Israel Update

November 23, 2011 


“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever.” 1 Chronicles 16:34

HAPPY THANKSGIVING: As many Hebrew-speaking people note at this time of year, it’s interesting the Hebrew word for turkey, hodu, is the same as the word for giving thanks. Whether you are preparing to enjoy Thanksgiving abroad or to celebrate the same feast with loved-ones here in Israel, we’re agreed; there is so much to be thankful for. Staff members at Vision for Israel & The Joseph Storehouse extend warmest holiday greetings to all our friends both near and far.

HEAVY RAINS IN ISRAEL: Heavy rain storms since late last week have provided Israel with a drink for the parched earth and a rise in the water level of Lake Kinneret. Nevertheless, far more is needed before the Sea of Galilee returns to healthy levels. Despite recent torrential rains, the water level of the lake rose Sunday morning by one centimeter – less than one inch, according to Israel's Water Authority. It is expected to rise by a much larger amount this week following run-off from nearby hills. Much rain has fallen in the center of the country and along the coast, bringing greatly-needed water to the aquifers there and in Samaria. (INN)  Pray for an abundant outpouring of precipitation during this year’s rainy season. Israel has experienced seven consecutive years of drought. “Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; make music to our God on the harp. He covers the sky with clouds. He supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills.” Psalm 147:7-8

ISRAELI EXPERTS TO HELP POLICE SECURE TOWNS IN KENYA: Israel is sending experts to Kenya to help police secure major cities against terrorist attacks, as the government heightens its diplomatic offensive to rally the world around Kenya's military operation to defeat terrorist group, Al-Shabaab. Israeli ambassador Gil Haskel said the Jewish state is willing to send consultants to help Kenya secure its cities from terrorist threats and share experience with Kenya because the venture is very similar to Israel's operations in the past, first in Lebanon and then in Gaza. The security agreement signed during PM Raila Odinga's recent tour of Israel, is in response to grenade attacks in Nairobi, Garissa and Mandera by Al-Shabaab elements retaliating against Kenya's military operations. Islamic terrorists are said to have dispatched recruiting agents from mosque to mosque, telling potential followers that Kenyan troops had teamed up with Israel to fight Islam. (Daily Nation-Kenya)  Al-Shabaab is a terrorist organization also fighting to gain rule in Somalia which borders Kenya to the southwest. As of 2011, the group controls large swathes of the southern parts of Somalia, where it is said to have imposed its own strict form of Muslim Sharia law. This Islamic extremist group has also vowed to rid Somalia of Christianity and is noted for its gruesome beheadings of innocent Christians. Kenya sent hundreds of troops into Somalia last month to hunt down Al-Shabaab terrorists, whom it blames for a string of kidnappings in Kenya. Pray for the protection of Christians and all individuals threatened by this brutal terrorist entity.  

IRAN BEGS ISRAEL TO ATTACK AND BE BURIED: A top Iranian Guards commander has begged Israel to stage an attack so Iran will be justified to throw the “enemy” into the “trash can of history.” Revolutionary Guards' Brigadier General, Ali Hajizadeh, told the Iranian Fars News Agency, “One of our big wishes is that they take this action, because for a long time we have piled up a huge potential of energy. We are eager to spend it and throw the enemies of Islam and Muslims into the trash can of history.” His comments are part of a continuing and escalating psychological war of words between Iran and Israel and several US officials. Israel’s President Shimon Peres, who almost always appeals for dialogue and not weapons, said recently that an attack on Iran was becoming “increasingly more likely.” (INN) “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse.” Genesis 12: 3

ISRAELI STRIKE ON IRAN WILL JAM, BLIND, DEAFEN DEFENSES: An Israeli attack on nuclear sites in Iran would go beyond air strikes from fighter planes and likely include electronic warfare against Iran’s electric grid, Internet, cellphone network, and emergency frequencies for fire and police services, according to a report by Eli Lake, a correspondent for Newsweek. For much of the last decade, writes Lake, “Israel has been assembling a multi billion-dollar array of high-tech weapons that would allow it to jam, blind, and deafen Tehran's defenses in the case of a pre-emptive aerial strike.” US intelligence officials are reported as saying that Israel has developed a weapon capable of mimicking a maintenance cellphone signal that commands a cell network to “sleep,” effectively stopping transmissions. The Israelis “also have jammers capable of creating interference within Iran’s emergency frequencies for first responders,” they said. In the 2007 attack on a suspected nuclear site in Syria, Israeli planes “spoofed” the enemy's air-defense radars, “at first making it appear that no jets were in the sky and then in an instant making the radar believe the sky was filled with hundreds of planes,” Lake writes. Israel also likely would exploit Iran's big-city electric grids, which are not “air-gapped,” meaning they are connected to the Internet and therefore vulnerable to a Stuxnet-style cyberattack, officials reportedly said. (INN) “No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.” Isaiah 54:17

IRAN WHITEWASHING NUCLEAR TEST SITE: Iran is trying to cover its tracks at a nuclear testing site by removing traces of nuclear research. The source from an unnamed country said intelligence officials noticed through satellite pictures there had been an unusual amount of activity at the site, with the movement of a large number of vehicles and removal of dangerous materials. The activity was confirmed by informants in two other countries. All three countries noting the unusual activity are members of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The site at the Parchin complex is suspected of being home to a large metal structure referred to earlier this month in an IAEA report as being used for explosive tests. The same site is used for research, development, and production of ammunition, missiles, and high explosives. The IAEA concluded in its report on November 8 that the steel chamber referred to in the new disclosure was designed for manufacturing an atomic bomb. Iran’s postponements of IAEA attempts to visit the site have given the Islamic Republic time to try to sanitize the complex and cover its tracks, as it has allegedly done at previous nuclear facilities. (Arutz-7)

SARKOZY URGES UNPRECEDENTED SANCTIONS ON IRAN'S NUCLEAR PROGRAM: France pushed for what it called “unprecedented” sanctions against Iran and its nuclear program on Monday. French President Sarkozy said as Iran steps up its nuclear program, refuses negotiation and condemns its people to isolation France advocates new sanctions on an unprecedented scale to convince Iran it must negotiate. “France therefore proposes to the European Union and its member states, the US, Japan and Canada and other willing countries to take the decision to immediately freeze the assets of the Iranian Central Bank and stop purchases of Iranian oil,” the statement added. Sarkozy's letter represents the clearest, most determined call to rally Western countries in an effort to penalize Iran for its nuclear ambitions and bring a slowdown or a complete halt to their progression. The French president's statement could also be seen as a last-ditch attempt by the West to prevent a military strike on Iran's facilities, when and if it turns out that sanctions have run their course. (Ha’aretz)

US, BRITAIN, CANADA ANNOUNCE NEW IRAN SANCTIONS: The US, Britain and Canada have announced a new set of tougher sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program. American sanctions target Iran’s oil and petrochemicals industry and Iranian companies involved in nuclear procurement or enrichment activity. The British Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, said that all UK credit and financial institutions had to cease trading with Iran’s banks starting Monday afternoon. It is the first time the UK has cut off a country’s banking sector in this way. Canada has also announced measures against the Islamic Republic. Government House Leader, Peter Van Loan, said that Canada will block virtually all transactions with Iran, including those with the Central Bank. “We will do what it takes to isolate the regime and to minimize the risk that it poses.” The Canada’s Foreign Affairs Department said the sanctions will also expand the list of items that cannot be exported to Iran, including all goods used in the petrochemical, oil and gas industry. (Arutz-7)

ERDOGAN WARNS ASSAD THAT HIS DAYS ARE NUMBERED: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Syrian President Bashar Al Assad this week that his days as a leader were numbered. “You can remain in power with tanks and cannons only up to a certain point. The day will come when you'll also leave,” Erdogan said. Turkey, once a close ally of Syria, has become increasingly outspoken in its criticism of Assad's regime as the death toll from the increasingly bloody crackdown on protesters has risen to more than 3,500 since mid-March. Ankara last week announced a halt to joint oil exploration with Syria and has threatened to cut electricity exports there. Upping the pressure on Syria, the Arab League announced Sunday it had rejected amendments suggested by Damascus to its proposal to send a 500-strong delegation to monitor the violence in Syria. For his part, Assad accused the Arab League of creating a pretext for Western military intervention, which he said would trigger an “earthquake” across the Middle East. (INN)  The Arab League earlier this month suspended Syria from its association following continued mass murders of civilians and deserting soldiers by the Assad regime. Almost all of the 22 members of the Arab League voted to take the unprecedented action against Syria. Yemen was the only opponent outside of Syria itself and Lebanon, which Damascus effectively controls through Hizbullah and pro-Syrian parties.


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.    


All active news articles