Israel Remembers

Tomorrow begins a week of memory and commemoration in Israel. April 24 is Holocaust Memorial Day, and next week on May 1 begins Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers concluding with the celebrations of Independence Day on May 2.

I have often wondered why we spend so much time reliving these heartbreaking events? Surely the people who lived through these traumas do not need a day to remember, they live everyday with memories.

During memorial days my grandfather would take me to visit the graves of his friends and loved ones. He pointed out the people he knew from the town where he grew up; a man who helped build the local synagogue, the butcher who lived across from the Jewish community center. Each grave marked with a Jewish star represented a unique life, a life that had left its mark on my grandfather.

In honoring these people, my grandfather left an indelible mark on me. I was reminded that we stand here today because of the sacrifices of so many who are no longer with us.

Tomorrow in Israel we will join in commemorative memorials across the country, in schools, at war monuments and in cemeteries. Tears will be shed, prayers prayed and stones placed on graves with flags raised in honor of those we have lost in wars and a holocaust over the past century. Friends and family will come together to tell the stories and recall the bravery, and the pain, of loved ones we can never forget.

Soon, in just a few short years, there will not be any survivors left to tell their stories. We feel their absence, for they are no longer here to give us direction, fill leadership roles in our communities, or extend comforting hugs.

This week, as we marvel at the spring season of rebirth, it is good that we also find time to renew the memory of the untold sacrifices of those who made it possible for us to enjoy our lives. It is good that we bring our children to Memorial Day events, read the names on the plaques and think about the families that were forever changed by the lives and the losses of their loved ones, and shake the hand of a young soldier in appreciation.

They have earned our eternal gratitude.

 

VIDEO: Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial

 

Can Israel Really Rely on Trump?

Israel Today speaks to top Christian political thinkers about President Trump's support for Israel.

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

 

VIDEO: Experience Bat Yam

South of Tel Aviv and Jaffa is the town of Bat Yam. The city has existed since 1926, when it was founded as Bayit Ve Gan (house and garden), but had to be evacuated in 1929 by the British after being attacked by Arabs from Jaffa.

In 1930, it was re-populated and in 1937 it gained city status with a new name - Bat Yam.

In the 1950s, Bat Yam grew rapidly due to the large number of immigrants flooding into the city.

Today, Bat Yam is known for its beautiful sandy beaches and its newly-renovated seaside promenade.

 

'Netanyahu Broke My Heart'

Israel finds itself in the midst of heated debate over the fate of two IDF soldiers who went missing during the 2014 Gaza War and are presumed dead.

Hamas is believed to have the bodies of Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul.

And the families of the two soldiers want them back.

Hadar Goldin’s bereaved mother, Dr. Leah Goldin, had a chance to express as much during a State Comptroller Committee hearing on the comptroller’s report regarding Operation Protective Edge.

“Hamas wanted to kidnap and today they have two soldiers, and the question of whether you will succeed in bringing them back without taking the country down into miserable grief will determine the outcome of Operation Protective Edge,” said Goldin as she hurled criticism at both State Comptroller Yosef Shapira and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Goldin and many other Israelis are upset over the government’s unwillingness to take more drastic measures to retrieve the bodies of the missing soldiers.

Speaking at the session, Netanyahu said, “We are doing everything we can to bring Oron and Hadar back, but there are risks that I am not prepared to take.”

Leah Goldin later told Channel 10 News that “Netanyahu broke my heart. He turned my son from a hero who was sent by him to war, into a debt of a body.”

Goldin said that Israel “must stop being afraid of Hamas. The Gilad Shalit deal led to the fact that terrorist prisoners were returned to Gaza and now they are the ones who control it…We have to change this equation, there is no other way.”

 

Enjoy an Hebrew themed games evening ... with 25% discount!

Plan an enjoyable evening for all including a few tasty treats, a challenging game and let the games begin!



 

WATCH: Openly Gay Israeli MK Destroys Whiney Liberal American Jew

Like many out-of-touch liberal American Jews, this woman accused Israel of responding to the terrorist murder of three Jewish teens by indiscriminately killing 2,300 Palestinians.

Likud MK Amir Ohana, the first openly gay lawmaker from the ruling party, was having none of it.

 

Christian Tourist Arrested After Attacking Israeli Guard

A 31-year-old American Christian tourist was arrested near the Sea of Galilee (Kinneret) last week after he violently attacked a local security guard and threatened police.

The man, who was traveling with his wife and young son, inexplicably arrived at the Galilee community of Almagor and began attacking with a metal rod the security guard manning the gate.

He then fled into a nearby grove where police chased him down.

The man continued to use the rod to threaten police officers, even after being hit by a taser gun.

Following his arrest, the man’s wife told police her husband had heard from Jesus that he was to destroy his credit cards and travel to northern Israel.

She didn’t say whether or not the divine instructions included physically assaulting Jesus’ Israeli brethren.

Unfortunate incidents like these only serve to keep many Israelis skeptical of Christians and the message of Yeshua (Jesus).

PHOTO: Illustration - Israel Police respond to a violent crime. Moti Karelitz/FLASH90

 

The Exodus - Not What You Thought

Israel Today has reported numerous times regarding Christian Palestinians who claim to be the true Israel. In their case, the Palestinian Jesus is just an adaptation of the Arian-looking Jesus of the classic Christian iconography. 

Likewise, reclaiming the Hebrew Bible for the Muslim/Palestinian cause is nothing new. From its get go, Islam had its followers believe that Jews corrupted the Old Testament to the point of rendering it unholy. Hence, whatever's written in the Hebrew Bible can be retold in a way that fits Islam's creeds.

It is well known that in the eyes of Muslims, all the prophets of the Bible were Muslims. That Islam came into being some 3,000 years after Abraham makes no difference since, unlike the Jews, Abraham is forever a true believer – a Muslim. 

But even this Islamic version of "Replacement Theology" has its limits. For even Muslims will acknowledge that a real entity called the people of Israel not only exists, but to them the Land of Israel was given: "O my people [Israel]," reads the Quran, "enter the Holy Land which Allah has assigned to you and do not turn back and become losers" (Sura 5:21).

So the Palestinian reimagining of the Bible is going a step further. It wasn't Jews who came out of Egypt as the "people of Israel," but rather Muslims. Back in 2012, Dr. Omar Ja'ara of Nablus' An-Najah University told Palestinian TV:

"We must make clear to the world that David in the Hebrew Bible is not connected to David in the Quran, Solomon in the Hebrew Bible is not connected to Solomon in the Quran, and neither is Saul or Joshua son of Nun [of the Bible].

"We have a great leader, Saul, [in the Quran] who defeated the nation of giants and killed Goliath. This is a great Muslim victory. The Muslims of the Children of Israel went out of Egypt under the leadership of Moses, and unfortunately, many researchers deny the Exodus of those oppressed people who were liberated by a great leader, like Moses the Muslim, the believing leader, the great Muslim, who was succeeded by Saul, the leader of these Muslims in liberating Palestine.

"This was the first Palestinian liberation through armed struggle to liberate Palestine from the nation of giants led by Goliath. This is our logic and this is our culture." 

(Translation from Palestinian Media Watch)

Those amused by this ridiculous revisionism forget that Muslims take it very seriously, and act upon it.

 

COMMENTARY: Should the Church Be Called “Spiritual Israel”?

I’d wager the overwhelming response to that question by Christians who love and support the State of Israel would be, “yes!” And if pressed to differentiate between a “spiritual Israel” and a “physical Israel,” I feel certain most would say the physical one is Jewish and the other is not. 

Such is the state of confusion that abounds in the body of Messiah today regarding this important issue. Because if that popular understanding is true then it robs the Jewish people of ever becoming spiritual Israel, the Messianic community of God. And it robs non-Jewish Christians, aka the “church,” of ever being revealed as the “wild olive branches” grafted into that very same Messianic community. Are not non-Jewish believers also physical beings promised an equal share in Israel’s inheritance through faith in Messiah? “For if you belong to Messiah, you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise” (Gal. 3:29).

So let’s take a look at this spiritual/physical thing that I believe has been the root cause of so much confusion over the centuries. The Biblical passage that addresses the issue most directly is found in First Corinthians. It reads: “The spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven... And just as we have borne the image of the earthy (man), we will also bear the image of the heavenly (man) (1 Cor. 15:46-48).

What these verses teach is that the physical man and the spiritual man, like love and marriage, go together as a horse and carriage. From God’s point of view, we need both if we want to be part of the Israel of God. By necessity, the physical must come first. We must first be born of physical seed into this world. But then we must also be birthed again by a spiritual seed – i.e. God’s Spirit – to be counted among His chosen people. That can only happen when God through His mercy removes our sinful heart of flesh through faith in Yeshua and we receive “a new heart and a new spirit” (Ezek. 36:26). 

However, the church has traditionally separated God’s spiritually regenerated people – the “Christians” – from those deemed to be his physical people, the Jews. This is due to the influence of Greek philosophy on early Christian thought.  To the Greeks, physical earthly matter was evil, something to escape by severe bodily discipline or death. While the spiritual was the ideal state that we all hoped to attain in the afterlife. 

But the truth is the spiritual and the physical should be viewed simply as two progressive stages of human life on earth that is now possible, thanks to Yeshua’s sacrificial death. Before Messiah came we were all just carnal beings void of spiritual life due to Adam’s sin. But now that “earthy man,” whether born Jewish or German, has the potential of growing into the fullness of the “heavenly man,” who is Messiah. 

However, because we’ve been taught for so long that the physical and the spiritual are  incompatible realities, it is now distorting how Christians view our relationship to the Jewish State of Israel today.  

This teaching, which inspired Replacement Theology, erred when it pushed the legitimate fulfillment of Old Testament types and shadows in Messiah too far (a favorite tactic of the Enemy). It over-spiritualized the New Covenant. It taught that the Jews also were a type and shadow that had been replaced by Christians as God’s new chosen people.  And that the land promised to Abraham’s seed was just a metaphor for life in heaven – now identified as the Kingdom Of God. 

As more and more Christians have awakened to see God never rejected the Jewish people, nor abandoned His land promise, a great skepticism has arisen about all things said to have been fulfilled in Messiah. So that even those things that were truly fulfilled in Yeshua are being abandoned. And there is a rush to embrace many of the commandments of the Old Covenant as a way to retrieve the Hebraic roots of our faith. 

The Lord’s Supper, the New Covenant fulfillment of the Passover memorial, is being ignored in favor of the Jewish Seder meal. Our total spiritual rest in Yeshua has given way to resting again from manual labor on the Saturday Sabbath. And the understanding that the body of Messiah is now God’s new temple on earth is being replaced by a longing to see a third Jewish temple arise with animal sacrifice and a reinstitution of the Levitical priesthood. 

We need to clean out that corruptive piece of Greek leaven from our understanding and see the spiritual and physical are not mutually exclusive. But that both are required by God as He brings forth a new holy race on this earth, a new Adam. A place where our holy God can literally dwell in our midst by His Spirit through Messiah.

It’s true that right now only those in Messiah are experiencing this new abiding spiritual relationship with God. But unbelieving Judah’s time to receive her spiritual inheritance is rapidly approaching. When that happens there will be a corporate unveiling of “the one new man” (Eph. 2:15).  Both the physical Jew and physical non-Jew will graduate to become one people in the glorified body of Messiah. No longer to be thought of as two different kinds of Israels with different inheritances. But one Israel of God.

And then “all Israel will be saved” (Rom. 11:26) – both physically and spiritually.

Brian Hennessy is the author of Valley of the Steeples

 

Get An Annual Digital Magazine Subscription 30% Off!

Find out more about current events in Israel and interviews first hand. Receive authentic information directly from Jerusalem!

Your benefits:
- Be amongst the first to read our latest publication before the print version appears!
- Enjoy an enriched reading experience - with embedded videos.
- Huge savings compared with the cost of our print edition!
- Offer valid until Sunday April 23rd, 2017!

Get an annual Digital Israel Today Magazine subscription now for only $24.49 instead of $34.99!



 

British Woman Killed, 2 Others Wounded in Jerusalem Terrorist Stabbing

A young British woman visiting Israel was killed on Friday and two Israelis were wounded in a stabbing attack by a Palestinian Arab terrorist aboard Jerusalem’s light rail.

As the commuter train passed through the center of Jerusalem, the terrorist began stabbing the 25-year-old British woman multiple times in the upper body.

Off-duty police officers and civilians were quick to react and wrestled the terrorist to the ground.

An older Israeli man hurt his leg while trying to flee the scene, and a pregnant woman riding the train suffered light abdominal injuries when it came to a sudden emergency stop.

The terrorist was identified as a 57-year-old Palestinian Arab from a nearby village.

 

Rabbi Aviner and the 'Christian Scam'

Rabbi Shlomo Aviner (b. 1943) is head of the Ateret Cohanim Yeshiva, and is among the more important leaders of the religious Zionist movement. Whatever he says, therefore, carries considerable weight among his many adherents. And his recent article "Christians Who Love Israel: The World's Largest Scam" comes in the form of question and answer, which adds extra religious weight to it.

Aviner is concerned by increasing Christian financial support for Israel. He asks how Israelis should relate to Christian organizations like HaYovel, which sends Christian volunteers from around the world to help Jewish farmers in the West Bank. In Aviner's mind, all forms of Christian assistance to Jews have but one purpose: "Erasing Israel in one way or another." Therefore, he concludes, "we shouldn't be lured by statements of love, hugs and kisses."

Aviner divides the Christian world to three groups: Catholics, liberal Christians and Evangelicals, whom he sees as the most dangerous group. 

Catholics, he says, see Israel as "the greatest disaster in history" because Catholics are the true Israel (Verus Israel). 

Liberal Christians, who don't care much for Catholics, are opposed to Israel under the pretense of championing human rights and equality. 

Evangelicals, who send the most missionaries, support Israel, but see the Jewish state merely as a stepping stone to the coming of Jesus. That's why they "encourage Jews to come to Israel, live in Jerusalem and even build the Temple." Aviner insists that Evangelicals believe that "after nearly all the Jews are killed, the remnant will convert to Christianity and peace will come … this is why they shower us with love and money."

Love and money softens the traditional Jewish resistance to Christianity and makes it a legitimate option for Jews. As an example of this new, more effective tactic, Aviner points to the Christian Embassy, asking: "What's more effective for spreading the Gospel, distributing leaflets or building a bomb shelter?"

But with all his antipathy for Christians, Aviner's real problem is with Jews who value money above all else. "There's no greater disgrace than receiving financial gifts from Christians," he concludes. "May we all fully repent."

Aviner's broad brush should rightly offend countless Christians who seek no reward for helping Israel. One wishes for a day when Jews realize that many millions of Christians love Israel simply because God loves Israel. 

At the same time, can Aviner's suspicions be dismissed as wholly unfounded?

PHOTO: Rabbi Shlomo Chaim haKohen Aviner, head of the Ateret Cohanim yeshiva in Jerusalem. He is considered one of the spiritual leaders of the religious Zionist movement. Photo by Yossi Zamir/Flash90

 

COMMENTARY: Easter Message for London

“He laid down his life for each one of us.”

An appropriate comment to hear around Easter/Passover, I’m sure you’ll agree.

The words are those of Jonathan Osborne, senior chaplain to London’s Metropolitan Police, speaking about the brave officer who died confronting a terrorist trying to attack Parliament.

Khalid Masood stabbed PC Keith Palmer after mowing down pedestrians with his car on Westminster Bridge, leaving another three dead, while a further victim later died of her injuries.

Monday’s funeral of PC Palmer was a sad day indeed for all of us, and for me it coincided with the funeral of a much-loved pastor as well as with the anniversary of my late wife Irene’s burial 17 years earlier.

But then I realised how it was all happening around Easter when Jesus, the Jewish Messiah and Saviour of the world, also laid down his life for us all.

As the innocent Passover Lamb without blemish, he was led to the slaughter for our sake. For “we all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53.6)

I don’t wish to belittle what PC Palmer did – it is true that he gave his life to preserve our freedom, as so many soldiers have done over the years. And he is worthy of being called a hero. But our nation needs to remember afresh the debt we owe to our Lord Jesus, who gave his life that we might truly live, knowing and serving God without fear because of our certain hope in the resurrection to come, for which Christ has paved the way.

That’s why neither of the two personal funerals to which I have referred was without hope. There was sadness, of course, at the earthly passing of loved ones, but it was accompanied by the joy of knowing they have gone to a better place and that we who believe will one day be reunited with them in glory.

Yes, Jesus suffered the cruellest possible execution – and could have summoned legions of angels to rescue him. But he hung there for our sake. “For he was pierced for our transgressions…” (Isaiah 53.5) But “after he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied”. (Isaiah 53.11)

The risen Jesus appeared to more than 500 witnesses. (1 Corinthians 15.6) That he conquered death is a fact of history. But if you too want a certain hope of the resurrection, you must believe in Him. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3.16)

The Apostle Paul writes of Christians: “If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” (1 Corinthians 15.19f)

That fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah 25.8 – that “he will swallow up death forever” – and of Hosea 13.14: “Where, O grave, is your destruction?”

And Paul answers the rhetorical question with a resounding: “Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” (1 Corinthians 15.54-57)

I am so encouraged that the words of Jesus will be displayed on many London buses this Easter, thanks to the vision of Revelation TV founder Howard Conder. How appropriate too, coming in the wake of the London terror attack, that the iconic red buses should be reminding us all of how Jesus died for us.

As we continue to celebrate 500 years since the start of the Reformation, we would do well to remember one of England’s greatest heroes, William Tyndale, who gave his life so that the entire English-speaking world would be able to know the resurrection power of Christ. He defied the leaders of church and state by translating the Bible (then only available in Latin) into English so that “even a ploughboy” could understand it.

And he was burnt at the stake for his troubles. But in doing so he lit a flame for the gospel, and for freedom, that has since fired the hearts of millions to know, love and serve the Saviour who died on a cross in Jerusalem that first ‘Good Friday’.

The Roman authorities, religious Jews and our own sin all played a part in the crucifixion of Christ, but ultimately it was God’s doing for, as Isaiah foretold, it had to happen – because “the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53.6) and “it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer…” (Isaiah 53.10)

When Irene died all those years ago, I remember so well how, at the funeral, I looked at the coffin and wondered how I was going to bear up, especially in giving the eulogy, when God spoke clearly into my spirit: “She is not here; she is risen!”

May that be your hope too this Easter and Passover tide!


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

 

Palestinians Exploiting Children to Fight Israel

Originally written for the Investigative Project on Terrorism

The new Palestinian curriculum for grades 1 to 4 “is significantly more radical than previous curricula,” concludes a new study by Hebrew University’s Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se). It “teaches students to be martyrs, demonizes and denies the existence of Israel, and focuses on a ‘return’ to an exclusively Palestinian homeland.”

In response to pressure from President Trump, Israel reportedly is preparing a series of concessions to Palestinians in a bid to re-launch peace talks. Trump may want to consider pressuring the Palestinians for parallel gestures, including correcting educational policies that are antithetical to peace.

Indeed, the IMPACT-se study warns that the “educational system has created a Palestinian nationalism that absolutely rejects the Other and is therefore incompatible with Israel’s existence.” Even more alarming, the report notes that the “Struggle against Israel and its disappearance is the main theme,” and “The 1974 PLO’s Phased Plan for the conquest of the Land of Israel/Palestine is taught. The curriculum reflects a strategy of violence and pressure in place of peaceful negotiations.”

The “Palestinian school curricula are inspected by the international donors who finance the Palestinian Authority and, by extension, its public education system,” the Times of Israelreported.

That includes huge investment from Britain, the Daily Mailreported, money that goes “into Palestinian schools named after mass murderers and Islamist militants, which openly promote terrorism and encourage pupils to see child killers as role models.”

Incredibly, European countries pressure Israel to freeze settlement growth and take other steps towards peace, while funding pro-war messages targeted at future generations of Palestinians.

Islam is not used as a radical political tool in grades 1–4, but the educational message “includes biases towards non-Muslims,” the IMPACT-se study says. And, in grades 11-12, “Religion is clearly abused...to foment hate amid calls for eternal war in the Levant.”

The Palestinian curriculum of violence and hate highlighted by the IMPACT-se study is just one of the many ways in which Palestinian leaders have forced their violent agendas onto children.

Islamists have a particularly robust history of weaponizing children in their war against Israel. Last summer, a Gaza kindergarten graduation ceremony sponsored by Islamic Jihad, featured children dressed in military fatigues, holding toy weapons, acting out attacks on an Israeli army base, firing mortar shells, planting explosive devices, kidnapping soldiers, and even delivering mosque sermons that praise martyrdom. Absurdly, one of the senior Islamic Jihad members present at the event, which the terror group filmed in high definition and broadcast on YouTube, declares to spectators that the show was meant to spread a message of peace and love. “We are a life-loving people,” affirms Hader Habib, a senior member of Islamic Jihad. “We honor and appreciate mankind...The message of Palestine’s children today is a message of love to the whole world.”

In 2012, senior Hamas commander Zaher Jabarin told Hamas’ Al-Quds TV that Hamas labors “day and night” to educate Palestinian children in Gaza to become suicide bombers. In 2013, Gaza’s Hamas-run al-Aqsa TV showed children singing the virtues of suicide attacks and wishing to blow themselves up to liberate Jerusalem and Palestine, according to a translation by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

“Jihad bestows pride and glory upon you when you become a martyrdom-seeker,” the elementary school-aged children sing. “Oh explosive device of glory – with her blood she created freedom.”

Islamist abuse of Palestinian children extends beyond the educational context. Tens of millions of foreign aid dollars intended to benefit injured children “was instead taken by families of Hamas members who falsely registered their children in the program,” the Times of Israelreported last August.

The use and abuse of children by Islamists also occurs outside of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Islamic State uses child soldiers and brainwashes them to perform gruesome acts at an early age, including mock beheadings of dolls.

In 2015, Boko Haram, an Islamic extremist group based in Nigeria, sent 44 children on suicide missions in Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, and Niger. The use of children as suicide bombers in Islamic countries is explored in greater depth by Lawrence A. Franklin, a former Defense Department Iran Desk officer.

But radical Islam isn’t always the main factor in Palestinian terrorism committed by children. Last month, a report by Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) found that children from troubled backgrounds were often ripe for radicalization because they viewed attacks as a way to commit suicide with glory. Child terrorists might be further motivated to die trying to kill Israelis because the Palestinian Authority often rewards such deaths by paying the bereaved families a monthly stipend.

According to COGAT, non-ideological reasons for lone-wolf attacks include “domestic violence within the household ... social criticism for an immoral act such as adultery, lack of respect for the family, matriculation failure and more; and serious psychological issues stemming from depression, despair, and mental illness.”

Reforming the anti-Israel indoctrination of Palestinian children will not be easy. Palestinians reportedly responded with threats over reports that the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) is considering curricular changes that might curtail incitement.

Nevertheless, if world powers are serious about promoting a genuine Israeli-Palestinian peace, they must pressure Palestinian leaders to start preparing future generations for peace by replacing anti-Israel incitement and “martyrdom” adulation with messages of peaceful coexistence, including maps and history that acknowledge Jewish claims to Israel proper and territories in dispute.

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

 

Passover Slaughter - Welsh Christians Honor Blood of the Martyrs

A group of British Christians have honoured the memory of 1,200 believers who paid with their lives for refusing to stop celebrating the Passover.

The special Passover celebration was held at Bangor-on-Dee in North Wales on Monday (April 10) as a memorial to all who have died in obedience to the Lord and as a sign that there are still those who refuse to bow the knee to any other god.

The event was organised by the Father’s House congregation at Shotton, Deeside.

Like their Jewish forbears of the early church, Christians in the British Isles continued to celebrate the biblical feasts until bishops from Rome – under orders from the emperors of the time – demanded they switch the Sabbath to Sunday and Passover to Easter, both in honour of pagan gods.

Christians under the influence of St Patrick and St Columba had long continued the tradition of marking the appointed feasts as outlined in Leviticus chapter 23, all of which point to Yeshua (Jesus, the Messiah), especially in the case of Passover which was clearly seen as fulfilled by the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, who plainly stated that he had not come to abolish the Law (Old Testament commands) but to fulfil it (Matthew 5.17).

But from 644 AD onwards, after the Christian community established by St Columba on the Scottish island of Iona were duped into changing the days and names of the feasts, a new era had begun apparently designed to distance Christianity from its Hebraic roots.

And in 722 Rome tried to enforce this new practice on believers in Wales, but were met with stiff resistance as the Welsh Christians refused to comply. This led to the slaughter of 1,200 believers in one day at the village of Bangor on the banks of the River Dee.

Father’s House leader Mike Fryer said the enforced changes were “rooted in the anti-Judaism and anti-Semitism of the newly-appointed bishops of the Empire, put in place by the emperors themselves”.

It had started in 321 with Constantine ordering worship of the ‘Unconquerable Sun’ on Sunday and exchanging Passover for celebration of the fertility goddess Oestre.

But the unadulterated message of the gospel survived this spiritual onslaught and spread to faithful believers elsewhere including the British Isles, where they discreetly continued to keep the feasts for the next 500 years.

“Every credible historian and theologian accepts there was a strong anti-Semitic motive behind these mass murders and it is agreed that these motives were also the seeds of both the Inquisitions and the Holocaust,” said Mike. “Indeed Christendom has been anti-Semitic throughout its history.

“I have been teaching this aspect of the history of the early church in the British Isles for 15 years and our congregation has been celebrating Shabbat, Passover and all the biblical feasts.”

He said he had been inspired by the example of King Hezekiah who, by restoring true worship and the keeping of Passover, brought great blessing on Israel.

PHOTO: Illustration - a Christian group celebrates Passover in Israel. Edi Israel/FLASH90

 

This Passover Get Up to 60% Off Our Entire Inventory!

Nature has put on an amazing display of blossoms of every hue of the rainbow and the barley fields are starting to turn golden.

The air is filled with aromas of grilled delicacies - as many families make use of their "time out" to partake in one the favorite pastimes - "Barbecue".

Maybe we could infect you with the holiday feeling and entice you with our Passover discounts!

Discover aromatic fragrances, tasty treats and many more surprises with up to 60% discount on our entire inventory!

Celebrate with us!

We wish you a pleasant Passover / Easter and do not forget to look for your "surprise" gift once your package arrives!





 

Palestinians Abroad Vs. the Palestinian Authority

A number of local Palestinians have told us that the main obstacle to peace is the Palestinian Authority itself.

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

 

Syrian Civilians Flee to Israel For Safety, Treatment

Over the weekend, the Israeli army brought a family of Syrian civilians into the Jewish state for refuge and medical treatment.

One man, four women and at least two children were granted entry on the Golan Heights and then taken a nearby field hospital.

One of the children, a 3-year-old girl, was evacuated with her mother to Rambam Medical Center in Haifa. She had suffered a serious shrapnel injury to her head and required emergency treatment.

These seven Syrians are only the latest of thousands that Israel has taken in amidst a bloody civil war that is tearing apart Israel’s northeastern neighbor.

More than 20 percent of those who have been helped are children.

Some are still in Israel recovering, while others have returned home with a fresh knowledge that Israel and the Jews are not their enemies.

 

Has Hell Frozen Over? Top UN Official Calls Jerusalem the Ancient Capital of Israel

Irina Bokova, the director-general of UNESCO, which last year passed a motion denying the Jewish connection to Jerusalem, shocked many last week when she publicly affirmed the Jews’ historic connection to the Holy City.

“In the Torah, Jerusalem is the capital of King David, where Solomon built the Temple and placed the Ark of the Covenant,” Bokova reminded the European Parliament in a session on Thursday.

“The protection of the heritage of Jerusalem is part of a broader vision for peace and the fight against all forms of denial of Jewish history, delegitimization of Israel and anti-Semitism,” she continued.

No doubt Bokova will soon be facing a tidal wave of outrage from the Muslim world, which in recent years has tried to rewrite history and erase the Jewish connection to Jerusalem.

Leading the charge are the Palestinian Arabs, who today insist there never was a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, and that the Israelis are foreign occupiers in this city.

 

Constantine and Trump: Is History Repeating Itself?

An eerie parallel is beginning to emerge between the newly elected American President and the Fourth Century emperor of Rome. If it continues on course, it does not bode well for either the body of Messiah or Israel. 

Constantine, as we know, was the one who looked like the most powerful friend Christianity ever had. But in fact he was the one who became its greatest betrayer, sending the faith spiraling into apostasy for centuries afterwards.

Before he became emperor, Christians were suffering terribly under the Roman emperors. Rome was a pagan polytheistic empire, but Christianity had no idol, sacrificing priesthood, temple or holy day. So its followers were considered atheists by Roman standards and persecuted accordingly. 

Constantine changed all that after supposedly seeing a vision which he attributed to the Christian God, which led him to achieve a decisive military victory. He then promoted Christianity to become the dominant religion of the Empire as a way to unify his realm. Christians even started to believe he was bringing in the Kingdom of God, completing the work Yeshua had begun. 

Trump’s rise to the American throne of power also comes at a time when Christian civilization is under serious attack. 

Radical Islam has been unleashing its demonic hatred against Christians all over the world (as well as against Jews and other minorities.) At the same time secular humanism has all but dethroned Biblical beliefs in the West. 

However, Trump’s stunning victory has brought new hope that both of these satanic onslaughts can be rolled back. And that decades of declining Biblical values can be restored through political power. Which of course, they can’t. Nevertheless, he is being heralded as the new champion of the faith, though the genuineness of his faith, like Constantine’s, is questionable.

Which brings me to this most foreboding parallel.

When both men came to power they were faced with a divisive situation that was rattling the well-being of their respective worlds. For Constantine it was a theological debate over the deity of Jesus. For Trump it is the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

We know how Constantine dealt with his problem. He convened an ecumenical council at Nicea in 325 AD, requesting the attendance of Christian leaders from all across the Empire. He promised to act simply as a referee between the warring theological factions. But that’s not how it went down.

History records he oversaw the council dressed in purple, seated on a gold chair and looking like “a heavenly messenger of God covered with gold and gems” (Glory to God In the Highest, Joel Hemphill, pg.414). With his imposing royal presence, he pressured the council to adopt a theological solution that all Christendom had to abide by under a threat of death. As the American Academic Encyclopedia reports. “…it was the first time he had used the imperial office to impose a settlement.” 

The rest, of course, is history. By creating a Christian theocracy with state-enforced doctrines, the world and the church were fused. It took the American Revolution, over 1400 years later, to free believers from this ungodly marriage. 

I do not think it unreasonable to suggest that Constantine, like Antiochus IV, is a prefigurement of Antichrist. The only difference between the two was that Antiochus tried to eradicate Israel’s Old Covenant testimony of the Living God from the outside. While Constantine, corrupted Israel’s New Covenant message of salvation from the inside.  

If Haman doesn’t get the job done, Satan always has a Judas waiting in the wings.

But the question before us today is, how will President Trump deal with his “divisive situation?” Clearly he seems eager to try and negotiate a peaceful settlement between Israel and the Palestinians. Like Constantine, he says he doesn’t want to impose a solution on the parties but simply mediate the dispute. But will he? 

He already seems to be backing away from his unmitigated support for Israel by giving the Palestinians an important seat at the table. And he seems to be waffling on campaign promises to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem, give wholehearted support for settlement growth in Judea and Samaria and abandon the failed Two-State proposal. 

Equally troubling was his warming to Jordan and Egypt’s efforts to recycle the Arab Peace Initiative. That proposal would divide Jerusalem, bring millions of so-called Palestinian refugees into Israel and convert Israel’s heartland into the Palestinian State. A non-starter for Israel.

Given the late hour in which we live, if Trump tries to force Israel to accept a Palestinian State with Eastern Jerusalem as its capital, I’d say we could be looking at the one who Constantine and Antiochus foreshadowed. 

But, you might ask, how can that happen without a Jewish temple in place? Didn’t Paul tell us we’ll know him when he “takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God?” (2 Thess. 2:3,4). We just need to see that Paul’s words can, and I believe should, be understood symbolically. After all, there was no seat in the temple that I know of other than the Mercy Seat. And if he sat there, he wouldn’t live long. 

As an example of symbolic fulfillment, just look at Constantine. Didn’t he take his seat in the temple of God – the church – displaying himself as God? 

As for Yeshua’s warning about “the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place,” didn’t Matthew add – “let the reader understand?” (Matt. 24:15). What if after concluding a historic peace treaty in Israel his Number Two set up his image on the Temple Mount? Anything is possible. 

Whether Trump turns out to be Daniel’s “horn which had eyes and a mouth uttering great boasts” (Dan. 7:21) or not, this much is clear. The Jews missed out on Yeshua’s first coming because they weren’t ready. They had relied too heavily on preconceived ideas. Let’s not make the same mistake this time concerning his second coming. 

Brian Hennessy is the author of Valley of the Steeples

 

Our Spring Catalog In Honor of Pesach Is Here!!

Tomorrow evening the Pesach seder will be celebrated in Israel. Whole families, generation after generation, will jointly commemorate the miracles of God Israel departed from Egypt.

Today, as well, we are constantly being reminded of the mercies of God over Israel!

We would like to take this opportunity and wish all our readers, supporters in prayer and friends of Israel, a blessed and fulfilling Passover! May you experience a spiritual renewal and awakening!

May you, "by God's mighty arm, experience your personal "exodus from Egypt" into the spiritual freedom of the GOD of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob"!

Don't miss our 20% discount off all the items in our Spring catalog!

Pesach Sameach and Shalom from Jerusalem!



 

Netanyahu: Israel's New Secret Weapon Presents 'Existential Threat' to Our Enemies

Israel this week officially unveiled a not-so-secret secret weapon it has been working on with the US defense industry for some years.

The entry into service of the David’s Sling anti-missile system completes Israel’s multi-tier missile shield.

Already for years the Iron Dome has been protecting southern Israel from short-range rockets and mortar shells.

The Arrow system recently went into service to defend Israel against long-range ballistic missiles. It was utilized a week ago to defend Israeli warplanes on a mission over Syria from enemy anti-aircraft.

David’s Sling is intended to fill the gap between the Iron Dome and the Arrow by knocking down the type of medium-range missiles of which Lebanon’s Hezbollah is believed to have tens of thousands.

With this multi-tier missile shield in place, Israel’s enemies are unlikely to do much damage to her, but would not survive a serious Israeli counterattack.

And that’s why Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned during the ceremony for the David’s Sling:

“Whoever tries to strike us will be hit, those that threaten our existence put themselves in existential danger.”

 

Israeli Hospitals Treat Thousands of Arabs. Where's the Media Coverage?

No further evidence is necessary of the mainstream media’s anti-Israel bias than it’s total lack of coverage of the fact that Israeli hospitals routinely treat Arab patients from all over the Middle East.

Instead, the media paints Israel as a heartless and bigoted society that only wishes ill on its Arab foes.

i24NEWS showed in a recent report what’s going on at just one Israeli hospital, and it’s not at all what one would expect from listening to the likes of CNN and the BBC.

In cooperation with the Israeli NGO “Save a Child’s Heart,” Wolfson Medical Center in the central Israel town of Holon has treated thousands of Arabs in recent years.

Most of the patients have been Palestinian Arab children in need of life-saving surgery, which is fully covered by “Save a Child’s Heart” and the Israeli taxpayers.

Many other patients have come from war-torn Iraq. Others have from from as far away as Afghanistan.

In one instance, a princess from the emirate of Bahrain insisted on having critical surgery in Israel, insisting that only in the Jewish state would she receive the treatment needed to save her life.

Isn’t that curious? After all, Israel’s antagonists suggest that an Arab who falls into the Jewish state’s hands is more likely than not to lose his life. They say Israel is a nation of “child-killers.”

But here these Israelis are, not killing, but saving the lives of thousands of Arab children.

And the media is silent.

 

Poll: Overwhelming Majority of Israelis Want Right-Wing Gov't

There’s growing talk of early elections in Israel (not that that’s anything new), but yet another poll shows that all that’d be accomplished would be to further solidify Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s mandate to govern.

According to the monthly Peace Index conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute, an overwhelming 70 percent majority of Israelis want a right-wing, conservative government.

A mere 24 percent want a left-wing government.

And while Netanyahu’s Likud wouldn’t necessarily emerge with a clear majority of its own, there is little, if any, doubt that it would remain the strongest of the right-wing parties.

And that means Netanyahu would would almost certainly remain prime minister.

 

Report: Syria Threatens to Fire SCUD Missiles at Israel

The regime of embattled Syrian dictator Bashar Assad has reportedly threatened to fire SCUD missiles at Israel if it carries out any more strikes on Syrian soil.

Since the start of the Syrian civil war, Israel is believed to have struck select targets in Syria on several occasions. Most often, the targets were dangerous weapons shipments to the Hezbollah terrorist militia, which is allied with Assad.

Israeli forces have also returned fire into Syria numerous times following artillery attacks on the Golan Heights by rebel groups.

In a message to Israel reported in the Lebanese outlet Al-Diyar, the Assad regime warned: “Syria could retaliate against Israel by firing Scud missiles should the latter strike Syria one more time.”

Syria is estimated to have upwards of 800 SCUD missiles, each capable of delivering a payload of half a ton of explosives in the best scenario, and chemical warheads in the worst.

Most believe Syria’s other ally, Russia, would prevent Assad from attacking Israel. But as a last ditch effort to hang on to power, such an attack cannot be easily dismissed.

PHOTO: Israel has deployed Patriot anti-missile batteries to its northern border to defend against potential Syrian and Hezbollah attacks. Photo by Gili Yaari /Flash 90

 

One Israeli Killed, Another Wounded in Terrorist Car Ramming

One Israeli was reportedly killed and a second lightly wounded in a suspected terrorist car ramming attack north of Jerusalem on Thursday morning.

The attack occurred outside the Samarian Jewish community of Ofra.

The victims were standing at a bus stop / hitchhiking post when a Palestinian Arab motorist slammed into them.

Israeli security forces in the area "neutralized" the suspected terrorist.

One of the victims, both of whom were in the 20s, was at first listed in critical condition, but reportedly succumbed to his injuries a short time later.

PHOTO: Illustration. Photo by Gershon Elinson/Flash90

 

The Shiites, the Jews, and the Antichrist

Israel Today speaks to a number of Israeli Jews and Arab experts about ancient Jewish involvement in dividing Islam.

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

 

South Africa’s Shalom!

Although hundreds of thousands – perhaps millions – have been affected by it, few in the Northern Hemisphere seem to have heard of the South African revival.

I’m not referring to the 1860 awakening led by my ancestor (by adoption) Andrew Murray[1], but to a current movement that is drawing huge crowds – especially men – to Christ. And it is my belief that there is a distinct correlation between this move of the Spirit and a general understanding and support of Israel, to whom Christians are indelibly attached – if we cut ourselves off from our Judaic roots, the Church cannot truly exist. (Romans 11.17f)

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

One man perhaps stands out among the many leaders of this movement for the influence he has had – and that is Angus Buchan, a humble farmer who doubled as an evangelist soon after a dramatic encounter with Christ in 1979.

His campaigns reaped rewards, but then God called him to focus his attention on men – and he has been faithful to this task ever since, drawing both young and old men to weekend camps initially held at Shalom, his KwaZulu-Natal farm, for seven consecutive years.

It began with just family and a few friends but, six years later, was accommodating a staggering 400,000 men who had gathered from all corners of the land to hear the uncompromising word of God challenging them to take responsibility as head of their families by serving Christ with all their hearts.

The so-called Mighty Men’s Conferences have since spread elsewhere, including the UK, as faith in God has swept across the countryside like a prairie fire. Friends of mine from the Karoo area of the Cape, who in the early days travelled 500 miles to join the camps in far-off KwaZulu-Natal, are now involved in helping to host events in their own farming district.

Angus has proved a huge inspiration as he urges men to run their homes, love their wives and discipline their children in the fear of God, leading to inevitable clashes with political correctness. But as the corridors of political power darken, the light of Christ shines brighter.

Author of the best-selling Faith Like Potatoes which has been made into a powerful movie, Angus has also led meetings in Israel, where Pentecostal-type manifestations such as a mighty, rushing wind (see Acts 2.2) have been evident.

Moreover, the default position of many of South Africa’s churches today is an understanding of God’s everlasting love for Israel and of the church’s enormous debt to them – for the Bible, for their Saviour and much more. This is certainly reflected in the publishing realm, led by Joy magazine (also published in Afrikaans as Juig), the biggest circulation Christian periodical outside the United States. The same can be said for the popular South African news portal, Gateway News.

A recent event involving CMJ (the Church’s Ministry among the Jewish people), for whom I volunteer, bore this out in no uncertain terms. One of our workers travelled a thousand miles from Cape Town to KwaZulu-Natal to speak at a Christian gathering about the significance of Yom Kippur – the Day of Atonement – and how Jesus is the fulfillment of this Jewish holiday, their holiest day of the year.

About 70 people turned up to hear her at a farm in the shadow of the Drakensberg mountains, where I grew up. It so happened that a secular Israeli family touring South Africa rang to inquire about overnight guest accommodation. The owners, Hendrik and Ina Goosen, warned them that a Christian meeting would be taking place. But they said they didn’t mind, and the family – mum, dad and three children – turned up for the entire talk which was followed by refreshments. They were overwhelmed by the experience, and by the love people had for Israel.

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

Following the latest London terror attack, a South African journalist friend of mine told me of how his daughter was commuting from Wimbledon to central London when the 7/7 terrorist attack occurred (in 2005). “She ended up taking a long walk to work along Tottenham Court Road and only found out what was happening by viewing TVs in shop windows. She was 23 at the time and very much a junior at her work, but we were proud of her witness when her colleagues asked her to pray for them all on that day.”

South Africa has a wonderful spiritual legacy. I have already mentioned the legendary devotional writer and revivalist Rev Andrew Murray who, after learning Dutch in Holland, came out from Scotland to pastor Afrikaners who had fled the British-ruled Cape in search of more favourable pastures. The country was also greatly influenced by the Pentecostal pioneers of the early 20th century – particularly John G Lake and David du Plessis – and it was around this time that the young Nelson Mandela was strongly influenced by Methodist missionaries, who also paid for his education.

My thesis of the link between Holy Spirit revival and love for the Jews is backed up by another famous Scot, Robert Murray McCheyne, along with his fellow countryman Andrew Bonar, who together encouraged the evangelization of the Jews back in the 1830s. Both led missions to Palestine (as it was then known) and Jewish communities in Europe. And when revival broke out in his local parish of Kilsyth, McCheyne took this as a sign of God’s promise to Abraham and his heirs that “I will bless those who bless you” (Genesis 12.3). God’s favour was on them because they honoured the Jews, the apple of God’s eye.[2]

On the other side of the same coin is the horrendous legacy of the so-called Berlin Declaration of 1909 in which 56 evangelical leaders concluded that the Pentecostal outpourings at Azusa Street in Los Angeles in 1906 and in Sunderland, England, in 1907, were of the devil. Werner Oder, a UK-based pastor and son of a Nazi, believes this amounted to blasphemy of the Holy Spirit and sowed the seeds of the Holocaust.[3]

It is interesting that, despite early success in Europe, the Pentecostal movement made comparatively little impact on this part of the world whereas it has been a very different story in Asia, Africa and South America.

I appreciate that Jesus warned of deception in the last days, but I feel that sometimes we are in danger of straining at a gnat but swallowing a camel on this point. My favourite author/preacher R T Kendall, writing of how Israel as a whole failed to recognize their Messiah when he came, says: “We are all so sure that we would recognize the authentic when it arrives. You could not have told a Sadducee or a Pharisee that the Messiah would come to Israel without them knowing and acknowledging him. But he came and they rejected him.”[4]

Some years ago I received a dramatic vision of revival in Doncaster, my home town, during a celebration service involving a number of churches, and immediately shared it with those present. It was of a beautiful new square complete with fountains, trees and smart buildings, and I told them that, although I believed God was saying this would indeed become a reality, it was also a picture of revival to come.

Two weeks later the local paper published an artist’s impression precisely reflecting that vision – and this lovely square, complete with 16 fountains, now adorns the Waterdale area of the town centre and is flanked by the new municipal offices and a modern theatre called Cast, where the town’s pastors recently met for the first time for mutual encouragement. A similar feature, also with fountains, has now been announced for the area adjacent to Doncaster’s railway station.

I keep telling friends and pastors here that, if they wish to see this vision (of revival) fulfilled, they must start blessing Israel – by praying for them, helping their poor, defending them from unwarranted attack and anti-Semitism and, most of all, by reaching out to them with the very gospel which has so blessed us (Romans 1.16 & 10.14).

In South Africa, meanwhile, up to a million people are expected to descend on the central city of Bloemfontein (which, incidentally, translates “flower fountain”) in a fortnight’s time (April 22) to pray for their nation following a call from the man they have all come to know as Oom (Uncle) Angus!

Don’t forget that Jesus is returning – not to London, New York, Paris or Cape Town, but to Jerusalem, as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah! (Revelation 5.5)

If you really love Jesus, you will love the Jews!

PHOTO: MIGHTY TURNOUT - Men gather in great numbers for the Karoo Mighty Men’s Conference in the heart of South Africa’s farming community. Picture: Robert Southey


  1. My orphaned great-grandfather, also Charles, was brought up in the Murray parsonage in Graaff-Reinet, 500 miles from Cape Town. Our family is forever indebted to Rev Andrew Murray Snr and his wife Maria, who had 16 children of their own!  ↩

  2. Peace in Jerusalem by Charles Gardner (olivepresspublisher.com) p164  ↩

  3. Peace in Jerusalem p162/3  ↩

  4. Why Jesus Died (Monarch Books) p40  ↩


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

 

Netanyahu Attacks 'Depressing' Mainstream Media

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday attacked Israel’s mainstream media for being an “industry of depression.”

At a toast held at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem, Netanyahu blasted the left-leaning press for constantly focusing on (and, in his view, exaggerating) socio-economic problems, while all but ignoring Israel’s successes.

Netanyahu sees this type of coverage as part of an ongoing media effort to sabotage his premiership and smear him personally.

Long at odds with Israel’s mainstream media, Netanyahu recently ramped up the tension by pushing through legislation that would further privatize the state-run press and open the door to greater competition.

“I would like to see more competition, more diversity, more pluralism. The last thing I want is the opposite of that. The press is not diverse enough, does not reflect the public’s feelings,” said the prime minister.

Those elements of the mainstream media that draw their salaries from taxpayers’ money see this as a direct assault, and in response have accused Netanyahu of trying to limit freedom of the press in Israel.

Netanyahu has retorted by noting the overwhelming criticism to which he is treated in most of the Israeli media, and that this is done freely and without repercussion.

 

Trump Reportedly Looking to Host Mideast Peace Summit

Following his meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi on Monday, Arab media is reporting that US President Donald Trump is looking to host a Mideast peace summit as early as this summer.

And that has more than a few people in Israel concerned.

While Israel and Egypt have enjoyed close cooperation under Al-Sisi, the Egyptian leader reportedly told Trump that peace between Israel and the Arabs should be based on the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative.

Israel at the time expressed appreciation for the concept of comprehensive peace (as opposed to separate peace processes with the Palestinians and the rest of the Arab world) but was unable to accept many of the terms, like opening the gates of the Jewish state to millions of so-called “Palestinian refugees.”

Should Egypt and other Arab nations convince Trump to adopt the 2002 Initiative as the foundation for future peace talks, Israel could once again find itself in a dangerous position.

According to the Arab daily Al-Hayat, that’s precisely what’s happening.

American sources cited by the paper said Trump was looking at a US-hosted peace summit this summer, with Egypt joining the US as one of the chief arbiters between Israel and the rest of the Arab world.

Egypt is already officially at peace with Israel.

 

Your Last Chance To Sponsor a Passover Package

Pesach (Passover) is only a week away! The school holidays have already begun and spring cleaning is already in full swing with everybody getting stuck in. The purchases to create the celebratory atmosphere for Pesach are also nearing completion ensuring that everything is ready.

Not everyone is looking forward to Pesach! There are those suffering financial hardships which makes it impossible for them to look forward to the coming feast.

This is why we have found it important to put a smile on the faces of some needy immigrant families and to eliminate some of the pessimism. We are also hard at work preparing food packages for these families.

Don't miss your chance to help us give a little bit of charity!

p.s. If you donate two food packages or make any two donations, we will give you a free Pesach Haggada!



 

Israel Completes Multi-Tier Anti-Missile Defense Shield

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended the ceremony marking the operational integration of the David's Sling air defense system on Sunday at the Hatzor Air Force Base in southern Israel.

The three tiers of Israel's anti-missile defense technology now comprises of Iron Dome, which covers short range rockets and missiles (up to 70km range), David's Sling the medium range system (70 – 300km range), and the Arrow III exoatmospheric anti-ballistic missile system.

David's Sling was developed over the last 10 years by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems in cooperation with the IDF, as an answer to medium range kamikazi drones, rockets and missile fire. Unlike Iron Dome, which is stationary and defends specific areas of Israel, David's Sling is portable, providing national coverage.

 

30% Off Your Next Purchase AND Find Your Surprise!

During the Pesach Seder (Passover Meal), our kids will be rewarded for their detective abilities. The Afikoman (a piece of matza) is wrapped in a cloth and secretly hidden by the leader of the Seder! The matza treasure hunt is usually the most anticipated part of the Seder by the kids because the one that successfully finds the Afikoman is usually rewarded!

Orthodox Christians have a parallel Easter tradition - the Easter Egg hunt! This is an exciting activity for the children and clearly the highlight of the Easter holidays!

We, at Israel Today, are also joining in with these traditions! We will place a small surprise gift with every order!

In addition we will be distributing coupons offering 30% discount off your next purchase. So, buy Blue & White, find your 30% discount voucher and look for your "surprise" in your package!



 

Spanish Foreign Minister blasts BDS

During a meeting with a delegation of Knesset members, who visited the country to mark 30 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Spain and Israel, Alfonso Dastis, Spain's Foreign Minister, came out firmly against the BDS movement's activities.

"The government of Spain is entirely opposed to BDS and has already taken a variety of steps to fight the movement. I ask that you update me on every new extreme initiative in real time, so we can prevent it in real time," said Dastis.

This despite some 40 cities in Spain adopting boycott resolutions with some 10 cities cancelling their decisions, either voluntarily or by court order.

The Spanish-Israeli Parliamentary Friendship League was launched at a ceremony attended by Spanish senators, congressman, the Israeli ambassador to Spain, the delegation of Knesset members and other Israeli embassy staff.

"The Knesset places great importance to strengthening relations between the two countries and parliaments. Fortunately, the Spanish foreign minister agreed to my invitation to visit Israel and declared that his government is strongly opposed to BDS," said MK Revital Swid.

 

VIDEO: Stabbing Attack in Jerusalem's Old City

Yesterday's stabbing attack, on two orthodox Jews, took place at approx. 15:13 local time on the Old City's Haggai street which has witnessed many stabbing attacks in the past.

The attacker had been observed by several local citizens, who had noticed that he had sought out his victims, following them for a short distance before attacking them both from behind.

During his escape attempt, and being cornered by Israeli security forces, he turned on a policeman stabbing him as well before being shot dead.

The terrorist came from the Nablus area of Samaria.

 

A Billion Chinese Can Not Be Wrong

The website of the Israeli Embassy in China on the Chinese social network (Wibu) is the most popular of all foreign embassies with 1.9 million followers. The US Embassy has only 1 million followers.

Foreign embassies in China do not understand how the Israeli embassy achieved this popularity.

The Wibu social media network has 600 million registered users of which around 300 million are active.

The Israeli Embassy in China has 1.9 million followers, in second place and very far behind the Israeli Embassy is the Canadian Embassy with 1.13 million followers with the US Embassy in China in third place with 1.035 million followers, almost half those of Israel. In fourth place is the Brazilian embassy with half a million followers, in fifth place is the Japanese embassy with less than half a million followers, followed by South Korea with 396,000, Cuba with 289,000, France was in ninth spot with 255,000, and the Russian embassy was in 10th place 167,000.

An article entitled "What's new in Wibu" tried to analyze what makes the Israeli embassy in China so popular. The answer given is that in general Chinese citizens have a very positive attitude towards Israel. In addition, activities of the Embassy in Beijing and the Consulate General in Shanghai were widely appreciated. One of them was when the Shanghai Consulate published a video clip of hundreds of Israelis (including Prime Minister Netanyahu) holding up signs in Chinese thanking the Chinese people for the shelter they gave the Jews during World War II. After past Israeli president Shimon Peres passed away, half a million followers visited the embassy site and recorded their condolences hailing Peres as a great friend of China.

Several articles about the Israeli Embassy were published in the Chinese media and by several leading Chinese bloggers.

Among other things, the Israeli Embassy website offers, pictures of the Golan Heights, pictures of Tel Aviv at night, pictures of the Old City of Jerusalem, historical information about Israel, a list of the most popular names in Israel, an explanation of Chanukah and donuts, photos of extinguishing the fires that recently ravaged Israel, many posts on Israeli innovation, explanations regarding the operation of Shabbat elevators, explanations why Israeli cows produce the most milk per cow in the world, posts about the Israeli culinary scene, posts about Chinese bloggers visiting the country and more.

The site is meticulous in maintaining contact with its followers and also conducts award-winning campaigns, advertises sets of Dead Sea products, Israeli wine, magnets, tickets for Israeli cultural events and even airline tickets to Israel. Among other things, the site ran a quiz with questions such as how many Israeli cities the Chinese followers know, their favorite Israeli dishes, etc.

As part of the launch of the 10-year visa agreement between Israel and China last November, a number of participants were flown to Israel in an online campaign, in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism, El Al, Hainan and Dan Hotels. The embassy asked visitors to send videos explaining Israel. In response, hundreds of videos were received, from which four winners were chosen and provided with an air ticket and a stay in an Israeli hotel.

 

VIDEO: Watch As The UN Turns Blue & White!

Yesterday, Wednesday March 29th, the second annual "Ambassadors Against BDS" meeting took place at the United Nations. Attending were 2000 people that were hoping that Ambassador Haley would deliver some more of her pro-Israel sentiments that she delivered at the AIPAC conference just a couple of days earlier.

She certainly did not disappoint anyone pro-Israel and lived up to what was expected of her.

"The effort to delegitimize the state of Israel being waged on college campuses and the anti-Israel obsession at the UN are one in the same. They both seek to deny Israel’s right to exist," Haley said. "They are both efforts to intimidate her friends and embolden her enemies. They are both extensions of an ancient hatred," she continued.


Israel's UN Ambassador, Danny Danon, thanked Ambassador Haley and said, "Thank you Ambassador Haley for recognizing the dangers of BDS and for being the first US governor to sign legislation against BDS. And thank you Ambassador Haley for the strong stance taken by the US for condemning all forms of anti-Semitism."

He continued, "We are here today with a simple message for those who seek to harm the Jewish state and the Jewish people. We will keep fighting until we eliminate BDS completely, from the campuses to the UN, and we will keep fighting until anti-Semitism is finally defeated."

There have been bi-partisan efforts across thye aisle in Congress recently to counter BDS activities in the US. For example, Republican Senator Rob Portman and Democratic Senator Ben Cardin as well as Democratic Representative Juan Vargas and Republican Representative Peter Roskam have jointly introduced the Israel Anti-Boycott Act.

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations on Monday urged Congress to swiftly pass the bill saying, "This bipartisan legislation is urgently needed to reinforce our country’s commitment to ensuring that Israel is treated fairly and attacks on Israel at the UN and by the BDS movement will not succeed. By prohibiting boycotts or requests for boycotts imposed by international governmental organizations against Israel, the Israel Anti-Boycott Act will add a significant tool to similar bans already imposed by legislation adopted with bipartisan majorities in Congress."

Do your part! Support Israel and help fight BDS on all fronts.



 

Where’s the Temple?

If there’s one thing most Christians and Jews agree on is that Israel’s restoration cannot be complete without the third temple. “For I shall return to Jerusalem with compassion; and My house shall be built in it, declares the Lord” (Zech. 1:16). Well, if the coming of Messiah is as near as many of us believe, then you have to ask – where’s the temple?

Would you be shocked to learn the temple is well along in its construction and nearing completion? If so, then you probably have been looking for it with natural eyes, not eyes of faith. Natural eyes are focused on the Temple Mount, hoping and praying for some divine intervention to remove the Dome of the Rock so construction can finally begin. But that is not the kind of temple God has in mind.

Like Israel’s God-given Feast Days, the Mosaic temple complex was just one more type and shadow pointing to a spiritual fulfillment in Messiah. Weren’t we told that - “The Most High does not dwell in houses made with human hands?” (Acts 7:48) And that - “Heaven is My throne, and earth is the footstool for My feet; What kind of house will you build for Me?” (Isa. 66:1). Why then would we look for a temple that men can build?

If we want to see God’s eternal place of residence today we must look at what God has been doing to restore the church. And by “church” I mean the body of Messiah, not the worldly institutional corporate entity which is the fruit of the fourth-century apostasy. For we are the living stones of the New Covenant temple - “having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and the prophets, Messiah Yeshua himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord” (Eph. 2:20-22).

In two previous articles I tried to show how each stage of God’s restoration of Messiah’s congregation could be seen as a restoration of the fulfillments of Israel’s major Feasts. But that isn’t the only thing being revealed in the stages of our restoration. We can also track the rebuilding of the temple.

As most know, the Mosaic tabernacle/temple complex was divided into three separate sections: the Outer Court, the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies. The last two sections were under one roof separated (in Moses’ day) by a thin veil. Each section roughly corresponds to the three major Feasts of Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles.

Now throughout the temple were seven carefully placed pieces of “furniture.” Each one speaking volumes of spiritual truth concerning our salvation, taking us from justification to sanctification to glorification.

In the Outer Court were the Brazen Altar and the Laver. Within the Holy Place were the Menorah, the Table of Showbread and the Golden Altar of Incense. And in the Holy of Holies, where God’s Presence dwelt, we find the last two: the Ark of the Covenant and the Mercy Seat.

In 1517, when Martin Luther discovered that Yeshua’s sacrifice was the only sacrifice by which we could be justified before God, the Brazen Altar experience was restored to the body. In the ensuing Reformation, when Believer’s Baptism was restored by the Anabaptists, the Laver was again set in place. That completed the Outer Court.

Then, in the early 1900’s, Pentecost broke out and the Menorah, the seven-branched lamp which is symbolic of the Holy Spirit, was brought back from Rome. Christians could now minister in the light and power of the Spirit. Then came June 7, 1967, and the Israeli military victory that birthed a new repentance and fellowship between Jews and Christians. And the Table of Showbread with its twelve loaves, which speaks of the One New Man and the Lord’s commitment to save all Israel, was restored.

That only leaves the Golden Altar of Incense, which lay directly in front of the veil, to complete the Holy Place. Incense, we are told, represents “the prayers of the saints” (Rev.8:4). Could that altar have been restored over the last four decades when the Charismatic Movement burst on to the scene with its emphasis on restoring our spiritual prayer language? Perhaps. It was at that time, also, that Jews began to believe in Yeshua again in numbers not seen since the first century. Both these awakenings then filled the tabernacle with spirit-filled songs of praise and worship.

But this altar plays a central role on the Feast of Atonement also, when the High Priest goes through the veil into the Holy of Holies to make atonement for the people and to purify the whole temple (us). That Day speaks of the final perfection of God’s people – our complete deliverance from sin and carnality.

But before that Day can come we must first cross through what the Jews call “the Days of Awe.” They are the ten days between Trumpets and Atonement when the people would repent of their transgressions against God and their fellow man.

It is very possible these ten days will manifest as the Great Tribulation. “You shall have tribulation ten days; be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” (Rev. 2:10) God would use that time to strip us of all dependence on self and this world system before our great salvation appears. It would prepare us, like the five virgins, to go through the door (veil of flesh) with Yeshua, our High Priest, into the Holy of Holies and celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles in its season. Which is also, no doubt, the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

Once God’s eternal dwelling is completed the world will witness a sight far more spectacular than Solomon’s Temple. It will be the glorified body of Messiah clothed in God’s righteousness. As Haggai so famously understated: “The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former” (Hag. 2:9).

Brian Hennessy is the author of Valley of the Steeples

 

Trump Takes Support For Israel To A New Level

When US President Donald Trump made strong statements of support for Israel during the election campaign, Israelis wanted more than anything to believe him. But we’d heard it all before. Bill Clinton, Barack Obama (though certainly not as adamantly) and George W. Bush had all made similar statements and promises.

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

 

World Shrugs as Hizballah Prepares Massive Civilian Deaths

Originally written for the Investigative Project on Terrorism

Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah recently warned Israel that his Iran-backed terror group could attack targets producing mass Israeli casualties, including a huge ammonia storage tank in Haifa, and a nuclear reactor in Dimona.

Also last month, Tower Magazine reported that, since the beginning of the Syrian civil war, Iran has provided Hizballah with a vast supply of "game-changing," state-of-the art weapons, despite Israel’s occasional airstrikes against weapons convoys.

In a future conflict, Hizballah has the capacity to fire 1,500 rockets into Israel each day, overwhelming Israel’s missile defense systems. Should such a scenario materialize, Israel will be forced to respond with unprecedented firepower to defend its own civilians.

Hizballah’s advanced weapons and the systems needed to launch them reportedly are embedded across a staggering 10,000 locations in the heart of more than 200 civilian towns and villages. The Israeli military has openly warned about this Hizballah war crime and the grave threats it poses to both sides, but that alarm generated almost no attention from the global media, the United Nations, or other international institutions.

Like the terror group Hamas, Hizballah knows that civilian deaths at the hands of Israel are a strategic asset, because they produce diplomatic pressure to limit Israel’s military response. Hizballah reportedly went so far as offering reduced-price housing to Shiite families who allowed the terrorist group to store rocket launchers in their homes.

But if the global media, the UN, human rights organizations, and other international institutions predictably pounce on Israel after it causes civilian casualties, why are they doing nothing to prevent them? Hizballah’s very presence in southern Lebanon is a flagrant violation of United Nations Security Council resolution 1701, which called for the area to be a zone "free of any armed personnel, assets and weapons" other than the Lebanese military and the U.N. Interim Forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

The resolution also required Hizballah to be disarmed, but the terror group today has an arsenal that rivals that of most armies. Hizballah possesses an estimated 140,000 missiles and rockets, and reportedly now can manufacture advanced weapons in underground factories that are impervious to aerial attack.

"Israel must stress again and again, before it happens, that these villages [storing Hizballah weapons] have become military posts, and are therefore legitimate targets," said Yoram Schweitzer, senior research fellow at Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies (INSS).

Meir Litvak, director of Tel Aviv University’s Alliance Center for Iranian Studies, agrees, adding that global attention would "expose Hizballah’s hypocrisy in its cynical use of civilians as… human shields."

But even a concerted campaign to showcase Hizballah’s war preparation is unlikely to change things, said Eyal Zisser, a senior research fellow at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies. Hizballah exploits the fact that "the international community is too busy and…weak to do something about it," Zisser said. All of "these talks and reports have no meaning. See what is happening in Syria."

Israel has targeted Hizballah-bound weapons caches in Syria twice during the past week. Syria responded last Friday by firing a missile carrying 200 kilograms of explosives, which Israel successfully intercepted.

If Hizballah provokes a war, Israel can legitimately attack civilian areas storing Hizballah arms if the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) first attempts to warn the targeted civilians to leave those areas, Litvak said. But "it will certainly be very difficult and will look bad on TV."

While Sunni Arab states are generally united against the Shiite Iranian-Hizballah axis, Litvak, Zisser, and Schweitzer all agreed that Israel could hope for no more than silent support from them when the missiles fly.

Indeed, the "Sunni Arab street" is likely to be inflamed by the images of civilian death and destruction caused by Israel that international media will inevitably broadcast, further limiting support for Israel from Iran’s Sunni state foes.

Rather perversely, the Lebanese government has embraced the very terrorist organization that could cause hundreds of thousands of Lebanese civilian deaths by converting residential areas into war zones. "As long as Israel occupies land and covets the natural resources of Lebanon, and as long as the Lebanese military lacks the power to stand up to Israel, [Hizballah’s] arms are essential, in that they complement the actions of the army and do not contradict them," President Michel Aoun told Egyptian television last month. Hizballah, he said, "has a complementary role to the Lebanese army."

Aoun’s declaration means that Lebanon "takes full responsibility for all of Hizballah’s actions, including against Israel, and for their consequences to Lebanon and its entire population, even though the Lebanese government has little ability to actually control the organization’s decisions or policy," said INSS Senior Research Fellow Assaf Orion.

MK Naftali Bennett, a veteran of Israel’s 2006 war with Hizballah, believes that Lebanon’s official acceptance of Hizballah and its policy of embedding military assets inside residential areas removes any prior constraints on Israeli targeting of civilian areas. "The Lebanese institutions, its infrastructure, airport, power stations, traffic junctions, Lebanese Army bases – they should all be legitimate targets if a war breaks out," he said. "That’s what we should already be saying to them and the world now."

In a future war, Hizballah is certain bombard Israeli civilian communities with missile barrages. Israel, in response, will have to target missile launchers and weapons caches surrounded by Lebanese civilians.

But it need not be so. Global attention on Hizballah’s abuses by journalists and diplomats could lead to international pressure that ultimately reduces or even prevents civilian deaths.

Those truly concerned about civilians do not have a difficult case to make. Hizballah has shown a callous disregard for innocent life in Syria.

It helped the Syrian regime violently suppress largely peaceful protests that preceded the Syrian civil war in 2011. Last April, Hizballah and Syrian army troops reportedly killed civilians attempting to flee the Sunni-populated town of Madaya, near the Lebanese border. In 2008, its fighters seized control of several West Beirut neighborhoods and killed innocent civilians after the Lebanese government moved to shut down Hizballah’s telecommunication network.

Hizballah terrorism has claimed civilian lives for decades, including a 1994 suicide bombing at Argentina’s main Jewish center that killed 85 people. As the IDF notes, "Since 1982, hundreds of innocent civilians have lost their lives and thousands more have been injured thanks to Hizballah."

If world powers and the international media genuinely care about avoiding civilian casualties, they should be loudly condemning Hizballah’s ongoing efforts – in flagrant violation of a UN resolution – to cause massive civilian death and destruction in Lebanon’s next war with Israel.

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

 

VIDEO: US Vice President Addresses AIPAC Convention

US Vice President Mike Pence said yesterday in a speech before the annual AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) conference that President Donald Trump is seriously considering moving the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

In front of 18,000 participants in the conference, Pence said, "After decades of simply talking about it, the POTUS is giving serious consideration to moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem!"

He said, "If the world knows nothing else, the world will know this, America stands with Israel!" He went on to say that, "in President Trump America has a leader that will call their enemies by their name. The US administration is planning to defeat radical Islam so it can no longer threaten our people, allies or our most cherished ally Israel!"

Pence promised that the United Nations would no longer serve as an instrument and forum against the Jewish state. He then congratulated the new Israeli ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, whose appointment had been approved by the Senate following a narrow vote last Thursday. Friedman would deepen the American relations with Israel even more, it was an honor for him to sworn him as the new ambassador in Israel.

 

The Widening Rift Between The IDF And Religious Community

In September 2016 the Liba Center published a report with a title that speaks volumes: "Coerced Pluralism" in the military. The report not only dispelled the popular impression that the army is becoming more religious, it says that the exact opposite is taking place – the army is becoming the vanguard of the radical liberal agenda. The Liba report exposed, perhaps for the first time, the radical shift of values the IDF has chosen to adopt.

Since then clashes between religious leaders and the army have become more frequent and more volatile. The recent clash involves rabbi Yigal Levinstein's remarks on coed combat units of men and women. Levinstein, head of the prestigious pre-military academy of Eli, said on March 7, among other things, that the IDF "recruits [religious women] to the army, where they enter as Jews, but they are not Jews by the time they leave … not in the genetic sense, but all of their values and priorities have been upset and we must not allow it.” Two days later Minister of Defense Avigdor Lieberman said that "anyone offending army values can't educate youth going to serve in it." Lieberman threatened that the academy would be shut down unless Levinstein resign.

This conflict, yet to be resolved, created even greater tension after Israel Prize winner, moderate rabbi Eli Sadan was summoned, together with Levinstein, to the Defense Minister's office, where it was expected of them to capitulate. In his article "Saving the IDF – No Draft" MK Bezalel Smotrich of the Jewish Home party wrote: "Like a loving mother who sees her beloved son associating with bad company, needs to rein him in before he slides away, even if she must hurt him, so must we, in our great love for the IDF, save it from the claws of extreme postmodernism that has overtaken it with the shiny wrap of equality - accepting the other - we have to use measures to bring the army back to its senses." One of the measures he suggested is postponing the drafting of pre-military students for a few months. "The army will then ask itself what is better – first class soldiers or unisex bathrooms."

Smotrich's suggestion to postpone the draft was understood as a call to avoid military service altogether, which caused even his party members to criticize him. Yet Smotrich's suggestion is mild in comparison to other voices now being openly voiced.

Writing on the religious portal Srugim, Rabbi Ariel Bareli, head of the Hesder Yeshiva of Sderot, said quite clearly that a temporary separation between the army and the religious community may be necessary.

Smotrich's suggestion, says Bareli, "is correct and healthy, we have to remember where we came from. The source is realizing the vision of the prophets … this is the Torah with which our students go with into the army, and it is it that empowers them to risk their lives." Therefore, he writes, "there can be a situation in which avoiding enlisting to the military, that forces upon its soldiers secularization and promiscuity" could become an option. Bareli doesn't suggest it to be the first option but, the very suggestion from a rabbi who teaches Yeshiva students that will become soldiers, signal to all who are concerned that more influential rabbis are willing to risk their career rather than compromise.

This hard line is condemned, for now, by most rabbis, it is nevertheless a warrying sign of the real rift developing between the IDF and the religious community.

 

Spring Is The Time Of Renewal

In most households, the dusters and cleaning cloths are being used in full swing cleaning out all crumbs and every speck of dust. It is the season for a spring-cleaning!

Many Israelis like to renew old and dated furnishings and even renovate their apartments.

Anything and everything goes at this time of the year! Spring and Passover are a good reason for a clean fresh start!

Discover our products offers that you could use on your festive table this Passover!



 

How Many Arab Land Claims Are Real?

A new housing project planned in the town of Efrat south of Jerusalem overcame the last major hurdle recently, when Arab claims to the land were exposed as false.

The claim made by an Arab resident of the nearby village of Al-Khader delayed construction of the housing project by more than a year, blocking all work on the neighborhood, which is planned to include 50 homes.

According to an Israel Radio report, a court proved that that the Arab claimant had no basis of ownership, and that the claim on the land was entirely false.

The project was organized by the future residents themselves, who commissioned a contractor to build the 50 homes. Members of the group had already invested vast amounts into the project and the year-long delay caused the prospective homeowners huge amounts of monetary loss.

After the status of the land selected for the project had been carefully checked, the group obtained building permits and work began preparing the plots for construction.

This is when a resident of Al-Khader registered a complaint with authorities claiming ownership of the land. But it turned out, the man’s only claim to the land was a small grove of trees he had planted on a plot he never owned.

 

The Law of Continuity for Fallen Soldiers

A few hours after Staff Sgt. Kevin Cohen was shot dead by a Palestinian Sniper in 2002, his mother requested to preserve his semen. Twelve years later, Cohen's daughter was born to a surrogate mother. The first to suggest a special sperm bank for soldiers came from Irit Rosenblum, founder of the "New Family" NGO. In 2001, at the height of the terror wave that hit Israel, Rosenblum raised the idea to use the "wondrous technological solution" of a sperm bank to ensure that Israeli soldiers would be able to fulfill "the right to procreate." Freezing soldiers' semen would allow even a dead soldier to "express his aspirations and choose the ways to fulfill them," writes Rosenblum.

As could be expected, "New Family" promotes anything but what would be considered a traditional Jewish family. New Family is committed to the causes of "LGBT, interfaith and bi-national families, single parents, common-law couples, Reform, Conservative and other non-Orthodox Jews, converts, immigrants, minorities, religiously taboo unions, migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, people who don’t meet the religious definition of any faith, or meet the definition of two faiths, and their children. New Family serves families across religious, national, political and geographic boundaries."

Aware of the motivation behind this idea, yet having to deal with this new possibility from a religious point of view, M.D. Rabbi Mordechai Halperin began a halachic query and reached a conclusion that "such a practice has no place in Israel." Nevertheless, reluctantly he reached the surprising conclusion that, "the one born by insemination after death to a lawful wife is considered a son in every way."

The dughter of deceased Staff Sgt. Cohen was the first case ever in Israel, where after six years of fighting bureaucracy, and the legal system, which not only approved the concept of "A biological will™" but also reprimanded the Israeli government for its unwillingness to legislate the idea of "A biological will™". The same story repeated itself in 2013 and in 2016, when Israeli courts ruled again that a surrogate mother can be inseminated with semen of a deceased soldier.

These legal decisions have yet to be challenged in the Supreme Court, which is why another family of a deceased soldier is pushing for legislation. In the case of Capt. Shaked Meiri who was killed in 2004 during a military exercise, after his widow refused to have a child from her long dead husband, his parents are now campaigning for a new "continuity law" that will put an end to the legal difficulties facing families that want to have a grandchild from their deceased son.

Despite the haunting moral questions like, choosing a child to be an orphan or, creating a child as a "living memorial," and many other liberal ideas, this one too is likely to be accepted, first by the Israeli public that will be coached by the media to accept it, and then by the Knesset. If that would happen, the vision of "New Family" will take another step on the road that, many believe, would lead to the destruction of the Jewish family.

 

A Bundle of Love for Passover

"Good Deeds Day" is around the corner and children in Israel are learning what it means to be grateful for everything we have and not to take it for granted. There are so many that are not fortunate and we need to be aware of the commandment how important it is to give to the needy!

The idea of ​​"Good Deeds Day" is a conscious reminder to think of our neighbors. Thousands of volunteers commit to help their fellow human beings by doing random acts of kindness - whether small or large - and by so doing do their little bit to make the world a better place.

Help us to support needy Ethiopian families as Israel Today plans to distribute food packages to new immigrant families in cooperation with the "Ministry of Immigrant Absorption" in Mevaseret Zion (near Jerusalem)!

p.s. If you order two food packages or two other donations, you will receive a Pesach Hagada for free!



 

London Terror – A Wake-up Call!!

The latest London terror attack is another wake-up call for a nation that has become far too complacent in the face of current threats to our Judeao-Christian civilization.

I am not referring to our police and security services, but to how we have jettisoned the biblical principles on which our once great nation was built. And it appears we haven’t got the moral backbone to successfully counter the death culture of fundamentalist Islam.

This is not surprising given that Parliament – the focus of Wednesday’s attack – is ‘celebrating’ 50 years since the passing of the Abortion Act, which has led to the killing of eight million unborn babies. This is the Parliament that was quite literally built on the Word of God in the form of the Latin text of Psalm 127, verse 1 inscribed onto the stone floor of its central lobby, which translates: “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labour in vain.” And this is only the first part of the verse, which continues: “Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.”

Now we have witnessed a terrible tragedy, reminiscent of the 7/7 bombings in the capital which saw 52 killed and some 700 wounded, including my younger brother. He only survived thanks to medical expertise and the prayers of friends around the world, though the physical effects of that dreadful day continue as he struggles through a series of often ill-fitting prosthetic limbs.

The March 22 atrocity, which saw 52-year-old Khalid Masood murder four people as he ploughed through pedestrians on the famous Westminster Bridge before crashing outside Parliament and stabbing a policeman to death, bears stark similarities to the January attack in Jerusalem which saw a Palestinian terrorist run over four young Israeli soldiers (three of them women) before being shot at the wheel. His cause was ‘jihad’ (holy war) against the Jews; Muslim convert Masood’s fury was no doubt generally aimed at the infidel (unbelieving) West and those perceived as supporting Israel, whom Islamists claim to have stolen Arab land.

This latest act of barbarism was also reminiscent of last July’s bloodcurdling rampage in Nice which saw 80 innocent revellers mown down by another fanatic trying to rid the world of those who refuse to bow the knee to Allah.

Yet this kind of slaughter has been enacted in Israel for many years, and little notice is taken by the West as we sit in our relative comfort zones lamely imbibing the lies and propaganda that would have us believe Israel is getting its just desserts for its persecution of the Palestinians.

Now London, Paris, Antwerp and other European cities are getting a taste of the poisonous medicine Israelis are forced to swallow on an almost daily basis.

Displaying double standards both on a political and religious front, we do not see it as our problem when innocent Jews get stabbed and mown down by cars in the Middle East, but when evil monsters spread their tentacles to our doorstep, it’s a different matter of course.

Nationally, we have acted like the religious leaders in Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan in walking by on the other side of the road as a wounded man lies bleeding. (Luke 10.25-37)

It’s time we learnt that Israel’s battle – for democracy, civilization and truth – is also our battle. Their troubles, their wounds, and their worries should be our concern too. Without them we would never have had a modern democracy built on the principles taught by Jesus, the Jewish Messiah.

When we (the church, government and nation at large) start showing concern for their plight, perhaps then we will awake from our slumber.

When we acknowledge once more our debt to Jesus, the Jew, as our Lord and Saviour – how, in answer to prayer, he rescued us from the jaws of the Nazis, for example – then perhaps the storm will subside.

When the disciples were in the boat on the Sea of Galilee during a furious squall (Matthew 8.23-27, New Testament), it was Jesus who was sleeping – because he was perfectly at peace whereas his followers were understandably frightened.

Nevertheless, when they woke their Master, calling on his name, he calmed the storm with a word – and the true nature of who he was came home to them with renewed force: “Who is this whom even the winds and the waves obey?”

When, oh when, will the church in Britain acknowledge Jesus as Lord – and his chosen people as our special concern. For when we bless, encourage, help and pray for them, we will become a blessed nation once more (Genesis 12.3). But if we continue to curse them by ignoring the extreme danger they face, as many did during the Holocaust, we will keep inviting judgment on ourselves.

I plead with government and church: don’t wait until the streets are running with blood before acknowledging our great sin in defying the God of Israel by throwing out his precepts and betraying his people.

Perhaps we need to mobilise an army of Christian soldiers to take on the battle for the soul of the nation, insisting on a restoration of godly principles in our laws and institutions. The liberal left have had their way for too long. It’s time for a counter-revolution based on morality and righteousness.

Jesus paid with his own blood to bring us peace. He is the Lamb of God, and when, figuratively speaking, we apply his blood to our hearts as the Jews of old marked the doorposts of their homes on the eve of the Exodus, we will be rescued and spared from the worst that the enemy can do.

When the angel of death saw the blood, he passed over the Israelite houses and spared their first-born. But Egypt – that great civilization of ancient times – suffered a terrible calamity.

We too have to choose between a plague of trouble and freedom in Christ. I pray for revival in our land where, as I hope to see a Christian nation re-emerge, we will become the Good Samaritan who tends to the wounds of our Jewish friends and takes care of them.


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

 

Response Requested From Readers and Friends of Israel

On this auspicious occasion, of Jerusalem's 50th anniversary of her reunification, we would appreciate it if you would send us congratulations or a greeting, which you probably have always wanted to convey.

A selection of these congratulations will be published in the Israel Today June issue.

Please send your (short) greeting to... info@israeltoday.co.il

Many Thanks!
Your Israel Today Team

 

Current Issue

Advertisements