Israel Update



"You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder.” Isa 9:9  

DEFINITION OF ISRAEL’S INDEPENDENCE DAY:   Israel's Independence Day (Yom Ha'atzmaut in Hebrew) commemorates the declaration of independence of Israel in 1948, celebrating the affirmation of the state of Israel by David Ben-Gurion in Tel Aviv and the end of the British Mandate of Palestine. On May 14, 1948 at 4:00 p.m., Hay Iyar, the 5th of Iyar, Israel declared itself a state. After 2,000 years, the land of Israel was once more in the hands of the Jews. David Ben Gurion read the Declaration of Independence over the radio. "The Land of Israel was the birthplace of the Jewish people. Here the spiritual, religious and national identity was formed. Here they achieved independence and created a culture of national and universal significance. Here they wrote and gave the Bible to the world. Exiled from Palestine, the Jewish people remained faithful to it in all the countries of the dispersion, never ceasing to pray and hope for their return and restoration of their national freedom. Accordingly we, the members of the National Council met together in solemn assembly today and by virtue of the natural and historic right of the Jewish people and with the support of the resolution of the General of the United Nations, hereby proclaim the establishment of the Jewish state in Palestine to be called Israel. We offer peace and amity to all neighboring states and their peoples and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. With trust in the Rock of Israel, we set our hands to this declaration at this session of the Provisional State Council in the city of Tel Aviv on Sabbath Eve, 5th Iyar 5708, 14th day of May 1948." Everyone was dancing in the streets, although mere hours later seven Arab nations surrounding Israel declared war and Egypt bombed Tel Aviv. They did not succeed in destroying the infant, newly declared nation of Israel, totally unprepared for war. “Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.” Isa 61:7 

ISRAELIS TAKE TO THE STREETS FOR INDEPENDENCE DAY:  The nation began celebrating 63 years since the State of Israel's establishment on Monday night, as Independence Day got underway across the country. Festivities took place in Jerusalem and throughout the country. Thousands poured onto the streets to take advantage of free music shows. (J.Post) “Young women will dance and be glad, young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into gladness. I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.” Jer. 31:13

ON ITS 63rd BIRTHDAY, ISRAEL IS A SHINING BEACON IN THE MIDDLE EAST: Independence Day celebrations kicked off Monday night in Israel with the lighting of beacons at the official ceremony at Mount Herzl national cemetery in Jerusalem, which also marks the conclusion of Memorial Day. The theme of this year's ceremony, for Israel's 63rd Independence Day, is "Looking after one another the year of mutual care." Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin opened the ceremony with a speech: "Brother and sisters, our heart is filled with pride today for what we have managed to build here with sweat and hard work. Israel of 2011 is a Jewish democratic state, a shining beacon in the heart of the oppressing and cruel Middle East." On Tuesday, the continuance of Independence Day, Defense Ministry museums and military bases will be open from 9 A.M. to 4 P.M. The Israeli Air Force will conduct flyovers over cities and other sites across the country. On Tuesday evening, the Israel Prize ceremony will be held in the capital. During the day Israelis are expected to throng to the country's national parks. (Ha’aretz)

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)

SING-ALONG AT THE PRESIDENTIAL RESIDENCE: Government and military leaders past and present joined performers at the President's Residence in Jerusalem Tuesday morning to sing Independence Day Songs. President Shimon Peres chose to sing "Hen Efshar" (It's Possible) with Miri Mesika, and PM Binyamin Netanyahu sang "Yerushalayim Shel Zahav" (Jerusalem of Gold) with Kobi Aflalo., Defense Minister Ehud Barak chose "Hineni Kan" (I am Here), accompanied by Harel Skaat, and Chief of Staff Benny Gantz joined the stars of the military entertainment troupes to sing a selection of songs. (INN)

WORLD JEWS MARK INDEPENDENCE DAY:  State of Israel's 63rd anniversary is being celebrated in many other countries, including Argentina, Britain and Russia. What's on the menu? Hummus, falafel, Israeli films and folk dances. World Zionist Organization representative Enrique Grinberg said as many as 10,000 Jews were expected to celebrate Israel's Independence Day at a stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina. "There will be many concerts, films will be screened, schools will participate, there will be Israeli folk dances and songs in Hebrew, the ambassador will talk, as well as the federation president and a youth representative," said Grinberg without concealing his excitement. For the first time, Argentina's Jews will hold a beacon-lighting ceremony this year. "We wanted to bring something new, and the celebrations in fact began as early as last weekend in some places. This is a main event, a uniting event," said Grinberg. Israel's anniversary is also being celebrated in the UK, with the main event taking place in London in the presence of Britain's chief rabbi. The event is being marked in Jewish schools as well, where children will put on festive clothes and celebrate with special Israeli foods. Benny Lidsky, a Jewish Agency representative in Moscow, said many events celebrating Israel would be held in the Russian capital this year. "It's the main holiday being marked here and will include a concert, youth parties, celebrations in the open country in warm areas, and inside activities in other areas," he said. A celebration was also expected in the Budapest, where some 100,000 Jews live. The city will enjoy an exhibition of posters on the first years of the Jewish settlements, as well as an afternoon happening in the streets of the Jewish Quarter. The event will include performances and Hora dancing. “Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her, all you who love her.” Isa 66:10

OBAMA CONGRATULATES ISRAEL:  US President Barack Obama saluted Israel on its 63rd anniversary. He strongly reaffirmed American support of Jerusalem. In a special greeting, Obama says he has “every confidence that our strong relationship will grow deeper with each year.” (Ynet)

US SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON COMMENDS ISRAEL: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton released a statement wishing Israel well on its 63rd birthday. Clinton said that although Israel is a young country, it has a "rich history that holds deep meaning for so many." The secretary of state commended Israel on its impressive achievements over the years, saying they are "a testament to your hardworking citizens, innovative economy, and commitment to democratic institutions." She continued, calling Israel "a beacon of hope and freedom for so many around the world." (Ha’aretz) “I will make you a light for the Gentiles that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” Isa 49: 6

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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