Why Did Trump Expose Israeli Covert Operations to the Russians?

Remember when US President Donald Trump banned airlines passengers entering America from certain countries from carrying laptop computers into the flight cabin?

It was a major inconvenience that caused a great many people to groan.

And, it turns out, Israel was behind that decision.

In a meeting with Russian official, the details of which were recently revealed to Vanity Fair, Trump defended his decision by saying he had received a trusted intelligence warning necessitating such a move.

While Trump didn't expose Israel by name, it was clear from the context of the discussion that Israeli intelligence was behind uncovering a deadly new scheme by ISIS.

It turns out, ISIS bomb-makers had devised a way to hide explosives in laptop computers that would fool all current US airport security methods.

So, Trump just banned all laptops.

Israeli officials later confirmed to other American media that, indeed, Israel had provided the critical intelligence to Trump.

The problem here is that Israel obtained that intel through dangerous covert operations deep inside Syria.

Russia is also deeply embedded in Syria, and is allied with elements that are Israel's avowed enemies.

Exposing Israeli agents to the Russians puts their lives in danger and risks the outbreak of war between the Jewish state and its neighbors.

 

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Poll: 60 Percent of Local Arabs Proud to be Israeli

Don't believe the hype pushed by Israel's detractors. And definitely reconsider the notion that Israel is an "apartheid" state.

Because yet another public opinion poll has revealed that, far from feeling marginalized or oppressed, a firm majority of local Arabs are actually proud to be Israeli.

Published by the free daily newspaper Israel Hayom, the survey asked a random sampling of Arab citizens their attitude toward the State of Israel.

An overwhelming 73 percent majority said that they feel a sense of belonging in Israeli society. Sixty percent went so far as to say they are proud citizens of Israel.

Even so, just 3 percent said they would identify solely as Israeli, with a 46 percent plurality preferring the label "Arab Israeli." Forty-two percent identified as "Palestinian Arab."

A strong majority said they accept that the Jews have a historical and religious connection to this land. Just as many said they prefer to live in a Jewish-dominated state, as opposed to a "Palestinian" Arab state.

The respondents said they don't feel particularly well-represented by most of the Arab members of Knesset, who generally act as advocates for the Palestinian cause.

 

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Israeli Jewish Blogger Causes Uproar by Taking Selfies in Saudi Arabia

An Israeli Jewish blogger recently did what few others would dare by traveling (presumably on a foreign passport) to Saudi Arabia.

But Ben Tzion didn't only go to Saudi Arabia, he let everyone know about it, in rather epic fashion, via Facebook.

Ben Tzion posted a number of selfies with both local officials and average Saudis.

In all of the shots, he was wearing an Arab headdress, or kefiyah, which along with his beard was the perfect disguise. But in one particular shot, Ben Tzion donned a very different kind of kefiyah featuring the Star of David!

What really got Arab Muslims on social media riled up, though, was when Ben Tzion visited Islam's second holiest mosque in the city of Medinah.

The photo from inside the mosque was clearly taken by a third party, who apparently didn't have a problem with Ben Tzion very conspicuously pointing out the Jewish prayer shawl tucked under his arm.

 

Israeli Girl Wounded in 2011 Bombing Dies of Her Wounds, Nearly 7 Years Later

The tragic scene at Jerusalem's Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital on Wednesday morning was a reminder that the casualty figures resulting from terrorist attacks are not always what they seem.

We immediately mourn the deceased, while assuming the wounded will ultimately recover.

But, more often than not, the injuries suffered by even the "lightly" wounded become disabilities or sources of pain that will last a lifetime.

In the case of Hodaya Asulin, her injury eventually lead to her death.

Asulin was among the dozens injured when a Palestinian terrorist planted a bomb-laden backpack at a Jerusalem bus stop on March 23, 2011. That means she was among the dozens that news consumers assumed would be OK in the long-run.

She wasn't.

Only 14-years-old at the time of the attack, Asulin spent the next six-and-a-half years in a coma, with family and friends keeping constant vigil and never losing hope that she'd one day return to them.

She didn't.

Asulin, now 20-years-old, finally succumbed to her six-year-old injuries and was declared dead on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued the following statement:

"I send condolences from the bottom of my heart to the family of Hodaya Asulin. The entire Israeli nation is embracing and supporting the family, which wrapped Hodaya in warmth and dedication since the terrible attack. May her memory forever remain blessed and ensconced in our hearts."

PHOTO: Stains of blood are seen at the site of the explosion were a bomb exploded in a bus in the center of Jerusalem, injuring 25 people, including Hodaya Asulin. (Abir Sultan / Flash90)

 

One Birthday And Celebrate For Two Years!

Israel is gearing up to celebrate her 70th birthday all across the country! Even in kindergartens and elementary schools this upcoming birthday is receiving special attention!

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Orthodox Jews Joining IDF Face Increasing Pressure, Threats

Tension has been growing over some Orthodox Jews joining the Israeli army, as evidenced by the violent mass demonstrations at the entrance to Jerusalem. This week, the public protests moved down to the Tel Aviv area.

It should be stressed that a great many Orthodox are against these outbursts. And, of course, the demonstrations are being held precisely because more and more religious Jews are joining the army.

But those who do put on the uniform of the IDF face many challenges and threats that average Israelis soldiers don't. Many are publicly scorned and even physically abused in their own neighborhoods when on weekend leave. For the sake of these soldiers, the army makes an exception to the rule about wearing one's uniform home from base.

Recently, average Israelis grew fed up and established the Forum Against Incitement to put pressure on the more hostile elements in the Orthodox community.

A new campaign by the forum is urging Israelis to boycott any goods bearing the kosher certification of the rabbinical authorities, noting that the revenues from such certifications are being used to incite anti-Israel and anti-IDF sentiment.

 

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Trump's About to Repeat the Mistake of Bush and Obama in the Israeli-Arab Conflict

Most Israelis remain convinced that US President Donald Trump is cut from a different cloth than former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

In most regards, that's true.

But recent reports suggest Trump's about to repeat some of the fundamental mistakes of his predecessors when it comes to the Middle East peace process.

Together with his son-in-law Jared Kushner and other key officials, Trump has been putting together a proposal for kickstarting Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

The plan is said to put far more emphasis on normalization of ties between Israel and the broader Arab world, but apparently continues the failure of taking seriously Palestinian obstructionism.

Senior Palestinian official stressed in a series of interview with Breitbart that their deal-breaking red-line demands remain firmly in place. Namely, the Palestinians will accept no deal that doesn't include Israel's surrender of eastern Jerusalem and the removal of every single Jew from the entirety of Judea and Samaria, the so-called "West Bank."

"Despite the fact that many people in many countries are working to sell the plan, the Palestinian organizations oppose any deal that doesn’t ensure Palestinians the creation of an independent state and sovereignty over the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as their capital," said Waleed Awad, a member of the Palestinian People’s Party (the former communist party).

Even more forthcoming was Ramzi Rabah, a member of the politburo of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine: "The fate of all the talk of a peace deal and agreements – their fate will be failure as long as they don’t meet the demands and the expectations of the Palestinians. ...Any other option is unacceptable."

These are conditions Israel can never accept, and that the Palestinians will never relinquish, meaning Trump's proposal is as doomed as those before it, even before it's been presented.

 

Palestinian Leaders Silence Another Critic, So Let's Give Them More Money!

It's the kind of despotic mechanism over which the more scheming among Western politicians drool. Sure, they've become masters of distraction. But to be able to silence all criticism outright? That's the dream of those whose only true agenda is clinging to power.

Generally, such practices are confined to truly authoritarian regimes. But there's at least one supposed democracy where it's routinely practiced. What's truly astonishing is that said "democracy" is the pet state-building project of the international community, and, consequently, the recipient of overwhelming per-capita financial aid.

Yes, the "enlightened" world is effectively paying the Palestinian regimes (plural) to suppress their people, because...why? For our own amusement? Not but a fool would still actually believe that this experiment in democracy-planting is working.

Just ask 26-year-old Gazan journalist and activist Amer Balousha. He doesn't live in what most of us would consider a democracy (putting out ballot boxes does not a democracy make, as many a Middle Easterner can tell you). In fact, quite the opposite.

Bankrolled by Western nations that still hold to the fantasy of "Palestine" as a free and open Arab society, and therefore a genuine peace partner for Israel, the powers that be have arrested Balousha no fewer than three times this year alone.

And what heinous crime did this young man commit to deserve such attention? Well, his latest offense was to post to Facebook his pondering over whether or not Gaza's rulers must, like him and the rest of the vulgar masses, suffer through the summer heat absent the luxury of air conditioning.

That's it. Simple criticism of the Hamas regime's mismanagement of its quarrels with Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Egypt, and the disastrous effects of it on the coastal enclave's economy.

Balousha was charged with "Misuse of Technology," which sounds more like an accusation one would level at a child for using a laptop as a snowboard.

In other words, it's a charge that's as ludicrous as it sounds. But it's also indicative of a reality in the Palestinian-controlled territories that the rest of the world is doing its best to cover up and ignore so as to avoid damaging the "Palestinian cause."

However, and once again, this raises the question - if all evidence points to the Palestinian cause resulting in nothing but another unstable and oppressive Arab dictatorship, then why stick with it?

And the answer, of course, is the Jews.

PHOTO: Issa Amro, a prominent Palestinian activist and founder of Youth Against Settlements, is detained by Palestinian police in the West Bank town of Hebron on September 7, 2017, after he was detained for criticizing the Palestinian Authorities arrest of a journalist on social media. Amro's detention was extended for another 24 hours, while the prosecution called for him to be charged for "causing strife", Farid al-Atrash from the Independent Commission for Human Rights said. (Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90)

 

Israel's "Lone Soldiers" - Help Them Feel At Home In Israel!

My name is A.G., I was born and raised in Samara, Russia. In 2009 I left my family and friends and made Aliyah to Israel. In 2011 I stated my IDF service serving in the Iron Dome Missile Defense Unit. I was a part of all of the operational activities of the unit including reserve duty during two operations.

As my release date as a Lone Soldier approached, I attended a program where I got to know my rights as a released soldier and received financial support, advice, as well as assistance in searching for a job.

Even during the military operations, I received support and all kinds of help. I always felt that someone cared for me, which was especially important to me as a "lone soldier". I also received help to find a place to study and to stay in Israel as a reservist. I am grateful for the support and the help to make the right decisions and build a successful future in the land of Israel.

We would like you to help our lonely soldiers together with us!



 

Messianic Jewish IDF Officer Sets the Record Straight

It wasn't long ago that the Israeli army chose Capt. Joshua Lazarus, son of a local Messianic Jewish pastor, to be one of its public faces in setting the record straight regarding the much-maligned checkpoints.

 

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The Miracle of Modern Israel

As I reflect on a much-anticipated study tour of Israel, I am conscious more than ever that this is God’s land.

Partially thwarted by security alerts both in the north and south, we nevertheless experienced the miracle of modern Israel in the context of its connection to an ancient and glorious past on a tour run by Shoresh (Hebrew for ‘root’), part of the work of the Church’s Ministry among the Jewish people (CMJ), which has been established in this region since the 1840s.

Our journey followed a biblical route via the wilderness through which the Israelites wandered for 40 years after escaping from slavery in Egypt when the sea opened up to make a way where there was no other way.

We marvelled at how, some 3,500 years ago, that vast multitude survived in these arid conditions, with water scarce and vegetation hardly visible. No wonder they needed manna from heaven, and water from the rock. It was designed to teach them to trust in the Lord – for “man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God”. (Matthew 4.4)

Even today Bedouin shepherds watch over their sheep in this desert, leading from the front, not behind. It is an extremely dangerous environment for sheep – especially at night, with steep ravines, rock faces and sink-holes waiting to catch them off guard, not to mention wolves and other predators.

So they need to stay close to the shepherd in order to hear his voice above all others, and so avoid falling into traps and being taken captive by deceitful hirelings.

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me,” Jesus taught his disciples (John 10.27).

We travelled through the vast and magnificent Wilderness of Zin, stretching as far as the eye can see. Surely God is in this place. Indeed, he is our only sure refuge in the great wilderness of sin through which we travel in an increasingly wicked world that has turned its back on the living God.

At the Dead Sea, we are reminded of the ultimate fate of those who pursue unrighteousness and licentiousness – the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah are no more, buried in salt after being destroyed by fire and brimstone.

It’s fun floating on the water there, at 1,200ft-below-sea-level the lowest point on earth, as salt also has a positive role in lifting you up to a higher place. We are called to be salt of the earth in raising the standards of the communities and institutions in which we live and move.

As we ascended the hills of Galilee, our excellent guide explained how sheep cut the grass as they graze while goats pull it out by the roots. I thought of the separation of the sheep and goats at the end of the age (Matthew 25.31-46). The sheep feed on fresh pasture as they closely follow the Shepherd while the goats, thinking only of their present needs, cut themselves off from the roots of their faith by considering Israel forsaken by God.

At Caesarea Philippi, we see why Jesus asked the question, “Who do men say that I am?” For there are remains of temples to idols along with a huge cave in an overhanging cliff said at the time to have been the gate to Hades (Hell). So Simon Peter made his great confession: “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16.16) And Jesus adds that on this confession of faith he would build his church (body of believers), and that the gates of Hell would not prevail against it.

On the shores of Lake Galilee, we stand on the beach where the risen Christ cooked breakfast for his disciples, who had toiled all night for a catch of fish, to no avail. He told them to cast their net on the other side of the boat, and they landed 153 fish. And we learn that, in Jewish tradition, the numerical value of this figure adds up to the statement, “I am God.”

Jesus asks Peter, restored and forgiven of his earlier denial: “Do you love me more than these?” (John 21.15) Could it be that he was referring to the fish (i.e. his business) rather than his fellow disciples? Are we prepared to forsake all else in order to follow the Lord’s leading?

But disturbing news followed in our wake. We heard of Hamas terrorists killed in the bombing of a tunnel into Israel from Gaza in the south, and of a suicide bombing in a Druze village across the border in Syria, naturally also affecting the Druze community within Israel.

This caused a long delay at a checkpoint coming out of Palestinian territory and meant missing part of the tour schedule, including the area where Paul had his dramatic encounter with Christ on the road to Damascus.

Just 70 years since being recognized as a re-born state by the United Nations, Israel has developed into a powerful, high-tech democracy now with the world’s second strongest currency after Jews returned from every corner of the globe in fulfilment of ancient prophecies.

But it remains threatened both from without and within – in the latter case largely through lack of trust in the God of Israel. The Bible says, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” (Psalm 20.7)

This was soon to become a personal challenge, but before I explain, let me say that Jewish people are beginning to discover the truth about their Messiah (known as Yeshua in Hebrew). A Jews for Jesus survey has found that an astonishing 20% of Jewish Millennials, when asked who they considered Jesus to be, replied that he was “the Son of God”.

One day soon he is coming back. The Bible says he will stand upon the Mount of Olives in east Jerusalem (Acts 1.11, Zechariah 14.4) and all Israel will recognize him as their Saviour (Zech 12.10, Romans 11.26).

As I stood on the Mt of Olives, with an awesome view of the city before me, I reflected on this amazing event – on how Jesus ascended from this very place and will return in like manner. But I also thought of how much it cost him, how he sweated blood in the Garden of Gethsemane below, with its ancient olive trees symbolic of the Messiah, who was whipped for our transgressions (sticks are used to beat the fruit off at harvest) and crushed for our iniquities, as olives are crushed for their oil. (Isaiah 53.4-6)

We know the Bible is true, and that Jesus fulfilled all the Old Testament prophecies of Messiah. So too will the much-prophesied great spiritual ingathering of God’s chosen people take place in the coming days. God has not forsaken them, but loves them with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31.3).

And just as he has not finished with Israel, he is apparently not yet finished with our tour, which was unexpectedly extended when I was prevented from boarding my El Al flight home – because of not having a visa in my South African passport. The British government is now fining airlines allowing ‘foreigners’ to enter the UK without a visa. The fact that I have lived in England for nearly 50 years doesn’t seem to count.

I won’t dwell on the details of the stress involved in having to re-organize our lives over this past week. Suffice to say that we too (my wife Linda and I) do not put our ultimate trust in flying chariots or horses, but in the Lord our God, who clearly has a purpose for our extended stay.

Our first extra night was something of an emergency stop, because it was close to the British Embassy, in the luxurious surroundings of Tel Aviv’s Herods Hotel, where we were given a champagne reception on being handed the keys to our $300 a night room. This was somewhat ironic in view of our pilgrimage as Herod, who also enjoyed the high life, was no friend of the Messiah!

Thankfully we have since temporarily settled in nearby Jaffa, known as Joppa in biblical times and famous for Jonah and the whale and for Peter’s vision in the house of Simon the Tanner which opened the way for the gospel being shared with the Gentiles. How eternally grateful we are for that – and so here we are sharing with the Jewish people the precious gift they passed on to us so long ago. May they be truly blessed with Yeshua’s perfect peace!


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

 

Hamas Reiterates: We Will Never Recognize Israel

A spokesman for Hamas reiterated on Wednesday that the terror group that rules the Gaza Strip would never recognize Israel's right to exist, a firm prerequisite for peace.

Sami Abu Zuhri insisted that Hamas would remain true to its principles and work for the realization of national reconciliation and unify the Palestinian people in service to their agenda of "liberating" every last inch of the Holy Land.

The remarks were made at the opening session of the 26th International Conference of the Association of Islamic Organizations (ESAM) in Istanbul.

Abu Zuhri boasted that Hamas had succeeded in transforming the "resistance" - code for anti-Israel terrorist violence - into a mainstream phenomenon, and called this a "source of pride" for all Palestinians.

He added that resistance could not be diplomatic alone, but must include armed violence.

Some in the West have hailed efforts to reunite Hamas with the Palestinian Authority as a move that would moderate the terror group.

Clearly, such sentiment is nothing more than wishful thinking.

PHOTO: Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri (Rahim Khatib / Flash90)

 

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Messianic Singer Blows Away Judges on Israeli Reality Show

Tslil Goldman became an instant sensation when she took the stage for the first time on Israel's hit singing competition Hakochav Haba (The Next Star).

Prior to her first round audition, the hosts of the show spoke to Tslil and her large family about their faith in Yeshua (Jesus).

And the revelation that the Goldmans are openly Messianic did nothing to sour the audience's enthusiasm for young Tslil.

Voting on Hakochav Haba is done by viewers via a smartphone app. And Tslil's impressive score demonstrated just how much the audience loved her. As did the judges' stunned reaction to her incredible voice.

CLICK HERE to watch the audition (YouTube embedding has been disabled).

To hear more from Tslil, you can check our her own YouTube channel:

 

VIDEO: Israel's Knesset Honors Christian Zionists

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein (see video) delivered the keynote address at a special ceremony honoring various Christian Zionist organizations and their unwavering love and support for the Jewish state.

 

An Israeli View on What's Happening in Lebanon

The situation in the Middle East shifted dramatically last week. What was truly behind the surprise resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri? And to what extent is Israel involved in the situation?

Hariri announced his resignation while visiting Saudi Arabia, and hasn't returned to Lebanon since. Hariri quickly shot down rumors that he was being held against his will in Riyadh. "If I want to leave Saudi Arabia, I can," the former prime minister told Lebanon's Future TV. But he declined to state when he might venture forth.

Various reports suggest Hariri was invited to Riyadh, where the Saudis presented him with evidence that his life was in danger. In his resignation speech, Hariri spoke of assassination plots and made serious accusations against Iran and its Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah, both of which are arch-enemies of Saudi Arabia.

"Wherever Iran is, it spreads discord, devastation and destruction, as shown in its interference in the internal affairs of Arab countries," warned Hariri, whose father, former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri was assassinated by Hezbollah 12 years ago.

Saad is a Sunni Muslim, like the majority in Saudi Arabia, where he actually holds dual citizenship. And his sudden resignation has deepened the rift between Riyadh and Beirut, between Sunnis and Shiites. Riyadh blamed the Shiite militia Hezbollah for Hariri's resignation, as well as the undermining of the political system in Lebanon. Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah shot back that Saudi Arabia is going mad, and will soon declare a war against all Shiites. They claim the Saudis forced Hariri's resignation to facilitate a dangerous escalation between Israel and Hezbollah.

Sources in Israel believe that the Jewish state itself provided Riyadh with the intelligence that ultimately compelled Hariri to resign. Israel has for years been sounding the alarm over Iran's increasing power in Lebanon and neighboring Syria. As tensions grow, Israel has debated taking more severe military action against Hezbollah to curb Iranian influence and the threat to the Jewish state. But, according to Nasrallah, Saudi Arabia is the puppet master inciting war between Israel and Iran's allies.

What Israel and Saudi Arabia have in common is hostility toward Iran. Both countries view Iran's nuclear program as an existential threat that must be stopped at all costs. It increasingly looks as though Israel will be called upon to do the "dirty work" in this regard, just as it has been doing in Lebanon and Syria.

For years, Lebanon, once a Christian jewel in the Middle East, has been politically paralyzed. It is a microcosm of the wider religious power struggle between Shiites and Sunnis that is tearing the region apart. And, just as Israel has repeatedly warned, the conflict is being used as a pretext to establish bases of operation that ultimately threaten the Jewish state.

PHOTO: A large photo of Hassan Nasrallah, leader of Hezbollah, placed at the Israel-Lebanon border fence. (Hamad Almakt / Flash90)

 

VIDEO: Road Trip Israel

 

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US Ambassador Vows Embassy Will Eventually Be Moved to Jerusalem

Israelis were disappointed when US President Donald Trump didn't immediately move his nation's embassy to Jerusalem in accordance with repeated campaign promises.

Sure, nearly every recent US presidential candidate had promised the same. But Israelis actually believed Trump would do it.

So, it was something of a let-down when over the summer it was reported that Trump would follow in the footsteps of Barack Obama and George W. Bush, at least for now, in extending a national security waiver to avoid moving the embassy.

Putting the US Embassy in Jerusalem would cement Israel's claim to the city as its undivided capital, something much of the Arab world vociferously opposes.

Nevertheless, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman on Sunday reaffirmed that the Trump Administration does indeed intend to move the embassy, eventually.

During a speech to the Zionist Organization of America’s annual gala in New York City, Friedman stated:

"The president has also made clear that he intends to move the United States embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. It is not a question of if, it is a question of when. And I take the president at his word, and I'm personally committed to do all that I can to advocate for this move."

 

VIDEO: Christians in Israel Vs. Everywhere Else in the Middle East

 

Who has heard such a thing?

Here in Israel we are already preparing for the upcoming 70th anniversary celebrations in April 2018. That Israel has survived 70 years in this region is a miracle and only by the grace of God. "Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall a land be born in one day?" (Isaiah 66:8). Now, on the eve of Israel's seventieth birthday, the government is planning a spectacular celebration next spring. In addition, Israel's friends from all over the world have been invited. We, together with our tour group, will be celebrating Israel's 70th Independence Day.

In honor of this occasion will be preparing a jubilee edition, reaching as many people as possible. Presenting with facts about Israel is not as easy as many think and often quite difficult even in Christian circles. How many Christian organizations have rejected all cooperation with Israel Today in recent years? The reasoning for their attitiude is because Israel Today is far too direct on issues regarding Israel is too controversial for the Christian message. It does not have to be this way!

Where people close doors to us, God opens gates and this I believe. Together, we can increase the reach of Israel Today's Jubilee edition in the spring and present israel to a wide audience. It will cost us approx $1 (printing, postage and handling) to reach people with news from Israel about Israel. We need to fund this effort and we can only do it with the help of our friends.

We are dependent on you to help this anniversary project succeed! "Thus says the LORD: I have returned to Zion and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem, and Jerusalem shall be called the faithful city, and the mountain of the LORD of hosts, the holy mountain." (Zechariah 8:3)

God's sincere blessings from Zion!
Aviel Schneider

We sincerely thank you in advance for your commitment and wish you God's richest blessings!



 

Israeli Army Warns Hamas and Allies Against Retaliation

About two weeks ago, the IDF collapsed a terror tunnel running from Gaza into southern Israel. Fifteen Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists were killed in the operation. Both groups vowed to retaliate against the Jewish state.

On Saturday, the IDF released an Arabic-language video warning that that would be a very bad idea.

Speaking in Arabic, IDF Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai stated: "Israel blew up a terror tunnel inside Israeli territory after learning about the efforts of the Islamic Jihad. You are playing with fire at the expense of the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip. Any attacks by the Islamic Jihad will elicit a strong response, not only against them, but also against Hamas. We warn the leadership of the Islamic Jihad in Damascus to be careful and to keep the situation under control."


PHOTO: Archive photo of IDF soldiers discovering a Gaza terror tunnel (IDF Spokesperson)

 

Israeli-Operated Patriot Missile Downs Syrian Drone

Israel's army on Saturday downed an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) about to enter Israeli airspace from neighboring Syria.

The Syrian drone was successfully intercepted by a Patriot anti-missile battery deployed along Israel's northern border.

The drone was believed to have been operated by the Syrian army, though its Hezbollah allies are also known to possess UAVs.

It is believed the drone was on a reconnaissance mission, and was not armed.

PHOTO: Archive shot of a Patriot missile battery (Gili Yaari / Flash90)

 

VIDEO: Aerial View of Lower Haifa

 

The Dead-Jew Industry

Murdering Israeli Jews has become a lucrative career for Palestinian Arabs, and Israel is doing too little to deter it.

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

 

Israelis Stop Visiting South Korea Over Fear Of 'Madman' Kim Jong-Un

Maybe it's because they themselves have been exposed to so much conflict. According to a recent survey, Israelis are more likely than any other nationality to avoid travel to South Korea amidst escalating threats from North Korea.

Conducted by the worldwide hotel booking organization Hotels Combined, the poll found that 33 percent of Israelis would cancel or avoid travel plans to South Korea under the present circumstances.

Israel enjoys warm relations with South Korea, and many Israelis travel there for both business and pleasure.

From neighboring Middle East countries the number of visitors to South Korea dropped by a comparable 31 percent over the past several months.

By comparison, 17 percent of Japanese were less likely to visit South Korea at this time.

Local travel expert Eyal Segal spoke to the daily Israel Hayom about why Israelis led the world in fear of Kim Jong-Un and his regime:

"When they travel, they want to stay far away from centers of controversy. South Korea has invested large amounts in promoting tourism, including among Israelis, and the program was successful, at least until the recent months in which that progress was stopped."

Segal is confident that once the Korean crisis abates, Israelis will again flock to the peninsula.

 

Netanyahu Surprises 3 Millionth Tourist With Personal Welcome to Israel

Israel has had a record year for tourism. And on Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu showed his appreciation by surprising tourist number 3 million to arrive in 2017 with a personal welcome to the Jewish state.

Ioana Isac, 31, and her partner, Mihai Georgescu, suspected nothing as they arrived at Ben Gurion Airport from their native Romania.

As the couple passed into the arrivals hall, they were greeted by an incredible scene: flowers, balloons, a red carpet and Tourism Minister Yariv Levin, who promptly whisked them away in a limousine to meet with Netanyahu at the Tower of David museum in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Netanyahu gave the couple a personal tour, as well as conveying the appreciation of all Israelis, whose economy leans so heavily on incoming tourism.

Isac and Georgescu were also given an upgrade hotel suite, a deluxe visit to the Dead Sea, a helicopter tour of Israel and a private dinner with famed Israeli chef Nir Tzuk.

 

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Natalie Portman Wins 'Jewish Nobel' Prize

Hollywood A-lister Natalie Portman has been awarded the 2018 Genesis Prize, commonly referred to as the "Jewish Nobel."

The Genesis Prize is awarded to those who serve as an inspiration to the next generation of Jews through their outstanding professional achievement, commitment to Jewish values and to the Jewish people.

Past winners include violinist Itzhak Perlman, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and actor Michael Douglas.

The award comes with a $1 million prize, which Portman reportedly intends to put toward projects advancing women's equality.

While far more liberal than the average Israeli voter, Portman has long been a favorite in the Jewish state.

She was born in Israel before moving to America at a young age. She began acting at the age of 12, and quickly became a Hollywood heavyweight.

Much of liberal Hollywood has often been hostile toward Israel, but Portman has unabashedly maintained fairly pro-Israel credentials, visiting the country often.

In a statement released after winning the award, Portman stressed that she is "proud of my Israeli roots and Jewish heritage."

The actual award ceremony will take place in June 2018.

PHOTO: Hadas Parush/Flash90

 

VIDEO: Camping in the City of Tel Aviv

 

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Israel Hosts Massive Air Force Exercise. Air Forces of 7 Nations Show Up

 

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Israeli Media Hypes Mounting Corruption Charges Against Netanyahu, Associates

In the absence of serious conflict with Arab foes, Israelis have a tendency to turn on one another. At present, there's something of a feeding frenzy aimed at stripping away what's perceived as the last vestiges of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's legitimacy.

Netanyahu is currently embroiled in a corruption scandal involving the purchase of German submarines. On Sunday, two of his closest associates were grilled by police anti-corruption investigators for no less than 15 hours.

The Times of Israel reports:

While police did not reveal the identities of the two, multiple reports named one of them as David Shimron, Netanyahu’s cousin and personal lawyer, and said the second was also an attorney who is considered close to the prime minister.

Shimron has already been questioned several times as part of the investigation by Lahav 433, the police anti-corruption unit. He served as a lawyer for Miki Ganor, the local representative of German shipbuilder ThyssenKrupp, who turned state’s witness in July and is considered a key suspect in the case.

Netanyahu himself is not a suspect in what's known as "Case 3000," but local media portrayed the story as though he is, highlighting the fact that the prime minister is himself likely to compelled to provide testimony upon his return to the country.

An unnamed official from Netanyahu's Likud party called the media hype nothing more than propaganda and a mockery of justice.

"What value is there to the legal process when it is conducted entirely in the pages of newspapers and in the TV studios, through illegal and tendentious leaks?" the official asked in remarks to Israel National News.

However, Netanyahu is a suspect in two separate corruption cases, Case 1000 and Case 2000, and will, indeed, be questioned by police in the near future.

Case 1000, which also involves Netanyahu's wife, Sara, sees the couple accused of receiving illicit gifts from wealthy benefactors. Most of those gifts have taken the form of cigars (which Netanyahu is known to love) and champagne.

Many Israelis see Case 1000 as frivolous.

Case 2000, on the other hand, is much more serious. Netanyahu is suspected of making an underhanded deal with Israel's best-selling daily newspaper, Yediot Ahronot, for more favorable coverage in return for weakening the paper's chief rival, the free daily Israel Hayom.

Yediot is generally unfriendly toward Netanyahu in its editorials, while Israel Hayom is owned by the prime minister's close friend, American Jewish billionaire Sheldon Adelson.

If the allegations hold true, they would constitute a gross abuse of the free press.

 

Arab Construction Workers Attack Jewish Preschool in Tel Aviv

Despite an influx of foreign aid dwarfing the per-capita investments in post-World War II Europe, the Palestinian Authority have failed to create jobs for its people.

Israel has sought to alleviate the pressure that unemployment brings by allowing large numbers of Palestinian Arabs to enter its sovereign territory each day to work in construction.

Of course, that policy carries with it a security risk.

On Sunday, it was demonstrated how such gestures of goodwill can sometimes backfire. Fortunately, this time, it was without tragic consequences.

Some 100 Jewish children had to be urgently evacuated from their preschool in the Tel Aviv suburb of Givatayim when Arab construction workers at an adjacent building site began hurling stones.

The children were all inside the preschool at the time, which is why no one was injured.

A school staff member witnessed the attack when she went to the kitchen and saw the construction workers throwing rocks and cursing the Jews inside.

Kikar Hashabat reports that police were called to the scene, and arrested two of the Arabs involved.

The perpetrators were later released on bail with a restraining order.

 

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Netanyahu's Remarks in Meeting With British PM Theresa May

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with British Prime Minister Theresa May at 10 Downing St. in London late last week to mark the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration and Britain's role in the rebirth of Israel.

 

VIDEO: Laying Tefilin in Downtown Jerusalem

 

Israeli Hit by Syrian Gunfire; IDF Prepares to Enter Bloody Civil War

Israel has in recent years carried out numerous targeted strikes against Hezbollah targets in the context of Syria's ongoing civil war.

But the Jewish state has been careful to avoid actually being pulled into the conflagration.

Until now.

Israeli military leaders on Friday vowed to intervene in defense of the Syrian Druze village of Hader, which lies a short distance over the border in the Golan Heights.

Hader has been aligned with the regime of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad (the Druze are typically loyal to whichever party is in power), making it a target for all of the various rebel and Islamist groups participating in Syria's civil war.

Earlier in the day, Hader was attacked by a suicide bomber from the jihadist group Al Nusra. Nine people were killed and another 23 injured.

IDF Brigadier General Ronen Manelis announced that the Israeli army was prepared to "prevent Hader from being harmed or occupied as part of our commitment to the Druze population."

Such a commitment could very quickly bring Israeli forces into direct conflict with Al Nusra and other rebel groups.

The decision came just hours after a Druze resident of northern Israel was hit by stray gunfire from Syria. The victim is in stable condition.

The Druze residents of Israel consider themselves blood-brothers of the Jewish majority.

 

Let Battle Commence!

Earlier this week, on October 31st, Christians marked 500 years since the Reformation began. We would do well to be reminded of other important anniversaries which add to the significance of this day.

Nearly 2,000 years earlier on the same day, according to Jewish tradition, the prophet Ezra called for national repentance as he read the Book of the Law to Jerusalem’s citizens. It was 445 BC and they had sinned grievously against God.

Fast forward to October 31st 1917, another hugely important event largely ignored by the many Protestants marking the day, 400 years earlier, when Martin Luther famously nailed his 95 theses to a church door, challenging the corruption of the Roman Catholic Church.

For it is now 100 years since Britain’s War Cabinet adopted the Balfour Declaration (though the letter itself is dated 2 November 1917), promising to make every effort to repatriate Jews in their ancient land. It just happened to coincide with the Battle of Beersheba when 800 bayonet-wielding ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand) soldiers pulled off a surprise, and astonishing, victory over Turkish forces which paved the way for the capture of Jerusalem and all of Palestine, ending 400 years of rule under the Islamic Ottoman Empire.

I have written elsewhere of how the ANZAC horsemen rode a death-defying gauntlet of shrapnel, high explosives and machine-gun fire in a bid to prevent the intended destruction of local wells, and this too is an incredibly important centenary because it opened the way for Jewish restoration and the implementation of the Balfour Declaration – along with the fulfillment of Bible prophecy relating to the return of Jews from every corner of the globe.

If, like Ezra, we support the Book of the Law, we will stand with the people of Israel who gave it to us!

Luther faced two major challenges – a corrupt Church, and the real possibility of a Turkish Muslim invasion via central Europe – in the face of which he recognized the importance of the Book of the Law (the Bible) and the need for national repentance.

Many disagreed with Luther. Some German pastors even suggested welcoming Islam, seeing it as less oppressive than their situation under the Church.

Today’s Church faces the same challenges, and more, with secular humanism seriously eroding society’s Judeo-Christian foundations, leaving the Book of the Law despised and Christianity increasingly abhorred.

Part of this erosion stems from the substitution of a Christian festival – Halloween – for a celebration of the occult, which has taken the shine off the spiritual triumphs we have experienced on this special day.

Halloween (a contraction of All Hallows’ Evening) was originally dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs and all the faithful departed. But it is widely thought to have pagan roots, and is now associated with ghoulish practices. One view is that it originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts, in which case it is hardly surprising that it has morphed into an obsession with ghostly goings-on, playing pranks and divination games.

If the Church of the Middle Ages had focused less on the dead and more on the resurrection, we may have been spared this nonsense. In any event, it is clearly a devilish ploy to substitute the light of truth with the darkness of witchcraft.

We are living in dark times, and it is the duty of those who follow Christ to be “a light on the hill”, not hidden under a bushel (Matthew 5.14f), in aiding restoration of the Book of the Law, following in the footsteps of Ezra, Luther and others. It is time to take back spiritual territory lost to 21st century paganism, just as the ANZAC horsemen bravely charged across the Negev desert to capture vital wells that would save the Allied forces from dehydration and defeat. We too are called to run a gauntlet of spiritual bullets in order to recapture the wells of salvation from an enemy intent on silting them up with lies and propaganda.

Modern-day Zionists should be seeking the restoration of the Book of the Law – not only to Israel, but to our land as well where we have endured a long famine of hearing the word of the Lord.

We must pray and work towards the day when the Jews are able to fulfill their calling to be a light to the Gentiles (Isaiah 49.6). True, they have already become a powerful nation since their re-birth 70 years ago, but have not yet fully returned to the Book of the Law. They are back in the Land, but not yet fully with the Lord.

That will come, and Ezekiel 36.24-28 will be fulfilled. But in the meantime we must, by our friendship, support and prayer, encourage them to acknowledge that Jesus, whom they had believed was the God of the Gentiles, is actually their own Messiah too. In fact he came for them first (John 1.11f, Romans 1.16) and has promised that, if they fully obey him, they would be his “treasured possession” (Genesis 19.5).

In this respect, it’s interesting that the patriarch Joseph was taken into Egypt after being rejected by his brothers. After Jesus was largely rejected by the Jewish people (though a significant number accepted him, of course, or the Church would never have come into existence), the message about him was taken to the nations, and the Gentile world elevated him to a prominent role in their affairs. Isaiah had prophesied that the Gentiles would put their hope in Him. (Isaiah 42.4; see also Matthew 12.21)

As far as the UK and the USA are concerned, it would be true to say that from the 17th through 19th centuries the gospel of Christ and the Bible itself was the most influential teaching they possessed, affecting virtually every institution and producing great wealth and power in the process. At the same time a host of passionate preachers went out to the far corners of the world spreading this gospel to heathen nations. Jesus had in some respects become Lord of the Gentile world, a situation that would, in time, make Israel “envious”, according to the Apostle Paul, an orthodox Jewish rabbi who led the mission to the Gentiles. (Romans 11.11)

But just as Joseph never forgot his brothers, and longed for reunion with them, so Jesus – actually descended from Judah and described in the Bible as the Lion of the tribe of Judah (Rev 5.5) – reaches out in love to his long-lost brothers in the flesh, for whom things got worse before they got better. Now, over the past two centuries (even in the midst of multiple pogroms and the Holocaust itself), He has been revealing himself afresh to his people.

Though sadly Jesus is still seen largely as God of the Gentiles, Jewish eyes have gradually been opened. It is believed, for example, that there were as many as 100,000 Jewish followers of Jesus at the outbreak of World War II in 1939.

Tragically, many of them would have perished in Hitler’s gas chambers. But out of the ashes of the Holocaust, we not only have a re-born nation of Israel, but a growing number of so-called Messianic fellowships bringing Jesus back to where he belongs.

Just as Joseph was a sign of what was to come 400 years later with deliverance from Egypt through the blood of the lamb, so the voice of the prophets recorded in the Jewish Tenakh (what Christians call the Old Testament) fell silent for 400 years until the revelation of Jesus in the New Testament. Joseph provided his brothers with grain amidst the famine. And now Jesus is “the bread of life” – the manna from heaven – as he “fills the hungry with good things” (John 6.35, Luke 1.53).

There will come a time when, back in the land of promise and delivered from bondage in a hostile world, all Israel will recognize Yeshua, their Messiah. (Zechariah 12.10, Romans 11.26) What a day that will be – life from the dead as he who was despised and rejected of men is revealed to his brothers alive… and as Lord of all!


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

 

Israel Celebrates Centennial of the Balfour Declaration

 

Israeli Professor Punished for Kicking Hijab-Wearing Muslim Out of Class

A professor at Israel's Bar-Ilan University has landed himself in some trouble for kicking a female Muslim student out to his class after she refused to remove her hijab.

The professor was forced to apologize to his class and the student in question, and faces additional disciplinary action, including a special committee that will determine his future as a member of the faculty.

A public statement released by the university harshly condemned the professor:

"Bar-Ilan University unequivocally condemns the offensive and intolerable incident that occurred late last week. We view this as an act against all of us – against our academic institution, our students and our faculty. This university prides itself on the fact that it enables each and every student to enjoy his studies in an atmosphere of equality and respect. This is, and will continue to be, our hallmark."

University President Arie Zaban issued a separate condemnation:

"I am appalled by this lecturer’s humiliating and intolerable behavior. This type of ugly behavior is unacceptable anywhere, and certainly has no place at Bar-Ilan University."

It was interesting to many that while in overtly liberal societies like France the hijab has been banned (or is can legally be forbidden) in public schools and universities, doing so in Israel is a punishable offense.

The student herself poured cold water on any hopes of exploiting the incident to further smear Israel as an "apartheid" state. Her response to the professor's apology read:

"I was deeply shocked and offended by my professor’s actions, but this is not a reflection of the day-to-day atmosphere on campus. Bar-Ilan respects my religion and culture, and makes special concessions for me so that I can observe Muslim holidays and Ramadan. I enjoy good relations with students and faculty here, and I believe that all universities can look up to Bar-Ilan as an example of bringing diverse populations together under one roof."

 

IDF Finds and Demolishes Gaza Terror Tunnel, Killing Terrorists Inside

The Israeli army on Tuesday made effective use of technological advances to find and destroy a terror tunnel running under the border with Hamas-ruled Gaza.

At least seven members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad were killed in the tunnel when it collapsed.

The tunnel was already relatively deep into Israel's sovereign territory, and was believed to be heading toward the nearby town of Kissufim.

The Islamic Jihad has threatened retaliation for what it called an "act of aggression," ignoring entirely that it was digging the tunnel in order to murder Israeli Jews.

Israel is taking the threat seriously, and has deployed additional Iron Dome units to the area in case of a retaliatory rocket attack.

There was some backlash in Israel after an IDF spokesperson appeared to apologize for the fact that Islamic Jihad members had been killed in the operation.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett wrote on Twitter: "It is forbidden to apologize for successfully destroying terrorists. Let’s be clear – these were terrorists involved in digging an attack tunnel inside Israeli territory with which they intended to kill Israeli women and children."

Senior IDF officials later insisted that the earlier remark had been taken out of context, and that the army harbored "no regrets" over killing the terrorists, accidentally or otherwise.

PHOTO: Terror tunnel (David Buimovitch / Flash90)

 

Every Single American is Complicit in Palestinian Terrorism

We've written a number of times on how the Palestinian Authority abuses its vast foreign financial aid to underwrite terrorism against Israel (and anyone else caught in the crossfire).

We've also highlighted how the bulk of this funding comes from Europe and the United States, despite laws in both places forbidding the use of taxpayer money to facilitate terrorism, either directly or indirectly.

And yet, the money keeps flowing.

This we all know.

But Jonathan Feldstein writing for Breaking Israel News put the situation in context in such a way that should make every American pause and feel ashamed. And then get furious and demand a change of course.

Feldstein writes:

"The US alone provides the PA with $300 million annually.  At that rate, every American is actually underwriting a 'terror tax' of almost $1 each.  Therefore, at least indirectly, all Americans are paying the families of murderers of US citizens and others, encouraging more terrorism and death."

 

Fearless Arab Woman Tells the Truth About Israel Despite Death Threats

 

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Another Terror Tunnel Found Under UN School in Hamas-Ruled Gaza

UNRWA, the United Nations body that exists solely to serve Palestinians "refugees," has yet again discovered a terror tunnel running under one of its schools in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

UNRWA reportedly informed Israel immediately regarding the discovery. In the past, UNRWA has not been so forthcoming.

A statement released by the organization read: "The presence of a tunnel underneath an UNRWA installation, which enjoys inviolability under international law, is unacceptable. It places children and agency staff at risk."

The problem is that's precisely what Hamas wants - to put ht children and agency staff at risk. Because, doing so accomplishes one of two things: either Israel will avoid targeting Hamas operations under such a sensitive target, or children and agency staff will be killed in the cross-fire, providing ammunition for Hamas' PR campaigns against Israel.

The latest tunnel was discovered two weeks ago, and the school was immediately closed until the tunnel could be sealed.

Israel Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon suggested it was time for more drastic measures:

"Yet another terror tunnel under an UNRWA schoolyard. This is what Hamas rule looks like and this is more proof of the double war crime committed as terror tunnels are built to attack Israelis, while using the children of Gaza as human shields.

"We cannot accept a situation in which UNRWA schools are used as terror bases.  This dangerous incident must not be ignored and strict oversight is needed to ensure that UN facilities are not used to protect terrorists."

PHOTO: An UNRWA school in Gaza (Emad Nassar / Flash90)

 

Orthodox Jews in Israel's Paratrooper Brigade

Recent news of mass ultra-Orthodox Jewish protests at the entrance to Jerusalem might have given the impression that Israel's most religious citizens are entirely opposed to the military service that everyone else in the country is obligated to perform.

But that's not the case.

In fact, many Orthodox sects are so "up in arms" (pun intended) precisely because a growing number of their own communities are voluntarily joining the IDF.

Just last week, cadets of the vaunted Paratroopers Brigade completed their annual "masa kumta" - a 37-mile trek that concludes with them receiving the prestigious red beret.

Among them were 25 young ultra-Orthodox Jews.

Special organizations have been established to enable these religious recruits to continue deep study of the Scriptures and Rabbinical texts even as they physically defend the nation.

 

US VP Mike Pence to Include Israel in Pro-Christian Mideast Tour

US Vice President Mike Pence will be visiting the Middle East in December to promote the safety and security of Christian minorities currently facing widespread persecution in the region.

Pence made the announcement last week during his keynote remarks at the "In Defense of Christians" annual solidarity dinner.

"Now is the time to bring an end the persecution of Christians and all religious minorities," Pence said of his upcoming trip.

Pence will also be visiting Israel, the one place the Middle East where Christians are flourishing. It will serve as a stark contrast to how Christians are treated in neighboring Muslim nations.

He is also expected to address US policy toward Iran and highlight Israel’s space program.

Pence is viewed by many as one of the most pro-Israel Christians to ever hold high office in the United States, and the prospect of him one day becoming president is exciting, to say the least, for Israelis.

 

Enjoy a Jerusalem Themed Family Time!

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Modern Biblical Jews

Israel Today takes a look at the fascinating, but little-known Karaite Jewish movement, and what they think of Yeshua.

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

 

Our November Shop Flyer with great gift ideas is now online!

The "early shoppers" have already successfully done their shopping in order to avoid busy shops and checkout lines.

Why not take advantage of doing your shopping online to avoid the unnecessary shopping annoyance? Take a look at our November Shop Flyer which contains some great shopping ideas directly from Jerusalem!

Looking for other great holiday gift ideas direct from the Holy Land for your family or friends?



 

Jews Speak Up For Christians

A relatively new phenomenon has emerged on the Middle East scene in the form of Jews standing up for persecuted Christians.

It’s a true wonder, bearing in mind the shocking history of Jewish persecution at the hands of the ‘church’ over the centuries. But it is also no doubt a warm response to the growing worldwide support for Israel among Christian people, especially in Africa.

And so, keen to build on this developing friendship, the Israeli government has just hosted an unprecedented media summit in Jerusalem for Christian journalists from around the world.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used the occasion to speak up for embattled Christians in Iran and neighbouring Syria. “Christians today have been lashed for sipping wine during prayer services,” he said, “brutally tortured for doing nothing more than practicing their faith. Some world leaders are willing to ignore this oppression and seek to appease Iran, but I am not one of them.”

Yes, even much of the Western church is silent on the issue, apparently indifferent to their suffering.

Canon Andrew White, known as the ‘Vicar of Baghdad’ and also speaking in Jerusalem, asked why, adding: “Here we see Jews standing with us, but where is the Church?”

White saw much of his large congregation murdered in the crisis that followed the invasion of Iraq, and thousands of Christians have been forced to flee in the face of the Islamic State advance.

Does this weak response to the plight of persecuted Christians reflect the flabbiness of our faith? Do we simply fail to comprehend what it must be like because we are so comfortable and thus unable to identify with what suffering for Christ means? For the most part, we are not even willing to stand up for what we believe – for the gospel and the truth of the Bible – in case we should be arrested for ‘hate speech’ or ‘homophobia’.

While some indeed have spoken out, and paid dearly for it, the rest of us have been intimidated into silence as we retreat into our holy huddles. But if we can’t stand the low heat now, how will we fare when the temperature is turned up and we are called to endure the kind of persecution Jesus predicted for his followers?

“Be on your guard,” he warned. “You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues…You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” (Matthew 10. 17, 22) Many Christians remained silent while Jews were hauled off to the gas chambers and, although now somewhat more secure in their own state, they are still in grave danger, and we mustn’t fail them this time. And yet they are prepared to help us!

It’s time to forsake cowardice and take on the sort of courage which Christians in some parts of the world are having to exhibit in bucketloads. Take the believers in Iran, for example, to which Mr Netanyahu drew the media’s attention. Despite the danger of following Jesus there, 20 Iranian Christians recently nailed their colours to the mast in a mass baptism. “I’ve been waiting for this moment for nearly nine years,” said one convert. “This was my wish before I die,” said another. Christianity is growing there by leaps and bounds amid reports of Muslims encountering Jesus through dreams and visions. “We have been praying for years that Iranian people believe in Yeshua (Hebrew for Jesus) and get baptized. Now this dream is coming true,” said a convert whose brother was murdered for his faith in 1994.

Another highly dangerous place to be a Christian is North Korea, where believers are actually meeting in holes in the ground, just as the faith heroes of old had done according to Hebrews 11.38.

A missionary friend of mine sometimes travels to a part of Africa that is equally dangerous, infested as it is by the Al Shabaab terror organization. As a result, some Christians are forced to sleep in the forest! But my friend was determined to bring comfort to them with his inspiring teaching skills, so he made his way there despite Foreign Office warnings to avoid the region, and the fact he could not even be covered by travel insurance for that part of his journey. On top of that, he nearly died from an infection he picked up on his last visit to the area!

That takes courage, but he said it was worth it just to see the sheer joy on the faces of his brothers so happy and encouraged by his visit.

I conclude with the heartwarming story of Israeli tennis player Dudi Sela who, due to the courage of his religious convictions, turned down the chance of reaching the semi-finals of an ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) Tour event. Just eight minutes into the deciding set, he realised it was almost sunset, which marked the beginning of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement (the holiest day of the year for Jews). So the 32-year-old informed the umpire of his decision to retire and left the court.

The match was originally scheduled for Yom Kippur itself (i.e. the following day), but was changed to start before the fast following pressure from Israeli tennis officials. Unfortunately for Dudi (ranked 77 in the world), his quarter-final clash went to three sets and couldn’t be finished in time.

The Day of Atonement, when Jews seek forgiveness for sins committed over the past year, is ultimately fulfilled by the coming of Yeshua, their Messiah, who atoned for our sins through his death on the cross as the perfect Lamb of God. (Isaiah 53.6; 1 John 2.2)

Pray for Dudi.

For more information on the plight of persecuted Christians and how you can help, see www.barnabasfund.org


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

 

Shocking Video Shows Young Gaza Child Opening Fire on IDF Soldiers

We've all been horrified by "summer camp" videos of Gaza's Hamas overlords encouraging and training Palestinians children as young as five years of age to violently attack Israel.

The one shred of hope has been that as those children grow, perhaps they'll come to their senses before getting an opportunity to actually engage in a deadly confrontation with Israelis.

But that hope is being crushed as Hamas and its supporters begin to arm young children with firearms before sending them off to provoke Israeli soldiers.

This security footage is from just last Friday, when Hamas sent a group of children to attack IDF troops guarding Israel's southern borders.

Most of the children threw or slung stones, but one child is seen drawing a gun and opening fire.

Israel's Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) stated:

Last Friday, security cameras filmed a Gazan child participating in a violent riot on the Gaza Strip border. The young boy was holding a gun and firing at IDF units in the area.

A quick understanding of the situation and informed decisions by IDF forces in the area prevented any harm to the child. We only wonder- how could this little boy's parents risk their son's life?

The sad reality is that Hamas and its supporters wouldn't have cared if that child died. In fact, they probably hoped for his death, as that would provide ammunition for the public relations arm of their war with Israel.

 

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In Shockingly Absurd Move, Europeans Award Father of Slain Palestinian Terrorist

You know how the Bible warns against calling evil good, and good evil (Isaiah 5:20)? Well, one European group just blatantly defied that admonition.

On Sunday, the Geneva-based International Institute for Human Rights and Peace and the Caen Memorial for Peace presented a "human rights" award to Palestinian Arab lawyer Mohammed Allyan.

Allyan was honored for his legal representation three years ago of the wife of one of the terrorists involved in the synagogue massacre in Jerusalem.

In that attack, terrorist Ghassan Abu Jamal and his accomplice shot, stabbed and beheaded four Jewish rabbis at worship before also gunning down one of the resounding police officers.

When questioned by police, Jamal's wife, Nadia, expressed support for the massacre and revealed that she had prior knowledge of her husband's bloody plans. She was subsequently stripped of Israeli residency and lost the health care that Israeli taxpayers had previously covered for her and her family.

Nadia insisted her human rights had been violated, and Allyan jumped to her defense.

That in itself makes Allyan more villain than hero. But that's not where the story ends.

Allyan is also the father of Bahaa Allyan, one of two terrorists responsible for the October 2015 attack on a Jerusalem commuter bus, during which three Israelis were mercilessly murdered.

Beyond the fact that Allyan raised a son capable of committing such atrocities, a year later, in 2016, he was arrested for publicly praising his son's heinous actions during lectures at local elementary schools.

Allyan actively trying to encourage future generations of Palestinian Arabs to follow in his son's footsteps by murdering Israeli Jews.

And the Europeans reward him as a champion of peace and human rights.

PHOTO: The site of a terror attack in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood of Jerusalem where three people were killed and another dozen wounded when two terrorists (one of them Bahaa Allyan) armed with guns and knives boarded a bus and began a shooting and stabbing spree. October 13, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/FLASH90)

 

Netanyahu Finds a Way to Keep Deporting Illegal Immigrants

It's not only America and Europe that have illegal immigration problems.

Israel is a small state with limited resources, and it's primary mission is to provide safe haven to all Jews who wish to immigrate.

But Israel's stunning economic success means many from poorer African nations also want in on the action.

In recent years, tens of thousands of Africans have streamed across Israel's southern border. Some were genuine refugees fleeing life-threatening situations. But most were economic migrants whom a majority of Israelis see as a strategic threat to the Jewish state's continued success and even survival.

Israel has used a "carrot-and-stick" approach to handling the problem until now.

Illegal migrants who enter Israel without applying for and receiving

refugee status–in other words, economic migrants–are placed in detention centers and offered $3,500 to leave the country voluntarily.

The hope is that either the large one-time paycheck and/or the prospect of long months in detention will compel most to return home. And, indeed, some 15,000 such migrants have done so.

But some are more determined, refusing the cash and waiting out the detention. Israel's courts allow the government to keep the infiltrators in detention for a maximum of 12 months.

Forced deportation was off the table, until now.

Israel Hayom reports that during Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's recent visit to UN Headquarters in New York, he took the opportunity to meet with many African leaders and sign new diplomatic agreements regarding migrants from their countries.

The agreements enable Netanyahu's government to circumvent a recent Supreme Court ruling and to forcibly deport illegal immigrants as a last resort.

Many antagonists, including the radical left in Israel, have used this issue to smear the Jewish state.

But it must be stressed that Israel does provide refugee status to African migrants who fled life-threatening situations, such as many from Sudan.

What Israel cannot and will not tolerate is illegal infiltration by those looking to leech off of its taxpayers. It simply doesn't have the resources to do so and continue to provide a prosperous safe haven for the Jewish people.

 

WATCH: Woman Stuns Arab News Anchor By Telling Truth About Israel

When asked if Israel is an "apartheid" state, as so many critics claim, this Israeli Arab woman was furious.

She knows the truth, as an Arab living in the Jewish state, and she is sick of the lies.

 

Soldier parcels filled with love

Every November almost every 18 year-old will report for recruitment and be distributed to their units.

Whether they will serve in special combat units, navy, air force, or any other unit, this is the occasion where families are particularly hard hit. The pride that their children serve in a specific unit is mixed with the incredible fear of "what happens when..." It is very difficult for the parents to give their child the "last" kisses and hugs before they get on the bus, which takes them to their bases!

But not all recruits are accompanied by family! Many young people start their service without the loving support of the family. They are alone. They are Israel's "lone soldiers" serving without family in Israel.

We want to give these soldiers a warm hug before they start their service and show them how appreciated they are!

Join us in supporting our "lone soldiers" with the the love and recognition they so deserve on their "big day".



 

Israel Says Syrian Rocket Fire Into Golan Heights Was Intentional, Warns of Escalation

At least three rockets fired from Syria hit the Israeli Golan Heights over the weekend. The incident was initially downplayed as errant mortar fire, mere "spillover" from Syria's ongoing civil war.

But top military officials admitted a day later that the attack was likely intentional, and was just the latest in a string of escalating provocations.

A senior officer in the IDF Northern Command told Israel's NRG news portal:

"It was not mortar shells or artillery shells, but rockets that hit our territory. The chance that it was unintentional is very low: There were no battles taking place in the area from which the rockets were launched.

"It is very possible that this is a message from Syria. Our main fear at the moment is that this will become routine, because we have noticed the region heating up since March."

Israel responded to the weekend attack by destroying three Syrian army artillery positions.

But, as the above officer noted, should the cross-border incidents continue, Israel will be compelled to take more drastic action.

 

Nobel Jews

It is not politically correct to even hint at the possibility that one ethnic group excels over others. This is probably why few would mention the fact that 37 percent of 2017 Nobel Prize winners are Jews.

Explanations for this disproportionate Jewish contribution to humanity often speak of Jewish genius. Though those discussing the matter likely have no inkling of it, this is probably the closest rational explanation for the manifestation of what the Bible calls "God's chosen people."

This genius should not be confused with biology. It can't be found in Jewish genes or DNA. But it is this notion of biological elitism that leads so many to view Judaism as a racist religion. Instead, we say that this disproportionate distribution of genius is a sign of a people marked by God. Much like Cain's mark, it symbolizes an unbreakable covenant between God and Israel in service to the greater goal of improving all life on earth. And that this covenant is with all Israel is demonstrated by the fact that most of those Jews winning Nobel prizes are anything but religious.

Of the 11 people to receive Nobel prizes this year, Rainer Weiss (Jewish father), Barry Barish, Michael Rosbash and Richard Thaler are Jews. Weiss and Barish, who shared the prize in physics with Kip Thorne, won the Nobel "for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves." Michael Rosbash, who shared the prize in medicine with Jeffrey Hall and Michael Young, won the Nobel for his "discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm." Thaler won the prize in economics "for his contributions to behavioral economics."

This Jewish achievement is all the more remarkable considering the dramatic increase in global population, of which the percentage of Jews has dramatically decreased. A mere two-tenths of one percent of all people living today are Jews. This means that the number of Jews receiving the Noble Prize is some 20,000 percent higher than their proportional number. Jews should not hide their sense of pride in this remarkable achievement, yet they will do well to remember that "it is He who gives you the strength, and so confirms His covenant, which He swore to your ancestors."

 

Lies and Propaganda

As new settlement construction gets underway in Israel’s disputed territories, a fresh wave of condemnation is expected.

Accusations that the Jewish state is practicing apartheid – supposedly over its ‘illegal occupation’ and ‘treatment of the Palestinians’ – will inevitably be trotted out, adding fuel to the fire of a Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment (BDS) movement masquerading as a compassionate supporter of oppressed Palestinians, but in actual fact demonstrating another form of anti-Semitism.

Before tackling this gross misuse of the ‘apartheid’ tag, it’s worth saying that BDS has taken a series of knocks of late – both in the courts and in the legislative arena. In Spain, for example, 24 legal rulings and expert opinions were made against the movement and, in France, one court decision ordered that a financial penalty be imposed on BDS activists demonstrating outside supermarkets calling on consumers to boycott Israeli products.

In the United States, several pieces of legislation against the movement have been ratified. In Texas, for instance, a law was passed forbidding ties with, or investment in, companies that boycott Israel.

According to Ynetnews, such success has benefited from investment in a legal battle by Israel’s Justice Ministry now under Ayelet Shaked. Even actress Greta Gerwig regrets putting her name to a letter calling for the cancellation of a play based on a novel by Israeli author David Grossman and funded by Israel’s Office of Cultural Affairs in North America – a letter denounced as “hypocritical, discriminatory and dangerous” by nearly 50 high-level entertainment industry executives.

Creative Community for Peace, dedicated to countering the cultural boycott of Israel, claim credit for persuading Gerwig to retract her support. “I was unfamiliar with the complexities of the letter and I did not take the time to study them,” she conceded.

Meanwhile claims that Israel is an apartheid state are described as “an absolute lie” and a mockery of the struggle her parents went through by Olga Meshoe, daughter of a South African MP who grew up under the apartheid system.

There is no doubt that international sanctions helped to end that oppressive regime, but comparisons with Israel are outrageous, according to many South Africans like Olga (myself included). Opponents of Israel have been using the ‘apartheid’ tag “to incite and encourage the destruction of a people just because you don’t like them,” she said. “The world needs to recognize that you are not only doing an injustice to the people in the Middle East; you’re making a mockery of what our parents went through.”

Olga and her father Kenneth are founders of DEISI – Defend, Embrace, Invest, Support Israel – part of Africa’s growing movement towards closer ties with the Jewish state.

The irony of the Jewish ‘apartheid’ claim is that Ramadan Dabbash, head of a Palestinian village in Jerusalem, says almost all the city’s Arabs would prefer to live peacefully under Israeli administration.

It is the Palestinian leaders, he said, who destroy the chances for peace with non-stop incitement of Palestinian youth, diversion of funds to terror and a resultant lack of economic growth in Palestinian-controlled areas.

Also on the BDS front, I recall that Boris Johnson, on his last tour of Israel, condemned a boycott proposed by what he termed “corduroy-jacketed academics”. He said: “I cannot think of anything more foolish than to say you want to have any kind of sanctions or divestment or boycott against a country that, when all is said and done, is the only democracy in the region; and that is the only place, in my view, which has an open, pluralistic society.”

I need to add that, just because I commend a politician on his/her stand for Israel doesn’t mean I applaud them wholeheartedly or necessarily regard them as morally superior. But it is a chink of light, as the Bible is quite clear – those who bless Israel will themselves be blessed (Genesis 12.3).

And I very much doubt if the boycott advocates would go all the way in their efforts if they really knew the extent of the merchandise produced by little old Israel, or by Jewish people in other lands. It would mean a change of lifestyle few would be prepared to contemplate.

We are not just talking about oranges, Sharon fruit, and a few other products we could easily leave out of our shopping baskets without upsetting our appetites too much. Are they prepared to sacrifice their mobile phones, computers, and so many other trappings of modern life for the cause? It is no secret that Israel has long been an international hub in the development and production of modern technology from which we all now benefit and without which much of our commerce would grind to a shuddering halt.

For example, you would have to stop googling for all that vital information as Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are both Jews. You would have to close down your Facebook account because 31-year-old Jewish-American Mark Zuckerberg founded the facility. You would have to stop watching Steven Spielberg movies and throw out all your Bob Dylan and Barbra Streisand albums. And, to top it all, you would need to close down your computers as Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer and Dell Computers founder and CEO Michael Dell are both Jewish.

In closing, may I recommend Israel’s delicious mangoes, available at Sainsbury’s. And, if you’re looking for the perfect setting for a special occasion, I could point you in the direction of the world’s No 1 restaurant (according to Tripadvisor) – the Black Swan at Oldstead, near Thirsk, in North Yorkshire – which includes Israeli wine on its menu…at a cost!


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

 

Israeli Arabs Sentenced to Prison Time for Joining ISIS

An Israeli Arab from the town of Sakhnin in northern Israel was sentenced on Thursday to nearly six years in prison after he, his wife and their three children pledged allegiance to ISIS and moved to the so-called "Caliphate."

This is the heaviest sentence yet imposed on an Israeli convicted of joining ISIS.

Wissam Zbedat was sentenced at the District Court of Haifa to a fine of 14,000 shekels. His wife, Sabreen, who is believe to have convinced her husband to join the jihadists, had already been sentenced to four years in prison.

In June 2015, the Zbedat family left Israel and made their way via Romania and Turkey back to neighboring Syria, where they promptly sought membership in ISIS.

Wissam spent the next several months training as a jihadist, and later participated in a number of ISIS battles, including in the Iraqi city of Mosul, where he was wounded in the leg.

As ISIS began to lose ground thanks to incessant bombing campaigns by an international coalition, the family returned to Turkey, where they were arrested and extradited to Israel.

"Yes, I was in Mosul and am a member of ISIS," Zbedat admitted during the start of his trial last year.

Zbedat's activities have raised concerns that others in more radical Muslim communities in northern Israel also harbor pro-ISIS sentiments and could provide the jihadist group with a foothold in the Jewish state.

PHOTO: Wissam Zbedat in the courtroom in Haifa (Flash90)

 

Orthodox Jews Violently Protest Against Mandatory IDF Service

Orthodox Jewish sects took a page out of the Palestinian terrorism handbook by declaring a "day of rage" against the government over the issue of mandatory military service.

Orthodox Jews are still not required by law to serve in the IDF, a fact that perturbs most every other Israeli Jew, who are all required to serve after turning 18 years of age.

Some Orthodox Jews volunteer to serve, and elements in the government are seeking to make it mandatory for all Jews, regardless of religious affiliation.

Some of these Orthodox sects refuse even to recognize the authority of the State of Israel, and therefore erupted in violent street protests across Jerusalem and neighboring Beit Shemesh.

 

Israel's "Lone Soldiers".

About 6500 "Lone Soldiers" serve in the IDF. Almost half of these "Lone Soldiers" are Jews or Israeli citizens, that were raised outside Israel. The other half are Israeli citizens from broken or single-parent homes that find it difficult to support their youngsters during their IDF service.

The soldiers from abroad voluntarily leave a usually pleasant and comfortable life to commit themselves to dangerous military service in the Holy Land. A large percentage of Israel's "Lone Soldiers" serve in combat units.

These young soldiers not only lack family comforts and support but usually experience financial hardships during their military service.

We would like you to help our lonely soldiers together with us!

S.A.  "I would like to express my thanks for the financial support. With this help, I can continue to serve as a soldier and live as a citizen in Israel."

A.G.  "I am grateful that I have received support to make the right decisions and to build my future here in Israel."

Sh.A.  "I was helped to realize my plans for my education and my future life in Israel."

 

Feminism Gone Haywire

Member of Knesset Merav Michaeli's talk at the Australian ABC Q&A show from September 11 has gone viral on Israeli social media. Michaeli, from the leftist Labor Party, is a strange bird in the Israeli political scene to begin with. Her annoying Hebrew that changes pronouns to suit her feminist agenda is a symptom of the world in which she lives. And bizarre as her world is, the fact that she got elected to the Labor Party Knesset list means that there are enough people in that camp who support her ideas.

Michaeli's idea of family is demonstrated in her own personal life. She has a male partner to whom she is not married. They live separately in the same building, one apartment above the other. The couple is childless by choice. Different as it is, this new brand of family is neither new nor radical. What's radical about Michaeli is that she sees the traditional husband-wife-children family as an institution that must be eliminated altogether.

Feminism, to be sure, has for a long time gone from a fight for equality to a fight for the alteration of Western society. Feminism's true political agenda has been expressed time and again by radical feminists, Michaeli being the latest. In her Q&A talk, Michaeli didn't hold back and laid out her full view on the kind of society she is striving for.

"This is not funny," she says to the audience with a stern face. "The core family as we know it today, unfortunately is the least safe place for children … the custody, this total custody that we have in this structure of marriage, which still gives men … complete domination over the children and too often over the women, who are called 'wives', is the part, really, the unbelieve[!] hurt in children." Her make-believe world doesn't stop here.

"I believe that instead of marriage, the state should offer two kinds of default agreements. One is custody over children. A child can have more than two parents. They don’t have necessarily to be his biological parents, or her biological parents. The person who takes responsibility for the child … needs to be obligated for certain criteria that the state should actually decide on ... a shared household cannot necessarily have to rely on couplehood or sexuality or romance. It can be roommates, it can be sisters, it can be friends and it can be a couple who love each other and wants to live together happily ever after."

The idea that instead of biological parents the state will be the custodian of all children is Orwellian to the core, and enough futuristic movies were made that well portray this kind of nightmarish world. From the many social media comments debunking Michaeli's vision stands out that of Roy Iddan, who wrote, "Cambodia 1970s. In the picture children who were taken from their dangerous parental custody to the state's bosom. Some of them were privileged enough to execute their parents in a distinctively progressive and anti-patriarchal act."


Putting Michaeli's views in biblical perspective, her idea of family is the exact opposite of the one described in Genesis 2:24. What she suggests is in fact the return to the self-destructive pre-flood society that was plagued with theft and incest (homosexuality included). The family she envisions is sterile, which means that her future family will not produce life, but will take it from others. It is exactly this kind of life-taking society that had ignited the wrath of God.

 

Netanyahu: Israel Helps Because We are a Light Unto the Nations

During a ceremony welcoming Christian media representatives to Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was asked why Israel goes so far out of its way to provide aid to disaster victims around the world.

From Haiti to Nepal to Japan to Mexico, Israel is almost always the first on the scene following major catastrophe, and more often than not sends one of the largest and best-equipped delegations, despite being so much smaller than many of the other nations responding.

In response to the question, Netanyahu cited the Bible:

Because we're a light unto the nations. That's the great fulfillment of that great prophecy, and in fact what Israel is doing. ...And the people say, well, what do you do? What is it that you get out of it? And the answer is we're not getting out of it anything, we're fulfilling our deepest values – Israel is a light unto the nations.

 

Death Penalty: Life vs. Anti-Life

The killing of three family members from Halamish settlement last July reignited the debate over the death penalty for terrorists.

Likud party MK Navah Boker took up the task of amending the existing death penalty law, that was never exercised apart from the execution of Adolf Eichmann in 1962. Boker was encouraged by Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Liebermann, who both expressed their wish that the Halamish terrorist be executed.

Defending her legislation proposal, Boker said, "I have no doubt that the death penalty for terrorists, along with other measures, is a real deterrent that helps Israel defeat terror. It is time to stop our sycophantic behavior toward terror and toward our enemies. It is important that the terrorist's family that sends its son to murder will know that he will receive the most severe penalty, instead of spending years in four-star hotel Israeli prisons, only to be released in some kind of a deal to return and murder innocent civilians."

Boker refers to the intolerable reality where hundreds of terrorists are released in controversial deals for the return of one Israeli soldier, dead or alive. Many of these terrorists, got a free education in prison and hero status in Palestinian society, immediately go back to killing Israelis.

Israel complains bitterly of the Palestinian "revolving door" policy, whereby it locks up Palestinian terrorists only to release them later. And yet, Israel ends up doing the exact same thing.

Considering itself as an "enlightened" democracy, Israel sees the death penalty as contradicting the value of human dignity. A leading ethics professor, Assa Kasher, expounded: "A democratic country is allowed to kill enemies in war or in terror acts only when it has no other choice." Kasher concluded that as a matter of principle, democratic countries should not execute convicted terrorists, or anybody else for that matter, so that the idea of human dignity is guarded under any given circumstance. He added that research from around the world has shown that the deterrent factor of the death penalty is negligible, particularly when considering the desire of Muslims to die for Islam's sake.

Likud MK David Bitan supports the death penalty because he, too, resents the anomaly of terrorists receiving deluxe prison conditions that encourage others to kill Israelis, rather than deter them. "Sentencing terrorists to death," he says, "is not only a necessity – it is also a moral demand." The death penalty, he continues, is first of all a punishment, one that can deter potential murderers and could stop the cycle kidnapping soldiers as bargaining chips for jailed prisoners.

Bitan puts his finger on the moral divide characterizing Israeli society. As things stand today, most Israelis still go along with Kasher's assumptions. Like him, they believe that the death penalty is immoral. This position contradicts the age-old Jewish moral code, which states, "If someone is coming to kill you, rise against him and kill him first." This admonishment applies not only to a person actively trying to kill another, but also to one who has already killed, and will kill again.

Tragically, however, the enlightened moral code that prohibits the death penalty only serves to increase bloodshed, simply because when eliminating the "anti-life" element for the sake of the living is considered immoral, anti-life abounds.

 

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FULL TEXT: Netanyahu's Remarks to Christian Media in Jerusalem

I want to welcome you all to Jerusalem, the eternal united capital of the Jewish people.

You know, you are joining us as we celebrate 50 years since the Holy City was liberated and united; 50 years of religious freedom for all. You know that because you walk around, you go to the holy sites, you go to the churches, others go to the mosques, and you know this is a free city.

I want you also to join us in looking forward to the day when the embassies of all your countries move to Jerusalem.

Israel has no better friends – I mean that – no better friends in the world than the Christian communities around the world. And Israel is the one country in a vast region where Christians not only survive, they thrive.

You know the truth about Israel's history and the truth about our commitment to freedom. Freedom is under a challenge all the time, and I think it scored a big victory the other day. I want to thank President Trump for his courageous speech outlining a new course against Iran, the enemy of our free civilization.

Iran is a threat to the entire world, but today I want to focus on Iran's war against Christians. As you all know, Christians are brutally persecuted in the Islamic Republic. Pastors are jailed for no reason, no reason other than for being Christian leaders. Christians have been lashed. You hear this? Christians have been lashed for sipping wine during prayer services; Christians have been brutally tortured for doing nothing more than practicing their faith.

Now, some world leaders are willing to ignore this repression and seek to appease Iran, but I am not one of them.

I think that how a country treats religious minorities is a very good indicator of how it will treat its other citizens and its neighbors. So today I have a simple request for the media outlets in this room: Dedicate this week to highlighting the plight of the countless Christians suffering under Iran; Profile the brave Christian leaders jailed for practicing their faith; Sit with the families of the school teachers jailed for years merely for converting to Christianity; Call out the lie and the lies of President Rouhani, who promised in 2013 that all religions would, quote, feel justice in Iran, while so many Christians live there in constant terror.

And I want to thank you for what you're doing, taking your part and doing your part to stand up for religious freedom. Thank you for highlighting the danger of the terrorist regime in Iran. Thank you for telling the truth about Israel's pluralistic democracy. Thank you for standing with Israel. We all are deeply grateful. Thank you.

Q: Good to see you, my friend. The influence of this Christian media group is much greater than ABC, NBC and CBS combined, and there's no fake news here. The question I want to ask you is concerning Iran. Tell us the influence that they're having with the terror, with Hamas, with Hezbollah, and in Syria, in light of the President's courageous stand.

Well, I think there are two issues that the President was concerned with and we're all concerned with, and coincidentally, on this Israel and the leading Arab states see eye to eye. And I said today in interviews on American television, I said, you know, when Israel and the main Arab countries see eye to eye, you should pay attention, because something important is happening. We're here. We know what we see. Here's what we see: We see two great dangers emanating from Iran. The first danger is the danger of a nuclear armed Iran, which is virtually guaranteed if this agreement is not changed or scrapped. Because that's where it's leading. It's leading not merely to Iran's capability to have an atomic weapon, one bomb. It virtually opens up the field so they can have within a decade 100 bombs, a vast nuclear arsenal. And this is Iran, which is, its economy is 30 times the size of North Korea. So you can imagine the world's foremost terrorist regime armed with an arsenal of nuclear weapons. Is that going to produce peace? Is that going to produce progress? Because people said, well, if Iran signs this deal, two years ago, three years ago, when they were negotiating this deal and they were arguing for it. They said, once Iran signs this deal, then, they said, it would join the community of nations.

So Iran received the first installment of about 50 billion dollars coming in to its coffers, and what did they do? They didn't join the community of nations. They're devouring the nations one after the other. They're in Yemen firing rockets deep into Saudi Arabia; they're in Iraq killing people, now squeezing the Kurds; they're in Syria, colonizing Syria and the intent to turn Syria into a military base for their war of destruction against Israel.

Well, clearly we will not tolerate it, and we will act against any threats to our security and I think people understand that we back this up with words, with these words, with deeds. I think people know that. But I think the fact the President Trump focused the world's attention on Iran's dual threat – the nuclear threat of a deal that unless challenged would lead to a nuclear Iran, and the conventional threat of an Iran, an aggressive Iran that is spreading terrorism and aggression throughout this region. And I think that the resoluteness with which he put forward this case yesterday made a big impression. I tell you on who it made a big impression. It made a big impression on America's allies here and it made a big impression on Iran. They should be worried. Justly so.

Q: Mr. Prime Minister, Chris Mitchell, Bureau Chief for CBN News. And I know I speak for the Christian media here, thank you for making this summit possible.

As a follow up to Iran, I just came back from Kurdistan and many people I saw firsthand the growing influence of the Shiite militias and the growing influence of Iran. And they're concerned about a Shiite arc going from Tehran all the way to the Mediterranean. Can you address their concerns? The decision by the Trump Administration to decertify the Iranian nuclear deal and the referendum for independence that was just a few weeks ago.

And one follow-up question, Mr. Prime Minister, many people may not know that Israel sends relief teams, search and rescue teams to earthquake places like Mexico, the hurricanes in Houston and Florida. With all the problems facing Israel, why does Israel feel obligated to reach out with humanitarian aid to the nations?

Because we're a light unto the nations. That's the great fulfillment of that great prophecy, and in fact what Israel is doing. It's doing it in places like Haiti or in the Philippines or in Mexico. I mean, you should hear what the people in Mexico said about Israel. I recently spoke to President Peña Nieto from Mexico, he called me up, and he said I want you to know how grateful the people of Mexico are. And you saw that in the Mexican media, they just love Israel.

I was there between two earthquakes, just in the stitch of time, a few days, and I saw how receptive and how warm the people of Mexico were to Israel before the earthquake. And then you know they saw this mission that came, taking some risk, considerable risk, and going through the rubble, and trying their best to salvage whatever could be salvaged, and the people really warmed up to that.

And you see that elsewhere, in many places around the world. You see it in Tibet, the same thing. Our mission in Mexico was the last, the first to come and the last to leave. Our mission in Nepal was the second largest mission in the world. The first was India – it's closer, and, you know, bigger. But ours was the second largest in the world. And the people say, well, what do you do? What is it that you get out of it? And the answer is we're not getting out of it anything, we're fulfilling our deepest values – Israel is a light unto the nations.

Now you talk about those who want to extinguish that light. Iran. Yes it wants to build a Shiite arc, to create – it's working on it, you know – which is Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon. I said in the UN a few weeks ago that what they want from Tehran to Tartus, from Iran to the Mediterranean, they want this Shiite arc, to colonize it and control it, and everyone is concerned. All the countries, except Assad I think, everybody is really concerned and wants to stop it, because this is an act of unadulterated aggression.

They're trying to import… get this, they're trying to import Shiite militias that are now trying to choke the Kurds in Kirkuk, Shiite militias – Afghans, Pakistanis under Iranian command, and they want to bring them also right next to the Golan Heights. Well, this is colonization of the worst kind. And this is intimidation and subjugation of the worst kind. But that's what Iran is about, so obviously we all sympathize with the Kurds, we understand this, and we are absolutely determined to defend ourselves against this aggression.

Q: Mr. Prime Minister, it's on the books now that I'll see you on Tuesday for your interview with Mike Huckabee that's there at the Knesset, but he's going to ask you about the moving of the…

Are you giving me a promo?

I'm going to give you a heads up on what he is going to ask you. But it's no secret that your relationship with our former president Obama was a bit different. How is it going with Trump now? That's what we're concerned about. How is your relationship with Donald Trump going now?

Our relationship is fine, it's excellent actually, and there's, I think, a sense of warmth and an instinctive understanding on many important things. Now mind you, I want you to put this also in perspective. Yes I had some differences , like on Iran and a few other things, with President Obama, but it didn't really alter the solidity of the American-Israeli alliance. We also signed an MoU that I appreciate, I don't forget, it was important. So I think there is a basic alliance there that transcends differences that we may have over particular issues.

But the issue of Iran wasn't just another issue. The issue of Iran is existential for us. And I felt compelled to take our case to the American Congress because that deal, so-called deal, was a direct threat to our future, to our existence. I think there's been a change with regard to this central issue, because, because I think President Trump correctly identifies that Iran is not the solution but perhaps the problem in the Middle East. The problem. The source of so much aggression, so much terror and so much misery. 

And he wants to… He took a very courageous step yesterday, because what he did was, he could have kicked the can forward, he could have said, well it's not going to happen on my watch, so why should I deal with it. You know, Iran will become a nuclear power with a nuclear arsenal, if we just let the deal go through but it won't happen on my watch. But he said, no, it's the duty of leaders, and it's perhaps the most difficult duty of leaders, to ward off danger before it becomes apparent to everyone, because when it becomes apparent to everyone, it may be too late.

So I really appreciate what he did yesterday on this point, which is obviously very important for Israel, but also I think very important for the United States and for the future of the world. The relationship is good. I want to thank you all for your continued support for the State of Israel. I think when you and your readers and viewers and listeners, when they look at the Middle East and they see the forces that are aligned against the values we hold dear, you see a beacon of light, a towering beacon of light. Israel is not that big a country, you know that. It's a small country, but it's a gigantic country, because we stand on the shoulders of giants: the giants of the bible, the giants of Jewish history, the people who gave us our deepest values, which we share and which we cherish.

I want to thank you for your support.

Thank you very much. Thank you all.

 

Netanyahu: Most World Leaders Ignore Plight of Christians. I'm Not One of Them

Further dispelling the myth that Israel is hostile toward it's Christian population, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday welcomed Christian media representative to Jerusalem.

But he did more than just invite foreign Christians to see how their brothers and sisters in Messiah live in the Holy Land.

Netanyahu openly decried the mistreatment Christians in nearly every other part of the Middle East, and the world's indifference to their suffering.

Said the prime minister:

"Christians have been lashed for sipping wine during prayer services, brutally tortured for doing nothing more than practicing their faith. Some world leaders are willing to ignore this oppression and seek to appease Iran, but I am not one of them."

He took particular issue with Iran's treatment of Christians, referencing the imprisonment of pastors and those who dare to convert from Islam to Christianity.

"I think that how a country treats religious minorities is a very good indicator of how it will treat its other citizens and its neighbors," Netanyahu said.


 

Israel and Arabs Agree: Trump Right to Decertify Iran Nuclear Deal

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was right in noting that "when Israel and the Arab states agree on something, then you should pay attention."

Netanyahu was so right, that he repeated the phrase several times, to different audiences on Sunday.

Responding to US President Donald Trump's decision to decertify the Iran nuclear deal under its current, grossly-violated conditions, and to classify the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization, Netanyahu told American media:

"I commend the president for taking a historic and bold decision to avert this danger in time.

"He could have kicked the can down the road. He could have said ‘this isn’t going to happen on my watch, so I’ll just let it go,’ but he didn’t. He faced up to this danger and I think he gave an opportunity for all of us in the Middle East and beyond to fix this deal. Fix it or nix it. Because it could be very very dangerous if it just went through."


Netanyahu used the exact same words when he welcomed Christian media representatives to Jerusalem on Sunday evening.

The Israeli leader was not alone in hailing Trump for taking the first step in reversing Barack Obama's Iran policies.

Saudi King Salman phoned Trump to praise "his visionary new Iran strategy and pledged to support American leadership," according to a White House readout of the conversation.

Similar statements were released by the United Arab Emirates and other Gulf states.

Which prompted Netanyahu to state: "When Israel and the Arab states agree on something then you should pay attention."

 

The Shame of Appeasement

Alarming reports are circulating that the British Foreign Office is behind a plot to ‘re-educate’ the church with teaching that suits the LGBTI+ agenda.

And most significantly, this coincides with a shocking rise of sexual assaults by children on other children as encouragement of promiscuity, aided and abetted by an Education Secretary determined to push the LGBT agenda, robs a new generation of its youth.

‘Re-education’, a policy apparently adopted both by the Foreign Office and Education Department, was the sinister tactic used for the promotion of Communism by the notorious Khmer Rouge as they went about their killing spree in Cambodia in the 1970s. It also bears the hallmark of China’s so-called Cultural Revolution of that period.

But in both cases, far from carrying out the Marxist aim of destroying the church, they only succeeded in making it stronger.

Today’s China boasts an estimated 100 million Christians, underpinning that vast country’s new prosperity, while Cambodian believers are also flourishing despite the brutal massacres of a generation ago.

Now a Foreign Office ‘think tank’, made up of specially selected advisors, is suggesting that sacred texts be ‘reinterpreted’ in order to conform to the sexual revolution, the ‘re-definition’ of marriage and the celebration of homosexual lifestyles.

A report produced by FO agency Wilton Park argues that this ‘theology’ should be required teaching in all churches (just as sexual promiscuity is becoming required teaching in schools). Wilton Park’s Advisory Council is chosen by the Foreign Secretary himself (currently Boris Johnson) from leading experts and academics. And its findings help determine Foreign Office policy around the globe.

Calling for an inquiry, Christian charity Barnabas Fund has expressed serious concern at the implications for the future freedom of religion of the Foreign Office’s involvement in pushing this ideological agenda.

Entitled Opportunities and challenges: the intersection of faith and human rights of LGBTI+ persons, the report is clearly about promoting LGBT while at the same time isolating those holding to traditional biblical teaching.

According to Heart newspaper, which circulates widely among churches in the South of England, mystery remains over what Mr Johnson knows of the report and how far he intends to implement its findings.

Over 26,000 have signed a petition launched by Christian campaigners Voice for Justice UK which was delivered to the Foreign Office on 21 September. But Rev Lynda Rose of VFJUK is quoted as saying there has been a ‘resounding silence’ from Mr Johnson’s office.

In a desperate bid to appease the strident gay sex lobby, these so-called thinkers are willing to pervert the truths of the word of God, hitherto unchanged for millennia. Prime Minister Theresa May, a vicar’s daughter, doesn’t need persuading, however, proclaiming same-sex marriage as one of her party’s proudest achievements while attacking traditional marriage supporters as ‘lacking compassion’.

Appeasing the gay sex lobby by all major parties has led to the appointment of lesbians to leading positions in Government, most notably Education Secretary Justine Greening, which has serious implications for the welfare of our children.

Tragically, appeasement has marked a succession of British Government initiatives over the years which has in turn led to disaster and brought great shame on our nation.

Neville Chamberlain tried it with Hitler in an effort to win ‘peace in our time’ but instead helped spark off a war in which 50 million people perished including six million Jews, many of whom could have been saved if we had acted sooner to rescue them from the death camps.

But the modern State of Israel rose from the ashes of the Holocaust even without our help – despite having promised to do all we could to facilitate their return to the Holy Land through the Balfour Declaration issued 100 years ago next month. We reneged on our pledge in order to appease the Arabs who had no claim to the land and were not even looking after it until the Jews began returning in significant numbers.

Riots and massacres followed as Arabs determined to prevent the re-establishment of a Jewish national presence in their midst. Firm leadership from Britain in backing Jewish aspirations was needed (they ruled the region at the time), but appeasement signalled weakness on our part which has been constantly exploited ever since by those who wish to stir up trouble in the Middle East.

The current crisis is, in part, a legacy of our lack of godly leadership in failing to do the right thing. We even sat on the fence when the United Nations voted to recognise the re-born Jewish state 70 years ago next month shortly after the disagraceful act of turning back Holocaust survivors seeking refuge there.

This was followed, soon afterwards, by the shameful episode involving the British protectorate of Bechuanaland (now Botswana) in southern Africa. When the Tswana people’s heir-apparent Seretse Khama fell in love with Ruth Williams, a white Englishwoman, the Foreign Office did all they could to derail the marriage.

Why? Because they wanted to appease the South African government of D F Malan, which was in the process of building the apartheid structure separating the races by law. Inter-marriage involving the leader of a neighbouring state was hugely embarrassing, and our government – both Labour and Conservative – were more interested in the maintenance of economic and other ties with apartheid South Africa than with doing the right thing.

It all worked out in the end, but not before Seretse was forcibly exiled and thus separated from his young wife and new baby in a most undignifying manner for the son of a king. It was under (Sir) Seretse’s leadership, however, that Botswana emerged as a newly independent nation in 1966. And it has flourished ever since as a beacon of light among African nations, with the discovery of diamonds certainly adding a sparkle to the scene.

The story of Seretse and Ruth is beautifully told in the movie United Kingdom, starring David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike and filmed on location in Botswana. An absorbing, sensitive and wonderfully romantic tale set against an intriguing political background, it is described as “the true story of a love that shook an empire”.

It’s time our Foreign Office (and Government as a whole) re-tuned its spiritual antennae to the voice of reason and wisdom through which God has spoken down the ages. Otherwise we will only repeat embarrassing mistakes of the past.

The Bible says: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Proverbs 1.7) And the New Testament adds: “For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom…” (1 Corinthians 1.25a)

In the context of current Tory infighting, Proverbs 28.2 puts it well: “When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers, but a man of understanding and knowledge maintains order.”

One hundred years ago David Lloyd George’s War Cabinet was mostly made up of evangelical Christians who believed the Bible. That’s why they agreed to the Balfour Declaration – because they saw clearly that the Word of God spoke of the Jews being restored to their ancient land from the far corners of the earth, and that as far as Gentile believers were concerned, the right thing to do was to help them get there.

Now it seems that the Cabinet is mostly made up of those who seek to tamper with the Scriptures – and this is a very dangerous exercise. For the Bible ends with dire warnings of judgment from Jesus against anyone who either adds or takes away from his words – specifically in the Book of Revelation pertaining to the period leading up to his return. (Rev 22.18f)

But I conclude on a more positive note from a prominent member of today’s Cabinet, who has stood up foursquare for the Jews just as his forebears did 100 years ago.

Speaking at a Conservative Friends of Israel event in Manchester, Environment Secretary Michael Gove said there was no difference between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.

And referring to the Balfour Declaration centenary, he said: “At a time when people are casual, cruel and callous towards the fate of the Jewish people, it is time for all of us to say that over the last 100 years, if we have learned anything, it is that when there is prejudice and hatred directed towards the Jewish people, darker times will follow. And it is our moral duty to say that what begins with the Jews never ends with the Jews. We stand with Israel. We stand with the Jewish community.

Taking the Bible at its word is the only way to find that elusive peace, prosperity and social cohesion for which most of us long.

PHOTO: British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson meets with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah. (Flash90)


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

 

Netanyahu Announces New Settlement Construction

In a move that is certain to draw international criticism, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has approved the construction of new housing units for Jewish settlements in the so-called "West Bank."

Some 3,800 homes will soon be built in disputed areas like the Jewish sectors of Hebron. The approval was granted subject to consultation with the US government.

An understanding between Netanyahu and President Trump whereby Israel seeks American approval for any new settlement construction is expected to bring an end to the routine condemnation that flowed from the Obama Administration.

As part of the understanding, the Americans will no longer differentiate between large settlement blocs and smaller, more isolated Jewish communities. For instance, the small Jewish neighborhood in the heart of Hebron is expected to gain approval for 30 new housing units, a major breakthrough for the Jewish residents of Judaism's second holiest city.

PHOTO: Construction site in Efrat (Gershon Elinson / Flash90)

 

Report: America Considers Buying Israeli Weapons

The United States Department of Defense is considering acquiring Israel's vaunted "Iron Dome" missile defense system, according the daily newspaper Yediot Ahronot.

The report suggested the US could use the Iron Dome to defend assets both in North America and in Eastern Europe.

To date, the US military has no comparable system to counter short-range missiles and mortars.


The Americans also said they would be purchasing the Israeli-developed "Windbreaker" tank armor. The system has been used for years to protect Israel's Merkava main battle tanks from shoulder-launched anti-tank missiles.

PHOTO: Iron Dome defense system (Photo: Flash90)

 

Did Trump Say That Netanyahu is the Main Obstacle to Mideast Peace?

A worrying report suggests that US President Donald Trump has quickly adopted the position of his predecessor, Barack Obama, in singling out Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the primary obstacle to peace in the Middle East.

Now, this initially struck Israelis as odd, given the extraordinarily warm relationship between Trump and Netanyahu, which has been on public display at least three times since the controversial real estate mogul took the White House.

Still, even allies have a way of eventually turning their backs on the Jewish state, so trepidation began to creep in.

Of course, the report came from Israel's most left-leaning news outlet, Ha'aretz, a publication that harbors no love for either Netanyahu or Trump, and was based on little more than hearsay from an anonymous source who wasn't even at the meeting where Trump allegedly made the troubling remarks.

Actually, the Ha'aretz report didn't even claim that Trump said Netanyahu was a problem when he spoke semi-privately with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, only that the "context" of his remarks suggested as much.

So, yeah, little more than left-wing conjecture.

And the Trump White House was quick to say the same, slamming Ha'aretz for wholly misrepresenting the president's words.

What this episode reveals far more than any possible new antagonism from the Trump White House is that the mainstream media is just as susceptible to "fake news" as any personal blog or conspiracy website.

 

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POLL: Arabs Prefer to Live in Israel

It's becoming increasingly difficult to describe Israel as an "apartheid state" when a firm majority of Arabs say they actually prefer life in the Jewish state.

And the Arab respondents in yet another survey on the matter are saying just that.

Conducted by the Konrad Adenauer Program for Jewish-Arab Cooperation Center at Tel-Aviv University’s Dayan Center, and Kivun, a research, strategy and communications company, the survey asked local Arab residents how they personally view the State of Israel.

A firm 60 percent majority of Arabs overall said they hold a favorable view Israel, while only 37 percent described their view as unfavorable.

Among Arab Muslims, the view was 49%-48% in favor, and among Christian Arabs the view was 61%-33% in favor. Nearly all Druze (94 percent) said they view the State of Israel favorably.

It was notable that 47 percent of Arab respondents overall said they "felt unequally treated" compared to the country's Jewish population. Still, an overwhelming 63 percent majority said Israel is a good place for Arabs to live.

Michael Borchard, Israel director of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, said that the results once again demonstrated that among local Arabs "there is more identification with Israel than with a possible Palestinian state."

 

Jerusalem Municipality Fires Security Guard For Disrespecting Jesus

The City of Jerusalem has taken harsh punitive action against one of its municipal city guards after he disrespected Jesus.

Tour guide Eran Tzidkiyahu posted on Facebook that he was walking through Safra Square in front of the Jerusalem Municipality when he spotted a security guard using white-out in a vain attempt to conceal the name of Jesus on a commemorative plaque.

"What you just did is a hate crime, and an act of vandalism," Tzidkiyahu told the guard. "I'm giving you an opportunity to clean it up now, in front of me, and I'll forget all about it. Otherwise, I'm going to the authorities."

The guard became belligerent, so Tzidkiyahu called over two police officers, noting that the whiteout on the plaque was still wet and insisting that they search the guard.

Realizing the trouble he could be in, the guard produced the bottle of whiteout, and after being scolded by the officers - one Jewish and the other Arab - he promised to clean the plaque.

While the Arab officer later told Tzidkiyahu that the guard had in fact cleaned the plaque, that wasn't good enough for the Jerusalem Municipality.

Seeing Tzidkiyahu's Facebook post, Municipal officials responded that they had conducted a brief investigation, concluded that the guard's treatment of the name of Jesus was "unworthy," and fired him.

 

Get Cooking With Dead Sea Salts

The Dead Sea is well known as a repository of healing minerals, a source of health and beauty and unique gifts of nature. There is more to the Dead Sea than just its cosmetic products.

Now there is a brand new range of salts that are flavorsome and healthy! Add these gourmet salts and flavors to your kitchen and transform it into an oasis of health and wellness!

 

Media Censures Mid-East Truth

A shaft of fresh revelation dawned on me after watching the extraordinary YouTube clip featuring former terrorist Mosab Hassan Yousef berating Palestinian delegates at the UN for betraying their own people and fanning the flames of the conflict with Israel.

I can see now that British and other Western media – by censoring what is not on their agenda – are partly responsible for the continuing violence in the Middle East. Let me explain.

Yousef, son of Hamas founder Sheikh Hassan Yousef, switched allegiance to Israel’s Shin Bet security service after witnessing the torture of fellow prisoners by their own (Arab-Muslim) people. He discovered, to his great surprise, that his Israeli interrogators were friendly and caring.

And later, in the midst of working undercover on their behalf, and saving many lives in the process by tipping off police about planned atrocities, he had a ‘Damascus Road’ experience in which met and came to love the Jewish Messiah after taking up an invitation to study the Bible at Jerusalem’s iconic YMCA – the invitation was handed to him outside the famous Damascus Gate, one of the entrances to the walled Old City.

But his life was now in double jeopardy – as if being a spy for Israel wasn’t dangerous enough, he was also forsaking his Islamic faith to follow Jesus. He was eventually forced to flee to America, where he is now courageously campaigning to spread the truth about Israel to a world media all too keen to swallow the ongoing propaganda denying Jewish connection to the territory.

And so it was that he found himself as guest speaker for UN Watch as he addressed delegates to the UN Human Rights Council last week. As the Palestinian Authority delegation reacted with shock and irritation, he accused them of committing human rights abuses against their own people, describing the PA as “the greatest enemy of the Palestinian people”, adding: “If Israel did not exist, you would have no-one to blame.”

Before Yousef spoke, country after country spewed attacks against Israel, accusing them of being a genocidal, apartheid state. But Yousef silenced them all when he accused the Palestinian leadership of being hypocrites

“Where does your legitimacy come from?” he asked them. “The Palestinian people did not elect you and they did not appoint you to represent them. Your accountability is not to your own people. This is evidenced by your own total violation of their human rights. You kidnap Palestinian students from campus and torture them in your jails. You torture your political rivals. The suffering of the Palestinian people is the outcome of your selfish political interests.”

And they used Israel as a scapegoat, he added.

Yousef has found peace with the Jews, and with all men, through his relationship with Christ, having been reconciled both to God and man through his death on the cross (see Ephesians 2.14). His best-selling book, Son of Hamas, is still available in bookstores, and I have written widely about men like him who have come to love and honour the Jews, not through a political peace process involving endless negotiations and compromises, but through what Jesus did for all men as he took their sins and nailed them to the cross, thereby bringing an end to their enmity with one another – especially between Jew and Arab, descendants of Isaac and Ishmael, the sons of Abraham.

After attending a conference at Christ Church, Jerusalem, I wrote all about it in my book, Peace in Jerusalem, and continue to write about this precious subject as it lies at the very heart of the gospel which brings reconciliation between God and man and between Jew and Gentile.

With my own eyes, I witnessed Jew and Arab embracing one another as they shared communion representing the body and blood of the Lord who brought them together through his mercy and grace. In doing so, I also witnessed the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy, “For to us…a son is given, and the government will be upon his shoulders. And he will be called…Prince of Peace.” (Isa 9.6)

As a journalist of more than 40 years, I can spot a good story – and this, I reckoned, was the best story that has never been told; the answer to peace in the Middle East, and indeed the world. Over a two-week period, I offered my daily copy (free) to mainstream (Fleet Street) newspapers in the UK, but didn’t even receive the courtesy of a single reply to my emails.

Nevertheless, the inspiring stories were widely circulated to news outlets on four continents. So that’s why I say that the British media are partly responsible for the lack of progress in the Middle East, which has got considerably more violent since that 2014 gathering.

But it was so refreshing that historian A N Wilson tackled the ridiculous lengths to which political correctness has been taken in last Saturday’s Daily Mail, describing it as reflecting a ‘new dark age of intolerance’. Though not claiming to be a believer himself, he spoke up for those Christians who are treated with incredulity for believing, for instance, that abortion and sexual promiscuity are wrong.

Yet it is still very non-PC for our media to take an uncompromising stand on the Christian faith that underpins our nation with thousands of years of history, justice, innovation, education and care, spelling out in no uncertain terms the total relevance to our world of the Lord Jesus Christ, who made it absolutely clear that he was not one of many options for guiding us to heaven’s domain when he said: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no-one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14.6)


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

 

The Forgotten Feast

There has been much speculation during the past couple of years about the culmination of the end of times due to certain signs in the sun, moon, and stars: ranging from the recent cycle of the four “Blood Moons” to the alignment of the stars on September 23, 2017. Various prophets of doom have used the Bible along with science and astrology to try to prove their theories but have only shown once again that man is incapable of predicting the date and time of the end of the world.

The Bible is an amazing book that contains truths about the past, present, and future, however, we as human beings must continually be careful to not put ourselves in God’s place and attempt to assign dates to God’s timetable. While many Christians around the world are quickly drawn into the latest sign in the stars they often miss the more practical timetable that God has given us through the prophet Moses: “The Appointed Times of the LORD” (Lev. 23).

Sukkot - The Feast of Booths

On Wednesday evening, October 4, 2017, the Jewish people, together with Gentiles around the world, will celebrate one of the Appointed Times of the LORD, the Feast of Booths or its Hebrew name “Sukkot.” 

The Feast of Booths is unique among the seven Appointed Times of the LORD as the one feast which will certainly be celebrated during the reign of the Messiah on earth:

Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths. - Zech. 14:16

The Bible speaks about the past of the Feast of Booths and about its future. It seems wise for the people of God to know, understand, and celebrate this biblical Feast with a prophetic future.

The Significance of The Appointed Times of the LORD

We read in the pages of the New Testament that when Yeshua came to this earth 2000 years ago, He clearly fulfilled the Appointed Times of the LORD which fall in the spring season: Passover (1 Cor. 5:7-8), First Fruits (1 Cor. 15:20), and The Feast of Weeks or Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4). It is commonly believed amongst many evangelicals today, that just as Yeshua fulfilled the spring Appointed Times in His first coming, He will fulfill the fall Appointed Times at His second coming. 

Although God does use signs in the sun, moon, and stars to speak to those of us living on earth (Luke 21:25-28), He has also given us His Appointed Times (Lev. 23) which are continual reminders of who God is in relation to His people. These Appointed Times also help us to keep in step with the Creator of the universe as we observe these specific days.

The Forgotten Feast

The Appointed Times of the LORD, as found in Leviticus 23, are generally classified into the spring and fall Feasts, however, this only includes six of the seven Appointed Times. Unfortunately, there is one Appointed Time which is generally overlooked and forgotten by many evangelical Bible readers. This forgotten Appointed Time is called the Sabbath!

The irony of the Sabbath being the “forgotten Feast” is that it is actually the first Appointed Time mentioned in the list of seven (Lev. 23:1-3). The God of the Bible gave preeminence to the Sabbath in His list of Appointed Times for a reason. I believe that one of the reasons that God put the Sabbath first in His list of seven was in order to provide a basis to understand all of His Appointed Times. 

The Preeminence of the Sabbath

The Appointed Times of the LORD are specific days that God has commanded His people to remember and observe in order to properly worship Him. A fundamental practice of these days demands a cessation from work and the practice of a day of rest. This is the very essence of the weekly Sabbath practice.

Without becoming legalistic or putting ourselves under the Law, it would behoove each one of us to consider afresh the Appointed Times of the LORD, beginning with the Sabbath day. 

Learn more about Daniel Goldstein's teaching on the Sabbath by clicking here:
https://www.jewelsofjudaism.com/sample-page/the-sabbath-experience/

 

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