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New Pro-Israel Online Social Activism Platform Launches

ACT.IL is an online platform that leverages the power of communities and organized online activity to fight BDS and the demonization of the state of Israel.

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Britain's Battle for Truth

As Londoners are left reeling with shock at a succession of terrible tragedies, angry residents and pundits inevitably start looking for someone to blame.

When children fight in the playground and someone gets hurt, it’s always someone else’s fault. But there is a sense in which we are all to blame – for we have, as a nation, turned our backs on truth, honesty and integrity in favour of the brave new world’s ‘anything goes’ mantra as long as it feels right. How do we measure truth when it is so subjective? If it’s not found in the Bible, where do we look for it?

After discarding our Christian heritage and throwing out God’s laws, it’s not surprising there are so many different versions of truth portrayed by today’s media.

The BBC, for example, has shown a propensity in recent times for turning terrorists into victims – particularly when reporting on violence in Israel. Thus, on June 16, when a 23-year-old Israeli policewoman was stabbed to death and four others injured in a Jerusalem attack which also involved shooting, the BBC tweeted: “Three Palestinians killed after deadly stabbing in Jerusalem” – a shamefully misleading headline focusing attention on the attackers, as if they were the victims.

The prophet Isaiah wrote of how – when we have turned our backs on God – “truth has stumbled in the streets; honesty cannot enter. Truth is nowhere to be found.” (Isaiah 59.13-15)

At the rally following London’s Al Quds march, the Iranian-inspired day calling for the destruction of Israel, one speaker perversely blamed the tragic West London fire on ‘Zionists’.

“Some of the biggest supporters of the Conservative Party are Zionists,” he ranted. “They are responsible for the murder of the people in Grenfell (the tower block).”

As blogger Richard Millett asked: “How in 2017 is a terror organisation like Hezbollah, with a rifle emblazoned on its flag, allowed to parade through London? Is the British Jewish community so ill-considered, so small that we are so easily sacrificed? Would the authorities allow Al Qaeda or ISIS parades?”

The marchers have exploited a loophole in the law against flying the flags of proscribed organisations like Hezbollah by claiming that they are supporting its political (rather than military) wing even though they both use the same flag and support the same cause, which is the total destruction of the Jewish state, as their chants – “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” – clearly indicate.

Whatever happened to the law against ‘hate speech’?

Convened by the Islamic Human Rights Commission, a British Muslim organisation with close ties to the Iranian regime, the march took place despite a petition calling for its ban signed by over 20,000 people which stated: “After the terrible recent terrorist events in Manchester and London, this display of extremism has no place on the streets of the UK.”

In the light of such a brazen demonstration of hatred, a backlash from unhinged members of society is hardly surprising, as in the tragic events outside the Finsbury Park mosque which left one dead and a number injured when a 47-year-old man ploughed into them with a van.

Unfortunately, this attack is being cynically used by jihadists as a call to war. But neither Britons as a whole, nor Christians in particular, have any quarrel with the Muslims. We share their grief – our people are suffering all over the world for their faith – and we reach out to them with the love of Jesus. They are our friends, not our enemies. And Jesus has told us to love even those, like jihadists, who wish us harm!

But I see hope on three specific fronts, starting with the example of Christians in South Africa, to whom I have already referred on this site. Faced with corruption and violence in their nation, they came together on a farmer’s field to pray on April 22nd; not just the faithful few who turn up to such meetings, but a massive gathering of 1.7 million – more than the population of Birmingham, Britain’s second city. Many had travelled the length and breadth of that big country to plead God’s mercy on their troubles. Isn’t it time British Christians got together to do something similar? Is our situation not desperate enough, with violence becoming endemic and truth turned on its head?

Secondly, not far from Birmingham, I visited a friend in prison whose Christian faith shines out so brightly that he is effectively working as a chaplain to many of his fellow inmates. He knows from his experience in the outside world how it is often difficult to get people to talk about or share their faith, even in churches. But now he struggles to shut them up as they all want to share the goodness of God, especially during Bible classes and chapel services packed with men praising the Lord in full voice. And a friend tells of a jail in Wiltshire where men, “feeling completely abandoned by society, are so ready to hear the gospel”.

Many years ago I was told of a prophecy that revival in Britain would start in the prisons!

Thirdly, I have been profoundly moved by the response of churches in the Grenfell Tower area of London, scene of the tragic fire where an estimated 79 people perished and hundreds more were made homeless.

One such is the Tabernacle Christian Centre which had opened its doors to the victims at 2am on the night of the fire, shortly after it started. And they have been providing refuge and shelter ever since. Members had been praying at the church just before the fire broke out when someone shared what he felt was a ‘word from the Lord’ that He was going to bring many people into the church, and that they must be prepared!

A cross stands at the centre of the premises, with a menorah close by. “We preach Christ crucified,” the pastor explained, adding that they also love Israel and the Jewish people, and regularly pray for them.

Sally Richardson, a friend of mine who visited them, reported: “We can thank God for all the local churches – also including the Latimer Christian Centre – that have opened their doors, day and night, to victims of the tragedy. They have provided a listening ear, comfort (both spiritual and practical), and have fed, clothed and watered all who have come to them…”

She added: “I am reminded of the words of the Oxford martyr Latimer who, as he was burnt at the stake for his faith, turned to comfort fellow victim Ridley with the words ‘…we shall this day light such a candle, by God’s grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out.’

“Grenfell Tower has burned, but let’s pray that a candle will burn in North Kensington that will never be put out. May the surviving victims find Jesus to be their tower of refuge and strength.” (Proverbs 18.10)

Charles Gardner is author of Israel the Chosen, available from Amazon, and Peace in Jerusalem, available from


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Israel Blocks UN Delegation From Entering Hebron

Is it the "Trump Effect"?

Israel is finally standing its ground against the hostile United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and that could have a lot to do with the American president's aggressive position toward the world body.

On Saturday, Israel denied access to Hebron to a delegation from UNESCO. The aim of the planned visit was to make a show of solidarity with Hebron's Old City, which UNESCO lists as a "threatened" Palestinian World Heritage Site.

Hebron's Old City is one of 35 sites to be discussed at UNESCO's World Heritage Committee next week in Krakow, Poland. The Palestinians requested the Hebron be urgently addressed there, claiming that the biblical city is being threatened with "destruction."

Israel's ambassador to UNESCO, Carmel Shama-Hacohen, applauded the decision to bar his UN colleagues from Hebron. "Israel should not allow any political action by the Palestinians under the cover of culture," he said.

Photo: Hebron's Old City. Lior Mizrahi / Flash90


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Israel Is Treated Unfairly
Longing for Israel's Golden Years
Iran's the Real Enemy
Growth of the Body in Jerusalem
Jewish Genetics
The Last Battle for Jerusalem


REPORTS: Trump Furious With Palestinians, May Pull Out of Peace Process

The international mainstream media painted last week's meeting between Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and US President Donald Trump's senior advisor and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, as "productive."

Apparently, that description wasn't entirely accurate.

The London-based Arabic-language daily al-Hayat instead called the meeting "tense," and said it ended with a serious rift between the Americans and the Palestinians.

According to Palestinian officials who spoke to the newspaper, Trump is now considering pulling out of the Mideast peace process altogether.

The Jerusalem Post quoted an American administration official as saying that was "nonsense," though he did not refute other details of the al-Hayat report.

Abbas is said to have been outraged when Kushner entered the room and conveyed Israel's demand that he stop using international financial aid to pay salaries to terrorists sitting in Israeli jails.

Kushner also reportedly insisted that Palestinian officials halt all incitement against Israel, and expressed disappointment that Abbas had failed to condemn last week's deadly terrorist stabbing in Jerusalem, which took the life of a young female Border Police officer.

Al-Hayat wrote that Abbas fired back by accusing Kushner of "taking Israel's side," and was adamant that paying salaries to convicted terrorists was part of his "social responsibility."


IDF Releases Video of Aerial Assault on Syrian Forces

Israel on Saturday responded harshly to errant Syrian army fire that hit the Israeli side of the Golan Heights.

The above footage shows Israeli military aircraft targeting a number of Syrian positions, including at least two tanks.

Syrian sources said that two people were killed in the strikes.

It appears that Islamist rebels in the area took advantage of the Israeli strikes to launch their own attack on the Syrian military. Damascus accused Israel of colluding with the jihadists.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the retaliation sent a clear message: "We are not willing to accept any spillover or leakage of fire from any front. We will respond with force to any fire on our territory."


Israel's Illegal Immigrant Time Bomb

The southern neighborhoods of Tel Aviv have been overrun in recent years. The number of African asylum-seekers and economic migrants now living there is approaching 100,000.

Some have been repatriated. But most remain in the country illegally.

Israel finds itself in a conundrum–how can it turn away or deport those in need considering the Jews' own history? At the same time, how can the tiny nation of Israel absorb such numbers without taking a serious hit to its economy?

And time's running out to find a solution.

According to Oved Hugi, a social activist from southern Tel Aviv, the "infiltrators' birthrate stands at 10,000 per year. That means 50,000 children in five years, and that should cause the Prime Minister to lose sleep. South Tel Aviv is a ticking time bomb."

In an interview with Israel National News, Hugi added that the situation has exposed the hypocrisy of the Left.

"Members of the Knesset from the left are hypocrites," he said. "They favor giving a state to the Palestinians in order to preserve the Jewish and democratic character of the state yet on the other hand they encourage the immigrants to stay here? It's hypocrisy."


UN Excuses Wife-Beating as Natural Reaction to 'Israeli Occupation'

First, they called terrorism a "natural reaction" to the presence of Jews in the Holy Land. Now, Palestinian men are being excused by none other than the United Nations for taking out their frustrations with Israel on their own spouses.

At a UN Human Rights Council debate earlier this month, the director of UN Watch, Hillel Neuer, challenged a new report blaming Israel for when Palestinian husbands beat their wives.

"Is it right to continue infantilizing Palestinians, such that when a man in Ramallah beats his wife, we encourage him to say ‘Israel made me do it’?" Neuer asked the report's author, Dubravka Šimonovic, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women.

Neuer further noted that while Israeli counter-terrorism measure might put pressure on the Palestinian population, that doesn't explain why violence against women is equally prevalent in the neighboring countries of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt.

Nor was there any excuse for Šimonovic's lack of actual evidence to support her conclusion.

But, most notably, Neuer wondered how the report could draw a dubious link between Israeli security and Palestinian spousal abuse, while ignoring entirely the regular weekly sermons by Palestinian Muslim clerics encouraging such domestic violence.

Neuer clearly hit a nerve, because the chair of the debate, UNHRC Vice-President Amr Ahmed Ramadan, broke with protocol by refusing to thank the speaker, stating instead:

“I would like to say thank you, but I can’t—because I think that you need to respect this Council more in the next days.”


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Arab Paramedic Fought to Save the Life of Fatally Wounded Soldier

The following is the personal account of Mohammed Abed al-Rahman, a senior paramedic with Magen David Adom (MDA) who gave his all last week to save the life of Border Police officer Hadas Malka, who ultimately died of her injuries sustained in an ISIS terror stabbing at Jerusalem's Damascus Gate.

A peaceful Friday evening was interrupted with the voice of the Shift Officer at MDA’s 101 dispatch center who announced a stabbing attack had taken place at the Nablus Gate in Jerusalem. Seconds earlier, three terrorists attacked a Border Police force patrolling the area. One of the terrorist, who was only 18 years old, began stabbing policewoman Hadash Malka, critically injuring her, but Malka didn’t give up and fought him back extensively. When her squad members realized what was going on, they immediately shot the terrorist and called MDA to the scene.

Mohammed Abed al-Rahman, a veteran paramedic at MDA’s Jerusalem station has already tended to dozens of terror attacks in his career, but he knew this one was different and more severe. “I was manning a Mobile Intensive Care Unit in Pisgat Ze’ev. When we arrived at the Begin junction, a short drive from the scene, we received a report from the MDA Jerusalem dispatch center about a Police request to deploy an ambulance to Nablus Gate after noticing security camera footage showing a person stabbing a policeman who was laying on the ground. Initially, we didn’t know it was a policewoman. The shift officer, Noam Tiram, immediately deployed an ambulance to the scene. Shortly thereafter it was clear that this was a terror attack. Seemingly, an ongoing attack, and I immediately offered myself as a first responder as I was very close to the scene.

We immediately left for the scene and heard from the dispatch center that the incident was ongoing but at the moment, it was unclear what was going on. Initially, it was suspected as a criminal incident. Seconds later it was already reported as a terror attack. We were instructed to armor ourselves, group with police forces and instruct youth MDA volunteers to remain inside the ambulance. I reported to the dispatch center and learned that I would be first to arrive on the scene, and that five additional ambulances were to follow.”

Hadas Was Bleeding and Unconscious

The encounter with Hadas reminded Mohammed of previous terror attacks at Nablus Gate, in which he also treated victims in critical condition. “When I arrived on the scene I noticed a standard ambulance that reported on evacuating a patient in severe condition to Hadassah Mount Scopus Hospital, and we decided to group at Nablus Gate near the scene of the attack and transport the patient to our Mobile Intensive Care Unit in order to provide her with medication and advanced lifesaving procedures during the evacuation. When I opened the door I noticed a combat Border Policewoman, 23, wearing a vest and flak jacket. She was unconscious. I conducted a preliminary situation assessment and noticed stabs in her upper body. She was bleeding massively. Following a thorough checkup of her wounds I understood that I was operating against the clock and began intensive treatment.”

When Reports of Additional Terrorist on the Scene Began Coming in, Were You Anxious?

“When I accept a patient with wounds at such a severe degree I am only concerned with her, and not with the reports. I didn’t even hear of the warning that there were additional attackers on the scene, and it didn’t matter to me as I sensed an obligation to treating Hadas. At that time I was only with her, I conducted surgical procedures on the field in order to release the pressure in her chest as well as treated her other injuries to prevent loss of blood.

I instructed my team to begin resuscitation. We began conducting chest compressions physically. Another volunteer laid over the wound in her neck in an attempt to halt it from bleeding, another volunteer conducted compressions and I was kneeling over her, conducting intubation, while opening up a vein in her neck in order to hydrate and stabilize her.

In only seven minutes we were able to provide her with the utmost preliminary medical treatment on the field using advanced gear including surgical treatment, artificial respiration, medication, and more, while speeding to the hospital.”

We Were Hopeful That She Would Make It

The team arrive with Hadas at the hospital and immediately entered the trauma room. Mohammed’s team members joined the doctors who fought for her life and he treated her until her last moments. “There were barely any moments of optimism, when we arrived at the hospital and brought her into the trauma room, the happiness was premature because her condition deteriorated and became critical.

We continued with the compressions constantly, we provided her with more blood transfusions and medication treatment but ultimately, we had to pronounce her dead an hour after her arrival at the hospital. We fought for her life, all of us, the MDA team and the Hadassah team. The moment in which we pronounced her dead was difficult for all of us.”

Mohammed’s team remained in the hospital until Hadas’ family learned of her passing. “Only after the incident concluded and we were released from the hospital I heard on the news that it was an incident with two scenes and three perpetrators who stabbed and shot the victims. Only then we learned how grave the incident was.”

Today, Mohammed shares: “Many times we enter scenes of ongoing incidents and treat patients under danger. In these moment we operate with a sense of mission and with a single intention at hear – saving the patient. We don’t think about what’s to come, and not about what could happen to us. Anytime we see a scene of terror attack we run and leap in, other people’s common logic says ‘run away’. But this is us, and that’s we know and ought to do.”


Help Us Break The BDS Movement

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VIDEO: 10 Years of Hamas Rule in Gaza


Judea and Samaria: Who's Allowed to Build?

Jewish construction in the biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria has come to a near standstill. Jewish settlers and their representatives in the government hold Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responsible for the freeze.

Publicly, Netanyahu speaks of the importance of settling the land. But behind the scenes, he's accused of doing everything in his power to curb Jewish construction.

"Netanyahu is playing us for fools," insisted Salman Melamed, a leading rabbi in the settler movement. Housing Minister Uri Ariel has demanded that Netanyahu "restart construction in the Jewish settlements immediately."

More than 350,000 people currently live in the 120 Jewish settlements scattered across Judea and Samaria. Due to a high rate of natural growth, more homes are urgently needed.

Compounding the frustration of right-wing voters is the fact that Netanyahu has largely turned a blind eye to burgeoning Palestinian Arab construction in the disputed territories. "Even as we are bullied by the Palestinians, we hand them 14,000 new houses adjacent to Highway 6," Education Minister Naftali Bennett lamented on Twitter.

Bennett and other members of Netanyahu's cabinet have urged the prime minister to, at the very least, freeze Palestinian construction so long as Jews aren't allowed to build.

Many Israelis are coming to realize, to their chagrin, that Netanyahu's government has actually frozen Jewish settlement far more than any other government before his, left or right.


God Will Not Be Mocked!

As if London hasn’t seen enough tragedy of late, her weary eight million residents woke up to a veritable picture of Dante’s inferno on Wednesday morning. The sight of a West London tower block burning away all night was truly terrible, with all the loss of life, home and family that resulted. Our hearts go out to all the victims.

In truth, we are all reeling in shock, perhaps wondering why things just seem to have gone from bad to worse in the wake of the recent terrorist attacks. And though the Grenfell Tower fire did not fall into the latter category, the cause is as yet unknown.

Nevertheless, we need to take stock, and continue to pray for God’s mercy on our battered nation, now further rocked by the resignation as leader of the Liberal-Democrat Party of Christian politician Tim Farron. More of that later…

In fact not everything is gloom and doom; there are real signs of hope despite a General Election that left confusion and chaos as politicians jostled for power, the Conservatives winning most seats but with no overall majority, and thus in a seemingly weak place for negotiating our exit from the European Union.

The Bible says: “When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers, but a ruler with discernment and knowledge maintains order.” (Proverbs 28.2)

Christians had been dismayed as they found themselves having to choose between main parties who had all agreed that sexual ethics – and in particular same-sex marriage – was not an issue. So it seemed that the way was left open to continue running the country on secular-humanist lines, with no thought for the biblical laws that have underpinned our civilization for centuries.

But who would have thought the Conservatives would be forced to “get into bed” with the strongly Christian Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) of Northern Ireland in order to secure a still wafer-thin overall majority for carrying out planned legislation? The DUP’s ten seats add up to a coalition fractionally more than all the other parties put together. So they will clearly be beholden to their friends from across the Irish Sea, a fact provoking hysteria from many quarters – not least the Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson, who is a lesbian.

It could certainly make for a rough passage for any new un-Christian laws. The DUP is thoroughly opposed to same-sex marriage and, in line with their Bible-believing basis, is also unreservedly pro-Israel.

So, for all the humanistic attempts to rid Parliament of its Christian witness, God has ensured that it remains – and that biblical thinking cannot be ignored. God will not be mocked.

The psalmist asks: “Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed, saying, ‘Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles.’ The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them…” (Psalm 2.1-4)

The fiercely Protestant DUP was founded in 1971 by the Rev Ian Paisley who, when he launched the Northern Ireland Friends of Israel group in March 2009, drew a parallel between his own country’s struggles against terrorism and that of Israel’s. And he also prayed for peace in Jerusalem!

Last Sunday evening, as my wife and I contemplated the ongoing political turbulence, we suddenly noticed a worrying crack in the ceiling, with water dripping through. Our hot water tank was leaking and on the blink, and we have since had it replaced (at no small cost). Fortunately, disaster was averted by an emergency plumber.

It was very much a picture of the state of the nation with the drip, drip feed of secularism (and in particular the LGBT+ agenda) on the point of bringing the house down. We are in serious hot water, and poison is leaking from the ship of state, which is on the verge of sinking.

I am sickened by the BBC’s continual obsession with depicting the ‘virtues’ of left-wing propaganda. As the country rocks with uncertainty, and in danger of collapse, a great show is made of a ‘gay pride’ march in York described as a symbol of unity and love. Of course I realise this is nothing compared to the 200,000 who marched through Tel Aviv, Israel’s major city, in celebration of the homosexual lifestyle. And that in what is universally known as the ‘Holy Land’! However, this only goes to prove that both Jews and Gentiles are prodigals whom the Father longs to welcome back.

And since we are talking numbers, it’s worth noting that a recent prayer meeting of Christians in South Africa drew a massive 1.7 million people (equal to Tel Aviv’s total population) to a farm outside the central city of Bloemfontein, where they pleaded God’s mercy for their beloved nation. We too, in Britain, need to pray – and how! Surely it’s time Christians got together, as they have done in South Africa, to plead God’s mercy for our land?

Tragically, much of the West has not only rejected God and his laws, but has gone further by turning millennia-old precepts completely upside down. The prophet Isaiah, writing 2,700 years ago, said: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight. Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine and champions at mixing drinks…” (Isaiah 5.20-22) Ring any bells?

To put it another way, it would be like Monty Don reporting from the Chelsea Flower Show that weeds are the new flowers and rubbishing anachronistic gardeners who insist on showing their beautiful roses and lilies amidst finely-cut lawns and water features.

Exaggerating? Hardly – for one of the most disturbing aspects of the election campaign was the blatant anti-Christian prejudice promoted in much of the media, claiming that Christian candidates were unfit to hold public office because of their biblical views. Even the Prime Minister was condemned by a major national newspaper for visiting one of the UK’s largest black churches – because the church opposes abortion and same-sex marriage.

And now Tim Farron is the latest victim. After an insufferable media campaign directed at his Christian faith, in the words of Evangelical Alliance spokesman David Landrum, “he has found himself torn between living as a faithful Christian and serving as a political leader – and so he has resigned. And who could blame him? Politics has always been a tough business and general elections have always been rough rides. Tim was surely prepared for that. What he wasn’t prepared for, and what nobody really expected, was a vicious and sustained assault on his faith. And he wasn’t alone in this.”

And finally, on a more positive note: Rosaria Butterfield, a former lesbian and LGBT advocate, converted to Christ after reading large sections of the Bible as part of research into why the so-called religious right ‘hated’ people like her. Her first book, The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert, details her conversion and the cataclysmic fallout which followed – in which she lost “everything but the dog,” yet gained eternal life in Christ.

We are the people of the Book, which holds the key to life and leads us to the ‘pearl of great price’ which can often cost us everything. (Matthew 13.46)

Pearls are shaped through rough times, and we need to speak up for Christ in the face of the storm.

Charles Gardner is author of Israel the Chosen, available from Amazon, and Peace in Jerusalem, available from


Last Chance To Get Your Digital Golden June Issue. At Half Price!

Includes unforgettable interviews with people that changed the face of Israel and the following sample of video clips.
- Jerusalem from below
- Songs about Jerusalem
- Contemporary history of Jerusalem in pictures
- Jerusalem of Gold (singer Shuli Natan)
- Art in Jerusalem

Visit the history of Jerusalem virtually! The history of Jerusalem Light Show in Jerusalem's Old City:


Donald Trump Jr. Slams BBC For Misreporting Jerusalem Terror Stabbing

US President Donald Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr., leapt to Israel's defense on Saturday after the BBC blatantly misrepresented Friday's ISIS terrorist stabbing in Jerusalem.

The BBC's original headline read: "Three Palestinians killed after deadly stabbing in Jerusalem"

The headline, which is all most people read these days, gives the impression that Palestinians were the victims.

Trump Jr. made sure that as many people as possible knew the truth.

He immediately tweeted in response to the BBC: "You mean after they stabbed a female Israeli police officer to death... right? This is as close to being misleading as possible."

Killed in that attack was 23-year-old Border Police officer Hadas Malka, who was responding to a shooting attack in Jerusalem's Old City when she was ambushed.

ISIS later claimed that both incidents were part of a coordinated assault on Israel's Jews.

A number of Israelis spoke out to thank Trump Jr. for taking such a stand.

And he was happy to do it.


Messianic Presence at Hebrew Book Week Angers Ultra-Orthodox

Israel last week conducted Hebrew Book Week, an annual week-long event celebrating Hebrew literature.

The event is marked with book fairs in cities across the country. And the presence of Messianic book publishers at several of these fairs had ultra-Orthodox Jewish "anti-missionaries" fuming.

In fact, the often-violent anti-missionary group Yad L'achim filed an official police complaint after discovering a booth operated by the "HaGefen" publishing house at the book fair in Rishon Letzion.

HaGefen is a well-known Messianic publisher. Among its offerings at the book fair its series titled "The Testimony," which is a modern translation of the Bible with Israeli youths in mind.

Yad L'achim claimed that the books constituted "incitement and solicitation of minors to convert."

What most bothers groups like Yad L'achim is that these books are not identified as "Christian." They refuse to accept that Messianic Jews are very much an integral part of the Jewish people as a whole and of Israel.

"The innocent buyers do not know that these are missionary books that encourage conversion to Christianity," read the Yad L'achim complaint.

HaGefen issued a response noting that it has been a registered non-profit in Rishon Letzion for no fewer than 42 years. It further pointed out that the "offending" series of books, "The Testimony," consist almost entirely of a literal modern translation of the Bible.

PHOTO: President Reuven Rivlin and his wife Nechama visit a Hebrew Book Week book fair at the First Station in Jerusalem. Photo by Mark Neyman/GPO


The Temple Mount is Important to Christians, Too

Israel Today visits with the Temple Mount Sifting Project to find out what role Christians have played.

The full article appears in the June 2017 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
CLICK HERE to read it all


VIDEO: Thank You to Jerusalem's Watchmen on the Walls

The video above was produced by the Israel Police to say "Thank You" to the thousands of men and women who daily serve as Jerusalem's "watchmen on the walls," keeping this city safe from threats both within and from without.


Does Israel Have the World's Most Beautiful Coastline?


Israeli Nationalists Thank Muslim Leader For His Friendship

The following is a portion of a press release from Turkish Muslim teacher Adnan Oktar, whose recent Ramadan gathering in Istanbul was attended by several leading Israeli nationalist figures.

This year’s event once again demonstrated that people of different cultures, identities and views could come together in an atmosphere of love and peace.

The guests of this special event were Jewish rabbis and Christian priests, politicians, the esteemed members of the Turkish Assyrian, Armenian, Jewish, Greek Orthodox and Catholic communities, as well as of the Jaffari, Alawite and Bekhtashi communities, the religious orders of the Nakshibendi and the Kadiri, the followers of the Treatise of Light (Nur), and National Vision (Milli Görüş) Movement.

One of the nicest gestures was the video message sent by Likud Party Knesset Member Rabbi Yehuda Glick to Mr. Adnan Oktar in celebration of Ramadan. Rabbi Glick began by saying, "My dear friend, honorary Mr. Adnan Oktar, champion of religious tolerance, champion of love to all human beings, champion of God in the world..."

Glick continued: "From the city of Jerusalem, chosen by God to be a city of peace, allow me to wish each and every one of you, blessings of success in bringing of God's light to all... We shall see on the Temple Mount, that House of Prayer, that unite all nations to One and Only God. From Jerusalem, allow me to wish you all Ramadan Kareem, from Jerusalem, the city of peace, city of Shalom."

During the day of the banquet, the Israeli delegation made a visit to the Jewish Museum of Turkey at the Neve Shalom Synagogue in Istanbul. Additionally, they toured the Bosphorus with the representatives of Mr. Adnan Oktar.

One of the guests, Mr. Yishai Fleisher, the international spokesman for the Jewish community in Hebron and an Israeli radio show host and writer, participated in Mr. Oktar’s live broadcast on A9 TV. He addressed Mr. Oktar saying, “I think that by you bringing us here today to Istanbul, you are part of that vision of connecting the peoples of the Middle East.”

Mr. Oktar replied, “People are more religious in Israel, that is a blessing for the entire region and the Islamic world. They are not aware that Jews are people of love. We all will be students of the King Moshiach, the King Messiah. The love for Moshiach brings blessings to Israel, this is a vital matter. God protects Israel from all troubles. If anyone attempts any harm against Israel, we will bring heavens down on them.”

Mr. Oktar made a request from the Israeli youth asking thousands of Jewish youth to come together and pray out loud for Moshiach’s coming.

Regarding Israel's presence in the Middle East, Mr. Oktar added, “God promised you to live on that land. You are a blessing for Muslims, but they can’t appreciate this.”


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Where Jews Dare Not Pray

I'm hardly qualified to address this topic, but I feel the need to, nevertheless.

The full article appears in the June 2017 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
CLICK HERE to read it all


When the Arabs Shuttered Al Jazeera, but Israel Couldn't

The current regional crisis with Qatar has again demonstrated the bizarre position in which Israel often finds itself in the volatile Middle East.

Israel is often the victim of media slander, and even incitement. Sometimes, those media voices slander and incite against Arab governments, too.

One of the biggest differences is that the Arab governments, authoritarian as they are, quickly shut down the offending media, while Israel, the region's only true democracy, must endure the slander.

Such is the case with Al Jazeera.

Founded and largely owned by the rulers of Qatar, Al Jazeera has become a thorn in the side of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and other "moderate" Arab states.

Using the crisis with Qatar as an excuse, Saudi Arabia and Jordan this week shuttered the local Al Jazeera bureaus in their respective states.

Israel wishes it could do the same.

"Al-Jazeera is not media, it’s not journalism. It’s an incitement machine. It’s pure propaganda, of the worst variety, in the style of Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia," said Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman during a Knesset meeting on Monday.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly convened the relevant government agencies to explore the option of shuttering Al Jazeera's office in Jerusalem.

But for a nation that holds to true democratic rule of law, such things aren't so simple as they are in neighboring countries.

For starters, if the government moved against Al Jazeera, the network's first move would be an appeal to Israel's Supreme Court on the basis of freedom of the press. Even if the court ultimately sided with the government, the spectacle of an Arab news network suing Israel over freedom of the press wouldn't play well on the international stage.

And that's if the court sided with the government.

Israel's Supreme Court is notoriously liberal when it comes to the right of detractors to slander the Jewish state. Losing such a case would look even worse.


'United Jerusalem More Important Than Shaky Peace'

Education Minister Naftali Bennett publicly stated what has in more recent years become the position of a growing majority of Israelis–namely that a united Jerusalem under Israeli control is more important than a shaky peace deal with the Palestinians.

"Jerusalem is above logic," insisted Bennett. "We would rather have a united Jerusalem than a diplomatic agreement."

The statement was greeted with jeers from the crowd. But that was expected, given that Bennett was speaking at the Israel Conference for Peace organized by the ultra-liberal daily newspaper Ha'aretz.

Bennett reminded the naysayers that while they may disagree with his conclusion, most Israelis do not. "Some of this crowd may not agree with what I said, but 85% of the Israeli public does agree."


Israel Prepares for Major Earthquake

At Sunday's cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held an urgent discussion on home front preparations for a major earthquake that is expected to hit Israel in the coming years.

The discussion kicked off a nationwide emergency drill involving rescue forces from the army, police and medical organizations.

"As part of our efforts and actions to improve home front emergency preparedness, we are beginning today a national earthquake exercise, called 'Earthquake 2017,'" said Netanyahu. "There are enough earthquakes around us in all senses of the word, but we live adjacent to the Syrian-African rift, and an earthquake can hit at any moment. They already have and they undoubtedly will."

Should an earthquake hit, the prime minister reminded the public that the emergency procedures are quite opposite to those during a missile or terrorist attack.

"In the case of an earthquake, in contrast to other scenarios which threaten the home front, the basic rule is to get out of your homes, get out of buildings. The safest place to be is in open space."

Photo: Marc Israel Sellem / Pool / Flash90


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Tel Aviv Gay Pride Parade Draws Massive Crowd

For the second year in a row, Tel Aviv's annual "Gay Pride" parade drew more than 200,000 people to the streets of the coastal city last Friday.

The parade took the enormous throng of homosexuals and their supporters through the city center and along Tel Aviv's famed beach promenade.

Following last year's parade, a survey found that most Israelis want the gay marches to stop going through the center of town and bringing the city to a standstill in support of an agenda they may not agree with.

But the will of the people fell on the deaf ears of Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, who proudly told parade participants: "The Gay Pride Parade is not just a celebration, but an important moral statement. [We] will continue to be a beacon and compass for the values ​​of freedom, tolerance and democracy. And we will continue to march to bring about the desired change in this country."

Huldai and others have worked hard to make Tel Aviv a top gay travel destination, an effort that has put his city at odds with Israel's traditional focus as a place of biblical pilgrimage.


COMMENTARY: The Darkness Closes In

As the dust begins to settle on the British General Election with a hung Parliament result, I believe we are entering a dark period for our nation. That’s not all bad news, because it is at such times that the light shines brightest.

Prime Minister Theresa May has been forced to form a government with the help of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), who are not only pro-Israel, but also opposed to same-sex marriage!

One candidate seemed to sum up the situation, perhaps inadvertently, by quoting the first line of a well-known hymn, “The day thou gavest, Lord, is ended…” no doubt referring to the long night he had endured waiting for the results. But it was prophetic of where we are, especially in terms of the next line: “The darkness falls at thy behest…”

Mrs May called the election in order to win a mandate for conducting Brexit negotiations from a position of strength, but the gamble has not paid off. The chips are down. Her Conservative Party has the most seats, but does not have an overall majority following a campaign which came down to a two-horse race.

Labour did far better than expected despite being led by a man of the hard left who has courted the IRA, Hamas and Hezbollah, and who only two years ago paid a visit to the grave of a Palestinian terrorist.

But he successfully won over swathes of impressionable young people, who turned out to vote in apparently unprecedented numbers. Somehow they have rallied to his cause, which seems mainly about turning our backs on austerity (i.e. spending money we haven’t got) and promising to abolish university tuition fees – bait which has proved very tasty, not only for students, but also for their parents. But who will pay for it?

It is hardly surprising that the youth of today – a second generation brought up largely without the biblical ethics that underpinned our civilization for centuries – are for the most part interested in no-one but themselves. So a short-term magic wand proves very attractive while Mrs May’s social care policies cut little ice.

Though she has been a loyal supporter of Israel, which is obviously important, I’m not sure a large majority for Mrs May would have been a good thing. The truth is that none of the main parties mentioned Christianity in their manifestos. Policies in support of healthy family life were almost totally absent – in fact the opposite was the case. For they all appear determined to incorporate the LGBT+ agenda into every facet of national life, even to the point of compulsory education on sexual relationships (including the supposed normality of gay sex) for nursery school children.

Caroline Ansell, defending a slim Conservative majority in Eastbourne, was hounded by the Press over her evangelical faith and because she had dared to employ an intern from the Christian campaign group CARE.

For many in this country, the gay issue has become like the nursery classic about the Emperor’s NewClothes, in which the emperor is brainwashed into thinking he is wonderfully dressed until a small child shrieks in horror: “The Emperor has no clothes!”

But with the DUP (with ten MPs) opposing the gay agenda and potentially crucial to government policy being carried in the foreseeable future, the naked truth may well be revealed.

We’ve become a society that, with its ‘diversity and equality’ program, is tolerant of everyone and everything – except Christians.

We are facing a double whammy – the threat of Islamic terrorism on the one hand, and the danger of collapse from within that comes to all decadent societies. I have a picture of a gaping wound which only Jesus can heal. The prophet Isaiah foretold of how the Messiah would die on the cross for the sins of the world, and that “by his wounds we are healed”. (Isaiah 53.5)

In discarding God from our culture following a world war when we could so easily have been invaded but for the prayers of the nation, we have poisoned ourselves with atheism. And we will only be cured when we acknowledge our diseased condition, and return to Christ for cleansing.

The Church, meanwhile, has been intimidated into silence for fear of being dubbed homophobic. But Christians must stop denying their Lord. Part of the problem for Mrs May was that, while claiming to be guided by her (Christian) faith, she is said to have been the prime mover (as Home Secretary) behind the introduction onto the statute book of same-sex marriage – a total contradiction of biblical teaching and one of the worst laws ever passed in this land. And yet we have been largely silent in calling her to account.

Liberal-Democrat leader Tim Farron, a committed believer, initially inspired hope among Christian voters until he too denied that gay sex was wrong. And then Mrs May sacked Isle of Wight MP Andrew Turner for his biblical views on sexual ethics.

We have seen a downward spiral of morality on a par with that which ultimately led to the collapse from within of Roman civilization. St Paul’s famous letter to the first century Roman Christians makes this absolutely clear as he encourages them to avoid being influenced by the depraved culture of those around them, whose descent into lust and lawlessness started by denying God as creator. God’s eternal power was obvious from the beauty of creation, “but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.” (Romans 1.21) Isn’t this what we have been teaching our children for generations: that we evolved from apes and God had nothing to do with the beauty we see all around us?

So for the Roman pagans, one thing led to another until they ended up engaging in “shameful lusts” (Romans 1.26) involving “unnatural” sexual relationships (i.e. lesbian and homosexual activity).

It’s no use pussyfooting over this issue with supposed compassion. We have participated, as those unbelievers in Rome did, in the suppression of truth, and we wonder why our walls are falling down and our bridges are breached as we come under attack from enemies of God and democracy.

The Bible says: “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people.” (Proverbs 14.34)

We stand condemned as a nation, but there is a way out! Hear the wonderful words of Jesus: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3.16f)

Our walls are broken down because of our sin, and they will only be restored when we address the decadence in our midst and return to the God of our fathers.

As it is, the LGBT+ agenda has penetrated every crack and crevice of our national institutions, and you are simply not allowed to object – Christians who have done so have been hauled before the courts. We tolerate everyone else – but not Christians. Where is the place of personal conscience in our supposed liberal society?

We have built on sand, and are now found wanting. A fierce storm has hit us, leaving us wobbling and about to collapse. We need to rebuild on the Rock, which is Christ, who said: “Everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (Matthew 7.26f)

Thank God for media outlets like Revelation TV, who hosted their own election night commenting on the great issues from a biblical perspective. One of their panel made the pertinent point that church leaders are failing to give guidance on voting to their congregations, as mosques clearly do. The Bible speaks into the issues at stake, so it is surely the duty of pastors and teachers to demonstrate, from the Scriptures, how certain policies are either right or wrong.

Finally, we need to recapture total confidence in the gospel as the sole means by which our beloved nation can be saved from its own folly. Let us say with St Paul: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” (Romans 1.16)

Charles Gardner is author of Israel the Chosen, available from Amazon, and Peace in Jerusalem, available from


Christian Oil Company Begins Drilling in Northern Israel

After years of planning, preparation and fighting for the relevant permits, Texas-based, Christian-owned Zion Oil & Gas officially began drilling in northern Israel this week.

For years, Israel Today has been covering the progress of Zion Oil, a company that exists solely to bless Israel (and, by extension, those who bless her - Gen. 12:3) by discovering the natural resources the Bible suggests lie below the surface of the Promised Land.

Zion Oil "exists because of God's faithfulness to Israel," company founder John Brown told Israel Today in 2011.

At the time, Brown was convinced that the Land was just waiting to spill forth its bounty for the Children of Israel. And he remains convinced of that today.

The new drilling site is located in the Jezreel Valley region of northern Israel.

Zion Oil's Megiddo-Jezreel License is firmly situated in the Levant Basin, an area that experts estimate holds up to 6.6 billion barrels of oil.

The coming months are going to be very exciting for Zion Oil, and the entire nation of Israel.


Israel's Ambivalence Toward Jerusalem

In our special edition celebrating the 50th anniversary of Jerusalem's reunification, we examine Israel's troublesome relationship with its own capital.

The full article appears in the June 2017 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
CLICK HERE to read it all


Israel Finds Unexpected Ally Against Hamas in Saudi Arabia

It's no secret that Saudi Arabia and Hamas have not always seen eye-to-eye.

But to have the oil-rich kingdom openly call for Hamas' demise, knowing that the terror group exists first and foremost to destroy Israel, is a pretty big step forward.

And that's precisely what happened this week when Saudi Arabia insisted that if Qatar wants to end its current dispute with Middle East powers, it must stop supporting terrorists like Hamas.

On Monday, Saudi Arabia joined Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates in cutting all diplomatic ties to Qatar, as well as shutting down land, sea and air links to the Gulf state.

By basing reconciliation on Qatar ceasing its relationship with Hamas and its parent organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, Saudi Arabia has drawn a new and surprising line in the sands of this volatile region.


Israel Excitedly Welcomes US Ambassador Nikki Haley

Just days after threatening to withdraw the US from the UN Human Rights Council over its sick obsession with Israel, Ambassador Nikki Haley on Wednesday landed in the Jewish state, where she was warmly welcomed.

Haley is in the country for three days, during which time she will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin.

She'll also visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem and tour Israel's northern and southern borders.

Haley's colleague, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon, will accompany her throughout the visit.

Haley is perhaps the most outspoken supporter of Israel in a Trump Administration that boasts not a few lovers of the Jewish state.

As Haley arrived on Wednesday, Danon told her: "We are honored to welcome you to our country and thank you for standing resolutely by our side. We look forward to showing you our beautiful country as we work together to further strengthen our alliance."


Battle for Britain’s Soul

News of yet another terrorist attack will have had a numbing effect on many of us. The fact that seven died at London Bridge, and that it once again brought back memories of the 7/7 horror of 2005 when my brother was among the severely injured, only added to feelings of despair and sadness just as a concert was being held in Manchester in memory of the 22 who died there less than a fortnight earlier.

But we have lost God’s protective cover because we have stopped serving him; we have said we don’t want him or his laws; and this has made us particularly vulnerable to attack.

Many Christians will identify with the feelings of the prophet Elijah who, after winning a great contest with the idolatrous false prophets on Mt Carmel, realised that he had still not yet convinced Israel’s leaders of their need to turn back to the Lord.

Queen Jezebel was furious at the undeniable display of God’s miraculous power and authority, and was determined to kill his prophet before a day was out. Weary of battle and exhausted from his tireless exploits, Elijah succumbed to a severe bout of depression and ran away.

“I have had enough, Lord,” he said, praying that he would die. What more could he do to bring Israel back to God?

Many British Christians are understandably frustrated and weary. We have been warning our leaders for so long about the Islamic threat along with the dangers of discarding God’s laws. But, as in the days of Jeremiah, their response is to declare ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace: or tell us that the new morality is good for us because it satisfies our need for ‘diversity and equality’. Of course, if you throw God out of the equation, who’s to judge what is right and wrong?

But at last it seems, in the UK, as if the country has had enough too, judging by the tone of Prime Minister Theresa May, saying “enough is enough”, indicating her intent on introducing much tougher measures against terrorism, while Daily Mail columnist Richard Littlejohn said he was sick of politicians pussyfooting around with platitudes. We are engaged in a war that has everything to do with Islam, he writes, citing the chilling statement by one of Saturday night’s attackers, “This is for Allah!”

Scorning the tired mantra that says such atrocities are “nothing to do with Islam”, he even challenged Mrs May’s reference to it being a ‘perversion of Islam’.

“Does she think the Saudi predilection for chopping off heads, or the popular Pakistani sport of stoning to death women accused of adultery are perversions of the religion of peace, too?”

He adds that “it is incontestable that the terrorists are all Muslims who quote the Koran to justify their deranged war against those they consider to be filthy ‘infidels’.” And he says “the political class must shoulder the blame for allowing murderous Islamism to establish deep roots in Britain…”

“Rather than address the root causes of terror, the politicians are content to send the police into the front line – a task to which they rose with exemplary bravery on Saturday night.”

Declaring that we were engaged in a war of attrition which the terrorists were winning, he challenged the politicians to face up to the enemy within.

It’s taken journalists like Richard – Melanie Phillips is another – to call our leaders to account. The church should take note, and rise up as one in challenging the decadent culture we have lamely come to accept in our midst.

Could this be the turning of the tide? Yet the liberal left, at every turn, try their utmost to intimidate those who speak the truth – especially Christians or their allies. And as in the days of Elijah, there is a Jezebel spirit across the land manifested most obviously through the LGBT+ movement which has managed to penetrate every crack and crevice of our government and precious institutions. Even the church, for the most part, has been intimidated into silence in speaking out on sexual ethics for fear of being seen as ‘homophobic’.

Elijah ran away and wanted to die, but God refreshed him instead – with food and sleep, and then with his “still, small voice” that spoke above the earthquake, wind and fire. Further, he was told to anoint his successor, Elisha, to continue the heavenly mission, and was then reminded that there were 7,000 who had not bowed the knee to Baal (the false god).

The remnant of true believers in Britain need to keep their nerve, hold steady and be encouraged. This is no time to run away or give up. Seek God’s refreshing from on high; his limitless power is available as we carry out the gospel mission which alone will turn the tide of evil. There are people all over the country – Muslims included – who are hungry for the truth that will set them free.

The latest London attack took place just 90 minutes before Britons traditionally celebrate the Day of Pentecost – the empowering of the church 2,000 years ago when the Holy Spirit fell on the disciples who were thus endued with “power from on high” (in the words of Jesus) to boldly preach the gospel to the ends of the earth.

Yet the focus at this tragic time in England was on a pop concert when what we really need is another Pentecost. Elijah’s great victory on Mt Carmel was a precursor to Pentecost. He challenged his rivals that the God who answered by fire would be the true God! The false prophets frantically called on their god for hours, and there was no response. But the God of Elijah answered by fire, which burnt up the sacrifice even though it had been covered with large amounts of water. (1 Kings 18.16-46) Do it again, Lord! Send the fire!

Charles Gardner is author of Israel the Chosen, available from Amazon, and Peace in Jerusalem, available from


In the beginning GOD created the world ...

There was darkness and gloom the hearts of the nation of Israel just before the Six Day War, but God was present here as well. After only six days, Israel defeated her invaders and reunited Jerusalem. The Holy City regained her stature.

Creation was completed in 6 days during which God shone His light on mankind. We should be grateful and know that even in the darkest times our Creator will shine His light into the darkness!

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Israel Urges Trump to Stop Giving Money to the Palestinians

Israel Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan on Tuesday urged the Trump Administration to stop send US taxpayers' dollars to the Palestinian Authority.

Erdan was speaking at the World Leaders Plenary of the American Jewish Committee's annual Global Forum in Washington, DC.

He stressed that while Trump was on the right track in forging a global coalition to combat Islamic terrorism, that effort had to include cutting funding to bodies that encourage jihadist violence, like the Palestinian Authority.

Erdan stated:

"[Palestinian leader Mahmoud] Abbas is sending a message to children growing up in the PA that terror pays. The US needs to stop funding the PA, so long as Abbas is paying terrorists. Not one cent of American taxpayer money should be going to fund terrorists.

"Today, more and more leaders are coming to understand that terror is terror, whether it hits the US, England, Egypt, or Israel. We have taken a number of steps that have led to a decrease in terror incidents: The fight against incitement on social media, the removal of legal status from inciting organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood, and the uncovering and drying up of sources of terror funding.

"The time has come to apply these steps to the whole world, and to establish an international coalition in the war on terror and the incitement driving terror. A global challenge requires a global response. Israel is ready to take a central role in leading the new coalition."


Congress Reaffirms: Jerusalem Belongs to Israel

The US Senate on Monday voted 90-0 in favor of a resolution reaffirming that a united Jerusalem is and will forever remain Israel's capital city.

The vote was held to mark the 50th anniversary of Jerusalem's reunification under Israeli rule during the Six Day War in 1967.

The resolution called upon President Donald Trump to abide by a 1995 law stipulating that the US Embassy be relocated from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama all sidestepped the law by citing national security. There remains hope in Israel that Trump will buck that trend.

In related news, US Ambassador Nikki Haley on Tuesday again chastised the United Nations Human Rights Council for its obsession with criticizing Israel, even as genuine human rights crises elsewhere go unmentioned.

"It is essential that this council address its chronic anti-Israel bias if it wants to maintain its credibility," Haley insisted.


Israel Eyes More Settlements to Alleviate Housing Crisis

Israel's Knesset on Tuesday was set to hear a proposal on a massive increase in settlement construction in Samaria (the so-called "West Bank") as a solution to the housing crisis in Greater Tel Aviv.

Known as Gush Dan - or the Dan Bloc - Tel Aviv and its environs is home to the bulk of Israel's population, despite being a very narrow strip of land.

The result has been skyrocketing housing prices that have left most young families unable to purchase a home without moving to periphery regions where jobs are far less plentiful.

The heads of the Yesha Council, which represents the Jewish settlements, say the solution is both simple and obvious.

Just a few short miles to the east of Tel Aviv lies the much more sparsely-populated biblical heartland of Samaria. For the past decade or so, Israel has refrained from mass construction in Samaria due to international pressure to preserve the area for a future Palestinian state.

But, eventually, the needs of the people are going to outweigh foreign pressure. The Yesha Council believes that time has arrived.

The "East Gush Dan" proposal envisions affordable housing for up to 340,000 Israelis in the Samaria lowlands just to the east of Tel Aviv.

It's a plan that makes sense to a growing number of Israelis who see the peace process with the Palestinians going nowhere. Most also see the surprise victory of Donald Trump in the US presidential election as a golden opportunity to further fulfill the biblical mandate to settle these lands - whether out of ideology or necessity.


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Clickbait News and Israeli Humor

Clickbait refers to news portal content designed to lure readers into clicking sensationalist headlines or pictures.

The clicks themselves generate revenue, hence, the clickbait news has little to do with news and much to do with generating income. The clickbait is the digital version of yellow journalism that profits from sensational and fake news. The difference, however, is that previously yellow journalism was in a category of its own. Today, clickbait is used by practically all news portals.

Israel is no exception. Clickbait now appears almost daily on our main news portals such as Ynet, Mako and NRG.

Here are a few headline examples from Israeli digital newspapers and news portals which will help identify clickbait headlines and pictures. The daily Ha'aretz: "[Chef] Meir Adoni drowns Caesarea in oil"; Mako news portal: "Glass coffin was found under a house with a chilling finding in it"; Walla news portal: "Porn star fan of Bibi Netanyahu"; NRG news portal: "Ouch: What happened to young girls on water slide?"

But a growing number of Israelis have learned to spot clickbait, and have turned the phenomenon into a sort of humor contest.

The latest example comes from Ynet with the headline: "Faceless fish was discovered along the shores of Australia." The item itself reports on a deep-sea fish discovered by an Australian expedition. The fish itself was discovered back in 1873, and the supposed faceless creature has a face, albeit not of the common kind. "It has neither distinct eyes nor nose, and its mouth, well," says Ynet, "it's on the lower part." This piece of news is practically worthless apart from the clicks it generates.

This piece of "news" attracted some well deserved comments. Here are some of them: "Is this a kosher fish?"; "How could this fish have a stinky head."; "It looks like one of the Meretz party [extreme left] voters."; "Why did you kill it, morons?"; "This is probably a piece of wreckage from the Malaysian airplane [that went missing]."

Some of the comments on such clickbait "news" items are so funny that people are now looking for them, and in so doing are playing right into the hands of those designing them. Nevertheless, clickbait has become a good source of humor for bored employees and students.


Jordan Intensifies Anti-Israel Rhetoric Despite Security Challenges

Originally written for the Investigative Project on Terrorism

Jordan, a country that has had a formal peace treaty with Israel since 1994, has seen an uptick in anti-Israel hostility.

Last month, Jordan condemned the killing of a Jordanian-Palestinian attacker who was filmed stabbing an Israeli policeman multiple times before he was shot, calling it "a heinous crime." In September, Israeli police killed a Jordanian tourist who attacked with a knife. Jordan described this act of self-defense as a premeditated and "barbaric act of the army of the Israeli occupation."

Israeli analysts disagree whether Jordan's rhetoric is a cause for concern.

Since the second Palestinian Intifada broke out in 2000, Jordan's public statements often contradict private behavior, said Elad Ben-Dror, a Bar-Ilan University Middle Eastern Studies senior lecturer. Publicly, "the Jordanian parliament and press are fierce in their denunciation of Israel... Beneath the surface, however, there is a strong link and security cooperation between the two countries, especially with regard to the war on terrorism."

Jordanian demographics drive the public vitriol, said Tel Aviv University Contemporary Middle Eastern History Chair Eyal Zisser. Palestinians comprise half the Jordanian population, "and because the population is conservative and very much Islamic, the regime lets the anti-Israeli sentiments as a way to vent and reduce...pressure on the regime."

So "cheap shots" like condemning the shooting of a terrorist in the act of trying to kill are "aimed at showing the Palestinians in Jordan [that] the Hashemites have not abandoned them," said Oded Eran, a senior research fellow at Israel's Institute for National Security Studies. "The King expects the Israeli government" to ignore such statements. And for the most part, Jerusalem does.

But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently took exception. "It is outrageous to hear the Jordanian government's speaker support the terror attack which occurred today in Jerusalem's Old City," a statement released by Netanyahu's office said. "It's time Jordan stopped playing both sides of the game. Just like Israel condemns terror attacks in Jordan, Jordan must condemn terror attacks in Israel. Terror is terror."

Moreover, some anti-Israel hostility by Jordan goes beyond mere statements.

In March, Jordan released Ahmed Daqamseh, a former soldier who murdered seven Israeli schoolgirls as they visited his country. His tribe gave him a hero's welcome and he called for Israel's destruction on Al-Jazeera TV. Many lawmakers and politicians had reportedly lobbied to set him free, and doing so may have been a populist move.

Jordan also hosts "Al-Quds," the official TV station of Hamas, the Gaza-based terror group committed to Israel's destruction.

Some experts think Israel should stop turning the other cheek. "Israel is assisting Jordan economically, providing it with fresh water and [helping] in many other areas. It is entitled and even obligated to insist that Jordan moderate its criticism and certainly that it not support anti-Israeli terrorism," Ben-Dror said.

Israel should "slowly alter the rules of the game" by insisting that Jordan's monarch condemn Palestinian violence, said Bar-Ilan political scientist Hillel Frisch. "Israel has to make him sweat a little but not, of course, at the expense of his throne."

"I'm glad that Netanyahu rebuked him over the attempted murder of the policeman," Frisch said. "I'd like to see more rebukes in the future, especially regarding the Waqf guards' role in incitement on Har Habayit." Under the terms of Israel's peace treaty with Jordan, the Jordanian-run Waqf Islamic religious trust administers the Temple Mount, but has been leading efforts to deny and erase any Jewish connection to the site.

Last July, three members of the Islamic Waqf attacked a group of archeologists at the site. The harassment continued in January, when Islamic guards tried to remove an Israeli tour guide for calling the area the "Temple Mount," insisting that he use the Islamic term "Haram al-Sharif."

While King Abdullah might have an unspoken understanding with his "Arab Street" that requires regular condemnations of Israel, the sustainability of such an arrangement remains a concern. The same Islamist forces to which he panders could eventually hobble his policy objectives, or worse.

Last October, a grassroots campaign was launched by Jordanian activists to turn off the lights to protest Jordan's gas deal with Israel. The "lights-out action came on the heels of a protest march [recently] in downtown Amman that attracted an estimated 2,500 demonstrators, making it one of the largest protests in Jordan in recent years," the Jerusalem Post reported. The protests reportedly included chants against both the gas deal and Jordan's peace with Israel.

Reflecting popular opposition, the lower house of Jordan's Parliament overwhelmingly opposed the 2014 gas deal. The opposition includes leading Jordanian trade unions, Islamists, and secularists.

By indulging public opinion with anti-Israel rhetoric, Abdullah risks encouraging and popularizing the type of movement that could eventually topple him. Jordanian Islamists recently murdered a prominent Christian writer who faced legal charges for sharing a "blasphemous" anti-ISIS cartoon that outraged Muslim groups. Honor killings are increasing in Jordan.

Last November, Jordan's highest religious authority slammed as "false and insignificant" an Israeli bill to ban the Muslim call to prayer via loudspeakers during sleeping hours throughout Israel. The Israeli bill would apply to the sound systems of all houses of worship, not only mosques, and countries like India and Egypt have enacted similar limitations.

Anti-Israel hostility might be aggravated by Jordan's overall situation. Economic woes and an influx of Syrian refugees are bringing increasing instability, Israeli Ambassador to Jordan Einat Shlein warned in March.

Frisch is less concerned: "I remember from [over 50 years ago] how the pundits predicted the Jordanian monarchy's imminent fall. My take is that... [King Abdullah] has money (Saudi and Gulf) and lots of intelligence and logistical support (Israel, US, British) and the more heterogeneous his population, the more room for maneuver [he has] to play the role of arbiter."

Although Jordan has economic challenges, the regime is stable, Ben-Dror said. "Jordanians see what is happening in Syria and Iraq and appreciate the stability the regime provides. I think that most Jordanians want to preserve the status quo – the Hashemite regime. The combination of outside support for the country and the domestic support of its citizens guarantee its survival."

Mutual interests provide some insurance for Israel-Jordan relations, Eran said. Jordan needs Israeli cooperation and expertise when it comes to "security, water [Jordan] also needs at least a semblance of a peace process between Israel and the Palestinians to prevent unrest" among Jordanian Palestinians.

Indeed, that synergy may explain why Israel's Foreign Ministry declined to comment on Jordanian hostility towards Israel.

"Jordan protects Israel from the east," Zisser said. "It's better to have the Jordanians as our neighbors than to have ISIS, the Iranians, the Syrians, or the Iraqis. So security is above all, and as long as the Jordanians keep the border quiet and cooperate with Israel," the rest can be tolerated.

Still, if King Abdullah views Israel as key to his regime's success, and he also needs support from the Jordanian "street" for his regime's survival, then why – despite being the most powerful figure in Jordan – has he done so little to align public opinion with his strategic objectives? If King Abdullah can order bloody crackdowns on terrorists, can't he promote more moderate thinking among the general population, by – for example – pushing the press to include fair and balanced coverage of Israel?

"The King is not as powerful as one thinks," Zisser said. "There were many protests against corruption, unemployment etc., so... [he] needs to maneuver carefully."

But Frisch disagreed: "Abdullah has been in the throne long enough to influence and shape public opinion rather [than] pander to it. He might be doing this deliberately to derail any peace process that might lead to a Palestinian state, which he certainly does not want. He wants Israel, as the strongest state on the block to contain Palestinian nationalism and radicalism."

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


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Pentecost: The Purpose and the Commandments

Pentecost, or Feast of Weeks, is the conclusion of Passover that took place seven weeks earlier. The two holidays are connected via the Counting of the Omer which started on the second day of Passover. The counting of 49 days represents the preparation and anticipation for the giving of the Torah, that, according to Jewish tradition, was given on Pentecost.

Following this line of thought, on Passover the people of Israel were freed from the bondage of the Egyptian slavery hence, from the physical aspect of slavery. On Pentecost, with the giving of the Torah, the people of Israel were made free from the bondage of the natural laws through obedience to the divine commandments which are in the Torah.

This percieved contradiction of law and freedom baffles Christians, many of whom have been trained to think of the Law as enslaving rather than making one free. Secular Jews also tend to think along these lines. For them the Torah takes away the freedom to live as one wishes.

But from the long-held Jewish perspective, the Pentecost marks a joyous event in which the people of Israel agreed to accept the Torah, something that shouldn't be taken for granted, given the natural reaction to the many laws that, as stated, seemingly restricts rather than extends freedom.

The contradiction between Law and freedom has occupied Jewish sages from time immemorial, and their conclusions are profound. Commenting on the physical aspect of the divine Tablets as described in Exodus 32:16 – "the tablets were God’s work, and the writing was God’s writing engraved on the tablets" – the Talmudic sage rabbi Joshua son of Levi takes advantage of the Hebrew language, and slightly changes the vowels of "engraved" to reach the conclusion that one should read "freedom" - (herut instead of harut). "Freedom on the tablets" thus have become the way in which Jews view the commandments.

How the commandments make one free was explained by the renowned scholar Yeshayahu Leibowitz, in his 1953 article, "Practical Commandments." Human beings, he reasons, can't escape the laws of nature. This means that man is bound to the "causal chain of forces … which act upon him and within him." The natural man is enslaved to the natural laws, and as such is "just like the cattle grazing in the pasture, which are also free from the Torah and Commandments; that is, from any law externally imposed.” This bondage includes will and reason. The conclusion, then, is that for man to be truly free, he must have external, divine, forces working within him; forces that are provided through the commandments.

From this perspective, for Jews to be free from their beastly nature, they must accept other laws than human laws in order to transcend nature. Israel is therefore, since the giving of the Law are under a divine unnatural law, that has the external power to elevate them to a higher state that can make them a light to the world.


Mary’s Marathon Walk

At this time of Shavuot (also known as Pentecost), when we celebrate the giving of the Law through Moses 50 days after the exodus from Egypt, and its ultimate fulfilment in Yeshua (Jesus), consider how a young Welsh girl inspired a global explosion of God’s word.

In the year 1800, 15-year-old Mary Jones completed a marathon walk over the mountains to purchase a Bible, which was to become her most treasured possession.

A weaver’s daughter from a poor community, Mary lost her father to asthma when she was very young and was living with her mother in the tiny hamlet of Llanfihangel-y-pennant (near Dolgellau) in the shadow of the Idris mountain on the edge of Snowdonia.

Bibles were hard to come by in those days, especially copies in the Welsh language. Mary became a Christian, aged eight, through attending her village chapel and subsequently saved up for six long years – carrying out various errands like sewing garments and selling eggs – before she finally had enough to buy her own copy of the Scriptures.

So she set off barefoot on a 26-mile trek over mountain tracks to the town of Bala, where she knocked on the door of Rev Thomas Charles, who was so profoundly moved and inspired by her efforts that he and others were determined to make the Bible available to everyone at an affordable price – not only in Welsh, but in every tongue.

This led to the founding within just four years of the British and Foreign Bible Society (now known simply as the Bible Society), which has since published millions of Bibles in hundreds of languages, and has branches all over the world including Israel (on Jaffa Road, Jerusalem and Ben Yehuda Street, Tel Aviv), from whence God’s word had first been proclaimed.

Mary’s epic journey has thus helped to bring God’s light – and salvation – to every corner of the globe, and has given new meaning to the ancient Scripture: “Your word is a lamp for my feet, and a light for my path.” (Psalm 119.105)

Who knows but that the eternal fruit of Mary’s marathon may have partly contributed to what the Book of Revelation describes as “a great multitude that no-one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.” (Revelation 7.9)

Historical records indicate that the village where Mary grew up was strongly influenced by the 18th century Methodist revival. Bala had certainly been experiencing fresh heavenly fire in the years immediately preceding her extraordinary shopping expedition.

With the immense popularity of marathon running today, many will be familiar with the distance Mary walked, equal to that covered in ancient Greece by the herald who ran all the way to Athens to announce victory at the Battle of Marathon.

But Mary’s feat would be hard to beat, because it was to bring good news of the victory of Jesus over death and sin, and revolutionise the lives of millions down the ages.

In a generation when parents drive their children to school, perhaps less than a mile away, perhaps it’s time to re-educate our kids about what really matters in life? Teaching the precepts of God is not only good for the soul, but health for the body (Proverbs 3.7f).

The Bible says “physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” And it adds that we should “run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus…” In addressing the need for self-discipline, St Paul challenges: “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” Perhaps Mary was urged on by Paul’s motto: “…forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 4.8, Hebrews 12.1f, 1 Corinthians 9.24, Philippians 3.13f)

Bible Society is now helping to raise the profile of Mary’s story, and made an excellent start in 2014 with the opening of Mary Jones World at Llanycil, just a mile to the west of Bala, alongside the beautiful lake of the same name. A disused church has been renovated (even with underfloor heating) and now houses a superb state-of-the-art exhibition enabling visitors to spend several hours discovering more about the Bible as well as engaging with an inspiring story that shook the world.

At Shavuot we remember how Jesus came to fulfil the Law (Matthew 5.17) and how it came to be written, not just on tablets of stone, but on the hearts of those who believed as they were endued with power from on high (Acts 1.8, Luke 24.49, Acts 2.4, 2 Corinthians 3.3, Ezekiel 36.26).

My personal Pentecost took place on April 3rd 1980. I spoke in tongues with some difficulty, but I have no doubt that I was endued with power from on high as I received an emboldening to share my faith as never before.

Chapels can be seen almost everywhere you look in Wales – sadly many have been turned to other uses such as homes and shops, but they remain signs of several significant revivals over recent centuries which have shaken the world, and for which Christians on all continents can be truly thankful.

Do it again, Lord! Send your fire on our newly-restored altars of sacrifice as we honour, worship and proclaim your name among the nations. (See 1 Kings 18.16-40)


INTERVIEW: My Quantum Leap

Like so many Israelis, Oria Amrani (46) never gave much thought to the Temple Mount. But, despite not being religious, her first visit to the Temple Mount, which took place only a month or so ago, transformed her life.

The full article appears in the June 2017 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
CLICK HERE to read it all


Conclusion Of the Parable Of Two Trains

As I shared in the two previous articles, I see this “parable” unfolding right before our eyes today. I said the Scriptures revealed that God’s ultimate plan was to unite passengers from the two trains, the Jewish Train and the Gospel Train, when both pulled into the Jerusalem station after their centuries-long journey. Which I believe they have. And that Yeshua was about to get off here and we are to follow.

Sadly, Scripture also reveals that many on the Gospel Train won’t get off. They will remain seated and then suddenly find themselves heading off into the outer darkness… where “there’ll be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt 8:5). Which will show they never were his followers to begin with. Or if they were, they have been deceived.

How could this happen?

Over the centuries, conductors had arisen on the Gospel Train who began to spiritualize the train’s purpose. The passengers were not told of the Jewish roots of their faith. Nor encouraged to believe “they were Abraham’s seed, heirs according to promise” (Gal. 3:29). Nor told of the glorious reunion in the promised land at journey’s end. But instead were taught the train ride itself was a new religion for Gentile believers, and that our final destination was Heaven. Even the gospel message was altered. And soon many were allowed to board the train who did not even know Yeshua.

Yet God’s spirit was still drawing those who were His to Messiah in every generation. And the train travelled on.

Things on the Jewish Train, however, were quite different. Those passengers never lost sight of their identity or their train’s ultimate destination. They never stopped hoping that “next year” it would arrive again in their beloved Jerusalem. They just couldn’t see how it was possible. So when it miraculously arrived in 1948 they were as amazed as the rest of the world. But the idea they would one day merge with the passengers on the other train was inconceivable. They remembered all too well previous encounters with what had become called “the Christian Train.” And those memories were painful.

But this is a new day. God has been hard at work in the hearts of many of Yeshua’s true followers to love and support Israel. And to repent of the times we did not intercede to help those on the Jewish Train when we could have. As a result, this recent unsolicited outpouring of Christian love has caused many Jews to have a change of heart about the people on the Gospel Train. And a new foundation of trust and good will has been laid to prepare us all for the coming reunion.

Although many lovers of Zion on the Gospel Train are now ready to disembark, the doors haven’t officially opened. God is giving all his regathered sheep time to awaken and realize this is our last stop. And to “come out of her My people” (Rev. 18:4). So, until the doors open we must wait. When they do, I believe it will be a divinely orchestrated event (Isa. 52:10-12) that will leave no doubt in anyone’s mind who Messiah is. And who Israel is.

But until then we are instructed to “take up the full armor of God, so that we will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm” (Eph. 6:13). But above all, be ready!

The doors will open right on time.

Brian Hennessy is the author of Valley of the Steeples


BDS Strikes Again - This Time in Lebanon

Lebanese authorities banned the new Wonder Woman movie Wednesday hours before it was due to premiere in the capital Beirut following a campaign against its lead actress, Gal Gadot, who served in the Israeli army, a security official and activists said.

A premiere scheduled for Wednesday was cancelled at the last minute as the ban began to take hold.

Lebanon is officially at war with Israel aas the two countries have faced off in a number of wars the latest in 2006 which left much of the Lebanese infrastructure battered and left hundreds dead.

"This time around the campaign bore fruit in contradiction to the previous campaign against the movie "Batman v Superman", in which Gadot also starred," said Rania Masri a campaigner against the screening of the movie.

Masri further said, "it was 'different' this time because of a major media push against the movie that has helped the ban."

The leading al-Akhbar newspaper had a front page article titled "The Israeli soldier has no place in Lebanon."

Gadot had praised the IDF's actions during the 2014 Gaza-Israel war sending prayers to, "soldiers who are risking their lives protecting my country against the horrific acts conducted by Hamas", she wrote on her Facebook page.


A perfect picture of peace

The massacre of the innocents in Manchester last week was a shocking reversal of scenes I witnessed in the city two years ago which was a perfect picture of reconciliation and peace.

The twisted ideology of Islamist suicide bomber Salman Abedi was a complete contrast to the loving arms I saw reaching out to one another at the event I headlined ‘Middle East peace in Manchester’.

Delegates from all over the Arab world had come together for a unique conference. And as Iran continued its aggressive stance against Israel, threatening to wipe the Jewish state off the map, Iranian refugees and asylum seekers now living in Britain embraced their Jewish ‘brothers’, some of whom had travelled from Jerusalem to meet with them. Also present was a sizeable contingent of Egyptians along with representatives from Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon and Algeria.

As part of the great untold story of the Middle East, the three-day conference was hosted by the Church’s Ministry among the Jewish people (CMJ). Although working mainly among Jews since its founding in 1809, CMJ has also consistently been reaching out to Arabs over the years and has held several At the Crossroads conferences at their Jerusalem headquarters to enable Jew and Gentile to express their oneness in Christ and work together to spread the gospel on the basis of a prophecy from Isaiah (chapter 19) of a “highway” of peace and reconciliation from Egypt to Assyria (which includes much of the modern-day Arab world) via Israel.

For the second of what is now a bi-annual event, in 2014, a number of UK-based Iranians, as well as a group of Egyptians, were turned back at the border and thus missed out on a chance to meet up with other Muslim-background believers from the Middle East. And so UK at the Crossroads was arranged to encourage and inspire those who would struggle – mainly due to visa issues – to enter Israel.

A Messianic rabbi from Jerusalem was delighted that so many Iranians had turned up for the conference – they have established thriving churches throughout England – and implored them to join him in praying for barriers to be broken between their two countries. And before he had finished speaking, they came forward to pray for him, and for Israel!

Sessions were interspersed with times of worship in Arabic, Farsi (the language spoken in Iran), Hebrew and English creating a beautiful atmosphere of shared love and identity. Communication may have been a challenge at times, but you only had to look in each other’s eyes to know you were one in Christ who, in the words of St Paul, destroys the dividing wall of hostility, creating "one new man" out of the two, thus making peace and reconciling both Jew and Gentile to God through the cross. (Ephesians 2.14-16)

It is through Jesus' substitutionary death for sinners that these men and women have been brought together. Hatred has been replaced by love, and war exchanged for peace. And this peace is accessible to all.

So why are we living in such fear and danger with threats of terror stalking our nation, and the Western world in general, as well as the Middle East which has experienced conflict for so long?

The short and simple answer has formed the basis of much literature over the centuries, built around the ancient plot of good versus evil. But it is not make-believe; there is a real spiritual battle going on between God and the devil – and we ignore it at our peril.

Fortunately our forbears knew that civilization was the outcome of love and respect for neighbour encapsulated by the Ten Commandments handed down from God himself! But we have jettisoned these principles in favour of moral relativism, denying the reality of an ultimate authority to which we will all have to give account. (2 Corinthians 5.10)

In adopting secularism and humanism, we are saying we want nothing to do with God. So it is hardly surprising that we have lost the protective cover he has long provided as we fall prey to violence and defeat. If we had been this weak when threatened by Nazi invasion during World War II, we would have been a much easier target. But our leaders encouraged us to pray, and we prevailed. Tragically, it now seems that evil is winning the day. We need to repent – that is, change our minds about God and ask his forgiveness.

It is salutary to read the response of a leading 19th century Christian to a terrible disaster at Great Yarmouth in May 1845 when 75 people drowned after a bridge collapsed at a circus event. Rev J C Ryle (later Bishop of Liverpool) wrote and distributed a tract focusing, not on the disaster itself, but on challenging readers about their souls. “Where would your soul be now, if you had been among the 75 who were drowned?” he asked. His chief concern was that the people of his day should be ready at all times to meet their Maker. "I warn you – it is a fearful thing to die unprepared to meet God."

Jesus himself responded in similar fashion to a disaster of his time involving the death of 18 people when the tower in Siloam fell on them, asking: “Do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” (Luke 13.4f)

The 22 adults and children who lost their lives in the Manchester atrocity were the innocent victims of a mass murderer. It was terribly tragic, but it’s also a wake-up call for us to reckon with God. In the words of J C Ryle, “Are you living for him? Are you are true Christian? Have you really repented of your sins and turned from them?”

Charles Gardner is author of Israel the Chosen, available from Amazon, and Peace in Jerusalem, available from


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VIDEO: 2000-Year-Old Jerusalem's Main Street Sheds New Light on the City's Last Hours

Jerusalem Day has prompted Israel Antiquities Authority to release more information on the excavations of the City of David. The following is an excerpt of IAA report, and video on the latest underground finding from the City of David, unveiling the last hours of Jerusalem as it fell into the hands of the Romans.

"Arrowheads and stone ballista balls were discovered on the main street that ascended from the city’s gates and the Pool of Siloam to the Temple, which was excavated in recent years. These finds tell the story of the last battle between the Roman forces and the Jewish rebels who had barricaded themselves in the city … This battle is described by the historian Flavius Josephus: 'On the following day the Romans, having routed the brigands from the town, set the whole on fire as far as Siloam" (Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book 6:363)'."

"According to Nahshon Szanton and Moran Hagbi, the directors of the excavation on the stepped-street on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, 'Josephus’ descriptions of the battle in the lower city come face-to-face for the first time with evidence that was revealed in the field in a clear and chilling manner. Stone ballista balls fired by catapults used to bombard Jerusalem during the Roman siege of the city, were discovered in the excavations. Arrowheads, used by the Jewish rebels in the hard-fought battles against the Roman legionnaires were found exactly as described by Josephus'."

"So far, a section of the road, 100 m long and 7.5 m wide, paved with large stone slabs as was customary in monumental construction throughout the Roman Empire, has been exposed in the excavations. The archeological excavations on the street utilize a combination of advanced and pioneering research methods, the results of which so far strengthen the understanding that Herod the Great was not solely responsible for the large construction projects of Jerusalem at the end of the Second Temple period. Recent research indicates that the street was built after Herod’s reign, under the auspices of the Roman procurators of Jerusalem, and perhaps even during the tenure of the Roman governor Pontius Pilate, who is also known for having sentenced Jesus to death by crucifixion."

"According to the exacvation's directors, Szanton and Hagbi, 'this conclusion in fact sheds new light on the history of Jerusalem in the late Second Temple Period, and reinforces recognition of the importance of the Roman procurators’ rule in shaping the character of Jerusalem'."

"According to Dr. Yuval Baruch, the Jerusalem region archaeologist for the Israel Antiquities Authority, 'we intend to uncover the entire length and width of the street within five years. When the excavations are completed, the remains of the street will be conserved and developed and made ready to receive the tens of thousands of visitors who will walk along it'."


Trump Completely Un-enamored With Abbas

During the apparent love-fest between Mahmoud Abbas and POTUS Trump at the Whitehouse in early May, Trump tweeted that it "was an honor to meet with PA President Mahmoud Abbas".

It didn't take much time for Israel's PM Binyamin Netanyahu to come out strongly and castigate Abbas for blatantly lying to Trump regarding the former's intention to reach a peace agreement with Israel. Trump then went and deleted his tweet effectively retracting his words of respect for Abbas.

After the debacle involving the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs' donation and support of establishing a women's center, which was subsequently dedicated to a terrorist Dalal Mughrabi who carried out one of the most deadly terrorist attacks in Israel's history, it has emerged that Trump showed that he will not tolerate brazen lies and support for incitement to terrorism.

When Trump and Abbas met in Bethlehem during the POTUS' whirlwind visit to Israel last week, Trump made it clear during their joint press conference that support for terrorism and incitement must end. Trump alluded to the PA's continued support and payments to jailed murderers and terrorists stating, "these actions are obstacles to peace."

Reports have emerged that the closed door meeting between Trump and Abbas was definitely not friendly when Abbas reiterated that his Fatah faction was not involved in anti-Israel and anti-Semitic incitement.

Trump reportedly yelled at Abbas, "You tricked me in Washington! You talked to me about peace, but the Israelis showed me that you are personally supporting incitement. Peace can never take root in a place where violence is tolerated, funded and even rewarded."


COMMENTARY: The Parable About Two Trains. Continued...

In a previous article I suggested that the story of Israel over the last two millennia could be seen as two trains rumbling across the pages of history on separate tracks. One I called the Jewish Train, the other the Gospel Train (later known as the Christian or Church Train).

Speaking symbolically, I said both trains had arrived back at the very station from where they had set out long ago – in Jerusalem. And that I believed this signaled a paradigm shift in what God was about to do next.

I described this shift as Yeshua disembarking from the Gospel Train in Jerusalem and telling all his followers to follow him. I stated that the goal of the train had been to locate and bring home the fullness of the “Gentiles.” And that this mission had finally reached the hour of its completion. At the right moment, we are to exit the train before the doors close again. Or we’ll find ourselves trapped in “the outer darkness” (Matt. 22:13,14).

I’m so convinced of the understanding I expressed in this “parable” I want to expand on it. We saw what happened to the Jewish nation in the first century when they chose to cling to their religion rather than receive their Messiah and the blessings of their New Covenant. We don’t want to make that same mistake and suffer similar consequences. Because that same choice, I believe, is going to be given to us.

Although both Jews and Yeshua’s followers have been travelling in two different trains for centuries it was never God’s plan for us to remain separated. God only has one chosen people, one nation and one destination. The trains were always scheduled to return to the land promised to Abraham and his descendants. And when they did return we were to get off and reunite with those who were His to become one new man in Yeshua. One new glorious kingdom.

The apostle Peter called this time “the period of restoration” (Acts 3:21). It is what the disciples had hoped for when they asked Yeshua, “Lord, is it at this time you are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6). It is the same end-time event spoken of by all the Hebrew prophets who prophesied God would one day gather together all His lost and scattered sheep from the ends of the earth. “And I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel…and My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd” (Ezek. 37:22,24).

This has been God’s plan from the beginning.

Brian Hennessy is the author of Valley of the Steeples


Make This Shavuot Especially Sweet!

Israeli mothers have been devoting themselves to preparing treats for the Feast of Shavuot. By tradition Shavuot is celebrated with dairy desserts and cakes.

The tradition stems from the fact that the Israelites, after leaving Egypt, arrived in the "Land of Milk and Honey".

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Despite the Promises to Trump, the PA Incitement Continues

The Palestinian Authority built a "women's center" in Burqa with aid that originated with Norway. They placed the Norwegian Foreign Ministry's logo on the building in recognition of the funding.

And then... the PA promptly dedicated the center in honor of Dalal Mughrabi the terrorist that carried out one of the most deadly and gruesome terror attacks in Israel's history.

35 Israeli civilians were killed, including 12 children in the Coastal Road Massacre in 1978. Dalal Mughrabi was the commander of the terrorist cell that carried out the attack. She was eliminated in the ensuing battle between the terrorists and Israeli security forces.

Norwegian Foreign Minister Børge Brende strongly opposed the move by the PA and demanded that the Norwegian Foreign Ministry's logo be immediately removed from the building and that the aid money used to fund the construction be returned.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying, "Norway took the right step. A firm stance against the commemoration of terrorists is an integral part of the international effort to eradicate terrorism. We recommend that the international community thoroughly check where their money is invested in the Palestinian Authority and we expect all project partners to act as Norway did."


Netanyahu Pits Trump Against the UN Over Jerusalem

When US President Donald Trump visited the Western Wall sporting a kippa (yarmulka), it was a clear affirmation that the site is as the Jews say - Judaism's holiest shrine.

And, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu subsequently pointed out, that was a clear repudiation of the position recently taken by the United Nations.

During a Knesset session marking the 50th anniversary of Israel's liberation of the eastern side of Jerusalem, including the Western Wall, Netanyahu stated:

Trump's visit "destroyed UNESCO’s propaganda and lies."

Netanyahu further insisted that with the city now reunited under Jewish rule, it will never again be divided.

"The Temple Mount and the Western Wall will forever remain under Israeli sovereignty," said the Israeli leader.

What that means for Trump's new Mideast peace push is yet to be seen.

Until now, the Palestinian leadership has categorically refused to accept any agreement that doesn't include Israel's surrender of eastern Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.

Will the "Trump Effect" be enough to make the Palestinians back down?


Exclusive Interview With a Temple Mount Liberator

One of three paratroopers from the iconic photo of the liberation of Jerusalem visits Israel Today.

The full article appears in the June 2017 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
CLICK HERE to read it all


A Day After Trump's Visit, All Hell Breaks Loose on the Temple Mount

President Trump made a big statement by visiting the Western Wall while in Jerusalem this week.

And that statement was that the site is indeed one holy to Jews (and, by extension, Christians).

It was a major repudiation of Muslim claims that the Temple Mount is holy only to Islam and that the Jews have no connection to it. (Never mind that the New Testament speaks repeatedly of the JEWISH Temple Mount.)

And just a day after Trump left the region, Muslims responded to his statement by attacking Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount.

A group of Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount attempted to assert their right to pray there, and were immediately and violently attacked by Muslims.

Israeli police removed the Jewish group and arrested three of the Muslims.

Throughout the incident, Muslims can be seen cursing Jews for daring to enter the Temple Mount, which is today occupied by Islamic shrines.


VIDEO: Happy Jerusalem Day!


OPINION: Not All Israelis Were Happy to See Trump

While President Trump was meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Monday night, after a private afternoon visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Western Wall, a protest took place outside the US Embassy in Tel Aviv.

Those protesting were a hodge-podge of different groups varying between green protesters opposing the Trump Administration’s environmental policies to those opposed to the administration’s policy of limiting funding of Planned Parenthood.

One particular group was a mixed Arab / Jewish group advocating that Trump “go home” and leave the region to thrash things out for themselves.

President Trump proved to be an enigma while visiting the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Western Wall. He quietly acknowledged that both of these sites fell within Israel while saying…. nothing!

This quiet diplomacy really speaks volumes by tip-toeing between the issues without committing to any particular viewpoint or making sweeping statements regarding the sovereignty of any particular party.

President Trump did state that Jerusalem was the Capital of Israel, after the debacle of the “shouting match between Israeli and US Consulate employees regarding Trump’s visit to the Western Wall, before leaving the US. His position could easily be summed up by understanding a little bit of decision making within “Game Theory”.

In Game Theory one can make your opponents reach an assumption, false or not, based on moves you did or did not execute or information you did or did not expose.

His visit to Jerusalem’s Old City, as well as the sites holy to two of the world’s monotheistic religions, was turned into a private visit without any political leaders or representatives present.

He did not visit the “third holiest site” in Islam, despite the fact that Jerusalem is never mentioned in the Koran, but the most holy site to Jews, the Temple Mount.

There is sentiment that Trump, by virtue of his weapon deal to the tune of $110 billion with Saudi Arabia, has betrayed the America's closest ally. Or is it just the case of “the enemy of my greatest enemy is my friend”? Both the Trump administration and the Israeli government have sworn that Iran must never be allowed to develop nuclear weapons and Saudi Arabia is on board with this position.

Both administrations have acknowledged that the Obama / Iran nuclear agreement was a “free pass” to nuclear weapons by Obama to the Iranian leadership.


Israel Celebrates Jerusalem Day

Jerusalem is not only festively decorated, but Jerusalem flags and Israel flags adorn the streets and flap majestically in the wind! Ceremonies are being held all over the city, and her citizens are out dancing in parks, streets and in the Old City!

Our shop has also been infected and we have introduced our "Israel Celebrates" category! Check out our shop with great CDs, new pendants, tasty Israeli coffee and many more surprises!

We are offering up to 20% on all the products in this category.


Trump Did Not Once Mention a Palestinian State

Israeli right-wingers got what they saw as a major endorsement for their policies when US President Donald Trump failed to publicly mention a Palestinian state even one time during his two-day visit.

That stands in sharp contrast to Barack Obama, who focused heavily on the Arabs' desired (initial) outcome of the peace process.

Already when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Washington back in February, Trump made clear that he wasn't married to the two-state solution, and would be giving Israel far more leeway than previous presidents when it comes to outlining the parameters of a viable and lasting peace deal.

Many Israelis felt that Trump and Netanyahu disagreed somewhat on the list of priorities in the region, Trump appearing to take the Arab position that all other regional ills would be lessened, if not solved, by Israel and the Palestinians reaching an agreement.

He also failed to address the issue of relocating America's embassy to Jerusalem, a major electoral campaign promise.

But there was a lot for Israelis to be pleased about.

Not least of which the timing of Trump's visit, coinciding as it did with the Hebrew calendar anniversary of Jerusalem's reunification under Israeli rule exactly 50 years ago.

Trump also became the first sitting US president to ever pray at the Western Wall, another subtle affirmation that the contentious Temple Mount is indeed Jewish and belongs in Jewish hands.

All in all, Trump showered Israel with love and praise, and the Israelis more than reciprocated.


WATCH: Trump is First Sitting President to Visit Western Wall


The Selfie Heard Round the World

Ok, maybe it wasn't "heard round the world."

But after Member of Knesset Oren Hazan (Likud) butted his way to the front for a selfie with just-arrived President Trump, that was all most Israelis could talk about during POTUS's first day in the Land.

Hazan wasn't even supposed to be on the front line of dignitaries greeting Trump after he landed at Ben Gurion Airport.

He's not a cabinet minister. He's not particularly well known outside Israel. But, in typical Israeli fashion, Hazan felt he was entitled to be in the spotlight, and aggressively made it happen.

Netanyahu was visibly embarrassed, and certainly gave Hazan a good tongue-lashing later.

Meanwhile, Israelis had a field day with the little incident, which, again, received as much coverage as anything else Trump did yesterday, like visit the Western Wall.

And a phony Trump tweet regarding the incident:

Welcome to Israel, Mr. President!


"Har Ha'Beit B'Yadeinu!"

This was one of the most important announcements of the Six Day War in 1967. "The Temple Mount is in our hands" - these six words caused soldiers to burst into tears and changed the history of Jerusalem forever.

Jews around the world had been waiting to pray at the Western Wall, the remains of the temple, since the occupation of Jordanian forces of the Old City of Jerusalem in 1948. The radio announcement of Motta Gur fulfilled the dream of the Jewish nation.

Our soldiers guard the borders of Israel indefatigably. They protect the very existence of the country, which has been so hard-fought for. On the auspicious occasion of the Jubilee Jerusalem Day celebrations, you will find an offer which includes a solidarity package for our soldiers!

On offer now! A special subscription package which includes a subsidised Soldiers Solidarity Package. You can purchase an annual subscription to Israel Today and pay half price for a Soldiers Solidarity Package. We will make up the other half of the costs of the package.

In our June Golden issue, you will find great articles such as...

  • Nostalgic pictures, combined with modern and current photos
  • Personal quotes and life stories
  • Golden memories and insights
  • Timelines and trips to past epochs
  • And so much more...

Our June Golden Issue of Israel Today Magazine.
CLICK HERE to read it all or to subscribe!


Trump Lands in Israel and Makes History

President Trump landed in Israel today, and immediately made history.

Remember when one of Barack Obama's first trips was to the Middle East, to give that ridiculous speech about Islam in Cairo?

Do you also remember how he very conspicuously REFUSED to visit Israel during that same trip?

Well, Trump did the opposite.

He made a point of including Israel in his first trip abroad. In fact, he is the first US president to do so.

Not only that, Trump's in Israel as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Jerusalem from Arab forces.

With a man as calculating as Trump, that's no coincidence.


Trump and the Old American Policy Toward Jerusalem

President Trump's visit to Israel was preceded by leaks, misinformation and denials concerning the legal status of Jerusalem. 

Trump's visit falls on the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem. Only the naive would believe the timing of the visit is mere coincidence. Trump, as has been demonstrated countless times, is a true ally of Israel, and his visit a day prior to the official Jerusalem Day, together with his visit to the Western Wall, is a statement of acceptance of the status of a united Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

But will Trump be able to change the United States' long-held policy of refusing to publicly acknowledge Jerusalem as the capital of Israel?  Many believe the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act already altered US policy in this regard. But the Act is careful to state that "Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel." 

"Should be" is a far cry from "is," and to date, the United States will not acknowledge Greater Jerusalem as Israel's capital. This, among other reasons, is why, despite the 1995 Act, the US embassy was never moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

That this is still the de facto policy of the US could also be seen in the "Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2003," which states that concerning a "United States citizen born in the city of Jerusalem, the Secretary shall, upon the request of the citizen or the citizen’s legal guardian, record the place of birth as Israel [instead of Jerusalem]." Yet, to this day, the passport of an American born in Jerusalem does not recognize him or her as having been born in Israel.

And now, prior to Trump's visit, an "American official" has stated that the Western Wall is not in Israeli territory. Though this created a controversy that led to Trump's rejection of the statement, this is nonetheless the official American policy. So much so that the New York Times went so far as suggesting that the Western Wall has become a holy site for the Jews only after 1967.

New York Times reporter Mark Lander, who followed up on this controversy, wrote the following on May 15: "Israel claims Jerusalem as its undivided capital. Israeli troops seized the area around the Western Wall, a sacred site for Jews, in 1967 during the Six-Day War, and it has become a highly visible symbol of the disputed nature of Jerusalem, which Palestinians also claim as their capital. The wall lies underneath the Al Aqsa Mosque, or Temple Mount, which is one of the holiest sites in Islam."

This careful wording by a seasoned journalist leaves no doubt as to how the New York Times views Jerusalem. According to them, the Israelis alone claim that Jerusalem's Old City belongs to Israel. And it is only since Israeli troops seized the Old City that it has become a "symbol of the disputed nature of Jerusalem." And, it was only after 1967 that the Palestinians started claiming Jerusalem as their capital.

In other words, Jerusalem has become a problem as a result of Israel seizing control of Judaism's holiest site, the Temple Mount. Prior to that -- when Jews were not allowed to visit the Temple Mount, the Western Wall or any other part of the Old City -- back when the more significant part of Jerusalem was under Jordanian occupation, all was good. 

Like it or not, the New York Times well reflects an American policy not changed since 1949. For this reason, one would be surprised to see President Trump changing this policy. The fact that Trump refused Netanyahu's request to accompany him at the Western Wall is a telling sign of the unchanged American policy toward "occupied" Jerusalem.


Get your Israel Today Digital magazine now 50% off!

On the auspicious occasion of the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, we will be issuing our June Golden Edition.

It will become an heirloom and will be filled with:

  • Nostalgic pictures, combined with modern and current photos
  • Personal quotes and life stories
  • Golden memories and insights
  • Timelines and trips to past epochs
  • And so much more...

This discount offer will be valid only until Wednesday, May 24th, 2017!


Saudis Rejoice Over 'Death' of Obama's Policies

Israel was not the only country in the Middle East happy to see Barack Obama out of the White House.

President Donald Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia over the weekend served as a very public slap in the face of his predecessor.

And it was the Saudis, not Trump, who delivered the blow.

Saudi newspapers Okaz and Al-Madina noted that there was a lot of frustration with Obama's defeatist policies regarding Iran, and that Saudi Arabia sees Trump as heralding a new era of strength in the face of such enemies.

Al-Sharq al-Awsat, a Saudi-owned newspaper published in London, went a step further, publishing a caricature of a wreath being laid at a tombstone reading "Obama's Policies."

In the days leading up to his trip, a number of regional officials, like the Foreign Minister of Bahrain, said that Trump understands the Middle East far better than Obama could ever hope to.


My Yoke is Easy

Israelis consider one of Jesus' most central teachings, as the burdens of modern Judaism mount.

The full article appears in the May 2017 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
CLICK HERE to read it all


Israeli President: Christians Are Our brothers

Israel President Reuven Rivlin said during a meeting with church leaders in Jerusalem that Christians and Jews are "brothers."

Rivlin invited the heads of the various churches in Jerusalem to his official residence on the occasion of Easter.

He used the opportunity to decry the rising persecution of Christians across the Middle East.

"I say to you here, our Christian brothers of Jerusalem, our thoughts are with you at this difficult time," stated Rivlin. "We have all seen the pictures from Syria; I visited some of the injured being treated in Israeli hospitals. What has happened there to the Christian community – and to the whole country – is a stain on all of humanity."

Rivlin went on to note that the Jewish people "know better than any what it means to pray in fear, and suffer from terrorism."

He vowed that Israel would continue to do its utmost to "protect your freedom of worship, your security and the security of your holy sites."


VIDEO: What's it like to be the mother of an IDF soldier?

It is with great pride, and a lot of worrying that every Israeli mother sends her son or daughter to serve in the IDF.


France's new president will NOT recognize 'Palestine'

Palestinian Arabs probably celebrated the victory of Emmanuel Macron in France's presidential election last week.

After all, his opponent, Marine Le Pen, made abundantly clear her frustration with, if not outright disdain for, the Islamic world.

But there was another aspect to the election for Palestinians, who have in recent years tried to get France to take a central role in the Middle East peace process, confident that the liberal European power would be among the first to openly embrace a Palestinian state.

Surely, many thought, Macron's liberal credentials meant he jump at the opportunity to help birth "Palestine."

However, shortly before taking office, Macron made perfectly clear that he would do no such thing.

"Unilateral recognition of Palestine, right now, will undermine stability," said Macron at a political rally, adding that he would not risk France's relationship with Israel to serve the Palestinian agenda.

That's right. France's new liberal president would rather maintain good relations with Israel than recognize "Palestine."

In fact, Macron is even on record equating anti-Zionism with antisemitism, insisting that hatred for the Jewish state "leads directly to antisemitism."

Seems the Palestinians' list of braindead allies is growing thinner.


How Do We Know God Truly Loves Israel?

To most readers of Israel Today, it’s a given that God never stopped loving Israel - even after the nation rejected their Messiah. “For they are beloved for the sake of the fathers” (Rom. 11:28). Unfortunately, too many Christians still do not share that belief. And sadly, and understandably, many Jews are extremely skeptical of His love, also.  

So how can we know with absolute certainty God is truly in Israel’s corner today? 

As for myself, I knew it by the witness of the Holy Spirit when I saw the prophecies concerning Jewish Israel’s restoration being fulfilled right before my eyes. That told me the sorrows they had suffered as a result of God’s expulsion from the land in 70 AD were over.  And that like their seventy years in Babylon, the clock had run out on God’s chastisement.  God was again bringing His people home with divine favor to reestablish them. If there were any lingering doubts, the Six Day War put them to rest.

However, it has been fifty years since that miraculous victory in 1967 and the forces of darkness are again in ascendancy. What Israel’s enemies could not take militarily, it appears Satan hopes to achieve by imposing a political “solution” backed by the might of the nations. As the battle looms larger each day, Christians need to be certain about God’s commitment to stand by Israel.

Ironically, Israel herself has historically questioned God’s oft-stated covenant love for them, expressed in the Hebrew word chesed. Especially in hard times when it looked like He didn’t care enough to intervene.

This chronic disbelief was directly confronted by God through the prophet Malachi.  He began by flat out stating from the beginning, “I have loved you.”  But then chided: “But you say, ‘How have You loved us?’”

He then gave this eye-popping response: “Was not Esau your brother?’ declares the LORD. ‘Yet I have loved (you) Jacob; but hated Esau.” (Mal. 1:2). God was declaring that His eternal love for Israel (Jacob) could be seen in the fact He chose them over the descendants of their father’s twin brother Esau. What’s more, He had done so while both were still in their mother’s womb – “and had not done anything good or bad” (Rom. 9:11).

Now if that answer was startling back then, today it would be totally offensive. In a world suffocating in political correctness we are told that all humanity is fundamentally good. And that God loves and accepts everyone no matter what their belief or lifestyle. The idea that God would choose to love one person and “hate” another borders on being, well, a hate crime. 

To the world, any suggestion that we are basically “sinful” and in need of God’s mercy is insulting.  But God says otherwise. The Bible clearly teaches there are “none righteous…none who do good, not even one” (Rom. 3:10,12). And that without God’s mercy all would perish. 

But even Christians are uncomfortable when they learn how selective God is in showing His mercy to Adam’s doomed race.“For he says to Moses, ‘I will have compassion on whom I have compassion, and have mercy on whom I have mercy’” (Rom. 9:15).Even more startling that His selections were made “before the foundation of the world” (Eph. 1:4). 

For those who think it supremely unfair of God to show mercy to some and not others, Scripture responds: “The thing molded will not say to the molder, ‘Why did you make me like this,’ will it?” (Rom 9:20). God doesn’t ask us to understand it but just to accept it and trust He is a good and just and loving God. And that one day it will all be clear.

But this part of His plan is clear now.

God is determined to redeem His fallen creation one man at a time through His son, Messiah Yeshua. The plan was launched when God chose a “gentile” named Abram, who believed God and was declared righteous for his faith. After renaming him “Abraham,” God chose his son Isaac (and not Ishmael). And then Isaac’s son Jacob (and not Esau). And so on down the line to this very day when He chose you and I. For as Yeshua told us, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him” (John 6:44).

So what was God saying when He told Israel His love was evidenced in choosing Jacob over Esau? He was informing them (and us) that they had had no reason to doubt His love because they hadn’t done anything to deserve it in the first place. It was a sovereign decision on God’s part to show mercy to his descendants. Israel can just rest and trust and rejoice in the fact they’ve been chosen by God.  And stop doubting.

He was also emphasizing that “they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel” (Rom. 9:6). Only a chosen remnant of Abraham’s seed would be saved. As the psalmist declared, “He chooses our inheritance for us, the glory of Jacob whom He loves” (Ps. 47:4). 

Which brings us to the question of God’s commitment to the newly formed State of Israel – even though most have come home in unbelief regarding Yeshua. 

What we need to realize, as Paul explains in Romans 11, is that their forefathers’ rejection of Yeshua was also part of God’s salvation plan. It allowed Him to reveal His mercy as never before by lavishing it upon the least deserving of all His chosen ones - those scattered among the Gentiles. “A nation without understanding” (Rom. 10:19) God called us. By showing mercy to us first He could now show mercy to Jewish Israel. “For God has shut up all [of Abraham’s seed] in disobedience so that He might show mercy to all” (Rom. 11:32).

What a plan! What a God! To Him be the glory forever, amen! 

Brian Hennessy is the author of Valley of the Steeples


An Heirloom From Jerusalem

Sounds like a fairy story doesn't it. For the modern generation a "post" on Facebook is what once used to be a hand written document, adorned with pictures and decorations and could be visited over and over again. With time it becomes a memoir.

Wouldn't it be nice to get something directly from Jerusalem that would, with time, become an heirloom?

It will be filled with:

  • Nostalgic pictures, combined with modern and current photos
  • Personal quotes and life stories
  • Golden memories and insights
  • Timelines and trips to past epochs
  • And so much more...

This is what we will be bringing you with Israel Today's June Golden Issue! Walk together with us through 50 years of united Jerusalem's history, experience and discover the past and the forgotten!


International Bigotry Over Jerusalem

The world powers, EU and the UN are consistent over one thing. Their bigotry regarding Jerusalem.

On November 29, 1947 the UN passed Resolution 181(II) - the Partition Plan of Mandatory Palestine at the end of the British Mandate. The resolution recommended the separation into three parts: an Arab State, a Jewish State and the City of Jerusalem - the Jerusalem Corpus Separatum.

According to the plan, Jews and Arabs living in the Jewish state would become citizens of the Jewish state and Jews and Arabs living in the Arab state would become citizens of the Arab state.

The Plan was accepted by the Jewish Agency for Palestine, despite its perceived limitations while Arab leaders and governments of the surrounding Arab States rejected it and indicated an unwillingness to accept any form of territorial division or to accomodate any form of Jewish State being established in the region.

Immediately after adoption of the Resolution by the General Assembly a civil war broke out, which delayed the implementation of the partition plan. This resistance to the establishment of a Jewish State by the Arab States led to the Declaration of Independence of the nascent State of Israel on May 14, 1948. The next day the combined forces of Lebanon, Syria, the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan, Iraq and Egypt attacked Israel and would "continue fighting until the Zionists were annihilated and driven into the sea".

As a result of this attack on the nascent State of Israel, Jerusalem was attacked and the eastern parts of the city, including the walled Old City of Jerusalem, were occupied by the forces of Transjordan, supported by Iraqi forces. Thus the Arabs were the first entity to occupy any part of the "Jerusalem Corpus Separatum" in contravention of UN Resolution 181 (II).

On January 23, 1950, after the Armistice agreement following the War of Independence, the Israeli Knesset voted that Jerusalem be the capital of the State of Israel by 60 - 2 votes and issued the following declaration: “Whereas with establishment of the state of Israel, Jerusalem once more becomes the capital; Whereas practical difficulties which caused the Knesset and government institutions to be temporarily housed elsewhere have now for the most part been removed and the government is carrying out the transfer of its institutions to Jerusalem; The Knesset expresses the wish that construction of the seat of the government and Knesset in Jerusalem proceed speedily on the site allotted by the government for this purpose.”

During the years 1948 - 1967 there were no condemnations of the Arab occupation of Eastern Jerusalem, in contravention of UN Resolution 181 (II), neither were there any calls for the Arabs to relinquish their control over the city.

Only after the Six Day War in June 1967, where Israel reunited Jerusalem into a single city, did the international forum refer to the Eastern parts of Jerusalem as "occupied".

On Sunday, on the eve of the 69th anniversary of the declaration of war by the Arabs on the "Zionist entity" - the "Nakba" or the "catastrophe" - employees of the US Consulate in Jerusalem, that were involved in advanced preparations of President Trump's official state visit to Israel, once again caused an uproar. As the team approached the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City the American employees turned to the Israeli officials accompanying them stating, "We're asking you to leave, and we need to be left alone. Israeli officials cannot be here; this is not your territory, it's the West Bank."

This outburst, by American State Department employees, is in stark contrast by recent announcements and stated positions by the United State's UN Ambassador Nikki Haley regarding Israel's historical connections to Jerusalem.

PHOTO: Rob Ghost/Flash90


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Follow the Six Day War on Twitter

Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has launched a very special project to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Six Day of War.

Starting today, the 15th of May, the day on which Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser expelled UN peacekeepers from the Sinai Peninsula and closed the Straits of Tiran, you can follow all the drama and action on Twitter.

As part of the project, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has created a number of Twitter accounts representing real people, like then-Prime Minister Levy Eshkol, and fictitious characters to represent the men and women who fought in and experienced the war.

Then-Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, too, has received a Twitter handle:

The main Twitter account for this project can be found at @Tweeting67, where the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will recount the events of 1967 as if they were happening live.

Ministry officials hope to use the project to bring the dramatic Six Day War to life for the younger generations, using a medium and a language they better understand today.


VIDEO: Lag B'Omer parade in Jerusalem


Yerushalyim Be‘Libi - Jerusalem In My Heart

We are offering some jewelry pieces directly from Jerusalem - the holy city. They are unique in design and individuality. Which biblical promise of our Lord to His eternal Jerusalem would you like to carry close to your heart?

Select one of four meaningful "Jerusalem Bible verses" and make your ring or pendant unique!
  1. "For the law shall come out from Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem." (Isaiah 2: 3)
  2. "Wants Jerusalem happiness! May it be to those who love you!" (Psalm 122: 6)
  3. "O Jerusalem, I will set watchmen upon your walls, which shall not keep silent all day, and all night." (Isaiah 62: 6)
  4. "If I forget thee, Jerusalem, I will forget my right hand." (Psalm 137)


Feelings are More Important Than Facts

No where is "fake news" and "alternative facts" more employed than in reporting on Israel and the Mideast conflict.

The full article appears in the May 2017 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
CLICK HERE to read it all


VIDEO: Tel Aviv - Jewel of the Mediterranean


Women in the Bible

Israel Today takes an inside look at a stunning artistic demonstration recreating scenes with women in the Bible.

The full article appears in the May 2017 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
CLICK HERE to read it all


Palestinians Use Deception for Greater Acceptance

The two main political groups that claim to represent Palestinians – the Islamist terror group Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (PA) – have embarked on new campaigns of deception in order to gain greater international acceptance.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas met with President Donald Trump last week to discuss the peace process. He blatantly lied throughout his public remarks.

Speaking before Abbas, Trump said that “there cannot be lasting peace unless the Palestinian leaders speak in a unified voice against incitement to...violence and hate...All children of God must be taught to value and respect human life, and condemn all of those who target the innocent.”

Abbas then made statements that seemed intended to allay Trump’s fears: “I affirm to you that we are raising our youth, our children, our grandchildren on a culture of peace,” Abbas said. “And we are endeavoring to bring about security, freedom and peace for our children to live like the other children in the world, along with the Israeli children in peace, freedom and security.”

Apparently anticipating that Abbas would promote such falsehoods to Trump and the American public, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shared a video on his Facebook page exposing the extent of Abbas’ lies. The video montage shows several examples of Palestinian incitement to violence – including by Abbas himself – and the indoctrination of children to hate and attack Jews.

“Our strategic choice is to bring about peace based on the vision of the two-state,” Abbas declared alongside Trump. “A Palestinian state with its capital of East Jerusalem that lives in peace and stability with the state of Israel based on the borders of 1967.” But Netanyahu’s video shows Palestinian children being taught that “Palestine is an Arab land from the river to the sea,” effectively brainwashing them to reject the territorial compromise required by the two-state solution Abbas claims to accept.

That anti-peace, anti-Israel message extends far beyond the classroom. “Every grain of soil in Palestine is ours... Haifa, and Jaffa, and Acre,” (all cities in Israel), Najeh Bakirat, a religious leader and the head of the Waqf’s Al-Aqsa Academy of Heritage and Antiquities said last June. “Therefore it is forbidden to relinquish a single grain of its soil,” Bakirat continued, in his remarks titled “Palestine in the Quran,” which were broadcast on official PA TV.

While the Fatah-affiliated PA likes to present itself as more moderate than Hamas, its rejection of Israel is essentially the same. “The Fatah Movement never demanded that Hamas recognize Israel,” said Fatah Central Committee member and Commissioner of Treasury and Economy Muhammad Shtayyeh, on official Palestinian Authority TV last March. “To this moment, Fatah does not recognize Israel. The topic of recognition of Israel has not been raised in any of Fatah’s conferences.”

Abbas also didn’t let truth get in the way of his breathtakingly false statement, made before Trump and the U.S. media, that the Palestinians “are the only remaining people in the world that still live under occupation.” The Tibetans, Kurds, and Cypriots are just a few of the many groups who would disagree.

Trump “raised concerns about the payments to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails who have committed acts of terror,” said White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer. But a senior PA official rejected the idea as “insane,” claiming that PA payments to imprisoned terrorists are like salaries paid to IDF soldiers. Just days before Abbas met Trump, senior Fatah leader Rawhi Fattouh even argued that donor countries should welcome PA payments to terrorists because this practice promotes peace by keeping the Palestinian terrorists from joining “ISIS or any other extremist party.”

A few weeks before the Trump-Abbas meeting, the Palestinian Information Center called Tel-Aviv a “settlement” in a tweet, implying that even Israel’s commercial capital – considered well within Israel proper by international consensus – should be part of a future Palestine. Josh Block, head of The Israel Project, uncovered the tweet, which was released on Holocaust Remembrance Day. The Palestinian Information Center tweet referred to the “so-called Holocaust.”

The other major Palestinian faction, the Islamist terror group Hamas, has also launched a new campaign of deception to improve its fortunes – this one targeting Muslim powers. Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal unveiled a “document of general policy principles” at a press conference last Monday that appeared to moderate its anti-Semitic and genocidal charter. But, as journalist and Mideast expert Avi Issacharoff reported, it included no substantive changes (as confirmed in this more detailed analysis) and was designed merely to improve “public relations during one of the terror group’s lowest points.”

“Gulf states are closing the funding taps one by one and income from inside Gaza is dropping,” Issacharoff wrote. “It is for this reason that the need arose to present a ‘friendlier face’ to the world via this document of principles.” Issacharoff calls it “a masterful example of verbal acrobatics in the Arabic language ... There is no direct call to eradicate the state of Israel, but recognition of the Jewish State is prohibited and liberated Palestine is to stretch from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.”

The Israeli government swiftly dismissed Hamas’ charter revisions: “the group is trying to delude the world but it won’t succeed,” said a Netanyahu spokesman. “It builds terror tunnels and launches rockets — that’s the true Hamas.”

Hamas also is trying to win hearts and minds in the European Union, which designated the Hamas military and political wings as a terrorist group in 2001 and 2003, respectively. As Issacharoff reports elsewhere, throughout Europe Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood have created a network of schools, mosques, charities and other civil organizations. That network includes “student associations in every well-known university in Europe. Recently, Muslim ‘human rights’ groups have been established that work to strengthen support for the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.” Issacharoff notes that Britain is “hosting more of this semi-official activity by Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood than any other country in Europe.”

Despite the EU’s terror designation, Hamas also has a foothold in Germany, which reportedly harbors some 300 “members and supporters” of Hamas (along with 900 members of Hizballah “activists and members”).

Its verbal and organizational deceptions aside, Hamas’ actions confirm that nothing has changed about the group’s bloodthirsty, fanatical, and cynical nature. Last month, the group used a girl with cancer to smuggle explosives into Israel for a future terror attack.

Hamas accuses Abbas of “crimes against humanity” for his refusal to pay for Gaza’s electricity as part of Fatah’s struggle to regain control of Gaza. But Gaza’s water and power crises are a direct result of Hamas’ corruption, mismanagement, and diversion of humanitarian funds for terrorist purposes. Nearly three years after Hamas launched its disastrous 2014 war with Israel, thousands of homes damaged in the conflict – estimated at 60 percent of the total – remain unrepaired because of Hamas policies. Hamas has proven repeatedly that its commitment to jihad against Israel matters more than the welfare of the people it rules.

So when Abbas or Hamas appear to be moderating for an audience with President Trump or others from whom support is sought, the focus should be on deeds, rather than words.

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


Reports now say Trump won't move US embassy to Jerusalem

Israeli media is reporting that US President Donald Trump will extend the executive order to postpone moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem when it comes up for renewal.

This is following campaign promises and post-inauguration vows by Trump to return the US Embassy to the Israeli capital, a move that would bolster Israel's claims to the entirety of Jerusalem.

According to unnamed US sources, it is the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that is actually holding up the move. They say Netanyahu doesn't want to deal with the expected diplomatic blowback.

At the same time, local media reported that the Israeli government was "disappointed" that Trump would extend the postponement of the embassy move.

It is still expected that Trump will make some kind of statement regarding Jerusalem's future when he visit the Jewish state later this month.


STREET INTERVIEW: What do Israelis think of President Trump?


Jerusalem's 50th anniversary

In less than 2 weeks Israel will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem. The nations wonderful blue & white flag will wave proudly over every rooftop in Jerusalem.

We have a land - our land - and the people of Israel live!

Take this opportunity to support Israel in three areas that she sorely needs assistance. Food assistance for Ethiopian immigrant families - a Soldier's solidarity package and a help for needy Israeli children.

You will receive a certificate and a small blue & white gift directly from Jerusalem when you participate!


Influential Israelis speak about Jesus

Prof. Amnon Rubinstein is one of Israel's leading experts. His views on Jesus are but one example of shifting attitudes toward the Messiah.

The full article appears in the May 2017 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
CLICK HERE to read it all


IDF releases powerful new promo video


Trump deletes Abbas tweet after Palestinian leader lies to him

Shortly after meeting with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas last week, US President Donald Trump took to Twitter to say what an "honor" it had been to host the head of the PLO.

The post was retweeted thousands of times.

But hours later, Trump deleted it, giving rise to speculation that the American was angered by Abbas' bald-faced lies.

"Mr. President, I affirm to you that we are raising our youth, our children, our grandchildren on a culture of peace," Abbas claimed, as he and Trump tried to sleuth out what's holding up Mideast peace.

Abbas continued: "And we are endeavoring to bring about security, freedom and peace for our children to live like the other children in the world, along with the Israeli children in peace, freedom and security."

Many, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, fired back, noting that Abbas' Palestinian Authority uses the massive amounts of foreign aid it receives to provide large stipends to Palestinian terrorists arrested by Israel.

It also routinely names Palestinian schools, parks and summer camps after the most blood-soaked terrorists - those who have managed to kill the most Jews.

Netanyahu did not even get into what Palestinian children are taught in local schools, where teachers and textbooks refer to Jews as sub-human, blood-thirsty monsters. And the incitement is even worse on after-school programming on Palestinian Authority-controlled television.

PHOTO: Twitter screenshot


Israel's Messianic Community Mourns, Remembers a Pioneering Pastor

Pastor David Davis, one of Israel’s senior Messianic leaders, has died. Davis was 79-years-old when he eventually succumbed following an intense battle with cancer over the past year. He is survived by his wife Karen and their two adopted sons.

Messianic leaders from across Israel and around the world are flooding social media with expressions of love and appreciation for their deceased friend. During his 25 years of ministry in Israel, David gained the respect of many Messianic leaders in a land where building Messianic communities does not come easy. His sympathetic, yet bold leadership style, his willingness to encourage up-and-coming leaders, and his passion for unity in the body of Messiah were admired, even by those who were skeptical that an American Christian could have any significant impact on the lives of Arabs and Jews in Israel. Myself included.

I remember well the first time I met Pastor David when he arrived in Israel in the 1980’s. He had been sent out by David Wilkerson and the Times Square Church in New York, with a vision to lead Arab and Jewish drug addicts to Christ. “Arabs and Jews?” I asked him. “Together?”

I was skeptical, until David asked me to teach a Bible study with the small group of recovering addicts he had assembled. They didn’t want fancy words or theological spin. Just Jesus, because these recovering Jewish and Arab addicts knew more than most that it was him who had brought them back to life, and taught them that Arab and Jew can live together, belong together.

David’s passion for the lost inspired many Arab Christians and Messianic Jews across the country to reach out to drug addicts. After seeing the power of God working in the lives of those broken men, I also began an inner city ministry to drug addicts in Tel Aviv.

David was the founding pastor of Kehilat HaCarmel (Carmel Assembly) on Mount Carmel, a congregation that began in 1991 as a Bible study for men recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. It was during these days that a great wave of Russian Jews were returning to their ancient homeland under a bombardment of SCUD missiles from Iraqi’s dictator, Saddam Hussein. Not to be deterred, and inspired by David’s bold leadership, a community of Arab and Jewish believers emerged, reaching people of all backgrounds through ministries that continue until today, such as the House of Victory Rehab Center, the Or HaCarmel women’s shelter, Raven’s Basket feeding program, and Elijah’s Cloak clothing center.

Dr. David Davis was the Chairman of the Division of Arts of Fordham University at Lincoln Center, New York City, while also working as a professional actor on Broadway, off-Broadway and on television. In the mid-80’s, in the midst of a successful acting career, he had a dramatic encounter with Jesus during a revival among performing artists in New York, where he also met his Jewish wife, Karen.

He was soon called into ministry and began working with addicts and homeless people under the mentoring of David Wilkerson at Times Square Church, NYC. In 1989, the David and Karen immigrated and became citizens of Israel. In his book, “The Road to Carmel,” Davis chronicles his journey from the world of show business on Broadway to the mountains of Israel.

“I still remember David’s words of encouragement and his prayers,” said Zvi Randelman, a Messianic Jewish pastor from Jerusalem. “He had a father’s heart for the lost, the addicted, the desperate. He was instrumental in the establishment of Beit Hayeshua, a ministry to drug addicts we began in Jerusalem. Countless drug addicts and alcoholics owe their lives to David’s work of love and inspiration. Now David is in heaven with the Lord, and I am sure that when he entered into the presence of Yeshua, he heard the words “Well done good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord.”


WATCH: Netanyahu Joins Trump in Calling CNN 'Fake News'


The Next Issue of Israel Today Will Be Golden and Special!

No other city has such an exciting and varied history as the Holy City of Jerusalem. Her history goes back over 3000 years during which she was a divided city between 1948 to 1967. The liberation and re-unification of Jerusalem, 50 years ago, is a milestone in her history.

Since God chose Jerusalem, as the site of His Temple and the dwelling place of His presence, the nations of the world have warred over her. Only the names of nations and rulers have changed, but not the dynamism surrounding Jerusalem.

We are producing a "Golden Edition" of Israel Today for our readership worldwide, in honor of the auspicious occasion of Jerusalem's Golden Jubilee.

Dr. Itzhak Ifat, one of the Israeli paratroopers captured in a momentous photograph of David Rubinger, moments after the Western Wall was liberated, will describe his emotions when it happened.

Shuli Nathan, renowned singer and artist, will tell of her experiences surrounding her presentations of Naomi Shemer's song "Yerushalayim Shel Zahav" - Jerusalem of Gold".

Archaeologist Prof. Ronny Reich will tell of his excavations in the city of Jerusalem during the last 50 years.

All this and much more in this special issue...


Peers Call for Palestine Recognition

British politicians are once again demonstrating the moral confusion that has seen them pass so many laws contradicting the biblical precepts upon which our civilization was based.

The latest example is the suggestion from an influential House of Lords committee that the UK Government recognise a new state of Palestine.

In a report titled The Middle East: Time for New Realism, published on Israel’s Independence Day[1], the upper house’s International Relations Committee, chaired by former Conservative cabinet minister David Howell, called for the government to “give serious consideration to now recognising Palestine as a state, as the best way to show its determined attachment to the two-state solution”.

And the relevant paragraph was prefixed by the extraordinary statement that “the balance of power in the delivery of peace lies with Israel”.[2]

Yet the Palestinians have repeatedly made clear their commitment – not to the two-state solution so precious to Western leaders, but to a single-state solution with Israel driven out of the region altogether. PA president Mahmoud Abbas and his rivals in Gaza, Hamas, want all of it; that is why they refuse to recognise the Jewish state!

Surely – judging from their oft-repeated comments over the years – it is obvious to anyone with a semblance of elementary education (Lord Howell went to Eton) that these men do not want peace, but rather a jihad (holy war) against the ‘infidel’ seed of Abraham.

The report does not specify where the borders of this new state should be drawn or even who should run it – Fatah, in charge of the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) in the guise of the Palestinian Authority, or Hamas, who run a chaotic Gaza; factions which are constantly at loggerheads with each other. What kind of stable society will that produce?

The report also suggests that Britain work with Iran, despite current U.S. policy, “to ensure the stability of the Iran nuclear deal”, adding: “That would be a way of peace in a region needing stability.”

Oh really! Such potential treachery has echoes of 1938, when Neville Chamberlain returned from Germany promising “peace in our time”. Have we learnt nothing in the past 80 years; that appeasement with dictators doesn’t work, for instance? In the case of the Munich meeting, it only further encouraged Hitler in his madness and hastened the death of some 50 million people!

Meanwhile the British Government has rightly refused persistent requests by the Palestinians to apologise for the Balfour Declaration which, 100 years ago this November, promised to do all in its power to enable Jews to re-settle their ancient homeland.

Such requests suggest that the Jews should never have been allowed to return to the region, which is in fact exactly what they think. But instead of giving the Palestinians short shrift while fully backing Jewish aspirations, we keep kowtowing to international demands for endless peace talks which only ever seem to produce more conflict. Israel withdrew from Gaza under international pressure, for example, in one of these so-called ‘land for peace’ deals. And what was the result? …A continuous volley of rocket fire into Israeli territory.

We certainly have no need to apologise for the Balfour Declaration. But we do need to apologise for repeatedly going back on our word in subsequent years as we betrayed the Jews again and again – firstly, by giving the bulk of the land we originally promised them to the Arabs (now Jordan) and then by persecuting them in various ways during Britain’s Mandate of the territory then known as Palestine, particularly by restricting Jewish immigration (to appease the Arabs) at a time when they could have done with a bolthole from Nazi threats.

Then, shamefully, we abstained in the 1947 UN vote to recognise the new state. And it was around this time (70 years ago this summer) that, quite disgracefully, we turned away Holocaust survivors from the port of Haifa, sending some of them back to Displaced Persons’ Camps in Germany, of all places.

For such treatment we should hang our heads in sorrow and shame. Among the dozens of refugee ships turned back in this way by the Royal Navy was the Exodus, with over 4,500 on board, mostly Holocaust survivors. Boarding the ship in international waters, the British killed three and wounded many more.

I’m glad to report that, two years ago, such sorrow and shame was expressed on our behalf by a group of some 100 British people, including Col Richard Kemp and Rev Alex Jacob[3]. They travelled out to Israel for an event at Haifa and Atlit (location of one of the camps) where they asked forgiveness for our action from a similar sized group of Israelis, many of whom had suffered under the Mandate.

We do need to apologise – but not for the Balfour Declaration which, to quote journalist Melanie Phillips, was “the high-water mark of British decency towards the Jewish people. But it’s been downhill all the way ever since”.[4]

  1. Also on Independence Day, UNESCO (the UN’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) voted – by 23 votes to 22 – to adopt a resolution denying Israeli claims to Jerusalem. Britain voted against it.  ↩

  2. Christian Voice, May 2, 2017  ↩

  3. Richard Kemp is a retired British Army officer, best-selling author and fervent supporter of Israel. Alex Jacob is CEO of the Church’s Ministry among the Jewish people  ↩

  4. Jerusalem Post, April 27, 2017  ↩

Charles Gardner is author of Israel the Chosen, available from Amazon, and Peace in Jerusalem, available from


Liberals Leap at New Opportunity to Whitewash Hamas

News agencies enamored with the Palestinian fight against "colonial Zionists" have taken to referring to the new Hamas "document of general principles & politics," released on May 1, as a "charter." 

This is not a slip of a pen, but a deliberate attempt to whitewash Hamas. 

The differences between a "document" (as Hamas termed it) and a "charter" are self-explanatory. The first could be viewed as a tactic aimed at achieving the strategic goals of the second.

But Israelis, many of whom have long since turned Yasser Arafat into a symbol of peace, are willing, once again, with a stroke of a pen, to transform Hamas into a legitimate "partner for peace." 

One of those seeking to whitewash Hamas is Ronit Marzan, teacher of political science at Haifa University and author of "Yasser Arafat: Rhetoric of a Lone Leader." In her book, Marzan goes out of her way to present Arafat as a true peace-loving man. Now she finds three(!) words in this new Hamas document that "prove" her conclusion that this terror organization (which, remember, has not changed a single word in its actual charter) is now a legitimate partner for peace. 

In her hair-splitting analysis of the new document, Marzan states, for example, that the word "jihad" does not appear, even though it actually does. She also dismisses references to mujahideen (jihad fighters). Her conclusion, reached in service to a political agenda rather than by fair analysis, is that Hamas will now accept the two-state solution, and is thus a legitimate partner for peace. And not only for Israel, but for the international community, as well. 

Marzan is easy and willing prey. And she fell right into Hamas' trap.

Marzan is typical of those Israelis who so lust for peace that they will turn a blind eye to the fact that neither Hamas nor the PLO have ever given up their aspirations of establishing a Palestinian state in place of Israel.

Otherwise, how could "peaceniks" like Marzan so easily dismisses paragraph one of the new document, which clearly states that Hamas is wholly committed to jihad

"The Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas is a Palestinian Islamic national liberation and resistance movement. Its goal is to liberate Palestine and confront the Zionist project. Its frame of reference is Islam, which determines its principles, objectives and means."

Likewise, how could she simply dismisses paragraph two, which states that "Palestine, which extends from the River Jordan in the east to the Mediterranean in the west and from Ras Al-Naqurah [Kibbutz Rosh Hanikrah] in the north to Umm Al-Rashrash [the city of Eilat] in the south, is an integral territorial unit. It is the land and the home of the Palestinian people. The expulsion and banishment of the Palestinian people from their land and the establishment of the Zionist entity therein do not annul the right of the Palestinian people to their entire land and do not entrench any rights therein for the usurping Zionist entity."

But, of course, most Israelis refuse to be duped by this document. 

In his analysis, Jonathan Dahoah-Halevi, who also translated the document to Hebrew (proper translation is key to proper understanding) correctly summarizes the key points as follow: 

  • It affirms Islam as the sole and supreme authority for all goals and actions. 

  • It denies Israel of any legal legitimacy. 

  • It denies any Jewish link or right to the holy Muslim land. 

  • It Justifies armed struggle to free the whole of "Palestine." 

  • It praises all the liberals who support the Palestinian fight against Israel. 

The difference from the Hamas charter, and this alteration is designed solely to fool the fools, is Hamas' willingness to "establish a Palestinian state in temporary borders (the two-state solution) as a step toward the continuation of the armed struggle to eradicate Israel."

The Oslo Accords demonstrated that a terror group (the PLO) was able to successfully maneuver Israel and the international community into accepting it as a legitimate and legal organization. The latest Hamas document is designed to achieve the same. 

Will Israel and the world again be fooled?


Mothers Are Precious!

Little ones mutate into artists and poets overnight and have prepared well in advance for this day!

In cahoots with Daddy, the orders reach the closest florist and, in a fit of excessive creativity, a packet of pralines is included in the package...

Why not let this year be different?

Surprise Mommy this year with a special gift from Jerusalem: You will find beautiful jewelry for "the best Mommy"!

New from Israel!

Gold plated heart pendant or 14k gold ring
"My Precious Mother" / Virtuous Woman"


Netanyahu besieged: IDF, Mossad send prime minister an angry letter

The heads of Israel's top three security bodies - the IDF, Mossad and the Shin Bet (Israel's equivalent of the FBI) - directly expressed their frustration with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over his plans to establish a new cyber-security agency.

The IDF, Mossad and the Shin Bet all three already operate their own cyber-security departments, which have succeeded in thwarting thousands, if not millions, of cyber attacks against Israel.

The heads of Israel's security apparatuses sent Netanyahu an angry letter, telling him the newly-planned National Cyber Authority would cause "severe harm to the security of the State of Israel."

They said the new authority's powers as defined were too broad. On top of that, the new authority would answer directly to the prime minister, consolidating a great deal of power in his hands.


COMMENTARY: A Parable About Two Trains

I would like to tell you a parable of two trains that have travelled across the pages of history for nearly two millennium.

Back in the First Century, both trains were parked across the station from each other in Jerusalem. One was an express that I will call the Jewish Train. The other train, which had just pulled into the station, was a local and had many more cars. I’ll call it the Gospel Train.  

Now the Jewish Train had already travelled some 2000 dusty years and was just waiting to pick up one more passenger, known only as the Messiah, before continuing on. What the conductors didn’t realize, however, was that the Messiah had already come on board but was not recognized. When Yeshua finally identified himself as the one they were waiting for, neither the people nor the conductors believed him, and threw him off .

Broken-hearted over their rejection, Messiah shook the dust from his sandals and said to the Jewish train, “From now on you will not see me until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” (Matt. 24:39). He then turned and boarded the local Gospel Train followed by a goodly number of Jews who had believed in him. 

Then both trains pulled out of the station.

For the next two thousand years the trains hurtled through history on completely different tracks, experiencing totally different realities. The Jewish Train, once so filled with hope and promise, entered a long dark tunnel that was often terrifying. And the people cried out, when will it end?

The Gospel Train with the Messiah on board, although under constant trial and tribulation, was full of light and joy and promise. This train made thousands of local stops around the world, picking up more and more passengers.

Then, after twenty centuries, the Jewish Train suddenly found itself back in the Jerusalem station again.  A new hope and excitement filled the hearts of the passengers as they sensed their long nightmare ride was over. 

Soon after, the Gospel Train, now called the Christian Train, also pulled into the Jerusalem station. And Messiah made a startling announcement. He told all aboard he was getting off here and advised all who loved him to do likewise. He’d brought home the “fullness of the Gentiles” (Rom. 11:25). It was now time to favor Zion.  If we didn’t get off the train with him we would find ourselves plunged into the “outer darkness.”   

And that’s where I believe we are today, folks. 

Those who have ears to hear have already begun to pile out of the Christian train onto the Jerusalem station, realizing God’s ultimate intention was not to bring about a “Christianized world” – but a restored Israel. And that the Jews on the other train, who we could not relate to for so long, were actually our long-lost brethren. 

Finally, we are starting to see this whole 2000-year church age was God’s way of rounding up all His chosen ones scattered around the world to fulfill the promises to Abraham. Did not Abraham hope against hope “that he might become the father of many nations [Gentiles]?” (Rom. 4:18)

Of those saved, some would be those circumcised in the flesh. But others would not be. That’s why our inclusion had to be by faith, “in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to ALL the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all” (Rom. 4:16)

In the days ahead, I believe an amazing miracle will take place the likes of which the world has never seen. A huge remnant of believers from among the nations (and perhaps many Jews still in the Diaspora) will arrive in Israel in a supernatural way that will exceed even the exodus from Egypt (see Jer. 23:5-8, Isa. 11:11-16). 

That’s when, I believe, those on the Jewish train will suddenly be given eyes to see. And they will say to us, “Blessed are you who come in the name of the Lord.” Indeed, many have already started to do so. And just as Yeshua prophesied so long ago, they will see him again.

Equally as exciting, they will begin to recognize who we “Christians” truly are and they will hear themselves fulfilling the words of Isaiah: “You will say in your heart, who has begotten these for me, since I have been bereaved of my children and am barren, an exile and a wanderer? Who has reared these? Behold, I was left alone. From where did these come?” (Isa 49:21). What a day that shall be!

This whole end-time event, I believe, has long been prophesied in the story of Joseph. Unrecognizable beneath his Gentile garb, Joseph (a picture of Messiah in his body) finally revealed himself in tears to his brothers in one of the most poignant moments recorded in the Bible. But unlike Messiah’s weeping over Jerusalem, Joseph’s tears were tears of joy.

And what did Joseph then tell his brothers? “Do not grieve (that you rejected me so long ago) or be angry with yourselves…for God has sent me before you to preserve a remnant in the earth, and to keep you alive for a great deliverance” (Gen. 45:5,7). Without Messiah, Israel cannot survive the coming Tribulation. And without Israel, neither can we.  It’s a marriage made in Heaven.

Clearly, many tumultuous end-time events still lie ahead. But first things first. And the first thing, I believe, is for the true followers of Messiah to start disembarking from the Christian train. It’s headed for the scrap yard. 

It’s time to get ready for a great reunion in the Kingdom of God.

Brian Hennessy, is the author of Valley of the Steeples


Netanyahu slams Abbas for lying to Trump's face

Few were surprised that the first words out of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' mouth in his meeting with US President Donald Trump were bald-faced lies.

"Mr. President, I affirm to you that we are raising our youth, our children, our grandchildren on a culture of peace," Abbas claimed, as he and Trump tried to sleuth out what's holding up Mideast peace.

Abbas continued: "And we are endeavoring to bring about security, freedom and peace for our children to live like the other children in the world, along with the Israeli children in peace, freedom and security."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu immediately hit back.

During a joint press conference with visiting Romanian Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu, Netanyahu stated:

"I heard President Abbas yesterday say that the Palestinians teach their children peace. That’s unfortunately not true. They name their schools after mass murderers of Israelis and they pay terrorists."

Netanyahu was referring to the fact that Abbas' Palestinian Authority uses the massive amounts of foreign aid it receives to provide large stipends to Palestinian terrorists arrested by Israel. It also routinely names Palestinian schools, parks and summer camps after the most blood-soaked terrorists - those who have managed to kill the most Jews.

Netanyahu did not even get into what Palestinian children are taught in local schools, where teachers and textbooks refer to Jews as sub-human, blood-thirsty monsters. And the incitement is even worse on after-school programming on Palestinian Authority-controlled television.

It is a culture of death that Hamas, the largest party in the Palestinian parliament, has proudly admitted to.

"For the Palestinian people, death has become an industry," said Hamas parliamentarian Fathi Hammad. The Palestinians are "saying to the Zionist enemy: 'We desire death like you desire life.'"

Fortunately, there was some indication that Trump had not been taken in by Abbas' lies.

In his own remarks to the press, Trump said that for peace to move forward, the Palestinian leadership would have to cease the incitement against Israel and the Jews:

"...there cannot be lasting peace unless the Palestinian leaders speak in a unified voice against incitement to violate — and violence and hate.  There’s such hatred."


Celebrating God's faithfulness to His Word and to Israel

The uniqueness of the miracle of Israel is that historically it is the only nation ever that was out of her land for 1,900 years and regained it. Against all historic odds, Israel was reborn in one day in May 1948!

During the upcoming Feast of Tabernacles, we will celebrate God’s faithfulness to His word and Israel commemorating the following milestones:


And the Lord their God will save them in that day as the flock of his people; for they are as the stones of a crown, sparkling in his land. Zechariah 9:17

The Israelis are turning the land into an oasis and those who have had the privilege to tour this land have seen with their own eyes that they are as stones of a crown sparkling in HIS land!

So, how do we side with God and Israel in 2017 to celebrate the historic milestones of His faithfulness? We desire to spend seven days of joy but also of prophetic purpose in Israel!

Our programme is filled with interaction with the Israeli’s to comfort them that God is with them and will never leave them. More than any other year we focus on the covenantal promise that God gave this land to Israel! We will visit some key places that are a testimony of the covenant and faithfulness of God.

Jan Willem van der Hoeven who is the founder of the ICEJ and ICZC, and has ministered in the Land of Israel for 44 years. To find out more about the ICZC Feast of Tabernacles, visit


UNESCO's Fake History

UNESCO has chosen Israel's 69th Day of Independence to deliver another one of its many infamous anti-Israel resolutions. 

A year ago, UNESCO erased any Jewish link to the Temple Mount, leaving to it only its Muslim legacy. On May 2, this council expanded the area to which it says Jews have no claim to include the entire Old City of Jerusalem.

The resolution, entitled "Occupied Palestine," is devoted to condemning the Israeli "occupation" of East Jerusalem, Old City included, and it finds the need to include Gaza in "occupied Palestine." 

Invoking the Geneva Conventions, the Hague Resolutions on Warfare, the Hague Convention for protection of "transfer of ownership of cultural property," among other international resolutions and protocols, UNESCO effectively erases any Jewish connection to Hezekiah's Tunnel, the City of David and countless other archeological sites and findings in and around the Old City - evidence that leaves no doubt to the true legacy of Jerusalem.

But UNESCO doesn't like this history one bit, hence its gleeful and willing revision of history into what Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely rightly dubbed "fake history." In this framework of fake history, UNESCO can affirm and reaffirm many times over that Jerusalem (ironically leaving the city's Hebrew name intact) is stolen Palestinian property, "the cultural heritage of Palestine." And it doesn't at all matter if one shouts until blue in the face that "Palestine is fake," because UNESCO is not interested in history so much as it is interested in vilifying Israel.

At least one Israeli commentator, Yotam Zimri, has concluded that this latest resolution is a good thing because, "unlike many other antisemitic organs, that try in sophisticated ways to hide the disease running through their veins by saying that all they do is objecting Israel's policy, [UNESCO] does it in the most clumsy and transparent way." For that, says Zimri, UNESCO should be thanked.

For their part, Israeli officials predictably condemned this resolution, with Prime Minister Netanyahu issuing a sarcastic remark during the annual Bible Quiz held on Independence Day. UNESCO tries to deny the fact that Jerusalem is a Jewish city, therefore, "we deny UNESCO," he said.

Yet, many Israelis insist that Netanyahu is only paying lip service to Jerusalem. They point to the harsh treatment of Jews on the Temple Mount as proof that Netanyahu's policies accomplish the opposite of firm and fearless Jewish sovereignty in and around Jerusalem.

Even media analyst Guy Bechor, a staunch supporter of Netanyahu, calls out the prime minister's indecisiveness. "Stop being afraid," Bechor writes on his popular blog. "The Government House [the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization's headquarters in Jerusalem], and the area around it, are Israel's property [and we want it to become] the American Embassy," he states, urging Israelis to join a petition to that effect.


Israelis experience the love of Christian hosts

I've written in past issues of Israel Today Magazine concerning the wonderful work being done by the Hosting Israeli Travelers (HIT) network.

HIT maintains a global network of Israel-loving, Bible-believing Christians who have become a tremendous witness by showing simple hospitality to Israelis traveling the world.

It all began in New Zealand, and it was there that my son and I had the opportunity to stay with several HIT hosts and experience this hospitality first-hand.

What we found is that all the hosts had several things in common - namely, a deep and genuine love for God's people, and a humble and respectful approach to witnessing through their actions.

Often overlooked is the importance the Lord places on hospitality throughout the Scriptures. For, when done properly, it is a powerful tool of witness.

What we also found among the hosts was fantastic variety. One offered a true Israeli home, complete with Shabbat dinner! Another provided a quiet apartment setting where weary travelers could unwind for several days. A third had opened up his entire property to as many Israelis as he could possibly fit - a scene of organized chaos that these young travelers could no doubt fully relate to, most having only recently completed their compulsory army service.

In short, there was something on offer for everyone. No Israeli can visit New Zealand and not find a home that suits him or her. And I use the word home rather than accomodation because that is the other thing all these hosts had in common - they each made the young Israelis visiting them feel completely at home.

Today, HIT has spread around the world, with a multitude of similar hosts now to be found in places like Australia, England, the United States, South Africa, Germany, Holland and MANY more nations.

Find out more by visiting


A Small Silent Witness

The Mount of Olives rises east of the Temple Mount known in Hebrew as "Har HaZeitim" which plays an important role in all three monotheistic faiths - Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

In the garden of Gethsemane, between mighty olive trees, on the lower slopes of the Mount of Olives, Jesus spent the last hours before being arrested. These trees, silent witnesses of biblical events, let us guess what took place there.

Our new key holder collection incorporate a piece of stone from the Mount of Olives - silent witnesses of the time.

"On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem" Zechariah 14:4

With an enchanting image of the Old City of Jerusalem or an image of the Lion of Judah - our two key holders are special accessories with deep meaning!


Israelis expect big things from Trump's upcoming visit

US President Donald Trump is expected to visit Israel later this month, and many believe he's going to use the occasion to drop a couple of diplomatic bombshells.

First, according to Israel's Yediot Ahronot daily, Trump will renege on his election promise to move the US embassy back to Jerusalem.

Many speculate that it is, in fact, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government that are blocking the move, which Trump would make if the matter were entirely up to him. (see the upcoming June issue of Israel Today Magazine for more on this)

But the second bombshell should assuage some of Israelis' disappointment over the first.

Yediot further reports that Trump plans to make a public statement reversing official US foreign policy and explicitly recognizing a united Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

At the same time, it was reported that Trump will express support for the birth of a Palestinian state as a result of a bilateral agreement.

Of course, as past US presidents have learned, the Palestinian leadership will accept no deal that doesn't include Israel's surrender of Jerusalem.


Encounter with Messiah in Jerusalem!

A top army officer was converted after being struck by the reality of the risen Christ during a visit to Jerusalem over Easter.

It changed him forever, and his Christian faith is now the driving force of his life.

In an interview with New Life Publishing[1], Major-General Tim Cross (now retired) recalled his dramatic encounter while on leave in Israel with his wife Christine during a peace-keeping post in Cyprus in 1981.

He was a captain at the time, having been raised in what he describes as “a typical middle class British home”. He attended a Church of England primary school and, like most people, assumed he was a Christian. He even took the unusual step of being confirmed while at Sandhurst (the military academy), took communion during his wedding and had his three children christened.

So when the opportunity came for a short break in Israel over the Easter weekend – celebrating the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, the heart of Christian beliefs – he and Christine hitched a ride on a United Nations plane and took in the sights of the Holy Land.

“I remember going past the bus station near the Damascus Gate (to the Old City) and noticing the hill behind it looking like a skull” (widely thought to be the location of Christ’s crucifixion, referred to in the Bible as Golgotha – place of the skull).

“On Easter Sunday we visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (generally considered to have been built where Jesus was buried) and then attended a service at St George’s (Anglican) Cathedral where it was suggested I visit the Garden Tomb, not far from the bus station.

“Our guide, a retired military officer called Colonel Orde Dobbie, showed us round and explained how this could equally have been the place where Jesus was buried. He read the gospels and, most importantly, pointed out the empty tomb cut in the rocks on the edge of the garden. I sheepishly took his advice, and had a look inside.

“This is a pretty crucial issue, and I was really struck by the reality of the empty tomb. It was not a Damascus Road experience (like the Apostle Paul had when he fell off his horse on seeing the risen Christ); more of an Emmaus Road experience (when the risen Christ drew alongside two disciples who did not at first recognise him, but their eyes were opened when he broke bread with them). And it also happened to coincide with my 30th birthday!

“Back in Cyprus we had a very good Army padre (chaplain), and within two months I was a committed Christian. Christine had meanwhile started attending a Bible study and committed her life to Christ independently of me.

“Everything changed from a personal point of view in the way I led and commanded. It’s changed my view of the world and the way I saw myself in terms of servant leadership.”

As to the relationship of faith to firearms, he admits to taking stock of whether it was appropriate to continue in the military – he had wanted to be a soldier since he was a boy. He prayed about it, spoke to others and looked at what the gospels had to say, concluding that there was no biblical suggestion that you couldn’t be a soldier and a follower of Jesus. John the Baptist, for example, told the soldiers to be content with their pay, not to leave the army.

“We need Christians everywhere, and the British Army – called to fight for justice and righteousness and be a force for good in an evil world – is a much more powerful institution as a result.”

He added that the ethos of the Army is rooted in Christianity despite the increasing influence of secularism, and that it is definitely not an alien environment for Christians, with the ready availability of padres and the preponderance of church-related parades.[2]

He has also contended that, as a community, “the British Army recognises the issue of spirituality, goodness, righteousness, justice, evil and wrong probably far more than most”.[3]

In fact, devotion such as he has displayed since his conversion is clearly appreciated by superiors, many of whom are believers.

While at Staff College in the late 1980s, his director of studies wrote of him: “This guy is a very committed Christian; he doesn’t bash people over the heads with it – just lives it out.”

The General added: “Faith had to be part of who I was, how I commanded, the way I spoke and the decisions I took.”

This was especially the case during his third tour of the Balkans in 1999 – again over Easter. He was a brigadier at the time, in charge of 5,000 men, and at the request of the UN became responsible for coordinating multi-national troops and civilian agencies in establishing refugee camps in the aftermath of the Kosovo War. “People were beginning to die, and had no food. As a Christian commander, I didn’t hesitate.”

His soldiers duly knuckled down to build the camps and he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his role, meeting the Queen at the ceremony. But he says: “I just gave the orders. The men under my command did all the hard work.”

His learning curve was further extended in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003 during which he tried to persuade Prime Minister Tony Blair to delay matters due to inadequate post-war planning. He was involved with others in planning the invasion and had spent some time in Washington from where he sent daily reports to government departments such as the Ministry of Defence and the Foreign Office.

He went to see Alastair Campbell (Mr Blair’s right-hand man) “who was very helpful” and subsequently spoke to the PM himself, effectively telling him: “We’re not ready for post-war Iraq.”

That his advice was not heeded is well-known. The General did not take it personally, however, recognising that Mr Blair was getting lots of advice from all sides, and had to weigh it all up.

Testifying before the Iraq Inquiry in December 2009, he said he had urged Mr Blair and his aide, Mr Campbell, to delay the invasion two days prior to the start of the conflict. He further told inquiry chairman Sir John Chilcot that preparations for post-war Iraq were “woefully thin” and went on to say that “although I was confident that we would secure a military victory, I offered my view that we should not begin that campaign until we had a much more coherent post-war plan.”[4]

Now, seven years on, he says: “I wasn’t against the war in Iraq; it was just not the right time. It did mean, however, that I was involved in failure for the first time in my life, which is something I am now able to share with others.”

The greatest of Bible figures, such as King David and the Apostle Peter, experienced this too. “The issue is not failure, but how you respond to it.”

Furthermore, there is a moral dimension to the army’s purpose, which is just as important as your equipment and knowhow in terms of ability to deliver fighting power. “You’ve got to have people with a will to fight and the will to win.”

In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network in 2009, he said: “If you lose the moral component, you lose everything. I think we – collectively in the West – have gone through 30–40 years of pretending that this is not important, and that I don’t need to have a biblical foundation in my life. And I challenge that.”

As to the argument over a nuclear deterrent, he said it worked during the Cold War and is still clearly needed. Russia remains a threat. And, yes, Islamic extremism is obviously a serious issue. “We will not destroy Islamic extremism any more than destroy the idea of a united Ireland. But over and above that there are nations like Iran who don’t like the West much; and a nuclear weapon in their hands could be a serious threat to us.”

Does war ever solve anything? Well, the military remit is wider than shooting. As his career so clearly testifies, they have been involved in important peace-keeping and humanitarian operations. And the General describes their current role as “to try to establish a secure environment within which politicians can try to work out a solution”.

“But we live in a fallen world marred by brutal dictatorships. And we are called to fight for justice and righteousness.”

Now 65, and retired for ten years, he and Christine run their own company – speaking, advising and lecturing in business, academic and charity environments with a focus on what he describes as “morally courageous leadership”. He is a visiting professor at three universities, a role he clearly enjoys, and a lay reader (licensed to preach) in the Anglican Church.

He is involved in a number of Christian organisations including the Bible Society, of which he is a trustee, and is a former president of the Armed Forces Christian Union.

The couple live in Aldershot, Hampshire, and have two sons (one of whom is serving in the Royal Navy), one daughter and two grandchildren.

  1. This interview was originally conducted on behalf of New Life Publishing, who produce a number of titles including the evangelistic tabloid New Life along with Direction and iBelieve magazines, and is reproduced here with permission. For more information see or call 0115 824 0777.  ↩

  2. Writing in the British Army Review, he described ideas of a secular Army as “tripe” and “dangerously wrong”, and removing reference to God in the Girl Guides’ motto as “vapid and anodyne”.  ↩

  3. Wikipedia (BBC, March 17, 2008)  ↩

  4. The Guardian, December 7, 2009  ↩

Charles Gardner is author of Israel the Chosen, available from Amazon, and Peace in Jerusalem, available from


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North Korea threatens Israel with 'merciless, thousand-fold punishment'

North Korea is determined to beat President Trump and the US, and that means beating America's allies, too.

At the top of that list for the North Koreans are two countries: Japan and Israel.

Japan is obvious. Israel, less so.

But observers will remember that when Israel destroyed Syria's nascent nuclear program, it was quickly discovered that North Korea had provided the know-how and hardware to the defiant Arab dictatorship.

It is also known that North Korea is in league with some of the Middle East's more unsavory players, all of which want to see Israeli annihilated.

As such, few Israelis tears would be shed if Trump followed through on his threats to end the North Korean regime.

And Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said as much in a radio interview last week.

The North Korean government responded with a stern warning for Israel:

"The reckless remarks of the Israeli defense minister are sordid and wicked behavior and grave challenge to the DPRK."

The statement went on to threaten Israel and any other nation that damages the "dignity" of the North Korean leadership with "merciless, thousand-fold punishment."


I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.

At sundown today the final ceremonies of Memorial Day - Yom HaZikaron are held. And then Independence Day begins. The flags are returned to full mast and Independence Day begins. It is no coincidence that she celebrates independence day immediate after remembering her fallen which guarantees her freedom.

Israel is a very young country. Just 69 years old, a relative baby amongst the nations!

Yet, even as a "junior", Israel has already survived a few bloody wars and recorded remarkable achievements:
- Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, has the highest number of academics per capita worldwide.
- With more than 3,000 high-tech companies, the country, in proportion to its size, has more start-up companies than any other nation.
- Israel stands out with inventions like the USB stick, 3-D printers, treatments for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and multiple sclerosis.
- We occupy the 2nd place worldwide per capita for publication of books.
- She has produced nine Nobel Prize winners and managed to transform barren deserts into flowering farmland in record time.

This is only a small sample of the divine successes of our small, contested land. Israel exists and lives!

Mazal Tov Israel and congratulations! May you stay united, flourish and never forget who holds His hand over your existence!

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Yom HaZikaron begins this evening at nightfall

The beginning of "The Yishuv" in 1860, marked the first uprisings against the Jewish people in Israel, when Moshe Montefiori developed Mishkenot Shaananim, The neighborhood was the first Jewish neighborhood to be built outside the Old City of Jerusalem, directly across from Mount Zion, above Sultan’s Pool.

The neighborhood was the answer to overcrowding and lack of Jewish residential space within Jerusalem's Old City.

Since then a total of 23,544 soldiers and terror victims have died. Over the past year 97 have joined the ranks of Israel's fallen. Of these 37 were wounded IDF veterans who have passed away as a result of their injuries and have been recognized as IDF fallen.

Events marking Memorial Day for Israel's fallen and Victims of Terrorism began on Sunday morning with the inauguration of a new memorial hall in Jerusalem. The memorial hall was dedicated in the presence of President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Ministry Avigdor Lieberman, and other ministers as well as defense and security dignitaries.

Yom HaZikaron will begin at nightfall this evening and a 1-minute siren will be sounded nationwide at 8pm when the official State memorial service will begin on Maount Herzl and the Israel Flag will be lowered to half mast until tomorrow evening. Tomorrow a 2-minute siren will be sounded at 11am which will mark the opening of the official and private memorial ceremonies at each cemetery where soldiers are buried.


If my people will pray!

As we stand at the crossroads with multiple challenges before us as a nation – politically, economically and spiritually – our greatest need is prayer. But in order to be aroused to what many would see as an extreme measure, we need leaders called “for such as time as this” – men and women who refuse to be intimidated into submission to the current worldview and who recognise the urgency of the hour.

The Bible says: “…If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7.14)

But where is the Church, and where are her leaders calling us to pray? We now have the example set by South African Christians who responded to such a call by travelling hundreds of miles across the country to join an estimated 1.7 million people petitioning the God of Israel to intervene in their nation’s desperate problems with corruption at government level spiralling out of control.

The immediate euphoria of the early post-apartheid days, when a rainbow nation swept clean of injustice basked in the new sunshine, are long gone. Instead of godliness taking root for the long-term, a spiritual vacuum was left in the corridors of power, and it is as if the demons of the past have returned with fellow spirits making the last state of the nation worse than the first, as in the teaching of Jesus on the subject in Matthew 12.43-45 when he explained that some cases could only be dealt with by prayer and fasting (Mark 9.29).

In a book written in the wake of the 7/7 bombings in London, Oxford vicar Charlie Cleverly likened the church to the position of Queen Esther when called to rescue the Jewish people from destruction in ancient Persia. The author calls for men of courage to rise up and lead us to the foot of the cross, to be prepared to suffer for our Lord as our forbears did when burnt at the stake for bringing us the gospel in our own language.

A mini-version of Foxes Book of Martyrs, The Passion that Shapes Nations (Victor, an imprint of Kingsway) also compares England to the spiritual dilemma described above by Matthew. We were swept clean by martyrs and others who lit a flame for the gospel to be spread throughout the world, but we have since disowned our godly heritage and are now seven times worse off than under the likes of Henry VIII.

Where is the courage that took Paul Hannington to Uganda where he died for his troubles; that took Hudson Taylor to China at great personal cost? Where are those who will stand up to godlessness and compromise in both church and state? We are approaching a crucial election, but God is apparently not on the agenda – a shameful situation for a nation granted the inestimable privilege of spreading the gospel across the globe.

Lib-Dem leader Tim Farron, a declared Christian, has long refused to be drawn on his view of gay sex, but has now finally succumbed to press intimidation by stating that it is not sinful. As Cleverly states in his book, “…the Church today, when faced with homosexuality, hardly dares to mention sin in this context. She is intimidated like Esther into silence.”

The alarm bells are sounding. Preachers are being hounded and even arrested for quoting the Bible, a student has been expelled from Sheffield University for his biblical views on sexuality. Appropriately, the South African prayer gathering was called It’s Time. Surely it’s time to say, as the irrepressible farmer/evangelist Angus Buchan has said, that ‘enough is enough’.

As he addressed the teeming masses gathered on a former Springbok rugby player’s farm, he thundered to the young men present: “You will not sleep with anyone until your wedding night!” Cries of ‘Amen’ echoed across the veldt (I have watched videos sent by friends on the ground).

Need I say more? The great need of the hour is not political debate, but urgent, passionate prayer. God’s people, and especially church leaders, need to humble themselves and pray and seek the face of the Lord for the healing of our nation.

The Old Testament refers to the “men of Issachar who understood the times and knew what Israel should do” (1 Chronicles 12.32) and the prophet Hosea calls us to break up our unploughed ground – “for it is time to seek the Lord” (Hosea 10.12).

As Charlie Cleverly put it, Esther understood “that the destiny of nations is not in the hands of politicians but in the hands of the people of God who pray”.

He adds: “I believe the Church is under threat as in the days of Esther and she needs to awaken to a coherent strategy.”

As John Knox called out, “Give me Scotland or I die”, where are those crying out in the wilderness: “Give me England or I die”?

Charles Gardner is author of Israel the Chosen, available from Amazon, and Peace in Jerusalem, available from


Voting Right, Getting Left

While Netanyahu's government is "right-wing," it nevertheless faces mounting criticism from the Right.

The full article appears in the May 2017 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
CLICK HERE to read it all


Israel Hints It Carried Out Airstrike on Damascus Airport

Israel’s Minister of Intelligence Israel Katz on Thursday strongly hinted that the Jewish state had carried out a large aerial strike on Damascus International Airport earlier in the day.

Various regional and international media reported massive explosions on the outskirts of Syria’s main airport early Thursday morning.

Hours later, Katz told Israel Radio: “We are acting to prevent the transfer of sophisticated weapons from Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon by Iran. When we receive serious information about the intention to transfer weapons to Hezbollah, we will act. This incident is totally consistent with this policy.”

Arab media noted that warehouses used by Hezbollah and Iran to store weapons are located at the Damascus airport.

Syria previously threatened that if Israel again attacked targets on Syrian soil, there would be a severe military response.


VIDEO: We Are Israel


Germany's Choice

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel made a choice during his visit to Israel. He chosen to meet with two subversive NGOs rather than sit with Prime Minister Netanyahu. 

Gabriel's choice would be akin to a visit to Germany by Israel's Foreign Minister during which he met with German NGOs investigating German soldiers for war crimes in Afghanistan rather than meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel.

What makes Gabriel's choice even more aggravating is the fact that his visit was part of Germany's participation in Holocaust Memorial Day. Not unrelated is the fact that Gabriel's father was an avowed Nazi until the day he died in 2012, at the age of 91. Though this does not makes him one, it should have made him all the more sensitive. 

Further still, Gabriel's choice was made after a week of exchanges between himself and Netanyahu's office. In other words, Gabriel's choice was Germany's choice to prefer blatant anti-Israel NGOs over the elected Prime Minister of Israel.

The two organizations he met with are B'Tzelem and Breaking the Silence, groups that exist only to vilify Israel. Germany is supporting these organizations with millions of euros, thus blatantly interfering in Israel's internal affairs. For too long now, Israel has turned a blind eye to foreign governments' intervention, these attempts to make Israel capitulate to the European radical left agenda, an agenda that is becoming increasingly antisemitic.

Eldad Beck, a journalist who lived for many years in Germany, and who is well versed in German politics, wrote for the Mida news portal that Sigmar's was a deliberate and well calculated provocation. 

"Anyone claiming that the German Foreign Minister didn't know about the explosive nature of his meeting with Breaking the Silence and B'Tzelem," writes Beck, "is throwing dust in your eyes. The German government, German political parties and private and government funds are among the largest supporters of [Israeli] left-wing organizations."

Given this background, Netanyahu, for the first time, has drawn a clear red line: "My policy is clear," he said, "not to meet with diplomats who visit Israel and engage with organizations that slander Israeli soldiers and seek to have them put on trial as war criminals."

Commenting on Netanyahu's decision to cancel the meeting with him, Sigmar mislead observers by presenting subversive organizations as legitimate "civil organizations, some of which are critical of the government." He also said that "we do not want to enter the Israeli political game." 

What Sigmar would not state was the names of these "civil organizations" that Germany supports. These are the most radical, not civil, but political NGOs disguised as civil organizations.

According to NGO Monitor, Germany supports organizations engaged in legal warfare and advancing boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel. Among those receiving money from Germany are the "Women's Coalition for Peace," "Physicians for Human Rights," and "Zochrot" – an organization calling for the return of all Palestinian refugees to Israel (in other words, Israel's destruction). 

Germany also supports Palestinian organizations like Miftah, which has accused Israel of apartheid, cultural genocide and war crimes.


Farming for God

The South African revival to which I referred in an earlier dispatch is now in full bloom, as evidenced by an extraordinary prayer meeting attended by an estimated 1.7 million people.

The call to prayer – named It’s Time – came from farmer-evangelist Angus Buchan in response to allegations of corruption in government, an intolerable crime rate, violent student protests and immorality at many levels.

Affectionately known as Oom Angus, the preacher has made a huge impact on the nation since experiencing a dramatic encounter with Christ in 1979. In recent years he has focused his attention on men, imploring them to live up to their responsibilities by leading their families in prayer and dedication to God.

For seven years he held annual weekend camps at his KwaZulu-Natal farm Shalom, initially hosting just family and a few friends, but eventually drawing some 400,000 men. Similar events, known as Mighty Men Conferences, have since spread to other parts of the country as well as the UK.

But with the country now embroiled in chaos led by a government apparently steeped in corruption, Angus believed it was time to call Christians to serious prayer – and the venue chosen was 2,500 acres of farmland near the central city of Bloemfontein.

Believers responded by travelling from all parts of the country to set up camp, pray over many issues such as abortion, crime, injustice and poverty and draw inspiration from the beloved evangelist with his uncompromising message focused on living according to the Bible’s precepts.

“You will sleep with no-one until you are married!” he urged young men, adding (echoing a phrase used by Britain’s legendary Pentecostal evangelist Smith Wigglesworth): “God said it; we believe it and that settles it.”

An Israeli flag could be clearly seen fluttering in the breeze as a video camera panned across a sea of people stretching some 1.4 kilometers from the main platform, and strong gusts of wind accompanied prayers in scenes akin to the initial Holy Spirit outpouring recorded in the New Testament Book of Acts (chapter 2, verse 2).

I mention the Israeli flag to further support the thesis of my previous article on the subject – that blessing the Jewish people is a key to revival, something the UK church has yet to grasp.

In addition to YouTube videos, I have friends taking part who have kept me informed of progress, and it is difficult not to see this as further fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy that “in the last days I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh” (Joel 2.28). Such a time could quite conceivably coincide with the restoration of Israel along with the judgment of those nations opposing them (Joel 3.1f).

It’s Time is evidently inspired by the biblical promise of healing for Israel when God’s people humble themselves and pray. The relevant verses from 2 Chronicles 7.13f read: “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain (South Africa has been suffering a severe drought), or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

I do not have an exact count of the attendance at this event, but my sources told me that as many as 1.7 million people had registered beforehand. That is equivalent to the population of Tel Aviv, Israel’s largest city, and greater than Birmingham, Britain’s second city.

Clearly, prayer leads to revival, along with blessing Israel as I have already emphasized. For it is my belief that there is a distinct correlation between this move of the Spirit and a general understanding and support of Israel, to whom Christians are indelibly attached – if we cut ourselves off from our Judaic roots, the Church cannot truly exist. (Romans 11.17f)

Churches in all parts of South Africa – incorporating black and white as well as English and Afrikaans-speaking – are bursting with new life as they prove a counter-cultural provocation to secularists, humanists and others (who are trying it on there too) and especially to a government reportedly rife with corruption and virulently opposed to Israel, even to the extent of virtually cutting off diplomatic ties with the Jewish state. This is in spite of the fact that it was Jews who led the resistance to apartheid in the days of the old whites-only Parliament.

Angus, who has led a similar gathering in Israel, has proved a huge inspiration as he urges men to run their homes, love their wives and discipline their children in the fear of God, leading to inevitable clashes with political correctness.

Moreover, the default position of many of South Africa’s churches today is an understanding of God’s everlasting love for Israel and of the church’s enormous debt to them – for the Bible, for their Saviour and much more. A friend of mine put it this way: “If you don’t believe in God’s plan for Israel, you’re an atheist.”

The point is that these South African Christians have woken up, having for the most part learnt to love God’s chosen people. But UK churches are in desperate need for re-education in biblical truth.

For revival, you have to be in the right place with God so that, as far as is possible, his thoughts become your thoughts (see Isaiah 55). We don’t worship Israel, as they are human and sinful like us, but we do worship the God of Israel who has blessed us with his precious Word and with his Son, the Jewish Messiah, who is “the way, the truth and the life” (John 14.6).

I have re-visited my home country a number of times in recent years to see family and friends, and I became aware that it was no longer divided along apartheid lines, but between those who live in fear – the secularists who erect huge steel barriers to protect their property from burglars – and those who live by faith and in freedom, who love their neighbours and believe in the country’s future under God.

I appreciate that Jesus warned of deception in the last days, but I feel that sometimes we are in danger of straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel on this point. Author/preacher R T Kendall, writing of how Israel as a whole failed to recognize their Messiah when he came, says: “We are all so sure that we would recognize the authentic when it arrives. You could not have told a Sadducee or a Pharisee that the Messiah would come to Israel without them knowing and acknowledging him. But he came and they rejected him.”

Get a grip. This revival is authentic. And if we wish the same for our nation, we need to humble ourselves and pray, repenting of our wicked ways, especially over our treatment of God’s chosen people.

MIGHTY TURNOUT: Men gather in great numbers for the Karoo Mighty Men’s Conference in the heart of South Africa’s farming community. Picture: Robert Southey

Charles Gardner is author of Israel the Chosen, available from Amazon, and Peace in Jerusalem, available from


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Mazal tov, Israel!


Israelis Hurt in Multiple Stabbing Attacks

An Israeli soldier was lightly wounded when a Palestinian Arab woman stabbed him at a checkpoint north of Jerusalem on Monday.

The woman approached the soldier as if to ask a question, and then quickly pulled out a knife and started stabbing.

Nearby soldiers were able to overpower the terrorist before further harm could be done.

A day earlier, a Palestinian Arab youth stabbed four people on the seaside promenade in Tel Aviv.

The 18-year-old assailant had been granted a one-day permit to Israel as part of a bilateral peace initiative.


Am Israel Chai....

My 6-year-old sits in front of me and looks at me with his big brown eyes. The first time in his 6 years that he was exposed to preparations for, and hearing of, the history of the Holocaust. The incomprehensibility was tangible and visible in his eyes when he asked, "Mommy, my heart is sad. Why didn't the Jews come to Israel?"

Yesterday our flags were lowered to half-mast as we commemorated the Holocaust. But in just a few days, our wonderful blue & white flag will wave at full-mast and proudly proclaim: From the Holocaust to our nation's Rebirth - Am Israel Chai!

We have a land - our land - and the people of Israel live!

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Islamist Attacks on Holidays

Originally written for the Investigative Project on Terrorism

Nearly 50 people were murdered on Palm Sunday when Islamic State terrorists bombed two Coptic churches in an Easter celebration-nightmare. The next day, on the eve of the Jewish holiday of Passover, the Islamic State’s Sinai affiliate launched rockets at Israel.

Just before Christmas, a terrorist claimed by the Islamic State rammed a truck into Berlin’s crowded Christmas market, killing 12 people. And in Australia, a group of self-radicalized Islamists planned to attack St Paul’s Cathedral. In 2011, Nigerian Islamists murdered nearly 40 Catholic worshipers in a Christmas Day attack.

Terrorists attack where and when they can. But they seem keenly aware that turning holidays into horror can carry greater shock and terror. In 2002, 30 Israeli civilians were massacred and 140 injured by a Hamas suicide bomber who blew himself up as they sat for the seder, the traditional Passover meal, at the Park Hotel in Netanya.

It isn’t just terrorists who see advantages in striking during holidays. The 1973 Yom Kippur War may be the most famous example, when the armies of two Muslim-majority states, Egypt and Syria, attacked Israel on the most sacred day of the Jewish calendar. That war produced an estimated 20,000 deaths.

Christians and Jews aren’t the only religious groups that have been targeted by Islamists during non-Muslim holy days. The Hindu festival of Diwali has also been attacked. In 2005, a series of bombs killed over 60 people and injured hundreds in Delhi; a Pakistan-based Islamist terrorist group, the Islamic Revolutionary Front, claimed responsibility. Last October, Indian police arrested an Islamist cell inspired by the Islamic State for planning an attack during Diwali.

Muslims are also victimized by Islamist attacks in increasing volume. A 2015 mosque bombing in Yemen killed 29 people during prayers for the Muslim holiday of Eid. Last July, also during Eid, three people were killed at a Bangladesh checkpoint when gunmen carrying bombs tried to attack the country’s largest Eid gathering, which attracted an estimated 300,000 worshippers.

Last May, as the Muslim holy month of Ramadan approached, a spokesman for the Islamic State urged jihadists to “make it, with God’s permission, a month of pain for infidels everywhere.” Days later, as Ramadan celebrations stretched past midnight in central Baghdad, a minivan packed with explosives blew up and killed at least 143 people.

Terrorists also target secular holidays. Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, a Tunisian resident of France, killed 85 people and injured hundreds more in a truck-ramming terrorist attack as people gathered for a Bastille Day celebration. In New York last fall, dump trumps were deployed to protect the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, after the Islamic State called it an “excellent target.”

Holidays are often chosen because they are “optimal attack days,” in terms of gathering large crowds into soft targets like houses of worship, religious markets, ceremonial gatherings, and parades. Last November, U.S. officials warned that the coming holiday season could mean “opportunities for violent extremists” to attack.

A terrorist attack on a holiday is also more likely to attract media attention. And because holidays draw tourists, well-timed attacks can amplify the economic damage that would be wrought by terror even on a non-holiday. After a spate of attacks toward the end of 2015, “about 10% of American travelers have canceled a trip ... eliminating a potential $8.2 billion in travel spending,” reported MarketWatch.

But ISIS, al-Qaida and other Islamist terrorist groups believe they are waging a holy war above all else. Attacking infidels, be they Christians, Jews or Muslims of other sects, motivates jihadis more than anything else. “Those who targeted churches on holiday celebrations tend to be professional terrorist groups,” Raymond Ibrahim, author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians, told the IPT. By contrast, “mob attacks happen either on a Friday, after an especially potent sermon, or whenever infidels need to be put in their place (e.g., a Christian accused of blasphemy, then the church in his village gets torched).”

In 2015, Islamic State warnings of future attacks against Christians noted that Christians were their “favorite prey” and no longer protected as “dhimmis,” a reference to non-Muslims in Islam who may, in exchange for paying the jizya tax, receive some state protection.

Thus, within the larger context of a holy war, attacks on non-Muslim holy days can be viewed as part of the more general Islamist strategy of humiliation, forced submission to Islam, and the denial of any competing religion. Attacking on Diwali or Christmas or Yom Kippur is essentially declaring that such “infidel” holy days ought to be desecrated rather than respected. The symbolic message is akin to the one communicated by the two Islamists who entered a French cathedral and beheaded an octogenarian priest, Jacques Hamel, during mass services last July.

Attacking places of worship on holy days – when they are most used by and relevant to their congregations – is also a good way to undermine these religious institutions and their supporters. If Islamist terror makes churches the most vulnerable on the days when they are most crowded, how will those houses of worship attract enough followers to sustain themselves? And how will their congregants practice their faith? The Coptic Pope curbed some Easter celebrations in Egypt after the recent Palm Sunday blasts.

Such questions may help to explain why Christians, who have lived in the Middle East – the birthplace of Christianity – for millennia now constitute only about 3 percent of the region’s population, down from 20 percent a century ago.

Indeed, the only non-Muslim country in the entire Middle East is also the safest place for non-Muslims in the region, including Christians, Druze, and Bahai. “Christians and other minorities in Israel prosper and grow,” says Shadi Khalloul, founder of the Israeli Aramaic Movement. “[W]hile in other countries in the Middle East, as well as in the Palestinian Authority, they suffer heavily from the Islamic movement and persecution – until forced to disappear.”

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


From Holocaust to Rebirth...

IDF officer Hadar Goldin was killed and kidnapped during "Operation Tzuk Eitan" - "Operation Protective Edge" in 2014. His body is still being held by Hamas. He wrote the following letter, as a student, to his parents during his visit to the Auschwitz extermination camp in Poland. This year his parents have joined the march of the living and will read his letter out in Auschwitz. Hadar already understood, during his visit to Auschwitz, how important the defense of his country was!

Mom and Dad,

I am sitting in the corner of one of the transport carriages in Poland. I wonder how many children like me, or maybe people different from me, passed this way before. The one thing they had in common was they were all Jews. Uprooted from their homes, their families, their parents or children without knowing where they were headed or what their destiny was. I want to tell you that, because of you, I know what my destiny is.

I will be returning to Israel. My country and our country. And I understand that, thanks to you, I know what my country affords me, but in principle - I know what I need to give of myself to my country. And in introspection I know that I have the ability to give the maximum. Whether it is representing my and our country abroad, in Chesterton, in Cambridge, at school or in the community. To be honest, fair and smart and where there are no people to be a man! To be human, as you always say. Amongst friends, at school to succeed and do the best I can. To represent and defend my country in the IDF with different kinds of weapons. Always with the tools you have equipped me with. Mom and Dad I want to say thank you.

Dad, thank you that you built me up, helped me build myself up, for the unending care, the unlimited guidance and education.
Mom! Thank you that each time I lose something - myself, you help me find it, you help me rise up and not fall. Your incessant worrying, the never ending support, your continual prayers and for what I have learnt from you.

Everything I observe here in Poland leads my thoughts back to you, to my gransparents, Tzur, Ayelet and Chemi. The realization that Tzur, I and everybody will attain the victory of the Jewish people, an incredible task that I am prepared to take on myself. You have impressed upon me this responsibility, from the second I was born.

I am now leaving the carraige like so many Jews before me. They marched and took their final steps and in their death honored God or by surviving honored life. I march from here to rise from the ashes like I was taught. I want to tell you that that I love you from the bottom of my heart. Maybe I don't say it enough, but my heart always says it, and I hope that my deeds manage to show just how much I love you when I don't say it.

With endless love


Israel Remembers

Tomorrow begins a week of memory and commemoration in Israel. April 24 is Holocaust Memorial Day, and next week on May 1 begins Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers concluding with the celebrations of Independence Day on May 2.

I have often wondered why we spend so much time reliving these heartbreaking events? Surely the people who lived through these traumas do not need a day to remember, they live everyday with memories.

During memorial days my grandfather would take me to visit the graves of his friends and loved ones. He pointed out the people he knew from the town where he grew up; a man who helped build the local synagogue, the butcher who lived across from the Jewish community center. Each grave marked with a Jewish star represented a unique life, a life that had left its mark on my grandfather.

In honoring these people, my grandfather left an indelible mark on me. I was reminded that we stand here today because of the sacrifices of so many who are no longer with us.

Tomorrow in Israel we will join in commemorative memorials across the country, in schools, at war monuments and in cemeteries. Tears will be shed, prayers prayed and stones placed on graves with flags raised in honor of those we have lost in wars and a holocaust over the past century. Friends and family will come together to tell the stories and recall the bravery, and the pain, of loved ones we can never forget.

Soon, in just a few short years, there will not be any survivors left to tell their stories. We feel their absence, for they are no longer here to give us direction, fill leadership roles in our communities, or extend comforting hugs.

This week, as we marvel at the spring season of rebirth, it is good that we also find time to renew the memory of the untold sacrifices of those who made it possible for us to enjoy our lives. It is good that we bring our children to Memorial Day events, read the names on the plaques and think about the families that were forever changed by the lives and the losses of their loved ones, and shake the hand of a young soldier in appreciation.

They have earned our eternal gratitude.


VIDEO: Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial


Can Israel Really Rely on Trump?

Israel Today speaks to top Christian political thinkers about President Trump's support for Israel.

The full article appears in the April 2017 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
CLICK HERE to read it all


VIDEO: Experience Bat Yam

South of Tel Aviv and Jaffa is the town of Bat Yam. The city has existed since 1926, when it was founded as Bayit Ve Gan (house and garden), but had to be evacuated in 1929 by the British after being attacked by Arabs from Jaffa.

In 1930, it was re-populated and in 1937 it gained city status with a new name - Bat Yam.

In the 1950s, Bat Yam grew rapidly due to the large number of immigrants flooding into the city.

Today, Bat Yam is known for its beautiful sandy beaches and its newly-renovated seaside promenade.


'Netanyahu Broke My Heart'

Israel finds itself in the midst of heated debate over the fate of two IDF soldiers who went missing during the 2014 Gaza War and are presumed dead.

Hamas is believed to have the bodies of Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul.

And the families of the two soldiers want them back.

Hadar Goldin’s bereaved mother, Dr. Leah Goldin, had a chance to express as much during a State Comptroller Committee hearing on the comptroller’s report regarding Operation Protective Edge.

“Hamas wanted to kidnap and today they have two soldiers, and the question of whether you will succeed in bringing them back without taking the country down into miserable grief will determine the outcome of Operation Protective Edge,” said Goldin as she hurled criticism at both State Comptroller Yosef Shapira and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Goldin and many other Israelis are upset over the government’s unwillingness to take more drastic measures to retrieve the bodies of the missing soldiers.

Speaking at the session, Netanyahu said, “We are doing everything we can to bring Oron and Hadar back, but there are risks that I am not prepared to take.”

Leah Goldin later told Channel 10 News that “Netanyahu broke my heart. He turned my son from a hero who was sent by him to war, into a debt of a body.”

Goldin said that Israel “must stop being afraid of Hamas. The Gilad Shalit deal led to the fact that terrorist prisoners were returned to Gaza and now they are the ones who control it…We have to change this equation, there is no other way.”


Enjoy an Hebrew themed games evening ... with 25% discount!

Plan an enjoyable evening for all including a few tasty treats, a challenging game and let the games begin!


WATCH: Openly Gay Israeli MK Destroys Whiney Liberal American Jew

Like many out-of-touch liberal American Jews, this woman accused Israel of responding to the terrorist murder of three Jewish teens by indiscriminately killing 2,300 Palestinians.

Likud MK Amir Ohana, the first openly gay lawmaker from the ruling party, was having none of it.


Christian Tourist Arrested After Attacking Israeli Guard

A 31-year-old American Christian tourist was arrested near the Sea of Galilee (Kinneret) last week after he violently attacked a local security guard and threatened police.

The man, who was traveling with his wife and young son, inexplicably arrived at the Galilee community of Almagor and began attacking with a metal rod the security guard manning the gate.

He then fled into a nearby grove where police chased him down.

The man continued to use the rod to threaten police officers, even after being hit by a taser gun.

Following his arrest, the man’s wife told police her husband had heard from Jesus that he was to destroy his credit cards and travel to northern Israel.

She didn’t say whether or not the divine instructions included physically assaulting Jesus’ Israeli brethren.

Unfortunate incidents like these only serve to keep many Israelis skeptical of Christians and the message of Yeshua (Jesus).

PHOTO: Illustration - Israel Police respond to a violent crime. Moti Karelitz/FLASH90


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