May 13, 2013
“Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You? Show us Your mercy, Lord, and grant us Your salvation.” Ps 85: 6-7
OBSERVATORY: SYRIAN WAR DEATH TOLL RISES TO 82,000: At least 82,000 people have been killed and 12,500 others are missing after two years of civil war in Syria, the opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Sunday. Most of the dead were slain by troops and militia loyal to President Bashar Assad and most of the missing are believed to have been detained by the government's secret police and other loyalists. "The vast majority of civilian victims were killed by the regime. Killings in unofficial jails are commonplace, and the conditions under which prisoners are held are horrific," said Rami Abdulrahman, the Observatory's president. The Observatory said 4,788 children were among the 34,473 civilians killed. Another 12,916 anti-Assad fighters were killed, along with 1,924 army deserters. "The figures we have are documented killings," Abdulrahman said. "We estimate the total number of people slain since the revolt to have surpassed 120,000." (J.Post) Continue to pray for G-d’s mercy to hide and protect the innocent, especially children, in this tragic upheaval. Pray essential provisions will reach the needy and stricken.
ISRAEL FULLY DETERMINED TO HALT SYRIA MISSILE DEAL: Israeli Premier Binyamin Netanyahu is "fully determined" to halt sales by Russia of advanced missiles to Syria when he visits Moscow for talks with President Vladimir Putin, Energy and Water Minister Silvan Shalom said Sunday. A reported Russian plan to sell Damascus S-300 missile batteries "worries us at the highest level and the prime minister is fully determined this contract should not be fulfilled," said Shalom, a member of the security cabinet. "Such a sale to Syria would alter the balance of forces in the region and these weapons could fall into the hands of Hizbullah," the ally of Syrian President Assad and Iran. Shalom continued that should Syria obtain the ultra-modern Russian weapons, which can destroy aircraft or guided missiles, "action by countries seeking change in Syria would become much more difficult.” Israeli officials have said the two leaders are to meet shortly. US Secretary of State John Kerry has warned the sale of S300s to Damascus would be "potentially destabilizing" for the region. (INN) Pray Russian sales of advanced military equipment to Syria will not take place.
CAR BOMBS KILL AT LEAST 43 IN TURKEY NEAR SYRIAN BORDER: Twin car bombs killed 43 people and wounded many more in a Turkish town near the Syrian border on Saturday, with the government suspecting Syrian involvement. The bombing increased fears that Syria's civil war was dragging in neighboring states despite renewed diplomatic moves. The bombs ripped into crowded streets near a shopping district in the early afternoon, scattering concrete blocks and smashing cars in the town in Turkey's southern Hatay province, home to thousands of Syrian refugees. Restaurants and cafes were destroyed and body parts were strewn across the streets. The damage went at least three blocks deep from the site of the blasts. President Bashar Assad's administration was the "usual suspect" in the attacks, Turkish Deputy PM Bulent Arinc said. "We know that the people taking refuge in Hatay have become targets for the Syrian regime.” The bombings were the bloodiest incident on Turkish soil since Syria's conflict began more than two years ago. Turkish FM Ahmet Davutoglu said Sunday it was time for the international community to take action against Assad, with the security risks in Turkey and Syria's other neighbors mounting. (Reuters/J.Post)
ERDOGAN: ASSAD CROSSED OBAMA’S RED LINE LONG AGO: Turkey's PM, Recep Erdogan, said Thursday that Syrian President Assad's government has used chemical weapons against its people. Erdogan cited as evidence the "remainders of missiles" - at least 200 by his count - which he believes were used in chemical attacks, along with the injuries of Syrians brought over the Turkish border for medical treatment. "There are patients who are brought to our hospitals who were wounded by these chemical weapons," he said. Erdogan rejected any suggestion the rebels might have used chemical weapons. Speaking to media sources, Erdogan called on the US to take stronger action in Syria. Erdogan believes President Obama's "red line" for the US in deciding whether to take action has been crossed. "It has been passed long time ago," said Erdogan, who will meet with President Obama on May 16. (INN)
DAYAN: ISRAEL HAS A CHOICE BETWEEN BAD AND WORSE: Israel has two choices regarding the ongoing civil war in Syria: bad and worse, said former IDF general Uzi Dayan, to reporters. The Assad regime is anti-Israel, but several of the groups fighting him are affiliated with al-Qaeda. “Obviously we shouldn’t support Assad’s ouster, because a weak plague is better than a terror virus that is growing stronger.” He continued that Israel must ready itself in multiple ways: by increasing its defenses on the northern border, improving IDF preparedness for a counter-terror operation, and by strengthening Israeli settlement in the Golan. Dayan emphasized that Israel must foremost prevent unconventional weapons from reaching terrorist groups. PM Binyamin Netanyahu said Sunday, "We must never hand over our fate to the hands of others. "We have the ability to defend ourselves with our own forces against Iran, against Syria, against Hizbullah or any other fanatic source who threatens to harm us." (INN)
EU MAY WITHDRAW LEBANON PEACEKEEPERS: The EU Foreign Affairs Committee has warned the Lebanese PM that the EU with withdraw all peacekeeping UNIFIL troops on the Israeli border if their security cannot be guaranteed as required by UN resolution 1701 that followed the Second Lebanon War. The warning comes in wake of the recent abduction of Philippine peacekeepers of the Syrian Golan Heights. (Arutz-7)
EGYPT’S MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD RALLIES AGAINST ISRAEL: Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood staged an anti-Israel rally in Cairo on Friday, the first such protest by the main backers of President Mohamed Morsi since they rose to prominence in the wake of the country's 2011 uprising. Emerging from weekly services at Al-Azhar mosque, demonstrators chanted "the people want the destruction of Israel" in protest of recent Israeli airstrikes in Syria. At one point, leading Brotherhood member Mohammed el-Beltagy took the microphone and shouted: "We will repeat it over and over, Israel is our enemy." Others echoed the call, and one organizer whipped up the crowd in a chant urging the army to launch a war against Israel to "liberate Palestine from the sons of monkeys and pigs." Since the revolt that deposed longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak, the Brotherhood, known for its anti-Israeli and anti-Western rhetoric, has kept a low profile in terms of showing enmity to the West or its former foe on its eastern border. But both the Islamist president and his group have had a hard time melding their longtime anti-Jewish stance with new responsibilities since coming to power. While Morsi has expressed commitment to Egypt's peace treaty with Israel, even recently he said in a media interview that he wouldn't visit Israel, nor would he host an Israeli leader in Egypt. (AP) The veil is very thin when it comes to covering what’s truly in the hearts of Israel’s neighbors, even those who profess to a cold peace with the Jewish state. Pray the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist entity will be constantly thwarted by the majority of Egypt’s people, in its unrelenting grasp for national and regional power.
BOSTON BOMBERS SUSPECT IN MURDER OF TWO JEWS: Forensic evidence may link the Tsarnaev brothers to their possible involvement in a 2011 unsolved triple murder in Waltham, Mass., two years before the brothers became suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings. Ever since Tamerlan, 26, and Dzhokhar, 19, Tsarnaev were identified as the men believed to have carried out the Boston attacks, the prosecutors’ office in Middlesex County, Mass., has been investigating the possibility the older brother was behind the fatal stabbings on 9/11/2011 of Brendan Mess, and Jews Erik Weissman and Raphael Teken in Waltham. The prosecutors’ office is also looking into whether both Tamerlan and Dzhokhar committed the unsolved murders. According to reports, “mounting evidence” buoyed by “forensic hits” make the brothers strong suspects. (INN)
‘OBAMA IGNORING LINK BETWEEN RADICAL ISLAM AND TERRORISM’: The Obama administration is ignoring the link between radical Islam and terrorism, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee said Thursday. In a media interview, Michael McCaul (R-Texas) tied the terrorist attack in Benghazi to the Boston Marathon bombings, saying that in both cases, the Obama administration had ignored the connection to radical Islam. "There's a wider thing here, some narrative throughout the administration where they just don't want to admit who the real enemy is and confront the enemy head on, and that's radical Islam," McCaul said. On Wednesday, three State Department officials testified they were disappointed with the department's response to the 2012 attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. (INN) Pray US leaders will indeed become fully alert to the obvious and rapidly increasing dangers of radical Islam – on their own as well as international soil.
BYZANTINE ERA MOSAIC FLOOR FOUND ON NEGEV KIBBUTZ: A 1500 year old Byzantine era mosaic floor was discovered under the fields of Kibbutz Beit Kama in the Negev, the Antiquities Authority announced Sunday. The mosaic was discovered by the Authority prior to the imminent paving of the southern extension of Highway 6, the Trans-Israel Highway. The red, black, and yellow mosaic has images of birds, geometrical shapes, and different types of local flora. The mosaic was discovered along with a group of structures, pools and a system to move water in a rescue dig being carried out prior to the paving of the highway. The Authority's southern district archaeologist, Yigal Yisrael, said the mosaic was preserved almost in its entirety despite lying just below the soil of the kibbutz's fields. The public has been invited to see the archaeological site this coming Thursday. (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 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.