Israel Update

December 4, 2011 


“Lord, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress. At the uproar of your army, the peoples flee. When you rise up, the nations scatter.” Isaiah 33: 2-3

BETTER PLACE TO EXPAND OPERATIONS ACROSS EUROPE: An Israeli-American company says it has secured an additional $200 million in financing to create the world's first network of charging stations for electric cars. New investors include General Electric Co. and UBS AG. Better Place says it plans to go operational within the next few months. Israeli Founder and CEO Shai Agassi says the new infusion will let the company expand operations across Europe. The company says the latest financing round will nearly double its value to $2.25 billion. Since 2007, Better Place has raised more than $750 million. Better Place plans to build a network of charging stations in markets around the world, beginning with Israel and Denmark. Its partner, Renault, is making the cars. The company says its service will cost the same or less than gasoline-powered cars. (AP)

2011 YIELDS RECORD FRUIT CROP: The year 2011 will be a record year in Israel's fruit yield with a total of 690,000 tons of fruit produced, according to Ilan Eshel, director of the Fruit Growers' Organization. The branch grew quantitatively by 2% this year and has grown by 10% over the last four years. Bananas and apples were at the top of the fruit bowl with 141,000 tons and 105 tons respectively. They were followed by peaches and nectarines at 75,000 tons each, grapes for consumption (71,000 tons) and avocados (70,000 tons). (INN) “May the mountains bring prosperity to the people and the hills the fruit of righteousness.” Psalm 72:3

MKs TO TAKE ETIQUETTE LESSONS: Israel's parliament members and ministers will likely never stop quarreling or pounding their knuckles on the table during cabinet meetings, or coming to near fisticuffs over differences of opinion (not unusual methods of communication amongst many Israelis). But soon they will hopefully learn how to render their viewpoints more politely. A special workshop scheduled to open in the Knesset in two weeks will teach lawmakers the basic rules of etiquette, as well as some advice related to their special role as elective representatives. The new course will open following a number of embarrassing incidents which have taken place over the past year during MKs' meetings - with their colleagues in Israel and abroad. Attempts have been made in the past to offer similar workshops, but this is the first time the plan will be implemented. The first lesson will be held on December 6. (Ynet)

ISRAELI FOODS INVADE AMERICA: Israeli products are consumed by six million Americans, regardless of their religious observance. Approximately one million US consumers observe kosher dietary laws all year. Izzet Ozdogan, CEO of the American division of Israel-based Osem food products, said Americans are attracted to Israel’s brand names, such as Osem, Sugat, Elite, Telma, Wisotzky, and Pereg. Kosher food has made its way into Macy's New York's De Gustibus cooking school as certified kosher food becomes more popular. De Gustibus offers classes by well-known chefs from around the country, teaching preparation of meals paired with suitable selections of wines. Salvatore Rizzo, who runs the cooking school said, “We will only accept chefs that prepare their foods in kosher certified kitchens." The kosher food fad has not escaped the attention of other countries hungry for tourism. A recent “Shalom Buenos Aires” program trained tourism industry workers on the needs of kosher travelers, and the city published a special brochure and map with a listing of synagogues, kosher establishments and hotels that cater to kosher travelers. (INN)

MORE FEMALE SOLDIERS IN MORE POSITIONS IN THE ISRAEL’S DEFENSE FORCES: Women make up 33% of the IDF.  Some 51% of IDF officers are females serving as both career soldiers and reservists. Women make up 3% of combat soldiers and 15% of technical personnel. Today, almost every single position in the IDF is open for female soldiers including combat, field instruction, intelligence and more. Combat positions include artillery, field intelligence, Home Front Command, and search and rescue. The Karakal infantry battalion was created to enable female IDF soldiers to serve in a combat position alongside males. The K9 unit, Oketz, also drafts females as elite combat soldiers. (Israel Defense Forces)

TEN PEOPLE ARRESTED DURING SOCIAL PROTESTS IN TEL AVIV: Ten demonstrators were arrested Saturday evening during a protest near Tel Aviv's Azrieli mall. Hundreds of activists marched along Begin Road in protest of what they referred to as social injustice and the erosion of democracy by the government. One of the protest leaders said:  "We came here to tell the government that started its winter session by canceling all the social legislations and silences our freedom of speech – we will take to the streets every week . Those who thought the protest died down were dead wrong. We are protesting today because nothing has changed. Instead of dealing with the real issues, the government is busy passing anti-democratic laws and threatening us with lawsuits if we violate them," he said. Last week, MK Binyamin Ben-Eliezer (Labor) called to renew the social protest, saying: "The only chance for something to change is if people go out and protest on the streets. The government is blatantly ignoring the social reality and is only focusing on the security situation," he added. (Ynet)

EGYPT ELECTION RESULTS ARE A NIGHTMARE COME TRUE: Israel's worst fears regarding its relationship with the Arab world - and with Egypt in particular - are coming true, according to Middle East expert Dr. David Buk'i . “The rise of the Islamists in Egypt means the end of the peace treaty with Egypt and the rise of a government committed to the ideological Islamist goal of the destruction of the State of Israel.” With results in from the first round of voting in Egypt, it's clear the Islamist coalition has emerged as the largest faction in the future Egyptian government. The Muslim Brotherhood captured more than 40% of the vote, but the hardline Islamist Salafist Nour Party garnered some 20% of the vote - placing the Islamist coalition firmly in control of Egypt's parliament, at least until the second round of voting in several weeks. Buk'i warned months ago this was exactly what would happen. “It was already clear to me last February the uprisings in the Arab world were not an 'Arab spring,' but rather a bitter 'Arab winter' and a return to chaos and violence. When you give a Muslim a free voice in electing his leaders, he will pick an Islamist leadership every time and once Islamism is firmly planted, it spreads quickly,” says Buk'i. “The foolish West helped al-Qaeda win in Libya, and al-Qaeda now controls Tunisia. And it is spreading to other nations. Tragedy and catastrophe ensue when Islamists win,” he added. “Israel is seeing the catastrophe unfold now.” (INN) 

WHAT IS AN ISLAMIST? Islamists support Shariah law (strictest Muslim rule), and wish to have it implemented throughout the entire world. With the sword, the rifle, car bombs, grenades, poisons, hijacked planes, bacteria, nerve agents, and if possible nuclear weapons they mean to oppose democracy and secular governments throughout the globe and destroy such systems. Brutality and bloodshed are considered perfectly justifiable methods to further their cause as they are under girded by numerous verses in the Quran. Islamists are determined to fight until religion is for Allah alone, and the infidels have been defeated, subjugated, or eliminated altogether. To westerners this news sounds absurd. They can't believe people would seriously endeavor to begin a 21st century crusade to spread a particular religion by force. Westerners want to believe the whole business is about oil, or opposition to the political and economic hegemony of the western powers, or about the Zionist-Muslim conflict in Israel. But for an Islamist those battles are defined by something far more serious: a religious crusade. To date, most westerners don't know the totality of conviction and scheming they are actually up against. (Islamist Watch)  Be aware of the increase and intentions of Islamists in your communities. Realize that jihad methods are covert, steady and well planned. They are being carried out through the media, the Internet, textbook materials, and large sums of money reportedly being floated to the US government for political favors – in addition to the outbreaks of brutality that hit the headlines. Jihad is Islam's strongest political concept. It can be done with the sword, the pen, by the mouth and with currency.

SENATE VOTES UNANIMOUSLY TO SANCTION IRAN CENTRAL BANK: The US Senate on Thursday voted 100-0 to adopt economic sanctions against Iran's central bank. The vote came in spite of warnings from the Obama administration that the sanctions would alienate allies and drive up oil prices. Lawmakers say the Obama administration needs to show a greater sense of urgency in the wake of reports from the UN nuclear agency that Iran has been developing technologies needed to produce a nuclear weapon. (Dow Jones-Wall Street Journal)

SANCTIONS HIT SYRIA AS OIL GIANT SHELL CEASES OPERATIONS: Royal Dutch Shell said on Friday it would cease operations in Syria to heed new EU sanctions against Damascus, deepening the international isolation of President Bashar Assad imposed over his violent crackdown on popular unrest. In the latest bloodshed, Syrian army defectors killed eight Air Force intelligence personnel in an attack on their base in the north of the country. Armed deserters are reportedly turning to an offensive of ambushes and roadside bombs, raising the specter of civil war. (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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