December 31, 2012
“My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning,
more than watchmen for the morning.” Ps 130:6, Jer 1:13
AL QAEDA WANTS TO KILL ANOTHER US AMBASSADOR: Al Qaeda terrorists in Yemen have offered $160,000 in gold for killing the US ambassador, three months after the US envoy to Libya was murdered. The US State Dept. presumably will take the matter more seriously than it did when senior officials ignored events leading up to the brutal killing of Christopher Stevens on September 11. The al-Malahem terrorist website also offered $23,000 to anyone who murders an American soldier, but the offer is valid for only six months. The bounties were set to "inspire and encourage our Muslim nation for jihad," the statement said. (Arutz-7)
SATURDAY ONE OF SYRIA’S MOST VIOLENT DAYS: Saturday marked one of the most brutal days in Syria since the start of the 22-month civil war. At least 364 people were killed, the opposition Local Coordination Committees reported. Of those, 220 were executed in Deir Balbah, outside of Homs, the group said. (INN)
UN ENVOY: SYRIA’S COLLAPSE THREATENS REGION: The UN envoy for Syria warned Saturday that the country's civil war could plunge the entire region into chaos by sending an unbearable stream of refugees into neighboring countries. Lakhdar Brahimi and Russian FM Sergey Lavrov both said after their meeting that the 21-month Syrian crisis can only be settled through talks, while admitting the parties to the conflict have shown no desire for compromise. Neither has hinted at a solution that would persuade the government and the opposition to agree to a ceasefire and sit down for talks on political transition. Brahimi, who arrived in Moscow on a one-day trip following his talks in Damascus with Syrian President Bashar Assad voiced concern about the escalation of the conflict, which he said is becoming "more and more sectarian." Brahimi warned, "If you have a panic in Damascus and if you have a million people leaving Damascus in a panic, they can go to only two places – Lebanon and Jordan." He said those countries could break if faced with half a million refugees. (Ynet)
JORDAN SAYS IT CAN HANDLE ANY SYRIAN CHEMICAL THREAT: Jordan says it is prepared to deal with any potential chemical weapon threat posed by the ongoing violence in neighboring Syria, but adds it will not enter "any alliance" to protect itself. Jordan, the US and others have expressed concern Syrian President Assad could use chemical weapons in a last-ditch effort to save his regime. Information Minister Sameeh Maaytah did not provide details on Jordan's capabilities to thwart a chemical attack. But other Jordanian officials have said US and British military experts have provided training in protecting civilians in case of a chemical attack on Jordanian territory. Maaytah also said the 21-month Syrian crisis has put enormous pressure on Jordan's infrastructure as it now hosts 275,000 refugees. (Ha’aretz)
ARAB LEAGUE CHIEF CALLS 20 YEARS OF PEACE TALKS A WASTE OF TIME: Top Arab officials paid a rare visit to the West Bank on Saturday to discuss a Palestinian financial crisis that President Mahmoud Abbas hopes will be eased by Arab donations. Arab League Chief Nabil Elaraby and Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr congratulated the Palestinians on a successful UN status upgrade last month, but stopped short of promising the badly-needed funds. "Palestine is in need of material and political support," Elaraby told a news conference in the Palestinians' de facto capital of Ramallah. "Arab countries agreed at their Baghdad summit in March for an Arab safety net of $100 million dollars each month, but unfortunately none of this has been achieved yet," he said. Palestinians were cheered by a strong majority in the UN recognizing them as an "observer state" on Nov. 29 but have struggled to get Arab support to make up $100 million in shortfalls left by Israeli sanctions following the UN move. (Ynet/Ha’aretz) Oil-rich Arab nations often make impressive pledges to contribute to this or that good cause. Frequently such commitments are not kept.
MORSI’S ADVISOR: JEWS SHOULD RETURN TO EGYPT: An advisor to Egypt's Islamist president has caused uproar by saying Jews should return to Egypt. Essam el-Erian, a senior official in the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party and a close associate of President Mohammed Morsi, was quoted as having said during an interview with the local TV network, "It is better for Jews to live in a country like Egypt rather than in a country contaminated by occupation." El-Erian added the Jews should return immediately to Egypt to "make way for the Palestinian people." He said, "Every Egyptian has the right to come back to Egypt, no matter what his religion." Egyptian newspapers were outraged by El-Arian's words. Christian journalist Hamdi Qandil wrote in his Twitter account: "Sir, Dr. Essam, do you really think that Jews will respond to your invitation?" El-Arian's remarks were also decried by Egyptian users on Facebook, who called El-Arian "an agent of Israel and America" and accused him of treason. Morsi himself has not yet responded to the media storm triggered by his adviser's remarks. (J.Post)
MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD RANKS NUMBER ONE FOR WORST ANTISEMITIC SLURS: Egypt outranks Iran in Simon Wiesenthal Center’s yearly ranking of Top Ten Antisemitic/Anti-Israel Slurs. Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood terrorist organization produced the worst antisemitic and anti-Israel slurs this year, according to the Simon Wiesenthal Center. The center topped its annual “Top Ten Antisemitic/Anti-Israel Slurs” list with a quote from Mohammed Badie, the Muslim Brotherhood’s supreme guide, who lamented “Jewish control” and ”spreading of corruption on earth,” and recommended “holy Jihad” as a remedy. Also quoted in the entry was Futouh al-Nabi Mansour, a cleric affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood who called on Allah to “destroy the Jews and their supporters” in a sermon delivered in the presence of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi in October. Second on the list for worst antisemitic/anti-Israel slurs was the Iranian regime. (Times of Israel) “But the Lord is with me as a dread warrior; therefore my persecutors will stumble; they will not overcome me.” Jer 20:11
IRAN’S NAVY SIMULATES ENEMY INVASION: Iran on Saturday tested the operational capabilities of its warships, submarines, and aircraft as part of an extensive naval drill held in the region surrounding the Strait of Hormuz. News outlets in the Islamic Republic reported that on the second day of the "Velayat 91" drill the Navy simulated an enemy invasion of Iran's territorial waters. A spokesman for the Navy was quoted as saying that Iran's Tareq super heavy submarine, which was recently upgraded, was put back into operation during Saturday's maneuvers. According to the report, navy choppers and speed boats also planted mines meant to target potential enemy vessels and block attacks in Iran's territorial waters. The naval fleets reportedly also practiced coastal defense tactics to counter an invasion of potential enemy ships. The spokesman said the maneuvers were conducted successfully, adding that the "Navy proved today that it is able to confront every enemy even if it advances up to the coasts of Iran's territorial waters." The war games were kicked off on Friday and are set to last six days. (Ynet)
GCC TO FORM UNIFIED MILITARY COMMAND AMID IRAN THREATS: The Gulf Cooperation Council said it will form a unified military command structure at a time when Iran poses a “very serious” security threat to the Middle East. The six-member group will coordinate air, land, and marine forces under one structure, Bahrain’s Foreign Minister announced last week. Iran’s nuclear program is a security threat to the region, he said. The GCC has accused Iran of intervening in the internal affairs of Arab countries in the Persian Gulf, home to three-fifths of the world’s oil reserves. Saudi Arabia in November submitted a letter to the UN complaining that Iranian aircraft had strayed into the kingdom’s territorial waters near oil and gas fields. “We have several commands at the moment in different countries,” a Saudi diplomat said. “We want to create a central command that coordinates between all sub-commands and makes them work under one umbrella.” (Bloomberg)
MIRACLE SAVES BABY FROM ROCK-THROWING TERRORIST: A rock-throwing Arab teenager nearly killed a baby Sunday morning when the huge stone he hurled at the car crashed a few inches from the infant. "We were saved by a miracle," Roie, a resident of Samaria, said. "I do not even want to think what would have happened if the rock had hit the baby." He said he was traveling around 50 miles an hour and the rock smashed through the car window and landed only a few inches from the baby’s seat. He was sitting with his wife in the vehicle, and their eight-year-old son and two-year-old daughter were sitting next to the infant. The family also was shocked by the behavior of the police. Soldiers, after realizing what had happened, closed the road to search for the attacker, but police at the scene threatened them with arrest if they did not re-open it. Mainstream media did not report the attack, following its usual practice to ignore rock-throwing unless it causes an accident or injury. The objective of the rock-throwers is murder, whether by a direct hit or by causing a driver to lose control of his vehicle and to crash. Over a year ago terrorists “succeeded” in killing Asher Palmer and his two-year-old son when they threw a rock at Palmer’s car near Kiryat Arba-Hevron. (Arutz-7) Pray for continued miracles for Israeli vehicles, their drivers and passengers to be able to travel safely in all parts of Israel. Pray also that IDF and police forces will make every effort to bring terrorists to justice and to keep Israel’s citizens safe from all manner of attacks.
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 http://www.visionforisrael.com/
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.