Israel Update

October 22, 2012

“We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Eph 6:12

US OFFICIALS SAY IRAN AGREED TO NUCLEAR TALKS: The US and Iran have reportedly agreed to one-on-one negotiations over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program, according to Obama administration officials. The announcement could be an indication of a last-ditch diplomatic effort to avert a military strike aimed at stunting Iran's race towards a nuclear bomb. A senior US administrator said Iranian officials have insisted the talks be delayed until after the presidential election. The announcement, made just two weeks before the elections and a day before the final presidential debate, could tip the scale in Obama's favor by helping the president argue he is nearing a diplomatic breakthrough in the effort to curb Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. But there is every chance the initiative could fall through even if Obama is re-elected. Iran has a long history of manipulating the promise of diplomacy to ease international pressure on it. Israel’s ambassador to the US, Michael. Oren, said Saturday the administration had not kept the Jewish state in the loop, and that the Israeli government worries Iran would use new talks to advance their nuclear weapons program. “We do not think Iran should be rewarded with direct talks,” Oren said, “rather that sanctions and all other possible pressures on Iran must be increased.” (Ynet) Pray this latest development that has - conveniently for Obama – unfolded a day before the final US presidential debates will not prove successful as a ploy to tip voter opinion in his favor. Iran is only a political issue for Obama while for Israel, it’s a matter of survival. Not since 1967 has Israel’s safety been more precarious. Iran is now racing for a nuclear bomb while bragging only “24 hours and an excuse” is needed to destroy the Jewish state. Despite Barack Obama’s statement he is fully committed to Israel, no other US president has strained relationships between the two countries as severely as he has.

EU TRIP TO IRAN TO GO AHEAD DESPITE ISRAELI PRESSURE: The European Union is going ahead with plans to send a delegation to Iran, despite Israeli efforts to stop it. After a heated debate in Brussels, the EU parliament decided to dispatch representatives to Tehran on an official visit next weekend. The five-day trip by the 15-member delegation from six countries is scheduled for October 27, and the visit was described as “humanitarian.” Diplomatic sources in Jerusalem said the visit means the EU is sending a contradictory message to Tehran: On one hand the EU just imposed new sanctions on the Islamic Republic, and on the other hand it is attempting to hold a political dialogue with the regime of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Last week, US Senate Democrats also strongly urged their EU counterparts to cancel the trip, saying it would send “the wrong message at this particularly sensitive time.” (Arutz-7)

IRANIAN OFFICIAL THREATENS ISRAEL WITH MORE DRONES: An Iranian military official warned Israel Friday it should expect more unmanned drones to enter its airspace, such as the one that was shot down by Israel two weeks ago. "Zionists must expect hundreds of other drones in 25 different models with new flying systems they won't know how to confront," the Commander of the Basij Forces, General Mohammad Naqdi, said Friday. The infiltration of the drone into Israeli airspace exposed only the smallest part of the power of Hizbullah and dealt a heavy blow to the Israeli regime, he claimed. Hizbullah chief Hassan Nasrallah later boasted his group sent the unmanned drone over Israel. The group’s television network broadcast a video which simulates the route made by the unmanned drone. The simulation clearly showed the drone had a camera which photographed the targets over which it flew. Last week, Iran confirmed it had provided Hizbullah with the German-manufactured drone. (Arutz-7)

BLAST IN BEIRUT IS SEEN AS AN EXTENSION OF SYRIA’S WAR: A powerful bomb devastated a Christian neighborhood in the capital city of Lebanon on Friday, killing an intelligence official long viewed as an enemy by neighboring Syria and unnerving a nation as Syria’s sectarian-fueled civil war spills beyond its borders and threatens to engulf the region. The blast, which killed at least eight people, wounded 80 and transformed a quiet tree-lined street into a scene reminiscent of Lebanon’s long civil war, threatened to worsen sectarian tensions. The Lebanese authorities announced the dead included the intelligence chief of the country’s internal security service, Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hassan, instantly spurring accusations the Syrian government had assassinated him for recently uncovering a Syrian plot to provoke unrest in Lebanon. Imad Salamey, a political science professor at Lebanese American University, blamed Assad’s government and said the hit was intended to show that Syria has the ability to destabilize Lebanon and to embroil the region in chaos. The blast accelerated a pattern already established, as the Syrian civil war increasingly draws in the region, crossing the borders of its many neighbors. Recently, a mortar blast from Syria killed civilians in southern Turkey, prompting the Turkish military to respond with artillery strikes into Syria for several days. Jordan has struggled to absorb as many as 180,000 refugees. Shells have also exploded in Israel’s Golan Heights region. Iran has been accused of sending weapons and advisers into Syria to help Assad. Hizbullah fighters from Lebanon have been killed in Syria and sent home for burial. (NY Times)

IRAN POINTS FINGER AT ISRAEL FOR BEIRUT BOMBING: Iran on Saturday condemned a car bomb attack in Beirut that killed a prominent Lebanese intelligence official and accused Israel of being the blame. "This action was taken with the aim of sowing dissension among different currents and segments of the Lebanese people and was conducted by an element who has never had in mind the interests of the Lebanese government and who only strives for its own impure interests and goals," said a statement on the Iranian Foreign Ministry's website. "Without a doubt the main enemy of the people of Lebanon and the region is the Zionist regime (Israel), which benefits from insecurity and instability in the region," ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said. It offered no evidence for the suggestion of Israeli involvement. Asked about Mehmanparast's remarks, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said: "After the Iranian regime accused Israel of even the bad weather conditions prevailing in Iran, is there anything at all that they would not automatically blame on Israel? This is beyond pathetic. It's pathological." Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati, said his government was trying to identify the perpetrators and they would be punished. (J.Post)

LARGEST US-ISRAEL MISSILE DEFENSE DRILL TO KICK OFF: US military forces have arrived in Israel to take part in the largest joint missile defense exercise of its kind, which will begin this week. One thousand American soldiers will be participating on Israeli territory and a further 2,000 US troops in Europe and the US will take part via remote defense computing systems. An equal number of Israeli soldiers will be involved. During the drill Israeli air defense systems, such as the Iron Dome anti-rocket shield and Arrow 2 anti-ballistic missile batteries, will be deployed, as well as US and Israeli Patriot batteries. US ships carrying the Aegis combat system, which can intercept missiles, will take part, and at least one US Navy ship will dock at Haifa. The IDF and the US military’s European Command will set up missile defense batteries across Israel. Most of the drill will involve computer simulations of incoming rockets, and in the last stage a Patriot will be fired at a mock enemy projectile. “Anyone can take away any message they want from this,” said the IDF’s Brig.-Gen. Nitzan Nuriel, who is heading the Israeli side of the exercise. “The fact we are working together is a strong message by itself.” (J.Post)

JERUSALEM MAYOR SLAMS EU’s CONDEMNATION OF GILO PLAN: Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat on Saturday night slammed the European Union's condemnation of plans to build 797 housing units in Gilo, a Jerusalem suburb located across the Green Line. "Gilo is an inseparable part of Jerusalem and we are not going to apologize for that," Barkat said. "We will continue to build tens of thousands of apartments across the entire city for all sectors. The only way to lower the price of apartments is to continue building without stopping as we are now in order to allow young people to live in Jerusalem and build themselves a future." A municipal planning committee on Thursday issued a call for bids from contractors to start building the housing units on the western slopes of Gilo, one of the five ring neighborhoods in Jerusalem that were developed immediately after the 1967 Six Day War, including Ramot, Ramat Shlomo, and Pisgat Zeev. In response, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton expressed "deep regret" over the decision. She described settlements as "illegal under international law," and said they "threaten to make a two-state solution impossible." The Jerusalem municipality does not differentiate between these neighborhoods and western Jerusalem for any municipality services or statistics. (J.Post)

SILVAN SHALOM: JERUSALEM IS OUR ETERNAL CAPITAL CITY: Deputy PM Silvan Shalom spoke out after the EU's condemnation of Israel's plan to build in Gilo, saying, "It's time the international community internalize the absolute fact that Jerusalem was reunited in 1967 and will not be divided again. Jerusalem was and will always be the capital of the Israeli nation. We will continue to build and strengthen Jerusalem, our eternal capital city." (INN) “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘I will save my people from the countries of the east and the west. I will bring them back to live in Jerusalem; they will be my people, and I will be faithful and righteous to them as their God.’” Zech 8:7-8

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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