Israel Update

December 18, 2012

“The Lord is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one. Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever.” Ps 28: 8-9

NEW PALESTINIAN GROUP DECLARES THIRD INTIFADA HAS BEGUN: Palestinians in the West Bank city of Hebron have declared the establishment of the "National Union Battalions," which will be jointly headed by members of Hamas, Fatah, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front of the Liberation of Palestine as a means of consolidating the struggle against Israel. In its announcement, the group stressed that while it supports the UN's recognition of Palestine as a non-member observer state, it will fight to recover "all of Palestine – from the sea to the river." In the video message, taped Friday, the group's members say "This is the beginning of a third Palestinian intifada, which is erupting from the heart of Hebron and will spread to all of Palestine." In the clip, the group's representatives directly threaten Israel, saying among other things, members will kidnap soldiers and kill Israelis if their demands are not met. (Ynet) "Blessed are you, O Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord? He is your shield and helper and your glorious sword. Your enemies will cower before you, and you will trample down their high places." Deut 33:29

NETANYAHU: WESTERN WALL NOT OCCUPIED TERRITORY: PM Binyamin Netanyahu on Saturday night lit the eighth and final Hanukkah candle at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. In an address, Netanyahu said the Western Wall has belonged to the Jewish People for more than 3000 years and disputed the Palestinian claim that the Jewish historical and holy site is located in occupied territory. "In recent days, I have heard that the Palestinians are saying the Western Wall is occupied territory," Netanyahu said. "I want to tell them from the closest possible place to the miracle of the jar of oil: The Western Wall has been ours for 3,000 years, and it and the State of Israel will be ours forever." (Arutz-7/J.Post)

OFFICIAL SAYS EGYPT NARROWLY BACKS CONSTITUTION: Egyptians voted narrowly in favor of a constitution shaped by Islamists but opposed by other groups who fear it will deepen divisions, officials in rival camps said on Sunday after the first round of a two-stage referendum. Next week's second round is likely to give another "yes" vote as it includes districts seen as more sympathetic towards Islamists, analysts say, meaning the constitution would be approved. But a close win, if confirmed, would give Islamist President Mohamed Morsi only limited cause for celebration as it would show a wide rift in a country where he needs to build consensus on tough measures to fix a fragile economy. The Muslim Brotherhood's party, which propelled Morsi to office in a June election, said 56.5% backed the text. Official results are not expected till after the next round. (J.Post)

CONGRESS SEEKS TO INCREASE US FUNDING OF ANTI-MISSILE COOPERATION WITH ISRAEL: In the wake of Pillar of Defense success, Iron Dome spending may balloon from $210 million to $680 million. Congress wants to at least double the Obama administration’s funding request for anti-missile cooperation with Israel. Obama asked Congress for $99.9 million in 2013 for “Israel co-operative programs,” which include operations like the long-range Arrow anti-missile system and the short-range David’s Sling. The US House of Representatives, earlier this year, recommended adding $168 million to that request, and the Senate recommended adding $100 million in its own National Defense Authorization Act. The bill separately authorizes new funding for Iron Dome, the short-range anti-missile system Israel used to deflect most rockets targeting populated areas that were launched from the Gaza Strip during its recent conflict with Hamas terrorists. The Senate recommends $420 million for Iron Dome, double the $210 million the Obama administration is expected to request, and the House recommended $680 million. Those amounts will be reconciled by a conference committee. Funding for cooperation on missile programs like Arrow and David’s Sling is not considered assistance because it benefits US as well as Israeli defense development. (Times of Israel)

POLL: AMERICANS STILL BACK ISRAEL: A recent poll in America has shown US citizens still strongly support Israel after the recent conflict between Gaza terrorists and the IDF. The survey, conducted by the Pew Research Center in early December in 50 states, found 50% of Americans feel sympathy towards Israelis while only 10% - an all time low for PA support in the US - were sympathetic to the Palestinians. According to the survey, support for Israel was even higher among Christian, Republicans and the elderly. (Ynet) Pray understanding and support for Israel’s situation in the midst of a hostile Middle East will increase in Western nations. Pray for widespread, unbiased media coverage of events taking place in and around the Jewish state, and for Israel advocacy among student groups and politicians to be strengthened.

ISRAEL’S FOREIGN MINISTER LIKENS ISRAEL TO 1938 CZECHOSLOVAKIA: Czech Ambassador Tomas Pojar was attending a Diplomatic Conference in Herzliya last week when FM Avigdor Liberman made an example of his country, saying Israel was not about to become the second Czechoslovakia. “All expressions and promises of commitment to Israel’s security from around the world remind me of similar commitments made to Czechoslovakia in 1938 and the pressure made on the Czech president to partition the Sudetenland,” Liberman said. “After all the promises and guarantees that were provided, Nazi Germany occupied all of Czechoslovakia, bringing an end to its existence.” Pojar, in a later interview with Jerusalem reporters, said of Liberman’s comparisons, “There are similarities in that Czechoslovakia was the only democratic country in the entire region at the time,” he said. “There are parallels about how many guarantees you can get from outside, and how much you should rely on them.” The ambassador said one of the lessons the Czech Republic learned from its past is that “we strongly believe solutions cannot be imposed from the outside, because they do not work.” That firm belief is one of the reasons why the Czech Republic, alone among the 27 EU countries, voted with Israel and seven other countries at the UN on November 29 against upgrading the Palestinian status at the UN to that of nonmember state observer. Pojar said he received numerous letters, emails and phone messages from Israelis thanking his country for its support, with a few people saying they now were going to buy Czech-made Skoda cars. (J.Post)

HUNGARIAN MP DETAINED FOR BURNING ISRAELI FLAG: Independent parliamentarian Balazs Lenhardt was detained by Budapest police on Friday for burning an Israeli flag at an anti-Zionist demonstration in the Hungarian capital. A hundred demonstrators participated in the event held in front of the Hungarian Foreign Ministry. Demonstrators shouted antisemitic slogans like "Filthy Jews" and "To Auschwitz With You All." The Hungarian Foreign Ministry condemned "the shameful, inflammatory speeches insulting a minority," as well as the burning of the Israel flag that the ministry considered "an act of instigating hatred against a nation." Lenhardt is a former member of the radical nationalist Jobbik party. Last month, Jobbik MP Marton Gyongyosi caused an outrage after suggesting the government draw up a list of Jews in Hungary who posed a "national security threat." His comments were later condemned by Hungarian PM Viktor Orban, who promised to protect Hungary's Jewish population. (Reuters) Pray for the protection of Hungary’s Jewish community and that perpetrators of antisemitic hatred, whether from street gangs, political groups or any other source, will be met with harsh penalties.

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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