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Photo Friday: Swifter Than Eagles, Stronger Than Lions

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

They were swifter than eagles,
    they were stronger than lions. (2 Samuel 1:23)

As Israel is threatened from all sides, the swiftness, strength, and service of the IDF’s brave men and women keep her safe, much like those seen here in the Golan Heights. Shabbat shalom, friends.

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Friday, January 23rd, 2015 at 1:27 PM  | Stand For Israel

Photo Friday: Who Can Withstand His Icy Blast?

(Photo: twitter/IDF)

(Photo: twitter/IDF)

He spreads the snow like wool
    and scatters the frost like ashes.
He hurls down his hail like pebbles.
    Who can withstand his icy blast? (Psalm 147:16-17)

This week, a severe winter storm descended on the Holy Land. The Fellowship was on the ground, distributing aid and warmth to Israel’s elderly and poor. And the brave men and women of the IDF – including the soldiers above – continued to keep Israel safe. Shabbat shalom, friends.

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Friday, January 9th, 2015 at 1:23 PM  | Stand for Israel

18 Years After She Survived Bombing, Woman Joins IDF

(Photo: Channel 2 screenshot)

(Photo: Channel 2 screenshot)

In Israel, IDF service is compulsory, yet it is also seen as an honor to serve and protect the Jewish state and its people, as so many have done before. The Times of Israel’s Marissa Newman brings us this story of a young woman whose service is even more meaningful, as she survived a suicide bombing in Israel as an infant – a bombing which took the life of her mother:

The subject of an iconic photo of a 1997 suicide bombing — a wounded baby pulled from a cafe by a cop — was drafted into the IDF on Sunday, and the policewoman who saved her was present to see her off.

Shani Winter, 18, was lightly hurt in the March 1997 Cafe Apropos bombing in Tel Aviv, in which three Israeli women in their 30s — including Shani’s mother, Anat Winter-Rosen — were killed. Winter was saved because she was shielded by her mother’s body.

The image of a policewoman carrying the 6-month-old infant in a blood-drenched clown costume — in honor of the Purim holiday — largely became the defining image of the deadly attack.

On Sunday the policewoman, Ziona Busheri, accompanied Shani to the induction center at Tel Hashomer along with her father, sister, and grandmother.

“It’s very moving for me, very important to me, I’ve also adopted them,” Busheri told Channel 2. “I’ll never forget that day.”

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Monday, January 5th, 2015 at 1:08 PM  | Stand For Israel

14 IDF Innovations from 2014

(Photo: U.S. Army)

(Photo: U.S. Army)

2015 is here, and we hope for a blessed year for Israel, those who stand for her, and the world. While 2014 was a rough year for Israel – with terrorism, the summer’s war in Gaza, and the endless international bias the Jewish state faces – there were positives. Arutz Sheva’s Tova Dvorin reports on 14 innovations made by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) over the past year:

The IDF released a list Friday of 14 new changes instituted in 2014 on its website – ranging from a focus on healthier food to upgrades in defense.

Overall, meals became healthier and more “green,” it said, with two new programs upgrading ready-to-eat meals for combat soldiers and offering vegan options for all recruits. Combat rations were made with lower fat and served for the first time during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza …

In terms of defense, the IDF incorporated many new technologies and equipment to its ranks this year.

The Israeli Navy welcomed the addition of the INS Tanin, the fourth of six German-built, Israeli-equipped Dolphin-class submarines, which arrived at its home base in Haifa in September. Two locally-built tow vessels were also built to support the Dolphin-class submarines.

The Israeli Air Force received several new manned and unmanned aircraft, including the Lockheed-Martin Hercules Samson C-130J and part of Israel’s squadron of Alenia-Aermacchi M346 jets.

In addition, Elbit Systems’ Hermes 900 unmanned aerial system (UAS) became operational during the summer war; similarly, the IDF used US-built Patriot batteries to intercept unmanned vehicles from Palestinian Arab terrorists for the first time in world military history.

IDF ground forces received new equipment as well. The IDF Armored Corps debuted a new tank round, the Hatzav multi-mission tank round, during Protective Edge; it also reorganized its tank arsenal completely, retiring older Merkava models.

In tech, the “Yahalom” (Diamond) Unit of IDF Combat Engineers fielded its first Foster Miller-built Talon 4 tracked ordinance disposal robot in support of Operation Protective Edge, and…

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Friday, January 2nd, 2015 at 10:42 AM  | Stand For Israel

Israeli Pastor’s Son Joins IDF, Recounts Attack Because of Father’s Support

(Photo: Nadaf family)

(Photo: Nadaf family)

Stand for Israel has often told you about Israeli pastor, Father Gabriel Nadaf, who has declared Israel to be the only safe place for Christians in the Middle East, and who supports Christians joining the IDF. The Fellowship also supports ongoing activities to recruit Christians in the IDF, as well as needy Christian families in Israel. The Algemeiner’s Dave Bender now brings us this story of Father Nadaf’s son, Jubran, who has joined the IDF, and who tells of being attacked because of his father’s support of Israel:

Despite being attacked because of his father’s support for IDF recruitment among Arab Christians, the son of Father Gabriel Nadaf says a month into basic training that “I’m not afraid,” Israel’s Channel 2 News reported on Tuesday.

“I did not have to enlist, I volunteered for the army because I live in this country and I want to contribute. For years I knew what I wanted to do,” he said.

And not only that. 18-year-old Jubran Nadaf, who recently completed a basic training course for radio technicians and will soon begin his duties, hopes to continue on to officer training later in his service.

A year ago, a 21-year-old Arab Nazareth resident was arrested on suspicion of attacking Jubran with an iron bar, and his father reports being regularly threatened.

“They told me I was a traitor and beat me,” Jubran said of the ordeal, which required a three-day hospitalization for his injuries.

Nadaf, a Greek Orthodox priest from the town of Yafia, in the north of Israel, has spent the last two years urging Israel’s Christian community to join the Israeli military, based on his conviction that the Jewish state is the only country in the Middle East where Christians can practice their faith free from persecution.

The numbers would appear to bear him out; in marked contrast to the other states in the region, where Christian populations have declined dramatically because of oppression and political conflict, the size of the community in Israel has…

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Wednesday, December 31st, 2014 at 9:36 AM  | Stand For Israel

IDF Lone Soldiers Receive Hanukkah Gift Cards from The Fellowship

(Photo: Oren Nahshon)

(Photo: Oren Nahshon)

The Fellowship does all that it can to give back to the brave men and women who give their all to defend Israel and her people. From adopting battalions and military bases to organizing events where IDF soldiers befriend children and the elderly to helping those soldiers who find themselves in need, our generous friends make it possible to support those who serve the Holy Land. San Diego Jewish World reports on the lone soldiers and needy soldiers who benefited from Fellowship-provided gift cards this Hanukkah:

The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship) and Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF), in collaboration with the Association for the Wellbeing of Israel’s Soldiers (AWIS), provided “Fellowship Gift Cards” to over 9,000 soldiers in-need and Lone Soldiers currently serving in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) so they can celebrate the Chanukah holiday season without financial worries.

The gift cards (each worth between NIS 400-1,000) are redeemable at major retail chains in Israel for purchasing basic supplies such as food, clothing and shoes. Among the soldiers who received this financial support were over 2,500 Lone Soldiers — young men and women who choose to leave their countries of origin to immigrate to Israel and serve in the IDF. Lone Soldiers come to Israel from across the Diaspora to join in Israel’s defense and become part of Israel’s melting pot …

The Fellowship and FIDF distribute “Fellowship Gift Cards” three times a year, during the major Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah, Chanukah, and Passover.

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Monday, December 29th, 2014 at 4:06 PM  | Stand For Israel

IDF Soldier Seriously Injured in Gaza Border Shooting

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

While the level of fighting seen during this summer’s Operation Protective Edge has not occurred since the war’s end, the Gaza border is still a dangerous place, where conflict can arise at any time. The Times of Israel reports that an IDF soldier was seriously injured today during an incident when his patrol came under fire from Gaza:

Palestinians opened fire on an Israeli patrol late Wednesday morning along the southern Gaza Strip. One soldier from the Bedouin Reconnaissance Battalion was shot in the chest and severely injured. He was evacuated to a hospital, the IDF said.

The patrol was operating on the Israeli side of the border near Kibbutz Kissufim when it came under sniper and machine gun fire.

Palestinian sources said that a heavy exchange of fire ensued, with IDF tank fire striking a target east of Khan Younis. The air force also fired on Gaza targets.

Palestinians said that the commander of Hamas’s surveillance unit in the area was killed in the IDF response, Israel Radio reported. Hamas fighters were abandoning positions across the Strip, the report said.

Medical sources said Tayseer al-Ismary, 33, died after being hit by a bullet fired by the IDF, while Hamas sources confirmed he was a member of the movement’s military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.

“This attack, the second of this week, is a lethal violation of the relative quiet along the Gaza border and is a blatant breach of Israel’s sovereignty,” said IDF spokesman Peter Lerner. “The IDF will continue to use all necessary means in order to maintain the safety of the citizens of southern Israel and will not hesitate to respond to any attempt to harm IDF soldiers.”

Israeli farmers were told to cease all work near the border fence, the Ynet news site reported, and roads in the area were closed.

We pray for the recovery of the injured soldier, and for God’s protection over all the brave men and women who risk their lives to keep Israel and her people safe.

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Wednesday, December 24th, 2014 at 8:54 AM  | Stand For Israel

Supporting Christians in the IDF

(Photo: Kobi Gideon/GPO/ASHERNET)

(Photo: Kobi Gideon/GPO/ASHERNET)

In Israel, Christians are not required to enlist in the IDF. Yet The Israeli Christians Recruitment Forum advocates a shared destiny between Jews and Christians for the benefit of Israel. The forum sees special value in the IDF recruitment of Israeli Christians, both to participate in the defense of the Jewish state and to promote the integration of Israeli Christians into the country.

The Fellowship supports this effort and has allocated hundreds of thousands of dollars to aid the organization, both to support its ongoing activities and to help feed needy Christian families this Christmas season.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is also a supporter. Haaretz reports that Netanyahu recently visited a forum event in Nazareth, where he lauded Christians serving in the IDF:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Upper Nazareth on Sunday night to attend an Israeli Christian Recruitment Forum event in honor of the upcoming Christmas holiday.

Hundreds of people attended the event, including many soldiers. The forum, headed by Father Gabriel Nadaf, encourages Christian Arabs to enlist in the Israel Defense Forces.

Netanyahu told the crowd of how he had accompanied his son Avner to the enlistment office on December 1. The very next day, he noted, Nadaf accompanied his own son, Jubran, to the enlistment office, and, like Avner, Jubran volunteered for combat service.

“We are brothers, we are partners – Christians and Jews and Druze and Muslims who defend the State of Israel,” he said.

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Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 at 2:15 PM  | Stand For Israel

Netanyahu’s Youngest Son Begins IDF Service

(Photo: Kobi Gideon/GPO/ASHERNET)

(Photo: Kobi Gideon/GPO/ASHERNET)

In Israel, all young people are required to serve in the military. That includes offspring of those in the highest reaches of the Israeli government. The Jerusalem Post reports that today, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s youngest son, Avner, began his service with the IDF:

You’re in the army now! Avner Netanyahu, the youngest son of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, began his three-year mandatory army service on Monday, enlisting in the IDF’s Combat Intelligence Collection Corps.

Like every soldier on the first day of service, Avner, accompanied by his famous parents, arrived at Jerusalem’s Ammunition Hill.

“Like any parents sending their child off to the army,” Netanyahu said, “we are excited to see our son” begin his army service.

He and his wife Sara were “full of pride” at the milestone of their son, and like “every home in Israel, we are no different.”

Netanyahu told his son to protect the country and protect himself, the proud father told reporters.

In a personal note to other soldiers drafted that day, he wished them success and reassured other parents that “everything will be OK.”

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Monday, December 1st, 2014 at 9:56 AM  | Stand For Israel

IDF: Palestinians Planned to Assassinate Liberman

(Photo: wikicommons/ Michael Thaidigsmann)

(Photo: wikicommons/ Michael Thaidigsmann)

In the wake of this summer’s conflict, Israel has seen a rise in terrorist attacks, including the horrific scene at a Jerusalem synagogue this week. Now The Jerusalem Post is reporting that three Palestinians have been charged with planning to use rocket-propelled grenades to assassinate Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman:

The IDF West Bank Prosecution has indicted three Palestinians for a plan to buy a rocket propelled grenade launcher to blow up Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

Though the indictment was filed on Tuesday, no public announcement has been made to date from the often anonymous IDF Military Courts.

The three Palestinians: Ibrahim el-Zir, Ziad el-Zir and Anans Bech, all from the West Bank village of Harmala, allegedly decided to try to assassinate the foreign minister in mid-August to try to stop Operation Protective Edge.

An additional part of the rationale for the plan to go after Liberman was the proximity of Harmala to Liberman’s home in Nokdim and instances when the defendants observed his entourage of vehicles traveling in the area, said the indictment filed in the Judea Military Court …

In another concerning sign of the unpredictable spread of terror during the recent period, the three were not connected with Hamas or another larger organization and appear to have allegedly been operating their own cell.

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Thursday, November 20th, 2014 at 2:32 PM  | Stand For Israel

"informing, equipping and mobilizing individuals and churches to support the
State of Israel"

Rabbi’s Commentary
Terror Returns to the Holy Land — Again

Recently our attention has been focused on brutal terrorist attacks around the world. But with Wednesday’s attack on Israelis aboard a Tel Aviv bus, our focus returns to Israel, where we must continue to defend the society and the values we have taken so long to develop and build.


Read Rabbi Eckstein's message »

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