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The Scorpions at the U.N.

(Photo: wikicommons/ Henry Mühlpfordt)

(Photo: wikicommons/ Henry Mühlpfordt)

As we reported in Stand for Israel Daily Dispatch, the mother of kidnapped teen Naftali Frenkel – joined by the mothers of Eyal Yifrach and Gilad Shaar – spoke at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva today. While one can imagine no more moving speaker than a mother missing her son, Ruthie Blum writes at Israel Hayom that we shouldn’t expect the U.N. to give Israel a fair shake:

Indeed, since the June 12 abduction of the Israeli teenagers, the U.N. has been focusing ‎solely on the response of the Israeli government to the kidnapping.‎

Considering that time is of the essence when searching for captives — who might be ‎wounded or undergoing torture — the behavior of the Israel Defense Forces and the public ‎at large has been exemplary, if not mild. This is particularly the case since Operation ‎Brother’s Keeper has uncovered an extensive network of tunnels and explosives labs ‎throughout the West Bank.‎

Yet in a phone call with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday evening, U.N. ‎Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed “concern” about the restrictions on movement ‎and mass arrests of Palestinians.‎

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Tuesday, June 24th, 2014 at 8:27 AM  | Stand For Israel

Much More Can Be Done and Should Be Done

Today, Rachel Frenkel, the mother of kidnapped Israeli teen Naftali Frenkel, spoke at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. Joined by the mothers of the other two abducted boys, Ms. Frenkel thanked all who are praying, and all who have condemned the actions of the terrorist kidnappers. She then said more could be done, before pouring out her heart as only a mother in such a circumstance could:

[I]t is wrong to take children, innocent boys or girls, and use them as instruments of any struggle. It is cruel. This council is charged with protecting human rights. I wish to ask: Doesn’t every child have the right to come home safely from school?

We just want them back in our homes, in their beds. We just want to hug them again.

Watch Ms. Frenkel’s remarks, or read the transcript at the link above. And please keep praying that more will be done, and that the three mothers will soon welcome their sons safely home.

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Tuesday, June 24th, 2014 at 8:15 AM  | Stand For Israel

Mother of Kidnapped Teen to Address U.N.

(Photo: ASHERNET/IDF)

(Photo: ASHERNET/IDF)

The mother of Naftali Frenkel, one of the three Israeli teens kidnapped over a week ago by Hamas, will be addressing the United Nations on Tuesday, The Times of Israel reports, to call for the immediate release of the three boys:

Frankel is expected to appeal for international condemnation of the abduction and call for pressure to urge the kidnappers to free the yeshiva students …

“We raised different ideas about future activities, and agreed on continued collaboration,” the families said in a press statement following the three-hour meeting. “We are determined to see the children return home as quickly as possible, and we will test our actions by the outcome — seeing our children again.”

We continue to pray for the boys’ safety, as well as for strength for their families, and that the international community will perhaps stand for the abducted teens’ release.

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Monday, June 23rd, 2014 at 9:30 AM  | Stand For Israel

The International Criminal Court Strikes Out Again

(Photo: flickr/ Estonian Foreign Ministry)

(Photo: flickr/ Estonian Foreign Ministry)

Mahmoud Abbas and other Palestinian leaders have, from time to time, threatened to apply for membership in the International Criminal Court (ICC) and, from that position, launch wave after wave of legal assaults against Israel and her leadership. Western nations and Israel typically respond to this with violent opposition at the prospect of having to ward off such an onslaught.

Then there are days like yesterday when the nations of the world demonstrate why the ICC is not only nothing for Israel to fear, but also nothing for actual war criminals to fear.

Yesterday, the U.N. Security Council took up the question of whether Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad – who has killed more than 150,000 of his own people and used chemical weapons against civilians – should be referred to the ICC for prosecution for war crimes. The measure failed in the Security Council when it was vetoed by both Russia and China (neither of which has the power to veto on its own). Interestingly, neither Russia nor China are members of the ICC (full disclosure: neither are Israel or the U.S.).

Earlier, in 2008, the U.N. Security Council referred Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to the ICC for the campaign of mass rape and murder in the Darfur region of that country. The ICC indicted him for war crimes in 2009. Bashir is still president of his country and looks no closer to arrest and trial than he was before his indictment.

If the U.N. can’t even agree to refer Syria to the ICC, and a murderer like Bashir doesn’t have to worry about trial, does Israel have much to fear from the ICC? Obviously, the concern is that the ICC assault could further isolate Israel. But this is a group that, to put it mildly, is not exactly the most effective and organized of world governing bodies. Watching the ICC and its backers fall over themselves trying to indict Israel would likely do a lot more damage to the already weak reputation of the Court than it would to…

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Friday, May 23rd, 2014 at 8:41 AM  | Stand For Israel

Want Peace? Change U.N.’s Refugee Policy

(Photo: UNRWA)

(Photo: UNRWA)

The past two days in the Stand for Israel Daily Dispatch, we’ve updated you on the debate at the United Nations over proposed changes in the definition of “refugee” used by UNRWA, the U.N. Relief and Works Agency that oversees aid to Palestinian refugee “camps.” Jonathan Tobin, writing at Commentary, notes that the never-ending victimhood of successive generations of Palestinians is what allows the conflict with Israel to continue:

Rather than help the refugees to adjust to reality, UNRWA’s policies have dovetailed nicely with a Palestinian political identity that regards accommodation to Israel’s existence as tantamount to treason. The Palestinian belief in a “right of return” for not just the original Arabs who totaled a few hundred thousand but for the millions who claim to be their descendants is only made possible by UNRWA’s willingness to go on counting second, third, fourth, and now even fifth generations of Palestinians as refugees.

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Tuesday, May 20th, 2014 at 8:20 AM  | Stand For Israel

Arafat-Style, Abbas Is Playing with Fire

(Photo: White House/ Paul Morse)

(Photo: White House/ Paul Morse)

Yesterday, in violation of previous agreements and in something of a temper tantrum, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas signed documents applying for membership in 15 U.N. organizations for “Palestine.” Avi Issacharoff, writing at The Times of Israel, explains what’s really going on:

But look deeper, and you’ll see Abbas announced that he was immediately signing up for 15 international organizations, but not the big-ticket United Nations organizations. Look deeper still, and you’ll note that the applications were not actually filed.

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Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014 at 8:23 AM  | Stand For Israel

IAF Fools the U.N.

(Photo: Imperial War Museums)

(Photo: Imperial War Museums)

The IAF brings us this April-Fools-worthy story of deception and intrigue. In 1948, as Israel fought for its independence, the Jewish state needed to procure military planes for its air force. At the time, the United Nations’ arms embargo was still imposed on Israel, so Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion was forced to get creative. Sending aviation pioneer Emanuel Tzur on a seemingly impossible operation to somehow get Bristol Beaufighters from England, the Israelis were able to hoodwink the British and wangle six of the needed aircraft:

To execute the mission, Tzur had to be creative and find a cover story that would allow him to smuggle six Beaufighter bombers in defiance of the UN-imposed embargo. Ultimately, Tzur came up with a bold idea: he would smuggle the planes to Israel under the pretext of shooting a film about war heroes from New Zealand who served as pilots in WWII.

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Tuesday, April 1st, 2014 at 8:57 AM  | Stand For Israel

The Administration’s Iran Cul-De-Sac

(Photo: wikicommons/ Alborzagros)

(Photo: wikicommons/ Alborzagros)

Jennifer Rubin, writing at The Washington Post, looks at yesterday’s framework agreement for talks between the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany) and Iran and concludes not only that the talks are at a dead end, but that everybody involved knows they’re at a dead end:

Critics of the administration suspect either the talks will never end because it is impossible to conceive that Iran would do this or the president will try to peddle a phony deal that does none of these things in an effort to claim success. So the administration is back to its fundamental problem. It has carefully delineated what Iran must do, a standard less than the United Nations but higher than anything Iran would remotely do.

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Thursday, February 20th, 2014 at 8:37 AM  | Stand For Israel

Israel’s Three U.N. Allies

(Photo: wikicommons/ Mr Bullitt)

(Photo: wikicommons/ Mr Bullitt)

Every year, the U.N. General Assembly considers a host of anti-Israel resolutions and this year is no different. Thankfully, the U.S. always votes with Israel and 2013 was no exception. But we hope friends of Israel will express their gratitude to the governments of Canadian Prime Minister Harper and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Elliott Abrams tells the story at the Council on Foreign Relations:

The votes of Canada and Australia are particularly worthy of note. Under Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Foreign Minister John Baird, Canada has proved to be a resolute and determined friend of Israel. Australia under Prime Ministers Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard was not, but as in Canada elections have consequences. The new prime minister, Tony Abbott, sworn in on September 28th, and new Foreign Minister Julie Bishop have swung Australia back to the position of the previous conservative government of John Howard.

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Thursday, December 12th, 2013 at 8:25 AM  | Stand For Israel

Mark Twain and the Jews: To Him, All Men Were Alike

Mark_Twain_Underwood_1907

(Photo: Underwood & Underwood)

December 10 marks the 129th anniversary of the publication of Mark Twain’s novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The book’s history has found it read by most, beloved by many, and even questioned by some people through the years, and it has lived on as a masterpiece of American writing, as well as a scathing look at the slavery and racism faced by African Americans.

But Twain (the pen name of Samuel Clemens) was not just a defender of African Americans — he defended the Jewish people, as well, writing in an essay from 1898:

He has made a marvellous fight in this world, in all the ages; and has done it with his hands tied behind him. He could be vain of himself, and be excused for it. The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed, and made a vast noise, and they are gone; other peoples have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished.

The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?

This article from the Virtual Jewish Library tells of Twain’s relationship with Jews in America and around the world. As you’ll see, Twain’s relationship with the Jewish people was sometimes colored by stereotypes and sometimes misinterpreted, but he ultimately meant well and was remembered fondly by the Jewish press:

“In one of Mr. Clemens’s works he expressed his opinion of men, saying he had no choice between Hebrew and Gentile, black men or white; to him, all men were…

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Tuesday, December 10th, 2013 at 3:45 PM  | Stand For Israel
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State of Israel"

Rabbi's Commentary
Seeking Prayers for Safety and Comfort in a Time of Crisis

The news from Israel continues to grieve me deeply. Yesterday 13 Israeli soldiers were killed in Gaza and scores were injured during Operation Protective Edge.


Read Rabbi Eckstein's message »

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