International Fellowship of Christians and Jews

Bibles rescued from Syria in secret op

An Israeli librarian inspects a rare holy book before it goes on exhibit at the National Library in Jerusalem (photo: AP)

Nearly a dozen ancient holy books have finally made their way to Israel from Syria, following a multi-continent, James Bond-style operation. They traveled from Damascus to New York and finally to Jerusalem, where they are being kept at the National Library.

The 11 holy books, some dating back 1,000 years, were written by copyist of the Scriptures around the world and arrived in the Syrian capital in different periods. The Jewish community took pride in them and guarded them meticulously, helping them survive the political upheavals that took place in the city over the years.

The Damascus books are considered the world’s most ancient Bibles after the Aleppo Codex, which compared to them is torn and shabby.

The Rabin government decided to bring the books to Israel in 1995. The defense establishment, governmental organizations and immigrants from Syria took part in the secret operation.

:It was one of the most important operations we participated in,” says Eliyahu Hasson, chairman of the community of Damascus Jews in Israel, who served as director-general of the Transportation Ministry at the time.

Judy Feld Carr, a Canadian pensioner who turned helping Syria’s Jewry into her life’s work, lauds the operation as well. “Out of all the things I have done in my life, this operation was the most brilliant,” she declares.

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Thursday, October 6th, 2011 at 3:19 PM  | Stand For Israel

Students and IFCJ unite for Israel!


This week Rabbi Eckstein spoke at the Oral Roberts University Chapel, educating the students and community members about the complex and vitally important relationship between Jews and Christians, and encouraging the next generation of Christians to stand united with Israel. Visit our website to view pictures and videos of this exciting event!



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Thursday, October 6th, 2011 at 1:07 PM  | Stand For Israel

Israeli scientist wins 2011 Nobel Prize for Chemistry

Daniel Shechtman (Photo: AFP/Israel Institute of Technology)

It was announced today that an Israeli scientist has won the coveted 2011 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Daniel Shechtman is the tenth Israeli to win a Nobel Prize and the third to win the prize for chemistry. Shechtman was born in Tel-Aviv in 1941, and received his PHD from Israel’s prestigious Technion University.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu personally called Shechtman to congratulate him on winning the prize and invited the Israeli scientist to a private meeting. “The award expresses our people’s intellect. Every citizen in Israel is happy today and every Jew is proud,” he said.

All of us here in Israel are proud of Shechtman’s achievements and hope that his contribution to the scientific world will shine a positive light on the Jewish State. In its short history as a sovereign nation, Israel has been blessed with many innovative thinkers who have played a leading role in the fields of medicine, technology, and science.

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Wednesday, October 5th, 2011 at 2:10 PM  | Stand For Israel

Treatment of alleged Israeli spy a sign of Egypt’s shifting allegiance

Ilan Grapel

U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta traveled to Egypt on Tuesday to convince the Egyptians to release 27-year-old Ilan Grapel, a dual U.S.-Israeli citizen who has been imprisoned in Egypt since June for allegedly spying for Israel. Grapel, a law student at Emory University, was in Egypt on a mission to provide free legal aid to North African refugees. He was arrested outside his hotel on June 12 and charged with spying for the Israeli government as well as fomenting sectarian strife during the Egyptian uprising that led to the ousting of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.

The Israeli government has repeatedly denied accusations claiming that Grapel was a Mossad agent sent by Israel to spy on Egypt. Furthermore, even though Grapel has been incarcerated for four months, the Egyptian government has yet to produce substantive evidence proving their allegations against him.

It seems that the trumped-up spy charges against Grapel were most likely meant to convey a message that the post-Mubarak Egyptian government is reevaluating its strategic alliances with the United States and Israel.  

Egyptian media outlets speculate that Egypt will demand the release of Egyptian prisoners from Israeli jails in exchange for Grapel’s release. An Egyptian “security expert” was quoted saying that Egypt will also demand the release of arch terrorist Sheikh Amr Abd al Rahman, who is serving a life sentence in a North Carolina prison facility for his involvement in terrorist attacks against the U.S.

Meanwhile, one news source quoted Egypt’s official news agency stating that Cairo is considering the release of Grapel in light of the “promises from the U.S. offering more political and economic support in return.”

OK, let’s get this straight. Egyptian officials arrest a tourist on trumped-up spy charges for no other reason than the fact that he is both an Israeli and American citizen. Then, after holding him for nearly four months without producing a shred of evidence as to his guilt, the Egyptian government is requesting an increase in U.S. financial and political aid – and…

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Wednesday, October 5th, 2011 at 12:13 PM  | Stand For Israel

Syrian president Assad threatens to attack Israel

Syrian president Bashar al-Assad

In a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Syrian president Assad threatened to attack Tel Aviv in the case of a NATO strike on Syria, saying, “If a crazy measure is taken against Damascus, I will need not more than 6 hours to transfer hundreds of rockets and missiles to the Golan Heights to fire them at Tel Aviv:”

According to the report, Assad also reiterated that Syria will call on Hezbollah to launch such an intensive rocket and missile attack on Israel.

“All these events will happen in three hours, but in the second three hours, Iran will attack the US warships in the Persian Gulf and the US and European interests will be targeted simultaneously,” Assad said, according to FARS.

Assad’s comments came as Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday he would set out his country’s plans for sanctions against Syria after he visits a Syrian refugee camp near the border in the coming days.

The move heralds a further deterioration in previously friendly relations between Ankara and Damascus since the start of Assad’s crackdown on protesters.

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Tuesday, October 4th, 2011 at 3:23 PM  | Stand For Israel

Samir Kuntar, award winner

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Samir Kuntar (Photo: Reuters)

Samir Kuntar, whose crimes are so heinous that they almost defy description, is honored by yet another totalitarian regime in the Middle East

Today, Kuntar was heard from again, once again in Tehran, where the regime invited him to participate in a conference about the intifada. His exact remarks do not deserve attention, but his location does. It is a reminder of the nature of the Syrian and Iranian regimes that they continue to honor a murderer—a murderer of children at that. The honors accorded to Kuntar cannot be explained even by the supposed necessities of war against “the Zionist regime;”  it would be possible to oppose and even fight Israel without murdering children.

Reviled by everyone with a shred of decency, yet hailed as a hero by Iran and Syria. In his article, Elliot Abrams has it exactly right: “Regimes, like individuals, are rightly judged by the company they keep and even more by the people they celebrate.” In honoring Kuntar, Iran’s rulers have again shown themselves to be operating entirely outside the bounds of civilized society.

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Tuesday, October 4th, 2011 at 8:09 AM  | Stand For Israel

Another church burning in Egypt

(Photo: Israel National News)

More Muslim on Christian violence in Egypt:

Egypt is back to “business as usual” with the Islamic majority harassing and attacking its Christian minority.

A group of Muslims burnt down part of a church Friday – the Islamic Sabbath – in the village of Marinab, according to a report published in the daily Al Masry Al Youm. The village, situated close to the town of Edfu in the Aswan Governorate, is located some 800 kilometers south of Cairo. 

Security sources said Muslims rampaged through the village in what appeared to be a pogrom, clashing with the Christian residents and destroying their shops. Central Security Forces cordoned off the village “to control the clashes,” according to the newspaper report.

What a tragedy that the change of power in Egypt has resulted not in greater democracy, but in a greatly increased threat of Islamic fundamentalism and persecution of Egypt’s minority Christians. Please say a prayer today for Christians in Egypt — and in other countries throughout the Middle East where they are subject to violence and oppression.


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Monday, October 3rd, 2011 at 11:54 AM  | Stand For Israel

Mashaal: Resist until “Israel is destroyed”

What is it about “Palestinians must resort to resistance no matter how costly it is, until Palestine is free and Israel is destroyed” that people don’t understand?:

Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal told an international conference in Iran on Saturday that “resistance” was the only option left for the Palestinians.

Mashaal was addressing the “5th International Conference in Support of the Palestinian Intifada” in Iran’s capital Tehran.

“Palestinians must resort to resistance no matter how costly it is, until Palestine is free and Israel is destroyed,” Mashaal said.

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who also spoke at the conference on Saturday, assailed a two state solution for Israel and the Palestinians, saying the Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations is doomed to fail.

We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: When someone repeatedly says they’re out to destroy you, you should take them at their word. Israel does. They can’t afford not to.

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Monday, October 3rd, 2011 at 7:59 AM  | Stand For Israel