Israel Update

June 17, 2013

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Rom 12:12

STEINITZ: ASSAD MAY JUST SURVIVE: Israel's Minister for Intelligence and Strategic Affairs, Yuval Steinitz, had a sharp warning for Syria this week: "Don't try Israel's patience, lest Israel be forced to respond and further jeopardize the rule of Bashar Assad. Israel does not want to intervene in Syria. Do not harass us and do not force us," Steinitz said at a press conference. “Anyone who thinks they can conduct a war of attrition against Israel needs to think again,” he said. Fighting between Syrian rebels and soldiers loyal to Syrian President Assad has “spilled over” into Israel in recent weeks. Numerous stray shells and bullets fired from Syria have hit Israeli targets in the Golan. Syrian President Assad has several times threatened to attack Israel if the latter intervenes in Syria. Assad, Steinitz added, might just survive this war intact. “At this point, the opposition is unable to advance to its goals, and Assad's government still survives, and is even thriving in some ways, with strong support from Iran and Hizbullah. With this help, Assad is likely to win the war and continue to rule.” (INN)

Syrian President Bashar Assad's long term plans include a continued struggle against Israel, Lebanese officials visiting Syria this week told Lebanese paper Al Akhbar. "The commitment of the Syrian community to resist the Israeli enemy can help fortify the internal struggle facing Syria," Assad told the officials. According to the source, Assad has called on all Syrian factions to join with Palestinian forces in resisting Israel along the Golan Heights. "We have to protect our oil from the Americans and employ the proceeds in the development of our country and in the conflict with the Israeli enemy," Assad said.  In May, Assad disclosed he was considering the possibility of "opening a new front on the Golan." Assad's recent comments are particularly troubling at a time when the Syrian civil war has threatened to spill across the Syrian-Israeli border. PM Binyamin Netanyahu has made it clear that Israel is ready to defend itself should it prove necessary. "We are seeing a new Middle East that is raging and volatile," Netanyahu said at a recent Knesset meeting. "This requires us to protect the security of our citizens." (J.Post) Continue to intercede for this unpredictable boiling pot on Israel’s northern borders, to be kept from tilting.

WHITE HOUSE: CHEMICAL ARMS USED IN SYRIA, US TO ARM REBELS: Evidence is clear that chemical weapons were used against rebel forces in Syria, the White House acknowledged Thursday. As a result, US President Barack Obama has decided to directly arm the rebels "to strengthen their effectiveness," the White House said. The new aid will be "military" in nature, but was not detailed. Sources within the administration point to the president's growing interest in a limited no-fly zone based out of Jordan that would protect part of the country for rebel training and refugee assistance. Assad has made dramatic gains against opposition forces in recent weeks with the help of thousands of Hizbullah fighters, and is preparing a significant offensive against the rebel stronghold of Aleppo. Senators Lindsay Graham and John McCain have called for immediate action. “We cannot afford to delay any longer," their joint statement reads. "Assad is on the offensive with every weapon in his arsenal and with the complete support of his foreign allies. We must take more decisive actions now to turn the tide of the conflict in Syria.” Almost 93,000 people have been killed thus far in the Syrian civil war, according to a report presented Thursday by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pllay. “The true number of those killed is potentially much higher,” said Pillay. (J.Post/INN)

NETANYAHU AT AUSCHWITZ: THIS WON’T HAPPEN AGAIN: Israeli PM Netanyahu on Thursday opened a new Holocaust exhibition at the former Auschwitz death camp, vowing Israel would do everything to prevent another genocide of the Jewish people. Sixty-five years on, "the only thing that has truly changed is our ability and our determination to operate in order to defend ourselves and to prevent another Holocaust," he said. Netanyahu's comments came a day after he accused Tehran of planning another Holocaust by developing nuclear weapons with the aim of destroying Israel. "This is a regime that is building nuclear weapons to annihilate Israel's six million Jews," he said following talks with Polish counterpart Donald Tusk in Warsaw. Israel "will not allow this to happen." While saying that Israel should be eliminated, Tehran insists its nuclear facilities are for peaceful purposes. Netanyahu further said the world knew about the Holocaust and did nothing. “The Allied leaders knew about the Holocaust as it was happening. They understood perfectly what was taking place in the death camps. They were asked to act, they could have acted, and they did not,” said Netanyahu. “For us Jews, the lesson is clear. We must not stand idle before the threats of annihilation. We must not bury our heads in the sand, or let others do our work. From here, the place that provides testimony for the will to eradicate us, I, the prime minister of Israel, tell all the nations of the world: The State of Israel will do whatever is necessary to prevent a second Holocaust.” (INN)

PUTIN: IRAN THREATS AGAINST ISRAEL UNACCEPTABLE: Russian President Vladimir Putin said this week that Iran had a right to a peaceful nuclear program but slammed as "unacceptable" its threats against its regional nemesis Israel. "Iran is in a very difficult region," Putin told a televised question-and-answer session. "And when we hear threats from Iran against its neighbors, particularly Israel, when we hear from Iran that Israel must be destroyed - I think this is completely unacceptable." (AFP) Pray Russia will validate its concerns for the Jewish state and stop arming Israel’s foes.

IRANIANS VOTE FOR NEW PRESIDENT: Iranians headed to the polls to vote in presidential elections on Friday with the reformist camp united behind one candidate, Hassan Rohani, and the hardliners split between several. It is unlikely the results will significantly change Tehran’s policies, since it is Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei who wields ultimate authority. Khamenei made sure that no candidate who challenged his views could run in the election. (J.Post)

PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY COMPLAINS OF WORSENING FINANCIAL CRISIS: The Palestinian Authority deputy prime minister for economic affairs said this week that the financial crisis is getting worse. "There is a major financial crisis and the PA is $4.2 billion in internal and external debt," Muhammad Mustafa said during a news conference. The PA official also warned of a growing job crisis, with over 250,000 Palestinians currently unemployed, young people particularly affected. The PA owes $600 million to banks and $1 billion to international financial institutions, Mustafa said. (Ma'an News)

BITTER ROOT PROLONGS PA FINANCIAL CRISIS: The day after US Secretary of State John Kerry set forth a $4 billion plan to boost the Palestinian economy in exchange for concessions on Israeli/Palestinian peace talks, Palestinian Authority economic adviser Mohammad Mustafa said: “The Palestinian leadership will not offer political concessions in exchange for economic benefits.” According to The Times of Israel, Mustafa made it clear the Palestinians’ priorities are political rather than economic. The investment plan laid out on May 26, 2013 would have been overseen by former British PM Tony Blair. According to Kerry, it could have “cut unemployment by almost two-thirds and raised average wages by 40%.” He described the plan as “groundbreaking,” saying it would “transform the fortunes of a future Palestinian state.” Kerry has been trying to restart the Israeli/Palestinian peace talks during recent weeks but has found himself at an impasse; Palestinians, among other mandates, insist Israel cease settlement activity first, while Israelis insist the PA drop its “preconditions” to negotiations. In rejecting the $4 billion plan, the PA once again prefers to stick to its outrageous demands of the Jewish state rather than to build its own failing economy and lay strong foundations for statehood. PA leaders will continue to plead for foreign donations and to blame Israel for its poverty and lack of a state. (Times of Israel) Pray global leaders will not be fooled by, or choose to ignore, the Palestinian agenda to always put Israel at center of blame for its woes. Pray the Jewish state will cease to be pressured by the West to cave into PA mandates in return for a false peace.

BURT: OBEY KERRY OR FACE INTERNATIONAL ISOLATION: British Deputy FM Alistair Burt, on Wednesday, urged Israel to adhere to the peace agenda proposal of Secretary John Kerry, "This is an opportunity Israel and the PA must seize. The consequences of the failure of Kerry's peace initiative will be the international isolation of Israel. The United Kingdom is very concerned about such a possibility." (Arutz-7) This is a prime example of Western pressure on the Jewish state to put its citizens and national security at risk by bending to unreasonable Palestinian demands. The Palestinian Authority is a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” that has no intention of recognizing or making peace with Israel. And why should the blame and consequences for “the failure of Kerry’s peace initiative,” be placed at Israel’s feet? What about the Palestinian Authority’s obdurate unwillingness to make even one tiny concession for the sake of peace - ever?

MESIKA TO IDF: NIP ‘THIRD INTIFADA’ IN THE BUD: The gunfire aimed at an Israeli bus in Samaria Wednesday night was a significant ramping-up of the security deterioration in Judea and Samaria in recent months, said Samaria Council head Gershon Mesika. The incident occurred Wednesday night near an Arab village outside Shechem, as an Israeli bus traveled from Ariel to Elon Moreh. Shots were fired at the bus as it passed the village. No one was injured, but there was damage to the vehicle. In recent weeks, there has been a worrying increase in attacks where rocks and firebombs were thrown at Israeli vehicles, to the extent that many officials in Judea and Samaria believe the situation could be termed an “intifada.” Mesika said that after an open shooting incident, there could be no doubt as to what Israelis in Judea and Samaria are now facing. “We cannot allow a state of affairs where ordinary citizens will face life-threatening situations on their way home from work,” said Mesika. “We demand authorities take appropriate measures to ensure safety in this area.” (INN) Continue to pray for the protection of Israelis living in, traveling through, or carrying out military and civil responsibilities in Judea and Samaria.

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.    


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