Israel Update

June 13, 2013

“He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.” Isa 40:29

TURKEY: POLICE USE TEAR GAS AS RIOTS CONTINUE: Riot police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to clear protesters from an Istanbul square on Tuesday as Turkish PM Recep Erdogan warned he would show "no more tolerance" for the unrelenting mass demonstrations against his government. Hundreds of police stormed the city's Taksim Square, the epicenter of nearly two weeks of unrest, in the early morning and brought bulldozers to clear the makeshift barriers erected by demonstrators after police pulled out of the area on June 1. The police action surprised protesters, many of whom were dozing in nearby Gezi Park, because it came just hours after Erdogan agreed to hold talks with protest leaders on Wednesday, his first major concession since the trouble began. The premier, however, made no mention of the olive branch Tuesday and resumed his tough stance against the demonstrators who have thrown up the biggest challenge yet to his decade-long rule. "This episode is now over. We won't show any more tolerance," the premier said in a speech broadcast live on television. (Arutz-7)

STEINTZ: IRAN IS GETTING CLOSER TO NUCLEAR RED LINE: Iran is getting closer to reaching the “red line” of nuclear capability set out by PM Netanyahu, warned Israel’s Minister of Strategic Affairs Yuval Steinitz on Monday. "They have close to 418 pounds of 20% enriched uranium," Steinitz said. "Once they have 551 pounds, this is enough to make the final rush to 90 percent," the level of enrichment required for a nuclear warhead, he said. "It is a matter of weeks or maybe two months to jump from 20% to 90% percent with so many centrifuges," warned Steinitz. "What they are doing now, instead of crossing the red line, is widening and enlarging their capacity by putting in more and faster centrifuges." Iran's aim, charged Steinitz, was to build a nuclear arsenal, not just a single bomb. "Many people are saying it's a question of the Iranian bomb - whether they will have it or not.  No. We are speaking about an Iranian arsenal," he said. Tehran's big fear is that a Western military strike could wipe out their nuclear facilities "within a few hours," he added. (INN)

IRAN UPS CYBER ATTACKS ON ISRAELI COMPUTERS: PM Netanyahu accused Iran and its Palestinian and Lebanese allies this week of carrying out "non-stop" cyber attacks on major computer systems in his country. He gave no details on the number of attacks but said "vital national systems" had been targeted. Water, power and banking sites were also under threat, he added. (Reuters) Pray these attacks will be swiftly disrupted and Israeli targets rendered immune.

MIN. BENNETT: MIDDLE EAST IS FALLING APART: "I see no peace on the horizon. We know the truth,” said Israel’s Economic Minister this week, weighing in on the public feud between Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon. "The entire Middle East is falling apart before our eyes, and none of the forces at play is registering to the Zionist Federation,” he said caustically. Livni said Monday that PM Netanyahu has to make a decision in the diplomatic sphere, and that he must put an end to the phenomenon she termed “Danonism.” The term refers to Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon, who has spoken out against the idea of a Palestinian state. Danon has said, “Look at the government: there was never a government discussion, resolution or vote about the two-state solution. If you bring it to a vote in the government - nobody will bring it to a vote, it’s not smart to do it - but if you bring it to a vote, you will see the majority of Likud ministers, along with the Jewish Home party, will be against it.” (Arutz-7)

PALESTINIANS CALL FOR RIGHT OF RETURN AT UNHRC: The PLO called for the right of return for Palestinian refugees to Israel during a debate on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday. Israel must “recognize the right of return of refugees to their homeland, without selectivity or conditionality, including to the cities they were ejected from,” said Imad Zuhairi, a PLO official. He spoke during Agenda Item 7, in which the UNHRC is mandated at every session to debate Israeli actions against the Palestinians over the pre-1967 lines. Monday’s debate comes in the midst of a renewed effort by US Secretary of State John Kerry to re-kindle direct Israeli-Palestinian talks, which have been largely frozen since 2008. (J.Post)

THE BASICS FACTS OF THE “RIGHT OF RETURN”: Vision for Israel periodically takes time to review facts on key Middle East subjects, enabling our readers to better understand the background and substance of controversial issues: When Israel was created in 1948, Arab states and Arab Palestinians attacked the Jewish community in Palestine and the Jewish state, vowing to “drive the Jews into the sea.” They lost the war however, and some 725,000 Arab Palestinians at the behest of Arab leaders voluntarily fled from the area that became Israel. Palestinian Arabs claim any peace agreement with Israel must allow the descendants and families of these refugees, now numbering approximately four and a half million, to return to Israel. If Israel were to agree to this Jews would became a minority in their own state. Return of the refugees would put an end to the Jewish homeland. Meanwhile, from the onset of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War until the early 1970s, 800,000–1,000,000 Jews left, fled, or were expelled from their homes in Arab countries. Although much is heard about the plight of the Palestinian refugees from the aftermath of the 1948 Israeli War of Independence and the 1967 Six Day War, little is said about the hundreds of thousands of Jews who were forced to flee from Arab states before and after the creation of Israel. In fact, these refugees were largely forgotten because they were assimilated into their new homes, most in Israel, and neither the UN nor any other international agency took up their cause or demanded restitution for the property and money taken from them. (Compiled by VFI Staff)

POLL: 85% OPPOSE RELEASING PRISONERS FOR PEACE: Another of the Palestinian Authority’s unreasonable demands for resuming peace talks with the Jewish state is that Israel release scores of Arab terrorists from its prisons, many of whom have carried out ruthless attacks against Jewish civilians, collectively killing and injuring hundreds. Violent offenders released in the past in “good will” gestures towards Palestinians have in many cases returned to terrorist activities within months -even weeks. The PA’s insistence that Israel release terrorists from prison as a precondition for peace talks is unacceptable to 85 percent of Israeli Jews, according to a Smith Research poll released this week. Asked whether they would support releasing terrorists as a gesture to bring the Palestinians to the negotiating table, 57% said they would strongly oppose it, 28% said they were against it, 13% said they supported it and just 2% said they were strongly in favor of such a move. The survey also asked how withdrawing from Judea and Samaria would impact the security situation in Israel. It found that 68% of Israelis believe it would harm Israeli security and 21% believe it would improve it. (J.Post)

NETANYAHU: PALESTINIANS SET PRECONDITIONS TO AVOID TALKS: The Palestinians are setting preconditions to avoid talks, PM Netanyahu told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Monday. Netanyahu explained he has told US Secretary of State John Kerry several times that nothing is stopping him from starting peace talks - except for preconditions. "The Palestinians are intentionally insisting on preconditions that we cannot abide in order to prevent the start of negotiations," Netanyahu said. "Every time the government gave the Palestinians what they demanded as preconditions for talks, they made additional demands," the prime minister stated. He added that negotiations for peace are likely to be difficult. Netanyahu reiterated that any Palestinian state must be demilitarized and secured by the IDF. He also said international forces may be present, but that Israel cannot rely on them, pointing to the Austrian soldiers who pulled out of the Golan. "I'm not complaining to anyone; I'm just saying we can't depend on them," he said. (J.Post) Pray US and other global allies will understand the PA’s underhanded strategies to place the blame on Israel for lack of advancement in the peace process. Pray Western pressures on the Jewish state to make life-threatening and unreasonable concessions to proven hostile entities will cease.

SPECIAL DELIVERY TO ARAB SECTOR: 10,000 GAS MASKS: IDF soldiers on Wednesday will distribute more than 10,000 gas-mask kits in a special operation focused on citizens in Arab communities in Israel. A senior Home Front Command officer said this was the first operation of its kind, and was being held in collaboration with local authorities. In it, IDF soldiers will go to Arab communities and distribute the kits directly to the citizens. To date, Arab residents who wanted to obtain gas mask kits needed to go to the post office in a nearby city. An IDF officer also noted that Home Front Command soldiers have visited Arab fifth grade classes and along with local teachers, shown students how to act during an emergency. "These students then go home and explain to their parents what a protected space is, and what to do when a siren goes off," the officer said. (Ynet) Pray for the protection of IDF personnel taking part in this operation, both on Wednesday and in the future. Sad to say, Israeli fire-fighting forces on at least two occasions recently, have been mobbed and stoned by Arab residents as they attempted to extinguish life-threatening blazes in Arab villages within municipal boundaries of Jerusalem.

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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