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Then young women will dance and be glad,
young men and old as well.
I will turn their mourning into gladness;
I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow. (Jeremiah 31:13)
Earlier this year, The Fellowship sponsored an event bringing together IDF lone soldiers and some of Israel’s elderly. It still brings us joy to see the gladness felt by these two groups we so cherish. Shabbat shalom, friends.Comments (0) »
Friday, October 31st, 2014 at 2:00 PM | Stand For Israel
This week, amidst the East Jerusalem riots centered around the Temple Mount, a Jerusalem resident affiliated with the Islamic Jihad terrorist group tried to assassinate Rabbi Yehudah Glick in a horrific act of violence, singling out Glick for his religious and political beliefs and escalating the situation further. The Jerusalem Post writes that when violence is used to terrorize and bully a group into abdicating basic human rights, it becomes a threat to the foundations of democracy:
What makes this crime all the more tragic was the fact that Glick, who is a vocal activist for the right of Jews to pray on the Temple Mount, is also a strong defender of Muslims’ right to freedom of religious expression on what they call Haram a-Sharif, the Noble Sanctuary. Unlike some proponents of Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount who call to destroy Muslim houses of prayer and replace them with a rebuilt Jewish Temple, Glick advocates joint Jewish-Muslim prayers on the site that is so sacred to both religions. …
The socioeconomic plight of Jerusalem’s Arabs is sometimes cited as the cause of violence, as is the “incitement” of Jews such as Glick who dare to demand to visit the Temple Mount, the holiest place on the earth for Jewish believers.
We must disabuse ourselves of the idea that innocuous acts such as Jewish prayers on the Temple Mount are the trigger for Muslim rioting, stone-throwing, destruction and murder. Rather the Arabs who commit these offenses choose to lash out against Jews in order to intimidate them into ceding their rights. And this violent behavior does nothing to improve the socioeconomic situation of Jerusalem’s Arabs, it only deepens the rift between Jews and Arabs.
Permitting Jews – or members of any other religion for that matter – to visit the Temple Mount and even pray there should be a religious freedom that is carefully protected by a democracy. Many brave men and women have given their lives for this freedom and others, which we often take for granted. Caving in to the demands of militant Muslims out of a desire…Read More » Comments (0) »
Friday, October 31st, 2014 at 8:48 AM | Stand For Israel
Last week, we brought you Lee Smith’s look at the Islamic State (IS or ISIS)’s draw for Europe’s young people. As evil and crazy and anarchic as these impulses may seem (and he doesn’t excuse them in the least), Michael J. Totten writes about why youth – and people in general – might make such twisted decisions:
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Human beings are wired for struggle and strife. There will always be those who get bored with the tranquil and easy lives most of us have in advanced Western nations. I can relate to this a little bit myself. I had a dull office job before I ran off to places like Beirut and Baghdad. I certainly didn’t go there to fight or to kill anyone, but the sense of adventure was a massive antidote to feelings of ennui.
A French anarchist brilliantly articulated the most extreme version of this sentiment with a can of spray paint in Paris in 1968: “In a society that has abolished all adventure, the only adventure left is to abolish that society.”
Then there’s Anthony Loyd who moved from Britain to Bosnia during the Yugoslav war to resolve his emotional and substance abuse problems. “I had come to Bosnia partially as an adventure,” he wrote in his book My War Gone By, I Miss it So. “But after a while I got into the infinite death trip. I was not unhappy. Quite the opposite. I was delighted with most of what the war had offered me: chicks, kicks, cash and chaos; teenage punk dreams turned real and wreathed in gunsmoke.”
Don’t discount this sort of impulse. You may not be able to relate to it at all, but it’s real. War is hell–that’s for damn sure–but it’s also an incredible antitode to alienation and boredom.
Friday, October 31st, 2014 at 8:17 AM | Stand For Israel
While the U.S. has historically been Israel’s closest ally, the Israeli press is reporting that the relationship has soured in recent weeks — enough so that Israel’s finance minister is calling it a “crisis that must be fixed.” The rift is growing wider as U.S. officials are denouncing Israel’s plans to expand construction in East Jerusalem.
Also this week in Israel in the News:
• After recent attacks in Canada and the U.S., there is a growing concern among both governments of “lone wolf terrorists” who already live in their countries.
• Pro-Russian rebels plan their own elections after Ukrainian citizens elected a pro-Western parliament.
• An Israeli citizen was killed fighting alongside ISIS in Iraq.
This week’s Israel in the News Perspective features The Fellowship’s Ami Farkas on the Palestinian Authority’s recent law banning sale and rental of property to its enemies.
Thursday, October 30th, 2014 at 5:00 PM | Stand for Israel
Operation Protective Edge saw the IDF put a dent in Hamas’ terrorist capabilities. But Israel is all too aware that it has other enemies who wish to do her harm. One of these threats is the terrorist group Hezbollah, though The Washington Post’s Hugh Naylor reports that the Lebanese terror group is not as mighty as it once was:
Hezbollah has won grudging respect, even from some foes, for its tenacious guerrilla campaigns against Israel. But now Lebanon’s most powerful military organization is losing its aura of invincibility.
Tactics that the Shiite group has used against Israeli soldiers are being inflicted on its own forces by militants from the Islamic State and the al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra, which have carved out footholds in Lebanon along the porous Syria border.
The growing number of attacks and kidnappings by the Sunni militants represent the opening of yet another military front for Hezbollah. It already has thousands of troops deployed in Syria to bolster President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, while still more are facing Israel in southern Lebanon.
“Hezbollah is spread thin. They are waging so many battles and are positioned on so many fronts,” said Imad Salamey, associate professor of political science at the Beirut-based Lebanese American University.
Classified as a terrorist organization by the United States and European Union, Hezbollah was created in the turmoil following Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon. The militant group forced Israel to end its occupation of southern Lebanon in 2000 and inflicted a heavy blow on Israel during a 34-day war in 2006. Hezbollah’s forces are better armed than Lebanon’s army, which plays a subordinate role.
Hezbollah also developed expansive charitable networks and a political movement that exerts considerable influence over the country’s parliament.
The group owes its power, in part, to an ample supply of weapons from the Iranian and Syrian governments, which form an anti-Western axis that allows Tehran to project influence to the Mediterranean and Israel’s borders. The weapons are largely funneled through Syria.
So when Assad’s forces started sustaining serious defeats…Read More » Comments (0) »
Thursday, October 30th, 2014 at 3:14 PM | Stand For Israel
Not only has the international media focused on blaming Israel for human-rights abuses, but they have ignored the actual and blatant violations acted out by Palestinians. Khaled Abu Toameh writes that what’s even worse, it is Palestinian children who are forced to carry out this violence against Israel:
Hamas, Fatah and other Palestinian groups are using children from east Jerusalem and the West Bank in what appears to be a new intifada against Israel.
Nearly half of the Palestinians arrested by Jerusalem Police over the past few months are minors. Some of them are as young as nine.
These children are being sent to throw stones and firebombs, and launch fireworks at policemen and IDF soldiers, as well as at Israeli civilians and vehicles, including buses and the light rail in Jerusalem.
The exploitation of children in the fight against Israel has attracted little attention from the international community and media. Human rights groups and United Nations institutions have chosen to turn a blind eye to these human rights abuses.
Instead of condemning those who exploit the children and dispatch them to confront policemen and soldiers, these groups and institutions are busy denouncing Israel for targeting minors …
This is not the first time that Palestinian groups use children in the struggle against Israel. During the first intifada, which erupted in 1987, children and women were often at the forefront in clashes with Israeli security personnel.
This strategy works out well for Palestinian groups such as Hamas and Fatah. At the end of the day, they can always blame Israel for “deliberately” targeting Palestinian children and women — an allegation that the mainstream media in the West often endorses without asking questions.
Moreover, the Palestinian groups know that the children who are being sent to confront Israeli soldiers and policemen will not be held accountable …
Hamas and Fatah had long discovered that children are one of the most effective tools in the fight against Israel — especially because of the damage Israel sustains in the court of…Read More » Comments (8) »
Thursday, October 30th, 2014 at 8:09 AM | Stand For Israel
Several times in the past year, Stand for Israel has featured Chloe Valdary, a rising young voice in the world of pro-Israel advocacy. Now Tablet’s Isabel Fattal provides this great profile of the young Christian woman who’s standing for the Jewish state and the Jewish people:
When I asked the man next to me in a crowd of several hundred pro-Israel demonstrators outside the Time-Warner Center in New York if Chloe Valdary had spoken yet, I was met with immediate enthusiasm at the very mention of her name. “Chloe is amazing … so determined. We need more like her,” the man said. An hour later, Valdary headed to the platform dressed, as any 21-year-old might be, in jeans, gold hoop earrings, and pink-rimmed sunglasses. As soon as Valdary’s name was called, protesters turned to each other and murmured in excitement.
“Judea!” she shouted in greeting. Speaking in a slow, lyrical rhythm, Valdary emitted a type of love letter to the Jewish people. “You are the sons and daughters of former slaves in Egypt, of warrior poets, and kings who slayed giants, and queens filled with courage, and prophets and dreamers,” she proclaimed. “Rise, Zion, rise,” she declared in closing, and the crowd immediately began to chant her name.
While some of the enthusiasm surrounding Valdary’s activism might stem from her large and precocious talent as a public speaker and provocateur, it is often accompanied by a sense of bewilderment as to how an African-American Christian from New Orleans became a self-appointed defender of the Jewish people. Yet her journey is more organic than many realize, she explained to me, when we spent a day together recently in New York. After her father came to the conclusion that the New Testament could not exist without the Old Testament, she told me, her family left their Baptist church and began to incorporate the laws of the Old Testament into their religious outlook, finding fellow believers in this form of Christianity…Read More » Comments (0) »
Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 at 11:55 AM | Stand For Israel