Israel Update



“The Lord will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem; the earth and the heavens will tremble. But the Lord will be a refuge for his people, a stronghold for the people of Israel.” Joel 3:16  

GOLDSTONE: I WAS WRONG ON ISRAEL’S INTENTIONS:   Israel did not intentionally target civilians as a policy during the Gaza War, Richard Goldstone said, withdrawing a critical allegation in his report. "We know a lot more today about what happened in the Gaza war of 2008-09 than we did when I chaired the fact-finding mission appointed by the UN Human Rights Council that produced what has come to be known as the Goldstone Report," the South African judge wrote in a document published Sunday. "If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document." Goldstone withdrew what was, perhaps, his most damaging conclusion: That there was evidence suggesting Israel had deliberately targeted civilians during its war with Hamas. He added that Hamas intentionally targeted civilians, and noted that unlike Israel, the group did not investigate its own actions. PM Benjamin Netanyahu called on the UN to cancel the report in light of Goldstone's article. "Everything we said has proven to be true," he said in a statement. "Israel did not intentionally harm civilians, its institutions and investigative bodies are worthy, while Hamas intentionally fired upon innocent civilians and did not examine anything. The fact that Goldstone backtracked must lead to the shelving of this report once and for all." (JTA) “Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.” Prov 12:19

BARAK: GOLDSTONE MUST FACE UN:  Defense minister Ehud Barak says South African judge's regret over Gaza war report is very important, but that Israel will make him express regret in international forum as well. Two days after Judge Richard Goldstone expressed his remorse over his accusations against Israel in his Gaza war report, Barak said Sunday that "Goldstone's article is very important, but it's too little and too late. We'll make him face an international United Nations forum and speak out." (Ynet)

ISRAEL AND HAMAS NEAR A SPRING WAR:   After weeks of rising tension, Israel and Hamas have taken a further step towards a full-blown military confrontation: Saturday, April 2, an Israeli air strike killed three senior Hamas Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades gunmen in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli army spokesman said the operation pre-empted a major Palestinian terror-cum-kidnap campaign scheduled for Passover. Hamas warned Israel its "dangerous escalation" would have "consequences." The coming conflict will be influenced by the changing forces rising from current Arab unrest. Military and intelligence sources predict the war confrontation which Saturday brought closer to realization will be unlike any previous Israel-Palestinian showdowns in the sense that it will be less the product of the old Middle East order. Rather, they predict, it will fall more under the influence of the radical elements rising out of the current Arab unrest, especially in Cairo, amid the decline of Western influence. Hamas may also resort to jihad against “the Israeli enemy" as a distraction from the rising disaffection of the Gazan population against its increasingly repressive methods of enforcing ever stricter Islamic decrees. Saturday, after nearly two months of heightened Palestinian terrorist activity and low-key Israeli reprisals, both sides dropped their long pretense of seeking calm. (DEBKA)

ISRAEL TO CITIZENS: EVACUATE SINAI IMMEDIATELY:   Israel warned its citizens in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula to evacuate immediately Saturday, hours after launching an airstrike that killed three Hamas terrorists accused of planning to abduct Israelis over the upcoming Jewish festival of Passover. (CBS) Pray for the exposure of all terrorist and kidnapping plots before they take place and that all army, police and security officials in Israel will be especially on the alert during the Passover season.

WHO CAN I TRUST WITH MY DONATIONS?  Many people ask, "Where can I send my financial contributions and be sure they reach the people who need them most?"  As an employee of Vision for Israel & The Joseph Storehouse, I have witnessed since 2006, food, clothing and household goods go out to the poor, often twice a week. Thousands of dollars of hospital equipment have been freely given to old age and care institutions that simply can't afford new beds or other medical necessities. School packs have been prepared annually for thousands of needy children. Additionally, when there have been catastrophes abroad, Vision for Israel & The Joseph Storehouse are among the first to send necessary supplies to alleviate the distress. Your donations are needed and welcomed at  Make your online donations today. For residents in the UK and outside North America visit our website at   (Hannah)

ISRAEL RELEASES MAP OF 1,000 HEZBOLLAH SITES:    The Israeli military has released a map detailing nearly 1,000 underground bunkers, weapons storage facilities and monitoring sites built by the Hezbollah terrorists in southern Lebanon. The military says the map, released on Thursday, shows Hezbollah has set up some 550 bunkers, 300 monitoring sites and 100 weapons storage facilities. Many are south of the Litani River, the zone where Hezbollah is banned from keeping weapons under the UN-sponsored truce that ended the 2006 Second Lebanon War. Israel has for years said Hezbollah is rearming and has set up "rocket villages" in southern Lebanon. (Ha’aretz) “The word of the Lord came to me again: ‘What do you see?’ ‘I see a boiling pot, tilting away from the north,’ I answered.” Jer 1:13

MAGNITUDE SIX EARTHQUAKE IN CRETE FELT ACROSS ISRAEL:   A magnitude six earthquake in Crete was felt across Israel on Friday, especially along the coast. Although the source of the quake was almost 800 kilometers from Israel, dozens of residents reported they felt the trembling. The quake that ravaged Japan earlier in March has brought the issue of Israel's quake-preparedness to the forefront. Last week, State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss said the Israeli government has done nothing to improve its unpreparedness for an earthquake, despite more than a decade of warning. "The warning issued in this special report is a red flag for the prime minister and the government of Israel," wrote Lindenstrauss in the preface of a report on the matter. State Comptroller's Office employees studied several aspects of the ability of buildings and infrastructure in Israel to withstand an earthquake. The general conclusion of the report is that very little has been done to improve the stability of buildings in the decade that has elapsed since the release of the last report that dealt with this issue. (Ha’aretz) “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet My unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed.” Isa 54:10

NEW US TAX WOULD PENALIZE ELECTRIC CARS FOR NOT USING GAS:   In a case of incredibly twisted logic, a possible new tax would essentially penalize US hybrid and electric vehicle drivers for not using gas. It turns out improved fuel economy, in general, and the great fuel offered by hybrid and electric cars, in particular, is bad for federal and state budgets. At both levels, gasoline taxes pay for highway repairs and new roads. Drivers of hybrids and plug-in cars, like the Chevy Volt, use less gas and thus (in some politicians' minds) are not paying their fair share. The proposed solution: tax everyone by "vehicle miles traveled." (CBS)

YOUTH BECOMES MORE NATIONALIST:   A survey carried out by a German foundation finds Israel's youth has become more nationalist and does not expect peace. Some 1,200 Jewish youths and 400 Arab youths (not from the Palestinian Authority-controlled areas and not between the ages of 18 and 21) were polled. The survey shows that a third of Jewish youth in Israel say Judaism is the most important goal for the State of Israel up from only 18% a year ago. Only 14.3% of Jewish youth said democracy was Israel's most important objective. Over 40% of the Jewish youth identify politically with the nationalist parties, with another 20% expressing solidarity with the "moderate" right-wing. Only 11.5% identify with the left-wing. Among Arab youth, 35% said they "don't know" their political affiliation approximately four times more than in the Jewish sector. Some 41% of the Arab youth said their most important goal was to build a happy family, and 3% said it was to contribute to society. Among Jews, it was 65.5% and 8.5%, respectively. Nearly three-quarters of Jews felt that security concerns must "always" or "nearly always" take precedence over ideals of democracy if they clash. (INN)

ZOO MANAGERS FROM AROUND THE WORLD GO BIBLICAL IN JERUSALEM:   Over one hundred managers of leading zoos from around Europe met in Jerusalem’s Biblical Zoo Friday, the first time the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria has held a conference in Israel. Israel’s zoo director Shai Doron said the zoo was extremely excited to host the conference. Some of the guests included the managers of the London Zoo; managers from the oldest zoo in the world, in Amsterdam; the managers of the Zurich zoo and the managers of the Copenhagen zoo, where a new 40-million-euro section for Asian elephants was recently inaugurated. While relatively small, the Jerusalem zoo is world renowned for conservation efforts and the reintroduction of endangered species to the wild. (Ha’aretz)

Blessings from Israel

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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