Photo Friday: Because of Your Great Compassion


(Photo: IDF)

(Photo: IDF)

Because of your great compassion you did not abandon them in the wilderness. (Nehemiah 9:19)

An IDF soldier prays atop a hill overlooking the Holy Land. We thank God for not abandoning His children – especially those who defend Israel and her people. Shabbat shalom, friends.

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Friday, September 19th, 2014 at 1:52 PM  | Stand for Israel

Sobibor Death Camp’s Last Survivor

(Photo: wikicommons/Sgvb)

(Photo: wikicommons/Sgvb)

This week, a team led by an Israeli archaeologist unearthed the gas chambers of Sobibor, one of the Nazi’s extermination camps. Yediot Achronot not only spoke with the man who found the gas chambers, but the death camp’s last living survivor, as well:

Siemion Rosenfeld, who is likely the last living survivor from the Nazi death camp Sobibor, was surprised to learn that the remains of the gas chambers in the extermination camp have been revealed in archaeological excavations …

Rosenfeld, who is currently living in Tel Aviv, added that “in September 1943, we were brought (to Sobibor) from the ghetto in Minsk. Some of us were Jewish soldiers who served in the Russian army and were captured by the Germans.”

“The Germans separated the non-Jewish soldiers from the Jewish ones, but they were afraid to shoot us because we were still considered war prisoners. In total, we were 80 Jews from Minsk in Sobibor. We stayed there for 20 days until the uprising, during which I managed to escape,” added Rosenfeld.

The uprising that Rosenfeld is talking about saw the death of several SS troops and the escape of 300 prisoners, but most of them were killed or captured in the days that followed. Only 50 of them survived to see the end of the war.

In his testimony, given at the Ghetto Fighters’ House Museum, Rosenfeld said that when one of the prisoners asked a German guard at the camp where were the rest of their friends, who were with them on the train, he pointed at the smoking chimney and answered “there.”

Rosenfeld went on to say that when the leader of the uprising, Alexander Pechersky, asked him if he is capable of killing a man with an axe, he responded “I am not capable of killing a human being, but I can kill a Nazi.” Rosenfeld was 21 years old at the time of the uprising.

“I wasn’t afraid, because there was no time to think of fear. I was only thinking about living,” added…

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Friday, September 19th, 2014 at 12:10 PM  | Stand for Israel

Ask the Rabbi: Observing Shmita

In this video, Rabbi Eckstein answers a question about the biblical law of shmita, which says that every seven years the land should lie fallow. Learn how this is observed in Israel today.

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Friday, September 19th, 2014 at 9:07 AM  | Stand for Israel

Is a Third Intifada in the Making?

(Photo: Flickr/ IDF)

(Photo: Flickr/ IDF)

Throughout the summer, our attention was on Operation Protective Edge, while now the threat of the Islamic State (IS or ISIS) is dominating headlines. But Israel Hayom’s Nadav Shragai reports that recent violence and rioting in Jerusalem suggest the beginning of an organized third intifada:

For weeks now, 740 Palestinians arrested during recent rioting in east Jerusalem have been under interrogation. These rioters have been gradually laying the groundwork for the third intifada in the capital. Whoever thought that the disturbances were spontaneous expressions of rage will certainly be surprised to learn that these riots are really an uprising that has the hallmarks and fingerprints of an organization …

So far, the violence has been limited to light arms — stones, rocks, and fireworks. Nonetheless, it’s a very fine line between the use of these weapons and the use of firearms and explosives, particularly in the neighborhoods and villages of east Jerusalem. There are some in the eastern half of the capital who have already crossed that line, particularly in the Shuafat refugee camp.

In each of the villages of east Jerusalem, there is at least one dominant player on the ground. In A-Tor, it’s Fatah. In Issawiya‎, it’s the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. In Jabal Mukaber, it’s Hamas. In the Shuafat refugee camp, both Fatah and Hamas are in charge …

It was a group of Palestinians that ambushed the Cohen family as they made their way to the Western Wall last Friday. It was also a group that set fire to a gas station in the French Hill section of the capital in addition to hundreds of other instances.

The villages and neighborhoods are believed to coordinate their actions by using Facebook, fliers, and messengers to communicate the date, time, and location of gatherings and action plans. During their interrogations, some of the rioters said that there is another layer of leadership beyond…

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Friday, September 19th, 2014 at 8:35 AM  | Stand for Israel

Gazans Speak Out on Hamas War Crimes

(Photo: IDF blog)

(Photo: IDF blog)

While Hamas’ strategy of using human shields has been exposed, and its members have even admitted to launching rockets from civilian locations, the world still wants to blame Israel for the civilian deaths in Gaza this past summer. To find the truth, the Gatestone Institute’s Mudar Zahran spoke to actual Gazans, who told a very different story:

They spoke of Hamas atrocities and war crimes implicating Hamas in the civilian deaths of its own people.

Although Gazans, fearful of Hamas’s revenge against them, were afraid to speak to the media, friends in the West Bank offered introductions to relatives in Gaza. One, a renowned Gazan academic, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that as soon as someone talked to a Western journalist, he was immediately questioned by Hamas and accused of “communicating with the Mossad”. “Hamas makes sure that the average Gazan will not talk to Western journalists — or actually any journalists at all,” he said, continuing:

“Hamas does not want the truth about Gaza to come out. Hamas terrorizes and kills us just like Daesh [ISIS] terrorizes kills Iraqis. Hamas is a dictatorship that kills us. The Gazans you see praising Hamas on TV are either Hamas members or too afraid to speak against Hamas. Few foreign [Western] journalists were probably able to report what Gazans think of Hamas.”

D, a store owner, said:

“There were two major protests against Hamas during the third week of the war. When Hamas fighters opened fire at the protesters in the Bait Hanoun area and the Shijaiya, five were killed instantly. I saw that with my own eyes. Many were injured. A doctor at Shifa hospital told me that 35 were killed at both protests. He went and saw their bodies at the morgue.”

To verify those reports, I spoke to a second Gazan academic, who holds a PhD. from a Western university, who stated:

“Hamas did kill protesters, no doubt about that. But we could not confirm how many were actually killed. If…

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Friday, September 19th, 2014 at 8:25 AM  | Stand for Israel

Israeli Hospitals Treat War-injured Syrians

iitnThe ongoing civil war in Syria has spilled into Israel in more ways than one. Hospitals in northern Israel are now treating injured civilians who have fled the fighting. One 12-year-old boy arrived at the Israeli-Syrian border in serious condition resulting from a mortar shell that exploded near his home on the outskirts of Damascus.

Also this week in Israel in the News:

• In the U.S., President Obama is proposing to fight the growing threat of ISIS by arming and training the Free Syrian Army.
• However, in the fight against ISIS, President Obama is not planning to include Iran in the broad coalition of allies to fight this terrorist group.
• Lawmakers in Ukraine are distancing themselves from Russia by approving a trade deal with the European Union.
• A stray mortar shell launched from Gaza landed harmlessly near Israel’s southern border this week — the first mortar launched since a ceasefire was reached with Hamas in late August.

This week’s Israel in the News Perspective features The Fellowship’s Ami Farkas with his thoughts on this most recent incident.

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Thursday, September 18th, 2014 at 4:45 PM  | Stand for Israel

Syria Still Has Many Chemical Weapons, According to Israeli Official



Israel security officials maintain that the Syrian army still possesses “significant” stockpiles of ready-for-use arms primed with chemical toxins, in contravention of the regime’s commitment to dismantle or give up its entire chemical weapons arsenal, according to information released Thursday:

“There is, to my mind, still in the hands of Syria a significant residual capability… that could be used in certain circumstances and could be potentially very serious,” the official was quoted as saying.

According to the official, who was speaking on condition of anonymity, the stockpiles, which were hidden by the Syrian army in secret locations across the war-torn country, included missile warheads, bombs, and rocket propelled grenades. The official added, however, that Israeli intelligence had been able to discover the whereabouts of the hidden arms.

The official told Reuters that Israel had a “high degree of confidence” that its information regarding the weapons was accurate, adding that the IDF had decided not to disclose its estimates until now in order not to harm international efforts to rid Syria of unconventional arms.

The official added that Israel was not particularly concerned that it would be attacked by Syria, since the regime knew that if it were to target the Jewish State with chemical weapons, it “wouldn’t be a game-changer, it would be a game-ender,” for Syria.

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Thursday, September 18th, 2014 at 2:30 PM  | Stand for Israel

What Does Hamas Really Want?

(Photo: flickr/  l_suddenly)

(Photo: flickr/ l_suddenly)

As the dust settles in Gaza and Israel after a relatively long war, Yaakov Lappin, a journalist at the Jerusalem Post, writes that the current truce forms a good opportunity to examine the reason Hamas began their conflict this summer in the first place:

Hamas’s bloody clashes have a dual purpose: First, they act as a fuel that Hamas pours on the national consciousness of Palestinians, to keep hatred burning, and ensure that Palestinians continue to see themselves as being at war with Israel, while viewing Hamas as the soldiers of that war, and thus their saviors.Second, such wars marginalize Hamas’s rivals in Ramallah, the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority [PA], which Hamas often attempts to depict as an Israeli “collaborator.”

Keeping the armed conflict alive — whatever the cost to Gazans — is the central tenet of Hamas’s survival strategy.

Above all else, Hamas wishes to ensure that the torch of jihad keeps burning, to pass it on to the next Palestinian generation. Nothing keeps the flames of jihad alight, and Hamas’s popularity secure, like frequent wars.

Long, open-ended truces, Hamas may fear, could lead to a hibernation of the conflict, which in turn could lead to a long-term political settlement with Israel.

In Hamas’s lexicon, truces and ceasefires are synonymous with rearming and regrouping, and preparing the next attack on Israel.


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Thursday, September 18th, 2014 at 9:17 AM  | Stand for Israel

Face the Brutal Truth About ISIS

(Photo: flickr/ News Feed)

(Photo: flickr/ News Feed)

After initially saying ISIS is a problem that needs to be “managed,” President Obama has now promised to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the terrorist organization. Michael Totten, writing for the New York Daily News, says this shows that the emergence of ISIS seems to be ending the U.S.’s post-Iraq isolationism:

The President is the most reluctant of warriors. He campaigned on ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and even the most casual observer could see that he was spectacularly uninterested in doing the first thing about Syria’s civil war.

What forced his hand is the fact that the Syrian civil war is no longer the Syrian civil war. It’s a regional war that is exploding into Iraq and to a lesser extent into Lebanon. It long ago sucked in Iran and Hezbollah and is now dragging in Washington, kicking and screaming. …

Life is filled with things we don’t want to do but have to do anyway. No one wants radiation or chemotherapy, but if you get cancer, you’re going to have to take it despite the fact that it might not work and that it will certainly feel like it’s killing you.

Let’s not kid ourselves. ISIS — or ISIL as the President calls it — is cancerous. And it is not a benign tumor. It is metastasizing and will not stop growing stronger and deadlier until it is dealt with aggressively and, at the absolute minimum, contained.

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Thursday, September 18th, 2014 at 9:16 AM  | Stand for Israel

Christian Woman Who Faced Death Sentence in Sudan Speaks Out



Earlier this summer, Stand for Israel told you about Meriam Ibrahim, a Christian woman sentenced to death in Sudan for the “crime” of refusing to convert to Islam. We then told you that by God’s grace, Meriam had been freed. Speaking to The Telegraph, this woman of incredible faith now tells the story of her ordeal:

The Sudanese mother who was sentenced to hang for refusing to reject Christianity has spoken for the first time about her ordeal, saying she was resolved to keep her faith even if it meant death …

“While I was in prison, some people came to visit me from the Muslim Scholars Association,” she said. “These were imams that created an intervention by reciting parts of the Koran for me. I faced a tremendous amount of pressure.

“I had my trust in God,” she said. “My faith was the only weapon that I had in these confrontations with imams and Muslim scholars, because that’s what I believe.”

Ms. Ibrahim, who insisted she had been a Christian all her life, was forced birth in prison to daughter Maya.

“I was supposed to give birth at a hospital outside of prison but they denied that request as well,” she said. “When it was time to give birth, they refused to remove the chains from my ankles. So I had to give birth with chains on my ankles.”

Sudan initially blocked Ibrahim from leaving the country even after its highest court overturned her death sentence in June. The family took refuge at the US embassy in Khartoum. The family returned to Manchester on Aug. 1.

Ms. Ibrahim, who now lives in New Hampshire with her husband Daniel and two children, said other Christian prisoners were told any debts they has would be written off if they converted to Islam.

“I would never leave my faith”, she said, “if you don’t have faith you are not alive.

“I put my life at risk for the women of Sudan and for Christians live under difficult circumstances, persecuted…

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Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 3:47 PM  | Stand for Israel

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State of Israel"

Rabbi's Commentary
Remembering the Terror of 9/11, Confronting the Terror of Today

The attacks on 9/11 were a wake-up call to the dangers of Islamist terrorism, and the swift growth of terrorist groups such as the Islamic State should wake us up to a current threat that demands not just our vigilance, but also our unity.

Read Rabbi Eckstein's message »


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