Israel Update


JERUSALEM-ON-THE-LINE November 4, 2010

“You heavens above, rain down my righteousness; let the clouds shower it down. Let the earth open wide, let salvation spring up, let righteousness flourish with it; I, the Lord, have created it.” Is 45:8

AL-QAEDA IN IRAQ THREATENS ATTACKS ON CHRISTIANS: Al-Qaeda's front group in Iraq is threatening more attacks on Christians after a bloody siege on a Baghdad church earlier this week. The Islamic State of Iraq said in a statement Tuesday that Christians are "legitimate targets" and that the "killing sword will not be lifted from their necks." At least 58 people were killed as security forces stormed a Catholic church in Baghdad to free dozens of hostages from al-Qaeda terrorists after a tense hours-long standoff. It was not clear whether the hostages died at the hands of the attackers or during the rescue. The number of wounded are put at between 56 and 62 - many of them women. The gunmen had demanded the release of jailed al-Qaeda terrorists. (AP) Iraq's Christian community is close to extinction as thousands have been forced to flee homes, neighborhoods and places of worship in Baghdad. Priests claim half Baghdad's pre-2003 Christian population - hundreds of thousands - have fled or been killed. Such realities are a reflection of what is happening to Christians in Islamist strongholds throughout the Middle East. Pray for the persecuted church in Iraq.

JERUSALEM CHURCH FIRE BLAMED ON JEWISH ORTHODOX EXTREMISTS: The historic Jerusalem Alliance Church on Prophets Street in downtown Jerusalem suffered a serious fire last week. Detractors believe it was set by Jews intent on running Christians out of town. Ten church staff had to be evacuated as the fire began to spread in the basement area of the building just after midnight last Friday. At least three staff members were treated for smoke inhalation at the adjacent Biker Cholim Hospital. Considering there were people sleeping in the building, the question of whether or not the fire was intentional became even more pressing. Rev. Jack Sara, the pastor of the Alliance Church’s said police had confirmed to him the fire was an act of arson. He noted that had Muslims been behind the fire, they most likely would have claimed credit, thereby shifting suspicion to Orthodox Jewish extremists. Orthodox attacks on perceived “missionary” elements in Israel have escalated in recent years though they usually target Messianic Jews. (Israel Today) “They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me.” John 16: 2-3

HIZBULLAH CAN TAKE OVER LEBANON IN A DAY: Hizbullah can take over Lebanon “in a matter of hours,” outgoing IDF military intelligence chief, Major General Amos Yadlin, told the Knesset Foreign Affairs Committee this week. Increasing reports have indicated that Hizbullah, whose terrorist army has partially merged with the Lebanese army, is soon planning a political coup. Yadlin implicated Russia in helping Syria give Hizbullah “all of the most advanced weapon systems in Syria’s possession” and explained that “everything that falls off of the production line in Russia ends up in Syria.” Russia is supplying the Syrian regime with advanced anti-aircraft systems that could reduce Israeli military capability back “to their status” in the 1970s, he warned. Yadlin charged Syria with playing both sides of the political street – talking about peace with Israel while strengthening the axis with Hizbullah and Iran. (INN)

IDF INTELLIGENCE CHIEF SAYS ISRAEL’S NEXT WAR WILL SEE HEAVY CASUALTIES: Outgoing Military Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin warned on Tuesday that Israel's next war would be fought on several fronts - causing far heavier damage and casualties than recent conflicts in Lebanon and Gaza. Israel is currently enjoying a period of relative quiet, he said, but its enemies are rearming and now pose the greatest threat to the country since the 1970s. According to Yadlin, Syria presents a greater military obstacle to Israel than at any time in the past three decade. He also warned of a growing threat from the Iranian nuclear program, saying Iran now had enough highly enriched uranium to build a bomb. (Ha’aretz)

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 Make your online donation today. For residents in the UK and outside North America visit our newly updated website at 

FAYYAD: JERUSALEM NEIGHBORHOODS PART OF PA ‘ETERNAL CAPITAL’: Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Fayyad said Tuesday that Jerusalem’s outlying neighborhoods belong to the PA. Referring to the predominantly Jewish neighborhoods of Ramot, French Hill, Gilo and others where 300,000 Jews live, Fayyad claimed, “Yes, these are suburbs of our occupied capital which will always be the capital of our independent state." Borrowing the Israeli phrase that Jerusalem is Israel’s united and eternal capital, Fayyad said that the suburbs – which are part of the municipality – are part of the PA’s "eternal capital.” No Israeli political leader has ever suggested that Israel surrender the neighborhoods restored to the Jewish State in the Six-Day War in 1967. (INN) “I will place salvation in Zion, for Israel My glory.” Is 46:13

49 JEWISH GRAVES DESECRATED IN NORTHEASTERN FRANCE: Nearly a third of the gravestones in a 200-year-old Jewish cemetery in northeastern France, near the German border, were smashed last Friday night in an act of violent desecration. Of the 126 thick limestone tombstones, 49 were broken and toppled over in the 19th century cemetery. “These are very heavy gravestones which were moved, fell on the ground and broke due to their weight. A single person could not have defaced the cemetery on his own,” state prosecutor Yves Badorc said. “So the police are looking for several suspects.” (Arutz-7)

CIVIL MARRIAGE IN ISRAEL POSSIBLE BY WEEKEND: The Knesset's Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee has approved a fee of NIS 600 ($165) for civil marriage certification in Israel, effectively paving the way for the instatement of these marriages within the coming days. Once official guidelines are published, non-Jewish Israelis, or citizens defined by the State as lacking religious denomination, will be able to marry without the Chief Rabbinate and be recognized by the state. The decision will allow thousands of Israeli citizens to marry in the country, whereas up until now non-Jewish citizens have had to travel abroad to wed. (Ynet)

ELECTION DAY 2010: GOP WINS HOUSE, DEMOCRATS RETAIN SENATE: Republicans, tapping into widespread anger over the ailing economy and disappointment with US President Barak Obama's leadership, wrested control of the House of Representatives from Democrats in Tuesday's midterm elections. "We are witnessing a repudiation of big government and politicians who refuse to listen to the American people," said Republican minority leader John Boehner, of Ohio, who is poised to succeed Nancy Pelosi, of California, as speaker of the House. Boehner intends to make immediate changes, including a Republican plan to "lay the groundwork" for repeal of President Obama's health care law. He said his party wants to replace the Obama "monstrosity" with "common sense reforms" designed to lower health care costs. (USA Today)


  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.  


All active news articles