Israel Update

November 14, 2012

“The word of the Lord came to me a second time, saying, ‘What do you see?’ And I said,
‘I see a boiling pot, facing away from the north.’ Then the Lord said to me,
‘Out of the north the evil will break forth on all the inhabitants of the land.’” Jer 1:13-14

ISRAEL HITS SYRIAN ARTILLERY THAT FIRED ON GOLAN: Israel's army fired tank shells into Syria on Monday and scored "direct hits" in response to a Syrian mortar shell that struck Israel’s Golan Heights region. It was the second day in a row Israel had fired across the disengagement line drawn at the end of a war in 1973, underscoring international fears Syria's civil war could ignite a broader regional conflict. On Sunday the military said it had a fired a guided missile into Syria in a potent "warning shot" after errant mortar fire had fallen on Israel’s territory. This was the first time Israel has fired at Syria since the 1973 Yom Kippur War. On Monday Israel carried through with a threat to target directly anyone firing across the lines. The IDF has filed a complaint with the UN forces operating in the area, stating that fire emanating from Syria into Israel shall be responded to with severity. Nineteen months of fighting and the mounting chaos engulfing the Assad regime have already shaken the region, spilling into Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan. The entry of Israel into the fray would take the violence to a new level. Although Israel has a more powerful military, both countries have air forces and significant arsenals of tanks, missiles and other weapons. Israel is especially concerned about Syria's stockpile of chemical weapons. An Israeli war on Syria could also draw in Syria's ally, Hizbullah, further destabilizing the region. The Lebanese-based terrorist group, Hizbullah, has tens of thousands of rockets and missiles aimed at the Jewish state. (Reuters) Scripture indicates we should keep a prayerful eye on events taking place in countries hostile to the Jewish state on the other side of Israel’s northern borders. This region, most immediately, includes Syria and Lebanon. Pray for the Lord’s angelic shields to be along Israel’s northern and southern borders.

US AND FRANCE DECLARE SUPPORT FOR UNITED SYRIAN OPPOSITION: Both the United States and France have announced their support for the Syrian opposition after various groups opposed to the Assad government united following talks in Qatar. "We look forward to supporting the National Coalition as it charts a course toward the end of Assad's bloody rule and the start of the peaceful, just, democratic future that all the people of Syria deserve," State Department spokesman Mark Toner said in a statement. France announced on Tuesday it recognizes Syria's newly formed opposition coalition as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people, becoming the first European nation to do so. Syria's newly named opposition leader, Mouaz AlKhatib, said Tuesday he wanted EU recognition and financial support for the new Syrian opposition coalition, saying this would allow it to act as a government and acquire arms. (AFP) Israel has been careful to portray itself as neutral in the conflict in Syria. It fears being dragged in should Syria and its backer Iran encourage the Lebanese-based Hizbullah terrorist group, which they both support, to begin shelling Israel from the north. Rebels on the other hand are convinced Israel is backing President Bashar Assad, who despite years of anti-Israel rhetoric, and support for Hamas and Hizbullah, at least preserved the peace on the border with the Golan Heights. Opposition leaders have made it clear they will continue to regard Israel as their number one enemy should they gain power in Syria - as does the present regime. Wide international support of Syria’s newly formed opposition, armed by the West, could likely yield another explosive Islamist foe on Israel’s northern front. It’s almost a given that the “peaceful, just, democratic future that all the people of Syria deserve," naively hoped for by the US will turn into another takeover and rule of a Muslim country by Islamists, including the Muslim Brotherhood.

TERRORISTS IN GAZA BESIEGE ISRAEL’S SOUTHERN COMMUNITIES WITH ROCKET FIRE: Reports Monday revealed that 120 to 150 rockets were fired at southern Israel over a 36 hour period, resulting in the injuries of more than 47 people. MDA paramedics treated ten people Sunday injured as a result of a rocket attack near Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council. At least 37 people were also treated for shock. Many of the rockets fired Sunday were timed for the end of the school day, in order to try and kill or maim children. The rocket barrage began after Palestinians attacked an IDF jeep near the border with Gaza with an anti-tank missile, wounding four soldiers. The IDF responded with shelling that killed four Palestinians. PM Binyamin Netanyahu held security consultations with Defense Minister Ehud Barak late into Monday night to weigh a military response to the continuous onslaught of Gaza rockets against southern Israel. Some 20 rockets fired from Gaza slammed into southern Israel through-out Monday, with one rocket scoring a direct strike on a Netivot factory, causing damages but no injuries, as workers sought cover just in time. The Knesset will hold a special session to discuss the escalation on Israel's southern border with Gaza and northern border with Syria. (Ha'aretz)

ISRAEL, TERRORISTS PUT TEMPORARY LID ON GAZA: Israel and the Palestinians stepped back from the brink of a new war in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, sending signals to each other via Egypt that they would hold their fire unless attacked, after five days of mounting violence. The tacit truce arrested an escalation to all-out fighting, but both sides remain armed and primed for another round in the unresolved conflict that has festered since Hamas Islamist terrorists took over the enclave in 2007. As of Tuesday morning one rocket had landed outside Ashdod causing no injuries or damages. PM Benjamin Netanyahu consulted his inner circle of ministers in Jerusalem. One of them, Benny Begin, said the flare-up had subsided but the conflict was far from resolved. Netanyahu promised Israelis security. "Whoever thinks they can harm the routine lives of southern residents without paying a very heavy price is mistaken," the prime minister said in a radio speech. "And I am responsible for us exacting this price at the most proper time." (Reuters)

GOVERNMENTS WOULD NEVER ACCEPT ROCKET FIRE: PM Netanyahu told foreign ambassadors in Israel this week that a million Israelis are being targeted on a daily basis by people who are firing from areas the Government of Israel had vacated. "I don't know of any of your governments who could accept such a thing. I think the whole world understands this is not acceptable. So we're going to fight for the rights of our people to defend themselves. We'll take whatever action is necessary to put a stop to this." (Prime Minister's Office) Pray for wisdom to be given to Israel’s leaders to know how to put an end to unceasing terrorist rocket fire from the Gaza Strip. Pray for the protection and peace of Israelis, both young and old, who live in besieged communities under the threat of attack daily.

OVER 50% CHANCE FOR IRAN CONFLICT IN COMING YEAR: David Gergen, senior political analyst for CNN, has said the chances for conflict with Iran erupting in the next two to 24 months are greater than 50%, and, according to some estimates, as high as 90%. President Barack Obama will be focused during his second term on domestic issues, he predicted, but would nevertheless not be able to avoid the Middle East. There is simply too much unresolved and too much at stake, he said. And the central conundrum he will have to deal with is Iran. “In my 30 years in and out of politics,” he reflected, “this is the toughest problem I have ever seen.” Shortly after the Israeli elections, he ventured – assuming, as expected, that Netanyahu will continue in office – the prime minister is likely to ask the US for a green light to take military action against Iran. This, he said, will create enormous angst, as the two countries differ significantly in regard to the point at which intervention becomes necessary. For Netanyahu, the “red line” needs to be drawn at the moment when Iran develops the capability to produce a nuclear weapon. For Obama, it needs to be drawn only when such a weapon is actually manufactured. This is likely to cause an unprecedented crisis in relations between the two countries. (J.Post)

OBAMA ASKS PALESTINIANS TO BACK OFF STATEHOOD PUSH: US President Obama called Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas this week, asking him to back off a Palestinian push for statehood at the UN. In his discussion with President Abbas, President Obama reaffirmed his commitment to Middle East peace and his strong support for direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. He also reiterated the United States' opposition to unilateral efforts at the UN. In spite of the White House appeal, PA president Mahmud Abbas disclosed Monday that the Palestinian Authority will present its bid for non-state membership of the UN on November 29. The designation of the Palestinian Authority as a state by the UN would be regarded by Israel as a material breach of the Oslo II Agreement from 1995 that stated: "Neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip pending the outcome of permanent status negotiations." Israel and the PLO committed themselves to resolving their differences at the negotiating table. By turning to the UN, Abbas would be operating unilaterally. The language of the UN resolution is likely to contain phraseology that pre-judges the outcome of negotiations on critical issues, such as borders and the status of Jerusalem. (Politico/Friends of Israel)

UK PROFESSOR SAYS ITS NO LONGER TENABLE TO BE A JEW IN ACADEMICS: A math teacher at the University and College Union (UCU) - the largest trade union and professional association of higher education for professors, academics, lecturers and researchers in the UK - says the institution has repeatedly singled out Israel for condemnation at its annual conferences and created an intolerant environment in which "it is no longer tenable to be a Jew in UCU.” Ronnie Fraser, who is suing the union for race and religious discrimination, had opposed a controversial motion passed by the union in 2007 calling for a ban on all Israeli academics working in the UK. The motion was put forward as part of the union's campaign against the so-called “Israeli occupation of Palestine.” He, along with any others seeking to oppose the ban, were consistently subjected to abuse, a "freezing out" by fellow trade union members and dismissed as "Zionists," he told the tribunal hearing his case. "I felt this was not in keeping with the union's stance on equality. This was one of the many occasions where I felt my freedom of speech was stifled," he said in a statement. Jane Ashworth, another academic at the institution, told the tribunal she was accused of being a member of the Israeli Mossad when she distributed leaflets opposing the boycott at the UCU national conference. "At this time the atmosphere was very bad,” she said. "Jewish UCU members felt their rights had been undermined and the union had adopted policies that cut out the possibility of them being heard." (INN)

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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