Israel Update

May 22 2013

“O Lord, be gracious to us; we have waited for You. Be our arm every morning, our salvation also in the time of trouble.” Isa 33:2

GANTZ: IF ASSAD ESCALATES ATTACKS, HE’LL BEAR CONSEQUENCES: In blunt language marking a turn away from diplomatic caution, Israel warned the Syrian government Tuesday that it “would suffer the consequences” if it continued to press attacks, hours after Syrian and Israeli troops exchanged fire along the cease-fire line in Israel’s Golan Heights. After an Israel Defense Forces jeep was reportedly hit by machine-gun fire from a Syrian military post on the cease-fire line, a potential flash point for spillover from Syria’s civil war, Israel “returned pinpoint fire at the source,” and the position was destroyed. “We will not allow the area of the Golan Heights to turn into an easy target for Syrian attacks,” said IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz. “Last night, Syrian positions fired three times while we were patrolling along the border fence. We’ve had enough,” said Gantz. “We are seeing things happening in Syria - the transfer of military equipment, Assad issuing warnings, talking, leading and encouraging the expansion of actions against the state of Israel at various levels, including the Golan Heights. If he deteriorates the situation on the Golan Heights, he will have to bear the consequences.” (J.Post) “You are My battle-ax and weapons of war: For with you I will break the nation in pieces; With you I will destroy kingdoms.” Jer 51:20

IDF TO LAUNCH NATIONWIDE DRILL AS OFFICIALS RAMP UP WAR RHETORIC: "There is no longer a question whether missiles will be launched at Israel's major population centers, only when it would happen," Home Front Defense Minister Gilad Erdan said Tuesday ahead of a nationwide drill. The civil war raging in Syria and ominous Israeli promises to prevent advanced weapons from landing in the hands of terrorist organizations are only part of the background for the national emergency exercise set to be held next week. The drill, held jointly by the IDF Home Front Command and emergency services, aims to prepare the Israeli population for the undesired event of thousands of missiles and rockets hitting population centers and strategic installations across the country, including unconventional weapons from Syria, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. The simulation will commence Sunday morning. From Monday until Wednesday the drill will focus on the civilian population, in particular practicing a speedy retreat to protected spaces. This will be the first time the entire early warning system will be put to a test as, besides sirens, civilians will receive alerts via different media including mobile devices, social networks and television broadcasts. (Ynet)

RIVLIN: US CRITICISM IS OUT OF LINE: US Secretary of State John Kerry was wrong to condemn Israel for legalizing Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, former Knesset Speaker MK Reuven Rivlin said Tuesday. Kerry called Israel’s ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, last week, to protest the planned legalization of four outposts. “Kerry’s protest is out of line,” Rivlin said. “It contains a measure of antagonism to Israel.” The US administration has criticized Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria as an obstacle to peace talks. The Palestinian Authority has stated it will not negotiate for peace unless Israel first stops all construction east of the 1949 armistice line. “Israel’s traditional willingness to hold negotiations with no preconditions has not changed, and has even received support abroad,” Rivlin said. “It’s been proven in the past that meeting preconditions has not brought the Palestinians to the negotiating table. The ball is in the Palestinians’ court, not ours,” he added. “The American State Department’s protest aims to create a new diplomatic reality, and indirectly – and unjustly – to force Israel to change its approach regarding negotiations without preconditions,” he said. (INN) Israel has made countless gestures and concessions over the years in an effort to keep peace negotiations proceeding with the Palestinians. PA leaders have yet to respond with even the smallest token of good will. Rather, they have made impossible demands of the Jewish state in return for a peace deal which they have no desire or intention of honoring. Ultimately, the Palestinians want Israel to give over hugely populated areas of its land, including East Jerusalem, and to allow Arab refugees and their prodigy, now numbering in the millions, to return to Israel, which would render it an Arab rather than a Jewish state. PA leaders know such unfeasible stipulations cannot and will not be met by Israel’s government. Pray Israel’s leaders will remain resolute in refusing to yield to PA manipulation and to US pressure.

GOVT: UNESCO LIED, SO PLANNED JERUSALEM VISIT CANCELED: The government on Monday informed UNESCO, the UN organization responsible for educational, scientific, and cultural matters, that a delegation that planned to visit Jerusalem was not welcome. The UNESCO group will not be given visas to enter the country, the government said. The UN group claimed it wanted to visit Jerusalem to catalog the sites, and that the trip was to be professional in nature and would not have a political character. On that basis, the government agreed to allow the group into Israel. But in reality, the source said, UNESCO officials had set up several meetings with Arab activists, Palestinian Authority figures, and terrorists, giving the visit a political, not professional, character. As such, UNESCO lied, the source said, violating the agreement with Israel – and thus the entire visit would be cancelled. (J.Post)

NAZI FLAG FLIES SOUTH OF JERUSALEM: Residents of the Arab town of Beit Omar between Jerusalem and Hebron strung up a large Nazi flag adjacent to their local mosque on Monday in a clear message to the Jews living in close proximity. A resident of the nearby Jewish Etzion Bloc said the incident was very jarring. "I felt we were going back 75 years, losing our hold on the land. The Arabs no longer feel the need to hide their murderous intentions, announcing out loud that they wish to annihilate us." The Nazis and Adolf Hitler have long been idolized in much of Palestinian society. Hitler's "Mein Kampf" remains one of the 10 bestselling books in the PA-controlled territories today, and has a local distributor. During World War II, the Palestinian leader in the Middle East, Haj Amin al-Husseini, was a close confidante of Hitler, and actively recruited fellow Muslims to the Nazi cause. (Israel Today)

STATE DEPARTMENT REPORTS CONTINUED RISE IN ANTISEMITISM: The US State Department’s religious freedoms report describes a continued global increase in antisemitism during 2012. “Of great concern were expressions of antisemitism by government officials, by religious leaders, and by the media, particularly in Venezuela, Egypt, and Iran,” the report released Monday said. “At times, such statements led to desecration and violence.” It noted the continued “flourishing” of the Passover blood libel as well as Holocaust denial. (Ha’aretz)

ISRAEL IS WORLD’S LARGEST EXPORTER OF DRONES: Israel is the world's largest exporter of unmanned aircraft, in terms of the number of systems sold. Over the last eight years Israel has exported $4.6 billion worth of unmanned aerial vehicles. Over half of Israel's UAV exports from 2005 through 2012 were to Europe, with a large number of aircraft supplied to Britain. Drones were also sold to Germany, Poland, the Netherlands and Spain. One-third of Israeli exports went to the Asia-Pacific region, including India, a major buyer of Israeli defense systems, and Azerbaijan. (Ha’aretz)

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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