Hamas Violates Another Truce; Fighting Resumes

iitnEarlier this week Hamas violated yet another ceasefire, firing at least 50 rockets into Israel and prompting a swift response from the IDF. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recalled the Israeli delegation from peace talks in Cairo – it is Israel’s policy not to negotiate while being fired upon.

Also this week in Israel in the News:

• Israel refuses to give in to Hamas’ demands for an airport and seaport, citing security risks.
• In Ukraine, civilian casualties are growing as the fighting intensifies between government and pro-Russian rebel forces.
• President Obama, Prime Minister Netanyahu react to the brutal beheading of a U.S. journalist by ISIS.

This week’s Israel in the News Perspective features The Fellowship’s Ami Farkas on the recent events in Israel.

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Thursday, August 21st, 2014 at 9:40 PM  | Stand for Israel

James Foley’s Phone Call Home

(Photo: youtube)

(Photo: youtube)

In 2011, journalist James Foley was in Libya covering the war that ultimately led to the overthrow and death of dictator Muammar Gaddafi. While there, Foley was imprisoned by regime forces for 44 days, though eventually released. An alumni of Marquette University, Foley wrote this letter to his alma mater after his release, and talked about the day when, while still in a Libyan prison, he was able to make a call home to his mother:

I replayed that call hundreds of times in my head — my mother’s voice, the names of my friends, her knowledge of our situation, her absolute belief in the power of prayer. She told me my friends had gathered to do anything they could to help. I knew I wasn’t alone.

My last night in Tripoli, I had my first Internet connection in 44 days and was able to listen to a speech Tom Durkin gave for me at the Marquette vigil. To a church full of friends, alums, priests, students and faculty, I watched the best speech a brother could give for another. It felt like a best man speech and a eulogy in one. It showed tremendous heart and was just a glimpse of the efforts and prayers people were pouring forth. If nothing else, prayer was the glue that enabled my freedom, an inner freedom first and later the miracle of being released during a war in which the regime had no real incentive to free us. It didn’t make sense, but faith did.

In late 2012, Foley was captured somewhere in the Middle East by ISIS terrorists who days ago beheaded him. A video of his gruesome execution was distributed on the Internet by ISIS, supposedly as a warning to the U.S. to stop air strikes in Iraq targeting the radical Islamist group.

Perhaps Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said it best: condemning the “savagery” that claimed Foley’s life, he noted, “Hamas is ISIS. ISIS is Hamas … They’re the enemies of peace, they’re the enemies of…

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Thursday, August 21st, 2014 at 3:16 PM  | Stand For Israel

Peace of Mind for Israeli Kids in the Line of Fire

The Fellowship-sponsored Jordan River Village Camp nurtures growth and provides adventure for children with various illnesses and disabilities, and gives them an opportunity to make friends with other children in similar situations. This camp has been invaluable throughout Operation Protective Edge, allowing these children some much-needed peace of mind away from rocket fire.

Likewise, Fellowship Village offers children from rocket-riddled southern Israel the chance to escape the daily code red sirens and finally play outside without fear.

Let’s keep these young children facing so many challenges in our prayers. Thank you for allowing us to offer them a bright spot of joy this summer!

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Thursday, August 21st, 2014 at 2:36 PM  | Stand For Israel

IDF Mobilizing 10,000 Reservists After Israel Targets Senior Hamas Leaders

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

As we reported in today’s Daily Dispatch, the IDF killed three senior Hamas officials last night in an airstrike on the terror organization. Hamas retaliated with rocket attacks on Israel. Now The Jerusalem Post reports that 10,000 IDF reservists are being called up:

The IDF has called up 10,000 reservists, who will replace other reserve forces that are being sent home for rest.

The cabinet approved the measure after the air force carried out an overnight targeted assassination of two senior Hamas terrorists and a lower ranking terrorist in the Gaza Strip.

A total of 86,000 reserves have been called up since the beginning of the conflict this summer, and many of them replaced conscripted ground forces in the West Bank, who were rotated to the Gaza border. Some reserve units have also taken up positions around Gaza.

Meanwhile, the IAF bombed 40 terrorist targets since midnight on Thursday. Half of the targets were struck after being detected in real time by a range of electronic sensors and intelligence gathering capabilities …

The IDF stated on Thursday evening that more than 300 rockets have been fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip since Hamas broke the cease-fire on Tuesday afternoon.

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Thursday, August 21st, 2014 at 9:58 AM  | Stand For Israel

Fellowship-Sponsored Conference Highlights Lifesaving Medical Innovations

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

Many modern medical innovations have come about during times of war. The current conflict in Gaza has been no different. The Jerusalem Post reports that this week in Jerusalem, the Fellowship-sponsored Israel Medical Conference highlighted some of the medical innovations that have been saving lives and relieving suffering during Operation Protective Edge:

A major difference between the current military operation and previous ones in Gaza and other battlefields was that IDF doctors and paramedics were on the scene within seconds or minutes to treat the wounded, instead of lesser-trained medics.

In addition, all soldiers on the front were supplied with special tourniquets that can be applied by a wounded-but-conscious soldier immediately after an incident, to reduce or halt the amount of bleeding. All regular and reserve soldiers in battle were supplied with personal tourniquets …

There was access to hemostatic dressings to stop arterial bleeding too, and reduce bleeding from deep, penetrating injuries, bullet wounds and lacerations.

When medics were not immediately available, wounded fighters’ fellow soldiers had been trained to use lifesaving equipment on the spot, said Kreiss. He commended the selected hospitals around the country who performed excellently in treating the wounded.

Capt. Dr. Sammy Gendler of the IDF Medical Corps, said that many battlefield deaths could be prevented if treated immediately …

Plasma used on the battlefield used to be frozen and difficult to use; freeze-drying makes it as simple as mixing a cold drink.

The original blood is collected from large numbers of healthy soldiers, checked more than once for infectious disease and then freeze-dried and packed.

“During the Gaza operation, we used it on over 150 wounded soldiers.”

In addition to giving fighters self-applied tourniquets, instant plasma, speedy evacuation and better preventive equipment saved lives, he said.

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Thursday, August 21st, 2014 at 8:20 AM  | Stand For Israel

Hamas Official Admits to Kidnapping of Israeli Teens

(Photo: ASHERNET/GPO)

(Photo: ASHERNET/GPO)

From the night when Israeli teenagers Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Frenkel were abducted this past June to the day when their bodies were recovered, it has been suspected that Hamas was behind the kidnapping. Now The Times of Israel reports that a senior Hamas member has admitted that the terror organization did indeed take and murder the boys:

A recording of a top Hamas official admitting the terror group was behind the June kidnapping and slaying of three Israeli teens in the West Bank emerged Wednesday, representing the strongest evidence yet of Hamas involvement in the attack.

Sheikh Saleh al-Arouri, a senior Hamas religious figure, is heard on the video saying that he “blessed the heroic action” which was “carried out by the al-Qassam Brigades” — the armed wing of Hamas. This action, “the kidnapping to Hebron of the three settlers,” was an “operation spoken of far and wide,” al-Arouri added.

The sheikh was speaking at a conference of Muslim scholars in Turkey.

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Thursday, August 21st, 2014 at 8:12 AM  | Stand For Israel

Netanyahu: Hamas and ISIS Are “Branches of the Same Tree”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a statement today, speaking against Hamas – who broke the most recent ceasefire, and continues to launch rockets into Israel. The Jerusalem Post gives further information of Netanyahu’s remarks, in which he warned the terror organization that it is not invincible and will be targeted should it continue to target the people of Israel:

He said this his main priority at this time was to protect the citizens of Israel and keep them safe. He said the fight against terror, including international terror organizations, is Israel’s biggest challenge.

“This is the hardest that Hamas has ever been hit since it was founded. I promise that we will not stop until the goal of security for our citizens is achieved.”

Netanyahu warned Hamas that “If you shoot, you will be hit back seven-fold.”

When asked if Israel had attempted to assassinate Hamas military leader Muhammad Deif, Netanyahu said, “the leaders of Hamas are legitimate targets, no one is invincible.”

Netanyahu compared Hamas to the Islamic State, saying that the organizations were “branches of the same tree.”

The Prime Minister’s comments came following a long security cabinet meeting in Tel Aviv discussing the developments in Gaza, and how to go forward.

The meeting came amid an escalation of the fighting in Gaza, with Hamas firing dozens of rockets at Israel throughout the day.

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Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 at 2:40 PM  | Stand For Israel

Who Will Stand Up for the Christians?

(Photo: IFCJ)

(Photo: IFCJ)

Even as the world concentrates on the destruction in Gaza (caused by Hamas firing rockets from civilian sites such as homes, schools, and hospitals), it continues to ignore the plight of Christians across the Middle East. Ronald S. Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, writes in The New York Times that the Jewish people must stand up for oppressed Christians:

Historians may look back at this period and wonder if people had lost their bearings. Few reporters have traveled to Iraq to bear witness to the Nazi-like wave of terror that is rolling across that country. The United Nations has been mostly mum. World leaders seem to be consumed with other matters in this strange summer of 2014. There are no flotillas traveling to Syria or Iraq. And the beautiful celebrities and aging rock stars — why doesn’t the slaughter of Christians seem to activate their social antennas?

I will not be silent in the face of the growing threat of anti-Semitism in Europe and in the Middle East, I will not be indifferent to Christian suffering. Historically, it has almost always been the other way around: Jews have all too often been the persecuted minority. But Israel has been among the first countries to aid Christians in South Sudan. Christians can openly practice their religion in Israel, unlike in much of the Middle East.

This bond between Jews and Christians makes complete sense. We share much more than most religions. We read the same Bible, and share a moral and ethical core. Now, sadly, we share a kind of suffering: Christians are dying because of their beliefs, because they are defenseless and because the world is indifferent to their suffering.

Good people must join together and stop this revolting wave of violence. It’s not as if we are powerless. I write this as a citizen of the strongest military power on earth. I write this as a Jewish…

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Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 at 10:35 AM  | Stand For Israel

Israel-Loathing Hamas Cannot Be Easily Deterred

(Photo: Alamy/Ahmed Deeb/ZUMA Press)

(Photo: Alamy/Ahmed Deeb/ZUMA Press)

As we reported yesterday, Hamas broke the latest ceasefire by launching rockets into Israel, causing the IDF to retaliate and the Israeli government to pull its team of negotiators from Cairo, as it will not negotiate for peace while under attack. Times of Israel founding editor David Horovitz writes that maybe now the international community will realize that Hamas’ intention has never been to make peace, but rather to make war and destroy Israel:

Hamas is still far too strong, and that Hamas will always be far too cynical, to be deterred by Israel’s ongoing response to the attacks from Gaza, the counter-strikes that follow its rocket fire. Hamas lost dozens of its tunnels, and perhaps 1,000 of its gunmen, and pleaded for a ceasefire, apparently believing it could negotiate a diplomatic resolution more satisfactory than the military face-off had yielded.

But most of its elite fighters are still alive. It still has thousands of rockets, and is capable of manufacturing more in mid-conflict. Its local political leadership is safe and sound in the Gaza underground. Its overseas leadership is in still better shape, cosseted in Qatari luxury. And it cares not a whit about the suffering that its violent Islamist extremism is bringing down upon Gazans (a very substantial proportion of whom voted for Hamas in the relatively democratic parliamentary elections of 2006). Thus Israel’s firm negotiating posture has sent Hamas back into conflict.

As Hamas keeps telling anybody who asks, it is bent on “ending the occupation of Palestine” — i.e. ending the existence of Israel. Unfortunately, too few people are asking. Understandably appalled by the death and devastation in Gaza, much of the watching world, including its leadership, are confusing cause and effect.

Hamas is not seeking freedom for the people of Gaza when it demands the “lifting of the siege,” a seaport and an airport, and when it fires rockets because its demands are not being met. It is, rather, seeking the capacity to…

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Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 at 8:52 AM  | Stand For Israel

Americans in More Danger Today Than Before 9/11

(Photo: FEMA/Andrea Booher)

(Photo: FEMA/Andrea Booher)

While politicians have, per usual, taken the spotlight on the international stage, Israel Hayom points to an interview with outgoing chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. Comparing the state of terrorist groups now to the time before the United States’ war on terror began, Gen. Flynn paints a bleak picture, one in which Americans are in more danger today than they were before the September 11 attacks:

…the “international environment” has ‎become “uncertain, chaotic and confused,” that we have entered “a very dangerous era,” ‎and that we are in a period of conflict that may be both “prolonged” and ‎‎”unprecedented.” In other words: He’s trying to sound an alarm …

According to Flynn, in 2004 there were 21 “Islamic terrorist groups spread out in 18 ‎countries.” Today, by contrast, there are 41 “Islamic terrorist groups spread out in 24 ‎countries.” The result, he said, is that Americans today are in more danger than they were ‎prior to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

It’s true that some jihadi groups are focused on local wars, but many if not most “have ‎the intention to attack Western interests, to include Western embassies and in some cases ‎Western countries,” Flynn said. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, self-declared ‎‎”caliph” of the Islamic State, has directly threatened Americans. Some of his warriors ‎have Western passports. That will make it easier for them to enter Europe and the United ‎States at a time of their choosing.‎

Underlying this global conflict, Flynn said, is a “core” ideology that is “spreading, ‎not shrinking.” Having interrogated combatants during the years he served as intelligence ‎chief for Joint Special Operations Command in Iraq and Afghanistan, he concluded: ‎‎”These are people who have a very deeply rooted belief system that is just difficult for ‎Americans to comprehend. Just think about the mindset of a suicide bomber.”‎

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Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 at 8:38 AM  | Stand For Israel
"informing, equipping and mobilizing individuals and churches to support the
State of Israel"

Rabbi's Commentary
Coming Together for Freedom

Renewed rocket fire not only brought an end to the most recent ceasefire, it made clear once again that Hamas does not want peace with Israel – it wants the destruction of the Jewish state. Now is the time for the free world to unite and come together in the fight for freedom, peace, and civilization as we know it.


Read Rabbi Eckstein's message »

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