Israel Update

December 25, 2011 


“See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and His glory appears over you.” Isaiah 60:2

US DOUBLES AID TO ISRAEL’S DEFENSE SYSTEMS: The US will double the special aid it gives Israel for the development and implementation of anti-missile systems. The House and Senate’s Committees on Appropriations approved the aid following a request by the US Administration to approve aid totaling $106.1 million for the Arrow 3 anti-ballistic long-range air defense system, for the program to improve the basic capabilities of the Arrow systems, and for the David’s Sling mid-range anti-missile system. Both Appropriations Committees went far beyond the request and raised the amount of aid from $129 million to $235.7 million in 2012. Steve Rothman, a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, said the growing distribution of missiles and rockets around the globe, starting with Iran and Hezbollah and ending with Gaza and Syria is a direct threat to US national security. "Our enemies know they cannot cope with the combined power of the world's only military superpower and the most powerful military force in the Middle East. This aid is the latest illustration of the unprecedented level of military cooperation and intelligence between the two countries." In additional efforts to advance military cooperation; the Commander of the Third Air Force of the US Military is presently in Israel to prepare for a joint training exercise between the Israel Air Force and the US Army. (Arutz-7)

ROSS: OBAMA PREPARED TO TAKE MILITARY ACTION AGAINST IRAN: President Barack Obama’s former Middle East adviser said the Obama administration is determined to prevent Iran from achieving a nuclear weapon and would certainly consider military action against the Islamic Republic. In an interview with Israel’s Channel 10 News, Ross said the recent public statements by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey make clear the President and the administration "take this issue with the greatest degree of seriousness." (INN)

EGYPT HEMORRHAGING CASH: Egyptian PM Kamal el- Ganzouri decried on Thursday that funds pledged by the US, the Group of Eight, and Arab states has not been delivered. Egypt’s net outflows reached $8.9 billion in January through September. The hemorrhaging of capital was largely caused by the sale of $7.5 billion of securities, especially treasury bills, by foreigners. Cairo's worsening economic outlook has brought record credit rating cuts and the threat of currency devaluation. Days ago, Moody’s Investors Service lowered Egypt’s rating by one level to B2, citing political instability, deterioration in the balance of payments, “increasing pressure” on government finances and the absence of “a meaningful level of exceptional, external financial support.” US lawmakers passed a bill tying its assistance packages for Egypt to the transfer of power to a civilian government "that respects human rights, and freedom of expression and religion." A second condition was upholding the 1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty. (Arutz-7)

SYRIAN BLOODBATH ON EVE OF ARAB LEAGUE’S MISSION: A team from the Arab League arrived in Syria Thursday amid an international outcry over a "bloodbath" that saw more than 200 people killed by President Bashar al-Assad's regime in just two days. Activists have accused government forces of a major escalation in violence ahead of arrival of foreign observers. "They are trying to buy time, one hour after another, hoping to gain the upper hand on the ground," said an activist. (Independent-UK)

ARAB LEAGUE MISSION TO SYRIA HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH SAVING LIVES: The Arab League monitors in Syria are to act as a barrier that will prevent the Syrian crisis from reaching the UN. Their mission is not to prevent the killing of civilians. They are coming to observe the killing, listen to the claims of civilians and the regime, and report to the league. They are to stay for one month, with an option to extend, but in the agreement signed with Syria that granted access to the monitors, the Assad regime severely restricts their activities. The agreement allows Assad to continue crushing the ever-growing protest, which has now spread to Syria's two biggest cities, Aleppo and the suburbs of Damascus. But lacking significant international action other than sanctions, the opposition is now leaning toward moving the crisis to the international arena and demanding that forces be sent to protect civilians. (Ha'aretz)

SUICIDE BOMBS KILL 44 IN SYRIAN CAPITAL: Twin suicide car bombs blasted outside two buildings of Syria's powerful intelligence agencies Friday, killing at least 44 people and wounding more than 150, authorities said. They were the first of such attacks since the country was thrown into turmoil by the 9-month-old uprising against the rule of President Bashar Assad. The government quickly held up the explosions as proof that it is battling not a popular uprising but terrorists intent on overthrowing the regime. But its opponents claim the regime itself could be behind the attack to make its case to Arab observers who arrived in the country only a day earlier. (CBS)

ARABIC SCHOOL TEXTBOOKS SHOW CHILDREN HOW TO CHOP OFF HANDS AND FEET UNDER SHARIA LAW: Barbaric textbooks handed out in Saudi Arabian schools teach children how to cut off a thief's hands and feet under Sharia law, it has emerged. The shocking books, paid for and printed by the Saudi government, also tell teenagers that Jews need to be exterminated. Recent editions were obtained by the Institute for Gulf Affairs in Washington, D.C., which says they should raise fears in the West over the use of jihadist language. The books were published and handed out to 9th and 10th-graders despite Saudi Arabia's promises to clean up textbooks in the kingdom. (MailOnline) A Brief Review: Sharia is the body of Islamic law implemented in Muslim countries across the world. All aspects of a Muslim's life are governed by Sharia, which is derived from a combination of sources including the Koran, the Hadith - the sayings and conduct of the prophet Muhammad - and fatwas, the rulings of Islamic scholars. Until recently, most modern Islamic nations operated a dual legal system with elements of secular law alongside it.  As radical fundamentals increasingly come to power in nations that now include Lebanon, Egypt and even Turkey, the trend shifts dangerously. Terrorist organizations, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Hizbullah and other jihadist groups grasp for supremacy in order to rule wholly by the most primitive forms of Sharia. Unless prevented, the results will render women permanently without rights and in severe subjection to Muslim fathers, husbands and all male members of the family. It will shift entire populations backward to darkest centuries of oppression and cruelty. In a number of countries Sharia law indeed sanctions and carries out draconian penalties for crimes such as theft, adultery and blasphemy. Punishments include amputation of limbs, also death by stoning or lashes. Pray the Gospel will go forth and triumph in these nations standing on the edge of or moving further into darkness.

FRENCH MUSLIM JAILED FOR PUNCHING NURSE WHO REMOVED HIS WIFE’S BURQA: A Muslim man has been jailed in France for punching a nurse who tried to remove his wife's burqa during an emergency C-section. Nassim Mimoune, 24, was earlier banned from the delivery room after calling a midwife a "rapist" when she attempted to examine his wife in a Marseille hospital on Monday. The pregnant woman, who had been having contractions for two days when she was admitted, begged her husband to allow the examination, but he threatened her with divorce. Mimoune, a construction worker from Paris, was then taken away to view the childbirth from another room, but flew into a rage when he saw the nurse removing his wife's burqa. He smashed open the locked door of the operating room and punched the woman in the face, telling her to replace his wife's Islamic garment. He was arrested on a charge of assault while his wife delivered a healthy baby boy. Jailing him Wednesday for six months, the investigating judge described him as putting, "his religious dogma above the laws of the Republic and his French citizenship." (Fox News) A burqa is the most conservative form of Islamic dress. It is a piece of clothing that covers a woman from head to foot. There is an opening for the eyes - in some cases only one eye - but the rest of the body, except the hands, is covered. The burqa is obligatory attire for Muslim women in some regions.

ISRAELIS LEAD WORLD IN SOCIAL NETWORK USE: Israel is the worldwide leader in monthly social network use, a US-based research firm indicated on Thursday, with Israelis spending twice as much time chatting and posting than the global average.  (Ha’aretz)

HARK! THREE IN FOUR AMERICAN ADULTS BELIEVE ANGELS ARE REAL: Angels don't just sing for Christmas in the US. For most Americans, they're a year-round presence. A new poll shows 77% of adults believe these Biblical messengers of God actually exist in the real world. Unsurprisingly, belief is primarily tied to religion, with 88% of Christians, 95% of evangelical Christians and 94% of those who attend weekly religious services of any sort saying they believe in the celestial beings. But remarkably belief in angels is also fairly widespread even among the less religious, the survey discovered. A majority of non-Christians think angels exist, as do more than 4 in 10 of those who never attend religious services. (MailOnline) Pray for these who believe in angels to respond to the Gospel and the King of kings with saving faith.


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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