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IDF and Shin Bet capture terrorists

On Monday night IDF forces along with the Shin Bet (Israel’s counter-terror agency) arrested twelve senior members of the Islamic Jihad in the city of Jenin – only 25 minutes from where I live. The suspects were arrested while operating in the Judea/Samaria region, and were in the process of setting up a terror network in the West Bank.  

An Islamic Jihad member carrying a rifle and a Koran

Palestinian Islamic Jihad is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood and operates under the banner of destroying Israel and replacing it with an Islamic fundamentalist state. The terror group, which has been responsible for countless attacks against Israeli civilians, operates mostly from the Gaza Strip, but is actively seeking to extend its network into the West Bank.

With these arrests, Israeli forces delivered a powerful blow to their operations and, G-d-willing, the IDF will continue to do so until Islamic Jihad can do no more damage.

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Tuesday, May 31st, 2011 at 7:18 AM  | Stand For Israel

Memorial Day

A brief but eloquent Memorial Day message to the U.S. from Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren

On behalf of the Government and People of Israel, I wish to express my sincere condolences to the grieved American families that lost their loved ones serving their country.

Israel appreciates the sacrifices made by the men and women of the US Armed Forces around the world. We fight common enemies and protect common values. Israel salutes you!

Today, take a moment to give thanks for all those who paid the ultimate price that we might be free. And may God bless and protect our military men and women around the world.

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Monday, May 30th, 2011 at 3:36 PM  | Stand For Israel

The “Freedom Flotilla” sails again

Remember the “Freedom Flotilla“? You know, the one with the “peace activists” who attacked IDF troops with knives and clubs when they attempted to board one of the ships? Well, it’s happening again

(Photo: AFP)

Organizers of the Turkish flotilla to Gaza are adamant about going ahead with their plans to challenge Israel’s blockade next month despite official reports that the Rafah border crossing will be opened to Palestinians as of Saturday.

“We shall set sail, we have many surprises in store,” IHH spokesman Ömer Faruk said. “If there really is no blockade then there shouldn’t be a problem with us going there. Everything will become clearer next month.”

“Many surprises in store” … judging from what happened last year, that sounds like a threat.

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Friday, May 27th, 2011 at 2:32 PM  | Stand For Israel

US: Hezbollah has more missiles than most countries

Hezbollah rally in Lebanon

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced that Hezbollah has more missiles than most countries. Hezbollah has been restocking its arsenal of weapons and is believed to have obtained chemical and biological warheads.

The fact that Hezbollah manages to stockpile weapons in direct sight of the UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) forces that are responsible for restricting the terrorist group’s ability to gather weapons is extremely troubling, and could have far reaching effects on future conflicts in the region.

At the end of the Second Lebanon War, Israel signed a ceasefire agreement with Hezbollah known as resolution 1701. The resolution was passed by the U.N. Security Council and was signed by Israel, Hezbollah, and the Lebanese government. The resolution stipulated that Hezbollah would not rearm after the cessation of the war and would not deploy its forces south of the Litani River.

Hezbollah has consistently violated the agreement and has amassed a vast arsenal of weapons within civilian territory. The fact that this has been happening for years without anyone but Israel voicing concern shows how useless many of these U.N.-backed agreements are.

It is very likely that Israel will face Hezbollah on the battlefield sometime in the future. Israelis hope that any future war against the terror organization will serve a final and lethal blow to its capabilities.

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Friday, May 27th, 2011 at 12:48 PM  | Stand For Israel

Egypt opens its border with Gaza

Photo by: REUTERS

Israeli officials warn that Egypt’s plans to open its border with the Gaza Strip daily could lead to a very dangerous situation for Israel:

Vice Premier Silvan Shalom spoke out on Thursday against the opening of the Rafah crossing from Gaza into Egypt, calling for international supervision of the crossing.

“This is a dangerous development that could lead to weapons and al-Qaida smuggling into Gaza,” Shalom said.

Homeland Security Minister Matan Vilna’i also warned that the opening of the Rafah crossing will be very problematic for Israel.

However, he added in an interview with Israel Radio, that Egypt did not break any agreements with Israel.

Hamas welcomed Egypt’s decision to permanently open the crossing from Gaza into Egypt.

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Thursday, May 26th, 2011 at 2:24 PM  | Stand For Israel

Poll: Most Israelis against ‘67 borders, land swap peace agreement

Results from a survey taken in Israel after President Obama’s address to the U.S. State Department show that over 60 percent of Israelis oppose the president’s proposal for a peace agreement in which Israel would return to pre-’67 borders with consensual  land swaps. The poll also indicated that a vast majority of Israelis are satisfied with Netanyahu’s performance as prime minister and that, if elections were held today, the prime minister’s political party would likely take an even larger portion of seats then it currently holds in the Israeli parliament. 

The poll shows a clear shift in the thinking of a majority of Israelis in regards to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In the 1990’s most Israelis supported the peace process and voted for leaders who were willing to make what were often painful sacrifices for peace. Israelis believed that if we offered Palestinians a state and withdrew from territory claimed by them, they would accept a peace deal or face international condemnation and delegitimization.  

However, the past two decades have shown that every concession Israel has made towards the Palestinians is met with violence and demands for further concessions. Even after giving up Gaza, ceding territory to the Palestinian Authority (P.A.) in the West Bank, funding P.A. institutions, and imposing an unprecedented ten month moratorium on West Bank construction, Israel continues to be vilified by the international community as not doing enough to promote peace. It is no wonder that today most Israelis reject further concessions to the P.A. and view the peace process as a futile exercise.

We hear repeatedly hear from Western leaders that the current situation in Israel is not sustainable. Ironically, Israel has been hearing those same words for over forty years. As difficult as it is to be in constant war with our neighbors, the alternative, which is ceding major parts of our homeland to a hostile entity, is far worse than the status quo.

It should come as no surprise if Israel is not willing to offer the P.A., currently working in a unity government alongside the Hamas terrorist organization, anymore concessions or goodwill gestures. Peace will come when the Palestinians wake up and realize that Israel is…

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Thursday, May 26th, 2011 at 10:15 AM  | Stand For Israel

Shalit family to Congress: Freeze P.A. funds

Photo by: Reuters

On Monday, Noam and Aviva Shalit, parents of captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, sent a letter to congress requesting that President Obama withhold U.S. funding of the Palestinian Authority until they release their son from captivity. Gilad was kidnapped by Hamas along the Gaza border over five years ago, and since his capture has been held in a secret location by Hamas without any visits from the Red Cross. It has been over a year since Hamas has released a video of Gilad affirming that he is still alive.

Over the years there have been calls to take away privileges afforded to Hamas prisoners held in Israeli jails in order to pressure Hamas to release Gilad. Many Israelis argue that because the Palestinian Authority (P.A.) and Hamas are now joined in a unity government, the P.A. should therefore be held accountable for the human rights abuses perpetrated against Gilad.

It is long past the time for the international community to take action to pressure Hamas and the P.A. to release Gilad. At the very least, the U.S. should hold back funding until Gilad is returned home.

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Wednesday, May 25th, 2011 at 9:02 AM  | Stand For Israel

Watch Bibi’s address to congress


Tuesday, May 24th, 2011 at 6:42 PM  | Stand For Israel

Silliness vs. statesmanship

The protesters who gathered outside the AIPAC conference, which is winding up today, were, to say the least, a motley crew. Most carried handwritten signs decrying Israel as an apartheid, racist state, claiming that Israel brutally oppresses Palestinians, or expressing some other figment of their imagination vis a vis the Jewish state. The overall impression was that this was a small, unorganized bunch of folks with views that ranged from laughable to repugnant to downright crazy. It was difficult to see how they could have expected that anyone who is at all serious about Israel, or the situation in the Middle East in general, could even give them the time of day. 

At one point on Sunday morning when President Obama appeared, they organized an impromptu “parade” — which could not have included more than 40 or 50 people, at best – in front of the convention center, which was led by a clown. As I said then, and will say again, if you choose a clown to represent your organization to the world, well … let’s just say maybe that says something about your organization and its goals.

Despite security that was heavier than it was the morning the president appeared, five or six of these protesters managed to make it into last night’s keynote address featuring Israeli PM Netanyahu and disrupted the proceedings. Incomprehensible shouting would be heard over the PM’s measured words, there would be a disturbance, and the crowd of 10,000 would shout down the protester as he was led out. Some carried signs, though they didn’t get much time to display them. The U.S. and the Israeli secret service tend to do their work quickly, and efficiently.

The most enduring vision for me from the whole event was Netanyahu’s behavior when one of the protesters would stand up and start shouting: He would wait for security to take the heckler out, take a sip from his water, pause for the inevitable standing ovation to die down, and then calmly and forcefully, with great composure, continue speaking about his vision for a secure,…

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Tuesday, May 24th, 2011 at 9:20 AM  | Stand For Israel

Obama and Netanyahu: One Israeli’s view

Barack Obama’s speech to the U.S. State Department last Thursday sent shockwaves across Israel as news spread of Obama’s declared vision for peace in the Middle East, which seems to entail Israel ceding land to a belligerent Palestinian Authority as a prerequisite to final status talks on Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees. In other words, Israel is to give land away before it is guaranteed peace and security in return.  

PM Netanyahu at AIPAC

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is currently in Washington, rejected Obama’s proposal that negotiations should be based on Israel’s pre-’67 borders as a starting point for Israeli – Palestinian talks. Netanyahu explained that the pre-’67 borders would make Israel extremely vulnerable to attack and would therefore increase the possibility of war in the future. As Netanyahu eloquently stated, the pre-’67 borders are the “borders of war and not the borders of peace.”

Israel knows all too well that the Arab world that surrounds it seeks its destruction with or without an Israeli – Palestinian peace agreement. Therefore, Israel demands that any future agreement with the Palestinians must provide Israel with the minimum territory necessary to fend off any future attackers from reaching its main population centers.

As it is, Israel is a very small country and its main population centers could easily be reached by an invading army. That is exactly why Israel was attacked numerous times prior to the ’67 war. The main reason why Israel has seen relative quiet with its neighboring countries is due to Israeli deterrence, which is relies heavily on land won in the ’67 war.

Many Israelis I have spoken to are baffled by Obama’s attitude towards the Jewish state. On the other hand, they are very satisfied with Netanyahu as prime minister. They feel that, for the first time in decades, the U.S. has a president whose policies are at odds with Israel’s basic security needs. We are all praying that Netanyahu succeeds in driving the message to the American public that Israel will not accept a peace proposal which could well lead…

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Tuesday, May 24th, 2011 at 7:20 AM  | Stand For Israel

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State of Israel"

Rabbi's Commentary
Clarity in a Confused World

In response to this week’s horrific terrorist attack on a Jerusalem synagogue, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded with a voice of moral clarity. We, as people of faith and conscience, must all cling to such clarity in a world so often ruled by moral confusion.


Read Rabbi Eckstein's message »

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