Israel Update

January 30, 2012


 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.

SURVEY: RECORD NUMBER OF ISRAELI JEWS BELIEVE IN GOD: Fully 80% of Israeli Jews believe that God exists - the highest figure found by the Guttman-Avi Chai survey since this review of Israeli-Jewish beliefs began two decades ago. The study also found that 70% of respondents believe the Jews are the Chosen People, 65% believe the Torah and mitzvot (religious commandments) are God-given, and 56% believe in life after death. But that doesn't mean Jews in general are becoming more religious, at least not in an Orthodox Jewish way. Only 37% of Israeli Jews had a problem with fellow Jews not following the biblical commandments, and nearly 70% said they want more entertainment venues to be open on the Shabbat. The numbers, however, coincide with other recent findings that Israelis are increasingly hungry for a deeper spiritual life. (Ha’aretz/Israel Today) "May your unfailing love come to me, O Lord, your salvation according to your promise.” Ps 119: 41

NAVY CONVERTING SHIP INTO FLOATING COMMANDO BASE IN MIDDLE EAST: The US Navy is working to place a mother-ship for Special Operations Forces in the Middle East. The USS Ponce was scheduled to be decommissioned in December, but Navy officials now say the ship will be transformed into a flotilla to be used by Navy SEALs. The move comes in response to a request from the US Central Command, which oversees military operations in the Middle East, to the Pentagon for the base. The commando teams will be able to use it for high speed boats and helicopters. The ship will also be able to support mine counter measure. Sea mines are a concern in the Strait of Hormuz should Iran make good on its threats to close the vital oil passage way. Iran is a spiraling military threat - foremost to Israel - but also to the entire world. Senior Iranian religious leader said Friday that Iran is already a nuclear state and that Americans have not realized it. (Fox News)

ROMNEY: PALESTINIANS DON’T WANT TWO-STATE SOLUTION, THEY WANT TO ELIMINATE ISRAEL: Governor Mitt Romney said on Thursday during a debate with former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, that the Palestinians are not interested in a two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, rather that they are interested in the elimination of the State of Israel. He continued that "whether it's in the political discourse that is spoken from Fatah or from Hamas, there is a belief that the Jewish people do not have the right to have a Jewish state.” Romney attacked President Barack Obama's policy saying, "This president went before the UN and castigated Israel for building settlements. He said nothing about thousands of rockets being rained on Israel from the Gaza Strip." Romney also accused the Obama administration of throwing Israel under the bus with regards to defining the '67 borders as the starting point of peace negotiations. Former Speaker of House Newt Gingrich, who was asked to comment on Romney’s statements, backed his opponent’s controversial remarks. Gingrich called Palestinians "an invented people.” He said it was technically an invention of the late 1970s and that prior to that they were Arabs. (Ha’aretz) Continue to pray for this year’s elections. Economy is clearly the number one priority for the majority of those who will be voting in the coming US elections. Pray the scope of national concern will be broadened to encompass Israel, security measures to counter aggression in and from Islamist regimes - particularly the growing nuclear threat in Iran - and humanitarian issues.

SYRIAN VIOLENCE ESCALATING: Violence in Syria has gravely escalated since late last week. Several days of turmoil have killed more than 100 people as forces loyal to President Bashar Assad shelled residential buildings, fired on crowds and left bleeding corpses in the streets. Much of the brutality was focused in Homs, where heavy gunfire hammered the city Friday. A day earlier, the city saw a flare-up of sectarian kidnappings and killings between its Sunni and Alawite communities. Pro-regime forces blasted residential buildings with mortars and gunfire, according to activists who said an entire family was killed. The UN Security Council held a closed-door meeting Friday to discuss the crisis, a step toward a possible resolution against the Damascus regime, diplomats said. At least 384 children have been killed and an additional 380 children detained in Syria since the riots began ten months ago. Additionally, Turkish officials say the number of Syrians seeking sanctuary in Turkey has risen in the past six weeks, with 50 to 60 arriving daily, taking the total living in refugee camps to nearly 9,600. More than 6,000 Syrian refugees have fled to Lebanon. The UN believes more than 5,500 people have been killed in President Bashar Assad's crackdown on protesters. (INN/Ynet)

SYRIAN OPPOSITION ACCUSES IRAN OF MASSACRE INVOLVEMENT: The Syrian National Council (CNS) on Saturday slammed Iran's "participation” in the violent repression of protests in Syria. It called on Tehran to end its support of the rulers in Damascus, saying that it "condemns the Iranian's regime's involvement in the massacre of freedom-seeking Syrians and calls on the Islamic Republic to stop taking part in the repression of the revolution in order to preserve the ties between the two peoples.” (INN)

FORMER IDF CHIEF: ISRAEL MUST PREPARE FOR WAR: Former IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi warned days ago that Israel could not afford to cut its defense budget and should prepare itself for war. He said that in comparison to 10 years ago, the possibility of a conflict is not something that can just be discussed. He said of the Arab Spring protests, which have no turned into an Islamic winter throughout the Arab world. that "Israel never saw it coming. He added that Egypt never saw the upheaval coming either. He was referring to this month’s dramatic shift in the decades-long Egyptian rule from a moderate regime under last year’s ousted leader Hosni Mubarak to Islamic domination by the Muslim Brotherhood and other radical Islamist groups. Ashkenazi told attendees that confronting Iran's nuclear ambitions required a multi-disciplinary approach that included covert, economic, and potentially military action. He said that in his opinion the strategy vis-à-vis Iran should be to do whatever is possible under the radar coupled with painful and crippling sanctions, but that Israel should keep a viable military option on the table. Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak also warned Friday that the world must stop Iran before it reaches a point where even a military attack won't stop it. (INN)

EDELSTEIN: WHEN WE SAY NEVER AGAIN, WE MEAN IT: Minister of Information and Diaspora Yuli Edelstein last week addressed the European Parliament on International Holocaust Remembrance Day. He said that Israel will make sure that another Holocaust never happens again. Mentioning the Wannsee Conference of January 24, 1942, in which 15 Nazi officials sealed the fate of millions of European Jews, Edelstein reminded that even before this conference, there were other conferences aimed solely at finding ways to eliminate Jews. "There was the Evian Conference, where 31 Western nations debated the fate of the Jewish refugees from Germany and Austria,” he said. "Despite the pleas of Jewish organizations and the presence of international press, the conference achieved nothing. The great Western democracies made token gestures. Most claimed they have enough Jews already. There was the Munich Conference, where, in a futile quest for illusive peace, two leading Western democracies delivered to Hitler new instruments for future aggression,” he added. "In the frenzy of humiliation and dismemberment of Czechoslovakia no thought was given to the fate of hundreds of thousands of Jews of this country. In May 1939, Britain approved the White Paper, curtailed the Jewish immigration to Palestine and shut the door on the last real option of rescue. He said that today "the purpose of the anti-Semites is the same – to deny the common humanity of the Jew, to single him out, to scapegoat him.” He then stressed, "I come here in the name of my government, of the independent Jewish nation, to assure our friends, to make a promise to our enemies and to warn the indifferent: When we say ‘Never again’, we mean it. We will not wait for another conference with baited breath and forlorn hope. We will not beg for compassion and sympathy. We will not be made to live with constant threat of another Holocaust.” (INN) "…Help me, for men persecute me without cause. They almost wiped me out from the face of the earth…." Ps 119: 86, 87

NORWAY OFFERS ITS FIRST HOLOCAUST APOLOGY: Norway apologized for the first time Friday for the country's complicity in the deportation and deaths of Jews during the Nazi occupation in World War Two. "Norwegians carried out the arrests; Norwegians drove the trucks and it happened in Norway. Today I feel it is fitting to express our deepest apologies that this could happen on Norwegian soil,” Norwegian PM Jens Stoltenberg said in a speech marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Vidkun Quisling, the country's leader during the occupation whose name has become synonymous with traitor, ordered Norway's 2,100 Jews registered in 1942. More than a third of them were deported to death camps, while others fled to neighboring Sweden. (J.Post)


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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