The Big Difference Between Natalie Portman and David Grossman

Israel’s 70th Independence Day was littered with left-wing nonsense. One example came from the daily Ha'aretz, which on this most auspicious of days chose to publish a list of its most hated songs, among them Israel's national anthem, "Hativkah," and Shuli Natan’s "Jerusalem of Gold."

Another was the "alternative" Memorial Day. As most Israelis were remembering the fallen soldiers and victims of terror, the left presented a joint ceremony of bereaved Israelis and a handful of Palestinians whose sons were killed while committing acts of terror against Israel. This perverted ritual, which draws moral equivalence between good and evil, is loathed by almost everybody here. But that didn't stop celebrated Israeli novelist David Grossman from accepting the “honor” of delivering the keynote at this event.

Grossman, who lost his own son in the Second Lebanon War in 2006, used this opportunity not to comfort, but rather to accuse Israel of implementing apartheid policies against the Palestinians and of killing “peaceful demonstrators” trying to breach the Gaza security fence.

Grossman’s participation in this vitriolic display, however, didn’t prevent him from accepting the Israel Prize the very next day. Many saw this as the height of hypocrisy. But, the Israel Prize is a national event, and Grossman didn’t reject the prize because he knows that to do so would mean boycotting Israel. And boycotting Israel means only one thing – denying its right to exist.

As much as Grossman doesn't like Prime Minister Netanyahu, and as much as he opposes the right-wing constituency, he is not willing to cut himself off from those with whom he vehemently disagrees. His public embracing of fellow Israel Prize winner Miriam Peretz, a right-wing educator, was the most vivid demonstration that Grossman still desires to be part of the people of Israel.

Israeli-born Hollywood superstar Natalie Portman was offered the Genesis Prize, often referred to as the "Israeli Nobel Prize," that honors individuals who have attained excellence and international renown in their chosen professional fields, and who inspire others through their engagement and dedication to the Jewish community, and/or the State of Israel. Though not a national event per se, the participation of the prime minister in this event means that Israel is fully behind this award. Refusing this prize, therefore, is like refusing a Nobel Prize over disagreements with the policies of current Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven.

But that's exactly what Natalie Portman did. She refused to attend the Genesis Prize ceremony because she doesn’t like the present Israeli prime minister. The website of the Genesis Prize put Portman's decision in proper context: “Recent events in Israel have been extremely distressing to her and she does not feel comfortable participating in any public events in Israel … she cannot in good conscience move forward with the ceremony.”  

“Recent events” must mean Israel’s resolution not to allow anyone to breach the fence from Gaza to Israel. The fact that the 35 Gazans killed thus far in these riots were attempting to “return” to pre-Israel "Palestine" didn’t bother Portman’s conscience. She wasn’t concerned by the expressed intent to put an end to Israel. Her heart went after her dead enemies, just as Grossman lamented the deaths of his enemies.

But Natalie, whose conscience didn’t prevent her from headlining the 2016 Beijing International Film Festival, chose to boycott Israel. By so doing she chose to cut herself off from the whole, something even Grossman refrained from doing. One can say in her defense that Portman has on many occasions stood by Israel. And that's true. However, by refusing the Genesis Prize on moral grounds, she has stated that Israel in its present state has no right to exist.


Gazans Send Flaming Kites Into Southern Israel

Palestinian terrorists operating out of the Gaza Strip have a new tactic for causing mayhem in the Jewish state - flaming kites.

Unable to breach the Gaza security fence as their Hamas overlords so ordered, local "activists" have taken to affixing flammable material to kites and sending them flying into Israel's adjacent Negev region.

Hamas officials said the airborne fire-starters were aimed at creating "panic and attrition among the enemy."

Farmers in southern Israel say the kites have thus far resulting in the burning of at least 25 acres of wheat fields.

"We are dealing with a new, destructive and dangerous phenomenon that it gaining momentum. Almost every day, we see the kites flying towards us," one farmer told Israel's Ynet news portal.


Mother's Day Is Coming Soon!

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Delight your mother with a surprise gift from Israel this mother's day!


Report Hints at Trump's Frustration Over Israeli Settlements

Many right-wing Israelis felt it was too good to be true.

Certain government ministers and political figures openly urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to take advantage of Donald Trump's election as president of the United States and initiate a massive wave of settlement building.

Others counseled caution, noting Trump's volatile nature. If Trump ended up being negative on settlements, his backlash could be even more damaging than the years of former President Barack Obama's policies.

Initially, there was some indication that Trump actually backed the Jewish settlement enterprise, or at least wasn't bothered by it. After all, why else would he appoint an openly pro-settlement ambassador like David Friedman?

But reports circulating in both the US and Israeli media Monday morning now indicate that Trump is none-too-impressed by even the limited Jewish settlement building of the past several months.

The American news portal Axiom reported that during a phone conversation with Netanyahu late last year, Trump pointedly asked the Israeli leader if he really even wants peace with the Palestinians.

Trump was reportedly responding to news of a new settlement building project that he felt was unnecessarily angering the Palestinians.

Of course, Trump himself has experienced just how easily the Palestinian leadership can be angered.

After he insisted that the peace process be based on more realistic parameters, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas publicly wished for the White House to crumble upon Trump's head.


Iran Says It's Ready to Attack Israel at Any Moment

A senior Iranian military official warned at the weekend that the Islamic Republic is ready to attack Israel at any moment.

Should Israel continue to interfere with Iran's efforts to establish a firm military foothold in Syria, the Jewish state will face overwhelming retaliation, according to Brigadier General Hossein Salami, commander-in-chief of the Revolutionary Guards.

Iran's Mehr news agency quoted Salami as telling gathering in Tehran:

"Our fingers are on the trigger and the missiles are ready to launch, at any moment that the enemy wants to start something against us, we will launch. We have learned methods of overcoming our enemies. We can target our enemies' vital interests wherever we want."

The general was referring to the recent bombing of an Iranian-controlled air base in central Syria. While Israel maintained its policy of ambiguity, Russia and the United States both revealed that Jerusalem was behind the devastating strike.

Israel has repeatedly stated that it is unacceptable for Iran to have a permanent military presence so close to its own borders, a thinly-veiled threat that any attempt to establish bases in Syria will be similarly met with strong military force.

No one expects Iran to actually stop building up its military presence in Syria, so the question becomes, at what point does Tehran make good on its own threats to retaliate?

PHOTO: Israel's air defenses are on high alert for Iran and its allies to make good on their threats. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)


Our Olive Grove Is Growing!!

On March 15, the first 1000 olive trees were planted. Yesterday (April 22) another 1000 young olive trees were planted.

The planting participants experienced a welcome couple of hours planting the olive trees as the skies opened up and we got pretty wet! This in an area that only receives rain for a few days per year. A real blessing.

The 3rd planting of an additional 1000 olive trees is planned to take place in the fall during the Jewish High Holidays in September.

If you would like to participate in the third planting, you are welcome to join us! If you have sponsored an olive tree and are in Israel at any other time, and would like to plant your own olive tree/s please contact us in any event.


The Great Gaza Betrayal

As thousands of Palestinian rioters take part in demonstrations against Israel on the border with Gaza, media attention is rarely focused on the Jewish victims of violence living nearby.

The so-called March of Return, during which protestors have hurled rocks and Molotov cocktails at Israeli soldiers trying to safeguard their citizens, is about claiming the right of return for refugees (and their descendants) supposedly driven out of Israel at the birth of the modern state exactly 70 years ago.

Quite apart from the fallaciousness of their claim, which I shall explain, the whole scenario of Hamas-led Gaza erupting in turmoil is a terrible betrayal by Arabs and all those who have supported their aspirations.

The nations who encouraged former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to withdraw from the enclave in 2005 in a “land for peace” exchange have blood on their hands.

For there is no peace for those Jewish residents who live within easy rocket-fire of Gaza, as a North Wales photographic exhibition called The Hope (Hatikva) graphically illustrates.

Having witnessed mortar and rocket attacks while visiting the area as a child, student photographer Grace Fryer returned in 2016 to the Jewish communities of Sderot and Kfar Aza, located just over a mile from Gaza, to record the suffering of children whose daily lives are shattered by the sound of sirens giving them just seconds to find shelter. A number have been killed while others have been traumatised and unable to live normal lives.

Grace tells the story of 17-year-old Ella Abukasis, who died while protecting her younger brother from shrapnel, and her exhibition includes photographs from the children’s centre her father Yonatan founded in her memory as well as shrapnel from a Kassam rocket recovered after a similar attack.

“The Israeli communities around Gaza are not only subject to the constant fear of rocket attacks, but also face the reality that terrorists are tunnelling under their homes with the sole intention of taking hostages and killing civilians,” Grace points out.

“There are also times when the rocket fire becomes so extreme that Israel has to enter Gaza to protect her citizens.”

Just imagine if you were living in Kent and were subject to a never-ending barrage of missiles being launched from across the channel. You would no doubt expect your government to do something about it. Yet Israel is almost always cast as the aggressor when they strike back at the Hamas terrorists causing all this mayhem.

When Israel took back control of Gaza from Egypt in 1967, the communities around Sderot built good relationships with the Arabs in Gaza. Jews would sell their fruit and vegetables on the beaches of Gaza while Arab mechanics would repair Jewish cars.

But Yasser Arafat put an end to that when he initiated an intifada (uprising) in 2000. Under his direction, terrorists began attacking Jewish communities in Gush Katif, in the Gaza strip, which is what ultimately led to Ariel Sharon’s withdrawal five years later. With a population of just 8,000, this community produced over 12% of Israel’s dairy and horticultural products.

“The agreement was that if this community gave all their property and business to the Arabs of Gaza, their leaders would stop the terror attacks on Israeli communities,” Grace explained.

“Many in Gush Katif, who were themselves children of refugees from 1948, were forced to leave their homes to live in temporary accommodation in Israel; and they did so in ‘The Hope’ that there would be peace – but it never came!

“Breaking their promise, Gaza-based Arab terrorists began using the very land which had been left vacant for them to fire rockets and mortars into Sderot and the surrounding areas.”

It’s a terrible and frightening scenario, as you can well imagine, for children playing in school playgrounds, or visiting outdoor markets, stores and synagogues. Nowhere seemed safe, and pain is etched on the faces of those who have never known peace.

Not surprisingly, living with this constant danger takes a huge toll on these communities, leading to family break-up and illness caused by stress and anxiety. And yet none of these difficulties is recognised by the UN, individual governments or human rights organisations.

As for the fallacy of the ‘March of Return’, to which I also referred last week, the refugee situation affecting the Palestinian people is a crisis of their own making. It was self-inflicted. Some 800,000 of them heeded the warning of the surrounding states bent on Israel’s destruction in 1948 to flee their homes, promising their swift return alongside the victorious Arab armies. Israeli leaders, meanwhile, had tried their best to persuade them to stay, but to no avail – hence creating a totally unnecessary humanitarian crisis conveniently used as an excuse to blame Israel for almost everything wrong with the world.

What’s more, there were at least as many genuine Jewish refugees expelled from Arab countries at the same time. And Israel successfully integrated every one of them. The surrounding states, however, still refuse to take responsibility for the welfare of those they persuaded to leave Israel.

As Walter Scott put it, “Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!”

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


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Israel Remembers Her Fallen, Then Celebrates Their Victory

It's that time of year again.

This morning, Wednesday, April 18, air raid sirens blared all across the Land of Israel. Not because we were under attack, but rather as a call to remembrance for the 23,646 soldiers and 3,134 terror victims who have fallen in Israel's wars and various conflicts.

Nearly every Israeli stopped whatever he or she was doing, even if driving on the highway, and stood solemnly as the two-minute siren wailed.

And, just as every year, the tremendous sadness we are feeling today over the loss of loved ones will give birth to explosive celebration this evening as we celebrate the victory that their sacrifices have made possible.

Israel this year celebrates 70 years of its modern independence. That's not a thing to take lightly.

Israel's history is long, nearly 3,500 years. But so much of that time has been spent in exile. For the third time in her history, Israel is a sovereign, independent state, and she's doing her best to make the most of every minute.

Who knows where Israel will be 70 years from now. But, if her stunning development and growth over the past 70 years is any indication, then the sky's the limit.

Happy Birthday, Israel!

PHOTO: All across the nation, the scene was the same on Wednesday - bereaved Israeli families tearfully visiting the graves of their fallen. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)


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Israel transforms from a day of mourning, as she remembers her fallen, to a day of joy at sunset this evening as she bursts into celebration of her 70th anniversary.

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Israel Sets Red Line for Russia Amid Rising Fear of War

If there's a clear indication that Israel intends to continue bombing Syria despite threats from Iran, this is it.

Israel's Arutz Sheva radio reported on Monday that the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had sent a clear message to Russia that it must not sell its advanced S-300 air defense system to the Syrian regime.

This after Moscow had reportedly been reconsidering its decision not to sell the S-300 to Damascus following a joint US-British-French air raid on Syria over the weekend.

Russia is trying to help Syrian dictator Bashar Assad stay in power, and Israeli, US and other Western air strikes have primarily targeted forces loyal to his regime and those of his Iranian and Hezbollah allies.

Israel's warning to Russia, and the possibility that Russia will anyway supply Syria with advanced air defenses, has heightened concerns that the region, and perhaps the world, is on the brink of a major all-out war.


Remembering Israel's Fallen And Looking to the Future!

Memorial Day for Israel's fallen soldiers and Victims of Terror begins this evening. At 20:00 local time a one-minute siren will sound. Another siren will sound tomorrow, Wednesday morning at 11:00. We will observe a moment of silence as we remember our fallen and terror victims. Flags will be lowered to half-mast all across Israel.

Memorial day is always commemorated the day before Israel's independence day. The sober atmosphere gives way to celebration as we celebrate our nation's freedom that those who paid the ultimate price guaranteed!

Let us look forward together and help Israel's "Lone Soldiers"!



Palestinian Leaders Vow to Resist, Outlast Trump

Jailed terrorist leader Marwan Barghouti said that if the Palestinian Authority will just remain steadfast, US President Donald Trump will soon disappear, and the "peace" process can return to being a fully anti-Israel affair.

Trump is expected to soon announce his long-awaited Middle East peace plan.

Barghouti urged Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas to reject it, no matter its content and no matter what pressure he might come under.

"We need to realize that Trump will be gone in a year or five years, but Jerusalem, Palestine [sic] and its people will remain and will pursue their resistance and struggle against the Zionist colonialism," he said.

Barghouti made the remarks on the 16th anniversary of his arrest and incarceration for leading the blood-soaked Tanzim terrorist organization and personally participating in the killing of at least five Israelis.

Despite his villainous credentials (or, perhaps because of them), many Palestinians see Barghouti as a natural successor to the Palestinian Authority presidency.

PHOTO: Many Palestinians idolize Marwan Barghouti for his success in murdering Jews, a career that earned him several life sentences in an Israeli prison. (Issam Rimawi/FLASH90)


Israeli School Students Make Stunning Archaeological Finds

Israel is filled with treasures, both spiritual and physical.

Students from local schools recently participated in field trips that saw them helping to excavate areas in northern Israel as part of a new interactive hiking trail providing a picture of Jewish life in the area 2,000 years ago.

The Times of Israel reported that one young student unearthed a 1,400-year-old intact oil lamp featuring a seven-branched menorah.

Another student, Ilai Yonah from Ha-Moshava High School in Zikhron Yaʽakov, stumbled upon an extremely rare gold coin from the reign of the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent.

Yonah and his buddies at first thought that perhaps the archaeologists were having a bit of fun with them, purposefully placing artifacts in their path.

But officials at the site noted they would never so carelessly play with such rare artifacts, and that the discovery of the gold coin was indeed genuine.

PHOTO: Israel is keen to get the younger generations involved in digging up this land's incredible history. (Israel Antiquities Authority/Flash 90)


Turn Terror Rockets Into Something Useful - 15% Off

These keychains are now available in a 3 pack at 15% discount. Share them with friends or family!

They are made from the iron of Kassam rockets that have been launched into Israel. They are lightweight and are shaped like the map of Israel with a blue stone marking Jerusalem. They are a great reminder to pray for the peace of Israel!

Engraved on the map are the Hebrew words "Am Israel Hai" which means "The Nation of Israel lives".


Iranian Officials Threaten to 'Raze Tel Aviv to the Ground'

Iran wants Israel and her Western allies to understand that if they continue interfering in Syria, it is the Jewish state that will pay the heaviest price.

"If Israel wants to survive a few more days, it has to stop this childish game," insisted Ali Shirazi, the liaison between Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and the Iranian military's Quds Force.

Shirazi stressed that "Iran has the capability to destroy Israel and given the excuse, Tel Aviv and Haifa will be razed to the ground."

The threat comes just days after Israel bombed an Iranian-controlled air base in central Syria and US, British and French aircraft hit eight other targets belonging to Iran's allies in the Syrian regime.

The series of air strikes has raised significant fears of a full-scale war between Israel and the Western powers on one side, and Iran and Russia on the other.


COMMENTARY: Remedy for a World Gone Wrong

Plans have been revealed for the launch of a new party to ‘break the mould’ of British politics. But we don’t need a new party. We need a new heart, awakened by the Spirit of God from dreams of a man-made paradise in which we all sing from same the secular ‘hymn-sheet’ where nothing is absolutely right or wrong.

This kind of thinking has only ever produced a nightmare scenario of violence, lawlessness and utter selfishness.

Britain has been hit by the terrifying news that the streets of London have now become more dangerous than those of New York. And in the Middle East, the Syrian government would appear to have unleashed chemical weapons on its own people, killing 200 and wounding 1,000 more – mainly women and children. And Russia responds by calling this a fabrication.

A little further south, on the border of Gaza, rioters provoke the Israeli Defence Force with a so-called ‘March of Return’ (see photo). Some would have us believe this is a legitimate protest at Israeli brutality and oppression, and for the right of refugees (and their descendants) to return to the Jewish state. But what is the truth?

Well, the protestors deliberately chose the Jewish feast of Passover to mount their frustration, no doubt particularly mindful of the imminent 70-year celebration of Israel’s rebirth as a nation.

Actually, the refugee situation affecting the Palestinian people is a crisis of their own making resulting from fierce opposition to the creation of modern Israel by her surrounding Arab states who immediately set upon the newly-born nation with the full force of their armies (like the dragon depicted in Revelation 12), warning Arabs living there to flee the country so they wouldn’t get caught up in the impending invasion.

Israeli leaders, however, tried to persuade their Arab residents to stay, but to no avail – hence creating a totally unnecessary humanitarian crisis. And those who promised their swift return in the wake of Arab victory refuse to take any responsibility for their welfare. They are simply used as political pawns enabling anti-Semites to point the finger of blame at Israel for almost everything wrong with the world.

Malcolm Powell, who was 12 at the time of Israel’s rebirth (in 1948), recalls reading and hearing at the time “that the Israelis were touring the Arab Muslim villages with loudspeakers urging them to remain, and to ignore orders to flee from the Muslim countries about to attack the new state.”

And while these self-inflicted refugees are estimated to have numbered some 800,000, little is discussed in media circles about the 846,000 Jewish refugees forced out of Arab countries at the same time, who lost land and property equivalent to four times the size of Israel, not to mention the many Holocaust survivors from Europe who had lost everything.

Quite apart from the refugee issue, Gaza was very much part of Israel until the world’s politicians managed to persuade former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to pull out of the enclave in a ‘land for peace’ exchange. But ever since the 2005 withdrawal, terror group Hamas has used Gaza to launch a constant volley of rockets into Israeli territory where frightened residents have hardly had a moment’s peace in more than a dozen years. They have also been subject to the constant fear of terrorists tunnelling under their homes with the intention of taking hostages and killing civilians.

Welsh photographer Grace Fryer has just opened a month-long exhibition depicting the suffering of children in communities close to the Gaza border. Some of those pictured are totally traumatised and unable to live normal lives. Grace witnessed mortar and rocket attacks herself when visiting the area as a child and returned as a student photographer in May 2016 to help others understand what these people are suffering. What sort of peace is this?

Wherever you look in world politics, truth is being turned on its head. In my country South Africa, for example, Palestinians are being depicted as “the crucified, hanging body of Jesus today”. This was part of a ‘Good Friday statement’ by the Economic Freedom Fighters political party which ACDP (African Christian Democratic Party) leader Rev Kenneth Meshoe has described as “insidious, inflammatory, highly offensive and blasphemous”, adding: “Jesus was a Jew. Jerusalem has belonged to the Jews for over 3,000 years, from the time King David first established it as a city of Israel… I encourage persons not wanting to be deceived to research the truth for themselves and, if given the opportunity to travel to Israel to see the vibrant democracy that she is, to do so!”

He further rounded on the “hypocrisy” of Palestinian leaders “who would rather spend the billions of dollars they receive from the international community to fund a mission to destroy Israel instead of investing in the health, education and economic development of their own people.”

We could all do with following the wisdom of legendary author G K Chesterton who, in response to a question from a major newspaper – “What is the problem with the world?” – is reputed to have submitted a brief handwritten note to the editor, saying: “I am. Sincerely yours, Chesterton.”

We are the problem! We are all sinners, but there is a remedy for our sin, and his name is Jesus, who died on a cruel cross to take the punishment we deserved. Trusting in his death brings us life, health and peace – and, yes, it is also a recipe for changing a world gone wrong.

As Rev Meshoe put it, “Jesus’ death on the cross was an expression of the highest form of love; he gave his life for the salvation of all mankind. Palestinians are not being crucified.”

The answer to the problem of “I am” is the great “I AM” – the name God applied to himself and which Jesus also owned, as suggested by his many divine claims, such as: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no-one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14.6)

As for the streets of London, where more than 50 people have been murdered in the first three months of this year, the ultimate answer to the problem is just the same as outlined above. And for a helpful illustration, reference what has been happening in recent weeks just down the road from where Rev Meshoe has been speaking so courageously in the South African parliament.

A huge prayer rally called It’s Time drew up to 150,000 people to Cape Town. It was the biggest recorded event in the city’s history, but when the organiser assured police there would be no incidents, the police chief laughed at him, explaining that 10,000 had attended the Mitchells Plain venue only a fortnight earlier and there had been 48 stabbings and over 100 robberies.

What’s more, he added, those attending the prayer event would have to park up to 4km away and walk through some of the district’s most dangerous areas.

But at the debriefing following the rally, held to confess the country’s sins, the same police chief reported, with tears in his eyes, that not one single incident – no assaults, no robberies, nothing – had been recorded!

Stop blaming everyone else for all the problems around you, and start to build a new world by dealing with your own sin. Jesus said something similar, telling his listeners to take the plank out of their own eye so they could see clearly to take the speck out of someone else’s eye. (Matthew 7.3-5) But don’t try doing it by yourself; only Jesus can help you!

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


The Proud Idiots Are Back Again!

Like Jaffa oranges, the hats known in Israel as “kova tembel” - literally “idiot hats” - became an Israeli trademark. The name comes from the Hebrew word for "fool", because only "foolish people were thought to build a new national home in a devastated country like Israel". From the founding of the state until the 1970s, Israeli "Sabras" - native born Israelis - men and women alike wore these hats.

The hats came to symbolize the Israeli kibbutz field workers. They worked the fields wearing these hats simply because other hats did not exist. Even foreign volunteers on kibbutzim and tourists proudly wore these hats.

We are offering our readers these bucket hats especially for Israel's 70th anniversary.


The World is Run by Lunatics

The world is changing faster than anyone expected. This is an inside look at how Israelis see the situation.

CLICK HERE to read the full article in the April 2018 issue of Israel Today Magazine >>


Israel Threatens to Topple Syrian Regime if Iran Makes Any Foolish Moves

On Tuesday, Iran threatened harsh retaliation after Israel allegedly bombed an Iranian-held air base in central Syria.

"The crimes will not remain unanswered," insisted Ali Akbar Velayati, a top adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

On Wednesday, Israeli officials returned the favor, stating that if Iran made any foolish moves then everything it has gained in Syria over the past decade would go up in a puff of smoke.

Senior Israeli defense officials told prominent journalist Ben Caspit that Syrian dictator and Iran-ally Bashar "Assad's regime and Assad himself will disappear from the map and the world if the Iranians do try to harm Israel or its interests from Syrian territory."

The Israelis continued: "Our recommendation to Iran is that it does not try to act, because Israel is determined to continue on this issue to the very end."

A day earlier, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman vowed that Israel would do whatever necessary to prevent Iran from establishing a permanent military foothold in Syria. "We have no other choice," he stressed.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkott attend a security council meeting regarding the Iranian threat. (Ariel Hermony/Ministry of Defense)


Arab Social Media Praises Israel for Striking Syria and Confronting Iran

While Syria, Iran and Russia are busy threatening Israel over its alleged strike on an Iranian air base in central Syria, much of the Arab world is encouraging the Jewish state to keep up the pressure.

Most of the Arab world views Iran as a major threat, just as Israel does. The Islamic Republic seeks regional hegemony, and its military foothold in Syria is cause for serious concern.

So, when Israeli aircraft (according to both Russia and the US) destroyed the Iranian-held T-4 air base on Monday, it elicited a flood of supportive remarks on Arabic-language social media.

The situation will seem completely topsy-turvy to anyone who has lived through the decades of Israeli-Arab conflict. But, there you have it. A common foe appears to be brining the Israelis and Arabs together.

Via Israel Hayom:

"We must tell the truth, Israel is the only state that punishes Assad for the massacres he carries out," Khadr Abu al-Heij, a Palestinian living in Sweden, wrote on Al-Jazeera's popular comments portal.

"This is a shameful embarrassment for the Arab states. While Arab leaders just talk and say how horrible the massacre in Syria is, Israel keeps quiet and acts. Arabs, Syrians, Lebanese – who is the real enemy of the Arabs? Israel, or Iran that conquered Syria unopposed?" he wrote.

Egyptian Ismail bin Ismail also called on Israel to continue striking Syria, writing, "It turns out Israel not only has courage but also the brains to inflict losses on Iran in Syria. If there is one state that puts Iran in its place, it is Israel. It is no wonder that Damascus hides behind Russia and Iran. Assad is afraid of [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu and [Defense Minister Avigdor] Liberman."

Lebanese Bassel al-Hassan wrote that Israel must continue its strikes in Syria, even at the cost of violating Lebanese airspace.

"Media reports say that the Israeli planes attacked from Lebanese territory, so why is Hezbollah quiet? Hezbollah works hand in hand with the Shiites in Iran and betrays its Arab brothers in Syria. Iran and Syria, with the assistance of Hezbollah and Shiite militias, conquered Syria by massacring the Sunni population and we, the Arabs, keep quiet," he wrote on Facebook.

"Thankfully, Israel is there to avenge the blood of our brothers. Luckily for the Arabs, Israel is unwilling to accept Iranian control in Syria. If it wasn't in Israel's interest, no Arab country would have stopped Iran. Where are the Arab leaders? They abandoned their people, just as they abandoned the Palestinians."


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Israel on Highest Alert as Iran Threatens to Attack

Israel's military forces have been put on high alert after Iran threatened to retaliate over the bombing early Monday of an air base in central Syria.

The T-4 Air Base had reportedly been a headquarters for Iranian drones being used in support of the Syrian regime. Israel viewed that and all other Iranian military forces in Syria as an unacceptable threat to the security fo the Jewish state.

While Israel maintained its policy of ambiguity regarding the T-4 base bombing, Russia, Syria, Iran and the United States all said that Israeli aircraft had been responsible.

"The crimes will not remain unanswered," insisted Ali Akbar Velayati, a top adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

While still not explicitly admitting to the T-4 base strike, Israel Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said the Jewish state would not back down in confronting creeping Iranian hegemony.

"Israel will not allow Iranian entrenchment in Syria. Whatever the cost," Liberman told reporters. "Accepting Iranian entrenchment in Syria would be to accept Iranians putting a chokehold on us. We cannot allow that."

PHOTO: An IDF tank guards the border between Israel and Syria (Hadas Parush/Flash90)


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Arabs on Social Media Support Israel Against Gaza Border Riots

It was a setup.

Hamas knew that by sending tens of thousands of Palestinians to violently attempt to breach the Gaza security fence it would score mainstream media points against Israel, which had no choice but to defend its border with deadly force.

But, while much of the Western press was apparently too thick read between the lines (or, too eager to bash Israel), many in the Arab world laid the blame precisely where it belonged, at Hamas' feet.

Hamas' cynical exploitation of Palestinian civilians plays well in the Western media, but has long been reviled in the Arab world, even among those who hold little sympathy for Israel.

The Israel Foreign Ministry reported that its Arabic-language social media accounts had received a surprisingly high number of messages of support following clashes between Israeli forces and the Hamas-led mobs in Gaza on Friday.

From Saudi Arabia to Iraq to Jordan, many Arabs said they backed Israel in this present conflagration, while slamming Hamas for putting civilians in harm's way.

One commenter posted: "My heart is with my Jewish cousins. There is no escaping the fact that Hamas' Palestinian terrorism will inevitably end."

Another from Iraq urged his "Palestinian brothers to not be dragged by Hamas' terror plots, which will only harm the Palestinians."

At least one Arab social media user from Jordan criticized Hamas for burning thousands of tires and creating devastating air pollution for the children of Gaza.

A commenter from Saudi Arabia echoed Israel's own explanations for why peace with the Palestinians has yet to be achieved: "The war on terrorism begins with the removal of it from a conceptual point of view. There is no doubt that the Hamas terror organization is blocking any option for peace and is working to spread hatred and violence. Israel has internationally recognized sovereignty."

Israel's Ynet news portal reported that the number of messages of support from Arabs across the region was equal to the number of messages hostile toward Israel. It was further evidence that the tides are turning, and much of the Arab world has grown weary of a Palestinian nationalist movement that has traditionally aligned itself with the region's most hated players, such as Saddam Hussein, the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran.

PHOTO: The Palestinians are losing the support of the wider Arab world as they continue to engage in pointless and destructive confrontations with Israel. (Flash90)


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Israel's Chief Rabbi Urges Netanyahu to Bomb Syria Some More

Israel Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef on Sunday urged the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to not shy away from doing everything necessary to protect the innocent civilians of Syria from ongoing massacres by their own government.

A day after Syrian regime forces were accused of using chemical weapons against a rebel-held town killing dozens of men, women and children, Rabbi Yosef issued a statement reading:

"I have said in the past and I will say it again, what’s happening in Syria is genocide of women and children in its cruelest form, using weapons of mass destruction. We have a moral obligation not to keep quiet and to try and stop this massacre.

"As Jews who have experienced genocide, as Jews whose Torah is a light to the nations, it is our moral obligation to try and stop this murder. It is an obligation no less important than the moral obligation to destroy the nuclear reactor in Syria."

Just hours after the rabbi released his statement, someone carried out a devastating aerial strike against a regime air force base in central Syria, killing 14 people, including Iranian nationals.

America and France, which both have air forces in the region, denied any involvement.

Russia, which is backing the regime of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, said it knows who was responsible - Israel.

Maintaining its policy of ambiguity, the Netanyahu government refused to comment. But, the Syrian air base in question has been bombed by Israel in the past.

Known as the Tiyas, or T-4, air base, it is believed to be home to an Iranian drone program.


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Palestinians Say UN No Longer Credible Because It Lets America Veto Stuff

The United Nations has lost all credibility.

Not because it puts repressive regimes like Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iran on the councils responsible for human and women's rights.

No, the UN has lost all credibility because it allows America to prevent the Palestinians from wasting the world's time with pointless (and unsubstantiated) condemnations of Israel.

That, of course, according to the Palestinian Authority itself.

On Saturday, the Palestinian leadership demanded that the United Nations revoke America's right to veto Security Council resolutions and statements.

A day earlier, the US had blocked a Security Council draft condemning Israel for the Palestinian deaths that occurred during the violent mass demonstrations along the Gaza security fence.

Most of the Security Council wanted yet another "independent investigation" into what had happened. But it's not rocket science. The facts seem pretty clear.

Hamas, a recognized terrorist organization, sent tens of thousands of Gazans in an admitted effort to breach sovereign Israeli territory. Israeli soldiers did their job in protecting the border, while taking what were, quite frankly, unprecedented measures to avoid large-scale casualties. It's no less than any other country would do to prevent a hostile mass infiltration.

Do we really need an expensive and time-consuming commission of inquiry to eventually conclude what we already know? Or, worse, publish a biased report that is ludicrously based on the "sworn testimony" of terrorists?

Fortunately, the Trump Administration's answer to those questions was a resounding "NO!"

And the Palestinian Authority's hopeless attempt to upend one of the foundational mechanisms of the United Nations (the veto power enjoyed by the world's top powers) is evidence of just how desperate they've become as the international community grows increasingly weary of their charade.


Hamas-Led Gaza Mobs Fly Nazi Flag in Confronting Israel

In most Western countries, a demonstration that utilizes Nazi imagery would never be characterized as "peaceful" in nature because, well, the Nazi agenda is anything but peaceful.

So, one must wonder why the international mainstream media is busy describing the Palestinian demonstrations along the Gaza security fence in such terms.

Forget the thousands of burning tires, the hurling of stones and firebombs and the underreported use of guns and makeshift explosives. The fact that those participating in Friday's Gaza riot flew a flag adorned with a swastika should tell one everything he or she needs to know about the nature of this "peaceful demonstration."

But, just in case the message was lost in translation, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clarified:

"I salute the soldiers of the IDF who keep us safe…from those who pretend to speak of human rights, while holding a Nazi flag. Here is the naked truth. They speak of human rights, but they really want to crush the Jewish state. We won’t let them. We’ll stand strong. We’ll keep our country safe."

The Nazi flag and the ideology behind it mean but one thing for both Israel and the Palestinian nationalist movement - the eradication of the Jewish people.


Report: Palestinian 'Journalist' Killed in Gaza Was Flying Drone Over IDF Soldiers

If you want to stay alive during a tense armed confrontation, it's probably best to not launch a drone over the heads of the guys holding the biggest guns.

Apparently, that lesson was lost on Yasser Murtaja, the Palestinian Arab man shot and killed during clashes along the Gaza security fence on Friday.

While he didn't work for any recognized news agency, Hamas claims that Murtaja was a "journalist," a transparent attempt to accuse Israel of suppressing freedom of the press. The irony, of course, is that Israel plays host to more foreign journalists per capita than any nation in the world, while the Palestinian regimes, and Hamas in particular, are routinely criticized by their own Palestinian journalists for intimidation and harassment.

At any rate, Israel Radio cited unnamed sources in Gaza who said Murtaja was known to use camera drones to capture aerial photographs, and the Gaza security fence riots presented a tantalizing opportunity.

Stating what should be obvious to any rational-minded human being, Israel Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Murtaja should have been just a bit more selective about where he piloted his drone:

"I don’t know who is or isn’t a photographer. Anyone who operates drones above IDF soldiers needs to understand he’s putting himself in danger."


EXCLUSIVE: Michael Brown Speaks Out on 'Christ at the Checkpoint' Controversy

Dr. Michael Brown is one of the most recognized Messianic Jewish voices today. For that reason, there was some concern about his appearance at the upcoming anti-Israel "Christ at the Checkpoint" conference.

Dr. Brown spoke to Israel Today regarding these concerns, and how he plans to hold Christ at the Checkpoint accountable for its wayward theology.

The full interview is a MUST-READ for anyone concerned by this Evangelical Palestinian Christian effort to delegitimize Israel.

CLICK HERE to read it now in the April 2018 issue of Israel Today Magazine >>


The First Sign That Israel’s Social Rift Might Be Healing

Many in Israel believe that the picture to the left faithfully represents the metamorphosis the Israeli left has undergone. It was taken on the last Saturday of March, after Israel had successfully thwarted the mass infiltration attempt from Gaza. 

That the liberal Israeli media so readily embraced the Hamas superlative of "March of Return" and "Million-Man March" only strengthened the feeling that the left has come to oppose everything that Israel represents. We'll look into whether or not that's true in a moment. What is certain is that this photo could easily serve as a campaign poster for the radical left-wing political party Meretz, which joined Israel's detractors worldwide by suggesting the IDF had committed war crimes and demanding an investigation into the army's efforts to thwart the Hamas infiltration.

Adding to the confusion was the IDF's own failure to correctly identify the march. Army spokesman Brig.-Gen. Ronen Manelis chose to call it a "demonstration," but that's a severe understatement given that Hamas leaders openly spoke of resettling Israel with millions of Arab "refugees." And if our own government fails to call a spade a spade, how can it then turn around and criticize opinions like that published in the UK's Independent, which blasted Israel for the "ruthless" killing of 16 "peaceful demonstrators"? 

It's no wonder that Israel struggles in vain to convince the world that the majority of those killed and wounded in last week's confrontation were known terrorists. It's no wonder that Israel Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon's efforts to persuade the nations to "not be deceived" fell on deaf ears.

Going back to that picture, what you see are Israelis, Jews, who are waving the Palestinian flag and calling to boycott Israel, this time for preventing Hamas from achieving its objectives. One must wonder what drives Jews to such suicidal gestures, and why even the IDF is unable to say that “demonstrations” of the kind are, in fact, military operations of a different sort.

Israeli society is in the midst of an epic internal struggle of identity. To use familiar terms, Israelis are divided between liberals and conservatives. The first are mostly secular Ashkenazi Jews who have embraced the politics of identity lock, stock and barrel. The second, the majority, are predominantly Sephardic Jews who remain faithful to the Mosaic Covenant to one degree or another.

Majority as they are, due to historical reasons, conservatives are barely represented in academic spheres, the media, art and the judicial system. This has resulted in those strongholds of power quashing the conservative voice and in turn defining democracy as essentialist. This means that Israeli democracy no longer expresses the will of the people, but rather the values of “the enlightened public,” which wants Israel to live according to the latest progressive trend. 

Identity politics has penetrated as deep as the army’s top brass, who are now embracing the most radical feminist and post-gender agendas (recently the army was parading its first transgender officer).

This terrible rift in Israeli society has happened because the few who hold the microphone, occupy the bench, possess the key to the faculty door or fill up the ranks of different prize committees, coerce the majority into accepting a worldview that is hostile to their own. For decades, conservatives who suffer from an inferiority complex swallowed their pride and did nothing to challenge the free reign of liberals running amok. 

So long as the hegemony of the liberal elite remained unchallenged, Israeli society appeared to be relatively united. However, with the appearance of social networks, that for the first time allowed this large constituency to freely express their mind, all hell has broken loose. 

Today, Israeli society appears more divided than ever because, especially since the last election in 2015, the conservatives have arrived at an unapologetic state of mind. They are now holding their ideological ground and urging their political leaders to do the same. And as more conservatives penetrate what once was a progressive playground, the more the liberal minority is forced to articulate the reasons behind its resentment for Israel. When synthesizing all the elements of self-hate, the one predominant ingredient that surfaces time and again is the deep hate for the “racist” notion behind a "Jewish" state. 

While it might seem negative, the widening gap between liberals and conservatives is actually a good thing. Meretz leader Tamar Zandberg calling for a committee of inquiry into the IDF protecting our borders forced Labor Party leader Avi Gabbay to take a clear stand against her. Having finally recognized Meretz for what it is, a post-Zionist party, instead of flirting with this divisive little party, the moderate Israeli left is now compelled to reckon with the fact that the "left" that Meretz represents is unacceptable. 

This small move toward marginalizing the post-Zionist factions may prove to be a harbinger of the beginning of the end of the destructive politics of identity that have dominated our lives for far too long.


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Future Saudi King Appears to Unofficially Recognize Israel

Israel and Saudi Arabia still have no official diplomatic relations, but the future monarch of the oil-rich kingdom appeared to unofficially recognize the Jewish state in remarks to American media this week.

We say "unofficial" because it's still not a matter of official policy. At the same time, the Crown Prince expressing personal views in his official capacity is, well, "official."

In an interview with the US magazine The Atlantic, Prince Mohammed bin Salman was asked if he believes the Jewish people have a right to a state of their own on their ancestral homeland.

Now, it's already something for liberal mainstream media outlets to refer to this land as the "ancestral homeland" of the Jewish people, which both The Atlantic and Reuters did. This demonstrates that the Palestinian narrative, which denies any Jewish connection to this land, is losing ground.

But Prince Mohammed's response was even more telling.

"I believe the Palestinians and the Israelis have the right to have their own land. But we have to have a peace agreement to assure the stability for everyone and to have normal relations," he said.

Prince Mohammed still wants a Palestinian Arab state in the so-called "West Bank" and Gaza, but has no problem with the State of Israel existing on the rest of the land as the nation-state of the Jewish people.

It is a major breakthrough for a top Arab leader to be saying such things publicly.

But Prince Mohammed went further, telling The Atlantic that he looks forward to the conclusion of an Israel-Palestinian peace deal so that the Jewish state and its Arab neighbors can finally start working together openly.

"There are a lot of interests we share with Israel and if there is peace, there would be a lot of interest between Israel and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries," the future Saudi ruler added.

For more on this topic, see Page 7 of the April 2018 issue of Israel Today Magazine >>


Why 16 Palestinians Were Killed in Gaza Last Friday

Last Friday was the eve of Passover, a day on which nearly every Israeli Jewish family was busy marking one of the Bible's most foundational events - the Exodus from Egypt.

Last Friday also played host to a classic example of deadly Palestinian propaganda.

We say "deadly" not because of the terrible long-term effects it will have on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which it will. But our present concern is more immediate. The "deadly" in this case is the cynical exploitation of Palestinian Arab civilians to score points against Israel in the international media. Yes, there are a great many of us in Israel who take offense at the despicable exploitation of average Palestinian Arabs as pawns in the grand scheme to destroy the Jewish state.

A prime example of this was witnessed on Friday when Hamas activists sent a 7-year-old Palestinian girl to breach the Gaza security fence during massive riots in the terrorist-ruled coastal enclave.

With cameras trained on the frightened little girl, she slowly made her way toward the heavily-armed Israeli soldiers. There could be only one reason for doing this - Hamas hoped the Israelis would assume the child was carrying a bomb and gun her down, thus providing the Palestinian cause with a PR victory that would make headlines for years to come.

The Israelis didn't take the bait.

The girl was stopped by the soldiers and returned to her parents unharmed. It was a clear demonstration that Israel had no intention of harming Palestinians who were either innocent or could not be held accountable for their actions.

Toward those who were not innocent and who could be held accountable for their actions, Israel was far less forgiving.

Hamas leaders made clear that the goal of what they called the "March of Return" was to breach Israel's southern border, and then...who knows? Attack nearby Jewish towns?

Singling out Israel for protecting its border against such a breach and subsequent violence and mayhem is hypocritical in the extreme, considering that any other nation would have done the same.


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New Book Exposes Depth of Anti-Israel Hate on American Campuses

Originally written for the Investigative Project on Terrorism.

About six months after Andrew Pessin posted on his Facebook profile a defense of Israel during its 2014 war against Hamas, the once popular Connecticut College philosophy professor was subjected to an academic smear campaign. The school paper published articles defaming him. The administration hosted condemnations of Pessin from across the campus community on the school's website, and tolerated other anti-Semitic activities that only worsened the climate for Jews and Israel supporters. Pessin received death threats and, in the spring of 2015, took a medical leave of absence. The Connecticut College administration offered no meaningful protection or support to Pessin, and never issued any apology for its role in his abuse.

The Pessin affair was part of a growing trend of anti-Israel hostility on U.S. campuses, but at least his story has a somewhat happy ending. Pessin resumed teaching last fall after an extended paid sabbatical, and – together with a colleague – convinced the school to establish a Jewish Studies program. Moreover, he has edited a new book with Fordham University's Doron Ben-Atar on the general campus trend: Anti-Zionism on Campus: The University, Free Speech, and BDS. Ben-Atar, who is part of Fordham's American Studies program, protested at a faculty meeting about the 2013 passing of a resolution calling for a boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) targeting Israel, only to find himself soon being investigated for unspecified charges, resulting in a Kafkaesque campaign of intimidation and vilification. This volume of essays, by faculty and students who have confronted anti-Israelism on their campuses, documents and analyzes how this movement masks an underlying anti-Semitism that creates a hostile environment for Jews while undermining free speech and civility.

Writer Noah Beck interviewed Pessin via email.

Q: Your book catalogues the many underhanded tactics used to promote the anti-Israel agenda on college campuses, which should help Israel advocates prepare for what awaits them. Did your personal ordeal inspire you to create a potential resource for campus Israel advocates? Or did you have the idea for such a book even before what happened to you?

Pessin: I had been observing the general campus scene for some time, but passively; like many professors, I preferred to spend my time teaching and doing my research, rather than get involved in the mess. And so, when I read about Doron's affair at Fordham, being persecuted for standing up for Israel, I simply thought, "That's terrible," then clicked on the next story. It was only six months later, when I began to receive hundreds of emails of support from around the world, that I realized how important it is to hear from people off campus. So I wrote to him, belatedly, to offer my support—and he wrote back immediately to suggest we collect narratives from faculty members who have been on the receiving end of anti-Israel nastiness on their campuses. Though the book evolved from there—we include several more analytical essays, as well as some narratives from students—that's how it was born.

Q: What would you say is the principal message of the book?

Pessin: The book is not about "defending Israel." Indeed, a good number of our contributors are people who are critical of various Israel policies, of settlements, etc. What it is about is how the anti-Israel movement manifests itself on campuses around the world. And as you work through the essays it becomes clear: the anti-Israel campus movement corrodes the academy in every way, on every level, it harms scholarship, teaching, community, it violates numerous academic and moral norms, and more. Whatever you specifically think about Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian-Jewish-Arab-Muslim conflict, the campus movement largely operates not as a bona fide academic movement but as something more sinister. There are legitimate ways to be supportive of the Palestinian cause on campus, but this isn't one of them. (Pessin exhaustively outlined legitimate ways to support Palestinians on campus in his 2017 article.)

Q: What factors did you consider when selecting the different contributors for this collection of essays?

Pessin: When we put out the original "calls for papers" we were shocked at the response. Within weeks we had some thirty faculty members who wanted to share their stories, of being targeted for standing up for Israel, or even for just not hating Israel. The problem is that pervasive. Most of these stories happen entirely under the radar, either on smaller campuses or in such a way that the media doesn't pick them. We tried to select the most compelling stories, the most representative stories, the ones that could teach people something. There were several we wanted to include but could not because legal procedures were in place that precluded their contributing. There was one who opted out because he didn't want to relive what was a devastating personal experience.

Q: What types of campus activity and speech, if any, should be suppressed (regardless of which side benefits), and under what principles? What, for example, is your view on the lawsuit against Fordham for refusing to allow a chapter of SJP [Students for Justice in Palestine] to form?

Pessin: That's a good question. We all believe in free speech. We all are opposed to hate speech. But does opposition to hate speech mean you may censor or restrict or punish hate speech? What about speech that consists of slander and defamation and demonization? The traditional norms of the academy suggest we should err on the side of the freedom, to hear all sides, even the evil sides. So nothing should be "suppressed," not even the most hateful, slanderous speech. But of course it should be answered. Lies should be countered, motives should be exposed, and while the simple label "anti-Semitic" can be abused (as can labels such as "racist" or "Islamophobic"), you shouldn't hesitate to explain and defend exactly how and why you take some particular speech or action to be anti-Semitic. As for Fordham, while I deeply respect the courage of that decision, I'm not sure in the end it was the right decision. Perhaps they should let the group form, but then closely observe its activities (as they observe all student groups) to be sure it operates within appropriate academic and community norms.

Q: Some anti-Israel activists argue that they are widely suppressed on campuses, and routinely maligned in the press and by organized Jewish and pro-Israel groups. What would you say in response?

Pessin: They do like to claim there is a "Palestine exception" [depriving Palestinian advocates of their free speech on campus]. And in the past few years Jewish and pro-Israel groups, both on and off campus, have gotten more vocal as they begin to take the anti-Israel movement more seriously as a genuine threat to Jewish students and to the academy in general. Indeed, we hope our book, by documenting the problem, will help inform and thus contribute to that response. The problem is that anti-Israel activists take nearly every criticism, every objection, every argument against them to be "censorship" and "suppression," rather than recognize these as academically appropriate responses to them. What they essentially want is unlimited freedom of speech to slander and defame Israel and pro-Israel faculty and students, while rejecting the freedom of speech of others to respond to them.

Q: Your sobering introduction highlights how the campus "debate" has become so extreme as to shut down any meaningful discussion in favor of assertions that, "Israel and Zionism are...illegitimate, incorrigible abominations" as you describe it. How should pro-Israel activists counter this strategy when those espousing it have no interest in reasonable or balanced discussion?

Pessin: You've put your finger on a central point. The anti-Israel attack on the academy as a whole is reflected most clearly in (a) the personal attacks on pro-Israel individuals documented in the book and (b) the utter rejection of the pro-Israel voice via campus disruptions, the relentless calls to boycott, and the rejection of "normalization" (i.e. refusal to have any dialogue with pro-Israel voices). They couldn't be more explicit in their aims: the Israeli perspective, including the intimate connection between the Jewish perspective in general and the Israeli perspective, is simply not to be permitted on campus. They object to the "Palestine exception" while explicitly and actively advocating for and executing the "Israel exception" to free speech. The best response, I think, is to repeatedly and vocally point this out, and thus promote and defend our book's principal message: that whatever you may think about the conflict over there, the anti-Israel movement over here is profoundly antithetical to the academic and moral norms of the campus environment.

Q: Because on nearly every campus Jews and Israel supporters are severely outnumbered, their disadvantaged position arguably mirrors that of Israel's in global forums. Yet Israel -- thanks to its technology, security intelligence, and many other assets -- has managed to reduce the impact of international boycotts, lopsided UN votes, and other fora where attempts to punish or isolate Israel used to succeed far more. Is there any similar set of assets that Jews and Israel supporters on campus can leverage to start turning the tide in their favor?

Pessin: That's a great way of putting the question. It highlights what is simultaneously both an asset and a liability on campus: the many smart, talented, Jewish faculty and students on many campuses. The significant majority are generally supportive of Israel, but for many reasons they tend not to be vocal on campus, while the small minority who are Israel-haters tend to be very vocal. What's necessary is to give that majority the courage to stand up, speak up, and be heard—and denounce the anti-academic antisemitism that largely characterizes the anti-Israel movement. We hope our book will help in that regard, by letting potential advocates know they are not alone.

Anti-Zionism on Campus comes out April 1.

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


Passover Miracle: Orthodox Jew Dreams of Jesus

As we remember the death of Jesus in fulfilment of Passover, we also celebrate the resurrection miracle of God’s great deliverance from slavery into freedom.

And for a bang up-to-date example of that, we need look no further than the testimony of Orthodox Jew Yonatan Perry.

Having turned away from God when his father died on his return from army duty and the local rabbi offered him little comfort, he subsequently felt empty.

So when handed a card with The Lord’s Prayer on a bus, he decided to pray the prayer. “My body began to shake; I even felt like crying,” he told the March issue of the Maoz Israel Report.

He searched the net, which took him to a ‘Messianic’ website, but when he discovered it was about Yeshua (Jesus), he rejected this option as he didn’t want to be a ‘Christian’.

Then war broke out in Gaza and, as a reservist, he was called to the front lines. While on guard duty, he noticed his shoelace had come undone and, as he stooped down to tie it, a bullet brushed through his hair!

Shaken to the core, he realised a ‘Higher Power’ had saved his life. And later, during a troubled sleep, he dreamed of a man in a white robe who held out his hand to him, saying: “Son, your sins are forgiven. Go from here.”

He didn’t understand and, in the chaos that followed, he forgot all about it. Then one day he was struck with foreboding “that we needed to get out of the building immediately” and duly ordered his fellow soldiers to do so.

Six minutes later, the building went up in flames as rocket-propelled grenades blasted through the window of the room where they had been sleeping.

Yonatan was severely traumatised as a result and spent over a year in a military hospital. Eventually, he remembered his dream, and of the man in white saying his sins were forgiven.

He took to the internet to see what this meant – in Hebrew of course. “When I realised they were claiming Yeshua was the Messiah, I asked my army representative to get me a New Testament – every soldier is given a Tenach (Old Testament to Christians). But they only had one in English and, with the help of Google translation, I saw how the New was connected to the Old. And I was stunned by how clearly the Tenach’s Messianic prophecies pointed to Yeshua. I finally realised it was the Lord Himself who had appeared in my dream and saved me! And I asked him to help me, if it was indeed him.

“I lay down and slept for 48 hours! Later I slept for three days. I told the incredulous psychiatrist that Yeshua had healed me – and the test results showed a 98% recovery of the brain. I cried out to Yeshua, ‘I’m yours!’ and was released four months later."

Now healed, restored and forgiven, Yonatan has been baptised in the Mediterranean Sea and is a member of the Tiferet Yeshua Congregation in Tel Aviv.

His pastor, Gil Afriat, said: “It was so wonderful to see his excitement as he understood more and more of the faith.”

As with Yonatan, Jesus said something very similar to a paralytic brought to him: “Take courage, son; your sins are forgiven.” (Matthew 9.2)

Yonatan now works as manager of a medical infrastructure centre at a hospital. His story is living proof that Jesus is indeed alive, and that he brings healing and forgiveness to our sin-filled world.

Many Jews like Yonatan are discovering that Jesus is their own, that he is not a ‘Christian’ as they were led to believe by rabbis and other religious leaders.

The Passover itself, which recalls the time when their enslaved ancestors were miraculously rescued from Egypt, was a perfect picture of what their Messiah would do for them one day. They were instructed to daub the lintels and doorframes of their houses with the blood of a sacrificial lamb, as a result of which the angel of death ‘passed over’ their homes, but did not spare the first-born sons of Egypt.

Jesus died on a cross outside Jerusalem as God’s sacrificial Lamb and, if we mark his blood on the doorposts of our lives, we will find true freedom. As Moses led the Israelites through the Red Sea, which parted so they could walk through on dry land, so Jesus takes us through the waters of death into a resurrection life with him.

Baptism in fact depicts this death and resurrection experience as St Paul writes of being “buried with him (Christ) in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.” (Colossians 2.12)

Yonatan’s testimony is one of the great signs of our times. When the Apostle Peter stood up on the Day of Pentecost to explain the strange manifestations taking place, he was effectively saying: “This is that…” What they were witnessing was the fulfilment of Joel’s prophecy, that “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people…” (Acts 2.17)

In the same way today, Christians are announcing to the world that the testimony of Yonatan and many other Jews represents the fulfilment of biblical prophecies, which speak first of the return to their ancient land of Jews dispersed throughout the globe for nearly 2,000 years, and then of their restoration to the Lord God of Israel, revealed in the flesh as Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus Christ).

For example, Ezekiel writes: “I will gather you from all the nations and bring you back into your own land…” and “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you…” (Ezek 36.24-26)

Jews have now been back in their ancient land for 70 years, which is very significant because it was the same length of time they were exiled in Babylon from 586 BC – long before their worldwide dispersion.

For it was after they returned from Babylon that they rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem and re-dedicated themselves to the Lord.

The Bible also indicates that when the Jews return to the Lord, the Lord will return to the world! (See Zechariah chapters 12-14)

Come, Lord Jesus!

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


Merck Invests in Israeli Biotechnology

The German pharmaceutical company Merck, together with other international companies in the same line of business, plan to launch a fund that will invest 20 million euros ($24.6 million) in Israeli biotechnology over the next five years.

The full article appears in the April 2018 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
CLICK HERE to read it now >>

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Trump Tells Arabs to Pipe Down Over Gaza Border Deaths

US President Donald Trump at the weekend instructed his ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, to block a Security Council statement blaming Israel for Palestinian deaths during Friday's Hamas-led riots along the Gaza security fence.

Hamas reported that at least 16 Palestinians had been shot and killed by Israeli forces after the terror group sent some 30,000 Gazans to attempt to breach the barrier and enter southern Israel.

Israeli officials described the mass incident as extremely violent in nature, and video footage supported that claim.

But Palestinian and other Arab leaders attempted to paint the confrontation as a "peaceful demonstration" during which Israeli troops opened fire unprovoked, resulting in what they called "war crimes."

Acting on behalf of the Palestinians, Kuwait submitted a Security Council draft that contained a veiled condemnation of Israel and demanded an "independent and transparent investigation" into the Palestinian deaths.

Such investigations have in the past served only to whitewash Hamas and lay the bulk of the blame at Israel's feet. Trump was having none of it, and neither was the UK, which joined America in opposing the statement.

Palestinian leaders were livid.

Palestinian Authority spokesman Yusef al-Mahmoud said opposition to the Security Council statement by the US and UK had "turned them into accomplices in the horrific massacre committed by the Israeli occupation army against our defenseless people."

Al-Mahmoud was apparently unaware that numerous video clips circulating on the Internet show the Palestinian mobs violently provoking the Israeli soldiers with rocks, fire bombs and guns. Several Palestinians were caught planting bombs along the security fence.

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said that America and Britain had demonstrated blatant "bias in favor of oppression and suppression."

Casual observers might wonder why protecting the Gaza security fence from mass infiltration constitutes oppression. After all, the Palestinians demand an independent state in the West Bank and Gaza, and independent states have protected borders separating them from neighboring states.

Hamas itself provided the explanation for the apparent discrepancy.

The mass demonstration was dubbed the "March of Return," and of it Gaza-based Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh stated: "We are here to declare today that our people will not agree to keep the ‘right of return’ only as a slogan."

To translate, Hamas was reiterating that it does not see a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza as the conclusion to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It remains dedicated to the destruction of the entire State of Israel. And the best way of achieving that at present is flooding the Jewish state with millions of Palestinian "refugees."

One of the few points on which Hamas and Abbas' Palestinian Authority agree is that as part of any "final status" peace agreement, Israel must agree to open its gates to these millions of new Arab inhabitants. It is a demand that no Israeli government, be it right- or left-wing, can ever accept, and the Palestinians know that.


IDF Releases Video Statement About Deadly Gaza Border Riots


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Christ at the Checkpoint: Love Jesus, Hate Israel!

Ahead of the upcoming Christ at the Checkpoint, we spoke to Israeli government and military spokespeople about this anti-Israel Christian event.

The full article appears in the April 2018 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
CLICK HERE to read it now >>


Report: Israeli Jets Enter Iranian Airspace, Target Major Cities

Arab media reported this week that Israeli fighter jets recently entered Iranian airspace and locked on to targets in several major Iranian cities.

The jets in question were all from Israel's new fleet of advanced F-35 stealth fighters, which were able to carry out the probing mission without detection by Iran's Russian-supplied air defenses.

All this according to the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida.

The newspaper reported that two Israeli F-35s flew over Syria and Iraq, presumably in coordination with American forces in the region, before penetrating Iranian airspace and circling high over three large Iranian cities - Bandar Abbas, Esfahan and Shiraz.

All three cities house major components of Iran's nuclear program, and the Israeli jets practiced locking on to these targets before returning safely to Israel.


Anti-Israel UK Opposition Leader Again Under Fire!

As Britain’s Labour leader comes under renewed fire over anti-Semitism claims, I am reminded of the words of Jesus that what is said in the dark will be exposed to the light.

The light of truth has exposed the dark under-belly of Labour leadership, and it is surely time for serious questions about whether Jeremy Corbyn is fit for office.

The latest row has the Opposition Leader admitting to having defended – in 2012 – an artist who painted a mural showing ‘hook-nosed’ bankers and businessmen sitting around a Monopoly board counting money.

As the Tower Hamlets mayor rightly said at the time, the images “perpetuate anti-Semitic propaganda about conspiratorial Jewish domination of financial and political institutions”.

Having made what he termed “a general comment” about the removal of public art on grounds of freedom of speech, Mr Corbyn now regrets that he did not look more closely at the image on which he was commenting, “the contents of which are deeply disturbing and anti-Semitic,” he said.

The fact that the string of allegations which have now come to light are historic just goes to prove how the past can come back to haunt us, as it often will for those with skeletons in their cupboard. But there is a way of escape, and that is to make a clean breast of it all, to repent of past wrongs and put them right. After all, Jesus died for our sins, which is what we are specifically remembering on this day!

In this respect, Mr Corbyn’s stated intention of meeting up with Jewish leaders to discuss the issue is to be commended.

With his reputation reeling, he has been forced to issue four statements in as many days and has MPs from his own party lining up against him. In addition, members of the Jewish community have taken to the streets in force, claiming “enough is enough”.

Calling on his party to get their act together, Labour MP John Mann asked: “What kind of Labour Party is this?”

Indeed, Mr Corbyn and some of his colleagues are bringing a curse on the party from which it is unlikely to recover unless drastic repentance is forthcoming.

For the Bible is absolutely clear in promising blessing to those who bless Israel, and cursing to those who don’t. (Genesis 12.3, Numbers 24.9)

The latest furore comes just weeks after revelations that Mr Corbyn was part of a secret Facebook group trafficking Jewish conspiracy theories, Holocaust denial and the like. They allegedly showed Mr Corbyn participating “right up until his first weeks as leader of the Labour Party,” according to the UK’s Campaign Against Anti-Semitism.

As I’ve said before, these shameful reports serve to emphasise all the more strongly how the squabbling Tories urgently need to get their own act together and line up squarely behind Prime Minister Theresa May. Or else, never mind Brexit – hard, soft, or none at all – Britain could find themselves undoing all the sacrifices made in two world wars by allowing something too close to Nazism for comfort to flourish on our own shores.

Labour’s hard-left leader has already come dangerously close to power despite negative press coverage linked with anti-Semitism such as his reference to terror groups Hamas and Hezbollah as ‘friends’.

In light of the dark shadow of a possible looming war in the Middle East, there is surely an urgent need to hone and clarify our relationship with the Jewish state. We need to get used to the idea that Europe is not our future. But a strong relationship with Israel and the United States would most definitely be in our interest – certainly promising hope and blessing.

Speaking of Israel, the prophet Isaiah warns: “For the nation or kingdom that will not serve you will perish; it will be utterly ruined.” (Isa 60.12)

Battered and bruised by social disintegration as values based on our Judaeo-Christian legacy are recklessly jettisoned, Britain could sure do with some blessing rather than the curse that would inevitably follow lack of comfort for the people who gave us the Bible, Jesus and indeed Western civilization itself.

It’s time for our politicians to guard their words, say what they mean and mean what they say. Jesus was specifically warning against hypocrisy when he said: “There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the housetops.” (Luke 12.2f)

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


Top Israeli Rabbi Believes Trump Will Build Third Temple in Jerusalem

US President Donald Trump's unabashed support for the Jewish state and his public recognition of Jerusalem as its capital have many Israelis electrified.

The current American leader's positive attitude toward Israel seems nearly illogical, especially after decades of far more hostile trends.

A prominent Israeli rabbi believes the reason for this unprecedented (at least in modern times) shift is that Trump has a big role to play in the building of the Third Temple and the coming of Messiah.

Rabbi Yosef Berger is the rabbi in charge of King David's Tomb on Mount Zion, and the son of a widely revered Hasidic leader.

In remarks to Breaking Israel News, Rabbi Berger cited a medieval rabbinical source that predicted that while the first two temples were built by Israel, the third would be built by the "descendants of Edom," a phrase that in some later rabbinical literature is a euphemism for the Christian world.

This is so that the Christians, and the ancient peoples they have come to represent in rabbinical thought, can make restitution for millennia of wrongdoing toward the Children of Israel.

Rabbi Berger explained: "No leader in history has recognized Jerusalem as the capital of the Jews and Israel. [Trump] has already created a great tikkun (reparation) for the Christians through his unprecedented relationship with Jerusalem. Trump is the representative of Edom that will perform that final historic reparation for his entire nation by building the Temple."


Netanyahu Thanks America for Cutting Funding for Palestinian Terrorism

For well over a decade, the Palestinian Authority has gotten away with using a significant portion of the international foreign aid it receives to encourage terrorist violence against Israelis.

This despite the fact that the various peace agreements that the Palestinian Authority has signed with Israel obligate it to cease all such incitement.

The reason for this intolerable situation was that the international community was too afraid of upsetting the delicate Israeli-Arab peace process, and so turned a blind eye to the Palestinian leadership's violations.

US President Donald Trump has no such hang-ups.

Earlier this week, Trump eagerly signed into law a congressional bill that includes the so-called "Taylor Force Act," which slashes hundreds of millions of dollars in US aid to the Palestinian Authority until it stops giving part of that money to Palestinian terrorists and their families.

Killing Jews has become a lucrative career in the Palestinian-controlled territories, with the Palestinian Authority providing to the families of jailed and deceased terrorists stipends that far outstrip the average monthly household income.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked the Trump Administration for finally righting this wrong, and thereby putting the peace process back on a solid foundation.

Netanyahu's statement read:

"[The Taylor Force Act] It is designed to deny to the Palestinian Authority hundreds of millions of dollars that they invest in encouraging terrorism and lavish on terrorist families and the murderers themselves.

"I think that this is a very powerful signal from the US which is changing the rules. It is unwilling to accept the truth of the past or, I should say, the lies of the past, and live with them. It is simply exposing lie after lie and is standing up on truth after truth. I congratulate the American Congress and President Trump for these decisions."

The Taylor Force Act is named after an American student and retired US Army officer who was stabbed and killed by a Palestinian terrorist while strolling the Jaffa promenade south of Tel Aviv during a visit to Israel in 2016.


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Palestinian Authority Touts Its Gender Equality For Letting Women Be Terrorists

Not wanting to miss out on the gender equality movement that's all the rage in most of the Western world these days, the Palestinian Authority has been talking up the prominent role of women in its society.

For instance, most Palestinian leaders have absolutely no problem with women joining men as equals in the merciless slaughter of Israeli Jews.

In fact, the most deadly Palestinian terrorist attack on Israelis ever was led by a women. In 1978, Dalal Mughrabi and her team of killers from current Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party, hijacked a passenger bus on Israel's coastal highway and executed 37 of the people aboard, including 12 children.

Mughrabi has ever since been held aloft as a role model for Palestinian girls.

On International Women's Day, which was marked earlier this month, the secretary-general of Abbas' "moderate" Fatah party, Tayeb Abd Al-Rahim, highlighted Mughrabi as evidence of the gender equality in Palestinian society.

"From the outbreak of our revolution in 1965, the outlook of the Palestinian National Liberation Movement - Fatah - has been clear in its social aspect; it saw no difference between women and men, and Dalal Mughrabi who led men is testimony to this," said Al-Rahim in remarks carried by the official Palestinian newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida.

March 11 was the 40th anniversary of the Coastal Road Massacre, and the Palestinian Authority took that, too, as an opportunity to encourage young Arab girls to emulate the blood-soaked female terrorist.

At a local high school event, the Palestinian Authority's Al-Yasser Cultural Forum announced that its agenda is to "return the glory to the fighting Palestinian girls and women such as Dalal Mughrabi and others who sacrificed their lives for Palestine [sic], and also to provide information and knowledge to these female students during recesses."

The Palestinian Authority obligated itself in the various signed agreements with Israel to cease all incitement that could lead to violence against Israeli Jews. Ongoing violations of this stipulation are seen by Israel as the primary obstacle to peace.

SOURCE: Palestinian Media Watch

PHOTO: Teenage Palestinian girls hold a picture of Dalal Mughrabi, a woman who is celebrated for having killed more Jews than any other Palestinian terrorist. (Issam Rimawi / Flash 90)


Israel's First "Lone Soldiers" Workshop Has Taken Place

Thanks to generous donations from our Israel Today readers, the first workshop for "Lone Soldiers" took place last week. The workshop, held in Rehovot, prepared 60 "lone soldiers" with the information they need to prepare for their future lives in Israel, once they are released from their service.

The staff of Knafaim (Association for Israeli Lone Soldiers) work hard to keep every soldier in Israel after their service and have a success rate so far of 83%. All donors and staff involved can feel satisfied with their commitment!


Europe Tells Palestinians to Stop Antagonizing Trump

The Palestinian leadership might not like it, but the unavoidable fact is that the United States, even under President Donald Trump, is an absolutely necessary player in brokering any Middle East peace agreement.

That was the message that Germany's new foreign minister, Heiko Maas, sought to convey to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas this week.

Maas is in Ramallah to meet with Abbas and his regime (pictured) in an effort to kickstart the Israel-Palestinian peace process.

While there, he told Abbas to "not tear down bridges" with the Americans.

In recent months, Abbas has taken great offense to Trump's unabashed affinity for Israel, going so far as to publicly wish for the White House to collapse on the American leader's head. Wishing for someone's house to fall on their head is a common Arabic curse against one's enemies.

While he's not personally insulting Trump and other members of his administration, Abbas has been lobbying hard in Europe to launch a new peace process that doesn't include the Americans.

But, he's hit a brick wall, after European leaders unequivocally told Abbas that a comprehensive Middle East peace deal leading to the creation of a Palestinian Arab state is impossible without the involvement of Washington.

Maas reiterated that position on Monday.

What the Europeans have agreed to do is lobby the Trump Administration to abandon its outright support for Israel and its positions. But, if the past year has taught us anything, it's that Trump marches to the beat of his own drum, and is unlikely to heed any recommendations he feels are not in line with his administration's agenda in the region.


Praying for Rain

South Africans last week gathered to pray for rain from heaven.

On the back of a prayer meeting that drew 1.7 million Christians to intercede for their nation last April, a similar event was held in Cape Town.

Led by farmer/evangelist Angus Buchan, It’s Time again petitioned God – not only for physical rain to end a crippling three-year drought, but for a Holy Spirit outpouring to end a famine of God’s Word in the land.

And God has promised to answer such a plea. Speaking to Israel, his chosen, he says: “I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground…” (Isaiah 44.3)

It is well to remember that this pledge was originally addressed to, and still specifically applies to, the nation of Israel. And it’s no secret that the Jewish state has been transformed from a barren wilderness to a fertile garden since its re-birth 70 years ago. And, yes, the promise for Israel can indeed be appropriated for Gentile nations who honour the God of Israel along with his special people, the Jews.

But pleas for rain from heaven will otherwise go unheeded as such blessing is dependent upon our first blessing his people (Genesis 12.3, Numbers 24.9). However, it will not come if we belatedly accept Israeli offers of help with water technology; it’s the ultimate water supplier we need to call upon in prayer and repentance.

The above scripture (Isaiah 44.3), promising heavenly outpouring on a thirsty land, once provided the inspiration to pray for revival in the Hebrides for two elderly ladies, <a href="">who just happen to be grant-aunts of U.S. President Donald Trump</a>. And I believe this has a direct bearing on the way the President has led the way in honouring Israel by recognising Jerusalem as its capital.

Blind 84-year-old Peggy Smith and her 82-year-old sister Christine, who was almost bent double with arthritis, pleaded day and night for God to fulfil his word, and the ripples of the subsequent revival of 1949-52 went all around the world.

Note that the Scripture verse quoted does not stop with the promise of water (both physical and spiritual), but continues: “I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.”

Not surprisingly, President Trump is proud of his Scottish heritage and has visited the Isle of Lewis where his ancestors helped to change the world for Christ.

God truly honours his word, and responds to faith in his promises. But please note the Zionist connection!

As I contemplated last week's gathering in Cape Town, city of my birth, I pictured the majestic mountainous landscape surrounded by the waters of the Atlantic and Indian oceans – all that sea and yet no rain – and imagined the waves piled high to make way for the faithful to walk through in prayer and petition, rather like the Israelites of old passing through the waters of the Red Sea as Moses led them out of slavery towards the Promised Land.

Jews everywhere will be celebrating Passover later this week, recalling how the angel of death ‘passed over’ their first-born, but did not spare Egypt’s sons, paving the way for their exodus as Pharaoh had his fill of plagues.

The Jews were saved, however, not just by the water that subsequently drowned the Egyptian army, but by the blood of the sacrificial lamb daubed on the lintels and doorposts of their homes.

Has South Africa – and its leadership in particular – not had its fill of plagues – of sin, corruption, poverty, violence, unemployment, disease and drought?

The way out of this trap is the blood of the ultimate Passover Lamb, Jesus the Messiah, sacrificed on a hill outside Jerusalem 2,000 years ago, who said: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no-one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14.6)

Fellow South Africans: mark your hearts with the blood of the Lamb, and He will send water on a thirsty land!

PHOTO: “I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground…” (Isaiah 44.3) A refreshing scene at Ein Gedi in the Judean desert, on the shores of the Dead Sea. Picture: Charles Gardner

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


Does Planting Olive trees In The Desert Make Sense?

He wrote that there was no water there and the project was “a waste of money that does not make sense!” Of course it makes sense! We suggested that he come visit Israel in twelve months to witness with his own eyes what you have accomplished. Faith and trust make the difference!

These pictures of this beautiful anemone and other flowers were photographed in the Negev desert, in the area right next to our vineyard and olive grove, and although the area looks sandy and dry, it still produces such beautiful flowers!

The first 1,000 olive trees were planted on March 15.

Another 1000 olive trees are planned to be planted in late April and due to continued demand from all corners of the earth we are planning a 3rd planting of an additional 1000 olive trees around the Jewish Sukkot festival in September.

Thank you for your support and commitment to our desert greening project!


Third Temple Alert: Police Authorize Passover Sacrifice Next to Temple Mount

Religious Jewish factions say they are moving ever closer to the realization of the Third Temple in Jerusalem.

The latest evidence of this is police authorization, granted on Sunday, for a Passover sacrificial ceremony to be held just tens of meters from where the Second Temple once stood.

Religious groups have been holding public Passover sacrifices, in accordance with the biblical outline, for years. But never before have they been permitted to conduct the ceremony so close to the Temple Mount, which the Muslims claim as their own, even as they deny the holy site holds any religious or historical significance for the Jewish people.

Last year, the Passover sacrifice was conducted in the courtyard of the nearby Hurva Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem's Old City, some 450 yards from the Temple Mount. This year, it will take place at the Davidson Center, an archaeological park situated at the southern foot of the sacred plateau, and just below the Al Aqsa Mosque.

PHOTO: Priests sounding silver trumpets at the 2015 Passover sacrifice, which was held in the Kiryat Moshe neighborhood in western Jerusalem, miles away from the Temple Mount. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)


The Most Interesting Aspect of Israel Admitting it Bombed Syria's Nuclear Reactor

Israel last week publicly acknowledged that in 2007, it bombed Syria's nascent nuclear reactor before it could go online.

Everyone already knew it was Israel, but now it's official.

That Israel broke with its policy of ambiguity and the timing of the announcement are topics of much discussion and debate in both the Israeli media and the foreign press.

But of equal interest is the near total lack of responses from Arab governments and news outlets.

One might expect a wave of condemnations over Israel carrying out such a blatant attack on a member of the Arab League. Instead, we haven't heard a peep.

Speaking to Israel Hayom, two Arab government officials, one from Egypt and the other from Jordan, provided some insight on this most bizarre aspect of last week's top news item.

"The Arab silence is understandable, because any statement on the matter will harm the interests of the Arab leaders," said the Egyptian, noting that his boss, President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, is facing an election this week.

Sissi has been a quiet partner of Israel in combatting the spread of ISIS and other radical Islamists, and wouldn't want to be seen condemning an Israeli action that ultimately served to keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of the Islamic State.

The Egyptian added that when the bombing took place, "then-President Hosni Mubarak and his government didn't shed any tears over the destruction of the Syrian reactor. Looking back, one can understand the Egyptian concern over the possibility of Syria becoming the first Arab country with a nuclear weapon."

The Jordanian official concurred that the 2007 airstrike had been as much to the benefit of other Arab states as it was to Israel:

"Israel, by making this public, is also highlighting its concern for the interests of moderate Arab states – preventing a fragile country such as Syria from acquiring nuclear weapons, and the timing of the reactor attack before it became operational to avoid the possibility of polluting the area with radiation."

Israel has over the past decade been inching closer to its more moderate Arab neighbors in the face of shared regional threats like Iran's nuclear program and the rise of ISIS. The reactions, or lack thereof, to Israel admitting that it bombed Syria only serve to highlight this new reality.


The April Issue Has Been Published!

    A sample of articles of the current April issue:
  • The World is Run by Lunatics
  • Gaza’s Suffering is Entirely Self-Inflicted
  • Free and Slaves of God
  • Christ at the Checkpoint: "Love Jesus, Hate Israel!"
  • The Messianic Jew in Trump’s White House
  • Has the Seal of the Prophet Isaiah Been Found?

Not yet a subscriber? Don't miss out and get your digital subscription here now!


Trump Adds Another Staunch Israel-Supporter to His White House Team

US President Donald Trump on Thursday again made a White House staffing change that indicates he's gearing up for a shift in Middle East policies that favors Israel.

Following the ouster of former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Trump also fired his National Security Advisor, H.R. McMaster.

Both men were replaced by staunch supporters of the Jewish state, and just as staunch opponents of former President Barack Obama's nuclear deal with Iran.

Tillerson was replaced by former CIA Director Mike Pompeo. And, going into the weekend, it was announced that Trump's new National Security Advisor will be former US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton.

Bolton has made a name for himself as an ultra-conservative who thinks Iran should be bombed before it's too late, and who unwaveringly backs Israel in its conflict with regional antagonists.

These changes signal not only a more more severe shift in policy vis-a-vis Iran, but should be cause for great concern among the Palestinian Authority leadership, which of late has gone out of its way to antagonize Trump.

PHOTO: John Bolton, then the Deputy US Secretary of State, meeting with former Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in 2003. (OHAYON AVI/GPO)


Israel Opens Investigation Into Facebook's Violation of Privacy Laws

Israel last week joined several other nations in launching a public investigation into Facebook's violation of local privacy laws.

The world's leading social network has been under fire since it was revealed earlier this month that loopholes in its terms of use were exploited by private firms to harvest the personal data its users.

The UK-based marketing firm Cambridge Analytica reportedly gained access to the private data of more than 50 million Facebook users, which it then used to help clients "micro-target" their selected audiences.

No doubt, many Israelis were caught up in this, and the Israel Privacy Protection Authority intends to hold Facebook accountable.

In a statement released last week, it announced:

"The Israel Privacy Protection Authority informed Facebook today that it had opened an investigation into its activities, following the publications on the transfers of personal data from Facebook to Cambridge Analytica, and the possibility of other infringements of the privacy law regarding Israelis.

"According to the Israel Privacy Law, personal data may only be used to the purpose for which it was given, with the consent of the individual.

"Therefore, the authority will investigate whether personal data of Israeli citizens was illegally used in a way that infringes upon their right to privacy and the provisions of the Israel Privacy Law."

PHOTO: Israeli leaders past and present, like former President Shimon Peres, have been avid users of Facebook. (Moshe Milner/GPO/FLASH90)


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WHO'S MORE ANOINTED: Pence, Abbas, Netanyahu or Messianic Jews?

Who can truly claim to be anointed by God? A series of recent remarks highlighted how the term "messianic" has come to be abused.

The full article appears in the March 2018 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
CLICK HERE to read it now >>


Trump Admin Warns Palestinian Leadership It's Skating on Thin Ice

Washington's patience for the Palestinian Authority leadership is nearly spent.

Ever since President Donald Trump came to the White House, US-Palestinian relations have been tense, to say the least.

Trump's overt affinity for Israel, and his unwillingness to tolerate the outrageous claims and demands of Palestinian leaders is, according to most Israelis, a breath of fresh air.

Of course, the Palestinian Authority sees the situation quite differently. President Mahmoud Abbas has become so upset by the Trump Administration that he's taken to spouting personal insults against American diplomats.

Speaking to Palestinian officials in Ramallah this week, Abbas referred to US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman as a "son of a dog" for his personal views on the legitimacy of the Israeli settlement enterprise in the biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria.

A day later, White House and US State Department officials warned Abbas to curb his hostile rhetoric.

"President Abbas’s comments were outrageous and unhelpful," said State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert. "We urge the Palestinian Authority to focus its efforts on improving the lives of the Palestinian people and advancing the cause of peace. The administration remains fully committed to those goals."

Trump's Middle East envoy, Jason Greenblatt, also chimed in, writing on Twitter that "the time has come for President Abbas to choose between hateful rhetoric and concrete and practical efforts to improve the quality of life of his people and lead them to peace and prosperity."

The US Congress is set to vote in the coming days on a bill that includes significant cuts to American foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority, which Trump has indicated must be earned by good behavior and a willingness to make peace with Israel.

PHOTO: US envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt meets with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas on May 25, 2017. Photo by FLASH90


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Israel Confirms It Destroyed Syrian Nuclear Reactor, Warns Iran It's Next

Israel on Wednesday formally acknowledged what everyone already knew - that its air force destroyed Syria's nuclear reactor on September 6, 2007.

For over 10 years, Israeli officials have merely "winked" when asked about the operation. Now that it's official, the IDF is calling the covert bombing operation deep inside Syrian territory a warning shot for other enemies.

"The message of the attack on the reactor in 2007 is that Israel will not accept the construction of a capability that threatens the existence of the State of Israel. That was the message in ’81. That was the message in 2007. And that is the message to our enemies for the future," said IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot.

Both Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and Intelligence Minister Israel Katz more directly suggested that if Iran continues to seek nuclear weapons, it's next.

"Our enemies’ motivation has increased in recent years, but so has the might of the IDF… This equation should be understood by anyone in the Middle East," said Liberman.

Katz tweeted that "the courageous decision of the Israeli government almost 11 years ago to destroy the nuclear reactor in Syria and the successful operation following it sends a clear message: Israel will never allow countries like Iran who threaten its existence to have nuclear weapons."


American Ambassador Responds to Palestinian Leader Calling Him a 'Son of a Dog'

Tension between the Palestinian Authority and the Trump Administration ratcheted up yet again this week when Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas insulted the American ambassador to Israel.

Speaking to Palestinian officials at his headquarters in Ramallah, Abbas referred to US Ambassador David Friedman as a "son of a dog."

Trump "has said that [Jewish] settlement building is legitimate," Abbas complained. "That’s what several American officials have said including, first and foremost, their ambassador in Tel Aviv, David Friedman. He said [settlers] are building on their land. Son of a dog, they are building in their land?"

Friedman was made aware of Abbas' remarks just moments before delivering a speech of his own at the Sixth Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism in Jerusalem.

The American decided to bring up Abbas' insult, asking his audience, "Antisemitism or political discourse? Not for me to judge, I will leave that up to you."

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu noted that such rhetoric from the Palestinian leadership has become the norm ever since Trump took office and Washington stopped blindly accepting the Palestinian narrative.

"For the first time in decades, the American administration has stopped pampering the Palestinian leaders and says to them: ‘Enough is enough,’" said Netanyahu. "Apparently, the shock from the truth is causing them to lose their tempers."


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South Africa Eats Humble Jewish Pie

In the face of an apocalyptic scenario, the South African government has apparently been forced to eat humble pie in its ongoing spat with Israel.

The three-year drought that has afflicted the nation has now reached the drastic stage of a looming so-called Day Zero – July 15 this year – when Cape Town, a city of four million, will effectively run out of water; that is, they will be cut off from running water, and will be forced to line up at collection points for a miserly rationing.

Opposition MP Kenneth Meshoe revealed in the Cape Town Parliament last month that both the national and provincial authorities there had refused an offer of help from the Jewish state, who have developed an extraordinary prowess in innovative water technology.

The African Christian Democratic Party member said the aid had been turned down in the pursuit of a “narrow political agenda” focused on boycotting Israel over its alleged discrimination against Palestinians.

But now an Israeli researcher who attended a water symposium in Johannesburg last month is saying that the South African government is open to the possibility of help from Israel, and that suggestions they had spurned such aid were incorrect.

Dr Clive Lipchin, a water expert and lecturer from Tel Aviv University who grew up in South Africa, said: “ANC (the ruling African National Congress) government officials who addressed me from the audience said they were happy to look at Israel as a model.”

Whatever the truth about refusal or acceptance, I have not heard any official denial of Mr Meshoe’s damning claim. In any case, the ANC leaders have made their aggressive stance against Israel abundantly clear, accusing it of being an ‘apartheid’ state, which is obviously based on misinformation spread by the UN-backed Palestinian propaganda machine.

But South Africans who lived through apartheid and know more about the situation on the ground in Israel have made their position crystal clear – for those with ears to hear – that ‘apartheid’ in Israel is pure fiction, but is very much a reality in the surrounding Arab states.

And a further dose of reality is that a dry country with a scarce water supply has more than it needs due to innovative programmes such as desalination. This has obviously led to the new approach in Cape Town, which has seen Economic Free Fighters (another opposition party) leader Julius Malema challenge those who “created water out of nothing” to see if it can be done in the Cape.

But back in 2016, a Johannesburg conference focusing on the water crisis was cancelled due to Israeli participation. There are also wild claims circulating that the drought is a Zionist plot from which Jews stand to benefit. But apparently a fear of dying of thirst is trumping political correctness.

However, I believe the crisis does have a Zionist link. And it is quite simple and straightforward. The South African government has repeatedly – and openly – spoken against God’s chosen people about whom He said: “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse…” (Genesis 12.3)

South Africa’s leaders have despised the people God has chosen to be a light to the Gentiles (Isaiah 49.6) – yes, a spiritual light because they gave us the Bible, and they gave us Jesus, but also a practical, physical light in the form, for example, of technical expertise in water conservation. It is marvellous indeed how people living in a desert have turned their country green in fulfilment of ancient prophecies (see Isaiah 35).

The Bible speaks of how there will come a time when many will acknowledge the hand of God on Israel. Isaiah 49.23, for example, says: “Kings…and queens…will bow down before you with their faces to the ground; they will lick the dust at your feet.”

But those who oppose Israel will find that they are fighting God, who brought them out of Egypt with a mighty, miraculous hand by making a path through the sea to freedom.

Why wait until the plagues have multiplied, as Egypt did, before repenting over evil plans against God’s people?

There was a drought in Israel at the time of Elijah, of similar length to South Africa’s. And it was only broken after the people turned from idols thanks to the prophet’s leadership.

South Africa’s leaders, I suggest, need likewise to repent and abandon the worship of false gods.

PHOTO: While suffering from a drought of its own, Israel has become an expert in water management, and is still able to assist others. (Yaakov Lederman/FLASH90)

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


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In Eulogizing Terror Victim, Gov't Minister Shouts: 'God Gave Us This Land'

Israeli government officials used the funeral of yet another victim of terror to remind the Jewish state's enemies that it is by Divine decree that Israel has been reborn.

Adiel Kolman, a 32-year-old father of four, was stabbed to death in Jerusalem's Old City on Sunday.

The terrorist was identified as Abd al-Rahman Bani Fadel, a 28-year-old Palestinian Arab who had been granted a five-day entry permit to look for work inside "Israel-proper."

Kolman reportedly managed to struggle with Fadel until police arrived and shot the terrorist dead. Kolman then succumbed to his wounds. His heroic actions might very well have prevented Fadel from stabbing anyone else.

At Kolman's funeral on Monday, Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel insisted that the response would be even more Jewish settlement in all the Land of Israel.

"Our revenge is settlement and holding tight to the land," said Ariel. "This land is ours. We received it from God, blessed is he."

Also attending was Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, who highlighted Kolman's work at the City of David archaeological site, and stated:

"Yesterday, they succeeded in harming Adiel. The sorrow is deep and difficult, but they’ll never succeed in removing us from our path. We in Jerusalem are determined not to change our daily routines and to continue to build in Jerusalem and in the Land of Israel."

PHOTO: Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau speaks during the funeral of Adiel Kolman. Photo by Hadas Parush/Flash90


Palestinian Bystanders Tried to Help IDF Soldiers After Terror Attack

A young Palestinian Arab man rammed his car into a group of Israeli soldiers on Friday, killing two and badly wounding two more.

That naturally elicited more feelings of frustration and anger among Israelis toward the Palestinians.

At the same time, something happened that, after finally being fully reported, is countering that ill-will.

Following the car-ramming attack in northern Samaria (the so-called "West Bank"), a group of Palestinian Arab bystanders did their best to assist the wounded Israeli soldiers, and to prevent a follow-up attack.

The entire incident was captured on video by one of the Palestinian bystanders.

In the footage, after the ramming itself, a Palestinian man can be heard calling out to the soldiers in Hebrew, "Soldier, has someone called for assistance? Can we help?"

CLICK HERE to see the video on the website of Israel's Ynet news portal (text and audio are all in Hebrew).

Aware that the other Israelis at the scene were understandably on edge, the Palestinians kept their distance, but were eager to provide aid.

Also of note is that the video shows that the loaded M-16 assault rifle of one of the soldiers who had been hit by the vehicle was lying on the street at the feet of the Palestinian bystanders.

It was a golden opportunity to carry out an even more devastating attack on the hated "Zionist occupiers." A member of Hamas wouldn't have hesitated.

But these Palestinian men were seen clearly keeping their distance from the weapon, making it clear to the soldiers that they meant no harm.

PHOTO: Israeli soldiers at the scene of where two Israeli soldiers murdered and another two were injured in a car-ramming terror attack near Mevo Dothan, in the West Bank, March 16, 2018. Photo by Meir Vaknin/Flash90


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Two Young Israeli Soldiers Laid to Rest After Weekend Terror Attack

Israel on Saturday tearfully laid to rest Sgt. Netanel Kahalani, 20, and Capt. Ziv Daos, 21, after a Palestinian Arab rammed them with his vehicle a day earlier.

"I have not yet processed this and I don’t know if I can go on," said Netanel Kahalani's father, Danny, at this son's funeral. "I loved you so much, and I lost you in a second. Twenty years is nothing, but I am thankful for them."

Kahalani's mother, Naomi, added: "Netanel was a gift. I thank God for giving me this child. He had a heart of gold, a pure soul. He was an incredible child."

Daos, who was posthumously promoted to the rank of captain, was scheduled to be buried on Sunday afternoon.

The two were killed on Friday afternoon when 26-year-old Palestinian terrorist Ala Qabha rammed his car into a group of soldiers at a military outpost in the northern "West Bank."

Two other soldiers wounded in the attack are still hospitalized with serious, but not life-threatening injuries.

Qabha initially claimed the incident was a mere car accident, as did his family. But he later recanted and admitted his intention to kill Israeli soldiers.

The terrorist's brother and father have since been arrested on suspicion they were party to his plans, and the family home is slated for demolition.

Israeli soldiers mourn over the fresh grave of Cpt. Ziv Daos during his funeral in Holon Cemetery on March 18, 2018. Ziv Daos was killed on Friday in a terror vehicle-ramming attack near Mevo Dothan, in the West Bank. Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90


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Israel Pounds Gaza After Terrorist Bomb Targets IDF Troops

Palestinian terrorists operating out of the Gaza Strip detonated a bomb against Israeli soldiers on Thursday, sparking a furious Israeli response.

The bomb was detonated along the Gaza security fence as an IDF patrol approached. No Israelis were injured in the explosion.

Moments later, Israeli tanks opened fire on several Hamas installations. Palestinian media reported that Israeli aircraft also bombed Hamas bases in northern Gaza.

Israeli officials said that while it is still unclear who planted the explosives, the IDF holds Hamas responsible as the ruling power in Gaza.


Did You Know Israel is the Fifth Largest Arms Supplier in the World?

Israel has been rated as the world's fifth largest arms supplier, following the US, Russia, France and Germany.

Israeli weapons manufacturers racked up a whopping $1.26 billion in sales last year, according to a survey by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

Over half of those sales ($715 million) were to India. The next largest customers for Israel's arm industry are Vietnam ($142 million) and Azerbaijan ($137 million).

Sadly, being a good customer doesn't seem to include diplomatic support. Both Vietnam and Azerbaijan, despite maintaining solid business and military connections, routinely vote against Israel at the United Nations.

Israel is ranked 18th among importers of arms, having spent $528 million last year. Nearly all (97.5 percent) of Israel's arms imports come from the US, with the remainder coming from Germany.

PHOTO: Former Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon inspecting developments at Israel Air Force Industries. (Ariel Hermoni/MOD/Flash90)


You Are Helping to Green Israel's Desert - As We Speak

The first 1000 olive trees are being planted in the Negev desert. Some of our Israel Today employees are on-site, planting the trees and enjoying the breathtaking view of the desert.

We have reserved 200 olive trees for our readers that want to plant their own trees.

We invite you to visit your tree in the south, that's only a 2 hour drive from Jerusalem, next time you are in Israel!


VIDEO: Your support for our "Lonely Soldiers"!

Your support are primarily used for the following projects:
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• Pre-military vouchers for "Lone Soldiers"

We will report on the upcoming "Lone Soldier" support workshop at the end of March / beginning of April, letters of thanks for vouchers from some lone soldiers will follow.

The following video explains the "Wings project" which supports lone soldiers which come to Israel from all corners of the earth. Their appreciation and thanks for the support they receive are expressed in their own words. Without this support it would be more difficult to cope without family support.


Israel Holds Emergency Drills, Preparing for War on Six Fronts

Last week at the graduation ceremony for new Israeli naval officers, IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Gen. Aviv Kochavi said that the Jewish state was preparing for war on no fewer than six fronts.

Kochavi did not list those fronts, except to say that Iran is among them.

The others can be guessed at: Egyptian Sinai, where ISIS holds sway; Hamas-ruled Gaza; Lebanon; Syria; and the cyber realm.

Of course, many of those other threats are being encouraged and even financed by Iran.

This week, Israel launched massive war drills together with 2,500 visiting American soldiers.

As part of those drills, air raid sirens sounded throughout the country on Tuesday, unfortunately frightening those who were unaware it was just an exercise.


Israeli Birth Rates on the Rise

The Israel Bureau of Statistics has released new figures showing a massive rise in birth rates in the Jewish state.

In 2016, 181,405 babies were born in Israel. That's a 92 percent increase over the number of babies born in 1980. Of those babies, 73.9 percent were born to Jewish women, and 23.3 percent to Arab women.

Among developed nations, Israel has by far the highest birth rate. The OECD average is only 1.7 children per woman, well below the minimum required for population replacement. In Israel, women have an average of 3.11 children.

Like most developed countries, Israel experienced a sharp decline in birth rates between 1950 to 2000. In 2005, Israeli women were having an average of only 2.8 children. But the Jewish state has experienced a resurgence in its birth rate over the past decade, and now leads many surrounding Arab communities. For instance, Saudi Arabian women were having 7.3 children in 1979, but now have just 2.7 on average.

A similar trend was observed among local Arab women. While Palestinian Arab Muslims were having an average of 6 children in 1980, today that number has dropped to 3.29. That's still slightly above the Israeli Jewish average, but it's falling, while the Jewish average is rising.

Considering the current birthrates, Israel is expected to have a total population of 20 million people by the year 2065.


Reports: Hamas Tries to Assassinate Palestinian Authority Leadership

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah on Tuesday survived what appeared to be an assassination attempt while entering the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

Hamdallah was traveling to Gaza for the inauguration of a new wastewater treatment facility.

As his convoy passed into the Gaza Strip, a large roadside bomb was detonated, wounding several members of the Palestinian leader's entourage.

Hamdallah himself was unharmed.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party, to which Hamdallah also belongs, called the incident a "terrorist attack" and blamed it on Hamas.

Hamas violently seized control of Gaza in 2007 after Abbas refused to honor the outcome of Palestinian legislative elections by appointing one of its leaders as prime minister of the Palestinian Authority. Hamas had won a clear parliamentary majority in the election.

PHOTO: Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, Rami Hamdallah, attending a Fourth of July event at the US Consulate General in Jerusalem on July 12, 2017. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)


Israel Pleased With Planned Meeting Between Trump and North Korean Leadership

Surprising everyone who believed he was leading America to war, US President Donald Trump has accepted an invitation to meet with the North Korean leadership.

Trump insisted that the only outcome he'll accept is North Korea's denuclearization.

Last week, the White House confirmed the invitation and said the exact date and location of the meeting are currently being hashed out.

In the meantime, Israel is very much looking forward to such a gathering.

According to MK Michael Oren, who serves as a minister in the Prime Minister's Office, the very fact that North Korea was the one to offer the invitation proves that Trump has won.

And that will have a huge impact on preventing Iran from building and fielding nuclear weapons.

"The Iranians are looking at this meeting very closely," Oren told Israel's 103 FM radio. "They see an American president who doesn’t compromise on the nuclear issue, while North Korea is the one caving in."

Oren noted that Trump's ability to keep enemies guessing was what forced North Korea to back down, and it will have the same effect on Iran.


Israel Will Be Celebrating Her 70th On April 18th

Are you planning to visit Jerusalem during her 70th anniversary celebrations? Have you already booked a place to stay?

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Report: Trump's Mideast Peace Plan is Almost Finished

True to his nature, US President Donald Trump is planning to take a radically different approach to brokering peace between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs.

According to senior American officials who spoke to The New York Times, the Trump White House is currently putting the final touches on its Middle East peace proposal.

Unlike past proposals from presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, Trump's plan will reportedly eschew broad (read: vague) suggestions and predetermined outcomes.

Rather, it will take head-on the very specific issues currently preventing an agreement and offer very specific solutions to them.

For instance, rather than push off the issue of sovereignty in Jerusalem or call for a vague "fair and just solution" to the "refugee" issue, Trump's plan is said to contain very real, very practical proposals for each.

Also notable is that Trump's plan reportedly does not call for the creation of a two-state solution, though its proposals do open up the possibility for such an outcome.


Putin Tries to Blame the Jews

Amid an ongoing investigation into possibly Russian interference in the last US presidential election, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he "could not care less."

Recently, US Special Counsel Robert Mueller issued a string of indictments in the case, most of them to Russian nationals and companies.

Speaking to to NBC News last Friday, Putin insisted that these individuals, if they are indeed guilty, "do not represent the interests of the Russian state."

After all, he continued, "they might be Ukrainians, Tatars, Jews, just with Russian citizenship."

Israeli officials were furious.

Member of Knesset Ksenia Svetlova (Zionist Union), who was born in Moscow, told The Jerusalem Post:

"Maybe the Jews interfered in the American elections, maybe the Jews control the world, maybe Jews slaughtered the Jews in Poland. For all those allegations, there is one origin: Jew-hatred. I expect the Israeli government to come out strongly against these serious remarks made by the Russian president. If Israel won’t defend the Jews, nobody will do so in its place."

PHOTO: Flash90


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COMMENTARY: Is This the True Face(Book) of Labour?

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is under fire over yet more allegations of anti-Semitism.

Screenshots obtained by the UK’s Campaign Against Anti-Semitism (CAA) reportedly cite historic involvement of Mr Corbyn and other party members – as well as a BBC reporter – in a secret Facebook group trafficking Jewish conspiracy theories, Holocaust denial and the like.

They allegedly show Corbyn participating “right up until his first weeks as leader of the Labour Party”, the CAA claimed.

Labour are said to be investigating the allegations, which include group discussions on conspiracies about Israeli involvement in the 9/11 terror attacks on New York and members using terms such as ‘JewNazi’ along with a comment that ‘[I] am reading Mein Kampf [by Adolf Hitler] …everybody should be forced to read it, especially Jews who have their own agenda as to why they were not liked,’ the Jewish Press reported.

During last year’s snap General Election, some sections of the media accused Christian candidates of being “not fit for office” because of their traditional views on sexual ethics and the unborn.

Well, if Mr Corbyn and his colleagues were indeed members of this odious group, they too are surely not fit for office – certainly not that of Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition!

This latest shocking revelation only serves to emphasise how the squabbling Tories urgently need to get their act together and line up squarely behind Theresa May. Or else, never mind Brexit – hard, soft, or none at all – Britain could find themselves undoing all the sacrifices made in two world wars by allowing something too close to Nazism for comfort to flourish on our own shores.

There’s no doubt that many have become hypnotised by the inexplicable magnetism of Labour’s hard left leader who has already come dangerously close to power despite negative press coverage linked with anti-Semitism such as his reference to terror groups Hamas and Hezbollah as ‘friends’.

London Mayor Ken Livingstone was handed a year’s ban from the party last April, which has now been extended indefinitely, after claiming Hitler supported Zionism before he went ‘mad’.

The new claims emerged only days after a separate row over anti-Semitism begged yet more questions of the Labour Party. These revolve around tweets by a key Corbyn aide that Israel was guilty of ‘genocide’. Joss MacDonald, a Labour Party speech writer, has also branded Israel an ‘apartheid’ state, insisting people excuse its behaviour ‘because of the Holocaust’, according to a tweet he posted in the aftermath of the 2014 conflict with Gaza.

And yet, ironically, Labour is also currently under fire for receiving £540,000 from Formula One tycoon Max Mosley who is said to have done much to keep apartheid South Africa on the world motor-racing circuit at the time of the global sporting ban on the then white-led nation.

Tory MP Andrew Percy, who is Jewish, said MacDonald’s “disgusting slur” (accusing Israel of genocide) shows yet again that Labour have “a systematic problem with anti-Semitic racism”. And there is an urgent need for that problem to be addressed, he added.

As I’ve already intimated in earlier posts, British politicians are once again in danger of being side-tracked by issues – including Brexit – that blur our focus on the bigger picture.

In God’s eyes, according to the Bible, Jerusalem is the very centre of his attention. The prophet Ezekiel records: “This is Jerusalem, which I have set in the centre of the nations, with countries all around her.” (Ezek 5.5) Apparently the Hebrew for Zion (another name for Jerusalem) suggests something that is ‘marked’. In other words, it is the focus of God’s attention, the most important city on earth. This is why it has been fought over so much through the centuries; it’s centre-stage for the great battle between God and his enemies, and it could all erupt into a global conflict before too long.

Already, there is much talk of a possible war looming between Israel and Iran (along with its Russian-backed proxies Hamas and Hezbollah). In light of such a dark shadow, there is surely an urgent need to hone and clarify our relationship with the Jewish state. We need to get used to the idea that Europe is not our future. But a strong relationship with Israel and the United States would most definitely be in our interest – certainly promising hope and blessing.

Speaking of Israel, the prophet Isaiah warns: “For the nation or kingdom that will not serve you will perish; it will be utterly ruined.” (Isa 60.12) We can surely take comfort from God’s Word, promising blessing to those who bless Israel, and cursing on those who don’t. (Genesis 12.3, Numbers 24.9)

I am encouraged to hear that, thanks to the vision of a giant sword being planted in the ground in Parliament Square given to a lady vicar from London’s Notting Hill, plans are in hand to read the Bible (the sword of the Spirit – Ephesians 6.17) outside Parliament each day this year. We need to get back to the Bible, on which our great country was built.

Battered and bruised by social disintegration as values based on our Judaeo-Christian legacy are recklessly jettisoned, Britain could sure do with some blessing rather than the curse that would inevitably follow lack of comfort for the people who gave us the Bible, Jesus and indeed Western civilization itself.

It’s time to choose whose side we’re on!

PHOTO: Those who think the kind of antisemitism that gave rise to the Holocaust is a thing of the past need only look at the rise in anti-Jewish incidents today, and the rhetoric of ascending Western political figures. (Yoav Ari Dudkevitch/Flash90)


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The flag of The State of Israel includes two blue stripes on white background with a Star of David (in Hebrew, Magen David) in the center. The two blue bars on the side represent the tallit (the prayer shawl with blue stripes worn by Jews during prayer) and the Star of David is a common symbol of the People of Israel from Biblical times.


Israel's Christian Kibbutz

Israel Today's David Lazarus pays a visit to the little-known, but enormously successful Christian kibbutz of Beth-El.

The full article appears in the March 2018 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
CLICK HERE to read it now >>

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Poll: Early Elections Will Only Strengthen Israel's Right-Wing Gov't

If various coalition partners make good on their threats to abandon the Netanyahu government in a vote of no-confidence by the opposition, polls show that the right-wing Likud party will only benefit from early elections.

A new poll conducted this week by Israel's Maagar Mochot (Brain Trust) found that if elections were held today, the Likud would win 34 of the Knesset's 120 seats.

In second place would be the centrist Yesh Atid faction with 24 seats.

The opposition Zionist Union (Labor) would suffer the most, dropping from its current 24 seats to just 10 in the new Knesset, while the right-wing settler faction, Jewish Home, would rise from 8 seats to 14 seats.

The other drastic change, according to this particular poll, is that the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, one of the sources of the current government's headaches, would fail to pass the electoral threshold and would be absent from the new Knesset.

These numbers would enable the head of Likud to establish a stable government of 67 seats, even without Shas.

However, whether or not Netanyahu would be the one to lead that new government would also depend on the outcome of the various corruption investigations targeting himself, his wife and numerous of their political, personal and business associates.


France: Trump Was Wrong to Recognize Jerusalem as Israel's Capital

France's president believes that for the sake of advancing a peace process that hasn't gone anywhere in 20 years, the international community should continue adhering to a fantasy that is clearly debunked by facts on the ground.

Speaking at the annual dinner of France's Jewish umbrella organization, CRIF, President Emmanuel Macron chastised US President Donald Trump for his recent public recognition of the obvious - that Jerusalem is the capital city of the State of Israel.

Macron called this move an "error" that only served to perpetuate the Middle East conflict.

He went on to echo Palestinian leaders by insisting the US could no longer play the role of honest and unbiased peace broker.

What Macron glossed over was the fact that 20 years of playing to the Arab narrative regarding Jerusalem had likewise never served to advance the cause of peace. Even former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak's offer to surrender most of the eastern half of the Holy City didn't result in an agreement. In fact, it preceeded precisely the opposite - an explosion of violence.

Pretending that Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel to avoid Palestinian outbursts is akin to a parent letting a belligerent child have his or her way to forestall a temper tantrum.

PHOTO: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyah (L) and French President Emmanuel Macron hold a joint press conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France. (Avi Ohayon/GPO)


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Iran Says It Has Tripled Production of Missiles. Guess Who's the Target

There can be only one real target.

While Iran has many enemies in the Middle East, none but Israel poses any real military obstacle to Tehran's dreams of hegemony.

With that in mind, Iran's government-controlled Fars news agency reported on Wednesday that the Islamic Republic has tripled its production of missiles.

A top officer in Iran's Revolutionary Guards suggested that former US President Barack Obama's nuclear deal with Iran had enabled this increase by removing strict international oversight of Iranian military activity.

“In the past we had to do a lot of explaining to various bodies for our actions, but it’s not like that anymore,” said Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh.

Iran has missile capable of striking Israel on the other side of the region.

But far more dangerous is Iran's effort to establish missile bases in neighboring Syria.

With this increased missile production and a firm military foothold in Israel's war-torn neighbor, the Iranian threat to the Jewish state has grown exponentially.


Israeli Rabbi: Religious Jews Aren't Homophobic, We're Just Not Insane

A prominent right-wing rabbi was invited to speak at an event organized by a faction within Education Minister Naftali Bennett's Jewish Home party, and promptly outraged most secular Israelis.

Rabbi Yehoshua Shapira (pictured) is head of the Ramat Gan Yeshiva, and has often spoken out against homosexuality, insisting that such tendencies can be overcome with proper therapy.

At Tuesday's event, Shapira let loose:

"We are not homophobes, and we are not phobic. We do not live out of fear, and we are not scared. We are courageous people, we are the Land of Israel's heroes, and we are not scared of the LGBT trend.

"I have invested many hours in helping people with difficulties in this area. But no, we're not homophobes, we're believers and we're healthy people. And there is an illness which is growing and spreading, and more and more, we are becoming a country that looks like LGBTistan.

"Anyone who speaks about a believing and healthy family is immediately classed as someone who has phobias. He's an extremist. Why? Because he said something that has always been the basis of all of humanity and all of the Torah. It's insane to see this as the problem with Religious Zionism's image.

"When there is an atmosphere of LGBTistan, we don't belong, and they hate us because we're sane."


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