Israel Update

August 1, 2011 

“He will judge between nations and will settle disputes for many peoples.” Isa 2:4

ISRAEL’S MIDDLE CLASS IN MASS PROTEST: An uprising of the Middle Class is how demonstrations of up to 150,000 people across Israel are being dubbed. On Saturday, more than 50,000 gathered in Tel Aviv alone. “People who contribute to the state, go into the army, fight and pay ridiculously high taxes can’t make ends meet. They can’t afford a standard, one-bedroom apartment,” said one protester. The biggest social movement in Israel in four decades started last month with a boycott on dairy products when prices shot up. The crowds accuse the government of being in the pockets of financial chiefs and say they are fed up with an Israel of “monopolies and cartels.” Meanwhile in Jerusalem, 2,000 people took part in a march on behalf of affordable housing, Sunday evening. (Euronews)

JERUSALEM:  HUNDREDS PARTAKE IN STROLLERS’ MARCH: Jerusalem on Sunday, staged a second “strollers' march” in protest of the high prices of daycare centers and nursery schools. Protesters began their rally at the prime minister's resident and made their way to Horse Park, where they joined affordable housing protesters. A similar march was also held near Haifa. Activists said "stroller marches" will continue until demands are met. (Ynet)

FINANCE MINISTER:  GROWING CALLS FOR REFORM COULD LEAD TO ANARCHY: Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz hit back on Sunday at the growing national protests over the rising cost of living, saying some reforms being demanded might lead to economic crises like those besetting parts of Europe and the US. The warnings followed marches by some 150,000 demonstrators, the resignation of a top treasury official and questions from commentators over PM Netanyahu's ability to ride out a revolt by the middle class. "We see the talk about the debt crisis in Europe.We are even hearing talk of a possible default in the United States," said Steinitz. "My supreme duty is to ensure we do not reach this situation in the State of Israel." He rejected calls for the authorities to curb industry leaders who are often accused of artificially inflating the price of consumer goods through cartels tolerated by Netanyahu and his predecessors. "We will not create anarchy here," said Steinitz. "We will attend to market concentration but we will not turn the rich and the business people and the investors and the industrialists into the enemies of the people, because they are part of a healthy economy." Steinitz has been the focus of criticism in the crisis that erupted this month. (Ha’aretz)  Pray for Israel’s government to have wisdom and solutions to the growing needs of Israel’s poor and middle class residents. Pray also that protests will be non-violent and contained within boundaries that will lead to resolves, both reasonable and obtainable. 

GOVERNMENT TO SUSPEND GAS PRICE HIKE FOLLOWING PUBLIC PRESSURE: A day after hundreds of thousands took to the street to protest the high cost of living Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz is expected to sign a temporary order freezing a $0.087 rise in gas prices. The price change was due to rising world oil prices. The state will absorb the price at a cost of over $23 million during August. On September 1 a special committee will present its findings on Israeli gas prices. High gas prices have been of the issues stirring up nation-wide protests in the past two weeks. (J.Post) 

140 KILLED IN LATEST SYRIAN VIOLENCE: An estimated 140 people were killed, on Sunday, as troops loyal to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad acted against dissidents in a number of Syrian cities. Most of the activity took place in Hama, where about 100 were killed and in Dir Az-Zour, where another 19 were slain. Hundreds of other civilians were wounded by military fire and violence was reported in a number of other locales. US President Barack Obama issued his harshest statement to date on the ongoing massacre of Syrian citizens by the ruling regime there. "I am appalled by the Syrian government's use of violence and brutality against its own people," Obama said. "The reports are horrifying and demonstrate the true character of the Syrian regime." (INN) “When the wicked rule, the people groan.” Prov  29:10 

HIGH RANKING SYRIAN OFFICIALS JOIN REBELS: A Syrian Major-General has deserted Assad's army along with other officers and joined the rebels. Major-General Riad El As'ad accused the Assad regime of crimes against the Syrian people and called on officers and soldiers in the Syrian army not to aim their weapons at the people. He exhorted them to join the Free Syrian Army. The major-general warned that the Free Army will eliminate any soldier who acts to harm his own people. In recent weeks, a large number of officers and soldiers have deserted the regular Syrian army. Assad continues to control the country, but the violent protest against him goes on and has even reached the outskirts of Damascus. The former Vice President of Syria, Abd al-Halim Khaddam, Assad's bitter enemy, speaking from France, said Assad will fall only if the army disintegrates. That disintegration may have begun. (Arutz-7)

ARAB REGIMES FEAR RAMADAN WILL BE A MONTH OF VIOLENCE: Arab governments in the Middle East are preparing for increased tensions during the 2011 Muslim holy month of Ramadan (August 1 August 29). They fear it may reignite the smoldering flames of uprisings that swept the region this year. "Throughout history, Ramadan has been the month of revolutions and victory," said Abdullah al-Amadi, director of the Qatar-based Islamonline website. "I think it will inspire the youths of the Arab Spring to complete their struggles against tyranny." Authorities in Syria fear that the "Taraweeh" nightly Ramadan prayers will transform every day into a Friday, the Muslim holy day which is also the customary day for violence and mayhem. (INN)

AHMADINEJAD: ARAB UNREST SAVING ISRAEL: The protests in the Arab world against government tyranny like that practiced by the governments of Syria and Libya are not really about securing liberty for the residents of those dictatorships, says Iranian President Ahmadinejad. In the latest iteration of Ahmadinejad's “blame everything on the Jews” ideology, the Iranian leader said the only reason Arabs are protesting is that they were put up to it by the Zionists. He dismissed the words of the protesters themselves, who claim they are fighting oppressive, entrenched leaders who care not a whit about them. Untrue, said Ahmadinejad. Arabs would do well to patch up their internal differences and concentrate on “the true enemy.” (INN) “You have closed their minds to understanding; therefore you will not let them triumph.” Job 17:4

ISLAMISTS CALL FOR SHARIA LAW IN EGYPT: Tahrir Square in Cairo was full again on Friday, as tens of thousands of people once again gathered for a mass demonstration following mosque prayers. But unlike the protests in February which led to the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak, this time the crowd consisted mainly of Islamists who called for the implementation of Islamic law in Egypt. According to the report, demonstrators included members of the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic Jihad, who arrived in hundreds of buses from across Egypt. The crowd held up signs and shouted: “Egypt will return to Islamic sharia law! Liberals and secularists are the enemies of Allah! The solution is Islam!” The Muslim Brotherhood, banned from politics under Mubarak’s regime, has been eying the throne in Egypt. The group’s leaders have publicly stated they would implement Muslim sharia law in Egypt should they take office. The anti-Israel group has also said it is ready to speak with the US so long as it stops “backing the Zionist occupation.” (INN) The Hamas terrorist organization is a "wing of the Muslim Brotherhood," according to the Hamas Charter.  The Charter calls for the murder of Jews, the "obliteration" of Israel and its replacement with an Islamist theocracy. The Brotherhood`s goal is to turn the world into an Islamist empire. The Muslim Brotherhood, founded in Egypt in 1928, is a revolutionary fundamentalist movement to restore strict shariah (Islamist) law in Muslim lands and, ultimately, the world. Today, it has chapters in 80 countries.

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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