Netanyahu Meets European Leaders, Sets Them Straight on Jerusalem

Netanyahu's remarks on Jerusalem start around the 5-minute mark.

 

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The Rules of the Peace Process Just Changed

"The Palestinians need to know: the rules of the game have changed. The ship changed direction. I recommend that they not test Israel's patience with their terror threats."

That was the reaction of Israel Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked to US President Donald Trump's declaration recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

For decades, the Middle East peace process has operated on the formula of pressuring Israel for concessions in hopes of moderating the Palestinians. The thinking was that if Israel would just offer enough, the Palestinians might honor their own commitments.

On Wednesday, December 6, 2017, Trump officially declared that formula had failed.

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas wasn't entirely wrong in declaring that Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital had killed the peace process.

The peace process as we've known it for the past 23 years did die last week. Or, at least, the way it's been implemented thus far died.

The rules of the game until this point have revolved around putting pressure on Israel to meet Arab demands. Those rules have produced nothing but more tension, division and conflict. The news rules, as Trump presented them, appear to revolve around acknowledging historical truth and accepting present reality, and insisting that the Arabs do the same as a baseline for negotiations.

 

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Palestinian 'Rage' Over Trump's Jerusalem Declaration Quickly Fizzles

The Palestinian leadership, both in Ramallah and Gaza, hoped to exploit US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital (which really wasn't all that different from what his predecessors had done) to reinvigorate the violent uprising against the Jewish state.

While there were scattered incidents of fairly serious violence, such as a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip striking an empty kindergarten, the "rage" that Palestinian leaders had called for quickly fizzled.

On Friday, thousands of Palestinians gathered at flashpoints across the so-called "West Bank" and Gaza, hurling stones and firebombs and setting everything they could alight.

By Saturday, no more than 600 rioters were turning out at these locations, and the numbers were expected to continue decreasing dramatically into the new week.

Nine Palestinians and Israeli Arabs were reportedly arrested for their parts in different riots, and a small handful were treated for light injuries.

Four Israeli police officers and two civilians were also lightly wounded.

Palestinian media reported that at least one of the instigators of the riots along the Gaza security fence, during which at least one man crossed into Israeli territory, was shot and killed.

Not quite the opening of the "gates of hell," as Hamas vowed following Trump's speech.

 

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Jerusalem - An Immovable Rock

While the West continues to indulge in the most bizarre forms of political correctness, the Middle East is bracing itself for a possible Armageddon scenario involving nuclear weapons.

The decision of President Trump to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as a probable first step towards moving the American Embassy there could well be a catalyst for a battle of the ages.

But it’s nevertheless the right thing to do. For at some stage, difficult decisions have to be made and truth has to be acknowledged.

Are we about to see the fulfillment of Zechariah’s prophecy that God would make Jerusalem “a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling” and “an immovable rock for all the nations” (Zechariah 12.2f)?

Iran, meanwhile, is actually trying to provoke such an end-of-world cataclysm by establishing military bases close to Israel’s Syrian border, according to Ryan Mauro, an expert on Shiite religious dogma. Their leaders, he argues, are motivated by a desire to fulfill Shia prophecy of a showdown with the Jewish state that will prompt the coming of the ‘Mahdi’, an Islamic messianic figure.

Since both Jews and Christians are also looking for their Messiah, the scene is surely being set for an apocalyptic conflagration. And it seems tragically ironic that, with the Western world having largely convinced itself there is no god, a global conflict over spiritual roots threatens us all. Though a modern, secular state, Israel’s ancient roots in the Holy Land are undeniably spiritual. According to the Bible, they are specially chosen of God and wouldn’t have existed without him.

Iran has frequently threatened to destroy little Israel, which is why Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman accuses European leaders (representing Britain, France and Germany) of a head-in-the-sand attitude – “exactly like they did before World War II” – in opposing President Trump’s weakening of a nuclear deal hardly guaranteed to protect a highly vulnerable Jewish state.

At the same time the United Nations, the very body which conferred international legitimacy on Israel 70 years ago, now seems to have fully adopted the Iranian/Palestinian position denying Jewish claims to the land, and in particular Jerusalem – a re-writing of history that has completely deceived media and politicians across the globe. In 1947 there was no Palestinian state, nor even a Palestinian people, but we have been taken in by a propaganda machine just as shocking and efficient as that run by Hitler’s spokesman Josef Goebbels.

Even parts of the Arab world are speaking against this deception. Kuwaiti columnist Abdullah Al-Hadlaq told a TV station: “Like it or not, Israel is an independent and sovereign state…” and those refusing to recognize it are “countries of tyranny and oppression”. He too makes the point that when Israel was established in 1948, there was no state called Palestine. “There is no occupation,” he adds. “There is a people returning to its promised land.”

In this age-old battle for truth, God himself delivered a 'trump' card back in 1963 in the form of ancient documents discovered among the ruins of a 2,000-year-old mountaintop fortress overlooking the Dead Sea where Hebrew University archaeologists were excavating the palace of King Herod. And I was there, atop Masada, just weeks ago. These Dead Sea Scrolls – the first were found just up the coast in 1947 – contained Psalms 81 to 85. Significantly, Psalm 83 paints a completely up-to-date picture of Israel’s enemies plotting to destroy them “so that Israel’s name is remembered no more” (v4). Also found in the dig were 17 silver shekels dating from around 70 AD and inscribed with the words ‘Shekel of Israel’ and ‘Jerusalem the Holy’.

The idea of Jerusalem being significant for Muslims is described as “nonsense” by Egyptian scholar and novelist Youssef Ziedan. “The Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem did not exist back then (when the Koran was written), and the city was not called Al-Quds” he pointed out on television in 2015.

As European leaders continue to betray Jews by defending so-called Palestinian rights, they are also turning a blind eye to the horrific plight of Christians in the Middle East while Arabs are killing each other and, in a bid to win Western support for their cause, Palestinian parties Fatah and Hamas put on a sham united front which is meaningless as the latter refuses to disarm.

Far from being united in opposition to Israel, the vast majority of Israel’s Arabs – 73 per cent – feel a sense of belonging in the Jewish state, with 60 per cent saying they are proud to be Israelis, according to a new poll. In addition, hundreds of Arab Christians volunteer for the Israeli Defense Force each year while there are also many instances of Muslims abandoning their faith following dreams and visions of Christ – I have met one of them.

At the risk of over-simplifying the issue, it is not so much a case of Arab versus Jew as God v the devil. The latter desires darkness and destruction for mankind, but God loves both Arab and Jew, along with the rest of us Gentiles. And his plan for us all is “life in all its fullness” (John 10.10).

I enjoyed very warm Muslim-Arab hospitality during my recent tour of Israel, and commend the proprietor of the Samaritan Restaurant in Sebastia, the ancient capital of Samaria, who served the tastiest food I sampled on our travels.

It’s worth saying, too, in view of the anti-Israel stance of many Western churches, that there is huge support from Christians on the question of Jerusalem, with over half-a-million signatories from 168 countries backing the city as the undivided eternal capital of the Jewish people through the so-called Jerusalem Declaration.

One effect of today’s skewed Mid-East narrative is that Palestinians get all the media sympathy for the plight of their refugees, warned in 1948 to leave their homes by the surrounding Arab states, who have never since followed up on their responsibilities.

But rare mention is ever made of the 850,000 Jewish refugees forced to leave Arab countries at the same time. Fortunately they have been successfully absorbed into Israeli society, while the Palestinian refugees and their descendants continue to be used as political pawns in an anti-Semitic game of chess.

But “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that all who believe in him will not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3.16) We are all included in his great plan of redemption. We have heaven to gain, and hell to shun, as we put our trust in the Jewish Messiah, Jesus. But woe to those who touch the apple of God’s eye (Zechariah 2.8)!

God will surely vindicate – and compensate – the Jewish people (Isaiah 54.17, Joel 2.25). “The day of the Lord” is near (Joel 2.1f); the battle of the ages is at the door. Make sure you are ready to meet the One who is coming back to reign.


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

 

Bethlehem Extinguishes Christmas Tree to Protest Trump's Jerusalem Announcement

There were a lot of Arab responses to US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, most of them bordering on hysteria.

But none were quite so silly as the Palestinian Authority turning off the Christmas lights in Bethlehem, the city of Jesus' birth.

Apparently, recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish nation, as Jesus himself did, is reason to suck the joy out of the holiday season.

Israeli Arab Christian political activist Bishara Shlayan posted the following photo to Facebook:

The caption expresses Shlayan's deep frustration over such a ludicrous act of protest, especially given that everyone, including the Arabs, already know and accept the reality that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

Rather than punish local Christians, Shlayan demanded that Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas resign immediately. It is a sentiment shared by many other local Arabs.

 

Trump's Jerusalem Declaration: Anything But Obvious

Yesterday evening, the United States of America under the presidency of Donald Trump finally recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Though some may shrug their shoulders and say that he only stated the obvious (Trump himself said as much), the fact that for 70 years the US has refused to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital proves that Trump's bold decision was anything but obvious.

That most nations refuse to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital is a testimony to the fact that Jewish sovereignty in the Holy Land is still a bitter pill for most to swallow.

Through concealed behind the smokescreen of "occupation," the fact is that Jerusalem has served as Israel's de facto capital since 1948. That the Czech Republic so quickly followed in Trump's footsteps demonstrates that they had long wanted to recognize this reality. Czech only recognized Israel's sovereignty over western Jerusalem, but European powers like France, Britain and Germany continue to deny Israel even that much. Many nations remain resolute in their refusal to acknowledge full Jewish sovereignty, even within the 1949 armistice lines.

In this light, the nations' hostility toward Jewish sovereignty in the Holy Land, demonstrated by their refusal to acknowledge any capital city for Israel, let alone Jerusalem, can't be rationally explained. Not surprisingly, Trump himself revealed the reason: The religious status of the city for Judaism, Christianity and Islam is that which sets her apart from any other capital city. This is why the Holy See resents Trump's decision, why Muslim countries resent it and why Europe resents it.

But the irrational sentiments regarding Jerusalem are well masqueraded. Instead of religion, the West speaks in the name of peace. For too long now it has deceived itself that somehow the infamous 1947 Partition Plan that destined Jerusalem to be a separated entity, an international city, is still a good idea. This despite the fact that history has proved beyond any doubt that such a notion produces only war. And Trump was wise enough to address this point as well.

"After more than two decades of waivers, we are no closer to a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians," he said. "It would be folly to assume that repeating the exact same formula would now produce a different or better result."

"Fools repeat their folly," according to Provers 26:11, and this is exactly what the president was trying to tell the world yesterday.

With all the praise Trump deserves for his historic decision, we would be remiss to ignore that of all the Temple Mount compound, he left only the Western Wall to the Jews. This is sad because if Jerusalem is the heart of Israel, as Trump has now recognized, the Temple is the heart of Jerusalem. Of all the world's leaders, he should know that if Israel is the body, and Jerusalem is its heart, the blocking of its coronary arteries will leave the patient seriously ill. Even more serious, transplanting the heart to a different body, a Palestinian state, as Europe demands, is to sign Israel's death certificate.

 

Trump's Christmas Gift to Israel - Is It a Fulfillment of Prophecy?

"And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it." (Zechariah 12:3)

Jerusalem has always been a focal point of tension and conflict, from biblical times right through the present. And, if the prophet is to be believed, the situation is only going to become more strained until those who oppose God's plans are broken upon the walls of Jerusalem.

US President Donald Trump was just playing his role in this saga by declaring:

"I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel."

And yet, for many in Israel, Trump's assertion that recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital will actually facilitate peace rings true.

"We cannot solve our problems by making the same failed assumptions and repeating the same failed strategies of the past. Old challenges demand new approaches," explained the president. "It would be folly to assume that repeating the exact same formula would now produce a different or better result."

Israel has been trying for decades to make peace based on the formula of meeting Arab land demands in return for a reduction in terrorist violence.

It hasn't worked.

One of the reasons it hasn't worked is that many in the Arab world still cling to the fantasy that Israel is an illegitimate and temporary phenomenon. And that fantasy has been fueled by the fact that too few in the international community have recognized Israel's historical and religious claims to this land and to this city.

Having the United States officially back Israel's claim to Jerusalem could very well serve to pacify hostile Arab elements.

Or, it could further inflame the situation.

Only time will tell if Trump's historic announcement advances Zechariah's prophecy, or is merely a passing phenomenon, as many still hope of Israel itself.

 

VIDEO: Netanyahu Responds to Trump's Recognition of Jerusalem

 

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Germany Won't Promise to Not Give Dead Sea Scrolls to the Arabs

A planned exhibition of the Dead Sea Scrolls set for 2019 has been cancelled after the German government refused to guarantee the return of the artifacts to Israel. After all, the Palestinians might lay claim to the scrolls while they are abroad. In other words, contemporary Germany (and likely many other nations) isn't sure whether it considers the scrolls to be Jewish property.

Jürgen Schefzyk, director of Frankfurt’s Bible Museum, told The Jerusalem Post  that the museum was unable to obtain a document required by Israel that Germany would guarantee "immunity from seizure." Addressing the issue, Boris Rhein, the culture minister for the German state of Hesse, explained that Germany’s Foreign Ministry and the country’s federal commissioner for culture are uncertain of the Israeli claim to the scrolls.

The first scrolls were found in the Qumran area in 1947, toward the end of the British Mandate. After Israel's War of Independence, the Qumran area was under Jordanian occupation, which ended in 1967. The first scrolls were found by Bedouin shepherd Muhamad a-Dib, and were quickly sold to Israel through the mediation of archeologist Eliezer Sukenik. In 1952, Bedouin bounty hunters found more scrolls, including a large trove containing 15,000 parchments representing 500 different books. In 1954, archeologist Yigael Yadin, Sukenik's son, bought four more scrolls for Israel. In the early 1960s, more scrolls were found in the unquestionably Israeli sites south of Ein Gedi. Most of the scrolls were written in Hebrew. Others in Greek. 

Most of the scrolls found their way to the Rockefeller Museum, which is today part of the Israel Museum.

Arab claims of ownership over the scrolls is not new. In 2010, when the scrolls were exhibited in Toronto, Jordan demanded that Canada seize the artifacts. Shortly after, the Palestinians joined the Jordanians in requesting control of the scrolls, but to no avail. In 2013, the Dead Sea Scrolls were shown in Assen, but only after Holland produced the required "immunity from seizure" document. Though eventually canceled, Austria also produced such a document before Israel agreed to show the scrolls in there.

Reacting to Germany's take on the matter, Deputy Mayor of Frankfurt Uwe Becker, himself a supporter of the Jewish state, told The Jerusalem Post that Germany's unwillingness to recognize Israel's ownership of the scrolls would "dramatically change the coordinates of German-Israeli relations."

 

Focus on the True Light

Coming back to the UK after our unexpectedly lengthy tour of Israel, we were particularly struck by the emphasis on Christmas – even our cappuccino at Heathrow had to be decorated with a tree-shaped sprinkling of chocolate!

Christmas lights soon beamed on us from all sides, reflecting less on the theological aspect of the feast as on the usual glitz and glamour and commercial hype we have all come to know and love – perhaps not!

And then there were massive crowds at the shops on Sunday – now the new religion on what used to be the Christian Sabbath. It was also very cold, a brrra-cing contrast to soaking up the sunshine on the beaches of Tel Aviv just a few days earlier. In Bawtry, on the edge of Doncaster, Christmas trees were lavishly bedecked with baubles in a brilliant array of colours – and, as ever, we sense the danger of not seeing the wood for the trees.

I am reminded, however, that festive lights will also now be adorning Jerusalem in celebration of Hanukkah – marking the time when the minorah candle burned miraculously for eight days despite having only enough oil for one following victory over the Syrian-Greek emperor Antiochus Epiphanes who descrated the Jewish Temple by sacrificing a pig there and blasphemously proclaimed himself God. But focus on what the light means, not on its beams!

For we’re submerged in so much darkness today – not least the marginalisation of the Christian gospel to the point where it has become politically incorrect – and yet we all make a big fuss of this incredibly important Christian festival!

In truth, all these bright lights are, for the most part, dragging us further into the gloom of materialism, partying and pointless debt rather than towards the true light to which they are allegedly designed to draw our attention.

So my Christmas (and Hanukkah) message to readers is: don’t look for the bright lights; look rather for the true light “that gives light to everyone”, according to John the Baptist (John 1.9) – a light that leads to everlasting life, and is not snuffed out with the brief passing of our lives.

Yes, we all like shiny things, but unless it is part of heaven’s treasure, it will fade and rust and turn to dust (Matthew 6.19-21). A famous passage of Scripture, often associated with Christmas, speaks of the light that the Messiah will bring to the world. And its context, most significantly, is of the darkness of the occult, which has gripped so many in our day. “When someone tells you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?” (Isaiah 8.19)

The prophet, however, goes on to predict a great honour that would be bestowed on the region to which he refers as ‘Galilee of the nations, the Way of the Sea’: “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.” (Isaiah 9.2)

A major highway at the time, connecting Asia, Africa and Europe, straddled the coast of Israel before moving inland towards Galilee and then beyond into Syria. Galilee was thus an international crossroads whose people were immensely privileged to have seen a great light when Jesus came among them.

Yet many rejected him and failed to grasp his significance. True, 2,000 years later he is still much spoken against, but he is nevertheless the most famous man who ever lived. He performed many miracles in Galilee – in Capernaum, Chorazin and Bethsaida – and warned those cities that they would be judged for their rejection of Messiah. As for Capernaum, where much of his ministry took place, he said: “Will you be lifted to the heavens? No, you will go down to Hades; for if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day.” (Matthew 11.23)

Capernaum was destroyed by an earthquake in 749 AD. We could only view its ruins. Yet a short distance away is the town of Migdal, still a thriving community where former prostitute turned passionate believer Mary Magdalene came from.

A little further down the coast still is the city of Tiberias, a popular resort frequented by the occupying Romans in Jesus’ day – yet it is not mentioned in the gospel accounts. Also not mentioned is Sebastia, the ancient capital of Samaria up in the hills, which was the in-place for the jet-set of the day with its spa and baths adorned with beautiful columns. Now, apart from a few remaining columns, it is a barren ruin in a dustbowl with little to suggest it was the Las Vegas of a bygone era.

Seemingly insignificant events and people have changed history. One example is Joppa, now known as Jaffa, at the southern tip of Tel Aviv. It was there, in the house of Simon the Tanner, that the Apostle Peter had a vision, and because he acted upon it in obedience to the Lord, it became the means by which the gospel was preached to the entire Gentile world.

The Roman centurion Cornelius, 40 miles up the coast, had a similar encounter, and he acted upon it because he was a god-fearing man who loved the Jews. Genesis 12.3 tells that those who bless the seed of Abraham will themselves be blessed while those who curse them will come under judgment. And so the Holy Spirit fell on these Gentile believers.

Joppa (now Jaffa) is once more significant today as the entry point of Jews returning to Israel from every corner of the globe. Airliners from all over the world fly over this ancient port bringing the scattered seed of Abraham back to the Promised Land. What’s more, many of them are now turning back to the Lord, having acknowledged Jesus as their Messiah. And we worshipped with some of them (in Hebrew), which was an amazing privilege. It was such a moving experience to witness hands and eyes lifted to the skies in praise and adoration of the Lord we love.

And they are reaching out to a world still lost and confused; Tel Aviv is a hedonistic city where many indulge in a club and coffee bar culture that leaves little room for God. But there is a great openness. They may be lost, but they are looking for a Shepherd. Pray that their eyes will be open; go if you can and tell them about Yeshua (Hebrew for Jesus). They are looking for fun and fulfilment, but they often find mere emptiness, as at the bottom of a beer glass or coffee cup.

Like us in Britain, they too are looking for the bright lights, but are so dazzled by the glitzy neon signs that they miss the real thing – the true light that gives light to every man. Jesus says: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8.12)

As I was standing on the Mount of Olives, I contemplated how Jesus paid such a heavy price for our salvation as he sweated blood among the olive trees in the Garden of Gethsemane below. The olive tree is a symbol of the Messiah. Its fruit is harvested using sticks to beat them down from the overhanging branches. Jesus was whipped for us. And the olives are then crushed for their oil. Jesus was crushed for our iniquities (Isaiah 53.5). But the oil is then used to light a candle… to bring true light to the world! Let’s focus on the true light this Christmas – and Hanukkah.

As the sheep in the wilderness needed to keep as close as possible to the shepherd in order to hear his voice and avoid danger (from ravines and ravenous wolves – especially at night), so we need to maintain absolute focus and trust as we follow the Lord, keeping as close as possible to the pure source of living water (as with the fresh water at the source of the Jordan compared to the muddy stream further down).

So whether you are celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah (or both), focus on the true light, the living stream and the fresh pasture that only the Lord provides.


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

 

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VIDEO: Is Moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem the Right Decision?

 

Jewish / Christian Wall Calendar 5778 (Sep 2017 - Dec 2018)

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How Israel Plays Into South African Revival That's Reaching the Halls of Power

A momentous prayer meeting took place in the South African Parliament last Friday that is likely to have significance for generations to come.

The focus was on reconciliation, with white people asking forgiveness from blacks, and blacks confessing their sins against the white community in recent years.

Many were reportedly brought to tears during an extended time of prayer and confession, after which farmer-evangelist Angus Buchan addressed MPs and other dignitaries about the need for faith in South Africa.

One MP, Steve Swart, even confessed the government’s anti-Semitism during World War II when Jews who had fled the Holocaust were not allowed to disembark in Cape Town.

The meeting was held in the Parliament’s former main chamber where many discriminatory laws were passed, and was by invitation only due to the venue’s maximum 250 capacity.

Anneke Rabe, praying on behalf of South Africa’s whites, sought forgiveness for the way they had treated the nation’s black, Coloured (mixed race) and Indian population along with other minorities – for oppressive laws, land dispossession and the way the churches condoned apartheid:

“I repent for the way that we shamed, humiliated and oppressed you…for those who died under the evil system of apartheid in Sharpeville, Soweto and many other places; for the inferior education you received under that system; for the pain, anguish, fear and shock you had to endure; for the detentions, imprisonments, tortures and violence.”

Cape Town intercessor Ashley Cloete, a descendant of slaves and the Khoi people, was reduced to tears “when one speaker after another recalled laws that had affected my life down the years such as the Group Areas Act and the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act.

“As a result of the former law, and the related practice of so-called ‘slum clearance’, almost all the buildings and places of my childhood memories had been eradicated. And the latter law was the reason for my exile of just over 18 years,” he told Gateway News.

Representing the Evangelical Alliance of South Africa, Rev Moss Nthla prayed “with a deep sense of awareness of the grace you showed us through what many have described as the miracle of 1994 (the relatively peaceful transfer of power).”

But he went on: “I stand to confess our failure, as a people, to be good stewards of that miracle. We have neither sought nor walked in your ways. As a result, we have harmed ourselves and each other as South Africans. I ask for forgiveness that sadly, a growing number of white South Africans have been made to feel unwelcome in this country and that they have no future for themselves or their children (a possible reference, in part, to the policy of positive discrimination favouring blacks over whites for jobs). I further ask for forgiveness for the thousands of farmers who have been murdered in our country by black people.”

Commenting later on the reference to anti-Semitism, Ashley Cloete said: “The attitude of our present government towards Israel is of course something that we are not at all proud of as followers of the Jewish Jesus, our Lord and Saviour.” (There are moves afoot to downgrade diplomatic ties with Israel). And he also referred to regular worship on Signal Hill (adjacent to Table Mountain) “in our Isaac-Ishmael prayer battle for Jews and Muslims”.

Driving through the wilderness through which the ancient Israelites wandered for 40 years during my recent tour of Israel, I was profoundly struck by the wonder of how they were able to survive in such arid conditions. It was to teach them to depend on God for everything, and learn that “man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4.4, Deuteronomy 8.3) There were no bakeries or bottle stores there; they had to trust God, who duly provided manna from heaven and water from the rock.

It also occurred to me that trusting God was not an option for them; it wasn’t reserved for the ‘religious’ – they were all in it together. Judaism sees no separation between the sacred and the secular; it’s all part of life. And neither should Christianity, whose roots are in Judaism. That is where we fall down so often.

But South Africa’s Christians have taken the bull by the horns and stepped straight into the very heart of government. Didn’t Jesus say the gates of Hell would not prevail against his church? They are not shy about their faith, or happy to keep it to themselves. They know it’s the only hope for the nation’s future.

Clearly, God has anointed Angus Buchan and others for such auspicious moments, but we have to ask if there is someone in Britain, with comparable courage and conviction, who is prepared to raise his voice among our politicians?

Angus knows where his strength comes from – the mighty power of the Holy Spirit that was first poured out in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost.

In 1960 British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan also addressed the Cape Town Parliament warning of “winds of change” blowing through Africa among nations seeking their independence from colonial powers.

But our farmer friend knows that the only wind of change God requires from leaders in these dark days is the acknowledgement of rule from heaven above, and the restoration of our Judeo-Christian heritage.

As with Nehemiah rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem and Ezra drawing the people back to God by reading the Law, so South Africa is experiencing a restoration – both in spirit and in truth.

Our need in Britain is the same; chiefly for reconciliation with God, though working together in unity with our Christian brethren is a vital first step, without which our secular nation will not fully grasp that we love one another.

Like Angus and his fellow leaders, we also need courage – the sort that caused those who witnessed the boldness of Peter and John to recall that they “had been with Jesus”. (Acts 4.13)

We too need to repent – over the shameful laws we have passed that contradict the commandments handed down to us on Mt Sinai; and over our treatment of Israel, who gave us God’s Law in the first place.

Thankfully, an anti-Semitic campaign calling on the British Government to apologize for the Balfour Declaration (promising to do all we could to restore Jews to their ancient land) has come to nothing. If anything, we should apologize for trying to prevent its eventual implementation, largely through appeasement of Arabs opposing it.

Worse still, we prevented Jews trying to escape the Holocaust from entering the Promised Land through our policy of limited immigration during the (internationally-approved) Mandate we held over the region.

And since we’re discussing South Africa, perhaps we also need to repent over our disgraceful dealings with the Afrikaners, 26,000 of whom perished in the British concentration camps during the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902.

I am still proud to be South African, despite my problems with immigration when initially refused re-entry to the UK on my recent return from Israel. My loyalty to the country of my birth is chiefly due to the god-fearing Afrikaners who rescued my orphaned great-grandfather and his siblings from possible death in the veldt following the roadside murder of their widowed father.

My great-grandfather, also Charles, was subsequently brought up in the parsonage of the Rev Andrew Murray, a much-loved revivalist who, together with his famous son of the same name, became a father-figure for Dutch Reformed evangelicals throughout the country.

The passion for Jesus exhibited by so many Afrikaners today is in no small way connected, in my opinion, to the legacy left by the Murray clan – I happen also to share Scottish ancestry with both Angus Buchan and the Murrays.

But it’s about the heart more than our genes. May passion for God’s rule over our nations drive us to our knees, as we are witnessing so powerfully in South Africa, where 1.7 million Christians converged on a farmer’s field to pray for the nation back in April. Amen.


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

 

Netanyahu Warns Iran After Israel Reportedly Fires Missiles at Syria

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu published a stern warning to Iran on Saturday evening, less than 24 hours after at least a dozen Iranian military personnel were killed when their base in Syria was destroyed.

Arab media reported over the weekend that the base, said to be an Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps installation not far from Damascus, was hit by several Israeli surface-to-surface missiles.

The BBC reported just weeks ago that Iran was busy establishing a permanent military presence in Syria, a move that Israel views as an existential threat.

According to Syria's state-run SANA news agency, Israel fired five of its Jericho ballistic missiles at the base. One or more of the missiles were reportedly intercepted by Syrian and/or Russian air defenses, but the remainder struck their target, causing tremendous damage.

Israeli officials refused to comment on the incident. But the timing of Netanyahu's video warning strongly suggested that the Arab media reports were at least partially accurate.

 

Palestinians Promise Explosion of Violence if Trump Recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's Capital

Rumors are rife that US President Donald Trump will officially recognize a united Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel sometime this week, possibly in lieu of actually moving the US Embassy to the Holy City in the short term.

But the Palestinian leadership is warning that if Trump takes either of those steps, they will unleash a wave of terrorist violence that will affect the entire world.

"Any American declaration of recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel – if there is one – would mean total destruction of the peace process," senior Palestinian Authority advisor Mahmoud Al-Habbash told reporters on Saturday. "The whole world will pay a price for any change or harm to the political reality of Jerusalem."

It was pointed out that Al-Habbash issued the violent threat with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas standing at his side, meaning it is the official Palestinian Authority (PA) position.

Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip and with which the PA is trying to reconcile, was slightly less dramatic, though its threat was probably more legitimate.

"We warn against such a move and call on the Palestinian people to revive the intifada (terrorist uprising) if these unjust decisions on Jerusalem are adopted," Hamas said in a statement released to the press.

PHOTO: Palestinians protested against Trump and his support for Israel during the president's visit to the region in May 2017. (Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90)

 

IDF Soldier Killed in Terror Stabbing

A young Israeli soldier was stabbed to death by an Arab terrorist in the desert town of Arad late Thursday night.

Ron Yitzhak Kukia, 19, was laid to rest over the weekend following the shocking and unexpected attack.

Despite being located not far from Palestinian Authority-controlled territories, Arad had thus far not suffered any terrorist violence.

An initial investigation revealed that Kukia was near a local mall at 9:26 pm Thursday night when an Arab man appeared before him and started stabbing the soldier in the upper body.

The terrorist stole Kukia's gun and quickly fled the scene. A massive manhunt for the perpetrator continues.

A passerby noticed Kukia and called emergency services, but the soldier was declared dead at the scene.

Arad Mayor Nisan Ben-Hemo said following the heinous crime:

"Unfortunately, Arad has now joined the cities affected by terror. We never had a nationalistic terror attack before. This ruins our pastoral quiet and the security which Arad's residents enjoyed. For years, it did not matter if there was a war or there was tension - Arad was considered to be a safe place in every way. Today, unfortunately, reality slapped us in the face."

PHOTO: Illustration. (Abed Rahim Khatib/ Flash90)

 

Anointing Oil Set - “Light of Jerusalem” & “King Solomon”

The Hebrew language is more than merely a means of communication. Doing Hebrew word studies leads us to a deeper understanding of our faith when we look at word roots.

Both the words "Jerusalem" and "Shlomo" (i.e. Solomon), are from the Hebrew root “שלמ”, which is also the root of the word Shalom "שלום". And Shalom is more than just "peace" or "wholeness" it also denotes perfection "שלמות" that we yearn for in the coming of the Messiah!

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Palestinian Ambassador Boasts of Beating Up Israeli Student in America

The man who the Palestinian Authority deemed appropriate to represent it officials in London, Manuel Hassassian, recently boast on Lebanese television that he once beat up an Israeli student at an American university in Ohio.

Hassassian was speaking on Al-Quds TV when he was asked about his student days at the University of Toledo.

The ambassador recalled his fury during a cultural event on campus:

"We displayed (an exhibition on) Palestinian folklore. Nearby was the Israeli stand, and one student declared that hummus and falafel were Jewish national foods."

"I said to him: 'how dare you? You steal my land, exile my people and now you are robbing us of our folklore and national foods? You claim that it is Jewish food? It is our food, of the Palestinian people, and I will not allow this.' I then grabbed him and gave him a beating."

If Hassassian's revision of history is too much to swallow, just wait for the next part.

Obviously, such violence attracted the attention of campus police, who detained Hassassian for physically assaulting another student.

However, according to Hassassian, after he explained the situation to the officers, they told him "Palestine should be proud of you," and set him free.

It is unclear how deploying such people as official representatives of the Palestinian Authority aids the purpose of peace.

 

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Pence Confirms Trump Still Planning to Move US Embassy to Jerusalem

US Vice President Mike Pence reaffirmed on Tuesday that the Trump Administration will always stand with Israel, and does indeed still intend to relocate the US Embassy to Jerusalem, a move that would significantly bolster Israel's claim to the entirety of the Holy City.

Pence was speaking at an event marking the 70th anniversary of the historic vote by the United Nations General Assembly to recognize a Jewish state in this region.

The vote also recognized an adjacent Arab state, but the Arab world rejected the vote and declared war on the nascent Jewish state. The land earmarked for that new Arab state was instead conquered and annexed by Jordan.

Pence, a Bible-believing Christian, told the gathering that while the UN vote is worth remembering, "Israel didn't need a resolution to call for its existence, because its right to exist is self-evident, and timeless."

He continued:

"While Israel was built by human hands, it's impossible not to see the hand of heaven here too. The horrors of the Holocaust reminded the world that the safety and security of the Jewish people could not be assured without an independent state. Israel is a testament to the unbreakable spirit of the Jewish people."

Regarding the embassy move, Pence urged Israelis to be patient, but not to worry.

Trump repeatedly vowed in the strongest possible terms during the election campaign that he would be the president to finally fulfill the American promise to move the US Embassy to Israel's actual capital city.

Many Israelis have expressed frustration that nearly a year into Trump's presidency, the move still hasn't happened.

"President Donald Trump is actively considering when and how to move the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem," Pence sought to reassure them.

 

"70 Years of Israel" - Anniversary Edition in Spring 2018

On April 19, 2018, Israel will celebrate its 70th birthday! We, and our tour group, will be celebrating this occasion together with Israel!

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

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



 

Palestinians Furious After Saudi Arabia Downplays Importance of Jerusalem

Proponents of the Palestinian cause have tried to inflate the position of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount in Islam, and thereby paint Israel's sovereignty in this city as an affront to their religion.

But, a couple years ago, renowned Egyptian scholar and novelist Youssef Ziedan acknowledged in a series of television interviews that Jerusalem holds no religious significance for Muslims.

Today, it is common to hear that Jerusalem is Islam's third holiest city, being the location of the "Al Aqsa Mosque" referred to the in the Koran.

Ziedan said the whole thing is nonsense:

"The Al-Aqsa Mosque [in Jerusalem] did not exist back then, and the city was not called Al-Quds. It was called Aelia, and it had no mosques."

He is far from being alone in that position.

In fact, a growing number of Saudis on social media have taken to using a hashtag that translates as "Riyadh is More Important Than Jerusalem."

It is a deliberate downplaying of the importance of Jerusalem from both religious and nationalist viewpoints, and it coincides with the oil-rich kingdom's warming relations with Israel.

Saudis have grown increasingly frustrated with what they see as the Palestinian intransigent and treachery.

Palestinian rejection of Saudi efforts to bring the Israeli-Arab conflict to an equitable end has incensed many in Riyadh, as has Palestinian support for Iran's nuclear program and collaboration between Palestinian groups and Iran's Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah.

Like Israel, Saudi Arabia views Iran as an existential threat.

Alienating Saudi Arabia in this manner threatens to lose the Palestinians the support of the Arab world's top powers.

And yet, we see their hearts continue to harden.

In a backlash to the aforementioned Saudi hashtag, Palestinians on social media have started using a hashtag that translates as "Jerusalem is more important than the [Saudi] king."

If things continue down this path, a day could come when the Arab world's leading powers reject a Palestinian state even more than Israel does.

PHOTO: A Saudi delegation led by prince Al-Walid bin Talal visits the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah on March 04, 2014. (Issam Rimawi/FLASH90)

 

Is Wonder Woman Also a Mossad Agent?

So, Wonder Woman is supposed to be part goddess, a daughter of Zeus, but she's also apparently an Israeli spy.

It's a great source of pride for the Jewish state that the modern incarnation of Wonder Woman is being played by proud Israeli actress Gal Gadot.

But Gadot found herself cast in a very different role this week by the Lebanese newspaper Al Liwaa.

The Beirut-based daily was reporting on the arrest last Friday of Lebanese actor and playwright Ziad Itani on charges of espionage.

According to that and other reports, Itani had been successfully recruited by the Mossad, and was caught gathering intelligence on senior Lebanese government officials on behalf of Israel.

Al Liwaa needed a photo of the Israeli agent who turned Itani, identified as one Collette Vianfi, so it published a shot of the most famous and attractive Jewess it could find - Gal Gadot!

Other Lebanese newspapers and online media outlets immediately pointed out the error, and Al Liwaa's editorial staff issued an apology.

 

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Gospel to the Gentiles

Having lived in a ‘bubble’ during a lengthy tour of Israel visiting sites connected with the gospel that has changed the world, it came as a shock to re-enter the atmosphere of nations in turmoil – Germany in trouble, Mugabe finally deposed in Zimbabwe and Britain continuing to fight both internal and external battles in the wake of Brexit.

There is perhaps a message in this strange transition – the countries in difficulty have been built largely on a Judeo-Christian ethos, but have begun to cast off its ‘shackles’ in favour of a no-holds-barred secular humanist system.

The last ten days of our four-week trip was spent at Jaffa, just south of Tel Aviv, an old port city known in Bible times as Joppa, where the Apostle Peter had a vision that brought the good news of Jesus to the entire Gentile world. He was staying at Simon the Tanner’s house (which is still there) and was resting on the rooftop when he fell into a trance and saw a vision of all kinds of animals including those regarded as unclean by Jews.

This was not, as some suppose, a license to eat pork, but a supernatural message that he was not to regard Gentiles as being unworthy of God’s love. It coincided with a similar encounter experienced by a Roman centurion called Cornelius in the coastal city of Caesarea, some 40 miles north. Cornelius was a god-fearing man who loved the Jews, and an angel appeared to him saying that his prayers had been heard and he was to send for a man called Peter, who was staying with Simon the Tanner at his house by the sea. The rest is history.

Cornelius and his extended family heard the triumphant message of the gospel and were filled with the Holy Spirit, just as the Jewish disciples had been on the Day of Pentecost. This opened the door for the good news to spread across the nations, bringing kindness, compassion and justice with it which helped to establish a powerful force known as Western civilization.

Tragically, the Jewish people were exiled throughout the world within a generation of Jesus’ death and resurrection after the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and massacred many of its inhabitants. And Christians eventually translated the Bible into hundreds of languages, further enabling the gospel to spread. But God had not forgotten the people with whom he had made an unbreakable covenant and, in fulfillment of many ancient prophecies, the scattered seed of Abraham finally took root in the Promised Land after nearly 2,000 years.

Just as the gospel was originally ‘exported’ from Joppa, so it has now become a re-entry point for Jews – not only coming back to the land, but in being restored to their Lord.

My stay there was unplanned as I was initially prevented from returning to the UK due to new restrictions on ‘foreigners’ like me. Though South African-born and still a citizen of that country (my wife is British), I have lived in England for nearly 50 years. Yet I now apparently need a visa – though an inked stamp in an old passport sent over by neighbours eventually proved sufficient!

We stayed in a guesthouse which also hosts two Messianic congregations (Jews who follow Jesus) as well as a music school led by a former director of the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra. It was a very moving experience to witness hands and eyes lifted to the skies in adoration of the Lord in a revived form of ancient Hebrew as we worshipped together on a Friday night – the start of the Jewish Sabbath. Headsets were provided for Russian members and English visitors like us.

Committed to the spiritual restoration of Israel, this peaceful oasis is perfectly placed to go some way towards achieving this divine goal, with its great potential for reaching out to Greater Tel Aviv where almost half the country’s Jewish population lives. The whole ethos of the place beats loudly with a heart of love for the largely lost world around them, who find welcome, warmth and hospitality in this gem of an international community steeped in history and within a short walk of some of the most significant sites in biblical history, not to mention magnificent beaches.

Life in Tel Aviv is tough, rough and expensive! I watched poor people struggling as they waited in the swamp of a filthy launderette while others begged for food and wandered the streets with no apparent hope. But there are also swanky high-rise hotels and a bustling downtown area overshadowed by skyscrapers, with many indulging in a hedonistic lifestyle of clubs and coffee bars. But they are living in a bubble, afraid to confront reality.

I met one of them at the airport, a charming young lady commuting between London and Tel Aviv, confessing to being a ‘secular Jew’ yet listening with interest when I shared of our study tour learning about the Jewish roots of the Christian faith. She admitted to being shocked when she left her ‘bubble’ to visit friends in the north who lived within the sound of exploding bombs across the border in Syria where violence continues to rage. But even in Tel Aviv the mangled wreck of a beachside café stands as a stark reminder of the constant threat facing its inhabitants – a bloody terror attack killed 21 mainly young people enjoying a night out there just three months before 9/11.

Although in general we sensed an atmosphere of profound peace throughout our tour, there were a couple of incidents to remind us of the conflict that has raged here ever since the Jews began returning to the land. The IDF bombing of a Hamas terror tunnel raised a security alert as the organization had promised vengeance, and the suicide bombing in a Druze village just across the border in Syria caused another alarm – and a long wait at a checkpoint.

The resettling of Jews in Israel following their long exile is very reminiscent of the time of Nehemiah 2,500 years ago when they returned from 70 years in Babylon. Nehemiah was given authority by King Artaxerxes of Persia to restore the broken walls of Jerusalem, but his work was strongly opposed by others in the surrounding lands. Now the Jews have returned once more to the Promised Land, and yet again they face fierce opposition. Nehemiah’s men built the walls using one hand for construction and the other to hold a weapon – exactly as Israel has developed since the birth of the modern state as ancient ruins have been rebuilt, barren wastes have been richly cultivated and wars have been won against all odds.

When, in Nehemiah’s time, the city was finally rebuilt and made secure, Ezra was assigned to read the Book of the Law, as a result of which the people repented of how far they had strayed from God’s rule. And now Jewish people are returning to the Lord once more in fulfillment of ancient prophecies, with Jeremiah adding that there will come a day when they will all know the Lord, “from the least of them to the greatest”. (Jer 31.34)

If Jews are thus turning back to God, it means the return of Jesus is that much closer. (Zechariah 12.10 & 14.4, Romans 11.26) But what of the nations to whom the gospel was graciously given? Will they be among the sheep or the goats on Judgment Day? (See Matthew 25.31-46) On the closing page of the Bible, Jesus says: “Yes, I am coming soon.”


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

 

It’s Time For a New Approach To "Hasbara"

Join us for a 4-day encounter with the land and the people that make modern Israel what it is.

Together, we’ll gain deeper insight into the political, social and spiritual situation through a series of lectures by and dialogues with Israel Today’s editorial staff, local historians, security experts, archaeologists, journalists, Messianic Jews, Arab Muslims and Christians.

We’ll also make time for good food and even better fellowship as we sample the best of the local culinary scene.

When: May 22-25, 2018 - 3 gatherings daily

 

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Kuwaiti Journalist Sparks Outrage by Admitting Israel's Not an Occupying Power

Amid a quiet thawing of relations between Israel and more moderate Arab states, a leading Kuwaiti journalist this month sparked public outrage when he dared to get real about the Jewish state.

Writer Abdullah Al-Hadlaq was taking part in a panel discussion on Kuwait's Alrai TV when he not only rejected the notion that Israel is an occupying power, but went so far as to accept the legitimacy of the Jews' return to their ancient homeland.

He went on to heap praise on the advanced and progressive Jewish state, which puts to shame most of its Arab neighbors.

In remarks translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Al-Hadlaq said:

"When the State of Israel was established in 1948, there was no state called 'Palestine.'

"Like it or not, Israel is an independent sovereign state. It exists, and it has a seat at the United Nations, and most peace-loving and democratic countries recognize it. The group of states that do not recognize Israel are the countries of tyranny and oppression.

"For example, North Korea does not recognize Israel, but this does nothing to detract from Israel or from the fact of its existence, whether we like it or not. The State of Israel has scientific centers and universities the likes of which even the oldest and most powerful Arab countries lack. So Israel is a state and not a terror organization.

"There is no occupation. There is a people returning to its promised land. Are you aware that the history of the Israelites is ancient, predating Islam? Therefore, we Muslims must acknowledge that the Israelites have a right to that land, and that they have not plundered it."

 

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Israeli Researchers Debunk Transgender Craze That's Sweeping America

The Bible warned that a day would come when good was called evil, and evil was called good. In other words, a day when reality and truth were turned on their heads.

Anyone living in a Western society currently steeped in the transgender phenomenon might understandably think that day has arrived.

Israel, at least in this context, is looking to play its role as "light to the nations" by releasing a fact-based rebuttal of the notion that gender is a matter of personal feeling and choice.

Geneticists at the Weizmann Institute of Science, one of the world's leading scientific institutes, recently published a study showing just how many biological differences there are between the male and female of our species.

CBN News reported:

Professor Shmuel Pietrokovski and Dr. Moran Gershoni studied 20,000 genes, sorting them by sex, and searching for differences in expression in each tissue.

They eventually found around "6,500 genes with activity that was biased toward one sex or the other in at least one tissue, adding to the already major biological differences between men and women."

In layman's terms, a man is a man and a woman is a woman, not because they feel like one or the other, but because the science of biology tells us so.

It is always stunning how proponents of the ultra-liberal agenda will attack people of faith for believing in God absent scientific proof, but are more than willing to throw the science of biology right out the window when it comes to the question of gender.

 

Israel Set to Field Its First Female Tank Crews

Amid much controversy, Israel this week is set to field its very first female tank crews.

For years already, activists have been working to complete the integration of women in the Israeli army by opening the Armored Corps to the fairer sex.

The upcoming trial period will see 13 female graduates of an abbreviated Armored Corps course deployed to three tanks guarding the Israel-Egypt border.

While each of the three tanks will have a seasoned male commander, IDF officials stressed that the long-term goal is not co-ed tank crews. Rather, if the trial is successful, the Israeli army is looking to have all-female tank crews operating alongside their male counterparts.

According to army sources, the female tanks will serve in a defensive (and stationary) capacity only, and will never be called upon to enter and maneuver within enemy territory.

 

Why Did Trump Expose Israeli Covert Operations to the Russians?

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, Trump just banned all laptops.

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

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

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

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

 

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Poll: 60 Percent of Local Arabs Proud to be Israeli

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Israeli Jewish Blogger Causes Uproar by Taking Selfies in Saudi Arabia

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

She wasn't.

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

She didn't.

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

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued the following statement:

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

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

 

One Birthday And Celebrate For Two Years!

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

We, at Israel Today, are also preparing activities for this evenא and want to involve you!

For this Black Friday weekend you can celebrate and save together with us.

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Orthodox Jews Joining IDF Face Increasing Pressure, Threats

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

In most regards, that's true.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And the answer, of course, is the Jews.

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

 

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

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

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

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

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



 

Messianic Jewish IDF Officer Sets the Record Straight

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

 

Small Galilee Set

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Galilee's sells high-quality products from small manufacturers in the Galilee region under its brand name. This gives local small businesses the opportunity to sell their lovingly handcrafted products nationwide and even internationally. These products do not contain preservatives.

    Content:
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  • Finest honey from Israel 140 g
  • Silan (date honey) 120 g

This offer is valid only until November 21, 2017. You pay only $9.37 instead of $12.50. Postage and packaging excluded.



 

The Miracle of Modern Israel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

 

Hamas Reiterates: We Will Never Recognize Israel

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

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

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

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

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

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

Clearly, such sentiment is nothing more than wishful thinking.

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

 

NEW: “Temple” - Oil Painting on Jerusalem Stone with bible verse!

Stunning hand-painted oil paintings on original Jerusalem stone! These products are wonderful as high quality gifts as well as adornments for your wall or showcase!

Take a peek over the shoulder of our artist from Jerusalem at work!



 

Messianic Singer Blows Away Judges on Israeli Reality Show

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

VIDEO: Israel's Knesset Honors Christian Zionists

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

 

An Israeli View on What's Happening in Lebanon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

VIDEO: Road Trip Israel

 

Get Your Olive Wood Christmas Trinkets Now?

Whether you want some christmas tree decorations, beautiful nativity sets for the mantlepiece or set of candlesticks to welcome in Shabbat, they are all available now.

Make sure that you get your Christmas trinkets in time and don't wait for the last minute rush!

 

US Ambassador Vows Embassy Will Eventually Be Moved to Jerusalem

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

Who has heard such a thing?

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

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

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

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

God's sincere blessings from Zion!
Aviel Schneider

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



 

Israeli Army Warns Hamas and Allies Against Retaliation

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

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

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


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

 

Israeli-Operated Patriot Missile Downs Syrian Drone

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

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

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

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

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

 

VIDEO: Aerial View of Lower Haifa

 

The Dead-Jew Industry

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Netanyahu Surprises 3 Millionth Tourist With Personal Welcome to Israel

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

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

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

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

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

 

Weekend Special Now At 25% Discount

"The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree, He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon." Psalm 92:12

Dates are among the healthiest fruits that exist. Our dates have only recently been harvested and will be dispatched from Israel. Treat yourself to a healthy snack before work or during the day - just place a plate with the fresh fruit on the kitchen table or in the living room.

Foodies Tip: replace the kernel with a walnut. Enjoy this healthy and delicious fruit one of the Seven Species that Israel has been endowed with.

1kg

This offer is valid until November 12, 2017. Only $10.42 instead of $13.90 (shipping costs excluded)!

    A Pampering Smoothie
  • 2 bananas
  • 6 pitted dates
  • 1 cup of liquid (such as soy, cow or almond milk)
  • 2 tsp silan
  • a few ice cubes

Place all the ingredients in a blender and mix well. Delicious!

 

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