EU Applauds Anti-Semitic Libel, Then Gets Rocked by UK Vote

“Moderate” Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday used his opportunity to address to the European Union Parliament in Brussels to screech out wildly unsubstantiated conspiracy theories regarding Israel.

In allegations echoing a popular medieval anti-Semitic libel, Abbas charged, “Only a week ago, a number of rabbis in Israel announced, and made a clear announcement, demanding that their government poison the water to kill the Palestinians. Isn’t that clear incitement to commit mass killings against the Palestinian people?”

Abbas and his regime based their claim off a Turkish state news agency report that a “Rabbi Shlomo Mlma, chairman of the Council of Rabbis in the West Bank settlements”, had called on Jewish settlers to poison Palestinian water supplies.

But investigations by Reuters and other news agencies were unable to find any such edict, or, indeed, a rabbi named Shlomo Mlma or an organization called the Council of Rabbis.

In other words, the entire affair was fabricated.

But that didn’t stop the European lawmakers from giving Abbas a standing ovation following his libelous speech.

Perhaps it was no coincidence that this happened on the very same day, in fact just hours before the British public rocked the EU by voting to pull their nation out of the politico-economic union, a move that could have devastating economic consequences for the continent.

 

Is the Gospel Age Ending?

We know that God has set times to accomplish His purposes, for the Bible tells us “there is an appointed time for everything” (Eccl. 3:1). We saw it with Israel’s 40 years in the wilderness, in their 70-year incarceration in Babylon and more recently her return to the land after a 2000-year Roman exile. Once His purposes are accomplished, and the lessons learned, He moves on to the next phase of His plan to redeem, not only Israel, but the whole world.

So what is “the Gospel Age,” and what happens when it ends? By “the Gospel Age” I mean that time period Yeshua spoke of when, following his resurrection, his Jewish disciples asked if he was now restoring the kingdom to Israel? He said only the Father knew for sure when it would come. In the meantime they had work to do. But it couldn’t begin until they’d received the power of the Holy Spirit. Then they were to go forth and “be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth"(Acts 1:8).

In other words, the rest of the world still had to hear the good news that God had given His son as a sacrifice to atone for our sins, and that now all was forgiven. At this point, of course, the disciples were clueless that the goyiim were going to be the main target in this Gospel outreach. Or that many generations would have to come and go before the job was done and God’s kingdom (the Messianic kingdom of Israel) could appear. 

Well, that was then and this is now. And my Spirit alarm clock is blaring, telling me to wake up and get ready – it’s God’s “set time to favor Zion” (Ps. 102:13). 

To begin, notice the path the Gospel would travel according to Yeshua. It was to start in Jerusalem. And indeed it did when three thousand Jews were saved following Peter’s first sermon on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:41). But that revival would be short lived. The majority of Jewish Israel, led initially by an irate, unsaved Saul, would reject it vehemently, forcing the disciples to take the message northward. To Samaria (Acts 8:5), Damascus (Acts 9:19,20), Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch (Acts 11:19), and finally to Greece and Rome and eventually every nation on earth.  And to make certain there would be no going back to Jerusalem God sent in Rome to slam the door behind them. 

But now it has been reopened in our day look - and look what is happening in the world. The Western nations of Europe and America, where the Gospel prospered most and was then sent out to other nations, have largely abandoned their “Christian” world view.  Indeed, they are embracing the tenets of atheistic humanism more and more each day. Consequently, all manner of evil has broken out in our societies. Christians (and Jews) are beginning to feel like outsiders in their own nations. Our churches have also succumbed to worldly values and largely abandoned the teachings of the Bible. No wonder so many have become mausoleums. Or rock concert halls. Or feel-good coffee houses. Or even mosques. Places where God’s biblical truths are no longer heard.

At the same time, look at where the Gospel is flourishing. Among the Muslim nations that surround Israel. Tens of thousands are being motivated to find this Jesus they are meeting supernaturally in dreams and visions. They are then being led to believers to hear the Gospel for the first time, and getting saved.  In other words, the Gospel that went out like a tsunami to crash upon distant shores is receding back from whence it came. It is headed back to Jerusalem. 

Isn’t that what Paul prophesied would happen in the last days? After describing how the wild, uncultivated Gentile olive branches were being grafted into the cultivated olive tree of Israel through the Gospel, he said this: “I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel, UNTIL the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so [in this way] all Israel will be saved” (Rom. 11:25,26).

Paul’s “until” is a timing word. It implies the beginning of something. And also the end of something. It means the Jews who had been deliberately hardened by God to the Gospel for centuries will finally be given ears to hear it. And that all the Gentiles who had been harvested by the Gospel would “come in” to the land to join their Jewish brethren as the Israel of God. Then all Israel would be saved! Both Isaiah and Jeremiah clearly prophesied about this coming second exodus of God’s people out of all the nations (Isaiah 11:1-16 and Jer. 23:5-8).

Understood, of course, is that when all those who had received the Gospel exit their former homelands the Gospel door will slam shut behind them. And the light will go out from those countries. “And darkness will cover the earth, and deep darkness the peoples” (Isa. 60:2).

It appears time is running out for the nations. 

Brian Hennessy is author of Valley of the Steeples

 

A 'Palestinian People'?

Isham Asa told Israel Today that his clan came from Saudi Arabia, while the family history of his neighbors bearing the name Radaydeh originates in Greece.

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

 

Actress Helen Mirren Says She Believes in Israel

Acclaimed international actress Helen Mirren was in Jerusalem this week to serve as master of ceremonies for the annual Genesis Prize event.

During a gathering at the Jerusalem Cinematheque on Wednesday, Mirren said that being invited to emcee the ceremony was the perfect “opportunity to come back to Israel.”

Mirren said that she’s not only a fan of Israel, but “a believer,” calling the Jewish state an “extraordinary country.”

Mirren first became acquainted with Israel in 1967, when she and her boyfriend worked on a local kibbutz during a backpacking trip.

 

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The Yazidis, a people that have known only the silence, denial and rejection of the world, ask one question day after day, "Where is humanity” …these men were surrounded, indeed cosseted in love and experienced care so very different from the despisal this community has known for many generations.

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Israeli Official: Trump Misrepresented Israeli Profiling

During a campaign interview this week, presumptive Republican candidate for the US presidency, Donald Trump, used Israel as an example of the kind of racial and religious security profiling he feels is necessary to keep America safe.

“I think profiling is something that we’re going to have to start thinking about as a country,” the real estate mogul said. “Other countries do it, you look at Israel and you look at others, they do it and they do it successfully. And I hate the concept of profiling, but we have to start using common sense and we have to use our heads.”

A former senior Israeli security official told the Ynet news portal that it was erroneous to draw parallels between Israel’s security methods and the type of profiling most people assume Trump is talking about.

“A person who poses a threat either by his luggage or himself is taken care of immediately, without regards to his religion, sex or race,” explained Yaron Bloom, a former high-ranking official in the Shin Bet, Israel’s equivalent of the FBI.

Bloom insisted that one must “differentiate between what Donald Trump said versus what goes on in the Israeli system. Here, there isn’t any profiling for a certain population, but rather a method of classification aimed at isolating and being certain that every passenger that gets on a plane is free of explosives or the intention to carry out an attack of one kind or another.”

Israel, Bloom noted, “has been performing security classifications on Israeli flights for decades on the basis of threats, threat assessments, and situational assessments. On that basis, they identify which passengers are suspected to be involved as supporters of terrorist acts of one kind or another. If they’re Muslim, Christian or an Israeli Jew, it doesn’t make a bit of difference.”

 

Israel Wants to Build Gaza an Airport Island

Israeli Minister of Transportation Israel Katz (Likud) this week presented to foreign media outlets his ambitious plan to create an artificial island just off the coast of the Gaza Strip to provide the area’s residents with a modern airport and seaport.

Katz noted that the project would significantly ease the difficult economic situation in which Gaza finds itself without harming Israel’s security.

Predictably, the Palestinians themselves protested the plan, insisting it was an Israeli scheme to drive a further wedge between Gaza and the so-called “West Bank.”

If implemented, the plan would see the construction of an artificial island eight square kilometers (three square miles) in size and connected to the nearby Gaza shore by a four-mile bridge.

Katz, who is a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s security cabinet, noted that Israel is keen to ease restrictions on Gaza, but must be assured that its own security needs will be met.   Israel’s cabinet will soon vote on the proposal, after which it will seek international partners to help finance and build the $5 billion project.

 

Call to Repent of Jewish Betrayal

A book dealing with a prophesied financial earthquake set to strike London calls on Britain to repent of its betrayal of the Jews.

This is among a string of sins which it is claimed have provoked the judgment of God. The list centres on how the country has forsaken its Christian heritage and moved away from the Coronation Oath through which the monarch vows allegiance to the Protestant faith.

Earthquake in the City was published in 1997 but has come under renewed focus in light of this week’s referendum as a call to come out of Europe forms a significant thrust to the prophecy on which the book is based.

The prophecy appeared to have been partially fulfilled by the serious recession of 2008. But it is believed the ‘big one’ is yet to come and that it will shake the foundations of the City of London – the world’s foremost financial centre – and probably be accompanied by a physical ’quake as warning to a nation that has forsaken the God of the Bible.

Published by Jesus Is Alive Ministries and co-authored by Clifford Denton and Paul Slennett, the book takes an in-depth look at the nature of the prophecy, along with its implications and the need for repentance.

Though given to Christian bookseller Paul Slennett way back in 1989, it is as relevant today as ever. It speaks of “alarm bells sounding all over Europe” and of an earthquake that will “swallow up the whole City. Whole companies and city institutions will collapse…, some never to rise again.”

It calls for church-led repentance which, if taken up, will lead to revival. Then it adds: “In regard to Europe, come out of her…for she will align herself with the Beast and the False Prophet who will arise and appear for just a short while.”

This echoes a biblical passage from the Book of Revelation (chapter 18) on the ultimate destruction of a great, but evil, world power – compared to ancient Babylon – that will arise in the last days before Jesus returns.

Earthquake in the City reminds readers that it was the 18th century evangelical revivals that paved the way for 19th century social reform including the building of hospitals, the abolition of slavery and child labour, and the introduction of schools for all.

But now we are in the process of throwing away our freedoms, for which we have fought at great cost. Key among these is the undermining of our sovereignty by Europe on an ever-increasing scale. Laws based on the Ten Commandments have now been supplanted by others reflecting secular values and moral relativism. And it was time we broke with the Continental link.

In addition, Britain – and the church which ought to be influencing the nation – should repent of passing godless laws allowing abortion, easy divorce, homosexuality and general promiscuity. And the City will be in the eye of the storm of a coming crash because we have made an idol of the economy. Much of the debate on this week’s referendum has centred on this factor, whereas few have raised the issue of the undemocratic values represented by the EU, or of its disturbing resemblance to the evil world system described in the last book of the Bible (Revelation).

Earthquake in the City also points out that, though given the inestimable privilege of guiding Israel to statehood through the Palestine Mandate she held from 1917-1947, Britain turned its back on the Jews. Fortunately this didn’t prevent Israel’s re-birth, but it is widely felt on these shores that we could have done so much more to help them at a time when they were threatened with extinction.

We have allowed godlessness to come in like a flood, and we haven’t raised a standard. But, as already mentioned, the prophecy adds a promise of revival if the nation repents.


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

 

Israel Gives Mixed Messages on Messianic Lobby

The Alliance for Israel Advocacy is lobbying on Capitol Hill against the dangers of BDS and Palestinian terrorism, and presenting its understanding of a one-state solution.

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

 

Syrian Groups Furious Over Israeli Food Aid

The various different groups fighting in Syria’s bloody civil war were all pointing accusatory fingers at one another last week over photo evidence of Israeli food aid reaching some of the rebel factions.

Bags of Israeli rice and flour were shown near road signs in the Qunietra region on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.

The pictures sparked a war of words on social media.

“It is a disgrace to be receiving food from the Zionist Entity which has stolen the Golan,” wrote one jihadist group.

Pages linked to the Syrian regime insisted the photos were evidence that rebel groups are cooperating with the hated Israeli enemy.

According to the pan-Arab newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi, the food is provided to some of the more moderate rebel groups that make up the Free Syrian Army, which regularly brings its wounded and other victims to the Golan border to receive medical aid from the Israelis.

 

3 Hurt as Palestinians Firebomb Israeli Motorists

A group of Palestinians on Monday night hurled large stones and firebombs on motorists north of Jerusalem, wounding one Israeli and two tourists.

The attack occurred on Highway 443, one of the major thoroughfares connecting Tel Aviv and the coastal plain to Jerusalem.

Israeli forces responding to the scene opened fire on a car full of Palestinians whom they believed to be behind the attack. A 15-year-old Palestinian boy was killed and at least three others wounded.

The army later retracted its initial statement, and acknowledged that the shooting had been a tragic case of mistaken identity. The Palestinian car in question had not been involved in the stoning and firebomb attack.

PHOTO: Illustration (Flash90)

 

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Messianic Book Breaks Into Mainstream

Israelis read a lot, more than most nations, and this week it’s “Shavua Hasefer,” the national book week where tables and displays are put out in every town, village and city square across the country for an entire week, attracting massive numbers of Jewish bookworms waiting to dive into the latest yarn.

On the tables across the country we can find a new Messianic publication in Hebrew which translates, “Animals Do Their Thing.” Written and published by the Messianic Jewish publishing house Hachotam, located on a kibbutz in the south of the country, this is the first time a Messianic publication has broken into the mainstream of the Israeli Hebrew language book world, as far as I know.

The hardcover, colorful book teaches children, “That God is alive and well, and that he loves our world,” says Eitan Kashtan, Chief Editor of the non-profit Messianic publishing house. “We want Israeli kids to see God’s love in his care for the animals. God covers their bodies with furs, and made each one with unique qualities to be able to perform their special jobs.” The book covers the lives and unique activities of fifty different animals, as God made them.

Kashtan says that they are concerned about the strong emphasis put on evolution being taught to our children in Israeli schools. He wants to present an alternative so children canto understand that it is God who created the world. But getting Messianic literature into Israel’s mainstream has not been easy. “For 15 years we have been offering a variety of titles to the Israeli markets. A book we published about Noah was initially marketed, but when the distributors found out we are Messianic, they sent the books back,” Kashtan says.

The team at Hachotam are encouraged, but also surprised, that their new children’s book has broken through, and is now being sold in major book stores across the country. “Sales are going really well. I just received an order for even more copies,” Kasthan says. Just in time for the national book week.

Orit Kashtan, Eithan’s wife, authored the new book, and the artwork was produced by the design team at Hachotam. The non-for-profit Messianic publishing house has so far published fifty books, mostly for use by local Messianic believers. Kashtan says that the heart of their work, the publications really making a difference, are their magazines.

“Somethin Else" is a magazine they produce for teenagers. It includes articles on Faith and Science, a Question and Answer segment dealing with troubling questions a teen might have, and articles about studying the Bible. "Yaldei-Ya" (God’s kids) is a magazine for children, with quizzes that encourage children to increase their knowledge of the Bible, important biblical facts, and short articles about nature that demonstrate God’s wisdom. "What’s Going On" is a new magazine written by youth for youth that reports on daily issues and news from the Messianic believes in Israel. There are personal stories and testimonies, as well answers to "hard to understand" questions from the Bible.

“The exciting thing is that we have the privilege to serve the youth, but also to train and equip young people to serve, think and write Christian material in Hebrew,” Kashtan writes on their web page. “We pray and hope that God will raise from these youngsters the next generation of Christian publishers in Israel.”

Each of these magazines are published quarterly and distributed free of charge to the Hebrew-speaking Messianic congregations across Israel.

 

Israel Helps Cyprus Battle Monster Wild Fire

Israel has sent a third of its aerial firefighting fleet to aid Cyprus in battling the largest wild fire to plague the island nation in recent years.

The fire began late last week, and on Saturday Israel dispatched three firefighting planes to aid the Cypriots.

“Last night I ordered that three of our firefighting aircraft, out of our fleet of 13 or 14, be sent to help them, and the planes are now in Cyprus. This is part of the regional arrangement we have made with Cyprus and Greece about emergency assistance. I am pleased that we are able to extend this assistance,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at Sunday’s cabinet meeting.

The fire looked to be somewhat under control on Sunday, but overnight winds bolstered the blaze.

On Monday, the Israeli army sent another two planes to Cyprus, which only has a single firefighting plane of its own.

 

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Israeli Christians: If Israel Goes, We Go

"Today Christians are fleeing from Iraq, Syria and Palestine. We understand that if Israel goes, we go. Those not willing to honor Israel are welcome to leave."

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

 

Israeli Minister Steps in to Help Christian Schools

Israeli Social Equality Minister Gila Gamliel has decided to go to bat for the nation’s 47 Arabic-speaking Christian schools, which are facing a severe financial crisis.

The Christian schools went on strike last year demanding government funding, even though they are not part of the state-controlled public school system.

Israel’s Education Ministry agreed to provide the Christian schools a one-time 50 million shekel injection, but that funding is now three months overdue.

Israeli officials are arguing that if the Christian schools want to receive taxpayer funding, they need to be folded into the official public school system.

But Gamliel says that regardless of their current status (the schools may still yet be recognized as official public schools) they deserve state funding.

A program Gamliel is quickly putting in place will allow any schools - including the Christian network - that meet certain requirements to apply for and receive grant money from the government.

 

Birds of prey – and the Sabbath!

As I shared in my last posting, I learnt much through my observations of nature and of God’s wonderful creation while on holiday in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales.

I was particularly impressed by what I discovered from experts about birds of prey – perhaps most importantly, that they do not fly just for the fun of it, as I had always imagined. They fly for food! In fact they spend much of their time conserving their energy so that it is not wasted on needless ‘flights of fancy’, but only on necessary shopping expeditions!

The energy used for flying in search of food is, of course, gained through previous successful ‘fishing’ trips. And this disciplined lifestyle will not allow them to indulge on ‘snacking in-flight’. Even food salvaged while hunting is stored in a special sack until an appropriate time when the bird can eat in safety and afterwards put its feet up.

Eating ‘in-flight’ will result in loss of alertness for the job in hand which, in the case of Falcons, means catching prey in mid-flight and warding off other predators. We make much of drink-driving, but what about the dangers of a heavy meal sending you to sleep at the wheel?

Question: Do we put all our energies into a search for spiritual food, reserving the time when we are most alert to seeking the presence of God and listening out for his voice? The best time to read, pray and digest his Word or other edifying material? Not just an add-on to our busy lives on the Sabbath, but fresh manna from heaven each new day, just as our heavenly Father provides for the birds (Matthew 6.26).

Is seeking bread from heaven the driving force of our lives without which we can never be fully mature, with the strength and muscle to win life’s battles and ward off danger while also enjoying the fullness of life God promises to those who follow him? (John 10.10)

One falconry expert explained the importance of perfect weight and balance. It was amazing to discover, for example, that the ideal weight for this bird – capable of over 200mph – is 1¾lb. Too light, and she will die. Too heavy, and she can’t fly. And if she can’t fly, she will die, because there’s no other way of finding food.

We too should always be seeking for more food while at the same time living off the nutrients we have already and consistently built up through a regular healthy diet.

We are not expected, except in unusual circumstances such as anticipating a famine, to store up food for a rainy day (Matthew 6.26 again). We always need fresh manna.

And we should stay as light as a feather, like these birds, by refusing to become entangled by the woes and cares of this world (Hebrews 12.1).

And lastly, remember how the bird conserves its energy for the most important task – that of finding food. That actually means plenty of rest before going to work! We humans tend to do it the other way round, seeing leisure and holidays as a reward for hard work. But the bird of prey rests in order to work.

One of the reasons Jews have done so well in business is because they all keep the Sabbath, one of God’s key commands. As Yeshua said, the Sabbath was made for man, not the other way round. (Mark 2.27) It’s for our own good – both physically and spiritually. It’s absolutely essential, in order to regain our strength.

God rebukes his people when he says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.” (Isaiah 30.15)

But those who wait upon the Lord – giving their best time to God – “will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40.31)

 

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Social Experiment: Muslim Terror vs Christian Terror

The above video has received a lot of hate from the politically-correct crowd, but it serves to demonstrate a very important fact that is at the heart of most of the armed conflicts in the world today.

The primary Muslim slogan of religious praise has become a literal battlecry, a call to violence, and it shows in the way people respond to a suspicious Muslim-attired person shouting "Allahu Akbar".

By contrast, no one in their right mind would suspect someone shouting "Praise Jesus" of being a terrorist.

So which is the true religion of peace?

 

Palestinian PM Says Israel Has No Right to Counter Terrorism

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah this week issued a statement condemning Israel’s response to last week’s deadly Tel Aviv terrorist shooting, and insisting that Muslims be given free rein in Jerusalem’s Old City.

Following the shooting at Tel Aviv’s Sarona Market, Israel learned that the shooters had come from the Hebron-area Palestinian village of Yatta. As expected, Israeli forces sealed off the area and conducted investigations in and around the village for several days, before largely lifting the restrictions this week.

According to Hamdallah, this mode of operation is unacceptable.

Misrepresenting international law, Hamdallah was adamant that as a “nation under occupation” (even though ‘Palestine’ has never been a nation) the Palestinian Arabs have the right to combat Israel by any means deemed necessary.

Apparently, in the thinking of the Palestinian leadership, that also includes murdering unarmed civilians sitting down to dinner.

The statement went on to demand that Israel withdraw its boosted police forces that were deployed to Jerusalem’s Old City during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, when an increased number of Palestinian and Israeli Arabs are visiting the mosques that occupy the Temple Mount.

These are the people with whom Israel is expected to find an equitable diplomatic solution to the conflict.

 

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Christian IDF Soldier Attacked in Uniform

A growing number of young Arabic-speaking Christians are volunteering to serve in the Israeli army. Some even want their service to be mandatory, as it is for Jews. But there are some elements in Arab Christian society that remain hostile to this phenomenon.

That was the experience of a young Arabic-speaking Christian who spoke to Israel’s Mako news portal. Identified only as “Y” for his own safety, the young man recounted how his family and friends urged him not to join the IDF, and how his insistence on doing so earned him death threats and a physical beating.

“I knew I was going to pay a heavy price. Most of my friends cut off contact with me,” said Y, who signed up to serve in the Bedouin Reconnaissance Battalion, and has since started a course to become a combat medic.

“The few times I got home, I received death threats from various people who live and work in my neighborhood,” he continued. “They were outraged that I was walking around in uniform and serve in a combat unit.”

During a recent visit to his hometown of Haifa, Y was physically assaulted by a passerby. “He punched me just because I was wearing a uniform. He told me, ‘You and your friends are traitors.’ It’s scary. Next time it could end in murder,” said the shaken young man.

Due to the situation, Y has petitioned the army to allow him to travel in civilian clothing. But until permission is granted, he is forced to spend most weekends at a soldiers’ boarding house to avoid physical violence, or worse.

 

IDF Surprise Homecomings Collection

The Israeli army is served by thousands of “lone” soldiers who have come from all corners of the globe, leaving behind family and friends, to fight for their ancestral homeland.

And while these brave young men and women make this sacrifice proudly, it nevertheless elicits tears of great joy to be reunited with their loved ones.

Likewise, it is a gut-wrenching time for local Israeli families when their young sons, aged just 18–20, must go and fight in places like Hamas-ruled Gaza. Their safe homecoming is cause for much weeping and prayers of thanksgiving.

 

Why you should stand with Israel

The following is part of a paid promotional by Christians United For Israel ahead of their UK branch's upcoming Night to Honour Israel.

The God of the Bible is the God of Covenant. He is a promise-making and promise-keeping God. Those who claim that God is not accountable to the promises He made to the children of Israel are contradicting the Apostle Paul’s words to the Gentile Christians of the early church:

Romans 11:1 (KJV)

I say then, “Hath God cast away his people? God forbid.”

The God of the Bible is a Zionist and the Bible is a Zionist document that mandates Christians stand with the Jewish people. The Scriptures are replete with verses that foretell the restoration of the Jews to their homeland, “never again [to] be rooted out from their land.” As it is written:

Amos 9:14-15 (NASB)

“I will also plant them on their land, And they will never again be rooted out from their land. Which I have given them,” Says the Lord your God.

God said to Abraham in Genesis 12:3 “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you;” this is an eternal and irrevocable promise of God to the nations of the world.

Where are the nations that have persecuted the Jewish people? Where is Pharaoh and his army, where are the Babylonians, the ancient Romans and Greeks, the Ottoman Empire, and the Nazis? All of these empires are located in the boneyard of human history.

As for Israel and the Jewish people, they are alive and well. They thrive, prosper and grow. Even in the face of adversity, they remain a light unto the nations.

Unfortunately, Christians have not always stood with the Jewish people. In fact, from an historical perspective, Christian Zionism is the exception, not the rule.

Throughout the past 2,000 years, under the banner of the cross, Jews have been persecuted and murdered. We cannot change this history, but we must learn from it. We must return to God’s literal word - not the contortions of men - and recognise that anti-Semitism is sin and that Christians must stand up to it at every turn. To quote Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

At times anti-Semitism is naked. Those who desecrate holocaust memorials and paint swastikas on synagogues are more easily identified. But in recent years, organised anti-Semitism has largely cast off its white hood and is now hiding in plain sight under the guise of opposition to Israel and to those who stand with her.

Rather than hurling disgusting epithets, this new brand of anti-Semitism hides behind buzzwords like justice and peace, and misuses them to single out the Jewish state for criticism. This deceptive brand of anti-Semitism is the cyanide that lures the misinformed Christian.

From the United Nations to newsrooms, campuses and even pulpits across the nations, it has become all too common to accuse Israel of the very sins committed against her. For example, some accuse the Israeli military of harming civilians, yet Israel takes great risks to minimise civilian casualties in conflict. As one senior British military office said, “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.” Conversely the Jewish state’s enemies intentionally attack Israeli civilians while hiding behind innocent women and children.

Likewise, Israel’s detractors accuse her of discrimination, yet from its founding Israel enshrined in its basic laws “dignity and liberty” for all of its citizens. As one prominent Israeli Christian leader told the United Nation’s Human Rights Council, “The Jewish state is the only safe place where the Christians of the Holy Land live in safety.”

Unsatisfied with simply vilifying the Jewish state, modern anti-Semites also slander Christian Zionists. All manner of outlandish accusations are levelled against us, including the allegation that we are “using” the Jewish people to fulfil an apocalyptic belief that requires all of the Jews to return to Israel and/or are lobbying for an ‘end-of-days’ battle between Israel and Iran - all in order for Jesus to return. These accusations reveal a great deal about the ignorance of those who spew them, but nothing about the motivations behind Christian Zionism.

There is no connection between Christian Zionism and Christ’s return. God has chosen a specific date as noted by Jesus.

Mark 13:31-33 (NASB)

“Speaking of His return, Jesus said: ‘But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come.’”

From accusing Israel of using animals as spies, to engaging in sorcery, to practicing apartheid, the sum total of lies levelled against the Jewish state and people is far too long and ridiculous to list here.

Discerning readers recognise that those who have nothing but ill-words for Israel and her allies - yet are simultaneously silent in the face of real human rights abuses across the Middle East - are nothing more than articulate bigots who mock the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Standing with Israel is not a political issue; it’s a Bible issue.

The Bible makes it abundantly clear that God, the Owner of the earth, entered into an eternal covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their descendants that the land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people (Genesis 13:14-15, Exodus 32:13, 2 Chronicles 20:7)

If God stands with Israel then we as Christians are mandated to do the same.

It is one year since Christians United for Israel held its UK launch event and we are delighted to be returning to Westminster to celebrate the nation of Israel in the heart of our capital on Thursday 16th June.

Call 01793 862 210 to book your place.

 

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A Missionary Trap in Jerusalem's Old City?

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish anti-missionary groups were up in arms last week after a number of fellow Israeli Jews visited Christ Church, the oldest Protestant Church in the Middle East, during the annual Jerusalem Light Festival.

The Light Festival, which draws a large number of Israeli families, begins at the Jaffa Gate of Jerusalem’s Old City. Christ Church is situated just inside the gate, and opposite the Tower of David.

Given its prominent location along the Light Festival route, Christ Church was the backdrop for some of the first major light displays that visitors saw.

Naturally, Christ Church opened its gates and its popular coffee shop for any and all that wished to learn more about this steadfast Christian ministry.

In speaking to Artuz 7, the head of the anti-missionary group Lehava, Bentzi Gopshtain, expressed outrage.

Gopshtain claimed that Christ Church had deceptively lured unsuspecting Israeli Jews onto its premises and then presented them with material about “that guy”, meaning Yeshua.

The charge was nonsensical given that the gate of Christ Church, its coffee shop and the adjoining Christian Information Center are very clearly marked as Christian facilities. Those Jews who did enter most likely did so out of genuine curiosity.

Gopshtain and his crew were having none of it, and stood outside Christ Church for long hours holding signs reading “Warning: Missionaries” in order to dissuade fellow Jews from entering.

He seemed most perturbed by the fact that Christ Church houses a small museum featuring famous models of Jerusalem and the Temple. In fact, the sanctuary at Christ Church is littered with Hebrew inscriptions and biblical Jewish symbols.

To Gophshtain and those like him, this is a nefarious attempt to present “that guy in a Jewish disguise.” Such is the unfortunate history of Christianity that many Jews fail to recognize that Yeshua is every bit as Jewish as they.

 

With Its Pride Parades, Can Christians Still Support Israel?

For twenty minutes I listened as the angry radio-show host tore into Christians who love Israel. "Folks, you won’t hear one peep from those Christian Zionists about that annual, pro-gay parade in Tel Aviv. Oh no, they want you to believe the Jews are God’s chosen people who just sit around reading Torah and lighting Sabbath candles.  They call it the Holy Land!  Better, the Unholy Land!"

I sat stunned by the vitriol that poured forth from this man’s mouth. He was a Christian who believed the Jews had forfeited the promises of God. Even the land promise was gone, which he saw as spiritually fulfilled in the coming of Jesus! I knew his views were unscriptural, but was at a loss to explain Israel’s celebration of immorality in front of the whole world. And in God’s face. And even though the parades are denounced by Orthodox Jews, a recent poll showed 78% of Israelis favor some form of same-sex marriage.

I prayed, “O Lord, how can you be restoring your nation at this time and allow such unrighteousness to flourish in the land? How can we convince our Christian brethren of your steadfast covenant love for Israel, and that it is the set time to favor Zion?”

Over the next few days, as I read my Bible and prayed, I gained a clearer perspective concerning the problem of sin. And about Israel’s unique situation. I share those perspectives here to encourage all who believe God truly is restoring Israel today - in spite of the nation’s often ungodly behavior. 

As to the issue of sin, Paul tells us, “that until the Law, sin was in the world. But sin is not imputed when there is no Law” (Rom. 5:13). So although sin had entered the world through Adam, and had spread to all men, no one could be held accountable because there was no law against it. But then Moses came down from Mt. Sinai and everyone was indicted!

Once the Law conclusively proved we were all hopeless sinners condemned to death, God sent Yeshua to save us. He gave us a better covenant with a better sacrifice, that redeemed believers from the punishment we incurred for “transgressions committed under the first covenant” (Heb. 9:15).

In other words, from God’s perspective, the problem of sin has been solved! The age of condemnation ushered in by the Law was over.  Isn’t that the “good news” we are supposed to be shouting from the housetops to all who have ears to hear? That if we repent and believe in Yeshua, we’ll receive forgiveness for our sins? 

Sure, sin is still grossly evident in the world today. And God still despises it. But it is no longer a concern. For those cleansed in the blood of Messiah “there is now no condemnation” (Rom. 8:1). And those not under the blood, Jew or Gentile, will receive the due penalty for their sins when Messiah returns. If not sooner. “And to this doom they were also appointed” (1 Pet. 2:8). 

Well, what about the State of Israel today? Contrary to the radio announcer’s Pharisaic judgment, Scripture tells us that in spite of Israel’s unbelief concerning Messiah, “from the standpoint of God’s choice, they are [still] beloved for the sake of the fathers, for the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable” (Rom. 11:28,29). That irrevocability applies to the land, also. It may not be “the Holy Land” right now. But it is always “the Promised Land” – eternally promised to the chosen seed of Abraham. 

The reason most of the Church doesn’t see this yet is because they’ve either been blinded by the anti-Semitism of Replacement Theology, or confused by Darby’s and Scofield’s teaching that God has two Israels – one spiritual and the other physical. One the Church, the other Jewish Israel. For Scripture teaches all the redeemed in Messiah will become a kingdom of priests “who will reign upon the earth” (Rev. 5:10). Indeed, the whole earth is the inheritance promised to Abraham and Israel (Rom. 4:13).

But the key to understanding how God can still be for Israel today in spite of her carnality is found in Ezekiel. There we learn that in the last days God will restore Israel apart from their behavior – right or wrong. He knows His people are incapable of  true repentance and complete obedience until they receive “a new heart and a new spirit.” Were we any different?

What matters most to God now is His name. He has fully invested Himself in this enterprise called Israel and He will not allow it to fail. His reputation is at stake. So He declares…  “It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went…For I will take you from the nations...and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean” (Ezek. 36: 22-25).

As Paul also reminds us, “This is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins” (Rom. 11:27). A wonderful holy cleansing is coming soon for the sons of Judah! And God will be glorified!

Brian Hennessy is author of Valley of the Steeples

 

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Leave the Bloodstains, Remember the Dead

Three observations.

Prime Minister Netanyahu referred to last week's shooting attack in Tel Aviv in which four Jews were killed meters away from the IDF's headquarters as "a very difficult event of cold-blooded murder by atrocious terrorists."

If at all necessary, expressions like "cold-blooded murder" fit a crime scene. Netanyahu's choice of words is not a slip of a tongue. Defining terror attacks as acts of war means that Israel is attributing a status of statehood to the Palestinian Authority. This is why Palestinian terrorists jailed in Israel are not POWs. Reports about policemen hesitating to kill the two terrorists show a state of confusion in which law enforcement personal are not sure how to act, particularly when Israelis who have killed terrorists are subject to legal scrutiny. Israel's unwillingness to define Palestinian terrorism for what it is, acts of war, forces her to be indecisive. This is why there is a hollow ring to the Prime Minister's assurance that "we will act firmly and intelligently to fight terrorism."

Talking with Army Radio the morning after the attack, Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai expressed a kind of disappointment that more Israelis weren't killed.

"Forty-nine years of occupation" didn't teach Israelis a thing. His sympathetic interviewer asked Huldai if "only an enormous trauma, a tragedy of unknown scale" would cause Israelis to vote for the Left, to which Huldai responded affirmatively. "Unfortunately, this is the reality," agreed the mayor. Huldai believes the kind of change he is seeking can only come through humiliation and defeat. And four dead is not enough to bring about the kind of change that will pull Israel back to its 1948 "milk-and-honey" borders.

As it is with any bloody terror attack, Israeli authorities are doing their utmost to erase any traces of the horror as quickly as possible.

The code word "back to routine" means that no matter how bloody things get, Israelis are expected to go immediately back to business as usual. Our leaders believe that by doing so we are showing the terrorists that we are not afraid. This is not only nonsense, it is downright harmful. Removing the blood stains and plastering the walls before the next business day encourages forgetfulness and indifference rather than resilience and determination. Visitors to Tel Aviv's Sarona Market should have been allowed to see and smell this tragedy that was encouraged and carried out by a people that celebrates the death of any Jew.

 

Terror Can Occur Anywhere

Imagine yourself going out.

You sit in a restaurant with your friends, the waiter is coming to take your orders. There is always that one friend who takes forever to decide what to order, but he finally decides to go with the special.

You sit, talk and enjoy one another’s company, and then suddenly you hear gunshots. You look around and see dozens of people, like you, that came to the restaurant to hang out with friends or family and have a good time. But now they are running for their lives.

One hides in a refrigerator, another lies down pretending to be dead. You see a mother grabbing her baby and running out of the restaurant, desperate to save that treasured life.

What is the value of life? Can someone buy another’s life? Can someone take your life because he wants to? Life is expensive, nobody is empowered to take it from you. Life is precious.

Those terrorists don’t know the value of life. While we mourn as a nation and cry with the families that lost their loved ones, Palestinians in the West Bank celebrate our deaths, handing candies to kids in the streets and educating them that killing Jews is a good deed worth celebrating.

Killing a human being is like killing a whole world. It’s emotionally killing the family, the friends, and what if this human being had a bright future? Imagine the family he could have had, the kids he could’ve brought into the world.

This is a call to pray for our enemies. Blindly they believe that Israel is bad and that we deserve death. But, hey, we all deserved death…until Jesus came to the world, and took our sins on the cross. They need to be loved and they need to know Jesus.

Pray for your enemies.

 

Two Hurt in Attack on Passenger Bus in Jerusalem

Two Israeli teenagers were wounded on Sunday when Arab assailants hurled stones at a public bus near Jerusalem’s Old City.

Several of the stones broke through windows, causing glass shards to hit the two teens and several other passengers.

Earlier in the day, an Israeli woman and her child were treated for shock after being attacked by an Arab man near the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of French Hill.

PHOTO: Illustrative (Flash90)

 

Mila, Ido, Michael and Ilana - The 4 Tel Aviv Terror Victims

Ido Ben-Ari, 42, from Ramat Gan, was sitting with his wife and two children in the popular Benedict breakfast restaurant when Ido was killed, his wife was injured and is still hospitalized. Reut, Ido's sister, said that when the family arrived at the restaurant their son did not want to sit in the selected location, but in the end gave in. Ido was a reservist in an elite IDF unit. His brother said that Ido was a wonderful brother and a beloved father. He worked in a senior position at Coca-Cola and he was very popular with all his colleagues.

Mila Mishayev, 33, was engaged to be married. She was seated in Max Brenner cafe with a friend and was waiting for her fiancee. She suffered gunshot wounds to the leg and even managed even to call a friend and relayed what had happened. Sh died from loss of blood. Mila's home town mayor said that the city's social workers are in contact with the parents of Mila, to assist them in this difficult time.

Dr. Michael Feige, 58 from Ramat Gan, was a sociologist and anthropologist and was head of the Israeli studies at the Ben-Gurion University. He has published several books and was winner of the "Society for Israeli Studies" for the best book of 2010. He is survived by his wife Nurit and three daughters. His colleagues at the University were shocked by his death.

Ilana Nava, 39, from Tel Aviv, is survived by her husband and four daughters, who will now have to cope with the loss of their mother. A neighbor said, "Ilana was the world's best woman who cared lovingly for her household and her children and she often took care of my children. Her door was always open. I'm shocked....." Ilana's husband, Alon, a policeman, and the daughters are trying to cope with this tragedy. A relative said, "Alon knew his wife was there, and when she did not answer her phone, he immediately drove to the Sarona complex. When he did not find her, he was sent to the hospital. There he received the sad news of the death of his wife. This morning a social worker came to look after the daughters."

Since the beginning of the current wave of terror, which began in September last year, 38 innocent Israelis have lost their lives and over 500 have been wounded.

 

Examples of How the World Downplays Tel Aviv Terror Attack

The CNN headlines reported on the terror attack and remarked that Two "terrorists" were arrested. The tabloid resorted to referring to the perpetrators of the attack as "terrorists" in inverted commas. The fact that, at the time of reporting, 3 people had been murdered in the attack was relegated to small print below one of the photographs.

The BBC headlines simply called the terror attack "Tel Aviv Shooting". At least they did include that 3 people had been killed in the "shooting incident" but left the interpretation of the "shooting incident" open to the interpretation of their readers.

Sky News headlines correctly called the attack a "Mass Shooting In Tel Aviv" and once again the description that it was "a harsh terror attack" was kept to the fine print below one of the photographs.

The Guardian headlines simply referred to the murderous attack as "Three Dead in Tel Aviv Market Shooting". The report went on to report that the "two shooters were shot and disarmed by police" without any mention that it was a terror attack.


Screenshot of The Guardian headlines

Many of the other mainstream tabloids headlines downplayed the severity and perpetrators of the murderous terror a ttack in Tel Aviv!

 

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Four Patrons Shot Dead at Point Blank Some in the Back

In a late night shooting at the popular Sarona market in the heart of Tel Aviv, 2 terrorists committed a shooting spree against patrons that were out to enjoy themselves.

4 patrons of the popular restaurant Max Brenner were killed in cold blood on Wednesday night, while another 16 injured were treated in Tel Aviv hospitals. Of the 5 victims still hospitalized, one is in serious condition and the rest in various conditions.

The Sarona Market complex is adjacent to the IDF Headquarters and the offices of the Israel Ministry of Defense.


Scene of the terror attack in the aftermath of the shooting.

The terrorists, dressed in suits, joined patrons dining in the restaurant, ordered food and without warning pulled out improvised semi-automatic weapons and started shooting in all directions.

The terrorists fled the scene, one of them still armed, in the direction of Carlebach street. One was neutralized next to the Cinemateque cinema and the cinema was evacuated, while police and security forces started a search for the second terrorist.

A short while later the second terrorist was arrested. The suspects are cousins and residents of the Judean village of Yatta, south of Hevron. They are being interrogated by Israel Police and the Shabak - Israel General Security Services.

In the meantime celebrations broke out in East Jerusalem, Gaza strip, and West Bank upon hearing of the news of the terror attack. In Yatta, the home village of the muderers, a spontaneous march took place with fireworks being set off and candies were handed out to passersby in celebration.

 

How Effective Have the BDS Efforts Against Israel Been?

Foreign capital flow to Israeli assets hit a record high of $285.12 billion last year, nearly triple of what this figure was in 2005, Bloomberg News reported last week. And while the Israeli economy has been slowing as of late, it is still performing better than that of the United States and other Western nations. Israeli companies, especially high-tech startups, have also become very attractive targets for foreign investors.

The Bloomberg report is consistent with an analysis written for The Wall Street Journal two years ago by David Rosenberg, economic editor of the Israeli daily Haaretz.

The true story is that after nearly 10 years of campaigning, the global BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement has not had the slightest economic impact. Its victories have consisted of coaxing a handful of pop stars and academics to cancel appearances in Israel, and winning empty, sanctimonious declarations of support from the likes of student governments, cooperative grocery stories and leftish church groups.

Far from being isolated, Israel’s exports are reaching record highs and it attracts billions of dollars in foreign investment.

In the weeks that Israel was supposedly under a boycott siege, Japan’s Rakuten agreed to buy the start-up Viber for $900 million and Ireland’s Covidien sealed a deal to buy Given Imaging for $860 million. China’s Bright Food was in talks to buy control of Israel’s biggest food maker Tnuva, and IBM, Lockheed-Martin and ERM all announced plans to open research and development centers in Israel. The Jewish state became the first non-European member of the nuclear research consortium CERN and was admitted as an observer to the Pacific Alliance, a free-trade bloc of five Latin American countries.

A group of multinational firms including Ford, IBM, GE, Tyco, GM, Singtel, PayPal, Yahoo, ProSieben, and Kimberly-Clark came to Tel Aviv at the end of 2015 to find suitable startups to invest in. That year, Israeli startups netted nearly $5 billion in Venture Capital-backed exit deals, a ten-year record.

The BDS campaign attempts to delegitimize and isolate Israel in an effort to advance Palestinian interests, and many of its leaders have publicly affirmed that they seek Israel’s destruction. BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti, an opponent of the two-state solution, said in 2014 that Palestinians have a right to "resistance by any means, including armed resistance,” while leading activist As’ad Abu Khalil acknowledged in 2012 that "the real aim of BDS is to bring down the state of Israel.”

 

Rare hoard of coins found in Modi'in, Israel

The search for the Hasmonean city of Modi'in has been ongoing for decades with many interesting finds being discovered including a Byzantine settlement and Byzantine era monastery.

Some of the Byzantine era ruins were discovered to have been built on ruins of an earlier settlement. It was during the excavation of these ruins by the Israel Antiquities Authority that the hoard of second century BCE coins was discovered.

The treasure was hidden in a rock crevice, up against a wall of an impressive agricultural estate that was discovered and date to the Hasmonean period (126 BCE).

Excavation director, Avraham Tendler said, "the cache may have belonged to a Jew who hid his money in the hope of coming back to collect it, but he was unlucky and never did return".

"This rare cache of silver coins from the Hasmonean period comprised of shekels and half-shekels (tetradrachms and didrachms) were minted in the city of Tyre and bear the images of the king, Antiochus VII and his brother Demetrius II. The cache that we found is compelling evidence that one of the members of the estate who had saved his income for months needed to leave the house for some unknown reason. He buried his money in the hope of coming back and collecting it, but was apparently unfortunate and never returned. It is exciting to think that the coin hoard was waiting here 2,140 years until we exposed it".

Dr. Donald Tzvi Ariel, the head of the Coin Department at the Israel Antiquities Authority added, "The cache, which consists of 16 coins, contains one or two coins from every year between 135–126 BCE, and a total of nine consecutive years are represented. It seems that some thought went into collecting the coins, and it is possible that the person who buried the cache was a coin collector. He acted in just the same way as stamp and coin collectors manage collections today".

Numerous bronze coins minted by the Hasmonean kings were also discovered in the excavation. They bear the names of the kings such as Yehohanan, Judah, Jonathan or Mattathias and his title: High Priest and Head of the Council of the Jews. The finds indicate that the estate continued to operate throughout the Early Roman period. The Jewish inhabitants of the estate meticulously adhered to the laws of ritual purity and impurity: they installed ritual baths (miqwe’ot) in their settlement and used vessels made of chalk, which according to Jewish law cannot become ritually unclean.

The unique finds revealed in the excavation will be preserved in an archaeological park in the heart of the new neighborhood slated for construction in Modi‘in-Maccabim-Re‘ut.

 

Dorothy Immigrates to Israel at 95 - It's Never Too Late!

"All my life I dreamed of living in Israel but only made it today. It has taken me a long time to to fulfill this dream, but it's never too late," said the 95-year-old Dorothy Truttner after her immigration to Israel made possible with the aid of the Nefesh B'Nefesh organization.

The EL AL flight from Toronto to Israel was accompanied by many emotions as it flew the excited Dorothy Truttner to Israel. Truttner left Toronto for the last time, the city where she was born and had spent her entire life. During the flight, she was surprised when the stewardesses handed her a personal letter of congratulations from the chairman of El Al airlines, David Maimon. "On behalf of all the employees of EL AL I want to wish you every success on your immigration. For the last 20 years you had been a loyal passenger and flew to Israel at least twice a year. We are a national airline and are very excited to be part of your immigration," Maimon wrote.

Dorothy Truttner will be live in Jerusalem with her son. She has 9 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren, the last born just a few days ago. "I have visited Israel 45 times in my life, but this is the first time I booked a oneway ticket," said Dorothy. "I'm so happy that I can fulfill a lifelong dream and be with my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren," she said.

"Dorothy's immigration at the age of 95 proves that age is no barrier for immigrating to Israel," said the vice president of Nefesh B'Nefesh, Zeev Graschinsky.

Dorothy is not the oldest immigrant who has immigrated to Israel with Nefesh B'Nefesh. The then 100 year-old Sabina Wistrich emigrated from London to Israel in 2010. She will soon be celebrating her 106th birthday.

 

Sunday is Shavuot - the Feast of Weeks!

The Jewish festival of Shavuot has many facets: the Feast of Weeks - 7 weeks being counted from Passover, or the Harvest Festival. Tradition has it that the Torah was given to the children of Israel via Moses by God on this day. In Israel this festival is a happy day when Torah is traditionally studied through the night and mainly dairy foods are consumed.

"And thou shalt keep the commandments of Jehovah thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him. For Jehovah thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing forth in valleys and hills; a land of wheat and barley, and vines and fig-trees and pomegranates; a land of olive-trees and honey; Deut 8:6-8

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When law reigns supreme

It all started with a short news item on TV channel 10 reporting that Yehuda Yitzhak HaIsraeli, a critically wounded soldier, had regained consciousness after almost two years can't go back home. The official reason given was that the house he lives in is in a settlement. HaIsraeli's parents wanted to build another room specially designed to accomodate their son's disabilities but, since Israel has imposed a freeze on all building permits in the "occupied territories," HaIsraeli can't go back to his home in Ofra.

Normally it is the duty of the Ministry of Defense to provide the needed permits and expenses but given this situation, it denied both permit and money. A few hours later the story was picked up by social network activists Sara Haetzni-Cohen and Avihai Shorshan. In a post from June 2, Shorshan called this incident an "outrage." Since Israel is unwilling to help, he wrote, "we, the citizens, will not allow political and legal problems to prevent Yehuda from returning home."

Shorshan, Haetzni-Cohen, Meir Layosh and Reuven Lorenzi went ahead with the "Returning Yehuda home" fundraising project aimed at collecting only half of the 1.2 million shekels needed for the building project. The response overwhelmed everyone. 158,466 NIS was donated within five hours and 1,194,199 NIS by the end of the next day. As of Sunday 1.4 million shekels had been collected in an act of love for the soldier and protest against the government.

This public support didn't change the army's position who released a confused response on the Army Radio which said that "the Ministry of Defense has aided the family in every way possible and the deliberation concerning aid will be delayed until a solution will be found." In response Shorshan wrote: "The state knows how to bring back home one POW from Gaza in return for 1,000 terrorists but it is yakking about building permits when it comes to returning one soldier home from Sheba [hospital]. This disgrace will not be forgotten for a long time." Permits or no permits, a video clip shows the new construction has begun.

This massive support upset the daily HaAretz - Rogel Alper - a great deal. His column reporting this incident is titled, "the fundraising for the wounded soldier - fascism at its best."

Rogel justifies his opinion by explaining that "a small group of citizens are deciding who is a citizen, and according to their opinion I am not a citizen." He also reasoned that such a fundraising campaign places compassion above the law. Rogel's formalistic approach is that which has upset so many Israelis.

It is against this kind of dry and inhumane formalism that Shorshan and his peers protested against. "There are times when rushing one to a hospital permits going through a red light," he said of the unconcerned formalists who are hiding their political views behind a legal barricade.

 

BDS: Israel responsible for cyber attacks

Recently the Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions movement claimed that the Jewish State was directly involved in DDoS attacks against six BDS sites in February and March despite the fact that no smoking gun has been procured.

A statement on the BDS movement's main website claims that "around" six different BDS websites suffered distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks in that time period. The statement explained that that it used a technical report that confirmed the attacks albeit without indicating the identity or the identities of the attackers.

The movement states that the attacks were highly advanced, which indicates Israel's direct involvement. Mahmoud Nawajaa, a senior BDS official, reportedly said, "These attacks smack of Israel’s despair at its growing isolation around the world, after failing for years to stem the growing support for the nonviolent BDS movement as a strategic and effective means to achieve Palestinian rights under international law."

Sima Vaknin-Gil, the director-general of the Ministry for Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy, which is the governmental body responsible for the fight against BDS, said at the beginning of the year that, "the ministry is interested in establishing a community of fighters" to battle the BDS campaign.

Erdan said at the conference, "We will do everything to expose the true intentions of BDS, who stands behind them and who funds them, so that the world will understand their intentions. Very soon, every BDS activist will know that they will pay a price for their actions."

Erdan's ministry received a budget to fight the boycott movement and has recruited some personnel from the Mossad, Shin Bet, and the Military Intelligence Directorate.

Erdan also stated, "Many quiet operations have been carried out over recent months that led to a series of accomplishments, operations that were intended to weaken de-legitimization organizations that are attempting to harm the country."

 

NY Governor to Halt State Business with BDS Supporters

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York ordered agencies under his control on Sunday to divest themselves of companies and organizations aligned with a Palestinian-backed boycott movement against Israel.

Mr. Cuomo made his announcement in a speech at the Harvard Club in Manhattan to an audience including local Jewish leaders and lawmakers, describing the BDS movement as an “economic attack” on Israel. “We cannot allow that to happen,” the governor said, adding that, “If you boycott against Israel, New York will boycott you.”

Several states have recently moved to support Israel and prevent their governments and agencies from doing business with companies or individuals that endorse the boycotts. Similar bills have been introduced in both houses of the New York Legislature, and a Republican-sponsored bill passed the State Senate in January.

On Sunday, Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, flexed his executive power saying he wanted “immediate action” against BDS, while challenging other governors to follow suit.

Mr. Cuomo’s signed the executive order just before he marched in the Celebrate Israel parade in New York.

The BDS movement, started in 2005, has become a contentious issue on some American college campuses and beyond. Supporters say the campaign aims to pressure Israel economically over its treatment of Palestinians and to further Palestinian independence. Opponents say the efforts are a thinly disguised, anti-Semitic attempt to deeply hurt or even destroy Israel.

Omar Barghouti, a founder of the BDS movement, said he did not find the actions by states like New York surprising, calling such proposals part of Israel’s “legal warfare against BDS.”

The counsel to the governor, Alphonso David, said in an interview that the executive action was meant to send a clear message that “the BDS movement is deplorable.” He added that the governor’s order is meant to assume a position on a movement that “the State of New York unequivocally rejects,” as the order puts it.

According to the executive order, Mr. Cuomo will command the commissioner of the Office of General Services to devise a list over the next six months of businesses and groups engaged in any “boycott, divestment or sanctions activity targeting Israel, either directly or through a parent or subsidiary.”

Once the designation process is completed, however, all executive-branch agencies and departments — which make up a large portion of state government — as well as public boards, authorities, commissions and all public-benefit corporations will be required to divest themselves of any company on the list.

 

Israel Celebrates 49th Jerusalem Day

Jerusalem Day is being celebrated across Israel on Sunday, marking 49 years since the capital's reunification in the Six-Day War. Memorial services will be held during the day for fallen soldiers of the six-day war.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat will hold a reception for citizens of the capital from 3:30pm to 5pm today at the Tower of David Museum of the History of Jerusalem in the Old City.

This year, as in every year, the center of the festivities will be the traditional Flag Dance procession, organized by the Am K'lavi association. The parade will begin at 4pm in the city center and will continue to the Western Wall via Damascus Gate and the Muslim Quarter. The Israel Police have advised that they will operate "uncompromisingly against any attempt to violate law and order" and called on the participants "to refrain from physical or verbal violence."

Starting in the afternoon, performances and other events organized by neighborhood councils are to take place across the city, culminating with the Student Day celebrations in Sacher Park with a marathon of performances that are to last all night.

This evening the Muslim festival of Ramadan begins and the Israel police are strengthening forces in Jerusalem's Old City ahead of the annual parade to prevent any incitement and attacks.

 

Floods in France – and their Israel policy

Although news of the devastation caused by flooding in France and Germany has rightly elicited both shock and sympathy, I couldn’t help connecting it with the new ‘peace’ efforts Europe is trying to foist on Israel. And it now looks like President Obama will be supporting the French plan to impose Palestinian demands upon Israel.

As I’ve outlined in my book Peace in Jerusalem (olivepresspublisher.com) in a chapter headed God’s political storms – sparked off by controversy over the floods that beset Britain two years ago – natural disasters have accompanied virtually every attempt by the U.S. Government to impose a ‘two-state solution’ on the Jewish state which would divide the land in direct contravention of God’s Word.

For God has made clear that he will judge those who scatter his people among the nations and divide up his land (Joel 3.2). And Psalm 83 paints an accurate picture of the policy and intentions of Israel’s enemies, such as Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran, who say, “Come, let us destroy them as a nation, that the name of Israel be remembered no more” (verse 4). And the same psalm calls on the God of Israel to pursue the plotters “with your tempest and terrify them with your storm” (verse 15).

George Bush Snr’s “land for peace” Oslo Accord of October 31, 1991, was followed the very next day by “The Perfect Storm”, as it was dubbed, which ended up demolishing his own home. A year later, on the very day he presided over further moves to push this agreement, Hurricane Andrew – the worst natural disaster ever to hit America at that time – destroyed over 180,000 homes in Florida, causing over $30 billion in damage.

And I have cited a string of similar such incidents in my book including, perhaps most notably, the terrible floods that struck New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, just as Jews were being evicted from their homes in Gaza as part of a ‘peace’ plan Israel was pressured into accepting by America and the international community. But Gaza subsequently became the launch-pad for constant rocket fire aimed at the destruction of Israel, which is the ultimate aim of the Palestinian Authority and its allies.

The politicians may mock, but the Almighty is watching over his own special piece of property, and Western leaders are invoking disasters on their people, costing many lives and billions of dollars. Yet few apparently see the link with their foolish stubbornness in defying the God of Israel.

To those who don’t believe God is in the business of judgment in an ‘age of grace’, reference the striking down of Ananias and Sapphira for lying to the Holy Spirit in the very early days of the church (Acts 5.1-10). And to those who reckon he doesn’t interfere with weather patterns, reference the occasion when he stilled the storm with a word on the Sea of Galilee.

“What kind of man is this?” his disciples asked each other afterwards. “Even the winds and the waves obey him.” (Matthew 8.23-27)

Oh that we too – and our leaders – would seek more than anything to obey the Lord of the universe!

 

Today Is Jerusalem Day!

Jerusalem Day is being celebrated across Israel today. Festivities are concentrated in Jerusalem! Schools and families from all over Israel are planning trips to Israel's united capital Jerusalem to celebrate.

In our little video clip you can watch an excerpt of one of the attractions from Jerusalem's light festival.

In honor of Jerusalem Day we are offering 25% off the complete stock of our shop. Simply use the coupon code "jerusalem" on checkout to claim your discount!

* Offer valid until June 6, 2016!


 

Gay MK Requires Security Against Gay Extremists

The Knesset has decided to provide Likud MK Amir Ohana, who is openly homosexual, with a permanent security detail after he received death threats from members of the LGBT community.

Ironically, while the LGBT community demands tolerance and acceptance, many within the movement seem unwilling to afford the same to those of different persuasions - even a fellow homosexual who happens to also be conservative and right-wing.

Ohana is a veteran of the IDF (he currently holds the rank of major) and the Israel Security Agency (the local equivalent of the FBI). He holds staunchly right-wing positions in regards to the Land of Israel, and Jerusalem in particular.

 

Gay Parade Draws 200,000 to Streets of Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv on Friday hosted its 18th annual Gay Pride Parade, drawing an enormous crowd of 200,000 people.

Not a few homosexual IDF soldiers openly participated in the march.

The event makes its way through central Tel Aviv, and has been widely hailed by Mayor Ron Huldai as evidence of Israel’s openness and tolerance.

In fact, Huldai and the Israel Tourism Ministry have actively promoted Tel Aviv as a gay-friendly travel destination.

 

Lebanon: Hezbollah Digging Tunnels Into Israel

In marking the 16th anniversary of Israel’s withdrawal from southern Lebanon, the Lebanese newspaper Al-Safir reported that the Hezbollah terrorist militia is busy digging tunnels under the Israeli border in preparation for future conflict.

According to the article, the tunnels enable Hezbollah terrorists to attack Israel at a moment’s notice, and include sophisticated ventilation and electricital systems and enough supplies to allow militants to remain in the tunnels for weeks at a time.

Fully aware of the threat, Israel’s Home Front Command is busy training civil defense units in towns and villages across northern Israel.

That effort includes a great many Arab communities, who after the last Lebanon war realized Hezbollah missiles do not differentiate between Arabs and Jews.

“There is a big change in the Arab population in Israel in that they are much more willing to cooperate with us,” Col. Eren Makov, the Northern Regional Commander of the Homefront Command, said in a recent interview with The Media Line. “We give them training in what to do and they see it as a contribution.”

Israeli officials stress that the next war with Hezbollah isn’t likely to happen anytime soon, given that the Lebanese group is so bogged down in the Syrian civil war, in which it has lost thousands of troops.

On the other hand, Hezbollah operates at the whim of the Iranian regime. Should Tehran or the besieged regime of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad view it as beneficial to draw Israel into the conflict, they could order a Hezbollah assault on the Galilee or Golan Heights.

 

VIDEO: This is Why We Defend Israel

The IDF has posted the above video to show what our soldiers are fighting for, and why they are so fiercely dedicated to defending the Jewish state.

 

IDF Soldiers Blessed by You our Friends

Israel Today had the privilege of distributing hamburger vouchers on your behalf to some of our soldiers.

Every single one of our security forces, that you blessed, appreciated your love and gracious giving.

Our young men and women work extremely hard under the most difficult conditions in order to protect Israel and her citizens. They deserve the love and support that you show them!

This is also part of Israel Today's effort to counter the negative smears against Israel's security forces in the mainstream media.



p.s. Our special discount, 25% off our complete shop inventory in honor of Jerusalem day continues until June 5th, 2016. Don't miss out and get your goods now!


 

A Pro-Israel Moment at the United Nations?

“Look around you. This is an historic moment in the UN!”

Those were the words of Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon on Tuesday as he looked out over a packed General Assembly Hall at the start of an event opposing the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

More than 2,000 attended the session, making it one of the rare occasions, if not the only to date, in which the UN General Assembly Hall could be described as a place of pro-Israel sentiment.

“Never before have so many people, from so many places, gathered here in the General Assembly to declare unanimous support for the State of Israel,” Danon continued.

Under the banner “Building Bridges, Not Boycotts”, Danon explained to the international community that the BDS phenomenon is a thin mask for “modern-day anti-Semitism”, and urged the world to “put an end to its ideology of hatred and lies. …We will not allow the forces of hate to demonize Israel. Together, we will defeat BDS.”

The gathering was addressed by other Jewish and Israeli leaders, and was also regaled by American-Jewish singer and songwriter Matisyahu whose hit “Jerusalem” elicited cheers and applause from the audience.

The above video presentation was screened during the session.

 

Israel Asks Muslims to Stop Damaging Temple Mount

The Jerusalem Municipality on Tuesday formally requested that the Islamic Trust (Waqf) cease construction activities that are harming the Temple Mount and artifacts buried there.

The Waqf, which is under Palestinian leadership but is officially a Jordanian religious organ, has for years been digging and building atop the Temple Mount, often discarding Jewish archeology that is later discovered in garbage mounds below the compound.

In the request, the Israel Antiquities Authority explained that new construction along the perimeter wall of the Temple Mount is causing significant damage.

The cease and desist order was approved by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is expected to further discuss the issue with his government in the coming days.

 

Set Roots in the Holy Land

Plant 6 grapevines in Israel for just $174 and set roots for yourself and your loved ones in the Holy Land! As a bonus we will give you (or a nominee) a free annual subscription of Israel Today Magazine!

p.s. Don't miss out on our latest discount offer of Israel Today Magazine! Our print version for only $40 instead of $50. This offer is still valid for a few days!



 

Children Overcome Hate

"This is something unique. We have seen how fear and rejection can change into friendship and affection."

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

 

Netanyahu, Lieberman Recommit to 'Two-State Solution'

Avigdor Lieberman officially took his place as Israel’s new defense minister on Monday, and both his and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s first order of business was to reaffirm their commitment to a “two-state solution” to the conflict with the Palestinians.

At a press conference welcoming Lieberman and his small Israel Beiteinu party into the coalition, Netanyahu said he was ready to engage the Palestinians and the Arab world at large on the basis of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative.

“I remain committed to making peace with the Palestinians and with all our neighbors. The Arab Peace Initiative contains positive elements that could help revive constructive negotiations with the Palestinians. We are willing to negotiate with the Arab states revisions to that initiative so that it reflects the dramatic changes in our region since 2002, but maintains the agreed goal of two states for two peoples,” said the prime minister.

Lieberman, often maligned as an extremist, said he agreed with Netanyahu’s points, “including the two-state solution. I often spoke about recognition of the solution of two states for two peoples.”

Both Netanyahu and Lieberman praised a recent speech by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi in which the latter offered to help kick-start the peace process.

 

'Guardians of Democracy' Call For Revolt in Israel

On Holocaust Memorial Day, Maj.-Gen. Yair Golan, deputy chief-of-staff of the Israeli army, said that "if there is one thing which frightens me in remembering the Holocaust, it is the identification of the chilling processes that took place in Europe, particularly in Germany 70, 80 and 90 years ago, and finding evidence that they are taking place amongst us, here, today, in 2016."

This statement, and the support Golan received from Minister of Defense Moshe Ya'alon, has not only led to the resignation of the latter, it started an anti-government campaign in which leading journalists are now openly advocating a coups d'état.

Peddling this idea are Nahum Barnea from the daily Yediot Aharonot and Zvi Bar'el from the daily Haaretz. Not surprisingly, those toying with this dangerous notion are leftists who cry endlessly about the dangers Israeli democracy faces from some vague "chilling processes" emanating from the Right.

Ending democracy in order to save it is the logic behind this new fantasy.

Interesting in this latest outcry is how, in a blink of an eye, the IDF that to date was treated by many leftists as criminal tool in the hands of the "occupation," has become the darling of the Left by those perceiving that the deputy chief-of-staff has landed squarely in their camp.

First to suggest that the cue for revolution had been given was Zvi Bar'el in his article "Toward Revolutionizing the Army" published earlier this month.

Different in meaning as they are, the Hebrew words for "revolution" and "coup" are almost identical, and Bar'el's clever use of them did not escape keen eyes. Bar'el understands well that he is losing his ideological battle against the (fascist) right. "This [fascist] deterioration must be stopped," he says, but how? Since democracy can't stop the majority of Israelis from becoming more traditionalists, it is the job of the army to put an end to it.

"To start a revolution the army doesn't need to storm the Knesset, the Prime Minister's office or the TV stations," writes Bar'el. "The army … will have to decide what constitutes the ultimate threat on Israel's security and existence." And the ultimate threat, according to Bar'el, is not Iran and her anti-Semitic proxies, nor is it the Palestinians' many actions aimed at wiping Israel off the map. Israel's biggest threat is Netanyahu, who under no circumstances will accept Haaretz's vision, which is not all that different from that of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.

According to this interesting view of guarding democracy, the General Staff's responsibility is to rebel against an elected government and install in its place a party to the liking of Bar'el, such as Meretz, which at best represents a mere six percent of Israel's voting constituency.

Having said that the army will have to decide when to revolt against an elected government, Bar'el contradicts himself and says that "revolution or military coup is the end of all democracy." One could speculate that Bar'el wrote this sentence to escape being charged with incitement to mutiny, which could earn him five years in prison.

Taking courage from the lack of any judicial challenge to Bar'el's call for mutiny, two day later Nahum Barnea wrote his piece "Atonement Rooster", which suggests a soft kind of coup that does not involve tanks and guns and dead bodies on the streets. Instead of violence, Barnea envisions a process of selection in which only officers sharing his worldview would be qualified for top brass positions. Barnea's biggest fear is neither Left nor Right. Rather, he is most afraid of God, or, more precisely, of God-fearing Jews.

Barnea was horrified by Givati battalion commander Col. Ofer Winter daring to encourage his soldiers with words of faith before entering battle in the Gaza war of 2014. "Winter got confused," writes Barnea. "He didn't understand who sent him on his mission and from whom he takes orders." Fearing God-fearing Jewish soldiers who from time immemorial have sought God's help before entering battle, Barnea wants to ban them from reaching the top.

Trembling profusely at the thought that "ten years from now all the faces of the General Staff will be like that of Winter," Barnea suggests taking now some "preventive measures" guaranteeing that Israel appoint generals according to partisan lines.

Joseph Stalin learned the hard way how disastrous it is for commissars to command an army. But Barnea's fear of God is great enough to justify the risk of a General Staff filled with second choices.

Barnea, and those still dwelling in Left-land, have given up hope of being reelected. "The Left is no longer active; maybe even dead," laments Barnea, which is why "it has no choice but laying its distresses on the IDF's generals."

Bar'el and Barnea are fantasizing. Their fear of God has become so acute that they now seek refuge in their adversary's camp. Yet, the thought of the IDF being the savior of the Left is as realistic as expecting Barnea to put his trust in Israel's savior.

PHOTO: Leftists demonstrate in Tel Aviv against Israel's elected government. (Flash90)

 

Does the Existence of Israel Prove the Existence of God?

The rebirth of Israel as a nation-state, in such perfect correspondence with prophecies thousands of years old, is the most tangible evidence that God is real, and that He is faithful to His word.

The above video is part of a much larger series produced by the Messianic ministry One For Israel on their Internet portal iGod.co.il (Hebrew only).

The aim of these videos is to cause fellow Israeli Jews, so many of whom have turned their backs on God in their frustration with today’s religious authorities, to reexamine the evidence before them.

 

Oh, Jerusalem!

...'My towns will again overflow with prosperity, and the LORD will again comfort Zion and choose Jerusalem.' Zechariah 1:17

There is so much to say about Jerusalem, I would like to add one thing though. When my father-in-law, Ludwig Schneider, wants to put into words something that he finds tasty, beautiful or good, he likes to say: Oh, Jerusalem!

His intention is that anyone within earshot will understand how good it is. This is the feeling that we would like to convey to you when you peruse our Israel Today Shop. Order products directly from Jerusalem, and say "Oh, Jerusalem!".

Jerusalem Day is celebrated on June 5th this year and we are offering 25% off all products in Israel Today's Shop until then! After shopping, simply enter the shopping voucher code "Jerusalem" and you will receive a 25% discount!



 

Oscar Winner Susan Sarandon Praises Israeli Aid to Refugees

Israeli humanitarian aid organization IsraAID this month hosted Oscar-winning actress Susan Sarandon at a compound housing thousands of families that have fled the Middle East to find safety in Europe.

At the camp for displaced persons, IsraAID is running a psychosocial program, providing support to homeless and orphaned minors and training German civil servants and volunteers who are working at one of dozens of camps across Germany.

During the visit, Sarandon praised the work of the Israeli volunteers, saying:

“I had already met the organization IsraAID in Lesbos and I was impressed with their ability and the professionalism of the team, and so I decided to again join their initiative in Germany.”

Sarandon previously met with IsraAID workers at a refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, where the Israeli group is still active in providing medical aid and psychosocial treatment to those fleeing the Middle East.

After visiting and even taking part in the IsraAID efforts, Sarandon donated equipment to help IsraAID in its ongoing work in Germany.

 

VIDEO: How Does the Israeli Army REALLY Treat Palestinians?

Our friend in the Israeli army, Hananya Naftali, has produced another video clip aiming to bring some truth to the question of how Israeli soldiers treat Palestinian Arabs.

There’s a lot of misinformation out there in this regard, and it’s instructive to get some first-hand perspective from an Israeli soldier who also happens to be a fellow believer.

As Naftali points out in the video, where else in the world can a terrorist stab a soldier, be neutralized and then have the victim’s fellow soldiers provide medical attention to that same terrorist?

Naftali goes on to note that during his time at checkpoints, he has been cursed at, spit on and even attacked with stones. But, as he explains, the IDF trains its soldiers to continue to view the Palestinians as humans, and to treat them as such.

This is definitely a video that needs to be shared far and wide.

 

Settlement Expo: 'We Are Not Visitors Here'

"We want to provide historical context for those who have never visited the Land so they will understand that we are not visitors here."

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

 

VIDEO: Safed From the Air

Safed, the highest city in Israel, is one of the four holy cities of Judaism, a world center for Kabbalah, a popular tourist attraction, famous for its artists' quarter, and is the Klezmer Music Capital.

 

Putting Israel's Right-Wing Ideology to the Test

A new survey looks at what happened to those promoting a Bible-based, right-wing ideology once they actually came to power.

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

 

Palestinians Reject Peace Talks, Want Everything Handed To Them

The Palestinian leadership this week signaled it is still interested in what it can get out of the land-for-peace process, but won’t actually negotiate the particulars with the Israeli government.

This fresh intransigence was highlighted when French Prime Minister Manuel Valls visited the region for three days of shuttle diplomacy starting on Sunday.

Valls presented Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with a new French peace initiative, but was turned down by the Israeli leader.

Netanyahu said he was concerned by the preconditions and firm deadlines in the plan, which would once again enable the Palestinians to avoid any meaningful negotiations and concessions, while still gaining from the process.

Instead, Netanyahu announced that he is ready for immediate, unconditional bilateral negotiations with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in Paris under French auspices.

“I’m ready to clear my schedule and fly to Paris tomorrow,” Netanyahu said.

But the Palestinian leadership wasn’t interested in actually talking.

“Direct negotiations with Mr. Netanyahu in the past have proven to be fruitless; why repeat the same mistakes?” said Jamal Dajani, the director of communications for Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, with whom Valls met on Tuesday.

Hamdallah welcomed the French proposal for a peace summit in Paris, so long as it recognizes a “State of Palestine”, apparently without having to actually negotiate that outcome.

Israel’s media reported this week that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi is also working to bring the Israelis and Palestinians together for a joint summit in Cairo in the “near future.”

Some feel the Egyptians might have greater success mediating the process since they are closer to the Palestinians, but share many of the same security concerns as Israel.

 

Palestinian Leadership Praises Terrorist Who Killed American Tourist

Israel last week returned the body of terrorist Bashar Masalha to his family on condition that he not be given a “martyr’s” funeral.

The Palestinian Authority did not honor the agreement.

Masalha’s funeral was attended by hundreds of chanting mourners, and was given priority coverage by Palestinian Authority TV.

During the televised event, the PA TV news anchor praised Masalha as a “martyr” no fewer than 11 times.

What did Masalha do that the Palestinian leadership is so proud of him?

On March 8 of this year, he ran down the boardwalk in the ancient coastal town of Jaffa stabbing anyone and everyone who crossed his path. In the end, Masalha murdered just one person - American tourist Taylor Force - and wounded 11 more people, including an Israeli Arab who works for coexistence with Jews.

Masalha was eventually shot and killed by Israeli police, thus earning him a place of eternal praise among those parts of Palestinian society that want to see Israel wiped off the map.

 

What if Jews Had Raped an Arab Girl?

The lifting of a court gag order on a severe incident that occurred in Tel Aviv two weeks ago once again demonstrates the blatant double standards of the mainstream media and the international community.

It was revealed on Wednesday that earlier this month police arrested two young Arab men - one an Israeli citizen and the other from the Palestinian-controlled territories - on suspicion they and a third accomplice had brutally raped a mentally handicapped Jewish girl.

The girl, who filed the initial complaint, was found by police to be in severe mental distress.

Over the course of the investigation, it was discovered that one of the Arab suspects had filmed the assault on his cellphone. The footage, according to police, shows the two raping the 20-year-old Jewish girl while spitting on her and shouting racist slogans.

The two men also threatened to kill the girl’s family if she told anyone what had happened.

In her ruling approving an extended remand for the suspects, the judge wrote, “This is a shocking incident of exploitation of a helpless and handicapped girl that had racist motives.”

The story was quickly picked up by most of the Hebrew press, but was nowhere to be found in the mainstream international English-language media.

As one might imagine, had the roles been reversed - had three Jewish men violently raped a handicapped Arab girl while shouting racist slogans - it would take mere minutes for the story to become headline news around the globe.

 

A Picture of Peace and Pardon

The desecration of a Jewish cemetery in Manchester comes amid rising anti-Semitism in the UK, particularly over controversial remarks from leading Labour politicians.

Fourteen headstones have been destroyed by vandals at the Blackley Jewish Cemetery in the city’s north-east district.

Police described it as “a deliberate and targeted attack”, although no anti-Semitic graffiti was found, and have vowed to do everything in their power to track down those responsible.

In a cemetery in Leeds, just across the Pennines from Manchester, is the tomb of Dr M L Rossvally, who died in 1892. He was a remarkable Jewish man who ended his days in the northern city as an evangelist to his fellow Jews. While a surgeon in the US Army during the American Civil War, he tended to the shocking wounds of a drummer boy called Charlie Coulson.

Charlie was ultimately beyond saving, but used his remaining breath to plead with the doctor that he needed no pain-killing brandy, for he was at peace with his Saviour and longed to be with Him! The surgeon never forgot the young man’s faith and courage, eventually putting his own trust in Jesus (Yeshua) as his Messiah – and spent the rest of his days sharing his great discovery with his own people.

On my recent holiday in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales – not far from Leeds – the Lord spoke to me through the wonder of nature and of his creation. While out on a run, the only sound that broke the silence was the bleating of sheep and their young lambs enjoying the rich pasture of these grassy slopes. It was all so perfectly peaceful and reminded me of the spotless Lamb of God, who also brought peace to the world. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, was led like a lamb to the slaughter (Isaiah 53.7) as he brought us both peace and pardon. He is, after all, the prophesied ‘Prince of Peace’ (Isaiah 9.6) who bore our sins through his death on the cross (1 Peter 2.24 & Isaiah 53. 4, 5 & 12).

We are told that when Jesus came into Jerusalem for the Passover, which was to be his last, the lambs were being gathered in at the same time in preparation for the feast. But they first had to pass the test as to whether they were flawless.

And so when Jesus too had passed the test and was found to be sinless – “he committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth” (1 Peter 2.22, quoting Isaiah 53.9) – he became our Passover Lamb!

True freedom from the world’s hatred and spite can be found only in the loving arms of the Jewish Messiah, who clears a path through a sea of trouble for all who follow him.


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

 

The June issue of Israel Today Magazine is now available!

The June issue of Israel Today Magazine is now available!
Exclusively for subscribers to Israel Today Magazine:
Israel celebrates 68 years
Israeli right-wing ideology to the test
Settlement Expo: "We are not visitors here"
Do Israeli politicians support Messianic lobbyists?
Israeli Christians: "If Israel goes, we go"

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