Israel Update

April 20, 2012

“And who is like your people Israel – the one nation on earth that God when out to redeem as a people for himself….” 2 Sam 7:23

HOLOCAUST DAY 2012: Holocaust Remembrance Day began Wednesday evening, April 18, at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem, in the presence of President Shimon Peres and PM Benjamin Netanyahu. The predominant theme of this year's commemoration is "My Brother's Keeper - Jewish Solidarity During the Holocaust."  Six survivors lit the torches representing the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust. (Ha'aretz)

BARAK SAYS ISRAEL NEVER RULED OUT ATTACKING IRAN: Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Tuesday his country has never promised the US it would hold off from attacking Iran while nuclear talks were taking place. The comments, in which Barak said a diplomatic push to reach a compromise with Iran was a waste of "precious time," further exposed a rift between Israel and the US over how to deal with Iran and its nuclear program. Barak told Israel's Army Radio he did not believe the talks would prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. "We regret the time being lost. This is precious time," he said. Earlier this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated Iran got a "freebie" from the international community, saying the May meeting gave the Iranians an additional five weeks to continue uranium enrichment without any restrictions. He said Iran should be forced to stop this immediately. (AP)

SHOWDOWN: IRAN MUST BE STOPPED: Former US Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, delivered a clear and dire message in a recent special report for Newsmax. He said Iran's quest for nuclear weapons poses a grave and immediate threat to the US and world peace. Bolton cited Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta's assertion that Tehran could fabricate a nuclear weapon "within a year" - and warned that many analysts believe it could come sooner. “Time is running out for both Israel and the US,” said Bolton. He argued that either or both must launch a pre-emptive strike to halt Tehran. “Iran’s plan for a second Holocaust must be stopped,” he said. (Newsmax)

SWITZERLAND - A LOOPHOLE FOR IRANIAN ASSETS: Switzerland on Monday extended some financial sanctions against Iran, but stopped short of freezing the assets of Iran's central bank and imposing an oil embargo. The move by Europe's officially neutral nation underscored an emerging policy rift with other Western powers over Tehran's nuclear ambitions. The Swiss Federal Council opted to freeze the assets of eight companies and three individuals in a move it claimed put Geneva in line with restrictive measures voted by the EU in January. But the Swiss Economics Ministry made it clear the country would not follow the EU in freezing the assets of the Iranian central bank "due to its importance for the Iranian economy." As such, Geneva has turned itself into a banking sanctions loophole through which Iranian oil can be bought and sold. Closing banking channels for the purchase of Tehran’s oil has been a key element of the Western sanctions effort. Switzerland does not directly import Iranian oil, but numerous oil companies based in Geneva are deeply vested in trading Iranian oil on the commodities market. (INN)

SYRIAN FORCES VIOLATE CEASE- FIRE – RESUME ATTACK ON HOMS: The UK-based Syrian observatory for Human Rights says the Syrian regime on Wednesday resumed its attack on the city of Homs, battered by artillery for weeks. Syrian forces have continued their brutal onslaughts after a brief lull on the first day of a cease-fire. A small UN observer team is in Syria, but UN chief Ban-Ki-moon wants a larger mission of at least 250 members backed up by planes and helicopters. (AP) “Their brave men cry aloud in the streets. The envoys of peace weep bitterly.” Isa 33:7

PA’S FAYYAD IS NO-SHOW AT SCHEDULED MEETING WITH NETANYAHU: Palestinian Authority PM Salam Fayyad - without saying why - refused at the last minute to attend a scheduled meeting with his Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu. Instead, a Palestinian delegation on Tuesday personally delivered a letter from president Mahmud Abbas to Prime Minister Netanyahu in which he details his grievances over the failure of the peace process. The delegation was initially supposed to be a top-level meeting led by Fayyad, but it ended up a low key affair after officials confirmed at the last minute the PA premier would not be taking part. Palestinian negotiator Nabil Shaath said the main aim of the letter is to challenge the Israeli leader over the collapse of the peace process, saying its objective was to "put Mr. Netanyahu on the spot."  Israel says it wants negotiations without preconditions, but the Palestinians have sought a settlement freeze before returning to the table. Both sides confirmed Netanyahu would respond with his own letter to Abbas "within two weeks." (Yahoo) 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. PA leaders have unceasingly put impossible demands on the Jewish state, which include the freezing of all expansion in many of the Jewish state’s most mature and thriving communities and a return to unsafe borders. In return for a false peace they have not been willing – at any juncture- to make even a single small concession to those irrational mandates as a gesture of cooperation.

LIEBERMAN: PA BLAMES ISRAEL FOR EVERYTHING: Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is not truly interested in reaching an agreement with Israel, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Tuesday, speaking to President of Cyprus Dimitris Christofias. The PA prefers to blame Israel for all its problems, rather than solve them, he said. Israel’s relationship with Cyprus has improved significantly over the past two years. Lieberman spoke with officials about possible ties in the fields of energy, investment, water, tourism and more. (INN) Continue to pray for Israel’s good relations to continue and develop with Cyprus and other Middle East nations such as Azerbaijan.

BEWARE A TSUNAMI OF HATE SAYS EUROPEAN JEWISH LEADER: The Middle East conflict has been imported into Europe and may cause a “tsunami of hate” against Jews, European Jewish Congress President, Dr. Moshe Kantor, warned this week. Speaking for a press conference at Tel Aviv University, he said, “The Middle East conflict has been imported into Europe and serves as an excuse for antisemitic attacks against the Jewish citizens of Europe. This is absolutely unacceptable and should be removed at all levels, from the enforcement authorities to government officials. There should be zero tolerance for the idea that it is natural that what happens in the Middle East will affect the Jews of Europe or elsewhere.” He warned there could be a “tsunami of hate” if there is an escalation in the Middle East or if there is a military attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Kantor plans to present to European leaders a pan-European program to implement measures to prevent future antisemitic attacks, including legislation to “define and protect the Jewish community from violent crimes and incitement, which is flourishing in the mosques of Europe. The Kantor Center's Program for Study of Antisemitism and Racism at Tel Aviv University released their 2011 Antisemitism Report on Wednesday. The report noted both a "continuation and even escalation of harassment and incitement" targeting Jews during 2011. (INN)

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.    


All active news articles