Israel Update

October 4, 2012

“You have put gladness in my heart, more than when their grain and new wine abound. In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, make me to dwell in safety.” Ps 4: 7-8

IN YOU ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH WILL BE BLESSED (GEN12:3): When Israel was founded 64 years ago, it was a barren country with no natural resources, little water, and more than half of its land mass desert. More than six decades later, the Israelis have turned their country into an oasis of technology and innovation. With the most startups per capita worldwide, and the third highest number of patents per head, Israel has become one of the leading players in the world of high-tech innovation, attracting international giants to its shores. Additionally, the amount and quality of medical research coming out of Israel is astounding. Advances have been made in treating cancer, asthma, diabetes, sepsis and neurological diseases such as ALS. Israeli scientists have made their mark in all these areas and many more. From health breakthroughs to technology, agriculture, the environment and the arts, the country’s innovations are transforming and enriching lives everywhere. Israel today is playing a significant role in some of the most important challenges facing our planet. (JTA)

ISRAELI JEWISH POPULATION SET TO PASS SIX MILLION: The Jewish population in Israel numbers about 5,978,600 - just 21,400 short of the symbolic six million mark, which it is expected to pass by the end of 2012. According to a holiday census, the total population of Israel stands at about 7,933,200 people. Of these, 1,636,600 are Arabs and 318,000 are listed under the category of "others." Jews make up 75.3% of the total population in Israel. The Jewish population has grown by 70,000 since the end of 2011, when it stood at 5,907,000. (INN) “Your people who were born in exile will one day say to you, ‘This land is too small - we need more room to live in!'” Isa 49:20

JEWISH BIRTHRATE HIGHEST IN 34 YEARS: The Jewish birthrate was higher in 2011 than it has been since 1977, the Central Statistics Bureau reported. The number of births was up to an average of 2.98 per woman. The number of new immigrants has also increased. A total of 16,892 people immigrated to Israel in 2011, up by 1.5% from 2010. (INN)

LONGEVITY IN ISRAEL AMONG THE WORLD’S HIGHEST: A new report published by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) shows longevity in Israel is among the highest in the world and ranks in fifth place for life expectancy among OECD countries - higher than Sweden and France, for example. Life expectancy in Israel in 2011 was 83.6 for women and 80 for men. Israel is tied with Australia in fifth place, and surpasses countries such as Iceland, Norway, New Zealand and Canada. Japan, Switzerland, Italy, and Spain rank in the 1st through 4th spots, respectively, and the US falls below the OECD average for life expectancy, at 78.2 years. Israel also has one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world. (Israel Hayom)“With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” Ps 91:16

ISRAEL IS THE SECOND-MOST EDUCATED COUNTRY: Israel is the second-most educated country among OECD member countries, according to a new report. The study found that 46% of all 25-64 year-olds in Israel have a higher education. In Canada, which topped the list, 51% of members of the same age group reached higher education. Israel was followed by Japan with 45%. In the US, the report found 42% of the adult population has a higher education. The average among OECD countries is 30%. Israel was also high on the list of percentages of young people who graduate from upper secondary education, with a rate of more than 90%. (INN) Israel has the highest ratio of university degrees to the population in the world. It produces more scientific papers per capita than any other nation by a large margin, as well as one of the highest per capita rates of patents filed. Israel has the world's second highest per capita of new books and has more museums in ratio to the population than any other country. “A wise man is strong, and a man of knowledge increases power.” Prov 24: 5

SURGE OF NEW ISRAELI START-UPS IN SECOND QUARTER OF 2012: Israel has recently seen a gigantic leap in the number of new start-up companies, with 199 new start-ups founded in the second quarter of 2012. The new figures marked a substantial increase beyond the 114 start-ups that were founded in the preceding two quarters. More than half of the start-ups that were established in the last quarter – 102 companies – were defined in the report as Internet companies, compared to 53 and 63 Internet companies founded in the preceding two quarters. The number of new companies also grew in the communications and life sciences sectors. (Ha'aretz) In proportion to its population, Israel has the largest number of startup companies in the world. In absolute terms, the Jewish nation has a larger number of startup companies than any other country, except the US. Israel's has the highest living standards in the region and its $100 billion economy is larger than that of all its neighbors combined.

ISRAELI HOSPITAL TREATING KIDS FROM GAZA: Rockets fired from the Gaza Strip are a daily fact of life for the communities of southern Israel. Yet in the midst of the tension, four very sick pediatric nephrology patients from Gaza are receiving treatment in northern Israel. Mohamed and Hadeel (both 12), Hadeel’s brother Ahmad (15) and six-month-old Lian all suffer from kidney insufficiency and have been hospitalized for several months at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa. They have been receiving lifesaving therapy while awaiting kidney transplants. The treatment they need, peritoneal dialysis, is not available in the West Bank and Gaza, so medical authorities from these areas cooperate with Rambam to save children’s lives. The families have received and been trained to use the equipment required for further treatment from Israel's Teva Pharmaceuticals. The company will arrange to have supplies conveyed through the Erez checkpoint at the border of Israel and Gaza. The three schoolchildren are soon due to be sent home, while the recently arrived baby still needs time to be stabilized. (ISRAEL21c)

ARCHAEOLOGISTS UNEARTH ANCIENT BETHLEHEM SEAL: Earlier this year Israeli archaeologists discovered a 2,700-year-old seal that bears the inscription "Bethlehem," in what experts believe to be the oldest artifact with the name of Yeshua’s traditional birthplace. The tiny clay seal's existence and age provide vivid evidence that Bethlehem was not just the name of a fabled biblical town, but also a bustling place of trade linked to the nearby city of Jerusalem. Eli Shukron, the director of excavations, said the find was significant because it is the first time the name "Bethlehem" appears outside of a biblical text from that period. The stamp, also known as "fiscal bulla," was likely used to seal an administrative tax document, sent from Bethlehem to Jerusalem, the seat of Jewish power at the time. It was found as archaeologists sifted through mounds of dirt they had dug up in an excavation outside Jerusalem's Old City walls. (Fox) Scripture says of Israel that God’s people take pleasure in her very stones and favor even the dust (Ps 102:15). Such words are confirmed as archaeological excavations continue to unearth layers of history beneath the sand and stones of the Jewish nation. Ongoing discoveries tell us of life in the ancient past and in many cases bear out the truth of Biblical accounts, to the delight of those who believe, to the annoyance of skeptics.

ARCHAEOLOGISTS DISCOVER ANCIENT SEAL DEPICTING SAMSON: Archaeologists of the Tel Aviv University recently unearthed a seal, measuring about a half-inch in diameter, which depicts a human figure next to a lion at the archaeological site of Beth Shemesh, located between the Biblical cities of Zorah and Eshtaol. The scene engraved on the seal, the time period, and the location of the discovery all point to a Biblical account of the story of Samson, the heroic figure whose adventures included a victory in hand-to-paw combat with a lion. "The finding does help to anchor the Biblical story in an archaeological setting,” according to Prof Shlomo Bunimovitz. (Science-News)

PRAYER REMINDERS: Amidst the joy of Succot holidays and the many reminders of G-d’s blessing being poured upon and through Israel, please continue to intercede for the pressing concerns of the Jewish state and matters dominating the headlines of today’s breaking news from the Middle East: Pray for ongoing strength, courage and wisdom for Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu as he faces the potentially catastrophic issue of Iran’s nuclear weapons development on behalf of the Jewish state. Pray against fear attempting to grip Israel’s people regarding a possible war with Iran. Intercede for the coming US presidential elections and for a maximum turnout at the polls of all the Lord’s voting people. Pray for an end to the ongoing full scale massacre of innocent civilians in Syria and for righteous solutions to the political upheaval there. Pray for the exposure of hypocrisy and ill will towards Israel from within the Palestinian Authority leadership, as the well as from the ruling Muslim Brotherhood ranks in Egypt. Pray for the safety of Israel over the remaining Jewish fall holidays. “A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance.” Eccles 3: 4

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.    


All active news articles