Israel Update

February 2, 2012


“The fruit of righteousness will be peace. The effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever.” Isa 32:17

JANUARY RAINFALL BREAKS ALL-TIME ISRAELI RECORD: January statistics from measuring stations across Israel have confirm that in most of the northern part of the country there were 26 days of rainfall, compared to the previous record of 25 in January 1947. The month of January saw the highest number of rainy days in one month on record in Israel, according to figures from the Israel Meteorological Service. This report is answer to many prayers as Israel faces its eighth year of drought. Please continue to pray for abundant rains to continue throughout February and March.

ISRAEL RANKED SECOND MOST EDUCATED COUNTRY IN THE WORLD: Israel is the second most educated country in the world, says a report released by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). According to the OECD’s Education at a Glance 2011 report, 78% of the money invested in education in Israel is taken directly from public funds, while 45% of Israel’s population has a university or college diploma. According to the report, the ten most educated countries in the world are: Canada, Israel, Japan, US, New Zealand, South Korea, Norway, the UK, Australia, and Finland. (Ha’aretz)

NETANYAHU TO UN:  NO NEW CONSTRUCTION FREEZE IN JUDEA, SAMARIA: Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu bluntly told UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday there will be no new construction freeze in Judea and Samaria. Ban asked Israel earlier in the day to reinstate the freeze on all construction in Jewish communities in the region, saying it was “not helpful” to the peace process. But Netanyahu responded by saying that any discussion about a freeze on construction should come in context of the process itself, rather than as a precondition. “This issue is part of the negotiations,” he told Ban. “It can't be a precondition.” Netanyahu added pointedly that “settlements are not the crux of the conflict, but rather, one of its outcomes. The conflict started 50 years before there were settlements.” (Arutz-7) The historical record does not bear out the idea that a settlement freeze is the indispensable condition for solving the Israeli-Arab conflict. The Oslo Accords in 1993, Camp David in 2000, the negotiations at Annapolis in 2007 were all conducted without a settlement freeze. Conversely, in August 2005, when Israel evacuated all of the settlements in Gaza and four in the northern West Bank, the result was - more terror attacks. Israel has not built a single new "settlement" since 1993. Israel’s settlements are built on 1.1% of the West Bank.

US SEEKS MORE POWERFUL BOMB TO COMBAT IRAN’S UNDERGROUND FACILITIES: The Pentagon is seeking a more powerful bomb after acknowledging that the US's largest bomb, the Massive Ordnance Penetrator, is not capable of destroying Iran's most heavily fortified underground facilities. The Pentagon is particularly concerned about its ability to destroy bunkers built under mountains, such as Iran's Fordow site near Qom, according to a former US official. He said a tactical nuclear weapon may be the only military option to destroy the facility. (Fox News)

UN NUCLEAR TEAMS IN IRAN: A UN nuclear team arrived in Tehran early this week. The delegation from the International Atomic Energy Agency is led by Deputy Director General Herman Nackaerts, who is in charge of the Iran nuclear file.  In unusually blunt comments ahead of his arrival in Tehran, Nackaerts urged Iran to work with his mission on probing the allegations about Iran's alleged attempts to develop nuclear weapons, reflecting the importance the IAEA is attaching to the issue. Iran's parliamentary speaker, Ali Larijani, called the visit a “test” for the UN agency.  He said if the IAEA officials were professional, then the path for cooperation will open up. But if they become a tool, then the Islamic Republic will be forced to reflect and consider a new framework for cooperation. On Wednesday, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vowed his country’s defense spending would be more than doubled under his new plan. Critics said his overall draft budget took too little account of economic pressures posed by mounting international sanctions. (AP)

HAMAS TERRORIST LEADERS ENDEAVOR TO RENEW RELATIONSHIPS WITH GULF STATES INCLUDING JORDAN, IRAN: Top Hamas leader Khaled Meshal arrived in Jordan on Sunday, in a rare visit, and went directly into talks with King Abdullah II. It was the first official visit to Jordan by a leader of the Palestinian terrorist organization in the 12 years since the expulsion of Meshal and three other Hamas officials from Amman in 1999. The Jordanian government welcomed his visit as an opportunity for “opening a new chapter” in the ties between Amman and Hamas. On Monday, Hamas’ PM Ismail Haniyeh left for a tour of Iran and the Gulf states, continuing a diplomatic drive to realign the Palestinian Islamist movement after a year of political change in the Arab world. Iran and its ally, Syria, have been principal backers of Hamas. Iran has supplied the Gaza terrorist group with funds and weapons to use against the Jewish state. (Ha’aretz)

IRAN WANTS TO CHOKE ISRAEL THROUGH MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD ALLIANCE: Iran is maintaining close contact with the Muslim Brotherhood and wants diplomatic relations in Egypt, Iran’s foreign minister says. “Tehran is in constant contact with the Muslim Brotherhood” and will send an ambassador to Cairo if Egypt agrees, Iranian FM Ali Akbar Salehi told the Egyptian daily Al-Masry Al-Youm. An Iranian-Egyptian alliance would give Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a strategic ally on Israel's southern border along with Hamas in Gaza and Hizbullah in Lebanon. Salehi said Iran is ready to promote its diplomatic relations with Egypt to the ambassadorial level, particularly in light of the Muslim Brotherhood's recent ascendancy to power. The Muslim Brotherhood now controls 43% of Egypt’s parliamentary seats. (INN)

TURKEY: ASSAD IS DOOMED: The fate of Syrian President Bashar Assad is sealed, according to Abdullah Gül, the president of Turkey, which until recent months had forged a warm relationship with Syria and Iran. “Turkey has done everything in its power for a transformation under the leadership of the president. We did everything except beg for it,” he told reporters Tuesday. He added that foreign intervention will be inevitable if Assad does not institute reforms instead of continuing the daily slaughter of civilian protesters and army deserters. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Monday that the status quo is unsustainable and that the volatility in Syria could spill over throughout the region. Syrian forces on Tuesday continued to kill opponents and soldier-turned-rebels, who have breached the suburbs of Damascus, previously totally loyal to Assad. More than 100 lives were lost within 24 hours. The death toll in Syria rapidly approaches 6000 since the violet government crackdown began last spring. (INN)

RUSSIA BLOCKS TOUGHER SECURITY COUNCIL ACTION AGAINST SYRIA: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joined Arab and European diplomats at the UN Security Council on Tuesday. They united in a forceful attempt to win support for tougher action against Syria, even as Russia confirmed that it is unwilling to participate in a plan that would ease President Bashar Assad from power. The Security Council remains deadlocked on a Western- and Arab-backed draft resolution condemning Syria's violent suppression of protesters and outlining a political road map that would lead to presidential and parliamentary elections in Syria. Russia's UN envoy, Vitaly Churkin, insisted that the Security Council “cannot impose the parameters for an internal political settlement.” (Washington Post)  “The ruthless will vanish, the mockers will disappear, and all who have an eye for evil will be cut down.” Isa 29:20

PALESTINIAN TV AIRS SHOW PRAISING FOGEL FAMILY MURDERERS: Palestinian television aired an interview with the relatives of the Fogel family murderers earlier this month, praising the two cousins convicted with the brutal attack as “heroes.” The show featured the aunt and mother of Hakim Awad, who along with his cousin Amjad was convicted of brutally stabbing to death five Fogel family members in an attack on their home in the West Bank settlement of Itamar on the night of March 11, 2011. Hakim’s mother said she was proud that her son was the perpetrator of the Itamar attack and that he was sentenced to five consecutive life sentences. Awad's aunt then proceeded to describe her nephew as a “hero and a legend.” (Ha’aretz)

JURY FINDS AFGHAN FAMILY GUILTY IN SO CALLED HONOR KILLINGS: A Canadian jury this week found an Afghan father, his wife and their son guilty of killing three teenage sisters and a childless co-wife in what the judge described as “cold-blooded, shameful murders” resulting from a “twisted concept of honor.” Prosecutors said the defendants killed the three teenage sisters, the youngest of who was 13, because they dishonored the family by defying its disciplinarian rules on dress, dating, socializing and using the Internet. (Fox News)


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 Storehouse?", 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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