Photo Friday: Swifter Than Eagles, Stronger Than Lions

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

They were swifter than eagles,
    they were stronger than lions. (2 Samuel 1:23)

As Israel is threatened from all sides, the swiftness, strength, and service of the IDF’s brave men and women keep her safe, much like those seen here in the Golan Heights. Shabbat shalom, friends.

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Friday, January 23rd, 2015 at 1:27 PM  | Stand For Israel

Yemen Coup Could Spell Trouble for Local Jewish Community

(Photo: wikicommons/ Cacahuate)

(Photo: wikicommons/ Cacahuate)

A takeover of the Yemenite capital of Sanaa by Houthi rebels may put the country’s Jewish community at risk. University of Haifa professor emeritus Yosef Tobi told The Jerusalem Post that given the Shi’ite group’s track record, it is clear the community is in danger due to religious hate and extreme Islam:

Sanaa’s Jewish community lives in a guarded district under the protection of the central government, after fleeing to the capital from the town of Saada following Houthis threats in 2007.

“We warn you to leave the area immediately… Ignore this message, and we give you a period of 10 days, and you will regret it,” a Houthi representative warned the Jewish community of Saada at the time.

“Rising societal tensions, and the government’s lack of resources and capacity to protect [the Jews] adequately from increased threats in late 2008 and early 2009, led to increased emigration of the community,” according to a report on the US State Department website.

After the Houthi rebels entered the capital last year, supporters gathered in the streets, some chanting “Death to America! Death to the Jews! Victory to Islam.” The Houthi logo features the phrases “Death to Israel” and “Damn the Jews.”

“The Jews of Yemen are in big danger now,” said Michael Jankelowitz, a former spokesman to the international media at the Jewish Agency and World Zionist Organization. …

Yemen boasted a Jewish population of more than 50,000 during the mid-20th century; there are now fewer than 100 Jews in the capital, with another community of similar size in the northern town of Raida. The majority of the country’s Jews immigrated to Israel shortly after the establishment of the state.

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Friday, January 23rd, 2015 at 9:06 AM  | Stand For Israel

Survey Shows Operation Warmth is More Critical Than Ever

(Photo: Oren Nahshon)

(Photo: Oren Nahshon)

The Fellowship is continuing to provide blankets and heating checks to elderly throughout Israel as part of its Operation Warmth campaign, and new statistics released by The Fellowship on Thursday show that this lifesaving initiative is more critical than ever:

The IFCJ released statistics on Thursday gathered by some 2,000 volunteers participating in the organization’s annual “Operation Warmth,” a heating project for the elderly launched earlier this month. …

According to the IFCJ’s findings, 10 percent of Israel’s elderly cannot afford to eat a hot meal at least once a day, and 20 percent forgo using hot water due to the high costs.

The statistics were collected by IFCJ volunteers during hundreds of home visits throughout Israel. They used a unique smart-phone application developed by the IFCJ to collect data – in real time – on the living conditions of the country’s disadvantaged elderly.

The findings further indicate that one in five of the homes surveyed by volunteers did not have sufficient insulation, and one in four suffered from serious dampness.

As part of the heating campaign, the IFCJ has distributed NIS 8.5 million in heating grants to some 25,000 impoverished elderly eligible for the Nursing Care Law and receiving old-age benefits, including income supplements.

The grants, totaling NIS 350 per person, were provided in the form of a check that could be cashed at any bank. They were distributed by social workers and IFCJ volunteers in 62 local authorities that do not receive National Insurance Institute heating grants for the elderly.

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Friday, January 23rd, 2015 at 9:04 AM  | Stand For Israel

11 Stabbed in Terror Attack on Tel Aviv Bus

iitnA Palestinian man, claiming revenge for the Gaza war, stabbed at least 11 people on a commuter bus in Tel Aviv this week. At least four were taken to nearby hospitals. After fleeing from the scene and stabbing more victims, the suspect was shot in the leg by police and taken into custody.

Also this week in Israel in the News:

• In response to President Obama’s possible veto of more sanctions against Iran, U.S. Congressman Boehner invites Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to address Congress on Iranian threat.
• An Israeli airstrike on Hezbollah in Syria kills 7, including an Iranian general who was there to advise Syrian fighters.
• Ukrainian President Poroshenko says that as many as 9,000 Russian troops are in his country as fighting in Eastern Ukraine escalates.

This week’s Israel in the News Perspective features The Fellowship’s Senior Vice President Yael Eckstein on hope for a unified fight against terrorism.

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Thursday, January 22nd, 2015 at 5:00 PM  | Stand for Israel

Many Killed in Ukraine When Bus Hit by Mortar

(Photo: twitter/shaunwalker7)

(Photo: twitter/shaunwalker7)

While terror attacks around the world have gained much of our attention, the chaos and violence in Ukraine cannot be ignored – turmoil that will see The Fellowship continue to provide Freedom Flights to the country’s Jews. The Guardian’s Shaun Walker reports that at least eight people were killed today when a commuter bus was hit with a mortar from the ongoing battle between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists:

A new attempt to create a lasting ceasefire in eastern Ukraine was left in tatters in just a matter of hours, after a trolleybus in the rebel stronghold of Donetsk was apparently hit by mortar fire. Conflicting reports put the death toll at between eight and 13.

The trolleybus in Donetsk had all its windows blown out, with pools of blood on the floor. There was also major shrapnel damage to a nearby building.

“I saw dead people on the floor, and injured women screaming for help,” said Ivan, a 74-year-old who lives in the building next to the blast. He had a cut face from his windows, which had been blown out by the explosion. “It was a scene of total chaos…”

The deaths came after Ukrainian forces admitted they had lost control of Donetsk airport late on Wednesday, and foreign ministers of Russia and Ukraine agreed as a meeting in Berlin to move artillery back from the frontline.

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Thursday, January 22nd, 2015 at 3:20 PM  | Stand For Israel

Israeli Ambassador to Europe: Take Stand Against Anti-Semitism

(Photo: wikicommons)

(Photo: wikicommons)

With attacks against Jews increasing throughout Europe – culminating in the recent Paris murders – something has to be done about the continent’s rampant Jewish hatred. Ron Prosor, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, has called on Europe’s leaders to stand against anti-Semitism:

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor called on European leaders on Thursday to take a stand against anti-Semitism.

The UN General Assembly held its first-ever meeting devoted to anti-Semitism in response to a global increase in violence against Jews – a meeting scheduled even before the recent attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris.

“Let the message echo from the halls of the UN to the streets of Europe to the capital of every nation – stand for human rights and human dignity by taking a stand against anti-Semitism,” Prosor said.

Prosor asserted that “The struggle against anti-Semitism must be a priority for every nation because the hatred that begins with the Jews never ends with the Jews. History has shown us time and again that when a nation’s Jews are not safe, the entire society is at risk.”

“Europe is being tested,” he said. “We don’t need any more monuments commemorating the Jews who were murdered in Europe, we need a strong and enduring commitment to the living Jews in Europe. If the governments of Europe succeed in defending their Jewish communities, then they will succeed in defending liberty and democracy.”

And vowed that “The days when Jews were the world’s victims are over. We will never again be helpless and we will never again remain silent. Today we have the State of Israel standing guard.

“We have seen the evil that man is capable of, and so we must be vigilant. We must spot the warning signs and act swiftly to condemn anti-Semitism. I call on every nation to stand tall beside us. Refuse to allow evil to take root. Refuse to be silent. And refuse to submit to indifference.”

 

 

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Thursday, January 22nd, 2015 at 10:56 AM  | Stand For Israel

At the Scene of Tel Aviv Terror Attack

(Photo: twitter/Benhartman)

(Photo: twitter/Benhartman)

Yesterday we kept you updated on the vicious stabbing attack on a Tel Aviv bus, including the story of a brave eighth grader who fought the terrorist off with his backpack. Today, The Jerusalem Post provides these gripping eyewitness accounts of the Holy Land’s latest brush with terror:

For almost two hours on Wednesday morning, one of central Tel Aviv’s busiest junctions was gripped with fear and adrenaline, as dozens of witnesses and journalists recounted the city’s first lonewolf terrorist attack in over two months.

Kazis Metzliyah, the head of the traffic division for the Dan bus company, was one of the first to hear about the attack. Around 7:30 a.m. his phone rang, and on the other end was Herzl Biton, the driver of the No. 40 bus.

Moments earlier, Biton had been stabbed repeatedly by the attacker, whom the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) named as 23-year-old Hamza Muhammad Hassan Matruch from Tulkarm. “He told me he was going to die, and if he does, to take care of his children for him … ”

Moses Collins witnessed the attack from a second No. 40 bus riding behind the one where the attack happened.

He saw people running off the bus in front of him, he said, but didn’t understand why at the time. His bus stopped, and the passengers got off and gathered on the pavement, unsure of what had happened on the bus in front of them.

Collins said he had seen the attacker run south down Menachem Begin and then disappear off a side street.

Standing at the scene on Wednesday, one could piece together the timeline of the attack – if one just followed the blood …

The blood remained in the parking lot around the corner, where Ezra Malfout, a middle- aged employee of the lot, stood helping a customer.

“They’re lucky I was a medic in a combat unit. Two of the victims were stabbed and laid here, and I helped them and stopped the bleeding until the…

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Thursday, January 22nd, 2015 at 8:56 AM  | Stand For Israel

Iranian Missile Can Reach Far Beyond Europe

(Photo: Channel 2 screenshot)

(Photo: Channel 2 screenshot)

This week, Stand for Israel has been keeping close tabs on Iran’s escalated threats against Israel, the Islamic republic vowing revenge for the Iranian operatives killed in an airstrike on terrorists near the Syrian-Israeli border. Now The Times of Israel reports on the first images of an Iranian missile that has a dangerously far-reaching range:

Iran has built a 27-meter-long missile, capable of delivering a warhead “far beyond Europe,” and placed it on a launch pad at a site close to Tehran, an Israeli television report said Wednesday, showing what it said were the first satellite images of the missile ever seen in the West …

The Channel 2 news report showed satellite imagery documenting what it said was Iran’s “very rapid progress” on long-range missile manufacture.

It showed one photograph of a site near Tehran, which it said the West had known about for two years, where Iran was working on engines for its long-range missiles.

It then showed a satellite photograph of a second site, nearby, which featured a launch pad, with the 27-meter missile on it — an Iranian missile “never seen before” by the West … capable of carrying a conventional or non-conventional warhead “far beyond Europe,” the report added.

The TV report said the satellite images were taken by the Eros B commercial Earth observation satellite, which was designed and manufactured by Israel Aircraft Industries, launched in 2006, and is owned by the Israeli firm ImageSat International.

Israel has long charged that Iran is working toward a nuclear weapons capability, and has publicly opposed any negotiated accommodation with Iran that would leave it with a uranium enrichment capability for potential nuclear weapons use.

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Thursday, January 22nd, 2015 at 8:35 AM  | Stand For Israel

Israelis Targeted in Anti-Semitic Attack in Argentina

(Photo: flickr/Yaniv Yaakubovich)

(Photo: flickr/Yaniv Yaakubovich)

In today’s Daily Dispatch, we brought you David Horovitz’s in-depth look at the suspicious death of an Argentine prosecutor who’d been investigating an anti-Semitic bombing. Now The Algemeiner reports that a group of Israelis visiting Argentina has been targeted by an anti-Semitic attack:

A group of Israeli tourists has been forced to leave a hostel in Lago Puelo, a national park in Argentina’s Patagonia region, following a violent antisemitic attack which left ten people injured.

Argentine newspaper Clarín reported that three assailants carried out the attack against the Onda Azul hostel, which is popular with Israeli backpackers. Sergio Polak, the owner of the hostel, said, “There were several hours of terror. They shouted, ‘f***ing Jews, you are stealing Patagonia.’”

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Wednesday, January 21st, 2015 at 4:08 PM  | Stand For Israel

“I Threw My Bag at the Terrorist” – 8th Grader Survives Tel Aviv Attack

(Photo: flickr/ Diariocritico de Venezuela)

(Photo: flickr/ Diariocritico de Venezuela)

More than a dozen Israelis were wounded in today’s stabbing attack on a Tel Aviv bus. Yediot Achronot brings us this story of a young boy who survived the attack:

Liel Suissa, an 8th grader from Bat Yam, was on his way to his new high school Wendesday morning, when a Palestinian terrorist armed with a knife began to attack people on the number 40 bus in central Tel Aviv.

“The terrorist suddenly began stabbing,” the 13-year-old recalled. “We all ran back. Most people came flying towards me.

“I was sitting on the bus and I heard people shouting. The terrorist had suddenly gone to the driver and stabbed him. He was shouting things, but I couldn’t hear clearly. I saw him stab the driver, and I ran to the back with the others to get away from him. He approached us, I broke the window and got out.”

Suissa added: “I threw my bag at the terrorist as he approached so he would not come closer. The driver hit the brakes when the terrorist approached us. The terrorist flew into the air and I used my elbow to break the window so that we could get out. The driver opened the door as well.

“He chased us even after we left the bus, with the knife in his hand. I ran behind some cars, and when the security guards came to chase him, I pointed to where he had run. They said afterwards that they had shot him in the leg. I was nervous at first, but then I got over it. I feel alright. It felt like a movie, not like something real. There was a lot of stress.”

 

 

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Wednesday, January 21st, 2015 at 11:34 AM  | Stand For Israel

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State of Israel"

Rabbi’s Commentary
Terror Returns to the Holy Land — Again

Recently our attention has been focused on brutal terrorist attacks around the world. But with Wednesday’s attack on Israelis aboard a Tel Aviv bus, our focus returns to Israel, where we must continue to defend the society and the values we have taken so long to develop and build.


Read Rabbi Eckstein's message »

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