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It’s … Photo Friday!

As we often do on Fridays, today we want to change the pace a bit and show you some photos that highlight the beauty and richness of the Holy Land. Here’s a shot of sunset on the Mediterranean in Tel Aviv. This was taken on The Fellowship’s 2008 Journey Home to Israel Tour (more photos of that memorable trip here). It was cold and snowy in the states — but when we arrived in Israel it was balmy and beautiful, with temperatures in the 70s. Not a bad place to land!

Shabbat Shalom everyone — have a blessed weekend.

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Friday, July 29th, 2011 at 11:51 AM  | Stand For Israel

Placing blame for the Norway attacks

Anders Behring Breivik, the man responsible for the attacks on Norway last Friday, published a 1,500-page manifesto he called “A Declaration of European Independence.” The manifesto, which reads like the ranting of a madman, details Breivik’s grievances against his government as the rationale for his heinous crime, and demonstrates his hatred of Islamic culture and his anger towards Europe’s open-border immigration policies. 

Breivik also wrote that he is a Christian — though he also wrote, “Myself and many more like me do not necessarily have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God,” meaning that he probably meant that he was baptized and raised Christian, rather than being a subscriber to Christian beliefs. He also went on to criticize Norway’s anti-Israel policies. But, while many pro-Israel Christians would agree with some of those criticisms, Breivik’s act of terror goes against their fundamental morals and principles. The Christian Zionist movement has never called for terror and violence in the pursuit of supporting Israel. 

Still, some in the mainstream media have lumped conservatives and Christians in with Breivik’s extreme ideology. The fact that Breivik’s manifesto contains quotes from notable conservative bloggers such as Robert Spencer and Melanie Phillips has added fuel to the press’s frenzy.

A front-page story in The New York Times earlier this week hints that Spencer and others like him could be complicit in the Norway attacks. Though Spencer has written about the threat of radical Islam for years, there is absolutely nothing in his writings to suggest that he advocates violence and terror against innocents to thwart this threat. Likewise, Melanie Phillips’ crime, apparently, is the fact that two of her articles were quoted in Breivik’s manifesto  This, to some, suggests that her writings were also in part responsible for the Norway attacks. But if that were the case, then Winston Churchill, Ghandi, and George Orwell are also complicit, as Brievik’s manifesto quoted them as well.

Breivik’s decision to use violence against innocent civilians in order to protest his government’s policies was evil and deplorable. But using the actions of a lone…

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Friday, July 29th, 2011 at 8:38 AM  | Stand For Israel

Tax dollars for terrorists?

Would you allow your government to indirectly support terrorists with your tax dollars? I’m guessing the answer is no. However, a newly released report presented to congress by Palestinian Media Watch states that the Palestinian Authority (P.A.), whose general annual budget is funded by the U.S., spends five million dollars a month to pay salaries to Palestinians and Israeli Arabs serving time in Israeli prisons for terror activity.  

That means that sixty million U.S. tax dollars a year are being funneled to terrorists serving time in Israeli prisons.

While this has been a longstanding practice of the P.A., recently the action was formalized into law. A law signed and published in the official Palestinian Authority Registry on April 2011 states that all Palestinian and Israeli Arabs imprisoned in Israel for terror crimes are officially on the P.A. payroll system — which means they receive a monthly salary. Imagine: a Palestinian who murdered Israeli civilians in cold blood will receive a monthly salary as an “award” for his crime.

This is absurd and should be stopped right away. The supposedly moderate Palestinian Authority does not simply glorify terrorists by naming squares and summer camps after suicide bombers. They directly support terror by offering cash incentives to those who plan to commit such terror.

More problematic than the actual salaries paid out to these terrorists is the fact that the P.A. does not feel the need to hide this practice. By formalizing these salaries into law, the P.A. brazenly demonstrates that there is nothing they can do which will jeopardize the money and support which they receive from the West.

It seems that no matter how openly and directly the P.A. associates itself with terror they can always count on the E.U., the U.N., and the mainstream media to blame Israel for the absence of peace.

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Thursday, July 28th, 2011 at 11:47 AM  | Stand For Israel

Dan Peek, 1950-2011

The co-founder of the immensely popular 70s rock group America has died:

 

In 1977, Peek abruptly left [America] unhappy with fame and fortune and the excesses that came with it and subsequently became a born-again Christian. Aside from a spontaneous on-stage reunion in 1980, America would remain a duo. Nevertheless, Peek remained friends with Beckley and Bunnell as one can attest from their tribute posted on their official website. Peek would record several Christian pop albums in the late 1970s and early to mid 1980s.

 

Dan Peek was a friend of The Fellowship — he even donated a song, “On Wings of Eagles,” to us – as well as an ardent Zionist. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family, and are grateful for his steadfast and vocal support for Israel and the Jewish people. Rest in peace, Dan.

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Thursday, July 28th, 2011 at 9:21 AM  | Stand For Israel

Israeli doctors bring smiles to India

Two Israeli doctors recently joined a team of international medical personnel to help more than 200 patients in northeast India – continuing Israel’s long legacy of helping the needy around the world:  

In Israel, the national health system ensures that any baby born with a cleft lip or cleft palate gets corrective surgery as soon as possible. But that’s not the case in many other countries, as two doctors from Haifa’s Rambam Health Care Campus (rambam.health.gov.il) discovered during a voluntary medical mission to a remote area of India under the auspices of the international medical charity Operation Smile. 

“I am proud to be Israeli, because here there is no such thing as someone not getting this operation,” says Dr. Itzhak Ramon, a senior physician in the department of plastic surgery. “There, they would have to go to a private practice and most cannot afford to do that.”

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Wednesday, July 27th, 2011 at 1:41 PM  | Stand For Israel

Abbas tells Palestinians: Step up Arab Spring-style protests against Israel

P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas recently called for “popular resistance” in support of his bid for U.N. recognition of a Palestinian state, the first time he’s openly urged it:  

Abbas, addressing a Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) meeting, reiterated his decision to seek full UN membership for Palestinian state alongside Israel, saying it was a diplomatic move resulting from paralysis in the U.S.-backed peace process.

“In this coming period, we want mass action, organized and coordinated in every place,” Abbas said. “This is a chance to raise our voices in front of the world and say that we want our rights.”

How many Palestinians will hear the call to “mass action” as a call to violence? This isn’t just ill-conceived — it’s reckless and irresponsible.

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Wednesday, July 27th, 2011 at 11:17 AM  | Stand For Israel

2,000 year old golden bell discovered in Jerusalem

The history of Israel is unparalleled both in its length and in its richness. Nearly everywhere you walk in the Old City archaeologists have uncovered the remains of ancient Israel, sometimes thousands of years old. One of the most recent finds was a tiny golden bell which was lost in Jerusalem some 2,000 years ago during the Second Temple period:

“It seems the bell was sewn on the garment worn by a high official in Jerusalem at the end of the Second Temple period,” an IAA statement said.

The bell was found inside the main drainage channel taking rainwater from different parts of the city to the pool of Siloam, which is mentioned several times in the Bible.

“Apparently, the high official was walking in the Jerusalem street in the vicinity of Robinson’s Arch and lost the gold bell that fell from his garment into the drainage channel beneath the road,” the IAA said, noting that Jewish high priests were known to have bells sewn onto their robes.

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Tuesday, July 26th, 2011 at 12:02 PM  | Stand For Israel

Iran: “Choose Islam or Die”

Although Iran’s constitution declares that all religions are “to be accorded full respect,” the reality is that the Iranian government, as well as the governments of other Islamic countries throughout the Middle East, continues to terrorize and abuse non-Muslims. Yousef Nadarkhani, 32, is just one of the latest victims. He was sentenced to death by hanging after his arrest nearly two years ago for objecting to Islamic education for Christian children:

He was arrested in October 2009 for apostasy because he objected to the teaching of Islam to Christian children at Iranian schools. He was sentenced to death by hanging late last year, a verdict that he appealed to Iran’s Supreme Court.

His lawyers’ appeal to cancel the verdict was thought to have been successful, but Christian websites have reported that he will be questioned again to state whether he is a Muslim, in which case he will be released, or a Christian, a statement that would lead to his execution.

“While Iran’s leaders hypocritically claim to promote tolerance, they continue to detain, imprison, harass, and abuse those who simply wish to worship the faith of their choosing,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

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Monday, July 25th, 2011 at 1:58 PM  | Stand For Israel

Remembering the raid on Entebbe

On July 4, 1976, Israeli commandos executed a daring raid to rescue hostages being held by hijackers in Entebbe, Uganda. This video tells the story — amazing stuff. Pretty sure even Jack Bauer and Chuck Norris would tip their hats to the Israeli forces who pulled it off:

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Monday, July 25th, 2011 at 9:18 AM  | Stand For Israel

The truth about the West Bank

What do the terms “occupied territories,” “1967 borders,” and “illegal settlements” really mean? In six short minutes, this video does as good a job of explaining those terms as any news story ever will. We love it when the truth about Israel’s struggle for peace and security is told!

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Monday, July 25th, 2011 at 7:09 AM  | Stand For Israel
"informing, equipping and mobilizing individuals and churches to support the
State of Israel"

Rabbi's Commentary
God Is Present This Holy Season

Even as efforts for peace seem to be at an impasse all around the world, the Passover story can give us hope and affirmation that God is always present in our lives, and even when situations seem impossible, He is working in ways we cannot imagine.


Read Rabbi Eckstein's message »

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