Israel Update



“The Lord your God is the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe. He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing.” Deut 10: 17-18

NUMBER OF ISRAELI MILLIONAIRES UP BY 20.6% IN 2010:   The number of millionaires in Israel rose in 2010 by more than 20.6% to 10,153, according to the latest annual Merrill Lynch-Capgemini World Wealth Report released last week. The report found the gross amount of capital of Israeli millionaires in 2010 came to $ 52 billion, relative to $ 43 billion from the previous yea. The climb was in line with the global trend, which rose by 8.3%, hitting an all-time high of 10.9 million people in the world who are considered to be millionaires. Pray for increasing generosity in the hearts of those who can well-afford to ease the suffering of the poor in the Jewish state and elsewhere. “Whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?” 1 John 3: 17

ISRAEL’S ECONOMIC SUCCESS LIES IN START- UPS, INNOVATION:  The key to the future of Israel’s economic success lies in safeguarding its comparative advantage in start-ups and innovation, according to Start-Up Nation author Saul Singer. “Israelis sometimes underestimate their own comparative advantage in the world,” he said. “And they have a tendency to ask, ‘Where’s our Nokia, where are our big companies?’” After finding that business people in Finland looked to Israel for examples on how to innovate, Singer said he quickly realized “that while Israelis have Nokia envy, in Finland they have start-up envy. And it turns out that in Korea, in Singapore and all around the world, people are trying to figure out how to do start-ups, and they have been traveling here to find out.” Singer, whose 2009 book is seen as the leading guide on Israel’s hi-tech miracle, was speaking on a panel entitled, “The Israeli economy a small leading market.” He said the Israeli economy would benefit by focusing on what it does best innovation and start-ups while synergizing those talents with long-term planning skills of companies from abroad. (J.Post)

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) “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted.” Is 61:1

UNEMPLOYMENT RATE DROPS TO 5.8% IN APRIL: The unemployment rate stood at 5.8% last April, compared to a 6.7% in April of 2010, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported last week. (Calcalist)

ISRAELIS STRUGGLE WITH HIGH COST OF LIVING: Israel's overall economic strength does not mean it is an easy place to survive financially for the average citizen. In fact, it is far more difficult to survive financially in Israel than in America or most European countries. The prices of all staple food products in Israel are skyrocketing. Gasoline has cost more than $8 a gallon for over a year now. A new car costs double what is does in the US; and Israelis can pay in the neighborhood of $500,000 for a tiny 2-bedroom apartment in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv, making it nearly impossible for new families to purchase their first home. While many of the costs Israelis deal with are comparable to prices in Europe and the US, what's not comparable are the monthly household incomes. Americans living in big cities earn an average of $4,800 a month, while people in Britain and France take home about $4,300 a month. Israelis earn an average of just $2,500 a month, and the gap between the middle class and lower class in Israel is very large, meaning a great many people make far less than the average. The high prices coupled with not earning enough to maintain a decent standard of living has sparked something of a popular uprising, with Israelis imposing a rare boycott on several consumer goods. (Israel Today/Ryan Jones)

STATE TO SHUTDOWN HALF OF BATTERED WOMEN SHELTERS:  : Shelters for battered women are likely to close because the organizations running them for years did not win the tender issued by the Social Affairs Ministry to operate them. "We're not dealing with a money-making business but with professionals who have been working in this field for years," says Ronit Ehrenfreund-Cohen, chairman of the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel. It is the umbrella organization for the 13 rape crisis centers operating throughout Israel. In November 2009, PM Netanyahu pledged NIS 5 million for the women's shelters. "We haven't received a cent of that money yet," says Ehrenfreund-Cohen. The shelters are run by various organizations such as WIZO, Naamat, L.O. Combat Violence Against Women and others, which provide shelter and immediate mental and social assistance for women who have fled their homes - most often with children - because of their husbands' violence. The Social Affairs Ministry recently informed six of the organizations running the crisis centers, by fax, that they had lost the tender to operate the shelters. Organizations operating the crisis centers are holding emergency meetings to discuss the situation. (Ha’aretz) Pray the government’s decision will be reversed. Pray for women and children, in all walks of life throughout Israel, who are victims of domestic violence and in need of refuge.

GAPS WIDENING IN HEALTH CARE FOR ISRAEL’S POOR: There are widening gaps between poor and middle class citizens in Israel in the rate of incidences of chronic disease, a report published last week revealed. The investigation was prepared by the Israel National Institute for Health Policy and Health Services. The report characterizes poor citizens as those who receive a full or partial exemption from paying the national health tax, which is 10.1% of people living in Israel. There has been an increase in the prevalence of diabetics receiving medical treatment in Israel, the report reveals. The rate of diabetics who have an exemption from paying the national health tax is 16.07%, 4.7 times higher than tax-paying citizens, whose rate stands at 3.43%. These numbers reflect an equality gap which has increased by 4.3 between 2005 and 2007. In addition to diabetes, the report also reflected a disparity in rate of poor people diagnosed with asthma. Out of those exempt from the national health tax in 2009, 2.36 were diagnosed with asthma, a rate which is 2.5 times the rate of asthma diagnosed in the rest of the population. (Ha’aretz)

HEZBOLLAH PREPARING FOR WAR AGAINST ISRAEL TO PROTECT SYRIA’S ASSAD: Lebanon's Hezbollah terrorist group is reportedly preparing for a possible war with Israel to relieve perceived Western pressure to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad. The radical Shi'ite terrorist group, which has a powerful militia armed by Damascus and Iran, is watching the unrest in neighboring Syria with alarm and is determined to prevent the West from exploiting popular protests to bring down Assad. Hezbollah supported movements that toppled Western-backed leaders in Tunisia and Egypt, and officials say it will not stand idly by as international pressure mounts on Assad to yield to protesters. It is readying for a possible war with Israel if Assad is weakened. (Ha’aretz)

DUTCH COURT ACQUITS LAWMAKER OF DISCRIMINATION AGAINST MUSLIMS: A Dutch court acquitted populist politician Geert Wilders of hate speech and discrimination Thursday, ruling that his anti-Islam statements, while offensive to many Muslims, fell within the bounds of legitimate political debate. Presiding judge Marcel van Oosten said Wilders' claims that Islam is violent by nature, and his calls to halt Muslim immigration and ban the Koran, must be seen in a wider context of debate over immigration policy. The court said his public statements could not be directly linked to increased discrimination against Dutch Muslims. Wilders, one of the most powerful and popular politicians in the Netherlands, was accused of inciting hatred and discrimination against Muslims through numerous public statements, and with insulting them by comparing Islam with Nazism. "I'm incredibly happy with this acquittal on all counts," Wilders said outside the courtroom. (Fox News)

THIRD INTIFADA APP REMOVED FROM APPLE ‘APP STORE’: A computer application called “The 3rd Intifada” has been removed by the giant Apple computer firm from its App Store for iPads and iPhones. Israel's Minister for Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs, Yuli Edelstein, had sent a letter to Apple, pointing out the application called for an Arab uprising against the State of Israel and asking that it be removed. The previous two Arab “intifadas” in Israel have been extremely violent, each resulting in hundreds of deadly terrorist attacks against civilians that claimed the lives of innocent men, women and children. “We removed this app from the App Store because it violates the developer guidelines by being offensive to large groups of people,” explained the company in a statement. (INN) This is an answer to prayer. “All things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” Matt 21:22

LABRADOR MOST POPULAR DOG IN ISRAEL:For the third time in a row, the Labrador Retriever has been named the most popular purebred dog in Israel, with 20,490 registered dogs. The Pinscher came in second for the second year with 17,881 registered dogs. They are followed by the German Shepherd with 13,848 dogs. The Pekingese is fourth with 15,544 dogs and the Golden Retriever seals the top five with 13,093 dogs. (Ynet)

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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