Israel Update

March 5, 2012


 “The Lord will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest.” Ps 85:12

KINNERET RISING AS SNOW, RAIN KEEP FALLING: Snow, rain, sleet, hail, and gale force winds have all been whipping Israel in various sections of the country over the weekend, as major winter weather continues. Many Ethiopian Jews and other new immigrants unfamiliar with cold-weather phenomena have been seen hopping on buses and heading north for a look at the white stuff. Lake Kinneret (the Sea of Galilee)’s waters are rising as the snow and rain continue to fall, bringing desperately-needed water to Israel's parched land. The water level of the lake on Thursday stood at 212.39 meters below sea level, having risen by more than seven centimeters from the latest storms. The mark falls between the upper and lower “red lines” – 208.9 meters and 213.18 meters below sea level respectively, at which it is recommended not to pump water from the lake. Israel still needs another three and a half meters of water to fill the Kinneret before it will be necessary to open the Degania Dam and allow the water to flow into the Jordan River, and down to the Dead Sea. Due to the past seven years of drought, experts say it is still highly unlikely the water level will reach even the upper red line before the end of this winter. Two years ago, the drought brought the level of the lake perilously close to the “black line” – 214.87 meters below sea level – the mark at which water cannot be pumped from the lake without causing severe ecological damage to the water supply. (INN)

ISRAEL TO HAVE POSSIBLE WATER SURPLUS WITHIN A DECADE: This year’s winter storms have been a major relief to Israel that has undergone seven years of drought. Nevertheless experts have plans to forge ahead with long term innovations to meet water shortages that are always a threat to the region. In fact, Israel may face a happy alternative to damaging droughts within a decade – a water surplus. Mekorot, the national water company intends to increase the desalination of seawater which eventually will enable Israel to rehabilitate all of its fresh water reservoirs. Currently, Israel is missing 2B cubic meters of water, but Mekorot's data suggests that by 2013, 75% of Israeli households would be using desalinated water. Israel’s agricultural irrigation is slated to be based completely on desalinated and brackish water by 2030. (Ynet) “His bread will be supplied, and water will not fail him.” Isa 33:16

LIBERMAN: ISRAEL READY TO PROVIDE AID TO WOUNDED SYRIANS: Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said late last week that Israel is ready to help treat Syrians wounded in the uprising against President Bashar Assad. A Friday statement from Lieberman's office quotes him as saying that Israel is willing to provide wounded Syrians “all humanitarian aid at any minute it is requested.” Lieberman’s spokesman said Israel would provide the aid through the UN or other international organizations. Assad’s security forces have killed, injured and displaced thousands of its own citizens, including women and children, in an attempt to suppress the year-long uprising. (Ha’aretz) Syria is one of Israel’s most menacing foes. It is also Iran’s strongest ally. Syria and the Islamic Republic are the two leading supporters of global terrorist groups, including Hizbullah and Hamas that have thousands of long-range missiles pointed at every major city and population center in the Jewish state. And yet Israel is ready to provide humanitarian aid for Syria — one of its most formidable enemies!

TA CITY HALL BUILDS SHELTERS FOR HOMELESS AFRICANS: The Tel Aviv Municipality opened a temporary shelter in late February for the dozens of homeless African migrants sleeping in a park in south Tel Aviv. The two metal and canvas structures are broken down each morning and reassembled at night. This will continue until the end of the winter weather. On the first evening the shelter opened, about 50 Africans lined up for free soup handed out by volunteers from a local evangelical church, who also distributed bibles in several languages. A number of the migrants also milled around the two shelters, each of which included around 40- 50 cots covered with a foam mattresses. Gideon Ben-Ami, volunteer, said the shelters are a pilot project and if it is successful, the organization will speak to the city about building additional shelters. He said the city was quick to respond to the request they made last month to set up the shelters. Volunteers will soon begin supplying a free breakfast daily to the park’s homeless, in addition to the meals they give out at night.“Blessed is the one who considers the poor! In the day of trouble the Lord delivers him; the Lord protects him and keeps him alive; he is called blessed in the land.” Ps 41:1, 2

TEL AVIV MUSEUM OF ART WINS BEST MUSEUM AWARD: The Tel Aviv Museum of Art has won Best Museum Award in the prestigious Travel and Leisure Magazine Award 2012 for their new Herta and Paul Amir Building, which opened November 2, 2011. Travel and Leisure, which is considered one of the most influential travel magazines in America, commended the Tel Aviv building, stating that “In contrast to many dramatically shaped new art museums, it succeeds in being at once breathtaking and deferential to the art on display.” T+L judge Billie Tsien said, “The Tel Aviv museum is quite a piece of sculpture, but it is a sculpture that accepts art.” (Israel Ministry of Tourism)

EXCAVATORS UNLOCK SECRETS OF ANCIENT ROYAL GARDEN: Researchers have long been fascinated by the many secrets of Ramat Rahel, located on a hilltop above modern-day Jerusalem. The site of the only known palace dating back to the kingdom of Biblical Judah has recently revealed a luxurious ancient garden. Since excavators discovered the garden with its advanced irrigation system, they could only imagine what the original garden might have looked like in full bloom — until now. Using a unique technique for separating fossilized pollen from the layers of plaster found in the garden's waterways, researchers from Tel Aviv University’s Institute of Archaeology have now been able to identify what grew in the ancient royal gardens of Ramat Rahel. Based on the plot’s archaeological clues, they have been able to reconstruct the lay-out of the garden. According to experts working on the project, the garden featured the expected local vegetation such as the common fig and grapevine, but also included exotic plants such as citron and Persian walnut trees. The citron, which apparently emigrated from India via Persia, made its first appearance in the Middle East in Ramat Rahel's royal garden. (Tel Aviv University)

DENTISTS DITCH THE DRILL: Syneron Dental Lasers of Yokneam, Israel, has developed the new LiteTouch dental laser, an innovation that has played a pivotal role in transforming the way practitioners perform dental treatments today. It’s wireless, too. The laser mechanism is included within the hand piece that the dentist uses inside the patient’s mouth, making it easier to manage. No wires or connections are needed. Just as the mobile phone freed the world from wires, so has LiteTouch freed dentists from traditional tools as well as bulky optic fibers, making laser dentistry completely portable. The LiteTouch system is cost-effective and a step up toward a completely high-tech clinic. As for dentists who miss the comforting sound of the drill, the LiteTouch vibrates like a drill although it doesn’t hurt like one since it’s laser-based. (Israel21C)

PLANETS CIRCLING AROUND TWIN SUNS: In the last two decades, the study of extrasolar planets - those that lie outside our own solar system - has become one of the most important fields of astrophysics. A National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) team that includes Prof. Tsevi Mazeh of Tel Aviv University's Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics has discovered two new planets, named Kepler-34 and Kepler-35, each of which revolves around its own double suns. There are now three such known systems in the galaxy. (Tel Aviv University)

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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