Israel Update


JERUSALEM-ON-THE-LINE December 8, 2010

“Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and He hears my voice.” Ps 55:17

ISRAEL HOSTS LUNCHEON FOR TEAMS WHO HELPED PUT OUT CARMEL FIRE: A festive luncheon was held in Jerusalem by Israel to thank foreign teams that helped battle the devastating Carmel Mountain forest fire. Officials thanked representatives from over a dozen countries who answered Israel’s plea for help in extinguishing the fire which burned up more than 12,000 acres of natural woodlands in northern Israel and destroyed villages. At least 42 people were killed in the deadliest natural disaster in Israel’s history. The four-day inferno brought foreign crews with their 39 air tankers that were largely credited with finally putting out the flames. They included crews and aircraft from Bulgaria, France, Spain, Switzerland, Azerbaijan, Croatia, Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Holland, Italy, Egypt, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, Russia, Spain, Turkey, the US and the United Kingdom. Israel has often been quick to send disaster relief teams around the globe. The Carmel fire was the first time Israel had sent out a call for aid from the international community. (AHN) The contained fires are answers to prayer. Please continue to pray for those who are facing the aftermath of lost loved ones and homes.

STATE COMPTROLLER REPORT ON FIRE SERVICES VERY SEVERE: The State Comptroller’s Report to be released this week will point to “very serious” failures regarding Israel’s fire services, State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss warned. The statement addressing the Carmel fire is expected to point fingers at governmental mismanagement of the cash- and manpower- strapped fire services. (J.Post)

RESIDENTS RETURN TO HOMES AFFECTED BY CARMEL FIRE: Residents have begun trickling back to Kibbutz Beit Oren, days after dozens of homes there were burned in the massive Carmel wildfire. Beit Oren was one of the sites hardest hit by the blaze, with around 65 houses suffering damage. On Monday, PM Binyamin Netanyahu called for the Treasury to distribute emergency compensation of NIS 2,500 (less than $700) to each person unable to return home in the next month for them to purchase basic necessities such as clothes and school books. An estimated 250 homes were destroyed in the fire. Aside from those at Beit Oren, houses and other structures at the Yemin Orde youth village and the nearby artist village of Ein Hod were destroyed. (J.Post)

THE JOSEPH STOREHOUSE CONTINUES TO PROVIDES FIRE VICTIM ASSISTANCE: Vision for Israel and the Joseph Storehouse is sending financial help, medical assistance and other types of aid to victims of the recently doused inferno in the Carmel region. Once again we turn to our faithful friends and supporters to assist us in this endeavor of mercy to those suffering physically and emotionally as a result of this national disaster. Many face loss of loved ones, homes, property and businesses.  Please help us to ease their pain. 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   

US DROPS ISRAEL SETTLEMENT FREEZE DEMAND: The Obama administration has ceased trying to persuade Israel to stop building in the West Bank, a State Department official says. Palestinians have said they won't return to direct negotiations without a freeze on Jewish settlement construction. The peace talks the US launched in September broke down just a few weeks later over the settlement issue. Since then, the Obama administration has tried to entice Netanyahu to renew a settlement moratorium so that Palestinians will return to talks. Israelis say they were offered diplomatic guarantees and new military hardware, but in the end the US and Israel couldn't finalize a deal. The State Department official said the US will no longer seek a moratorium as a way to revive direct peace talks. (NPR) This development is also an answer to many prayers. Please continue to pray Israel will not be pressured to concede land or to cease building in long established, flourishing communities. Palestinians hope these vast areas will eventually be given over to them in return for a false peace with the Jewish state.

ARGENTINA FOLLOWS BRAZIL- RECOGNIZES PALESTINIAN STATE: Argentina announced Monday it has decided to recognize a "free and independent" Palestinian state, just days after Brazil said it would do so, unleashing sharp criticism from the US and Israel. Argentine President Cristina Kirchner wrote a letter to Palestinian Authority President Abbas saying her country recognizes a Palestine as defined by the 1967 borders. Israel reacted with "sadness and disappointment" to Brazil's recognition, saying it violated a 1995 agreement with the PA that a Palestinian state should only be established through negotiations. (AFP)

WIKILEAKS: SAUDIS PROPOSED PLAN TO DESTROY HIZBULLAH: Saudi Arabia proposed forming a comprehensive Arab force, together with the US and NATO, to destroy Hizbullah in Lebanon, according to a WikiLeaks document revealed Tuesday. During a 2008 meeting between US Ambassador to Iraq David Satterfield and Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal, the latter said a "security response" was needed to confront the "military challenge" posed to Lebanon by the Iranian-backed terrorists. The cable stated that "Saud argued for an 'Arab force' to create and maintain order in and around Beirut." The US official responded with skepticism about the military viability of the plan, and said the UN's agreement on the issue was questionable, but the US would look into the decision.  (J.Post)

TERRORIST VICTIM GIVES BIRTH TO BABY GIRL: A 30-year-old woman who was seriously injured in a Tel Aviv terror attack eight-and-a-half years ago gave birth over the weekend to a healthy baby girl at Rehovot’s Kaplan Medical Center. Julie Halperin suffered shrapnel wounds to her head when a terrorist blew up a coffee shop in Tel Aviv, killing one woman and wounding 32. Dr. Avi Metzkel, head of the hospital’s high-risk pregnancy unit, said he and colleagues closely watched her condition throughout the pregnancy and delivery. Halperin had teetered for four days between survival and death after the explosion. (J.Post) “You turned my mourning into dancing. You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.” Ps 30:11


  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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