Israel Update

March 20, 2013

“I bring My righteousness near, it shall not be far off; My salvation shall not linger.  And I will place salvation in Zion, for Israel My glory.” Isa 46:13

WHITE HOUSE MAP ERASES JERUSALEM, BIBLICAL TERRITORIES: The White House has released what it says is a map of Israel. The only problem is that Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights are missing. The Washington Free Beacon, which first reported the discrepancies, noted the video shows the Golan Heights as part of Syria; Jerusalem is depicted as part of the West Bank; and northern Israel is shown as part of Lebanon. WND reported in August 2012 when the White House refused to name the capital of Israel – not once, but twice – as the two most senior White House correspondents cornered Obama’s press secretary, doggedly questioning him on whether the Obama administration considered Jerusalem or Tel Aviv to be the capital of the Jewish state. The itinerary on the White House website further implies Jerusalem is not Israel’s capital or even part of Israel. Obama’s schedule lists two stops in “Tel Aviv, Israel” and one in “Amman, Jordan,” while his trip to Israel’s capital city is identified as taking place only in “Jerusalem.” (WND)

‘OBAMA’S RED LINE ON IRAN – FICTION': One of the main topics of discussion during President Obama's visit to Israel has been the mounting Iranian nuclear threat. According to a senior diplomatic source cited by Israel's Ma'ariv newspaper, Obama will try to reassure Israel regarding the Iran threat, but the truth of the matter is the US leader would never order a preemptive strike on the Islamic Republic. "His ‘red line,’ according to which he’ll attack if the Iranians get a nuclear weapon or get very close, is fiction," said the source. "The gap between Israel and the US regarding the ‘red line’ is enormous - and is not expected to shrink during the visit."  That view would seem to be supported by the fact that Obama appointed John Kerry and Chuck Hagel as his new secretaries of state and defense, respectively. Both men have been vocal opponents of using military force to thwart Iran's nuclear ambitions. The source also expressed concern over Obama's planned speech in the Binyanei Ha'uma convention center in Jerusalem on Thursday. “In his speech to the Israeli public, Obama is trying to delegitimize any decision by Netanyahu to attack in Iran,” he warned. His statement came just hours after former Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin warned that Obama’s choice not to speak in Knesset was “a worrying sign, a statement of lack of faith in the representatives of the Jewish nation.” (Israel Today/INN)

President Barack Obama landed in Israel for his first official visit as president of the United States of America. Upon disembarking the aircraft, he made a brief speech in the presence of PM Benyamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres and others. "On this land I walk with you, on the historic homeland of the Jewish people," President Obama stated. "Over 3,000 years ago your people lived here, tended the land here, and prayed to God here. And after centuries of exile and persecution unparalleled in the history of man, the founding of the Jewish State was a rebirth, a redemption," the president said. (Arutz-7)

US PRESIDENT OBAMA IN ISRAEL: ‘PEACE MUST COME TO HOLY LAND’: “Peace must come to the Holy Land,” proclaimed US President Obama on Wednesday at Ben Gurion Int’l Airport. “We will never lose sight of an Israel at peace with its neighbors,” Obama insisted, making clear his intent to again try to revive the moribund peace process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Obama’s visit to the region in this, his second term, differs from his previous tour of the Middle East when he skipped Israel altogether and instead headed to Egypt, to make a speech from Cairo that some analysts believe contributed to the region wide Arab Spring uprisings. Straight and to the point, the US president told Israelis Wednesday morning, “Our alliance is eternal. It is forever.” PM Netanyahu responded at the red carpet welcoming ceremony by thanking Obama for standing up for Israel’s right to defend its own existence and for the many gestures of US friendship. (INN)

PM NETANYAHU THANKS OBAMA FOR UPHOLDING ISRAEL’S ‘RIGHT TO EXIST’: PM Netanyahu offered firm thanks Wednesday in welcoming remarks to US President Obama when he arrived in Israel. He responded to Obama’s strong declaration of “unshakeable” support with an equally firm vote of appreciation: “Thank you for unequivocally affirming Israel’s sovereign right to defend itself by itself against any threat. Thank you for enhancing Israel’s ability to exercise that right through generous military assistance, revolutionary missile defense programs, and unprecedented security and intelligence cooperation. Thank you, Mr. President, for upholding the Jewish people’s right to a Jewish state in our historic homeland, and for boldly defending that right at the United Nations. And thank you for strengthening the unbreakable alliance between our two nations during your Presidency. In an unstable and uncertain Middle East, it is the key to thwarting dangers and advancing peace. The people of Israel are honored to have you visit our country. We warmly welcome you as a cherished guest. We deeply appreciate your friendship." (Arutz-7)

PERES WELCOMES OBAMA, SOUNDS WARNING ON HIZBULLAH: President Shimon Peres lauded US President Obama's record on Israel, while issuing a warning on Lebanon’s terror group Hizbullah, during a joint press conference at his residence on Wednesday. He said while Syria's nuclear capacity was fortunately destroyed, the arsenal of chemical weapons remains. "We cannot allow those weapons to fall into terrorist hands," he insisted. The president voiced his confidence in Obama's policy towards Iran "which calls for non-military means with a clear statement that all other options remain on the table." Turning to Obama he added, "You have made it clear that your intention is not to contain but to prevent." Peres also spoke of Israel's efforts to renew negotiations with the Palestinians with the goal of a two state solution but stressed that Hamas remains a terror group. For his part, Obama emphasized the strong bond between Israel and the US and shared his concern for the children of Israel. He said that he hopes Israeli children will find a future safe from threats and rockets, and that they will have an opportunity for "security, peace and prosperity." (J.Post)

NETANYAHU FOCUSES ON IRAN, OBAMA ON ISRAELIS: As visiting US President Obama and Israeli PM Netanyahu wrapped up their Wednesday evening meeting and met the press in Jerusalem, it was fairly clear where the focus of both leaders was. It was unavoidably noticeable that Netanyahu began his address to the press by passionately stressing Israel's right to defend itself against the Iranian threat. Netanyahu noted that up until just two generations ago, the Jewish people were disenfranchised and powerless. Now that the Jewish people have rebuilt their ancient state, they will not allow themselves to be subject to such a threat again, the prime minister insisted, even if that means going against the wishes of close friends. When his turn came, Obama began by once again praising the people of Israel. Both Israeli and American commentators have noted that Obama is conducting a full-on charm offensive so aggressive in nature that it has taken many Israelis by surprise. The thinking is that if Obama can get Israelis to finally like him, then the White House will have much more leverage over Netanyahu when it comes to the peace process. Obama did also address Iran, and agreed it must not attain nuclear weapons. However, Obama again asserted that time remains to keep trying diplomatic solutions, and he also let slip his belief that an Iranian nuke is only "potentially" an existential threat to the Jewish state. During the question and answer time following, Obama conceded that the US would never defer decisions on national security to another nation, and neither does he expect Israel to do so when it comes to Iran. (Israel Today)

ISRAEL-US: DIFFERENT ‘RED LINE’ REGARDING IRAN: The US and Israel are still at odds over the definition of the Iranian ‘red line.’ The US speaks of "preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons," while Israel stresses the need to make certain Iran does not obtain the "capabilities" that would allow it to produce a nuclear bomb, in short order, at a time of its own choosing. In other words, the US is talking about blocking Iran with a military operation just before it begins the actual production of a nuclear warhead - if there is no other choice.  Israel is demanding that Iran be stopped much earlier, before it accumulates 240 kilograms of uranium enriched to a 20% purity level and turns into a country on the brink of nuclear weapons capability. Israel claims an Iran "on the brink" would have the same effect on the region as a nuclear Iran would have. (Ynet)

ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT: PM Netanyahu said Wednesday night in a joint press conference with US President Obama: "Israel remains fully committed to the solution of two states to two peoples. We extend our hand of peace to the Palestinian people."  Netanyahu expressed hope Obama's visit will help Israel achieve peace with the Palestinians. "Let us sit down and negotiate without preconditions, let us bring peace." In response, Obama said he did not want to make grand statements not matching the reality on the ground. He emphasized that he intended to listen first, before he spoke. Obama stressed it was in Israel's clear interest to establish a sovereign Palestinian state. He also noted the previous year did not see any Israeli killed in a West Bank terror attack. Obama said this was a reminder Israel has an interest in keeping a strong and stable Palestinian Authority. (Ynet)

OBAMA REASSURES ISRAEL OF US COMMITMENT TO ITS SECURITY: US President, Obama in a joint press meeting with Israel’s PM Netanyahu Wednesday night, reaffirmed his commitment to Israel's security. The US president stated the US has taken steps to make sure there is no threat to the funding of Iron Dome. "Israel will receive 200 million in aid, this is our guarantee that Israel will continue to hold a qualitative edge," he said. Regarding threats from the north, the US recognizes Israel's right to thwart terror activities along its borders with Syria and Lebanon and to respond harshly to any Hizbullah rocket attack on Israeli population centers. Regarding Syria, Obama said earlier he has ordered an investigation of whether the Syrian government used chemical weapons against its own people, adding he was "deeply skeptical" of any claim the opposition had used them. "Once we have established the facts, I have made clear the use of chemical weapons is a game-changer," Obama said, stopping short of saying what he would do if Syria had crossed his "red line" for stronger action. (Ynet)

PRESIDENT’S ‘BEAST’ BREAKS DOWN IN ISRAEL: President Obama's trip to Israel got off to a rocky start after his $1.5m limo broke down when the driver put the wrong fuel in the engine. Obama's limo- dubbed “The Beast”- broke and had to be towed away after the driver put gas in the engine instead of diesel. Local news reports allege it was the President's own special car that was shipped over specially from Washington that broke down, so he was forced to use the second vehicle that they brought over from the US. (MailOnline)

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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