Nipping Terrorism in the Bud

(Photo: Oren Nahshon)

(Photo: Oren Nahshon)

While the ceasefire between Hamas holds for now, frightening developments are continuing to occur elsewhere, with the Islamic State, Al-Qaeda, and other terrorist organizations rampaging through the Middle East, nearing Israel, and endangering the entire world. And who knows when the battle against Hamas will reignite. Avi Dichter, former Israeli Minister of Internal Security and Shin Bet director, knows the threat of terrorism better than most. Writing at Israel Hayom, he says Israel cannot be complacent or indifferent to this threat, and must wake the rest of the world up to Hamas and other terrorist groups like them:

Israel should be the one to surprise Hamas, instead of waiting for rocket fire of any scale. Israel should not be the one left to mount a response. The days of Israel being dragged into a fight by Hamas are over.

In its seven years in power, Hamas has plunged Gaza into chaos, which should remain inside the Strip, instead of affecting the kibbutzim near the Israel-Gaza Strip border and cities nationwide.

Hamas’ brutality is growing. It is oppressing the people of Gaza and doing everything within its power to ensure Gaza does not become Westernized. Hamas favors maintaining a “Wild West” in the Gaza Strip, so that it can continue to dictate who can and cannot pull the trigger in Gaza, and how …

Hamas is more calculating than ISIS. It prevents the true scope of its atrocities from being revealed, mainly because it is wary of the wrath of the families of murdered Gazans. It has no qualms about harming women and children if it suspects one of their relatives might be a collaborator, but takes great care to conceal it.

Had Hamas been able to realize its tunnels conspiracy, infiltrate one of the communities near the border and abduct Israeli men, women and children, then Israel, the U.S. and the EU would have understood the true nature of Hamas’ cruelty.

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Friday, August 29th, 2014 at 8:45 AM  | Stand For Israel

Looking to the Future, Mumbai Chabad Center to Reopen

(Photo: wikicommons/ Nichalp)

(Photo: wikicommons/ Nichalp)

In late November, 2008, right after Americans had celebrated Thanksgiving, terror struck in the heart of Mumbai, India. As Rabbi Eckstein wrote at the time:

Islamist gunmen armed with automatic weapons and grenades attacked ten separate targets, causing unimaginable terror and carnage. Nearly 200 civilians were murdered, and hundreds more injured.

The terrorists were careful to target sites where they knew there would be many Westerners … Also attacked were the local offices of Chabad, an orthodox Jewish organization we work closely with that offers religious and social activities and assistance to the poor. The Chabad house in Mumbai, like thousands of other Chabad houses throughout the world, is a place of light and life to local Jews and travelers alike – a place where Jews work to serve their fellow man and, in the words of one rabbi, to “transform the world into a place of goodness and holiness.”

Today, nearly six years after this horrific attack, the Mumbai Chabad house is set to reopen:

Despite the devastation of an attack that paralyzed a subcontinent and transfixed the world, Chabad’s crucial work in Mumbai continued unabated. The goal, say those who were involved with ensuring Chabad’s presence in Mumbai, was to make certain that the Holtzbergs’ work of spreading goodness and kindness by offering Jewish programs of every kind to local residents and visitors continued stronger than ever.

On Tuesday, Aug. 26, surrounded by guests and more than 25 Chabad emissaries in Asia who will be there for a regional conference, Chabad of Mumbai’s headquarters – also known as Nariman House – will open its doors once again.

Let’s say a prayer of thanks to God that, despite the evil done by Islamist terrorists in Mumbai in 2008, good has prevailed — and pray that this outcome will continue in other troubled corners of the world.


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Monday, August 25th, 2014 at 1:21 PM  | Stand for Israel

James Foley’s Phone Call Home

(Photo: youtube)

(Photo: youtube)

In 2011, journalist James Foley was in Libya covering the war that ultimately led to the overthrow and death of dictator Muammar Gaddafi. While there, Foley was imprisoned by regime forces for 44 days, though eventually released. An alumni of Marquette University, Foley wrote this letter to his alma mater after his release, and talked about the day when, while still in a Libyan prison, he was able to make a call home to his mother:

I replayed that call hundreds of times in my head — my mother’s voice, the names of my friends, her knowledge of our situation, her absolute belief in the power of prayer. She told me my friends had gathered to do anything they could to help. I knew I wasn’t alone.

My last night in Tripoli, I had my first Internet connection in 44 days and was able to listen to a speech Tom Durkin gave for me at the Marquette vigil. To a church full of friends, alums, priests, students and faculty, I watched the best speech a brother could give for another. It felt like a best man speech and a eulogy in one. It showed tremendous heart and was just a glimpse of the efforts and prayers people were pouring forth. If nothing else, prayer was the glue that enabled my freedom, an inner freedom first and later the miracle of being released during a war in which the regime had no real incentive to free us. It didn’t make sense, but faith did.

In late 2012, Foley was captured somewhere in the Middle East by ISIS terrorists who days ago beheaded him. A video of his gruesome execution was distributed on the Internet by ISIS, supposedly as a warning to the U.S. to stop air strikes in Iraq targeting the radical Islamist group.

Perhaps Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said it best: condemning the “savagery” that claimed Foley’s life, he noted, “Hamas is ISIS. ISIS is Hamas … They’re the enemies of peace, they’re the enemies of…

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Thursday, August 21st, 2014 at 3:16 PM  | Stand For Israel

Hamas Official Admits to Kidnapping of Israeli Teens



From the night when Israeli teenagers Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Frenkel were abducted this past June to the day when their bodies were recovered, it has been suspected that Hamas was behind the kidnapping. Now The Times of Israel reports that a senior Hamas member has admitted that the terror organization did indeed take and murder the boys:

A recording of a top Hamas official admitting the terror group was behind the June kidnapping and slaying of three Israeli teens in the West Bank emerged Wednesday, representing the strongest evidence yet of Hamas involvement in the attack.

Sheikh Saleh al-Arouri, a senior Hamas religious figure, is heard on the video saying that he “blessed the heroic action” which was “carried out by the al-Qassam Brigades” — the armed wing of Hamas. This action, “the kidnapping to Hebron of the three settlers,” was an “operation spoken of far and wide,” al-Arouri added.

The sheikh was speaking at a conference of Muslim scholars in Turkey.

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Thursday, August 21st, 2014 at 8:12 AM  | Stand For Israel

Americans in More Danger Today Than Before 9/11

(Photo: FEMA/Andrea Booher)

(Photo: FEMA/Andrea Booher)

While politicians have, per usual, taken the spotlight on the international stage, Israel Hayom points to an interview with outgoing chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. Comparing the state of terrorist groups now to the time before the United States’ war on terror began, Gen. Flynn paints a bleak picture, one in which Americans are in more danger today than they were before the September 11 attacks:

…the “international environment” has ‎become “uncertain, chaotic and confused,” that we have entered “a very dangerous era,” ‎and that we are in a period of conflict that may be both “prolonged” and ‎‎”unprecedented.” In other words: He’s trying to sound an alarm …

According to Flynn, in 2004 there were 21 “Islamic terrorist groups spread out in 18 ‎countries.” Today, by contrast, there are 41 “Islamic terrorist groups spread out in 24 ‎countries.” The result, he said, is that Americans today are in more danger than they were ‎prior to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

It’s true that some jihadi groups are focused on local wars, but many if not most “have ‎the intention to attack Western interests, to include Western embassies and in some cases ‎Western countries,” Flynn said. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, self-declared ‎‎”caliph” of the Islamic State, has directly threatened Americans. Some of his warriors ‎have Western passports. That will make it easier for them to enter Europe and the United ‎States at a time of their choosing.‎

Underlying this global conflict, Flynn said, is a “core” ideology that is “spreading, ‎not shrinking.” Having interrogated combatants during the years he served as intelligence ‎chief for Joint Special Operations Command in Iraq and Afghanistan, he concluded: ‎‎”These are people who have a very deeply rooted belief system that is just difficult for ‎Americans to comprehend. Just think about the mindset of a suicide bomber.”‎

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Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 at 8:38 AM  | Stand For Israel

Hamas Attacks Israeli Humanitarian Aid to Gaza

This video from the Israeli Foreign Affairs Ministry shows rockets being fired at the border crossing through which Israel delivers humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza. Because of the rocket attacks yesterday, the border was closed and deliveries of aid were stopped. Yet again, this shows that while Israel is trying to help the people of Gaza – even as the Jewish state defends its own people during this conflict – the terrorists of Hamas have no regard for the people who they claim to represent.

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Monday, August 11th, 2014 at 10:41 AM  | Stand For Israel

Mastermind Behind Kidnapping of Three Israeli Teens Arrested



Arutz Sheva is reporting that Israeli authorities have arrested the man thought to be the leader of the terrorist cell that kidnapped and murdered three the three Israeli teens - Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Frenkel – earlier this summer:

Hussam Kawasmeh, a resident of Hevron, was arrested in the Arab neighborhood of Shuafat in Jerusalem in a joint operation involving IDF forces and the Shabak (Israel Security Agency), and has admitted under interrogation to having orchestrated the kidnapping. It is not clear precisely when he was arrested, but news of the arrest was only released for publication on Tuesday evening.

He is a close relative of Marwan Kawasmeh (30) who, along with Amar Abu-Eisha (32), is believed to have physically abducted the three teens, murdering them shortly afterwards. Both men are well-known Hamas operatives in the Hevron region, who have both spent time in Israeli prisons.

We thank God that this terrorist and murderer can now be brought to justice, while asking that He continue to comfort the loved ones of the three boys so tragically taken from their friends and families.

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Tuesday, August 5th, 2014 at 3:28 PM  | Stand For Israel

Terror Attack in Jerusalem Leaves One Dead


(Photo: Youtube)

(Photo: Youtube)

Earlier today, a terrorist went on a rampage with a tractor in central Jerusalem, overturning a bus:

The terrorist hit a pedestrian, a bus and a car before being shot dead by police. Images from the scene showed an overturned bus, and the the terrorist dead in the cabin of the digger.

Magen David Adom rescue service said that they received a report at around 1:35 pm that a tractor had apparently hit a pedestrian and then an empty bus. Its emergency personnel had treated a 25-year-old man and the 45-year-old bus driver at the scene, the service said.

Motti, an eye witness, said “I went outside and suddenly heard a large boom, and saw a bus upside down, and then heard two or three gunshots and someone jumping on the driver, so we understood they had killed him. We thought someone had blown something up, so we left the area. There was chaos.”

We have also received news of an IDF soldier being shot in Jerusalem, at the entrance to the Mount Scopus tunnel. We pray for the recovery of this young man, as well as those injured in the terror attack on the bus, and pray for God’s peace over Jerusalem and all of Israel.




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Monday, August 4th, 2014 at 10:05 AM  | Stand For Israel

Breaking News: Soldier Shot in Jerusalem

(Photo: flickr/lemele)

(Photo: flickr/lemele)

In today’s Daily Dispatch, we noted the excavator terror attack that occurred in Jerusalem, as well as the rioting at the Temple Mount. Arutz Sheva also reports that an IDF soldier was shot at the entrance of the Mount Scopus tunnel in Jerusalem:

An eyewitness named Eti said that the victim is a soldier. “I saw him falling backward,” she told reporter Moshe Nusbaum.

The wounded man is about 20, said the channel’s reporters, and he is in moderate to serious condition and received treatment on the spot. He was then taken to the nearby Hadassah Har Hatzofim hospital.

Eyewitnesses said that he was shot by a man who then got on a motorcycle or scooter and then drove off toward the Arab neighborhood of Wadi Joz. There may have been another man on the scooter as well.

Police are conducting a manhunt assisted by helicopters …

Major General Yosi Parienti, Jerusalem District Police Commander, said that the shooter was dressed in black and that he fired several shots at the soldier from close range. The man then ran toward a Vespa type scooter and drove off. A security guard fired at the scooter but apparently missed it.

We pray for the recovery of the wounded soldier, for the apprehension of the perpetrator(s) of this attack, and for peace in Jerusalem and all of the Holy Land.

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Monday, August 4th, 2014 at 9:15 AM  | Stand For Israel

Breaking News: 4 Israelis Killed by Mortar; 5 Terrorists Breach Border

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

Arutz Sheva reports that at least four Israelis were killed when a mortar shell from Gaza hit a home in the southern Eshkol region, an area where The Fellowship has been working closely with community leaders to provide assistance to the residents who’ve been under some of the heaviest rocket fire. Also reported was an attempted terrorist attack, as five terrorists breached the border before being stopped by the IDF:

At least four, possibly five, people were killed when a mortar shell scored a direct hit on a home in the Eshkol region Monday afternoon. Several injuries have also been reported. The injured were taken to hospitals in Beersheva and Ashkelon, Voice of Israel public radio said. At least three were in serious condition.

Five terrorists were eliminated after they breached the border from Gaza near Kibbutz Nahal Oz, Channel 2 reported Monday evening.

Please pray for the loved ones of those killed by the mortar, and for the safety of those IDF troops protecting those near the border.

Help us meet the growing needs in Israel throughout this crisis.

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Monday, July 28th, 2014 at 12:26 PM  | Stand For Israel

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Rabbi's Commentary
A Fragile Peace

As we continue to pray for a lasting peace, one of our most critical tasks is to help Israel recover – to rebuild, to restore shattered lives, to comfort those who have lost loved ones or livelihoods. And none of this is possible without you who continue to stand by the Jewish people.

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