Israel Update

 

JERUSALEM-ON-THE-LINE January 19, 2011



“Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests." Eph 6:18

ISRAEL TESTED WORM BEFORE SABOTAGE OF IRAN NUCLEAR FACILITIES: Israel tested a computer worm believed to have sabotaged Iran's nuclear centrifuges and slowed its ability to develop an atomic weapon, The New York Times reported days ago. In what was described as a joint Israeli-US effort to undermine Iran's nuclear ambitions, the tests of the destructive Stuxnet worm had occurred over the past two years at the heavily guarded Dimona complex in the Negev desert. Unidentified intelligence and military experts familiar with Dimona said Israel had spun centrifuges virtually identical to those at Iran's Natanz facility, where Iranian scientists are struggling to enrich uranium. "To check out the worm, you have to know the machines," an American expert on nuclear intelligence said." The reason the worm has been effective is that the Israelis tried it out." The Times said the worm was the most sophisticated cyber-weapon ever deployed and appeared to have been the biggest factor in setting back Iran's nuclear march. Its sources said it caused the centrifuges to spin wildly out of control and that a fifth of them had been wiped out. Former president George W. Bush reportedly authorized the program in January 2009, and President Barack Obama, with Israel's encouragement, ordered that it be accelerated. A Washington official said that rather than allow Israel to attack Iran, the US wanted "to put time on the clock." (Ha’aretz/J.Post/NYTimes)

IRAN BLAMES ISRAEL, US FOR LEBANESE GOVERNMENT COLLAPSE: Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Raouf Sheibani said Israel and the US sabotaged Lebanon, leading to its government's breakdown. The Lebanese government collapsed last week after the Hizbullah terrorist organization and its allies pulled out over differences stemming from the UN investigation into the assassination of Hariri’s father, former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. The tribunal is expected to argue that Hizbullah terrorist agents, including some of the more senior figures in the Shi'ite Muslim organization, were involved in the 2005 assassination. (J.Post) The continuing political turmoil in Lebanon is simply another opportunity to make Israel the scapegoat for every problematic situation in the world - from finances to crop failures to lack of peace in the Middle East.

IRAN SAYS IT HAS DISCOVERED NEW $50B. GAS FIELD: Iranian state-run news agency IRNA says that the country has discovered a new gas field worth some $50 billion near the shores of the Persian Gulf. Iranian Oil Minister Masoud Mirkazemi said the "capacity of the gas field is 260 billion cubic meters and 80% of its reserves can be exploited." (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 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.

WARNING ISSUED AGAINST NEW BUDDHIST CENTER IN ISRAEL: The anti-missionary organization Yad L'Achim has issued a warning against a new Buddhist center which is set to open in Israel’s Arava region. According to the report, an agreement was recently signed by the Central Arava Regional Council and a non-profit organization by the name ‘Wisdom and Intelligence’ which allocates hundreds of acres in the Arava for the establishment of a ‘spiritual university’ based on and operating in accordance with the international principles of Buddhism. Yad L’Achim says it has been approached by concerned local residents who asked the organization to take action to prevent the center from opening. The organization subsequently looked into ‘Wisdom and Intelligence’ and found that its members are Buddhists. An important part of Buddhism is devotion to the Buddha, and this includes bowing to images of the Buddha as well as to religious superiors, something which is clearly prohibited in the Ten Commandments. (INN) “You shall have no other gods before me….You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God.” Deut 5: 7, 8

DOZENS OF TUNISIA JEWS CONSIDER LEAVING AS VIOLENCE SPREADS: Dozens of Jews in Tunisia are considering leaving the country, given the widespread violence that has erupted across the North African nation after its president fled last Friday. Meanwhile, the 20 Israeli tourists visiting Tunisia at the time the disturbances broke out returned to Israel on Sunday night. Their vacation to the mountains of the Muslim state turned into a flight from a national uprising. Given the current state of affairs, some members of Tunisia's Jewish community are thinking about traveling to France, while others are considering immigrating to Israel. "We see what they are showing on television. They stop cars and search them, they arrest some people and there are some people left dead by the cars," said Daniel Cohen, a resident of Tunis. (Ha’aretz)

WIDE-SCALE ATTACKS ON MONTREAL JEWISH AREAS; SYNAGOGUES DAMAGED: Antisemitic vandals in Quebec went on a rampage Sunday and targeted four synagogues and a school, causing thousands of dollars in damage. The assault on Jewish properties “was not an isolated affair,” according to Rabbi Reuven Poupko, chairman of the Jewish Community Security Coordinating Committee. The crimes were “an organized and systematic attack on Jewish institutional life,” he said. “These are not just crimes against buildings. They’re crimes against a community.” Vandals threw rocks and broke windows at four synagogues and the Yavne Academy. Montreal police are investigating the rampage, which was carried out despite surveillance cameras that have been installed at several Jewish buildings. (INN)

NY: JEWISH, CHRISTIAN LEADERS AGAINST 41% ABORTION RATE: Rabbi David Zwiebel and other NYC religious leaders call for new efforts to reduce the city’s abortions. “Abortion has become simply another method of birth control,” the rabbi said. The numbers are indeed startling. In 2009, a full 41% of all pregnancies in New York City -- twice the national rate -- were terminated by abortion, for a total of 87,274. Among the city’s black women, the rate was close to 60%. Rabbi Zwiebel asked: “Can anyone in good faith and conscience deny what these statistics so clearly show – that in fact abortion has become just another method of birth control? And can anyone deny, in good faith and conscience that this drags us down as a humane, civilized society?” In Israel, alongside 150,000 Jewish births each year, the official number of annual abortions averages 19,000-20,000 (mostly Jewish), and a New Family poll shows another estimated 28,000 illegal abortions. The Efrat and Be'ad Chaim organizations of Jerusalem, which work to reduce the number of abortions via education and offering financial help to mothers considering abortions for financial reasons, finds no comfort in the fact that these numbers are not as extreme as in New York. (INN) Please continue to pray for those involved in preventing abortions in every country through counsel, education and providing homes for unwed mothers. Religious leaders have called Israel’s high rate of terminations "a veritable epidemic, which every year claims the lives of tens of thousands of Jews."

   

  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.  

 

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