International Fellowship of Christians and Jews

The True Nature of Terror

(Photo: Flickr/ IDF)

(Photo: Flickr/ IDF)

I’m sure you’ve seen pictures of young Palestinians with slingshots in their hands and keffiyehs wrapped around their heads, hurling stones and Molotov cocktails at Israeli soldiers who are armed to the teeth and clad in the best protective gear money can buy. These images portray a conflict wherein Israel is strong – even invulnerable, you might say – up against a Palestinian “resistance” that looks weak, even harmless. But this, and many similar images, are extremely deceiving, and have misled an entire world about the true nature of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

A crucial image necessary to forming an educated opinion about the Arab-Israeli conflict is indeed a photo of a Palestinian with a slingshot in his hand and a keffiyeh wrapped around his head. But this time he’s not aiming at well-armed soldiers. He’s aiming at two-year-old Israeli toddler, or an eleven-year-old Israeli girl riding in a car from school with her parents.

If you want to tell the real story of the Israeli fight against terror – and the Palestinian’s quest for statehood – you must make that photo front and center. Because that is the reality that we face here in Israel on a daily basis. The terrorists are not only targeting Israel’s strong and brave soldiers, as the media would have you believe. They are targeting women, they are targeting children, school kids at bus stops, and the elderly – whoever is vulnerable and can be easily harmed.

The full picture of this conflict is rarely if ever shown in mainstream news outlets, because such images would certainly change the way the world thinks about it. It might even tip world’s view to Israel’s benefit – a terrifying thought for many opinion makers.

Although rarely reported, terror against Israeli children has been rampant here. Just last week, an eleven-year-old Israeli girl named Ayala was driving home from a math class with her father when their car got firebombed. Two Palestinian teenagers hurled Molotov cocktails at the car carrying Ayala home.

The firebomb broke the…

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Monday, December 29th, 2014 at 3:21 PM  | Stand For Israel

Why a Palestinian State Will Become a Source of Instability

(Photo: flickr/ crazymaq)

(Photo: flickr/ crazymaq)

Tensions and violence in Jerusalem and the rest of Israel have risen. Palestinian leadership incites their people, while also threatening to pursue statehood on the international level. But if Palestinian statehood should occur, writes Khaled Abu Toameh, Palestinians will still be the problem of Israel and the West, and a continuing source of instability throughout the Middle East:

The Palestinians know very well that if and when they have a state of their own, they will never be able to rely on their Arab brethren.

The Arab countries have a long record of turning their backs on the Palestinians, not only with regard to financial aid promises, but even when it comes to basic needs such as medical treatment.

But what will happen after the creation of a Palestinian state? Palestinians say they do not have high expectations that the Arab countries will help them build their state.

Today, it is much easier for Palestinians to receive medical treatment in Israel, Turkey and Germany than in most of the Arab countries …

While the Egyptians continue to seal off their border with the Gaza Strip, Israel has become the only hope for the 1.7 million Palestinians living there.

In the period between November 18 and 23, some 2,966 crossed the Erez border crossing with Israel in both directions, according to the Israeli Ministry of Defense’s Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories.

In addition, some 1,490 trucks carrying thousands of tons of goods entered the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom terminal along the border with Israel during the same period. The goods consisted of food, construction materials, input for agriculture and medicine products.

How many Arab trucks loaded with goods entered the Gaza Strip over the past month? None.

This is precisely what Egypt and the rest of the Arab countries want: to turn the Gaza Strip into an Israeli, and not Arab, problem.

There is good reason to believe that the Arabs are not going to change their attitude toward the Palestinians once a Palestinian state is…

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Thursday, December 4th, 2014 at 8:57 AM  | Stand For Israel

A Society Indoctrinated



The recent wave of terrorism in Israel – with cars being used as rockets to target and kill civilians, and stabbings being carried out in broad daylight – is despicable. It also says a lot about Palestinian society, where such attacks are not only condoned but are met with praise.

In the 20 years since the Oslo Accords and the Palestinian Authority’s creation, Palestinian society has been indoctrinated to hate Jews, an indoctrination the likes of which has not been seen since the fall of Nazism.  Is it any surprise that so many Palestinians are willing to kill Jews even if it gets them killed in the process?

The biggest innovations in Palestinian society during this time have been methods of killing. Once it was suicide bombs. Then it was rockets. This summer we discovered a subterranean tunnel network that would facilitate the kidnapping and killing of Jewish men, women, and children. And now, mowing down Israelis with a car.

Israel’s security establishment cannot keep up with the ever-changing tactics used by Palestinians to target Israeli civilians. And unfortunately, because of decades of incitement and the indoctrination of a whole generation of Palestinians, the chances of lasting peace grow slimmer and slimmer.

Who’s to fault for the violence?

Many people in the West blame Israel. They point to the lack of a peace accord and blame Israel’s construction in Jerusalem and parts of the West Bank – even construction in those areas which no Israeli leader on the left or right would ever relinquish. But to those who hold such views, Palestinian violence is not terrorism. To them, it is a legitimate form of resistance.

The reality is that the Palestinian Authority is to blame. Under their leadership, Hamas was allowed and encouraged to grow and to build a terror network. The P.A. facilitated incitement in Palestinian schools and summer camps, and in the media. The P.A. has continuously glorified “martyrs” who kill Israeli civilians, and has made it their mission to free terrorists from Israeli jails and throw them a…

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Thursday, November 13th, 2014 at 8:41 AM  | Stand for Israel

What Will Palestinian Christian Leaders Say Now?

(Photo: flickr/ joshhough)

(Photo: flickr/ joshhough)

The recent violence in Israel has become unbearable. Two are dead – a young woman and an IDF soldier – from terrorist stabbings. Four more have died from attacks that saw terrorists drive vehicles into crowds. Riots and fighting threaten daily life in and around Jerusalem. How will it stop? How can it be stopped? Dexter Van Zile writes that one group that could help ease the strife is made up of Christians:

What we see has all the makings of a Third Intifada that will cost hundreds, if not thousands, of people their lives. It will make life more difficult for both Jews and Arabs.

If the violence continues unabated, there will be more checkpoints in the West Bank and it will be more difficult for Palestinians to get into Israel to work or worship in Jerusalem’s Holy Places.

Tourism will decline, costing shop owners in both Jerusalem and Bethlehem the income they need to survive. A Third Intifada will simply be a disaster for Israelis and Palestinians.

Clearly, somebody in Palestinian society needs to come forward and speak words of peace to their fellow Palestinians.

One group that should be in a position are Christians living in Bethlehem, particularly those associated with Bethlehem Bible College and The Holy Land Trust, located nearby.

Both of these institutions were established by the Awad family, a prominent Christian family in Bethlehem.

For the past few decades, these Christians, who have close ties to the Palestinian Authority, have portrayed themselves as a force for peace and development in Palestinian society.

They have done this at Christ at the Checkpoint Conferences organized by Bethlehem Bible College, where Israel is condemned left right and center for its actions and where Palestinian and Arab violence is downplayed or condoned.

These Christian activists now face a test.

Will they condemn their fellow Palestinians who have run over Israelis with their cars in Jerusalem?

Will they condemn their fellow Palestinians who have stabbed Israelis in…

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Wednesday, November 12th, 2014 at 8:07 AM  | Stand for Israel

Arafat Ten Years Later: A Curse to the Palestinians

(Photo: wikicommons/ Hans Jørn Storgaard Andersen)

(Photo: wikicommons/ Hans Jørn Storgaard Andersen)

Ten years ago today – November 11, 2004 – saw the death of Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat. As chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), president of the Palestinian Authority (P.A.), and leader of Fatah, Arafat spent his life dedicated to the destruction of Israel and her people. While he claimed to hold the interests of the Palestinian people in high regard, former U.S. national security advisor Elliott Abrams writes that Arafat was actually a curse to Palestinians:

[C]harismatic to be sure, but also violent, corrupt, destructive leadership that created the political mess in which Palestinians live today. When he had a great chance for peace, a chance to create a Palestinian state at Camp David in 2000, he said no. He had a historic opportunity then–remember, the foreign “leader” with the greatest number of visits to Bill Clinton’s White House was Arafat–but he kicked it away rather than seizing it. The defense of Arafat is that Palestinians were not really prepared for him to say yes, and not prepared for the concessions peace would require. I agree–but whose fault was that? Arafat’s.

The point is not that every problem facing Palestinians is his responsibility, any more than every benefit Emiratis have can be attributed to Sheik Zayed. But leadership matters enormously, and Arafat’s was a plague for Palestinians–and all their neighbors. Under him the PLO was an ingredient in widespread violence in both Jordan and Lebanon. After the Israeli victory in 1967, civic life began to grow in the West Bank and Gaza. Roughly 700 NGOs were formed, the economy grew, and a far better future seemed possible. But after Arafat returned to rule in 1994, he crushed that civic life, made a mockery of the new Palestinian legislature that had been formed, and substituted a corrupt dictatorship. Theft of aid funds was constant and totaled around a billion dollars. Arafat created 13 “security” forces that he manipulated to assure his total control, and most were also involved…

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Tuesday, November 11th, 2014 at 8:05 AM  | Stand for Israel

Palestinians’ Car Intifada and Obama’s Peace Process

(Photo: U.S. Department of State)

(Photo: U.S. Department of State)

Last week’s continuation of terrorist attacks using motor vehicles have been labeled as a “car intifada.” The ever-insightful Khaled Abu Toameh writes that the “car intifada” is a very real thing – one being embraced by many Palestinians – and that those who doubt it need only see how Palestinian leadership is inciting its people:

The “car intifada,” which has claimed the lives of four Israelis, including a three-month-old infant, is being hailed by many Palestinians as a “natural response to Israeli crimes.”

The “crimes” they are referring to are visits by Jewish groups and individuals to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

The Palestinian Authority [PA], Hamas and Islamic Jihad are using these visits to stir up Palestinians against Israel. The recent terror attacks in Jerusalem are the direct result of this campaign of incitement.

The widow of Ibrahim Akkari, the 48-year-old Palestinian who drove his car into a group of Israelis in Jerusalem on November 5, said that her husband was influenced by TV scenes of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli policemen at the Temple Mount.

The widow, Amira, said that her husband carried out the attack in retaliation against Israeli “assaults” on the Aqsa Mosque. “He was martyred for the sake of the Aqsa Mosque,” she said.

Recent statements by PA President Mahmoud Abbas may also have convinced Akkari to go out and run over Israelis. Two weeks before the attack, Abbas called on Palestinians to “use all means” to protect the Aqsa Mosque.

“It is not enough to say the settlers came (to the Temple Mount), but they must be barred from entering the compound by any means. This is our Aqsa, and they have no right to enter it and desecrate it,” Abbas told Fatah activists during a meeting in his Ramallah office.

As if not enough, Abbas indirectly encouraged Palestinians to resort to violence against Israel by praising the Palestinian who shot and severely wounded activist Rabbi Yehuda Glick in Jerusalem on…

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Monday, November 10th, 2014 at 8:25 AM  | Stand for Israel

Throwing Stones

(Photo: flickr/ rustystewart)

(Photo: flickr/ rustystewart)

A close friend asked to borrow my car the other night. His vehicle was in the shop with a smashed windshield after a group of Palestinians bombarded it with stones as he was driving home down a windy road in northern Samaria – just a 20-minute drive from our neighborhood – after having led a Bible class. Though a flurry of stones crashed through his windshield he was not hurt, and in synagogue this Sabbath he thanked God for saving him from injury, or worse.

These stone-throwing incidents are occurring more frequently and are extremely dangerous. Another friend of mine lost his eye when he was hit by a stone while driving, and other less fortunate victims of such attacks have lost their lives. The situation in Israel is heated, as the Palestinian population raises the stakes each day with more attacks against Jews. And while the international community points its finger at Israel, blaming Israeli construction in Jerusalem and the West Bank for causing the heightened violence, it is this finger pointing that continues to enflame the conflict.

We hear constant rebuke aimed at the Israeli government, particularly toward Prime Minister Netanyahu. Israel is unanimously viewed as acting against peace and with ill intentions, while Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who praises terrorists and has been consistent in his effort to derail peace talks, is touted as a man of peace, someone Israel should trust and offer countless concessions to. In such a climate, where Israel is blamed for every Palestinian act of violence, it is no wonder that young Palestinian men find the life of terrorism so attractive.

In this climate, radical Palestinian terrorists have a green light to pursue terrorism, to attack Jews, to throw stones, confident that Israel will be blamed for any deterioration.

– Ami Farkas

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Thursday, November 6th, 2014 at 12:23 PM  | Stand For Israel

Palestinians Riot in Jerusalem After Terror Attack



After today’s attack – a Hamas terrorist drove his van into a Jerusalem crowd – left one dead and several injured, the Holy City has been thrown into further chaos. The Times of Israel reports that Palestinian rioting and violence have escalated across Israel’s capital:

Following a deadly terrorist attack Wednesday afternoon, Palestinians rioted in Jerusalem’s Old City and outside its Damascus Gate, burning garbage and throwing stones, hours after an East Jerusalem man rammed his car into a group of pedestrians in a terror attack, killing one man.

In the Old City, two Palestinians sprayed police officers with tear gas near one of the gates to the Temple Mount and fled into the Temple Mount compound …

Dozens of rioters threw stones and burned garbage outside the Old City’s Damascus Gate. Israeli security forces arrested at least four people who threw stones and dispersed the rioters with tear gas.

Another three Palestinians, one a minor, were arrested near the Rockefeller Museum, outside the Old City’s Flower Gate after throwing stones at police. No injuries were reported.

Arab rioters launched fireworks and threw stones and Molotov cocktails at police in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat, where the perpetrator of Wednesday’s attack was from. Palestinian media reported that the clashes began when police attempted to reach his home.

Palestinians also rioted in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, near the location of the attack.

Wednesday’s riots were the latest in weeks of unrest in the capital and came after an Arab driver plowed his vehicle into a crowd of people at a light rail station along the seam line between East and West Jerusalem late Wednesday morning, killing one Border Police officer and injuring 14 more people.

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Wednesday, November 5th, 2014 at 1:17 PM  | Stand For Israel

Stop the Children’s Intifada!

(Photo: flickr/ rustystewart)

(Photo: flickr/ rustystewart)

Not only has the international media focused on blaming Israel for human-rights abuses, but they have ignored the actual and blatant violations acted out by Palestinians. Khaled Abu Toameh writes that what’s even worse, it is Palestinian children who are forced to carry out this violence against Israel:

Hamas, Fatah and other Palestinian groups are using children from east Jerusalem and the West Bank in what appears to be a new intifada against Israel.

Nearly half of the Palestinians arrested by Jerusalem Police over the past few months are minors. Some of them are as young as nine.

These children are being sent to throw stones and firebombs, and launch fireworks at policemen and IDF soldiers, as well as at Israeli civilians and vehicles, including buses and the light rail in Jerusalem.

The exploitation of children in the fight against Israel has attracted little attention from the international community and media. Human rights groups and United Nations institutions have chosen to turn a blind eye to these human rights abuses.

Instead of condemning those who exploit the children and dispatch them to confront policemen and soldiers, these groups and institutions are busy denouncing Israel for targeting minors …

This is not the first time that Palestinian groups use children in the struggle against Israel. During the first intifada, which erupted in 1987, children and women were often at the forefront in clashes with Israeli security personnel.

This strategy works out well for Palestinian groups such as Hamas and Fatah. At the end of the day, they can always blame Israel for “deliberately” targeting Palestinian children and women — an allegation that the mainstream media in the West often endorses without asking questions.

Moreover, the Palestinian groups know that the children who are being sent to confront Israeli soldiers and policemen will not be held accountable …

Hamas and Fatah had long discovered that children are one of the most effective tools in the fight against Israel — especially because of the damage Israel sustains in the court of…

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Thursday, October 30th, 2014 at 8:09 AM  | Stand For Israel

Liberty and the Palestinian Authority

(Photo: wikicommons/ Uriber)

(Photo: wikicommons/ Uriber)

When it comes to human-rights violations, much of the attention of those of us who stand for and with Israel is on those blatant and horrific abuses at the hands of Hamas, or those of other, very visible terrorist groups like the Islamic State (IS or ISIS) or al-Qaeda. But former U.S. National Security Advisor Elliott Abrams reminds us that the Palestinian Authority are also quite proficient at curbing the lives and liberties of the people it supposedly represents:

Palestinian Authority officials have given thousands of speeches  over the years about removing the Israeli occupation, freeing Palestinians, self-government, and the like. But today –as in the days of Arafat– the PA itself is a threat to the liberty of the Palestinians it rules …

Even Human Rights Watch, whose bias against Israel is notorious, had to acknowledge basic facts about the PA:

Complaints of torture and ill-treatment by West Bank PA security services persisted….PA security services and men in civilian clothes identified as security employees violently dispersed peaceful protests and arbitrarily detained protesters and journalists….Palestinian courts did not find any West Bank security officers responsible for torture, arbitrary detention, or prior cases of unlawful deaths in custody.

Donors to the PA do not like to acknowledge and discuss these violation of human rights by the PA, because they do not fit into the usual narrative: Palestinians want and deserve self-government, but are denied it by Israel; the only problem for the cause of liberty is the Israeli occupation. Simple, but wrong: the PA itself is an increasingly repressive entity, with President Abbas abusing the powers of his office to fight political enemies (and protect corruption). This is not exactly news, but until it is recognized and fought by donors it will continue and expand. It’s ironic that all those groups, especially in Europe, who consider themselves champions of Palestinian rights wish only to condemn Israel– while they continue to ignore the threat to Palestinians that emerges from their own officials…

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Thursday, October 30th, 2014 at 8:09 AM  | Stand For Israel