Israel Update

March 13, 2013

“He rules forever by His power, His eyes watch the nations – let not the rebellious rise up against Him.” Ps 66:7

PERES URGES EU TO LIST HIZBULLAH AS TERROR GROUP: President Shimon Peres called on the EU to list Hizbullah as a terrorist organization, in an address to the European Parliament in Strasburg on Tuesday. Peres appealed to the Europeans to recognize terror for what it is and to save Lebanon from such “terrorist madness.” Hizbullah, he said, has not only divided Lebanon religiously, politically and ethnically, it is carrying out terror attacks and threatening the stability of the entire region. "Recently, 20 terror attempts by Hizbullah were counted all over the world, in India, Thailand, Georgia, South Africa, the US, Egypt and Greece, among others,” said Peres. He added that last month, Bulgaria, which is a member of the EU, identified Hizbullah as responsible for the terror attack in Burgas that killed five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian citizen. Peres on Tuesday also called the present Iranian regime "the greatest danger to peace in the world." He said the Islamic Republic threatens Israel's existence, smuggles arms into other countries to destabilize them and denies the Holocaust while calling for another one. Meanwhile, Tuesday, press reports said Iran plans to submit a written promise to the United Nations that it will not seek nuclear weapons. Iran’s Mehr news agency quoted Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi as saying, "Iran plans to declare in the UN that it will never go after nuclear bombs." Rahimi did not say when the promise would be delivered. (Arutz-7/Ha’aretz/Ynet) Pray UN members will not be naive enough to believe Iran’s latest tall tale about not producing nuclear bombs – an obvious ploy for more time to advance its nuclear capability behind the scenes and to wheedle the nations to lighten up on sanctions against it.

UN: DEADLY ABUSES INTENSIFY IN SYRIA: The Syrian government has stepped up indiscriminate, heavy bombardments of cities while rebels are executing prisoners condemned in their own makeshift courts without due process, UN sources disclosed Monday. UN investigators said they were looking into 20 massacres committed by one or the other side and hundreds of "unlawful killings," cases of torture and arbitrary arrests since September in the two-year-old conflict. "Indiscriminate and widespread shelling, the regular bombardment of cities, mass killing and the deliberate firing on civilian targets have come to characterize the daily lives of civilians in Syria," Paulo Pinheiro, chairman of the commission of inquiry on Syria, told the UN. More than 1 million Syrian refugees have fled abroad and 2.5 million are uprooted within the country, while more than 70,000 people have been killed in the conflict. The war is mired in a "destructive stalemate, amid heavy shelling and air raids by government forces,” the report said. Israel’s President Shimon Peres, on Tuesday, delivered a historic address to the European Parliament in which he called for the Arab League to intervene in the Syrian crisis. "The Arab League can and should form a provisional government in Syria to stop the massacre and to prevent Syria from falling to pieces,” said Peres. (Reuters/Ynet/INN)

SYRIA CONFLICT THREATENS TO SET LEBANON ABLAZE: Lebanese President Michel Suleiman called this week for international action to help Lebanon cope with a deluge of refugees from the war in neighboring Syria, which he said threatened to set his volatile country ablaze. In a press interview at the presidential palace, just 25 miles from the Syrian-Lebanese border, Suleiman compared Syria's civil war to a conflagration breaking out next door. "When there is a fire next to your house you have to assume it will spread, and you have to try to stop it from reaching you." Suleiman said the presence of a million Syrians alongside an existing Palestinian refugee population meant that a quarter of his tiny Mediterranean nation's population were now refugees. "Those numbers are more than the capacity of any country to bear," he said. "It's not just a matter of material help and relief - the geographic and demographic capacity is saturated and the problems resulting from this massive number affect us socially, economically and on security." Lebanon says it is now hosting 1 million Syrians, one third of them officially registered as refugees fleeing a conflict which has killed 70,000 people. (J.Post) Lebanon’s multi-faceted dilemma of what to do with an influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees is a precise example of the problematic “Right of Return,” demanded by Palestinians and the Islamic world of Israel – in return for a false peace. When Israel was created in 1948, Arab states and Arab Palestinians attacked the Jewish community in Palestine and the Jewish state, vowing to "drive the Jews into the sea." They lost the war however, and some 600,000-750,000 Arab Palestinians at the behest of Arab leaders voluntarily fled the area that became Israel. Palestinian Arabs claim any peace agreement with the Jewish state must allow the descendants and families of these refugees, now numbering over five million, to return to Israel. If Israel were to agree to this Jews would became a minority in their own state. Return of the refugees would put an end to the Jewish homeland.

GANTZ: TERRORIST FIGHTING ALONGSIDE SYRIAN OPPOSITION: Israel's Chief of Staff, Benny Gantz, warned on Monday that terrorist groups fighting Assad's regime alongside other insurgents were "becoming stronger" and voiced concern that they could turn on Israel in the future. "The situation in Syria has become exceptionally dangerous. The terrorist organizations are becoming stronger on the ground. Now they are fighting against Assad, but in the future they could turn against us," Gantz said. In recent months, there have been several instances of gunfire and mortar shells hitting the Israeli side of the Golan Heights. (Arutz-7)

‘BETTER ISRAELI THAN LEBANESE IF NEW CONFLICT ERUPTS’: The ceasefire between Israel and the Lebanon-based Hizbullah is holding steady seven years after the Second Lebanon War ended, but should hostilities resume, it would be better to be an Israeli citizen than a Lebanese citizen, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz said Monday evening. Gantz emphasized that Israeli deterrence against Hizbullah remained "authentic." He noted that Hizbullah was involved "up to its neck" in the civil war, sending thousands of fighters to support the Assad regime. He warned that the northern arenas "could explode at any moment," adding, "I hope this quiet is maintained but if not, we are prepared, and we will know to act with the required force directly against Hizbullah and its state surroundings. If this goes off, I'd rather be an Israeli civilian, and not a Lebanese civilian." Turning his gaze to Syria, Gantz said that arena had become "very unstable and dangerous." Although the IDF no longer faces six Syrian army divisions threatening to invade the Golan Heights, terror organizations are growing in Syria. "They're fighting Assad. But guess what. It's us afterwards. We could be the next challenge for the same organizations," Gantz warned. The chief of staff said that should radical rebel elements get hold of strategic weapons in Syria, there is a reasonable chance that they would use them. "The Golan is not the same Golan that it used to be," he added. (J.Post) Pray all of Israel’s government, military and intelligence leaders will remain on high alert and be prepared to avert rouge missile strikes and terrorist attacks from Syria and the Lebanese-based Hizbullah terrorist organization.

HUCKABEE: ISRAELIS HAVE MADE MANY SACRIFICES FOR PEACE: Former Arkansas governor, Mike Huckabee, spoke at the Gush Katif Museum dinner which was held last weekend in Brooklyn, New York. Huckabee, who brings groups to Israel on a regular basis, said during his remarks that “it is impossible to be Christian and not have a relationship with Judaism, because it is the foundation upon which every Christian believes and understands that Israel is G-d’s chosen land. The nations that bless Israel will be blessed and those who curse Israel will be cursed,” said Huckabee. “It is time we recognize that you don’t negotiate with people who do not believe you have the right to even exist, much less live next to you.” Addressing recent reports that President Barack Obama, during his upcoming visit to Israel, intends to ask Israelis to make sacrifices for peace, the former governor said, “If that is the case, I would love to escort him personally to the Gush Katif Museum and say, ‘Mr. President, the Israelis have made many sacrifices for peace. Can you show me one sacrifice the Palestinians have made for peace?’” Huckabee said instead of asking the Israelis to stop building bedrooms for their children in Judea and Samaria, the President should “demand that the Iranians stop building bombs” that threaten Israel. Meanwhile Israel is preparing its security forces for Obama’s visit. Well over 10,000 police will take part in securing the three-day visit next week by US President Obama. The security preparations are the biggest of their kind since then-US President George W. Bush visited in 2008. (INN/J.Post)

UN: BABY KILLED BY TERRORIST FIRE, NOT ISRAELI STRIKE: A report from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights revealed that a Gazan baby, which previous reports claimed was killed by Israeli fire during Operation Pillar of Defense, was one of six Palestinian-Arabs killed by stray rockets fired by terrorists. The 11-month-old boy, Omar Mashharawi, died after being hit by shrapnel just hours after the eruption of the military operation in November. Omar was the infant son of Gaza-based BBC video editor Jihad Mashharawi, and a photo of the anguished father holding his body wrapped in a white shroud was widely published, and quickly distributed online via social networks. At the time, human rights groups and medics quoted by media outlets blamed his death and that of two adults in the same building in Gaza City's Zeitun neighbourhood, on an Israeli air strike. (Arutz-7)

ISRAEL RANKS NUMBER 12 ON BEST PLACES IN THE WORLD FOR RETIREES: Israel ranks number 12 in the world in retirement security for its citizens, a report released over the weekend said. The findings, compiled by Natixis Global Asset Management (NGAM), puts Israel ahead of Canada, the US and the UK in the “safety net” that governments provide to pensioners, allowing them to live better and healthier lives, NGAM said. The information was compiled from data gathered by the UN and the World Bank. The most secure retirees could be found in Europe, with Norway, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Sweden topping the list. Israel follows Australia and is ahead of Canada in the ratings. Altogether, the index lists the conditions retirees in 150 countries can expect. The ratings were derived based on twenty different indicators grouped into four major categories: health, material well-being, quality of life in retirement, and finances. (INN) “Even to your old age I am He; and even to gray hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.” Isa 46:4

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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