Israel Update

April 30, 2012

“You will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.” Gen 28:14

POLL: ISRAEL ALIVE AND OPTIMISTIC: According to a poll of Israelis conducted in honor of Independence Day, 93% are proud to be Israeli, and 70% describe themselves as "very proud." 80% say they prefer to live in Israel over any other place in the world, while only 9% would rather live abroad. 65% said they see themselves as Jews first, then Israeli. (Israel Today/INN) “There is hope for a tree: If it is cut down, it will sprout again, and its new shoots will not fail.”Job 14:7

NETANYAHU THANKS ISRAEL’S SUPPORTERS ON INDEPENDENCE DAY: Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu released a special greeting on Wednesday, in honor of Israel’s Independence Day. He called the occasion one during which it was important to consider what makes the Jewish nation truly unique: “Israel is unique in restoring sovereignty and the capacity for self-defense to a people that had been stateless and powerless for 2,000 years,” said Netanyahu. “Israel is unique in gathering into an ancestral homeland an exiled people who had been scattered around the globe,” he added. “Israel is unique in having become a global technological power despite the fact that we face threats faced by no other nation on earth. Israel is unique in the Middle East for having a vibrant, liberal democracy, where women are equal, minorities are free and where all are subjects to the rule of law. But Israel is unique in one other important way,” stressed Netanyahu. “We are unique in having such passionate friends, Jews and non-Jews alike, for whom the well-being, security and future of our country is so important. This Independence Day I want to thank the tens of millions of friends of Israel around the world for their unwavering support for the one and only Jewish State.” (INN) “There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Prov 18:24

PERES REMINDS ISRAEL’S ENEMIES OF 64 YEARS OF DEFEAT: Israel's traditionally dovish President Shimon Peres offered a stark warning to Israel's enemies on the Jewish state's 64th Independence Day. "To those who are now threatening Israel, I say: Don't repeat the mistakes of your predecessors," Peres said during an annual ceremony at the President’s residence. "You threaten out of a hunger for conquest. We defend out of an aspiration for peace," he said. "Those wars, which Israel did not initiate, brought it unexpected gains, causing the aggressors unexpected losses," he added. The ceremony, which honored 120 exceptional soldiers, is held every Independence Day. An estimated 1.5 million people were expected to flock to Israel's parks and recreation areas for hikes and barbecues. Many Israel Defense Forces bases were also open to the general public. (Arutz-7) Pray that Israel’s reminder to its enemies will be recognized and heeded for the truth it speaks.  Pray for the continued exposure and backfiring of all evil intentions towards the Jewish state.

BARAK: IRANIANS DETERMINED TO FOOL THE WORLD: Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Thursday that Iran is determined to fool the entire world and obtain nuclear weapons. He stressed Iranian leaders further their deception while repeatedly disobeying Security Council decisions and directives from the International Atomic Energy Agency. Barak said there is no reason to think that Iran will stop moving toward military nukes once it believes its program is immune to attack. He noted that North Korea and Pakistan both achieved nuclear weapons despite tough sanctions. Barak acknowledged that Israel's "stopwatch" on Iran is "ticking faster" than the US's, because Israel's abilities are more limited. (INN)

IDF CHIEF: OTHER COUNTRIES ARE PREPARED FOR POSSIBLE IRAN STRIKE: Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz said Thursday that other countries have readied their armed forces for a potential strike against Iran's nuclear sites to keep Tehran from acquiring atomic weapons. Gantz did not specify which nations might be willing to support or take direct action against Iran. Still, his comments were one of the strongest hints yet that Israel may have the backing of other countries to strike the Islamic Republic to prevent it from developing nuclear arms. "The military force is ready," Gantz said. "Not only our forces, but other forces as well." He expressed hope that international sanctions would bring the Islamic Republic to a place of cooperation but emphasized the key to that end is to couple economic penalties with the threat of a military strike. Israeli PM Netanyahu said earlier in the week, however, that international sanctions have not changed Iran's behavior. The sanctions "haven't rolled back the Iranian program or even stopped it by one iota," Netanyahu said. (INN)

ASSAD’S FORCES KILL 102 DESPITE ONGOING UN MISSION: Reports of killings in Syria have continued to stream out of the war-torn country, despite a UN-led attempt to bring a halt to the government's ongoing crackdown of opposition forces and activists. Peace envoy Kofi Annan's spokesperson has criticized both sides, but particularly government forces, for refusing to stop fighting completely. Speaking on Thursday, opposition sources reported that 102 people died throughout the country on Wednesday, with 71 deaths reportedly coming from the city of Hama, along with killings in Daraa, Idlib, and around Damascus. According to the report, 57 of those who were killed in Hama were the result of a concentrated shelling of the city's Musha al-Tayar neighborhood, including 13 children. Arab League countries announced Thursday that they plan to turn to the UN Security Council and call for immediate intervention in Syria in order to protect civilian lives. Meanwhile in Washington, two top Obama administration officials said Thursday the diplomatic initiative to end the violence in Syria,"is failing." At a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, both Kathleen Hicks, the current deputy undersecretary of defense for policy, and Derek Chollet, National Security Council senior director for strategy, said the Annan plan was nearing collapse. (Ha’aretz/INN)

FRANCE WARNS OF MILITARY ACTION IN SYRIA: France has issued a warning that the UN Security Council will have to consider military action in Syria if international diplomacy fails to end the violence. French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alain Juppe, also demanded that 300 UN observers authorized to go into Syria be deployed within 15 days. He said France has all but set a May 5 deadline for Damascus to comply with special envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan. Annan’s May 5 report on the state of a cease-fire will be “a moment of truth: Either this mediation is working, or it isn’t,” Juppe said. France has reportedly been discussing with other world powers the prospect of invoking Chapter 7 of the UN charter, which allows for action that could be militarily enforceable. (INN/Washington Post)

IDF SOLDIERS SAVE LIFE OF ARAB INFANT: An increasing number of Arabs living in the Binyamin region of Israel have been turning to a local IDF post for emergency medical care. Last week, a young Arab woman arrived at the post with her 12-day-old infant, who was suffering from severe breathing difficulty. The IDF Home Front Command soldiers stationed in the area treated and stabilized the baby. They then called an emergency ambulance that transported the infant to a nearby hospital in Ramallah. Commanders in the Binyamin Regional Brigade explained that Arabs living in the region know that when they are in need of medical assistance, the Israeli army will provide them with care and treatment. Over the past two weeks, the battalion stationed at the post treated three similar cases of emergency medical care, noted the IDF. (Arutz-7)

FITCH GIVES ISRAEL AN A WITH A STABLE OUTLOOK: The Fitch credit rating agency announced Wednesday it had ratified Israel's credit rating and set it to A with a stable outlook, the Globes financial newspaper reported. In a statement, the agency noted Israel’s macroeconomic performance and indicated the outlook was positive despite the crisis with Iran and the talk about a possible Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear facilities. Fitch is estimating that growth in Israel in 2012 will stand at about 3%. One commentator said Israel has grown so much in the past 64 years that it is difficult to comprehend the extent of the economic miracle that has taken place in the Jewish homeland. He continued that while Israel yields world leaders in scientific discoveries and hi-tech innovation, the country is still stymied by exorbitantly high prices, lack of variety, and frustratingly low disposable income levels. Israeli income per capita stands at around $32,000, approximately the same level as in Spain and Cyprus. (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


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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