Israel Update


JERUSALEM-ON-THE-LINE January 16, 2011

“Although the peoples roar like the roar of surging waters, when he rebukes them they flee far away, driven before the wind like chaff on the hills, like tumbleweed before a gale.” Is 17:13

FAREWELL TO VEHICULAR TRAFFIC ON JERUSALEM’S JAFFA ROAD: This weekend, the main street in Israel's capital city will bid farewell to vehicular traffic and take on the official status of a pedestrian walkway. Jaffa Road was constructed 150 years ago during the reign of the Ottoman Turks and so named because it then led travelers out of the city to where the road to Jaffa port began and vice versa. It runs from the Old City's Jaffa Gate through the center of Jerusalem to the Central Bus Station and the main intercity highway to Tel Aviv-Jaffa. There is not an inch of space along its length without a commercial establishment, many of which serve the millions of tourists who pass through the capital each year. For the next four months, until the Jerusalem Light Rail project is completed, a person's two legs will be the only means of transportation on the road. The sole train line, which will run from Pisgat Ze'ev, through the city center via Jaffa Road to Mount Herzl, is not expected to make its debut until April. Mayor Nir Barkat is hoping four months of free rides for residents - the light rail will begin charging fares in August - will ease the rage that is swelling among vendors, consumers and anyone else who is used to working and traveling on Jaffa Road. (INN) This is a good time to pray for the smoothest possible transition of Jerusalem’s transportation systems as the situation could become chaotic until the light rail is running and new bus routes become routine.

UN TRIBUNAL TO LINK IRAN’S KHOMEINI TO HARIRI MURDER: A UN tribunal investigating the assassination of Lebanese former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri is expected to accuse Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini of giving the order to murder Hariri. The recent report suggested the investigative body will lay out evidence showing the murder was committed by Iran's Quds force and their allies Hizbullah in Lebanon. The order to murder Hariri was reportedly transmitted to Hizbullah's military leader, Imad Mughniyeh, by Quds force chief Qassem Suleymani. (Newsmax/J.Post)

HIZBULLAH QUITS OVER UN PROBE, LEBANON’S UNITY GOVERNMENT COLLAPSES: The Lebanese unity government fell apart last week after the entire bloc identified with the Hizbullah terrorist organization, 11 ministers, announced their resignation. The move is expected to heighten the political crisis in Lebanon ahead of the soon-to-be released results of an investigation by a United Nations-backed tribunal into the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. The tribunal is widely expected to name members of Hizbullah in upcoming indictments, which many fear could re-ignite hostilities between Lebanon's rival Shi'ite and Sunni Muslims. Hizbullah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah himself has said the tribunal is expected to point to involvement of central Hizbullah figures in the Hariri assassination. (Ha’aretz)

ISRAELI TROOPS GO ON ALERT DURING LEBANON’S POLITICAL TURMOIL: Military officials are concerned that Hizbullah, whose exit from the government caused its collapse, would initiate a disturbance on its border with Israel in order to deflect attention from the political crisis. The opposition Hizbullah party and its allies resigned Wednesday from the cabinet of Prime Minister Saad Hariri, son of assassinated Rafik Hariri, bringing down the government on the same day that Hariri met with President Obama in Washington. Pray for Israel’s protection against terrorist attacks and rocket fire along the northern border. The Hizbullah terrorist group is known to be supplied with thousands of deadly projectiles, many supplied by Iran that can reach Tel Aviv and other major cities in Israel.

BELGIAN ANTISEMITISM LEADS TO MORE ALIYAH: According to figures released by the Jewish Agency this past week, in 2010 there was an increase of 63% in the number of Belgian Jews who made aliyah (immigration) to Israel. The report cites increasingly open antisemitism in recent years and the rise of violent attacks against members of the community, especially its highly-visible hareidi religious members, as causes for the sharp rise in the numbers of individuals making aliyah. There are 40,000 Jews in Belgium today. Antisemitic incidents have been on the rise not just in Belgium, but throughout Europe. Just six months ago, European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor said that European Jewry is in its worst condition since the end of World War II. (INN)

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

EAST JERUSALEM ARABS WOULD PREFER ISRAEL OVER PALESTINIAN STATE: In the case of a final peace agreement that established a Palestinian state, more Arab residents of east Jerusalem would prefer to be Israeli than Palestinian, according to a study released Wednesday by Pechter Middle East Polls. The poll surveyed over 1,000 Arab residents of east Jerusalem, focusing on questions about quality of life and personal identity choices in the case of a two-state peace agreement. According to the poll, if their neighborhood became part of Israel, only a quarter of residents said they would move to “Palestine,” whereas 54% said they would want to stay in Israel. If a neighborhood became part of Palestine, 40% said they would probably try to move to Israel, while 37% would probably stay in Palestine. The reasons many east Jerusalem residents want to stay Israeli are economic: access to better jobs, smaller classes for their children, and better health care, according to the poll. (J.Post)

ISRAEL UPGRADES KENYA’S MEDICAL ABILITIES: Israel provided a major boost to the Kenyan medical system in November when a team of Israeli aid workers built the first full emergency room in Kisumu, the country's third largest city. A team of 10 Israeli engineers built the state-of-the-art facility and equipped it with the best medical equipment, all free of charge. Last week the Israeli Foreign Ministry announced it will use the new facility as a base from which to train local Kenyans in emergency medicine. Israel also intends to repeat the Kenyan project in Uganda and Tanzania. (Ryan Jones/Israel Today) “All peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Gen 12: 3

SEND IN THE CLOWNS TO BOOST IVF SUCCESS: In a study of 219 women undergoing in-vitro fertilization (IVF), Israeli researchers found the odds of success were greater among women who were entertained by a professional "medical clown" right after they had the embryos implanted in the womb. Overall, 36% became pregnant, versus 20% of women who'd had a comedy-free recovery after embryo implantation. (Fox News)


  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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