British Commander: IDF Most Moral Army World Has Ever Known

British Commander: IDF Most Moral Army World Has Ever Known

Col. Richard Kemp, the former commander of all British forces in Afghanistan, is in Israel this week to lend support to the military campaign in Gaza and to take on take on detractors who claim the Israeli army is perpetrating war crimes there.

“No other army in the world has ever done more than Israel is doing now to save the lives of innocent civilians in a combat zone,” Kemp said in an interview with Channel 2 News, adding that when world leaders demand Israel do more, “perhaps Israel should ask what more it can do.”

Having served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, Kemp is intimately familiar with exactly the kind of enemy Israel is facing, and the environment in which it is fighting.

“Islamic extremists around the world use very similar tactics,” the retired colonel explained, as he recalled Taliban using young children to attack his troops. “British soldiers have fought exactly this kind of enemy in Afghanistan and in Iraq. British soldiers understand what Israel is doing.”

Kemp went on to accuse some in the mainstream international media of culpability in Hamas’ war crimes.

“The media, in some cases, bear responsibility for the killing that’s taking place, because they are themselves projecting Hamas’ desired propaganda,” he said.

Asked if he felt Israel could achieve total victory, if it could force a Hamas surrender, Kemp sounded doubtful.

“Inevitably, Israel’s inexorable military force driving into Gaza will lead to the surrender of Hamas,” he stated, before going on to note that such an outcome depended on far too many external forces.

Could Israel accept the large number of soldiers that would die in such a war? Could Israel withstand international pressure long enough to achieve total victory? These are questions that many in Israel have long asked, and few believe that “yes” is the answer to either.


An Arab Pastor Speaks Out on Gaza

An Arab Pastor Speaks Out on Gaza

The following is an open letter from Shmuel Aweida to all those "peace activists" rising up against Israel. Listen carefully, Awieda is an Israeli Arab Christian pastor who knows of what he speaks!

Dear so-called "peace-seeking people", "pro-ceasefire people" and "peace and reconciliation activists",

Forgive me for not taking your nice dreams and peace demonstrations and wishes so seriously... People who didn't care about the suffering people in Gaza under the Hamas regime for years can't really be considered morally superior to any IDF soldier that's on the ground there now. You might seem to be better and kinder, but not really... Sorry...

If you really care, then free Gaza from Hamas and other Islamic jihadist organizations! How can you feel sorry for the innocent children hurt accidentally by Israel when you don't care that the same children grow up to learn to hate intentionally? You claim to feel sorry for the hungry children while ignoring the poison they are fed every single day at Hamas and Fatah schools and on TV.

How can you feel sorry for the women crying now when you didn't care that they've been humiliated, discriminated and even raped and killed regularly for years?

Here's another thing I don't get:

These kind, sympathetic, peace-loving people who automatically want and pray for a ceasefire in Israel's war(s) against the evil, anti-Semitic, anti-human, blood-thirsty terrorist organizations like Hamas (not against the Palestinians) - they make Israel never finish "the job" and then on the top of it all, their governments and NGOs send billions of dollars of "aid" to this corrupt evil system.

And guess what happens time and again - instead of feeding the hungry with food, they feed themselves with weapons. Instead of teaching the children math, they teach them hate and jihad against the Jews. Instead of building houses and hospitals above the ground, they build terror-tunnels under the ground.

The tunnels found in the past days have cost hundreds of millions of US dollars to build! The IDF blew up millions of your money, dear nice people in the naive West!

I'm not saying that Israel is without any fault here, but sometimes I really wonder if the Palestinians' best friends are in reality the ones that maintain their oppression under this Islamic regime?

I simply don't get it! Someone here needs to get a better grasp of reality!

As much as I hate this war and the price that's being paid by our dear soldiers and the innocent civilians on both sides, I hate the fact that it's necessary! May the needed pain of war bear good fruit of peace for all! May the Lord of Hosts and Armies give us His Shalom!

There has been quite a lot of activity in the social media in the past month. I was disappointed and frustrated of some my Facebook friends and the level of naiveté and blindness with regard to the real situation and the roots of the conflicting the Middle East.

Do they really not see what the Hamas is all about or what Islam really is? Are they all so blind to what's happening around us in Syria, Iraq and all over? Don't they see what Hamas is doing to the poor population that lives under this terror daily? I don't know why I keep being surprised...

To my anti-Arab friends:

But what really surprised me was that, with regard to this operation in Gaza, the hatred, revenge and racism that filled the [Facebook] statuses of those who support Israel.

They expressed such joy over going to war and causing destruction (a joy I'm glad our leadership doesn't have). The fact they quoted Bible verses didn't make it any less stinking. So I threw those people out of my Facebook just like I did with others that posted pornography and other disgusting stuff. Trash is trash is trash.

Praying that God may protect our soldiers who are serving us and giving their lives for us - proud of the moral code of the IDF and the legitimacy of this necessary operation. Praying for those making the tough decisions - but with much more humility.

I guess we need to pray that we'll all guard our hearts from hatred, revenge, racism, pride and other destructive things that do not honor us, nor the God of Israel.


IDF Soldiers Thank Israel Today Readers

IDF Soldiers Thank Israel Today Readers

Over the past week, we have taken the generous donations of our readers and distributed pizzas and care packages to Israeli soldiers currently fighting in Gaza or deployed at other flash points around the country.

Many of those soldiers have expressed heartfelt gratitude, not only for the treats they enjoyed during brief respites from war, but also for the fact that there are people around the world that care for them.

“You can’t imagine what this means to us,” one soldier with tears in his eyes told our team that traveled down to the Gaza border on Monday. “This demonstrates that not everyone in the world hates us Jews.”

Most of the soldiers in and around Gaza are young men, only boys, really. “When the rockets start to fall, we have only three seconds to find cover,” said one, as he happily received his pizza. Moments later, the air raid sirens howled, an all too common occurrence, and our team joined the young soldiers in hitting the dirt just as a Hamas rocket exploded in an empty field a few hundred yards away.

The danger past, the soldiers immediately returned to what they were doing, which for most was enjoying the blessing of a warm pizza and a cold cola before returning to the rigors of war.

Israel Today also delivered support packages to soldiers manning defenses in the battered southern city of Beersheva, as well as troops that continue to operate in and near Hebron in the hunt for the killers of three Jewish youth last month.

Many of those soldiers wrote letters thanking Israel Today and our readers for this tangible demonstration of support at a time when many of our troops feel so alone.

One such letter read:

Hello Israel Today,

I’d like to thank you for the generous gifts you gave us, here at our base in the southern Hebron area.

We are reservists, aged 21 to 45, and have been serving for 3 weeks now, having been called up for immediate emergency service.

We left our families, our jobs, businesses and lives, at a drop of a hat.

In many cases, our families are under daily horrifying rocket attacks. We reported for duty, to protect our families, our people, our country.

We are all both thankful for your kind gesture, and proud, knowing that you too are standing firm by Israel and its soldiers.

God bless you.

Senior NCO (Res.)
Company A
Battalion 7018


Israeli MK Blasts Absurdity of American Flight Ban

Israeli MK Blasts Absurdity of American Flight Ban

Late Tuesday, America’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) placed a ban on all flights to Israel after a rocket fired from Gaza landed about a mile from Ben Gurion Airport. The European Union quickly followed suit, and air traffic to the Jewish state took a sudden and devastating dive.

Israeli Member of Knesset Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) pointed out the absurdity of the flight ban in a post to her Facebook profile:

“The American government has halted flights from the US to Israel because a Palestinian rocket from Gaza landed [in a town near the airport]. This is a strange decision coming from someone that is asking us to surrender Judea and Samaria (a mere 3 miles from the airport) to the Palestinians. Mortars on the airport terminal, not a big deal.”

By Thursday morning Israel time, the FAA ban had been lifted just as suddenly as it was imposed. The circumstances surrounding that development were equally interesting, given that the FAA had just hours earlier decided to extend the flight ban for another 24 hours.

On Wednesday, as the ban on flights to Israel began to take its toll, a senior member of the US Senate asked some very pointed questions that ultimately seem to have alleviated the situation.

In an open letter to the White House, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) threatened to suspend all State Department nomination hearings until the following questions were answered:

  1. Was this decision a political decision driven by the White House? For instance, who was this decision made by – a career official, a political appointee, or someone else (at the FAA, State Department or White House?)

  2. If the FAA’s decision was based on airline safety, why was Israel singled out, when flights would be permitted into Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen?

  3. What was the FAA’s ‘safety’ analysis that led to prohibiting flights to Israel, while still permitting flights to Ukraine—where a commercial airline flight was just shot down with a BUK missile?

  4. What specific communications occurred between the FAA and the White House? And the State Department? Why were any such communications necessary, if this was purely about airline safety?

  5. Was this a safety issue, or was it using a federal regulatory agency to punish Israel to try to force them to comply with Secretary Kerry’s demand that Israel stop their military effort to take out Hamas’s rocket capacity?

Cruz never received any direct answers, but, as noted, the FAA ban was lifted suddenly and without explanation.


'You'll Miss Our Children Growing Up...'

'You'll Miss Our Children Growing Up...'

Israel on Tuesday laid to rest the highest ranking IDF officer to fall in combat since 2011.

Lt.-Col. Dolev Keidar (pictured) was killed on Monday along with three other members of his command unit as they responded to a terrorist tunnel infiltration along the Gaza border.

Two teams of Hamas gunmen emerged from the tunnels Monday morning not far from an Israeli kibbutz. Keidar and his officers were among a large force that quickly converged on the scene and ultimately killed all the infiltrators.

But not before Keidar and those with him were ambushed and their jeep hit by an anti-tank missile.

At Keidar’s funeral in the central town of Modiin, his widow Michal said tearfully, “It doesn’t make sense that you will miss our kids starting first grade, bat mitzva and weddings.”

Keidar leaves behind three young children.

The funeral was attending by a number of high-ranking military staff, including four generals and the former deputy chief of the Israeli army, Dan Harel, under whom Keidar had previously served as his personal chief of staff.

Harel said that when he heard his own former deputy had been killed “everything went silent. …I have no answer to this, only…a giant hole in my heart.”

Lt.-Col. Keidar’s sacrifice in battle once again demonstrates the remarkable way in which Israel’s top commanders lead from the front. In most armies, a man who had previously served as deputy to the military’s second in command, and who at the time of his death was head of the Officers’ Training Camp would never have been anywhere near combat.

But, in Israel, it is by no means uncommon for such men to personally lead their troops into battle.

Another example of this was seen over the weekend, when Col. Ghassan Alian, commanding officer of the Golani Infantry Brigade, was wounded while holding the frontline in Gaza together with his soldiers.

Col. Alian was released from the hospital on Tuesday and immediately made his way back into Gaza to be with his soldiers. “We are strong, and we will complete this mission,” said Alian, who as a Druze is the first non-Jewish commander of Golani, one of Israel’s most storied infantry brigades.

While Israel has paid a dear price in Gaza with 29 soldiers killed and hundreds more wounded by Wednesday afternoon, local media reports that, thanks to the leadership of men like Lt.-Col. Keidar and Col. Alian, morale among the troops is sky high.


Israeli Christians Call for Solidarity With Brothers in Iraq, Syria

Israeli Christians Call for Solidarity With Brothers in Iraq, Syria

Israeli Christians groups are growing frustrated over the world’s disproportionate focus on the current Gaza war, while all but ignoring the brutal slaughter and forced conversion of fellow Christians in Iraq and Syria.

“We call on the local councils of all Christian communities to announce five days of mourning and to paint all doors with the (Arabic) letter ”nun“ in solidarity with our people in Mosul, Iraq, where Christians were expelled, slaughtered and churches were burned,” read a Facebook post by the Israeli Christian Lobby.

There are widespread reports that the Islamic State (formerly known as ISIS) has begun painting the letter “nun” on the doors of all Christians homes and businesses ahead of a deadline given to Christians in Iraq to either convert to Islam, or face the sword.

Nowhere has this unchecked persecution been worse than in Mosul, the ancient city of Nineveh, which is home to one of the world’s oldest Christian communities. In the face of the Islamist State’s threats, most chose to flee, but not before many paid for their faith with their lives.

“For the first time in the history of Iraq, Mosul is now empty of Christians,” Patriarch Louis Sako, Iraq’s most senior Christian leader, said earlier this week.

The Israeli Christian Lobby noted that while this was happening in Iraq and Syria, local Arab leaders who claim to represent both Muslims and Christians remained silent, but demonstrated their hypocrisy when they suddenly screamed with outrage over Israel responding to terrorist rocket fire from Gaza.

The Arab leadership, the lobby insisted, “has demonstrated that it does not truly represent the Israeli Christians or even the Druze, but rather the Islamic agenda of the Arab public. We call on all Christians to wake up!”

The Israeli Christian Lobby is organizing a rally to take place in Haifa next Sunday evening in solidarity with Christians under attack in Iraq, Syria and other parts of the Middle East.


Evangelical Donations to Israel - What Christians Should Know

Evangelical Donations to Israel - What Christians Should Know

What should Evangelical Christians know before donating to Israel-based ministries? How is it possible to make sure that these donations will be used for the purposes they were donated for? These important questions and others will be dealt with in the article below.

A breakdown of Evangelical donations to Israel

Evangelical Christians donate hundreds of millions of dollars towards Israeli causes each year. It is our desire at the Jerusalem Institute of Justice to protect these donors at the highest level possible so they can know that their donations are being used for the purposes to which they are designated.

Israelis of all walks of life appreciate Christian donations, a large portion of which is donated towards Jewish entities which advance various forms of humanitarian activity, and/or the general advancement of Zionism, and/or even towards the advancement of settlements in Judea and Samaria. 

A lesser portion of these donations go to Christian and/or Messianic ministries, some of which are involved in humanitarian activity, Zionism, and the building of Jewish Christian relations, others which are involved in Church/Congregation planting, and the advancement of the local Christian and/or Messianic movement in Israel, and a large portion is also donated toward the direct spreading of the gospel in Israel.

Other donations go to charities of the Christian Evangelical Arab community that exists in Israel, in order to build the Christian Arab community, and also in order to spread the gospel in Israel.

Ever since Israel has opened its gates to migrant foreign workers from various third world countries, and also as a result of a large amount of asylum seekers in Israel from various third world countries, many Churches of foreign workers/asylum seekers were established, and many times this was done in the name of a large Evangelical Christian ministry from Africa, Asia, etcetera, and many of these Churches registered local charities. These charities in Israel have received some donations from the mother entities, even though they are probably mainly funded by the local Christian Evangelical community of these migrant workers, and/or asylum seekers. 

The largest among all of the aforementioned charities in Israel are also established as 501c3s in the USA, and in other countries (according to the relevant legislation), but then are registered locally in Israel as well, for local operational purposes.

How to make sure your donation is meeting its purpose

It should be noted that the vast majority of Israeli charities and aid organizations, faith-based or not, are honest and transparent organizations. Israeli law is quite clear regarding management and reporting of funds by aid organizations.

However, some "charitable organizations" operate outside of the law either by incomplete disclosure of activity or by flat-out deception. Moreover, international donors are often unaware of Israeli regulations and therefore are unable to litmus-test aid organizations before making a donation. They are often too far away, moreover, to take legal action or any kind of other legitimate action, if they discover that they have been taken advantage of.

For example, in one case which I have represented, an "Israeli evangelist" solicited funds amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars from several specific donors in order to renovate a "ministry center." Fake photos of this "ministry center" were sent out to these specific donors, as evidence to the presumed need for urgent funding.

This "Israeli evangelist" mentioned to these donors that it is not possible for him to register an official charity, or even to receive these funds through an official bank wire to an actual bank account in Israel, since, according to him, evangelism in Israel is illegal, and he therefore cannot risk that these funds will be traced.

However, evangelism is not illegal in Israel. It is also perfectly legal to register an Israeli charity, even if the sole purpose of this charity is to propagate a certain religion, philosophy, worldview, etcetera.  Jews for Jesus, for example, is a registered official non-profit (Amutah) in Israel, and their registration can be viewed by the public on the website of the Registrar of Amutot.

Had the well-intentioned donors been aware of this, they could have avoided being robbed. 

I hope that the investigation of these cases will expose what really happened, and I am happy that the Israeli police forces, and the prosecution office of the Jewish and democratic state of Israel, are seriously investigating these matters.

The legal framework for the protection of donors

We do not want to discourage Christians from giving towards biblical causes, but believe that any potential donor from within the Evangelical community should take advantage of the legal framework which exists in Israel in order to protect donors.

Our purpose is that Christian donations be used for the purpose to which they were designated and that donors will be protected from scoundrels. Accordingly, I have provided below a review of the Israeli legal framework regarding donations.

There are essentially two types of charities in Israel: Amutot and "Companies for the Benefit of the Public."

Prior to 2007, a Company for the Benefit of the Public was not obligated to register with the Registrar of Public Endowments, and therefore many Companies for the Benefit of the Public operated without real legislative supervision.

Today, however, both Amutot and Companies for the Benefit of the Public are subject to legislative supervision, and those that meet basic requirements are issued a Proper Management Certificate, which serves as a validation that the organization in question is efficiently structured and run.

The requirement for a Proper Management Certificate was established in 1998 as a prerequisite for government funding, and since 2001 every Amuta which provides services to the government must hold a Proper Management Certificate. This can also help to protect donors, and many donors will only donate towards a charity which holds a Proper Management Certificate. 

Amutot that do not hold a Proper Management Certificate are usually in a primitive stage of funding and development, really are not functioning properly, or are simply oblivious in good faith to these very basic requirements. There is no reason for an Israeli Christian/Messianic charity not to possess a Proper Management Certificate.

Please see the article I have written on this subject for a description of the requirements to obtain a Proper Management Certificate.

For the sake of clarification, in this article I am focusing only on donations which are given directly to Israel, not via registered charities in the USA, or any other country in the world.

An encouragement to give

In light of the above article, I strongly encourage any potential Evangelical donor to consider requesting information regarding the ministries you are supporting. I encourage you to see to it that they are within the confines of biblical principles, as well as possessing a Proper Management Certificate, which would confirm legal registration.

I invite you as Evangelicals to continue supporting Israel. Your generosity is a tremendous blessing to the reputation of Evangelicals within Israel. Your generosity is both a provision and a statement of support, both in prayer and in finances.

I hope this article solidifies how to properly investigate where donations are going in order to guarantee that these donations are fulfilling their purposes, which will, in effect, hopefully increase the donations that are generated into Israel.

The information stipulated above is obviously generic, and should in no way replace official legal consultation.

About the author:

Michael Decker has a B.A. in law and is a licensed attorney in Israel. He is a partner in the law offices of Yehuda Raveh & Co., which represents more than 150 charities in Israel on a regular basis. Michael also serves as Senior Legal Advisor to the Jerusalem Institute of Justice.

For further inquiries regarding the issues mentioned in this article, please do not hesitate to contact Michael at:


Israel Surprised by EU Call for Hamas Disarmament

Israel Surprised by EU Call for Hamas Disarmament

Israel was pleasantly surprised on Tuesday when European Union foreign ministers echoed Jerusalem’s demand that Hamas and its terrorist allies be disarmed as an outcome of the current Gaza war.

“The EU calls on Hamas to immediately put an end to these acts and to renounce violence. All terrorist groups in Gaza must disarm,” read the first clause of a joint statement issued following a meeting in Brussels.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry issued its own statement praising “the European Union’s call for the disarmament of the terror organizations in the Gaza Strip of their weapons and the demilitarization of Gaza. These EU statements are completely in line with the perception that guides Israel in the fight against terrorism and they open the door for cooperation in implementing common principles for restoring peace and security.”

Indeed, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier in the week told CNN that the international community must “undertake a program to demilitarize Gaza,” explaining that Israel could not tolerate a war with Hamas every couple years.

A week earlier, Netanyahu explicitly told visiting Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini that the disarmament of Gaza had become a major goal of the current war and for Israel in the long-term. Prior to that, former Israeli Defense Minister Shaul proposed offering $50 billion investment in Gaza in return for Hamas handing over its missile stockpiles.

Tuesday’s EU statement agreed with the Israeli leaders that the status quo in and around Gaza cannot continue, and that more should and could be done to open up that territory and return it to economic stability.

Israel has long maintained that it desires a Gaza Strip that is prosperous and self-sustaining. In fact, Israel withdrew from the coastal enclave in 2005 with that goal in mind, having left behind a wealth of Israeli agricultural businesses for the use of local Palestinian residents.

However, Israel is also adamant that this end goal cannot come at the expense of security for the citizens of the Jewish state. Of course, were the EU’s condition regarding disarmament met, that obstacle would be removed.


Missiles AGAIN Found in UN School in Gaza

Missiles AGAIN Found in UN School in Gaza

Not once, but twice have United Nations inspectors found terrorist missiles stored in a school run by the UN Relief & Works Agency (UNRWA) in the Gaza Strip during the course of the current conflict.

A statement released by UNRWA noted that the facility in which the missiles were found was vacant at the time, but that an adjacent facility also belonging to the agency was housing 1,500 internally displaced civilians, effectively turning them into human shields even after they had heeded Israeli warnings to evacuate their homes.

“UNRWA strongly and unequivocally condemns the group or groups responsible for this flagrant violation of the inviolability of its premises under international law,” the statement read.

But the fact is that this was far from an isolated instance.

Most Hamas attacks on Israel have been launched from civilian areas, and most of the terror group’s arms have been found in civilian homes and facilities.

By way of example, the anti-tank missile that killed Staff Sergeant Avitar Torjamin, 20, in the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis on Tuesday was fired from a mosque; on Wednesday, Israel launched strikes on a Gaza hospital after terrorists repeatedly used it as a rocket launch site; numerous videos posted online show terrorist gunmen being transported in ambulances; and not a few soldiers reported Hamas terrorists running toward them with a rifle in one arm and a child in the other.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told visiting UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that Israel found the use of UNRWA schools to make war on the Jewish state totally unacceptable.

“UNRWA schools were established to educate children in Gaza, but instead they are providing a hiding place for rockets meant to kill children in Israel,” said Lieberman, who also slammed the world body for returning the missiles it found to Hamas.

US House Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) said this developing should not come as a surprise.

“UNRWA has long overstepped its mandate and has been acting as a political entity with an anti-Israel, anti-Semitic agenda… UNRWA has a long history of incitement against Israel in its schools and it certainly has its hands dirty with its ties to Hamas,” she told reporters.

The evidence notwithstanding, the Obama Administration defended its decision to provide UNRWA with an extra $15 million of US taxpayers’ money in the wake of the current Gaza war.

“UNRWA is a humanitarian organization operating in a very difficult environment. It is a relief organization, it is not a peacekeeping organization that can deal with rockets,” State Department Deputy Spokeswoman Marie Harf said as she sidestepped UNRWA’s culpability.


Israel Today Visits IDF Officer Wounded in Gaza

Israel Today Visits IDF Officer Wounded in Gaza

Lieutenant I. a unit commander in Israel’s Paratrooper Brigade was wounded together with four of his soldiers yesterday (Monday) in the southern Gaza Strip.

During Monday’s fierce battles across Gaza, two Israeli soldiers were reported killed and at least 75 were wounded. Another seven soldiers were killed while repelling squads of Hamas gunmen that tunneled into southern Israel.

Lt. I.’s unit was ambushed and he was the first to take a bullet “as all hell broke loose around us. We were attacked by about 12–15 terrorists and the battle was tough, but we managed to eliminate 12 terrorists by the time it was over,” he said, adding that “it felt like forever to be extricated from the scene due to the circumstances. First by tank then armored personnel carrier and eventually airlifted by helicopter to hospital.”

While Lt. I. was still lying in triage in the ER, Beilinson Hospital Director Dr. Eyran Halpern updated the young commander on the condition of one of his soldiers who had been seriously wounded.

According to Dr. Halpern, “Your soldier arrived in poor condition and he was almost clinically dead on arrival. He was suffering from one gunshot wound to the right upper chest and two to his abdomen. We managed to stem the bleeding and stabilize his condition. He is still serious, but stable at the moment.”

Lt. I. talked about how tense the atmosphere was in Gaza and how difficult it was to engage terrorists in such close urban quarters. “At times it was almost hand-to-hand combat,” he said.

He also noted that “during our time in the Gaza Strip we uncovered many tunnel shafts and an unbelievable amount of weapons.”

Typical of any Israeli infantry officer, Lt. I. was concerned about the condition of his fellow soldiers with him in the hospital, as well as those still out on the battlefield “while I lie here on a bed and in air-conditioning.”


Torah's Protective Edge

Torah's Protective Edge

The rabbis teach that nothing ever happens in the course of a week that cannot be found in the weekly Torah portion read in Jewish homes and synagogues around the world. This week's portion taken from Numbers chapters 30-32 talks about Israel's war against Midian, revealing important insights about the dramatic events unfolding this week in our dearly beloved Land of Israel.

Moses is angry with the Children of Israel because in the war with Midian they fail to kill the evil women of that nation. In addition, instructions are given on how Israel is to deal with the spoils of the war.

One of the primary and most loved attributes of the God of Israel is that He is long-suffering and patient. He is slow to anger. The God of the Bible does not punish evil-doers in haste. He gives them time to repent, change their ways and do the right thing.

But the phrase "slow to anger" means that at some point, after evil has been suffered long, anger will be justified. There is a boiling point when justice must be meted out and punishment delivered. At that point, our Torah portion teaches, the war must be a total one. All of those who tried to destroy us – the militants as well as their evil supporters – all of them are legitimate targets.

That is the sacred national vow taken by all soldiers in the Israeli Defense Forces today - to defend our citizens from harm.

From start to finish, the State of Israel has been more than patient and forbearing while under attack – perhaps even too tolerant. We have allowed countless acts of murder, terror and relentless bombings against our citizens, and we have given our mortal enemies every opportunity to change their ways and act in a manner that shows even a minimal regard for human life and dignity.

But as we can all now see, with time they have only escalated their deadly hostilities.

At last, only when there was no viable alternative, we acted as any nation should - with force against a cruel and barbaric enemy. And like the actions that were necessary against Midian, Israel's response today must be extensive, broad and complete. Moses rebuked his officers for waging a lukewarm war.

This week's Torah portion also reveals that the Jewish soldiers brought back the spoils of war to Moses and Elazar the Priest. Why did they do this? Because they were honorable and upright, taking nothing for themselves that did not rightfully belong to them. This high moral standard, this "purity-of-arms" still guides the armies of Israel today.

Let there be no doubt. The IDF and her brave soldiers are one of the most moral fighting forces in the world today – perhaps in all of history.

May the All-Compassionate, Almighty and Merciful One look upon these remarkable virtues and grant the armies of Israel success to bring our nation safety and lasting security in our land.


Some of What Hamas is Smoking

Some of What Hamas is Smoking

With all the wild and exaggerated claims coming from Hamas and its apologists around the globe as the Gaza war extends into its third week, an informed observer wouldn’t be remiss in wondering, “What are they smoking?”

As it turns out, Hamas and/or its terrorist allies are indeed smoking something!

Overnight, Israel intercepted Palestinian smugglers attempting to cross the Dead Sea with a supply of small arms and marijuana. Just the combination one needs if planning to wage a forlorn war against a superior enemy and then bullshit the world regarding the particulars.

[Author’s note: Pardon my French, but there was no better word to explain what Hamas is doing.]

It would seem that some of the Palestinians’ giggle weed has also made it to the White House.

On Monday, the Obama Administration demanded that Israel “live up to its own moral standards” and do more to minimize civilian casualties in Gaza.

Never mind that Israel has used leaflets, telephone calls and warnings shots to notify Palestinians, even those it’s targeting, of impending strikes.

Never mind that the bulk of the Palestinian dead are males of fighting age and that relatively few women and children have died, despite being deliberately placed in harm’s way.

Never mind that more than 3,500 Israeli aerial and ground attacks have resulted in, comparatively speaking, just 500 deaths, even if you pretend they are all “innocent civilians.”

Clearly, Israel isn’t doing enough!

Oh, and never mind that America produced far higher ratios of deaths-to-military strikes when operating in Iraq and Afghanistan, or that it’s drone strikes continue to result in civilian casualties. These kinds of things only really matter when Israel is involved.

If these, our reasonable and informed leaders, aren’t smoking something before making such remarks, then truly the world has gone mad.


Gaza Casualty Data Doesn't Support Massacre Claims

Gaza Casualty Data Doesn't Support Massacre Claims

Hamas, the Palestinian Authority and Palestinian apologists around the world have been screaming “massacre” over the ongoing Israel-Hamas war in and around Gaza.

Armed with only vague numbers, the Jewish state’s detractors insist that the disproportionate number of deaths in Gaza compared to Israeli fatalities is evidence that “the Zionists” are indiscriminately killing Palestinian civilians.

The noise has reached Western halls of power, and leaders are demanding an immediate ceasefire seemingly based on casualty figures alone, while all but ignoring the reasons for and objectives of the war.

But Al Jazeera, the global Arab news network that has thrown in its lot with Hamas, has been publishing a running tally of those killed in the Gaza Strip that would suggest misinformation is behind the charges against Israel.

The data includes names and ages for most of the deceased, and an analysis of this information by enterprising Israeli blog Israellycool reveals something quite interesting: the vast majority of Gaza’s fatalities over the past two weeks have been males of fighting age.

According to the list published by Al Jazeera, 81.9 percent of the Gazans killed in the war have been males, which already blows out of the water assertions of an overwhelming number of dead women and children.

The number of children killed stands at around 18 percent of the total, which Israellycool noted is quite interesting, given that census figures put the number of Gazans under the age of 14 at 50 percent of the population.

Among the male casualties, more than 70 percent were between the ages of 18–48. While it is impossible to know how many of those were actual gun-toting terrorists, the high number of men killed within this age range would suggest many of them were targeted by Israel, and for a reason.

All speculation aside, this data demonstrates the genuine nature of Israel’s claims to be going out of its way to avoid casualties among innocent civilians in Gaza. The numbers are simply too skewed toward men of fighting age to reasonably conclude that Israel is indiscriminately bombing Gaza, let alone purposely targeting women and children.

Unfortunately, this will all be lost on those who have pre-determined that Israel is in the wrong. Hamas knows this audience well, and knows just how to play to it. The Hamas Interior Ministry last week instructed its people that when taking to Facebook and other social media, they should use only the words “innocent civilians” to describe anyone killed in Gaza.

Predisposed to hostility toward Israel, apologists around the globe have been eating up that message, with nary a concern for the facts.

PHOTO: Demonstrators participate in a “die in” in Brussels to protest Israel’s military action in Gaza.


Why Israel Attacked a Densely-Populated Gaza Neighborhood

Why Israel Attacked a Densely-Populated Gaza Neighborhood

More than two weeks into the current Gaza war, Israel on Sunday suffered its first bout of serious international condemnation after a day of bloody fighting that left dead 13 Israeli soldiers and at least 70 Palestinians.

If Palestinian estimates are to be believed, the bulk of their dead were civilians, residents of the battered Gaza City suburb of Shejaiya.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon labeled the Israeli operation “an atrocious action,” and US Secretary of State John Kerry sarcastically quipped, “It’s a hell of a pinpoint operation.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, meanwhile, explained that the assault on Shejaiya was absolutely necessary, given that the neighborhood had been used to launch some 150 missile attacks on the Jewish state over the past week, and that it continued to house a sizable arsenal of projectiles.

Situated less than a mile from Gaza’s border with southern Israel, Shejaiya was described by Israeli troops operating there as a vast Hamas stronghold, with a huge network of terror tunnels used to store missiles and infiltrate southern Israel.

Netanyahu said this was a strategic threat that simply had to be dealt with. Addressing a press conference in which he confirmed the deaths of 13 Israeli soldiers during the fighting in Shejaiya, the prime minister stated:

“Last night ’s action revealed more tunnels, in addition to others that we already uncovered, some of which reached Israel. We found handcuffs, sedating drugs. There is no question this is a strategic component for Hamas. …If these tunnels were not found, then the results would have been a lot worse.”

As for the high number of Palestinian deaths, Netanyahu stressed that Israel had very clearly warned the residents of Shejaiya to evacuate days before the assault.

“We urged the civilian population to evacuate for days, through leaflets, broadcasts, telephone calls. We urged them to evacuate, because we didn’t want to see innocent civilians caught in the crossfire between Israel and Hamas,” the Israeli leader insisted. “But it is Hamas that ordered the civilians to stay put. It is Hamas that wanted those civilians to stay, so it would have a human shield for its terrorist machine.”

As former US President Bill Clinton explained last week, the high civilian death toll was likely part of Hamas’ barbaric plan.

Hamas has “a strategy designed to force Israel to kill their own civilians so that the rest of the world will condemn them (Israel),” Clinton told India’s NDTV.

Some argue that if Clinton’s assertion is indeed true, then Israel should refrain from obliging the terror group.

But the situation is like that of a petulant child, incessantly kicking, biting and otherwise assaulting an older and stronger sibling until the inevitable retaliation comes, and then crying foul. Being a father of five, I am well acquainted with this scenario.

At some point, barring parental interference, the older sibling has to take some kind of action to halt the assaults and, if possible, deter future aggression. If not, the younger, belligerent sibling will simply continue escalating his or her attacks until a response of some sort materializes.

The very same is the case with Hamas. It has been steadily escalating its attacks against Israel, drawing out that inevitable response. And the international community, like a bad parent, all but ignored the long initial provocation, and only interfered in any meaningful capacity after Israel had become fed up and taken action.

If the world truly cared about the 70 or more Palestinians killed on Sunday, it would have nipped this problem in the bud months or even years ago by preventing Hamas’ military build-up, because for any reasonable observer, the ultimate outcome was obvious.

The same is true of our parent in the above scenario. If I, as a father, really care about preventing violence between my children, then I stop the unruly younger sibling in his or her tracks before the older child has need of responding.

Likewise, if politicians and pundits are genuine in their position that Israel has a right to defend itself, then why in their criticism of actions like yesterday’s do they not offer viable alternatives? If Israel shouldn’t have assaulted Shejaiya in such force in order to destroy the vast number of terror tunnels and rockets found there, then what should it have done?

Israel needed to do something, because its parent, the international community, clearly wasn’t going to. No one is happy about the deaths in Shejaiya. But no one is providing alternative solutions to a situation that couldn’t be permitted to continue.


France: Anti-Semitism Fuels Violent Criticism of Israel

France: Anti-Semitism Fuels Violent Criticism of Israel

Senior French government officials this week were pulling no punches as they stated with perfect clarity that the violent anti-Israel demonstrations on the streets of Paris and elsewhere around the world are fueled by a racist hatred of all Jews.

Last weekend in Germany, demonstrators in Berlin hurled stones and rioters in Frankfurt vandalized a local synagogue as they protested Israel’s military operations in Gaza; in Los Angeles and Boston, pro-Palestinian protestors assaulted rival pro-Israel demonstrators; and while direct violence was more subdued in London rallies, anti-Semitism slogans were used as an estimated tens of thousands took to the streets in support of Hamas-ruled Gaza.

But nowhere was the situation worse than in Paris, which some noted had come to look a bit like Gaza as Muslim and other pro-Palestinian rioters rampaged through the streets.

After anti-Israel protestors wounded 15 French police officers, Prime Minister Manuel Valls forcefully addressed the issue:

“Traditional anti-Semitism, this old disease of Europe is joined by a new anti-Semitism that cannot be denied or concealed, that we must face. It happens on the social networks and in workers’ neighborhoods, among ignorant young men who hide their hatred of Jews behind a façade of anti-Zionism or hatred of the State of Israel.”

Those riots quickly turned into an anti-Semitic affair, as businesses in the largely Jewish neighborhood of Sarcelles were attacked and burned.

Standing outside a Sarcelles synagogue that was violently besieged by demonstrators, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve decried the anti-Semitism sweeping his and other nations.

“When you head for the synagogue, when you burn a corner shop because it is Jewish-owned, you are committing an anti-Semitic act,” Cazeneuve told reporters.

Anti-Israel activists like to claim that they have nothing against the Jews personally, and are only protesting “Zionism.” The same assertions are often made by Hamas officials when addressing an international audience.

But in the cases of both the anti-Israel activists and Hamas itself, the constant references to Jews in the context of “protesting Zionism” belie their true intent and the spirit behind their movement.


WATCH: IDF Engages Terrorists Tunneling Into Israel

WATCH: IDF Engages Terrorists Tunneling Into Israel

Israeli forces early Monday morning engaged Hamas terrorists emerging from two tunnels in southern Israel.

The incident began when five terrorist gunmen were spotted coming out of a tunnel near the northern part of the Gaza security fence, and only a few hundred yards from the nearest Jewish village.

Media reports indicate that the Shin Bet (the Israeli equivalent of the FBI) provided intelligence on the planned attack, and in the following video the terror squad can be seen being engaged and ultimately destroyed by Israeli forces.

Around the same time, another group of Hamas gunmen emerged from a nearby tunnel exit that was possibly part of the same underground network used by the first squad.

The second terror cell managed to ambush a passing IDF patrol, resulting in injuries to Israeli soldiers. In the ensuing gun battle, Israeli forces eliminated this second group before it was able to escape back into the tunnel.

A large Israeli ground force continues to operate inside the Gaza Strip in an effort to find and destroy these tunnels, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has deemed a “strategic threat” to Israel’s security.

Watch this morning’s brief battle:


IDF Brigade Commander Wounded Leading Troops Into Battle

IDF Brigade Commander Wounded Leading Troops Into Battle

Visitors to Israel have long recounted with awe that while in the Holy Land they learned that Israeli military commanders do not direct from the background, but personally lead their troops into battle.

And it is no myth. This fact was poignantly demonstrated on Saturday when the commanding officer of the Golani Infantry Brigade, a colonel by rank, was moderately wounded by terrorist gunfire while holding the frontline in Gaza together with his soldiers.

Late last year, Col. Ghassan Alian, an Israeli Druze, made headlines when he became the first non-Jewish commander of the fabled brigade.

As Israel escalated its ground war in Gaza over the weekend, Col. Alian (pictured) did what all Israeli army commanders do on the eve of battle - he delivered encouraging words to the soldiers under his direct command, and then he suited up and took the lead as they marched into enemy territory.

Details regarding the battle in which Col. Alian was wounded are still under wraps, but it is presumed that he and his troops were part of the large-scale effort to seek out and destroy Hamas’ network of terror tunnels in northern Gaza.

Following the firefight, Col. Alian was evacuated to Soroka Hospital in nearby Beersheva, where he was listed in moderate-but-stable condition. He was displeased with the situation, telling family and doctors that he intended to return to the Gaza Strip as quickly as possible.

“I have a lot of soldiers over there and I need to get back to them,” Col. Alian was quoted as saying by Israel’s Ynet news portal.

Israel’s ground war in Gaza began last Thursday night, a day after a squad of 13 Hamas terrorists were killed while emerging from a terror tunnel near a kibbutz in southern Israel. By mid-day Sunday, at least 36 such tunnels had been destroyed, and over 130 terrorist gunmen had been killed in clashes with Israeli troops.

At press time, Israel had released for publication the names of five soldiers killed during the operation. Over 50 soldiers have been wounded, seven of them seriously.

Casualties on the Palestinian side have also mounted as Hamas continues to deliberately place the civilian population in harm’s way. The Israeli army on Sunday announced that it was setting up a field hospital on the northern Gaza border in order to treat wounded Palestinians. The facility will be equipped with recovery and birthing rooms, in addition to trauma units.


IDF Medics Save Life of Gaza Terrorist

IDF Medics Save Life of Gaza Terrorist

In yet another demonstration of how Israel differs from its enemies, an IDF soldier on Sunday posted to Facebook a photo (left) of he and his fellow army medics working to save the life of a wounded Hamas terrorist who only moments earlier had tried to kill them.

The soldier, Daniel Albo, posted the following caption along with the photo:

“Today, my unit and I saved the life of a terrorist who tried to kill us simply because we are IDF soldiers and Israeli citizens. We saved his life simply because we are human. Proud to serve in the IDF.”

Around the same time, Israeli army officials announced the opening of a military field hospital along the northern Gaza border in order to provide medical care to wounded Palestinian civilians.

Hamas continues to deliberately place the local civilian population in harm’s way as it attacks Israel, and the casualty figures are rising fast as a result.

In addition to trauma units, the IDF field hospital also has birthing rooms for pregnant Palestinian women who are unable to reach hospitals in nearby Gaza City.

These developments once again call into question widespread claims by Israel’s detractors that her agenda is genocide.

Since the start of hostilities over two weeks ago, Israel has carried out over 2,000 aerial strikes, in addition to its large-scale ground offensive. In all those attacks, just over 300 Palestinians have been killed, at least 100 of those being armed gunmen engaged in combat with Israeli soldiers.

And now Israel is going out of its way to treat wounded Palestinians and even save the lives of injured terrorists.

It has been said before, and it must be said again: If, as its foes claim, Israel is seeking the eradication of the Palestinian Arab population, then the Jewish state is by far the worst practitioner of genocide in the entirety of human history.

Given the evidence, perhaps such claims do not reflect reality?


Hamas: We Are Leading Our People to Death

Hamas: We Are Leading Our People to Death

A senior Hamas officials last week boasted of using Gaza’s civilian population as a human shield, and confirmed that his movement is “leading our people to death.”

“The resistance (i.e., Hamas) is truly glorifying our people and our nation,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told Al Aqsa TV last Monday.

He went on to belittle those Palestinians who complain of the high death toll in Gaza: “We are paying a price, but we remember our brothers in Algeria… In 1945, in a single day in Algeria, 45,000 Algerians died. In a single day. It wasn’t described in Algeria’s history as forsaking the blood of the Algerians, as some defeatists are describing today the number of Martyrs [in Gaza] as ‘trading with Palestinian blood and forsaking Palestinian blood.’”

In conclusion, Abu Zuhri made what some described as a Freudian slip, stating that “we are not leading our people to execution as we stand by and look on. No. We are leading them to death - I mean, to confrontation.”

In another interview, Abu Zuhri boasted over how effective the use of human shields had been in Gaza.

The following video published by the Israeli army speaks to the enormous difficulty in confronting an enemy that first provokes a military response, and then hides behind civilians:


Israel Soldiers Ask For Repeat of Christian Blessing

Israel Soldiers Ask For Repeat of Christian Blessing

This morning (Friday), I received a call from my friend and former military comrade from the South, who inquired after pizzas and colas for the tens of thousands of Israeli soldiers operating in and around the Gaza Strip.

Two years ago, when Israeli troops massed on the Gaza border during Operation Pillar of Cloud, Israel Today was on the ground handing out pizzas and cola generously donated by our readers. The soldiers down in Gaza now remember that kindness, and our friend in the area has received several calls from officers and their troops wondering if they will again be blessed in this way.

CLICK HERE to bless Israeli soldiers now!

There is a long-standing tradition in Israel whereby people will often go and buy cold drinks and snacks for the soldiers manning hot, dusty checkpoints. The gesture might be small, but the act of kindness has a major impact on these soldiers.

This tradition kicks into high gear during a time of war.

As such, we are inviting our readers and all friends of Israel to repeat their past assistance to Israeli soldiers as they fight to defend our nation.

Both they and we fondly remember how two years ago the pizzas and drinks delivered offered not only physical sustenance, but emotional and even spiritual blessing when they learned it had all come from Christians around the world who love and stand with Israel.

Last, but not least, your participation in this effort greatly blesses the pizzerias in southern Israel where we purchase the pizzas, salads and drinks. As you can imagine, during a time of war they receive little other business.

CLICK HERE to bless Israeli soldiers now!


Israel's Invasion of Gaza Has Begun

Israel's Invasion of Gaza Has Begun

Israeli ground forces were ordered into Gaza overnight with the objective of severely debilitating Hamas’ ability to threaten the Jewish state.

While Israel had warned for over a week that it would invade Gaza if Hamas and its allies did not stop firing rockets, it seems what finally forced the decision was Thursday’s failed attempt by a squad of 13 Hamas gunmen to infiltrate southern Israel via a tunnel.

Indeed, as the ground offensive got underway, military officials said the primary mission at present is to find and destroy terrorist tunnels. Right now, tens of thousands of Israeli soldiers are scouring Gaza for the entrances to such tunnels, which are often hidden in civilian homes and populated areas.

One Israeli soldiers was killed and four others were wounded in the opening hours of the incursion. At least 14 Hamas terrorists are said to have been killed.

Israel’s cabinet voted unanimously in favor of a ground offensive after Hamas once against rejected ceasefire proposals offered in Cairo earlier on Thursday.

While Washington signaled tacit support for Israel’s decision, the Obama Administration demanded that the IDF be restricted to “precise actions” against terrorist tunnels and go even further out of its way to avoid civilian casualties.

Of course, that is much easier said than done, given that Hamas is actively trying to get the civilians under its rule killed by Israeli forces.


IDF Commander: Hamas Blasphemes the God of Israel

IDF Commander: Hamas Blasphemes the God of Israel

Striking a Davidic tone, the head of the Israeli army’s Givati infantry brigade, Col. Ofer Winter, sent a letter several days ago to those of his troops amassed on the border of Gaza. In it, Col. Winter urged his soldiers to join him in asking God for victory against those who blaspheme His name.

The letter was sent before it was certain that a Gaza ground incursion would be launched. Now that it has, it seems more relevant than ever to reprint Col. Winter’s letter, which was much maligned by more secular elements of Israeli society.

Below is a full translation of what Col. Winter had to say to his soldiers who are now going house-to-house through the streets of Gaza seeking to eliminate the Hamas threat:

History has chosen us to be the sharp edge of the bayonet of fighting the “Gazan” terrorist enemy which curses, defames and abuses the God of Israel. We have practiced and prepared for this time and we take upon ourselves the mission with full humility, and being willing to endanger ourselves and give our lives to protect our families, our nation and our homeland.

We will act together forcefully and with resolve, with initiative, and with deceptive tricks and aim for contact with the enemy. We will do everything to live up to the mission and wipe out the enemy and remove the threat from the Nation of Israel. We will not return without acting.

We will do everything to return our boys safely. Using all means at our disposal and with all required force.

I trust you, each and every one of you, to act in that spirit, in the spirit of Israeli fighters who are the pioneers leading the camp. The spirit of Givati. I turn my eyes to the sky and call with you, “Hear, O Israel, The Lord our God, the Lord is One.” The Lord God of Israel make our path successful, as we are about to fight for Your People, Israel, against an enemy who blasphemes your name. In the name of the IDF fighters and in particular the fighters and commanders of [this] Brigade, bring to pass what is written: “For the Lord your God goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies and to save you.” And we all answer, “Amen.”

Together and only together we will win.

Ofer Winter, Colonel Commander of the Givati Brigade


Israel Says No Gaza Ceasefire Deal

Israel Says No Gaza Ceasefire Deal

Foreign media reports that Egypt has successfully brokered a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas are untrue, government officials told Israeli media Thursday afternoon.

Israel had agreed to a five-hour humanitarian truce beginning Thursday morning. During that time, senior Israeli officials traveled to Cairo to take part in ceasefire talks. Jerusalem had already accepted an Egyptian truce proposal earlier in the week, but Hamas rejected the motion.

Gaza’s terrorist rulers insist that they have won this war, and that Israel must pay a price if it wants the rocket and missile attacks to cease. A 10-year truce proposal reportedly put forward by Hamas on Wednesday demanded that Israel pull its forces far back from the Gaza border, release all terrorists recently rounded up following the abduction and execution of three Jewish boys, end the blockade of Gaza and build an airport and sea port in Gaza.

With such terms on the table, many found it hard to believe Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had given a green light to the kind of ceasefire deal Hamas would accept.

Earlier in the week, senior Israeli officials had signaled they were no longer interested in a ceasefire, and that the Gaza conflict could only end with Hamas’ surrender.

Former Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz went a step further, and put forward a proposal for the terror group’s demilitarization, assuming it is truly interested first and foremost in nation-building, as some of Israel’s detractors claim.

Mofaz’s plan, in short, offers Hamas $50 billion in foreign investment in Gaza in exchange for giving up its arsenal of rockets and missiles, which at any rate represent a gross violation of Israel’s signed peace agreements with the Palestinians.

When Israel agreed to the Egyptian ceasefire proposal on Tuesday, Netanyahu suggested that it was in line with Mofaz’s thinking: “We agreed to the Egyptian proposal in order to give an opportunity for the demilitarization of the [Gaza] Strip — from missiles, from rockets and from tunnels — through diplomatic means.”


VIDEO: Gaza Terrorists Killed Trying to Infiltrate Israel

VIDEO: Gaza Terrorists Killed Trying to Infiltrate Israel

Just hours before a temporary humanitarian truce requested by the UN was to go into effect, a squad of 13 Hamas terrorists from Gaza infiltrated southern Israel via an underground tunnel.

In surveillance footage released by the Israeli army (see below), the terrorists can be seen taking cover near the tunnel exit as they plan their next move on the nearby Israeli community of Kibbutz Sufa.

Moments later, the terrorists realize they have been spotted and scurry back to their tunnel, but it’s already too late. Israel’s Air Force launches a pinpoint strike on the tunnel exit and destroys the terror cell.

No doubt, those 13 will be added to the list of Palestinians killed in what many around the world are calling “Israeli war crimes.”


Nowhere to run to...!!

Nowhere to run to...!!

And when that siren goes off, they only have 15 seconds to find shelter, 15 seconds that separates life from death and no other warning other than these mentally paralyzing sirens. This is the reality that children living in Israel face, sometimes on a daily basis, sometimes many times a day.

Each day, a constant barrage of missiles leaves children terrified of leaving their homes. That was true for many cities and towns in Southern Israel even before Operation Protective Edge got under way. Now it is a reality for most of the country under fire.

On Monday evening two children, sisters from the village of Lakiya in southern Israel, were wounded by a rocket explosion. One of them, 11-year-old Maram Wakili, is in moderate condition after doctors fought around the clock for 3 days to save her life. Her sister Atir is now in light condition.

Our children are constantly alert, ready for danger, and every little noise shakes them up. Many children suffer from all the symptoms of PTSD, and some of them have severe trouble functioning.

In this situation you can help us by supporting our children who have been forced to spend their summer holidays in bomb shelters instead of summer camps.


Reports: Hamas Offers 10-Year Truce, Warns Israelis to Accept

Reports: Hamas Offers 10-Year Truce, Warns Israelis to Accept

Hamas officials on Wednesday officially rejected an Egyptian proposal to bring an end to the current Gaza war, but did reportedly offer their own ceasefire agreement.

The Egyptian proposal, which Israel accepted and briefly implemented unilaterally on Tuesday, called for an immediate cessation of hostilities on both sides, followed by negotiations in Cairo to hammer out the terms of a lasting truce.

But Hamas appears to feel it’s holding better cards than that, and, according to Palestinian sources cited by local media, has presented a 10-year truce in return for far-reaching Israeli concessions.

According to the Hamas proposal, Israel must pull its forces far back from the Gaza border, it must release all terrorists recently rounded up following the abduction and execution of three Jewish boys, and both Israel and Egypt must end the blockade of Gaza and permit UN forces to take control of the coastal enclave’s borders.

Oh, and Hamas wants Israel and the international community to build it an airport and a sea port in Gaza.

Later in the day, Hamas sent a text message to many Israelis warning that their government better accept the terror group’s terms, or else:

"Your government claimed yesterday that it ceased fire, but without agreeing to carry out our conditions and it thinks that we will hasten to cease fire, but to the contrary, we hurried to strike every place in Israel, from Dimona to Haifa, and we forced you to hide in shelters like mice.

“We again caution: if your government doesn’t agree to all our conditions, all of Israel will remain a legal target for our fire.”

The Israeli government did not respond to reports of the Hamas truce proposal, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did say that in light of the failed Egyptian ceasefire effort, Israel must be prepared to expand its military campaign in Gaza.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Wednesday put increased pressure on Netanyahu to approve a ground invasion of Gaza. Lieberman and visiting Norwegian Foreign Minister Børge Brende were forced into a bomb shelter while visiting the southern port city of Ashkelon when Hamas rockets set off local air raid sirens.

Hamas and is allies fired at least 65 missiles on Wednesday, 27 of which had by press time been intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome.

A day earlier, Israel suffered its first direct fatality as a result of the terrorist onslaught when 37-year-old Dror Hanin was killed by a mortar shell while delivering food and other encouragement to the tens of thousands of Israeli soldiers deployed to the Gaza border. Hanin leaves behind a wife and three young children.


Hamas Has Become a Millionaires' Club

Hamas Has Become a Millionaires' Club

In 2006 legislative elections, the Palestinian street overwhelmingly voted Hamas to counter rampant financial corruption in the Palestinian Authority. Now, after years of war-profiteering, it seems Hamas itself has become the premier Palestinian millionaires’ club.

Very soon after seizing control of the Gaza Strip in 2007, Hamas and its allies began escalating rocket fire against the Jewish state. Given the severity of the Israeli reprisals, that wouldn't seem very good for business. But, in fact, it is.

Over the past seven years, Hamas’ leadership has pulled in outrageous sums of money thanks to the Israeli blockade of Gaza. Most of the profits were the result of exorbitant taxes on the goods smuggled from Egypt in tunnels running under the Gaza border, or grossly overcharging for subsidized Egyptian fuel.

Neither of those revenue streams would be possible without violently provoking Israel to lay siege to Gaza.

Similarly, Hamas profits are threatened by the enormous quantities of humanitarian aid and other goods that Israel and the international community pump into Gaza every month, which is why numerous reports suggest Hamas blocks that aid from ever reaching local residents.

At the same time, Hamas leaders have proved wildly successful fund-raisers in their travels abroad. And, since Hamas’ raison d’etre is the destruction of Israel, it would be kind of hard to solicit financial backing without lobbing a few missiles at the Jews every once in a while.

So, where does all this money go?

In recent media interviews, Professor Ahmed Karima of Al-Azhar University in Egypt noted that in recent years Hamas has blossomed into a movement of millionaires. According to Karima, Hamas can boast no fewer than 1,200 millionaires among its leadership and mid-level officials. That assertion was backed up by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, who in 2012 estimated the number of Gaza millionaires to be 800.

In particular, overall Hamas leader Khaled Mashal has amassed a fortune of $2.6 billion, the Jordanian media reported.

A year ago, when Hamas’ parent organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, was ruling Egypt, the group’s Gaza leadership was less wary of flaunting its wealth, and the luxury real estate market was booming as a result.

All of this is happening as many Gazans wallow in poverty and struggle with a 40 percent unemployment rate. Imagine how many new jobs could be created by all that money Hamas collects. Instead, the terror group is well pleased to see the people of Gaza suffer, both economically and as a consequence of its violence against Israel, all in service to Hamas’ ultimate goal.


Jerusalem Neighborhood Explodes After Christians Leave

Jerusalem Neighborhood Explodes After Christians Leave

The Jerusalem suburb of Shuafat was this month the scene of some of the worst street violence the city has experienced in decades. And wouldn’t you know it, the situation exploded just 24 hours after the neighborhood’s only significant Christian presence was forced to leave.

The situation in Shuafat became violent two weeks ago after Jewish extremists kidnapped and murdered a young local Arab boy in retaliation for the earlier abduction and killing of three Israeli youths.

Arab youth in Shuafat and many other neighborhoods took to the streets in a spirit of vengeance.

This war-like scenario erupted less than a day after Calvary Church was forced to relocate from Shuafat, Pastor Steven Khoury told Israel Today. “It hasn’t been the same since then,” he added.

Calvary Church is the local congregation of Khoury’s Holy Land Missions, a ministry dedicated to bringing Palestinian Arabs to genuine faith in Yeshua.

We reported last year that in addition to facing regular arson attacks, Calvary Church was operating out of temporary facilities, and landlords were becoming increasingly hesitant to rent to these Christians.

Earlier this month, these pressures came to a head, and, as Khoury explains in the following video, his congregants had to remove everything from the premises and move elsewhere.

The timing couldn’t have been worse.

In the following video, Khoury is explaining the move and the sudden eruption of violence when he is approached by a young Arab who demands to know who he is. Khoury cautiously and compassionately feels the boy out, informing him that Khoury is a Christian and “comes with a message of forgiveness.”

The Arab youth is having none of it. “There is no forgiveness [for the Jews],” he insists.

It is clear that Shuafat, even more so than most places in this land, is in desperate need of a strong Christian presence. Khoury remains hopeful that his congregation will be able to return in the future.

Watch the video:


Canada Unequivocally Backs Israel, Urges Others To Do So

Canada Unequivocally Backs Israel, Urges Others To Do So

Given his behavior over the past several years vis-a-vis the Middle East conflict, it will come as little surprise that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been the most clear and unwavering among world leaders in his support for Israel as it combats the Gaza rocket threat.

“The indiscriminate rocket attacks from Gaza on Israel are terrorist acts, for which there is no justification,” Harper said in a statement issued this week. “It is evident that Hamas is deliberately using human shields to further terror in the region.”

Whitewashing Hamas or drawing moral equivalence between it and the Jewish state will only prolong the conflict, Harper warned fellow world leaders.

“Failure by the international community to condemn these reprehensible actions would encourage these terrorists to continue their appalling actions,” he insisted, concluding with an open call for Canada’s “allies and partners to recognize that these terrorist acts are unacceptable and that solidarity with Israel is the best way of stopping the conflict.”

A day earlier, Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird slammed Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, for blaming Israel for the civilians deaths in Gaza and for demanding ceasefire terms that would leave Hamas and its offensive abilities intact.

Baird said that Pillay’s remarks were “neither helpful nor reflective of the reality of this crisis.” In particular, Baird took issue with Pillay drawing moral equivalence between a democratic state that is taking extraordinary measures to avoid civilian casualties and a recognized terrorist organization.


UPDATE: Gaza Ceasefire Already Over; War Resumes

UPDATE: Gaza Ceasefire Already Over; War Resumes

An Egyptian-brokered ceasefire that Western and Israeli leaders hoped would bring an end to the current Gaza war had already collapsed by Tuesday afternoon, just hours after Israel's cabinet voted in favor of the truce.

Around mid-morning, Israeli ministers voted 6-2 to accept the Egyptian proposal, and the Israeli army was ordered to halt all operations against terrorist forces in Gaza.

But, the Gaza rockets just kept coming. Volley after volley targeted central and northern Israel. And though Israel's Iron Dome prevented any serious damage or injuries, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that Israel wouldn't accept the lopsided situation for very long.

By mid-afternoon, Israel was against striking targets in Gaza, and the war appeared to be back in full swing.

Hamas had officially rejected the proposed ceasefire from the beginning, while militants from Sinai, Syria and Lebanon joined the fray overnight.

Egypt announced the ceasefire on Monday to great enthusiasm among Western leaders and most Israelis.

But Hamas officials called the terms of the Egyptian ceasefire proposal “unacceptable,” and claimed it had never even been presented to them. According to media reports, the proposal called for an immediate halt to all hostilities, followed by talks in Cairo to hammer out further details of a long-term truce.

Left-wing politicians and organizations in Israel urged the government to implement a one-sided ceasefire, even if Hamas continued to attack the Jewish state. They argued that Israel’s long-term interests must take precedence over a short-term victory, and that leaving Hamas strong and in control of Gaza was preferable to creating a situation where the coastal enclave descended into chaos and became a haven for even more dangerous terror groups.

Gaza-based Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh boasted that Israel’s eagerness for a ceasefire was evidence that the “Zionists” were losing the war.

In overnight attacks on Israel, the southern resort town of Eilat was hit for the first time in the current flare-up, presumably by terrorists operating in the Sinai Peninsula. Four Israelis were reported wounded by shrapnel as at least one of the rockets struck the center of Eilat’s popular resort area.

Also overnight, two more rockets from Lebanon hit northern Israel, as did a missile fired from war-torn Syria. It marked the first time Israel had been simultaneously attacked on four fronts - Gaza, Sinai, Lebanon and Syria.


Gaza Resident: We Are Biting the Hand That Feeds Us

Gaza Resident: We Are Biting the Hand That Feeds Us

While observers of the latest round of violence between Israel and Hamas are certain to hear many negative claims against the Jewish state, the residents of Gaza are also quietly expressing ire at their terrorist overlords.

“Everybody here hates Hamas,” Gaza taxi drive Abu Ali told the Associated Press. “But they’re too afraid to say so publicly. Our food comes from Israel but what we give them in return is rockets — rockets that don’t even make little holes in the ground.”

Abu Ali, as he indicated, is not alone. In the upcoming issue of Israel Today Magazine, we spoke to a young Gaza-based peace activist who said he wished Israel would just reoccupy the coastal enclave so that local residents could be rid of Hamas rule.

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As of Monday afternoon, Hamas and its terrorist allies had fired nearly 1,000 rockets and missiles into Israel over the past 10 days, resulting in an ever harsher Israeli response.

Early Monday morning, Israel struck dozens of terrorist installations in northern Gaza, an area the IDF had warned local civilians to evacuate on Sunday.

And while Monday was relatively quiet compared to last week, several volleys of missiles were aimed at Tel Aviv and its environs. All of the missiles that were expected to hit populated areas were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system.

Israel also used a Patriot missile battery to intercept an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that made its way from Gaza to the nearby coastal city of Ashkelon. Hamas claimed that it had launched a fleet of six UAVs, but Israelis laughed off the assertion, noting that if they can accurately detect and track an incoming rocket, they would have noticed this Hamas “air force.”

Hamas was also busy doing damage to its own people beyond inviting military reprisals. One of the rockets fired during the morning house struck the main cable carrying electricity from Israel to the Gaza Strip, leaving 70,000 local residents without power.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Israel Electric Company to not bother fixing the cable for the time being to avoid placing its technicians in harm’s way.


Palestinian Official Acknowledges Hamas War Crimes

Palestinian Official Acknowledges Hamas War Crimes

Dragging Israel before the International Criminal Court on accusations of war crimes is a non-starter, said a senior Palestinian official, because the Palestinians themselves are guilty of blatant war crimes.

“The missiles that are now being launched against Israel, each and every missile constitutes a crime against humanity, whether it hits or misses, because it is directed at civilian targets,” Ibrahim Khraishi (pictured), the Palestinian ambassador to the UN Human Rights Council, told Palestinian Authority TV last week.

By contrast, Khraishi said that Israel had very cleverly adhered to international rules of engagement, so even if the Palestinian death toll is higher, legally Israel is still in the right.

“Many of our people in Gaza appeared on TV and said that the Israelis warned them to evacuate their homes before the bombardment. In such a case, if someone is killed, the law considers it a mistake rather than an intentional killing because [the Israelis] followed the legal procedures,” he explained.

That’s not to say Khraishi has become a legal advocate for Israel. He was careful to also label as war crimes the “[Jewish] settlements, the Judaization [of Jerusalem], the checkpoints,” and so on.

Still, there is no question that Hamas’ assault on the Jewish state is causing a severe headache for those involved in diplomatic and media efforts to delegitimize Israel.


Gaza Shows (Again) How The Underdog Can Be Wrong

Gaza Shows (Again) How The Underdog Can Be Wrong

Sometimes the underdog is wrong. The ruthlessly brutal regimes of Adolf Hitler, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein, and Idi Amin were all weaker than the forces that ultimately vanquished them.

But for decades the Palestinians have mastered the art of persuading everyone that because they die in greater numbers and have inferior arms, they are more deserving of sympathy and support in their conflict with Israel. Here’s why they’re wrong:

  1. Israel’s military edge safeguards its survival in the world’s toughest neighborhood. But if a SWAT team is better armed than a wild gunman they must neutralize, does that mean that they’re at fault when the gunman dies?

  2. Israel’s casualty figures are smaller because Israel tries to protect life by investing in anti-missile defense, shelters, and early warning systems to minimize the deaths caused by Palestinian rocket attacks.

  3. By contrast, Palestinian terrorists purposely endanger life by targeting Israeli civilians while using Palestinian civilians as human shields (to maximize the PR benefits of any Israeli reprisals).

  4. Israel’s death toll should be adjusted for its tiny population, to feel the true “national pain” of each loss. When Hamas terrorists abducted and murdered three Israeli teenagers last month, that’s like the murder and abduction of about 118 Americans teenagers. How many Taliban would die from a US military response to the Taliban abduction and murder of 118 American teenagers?

  5. Gaza-based terrorism is inflicting collective punishment on about 8 million Israelis living under the constant threat of rocket attacks. How much could you focus on anything if blaring sirens regularly compelled you to seek shelter in under a minute? How much sleep could you get? Drivers must get out of their cars, lie on on the pavement face down with their hands over their heads, and wait ten minutes until the danger has ostensibly passed. Many elderly or disabled persons must descend flights of stairs to access the shelter, and the scramble to safety can be as dangerous as staying unprotected (an Israeli woman in her 70s died while trying to take shelter from an incoming rocket in Haifa). How long would the US expect its citizens to live like that before deploying overwhelming firepower to eradicate the threat?

  6. In the Middle East, the weak perish quickly, and Israel – the only Jewish state (with 8 million people in a New Jersey-sized territory) surrounded by 22 Arab Muslim states (totaling about 370 million people) – can’t afford to lose a war. So the fact that Israel doesn’t cause far greater casualties to strengthen its deterrence should highlight Israel’s morality and restraint.

Yet most observers are oblivious to these key considerations, and simplistically look at comparative casualty figures before reflexively concluding that Israel is wrong. This cartoon aptly captures how Palestinians manipulate world opinion like a mischievous schoolboy misleading his teachers about who caused school spats.

When world leaders and media are duped into simplistic thinking, the result is a glaring double standard.

Consider the UN. On July 3, Israel gave Hamas 48 hours to stop firing rockets, even though 40 rockets had already been fired at Israel in the previous 24 hours. The Palestinian attacks continued until Israel finally took action on July 8. By the end of July 10, over 350 rockets had been fired at Israel, the Israeli Air Force had carried out almost 900 airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, resulting in at least 90 Palestinians killed (according to Palestinian reports), and a UN Security Council emergency session to address the hostilities. So when Israel launches a justified military operation against Palestinians, it takes just three days and 90 Palestinian dead for the UN Security Council to convene an emergency session about the issue. Note that there was no emergency session to address the scores of unprovoked rocket attacks that forced Israel to respond in the first place.

But in neighboring Syria, it took about 1,650 civilian deaths and 141 days (from March 15 to August 3, 2011) for the United Nations Security Council, in a non-binding statement, to make any pronouncement at all on the Syrian war (which has killed over 4,000 people per month on average). Are Syrian lives less valuable than Palestinian lives? Incredibly, when the Palestinians are killed by Syrians or other Palestinians, this too is hardly noticed or addressed. It is only when Israelis are killing Palestinians – even if that killing is justified, accidental, or actually caused by Hamas’ use of human shields – that the diplomatic obsession with Palestinian security reaches a fever pitch.

The same double standards color the media’s coverage of the conflict. Even after Israel’s Ambassador Ron Dermer deftly exposed egregious journalistic failures by the New York Times, its biased and misleading coverage continues.

No matter how much restraint Israel may exercise, Palestinian propagandists and their pliant media sympathizers will vilify Israel. Abbas has already called Israel’s Operation Protective Edge a “genocide” (as if it wouldn’t be far easier and faster for Israel to raze the entire Gaza Strip instead of using pin-point strikes preceded by warnings telling residents to evacuate terrorist hideouts and weapons caches targeted for destruction). And yet somehow Abbas’ hyperbole – which cheapens the real genocide in neighboring Syria and elsewhere – in no way diminishes his credibility with the media and diplomats. He is still presumed to be some kind of honest partner for peace, even though – rather than disavow his government’s partnership with the terrorists responsible for the current conflict – he attempts to score propaganda points on their behalf.

Even more outrageous, US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki admitted that the Obama administration is willing to continue funding a Palestinian government with ties to a terrorist group – something that violates US law, betrays Israel, and harms US interests by supporting terrorism, increasing regional instability, and signaling to other radical groups that terrorism sometimes pays.

In the end, Israel must simply defeat the evil to its south, regardless of the double standards that will be hurled at it. To that end, and to help Gazans realize that its time to overthrow the Islamist thugocracy strangling their society, Israel should stop supplying power and water to Gaza. What rule of international law says that a state must provide resources to a neighbor trying to kill its citizens?

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