JERUSALEM-ON-THE-LINE October 24, 2010
“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.” Is 40:8
CATHOLIC CHURCH: CHRIST NULLIFIED GOD’S PROMISES TO THE JEWS: A Catholic synod called at the Vatican to address the rising persecution of Christians in the Middle East ended Saturday with a joint statement that focused on demanding Israel end its “occupation” of Arab lands. The gathering was meant to address the various acts of persecution, intimidation and discrimination that are resulting in a severe dwindling of Christian communities across the region. But the bulk of the two-week meeting was spent discussing how Israel is the root cause of all the Middle East’s woes, including those faced by its Christians. It listed the “occupation” of Arab lands, the building of Israel’s security barrier, military checkpoints, the jailing of terrorists (defined in the statement as “political prisoners”) and the general disruption of Palestinian life as some of the main reasons behind the exodus of Palestinian Christians and Muslim attacks on the Jewish state. Archbishop Cyril Salem Bistros was responsible for delivering the final declaration. He stated that “the Holy Scriptures cannot be used to justify the return of Jews to Israel and the displacement of the Palestinians, to justify the occupation by Israel of Palestinian lands.” He then declared that the original promises made by God to the children of Israel “were nullified by Christ and there is no longer a chosen people.” Bistros rejected the idea of Israel as “the Jewish state,” and insisted that all the so-called “Palestinian refugees” must return to the land, a sure recipe for the demographic destruction of the world’s only Jewish nation-state. Mordechai Levi, Israel’s ambassador to the Vatican, decried Bistros’ comments and the damage they had done to strengthening ties between Israel and the Church. Bistros’ remarks indicate the Vatican remains as dedicated as ever to replacement theology - that teaching that says God has tossed aside the Jews, despite his irrevocable promises to them, and that “the Church” has instead inherited those promises. (Israel Today – Ryan Jones) Islamic terror groups have had a favorite taunt for several decades which says “First the Saturday people, then the Sunday people.” Latest UN figures show a quarter of the refugee population violently forced out of their homes in Iraq since 2003 are Christians. The number of Christians in Iraq has plummeted from 1.4 million in the 1980s to less than 500,000 now. Christian refugees repeatedly tell of being given two or three days to leave their homes or face a violent death by Muslim radicals. Many are too afraid to do anything but flee. Recent studies have also confirmed that Christians are rapidly leaving areas under Palestinian Authority control, including Bethlehem. This is due to increasing acts of violence being carried out against them by terrorist groups and even Muslim neighbors. Undeniably, it won’t be long before what is happening in Bethlehem, Gaza, Iraq, Sudan and other Islamic controlled regions is going to be taking place in Europe and the US. It is an inescapable fact that what happens to the Jewish people is going to happen to the Christians also. How imperative it is for Christians as well as Jews to join the stand against the spread of radical Islam.
ABBAS DISCUSSES PALESTINIAN STATEHOOD WITH SAUDI KING: President Mahmoud Abbas and Saudi King Abdullah last Saturday discussed plans to persuade the US to accept a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, bypassing continued peace talks with Israel. The Palestinian Authority's ambassador in Riyadh, Jamal al-Shobki, said the two leaders met to discuss plans for a Palestinian state after Israel refused to extend a moratorium on Jewish settlement construction in the West Bank that expired late last month. Both sides wanted the US to accept the formation of an independent Palestinian state within the borders of 1967, prior to the Six-Day War where Israel captured the West Bank from Jordan and the Gaza Strip from Egypt. The Palestinians and their Arab supporters have been contemplating turning to the UN for recognition of a Palestinian state without Israel's approval, despite US veto power at the UN Security Council. (Ha’aretz) “The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them; but the Lord laughs at the wicked for he knows their day is coming.” Ps 37: 12- 13
PA THREATENS TO BREAK AGREEMENTS IT ALREADY HAS BROKEN: A senior Palestinian Authority official warned Saturday it may break previous accords for the “peace process” if Israel does not agree to its demands. However, the PA already has broken the agreements that – among others – declare Israel will be a Jewish state and that the PA will halt all incitement and will dismantle the terrorist infrastructure. The Palestinian Authority, has escalated through its schoolbooks claims that the entire country of Israel is “Palestine.” (INN)
SYRIA THREATENS ISRAEL WITH DESTRUCTION: On a visit to Kuwait over the weekend, Syrian Prime Minister Mahmoud Otri said any Israeli attack on Lebanon or Syria would result in Israel’s destruction. (Arutz-7)
FAR-RIGHT PARTIES OPPOSE EU MEMBERSHIP FOR TURKEY: Far-right parties that oppose Turkish membership in the European Union said Saturday they will push for an EU referendum on the subject. Turkey began accession talks in 2005 but has made little progress. Austrian Freedom Party chief Heinz-Christian Strache and members of Belgium's nationalist Flemish Interest Party, the Sweden Democrats and the Danish People's Party, among others, said Turkey has no place in Europe. "We are all simply of the firm opinion that Europe would go dramatically astray if one starts taking in non-European countries as members," Strache said. "It would be the end of the European Union, it would be the beginning of a Euro-Asian-African union that would stand in complete opposition to the European peace project and therefore can't be allowed to happen." (AP)
YOUR DONATIONS ARE GREATLY APPRECIATED: Did you know that according to the October 2010 Central Bureau of Statistics report that 29% of the Israeli population is at risk of poverty compared to an average of 16% in the European Union? CBS data confirms 38% of Israeli children are at risk of poverty compared to 19% in the EU and 33% of elderly Israelis compared to 20% in the EU. At the beginning of this school year alone, Vision for Israel & the Joseph Store House distributed 7,000 school packs for needy children - with more to go. This is only one of our many projects to help the impoverished in Israel. Please continue to enable us to assist terrorist victims and Holocaust survivors, entire households suffering from hardship, the elderly and others in need in Israel. Your donations are urgently needed and welcomed at www.visionforisrael.com. Make your online donation today. For residents in the UK and outside North America visit our newly updated website at www.josephstorehouse.co.uk.
UAE COURT: WIFE-BEATING OKAY, BUT NOT TOO MUCH: A court in the United Arab Emirates has convicted a Muslim man for having gone a little too far in beating his wife and 23-year-old daughter because the punishment “left marks.” The man slapped and kicked his daughter, leaving bruises on her right hand and right knee. He also slapped his wife, injuring her lower lip and teeth. The daughter was too old to be disciplined, the judge ruled, and the wife was beaten too severely. Arab women in Gaza and elsewhere are often terrorized by Arab men. They are beaten or worse for minor infractions such as neglecting to wear a hijab (scarf) to cover their hair in public. (INN) Pray for harshly oppressed women and children in many non-Christian nations around the world.
IRANIAN AUTHORITIES CUT OFF HAND OF THIEF: Iranian authorities have amputated the hand of a convicted thief in front of other prisoners in the central city of Yazd. Iran's judiciary uses a strict interpretation of Islamic law in such cases. Sunday's amputation was the second this month. A week ago a judge ordered the same punishment for a man who stole from a candy shop. (AP)
ANTI-ISRAEL CONFERENCE IN MONTREAL: An anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) Conference is being held at the University of Quebec in Montreal this weekend. Among the participating organizations are Canadian and South African unions. Raising some eyebrows is the co-sponsorship by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers of the event. The goal of the conference is to encourage countries to implement any one, or all, of the following anti-Israel measures: Boycotting Israel, selling stock in Israeli companies and cutting off economic relationships with the Israeli government, and international sanctions. (INN) “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse.” Gen 12: 3
ISRAELI STOCK ANALYST RANKED NUMBER TWO IN US: Israeli Tal Liani has been named by Institutional Investor as the number two stock market analyst in the US for the third straight year. Liani works in the Global Research department of Bank of America – Merrill Lynch. The world ranking has been called the Academy Awards competition of stock market analysts. (INN)
ISRAELI GRANDMASTER TAKES CHESS WORLD RECORD BACK FROM IRAN: Israeli chess grandmaster Alik Gershon broke the Guinness World Record in Tel Aviv Friday for simultaneous games played, a title previously held by an Iranian chess player. The thirty-year-old played 527 concurrent games, winning 87% of them. Morteza Mahjoob of Iran set the former record in August 2009, playing 500 games in 18 hours. (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 http://www.visionforisrael.com/
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.