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Israel Freezes Contact with Palestinians

iitnIsraeli leaders have suspended any contact with their Palestinian counterparts in response to a Palestinian push to join U.N. agencies as a state of Palestine — a move that was prohibited during peace talks. Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry insists that peace talks aren’t over yet.

Also this week in Israel in the News:

• Israel, however, is deeply disappointed by remarks from Secretary Kerry that appeared to lay the primary blame for the failure of the peace talks on Israel.
• Kerry also recently faced questions from the U.S. Senate about the deal that the U.S. and its allies struck with Iran over its nuclear program.
• Meanwhile, Israel launched a spy satellite that will allow it to watch Iran and other hostile militant groups in the Middle East.
• As the number of people affected by the conflict in Syria continues to grow, the Syrian Civil War has been called the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II.
The Fellowship’s CEO and founder, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, was recently honored with the Jerusalem Post Award for his work in building bridges between Christian and Jewish communities around the world.

This week’s Israel in the News Perspective features The Fellowship’s Ami Farkas on the Palestinians’ stubborn refusal to accept Israel as a Jewish state.

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Friday, April 11th, 2014 at 8:33 AM  | betsy.schmitt@ifcj.org

Israel Cancels Planned Palestinian Prisoner Release; Kerry to Continue Push for Peace

iitnReacting to the Palestinians’ recent push for recognition at the U.N. — a blatant disregard of their commitment to refrain from joining any U.N. groups during negotiations — Israel canceled a planned release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli prisons. Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry vowed to continue his efforts to push for peace “no matter what.”

Also this week in Israel in the News:

• The Obama Administration denied reports that releasing convicted spy Jonathan Pollard is part of any deal for Israel to continue peace talks with the Palestinians.
• During a recent trip to Saudi Arabia, President Obama reassured the Saudi king that the U.S. won’t strike a bad nuclear deal with Iran.
• At the U.N., Syria was sharply criticized for attacking its own people and urged to provide aid to those in need.

This week’s Israel in the News Perspective features The Fellowship’s Ami Farkas on the Palestinians’ continued inflexibility in negotiating a peace deal with Israel.

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Friday, April 4th, 2014 at 8:24 AM  | betsy.schmitt@ifcj.org

Israel Targets Key Hamas Operative in the West Bank

iitnThe Israeli military last week conducted an early morning raid in the West Bank to arrest a Hamas operative who they believed was planning a major attack against Israelis. The raid led to a shoot-out, leaving three Palestinians dead and rioting in the streets.

Also this week in Israel in the News:

• Tensions between Turkey and Syria escalated after Turkish fighter planes shot down a Syrian war plane they claimed violated its airspace.
• U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Jordan this week in an effort to save the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, urging leaders from both sides to extend the April deadline for an agreement.
• President Obama and key allies met to discuss sanctions against Russia and how they could impact European economies.

This week’s Israel in the News Perspective features The Fellowship’s founder and CEO, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, on the recent outbreak of terrorist attacks against Israel.

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Thursday, March 27th, 2014 at 5:00 PM  | betsy.schmitt@ifcj.org

U.S., Ukraine, and Britain to Hold Joint Military Exercises

iitnUkraine’s security chief announced this week a joint show of force with U.S. and British forces as a response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea. The military exercises come under a 1994 treaty, also signed by Russia, that guarantees Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

Also this week in Israel in the News:

The Fellowship’s Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein visited Ukraine last week and witnessed the growing threat to the Jewish community in Ukraine resulting from the unrest there.
• Russia is now threatening to change its stance on Iran’s nuclear talks — a move that could prove problematic to Israel and the U.S.
• Israeli Air Force struck Syria this week following attacks against Israeli soldiers in northern Israel.
• The Israeli defense minister said this week that Israel has not ruled out attacking Iran over its nuclear program, expressing disappointment that the U.S. is not leading the action.
• Palestinian President Abbas met with President Obama this week to discuss peace talks with Israel.

This week’s Israel in the News Perspective features The Fellowship’s Ami Farkas on the recent violence between Israelis and Palestinians even as Palestinian Authority President Abbas was at the White House.

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Friday, March 21st, 2014 at 8:39 AM  | betsy.schmitt@ifcj.org

Terrorists in Gaza Fire Rockets into Southern Israel

iitnTerrorists in Gaza this week launched a barrage of rockets into southern Israel, with more than 60 rockets fired into the country. The Israeli military responded with airstrikes on 29 terrorist targets in Gaza.

Also this week in Israel in the News:

• British Prime Minister David Cameron said his belief in Israel is “unbreakable,” while urging Israeli leaders to pursue a peace deal with the Palestinians.
• Even as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said there was “no way” he will recognize Israel as a Jewish state, the U.S. remains optimistic that a peace deal can be reached.
• Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a rare visit to California, signing a joint technology business pact with California’s governor.
• This week, Israelis remembered Yonatan “Yoni” Netanyahu — the prime minister’s older brother — who led the historic 1976 raid on the airport in Entebbe, Uganda, saving the lives of 102 hostages while losing his own life.

This week’s Israel in the News Perspective features The Fellowship’s founder and CEO, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, with an on-the-ground report on the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

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Thursday, March 13th, 2014 at 6:56 PM  | betsy.schmitt@ifcj.org

President Obama Hosts Israeli Prime Minister in Washington

iitnEarlier this week, President Obama met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss the ongoing peace talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians. The President urged the Prime Minister to make tough decisions that would lead to a peaceful coexistence of the two states.

Also this week in Israel in the News:

• Following that meeting, Netanyahu addressed AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobbying group in the U.S., strongly condemning Iran for standing on the wrong side of the world’s moral divide.
• On Wednesday Israel intercepted a shipment of Syrian-made rockets heading from Iran to Palestinian terrorists in Gaza, underscoring Netanyahu’s remarks to AIPAC.
• Meanwhile, Israel remains reticent to pull back on settlements in the West Bank because of its past experience.
• A spokesman for the Israeli Prime Minister expressed Israel’s frustration with the peace talks.

This week’s Israel in the News Perspective features The Fellowship’s founder and CEO, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, on the dangerous situation for the Jewish community with the ongoing unrest in Ukraine.

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Thursday, March 6th, 2014 at 5:00 PM  | betsy.schmitt@ifcj.org

Israeli Aircraft Carry Out Airstrikes Near Lebanese-Syrian Border

iitnEarlier this week, Israeli aircraft carried out two airstrikes near the Lebanese-Syrian border. No official word has been given as to what was targeted in the air raids, but Israel has been keeping a close eye on any transfer of weapons between Lebanon and Syria.

Also this week in Israel in the News:

• Meanwhile, the new head of Homeland Security says the U.S. and its allies are also closely watching Syria for possible terrorist organizations establishing bases there.
• Former Israeli ambassador to the U.S. is warning that if peace talks fail, the Palestinians will go to the United Nations and seek sanctions against Israel.
• Reuters is reporting that Iran has been selling arms to Iraq in violation of U.N. resolutions.
• Israel is donating books to replace those damaged in an apparent anti-Semitic attack in Tokyo.

This week’s Israel in the News Perspective features The Fellowship’s founder and CEO, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, on the absurdity of “Israel Apartheid Week.”

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Friday, February 28th, 2014 at 8:22 AM  | betsy.schmitt@ifcj.org

Suicide Bombing on Tour Bus Headed to Israel Kills 3, Injures Dozens

iitnA bus carrying tourists from South Korea was about to enter Israel from Egypt when a suicide bomber set off an explosion that ripped apart the bus, killing three and seriously injuring dozens more. The tourists were Korean Christians, who were celebrating their church’s sixtieth anniversary with a trip to visit biblical sites in the Middle East.

Also this week in Israel in the News:

• The U.S. is blaming Russia and the Syrian regime for failure to reach a peace agreement in Geneva.
• Meanwhile, Syrians in the Golan Heights have been protesting, saying they will never accept Israeli citizenship.
• A second round of talks between six world powers and Iran about its nuclear program is underway.
• An Israeli-developed translation app has struck gold at the Sochi Olympics.

This week’s Israel in the News Perspective features Jeff Kaye from The Fellowship’s Jerusalem office on the tragic terrorist attack on Israel’s greatest friends — Christians.

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Friday, February 21st, 2014 at 8:22 AM  | betsy.schmitt@ifcj.org

Iran Ramps Up its Anti-America, Israel Rhetoric

iitnIran has increased its anti-American and anti-Israeli rhetoric, even as they continue negotiations with the U.S. over their nuclear program. In this latest instance, Iran released a video showing a simulated attack on Tel Aviv and U.S. military targets and claimed that Iranian warships are heading to the North Atlantic.

Also this week in Israel in the News:

• U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is warning Israel that failed peace talks could result in increased boycotts against them.
• Meanwhile, Kerry seems to be the target of Israeli insults, including one satirical YouTube video.
• Since the beginning of the year, more than 30 rockets have been fired into Israel from Gaza.
• At the 2014 Singapore Air Show this week, Israeli defense specialists unveiled a new system to detect and destroy short-range mortar and rocket attacks.

This week’s Israel in the News Perspective features The Fellowship’s Ami Farkas on Iran’s threatening rhetoric — and why Israel can’t afford to ignore it.

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Friday, February 14th, 2014 at 8:31 AM  | betsy.schmitt@ifcj.org

Time Running Out on Reaching Israeli-Palestinian Peace Deal

iitnTime is running out on a self-imposed deadline at the end of April to reach a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians. While U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry remains optimistic that a deal can be reached, he also warned that the status quo is not an option.

Also this week in Israel in the News:

• Israeli military officials are warning that al Qaeda militants are fighting in Syria with bases in neighboring Turkey.
• A Palestinian man has been indicted in an Israeli military court on suspicion of being an al Qaeda activist who possessed biological weapons.
• During a recent trip to Germany, Secretary of State John Kerry said Iran needs to prove to the world that its nuclear program is peaceful.

This week’s Israel in the News Perspective features The Fellowship’s founder and CEO, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, on the recent call to boycott SodaStream, an Israeli company that provides jobs and benefits to both Palestinians and Israelis.

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Thursday, February 6th, 2014 at 5:00 PM  | betsy.schmitt@ifcj.org
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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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