The Ceasefire Debacle

(Photo: U.S. Dept. of Defense)

(Photo: U.S. Dept. of Defense)

Israeli politicians on the left rarely agree with their political opponents on the right; the chasm between their respective ideas makes finding common ground an unusual occurrence. This is not the case in Israel today, where the military operation in Gaza is supported by close to 90 percent of the population, and where the only disagreement is whether Operation Protective Edge should continue until Hamas is completely destroyed, or whether it should end once the terror tunnels have been obliterated.

There is one area in Israeli society where the ideological gap between the left and right is even more boisterous than the Knesset during election season, and that’s in the media. So this week’s unanimous rejection of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s ceasefire proposal by both the security cabinet and the media signaled an almost unprecedented moment in the Jewish state’s history.

The Kerry proposal, handed to the Israeli security cabinet for approval, agreed to all of Hamas’ demands – lifting the siege on Gaza, releasing Hamas prisoners, and continuing the flow of goods, including more cement, into the Strip. Israel’s security needs were vaguely mentioned, almost as an afterthought.

What made Kerry’s ceasefire offer so shocking is that it undercut Egypt’s earlier ceasefire proposal, which Israel has already agreed to, while at the same time rewarding Hamas for a war which it started. Israeli officials were understandably dismayed that instead of placing pressure on Hamas to accept the Egypt’s peace proposal, which calls for the demilitarization of Gaza, the U.S. backed a ceasefire agreement formulated by Qatar and Turkey, two countries that openly support Hamas both financially and diplomatically.

Editorials found in newspapers on both the left and right of Israel’s political spectrum illustrate Israel’s near-unanimous disappointment with Obama and Kerry’s handling of this crisis. The general attitude in Israel is that the U.S. administration has prioritized Hamas’ interests ahead of Israel’s security needs. Israelis understand that this doesn’t represent the general pro-Israel sentiment felt across…

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Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 at 12:45 PM  | Stand For Israel

10 IDF Soldiers Fall in Battle

(Photo: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)

(Photo: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)

As Operation Protective Edge continues, Israel Hayom reports that yesterday was the deadliest day the IDF has experienced since the beginning of the campaign against Hamas, with 10 Israeli soldiers killed:

On Monday night, a group of Hamas terrorists infiltrated into Israel through a tunnel under the border near Nahal Oz. The terrorists fired an anti-tank missile at an IDF position, killing five soldiers. In an ensuing exchange of fire, one of the terrorists was killed, while the rest escaped back to Gaza …

Earlier on Monday, a mortar shell fired from Gaza struck an IDF staging area near the border in the Eshkol region. Four soldiers, all from the Armored Corps, were killed …

Also on Monday, Staff Sgt. Moshe Davino, 20, was killed in southern Gaza when terrorists fired a rocket-propelled grenade at a D9 bulldozer. The terrorists subsequently entered a nearby house. An IDF bulldozer then toppled the house, killing eight of the terrorists. Two other terrorists were arrested by Givati Brigade soldiers.

In both Gaza and the West Bank on Monday evening, Palestinians held joyous demonstrations after learning of the Israeli deaths.

We pray for the families and friends of these 10 brave soldiers who gave their lives protecting their nation and people. May God comfort them.

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Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 at 11:50 AM  | Stand For Israel

In This Gaza War, the Truth Is Buried

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

The Iron Dome defense system has proved its worth, helping defeat many of the terrorist rockets launched on Israel over the past weeks. But Hamas’ extensive system of attack tunnels that are still being uncovered by the IDF, writes Jeffrey Goldberg, illustrates the terrorist group’s true, murderous goals and shows how Israel must continue to respond:

But there is no Iron Dome for tunnels. The tunnels give me real pause. It’s hard enough to imagine a situation in which your neighbors are quite intentionally trying to blow up your house and kill your children with rockets. But Hamas’s well-developed kidnapping strategy represents a whole other category of depravity. The handcuffs and tranquilizers are mere baroque, Pulp Fictionish details. The core depravity of Hamas is its longstanding policy of treating every Jew as a target for elimination.

So I would ask this question: What would you want your government to do if your enemy was digging tunnels under your village, in order to pop out at night to kill or kidnap you? Could you imagine taking the risk that members of your family might be seized, dragged underground, handcuffed and tranquilized, and then held in the dark, perhaps for years, perhaps never to come home? Hamas terrorists have recently emerged from these tunnels inside Israel multiple times. This is not a theoretical threat …

The tactical goals are to terrorize Israelis and bring about the international delegitimization of Israel. The strategic goal — the theological goal, in fact — is to bring about the end of their country.

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Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 at 8:44 AM  | Stand For Israel

A Letter to the Students for Justice in Palestine

(Photo: wikicommons/ Danny-w)

(Photo: wikicommons/ Danny-w)

Even as millions of Americans stand for Israel during these trying times, the movement preaching the message to “Free Palestine” can often be seen on college campuses and street corners. While those like the group Students for Justice in Palestine might think they are standing up for the oppressed, Chloe Valdary – a Christian, a Zionist, and a consultant for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America – says that such a movement does not align with the ideals of justice, equality, and freedom:

• You do not get to champion regimes that murder, torture, and persecute their own people, deliberately keep them impoverished, and embezzle billions of dollar from them—and claim you are “pro-Arab.” You are not.

• You do not get to champion a system wherein Jews are barred from purchasing land, traveling in certain areas, and living out such an existence merely because they are Jews—and claim that you are promoting equality for all. You do not get to enable that system by pushing a boycott of Jewish owned businesses, shops, and entities—and then claim that you are “against apartheid.” That is evil.

• You do not get to justify the calculated and deliberate bombings, beatings, and lynchings of Jewish men, women, and children by referring to such heinous occurrences as part of a noble “uprising” of the oppressed—that is racism. It is evil.

• You do not get to pretend as though you and Rosa Parks would have been great buddies in the 1960s. Rosa Parks was a real Freedom Fighter. Rosa Parks was a Zionist.

Coretta Scott King was a Zionist.

A. Phillip Randolph was a Zionist.

Bayard Rustin was a Zionist.

Count Basie was a Zionist.

Dr. Martin Luther King Sr. was a Zionist …

You see, my people have always been Zionists because my people have always stood for the freedom of the oppressed.

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Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 at 8:32 AM  | Stand For Israel

The Fellowship Opens “Friendship Village” for Thousands of Israeli Children



As terrorist rockets continue to target Israel – especially the southern part of the country – The Jerusalem Post details The Fellowship’s latest effort to help those in the line of fire:

The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) is set to open a complex in the Jerusalem Forest on Tuesday for thousands of children from the South to engage fun filled activities.

The camp, Friendship Village, developed in collaboration with the production company Promarket, will host groups of children daily, in an attempt to salvage what’s left of their summer, mired by the barrage of rocket fire.

“The efforts of the Fellowship stem in two directions, one is addressing security needs and the second toward helping the most vulnerable segments of society – the elderly and the children,” Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder and president of the IFCJ told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday …

This massive undertaking is the latest endeavor by the IFCJ that since the start of Operation Protective Edge has dedicated substantial resources to help the residents of the South – primarily children and the elderly population.

“Unfortunately we have a lot of experience in terms of the wars in Israel, we were on the ground in the second Lebanon war, in the first war in Gaza and now here,” Eckstein said. “The situation has changed dramatically in each of the wars and so we adjusted to what each of the needs was.”

Help us meet the growing needs in Israel throughout this crisis.

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Monday, July 28th, 2014 at 4:49 PM  | Stand For Israel

Hamas Leader: No to Israel As a Jewish State

In an interview for CBS yesterday morning, Charlie Rose spoke with Khaled Meshaal, the Hamas leader safely hidden in Qatar during the conflict in Gaza. Among other topics, when Rose pressed Meshaal whether he would recognize Israel as a Jewish state, Meshaal answered, “No.” Watch the interview above.

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Monday, July 28th, 2014 at 1:59 PM  | Stand For Israel

Breaking News: 4 Israelis Killed by Mortar; 5 Terrorists Breach Border

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

Arutz Sheva reports that at least four Israelis were killed when a mortar shell from Gaza hit a home in the southern Eshkol region, an area where The Fellowship has been working closely with community leaders to provide assistance to the residents who’ve been under some of the heaviest rocket fire. Also reported was an attempted terrorist attack, as five terrorists breached the border before being stopped by the IDF:

At least four, possibly five, people were killed when a mortar shell scored a direct hit on a home in the Eshkol region Monday afternoon. Several injuries have also been reported. The injured were taken to hospitals in Beersheva and Ashkelon, Voice of Israel public radio said. At least three were in serious condition.

Five terrorists were eliminated after they breached the border from Gaza near Kibbutz Nahal Oz, Channel 2 reported Monday evening.

Please pray for the loved ones of those killed by the mortar, and for the safety of those IDF troops protecting those near the border.

Help us meet the growing needs in Israel throughout this crisis.

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Monday, July 28th, 2014 at 12:26 PM  | Stand For Israel

Son of Hamas Founder Tells Truth About Hamas

In this fascinating interview with CNN, the son of one of the founders of Hamas discusses the terror organization’s tactics and ultimate goals. Now a Christian, Mosab Hassan Yousef details how the group his father helped found aims not only to kill Palestinian civilians but to destroy the Jewish state, as well.

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Monday, July 28th, 2014 at 9:45 AM  | Stand For Israel

Hamas’ Media Strategy Is Faltering

(Photo: flickr/ crazymaq)

(Photo: flickr/ crazymaq)

Although some in the world media are yet again – unfairly – championing Hamas as some kind of David to Israel’s Goliath, Professor Eli Avraham writes a hopeful piece in Israel Hayom, saying that the international community seems to be catching onto the terrorists’ media strategy:

This time, however, the international community is aware of Hamas’ nefarious tactics, thanks to the intensive reporting by foreign correspondents on the ground and Israel’s public diplomacy efforts. This exposure has prompted European foreign ministers to protest Hamas’ use of human shields.

Moreover, the rise in anti-Semitic attacks against Jews in Europe have prompted Germany and France to bar anti-Israeli demonstrations at this time, while numerous European nations have expressed their unequivocal support for Israel’s right to self-defense.

Many Israelis are frustrated that Palestinian casualties win extensive international media coverage, while casualties in other war-torn countries garner only minimal exposure …

Hamas, it seems, has encountered difficulties in preserving the momentum of media and political attacks on Israel, given the changes the Arab world is undergoing. The exposure of its use of human shields and its persecution of Christians … has caused its media strategy to falter. Hamas has failed to garner the international media attention and therefore failed to mark the political success it had hoped for.

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Monday, July 28th, 2014 at 8:51 AM  | Stand For Israel

How the Media Is Helping Hamas

(Photo: flickr/ ahmadmesleh)

(Photo: flickr/ ahmadmesleh)

As the international media continues to bring us pictures of the civilian casualties in Gaza, it does little to show us the Hamas leadership behind them, or the fact that these terrorist leaders are hiding among said civilian population. Writing at the Gatestone Institute, Bassam Tawil discusses the fact that many journalists are allowing Hamas to get away with these crimes against humanity:

Hamas and its Palestinian and Western propagandists continue to insist that the Islamist movement does not use civilians in the Gaza Strip as human shields during war. But the truth is that Hamas itself has admitted that it does use innocent civilians as human shields, to increase the number of casualties and defame Israel in the eyes of the international community.

This admission, however, has, of course, gone unnoticed by most Western journalists and analysts reporting on the war in the Gaza Strip. Many Western journalists in the Gaza Strip choose to ignore the fact that Hamas is forcing civilians to serve as human shields. They also seem to ignore the fact that senior Hamas officials and militiamen have found shelter among civilians and in hospitals, especially Gaza City’s Shifa Hospital …

One foreign journalist explained that asking such a question would have “endangered my life.” Another admitted over coffee that he and his colleagues were too scared to report news that would anger Hamas and other radical groups.

“We know that Hamas uses Palestinians as human shields,” the reporter, who asked not to be identified, said. “But why would you report this when you are sitting in the middle of the Gaza Strip, surrounded by Hamas gunmen?”

Besides the human shields story, there is another item that the international media also choose to ignore: the extrajudicial execution of Palestinian “collaborators” during the past two weeks.

Palestinian sources have confirmed that Hamas has executed at least 13 Palestinians on suspicion of “collaboration” with Israel. None of the suspects was brought to trial, and the executions were reportedly carried out in the most brutal…

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Monday, July 28th, 2014 at 8:39 AM  | Stand For Israel
"informing, equipping and mobilizing individuals and churches to support the
State of Israel"

Rabbi's Commentary
The Heartbreaking Reality
in Southern Israel

Last week I traveled to southern Israel to stand in solidarity with communities that are getting the brunt of the rocket fire…

Read Rabbi Eckstein's message »


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