May 21, 2012
"If I forget you, Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill. May my tongue cling
to the roof of my mouth…if I do not consider Jerusalem my highest joy." Ps 137: 5-6
ISRAEL CELEBRATES JERUSALEM DAY: Israel is celebrating its 45th Jerusalem Day. Ceremonies and festivities began Saturday night and were scheduled to continue through Sunday, on the Hebrew date of the 28th of Iyar, when Israeli soldiers liberated the eastern part of the city from Jordanian control. More than 40,000 people were expected to have marched toward the Western Wall on Sunday during the annual Dance of Flags. The Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies released Thursday some statistics from the past two years about the holy city. The data show that in 2011 Jerusalem's population was estimated at 801,000, of which 64% were Jews and other non-Arabs and 36% were Arabs. There were 497,000 Jews in Jerusalem in 2011, 281,000 Muslims, 14,000 Christians and 9,000 with no stated religious affiliation. In total, since 1967 and until the end of 2011 the city's population grew by 200%. (J.Post) "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: 'May they prosper who love you.'" Ps 122:6
TIME CROWNS NETANYAHU AS THE KING OF ISRAEL: TIME magazine has crowned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the 'king of Israel' in its cover story last week, which profiles Netanyahu and marks his recent feat - brokering a 94-member coalition with the rival Kadima party. In the article, Managing Editor Rick Stengel outlines Netanyahu's recent achievements and explains why he is worthy of the title of King of Israel. "Netanyahu is poised to become the longest-serving Israeli Prime Minister since David Ben-Gurion, the founding father of Israel. He has no national rival," Stengel writes. "His approval rating, roughly 50%, is at an all-time high. At a moment when incumbents around the world are being shunted aside, he is triumphant. With his bullet-proof majority, he has a chance to turn himself into a historic figure." Stengel noted that Netanyahu would like to be a hero, but he will not be one at the expense of Israel's security. "He wants to be a defining figure in Israeli history and a significant player on the world stage, but he will not risk what he sees as Israel's safety to be one," Stengel writes. "His ambition and now his security as Prime Minister, though, may let him take that risk." (Ha’aretz) Continue to pray God's wisdom and strength will be given to Prime Minister Netanyahu as he carries out what may possibly be the most difficult job in the world.
NETANYAHU SKEPTICAL OF IRAN TALKS: PM Netanyahu on Friday said he is skeptical that Iran will agree to cut short its nuclear program. The P5+1 – the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany – are set for a May 23 meeting with Iran in Baghdad. Speaking in Prague, Netanyahu called it "the paramount issue of our time." Netanyahu did not present any ultimatums, but Israeli officials have said time is running out to avoid military action. This marks the third time in recent months Netanyahu has said he does not believe Western sanctions will prove effective in halting Iran's nuclear program. His government maintains a nuclear weapon in the hands of Iran would threaten the Jewish state's survival. Israel is not alone in believing Tehran is pursuing nuclear research with military applications – or considering a military strike on Iran's nuclear sites. US ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro said to an Israeli audience last week that the United States is militarily ready to carry out an attack on Iran to stop it from obtaining a nuclear weapon if international pressure fails. "Iran now had a very short window in which to agree to a diplomatic solution," said Shapiro (INN)
OPPOSITION TO IRAN GOING NUCLEAR WIDESPREAD THROUGHOUT THE WORLD: Opposition to Iran obtaining nuclear weapons is widespread around the world, including in neighboring countries Egypt, Jordan and Turkey, and support for tough economic sanctions is high, according to a Pew poll released Friday. Support for military intervention to prevent Iran from going nuclear is more divided. Among the countries polled, support was highest in the US at 63% and lowest in Russia at 24%, while at least 50% of the people surveyed in Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Poland and the Czech Republic favored military action. Greece and Turkey are the only NATO members where a majority of people polled either did not support military intervention, or had no opinion, though majorities in both countries oppose allowing the Islamic Republic to obtain nuclear weapons. (AP) Ongoing prayer is needed that world leaders will not downplay the military threat Iran is to Israel, the West and to the entire globe. Intercede for Israel’s government, military, and security organizations to have alertness and divine strategies for dealing with Iran.
FORMER SPAIN PM: RUSSIA BELIEVES ISRAEL WILL PREVENT IRAN NUCLEAR WEAPON: Former Spanish PM Jose Aznar last week disclosed that Russian President Vladimir Putin told him in the past Russia was not worried about Iran getting a nuclear weapon. "Don't worry - we can sell them everything, even if we are worried by an Iranian nuclear bomb, because at the end of the day, Israel will take care of it," Putin told Aznar after he entreated the Russian president not to sell S300 surface-to-air missiles to Iran. Speaking at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Aznar also talked about his familiarity with Iran's leadership. He discussed his meeting with Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei during a trip to Tehran in 2000. According to Aznar, Khamenei said Israel must be burned to the ground and made to disappear from the face of the Earth. Khamenei described Israel as "an historical cancer, an anomaly," and said that he was "working toward Iran defeating the United States and Israel in an inevitable war against them." (J.Post/INN)
IRAN IGNORES SANCTIONS BY SENDING ARMS TO SYRIA: Syria remains the top destination for Iranian arms shipments in violation of a UN Security Council ban on weapons exports by Iran. The disclosure was made in a confidential report by a panel of sanctions-monitoring experts to the Security Council's Iran sanctions committee. The panel investigated three large illegal shipments of Iranian weapons over the past year. "Iran has continued to defy the international community through illegal arms shipments," said the report. "Two of these cases involved Syria, as were the majority of cases inspected by the panel during its previous mandate, underscoring that Syria continues to be the central party to illicit Iranian arms transfers." The third shipment involved rockets that Britain said last year were headed for Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. (Reuters)
WIKILEAKS CABLE LED IRAN TO HANG SPY FOR ISRAEL: A disclosed WikiLeaks cable led Iran to arrest and execute a man alleged to have been hired by the Mossad (Israeli Intelligence) to assassinate a physicist. American government officials previously have accused WikiLeaks of endangering security by publishing confidential diplomatic cables. Analysts have connected the dots linking the publication of the US document with the execution last Tuesday of Majid Jamali Fashi, 24, who was hanged after being convicted for being a Mossad agent who killed scientist Massoud Ali-Mohammadi two years ago. The leaked cable identified Fashi as a “licensed martial arts coach and trainer” who was taking part in a tournament in Azerbaijan when the document was sent from the US embassy in Baku. Birmingham University Prof. Scott Lucas said details of the cable may have made Iran suspicious. Ali Ansari, head of Institute for Iranian Studies at the University of St Andrews, stated “I have always considered the release of the WikiLeaks files, without consideration for those consciously or unconsciously named in them, to be grotesquely irresponsible.” (Arutz-7)
NETANYAHU: ISRAEL HAS NO BETTER FRIEND THAN THE CZECHS: PM Netanyahu said Thursday that the Czech Republic was Israel’s best friend in Europe. Speaking at a joint press conference in Prague with Czech PM Petr Necas, Netanyahu explained that there’s no place in Europe where Israel’s challenges are better understood. He said the Czechs understand what it’s like to be a beleaguered democracy in a hostile region. “The Czech people value freedom and enterprise and science and initiative and this creates an immediate bonding between us.” Netanyahu added that only the Czech people can appreciate, as few nations can, why only a secure Israel can achieve peace.” Necas said during the press conference, “We absolutely reject the delegitimization and any boycott of the state of Israel. We unequivocally support Israel's right to defend itself against terror attacks and share concerns about Iran's nuclear program.” (INN)
CHARITY ORGANIZATIONS IN ISRAEL DEMAND HELP FROM THE GOVERNMENT: Charity organizations in Israel gathered last week for an emergency conference, in which they called on the government to intervene and help fight food insecurity in Israel. The organizations noted that, even though they are able to provide some financial aid, many families from different populations in Israel suffer from very severe food insecurity. In order to give regular support to 220,000 families who need urgent food assistance approximately 800 million shekels are required. Of these, only 150 million are handed out by charity organizations, a fact which strengthens the need for government intervention. “We’re demanding that the Israeli government take responsibility for the insecurity problem, which is very big in Israeli society,” Eran Weintrob, Executive Director at Latet-Israeli Humanitarian Aid said. The groups are demanding the government allocate 250 million shekels in the 2013 budget for this purpose. Weintrob added that every day the need grows and they are expecting the government to support their efforts. (INN) There are 1.7 million people in Israel living below the poverty line. More than 837,000 children go to bed hungry every night! Pray that help will come from through many channels to meet these needs – including via increased funding for the poor in the Israeli government.
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.