Israel Update



"Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever.” Ps 28:9  

CHRISTIAN PILGRIMS FLOCK TO JERUSALEM FOR GOOD FRIDAY:   Christian pilgrims filled the cobblestone alleyways of old Jerusalem on April 22 to mark Good Friday, commemorating Yeshua's crucifixion in the city two millennia ago. Thousands of international visitors and local Christians retraced his last steps down the Via Dolorosa, which is Latin for "Way of Suffering." The route ends at the ancient Church of the Holy Sepulcher, revered as the site of Yeshua’s crucifixion, burial and his resurrection two days later on Easter Sunday. "All my life I've been waiting for this. I've been wishing for one day to come here in Jerusalem to worship. I wanted to step where my Lord stepped," said Roshan Futsom, a pilgrim from Toronto, Canada. (Ha’aretz)

ISRAEL JOINS PRESTIGIOUS INTERNATIONAL PHYSICS ORGANIZATION:  The Cabinet has approved Israel's membership in CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research), the largest scientific organization of its kind in the world. CERN’s area of interest is chiefly physics, and it has created the most sophisticated, advanced and expensive scientific infrastructure in the world in the field of particle acceleration and "Big Science." PM Binyamin Netanyahu’s office announced that Israel's membership in the organization “is a step of the highest scientific, industrial and diplomatic significance.” Israel is joining an exclusive club, which provides unusual visibility, exposure, prestige and international status. (INN)

PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY POLICE KILL ISRAELI NEAR JOSEPH’S TOMB: Palestinian Authority police Sunday morning killed one Israeli and wounded four others after they prayed at Joseph's Tomb. The murder victim was identified as 24-year-old Ben Yosef Livnat, a nephew of Likud Minister Limor Livnat and father of four children. One of the wounded is in serious condition. A group of 15 worshippers from the Breslov Chassidic sect had driven to the site and were returning when they were gunned down by Palestinian Authority police in a jeep. The PA security forces continued to fire at the cars as they fled. Kever Yosef is a Jewish holy site that was supposed to be under Israeli control and open to worshippers as stated in previous agreements. However, the government has surrendered the area to Palestinian Authority control, and local Arabs have desecrated it several times. The Breslov group was known to Palestinian Authority authorities as people who frequently prayed at Kever Yosef without any other intentions, according to Gershon Mesika, chairman of the Shomron (Samaria) Regional Council. He called the shooting attack a “massacre at close range." The attack on the morning before the last day of the Passover holiday comes less than a month after the savage stabbings of Rabbi Udi Fogel, his wife Ruthie and three of their six young children, including a three-month-old baby, in community of Itamar, also located in Samaria. (INN) “The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart.” Ps 34: 18 Pray for the brokenhearted families and friends of terrorist attacks and incident of violence.

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)

ASSAD REGIME THREATENED BY SYRIAN PROTESTS:  After weekend riots in Syria saw more than 100 dead, the highest number of casualties since the beginning of the unrest in the country, President Bashar Assad’s regime seems to be increasingly unstable. The more film clips that leak, documenting the killing of demonstrators, the more questions arise about Assad’s ability to stop the wave of protest against him. The iron fist policy of the Syrian security forces seems to have failed. Protest is growing gradually stronger and is spreading to other cities, in quite a precise imitation of the successful revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, and of the one that slid into civil war in Libya. (Ha’aretz)

IRAN ON EDGE AS ALLY SYRIA FIGHTS FOR SURVIVAL:  When Syria's president visited Iran late last year, he received a heroes' medal and spoke about unbreakable bonds in a ceremony broadcast on national television. Now, a nervous leadership in Iran has imposed a media blackout on Bashar Assad's struggle against a swelling Syrian uprising and Tehran faces the unsettling prospect of losing its most stalwart ally in the region. The Islamic Republic managed to choke off its homegrown "Green Revolution" after the disputed June 2009 presidential election. But now it is being dragged into the uprisings sweeping across the Middle East and stirring unrest in Syria, and unfriendly neighbor Bahrain. On the deadliest day of the Syrian rebellion Friday, when more than 100 people were killed by authorities, President Barack Obama accused Assad of seeking Iranian help to use "the same brutal tactics" unleashed against demonstrators almost two years ago. For Iran, its ties with Syria represent far more than just a rare friend in a region dominated by Arab suspicions of Tehran's aims. Syria is Iran's great enabler: a conduit for aid to powerful anti-Israel proxies Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. (FOX NEWS) “The Lord foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance.” Is 33: 10-12

RED CROSS: NO HUMANITARIAN CRISIS IN GAZA:  Top Red Cross official admits Gaza stores are stocked, there is no starvation, no siege; but world still insists on portraying Gaza as suffering under limited Israeli blockade (Israel Today)

CONGRESS PASSES BILL DEMANDING THE UN RESCIND GOLDSTONE REPORT:The report contains findings of the Goldstone commission's fact-finding mission to probe Israel's three week counter terrorism war against the Hamas rulers of Gaza in the winter of 2008-2009. The Congress voted unanimously for the bill, which passed last week. It calls on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to prevent the UN Human Rights Council from accusing Israel of committing war crimes by making changes to the current structure of the Council. Such a move would prevent the Council from using the Goldstone Report to cause further damage to the Jewish State in the international arena. Recently the author of the report, retired South African Judge Richard Goldstone admitted in an op-ed piece that his conclusions had been seriously mistaken. He wrote that had he known at the time what he knows today, he would not have accused Israel of deliberately targeting Gaza civilians. The report accused Israel of committing possible war crimes and barely mentioned the role of Hamas in targeting Israel's civilians with constant rocket and mortar attacks. (INN)

PALESTINIANS MAKE HIGHER WAGES IN SETTLEMENTS: Palestinians who work in settlements in the West Bank are paid twice as much as those who are employed by other Palestinians, according to figures released Thursday by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. The report reveals the nominal daily median net wage of Palestinians who worked in the West Bank was NIS 76.9 in 2010, while those who were employed in settlements received NIS 150 per day. (J.Post)

CHINA DETAINS AT LEAST 34 UNDERGROUND CHURCH MEMBERS: Chinese police detained at least 34 members of an underground Beijing church Sunday as they gathered to hold an Easter service, a US-based rights group said. The members of the Shouwang church were bundled into a bus and taken to a nearby police station after they arrived at the outdoor meeting site in north-western Beijing, ChinaAid said in a statement. “We are deeply disappointed that the Chinese authorities chose to disrupt peaceful worshippers who were simply celebrating Easter today,” ChinaAid founder and president Pastor Bob Fu said in the statement. “By doing this, the Chinese government again demonstrates its total disregard for Chinese citizens' basic religious freedom and freedom of assembly. We continue to call upon the free world to stand firm in solidarity with the persecuted faithful in China.” Police also prevented at least 500 members of the church's congregation - about half of its total members - from leaving their homes to stop the outdoor service (A&M) Pray for the strength and protection of the Church in China.

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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