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The Second Kristallnacht

(Photo: wikicommons/ Alina Zienowicz)

(Photo: wikicommons/ Alina Zienowicz)

While the Palestinians have submitted a U.N. resolution to the U.N. Security Council that sets hard deadlines for Israel, on Wednesday European Parliament approved an anti-Israel resolution of their own – one supporting the recognition of Palestinian statehood. Israel Hayom’s Dan Margalit likens these attacks from all sides on the Jewish state and its people to anti-Semitism of the past:

There was a second Kristallnacht in Europe on Wednesday. It didn’t happen at night, but during the day; it did not involve violence, but words; there was no burning of synagogues or attacking of Jews, but there was a trampling on the noble words “never again.” From all sides, they pushed toward something alarming, painful and unnecessary. The Europeans came equipped with a cynicism that feeds off the minority of extremist Muslims in their countries, and the Israelis came equipped with ambivalence, filled with helplessness and problematic considerations.

The European parliamentarians sided with the Palestinians. They drew a permanent border and set a deadline, and now there is nothing left to discuss in negotiations. They even wiped away Hamas’ stain of terrorism. We should just thank God they didn’t sign the resolution with the words “Allahu akbar…”

A tsunami of unfairness is blowing hard toward Israel from Europe … The Palestinians presented their proposal — the highlight of the campaign against Israel — to the Security Council on Wednesday night.

It is certainly very late to prepare, but it is not too late.

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Thursday, December 18th, 2014 at 9:27 AM  | Stand For Israel

Israel Should Submit Its Own Resolution to the UN

(Photo: wikicommons/ Patrick Gruban)

(Photo: wikicommons/ Patrick Gruban)

The Palestinians submitted a draft to the United Nations Security Council today that calls for a 12-month deadline for a peace deal and set 2017 as the deadline for a complete Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and East Jerusalem. In light of this resolution, Dr. Emmanuel Navon writes that Israel should submit its own U.N. draft demanding that the Palestinians drop their “right of return” and that the UNRWA be disbanded:

Rather than lobbying the United States to veto the PLO resolution, and rather than trying to convince France to drop its own supposedly more benign draft, Israel should submit its own resolution to the UNSC.

The Israeli resolution would demand a Palestinian renunciation of the so-called “right of return” and a UN commitment to dismantle the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) within two years. This way, UNSC members would have to vote on two resolutions: one that demands an unconditional and total Israeli withdrawal (the PLO proposal), and one that demands an unconditional and total end to the cynical perpetuation of the Palestinian refugee problem (the Israeli proposal). UNSC members that claim to support the two-state solution will then have to explain why they are willing to impose one ingredient of that solution (i.e. ending Israel’s partial control of the West Bank) but not the other (i.e. ending the Palestinian claim, clearly incompatible with the two-state solution, that six million Arab “refugees” should be granted the option of becoming residents and citizens of Israel).

The PLO’s refusal to end all claims against Israel (including the claim that the descendants of the 1948 refugees should have a “right of return” to Israel) is the reason Yasser Arafat rejected the December 2000 Clinton proposal (which would have granted the Palestinian state 96% of the West Bank) and the reason Abbas rejected the September 2008 Olmert proposal (which would have granted the Palestinian state 99% of the West Bank, after land swaps). Abbas admittedly has said that he does not intend…

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Thursday, December 18th, 2014 at 8:45 AM  | Stand For Israel

Shin Bet Foils “Pregnant” Suicide Bomber Plot in Tel Aviv

(Photo: Shin Bet)

(Photo: Shin Bet)

As we pray for a peaceful resolution to the hostage situation in Sydney, Australia, and as we see more and more terrorist attacks worldwide each week, some good news comes out of Israel. The Times of Israel reports that the Shin Bet – Israel’s internal security service – has thwarted a suicide bombing plot that was to take place in Tel Aviv:

A Palestinian terror cell planning a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv and other attacks was thwarted over the last several months, the Shin Bet security service said Monday.

Five suspects hailing from Jenin and the village Attil in the Tulkarem area of the West Bank planned to infiltrate into Israel by acquiring a permit for the female member of their group to receive medical care in Israel.

She was then to dress as a pregnant Jewish woman and detonate an explosive belt in Tel Aviv, the Shin Bet said in a statement.

The cell members admitted under Shin Bet interrogation to planning to carry out shooting attacks, detonate a mine next to a bus carrying soldiers, and kidnap a soldier as well, according to the internal security agency.

The five were arrested between October and November by IDF forces working with the Shin Bet and police, but the information was only cleared for release Monday.

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Monday, December 15th, 2014 at 9:41 AM  | Stand For Israel

Israel Ready to Help Australia with Hostages

(Photo: ASHERNET)

(Photo: ASHERNET)

Stand for Israel paid close attention to the hostage situation in Sydney, Australia, which has since been resolved. The Times of Israel’s Lazar Berman reports that Israel was in contact with Australia, offering its assistance as the events unfolded:

Israel is in contact with Australian authorities over the unfolding hostage situation in a Sydney coffee shop, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Monday.

Speaking to Israel Radio, Ya’alon said that Israel would do anything it could to help.

“It is far, but there are things we can do from afar,” he said.

Police have said they are negotiating with the gunman, who has apparently made a number of demands via phone calls that hostages were forced to make to local media organizations …

Shortly after taking the coffee shop, the gunman forced hostages to display a flag with an Islamic affirmation of faith, leading some to believe the incident was related to Islamist terror.

“This seems to be another attack by an Islamist, jihadist organization, part of the phenomenon of the spread of global jihad, and the terrorism it brings to different places, which also reaches Australia,” Ya’alon told the radio station …

Speaking on the same radio program, Israeli singer Benny Elbaz, who left the very Lindt Cafe minutes before the hostage-taker entered, said he considered his near-miss a “Hanukkah miracle.”

Elbaz said he had been in the cafe with a number of Israelis, but left about 15 minutes before the gunman entered.

The Israeli embassy in Australia earlier published a tweet expressing Israel’s sympathy for the hostages.

The Jewish community in Australia went “in lockdown” as the incident unfolded Monday, with schools releasing students earlier and officials urging caution and alertness …

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Monday, December 15th, 2014 at 8:33 AM  | Stand For Israel

Terrorist Attacks Israeli Family with Acid

(Photo: flickr/ismpalestine)

(Photo: flickr/ismpalestine)

In today’s Daily Dispatch, we noted the separate incidents which have occurred today. The Times of Israel reports on this terrorist attack, where a Palestinian hurled acid on a family with young children:

Seven people, including a family of five with young children, were lightly wounded in the West Bank Friday afternoon when a Palestinian man hurled acid into their car, before being shot and seriously wounded.

The attack occurred near a checkpoint between the Gush Etzion settlement of Beitar Illit, where the family is from, and the Palestinian village of Husan, southwest of Jerusalem.

Palestinian news agency Ma’an identified the attacker as Jamal Abd al-Majid Ghayatha, 45, from the West Bank village of Nahalin. Media networks affiliated with Hamas said the man was a former Palestinian prisoner in Israel jail, Israel Radio reported.

The IDF said in a statement Friday that he was “known to have been previously involved in illegal and hostile riots and activities.”

The father of the family, in his 50s, was said to have been hit in the face with the liquid, causing burns to his eyes. He was evacuated to Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem in Jerusalem for treatment. The mother, her three daughters aged 8 to 10, and her niece, were taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in the capital with light injuries.

Ghayatha was being treated at Hadassah Hospital  Ein Kerem as well.

The family had stopped their vehicle at the at the Al-Hader Junction to pick up a hitchhiker when Ghayatha, who was standing next to the man, attacked all of them with the acid.

Please keep the recovery of this family in your prayers.

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Friday, December 12th, 2014 at 2:53 PM  | Stand For Israel

Photo Friday: The Hand of the Lord Has Done This

(Photo: Israeli Ministry of Tourism/Dafna Tal)

(Photo: Israeli Ministry of Tourism/Dafna Tal)

Which of all these does not know
    that the hand of the LORD has done this?
In his hand is the life of every creature
    and the breath of all mankind.
(Job 12:9-10)

An ibex stands above the Negev Desert, two glorious reminders of our God’s creation. Shabbat shalom, friends.

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Friday, December 12th, 2014 at 1:06 PM  | Stand For Israel

Solidarity with Southern Israel

(Photo: ASHERNET)

(Photo: ASHERNET)

This summer’s conflict with Hamas in Gaza showed the dire situation faced by those who live in southern Israel – those who fear rockets, terror tunnels, and other terrorist attacks on a daily basis. Writing at Arutz Sheva, an Italian journalist tells of his visit to southern Israel, to see how life is there and to show solidarity with the region’s residents:

Tragic is the geographic situation of the State of Israel. 800 kilometers of borders with no natural defenses. Here, the geography of fear has no saving graces for the map of the Jewish state: from the border with Lebanon, to the deserts of Sinai and Gaza, the lives of all, here, go on every day shadowed with the ghost of insecurity.

And if there is a region which embodies the siege of Israel the most, it is the southern one.

I visited southern Israel to understand the reality on the ground. But I was also determined to do my part to show the people of Israel that they would not face solitude.

In the south, the Israelis measure the distance from Gaza in time, not meters. It is the time you need to find a shelter when the siren sounds. Overlooking Gaza is the town of Sderot, which in the minds of the Israelis is synonymous with poverty and danger. Sderot has, in fact, the highest number per capita in the world of shelters: 200. On this small city, the Muslims from Gaza fired 8,600 rockets. So far the Israeli government has invested $ 120 million in Sderot to provide the shelters.

“Sderot is the front line of Israel and Israel is the front line of Europe”  Avi Sulemani, who heads the community center, told me. The control center of the city is under a bunker which monitors what is happening in every corner of the city. “Every house and building in Sderot will be protected by shelters. We withdrew from Gaza, and Hamas has interpreted it as…

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Friday, December 12th, 2014 at 8:46 AM  | Stand For Israel

Another Round of Violence?

(Photo: flickr/ crazymaq)

(Photo: flickr/ crazymaq)

In yesterday’s Daily Dispatch, we noted that Israel and the Palestinian Authority (P.A.) are disputing the cause of death of a P.A. official who died during a protest this week. While the autopsy showed that Abu Ein died of a heart attack, The Times of Israel’s Avi Issacharoff writes that the P.A. could use this incident to incite further violence:

A heart attack. That’s what the Israeli doctors who participated in the autopsy of Palestinian official Ziad Abu Ein determined as the cause of his death. What’s more, they found that “the deceased suffered from an ischemic heart disease, and old scars were found in the blood vessels in his heart indicating that the deceased suffered from heart blockages in the past.”

In plain English, the man had a heart condition.

Everyone who knew Ziad Abu Ein personally knew he was not well, that he was a heavy smoker and was overweight. All the facts point to him dying of a heart attack.

And still, the Palestinians are saying that Abu Ein died from suffocation and tear gas …

The worse news is that once the funeral procession reached the cemetery near el-Bireh, heavy fire began in honor of Abu Ein. In addition, at least according to the statements of two Fatah heads, Saeb Erekat and Jibril Rajoub, the Palestinian leadership that gathered Wednesday night decided to stop West Bank security cooperation with Israel.

According to the two officials, a decision was also taken to request to join the International Criminal Court, to ratify the Rome Statute (which paves the way for joining the ICC), and to appeal to the UN Security Council to recognize Palestine as a state. If this is true, and this is not some PR move, then we are on the brink of a new era in Palestinian-Israeli relations. And not a good one.

Only on Sunday, during the meeting of the PA leadership, will a final decision be made, and only then will we know if Erekat and Rajoub are right. If they are, then we are…

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Friday, December 12th, 2014 at 8:29 AM  | Stand For Israel

The Fellowship Gathering Christian Support for Israel

(Photo: Edi Israel)

(Photo: Edi Israel)

This week, The Jerusalem Post’s third annual Diplomatic Conference will be held in Israel. The Israeli newspaper has shared some of the highlights of the conference’s publication, including this piece focusing on The Fellowship’s long history of creating a true fellowship between Christians and the Holy Land:

Support for Israel will increasingly come from the world’s growing Evangelical community, believes Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.

The success of the IFCJ, which raises $140 million in Christian donations for Jewish and Israeli causes annually, has led some in the Israeli media to dub the American rabbi the “shadow welfare minister” for his social welfare work here, and has made Eckstein one of the most well-known Jewish figures among American Christians.

When he started working on interfaith issues some 30-odd years ago, he had no idea that Evangelical Christians would become such a powerful force in the battle over Israel, he recalls.

“Little did I have in mind or did I even think of the possibility that one day Israel would be essentially seen as a pariah almost by many Western nations, let alone Arab nations,” nor did he have in mind the current global rise in anti-Semitism, he says.

“And little did I even think that the Evangelical community would become a force to be reckoned with in America and in other countries around the world. There has been a real upsurge in Evangelicalism,” Eckstein adds.

The original goal in working with the Evangelical community was “simply to have the dialogue,” Eckstein says, although he did see some potential at the time for “raising support for Israel in various forums in a broader way beyond the Jewish community.” Evangelical Christianity has exploded in popularity around the globe, making gains in places such as Latin America, which has always been strongly Catholic.

“It’s growing and it’s becoming normative and more acceptable and the same phenomenon is going on in the Far East – Indonesia, Singapore, China,” Eckstein explains, asserting that “where you…

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Wednesday, December 10th, 2014 at 8:51 AM  | Stand For Israel

Four Myths About Israeli Elections

(Photo: Kobi Gideon/GPO/ASHERNET)

(Photo: Kobi Gideon/GPO/ASHERNET)

In today’s Daily Dispatch, we report that the current Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) has dissolved, and that new elections will be held in Israel in March. Last week, we provided a guide to Israeli elections, which are different from what many might know. And now, Haaretz’s Gershom Gorenberg debunks myths about elections in Israel:

It’s not all personal: Within hours of Monday’s meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yair Lapid, some of our most experienced political correspondents described the coalition break-up as the irresponsible result of personal distrust and loathing. For reporters who spend their days listening to politicians complain about each other, it’s easy to fall into the narrative of politics as consisting entirely of egotism and intrigue. But it’s a distorted picture …

Personal animosity didn’t doom the government. The outcome of the last election did, by making a coalition with shared goals impossible. Reporting that portrays politics as entirely personal isn’t merely misleading; it’s damaging, because it convinces many voters that “they’re all the same.”

Polls aren’t prophecies: Opinion surveys at the start of a campaign mean less than odds given by a bookie, but a smart bookie wouldn’t give odds yet. We don’t know which existing parties will make alliances or split, which new ones will enter the race, or which ex-generals will be added to their tickets …

Pollsters can’t be sure how many people will vote for unsuccessful parties, and how many will switch to a larger one at the last moment.

None of the above: In any country, some people want to vote “none of the above,” especially when they’re convinced that the other choices are equally bad.

In a two-party system, the way to cast a “none” vote is to stay home. In Israel, a new or previously marginal party often gets the “none” vote …

A Nobody Party’s best friends are reporters who ask too little about its positions and talk too much about its list of fresh – that is, devoid of experience…

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Wednesday, December 10th, 2014 at 8:32 AM  | Stand For Israel

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

Rabbi’s Commentary
Answering His Call, Faithfully and Joyfully

2014 has certainly been a year of struggles. But those challenges have been answered by God, and by His faithful followers. The Fellowship and our generous friends have been able to offer assistance to those who need it most, from the Holy Land to the former Soviet Union, and we look hopefully to the coming year as one of peace, prosperity, and repairing the world.


Read Rabbi Eckstein's message »

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