Israel Update



“Israel shall blossom and bud and fill the face of the earth with fruit.” Isa 27:6 

ISRAELI FOODS GET TOP BILLING ON GLOBAL FOOD CHANNEL:   Israeli brands will be included as part of "world market" for Food Channel's online store thanks to lobbying by US Christian group. Thanks to evangelical Christians in the US, Israeli companies are being given the chance to expose themselves to the world through an online food network that boasts around 11 million visitors per year. The Food Channel recently selected Israel to be the first country to feature in the new “world market” section of its online store, which promises to find hand-selected items for purchase that aren’t easily available in the US. And according to one of the partners in Food Channel International which runs the network’s overseas operations - Israel’s inclusion was no mistake. “The food here is terrific, it’s not well known in the States, even with all the distribution efforts that have been made over the last few years, and I felt like Americans, no matter what their faith base is, would thoroughly enjoy this wonderful treasure of food over here that very few know about,” said Cary Summers, while on his 65th visit to Israel in 30 years. (J.Post)

ISRAEL UNVEILS FIRST COMMERCIAL SOLAR POWER PLANT:  Israel's Arava Power unveiled the country's first commercial solar power plant this week, showing it off to government ministers and dignitaries, and announced plans to erect dozens of other solar array fields, whose total cost could reach $2 billion. The announcement was appropriately made on UN World Environment Day. The NIS 100 million ($30 million), 4.95 megawatt plant in the agricultural community of Kibbutz Keturah, currently the largest of its kind in Israel, is due to be hooked up to the national grid in the next few weeks. It is the first of about 50 photovoltaic power fields that Arava said it will build throughout the southern Negev desert by the end of 2014. Approximately 50km north of Eilat, Kibbutz Ketura is situated in the southern part of the Arava region, which is among the sunniest areas of the world. It gets at least 350 days of direct sunlight each year, making it a perfect location for a solar panel field. (Ha’aretz)

WITH NEW INVESTMENTS, ISRAEL AGAIN IS LOOKING TO AFRICA: Soon after Israel was born, it began investing significant resources in development assistance in Africa. Israel’s official development work there waned over the decades, but in recent years Africa again has become a target for Israeli development work by nonprofit organizations and corporations. Particularly in areas like water resource management, agriculture, renewable energy, infrastructure and telemedicine, experts say Israel has much to offer the developing continent. “In the same way we are a high-tech power, we can become a development tech power, because our problems are their problems and our expertise fits their needs,” said Aliza Belman Inbal of Tel Aviv University’s Hartog School of Government and Policy. New thinking is beginning to take root that it is in Israel’s interest both economically and a tool to boost its international standing to again look toward Africa. “So many things we do are so relevant for these countries,” she said. “We have the capacity to help Africa in ways other countries cannot and to help build a positive agenda to show Israel can offer good to the world.” (JTA) “The man began to prosper, and continued prospering until he became very prosperous.” Gen 26:13

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)

CANADIAN JEWISH POET LEONARD COHEN WINS TOP SPANISH PRIZE: Canadian Jewish poet, songwriter and novelist Leonard Cohen has won Spain's top award for authors who do not write in Spanish for his decades of exploring great human issues in song and verse. The jury of the Principe de Asturias Foundation said the 76-year-old writer was one of the most influential of modern times. Cohen beat a field of 32 from countries around the world to win the award. (Ha’aretz) “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold In settings of silver.” Prov 25:11

ISRAEL INVITED TO QUALIFY FOR WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC: Israel has been selected by Major League Baseball to participate in the qualifying tournament for the 2013 World Baseball Classic. The 16-team qualifying round will be held in the fall. The Israel Association of Baseball will select the players. According to World Baseball Classic rules, non-Israeli citizens of Jewish heritage can play for Israel. The balance of the team is expected to be made up of the top players from the Israel national team. In addition to Israel, the other teams invited to the qualifying round are Brazil, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Columbia, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Great Britain, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Philippines, South Africa, Spain and Thailand. “The skill level and passion for the game in Israel is remarkable, and we know their participation will be a wonderful addition to the tournament,” Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said. (JTA)

ISRAEL TO GET A LONGER SUMMER:  Interior Minister Eli Yishai announced Monday his decision to extend daylight-saving time in Israel, accepting the recommendation of an advisory committee he appointed. According to the new plan, DST will be extended to 193 days, from the end of March to the beginning of October, instead of ending on the Sunday before Yom Kippur. Proponents of DST extension say longer summers will increase market productivity and save tens of millions of shekels due to lower energy consumption in industries and in homes. (Ha’aretz)

OBAMA STRUGGLES AGAINST BACKLASH ON ISRAEL: The 2012 American presidential race is beginning to heat up with attacks aimed at incumbent President Barack Obama's Israel-Palestinian Authority policies. Pro-Israel groups have launched a television ad and telephone campaigns targeting the president's May 19 Middle East policy speech. Obama called for Israel to agree to a final status deal with the PA, based on the 1949-1967 Armistice lines with land swaps. He also called on the PA to recognize Israel as a Jewish state with a need for secure borders, and offered billions in aid to Egypt, where an interim government is still in place and no one yet knows what kind of leaders will guide Israel's southern neighbor. The US president added the agreement should be concluded without a final settlement on Jerusalem or the issue of the so-called "right of return" of Arab refugees, both central points of contention which he alleged could be left for “later.” However, since Jerusalem is the reunited capital of Israel and the Jewish People, and the Palestinian Authority insists on taking nearly half of it for the capital of any country it would create a final status agreement which would be essentially impossible. The Republican Jewish Coalition -- which took a dim view of Obama's policy -- is already gearing up for the race, which may be a tight one. The organization is conducting a massive automatic telephone campaign that calls on the president to “retract his statements and support secure and defensible borders for Israel.” The Emergency Committee for Israel meanwhile is thanking Congressional Democrats in a television ad to be broadcast on cable news networks. The ad tells viewers that the Democrats in Congress “stood with Israel” while Obama “sided with the Palestinians.” (Arutz-7) Continue to pray against all peace proposals demanding the division of Jerusalem and right to return of millions of Palestinian refugees including their progeny to Israel.

JOHN BOLTON: US CAN STOP PA INITIATIVE BY HALTING FUNDS FOR UN: A Congressional law that would stop funding for the UN if it recognizes the Palestinian Authority as a state would stop the plan in its tracks, says John Bolton, former American Ambassador to the international body and a possible presidential candidate. The UN is slated to discuss in September an Arab League motion to recognize the Palestinian Authority with borders based on the temporary 1949 Armistice Lines that defined Israel’s territory. Writing in The Wall Street Journal on Friday, Bolton dismissed the possibility that US President Barack Obama would take such action on his own. He wrote, “Mr. Obama is highly unlikely to do anything so decisive, which is why many in America and Israel remain gravely concerned about this latest Palestinian diplomatic ploy.” Bolton noted that although UN recognition of the Palestinian Authority does not mean it would have membership in the United Nations, “It would nonetheless be a major Palestinian success.” Additionally this week, Rep.Thaddeus McCotter, R-Mich., announced plans to introduce a resolution that would call for the funding cutoff to the "bloated" UN Secretariat in New York City -- the office headed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The US is the largest single contributor to the United Nations. The US paid up more than $6.3 billion in 2009, the last year for which data was available. (Arutz-7/Fox)

NETANYAHU: PALESTINIANS NOT INTERESTED IN SOLUTION BASED ON 1967 BORDERS: The violent clashes on the border with Syria prove the Palestinians are not interested in a solution based on 1967 borders, PM Benjamin Netanyahu said last week. Rather, they are interested in a solution based on 1948 borders, Netanyahu said. A reported 20 Syrian protesters were killed during demonstrations held on the border to mark Naksa Day, the anniversary of Israel's victory in the 1967 Six-Day War. The US State Department responded to the violence by saying Israel, like any other sovereign nation, has the right to defend itself. We are deeply troubled by the event that took place today at the Golan Heights that resulted in injury and loss of life," the statement said. Netanyahu said Palestinians are trying to "flood Israel with refugees." He continued, "At the same time, small Israel absorbed hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees in 1948, Arab countries have not done a thing in order to absorb and help Palestinians." Senior officials in Jerusalem placed the responsibility for last week’s violence on the Syrian police. (Ha’aretz)

IRAN SENDS SUBMARINES TO RED SEA: Tehran's Navy has dispatched submarines to the waters of the Red Sea for what is calls an intelligence gathering mission in international waters. Iran's news agency Fars reported Tuesday that Tehran has sent submarines to the Red sea, in what is the first such deployment by Iran's Navy in distant waters. Fars gave no details on the number or capabilities of the submarines, saying only that they were sailing alongside warships of the Navy's 14th fleet. The report reflects Iran's efforts to show off its naval power. Iran has long sought to upgrade its air defense system and navy to portray itself as a regional military superpower, as well as prepare for any possible future attacks against Israel. (Ynet) "The lions may roar and growl, yet the teeth of the great lions are broken." Job 4:10

IRAN HAS SECRETLY STOCKED ENRICHED URANIUM FOR FOUR NUCLEAR BOMBS: By April 2011, Iran had accumulated a quantity of U-235 that can be enriched in short order to sufficient 90 percent (weapons grade) uranium to fuel four nuclear bombs - and attained a "virtual" nuclear weapon state. This was revealed by the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control, America's scientific watchdog on world nuclear weapons production, in its June 2 report. By breaking the IAEA seal at the Natanz enrichment plant, Iran gained another 6-7 months for concealing the work there. "No offer from world powers could persuade Iran to stop enriching uranium," Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday. (DEBKA)

PERRY’S PLANNED PRAYER EVENT RILES CRITICS: powers could persuade Iran to stop enriching uranium," Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday. (DEBKA) PERRY’S PLANNED PRAYER EVENT RILES CRITICS: Texas Gov. Rick Perry's latest call for a day of prayer is being met by a chorus of boos from critics who say the potential presidential candidate is showing favoritism toward Christianity and violating the separation of church and state. Perry has ordered a day of prayer and fasting on Aug. 6 to “seek God’s guidance and wisdom in addressing the challenges that face our communities, states and nation.” It is part of what is being described as a non-denominational, apolitical, Christian prayer meeting hosted by the American Family Association at Reliant Stadium in Houston. Perry will participate in the all-day event that encourages people to bring a Bible and a notebook. Perry has invited every governor in the country to attend, and he is urging them to issue similar proclamations. "Given the trials that beset our nation and world, from the global economic downturn to natural disasters, the lingering danger of terrorism and continued debasement of our culture, I believe it is time to convene the leaders from each of our United States in a day of prayer and fasting, like that described in the book of Joel," he said in a written statement. "I urge all Americans of faith to pray on that day for the healing of our country, the rebuilding of our communities and the restoration of enduring values as our guiding force," he said. (Fox) Pray for the increasing influence of Texas Gov. Rick Perry and for a large turnout on August 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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