Israel Update

November 30, 2012

“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.” Ps 62:5

GENERAL ASSEMBLY RECOGNIZES PALESTINE AS OBSERVER STATE: The General Assembly on Thursday approved a resolution granting Palestine non-member observer state status at the United Nations. One hundred and thirty eight countries voted in favor of the bid; 41 abstained and nine voted against it. The nine countries that voted against the resolution are: Israel, US, Canada, Czech Republic, Panama, Marshal Islands, Micronesia, Nauru and Palau. Among the 41 countries that abstained were Britain, Germany, Holland, Australia, Poland and South Korea. (Ynet) Many in Israel are in need of prayers against discouragement on the heels of the recent Gaza Strip crisis and the disheartening display of Thursday’s lack of support in the UN. Although the sweeping approval of UN General Assembly members to recognize Palestine as an observer state means nothing in terms of actual Palestinian statehood, it is still a slap in the face by the majority of nations to the people of Israel – one of many.

BY GOING TO UN, ABBAS VIOLATED AGREEMENTS WITH ISRAEL: The Prime Minister's Office issued a statement after Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas' speech at the UN General Assembly, saying that by going to the UN the Palestinians have "violated agreements with Israel, and Israel will act accordingly." Israel has made it clear such a move would free the Jewish state of its obligations under the Oslo accord since Jerusalem views the attempt as a blatant violation of the underlying principle of those agreements: that all outstanding issues must be resolved through negotiations, not through unilateral actions. A few hours before the vote, PM Benjamin Netanyahu said in Jerusalem that the UN General Assembly decision to recognize the state of Palestine “will not change anything on the ground.” Netanyahu attacked the international community and said that “It doesn’t matter how many hands will be raised against it, there is no force in the world that would cause me to compromise Israel’s security. Israel left Gaza and Iran entered. Exactly the same thing happened when we left Lebanon. As prime minister I will not allow another Iranian terror base in Judea and Samaria – in the heart of the country – one kilometer from the center of Jerusalem.” (Ha’aretz/J.Post) “They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace.” Jer 8:11

PROSOR: UN RESOLUTION PUSHES PEACE BACKWARD: Israel's UN ambassador, Ron Prosor, called the resolution to grant the Palestinian Authority an upgraded status at the UN "so one-sided it doesn't advance peace, it pushes it backward." Prosor spoke shortly before the UN passed the proposal. In a fiercely worded speech opposing the UN General Assembly resolution, he said being made a non-member observer state "will not confer statehood." Prosor, who spoke after PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, said the largely symbolic boost to his bid for full recognition as an independent neighbor of Israel will in fact "place further obstacles and preconditions to negotiations and peace." He condemned what he said was the PA’s refusal to negotiate peacefully or recognize Israel. "The world waits for President Abbas to speak the truth that peace can only be achieved through negotiations by recognizing Israel as a Jewish state. It waits for him to tell them that peace must also address Israel's security needs and end the conflict once and for all," he said. "As long as President Abbas prefers symbolism over reality, as long as he prefers to travel to New York for UN resolutions, rather than travel to Jerusalem for genuine dialogue, any hope of peace will be out of reach," said Prosor. He added that the UN vote will make a negotiated peace settlement less likely, as Palestinians continue to harden their positions. “Unfortunately, it will raise expectations that cannot be met." (INN)

US OFFICIALS: RESOLUTION DID NOT CREATE A PALESTINIAN STATE: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton criticized the UN General Assembly's vote to implicitly recognize a Palestinian state, calling it an "unfortunate and counterproductive" move that places more obstacles in the path to peace. US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice said Thursday after the General Assembly vote that recognized Palestine as an observer state that the resolution does not establish that Palestine is a state. "Today’s grand pronouncements will soon fade. And the Palestinian people will wake up tomorrow and find that little about their lives has changed, save that the prospects of a durable peace have only receded," she remarked. Rice stressed that the only way to achieve a two-state solution is through direct negotiations. "There simply are no short cuts." (Ynet)

PALESTINIANS TAKE TO THE STREETS TO CHEER UN STATEHOOD VOTE: Thousands of flag-waving Palestinians set off fireworks and danced in the streets Thursday to celebrate a UN General Assembly vote granting de facto recognition of a sovereign Palestinian state. In Bethlehem, the bells of the Church of the Nativity peeled in honor of the vote, and thousands of people crowded around to watch a live broadcast of PA President Mahmoud Abbas' speech in New York. In a rare show of unity, Abbas' Islamist rivals Hamas, who have ruled Gaza since a brief civil war in 2007, let supporters of the president's Fatah movement hold rallies there. (Reuters) “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

ISRAEL’S PRACTICAL RESPONSES TO PALESTINIAN UN MOVE: At this stage Israel’s reaction to the Palestinian motion in the UN will probably be low-key. Israel is expected to impose limitations on senior PA officials and cancel their VIP cards that allow them free passage through Israel Defense Forces checkpoints in the West Bank. Additionally, Jerusalem will likely deduct debts of about NIS 1 billion that the PA owes various Israeli bodies, notably the Israel Electric Corporation. The deduction will come from confiscating the monthly tax revenues that Israel collects for the PA. More stringent steps will be considered in the future in the event of further Palestinian moves such as turning to the International Criminal Court in The Hague or an attempt to be accepted into other UN agencies. A senior official in Jerusalem said Israel is not interested in carrying out immediate reactionary moves that would only serve to further focus international criticism of Israel, and not the Palestinians, who will be pressured after the UN move to renew negotiations with Israel without preconditions. (Ha’aretz)

GAZANS CROSSING FENCE INTO IDF POSITIONS: IDF soldiers stationed along the border fence with Gaza say they have received new orders on opening fire, which allow Arabs in Gaza to endanger soldiers and Israeli civilians in nearby communities. "Between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. there are hundreds and possibly thousands of people roaming near the fence, including uniformed Hamas men," a soldier told Israel’s Channel 2. His identity was disguised to avoid trouble from the IDF. "They crossed the fence several times and went into our forces' positions and destroyed IDF property. The forces cannot push them away from the fence because they may not even fire in the air." A female soldier who is stationed near the fence also spoke to the TV channel, with her voice distorted to prevent identification. "Let us say that the communities in the area are not safe now," she said. "If some armed madman decides to cross the fence he can cross it. It endangers our soldiers because they are exposed along the fence. At any given moment, if they want, they can now fire an antitank weapon at them and hit them easily." Asked what her commanders say about the situation, she answered: "That these are orders from above and we can't do anything about it." The reason for the new instructions is the ceasefire agreement reached with Hamas at the end of Operation Pillar of Defense. (Arutz-7) “But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.” Ps 39:7

SECRET PLANT FEEDING IRAN NUKE PLANS: Just as the latest International Atomic Energy Agency report increased alarm about Iran’s illicit nuclear program, now comes the word that the Islamic regime has created even more secret nuclear sites. The IAEA report indicated that not only has Iran completed installation of 2,784 centrifuges at Fordow, the previous secret site deep in a mountain believed to be immune to air strikes, but also could within days increase output of highly enriched uranium to the 20% level, well on the way to nuclear weapons. Iran has started to feed uranium hexafluoride gas into four new cascades, increasing the number of centrifuges at Fordow from 700 to 1,400, therefore doubling its output of highly enriched uranium and cutting the time needed for having enough high-enriched material for one nuclear bomb. The regime already has enough low-enriched uranium for six nuclear bombs if further enriched. However, according to a source within the engineering department of the Revolutionary Guards, the regime is working on its nuclear bomb program from several secret sites unknown to the world. (WND)

UN CONDEMNS IRAN AND SYRIA FOR HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES: A key United Nations committee days ago passed resolutions condemning human rights abuses by Iran and Syria. Syria's isolation deepened with a resolution that attracted ten more countries than last year, when it was put to the UN for the first time since an uprising started against President Bashar Assad. A motion condemning "widespread and systematic gross violations" by Assad's government forces and allied militias was backed by 132 nations and opposed by 12 with 35 abstentions. A similar condemnation of Iran was passed with 83 votes in favor, 31 against and 68 abstaining. The resolution hit out at torture and executions in Iran, "widespread" restrictions of freedom and "pervasive" violence against women. The resolutions will go to a formal vote in the General Assembly in December where they should be easily passed. (Arutz-7)

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 Storehouse?", 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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