IDF Soldiers Educate the Next Generation

While so much of the focus on the Israel Defense Forces goes to those who defend Israel from the many threats and enemies that the nation faces – focus these brave men and women rightfully deserve – defense is not all that the IDF provides the Jewish state. Unlike many of the world’s military forces, the IDF not only protects the present population, it prepares and educates Israel’s future, as well:

Cpl. Yael Shtockman is one of the many soldier-teachers that work in Israeli schools across the country. As a Hebrew teacher in an elementary school in Beer Sheva, she is tasked with educating new immigrants and incorporating them into Israeli society. Her unique role as a soldier and teacher gives her a special opportunity to work closely with children.

Cpl. Shtockman works with the students every day, making her service different from many other soldiers in the IDF. “My goal is for the students to have the courage to speak in class,” she says. “Not just to sit in the classroom and understand, but also to speak amongst themselves.” She encourages the students by playing games, singing songs, and reading books with them …

The Education Corps was founded in 1957 and its representatives can be found in every branch and unit of the IDF. The corps duties include educating commanders and soldiers, developing leadership skills, teaching heritage and culture, incorporating minorities and special communities into the IDF, and spreading the values and Spirit of the IDF.

Cpl. Shtockman concludes that the importance of the Education Corps is to demonstrate a human aspect of the IDF, something that is not common in other armies throughout the world. “Part of our obligation as a nation is to help our citizens in every way possible,” she says.  “The IDF does more than just defend the nation. It is not only in charge of the security of its citizens, but also their education.”

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Friday, October 24th, 2014 at 3:24 PM  | Stand for Israel

Photo Friday: Happy Birthday, Bibi!

(Photo: ASHERNET/GPO/Haim Zach)

(Photo: ASHERNET/GPO/Haim Zach)

Earlier this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu celebrated his 65th birthday. We pray that God grants him many more happy years. Shabbat shalom, friends.

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Friday, October 24th, 2014 at 1:09 PM  | Stand for Israel

Unrest, Instability, Intifada in Hamas’ Interest

(Photo: flickr/ synnetonidas)

(Photo: flickr/ synnetonidas)

This week Stand for Israel has been keeping you abreast of the terror attack in Jerusalem, and the ensuing chaos. Violence and instability have spread across the Holy City. While Hamas is headquartered in Gaza and Turkey, The Times of Israel’s Mitch Ginsburg writes that the terror group longs to spread this unrest and tension, in hopes of wresting control of the West Bank:

Whether the violence in Jerusalem since the gruesome murder of Muhammad Abu-Khdeir in July amounts to a Third Intifada will only be clear in hindsight. But what the murder on Wednesday of Chaya Zissel Braun has shown, beyond the ruthlessness of the act and the enduring tension in Jerusalem, is the shrewdness of Hamas’s strategy of overthrowing the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank by, of all things, persistently killing innocent Israelis.

That is one of the ways Israel should view the recent developments in Jerusalem. When Abdel Rahman al-Shaludi, a Hamas member and relative of a former head of the organization’s armed wing, turned his car into a lethal weapon on Wednesday, he was, whether by design or not, acting exactly according to the alleged Hamas coup plans exposed in August.

At the time, the Shin Bet said that it had exposed a Hamas plan to “overthrow the Palestinian Authority and seize control of Judea and Samaria.”

Many pictured a coup: the surrounding of the Muqata and the deposing of the chairman of the Palestinian Authority. But what the Shin Bet actually uncovered was a plan, coordinated from Hamas headquarters in Turkey, to establish a loose network of terror cells, comprising a total of 93 operatives, which would “destabilize the security situation in the West Bank and carry out a string of grave attacks in Israel…”

Hamas, of course, cannot take all of the credit for the roiling tension and constant drip of violence in the northern part of the city since the July murder. Other forces are at work, too – the…

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Friday, October 24th, 2014 at 8:09 AM  | Stand for Israel

Cruel to the Kind: Palestinians’ Anti-Jewish Hatred

(Photo: flickr/ talkingphotographer)

(Photo: flickr/ talkingphotographer)

Imagine the international condemnation were Israel to pass a law banning its citizens from selling or renting land and/or houses to Arabs, sentencing violators to a lifetime of hard labor. Well, the Palestinians did just that, and yet not a single word of rebuke or hint of criticism was raised by the West.

The Times of Israel reported:

According to the official Palestinian Wafa news agency, Abbas on Monday imposed a sentence of hard labor for life on “anyone diverting, renting or selling land to an enemy state [Israel] or one of its subjects [Jews].”

This law denying Jews the basic human right to purchase or rent land is a classic example of apartheid. Yet the Palestinian Authority knows it won’t be called out on it – not by the U.S., not by the E.U., and certainly not by its friends in the U.N.

If Israel outlawed the sale or lease of land to Arabs, The U.N. Security Council would immediately pass resolutions condemning the Jewish state, while also threatening boycotts and sanctions.

In fact, Israel has been accused of committing apartheid, while the Palestinian Authority – which is actually committing or attempting to commit apartheid – has never faced such accusations. Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter wrote a book titled Israel: Peace or Apartheid, and many other world leaders have joined in this libel.

Meanwhile, Israeli Arabs enjoy more rights than all other Arab citizens of the Middle East, while Jews cannot rent or buy any land in Palestinian-controlled ”Jew-free” territories.

Common sense dictates that if you reward bad behavior you end up getting more of it. Unfortunately, common sense is not so common these days. The international community simply ignores Palestinian intransigence while rebuking Israel at every chance. And what do we get in return – no peace, more war, and zero flexibility from the Palestinian side.

Our Sages teach that “whoever is kind to the cruel will end up being cruel to the kind.” This lesson rings very loud today, especially in regard to…

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Friday, October 24th, 2014 at 8:08 AM  | Stand for Israel

Two Dead in Canada from Attacks by Islamic Radicals

iitnTwo Canadians were killed this week in two separate attacks by Islamic radicals. In the latest incident, a guard was shot dead during a shooting spree at Canada’s National War Memorial and Parliament building. Earlier in the week, a soldier was killed in a deliberate hit-and-run. Both attackers were known affiliates of extreme Islam.

Also this week in Israel in the News:

• In Jerusalem, an infant girl was killed and several others were injured when a Palestinian man with ties to Hamas drove his car into a train station. Officials are calling it a terrorist attack.
• Two IDF soldiers were wounded in the Sinai Peninsula after anti-tank missile and gunshots were fired by attackers from Egypt.
• The newly elected Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko met last week with Russian officials during a diplomatic summit in Italy. Talks focused on a more solid peace pact.

This week’s Israel in the News Perspective features The Fellowship’s Senior Vice President Yael Eckstein with thoughts on Israel’s unflinching kindness.

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Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 at 7:49 PM  | Stand for Israel

Canada Terror Attacks Follow Terrorist Playbook

(Photo: wikicommons)

(Photo: wikicommons)

Yesterday’s terrorist shootings at Ottawa’s War Memorial and Parliament building, as well as this week’s earlier hit-and-run killing of a Canadian soldier, have horrified Canada and the world. But these attacks are very much in-line with the directives laid out by al-Qaeda, the Islamic State (IS or ISIS), and other terrorist organizations. The Times of Israel’s Michel Moutot writes that these attacks follow terror groups’ instructions for “individual jihad” against the West:

These deadly acts appear to follow what al-Qaeda has been preaching for years through articles or videos posted online, calling on recruits and volunteers to go it alone without specific orders or training.

Members of the group founded by Osama bin Laden had always been scattered across parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan among other nations and were the regular target of US drone attacks, making it hard to group together all those who wanted to volunteer for jihad.

As a result, in late 2010, the English-language jihadist magazine Inspire, published from Yemen by American Muslim convert Adam Gadahn — known as “Azzam the American” — lauded individual jihad.

“Muslims in the West have to remember that they are perfectly placed to play an important and decisive part in the jihad against the Zionists and Crusaders… So what are you waiting for?” he asked in a video posted some time later …

Online jihadi magazines have published recipe upon recipe for homemade bomb-making — “how to make one in your mother’s kitchen” being one of them — as well as lists of prime targets.

Any method goes: shooting or knifing them, planting homemade bombs, giving poison, or using a car or a truck as a weapon …

In an eerie echo, the Islamic State group also called on Muslims around the world last month to kill fellow citizens, particularly from countries that are part of an international coalition fighting the extremist organization that controls swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq.

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Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 at 3:33 PM  | Stand for Israel

Netanyahu: Jerusalem Is Under Attack

(Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

(Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Yesterday Stand for Israel reported on the terror attack in Jerusalem that left a baby girl – three-month-old Chaya Zisel Braun – dead. In today’s Daily Dispatch, we noted that the Palestinian Authority has not only lauded the terrorist, but blamed Israel for inciting the murderous rampage. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has responded by saying that Jerusalem is under attack  – as are other world cities – and that Israel will not allow such terrorism to go unanswered:

“Jerusalem is under attack,” charged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday, less than 24 hours after a terrorist plowed through a crowd of Israelis at a Light Rail station.

The prime minister convened a security consultation at the Jerusalem Police headquarters with the internal security minister, the chief of police, the head of the Shin Bet, the mayor, and the regional commander – as rock throwing incidents continued across the capital …

“Jerusalem is not the only city under attack by terrorists; other cities across the world are, as well. But the offensive in Jerusalem is supported by the chairman of the Palestinian Authority, Abu Mazen, who glorifies the murderers and embraces the group they belong to – Hamas,” said Netanyahu.

Netanyahu used the occasion to remind world powers of the threat posed by terrorism. “Against these acts we face international flaccidity. But there is no such weakness here. We will stand strong for our rights and our obligations to protect our capital.”

We pray for the family of the infant who was killed, for the others injured in the attack, and for the peace of Jerusalem and elsewhere.

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Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 at 11:19 AM  | Stand for Israel

Why Are Europe’s Teenage Girls Joining ISIS?

(Photo: flickr/kenstein)

(Photo: flickr/kenstein)

As the Islamic State (IS or ISIS) makes its way across Iraq and Syria, and as the United States and others battle this spread with airstrikes and support for those on the ground, reports continue to surface of young people traveling from elsewhere to fight for the terrorist organization. While some of these fighters have been from the United States, the large majority are European. Tablet’s Lee Smith takes a look at why ISIS has proven to be such a draw for Europe’s young people:

Thousands of young European Muslims have already left the continent for the Middle East to help the organization’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, build an authentic Islamic caliphate. Doubtless thousands more are on their way, to kill and die for an idea they believe in.

It is a striking fact that ISIS appeals not only to young men, but also young European women, many hundreds of whom have gone to Syria and Iraq to marry Islamic State fighters. Sure, some of them, like the 15-year-old French Jewish girl Nora el-Bathy, may have come to regret their decision. But that hardly alters the essential point: The girls sought out IS fighters because the West seems weak and unmanly and they pine for real men who are willing to kill and die for what they believe in.

Why? Europe’s got great health care, welfare, and lots of attractive young men and attractive women who, unlike the vast majority of women in the Middle East outside of Israel, are sexually available. So, why given a choice between a comfortable, if somewhat boring, life as a pharmacist in Hamburg, or fighting and dying in the desert, are thousands of Western Muslims opting for the latter?

Because, for all the awesome social services and consumer goods it can offer, Europe has become incapable of endowing the lives of its citizens, Muslim or not, with meaning …

And it’s precisely the violence of IS that appeals to the Europeans. For the Middle East, after all, despite…

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Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 at 9:49 AM  | Stand for Israel

The Story Behind Hamas’ Planned Tunnel Massacre

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

Throughout Operation Protective Edge, Stand for Israel kept you abreast of Hamas’ network of terror tunnels, as well as the IDF’s work to find and destroy them. Because of the terrorist group’s attempts at gaining the sympathy and support of the international media, their evil actions often seem to go unnoticed by the world. But now, writing for Vanity Fair, Adam Ciralsky provides this fascinating in-depth look at what Hamas had planned and how Israel stopped it:

The threat, indeed, is all too plausible to Israeli intelligence officials, who agreed to share with Vanity Fair the backstory of how earlier this year they may have narrowly averted their nation’s own 9/11. The alleged plan of attack (as pieced together by defense and security professionals through electronic intercepts, informants, interrogations of Hamas operatives, as well as computers and satellite imagery obtained from Hamas compounds during the war) was chilling: a surprise assault in which scores of heavily armed Hamas insurgents were supposedly set to emerge from more than a dozen cross-border tunnels and proceed to kill as many Israelis as possible …

To much of the outside world, it was a battle of the skies, a lethal light show: Hamas relentlessly firing rockets—4,600 in all—and Israel responding with Iron Dome, a futuristic system that literally knocks them out of the sky. By any objective measure, the defense shield worked. In all, five Israeli civilians died and 127 were wounded as a result of rocket fire, and Israel’s leadership was able to buy time to plan a response. (The conflict ultimately claimed the lives of 67 Israeli soldiers.) …

While Israel, a nuclear power, takes pride in having fielded one of the world’s most technologically advanced armies, its adversaries have charted a decidedly different course. For half a century, the Palestinian resistance has proved to be something of an incubator for the tools of unconventional warfare: hijacking, hostage-taking, suicide bombings—all highly visible terror tactics designed to attract the world’s media outlets. As a result, Israel has repeatedly…

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Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 at 8:12 AM  | Stand for Israel

Better No Agreement Than a Bad Agreement: Israel on Iran Deal

(Photo: twitter/ @bogie_yaalon)

(Photo: twitter/ @bogie_yaalon)

Yesterday Stand for Israel reported on Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon’s meeting with his American counterpart, Chuck Hagel, where Hamas’ presence in both Gaza and Turkey was discussed. The men also discussed Israel’s concern over Iranian nuclear aspirations. After the meeting, Ya’alon voiced his nation’s worry over the impending nuclear agreement with Iran – and what kind of deal it might be – while still emphasizing the strong U.S.-Israel partnership:

Israel is concerned about the shape of an international agreement with Iran over its nuclear aspirations, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Tuesday night after talks with his American counterpart Chuck Hagel in Washington DC.

“The Iranian issue indeed worries us,” said Ya’alon in a Hebrew audio message released by his office after the meeting with Hagel at the Pentagon. “The question of if there will be an agreement and what kind of agreement worries us. I’m talking about that here and behind closed doors we express our concerns.”

“We’ve said all along that better no agreement than a bad agreement and the question is what are they discussing at the moment, are they talking about how many centrifuges there will be and if so, why should they have centrifuges at all?” Ya’alon said.

“Are they talking about other elements of the Iranian military nuclear project such as missiles ready for nuclear warheads?”

Ya’alon said he and Hagel had also talked about the conflicts in Iraq and Syria and the US-Israel defense partnership. Between Israel and the United States, he said, “arguments exist, but we must remember that the US is Israel’s most important strategic ally in every respect.”

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Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 at 3:29 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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