April 16, 2012
“Never again will an oppressor overrun my people, for now I am keeping watch." Zech 9:8
NON-CONSTRUCTIVE AMBIGUITY ON IRAN: As expected, talks between the world powers and Iran ended on Saturday with a decision – not one that would suspend the enrichment of uranium or escalate economic sanctions – but one to hold another round of talks in five weeks. Israel may remain quiet until then and allow the West to try and get the job done. But if that doesn’t happen, the military option will move back to the front of the line right when the summer begins, a season that is favorable – due to clear skies – for a military strike. Ultimately, Israeli defense officials are skeptical the talks will bear fruit. Iran is simply perceived to be close to the bomb and is not yet hurting enough, despite the unprecedented sanctions. Thursday, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the Islamic Republic would not surrender its nuclear rights “even under the most difficult pressure.” Meanwhile, the Iranians are reportedly demanding an American and European commitment not to carry out a military attack on their country as long as the talks continue. US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said recently he believes there is strong likelihood Israel will attack Iran before June – prior to Tehran entering what Israeli leaders have called a “zone of immunity,” a point beyond which it would no longer be possible to halt Iran’s nuclear advancement towards weapon-making. (J. Post/ /Ha’aretz)
ISRAEL'S PRIME MINISTER DISMISSIVE OF IRAN NUCLEAR TALKS: PM Benjamin Netanyahu voiced irritation on Sunday that the next session of nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers would be held in more than a month's time. "My initial impression is that Iran has been given a freebie. It's got five weeks to continue enrichment without any limitation, any inhibition," Netanyahu said during a meeting with US Senator Joseph Lieberman. "I think Iran should take immediate steps: first stop all enrichment, take out all the enriched material and dismantle the nuclear facility in Qom. I believe that the world's greatest practitioner of terrorism must not have the opportunity to develop atomic bombs," Netanyahu said. (Reuters).
SECURITY COUNCIL APPROVES SYRIA OBSERVER MISSION: The UN Security Council on Saturday authorized the deployment to Syria of up to 30 unarmed observers to monitor the country’s fragile ceasefire as called for by UN-Arab League mediator Kofi Annan. It is the first resolution the 15-nation council has approved since the anti-government uprising in Syria began 13 months ago. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the advance team would be sent soon and that he would make proposals by next Wednesday regarding a full observer mission. The cease-fire, which formally took effect Thursday, is at the center of Annan's peace plan. The initiative is aimed at ending more than a year of bloodshed that has killed over 9,000 people. The approved resolution has the council condemning the widespread violations of human rights by the Syrian authorities, as well as any human rights abuses by armed groups. The text includes a warning to Damascus, saying the council would assess the implementation of this resolution and consider further steps as appropriate. Annan reported Thursday that Syria failed to keep a commitment to pull troops and heavy weapons out of cities and towns. Opposition activists said at least six people were killed in Syria on Saturday as the Security Council was scheduled to vote on the latest motion. On Sunday, violence continued as Syrian forces pounded central districts of the flashpoint city of Homs and rebels fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad attacked a police station in the northern province of Aleppo. (J.Post/CBS)
10 EGYPTIAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES DISQUALIFIED: Ten of the 23 nominees running for president in Egypt - including Muslim Brotherhood candidate Khairat el-Shater and former Vice President Omar Suleiman - have been disqualified and cannot run for the nation's top job, the head of Egypt's executive election committee said Saturday. The disqualifications are due to "legal irregularities." Suleiman was banned because he did not collect the 30,000 endorsements from 15 different directorates in Egypt but obtained them from several cities only, which is not legal. Both el-Shater, the Muslim Brotherhood's number one choice, and Ayman Nour, the head of the Al Ghad party, were disqualified for issues surrounding their unresolved pardons for time in prison. Next month's vote will be the nation's first presidential election since President Hosni Mubarak's ouster in February 2011. (J.Post/CNN) Continue to pray for coming Egyptian elections; that leaders in favor of keeping their country’s peace treaty with Israel and promoting democratic values amongst Egyptian people will be voted into power. Pray that Islamist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and the conservative Salafist party, Al Nour, will find their influence sharply limited in the Arab world's most populous country.
PRO-PALESTINIAN FLY-IN PROTESTERS DETAINED AT BEN-GURION AIRPORT: Israel was on alert Sunday for a planned mass fly-in protest, or "flytilla," by foreign anti-Israel activists protesting the Jewish state's control of Judea and Samaria, including the eastern half of Jerusalem. But by the end of the work day, a mere handful of activists had managed to land in Israel. They were quickly detained and deported. More than 60% of the 1,500 pro-Palestinian activists due to arrive in Israel to take part in a fly-in protest received notifications from airlines that their flights were canceled, according to the spokesman for the "Welcome to Palestine" event. Among the airlines that notified the protesters of flight cancellations were Lufthansa, Air France and Easyjet. Israel reportedly passed lists of hundreds of activists to companies, along with a letter in which it claimed they were coming to carry out a provocation and to disturb the peace. Hundreds of Police, most of them unarmed and dressed as civilians, were stationed at the airport to intercept protesters preventing their entry into the country. (Ha’aretz/Israel Today)
FLYTILLA ACTIVISTS RECEIVE MOCKING WELCOME LETTER FROM ISRAEL: The Israeli government issued an official "welcome" letter to the pro-Palestinian "flytilla" activists who planned on arriving in the country on Saturday and Sunday. It reads as follows: “Dear Activists, We appreciate your choosing to make Israel the object of your humanitarian concerns. We know there were many other worthy choices. You could have chosen to protest the Syrian regime’s daily savagery against its own people, which has claimed thousands of lives. You could have chosen to protest the Iranian regime’s brutal crackdown on dissent and its support of terrorism throughout the world. You could have chosen to protest Hamas rule in Gaza, where terror organizations commit a double war crime by firing rockets at civilians and hiding behind civilians. But instead, you chose to protest against Israel, the Middle East’s sole democracy, where women are equal, the press criticizes the government, human rights organizations can operate freely, religious freedom is protected for all - and minorities do not live in fear. Therefore, we suggest you solve the real problems of the region first, and then come back and share your experiences with us. Have a nice flight." (INN) “All who despise you will bow down at your feet.” Isa 60:14
FREE KORAN PROJECT SPARKS OUTCRY IN GERMANY: An initiative to hand out 25 million copies of the Koran has raised the concern of politicians and even Muslims in Germany. Volker Kauder, parliamentary group leader of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives strongly condemned the initiative, saying he believes the project to be a cover for jihadist recruiting. The Central Council of Muslims is also criticizing the project, inferring the project is treating the holy text like a "PR brochure." The publishing house working with the Salafists has halted the project to review its cooperation with the group. (Fox News) Pray this dangerous initiative will be utterly blocked and foiled!
EASTERN ORTHODOX FAITHFUL GATHER IN JERUSALEM FOR ANCIENT FIRE RITUAL: Thousands of Eastern Orthodox pilgrims gathered on Saturday in Jerusalem for an ancient fire ritual that celebrates Yeshua’s resurrection. The pilgrims crowded Saturday into the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. During the annual ceremony top Eastern Orthodox clerics enter the Edicule, the small chamber marking the traditional site of Yeshua’s tomb. They emerge after some time to reveal candles lit with "holy fire," said to be miraculously sent as a message to the faithful from heaven. Details of the fire's source is a closely guarded secret. (Ha’aretz)
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 http://www.visionforisrael.com/
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.