International Fellowship of Christians and Jews

Listen to the shofar

For those readers who have asked what a shofar sounds like, here’s a quick listen — from the Western Wall in Jerusalem!

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Friday, September 30th, 2011 at 3:55 PM  | Stand For Israel

IDF fighters adopt Holocaust survivors

Hundreds of members of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Israeli police have adopted Holocaust survivors and vowed to help them with any problem.

The idea was proposed several months ago following a conversation between a police officer from a special unit and his neighbor, a 90-year-old Holocaust survivor, which quickly turned into a long and emotional heart-to-heart talk.

The officer, who was moved by the talk, decided to recruit his friends from the IDF and police’s elite units, and set up an extensive network of hundreds of officers and fighters, in compulsory and reserve service, to help the survivors.

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Friday, September 30th, 2011 at 2:28 PM  | Stand For Israel

Photo Friday welcomes the High Holy Days

A Jewish man at the Western Wall sounds the shofar to mark the beginning of Rosh Hashanah

At sundown this past Wednesday night, Jews worldwide began their observance of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. This sacred day ushers in the High Holy Days, which conclude with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, on October 8.

Here a Jewish man from Nigeria sounds the shofar (ram’s horn) at the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem. A total of 100 notes are sounded on Rosh Hashanah, marking this most sacred of the Jewish holy seasons.

Shana tova (happy New Year), friends!

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Friday, September 30th, 2011 at 10:58 AM  | Stand For Israel

The High Holy Days begin

The Fellowship‘s Yael Eckstein explains Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year and the beginning of the High Holy Days) and wishes you a shana tova, Hebrew for Happy New Year!

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Wednesday, September 28th, 2011 at 4:10 PM  | Stand For Israel

Shana Tova — Happy New Year!

A New Year message to all of our faithful supporters from Rabbi Eckstein

As we approach this sacred time, it is with deep gratitude that I thank you for enabling The Fellowship to bring dignity and joy to some of the most vulnerable among God’s people. Over the past few weeks, The Fellowship distributed basic food staples and special holiday foods to thousands of hungry Jewish people in the former Soviet Union and Israel. This humanitarian effort was made possible only by the grace of God and the generosity of The Fellowship‘s donors, who care so deeply about Israel and the Jewish people. It is deeply humbling — and inspiring — to be a part of such loving kindness.

Shana Tova — a happy New Year — to all, and may you all be inscribed in the Book of Life.

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Wednesday, September 28th, 2011 at 3:06 PM  | Stand For Israel

Netanyahu’s post-U.N.-speech interview

On the heels of his powerful speech at the U.N. General Assembly last Friday, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu met with members of the foreign press to answer a few questions:

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Wednesday, September 28th, 2011 at 11:14 AM  | Stand For Israel

The Palestinians’ big lie machine

The fabricated photo

Recently a Facebook group called “Freedom Will Come to Palestine” published a photo showing an Israeli soldier with his foot on the body of a Palestinian girl, a rifle aimed at her head. Accompanying text encouraged readers to share the photo and “let the world see what is really happening.”

But not everything was as it appeared.

Although scarcely covered by the international media, the picture predictably provoked a storm of Internet reaction, mostly vituperative responses condemning Israel. Among the milder ones: “I hope the Israelis rot in hell!”

A small Israeli news organization called Tazpit noted that the rifle was a Kalashnikov AK47 assault rifle — not the standard issue M16 and M4 of the Israel Defense Forces. Careful scrutiny disclosed that the soldier’s outfit was not an authentic IDF uniform. In short, the photo was a fraud of the kind often perpetrated by the Palestinians — not unlike the infamous al-Dura hoax (the staged “killing” of a young Arab boy caught in “Israeli crossfire” provocatively telecast around the world).

Facebook enables yet another incarnation of the Palestinians’ Big Lie Machine to spread incitement against the “ruthless and oppressive Israeli occupiers.” Hundreds of pro-Palestinian groups use the social networks so readily accessible in cyberspace to spread false information and encourage violent responses to alleged Israeli “aggression.”

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Tuesday, September 27th, 2011 at 3:18 PM  | Stand For Israel

Protecting the innocent

Police investigate the fatal crash near Hebron

A father and his one-year-old son were killed last Friday while traveling in their car near Hebron. It appears that a large stone smashed through the windshield and struck the father in the head while he was driving. Israeli authorities have good reason to believe that the stone was thrown at the vehicle by Palestinians, which then caused the car to veer off the road and crash into a ditch.

As I imagine the mother waiting for her husband and baby son to come home only to find out that they had been killed in a cruel attack by terrorists, my heart aches with sorrow. The father, Hillel Palmer, was only 25 years old, and his son Jonathan, who died in the backseat of the vehicle, was only one.

Whenever tensions flare up in the region, the Jews living in Judaea, Samaria, or the West Bank are always the first targets of Palestinian aggression. It hasn’t even been a year since the horrifying news of the Itamar massacre, in which three small Jewish children and two other members of the Fogel family were brutally stabbed to death by Palestinians. Now we must grapple with the news of yet another child murdered at the hands of Palestinian terrorists.

We are only days away from Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year), when we must make an accounting of the year that has gone by while preparing ourselves for the year to come. As I struggle with the news of young Jonathan, who died in such a cruel fashion, I ask myself what we could do to protect our children against terrorists. How can we secure the safety of the pure and innocent from the hands of those who are filled with hatred?

I wish I had a good answer to this question, but I don’t. Therefore, I pray before my God that He blesses our efforts to live in peace and security in Israel.

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Tuesday, September 27th, 2011 at 7:20 AM  | Stand For Israel

Abbas tries to convince Nigerians, not Israelis


PA President Abbas (REUTERS/Chip East)

Instead of doing the real work of making peace with the country he’s supposed to be making peace with, Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas is spending his time trying to convince U.N. members to support his statehood bid:

The problem with the Palestinian bid at the UN, former Kadima lawmaker Tzahi Hanegbi said Friday in a Channel 2 discussion, is that instead of trying to persuade the Israeli public that the Palestinians are ready for statehood, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is trying to convince Gabon, Nigeria and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Those three countries are among the 15 current members of the UN Security Council, nine of whom must vote “yes” to a resolution calling for Palestine to be admitted as a full member of the UN, before the matter can be kicked over to the General Assembly for its certain approval.

Sure. Intense negotiation with Gabon, Nigeria, and Bosnia-Herzegovina will bring Middle East peace closer. Why didn’t we think of that?

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Monday, September 26th, 2011 at 2:38 PM  | Stand For Israel

Netanyahu tells U.N.: Peace can’t be forged through resolutions

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu addresses the U.N. General Assembly (Photo: Reuters)

In his speech at the U.N. General Assembly earlier today, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu called for peace “anchored in security,” the release of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, and a more accurate depiction of Israel in the international media and within the U.N.:

“Palestinians want a state without peace,” Netanyahu stated, telling the assembled diplomats, “You should not let that happen.”

Netanyahu called on Abbas to renew peace talks immediately, “today at the United Nations.”

“If we genuinely want peace, what is there to stop us,” Netanyahu asked Abbas.

“With God’s help let’s find the common ground for peace. I can’t make peace without you,” Netanyahu said during his address.

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Friday, September 23rd, 2011 at 2:10 PM  | Stand For Israel