Israel Update

May 4, 2012

“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.” Ps 143: 8

ISRAEL’S PRIME MINISTER CALLS FOR EARLY ELECTIONS: PM Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party has introduced a bill to dissolve parliament and advance the elections to this year from next, taking advantage of the Israeli leader's commanding lead in public-opinion polls and a fractured opposition. The early vote, which Israeli media said would be held on Sept. 4, is one of several developments that have scrambled calculations about the timing of a possible Israeli pre-emptive strike against Iran's nuclear program. Netanyahu's Likud Party is forecast to get 30 of the 120 seats in Israel's parliament and a 12-seat advantage over the next largest party if the elections are held in early September, according to a poll published this week. Likud now has 27 seats. Likud's election bill is likely to pass. (Wall Street Journal) Continue to pray for Israel’s critical up and coming elections. Pray for the safety of the Jewish state during the interim period leading up to the establishment of a new parliament.

EARLY ELECTIONS WOULD NOT ALTER IRAN PLANS: Rifts in PM Netanyahu's coalition over military conscription and budget cuts have prompted parties to mobilize to bring forward the ballot a year ahead of schedule. That has raised questions about whether an Israeli strike on Iranian nuclear facilities might now be shelved due to government reluctance to send potential voters to bomb shelters. On Wednesday Defense Minister Ehud Barak assured the Israeli public that the prospect of an imminent election in Israel will not affect its strategy for tackling Iran's nuclear program, including plans for a possible preemptive war. "Elections will not affect deliberations of the professional echelon in everything regarding the Iranian issue," Barak said (Ynet)

BARAK: NUCLEAR IRAN MORE DANGEROUS THAN STRIKING IRAN: Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned on Monday that as long as Iran poses a threat to Israel with its nuclear program, all options are on the table. Speaking with journalists Barak said, “I believe it is well understood in Washington as well as in Jerusalem that as long as there is an existential threat to our people, all options to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons should remain on the table. I have enough experience to know that a military option is not a simple one,” Barak added. “It would be complicated with certain associated risks. But a radical Islamic Republic of Iran with nuclear weapons would be far more dangerous both for the region and, indeed, the world.” (AP)

IRAN UPPERMOST PRIORITY IN US PREPARATIONS FOR WAR: War planning for Iran is the most pressing contingency scenario for the US military. Central Command believes it can destroy or significantly degrade Iran's conventional armed forces in about three weeks using air and sea strikes, according to a defense source. Such strikes are an option in response to Tehran's striking US and international ships in the Persian Gulf and attempting to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz. The Pentagon now is conducting a surge of forces in the Gulf. It is maintaining two aircraft carriers in the region and is increasing the number of mine-detection ships and helicopters. The Air Force recently dispatched its premier penetrating strike fighter, the F-22 Raptor, to a base in the United Arab Emirates, across the Gulf from Iran (Daily Alert)

EGYPT FOILS IRANIAN PLOT TO ASSASSINATE SAUDI AMBASSADOR: An attempt to kidnap and assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Cairo by a group of Iranians was thwarted on Tuesday. According to Muhammad Jamal Adin, who serves as the legal adviser to the Saudi embassy in Egypt, a group of Iranians tried to kidnap Ambassador Ahmad Qatan, days after the same group undertook to break into the Saudi embassy. Adin said that in the aftermath of the attempts, the embassy would be shut down along with the Saudi consulates in Alexandria and Suez. Egyptian authorities arrested three Iranian citizens who plotted to assassinate Qatan. Saudi Arabia and Egypt have agreed not to release the details of steps that will be taken in order to safeguard the ambassador. Iran has made previous attempt to harm Saudi diplomats, most prominently when a group of Iranians broke into the Saudi embassy in Tehran in 1980. (Ha’aretz)

DOZENS OF DEATHS CONTINUE IN SYRIA DESPITE CEASE-FIRE PLAN: Dozens have been killed by government forces in Syria so far this week despite attempts to enforce a UN-brokered “ceasefire plan,” an ongoing issue that the arrival two weeks ago of an advance team of 24 international peacekeeping observers has not been able to change. The peace plan authored by UN and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan was supposed to have gone into effect 21 days ago. But UN peacekeeper force chief Herve Ladsous confirmed this week that government forces are still using heavy artillery against the opposition in civilian neighborhoods. On Tuesday, at least 35 people were killed by Syrian security forces across the country. Last Thursday, activists said 70 people were killed in a bombing that took place in the city of Hama. More than 9,000 Syrian civilians have died since the uprising began in March 2011, according to UN estimates. (INN)

OLYMPICS OFFICIAL WEBSITE CALLS JERUSALEM CAPITAL OF PALESTINE: Monday morning, the official website of the 2012 London Olympics portrayed Israel as a country without a capital, while Jerusalem was listed as the capital of "Palestine." The website now appears to have been adjusted to show Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as well. The correction may have been the result of a request by online advocacy group My Israel to its members, to demand that Jerusalem be listed as Israel's capital. Last week, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) rejected a request from the families of the Israeli athletes who were murdered by Arab terrorists at the 1972 Munich Games to organize an official commemoration on their behalf. Ankie Spitzer, whose husband, Andre, was one of the 11 Israelis killed, said the IOC did not want to enrage Arab countries by mentioning the tragedy at high profile events. “They tell us that the Arab delegations will get up and leave, to which I said: ‘It’s okay; if they don’t understand what the Olympics are all about, let them leave,’” Spitzer said. (INN)

FATHER OF PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU DIES AT 102: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's father, Benzion Netanyahu, died Monday at 102. He was a renowned historian, specializing in the golden age of Jewish history in Spain, and a professor emeritus at Cornell University. He was secretary to Revisionist Zionist leader Ze'ev Jabotinsky and also served as science editor for the Encyclopaedia Hebraica. Benzion Netanyahu was born in Warsaw, Poland, in 1910. His family immigrated to then-Palestine in 1920. (Ynet) Pray that PM Netanyahu and members of his family will be comforted during this time of loss.

ISRAELI SCIENTISTS TEST NEW DRUG FOR CHRONIC PAIN: Israeli scientists have developed a new drug for chronic neuropathic pain that isn't helped by the traditional medications. "BL-7050” offers new hope to those whose pain does not respond to ibuprophen or even morphine. Researchers targeted a group of proteins which act as a channel for potassium. Potassium channels convey pain signals caused by nerve or tissue damage, known as neuropathic pain. When the channels don't function properly, the cells are prone to hyper-excitability, leading to neurological and cardiovascular disorders. Taken as a pill, BL-7050 binds to and stabilizes the body's potassium channels, controlling their hyper-excitability and preventing the occurrence of pain by keeping the channels open for the outflow of potassium. The new drug will soon go to its first clinical trial. (Arutz-7)

ANOTHER AMAZING FIND ON THE TEMPLE MOUNT: Archaeologists digging under Robinson's Arch in the archaeological garden next to the Kotel have found remains of a structure from the late First Temple period, under the base of the drainage ditch currently being exposed. This is the physically closest structure to King Solomon's Temple ever unearthed. On the floor of the ancient structure, the diggers discovered an ancient Hebrew seal from the late First Temple period. It is made of semiprecious stone and bears the name of the owner of the seal: "To Matanyahu Son of Ho…" (The rest of the name is not legible). The name Matanyahu appears twice in Chronicles 1:25, in a section listing names of Hebrews whom King David had appointed to sing G-d's praise and perform other functions at the Holy Tabernacle. A few lines away, the name Netanyahu also appears. Both names are etymologically very close and mean the same thing: "Gift to or from G-d." (INN) “Her stones are dear to your servants; her very dust moves them to pity.” Ps 102:14

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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