Israel Today TV: What Trump Means for Israel

 

Top Oscar Nominees All Turned Down Trip to Israel

Of the 25 leading candidates to win an Academy Award last year, none chose to exercise the offer by the Ministry of Tourism to enjoy a free upscale vacation in Israel.

According to the company that gives the special gift bags to Oscar nominees, the only Hollywood star to make any use of the Israeli gift card was Jennifer Lawrence, who gave it to her parents.

Some, like British actor Mark Rylance, star of the movie “Bridge of Spies,” openly rejected the Israeli offer.

With the 2017 Oscars just around the corner, pro-Palestinian groups told AFP that the failure of the Israeli gift card last year was due to their pressure on Hollywood stars to boycott the Jewish state.   The Oscar gift bags contain about $200,000 worth of gifts. Valued at $55,000, the Israeli officer of first class airfare, 5-star accommodations and culinary experiences for two is one of the more expensive offerings.

Pro-Palestinian activists have accused Israel of using the expensive gifts to trick Hollywood stars into photo-ops that would benefit the Jewish state. They have urged the celebrities to shun Israel, just as they refused to visit apartheid South Africa in the 1980s.

Among the groups pressuring celebrities to NOT visit Israel are liberal Jewish organizations like “Jews for Peace,” which warned Hollywood stars that by visiting Israel they would be identifying with the “occupation of Palestine.”

That seems to have been enough to scare off every single one of last year’s top Oscar nominees. We’ll wait and see if the pressure works again this year.

Meanwhile, Israel’s Ministry of Tourism said that while the 25 Oscar nominees didn’t visit, a great many other Hollywood stars did come to Israel over the past year, and returned home as newly-minted goodwill ambassadors for the Jewish state.

PHOTO: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seen with movie star Keanu Reeves at an event held at the home of producer Arnon Milchan (not seen), featuring Hollywood movie stars and other film industry personalities. March 06, 2014. Photo by Avi Ohayon/GPO/FLASH90

 

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This is NOT Land Theft

The media has grossly misreported Israel's 'Regulation Law' as a land grab, when in fact it helps the Palestinians.

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

 

VIDEO: Israelis Rescue Electrocuted Palestinian Boy

Think Israel hates and wants to kill all Palestinians, especially the children?

That's what the Palestinians and their allies in the media want you to believe.

But if that were true, why would Israelis go to such trouble, and at great expense to Israeli taxpayers, to save the life of this young boy?

 

Is There Hope for the Holy Land? Christian Surfers Weigh In

Two years ago, we interviewed a group of Christian surfers from America who had made a groundbreaking film about what Israel means to them and their faith.

After visiting Israel to make that movie, the surfers became intimately aware of the conflict that surrounds the modern Jewish state.

Now they are back with a new documentary with their views on how Christians need to see and engage with this conflict in the context of our faith and Israel’s biblical destiny.

Check out the trailer for “Hope in the Holy Land” below. And be sure to read the upcoming April 2017 issue of Israel Today Magazine where we will speak to these surfers about their new project. (If you’re not yet a subscriber, you can CLICK HERE to join the family today!)

 

Hero of Anti-Israel Propaganda Film Says He Doesn't Hate IDF Soldiers

The above video is an excerpt from the leftist propaganda film “The Boy From H2” that seeks to portray Israeli soldiers as heartless and abusive toward the Palestinian Arabs.

The film was such a hit among liberals in Israel that the left-wing NGO B’Tselem entered it in the International Film Festival that concluded yesterday in Berlin.

But “The Boy From H2” was a flop on the international stage, and suffered even more disappointment when the “hero” of the documentary, Mohammed Burkan, who was 12 when it was filmed in 2011, came out and said he isn’t angry at the Israeli soldiers.

As can be seen in the clip above, the soldiers actually behaved in a very humane manner after young Mohammed threw stones at them. One soldier said the frightened boy had been punished enough, while another took him home to his parents with no further punitive action.

Burkan was actually at the film festival, and was asked on stage to answer questions following its screening.

To the astonishment of the audience and festival organizers, when Burkan was asked, “Do you have anger toward the Israeli soldiers and the occupation?” he simply replied, “No.”

 

Church Fails to Give Moral Lead

The Church of England has once again failed to give a moral lead to the nation.

Their Synod (parliament) has voted against the Bishops’ recommendation that, in the face of huge pressure to allow same-sex ‘equality’, they should continue to take the traditional view of marriage.

Those within the church desperately trying to honour the clear biblical teaching – that a man shall leave his father and mother and be united to his wife (Genesis 2.24) – have reached a discouraging impasse.

Is it not time to say: ‘enough is enough’? Undermining the authority of the Bible only leads to heresy within and confusion without. Sure, the watching world sees a church divided, and some would say that is a bad witness. But there are surely issues over which it is impossible to compromise.

Endless debates create much heat, but bear little fruit. What, after all, is there left to debate? If the choice is whether or not to follow Scripture, then the advice from the Apostle Paul is: “Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” (2 Corinthians 6.17) Those pushing for same-sex marriage are surely touching something ‘unclean’.

At the end of the day, we will all stand before God to give account of the decisions we have made or haven’t made. (Romans 14.12)

The letters to the seven churches of Asia recorded in the Book of Revelation give as much emphasis on teaching as on behaviour – the key doctrines of Christian belief are hugely important.

The Apostle John, in his first letter, reminds his hearers that those who were spreading false teaching had come from within the churches. “They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us,” he wrote. (1 John 2.19)

Heresy was a great danger in the early church, just as Jesus predicted it would be in these latter days. When his disciples asked him about signs of the end of the age, the first thing he said was: “Watch out that no-one deceives you.” (Matthew 24.4.)

Yes, Jesus prayed passionately for unity among his followers. It was never meant to be unity at any cost, however, but the sort of oneness about which Paul spoke in his letter to the Ephesians when he explained that the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers were there “to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature…” (Ephesians 4.12f)

The context is clearly about developing maturity within the body of Christ as disciples learn to walk in harmony with the Word of God.

But because the modern church has failed to give a moral lead on the issue of homosexuality, the entire Western world is now in the grip of ‘redefining marriage’, if that is really possible.

We have seen the same thing happen over Israel. Undermining the authority of the Bible has led to the heresy of ‘replacement theology’, teaching that the church has replaced Israel in God’s affections. As a result, there is very little understanding of Israel in the UK church today, and yet God’s end-time purpose is for Jew and Gentile to work together for the gospel! How far we have fallen behind God’s programme!

Tragically, the church has succumbed wholesale to worldliness, ignoring the Bible’s directive: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12.2)

For example, as the mainstream media demonizes President Trump as a fool and a fascist, Christians will all too willingly pick that up without considering whether the truth may well have been stretched and muddied.

Lynne Patton, a black female executive for the Trump Organization, released a statement last year defending her boss against accusations of being a racist and a bigot, tearfully revealing how she’s struggled with substance abuse and addiction for years. But instead of kicking her to the curb, she said that Trump and his entire family loyally stood by her through “immensely difficult times.”

This was revealed in an article by Liz Crokin, an entertainment correspondent who has been reporting for the past ten years on Trump – especially over his involvement in The Apprentice TV show.

“Trump’s kindness knows no bounds and his generosity has and continues to touch the lives of people from every sex, race and religion,” she wrote. “When Trump sees someone in need, he wants to help.”[1]

Isn’t it time we re-committed ourselves to seeking the truth, perfectly demonstrated in Jesus Christ – “the way, the truth and the life”? (John 14.6)


  1. townhall.com, 13 February 2017, also published by Joy Digital, South Africa  ↩


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

 

Israel Provides Life-Changing Surgery to Deaf Palestinian Children

You won’t hear about this in the international mainstream media that is determined to paint Israel as hostile toward all Arabs.

But this month Israel provided, free of charge, life-changing surgery to 16 Palestinian children who were born deaf.

The children came from Judea and Samaria (the so-called “West Bank”), as well as from Hamas-ruled Gaza.

They were each fitted with a special cochlear implant allowing them to “hear” sounds in their surroundings, and underwent special therapy to help them get used to the drastic change in their lives.

The procedures took place at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital. The outreach was done in cooperation with the Peres Center for Peace, with special authorization from the Israeli government.

And it is yet further evidence that Israel is fulfilling Jesus’ command to “love your enemies” even as it is forced to fight for its life.

 

Light Up a Little One's Eyes

Passover is quickly approaching and Purim is, to the delight of most children, just around the corner. With much anticipation the little ones are already planning their costumes and, of course, their accompanying accessories.

But not all children are fortunate enough to enjoy the festival times like their peers.

Sadly, according to statistics of the Israel's department of social welfare, 776,000 children live under the poverty line! Frightening figures for our little country.

Israel Today has once again accepted the task to find affected groups of children and has determined to make this day special for them like the majority of children in Israel.

We will be preparing Purim packages to distribute to needy children. Help us prepare a package on your behalf for one of our little ones - and help bring some laughter and joy to them!



 

Top Israeli Minister Says Real Chance for Peace With Trump

Israel Public Security Minister Gil’ad Erdan on Monday said that with US President Donald Trump rewriting the rule of Mideast peacemaking, there was now a real chance for a genuine agreement between the Jewish state and its Arab neighbors.

At his press conference with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week, Trump said he was not married to the two-state solution, and would consider any reasonable proposal for peace, so long as Israel likes it.

Speaking at a gathering of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations in Jerusalem, Erdan said that attitude from an American president is a game-changer:

"We have an opportunity to create, together with the administration, the conditions for serious peace negotiations, by changing the basic approach of the international community.

“I believe that peace is possible. Every time Israel had a real partner for peace, we were willing to take far-reaching steps. If we have a true partner for peace, and we have to check that we have a true partner, we can make a deal, as some like to say. You probably know who I’m talking about.”

 

Rockets From Sinai Hit Israel; Another ISIS Attack?

Two rockets fired from the Egyptian Sinai landed in southern Israel on Monday morning.

The attack caused no injuries or damage.

It came just hours after the Islamic State in Sinai, the local ISIS affiliate, accused Israel of killing several of its members in a drone attack.

The Islamic State in Sinai has launched several attacks on Israel in recent months, most targeting the southern resort town of Eilat.

Israel has been quietly working with Egypt to combat the ISIS presence.

PHOTO: Illustration (Wissam Nassar/Flash 90)

 

IDF Expects Major Increase in Number of Female Combat Soldiers

The Israeli army is expecting so many more young women to volunteer for combat duty that it is set to inaugurate a fourth mixed-gender combat battalion next month.

Nearly 1,200 young Israeli women are expected to volunteer for combat duty this year, with most serving in combat-intelligence units, a smaller number going to the artillery corps and a handful opting for infantry.

The IDF already fields three mixed-gender combat battalions - Caracal, Bardalas and the Lions of Jordan - all of which are tasked with guarding Israel’s borders with Egypt and Jordan.

The fourth mixed-gender battalion is as yet unnamed, but will be deployed to the Jordan Valley.

 

Get Started with Spirulina!

A delivery of Spirulina flakes reached our office with a note - "Your hair could use a little spirulina". I accepted the parcel with thanks but did not know how to react to the "hair tip"...

Amnon smiled at me with his rosy face and explains that he has been using the flakes himself for some time and the effect is noticeable: "Strong fingernails - healthy hair - a rosy complexion - healthy digestive system - a stronger immune system..."

These are only a few of the effects of Spirulina. When asked why so little is known about this product, he took the time to explain the relationship between chemicals, vitamins and commercial supplements. He also explained the associated profits for the big corporations and the emerging losses due to the increased use of Spirulina.

Let us convince you regarding our Spirulina products!

Whether as a tasty health bar or crispy flakes - Spirulina is something for everyone! The ultimate all-wheel drive for your health comes in four flavors!

The next 100 orders from our shop will include a sample Spirulina health bar!


 

Israeli Media Speculates That Netanyahu's Downfall May Come Sooner Than Expected

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is facing a trio of serious corruption charges.

Even if the allegations aren’t all that serious (and some of them are) and even if he ends up not being guilty (but he probably is of at least some), the weight of the current scandal could still end his political career.

At least, that’s what the Israeli media is speculating. And some believe Netanyahu’s ouster may be closer than many realize.

Commentator Amotz Asa-El wrote over at The Jerusalem Post:

THE THREE probes all involve potential bribery aspects but are nonetheless completely unrelated, not only in their circumstances but also in their substance: one is about personal conduct; the other about influence peddling; and the third about governance.

The article goes on to analyze the “Game of Thrones” type of scenario that would follow Netanyahu’s resignation, with party leaders and Likud heavy-weights all vying for power.

The most likely short-term outcome would be one of Netanyahu’s more powerful Likud underlings becoming prime minister, at least temporarily.

But the inescapable reality is that Benjamin Netanyahu is currently the only politician in Israel that most can see successfully holding together a ruling coalition in the fractured wasteland that is Israeli politics.

 

Pornography in the Messianic Community

Messianic pastors and youth leaders must be willing to open up and talk about the rising influences of pornography in our society and in their own lives.

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

 

Trump Effectively Puts Israel Back in the Driver's Seat

To say that Israelis were glued to their televisions as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stood side-by-side with US President Donald Trump to address the media would be a major understatement.

For most Israelis, this first meeting between the two leaders since Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States was enormously fateful.

And most Israelis were beyond pleased with the outcome, and the drastic improvement over relations during the Obama Administration.

What most took away from the press conference was that Trump had effectively put Israel back in the driver’s seat when it comes to making peace in the Middle East.

No more will Washington dictate to the Jewish state and impose detrimental “solutions” that ultimately only serve American interests.

Unlike Obama, Trump recognizes Israel’s sovereignty and is prepared to deal with Netanyahu as an equal, not an underling.

We’ll be taking a little more in-depth look at this critical meeting and the Israeli response to it in the upcoming issue of Israel Today Magazine, scheduled to go to print next week.

Be sure to SUBSCRIBE so you don’t miss it!

 

Trump's Effect on the Israeli Right

For Israeli right-wingers, the movement that carried Donald Trump into the White House is like a blessed wind filling the sails of a motionless ship on calm seas. 

Trump's bold pro-Israel stand filled the right-wing constituency with high hopes, some would say too high, that during his presidency Netanyahu's government would finally be able to implement its version of the Zionist vision. This entails, among other things, constitutionalizing Israel as a Jewish state and annexing at least parts of the West Bank. 

No less import, Trump's boldness inspires ministers and Knesset Members to express views they would not dare say prior to his election.

A day before Netanyahu flew to meet President Trump, the head of Jewish Home party, Education Minister Naftali Bennett, said that "after decades of misery, now there is a chance for good tidings, for a new way, getting off the idea of another Palestinian state in addition those in Gaza and Jordan." 

At the 14th Jerusalem Conference hosted by Besheva Media Group, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked expressed the same kind of bold spirit. "I view the election of President Trump as a landmark event, in a way, only the tip of the iceberg of an awe-inspiring global chain of events." The State of Israel, she said, "has a rare opportunity to shape its future and borders … it is our duty to do it … we have to make the whole world recognize our legitimate presence in Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley … we must stop feeding the illusion that Israel will withdraw, freeze, disengage, hand territories over to our enemies." 

Shaked concluded her speech with "For Zion's sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem's sake I will not remain quiet" (Isaiah 62:1).        

Speaking at the same conference, Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan said that "we have here a new historic opportunity for a new era. We return to proudly say that the land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people." The Temple Mount, he stressed, "is the most holy place for the Jewish people, and only for the Jewish people."    

Last, but not least, President Rivlin, who tries hard to pacify every minority, said that over the years Israel has cleverly and patiently extended its sovereignty over East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. He didn't once mention a Palestinian state. Instead, Rivlin said that if Israel decides to extend its sovereignty to Judea and Samaria, it must also grant Israeli residency status to the Palestinians. Rivlin stressed his belief that "Zion is all ours," meaning that Israel and the West Bank should be under Israeli sovereignty.

The next coming months will tell how bold is Israel in turning such clear and unambiguous statements to reality.

 

Israeli Women Urge Ivanka Trump to Help Negotiate Mideast Peace

The Israeli grassroots movement “Women Make Peace” has sent a letter to Ivanka Trump urging her to take a significant role in the efforts of her father’s administration to bring peace to the Middle East.

The Israelis noted that as a mother, a successful businesswoman, and her father’s most trusted adviser (some would say she’s the most powerful woman in the US), Ivanka is among the most qualified people in Washington to oversee Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

Women Make Peace is a movement of thousands of Israeli women from across the political spectrum and including both Arabs and Jews. They are frustrated with the government’s handling of the peace process and Palestinian terrorism.

Last October, they conducted a “March of Hope” outside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence in Jerusalem.

In their letter to Ivanka, the Israeli women congratulated her husband, Jared Kushner, for being named President Trump’s frontman for the Middle East. And they insisted she must also be involved.

“We wish your husband success in his role…and hope that together you can redirect your wisdom, negotiating skills and determination to bring about a political settlement between Israel and the Palestinians,” the women wrote. “We, the women of Israel, will do everything possible to help.”

Avital Brown, the activist who wrote the letter, said it’s timing was no coincidence. Netanyahu was scheduled to meet with President Trump on Wednesday, and the Israeli women feel there is only a very narrow window of opportunity to take drastic new action if another war is to be avoided.

PHOTO: Hundreds of women peace activists demonstrate outside Netanyahu’s residence in Jerusalem last October. (Flash90)

 

Mike Huckabee: Trump Will Recognize Jerusalem as Israel's Capital

While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in Washington for his first meeting with President Trump, former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee was once again in Israel.

Huckabee told local media that Trump's commitment to Israel remains as strong as ever, even if his attention is currently on other topics.

 

Israeli Ambassador Meets Rex Tillerson, Netanyahu Invites US Secretary of State to Israel

Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, got a chance to personally congratulate new US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on the day of his confirmation when both men attended the National Prayer Breakfast earlier this month.

Danon was among some 100 foreign dignitaries invited to the annual event.

Danon and Tillerson discussed Israel’s treatment at the UN, and the Israeli thanked the Trump Administration for appointing as its new ambassador to the UN former governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley, who has vowed unwavering defense of the Jewish state.

On Tuesday, shortly after touching down in Washington, DC for his first meeting with President Trump, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu invited Tillerson to visit Israel in the near future to continue their discussions on pressing matters such as Iran.

 

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Israeli President Helps Reopen Church Burned by Jewish Extremists

The Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes in Tabgha on the Sea of Galilee was fully reopened with the help of Israel President Reuven Rivlin this week, some 22 months after Jewish extremists set fire to the compound.

Two rooms in the historic church, where tradition says Jesus performed one of his most noted miracles, were badly damaged in the blaze.

Renovations on the church took eight months. The State of Israel covered one-third of the cost.

Rivlin and his wife were joined by a number of Christian leaders and foreign dignitaries at the celebratory event.

The Israeli president told to those gathered and to Christians around the world:

"We stand up for religious freedom because, as a people, we know very well what it means to suffer religious persecution. And we stand up for religious freedom because we are a democratic state – who believe in the rights for everyone to worship God according to their belief.

“The last time I was here, we stood together and looked at the burnt walls and the terrible graffiti. Today, I visit here again, and see the renewal of this historic, special, and holy place. I want to thank all the people who worked hard to restore this place, and to say clearly; that hate cannot win.”

 

Did Israel Block Trump From Moving US Embassy to Jerusalem?

Did Israel Block Trump From Moving US Embassy to Jerusalem?

US President Donald Trump has a lot of opposition to his promise to finally move the American embassy back to Jerusalem.

No one expected Israel itself to be among that opposition.

But that’s precisely what US Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, suggested in an interview with The Global Politico podcast on Monday.

According to Corker, Trump was ready to move the embassy the very minute after he was inaugurated. But Israeli ambivalence caused the president to stop and take a step back from his promise.

A lot of Israel’s mixed feelings on the issue are seemingly connected to the Jewish state’s burgeoning ties with the Arab world in the wake of the Iran nuclear deal.

Corker explaiend:

"[M]y question at the time is, how does Israel feel about that? They’ve never had a closer relationship with the Arab world. I mean, the Iran deal - to me, it was not the kind of agreement we should have entered into…

“But the one plus in the Iran deal is it brought the Arab community close to Israel. And so there’s a real working relationship there right now. More than I think many of the Arab leaders even want their citizens to know. So when you’ve got a situation like that, do you really want to destroy this alliance that is unprecedented and is real?”

Corker believes that both Trump and Israel still want the US embassy moved back to Jerusalem.

But Israel was not ready to let Trump strike when the iron was hot, and now the issue will again be pushed off for who knows how long.

 

Excavating the truth... One bucket at a time!

At the end of the nineties, the Muslim Wakf - the Temple Mount religious council - built a third mosque under the Temple Mount with Israeli knowledge. The mosque was built where Solomon's horse stables once stood. Over 400 trucks of earth and rubble from below the Temple Mount were removed and dumped.

The initial 60 truck loads of rubble were dumped on an organic rubbish dump near Al Azariya and their contents were lost forever. Another almost 350 truckloads were dumped in the Kidron valley. This load of earth was taken by two archaeologists, Prof. Gabriel Barkai and Tzachi Davira. With the help of volunteers they started sifting the debris. Bucket for bucket, without any financial support from the governments of Israel, the team toiled unceasingly uncovering small pieces of truth from the Temple Mount rubble. They have since found thousands of coins, seals, potsherds and mosaic tiles from the time of the first and second temples.

These valuable archaeological discoveries are not only evidence of the Jewish past, but also clear evidence of the Bible's historical accuracy.

We have decided to work closely with Prof. Gabriel Barkai and Tzachi Davira supporting the "Temple Mount Sifting Project". With your support you can support both this project AND Israel Today - "two birds with one stone"!

This is how it works. For every donation to this project, you will receive a 3-month trial subscription which can be gifted to a recipient of your choice. Simply provide us with their name, address and email address when ordering and we will arrange their trial subscription from Jerusalem!

In this way you will support this deserving project and also bless your loved ones with our magazine - the tool to reveal the truth which the mainstream media leave out!

"Whoever does not know the past can not understand the present nor shape the future."



 

Chief Rabbi Blesses Netanyahu Ahead of Meeting With Trump

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday departed for his fateful first meeting with Donald Trump since becoming the 45th president of the United States.

But before Netanyahu left, Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef blessed him and prayed for the meeting.

“May the Holy One, Blessed be He, be with your words. You are the representative of the entire Jewish nation, and there is no doubt God will aid you,” said Yosef.

A day earlier, Netanyahu presided over a fiery cabinet meeting where some ministers put heavy pressure on him to take advantage of President Trump’s sympathy to renounce the two-state solution and the so-called “Oslo Accords.”

Netanyahu tried to chill expectations, insisting that even with a president like Trump, there would be limitations to what Israel could do.

Even so, if the meeting ends with either Netanyahu or Trump committing to a Palestinian state, the prime minister will be in for a political firestorm when he gets home.

 

Israelis Launch Covert Mission Into Syria...to Deliver Coats

The harsh winter has been made all the more unbearable for millions of Syrians as a devastating civil war enters its seventh year.

Across the border, Israel is doing all it can without getting too mired in a neighboring state that still officially considers the Jewish state its sworn enemy.

Enemies or not, a growing number of Israelis are determined to engage in private aid missions to augment the medical care being provided by the government and the Israeli army to those Syrians who can reach the border.

One of those missions has been to collect mountains of winter gear and apparel to help Syrians “weather” the cold season.

The coats and other goods have to have all tags bearing Hebrew removed so as to not cause a problem for recipients.

Dubbed “Operation Human Warmth,” the mission has been conducted by three local groups - HaNoar HaOved VeHaLomed (Working and Studying Youth), Dror Israel and the Combat Genocide Association.

To date, more than 3,000 boxes of coats, gloves, boots, sleeping bags and other winter supplies have been gathered and quietly taken into Syria for distribution.

The effort is yet further evidence of Israel’s true nature, even towards her sworn enemies.

PHOTO: An Israeli demonstrates for peace and freedom in Syria. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

 

"Yerushalayim Shel Zahav ..."

On May 24, 2017 the "City of Gold" will be celebrating "Jerusalem Day"! The background to this joyous occasion is the reunification of the city in 1967. This year marks the 50th anniversary of this historic occasion.

In honor of this occasion, 5% of the cost of your purchases will go to the "guardians of Jerusalem's heritage". We will be supporting the "Temple Mount Sifting Project"! More information about this new project can be found in the upcoming issue of Israel Today!

Would you like to stake a claim to a part of the capital of Israel? Now you have the opportunity to BUY THE TEMPLE MOUNT - and you do not even need the UN!



 

Netanyahu Tells Israelis to Calm Down Over Trump Meeting

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is meeting with US President Donald Trump in Washington on Wednesday.

Right-wing Israelis especially are anxious over the gathering, hoping that Netanyahu will take advantage of Trump’s sympathy for Israel to end the charade of the land-for-peace process.

And if he doesn’t, Netanyahu could be in for a political firestorm at home.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett wrote on Facebook that if Netanyahu and Trump come out of the meeting and mention a commitment to the two-state solution, “it will impact us directly for years to come. It will be an earthquake.”

Like many Israelis, Bennett sees in Trump an opportunity for Israel to wrest itself free from a destructive peace process that has only brought decades of escalated conflict and bloodshed.

At Sunday’s cabinet meeting, Netanyahu tried to downplay the significance of the meeting a little, insisting that even with a president like Trump, there are limitations.

“I understand that there is great excitement in advance of this meeting, driven by various motivations. But I only have one motivation: My utmost consideration is to ensure Israel’s security and strengthen our relationship with the United States as well as the joint interests that stand behind it,” Netanyahu told his ministers.

“To think that there are no limits with Trump is a mistake,” he added. “After eight years of complicated maneuvering in the Obama era, we need to continue to act judiciously during the Trump era.”

 

Time for Another Reformation

From reports of Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s meeting with his British counterpart Theresa May, it seems that the UK government doesn’t really believe Iran is a threat to world peace or, for that matter, that God’s chosen people are worth supporting to the hilt.

In defying a call for fresh sanctions against Iran, Mrs May indicated her continued commitment to the nuclear deal which Mr Netanyahu believes to be highly dangerous, saying: “Iran seeks to annihilate Israel, it seeks to conquer the Middle East, it threatens Europe, it threatens the West, it threatens the world.”[1]

I am reminded of the indelible link between Bible-believing Christians and comfort for Israel (Isaiah 40) – and where this is lacking, it is through ignorance.

In a year that we are celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, sparked off by Martin Luther, we should be thankful that it opened the way to an understanding of the Bible that had a hugely civilizing effect on the West, the heart of his rediscovery being that salvation in Christ comes through faith alone, not by good deeds.

Sadly, however, there was a major flaw in Luther’s understanding in that he failed to grasp that God had not forsaken the Jews despite their overall rejection of Christ. And it is widely reckoned that his anti-Semitic statements sowed the seeds of the Holocaust. Indeed, Anglican clergyman Simon Ponsonby has said that Nazism was a legacy of Luther, who had called for the urgent expulsion of Jewish people from Germany in his last sermon.[2]

But a 20th century hero named after him, Martin Luther King Jr, had a very different view which certainly does not chime with current political correctness.

“When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You’re talking anti-Semitism!” Those with a different agenda try to re-write history by claiming, for example, that this quote is a hoax. But it comes through unscathed on closer examination.[3]

“Peace for Israel means security,” said King, “and we must stand with all of our might to protect its right to exist, its territorial integrity. I see Israel as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can almost be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy. Peace for Israel means security and that security must be a reality.”[4]

Judging by the strong Christian content of his inaugural speech along with the make-up of his cabinet including several Bible-believing Christians as well as Jews, I am most encouraged by the new U.S. President Donald Trump.

On important matters of politics, as in society as a whole, the Bible trumps all other agendas. And we are much nearer to being on the right track in world affairs when its ethos and principles begin to dictate policy once more – as it did 100 years ago when the (mostly) evangelical Christian members of David Lloyd George’s War Cabinet understood the importance of a re-born Israel. That led to the Balfour Declaration, promising that the British Government would do all in its power to facilitate the re-creation of a Jewish state in the Holy Land.

That it happened was clearly part of God’s plan, and the Bible’s agenda, but now the world condemns Israel for stealing land from the Palestinians. Yet, in addressing Israel’s restoration, a recurring theme of the Bible, the prophet Amos writes: “I will bring my people Israel back from exile… and will plant them in their own land, never again to be uprooted…” (Amos 9.14f)

I’m told that, earlier this week, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson took the trouble to show Mr Netanyahu the very desk at which Balfour wrote and signed the declaration.

That both Balfour and Trump have come under ferocious fire is because they have challenged the fashionable so-called ‘anti-fascists’ of the anti-God brigade. Canon Andrew White – the clerical equivalent of Trump when it comes to plain-speaking – put it perfectly when he said that “the world is anti-Semitic because it is anti-God. This land (Israel) is God’s land…”[5]

Also known as the Vicar of Baghdad, the Anglican clergyman has stood up to brutal terrorists while negotiating the release of hostages and has become the voice of reconciliation amidst the hatred and bitterness of Middle East conflict.

In an interview with this month’s issue of the Israel Today magazine, he added: “The conflict exists because Israel’s opponents are fundamentally anti-Jewish. One cannot merely say that they are only opposed to Israel; after all, Israel represents the essence of Judaism. No Judaism, no Israel. No Judaism, no God!”

Speaking of his experience in Baghdad, where he built up a church of over 6,000, he said: “At first the Iraqi Christians were against Israel, as were the Muslims. I was shocked by this and decided to enlighten them…about the Jewish roots of their faith.”

And it was as a result of this that they developed a love for Israel.

Hatred of Israel is due in large part to biblical illiteracy. So it is surely time for a new reformation which sees the Word of God restored to its rightful place as the sure foundation for all who claim to be followers of Jesus.

It is revealing that among Christian denominations that have taken issue with Israel are the Presbyterians and Methodists, who are in serious decline both spiritually and numerically.

Israel also needs to restore their relationship with God, as they did in Jehoshaphat’s day. But Christians are called to help with this process by praying for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122.6) and by sharing the gospel with them both in word and deed. (Romans 1.16)


  1. Independent, February 7 2017  ↩

  2. Peace in Jerusalem (p157) olivepresspublisher.com, quoting Simon Ponsonby addressing the CMJ (Church’s Ministry among Jewish people) Conference at Swanwick, England, in 2013  ↩

  3. See Yes, MLK really did say the quote that anti-Zionism is anti-semitism … Martin Kramer, January 21 2013, Elder of Ziyon  ↩

  4. See The forgotten MLK: An ally of the Jews and Israel - Conservative Review January 16 2017  ↩

  5. Interview with Aviel Schneider, Israel Today, February 2017  ↩


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

 

Palestinians Turn Jerusalem Into a Tool of Terror

originally written for the Investigative Project on Terrorism

Palestinian and other Arab leaders threatened violence in response to President Trump's pledge to move the U.S. embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem. While Bill Clinton and George W. Bush also promised such a move as candidates, each backed off.

The terrorist who killed four Israelis in Jerusalem Jan. 8 by mowing them over with his truck expressed agitation after hearing a sermon at a local mosque criticizing Trump's embassy relocation promise.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership reportedly instructed the mosques it controls to focus their religious sermons on the embassy relocation. Worse still, the PA promised the terrorist's widow a lifetime, $760-per-month stipend for her husband's "martyrdom for Allah."

Arab reactions to Trump's embassy plans are more heated than they were to those of candidates Bush and Clinton perhaps because of Trump's pledge to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and relocate the embassy there from Tel Aviv, not only as a candidate (including during his address at last year's AIPAC Policy Conference) but also as president-elect, issuing public reassurances on the issue. Trump even planned to visit the Temple Mount as a candidate, although the visit never materialized and – as president – he said last Thursday that it was "too early" to discuss moving the U.S. Embassy.

Nevertheless, Palestinian and Arab leaders have warned that moving the embassy could lead to unrest and violence. Influential Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr called the idea "a declaration of war against Islam." PA President Mahmoud Abbas said he could revoke the PLO's recognition of Israel, while his Fatah party warned the move "would open the gates of hell."

Such declarations by political and religious leaders give a green light to Palestinians to react violently, as the Jerusalem terrorist truck attack shows.

Palestinian leaders, including the "more moderate" Palestinian Authority, regularly deny that Jews have any historical or religious connection to the Temple Mount.

PA Jerusalem Affairs Minister Adnan al-Husseini demanded an apology Sunday after United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said it was "completely clear that the Temple that the Romans destroyed in Jerusalem was a Jewish temple." The statement "violated all legal, diplomatic and humanitarian customs and overstepped his role as secretary general," al-Husseini said.

This is not the first time that the Palestinians, including the "more moderate" Palestinian Authority, manipulated Jerusalem into an incendiary trigger for terror.

As Palestinian Media Watch reported, Abbas led calls in 2015 for Palestinians to act violently to "defend" Muslim holy sites. He blessed "every drop of blood that has been spilled for Jerusalem" and presented violence in "defense" of holy sites and against the Jews' "filthy feet" as a religious imperative.

Indeed, the "stabbing intifidah" was launched in 2015 by false rumors that Israel was trying to change the status quo on the Temple Mount.

"Arabs are convinced that Israel is set on destroying, desecrating or 'Judaizing' Haram al-Sharif, the Jerusalem compound that includes al-Aqsa, Islam's third-holiest site," Benny Avni wrote in the New York Post. Such incitement persists, Avni noted, even though "Israel points out that the arrangements that have existed since 1967, when it seized control of the Temple Mount, Judaism's holiest site, are intact, and will remain so: A Jordanian trust, the Waqf, maintains the Mount. Jews can visit, but not pray there."

Even worse, President Obama's State Department reinforced the dangerously false incitement about Jerusalem promoted by Palestinians.

Writing about the 2015 "Stabbing Intifida," journalist Jeffrey Goldberg rightly pointed out that it was "prompted in good part by the same set of manipulated emotions that sparked the anti-Jewish riots of the 1920s: a deeply felt desire on the part of Palestinians to 'protect' the Temple Mount from Jews."

In the 1929 Arab riots, Arabs killed more than 130 Jews, and nearly as many Arabs died when British police responded. Among the findings of a subsequent investigation by the Shaw Commission was that "the Mufti was influenced by the twofold desire to confront the Jews and to mobilise Moslem opinion on the issue of the Wailing Wall" (in Jerusalem) and that one of the chief causes of the riots was "Propaganda among the less-educated Arab people of a character calculated to incite them."

Arab incitement against Jews happens regularly, often without the explosive element of Jerusalem. In a sermon broadcast on Hamas's Al-Aqsa TV in early January, a Hamas leader name Marwan Abu Ras, accused Jews of sending "AIDS-infected girls to fornicate with Muslim youths." He also claimed that Israel was allowing drugs to be smuggled through tunnels into Gaza, while blocking the entry of essential goods. "Their state is about to disappear," Abu Ras said. "...My brothers, know that people, stones, and trees all hate [the Jews]. Everyone on Earth hates this filthy nation, a nation extrinsic to Mankind. This fact was elucidated by the Quran and the Sunna."

But adding Jerusalem to Arab incitement against Israelis can make the resulting violence even more explosive.

Qanta Ahmed, a pro-Israel Muslim reformer who visited both the Jewish and Muslim holy sites at the Temple Mount, eloquently noted the Islamist thinking that enables the weaponization of Jerusalem: "Forbidding worshippers from entering holy sites in Islam, including non-conforming or pluralist Muslims who reject both the ideology and accouterments of Islamism is an impassioned pastime of fervent Islamists who foolishly believe only they are the keepers of our Maker..."

Unfortunately, Jerusalem has a long and bloody history of being manipulated by Muslim leaders into an explosive tool of incitement. But if Islam truly is a religion of peace, its leading practitioners should stop turning religious holy sites into weapons of war, and instead embrace Doctor Ahmed's tolerance.

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

 

ISIS Fires Missiles at Eilat, Israel's Iron Dome Intercepts

ISIS terrorists operating out of the Sinai Peninsula fired a number of missiles at the southern Israel resort town of Eilat on Wednesday night.

Israel’s vaunted Iron Dome anti-missile system managed to intercept three of the missiles that were on target to hit Eliat. It let a fourth fall in an uninhabited area.

ISIS terrorists later claimed responsibility for the failed attack, according to Hamas-controlled media in the Gaza Strip.

ISIS has threatened to invest more of its resources in attacking Israel.

 

Chuck Norris Meets Netanyahu, Who Dismisses 'Obsolete' Bodyguards

Legendary Hollywood action star Chuck Norris was in Israel this week, as previously reported.

As expected, Norris met with his good friend, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu while in Jerusalem.

Playing on popular Internet memes, Netanyahu joked, "Israel is strong, but it’s indestructible now" as Norris entered the room.

Netanyahu also jokingly dismissed his bodyguards, suggesting they weren't needed with Norris around.

 

VIDEO: Aerial Footage of Eilat

 

Does Israel's Booming Wine Industry Signal Messiah's Return?

A seemingly minor event occurred last month that could have enormous prophetic significance.

The renewed Sanhedrin (Jewish religious court) took delivery of 30 bottles of wine.

Doesn’t sound like a very big deal. Right?

Not until you consider Micah 4:4:

Everyone will sit under their own vine and under their own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the LORD Almighty has spoken.

That verse is right smack in the middle of a prophecy concerning the Messianic age. It suggests the people in the land will be producing wine at that time.

Micah couldn’t have known it at the time, but that little point was important.

You see, for many long centuries, the Holy Land was under Muslim rule. And alcohol is forbidden in Islam. No one was producing wine in this land unless he was looking for severe punishment.

It’s only with the rebirth of Israel as a nation state that wine is again being produced here.

And it’s only recently that Israel’s wine industry has grown large enough for the Sanhedrin to find wine kosher enough to be used in the Temple that religious Jews hope will soon be rebuilt in Jerusalem.

As Breaking Israel News explained, wine used in Temple service must meet far higher kosher standards than that suitable for every day consumption.

And now they’ve found such a wine.

So, whether or not Messiah’s return is imminent, one more piece of the puzzle has fallen into place.

 

Hamas Music Video Promotes Jew-Hatred, Cannibalism

Israel's Palestinian "peace partners" have published a new music videos about killing Jews as gruesomely as possible, and then eating them with salt.

Probably doesn't count as cannibalism (which Islam frowns upon) since Hamas has already informed Palestinians that Jews are less than human.

 

Celebrate Tu B'shvat with us (New Year for Trees)!

"... He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream." Jeremiah 17: 8

The tree alludes much sysmbolism in the Bible. From the "tree of knowledge" to the "tree of life", from cedar to fig tree - trees are mentioned from the third day of the story of creation.

In Judaism the trees are given a day of honor - Tu B'Shvat - the 15th day of the Jewish month of Shvat. The New Year for trees is celebrated. It is traditional to celebrate and partake of fruit and the Seven Species with which Israel was blessed; grapes, figs, olives, dates, pomegranates, wheat and barley!

We are offering our entire shop's inventory at at least 20% for this occasion.



 

Brother Jesus in Jerusalem

Israel Today Editor Aviel Schneider visits the Israel Museum to check out its new exhibit, "Jesus in Israeli Art".

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

 

Israeli MK Thanks Trump for Helping Legalize Jewish Settlements

Israel’s Knesset on Monday passed a controversial bill that will legalize even unauthorized Jewish settlement outposts in the so-called “West Bank.”

Following the vote on what is known as the Regulation Law, right-wing lawmaker Bezalel Smotrich (Jewish Home) took the podium and publicly thanked US President Donald Trump and the American people for making such a move possible.

“Without [Trump] the law would have probably not passed,” said Smotrich.

It is true that Israeli governments have often refrained from bolstering the settlement of the Land of Israel if they thought the Americans would object. It is a certainty that the rest of the world will always object, so without American coverage, Israel fears being too isolated.

What’s also true is that President Trump has repeatedly stated, in contrast to previous US governments, that Jewish settlements are not the obstacle to peace in the Middle East.

While Trump has cautioned Israel against making unilateral moves (or at least against announcing them to the world), he has also appointed diplomats who firmly believe Israel should be sovereign in _all_the land.

As for the Regulation Law, the Trump Administration pointedly refused to comment on the matter when pressed by reporters.

Instead, the White House will wait to see if Israel’s Supreme Court approves the law and then quietly consult on the matter with the relevant parties.

Quite the contrast to former US President Barack Obama. And the reason why Israel feels emboldened to take such measures.

 

Gaza Rocket Hits Israel, IDF Destroys Hamas Base

Palestinian terrorists operating out of the Gaza Strip fired a rocket into southern Israel on Monday morning.

The rocket landed in an open area south of the coastal city of Ashkelon causing no injuries or damage.

Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system detected the launch, but quickly calculated that the rocket would hit an uninhabited area, and so did not try to intercept.

In response, Israeli tanks opened fire an a Hamas base in northern Gaza, destroying it. Palestinian sources said there were no casualties on their side.

PHOTO: Hamas militants rally against Israel in southern Gaza (Flash90)

 

Chuck Norris Suddenly Appears in Israel

Legendary actor and martial artist Chuck Norris was spotted in Israel this past weekend on an unannounced visit for unknown reasons.

Norris first showed up at a restaurant in Herzliya, where he was seen dining with Dore Gold, the former director-general of the Israel Foreign Ministry and a close adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Norris publicly endorsed Netanyahu in both the 2013 and 2015 national elections in Israel. He even did television spots encouraging Israelis to vote for Netanyahu. (see above video)

It was unclear if Norris would meet with Netanyahu on this visit. But he did come up on Sunday to Jerusalem, where he was seen praying at the Western Wall and touring the tunnels beneath.

 

Shalom from Jerusalem!

Israel exists in our days, just as it did in biblical times. And for the same reason. Could you imagine the Word of God without the nation of Israel? Do you really believe that modern Israel is any less important to God? His dedication to and unity with the nation of Israel is unchanged, as it is written: “Hear, O Israel! The LORD our God, the LORD is one”.

Let us, too, be united, because defending Israel is not just a duty, it is a privilege! Come and be part of a strong community around the nations. In keeping with that special prayer from Deuteronomy, we can overcome in unity with God and with Israel. Located in Jerusalem, Israel Today is uniquely situated to connect you to the people of Israel, to the Word of God, and to a deeper understanding of your faith.

Find out how Israel Today can provide you deeper spiritual insight for the benefit of both Israel and yourself.

Below are two opportunities to both get to know Israel Today and arm yourself in the battle of the truth regarding Israel as well as practically participate in blessing Israel.



 

Report: Business Between Israel and Arab Neighbors is Flourishing

A Bloomberg expose published last week revealed that business is booming between Israel and many of its Arab neighbors, even if you can’t see it.

Arab countries are still careful not to make too much noise about their relations with Israel, lest they stir the wrath of a Muslim public that has been spoon-fed hate for the Jews for the past 65 years.

But those relations exist, and are growing stronger every day.

“This isn’t beating swords into plowshares, but a logical coalescence of interests based on shared fears: of an Iranian bomb, jihadi terror, popular insurgency, and an American retreat from the region,” according to the report.

Shmuel Bar, head of Israeli software intelligence company IntuView, told Bloomberg: “The Arab boycott? It doesn’t exist.”

Bar said that he meets freely and regularly with Saudi, Egyptian and other Arab officials and customers at conferences and other events abroad.

He said that while many Arab governments still pay lip service to the “Palestinian cause,” they are far more interested in what Israel can do for them.

 

VIDEO: The World's Coolest Subway is in Israel!

 

Israel Says Europe Can No Longer Defend Itself

Senior Israeli government officials weigh in on the dire situation in Europe.

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

 

Netanyahu Announces First New Jewish Settlement in Over 25 Years

Even as government forces were evacuating the unauthorized Jewish outpost of Amona, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday announced plans for the first new Jewish settlement in the “West Bank” in over 25 years.

Netanyahu said he was putting together a government committee to advance construction of the new community, the name and location of which is yet to be decided.

It will be the first government-authorized Jewish settlement since the establishment of Revava near the Samarian town of Ariel in 1991.

Since then, Israel has complied with its peace process commitment to not construct any new settlements.

But with the land-for-peace process all but dead, and a new US president who most Israelis believe will not tolerate continued Palestinian violations, the Jewish state might finally be ditching the so-called “Oslo Accords.”

Announcement of the new settlement accompanied plans to build thousands of new apartments in existing settlements and on the eastern side of Jerusalem.

 

WATCH: Illegal Jewish Outpost of Amona Forcibly Evacuated

Israeli security forces on Wednesday carried out a government order to evacuate, forcibly if needed, the unauthorized Jewish settlement outpost of Amona.

Situated near the Samarian town of Ofra, Amona was home to hundreds of religious Jews who felt it they had a biblical mandate to resettle this particular part of the land.

But the government ultimately ruled that the community had been erected without proper authorization, and therefore must be demolished.

Thousands of police and soldiers took part in the operation. Most did their best to treat the distraught Jewish settlers with care and understanding. That can be seen in the following video of a Border Police officer consoling a settler he had just removed from his home:

Most Jews do not relish the idea of uprooting fellow Jews from the Land of Israel.

Here is aerial footage of the difficult event taken by a police drone:

 

End of Winter Sale

Winter sale in Jerusalem: Top offers and great prices - only for a limited time!

Who hasn't experienced this: You see something in the shop window, but decide not to buy. But you can't get it out of your head so quickly!

Have you been considering one of our products from Israel, but have been waiting to pull the trigger?

THEN YOUR WAIT HAS PAID OFF!

Come take advantage of a SALE in all our shop categories!

ISRAEL TODAY – SALE

 

Netanyahu Asks Rabbis to Pray for Trump

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu paid a visit to the leaders of one of Israel’s most influential ultra-Orthodox Jewish sects last week, and asked them to pray for the success of US President Donald Trump.

Netanyahu was paying his condolences to Rabbi Yissachar Dov Rokeach, head of the Belzer community, following his mother’s death.

Rokeach blessed Netanyahu, saying that “it’s been years since we last had a prime minister who knew how to stand up to the world like you. It’s all in the hands of Heaven.”

The ultra-Orthodox news portal B’Hadrei Haredim reported that the prime minister then asked Rokeach to keep President Trump in his prayers.

“We had a big miracle that we’re over a difficult time in the US,” Netanyahu reportedly said. “Now a new president has been elected and we should pray that he will be good for the Jews and for Israel.”

 

The Magnificent Ten

A political document blamed by many for today’s Middle East crisis was motivated by the evangelical Christian faith of a uniquely international, cross-party, British war cabinet.

This was the claim of Jerusalem-based Canadian Rev Dr David Schmidt in a London lecture marking the centenary of the 1917 Balfour Declaration.[1]

This refers to a letter to Britain’s Jewish leaders, signed by Foreign Secretary Lord Arthur Balfour, promising that the Government would do all in its power to facilitate a return to their ancient land of God’s chosen people who had been scattered throughout the globe for some 1,800 years.

They weren’t at the time in a position to do so, for the region then known as Palestine was under Turkish Muslim control, but the situation changed within weeks following the capture of Jerusalem by British and Allied forces under the command of General Edmund Allenby.

So it was that a brief 130-word letter became the basis for British rule of the territory, subsequently confirmed by the League of Nations (the UN’s predecessor) until such time as the Jews were ready for independence. But Britain later reneged on its agreement in a bid to appease Arab opposition. However, it did not stop the eventual creation of a Jewish state in 1948.

As a Bible-believing academic, Dr Schmidt is convinced that, far from being an embarrassing relic of the British Empire responsible for the current regional conflict, as many claim, the Balfour Declaration was part of God’s plan and Israel’s destiny, as foretold by the Old Testament prophets. “I believe what is written in the Bible regarding the Jewish people and prophecy; that the Jews would be exiled and scattered throughout the world, and in the last days return to the land in unbelief.”[2]

Such a time would be marked by an increase in travel and knowledge (Daniel 12.4), among other phenomena, but specifically by fierce opposition of the nations to an independent state of Israel (Zechariah 14.2, Psalm 2.1–6).

Various theories have been put forward for the motivation of David Lloyd George’s ten-strong War Cabinet of 1917 – such as empire expansion, remorse over Jewish persecution and even gratitude for the war efforts of Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann, a top biochemist who had developed an important chemical ingredient for gunpowder.

But Dr Schmidt is convinced that Christian Zionism was at its heart, defining Zionism as the belief that Jews remain God’s chosen people and that they have a right to live in the land of Israel.

Though from different social backgrounds and representing all contemporary political parties, these magnificent ten were, for the most part, non-Conformist evangelical Christians – there were no Anglicans – who were familiar with the Old Testament and aware of biblical prophecy. Ironically, the only Jewish member strongly opposed the policy. Many Jews at the time saw it as being herded into a ‘ghetto’. But their opposition gradually faded as the Zionist movement gained momentum.

Lloyd George was the main figure behind the declaration, said Dr Schmidt. Though “ethically challenged” – he had a mistress, for one thing – the Welsh-born Liberal Prime Minister was raised on the Bible and retained a sentimental attachment to biblical values while not always living up to its high ideals.

Balfour too was steeped in the Bible from his Scottish Presbyterian childhood, believing that Christian civilization owed an immeasurable debt to Judaism. He was motivated by what he called “the desire to give the Jews their rightful place in the world” and even gave theological lectures at Cambridge University. He was highly accomplished, having already served as Prime Minister, and declared on his deathbed that aiding Jewish restoration was possibly the most worthwhile thing he had done. And he asked that the inscription on his tombstone should read, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith,” quoting the Apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 4.7.

Also in the cabinet was Jan Christian Smuts, a Boer general in the South African War. Raised in the Reform Church, his early life was filled with Bible teaching and he predicted that, in generations to come, a great Jewish state would arise once more. In fact, Smuts argued for the biblical restoration of Israel all his life. He was the only Cabinet member who lived to see the re-born state when, as South African Prime Minister, he was the first to recognise the new country after the United States.

Edward Carson, a fiery criminal lawyer from Ulster, opposed Lloyd George on many other issues, but not this one.

Andrew Bonar Law, a Canadian raised by a Presbyterian minister, became Prime Minister in 1922, but died of cancer soon afterwards.

Labour politician Arthur Henderson was converted to Christ through the famed evangelist Gypsy Smith and was also a wholehearted supporter of the Balfour Declaration, as was fellow Labour member George Barnes, who loved the Jewish people.

Support also came from Alfred Milner (brought up in Germany) but George Nathaniel Curzon raised early objections. As a former Viceroy of India, he understood how the Muslims could rise up in opposition and believed the Jews would struggle to live in such “a desolate place”.

Edwin Montague, meanwhile, was opposed both to the declaration and to Zionism in general despite being a Jew himself because it would force a nationality on people who had nothing in common, and become a Jewish ghetto.

In answer to questions, Dr Schmidt suggested that the failure of British foreign policy was not in supporting the Jews with their Zionist cause but, in having done so, trying to appease the Arabs as well so that in the end they pleased no-one.

The composition of the cabinet was also ironic, I believe, in that none of the many Christians among them were Anglicans, and yet it had been the Church’s Ministry among the Jewish people (CMJ), an Anglican society, who had done much to influence politicians about Jewish restoration since its founding in 1809 by William Wilberforce and others. In fact the London meeting was sponsored by CMJ on behalf of the Balfour 100 (Christian) Committee.

Dr Schmidt holds a PhD in Middle Eastern political history focusing on the Balfour Declaration and the British Mandate, and has lived in Israel with his wife Susan since 1989.


  1. Held at the City Temple, Holborn, on January 25.  ↩

  2. He made the point that the early Jewish Zionists were not religious – “they were proud of the fact that they did not go to synagogue; they were in a sense Jewish atheists…” But now, he says: “Every year in Israel people are more spiritual and observant,” fulfilling Ezekiel’s prophecy of the dry bones coming to life.  ↩


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

 

The Stillborn Two-State Solution

Fatigue with this illusory peace process was best seen in remarks by renowned Israeli author A.B. Yehoshua.

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

 

VIDEO: Get to Know Dolphin Reef in Eilat

 

The Battle for the Heart and Soul of the IDF

The IDF has been at the center of passionate public debate since last year's speech by Maj.-Gen. Yair Golan, at the time the army's deputy chief of staff, on the occasion of Holocaust Memorial Day. 

His remarks on Israeli society kicked up a firestorm that refuses to subside. According to Golan, Israel today reminds him of the "horrific processes which developed in Europe – particularly in Germany – 70, 80, and 90 years ago, and finding remnants of that here among us in the year 2016." 

The general's harsh statement was perceived as left-wing ideology the type of which has been firmly entrenched within the IDF's upper echelons, resulting in questionable moral codes that severely hinder the army's very purpose to protect Israel.

Particularly annoyed by this is the religious community, which sees the liberal values of gender equality and LGBT rights as especially aggravating since those directly contradict Jewish religious laws. One of the harshest critics of the IDF is Rabbi Zvi Tau, head of Har Hamor Yeshiva. Among the national religious yeshivas, the prestigious Har Hamor is branded as "national-Orthodox," a relative newcomer among the Zionist religious movements that are typically lenient.

R. Tau, who previously insisted that the IDF leadership had no mandate to alter Jewish culture, spoke recently with the heads of religious pre-military academies (mechinot) to discuss whether or not it was permitted for their graduates to serve in the Israeli army. 

The discourse, published by the religious portal Kipa, reveals the depth of the crisis between the religious community and the IDF.

To clarify, R. Tau is adamant that young religious Jews should not be give the option to refuse military service. "If for a moment we'll be left without an army, we will have no country … on account of some who have fallen flat on their faces should we not do what is right?" he questioned. 

Tau's remedy is to strengthen religious education so that the students would find the inner strength to resist the army's insistence on doing what is wrong. "Is there any other place in the world where, as a matter of abiding principle, men and women are bedded in the same place … are these human norms?" he wondered. "This is how one loses sanity, the basic norms of God's image in human beings."

Tau, therefore, is calling on religious soldiers to pay the price for being forced into unlawful norms. "The people of Israel have stood firm for two millennia of exile," he said, "and here is someone holding on to the new demon of post modernism, he will try to make us leave our religion? We are willing to take part in whatever is asked, but not in this madness, not in this beastly behavior." 

This battle over the army's spirit is far from over and shows at least one thing - that unlike in the past, attempts to fundamentally alter the army's culture can no longer go unnoticed, nor can the army afford to ignore the challenges it faces from devout Jews.

 

Heroes of the Holocaust

Seventy-two years after the liberation of Auschwitz by the Red Army on January 27 1945, Britain and other nations are acknowledging Holocaust Memorial Day at a time when anti-Semitism is once more on the rise.

Israel itself, which has since risen from the ashes of that dreadful scourge that wiped out six million European Jews, is under dire threat from enemies on all sides while attacks on synagogues and other Jewish centres are still being carried out in the ‘civilised’ West. Only this last weekend in north-west London, a swastika-daubed brick was hurled through a Jewish family’s window while others were pelted with eggs.[1]

The fragile borders to which the United Nations expect Israel to agree (just nine miles wide in places) have for good reason been described by politicians as ‘Auschwitz lines’ because they leave the Jewish state highly vulnerable to attack from neighbouring states who have repeatedly threatened to wipe them off the map.

It was also in January 1945 that one of the most heroic accounts of the war took place. But the incredible story has only just surfaced because the hero concerned never spoke about it.

The truth was finally unearthed by his granddaughter when asked to focus on a family member as part of a college assignment. Her widowed grandmother gave her the diary kept by her husband during his time in a prisoner-of-war camp which revealed the astonishing fact that, by standing up to the German commandant, Master Sgt Roddie Edmonds, of Knoxville, Tennessee, had saved the lives of 200 American Jews.

As the highest-ranking officer there, Edmonds was made responsible for the camp’s 1,292 American GIs, 200 of whom were Jewish. Then one day the Germans ordered all Jewish POWs to report outside their barracks the following morning. Knowing what awaited them – being moved to a slave labour camp at the very least – he decided to resist the directive, ordering all his men to fall out the following morning.

The commandant, Major Siegmann, duly ordered Edmonds to identify the Jewish soldiers, to which the sergeant responded: “We are all Jews here.”

Holding his pistol to Edmonds’ head, the commandant repeated the order. But the sergeant – a devout Christian – refused.

“According to the Geneva Convention, we only have to give our name, rank and serial number. If you shoot me, you will have to shoot all of us, and after the war you will be tried for war crimes,” Edmonds had said, according to one of the men saved that day.

Edmonds’ pastor son Chris regards all of them as heroes as they could easily have identified the Jews among them to save their skin. But they all stood together. Late last year Roddie Edmonds was posthumously awarded the Yehi Or (Let there be light) Award by the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous. He has also been honoured by Jerusalem’s Holocaust Museum Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations.[2]

But as Jews were herded into cattle trucks for transporting to death camps, there weren’t many Roddies about who dared to speak up and stand up on their behalf.

These days, where controversial issues are concerned, leaders still prefer to keep their heads below the proverbial parapet while remaining ‘impartial’. But there is a time when we must take sides. We must choose between life and death, between God and evil. If we claim to be Christian, we have no option.

“Neutrality is only an illusion,” writes Robert Stearns. “Those who are not for God are against Him. (Matthew 12.30a) “The German public’s unfortunate legacy during World War II lies not in what they did in response to their despotic leader and his horrendous practices, but in what they did not do.”[3]

This did not apply, however, to Hans Scholl and his sister Sophie, young Christians who led the White Rose leaflet campaign of resistance for which they paid with their lives. Prophetically, they asked the question: “Who among us has any conception of the dimensions of shame that will befall us and our children when one day the veil has fallen from our eyes and the most horrible of crimes… reach the light of day?”[4]

Stearns also points out that, when the Nazis invaded European nations, many monarchs vacated their thrones and fled. But King Christian X stayed in Denmark as he defied the bullies. And thanks to his example, most Danish Jews survived the war.[5]

Princess Alice, the Queen’s mother-in-law, has also been recognized by Jerusalem’s Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum as ‘righteous among the nations’ for saving a Jewish family during the war, and is buried on the Mount of Olives.

As Princess of Greece, she hid Jewish widow Rachel Cohen and two of her five children in her home. Rachel’s husband had in 1913 helped King George I of Greece, in return for which the king offered him any service he could perform, should he ever need it. When the Nazi threat emerged, his son recalled this promise and appealed to the Princess, who duly honoured her father’s pledge. Prince Charles last year fulfilled a longstanding wish to visit his grandmother’s grave.[6]

It’s interesting in this respect that Prince Charles has compared the dangers facing minority faith groups across the world today with the “dark days of the 1930s”.[7]

The Queen herself is a wonderful example of someone who is prepared to make an uncompromising stand for faith and truth, declaring in her latest Christmas message to the nation: “Jesus Christ lived in obscurity for much of his life and was maligned and rejected by many, though he had done no wrong. Millions now follow his teaching and find in him the guiding light of their lives. I am one of them…”

Are we, like the Queen, courageous enough to tell the entire world that we are followers of Jesus and, as such, will do all we can to stand up to the evil that lurks in every dark corner of our land?

Roddie Edmonds was prepared to die for 200 Jewish men. Abraham was prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac. But the greatest sacrifice of all was when Yeshua (Hebrew for Jesus), “though he had done no wrong”, laid down his life for both Jews and Gentiles on a stake outside the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City after being “led like a lamb to the slaughter” during the Passover feast (Isaiah 53.7). He bought our pardon; he paid the price.


  1. Jerusalem News Network, January 24 2017, quoting Algemeiner  ↩

  2. Gateway News (South Africa), December 1 2016, originally published by The Times of Israel  ↩

  3. The Cry of Mordecai by Robert Stearns (Destiny Image)  ↩

  4. Ibid  ↩

  5. Ibid  ↩

  6. Torch magazine, Christians United for Israel – UK, Dec 2016-Feb 2017  ↩

  7. Saltshakers December 24 2016, quoting Premier Online  ↩


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

 

'The World is Anti-Israel and Anti-God'

As the “Vicar of Baghdad,” he and his team helped provide Arab Christians and Muslims with food, medicine and education.

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

 

Mexico Upset by Netanyahu's Endorsement of Trump Border Wall

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday endorsed US President Donald Trump’s plan to build a border wall, much to the chagrin of Mexico.

“The Mexican Secretariat of Foreign Affairs has expressed to the Israeli government through its ambassador in the Mexico City its deepest surprise, rejection and disappointment by the statement made by Prime Minister Netanyahu,” read a statement released by Mexico’s government.

“Mexico is Israel’s friend and Israeli prime minister should behave himself in regard to Mexico properly,” it continued.

Hours earlier, Netanyahu had posted to Twitter: “President Trump is right. I built a wall along Israel’s southern border. It stopped all illegal immigration. Great success. Great idea”

Israel has struggled to deal with a flood of refugees and other African migrants crossing its southern border in recent years.

Long before that, the largely unfenced frontier was crossed almost with impunity by smugglers and drug traffickers.

 

How Israel is Caring for Syrian Children

Syrian hearts and minds are being changed after receiving love and support from Israelis.

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

 

Arabs in Uproar After Saudi Prince Poses With Israel's Tzipi Livni

All those Arabs who claim to want peace were in an uproar this week after Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal acted peacefully toward former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni.

The two were in Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum. They participated in a panel, along with Jordan’s foreign minister, regarding the future of the Middle East.

Following the panel, al-Faisal posed for a picture with Livni, which the Israeli then posted to Twitter.

And then the storm began.

The post garnered thousands of angry responses from social media users and Arab commentators who oppose normalization between Israel and the Arab world.

Al-Faisal has been a major proponent of the Saudi peace initiative. Israel previously accepted the initiative as a starting point for negotiations, but said there were numerous terms it could not accept.

Livni, too, has promoted the initiative as the best way forward toward peace. But in her previous role as foreign minister, she also raised concerns over some of the clauses.

For instance, the initiative calls for Israel to open its gates to millions of so-called “Palestinian refugees.” The Palestinian Authority insisted that term was a red line, and refused to come to the table if it was up for negotiation.

Rather than talk these issues out, as al-Faisal seems willing to do, many Arabs refuse to even sit at the table with Israel unless it surrenders to 100 percent of their demands.

PHOTO: From Tzipi Livni’s official Twitter page

 

The Left Lost Its Logic On Israel

Originally written for the Investigative Project on Terrorism

Support for Israel among Democrats has plummeted in recent years, a new Pew poll shows, with about as many – 31 percent – saying they sympathize more with the Palestinians than with Israel, which garnered 33 percent support.

By contrast, 74 percent of Republicans surveyed sympathize more with the Jewish state. That is the widest partisan gap since 1978.

A similar poll last year found a deep divide within the party, with conservative and moderate Democrats favoring Israel over the Palestinians by 53-19 percent.

This trend has accelerated during President Barack Obama's tenure. During Israel's 2014 war with Hamas, 61 percent of Democrats sympathized with Hamas and hundreds of left-wing historians openly sided with the terrorist group.

Bernie Sanders, whose liberal support nearly won him the 2016 Democratic primary, sought to empower anti-Israel figures like Cornel West – a supporter of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement – and James Zogby of the Arab American Institute.

President Obama's refusal to veto an anti-Israel U.N. resolution last month was ranked as the most anti-Semitic incident of 2016 by the Simon Wiesenthal Center. When Congress condemned that resolution, U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, a leading contender to run the Democratic National Committee, voted against it.

This hostility toward Israel is not limited to the American Left.

In the UK, it often coincides with anti-Semitism. As Jonathan Tobin observed, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has been "openly sympathetic with Hamas and Hezbollah," has "campaigned for the release of terrorists convicted of attacking Jewish targets," and "praised vicious anti-Semites." The co-chairman of the Oxford University Labour Club resigned after the organization voted to endorse Israel Apartheid Week. The club has a growing record of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel incidents. Last May, Britain's Labour Party secretly suspended 50 of its members for anti-Semitic and racist comments.

France's left-wing government just convened a 70-nation "peace conference" that was hostile to Israel

. France has summoned far less international pressure to the exponentially bloodier conflict next door in Syria. Moreover, the French government funds French, Israeli, and Palestinian organizations that support and promote BDS campaigns against Israel, a report by NGO Monitor shows. Such boycotts are illegal under French law.

France also funds several other NGOs with alleged ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror group, the report notes.

In the West, the political left considers itself "progressive," yet it increasingly targets the only Mideast country that actually embraces progressive values such as the rule of law, gender and sexual equality, and freedom of religion and speech. "Progressives" attack the only Mideast country making progress for all of humanity in science, technology, and medicine – from a crowdsourced solution to traffic (Waze) to breakthrough research on melanoma and leukemia.

Yet, on university campuses, where the minds of future politicians are formed, hatred of Israel and Jews has become endemic. The AMCHA Initiative, a non-profit organization that tracks BDS and anti-Semitic activity on U.S. campuses, reported more than 600 instances of such activity in 2016.

So why do liberals embrace illiberal players in the Arab-Israeli conflict? Double standards, underdog favoritism, media bias and group think, and prejudice at institutions like the United Nations.

Because Israel is a country of laws and Western values, Western critics often hold Israel to a standard that no democracy could meet. Alan Dershowitz captures the standard that should apply: "Name a single country in the history of the world faced with internal and external threats comparable to those faced by Israel that has ever had a better record in human rights; a better record with compliance of the rule of law; a better record of concern for civilians?"

In addition, media coverage often is skewed by Palestinian intimidation and deception, by reporters who uncritically favor underdogs, and by sloppy journalism and outright bias.

Hamas physically intimidates journalists who dare to defy its propaganda goals, thus distorting both the "facts" and the photos distributed to the world.

"Pallywood" – the practice of staging casualties and defaming Israel – has been deceiving journalists for at least 16 years. A particularly galling Pallywood example from 2015 was the inflammatory lie – by "moderate" Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas – that Israeli forces "executed" a 13-year old after an attempted terrorist attack. The truth: the child was treated in the same Israeli hospital as the boy he tried to murder.

Even Amnesty International acknowledged the unreliability of "eyewitnesses" in the conflict.

By contrast, during the 2014 war, Hamas executed 23 Gazans and tortured dozens of others.

In September 2015, Hamas imprisoned Gazans for protesting over a lack of electricity, causing some Gazans to admit that they prefer Israeli rule to Hamas.

Consistently sloppy journalism also poisons public opinion against Israel. News organizations often fail to identify the terrorist and the victim when reporting on Arabs killed by Israelis trying to defend themselves from a terrorist attack. Such missing context creates the false impression that Israelis wake up every morning asking how they can hurt Arabs.

The BBC's distortions often turn terrorists into victims. Its bias is so egregious that even its former chief complained:

"Regrettably, this is not the first time the standard of reporting and impartiality has been unsatisfactory in recent weeks. On Saturday 3rd October, I was disappointed to see the BBC News website publish a misleading and counter-factual headline: 'Palestinian shot dead after Jerusalem attacks kills two'. I note reports that this headline underwent four revisions following public criticism." The BBC's horrible headlines continue, describing the terrorist in last month's Jerusalem track-ramming attack as a "Driver of a lorry...allegedly ramming pedestrians."

Worse still, mainstream political figures sometimes promote anti-Israel calumnies. Last April, Sanders claimed that Israelis killed "over 10,000 innocents in Gaza," an estimate nearly seven times higher than Hamas's propaganda estimate of civilian deaths. Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes falsely claimed in a recent PBS interview that Israel has built "thousands of new settlements" (rather than about 200). PBS never corrected this falsehood.

Thus, the "free press," which is supposed to act as a check on the government, ends up abetting its misinformation campaign against Israel.

The Obama administration and most of the political left promote a kind of anti-settlement religion that blames the lack of peace with the Palestinians on settlements. This position ignores the last century of Arab Muslim attacks on Israelis, starting decades before any settlements existed. The anti-settlement religion axiomatically affirms that settlements are illegal, even though legal scholars have concluded otherwise. The same religion also ignores Israel's removing the settlement of Yamit for peace with Egypt in 1982, and its unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in 2005. Those actions did nothing to persuade Palestinians to pursue peace, as they responded with more than 10,000 jihadi rocket attacks aimed at Israeli civilians.

Liberal support for illiberal players is illogical and counterproductive. If "progressives" choose only to blame Israel and never ask Palestinians to embrace liberal values, stop their incitement to violence, renounce terror, and accept Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, then such "liberals" have mislabeled themselves while making peace less likely.

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

 

Israel and the Trump Cabinet

Israel is excited about President Trump, but he won’t govern alone. So who are the people that will help Trump make his decisions, and where do they stand on issues relating to Israel?

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

 

Netanyahu Under Fire as Report on 2014 Gaza War Set for Publication

The Israeli government, under tremendous public pressure, is set to publish the minutes of critical security cabinet meetings during the 2014 Gaza war.

And that does not bode well for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu has already come under fire for allegedly mishandling the threat of Hamas terror tunnels extending into southern Israel.

And the upcoming report could fuel that fire.

According to those familiar with the cabinet meetings in question, Netanyahu and then-Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon permitted very little real discussion on operational procedure during the war. They also reportedly only addressed the seriousness of the terror tunnels in the final weeks of the conflict.

A number of Israeli soldiers were killed during the war by Hamas terrorists surprising them through the use of these tunnels.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who was part of the security cabinet in 2014, argued vigorously at the time that the IDF focus more effort on finding and destroying the tunnels.

But Netanyahu seems to have ordered that the army do so only after numerous tragic attacks.

The report is currently being reviewed by the Defense Department to make sure no information critical to national security is revealed.

 

WATCH: Toda! - Thank You!

At the beginning of January we had the great privilege of distributing winter packages, with high-quality thermal clothing, as part of our project "Warm Clothes - Warm Heart" to some of our young soldiers serving under high pressure and stress in Hevron.

It was a joy to see the smiles and hear the expression of thanks from our young soldiers.

You, dear friends, have made our soldiers feel that you stand with them, not only in prayer, but also in deed! We sincerely thank every one of you that donated and made this possible!

Due to the appreciation expressed we have decided to continue with this project as more cold weather still lies ahead!



 

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