True Allies

(Photo: flickr/ hoyasmeg)

(Photo: flickr/ hoyasmeg)

As the United States furthers its attacks on the Islamic State (IS or ISIS), many nations seem to be allied in the fight – nations not usually thought of as American partners. Writing at The Times of Israel’s blog, Ari Ingel warns that these “allies” are only using the U.S. for their own interests, and that Israel is America’s only true ally:

For all the hoopla that America has a coalition ready to do battle, privately, all of these countries are acting more in their own self-interest than supporting America in this fight.

While Saudi Arabia may help train and funnel some weapons to the Free Syrian Army, numerous wealthy Saudi families provide funding to ISIS and other Islamic Fundamentalist groups in Syria and Iraq. Many young Saudi men are also flooding to Syria and Iraq to fight on behalf of ISIS.  These are the same sort of men that took down the World Trade Center on 9/11 and who will be fighting against America in the Levant.

Qatar is currently engulfed in a political war with Saudi Arabia and Egypt for influence in the region and view everything they do through this lens. They have also been one of the biggest sponsors of Islamic Fundamentalism in the region, funneling money and support to various groups. Remember, they are the only country in the region where the Taliban are welcome and essentially have an embassy.

In Iraq, the Shiite rulers are using America’s muscle to once again help defeat their former Sunni rulers and are much more closely aligned with Iran, Assad’s regime in Syria and Hezbollah, than America.  Meanwhile, Hezbollah, who essentially controls Lebanon, will turn their guns on America like they did in the Marine barracks bombing in 1983, as soon as they have a chance.

Turkey on the other hand has openly rebuffed America’s invitation to join their coalition. The Islamification and dictatorial rule of Turkey continues to grow under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Turkey’s borders remain…

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Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 8:48 AM  | Stand for Israel

Israel’s 9/11 Living Memorial Plaza

(Photo: wikicommons/ Avi1111)

(Photo: wikicommons/ Avi1111)

2,977 lives were cruelly and unjustifiably lost on 9/11. Five Israeli citizens were among them. The United States and Israel continue to share a bond of two nations and peoples whose lives have been changed by acts of terrorism. Israel’s 9/11 memorial serves as a tribute to the victims of the attack on the Twin Towers as well as victims of terrorism worldwide. Here are 10 facts about Israel’s 9/11 memorial:

1. The memorial is located in Jerusalem on a five-acre plot of land.

2. The main sculpture stands 30 feet tall and is made of bronze.

3. The sculpture depicts an American flag waving and transforming into a flame.

4. It is the only memorial outside of the United States to list the names of every victim of the attack.

5. It is called the Living Memorial Plaza and seats 300 people.

6. In addition to memorial purposes, the site is intended to be a symbol of hope.

7. Part of the base of the memorial statue was taken from the original Twin Towers.

8. The sculpture stands 200 yards away from the original planned location to accommodate gazelle migration patterns.

9. The sculpture had been planned since 2002, and was dedicated in 2009.

10. The memorial is strategically placed within view of Jerusalem’s main cemetery.

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
    my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
    my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (Psalm 18:2)

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Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 at 3:54 PM  | Stand for Israel

Chloe Valdary: Christian, Black, Rising Star of Pro-Israel Activism

(Photo: Twitter)

(Photo: Twitter)

This summer, Stand for Israel brought you a letter written by Chloe Valdary, a young woman who courageously and eloquently took a stand for the Jewish state and its people, even while her peers disagree with and attack her. Now The Times of Israel brings this piece on Ms. Valdary, a brave new voice for Israel:

Growing up in New Orleans, Chloe Valdary kept kosher, studied the Jewish Bible and celebrated Jewish holidays with festive meals. In recent years she has become an outspoken pro-Israel campus activist, contributing regularly to the Jewish press, and speaking and posting widely about the merits of the Jewish state on social media.

But the senior at the University of New Orleans is not Jewish. She is Christian — a member of the Intercontinental Church of God, whose adherents revere the Hebrew Bible and follow the Jewish calendar — and she is black.

In July, Valdary, 21, garnered widespread attention for a Tablet piece in which she accused pro-Palestinian activists of misappropriating the rhetoric of the black civil rights movement. In the piece, titled “To the Students for Justice in Palestine, a Letter From an Angry Black Woman,” Valdary addressed the campus group.

“You do not have the right to invoke my people’s struggle for your shoddy purposes, and you do not get to feign victimhood in our name,” she wrote …

“Her heart is beautiful, her mind is beautiful, her words are powerful,” the ZOA’s [Morton] Klein said. “She’s really the whole package.”

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Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 at 8:58 AM  | Stand for Israel

Video: Israel, U.S. Test Improved Missile Interceptor

In another instance of the United States and Israel cooperating together to thwart shared enemies and terror, The Times of Israel provides this video and information on a test performed today of the Arrow 2 missile defense system:

Israel and the US Missile Defense Agency tested an improved Arrow 2 anti-ballistic missile at an Israeli test range over the Mediterranean Sea Tuesday …

Israel is in the process of developing a five-tiered system of air defense, offering protection against projectiles ranging from mortars to ballistic weapons …

“This is a great day for the Air Defense Forces, for the Air Force, the defense establishment and, I would say, for the State of Israel,” Maj. Gen. Eitan Ben Eliyahu said at the time.

He called the Arrow 2 “the only weapon system of its kind in the entire world,” adding that Israel is the first country to “succeed in developing, building and operating a defense system against ballistic missiles.”

We applaud the two nations for their friendship and cooperation, and ask that God use this technology to protect His people from future attacks.

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Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 at 10:14 AM  | Stand for Israel

Israel Giving U.S. Satellite Images of Islamic State

(Photo: NASA)

(Photo: NASA)

Recently, the relationship between Israel and her closest ally – the United States – has been questioned. Yet despite rocky times, the two nations still remain aligned in the war against terror. The Times of Israel reports that Israel is providing the U.S. with satellite imagery as it battles the terrorist group the Islamic State (IS or ISIS):

Israel has provided the US with intelligence and satellite images on Islamic State positions, as well as information on Westerners joining its ranks, to assist Washington in its ongoing operation against the Islamic State, Reuters reported Monday, citing an unnamed Western official.

Israeli spy satellites were said to have greater access to the region, allowing the US to “fill out its information and get a better battle damage assessment” in the aftermath of its airstrikes, the diplomat said, according to the report …

The diplomat indicated Israel had also helped identify potential Western collaborators with the terror group.

“The Israelis are very good with passenger data and with analyzing social media in Arabic to get a better idea of who these people are,” the source said.

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Monday, September 8th, 2014 at 3:41 PM  | Stand for Israel

The U.S.-Israel Bond: Too Big to Fail

(Photo: White House/ Pete Souza)

(Photo: White House/ Pete Souza)

Throughout Operation Protective Edge – and well before – the United States’ relationship with Israel has been questioned by many, and for good reason. From Secretary of State John Kerry’s failed attempts at a Israeli-Palestinian peace deal to American statements against the Jewish state’s defense of itself and its people, what has long been a solid friendship has sometimes seemed shaky. Yet former State Department peace negotiator Aaron David Miller says that the bond between the two nations is one of shared values, politics, and interests, and is too big too fail:

Obama has few friends in the region. Relations with Egypt and Saudi Arabia are cool, Jordan is a fan but weak, the Qataris can’t be trusted, and a U.S. president is not going to get much from the Palestinians …

With the prospects of U.S. military involvement in Iraq and maybe Syria growing, the U.S. doesn’t need a problem with Israel. Indeed, the Israelis remain central to matters relating to peace and war …

U.S. opinion polls continue to show strong support for Israel, partly because of the behavior of Arab actors. It started with 9/11 and Al Qaeda and got worse as the Arab spring devolved into violence, terror and state repression. When you consider Egypt (under the Muslim Brotherhood or the military), Syrian President Bashar Assad’s bloody rule and his use of chemical weapons, and the Islamic State, the sharp contrast between a stable, democratic and pro-Western Israel (occupier of the West Bank or not) and an Arab world melting down into cascading violence and extremism makes the pro-Israel case.

Throw in Hamas, which the Obama administration sees as a terrorist organization, and you begin to see just how tough it is for the administration to beat up on the Israelis …

The two nations have managed to muddle through serious crises before because the fundamentals of the relationship were more sound than not.

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Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 at 8:21 AM  | Stand for Israel

Israel Must Choose Life

(Photo: flickr/ babi_santander)

(Photo: flickr/ babi_santander)

After Israel unanimously rejected John Kerry and the Obama administration’s weekend ceasefire proposal, Operation Protective Edge continues to be waged. Writing at Israel Hayom, Dr. Haim Shine says that this unity among Israelis shows a people who have chosen to live:

However, once Israelis realize they are fighting a true war for their home, there is no Left or Right, no rich or poor, and no divide between residents of Tel Aviv and residents of the rest of the country. The various strands of Israeli society, usually loose, come together as a deadly fist to strike those who rise up against us.

Israeli citizens are grateful for the generous support American governments have provided during both times of peace and times of war. This support allowed for the development of the Iron Dome anti-rocket system. The U.S. has also helped Israel stay on its feet in the international diplomatic arena against a hostile world, which, instead of being anti-Israel, has become anti-Semitic. But given the choice between protecting our right to live and showing gratitude, Israel must choose life. Choosing life is the ultimate Jewish commandment.

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Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 at 8:28 AM  | Stand For Israel

The Ceasefire Debacle

(Photo: U.S. Dept. of Defense)

(Photo: U.S. Dept. of Defense)

Israeli politicians on the left rarely agree with their political opponents on the right; the chasm between their respective ideas makes finding common ground an unusual occurrence. This is not the case in Israel today, where the military operation in Gaza is supported by close to 90 percent of the population, and where the only disagreement is whether Operation Protective Edge should continue until Hamas is completely destroyed, or whether it should end once the terror tunnels have been obliterated.

There is one area in Israeli society where the ideological gap between the left and right is even more boisterous than the Knesset during election season, and that’s in the media. So this week’s unanimous rejection of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s ceasefire proposal by both the security cabinet and the media signaled an almost unprecedented moment in the Jewish state’s history.

The Kerry proposal, handed to the Israeli security cabinet for approval, agreed to all of Hamas’ demands – lifting the siege on Gaza, releasing Hamas prisoners, and continuing the flow of goods, including more cement, into the Strip. Israel’s security needs were vaguely mentioned, almost as an afterthought.

What made Kerry’s ceasefire offer so shocking is that it undercut Egypt’s earlier ceasefire proposal, which Israel has already agreed to, while at the same time rewarding Hamas for a war which it started. Israeli officials were understandably dismayed that instead of placing pressure on Hamas to accept the Egypt’s peace proposal, which calls for the demilitarization of Gaza, the U.S. backed a ceasefire agreement formulated by Qatar and Turkey, two countries that openly support Hamas both financially and diplomatically.

Editorials found in newspapers on both the left and right of Israel’s political spectrum illustrate Israel’s near-unanimous disappointment with Obama and Kerry’s handling of this crisis. The general attitude in Israel is that the U.S. administration has prioritized Hamas’ interests ahead of Israel’s security needs. Israelis understand that this doesn’t represent the general pro-Israel sentiment felt across…

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Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 at 12:45 PM  | Stand For Israel

A Letter to the Students for Justice in Palestine

(Photo: wikicommons/ Danny-w)

(Photo: wikicommons/ Danny-w)

Even as millions of Americans stand for Israel during these trying times, the movement preaching the message to “Free Palestine” can often be seen on college campuses and street corners. While those like the group Students for Justice in Palestine might think they are standing up for the oppressed, Chloe Valdary – a Christian, a Zionist, and a consultant for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America – says that such a movement does not align with the ideals of justice, equality, and freedom:

• You do not get to champion regimes that murder, torture, and persecute their own people, deliberately keep them impoverished, and embezzle billions of dollar from them—and claim you are “pro-Arab.” You are not.

• You do not get to champion a system wherein Jews are barred from purchasing land, traveling in certain areas, and living out such an existence merely because they are Jews—and claim that you are promoting equality for all. You do not get to enable that system by pushing a boycott of Jewish owned businesses, shops, and entities—and then claim that you are “against apartheid.” That is evil.

• You do not get to justify the calculated and deliberate bombings, beatings, and lynchings of Jewish men, women, and children by referring to such heinous occurrences as part of a noble “uprising” of the oppressed—that is racism. It is evil.

• You do not get to pretend as though you and Rosa Parks would have been great buddies in the 1960s. Rosa Parks was a real Freedom Fighter. Rosa Parks was a Zionist.

Coretta Scott King was a Zionist.

A. Phillip Randolph was a Zionist.

Bayard Rustin was a Zionist.

Count Basie was a Zionist.

Dr. Martin Luther King Sr. was a Zionist …

You see, my people have always been Zionists because my people have always stood for the freedom of the oppressed.

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Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 at 8:32 AM  | Stand For Israel

Why Nobody But the U.S. Voted Against the U.N.’s Anti-Israel Resolution

(Photo: wikicommons/ russavia)

(Photo: wikicommons/ russavia)

Yesterday, the United Nations Human Rights Council approved a resolution that condemned what it calls “the widespread, systematic and gross violations of international human rights and fundamental freedoms arising from the Israeli military operations,” and called for an inquiry committee to investigate Israel’s actions during the current Operation Protective Edge. Writing at The Times of Israel, Raphael Ahren looks at the U.N.’s continued bias against the Jewish state, as well as the fact that the United States was the lone nation to stand for Israel:

Only the United States voted against the resolution. Twenty-nine nations voted in favor, among them not only the usual suspects such as Saudi Arabia, Algeria and South Africa, but also some ostensible friends of Israel, including Russia, Kenya, India and Mexico.

Equally hurtful for Israel, if not more so, were the abstentions of the eight European Union member states who had the right to vote: Austria, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Romania and the United Kingdom …

The resolution does not mention Hamas once.

For Israel, the vote was another heavy slap in the face. Because Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hesitated before launching the Gaza campaign and accepted several ceasefire offers, officials were sure of the international community’s (relative) support for Operation Protective Edge. But statements reiterating Israel’s right to defend itself are apparently no guarantee of supportive votes at the UN.

“It’s a travesty of justice; it’s a travesty of fairness; it’s a travesty of common sense; it’s a travesty of truth,” Netanyahu said Thursday …

Let us be thankful that Israel still has those who stand with them, and pray that God will continue to watch over the Holy Land and its friends.

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Thursday, July 24th, 2014 at 1:15 PM  | Stand For Israel

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State of Israel"

Rabbi's Commentary
Rejoicing in God’s Word

The festive Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah ends and begins the annual cycle of Torah readings in synagogue. It is God’s Word that offers comfort and hope to Jews and Christians alike, reminding us of His permanent presence in our constantly changing world.

Read Rabbi Eckstein's message »


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