Israel Update

June 15, 2012

“Remember me, Lord, when you show favor to your people, come to my aid when you save them, that I may enjoy the prosperity of your chosen ones, that I may share in the joy of your nation and join your inheritance in giving praise.” Ps 106: 4-5

LIKUD MK: ISRAELI DOCTORS TREATING SYRIANS WOUNDED IN UPRISING: Deputy Minister Ayoob Kara (Likud) said days ago that Israeli doctors in the Turkey-Syria border area are treating Syrians wounded in the uprising against the Bashar Assad regime. Kara, a member of Israel's Druze community, said Israel is prepared to absorb Syrians wounded in the unrest in that country and also to send doctors to Jordan to treat those injured. Kara also said that, according to photos he has seen, Assad's military strongmen have used chemical weapons against men, women, and children during its violent suppression of the uprising. (Ha’aretz) Israel has repeatedly extended helping hands to its foes in time of political upheavals or national emergencies. The Jewish state is presently aiding wounded Syrian citizens fleeing a brutal regime. It realizes, however, that any government replacing that of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad will be no more favorable to Israel than the one now crumbling. Leading rebel officials have made it clear that should they seize control of the country, Israel will continue to be regarded as Syria's number one enemy. Syria's revolution has seen tens of thousands killed as dictator Bashar Assad clings to power. But the West's blind backing of the opposition forces has come under recent criticism. A number of Christian sources have reported that the Sunni Muslim-dominated Syrian opposition has massacred and exiled huge numbers of Christians in the towns it controls.

WORLD’S LARGEST, MOST ADVANCED UNDERGROUND HOSPITAL OPENS IN HAIFA: The world’s largest and most advanced “fortified hospital” was unveiled this week at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa. The 2,000 bed underground hospital is designed to keep patients and staff safe dozens of meters below ground even if missiles and rockets are falling above ground. This is in case the city ever faces the kind of assault it did during the Second Lebanon War in 2006. It is also designed to keep out chemical or biological weapons. Missile strikes by Hezbollah and Hamas terrorist groups were the impetus behind the construction of the hospital. Over the past decade, missiles have devastated the far north and south of Israel. (Times of Israel)

POLL: MOST ARABS WANT TO LIVE IN ISRAEL: The Palestinian Authority, the international media and even elected Israeli-Arab politicians all try to portray life for Arabs in Israel as oppressive and on-par with what black Africans experienced during the Apartheid in South Africa. But time and again, evidence on the ground simply does not support their theory. Most telling is the publicly-voiced opinion of Israeli-Arabs themselves. In an annual poll conducted by Haifa University and published last week, it was again revealed that a clear majority (68.3%) of Arabs prefer living in Israel over any other country in the world. Seventy-one percent of Arab respondents merely said Israel is a good place to live, while a full 60% described Israel as a "homeland." Seemingly contradicting themselves, 80% of Arab respondents blamed the Jews for the "Nakba" or the "disaster" that was the modern rebirth of Israel, though 60% said they now accept Israel as a Jewish state and nearly as many have no problem that the nation's public institutions and characteristics are defined by Judaism. (Israel Today/Ryan Jones) Pray all Arabs living in Israel will feel and express growing appreciation for the benefits and equal opportunities extended to them by the Jewish state.

EXPERTS PONDER WHY ISRAELIS LIVE SO LONG: At age 81.5, Israel has the sixth highest life expectancy in the world. Moreover, Israeli men can expect to live 79.6 years, on average, the third highest in the world, bested only by men in Switzerland (79.9) and Iceland (79.7). Is it the local Mediterranean diet? Other Mediterranean countries have similar dietary habits. Greece, for example, lags far behind Israel in life expectancy. Is it the advanced egalitarian health system? Scandinavian countries have no less of an advanced and progressive health system, yet Israelis tend to live longer. Sociological theories point to strong and healthy communal and family ties as contributors to longevity, as well as a culture featured by a zest for life. Israeli Professor Yehuda Kahane suggests that the difficulties of life in Israel may contribute to a toughness and enhanced survival. The ongoing conflict and ideological struggles give life more content and meaning than in other developed countries, and this may well contribute to the high life expectancy. (Ha’aretz) “With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” Ps 91:16

JEWISH HEART FOR AFRICA FINISHES 58TH SOLAR PROJECT: By installing a small set of solar panels in some of the most remote of African villages, Sivan Borowich-Ya'ari and her organization Jewish Heart for Africa are able to bring electricity to schools, orphanages and medical clinics that have never seen artificial light before. Jewish Heart for Africa has helped 250,000 people throughout the continent. Based in New York City, the organization's goal is to save African lives using Israeli sustainable technology. Founded in 2008 by French-Israeli Borowich-Ya'ari, 33, the group has completed 58 solar projects in villages throughout Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania and Malawi. (J.Post)

ELECTRIC CAR NETWORK GETS FIRST TEST IN ISRAEL: Israeli entrepreneur Shai Agassi has begun rolling out the world's first nationwide electric car network. After more than $400 million in outlays, dozens of electric cars have hit the road in Israel. Four stations where the cars can have their batteries recharged, are operating, and the plan is to increase that number within months. The goal is to wean the world from oil and eliminate the biggest hurdles to environmentally friendly electric cars - high cost and limited range. So far, the four Better Place battery stations are set up in central and northern Israel. During the second half of the year, around 40 stations are due to be operating across the country. But even before that, the company says enough will be up that a motorist could make the 300-mile drive from Israel's northern tip to its southern end. (Fox)

ISRAELI START-UP TAXI SERVICE SETS SIGHTS ON NEW YORK: An Israeli start-up company that developed a mobile app with the ability to locate the nearest cab has raised $20 million and plans on using the proceeds to launch the service in New York. The company’s service allows people to call cabs directly from their smartphones. The app then automatically locates the closest cab, identifies the driver, and estimates how long it will take the cab to reach the passenger. GetTaxi Israel, run by general manager Motti Hasfari, already operates 350 taxis in Tel Aviv. It launched a London service in October 2011 and a Moscow service in March. GetTaxi's vision is to revolutionize taxi services so that everyone can have reliable service in less than a minute. The company aims at changing the way people get around. "We want the taxi to become the preferred means of transport in a big city, such as Tel Aviv, London, or Moscow,” said a GetTaxi spokesman. “If a cab is available within 2-3 minutes from when you want it, and its cost is the same as a private car including fuel and parking, then a taxi will be much more convenient." (INN)

ISRAEL’S TECHNION IMPROVES MICROSCOPE RESOLUTION 10-FOLD: Haifa’s Technion-Israel Institute of Technology has registered a patent for a new technique that improves tenfold the performance of any type of sophisticated microscope and imaging system without making hardware changes. The discovery, which has just been published in the Nature Materials journal, has aroused great interest in the scientific world and industry, being described as a “breakthrough with the potential to change” these fields. (J.Post)

ISRAEL WATER TECHNOLOGY SPARKS BUSINESS VENTURE: Millionaire and entrepreneur Richard Branson has decided to launch a new business venture, “Virgin Pure,” using technology imported from Israel. Branson recently visited the country and met with Israeli technology companies and scientists, leading him to pursue his most recent undertaking. When Ofra Strauss, Chairman of the Strauss Group, handed him water that had been purified using technology her company invented, Branson decided to launch a venture of his own. “Ofra showed me the machine in Israel and I wanted to buy one for our family. I realized how few homes had one of these,” he said. The Strauss company, a food and beverage empire, which began 75 years ago as a dairy farm, developed the technology inside the machine and has already made strategic partnerships with Pepsi, Danone and Frito-Lay snacks. The machine filters, boils, and chills water and incorporates the technology engineered by Strauss, and will appear in Britain before expanding into other countries. Due to the machine’s price, at nearly $420, Britain was chosen as an opening market for the country’s love of tea and the 10 million homes that use bottled and filtered water only. According to company research, Britons are likely to invest in the machine in order to make long-term savings. (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.    


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