US Democrats Reassert Pro-Israel Standing

After Democratic Party activists filmed themselves burning an Israeli flag outside the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, party officials were quick to reassert their pro-Israel standing.

Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton “strongly condemns this kind of hatred,” Clinton’s Jewish outreach director, Sarah Bard, told The Jerusalem Post. “Burning the Israeli flag is a reckless act that undermines peace and our values.”

Speaking to members of the American Jewish Committee at the convention, Clinton adviser Wendy Sherman said the candidate had issued “very direct instructions” that the official Democratic Party platform remain pro-Israel.

Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, was spotted at the convention on Wednesday wearing a lapel pin with Hillary’s name in Hebrew.

At the same time a small group of Democrat activists were burning an Israeli flag, Clinton’s running mate, Senator Tim Kaine, was adding his name to a request to appropriate $320 million for Israeli missile defense.

Not to be outdone, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump told reporters at a campaign stop in Florida on Wednesday, “I back Israel 100 percent.”

Trump suggested that he could take a pre-election campaign trip to Israel in the coming months, and further lambasted the Obama Administration, of which Clinton was a part, as “the single worst thing politically that could happen to Israel.”

In remarks reported by the Washington Post on Wednesday, former New York Mayor Rudi Giuliani claimed that Israeli leaders had told him they prefer Trump over Clinton as the next US president.

 

Does Jewish History and 'Chosenness' Matter?

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind has made Yuval Noah Harari a household name in Israel. The book purports to record some 70,000 years of the human history, raising the question of whether it is a historical study or a narrative. 

The difference between historical study and narrative is as deep as the ocean. Historical study produces a story about what actually happened. Narrative is a story designed to convince the reader of what should happen. 

Narrative should be regarded as a novel, where the author can play with facts as he or she wishes. More pointedly, narrative is history in the service of ideology. 

The confusion between history and narrative is best demonstrated by Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code. Though this is a novel, the author's creative use of historical facts has duped millions into believing the book is factual.

Harari was criticized for essentially omitting Jewish history from his "historical" survey, and later explained in an article for the daily Haaretz why he regards Jewish history as marginal at best. His explanation substantiates the notion that A Brief History of Humankind is an ideology-driven narrative seeking to dethrone Israel from its imagined grandiose position as a chosen people.

"Judaism," Harari writes, "was and still is a tribal, self-absorbed religion that cares much about the fate of a very small people and the history of a very tiny country, and little about the wellbeing of humanity." The author then laments the fact that students in Israeli public schools are being taught that "Israel is the central axis of human history." 

Even the loftiest expression of Jewish morality as contained in the Ten Commandments is anything but original. "We know today," asserts Harari, that "moral rules are not specifically unique to homo sapiens, they are operative also among other social animals such as wolves, dolphins and monkeys."

Furthermore, according to Harari, "many of the biblical rules are nothing more than a copy of accepted norms in Mesopotamia, Egypt and Canaan that have existed hundreds and thousands of years before the kingdoms of Israel and Judea." Important as it may be, "initially Jewish morality was developed as a narrow-minded, tribal kind of morality, and to a large extent remains so until today."

Having deprived Judaism of any intrinsic value, Harari is careful to clarify that he is no anti-Semite. Quite the contrary, in his estimation. Delivering a final blow in his atheistic diatribe, Harari declares that the true "anti-Semites [are those] who attribute to Judaism a unique importance." 

In this magnificent curveball, Harari is hoping to turn the tables in such a way as to make faithful Jews and Christians into the real anti-Semites.

Though Harari himself is anything but unique in manipulating history to demolish faith, his popularity makes him a powerful agent of change that if not challenged properly could bring an end to the Jewish people and the Jewish state. 

Needless to say, from the faithful's point of view, Harari's dream of putting an end to the notion of a "chosen people" will cause nothing but global calamity. Those who believe that for there to be a creation there must be a creator, are also inclined to believe that the creator's promise to bless all the people of the earth through the seed of Abraham is far more realistic than Harari's fantastic novel.

 

Religious War or National Conflict?

Israel Today surveyed average Israelis and spoke to respected academic authorities regarding the true nature of the Middle East conflict.

The full article appears in the August 2016 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
CLICK HERE to read it all

 

Americans Burning Israeli Flags

Folks over here are used to seeing Palestinians and Iranians burning the Israeli flag. But it was a bit of a shocker to see Americans doing the same on Tuesday.

Especially at the national convention of the Democratic Party, which so often and so adamantly asserts that it is a true friend of the Jewish state.

Both inside and outside the convention center, disunity in the Democratic Party was apparent as supporters of candidate Bernie Sanders caused a ruckus over the nomination of Hillary Clinton.

Elements within the Democratic Party that are hostile toward Israel took advantage of the situation.

In a video posted online, one protestor is seen setting an Israeli flag alight, while another waves a Palestinian flag nearby. Others chant “Long Live the Intifada” - a call of support for the Palestinian terrorist campaign plaguing Israel.

A day earlier, members of the same “progressive” movement held aloft a Palestinian flag inside the convention center.

During his campaign, Sanders, despite being Jewish, broke sharply with traditional bi-partisan support for Israel, and on occasion struck a decidedly anti-Israel tone.

 

Israel Demands Abbas Stop Honoring Terrorists

Israel’s Foreign Ministry launched a social media campaign this month to convince the Palestinian leadership to stop honoring deceased terrorists, a practice that makes genuine peace nearly impossible to achieve.

The focal point of the campaign was the Palestinian Authority’s decision to erect a monument to Abu Sukar (Ahmed Jabara) who in 1975 detonated a refrigerator bomb in Jerusalem’s Zion Square killing 15 Israelis and wounding another 77.

American-born Foreign Ministry Director Dore Gold actually witnessed that attack as a young student in Jerusalem.

“Suddenly I heard a huge explosion. I turned around and saw bodies everywhere,” Gold recalls in a video clip accompanying the social media posts.

Gold goes on to note that for a viable peace agreement to be reached, the Palestinians must start honoring their decades-old obligation to educate their population for coexistence, and stop glorifying those who only sought destruction.

“We’re not going to be able to get very far in negotiations, because negotiation requires a culture of peace, not a culture of death,” he tells the Palestinians, and all those involved in the Middle East peace process.

But most believe it is wishful thinking to even entertain the notion that the Palestinian leadership will end its incitement against Israel.

After all, it was the PLO, which is today headed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, that claimed credit for the Zion Square bombing.

Abu Sukar was captured following the attack and sentenced to life in prison, but was released in 2003 as part of a goodwill gesture toward Abbas’ predecessor and mentor, Yasser Arafat.

After his release, Abu Sukar wasted no time encouraging Palestinians to kidnap Israelis. But that didn’t stop him from being appointed to a government position in the Palestinian Authority.

 

Will Yet Another Israelite Save Egypt From Famine?

Prime Minister Netanyahu's recent historic visit to Africa didn't receive proper coverage in the media. Behind the ceremonies and mutual compliments lies a fundamental recognition that Israel is a power to be reckoned with, and not just in terms of raw military strength. 

African nations are fascinated with Israeli ingenuity. Being less influenced by the African-Arab countries, Kenya and Uganda, Ethiopia and Tanzania are now looking forward to African-Israeli cooperation. According to Netanyahu, the African leaders spoke with him about the need for "regional and international cooperation in all areas, including cyber-defense, data-gathering, promotion of new technologies and development."

Following Netanyahu's foray, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry arrived in Israel. Those familiar with Israeli-Egyptian diplomatic relationships know how exceptionally rare this visit was. The arrival of such a high-ranking Egyptian official right after Netanyahu's successful visit to Africa could be seen as acknowledgement that Egypt needs Israel as a trusted arbiter in Egypt-Ethiopia negotiations regarding the allocation of Nile waters. And, indeed, that would be a most interesting reversal of roles.

Zvi Bar'el (Haaretz) and Evgeni Klauber (Mida) have both proposed that Shoukry's visit has to do with the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) that is supposed to be finished next year. This dam will dramatically affect the flow of the Nile upon which Egypt's entire livelihood depends. 

Since 2011, Ethiopia has to date spent $4.8 billion on the project, which aims to dam the Blue Nile near the Sudanese border. Ethiopians take great pride in the project and believe that "the Blue Nile river - in the Bible it is called Gyion [Gihon], being one of the three rivers that water the Garden of Eden." 

But the dam will impact nearly all of the Nile waters, making it a direct challenge to the 1959 Nile Waters Agreement between Sudan and Egypt, which The Ethiopian Herald has termed "the Faustian agreement by Egypt and Sudan under the British colonizers."

In 1970, then-Egyptian President Anwar Sadat said that it was better for Egyptian soldiers to die on the battlefields of Ethiopia than to die of thirst in their own country. Three years ago, former-Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi made it clear that "Egypt’s water security cannot be violated at all" and that "as president of the state, I confirm to you that all options are open."

Amidst such high tension these two countries need a third party that both can trust. Last year it was Palestinian official Mohammed Dahlan who mediated the dam agreement. The drastic pushing aside of the Palestinians in favor of Netanyahu is a clear indication of the deep, often unseen, African change of attitude toward Israel.

PHOTO: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry in Jerusalem, on July 10, 2016 (Flash90)

 

Do We Have the Faith of Our Fathers?

Or do we just have a religion?

For most people, the word “faith” is but a synonym for “religion.” People ask, “What faith are you?” Meaning, are you Christian? Jewish? Hindu?

But in the Bible, “faith” is not presented as a religion in the traditional sense. Rather it is revealed as the unshakeable conviction that the words we heard God speak to our heart are absolutely true. “Faith comes from hearing” (Rom. 10:17). And our faith is revealed when we act upon those words as father Abraham did. 

That means, no religion should be termed a “faith,” because no faith is needed to practice a religion. “Religion,” from the Latin word religari, means “to bind.” It simply binds its adherents to a written set of doctrines and practices that only require intellectual assent and will power. It is something any devout follower can subscribe to without exercising a shred of faith.

In short, religion is law. And law and faith, like oil and water, don’t mix. It matters not if it is the very Law of God handed to Moses on Mount Sinai (Gal. 3:12). Or the man-made rules imposed on Christians from church councils. Or Sharia as quoted from the Koran to Moslem. It’s all an attempt to gain the approval of Deity by obedient performance – not by faith. 

The truth is God could care less about all our religious attempts to gain favor with Him, “For without faith, it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to Him must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him” (Heb. 11:6). 

Now I raise this issue because I see how a fundamental misunderstanding about “faith” could become a hindrance to building a deeper relationship between Christians and Jews who love Israel. For it is written, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3) And how can we “be agreed” if our core beliefs are tied to incompatible, and at times hostile, religious systems? 

Worse, the two religions of Christianity and Judaism today have so many variations it’s hard to say which one truly represents our respective beliefs. For a Roman Catholic is as different from a Quaker in his theology and practices, as a Lubavitcher from a Reconstructionist.

Yet, in spite of all the obstacles, a new warmth has blossomed between us, knitting the faith-filled members of our two communities together in a way not seen since the first century. It‘s a warmth that can only be understood as divine intervention. The question is, how do we keep our religious differences from smothering what God has started?  For there are certainly many on each side who would see us retreat again behind doctrinal walls.  It is a pressure we must resist at all costs! 

I believe the way forward is to realize that we who love Israel represent the only two communities on earth actually founded on faith. And we each need to grab hold of that understanding with both hands. Because even though no religion can be considered true faith, faith could be described as God’s one true “religion.” As both God’s prophet and apostle have declared, “The righteous man will live by faith” (Hab. 3:4; Gal. 3:11).

It was this foundational principle that gained Abraham the most ringing endorsement found anywhere in Scripture: “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness” (Gen 15:6). That’s why Isaiah points to him as our model: “Listen to me you who pursue righteousness, who seek the Lord: Look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug. Look to Abraham your father…when he was but one I called him, then I blessed him and multiplied him” (Isaiah 51: 1,2).

The first thing we should learn from Abraham is that righteousness is a reward for faith, not for obedience. Otherwise it would have been written, “Abraham _obeyed _God, and it was reckoned to him as righteous.” Obedience must follow belief, but it is no substitute. 

Unfortunately, both Christians and Jews have historically put obedience to religious precepts first. It certainly tripped up many Jews when Messiah came in the first century. “For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own [through obedience to the Law] they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God” (Rom. 10:3). And it will also trip up many Christians who are not walking in faith at his second coming. 

Obviously, Christians and Jews are not on the same page yet about Yeshua being the means to obtaining God’s righteousness. Nevertheless, many in both camps do believe God is restoring Israel today.

 We just need to nourish that faith and let the love of God heal the wounds we‘ve inflicted upon each other over the centuries. 

Brian Hennessy is author of Valley of the Steeples

 

Pokemon Go Banned On IDF Bases

Nintendo’s viral mobile hit game Pokemon Go has been deemed a security risk by the IDF and banned on all Israeli military bases.

The IDF’s Security Division this week determined that because Pokemon Go activates a mobile phone’s camera and location sensors (GPS) it could be exploited by hostile elements to locate Israeli military installations.

A further concern is that a number of look-alike apps have made their way into mobile app stores, and are being downloaded by millions who believe they are downloading Pokemon Go.

As a result, IDF officers and enlisted soldiers have been ordered not to play Pokemon Go while on base.

 

Whoever is on Yehovah's side - come to me! Exodus 32:26

Do you remember the moment that Moses came down from Mount Sinai carrying the Tablets?
Do you remember what he saw when he came down from the mountain?
And what he did when he saw what he saw?

Do you remember the moment before Moses came down from the mountain?
The moment that Moses was full of modesty and humility,
As he resisted the great temptation when God tried to seduce him
Which would have turned him into a great gentile.
Then he came down, saw the calf, broke the tablets and let out a great cry

Moses wanted to restore the nation and needed help. He wasn’t up to the task alone. And shouted...

And the Levites joined him. They were used as a bridge between the people and God.
What a desirable role they received.

And likewise we at Israel Today know that alone we are not up to the task
We need you in order to be a bridge between the nations and the people of Israel
And we offer the same call.

Exodus 32:26



 

Arab Man Attacked Over Pro-Israel Stance

Khaled Abu Mokh is an Israeli Arab Muslim who loves the Jewish state. He works at a hotel in Jerusalem, together with a number of other Israeli Arabs. Last week, one of those Arab co-workers violently attacked Abu Mokh over his pro-Israel stance.

The confrontation began when a fellow Arab co-worker used his coffee break to surf Facebook, where he saw that Khaled’s profile picture included an Israeli flag. The co-worker began to verbally abuse and threaten Khaled.

After work, Khaled headed home, but was chased down by the co-worker, who hurled a stone at his head. Khaled was taken to a local hospital with mild trauma and requiring several stitches.

Following his ordeal, Khaled told Israel’s Channel 20 News that he is used to such responses from “extremist” elements in the Arab community, but insisted that he will not be broken by them.

“We must not be afraid of them,” said the brave young Arab man. “I was raised [in Israel]. I open my eyes and see the flag of the nation where I was born. It is not the flag of Palestine. It is the Star of David. That is how my mother raised me.”

Khaled concluded by stating adamantly that the attack against him will only “strengthen my love for this amazing nation, and I am not alone. There are many Israeli Arabs who are no longer prepared to live in fear.”

 

Interview With Tel Aviv Terror Shooting Victim

Our favorite Israeli Messianic IDF soldier, Hananya Naftali, has posted a new YouTube in his ongoing series to better explain what is happening in the Holy Land to those watching from abroad.

In his latest installment, Hananya interviews Asaf Bar, one of 16 people wounded when Palestinian Arab terrorists opened fire in a popular Tel Aviv restaurant last month.

Four people were killed in that attack, and Asaf’s own survival was deemed “miraculous” after he suffered two gunshot wounds to the head.

 

"Je Suis Israel?"

Blue-white-red striped faces expressing solidarity with the victims of the attacks in France. Black-yellow-red flags draped across profile pictures. Recently the hashtag #PrayForGermay was used to express solidarity, compassion and the outpouring of grief after attacks in Germany.

Did anyone see "Je Suis Israel" on social network profiles? Anyone drape their facebook profile picture in blue and white? After all Israel suffers, and has been suffering, from terror attacks on an ongoing basis.

Show YOUR colors now and express your solidarity with Israel!

* Offer only valid until July 31, 2016!


 

Poll: Israelis Want 'Pride' Parades Out of City Centers

An estimated 20,000 people packed downtown Jerusalem during last week’s “Gay Pride” parade, while some 2,000 police ensured their safety.

A survey conducted by researchers at Tel Aviv University on behalf of Walla! News found that most Israelis want “pride” parades to be banned in city centers.

A 50 percent majority of respondents opposed allowing these parades on main thoroughfares, while 44 percent supported it. A similar position was taken by Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, who decided against participating in the parade since it is deemed so offensive by a majority of his city’s residents.

However, only 27 percent of poll respondents called to ban “Gay Pride” parades altogether, and a firm 71 percent majority rejected recent anti-homosexual remarks by prominent rabbis.

 

Europe: Israel is Fighting YOUR War

In the wake of the Munich shooting and other recent terror attacks on European soil, this message is more relevant than ever.

The Islamist pro-Palestinian movements that liberal Europeans so love to support are cut from the same cloth as the organizations currently slaughtering innocent people in France, Germany and elsewhere on the continent.

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Israeli Muslim: Fasting Doesn't Make Anyone a Better Muslim

"In Israel we have more freedoms and therefore are less fearful to admit to such ‘crimes.’"

The full article appears in the August 2016 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
CLICK HERE to read it all

 

TV: Knesset Protects Christian Soldiers, Honors Messianic Group

Recently a prominent Palestinian Christian leader castigated Israel and Zionist Christians for supporting Israel to the detriment of "Christians in Palestine". The point of his argument was that the Palestinian entity is not supported and that Arab Christians are by default mistreated by Israel.

There is strong move by Arab Christian Israelis that are in favor of serving Israel to the fullest, including serving in the IDF. Many of these Arab Christians have experienced threats to their lives, even death threats, as well as actual violent attacks.

The Israel Knesset recently passed a bill designed to protect Arab Christians who enlist in the IDF. The law, which includes an extended prison sentence for anyone who tries to dissuade a Christian Arab from serving in the IDF, became necessary in the face of the above-mentioned threats and attacks.

Does this sound like mistreatment of Arab Christians? Of course not!

A news source must be objective and balanced with the correct perspective.
That is Israel Today Magazine! We bring you what others omit!



 

Israeli Government, Rabbis Spar Over 'Gay Pride'

Against the backdrop of this week’s upcoming “Gay Pride” parade in Jerusalem, Israeli government officials have been verbally sparring with several prominent rabbis who insist homosexuals should rather be ashamed.

Rabbi Yigal Levinstein, head of the Bnei David yeshiva and a central figure in the pre-army preparatory education system for young religious Israelis, stated last week that homosexuals are “perverted.”

Levinstein went on to criticize the military brass for allowing the gay agenda to infiltrate the Israeli army.

Rabbi Ratzon Arusi of Kiryat Ono (a recognized expert on Jewish Law) agreed that “homosexuality is not a natural thing,” and that the “gay pride” movement is harmful to everyone, especially homosexuals, most of whom are certainly not “proud or happy” about what he described as their condition.

Rabbi Dov Lior, a heavyweight in the national-religious community, called bringing “gay pride” to the streets of Jerusalem “an abomination,” and urged religious Israelis to “protest the desecration of the Holy City.”

Levinstein and those who stood with him earned quick condemnation from political figures, including Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who is himself a religious Jew.

“Jewish Law is meant to determine what is permitted and what is forbidden, it was not meant to serve as a tool to divide us or to single out people, identities or sectors,” Bennett told the Knesset plenum. “These comments are unacceptable in my opinion. This is not the way of the religious-Zionist movement.”

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan added that Israelis must “respect every person: his choices, his identity, his belief. I believe this is also the role of rabbis.”

A number of high-profile rabbis decided to protest Levinstein’s remarks by attending the Jerusalem “Gay Pride” parade, while others issued strong rebukes. Among the latter was Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, chief rabbi of Efrat, who in comments reported by Israel's Ynet news portal suggested that in regards to the Bible homosexuals are exempt from criminal responsibility because they were born with these tendencies.

Who won’t be marching in the parade is Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, who appeared to criticize its offensive nature, while defending the right of homosexuals to conduct the event.

“I won’t be marching because I don’t want to be part of something that offends the religious population,” Barkat told reporters. “Of course it’s their right to march…but they need to know that it offends others. Tolerance isn’t just letting people march, it’s also looking for ways to achieve your goals without attacking other people’s feelings or opinions.”

Barkat also ordered that the “gay pride” rainbow flags that have been installed along streets throughout the city ahead of the parade be removed in the area of the Great Synagogue.

 

The Rock That Will Not Roll

At a time of great turbulence, when all around is sinking sand, there is a rock of perfect security on which to stand. His name is Jesus. And those who fail to honour Him will stumble. (Isaiah 8.14; Romans 9.33)

In the world of politics, too, there is an “immovable rock” that will injure those nations wishing to move it. (Zechariah 12.3) Could this mean that all who attack Jerusalem – “the city of the Great King” (Matthew 5.35) – will themselves be terrorised?

Best-selling novelist Jack Engelhard seems to think so, saying that the dreadful terror attacks enacted by Islamic fanatics in Paris, Brussels, Istanbul and Nice all began in Israel. He said the nations kept telling Israel not to answer with force, but to make peace with them. Yet every such gesture was met with more demands and more terror; and the world refused to figure it out – that it had nothing to do with Israel.

The Jewish state was merely a laboratory for radical Islam who have murdered thousands of Israeli civilians with guns, knives, suicide belts, and now the automobile – reminding us that cars have been used to ram innocent pedestrians to death in Israel on a regular basis since last autumn. And referring to the summit called by French President Hollande to impose peace in Israel, Engelhard asks: “Is he calling for a peace summit with whoever came to Nice to mow down hundreds of celebrants?”

Also asking questions is evangelist Franklin Graham, son of Billy, who says terrorists continue to attack because the U.S. government refuses to recognize the danger of Islam.

Even in England, Muslim converts to Christianity require special protection in the face of threats and persecution from their own families.

Yes, the grim spectre of violence stalks the earth like a big black cloud. All this is surely a sign of the imminent return of our Messiah, Yeshua. (Luke 17.26f, Matthew 24.29f) But it’s a time to fasten our seatbelts… I believe the Lord was speaking of these days when he said: “In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all nations, and the desired of all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory.” (Haggai 2.6f)

And this theme is repeated in the New Testament when, in warning against godlessness and sexual immorality (Heb 12.16) – an apt summary of today’s Britain – the writer to the Hebrews reminds us of what happened at the giving of the Law on Mt Sinai when the mountain shook in a terrifying spectacle accompanied by fire. This would happen again, though on a bigger scale, at the end of the age so that what cannot be shaken would remain.

Hold on tight, for we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken. Let’s not buckle under the pressure of worldly wisdom, but press on as we look to Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. (Heb 12.2) May I encourage you to “strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees” (Heb 12.12), a verse I have taken literally, as a result of which it has become a constant source of testimony to the power of God. If I had listened to worldly wisdom, I would have given up running when my knees got painful but instead, inspired by this scripture, I trusted God to heal them. It’s interesting that the very next verse says: “Make level paths for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.”

Now I am able to continue running with perseverance the race marked out for me (Heb 12.1), both physically as well as spiritually.

Jesus said: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” (Matthew 24.35) He also said that “everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” (Matthew 7.24)


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

 

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Women With Guns

The idea of sending girls into battle is uncomfortable for many, except here in Israel.

The full article appears in the July 2016 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
CLICK HERE to read it all

 

Israel Intrigued by Trump Selection of Mike Pence for VP

Presumptive Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s selection of Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his running mate has Israelis intrigued.

As if the prospect of a Trump presidency wasn’t enough to gain everyone’s attention.

Trump has already made unwavering support for Israel a centerpiece of his campaign. Bringing Pence on board only amplifies that message.

An unabashedly conservative Christian, Pence previously spent 12 years in Congress, where he led several pro-Israel efforts, including placing stricter conditions on funding for the Palestinian Authority.

In 2007, Pence co-led the bipartisan Congressional Anti-Semitism Task Force.

In 2009, Pence addressed the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), stating “emphatically” that his “Christian faith compels me to cherish the state of Israel.”

Nor has his support for Israel waned since becoming governor.

Indiana recently became one of the first American states to outlaw the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement that targets Israel.

Trump’s selection of Pence “signifies the rising power of Evangelicals among the Republican elite, which is a good thing for Israel,” wrote Yosef Hirsh on the Israeli news portal Mida.

 

Jewish 'Settlers' Honor Palestinian Arab Doctor

Israeli Jews living in the so-called “West Bank” are painted as intractably hostile toward the local Palestinian Arab population, and vice versa. But the reality is very often far different.

Take for instance the terrorist shooting attack on the roads of Judea earlier this month, when Rabbi Michael Mark was killed and his family wounded by Palestinian gunmen.

The first person on the scene was a Palestinian passerby who quickly extracted the Mark children from their crashed vehicle.

The next to stop was Dr. Ali Abu Sharach, a Palestinian doctor, who, along with his nurse wife, did not hesitate to administer life-saving first aid to the wounded Israeli Jewish children.

Last week, two Israeli medical organizations publicly honored Dr. Abu Sharach for his selfless actions.

Hatzalah Yehuda Shomron, a volunteer paramedic organization, and the Saving Without Borders, both of which are “settler” organizations, noted that they both often treat Palestinian Arabs, and to find Palestinians like Dr. Abu Sharach who do the same speaks volumes regarding hopes for coexistence.

Saving Without Borders rewarded Dr. Abu Sharach by providing him thousands of dollars worth of portable emergency medical equipment, after learning that he had had no choice but to treat the Mark children with nothing but his bare hands.

 

Middle East Migration: Muslims Out, Jews In

According to the UN Population Division, there are today 244 million immigrants or people living in a country other than their own, 60 million of whom are refugees.

The UN defines a refugee as “someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war, or violence.”

Though living in a state of bloody conflict for decades, Israel, including the West Bank, is not considered a country at war, which is why those leaving Israel today are not considered refugees.

Arab countries around Israel that are ravaged by war produce a staggering amount of refugees and immigrants. According to Pew Research Center, between 1990–2015, there are 5 million Syrian, 1.5 million Iraqi and nearly one million Lebanese displaced people, most of whom are defined as refugees.

During those same years, almost one million non-Syrians, 350,000 non-Iraqis and 2 million non-Lebanese settled in these respective countries. Most of this influx represents Muslim refugees from neighboring countries, not immigrants by choice.

When considering Israel, the very opposite seems to be happening.

Between 1990–2015, some 2 million Jews arrived in Israel, while 340,000 left the country. Among Middle Eastern states in conflict, Israel is the only one that attracts more people than it repels. This is even more striking given that almost all the newcomers immigrate by choice. The only Arab states where this is true are Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which attract millions of immigrants seeking a better life, but are comparatively not engaged in open conflict.

This picture is even more intriguing considering that while millions of Muslims who are forced to leave their countries are choosing the West as their destination, Jews are going in the opposite direction.

To further emphasize this point, European Jews who have other choices of destination besides Israel are nevertheless choosing to migrate to the Jewish state in the Middle East rather than go elsewhere in Europe or to the Americas.

There is often a grim truth behind this choice.

Today, a great many Jews are leaving free, democratic countries - French Jews in particular - because they no longer feel safe there. Most arriving from well-to-do countries are doing so because they once again feel compelled by the rise of anti-Semitism.

Though the phenomenon is by no means a reflection of deliberate policy, Jews are nevertheless once again being expelled from Christian nations.

But contrary to centuries past when fleeing Jews could only trade in one hostile country for another, today they believe that Israel, imperfect as it may be, is the only place where our people can feel perfectly at home.

 

VIDEO: What Palestinians DON'T Want YOU To Know

"I believe in peace [and] as a Jewish Israeli soldier, I love the Palestinians."

That is how Messianic Israeli soldier Hananya Naftali opened his newest YouTube video.

Sadly, as he went on to explain, the younger generations of Palestinians have been so brainwashed with hate that they "don't even have the option to choose peace."

 

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The Case for Kurdish Statehood

Originally written for the Investigative Project on Terrorism

Why has the West been so supportive of Palestinian nationalism, yet so reluctant to support the Kurds, the largest nation in the world without a state?

The Kurds have been instrumental in fighting the Islamic State (ISIS); have generously accepted millions of refugees fleeing ISIS to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG); and embrace Western values such as gender equality, religious freedom, and human rights. They are also an ancient people with an ethnic and linguistic identity stretching back millennia and have faced decades of brutal oppression as a minority. Yet they cannot seem to get sufficient support from the West for their political aspirations.

The Palestinians, by contrast, claimed a distinct national identity relatively recently, are less than one-third fewer in number (in 2013, the global Palestinian population was estimated by the Palestinian Authority to reach 11.6 million), control land that is less than 1/15th the size of the KRG territory, and have not developed their civil society or economy with nearly as much success as the Kurds. Yet the United Nations, the European Union, the Arab League, and other international bodies have all but ignored Kurdish statehood dreams while regularly prioritizing Palestinian ambitions over countless other global crises.

Indeed, in 2014 the UK and Sweden joined much of the rest of the world in recognizing a Palestinian state. There has been no similar global support for a Kurdish homeland. Moreover, Kurdish statehood has been hobbled by U.S. reluctance to see the Iraqi state dismantled and by regional powers like Turkey, which worries that a Kurdish state will stir up separatist feelings among Turkish Kurds.

With an estimated worldwide population of about 35 million (including about 28 million in the KRG or adjacent areas), the Kurds are the fourth-largest ethnic group in the Middle East (after the Arabs, Persians, and Turks), and have faced decades of persecution as a minority in Turkey, Iran, and Iraq.

The 1988 "Anfal" attacks, which included the use of chemical weapons, destroyed about 2,000 villages and killed at least 50,000 Kurds, according to human rights groups (Kurds put the number at nearly 200,000). Several international bodies have recognized those atrocities as a genocide.

The Kurds in Turkey have also suffered oppression dating back to Ottoman times, when the Turkish army killed tens of thousands of Kurds in the Dersim and Zilan massacres. By the mid-1990s, more than 3,000 villages had been destroyed and 378,335 Kurdish villagers had been displaced and left homeless, according to Human Rights Watch.

The drive for Kurdish rights and separatism in Iran extends back to 1918, and – during its most violent chapter – cost the lives of over 30,000 Kurds, starting with the 1979 rebellion and the consequent KDPI insurgency).

A 2007 study notes that 300,000 Kurdish lives were lost just in the 1980s and 1990s. The same study states that 51,000 Jews and Arabs were killed in the Arab-Israeli conflict from 1950 until 2007 (and, because that total includes wars with Israel's Arab neighbors, Palestinians are a small fraction of the Arab death toll).

Perhaps because of the Kurds' own painful history, the KRG is exceptionally tolerant towards religious minorities and refugees. The KRG has embraced its tiny community of Jews, and in 2014, the Kurds rescued about 5,000 Yazidis trapped on Mount Sinjar after fleeing attempted genocide by ISIS. Last November, the Kurds recaptured the Sinjar area from ISIS, liberating hundreds more Yazidis from vicious oppression.

The KRG absorbed 1.8 million refugees as of December, representing a population increase of about 30 percent. The KRG reportedly needs $1.4 to 2.4 billion to stabilize the internally displaced people in its territory.

"Most of the refugees [in the KRG] are Arab Sunnis and Shia, Iranians, Christians, and others," Nahro Zagros, Soran University vice president and adviser to the KRG's Ministry of Higher Education, told the  IPT. "Yet there is no public backlash from the Kurds. And of course, we have been helping the Yazidi, who are fellow Kurds."

The Kurdish commitment to gender equality is yet another reason that Kurdish statehood merits Western support. There is no gender discrimination in the Kurdish army: their women fight (and get beheaded) alongside the men. Last December, Kurdistan hosted the International Conference on Women and Human Rights.

The Kurds are also the only credible ground force fighting ISIS, as has been clear since the ISIS threat first emerged in 2014. ISIS "would have totally controlled the Baji oil field and all of Kirkuk had the [Kurdish] Peshmerga not defended it," said Jay Garner, a retired Army three-star general and former Army assistant vice chief of staff who served during "Operation Provide Comfort" in northern Iraq. "Losing Kirkuk would have changed the entire war [against ISIS], because there are billions of dollars [per] week in oil flowing through there. The Iraqi army abandoned their equipment [while the Kurds defended Kirkuk, which has historically been theirs]."

Masrour Barzani, who heads the KRG's intelligence services, says that Kurdish independence would empower the Kurds to purchase the type of weapons they need without the delays that currently hobble their military effort against ISIS. Under the present arrangement, Kurdish weapons procurement must go through Iraq's Shia-led central government, which is also under heavy Iranian influence.

Besides bolstering the fight against ISIS, there are other geopolitical reasons for the West to support Kurdish statehood: promoting a stable partition of Syria, containing Iran, balancing extremist forces in the Middle East, and giving the West another reliable ally in a volatile region.

Now that Syria is no longer a viable state, it could partition into more sustainable governing blocs along traditional ethnic/sectarian lines with Sunni Arabs in the heartland, Alawites in the northwest, Druze in the south, and Kurds in the northeast. KRG leader Masrour Barzani recently argued that political divisions within Iraq have become so deep that the country must transform into "either confederation or full separation."

Southeast Turkey and northwest Iran also have sizeable Kurdish areas that are contiguous with the KRG, but those states are far from disintegrating, and would aggressively resist any attempts to connect their Kurdish areas to the future Kurdish state. However, the Kurdish areas of former Syria should be joined to Iraqi Kurdistan as a way to strengthen the fledgling Kurdish state and thereby weaken ISIS.

In a recent article, Ernie Audino, the only U.S. Army general to have previously served a year as a combat adviser embedded inside a Kurdish Peshmerga brigade in Iraq, notes that Iran currently controls the Iraqi government and Iran-backed fighters will eventually try to control Kurdistan. He also makes the point that Western support for the Kurdish opposition groups active in Iran would force the Iranian regime to concentrate more on domestic concerns, effectively weakening Iran's ability to pursue terrorism, expansionism, and other destabilizing activities abroad.

Because the Kurds are religiously diverse moderates who prioritize their ethno-linguistic identity over religion, a Kurdish state would help to balance out the radical Mideast forces in both the Shiite and Sunni camps. The Kurds are already very pro-American, thanks to their Western-leaning values, the U.S.-backed-no-fly zone, and the 2003 toppling of Saddam Husssein that made the KRG possible.

A Kurdish state would also have excellent relations with Israel, another moderate, non-Arab, pro-Western democracy in the region. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu endorsed Kurdish independence in 2014, and Syrian Kurds – after recently declaring their autonomy – expressed an interest in developing relations with Israel.

By contrast, the Palestinian Authority slanders Israel at every opportunity: Abbas recently claimed in front of the EU parliament that Israel's rabbis are trying to poison Palestinian drinking water. The Authority raises Palestinian children to hate and kill Jews with endless anti-Israel incitement coming from schools, media, and mosques. Palestinians have also shown little economic progress in the territories that they do control, particularly in Gaza, where Palestinians destroyed the greenhouses that donors bought for them in 2006 and instead, have focused their resources on attacking Israel with tunnels and rockets.

By almost any measure, a Kurdish state deserves far more support from the West. After absorbing millions of Syrian refugees while fighting ISIS on shrinking oil revenue, the KRG is battling a deepening financial crisis. Aggravating the situation, Iraq's central government has refused – since April 2015 – to send the KRG its share of Iraqi oil revenue. The economic crisis has cost the KRG an estimated $10 billion since 2014.

U.S. Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, introduced House Resolution 1654 "to authorize the direct provision of defense articles, defense services, and related training to" the KRG. Fifteen months later, the bill is still stuck in Congress.

Helping the Kurds should be an even bigger priority for the European Union, which absorbs countless new refugees every day that ISIS is not defeated. If the EU were to fund the KRG's refugee relief efforts and support their military operations against ISIS, far fewer refugees would end up on their shores.

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

 

Major Jerusalem Terror Attack Thwarted

Israeli security officials on Sunday thwarted a major terrorist attack when they identified and detained a Palestinian man attempting to board the city’s light rail with a bag full of pipe bombs.

The incident occurred along the busy pedestrian mall on Jaffa Road in downtown Jerusalem.

A security guard for the light rail noticed the suspect standing behind one of the pick-up points with a large bag. Feeling uneasy about his demeanor, the guard asked to examine the man’s bag and quickly noticed what appeared to be a bomb.

Police responded to the scene immediately and arrested the would-be terrorist at gunpoint, while sappers disposed of the explosives.

Officials said that had the terrorist been successful, a great many people could have died and been injured, as that portion of the light rail is usually packed with commuters during morning rush hour.

 

Israel Passes Law to Protect Christians in IDF

The Knesset passed a bill this week designed to protect Arab Christians who enlist in the Israeli army.  The law, which includes an extended prison sentence for anyone who tries to dissuade a Christian Arab from serving in the IDF, became necessary in the face of stiff opposition and violent attacks against the Christian soldiers.

Much of the hostility towards the Christian soldiers comes from Arab members of Israeli Knesset. Knesset member Aida Touma-Suliman of the Joint Arab List attacked the bill during the debate. “They want to drag the Christian Arab population into volunteering for the army that is occupying their people,” she said. “We will try to suggest to our young people a path that is total pride and honor, and not to be part of any machine (IDF) that oppresses our people.”

There are over 130,000 Christian Arab citizens in Israel, a potential source of significant recruitment for the IDF. However, Arab Christian enlistment has been severely limited due largely to the threats and incitement against young Christians wanting to join the army. That appears to be changing as unprecedented numbers of Christians are enlisting.

Father Gabriel Naddaf, a Greek Orthodox priest who has advocated for a strong connection to Israel and IDF service for Christian Arabs, has also been threatened with violence, and even death. His 17-year-old son was attacked in Nazareth. The attacker was identified as an activist from the Arab Hadash party in Israel’s Knesset. Other Arab MKs have also condemned Naddaf, calling him “an agent of Zionism who seeks to divide Arabs.” 

Arab Knesset members present during discussions over a bill ultimately designed to end intimidation against fellow Arabs (albeit Christians) were extremely vocal in their opposition. MK Talab Abu Arar from the Joint Arab List told the plenum, “I, as a Bedouin Arab, call on all Bedouin Arab soldiers to throw away their uniforms … and to return to the struggle against racist policies (of the IDF) against Arabs in general and against Bedouin in the Negev in particular.”

It was a bold and dangerous decision by the Israeli government to encourage Arab Christians to enlist in the IDF. Now that the government has passed a bill putting into law protections for the Arab Christians who want to serve in the army, a clear message has been sent to the rabble-rousers stirring up violence between Jews and Arabs in the country;  they will be punished. 

Our prayer is that this bold message will contribute to greater integration and cooperation between the many Jews and Arabs who want to live together, and serve together, in Israel.

 

Time to Send a May Day Signal!

“May Day” was how one of Britain’s top-selling tabloids greeted the announcement of Theresa May as its new Prime Minister.

It was quite appropriate, really, as the country reels from the shock of the referendum vote to leave the European Union. But there is indeed a call for much alarm and ‘dis-may’. For in spite of appearances of calm assurance, we are all at sea as a nation, and rapidly heading for the rocks, unless…

The short-term effect, from Israel’s perspective, is helpful. Both Mrs May and new Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson are friends of the Jewish state. But just as God expects more from his chosen people than mere survival and economic prosperity, so he does of Great Britain which has experienced huge blessing over the centuries. As our Lord said, “Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required…” (Luke 12.48 ESV) More than anything else, God wants his people to repent of their waywardness and return to him.

Yet in her speech outside No 10 Downing Street, the PM’s official residence, Mrs May made a priority of commending her precedessor on the “social justice” he had achieved by changing the law on marriage to allow people of the same sex to wed. And I’m led to believe that Mrs May (as Home Secretary) had encouraged David Cameron on this measure in order to appeal to the gay community.

Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn also commended the outgoing PM on this achievement while reminding him that it wouldn’t have passed without Labour support. And Mr Cameron himself told Parliament in response that a comment of gratitude from one of his staff, who had benefited from the new law, was among the highlights of his time in office.

When I think of social reform, I think of the Bible-believing evangelical leaders of the 19

th century like slave trade abolitionist William Wilberforce and those who campaigned against child labour like Lord Shaftesbury and James Montgomery.

But instead of hanging our heads in shame at the brazen promotion of such gross sin as homosexuality (see Romans 1.26 & 27), our political leaders actually boast about it! And it is seen as among an otherwise competent Prime Minister’s special legacies.

As to Wilberforce, the abolition of slavery was only one element of his two-pronged goal, the other being to effect a “reformation of manners” in the nation, by which he meant moral reform and a return to living by biblical principles. And with the help of great gospel preachers, he lived to see his nation receive a ‘new heart’ expressed in compassion for men and love for God. Now we are enslaved by sin, selfishness, secularism – and much besides.

Most of us are aware that we are sailing in choppy, uncharted waters and that, if we are not careful, the ship of state will crash onto the rocks. Yes, it’s time to send that ‘May Day’ signal!

The urgent need of the hour is to return to the Lord who has never failed us in the past. When we turned as a nation to prayer as the dark shadow of Nazism hung over our shores, God delivered us through the miracle of Dunkirk which saw a host of little ships rescue our men, and our hopes.

Who among our leaders now is brave enough to call the nation back to prayer and godly living?


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

 

GOP Under Trump More Pro-Israel Than Ever?

US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Wednesday declared on Twitter that the party’s platform is now more pro-Israel than it has ever been.

Indeed, the Republican Party’s Platform Committee did make surprising policy changes that no previous candidate would or could have represented.

The new platform erases all reference to a “two-state solution” and utterly rejects “the false notion that Israel is an occupier.” It further states that Jerusalem is the “indivisible” capital of the Jewish state.

“Our party is proud to stand with Israel now and always,” that portion of the Republican platform concludes. The changes must still be approved by the full Republican National Convention.

Hours later, Trump again took to Twitter to ask, “Is President Obama trying to destroy Israel with all his bad moves?”

It remains surprising to most (at least those who don’t read the Bible) how such a small country embroiled in a relatively minor conflict could be such an important plank in the platforms of the two parties contesting the most influential job in the world.

 

Why the IDF's New Chief Rabbi is Under Attack

The announcement regarding the appointment of Eyal Karim as the new chief rabbi of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) was meant simply to introduce this person to the public at large, but in Israel nothing is as simple as it seems. 

As soon as the announcement was made, the daily Yediot Ahronot ran a front page headline reading: "The New Chief Rabbi: Rape is Allowed During War." The page four title for the main body of the report was even more insidious. In quotation marks, suggesting Karim had said it, the headline read: "In Time of War [soldiers] are Allowed to Satisfy Their Lust by Having Sex With Beautiful Gentile Women." As if this wasn't enough, the daily chose to use the Hebrew the word for "gentile women," which without vowel markings can be misread as "corpses" (goyot/gviot). 

The English news portal of the same newspaper repeated the same allegation to shape the thoughts of those who know nothing about this issue: "Col. Eyal Karim, the IDF's intended next chief rabbi, has previously provided misogynistic interpretations of Jewish law that consider female conscription 'utterly forbidden' and permits raping 'attracting Gentile women' as a way to keep up morale."  

Rabbi Karim himself is the third IDF chief rabbi in a row to have served in an elite combat unit. Before him were Avi Rontzki and fighter pilot rabbi Rafi Peretz. These rabbis belong to a new generation of religious soldiers who find themselves in the army's upper echelons. Rather than just being a sort of passive figurehead restricted only to their religious duties, these rabbis sought to influence "the spirit of the IDF," and it is this which scares the daylights out of the die-hard secular old elite. 

Concerning the ugly charge of permitting rape during war, Yediot Ahronot dug up Karim's short answer to a question posted in 2002 to the "ask the rabbi" section of the religious portal Kipa. The one asking wanted to know if Deuteronomy 21:10-14 - "when you go out to war against your enemies … and you take them captive, and you see among the captives a beautiful woman …" - permits raping non-Jewish women. Karim answered that "coupling" with a gentile is a serious error and permission to do it in time of war is severely restricted. 

Two days ago, Karim clarified this 14-year-old answer: "It is obvious that Torah never permitted rape. The ruling concerning 'a beautiful woman' meant to cause the soldier to think twice before he marries a captive woman … further, the essence of this ruling (note that this is not a commandment) is to restrain the barbarity of war as it existed then, a time in which every soldier could do whatever he wanted with his captives … it is a given that this ruling is not applicable today and contradicts the IDF's ethics and policies." 

Following these allegations, Rabbi Karim was summoned to give an explanation to the charges, and his nomination has yet to be confirmed. But whatever the outcome may be, the indignation against Karim's appointment has little to do with him personally. 

This attack comes from the secular old elite who fear what they perceive to be a process of turning the army more religious. The forum of ex-IDF chief rabbis have rightly observed that "elements in the Left have understood that one of the most influential agents on Israeli society is the army, and this is why they are trying to push the chief rabbinate aside by any means. To achieve this goal everything is kosher, including cynical recycling of the rabbi's views on Torah." 

As for now we don't know what will be the decision of IDF Chief-of-staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eizenkot. However, it is important to stress that the aim of this attack is not to get rid of this or that rabbi. What those orchestrating this malicious campaign want to achieve is a lame duck in the army's rabbinate, a goal they may very achieve. 

 

Are Arab Christians Mistreated by Israel?

"Arab regimes use local indigenous Christians as puppets who end up betraying the true Christian cause of coexistence both in Israel and across the Middle East."

The full article appears in the July 2016 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
CLICK HERE to read it all

 

Messianic Organization Awarded in Israeli Knesset

Be’ad Chaim, a Messianic pro-life and women’s health organization has received an award from the Israeli government for their “significant contribution to the protection of mothers and children.” What began as a small Messianic prayer group, has blossomed into a nationally recognized women’s health organization.

It began back in the 1980’s, when Messianic Pastor Tony Sperandeo (pictured, right), together with other local believers, initiated a fight against what they called “the shedding of innocent blood” in Israel. They started a regular prayer meeting, lectured in congregations across the land, and passed out fliers on street corners teaching people that abortion is a sin against God, and against our own people.

Today the organization is having a significant impact for change in Israeli society as social workers, welfare officials and needy families around the country refer mothers with unborn children and crisis pregnancies to one of Be’ad Chaim’s 12 offices.

“It is very significant in our short history that a Messianic Jewish organization is now recognized as a well-known, humanitarian organization in Israel,” Sandy Shoshani (pictured, left), director of Be’ad Chaim, told Israel Today upon receiving the award. “I am humbled, honored and appreciate all those who went before me.”

Why would the government chose a Messianic pro-life organization for the award above other organizations providing care for mothers and their babies? “We offer sensitive and caring assistance in a loving atmosphere,” notes Shoshani. “And we help all mothers, and all babies.  Sudanese, Arab and Jewish mothers all come to us. While the largest pro-life organization in Israel will not assist non-Jewish mothers and children, including many Russian immigrants, we help them all. We even have many Orthodox Jewish women coming to us for assistance when they are pregnant out of wedlock. They do not want to be recognized by their own religious communities.”

One of the main reasons for abortion today is financial concerns. “We ask the women if they would keep their babies if they knew that the baby’s stroller, crib, diapers and other needs would be provided for during the first year,” Shoshani explains. “Almost all of them say yes, they would. So we developed the concept of Operation Moses where we find sponsors to pray and provide for Israel’s babies until their first birthday.” Today, Operation Moses is assisting 450 mothers and babies.

To date, over 1,500 babies have been saved through the program. Most of the support for the mothers and babies comes from Christians who care about Israel. “We have donations from China, Hawaii, Finland – all over the world. If they want, sponsors are able to have a personal relationship with mom and baby. They share pictures, and many are in regular prayer for the young families,” Shoshani tells us.

If you would like to receive the Be’ad Chaim weekly newsletter, or get more information on how you can sponsor a mother and baby, go to their website at: www.beadchaim.com

 

Israeli Doctors Save 4000th Foreign Child's Heart

Sanusey lives with his family in a small town south of the capital of Gambia, the smallest country on the African continent. At the age of three months, doctors diagnosed him with a severe heart defect. After three years of regular trips to the local hospital, doctors there began searching for expertise from abroad to save Sanusey’s life. They found that expertise in Israel.

Sanusey arrived in Israel last month along with three other children from the Islamic Republic of Gambia to undergo life-saving heart surgery courtesy of the Israeli NGO Save a Child’s Heart. The British Jewish Federation in cooperation with Israeli Ambassador to Senegal Paul Hirshon, who is responsible for relations with Gambia, connected the children and their families with this wonderful organization.

Four-year-old Sanusey marked a milestone for Save a Child’s Heart, being the 4,000th child that the organization has connected with Israeli doctors for successful life-saving heart surgery. Many of those children have come from Africa and the Arab Middle East.

Given the complicated nature of Sanusey’s condition, his treatment was at times harrowing for both doctors and the little boy’s family.

After arriving at Ben Gurion Airport with his big sister, Panda, Sanusey was taken to Wolfson Medical Center in the Tel Aviv suburb of Holon for preliminary tests. Shortly after, his condition deteriorated severely. Within minutes, the medical staff stabilized little Sanusey and rushed him into emergency surgery, where Dr. Lior Sasson and his operating staff worked for hours to save the boy’s life.

Panda was left to sit, cry and pray for her brother. Those prayers were answered, and just three days after surgery, Sanusey was sitting up in bed and smiling. Today, he is recovering with other children from around the world at the Save a Child’s Heart center in Holon.

A further three children from Gambia recently arrived in Israel for heart surgery, and Ambassador Hirshon has arranged for a number of doctors from the African nation to visit Israel and gain the knowhow to provide more advanced care at home.

 

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'Israel Instructing US Police to Murder Blacks'

Israel is responsible for the killings of African-Americans by the US police, according to pro-Palestinian groups.

Palestinian activists are spreading the dangerous libel against the Jewish state claiming that the “genocide” of Black Americans is a direct result Israeli “inhuman treatment and genocide of Palestinians.”

Here are the facts. Confronted with increased terrorism in the US, the American government has been inviting Israelis to train their police forces in anti-terror tactics. Israel is known for maintaining the highest level of anti-terror security and uncovering and foiling planned terror attacks. The US is just one in among a growing number of countries around the world inviting the Israelis to train their anti-terror units.

Palestinians are claiming, however, that the Israelis do more than train anti-terror units. According to numerous articles being published by pro-Palestinian groups, the Israelis are also instructing US police forces “to use the same murderous and racist tactics used by Israelis against Palestinians.” US cops, say the pro-Palestinian groups, are murdering Blacks because that’s what Israel is teaching them.

One group called the NYU Students for Justice in Palestine posted a condemnation of the number of black people killed by the police in the US, and called for Palestinians to support African-Americans protesting against such violence. “We must remember that many US police departments train with the Israeli Defense Forces,” the group wrote. “The same forces behind the genocide of black people in America are behind the genocide of Palestinians. The IDF assists the NYPD and other American police departments in their oppression and murder of black people.”

A Jewish pro-Palestinian activist, Alice Rothchild, also addressed the training of some US law enforcement officials in Israel, alleging that IDF policies are based on racism toward “brown people.”

“While the carnage in our cities is certainly related to our own history of slavery and modern day racism and lack of gun control and a host of societal forces, having a police force influenced and trained by an occupying military force that sees another group of brown people (Arabs) as the enemy has certainly heightened the issue. The parallels between white racism and Jewish supremacy flourish here and abroad,” wrote Rothchild

Some of the groups associated with the Black Lives Matter movement protesting against US police violence towards black Americans have tied themselves to pro-Palestinian activists. For example, Dream Defenders – a Black Lives Matter group founded by Palestinian Ahmad Abuznaid – declares on their website that they are dedicated to fighting against the “continued settler colonial project, the state of Israel.”

 

Does the Church Need a Hanukkah?

This is not a campaign to add one more feast day to the Christian calendar. It’s about the church’s pressing need to celebrate a victory over a tyrannical ruling power as the Jews did over Greece in first century BC. Especially since the tyrannical power that has imprisoned and defiled the body of Messiah for centuries is the same Greek culture of corruption. 

As testimony to the Hellenization of the church, I could introduce a whole card catalogue of eminent historians and theologians. But I’ll let the words of one Biblical scholar, Norman H. Snaith, speak for all:  “Our position is that the re-interpretation of Biblical theology in terms of the Greek philosophers has been both widespread throughout the centuries, and everywhere destructive to the essence of the Christian faith…Neither Catholic nor Protestant theology is based on Biblical theology. In each case we have a domination of Christian theology by Greek thought” (The Distinctive Ideas of the Old Testament, p 187,188)

How did this happen, you ask? And why are so few Christians aware of it? More importantly, what can be done given that most are as clueless of this dreadful state of affairs as I was once. It took a class in Bible College entitled “Early Christian Thought” to open my eyes. That’s where I learned (with no help from the professor) how the early Church Fathers corrupted the church by interpreting the Bible through the philosophical “wisdom” of Aristotle, Plato and Socrates. 

Unlike the Jewish disciples who had faithfully delivered the gospel to us, these new Gentile leaders had not been raised on the Scriptures, but converted from paganism. In their zeal to define and defend the new faith, and to steer us away from Jewish hopes and promises for which they had little sympathy or understanding, they moved the church off the bedrock of revealed truth on to the shifting sands of man’s reasoning. 

Like a true Trojan Horse, Greek philosophy was ignorantly inserted into the life of the church.  But it didn’t take full control until a church council met at Nicea in 325 AD, presided over by the high priest of all Rome’s religions, the Emperor Constantine. The parallel between this man and Antiochus IV, the Greek tyrant who tried to snuff out all worship and knowledge of the one true God in Israel, is eerie. Constantine’s conquering “soldiers,” however, were Christian theologians schooled in Alexandria, Egypt, a hotbed of Greek philosophical study. Applying their scholasticism to the most dividing issues in the church, he imposed a cruel theological unity upon the church backed by the power of the state. 

In doing so, compliance to church creeds replaced love as the hallmark of the true believer. From then on, any departure from an approved creed - even when refuted by the plain text of Scripture - defined you as a heretic. Consequently, millions of both Jews and true followers of Yeshua were martyred.

It was at Nicea that the stripping of Christianity from its Hebraic roots began in earnest. The oneness of God, as capsulized in Deuteronomy 6:4, along with the Jewish humanity of Yeshua, were redefined in Greek philosophical terms. The Saturday Sabbath was changed to the Sun’s Day to become the official Christian holy day of rest. The celebration of Yeshua’s resurrection was moved to a week after the Jewish Passover (and later called “Easter”).  And to give this new Gentile religion its own worship places, Constantine soon launched a church building program to rival the synagogues. 

Through it all, Paul’s dire warning went unheeded: “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Messiah” (Col. 2:8).

Well, the body of Messiah has been imprisoned in this Greco/Roman dominated church system now for almost two millennium. Will we get a Hanukkah deliverance? Yes, but only as each of us allows the “Maccabee” spirit within us to rise up and renew our mind in the Scriptures, and to cleanse our own temple. But the institutional church system, like the leavened bread of Pharaoh’s Egypt, must be left behind. 

 Isaiah cries to us from across the centuries: “Awake, awake, clothe yourself in your strength, O Zion….Shake yourself from the dust, rise up, O captive Jerusalem. Loose yourself from the chains around your neck, O captive daughter of Jerusalem” (Isa. 52:1,2).

Remember too, Antiochus IV, like Constantine, are but types and shadows of the coming Satanically-possessed “man of lawlessness” who will martial a world gone mad to try and  obliterate all worship of God from this earth. He will no doubt appear as a champion and unifier of apostate Christianity and unite it to the State, as did Constantine.  And then, as Antiochus IV did, try to crush the one nation that by its very existence testifies the Lord Almighty lives - Israel. 

What can believers do? We’ve already been told: “Return to the stronghold, O prisoners who have no hope; This very day I am declaring I will restore double to you. For I will bend Judah as My bow, I will fill the bow with Ephraim. And I will stir up your sons, O Zion, against your sons, O Greece; And I will make you like a warrior’s sword” (Zech. 9:12,13).

Brian Hennessy is author of Valley of the Steeples

 

Boycott of Israel Makes Inroads in Europe

The full article appears in the July 2016 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
CLICK HERE to read it all

Knowledge, understanding, realizing: Israel Today, the magazine, which will open your heart and your eyes.



 

Iran Threatens to Destroy Israel With '100,000 Missiles'

Iran last week reiterated that it is putting the pieces in place for its own version of the “final solution” to the problem of Israel and Jewish sovereignty.

“If the Zionists make a wrong move, all the occupied territories will come under attack from dedicated fighters and, Allah willing, the territories will be liberated,” declared Gen. Hossein Salami, deputy chief of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.

To achieve this grisly goal, Salami noted that Iran and its ally, Hezbollah, have deployed “100,000 missiles that are ready to hit Israel.” Those missiles are in southern Lebanon, where the UN promised to prevent another buildup to conflict following the last Lebanon war in 2006.

Salami made his remarks during anti-Israel rallies that featured the familiar chants of “Death to Israel” and “Death to America.”

Back in May, Ahmad Karimpour, an advisor to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, told reporters that the Islamic Republic and its allies were ready to “raze the Zionist regime in less than eight minutes” should the order be given.

 

Developments in the Family Member Clause of the Law of Return

As of late, there have been various developments as they relate to the rights of family members of Jews to immigrate to Israel, in accordance with the Family Member Clause within the Law of Return, Jewish year 5710 – 1950 (hereinafter: the "Law of Return").

According to section 4a(a) of the Law of Return, a family member can be either a child of a Jew, a grandchild of a Jew, or the spouse of an individual who is a child of a Jew, or the spouse of an individual who is a grandchild of a Jew (hereinafter: "Family Member of a Jew").

These changes have limited the rights of a Family Member of a Jew to immigrate to Israel, and as of today, although section 4a(a) of the Law of Return still exists, it is currently unclear which type of Family Member of a Jew can immigrate, and which type cannot.

These developments will naturally also have an effect on Hebrew Christians, and Messianic Jews, who are technically defined as Family Members of a Jew.

In this article, I will briefly explain the Law of Return, and following so, I shall then elaborate on the aforementioned recent developments.

Section 1 of the Law of Return determines that every Jew shall be entitled to immigrate to Israel, and obtain immediate citizenship.

Section 4(b) of the Law of Return defines a Jew as an individual who has a Jewish mother, or as a convert to Judaism, and who is not a member of another religion.

In HCJ 265/87 Beresford v. the Interior Ministry, it was determined that a Messianic Jew/Christian is a member of another religion, and is therefore considered not Jewish, in accordance with the Jewish definition given in Section 4(b) of the Law of Return.

Section 4a(a) of the Law of Return permits non-Jews to immigrate to Israel, if they are Family Members of Jews (as defined above), but restricts this right from an individual who was once Jewish, but then willfully changed his or her religion.

Therefore, if a non-Jewish member of another religion only has a Jewish father, or Jewish grandparents, and does not have a Jewish mother, he or she should, as matters seem, be entitled to immigrate, in accordance with the Law of Return.

In fact, in HCJ 2708/06 Steckback v. the Interior Ministry (hereinafter: the "Steckback Case"), our firm won a case in this matter, in which it was clearly determined that a Messianic Jew would be entitled to immigrate to Israel, according to Section 4a(a) of the Law of Return, providing that he or she does not have a Jewish mother.

The same logic would apply to a Messianic Jew/Christian, with a mother who became Messianic Jew/Christian before the birth of this individual, and as such, this individual would not have a Jewish mother, and would therefore not be defined as a Jew, according to Section 4(b) of the Law of Return.

In any case, regardless of whether you have a Jewish mother, or whether you are a convert to Judaism, and despite the Steckback Case, the Interior Ministry has denied most applications submitted by a Messianic Jew/Christian, in the event that the Interior Ministry discovered that the individual in question is a Christian/Messianic Jew.

Furthermore, and in more recent years, the State Attorney's Office (which represents the Interior Ministry before the Supreme Court of Justice), tried to convince the Supreme Court to adopt an essential interpretation of Section 4a(a) of the Law of Return, whereby the objective of the Law of Return is to allow Jews to return to the land of their fathers, along with Family Members of a Jew, with the hope that the Family Member of a Jew shall return to the Jewish faith, as well (as can be learned from the explanatory notes on Section 4a(a) of the Law of Return).

According to this position, which was accepted by the Supreme Court of Justice, a Family Member of a Jew who is actively distributing Christian literature in Israel should not be entitled to immigrate to Israel, as such activity would contradict the objective of the Law of Return (HCJ 8320/10 Zev Isaacs v. the Interior Ministry (hereinafter: the "Isaacs Case")).

Just recently, however, this precedent was stretched even further, in the case of HCJ 10535/09 Jane Doe v. the Interior Ministry (hereinafter: the "Jane Doe Case").

In the Jane Doe Case, Justice Hanan Meltzer rejected a petition that was submitted by the Movement for Progressive Judaism in Israel.

In their petition, the Movement for Progressive Judaism, requested that the Supreme Court order the Interior Ministry to grant citizenship to a certain grandchild of Jewish grandparents, even though the mother of the petitioner may have converted to Islam, as she married a Muslim man in a Sharia court and raised her children (including the petitioner) in accordance with Muslim values, in the Arab city of Shechem (Nablus), and even though the petitioner may be defined as a Muslim, as well.

In this regard, it should be noted that the Movement for Progressive Judaism in Israel argued Aliyah eligibility for the petitioner, in accordance with the grandchild clause of the Law of Return (Section 4a(a) of the Law of Return), as an alternative argument.

However, the administrative factual findings of Justice Hanan Meltzer led him to the conclusion that the mother of the petitioner did convert to Islam, and that the petitioner leads a Muslim lifestyle.

The legal conclusion of Justice Meltzer, therefore, whereby the petitioner is not even eligible to immigrate to Israel as a non-Jewish grandchild of a Jew, in accordance with Section 4a (a) of the Law of Return, became a very significant determination in the Jane Doe Case.

The reason that the precedent set in the Isaacs Case was extended, is rooted in the fact that the petitioner in the Jane Doe Case, according to the verdict itself, is not a Muslim "missionary".

The Movement for Progressive Judaism in Israel actually submitted a petition for an additional hearing with a broad panel of judges, due to the new precedent which was determined in both the Isaacs Case and the Jane Doe Case, and which is in contradiction to the modus operandi of the State of Israel during past decades, as it relates to its immigration policies, their interpretation, and application, of Section 4a(a) of the Law of Return (Dangatz 1197/97 Jane Doe vs. the Interior Ministry (hereinafter: the "Request for an Additional Hearing")).

It is still not clear how the precedents set in the Isaacs Case and the Jane Doe Case may be applied in future cases, as well as the Request for an Additional Hearing. However, in my opinion, it does seem as though every case, according to its specific circumstances, will be decided upon on an ad hock basis, as Section 4a(a) of the Law of Return still exists, which can only mean that certain type of non-Jewish descendants of Jews are still eligible to immigrate to the State of Israel.


The above-mentioned information naturally does not replace particular legal consultation with a licensed Israeli attorney, and therefore, for any further questions in this regard please feel free to contact advocate Michael Decker directly at: decker@isra-law.co.il.

Advocate Michael Decker is an Israeli, lives in Jerusalem with his wife and 4 children, owns a law office in central Jerusalem (Ben Hillel 12 Street, 4th Floor, Jerusalem), and has passion for separation of state and Church, and the advancement of religious freedoms.

 

New Dead Sea Cosmetics, T-Shirts, and Delicacies from the Galilee!

The "Schwartz Natural Cosmetics" company is a family business established in Israel in 1965. A leader in the development and manufacture of quality toiletries from the Dead Sea. All products are based on a unique combination of ingredients such as myrtle, olive oil, honey, propolis, pomegranate extract, spices, palm extract, grape seed oil and are intended for the treatment of face, body and hair.

Browse through our new range of Israel T-shirts for the upcoming summer!

Discover the secrets of the Galilee, a region full of picturesque villages, unspoilt countryside, historical churches, colorful markets, vineyards, olive presses and fields. The tasty products from this region are lovingly handmade and marketed nationally and internationally.



 

British Christians Must Tend to Israel's Wounds

British and European nations now under constant threat of terror attacks should spare a thought (and prayer) for Israel.

In one of the most shocking incidents yet since the start of lone-wolf knife and gun attacks by Palestinian terrorists, a 13-year-old girl was butchered to death while asleep in her bed.

The grisly murder of Hallel Yaffa Ariel came just days after a senior adviser to PA president Mahmoud Abbas urged his people to slit the throats of Israelis rather than engage in dialogue. “If you ask me my blunt position, I would say—every place you find an Israeli, slit his throat,” Sultan Abu al-Einein, a central committee member of the ruling Fatah party, told the Palestinian website Donia al-Watan when asked about Palestinian officials participating in Israeli conferences. “Likewise, I am against talks, negotiations, meetings and normalization in all its forms with the Israeli occupation.”

And on the day after the world woke up to news of Hallel’s tragic death, an Iranian military official boasted of having 100,000 missiles in Lebanon ready to annihilate the Jewish state.

Speaking on al-Quds Day, when Iranians mark their solidarity with Palestinians, Iranian Revolutionary Guard deputy commander Hossein Salami said: “The opportunity to destroy Israel is now better than ever because tens of thousands of long-range missiles all over the Islamic world are ready to hit Israel immediately upon receiving the order.”

Adding gross insult to these appalling injuries have been the outrageous comments of Britain’s Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn who appeared to compare Israel to Islamic State during an event designed to confront claims of anti-Semitism within his party.

Jewish Labour MP Ruth Smeeth left the meeting in tears after saying she had been insulted by a hard-left activist using “traditional anti-Semitic slurs”, adding that Mr Corbyn’s failure to intervene was “final proof for me that he is unfit to lead and that a Labour Party under his stewardship cannot be a safe space for British Jews.”

Mr Corbyn denied that he had intended to compare Israel to ISIS. A spokesman said he had been referring to states that were Islamic in character such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan or Iran. He actually said: “Our Jewish friends are no more responsible for the actions of Israel or the Netanyahu government than our Muslim friends are for those of various self-styled Islamic states or organizations.”

In any case, the Jewish people are under greater threat now than they were under the Nazis, and this time British Christians especially must avoid the shameful option of passing by on the other side of the road like the religious folk in Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10.25-37). Israel has fallen “into the hands of robbers” (v30). We must take pity on them, tend to their wounds and look after them. The church dare not remain silent. “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish.” That’s a pretty dire warning from God’s word.

But a great opportunity also lies before us, as the verse continues: “And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4.14)

However, if we refuse to come to their aid, we will not prosper. For, in speaking of the future glory of Zion, Isaiah declares that “no weapon forged against you will prevail”. (Isa 54.17)


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

 

A Muslim Looking Forward to the Third Temple?

The following is a press release from Turkish religious figure Adnan Oktar (pictured, center), who recently hosted a number of Israeli Jewish officials during Ramadan and very interestingly expressed his anticipation for the restoration of the Temple in Jerusalem.

Mr. Adnan Oktar, prominent Muslim opinion leader from Turkey, welcomed a delegation of rabbis and politicians from Israel for the iftar dinner he hosted in Istanbul on June 22, 2016. Rabbi Dov Lipman, a top officer from the World Zionist Organization, was among those attending the dinner, along with many Muslim, Jewish and Christian representatives. Following his visit to Istanbul, Rabbi Lipman noted that he was very pleased with the friendship and goodwill blessings he received in Turkey, and the previous negative image about Turkey in his mind had completely changed.

Mr. Oktar’s guests from Israel also appeared on his live program on the A9 television channel, and applauded Mr. Oktar’s unwavering efforts to end anti-Jewish sentiment in Turkey. The program saw important statements on relations between Israel and Turkey, peace in the region and the world, and in particular on the friendship between Muslims and Jews.

Mr. Adnan Oktar explained that the days when the Prophet Solomon’s Masjid and Palace (Solomon’s Temple) will be rebuilt in an atmosphere of global peace and tranquility are at hand. Rabbi Ben Abrahamson, who is a historian and consultant to the Sanhedrin regarding issues related to Islam, emphasized that the rebuilding of the Temple is a very good development for all mankind.

Mr. Oktar said that Muslims, Jews and Christians share many common values and the current opposition was a ploy of satan. He said people of reason who are full of love should come together and enourage peace and love.

When Mr. Adnan Oktar was asked what should be done to dispel the tension between Muslims and Jews, he urged the Israeli and Turkish governments to be more courageous, and not be influenced by loveless articles published in the media or be concerned with loss of votes.

 

Israel Today News of July 07, 2016 now online

This weeks news episode from Israel today with news from Israel can now be seen online.

Topics:
- Rami Hamdallah condemns Israel's self defense activities,
- Calls for Israel removing boosted police presence in Jerusalem during Ramadan,
- Arabic speaking Christians support service in the IDF,
- Israel celebrated the 49th anniversary of the re-unification of Jerusalem,
- Israel Today interviews Asa'el Shabo, a survivor of the June 20, 2002 Itamar terror attack, who was only 9 years-old at the time. Asa'el became an Israeli Disabled Basketball champion.



 

The Choice Between People and Land

Israel’s new Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman told the General Staff: “When there is a conflict between the unity of the nation and unity of the Land, unity of the people is of greater importance.”

The full article appears in the July 2016 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
CLICK HERE to read it all

 

Pro-Israel Protesters Counter Hateful al-Quds Day Protest

Every year, hundreds of pro-terror Hamas, Hezbollah and Palestinian supporters march through London unopposed.

This year, the Israel Advocacy Movement had a great surprise for the protesters and it was epic.

Initially a handful of Zionist supporters stopped the progress of the hateful marchers in their tracks.

It was not not long afterwards that the terror supporting marchers were outnumbered by a sea of blue and white to counter the annual ‘Al Quds Day’ anti-Israel, pro-terror march in London.

Watch and learn how to successfully combat anti-Israel hate!

 

Israel, US Test Missile Defense Systems

The Israeli Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) and the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) successfully conducted an Israeli and American missile systems integration.

The first of its kind "Integrated Ground Test", tested the real-time communication between missile defense systems in Israel and the US where a simulated scenario in which thousands of rockets and missiles from Iran and Lebanon are simultaneously fired at Israel.

The multi-tiered missile defense systems worked together to eliminate the threats. The focus was on connecting the missile defense systems to the US radar systems to detect and eliminate the projectiles.

The systems tested were the Arrow 2 and Arrow 3 as well as Israel's David’s Sling in conjunction the Aegis Ships, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) and Patriot missile defense systems.

The Defense Ministry described the tests hailed the test as “another milestone in the missile defense program, which is a cooperation between the US and Israel.”

 

Yair Lapid Sets the Record Straight with UNRWA

Yair Lapid, head of the Yesh Atid party, is positioning himself to be a serious contender to Benjamin Netanyahu in the next elections. What he wrote on his Facebook page yesterday, therefore, are things to be reckoned with. Since his response is so eloquent, it is worth leaving it as is.

"UNRWA Spokesperson Chris Gunness harshly criticized our decision to demolish the homes of two terrorists who last December stabbed two Israelis to death at the Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem. I have one question for Mr. Gunness: What’s it got to do with you? Actually I have another one: Who asked you?

UNRWA is the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees. Its role is clear. It is meant to help Palestinians find work and if they can’t find work then to assist them with food and medication.

That’s it. It doesn’t have another role. There is nothing in UNRWA’s mandate which justifies intervention in security matters. There is nothing in Chris Gunness’ past which qualifies him to give us advice on how to protect ourselves.

And if we’re already speaking Chris, here are another few questions: Why doesn’t the State of Israel appear on maps in UNRWA schools?

If you condemn violence, why were you silent when it became clear that an UNRWA building was used as a hiding place for a terror tunnel used to kill three Israeli soldiers?

Why are the Palestinians the only ones in the world allowed to pass down the status of refugee from one generation to the next? Why can someone be born in Qatar, live in a villa in Paris, hold a Spanish passport and still be considered a Palestinian refugee?

Why is it that among the 23,000 UNRWA employees are there so many Hamas people (I didn’t say that Chris - as you know the Secretary General of your organization said so himself)?

In actual fact, why is it that only the Palestinians have a refugee agency of their own? What do they deserve that the 21.5 million refugees from Tibet, Darfur, Syria, Iraq and elsewhere don’t?

How is it that since UNRWA was founded, in 1950, the number of refugees has increased from 750,000 to over 5 million (!) without a single Palestinian being expelled? Is UNRWA creating refugees?

And a question to the citizens of the United States: 'Do you know that your taxpayer dollars fund over a hundred million dollars a year of this insanity?'"

 

In rare twist, Palestinians help treat wounded Israelis

Just a few years ago, Islam al-Bayed spent seven months in an Israeli prison for participating in a stone throwing attack on Israeli troops. Now, the 26-year-old Palestinian man has become an unlikely symbol of tolerance after providing assistance to an Israeli family whose car crashed following a deadly roadside shooting by terrorists last Friday.

Al-Bayed was the first person to arrive at the scene of last Friday's terror attack on the Mark family and he was joined shortly afterwards by Ali abu Sharkh, an Arab doctor from the town of Dahriyah, south of Hebron.

The shooting attack happened at about 3pm on Friday afternoon. After the terrorists' vehicle overtook the Mark family car, they opened fire on the family. Mark was killed while his wife Chava was seriously wounded and two of his children were hurt.

When Al-Bayed saw the overturned car of the family, he thought that it was an accident. He approached the car and saw the two children crying for help. "I tried to open the door of the car, but all the doors were locked," he said. "I worked for about two minutes to open car doors. I initially calmed the daughter and comforted her in Hebrew. I told her she need not be afraid, I would help them."

Dr. abu Sharkh was driving with his wife and brother towards Jerusalem for Friday prayers at al-Aqsa when they saw the Mark family's vehicle flipped over on the side of the road.

"We immediately stopped. There was a young Palestinian man with his wife who were trying to help the wounded," Dr. abu Sharkh said. "The first thing I saw was that Tehila was in a state of shock. I began to speak to her in English and she didn't understand me. Then my brother began to speak to her in Hebrew and said to her 'don't be afraid, this is my brother, and he's a doctor. He wants to help you.'"

"I examined the girl and saw that she was not seriously injured. Then I took care of the mother, who was very seriously wounded. Shortly thereafter, an ambulance of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society and an IDF jeep arrived. I asked the soldiers in English that they need to call an Israeli ambulance."

The first Magen David Adom ambulance arrived a few minutes later. Dr. abu Sharkh explained to the paramedics that he's a doctor, and that the wife still had a pulse but needed to be evacuated to a hospital immediately.

After he finished treating both the mother and their daughter, a Red Crescent paramedic approached him and told him that this was the result of a shooting attack, and wasn't just another traffic accident.

"The paramedic told me that I should leave the area because there might be a hostile reaction to me being there," abu Sharkh said.

"I carried out my duty," he explained. "It doesn't matter if we're talking about a Palestinian or a settler. My job is to save people because they are people."

In a message to the children of the Mark family, who lost their father in the attack, and whose mother is in critical condition, he said "I understand that the family is in great pain, but I want them to know that I did all I could to help them. I wish the family a speedy recovery and would like to offer my condolences on the death of the father"

While Al-Bayed describes himself as a victim of Israeli occupation, he said he steers clear of politics and is just a "normal guy" struggling to feed his family. He said he has received mixed reactions from residents in his refugee camp. Some say he did the right thing, while others think he shouldn't have helped the settlers. But he said he has no regrets.

The condition of the mother improves
Meanwhile, Chava Mark's condition has stabilized and is steadily improving. She is out of her medically induced coma and is now breathing on her own. She still cannot speak but responds when called. The children informed their injured mother of their father's death.

 

Did Yeshua Give us a 'New' Covenant, or a 'Renewed' Covenant?

When God announced the New Covenant through Jeremiah, He said "I will put My law within them, and on their heart I will write it" (Jer. 31:33). Well, it seems some Christians take those words to mean God puts His Holy Spirit within us so we can now keep all 613 commands of the Old Covenant.

In short, they see the New Covenant as simply a renewal of the Mt. Sinai contract. Although they acknowledge that a few commandments, those pertaining to animal sacrifice, stoning, banishment, circumcision etc., are outdated and should be understood spiritually now. They accept all this even though God specifically said the New Covenant is "NOT LIKE THE COVENANT which I made with the fathers when I brought them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke" (Jer. 31:31).

So is the New Covenant just a renewal of the Old Covenant? Or is this movement just a renewal of the legalism that Paul continually waged war against in his epistles? Surely it’s the latter. For the writer of Hebrews couldn’t have made God’s intentions any clearer concerning the passing away of the Old Covenant: "When He said a new covenant, He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old, is ready to disappear" (Heb. 8:13).

For centuries the issue of the Law lay dormant following the expulsion of the Jews by Rome. The entire temple complex had been destroyed and the Levitical priesthood ceased to function. What’s more, the center of Christianity had shifted from Jerusalem to Rome, so there was no longer a Pharisaic authority to try and impose the Mosaic Law upon "Gentile" believers. Or intimidate Jewish believers into going back to their divinely-given religion of types and shadows.

But with Israel’s rebirth the whole confusion has come roaring back to life. Many believers, in their excitement upon discovering the Hebraic roots of their faith, have started to live what they call a "Torah-observant lifestyle." Some see it as a way to more fully embrace their heritage and draw closer to the Jewish people. Others embrace it as a fitting religious replacement for a Christianity they now see as a corruption of the faith preached by the apostles.

The result is a rapidly growing hybrid religion that could be termed 'New Covenant Judaism' (as distinct from Rabbinic Judaism, the other hybrid version of the Mosaic Law that the Jewish community has practiced since the destruction of the temple).

Of course, this blending of covenant practices is no less devastating to our life in Messiah now then in the First Century when Paul warned: "Are you so foolish? Having begun with the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?...If righteousness comes through [practicing] the Law, then Messiah died needlessly" (Gal. 3:3; 2:21).

The New Covenant cannot be a renewal of the Mosaic religion because it’s not a religion. Instead it provides a new relationship with God based on our faith. And we know "the Law is not of faith" (Gal 3:12). And that’s just for openers. The New Covenant gives us eternal life. The Old Covenant was "a ministry of death" (2 Cor. 3:7). The New Covenant responds in love. The Old Covenant demanded an eye for an eye. The New Covenant gives us power over sin. The Old Covenant gave sin power over us (Rom. 5:20). The New Covenant makes us saints. The Old Covenant made us sinners. The New Covenant declares us righteous. The Old Covenant brought us into judgment. The New Covenant makes us sons of God and heirs. The Old Covenant left us slaves and outcasts from the promises (Galatians 4:21-31).

What many believers fail to grasp is that the Mosaic Law was never God’s main covenant with Israel. God’s main covenant was the one He made with Abraham based on a promise.

In Galatians, Paul gives a short lesson on covenant contracts, reminding us that when one is ratified "no one sets it aside or adds conditions to it." Therefore, the Law which came 430 years later did not replace, set aside or modify that original covenant promise to Abraham. If it had, the inheritance would now be based on Israel’s obedience to the Law – not on God’s promise. "But God gave it to Abraham by means of a promise" (Gal 4:15-18).

"Why the Law then?" Paul asks. "It was added because of transgressions, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made" (Gal. 3:18,19). "It was "added…until" Messiah because Israel had an underlying sin problem that needed to be revealed. The Law was in essence a temporary measure to show we had a congenital obedience problem and needed a savior.

With Yeshua’s death, Israel received a new covenant in his blood. The Old Covenant, having served its purpose, was retired. Yeshua had fulfilled all the types and shadows that had pointed to him. He had redeemed God’s people from the curse we’d incurred for failure to keep the Law. And he’d put a new spirit within us so we could love God and our neighbor from the heart - which was the whole intent of the Law.

For believers seeking to keep Yahweh’s Torah commandment today, here it is: "It was for freedom that Messiah set us free [from the Mosaic Law]; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery" (Gal. 5:1).

Brian Hennessy is author of Valley of the Steeples

 

Knowledge, Understanding, Realizing...

We are currently offering you a choice of gifts when you subscribe for an annual print subscription of Israel Today Magazine

Excerpts from the current magazine:
- The choice between people & land
- Are Palestinians really a people?
- Failing to know your enemy

These and many more articles can be found in the current July issue of Israel Today!



 

An Appeal From an IDF Soldier

Our favorite IDF Messianic Soldier released this video of an appeal on the back drop of the recent spike in murderous crime!

Watch this video and help Israel in the fight against online incitement that is flooding the internet!

 

Screeching "Allahu akbar" on Temple Mount declared illegal

A Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court judge ruled that Shouting "Allahu akbar" – Arabic for "god is greater" - at non-Muslims on the Temple Mount constitutes a disturbance of the peace.

From experience it is known that shouting the chant other than in times of prayer is often used during riots and usually accompanies violence and terrorism. This was the summary of the ruling of the Jerusalem magistrate when he declared that yelling "Allahu akbar" at non-Muslims on the Temple Mount is now illegal.

The ruling came at the end of a five-year-old case involving Sahar Ghazzawi, an Arab detained by police after he yelled "Allahu akbar" at a group of Jews on the Temple Mount. While being escorted away from the area, he began to resist and attacked a policeman pushing him to the ground and breaking his radio. Ghazzawi was then indicted for interfering with a policeman in the exercise of his duties.

Ghazzawi claimed that he had merely made religious utterances as part of his worship. He also claimed that the reason he pushed the police officer was because the policeman refused to let him go to the bathroom.

According to witnesses Ghazzawi had not been saying "Allahu akbar" while praying, but as intimidation against Jews visiting the site. It emerged that Gazawi regularly visited the Temple Mount confronting Jews but would not admit that his activities were sponsored by "Amrat al Aqsa," an Islamist group which pays activists to harass non-Muslims on the site.

The judge ruled that chanting "Allahu akbar" during prayer, at a site of prayer and in the appropriate spot during prayer, does not constitute a breach of the peace. However, when those calls are used during demonstration or protest, creating a riot or unrest, they do not constitute prayers and are a clear disturbance of the peace." This is particularly true of the politically charged and sensitive Temple Mount. Any attempt to inflame the atmosphere can be considered a provocation.

The judge highlighted the fact that Muslims have more rights on the Temple Mount than members of other religions. "All he had to do was exercise those basic rights without hurting the rights of visitors of other faiths."

At the beginning of the "Intifada of the Knives", that has rocked Israel since September 2015, PA President Mahmoud Abbas declared: "Al-Aqsa is ours… and the Jews have no right to defile it with their filthy feet. We will not allow them to, and we will do everything in our power to protect Jerusalem."

 

Kid-friendly activities in Israel this summer

Go to the Zoo...
Israel has amazing zoos. In Jerusalem, the Biblical Zoo is beautifully designed and has over 2000 animals. There are animals native to Israel and from countries around the world. Or visit the Monkey Park near Modi’in, which houses over 250 species of monkeys. Looking for something with more adventure? In Ramat Gan, you can go on a safari in an African-style park, which has the largest animal collection in the Middle East!

Float in the Dead Sea...
Don’t leave Israel without a visit to the Dead Sea! Kids, and even adults, find it fun to float on their backs without sinking into the salt-dense sea. The minerals found in the Dead Sea and in the mud will leave your skin soft for days. An all around winner for the whole family.

Visit the many ancient sites...
Israel is full of them, and going to see them brings the history books, and the Bible, to life. Young children can be captivated by the beauty and history of the land. If your children’s attention span won’t last that long, visit Mini Israel, which has thousands of crafted buildings, models and figures, replicating many of Israel’s important sites, just much smaller.

Snorkel in the Red Sea...
What did the children of Israel see beside them while they crossed the Red Sea? Find out yourself by snorkeling in the Red Sea. Kids, including the older ones, can pet the dolphins among many other activities at the Dolphin Reef in Eilat.

Go Camping...
Plan your annual camping trip this year in Israel. The kids can play, swim and pick up some Hebrew from the other kids while you soak in the beauty of the land without rushing off to the next attraction.

The land of Israel is full of beauty and adventure but many Israeli families can’t afford to take family trips around their own country. Sometimes it’s hard just to put food on the table.



 

Israel announces attack on Syria

The IDF spokesman Monday reported attacks on two Syrian military targets in response to cross-border fire adjacent to Israel’s northern security fence. Two Syrian Army targets were identified and direct artillery strikes were recorded and the targets were destroyed.

Although the Syrian fire did not endanger local residents or security forces, the IDF stated it is "determined to respond to any irregular incident."

The spokesman noted that Israel has no intention of interfering in the Syrian civil war. The the locations of the fire from Syria nor the Israeli response were not reported.

In an unusual move Israel only announced the IDF response a day after the incident.

 

Will Israel endure a "Shalit 2" deal?

What will be the final price that Israel pays for the bodies of the fallen soldiers Goldin and Shaul as well as 2 civilians being held in Gaza?

There are rumors in semi-official circles that Hamas has placed their opening bid regarding the price for the release of the bodies of IDF Officer Hadar Goldin and soldier Oron Shaul as well as the two civilians Avra Mangisto and Hisham al-Sayed.

The price is expected to be high, very high, because Hamas have shown that they are not moved by feelings and have simply shown that they only care about their own being held in Israeli jails!

In the aftermath of the kidnapping and murder of "the three boys" close to Hevron - Gil-Ad Shaer, Naftali Frenkel and Eyal Yifrah - in June 2014, "Operation Brother's Keeper" rounded up over 50 Hamas terrorists that had been previously released to Yehuda and Shomron to secure the release of Gilad Shalit in 2011.

According to the unofficial reports, Hamas have demanded the release of these Hamas terrorists just to enter into negotiations.

It can be guaranteed that Hamas will demand the release of most of the approx. 1500 Hamas members currently held in Israeli jails.

In the cases of Shaul and Goldin it is almost certain that negotiations will be for their bodies only and that Israeli leaders should limit exchanging only the Hamas members arrested during Operation Protective Edge and the bodies of Hamas combatants killed that Israel is holding.

It remains to be seen how much the pressure being placed on the Government by the Shaul, Goldin and Mangisto families will affect the negotiations and the ultimate price Israel will be prepared to pay.

 

The online store, with great products from your home - Israel!

Celebrate summer now at home! Have you seen our new shop category "HAPPY SUMMER"?

The children in Israel, and indeed most of the northern hemisphere, are enjoying their summer vacations. Families are eagerly planning their summer trips and the shops are full of summer and beach wares to add enjoyment to the coming summer months.

Israel Today's Shop is already in a HAPPY SUMMER mood! A new category with small and large new surprises to help enjoy the summer!



 

The "Accurate" Reporting of Alhurra

Alhurra is the United States run Arabic TV channel that broadcasts in the Middle East and North Africa. Alhurra's stated mission is to provide "objective, accurate and relevant news and information" and to "support democratic values." Here are two most recent examples of such "objective and accurate" reports guided by US democratic values.

On June 21 Alhurra reported on "a Palestinian teenager killed by Israeli fire" near the town of "Beit Nour." The "teenager," 15-year-old Mahmoud Badran was killed during a Molotov and rock throwing incident on highway 443 near the town of Beit Sira. Rightly so, Israel considers such attacks as terror acts during which soldiers can shoot to kill. The death of Badran and his three injured friends is now under Israeli investigation attempting to find out whether or not the shooting was justified.

Alhurra's report, probably based on the well documented biased reports of "B'tselem," has decided in advance that Badran is innocent. Alhurra was also inaccurate in placing the incident near "the town of Beit Nour." Objectively speaking, there is no such place as Beit Nour. The dead teenager is from Beit Ur-A-Tahta, the terror attack was aimed at Israeli cars on highway 443.

On the death of 13-year-old Hallel Yaffa Ariel from Hebron that took place on June 30, Alhurra begins its short report with "the Israeli army said" that the Palestinian who stabbed Hallel to death was killed. This kind of report about a "Palestinian" who murdered a 13-year-old girl in her bed is a step short of calling him a martyr.

Similarly, a report on the stabbing attempt that took place in Hevron the next day reports on "the killing of a Palestinian who tried to stab Israeli soldiers." This report too failed to identify the Palestinian woman as a terrorist killed by the soldiers whom she attempted to kill. The title, notably, cares more for a death of a terrorist than it does for the (potential) Israeli casualties.

 

Holocaust Survivor and Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Elie Wiesel, Has Died

Nobel Prize laureate Elie Wiesel, the Holocaust survivor whose sad eyed face became a piercing, reminder of humanity’s ongoing agony, has died at age 87.

For more than a half-century, Wiesel gave voice to the pain of our people to influential leaders, celebrities and audiences around the world. He wrote more than 40 books, and was best known for "Night," a retelling of his experiences as a 15-year-old boy in Auschwitz.

The best way we can all remember Mr. Wiesel is to listen closely to a man who lost his mother, father and sister in a Nazi death camp, tattooed with the number A-7713 on his arm, as he stands before the world, telling his story upon receiving the Noble Peace Prize.

"I remember: it happened yesterday or eternities ago. A young Jewish boy discovered the kingdom of night. I remember his bewilderment, I remember his anguish. It all happened so fast. The ghetto. The deportation. The sealed cattle car. The fiery altar upon which the history of our people and the future of mankind were meant to be sacrificed.

I remember: he asked his father: "Can this be true?" This is the twentieth century, not the Middle Ages. Who would allow such crimes to be committed? How could the world remain silent?

And now the boy is turning to me: "Tell me," he asks. "What have you done with my future? What have you done with your life?"

And I tell him that I have tried. That I have tried to keep memory alive, that I have tried to fight those who would forget. Because if we forget, we are guilty, we are accomplices.

And then I explained to him how naive we were, that the world did know and remain silent. And that is why I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men or women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must – at that moment – become the center of the universe.

We must not allow our past to become our children’s future."

In 1985, when Wiesel received a Congressional Gold Medal from President Ronald Reagan, he stood before the gathering, and as the president looked on, asked him to cancel a planned trip to a cemetery in Germany that contained graves of Hitler's SS guards.

"May I, Mr. President, if it's possible at all, implore you to do something else, to find a way, to find another way, another site. That place, Mr. President, is not your place. Your place is with the victims."

Reagan visited the cemetery, in Bitburg, despite international protests.

Wiesel often dismayed that in spite of our duty to remind the world of past mistakes, the greatest disappointment of his life was that "Nothing changed. Human nature remained what it was. Society remained what it was. Too much indifference in the world, to the Other, his pain, and anguish, and hope."

Even so, he never gave up. Listen again.

"Yes, I have faith. Faith in God and even in His creation. Without it no action would be possible. And action is the only remedy to indifference: the most insidious danger of all.

As long as one dissident is in prison, our freedom will not be true. As long as one child is hungry, our lives will be filled with anguish and shame. What all these victims need above all is to know that they are not alone; that we are not forgetting them, that when their voices are stifled we shall lend them ours, that while their freedom depends on ours, the quality of our freedom depends on theirs.

This is what I say to the young Jewish boy wondering what I have done with his years. It is in his name that I speak to you. No one is as capable of gratitude as one who has emerged from the kingdom of night. We know that every moment is a moment of grace, every hour an offering; not to share them would mean to betray them. Our lives no longer belong to us alone; they belong to all those who need us desperately."

 

One Dead, 5 Wounded in Wave of Palestinian Terror

Palestinian Arab gunmen opened fire on a family vehicle near Hebron on Friday, killing an Israeli man and wounding his wife and two teenage children.

The terrorists attacked from a passing vehicle, causing the victims’ car to flip over.

The mother remains in serious condition with gunshot wounds to the head.

A day earlier, a Palestinian Arab stabbed two Israelis in the coastal town of Netanya.

One of the victims, 62-year-old Luba Gadimov, was leaving the hairdresser after getting ready for her daughters wedding when the attack occurred. She suffered light injuries.

The second victim, an Israeli man in his 40s, suffered serious stab wounds to the upper body.

The terrorist was shot and killed by an armed civilian.

On Friday morning, a Palestinian woman attempted to stab Israeli soldiers guarding the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron. The terrorist was shot and killed before being able to harm anyone else. She was later identified as a relative of the Palestinian youth who on Thursday murdered a 13-year-old Israeli girl in her bed.

 

Palestinian Mother Overjoyed Her Son Murdered Jewish Child

“My son is a hero. He made me proud. My son died as a Martyr defending Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. …Allah willing, all of them will follow this path, all the youth of Palestine. Allah be praised.”

Those were the words of Mohammed Taraireh’s mother to Palestinian media hours after he butchered a 13-year-old Israeli girl, Hallel Yaffe Ariel (pictured). Mohammed was shot and killed by security officials responding to Hallel’s screams.

While Mrs. Taraireh proudly owned her son’s savagery, official Palestinian Authority media suggested the attack might not have taken place, and that Israeli forces killed Mohammed for no reason.

It is this Palestinian society with which Israel is expected to find a genuine and lasting peace. As seen in these in these two examples, Palestinian society is either celebrating violence against Israel, or denying it altogether.

The one thing the Palestinians are not doing is fulfilling their peace obligations to condemn violence and educate their population for peaceful coexistence.

https://www.facebook.com/StandWithUs/photos/a.10150218782372689.313872.19459912688/10153801803227689/?type=3&theater

https://www.facebook.com/mikecohenidf/posts/1342973085717432

 

Was Jesus the First Leftist?

Publication operated by Benjamin Netanyahu's sister-in-law asserts that "Jesus of Nazareth was probably the first leftist." It was not a compliment.

The full article appears in the July 2016 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
CLICK HERE to read it all

 

Israeli Leftists Nearly Lynched Trying to Celebrate Ramadan

A group of naive Israeli left-wing activists snuck into the de facto Palestinian capital of Ramallah on Wednesday to mark the breaking of the Ramadan fast with local Muslims, and were nearly lynched.

As soon as the nine activists, who were in several vehicles, were identified as Israelis, local Muslims began hurling stones and firebombs at them.

One of the vehicles caught fire, forcing the Israelis to beat a hasty retreat.

Israeli and Palestinian Authority security forces were able to extract the leftists before any were harmed. One was briefly taken for questioning by PA police, and all nine are now under investigation by Israeli authorities for violating a prohibition on Israeli citizens entering areas under full Palestinian Authority control.

PHOTO: Illustration (Flash90)

 

UPDATE: Palestinian Terrorist Butchers Jewish Teenage Girl

A Palestinian terrorist on Thursday morning snuck into the outskirts of the Jewish town of Kiryat Arba in Judea, broke into an outlying house and stabbed 13-year-old Hallel Yaffe Ariel to death as she lay in bed.

A local response team was already aware of the infiltration, and stormed the house after hearing Hallel's screams.

One of the first responders found the girl covered in blood and began to administer CPR, but was jumped and stabbed by the terrorist. The rest of the team arrived moments later and shot the terrorist dead, but also accidentally hit the first responder helping Hallel,

The wounded first responder is listed in moderate condition.

Hallel, who was not breathing and had no pulse, was rushed to a hospital in Jerusalem, but doctors were unable to save her life.

PHOTO: Hallel Yaffe Ariel's blood-soaked bedroom (IDF Spokesperson)

 

Moon Highlights Israeli Madness

The definition of insanity is when you keep repeating the same action over and over again, compulsively, obsessively, while thinking that somehow you will get a different result. 

That is what UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said about Israeli leaders this week during his brief visit to the country. “You must stop repeating the same platitudes and expecting a different result. It is maddening,” he blustered during a speech to dignitaries at Tel Aviv University.

Israelis left scratching their heads, wondering, “Who’s insane? Me, you, the UN or Moon?”

Yair Lapid, head of the centrist Yesh Atid (There is a Future) party, put forth simple, straightforward questions to Moon’s UN:

“Why have you condemned Israel 67 times over the past 10 years in the UN Human Rights Counsel, while during the same period, all the nations of the world (all of them!), you condemned just 61 times?”

Sounds like the UN is obsessively compulsive against Israel.

 “Can you tell me why the UN World Health Organization chose to condemn Israel’s 'occupation' of the Golan Heights, instead of discussing ways of finding cures and vaccinations for the ongoing epidemics around the world? Never mind that the Golan is not 'occupied,' just a few hundred meters from the border, in Syria, children, women and elderly are being slaughtered, and you remain silent?”

That’s plain insane.

“Why does a child with Palestinian grandparents, who was born in an upper-echelon, exclusive neighborhood in Paris receive compensation and refugee rights, while a child whose [Jewish] grandparents were persecuted and chased out of Morocco, Egypt and Libya receive no status or rights?”

Ummm, what?

Michael Oren, Knesset Member and former Israeli Ambassador to the US, also pointed out the insanity of Moon’s UN in a personal letter:

“Dear Mr. Secretary-General,

We have lost confidence in the UN because:

- The UNESCO resolution on Jerusalem that denied any Jewish connection to the Temple Mount holy site, while recognizing the Muslim holy site. The Brazilian foreign ministry called this “an error which makes the text partial and unbalanced.”

- The UN condemns Israel, a country with free speech, free elections and minority rights more often than all the world’s mass murdering dictatorships combined. In 2007, you said you were “disappointed” by the UNHRC singling out of Israel. Nine years later that exact same bias is still present. There has been no progress.

- UN schools in Gaza have been repeatedly used by Hamas to store weapons. You yourself said this was “turning schools into potential military targets.”

- Hamas rockets have caused three wars during your tenure. Hamas continues to reject peace and build rockets and tunnels to attack Israel. Despite your admission that Hamas-Fatah reconciliation is “critical” and peace cannot happen without “a single legitimate Palestinian authority,” the UN sits idly by and this “critical” step to achieving peace remains elusive in the face of the Palestinian leadership’s internal squabbles.”

Moon’s hypocrisy insults our intelligence.

During his visit, the darker side of Moon found time to reflect on the PLO’s suffering under “occupation,” blamed Israeli “violence,” all the while ignoring ongoing Palestinian and radical Islamic terror.

“I stand with the people of Gaza to say that the United Nations will always be with you,” he stated. “They are enduring enormously difficult living conditions. The closure of Gaza suffocates its people, stifles its economy and impedes reconstruction efforts. It is a collective punishment for which there must be accountability.”

The UN chief continued: “I am aware that many Palestinians question the feasibility of reaching a just and lasting peace with Israel. They hear talk of peace, but they see violence. They still live a life of checkpoints, permits, blockades, demolitions and profound economic hardship.”

A lunatic is someone affected with periodic insanity, dependent on the changes of the Moon.

 

Muslims Riot, So Jews Are Barred From Temple Mount

Israel’s near total lack of authority over Judaism’s holiest site - Jerusalem’s Temple Mount - was again on display this week when Muslims rioted and the Israeli authorities capitulated by barring Jewish visitors.

Jerusalem police officials on Tuesday announced a full three-day ban on Jewish visitation to the Temple Mount after Muslim worshippers repeatedly attacked non-Muslim visitors the two days preceding.

The Muslim agitators, most of them young men and youth, barricaded themselves in the Al Aqsa Mosque and from there hurled stones and firecrackers at the Jewish visitors.

Israeli police used tear gas in an effort to quell the violence and arrested several of the perpetrators, but ultimately determined it was better to simply let the Muslims have their way and remove the Jews.

Unsatisfied with merely driving the Jews from atop the Temple Mount, the Muslims began hurling stones down on worshippers at the Western Wall, wounding a 73-year-old Jewish woman.

The Likud’s newest member of Knesset, Yehuda Glick, a long-time leader of the movement to return Jewish worship to the Temple Mount, decried Israel’s failure to take a more resolute stand.

“We cannot allow a situation where dozens of tourists and Jews wanting to visit the Temple Mount, from which the call of ‘Nation shall not lift up sword against nation’ is supposed to emanate, are repeatedly held hostage by a violent rabble roused by radical Islamic clerics,” read a statement released by Glick’s office.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat was also critical of the police ban on Jewish visitors, insisting that “we must not make decisions under pressure from violent disturbances. Only consistent and determined practice in protecting the status quo will ensure a long-term reduction in violent incidents and bring quiet to Jerusalem.”

In an interview with Arutz Sheva radio, Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, head of the Temple Institute, stated the obvious: “It makes no sense that [the Arabs] riot, but [the government] closes the Temple Mount to Jews. It is the rioters who should be punished and not their victims.”

 

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The choice between people & land
Are Palestinians really a people?
Failing to know your enemy
Jerusalem's festival of light
Lying as a "modus operandi"


 

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