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Is a Third Intifada in the Making?

(Photo: Flickr/ IDF)

(Photo: Flickr/ IDF)

Throughout the summer, our attention was on Operation Protective Edge, while now the threat of the Islamic State (IS or ISIS) is dominating headlines. But Israel Hayom’s Nadav Shragai reports that recent violence and rioting in Jerusalem suggest the beginning of an organized third intifada:

For weeks now, 740 Palestinians arrested during recent rioting in east Jerusalem have been under interrogation. These rioters have been gradually laying the groundwork for the third intifada in the capital. Whoever thought that the disturbances were spontaneous expressions of rage will certainly be surprised to learn that these riots are really an uprising that has the hallmarks and fingerprints of an organization …

So far, the violence has been limited to light arms — stones, rocks, and fireworks. Nonetheless, it’s a very fine line between the use of these weapons and the use of firearms and explosives, particularly in the neighborhoods and villages of east Jerusalem. There are some in the eastern half of the capital who have already crossed that line, particularly in the Shuafat refugee camp.

In each of the villages of east Jerusalem, there is at least one dominant player on the ground. In A-Tor, it’s Fatah. In Issawiya‎, it’s the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. In Jabal Mukaber, it’s Hamas. In the Shuafat refugee camp, both Fatah and Hamas are in charge …

It was a group of Palestinians that ambushed the Cohen family as they made their way to the Western Wall last Friday. It was also a group that set fire to a gas station in the French Hill section of the capital in addition to hundreds of other instances.

The villages and neighborhoods are believed to coordinate their actions by using Facebook, fliers, and messengers to communicate the date, time, and location of gatherings and action plans. During their interrogations, some of the rioters said that there is another layer of leadership beyond…

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Friday, September 19th, 2014 at 8:35 AM  | Stand for Israel

Hamas and Human Sacrifice

(Photo: IDF blog)

(Photo: IDF blog)

Throughout Operation Protective Edge, Stand for Israel reported on Hamas’ use of human shields. Taking a closer look at this inhumane tactic now that the war is over, Calev Myers wonders if the terrorists’ strategy isn’t one of human shields, but of human sacrifice:

So what is really happening here? Why do they continue to fire so many rockets at us? What do they hope to achieve? Either this is the least successful military campaign in the history of mankind, or the human casualty count on the Israeli side is not the primary goal of Hamas’ rocket strategy.

Today it is clear to the world that Hamas fires rockets from densely populated civilian areas in order to draw Israeli fire upon Palestinian elderly, women and children. Hamas has learned that systematically feeding disturbing photographs of bloody babies to the international press is the most effective weapon in the pursuit of its goals.

Hamas sees Israel as a strong enemy. It is trying to delegitimize us in order to arouse the fury of entities larger and stronger than us, even if they have to pay a very heavy price in human suffering to do so. Although the comparison is far from perfect, chapter 19 in the book of Judges tells us about a man from the tribe of Levi, whose concubine was raped and murdered by men from the tribe of Benjamin in the city of Gibeah. He cut her body into 12 pieces, sent them throughout all the land of Israel, and the rest is history. The response of all of the other tribes nearly blotted out the tribe of Benjamin from the annals of history.

The threat of Hamas’ blood-photo strategy should not be taken lightly. It has already caused an escalation of anti-Semitic incidents and attacks on Jewish communities around the world. The only way to fight this threat is by systematic and tactical advocacy, not merely in the defensive sense,…

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Thursday, September 4th, 2014 at 8:29 AM  | Stand for Israel

Will Hamas Be Held Accountable for War Crimes?

(Photo: flickr/ ahmadmesleh)

(Photo: flickr/ ahmadmesleh)

While the world has begun to realize the danger of terrorist organizations like the Islamic State, Hamas continues to deny that it belongs in the same category. Writing at the Gatestone Institute, the always astute Khaled Abu Toameh says that Hamas is exactly the same as such groups, in that it executes those who stand in its way or challenge its terrorism:

Hamas’s extrajudicial executions of Palestinians suspected of “collaboration” with Israel are a sign that the Islamist movement is beginning to panic in the wake of Israel’s successful targeting of its leaders.

But the public executions by firing squad of more than 26 suspected “collaborators” in the Gaza Strip could also turn many Palestinians against Hamas …

Over the past few days, Hamas officials have gone out of their way to tell the world that their movement is not like the Islamic State terror organization, which has become notorious for beheading almost everyone it finds standing the way of its creating an Islamic Caliphate.

“We are not a religious, violent group,” Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal said in an interview with Yahoo News from his luxurious hotel in Qatar. He said that Hamas, unlike the Islamic State terrorist group, operates only in Israel, the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

What Mashaal forgot to mention in the interview was that Hamas and the Islamic State do have at least one thing in common: they both carry out extrajudicial executions as a means of terrorizing and intimidating those who stand in their way or dare to challenge their terrorism.

Even the Palestinian Authority [PA] now seems to be drawing an analogy between Hamas and the Islamic State and other radical Islamist terrorist groups.

Tayeb Abdel Rahim, a senior aide to Mahmoud Abbas, strongly condemned Hamas’s extrajudicial executions, adding that that they are “reminiscent of the summary executions carried out by Wahhabi militant groups in other parts of the Middle East.”

Abdel Rahim added, “The executions were done in cold blood and according to Hamas law, which…

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Monday, August 25th, 2014 at 8:43 AM  | Stand for Israel

Why Hamas Isn’t Falling

(Photo: flickr/ ahmadmesleh)

(Photo: flickr/ ahmadmesleh)

The ceasefire between Israel and Hamas continues today, with some saying a long-term agreement is possible, while others say the sides are apart. Either way, it seems that despite the military defeat it has suffered at the hands of the IDF, Hamas hasn’t completely been beaten. At Commentary, Jonathan Tobin writes that Hamas’ grip on the people of Gaza isn’t slipping because of the Palestinian insistence on war on Israel and the terror organization’s control over both the press and possible political dissent:

Though no one in Gaza had to like the results of the fighting, Hamas’s political stock may actually have gone up due to the perverse culture of Palestinian life. Throughout the last century Palestinians have always given the bulk of their support to whichever faction proved to be the most violent. That dynamic kept Yasir Arafat at the top of the Palestinian pyramid and has inspired the ongoing competition between Hamas and Fatah in the last generation. Since Palestinian national identity has always been inextricably linked to their war on Zionism, peacemaking has always been political poison. Instead of concentrating on development or providing services for their backers, Hamas and Fatah have both concentrated on demonstrating their belligerence, with even moderates like Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas understanding that agreeing to recognize the legitimacy of the Jewish state is simply impossible. That’s why no matter what Hamas does it appears that Gazans will blame their suffering on Israel.

As for possible dissent, it should be noted that the one demonstration held in Gaza against Hamas was met with a stern response. Those involved were executed. That is where the iron rule comes in.

Throughout history, tyrannies have only fallen when they are ready to liberalize, not when they are still prepared to spill the blood of their people. The French revolution happened during the reign of the least tyrannical of the Bourbon kings, not under that of the most bloodthirsty. The Soviet Union fell after glasnost and perestroika, not…

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Tuesday, August 12th, 2014 at 8:18 AM  | Stand For Israel

Condemning Murder

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

The kidnapping and murder of an Arab teenager in Jerusalem this week is horrifying. It is disturbing to consider the possibility that one of my people could have committed such a heinous act. Though the international press and the Arab world have already condemned Israel for the murder of the Arab teen, the police are still investigating other possibilities. Families defending their honor and feuding between Arab clans often result in bloodshed, so it’s important to let Israeli authorities complete their investigation before rushing to conclusions.

If the investigation does find that the boy was killed by Jews, make no mistake, the perpetrators will be treated as terrorists. A massive public outcry from the media, politicians, and amateur pundits will be heard for months. But no such reaction over the murder of the three murdered Israeli teens – Eyal, Gilad, and Naftali – can be expected from the Palestinians.

This highlights the difference between the Israeli and Palestinian cultures. In general, Israelis do not want to harm the Palestinians, and would trade land for peace if the other side was willing. It’s true – we do have our radicals who would hurt Palestinians as revenge for decades of terrorism. However, this group of extremists is small, it is shunned by Israeli media and society, and when members of this group do act against Palestinians, Israel’s security forces and justice system punish them for their crimes.

On the other hand, Palestinians routinely rejoice at the news of a “successful” attack against Jews. Sure, there are decent Palestinians who condemn such actions, but unfortunately they are outnumbered by their counterparts.

Anti-Semitism and support for terrorism amongst Palestinians is the product of Palestinian culture and many years of propaganda in the Palestinian media. But to say that Jew-hatred is merely a reaction to the creation of the state of Israel is to deny over a thousand years of Jews living in fear and persecution in Arab lands.

Yes, we certainly condemn the murder of the Arab teen in Jerusalem, and…

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Thursday, July 3rd, 2014 at 2:53 PM  | Stand For Israel

The Kidnapping, the Settlements, and History

(Photo: he.wikipedia/ Daniel Ventura)

(Photo: he.wikipedia/ Daniel Ventura)

It has now been two weeks since the three Israeli teens were kidnapped, and much of the world seems to care very little. Writing at Commentary, Jonathan Tobin wonders if this is partly due to the fact that the boys’ yeshiva (religious school) is located in the West Bank, giving a lesson on the historical Jewish presence in the Gush Etzion area south of Jerusalem:

That this territory is the heart of the historic Jewish homeland to which Jews have legal, religious, and moral claims is something that is almost never discussed …

If the Palestinians wish to live in peace with Israelis, they must come to terms with the permanent nature of the Jewish return to the country and give up fantasies of Israel’s elimination. Even more to the point, if they wish Israelis to come to terms with the reality of Palestinian nationality, the abduction of the Etzion yeshiva students is a good occasion for them to stop ignoring or denying Jewish history.

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Monday, June 30th, 2014 at 8:43 AM  | Stand For Israel

Israeli Surgeon Treats Palestinians Despite Despair Over Kidnapped Youths

(Photo: PikiWiki - Israel/ Avishai Teicher)

(Photo: PikiWiki – Israel/ Avishai Teicher)

As people across the world longingly pray for the three kidnapped Israeli teens, those living in the Holy Land face a far greater emotional toll. The Algemeiner brings us this piece on Israeli surgeon Dr. David Mishali, who operates on Palestinians while his son is a classmate and friend of one of the abducted boys:

Mishali shared his internal deliberations on an impossibly complex reality, one in which he will operate on the infant child of a young Palestinian couple from Hebron – one of the prime areas security officials suspect the youths are being held captive.

Making the irony even more agonizing is the fact that Mishali’s own son is friends with one of the kidnapped youths, and is exposed to the same dangers, since the two attend the same religious high school …

“And sometimes, along the way, they’d hurl rocks at me – and it never moved me, that I’d travel to operate on a Palestinian child; that I’d operate on the son of a ‘Hamasnik’ in Gaza,” he says, passing an IDF checkpoint on his nightly route to the medical center.

We admire the compassion that this doctor shows, saving the lives of those who very well could be doing harm to his family, friends, and fellow Israelis.

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Thursday, June 26th, 2014 at 2:09 PM  | Stand For Israel

Hamas Prepares for War As Abbas Talks Peace

(Photo: flickr/ mateus27_24-25)

(Photo: flickr/ mateus27_24-25)

Back when a Hamas-Fatah unity government still seemed like a pipe dream, we were sure that if such an agreement did occur, it would never succeed. Now that the Palestinian factions have entered into such a pact – and the agreement has not succeeded – we won’t gloat, but will instead look at the results. Writing for the Gatestone Institute, the always spot-on Khaled Abu Toameh notes that instead of moderating Hamas, the unity agreement has instead allowed the terrorist organization to head down the road toward increased extremism, violence, and war against Israel:

Hamas seems to be hoping that the reconciliation accord, which was signed in the Gaza Strip in April, will legitimize the Islamist movement in the eyes of the international community. Abbas himself even contributed to the legitimization of Hamas by repeatedly assuring the U.S. and many EU countries that the new Palestinian government would recognize Israel and renounce violence.

Today, however, it has become obvious that the reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Abbas’s Fatah faction has had no moderating effect on the Islamist movement. On the contrary, Hamas seems to be headed toward more extremism and its defiant leaders are now talking about preparations for a new intifada against Israel.

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Thursday, June 26th, 2014 at 8:20 AM  | Stand For Israel

Kidnapped Israeli Teenagers – A Palestinian View

(Photo: wikicommons/ Uriber)

(Photo: wikicommons/ Uriber)

While we’ve been sickened by the sight of many Palestinians taking to the streets to celebrate the kidnapping of the three Israeli students, not all Palestinians are rejoicing at the terrorist act. Writing at the Gatestone Institute, Mudar Zahran says that many Palestinians worry that this situation will not only hinder them going to work or receiving medical treatment in Israel, and wish that the Palestinian Authority – and not Israel – would be boycotted and dissolved:

Instead of financing the P.A. leaders’ lavish lifestyles, the world might finally start questioning the P.A.’s institutionalized incitement of terror and hatred to my people which they relay daily through media, education and the religious institutions.

Ever since the P.A. came into existence, it has been keen to mass-produce and institutionalize the hatred of Jews and also the West. With their government-controlled TV shows that teach children how to kill Jews, and textbooks that preach hatred for Israel, the P.A. and Hamas are directly and fully responsible for each and every terror act committed by Palestinians, including the kidnapping of the three teenagers.

Is this what the West is so breathless to support?

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Wednesday, June 25th, 2014 at 8:59 AM  | Stand For Israel

Pro-Kidnapping Salute Gains Steam on Palestinian Social Media

(Photo: Facebook)

(Photo: Facebook)

As we pray for the safe return of Eyal, Gilad, and Naftali – the three Israeli teenagers kidnapped last Thursday – and spread the word to those who stand for Israel to do the same, some Palestinians are using social media in a disgusting and nefarious manner. At the Times of Israel, Elhanan Miller reports on the online support being shown for the terrorists who abducted the boys:

The “three Shalits” hashtag emerged online almost as quickly as #BringBackOurBoys, with Palestinians posting photos of themselves signaling a three-fingered victory sign, sometimes writing the words “three Shalits” in pen on their hands.

The new victory sign has quickly become a symbol of Palestinian defiance as the IDF expands its campaign across the West Bank.

Despite this sickening use of social media to support terrorism, we can use it for good, spreading the word for others to join us in praying for the safe return of Eyal, Gilad, and Naftali, knowing that God will hear our prayers.

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Wednesday, June 18th, 2014 at 1:31 PM  | Stand For Israel

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State of Israel"

Rabbi's Commentary
Remembering the Terror of 9/11, Confronting the Terror of Today

The attacks on 9/11 were a wake-up call to the dangers of Islamist terrorism, and the swift growth of terrorist groups such as the Islamic State should wake us up to a current threat that demands not just our vigilance, but also our unity.


Read Rabbi Eckstein's message »

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