Israel Update

January 23, 2012


 “O Lord, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in times of distress.” Isa 33:2

SYRIA REJECTS ARAB LEAGUE PROPOSAL TO END VIOLENCE: Syria rejected Monday a new Arab League plan aiming to end the country's 10-month crisis by calling on the government and the opposition to form a national unity government within two months. Syria called Arab League instance that President Bashar Assad handover supremacy to a transitional government a “blatant interference” in its internal affairs. The demands, as described by one source, are an indication of the level of frustration among Syria’s neighbors over the government’s failure to implement a previous League proposal aimed at ending months of bloodshed that have raised fears of a destabilizing civil war. A Beirut-based commentator said the unusually bold Arab initiative was clearly “bad news” for Assad, one of a string of authoritarian Arab leaders to face popular uprisings in the past year. Three have been overthrown. He said it is a dramatic sign of how much credibility and legitimacy Assad has lost in the region. (Reuters)

RUSSIA TO DELIVER COMBAT JETS TO SYRIA: Russia has signed a contract to sell combat jets to Syria in a show of support for President Bashar Assad's regime. The deal marks an open defiance of international efforts to put pressure on Assad's rule, which has faced broad condemnation for its brutal crackdown on an uprising. The UN says more than 5,400 people have died over ten months. Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said days ago that Russia was acting in full respect of international law and wouldn't be guided by unilateral sanctions imposed by other nations. (Ha’aretz)

NETANYAHU: WORLD SILENT ON THREATS TO DESTROY ISRAEL: Israel's PM Benjamin Netanyahu, in a meeting to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day, addressed the threats to Israel's existence. He emphasized that 70 years after the Holocaust much of the world remains silent in the face of Iran's declared intent to wipe Israel off the earth. He added that global powers ignore similar bullying by the Hizbullah terrorist group and also Hamas leaders who call for the annihilation of the Jewish state and destruction of Jews wherever they are. He underscored that such threats are coupled with continued murderous activities and said International Holocaust Remembrance Day should be the day the world stands behind the words “never again.” Netanyahu concluded by saying this is a day when countries should unite against weapons of mass destruction falling into the hands of dark regimes, led by the Ayatollah and those empowered by him in Iran. “I send greetings to the leaders of Europe and praise them for the important step of taking sanctions against Iran,” Netanyahu said. (INN)

ISRAEL TO UN: TOMORROW WILL BE TOO LATE FOR ACTION AGAINST IRAN: Israeli UN Ambassador Ron Prosor, on Tuesday, castigated the UN Security Council for ignoring the Iranian issue in the monthly Council session on the Middle East. “The Arab world is in flames and the Security Council is dealing with construction permits in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank).” Prosor used the Security Council's monthly gathering to direct harsh criticism at the body. “The obsession with Israel and the ignoring of countries where civilians are tortured and killed undermines the credibility and calls into question the relevance of the Security Council,” Prosor said. “Iran's efforts to develop nuclear weapons represent the greatest threat to peace and security in the world,” he continued. “The silence of the Security Council will be very costly. You must act today. Tomorrow will be too late.” Prosor also attacked the Security Council for its silence on continued rocket fire at Israel from the Gaza Strip. (Ha’aretz)

IRAN STEPS UP THREATS TO CLOSE STRAIT OF HORMUZ AFTER EU IMPOSES OIL EMBARGO: Iran has stepped up threats their country would close the strategic Strait of Hormuz, through which a fifth of the world's crude flows, in retaliation for oil sanctions on Tehran. The warnings came as EU nations agreed in Brussels on an oil embargo against Iran as part of sanctions over the country's controversial nuclear program. The measure includes an immediate embargo on new contracts for Iranian crude and petroleum products. Iran has repeatedly warned it would choke off the strait if sanctions affect its oil sale. Monday's EU measure also includes a freeze on the assets of Iran's central bank as part of sanctions meant to pressure Tehran to resume talks on its uranium enrichment, a process that can lead to making nuclear weapons. Israel's PM Benjamin Netanyahu praised the decision, calling it “a step in the right direction.” He emphasized the importance of ongoing pressure on Iran in light of “its continual uninterrupted development of nuclear weapons.” Meanwhile in the US, the Obama Administration, also on Monday, imposed sanctions on Iran's third largest bank. Now any foreign firm that deals with Iranian state-owned Bank Tejarat and its affiliate, Belarus-based Trade Capital Bank, will no longer be able to access the US financial system. (Ha’aretz)

BRITAIN, US AND FRANCE SEND WARSHIPS THROUGH STRAIT OF HORMUZ: Britain, America and France delivered a pointed signal to Iran, sending six warships led by a US aircraft carrier through the Strait of Hormuz. The deployment defied explicit Iranian threats to close the waterway. The USS Abraham Lincoln joined another carrier, the USS Carl Vinson, which has been in the Gulf for several months. Each of these vessels carries a complement of fighter aircraft with more striking power than the entire Iranian air force. (Telegraph-UK)

AZERBAIJAN THWARTS TERROR ATTACK AGAINST ISRAELI, JEWISH TARGETS: Three men were detained last week after planning to attack two Israelis employed by a Jewish school in Baku, the Azerbaijan Ministry of National Security has revealed. A source close to the republic's president has launched a scathing indictment of Iran. The Azeri ministry said it had arrested a cell that planned to “kill public activists,” before it became apparent that the intended victims were two Israeli Chabad emissaries, a rabbi and a teacher employed by the “Chabad Or Avner” Jewish school in Baku. The ministry said the three men received smuggled arms and equipment from Iranian agents. The action was planned as retaliation to the recent assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists, for which Israel has been accused. (Ha’aretz) “Our God is a God who saves; from the Sovereign Lord comes escapes from death.” Ps 68:20

MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD MEMBER ELECTED EGYPTIAN PARLIAMENT SPEAKER: A senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Saad al-Katatni, was elected as Egypt's parliament speaker on Monday, in the first session of the newly-elected assembly. A coalition led by the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood won 47%, or 235 seats in the 498-seat parliament in last Saturday’s elections. The ultraconservative al-Nour Party was second with 25%, or 125 seats. The Islamist domination of Egypt's parliament has worried liberals and even some conservatives about the religious tone of the new legislature. The most immediate implication of the election results is that the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Nour will now exercise enormous influence over both the selection and the decisions of a 100-person committee tasked with drafting Egypt's new constitution. (Ha’aretz/Israel Today) Over the weekend the decades-long Egyptian rule shifted from a moderate regime under last year’s ousted leader Hosni Mubarak to Islamic domination by heads of the Muslim Brotherhood; the father of all terrorist groups which blatantly flaunts its hatred of Israel.


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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