VIDEO: Happy Jerusalem Day!

 

OPINION: Not All Israelis Were Happy to See Trump

While President Trump was meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Monday night, after a private afternoon visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Western Wall, a protest took place outside the US Embassy in Tel Aviv.

Those protesting were a hodge-podge of different groups varying between green protesters opposing the Trump Administration’s environmental policies to those opposed to the administration’s policy of limiting funding of Planned Parenthood.

One particular group was a mixed Arab / Jewish group advocating that Trump “go home” and leave the region to thrash things out for themselves.

President Trump proved to be an enigma while visiting the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Western Wall. He quietly acknowledged that both of these sites fell within Israel while saying…. nothing!

This quiet diplomacy really speaks volumes by tip-toeing between the issues without committing to any particular viewpoint or making sweeping statements regarding the sovereignty of any particular party.

President Trump did state that Jerusalem was the Capital of Israel, after the debacle of the “shouting match between Israeli and US Consulate employees regarding Trump’s visit to the Western Wall, before leaving the US. His position could easily be summed up by understanding a little bit of decision making within “Game Theory”.

In Game Theory one can make your opponents reach an assumption, false or not, based on moves you did or did not execute or information you did or did not expose.

His visit to Jerusalem’s Old City, as well as the sites holy to two of the world’s monotheistic religions, was turned into a private visit without any political leaders or representatives present.

He did not visit the “third holiest site” in Islam, despite the fact that Jerusalem is never mentioned in the Koran, but the most holy site to Jews, the Temple Mount.

There is sentiment that Trump, by virtue of his weapon deal to the tune of $110 billion with Saudi Arabia, has betrayed the America's closest ally. Or is it just the case of “the enemy of my greatest enemy is my friend”? Both the Trump administration and the Israeli government have sworn that Iran must never be allowed to develop nuclear weapons and Saudi Arabia is on board with this position.

Both administrations have acknowledged that the Obama / Iran nuclear agreement was a “free pass” to nuclear weapons by Obama to the Iranian leadership.

 

Israel Celebrates Jerusalem Day

Jerusalem is not only festively decorated, but Jerusalem flags and Israel flags adorn the streets and flap majestically in the wind! Ceremonies are being held all over the city, and her citizens are out dancing in parks, streets and in the Old City!

Our shop has also been infected and we have introduced our "Israel Celebrates" category! Check out our shop with great CDs, new pendants, tasty Israeli coffee and many more surprises!

We are offering up to 20% on all the products in this category.

 

Trump Did Not Once Mention a Palestinian State

Israeli right-wingers got what they saw as a major endorsement for their policies when US President Donald Trump failed to publicly mention a Palestinian state even one time during his two-day visit.

That stands in sharp contrast to Barack Obama, who focused heavily on the Arabs' desired (initial) outcome of the peace process.

Already when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Washington back in February, Trump made clear that he wasn't married to the two-state solution, and would be giving Israel far more leeway than previous presidents when it comes to outlining the parameters of a viable and lasting peace deal.

Many Israelis felt that Trump and Netanyahu disagreed somewhat on the list of priorities in the region, Trump appearing to take the Arab position that all other regional ills would be lessened, if not solved, by Israel and the Palestinians reaching an agreement.

He also failed to address the issue of relocating America's embassy to Jerusalem, a major electoral campaign promise.

But there was a lot for Israelis to be pleased about.

Not least of which the timing of Trump's visit, coinciding as it did with the Hebrew calendar anniversary of Jerusalem's reunification under Israeli rule exactly 50 years ago.

Trump also became the first sitting US president to ever pray at the Western Wall, another subtle affirmation that the contentious Temple Mount is indeed Jewish and belongs in Jewish hands.

All in all, Trump showered Israel with love and praise, and the Israelis more than reciprocated.

 

WATCH: Trump is First Sitting President to Visit Western Wall

 

The Selfie Heard Round the World

Ok, maybe it wasn't "heard round the world."

But after Member of Knesset Oren Hazan (Likud) butted his way to the front for a selfie with just-arrived President Trump, that was all most Israelis could talk about during POTUS's first day in the Land.

Hazan wasn't even supposed to be on the front line of dignitaries greeting Trump after he landed at Ben Gurion Airport.

He's not a cabinet minister. He's not particularly well known outside Israel. But, in typical Israeli fashion, Hazan felt he was entitled to be in the spotlight, and aggressively made it happen.


Netanyahu was visibly embarrassed, and certainly gave Hazan a good tongue-lashing later.

Meanwhile, Israelis had a field day with the little incident, which, again, received as much coverage as anything else Trump did yesterday, like visit the Western Wall.







And a phony Trump tweet regarding the incident:

Welcome to Israel, Mr. President!

 

"Har Ha'Beit B'Yadeinu!"

This was one of the most important announcements of the Six Day War in 1967. "The Temple Mount is in our hands" - these six words caused soldiers to burst into tears and changed the history of Jerusalem forever.

Jews around the world had been waiting to pray at the Western Wall, the remains of the temple, since the occupation of Jordanian forces of the Old City of Jerusalem in 1948. The radio announcement of Motta Gur fulfilled the dream of the Jewish nation.

Our soldiers guard the borders of Israel indefatigably. They protect the very existence of the country, which has been so hard-fought for. On the auspicious occasion of the Jubilee Jerusalem Day celebrations, you will find an offer which includes a solidarity package for our soldiers!

On offer now! A special subscription package which includes a subsidised Soldiers Solidarity Package. You can purchase an annual subscription to Israel Today and pay half price for a Soldiers Solidarity Package. We will make up the other half of the costs of the package.

In our June Golden issue, you will find great articles such as...

  • Nostalgic pictures, combined with modern and current photos
  • Personal quotes and life stories
  • Golden memories and insights
  • Timelines and trips to past epochs
  • And so much more...

Our June Golden Issue of Israel Today Magazine.
CLICK HERE to read it all or to subscribe!

 

Trump Lands in Israel and Makes History

President Trump landed in Israel today, and immediately made history.

Remember when one of Barack Obama's first trips was to the Middle East, to give that ridiculous speech about Islam in Cairo?

Do you also remember how he very conspicuously REFUSED to visit Israel during that same trip?

Well, Trump did the opposite.

He made a point of including Israel in his first trip abroad. In fact, he is the first US president to do so.

Not only that, Trump's in Israel as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Jerusalem from Arab forces.

With a man as calculating as Trump, that's no coincidence.

 

Trump and the Old American Policy Toward Jerusalem

President Trump's visit to Israel was preceded by leaks, misinformation and denials concerning the legal status of Jerusalem. 

Trump's visit falls on the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem. Only the naive would believe the timing of the visit is mere coincidence. Trump, as has been demonstrated countless times, is a true ally of Israel, and his visit a day prior to the official Jerusalem Day, together with his visit to the Western Wall, is a statement of acceptance of the status of a united Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

But will Trump be able to change the United States' long-held policy of refusing to publicly acknowledge Jerusalem as the capital of Israel?  Many believe the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act already altered US policy in this regard. But the Act is careful to state that "Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel." 

"Should be" is a far cry from "is," and to date, the United States will not acknowledge Greater Jerusalem as Israel's capital. This, among other reasons, is why, despite the 1995 Act, the US embassy was never moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

That this is still the de facto policy of the US could also be seen in the "Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2003," which states that concerning a "United States citizen born in the city of Jerusalem, the Secretary shall, upon the request of the citizen or the citizen’s legal guardian, record the place of birth as Israel [instead of Jerusalem]." Yet, to this day, the passport of an American born in Jerusalem does not recognize him or her as having been born in Israel.

And now, prior to Trump's visit, an "American official" has stated that the Western Wall is not in Israeli territory. Though this created a controversy that led to Trump's rejection of the statement, this is nonetheless the official American policy. So much so that the New York Times went so far as suggesting that the Western Wall has become a holy site for the Jews only after 1967.

New York Times reporter Mark Lander, who followed up on this controversy, wrote the following on May 15: "Israel claims Jerusalem as its undivided capital. Israeli troops seized the area around the Western Wall, a sacred site for Jews, in 1967 during the Six-Day War, and it has become a highly visible symbol of the disputed nature of Jerusalem, which Palestinians also claim as their capital. The wall lies underneath the Al Aqsa Mosque, or Temple Mount, which is one of the holiest sites in Islam."

This careful wording by a seasoned journalist leaves no doubt as to how the New York Times views Jerusalem. According to them, the Israelis alone claim that Jerusalem's Old City belongs to Israel. And it is only since Israeli troops seized the Old City that it has become a "symbol of the disputed nature of Jerusalem." And, it was only after 1967 that the Palestinians started claiming Jerusalem as their capital.

In other words, Jerusalem has become a problem as a result of Israel seizing control of Judaism's holiest site, the Temple Mount. Prior to that -- when Jews were not allowed to visit the Temple Mount, the Western Wall or any other part of the Old City -- back when the more significant part of Jerusalem was under Jordanian occupation, all was good. 

Like it or not, the New York Times well reflects an American policy not changed since 1949. For this reason, one would be surprised to see President Trump changing this policy. The fact that Trump refused Netanyahu's request to accompany him at the Western Wall is a telling sign of the unchanged American policy toward "occupied" Jerusalem.

 

Get your Israel Today Digital magazine now 50% off!

On the auspicious occasion of the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, we will be issuing our June Golden Edition.

It will become an heirloom and will be filled with:

  • Nostalgic pictures, combined with modern and current photos
  • Personal quotes and life stories
  • Golden memories and insights
  • Timelines and trips to past epochs
  • And so much more...

This discount offer will be valid only until Wednesday, May 24th, 2017!



 

Saudis Rejoice Over 'Death' of Obama's Policies

Israel was not the only country in the Middle East happy to see Barack Obama out of the White House.

President Donald Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia over the weekend served as a very public slap in the face of his predecessor.

And it was the Saudis, not Trump, who delivered the blow.

Saudi newspapers Okaz and Al-Madina noted that there was a lot of frustration with Obama's defeatist policies regarding Iran, and that Saudi Arabia sees Trump as heralding a new era of strength in the face of such enemies.

Al-Sharq al-Awsat, a Saudi-owned newspaper published in London, went a step further, publishing a caricature of a wreath being laid at a tombstone reading "Obama's Policies."

In the days leading up to his trip, a number of regional officials, like the Foreign Minister of Bahrain, said that Trump understands the Middle East far better than Obama could ever hope to.

 

My Yoke is Easy

Israelis consider one of Jesus' most central teachings, as the burdens of modern Judaism mount.

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

 

Israeli President: Christians Are Our brothers

Israel President Reuven Rivlin said during a meeting with church leaders in Jerusalem that Christians and Jews are "brothers."

Rivlin invited the heads of the various churches in Jerusalem to his official residence on the occasion of Easter.

He used the opportunity to decry the rising persecution of Christians across the Middle East.

"I say to you here, our Christian brothers of Jerusalem, our thoughts are with you at this difficult time," stated Rivlin. "We have all seen the pictures from Syria; I visited some of the injured being treated in Israeli hospitals. What has happened there to the Christian community – and to the whole country – is a stain on all of humanity."

Rivlin went on to note that the Jewish people "know better than any what it means to pray in fear, and suffer from terrorism."

He vowed that Israel would continue to do its utmost to "protect your freedom of worship, your security and the security of your holy sites."

 

VIDEO: What's it like to be the mother of an IDF soldier?

It is with great pride, and a lot of worrying that every Israeli mother sends her son or daughter to serve in the IDF.

 

France's new president will NOT recognize 'Palestine'

Palestinian Arabs probably celebrated the victory of Emmanuel Macron in France's presidential election last week.

After all, his opponent, Marine Le Pen, made abundantly clear her frustration with, if not outright disdain for, the Islamic world.

But there was another aspect to the election for Palestinians, who have in recent years tried to get France to take a central role in the Middle East peace process, confident that the liberal European power would be among the first to openly embrace a Palestinian state.

Surely, many thought, Macron's liberal credentials meant he jump at the opportunity to help birth "Palestine."

However, shortly before taking office, Macron made perfectly clear that he would do no such thing.

"Unilateral recognition of Palestine, right now, will undermine stability," said Macron at a political rally, adding that he would not risk France's relationship with Israel to serve the Palestinian agenda.

That's right. France's new liberal president would rather maintain good relations with Israel than recognize "Palestine."

In fact, Macron is even on record equating anti-Zionism with antisemitism, insisting that hatred for the Jewish state "leads directly to antisemitism."

Seems the Palestinians' list of braindead allies is growing thinner.

 

How Do We Know God Truly Loves Israel?

To most readers of Israel Today, it’s a given that God never stopped loving Israel - even after the nation rejected their Messiah. “For they are beloved for the sake of the fathers” (Rom. 11:28). Unfortunately, too many Christians still do not share that belief. And sadly, and understandably, many Jews are extremely skeptical of His love, also.  

So how can we know with absolute certainty God is truly in Israel’s corner today? 

As for myself, I knew it by the witness of the Holy Spirit when I saw the prophecies concerning Jewish Israel’s restoration being fulfilled right before my eyes. That told me the sorrows they had suffered as a result of God’s expulsion from the land in 70 AD were over.  And that like their seventy years in Babylon, the clock had run out on God’s chastisement.  God was again bringing His people home with divine favor to reestablish them. If there were any lingering doubts, the Six Day War put them to rest.

However, it has been fifty years since that miraculous victory in 1967 and the forces of darkness are again in ascendancy. What Israel’s enemies could not take militarily, it appears Satan hopes to achieve by imposing a political “solution” backed by the might of the nations. As the battle looms larger each day, Christians need to be certain about God’s commitment to stand by Israel.

Ironically, Israel herself has historically questioned God’s oft-stated covenant love for them, expressed in the Hebrew word chesed. Especially in hard times when it looked like He didn’t care enough to intervene.

This chronic disbelief was directly confronted by God through the prophet Malachi.  He began by flat out stating from the beginning, “I have loved you.”  But then chided: “But you say, ‘How have You loved us?’”

He then gave this eye-popping response: “Was not Esau your brother?’ declares the LORD. ‘Yet I have loved (you) Jacob; but hated Esau.” (Mal. 1:2). God was declaring that His eternal love for Israel (Jacob) could be seen in the fact He chose them over the descendants of their father’s twin brother Esau. What’s more, He had done so while both were still in their mother’s womb – “and had not done anything good or bad” (Rom. 9:11).

Now if that answer was startling back then, today it would be totally offensive. In a world suffocating in political correctness we are told that all humanity is fundamentally good. And that God loves and accepts everyone no matter what their belief or lifestyle. The idea that God would choose to love one person and “hate” another borders on being, well, a hate crime. 

To the world, any suggestion that we are basically “sinful” and in need of God’s mercy is insulting.  But God says otherwise. The Bible clearly teaches there are “none righteous…none who do good, not even one” (Rom. 3:10,12). And that without God’s mercy all would perish. 

But even Christians are uncomfortable when they learn how selective God is in showing His mercy to Adam’s doomed race.“For he says to Moses, ‘I will have compassion on whom I have compassion, and have mercy on whom I have mercy’” (Rom. 9:15).Even more startling that His selections were made “before the foundation of the world” (Eph. 1:4). 

For those who think it supremely unfair of God to show mercy to some and not others, Scripture responds: “The thing molded will not say to the molder, ‘Why did you make me like this,’ will it?” (Rom 9:20). God doesn’t ask us to understand it but just to accept it and trust He is a good and just and loving God. And that one day it will all be clear.

But this part of His plan is clear now.

God is determined to redeem His fallen creation one man at a time through His son, Messiah Yeshua. The plan was launched when God chose a “gentile” named Abram, who believed God and was declared righteous for his faith. After renaming him “Abraham,” God chose his son Isaac (and not Ishmael). And then Isaac’s son Jacob (and not Esau). And so on down the line to this very day when He chose you and I. For as Yeshua told us, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him” (John 6:44).

So what was God saying when He told Israel His love was evidenced in choosing Jacob over Esau? He was informing them (and us) that they had had no reason to doubt His love because they hadn’t done anything to deserve it in the first place. It was a sovereign decision on God’s part to show mercy to his descendants. Israel can just rest and trust and rejoice in the fact they’ve been chosen by God.  And stop doubting.

He was also emphasizing that “they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel” (Rom. 9:6). Only a chosen remnant of Abraham’s seed would be saved. As the psalmist declared, “He chooses our inheritance for us, the glory of Jacob whom He loves” (Ps. 47:4). 

Which brings us to the question of God’s commitment to the newly formed State of Israel – even though most have come home in unbelief regarding Yeshua. 

What we need to realize, as Paul explains in Romans 11, is that their forefathers’ rejection of Yeshua was also part of God’s salvation plan. It allowed Him to reveal His mercy as never before by lavishing it upon the least deserving of all His chosen ones - those scattered among the Gentiles. “A nation without understanding” (Rom. 10:19) God called us. By showing mercy to us first He could now show mercy to Jewish Israel. “For God has shut up all [of Abraham’s seed] in disobedience so that He might show mercy to all” (Rom. 11:32).

What a plan! What a God! To Him be the glory forever, amen! 

Brian Hennessy is the author of Valley of the Steeples

 

An Heirloom From Jerusalem

Sounds like a fairy story doesn't it. For the modern generation a "post" on Facebook is what once used to be a hand written document, adorned with pictures and decorations and could be visited over and over again. With time it becomes a memoir.

Wouldn't it be nice to get something directly from Jerusalem that would, with time, become an heirloom?

It will be filled with:

  • Nostalgic pictures, combined with modern and current photos
  • Personal quotes and life stories
  • Golden memories and insights
  • Timelines and trips to past epochs
  • And so much more...

This is what we will be bringing you with Israel Today's June Golden Issue! Walk together with us through 50 years of united Jerusalem's history, experience and discover the past and the forgotten!



 

International Bigotry Over Jerusalem

The world powers, EU and the UN are consistent over one thing. Their bigotry regarding Jerusalem.

On November 29, 1947 the UN passed Resolution 181(II) - the Partition Plan of Mandatory Palestine at the end of the British Mandate. The resolution recommended the separation into three parts: an Arab State, a Jewish State and the City of Jerusalem - the Jerusalem Corpus Separatum.

According to the plan, Jews and Arabs living in the Jewish state would become citizens of the Jewish state and Jews and Arabs living in the Arab state would become citizens of the Arab state.

The Plan was accepted by the Jewish Agency for Palestine, despite its perceived limitations while Arab leaders and governments of the surrounding Arab States rejected it and indicated an unwillingness to accept any form of territorial division or to accomodate any form of Jewish State being established in the region.

Immediately after adoption of the Resolution by the General Assembly a civil war broke out, which delayed the implementation of the partition plan. This resistance to the establishment of a Jewish State by the Arab States led to the Declaration of Independence of the nascent State of Israel on May 14, 1948. The next day the combined forces of Lebanon, Syria, the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan, Iraq and Egypt attacked Israel and would "continue fighting until the Zionists were annihilated and driven into the sea".

As a result of this attack on the nascent State of Israel, Jerusalem was attacked and the eastern parts of the city, including the walled Old City of Jerusalem, were occupied by the forces of Transjordan, supported by Iraqi forces. Thus the Arabs were the first entity to occupy any part of the "Jerusalem Corpus Separatum" in contravention of UN Resolution 181 (II).

On January 23, 1950, after the Armistice agreement following the War of Independence, the Israeli Knesset voted that Jerusalem be the capital of the State of Israel by 60 - 2 votes and issued the following declaration: “Whereas with establishment of the state of Israel, Jerusalem once more becomes the capital; Whereas practical difficulties which caused the Knesset and government institutions to be temporarily housed elsewhere have now for the most part been removed and the government is carrying out the transfer of its institutions to Jerusalem; The Knesset expresses the wish that construction of the seat of the government and Knesset in Jerusalem proceed speedily on the site allotted by the government for this purpose.”

During the years 1948 - 1967 there were no condemnations of the Arab occupation of Eastern Jerusalem, in contravention of UN Resolution 181 (II), neither were there any calls for the Arabs to relinquish their control over the city.

Only after the Six Day War in June 1967, where Israel reunited Jerusalem into a single city, did the international forum refer to the Eastern parts of Jerusalem as "occupied".

On Sunday, on the eve of the 69th anniversary of the declaration of war by the Arabs on the "Zionist entity" - the "Nakba" or the "catastrophe" - employees of the US Consulate in Jerusalem, that were involved in advanced preparations of President Trump's official state visit to Israel, once again caused an uproar. As the team approached the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City the American employees turned to the Israeli officials accompanying them stating, "We're asking you to leave, and we need to be left alone. Israeli officials cannot be here; this is not your territory, it's the West Bank."

This outburst, by American State Department employees, is in stark contrast by recent announcements and stated positions by the United State's UN Ambassador Nikki Haley regarding Israel's historical connections to Jerusalem.

PHOTO: Rob Ghost/Flash90

 

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Follow the Six Day War on Twitter

Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has launched a very special project to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Six Day of War.

Starting today, the 15th of May, the day on which Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser expelled UN peacekeepers from the Sinai Peninsula and closed the Straits of Tiran, you can follow all the drama and action on Twitter.

As part of the project, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has created a number of Twitter accounts representing real people, like then-Prime Minister Levy Eshkol, and fictitious characters to represent the men and women who fought in and experienced the war.

Then-Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, too, has received a Twitter handle:

The main Twitter account for this project can be found at @Tweeting67, where the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will recount the events of 1967 as if they were happening live.

Ministry officials hope to use the project to bring the dramatic Six Day War to life for the younger generations, using a medium and a language they better understand today.

 

VIDEO: Lag B'Omer parade in Jerusalem

 

Yerushalyim Be‘Libi - Jerusalem In My Heart

We are offering some jewelry pieces directly from Jerusalem - the holy city. They are unique in design and individuality. Which biblical promise of our Lord to His eternal Jerusalem would you like to carry close to your heart?

Select one of four meaningful "Jerusalem Bible verses" and make your ring or pendant unique!
  1. "For the law shall come out from Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem." (Isaiah 2: 3)
  2. "Wants Jerusalem happiness! May it be to those who love you!" (Psalm 122: 6)
  3. "O Jerusalem, I will set watchmen upon your walls, which shall not keep silent all day, and all night." (Isaiah 62: 6)
  4. "If I forget thee, Jerusalem, I will forget my right hand." (Psalm 137)


 

Feelings are More Important Than Facts

No where is "fake news" and "alternative facts" more employed than in reporting on Israel and the Mideast conflict.

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

 

VIDEO: Tel Aviv - Jewel of the Mediterranean

 

Women in the Bible

Israel Today takes an inside look at a stunning artistic demonstration recreating scenes with women in the Bible.

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

 

Palestinians Use Deception for Greater Acceptance

The two main political groups that claim to represent Palestinians – the Islamist terror group Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (PA) – have embarked on new campaigns of deception in order to gain greater international acceptance.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas met with President Donald Trump last week to discuss the peace process. He blatantly lied throughout his public remarks.

Speaking before Abbas, Trump said that “there cannot be lasting peace unless the Palestinian leaders speak in a unified voice against incitement to...violence and hate...All children of God must be taught to value and respect human life, and condemn all of those who target the innocent.”

Abbas then made statements that seemed intended to allay Trump’s fears: “I affirm to you that we are raising our youth, our children, our grandchildren on a culture of peace,” Abbas said. “And we are endeavoring to bring about security, freedom and peace for our children to live like the other children in the world, along with the Israeli children in peace, freedom and security.”

Apparently anticipating that Abbas would promote such falsehoods to Trump and the American public, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shared a video on his Facebook page exposing the extent of Abbas’ lies. The video montage shows several examples of Palestinian incitement to violence – including by Abbas himself – and the indoctrination of children to hate and attack Jews.

“Our strategic choice is to bring about peace based on the vision of the two-state,” Abbas declared alongside Trump. “A Palestinian state with its capital of East Jerusalem that lives in peace and stability with the state of Israel based on the borders of 1967.” But Netanyahu’s video shows Palestinian children being taught that “Palestine is an Arab land from the river to the sea,” effectively brainwashing them to reject the territorial compromise required by the two-state solution Abbas claims to accept.

That anti-peace, anti-Israel message extends far beyond the classroom. “Every grain of soil in Palestine is ours... Haifa, and Jaffa, and Acre,” (all cities in Israel), Najeh Bakirat, a religious leader and the head of the Waqf’s Al-Aqsa Academy of Heritage and Antiquities said last June. “Therefore it is forbidden to relinquish a single grain of its soil,” Bakirat continued, in his remarks titled “Palestine in the Quran,” which were broadcast on official PA TV.

While the Fatah-affiliated PA likes to present itself as more moderate than Hamas, its rejection of Israel is essentially the same. “The Fatah Movement never demanded that Hamas recognize Israel,” said Fatah Central Committee member and Commissioner of Treasury and Economy Muhammad Shtayyeh, on official Palestinian Authority TV last March. “To this moment, Fatah does not recognize Israel. The topic of recognition of Israel has not been raised in any of Fatah’s conferences.”

Abbas also didn’t let truth get in the way of his breathtakingly false statement, made before Trump and the U.S. media, that the Palestinians “are the only remaining people in the world that still live under occupation.” The Tibetans, Kurds, and Cypriots are just a few of the many groups who would disagree.

Trump “raised concerns about the payments to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails who have committed acts of terror,” said White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer. But a senior PA official rejected the idea as “insane,” claiming that PA payments to imprisoned terrorists are like salaries paid to IDF soldiers. Just days before Abbas met Trump, senior Fatah leader Rawhi Fattouh even argued that donor countries should welcome PA payments to terrorists because this practice promotes peace by keeping the Palestinian terrorists from joining “ISIS or any other extremist party.”

A few weeks before the Trump-Abbas meeting, the Palestinian Information Center called Tel-Aviv a “settlement” in a tweet, implying that even Israel’s commercial capital – considered well within Israel proper by international consensus – should be part of a future Palestine. Josh Block, head of The Israel Project, uncovered the tweet, which was released on Holocaust Remembrance Day. The Palestinian Information Center tweet referred to the “so-called Holocaust.”

The other major Palestinian faction, the Islamist terror group Hamas, has also launched a new campaign of deception to improve its fortunes – this one targeting Muslim powers. Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal unveiled a “document of general policy principles” at a press conference last Monday that appeared to moderate its anti-Semitic and genocidal charter. But, as journalist and Mideast expert Avi Issacharoff reported, it included no substantive changes (as confirmed in this more detailed analysis) and was designed merely to improve “public relations during one of the terror group’s lowest points.”

“Gulf states are closing the funding taps one by one and income from inside Gaza is dropping,” Issacharoff wrote. “It is for this reason that the need arose to present a ‘friendlier face’ to the world via this document of principles.” Issacharoff calls it “a masterful example of verbal acrobatics in the Arabic language ... There is no direct call to eradicate the state of Israel, but recognition of the Jewish State is prohibited and liberated Palestine is to stretch from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.”

The Israeli government swiftly dismissed Hamas’ charter revisions: “the group is trying to delude the world but it won’t succeed,” said a Netanyahu spokesman. “It builds terror tunnels and launches rockets — that’s the true Hamas.”

Hamas also is trying to win hearts and minds in the European Union, which designated the Hamas military and political wings as a terrorist group in 2001 and 2003, respectively. As Issacharoff reports elsewhere, throughout Europe Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood have created a network of schools, mosques, charities and other civil organizations. That network includes “student associations in every well-known university in Europe. Recently, Muslim ‘human rights’ groups have been established that work to strengthen support for the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.” Issacharoff notes that Britain is “hosting more of this semi-official activity by Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood than any other country in Europe.”

Despite the EU’s terror designation, Hamas also has a foothold in Germany, which reportedly harbors some 300 “members and supporters” of Hamas (along with 900 members of Hizballah “activists and members”).

Its verbal and organizational deceptions aside, Hamas’ actions confirm that nothing has changed about the group’s bloodthirsty, fanatical, and cynical nature. Last month, the group used a girl with cancer to smuggle explosives into Israel for a future terror attack.

Hamas accuses Abbas of “crimes against humanity” for his refusal to pay for Gaza’s electricity as part of Fatah’s struggle to regain control of Gaza. But Gaza’s water and power crises are a direct result of Hamas’ corruption, mismanagement, and diversion of humanitarian funds for terrorist purposes. Nearly three years after Hamas launched its disastrous 2014 war with Israel, thousands of homes damaged in the conflict – estimated at 60 percent of the total – remain unrepaired because of Hamas policies. Hamas has proven repeatedly that its commitment to jihad against Israel matters more than the welfare of the people it rules.

So when Abbas or Hamas appear to be moderating for an audience with President Trump or others from whom support is sought, the focus should be on deeds, rather than words.

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

 

Reports now say Trump won't move US embassy to Jerusalem

Israeli media is reporting that US President Donald Trump will extend the executive order to postpone moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem when it comes up for renewal.

This is following campaign promises and post-inauguration vows by Trump to return the US Embassy to the Israeli capital, a move that would bolster Israel's claims to the entirety of Jerusalem.

According to unnamed US sources, it is the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that is actually holding up the move. They say Netanyahu doesn't want to deal with the expected diplomatic blowback.

At the same time, local media reported that the Israeli government was "disappointed" that Trump would extend the postponement of the embassy move.

It is still expected that Trump will make some kind of statement regarding Jerusalem's future when he visit the Jewish state later this month.

 

STREET INTERVIEW: What do Israelis think of President Trump?

 

Jerusalem's 50th anniversary

In less than 2 weeks Israel will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem. The nations wonderful blue & white flag will wave proudly over every rooftop in Jerusalem.

We have a land - our land - and the people of Israel live!

Take this opportunity to support Israel in three areas that she sorely needs assistance. Food assistance for Ethiopian immigrant families - a Soldier's solidarity package and a help for needy Israeli children.

You will receive a certificate and a small blue & white gift directly from Jerusalem when you participate!

 

Influential Israelis speak about Jesus

Prof. Amnon Rubinstein is one of Israel's leading experts. His views on Jesus are but one example of shifting attitudes toward the Messiah.

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

 

IDF releases powerful new promo video

 

Trump deletes Abbas tweet after Palestinian leader lies to him

Shortly after meeting with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas last week, US President Donald Trump took to Twitter to say what an "honor" it had been to host the head of the PLO.

The post was retweeted thousands of times.

But hours later, Trump deleted it, giving rise to speculation that the American was angered by Abbas' bald-faced lies.

"Mr. President, I affirm to you that we are raising our youth, our children, our grandchildren on a culture of peace," Abbas claimed, as he and Trump tried to sleuth out what's holding up Mideast peace.

Abbas continued: "And we are endeavoring to bring about security, freedom and peace for our children to live like the other children in the world, along with the Israeli children in peace, freedom and security."

Many, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, fired back, noting that Abbas' Palestinian Authority uses the massive amounts of foreign aid it receives to provide large stipends to Palestinian terrorists arrested by Israel.

It also routinely names Palestinian schools, parks and summer camps after the most blood-soaked terrorists - those who have managed to kill the most Jews.

Netanyahu did not even get into what Palestinian children are taught in local schools, where teachers and textbooks refer to Jews as sub-human, blood-thirsty monsters. And the incitement is even worse on after-school programming on Palestinian Authority-controlled television.

PHOTO: Twitter screenshot

 

Israel's Messianic Community Mourns, Remembers a Pioneering Pastor

Pastor David Davis, one of Israel’s senior Messianic leaders, has died. Davis was 79-years-old when he eventually succumbed following an intense battle with cancer over the past year. He is survived by his wife Karen and their two adopted sons.

Messianic leaders from across Israel and around the world are flooding social media with expressions of love and appreciation for their deceased friend. During his 25 years of ministry in Israel, David gained the respect of many Messianic leaders in a land where building Messianic communities does not come easy. His sympathetic, yet bold leadership style, his willingness to encourage up-and-coming leaders, and his passion for unity in the body of Messiah were admired, even by those who were skeptical that an American Christian could have any significant impact on the lives of Arabs and Jews in Israel. Myself included.

I remember well the first time I met Pastor David when he arrived in Israel in the 1980’s. He had been sent out by David Wilkerson and the Times Square Church in New York, with a vision to lead Arab and Jewish drug addicts to Christ. “Arabs and Jews?” I asked him. “Together?”

I was skeptical, until David asked me to teach a Bible study with the small group of recovering addicts he had assembled. They didn’t want fancy words or theological spin. Just Jesus, because these recovering Jewish and Arab addicts knew more than most that it was him who had brought them back to life, and taught them that Arab and Jew can live together, belong together.

David’s passion for the lost inspired many Arab Christians and Messianic Jews across the country to reach out to drug addicts. After seeing the power of God working in the lives of those broken men, I also began an inner city ministry to drug addicts in Tel Aviv.

David was the founding pastor of Kehilat HaCarmel (Carmel Assembly) on Mount Carmel, a congregation that began in 1991 as a Bible study for men recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. It was during these days that a great wave of Russian Jews were returning to their ancient homeland under a bombardment of SCUD missiles from Iraqi’s dictator, Saddam Hussein. Not to be deterred, and inspired by David’s bold leadership, a community of Arab and Jewish believers emerged, reaching people of all backgrounds through ministries that continue until today, such as the House of Victory Rehab Center, the Or HaCarmel women’s shelter, Raven’s Basket feeding program, and Elijah’s Cloak clothing center.

Dr. David Davis was the Chairman of the Division of Arts of Fordham University at Lincoln Center, New York City, while also working as a professional actor on Broadway, off-Broadway and on television. In the mid-80’s, in the midst of a successful acting career, he had a dramatic encounter with Jesus during a revival among performing artists in New York, where he also met his Jewish wife, Karen.

He was soon called into ministry and began working with addicts and homeless people under the mentoring of David Wilkerson at Times Square Church, NYC. In 1989, the David and Karen immigrated and became citizens of Israel. In his book, “The Road to Carmel,” Davis chronicles his journey from the world of show business on Broadway to the mountains of Israel.

“I still remember David’s words of encouragement and his prayers,” said Zvi Randelman, a Messianic Jewish pastor from Jerusalem. “He had a father’s heart for the lost, the addicted, the desperate. He was instrumental in the establishment of Beit Hayeshua, a ministry to drug addicts we began in Jerusalem. Countless drug addicts and alcoholics owe their lives to David’s work of love and inspiration. Now David is in heaven with the Lord, and I am sure that when he entered into the presence of Yeshua, he heard the words “Well done good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord.”

 

WATCH: Netanyahu Joins Trump in Calling CNN 'Fake News'

 

The Next Issue of Israel Today Will Be Golden and Special!

No other city has such an exciting and varied history as the Holy City of Jerusalem. Her history goes back over 3000 years during which she was a divided city between 1948 to 1967. The liberation and re-unification of Jerusalem, 50 years ago, is a milestone in her history.

Since God chose Jerusalem, as the site of His Temple and the dwelling place of His presence, the nations of the world have warred over her. Only the names of nations and rulers have changed, but not the dynamism surrounding Jerusalem.

We are producing a "Golden Edition" of Israel Today for our readership worldwide, in honor of the auspicious occasion of Jerusalem's Golden Jubilee.

Dr. Itzhak Ifat, one of the Israeli paratroopers captured in a momentous photograph of David Rubinger, moments after the Western Wall was liberated, will describe his emotions when it happened.

Shuli Nathan, renowned singer and artist, will tell of her experiences surrounding her presentations of Naomi Shemer's song "Yerushalayim Shel Zahav" - Jerusalem of Gold".

Archaeologist Prof. Ronny Reich will tell of his excavations in the city of Jerusalem during the last 50 years.

All this and much more in this special issue...

 

Peers Call for Palestine Recognition

British politicians are once again demonstrating the moral confusion that has seen them pass so many laws contradicting the biblical precepts upon which our civilization was based.

The latest example is the suggestion from an influential House of Lords committee that the UK Government recognise a new state of Palestine.

In a report titled The Middle East: Time for New Realism, published on Israel’s Independence Day[1], the upper house’s International Relations Committee, chaired by former Conservative cabinet minister David Howell, called for the government to “give serious consideration to now recognising Palestine as a state, as the best way to show its determined attachment to the two-state solution”.

And the relevant paragraph was prefixed by the extraordinary statement that “the balance of power in the delivery of peace lies with Israel”.[2]

Yet the Palestinians have repeatedly made clear their commitment – not to the two-state solution so precious to Western leaders, but to a single-state solution with Israel driven out of the region altogether. PA president Mahmoud Abbas and his rivals in Gaza, Hamas, want all of it; that is why they refuse to recognise the Jewish state!

Surely – judging from their oft-repeated comments over the years – it is obvious to anyone with a semblance of elementary education (Lord Howell went to Eton) that these men do not want peace, but rather a jihad (holy war) against the ‘infidel’ seed of Abraham.

The report does not specify where the borders of this new state should be drawn or even who should run it – Fatah, in charge of the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) in the guise of the Palestinian Authority, or Hamas, who run a chaotic Gaza; factions which are constantly at loggerheads with each other. What kind of stable society will that produce?

The report also suggests that Britain work with Iran, despite current U.S. policy, “to ensure the stability of the Iran nuclear deal”, adding: “That would be a way of peace in a region needing stability.”

Oh really! Such potential treachery has echoes of 1938, when Neville Chamberlain returned from Germany promising “peace in our time”. Have we learnt nothing in the past 80 years; that appeasement with dictators doesn’t work, for instance? In the case of the Munich meeting, it only further encouraged Hitler in his madness and hastened the death of some 50 million people!

Meanwhile the British Government has rightly refused persistent requests by the Palestinians to apologise for the Balfour Declaration which, 100 years ago this November, promised to do all in its power to enable Jews to re-settle their ancient homeland.

Such requests suggest that the Jews should never have been allowed to return to the region, which is in fact exactly what they think. But instead of giving the Palestinians short shrift while fully backing Jewish aspirations, we keep kowtowing to international demands for endless peace talks which only ever seem to produce more conflict. Israel withdrew from Gaza under international pressure, for example, in one of these so-called ‘land for peace’ deals. And what was the result? …A continuous volley of rocket fire into Israeli territory.

We certainly have no need to apologise for the Balfour Declaration. But we do need to apologise for repeatedly going back on our word in subsequent years as we betrayed the Jews again and again – firstly, by giving the bulk of the land we originally promised them to the Arabs (now Jordan) and then by persecuting them in various ways during Britain’s Mandate of the territory then known as Palestine, particularly by restricting Jewish immigration (to appease the Arabs) at a time when they could have done with a bolthole from Nazi threats.

Then, shamefully, we abstained in the 1947 UN vote to recognise the new state. And it was around this time (70 years ago this summer) that, quite disgracefully, we turned away Holocaust survivors from the port of Haifa, sending some of them back to Displaced Persons’ Camps in Germany, of all places.

For such treatment we should hang our heads in sorrow and shame. Among the dozens of refugee ships turned back in this way by the Royal Navy was the Exodus, with over 4,500 on board, mostly Holocaust survivors. Boarding the ship in international waters, the British killed three and wounded many more.

I’m glad to report that, two years ago, such sorrow and shame was expressed on our behalf by a group of some 100 British people, including Col Richard Kemp and Rev Alex Jacob[3]. They travelled out to Israel for an event at Haifa and Atlit (location of one of the camps) where they asked forgiveness for our action from a similar sized group of Israelis, many of whom had suffered under the Mandate.

We do need to apologise – but not for the Balfour Declaration which, to quote journalist Melanie Phillips, was “the high-water mark of British decency towards the Jewish people. But it’s been downhill all the way ever since”.[4]


  1. Also on Independence Day, UNESCO (the UN’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) voted – by 23 votes to 22 – to adopt a resolution denying Israeli claims to Jerusalem. Britain voted against it.  ↩

  2. Christian Voice, May 2, 2017  ↩

  3. Richard Kemp is a retired British Army officer, best-selling author and fervent supporter of Israel. Alex Jacob is CEO of the Church’s Ministry among the Jewish people  ↩

  4. Jerusalem Post, April 27, 2017  ↩


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

 

Liberals Leap at New Opportunity to Whitewash Hamas

News agencies enamored with the Palestinian fight against "colonial Zionists" have taken to referring to the new Hamas "document of general principles & politics," released on May 1, as a "charter." 

This is not a slip of a pen, but a deliberate attempt to whitewash Hamas. 

The differences between a "document" (as Hamas termed it) and a "charter" are self-explanatory. The first could be viewed as a tactic aimed at achieving the strategic goals of the second.

But Israelis, many of whom have long since turned Yasser Arafat into a symbol of peace, are willing, once again, with a stroke of a pen, to transform Hamas into a legitimate "partner for peace." 

One of those seeking to whitewash Hamas is Ronit Marzan, teacher of political science at Haifa University and author of "Yasser Arafat: Rhetoric of a Lone Leader." In her book, Marzan goes out of her way to present Arafat as a true peace-loving man. Now she finds three(!) words in this new Hamas document that "prove" her conclusion that this terror organization (which, remember, has not changed a single word in its actual charter) is now a legitimate partner for peace. 

In her hair-splitting analysis of the new document, Marzan states, for example, that the word "jihad" does not appear, even though it actually does. She also dismisses references to mujahideen (jihad fighters). Her conclusion, reached in service to a political agenda rather than by fair analysis, is that Hamas will now accept the two-state solution, and is thus a legitimate partner for peace. And not only for Israel, but for the international community, as well. 

Marzan is easy and willing prey. And she fell right into Hamas' trap.

Marzan is typical of those Israelis who so lust for peace that they will turn a blind eye to the fact that neither Hamas nor the PLO have ever given up their aspirations of establishing a Palestinian state in place of Israel.

Otherwise, how could "peaceniks" like Marzan so easily dismisses paragraph one of the new document, which clearly states that Hamas is wholly committed to jihad

"The Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas is a Palestinian Islamic national liberation and resistance movement. Its goal is to liberate Palestine and confront the Zionist project. Its frame of reference is Islam, which determines its principles, objectives and means."

Likewise, how could she simply dismisses paragraph two, which states that "Palestine, which extends from the River Jordan in the east to the Mediterranean in the west and from Ras Al-Naqurah [Kibbutz Rosh Hanikrah] in the north to Umm Al-Rashrash [the city of Eilat] in the south, is an integral territorial unit. It is the land and the home of the Palestinian people. The expulsion and banishment of the Palestinian people from their land and the establishment of the Zionist entity therein do not annul the right of the Palestinian people to their entire land and do not entrench any rights therein for the usurping Zionist entity."

But, of course, most Israelis refuse to be duped by this document. 

In his analysis, Jonathan Dahoah-Halevi, who also translated the document to Hebrew (proper translation is key to proper understanding) correctly summarizes the key points as follow: 

  • It affirms Islam as the sole and supreme authority for all goals and actions. 

  • It denies Israel of any legal legitimacy. 

  • It denies any Jewish link or right to the holy Muslim land. 

  • It Justifies armed struggle to free the whole of "Palestine." 

  • It praises all the liberals who support the Palestinian fight against Israel. 

The difference from the Hamas charter, and this alteration is designed solely to fool the fools, is Hamas' willingness to "establish a Palestinian state in temporary borders (the two-state solution) as a step toward the continuation of the armed struggle to eradicate Israel."

The Oslo Accords demonstrated that a terror group (the PLO) was able to successfully maneuver Israel and the international community into accepting it as a legitimate and legal organization. The latest Hamas document is designed to achieve the same. 

Will Israel and the world again be fooled?

 

Mothers Are Precious!

Little ones mutate into artists and poets overnight and have prepared well in advance for this day!

In cahoots with Daddy, the orders reach the closest florist and, in a fit of excessive creativity, a packet of pralines is included in the package...

Why not let this year be different?

Surprise Mommy this year with a special gift from Jerusalem: You will find beautiful jewelry for "the best Mommy"!

New from Israel!

Gold plated heart pendant or 14k gold ring
"My Precious Mother" / Virtuous Woman"

 

Netanyahu besieged: IDF, Mossad send prime minister an angry letter

The heads of Israel's top three security bodies - the IDF, Mossad and the Shin Bet (Israel's equivalent of the FBI) - directly expressed their frustration with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over his plans to establish a new cyber-security agency.

The IDF, Mossad and the Shin Bet all three already operate their own cyber-security departments, which have succeeded in thwarting thousands, if not millions, of cyber attacks against Israel.

The heads of Israel's security apparatuses sent Netanyahu an angry letter, telling him the newly-planned National Cyber Authority would cause "severe harm to the security of the State of Israel."

They said the new authority's powers as defined were too broad. On top of that, the new authority would answer directly to the prime minister, consolidating a great deal of power in his hands.

 

COMMENTARY: A Parable About Two Trains

I would like to tell you a parable of two trains that have travelled across the pages of history for nearly two millennium.

Back in the First Century, both trains were parked across the station from each other in Jerusalem. One was an express that I will call the Jewish Train. The other train, which had just pulled into the station, was a local and had many more cars. I’ll call it the Gospel Train.  

Now the Jewish Train had already travelled some 2000 dusty years and was just waiting to pick up one more passenger, known only as the Messiah, before continuing on. What the conductors didn’t realize, however, was that the Messiah had already come on board but was not recognized. When Yeshua finally identified himself as the one they were waiting for, neither the people nor the conductors believed him, and threw him off .

Broken-hearted over their rejection, Messiah shook the dust from his sandals and said to the Jewish train, “From now on you will not see me until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” (Matt. 24:39). He then turned and boarded the local Gospel Train followed by a goodly number of Jews who had believed in him. 

Then both trains pulled out of the station.

For the next two thousand years the trains hurtled through history on completely different tracks, experiencing totally different realities. The Jewish Train, once so filled with hope and promise, entered a long dark tunnel that was often terrifying. And the people cried out, when will it end?

The Gospel Train with the Messiah on board, although under constant trial and tribulation, was full of light and joy and promise. This train made thousands of local stops around the world, picking up more and more passengers.

Then, after twenty centuries, the Jewish Train suddenly found itself back in the Jerusalem station again.  A new hope and excitement filled the hearts of the passengers as they sensed their long nightmare ride was over. 

Soon after, the Gospel Train, now called the Christian Train, also pulled into the Jerusalem station. And Messiah made a startling announcement. He told all aboard he was getting off here and advised all who loved him to do likewise. He’d brought home the “fullness of the Gentiles” (Rom. 11:25). It was now time to favor Zion.  If we didn’t get off the train with him we would find ourselves plunged into the “outer darkness.”   

And that’s where I believe we are today, folks. 

Those who have ears to hear have already begun to pile out of the Christian train onto the Jerusalem station, realizing God’s ultimate intention was not to bring about a “Christianized world” – but a restored Israel. And that the Jews on the other train, who we could not relate to for so long, were actually our long-lost brethren. 

Finally, we are starting to see this whole 2000-year church age was God’s way of rounding up all His chosen ones scattered around the world to fulfill the promises to Abraham. Did not Abraham hope against hope “that he might become the father of many nations [Gentiles]?” (Rom. 4:18)

Of those saved, some would be those circumcised in the flesh. But others would not be. That’s why our inclusion had to be by faith, “in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to ALL the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all” (Rom. 4:16)

In the days ahead, I believe an amazing miracle will take place the likes of which the world has never seen. A huge remnant of believers from among the nations (and perhaps many Jews still in the Diaspora) will arrive in Israel in a supernatural way that will exceed even the exodus from Egypt (see Jer. 23:5-8, Isa. 11:11-16). 

That’s when, I believe, those on the Jewish train will suddenly be given eyes to see. And they will say to us, “Blessed are you who come in the name of the Lord.” Indeed, many have already started to do so. And just as Yeshua prophesied so long ago, they will see him again.

Equally as exciting, they will begin to recognize who we “Christians” truly are and they will hear themselves fulfilling the words of Isaiah: “You will say in your heart, who has begotten these for me, since I have been bereaved of my children and am barren, an exile and a wanderer? Who has reared these? Behold, I was left alone. From where did these come?” (Isa 49:21). What a day that shall be!

This whole end-time event, I believe, has long been prophesied in the story of Joseph. Unrecognizable beneath his Gentile garb, Joseph (a picture of Messiah in his body) finally revealed himself in tears to his brothers in one of the most poignant moments recorded in the Bible. But unlike Messiah’s weeping over Jerusalem, Joseph’s tears were tears of joy.

And what did Joseph then tell his brothers? “Do not grieve (that you rejected me so long ago) or be angry with yourselves…for God has sent me before you to preserve a remnant in the earth, and to keep you alive for a great deliverance” (Gen. 45:5,7). Without Messiah, Israel cannot survive the coming Tribulation. And without Israel, neither can we.  It’s a marriage made in Heaven.

Clearly, many tumultuous end-time events still lie ahead. But first things first. And the first thing, I believe, is for the true followers of Messiah to start disembarking from the Christian train. It’s headed for the scrap yard. 

It’s time to get ready for a great reunion in the Kingdom of God.

Brian Hennessy, is the author of Valley of the Steeples

 

Netanyahu slams Abbas for lying to Trump's face

Few were surprised that the first words out of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' mouth in his meeting with US President Donald Trump were bald-faced lies.

"Mr. President, I affirm to you that we are raising our youth, our children, our grandchildren on a culture of peace," Abbas claimed, as he and Trump tried to sleuth out what's holding up Mideast peace.

Abbas continued: "And we are endeavoring to bring about security, freedom and peace for our children to live like the other children in the world, along with the Israeli children in peace, freedom and security."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu immediately hit back.

During a joint press conference with visiting Romanian Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu, Netanyahu stated:

"I heard President Abbas yesterday say that the Palestinians teach their children peace. That’s unfortunately not true. They name their schools after mass murderers of Israelis and they pay terrorists."

Netanyahu was referring to the fact that Abbas' Palestinian Authority uses the massive amounts of foreign aid it receives to provide large stipends to Palestinian terrorists arrested by Israel. It also routinely names Palestinian schools, parks and summer camps after the most blood-soaked terrorists - those who have managed to kill the most Jews.

Netanyahu did not even get into what Palestinian children are taught in local schools, where teachers and textbooks refer to Jews as sub-human, blood-thirsty monsters. And the incitement is even worse on after-school programming on Palestinian Authority-controlled television.

It is a culture of death that Hamas, the largest party in the Palestinian parliament, has proudly admitted to.

"For the Palestinian people, death has become an industry," said Hamas parliamentarian Fathi Hammad. The Palestinians are "saying to the Zionist enemy: 'We desire death like you desire life.'"

Fortunately, there was some indication that Trump had not been taken in by Abbas' lies.

In his own remarks to the press, Trump said that for peace to move forward, the Palestinian leadership would have to cease the incitement against Israel and the Jews:

"...there cannot be lasting peace unless the Palestinian leaders speak in a unified voice against incitement to violate — and violence and hate.  There’s such hatred."

 

Celebrating God's faithfulness to His Word and to Israel

The uniqueness of the miracle of Israel is that historically it is the only nation ever that was out of her land for 1,900 years and regained it. Against all historic odds, Israel was reborn in one day in May 1948!

During the upcoming Feast of Tabernacles, we will celebrate God’s faithfulness to His word and Israel commemorating the following milestones:

  • 120 YEARS SINCE FIRST ZIONIST CONGRESS 1897
  • 100 YEAR SINCE BALFOUR DECLARATION
  • 70 YEARS SINCE U.N. DECISION THAT LED TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A JEWISH STATE
  • 50 YEARS SINCE THE LIBERATION OF JERUSALEM – JUBILEE

And the Lord their God will save them in that day as the flock of his people; for they are as the stones of a crown, sparkling in his land. Zechariah 9:17

The Israelis are turning the land into an oasis and those who have had the privilege to tour this land have seen with their own eyes that they are as stones of a crown sparkling in HIS land!

So, how do we side with God and Israel in 2017 to celebrate the historic milestones of His faithfulness? We desire to spend seven days of joy but also of prophetic purpose in Israel!

Our programme is filled with interaction with the Israeli’s to comfort them that God is with them and will never leave them. More than any other year we focus on the covenantal promise that God gave this land to Israel! We will visit some key places that are a testimony of the covenant and faithfulness of God.

Jan Willem van der Hoeven who is the founder of the ICEJ and ICZC, and has ministered in the Land of Israel for 44 years. To find out more about the ICZC Feast of Tabernacles, visit www.israelmybeloved.com

 

UNESCO's Fake History

UNESCO has chosen Israel's 69th Day of Independence to deliver another one of its many infamous anti-Israel resolutions. 

A year ago, UNESCO erased any Jewish link to the Temple Mount, leaving to it only its Muslim legacy. On May 2, this council expanded the area to which it says Jews have no claim to include the entire Old City of Jerusalem.

The resolution, entitled "Occupied Palestine," is devoted to condemning the Israeli "occupation" of East Jerusalem, Old City included, and it finds the need to include Gaza in "occupied Palestine." 

Invoking the Geneva Conventions, the Hague Resolutions on Warfare, the Hague Convention for protection of "transfer of ownership of cultural property," among other international resolutions and protocols, UNESCO effectively erases any Jewish connection to Hezekiah's Tunnel, the City of David and countless other archeological sites and findings in and around the Old City - evidence that leaves no doubt to the true legacy of Jerusalem.

But UNESCO doesn't like this history one bit, hence its gleeful and willing revision of history into what Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely rightly dubbed "fake history." In this framework of fake history, UNESCO can affirm and reaffirm many times over that Jerusalem (ironically leaving the city's Hebrew name intact) is stolen Palestinian property, "the cultural heritage of Palestine." And it doesn't at all matter if one shouts until blue in the face that "Palestine is fake," because UNESCO is not interested in history so much as it is interested in vilifying Israel.

At least one Israeli commentator, Yotam Zimri, has concluded that this latest resolution is a good thing because, "unlike many other antisemitic organs, that try in sophisticated ways to hide the disease running through their veins by saying that all they do is objecting Israel's policy, [UNESCO] does it in the most clumsy and transparent way." For that, says Zimri, UNESCO should be thanked.

For their part, Israeli officials predictably condemned this resolution, with Prime Minister Netanyahu issuing a sarcastic remark during the annual Bible Quiz held on Independence Day. UNESCO tries to deny the fact that Jerusalem is a Jewish city, therefore, "we deny UNESCO," he said.

Yet, many Israelis insist that Netanyahu is only paying lip service to Jerusalem. They point to the harsh treatment of Jews on the Temple Mount as proof that Netanyahu's policies accomplish the opposite of firm and fearless Jewish sovereignty in and around Jerusalem.

Even media analyst Guy Bechor, a staunch supporter of Netanyahu, calls out the prime minister's indecisiveness. "Stop being afraid," Bechor writes on his popular blog. "The Government House [the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization's headquarters in Jerusalem], and the area around it, are Israel's property [and we want it to become] the American Embassy," he states, urging Israelis to join a petition to that effect.

 

Israelis experience the love of Christian hosts

I've written in past issues of Israel Today Magazine concerning the wonderful work being done by the Hosting Israeli Travelers (HIT) network.

HIT maintains a global network of Israel-loving, Bible-believing Christians who have become a tremendous witness by showing simple hospitality to Israelis traveling the world.

It all began in New Zealand, and it was there that my son and I had the opportunity to stay with several HIT hosts and experience this hospitality first-hand.

What we found is that all the hosts had several things in common - namely, a deep and genuine love for God's people, and a humble and respectful approach to witnessing through their actions.

Often overlooked is the importance the Lord places on hospitality throughout the Scriptures. For, when done properly, it is a powerful tool of witness.

What we also found among the hosts was fantastic variety. One offered a true Israeli home, complete with Shabbat dinner! Another provided a quiet apartment setting where weary travelers could unwind for several days. A third had opened up his entire property to as many Israelis as he could possibly fit - a scene of organized chaos that these young travelers could no doubt fully relate to, most having only recently completed their compulsory army service.

In short, there was something on offer for everyone. No Israeli can visit New Zealand and not find a home that suits him or her. And I use the word home rather than accomodation because that is the other thing all these hosts had in common - they each made the young Israelis visiting them feel completely at home.

Today, HIT has spread around the world, with a multitude of similar hosts now to be found in places like Australia, England, the United States, South Africa, Germany, Holland and MANY more nations.

Find out more by visiting www.hitinternational.net

 

A Small Silent Witness

The Mount of Olives rises east of the Temple Mount known in Hebrew as "Har HaZeitim" which plays an important role in all three monotheistic faiths - Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

In the garden of Gethsemane, between mighty olive trees, on the lower slopes of the Mount of Olives, Jesus spent the last hours before being arrested. These trees, silent witnesses of biblical events, let us guess what took place there.

Our new key holder collection incorporate a piece of stone from the Mount of Olives - silent witnesses of the time.

"On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem" Zechariah 14:4

With an enchanting image of the Old City of Jerusalem or an image of the Lion of Judah - our two key holders are special accessories with deep meaning!



 

Israelis expect big things from Trump's upcoming visit

US President Donald Trump is expected to visit Israel later this month, and many believe he's going to use the occasion to drop a couple of diplomatic bombshells.

First, according to Israel's Yediot Ahronot daily, Trump will renege on his election promise to move the US embassy back to Jerusalem.

Many speculate that it is, in fact, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government that are blocking the move, which Trump would make if the matter were entirely up to him. (see the upcoming June issue of Israel Today Magazine for more on this)

But the second bombshell should assuage some of Israelis' disappointment over the first.

Yediot further reports that Trump plans to make a public statement reversing official US foreign policy and explicitly recognizing a united Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

At the same time, it was reported that Trump will express support for the birth of a Palestinian state as a result of a bilateral agreement.

Of course, as past US presidents have learned, the Palestinian leadership will accept no deal that doesn't include Israel's surrender of Jerusalem.

 

Encounter with Messiah in Jerusalem!

A top army officer was converted after being struck by the reality of the risen Christ during a visit to Jerusalem over Easter.

It changed him forever, and his Christian faith is now the driving force of his life.

In an interview with New Life Publishing[1], Major-General Tim Cross (now retired) recalled his dramatic encounter while on leave in Israel with his wife Christine during a peace-keeping post in Cyprus in 1981.

He was a captain at the time, having been raised in what he describes as “a typical middle class British home”. He attended a Church of England primary school and, like most people, assumed he was a Christian. He even took the unusual step of being confirmed while at Sandhurst (the military academy), took communion during his wedding and had his three children christened.

So when the opportunity came for a short break in Israel over the Easter weekend – celebrating the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, the heart of Christian beliefs – he and Christine hitched a ride on a United Nations plane and took in the sights of the Holy Land.

“I remember going past the bus station near the Damascus Gate (to the Old City) and noticing the hill behind it looking like a skull” (widely thought to be the location of Christ’s crucifixion, referred to in the Bible as Golgotha – place of the skull).

“On Easter Sunday we visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (generally considered to have been built where Jesus was buried) and then attended a service at St George’s (Anglican) Cathedral where it was suggested I visit the Garden Tomb, not far from the bus station.

“Our guide, a retired military officer called Colonel Orde Dobbie, showed us round and explained how this could equally have been the place where Jesus was buried. He read the gospels and, most importantly, pointed out the empty tomb cut in the rocks on the edge of the garden. I sheepishly took his advice, and had a look inside.

“This is a pretty crucial issue, and I was really struck by the reality of the empty tomb. It was not a Damascus Road experience (like the Apostle Paul had when he fell off his horse on seeing the risen Christ); more of an Emmaus Road experience (when the risen Christ drew alongside two disciples who did not at first recognise him, but their eyes were opened when he broke bread with them). And it also happened to coincide with my 30th birthday!

“Back in Cyprus we had a very good Army padre (chaplain), and within two months I was a committed Christian. Christine had meanwhile started attending a Bible study and committed her life to Christ independently of me.

“Everything changed from a personal point of view in the way I led and commanded. It’s changed my view of the world and the way I saw myself in terms of servant leadership.”

As to the relationship of faith to firearms, he admits to taking stock of whether it was appropriate to continue in the military – he had wanted to be a soldier since he was a boy. He prayed about it, spoke to others and looked at what the gospels had to say, concluding that there was no biblical suggestion that you couldn’t be a soldier and a follower of Jesus. John the Baptist, for example, told the soldiers to be content with their pay, not to leave the army.

“We need Christians everywhere, and the British Army – called to fight for justice and righteousness and be a force for good in an evil world – is a much more powerful institution as a result.”

He added that the ethos of the Army is rooted in Christianity despite the increasing influence of secularism, and that it is definitely not an alien environment for Christians, with the ready availability of padres and the preponderance of church-related parades.[2]

He has also contended that, as a community, “the British Army recognises the issue of spirituality, goodness, righteousness, justice, evil and wrong probably far more than most”.[3]

In fact, devotion such as he has displayed since his conversion is clearly appreciated by superiors, many of whom are believers.

While at Staff College in the late 1980s, his director of studies wrote of him: “This guy is a very committed Christian; he doesn’t bash people over the heads with it – just lives it out.”

The General added: “Faith had to be part of who I was, how I commanded, the way I spoke and the decisions I took.”

This was especially the case during his third tour of the Balkans in 1999 – again over Easter. He was a brigadier at the time, in charge of 5,000 men, and at the request of the UN became responsible for coordinating multi-national troops and civilian agencies in establishing refugee camps in the aftermath of the Kosovo War. “People were beginning to die, and had no food. As a Christian commander, I didn’t hesitate.”

His soldiers duly knuckled down to build the camps and he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his role, meeting the Queen at the ceremony. But he says: “I just gave the orders. The men under my command did all the hard work.”

His learning curve was further extended in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003 during which he tried to persuade Prime Minister Tony Blair to delay matters due to inadequate post-war planning. He was involved with others in planning the invasion and had spent some time in Washington from where he sent daily reports to government departments such as the Ministry of Defence and the Foreign Office.

He went to see Alastair Campbell (Mr Blair’s right-hand man) “who was very helpful” and subsequently spoke to the PM himself, effectively telling him: “We’re not ready for post-war Iraq.”

That his advice was not heeded is well-known. The General did not take it personally, however, recognising that Mr Blair was getting lots of advice from all sides, and had to weigh it all up.

Testifying before the Iraq Inquiry in December 2009, he said he had urged Mr Blair and his aide, Mr Campbell, to delay the invasion two days prior to the start of the conflict. He further told inquiry chairman Sir John Chilcot that preparations for post-war Iraq were “woefully thin” and went on to say that “although I was confident that we would secure a military victory, I offered my view that we should not begin that campaign until we had a much more coherent post-war plan.”[4]

Now, seven years on, he says: “I wasn’t against the war in Iraq; it was just not the right time. It did mean, however, that I was involved in failure for the first time in my life, which is something I am now able to share with others.”

The greatest of Bible figures, such as King David and the Apostle Peter, experienced this too. “The issue is not failure, but how you respond to it.”

Furthermore, there is a moral dimension to the army’s purpose, which is just as important as your equipment and knowhow in terms of ability to deliver fighting power. “You’ve got to have people with a will to fight and the will to win.”

In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network in 2009, he said: “If you lose the moral component, you lose everything. I think we – collectively in the West – have gone through 30–40 years of pretending that this is not important, and that I don’t need to have a biblical foundation in my life. And I challenge that.”

As to the argument over a nuclear deterrent, he said it worked during the Cold War and is still clearly needed. Russia remains a threat. And, yes, Islamic extremism is obviously a serious issue. “We will not destroy Islamic extremism any more than destroy the idea of a united Ireland. But over and above that there are nations like Iran who don’t like the West much; and a nuclear weapon in their hands could be a serious threat to us.”

Does war ever solve anything? Well, the military remit is wider than shooting. As his career so clearly testifies, they have been involved in important peace-keeping and humanitarian operations. And the General describes their current role as “to try to establish a secure environment within which politicians can try to work out a solution”.

“But we live in a fallen world marred by brutal dictatorships. And we are called to fight for justice and righteousness.”

Now 65, and retired for ten years, he and Christine run their own company – speaking, advising and lecturing in business, academic and charity environments with a focus on what he describes as “morally courageous leadership”. He is a visiting professor at three universities, a role he clearly enjoys, and a lay reader (licensed to preach) in the Anglican Church.

He is involved in a number of Christian organisations including the Bible Society, of which he is a trustee, and is a former president of the Armed Forces Christian Union.

The couple live in Aldershot, Hampshire, and have two sons (one of whom is serving in the Royal Navy), one daughter and two grandchildren.


  1. This interview was originally conducted on behalf of New Life Publishing, who produce a number of titles including the evangelistic tabloid New Life along with Direction and iBelieve magazines, and is reproduced here with permission. For more information see www.newlifepublishing.co.uk or call 0115 824 0777.  ↩

  2. Writing in the British Army Review, he described ideas of a secular Army as “tripe” and “dangerously wrong”, and removing reference to God in the Girl Guides’ motto as “vapid and anodyne”.  ↩

  3. Wikipedia (BBC, March 17, 2008)  ↩

  4. The Guardian, December 7, 2009  ↩


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

 

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North Korea threatens Israel with 'merciless, thousand-fold punishment'

North Korea is determined to beat President Trump and the US, and that means beating America's allies, too.

At the top of that list for the North Koreans are two countries: Japan and Israel.

Japan is obvious. Israel, less so.

But observers will remember that when Israel destroyed Syria's nascent nuclear program, it was quickly discovered that North Korea had provided the know-how and hardware to the defiant Arab dictatorship.

It is also known that North Korea is in league with some of the Middle East's more unsavory players, all of which want to see Israeli annihilated.

As such, few Israelis tears would be shed if Trump followed through on his threats to end the North Korean regime.

And Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said as much in a radio interview last week.

The North Korean government responded with a stern warning for Israel:

"The reckless remarks of the Israeli defense minister are sordid and wicked behavior and grave challenge to the DPRK."

The statement went on to threaten Israel and any other nation that damages the "dignity" of the North Korean leadership with "merciless, thousand-fold punishment."

 

I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.

At sundown today the final ceremonies of Memorial Day - Yom HaZikaron are held. And then Independence Day begins. The flags are returned to full mast and Independence Day begins. It is no coincidence that she celebrates independence day immediate after remembering her fallen which guarantees her freedom.

Israel is a very young country. Just 69 years old, a relative baby amongst the nations!

Yet, even as a "junior", Israel has already survived a few bloody wars and recorded remarkable achievements:
- Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, has the highest number of academics per capita worldwide.
- With more than 3,000 high-tech companies, the country, in proportion to its size, has more start-up companies than any other nation.
- Israel stands out with inventions like the USB stick, 3-D printers, treatments for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and multiple sclerosis.
- We occupy the 2nd place worldwide per capita for publication of books.
- She has produced nine Nobel Prize winners and managed to transform barren deserts into flowering farmland in record time.

This is only a small sample of the divine successes of our small, contested land. Israel exists and lives!

Mazal Tov Israel and congratulations! May you stay united, flourish and never forget who holds His hand over your existence!

On this auspicious occasion we are offering 20% discount off our complete store for 48 hours only!



 

Yom HaZikaron begins this evening at nightfall

The beginning of "The Yishuv" in 1860, marked the first uprisings against the Jewish people in Israel, when Moshe Montefiori developed Mishkenot Shaananim, The neighborhood was the first Jewish neighborhood to be built outside the Old City of Jerusalem, directly across from Mount Zion, above Sultan’s Pool.

The neighborhood was the answer to overcrowding and lack of Jewish residential space within Jerusalem's Old City.

Since then a total of 23,544 soldiers and terror victims have died. Over the past year 97 have joined the ranks of Israel's fallen. Of these 37 were wounded IDF veterans who have passed away as a result of their injuries and have been recognized as IDF fallen.

Events marking Memorial Day for Israel's fallen and Victims of Terrorism began on Sunday morning with the inauguration of a new memorial hall in Jerusalem. The memorial hall was dedicated in the presence of President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Ministry Avigdor Lieberman, and other ministers as well as defense and security dignitaries.

Yom HaZikaron will begin at nightfall this evening and a 1-minute siren will be sounded nationwide at 8pm when the official State memorial service will begin on Maount Herzl and the Israel Flag will be lowered to half mast until tomorrow evening. Tomorrow a 2-minute siren will be sounded at 11am which will mark the opening of the official and private memorial ceremonies at each cemetery where soldiers are buried.



 

If my people will pray!

As we stand at the crossroads with multiple challenges before us as a nation – politically, economically and spiritually – our greatest need is prayer. But in order to be aroused to what many would see as an extreme measure, we need leaders called “for such as time as this” – men and women who refuse to be intimidated into submission to the current worldview and who recognise the urgency of the hour.

The Bible says: “…If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7.14)

But where is the Church, and where are her leaders calling us to pray? We now have the example set by South African Christians who responded to such a call by travelling hundreds of miles across the country to join an estimated 1.7 million people petitioning the God of Israel to intervene in their nation’s desperate problems with corruption at government level spiralling out of control.

The immediate euphoria of the early post-apartheid days, when a rainbow nation swept clean of injustice basked in the new sunshine, are long gone. Instead of godliness taking root for the long-term, a spiritual vacuum was left in the corridors of power, and it is as if the demons of the past have returned with fellow spirits making the last state of the nation worse than the first, as in the teaching of Jesus on the subject in Matthew 12.43-45 when he explained that some cases could only be dealt with by prayer and fasting (Mark 9.29).

In a book written in the wake of the 7/7 bombings in London, Oxford vicar Charlie Cleverly likened the church to the position of Queen Esther when called to rescue the Jewish people from destruction in ancient Persia. The author calls for men of courage to rise up and lead us to the foot of the cross, to be prepared to suffer for our Lord as our forbears did when burnt at the stake for bringing us the gospel in our own language.

A mini-version of Foxes Book of Martyrs, The Passion that Shapes Nations (Victor, an imprint of Kingsway) also compares England to the spiritual dilemma described above by Matthew. We were swept clean by martyrs and others who lit a flame for the gospel to be spread throughout the world, but we have since disowned our godly heritage and are now seven times worse off than under the likes of Henry VIII.

Where is the courage that took Paul Hannington to Uganda where he died for his troubles; that took Hudson Taylor to China at great personal cost? Where are those who will stand up to godlessness and compromise in both church and state? We are approaching a crucial election, but God is apparently not on the agenda – a shameful situation for a nation granted the inestimable privilege of spreading the gospel across the globe.

Lib-Dem leader Tim Farron, a declared Christian, has long refused to be drawn on his view of gay sex, but has now finally succumbed to press intimidation by stating that it is not sinful. As Cleverly states in his book, “…the Church today, when faced with homosexuality, hardly dares to mention sin in this context. She is intimidated like Esther into silence.”

The alarm bells are sounding. Preachers are being hounded and even arrested for quoting the Bible, a student has been expelled from Sheffield University for his biblical views on sexuality. Appropriately, the South African prayer gathering was called It’s Time. Surely it’s time to say, as the irrepressible farmer/evangelist Angus Buchan has said, that ‘enough is enough’.

As he addressed the teeming masses gathered on a former Springbok rugby player’s farm, he thundered to the young men present: “You will not sleep with anyone until your wedding night!” Cries of ‘Amen’ echoed across the veldt (I have watched videos sent by friends on the ground).

Need I say more? The great need of the hour is not political debate, but urgent, passionate prayer. God’s people, and especially church leaders, need to humble themselves and pray and seek the face of the Lord for the healing of our nation.

The Old Testament refers to the “men of Issachar who understood the times and knew what Israel should do” (1 Chronicles 12.32) and the prophet Hosea calls us to break up our unploughed ground – “for it is time to seek the Lord” (Hosea 10.12).

As Charlie Cleverly put it, Esther understood “that the destiny of nations is not in the hands of politicians but in the hands of the people of God who pray”.

He adds: “I believe the Church is under threat as in the days of Esther and she needs to awaken to a coherent strategy.”

As John Knox called out, “Give me Scotland or I die”, where are those crying out in the wilderness: “Give me England or I die”?


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

 

Voting Right, Getting Left

While Netanyahu's government is "right-wing," it nevertheless faces mounting criticism from the Right.

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

 

Israel Hints It Carried Out Airstrike on Damascus Airport

Israel’s Minister of Intelligence Israel Katz on Thursday strongly hinted that the Jewish state had carried out a large aerial strike on Damascus International Airport earlier in the day.

Various regional and international media reported massive explosions on the outskirts of Syria’s main airport early Thursday morning.

Hours later, Katz told Israel Radio: “We are acting to prevent the transfer of sophisticated weapons from Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon by Iran. When we receive serious information about the intention to transfer weapons to Hezbollah, we will act. This incident is totally consistent with this policy.”

Arab media noted that warehouses used by Hezbollah and Iran to store weapons are located at the Damascus airport.

Syria previously threatened that if Israel again attacked targets on Syrian soil, there would be a severe military response.

 

VIDEO: We Are Israel

 

Germany's Choice

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel made a choice during his visit to Israel. He chosen to meet with two subversive NGOs rather than sit with Prime Minister Netanyahu. 

Gabriel's choice would be akin to a visit to Germany by Israel's Foreign Minister during which he met with German NGOs investigating German soldiers for war crimes in Afghanistan rather than meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel.

What makes Gabriel's choice even more aggravating is the fact that his visit was part of Germany's participation in Holocaust Memorial Day. Not unrelated is the fact that Gabriel's father was an avowed Nazi until the day he died in 2012, at the age of 91. Though this does not makes him one, it should have made him all the more sensitive. 

Further still, Gabriel's choice was made after a week of exchanges between himself and Netanyahu's office. In other words, Gabriel's choice was Germany's choice to prefer blatant anti-Israel NGOs over the elected Prime Minister of Israel.

The two organizations he met with are B'Tzelem and Breaking the Silence, groups that exist only to vilify Israel. Germany is supporting these organizations with millions of euros, thus blatantly interfering in Israel's internal affairs. For too long now, Israel has turned a blind eye to foreign governments' intervention, these attempts to make Israel capitulate to the European radical left agenda, an agenda that is becoming increasingly antisemitic.

Eldad Beck, a journalist who lived for many years in Germany, and who is well versed in German politics, wrote for the Mida news portal that Sigmar's was a deliberate and well calculated provocation. 

"Anyone claiming that the German Foreign Minister didn't know about the explosive nature of his meeting with Breaking the Silence and B'Tzelem," writes Beck, "is throwing dust in your eyes. The German government, German political parties and private and government funds are among the largest supporters of [Israeli] left-wing organizations."

Given this background, Netanyahu, for the first time, has drawn a clear red line: "My policy is clear," he said, "not to meet with diplomats who visit Israel and engage with organizations that slander Israeli soldiers and seek to have them put on trial as war criminals."

Commenting on Netanyahu's decision to cancel the meeting with him, Sigmar mislead observers by presenting subversive organizations as legitimate "civil organizations, some of which are critical of the government." He also said that "we do not want to enter the Israeli political game." 

What Sigmar would not state was the names of these "civil organizations" that Germany supports. These are the most radical, not civil, but political NGOs disguised as civil organizations.

According to NGO Monitor, Germany supports organizations engaged in legal warfare and advancing boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel. Among those receiving money from Germany are the "Women's Coalition for Peace," "Physicians for Human Rights," and "Zochrot" – an organization calling for the return of all Palestinian refugees to Israel (in other words, Israel's destruction). 

Germany also supports Palestinian organizations like Miftah, which has accused Israel of apartheid, cultural genocide and war crimes.

 

Farming for God

The South African revival to which I referred in an earlier dispatch is now in full bloom, as evidenced by an extraordinary prayer meeting attended by an estimated 1.7 million people.

The call to prayer – named It’s Time – came from farmer-evangelist Angus Buchan in response to allegations of corruption in government, an intolerable crime rate, violent student protests and immorality at many levels.

Affectionately known as Oom Angus, the preacher has made a huge impact on the nation since experiencing a dramatic encounter with Christ in 1979. In recent years he has focused his attention on men, imploring them to live up to their responsibilities by leading their families in prayer and dedication to God.

For seven years he held annual weekend camps at his KwaZulu-Natal farm Shalom, initially hosting just family and a few friends, but eventually drawing some 400,000 men. Similar events, known as Mighty Men Conferences, have since spread to other parts of the country as well as the UK.

But with the country now embroiled in chaos led by a government apparently steeped in corruption, Angus believed it was time to call Christians to serious prayer – and the venue chosen was 2,500 acres of farmland near the central city of Bloemfontein.

Believers responded by travelling from all parts of the country to set up camp, pray over many issues such as abortion, crime, injustice and poverty and draw inspiration from the beloved evangelist with his uncompromising message focused on living according to the Bible’s precepts.

“You will sleep with no-one until you are married!” he urged young men, adding (echoing a phrase used by Britain’s legendary Pentecostal evangelist Smith Wigglesworth): “God said it; we believe it and that settles it.”

An Israeli flag could be clearly seen fluttering in the breeze as a video camera panned across a sea of people stretching some 1.4 kilometers from the main platform, and strong gusts of wind accompanied prayers in scenes akin to the initial Holy Spirit outpouring recorded in the New Testament Book of Acts (chapter 2, verse 2).

I mention the Israeli flag to further support the thesis of my previous article on the subject – that blessing the Jewish people is a key to revival, something the UK church has yet to grasp.

In addition to YouTube videos, I have friends taking part who have kept me informed of progress, and it is difficult not to see this as further fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy that “in the last days I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh” (Joel 2.28). Such a time could quite conceivably coincide with the restoration of Israel along with the judgment of those nations opposing them (Joel 3.1f).

It’s Time is evidently inspired by the biblical promise of healing for Israel when God’s people humble themselves and pray. The relevant verses from 2 Chronicles 7.13f read: “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain (South Africa has been suffering a severe drought), or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

I do not have an exact count of the attendance at this event, but my sources told me that as many as 1.7 million people had registered beforehand. That is equivalent to the population of Tel Aviv, Israel’s largest city, and greater than Birmingham, Britain’s second city.

Clearly, prayer leads to revival, along with blessing Israel as I have already emphasized. For it is my belief that there is a distinct correlation between this move of the Spirit and a general understanding and support of Israel, to whom Christians are indelibly attached – if we cut ourselves off from our Judaic roots, the Church cannot truly exist. (Romans 11.17f)

Churches in all parts of South Africa – incorporating black and white as well as English and Afrikaans-speaking – are bursting with new life as they prove a counter-cultural provocation to secularists, humanists and others (who are trying it on there too) and especially to a government reportedly rife with corruption and virulently opposed to Israel, even to the extent of virtually cutting off diplomatic ties with the Jewish state. This is in spite of the fact that it was Jews who led the resistance to apartheid in the days of the old whites-only Parliament.

Angus, who has led a similar gathering in Israel, has proved a huge inspiration as he urges men to run their homes, love their wives and discipline their children in the fear of God, leading to inevitable clashes with political correctness.

Moreover, the default position of many of South Africa’s churches today is an understanding of God’s everlasting love for Israel and of the church’s enormous debt to them – for the Bible, for their Saviour and much more. A friend of mine put it this way: “If you don’t believe in God’s plan for Israel, you’re an atheist.”

The point is that these South African Christians have woken up, having for the most part learnt to love God’s chosen people. But UK churches are in desperate need for re-education in biblical truth.

For revival, you have to be in the right place with God so that, as far as is possible, his thoughts become your thoughts (see Isaiah 55). We don’t worship Israel, as they are human and sinful like us, but we do worship the God of Israel who has blessed us with his precious Word and with his Son, the Jewish Messiah, who is “the way, the truth and the life” (John 14.6).

I have re-visited my home country a number of times in recent years to see family and friends, and I became aware that it was no longer divided along apartheid lines, but between those who live in fear – the secularists who erect huge steel barriers to protect their property from burglars – and those who live by faith and in freedom, who love their neighbours and believe in the country’s future under God.

I appreciate that Jesus warned of deception in the last days, but I feel that sometimes we are in danger of straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel on this point. Author/preacher R T Kendall, writing of how Israel as a whole failed to recognize their Messiah when he came, says: “We are all so sure that we would recognize the authentic when it arrives. You could not have told a Sadducee or a Pharisee that the Messiah would come to Israel without them knowing and acknowledging him. But he came and they rejected him.”

Get a grip. This revival is authentic. And if we wish the same for our nation, we need to humble ourselves and pray, repenting of our wicked ways, especially over our treatment of God’s chosen people.

MIGHTY TURNOUT: Men gather in great numbers for the Karoo Mighty Men’s Conference in the heart of South Africa’s farming community. Picture: Robert Southey


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

 

Mazal Tov Israel - Get 20% Off Blue & White!

A feeling of unity connects all Israelis in these days. How much suffering has this small nation survived, how many wars has this country overcome. In a few days, Israel will proudly celebrate its 69th birthday in humility!

Celebrate with us! See the blue and white flag waving!

With a 20% discount off blue & white items, we have already launched Israel's Independence Day celebrations!

Mazal tov, Israel!



 

Israelis Hurt in Multiple Stabbing Attacks

An Israeli soldier was lightly wounded when a Palestinian Arab woman stabbed him at a checkpoint north of Jerusalem on Monday.

The woman approached the soldier as if to ask a question, and then quickly pulled out a knife and started stabbing.

Nearby soldiers were able to overpower the terrorist before further harm could be done.

A day earlier, a Palestinian Arab youth stabbed four people on the seaside promenade in Tel Aviv.

The 18-year-old assailant had been granted a one-day permit to Israel as part of a bilateral peace initiative.

 

Am Israel Chai....

My 6-year-old sits in front of me and looks at me with his big brown eyes. The first time in his 6 years that he was exposed to preparations for, and hearing of, the history of the Holocaust. The incomprehensibility was tangible and visible in his eyes when he asked, "Mommy, my heart is sad. Why didn't the Jews come to Israel?"

Yesterday our flags were lowered to half-mast as we commemorated the Holocaust. But in just a few days, our wonderful blue & white flag will wave at full-mast and proudly proclaim: From the Holocaust to our nation's Rebirth - Am Israel Chai!

We have a land - our land - and the people of Israel live!

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Islamist Attacks on Holidays

Originally written for the Investigative Project on Terrorism

Nearly 50 people were murdered on Palm Sunday when Islamic State terrorists bombed two Coptic churches in an Easter celebration-nightmare. The next day, on the eve of the Jewish holiday of Passover, the Islamic State’s Sinai affiliate launched rockets at Israel.

Just before Christmas, a terrorist claimed by the Islamic State rammed a truck into Berlin’s crowded Christmas market, killing 12 people. And in Australia, a group of self-radicalized Islamists planned to attack St Paul’s Cathedral. In 2011, Nigerian Islamists murdered nearly 40 Catholic worshipers in a Christmas Day attack.

Terrorists attack where and when they can. But they seem keenly aware that turning holidays into horror can carry greater shock and terror. In 2002, 30 Israeli civilians were massacred and 140 injured by a Hamas suicide bomber who blew himself up as they sat for the seder, the traditional Passover meal, at the Park Hotel in Netanya.

It isn’t just terrorists who see advantages in striking during holidays. The 1973 Yom Kippur War may be the most famous example, when the armies of two Muslim-majority states, Egypt and Syria, attacked Israel on the most sacred day of the Jewish calendar. That war produced an estimated 20,000 deaths.

Christians and Jews aren’t the only religious groups that have been targeted by Islamists during non-Muslim holy days. The Hindu festival of Diwali has also been attacked. In 2005, a series of bombs killed over 60 people and injured hundreds in Delhi; a Pakistan-based Islamist terrorist group, the Islamic Revolutionary Front, claimed responsibility. Last October, Indian police arrested an Islamist cell inspired by the Islamic State for planning an attack during Diwali.

Muslims are also victimized by Islamist attacks in increasing volume. A 2015 mosque bombing in Yemen killed 29 people during prayers for the Muslim holiday of Eid. Last July, also during Eid, three people were killed at a Bangladesh checkpoint when gunmen carrying bombs tried to attack the country’s largest Eid gathering, which attracted an estimated 300,000 worshippers.

Last May, as the Muslim holy month of Ramadan approached, a spokesman for the Islamic State urged jihadists to “make it, with God’s permission, a month of pain for infidels everywhere.” Days later, as Ramadan celebrations stretched past midnight in central Baghdad, a minivan packed with explosives blew up and killed at least 143 people.

Terrorists also target secular holidays. Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, a Tunisian resident of France, killed 85 people and injured hundreds more in a truck-ramming terrorist attack as people gathered for a Bastille Day celebration. In New York last fall, dump trumps were deployed to protect the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, after the Islamic State called it an “excellent target.”

Holidays are often chosen because they are “optimal attack days,” in terms of gathering large crowds into soft targets like houses of worship, religious markets, ceremonial gatherings, and parades. Last November, U.S. officials warned that the coming holiday season could mean “opportunities for violent extremists” to attack.

A terrorist attack on a holiday is also more likely to attract media attention. And because holidays draw tourists, well-timed attacks can amplify the economic damage that would be wrought by terror even on a non-holiday. After a spate of attacks toward the end of 2015, “about 10% of American travelers have canceled a trip ... eliminating a potential $8.2 billion in travel spending,” reported MarketWatch.

But ISIS, al-Qaida and other Islamist terrorist groups believe they are waging a holy war above all else. Attacking infidels, be they Christians, Jews or Muslims of other sects, motivates jihadis more than anything else. “Those who targeted churches on holiday celebrations tend to be professional terrorist groups,” Raymond Ibrahim, author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians, told the IPT. By contrast, “mob attacks happen either on a Friday, after an especially potent sermon, or whenever infidels need to be put in their place (e.g., a Christian accused of blasphemy, then the church in his village gets torched).”

In 2015, Islamic State warnings of future attacks against Christians noted that Christians were their “favorite prey” and no longer protected as “dhimmis,” a reference to non-Muslims in Islam who may, in exchange for paying the jizya tax, receive some state protection.

Thus, within the larger context of a holy war, attacks on non-Muslim holy days can be viewed as part of the more general Islamist strategy of humiliation, forced submission to Islam, and the denial of any competing religion. Attacking on Diwali or Christmas or Yom Kippur is essentially declaring that such “infidel” holy days ought to be desecrated rather than respected. The symbolic message is akin to the one communicated by the two Islamists who entered a French cathedral and beheaded an octogenarian priest, Jacques Hamel, during mass services last July.

Attacking places of worship on holy days – when they are most used by and relevant to their congregations – is also a good way to undermine these religious institutions and their supporters. If Islamist terror makes churches the most vulnerable on the days when they are most crowded, how will those houses of worship attract enough followers to sustain themselves? And how will their congregants practice their faith? The Coptic Pope curbed some Easter celebrations in Egypt after the recent Palm Sunday blasts.

Such questions may help to explain why Christians, who have lived in the Middle East – the birthplace of Christianity – for millennia now constitute only about 3 percent of the region’s population, down from 20 percent a century ago.

Indeed, the only non-Muslim country in the entire Middle East is also the safest place for non-Muslims in the region, including Christians, Druze, and Bahai. “Christians and other minorities in Israel prosper and grow,” says Shadi Khalloul, founder of the Israeli Aramaic Movement. “[W]hile in other countries in the Middle East, as well as in the Palestinian Authority, they suffer heavily from the Islamic movement and persecution – until forced to disappear.”

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

 

From Holocaust to Rebirth...

IDF officer Hadar Goldin was killed and kidnapped during "Operation Tzuk Eitan" - "Operation Protective Edge" in 2014. His body is still being held by Hamas. He wrote the following letter, as a student, to his parents during his visit to the Auschwitz extermination camp in Poland. This year his parents have joined the march of the living and will read his letter out in Auschwitz. Hadar already understood, during his visit to Auschwitz, how important the defense of his country was!

Mom and Dad,

I am sitting in the corner of one of the transport carriages in Poland. I wonder how many children like me, or maybe people different from me, passed this way before. The one thing they had in common was they were all Jews. Uprooted from their homes, their families, their parents or children without knowing where they were headed or what their destiny was. I want to tell you that, because of you, I know what my destiny is.

I will be returning to Israel. My country and our country. And I understand that, thanks to you, I know what my country affords me, but in principle - I know what I need to give of myself to my country. And in introspection I know that I have the ability to give the maximum. Whether it is representing my and our country abroad, in Chesterton, in Cambridge, at school or in the community. To be honest, fair and smart and where there are no people to be a man! To be human, as you always say. Amongst friends, at school to succeed and do the best I can. To represent and defend my country in the IDF with different kinds of weapons. Always with the tools you have equipped me with. Mom and Dad I want to say thank you.

Dad, thank you that you built me up, helped me build myself up, for the unending care, the unlimited guidance and education.
Mom! Thank you that each time I lose something - myself, you help me find it, you help me rise up and not fall. Your incessant worrying, the never ending support, your continual prayers and for what I have learnt from you.

Everything I observe here in Poland leads my thoughts back to you, to my gransparents, Tzur, Ayelet and Chemi. The realization that Tzur, I and everybody will attain the victory of the Jewish people, an incredible task that I am prepared to take on myself. You have impressed upon me this responsibility, from the second I was born.

I am now leaving the carraige like so many Jews before me. They marched and took their final steps and in their death honored God or by surviving honored life. I march from here to rise from the ashes like I was taught. I want to tell you that that I love you from the bottom of my heart. Maybe I don't say it enough, but my heart always says it, and I hope that my deeds manage to show just how much I love you when I don't say it.

With endless love
Yours
Hadar

 

Israel Remembers

Tomorrow begins a week of memory and commemoration in Israel. April 24 is Holocaust Memorial Day, and next week on May 1 begins Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers concluding with the celebrations of Independence Day on May 2.

I have often wondered why we spend so much time reliving these heartbreaking events? Surely the people who lived through these traumas do not need a day to remember, they live everyday with memories.

During memorial days my grandfather would take me to visit the graves of his friends and loved ones. He pointed out the people he knew from the town where he grew up; a man who helped build the local synagogue, the butcher who lived across from the Jewish community center. Each grave marked with a Jewish star represented a unique life, a life that had left its mark on my grandfather.

In honoring these people, my grandfather left an indelible mark on me. I was reminded that we stand here today because of the sacrifices of so many who are no longer with us.

Tomorrow in Israel we will join in commemorative memorials across the country, in schools, at war monuments and in cemeteries. Tears will be shed, prayers prayed and stones placed on graves with flags raised in honor of those we have lost in wars and a holocaust over the past century. Friends and family will come together to tell the stories and recall the bravery, and the pain, of loved ones we can never forget.

Soon, in just a few short years, there will not be any survivors left to tell their stories. We feel their absence, for they are no longer here to give us direction, fill leadership roles in our communities, or extend comforting hugs.

This week, as we marvel at the spring season of rebirth, it is good that we also find time to renew the memory of the untold sacrifices of those who made it possible for us to enjoy our lives. It is good that we bring our children to Memorial Day events, read the names on the plaques and think about the families that were forever changed by the lives and the losses of their loved ones, and shake the hand of a young soldier in appreciation.

They have earned our eternal gratitude.

 

VIDEO: Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial

 

Can Israel Really Rely on Trump?

Israel Today speaks to top Christian political thinkers about President Trump's support for Israel.

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

 

VIDEO: Experience Bat Yam

South of Tel Aviv and Jaffa is the town of Bat Yam. The city has existed since 1926, when it was founded as Bayit Ve Gan (house and garden), but had to be evacuated in 1929 by the British after being attacked by Arabs from Jaffa.

In 1930, it was re-populated and in 1937 it gained city status with a new name - Bat Yam.

In the 1950s, Bat Yam grew rapidly due to the large number of immigrants flooding into the city.

Today, Bat Yam is known for its beautiful sandy beaches and its newly-renovated seaside promenade.

 

'Netanyahu Broke My Heart'

Israel finds itself in the midst of heated debate over the fate of two IDF soldiers who went missing during the 2014 Gaza War and are presumed dead.

Hamas is believed to have the bodies of Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul.

And the families of the two soldiers want them back.

Hadar Goldin’s bereaved mother, Dr. Leah Goldin, had a chance to express as much during a State Comptroller Committee hearing on the comptroller’s report regarding Operation Protective Edge.

“Hamas wanted to kidnap and today they have two soldiers, and the question of whether you will succeed in bringing them back without taking the country down into miserable grief will determine the outcome of Operation Protective Edge,” said Goldin as she hurled criticism at both State Comptroller Yosef Shapira and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Goldin and many other Israelis are upset over the government’s unwillingness to take more drastic measures to retrieve the bodies of the missing soldiers.

Speaking at the session, Netanyahu said, “We are doing everything we can to bring Oron and Hadar back, but there are risks that I am not prepared to take.”

Leah Goldin later told Channel 10 News that “Netanyahu broke my heart. He turned my son from a hero who was sent by him to war, into a debt of a body.”

Goldin said that Israel “must stop being afraid of Hamas. The Gilad Shalit deal led to the fact that terrorist prisoners were returned to Gaza and now they are the ones who control it…We have to change this equation, there is no other way.”

 

Enjoy an Hebrew themed games evening ... with 25% discount!

Plan an enjoyable evening for all including a few tasty treats, a challenging game and let the games begin!



 

WATCH: Openly Gay Israeli MK Destroys Whiney Liberal American Jew

Like many out-of-touch liberal American Jews, this woman accused Israel of responding to the terrorist murder of three Jewish teens by indiscriminately killing 2,300 Palestinians.

Likud MK Amir Ohana, the first openly gay lawmaker from the ruling party, was having none of it.

 

Christian Tourist Arrested After Attacking Israeli Guard

A 31-year-old American Christian tourist was arrested near the Sea of Galilee (Kinneret) last week after he violently attacked a local security guard and threatened police.

The man, who was traveling with his wife and young son, inexplicably arrived at the Galilee community of Almagor and began attacking with a metal rod the security guard manning the gate.

He then fled into a nearby grove where police chased him down.

The man continued to use the rod to threaten police officers, even after being hit by a taser gun.

Following his arrest, the man’s wife told police her husband had heard from Jesus that he was to destroy his credit cards and travel to northern Israel.

She didn’t say whether or not the divine instructions included physically assaulting Jesus’ Israeli brethren.

Unfortunate incidents like these only serve to keep many Israelis skeptical of Christians and the message of Yeshua (Jesus).

PHOTO: Illustration - Israel Police respond to a violent crime. Moti Karelitz/FLASH90

 

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