Israel Update

May 27, 2013

“I am for peace; But when I speak, they are for war.” Ps 120:6

REPORT: KERRY OFFERS FREEZE FOR NEGOTIATIONS: US Secretary of State John Kerry has proposed that Israel freeze construction east of the 1949 armistice line if it wants to hold talks with the Palestinian Authority. Kerry met Thursday with PM Binyamin Netanyahu. Direct peace talks collapsed shortly after they were launched in September 2010 because Abbas refused to talk to Netanyahu, despite the fact that Israel enforced a ten-month construction freeze under US pressure. Instead, Abbas has imposed endless preconditions on talks, including calling on Israel to again freeze construction in Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem and to release still more terrorist prisoners. An official source in Jerusalem said Friday that PA President Abbas received this opportunity once - and it will not happen again. (INN/J.Post)

UNDERSTANDING THE BUILDING-FREEZE PALESTINIANS DEMAND OF ISRAEL: Vision for Israel writers periodically review facts on key Middle East subjects, enabling our readers to better understand the background and substance of controversial issues. Focusing on Israel’s settlement communities, as of July 2012, the estimated Jewish population of the nearly 130 officially recognized Judea and Samaria settlements was 350,150 residents. A further 300,000 Israelis live in settlements in East Jerusalem and over 20,000 live in settlements in the Golan Heights. Settlements range from farming communities to suburbs to frontier villages, and, in the case of East Jerusalem, city neighborhoods. The three largest settlements, Modi'in Illit, Maale Adumim and Betar Illit, are cities with over 40,000 residents each. These Jewish communities include homes, schools, government buildings, shopping centers and thriving business. Israel has long withstood pressure from foes, and also from well-meaning allies, who have insisted the Jewish state forgo even natural-growth construction towards meeting the need for additional schools, medical facilities, apartments, and shops in these populated areas. A complete construction halt is - once again - a Palestinian Authority pre-condition for returning to peace negotiations with the Jewish state. The Palestinian hope behind this outrageous settlement-freeze demand is that Israelis will eventually agree to walk away from these thriving towns and neighborhoods and turn them over to their enemies in return for a false peace. The Gaza Strip is an outstanding example of what happens when Israel and others fall for the lie of attaining peace with terrorist entities, who hate Israel and the West. The bad fruit resulting from the Gaza “land for peace” deal has been increased terrorist rocket attacks against Israel’s southern communities and years of Jewish work on homes and businesses obliterated. (VFI) Pray such gullibility will not occur again!

CONVINCING KERRY THAT ISRAEL IS NOT THE OBSTACLE TO PEACE: US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Jerusalem on Thursday to jumpstart Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, but anyone watching knows that not a soul is interested. The Middle East is boiling over in Syria and Lebanon. Really, who's going to invest the time to negotiate with PA President Abbas? The Middle East is having a heart attack, and Kerry has come to treat a bruised shoulder. Up until the latest round of violence, the widely accepted motto stated the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was the main cause of the region's problems. Given the current upheavals, no one would rush to back that claim. On the one hand, there's no choice but to administer first aid to the negotiations. On the other hand, the world should treat PM Netanyahu as it did former PM Olmert: the international community did not demand that Olmert stop construction in settlements. (Israel Hayom) Didn't someone give Kerry the file of history when Israel froze settlement construction for 10 months and nothing happened?

ISRAEL NEAR BOTTOM OF BBC POLL RANKING COUNTRIES: Israel placed near the bottom of a BBC poll released Thursday ranking the world's most positively viewed countries. Some 26,000 people from 25 countries around the world were asked if they viewed a list of 16 countries and the European Union as having a "mainly positive" or "mainly negative" influence in the world. Germany topped the list with 59 percent of respondents viewing it positively, followed by Canada (55%), the UK (55%) and Japan (51%). Only North Korea, Pakistan and Iran had lower positivity scores than Israel. Twenty-one percent of respondents viewed Israel's influence as mainly positive, while 52% saw the Jewish State's influence as mainly negative. (J.Post) Israel is on the BBC's bad list just above Iran, N. Korea and Pakistan? The BBC has a really good track record.

SYRIA ACCUSES ISRAEL OF HEALTH VIOLATIONS IN THE GOLAN: Syria, which consistently violates the human rights of its own citizens, has slammed Israel over what it says is the "deterioration of the health conditions of the Syrian population in the occupied Golan as a result of the suppressive practices of the Israeli occupation." According to a report Thursday, Syria made the allegations against Israel in a document it presented to the UN's World Health Organization last week. Meanwhile, according to UN Watch, nowhere in the WHO agenda or supporting documents is there any mention of the more than 94,000 civilians slaughtered in Syria, the tens of thousands more who have been injured or disfigured, the 2.5 million refugees, including 600,000 children, strewn across the region, or the 2 million children internally displaced. Syria's Health Ministry merely accused Israel of depriving Syrians of medical treatment and said there was an "acute shortage of primary health care services owing to the lack of integrated medical centers in the occupied Syrian Golan.” (Arutz-7) Syria complains about deteriorating health conditions on the Israeli side of the Golan?

DID YOU KNOW? Israeli hospitals are treating people wounded in Syria, where civil war has killed thousands and wounded thousands more. Israeli scientists developed the first fully computerized, no-radiation, diagnostic instrumentation for breast cancer. An Israeli company developed a computerized system for ensuring proper administration of medications, thus removing human error from medical treatment. Israel’s Givun imaging developed the first ingestible video camera, so small it fits inside a pill. Used to view the small intestine from the inside, the camera helps doctors diagnose cancer and digestive disorders. Researchers in Israel developed a new device that directly helps the heart pump blood, an innovation with the potential to save lives among those with heart failure. Israel leads the world in the number of scientists and technicians in the workforce. Israel has the highest ratio of university degrees to the population in the world. Israel produces more scientific papers per capita than any other nation by a large margin. In proportion to its population, Israel has the largest number of start-up companies in the world. In absolute terms, Israel has more start-up companies than any other country in the world, except the US. Israel’s economy is larger than all of its immediate neighbors combined. On a per capita basis, Israel has the largest number of biotech start-ups. Israel is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East. In 1984 and 1991, Israel airlifted a total of 22,000 Ethiopian Jews at risk in Ethiopia to safety in Israel. In January 2010 Israel received another 800 Ethiopian Jews and several thousand more since then. Relative to its population, Israel is the largest immigrant-absorbing nation on earth. Immigrants come in search of democracy, religious freedom, and economic opportunity. When Golda Meir was elected Prime Minister of Israel in 1969, she became the world’s second elected female leader in modern times. In 1991, during the Gulf War, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra played a concert wearing gas masks as scud missiles fired by Saddam Hussein fell on Tel Aviv. Israel has the world’s second highest per capita of new books. Israel has more museums per capita than any other country. The cell phone was developed in Israel by Motorola, which has its largest development center in Israel. All the above - and far, far more - while engaged in regular wars with an implacable enemy that seeks its destruction, and an economy continuously under strain by having to spend more per capita on its own protection than any other country on earth. This from a country just 65 years young whose population had mostly just emerged from the devastating World War II years. (Israel Seen) These are the facts. So much for world’s opinion and the BBC’s bad listing of Israel. The above review is just a thimbleful of the Jewish state’s mountain of contributions to the world.

‘ASSAD HAS CHEMICALS THAT CAN ERADICATE ENTIRE TOWNS’: President Assad’s regime has enough of the nerve agent sarin to "eradicate the whole of Damascus, Homs, Hama, and Aleppo," a former scientist for the Syrian chemical weapons program has disclosed. Speaking to reporters on condition of anonymity after he fled Syria, the chemist said, "If the regime is to fire a Scud-B with a chemical warhead filled with sarin, the missile would create a chemical cloud in the atmosphere that is 3km long and 500m wide, which could be fatal to all people under it.” The exiled chemist added that Syria’s stockpile comprises 700 tons of sarin agent, at least 3,000 aerial bombs that could be filled with chemical agents and more than 100 chemical warheads for Scud missiles. Consistent with other intelligence reports, the chemist said Assad’s chemical weapons arsenal also contains mustard gas and what experts describe as the deadliest of all nerve agents, VX. (INN) 

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 Storehouse?", 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.    


All active news articles