Israel Update


JERUSALEM-ON-THE-LINE December 29, 2010

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer.” Rom 12.12

ANGRY INDONESIA MUSLIMS SURROUND HOMES OF CHRISTIANS: Tensions remained high Sunday, December 26, near Jakarta where a group of angry Muslims backed by police surrounded homes of Christians in protests against what they called "unauthorized religious services.” Christians said over 100 members of the Batak Christian Protestant Church (HKBP) home church were forced to flee the mob during an incident in the village of Rancaekek Wetan, details of which just emerged. Local police Chief Hendro Pandowo said the situation in the village remained tense. (Worthy Christian News)  “Lord, hear my prayer and listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief.”  Ps 143:1

OBAMA MUST CONVERT TO ISLAM OR ATTACKS ON US WILL COME: A leader of Somalia's Islamist insurgency threatened to attack America during a speech broadcast Monday. "We tell the American President Barack Obama to embrace Islam before we come to his country," said Fuad Mohamed. Al-Shabab has not yet launched an attack outside Africa, but Western intelligence has long been worried because the terrorist group targeted young Somali-Americans for recruitment.  About 20 have traveled to Somalia for training and at least three were used as suicide bombers inside Somalia. Al-Shabab holds most of southern and central Somalia and has the support of hundreds of foreign fighters, mostly radicalized East Africans. It seeks to overthrow the weak UN-backed government, which is protected by 8,000 Ugandan and Burundian African Union peacekeepers. The al-Shabab terrorist group launched coordinated attacks in Uganda in July that killed 76 people. It has also announced its allegiance to Al Qaeda and is believed to be harboring a mastermind of the twin 2008 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 people. (Fox News)

TEL AVIV-BOUND TRAIN CATCHES FIRE, INJURES 121: Some 121 passengers were injured Tuesday after a fire broke out in a train traveling south toward Tel Aviv. Most of the injuries from the incident were from cuts and smoke inhalation; only five passengers sustained more serious injuries. The fire started in the rear engine of the train due to an electrical short, according to Israel Railways. The train doors reportedly did not open automatically as they are supposed to. Passengers broke windows and escaped the train that way. The Transportation Ministry said it would open an investigation into the incident. (JTA)

GLOBAL CRISIS SHRUNK ISRAEL’S MIDDLE CLASS: The global economic crisis of 2009 deepened the social gaps in Israel, according to a report published by the Adva Center this week. The report said some 80,000 households previously defined as middle class are now considered lower class. The percentage of middle class households in Israel declined from 27.1% in 2008 to 26.6% in 2009, while the share of Israel's middle class in the total income declined from 20.7% to 20.5%. (Ynet)  “The only thing they asked us to do was to remember the destitute." Gal 2:210

YOUR DONATIONS ARE URGENTLY NEEDED AND APPRECIATED: POVERTY UPDATE: Did you know 1.77 million of Israel's residents are needy and approximately half of Israel's poor are children – at least 850,300? To make the picture clearer: According to a Dec. 26, 2010 poverty update some 5,500 kids have resorted to stealing food over the past year, 2,500 were forced to beg and 5,000 collected food that was thrown away. Moreover, 110,000 went to school without lunch, 100,000 have cut down on school work to help provide for the family, and 260,000 walked around in torn shoes.  Approximately 480,000 children went without dental treatments. The elderly population living under the poverty line does not fare much better than the needy children. According to the report, 71% are unable to pay for medicine and medical services – a 115% increase from five years ago. Two out of three senior citizens do not leave home as result of financial hardship. General data presented in the report shows 75% of the needy have had to go without meals over the past year – a 21% increase since 2009. The biggest fear of 7% of them is dying of starvation. About 75% of Israeli organizations report that demand for food by poor individuals has risen by 27%, compared to last year. Please continue to enable us to assist children, terrorist victims and Holocaust survivors, entire households suffering from hardship, the elderly, and recent Carmel fire victims. Your donations are needed and welcomed at Make your online donation today. For residents in the UK and outside North America visit our newly updated website at   

ABBAS TO LAY CORNERSTONE FOR PALESTINIAN EMBASSY IN BRAZIL: Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas will lay the cornerstone for an embassy in Brazil this week on Friday. On Saturday he will attend the inauguration ceremony for Brazil's new president, Dilma Rousseff. Brazil’s recognition earlier this month of a Palestinian state was met with criticism by both Israel and the US. The Israeli government expressed its “regret and disappointment” with the decision and pointed out that “recognition of a Palestinian state is a violation of the Interim Agreement signed between Israel and the PA in 1995,” a reference to the Oslo Accords. Democratic US Representative Eliot Engel called the decision “severely misguided” and added that Brazil “wants to establish itself as a voice in the world but is making the wrong choices as it tries to do so.”  (Arutz-7)

ILLEGAL BEDOUIN TOWN FEARS GIFT OF TREES: Groups on the extreme political Left have joined residents of an illegal Bedouin town to condemn a pro-Israel Christian organization over a donation to a forestry project Israel’s arid Negev region. The Christian group, “God TV,” has given one million saplings through the Jewish National Fund (JNF) and has donated money toward water projects as well. Bedouin Israelis living in the illegal village El-Araqib fear the forest is part of a plan to save the land for Arabs outside Israel exercising the so-called "right of return" in the future. One of the outrageous Arab demands for a false peace with the Jewish state is that Arabs who fled Israel in 1948 during the War of Independence, and all of their descendants, be considered refugees and allowed to “return” to Israel. Several million people now claim descent from the roughly 700,000 Arabs who left during the war. (INN)

2010 ALIYAH INCREASES FOR SECOND STRAIGHT YEAR: Immigration to Israel will have increased by 16% by the end of 2010, the second straight year of a rise in new immigrants after years of declines. This year’s success was largely due to the 1,650 newcomers from Ethiopia, compared with only 140 in 2009. A significant increase of “olim" – new immigrants – came from South America. The former Soviet bloc continued to make up the plurality of new olim. Six percent more North Americans moved to Israel in 2010 compared with the previous year. (INN) Pray Israel will be able to absorb and to help become established, many poor immigrants arriving from Ethiopia, South America and the former Soviet bloc.

ON THE LIGHT SIDE:  KEEPING THE RULES – WELL SORT OF: A 34-year-old unmasked assailant recently held up a gas station in Ashkelon at knifepoint. He was captured on a security camera duly kissing the mezuzah on the door before demanding the meager contents of the cash register. He then fled on foot - perhaps because it was Friday night. (JTA)


  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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