International Fellowship of Christians and Jews

Live Updates:
Terror in Israel

(Photo: IDF)

(Photo: IDF)


February 8, 2016 – 9:20 a.m.
An 11-year-old Israeli boy was stabbed and wounded by a terrorist in the city of Ramle.
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February 7, 2016 – 8:07 a.m.
Soldier lightly hurt in attack by Sudanese national in Ashkelon
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February 7, 2016 – 7:43 a.m.
Netanyahu calls on world to condemn synagogue fire
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Monday, February 8th, 2016 at 9:30 AM  | Stand For Israel

11-Year-Old Israeli Boy Stabbed by Terrorist

(Photo: Hatzalah)

(Photo: Hatzolah)

Terror has again struck Israel to begin the week, this time targeting a young boy. The Times of Israel reports that an 11-year-old Jewish boy was stabbed and wounded by a terrorist in the city of Ramle:

An 11-year-old Jewish boy was stabbed and wounded Monday in an attack in the central Israeli town of Ramle. The attacker fled.

The boy was hospitalized with moderate injuries, the Magen David Adom emergency service said. The child said that the assailant was an Arab.

Police set up roadblocks in and around Ramle and deployed a helicopter in an effort to find the attacker.

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Monday, February 8th, 2016 at 9:29 AM  | Stand For Israel

The Grace of God

(Photo: IFCJ)

(Photo: IFCJ)

While dozens of Israelis have been killed by terrorists since this fall, many more have found their lives shattered because of injuries suffered in terror attacks. The Jerusalem Post’s Benjamin Glatt writes about one of these victims, and how she – and many others – have been helped by IFCJ and its faithful friends:

“It didn’t matter whether I continue or I turn back, I thought to myself. It was all over,” Rivi Lev-Ohayon recalls, her voice still trembling.

October 7 started as a regular day for the 38-year-old lawyer, whose office in Jerusalem is a short drive from her home settlement of Tekoa in the Judean Mountains. The mother of three left her house at 8:30 in the morning, driving past the colossal Herodian palace and small Palestinian villages, as she does every day, and was set to enter the capital any moment.

On Road 398, just as she reached the Beit Sahour checkpoint, however, she was ambushed by more than 10 Palestinian terrorists with large rocks in their hands, who began throwing them at Lev-Ohayon’s car, shattering the windows. They had their faces completely covered with their ultra-nationalistic keffiyehs. Only the murder in their eyes could be seen.

“They had waited for a car right after there was a bend in the road, so I couldn’t see them ahead of time,” she says. “I hesitated for a second, thinking that if I continue they’ll stop me, so I decided to try to turn around and go back to my settlement.”

But escaping the mob wasn’t so easy. Lev-Ohayon started to do a U-turn, but the terrorists jumped on her car, breaking the driver’s-seat window and attacking her, simultaneously opening up the door, pulling her out of the vehicle and beating her. “I thought they were going to kill me. I thought I was going to die.”

Powerless in face of the mob, Lev-Ohayon, almost completely dragged out of the car could do nothing more to protect herself. “They kept kicking and beating me, and then all of sudden…

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Monday, February 8th, 2016 at 8:16 AM  | Stand For Israel

Little Thought of Tomorrow for Ukraine’s Jewish Refugees

(Photo: IFCJ)

(Photo: IFCJ)

As Rabbi Eckstein’s trip to Ukraine showed last week, the needs of that country’s Jewish community are greater than ever – despite the media’s inattention to their plight. The Jerusalem Post’s Sam Sokol reports on what IFCJ is doing to help those who are still suffering greatly:

According to Vishedski, around 200 families in Kiev look to him for assistance and are regularly involved with his center, run out of a small, sky-blue stone building, only blocks away from the synagogue of Chief Rabbi Yaakov Dov Bleich.

“I want a day to come when they don’t need my help,” says Vishedski. But, in the meantime, he organizes regular aid in the form of rent money, food packages and clothing.

“It’s very hard to find work. People turn to us and we worry for them. For the majority of families, it continues to be a struggle. The economy isn’t good, businesses are closing and don’t want to hire people. People don’t know what they will do tomorrow.”

Much of the funding for the rehabilitation for his community comes from the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, he says, referring to a Jerusalem-based charitable organization that raises money largely from Christian donors in the United States and which has become heavily involved in issues relating to Ukrainian Jewry.

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Monday, February 8th, 2016 at 7:42 AM  | Stand For Israel

Hamas Calls for Suicide Bombings on Israeli Buses

(Photo: IDF)

(Photo: IDF)

While much of the recent violence against the Israeli people has been in the form of stabbings and shootings, Hamas is calling for that to change. The Times of Israel reports that yesterday the terror group called for suicide bombing attacks against Israel:

The Palestinian terror group Hamas called Sunday on activists to carry out suicide bombing attacks against Israelis, specifically on buses, in a manner reminiscent of the devastating attacks of the 2000-2005 Second Intifada.

In a music video posted online, Hamas, the de-facto ruler of the Gaza Strip, praised terrorists who target civilians in front of a burning green-and-white Egged bus, Israel’s main public transportation provider.

“To die as a martyr for Al-Aqsa [Mosque] gives the explosive device more and more force,” the song posted by the official Hamas channel Al-Aqsa TV said.

“The intifada is not an intifada if the bus roof doesn’t fly off.”

The song praised terrorists who perpetrate attacks, claiming they served to “humble” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu…

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Monday, February 8th, 2016 at 7:27 AM  | Stand For Israel

Celebrating Jewish Life in Portugal

(Photo: wikicommons/Bricking)

(Photo: wikicommons/Bricking)

While much of Europe is proving to be a frightening and anti-Semitic place for European Jewry, Portugal is welcoming Jewish people. The Inquisition saw the expulsion of the country’s Jews, but now the country is giving them back their citizenship. The Times of Israel’s Rachel Delia Benaim reports on the celebrations at one renewed Portuguese synagogue:

Just before sunset on a balmy Friday evening in January, nearly 200 Jews congregated at the entrance of the Mekor Haim synagogue in the northern Portuguese city of Porto to welcome a new Torah into a restored holy space.

Men danced with the ornately decorated Torah scroll on the freshly painted sanctuary’s main floor, while separately, women danced and sang from the second floor balcony.

Typical of Porto’s native Sephardic style, the Torah was encased in ornate jewel-encrusted silver. Written in Jerusalem and completed in London, the scroll only arrived in its new home a few hours before the event, which was billed as the largest gathering of Jews in Portugal since the Inquisition.

Coming from 14 countries, including Israel, the UK, and Turkey, some 200 Jews converged on Porto’s refurbished synagogue in a weekend retreat celebrating the return of vibrant Jewish life to Portugal…

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Friday, February 5th, 2016 at 1:19 PM  | Stand For Israel

Photo Friday: The Holy People Who Are in the Land

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

I say of the holy people who are in the land,
    “They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.” (Psalm 16:3)

A member of the IDF’s decorated Givati Brigade looks out on the Holy Land given by God to His holy people, a land that the brave men and women of Israel’s military protect. Shabbat shalom, friends.

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Friday, February 5th, 2016 at 9:40 AM  | Stand For Israel

IAF Keeps Eye on Iran Despite Nuclear Deal

(Photo: USAF)

(Photo: USAF)

After Western powers completed the nuclear agreement with Iran, the world’s media felt content that the Islamic Republic would no longer be a global threat. But The Jerusalem Post’s Yaakov Lappin reports that since then – and especially after the recent release of $100 billion after sanctions were lifted – Israel’s military has kept tabs on Iran, as it still remains a current and future threat:

“Hezbollah in Lebanon remains the main threat,” a senior military source said.

“That’s where things are happening that we may not fully grasp. If a third Lebanon war breaks out, we may not fully be aware of the scope and intensity of that event. Hezbollah in the north is the main thing,” the source told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday.

But Iran remains a very significant potential theater in the future, he said.

Despite the historic nuclear agreement last year, “We always have to be ready. Iran heads an axis that threatens Israel. Who said that on the twelfth day of a [potential] war with Hezbollah, we won’t get an order from the prime minister to punish Iran [which sponsors and arms Hezbollah]?” Iran could build its confidence over the next three to five years, and then, in eight to 10 years, it could “lift its heads” and seek a nuclear breakout capability, the source said.

Meanwhile, Iran still “nourishes” the area with malicious terrorism and weapons, the source added.

“The IAF and Military Intelligence have to be ready,” he said.

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Friday, February 5th, 2016 at 7:47 AM  | Stand For Israel

Persecuted Christians: Reverend Hyeon Soo Lim

(Photo: screenshot/youtube)

(Photo: screenshot/youtube)

This month’s persecuted Christian is a Canadian pastor currently imprisoned in North Korea. Reverend Hyeon Soo Lim was born in South Korea, but spent his career as a pastor near Toronto, Canada. After being arrested during a missionary trip to North Korea a year ago, Reuters’ Jack Kim reports that Rev. Lim was forced to make a false confession and is currently imprisoned for life:

Hyeon Soo Lim, the head pastor at a Toronto church that is one of Canada’s largest, has been held by North Korea since February. He had appeared on North Korean state media earlier this year confessing to crimes against the state.

Lim admitted during the trial to “not only viciously defaming the highest dignity of Korea and its system but also possessing the wicked intention of trying to topple the Republic by staging an anti-state conspiracy,” KCNA said…

The prosecution sought the death penalty, but the defense asked for leniency despite the gravity of his crimes “so that he can witness for himself the reality of the nation of the Sun as it grows in power and prosperity,” KCNA said.

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Friday, February 5th, 2016 at 7:15 AM  | Stand For Israel

Israeli Border Guard, 19, Killed in Terror Attack

iitnHadar Cohen, an officer with Israel’s border police, was shot during an attack by three Palestinian terrorists outside the gates to Jerusalem’s Old City earlier this week. The 19-year-old later died of her wounds. Reports indicated that the three suspects, who were later shot and killed, were planning a larger, coordinated attack on civilians inside the Old City.

Also this week in Israel in the News:

• Nine Hamas operatives were killed in two separate incidents where terror tunnels that reached deep into Israeli territory had collapsed. The tunnels have been used to smuggle weapons and launch attacks on Israeli citizens.
• This week President Obama made a controversial visit to a mosque in Baltimore to advocate distinguishing between radical Islamists and peaceful Muslims.
• While recent reports indicate that ISIS has lost major ground in Iraq, the extremist terror group issued a threat to Israelis that they “have not forgotten Israel and are getting closer every day.”
• While the media spotlight on the region has faded, the situation in Ukraine has worsened with continuing attacks from Russian-backed rebels and deteriorating living conditions.

This week’s Israel in the News Perspective features The Fellowship’s Senior Vice President Yael Eckstein on the worsening conditions in Ukraine.

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Thursday, February 4th, 2016 at 8:50 PM  | Stand for Israel