Israel Update

January 16, 2013

“You came near when I called you, and you said, ‘Do not fear.’ O Lord, you took up my case; you redeemed my life. You have seen the wrong done to me. Uphold my cause!” Lam 3: 57-59

SYRIAN GENERALS ORDERED TO ATTACK ISRAEL IF ASSAD FALLS: Syrian dictator Bashar Assad has ordered his military chiefs to launch ballistic missiles at Israel if he is killed by rebel forces, according to sources in Damascus cited by Israeli media this week. The online newspaper Inyan Merkazi reported Assad met with his top generals recently to express concerns he could be taken out by advanced US missiles recently provided to rebel forces, or by a mob similar to the one that violently murdered former Libyan dictator Muamar Gaddafi. Should either of those scenarios become reality, Assad reportedly told the generals to unleash Syria's considerable missile arsenal on Israel and Egypt. Syria is officially in a state of war with Israel and hosts numerous terror groups dedicated to the Jewish state's demise. Assad is angry with Egypt due to the new Muslim Brotherhood-controlled government's support for Syrian rebel groups, many of which are fellow Islamists. Last year Assad warned if his rule were truly threatened, he would ignite the powder keg that is the Middle East. That threat remains a very real concern. (Israel Today) The dangers to Israel present in the ongoing Syrian crisis cannot be underestimated - especially in the light of scripture: “The word of the Lord came to me again: ‘What do you see?’ ‘I see a pot that is boiling,’ I answered. ‘It is tilting toward us from the north.’ The Lord said to me, ‘From the north disaster will be poured out upon all who live in the land’” Jer 1: 13-14. Vital is the need for prayer that escalating calamities in Syria - spilling onto neighboring nations - will somehow be brought under control.

OBAMA: ‘ISRAEL DOESN’T KNOW WHAT’S GOOD FOR IT’: Jeffrey Goldberg, writing in Bloomberg View, has revealed US President Barack Obama said repeatedly recently that Israel does not know what its own best interests are. When informed about the Israeli decision to approve construction plans in the E1 area, "Obama, who has a famously contentious relationship with the prime minister, didn’t even bother getting angry," wrote Goldberg. "He told several people this sort of behavior on Netanyahu’s part is what he has come to expect. He suggested that he has become immune to what he sees as self-defeating policies of his Israeli counterpart. In the weeks after the UN vote, Obama said privately and repeatedly, 'Israel doesn’t know what its own best interests are.’" Goldberg predicts that for the Jewish state, "the short-term consequences of Obama’s frustration are limited. The US won’t cut off its aid to Israel, and Obama’s effort to thwart Iran’s nuclear ambitions will continue whether or not he’s fed up with Netanyahu.” Goldberg warned however, that the US may not support Israel in UN votes like the one that recently affirmed the PLO's nation status, and that Obama may eventually offer "a public vision of what a state of Palestine should look like," in which he will affirm that it should have its capital in East Jerusalem. (INN) Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), said last Saturday night, at the end of a week-long visit to Israel that the US should not meddle in Israel’s decisions. “It is none of our business whether Israel builds new neighborhoods in east Jerusalem or withdraws from the Golan Heights, and the US should not tell Israel how to defend itself,” said Paul. With all due respect, may Obama absorb some of the Kentucky senator's wisdom and humility.

PRIME MINISTER UNSHAKEN BY OBAMA’S CRITICISMS: Sources close to Israel’s prime minister said Netanyahu brushed off US President Obama’s recent derogatory comments – one of which was that “Israel doesn’t know what’s good for it.” Officials said, “Netanyahu will continue to stand up to international pressure, as he has for the past four years. He will continue to look out for Israel's interests and he will not undertake any compromises that could endanger the security of Israel.” He will certainly not agree to return to the 1948 armistice lines, the officials said, “and he will ensure that Jerusalem remains united.” (INN) Continue to pray PM Netanyahu will remain undaunted in his stand.

SYRIA FACES CATASTROPHE – DOCTORS BEING MURDERED TO PREVENT WOUNDED GETTING TREATMENT: As the death toll in Syria continues to mount an aid agency working in the conflict zone has said doctors are being murdered to stop wounded getting treated. In a report released by the International Commission on Syrian Refugees, partner organizations which provide emergency medical services and supplies say the health care system has been decimated. Physicians described “intimidation, torture and the targeted killing of doctors and other medical staff in retribution for treating the wounded.” A systematic campaign to restrict access to life-saving health care through the strategic bombing and forced closure of hospitals and health care facilities, was described in the report. The aid agency said the near two-year uprising has brought the Middle East into a new “human displacement tragedy.” The UN estimates more than 60,000 people have been killed in the uprising, which began in March 2011 - 3,500 of who are children. More than 600,000 Syrians have fled to overburdened neighboring countries, and the UN anticipates the figure could soon exceed one million if the exodus continues at its current pace. Inside Syria, more than two million civilians are displaced and the UN estimates four million are in dire need of assistance. (MailOnline) May G-d bring healing, comfort and deliverance to tens of thousands of Syrians, including innocent children, who are suffering acutely due to their government's upheaval.

AT LEAST 26 CHILDREN KILLED IN SYRIAN BLOODSHED: At least 26 children were killed in violence in Syria on Monday fueling international calls for a war crimes probe into the 22-month conflict. Reports of the child deaths came as Human Rights Watch accused President Bashar Assad's regime of expanding its use of banned cluster bombs. Eight of the children were killed in an air strike southwest of Damascus. Five women were also killed. The children, all members of the same clan, were aged between six months and nine years old. Also near the capital, four other children were killed, including two siblings, the watch group said. Eight children were killed in the northern province of Aleppo - five of them in an air strike. Six more children died in other flashpoints in the strife-torn country. Violence continued on Tuesday with at least 80 people reportedly dead by that evening and dozens wounded in two explosions that rocked the university in Aleppo, Syria's biggest city. The two explosions hit the university during the day while students were sitting exams. (INN/J.Post)

SYRIAN REFUGEES FLEE SEXUAL VIOLENCE: The New York-based International Rescue Committee disclosed this week that Syrian refugees interviewed in Lebanon and Jordan gave sexual violence as a primary reason for their flight. The report details horrific levels of brutality, describing rape as “a significant and disturbing feature of the Syrian civil war.” In the course of three IRC assessments in Lebanon and Jordan, Syrians identified sexual violence as a foremost reason their families fled the country. Many women and girls told of being attacked in public or their homes, primarily by armed men. These rapes, sometimes by multiple perpetrators, often occur in front of family members. The IRC was told of attacks in which women and young girls were kidnapped, raped, tortured and killed. Every day, thousands of Syrians stream into Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and increasingly North Africa to find safe haven. The report says the crisis will be a protracted humanitarian emergency. (J.Post)

IRAN COULD REACH KEY POINT FOR NUCLEAR BOMB BY 2014: Iran could produce enough weapon-grade uranium for one or more nuclear bombs by mid-2014, and America and its allies should intensify sanctions on Tehran before that point is reached, a report by a group of US nonproliferation experts warned this week. President Barack Obama should also clearly state the US will take military action to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, the report said. The 154-page document, "US Nonproliferation Strategy for the Changing Middle East," was expected to be released Monday. "Based on the current trajectory of Iran's nuclear program, we estimate Iran could reach critical capability in mid-2014," experts concluded. (Ha’aretz)

NETANYAHU: NO NEGOTIATIONS WITH ONE WHO EMBRACES HAMAS: PM Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday said he does not believe PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is serious about reaching a peace agreement with Israel. "In the reality of the Middle East, any areas we will pull out of will be taken over by Iran," Netanyahu said in a televised interview. "I'll make peace if I am talking with someone who does not embrace Hamas and does not give credit to people who showered rockets on the State of Israel," he added. His statement was in criticism of Abbas' reconciliation meeting last week with Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal, after the latter said Israel should be wiped off the map. Netanyahu added, "If Abbas comes to the negotiating table without preconditions, he will find me on the other side of the table." Since 2009 Abbas has refused to continue negotiations with Israel and has continuously tried to impose preconditions on talks. One of his longstanding demands is that Israel accept the pre-1967 lines as final borders. He has also demanded that Israel release all Arab terrorists from its jails, and halt construction in Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem for a second time before talks begin. At the same time, he has refused to recognize Israel’s right to exist. (Arutz-7)

BAN: JEWISH OUTPOSTS BAD, ARAB OUTPOSTS GOOD: Israelis who set up new communities, called “outposts,” in Judea and Samaria often find their protest communities are shut down by police and the IDF, to the applause of the international community. However, when the shoe is on the other foot – and it is Arabs setting up illegal outposts as a form of protest – Israel has been instructed to keep hands off, by the head of the international community, UN Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon. Earlier this week, IDF soldiers peacefully removed 150 Arabs who had set up a tent city in the E1 zone outside Ma’ale Adumim. In recent weeks, the government announced it was advancing plans to move ahead with construction in the area. Arabs pitched tents in a section of E1 and set up an "outpost," declaring it Palestinian Authority territory. The move, said Israel, created a grave security risk nationally as well as internationally.  IDF soldiers removed the demonstrators Saturday.  In a statement, Ban said the PA group had "the right to stage peaceful protests that must be fully respected." (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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