April 24, 2013
“The nations will rush like the rushing of many waters; but God will rebuke them and they will flee far away, and be chased like the chaff of the mountains before the wind, like a rolling thing before the whirlwind.” Isa 17:13
HAGEL HAILS ARMS DEAL WITH ISRAEL: US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and his Israeli counterpart, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, on Monday hailed a major arms deal as a sign of "ironclad" US support for the Jewish state after talks on Iran's nuclear drive and Syria's war. Speaking at a joint news conference with Yaalon in Tel Aviv, Hagel confirmed the two had agreed on a multi-billion dollar weapons deal that will see Israel receiving an impressive array of advanced US missiles and aircraft: “Minister Yaalon and I agreed the United States will make available to Israel a set of advanced new military capabilities, including anti-radiation missiles, radars for fighter jets, KC-135 refueling aircraft, and the V-22 Osprey, which the United States has not released to other countries.” Hagel's past cold and sometimes critical treatment of Israel was at the center of his confirmation process in the Senate two months ago, but he has made every effort to show his Israeli hosts that the Republican attacks on him were unwarranted. This may be one reason why the announcement of the new arms deal between the two nations was postponed to coincide with Hagel's first state visit to Israel as Defense Secretary, despite the fact that most of the deal's details were already agreed upon during the final days of Ehud Barak's term as defense minister. The details were leaked to American media on the eve of the visit and Hagel announced it officially on Monday in a joint statement to the press with Ya'alon at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv. (INN/Ha’aretz) Co-operation between Israel, the US and other allies is obviously desirable, helpful - and at times - truly commendable. However, pray Israel’s leaders will not surrender their discernment and obligation to defend the Jewish state against life-threatening foes to any foreign entity – especially against a nuclear-obsessed Iran. Israel will and must question what strings are attached to even the most generous gifts where its national security and decision making freedoms are concerned. A vast history of treacheries and betrayals, promises and treaties broken on the part of both friends and foes makes caution an absolute necessity to the survival of the Jewish state.
US AID WILL REQUIRE ISRAEL TO CO-ORDINATE FULLY ON IRAN: It was hard to miss the thread connecting Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon and his American counterpart Chuck Hagel at the press conference Monday morning and the speech of Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Benny Gantz that evening in Tel Aviv. Ya'alon and his guest Hagel, just like Gantz, sent a unified message: In light of the unstable situation in the region, Israel needs the strategic cooperation of its friends more than ever. At the top of this list of friends is the United States, but it also includes a collection of less committed allies including neighboring countries and even Turkey, after the reconciliation initiated by the Americans ripens. This conclusion, which was stated explicitly, also leads to another insight: The military and diplomatic aid from the United States will also require Jerusalem to coordinate fully with Washington in the most sensitive matter, the handling of the Iranian nuclear threat - in a manner that will limit Israel's ability to act independently on this issue. This is despite the lip service paid by Hagel and US President Obama a month before him to Israel's right to act independently to protect itself. (Ha’aretz) “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.” Ps 118: 8-9
IAEA TOP OFFICIAL IN IRAN TALKS RESIGNS: EA deputy director Rafael Grossi, one of the top officials in negotiations over Iran's nuclear program, has announced his resignation, the UN nuclear watchdog said Sunday. No reasons were given for the Argentinean’s resignation, which comes as chief inspector Herman Nackaerts of Belgium prepares to retire later this year. Nackaerts and IAEA number two Grossi led fruitless talks with Iran last year over its controversial nuclear program, which Tehran continues to insist is merely for peaceful purposes, as it affirms its intent on obliterating the Jewish state. During a series of meetings in Vienna and Tehran, the two tried but failed to get Iran to allow IAEA inspectors greater access to its nuclear program. (Arutz-7)
US ARMS CONTROL OFFICIAL: IRAN IS BIGGEST THREAT TO NUCLEAR PACT’S CREDIBILITY: Iran's nuclear program poses the greatest threat to the credibility of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, a senior US arms control official said Monday. Thomas Countryman, Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation, said Monday that Iran has a "long history" of deceiving the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and its nuclear enrichment program far exceeds that needed for civilian use. Two-week talks that opened in Geneva on Monday to review progress in implementing the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) were taking place in a difficult environment, he said. North Korea, which is not attending the global talks having announced its withdrawal from the treaty a decade ago, presents a "dangerous challenge to regional peace," he said. "The actions of Iran and North Korea should concern every member of this conference," Countryman told a news briefing. "It is clear that if Iran succeeds in the project of constructing nuclear weapons, then it is not only the Helsinki meeting that becomes irrelevant, but it is in fact the entire credibility of this treaty. The possession of such weapons by Iran constitutes a threat to the entire region and an impetus for greater proliferation than we have ever seen." The UN nuclear agency, the IAEA, is talking with Iran to set a date for resuming discussions, it said on Monday. The IAEA-Iran talks are separate from, but have an important bearing on, diplomatic negotiations between Tehran and six world powers aimed at a broad settlement to the decade-old dispute and the risk of a new Middle East war. (Reuters)
NORTH KOREA REJECTS NUCLEAR TALKS: North Korea has rejected any plan to hold talks over its nuclear development activities, although it is willing to discuss disarmament of other types of ordnance, it says. The coy response by Pyongyang to an advance by the US to negotiate a wind-down of the escalation of hostilities mirrors Iranian strategies played out in the international arena over the past decade. A South Korean government official reported Sunday the North had moved two more missile launchers to its east coast. Neither battery has the range to reach Israel or the United States, but both can reach South Korea, an ally of the US. “The military is closely watching the latest preparations for a missile launch by the north,” commented a senior South Korean military source. (INN)
UP TO 500 FEARED DEAD IN DAMASCUS SUBURB: At least 109 people have been documented as killed, and up to 400 more are likely to have died in an almost week-long offensive by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad on a rebellious Damascus suburb. The killings amount to one of bloodiest episodes of the two-year-old uprising against Assad. According to opposition spokesmen, many of the dead were civilians. On Sunday activists said at least 85 people had been killed and the toll might reach 250, but with the army beginning to pull back more accounts are emerging indicating the final figure could be far higher. The activists, speaking from the area six miles southwest of Damascus, said residents had buried some victims in the early stages of the five-day attack by elite forces and pro-Assad militias. More bodies are now being found burnt or summarily executed in buildings and streets. (INN)
NO RESPONSE TO SYRIA’S USE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS WORRIES ISRAEL: Top Israeli military officials on Tuesday confirmed that the embattled forces of Syrian dictator Assad had used chemical weapons against rebel populations. The head of Israel's military intelligence, Gen. Itay Brun, said pictures coming out of Syria showing corpses with constricted pupils and foaming mouths is evidence the victims were killed by sarin gas. Brun claims Assad's forces have used sarin and other chemical weapons at their disposal numerous times in recent weeks. Brun further added the Assad regime is in possession of more than 1,000 tons of chemical weapon agents, and the deafening silence of the international community now that these banned substances are being used is cause for great concern. If the world will not speak up when Assad uses these weapons against his own population, will it do anything to stop terror groups who seize the chemical weapons in the wake of Assad's fall from using them against Israel? That's an outcome Israel needs to be very worried about, Brun explained. (Israel Today)
IRANIAN ATTACKS RABBI, SON IN PARIS: An escapee from a psychiatric institution slashed a rabbi and his son with a box-cutter on Tuesday, prompting witnesses to tackle and subdue the attacker after a chase through a Paris synagogue. The rabbi, who is in his late 40s, is recovering from surgery for a neck injury and his 18-year-old son sustained lesser injuries in the assault, according to police. The assailant is of Iranian origin, and an official investigation is underway to determine a possible motive. The attacker, now in police custody, had escaped from a psychiatric hospital near Lyon last week, said a police official. A French Jewish leader said the assailant, "may be mentally ill but he is, first and foremost, an antisemite who attacked Jews. Two more centimeters and it would have ended in death." Meir Haviv, Deputy Chairman of Jewish umbrella group CRIF added, "With the grace of G-d, the rabbi is out of danger and his son is lightly wounded, but I am treating this as if he had murdered the father and son. People are being killed simply because they are Jews. There is a rise 60% in antisemitism. This is a concern, not just for Jews but for all of France." (Arutz-7/Huffington Post) Pray for an end to the alarming increase in antisemitic violence, not only in France, but throughout the Western world.
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 http://www.visionforisrael.com/
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.