Israel Update

January 21, 2013

“The Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!” Isa 30:18

IRAN TO DEPLOY WARSHIPS TO MEDITERRANEAN SEA: Iranian naval commander Admiral Habibollah Sayyari announced Thursday that "The Navy’s 24th fleet of warships will move through the Red Sea, Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea for three months." Sayyari stated the purpose of the Iranian deployment is to patrol in the high seas and display the great capabilities of Iran, commenting that the ships will "counter any threat against the interests of the Islamic Republic." Meanwhile, also on Thursday, Investigators from the UN nuclear watchdog, ended two days of talks with Iranian officials with no breakthrough on their request to visit the Parchin military site to investigate allegations Iran may have carried out tests on triggers for atomic weapons. (J.Post/AP)

NETANYAHU TO SENATORS: NUCLEAR IRAN IS THE WORLD’S PROBLEM: "History will not forgive those who do not stop Iran's nuclear program," was PM Binyamin Netanyahu’s message during a meeting with top US senators on Saturday evening. The delegation was led by Sen. John McCain of the Senate Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees. "Building in Jerusalem is not the problem of the world. A nuclear Iran is the problem of the world," Netanyahu told the senators during the meeting, which took place in his office in Jerusalem. Official sources said the meeting dealt with the intensification of the sanctions against Iran. PM Netanyahu thanked the Republican and Democratic senators for the "unwavering support of Israel." (Arutz-7)

NETANYAHU SAYS ISRAEL NEEDS STRONG RULING PARTY: PM Benjamin Netanyahu, in a televised interview Saturday, said a country with as many enemies as Israel cannot afford a weak ruling party, after polls ahead of Tuesday's parliamentary election showed a slide in his support. Two polls on Friday showed Israel's right-wing and religious bloc winning a slim parliamentary majority of 63 out of 120 seats, with Netanyahu's Likud-Beitenu group on course to be the largest party in the Knesset. "Iran, Lebanese terrorist group Hizbullah and the Islamist Hamas movement, which controls the Palestinian Gaza Strip, are all following the election," Netanyahu said. "They want to know one thing, whether the ruling party has grown or shrunk. They want a weak Israel, a divided one and the most challenged country in the world must not be divided." Netanyahu said dealing with Iran's nuclear ambitions will be his main priority following the elections. (Reuters)

DAYAN: THE TWO-STATE SOLUTION IS A MIRAGE: Dani Dayan, former head of the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, on Friday, said the two-state solution "never existed." Speaking on the BBC news show "Hardtalk," Dayan said the views of the ultra-Right are "quite realistic, as Israel is beginning to understand the two-state solution never existed, it was a mirage. You get closer to it, and you understand it was just hot air." Continuing, Dayan blamed the failure not on Israel, or the settlers, but on the "refusal of the Palestinians to accept it." The former settler council chief said although he sought annexation of Judea and Samaria, it "will not happen in the near future, but it is a natural outcome." He added that he liked much of Netanyahu's settlement construction plans. I see a political attitude towards the Palestinians that I admire," Dayan said. "Netanyahu is beginning to understand there is not going to be a two-state solution." (J.Post) Israelis will go to the polls Tuesday, Jan 22 to elect members of parliament. Few doubt Netanyahu is on his way to re-election as Israel’s prime minister. Pray leaders will be voted in who will endorse his firm policies on not giving in to land-for-peace pressures from any political quarter, or ceasing with construction plans for much needed housing in areas where Israel has every legal and moral right to build.

2,000 MEMBER OF LOST TRIBE RETURNS HOME: Israel marked an immigration milestone last week with the arrival of the 2,000th member of the Bnei Menashe community. Eighteen-year-old Mirna Singsit arrived in Israel along with 53 other members of the community, including her parents and three siblings. The Bnei Menashe live in northeastern India. They claim descent from the Biblical tribe of Menashe, one of the ten "lost tribes" exiled when the Assyrians invaded the northern kingdom of Israel. The community is now returning to Israel under the auspices of the Shavei Israel organization, a group that encourages communities of "lost Jews" around the world. Shavei Israel director Michael Freund gave Singsit a certificate naming her the 2,000th arrival. She told him her immigration to Israel is the fulfillment of a life-long dream. (INN)  "For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land." Ezek 36: 24

BEHIND THE LINES: A GULF APART: Gulf monarchies are sharply divided on how to respond to the Muslim Brotherhood threat. While Saudi Arabia, UAE see the Brotherhood as a danger to stability and longevity of the monarchies, Qatar embraces it as an ally. Saudi and United Arab Emirates security forces recently apprehended a 10-man cell linked to the Muslim Brotherhood that was active in the UAE. The cell was engaged in raising money for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, propagandizing among Egyptians residing in the UAE and gathering information on the UAE’s defense facilities. It was also reported as being in constant communication with its parent movement in Cairo. The arrest of this group has highlighted growing fears in some conservative Gulf states that the Muslim Brotherhood is now turning its attention to the Gulf monarchies. The 2011 to 2012 period brought a long-awaited windfall of political power for the Muslim Brothers. Franchises of the movement are now in government power in Tunisia and Egypt. The Brotherhood is playing a major role in the Western- supported political and military leaderships of the rebellion in Syria. The Palestinian branch of the movement – Hamas – would almost certainly have consumed its Fatah rivals by now were the latter not protected by Israel and supported by the West. Indeed, the real story of the Arab upheavals of the last two years can be summed up as the replacement of secular nationalist dictatorships by Islamist movements, among which Muslim Brotherhood franchises form the most important element. The secular nationalist space in the Arab world has now largely been replaced by an area of Islamist domination. (J.Post) The Muslim Brotherhood is rightly dubbed as the "Father of all terrorist organizations."

MALI INCURSION RAISES RISK TO FRENCH JEWS: France's Jewish security service are increasing preparedness at synagogues and schools as French forces confront Islamist terrorists. France’s military involvement in Mali has "significantly increased" the threat facing French Jews, the country's Jewish communal security service said. "The situation requires we raise the level of protection around our community and double the level of vigilance around synagogues, Jewish schools, community centers and gathering places," said a communiqué by SPCJ, which often determines its level of preparedness based on consultations with French authorities. French ground forces deployed to the capital Bamako last week and began advancing northward on January 15 to engage Islamist rebels. French President Francois Hollande said the rebels are terrorists. The incursion has caused "agitation" in Islamic circles in France, SPCJ said. (Ha’aretz) Pray for the protection of French Jews who are victims of increasing antisemitic attacks in France.

ALGERIAN TERRORISTS: WE’RE ONLY AFTER CHRISTIANS: Algerian troops on Saturday ended a siege by Islamist terrorists at a gas plant in the Sahara desert where 23 hostages died. In a final assault all remaining hostage-takers were killed. One Muslim worker caught up in the crisis said the terrorists rounded up the expats, making them all wear explosives around their necks while standing in a circle. He added: "Us Algerians were rounded up separately and were treated with kindness. We were told that because we were Muslim we would not be killed, and it was only the Christians they were after." (MailOnline)

PALESTINIAN IRRESPONSIBILITY: The Palestinian Authority is currently embroiled in a largely self-inflicted financial crisis. Apparently out of an inflated sense of entitlement, Palestinians believe the international community – particularly the Americans and the Europeans – should foot their bills. Others, rightfully distrustful of corrupt PA officials, don’t want to see their hard-earned money squandered. Meanwhile, the PA has utterly failed to enforce the law, particularly in the refugee camps. Instead of launching a more aggressive crackdown against Palestinians who don’t pay their bills, the Palestinian Authority, recently cancelled all outstanding electricity bills for Palestinians living in the West Bank. At the same time, PA leaders lashed out at Israel for daring to collect Palestinian debts to the Israel Electric Company. Another factor that is exacerbating the financial crisis is the tremendous amount of waste in the PA budget, funded almost exclusively by international donors – particularly Americans and Europeans. For instance, each month the PA sends $120 million to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. Most of the money goes to paying the salaries of about 80,000 PA civil servants living in Gaza who stay at home and don’t work. The practice, aimed at maintaining a PA toehold in Gaza, has been in effect since Hamas’s violent 2007 coup. In addition, just recently Fatah spent more than one million dollars for celebrations marking the 48th anniversary of the “launching of the revolution” – a reference to the first armed attack carried out by Fatah against Israel.(J.Post)

Christianity may have been founded in the Middle East but few Christians remain in the region, a study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life revealed. According to Pew’s newly released "Global Religious Landscape Study," a mere 0.6 percent of the world’s 2.2 billion Christians now live in the Middle East and North Africa. Christians make up only 4% of the region’s inhabitants, drastically down from 20% a century ago and marking the smallest regional Christian minority in the world. Fully 93% of the region is Muslim, and 1.6% is Jewish. The study is based on an analysis of country-specific data from more than 2,500 national censuses, large-scale surveys and official population registers. (Times of Israel) Ever increasing persecution by Muslim extremists is the primary cause that can be attributed to the dwindling Christian presence in the Middle East. In Syria alone, tens of thousands of Christians have fallen victim to religious intolerance. Their churches are being destroyed, they are fleeing cities and villages where they lived for centuries, their lives are daily endangered by radical Islamist elements, and homes and property are being destroyed or captured.  More than fifty thousand Christians have fled from the Syrian city of Homs.

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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