Israel Update

September 10, 2012

“The moon will be abashed, the sun shamed; for the Lord will reign on
Mt. Zion and in Jerusalem, and before its elders gloriously.” Isa 24:23

THE DEMOCRATIC MASKS SLIP ON ISRAEL: Were you shocked when at least 50% of the delegates to the Democratic Convention appeared to vote "nay" on recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital and reinserting G-d into the platform? Admittedly, it was high drama - a truly unscripted moment that laid bare the hostility toward Israel that has gradually achieved mainstream status within the Democratic Party. But was it a surprise? Not really. A Gallup poll released earlier this year showed 78% of Republicans supported Israel over the Palestinians, whereas only 53% of Democrats agreed. For the past 12 years, Democratic support for Israel has been declining, Gallup reports. (Yahoo)

EU PREPARING NEW SANCTIONS ON IRAN OVER NUCLEAR PROGRAM: The European Union is drafting a new round of sanctions on Iran, the French and German foreign ministers announced Friday, lamenting the lack of progress in negotiations over the Middle Eastern country's nuclear program. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the new restrictive measures would target "financial, commercial and oil aspects." Something concrete should be ready in time for the next UN General Assembly in 10 days, he said. "The negotiations are treading water," Fabius told reporters after meeting with his EU counterparts in Cyprus. An Iran with nuclear weapons is an "unacceptable, extremely dangerous" prospect, he added. Germany’s Guido Westerwelle said he is "very worried about the lack of progress in the nuclear negotiations," stating that "any talks and negotiations that only amount to a delay will be unacceptable. We will not accept a nuclear arming of Iran." (Ha’aretz)

CANADA SUSPENDS DIPLOMATIC TIES WITH IRAN: Canada has suspended diplomatic relations with Iran and is expelling Iranian diplomats from Canada, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird announced Friday. According to the report, Ottawa closed its embassy in Iran and has given all remaining Iranian diplomats in Canada five days to leave the country. "Canada has closed its embassy in Iran, effective immediately, and declared personae non grate all remaining Iranian diplomats in Canada," Baird said in a statement. "Canada’s position on the regime in Iran is well known. Canada views the Government of Iran as the most significant threat to global peace and security in the world today." Baird's statement cited Iran's failure to comply with UN resolutions on its nuclear program and its threats against Israel as the reason for the move, as well as Tehran's support of Syrian President Bashar Assad's brutal crackdown in the pro-democratic movement in his country. (Ynet) Bravo Canada!

ISRAEL’S PRIME MINISTER HAILS CANADA’S BOLD MOVE: PM Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated the Canadian Prime Minster Steven Harper on Friday, following Canada's announcement it had suspended diplomatic relations with the Islamic Republic. "This is a bold decision that is sending a clear message to Iran and to the entire world, one week after a show of antisemitism and hate in Tehran. The Canadian government took a moral step," the prime minister said. "The resolve that was demonstrated by Canada is highly important in order for the Iranian regime to understand it cannot continue its race toward nuclear weapons. This practical move should set an example for the rest of the international community that needs to join Canada by setting clear red lines for the Iran regime." Ottawa has long had poor relations with Iran, in part because of its enmity towards Canadian ally Israel. (Ha’aretz)

WASHINGTON POST TO OBAMA: MAKE RED LINES FOR IRAN: The Washington Post's editorial board on Friday urged US President Barack Obama to move closer toward the Israeli demand to set "red lines," which if crossed, could prompt US military action against Iranian nuclear facilities. Citing ongoing media speculation of a rift between Obama and PM Binyamin Netanyahu over Iran, the newspaper's editorial board suggested more clarity about US policy toward Iran could help heal relations between the two. "If Obama really is determined to take military action should Iran takes decisive steps toward producing a bomb, he would be wise to say so publicly" by issuing "a more explicit presidential statement." As recently as Thursday night, Defense Minister Ehud Barak acknowledged the divergence in the US and Israeli timetables for potential military action against Iran, saying “the clock is ticking at a different pace.” (J.Post)

CONGRESSMAN CONFIRMS NETANYAHU-SHAPIRO SPAT: Israel’s PM Binyamin Netanyahu and US Ambassador Dan Shapiro, earlier this month engage in a sharp, undiplomatic argument over Netanyahu’s frustration with the Obama Administration’s Iran policy, the US congressman in that meeting said Thursday.  Reports of “sparks flying” between the two officials during the discussions were originally denied by Shapiro. Republican Congressman Mike Rogers who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, said the “sharp exchange” was “unusual, to say the least.” Pressed whether he had ever experienced anything like that before, he said, “We’ve had sharp exchanges with other heads of state and in intelligence services, but nothing at that level where people were clearly that agitated, clearly that worked up about a particular issue.” Rogers said it was “very, very clear” from the meeting the Israelis had lost their patience with the administration. “Right now the Israelis don’t believe the administration is serious when they say all options are on the table, and more importantly neither do the Iranians. That’s why the nuclear program is progressing.”  Rogers said he walked out of the meeting feeling Israel was at its “wit’s end,” and the window for impacting the Iranian program was starting to close. The Michigan Republican explained what was apparent was a lot of frustration with the lack of clarity about the administration’s position on the Iranian issue. "And that’s what I think I saw across the Middle East,” he added. “The uncertainty about the US’ position has created lots of problems and anxiety that I think doesn’t serve the world well and doesn’t serve peace well.” (J.Post) Continue to pray for Israel’s PM Netanyahu that he may have peace, wisdom from above and protection from the spiritual warfare against him.

WEST SUSPECTS ASSAD DISPERSED CHEMICAL WEAPONS: Western spy agencies suspect the Syrian government has dispersed several hundred tons of chemical weapons across as many as 20 sites across the country. The report Thursday said the sites are being monitored, but according to officials there is growing fear the monitors have not identified every location and that some of the poisons could be stolen or used by Syrian troops against civilians. Drawing from recent intelligence assessments, US and Middle Eastern officials believe the Syrian arsenal contains several hundred tons of chemical weapons, including sizable quantities of battlefield-ready sarin, the deadly nerve agent. The stockpile appears to be larger and more scattered than originally believed, officials who have seen the intelligence reports revealed. The terrorism risk has prompted extensive contingency planning by the US and regional allies. Israel has expressed concerns that Assad’s chemical weapons will end up in the hands of the Lebanon-based Hizbullah terror group if his regime falls. (INN)

BRITISH, DUTCH CALL FOR SANCTIONS AGAINST LEBANON’S HIZBULLAH: Britain and the Netherlands urged other EU governments on Friday to join the US in imposing sanctions on the Lebanese terrorist group Hizbullah for providing support to Syria's President Bashar Assad. Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal said the European Union should brand Hizbullah a terrorist organization, a move that would enable the bloc to freeze the group's assets in Europe. The Netherlands considers the Shi'ite Islamist movement, which is a member of the Lebanese government, a terrorist group, while Britain reserves the designation for Hizbullah's armed wing. Israel has been pressing hard for the entire organization to be blacklisted since July’s terror attack against Israeli tourists in Burgas, Bulgaria. The EU, however, has rejected Israel's request on the grounds “there is no consensus on the issue, because Hizbullah also has an active political arm.” The powerful group is allied with Iran and was designated by the US as a terrorist organization in the 1990s. (Ha’aretz/INN) Pray the Hizbullah terrorist group will be officially recognized by the European Union for what it is, thus enabling ways for further sanctions and penalties to be leveled against it.

PAKISTANI GIRL ACCUSED OF BLASPHEMING ISLAM IN SERIOUS DANGER: Amnesty International says a mentally-challenged Christian girl accused of blaspheming Islam in Pakistan is still in serious danger even after a judge ordered her freed from jail. The human rights group said Friday's decision to grant bail to 14-year-old Rimsha Masih is an encouraging step. Rimsha spent the last three weeks in jail in Islamabad after neighbors accused her of burning pages from the Quran. Judge Mohammad Khan gave no reason for his decision. But police arrested a Muslim cleric last week after members of his mosque accused him of planting evidence against the girl. Other Muslim clerics demanded she be freed. Rimsha's lawyers argued  the girl has has Down syndrome, which impairs her mental abilities. Muslim-majority Pakistan has some of the world's toughest penalties against blasphemy. Anyone found guilty of insulting Islam and the Prophet Mohammad faces the death penalty. Many Christians living in Rimsha's neighborhood fled the area fearing revenge from Muslims. (AP) Continue to pray for the total vindication of Rimsha Masih. One cannot begin to imagine the terror of this mentally impaired 14–year-old girl, who has been falsely accused of burning pages from the Quran. She has been separated from her family, faced angry mobs demanding her death, been jailed and is yet in danger of execution. Pray for her comfort and protection.  Intercede for changes in Pakistan’s barbaric blasphemy laws.

Blessings from Jerusalem,

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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