Israel Update

July 18, 2011

“The God of my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; my Savior, You save me from violence.” 2 Sam 22:3

JORDAN UNDER FIRE FOR BLOODY VIOLENCE AGAINST JOURNALISTS:   Violent Jordan police beat up journalists covering a protest and may have inadvertently paved the way for a hot “Arab Spring” summer. Authorities detained four policemen, charged with causing severe injuries to reporters covering Friday's Islamic-led protests against the kingdom, which has promised but not yet carried out wide-ranging reforms. Five journalists were hospitalized. Friday’s club-swinging police in the capital of Amman injured at least 15 people in an unusually violent confrontation with 300 reporters, who nearly outnumbered the demonstrators. The attacks on journalists sparked outrage throughout the country, and Jordan- based journalists said they would stage a sit-in protest early this week. The violence shattered Jordan’s image as a welcoming country for members of the press. King Abdullah II generally has been spared the massive uprising that has rocked several Muslim countries in the Middle East and Africa, but he has not been immune. Police last month broke up a protest with gunshots but allegedly prevented journalists from reporting the scope of Bedouin opposition. (INN)

ONE MILLION PROTESTERS PUSH SYRIA’S ASSAD TO THE BRINK:   An estimated one million Syrians took to the streets Friday to press for the ouster of President Bashar Assad, whose use of force and offers of dialogue have failed to stop a four-month revolt. At least 41 protesters were killed around the country over the weekend, including 27 in the capital of Damascus. Friday's protests have posed the biggest threat to Assad since he inherited power from his father 11 years ago. Israeli defense officials said in a recent analysis it's just a matter of time before Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime falls. The uprising in Syria is part of a wave of unrest that has swept parts of the Arab world this year, toppling the leaders of Tunisia and Egypt, before spreading to other countries including Libya, Bahrain and Yemen. Syrian security forces have reportedly killed more than 1,700 people since March. (News Max)

TUNISIAN UNREST CONTINUES: POLICE STATION TORCHED: Police clashed with protesters early Sunday in a western suburb of Tunis as they tried to contain a mob of some 200 demonstrators. The protesters torched a police station in the Intilaka district. As events escalated, police used teargas and fired live ammunition into the air in an effort to disperse the crowd. The protest followed a similar riot in Tunis on Friday after Muslim prayers. Hundreds of demonstrators joined a sit-in near the government building in the Kasbah Square. Protesters demanded the resignation of the Interior and Justice ministers, and prosecution of those responsible for the repression of the “Jasmine Revolution” earlier this year. At least 48 people were detained by security forces. (INN)

TEL AVIV AND JERUSALEM RESIDENTS CAMP OUT IN PROTEST OF HOUSING PRICES: Hundreds of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem residents slept outdoors on Thursday night, in protest of the high and rising rental prices in their respective cities. Dafne Leaf, who initiated the movement, said it was not initially intended to serve as a protest but as "an act of desperation." Leaf recently opened a Facebook page entitled, "Emergency, take a tent and take a stand." Days after the page was created, some 3,600 people confirmed their attendance. “I'm sick of yelling alone. If you go around Tel Aviv, the first things any young person will ask you are what you do, where you live and how much you pay," she said. “We, the public, need to demand solutions.” PM Benjamin Netanyahu responded Sunday to nationwide protests against rising home prices and housing shortages by acknowledging the protesters' struggle. The prime minister said that in such a small country, demand for apartments does not meet supply due to an “outrageous bureaucracy” that bogs down the market. He promised the government would tackle the issue. Similar protests will be launched in other cities throughout the country this week. (Ha’aretz) Please pray for adequate, affordable housing for the young and the old, students, families, the poor and the disabled. The desperate housing situation in Israel can only be comprehended when one is in need of a home and finds prices for something livable are realistic only for the wealthy.

BARKAT ON BBC: FROM WHOM, EXACTLY, DID WE CONQUER JERUSALEM?    Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat spoke out forcefully during an interview with the BBC on Friday, saying that splitting the capital as part of a future peace agreement with the Palestinian Authority would simply not work. Barkat called UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s criticism of Israel for its plans to build in Jerusalem’s Jewish Gilo neighborhood a double standard. He added, “Anywhere in the world, would you dare to say that Jews or non-Jews or blacks or people of a certain faith are not allowed to build somewhere? The reality is that in the last week we’ve discussed and will be approving 1,400 units for Arab residents, but they don’t report that. The media only report Jewish building." He sharply contradicted the assertion that Jerusalem is “occupied territory” by saying, “This is not occupied territory. Anywhere you put a shovel in the ground you find Jewish roots in Jerusalem.” (INN) “This is what the Lord says: ‘I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the Faithful City, and the mountain of the Lord Almighty will be called the Holy Mountain.’” Zech 8:3

POLL: 81 PERCENT OF US JEWS OBJECT TO FORCED RETURN TO 1967 LINES: “Some 81% of American Jews are opposed to any peace agreement requiring Israel to return to the 1967 lines, a new survey conducted by Democrat Pat Caddell and Republican John McLaughlin has revealed. Some 88% agree with the Israeli demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state. The survey found that American Jews hold the issue of Israel very close to their hearts. 93% expressed concern about a potential attack on Israel, particularly from countries such as Iran. In addition, 81% oppose a unilateral Palestinian declaration of statehood at the UN. (Israel Hayom)

ALARMING POVERTY RATE IN ISRAEL: Today we are faced with alarming poverty statistics in Israel: Some 46% of the people living under the official poverty line are working poor. These are hard working individuals who do not earn enough to make ends meet and who have to make choices between food and medicine. Globes reported Tuesday July 12th, 2011 regarding the cost of living in Israel that the Israeli consumer pays almost two to three times as much as others around the world in monthly expenditures while salaries are considerably lower compared with the rest of the world. The cost of living in Israel has appeared in the headlines, but it is not just a matter of grocery store costs: in many sectors, from telecommunications to automobiles, Israel pays much higher prices compared with other countries. If you take into account the average salary of an Israeli compared with those who live across the ocean, the picture is bleak: the average salary in America is about $3800 a month, and in the large cities about $5000 a month. Data from the EU show the average salary in Britain is about $4500. In Israel the average monthly salary is only $2600. The difficulty in making ends meet is felt heavily in all aspects of the family budget. Fuel, an essential commodity costs twice as much as in the US. The price of gasoline in Israel, as recently reported in "Globes," is one of the highest in the world. (Globes) We at Vision for Israel thank you, our faithful donors and volunteers on behalf of over 400,000 people, 148,000 needy children, hundreds of families of terrorist victims, and thousands of elderly in nursing homes and medical centers who have been helped by Vision for Israel. You have made it possible for Vision for Israel and The Joseph Storehouse to reach so many people and now even to expand our operations beyond our borders. Thank you to each and every one of you, you are all amazing people. Though we cannot fill all the gaps in Israel’s aid to the poor, with your assistance we can continue to make a vital impact to help alleviate the suffering. 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

POLL FINDS SIX IN 19 PALESTINIANS REJECT 2-STATE SOLUTION: Seventy three percent of 1,010 Palestinians in the W. Bank and Gaza agree with “hadith” quoted in the Hamas Charter about the need to kill Jews hiding behind stones and trees. Only one in three Palestinians (34%) accepts two states for two peoples as the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Sixty-six percent said the Palestinians’ real goal should be to start with a two-state solution but then move to it all being one Palestinian state. Asked about the fate of Jerusalem, 92% said it should be the capital of Palestine, 1% said the capital of Israel, 3% the capital of both, and 4% a neutral international city. Seventy-two percent backed denying the thousands of years of Jewish history in Jerusalem, 62% supported kidnapping IDF soldiers, and 53% were in favor or teaching songs about hating Jews in Palestinian schools. (J.Post)

STATE DEPT ENVOY ON ANTISEMITISM FACING RESISTANCE ON ARAB TEXTBOOKS:   Hannah Rosenthal, the State Department's envoy for combating antisemitism, visited Lebanon, Jordan and Saudi Arabia last month on a mission to persuade officials to remove from their textbooks intolerance aimed at non-Muslims and to introduce positive references to Judaism. The most common response, she said, was avoidance. “As soon as a conversation about religious tolerance becomes tense, they shut it down or they turn to Israel-Palestine issues,” she said. (JTA)

NINE-YEAR-OLD HASIDIC BOY BRUTALLY MURDERED IN NEW YORK: Police have arrested a man in the killing of a 9-year-old Hasidic boy whose dismembered body was found Wednesday in the suspect's freezer and a trash bin in Brooklyn, N.Y. Levi Aron, 35, was apprehended after making statements that “implicated” him in the killing of Leiby Kletzky, who had stopped to ask the suspect for directions on his way home from camp according to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. Kelly said the child's dismembered remains were found early Wednesday in Aron's refrigerator and in a plastic garbage bag dumped into a trash bin in Brooklyn. At least 10,000 mourners packed 56th and 57th Streets in Brooklyn Wednesday as they paid their final goodbyes to the innocent boy who trusted a stranger and died as a result. (Fox/INN) Pray for the bereaved family and community of this brutally murdered child. “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Ps 34:18

Blessings from Israel 

Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff 

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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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