Prayers for the Families of Kansas City Shooting Victims

(Photo: JCC of Greater Kansas City)

(Photo: JCC of Greater Kansas City)

As more details are revealed about the horrific shootings yesterday at the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park, Kansas, we learn more about the three victims:

Reat Griffin Underwood, 14, and his grandfather, William Lewis Corporon, 69, were killed about 1 p.m. outside the Jewish Community Center, where Reat planned to audition as part of a contest. Reat was a freshman at Blue Valley High School. His grandfather was a physician.

Terri LaManno, 53, of Kansas City was killed at the Village Shalom assisted living facility in Overland Park. She went there every Sunday to visit her mother, a resident of the facility, authorities said.

Reat and his grandfather were Methodists. LaManno was a Catholic.

The Kansas City Star reports that not only were the three victims Christians, but that Corporon was a doctor and that LaManno was an occupational therapist at the Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired. Violence and terror — motivated by what Catholic scholar Edward Flannery once called “the longest and deepest hatred of human history,” anti-Semitism — have once again taken the lives of innocent victims, and of those who used their lives to help others. We remember them and their families in our prayers, and we ask that you do so as well.

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Monday, April 14th, 2014 at 2:26 PM  | Stand For Israel

Breaking News: Terrorist Attack Near Hebron Kills 1, Injures 2

Hebron Checkpoint (Photo: wikicommons/Friends123)

Hebron Checkpoint (Photo: wikicommons/Friends123)

An Israeli family was shot by Palestinian terrorists at a checkpoint near Hebron today, The Jerusalem Post reports. The family was attacked while in their vehicle:

A 40-year-old man, presumably the father, was pronounced dead, while the mother was in serious condition, and the child suffered only light injuries, reported Channel 2.

IDF security forces, police, and Border Police were carrying out a search for the shooters. According to various media reports, shots were initially fired at an army post before they were fired at civilians.

Our prayers go out to this family, as well as for the protection of those searching for the killers, for any other innocent people in the area, and for peace and safety in the entire region.

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Monday, April 14th, 2014 at 11:21 AM  | Stand For Israel

How to Thwart Terrorism at 29,000 Feet, by the Only Pilot Who Ever Did

(Photo: flickr/ aero icarus)

(Photo: flickr/ aero icarus)

While the world waits for news on missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, and with memories of 9/11 still in our minds, Mitch Ginsburg of the The Times of Israel speaks with the only airline pilot who ever stopped a hijacking at altitude. Uri Bar-Lev, a retired pilot for El Al, tells the story of how quick thinking and a daring maneuver thwarted two terrorists from controlling or destroying the 707 airliner he was piloting in September 1970. Bar-Lev’s tale is not only exciting, but could be a good lesson for today’s pilots, who fly in equally unfriendly skies:

Bar-Lev told Kol, the air marshal, to hold on tight. He was going to throw the plane into a dive. The negative g-force, akin to the feeling one gets on the downhill section of a roller coaster ride, would accomplish two things: it would lower the plane’s altitude, reducing the pressure difference between the inside and outside of the plane, which would make a bullet hole or a grenade explosion less dangerous; and it would throw the hijackers off their feet. The passengers, he said, were all belted in and would be fine.

Read the rest of the story to see how Bar-Lev’s actions played out, and how this hero not only saved his plane and passengers, but stood for Israel and for what was right.

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Monday, March 24th, 2014 at 9:44 AM  | Stand For Israel

Ex-El Al Expert on Missing Malaysian Flight 370

(Photo: wikicommons/ Jordan Vuong)

(Photo: wikicommons/ Jordan Vuong)

Writing at The Times of Israel, Debra Kamin speaks with Isaac Yeffet, once head of global security for Israel’s El Al airline, about the continuing mystery of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370. Yeffet, as well as other experts, believe that the plane is still intact, that the investigation has incorrectly shifted to the pilots and other conspiracy theories, and that none of this would have happened if the plane belonged to Israel:

“This would never have happened on an Israeli plane,” says Yeffet. “An El Al aircraft was hijacked for the first and last time in 1968. Since then, there has not been a single flight where security did not check every single name.”

However, it would have taken more than just a pair of Iranians with forged documents, Yeffet said, to pull off such an astonishing crime. “I can’t believe for a second that if these people planned to hijack the aircraft, it was just them,” he said. But based upon the tried-and-true Israeli intelligence strategy of profiling, the pilots, he said, are unlikely suspects.

We continue to pray for the passengers aboard this plane, for their families who are missing them, and for the ongoing investigation.

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Monday, March 17th, 2014 at 10:52 AM  | Stand For Israel

Al-Qaeda Unlikely to Force Hezbollah Out of Syria

(Photo: Voice of America)

(Photo: Voice of America)

In light of the deepening mess in Syria — with Sunni and Shia factions battling for regional hegemony — and yesterday’s Israeli attack on what was likely a weapons transfer on the Syria-Lebanon border, Ariel Ben Solomon of The Jerusalem Post looks at two of the big dogs in the Syrian proxy war and their ongoing attempts to dislodge one another:

Sunni jihadist groups with a regional presence and connections to the global jihadist network are targeting Hezbollah and Iranian locations, gathering Muslim recruits from all over the world. Two of the main jihadist groups involved in Syria, the Nusra Front and the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), have claimed responsibility for bombings against Shi’ite targets in Lebanon. To strike back against the Sunnis, Hezbollah and Iran participate in the conflict beyond Lebanese borders, with an emphasis on the Sunni- Shi’ite battle in Syria.

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Tuesday, February 25th, 2014 at 8:42 AM  | Stand For Israel

Taba Bombing Shows Sinai Terrorists Won’t Go Quietly

(Photo: wikicommons/ Alessio Nastro Siniscalchi)

(Photo: wikicommons/ Alessio Nastro Siniscalchi)

Times of Israel correspondent Avi Issacharoff, one of the best journalists in the world covering Gaza and Sinai, says that the attack on the tourist bus in Taba, Egypt indicates something we’ve written about before — the pro-Muslim Brotherhood terrorists in Egypt are smart enough to go after Egypt’s two biggest money-makers:

The attack on the tourist bus is the latest in a series of dozens of strikes from extremist Muslim groups meant to damage one of the two most important income sources in Egypt — tourism. In Cairo, it’s clear that the terrorists would not stop at just tourism, but are already gunning for the primary income source, the Suez Canal. This is what is generating the sense of urgency in military operations in the Sinai.

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Tuesday, February 18th, 2014 at 8:42 AM  | Stand For Israel

Netanyahu Condemns Hero’s Welcome for Prisoners

Israelis protest release of Palestinian terrorists (Photo: ASHERNET)

Israelis protest release of Palestinian terrorists (Photo: ASHERNET)

On Monday, 26 Palestinian prisoners were released in the third of four phases agreed upon during the U.S.-arbitrated peace talks. All of the men are violent criminals — the convicts and their crimes can be found here. Upon their release, the prisoners were welcomed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and embraced by celebrating friends and relatives. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the hero’s welcome:

“While we prepare to take very painful steps in an effort to try and reach an agreement that would end the conflict, they, along with their top leadership, are celebrating,” said the prime minister.

“Murderers are not heroes,” he declared. “This is not how one educates for peace.”

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Tuesday, December 31st, 2013 at 10:58 AM  | Stand For Israel

Suicide Bombings Claim 31 Lives in Russia

Train station in Volgograd where Sunday's attack took place (Photo: WikiCommons/ High Contrast)

Train station in Volgograd where Sunday’s attack took place (Photo: WikiCommons/ High Contrast)

More sad proof that the reach of radical Islamist terrorists extends far past the Middle East:

A pair of suicide bombings that left 31 dead in Russia could be a chilling tune-up for the Olympic Games, where a Muslim terrorist leader has vowed to put Chechnya’s long-standing grievance with Moscow in the international spotlight, according to terrorism experts.

Although no one has claimed responsibility for the twin bombings, which occurred less than 24 hours apart in the city of Volgograd, formerly known as Stalingrad, terror experts strongly suspect they were inspired, if not ordered, by Chechen Muslim rebel leader Doku Umarov. Umarov, who calls himself the emir of the terror group the Caucasus Emirate, has called on Muslims to attack civilians and to prevent the Olympics from occurring.

Radical Islam isn’t just Israel’s problem, it’s the world’s problem. Please keep the victims of these cowardly attacks and their loved ones in your prayers.

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Monday, December 30th, 2013 at 12:49 PM  | Stand For Israel

What Threatens Peace? Houses or Terror?


(Photo: WikiCommons/ Xavier Malafosse)

Writing at Commentary, Jonathan Tobin says that the world has its priorities backward when it comes to Israeli settlements and Islamist terrorism:

This is a moment when terrorism against the Jewish state is on the rise. Rockets are flying from Gaza into southern Israel. And Israel’s supposed peace partners continue to say they will never recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders are drawn. Yet the world is about to pounce on Israel for having the temerity to state its intention to build houses. If that doesn’t tell you all you have to know about the skewed moral compass of Israel’s critics and the lopsided morality of Middle East peace processing, nothing will.

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Monday, December 30th, 2013 at 9:20 AM  | Stand For Israel

Hamas Creates Instability … for Palestinians

Israel_Palestine_FlagThe bombing of Bus 240 from Bat Yam to B’nei Brak could have been a significant tragedy – which is not to diminish the injuries suffered by an Israeli police officer in any way. But, had passengers not noticed the suspicious package, alerted the driver, and immediately cleared the bus, we would be talking about a much larger human toll.

Of particular interest to us was the quote from a Hamas spokesman praising the bombing – an attack which took place while Israelis and Palestinians are (theoretically) amidst peace talks. “It would be best,” said the Hamas apparatchik, “if Israel would come to understand that it will know no stability as long as the Palestinians live in instability.”

Let’s compare – or, rather, contrast – the stability of Israel with the instability of its neighbors in Gaza (which has been ruled by Hamas since 2006 and in which not a single Jew has set foot of his or her own accord since early 2009):

According to the UN Human Development index – which aggregates life expectancy, literacy, education, and quality of life – Israel ranks 16th of the 185 UN members, placing the Jewish state in the “very highly developed” category. Gaza ranks 110th, good enough for “medium human development.”

Israel’s overall GDP is around $250 billion. Gaza’s is less than $10 billion.

Unemployment in Gaza is over 25% – well above that if you took out those who work for the Hamas government or the UN. There is virtually no private industry. Unemployment in Israel is 5.6% and there are more Israeli companies listed on NASDAQ than any other country but the US.

I think most of us would happily take a healthy dose of Israeli “instability.”

The emptiness of Hamas’ rhetoric is both nauseating and hysterical. Nauseating because it suggests that Israel is dealing with an enemy so self-unaware and self-delusional that they think they’re causing instability … for Israel! Hysterical because, while the “leaders” of the Palestinians continue to rain misery and ruin on their own people (which is decidedly not hysterical), Israelis continue to win Nobel…

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Monday, December 23rd, 2013 at 8:37 AM  | Stand For Israel
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Rabbi's Commentary
God Is Present This Holy Season

Even as efforts for peace seem to be at an impasse all around the world, the Passover story can give us hope and affirmation that God is always present in our lives, and even when situations seem impossible, He is working in ways we cannot imagine.

Read Rabbi Eckstein's message »


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