Israel Update

August 7, 2013

“Revive me, O Lord, for Your name’s sake! For Your righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble. In Your mercy cut off my enemies, and destroy all those who afflict my soul; for I am Your servant.” Ps 143:11-12

IRAN THOUGHT TO BE TRYING NEW PATH TO BOMB: Iran could begin producing weapons-grade plutonium by next summer using a different nuclear technology. Until now, Western governments had been focused primarily on Iran's vast program to enrich uranium. Now, the West is increasingly concerned Iran also could use the development of a heavy water nuclear reactor to produce plutonium for a bomb. The Tehran regime has made significant advances on the construction of a heavy water reactor in Arak. The Arak facility, due to become operational by the second half of 2014, will be capable of producing two nuclear bombs' worth of plutonium a year by 2016. PM Binyamin Netanyahu publicly warned Iran in July not to move forward with the commissioning of the Arak reactor. "They're pursuing an alternate route of plutonium to build a nuclear bomb," he said on CBS's "Face the Nation" on July 14. "They haven't yet reached it, but they're getting closer to it. And they have to be stopped." (INN/Wall Street Journal)

US AWAITS ‘CREDIBLE STEPS’ ON IRAN AS NETANYAHU CALLS FOR INCREASED PRESSURE: World pressure kept Iran from gaining nuclear weapons in the past, and is preventing it from crossing the nuclear threshold now, PM Netanyahu said Tuesday in response to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's comment that threats against Iran do not work. "Iran's president said pressure won't work. Not true," Netanyahu said during a meeting with 36 Democratic US Congressman in his office. "The only thing that has worked in the last two decades is pressure. And the only thing that will work now is increased pressure," he said. He added that it was important to understand that if the pressure on the Islamic Republic was relaxed "they will go all the way." Netanyahu's comments came just after Rouhani gave his first press conference since taking office on Sunday, saying he was "determined" to resolve a dispute with the West over Teheran's nuclear program and was ready to enter "serious and substantive" negotiations on the issue. But, he said, the other side should realize a solution could be reached "solely through talks, not threats." (J.Post) Israel’s Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz has pointed out that Rouhani wrote a book in 2011 in which he discussed foreign policy doctrines and explained how to be "a wolf in sheep's clothing."

EDELSTEIN: ‘PEACE TALKS’ MAY CAUSE VIOLENCE: Knesset Speaker MK Yuli Edelstein says that attempting to reach a “peace deal” with the Palestinian Authority could wind up causing more violence rather than reducing it. Edelstein advocated a reduction in the scope of the talks. “If the negotiations concentrate on cooperation in areas like the economy, water, environment etc., I think we can gain from the talks. If we are dragged into gestures like releasing terrorist prisoners and perhaps other things, all the Palestinians will be interested in will be to take as much as they can and leave.” Trying to resolve all of the problems, as was attempted in previous rounds of negotiation, will result in a wave of violence, and international activity to boycott Israel, the Knesset speaker predicted. Meanwhile, according to the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) Peace Index poll released Tuesday, seventy-nine percent of Israeli Jews think the new round of negotiations have a low chance of success of yielding a peace agreement, (INN)

ISRAELIS CALLED TO MASS TEMPLE MOUNT PROTEST: Israelis are growing increasingly aggravated with the lack of religious freedom for Jews on Jerusalem's Temple Mount, Judaism's most holy site, because of ongoing fear over a Muslim backlash. For years unofficial restrictions have bared Jews and Christians from praying atop the Temple Mount or carrying a Bible to the holy site. Muslim watchers keep an eye on all Jewish and Christian visitors, and Israeli police are quick to arrest those who violate said restrictions. Israeli Temple Mount activists hope to begin reversing the situation with a mass protest scheduled for Wednesday, August 7. Right-wing Israeli lawmaker Moshe Feiglin said barring Jews from the Temple Mount was no doubt connected to the new US-driven peace negotiations, and warned that PM Netanyahu will be strong-armed into an agreement that surrenders the "very heart of Jerusalem to Islam." Feiglin insisted the only way to prevent the Temple Mount from once again being taken from Israel is to demonstrate en masse and to be ready for confrontation. (Israel Today/Ryan Jones)

SYRIA: REBELS ALLEGE ANOTHER CHEMICAL ATTACK BY REGIME: Opposition activists claim that "Syrian regime forces" launched "a series of chemical attacks" on the Damascus suburbs of Adra and Houma, on Monday. Posting videos from the scene of the attacks, activists claimed more than 400 people had shown "signs of exposure to chemical toxic gasses, ranging from shortness of breath, seizure, convulsion, profuse sweating, copious nasal secretions and frothy sputum." Meanwhile, President Bashar Assad declared Syria's crisis will only be solved by stamping out “terror” in reference to rebels fighting his regime. "No solution can be reached with terror except by striking it with an iron fist," said Assad. The fact that US President Barack Obama has ignored his own red line over the use of chemical weapons has not gone unnoticed in Damascus. (AFP) Pray this brutal development will somehow be restrained.

SYRIAN CHRISTIAN TOWNS EMPTIED BY SECTARIAN VIOLENCE: Tens of thousands of Syriac Christians - members of the oldest Christian community in the world - have fled their ancestral provinces in northeastern Syria. Residents estimate that a third of Christians in northeastern Syria have fled. Christians make up approximately 10% of Syria's population. (Telegraph-UK) Continue to pray for the protection of Christian communities in crisis-besieged Syria, Egypt and across nations under Islamist control.

EGYPT CANCELS ERDOGAN’S VISIT: A planned visit by Turkish PM Recep Erdogan was canceled by Egyptian authorities. The visit, originally scheduled for several months ago, was postponed several times due to the unrest in Egypt, but last week Erdogan was informed by Cairo that he could not visit at all. Sources in Egypt said the reason Erdogan was not welcome was concern over his Islamist positions and his affinity for the Muslim Brotherhood. The visit was much anticipated by the ruling Gaza Strip terrorist group, Hamas, and the organization condemned the cancellation of the visit. (INN)

CANADA: ‘AL QUDS DAY’ SPEAKER CALLS FOR ISRAELIS TO BE KILLED: The former president of "Palestine House," a Canadian NGO accused by the government of showing a "pattern of support for extremism," has called for the forced ethnic-cleansing of all Israelis. Elias Hazineh days ago addressed a crowd of anti-Israel activists in Toronto during the annual Al Quds Day march. "We have to give them an ultimatum," he said of Israelis, "you have to leave Jerusalem; you have to leave Palestine." But Hazineh did not stop there. Dismissing negotiations, he called for the forced ethnic-cleansing of Israeli Jews as a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict: "We say get out or you're dead. We give them two minutes and then we start shooting! And that's the only way they'll understand." Nearly one million Jews were ethnically-cleansed from Arab states following the establishment of Israel, and today make up around half of the entire Israeli population. Elias finished his speech by calling for war against the Jewish State. (INN) Pray leaders such as Elias will be stripped of influence and penalized for stirring up violence against the Jewish people and Israel.

ISRAEL’S TALLEST SKYSCRAPER: The Tel Aviv Local Planning and Building Commission has approved the “Keren HaKirya” plan which includes an 80-story high office tower - to be Israel’s tallest skyscraper.  Two 45-story residence towers will also be built on the site, plus another office tower of 50 floors.  Planners have nicknamed them "the Toblerone Towers" because of their triangular shape. (Globes)

MAYOR BARKAT: JERUSALEM IS ONE OF THE SAFEST CITIES IN THE WORLD: Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat is promising to develop Jerusalem for the benefit of younger citizens as well as olim (new immigrants). Barkat spoke at a huge aliyah event last week in Jerusalem. “We’re becoming a place for tourists, for residents, for investors, and I’m eager to develop the city for the benefit of olim and of young people,” he said. Barkat, who will seek a second term as mayor this coming October, said his plans for the next five years, if he is re-elected, include a dramatic increase in the job market. "Along with that, we’re expanding education and other elements of quality of life." Mayor Barkat added that Jerusalem is one of the safest cities not only in Israel, but in the entire world. "Los Angeles has 10 times more crime per capita," he said. "Walk the streets of Jerusalem and you’ll see that the residents and the visitors feel extremely safe." (Arutz-7)

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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