Israel Update

August 4, 2011 

“Deliverance belongs to the Lord. Your blessing be upon Your people.” Ps 3:8

TOMB OF PHILIP THE APOSTLE DISCOVERED IN TURKEY: A tomb believed to be that of Philip the Apostle was unearthed last month during excavations in the ancient Turkish city of Heliopolis. Italian professor Francesco D'Andria said archaeologists found the tomb of the biblical figure, one of the 12 original disciples of Yeshua, while working on the ruins of a newly-unearthed church. "We have been looking for the apostle’s tomb for years," said D'Andria. He added that the structure of the tomb and the writings on the wall proved it belonged to Saint Philip. The professor expects it to become an important Christian pilgrimage destination. Philip, recognized as one of Christianity's martyrs, is thought to have died in Hierapolis, in around 80AD. (Fox News)

ISRAELI RESEARCH COULD LEAD TO BREAKTHROUGH IN AUTISM DIAGNOSIS: The results of new research by scientists at the Weizmann Institute could lead to the development of tools for early diagnosis of Autism in children. The biological causes of autism are still not understood, and a diagnosis of autism is only possible after age three or four. But the Weizmann research has found, for the first time, a method that can accurately identify a biological sign of autism in very young toddlers. By scanning the brain activity of sleeping children, the scientists discovered that the autistic brains exhibited significantly weaker synchronization between brain areas tied to language and communication, compared to that of non-autistic children. (INN) 

TEL AVIV HIGH RISES NOMINATED FOR INTERNATIONAL TALL BUILDING AWARD: Two new residential high rises in Tel Aviv have been nominated for the Best Tall Building Award, presented annually by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, based in Chicago, Illinois. This is the first time buildings in Israel have been nominated for this award. The two towers will be competing against other high-rises around the Middle East, including projects in Dubai, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon. (Ha’aretz)

CUSTOMER SERVICE: THE NEXT GREAT CHALLENGE FOR ISRAELI BUSINESS: Israel is now one of the world's most advanced countries when it comes to science and technology but it's still in the “third world” when it comes to customer relations. Until Israeli entrepreneurs and businesses get over the “hump” of learning how to treat customers and workers properly, the economy will not be able to reach its full potential. That was the message delivered to students at an Israeli school of business during a lecture by Professor Jean-Charles Chebat from Canada. Acknowledged as one of the world's leading authorities on retail customer service, Chebat said the country has come a long way, but there is still much to do when it comes to customer service. “Customers and workers go to where they are treated right.” (INN)

AS KASSAMS FALL ISRAEL HANDS WATER “GESTURES” OVER TO GAZA: In a “gesture” to Gaza Arabs on the occasion of the month of Ramadan, which began this week, Israel will transfer to Gaza an additional 3 million cubic meters of water. The Jewish state announced a host of other “gestures” for Gaza Arabs Tuesday as well. Ten new factories will be built by private contractors in Gaza, with building standards and materials meeting European Union requirements, to enable the factories to export to the EU. Israel also approved the expansion of exports from Gaza and the increase of the number permits for Palestinian businesspeople to enter Israel. (Arutz-7)

GAZA ROCKET FIRE INCREASES: On Wednesday Gaza terrorists attacked with a rocket south of Ashkelon as missiles strikes increase. Twenty rocket and missile explosions were aimed at Israeli civilians in July, four times the number in the previous month.  August started out with a continuing escalation in violence from Gaza, and a Bedouin woman was lightly wounded by shrapnel on Monday after a missile exploded near a Negev cemetery. (Ynet) Continue to pray for the protection of resident’s living in Israel’s southern communities and for IDF staff on duty there.

PALESTINIANS CALL FOR MASS MARCHES NEXT MONTH: Palestinian officials this week said they plan to begin mass marches against Israel's occupation of the West Bank on Sept. 20, the eve of a largely symbolic UN vote to recognize their independence. The US opposes the Palestinian initiative and has signaled it will use its veto power to defeat the measure in the Security Council. (AP)

CAGED AND BED-RIDDEN MUBARAK SAYS HE’S NOT GUILTY AT CAIRO TRIAL: Ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of ordering the killing of protesters and abusing his powers during his 30-year rule that ended in February after weeks of civil protests shook the country. "I completely deny all these charges," Mubarak told the court as he lay on a gurney looking unwell. Mubarak's and his bed were placed inside a dock enclosed in a large cage in the Police Academy building near Cairo. (Ha’aretz)

TURKEY’S MILITARY LEADERS RESIGN IN HIGH-STAKES POWER STRUGGLE: The Turkish military days ago staged an "inverted coup" with a strike-style walkout by its top leadership. Last week Chief of Staff Gen. Isik Kosaner resigned, as did the heads of the Turkish Army, Navy and Air Force. A headless military is a risk in a country flanked by Iran, Iraq, and Syria, the last of which is undergoing revolutionary turmoil on the other side of a 500 mile-long border. In 2007, the ruling AKP party launched a court case, known as Ergenekon, which alleged a coup plot against the government and accused the military of involvement. Four years and hundreds of arrests later, the case has yet to reach a verdict. Half of all Turkish admirals have been jailed. The final straw came when pro-AKP media suggested 14 active-duty generals and admirals, who had been arrested, though not yet indicted, would be forced to resign. By walking out, the military has in a way conceded defeat to the AKP. However, the government needs a military, and a secular military is currently its only option. (Daily Alert) PM Recep Organ, although heading Turkey’s secular government, has Islamist leanings greatly feared by the country’s academic and military leaders as well as large segments of the general public.  He is felt to be inching Turkey politically towards greater religious extremism. Turkey's national identity has suffered conflict since Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, an army officer in World War I, founded the secular republic after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. He established women’s right to vote, placed limits on Islamic attire, and replaced Arabic script with the Roman alphabet.

ISRAEL AND THE NORWAY TERROR ATTACKS: When a mad nationalist Norwegian terrorist killed 93 of his countrymen (many of them children) in two separate terrorist attacks in Oslo last month many set out to find a connection to Israel. No sense wasting such a tremendous opportunity to further smear the Jewish state and its supporters. As with all such efforts to demonize Israel and especially its Christian friends, the detractors found what they were looking for, even if their conclusions required perverting reality. The first connection came when it was revealed the youth attending a summer camp hosted by Norway's ruling Labor Party on the island of Utoya had actually discussed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict two days prior to the attack. The youths had demanded that their government boycott the Jewish state.  Photos of the event later featured in newspapers around the world showed several of the young people holding banners that read "Boycott Israel." After the killer, Anders Behring Breivik, was captured and questioned, the media almost gleefully reported that he is a right-wing Christian fundamentalist. What's more, he had reportedly authored a massive online manifesto that mentioned Israel in a positive light several hundred times. For many political bloggers, and even for satellite network Al Jazeera, that was enough to accuse Israel's Mossad intelligence agency of being behind the Oslo massacre. Jewish leaders in Europe said it is a new trend for right-wing nationalist groups, even neo-Nazis, to feign partnership with Israel in order to gain legitimacy. But the Jewish leaders say people like Breivik are no friends of their communities, or of Israel. They are only using Israel and merely suspending their hatred of the Jews as they focus on a bigger enemy. The end result is that Breivik is imposed as a kind of poster child of conservative Christian supporters of Israel. If Israel's supporters can be portrayed as being dangerous and unhinged, then certainly the nation they so fervently back must be as well. (Ryan Jones/Israel Today) “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.”  Matt 7:16-17

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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