principal Allied Powers of World War I recognized the sovereignty of the Jewish People over Palestine, just as they recognized the sovereignty of the Arab peoples over the territories of present-day Syria, Lebanon and Iraq; and The Anglo-French Boundary Convention of December 1920, demarcating the border between French-mandated Syria-Lebanon and British-mandated Palestine. The letter states that repeated references by the UN to the territories liberated by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War territories until then illegally occupied by the Kingdom of Jordan as “occupied Palestinian territory" conceals from the public the true legal status of the lands to which you refer and causes the Jewish people unwarranted anguish. (INN)

Blessings from Israel

Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff


As international speakers and messengers of the Good News through music, Barry and Batya Segal are at the forefront of what God is doing in the present day nation of Israel. With strong ties in both the nations and Jerusalem, the Segals are weaving the deepest roots of our biblical heritage together with the fresh Spirit-filled worship of today to create their rich harmony of Scripture and song.

The Segals have a vast vision for God's purposes in the nations and to the people of Israel. In fact, their longing to help rebuild Israel both spiritually and physically inspired them to pioneer the non-profit charity organization, Vision for Israel and The Joseph Storehouse. This arm of their ministry focuses on assisting the poor and needy, widows and orphans, and reaching out to the new Jewish immigrants coming into the land of Israel. Vision 's most challenging project to date is "The Joseph StorehouseŽ", humanitarian aid center, located in the hills of Jerusalem. The Joseph Storehouse functions as a channel of blessing to all of Israel, Jewish and Arab, through the gathering and distribution of emergency medical supplies, food, clothing, and other basic life necessities. USA office contact info: Vision for Israel, PO Box 7743, Charlotte NC 28241, 866-351-0075. The Segal's web site is

Scripture quotations are from the Holy Bible, New International Version®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.  


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