Israel Update

July 30, 2012

“Why do the nations say, ‘Where is their God?’ Our God is in heaven; He does whatever pleases Him.” Ps 115:2-3

WHITE HOUSE CAN’T REMEMBER WHAT CITY IS ISRAEL’S CAPITAL: White House Press Secretary Jay Carney evaded a question at a recent press briefing regarding which city the US considers to be the capital of Israel. Carney refused to disclose whether the US officially believes Jerusalem or Tel Aviv to be the capital of Israel. Persistently questioned for about a minute, a befuddled Carney only responded that, “I have not had that question in a while. Our position hasn’t changed.” During his election campaign, Obama reassured Jewish constituents that Jerusalem will remain the “undivided” capital of Israel. His stance since then has significantly changed. (Arutz-7)

Intelligence information being rapidly collected and analyzed by the CIA reveals Israel has many causes for concern about the day after Assad. A likely Islamist take over in post-Assad Syria would find Israel surrounded by radical Muslim elements. Of great concern to the Jewish state is also the growing possibility Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal will fall into the hands of terrorists groups such as the Lebanon-based Hizbullah. According to the CIA, the number of Syrian rebels is smaller than what is perceived in the West. In addition, the rebel leadership has been massively infiltrated by radical Muslim Brotherhood elements. CIA officials warn: Not only will there be no new Syria, there is a chance it will be similar to the current Egyptian model or to the Iraqi model, where nobody knows who controls what. The states which offer financial and military support to the rebels have no idea who they're supporting. (Ynet) Pray much needed aid, comfort and assistance will reach Syrian civilians caught up in their nation’s brutal political upheaval. Pray also foreign governments will be rightly informed and updated as to who and what is behind opposing forces in Syria. May they not fall victim to initiating generous support of causes and Islamist entities that will render Syria in worse condition and Israel at a greater risk than before the uprising began.

NASRALLAH PLACES HIZBULLAH TERRORIST FORCES AT ASSAD’S DISPOSAL: Lebanon's Al-Joumhouria newspaper, quoting senior political sources, revealed Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah has offered Syrian President Assad elements of Hizbullah's special forces any time they are needed, even if they are required to be sent to open fronts to fight the revolutionaries. Nasrallah also reportedly invited the Syrian president to his personal residence, or even to meet inside the Iranian embassy in Beirut, but Assad has opted to remain in Syria because he still believes he is able to steer the ship with the help of Russian political and military experts. Additionally, a senior commander in Iran's Revolutionary Guards weeks ago confirmed Iranian forces are operating in Syria in support of Bashar al-Assad's regime. The West has accused Iran of providing military and technical support to Assad to quell the Syrian uprising. (Asharq Al-Awsat/Guardian) Pray the growing unity between terrorist groups and terrorist governments such as Syria and Iran will fall into discord and confusion.

HIZBULLAH RELEASES VIDEO OF ABDUCTION OF TWO ISRAELI SOLDIERS THAT LED TO SECOND LEBANON WAR: Hizbullah released a video Friday documenting the 2006 abduction of Israeli soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev. In the video, which was broadcast on the Beirut-based Al Mayadeen television, a group of Hizbullah operatives is seen penetrating the Israeli-Lebanese border fence and walking toward the road where Israeli soldiers are on patrol. The terrorists are then seen approaching a jeep, with Goldwasser and Regev presumably in it, after it was hit by an anti-tank missile. Hizbullah operatives are next viewed opening the door of the jeep and removing the two soldiers. Then the frame freezes. The video was broadcast in a special program that marked six years since the Second Lebanon War. Ghassan bin Jiddo, the Lebanese reporter who broadcast the video and who is the owner of the Al Mayadeen television channel, is known to be close to Hizbullah chief Hassan Nasrallah. Jiddo said Imad Mughniyeh personally oversaw the abduction and was present during the operation. Mughniyeh, a senior Hizbullah leader and one of the most wanted terrorists by the US and Israel was killed in 2008 by a car bomb in Syria. Hizbullah's capture of Goldwasser and Regev on the northern border sparked the 34-day Second Lebanon War in 2006. Their bodies were exchanged in July 2008 in a prisoner swap for five Lebanese prisoners held by Israel. (Ha’aretz)

MAYOR SAYS TEL AVIV IS A COOL CITY BUT JERUSALEM IS THE CAPITAL: Tel Aviv’s mayor has dropped the city’s long-time rivalry with Jerusalem to remind Britain that the holy city is Israel’s capital – no matter what the BBC says. The British broadcast authority, which has often been charged with bias against Israel, listed “East Jerusalem” as the capital for the “Palestinian Olympic team" while leaving Israel listed without a capital. After Israel and Jews around the world complained, the BBC partly corrected its mistake and stated that Israel’s "seat of government is Jerusalem" while still omitting Jerusalem as the capital. Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai has now come to the rescue by saying although his city is “one of the coolest cities in the world and Israel’s financial and cultural center, we are not Israel’s capital. Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.” Israel’s Olympic team decided to respond to the BBC’s assertion that Jerusalem is not Israel’s capital, by preparing a video in which Israeli athletes are seen saying they are proud to represent Israel “and its capital Jerusalem.” (INN)

OBAMA DOESN’T HATE JEWS BUT HE HATES ISRAEL: Former New York congressional candidate Asher Taub said Friday, that he hopes the next president of the US will be good to the state of Israel and to its people. Summing up President Barack Obama's four years in office, he said, "Obama does not hate Jews but he does hate Israel. Obama does not understand the reality of the Middle East." Taub said he believes a majority of Jews will vote for Romney and explained American Jews are disappointed with Obama for several reasons: “All US presidents have chutzpah, especially the current president, who tells the state of Israel what to do and where to build. That's a lot of nerve. Also, Obama's lack of support for an attack against a nuclear Iran, American Jews do not view positively," he said. On another front, the Republican Jewish Coalition is proceeding with plans for a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign called, “My Buyer’s Remorse.” The drive uses testimonials from people who say they regret supporting President Obama due to his economic policies and his stance toward Israel. (INN) Pray G-d’s designated choice for the next US President will be put into office. Pray all conditions will be conducive to a broad turnout at the polls this November.

OBAMA SIGNS ISRAEL SECURITY BILL AHEAD OF ROMNEY VISIT: President Barack Obama signed a measure on Friday to strengthen US-Israeli military ties, a move that could score points with American Jewish voters on the eve of Republican rival Mitt Romney's highly publicized visit to Israel. Obama also used the White House bill-signing ceremony to announce he was releasing $70 million in approved funding for Israel's short-range rocket shield known as "Iron Dome," a project backed strongly by the powerful US pro-Israel lobby. His reaffirmation of an "unshakeable commitment" to Israel's security appeared timed to upstage Romney, who has accused the president of undermining Washington's relationship with its No. 1 partner in the Middle East. The White House denied it was an election-year maneuver, even though senior administration officials have lavished attention on Israel in recent weeks. (Reuters)

ISRAEL DRAFT CRISIS THREATENS TO TRIGGER GOVERNMENT COLLAPSE: With mere days left before a court-imposed deadline to reform Israel's military draft law expires, the nation's political leaders are at loggerheads on how to resolve what has become perhaps the country's most pressing and divisive domestic issue. The impasse over whether and how to scrap the mass exemptions from military service for ultra-Orthodox Jews has already cost PM Benjamin Netanyahu his largest coalition partner. With no obvious compromise in sight ahead of the Aug. 1 deadline, the issue has the potential to trigger the government's collapse and lead to snap elections. The debate over the exemptions cuts along the nation's secular-religious divide. Israel's secular majority, which is required to perform two to three years of compulsory service, widely resents the exemptions, while ultra-Orthodox leaders have been adamant in their refusal to compromise, claiming their young men serve the nation through prayer and study. Earlier this month, Netanyahu dissolved a high-profile committee that recommended largely doing away with the mass exemptions. That prompted his chief coalition partner, the centrist Kadima Party with the explicit goal of ending exemptions for the ultra-Orthodox, to quit the government. Netanyahu now has presented a diluted alternative that doesn't appear likely to be implemented either. (Huff Post) Pray this impasse will be quickly resolved between opposing political factions. A collapse of the government in the coming week could leave the Jewish state distracted and thus vulnerable to surrounding foes at a time when it most needs to be alert and focused. An eruption in the Syrian or Iranian crisis endangering Israel will necessitate leaders being able to make quick unified decisions across the entire political spectrum.

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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