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Live Updates:
Terror in Israel

(Photo: IDF)

(Photo: IDF)

 

February 10, 2016 – 8:20 a.m.
An Israeli was hurt in a rock attack in the West Bank.
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February 9, 2016 – 8:00 a.m.
A terrorist stabbing attack was thwarted by Israeli Border Police at the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City.
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February 8, 2016 – 9:20 a.m.
An 11-year-old Israeli boy was stabbed and wounded by a terrorist in the city of Ramle.
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February 7, 2016 – 8:07 a.m.
Soldier lightly hurt in attack by Sudanese national in Ashkelon
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February 7, 2016 – 7:43 a.m.
Netanyahu calls on world to condemn synagogue fire
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Wednesday, February 10th, 2016 at 8:00 AM  | Stand For Israel

The Challenges Facing Israel

(Photo: twitter/IsraeliPM)

(Photo: twitter/IsraeliPM)

Those who stand for Israel know the many enemies that threaten the Jewish state – on all of her borders, Israel faces those who wish to see her existence ended. And that does not even consider the many voices around the world who continue their anti-Israel and anti-Semitic sentiment. The Jerusalem Post’s Isi Leibler writes about the difficult challenges that face Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:

Few envy the painful decisions Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be obliged to make in the months to come.

He faces grave challenges that impact on the life and death of Israelis. The current wave of Palestinian terrorism seems to be escalating from stabbings to shootings and there is considerable concern that the Palestinian Authority may well implode, which would lead to even greater chaos.

Hezbollah has thousands of rockets aimed toward us but, for the time being, is diverted by its bitter battles in Syria on behalf of its Iranian patron.

Diplomatically, at least until after the US elections we face a hostile environment as the Obama administration signals its contempt for the Israeli government and while the Europeans seem willing to abandon us and even impose sanctions against us.

Despite the barbaric behavior of our neighbors and the criminal Palestinian society, and being aware that the Palestinians remain utterly committed to an end of Jewish sovereignty, the Europeans continue pressing Israel to make further unilateral concessions.

But the most urgent issue today is how to respond to Hamas, which, unlike the duplicitous Palestinian Authority, loudly spells out its genocidal objectives. It has always bitterly rejected any negotiation and made it abundantly clear that its ultimate mission – “no matter how long it takes” – is to “fight the Jews and kill them” and to replace the Jewish state with an Islamic caliphate…

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Wednesday, February 10th, 2016 at 7:43 AM  | Stand For Israel

A Light in the Darkness

(Photo: Oren Nahshon)

(Photo: Oren Nahshon)

Writing at The Jerusalem Post, IFCJ Senior Vice President Yael Eckstein recalls a dream she had, one that shed light on her home – that Israel does have its problems and can be improved, but that despite that, it is the Jewish people’s historic and God-given homeland:

From afar, I saw a border crossing that had divine light shining on it, in midst of the darkness. A big Star of David covered the golden border gates and confident soldiers stood guard. “Finally, safety!” I remember yelling out loud and running as fast as I could to make it to freedom.

As I approached – without saying a word – the gates opened and the soldiers’ stern faces transformed into smiles. “Welcome home,” they said, as I fell to the ground, laughing out loud, sobbing with joy, and soaking in the much yearned-for feeling of belonging.

And then I woke up.

Even though it was a dream, it felt real. I found my sense of belonging and peace on the holy soil of Israel.

And after searching and running over what felt like the entire world, it was the only place where I found safety.

What I have realized in the few weeks since I had that eye-opening dream is that God sent me a gift. In one dream, I experienced the 2,000- year exile and suffering of the Jewish people – along with the miraculous liberation of our ancient homeland.

I have often thought what a blessing the modern State of Israel is to the Jewish people, and how it is the manifestation of the collective prayers of my people through thousands of years of exile and persecution.

But since I had this dream, my heart can finally feel what up until now only my mind was able to grasp…

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Thursday, February 4th, 2016 at 1:54 PM  | Stand For Israel

More Than Four Months of Terror, By the Numbers

(Photo: ASHERNET)

(Photo: ASHERNET)

It has been over four months since the current wave of terror plaguing Israel began, a wave of stabbings, shootings, car-rammings, and fire-bombings. The Jerusalem Post has compiled statistics on this spate of violence, and the numbers are alarming:

Four and-a-half months into the terror wave, Israel’s Magen David Adom ambulance service has summarized some of the period’s key statistics.

MDA chose the September 13, Rosh Hashana attack, in which the 64-year-old grandfather Alexander Levlovitz was killed, as the starting date of the current round of violence.

Terrorists caused Levlovitz’s death in Jerusalem after he lost control of his vehicle on the night of September 13 when its windshield was shattered by a rock thrown from an overpass in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood while he was driving home with his two daughters.

Since the Levlovitz attacks and until February 1, 30 Israelis have been killed and 301 have been wounded, MDA reported. Twenty seven of the wounded were wounded seriously, eight moderately to seriously, 46 moderately, 11 moderately to lightly, and 209 were lightly wounded.

MDA emergency teams treated victims in 91 rock throwing incidents, 83 stabbing incidents, 22 vehicle ramming attacks, and 15 shootings.

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Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016 at 8:19 AM  | Stand For Israel

Elderly Galilee Man Dies of Hypothermia

(Photo: flickr/yairar)

(Photo: flickr/yairar)

As we reported this week, an IFCJ survey shows the dire circumstances faced by so many of Israel’s elderly – especially during the winter. Today, this point was driven home as The Times of Israel reports that a 101-year-old Galilee man has died because of the cold:

A 101-year-old Israeli man died from hypothermia on Saturday, medical personnel reported, after he was found freezing in his home on a kibbutz in the Western Galilee…

According to the radio, the man was discovered in critical condition, suffering from severe hypothermia, and had a body temperature of 30.7°C…

Since last week, there have been four other incidents of hypothermia, as temperatures in many parts of the country dropped to freezing.

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Saturday, January 30th, 2016 at 2:19 PM  | Stand For Israel

25% of Israeli Jews Fear Another Holocaust

(Photo: wikicommons/ C.Puisney)

(Photo: wikicommons/ C.Puisney)

This week the world remembered the Holocaust on January 27, vowing it would never forget the horrors that the Nazis perpetrated upon the Jewish people and other minorities. Yet the Jewish people still face unprecedented hatred and violence, and JNS reports that a new poll shows that a quarter of Israel’s Jews fear another such attempt at wiping them from existence:

More than half (59 percent) of Israelis are afraid to travel outside the country, with 25 percent saying they are usually afraid to do so and 34 percent saying they have become more afraid this past year, a new poll commissioned by the World Zionist Organization shows.

According to the poll, which was conducted by the Midgam Consultants and Research Institute, more women than men say they are afraid to travel abroad (62 percent compared to 55 percent). Sixty-five percent of respondents say their concerns prompt them to play down signs of Israeli or Jewish identity while abroad, a group among whom 36 percent say they do so regularly and 29 percent say they have changed their habits and have recently started hiding their Jewish/Israeli identities.

Additionally, 25 percent of the Israelis polled say they believe there is reason to fear that another Holocaust will be perpetrated against the Jewish people, and 24 percent believe there is a chance that the State of Israel will cease to exist. More than two-thirds (67 percent) are worried about the safety of Jewish communities outside of Israel.

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Friday, January 29th, 2016 at 8:47 AM  | Stand For Israel

Survey Shows Thousands of Israeli Elderly Forgo Heat and Food

(Photo: Olivier Fitoussi)

(Photo: Olivier Fitoussi)

The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) recently took a survey to see how many of the elderly in Israel need assistance with heating their homes in the winter. Sadly, tens of thousands of elderly go without heating or food in the winter because they simply cannot afford these basic necessities.

“For the elderly, giving up food, medications or heating can sometimes be a death sentence,” said Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder and president of the IFCJ…

According to the poll, 18 percent of the elderly population go without home heating, while 16% forgo basic necessities, particularly food, to pay for heat. A third of all elderly citizens must forgo either heating, hot water, food, medicine or other needs for financial reasons the study found.

Approximately 40% of those who forgo heating in the winter, amounting to some 59,000 people, have to do so frequently or very frequently, according to the poll…

According to IFCJ, the results “underscore that this winter’s cold, coupled with rising living costs, put major sections of the country’s population at risk,” and that the “supplemental incomes and pensions” granted to vulnerable citizens and the elderly “do not go far enough” in meeting their basic needs.

In related news, Haaretz reports on the dire circumstances of many impoverished Israelis this winter:

A homeless man in his 50s was found dead on a park bench in Bat Yam Thursday morning, apparently of hypothermia, the fifth hypothermia case this week…

Of the four other cases reported by Magen David Adom this week, another was in Bat Yam, where an 88-year-old man was found Wednesday freezing in his apartment and hospitalized in serious condition. Another was in Ariel, on Monday, where a 6-day-old baby was hospitalized with severe hypothermia and later released. In Petah Tikva a 63-year-old man was found lying on the floor in his home and was hospitalized with moderate hypothermia. Another homeless man, from Rishon Letzion, was taken to Assaf Harofeh Hospital, Tzrifin with slight hypothermia.

Magen David Adom called on people to keep in…

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Friday, January 29th, 2016 at 8:02 AM  | Stand For Israel

On Gaza Border, Israelis Feel Hamas Digging

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

This week we’ve already discussed the fate of some of Hamas’ terror tunnels, as well as the terrorist group’s ridiculous accusations. But it seems that Hamas is still hard at work, reports The Times of Israel’s Tamar Pileggi, as Israeli residents on the Gaza border have experienced the effects of their digging:

Residents of Moshav Pri Gan, a community adjacent to the Gaza border, said Thursday that tunnel digging into Israel from the Hamas-run territory has come so close to their homes that it has caused their floors to shake.

The head of the Eshkol Regional Council, Gadi Yarkoni, told Israel Radio that many residents have been complaining of hearing and feeling increased underground digging activity in recent weeks, and were disappointed that the IDF had failed to build protective barriers against the cross-border terror tunnels, as it had promised it would after the summer 2014 war in Gaza…

Hamas, the Islamist terror group that rules the Gaza Strip, built dozens of tunnels into Israel, many of which were used to carry out attacks against soldiers during the 2014 war. The IDF said it destroyed over 30 tunnels during the war, known in Israel as Operation Protective Edge, but officials have expressed fear the terror group is rebuilding its infrastructure.

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Thursday, January 28th, 2016 at 11:00 AM  | Stand For Israel

Stop the Incitement, Stop the Killing

(Photo: ASHERNET)

(Photo: ASHERNET)

This week there have been more terror attacks against Israelis, with another young woman’s life taken far too soon. And these attacks, with their continued occurrence and growing ferocity, are again and again caused by Palestinian incitement. This incitement, writes The Times of Israel’s David Horovitz, must stop if the killing of innocents is to end:

Abbas is impossible. His duplicitous terrorism-fostering predecessor Yasser Arafat assured the Palestinians that they had no reason or need to compromise with the Jews because we were colonial invaders, an unrooted and temporary presence that his people’s stubbornness and terrorism would eventually see off. Abbas chose not to counter that narrative, not to acknowledge to his people the Jews’ history of sovereignty in the Holy Land, and more recently intensified the strategic campaign of misrepresentation — telling Palestinians that the Jews have no business at the Temple Mount.

Meanwhile, the Fatah hierarchy he heads has been openly encouraging attacks on Israelis, and the Hamas terror group with which he seeks to partner in government is again plotting suicide bombings, developing more sophisticated rockets, and digging tunnels under the Gaza-Israel border ahead of its next planned war.

Abbas may well be deploying his forces to keep a lid on clashes in the West Bank, but he’s presiding over an ongoing, strategic demonizing of Israel and Israelis — via his education system, political and spiritual leadership and mainstream and social media — that positively guarantees Palestinian violence and terrorism. So effective is this process that, nowadays, when a young Palestinian has a row at home, feels depressed, or wants to make a name for him or herself, the default response is to grab a knife and go kill the nearest vulnerable Jew.

And so, last week, we buried Dafna Meir.

And today, we buried Shlomit Krigman.

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Thursday, January 28th, 2016 at 7:54 AM  | Stand For Israel

Rabbi Who Nurtured Evangelical Love for Israel Courts Black Churches

More Bridge Building: The Washington Post has picked up the story of the IFCJ-led Progressive National Baptist Convention’s trip to Israelax159_275c_

The rabbi who has for decades painstakingly and successfully nurtured evangelicals’ love for Israel now extends his hand to African-American churches.

And many are responding with as much enthusiasm as the white heartland congregations into which Yechiel Eckstein first ventured more than 35 years ago.

“I felt the need to reach out again, to the African-American Christian community,” said Eckstein, founder of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, which collects more than $125 million annually for social welfare projects in Israel, mostly from Christian donors. “The potential of beginning dialogues and fostering cooperation between blacks and Jews in America is great.”

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Wednesday, January 27th, 2016 at 6:51 PM  | Stand for Israel