Israel Update

January 30, 2013

"They may curse, but you will bless. When they attack they will be put to shame, but your servant will rejoice." Ps 109:28

OBAMA SECRETLY PLEDGES TO DIVIDE JERUSALEM: Now that he has secured his second term, President Barack Obama has already secretly pledged to the Palestinians he will press Israel into a new round of so-called land-for-peace negotiations, a top Palestinian Authority negotiator has claimed. The negotiator in a press interview, said top members of the Obama administration told the Palestinians the US president will renew talks aimed at creating a Palestinian state in the so-called 1967 borders - meaning in Judea, Samaria, the Gaza Strip and, notably, eastern Jerusalem. The negotiator further revealed that when it comes to dividing Jerusalem, Obama wants to rehash what is known as the Clinton parameters. That formula, pushed by Bill Clinton during the Camp David talks in 2000, called for Jewish areas of Jerusalem to remain Israeli while the Palestinians will get sovereignty over neighborhoods that are largely Arab. Palestinians are already building illegally in Jewish-owned districts of Jerusalem, changing facts on the ground and resulting in Arab majorities within certain neighborhoods. This is not the first time the Palestinians are claiming Obama will push for new talks during a second term. Just before November’s presidential election, a senior PA negotiator claimed if Obama secures another four years in office, he will use his second term to target Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu as the main party to blame for the collapse of Mideast peace talks. The negotiator further said Obama had promised the PA the establishment of a Palestinian state will be one of the main priorities for a second term. (WND)

HISTORY MADE AS NATURAL GAS FLOWS FROM SHIP TO HADERA: History was made on Saturday evening as natural gas began flowing from the regasification ship hired by the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) to its power stations. The ship, anchored off the Hadera coast, was connected last week to the marine buoy and as of Saturday night, natural gas began flowing from the LNG (liquid natural gas) ship through an underwater pipeline directly to the Company's power stations throughout the country. Yiftach Ron-Tal, Chairman of the IEC Board of Directors, stated that this is a historical moment for the State of Israel's energy economy, and the liquid gas project is an energy insurance policy for the future to generate reliable, available, and quality electricity for Israel's citizens. (Arutz-7)

IAF CHIEF WARNS AGAINST COMPLACENCY ON SYRIA: Last weekend the Lebanon-based Hizbullah terrorist group began setting up bases in Syria, near known locations where Syrian President Bashar Assad is storing parts of his chemical warfare arsenal. IAF Chief Maj.-Gen. Amir Eshel warned Tuesday that Israel cannot remain complacent vis-à-vis the growing chaos is Syria and the alarming possibility that the regime's arsenal of nonconventional weapons may find its way to Hizbullah. Assad is believed to control the world's largest cache of chemical weapons. "Syria is undergoing tectonic changes. Given its massive arsenals, Israel may find itself dealing with nonconventional weapons on its borders," Eshel said. He added that Syria is in possession of state-of-the-art weaponry alongside chemical warfare. "Our region is going through dramatic changes. Governments rise and fall and terror groups are using the vacuum to bolster their operation on our border in a manner we haven’t seen in years," he said. The volatile situation is Syria may force Israel to deal with "Western, Eastern and locally-produced weapons, including surface-to-surface missiles, drones, cruise missiles and unconventional weapons. The point of origin for most of them is almost always Iran. We cannot wait for war to break out," he cautioned. "We can't be ill-prepared." (Ynet) The mounting catastrophic situation in Syria and the danger of nonconventional weapons falling into the hands of Israel’s terrorist enemies cannot be underestimated. Great prayer alertness is needed to ward off the enemy’s plan to spill the violence in Syria over the northern borders of Israel at this time.

EGYPT’S ARMY CHIEF WARNS OF STATE’S COLLAPSE: Egypt’s top military officer warned Tuesday of the potential "collapse of the state" if political forces in the country did not reconcile. Intense fighting for days around central Tahrir Square engulfed two landmark hotels and forced the American Embassy to suspend public services on Tuesday. Gen. Abdul-Fattah al-Sisi, the defense minister, publicly warned Egypt’s new Islamist leaders and their opponents that "their disagreement on running the affairs of the country may lead to the collapse of the state and threatens the future of the coming generations." As such, General Sisi suggested, the polarization of the civilian politics was becoming a concern of the military because "to affect the stability of the state institutions is a dangerous matter that harms Egyptian national security." His remarks came as violence in Cairo began to escalate. During clashes between riot police and protesters early on Tuesday, the fighting spilled into one of the city’s luxury hotels, leaving the lobby in ruins. The worst of the turmoil, which has left dozens dead, has been in Port Said at the northern tip of the Suez Canal. Egypt’s president, Mohamed Morsi, has imposed a month long state of emergency in the city and two others in the Suez Canal zone, calling on the army to regain control of security. (Ynet)

ISRAEL LASHES OUT AT SUNDAY TIMES FOR DARK JOURNALISM: Israel's parliamentary speaker on Monday lashed out at a cartoon published in Britain's Sunday Times showing PM Benjamin Netanyahu building a wall with Palestinian blood and bodies. "For the people of Israel, this is a cartoon which recalls the dark journalism from one of humankind's darkest periods," Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin wrote in a letter to his British counterpart John Bercow. The cartoon caused particular offence because it appeared on International Holocaust Remembrance Day. "In publishing this cartoon yesterday in London, the boundaries of free speech were crossed," Rivlin wrote. "If a cartoon had been published in Israel showing Britain in a monstrous light and hurting the feelings of the British people in such a mean and nasty way, you wouldn't hesitate to complain to me, and rightly, about crossing the legitimate boundaries of freedom of expression," he said in a direct appeal to Bercow. Meanwhile on Monday, Rupert Murdoch apologized for the "grotesque" cartoon carried in one of his newspapers. The acting editor of the Sunday Times newspaper, Martin Ivens, met with members of the Jewish community in Britain on Tuesday to apologize in person after they made a formal complaint about the image to media regulators. (Ynet/INN) Continue to pray against the rising tide of global antisemitism– brutal in both word and deed.

LARGE ARMS SHIPMENT INTERCEPTED OFF YEMEN, IRAN EYED AS SOURCE: Yemeni forces intercepted a ship on Jan. 23 carrying a large cache of weapons - including surface-to-air missiles - that US officials suspect were being smuggled from Iran and destined for Yemeni insurgents, officials said Monday. The arms also included military grade explosives, rocket-propelled grenades and bomb-making equipment. "This demonstrates the ever pernicious Iranian meddling in other countries in the region," a US official said. (Reuters)

ISRAEL’S CENTRAL BANK CHIEF TO STEP DOWN IN JUNE: The governor of Israel's central bank, Stanley Fischer, widely credited with steering the nation's economy safely through years of world financial turmoil, resigned Tuesday. In a brief statement, the Bank of Israel said Fischer informed PM Netanyahu that he will step down on June 30. It gave no explanation for the departure. Fischer, an internationally respected economist, served as deputy director of the International Monetary Fund and held top posts in the World Bank and Citigroup Inc. before taking over Israel's central bank in 2005. His monetary policies and Israel's tight control of its banks are seen as responsible for the nation's stability despite the worldwide economic crisis that hit during his reign. Israel's economy continues to grow, and unemployment is roughly 6.5%, relatively low in world terms. His departure comes two years before the end of his second five-year term. Israeli media speculated his resignation was due to personal reasons, not a disagreement with the government. In a statement, Netanyahu praised Fischer and thanked him for his service. (J.Post)

IRAN SENTENCES AMERICAN-IRANIAN PASTOR TO 8 YEARS IN JAIL: An American-Iranian pastor has been sentenced to eight years in jail by Iran for his role in underground churches in the Islamic republic. Saeed Abedini, a naturalized US citizen who converted to Christianity, was handed down the jail sentence on Sunday, according to the American Center for Law and Justice. Abedini's Iran-based lawyer Nasser Sarbazi confirmed the sentence and said his client will file an appeal. Abedini, 32, and his lawyer were only allowed to attend one day of the trial that commenced on January 21. Abedini's supporters said he led underground churches in the early 2000s when such activity was largely tolerated during the pro-reform presidency of Mohammad Khatami. Having resettled in the US, Abedini was detained on a return trip to Iran in 2009 and was let go following an agreement not to engage in underground religious activities, according to his family. Naghmeh Abedini said her husband complied with the 2009 agreement and had returned to Iran as part of efforts to build an orphanage. He was arrested in September last year and he has alleged in a recent letter that he was beaten in prison. (Arutz-7) Pray for mercy, protection and deliverance for Saeed Abedini. May his appeal come quickly and his freedom be granted. Pray for Abedini’s strength against all fear, and for the comforting and provision for his wife and children.

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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