Israel Update

March 6, 2013

“From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessing be upon your people.” Ps 3:8

YUKIYA AMANO: ‘CAN’T REPORT PROGRESS IN IRAN NUCLEAR TALKS’: The head of the UN nuclear watchdog, Yukiya Amano, said this week he was "unable to report any progress" in the organization's talks with the Islamic Republic over its atomic program. The Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency has been trying for more than a year to persuade Iran to cooperate with a long-stalled agency investigation into suspected atom bomb research by the Islamic state, which denies any such activity. Amano said the agency remained committed to engaging in constructive dialogue with Iran, but that negotiations must proceed with "a sense of urgency and a focus on achieving concrete results" soon. The IAEA's priority is to be able to inspect Parchin, a sprawling site southeast of the capital Tehran, where it believes Iran built an explosives chamber to carry out tests, possibly a decade ago. (J.Post)

BIDEN AIMS TO REASSURE AIPAC ON IRAN: Vice President Joe Biden on Monday tried to end any questions pro-Israel activists have about President Barack Obama’s commitment to doing whatever necessary to block Iran’s nuclear program. Obama’s policy “is to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Prevent, Not contain,” Biden told attendees at the American-Israel Public Affairs Council conference in Washington. “We are not looking for war but all options, including military force, are on the table.” Biden said the US is continuing to pursue a diplomatic solution with Iran, but is aware of the urgency of resolving the issue. “While that window is closing, we believe there is still time and space to achieve” a peaceful outcome, he added. “We are sharpening the choice the Iranian leadership has to make.” Meanwhile Monday, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, who addressed the conference a few minutes after Biden, framed the Iranian challenge somewhat differently. He spoke not just of keeping Iran from producing a weapon, but of blocking Tehran from achieving nuclear capability. (Politico/Reuters)

NETANYAHU: WORDS ALONE WON’T STOP IRAN NUCLEAR WEAPON: PM Netanyahu addressed the AIPAC conference in Washington D.C. on Monday, warning that "words alone" will not stop Iran from pursuing a nuclear weapon. Speaking via satellite from Jerusalem, the prime minister stated that while Iran has not yet crossed the "red line," in its drive to become nuclear-armed, it is putting itself in position to do so. "I have to tell you, words alone will not stop Iran. Sanctions alone will not stop Iran. Sanctions must be coupled with a clear and credible military threat," the prime minister warned.  Netanyahu said he was looking forward to welcoming US President Barack Obama to Israel soon. In addition to Iran, the two leaders are slated to discuss the deteriorating situation in Syria and a responsible way to advance peace with the Palestinians. The prime minister warned that terror groups such as Hizbullah and al-Qaida were attempting to get control of Syria's advanced weapons and chemical weapons. He compared them to a "pack of hyenas feeding off a carcass.” Netanyahu said while Israel is interested in a responsible peace agreement, he would not compromise the country's security in the process. He pointed out that Israel had withdrawn from Lebanon and Gaza and received terror in return. Netanyahu began his speech by jesting that he was not able to attend the AIPAC conference because he was busy with the "fun" task of putting together a coalition. He recommended the US never consider adopting the Israeli system of government, joking that it was much more difficult to come to agreement with ten political parties than it was with two parties. (J.Post)

A GOVERNMENT WITHOUT ISRAEL’S ULTRA-ORTHODOX PARTIES: According to reports across the Hebrew media, PM Netanyahu has conceded he will not be able to form a stable majority coalition that includes the ultra-Orthodox parties that have long controlled the religious institutions of the State of Israel. While Netanyahu would prefer a government that included the ultra-Orthodox Shas, which tends to simply go along with any and all policies so long as tax revenues flow to its own causes, an impromptu alliance between the centrist Yesh Atid and the right-wing Jewish Home parties meant that doing so would leave Netanyahu with a minority government. Yesh Atid, which stunned everyone by becoming the Knesset's second largest party in January's election, and Jewish Home, the new face of the old National Religious Party, are fully united in their belief that ultra-Orthodox hegemony over determining who is a Jew and how Jews must live needs to be broken. They also agree it is high time the ultra-Orthodox community, which receives large sums of government funding for child welfare and seminaries, join the workforce, start paying taxes and carry their fair share of the military burden. Netanyahu reportedly hopes to present the new government sometime next week. (Israel Today/Ryan Jones) Continue to pray for the forming of Israel’s new government over the next week and a half - and for strong co-operation among likely parties. It is widely expected that new elections will not be necessary. However, the avoidance of any surprises regarding that possibility is a good thing to cover in prayer.

ISRAEL WARNS UN OF SYRIA WAR SPILLING OVER ITS BORDERS: Israel warned the UN Security Council on Monday that it could not be expected to "stand idle" as Syria's civil war spills over its border. Israeli UN Ambassador Ron Prosor wrote to the 15-member council to complain about shells from Syria landing in Israel. "Israel cannot be expected to stand idle as the lives of its citizens are being put at risk by the Syrian government's reckless actions," Prosor wrote. "Israel has shown maximum restraint thus far, but Israel does not have a reputation for being passive." Defense Minister Ehud Barak said  an attack on a Syrian arms complex on Jan. 30 showed Israel was serious about preventing the flow of heavy arms into Lebanon, appearing to acknowledge the Jewish state carried out the strike. (J.Post)

ESTHER POLLARD: ‘IF NOT NOW, WHEN?’: PM Netanyahu on Monday met with Esther Pollard, wife of Jonathan Pollard who is currently serving a life sentence in a US prison on charges of espionage. At the start of the meeting, PM Netanyahu vowed the issue would be addressed during President Obama's visit. "It has already been raised countless times by myself and others, and the time has come for him to go free." Esther Pollard said, "Jonathan can't anymore. This is a golden opportunity now the President of the United States is coming. If not now, when?" Imprisoned for 28 years for having passed information to Israel about terrorist activity, Pollard's sentence is seen by many as harsh. He was sentenced to life in prison on one charge of passing classified information to a friendly nation, a crime generally  punished with a 2 to 4-year prison term. (Arutz-7) Intercede for Jonathan Pollard – that he may know the One who sets the captives free. Pray for Pollard’s restored health and liberty after so many years of suffering in isolation. “He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.” Isa 61:1

HAGEL ENSURES IRON DOME FUNDING TO ISRAEL, DESPITE BUDGET CUTS: US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel met with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barack on Tuesday and expressing strong support for the Iron Dome and other missile and rocket defense systems pioneered by Israel, despite possible budget cuts. "Secretary Hagel is committed to working with members of Congress to ensure there is no interruption of funding for Iron Dome, Arrow, and David's Sling missile defense systems," a US official said. US President Obama was forced to approve $85 billion in automatic government budget reductions last Friday night. These cuts have been expected to shave off up to $729 million annually from American aid to Israel, as well as aid in funding for missile defense systems such as Iron Dome, Arrow and David's Sling. (J.Post/INN) “Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God.” Ps 146:5

ARAB STUDENTS CHASE BRITISH ENVOY FROM RAMALLAH COLLEGE: Scores of violent Arab students forced the British consul general to make a hasty departure from a university in Ramallah on Tuesday. Consul General Sir Vincent Fean had travelled to Bir Zeit University to deliver a lecture on Britain's policy in the Middle East and the prospects for peace but was turned away by vehement Arab demonstrators. Video footage showed protesters banging on his car and shouting: "Get out of Bir Zeit!" (Arutz-7)

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.    


All active news articles