Israel Update

April 10, 2013

“The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” Matt 9: 37-38

EARTHQUAKE NEAR IRAN’S NUCLEAR CITY: A powerful earthquake struck close to Iran's only nuclear power station on Tuesday, killing 37 people and injuring 850 as it leveled homes and devastated two small villages, Iranian media reported. The 6.3 magnitude quake totally destroyed one village, but the nearby Bushehr nuclear plant was undamaged, according to Iranian officials. Some 700 homes were reportedly destroyed. Across the Gulf, offices in Qatar and Bahrain were evacuated after the quake, whose epicenter was 55 miles southeast of the port of Bushehr, according to the US Geological Survey. The early afternoon shock was also felt in financial hub Dubai. (Ha’aretz/Reuters)

NORTH KOREA CRISIS COULD SPUR ACTION ON IRAN: With North Korea issuing apocalyptic threats of nuclear war, world powers "are now even more anxious not to have with Iran a situation like the one we have with North Korea," said a top international security analyst this week. Other sources at the London-based Institute for Strategic Studies said, "The P5+1 will be even more mindful of the need to resolve the Iranian nuclear crisis before it gets to the stage of North Korea and possessing a nuclear weapon, which would make the state of affairs in Iran ever so much more complicated and dangerous. The North Korea situation confirms the view in Israel that Iran cannot be allowed to produce nuclear weapons. And that whatever it takes should be undertaken to prevent that." Meanwhile, on Tuesday, North Korea's Communist government said foreigners living in South Korea must leave the country. “We do not wish harm on foreigners in South Korea should there be a war.” It added: “The situation on the Korean Peninsula is inching close to a thermo-nuclear war. Once a war is ignited on the peninsula, it will be an all-out war, a merciless, sacred, war." Japan has responded to continuing threats from Pyongyang by deploying missile interceptors in key locations around Tokyo. (AP/MailOnline)

PERES: WE THANK BRAVE CANADA FOR BREAKING IRAN RELATIONS: Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird met on Tuesday with PM Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres in discussions that Israel and Canada said were positive. The talks, Netanyahu and Peres said, expressed the close relations between the two countries. During his meeting with Netanyahu, Baird declared his support of a Jewish state in all parts of the Land of Israel. He said the Jewish nation was in charge of its own destiny. Netanyahu and Baird discussed the situation in Syria, the Iranian nuclear program, international terror, and talks with the Palestinian Authority. During his meeting with Baird, Peres praised Canada for breaking off relations with Iran, saying it was an act of bravery. “Canada took a clear stand against the greatest danger of our time, and this shows its courage. We greatly appreciate it." (Arutz-7)

SYRIA WITHDRAWS LARGE NUMBERS OF TROOPS FROM GOLAN HEIGHTS: The Syrian government has withdrawn several thousand soldiers from the Golan Heights to battle fronts closer to Damascus, Western diplomats claim. "They have moved some of their best battalions away from the Golan," said a Western diplomatic source. Separate media reports in Israel suggest the Syrian redeployments could amount to as many as two divisions - up to 20,000 soldiers. Rebel groups have moved into the vacuum, and Israel has strong concerns jihadists will use the area as a staging ground for attacks on its northern communities. (Gurardian–UK) Pray for the safety of Israel’s northern borders and for its military personnel guarding the Golan Heights area.

AL-QAIDA TO SYRIAN REBELS: ‘FORM ISLAMIC STATE’: Ayman al-Zawahiri, the head of al-Qaida, this week released an audio statement online. He called for the establishment of an Islamic caliphate after the fall of Syrian President Bashar Assad, which he predicted was on the verge of collapse. “Let your fight be in the name of Allah and with the aim of establishing Allah’s Shari’a law as the ruling system,” he said according to the Now Lebanon website. He called on Syrian rebels to work to achieve an Islamic state: “Do all that you can so that your holy war yields a jihadist Islamic state.” This is the first statement released by the al-Qaida leader this year. (J.Post) Shari’a law is the legal code ordained by Allah for all mankind. To violate Sharia or not to accept its authority is to commit rebellion against Allah, which the Muslim faithful are required to combat. There is no separation between the religious and the political in Islam; rather Islam and Shari’a constitute a comprehensive means of ordering society at every level. The stoning of adulterers, execution of apostates and blasphemers, subjugation of women, repression of other religions, and a mandatory hostility toward non-Islamic nations punctuated by regular warfare are Shari’a mandates.

IDF CLOSES GAZA CROSSING AFTER ROCKETS FIRED: The IDF closed the Kerem Shalom border passage between Israel and Gaza on Monday following the firing of three rockets from the Strip on Sunday. A projectile landed in southern Israel on Sunday night while Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremonies were being held. Palestinians fired another two rockets; however they landed within Gazan territory. The assault came on the heels of a rise in attacks in the South which was marked by two straight days of rocket fire last week, which led to an Israeli strike at targets in the Gaza Strip. It was Israel's first retaliation since a truce was implemented following an eight-day flare up last November that nearly triggered an Israeli ground invasion. The increase in attacks has raised tension in the south, as residents gear themselves for possibly another round of violence from the Gaza Strip. (J.Post) Pray Israel’s southern communities will not suffer another season of rocket attacks from Gaza Strip terrorists. Israel’s government needs much wisdom and firmness to avert a fresh resurgence of daily violence, after more broken promises and truces on the part of Hamas and related terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip.

ISRAEL SIGNALING: PA DEMANDS ARE UNREALISTIC: Israeli officials are downplaying the chances of renewed negotiations with the Palestinian Authority (PA), even as US Secretary of State John Kerry attempts to get the talks restarted. Senior diplomatic sources told Voice of Israel radio they doubt the US will succeed in persuading the PA to return to negotiations, despite Kerry's resolute effort to do just that. They said the PA's demand to get a map of the final borders Israel wants to attain is unacceptable, and added that the Jewish state will not grant the PA any far reaching concessions in return for resumption of negotiations. Maariv newspaper quoted Israeli and western spokespersons as saying that Israel has decided to demand PA recognition of Israel as a Jewish state as a precondition for renewing talks. (INN)

HARPER: CONTINUE THE FIGHT AGAINST ANTISEMITISM: Canadian PM Stephen Harper said on Sunday, in honor of Yom Hashoah, that Canadians stand together to remember the six million Jewish men, women and children who suffered and died at the hands of the Nazis during the Holocaust. “As we mark the liberation of the first Nazi concentration camp in Buchenwald, Germany, let us also pay tribute to all those brave souls who fought with the Jewish resistance during this dark period. And let us renew our own commitment to continue their fight against all forms of intolerance, discrimination and antisemitism,” said Harper in a statement. “The atrocities of the Holocaust betrayed the fundamental value of human dignity. We must never allow such unthinkable crimes to be forgotten or repeated,” he added. Canada’s FM, John Baird, attended Sunday evening’s Holocaust Remembrance ceremony at Yad Vashem. (INN)

GLOBAL ANTISEMITISM RISES BY 30 PERCENT: 2012 saw a “considerable escalation in antisemitic manifestations, particularly violent acts against Jews,” constituting a thirty percent increase over 2011, according to Tel Aviv University’s Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry. The report said the escalation came on the heels of two years of decline. A total of 686 acts of violence and vandalism took place last year, including 273 attacks on persons of all ages. In addition, 190 synagogues, cemeteries and monuments were desecrated, and over 200 private and public properties damaged. There were 50 attacks with a weapon, 89 without, 166 direct threats on lives, and 373 cases of vandalism. Most of the assaults (510) took place in countries where the largest communities outside Israel reside: France (200), the US (99), the UK (84), Canada (74) and Australia (53).” President of the European Rabbis’ Committee, Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, responded to the findings of the annual Kantor Institute on global antisemitism by calling upon the EU and European leaders to defend European Jewry from the rise in antisemitic attacks in France, and the popularity of Neo-Nazism in Hungary and Greece. (J.Post/INN)

PM: THATCHER A TRUE FRIEND OF JEWISH PEOPLE, ISRAEL: PM Binyamin Netanyahu mourned the death Monday of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, referring to her as "a true friend of the Jewish People and Israel." The "Iron Lady" who dominated British politics for two decades, died on Monday following a stroke, a spokesman for her family said. She was 87. "She was truly a great leader, a woman of principle, of determination and strength,” Netanyahu stated. He sent condolences to Thatcher's family in addition to the British government and people. "She inspired a generation of political leaders," he added. (J.Post)

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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