Israel Update

July 25, 2012

“May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant. Let your compassion come to me that I may live.” Ps 119: 76-77

SYRIA WARNS IT MAY USE CHEMICAL WEAPONS ON FOREIGN FORCES: Syria has admitted it has chemical weapons and in what may have been a veiled threat against Israel, warned it will use them if assaulted. The regime said it would not engage in chemical warfare against rebels. Syrian rebels reported Tuesday that government forces have moved chemical weapons to airports near the country's borders. Israel is concerned the arsenal will fall into the hands of Lebanon-based, terrorist group, Hizbullah. PM Binyamin Netanyahu declared this week his government will “have to act” if Assad’s regime collapses, leaving Hizbullah with the possibility of taking over his munitions store. Defense Minister Ehud Barak stated he had ordered Israel’s military forces to prepare for a situation in which they will need to direct a strike against Syria’s arsenal, which is believed to include mustard gas and nerve agents that can reach the Jewish state via Scud missiles. Despite the Syrian Foreign Ministry’s vow not to use chemical weapons against the opposition, US Senator John McCain does not trust the regime. "These are helicopter gunships, tanks, artillery that are slaughtering people, and now there is a risk that in his desperation, Bashar al-Assad might use those chemical weapons," said McCain. US President Barack Obama this week warned Syria not to make the "tragic mistake" of using such weapons. (Ha'aretz) This is a highly dangerous situation needing to be covered in intercession. Pray for alertness in all of Israel’s government, security and military officials. Wisdom and vigilance is needed to avert or respond to a chemical weapons hit.

A young Israeli man who survived last week's murderous terrorist attack in Bulgaria said a prayer upon returning to Israel. Matan Sabah covered his eyes and repeated the “Shema Yisrael” prayer. The ancient “Shema Yisrael” proclaims God’s unity. It's words are "Hear O Israel, the Lord is our G-d, the Lord is One." It is part of the daily prayers, but also said when in danger and as a reaffirmation of faith. The bombing killed five Israelis and wounded many more. Volunteers from Israel’s ZAKA emergency response organization were in Burgas, Bulgaria last week to clear the scene of the attack and ensure that those killed would have a proper burial. The group found a set of tefillin (phylacteries) that was undamaged in the blast. A member of the team said finding the tefillin caused sudden deep emotion. “In painful situations like this, when you see unbearable things, to suddenly see something positive, that’s what breaks you,” he said. “It’s something that gives strength in the midst of tremendous pain.” (Arutz-7) “I am feeble and utterly crushed; I groan in anguish of heart. All my longings lie open before you, Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you.” Ps 38: 8-9.

PERES: IRAN IS IN OPEN WAR WITH ISRAEL: President Shimon Peres stated Monday that Iran is in an open war with Israel and blamed the Islamic Regime and its proxy Hizbullah for last week's bombing in Bulgaria that killed five Israelis. Peres said Israel has enough hard intelligence to link the Bulgaria attack to Iran and Hizbullah and believes more violence is being planned. He called Iran a center for terror. Addressing the Syrian crisis, Peres said Israel would be forced to seize that country’s cache of chemical weapons if there is a risk President Bashar al-Assad would use them against Israel or the arsenal could fall into the hands of terrorists. "The use of chemical weapons is internationally forbidden, and what do you do when somebody violates the law? You fight against it," said Peres. "You stop them." Israel’s president spoke a day after Israel marked the 40th anniversary of the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany, where 11 Israeli athletes and coaches were killed by Palestinian terrorists. He said Israel was taking necessary precautions to ensure Israeli athletes would not be targeted at the London Olympic Games, adding that if Israeli intelligence services had been at Munich, they would probably have been able to prevent the attack. (CNN)

ISRAEL FEARS IRANIAN TERROR ATTACK AT LONDON 2012 OLYMPICS: Israeli officials have warned that an Iranian terror squad in Europe may be planning to attack its athletes at the 2012 Olympic Games, sparking the largest security operation in peacetime Britain. According to the report more than 17,000 troops and 7,000 private security guards will secure the Olympic Park and 26 other venues, and an additional 12,500 police will be deployed to patrol London's streets. MI5 and New Scotland Yard have raised their threat assessment in light of the terrorist attack in Bulgaria last week that killed 5 Israelis. In addition, the Israeli government has dispatched agents from the Shin Bet and Mossad to protect its 38-strong delegation. New York police believe Iranian Revolutionary Guards have been involved so far this year in nine plots against Israeli or Jewish targets around the world. (Ha’aretz) Pray every act of violence intended against participants or on-lookers at the London 2012 Olympics will be exposed and averted.

SYRIAN DEATH TOLL HITS 19,000: The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Sunday that 19,000 people have been killed since the beginning of violence between the Syrian government and dissidents in March 2011. The London-based opposition group said 2,752 people had been killed during the first three weeks of July. Syrian opposition activists reported on Tuesday that Assad’s forces killed 30 worshipers in a mosque in a village northwest of Hama. “The soldiers opened fire on worshipers as they entered the mosque,” said one activist. “We counted 15 bodies and there is a similar number of bodies in the streets,” he said. (Arutz-7) Pray for the protection of women, children and all helpless targets in the Syrian upheaval. Pray also for the true believing remnant of Syrian Christians who may be trapped and who will certainly become a target of killing in the middle of warring Muslim factions.
GOP LEADERS: OBAMA ANNOUNCEMENT COMES 4 YEARS TOO LATE: Republican leaders have sharply criticized an announcement made Monday that if President Obama were to be re-elected he would visit Israel. "President Obama’s promise to visit Israel in his second term comes four years too late,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said in a statement. Cantor added the president’s belated offer also does not make up for the many shortcomings of his Middle East policy, ranging from the fact that Iran continues to race forward with its nuclear weapons program to his administration’s haplessness in the face of Syria’s threats to use weapons of mass destruction . Cantor continued that Obama has consistently failed to visit Israel, while he has “found time to visit dozens of other nations.” Former UN ambassador John Bolton also said on Monday, "Obama has been in office three and a half years, and he has had time to do more fundraisers than any other first-term American president, has probably played more rounds of golf than any other president since Dwight Eisenhower, and yet he has not had time to fit into his busy schedule even one trip to Israel."  Meanwhile, next week, Mitt Romney is traveling to Israel for the fourth time. (Arutz-7)

DEMOCRATIC SENATOR SUGGESTS LEAKED INFO CAME FROM WHITE HOUSE: The Democratic leader of the Senate Intelligence Committee said Monday the White House appears to be responsible for some leaks of classified information. "I think the White House has to understand that some of this is coming from their ranks," Sen. Dianne Feinstein told a World Affairs Council forum. The California lawmaker did not directly accuse President Barack Obama, who receives a daily intelligence briefing, of disclosing secret information, but she was uncertain about others at the White House. Republicans have criticized the disclosures, arguing that members of the Obama administration were intentionally leaking classified material to enhance the president's reputation in an election year. Attorney General Eric Holder has appointed two attorneys to lead the investigation into who disclosed information about US involvement in cyberattacks on Iran and about an al-Qaida plot to place an explosive device aboard a US-bound airliner. That hasn't satisfied some Republicans who have pressed for a special prosecutor. (Fox News)

MERKEL: CIRCUMCISION BAN WOULD MAKE GERMANY A LAUGHING STOCK: German chancellor, Angela Merkel, recently told her party that Germany risked becoming a “laughing stock” over a court ruling criminalizing religious circumcision. Merkel warned that Germany must restore legal protection for circumcision. “I do not want Germany to be the only country in the world in which Jews cannot practice their rites,” Merkel was quoted as saying. “Otherwise we would make ourselves a laughing stock among nations.” The court ruled that non-medical circumcision, practiced by most Jews and Muslims, constitutes “serious and irreversible interference in the integrity of the human body." (AFP)

AUSTRIAN GOVERNOR BANS RELIGIOUS CIRCUMCISION: The governor of Voralberg province in Austria has instructed hospitals to halt non-medical circumcisions until the "legal situation is clarified" in his country. The decision by Gov. Markus Wallner came after a German regional court ruled ritual circumcision amounted to criminal bodily harm. Two hospitals in Switzerland last week also cited the German ruling when they announced they would temporarily stop performing circumcisions. (INN) Germany spearheaded a rapidly spreading trend in its recent court decision to make religious circumcision illegal. Pray that legal protection for circumcision will be restored quickly in all countries where it has been, or is about to be banned.

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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