Israel Update



“My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from him.” Ps 62:1

ITALIAN LEADERS UNITE TO SUPPORT ISRAEL AT HISTORICAL MEETING IN ROME:   Political leaders from the Italian Senate, together with representatives from civil society and faith communities, gathered in the Italian Senate Building days ago to express their support for Israel as current threats develop. These include a new Gaza flotilla, a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state in September and other forms of de-legitimization of the Jewish State. Former president of the Italian Senate, Marcello Pera, expressed the Italian sentiment well when he stated, “our Western democracies will not prevail unless we re-embrace our Judeo-Christian heritage.” He added that support for Israel should not be based on guilt, but rather on pride in our common roots and values. "Defending Israel simply means defending our values and our way of life," he concluded. (ECFI)

SECURITY COUNCIL TO DISCUSS PALESTINIAN STATE THIS MONTH:  The UN Security Council plans to discuss this month the possibility of Palestine becoming a UN member state. An “open debate” on the Middle East has been scheduled for July 26. The report comes as the Quartet of peacekeeping nations - the US, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations - is set to meet on July 11. The Quartet will discuss during the meeting the planned bid by the Palestinian Authority to obtain recognition at the UN as a new independent country. The PA plans to claim all lands restored to Israel in the 1967 Six Day War, including territories in Judea and Samaria, as well as nearly half of Israel’s capital, Jerusalem. The US has been trying to get Israel and the PA back to the negotiating table, but the PA has sent a list of four preconditions to the Quartet, insisting that it would not agree to renew negotiations unless Israel and the EU agreed to meet every one of its demands. These demands include a complete halt to all Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria and east Jerusalem, an agreement that the 1949 Armistice lines with mutually-agreed land swaps are the basis for talks, European Union support for PA reconciliation efforts between Fatah and Hamas, and EU support for a PA declaration of statehood in the UN. (INN) Approximately 300,000 Israelis live in the 121 officially-recognized settlements in the West Bank, a further 200,000 Israelis live in settlements in East Jerusalem. Settlements range from farming communities to suburbs to frontier villages, and, in the case of East Jerusalem, city neighborhoods. The three largest settlements are Modi'in Illit with 55,000 Israeli residents; while Maale Adumim and Betar Illit are home to some 40,000 Jewish residents each. These Jewish communities include houses, schools, government buildings, shopping centers and thriving business. Outrageous Palestinian hopes and demands are that Israelis will be forced to walk away from these thriving towns and neighborhoods and turn them over to their enemies. What other nation would bend to such contemptible pressures and dictates? The Gaza Strip is an outstanding example of what always happens when Israel and the Western world fall for the lie of peace with those who hate Israel: Ongoing terrorist attacks, rocket assaults and years of Jewish work on homes and businesses reduced to chaos and ruin.

PRO-PALESTINIAN ACTIVISTS PLANNING TO FLY TO ISRAEL AS COUNTERPART TO GAZA FLOTILLA: Hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists who plan to try to enter Israel by air as a counterpart to the planned flotilla to the Gaza Strip won't be allowed into the country, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said Tuesday. "In the coming days, hundreds of radical activists from throughout Europe are expected to come to Israel to create provocations and illegal demonstrations and undermine our legitimacy in our own land," Aharonovitch said. "I want to make it clear that as a sovereign democratic state, we won't allow them to conduct propaganda, foment unrest or hold illegal demonstrations - not at the airport and not anywhere else." Aharonovitch said PM Netanyahu had ordered him to deal with the aerial flotilla, and he in turn had ordered the police to make the requisite operational and intelligence preparations for "thwarting this illegal activity." (Ha’aretz)

GREECE STOPS ANOTHER GAZA FLOTILLA BOAT: The Greek coast guard stopped a boat taking part in the Gaza flotilla after it set sail without permission from Crete, and towed it back into port. David Heap, a Canadian passenger, said the Greek coast guard and "special forces" boarded the vessel after it had sailed several kilometers out to sea. Greece last week banned all boats participating in the Gaza flotilla from leaving port. (AP)

JEWS FLOCK TO WORSHIP AT JOSEPH’S TOMB IN WEST BANK:    Some 1,300 Jewish worshippers visited Joseph's Tomb in the West Bank city of Shechem (Nablus) this week to mark the traditional death date of the biblical figure, more than two months after the nephew of a Likud minister was killed at the holy site and six weeks after dozens of Bratslav Hasidim ran into the streets of Nablus and refused to leave. Israel deployed a large security contingent - some 1,000 soldiers and police officers - after authorizing the late Saturday night visit, in an effort to prevent the chaos that ensued six weeks earlier. But a veteran police officer in the Samara and Judea District who was present at the tomb said he wasn't sure security forces would be able to keep up the pace. (Ha’aretz) Under the Oslo Agreement, the Palestinian Authority was committed to protecting Jacob’s tomb and other holy sites, Jewish and Christian, and to ensure access by all. The Arab strategy is to claim each and every Jewish Holy place is rightfully a Muslim site. Once they seize control and deny Jews access, Arabs desecrate and destroy the very places they had deemed "holy." It was in Shechem, that Abram "built an altar to the Lord who had appeared to him and had given that land to his descendants." Gen 12: 6-7 Later in history scripture recounts: “The bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel had brought up out of Egypt, they buried at Shechem, in the plot of ground which Jacob had bought from the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for one hundred pieces of silver, and which had become an inheritance of the children of Joseph.” Josh 24: 32

MORE FATAH GLORY FOR LEADER OF WORST TERROR ATTACK IN ISRAEL: “The Palestinian Authority's ruling Fatah faction has named two educational programs for Dalal Mughrabi, who led the most deadly terror attack on civilians in Israeli history. These are not the first such honors bestowed upon this bloodthirsty murderer. One of three groups in the Fatah youth organization's “Lion Cubs and Flowers” summer camp is named for Mughrabi, whose terrorist cell murdered 37 people on the Coastal Road in 1978, including 12 children. The other two Fatah camper groups were named for Abu Jihad, the terrorist leader who masterminded Mughrabi's attack, and Yasser Arafat, the late terrorist chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). The dedications were proudly announced in an article that appeared July 4 in the official PA daily newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida. (PMW) Such events honoring the murderers of innocent Israeli civilians are another clear glimpse into the heart of those who pretend peaceful intentions with the Jewish state. Beneath the facade of the so called “moderate” Palestinian Authority and Israel’s unrelenting enemy, the Hamas terrorist group, there is little difference. Almost nothing is said by Western leaders regarding ceremonies honoring terrorists, or hate-filled Palestinian text books and children’s television shows. Scant mention is made how ongoing evidence of malevolence in West Bank society shatters trust in Israel that Palestinians have any plans for future Arab generations living side by side with them in harmony. Continue to pray for the Gospel to make a difference in the Middle East. Knowledge of Yeshua is the only hope for peace.

IRAN INFILTRATING MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD IN EGYPT: Military Intelligence chief Maj.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Tuesday: "Iran is using unrest in the Middle East to deepen its infiltration in countries such as Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Sudan, Yemen, Gaza and Iraq." He added that Tehran is trying to influence the outcome of Egypt's elections by tightening relations with the Muslim Brotherhood. Kochavi noted Iran acted directly in Lebanon in organizing Nakba Day and Naksa Day - demonstrations on Israel's borders - and that Iran and Hizbullah were supporting Syria's crackdown on protests. (Ynet)

OBAMA TO VISIT ISRAEL: James Cunningham, the outgoing US ambassador to Israel, said Tuesday that US President Barack Obama intends on visiting Israel. Cunningham mentioned that Israel is on Obama's agenda during a farewell meeting with Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, who thanked Cunningham for his service as the two discussed the current state of US-Israel relations. Rivlin told Cunningham many Israelis feel the mood in the White House has changed for the worse. “They worry Israel has become a burden rather than a strategic asset to the US," Rivlin said. He also discussed the stalled negotiations with the Palestinians, saying that “Obama should know that there are no shortcuts in the Middle East. Even a senator who ascended to the presidency cannot bring about miracles here.” (Ha’aretz)

POLL: US JEWS STILL LIKE OBAMA, BUT SUPPORT DROPS SLIGHTLY:   A new Gallup poll released Tuesday indicates that Jewish support for US President Obama has slipped over the past month - but only slightly. The latest poll, covering the period between May 19 and June 30, had 60% of American Jews approving of the job Obama is doing, down from a high of 68% in mid-May, which coincided with the successful killing of arch-terrorist Osama Bin-Laden. According to Gallup, June's 60% positive rating is “statistically unchanged” from a 64% positive rating Jews gave Obama last April. (INN)

ISRAELI VIOLINIST SHARES TOP AWARD AT INTERNATIONAL MUSIC COMPETITION: Israeli violinist Itamar Zorman and Russian violinist Sergey Dogadin both took second place in their category at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow and St. Petersburg. The Tchaikovsky competition did not award a first prize this time in the violin category; instead, judges awarded the second prize of 1,000 euros to both Zorman and Dogadin. (Ha’aretz)

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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