Israel Update

July 18, 2011 

“Behold, the darkness shall cover the earth and deep darkness the people; but the Lord will arise over you and His glory will be seen upon you.” Isa 60:2

PERES TO NORWAY’S KING:  MASSACRE BROKE OUR HEARTS IN ISRAEL: President Shimon Peres telephoned Norwegian King Harald V on Sunday and expressed Israel's condolences for the massacre in Norway Friday, in which 92 people were killed. "We in Israel followed what was going on in Norway over the weekend and the harm to innocents broke our hearts," Peres told the king. "This is a tragedy that hurts and touches every human being," he added.  PM Benjamin Netanyahu also commented on the Norway massacre on Sunday, saying Israel completely identifies with the disaster. "We declare our deepest shock over this crime," Netanyahu said during a cabinet meeting on Sunday. "We have experienced it from other directions and we know the families' and the nation's agony. Therefore, I again send the condolences of the state, government and people of Israel to the Norwegian people, state and government." Norwegian right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik, 32, is believed to be responsible for two separate terror attacks that occurred in Norway on Friday. After seven people were killed in a car bomb blast at a government building in Oslo, Breivik allegedly went to the island of Utoya, where he opened fire on a gathering of young people at a Labor party summer camp, killing at least 85 people. (Ha’aretz)

ISRAELIS RANK ECONOMY AS TOP CONCERN: More Israelis are dissatisfied with the government's social and economic policies than with the international political situation, according to a recent poll conducted by the War and Peace Index. The survey, taken at the end of June, reported 62% of Israelis said the government was performing "badly" or "very badly" when it came to economic and social issues. Eighty percent said they were "very disturbed" or "quite disturbed" by the socioeconomic situation, while 71% said they were "disturbed" or "very disturbed" by Israel's international political situation. (Ha’aretz)

TENS OF THOUSANDS MARCH IN TEL AVIV TO PROTEST HOUSING SHORTAGE, HIGH RENT PRICES: Rental and property rates in Jerusalem and Greater Tel Aviv are on par with the most expensive cities in Europe and the US, while Israelis typically earn less than half what their American and European counterparts do. Tens of thousands of demonstrators marched in central Tel Aviv on Saturday night as part of a large-scale protest movement against the housing shortage and high rent prices in Israel. The protest was an extension of the "tent cities" which have sprouted up across the country as part of an organized effort led by a cross-section of Israeli society - including the middle class, young people, students, Holocaust survivors, and the elderly. The demonstrators marched from the tent city on Rothschild Boulevard toward the Tel Aviv Museum, where they heard speeches from various protest leaders calling on the government to find a sustainable solution to the housing crisis. PM Netanyahu slammed Likud ministers on Sunday for not trying to solve the housing crisis that gave rise to mass nationwide protests. "Give me ideas for a solution," he told the ministers, adding that they must share the weight in handling the problem. (Ha’aretz) Pray for government solutions to the extreme shortage and unaffordable prices, of dwelling places in Israel.

ALARMING POVERTY RATE UP 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 $2500. 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

OSLO GENERATION JOINS ARMY: The August 2011 IDF recruitment cycle will begin Monday, July 24. The youth joining the IDF in this cycle were born in the summer and fall of 1993 – just when then-Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin signed the ill-fated Oslo Accords with PLO strongman Yasser Arafat. When the “Oslo babies” were three years old, savage Hamas terrorists began blowing up buses full of civilian men, women and children inside Israel. When they were seven years old, Arafat launched the terror war dubbed by many as “the Oslo War,” which killed over 1,000 Israelis, most of them civilians, and injured many thousands more. The carnage peaked in 2002 and 2003, and did not ebb until 2005. The PLO sought to break Israel’s spirit by making civilians feel they were not safe anywhere. Now at 18, they are highly motivated to fight the enemy. According to the IDF, their motivation is identical to that of last year: 73.3% of the enlistees eligible for combat in field units asked to serve as combat soldiers, the same percentage as in August 2010.  Ninety-five percent of the soldiers placed in combat had asked to serve in combat. (INN) “I will contend with him who contends with you, and I will save your children.” Is 49:25

IRAN NUCLEAR SCIENTIST SHOT DEAD IN TEHRAN: Gunmen on a motorcycle assassinated an Iranian nuclear physicist on Saturday. The semi-official ISNA news agency identified the victim as Darioush Rezaei, a 35-year-old physics professor involved in Iran's nuclear program and said he was shot dead in front of his home in Tehran. Several Iranian nuclear scientists have been murdered in recent years in attacks that Iran has blamed on the US ­and Israel, which both accuse Iran of seeking to develop a nuclear weapons capability under the cover of its civilian atomic energy program. (Ha’aretz)

UN: SYRIAN REPRESSION MAY AMOUNT TO SERIOUS CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY: UN experts on genocide claim the Syrian government may be charged with crimes against humanity as it has continued to crack down on unarmed protesters. UN advisers have been following developments in North Africa and the Middle East where waves of popular unrest have unsettled many governments in recent months. They said Syrian security forces have been targeting civilian protesters, killing them and arbitrarily arresting residents, often from their homes. There have been numerous reports of disappearances and the torture of detainees. Human rights groups claim hundreds of demonstrators have been killed in the past three months since protests erupted demanding that the government of President Bashar Assad launch democratic reform. (Ha’aretz)  

TURKISH PM:  NO NORMALIZATION WITH ISRAEL WITHOUT APOLOGY, END OF GAZA BLOCKADE: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that his country will not normalize its relations with Israel as long as Israel does not apologize for the killing of nine Turkish pro-Palestinian activists during the takeover of the Mavi Marmara ship last year. Erdogan added that Israel should compensate the families of those killed and end the blockade of the Gaza Strip. Erdogan said he supports the Palestinians, and those who are dedicated to the Palestinian cause. He added that Turkey supports the Palestinian intention to seek UN recognition in September and that the entire world should take action in order to remove the Gaza blockade. He added that Israel should accept the fact that East Jerusalem will be the capital of the Palestinian state. (Ha’aretz)  “For Zion’s sake I will not hold My peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until her righteousness goes forth as brightness and her salvation as a lamp that burns.” Isa 62:1

ITALY STANDS BY ISRAEL, BOYCOTTS DURBAN III: Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini announced Friday that Italy has decided to boycott the Durban III Conference to be held in September due its anti-Israeli nature. He noted that previous conferences were used as an arena to hurl accusations at Israel rather than discussing the struggle against racism, discrimination and xenophobia. Frattini noted that Italy chose not to attend the second Durban Conference in 2009 for the same reasons. Italy joins the US, Israel, and Canada, all of which have already announced they will not attend Durban III. The Durban II Conference in 2009 was boycotted by nine countries including Israel, the US, Germany, Australia, Canada, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, and Poland. (Arutz-7)

ISLAMIC JIHAD LEADER KILLED IN GAZA ROAD ACCIDENT: Four members of the Islamic Jihad's al-Quds Brigades were killed when their car collided with a truck in the Gaza Strip on Friday. The al-Quds Brigades confirmed that Abu Fadi Razayna, a leader in the group, was among the dead. The al-Quds Brigades constitute the military wing of Islamic Jihad. (Ha’aretz)

NEW LAYER OF GAS DISCOVERED AT TAMAR FIELD OFF COAST OF HAIFA: A deeper layer of natural gas has been discovered at the Tamar field, off the coast of Haifa, according to a report published on Thursday by Delek Drilling and Avner Oil Exploration. The significance of the newly discovered structure will depend on the amount of natural gas at Tamar and on the estimations of additional layers in other areas of the Mediterranean Sea that have not yet been discovered. (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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