International Fellowship of Christians and Jews

Israel Braces for Palestinian Activists

Israeli authorities have instructed airlines flying into Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv to blacklist 300 anti-Israel activists scheduled to arrive in Israel to stage protests against the Jewish state.

These activists are flying under the guise of tourists, but their main intent is to damage Israel diplomatically. In the past few days the IDF has deported five pro-Palestinian activists who flew into Israel’s Ben-Gurion International Airport and sent them back to their home countries of France and Belgium.

It is no coincidence that the arrival of these activists coincides with the flotilla ships that have been attempting to set sail towards Israel. Flying into Israel to protest against the Jewish State is a new method being used to weaken Israel’s sovereignty and to strengthen the Palestinian cause. The Israeli defense establishment stated that it will not allow these activists to enter into Israel and will send them back to their respective countries.

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Thursday, July 7th, 2011 at 1:26 PM  | Stand For Israel

“Fly-in” to disrupt traffic at Ben Gurion

The flotilla may be stalled, but now anti-Israel activists are planning something new — a “fly-in”:

Hundreds of pro-Palestinian foreign activists taking part in an ‘aerial flotilla’ to the West Bank are expected to begin arriving at Ben Gurion Airport from Thursday night onward, according to police assessments.

Three people were declined entry into Israel in recent days after their names appeared on a no-entry list, police said, though it was not immediately clear whether the individuals were directly connected to the upcoming organized arrivals.

Police on Wednesday began boosting their presence in and around the main international arrivals area at Terminal 3, with regular units and Special Patrol Units mobilized.   

In Commentary, Jonathan Tobin notes:

The point of this campaign isn’t an effort to bring succor to Palestinians. The activists clearly couldn’t care less about the lives of the Arabs in the territories. If they did, they wouldn’t be demonstrating their support for the tyrannical Islamist rulers of Gaza. What they want is to demonstrate their opposition to Jewish sovereignty. Indeed, as the “fly-in” shows, these people not only seek to impede Israel’s right of self-defense but the right of its people to go about their business.

This is getting ridiculous — no, it got ridiculous a long time ago. As these activists up their efforts to make cheap political points against Israel, the Jewish state must waste precious money and manpower to try to prevent them from sowing chaos and confusion. Maybe prior to their being deported or thrown in jail, the activists should be presented with a bill that would go toward covering the cost of cleaning up their mess.

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Wednesday, July 6th, 2011 at 12:52 PM  | Stand For Israel

Netanyahu reaches out to the world on YouTube

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is appealing to ordinary citizens around the world ask him questions on YouTube.

The PM’s YouTube channel features Netanyahu speaking in English with Arabic subtitles, in the hope of reaching out to an Arab speaking audience. Though everyone is invited to send the questions to the Prime Minister, Arabs living in the Middle East are especially encouraged.

The Prime Minister’s office related that they have received several dozen questions from Arabs web users who have expressed their desire to see peace between Jews and Muslims.

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Wednesday, July 6th, 2011 at 11:02 AM  | Stand For Israel

Obama to visit Israel

U.S. Ambassador to Israel James Cunningham announced that President Barack Obama is planning a visit to Israel. No date has been announced as of yet, but the president is intent on visiting the Jewish state in the near future.

Israelis overwhelmingly view Obama in a negative light. And while a large number of American Jews have consistently voted Democrat, many are now voicing criticism of Obama’s handling of Israel and the Middle East.

When Obama toured the Middle East shortly after being elected president, he skipped Israel. Many Israelis viewed that as an insult, especially considering that the Holy Land is the only true democracy in the Middle East and is a longstanding ally of the U.S.

Obama will likely not receive the same warm reception in Israel that other U.S. presidents have enjoyed. And the fact that he is planning his visit as the U.S. presidential elections are heating up adds strength to the belief that his trip may be meant only to help him win reelection.

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Tuesday, July 5th, 2011 at 4:02 PM  | Stand For Israel

Greek flotilla ban not what it seems? Who cares?

The “Freedom Flotilla” has run into a lot of problems trying to set sail from Greece to Gaza. Greek authorities have imposed a ban that prohibits the ships leaving from Greek ports. There’s speculation among flotilla organizers and their sympathizers that Greece’s motives — what a shock! — might not be entirely pure:  

In a conversation with a delegation of activists supporting the Tahrir, the Canadian Boat to Gaza, who entered the consulate demanding a meeting about the Freedom Flotilla, [Greek consular official George] Ayfantis asserted that Greece’s economic interests were at stake in stopping the Flotilla, saying that an undersea natural gas pipeline and a natural gas liquidizing plant in Crete were at stake. 

Later in the above article, the author, a “Palestinian solidarity activist,” laments:

The [Greek] government, of course, is no stranger to representing the interests of the International Monetary Fund and the United States (and its ally and partner Israel) at the expense of the Greek people.

Even if the Greek government is supporting Israel in this case because it wants the pipeline to go through, so what? Given Greece’s disastrous economic situation, supporting healthy economic partnerships with its allies is clearly in Greece’s best interests. Allowing a bunch of rabid anti-Israel activists to sail from its ports to attempt to illegally break Israel’s blockade on Gaza helps the Greek people … how, exactly?!?

Here’s a little Economics 101 for “Palestinian solidarity activists”: If your country is in dire financial straits, harsh, anti-Israel rhetoric isn’t going to help. Money will.

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Tuesday, July 5th, 2011 at 9:15 AM  | Stand For Israel

Rabbi Eckstein on Independence Day

It’s Independence Day weekend Americans, and time to celebrate the gift of liberty! Here’s Rabbi Eckstein on the blessings of freedom and friendship:

On Monday, Americans will celebrate Independence Day. Throughout the U.S., we will congregate in our neighbor’s yard to share a meal, on Main Street to watch a festive parade, or at a nearby school or community center to watch the local fireworks. This holiday takes place in the very heart of our neighborhoods.

I think that’s the best place for us to be when we pause and thank God for our ability to enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It’s here that these freedoms mean the most. And it’s here that we’re able to realize anew that, no matter our religion, race, or political beliefs, we are not so different. We are all Americans, sharing with our neighbors a love for the principles of freedom, democracy, and Judeo–Christian values.

No matter what happens in the political realm and at the national level, the American people have a natural love of freedom. We also have an affinity for nations that share our values — nations like Israel, the U.S.’s greatest ally. We look to the Middle East — a region filled with oppressive regimes and political and civil turmoil — and realize that Israel is the lone country that resembles the U.S., that values what we value, and that stands up for these principles.

Read the whole thing. Happy Independence Day, everyone — and Shabbat Shalom.

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Friday, July 1st, 2011 at 1:02 PM  | Stand For Israel

Flotilla bogged down in Greek waters

This just in: U.S. ship in “Freedom Flotilla” triumphantly departs Athens for Gaza! And then gets stopped by Greek authorities! And then Greece bars ALL nine flotilla ships from leaving Greek ports!  

So how’s the trip to Gaza going, guys?

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Friday, July 1st, 2011 at 10:41 AM  | Stand For Israel

U.S. Senate takes a stand against Palestinian statehood

In an attempt to derail the Palestinian Authority’s plan to gain U.N. recognition of a Palestinian state this September, the U.S. Senate voted unanimously this Wednesday to approve a bill calling for the suspension of American aid to the P.A. if they decide to push for a statehood resolution.

The P.A. will now have to consider whether it’s is worth risking the loss of U.S. aid. Over the years, the U.S. has spent billions of dollars to build up the P.A. on the premise that it represents a “moderate” Palestinian voice. But after nearly twenty years of on-and-off negotiations, the possibility of peace seems less likely than ever.  

In fact, obtaining recognition of a Palestinian state in the U.N. General Assembly might hurt Israel diplomatically, but would not have any legal implications that could force Israel out of the West Bank. Recognition by the U.N. Security Council, on the other hand, could render all Israeli settlements as well as Israel’s military presence in the West Bank illegal.

So it’s important to try to stop the P.A.’s unilateral move. The Senate did the right thing — the P.A. has to be given the message that there are consequences to their actions.

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Friday, July 1st, 2011 at 8:22 AM  | Stand For Israel