Why Do Muslims Flee to Christian Countries?

Why Do Muslims Flee to Christian Countries?

"Jews and Christians know how to be merciful but Muslims do not," one refugee told Israel Today.

The full article appears in the October 2015 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
CLICK HERE to read it all


Wave of Terror Has Netanyahu Under Pressure

Wave of Terror Has Netanyahu Under Pressure

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is under increasing pressure as Palestinian Arab extremists continue their bloody rampage against Jews in Jerusalem an elsewhere in Israel.

On Wednesday, a female Palestinian stabbed and wounded two Israelis near the Lions’ Gate of Jerusalem’s Old City. Just south of the capital, a Palestinian lynch mob stoned a female Jewish motorist and attempted to drag her out of the vehicle. The victim managed to speed away from the scene and reach a nearby Israeli army checkpoint.

On Tuesday, Israeli Arabs living in Tel Aviv-Jaffa joined the fray by violently demonstrating in Israel’s usually peaceful seaside metropolis.

Over the weekend, four Israelis were killed in stabbing and shooting attacks, and several more were wounded, including a two-year-old child. Israeli reprisals and clashes with Palestinian rioters led to the deaths of three Arabs.

Netanyahu vowed tougher security measures, and thousands of Israelis demonstrated opposite his official residence in Jerusalem on Tuesday to make sure he sticks to that promise.

Already the government has demolished the homes of several of the terrorists who hailed from Jerusalem itself, and arrest raids are ongoing in Judea and Samaria.

Palestinian groups have complained over what they call “collective punishment,” but as is widely known, the families of these terrorist “martyrs” receive generous compensation from the Palestinian Authority.

Israel holds the regime of “moderate” Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas responsible for this wave of terror given that Palestinian state-run media and its official school curriculum have brainwashed an entire generation of Palestinian Arabs to violently oppose the very presence of Jews in their midst.


The Jewish holidays are over but our discounts are not!!

The Jewish holidays are over but our discounts are not!!

Get your discounts now! They are still available until 22 October 2015.

Get your 20% discount on selected products here now!


10 Years Later: Gaza Pullout Was a Mistake

10 Years Later: Gaza Pullout Was a Mistake

"The pullout was a mistake," admits Isaac Herzog, now leader of the Labor Party. Israel Today examines others whose positions have changed after the Gaza "disengagement" failed to play out as expected.

The full article appears in the October 2015 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
CLICK HERE to read it all


Blatant Anti-Israel Bias at the New York Times

Blatant Anti-Israel Bias at the New York Times

The anti-Israel prejudice at The New York Times ("NYT") is so extensive and persistent that the paper's partiality is now undeniable and well documented (see the endless archive of NYT bias reports at two media watchdogs: CAMERA and Honest Reporting). Here are just four egregious examples from the last few weeks.

On September 10th, the NYT singled out Jewish lawmakers on the Iran deal.

On September 15th, the NYT suggested that the Israeli who was murdered by rock-throwing Palestinians had died of a "self-inflicted accident" after the attackers had merely "pelted the road" (rather than his car). The National Review provided a detailed critique of this farcical "reporting."

Unbelievably, Diaa Hadid, a NYT "journalist" responsible for reporting on Israel, used to work for an anti-Israel hate group, so it's no surprise that she authored an article suggesting that Palestinian attackers pelted a road with stones on which an Israeli's self-inflicted car accident caused him to die.

On September 29, Hadid used an anonymous European advocate of Palestinian rights as a witness to contradict Israeli army claims that a Palestinian woman shot at an IDF checkpoint was armed with a knife, but then omitted confirmatory reports from another witness mentioned in the article, a Palestinian named Fawaz Abu Aisheh, who said the woman had dropped her knife after being shot (even though Amnesty International mentioned Aisheh's corroborating testimony about the knife).

On September 30, the NYT struck again with false historical information and tendentious coverage of Abbas' UN speech. The article, by Rick Gladstone and Jodi Rudoren, noted that "Mr. Abbas accused Israel of having systematically violated these pacts" without mentioning the many violations of the Oslo Peace Accords by Palestinians. In an article exceeding 1,000 words, the reporters made not even one reference to Palestinian terrorism, a basic historical fact that is essential to any fair and balanced understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Indeed, since the Oslo Peace Accords, there have been 22 years of Palestinian terrorist attacks -- including 140 suicide bombings -- which have murdered over 1,500 Israelis (in U.S. population terms, about 60,000 people killed) and made Israeli compliance with a complex and risky "peace" agreement even harder.

The paper's token attempt at balance was to quote some perfunctory response to Abbas' speech from Israel's foreign ministry (“Israel does uphold its agreements”), as if anyone could -- in a quotable soundbite -- possibly provide sufficient details to refute the sweeping accusations that Abbas made in his speech.

The article editorializes by noting that "Mr. Abbas delivered the speech...against a backdrop of growing frustration among many Palestinians over the paralysis in peace negotiations with Israel," as if the Israelis aren't equally frustrated, and as if the Palestinians aren't largely responsible for the lack of peace progress.

Gladstone and Rudoren then combine outrageously skewed reporting with blatantly false historical claims: "Compounded by new strife over contested religious sites in Jerusalem and other festering issues, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the most protracted dispute vexing the United Nations since the organization’s founding 70 years ago."

The reporters shamelessly failed to note that the "new strife over contested religious sites in Jerusalem" was produced by Palestinian incitementanti-Jewish harassment, and violence.

Equally egregious is their patently false claim that "the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the most protracted dispute vexing the United Nations since the organization’s founding 70 years ago." A basic Wikipedia research reveals that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict began in 1948 and has produced about 24,000 fatalities since then, while the Kashmir conflict between India and Pakistan began in 1947 and has produced about 47,000 fatalities, and the conflict over Kurdish separatism in Iran began in 1946 and has caused at least 30,000 fatalities.

So Gladstone and Rudoren have twisted history to suggest that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the world's most pressing issue. When combined with Abbas' quotes (left unbalanced by any other perspective or facts), their article implies that Israel is to blame for lack of peace after 70 years -- as if Israel hadn't participated in numerous peace efforts and withdrawn from conquered territories (for peace with Egypt and for rocket attacks from Gaza and Lebanon).

The reporters then suggest that Abbas has unilaterally pursued Palestinian statehood out of frustration with Israel but conspicuously fail to inform readers that such Palestinian unilateralism is itself a violation of the Oslo accords.

The consistent and blatant anti-Israel bias at the NYT should cause anyone who cares about Israel to stop trusting the paper for Israel-related news, and -- more generally - to stop supporting the newspaper, because every NYT issue purchased or article viewed online only supports more defamatory reporting on Israel.

And any NYT readers who want facts and unbiased reporting should find another source of information because the NYT's anti-Israel bias calls the entire newspaper into question. After all, if the NYT can't be trusted to report fairly and accurately on a conflict that is closely watched by millions of people -- which interest level should create a strong incentive to achieve fair, balanced, and precise reporting -- then why can it be trusted to provide reliable information on any other topic? What other latent agendas or biases skew the news produced by the NYT? Indeed, the severity of the NYT's anti-Israel bias should defrock the newspaper of its status as the "paper of record."

The NYT might be appallingly biased only when it comes to Israel (in which case the paper's prejudice becomes even more damning). But it's more likely that the newspaper allows its political leanings to color its reporting on many other topics, even if they are less monitored for unfairness. Either way, the NYT simply can't be trusted any more.

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


Palestinian Authority's Grotesque Response to Jerusalem Attacks

Palestinian Authority's Grotesque Response to Jerusalem Attacks

Jerusalem, or at least the area around the Old City, has become something of a war zone over the past few days.

In at least two separate attacks, two Israelis have been knifed to death, a Jewish toddler has been stabbed, and several more people have been wounded for no other reason than walking in certain areas while being Jewish.

And how have Israel’s peace partners in the Palestinian Authority responded? By blaming Israel, naturally.

When a 19-year-old Palestinian man mercilessly killed two Israeli men, critically wounded the wife of one of the victims and stabbed their helpless 2-year-old child near Lions’ Gate on Saturday, he was shot and killed by soldiers responding to the scene.

Similarly, when another knife-wielding terrorist stabbed and seriously injured a 15-year-old Israeli near Damascus Gate on Sunday, he, too, was gunned down to prevent any further bloodshed.

The statement released by the Palestinian Authority in the wake of these attacks insisted that the “killing of two young men in occupied Jerusalem” was part and parcel of Israel’s “policy of escalation.” The regime of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas urgently called upon the international community to intervene against Israel.

Nowhere in the statement did Abbas acknowledge that the two slain Palestinian men had only been shot because they had first perpetrated murderous attacks against passing Jews. In fact, the statement didn’t mention the Jewish victims at all.

Tellingly, some foreign media followed Abbas’ lead, headlining the story in a way that sought to disconnect the deaths of the Palestinian men and their Jewish victims, and to blame Israel for the former.

For example, the BBC first headlined the story of the Lions’ Gate attack “Palestinian shot dead after Jerusalem attack kills two.” A more fitting and accurate headline would have noted that two ISRAELIS had been killed and their attacker eliminated.

אין גבול לחוצפה!כך נראית הכותרת באתר הBBC כרגע:״פלסטיני נורה למוות לאחר שבהתקפה בירושלים נהרגו שניים״גשו כעת לדף של…

Posted by ‎המטה הלאומי בליכוד‎ on Saturday, October 3, 2015


This War is Taking Our Best

This War is Taking Our Best

Rabbi Eitam and Naama Henkin from Neriyah were killed last week by the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, the military arm of Fatah, the "moderate" faction of "moderate" Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. 

But this well-planned killing of Jews was not a crime. Eitam and Naama were not murdered by savage, blood-thirsty sub-humans. This pre-meditated attack was carried out by people who are at war against Israel's very existence, a fact that is well masked by what is presented as a legitimate "fight for freedom" against the Israeli occupation of the "Palestinian state" whose flag now flies at UN Headquarters.

This attack was carried out just hours after Abbas' "speech of lies" at the UN, where he once again wrapped his hate for Israel in rhetoric palatable for the gullible West. The support of the countries of the world, he said, is needed for the sake of truth, freedom and lawfulness. A Palestinian state, he continued, will be "the greatest contribution to peacemaking in the Holy Land." 

It is for good reason that following this speech, Islam expert Mordechai Kedar labeled Abbas a soldier in a "'political Jihad' whose goal is the establishment of Muslim State No. 58 on the ruins of the one and only Jewish State." The doctrine of Islamic Jihad, continued Kedar in stating the obvious, "mandates the inclusion of an element of deceit, and Mahmoud Abbas is a master of deception."

The disheartening part of it all is that almost every Israeli, from President Rivlin to the fish merchant at Ben Yehuda market, continues to use terms taken from the criminal vocabulary, and Israel continues to fight this jihad as if it were some sort of criminal activity. 

It is notable that the first to arrive at the scene of the killing of Rabbi Eitam and his wife was the forensic unit of the Israeli police. Similarly, Israeli media continues to describe murderous rock and Molotov cocktail attackers as "youths," "activists," "militants" or "human animals."

But the killing of a young rabbi destined for greatness and of his lovely wife is a chilling reminder that Israel is at war, a war that for some reason tends to consume her very best. In a moving Facebook post Aharon Rose mourns his friend: "We lose our very best; the greatest among the next generation leadership of religious Zionism was murdered." A man of "great genius of noble spirit" he calls him. A gaze at Eitam's blog shows just how accurate this description is, and how urgent it is for us Israelis to wake up to the fact that the Henkins are casualties of war, and not victims of heinous crime.


The Origins of Anti-Judaism

The Origins of Anti-Judaism

There are three types of antagonism toward Jews: anti-Judaism, anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. All of them seek to defame and even annihilate the Jews or Israel. In this article, we will discuss the origins and development of anti-Judaism.

The full article appears in the October 2015 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
CLICK HERE to read it all




In a heated debate, Jerusalem Post's Caroline Glick and Amir Oren of Ha’aretz discussed how things got to bad and if there is any way for the two allies to move forward in the final year of Barack Obama’s presidency.

The full article appears in the October 2015 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
CLICK HERE to read it all


Terrorists Murder Israeli Couple In Front of Their Children

Terrorists Murder Israeli Couple In Front of Their Children

Palestinian Arab gunmen on Thursday murdered and Israeli man and his wife in front of their four young children.

The attack occurred on a highway in Samaria (the so-called “West Bank”). The victims were struck by a hail of gunfire from a passing vehicle.

The Israeli man and his wife were pronounced dead at the scene by first responders. Their children - aged 4 months, 4, 7 and 9 - were unharmed, at least physically.

The perpetrators escaped into the safety of a nearby Palestinian Authority-controlled village.

Israel holds the Palestinian Authority responsible for such attacks given that Palestinian state-run media and its official school curriculum have brainwashed an entire generation of Palestinian Arabs to violently oppose the very presence of Jews in their midst.


Bethlehem Church Burns; No One Cares

Bethlehem Church Burns; No One Cares

Earlier this summer, a fire broke out at the Church of the Multiplication (of the Loaves and Fish) on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. The perpetrators are believed to have been Jewish extremists, and the suspected arson made headline news around the world.

Over this past weekend, the St. Charbel church in Bethlehem was similarly set alight, suffering even more extensive damage. Oh, but there weren’t any Jews involved? Well then, never mind…

That would seem to be the approach taken by the Palestinian Authority, the mainstream international media, the United Nations, world governments, and just about anyone engaged with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

An Arabic-language Christian news source reported that the Palestinian police were investigating and leaning toward ruling the fire an accident, but that local Christians in Bethlehem were insisting it was an act of arson by Salafi Muslim extremists.

Once a predominantly Christian town, Bethlehem today has a Muslim majority that plays host to groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Father Gabriel Naddaf, the Nazareth-based priest encouraging local Christians to integrate as part of the Jewish state, demanded in a Facebook post the “denunciation of the burning of the holy St. Charbel Church at the hands of Palestinian extremists.”

He also called out the Palestinian Authority for its “incompetence” in protecting Christians and their holy sites.

“I hope those Christians who demonstrated against the burning of the Church of Loaves and Fish will also demonstrate against this severe attack,” added Naddaf.


COMMENTARY: Israel - the Apple of God's Eye

COMMENTARY: Israel - the Apple of God's Eye

As we get into the swing of the Jewish New Year, with the sweet taste of honey-dipped apple still in our mouths, I pray that Israel will have a fresh revelation of their destiny as God’s chosen people.

And I am reminded of the fact that the Lord describes them as the “apple of his eye” (Zechariah 2.8) for which he longs with an everlasting love. And with the eye being the most sensitive part of the body, anticipating trouble almost before it happens, we can be sure that Elohim will be watching over his beloved at this particularly dangerous time.

I have written much about the signs of the Second Coming, but I wasn’t expecting to get one during a visit to family in leafy Hampstead, north London.

Walking up a pathway I have used for the past 45 years, I suddenly noticed the spreading branches of an overhanging fig tree. It was like the one we had in our garden in South Africa, but I have never seen one in this part of the world before. What particularly struck me was that it was laden with fruit, almost ripe for harvest.

I was reminded of the words of Jesus in describing the signs of his imminent return. “Now learn this lesson from the fig-tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.” (Mark 13.28-30)

The fig tree is used in the Bible as a symbol for Israel. So it seems the Lord was saying that when it started to blossom – i.e. Israel’s long-promised restoration to their land and their subsequent growth into a vibrant nation state – we would know that his coming was not far away.

Yet this Hampstead tree wasn’t simply in blossom; it was almost ready for harvest. It was, after all, late summer. Was God perhaps speaking to my heart saying that Israel’s salvation – that is, her full restoration, both physically and spiritually – was about to happen; that we are about to witness a bountiful harvest among his chosen people in the form of a mass recognition of Yeshua as their long-awaited Messiah who, with loving arms, is coming to rescue them from their many enemies? Are we about to witness the spiritual restoration, following their return to the land, spoken of by Ezekiel: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezek 36.26)

In the passage quoted earlier, Jesus suggests that the generation witnessing the physical restoration of Israel, along with signs from heaven and increasing turbulence on earth, would also see its spiritual re-birth and the return of Christ himself.

My friends, no-one knows the day or hour, but of this we can be sure: Jesus is coming again – and very soon it seems!

Israel’s significance in all this cannot be overstated and was re-emphasised to me the day after my Hampstead stroll as I was admiring the Savill Garden on the Queen’s estate near Windsor. I took a series of pictures of the beautiful borders and, when I viewed them later, was mystified by one of the ‘photos’ which seemed to have a Star of David – Israel’s national emblem – imprinted against a murky grey background. Make of that what you will. And then, in the early hours one morning, I heard a still, small voice asking me to be a ‘doorkeeper’ in the house of the Lord. I took that as confirmation of a calling to continue watching for signs of his coming, and convey that to readers.

As Haggai predicted, everything is being shaken in preparation for the return of Messiah (Haggai 2.6,7). Tens of thousands of refugees, possibly including jihadist infiltrators, are swarming into Europe, putting huge pressure on EU countries already creaking under the weight of increasing political, social and economic upheavals. Yet no-one asks why Saudi Arabia, which has both the economic and physical capacity to take them, has so far completely failed to do so. The Gulf state is reported to have 100,000 air-conditioned tents capable of housing three million people sitting empty – used only for five days each year to accommodate pilgrims to Mecca.

Meanwhile Britain has been severely jolted by the election of an extreme-leftist as leader of Her Majesty’s opposition. At his first public engagement, Jeremy Corbyn even refused to sing ‘God save the Queen’, the national anthem. And the UK’s 290,000 Jews – already under increasing attack from anti-Semites – now fear a Labour leader who has referred to Hamas and Hezbollah as ‘friends’. What on earth is going on?

But be comforted, O Israel, for all this trouble also points to hope, when the glory of the Lord will be revealed (Isaiah 40.5) and Yeshua HaMashiach will return.

“I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand… those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish.” (Isaiah 41.9-11)

Charles Gardner is author of Israel the Chosen (available from Amazon) and Peace in Jerusalem, available from olivepresspublisher.com


Israel Today magazine offers more than just the daily online news...

Israel Today magazine offers more than just the daily online news...

InterNations conducted an international survey of "The most family-friendly countries in the world".

When you think of all the dangers of everyday life in Israel it would not seem obvious that Israel is one of the best countries in the world to raise children. Who would have thought that?

This is just one article that appears in the current issue of Israel Today Magazine.

Exclusively for subscribers to Israel Today Magazine:
Transition: From pro-Palestinian to pro-Israel
Wave: What dangers does the flood of refugees hold for Europe?
Effect: How important is the Bible for Israelis?
Knowledge: Why are Palestinian Christians against Israel?


Egyptian Activist: Arabs Are Jealous of Israel

Egyptian Activist: Arabs Are Jealous of Israel

Sherif Gaber, a 22-year-old Egyptian man who made a name for himself in 2013 by denouncing Islam, has released a new Arabic-language YouTube video explaining why he admires and supports Israel in its conflict with the Arab world.

Gaber explained that just four years ago, in 2011, he was among the great many Egyptians ready to answer the call for a “Third Palestinian Uprising” in which the entire Arab world would unite in a final attack on Israel.

But that was when “I was a dumb Muslim,” explained Gaber.

Fortunately, Gaber took the time to try to really understand the situation. Even before accepting Israel’s right to the land, he imagined a reality in which there was no Israel, or in which Israel had been defeated. His conclusion? There was no chance “Palestine” would have made half as good a use of the land as Israel had.

Gaber likened the situation to a mute man finding a microphone, and then a second man who can speak just fine comes along and wants the microphone. “If you think about it rationally,” insisted the young Egyptian, “you’ll find that Israel, or the guy who can use the mic, is the one who should take it because it will benefit him personally, along with the guy who could not use it.”

He then went on to briefly list just some of Israel’s disproportionate achievements, especially in the fields of science and technology, as well as its population growth, increased agricultural output and expanding industrial production, all while reducing its consumption of key natural resources.

A Palestinian state, on the other hand, “would be just like any other Arab country…that robs its people,” warned Gaber.

He concluded by noting that even if the Arab world somehow miraculously defeated and destroyed Israel, nothing would change because, contrary to the claims of the international community, the true source of the Muslim world’s anger isn’t Jewish sovereignty over the land.

Israel’s accomplishment “in a very short amount of time is evidence of the intelligence and strength of the Israelis,” explained Gaber. “And this shows us how weak the surrounding countries actually are. …All this anger and violent resentment is about envy. Deep inside that anger and resentment you actually find great admiration [for Israel]…because they wish their countries could one day be like it.”


Israel Concerned by Iranian Ground Forces in Syria

Israel Concerned by Iranian Ground Forces in Syria

Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz on Tuesday expressed growing concern over the presence of Iranian ground forces in neighboring Syria.

The embattled regime of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad has long been propped up financially and logistically by the Islamic Republic. But fresh reports suggest Iranian ground forces are now massing in Syria to help Assad remain in power. This in addition to the large-scale presence of Iranian proxy Hezbollah, and the introduction of Russian military forces in recent weeks.

Steinitz stressed in an interview with Army Radio that Israel continues to take no official position on whether or not Assad should be deposed, since most of the rebel forces opposing him are actually worse than the ruling regime, but that permitting Iran to flex its military muscles in such a way is a dangerous mistake.

This move “has opened a direct front [between Israel and] Iran,” warned Steinitz, urging Russia and the international community to “ensure the Iranian army remains in Iran.”

Already Israel fears unintentional exchanges of fire between its own forces and the Russian military in Syria. Such a flare-up between Israeli and Iranian forces could give Tehran the excuse it needs to launch a long-range missile assault on the Jewish state.


ISRAEL: A Great Place to Raise Kids

ISRAEL: A Great Place to Raise Kids

This is what international pollsters and Israeli columnists had to say about why, despite all the challenges and threats, expats living in Israel see it as the best place to raise children.

The full article appears in the October 2015 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
CLICK HERE to read it all


'Netanyahu Government Will Fall in 2016'

'Netanyahu Government Will Fall in 2016'

It’s been in power a mere six months and already there is talk of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s current government collapsing and Israel being subjected to yet another early election.

“We will be a force to contend with in the 2016 elections – and I can say with full confidence there will be such elections,” declared former Foreign Minister and Yisrael Beiteinu party chief Avigdor Lieberman late last month.

Last week, Lieberman echoed that prediction, insisting that the next time Israelis vote, the outcome could look very different. “There are many alternatives to Netanyahu in the political system,” he told the ultra-Orthodox radio station Kol Barama. “Yisrael Beiteinu could reach twenty seats and become the ruling party.”

In separate remarks to the Knesset Channel, former Finance Minister and Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid concurred. “This government’s days are short,” said Lapid. “The budget they have produced is one that indicates that they will no longer be in power in another year.”

The Hebrew press has been debating this topic and views early elections as a very real possibility. Netanyahu currently heads a narrow majority coalition of 61 out of 120 Knesset seats, and already a number of potential crises with coalition partners have threatened to leave “Bibi” with a minority of seats.

Israel Today will be examining this issue in more detail in our November magazine. DON'T MISS IT!


COMMENTARY: When Have Christians Ever Made Jews Jealous?

COMMENTARY: When Have Christians Ever Made Jews Jealous?

Wasn’t that supposed to be our job? Didn’t the apostle Paul say he magnified his ministry to the goyiim to move his fellow countrymen to jealousy in order “to save some of them” (Rom. 11:14)? Implying, I thought, that the more gentiles he could convert to the faith, the more his brethren would become envious and want to know Yeshua.

But when I searched the New Testament I couldn’t find one example of where a Jew met a saved gentile and said, “I want what he has!” And then repented and gave his life to Yeshua. Instead, all I saw was Jewish outrage at the idea unclean goyiim would dare think they could be accepted by God apart from the Law. Look at the murderous intent Saul (before he became Paul) showed towards Jewish believers, even sanctioning the stoning of Stephen.

Of course, after gentile Christians gained the upper hand and began persecuting Jews, the chance Jews would become envious of anything we had plummeted to zero. That’s when I realized we might have this all backwards. That the real purpose for making Jews jealous was not to attract them to the gospel, but to repel them! Didn’t Paul tell us later, that from the standpoint of the gospel they were being made “enemies for our sake” (Rom. 11:28)?

Backing up a few verses, I found my suspicion confirmed. Paul reveals that his brethren should have realized their fury towards the incoming gentiles was actually a fulfillment of a prophecy by Moses: “I will make you jealous by that which is not a nation, by a nation without understanding will I anger you” (Rom. 10:19). There it was – anger!

And if we read the whole prophecy we learn the punishment fit the crime. “They made Me jealous with what is not God; They have provoked me to anger with their idols. So I will make them jealous with those who are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.” (Deut. 32:21)

God then used this anger to drive the gospel out from Jerusalem to find more of that “foolish nation” scattered among the goyiim who had ears to hear.

But what about Paul’s salvation plan for the Jews? If God’s purpose for bringing in gentiles was not to make Jews envious, but furious, why did Paul say, “I magnify my ministry, if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen and save some of them” (Rom. 11:14)?

Paul knew his countryman’s time of salvation was not then, but future. I believe he saw the only way he might rescue some of his beloved brethren was to preach the gospel all the more to the gentiles. Hopefully, it would make them so hopping mad they’d connect it to the prophecy and realize this was that. And seeing it was all tied to God’s justice for the nation’s historic sin, repent.

It was a desperate plan, but from Paul’s perspective the only hope they had back then. But it’s a new day. I believe the judgment of jealousy with its Jewish anger has served God’s purposes. Now it’s time for the salvation of “all Israel.”


The Yom Kippur War - 42 years on...

The Yom Kippur War - 42 years on...

Yesterday was Yom Kippur - the Jewish Day of Atonement. 42 years ago Yom Kippur fell on October 6th when Egypt and Syria, backed by other Arab states, attacked Israel by surprise from both the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights. The war lasted from 6 to 26 October 1973 resulting about 2,000 dead and 6,000 wounded Israelis.

The Yom Kippur war was probably the worst war that Israel experienced to date, leaving deep scars to this day - scars that may never heal completely.

Shimon, 75, said: "I was 33 years old and led my soldiers in battle on the Golan Heights. Two of my battalion commanders and seven soldiers fell beside me on the front. I was only thinking about my wife and three young children at home and asked our Lord fervently to sustain me and spare my life. God heard me.

For a long time after the war, I could not forget the images of the war. In Judaism, the body of a dead person must be completely buried. We were not allowed to leave even a torn limb of the dead on the battlefield. Even during the battle we had to collect every body part of the fallen. After a few days I couldn't tolerate the sight of my fallen comrades and body parts."

There is no Israeli family that has not experienced the ravages of war or terror. Israel was bleeding and it became harder for a mother to take leave of her children as they were recruited into the IDF, into the great unknown.

You, our honored friend of Israel, have the opportunity to support our children and grandchildren. Give a donation to a package of our soldiers and show your love and care. May our Lord bless you in this time. Amen!

Donate to our Soldiers now!


The Danger of the Blood Moon Phenomenon

The Danger of the Blood Moon Phenomenon

A good friend called me this week to ask what I thought of the Year of Shemitah and what some are saying is the beginning of the end of the world. He had been following many of the popular Christian and Messianic books, magazines, videos and sermons prophesying that there would be devastating financial turmoil in the American economy coinciding with this year’s Jewish holidays.

I told him it is wrong for Christians and Messianics to make doom and gloom predictions based on misguided misinterpretations of ancient Jewish practices. America may very well be on the verge of calling down God’s judgments because morality has imploded, not because of Jewish agricultural customs connected to the Land of Israel.

Nevertheless, when reports of a fall in the stock markets appeared just days ahead of the Jewish New Year, Christian and Messianic media screamed again with headlines of “Bloodbath in Global Markets” and “Blood Moons.” Of course the temporary drop in stock prices had nothing to do with the ancient Hebrew practice of resting the land every seven years, nor with cycles of the moon. Stocks dropped over concerns in the slowing growth of the Chinese markets, and rebounded quickly because the American economy is, in fact, getting stronger.

Here is why we must not let ourselves be lead astray by these sensational, unfounded interpretations of the Hebrew calendar, as I told my friend.

Christians and Messianics are wasting precious time and resources waiting for a financial collapse that never happens. It reminds me of an old Bedouin Muslim I befriended in the Sinai Desert. When I asked him why the Bedouin’s don’t plant crops on their land, he replied, “Seven years ago there was a flood that destroyed all of our crops. It is Allah’s will that it be destroyed, so why should I plant again?” That is the Islamic belief in fatalism that prevents progress and development. Christians who follow these sensational proclamations about the end of the world likewise paralyze themselves by foolishly believing a lie.

Some Christians might find it convenient to disengage from a world they believe will soon collapse.

Following these unbiblical prophecies is dangerous on many levels. We are left scratching our heads in unbelief when Christian and Messianic predictions of collapse based on sensationalistic interpretations of Scripture continually prove false. Some have lost faith altogether.

Nowadays, these popular predictions of collapse spread like wildfire over the Internet for all the world to see. What do people think about Christians obsessed with a financial crisis that never happens, or red-colored moons that never appear? These sensationalistic pronouncements have become an embarrassment to the good name of our Lord Jesus and are making a mockery of our Messianic faith. It is hard enough explaining to my people how so many terrible things could happen in the name of Jesus. Now I also have to explain to Israelis why Christians believe that American financial markets will crash on a Jewish holiday? Oy.

I am not excited about the world ending anytime soon, and I would appreciate it if Messianic Jews and Christians would stop using misguided attempts to misinterpret Jewish customs to sow fear. What we already know to be true about our sinful nature and the state of our fallen world are more than enough to remind us of the coming judgment. Sufficient to the day is its own evil.


Does the World Really Care About Palestinians?

Does the World Really Care About Palestinians?

The video of Palestinian Authority (PA) police officers brutally beating a young Palestinian boy (see below) forces us to once again raise the question: Does the world really care about the Palestinians?

Yes, the video went viral on Arab social media, where it sparked a widespread angry response. But it was hardly mentioned outside the Middle East, and when it was emphasis was placed on how the officers acted independently and were punished. The PA was spared blame.

Imagine had a group of IDF soldiers or Israeli police officers administered this particular beating. A special session UN Security Council hearing, American and European condemnations, and threats of International Criminal Court lawsuits would not be long in coming. To say nothing of the widespread global media attention the incident would elicit.

But the boy wasn’t beaten by Jews. Sure, the effect on him was all the same, but the identity of the criminals is everything. Palestinians beating a Palestinian is nothing. Israelis beating a Palestinian is something.

Which is why we must again ask: Does the world actually care about the well-being of Palestinians? Or is this really all about badmouthing Israel? Is it the treatment and well-being of individual Palestinians that matters, or is it rather the identity of those doling out the abuse, be it real or perceived?

If Israel wasn’t involved, would the Palestinians garner any attention at all? Does the world give any thought to the hundreds and thousands of Palestinians that are routinely abused by Hamas, Fatah and any number of other Palestinian armed groups?

This video and the very muted response to it again highlights that the only time most in the international community give a damn about a Palestinian life is when doing so provides an opportunity to smear the Jews and condemn their state.


Dome of the Rock(s)

Dome of the Rock(s)

The latest Temple Mount rioting during Rosh Hashanah has demonstrated once again that Muslim holy places are regularly used in service to militant Islam. 

The cinder blocks and rocks piled up inside the Al Aqsa Mosque (Islam's third holiest site) that turned prayer carpets into filthy rugs are a vivid reminder of the stark differences between the Muslim and Christian concepts of the sacred. From a Muslim point of view, dirty carpets are a small price to pay in the heroic effort to protect the holy place from the much greater filth of infidels.

On October 17, 2014, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abass called upon fellow Muslims to do whatever they could to prevent the entrance of Jews to the Temple Mount. The reason given was that "they have no right to enter them and they have no right to defile them [the mosques]." 

Similarly, on Rosh Hashanah of 2010, state-run Palestinian television aired a "documentary" in which the narrator stated, "They [the Israelis] know for certain that our [Palestinian] roots are deeper than their phony history. From our balcony we watch the [Islamic] sacredness as well as sinfulness and defilement [Jews praying at the Wailing Wall]." 

This fear of Jewish defilement appears regularly in Palestinian political cartoons like the one bellow, entitled "Al-Aqsa is being raped." Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), an Israeli research institute monitoring Palestinian media and society, has no shortage of work translating such hateful messages about the Jews.

Muslim anxiety over the presence of Jews on the Temple Mount has been fueling hatred of Israel since as early as the 1920s. 

During the time of the Ottoman Empire, the Western or Wailing Wall carried little, if any, religious significance for Muslims. The first to claim the Wall was somehow meaningful to Muslims was Haj Amin Al-Husseini, who responded to the free access Jews had to the site under British rule by trumpeting the claim it was here that Mohammed had tied his miraculous flying steed, Al-Buraq, during his alleged nighttime journey from Mecca to Jerusalem.

Al-Husseini's purpose in exploiting an otherwise marginal site for Muslims was to motivate the Arab world to fight against the Jews, whom he portrayed as conspiring to destroy Al Aqsa. His plan scored its first success in the 1929 pogrom, which erupted following rumors that the Jews were planning to build a temple in place of Al Aqsa, beginning with the Western Wall. Hundreds of Jews were killed, wounded and dispossessed during this horrendous event.

The same rumor is operating today, and is serving well the Muslim Jihad against Israel. The long history of alleged plans to rebuild the Temple and the recent riots on the Temple Mount would suggest a likely outcome in which Muslims, not Jews, will in their exaggerated effort to spark conflict themselves be responsible for the destruction of the mosques referred to by the Prophet Daniel as the "abomination of desolation."


COMMENTARY: The Root of Replacement Theology?

COMMENTARY: The Root of Replacement Theology?

Replacement Theology (RT) boasts that the physical seed of Abraham, the Jews, forfeited their coveted spot as God’s chosen people when the nation rejected Yeshua. Consequently, God rejected them and replaced them with the Christian Church. 

Of course, Scripture emphatically refutes that teaching. Paul asks, “What then? If some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it?" (Rom. 3:3). Nevertheless, RT lives on, insisting God canceled His exclusive commitment to Abraham’s family as expressed by Amos: “You _only _have I chosen from among all the families of the earth” (Amos 3:2). 

Reflecting upon the ability of RT to endure and metastasize into other teachings, I realized there must be a hidden taproot supplying life to this lie, and I think I found it. It’s the mistaken belief that under the New Covenant the definition of “Abraham’s seed” was expanded. Now anyone could be considered a descendant of Abraham through faith in Jesus, and be reckoned his “spiritual seed” – no matter what your genealogy.

 The truth is, when Paul taught that…“They are not all Israel who are descended from Israel” (Rom. 9:6), he was not suggesting the New Covenant opened the door to include folks from other lineages. He was simply pointing out there was a chosen Israel within Israel, a faithline within the bloodline. That it was only those from the line of Isaac, termed “the children of promise,” who would be counted as true descendants. Other physical offspring like Ishmael and Esau, termed “children of the flesh,” would be excluded. 

What changed then with the coming of Yeshua? Simply this: Now everyone would know who was who in the family. Faith in Yeshua would reveal it. “For it is those who are of faith who are the sons of Abraham” (Gal. 3:7). The definition of Abraham’s seed hadn’t been expanded – but reduced! Remember, only “the remnant will be saved” (Rom. 9:27).

Then how do we explain the Gentile followers of Yeshua? Who are they? Think back, didn’t God promise Abraham he would be “the father of many nations [goyiim]?” (Rom. 4:17,18) Wasn’t that what he “hoped against hope” to become?  Wasn’t that what his name meant?

Well, I believe God began to fulfill that promise when He divorced the idolatrous ten tribes of Israel’s northern kingdom and let Assyria drag them off among the nations (2 Kings 18:9-12). Yet, all the prophets promised He’d bring them back one day and reunite them with Judah (the Jews) in Messiah. 

 So where are they now?  Don’t you know? Didn’t Paul tell us, “If you belong to Messiah, you ARE Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise” (Gal. 3:29)? Wasn’t the New Covenant promised ONLY to the physical descendants of Israel’s two kingdoms? (Heb. 8:8) Didn’t James begin his epistle to the whole church with the words – “To the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad, greetings”? 

So I ask – who do you think all those coming to Messiah out of the nations might be?” 

Only RT nullifies God’s exclusive covenant promises to Abraham’s physical seed (from either Judah or Israel) and gives their inheritance to others. 


COMMENTARY: Flying Hero Falls From a Dizzy Height

COMMENTARY: Flying Hero Falls From a Dizzy Height

The story of how one of America’s greatest heroes was well and truly knocked off his pedestal almost overnight is a salutary lesson both for his and other nations today.

And I am indebted to best-selling author Bill Bryson – played by Robert Redford in a new movie* opening this week – for telling it so well.

Charles Lindbergh gripped the world with his tremendous skills as an aviator, becoming the first pilot to cross the Atlantic when he flew non-stop from New York to Paris in the summer of 1927 – and that in a one-seater plane with no forward view!

Millions lined the streets of American cities to hail the heroism of this handsome boy from Minnesota; streets and schools were named after him; he was feted and wooed by politicians.

In an age when celebrities were generally confined to the glitz and glamour of the emerging film industry at Hollywood, Lindbergh captured the imagination in a way no-one else had managed.

But then, just as America was about to enter World War II, he rose to make a speech urging them to stay out of the conflict. By this time he was a known Nazi sympathizer, being much influenced by the ‘science’ of eugenics which sought to ensure the continuance of a pure race without physical, mental or other defects.

As for Jews, they were partly to blame for the war, along with Britain and America, in his view. In fact, he went on, they were a particularly malign influence because of their ownership and domination of “our motion pictures, our press, our radio, and our government”.

The high-flying hero crashed to the ground in the minds of his listeners almost before he had finished his speech, which was being carried on national radio. His name came off streets and schools and airports. And TWA (Trans World Airlines) stopped calling itself ‘the Lindbergh Line’.

A 1957 movie about his flight to Paris, starring Jimmy Stewart, was a failure at the box office. And as the years passed, he largely withdrew from public life.

By taking sides against the Jews, Lindbergh had touched the ‘the apple of God’s eye’ and was either ignorant or defiant of the Scriptures – that those who bless the seed of Abraham will themselves be blessed, but those who curse them will come under judgment.

The enigmatic aviator is featured among a host of characters – many of them anti-heroes – in Bill Bryson’s recently published best-seller One Summer – America 1927, a truly fascinating read with a liberal sprinkling of his trademark humor that also includes a peek at Henry Ford, the car magnate, who might have avoided some of his own troubles – including commercial ones – if he too had not insisted on berating the Jews. He did, however, regret breaking the Sabbath, admitting that his much-heralded Model A would have been ready in half the time had he not made its designers work at weekends and evenings.

Looking at the bigger picture, Britain’s rise and fall virtually parallels its actions for and against Israel. By the turn of the twentieth century, it was said that the sun never set on its empire with much of the globe covered in pink in our atlases. We were blessed with great power, authority and influence, and it is my belief that it was entirely due to the consistent way in which Evangelical Christians had prayed for and loved the Jews – because they read in the Scriptures that this is God’s will and command – to such an extent that they even prevailed on the Government of the day to do all in their power to provide a homeland for the Jewish people.

The result was the Balfour Declaration of 1917 – Lord Balfour was the British Foreign Secretary – which promised to work for such an outcome. And the opportunity for its fulfillment came within just nine days when General Allenby’s forces liberated Jerusalem from the Turks.

Britain was subsequently given the mandate over what was then known as Palestine but, conscious of Arab opposition, hesitated over the implementation of its promise and even allocated most of the territory originally earmarked for Israel to Jordan before the Jewish state finally rose from the ashes of the Holocaust.

As much as we were blessed when true Christianity influenced our politicians, we have come under a terrible curse since successive governments (backed by a sleepy church) sought to appease Arabs rather than look to Israel’s best interests. We lost our empire, and we lost our way as a nation which once spread the good news of Jesus, the Jew, all over the world. We have rejected the Judeo-Christian civilization on which our nation was built, so it’s hardly surprising that the social fabric of society is collapsing around our ears.

Part of the ongoing problem with the West, especially as it affects Israel, is that the church needs to wake up.

I’ll close by paying tribute to Mike Evans, the American Jew (and disciple of Jesus) behind the new Friends of Zion Heritage Centre in Jerusalem which seeks to demonstrate that true Christians through the ages have loved and supported the Chosen People – some of them even paying with their lives. These include the Dutchwoman Corrie ten Boom, whose family hid Jews from the Nazis. She ended up in a concentration camp and had to watch her sister being murdered at the hands of a guard, whom she later met – and forgave! Another such heroine was Scotland’s Jane Haining, who died in Auschwitz after being ‘convicted’ of the crime of loving the Jewish girls in her care at a boarding establishment in Budapest.

God is looking for heroes who seek his honor, his ways and his glory.

* The new movie, also starring Nick Nolte and Emma Thompson, is being released in cinemas on Friday September 18 and is based on A Walk in the Woods, the book Bryson wrote about his 2,200 mile trek along America’s Appalachian Trail. His latest book, The Road to Little Dribbling, a belated sequel to Notes from a Small Island, will be published next month.


Chief Rabbis Call Christian Embassy a 'Spiritual Threat'

Chief Rabbis Call Christian Embassy a 'Spiritual Threat'

Long has the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ) been among the more visible and active Israel-based organizations representing Christian Zionists worldwide. For well over 30 years, the ICEJ has worked tirelessly for Zion’s sake.

But none of that prevented Israel’s Chief Rabbinate this month from calling the ICEJ a “spiritual threat” based on allegations that the ministry’s events, in particular the annual Feast of Tabernacles, are a platform a proselytize Jews.

A letter signed by both chief rabbis, David Lau and Yitzhak Yosef, read:

“It has come to our attention that those engaged in missionary activity under the auspices of the Christian Embassy in Israel are organizing a large conference during the days of Sukkot. Part of this organization’s goals is to convert Jews from the religion of Israel and bring them under the wings of Christianity. …Such a thing is severe and contrary to the foundations of our faith, and as such must be condemned and the public must be warned.”

The rabbis urged fellow Israeli Jews to “not take part in this conference, despite that the organizers are friends of the State of Israel. In practice, this event represents a spiritual threat that undermines [Israel’s] Jewish character.”

Every year at the Feast of Tabernacles, the ICEJ hosts an “Israeli Night” to which all Israeli citizens are invited free of charge to witness the burgeoning love and support for their nation by Christians from all over the globe.

Last year’s “Israeli Night” featured hundreds of IDF soldiers - Jews, Druze and Christians - who had only months earlier defended the nation during the brutal Gaza war. The Israeli guests were clearly touched by the gesture. And there was no evangelism component to the night.

ICEJ Media Director David Parsons had the following to say in response to the rabbis’ warning:

“The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem was disappointed to learn of the letter issued by the Chief Rabbinate concerning our organization and our annual Feast of Tabernacles celebration. The ICEJ has always respected and upheld the laws of the State of Israel, including those covering missionary activities, and it is regrettable that the Chief Rabbinate acted solely on the misrepresentations of those bearing false witness against us.”

Parsons noted that “over the past 35 years, the ICEJ has established a strong, proven track record of sincere friendship and support for Israel as a Jewish state.”

The ICEJ has worked closely with the Knesset, Israel’s Foreign Ministry and Tourism Ministry, the Jewish Agency and Yad Vashem on projects ranging from public relations in parliaments around the world, mass pro-Israel rallies in foreign capitals, and the assisting no fewer than 120,000 Jewish immigrants to come home to Israel.

Parsons concluded by stressing that according to biblical tradition, Gentiles are to be welcomed to Jerusalem during Sukkot. “It is thus a shame that some are trying to scare the Israeli public against us,” he lamented, cautioning that the chief rabbis’ decision “could do much harm to the new level of close Jewish-Christian relations that have developed over the past 60 years.”


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Violence Plagues Jerusalem Over Rosh Hashanah

Violence Plagues Jerusalem Over Rosh Hashanah

“Jerusalem Intifada” was how some in the Israeli media portrayed the violence that engulfed much of the Israeli capital over the two-day Rosh Hashanah holiday at the start of this week.

Across large portions of the city, Arab stone-throwers pelted Jewish motorists, leading to the death of Alexander Levlovitz, 64, who lost control of his vehicle in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood after a rock slammed through his windshield.

Most of the violence was concentrated on the Temple Mount, where Muslim rioters repeatedly hurled firecrackers, stones and firebombs at the one entrance through which non-Muslims can access the holy site.

During the High Holy Days beginning with Rosh Hashanah, many Jews like to visit the Temple Mount, as this was a biblical time of pilgrimage to the ancient place of worship.

But Muslim authorities insist the Jews are trying to “Judaize” the Temple Mount, and deny any connection between the Jewish people and Jerusalem. Such attacks, therefore, are sadly routine.

“The Israeli establishment under the leadership of a right-wing government believes that this is the time for building the Temple and opening a religious war in which Israel cannot win,” declared Sheikh Kamal Hatib, deputy head of the Islamic Movement in Israel, in an interview with Lebanese television station Al Mayadeen.

Notably, there was very little response from the international community until the Israeli police started responding to the life-threatening violence by using tear gas and shutting the Muslims inside their mosques.

King Abdullah of Jordan, which officially oversees religious matters at the Temple Mount, said the “provocation” of Israel trying to maintain law and order would not be tolerated.

“Any more provocations in Jerusalem will affect the relationship between Jordan and Israel, and Jordan will have no choice but to take action, unfortunately,” Abdullah cautioned.

UN Middle East envoy Nikolay Mladenov was worried that the ruckus atop the Temple Mount would increased hostility and violence in other parts of the region, and US State Department Spokesman John Kirby said the Obama Administration was “deeply concerned by the recent violence and escalating tensions surrounding the Haram Al-Sharif/Temple Mount.”

In typical fashion, Kirby subtly suggested Israel and visiting Jews were at least as much to blame for the situation as the rioting Muslims.

“It is absolutely critical that all sides exercise restraint, refrain from provocative actions and rhetoric, and preserve unchanged the historic status quo on the Haram Al-Sharif/Temple Mount in word and in practice,” he told reporters.

Seemingly ignoring the international condemnations, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his government had “declared war” on the stone-throwers.

The attack that killed Levlovits was “one rock too many, and we are declaring war on rioters and those who throw rocks and firebombs,” stated Netanyahu. “The current situation is unacceptable to us. We intend to give tools to the police and soldiers to act very aggressively against those who throw rocks and petrol-bombs.”

Asked how he would deal with the fact that many of the offenders are minors, Netanyahu promised to “massively increase fines again minors and their families to deter them.”


Christian Schools in Israel Remain on Strike

Christian Schools in Israel Remain on Strike

Christian public schools across Israel are on strike. Students, parents and teachers from the Christian Arab population have demonstrated non-stop opposite the home of Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon in Haifa.

“The children are sitting at home and the government does nothing,” read the demonstrators’ placards. “We also want to celebrate the new school year, just as you celebrate the Jewish New Year,” shouted others.

School officially started on September 1, for everyone but the 33,000 students of the 47 Christian public schools after the government failed to comply with their demands.

The Christian schools were allocated some $56 million for the upcoming school year, and the government is now trying to reach an agreement over an additional $25 million grant.

School strikes at the start of the academic year are not at all uncommon in Israel, and usually are related to budget issues. This year it is the Christians, but in years past state-run secular schools and ultra-Orthodox Jewish schools have taken similar action.


On Rosh Hashanah, It's Netanyahu VS the Media

On Rosh Hashanah, It's Netanyahu VS the Media

It is customary for Israel's prime minister to give an interview to major media outlets before Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. This past Tuesday, Prime Minister Netanyahu canceled his customary annual press conference, and instead released a YouTube video entitled "Things You Will Not Hear in the Media" enumerating his government's achievements.

Netanyahu has long sought to avoid Israel's mainstream media, which he views as hostile toward him, and not without justification. Yotam Zimri, a local Facebook celebrity, criticized Netanyahu for this attitude, but not before acknowledging, "I read the questions intended to be asked by Channel 2 TV. We are talking about a typical interview that looks as if the questions were written by Netanyahu's most bitter political opponents. They were concerned about minutia, gossip … not a single question about personal safety, stone throwing in Judea and Samaria."

The schism, however, exists not only between Netanyahu and the media. As a "Vigo" survey conducted on behalf of the Walla! news portal is proving, there is a deepening rift between the media, perceived as biased and liberal, and the Israeli public at large. 

"Vigo," which monitors Israeli social media, reveals that what normally should have been seen as disrespectful behavior on the part of Netanyahu was actually applauded on social media. The unacceptable gap between old media establishments and Israeli society was previously exposed in Netanyahu's landslide victory in the last election, which shocked many journalist who had prophesied his demise.

According to "Vigo," 72% of social media comments favored Netanyahu's "Things You Will Not Hear in the Media." Furthermore, greater than 70% of the comments on Netanyahu's Facebook page, the third most watched page in Israel, are positive toward the prime minister. 

Netanyahu's Facebook page has some 900,000 followers, 200,000 of whom are Israelis and the rest being Americans. "Vigo" noted that since the last election, some 150,000 new followers were added to Netanyahu's Facebook page.

"Vigo" provides only a partial picture of the widening gap between Israel's big media outlets and the Israeli public. Since the elections, countless social media groups have come into being challenging radio, TV stations and major news portals like "ynet" for the attention of the Israeli public. So, too, have new alternative news portals like "news 0404," which are attracting more and more people who are fed up with a media so demonstrably hostile toward Israel's pro-Jewish and patriotic majority.


Who Can Hear and Not Listen?

Who Can Hear and Not Listen?

For those who have not heard, the sound of the Shofar is not easy to describe. Primal, raw, unsettling can only begin to describe the stirrings in a Jewish soul contemplating its blast.

This year as we listen, the Shofar will not comfort. Its shout from realms beyond will demand our attention, for as in days of old, it is a call to arms, an alarm alerting to imminent danger. In synagogues around the world the Shofar will solemnly declare, “Arise, for there are shakings in the earth. Shall the Shofar be blown in a city and the people not tremble?" (Amos 3:6)

Reserved for sacred assemblies, listening to the Shofar this year will once again stir memories of Sinai where the people trembled and the mountains shook. It will recall the mighty walls of Jericho crumbling into dust at its blast.

“The great Day of the Lord is a day of the Shofar and alarm," warns the prophet (Zephaniah 1:14,16). With its cry the Shofar will stir us to consider the judgments of God now coming on the earth. The prophet Isaiah warns of a great Shofar heralding the Day of the Lord (Isa. 27:13). Listening we are shaken as we lift up our voices and plead, “O Lord, let Grace and Truth be known once again in our land.”

The Shofar is fashioned of the horns of animals fit for sacrifice. For it will call forth the sprinkled Mercy Seat at the conclusion of the Day of Atonement, its animal sound awakening repentance, drawing us back to God.

And when we have passed from this small earth, we shall once more hear the sound of the Shofar at our resurrection (1 Thess. 4:16, 1 Cor. 15:52). This is to say, "Awake from your slumber, you who have fallen asleep in life, and reflect on your deeds. Remember your creator. Be not of those who miss reality in the pursuit of shadows, and waste their lives in seeking after vain things which neither profit nor save. Look well to your souls and improve your character. Forsake each of you his evil ways and return unto the Lord." (Maimonides)

This year the Shofar will be heard at sundown Sunday, September 13, the beginning of the Hebrew New Year 5776. May its cry call forth the beginning of a season of renewal and even rebirth from above for the people of Israel, and may it be a time of reflection and re-commitment to God for all those who love the God of Israel.


Russian Military Buildup in Syria Concerns Israel

Russian Military Buildup in Syria Concerns Israel

Israeli officials have expressed concern over reports of a major Russian military buildup in neighboring Syria, a move that could have far-reaching ramifications for the Jewish state.

A number of sources have recently noted a major influx of Russian personnel and equipment, including fighter jets, into war-torn Syria, presumably to prop up the embattled regime of Bashar Assad.

“We have been informed that the Russians are entering into active intervention,” Amos Gilad, senior adviser to Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, said at a recent security conference.

Ram Ben-Barak, director-general of Israel’s Intelligence Ministry, told Reuters that this development “could [have] ramifications for us, certainly.”

The first, and most obvious, concern is that periodic Israeli strikes on Syrian targets could inadvertently result in Russian casualties, bringing Jerusalem and Moscow into direct conflict.

Israel has launched numerous air strikes on Syrian regime military convoys suspected of transferring advanced weapons to its Hezbollah allies. The IDF has also routinely returned fire into Syria any time Syrian ordnance hits the Israeli Golan Heights.

An additional reason for worry is that this development further highlights the waning influence and power of America in the Middle East.

At the same time, ISIS and the other jihadist forces currently tearing the region apart need to be stopped, and many living here feel America and other Western powers are doing far too little to make that happen.


COMMENTARY: Do You Have to be Jewish to be Israel?

COMMENTARY: Do You Have to be Jewish to be Israel?

Most non-Jewish Christians who’ve awakened to the Hebraic roots of their faith now realize Replacement Theology (RT) falsely taught that the Church was God’s new Israel. Consequently, they are hesitant to think, much less say, they are part of Israel even when their hearts are telling them it’s true. As a result they are left with an unrequited love, yearning to make this biblical nation their own, but believing it can never be.

Having found myself trapped in that painful place, I’d like to share how the Lord convinced me to “lean not to my own understanding” – but to trust my heart.

Although my wife and I had been traditional church goers all our lives, we did not encounter God’s living presence and the saving work of Yeshua until in our thirties. At the time neither of us was searching for God. Our spiritual encounter was a totally divine intervention of mercy and grace. And since we’d never read the Bible we couldn’t explain what had happened to us, nor could anyone we knew.

It wasn’t until we came upon a verse in a Christian booklet that we learned about the spiritual rebirth. But it wasn’t Jesus’ words about being “born again.” The verse was from the Old Testament where God promises “to remove our heart of stone” and “give us a new heart, and put a new spirit within us” (Ezekiel 36:26,27). 

God chose this OT verse to prepare me, I believe, for another revelation. Years later I would come upon it again while reading through my Bible. But it was the next verse that would stop me in my tracks this time. It read: “You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God” (v. 28). I saw immediately that if the first two verses applied to me, so must this one. But how could that be? I wasn’t Jewish or descended from the patriarchs who had lived in the land. I was an Irish-American who had grown up in Queens, N.Y.

Although I couldn’t explain it, I knew God had just told me I was part of Israel, and I immediately received it by faith. Yet whenever I would speak it out, I was quickly told by respected teachers that a non-Jewish believer could not be considered Israel. Only a physical descendant of Abraham, namely a Jew, could be part of Israel. I was part of the Church – not Israel.  

However, the more I studied the Scriptures the more they confirmed that I was indeed included in every promise made to Abraham. I was part of Israel. Not only me, but all who confessed Yeshua as Lord, whether Jewish or not. Didn’t Paul tell us that “For as many as are the promises of God, in him [Yeshua] they are yes!” (2 Cor. 1:20). 

So if you are a non-Jewish believer who loves Israel, take heart. I believe a great revelation lies ahead that will rival the joyous moment when Joseph revealed to the sons of Jacob that he was their lost brother.


Remind Me About God, Please

Remind Me About God, Please

Israeli Arab Member of Knesset Jamal Zahalka (pictured), head of the Balad Party, on Monday delivered a provocative tirade directed at young Labor MK Stav Shaffir. 

Before continuing, it should be noted that Balad's stated political aim is to "transform the State of Israel into a democracy for all its citizens, irrespective of national or ethnic identity." In other words, this party rejects exclusive Jewish claims to the land. Jewish presence in the land can only be tolerated under a kind of democracy that puts an end to the "Jewish state."

During this week's Knesset encounter, Shaffir sent Zahalka on a rampage by complaining about Prime Minister Netanyahu allegedly trying to "buy" the support of Arab MKs for his hotly debated "offshore gas deal." 

From Zahalka's point of view, Shaffir came across as a typical liberal Ashkenazi Jew lecturing the Arabs about what to think and how to behave. His response to Shaffir's sense of superiority started by reminding her that she "never spoke a word to me. She never once said hello to me. I am invisible to her. Arabs do not exist."

"Silent racism" he called it from the Knesset podium.

Zahalka continued by noting that "the extreme right-wing MKs at least say hello and smile when they meet us, but the Labor Party are the mother and the father of racism. They are those who stole the Arab land and patronize us in the name of universal values." 

He continued his lecture by asking, "Who hurt us more, Labor or the Likud? The Labor Party of course. The Likud built settlements next to Arab villages … The Labor Party built their kibbutzim, their socialism right on the ruins of our villages … and after that they come and speak in the name of social justice."

Leaving aside Zahalka's selective memory that fails to mention unjustifiable Arab violence toward Jews, not to mention his lack of historical knowledge (initially the kibbutzim were built on land purchased from Arabs; some were later built on or nearby abandoned Arab villages), he is nevertheless right in poking his finger in the left-wing bubble of arrogance expressed in condescending attitude toward any critical voice.

Most importantly, though, Zahalka refuses to take part in the liberal Zionist illusion that believes the sooner Israel withdraws to its pre-1967 borders, the sooner peace and tranquility will come upon our tormented land. Zahalka insists that the problem is not borders, but rather the Jewish belief that they have returned to their land. This position pushes the origin of the conflict back to the first wave of Jewish immigration in 1882.

As sharply as I disagree with Zahalka on almost every other issue, I agree with him on the notion that in a world without God, Jews have indeed stolen the land from its native people. From a secular point of view, and Stav Shaffir is secular, the conflict is unresolvable until the land is given back to its rightful owners. 

This is why the Israeli Left is so susceptible to the Palestinian narrative. In a world without God, Zahalka is right, and, no matter how enlightened they claim to be, the Zionists forever will remain the perpetrators.

Zahalka's charge is anything but new. Throughout the ages, Jews were acutely aware of the fact that they have taken a land which is not theirs. The Jewish French philosopher Immanuel Levinas had proposed that the ten Israelite spies delivered their negative report on the land's inhabitants because they were morally stricken by the concept of conquering other people's land. Accordingly, their report was driven by their sense of justice, and not by fear.

A similar concern was raised by Rashi, one of the most important Jewish sages of all times. 

In the opening sentence to his commentary on the Book of Genesis, Rashi asks why the Bible begins with the Book of Genesis and not with the first commandment given to the people of Israel in Exodus 12:2. His answer is strikingly contemporary: 

"The reason He begun with Genesis is to show 'his people the power of his works, in giving them the inheritance of the nations' (Psalms 111:6) so that in case the nations of the world will say to Israel 'you are robbers who conquered the land of seven nations' they [Israel] should tell them, 'the entire land is God's. He created it and He gave it to whomever He pleases. When it pleased Him He gave it to them and when it pleased Him He took it away from them and gave it to us [Israel]'."

According to this view of history, none of the people living in Israel are "natives," which is why no one can steal it from anybody. Additionally, whoever controls it is able to do so only by divine permission. Triumphant Israel, therefore, is not a historical accident or a divine mistake. People with genuine faith, be they Jews, Muslims or Christians, understand this, which is why they are better suited than anyone else to offer meaningful consolation. 

Secular democrats like Zahalka and Shaffir can only offer mutual agitation and never-ending conflict, which is a grim reminder of the real value of their sense of justice.


Jerusalem Lawyers Launch Citizen’s War on Anti-Semitism

Jerusalem Lawyers Launch Citizen’s War on Anti-Semitism

“Any place or anytime where there are anti-Semitic activities, we want to be there to fight back.” That is the battle cry of a new initiative of the Jerusalem Institute for Justice (JIJ), which is organizing an international network of lawyers ready to take legal action against all those persecuting Jews anywhere in the world.

Concerned citizens are being asked to rise up in the face of mounting threats and attacks against Jews around the globe, and to report on anti-Semitic activities as they occur through a website set up to coordinate responses.

Citizen reports can include acts of vandalism and violence, hate speech or anti-Jewish propaganda, posters or fliers being distributed, boycotts or anti-Semitic articles in newspapers or on the Internet. Once the incident is confirmed, a team of international litigators can be organized to provide real-time responses.

“We encourage any person who witnesses an anti-Semitic act, be it verbal or written, to immediately submit documentation thereof to our International Advocacy Team,” reads the website.

Michael Decker, a litigation lawyer with the JIJ, provided an example of how the initiative works during an interview Monday on national Israeli television:

“This week, a group of pro-Palestinian activists protested against Israel on a university campus in Poland. Can you believe that in Poland the crowd was chanting ‘Make soap out of the Jews’? A young student organized a counter protest in order to stop the anti-Semitic hate-speech. However, the activists called the police and started legal proceedings against the student. Incredibly, the student was fined for interfering with their anti-Semitic protest.”

Decker said that as soon as the JIJ became aware of the incident, “We contacted a local Polish lawyer who will defend the student in court. JIJ will also cover all of the legal fees connected with the case to defend the brave student.”

When asked how the organization will manage responding to the huge and growing number of anti-Semitic acts around the globe, Decker had this to say:

“JIJ can coordinate between lawyers and litigators around the world according to the specific cases that arise. We can then begin to build legal cases against the anti-Semitic individuals. Of course there will be cases that we cannot win, particularly when the courts in some countries are anti-Semitic themselves. What we can do is make sure that the incidents are reported to the local police and also raise awareness of the growing scourge of anti-Jewish activities around the world.”

Earlier this week it was reported that a Belgian police officer used social networks to express that if he could, he would "kill each and every one of those dirty Jews." Again, the moment the JIJ found out about this, “we filed a complaint against the police officer with the Belgian police department," said Decker. "We are now waiting for the legal process against him to begin.”

Decker admits that not every case reported can be brought to court. “But at least through these efforts international attention will be drawn to the growing threat of anti-Semitism around the world,” he explained.

Citizens who witness anti-Semitic activities can report them here: jij.org/report-anti-semitism

Or by email: contactus@jij.org.il


Iranian Leader: Israel Will Be Gone in 25 Years

Iranian Leader: Israel Will Be Gone in 25 Years

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday underlined why Israel has such a problem with the US-brokered nuclear agreement when he threatened that the Jewish state would cease to exist in just 25 years.

In remarks posted to his official Twitter account, Khamenei suggested that Israel was pleased by the nuclear deal because it meant an Iranian nuclear weapon wouldn’t be a concern for at least 25 years.

But Khamenei warned the “Zionists” not to get too excited, cause they wouldn’t be around that long, anyway.

In broken English, the Iranian leader’s posts read:

“…you will not see next 25 years; God willing, there will be nothing as Zionist regime by next 25 years. [And] until then, struggling, heroic and jihadi morale will leave no moment of serenity for Zionists.”

For good measure, Khamenei reminded his audience that, signed agreements aside, the Unites States remains “the Great Satan.”

Late last month, the Iranian regime rejected assertions that its acceptance of the nuclear agreement signaled greater pragmatism in general, even toward Israel.

Khamenei’s top adviser, Ali Akbar Velayati, stressed that “Iran will not recognize Israel. We still emphasize that Israel is a usurper and occupying regime and we will not come along with it.”

Hossein Sheikholeslam, adviser to the Iranian parliament speaker on international affairs, went even further, telling reports in Tehran that “Israel should be annihilated and this is our ultimate slogan.”

Meanwhile, Western leaders involved in the Iran nuclear deal continue to brush off the Islamic Republic’s threats against Israel as a mere “disappointment.”

In remarks that seemed to characterize the attitudes of all her Western colleagues, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told a Berlin press conference, “It is not acceptable how Iran continues to talk about Israel. It is a disappointment that there has been no change as far as the recognition of Israel goes.”

But Israel cannot afford to take such a flippant approach to the Iranian threats. “As a member of the Jewish people that experienced the Holocaust, I believe someone when he says he wants to destroy me,” Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein told UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on a visit to New York.

“No one has to love Israel,” Edelstein continued. “It is fine and necessary to express criticism, but you cannot threaten to destroy us.”

Israel argues that the US-brokered agreement, the terms of which Iran has already stated it will violate, will enable the ayatollahs to continue work on a nuclear weapon almost unabated and with little or no risk of further sanctions. Even though the agreement calls for the immediate reimposition of sanctions should Iran renege, few expect Western nations that have reestablished lucrative economic ties to play along.

And even without a nuclear weapon, the sanctions-lifting agreement fails entirely to deal with Iran’s facilitating of terrorist violence against Israel, which is expected to accelerate as Iranian assets are unfrozen.


A New Year's Greeting and Gift from Jerusalem!

A New Year's Greeting and Gift from Jerusalem!

The Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) is upon us, and we at Israel Today want to thank you for another year of loyal readership, trust and support!

First, allow us to wish you a blessed New Year from Zion!

Second, this week only all orders from our shop over $50 will receive a free jar of Israeli honey as a New Year's gift!

Offer is good until September 16, 2015.


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IDF Prepares to Fight ISIS Invaders

IDF Prepares to Fight ISIS Invaders

How and when will the burgeoning ISIS forces in Sinai act against Israel? For the past year this question has troubled the Israeli intelligence community, which has struggled to provide a satisfactory answer.

The reason it is difficult to get a firm read on the situation is that this particular branch of ISIS is operating in a compartmentalized and largely unorganized manner in a huge open desert with the support of local Bedouin smugglers.

But even without firm intelligence, Israel’s famed Caracal Battalion is gearing up to take on the jihadist horde. Named after a small cat species whose sexes appear the same, Caracal is renowned for fielding both male and female combatants. In fact, some 70 percent of Caracal infantrymen are women, something ISIS reportedly fears.

Worst case scenarios for which the IDF is currently planning include ISIS attacks on the Nitzana and Kerem Shalom border crossings, as well as infiltrations into Israeli border villages.

Such attacks would presumably involve tens of ISIS gunmen, at least, and resemble recent assaults on Egyptian military bases in Sinai, during which dozens of police officers and soldiers have been killed. Like its parent organization in Iraq and Syria, the Sinai branch of ISIS is not interested merely in terrorist-style strikes, but has also attempted to occupy urban areas.

Israel has a fence along much of its border with Egypt, but that would only temporarily stall a determined ISIS assault. For that reason, Caracal, which has long patrolled this border, is today, and for the first time, undergoing intense urban warfare training just like the Paratrooper, Golani and Givati infantry brigades.

The mission is simple. If ISIS forces manage to penetrate an Israeli village, Caracal will strike first and strike hard.

Battalion commander Capt. Ksusha Levin said she will be among those to first greet the most brutal terrorist group in the world on its first visit to Israel. “I do not know when the attack will come,” she told Israel’s Ynet news portal. “We are stronger than the enemy, but we are preparing for worst case and extreme scenarios.”

According to the most recent estimates, ISIS forces in Sinai, which began as a local branch of Al Qaeda, number some 2,000–3,000 men armed with machine guns and advanced anti-tank missiles.


Love Him as Yourself: From Biblical Justice to Secular Injustice

Love Him as Yourself: From Biblical Justice to Secular Injustice

The present popular European plea to open the gates to a flood of primarily Muslim refugees seems to me emotional and ill-considered. 

English author and journalist Peter Hitchens rightly predicts that, since these refugees are not what they seem to be, they will bring about the demise of everything British. "Our advantages," he writes, "depend very much on our shared past, our inherited traditions, habits and memories." 

Therefore, he continues, "on the basis of an emotional spasm, dressed up as civilisation and generosity, are we going to say that we abandon this legacy and decline our obligation to pass it on, like the enfeebled, wastrel heirs of an ancient inheritance letting the great house and the estate go to ruin?"

This "emotional spasm" has been seen in Israel, too, but with a Jewish twist. 

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog's (Labor) recently call to admit a limited number of Syrian refugees to Israel is based on Jewish experience and biblical mandate. "I call on the Israeli government to carry out a process of absorbing refugees from Syria in addition to humanitarian efforts already being made now," he said, adding that "Jews cannot be indifferent when hundreds of thousands of refugees are searching for a safe haven."  

This dangerous proposal is based on a reckless comparison between the fate of Jewish refugees during WWII and the fate of Syrian refugees now. The commandment hidden in the subtext is that of loving the stranger (Leviticus 19:34), mistakenly seen as "the other" in post-colonial lingo. A more sophisticated argument for Herzog's position comes from Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, who uses the same arguments as Herzog.

The foolish equation between WWII Jews and Syrians fails to account for the fact that the Syrians are suffering the consequences of their own actions. While not belittling their misfortune, genuine refugees don't demand to go to Germany or England, and don't defame their host countries from the moment they set foot on their shores. 

Unlike immigrants, refugees will go just about anywhere to save their lives. Such was the case with Jews who were willing to go to Cuba, Madagascar and China to save their lives. And, of course, Syrians are not facing a "final solution."

Evoking a biblical command to justify this emotional spasm is just as bad, if not worse, than the aforementioned false comparison. 

That to which Hitchens merely alluded needs to be said clearly. Nowhere does the Bible suggest that loving the stranger should come at the expense of the locals. This is why the medical care Israel extends to thousands of wounded Syrians has raised the indignation of many Israelis living in the north of the country, where medical services are already limited and costly.

Taking care of the other at your own expense is an expression of perverse love. This is why, unlike the man-made commandment that speaks only of "you shall love him [the other]," the divine commandment demands to "love him as yourself."

If immigration to Europe endangers its culture, heritage and economy, which it does, welcoming the strangers into their midst is, in the best scenario, a recipe for civil unrest. And what is true for Europe is also true for Israel.


BLOG: A place for soldiers without family connections

BLOG: A place for soldiers without family connections

Michael Levin, a young man from Philadelphia, moved to Israel to serve as a volunteer in the IDF. He was killed in southern Lebanon. A center for soldiers without families was established three years ago, dedicated to his memory.

The number of soldiers without family connections in Israel is 5760 nationally, which includes 2800 from abroad. They come from Russia, South America, Germany, France, and Holland. They are among those to which the law of return applies.

Once a month, the center organizes and funds a dinner at the Great Synagogue in Jerusalem, and the International Synagogue in Tel Aviv. Also on Hanukkah, Purim, Sukkot, the center hosts community events and on Independence Day, all gather together for a barbeque.

In Tel Aviv, the organization has opened a club for soldiers with no family connections. This is not only a meeting place, but it also serves practical purposes, as it is equipped with washers and dryers.

In addition to five office workers spread throughout the country, there are also 240 volunteers, who meet with the soldiers one on one. This guidance helps them deal with bureaucratic, psychological or other problems.

CEO Jacky Oud sees that a very important part of his mission is to take care of the soldiers after the end of military service. This includes assisting them towards continuing their education and vocational training or starting a business. Oud is in direct and constant contact with managing authority for retired soldiers and commanders.

Jacky Oud told us of a young Haredi man from Mea Shearim. Not one of his family members wanted to come to his swearing-in ceremony, and Oud himself accompanied him to this important event.

There was also a young man who dreamed of being accepted to the Bezalel Academy of Art. With the help of donations from abroad, he was able to pay the tuition and was accepted by the academy.

For half a year the center for soldiers without family has also provided a night school for soldiers to receive their High School equivalency to be granted college entrance. They take courses in math, English, Hebrew, Tanach (Bible Studies) and geography.

Jacky Oud personally meets with all the soldiers, and follows up with them after their completion of military service, helping them with their home and job search.

Do you also have a heart for Israel's soldiers? Then click here!


Emails Reveal Clinton's True Feelings About Netanyahu

Emails Reveal Clinton's True Feelings About Netanyahu

Hillary Clinton might be America’s next president. And, as with every election cycle, the US relationship with Israel is going to be a major part of each candidate’s platform.

People want to know what Hillary, and every other candidate, really thinks about Israel. Not what they’re willing to say from the podium in order to get elected. But their true feelings.

And that goes doubly so for attitudes toward Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose rocky relations with current US President Barack Obama were at the center of a souring US-Israel friendship in recent years.

Fortunately, Hillary inadvertently told us just about all we need to know in some of those once-private emails that have now been made public amidst her email server scandal.

In May 2010, while Hillary was serving as US Secretary of State, Israel intercepted a flotilla attempting to break the Gaza maritime blockade. Israeli soldiers boarded the flagship, the Mavi Marmara, where they were violently attacked and forced to defend themselves. A number of soldiers were injured and 10 flotilla activists were killed in the brief scuffle.

The Obama White House was none too pleased by this development, and Clinton’s chief advisor, Sidney Blumenthal, pushed her to see it as a result of Netanyahu’s failed leadership.

According to one of Blumenthal’s emails to Clinton, Netanyahu was still trying to live up to the memory of his brother Yoni, who fell in the daring 1976 Israeli raid on Entebe, and to win his father’s approval.

“Bibi desperately seeks his father’s approbation and can never equal his dead brother…(he) has never measured up,” wrote Blumenthal, ignoring the fact that “Bibi” had had his own distinguished military career, and was by that point close to becoming Israel’s longest serving prime minister ever (he has since surpassed David Ben Gurion).

Desperate to make the connection, Blumenthal insisted that “the raid on the ship to Gaza resembles the raid on Entebbe, except that there are no hostages, no guns (on the Turkish ship), it’s not in Africa, and it’s a fiasco; otherwise, it’s Entebbe.”

In Blumenthal’s view, the entire Gaza flotilla “fiasco” was nothing more than a carefully orchestrated slap in Obama’s face by an angry Netanyahu.

The email records show that Clinton almost immediately forwarded Blumenthal’s email to adviser Jake Sullivan with the message “fyi, and itys” - meaning “for your information” and “I told you so.”


The Mideast Migrant Crisis Requires Mideast Solutions

The Mideast Migrant Crisis Requires Mideast Solutions

Political responses to crises are often tardy and embarrassingly fad-driven, as with the current global outcry over the image of a three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on the Turkish shore. He was hardly the first innocent victim of this century's most brutal war. Where has the world been for the last 54 months?

Indeed, the unfolding humanitarian crisis was an entirely foreseeable consequence of Obama's spineless Syria policy, and the Western European leaders who followed it. So, despite Obama's efforts to anesthetize the public, it is understandable if some collective shame for Western failures -- driven by tragic images that went viral -- has prompted Europe suddenly to announce that it will accept more refugees from the war-torn Middle East.

But how did the West become more responsible for the Mideast refugee crisis than the wealthiest Mideast states (whose funding of Islamist rebels helped to create that crisis)? According to news reports and think tanks, Arab Gulf donors have funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to Syria in recent years, including to ISIS and other groups.

Even if Gulf states weren't at all responsible for aggravating the Syrian refugee crisis by strengthening ISIS, their wealth, proximity, and cultural/religious affinities with the refugees should still make these countries far more responsible than Europe is for their welfare. The vast majority of refugees are Muslim Arabs. They therefore share a common language, religion, culture and ethnicity with the wealthy Gulf countries that have shunned them for reasons of national security (as if the West didn't have such concerns). Any dialect or denominational differences Mideast refugees may have with Gulf states are nothing compared to the cultural, linguistic, ethnic, and religious differences between most Middle East refugees and the European countries they hope to enter.

Even more absurd, Gulf countries are bringing in foreign laborers to build up their vast, oil-rich territories. Putting aside their horrific exploitation of those workers (which is a scandal all of its own, even if campus protests, international boycotts, and UN resolutions never mention it), why aren't they instead accepting Mideast refugees who would happily accept the work that imported labor is now doing? Similarly, why have no Gulf countries granted Palestinian refugees citizenship if they so readily advocate for them at the U.N. out of some purported concern for their welfare? The cynical hypocrisy is staggering.

By contrast, tiny Israel absorbed nearly a million Jews from the Middle East and North Africa who were similarly made homeless when, in the 1940s and 1950s, their survival meant fleeing the Muslim-majority states where they had lived for millennia. Israel has also accepted plenty of non-Jewish refugees, from the Vietnamese boatpeople in the late 1970s to African refugees and migrants in recent years. Israel has provided humanitarian medical assistance to countless Syrians and now Israel's deputy minister of regional affairs Israel (an Arab Druze), has joined the leader of the political opposition in urging Israel to accept Syrian refugees, despite the demographic and strategic risks of doing so.

Yet Europe now tries to hurt Israel's economy by stigmatizing goods from the West Bank, with no similar economic campaigns against any of the Gulf countries, whose human rights records are exponentially worse on every issue (freedom of speech, women's rights, religious freedom, minority rights, gay rights, treatment of guest workers, helping refugees, etc.). 

Such double standards will undoubtedly worsen as Europe becomes increasingly Muslim -- a trend that will only intensify with the current refugee crisis. But appeasement hasn't kept Europe safe from Islamist attacks, as evidenced by the 2004 Madrid bombings, the 2005 London attacks, the 2014 Belgium attack, and this year's attacks in Paris (to name just a few).

Europe clearly failed to integrate Muslim immigrants into its societies, which only reinforces doubts about the wisdom of bringing in more such immigrants.

More importantly, the EU's sudden, politically correct acceptance of refugees addresses the symptoms rather than the root cause: the rise of ISIS -- an evil cancer that metastasizes with each day that the world dithers. The longer ISIS survives, the more people are killed, tortured, and enslaved, the more Syria’s minorities are persecuted under an extreme Sunni Islamic rule, and the more refugees desperately try to flee wherever they can.

Defeating ISIS will have to happen eventually anyway, because ISIS threatens everything that civilized life offers, so the sooner that painful task is accomplished, the sooner the related problems (like the migrant crisis) will be solved.

ISIS took territory from Syria and Iraq that is roughly the size of Indiana (according to this New York Times article last July about ISIS's destruction of Mideast Christianity), so there is plenty of land to resettle refugees, once ISIS is defeated.

Notwithstanding the generous island-purchase-offer by an Egyptian billionaire, the best long-term home for these refugees is not some remote Greek island (which only consolidates ISIS's victory). Rather, the refugees should be able to live in security and dignity in the same region from which they fled, which means defeating ISIS and converting the ISIS-liberated territories into mini states that will serve as safe havens for moderate Sunnis and the various minorities at risk, including Christians, Kurds, Druze, Yazidis, and Alawites (who will become the most targeted after Syria's Alawite-led regime falls).

The Kurds -- who have fought ISIS with more courage and determination than any other party -- have more than proven themselves worthy of a state.

The fact that Christians were once 20% of the Middle East and are now safest in the only non-Muslim country in the entire region (Israel), reinforces the need to create a Mideast Christian State. Such a state could exist around Mosul and/or other parts of Iraq/Syria where Christianity has historically existed (Assyria, Antioch, etc.).

The Druze -- an ancient religion that has often also suffered persecution -- could be given a state in southwest Syria.

There could be yet another, non-religious state that welcomes any other minorities (like the Yazidis) and moderate Sunni Muslims.

Until ISIS is replaced with stable and sane states, the Gulf countries should welcome all Mideast refugees. 

To address the Middle East refugee crisis intelligently, the EU should help to defeat ISIS, convert liberated territories into states for the region's persecuted minorities, and pressure Gulf states to absorb all refugees in the interim.

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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COMMENTARY: Can We Become One in Moses?

COMMENTARY: Can We Become One in Moses?

The awakening that takes place in a Christian who discovers the Hebraic roots of his faith is fascinating to watch. His immediate reaction is to fall madly in love with Israel and find new compassion for the Jewish people. That soon leads to wondering why he’d been so clueless in the first place – until he learns about the role Replacement Theology played in obscuring those roots. That sets him to wondering what else hasn’t he been told about his religion. 

Then he discovers the major holy days of Christianity like Christmas, Easter and Sunday  are pagan in origin. And that Jesus never divided us into clergy and laity. Or told us to build churches. And before long he’s exiting his church and checking out worship services at the nearest Messianic Jewish synagogue.

But what led me to write this article is what often happens next. There is a strong temptation at this point to think the best way to draw even closer to the Hebrew roots of our faith in Yeshua is to embrace the religion he practiced. The one we know for sure God started, namely the Mosaic Law. Of course, with no temple or Levitical priesthood today one can only do so much. Like keeping Shabbat, eating kosher and applying whatever Mosaic commands fit 21st century living.

But I have to ask, is Moses the one who can truly unite Christians and Jews? Wasn’t the Law the very thing that kept us apart?  Don’t the Scriptures teach it is only in Yeshua that we become one? That “he himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, abolishing in his flesh the enmity, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in himself he might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace?” (Eph. 2:13-15).

Having gone down this road myself I can certainly relate to the vulnerable feeling that comes with laying aside one’s religion. You quickly want to get under the protection of another. But where does it say in the New Testament we need any religion at all? Judaism or Christianity? Didn’t Yeshua come to fulfill the Mosaic Law and lead us all into a new life of living by faith? 

What we forget is that before God gave Moses the Law He had declared Abraham righteous by his faith. Faith, or complete trust in God’s voice, is the true ‘religion’ of Israel. “For without faith it is impossible to please Him” (Heb. 11:6). 

I believe the biggest revelation coming forth from this restoration of Jewish/Christian fellowship in our day is discovering that religion is what has been keeping us apart. Each side thought unity and sanctification could only be realized by observing the tenets of their religion. And we were both wrong.

 Only living a life of faith through Yeshua and walking in love can true unity be found and the promises realized. “For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith” (Rom 4:13). 


Americans Nearly Lynched in Hebron; Saved by Palestinian Man

Americans Nearly Lynched in Hebron; Saved by Palestinian Man

Five American Jewish students were nearly lynched in Palestinian-controlled Hebron on Thursday after taking a wrong turn while en route to pray at the Cave of the Patriarchs, burial place of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

After finding themselves in the wrong part of town, the Americans were set upon by a mob of stone-throwing Muslim youth. As the mob drew closer, the young visitors frantically fled on foot, leaving behind their car, which was promptly torched.

A kindly Palestinian man who heard the ruckus and rushed outside. He reassured the Americans, two of whom had by then suffered light-to-moderate injuries, and brought them into the safety of his home.

“I heard shouts outside, I left my house and saw the five Jews hurriedly leaving their car, which was attacked by stones,” Faiz Abu Hamadiah told Israel’s NRG news portal. “They were very nervous, and one was injured and bleeding from his face. I told them in Hebrew that it will be okay, I gave them water, and I helped the injured man.”

Hamadiah sheltered the young Americans in his home while sending family members to notify the nearby IDF checkpoint, which sent soldiers to extract the Jewish youth.

Responding to questions about whether he feared being labeled a “collaborator,” Hamadiah bravely replied: “I did the right thing. The people that threw stones at them and torched their car did a bad thing. We need to live here together.”


Gazans Risking It All To Reach Israel

Gazans Risking It All To Reach Israel

Palestinians raised in the Gaza Strip are taught to believe Israel is a blood-thirsty monster that desires nothing more than their destruction. Apparently, many aren’t buying the lies, as the number of Gazans risking it all to seek asylum in the Jewish state is growing.

Every day, Palestinians are crossing the border, and telling of impossible living conditions under the Hamas regime.

Initially, IDF soldiers guarding the border feared the rising number of infiltrators was a new wave of terrorist activity. But interrogations revealed that most of those crossing the fence are fleeing in fear of Hamas, willing even to risk imprisonment in Israel, where at least they’ll receive three meals a day.

Hamas itself is working to stem this tide by establishing a security strip patrolled by its gunmen, forcing the asylum seekers to crawl long distances and then under the fence. Those who are captured on the Gaza side are executed.

“We were afraid of Hamas, and the patrol road they built is meant to prevent us from leaving Gaza,” said one escapee in remarks published by Israel’s NRG news portal. Hamas reportedly worries those who leave Gaza could become “collaborators” with Israel.

Since last summer’s Gaza war, sparked by increased Hamas rocket fire on southern Israel, the socio-economic situation in the coastal enclave has reached an all-time low. Residents suffer from a lack of food and basic supplies, and nearly all the aid entering Gaza is confiscated by Hamas. For instance, nearly all of the cement sent to Gaza to repair and rebuilt homes damaged in the war has instead been used to construct new smuggling and terror tunnels.

Most of the asylum-seeking infiltrators are immediately captured by the IDF and other security forces. Following questioning, nearly all are sent back to Gaza.


Stealing God's Best Treasures

Stealing God's Best Treasures

A scene from the movie Woman in Gold offers a graphic illustration of the plight faced by Israel today.

As flowers are thrown at the invading Nazi soldiers in pre-war Vienna, no-one lifts a finger to help the real victims of the day – the Jewish people desperately trying to escape the brutality being meted out to them.

The film, starring Helen Mirren, is based on a true story which powerfully reflects the extent to which anti-Semitism spreads its poisonous tentacles. Maria Altmann, who fled Austria for the United States when it was clear that Jewish citizens were in grave danger, discovers six decades later that her family had not only suffered the indignities of Nazi persecution, but had also been victims of stolen art treasures, in particular a famous painting of her auntie – Adele Bloch-Bauer – which had effectively become Austria’s ‘Mona Lisa’.

Today, Israel, and Jewish people the world over, are at least as vulnerable as they were under the Nazis; probably more so. Although now having a home of their own at last where they had hoped to live in peace and safety, they are constantly threatened on all sides by enemies looking to wipe them off the face of the earth!

And with the help of America – supposedly Israel’s closest ally – Iran has effectively been freed to continue developing a nuclear weapon with which to carry out its stated aim of destroying Israel while at the same time arming terrorist groups Hezbollah and Hamas, committed to the same goal.

Tragically, history appears to be repeating itself.

Former U.S. Vice-President Dick Cheney and his daughter Liz have compared the nuclear deal between Iran and the six world powers to the Munich agreement which paved the way to World War II.The Obama agreement – providing a pathway for the world’s worst state-sponsor of terror to acquire nuclear weapons – is tragically reminiscent of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s Munich treaty in 1938, they said. Each was negotiated from a position of weakness by a leader willing to concede nearly everything to appease an ideological dictator.

Dr Mike Evans, a close associate of Israeli leaders and founder of the Friends of Zion Heritage Centre in Jerusalem, writes: “Though the Obama Administration originally insisted on ‘anytime, anywhere’ inspections, they agreed to a deal that left Iran’s military facilities off limits to any inspections and required 24 days’ notice before inspections at other sites. Then we learned that no Americans could be part of any inspection team. Now comes word from Iran that the Iranian government will only allow International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors that they approve. If it were not so tragic, it would be humorous… but it is deadly serious, and the Jewish state and the Jewish people are at risk as never before.”

A Jewish follower of Jesus who also reaches out a helping hand to destitute Holocaust survivors, Dr Evans adds: “On October 6 1943, a delegation of American rabbis arrived at the White House for a personal audience with President Franklin Roosevelt. They planned to present irrefutable proof that the Nazis were conducting a wholesale annihilation of European Jews.”

But they were denied a meeting, no coordinated Allied rescue was launched and the flames consumed six million Jews. Now America is ignoring the appeals from Israel concerning Iran’s plans to wipe out the Jews with atomic bombs. But the Jewish people need to know that they are not alone; that their Christian friends around the world are standing with them.

“Iran’s threats should be taken seriously,” says James Woolsey, director of the Central Intelligence Agency during the Clinton Administration. “The people who have the mindset that they’re just rhetoric are the same types of people who in the late 1920s and early 1930s said that Hitler’s Mein Kampf was just rhetoric.”

But who today will lift a finger if Israel is invaded by her present enemies? Yet, if she should return fire in defence, the wrath of the world may well fall on her. What utter hypocrisy!

In short, what we are witnessing is age-old anti-Semitism, so often disguised as something noble, as with Western support for Palestinians portrayed as victims of bullying occupiers of their land – a land that rightfully belongs to Israel. Not only do they have a history there going back thousands of years, but it is God’s gift to them (Genesis 12.7). And if that isn’t good enough for our politicians, it is also theirs by international treaty signed in San Remo, Italy, in 1920. But Palestinians and their supporters are in the business of pulling the wool over our eyes and attempting to re-write history.

Another movie I watched while keeping an eye on my elderly mum this past week was the 1958 classic musical South Pacific. With a score written by legendary Jewish combo Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, it wasn’t surprising that the race issue – raising its head in quite an ugly manner in America at the time – played a significant role in the context of romantic liaisons with Polynesian women. The script put it well, that people are “taught to hate” rather than born that way.

In the case of the so-called _Woman in Gold _painting, the Nazis had even stolen Adele Bloch-Bauer’s identity in view of not wishing to disclose her real name because she was Jewish. But with the help of a family member and struggling lawyer, her loyal niece successively took the Austrian government to court. The painting was eventually taken to America and sold to a gallery there for $100 million, thereby achieving a degree of justice and restitution.

But it was of little value compared with the heartache of parting from parents, and all she knew and loved, as Maria and her new husband were about to make their daring escape to freedom.

Followers of Jesus, the Jew, must not make the same mistake again, by effectively walking on the other side of the road as God’s Chosen People are beaten up to within an inch of their collective lives. Now is the time to stand up and be counted, as Dr Evans is doing with his compassionate outreach to Holocaust survivors and others still scarred by the effects of the recent past.


Blog: "...and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared" Neh 8:10

Blog: "...and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared" Neh 8:10

The Jewish New Year is around the corner! Rosh HaShana, the Jewish New Year, begins on September 14. Twice a year Israel Today distributes food parcels to needy new immigrants in absorption centers. In spring at Passover and once again at Rosh HaShana. Stand with us to aid socially disadvantaged families and children!

Integration through basketball.

Adi Vettori (22) is the head of the "Jerusalem 48'ers" a basketball team that has a special vision and it is to integrate southern Jerusalem Ethiopian teenagers into society via basketball. The team practices in Talpiyot, a suburb of Jerusalem with one of the highest percentages of Ethiopian residents.

Vettori and Erez Eshel, the head of the Youth Administration of the ministry of education, sat together about 3 years ago and the vision was formed. They decided that a basketball team should be formed as a social project with Ethiopian integration as its goal. The project was secured financially and it got off the ground. In 2012 Stuart Harris, the son of the owner of the NBA team Philadelphia 76ers Josh Harris, heard of the project and donated some of his Bar Mitzvah money to the project.

In 2013, Josh Wasserman, a huge basketball fan also donated some of his Bar Mitzvah money to an Ethiopian community in the city of Safed for establishing a basketball team. The money was used to build a new basketball court, to buy jerseys and to pay the salary of a coach.

But Vettori didn’t have a clue about how much time and effort she would put into the project. It was more difficult than expected to find Ethiopian youngsters that would be into basketball. Even the few who were convinced to have a try with the big orange ball were frustrated quite fast. They were poor at baskets and they didn’t know how to dribble.

In Ethiopia basketball is still a niche sport. The sport lost its significance since the mid-60s even though its popularity is growing again nowadays. The Ethiopia national basketball team has never succeeded to qualify for the Olympics or World Championship, and the team isn’t ranked by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA).

But still the Jerusalem 48ers are playing, and how! Driven by ambition they play with joy and enthusiasm! They also play against well-established teams like the youth team of Hapoel Jerusalem.

Basketball is one of the most popular sports in Israel. Thousands of Israelis held their breaths when Maccabi Tel Aviv won the ULEB-Euroleague Championship last May. Omri Casspi, the Israeli basketball player, currently playing for the NBA team Sacramento Kings, is a hero among many children in Israel. And by the way, the name of the team “Jerusalem 48ers” was chosen based on the foundation of the State of Israel 1948.

The training and the sport aims to provide some structure and teach commitment to the often marginalized kids. It hopes to build the kids own potential and build their feeling of belonging to Israeli society. If it was up to Vetorri the project would be expanded nationwide and establish teams like this throughout Israel.

This is a blog post from "Bundle of Love - Immigrants" from our "Support Israel" section. We appreciate every donation. In order to help the Land of Israel and her immigrants see "Support Israel".


Muslim Clerics Incite Against Jewish Holidays

Muslim Clerics Incite Against Jewish Holidays

Israeli media is warning of increased Palestinian violence during the upcoming Jewish High Holy Days in September and October.

During Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and the week-long Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles), a great many Jews congregate publicly, especially at the Western Wall.

This year, some of those holidays coincide with Muslim holidays and Palestinian nationalist memorials. Yom Kippur and the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha falls on the same day, and the anniversary of the eruption of the Second Intifada is during Sukkot.

If the past is any indicator, the coinciding of Jewish and Muslim holidays spells trouble, particularly in and around Jerusalem.

Already, Muslim clerics are working their flocks up into a frenzy over what they term the impending Jewish “invasion” of the Temple Mount. From the Israeli perspective, this is nothing short of incitement. Jewish groups always go up to the Temple Mount over Sukkot as it is a biblically mandated practice.

But the head of the Koranic Academy of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Nashach Bakhirat, said in an Arabic broadcast in Israel: “The Jewish festivals are ominous for Muslims and for the Al-Aqsa Mosque because at that time Jewish religious extremists will perpetrate attacks against us.”

Sheikh Kamal Khatib, leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel, accused the Jews of seeking to defile the Al-Aqsa Mosque during the Jewish holidays. Khatib further charged Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas of conspiring with Israel to “Judaize” the city of Jerusalem.

Ekrima Sa’id Sabri, former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and head of the Islamic Council, went even further, claiming that Jewish groups visiting the Temple Mount during Sukkot were “trying to implement their scheme to build a [Jewish] temple in place of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

As easily rebutted as these accusations might be, they are consistently effective in whipping up the Muslim masses against Israel’s Jews.


Jewish Israeli Suspected of Trying to Join ISIS

Jewish Israeli Suspected of Trying to Join ISIS

Over the weekend Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs was urgently approached by an Israeli family that feared its son had flown to Crete with the intent of eventually joining ISIS in Syria.

According to online correspondence with the 21-year-old Jewish man, the danger seemed very real.

After arriving in Crete, Israel’s Foreign Ministry believes the Israeli man flew to Turkey, and from there made his way toward the Syrian border.

In cooperation with Interpol Israel, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs through its embassy in Ankara and consulate in Istanbul worked to identify and return the Israeli citizen. With the aid of Turkish authorities, the young man was found and detained not far from the Syrian border.

He arrived back in Israel on Tuesday, and will presumably face charges for his actions, just as have many Israeli Arabs who have tried to join ISIS.

“We are talking about a serious and worrying incident,” Ilana Ravid, head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs department responsible for Israelis traveling abroad, told Channel 2 News.


End of the Shmita: Aliens, Blood Moons and Economic Collapse

End of the Shmita: Aliens, Blood Moons and Economic Collapse

Millions of both Jews and Gentiles are excitedly predicting an ominous period ahead for Israel as the current Sabbatical year (shmita) comes to an end on September 14, 2015. 

The Sabbatical Year, or Year of Release, is a biblical command outlined in Deuteronomy 15 where it is written: "At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release … every creditor shall release what he has lent to his neighbor [and by observing it] the Lord will bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance to possess."

Failure to uphold this command, according to the Book of Chronicles, is what caused the first 70-year exile: "And those who escaped from the sword he carried away to Babylon … to fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed its Sabbaths [Sabbatical years]" (2 Ch. 36:20-21).

The number of years in exile corresponds to the number of Sabbatical and Jubilee years that Israel had failed to observe since entering the Promised Land. In other words, that exile was punishment for social and environmental injustices Israel had inflicted upon the Land and the people dwelling in it.

To evaluate the different warnings concerning this September, it must be remembered that the command is only concerned with how the people of Israel treat the Land and its inhabitants. This is why it was Israel that suffered the first exile and no one else.

With this in mind, following are three warnings from three completely different groups of people predicting awful things in store for the coming weeks and months.

Alien Intervention

The first is the Israeli chapter of New Age Raelian Movement. The movement's prophet, who took the name Maitreya Rael, has instructed his Israeli followers to publish an urgent "oracle" in a highly unusual public campaign. In his message, Rael conveys a warning from an extraterrestrial being, "The Elohim," who blames Israel with "stealing the land and houses" of the Palestinians and for creating "concentration camps for the Palestinians whose homes and Lands they stole … and are even projecting a final solution with the goal of Palestinian genocide." 

As result, warns Rael, "the protection that had been granted to Israel is from today (August 6th 2015) totally withdrawn and I ask all the real Jews to leave the Land of Palestine as quickly as possible." 

This messenger of doom - who sounds like a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) loudmouth - is a grotesque messiah bringing false charges against Israel with no consideration for the Old and New Testaments, which state, "do not think that I will accuse you [Israel] to the Father" (John 5).

Economic Crash

A more specific Sabbatical year warning comes from a YouTube video gone viral, in which financial whiz Jeff Berwick prophesies doom and gloom upon the United Stated of America. 

Berwick's prediction is based on a study he had done on events occurring at the end of previous Sabbatical years. His conclusion is that September 15th will change the course of history, and wise Americans should stock up on gold and flee. 

The silver lining in his forecast is that the wise will eventually profit when the global markets recover from the financial collapse of America. 

Berwick's message does not involve faith, nor does it care about morality. His gospel is that of personal safety and financial gain.

Blood Moons

Lastly, there is the "four blood moons" theory exciting End Times enthusiasts amongst both Christians and Jews. 

This scenario is based on a prophecy in the Book of Joel: "...and I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth ... the sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood" (Joel 2:30-31). 

In his latest book Four Blood Moons: Something is About to Change, John Hagee has popularized the idea of blood moons occurring on four consecutive biblical feasts and coinciding with the end of a Sabbatical year. The last of these four moons is scheduled to appear on the upcoming Feast of Tabernacles (September 28 or thereabout). 

This event, believes Hagee, will usher in a period of two years during which "something dramatic will happen in the Middle East involving Israel that will change the course of history and impact the whole world." The trigger, according to Hagee, is the Iran nuclear deal. 

The Israeli Jewish version of this theory sees the pending cosmic phenomenon as a sign of the imminent collapse of the Muslim empire and all its supporters. 

In all of this, the various versions of the "four blood moon" theory overlook the darkening of the sun spoken of by Joel, and likewise fail to account for Israel's neglect of the Mosaic covenant.

Sober Conclusion

Predictions that dazzle the mind have caused sober people serious problems in the past, especially when they have acted upon them and set off on perilous journeys (such was the case of the First Crusade in 1096, to give but one example). 

It seems that such a time as this bears repeating the warning: "If they say to you, 'Look, he is in the wilderness,' do not go out. If they say, 'Look, he is in the inner rooms,' do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be" (Matt. 24).


Who Will Speak Out For Those Abused By ISIS?

Who Will Speak Out For Those Abused By ISIS?

A group of Christian women has put together a short video (see below) pleading with all able and willing to speak out and act on behalf of the thousands of Muslim, Christian and Yazidi women and girls being sexually abused, tortured and killed by ISIS.

The organizer of the group reached out to Israel Today after seeing our recent report about a young Christian girl whose family had fled from ISIS-controlled Syria and is now living as beggars in Turkey.

She said it was reports like this that had prompted her group to take action.

“We felt that more attention needed to be drawn to the plight of these women, many of whom are very young,” she wrote. “Our hope is that the eyes of many around the world will be opened to this particular atrocity, and that with this realization, people will speak up for these women.”

It would seem obvious that such a situation would garner more attention, but the world media, at least, seems more interested in minor scuffles between Israeli soldiers and prolific “Pallywood” rioters.

See the video:


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Get your 20% holiday discount for Rosh HaShana!

Rosh Hashana - the Jewish New Year - is around the corner beginning on the evening of September 13th this year.

Come and celebrate a blessed New Year with us. Claim your 20% discount in honor of the holiday now!

* This offer is only available until September 7th, 2015


The Truth Behind That Viral IDF Soldier Photo

The Truth Behind That Viral IDF Soldier Photo

Over the weekend a photo of an armed IDF soldier holding a young Palestinian boy in a headlock went viral on the Internet and was the lead story on major media websites like CNN.

The problem, as is often the case, is that the likes of CNN left a LOT out of the story, and in so doing used the photo to paint a picture of the situation and of Israeli soldiers in general that bore very little resemblance to reality.

One of the few facts CNN and others go right is that the incident occurred in a place called Nabi Saleh. What you weren’t told is that the residents of Nabi Saleh hold a weekly violent demonstration against the nearby Jewish community of Halamish.

Every week for the past several years at least, IDF soldiers show up to make sure the Nabi Saleh rioters don’t get too close to to Halamish.

That’s right, this has been happening every Friday for years, but you never hear about it, because typically nothing of note happens.

But that doesn’t stop photographers from the international media pitching up week after week in hopes of catching the next juicy shot of perceived Israeli abuses. And the residents of Nabi Saleh are only too happy to do their best in helping achieve that goal.

In fact, some of the residents of Nabi Saleh are already well known, and have adoring fans abroad. They are proper actors on the “Pallywood” stage.

Take for instance Ahed Tamimi, seen in the most recent photos taking a bite out of the IDF soldier in question. Tamimi and her parents, Bassem and Nariman, are habitual rioters.

In 2012, Tamimi gained notoriety when she was filmed trying to provoke a violent response from IDF soldiers. Soon after, she was invited to Istanbul to be given the Handala Award for Courage by Turkish President Erdoğan.

For years, the Tamimi family and their co-rioters were experiencing something of a dry spell. But they struck gold on Friday when an IDF soldier sent to play peacekeeper at the weekly demonstration got separated from his unit.

Immediately, the young boy in the photos began incessantly stoning the soldier, who responded by grabbing him. The Tamimis and others pounced and delivered a severe and humiliating beating to the soldier, all as the media photographers eagerly snapped as many shots as they could.

Another important fact left out of the stories at CNN and elsewhere is that not once during the entire ordeal did the soldier in question threaten to use his weapon against the assailants.

Ironically, it was Arab readers who had seen the article and photos on the website of Al Jazeera that first and most notably picked up on this.

“Note how although he had a weapon, and although he is a soldier of the Zionist entity, he did not shoot him in the head. Imagine the same thing [happening] in Arab countries, how our people would have acted,” wrote a commenter named Osama, as translated into Hebrew by Israeli Facebook user Shay Ket.

Another named Tita pointed out that “if it had happened in Egypt, they would have shot that boy with live ammunition instead of being so considerate.”

In short, these photos that our august media gatekeepers thought so important as to make international headline news were ultimately “much ado about nothing.”


Deir Yassin Massacre Myth Resurfaced

Deir Yassin Massacre Myth Resurfaced

A stone thrown into a puddle will cause all sorts of light debris buried in the mud to surface. Jeremy Corbyn's quest to become the next Labour Party leader has created a similar effect in the puddle of British politics, allowing rotten debris like Holocaust denier Paul Eisen to surface. 

It turns out that in 2013, Corbyn attended Eisner's annual anti-Israel event titled "Deir Yassin Remembered." Having surfaced from the sludge, it now needs to be addressed.

But before directly addressing this, I want to draw attention to an article by STV (Scottish Television) journalist Stephen Daisley, who did an outstanding job exposing the danger inherent in the popularity of Corbyn. 

Corbyn, Daisly correctly reasoned, is "just a symptom and a symbol" of the anti-Zionist phenomenon that "has removed much of the need for classical anti-Semitism by recycling the old superstitions as a political critique of the State of Israel."

It is in the midst of such a phenomenon that people like Eisen can appear as compassionate humanists rather than what they really are. Otherwise, as Daisley had rightly asked, "why is Deir Yassin remembered, but not Safed or Hebron or the Hadassah convoy?" 

Yet, even this comparison is misleading because Daisley, like most people, is still under the impression that there was a massacre of Palestinians by Israelis at Deir Yassin.

In the Palestinian annals, Deir Yassin - a small village west of Jerusalem that was destroyed by the Jewish militias Etzel and Lehi on April 9, 1948 - has become the symbol for the "Nakba," the "catastrophic" military defeat that in its wake spawned the Palestinian refugee problem. The fate of Deir Yassin has become their remembrance day, held on May 15, and it is of paramount importance to them.

At the risk of being liked to "Holocaust deniers," I find it necessary to highlight the work of military historian Uri Milstein, who spent 30 years investigating this affair that took place during Israel's War of Independence. 

In his book The Birth of a Palestinian Nation (2012), Milstein's scathing criticism is directed not toward Palestinians, but rather toward Jews who, out of narrow political interests and internal rivalry, have perpetuated the massacre myth. 

The battle of Deir Yassin itself came as a result of intelligence that Arab soldiers had infiltrated this otherwise peaceful village in order to block the road to Jerusalem. This led the two right-wing militias, Etzel and Lehi, to propose to the more left-wing Haganah (which later became the IDF) a joint operation against the village as part of a larger operation aimed at clearing the only road from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. 

As everybody well understood, the fate of Jerusalem depended who controlled that road. 

The plan was accepted by all factions, which is why several Haganah men armed with machine guns were placed on Mount Herzl facing the village to provide cover for the Etzel and Lehi assault troops.

During the battle, some 40 Jewish soldiers were wounded and six were killed. There were also 110 dead Palestinians, including women and children. Dreadful as the outcome was, civilians were killed during the heat of battle, and not after it. 

In his book, Milstein willingly accepts Palestinian anthropologist Sharif Kanaana's definition of massacre, which is "intentional killing of captives – civilians, military men and soldiers – after they have surrendered…" 

Kanaana, who also studied the Deir Yassin affair, seemed to concur with Milstein in that that the label "massacre" in regards to the battle of Deir Yassin was a "lie that originated in disputes between the Haganah on one hand and Etzel and Lehi on the other." The Palestinians for their part exploited the myth to their own advantage.

This is not to say that Israel's conduct in times of war is flawless. The War of Independence was ruthless, and both sides did whatever they could to gain the upper hand. 

From this perspective, however, "Deir Yassin Remembered" as enthusiastically endorsed by Corbyn seems like a myth dredged up from the mud for the benefit of malevolent forces interested not in peace and justice, but in the vilification and destruction of the Jewish nation.


Israeli President: It's Our Right to Settle This Land

Israeli President: It's Our Right to Settle This Land

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin last week stated unequivocally that it is the right of Jews and the Jewish state to settle the biblical Land of Israel.

“I love the land of Israel with all my heart. I have never and will never give up on this land. For me, our right to this land is not a matter of political debate,” Rivlin said in a meeting with Jewish settler leaders.

Rivlin suggested that Israel more firmly cling to this right, debatable as its implementation may be, in national discourse and the peace process.

“We must not give anyone the sense that we are in any doubt about our right to our land,” the president said. “For me, the settlement of the land of Israel is an expression of that right, our historical right, our national right.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and others in the Israeli government have long demanded that recognition of the Jews’ religious and historical connection and claims to this land be a starting point of peace negotiations with the Arabs.

But Rivlin was also adamant that acting on the right to settle the Land of Israel must be accompanied by compassion for and care of the non-Jewish population.

“Our sovereignty in this land means responsibility for all those who live here, and obliges all of us to uphold the strictest of moral codes, which is inherent in each and every one of us,” concluded Rivlin.


Orthodox Jews More Like Christians Than Other Jews?

Orthodox Jews More Like Christians Than Other Jews?

Orthodox Jews are like evangelical Christians. They believe in God, vote, worship, act and raise their children more like evangelicals than like any other Jews. That is the revelation of a new Pew Research study on the attitudes of Orthodox Jews in America. Here are some of the surprising conclusions.

On Israel

The survey finds that almost nine out of every ten Orthodox Jews (84%) believe that Israel was given by God to the Jewish people. That is more than twice the number of other American Jews (35%) who hold this view. Among evangelicals 82% say they believe that the land of Israel was given to the Jewish people by God.

Orthodox Jewish attitudes towards the Israeli/Palestinian peace process are much closer to evangelical Christian views than to other Jews. Most Orthodox Jews do not believe that Israel can coexist peacefully alongside an independent Palestinian state. Orthodox Jews are less than half as likely as other Jews to support a state for the Palestinians.

Like many evangelicals, most Orthodox Jews support building Jewish settlement in the West Bank. Non-Orthodox Jews were much more likely than Orthodox Jews to say that building Jewish settlements in the West Bank hurts Israel’s security (47% vs. 16%).

Modern Orthodox Jews have a very strong attachment to Israel. Almost all of them say that they are very emotionally attached to Israel and that caring about Israel is essential to being Jewish (79%). They are also convinced that the U.S. is not supportive enough of Israel (64%).

On Politics

Similar patterns can be seen in Orthodox Jewish political views. Orthodox Jews and Christian evangelicals support the Republican Party (57% and 66%) compared to a mere 18% of non-Orthodox Jews who back Republicans. In the U.S. non-orthodox Jews lean heavily toward the Democratic Party.

Like evangelicals, Orthodox Jews tend to identify as Republicans because they hold conservative values on social issues such as homosexuality. Orthodox Jews are far more likely than other Jews to say that homosexuality should be discouraged in society (70% compared to 38%).

On Faith

Asked about the importance of faith in their lives, the large majority of Orthodox Jews (83%) and evangelicals (86%) say that religion is very important to them. Only one in every five of other Jews asked (20%) say that faith or religion have meaning for them. Orthodox Jews and evangelical Christians frequently attend religious services (74% and 75%, respectively). Only 12% of non-Orthodox Jews go to synagogue at least once a month. Most modern Jews never go to synagogue at all.

The report shows that 93% of Christian evangelicals and 89% of Orthodox Jews believe in God with absolute certainty. Only 34% of all other Jews share this belief.

What does it mean?

The Orthodox Jewish community is growing far more rapidly than other, non-Orthodox Jewish populations. 98% of all Orthodox Jews will marry a Jewish spouse, while more than half of all other Jews will intermarry. Orthodox Jews will raise on average more than five-times as many children in their lifetime compared to all other Jews.

As the populations of Orthodox Jews continues to grow at a rapid pace, and the numbers of all other Jews shrink, there will eventually come about a shift in the characteristics and practice of Jewish life in areas of faith, social values and political views.

The similarities between the Orthodox Jewish and evangelical communities have been a source of inspiration to many pro-Israel Christian groups who are working together with the Orthodox primarily on issues concerning Israel. A number of evangelical pro-Israel groups are mobilizing support for Israel politically and financially while putting emphasis on the message of the Bible while strengthening moral and godly values in society.


COMMENTARY: Was Jesus a Christian?

COMMENTARY: Was Jesus a Christian?

I once heard a Jewish believer make this sobering statement: “Jews don’t need a Christian Christ. Christians need a Jewish Jesus.” Hmmm, I thought, he has a point.

Many Christians are shocked to learn that Jesus, the one they consider the founder of Christianity, was born a Jew, died a Jew, arose a Jew, is seated in Heaven a Jew and will return as a Jew on steroids – “the lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the root of David” (Rev. 5:5). But their eyes really start to cross when they learn Jesus would have never thought himself a Christian. Or called himself one.

The term "Christian" did not come into existence until decades later when unbelievers in Antioch started calling his followers that name (Acts 11:26). And as many historians believe, it was not a compliment. But a mockery.

But what’s truly rattling the stained-glass windows of Christendom these days is the discovery by more and more believers that Yeshua never started, much less converted to, the religion of Christianity. That he came, not to start a new religion, but to fulfill the types and shadows of the only religion God has ever given His people. Or ever will. Namely, the Mosaic Law. And Yeshua’s arrival signaled that even that divine religion had fulfilled its purpose. “Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Messiah, so that we may be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor” (Gal. 3:24,25).

Christianity did not begin to organize into a religion until almost a hundred years after Yeshua’s ascension. It reached full religious status under Constantine, who after severing the faith from its Jewish roots, made it the chief religion of the Roman Empire. And himself, as pontifex maximus, its chief priest. In the process, the simple gospel message that we could now come boldly into God’s presence through faith in Yeshua was nullified. It was replaced by a glitzy, full-blown, ecclesiastical approach to God through a robed priesthood unsanctioned by Scripture. A religion given theological support by a handful of influential writers, rightly called “the Fathers of the Church.”

These Church scribes, unlike the Jewish writers of the NT who grew up with the Scriptures, had little knowledge of, or interest in, God’s promises to Israel. Converted from pagan backgrounds, they preferred the “wisdom” of the Greek philosophers, especially Plato. And their leavened teachings soon pushed God’s ecclesia off the bedrock of Scripture onto the shifting sand of man’s thoughts.

And that’s where we’ve been ever since – even after the Reformation! In retrospect, have we been any less blind to the gospel than the Jews in thinking Yeshua gave us a new religion called Christianity to practice?

But today is a new day. And God’s Spirit beckons. “Come, let us return to the Lord. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us. He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day that we may live before Him” (Hosea 6:1,2).


Where is the Christian world?

Where is the Christian world?

The photo to the left is of a young Christian girl whose family fled Syria ahead of invading jihadist hordes and today lives as beggars on the streets of northern Turkey. She is just one of a great many in a similar situation, and they are the lucky ones. Countless other Christians have been brutalized and massacred in the Middle East in recent years.

The photo was shared on Facebook by the Israeli Christian Lobby, a group of Arabic-speaking Christians that both lobbies for Christian issues in Israel and publicizes the fact that the Jewish state is the one safe place for Christians in this volatile region.

Considering the deafening silence of the Christian West in regards to Syrian and Iraqi Christians like this little girl, the Israeli Christian Lobby appealed to “our Jewish brothers to request that the government of Israel open its borders to these Christian refugees.”

While Israel is ill-equipped to handle a flood of refugees, the response from average Israelis, at least on Facebook, was overwhelmingly positive.

“We must give them shelter in Israel,” wrote one Jewish commenter. “Bring them to the Land [of Israel]!!!” insisted another.

“Who better than our people knows this [suffering]?” noted one Israeli Jewess. “She should seek refuge in Israel,” recommended a respondent.

Others were outraged at the plight of these Christians and the lack of response by the global Christian leadership.

“The Pope is mute and deaf,” concluded one Israeli, while another pointed out that Christian leaders like the Pope “only pay attention when Jews and Israel are involved.”


Jerusalem Suffering Wave of Palestinian Arab Violence

Jerusalem Suffering Wave of Palestinian Arab Violence

Palestinian Arab assailants on Thursday hurled firebombs at an Israel Police vehicle in eastern Jerusalem. The occupants of the vehicle were able to escape as it went up in flames, but suffered smoke inhalation.

A day earlier, a knife-wielding terrorist stabbed and wounded an Israeli police officer near Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate. He tried to stab several other Israelis before being overpowered and arrested.

The attacker had previously murdered Israeli Jewish historian Menachem Stern in 1989. In 2013, the stabber, a 56-year-old resident of Hebron, was set free as part of a highly controversial prisoner release corresponding to US-brokered peace negotiations.

These are only the latest attacks in what authorities have identified as a major increase in violent incidents in the Israeli capital. Over the past two months, Jerusalem has experienced no fewer than 580 reported attacks on civilians and security forces. Some 477 of those were cases of stone-throwing at Jewish motorists, while 28 were arson attacks against Jewish homes and vehicles. Jewish cemeteries were also repeatedly desecrated.

These are separate from the even more numerous violent incidents in the outlying Palestinian suburbs of Shuafat, Beit Hanina, Isawiya and Jabel Mukaber.

Aryeh King, a right-wing member of Jerusalem’s City Council, accused the government of tying the hands of the security forces in dealing with this phenomenon for fear of a political backlash.

Despairing of any serious response by the political echelon, those Jewish citizens suffering from this wave of violence have launched an initiative known as “Anti-Terror TV.” Those involved have determined to document on video every possibly attack in order to draw attention to the worsening situation.


Blog: The rocky road of integration of Ethiopian Jews

Blog: The rocky road of integration of Ethiopian Jews

The Jewish New Year is around the corner! Rosh HaShana, the Jewish New Year, begins on September 14. Twice a year Israel Today distributes food parcels to needy new immigrants in absorption centers. In spring at Passover and once again at Rosh HaShana. Stand with us to aid socially disadvantaged families and children!

The life of the majority of the Ethiopian Jews is characterized by social and economic challenges. This holds true for both, the new Ethiopian immigrants arriving nowadays and Ethiopians who immigrated decades ago and for their children as well.

The biggest waves of immigration were back in the 1980s and 1990s which peaked during operation “Solomon” (1991). Still, the ongoing economic hardship can be seen in the fact that about half of the 125,000 Ethiopian Israelis live under the poverty line. One reason for is that once they arrived in Israel they didn’t have any family to support them and were therefore, economically and financially left on their own.

In addition to economic challenges, they faced cultural differences, language barriers and a lot of those that arrived in Israel were elderly. Due to the fact that most of the older Ethiopians were never eligible for military service after they immigrated, some of them fail to understand the hardships and challenges their children endure while serving or preparing for service in the IDF. The second generation therefore can’t rely on the experiences or understanding of their parents.

Israeli society often expects that the Ethiopian-Jewish community become "Israeli" as soon as possible after their immigration by adopting an Israeli lifestyle and habits. But like all immigrant communities, this community has its own ancient and unique cultural characteristics. Moshe Selomon, a social entrepreneur with Ethiopian roots told the news agency Tazpit that this is one of the reasons why integration attempts often failed in the past. “The authorities tried to integrate us by erasing our special characteristics and heritage.” Such an expectation can be unrealistic and painful to immigrants. “I strongly believe each group in Israeli society contributes its flavor. Therefore, Israeli society should embrace diversity, in order to create a better, more inclusive atmosphere, where there is a place for all the groups that compose Israeli society,” Selomon continued.

To embolden the Jewish-Ethiopian identity and their self-esteem, Selomon brings back successful Israelis of Ethiopian origin to their old neighborhoods, so that they can talk with the children living there and serve as role models. “The Ethiopian community possesses great power,” he explained. “It’s the same power that enabled us to walk for thousands of kilometers in order to immigrate to Israel. This power needs to be harnessed to the benefit of the Ethiopian community and Israeli society.”

This is a blog post from "Bundle of Love - Immigrants" from our "Support Israel" section. We appreciate every donation. In order to help the Land of Israel and her immigrants see "Support Israel".


Israel Eyes US Presidential Frontrunners

Israel Eyes US Presidential Frontrunners

It’s still early to say who will be the Republican candidate to become American’s next president come next year’s election, but already the topic of Israel is getting major play in the nomination process, and Israelis are taking notice.

Frontrunner Donald Trump and crowd favorite Dr. Ben Carson have been particularly vocal in their support of Israel, and in their harsh criticism of current President Barack Obama over his handling of relations with the Jewish state.

Carson in an interview with Fox News charged that Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran was evidence of his disdain for the Jews and the survival of their national homeland.

“All you have to do,” said Carson, “is, like I have, go to Israel, and talk to average people, on all ends of that spectrum. And I couldn’t find a single person there who didn’t feel that this administration had turned their back on Israel.”

When challenged over whether or not that made Obama anti-Semitic, as Carson suggested, he replied: “I think anything is anti-Semitic that is against the survival of a state that is surrounded by enemies, and by people who want to destroy them. And to sort of ignore that, and to act like everything is normal there, and that these people are paranoid, I think that’s anti-Semitic.”

Carson spoke out strongly against the Iran nuclear deal in July, warning that it puts the “whole country in jeopardy” and represents “a complete lack of common sense.”

In a separate interview with NBC’s Meet the Press, Trump warned that “Israel is in big trouble. Obama has really let Israel down.”

Implementation of the Obama-brokered nuclear deal, according to Trump, means that Iran is “going to be such a wealthy, such a powerful nation. They are going to have nuclear weapons. They are going to take over parts of the world that you wouldn’t believe. And I think it’s going to lead to nuclear holocaust.”

Unfortunately, Trump explained, it will be almost impossible for the next president to just “rip up” the nuclear deal signed by Obama.

Still, if elected, the real estate mogul vowed he would “police that contract so tough that they [the Iranians] don’t have a chance. As bad as the contract is, I will be so tough on that contract.”


Surviving the Obama Presidency and the Iranian Bomb

Surviving the Obama Presidency and the Iranian Bomb

When, in 2012, I authored a cautionary tale about the dangers of a nuclear Iran, I never imagined a U.S. president who would, just a few years later, actively try to strengthen Iran’s geopolitical and financial position while providing international legitimacy to the Iranian nuclear program. But sometimes truth is scarier than fiction.

In my thriller, 35 Israeli submariners must decide what to do after Iran gets the Bomb. In an unexpected twist on fiction, a small group of undecided members of Congress may similarly have to determine the course of history. They represent the last chance for a democracy to reject the nuclear appeasement of the Ayatollahs. There are reportedly 26 Senate Democrats currently in favor of President Obama’s Iran deal, so eight more are needed to sustain Obama’s veto of a Congressional resolution disapproving of the Iran agreement.

But as ineptly negotiated as the Iran agreement is, defeating it would probably be worse, given the political realities. The best possible outcome, at this point, would be a Congressional resolution that rejects the Iran deal but then gets vetoed by Obama. Why? Because if Congress overrides Obama’s veto and defeats the deal, Iran will likely use that as an excuse to abandon whatever limited and temporary constraints it accepted under the agreement. Iran can then – at a time of its choosing – race towards nukes while Obama is still in office, secure in the knowledge that Obama wouldn’t dare to stop Iran militarily. If Obama cowered from enforcing his no-chemical-weapons “red line” against the far weaker Syrian regime in 2013, there is no chance that Obama would militarily confront Iran over its nuclear program (and he essentially admitted as much in an Israeli television interview). Lest anyone doubt Obama’s enforcement laxity, he has already accepted Iran’s brazen violations of existing sanctions.

Incidentally, Obama claimed that “diplomacy” could handle the Syrian chemical weapons threat more effectively than force could, but now ISIS is gassing the Kurds with impunity, which undermines any notion that diplomacy will prevent nuclear abuses. In the Middle East, strength is far more respected than diplomacy, and it’s clear that Obama projects weakness to foes and friends alike. Indeed, senior Iranian military leaders have openly laughed at the emptiness of Obama’s military threats.

Not only will Obama fail to take any military action against Iranian nukes, he will probably thwart any Israeli operations to that effect. The Obama administration reportedly floated the idea of attacking Israeli jets en route to destroy Iran’s nuclear program. Incredibly, Obama’s Iran deal arguably obligates the U.S. to help Iran protect its nuclear program from an Israeli attack.

The Islamic Republic couldn’t have a greater ally in the White House, and therefore would probably exploit a Congressional defeat of the Iran deal in order to race towards a nuclear weapon with impunity.

American Jews would also be harmed by the defeat of Obama’s Iran deal: Obama and his supporters would fuel anti-Semitism by alleging excessive Jewish power even more than they already have, and Jews and Israel would be blamed if Iran abandoned the agreement and dashed towards nukes – particularly if any military conflagration ensued.

As dangerous and risky as it is for Israel to undertake a unilateral military strike on Iran’s hardened and dispersed nuclear sites, such an operation is effectively impossible as long as Obama is in office. During Operation Protective Edge last summer, Obama reminded Israel that he could endanger the tiny state in the middle of war by refusing to resupply its military, and his FAA isolated Israel by imposing a ban on flights to Israel after just thirteen days of conflict (it took about three years of war in Syria for the FAA to take the same action there).

On the diplomatic front, Obama has already threatened to withhold diplomatic support for Israel at the UN on the Palestinian issue, so on the Iranian nuclear issue – his legacy foreign policy “achievement” – he would be far more dangerous to Israel at the UN.

The Obama administration has also leaked highly sensitive information to Israel’s detriment, from Israel’s attacks on Syrian weapons transfers to Hezbollah, to details about Israel’s nuclear program.

In addition to the already abundant evidence of Obama's anti-Israel animus, Michael Oren, Israel’s former Ambassador to the U.S., detailed Obama's hostility towards Israel in his recently published memoir, Ally.

Given the Obama administration's willingness to harm Israel, the Jewish state simply cannot risk a major military operation as long as Obama is in office. Thus, the pro-Iranian nuclear deal is now, thanks to Obama, the only way to stop Iranian nukes until Obama leaves office.

56% of Americans think Congress should reject the deal with Iran, and 60% disapprove of Obama’s handling of the U.S. relationship with Iran, according to the latest CNN/ORC poll. Congressional rejection of the deal will officially reflect these sentiments and undermine the deal’s legitimacy (despite Obama’s subsequent veto) – particularly because Obama purposely rammed the accord through the U.N. Security Council in order to make it a fait accompli that deprives Congress of any meaningful constitutional role in the process.

But if Congress officially rejects Obama’s disastrous deal and it survives only by Obama’s veto, the next president can more legitimately rescind it and – with the help of traditional Mideast allies – stop Iranian nuclear ambitions and hegemony.

Unfortunately, Obama’s policies have made the job of his successor much harder. The next president will face a far stronger and less isolated Iran, economically empowered by a world rushing to do business with the Ayatollahs. Iran’s $150 billion post-sanctions windfall will increase Iranian financial support for terrorist groups (as Obama officials now concede) and boost Iran’s military capabilities (Russia just agreed to sell Iran its advanced, S-300 long-range, surface-to-air missile systems, complicating future missions to destroy Iranian nukes).

Until the 45th president assumes office on January 20, 2017, those concerned about Obama’s reckless and feckless foreign policy and his increasingly imperial presidency need to keep him on the defensive by focusing public attention on Obama administration controversies, many of which involve abuses of power that should interest the mainstream media. The busier Obama is defending his prior excesses, the less he can commit new ones during the rest of his tenure.

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


President of Refugees or Holy Land Celebrity?

President of Refugees or Holy Land Celebrity?

The Palestinian Authority and its collaborators in the mainstream media like to paint the Palestinian-controlled territories as a land oppressed and destitute. But one has only to look at the palatial living standards of the Palestinian leadership to realize something’s fishy.

This week, photos emerged on social media showing the newly completed palace of Palestinian “president” Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah (pictured left). Many commenters could be excused for at first glance thinking this was an artist’s rendition of the historical and grandiose Jewish Temple in Jerusalem.

Plans to construct this princely dwelling were not unknown. Years ago the Palestinian Economic Council for Development & Reconstruction (PECDAR) posted the project details. And in late–2010 Abbas was photographed by the AP as he laid the cornerstone of this new “West Bank” chateau.

But there seemed to be some discrepancies between particulars provided by PECDAR and, well, reality.

First, the Palestinian leadership described the project as a “public facility,” though it is doubtful the average public will ever see its interior. It is listed as a “guest palace,” ostensibly a residence for visiting dignitaries. But that begs two questions: a.) can the cash-strapped Palestinians really afford to be building such lavish “guest houses”?; and b.) if that’s the presidential “guest” palace, what does Abbas’ primary residence look like?!

By way of comparison, here’s a photo of the official, Israeli taxpayer-funded residence of Israel’s prime minister (foreign dignitaries have to stay in a hotel):

The second glaring issue is that PECDAR claims construction of Abbas’ palace was “self-financed.” But as any informed observer knows, the bulk of the Palestinian Authority national budget comes from foreign aid, and even then there’s a huge deficit.

In other words, take a look at the new home your taxes just bought for the head of the PLO!

And, in the meantime, Abbas and his regime are still spending very, very little of that aid to actually boost the Palestinian economy and better the lives of the people he claims to serve.

Several years ago, the Jerusalem Institute of Justice (JIJ) conducted research revealing that since the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1995, the Palestinian Authority had received 25 times more financial aid per capita (considering current inflation) than the citizens of Europe received under the Marshall Plan following World War II.

For those who know their history, the Marshall Plan financially enabled Europe to successfully rebuild following the most devastating war in history.

And yet, having been handed 25 times more cash and resources than post-war Europe, the Palestinian Authority continues to complain of unemployment, a faltering economy and destitute living conditions.

But hey, they’ve got enough to build presidential palaces!


Jewish Pop Star Finds Joy in Jesus

Jewish Pop Star Finds Joy in Jesus

Just as the ‘swinging sixties’ started to gain momentum, a Jewish teenager from the East End of London took the pop world by storm with a string of hits.

Her first – Don’t Treat Me Like a Child – was appropriate enough as Helen Shapiro was only 14 at the time (1961) and it reached No 3 in the charts.

By early 1963 she was bigger than The Beatles – for a time. They actually accompanied her on a tour of the UK as her support act; she was the main attraction.

She recalls with affectionate nostalgia the banter she shared on the bus with John, Paul, George and Ringo. And it was during this tour, in February 1963, that Please, Please Me became the Fab Four’s first No 1.

Helen also made No 1 around this time with her classic upbeat number Walking Back to Happiness, but says the lyrics of the song were not fulfilled until August 26 1987 – over twenty years later – when she found Jesus!

That was 28 years ago almost to the day, as she told an audience in South Elmsall, near Doncaster, Yorkshire, on Saturday night.

And for someone who associated Christians with persecutors of her people, it was quite an amazing turnaround.

She had been confused and upset when, as a child in the school playground, someone yelled at her: “You killed Jesus Christ!”

[This is a common misconception about Jews, especially among those untutored in the Scriptures, which make it clear that Christ had to die as the spotless Lamb of God paying for the sins of the world. He had offered himself of his own accord to be nailed to a cross.]

Helen duly developed her own system of beliefs after turning to mediums and spiritists, believing that God was involved in all those things. But then, soon after her 40

th birthday, she no longer believed it and began questioning the very existence of God.

She was in the midst of this crisis when her musical director (who was unaware of it) gave her a book to read, Betrayed by Stan Telchin. It was about a respectable member of a Jewish community who was suddenly faced with a daughter announcing that she believed Jesus was the Messiah of Israel. He duly set out to prove her wrong and ended up becoming a believer himself!

Helen began studying the many prophecies of the promised Messiah in the Jewish Bible (what Christians refer to as the Old Testament) and was astonished at how accurately they seemed to be fulfilled in Jesus (Yeshua in Hebrew). These included references to a virgin birth in Bethlehem while the description of the suffering servant in Isaiah 53 was surely a picture of the crucifixion, despite having been written some 600 years earlier.

“Isaiah 53 was about how He took our sins… I was gobsmacked. And Daniel prophesied that the Messiah had to die before the temple was destroyed. It all seemed to point to Jesus.”

So now she ventured to read “the chunk on the end I’m not supposed to read. And taking my courage in both hands, I opened the New Testament.”

She wondered if she would discover “anti-Jewish poison” in view of the track record of the professing church, which had committed unspeakable crimes against her people. “No wonder we don’t come running towards this Jesus.”

She started at the beginning – Matthew’s gospel – and was surprised to find “the most Jewish thing outside the Old Testament” – the genealogy of Jesus which included a list of all the names from which Messiah must come.

“Did you know the New Testament is Jewish?” she asked the audience. “It was written by Jewish men about the most famous Jew of all, and they were living in the land of Israel according to the Law of Moses.

“Jesus rose up out of the pages to me and I fell in love with him. I was so taken with him. He looked at people’s hearts and saw all the rubbish and yet still loved them. Even in his agony he came out with gracious, comforting words. I saw that he was fulfilling one Messianic prophecy after another.”

Just to make sure the English translators hadn’t twisted anything to suit their purposes, she got hold of a Bible (the Tenach, or Old Testament to Christians) from a Jewish shop to check that it included the same Messianic prophecies.

“Blow me: there they were in all their glory. I was so relieved.”

Back to the New Testament, she read through the four gospels. “By the end of John I knew without a shadow of doubt that Jesus was the fulfilment of every Messianic prophecy; that he was the Jewish Messiah.”

She contacted her musical director and his wife, bombarded them with questions, realised that she had been deceived by her dabbling with the occult and, at 10.30pm on August 26 1987, gave her life to Jesus.

“There were no lightning flashes, but somewhere inside I knew that I knew, and that there was no turning back. The Creator and sustainer of the universe came to live in my life. I didn’t get religion. I got Jesus, and I love him.”

She had one further question and wrote to Stan Telchin, the author of the book that had started things off for her, asking: “Will I stop being Jewish by following Jesus?”

“Of course not,” he replied. “You will be fulfilling your Jewishness. He’s coming back as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah.”

Acknowledging that God still has a plan for the nation of Israel, Helen emphasised that both Jew and Gentile find salvation only through the blood of Jesus.

Though we are born physically, our spirits are dead because of man’s sin and rebellion against God. That’s why we need to be born again.

And God established the system of animal sacrifices to demonstrate that only through the shedding of the blood of an innocent substitute can a sinner be saved.

“They were pointers to the once-for-all sacrifice that Jesus became that day on the cross in Jerusalem when he shed his blood for the sins of the world. That’s why he came.”

_Walking back to happiness _is also the title of Helen’s autobiography, published by Harper Collins.


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British Anti-Zionism Still Marches On

British Anti-Zionism Still Marches On

Anti-Zionists like British Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn, who has been photographed in front of a Hezbollah flag in the past, vehemently deny they are anti-Semites. They have lots of Jewish friends, they say, which proves that they only hate Zionists.

In their progressive minds, irrespective of what Israel actually does, a Jewish state is racist by definition, and therefore justifiably hated. At the same time, public demand for a Jew-free Palestine doesn’t seem to bother people like Corbyn, who will curse Israel while blessing a “state” that, unlike Scotland and Ireland, has never existed.

British antagonism toward Zionism is almost as old as Zionism itself.

Sure, it was Great Britain that first agreed that the recently-conquered Ottoman province known as Palestine become once again a national homeland for the Jewish people. But this decision met strong domestic opposition from the outset, and was effectively annulled by Neville Chamberlain’s infamous 1939 White Paper.

Appeasing an Arab world that at the time was looking to the Nazis to free them from British rule, and thereby harming Allied interests, became the pretense for transforming the UK’s subtle antagonistic attitude toward the Jewish people into official policy.

The White Paper aimed at ending Jewish immigration to Mandatory Palestine and partitioning the area originally designated for a Jewish state, which also included Jordan, into small discontiguous areas within what is now the State of Israel. This new policy had made the prospect of a Jewish state practically impossible.

Though the British White Paper policy finally collapsed in 1948, its spirit remained alive.

Corbyn represents the strata of British society that has always resented Zionism – essentially a movement to realize the Balfour Declaration – and has used excuses like appeasement or the new, more “sexy” cause of human rights to cleanse their conscience of otherwise indefensible behavior.

Whatever grudges those like Corbyn hold against Zionism, the root of it was and remains anti-Semitism. Otherwise, emphatically Muslim states like Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the envisioned “Palestine” would have long ago been on the receiving end of their self-righteous anger.


Israeli Farmers Look to Marijuana as Cash Crop

Israeli Farmers Look to Marijuana as Cash Crop

Israel is busy sorting out regulation for offshore natural gas reserves that are expected to be a boon for the local economy, while some argue that medical cannabis offers the Jewish state an even bigger financial opportunity.

Earlier this month, the Israel Loss Adjusters Association (ILAA) held a conference to discuss how Israel’s farmers could benefit from the growing global market for medical cannabis.

“The US cannabis market stands at $35 billion a year,” noted ILAA Chairman Doron Havkin. “Are we able to give up revenues from this market?”

Havkin argued that the government could help the stumbling agricultural sector in the arid Arava Valley in southern Israel by declaring it a closed zone for growing export-oriented medical cannabis. The nearly 6,000 acres of land, he said, were waiting for such a development.

Dr. Tamir Gadot, CEO of pro-medical cannabis agricultural association Breath of Life, explained that if Israel grew pot instead of peppers, the economy would be the biggest beneficiary.

“The economic potential of growing Big Cannabis is greater than that of [natural] gas,” he said.

Ernst and Young estimated the economic worth of Israel’s gas reserves at $52 billion. Israel’s agricultural exports currently amount to around $2.5 billion, primarily in the sale of flowers and oranges. But medical marijuana would sell for much more, and could outstrip natural gas exports in a matter of 10 years.

Amos Regev, an ILAA’s appraiser, warned that if Israel did not take action soon, it would missing the boat on medical cannabis. “If we don’t do this, somebody else will do it instead of us.”

There is also a growing local market.

Last month, Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman announced that medical marijuana will eventually be available at regular Israeli pharmacies for patients with a doctor’s prescription like any other drug; and the number of physicians who are authorized to prescribe cannabis to patients would increase.

“Today there are about 20,000 patients in Israel and almost everyone has a relative who because of their medical situation needed cannabis,” said Aharon Lutzky, CEO of Tikun Olam, the largest grower of medical marijuana in Israel. “In Israel there is a potential for 100,000 consumers.”

Still, recreational use and the private growing of marijuana remains illegal in Israel.

Three men were arrested last week after being caught growing marijuana in a cemetery in central Israel. The suspects told police that they did not know anything about the marijuana and were in the cemetery to volunteer to clean up gravestones.


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Obama Trying to Shame Israel?

Obama Trying to Shame Israel?

While it flew somewhat under the radar of the mainstream news cycle, the Obama Administration last week apparently tried to shame Israel into supporting its dangerous Iran nuclear deal by declassifying historic documents regarding the Jewish state’s own nuclear program.

Many saw it as no accident that the Nixon-era State Department documents were made public just as Israel is leading the charge to have Obama’s Iran nuclear agreement defeated in Congress.

The release of the 1,100-page official report, which covers meetings from 1969–1976, would seem to be an effort to draw moral equivalency between Israel and Iran, and between America’s approach to both nations’ respective nuclear programs.

Most notably, a July 19, 1969 memorandum from then-national security adviser Henry Kissinger to President Richard Nixon outlined the proposed approach to Israel, and highlighted disagreement between the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Department of Defense, and State Department on what demands to present the Jewish state.

All involved agreed that Israel must be made to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

“Everyone agreed that, as a minimum, we want Israel to sign the NPT. This is not because signing will make any difference in Israel’s actual nuclear program because Israel could produce warheads clandestinely,” the memo said. “Israel’s signature would, however, give us a publicly feasible issue to raise with the Israeli government — a way of opening the discussion. It would also publicly commit Israel not to acquire nuclear weapons.”

The Joint Chiefs of Staff “felt that if Israel’s program becomes known, we should be in a position to say we did everything in our power to prevent Israel from going nuclear,” while the Department of Defense felt that “we could live with the existence of Israeli nuclear weapons provided they were not deployed.”

The State Department, meanwhile, believed “we should try to keep Israel from going any further with its nuclear weapons program — it may be so close to completion that Israel would be willing — and make a record for ourselves of having tried.”

The Obama White House claimed the release of the documents was routine declassification that just happened to coincide with debate over the Iran deal.

But many say it is even more cause for concern that the Obama Administration and the West intend to do very little to actually stop Iran from attaining nuclear weapons.

The content of the documents would suggest that, just as it did with Israel, when Iran goes nuclear the White House will simply throw up its hands and say, “We tried.”

Except, Iran isn’t Israel, and trying to subtly draw moral equivalence between the two again demonstrates for many the moral bankruptcy of America’s policies.


Palestinians Ethnically Cleansed, But Not By Israel

Palestinians Ethnically Cleansed, But Not By Israel

Many Palestinians captured by Shiite militias in Iraq have been brutally tortured and forced to “confess” to their alleged involvement in terrorism, according to Palestinian researcher Abu al-Walid.

That has led to the exodus of 19,000 out of the 25,000 Palestinians who lived in Iraq up until recently.

“It is no secret that most of the Arab countries have long been mistreating their Palestinian brethren by subjecting them to a series of Apartheid-like discriminatory laws and regulations that often deny them basic rights,” writes Palestinian-Israeli investigative journalist Khaled Abu Toameh.

“In countries such as Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt,” he notes, “Palestinians are treated as second and third class citizens, a fact that has forced many of them to seek better lives in the U.S., Canada, Australia and various European countries.”

The situation is even worse in war-torn Syria, from which a much larger number of Palestinians have fled in the past three years.

“Not only do the Arab countries despise the Palestinians, they also want them to be the problem of Israel alone,” continues Abu Toameh. “That is why, since 1948, Arab governments have refused to allow Palestinians permanently to settle in their countries and become equal citizens. Now these Arab countries are not only denying Palestinians their basic rights, they are also killing and torturing them, and subjecting them to ethnic cleansing.”

What the Arab journalist finds “most interesting” is the “complete indifference displayed by international human rights organizations, the media and the Palestinian Authority toward the mistreatment of Palestinians in Arab countries.”

He is left to derisively conclude that “the UN and other international bodies have obviously not heard of the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in the Arab world [because] they too are so obsessed with Israel that they prefer not to hear about the suffering of Palestinians under Arab regimes.”


COMMENTARY: Are We Witnessing the Conclusion to Story of the Prodigal Son?

COMMENTARY: Are We Witnessing the Conclusion to Story of the Prodigal Son?

If you recall, when Yeshua (Jesus) ended his famous parable (Luke 15), the older brother was still having a hissy-fit. And the father, who had organized a wonderful homecoming celebration for his younger brother “who was lost and has been found,” was desperately trying to talk him into joining the party. But the older boy was having none of it. He couldn’t understand how his father could have a party for that worthless, no-good brother of his when he had served so faithfully and nobody had ever thrown him a party.

And that’s where Yeshua left us. Wondering if the older son would ever understand and receive his father’s unconditional love. Or if the two brothers would ever reconcile.

Well, after 2000 years, we may be watching the conclusion to this parable unfold before our eyes. And it seems headed for a happy ending. Of course, what happened to the angry older brother in the interim, sad to say, was pretty devastating. In fact, he ended up in the same pitiful homeless situation his younger brother had experienced. I know that because the parable was clearly a prophecy about to be fulfilled. And hindsight tells the tale.

The older brother surely represents the Jews. And Yeshua was revealing how his own brethren would react when Father God began to bring Gentiles (the Prodigal) into the house. They’d go ballistic. Why? Because the Jews, who had been dutifully following God’s commandments, believed righteousness was the reward for their diligence. Seeing un-kosher Gentiles, who didn’t know Moses from Adam, claiming they’d been forgiven and declared righteous through faith in Yeshua pushed them right over the edge.

History records how the older brother’s hardened heart soon drove him from the Father’s estate. And how the brothers’ relationship went from bad to worse. In fact, there was a complete role reversal. The Prodigal (now called “Christian”) began to consider himself the favorite son and persecuted his older brother, driving him further away from knowing his Father’s love.

Centuries passed. Then two miracles occurred.

First, the older brother was allowed to return home from his bitter exile. Secondly, the younger brother came to his senses again and remembered the unconditional love and mercy he had been shown. Yes, suddenly, we saw how poorly we’d been treating our older brother. And we wept bitter tears. And began to love again.

So here we are today. Two brothers, separated for centuries by jealousy and persecution, trying to trust one another again. Still not on the same page, but letting the mutual worship of our Father in Heaven and desire to see Israel restored heal our self-inflicted wounds. The story is almost complete.

In Yeshua’s parable, we know the father wanted to celebrate with both sons. But only the forgiven son had reason to rejoice. That tells me this unconditional love we have been given for our embattled brother is a preparation for him to enter God’s “covenant of peace.”

Which means Abba is about to throw a huge party – this time for the two of us!

“How good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity” (Ps. 133:1).


The Jesus Trail

The Jesus Trail

There are plenty of hiking trails all over Israel but one of them is unique. It is the Jesus Trail created by the State of Israel specifically for Christian pilgrims! Israel Today's Carolin Wendt toured the 38-mile.

The full article appears in the August 2015 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
CLICK HERE to read it all


Sarcastic Israeli Minister Lauds World's 'Brilliance'

Sarcastic Israeli Minister Lauds World's 'Brilliance'

Israeli National Infrastructures Minister Yuval Steinitz (pictured) on Wednesday congratulated the international community on its “innovative and out-of-the-box thinking” in permitting Iran to self-inspect its own nuclear facilities.

“One can only wonder if the Iranian inspectors will also have to wait 24 days before being able to visit the site and look for incriminating evidence?” Steinitz added.

The facetious remarks came in response to news that the UN watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), had reached what many saw as a face-saving arrangement with Iran whereby the latter will provide its own experts to inspect sites like Parchin, a sprawling and particularly sensitive nuclear facility near Tehran.

Parchin is effectively run by Iran’s hard-line Islamic Revolutionary Guards, and is one of the sites that the IAEA, among others, previously suspected of being involved in the early production of nuclear weapons.

The Iranian regime had in recent weeks repeatedly made clear that the terms of the Obama-brokered nuclear deal notwithstanding, it would be setting the rules for any nuclear inspections on Iranian soil.

The White House tried to downplay the reports, telling France’s AFP news agency that it had “every confidence” in the IAEA and its approach to Iran.


Blog: Ayala Shapira fullfills her dream

Blog: Ayala Shapira fullfills her dream

In December 2014, the then eleven year-old, Ayala Shapira became a victim of an arson attack when Arab terrorists threw a firebomb on the family car while Ayala and her father were on their way home close to Ma'ale Shomron in Samaria. In the attack, Ayala suffered from severe burns as 40 percent of her face and upper body were burned. The brave Ayala, during her stay in hospital, was so touched seeing other children that had lost their hair due to cancer, that she motivated her friends to donate their hair for wigs.

In March of this year, in her first interview after the attack, Ayala stated that it was her dream to visit the the holiest site in Judaism, the Temple Mount. The Bat Mitzvah ceremony signifies that a Jewish girl has reached the age where they are accountable for their own actions, instead of their parents, and that they are responsible for their own observance of the Jewish commandments.

In June, shortly before her Bat Mitzvah, Ayala was transferred from the Sheba Tel Hashomer Medical Center's burn unit to a children's general ward at the hospital. The now 12 year-old fulfilled her dream and, in honor of her Bat Mitzvah, physicians gave their green light for Ayala’s trip to ascend the Temple Mount, together with her family.

This is a blog post from "The Children are the Future" from our "Support Israel" section. We appreciate every donation. In order to help the Land of Israel and her children see "Support Israel".


What Iran Will Do With Obama Deal Money

What Iran Will Do With Obama Deal Money

The Iran nuclear deal brokered by the Obama Administration is going to provide the Islamic Republic with a financial windfall, and, if criticisms prove accurate, fail to prevent it from developing atomic weapons.

Just what is Iran going to do with all that new money once sanctions are lifted?

Well, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei suggested that the first item on his spending list is to bolster the terrorist forces operating against Israel.

“We spare no opportunity to support anyone #FightingTheZionists,” Khamenei wrote on his official Twitter account this week.

Days later, the following propaganda video produced by the Islamic Revolution Design House, an outfit with ties to the Iranian regime, was posted to the Internet:

In the animated short, terrorists bearing the insignias of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, Hezbollah and Hamas can be seen readying for a final mass assault against Jerusalem.

The video ends with a message echoing the dictate of former Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini:

“Israel must be erased from the annals of history, and the youth will definitely see that day when it comes.”

Earlier this month, US Secretary of State John Kerry said he wasn’t sure Iran really wanted to wipe Israel off the map, as its leaders have so often publicly threatened to do. The above video would seem to indicate that Kerry has his head in the sand.


Hamas: We Captured Dolphin Spying for Israel!

Hamas: We Captured Dolphin Spying for Israel!

Once again, Israel’s Arab enemies have caught the Jewish state red-handed utilizing animals as spies and assassins.

Sources in Gaza reported on Wednesday that Hamas a few weeks ago captured a dolphin that was equipped with advanced surveillance devices.

According to the report, the dolphin was tracked and nabbed by the “naval commando” unit of Hamas’ military forces, the same unit that during last summer’s Gaza war infiltrated southern Israel via the sea only to be wiped out by Israeli soldiers guarding a coastal village.

The Palestinian newspaper Al Quds reported that the Hamas commandoes became wary when they spotted the dolphin making “suspicious movements” just outside the Gaa port.

If their account is to be believed, the dolphin was sent by Israel to film the training of Hamas naval commandoes.   More than that, Palestinian officials claimed the dolphin was also carrying some sort of dart gun that could have wounded or killed member of the Hamas unit.

The dolphin was dragged onto a Gaza beach for “inspection,” but its ultimate fate is unknown.

Over the years there has been no shortage of claims from Arab media that Israel has somehow managed to make the beasts of the wild do its bidding. Most famously, voices from Egypt in 2010 accused Israel’s Mossad spy agency of sending a killer shark to attack tourists in the Sinai Peninsula.


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Obama's An Anti-Semite, Charges US Presidential Candidate

Obama's An Anti-Semite, Charges US Presidential Candidate

As was to be expected, the fate and future of tiny Israel has become a central issue in the upcoming presidential election in the world’s leading superpower, America.

Two front-running Republican candidates at the weekend lambasted President Barack Obama over his mistreatment of Israel, calling the current administration’s policies anti-Semitic and an existential threat to the Jewish state.

Retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson in an interview with Fox News charged that Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran was evidence of his disdain for the Jews and the survival of their national homeland.

“All you have to do,” said Carson, “is, like I have, go to Israel, and talk to average people, on all ends of that spectrum. And I couldn’t find a single person there who didn’t feel that this administration had turned their back on Israel.”

His Fox interviewers wondered how that made Obama an anti-Semite, to which Carson replied:

“I think anything is anti-Semitic that is against the survival of a state that is surrounded by enemies, and by people who want to destroy them. And to sort of ignore that, and to act like everything is normal there, and that these people are paranoid, I think that’s anti-Semitic.”

At the same time, controversial real estate mogul, and currently the leading Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump was telling NBC’s Meet the Press that “Israel is in big trouble. Obama has really let Israel down.”

He was referring to the much-maligned Obama-brokered Iran nuclear agreement, which, according to Trump, is going to enable to Islamic Republic to become “such a wealthy, such a powerful nation. They are going to have nuclear weapons. They are going to take over parts of the world that you wouldn’t believe. And I think it’s going to lead to nuclear holocaust.”

Unfortunately, as Trump explained, now that the agreement is out there, it will be nearly impossible for the next president, whomever it may be, to simply “rip up” the contract.

Even so, Trump vowed that if elected he would “police that contract so tough that they [the Iranians] don’t have a chance. As bad as the contract is, I will be so tough on that contract.”


VIDEO: Messianic Soldier Shares Induction As IDF Medic

VIDEO: Messianic Soldier Shares Induction As IDF Medic

Our favorite Israeli Messianic soldier is back with a video sharing his recent induction as a combat medic in the IDF.

In the video, Hananya Naftali translates into English the oath every IDF medic must swear upon his or her induction.

As part of the oath, IDF medics vow to “lend a helping hand” to any and all, “be they friend or foe.”

We have certainly seen this demonstrated by IDF medics who don’t hesitate to provide life-giving assistance to Palestinian terrorists and Syrian jihadists, despite the fact that those patients would love nothing more than to see Israel burn.

Naftali notes that he and fellow graduating medics discussed this part of the oath in depth. “Some had trouble accepting” the need to offer the same help to friend or foe, he explains. “But these are the rules of the IDF, and we have to submit to orders. It just shows the humanity of the [Israeli] army, which is amazing, in my eyes.”

Another poignant portion of the oath echoes the Bible in promising to “be my brother’s keeper.”

Watch the video:


COMMENTARY: If Jews and Christians Share Same Roots, Aren’t We in Same Tree?

COMMENTARY: If Jews and Christians Share Same Roots, Aren’t We in Same Tree?

You often hear Christians say they’ve discovered the Hebraic roots of their faith. Yet so much teaching today insists God is putting Gentile followers of Yeshua into one “tree,” and Jews into another. But does that line up with Paul’s figurative example in Romans 11?

Using a cultivated olive tree for his model, Paul terms the Jews “natural branches” in this tree. And the grafted-in Gentiles as ‘wild olive branches” taken from an uncultivated tree. So we do start out in different trees. But his point is, that except for those Jews who were cut off for unbelief, we are all now in the same tree through faith in Messiah Yeshua! And that all who abide in him, both Jewish and non-Jewish, are being nourished by the same holy Abrahamic root. “For he himself is our peace who made both groups into one…so that in himself he might make the two into one new man.” (Eph. 2:14,15).

Of course, Paul tells us God is not finished with His horticultural project. Future Jewish descendants will also be given the grace to believe in Yeshua, just as the Gentiles were, and be quickly grafted back into their own tree. At the same time he warns the new Gentile transplants not to be arrogant towards the unbelieving “natural branches,” or they’ll suffer the same fate. Snip, snip!

So why do so many Christians still think the Lord has two trees?

One major contributing factor is the different way the Greek word ecclesia is translated. We know from the Septuagint translation that whenever ecclesia is used for chosen Israel in the Old Testament it is always rendered in English as “congregation” or “assembly.” But when you enter the New Testament it is suddenly translated as “church.” Only when ecclesia refers back to ancient Israel in the NT is it rendered as “congregation/assembly” (see Acts 7:38, Hebrews 2:12 NAS).

Of course, if the King James had retained the first NT translation of ecclesia in English by William Tyndale as “congregation,” and not changed it everywhere to “church,” it would be consistent throughout the Bible. And clearer to all that God only had one chosen remnant from Genesis to Revelation. For what is the NT ‘church’ of Jesus Christ, but the continuation of the OT ‘church’ made righteous?

As for Paul’s olive tree….ever notice all the branches are the same type? That Paul didn’t describe the grafted-in Gentiles as coming from a fig tree? Or a horse chestnut? Jews and Gentiles are both olive branches! The only difference is the Jewish branches had been cared for. While we who were Gentile had been growing wild until the Gardener saw fit to feed us with faith and transplant us.

Which raises this question: Were we once under His loving care also but ‘let go’ for some reason? Can you think of any time in Israel’s earlier history when the Lord disowned a large number of Abraham’s family with the promise He’d graft us back in one day under Messiah?

No? Consider 2 Kings 18:9-12, Hosea 1:10,11 and Ezekiel 37:15-28.


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Israel Prepares Possible Invasion of Syria

Israel Prepares Possible Invasion of Syria

Israeli forces in the north of the country have for the past several months been laying plans for the possible small-scale invasion of neighboring Syria, reported Israel’s Ynet news portal.

According to Israeli army assessments, Iran is equipping Islamist forces in western Syria, including the Lebanese terrorist militia Hezbollah, with the intent of opening a new front against the Jewish state on the Golan Heights.

In the scenarios envisioned by the IDF, heavily-armed terrorist cells would infiltrate the Israeli side of the Golan and attack Jewish and Druze villages there, necessitating a strong Israeli response in Syria.

Another possibility is that one of the various jihadists groups taking place in Syria’s ongoing civil war could find itself in a desperate situation and launch a major attack against Israel in hopes of drawing the IDF into the fray.

There is also the matter of the large Druze population in south-western Syria. Al Qaeda-linked jihadists have been making advances on the Druze-controlled areas in recent weeks, and the many Druze living in and loyal to Israel have beseeched the Jewish state to intervene militarily on behalf of their brothers, should the need arise.

In our August 2015 issue, Israel Today explored the possibility that Israel’s borders could soon extend further east as it looks to protect the Druze and other non-hostile populations that are today threatened by the Islamists.


The Obtrusive Voice of Yisrael Aumann

The Obtrusive Voice of Yisrael Aumann

CORRECTION: Israel Today wants to correct the impression in the following article that David Goldman is post-Zionist. Though the original interview does create this impression, Goldman by his own admission is a Zionist who deeply respects Professor Yisrael Aumann.

Brilliant as he is, we would have not heard of Yisrael Robert Aumann (85) if it wasn't for the Nobel Prize he received in 2005 for his work on conflict resolution through game-theory analysis.

One would think that after his outstanding achievement had been awarded with the highest honor, Israelis would treat Aumann with a corresponding level of respect. But Aumann is religious and conservative, two traits detested by most Israeli journalists.

Nevertheless, since ignoring Aumann following his recognition in 2005 is no longer an option, the media does reluctantly allow his voice to be heard. That's why one might incidentally come across a 2014 interview he gave to David (Dudi) Goldman, who simply couldn't hide his disdain for Aumann's political views.

The leading paragraph sets the tone for the entire interview:

"The real danger," says Aumann, "is not Hamas, and not the rising European hate toward Israel, but our resilience, and the more the numbers of anti-Zionists increase so our resilience weakens."

Goldman believes that Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas has waved the "right of return" of Palestinian refugees to Israel as a condition for peace, which makes him hopeful that the conflict could be resolved if only Israel would agree to the two-state solution.

For Aumann, this is a delusional, wishful thinking:

"Nonsense," he retorts. "Not a single Palestinian waves the right of return. Abbas's position," he alerts Goldman, "is a diversion tactic. Among themselves, Palestinians continue to talk about returning to Haifa, Jerusalem, Ramleh [a town near Ben Gurion airport]."

Goldman also supports Europe's negative attitude toward Israel stemming from the view that the Palestinians are "natives" under the thumb of Israeli "colonialists."

Such a view shocks the professor.

"What you are saying is horrific," returns Aumann. "Your approach is disastrous, since it means that we are colonialists, and we are not. Do you know that in 1885 Jews in Jerusalem were the vast majority? The tragedy is that there are still Israelis, like you, who think in terms of natives. If this is the case, we have no business being here."

Post-Zionists like Goldman, insists Aumann, "are extremely dangerous because they undermine the moral justification of our existence. If the post-Zionists are right, then [people like] Helen Thomas [who famously told the Jews to 'get the hell out of Palestine'] are right, and we should start packing and give the keys to Abbas and [Hamas leader Ismail] Haniya."

Following Israel's most recent elections it has become clearer than ever why the "Goldmans" marginalize the "Aumanns."

No matter how brilliant the latter may be, Zionists or pro-Zionists are perceived by a growing number of people as primitive and slow-minded.

Post-Zionists, on the other hand, are seen as rational, educated and enlightened. Posturing themselves as such, post-Zionists, along with radical Muslims and Western liberals, have successfully justified hatred toward Israel and framed the conflict in the cosmological terms of a battle between light and darkness.

Aumann, however, insists that this image of "angels of light" hides a sinister agenda that has nothing to do with peace or light.

Myriad people around the globe don't have the time or knowledge to decide who's telling the truth, who is right and who is wrong. They therefore rely more than anything else on the contenders' reputation.

In the Aumann-Goldman skirmish, reputation tilts strongly toward the one decorated with a Nobel Prize, which is why his voice ought to be presented as obtrusive in a liberal media landscape.


COMMENTARY: A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance

COMMENTARY: A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance

There is a season for everything under heaven, according to the wisdom of Solomon. And I’m specifically thinking of his dictum that there’s “a time to mourn and a time to dance”. (Ecclesiastes 3.4)

Black clouds of impending doom are swooping down upon us all, and especially on God’s ancient people, but the rainbow of ultimate peace also lies ahead, and we should not be too downhearted.

On September 14 there will be much rejoicing as Jews everywhere celebrate their New Year in a month set to witness some quite extraordinary, even alarming, events connected with the future of Israel. I will look at these in a moment.

We have just marked a time of mourning for Israel – a date known as the 9th of Av in the Jewish calendar (July 25 this year) which brings back bad memories of a past which has seen so many attempts to annihilate the Jewish nation.

For it was on this date that the First Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC. And it was on the very same day 656 years later – in 70 AD – that the Romans destroyed the Second Temple. The Jews subsequently rebelled against their occupiers, but were brutally butchered in 133 AD – again on the 9th of Av – after which they were dispersed to all four corners of the earth.

This included England, from which they were expelled in 1290 AD – on the 9th of Av. Then in 1492 they were expelled from Spain and given four months to put their affairs in order and leave the country, the deadline for which was the 9th of Av.

Then came World War II and the Holocaust, said by historians to have been the long drawn-out conclusion of World War I, which broke out on the 9th of Av. And, it is said, the first gas chambers were put into use on the very same day of the year!

Understandably, the Jewish people have much to mourn. And our duty as Christians, grafted into the Olive Tree of God’s chosen people (Romans 11:11-24), is to love them, stand with them and pray for them.

A series of significant events are scheduled for September, starting with the New Year celebrations perhaps. The Pope will be visiting the White House to meet with the President on the holiest day of the Jewish Year (Yom Kippur, September 23). And a super-sized blood-red moon will shine over Jerusalem on September 28 during the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot). This will be the last of four successive blood moons (known as a tetrad) to coincide with the main Jewish feasts of Passover and Sukkot in 2014 and 2015, a rare occurrence last witnessed in 1967 when, as a result of the Six-Day War, the Old City of Jerusalem came under Israeli control for the first time in 2,000 years.

In addition, the United Nations are said to be planning to declare a Palestinian state without Israel’s consent or input and there is also, of course, the ongoing threat of Hamas and Hezbollah along with that of a potentially nuclear-armed Iran whose leaders have made no bones about their intention to “wipe Israel off the map”. The recent deal negotiated with the big powers is, at best, only putting off the evil day rather than neutralizing a dangerous rogue state.

In the light of this, an 800-year-old rabbinic commentary is most revealing. Known to the Jewish world as the Yalkut Shimoni, it has been translated by Rabbi Nachman Kahana, a specific portion of which says:

“Paras (Persia-Iran) will be the dread of humanity. The world’s leaders will be frustrated in their futile efforts to save what they can, but to no avail. The people of Yisrael will also be petrified by the impending danger. And HaShem (the Lord) will say to us, ‘Why are you afraid? All of this I have done in order to bring you the awaited redemption. And this redemption will not be like the redemption from Egypt, which was followed by suffering. This redemption will be absolute, followed by peace.”

Various Jewish rabbis are now sensing that their Messiah is soon to come. The day is surely not far off when beleaguered Israel will recognize the One who has loved them with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31.3) and who is destined to reign from Jerusalem for a thousand years of perfect peace (Revelation 20.4).

Jesus told his disciples that his coming would follow an unprecedented period of distress after which “the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light”. (A total solar eclipse occurred in the midst of the current tetrad of blood moons).

“At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory,” he said. (Mark 13.24-26)

I am indebted for much background to David Soakell of Christian Friends of Israel and to Kolyah, a correspondent in the know who wishes to keep a low profile for security reasons.


Israel's Media Controlled by Gays, Warns Lawmaker

Israel's Media Controlled by Gays, Warns Lawmaker

Homosexuality and the gay community in general wouldn’t garner nearly so much attention or enjoy such a strong level of legitimization in the Jewish state without the grip that homosexuals and their supporters have on the local media.

That according to Bezalel Smotrich, an outspoken Member of Knesset from the right-wing Jewish Home party.

In an interview with Israel Radio last week, Smotrich asserted that “there are a whole lot of prominent figures in the Israeli media, those who have the microphone, and they determine for all of us what to think and what to say.”

Earlier, he had referred to the recent gay pride parade in Jerusalem as the “abomination parade.”

Smotrich explained that for a very long time he had wrestled with why homosexuality had become such a prominent issue in Israel when, “after all, I’m convinced that 95 percent of Israeli citizens would very much want their children to start wonderful families and give them grandchildren.”

The vast majority, nearly all, of Israelis want their child to be “a healthy person, a normal person,” insisted the lawmaker.

Smotrich said the answer to his conundrum lies in the fact that the gay community can today list among its members and supporters “many dozens of the most dominant figures” in society.

“These people possess an immense power in the ability to shape our perceptions,” he noted. “So, naturally, they won’t listen to an opinion like mine and they cut me off after a quarter of a sentence, and I come out looking bad because I can’t explain myself.”


Could Israel's Borders Expand East?

Could Israel's Borders Expand East?

Might Israel be compelled to send the IDF to protect the beleaguered Druze population in Syria? Could Israel’s borders expand to the east to include these new lands and population?

The full article appears in the August 2015 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
CLICK HERE to read it all


Hamas Admits Israel Not Guilty of Gaza Water Crisis

Hamas Admits Israel Not Guilty of Gaza Water Crisis

Israel is often blamed for all woes befalling the Palestinian Arabs. One of the favorite accusations is that Israel takes most of the region’s water for its Jewish citizens, while leaving the Arabs with far too little of this precious resource.

But a Hamas-run newspaper recently featured an investigative report revealing that the water crisis in Gaza, at least, cannot be blamed on the Jewish state, after all.

In surveying the agricultural lands abandoned in the wake of Israel’s 2005 withdrawal from Gaza, the Al-Risalah newspaper found that today’s Palestinian farmers were using up to six times more water than the previous Jewish tenants.

In the areas encompassing the former Gaza Jewish communities, a total of 20 wells had been dug up until 2005 to tap into the area’s water table. These wells pumped an average of 20–30 cubic meters of water per hour for use by the Jewish farmers and their villages.

The Hamas publication reported that there are now, since the departure of the Jews, no fewer than 110 wells in the area pumping anywhere between 120–200 cubic meters of water per hour.

Considering these figures, is it any wonder Gaza’s water table is in serious danger of becoming unusable?

PHOTO: A Palestinian child seeks fresh drinking water.


Blog: The Dead Sea

Blog: The Dead Sea

The Dead Sea, a unique gift of nature with healing minerals, serves as a natural oasis of wellness and a source of health and beauty.

The Dead Sea is known for its extremely salty and mineral-rich water. The minerals have a healing effect on skin diseases such as eczema or psoriasis.

The Hebrew name "Yam HaMelach" from the Old Testament means "Salt Sea".

The Dead Sea covers an area of approximately 900 square kilometers and is a terminal lake in a drainless Valley situated between Jordan and Israel.

The climate in the Dead Sea valley is sunny all year round with low humidity. The average temperature in summer is 39° C and in winter 20° C. The water temperature ranges between 19 and 31° C.

The Dead Sea is one of the world's saltiest bodies of water with a salinity of about 34.2% compared to the the salinity of the Mediterranean at about 3.8%.

The most commonly found minerals in the Dead Sea are anhydrous chlorides with a weight percentage basis of, calcium chloride (CaCl2) 14.4%, potassium chloride (KCl) 4.4%, magnesium chloride (MgCl2) 50.8% and sodium chloride (NaCl) 30.4%. In comparison, the salt in the water of most oceans and seas is approximately 85% sodium chloride. The concentration of sulfate ions (SO42−) is very low, and the concentration of bromide ions (Br−) is the highest of all waters on Earth. The waters also contain lose-degrading anaerobic bacteria resulting in its therapeutic properties.

In the last few decades the level of the Dead Sea has been dropping at the disturbing rate of approx. 1 meter per year. This tendency is as a result of reduced inflow to the Dead Sea from the Jordan River as a result of large-scale irrigation along the Jordan valley and generally low rainfall.

This is a blog post from "Plant the Holy Land" from our "Support Israel" section. We appreciate every donation. In order to help the Land of Israel and her residents see "Support Israel".

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Jews and Arabs Living in Peace and Love

Jews and Arabs Living in Peace and Love

The ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Romema on Jerusalem’s northern side played host on Sunday to a touching example of Jews and Arabs living together and interacting in peace, love and mutual respect.

The story begins last October, when a Palestinian Arab terrorist rammed his vehicle into a crowd of people waiting at the light rail station at Jerusalem’s French Hill junction. Killed in the attack was an Ecuadorian tourist and a 3-month-old Jewish baby girl, Chaya Zissel Braun.

Aboard one of the first ambulances to arrive at the scene was Israeli-Arab paramedic Ziad Dawiyat (pictured). As Dawiyat recalled in a statement released by Magen David Adom (the Israeli equivalent of the Red Cross):

“We found the baby girl unconscious and not breathing. We started CPR and transported her in very serious condition to Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus, where, unfortunately, she was declared dead. The parents were with us in the ambulance. They were very confused and did not fully grasp the situation. [The father] was injured in his leg and I remember that he refused any medical attention until his daughter returned, but to my sorrow, she did not return.”

One detail Shmuel Braun did remember from that day, amidst the din and overwhelming grief, was the number 12 emblazoned upon the side of Dawiyat’s ambulance.

The distraught father would later note that every time he saw the number 12 he would remember his daughter and pray that no other parent ever have to feel his pain.

Fast forward 10 months, and the Braun family on Sunday found themselves in immediate need of an ambulance as Chana, the mother, went into heavy labor with their second child.

Minutes after making the call, an ambulance arrived, and Shmuel was shocked to again see that number 12.

Dawiyat said that as he ran up to the family’s apartment, Shmuel was mumbling something about the number 12, but the medic didn’t pay much attention to it, instead focusing on Chana, who was clearly too far along to be moved to a hospital.

Dawiyat and his team sprung into action and delivered the Braun family’s new baby girl right there in the apartment. Only after the birth did Chana suddenly recognize Dawiyat. “I remember you,” she told the medic, who admitted he was at first surprised and confused. “You are the driver who transported us from the terrorist attack with our first daughter,” she continued, as the fog lifted for Dawiyat.

As Dawiyat continued about his business of caring for the new Braun baby, Shmuel “hugged me and kissed me. It was very emotional.”

Dawiyat later transported Shmuel, Chana and their newborn child to a nearby hospital for post-natal care in the same ambulance in which they had taken a far more fateful ride 10 months earlier.

Summing up the remarkable day, Shmuel stated, “We thank the Lord Almighty for everything and for giving us a daughter today.”


COMMENTARY: Is Christian Love for Israel a Passing Fad?

COMMENTARY: Is Christian Love for Israel a Passing Fad?

Many Christian Zionists, when pressed, can’t really explain how they fell in love with Israel. Or why. Over and over you hear them say – “It just happened to me.” One minute they were totally ignorant and uncaring about the Jews and Israel, and the next they were passionate Zionists. Writing letters to newspapers to protest slanderous columns written against Israel. Volunteering to help scrub anti-Semitic graffiti off a local synagogue wall. Attending every pro-Israel rally within driving distance. And trying to figure how they can scrape up enough money to visit Israel.

Often they discover to their dismay they are the only one in their church who cares about Israel. And when they try to explain why Israel matters to fellow congregants they get that same blank stare they got when they told their non-Christian friends they just got saved.

Clearly this awakening of love has a divine origin. Who can explain it? But how will this historic courtship end? Is this love affair as doomed as Romeo and Juliet? Or as short-lived as a Hollywood romance?

One could hardly blame the Jews for not thinking so based on the most popular Christian end-time teaching called the Rapture. How many times have we publicly repented of our silence during the Holocaust? And sworn never to abandon Israel or the Jews again? Yet many Christian Zionists hold to this teaching that promises to fly them off to heaven at the first sign of trouble. Just when Israel needs us the most.

I don’t want to speculate here about how God’s salvation plan will unfold, or when. But if we truly believe Yeshua is the Messiah of Israel, and not just the church’s Christ, then his rescue plan must include “all Israel.” Both Jewish and non-Jewish elect. Which means His last-days salvation plan will somehow bring us alongside Jewish Israel to stand with her. And not leave her in the lurch.

Jesus, Jeremiah and Daniel all described the Great Tribulation as a time of unparalleled anguish that will overpower the whole earth with evil, including Israel. Jeremiah declared, “It is the time of Jacob’s distress!” But then quickly added, “But he will be saved from it!” (Jer. 30:7)

And Daniel told us that that when this “time of distress” occurs Michael will arise to protect the nation and “everyone who is found written in the book shall be rescued.” (Dan. 12:1)

I ask you, we who have come forth from the nations through faith in the Jewish Messiah – are not our names also written in that book ? Is not the title of the book revealed at the end of the Bible to be – “The Lamb’s Book of Life?” (Rev. 21:27)

So I would say this courtship between Jewish Israel and the followers of Yeshua now awakening to the Hebraic roots of our faith will blossom into a full-blown, God-blessed family reunion. And we will all live happily ever after. To which I raise high my glass of Manischewitz, and toast, “L’chaim!” And forward Moses and Paul’s heartfelt wedding congratulations – “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people!” (Rom. 15:10).


Israel Today

Israel Today

Israeli society is hard to decipher. Being at once both intensely secular and intensely religious gives the impression of a society divided beyond hope. The difference between secularists and the religious, however, is not as simple as one might imagine. 

Polls show time and again that secular as Israeli society might be, the vast majority of Israelis believe in God. 

Many who oppose religion continue to eat kosher food, rest on Sabbath and almost all Israelis circumcise their boys. Many from the secular part of society attend synagogues from time to time, and many participate in the ever-growing forums for Torah and Talmudic studies.

The dividing line becomes fuzzier when considering the increasing number of religious people that resist certain aspects of Jewish tradition, and secular people who are turning more religious. Notable among the latter are the many artists who are becoming religious. 

Israeli artists are perceived as left-wing human right activists who oppose religion, occupation and whatever else that is on the menu of the radical left. But Israel's ynet news portal has brought attention to the fact that this is a false impression.  According to Dan Ben-Hakoun, director and producer of the documentary series "Returning Forward," some 50 percent of Israeli artists are in the process of becoming religious.

I recently discovered a most vivid expression of this complex reality while walking down Rabin Street in the center of Tel Aviv. Almost unnoticed, written on a concrete pillar stained with urine, was a graffiti poem entitled "Porn." It spoke of a person yearning for redemption while waiting on the download of an HD porn movie. 

The poem read: "HD quality porn film, weighs four gigabyte, is downloading now. While waiting for the film, there is an expectation of redemption. There is concern. And tension. Sexual tension. Between me and the film, and between the film and myself."

This extreme tension between two opposing forces is experienced by many Israelis today.


Poll: Most Israelis Feel Their Nation is in Danger

Poll: Most Israelis Feel Their Nation is in Danger

The monthly Peace Index survey conducted in late July found that a firm majority of Israeli Jews believe their nation is in serious danger from various security and military threats.

Over 26 percent of respondents described the level of danger to Israel as “very high,” while another 51.4 percent said it was “moderately high.”

Despite this, 26.1 percent of Israelis Jews feel the defense establishment receives enough funding, and 41 percent said the army eats up too much of the national budget. Less than 20 percent said the IDF was under-funded.

The results come amid mounting debate over the US-brokered Iran nuclear agreement, which Israelis from across the political spectrum view as a strategic error that puts the Jewish state at grave risk.


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What's Happening Under the Dome of the Rock?

What's Happening Under the Dome of the Rock?

"What is going on [under the Temple Mount] is outrageous," the chairman of the Israel Antiquities Authority, Israel Hasson, told Israel Today. "Structural changes are being carried out without any consultation with us."

The full article appears in your COMPLEMENTARY July 2015 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
CLICK HERE to read it all


Poll: Most Israelis Own a Bible, Revere the Word of God

Poll: Most Israelis Own a Bible, Revere the Word of God

A survey conducted late last month revealed that nearly all Israeli Jews own a Bible, that most revere it as the holy Word of God, and that nearly half the Jewish population still reads from the Scriptures at least on occasion.

The poll was conducted in the run-up to the “Opening the Tanakh” conference at the Herzog Academic College, which was attended by 7,000 Israelis and foreign visitors who were treated to a wide range of lectures and workshops dealing with the Bible and its place in modern society, especially Israeli Jewish society.

The results, originally published in Israel’s largest daily newspaper Yediot Ahronot, showed that no fewer than 95 percent of all Israeli Jews have a Bible in their home.

A full 68 percent of respondents said they revere the Bible as a “holy book,” and nearly half (42 percent) said they read the Scriptures at least infrequently.

Only 15 percent of Israeli Jews said they never read the Bible, and just 9 percent said they have no connection to the Word of God.

PHOTO: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hosting a Bible study at his official residence in Jerusalem last year. (Flash90)


War and Peace – a Tale of Two Books

War and Peace – a Tale of Two Books

Although originally unintentional, I am planning on an official home town launch of my new book, Peace in Jerusalem, on the anniversary of 9/11. But the timing turns out to be appropriate enough because the narrative provides the answer to the ongoing terrorist threat we all face 14 years on. I will explain that in due course.

As I have said before, the ultimate target on September 11, 2001, was not the Twin Towers, or even America as such, but Israel.

The United States have become fanatical Islam’s ‘Great Satan’ because they are perceived as the backers of the Jewish state – and, of course, they are also home to almost as many Jews as live in Israel; not to mention the fact that more Jews live in New York (two million) than in any other city on the planet, exceeding even Tel Aviv’s 1.6 million.

Now Iran – the world’s chief sponsor of terror – boasts of outwitting America en route to the destruction of Israel, which has long been its much-publicised goal. At least that is said to be the narrative of a new book by Ayatollah Khameini (pictured) – Iran’s supreme leader – which apparently scorns the naivety of politicians who have fallen hook, line and sinker for a ‘deal’ said to make the world a safer place for us all. It is not available in English, by the way.

I’m led to believe that, among the conditions agreed for this ‘deal’, the Iranians are free to choose where and when inspectors can go in efforts to ensure that nuclear weapons are not being developed. [1] In other words, they are being effectively trusted to police themselves, and thus call the shots.

But this is to reckon without the Islamic practice that allows for lying if it furthers the cause of Allah or jihad (holy war).[2]

For example, PLO founder Yasser Arafat agreed to change the organization’s charter calling for Israel’s demise in signing the Oslo Accord of 1993 – and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for doing so! But the charter was never changed.

Similarly with Iran, duplicity and deceit are the tools of their political trade-offs. And their unabashed mantra remains the same – to “wipe Israel off the map”.

To make a pact with a bunch of raving revolutionaries and actually believe they’re going to keep their side of the bargain is foolish in the extreme.

In 1938 British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain was duped into signing a ‘peace’ deal with Hitler – and we all now know that it wasn’t worth the paper on which it was written. Do Messrs Kerry and Obama think they are wiser than Mr Chamberlain?

The truth is that all of us, and the Jewish people in particular, are in at least as much danger now from the ‘new Nazism’ than we were in the lead-up to World War II.

Yet, for all this, ‘Peace in Jerusalem’ is possible and is actually a work in progress as I write – but only through Jesus, the Jewish Messiah. For I have witnessed Arab and Jew embracing one another in love because of their shared experience of Christ who has – in the words of the Apostle Paul – broken down the dividing wall of hostility between them through his sacrificial death on the cross for our sins. (Ephesians 2.14-16)

The biggest problem in our sorry world is not politics, or religion, or looming environmental disaster – but sin. I’m talking about our sin, yours and mine, expressed in the evil deeds which seem to come so naturally to us.

Behind the rage and fury of the ayatollahs is a sinful heart, full of wickedness, which will not be dealt with by appeasing politicians and bureaucrats. Only the blood that was shed by our Lord on the cross of Calvary outside Jerusalem 2,000 years ago can cleanse and unite hearts.

As Jeremiah said so long ago, ‘Woe to those who prophesy peace, when there is no peace’. (Jeremiah 6.14 & 8.11)

[1]: Various sources including Kolyah, a correspondent who wishes to keep a low profile for security reasons

[2]: Tass Saada with Dean Merrill, Once an Arafat Man, Tyndale Publishing, page 197

Peace in Jerusalem is available from olivepresspublisher.com and Amazon.com and will be launched at the Church’s coffee & bookshop on Thorne Road, Doncaster, on September 11 at 7pm.


Rare Archaeological Find Has Israeli Officials Excited

Rare Archaeological Find Has Israeli Officials Excited

Every construction project in Israel must be preceded by a thorough archaeological inspection to ensure nothing of great historical value is being built over. And that is precisely what archaeologists examining the location of a new Jerusalem preschool found.

During the preliminary ground-breaking for the new preschool in Jerusalem’s Arnona neighborhood, officials uncovered the remains of a Jewish ritual bath (mikveh) and adjacent winepress dating back to the time of the Second Temple.

Now, it is not uncommon to find such remains in Jerusalem and elsewhere throughout the country, providing firm evidence of the Jewish people’s ancient connection to this land.

What made the recent discovery so special was the level of preservation of the numerous inscriptions and wall paintings, all of which were written in the Aramaic language using the cursive Hebrew script common at the time.

Moshe Tur-Paz, head of the Education Administration at the Jerusalem Municipality, said that the “archaeological and historical site that was exposed is of tremendous value to our identity as a Jewish people which might shine more light on the lives of our ancestors in the city of Jerusalem. We will maintain contact with the Israel Antiquities Authority and together we will examine how we can give educational and symbolic expression to the discovery that was found.”

Royee Greenwald and Alexander Wiegmann, who are directing the excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, added:

“There is no doubt that this is a very significant discovery Such a concentration of inscriptions and symbols from the Second Temple period at one archaeological site, and in such a state of preservation, is rare and unique and most intriguing.”

The Antiquities Authority quickly removed the inscriptions from the site and began a complicated preservation treatment to protect the fragile remains from damage. Following that process, experts will closely examine the inscriptions and paintings in order to determine their origin and meaning, if any.

The find will be put on display in the future, and construction of the new preschool will soon resume.


Hijacking the Bible for a Palestinian Gospel

Hijacking the Bible for a Palestinian Gospel

The Koran hijacked Abraham, Moses and Jesus by turning them into Muslims. Now, Palestinian Christians are doing the same. In all fairness to Mohammed, however, he never denied the Jews their unique identity.

The full article appears in the August 2015 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
CLICK HERE to read it all


Goliath’s Humongous Gate Found

Goliath’s Humongous Gate Found

An expedition from the Bar Ilan University has discovered the fortifications and giant-sized entrance gate of the biblical city of Gath of the Philistines, home of Goliath. The extraordinary size of the gate was surely enough to make way for the famed giant, though he never did return from meeting David.

Gath was the largest city in Israel during the 10th-9th century BCE, about the time of the "United Kingdom" of Israel. The city is located in the Judean foothills about halfway between Jerusalem and Ashkelon in central Israel.

Prof. Meir Ettinger of the Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology says that the city gate is among the largest ever found in Israel and is evidence of the status and influence of the city of Gath during this period.

Among the various building discovered in the city is an iron production facility large enough to produce the kind of weapons used by Goliath as mentioned in the Bible. The city was eventually conquered and destroyed by Hazael, king of Damascus, around 830 BCE.

The gate of the Philistine city Gath was so impressive that it received mention in I Samuel 21 in the story of David's escape from King Saul to Achish, king of Gath.

Gath is one of the largest tells or ancient ruin mounds in Israel and was settled almost continuously from the 5th millennium BCE until modern times.

Among other significant findings at the site is evidence of an earthquake in the 8th century BCE connected to the earthquake mentioned in the Book of Amos 1:1. There was also found the earliest Philistine inscription ever to be discovered which contains two names similar to the name Goliath. In addition, a large assortment of weapons used by the Philistines were uncovered along with extensive evidence of the capture and destruction of the city by Hazael, as mentioned in 2 Kings 12:18. There is also evidence of the first Philistine settlement in Canaan around 1200 BCE.

And there is more to this giant story…

Scripture tells us that David chose five smooth stones when he went out to meet Goliath (I Samuel 17:40). Was he thinking that he might miss with the first? Or did he think that Goliath would wait for him if he did?

We know that Goliath had four giant brothers called “Lords of the Philistines” in Joshua 13:3. When David goes out to meet the humongous warrior of Gath he knows that he will also need to deal with his oversized brothers. Indeed, the other four Philistine giants eventually do show up in II Samuel 21:22 only to be defeated by David and his men.

David understood that in order to achieve full victory, Israel must cast out all the giants from the land. You cannot deal with just one stronghold (or sin), but must be prepared to go all the way. Better not to cast that first stone only to discover we are in a battle for which we are not prepared.


Christian Attacked by Muslims on Temple Mount

Christian Attacked by Muslims on Temple Mount

A Christian tourist from France was assaulted by Muslims atop Jerusalem’s Temple Mount on Tuesday after waving an Israeli flag at Judaism’s holiest site.

Video footage of the incident showed the Christian man being mobbed by at least four assailants who beat him about the head with stones. His life was likely saved by Israeli police forcibly intervening and escorting the bloodied tourist from site.

The victim was taken to a local hospital and reported to be in stable condition. He now faces charges for disrupting public order. Jews and Christians are forbidden to express their faith in any way, shape or form while visiting the Temple Mount for fear of violent Muslim backlash, just as happened on Tuesday.

Four assailants, including a member of the Islamic Trust that oversees the Temple Mount, were arrested for taking part in the attack on a Christian visitor.

A day later, local Muslim and Arab Christian leaders signed a document asserting that the Jews had no religious or historical connection to the Temple Mount, and therefore should not be permitted to visit the holy site.

The Temple Mount is “purely and exclusively sacred to Muslims,” declared former Jerusalem mufti Sheikh Ekrima Sabri at a press conference presenting the “Blessed Aksa Mosque Document.”

Many local Arab Christian leaders have gone along with and even supported such claims by their Muslim counterparts, despite the fact that the New Testament is full of descriptions of the Temple Mount as a site most holy to the Jewish people, including Yeshua (Jesus) himself (John 2:15–16).


Support Israel's Children

Support Israel's Children

Recently, after a lengthy debate and administrative process, the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, has implemented its proposed reductions to child support payments.

The new ruling is a blow to big families - individual child grants, paid to families with children under the age of 18, have been significantly reduced. The rationale behind the cuts is a drive to encourage parents to work - all very well in theory, but employment is scarce in many areas in Israel, and women in their childbearing years, with young ones at home to take care of, are not usually in a position to take on responsible work with high earnings.

A month of Jewish holidays, and high back-to-school expenses, both loom ahead. Child poverty rates have risen alarmingly in the recent past - something a God-fearing nation cannot allow. Israel Today is committed to alleviate child poverty in Israel.

Click here to donate $29 and you can make an invaluable contribution to a cause close to the heart of God.

It is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:35


Miracles Depend on Our Faith

Miracles Depend on Our Faith

Israel Today's financial director recounts her recent involvement in a Tel Aviv women's support group that taught her we must make ourselves available as conduits for the miraculous.

The full article appears in the August 2015 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
CLICK HERE to read it all


Palestinian Analyst: Gazans Would Welcome Israel Back

Palestinian Analyst: Gazans Would Welcome Israel Back

The following is a guest post by a leading Palestinian analyst and commentator. 

The following are partial counts of building materials that entered Gaza as of July 6, 2015 for the purpose of reconstruction after the devastation of the latest war:

  • 3,281 trucks carrying 131,240 tons of cement;

  • 353 trucks carrying 12,355 tons of steel;

  • 3,380 trucks carrying 135,200 tons of gravel;

  • 276 trucks carrying 11,040 tons of cement for the Qatari projects;

  • 19,628 trucks carrying 785,120 tons of gravel for the Qatari projects.

It is clear from these counts that the Gaza regime was able to coordinate and obtain the approval of the Israeli side to allow into Gaza 142,280 tons of cement through the Karm Abu-Salem passage in order to facilitate the projects for the reconstruction of Gaza.

It is well known that the Gaza Strip experienced in the last few days the movement of large quantities of cement that drew much attention, but after checking as to who is receiving these large quantities of cement, it became clear that these shipments went to storage facilities of merchants who work under the influence of Hamas.

As of this writing, not a single person of those who need these supplies have received any, and Gazans began wondering about Hamas’ intentions regarding these large quantities of cement.  

There is speculation that no one can even get one bag of cement because they are all going to Hamas for the building of bunkers and death tunnels.  It is well-known in Gaza that Hamas is getting ready for another confrontation with the IDF, so we wait for more devastation, more victims, and more deaths.

When we interviewed some of those whose homes were destroyed in last year’s war, their answers were very revealing:

  • One person when asked about his hope for his home to be rebuilt and how long it might take, said, "Hamas brought us war and we said ok.  We were threatened that we would be dealt with as collaborators if we evacuated our homes, so we didn't evacuate, and our homes came crashing on our heads.  It is only by God's mercy that we were not killed, and we said ok.  But we reached a point where we have to buy building materials on the black market at extremely high prices while Hamas leaders and members enjoy a comfortable life and have their homes rebuilt without having to account to anyone.  This is the ultimate shame brought by what the so-called resistance that brings more destruction.  So I dream today of a civil administration that I can provide a better life for my sons."

  • Another man said, "we were proud that [Hamas] provided us protection during the war, but the tragedy is that this protection came at a high price: the confiscation and destruction of our homes. Today they enjoy a comfortable life while we suffer with nobody caring about us. We are still waiting on the promises of [the Palestinian Authority] and Hamas, but it is becoming clear that they all lie, so today we only wait for God's mercy", and he broke down crying from the pain of missing his son and his destroyed home that is no longer safe to live in.

Gaza residents are divided into two groups: citizens who do not have ration cards and who get no benefits from the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), and immigrants who have ration cards and enjoy the relief agency services.  As far as UNRWA is concerned, its main focus is to rebuild the destroyed homes for the immigrants, and after that maybe look into helping the citizens.

We talked to someone who does not hold a ration card and he said:

"I wish my grandfather had migrated from Gaza and then came back so I could get a ration card.  We did not know that the day would come when this card would mean everything to us.  It is just cruel that my neighbor receives thousands of dollars to buy cement to rebuild his house while I wait on the mercy of the government of hypocrisy (he means the Palestinian 'unity' government).  For me to rebuild my destroyed home I have to borrow money, and the lender would have to wait to get paid since we only get little money from the government.  Sadly it is not possible to find someone who would lend me the money."

Local Gazans are also concerned over UNRWA’s difficult financial situation.  We must wonder if the agency will be forced to cancel an academic year, which would not save much money and would likely not help much in rebuilding our destroyed homes.

Another citizen complained about the failure of UNRWA to effectively rebuild what the war has destroyed.  He said:

“The agency's employees in Gaza first take care of Hamas and its members while throwing in our faces its financial crisis to avoid fulfilling its responsibilities toward us. They just give us food and medicine and that is the best we can get from it.”

If you walk around in Gaza to gauge the true meaning of corruption, you will find it at the government in Gaza.  Unfortunately, UNRWA remains silent and avoids confronting Hamas about its corruption and its excesses both in regard to reconstruction and other matters.

As a result, the residents of Gaza do not trust anyone to solve Gaza’s problems, especially with regard to reconstruction and electricity.  The phrase most often heard among the residents of Gaza is: "we wish the Israeli Civil Administration would return."


Muslims Rebuild Synagogue, Embrace Jews

Muslims Rebuild Synagogue, Embrace Jews

Abdullah Demirbas (pictured), former Mayor of the Old City of Diyarbakir, a large and important city on the banks of the Tigris river, is restoring a local synagogue that served the Jewish population before they were expelled by the Turks.

“This area in Turkey belongs to the Jews,” said Demirbas at a recent meeting in Jerusalem. “It is their land and our responsibility to make sure that they are recognized and honored here in our city.”

Demirbas is a Muslim. He believes that by restoring their synagogue he can heal some of the wounds caused when Jews fled his country. He came to Jerusalem to discuss with Kurdish Jews his plans to restore their ancient house of worship. There are over 100,000 Turkish Jews living in Israel. Most of them settled in Jerusalem.

“It has always been my dream to come to Israel,” Demirbas told the group of Messianic Jews and Christian who had gathered in Jerusalem to listen to his plans to build the synagogue. Clearly moved by the unity he saw between Arab and Jewish believers in Israel he said that this was the kind of "Shalom" he wanted to see in his own country and throughout the Middle East.

In addition to building the synagogue, Demirbas is also reaching out to Christians.

The mayor was the first Turkish official to obtain a permit from the Muslim government to build a church in his town. He has been personally instrumental in the reconstruction of six Armenian and Assyrian churches in Diyarbakir.

Demirbas then inspired the local Muslims to rebuild the churches and support the same Christian groups they had formerly persecuted. “These are not only buildings I want to build. This is about learning to respect one another and learning to live together. God created us to live together,” he said.

Demirabas may dream of peace in the Middle East, but because of his bold stand he has received numerous death threats and assassination attempts on his life. He is not afraid to publicly challenge Muslim hatred and aggression towards Jews and Christians. But most Muslims are angered by efforts to live in peace with Jews and Christians, particularly since the Koran teaches that “if a Jew or Christian do not agree that Muhammad is the only prophet of God they should be treated as infidels and you should declare war on them.”

To make matters worse, Demirbas has also been a staunch defender of women’s rights in a country where women are regularly mistreated, demeaned and publicly humiliated. His activities supporting women have stirred anger among Muslims who believe that Allah wants them to “beat your wives.”

Demirbas, who is considered among Turkey’s “most undesirable persons,” was imprisoned for showing respect to Jews, Christians and other religious groups. But the people love him and elected Demirbas mayor of his city from his jail cell!

Before getting involved in politics, Demirbas rose to prominence as a philosophy teacher and educational leader in the region for 29 years. He now serves as a leading member of the People's Democratic Party that recently won 80 seats in Turkish parliamentary elections.

With President Erdogan at the helm of the government, Turkey will most likely continue the systematic process of Islamization, meaning more persecution of Christians and what can only be described as anti-Semitic hatred towards Israel. But Mayor Demirbas and his People’s Democratic Party (HDP) now present a serious challenge to Erdogan and these recent elections could be the beginning of a gradual reversal of the Islamization of Turkey’s 75 million people.


Arabs Firebomb Jewish Motorists in Jerusalem

Arabs Firebomb Jewish Motorists in Jerusalem

A 27-year-old Israeli woman suffered moderate injuries with first and second-degree burns over 20 percent of her body after she and her husband were firebombed while driving in northern Jerusalem on Monday.

The attack occurred at a junction between the northern Jerusalem neighborhoods of Beit Hanina (Arab) and Pisgat Ze’ev (Jewish).

The woman’s husband was uninjured in the attack. But a passerby who tried to offer assistance suffered smoke inhalation, and a pedestrian was lightly injured after being hit by the couple’s vehicle as it went up in flames.

The injured woman was said to be in stable condition at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital.

Police forces quickly secured the junction and set up roadblocks in an effort to apprehend the perpetrators. Authorities also ejected a group of Arab youth who had gathered to watch the targeted car burn.

Stoning and firebomb attacks against Jewish motorists have become routine at this particular junction, as well as at other locations on the eastern side of Israel’s capital.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said in the wake of Monday’s attack that “every stone and firebomb thrown is an act of terrorism. We will not surrender to terror.”


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The Messiah Contest

The Messiah Contest

The Israeli public is fascinated by the Messiah, which is why the topic is covered frequently in the media. Reports on the Messiah do not only appear in the Orthodox press, but also in secular news outlets.

The full article appears in the August 2015 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
CLICK HERE to read it all


Baby Boom: Israel's Troubling Self-Flagellation

Baby Boom: Israel's Troubling Self-Flagellation

Time and again Israelis fall prey to their own sense of self-righteousness. The death of 18-month-old Ali Saad Dawabsha from Duma near Nablus (biblical Shechem) has spawned an embarrassing display Jewish self-flagellation. 

Though arson attacks carried out by Palestinians in order to falsely accuse Israel are not unheard of, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin didn't even wait for the start of an investigation into the fire before demonstrating just how ready Jews are to take the blame.

"More than I feel ashamed," he said, "I feel pain over the murder of a little baby. Pain caused by a few of my people who chose the way of terror and thereby lost their humanity. Their way is not my way. Their way is not our way. Their way is not the way of the State of Israel and not the way of the Jewish people." 

Rivlin's response, which Arabic-language Israeli newspapers headlined with "I Am Ashamed," only served to bolster the impression that Israel was directly responsible for this murder.

Rivlin, who more than once has demonstrated an inclination toward political correctness, again revealed that his concern for Israel's image comes at the expense of Israel's future. Otherwise, it is difficult to explain why he didn't use this sad occasion to likewise condemn the Palestinian Authority, which hails as heroes the killers of Jewish babies. 

For those who would deem such a condemnation improper, the very least Rivlin could have done is point out the difference between Israel's contrition and the Palestinians' institutionalized incitement.

The lack of similar outrage over the premeditated killing of Jewish babies raises as much concern as the death of Ali Saad Dawabsha.

<img src="http://www.israeltoday.co.il/Portals/0/News/150803_babies.jpg"><br/><small>A poster of murdered Jewish babies reading "Does anyone remember them?"</small>

Rivlin, however, with all his lack of sophistication, can't be suspected of being a leftist activist. Irritating as his politically-correct speeches are, the president is at least genuinely concerned, and for good reason. 

Such is not the case among Israel's left-wing constituency, which quickly seized the opportunity to further their own political agenda. 

While Rivlin might be unaware of the ramifications of his own self-flagellation, politicians and journalists are fully aware of the advantages they can draw from this tragic incident. 

The several hundred leftists who on Saturday night protested in Jerusalem against the murder of Dawabsha under the banner "Rally for the Advancement of Tolerance" never did the same for the bereaved parents of dead Jewish babies. Their insincerity was most exposed when they raised blood-stained hands toward Minister of National Infrastructure Yuval Steinitz as he stood to address the gathering.

<img src="http://www.israeltoday.co.il/Portals/0/News/150803_hands.jpg"><br/><small>Photo: Moti Kimkhi</small>

This abominable display (red-painted gloves prepared in advance), which recalled the 2000 Ramallah Lynching, accompanied by shouts of "the blood is on your [the government's] hands," shows just how far Israeli leftists are willing to go in service to the pro-Palestinian agenda. 

Sadly, it wasn't only them who were quick to roll Israel in tar and feathers. Respected columnist Ron ben-Yishai penned a piece entitled "How to Stop a Jewish Jihad," in which he wrote: "These are not hate crimes, this is religious-messianic terrorism, committed by people who view themselves as acting according to God's true will. In simpler words - this is Jewish jihadism, identical in every detail to Islamic jihadism, except that, fortunately, this is not a mass phenomenon, the likes of which we have been seeing both in our region and in Europe."

At the very least, ben-Yishai's contradicting and false comparison ignored the possibility that given the "price tag" movement's record (if indeed they were behind the fire), Ali Dawabsha's death might have been unintentional. He also sidesteps the likelihood that "price tag" is not about implementing God's will, but rather is a crude reaction against what those in the movement perceive as the lack of a proper Israeli response to Palestinian terrorism.

Whatever the case, Israel's carnival of self-flagellation does nothing to ease the tension.

As blogger Thomas Wictor right observed, "inflating your 'wrongdoing' is just as self-aggrandizing as boasting about your moral superiority. Most of the commentary on the murder of Ali Saad Dawabsha is just ritualized posturing." 

The question of why Jews are so eager to take blame can be answered by looking to history, beginning perhaps with the scandalous words of those irresponsible Jews who, in the name of all Jews, took the blame for crucifying Jesus.

PHOTO: Israelis visit at the scene of a house in the Palestinian village of Duma, near Nablus on August 2, 2015, where a Palestinian infant was killed early on July 31, 2015, in an arson attack, apparently by Jewish extremists. (Flash90)


Israeli Christian Children Connect to Aramean Roots

Israeli Christian Children Connect to Aramean Roots

It is time for most children in this region to head off to summer camp, and the Arabic-speaking Christians largely concentrated in Israel’s north are no exception.

But while Israeli Jewish children will be doing largely recreational activities and Palestinian kids in Gaza will be training for violence at the hands of Hamas, the Christians will be reconnecting to their ancient Aramean roots.

The Israeli Christian Aramaic Summer Camp began last Thursday under the auspices of the Israeli Aramaic Christian Association (ICAA) in the Galilee town of Kfar Baram.

Prior to the start of the camp, the ICAA published the following Hebrew-language press release:

"…[From] July 30 - August 3 will be held the first Christian Aramean children’s camp following the historic recognition by the State of Israel and the Jewish people of the Arabic-speaking Christians in the Land as the descendants of the Aramean nation.

"The Israeli Aramaic Christian Association under the management of IDF Maj. (res.) Shadi Khalloul…persists despite various attacks, provocations and threats emanating from Arab and Islamist elements that are determined to prevent us from returning to our Aramean roots and preserving our language that was in the past shared by Jews and Arameans living in the Land.

"We as a movement will continue to strengthen our partnership with the Jews and be loyal citizens of the state… We will continue the struggle to preserve our heritage and our language centered on the ancient settlement of Kfar Baram.


“The Maronite Christians of Baram have integrated into the State of Israel in various roles, including as member of the security forces and the IDF. Many also do national service and enjoy a dignified life together with their brothers, the Jews, in the State of Israel.”

As noted in the press release, the camp will be held in and with a focus on Kfar Baram, which is of great symbolic importance to the Israeli Christian community.

Kfar Baram was originally a Jewish village dating back at least till the time of Queen Esther. Remains of a large ancient synagogue are clearly visible. At some point between the 7th and 13th centuries AD, Jews abandoned the village for unknown reasons. Several centuries later, Kfar Baram had become a fully Christian village.

During the War of Independence in 1948, the IDF captured Kfar Baram and resettled its Christian population elsewhere. Due to the village’s close proximity to the Lebanese border, and Israel’s wary approach at the time to Arabic-speaking Christians, the inhabitants were forbidden to return to Kfar Baram after the war for fear it would become a point of terrorist infiltration.

That fear has clearly been put to rest today, as Israel now views its Christian population as a loyal and integral part of Israeli society. As such, the Israeli Christian Aramaic Association is at the forefront of efforts to rebuild Kfar Baram and return the community to its ancestral home.

In a previous interview, Khalloul told Israel Today that rebuilding Kfar Baram is important not only to local Christians, but to Israel at large as it would blunt the Arabs’ ability to cynically use Christians in their anti-Israel agenda.


Armageddon – Painting a Picture of Hope for the Future

Armageddon – Painting a Picture of Hope for the Future

Armageddon, biblical scene of the world’s last great battle that will usher in the return of Jesus Christ, is no fictional location. It is a real place at Megiddo in northern Israel that has witnessed conflicts going back several millennia, but which has also inspired a series of priceless paintings.

The works are the legacy of Lady Barbara Brassey, who died in her 99th year in 2010, and have been left in the custody of Wrexham-based TV and radio executive Gareth Littler

Lady Brassey actually played a part in the little remembered 1939 Battle of Armageddon (the Greek name for Megiddo, which overlooks the Plain of Jezreel) that was won without a shot being fired and which paved the way for the birth of modern Israel.

Yet if the Islamic jihadists who fled from the British forces at Megiddo had been successful, it could all have been so different. However, they have now re-emerged as perhaps the biggest threat, not only to Israel, but to world peace.

For though Armageddon itself has since been quiet, wars and revolutions have broken out all over the Middle East, prompting fears of something much bigger and more brutal to come.

Of great strategic importance, Megiddo guards a narrow pass on the ancient Egypt-Assyria trade route and is perhaps the most fought over place on earth. It was also where General Allenby’s British Allied troops defeated the Turks in 1918 after taking Jerusalem without a shot fired.

But the paintings speak of hope, not war. The hands of the artist actually held the bullets with which to feed the machine gun aimed at the invading jihadists. Lady Brassey was married to Col. Campbell Westmoreland, who marched his battalion from Caesarea on the coast to face a hostile army at Megiddo. He lined his men up with their rifles and stationed his best ‘Tommy’ on the flat roof of a nearby building with a machine gun.

Outnumbered and short of men, he asked his wife to feed the gun with the bullets. But miraculously, no shots were fired as, suddenly and inexplicably, the entire jihadist army turned and marched away. The war developed along different lines, and in other theatres.

But, as Gareth Littler put it: “If that part of Palestine had fallen to a cohesive, organized jihadist army in 1939, no Jewish refugees could have passed through Haifa or Tel Aviv sea ports in the 1940s. The extraordinary battle helped pave the way for modern Israel. And in thanks to God for such a miracle, we have these marvelous paintings as a lasting legacy.”

Barbara became a committed Christian in later life and the ‘Armageddon Paintings’ – depicting ten scenes from the Bible including Jesus’ baptism, crucifixion, resurrection and return to earth at the end of the age – are seen as a prophetic sign that when Christ intervenes, peace is secured.

Lady Brassey was a silver medal winner at the Royal Academy with works exhibited in London, Paris, America and South Africa, and this unique collection has been described as “priceless” by fine art valuer Peter Ashburner.

The collection is expected to attract particular interest at a time when the sort of apocalypse envisaged by biblical prophets like Ezekiel and Daniel, and Jesus himself in the Book of Revelation, is becoming an ever-greater present reality.

Gareth says the message, both of the experience of Barbara at Armageddon that inspired the paintings and of the Scriptures themselves, is that it will not be Russia, as many Christians believe, that launches an all-out attack on Israel in the last days, but an alliance of Islamic jihadists.

Muslim countries, he explains, have a history of recurring jihad (holy war) in common – Islamic State arose 100 years after the massacre of millions of Armenians and others in a Turkish jihad.

An apocalyptic scenario is rapidly developing before our eyes, but the solution lies with the Lord Jesus Christ, the prophet Isaiah’s ‘Prince of Peace’, who will bring an end to warmongering as he turns swords into ploughshares and spears into pruning hooks (Isaiah 2.4).

Gareth wonders, too, whether the 1939 battle could also be a prophetic picture of God intervening there again with massive power at the end of time, with victory again won without men firing a shot!

Zechariah wrote: “A day of the Lord is coming when… I will gather all nations to Jerusalem to fight against it… Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations...” (Zech 14.1-3)

“World leaders recognize a cataclysmic world war is now possible, but those who love God are reassured over Armageddon,” says Gareth.

“As things get worse, the world will struggle to find answers. But the good news of the Armageddon Paintings is that the Christian gospel holds the answer because Jesus rose from the dead and is coming back soon!”

The custodians wish to sell the entire collection, also including ten plaques, with the intention that they will be displayed in an internationally prominent venue where the public can see and experience for themselves the story that lies behind them.

The paintings combine history and hope for the future, says Peter Ashburner, adding: “As a qualified valuer of many years’ experience, I have never seen such a fascinating and powerful collection of art; and for this reason, in my opinion and in the right hands, they are likely to be priceless.”


Highest Alert After Palestinian Child Killed by Apparent Jewish Terror

Highest Alert After Palestinian Child Killed by Apparent Jewish Terror

Israeli security forces were on highest alert going into the weekend after an 18-month-old Palestinian child was killed in what appeared to be an arson attack carried out by Jewish extremists in Samaria.

A fire broke out in two adjacent homes in the Palestinian town of Duma south of Nablus (biblical Shechem) during the predawn hours on Friday. Only one home was occupied at the time, and the family inside scrambled to escape. But the mother was reportedly unable to reach her youngest child as the flames spread. Both parents and a four-year-old child were treated for severe smoke inhalation.

Hebrew graffiti reading “Long live King Messiah” and “Revenge” was found nearby, raising suspicions that this was yet another “price tag” attack by Jewish extremists angered over a political process that would see their ancestral homeland surrendered for the creation of a Palestinian state.

Other such attacks have targeted Christian institutions, which are seen as part of an effort to spiritually destroy the Jewish people.

To date, only a handful of price tag attacks have resulted in fatalities, or even injury, and police expected Palestinian extremists to use Friday’s tragedy as an excuse for further violence.

Indeed, Hamas had already declared a “day of rage” at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount over increased Jewish visits to the holy site, and the arson attack would only add to the tension.

Thousands of police were deployed to Jerusalem and around the country to prevent additional bloodshed, while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed those responsible for the death of the Palestinian child would be duly punished.

“I am shocked by this terrible criminal act,” said Netanyahu. “This is a terror attack. Israel deals harshly with terrorism, no matter who the perpetrators are.”

Somewhat predictably, the Palestinian Authority exaggerated the situation as though such deadly acts of arson were a regular occurrence, and threatened to drag Israel before the International Criminal Court.

“This is a war crime and a crime against humanity,” declared Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. “We will take this to the International Criminal Court and no one will stop us from doing so. We demand that the world act. What does the United States think of these crimes?”

At the same time, Abbas and his regime claim Palestinian violence against Jews is an understandable, if not justifiable, response to the “Israeli occupation.”


For Many, the Gaza War Is Not Over

For Many, the Gaza War Is Not Over

"I was stunned by how I was treated by the Israelis. I grew up being told that the Israelis are our enemies and we have to hate them. But doctors have treated me like a brother," one wounded Palestinian told us.

The full article appears in the August 2015 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
CLICK HERE to read it all


Again America 'Deeply Concerned' by Jewish Houses

Again America 'Deeply Concerned' by Jewish Houses

Though Israel on Thursday demolished a number of “West Bank” houses its Supreme Court deemed illegal, the US and Europe did not waste the opportunity to suggest that the building of new Jewish residences in areas claimed by the Palestinians called into question Israel’s commitment to peace.

The Palestinian Authority quickly latched onto that message.

“We are deeply concerned about the Israeli government’s announcement today of the advancement of nearly 300 new housing units in the West Bank settlement of Beit El, as well as hundreds of new housing units in East Jerusalem,” said US State Department spokesman Mark Toner.

“Settlement expansion threatens the two-state solution and calls into question Israel’s commitment to a negotiated resolution to the conflict,” the American official continued.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu quickly approved the new Beit El and Jerusalem construction projects after Israel’s Supreme Court upheld a demolition order against a Beit El neighborhood that it determined had failed to obtain proper approval.

The American condemnation came despite the fact that no signed peace agreements prevent Jewish construction inside the already-defined boundaries of existing Jewish settlements, nor has Israel ever agreed to even the possibility of surrendering Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem.

Nevertheless, the European Union quickly followed up the American statement with condemnation of its own, insisting that the building of Jewish homes in disputed territories, rather than continuing Palestinian violence and incitement, was the primary obstacle to peace.

“The EU expects the Israeli government to demonstrate its commitment to the two-state solution not only in words, but also through its actions,” read the European response.

Needless to say, the Palestinian Authority was thrilled with the international reaction to the audacity of Jews building homes in Samaria, the ancient biblical heartland of Israel.

“These settlement measures and war crimes are part of a plan by Israeli leaders to impose a ‘Greater Israel’ on historic Palestine and destroy the two-state solution and the chance for peace,” said senior PLO figure Hanan Ashrawi, who sought to both outdo the condemnations emanating from the West and rewrite history.


Report: Israel Eliminates Child-Killer Freed in Prisoner Exchange

Report: Israel Eliminates Child-Killer Freed in Prisoner Exchange

Israel’s Channel 2 reported on Wednesday that a suspected Israeli Air Force (IAF) strike on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights had eliminated the notorious terrorist Samir Kuntar, along with four other militants loyal to the regime of dictator Bashar Assad.

Kuntar was captured and jailed by Israel in 1979 after he led a terrorist infiltration team from Lebanon to the Israeli coastal town of Nahariya, where he killed a police officer before dragging an Israeli father and his four-year-old daughter down to the beach and brutally executing them.

Against much protest, Kuntar was released by Israel in 2008 as part of a larger prisoner exchange with the Lebanese terrorist militia Hezbollah. Upon returning to Lebanon, Kuntar was given a hero’s welcome and vowed to continue his blood-soaked jihad against the Jewish state.

At the time, then-President Shimon Peres said Kuntar would neither be forgiven nor forgotten, and an unnamed defense official promised that final justice would ultimately be served against the unrepentant terrorist.

“Samir Kuntar, who was released…in the framework of a prisoner exchange with Hezbollah, has become a dead man walking,” the official told Yediot Ahronot. “Israel will eliminate him.”

The Israeli military declined to comment on whether or not that promise had been fulfilled on Wednesday, but the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights suggested that it had.

“An Israeli plane hit a car inside the town of Hader, killing two men from Hezbollah, and three men from the pro-regime popular committees in the town,” said the group’s director, Rami Abdel Rahman.

Kuntar was known to have been given command of a local militia based in Hader.


Knesset Renews Ties to Worldwide Christian Lawmakers

Knesset Renews Ties to Worldwide Christian Lawmakers

Israel’s Knesset last week renewed its Christian Allies Caucus, something that must be done after each election. The fact that the Knesset continues this trend is evidence that it views relations between Israel and the Christian world with increasing importance.

The event, chaired by Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, was attended by no fewer than 25 Knesset members from eight different factions, including three government ministers.

New caucus chairman MK Robert Ilatov (Israel Beiteinu) said he would work to further strengthen ties to the 32 sister caucuses in parliaments around the world in a broader effort to combat global boycotts of the Jewish state.

“There are many challenges that lie ahead, but I have no doubt that together, we will succeed in defending and blessing the State of Israel and the well-being of its people,” Ilatov told his fellow Israeli lawmakers and the numerous Christian leaders at the gathering.

Former Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Oren, who today serves as a Knesset member with the Kulanu Party, also addressed the gathering, noting that as a Christian nation “US-Israel relations go back to spiritual ties. …We are on a holy mission to ensure the Jewish state remains strong and beloved.”

Oren further pointed out that were Jesus to come today to Bethlehem (or any number of other places he ministered, like the Temple Mount) he’d be labeled a “Jewish settler.”

Caucus director Josh Reinstein summed up the event by stating that “Israel is now dependent on Christian support. We will be tested like we never have before.”


COMMENTARY: Will the Church and Israel Ever Be One?

COMMENTARY: Will the Church and Israel Ever Be One?

A long, long time ago, for a brief moment, the church and Israel were the same people. Oh, not everyone in Israel belonged to the church. But everyone in the church belonged to Israel. Nobody was named O’Malley.

Then one day God encouraged the apostle Peter to go to the home of a Roman centurion named Cornelius and share the gospel. And, lo and behold, the man’s whole family believed and were filled with the Holy Spirit. Things were never the same after that.

Paul then followed Peter’s example and made a career out of bringing Gentiles into the church. Soon the only Jew left in the church was Jesus. And even he was looking more Gentile-ish every day.

In time, the church came under new management. It was now all Gentile, and had become a religion called Christianity. The new leaders soon determined God had clearly changed His mind about the Jews being His favorite people. Their glorious city and temple lay in ruins, and the people were scattered in disgrace.

But the church of Jesus Christ was flourishing. Even the Emperor of Rome, Constantine, was now on board. And he had promoted Christianity to be God’s number one religion, officially severing it from the religion of “the murderers of our Lord.”

Yep, the church was surely God’s new Israel! It was a new day. The Bible was then put under lock and key for safe keeping. Churches were built. New holy days proclaimed. And a priesthood with powerful sacerdotal authority evolved. But as night follows day, a deep, deep darkness descended on the land that lasted for centuries.

But God, who is light, sent His servants to reignite the torches. The Bible was given back to the people in their own languages. Scales began to fall from blinded eyes. Faith arose to overcome religion. And then, miracle of miracles, the Jews defied history and returned to their ancient homeland to reestablish their nation. Many in the church marveled, realizing God must still love the Jews after all. And was again honoring His covenant promises to them.

But that raised big questions. For if the Jews were still God’s people, and the church had not replaced them as previously taught, who or what was the church ? The theologians quickly latched on to another teaching that seemed to solve the problem. God had two peoples! Christians and Jews. A spiritual Israel and a physical Israel.

And that’s sort of where we are today.

But is that what God wants? To have two separate peoples? What happened to Jesus’ prayer to the Father, “that they may all be one?” (John 17:21). Or his assurance we will “become one flock with one shepherd?” (John 10:16) Or Paul’s revelation, that in Messiah, God had “made both groups (Jews and Gentiles)… into one new man, thus establishing peace?” (Eph. 2:13-15)

Seems to me we’re not quite there yet. And a glorious reunion lies ahead.


Netanyahu Coalition in Trouble Over Evacuation of Jews

Netanyahu Coalition in Trouble Over Evacuation of Jews

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s fragile coalition looked to be in trouble Tuesday morning hours after police forcibly removed residents from a newly constructed neighborhood in the Jewish town of Beit El north of Jerusalem.

Israel’s Supreme Court recently ordered the houses in the new Dreinoff neighborhood of Beit El be demolished following a left-wing petition claiming the structures were built on “Palestinian” land.

On Monday, so-called Jewish “settlers” barricaded themselves in the houses to prevent the order being carried out. In the early morning hours of Tuesday, hundreds of riot police showed up to evacuate the neighborhood. Some 50 demonstrators were arrested during the ensuing confrontation.

The entire episode enraged right-wing members of Netanyahu’s coalition, who wondered why the police had been given a green light for the evacuation when both the prime minister and his defense minister, Moshe Yaalon, claimed to be against the demolition of the Dreinoff neighborhood.

For his part, Netanyahu maintained that he was working to strengthen the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria, but that it must be done in accordance with the law and the approval of the courts.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett, whose Jewish Home faction is the champion of the “settler” cause, hinted that his party would stop cooperating with Netanyahu and might leave the government altogether if the prime minister did not make right this situation.

PHOTO: Jewish settlers and riot police clash in the Samarian town of Beit El north of Jerusalem.


Israeli Unity? Only in Times of Crisis

Israeli Unity? Only in Times of Crisis

The results of a new survey published by Israel’s Ynet news portal this week suggest that Israelis are united only in times of crisis, such as wars or other disasters, and that the norm for the Jewish state is division and internal conflict. This is especially true when considering the secular-religious split.

The survey was conducted to mark Tisha B’Av, the solemn fast day held this week in commemoration of the destruction of Jerusalem’s Temple, considered a divine punishment for division within Israel.

While the results painted a fairly bleak picture, they also provided reason for optimism.

Participants in the survey were asked how much attention they pay to the various divisions between Israel’s Jews. A 45–46 percent plurality said that religious and economic divisions were of great concern to them, while 44 percent said that the ethnic divide between Ashkenazi (western) and Mizrahi (eastern) Jews was of little importance.

Deeper analysis revealed that the religious divide between “secular” and ultra-Orthodox Israelis was of much greater importance to secular and traditional Jews than it was to the ultra-Orthodox community.

A full 80 percent from all societal groups recognized that Israel as a people are only united in times of crisis, and a 41.5 percent plurality expect the situation to get worse.

One of the biggest contributing factors to this is a lack of willingness to integrate between the groups. While daily contact is frequent in such a small country, the survey found that, for instance, both secular and ultra-Orthodox Israeli Jews are largely unwilling to marry someone from the “other” side. When it came to doing business together or living in close proximity, both sides were a little more tolerant.

On a positive note, a 43 percent plurality of Bible-believing religious Israelis (situated somewhere between “secular” and ultra-Orthodox) expect the situation to improve. Furthermore, most of the respondents from all sectors agreed that despite the differences, the Jews of Israel are in this together, and that their shared heritage does provide common ground for unity, even if only temporarily.

Asked how to solve this problem, 40 percent wanted better education on the topic, while 23 percent called for increased dialogue.

Ilan Gal-Dor, director of the “Gesher” research institute that conducted the survey concluded optimistically: “The results indicate a willingness for dialogue amongst the different sectors. However, there is much work before us. We [Israelis] attach great importance to dialogue and understanding between ourselves as a nation, in service to a better common future - especially [considering the lessons] of Tisha B’Av.”


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Historic Agreement, or Historic Mistake?

Historic Agreement, or Historic Mistake?

In wake of US-brokered deal, "Israel must prepare for a potential pre-emptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities," warns senior Israeli defense analyst.

The full article appears in the August 2015 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
CLICK HERE to read it all


Israel to Obama: We'll Continue to Oppose Iran Nuke Deal

Israel to Obama: We'll Continue to Oppose Iran Nuke Deal

Israel at the weekend sent a crystal clear message to the Obama Administration that it would not be cowed into quietly accepting what it views as a naive and dangerous US-brokered nuclear agreement between Iran and the Western powers.

In remarks to the New York Times, a senior unnamed Israeli official on Saturday slammed US Secretary of State John Kerry for suggesting that the Jewish state would be blamed if Congress overturns the Iran nuke deal.

Speaking at the Council of Foreign Relations in New York last week, Kerry said that “if Congress were to overturn [the deal], our friends in Israel could actually wind up being more isolated and more blamed.”

Earlier, Kerry warned in an appearance on the American news network NBC that any Israeli military action against Iran’s nuclear program in the wake of the US-brokered deal would be a “huge mistake.”

In response to Kerry, the Israeli official said Jerusalem “rejects the threats directed at Israel in recent days. …The regrettable attempt to intimidate Israel will not prevent us from voicing our concerns about this deal, which poses direct threats to Israel’s security.”

Jerusalem insists that the nuclear deal is faulty in nearly every way, and is little more than a diplomatic stunt by an Obama Administration desperate for a foreign relations success.

Of notable concern to Israel is that the agreement does not require Iran to dismantle and dispose of the nuclear technology, facilities and material it has already developed. It also enables the Islamic Republic to avoid meaningful inspections without serious consequences.

PHOTO: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressing the media following the signing of the US-brokered Iran nuclear deal earlier this month.


Ancient Scroll Shows Bible Hasn't Changed

Ancient Scroll Shows Bible Hasn't Changed

Last week archaeologists with the Israel Antiquities Authority announced the successful deciphering of a fully charred Torah scroll first discovered in the ruins of an ancient synagogue 45 years ago.

The scroll was unearthed in 1970 during excavations at Ein Gedi on the shores of the Dead Sea. It was found inside a Holy Ark situated in the remains of a synagogue dating to the 6th century AD.

For decades, the 1,500-year-old scroll sat in storage, far too burned to be legible.

But recently, Israeli archaeologists decided to throw caution to the wind and subject the delicate scroll to scrutiny using new advanced 3D imaging technology.

The gamble paid off, and the first eight verses of the Book of Leviticus were soon made clear.

Outside of the Dead Sea Scrolls, this scroll is the oldest fragment of the Bible to be found in modern times. It is significant for two reasons.

  1. The scroll is yet more proof of the ancient connection between the Jewish people and this land, contrary to present-day claims that the Jews are invaders and usurpers;

  2. As the Messianic blog One For Israel pointed out, the text on the scroll matches perfectly to modern Hebrew editions of the Bible. “This shows that the accusations flung from other faiths that the Biblical text has been corrupted are untrue: we have yet more proof that it hasn’t changed one iota! Not in 1500 years!”

PHOTO: Scroll fragment as it was delivered to The Lunder Family Dead Sea Scrolls Conservation Center (IAA)


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