Obama Using Hamas Terror as Leverage Against Israel

Obama Using Hamas Terror as Leverage Against Israel

Israelis were once again left dumbfounded by the behavior of the American Administration after US President Barack Obama on Monday appeared to be using Hamas terrorism as leverage to get Israel to resume peace negotiations under Palestinian terms.

Earlier in the day, the White House was found whining to the press as US Secretary of State John Kerry once again became the recipient of a diplomatic tongue-lashing by senior Israeli officials after he proposed a Gaza ceasefire deal that some in Jerusalem described as “offensive.”

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki insisted that Kerry’s truce plan was consistent with an earlier proposal that Egypt had put forward and that Israel had accepted. However, the fact that the Palestinian Authority also rejected Kerry’s deal, which it said had been authored by the “Friends of Hamas,” called into question Psaki’s grasp of the details.

At any rate, Psaki complained that Israel’s manner of rejecting Kerry’s plan is “not how you treat your partners.” Not a few Israelis retorted that the same could be said of Kerry’s plan, not to mention incessant American complaining over Israeli military actions.

By the end of the day, Kerry appeared to have drawn closer to the Israeli position, suddenly declaring his support for the demand that any ceasefire lead to the disarmament of Hamas and the entire Gaza Strip.

There was still a gap between Kerry’s position and that of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who told Israelis in a televised address that an acceptable Gaza truce must include, not lead to, Hamas’ disarmament.

And then Obama stepped in and dropped his bombshell, suggesting that he’d only press the issue of Gaza’s disarmament in the context of a final status peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The latest round of US-brokered peace talks broke down after the PA unilaterally sought UN recognition outside the framework of an agreement.

“The President stressed the US view that, ultimately, any lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must ensure the disarmament of terrorist groups and the demilitarization of Gaza,” the White House press secretary announced.

What is really angering a lot of Israelis is the fact that the demilitarization of Gaza was a primary Palestinian obligation when the so-called “Oslo Accords” were signed 20 years ago, as Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz has pointed out in a number of recent interviews and press briefings.

“Gaza was supposed to be totally demilitarized. That is a Palestinian commitment signed on the White House lawn 20 years ago,” Steinitz told CNN, noting that former President Bill Clinton and those involved at the time all recognized the necessity of disarming Gaza as a fundamental step toward peace.

That Obama is now using, and allowing the Palestinian Authority to use the overly exaggerated militarization of Gaza as leverage against Israel is further proof to many Israelis that the American government cannot be trusted to honor or guarantee any agreement signed by the Jewish state.


Israeli Christians: What About Our Brothers in Iraq?

Israeli Christians: What About Our Brothers in Iraq?

Arabic-speaking Israeli Christians are growing increasingly frustrated by the Western “Christian” world’s exaggerated focus on Gaza, while it all but ignores the forced conversion, execution and exile of Iraq’s ancient Christian community.

A group of some 200 Christians from across northern Israel on Sunday gathered in Haifa in solidarity with the Christians of Iraq, and in support of Israel’s military operation against Hamas in Gaza. Most of these Christians belong to a group advocating local Christian enlistment in the Israeli army.

The Israeli Christian Recruitment Forum has for years been encouraging young local Christians, particularly in the Nazareth area, to integrate with Israeli Jewish society, and to volunteer for IDF service as the first step toward achieving that goal.

Finally, after centuries of living under Muslim intimidation, the Christians of the Holy Land are free to fully identify and worship as Christians, and in so doing have increasingly realized their ancient connection to the Jews and Israel, the leaders of the Forum often argue.

Sadly, the vast majority of Christians in the Middle East still live in fear and as second-class citizens to their Muslim overlords.

Nowhere is that more true than in the parts of Iraq conquered by the Islamic State (formerly ISIS). As a leading Iraqi Christian leader recently noted, the city of Mosul (ancient Nineveh) is empty of Christians for the first time in 2,000 years after the Islamic State demanded they all either convert, pay the infidel tax or face the sword.

“Israeli citizens - Christians and Jews - stand shoulder-to-shoulder and scream to a world that sees fit to ignore the genocide carried out against Christians in the Arab world,” wrote one of the Forum members following Sunday’s demonstration.

“Israel is on the front line against a terrorist threat that could drown the whole world,” the statement continued, insisting that “a strong Israel means peace for Christians, Jews, Arabs and Druze alike.”

Jonathan Elkhoury, the son of an officer in the South Lebanon Army that allied with Israel during its years in Lebanon, directly called out the hypocrisy of the international community in an address he was supposed to make to the demonstrators, but later posted to Facebook.

“Our standing here tonight is a cry to the world that stands by and ignores ethnic cleansing carried out against Christians in the Arab world by terrorists and radical Islamists,” wrote Elkhoury. “Where is the international community…? They are busy condemning Israel for defending its citizens against those terrorist organizations.”

In an earlier open letter, Elkhoury, now a proud Israeli citizen, urged his Jewish countrymen to “keep up the fight, because as long as you are here in Israel, I (as a Christian) continue to exist and live. I see the slaughter of Christians in Arab countries just because they are Christians and my heart is crying, but it makes me appreciate even more that I came to Israel.”

The Forum’s spiritual leader, Father Gabriel Naddaf, publicly thanked the Israeli army for protecting Christians and all the citizens of Israel from the fate currently being suffered by the Christians of Iraq. He has also been calling on the Western world to similarly intervene militarily to end the slaughter and persecution perpetrated by the Islamic State.


Hamas Defector: Gaza Children are Hostages of Terror

Hamas Defector: Gaza Children are Hostages of Terror

In a to-the-point interview with CNN, Mosab Hassan Yousef, son of one of the founders of Hamas, said that the terror organization is not only the reason for the current war, but is holding the people of Gaza, and in particular its children, hostage to a violent Islamic ideology.

Yousef, who years ago converted to Christianity after betraying Hamas and aiding Israeli security, was asked why he decided to abandon an organization for whose leadership he was being groomed.

For Yousef, and any other descent human being, the choice is simple. “Hamas does not care about the lives of Palestinians, it does not care about the lives of Israelis or Americans. They don’t care about their own lives. They consider dying for the sake of their ideology a way of worship. How can you continue in that society?”

But then, it’s not always a simple decision. Yousef recalled that in order to leave Hamas, he had to lose everything. And many never come to see the truth, having been indoctrinated from such a young age.

“In the mosques, Hamas told us that without shedding innocent blood for the sake of their ideology, we wouldn’t be able to build an Islamic state. They were preparing us from as young as five-years-old,” he said. “And today, when I look at the children of Gaza, and I know what they are fed, I know that they have no choice.”

Asked if Israel or anyone can coexist with such a group, Yousef reminded his interviewer that “Hamas is not seeking coexistence… Hamas is seeking conquest.”

Nor will Hamas conquest end with Israel. Like the Islamic State (formerly ISIS) in Iraq, Hamas seeks total domination. “The destruction of the State of Israel is not Hamas’ final destination,” Yousef explained. “Hamas final destination is building the Islamic Caliphate, which means an Islamic state on the rubble of every other civilization. These are their ultimate goals.”

In light of all those revelations, Yousef later told Israel’s Channel 2 News that “what Israel is doing to stop Hamas [in Gaza, it is] doing on behalf of every free person in the world.”

These kinds of public remarks from someone who knows Hamas better than most really calls into question the agenda of the Obama Administration, which appears to be trying to save Hamas from destruction at Israel’s hands. The Americans did the same thing with the Muslim Brotherhood, and gained the ire of nearly all Egyptians as a result.


WATCH: Israel Soldiers Enjoy the Pizzas You Provided

WATCH: Israel Soldiers Enjoy the Pizzas You Provided

Since the start of the current Gaza war, the staff of Israel Today has traveled to the front lines several times to deliver pizzas and soft drinks provided by our readers to the young men and women deployed in defense of our nation.

During the most recent pizza run, an Israel Today staffer noted the unbelievable outpouring of unity with and support for our troops that has characterized this war.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said. “There were piles and piles of socks, underwear and everything else the soldiers could want or need. They put on a pair of socks, go into Gaza to fight, and come back for a clean, dry pair.”

And it’s not just donations sent from afar. Israel’s Channel 2 News showed footage of Israelis setting up mobile kitchens and massive grilling stations to provide weary soldiers with a bit of home cooking and friendly fellowship.

And you, our dear readers, have been part of all this.

Watch the following video from our first visit to the Gaza front a week ago. The narration is in German, but we have provided English subtitles.


When Christians Become Apologists for Terror

When Christians Become Apologists for Terror

The Bethlehem Bible College has issued an official statement regarding the conflict in and around Gaza. The contents of that statement will be unsurprising to those more familiar with the college, but might be a wake-up call to others who believed this institution’s agenda first and foremost was spreading the Gospel and teaching others to do so.

The full statement can be read here. We aren’t going to parse it point-by-point.

Couched amidst conciliatory language, one finds the typical Palestinian Authority excuse for anti-Israel terrorism in relation the attacks that sparked the current Gaza war.

So long as the “Israeli occupation” continues, the argument goes, what more can Israel expect? In other words, Hamas rocket fire on Israel, while “opposed” by these Christians, is also legitimized as the natural outcome of perceived Israeli crimes, and as such, Israel has no inherent right to respond.

More explicitly, the Bethlehem Bible College endorsed the view that the “root problem” in the region is the aforementioned “Israeli occupation.” Amidst the trappings of an institute of higher learning, college officials declined to do even the most rudimentary of historical fact-checks, which would have revealed that Palestinian terrorism against Israeli Jews began long before 1967, as did the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to which they recently pledged allegiance.

The statement also brings up another interesting point, that being that the Palestinians at large have a very strange definition of “occupation” that the Christians at Bethlehem Bible College seem to share.

You see, Israel fully withdrew from Gaza in 2005, leaving the territory independent. Israel only imposed its current blockade on Gaza after Hamas violently seized control of the coastal enclave and began using it to launch rocket assaults on the Jewish state.

But even without (or before) the blockade, the Palestinians were claiming Gaza was still occupied because Israel maintained borders around the territory.

This is where things get a little kooky. The Palestinians demand independence in their own sovereign territories, while at the same time insisting that Israel cannot place guarded borders between itself and those territories.

Someone might want to inform them that’s just the way the world works.

Nations and territories have borders between them, they always have. Even America and Canada have a guarded border. Now, Americans and Canadians can enter one another’s countries with relative ease, but that’s because Americans know Canadians in general are not trying to blow them up, and vice versa. The same certainly cannot be said of the situation in Gaza.

It must also be noted that Gaza has a substantial coastline. Had Hamas used all that money they solicited and extorted to build a seaport - rather than bunkers, tunnels and missiles - then Gaza would be far more open to the world.

Odd that none of these facts seem to matter to some people when analyzing the situation. But, I suppose old habits die hard. After all, it’s easier to just blame the Jews.


Gaza Terrorists Kill 10 Israeli Soldiers, 10 Palestinians

Gaza Terrorists Kill 10 Israeli Soldiers, 10 Palestinians

Hamas and its terrorist allies managed to kill four Israeli soldiers and wound another six in a mortar attack on southern Israel Monday evening, while another soldier was killed during operations inside Gaza.

Around the same time, Israeli authorities closed roads and ordered Israelis living in the vicinity of Gaza to stay in their homes following a warning that Hamas terrorists had infiltrated southern Israel. Less than an hour later, the all-clear was sounded and the IDF reported that it had engaged and eliminated at least one of the infiltrators, but at the cost of five more soldiers' lives.

The Monday evening attacks brought to 53 the number of Israeli soldiers killed thus far in Operation Protective Edge.

A short time earlier, two rockets landed in Gaza City, killing 10 people, including a number of children. One of the rockets hit Shifa Hospital, which is being used by Hamas as a headquarters, and the other struck a nearby refugee camp.

Israeli army officials said that none of their forces had fired toward that area at the time in question, but noted that Islamic Jihad had launched a number of rockets, two of which are believed to have fallen short and hit Gaza City.

In response to the renewed Hamas and Islamic Jihad attacks, the IDF has sent messages and made phone calls to the residents of several Gaza neighborhoods warning them to evacuate ahead of fresh Israeli assaults on terrorist forces located there.


Israel Sick of Pointless Ceasefire Talk

Israel Sick of Pointless Ceasefire Talk

America and the United Nations are now putting immense pressure on Israel to implement a unilateral ceasefire in Gaza in hopes that Hamas would follow suit.

By Monday evening, the Israeli government had rejected all such demands, insisting that it could not trust Hamas, and that the current war could not now be brought to an end without meeting its goals.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement decrying how America and the UN are treating Israel and Hamas as equals, and in fact proposing ceasefire deals that reward Hamas aggression with political gains.

Such a policy, Netanyahu argued, would only encourage Hamas and other terror groups to again attack Israel in the future, all but guaranteeing the next Gaza war.

Furthermore, both the American and UN proposals have largely ignored Israel’s security concerns by failing to address the problem of Hamas’ extensive military infrastructure.

“The [UN] Security Council Presidential Statement relates to the needs of a murderous terrorist organization that is attacking Israeli civilians and does not address Israel’s security needs, including the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip according to the principle laid down in the interim agreements with the Palestinians,” read Netanyahu’s statement.

In a televised address to the nation later in the evening, Netanyahu said the disarmament of Gaza simply had to be part of any long-term true agreement, and insisted that in the meantime, Israel would continue to act against the Hamas threat.

PHOTO: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon and IDF Chief of Staff Gen. Benny Gantz discuss the next steps in the Gaza war.


How Many People Died in Gaza?

How Many People Died in Gaza?

The current lull in the Gaza war has given the mainstream media the opportunity to focus on images of widespread destruction and high death tolls, and to blame it all on Israel.

Unfortunately, in both cases , most reporters rely on information provided them by Hamas, of which any reasonable observer would be skeptical, at best.

While many people certainly have lost their lives in Gaza, without a bit of fact-checking and providing proper context, it can be all too easy to accuse Israel of perpetrating a massacre.

Gaza’s Hamas-run Ministry of Health claims that well over 1,000 people have been killed so far in the current war, and has been releasing a regularly updated list of names.

A thorough analysis of that list by Meir Amit Intelligence and Information Center concluded that a little less than one-third could be confidently classified as combatants, another third were definitely civilians, and the role of the last third could not be reasonably identified.

The problem is that Hamas purposely conceals whether or not the deceased were combatants, and so can make up any figure it wants when publicizing the percentage of civilians killed. Furthermore, a great many of those taking up arms again Israel do so in civilian garb, and so are counted among the civilian deaths.

Separate analyses by several Israeli bloggers noted that at least 75 percent of the names appearing on the Hamas-provided casualty list are males between the ages of 18–60 (men of fighting age), which is odd given that that demographic only makes up 20 percent of the overall Gaza population. The finding would suggest that Israel has been successful in its effort to avoid civilian deaths.

One of those bloggers dug just a little deeper and found that a great many names appearing on the casualty list were duplicates. Hamas has been inflating its casualty figures for the sake of Western media consumption, and reporters eager to stir heated emotions haven’t bothered to do even basic fact-checking.

And that brings us to the issue of demolished civilian buildings. Over the past few days, media outlets have hastened to report on the number of apartment buildings, family homes and public facilities flattened in the Israeli counter-offensive.

Again, this is typically done out of context, giving the impression that the Israeli army is arbitrarily bombarding civilian areas as a means of collective punishment.

The truth looks a little different.

Last week, we published a video provided by the IDF demonstrating why it decided to bomb a Gaza hospital that had been commandeered by Hamas, and showing that it only did so after confirming that no civilians remained in the building.

The following video reveals one of the reason that so many civilian homes have been targeted:


Reports: Saudis Looking for Alliance With Israel

Reports: Saudis Looking for Alliance With Israel

The interests of Israel and major Arab powers like Saudi Arabia and Egypt have never coincided more than they now do, wrote Dr. Yaron Friedman, an Israeli expert on Islam and the Arab world.

Reporting for Israel’s Yediot Ahronot, Friedman noted that despite the images coming out of Gaza, Saudi Arabian news network Al-Arabiya recently ran a feature titled “Peace With Israel is the Solution!”

Friedman further pointed out that the author of the piece was far from being just some random contributor. Rather, he is a member of an influential Saudi family that includes respected religious leaders and government officials.

So, why publish such a provocative piece now, the Israeli expert wondered? Friedman reckons it has a lot to do with the process that began with the Israel-Egypt peace agreement in 1979, which was meant to eventually forge a strong bond between the Jewish state and the more moderate powers in the Sunni Muslim world.

Given the successes of the radical Sunni Islamic State (formerly ISIS), the lingering threat of the Muslim Brotherhood (which birthed Hamas), and the rising Shiite power in Iran, Riyadh is seen as more keen than ever to complete that process so it can formerly align with Israel, and thereby gain the advantage of its military and economic might.

According to Friedman, Saudi Arabia wants to conclude the “minor conflict” between Israel and the Palestinians so that like-minded nations in the region can focus on the “major conflict” with radical Sunni forces and a defiant nuclear Iran.

The only problem is that the Saudis want to solve that “minor conflict” by asking Israel to take severe security risks by surrendering strategic positions to a Palestinian populace that has sadly proved its unwillingness to eradicate the violent anti-Israel elements within.


Palestinian Muslims Sack Temple Mount

Palestinian Muslims Sack Temple Mount

Buried amidst excessive coverage of the Gaza war were very brief reports of a very serious incident last Friday: the sacking of the Israeli police station atop Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.

Following a particularly volatile prayer service, Muslim mobs began rioting and attacked the small Israeli police station that is meant to maintain order at the Temple Mount, usually by acquiescing to Muslim demands to prevent Jewish and Christian prayer at the holy site.

The small police force reportedly fled before the attackers, who then looted, ransacked and burned the police station. To complete their conquest, the mob planted a Palestinian flag atop the police station.

Arab rioting in Jerusalem and its environs has escalated significantly in recent weeks following the murder of a local Palestinian teenager. The fact that that murder was revenge for the earlier execution of three Jewish teens doesn’t seem to matter. Local Muslims are out for blood, and in their wake have left extensive property damage.

PHOTO: A Palestinian rioter poses wearing a looted Israeli police helmet.


Foreign Reporters Reveal Depths of Hamas Depravity

Foreign Reporters Reveal Depths of Hamas Depravity

Terrorists disguised as women, a gunman hiding his weapon under a baby blanket close to his chest as though it were a child, and a Hamas spokesman giving an interview against the backdrop of destruction while sitting comfortably in a hospital commandeered as a war-time headquarters.

These are just a few of the examples of Hamas’ depravity as reported by foreign media correspondents doing their best to report from terrorist-ruled, war-torn Gaza.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry has been collecting these reports and distributing them to all Israeli embassies as talking points in their efforts to prove that Israel is fighting cruel criminal organization that uses both civilians and journalists as human shields.

These are just some of those reports:

  • “…as journalists arrived at the scene in Shejaia Sunday afternoon, several men with guns were scurrying from the scene. Some bore their weapons openly, slung over their shoulder, but two, disguised as women, were seen walking off with weapons partly concealed under their robes. Another had his weapon wrapped in a blanket and held on his chest as if it were a baby.” (Patrick Martin, Globe and Mail, July 20)

  • “Inside Shejaiyya we also saw several #Hamas gunmen. One passed dressed in a woman’s headscarf… tip of a gun poked out from under cloak.” (Janis Mackey Frayer, Canadian journalist via Twitter, July 20)

  • “At the Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, crowds gathered to throw shoes and eggs at the Palestinian Authority’s health minister, who represents the crumbling ‘unity government’ in the West Bank city of Ramallah. The minister was turned away before he reached the hospital, which has become a de facto headquarters for Hamas leaders, who can be seen in the hallways and offices.” (William Booth, The Washington Post, July 15)

  • “During the lull, a group of men at a mosque in northern Gaza said they had returned to clean up the green glass from windows shattered in the previous day’s bombardment. But they could be seen moving small rockets into the mosque.” (William Booth, The Washington Post, July 17)

  • “You have to wonder [with] the shelling how patients at Shifa hospital feel as Hamas uses it as a safe place to see media.” (Nick Casey, Wall Street Journal correspondent via Twitter)

  • “Hamas complains that Israel is massacring civilians, but at the same time is trying to take advantage of civilians and journalists alike by preventing them from leaving and demanding they return and serve and human shields… This strategy of human shields includes foreign journalists … during the battle, Hamas would not allow a group of 20 journalists to leave the area.” (Japan’s Mainichi Shimbun, July 21)

  • “The Israeli side of the border with gaza was briefly open today, but Hamas did not let journalists leave Gaza.” (Sophia Jones, Huffington Post via Twitter, July 20)


Violence, Hatred Characterize Anti-Israel Protests

Violence, Hatred Characterize Anti-Israel Protests

Around the world, people are taking to the streets to protest Israel’s war against Gaza’s Hamas rulers (while ignoring far deadlier conflicts elsewhere). By and large, those protests have been characterized by violence and hatred that often manifests as flat-out anti-Semitism.

The following is a letter we received from a reader in Denmark who recently participated in a small, pro-Israel demonstration, only to be chased away by hostile pro-Palestinian activists.

We were only approximately 250 brave Israel-supporters, who had gathered in front of the Danish parliament yesterday. That’s a significant decline from 10 years ago, when we garnered 2,000 for a similar demonstration.

It was a mix of very few Christians, a few Iranians, and Danish Jews. The Israeli ambassador, who was supposed to address us, had to be escorted away before he could give his speech, since the police couldn’t guarantee his safety.

People were a bit nervous as Arabs drove by and shouted ‘Allahu akbar’ again and again. Some Arabs were watching us and shouting ‘Allahu akbar.’ Myself and a Jewish woman took our huge Israel flags and walked backed and forth to demonstrate in front of the Arabs, shouting ‘Eretz Yisrael.’ At that point, a couple of wild-looking Arabs were tackled by the police and Israeli guards, after they advanced toward us suddenly and quickly.

After an hour or so, we were told to immediately move to the back of the Parliament building by order of the police. The reason was that a gang of Arabs known as ‘Loyal to Famiglia’ had begun hurling stones and explosives at the police. This gang has killed before, and many carry guns in public.

We were outraged by this threat, but also annoyed with the police for not dealing with the threat in a more harsh way. These people come to our countries and behave like this?!

The police later warned us that during the demonstration we had been filmed by Muslims and their left-wing supporters. These bastards keep records of Israel supporters, and have publicized photos along with names. I can’t believe the police allowed them to do that. Many of our number had to be escorted out by police (for their own safety).

I told some of my co-demonstrators that this might be the last time we could publicly gather in support of Israel in Denmark. I really fear it is coming to that, and I predict the Jews of Europe - in particular those in Norway, Sweden, France and the UK - will have to move to Israel soon. It is becoming increasingly dangerous to be a Jew here.

I wish to see Israel as ONE state, not a divided one. I wish to see Gaza and the West Bank in Israeli hands, and I pray for the safety of all IDF soldiers and the people of Israel.

Shalom from ‘Lenny’ in Denmark


Israel Shocked, Infuriated by Kerry Ceasefire Proposal

Israel Shocked, Infuriated by Kerry Ceasefire Proposal

Israeli government ministers who on Friday unanimously rejected US Secretary of State John Kerry’s Gaza ceasefire proposal said a day later that the entire affair had clearly demonstrated either the incompetence or the anti-Israel bias of America’s top diplomat.

“Kerry took the terms put forth by [Hamas leader Khaled] Mashal and then presented them as an American [ceasefire] proposal,” one Israeli government official was quoted as saying by Israel Hayom.

According to some of the details of Kerry’s plan that were leaked to the Israeli press, the Americans wanted an immediate halt to all hostilities in Gaza, followed by negotiations between Israel and Hamas in Cairo. On the table would be vastly increased funding for Gaza’s Hamas regime and an opening of the border between Israel and the volatile coastal enclave.

Kerry’s proposal apparently made no mention of the need to eliminate Hamas’ ability to militarily threaten the Jewish state.

As Ha’aretz correspondent Barak Ravid, one of Israel’s premier left-wing reporters, put it:

“The document recognized Hamas’ position in the Gaza Strip… [and it] placed Israel and Hamas on the same level, as if the first is not a primary US ally and as if the second isn’t a terror group which overtook part of the Palestinian Authority in a military coup and fired thousands of rockets at Israel.”

Ravid, like Israel’s government ministers, was forced to conclude that “if Kerry did anything…it was to thwart the possibility of reaching a cease-fire in Gaza. …the American secretary of state will be responsible for every additional drop of blood that is spilled.”

What really irked Israel was that an acceptable ceasefire had already been tabled by Egypt, and Kerry had initially backed that initiative and signaled that his proposal would be based on it.

What Kerry ultimately put forward after consulting with Hamas allies Qatar and Turkey was a complete departure from the Egyptian proposal and a “prize for terror,” according to Israeli officials.

When the Israeli cabinet met again on Saturday to discuss further action in Gaza, there were reportedly few kind words for Kerry. According to Channel 2, various ministers described the US secretary of state as “negligent,” “lacking the ability to understand” what is happening on the ground, and “incapable of handling the most basic matters.”

As Israel draws ever closer to Arab neighbors who have a shared interest in seeing Hamas and similar groups defeated, the Obama Administration’s handling of the situation is likely to further drive a wedge between Jerusalem and Washington.


A Thank You Letter From Hamas to the Media

A Thank You Letter From Hamas to the Media

Dear Members of the Mainstream Media,

You’ve been awesome! Everyone knows that we start unwinnable wars with Israel because the real victory happens when you predictably side with us each time. And you’ve been so supportive of our strategy that we really want to acknowledge your helpfulness. In particular, we thank you for:

  • Focusing so much more on our suffering than anyone else’s. Nigerians must die in far greater numbers before you take notice, so we’re glad that you value our lives so much more.

  • Minimizing your coverage, if any, of our attacks that led up to Israel’s military response and generally providing so little context that outsiders think that Israelis kill Palestinians just for fun. We’re especially grateful to the French media for this. Their distortions of the conflict are so one-sided that they incite Muslims across France to attack Jews and synagogues, and that is welcomed by our anti-Semitic worldview (although, unfortunately, such attacks remind everyone why Jews need a state).

  • Emphasizing our civilian death toll without explaining that (1) our casualty reports are hasty and inflated, and (2) we maximize that total by using Palestinians to shield our weapons and by urging them to stay in the very areas that the IDF – in its annoying effort to minimize our civilian deaths – warns Gazans to evacuate.

  • Never mentioning the fact that if we could kill millions of Israelis, we would (after all, our charter calls for Israel’s destruction). Just as the 9/11 hijackers made the most of what they had but would have liked to kill far more Americans (for example, with the help of WMD), we too would love to kill far more Israelis. Indeed, we have purposely targeted Israel’s nuclear reactor on several occasions, with that very goal in mind. Fortunately, you never highlight the genocidal intent behind our attacks when mentioning Israel’s “disproportionate” response.

  • Never calling us jihadists even though we persecute Christians (like the ISIS, which just compelled Mosul’s Christians to convert to Islam). The forced conversion, expulsion, or murder of Christians and other religious minorities by Islamists has been happening for millennia, as assiduously documented in Crucified Again, but such historical context is thankfully absent from your reporting on our conflict with Israel.

  • Downplaying how bad we are for Gazans by not reporting on, for example, our attack on the very Israeli power station that provides electricity to 70,000 Gazans. Thankfully, you also ignored how the Israelis – in their stupid display of goodwill – exposed their workers to the perils of our rockets so that they could restore power to Gaza.

  • Minimally reporting on our corruption, unfair wealth, or vast expenditures on tunnels to attack Israel while ordinary Palestinians grew poorer.

  • Overlooking how – to maximize Palestinian deaths – we store our missiles in an UNWRA-run school and how, when UNWRA finds out, they just hand us back our missiles.

  • Disregarding Arabs who have the courage to critique us – like Dr. Tawfik Hamid, an Islamist-turned-reformer who blames Palestinian suffering entirely on us.

  • Ignoring Israelis’ humanitarian folly in providing medical aid to the very terrorists trying to kill them.

  • Failing to acknowledge Israel’s immense restraint. Had we been fighting Syria’s Assad regime, by now Gaza would have been flattened – devastated by barrel bombs, poison gas, and other attacks that are far more indiscriminate than Israel’s intelligence-directed strikes. And of course, if Syria were killing us, you’d hardly care. But luckily, we’re dealing with Israel – that country that everyone loves to hate – so we can count on your helpful coverage here.

  • Omitting how Israel chose to sacrifice dozens of IDF soldiers when destroying our tunnels and weapons in densely populated areas like Shejaiya because doing so with airstrikes (which risks no soldiers) would have killed many thousands of Palestinians. Your friendly omission of such crucial facts reminds us of how wonderfully you covered Jenin in 2002, when (again) – rather than praise Israel’s humane but costly decision to use ground troops rather than airstrikes – you very helpfully and falsely accused Israel of a massacre during another IDF operation to stop Palestinian terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians.

  • Not sharing with your English readers what we openly say in Arabic: that we view any truce as just an opportunity to rearm for our next war against Israel (as our spokesman, Musheer Al Masri, recently declared on TV).

  • Not underscoring that Israel can do nothing to make peace with us (after all, Israelis ended their occupation of Gaza in 2005 and we’ve been rocketing them ever since). It’s a bit nervy of Israel to use its border controls to limit our ability to rearm and rebuild cross-border attack tunnels, but – with your help – maybe the next cease-fire will remove Israel’s blockade so that we can more easily replenish our weapons and restore our tunnels for our next attack. And yes, we’re embarrassed that our fellow Arab Muslims in Egypt also choose to blockade us because of the problems that we’ve caused them.

  • Not reminding readers, when you mention potential truce arrangements, that world powers are no more capable of ensuring a demilitarized Gaza than they were capable of disarming Hezbollah in south Lebanon.

Seriously, you’ve been AMAZING. Please keep it up!


p.s. - Many thanks also to the countless protesters around the world who follow your lead, embolden us, and make us look legit!

Noah Beck is the author of The Last Israelis, an apocalyptic novel about Iranian nukes and other geopolitical issues in the Middle East.


How the Media is Culpable in Gaza Deaths

How the Media is Culpable in Gaza Deaths

An award-winning international journalist has written a must-read piece over at The Times of Israel regarding the mainstream media’s culpability in the high Gaza death toll.

Simcha Jacobovici explains that the media likes nothing more than props that can quickly and dramatically tell a story for them, and the Palestinians (in particular Hamas) have become masters at playing to this desire.

A highlight of the article is this line:

“…the Western media has taught Hamas that it doesn’t matter how downright evil you are. It doesn’t matter if you launch two thousand missiles at civilian targets, including the airport. It doesn’t matter if you use your own children as human shields. You’ll get the coverage you want if CNN, BBC et al. have props to point their cameras at. Our form of news-gathering has taught Hamas to turn their children into those props, and to sacrifice them on the altar of Jihad. By misreporting, our media has encouraged the bad guys to kill their own children, and has dragged Israel into a war it did not want.”

Sounds like the kind of child sacrifice that once dominated this region, and which Israel was commanded to wipe out.

They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons; they poured out innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, and the land was polluted with blood. (Psalm 106:37–38)

…for every abominable thing that the Lord hates they have done for their gods, for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods. (Deuteronomy 12:31)


Israel Today Interviews Gazans, Jewish Terror Victims and Messianic Leaders

Israel Today Interviews Gazans, Jewish Terror Victims and Messianic Leaders

The upcoming issue of Israel Today Magazine is going to feature some important interviews and stories that you won’t want to miss.

  1. Earlier this month, we had the honor and privilege of interviewing at our offices in Jerusalem the mother of slain Israeli teenager Naftali Frenkel. During our meeting, Rachel Frenkel told us about how her faith has brought her through ultimate tragedy, and how the deaths of her son and his two friends, Eyal Yifrah and Gilad Shaar (pictured left), shone a spotlight on and sparked serious debate about prayer in Israel.

  2. We also spoke to a young Palestinian activist in Gaza (name withheld for security reasons) who said he is not alone in hoping for Israel to simply reconquer the coastal enclave and reimpose the “occupation.” Israel, he insisted, was a far better ruler than Hamas.

  3. Next up is a feature story and and interview with a Messianic Jewish pastor who was honored in his hometown in the Galilee for years of outstanding service in the defense of Israel. He was not the only Messianic Jew to recently be singled out for his contribution to the IDF.

  4. The August issue continues our series of interviews with young Messianic leaders who see very real issues that need to be worked out within the local believing community.

  5. We also take a look at the long-term implications of the current Gaza war, what Israel is doing to tackle the new challenge of terror tunnels, and what impact America’s waning focus on the Middle East will have on the Jewish state.

You don’t want to miss these and other important articles that provide real context from a Messianic perspective on what is happening here in Israel.

CLICK HERE to Subscribe Now >>


Hamas 'Soldiers' Surrender to IDF

Hamas 'Soldiers' Surrender to IDF

The Israeli army reported on Thursday that some 150 gunmen from Hamas and allied terror groups had surrendered to IDF forces during raids in southern Gaza a day earlier.

Some 80 of those were disarmed and immediately freed, while the other 70 were deemed “persons of interest” and were transferred to Israel for interrogation.

In the picture to the left, the prisoners, having been stripped to ensure they were not concealing weapons or explosives, are lined up in preparation for the short march back to Israeli territory.

That photo was uploaded to Facebook by Israeli Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, who posted the following message:

“This is how it must end, like in this photo: With the leaders of Hamas eliminated, or dragged from their holes with their hands raised. Just as the Americans did with Bin Laden and the Taliban, or [Egyptian President] el-Sisi with Morsi and the Islamic Movement. There is no other way to defeat the monster of Islamic terror besides destroying the head.”

Communications Minister Gilad Erdan said that Israel at present is not looking for a ceasefire with Hamas, it is looking to defeat and disarm the terror group. “Otherwise, what was the point?” Erdan asked at a cabinet meeting on Thursday.

Erdan lauded a statement issued by European foreign ministers on Tuesday calling for the disarmament of Hamas and Islamic Jihad as one of the outcomes of the current war.

Three leading US senators on Wednesday joined the Europeans in insisting that in the absence of Hamas surrendering its arm, any ceasefire agreement reached now would only be a bandaid covering an open wound.

The senators’ letter to President Barack Obama read:

“The threats posed by Hamas rockets and tunnels whose only purpose is to kill and kidnap Israelis are intolerable, and Israel must be allowed to take any actions necessary to remove those threats. Any effort to broker a cease-fire agreement that does not eliminate those threats cannot be sustained in the long run and will leave Israel vulnerable to future attacks.”


WATCH: Israel Attacks Gaza Hospital Used as Hamas HQ

WATCH: Israel Attacks Gaza Hospital Used as Hamas HQ

Headlines around the world this week blared the news that Israel had attacked a hospital in the Gaza Strip. Devoid of important context, those headlines bolstered accusations that Israel was purposely targeting civilians in the course of its war against Hamas.

But Israeli forces found that the Waffa Hospital in the Gaza City suburb of Shejaiya had become a major base of operations for Hamas.

Last week, Israeli drones captured photos of Hamas terrorists firing missiles at Israel from a lot adjacent to Waffa Hospital.

After Israeli ground troops entered the area, it was discovered that a large stockpile of missiles and other arms were being stored at and in tunnels running under Waffa Hospital, and that Hamas military leaders were using the medical facility as a headquarters.

In the video below, Israeli soldiers identify machine gun fire coming from the windows of the hospital.

After deciding to attack Waffa Hospital, the Israeli army first has one of its Arabic-speaking soldiers call to verify that all patients and medical staff have been evacuated.

As the bombs fall, large secondary explosions appear to confirm that Waffa Hospital was housing Hamas weapons in violation of international law.


British Commander: IDF Most Moral Army World Has Ever Known

British Commander: IDF Most Moral Army World Has Ever Known

Col. Richard Kemp, the former commander of all British forces in Afghanistan, is in Israel this week to lend support to the military campaign in Gaza and to take on take on detractors who claim the Israeli army is perpetrating war crimes there.

“No other army in the world has ever done more than Israel is doing now to save the lives of innocent civilians in a combat zone,” Kemp said in an interview with Channel 2 News, adding that when world leaders demand Israel do more, “perhaps Israel should ask what more it can do.”

Having served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, Kemp is intimately familiar with exactly the kind of enemy Israel is facing, and the environment in which it is fighting.

“Islamic extremists around the world use very similar tactics,” the retired colonel explained, as he recalled Taliban using young children to attack his troops. “British soldiers have fought exactly this kind of enemy in Afghanistan and in Iraq. British soldiers understand what Israel is doing.”

Kemp went on to accuse some in the mainstream international media of culpability in Hamas’ war crimes.

“The media, in some cases, bear responsibility for the killing that’s taking place, because they are themselves projecting Hamas’ desired propaganda,” he said.

Asked if he felt Israel could achieve total victory, if it could force a Hamas surrender, Kemp sounded doubtful.

“Inevitably, Israel’s inexorable military force driving into Gaza will lead to the surrender of Hamas,” he stated, before going on to note that such an outcome depended on far too many external forces.

Could Israel accept the large number of soldiers that would die in such a war? Could Israel withstand international pressure long enough to achieve total victory? These are questions that many in Israel have long asked, and few believe that “yes” is the answer to either.


An Arab Pastor Speaks Out on Gaza

An Arab Pastor Speaks Out on Gaza

The following is an open letter from Shmuel Aweida to all those "peace activists" rising up against Israel. Listen carefully, as the Israeli Arab pastor of a Hebrew-speaking Israeli Messianic congregation, Awieda is a man who knows of what he speaks!

Dear so-called "peace-seeking people", "pro-ceasefire people" and "peace and reconciliation activists",

Forgive me for not taking your nice dreams and peace demonstrations and wishes so seriously... People who didn't care about the suffering people in Gaza under the Hamas regime for years can't really be considered morally superior to any IDF soldier that's on the ground there now. You might seem to be better and kinder, but not really... Sorry...

If you really care, then free Gaza from Hamas and other Islamic jihadist organizations! How can you feel sorry for the innocent children hurt accidentally by Israel when you don't care that the same children grow up to learn to hate intentionally? You claim to feel sorry for the hungry children while ignoring the poison they are fed every single day at Hamas and Fatah schools and on TV.

How can you feel sorry for the women crying now when you didn't care that they've been humiliated, discriminated and even raped and killed regularly for years?

Here's another thing I don't get:

These kind, sympathetic, peace-loving people who automatically want and pray for a ceasefire in Israel's war(s) against the evil, anti-Semitic, anti-human, blood-thirsty terrorist organizations like Hamas (not against the Palestinians) - they make Israel never finish "the job" and then on the top of it all, their governments and NGOs send billions of dollars of "aid" to this corrupt evil system.

And guess what happens time and again - instead of feeding the hungry with food, they feed themselves with weapons. Instead of teaching the children math, they teach them hate and jihad against the Jews. Instead of building houses and hospitals above the ground, they build terror-tunnels under the ground.

The tunnels found in the past days have cost hundreds of millions of US dollars to build! The IDF blew up millions of your money, dear nice people in the naive West!

I'm not saying that Israel is without any fault here, but sometimes I really wonder if the Palestinians' best friends are in reality the ones that maintain their oppression under this Islamic regime?

I simply don't get it! Someone here needs to get a better grasp of reality!

As much as I hate this war and the price that's being paid by our dear soldiers and the innocent civilians on both sides, I hate the fact that it's necessary! May the needed pain of war bear good fruit of peace for all! May the Lord of Hosts and Armies give us His Shalom!

There has been quite a lot of activity in the social media in the past month. I was disappointed and frustrated of some my Facebook friends and the level of naiveté and blindness with regard to the real situation and the roots of the conflicting the Middle East.

Do they really not see what the Hamas is all about or what Islam really is? Are they all so blind to what's happening around us in Syria, Iraq and all over? Don't they see what Hamas is doing to the poor population that lives under this terror daily? I don't know why I keep being surprised...

To my anti-Arab friends:

But what really surprised me was that, with regard to this operation in Gaza, the hatred, revenge and racism that filled the [Facebook] statuses of those who support Israel.

They expressed such joy over going to war and causing destruction (a joy I'm glad our leadership doesn't have). The fact they quoted Bible verses didn't make it any less stinking. So I threw those people out of my Facebook just like I did with others that posted pornography and other disgusting stuff. Trash is trash is trash.

Praying that God may protect our soldiers who are serving us and giving their lives for us - proud of the moral code of the IDF and the legitimacy of this necessary operation. Praying for those making the tough decisions - but with much more humility.

I guess we need to pray that we'll all guard our hearts from hatred, revenge, racism, pride and other destructive things that do not honor us, nor the God of Israel.


IDF Soldiers Thank Israel Today Readers

IDF Soldiers Thank Israel Today Readers

Over the past week, we have taken the generous donations of our readers and distributed pizzas and care packages to Israeli soldiers currently fighting in Gaza or deployed at other flash points around the country.

Many of those soldiers have expressed heartfelt gratitude, not only for the treats they enjoyed during brief respites from war, but also for the fact that there are people around the world that care for them.

“You can’t imagine what this means to us,” one soldier with tears in his eyes told our team that traveled down to the Gaza border on Monday. “This demonstrates that not everyone in the world hates us Jews.”

Most of the soldiers in and around Gaza are young men, only boys, really. “When the rockets start to fall, we have only three seconds to find cover,” said one, as he happily received his pizza. Moments later, the air raid sirens howled, an all too common occurrence, and our team joined the young soldiers in hitting the dirt just as a Hamas rocket exploded in an empty field a few hundred yards away.

The danger past, the soldiers immediately returned to what they were doing, which for most was enjoying the blessing of a warm pizza and a cold cola before returning to the rigors of war.

Israel Today also delivered support packages to soldiers manning defenses in the battered southern city of Beersheva, as well as troops that continue to operate in and near Hebron in the hunt for the killers of three Jewish youth last month.

Many of those soldiers wrote letters thanking Israel Today and our readers for this tangible demonstration of support at a time when many of our troops feel so alone.

One such letter read:

Hello Israel Today,

I’d like to thank you for the generous gifts you gave us, here at our base in the southern Hebron area.

We are reservists, aged 21 to 45, and have been serving for 3 weeks now, having been called up for immediate emergency service.

We left our families, our jobs, businesses and lives, at a drop of a hat.

In many cases, our families are under daily horrifying rocket attacks. We reported for duty, to protect our families, our people, our country.

We are all both thankful for your kind gesture, and proud, knowing that you too are standing firm by Israel and its soldiers.

God bless you.

Senior NCO (Res.)
Company A
Battalion 7018


Israeli MK Blasts Absurdity of American Flight Ban

Israeli MK Blasts Absurdity of American Flight Ban

Late Tuesday, America’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) placed a ban on all flights to Israel after a rocket fired from Gaza landed about a mile from Ben Gurion Airport. The European Union quickly followed suit, and air traffic to the Jewish state took a sudden and devastating dive.

Israeli Member of Knesset Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) pointed out the absurdity of the flight ban in a post to her Facebook profile:

“The American government has halted flights from the US to Israel because a Palestinian rocket from Gaza landed [in a town near the airport]. This is a strange decision coming from someone that is asking us to surrender Judea and Samaria (a mere 3 miles from the airport) to the Palestinians. Mortars on the airport terminal, not a big deal.”

By Thursday morning Israel time, the FAA ban had been lifted just as suddenly as it was imposed. The circumstances surrounding that development were equally interesting, given that the FAA had just hours earlier decided to extend the flight ban for another 24 hours.

On Wednesday, as the ban on flights to Israel began to take its toll, a senior member of the US Senate asked some very pointed questions that ultimately seem to have alleviated the situation.

In an open letter to the White House, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) threatened to suspend all State Department nomination hearings until the following questions were answered:

  1. Was this decision a political decision driven by the White House? For instance, who was this decision made by – a career official, a political appointee, or someone else (at the FAA, State Department or White House?)

  2. If the FAA’s decision was based on airline safety, why was Israel singled out, when flights would be permitted into Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen?

  3. What was the FAA’s ‘safety’ analysis that led to prohibiting flights to Israel, while still permitting flights to Ukraine—where a commercial airline flight was just shot down with a BUK missile?

  4. What specific communications occurred between the FAA and the White House? And the State Department? Why were any such communications necessary, if this was purely about airline safety?

  5. Was this a safety issue, or was it using a federal regulatory agency to punish Israel to try to force them to comply with Secretary Kerry’s demand that Israel stop their military effort to take out Hamas’s rocket capacity?

Cruz never received any direct answers, but, as noted, the FAA ban was lifted suddenly and without explanation.


'You'll Miss Our Children Growing Up...'

'You'll Miss Our Children Growing Up...'

Israel on Tuesday laid to rest the highest ranking IDF officer to fall in combat since 2011.

Lt.-Col. Dolev Keidar (pictured) was killed on Monday along with three other members of his command unit as they responded to a terrorist tunnel infiltration along the Gaza border.

Two teams of Hamas gunmen emerged from the tunnels Monday morning not far from an Israeli kibbutz. Keidar and his officers were among a large force that quickly converged on the scene and ultimately killed all the infiltrators.

But not before Keidar and those with him were ambushed and their jeep hit by an anti-tank missile.

At Keidar’s funeral in the central town of Modiin, his widow Michal said tearfully, “It doesn’t make sense that you will miss our kids starting first grade, bat mitzva and weddings.”

Keidar leaves behind three young children.

The funeral was attending by a number of high-ranking military staff, including four generals and the former deputy chief of the Israeli army, Dan Harel, under whom Keidar had previously served as his personal chief of staff.

Harel said that when he heard his own former deputy had been killed “everything went silent. …I have no answer to this, only…a giant hole in my heart.”

Lt.-Col. Keidar’s sacrifice in battle once again demonstrates the remarkable way in which Israel’s top commanders lead from the front. In most armies, a man who had previously served as deputy to the military’s second in command, and who at the time of his death was head of the Officers’ Training Camp would never have been anywhere near combat.

But, in Israel, it is by no means uncommon for such men to personally lead their troops into battle.

Another example of this was seen over the weekend, when Col. Ghassan Alian, commanding officer of the Golani Infantry Brigade, was wounded while holding the frontline in Gaza together with his soldiers.

Col. Alian was released from the hospital on Tuesday and immediately made his way back into Gaza to be with his soldiers. “We are strong, and we will complete this mission,” said Alian, who as a Druze is the first non-Jewish commander of Golani, one of Israel’s most storied infantry brigades.

While Israel has paid a dear price in Gaza with 29 soldiers killed and hundreds more wounded by Wednesday afternoon, local media reports that, thanks to the leadership of men like Lt.-Col. Keidar and Col. Alian, morale among the troops is sky high.


Israeli Christians Call for Solidarity With Brothers in Iraq, Syria

Israeli Christians Call for Solidarity With Brothers in Iraq, Syria

Israeli Christians groups are growing frustrated over the world’s disproportionate focus on the current Gaza war, while all but ignoring the brutal slaughter and forced conversion of fellow Christians in Iraq and Syria.

“We call on the local councils of all Christian communities to announce five days of mourning and to paint all doors with the (Arabic) letter ”nun“ in solidarity with our people in Mosul, Iraq, where Christians were expelled, slaughtered and churches were burned,” read a Facebook post by the Israeli Christian Lobby.

There are widespread reports that the Islamic State (formerly known as ISIS) has begun painting the letter “nun” on the doors of all Christians homes and businesses ahead of a deadline given to Christians in Iraq to either convert to Islam, or face the sword.

Nowhere has this unchecked persecution been worse than in Mosul, the ancient city of Nineveh, which is home to one of the world’s oldest Christian communities. In the face of the Islamist State’s threats, most chose to flee, but not before many paid for their faith with their lives.

“For the first time in the history of Iraq, Mosul is now empty of Christians,” Patriarch Louis Sako, Iraq’s most senior Christian leader, said earlier this week.

The Israeli Christian Lobby noted that while this was happening in Iraq and Syria, local Arab leaders who claim to represent both Muslims and Christians remained silent, but demonstrated their hypocrisy when they suddenly screamed with outrage over Israel responding to terrorist rocket fire from Gaza.

The Arab leadership, the lobby insisted, “has demonstrated that it does not truly represent the Israeli Christians or even the Druze, but rather the Islamic agenda of the Arab public. We call on all Christians to wake up!”

The Israeli Christian Lobby is organizing a rally to take place in Haifa next Sunday evening in solidarity with Christians under attack in Iraq, Syria and other parts of the Middle East.


Evangelical Donations to Israel - What Christians Should Know

Evangelical Donations to Israel - What Christians Should Know

What should Evangelical Christians know before donating to Israel-based ministries? How is it possible to make sure that these donations will be used for the purposes they were donated for? These important questions and others will be dealt with in the article below.

A breakdown of Evangelical donations to Israel

Evangelical Christians donate hundreds of millions of dollars towards Israeli causes each year. It is our desire at the Jerusalem Institute of Justice to protect these donors at the highest level possible so they can know that their donations are being used for the purposes to which they are designated.

Israelis of all walks of life appreciate Christian donations, a large portion of which is donated towards Jewish entities which advance various forms of humanitarian activity, and/or the general advancement of Zionism, and/or even towards the advancement of settlements in Judea and Samaria. 

A lesser portion of these donations go to Christian and/or Messianic ministries, some of which are involved in humanitarian activity, Zionism, and the building of Jewish Christian relations, others which are involved in Church/Congregation planting, and the advancement of the local Christian and/or Messianic movement in Israel, and a large portion is also donated toward the direct spreading of the gospel in Israel.

Other donations go to charities of the Christian Evangelical Arab community that exists in Israel, in order to build the Christian Arab community, and also in order to spread the gospel in Israel.

Ever since Israel has opened its gates to migrant foreign workers from various third world countries, and also as a result of a large amount of asylum seekers in Israel from various third world countries, many Churches of foreign workers/asylum seekers were established, and many times this was done in the name of a large Evangelical Christian ministry from Africa, Asia, etcetera, and many of these Churches registered local charities. These charities in Israel have received some donations from the mother entities, even though they are probably mainly funded by the local Christian Evangelical community of these migrant workers, and/or asylum seekers. 

The largest among all of the aforementioned charities in Israel are also established as 501c3s in the USA, and in other countries (according to the relevant legislation), but then are registered locally in Israel as well, for local operational purposes.

How to make sure your donation is meeting its purpose

It should be noted that the vast majority of Israeli charities and aid organizations, faith-based or not, are honest and transparent organizations. Israeli law is quite clear regarding management and reporting of funds by aid organizations.

However, some "charitable organizations" operate outside of the law either by incomplete disclosure of activity or by flat-out deception. Moreover, international donors are often unaware of Israeli regulations and therefore are unable to litmus-test aid organizations before making a donation. They are often too far away, moreover, to take legal action or any kind of other legitimate action, if they discover that they have been taken advantage of.

For example, in one case which I have represented, an "Israeli evangelist" solicited funds amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars from several specific donors in order to renovate a "ministry center." Fake photos of this "ministry center" were sent out to these specific donors, as evidence to the presumed need for urgent funding.

This "Israeli evangelist" mentioned to these donors that it is not possible for him to register an official charity, or even to receive these funds through an official bank wire to an actual bank account in Israel, since, according to him, evangelism in Israel is illegal, and he therefore cannot risk that these funds will be traced.

However, evangelism is not illegal in Israel. It is also perfectly legal to register an Israeli charity, even if the sole purpose of this charity is to propagate a certain religion, philosophy, worldview, etcetera.  Jews for Jesus, for example, is a registered official non-profit (Amutah) in Israel, and their registration can be viewed by the public on the website of the Registrar of Amutot.

Had the well-intentioned donors been aware of this, they could have avoided being robbed. 

I hope that the investigation of these cases will expose what really happened, and I am happy that the Israeli police forces, and the prosecution office of the Jewish and democratic state of Israel, are seriously investigating these matters.

The legal framework for the protection of donors

We do not want to discourage Christians from giving towards biblical causes, but believe that any potential donor from within the Evangelical community should take advantage of the legal framework which exists in Israel in order to protect donors.

Our purpose is that Christian donations be used for the purpose to which they were designated and that donors will be protected from scoundrels. Accordingly, I have provided below a review of the Israeli legal framework regarding donations.

There are essentially two types of charities in Israel: Amutot and "Companies for the Benefit of the Public."

Prior to 2007, a Company for the Benefit of the Public was not obligated to register with the Registrar of Public Endowments, and therefore many Companies for the Benefit of the Public operated without real legislative supervision.

Today, however, both Amutot and Companies for the Benefit of the Public are subject to legislative supervision, and those that meet basic requirements are issued a Proper Management Certificate, which serves as a validation that the organization in question is efficiently structured and run.

The requirement for a Proper Management Certificate was established in 1998 as a prerequisite for government funding, and since 2001 every Amuta which provides services to the government must hold a Proper Management Certificate. This can also help to protect donors, and many donors will only donate towards a charity which holds a Proper Management Certificate. 

Amutot that do not hold a Proper Management Certificate are usually in a primitive stage of funding and development, really are not functioning properly, or are simply oblivious in good faith to these very basic requirements. There is no reason for an Israeli Christian/Messianic charity not to possess a Proper Management Certificate.

Please see the article I have written on this subject for a description of the requirements to obtain a Proper Management Certificate.

For the sake of clarification, in this article I am focusing only on donations which are given directly to Israel, not via registered charities in the USA, or any other country in the world.

An encouragement to give

In light of the above article, I strongly encourage any potential Evangelical donor to consider requesting information regarding the ministries you are supporting. I encourage you to see to it that they are within the confines of biblical principles, as well as possessing a Proper Management Certificate, which would confirm legal registration.

I invite you as Evangelicals to continue supporting Israel. Your generosity is a tremendous blessing to the reputation of Evangelicals within Israel. Your generosity is both a provision and a statement of support, both in prayer and in finances.

I hope this article solidifies how to properly investigate where donations are going in order to guarantee that these donations are fulfilling their purposes, which will, in effect, hopefully increase the donations that are generated into Israel.

The information stipulated above is obviously generic, and should in no way replace official legal consultation.

About the author:

Michael Decker has a B.A. in law and is a licensed attorney in Israel. He is a partner in the law offices of Yehuda Raveh & Co., which represents more than 150 charities in Israel on a regular basis. Michael also serves as Senior Legal Advisor to the Jerusalem Institute of Justice.

For further inquiries regarding the issues mentioned in this article, please do not hesitate to contact Michael at: mdecker@yrlegal.co.il.


Israel Surprised by EU Call for Hamas Disarmament

Israel Surprised by EU Call for Hamas Disarmament

Israel was pleasantly surprised on Tuesday when European Union foreign ministers echoed Jerusalem’s demand that Hamas and its terrorist allies be disarmed as an outcome of the current Gaza war.

“The EU calls on Hamas to immediately put an end to these acts and to renounce violence. All terrorist groups in Gaza must disarm,” read the first clause of a joint statement issued following a meeting in Brussels.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry issued its own statement praising “the European Union’s call for the disarmament of the terror organizations in the Gaza Strip of their weapons and the demilitarization of Gaza. These EU statements are completely in line with the perception that guides Israel in the fight against terrorism and they open the door for cooperation in implementing common principles for restoring peace and security.”

Indeed, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier in the week told CNN that the international community must “undertake a program to demilitarize Gaza,” explaining that Israel could not tolerate a war with Hamas every couple years.

A week earlier, Netanyahu explicitly told visiting Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini that the disarmament of Gaza had become a major goal of the current war and for Israel in the long-term. Prior to that, former Israeli Defense Minister Shaul proposed offering $50 billion investment in Gaza in return for Hamas handing over its missile stockpiles.

Tuesday’s EU statement agreed with the Israeli leaders that the status quo in and around Gaza cannot continue, and that more should and could be done to open up that territory and return it to economic stability.

Israel has long maintained that it desires a Gaza Strip that is prosperous and self-sustaining. In fact, Israel withdrew from the coastal enclave in 2005 with that goal in mind, having left behind a wealth of Israeli agricultural businesses for the use of local Palestinian residents.

However, Israel is also adamant that this end goal cannot come at the expense of security for the citizens of the Jewish state. Of course, were the EU’s condition regarding disarmament met, that obstacle would be removed.


Missiles AGAIN Found in UN School in Gaza

Missiles AGAIN Found in UN School in Gaza

Not once, but twice have United Nations inspectors found terrorist missiles stored in a school run by the UN Relief & Works Agency (UNRWA) in the Gaza Strip during the course of the current conflict.

A statement released by UNRWA noted that the facility in which the missiles were found was vacant at the time, but that an adjacent facility also belonging to the agency was housing 1,500 internally displaced civilians, effectively turning them into human shields even after they had heeded Israeli warnings to evacuate their homes.

“UNRWA strongly and unequivocally condemns the group or groups responsible for this flagrant violation of the inviolability of its premises under international law,” the statement read.

But the fact is that this was far from an isolated instance.

Most Hamas attacks on Israel have been launched from civilian areas, and most of the terror group’s arms have been found in civilian homes and facilities.

By way of example, the anti-tank missile that killed Staff Sergeant Avitar Torjamin, 20, in the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis on Tuesday was fired from a mosque; on Wednesday, Israel launched strikes on a Gaza hospital after terrorists repeatedly used it as a rocket launch site; numerous videos posted online show terrorist gunmen being transported in ambulances; and not a few soldiers reported Hamas terrorists running toward them with a rifle in one arm and a child in the other.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told visiting UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that Israel found the use of UNRWA schools to make war on the Jewish state totally unacceptable.

“UNRWA schools were established to educate children in Gaza, but instead they are providing a hiding place for rockets meant to kill children in Israel,” said Lieberman, who also slammed the world body for returning the missiles it found to Hamas.

US House Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) said this developing should not come as a surprise.

“UNRWA has long overstepped its mandate and has been acting as a political entity with an anti-Israel, anti-Semitic agenda… UNRWA has a long history of incitement against Israel in its schools and it certainly has its hands dirty with its ties to Hamas,” she told reporters.

The evidence notwithstanding, the Obama Administration defended its decision to provide UNRWA with an extra $15 million of US taxpayers’ money in the wake of the current Gaza war.

“UNRWA is a humanitarian organization operating in a very difficult environment. It is a relief organization, it is not a peacekeeping organization that can deal with rockets,” State Department Deputy Spokeswoman Marie Harf said as she sidestepped UNRWA’s culpability.


Israel Today Visits IDF Officer Wounded in Gaza

Israel Today Visits IDF Officer Wounded in Gaza

Lieutenant I. a unit commander in Israel’s Paratrooper Brigade was wounded together with four of his soldiers yesterday (Monday) in the southern Gaza Strip.

During Monday’s fierce battles across Gaza, two Israeli soldiers were reported killed and at least 75 were wounded. Another seven soldiers were killed while repelling squads of Hamas gunmen that tunneled into southern Israel.

Lt. I.’s unit was ambushed and he was the first to take a bullet “as all hell broke loose around us. We were attacked by about 12–15 terrorists and the battle was tough, but we managed to eliminate 12 terrorists by the time it was over,” he said, adding that “it felt like forever to be extricated from the scene due to the circumstances. First by tank then armored personnel carrier and eventually airlifted by helicopter to hospital.”

While Lt. I. was still lying in triage in the ER, Beilinson Hospital Director Dr. Eyran Halpern updated the young commander on the condition of one of his soldiers who had been seriously wounded.

According to Dr. Halpern, “Your soldier arrived in poor condition and he was almost clinically dead on arrival. He was suffering from one gunshot wound to the right upper chest and two to his abdomen. We managed to stem the bleeding and stabilize his condition. He is still serious, but stable at the moment.”

Lt. I. talked about how tense the atmosphere was in Gaza and how difficult it was to engage terrorists in such close urban quarters. “At times it was almost hand-to-hand combat,” he said.

He also noted that “during our time in the Gaza Strip we uncovered many tunnel shafts and an unbelievable amount of weapons.”

Typical of any Israeli infantry officer, Lt. I. was concerned about the condition of his fellow soldiers with him in the hospital, as well as those still out on the battlefield “while I lie here on a bed and in air-conditioning.”


Torah's Protective Edge

Torah's Protective Edge

The rabbis teach that nothing ever happens in the course of a week that cannot be found in the weekly Torah portion read in Jewish homes and synagogues around the world. This week's portion taken from Numbers chapters 30-32 talks about Israel's war against Midian, revealing important insights about the dramatic events unfolding this week in our dearly beloved Land of Israel.

Moses is angry with the Children of Israel because in the war with Midian they fail to kill the evil women of that nation. In addition, instructions are given on how Israel is to deal with the spoils of the war.

One of the primary and most loved attributes of the God of Israel is that He is long-suffering and patient. He is slow to anger. The God of the Bible does not punish evil-doers in haste. He gives them time to repent, change their ways and do the right thing.

But the phrase "slow to anger" means that at some point, after evil has been suffered long, anger will be justified. There is a boiling point when justice must be meted out and punishment delivered. At that point, our Torah portion teaches, the war must be a total one. All of those who tried to destroy us – the militants as well as their evil supporters – all of them are legitimate targets.

That is the sacred national vow taken by all soldiers in the Israeli Defense Forces today - to defend our citizens from harm.

From start to finish, the State of Israel has been more than patient and forbearing while under attack – perhaps even too tolerant. We have allowed countless acts of murder, terror and relentless bombings against our citizens, and we have given our mortal enemies every opportunity to change their ways and act in a manner that shows even a minimal regard for human life and dignity.

But as we can all now see, with time they have only escalated their deadly hostilities.

At last, only when there was no viable alternative, we acted as any nation should - with force against a cruel and barbaric enemy. And like the actions that were necessary against Midian, Israel's response today must be extensive, broad and complete. Moses rebuked his officers for waging a lukewarm war.

This week's Torah portion also reveals that the Jewish soldiers brought back the spoils of war to Moses and Elazar the Priest. Why did they do this? Because they were honorable and upright, taking nothing for themselves that did not rightfully belong to them. This high moral standard, this "purity-of-arms" still guides the armies of Israel today.

Let there be no doubt. The IDF and her brave soldiers are one of the most moral fighting forces in the world today – perhaps in all of history.

May the All-Compassionate, Almighty and Merciful One look upon these remarkable virtues and grant the armies of Israel success to bring our nation safety and lasting security in our land.


Some of What Hamas is Smoking

Some of What Hamas is Smoking

With all the wild and exaggerated claims coming from Hamas and its apologists around the globe as the Gaza war extends into its third week, an informed observer wouldn’t be remiss in wondering, “What are they smoking?”

As it turns out, Hamas and/or its terrorist allies are indeed smoking something!

Overnight, Israel intercepted Palestinian smugglers attempting to cross the Dead Sea with a supply of small arms and marijuana. Just the combination one needs if planning to wage a forlorn war against a superior enemy and then bullshit the world regarding the particulars.

[Author’s note: Pardon my French, but there was no better word to explain what Hamas is doing.]

It would seem that some of the Palestinians’ giggle weed has also made it to the White House.

On Monday, the Obama Administration demanded that Israel “live up to its own moral standards” and do more to minimize civilian casualties in Gaza.

Never mind that Israel has used leaflets, telephone calls and warnings shots to notify Palestinians, even those it’s targeting, of impending strikes.

Never mind that the bulk of the Palestinian dead are males of fighting age and that relatively few women and children have died, despite being deliberately placed in harm’s way.

Never mind that more than 3,500 Israeli aerial and ground attacks have resulted in, comparatively speaking, just 500 deaths, even if you pretend they are all “innocent civilians.”

Clearly, Israel isn’t doing enough!

Oh, and never mind that America produced far higher ratios of deaths-to-military strikes when operating in Iraq and Afghanistan, or that it’s drone strikes continue to result in civilian casualties. These kinds of things only really matter when Israel is involved.

If these, our reasonable and informed leaders, aren’t smoking something before making such remarks, then truly the world has gone mad.


Gaza Casualty Data Doesn't Support Massacre Claims

Gaza Casualty Data Doesn't Support Massacre Claims

Hamas, the Palestinian Authority and Palestinian apologists around the world have been screaming “massacre” over the ongoing Israel-Hamas war in and around Gaza.

Armed with only vague numbers, the Jewish state’s detractors insist that the disproportionate number of deaths in Gaza compared to Israeli fatalities is evidence that “the Zionists” are indiscriminately killing Palestinian civilians.

The noise has reached Western halls of power, and leaders are demanding an immediate ceasefire seemingly based on casualty figures alone, while all but ignoring the reasons for and objectives of the war.

But Al Jazeera, the global Arab news network that has thrown in its lot with Hamas, has been publishing a running tally of those killed in the Gaza Strip that would suggest misinformation is behind the charges against Israel.

The data includes names and ages for most of the deceased, and an analysis of this information by enterprising Israeli blog Israellycool reveals something quite interesting: the vast majority of Gaza’s fatalities over the past two weeks have been males of fighting age.

According to the list published by Al Jazeera, 81.9 percent of the Gazans killed in the war have been males, which already blows out of the water assertions of an overwhelming number of dead women and children.

The number of children killed stands at around 18 percent of the total, which Israellycool noted is quite interesting, given that census figures put the number of Gazans under the age of 14 at 50 percent of the population.

Among the male casualties, more than 70 percent were between the ages of 18–48. While it is impossible to know how many of those were actual gun-toting terrorists, the high number of men killed within this age range would suggest many of them were targeted by Israel, and for a reason.

All speculation aside, this data demonstrates the genuine nature of Israel’s claims to be going out of its way to avoid casualties among innocent civilians in Gaza. The numbers are simply too skewed toward men of fighting age to reasonably conclude that Israel is indiscriminately bombing Gaza, let alone purposely targeting women and children.

Unfortunately, this will all be lost on those who have pre-determined that Israel is in the wrong. Hamas knows this audience well, and knows just how to play to it. The Hamas Interior Ministry last week instructed its people that when taking to Facebook and other social media, they should use only the words “innocent civilians” to describe anyone killed in Gaza.

Predisposed to hostility toward Israel, apologists around the globe have been eating up that message, with nary a concern for the facts.

PHOTO: Demonstrators participate in a “die in” in Brussels to protest Israel’s military action in Gaza.


Why Israel Attacked a Densely-Populated Gaza Neighborhood

Why Israel Attacked a Densely-Populated Gaza Neighborhood

More than two weeks into the current Gaza war, Israel on Sunday suffered its first bout of serious international condemnation after a day of bloody fighting that left dead 13 Israeli soldiers and at least 70 Palestinians.

If Palestinian estimates are to be believed, the bulk of their dead were civilians, residents of the battered Gaza City suburb of Shejaiya.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon labeled the Israeli operation “an atrocious action,” and US Secretary of State John Kerry sarcastically quipped, “It’s a hell of a pinpoint operation.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, meanwhile, explained that the assault on Shejaiya was absolutely necessary, given that the neighborhood had been used to launch some 150 missile attacks on the Jewish state over the past week, and that it continued to house a sizable arsenal of projectiles.

Situated less than a mile from Gaza’s border with southern Israel, Shejaiya was described by Israeli troops operating there as a vast Hamas stronghold, with a huge network of terror tunnels used to store missiles and infiltrate southern Israel.

Netanyahu said this was a strategic threat that simply had to be dealt with. Addressing a press conference in which he confirmed the deaths of 13 Israeli soldiers during the fighting in Shejaiya, the prime minister stated:

“Last night ’s action revealed more tunnels, in addition to others that we already uncovered, some of which reached Israel. We found handcuffs, sedating drugs. There is no question this is a strategic component for Hamas. …If these tunnels were not found, then the results would have been a lot worse.”

As for the high number of Palestinian deaths, Netanyahu stressed that Israel had very clearly warned the residents of Shejaiya to evacuate days before the assault.

“We urged the civilian population to evacuate for days, through leaflets, broadcasts, telephone calls. We urged them to evacuate, because we didn’t want to see innocent civilians caught in the crossfire between Israel and Hamas,” the Israeli leader insisted. “But it is Hamas that ordered the civilians to stay put. It is Hamas that wanted those civilians to stay, so it would have a human shield for its terrorist machine.”

As former US President Bill Clinton explained last week, the high civilian death toll was likely part of Hamas’ barbaric plan.

Hamas has “a strategy designed to force Israel to kill their own civilians so that the rest of the world will condemn them (Israel),” Clinton told India’s NDTV.

Some argue that if Clinton’s assertion is indeed true, then Israel should refrain from obliging the terror group.

But the situation is like that of a petulant child, incessantly kicking, biting and otherwise assaulting an older and stronger sibling until the inevitable retaliation comes, and then crying foul. Being a father of five, I am well acquainted with this scenario.

At some point, barring parental interference, the older sibling has to take some kind of action to halt the assaults and, if possible, deter future aggression. If not, the younger, belligerent sibling will simply continue escalating his or her attacks until a response of some sort materializes.

The very same is the case with Hamas. It has been steadily escalating its attacks against Israel, drawing out that inevitable response. And the international community, like a bad parent, all but ignored the long initial provocation, and only interfered in any meaningful capacity after Israel had become fed up and taken action.

If the world truly cared about the 70 or more Palestinians killed on Sunday, it would have nipped this problem in the bud months or even years ago by preventing Hamas’ military build-up, because for any reasonable observer, the ultimate outcome was obvious.

The same is true of our parent in the above scenario. If I, as a father, really care about preventing violence between my children, then I stop the unruly younger sibling in his or her tracks before the older child has need of responding.

Likewise, if politicians and pundits are genuine in their position that Israel has a right to defend itself, then why in their criticism of actions like yesterday’s do they not offer viable alternatives? If Israel shouldn’t have assaulted Shejaiya in such force in order to destroy the vast number of terror tunnels and rockets found there, then what should it have done?

Israel needed to do something, because its parent, the international community, clearly wasn’t going to. No one is happy about the deaths in Shejaiya. But no one is providing alternative solutions to a situation that couldn’t be permitted to continue.


France: Anti-Semitism Fuels Violent Criticism of Israel

France: Anti-Semitism Fuels Violent Criticism of Israel

Senior French government officials this week were pulling no punches as they stated with perfect clarity that the violent anti-Israel demonstrations on the streets of Paris and elsewhere around the world are fueled by a racist hatred of all Jews.

Last weekend in Germany, demonstrators in Berlin hurled stones and rioters in Frankfurt vandalized a local synagogue as they protested Israel’s military operations in Gaza; in Los Angeles and Boston, pro-Palestinian protestors assaulted rival pro-Israel demonstrators; and while direct violence was more subdued in London rallies, anti-Semitism slogans were used as an estimated tens of thousands took to the streets in support of Hamas-ruled Gaza.

But nowhere was the situation worse than in Paris, which some noted had come to look a bit like Gaza as Muslim and other pro-Palestinian rioters rampaged through the streets.

After anti-Israel protestors wounded 15 French police officers, Prime Minister Manuel Valls forcefully addressed the issue:

“Traditional anti-Semitism, this old disease of Europe is joined by a new anti-Semitism that cannot be denied or concealed, that we must face. It happens on the social networks and in workers’ neighborhoods, among ignorant young men who hide their hatred of Jews behind a façade of anti-Zionism or hatred of the State of Israel.”

Those riots quickly turned into an anti-Semitic affair, as businesses in the largely Jewish neighborhood of Sarcelles were attacked and burned.

Standing outside a Sarcelles synagogue that was violently besieged by demonstrators, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve decried the anti-Semitism sweeping his and other nations.

“When you head for the synagogue, when you burn a corner shop because it is Jewish-owned, you are committing an anti-Semitic act,” Cazeneuve told reporters.

Anti-Israel activists like to claim that they have nothing against the Jews personally, and are only protesting “Zionism.” The same assertions are often made by Hamas officials when addressing an international audience.

But in the cases of both the anti-Israel activists and Hamas itself, the constant references to Jews in the context of “protesting Zionism” belie their true intent and the spirit behind their movement.


WATCH: IDF Engages Terrorists Tunneling Into Israel

WATCH: IDF Engages Terrorists Tunneling Into Israel

Israeli forces early Monday morning engaged Hamas terrorists emerging from two tunnels in southern Israel.

The incident began when five terrorist gunmen were spotted coming out of a tunnel near the northern part of the Gaza security fence, and only a few hundred yards from the nearest Jewish village.

Media reports indicate that the Shin Bet (the Israeli equivalent of the FBI) provided intelligence on the planned attack, and in the following video the terror squad can be seen being engaged and ultimately destroyed by Israeli forces.

Around the same time, another group of Hamas gunmen emerged from a nearby tunnel exit that was possibly part of the same underground network used by the first squad.

The second terror cell managed to ambush a passing IDF patrol, resulting in injuries to Israeli soldiers. In the ensuing gun battle, Israeli forces eliminated this second group before it was able to escape back into the tunnel.

A large Israeli ground force continues to operate inside the Gaza Strip in an effort to find and destroy these tunnels, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has deemed a “strategic threat” to Israel’s security.

Watch this morning’s brief battle: