Israel Update

May 9, 2013

“And give Him no rest till He establishes and till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.” Isa 62:7

OBAMA AND NETANYAHU’S NEW RED LINE ON IRAN: According to recent reports, US President Obama and Israel’s PM Netanyahu have agreed on a new plan to block Iran's nuclear program, which calls for narrowing the gap between the Israeli and American red lines. Obama promised Netanyahu that if diplomatic efforts fail and the economic sanctions do not dissuade Iran from building an atomic bomb, the US would act militarily to thwart these efforts. The American leader also gave Netanyahu the "yellow light" for a unilateral operation against Iran. The light will turn green should the Israeli government conclude, after consulting with Washington, that it must bomb Iran in order to defend itself. Israel's promise to consult with the US prior to a go-it-alone attack will secure Washington's diplomatic, military and logistical support - even if the White House believes the time has not yet come for military action in Iran. During his recent meeting with Obama, Netanyahu clarified that Israel realizes the US has superior capabilities which can delay or even destroy Iran's nuclear program capabilities - ones Israel does not have. Therefore, Israel prefers to wait for America to act on its own against Iran. (Ynet) Continue to pray for Israel’s discernment, wisdom and strategy in dealing with its most bellicose and dangerous regional enemy, Iran. Co-operation with the US is be desired and is commendable – but repeatedly in times of crisis, in spite of the good words and promises of allies, the Jewish state has had to make the decision to protect its own – on its own – and to carry it out.

Jerusalem is Israel's biggest city, the Central Bureau of Statistics announced Monday. In honor of Jerusalem Day, celebrated this Wednesday, the CBS announced that at the end of 2011, there were 804,400 people living in the city, 499,400 (62%) of them Jewish. Of the rest, 281,000 (35%) were Muslim, 14,700 (2%) Christian, and 9,000 (1%) “other” or no declared religion. The average Jerusalem household has 3.9 residents, higher than the average 3.3 in the rest of the country. Thirty one percent of residents are “very happy” to be living in Jerusalem. Among Jews alone, 41% said they were “very happy” to be residents. Fifty seven percent said they were “happy” to be Jerusalem residents. (Arutz-7) Jerusalem Day (Yom Yerushalayim) is an Israeli national holiday commemorating the reunification of Jerusalem and the establishment of Israeli control over the Old City in June 1967. The Chief Rabbinate of Israel declared Jerusalem Day a minor religious holiday to thank God for victory in the Six-Day War and for answering the 2,000-year-old prayer of "Next Year in Jerusalem." The day is marked by state ceremonies, memorial services for soldiers who died in the battle for Jerusalem, and parades through downtown Jerusalem. Pray that Jerusalem Day, celebrated this week on May 8, will be a time of joy and thanksgiving - unmarred by Arab violence.

ISRAEL’S PRIME MINISTER IN CHINA FOR A WEEK: The plane carrying PM Binyamin Netanyahu and a delegation of Israeli businessmen landed early Monday in Shanghai to mark the beginning of a week-long visit intended to tighten relations between Israel and China. Prior to his departure, Netanyahu defined the goals of the trip as being to advance Israeli exports to China and to increase sanctions against Iran's nuclear development program. Netanyahu spent the bulk of the first two of a five-day visit to China focusing on opening the country to Israeli companies. He is scheduled to travel to Beijing on Wednesday for two more days of talks that will focus as much on regional and diplomatic issues, as on economic ones. On Wednesday he is scheduled to meet China’s Prime Minister Li Keqiang, followed by a meeting Thursday with President Xi Jinping. (Arutz-7) Pray for the safety of Israel’s prime minister and his delegation during the remainder of his trip abroad and for co-operation and good relations between China and Israel to be strengthened.

PM SPEAKS OF ISRAEL’S STRENGTH AT CHINESE JEWISH QUARTER: Seventy years ago the Jewish people could not protect themselves and had to plead for others to “save them.” Today that is no longer the case, PM Binyamin Netanyahu said Tuesday, just days after allegations that Israeli war planes attacked weapons depots near Damascus. Netanyahu’s comments came during a tour of the Jewish Refugees Museum in Shanghai, located in the heart of the Honkgou District where some 18,000 Jews found refuge during World War II. The fate of the Jews has changed a great deal since the time the refugees found shelter in this city, the prime minister said. “Seventy years ago we could only plead, only beg to be saved. Today we have a state of our own, an army of our own. We need not beg to be saved, we can defend ourselves,” he added. Netanyahu, who dedicated the reopening of a coffee shop at the site that once served the Jewish population of the quarter, said the historic compound – which includes a small Holocaust museum and a reconstructed synagogue that is now a museum – commemorated “the great kindness of the people of Shanghai, and this quarter, for our people. And we shall never forget it.” He said that not only was “China one of the few countries not afflicted by antisemitism, but actually by its opposite: philo-semitism.” (Arutz-7)

REBEL REPRESENTATIVE HAPPY ABOUT ISRAEL ATTACK ON SYRIA: A representative of Syrian opposition forces in the western city of Homs expressed happiness among the rebels, Sunday evening, at the apparent Israeli attack on Syria. During an interview, shown on Israeli television, Hassan Rastanawi said Hizbullah and Iranian bases in Damascus were hit by missiles "and we welcome it." He continued, "Great joy fills the hearts of the Syrian people, the rebels and the fighters in the field after Israel destroyed the biggest and most important power centers in which the Hizbullah terrorist fighters, Iranian Revolutionary Guards and the forces of Syrian President Assad are holed up." Rastanawi said the attack definitely had an effect on the fighting, noting an escalation by pro-Assad forces, including massacres seen around the world, had left Free Syrian Army rebels on the brink of despair. He said the assaults were very effective, especially in the Damascus area, where the pro-Assad forces were making advances, but the attacks changed that completely. (INN) Top officials have made it clear that Israel is not taking sides in Syria’s civil war for fear its actions would boost Islamist rebel groups who are even more hostile to Israel than the Assad family, which has maintained a stable stand-off with the Jewish state for decades. But Israel has repeatedly warned it will not let Assad’s ally Hizbullah receive hi-tech weaponry that will ultimately be turned against Israel. Intelligence sources said Israel attacked Iranian-supplied missiles stored near the Syrian capital on Friday and Sunday that were awaiting transfer to the Hizbullah terrorist group in neighboring Lebanon.

ELKIN: GOOGLE JEOPARDIZING PEACE PROCESS: Israel’s deputy foreign minister launched an angry criticism against the search engine giant Google on Monday accusing the company of jeopardizing progress in the PA peace process after it designated a “Palestine” homepage last week. Speaking to Israel Army Radio, Zeev Elkin attacked the company’s decision to change the homepage labeling from “Palestinian Territories” to “Palestine”: “I think that the Google decision from the last few days is very, very problematic,” Mr. Elkin said. “When a company like Google comes along and supports this line, it actually pushes peace further away, pushes away negotiations, and creates among the Palestinian leadership the illusion that in this manner they can achieve the result. Without direct negotiation with us, nothing will happen,” said Deputy FM Elkin. (INN)

ROCK VICTIM IN SERIOUS CONDITION: A Jewish man, aged 50, is in serious condition at Tel Hashomer Hospital after a rock thrown by Arabs struck him in the head Saturday night as he was driving in a car in the Binyamin region. At the same time, Arabs attacked a group of Jews who were holding a protest nearby to demand tougher security. Local Arabs attacked them with rocks and clubs. The demonstration had been coordinated with the IDF. This did not prevent dozens of Arabs from descending upon the protest and attacking the Jews. Two men were struck in their heads by the club-wielding Arabs and were classified as being slightly injured and taken to Hadassah Ein Karem Hospital in Jerusalem. (Arutz-7) Pray for the full recovery of the seriously injured man, Aharon Ben Golda, in the latest – one of many recent – rock throwing attacks by PA Arabs against innocent Israeli civilians. Intercede also for the recovery of three-year-old Adelle Biton yet unconscious in an Israeli hospital, victim of a Palestinian rock throwing attack in March.

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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