Breaking News: IDF Soldiers Under Fire on Egypt-Israel Border

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

While Israel is still wary of Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon, as well as the Islamic State (IS or ISIS) and other Islamist terror groups in Syria, The Times of Israel’s Mitch Ginsburg reports that two IDF soldiers were injured today in an attack by gunmen on the Egyptian border:

Gunmen in the Sinai Peninsula opened fire on an IDF patrol near the Egyptian border on Wednesday afternoon, injuring two soldiers.

The army said that the soldiers were wounded and were taken to hospital.

Both the IDF and Egyptian army were sending troops to the area.

The Israeli soldiers reportedly returned fire and there were ongoing exchanges in the area.

Egyptian security sources told Arabic news site Masrawy that the radical Islamist group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis was behind the attack.

The incident occurred near Mount Harif in the central Negev Desert, about 112 kilometers from Eilat.

IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said that the shooting attack took place near the community of Izuz.

The soldiers came under anti-tank- and gunfire, he said, noting that the wounded soldiers were not in critical condition.

A female company commander in the Caracal Battalion, which patrols the area, was moderately wounded and a second soldier sustained moderate to serious injuries, military sources said.

Residents of the area were instructed to remain in their homes.

Lerner said the army did not know who was behind the attack but that “jihadi elements” were known to operate in the area.

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Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 at 9:12 AM  | Stand for Israel

Does Anti-Semitism Make You Poor?

(Photo: flickr/Jeff Barnes)

(Photo: flickr/Jeff Barnes)

Recently we have reported on the spread of anti-Semitism across Europe and the rest of the world. Yet even as we are alarmed, we still wonder why this historical hatred continues to occur. Writing at The American Interest, Walter Russell Mead looks at the economic causes – and effects – of anti-Semitism:

Anti-Semitism appears and flourishes among those who don’t quite get modern life, who jump to simplistic but powerful seeming generalizations about cause and effect in a complex world. The world of the anti-Semite may be dark, with all-powerful, string-pulling Jews controlling everything behind the scenes, but the simplicity and clarity of that picture outweighs the darkness: the anti-Semite thinks he understands the world, and that helps ease the pain of feeling tossed about by incomprehensible forces.

But the clarity is false. The anti-Semite is still baffled, confused and at sea; he or she just doesn’t know it. It’s not surprising that someone laboring under these conceptual handicaps would make foolish life choices and bad investment decisions. Even more alienated and embittered because those poor choices have real consequences, the anti-Semite feels more victimized than ever, and attributes the natural result of his or her poor choices to the scheming Jews who make sure that no gentile will ever get an even break.

The linkage of anti-Semitism with a general distrust of finance could also explain one of the mysteries of our time. Radical jihadi groups boast about their intention to purge the Islamic world of the decadent legacy of Europe, but they’ve made an odd exception. There is one kind of ‘boko’ (western knowledge) that is not ‘haram’: the anti-Semitic filth spewed by European tyrants and demagogues in the last 150 years has found a ready audience among the most radical and anti-western of jihadi groups. It’s an anomaly that we don’t think enough about; why is this piece of western ‘knowledge’ so attractive and compelling while everything else coming from the west is suspect?

The ‘suspicion of finance’ that the…

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Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 at 8:29 AM  | Stand for Israel

Hamas Has Two Headquarters: Gaza and Turkey

(Photo: wikicommons/ Kimdime)

(Photo: wikicommons/ Kimdime)

While Operation Protective Edge dealt a heavy blow to Hamas’ terrorist capabilities in Gaza, the terror group still resides there. Israel Hayom also reports that Israel is all too aware of Hamas’ second base of operations in Turkey:

In a meeting with U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon on Tuesday, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon criticized Turkey for the support it provides to Hamas.

“Turkey is playing a cynical game,” Ya’alon told Hagel. “Hamas is supported by Turkey and Qatar. Hamas has two terror headquarters — in Gaza and in Istanbul.

“Hamas moved its terror headquarters from Damascus to Istanbul, in Turkey, a NATO member, where it is represented by Saleh al-Arouri, who orchestrates terrorist attacks against Israel from there and attempted to instigate a coup against [Palestinian Authority President] Mahmoud Abbas in Judea and Samaria,” Ya’alon said.

Ya’alon and Hagel discussed a range of topics on Tuesday, including Iran, the Islamic State group, Syria, Operation Protective Edge and Israel-U.S. defense ties. Ya’alon thanked Hagel for U.S. aid in the development of the Iron Dome anti-rocket system.

“Even if there are disagreements between the U.S. and Israel, they should not be allowed to cloud the deep friendship and warm, intimate ties between the two countries,” Ya’alon said.

A U.S. Defense Department statement said Hagel “reaffirmed the United States’ deep commitment to the security of Israel, and the importance of the U.S.-Israel defense relationship.” Hagel and Ya’alon “agreed to continue to work together to maintain the strength of the U.S.-Israel security relationship,” the statement said.

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Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 at 8:16 AM  | Stand for Israel

U.S. Fighter Pilots on Rumors of ISIS Having MiG Jets

(Photo: wikicommons/ Alexey Goral)

(Photo: wikicommons/ Alexey Goral)

Recently there have been rumors (and even online video) that the Islamic State (IS or ISIS) terrorist group has gotten its hands on Russian-built MiG fighter aircraft. The Daily Beast has spoken with American fighter pilots who say that if these reports are true, these ISIS jets will not stay in the skies for long:

The ISIS terrorist group may have acquired a few old Soviet-built MiG fighters, according to a Syrian opposition group. But even if ISIS does have jet fighters, there is little chance that the group can do any real damage with those antiques beyond their value as propaganda tools, U.S. military pilots say.

“If ISIS is flying, or is thinking about flying, it will not be doing so for very long,” one Air Force official said.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights—an opposition group based in London—ISIS has managed to acquire three Soviet-built Mikoyan MiG-21 Fishbed and MiG-23 Flogger fighters. The aircraft are allegedly being flown by former Iraqi air force pilots, who are also training wannabe ISIS aviators to fly the jets.

Additionally, ISIS appears to have a number of Aero Vodochody L-39 Albatross aircraft, traditionally used for advanced training and light attack. The terrorist group has produced at least one propaganda video purported to show the Czech-built jets in the air. But even if ISIS does have a rudimentary air force, it is basically useless in any true military sense, according to U.S. officials and American military pilots.

“I’d sell my first born to engage all three… by myself,” one highly experienced U.S. Marine Corps fighter pilot joked. Another Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle pilot said, “Send me in, coach! There’s no way they get those airborne!”

Though both the MiG-21 and MiG-23 are supersonic fighters, they are dated and would likely be easy prey to any modern American fighter.

Additionally, many U.S. officials questioned how well ISIS’s MiGs work. The jets may not have functional on-board systems like radars and weapons—nor does ISIS have…

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Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 at 4:04 PM  | Stand for Israel

Israelis Helping Christians Who Are Fleeing ISIS

(Photo: flickr/Domenico)

(Photo: flickr/Domenico)

The Fellowship does all it can to show Israelis and needy Jewish people around the world that they have Christian friends who care for them. This partnership between Christians and Jews has also been demonstrated by Israelis who are helping Christians and other refugees fleeing the Islamic State (IS or ISIS) terrorists who have taken over large parts of the Middle East:

IsraAID, the Israeli-based humanitarian aid agency, has joined the international community effort in assisting Christian and Yazidi refugees fleeing ISIS with blankets, mattresses and food.

As the battle for the Syrian town of Kobani rages on, 1,000 to 1,500 of its residents are crossing through Turkey into Iraq every day, joining the more than 1.4 million IDPs and 200,000 refugees already in the Kurdish Region of Iraq, according to an IsraAID press statement. “They are coming with absolutely nothing but the clothes on their backs, and with winter approaching -places in this area get up to 1m of snow and temperatures that drop to -15C – the situation is increasingly desperate,” the statement reads.

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Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 at 3:22 PM  | Stand for Israel

Faith in the White City

(Photo: Brooklyn Museum Archives)

(Photo: Brooklyn Museum Archives)

On October 21, 1892, the opening ceremony for the World’s Columbian Exposition was held in Chicago. The year-long fair – which ran through 1893 and was recently made popular by Erik Larson’s The Devil in the White City – ushered in many firsts. The first Ferris Wheel allowed fair-goers magnificent views of the entire spectacle and city. The first Hershey’s chocolate, Shredded Wheat, and Cracker Jack were tasted. Countless mouths chewed the first Juicy Fruit gum. Awe-struck visitors witnessed the first zipper and the first electric dishwasher.

One of the firsts that the Columbian Exposition also witnessed was a meeting of global faiths, called the World’s Parliament of Religions. Over 4,000 delegates from many faiths and religions convened. Speakers included the renowned African-American Bishop Benjamin Arnett, the scholar Rabbi Alexander Kohut, and an American professor visiting from Constantinople, Reverend George Washburn.

We’ll share a few choice quotes from some of the conference’s many speakers, and pray that God will continue the cooperation, friendship, and dialogue that still goes on between today’s Christians and Jews.

Rev. Washburn: “We can work together for the many ends which we have in common”

Rev. E.L. Rexford: “There in the distance–is it so great?–is the mountain of the Lord, rising before us into the serene and the cloudless heavens.”

Rabbi Kohut: “Faith is a spark of God’s own flame and nowhere did it burn with more persistence and vehemence than in the ample folds of Israel’s devotion.”

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Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 at 2:14 PM  | Stand for Israel

The Clear Lines of Good and Evil

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

Hamas is a ruthless terror organization whose brutality is matched only by its hypocrisy. Its leaders encourage Palestinian mothers to send their kids on suicide missions, while their own children are neatly tucked away in bed or studying in universities abroad. They invite war and destruction on Gaza, extolling the virtues of war against Israel while hiding in their bunkers, as the rest of their fellow Gazans remain vulnerable to Israel’s retaliatory airstrikes.

Hamas receives billions of dollars in foreign aid. But instead of using it to build schools, hospitals, shopping malls, and residential buildings, they use it to fund their terrorist activities. And with the leftover change, Hamas’ leaders pocket millions, living in the kind of luxury their people will never know.

And when they need the best doctor to treat a family member or a loved one, where do they turn? Israel, of course!

This week, Tel-Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital confirmed that it had treated the daughter of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, who was hospitalized in Israel “for a number of days,” before being sent back to Gaza after her condition stabilized. It turns out that Haniyeh’s daughter was not the only family member to be treated in Israel this year; the former Hamas premier sent his aging mother-in-law and one-year-old granddaughter to Israel for medical treatment as well.

The contrast between Israeli and Palestinian society is as stark during wartime as it is in times of relative quiet. Israel does everything to protect its citizens from attack, while Hamas places Palestinian civilians in harm’s way; Israel does everything it can to minimize Palestinian civilian casualties, while Hamas tries to kill and maim as many Israeli civilians as possible. And in the intermediate periods of quiet, Israel treats Palestinians – even terrorists – in its hospitals, while an Israeli cannot set foot in Palestinian territory for fear of being killed.

The lines of good and evil are so clearly drawn in the Arab-Israeli conflict, yet so many, even in the west, fail to support the just side….

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Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 at 8:34 AM  | Stand for Israel

The West Bank Without Israel?

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

At last week’s conference in Cairo, Palestinian Authority (P.A.) head Mahmoud Abbas called for Israel to leave the West Bank. Now the P.A. is headed to the United Nations Security Council to demand the same. The Times of Israel’s Elhanan Miller wonders if the Palestinians’ demand is sincere, and if it is in the best interests of anyone – Israelis and Palestinians alike – involved:

The Palestinian leadership is bound for the UN Security Council, where it will demand a deadline for Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank. But, given the risk of a swift Hamas takeover of the West Bank, a former Israeli security official questioned the sincerity of the Palestinian demand, speculating that it may be acting against its own self-interest just to spite Israel.

Addressing donor states in a conference for the rehabilitation of Gaza last week, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas did not cite November 2016 as the final date by which Israeli troops are to leave the West Bank (as indicated in a draft resolution). He did, however, stress the need to set a time frame for Israeli withdrawal …

But Yaakov Amidror, who was national security adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu until November 2013 and is currently a senior fellow at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University, said that “the end of the occupation” would soon become the end of the PA and its leader, Abbas.

“Without Israel, Abu Mazen (Abbas) and Fatah cannot survive for even 10 minutes,” Amidror told The Times of Israel. “The problem is, they can’t say it. Their overt behavior — driven more by emotion than by logic — would lead to the end of their regime if Israel were to withdraw, which it won’t do because of its own interests.”

Whether the Israeli withdrawal be quick or slow, Amidror asserted that without Israeli boots on the ground, Abbas had no realistic way of overcoming a Palestinian Islamic movement bent on his destruction.

“Abu Mazen and his people will have to…

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Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 at 8:20 AM  | Stand for Israel

Iran Not Cooperating with U.N. Nuclear Probe

(Photo: flickr/IAEA)

(Photo: flickr/IAEA)

Even while Israel has come under attack from closer enemies, we have kept you updated on the nuclear threat posed by Iran. And as the deadline for a nuclear deal with the Iranians nears, Yediot Achronot now reports that the United Nations has realized Iran has not been transparent with its nuclear investigators:

Iran has still not implemented all the nuclear transparency measures it had agreed to carry out by late August, the head of the UN atomic energy agency said on Monday, suggesting little headway in an inquiry into suspected bomb research.

Western officials say Iran must cooperate more with United Nations nuclear sleuths if it wants to settle a protracted dispute with six world powers over its nuclear program and be rid of crippling financial sanctions.

Nearly two months after an Aug. 25 deadline for answering questions about alleged activity that might be used to develop atomic arms, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) made clear that Iran had not yet fully done so.

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Monday, October 20th, 2014 at 2:48 PM  | Stand for Israel

Hezbollah Renews Hostitilies Against Israel As IDF Fires on Infiltrators

(Photo: flickr/ theisraelproject)

(Photo: flickr/ theisraelproject)

We’ve been keeping you updated on the recent rising hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah. Today, The Algemeiner reports that not only has the Lebanon-based terror group announced its intention to attack Israel, the IDF has fired on infiltrators on Israel’s northern border:

As another shooting incident heated up Israel’s border with Lebanon on Monday, a Hezbollah-affiliated newspaper, al-Akhbar, has reported that the Shi’ite terror group has resolved to renew overt military operations against Israel.

According to initial reports, IDF soldiers from the Horev infantry battalion opened fire on what the Israeli 0404 news site referred to as “three suspicious figures” that had entered a “no-go” area adjacent to an army outpost at Har Dov, along the northern side of Mt. Hermon.

Troops reportedly opened fire in order to frighten off the intruders, when they spotted what they believed to be roadside explosive charges carried by the individuals. There was no report of injury to either side in the confrontation.

The trio fled back within Lebanese territory, and the army is searching the area, according to the report.

The incident comes in the wake of a series of hostile encounters between the IDF and Hezbollah in recent weeks …

Hezbollah is prepared to “storm the Zionist regime by its high-precision missiles,” Lt. General Hossein Salami of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps’ said.

“Today, all the residents in the occupied territories feel insecure and the security of the occupied territories is in an equation that on one side the powerful Hezbollah exists which is ready to storm the occupied territories and everyone knows the destruction power and preciseness of its weapons…”

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Monday, October 20th, 2014 at 12:43 PM  | Stand for Israel

"informing, equipping and mobilizing individuals and churches to support the
State of Israel"

Rabbi's Commentary
Rejoicing in God’s Word

The festive Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah ends and begins the annual cycle of Torah readings in synagogue. It is God’s Word that offers comfort and hope to Jews and Christians alike, reminding us of His permanent presence in our constantly changing world.


Read Rabbi Eckstein's message »

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