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U.S. Suspends Flights to Israel

(Photo: flickr/nico_)

(Photo: flickr/nico_)

Due to the continued rocket attacks from Gaza – including one where shrapnel damaged a home near Ben Gurion Airport – the United States has suspended flights for at least 24 hours, with some airlines putting flights on hold indefinitely:

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration barred flights to Israel Tuesday evening for 24 hours, citing security concerns.

The notice came after U.S. airline Delta said it was indefinitely suspending flights between the United States and Israel.

 U.S. Airways also announced it was suspending flights, but only until Thursday.

The moves were announced hours after shrapnel from a rocket damaged a home in the central Israeli town of Yehud, which abuts Israel’s main international airport.

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Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 at 12:07 PM  | Stand For Israel

U.S. Senate Doubles Funding for Iron Dome

(Photo: ASHERNET)

(Photo: ASHERNET)

As Stand for Israel has reported, the Iron Dome defense system has proven to be a great success, keeping the people of Israel relatively safe from the recent nonstop rocket attacks from Gaza. Seeing how effective Iron Dome has been, the United States Senate has proposed a large increase in its funding for the program:

The Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee approved a defense spending bill yesterday (July 15) that will provide $621.6 million for Israeli missile defense, including $351 million for the Iron Dome system that intercepts short-range rockets and mortars. The sum represents a 50 percent increase in funding for the program …

The Iron Dome anti-rocket system has been successful in shooting down rockets and preventing Israeli deaths with a 90 percent success rate, an improvement over the 84 percent success rate achieved in Operation ‘Pillar of Defense’.

The IDF deployed its ninth Iron Dome battery this week, after it was scheduled to be prepared only in a few months and was produced in record time.

We are heartened by this display of friendship from the U.S. to Israel, and pray that the relationship will continue, during times of peace and difficult times such as these.

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Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 at 9:42 AM  | Stand For Israel

How America Can Stop the War in Gaza

(Photo: ASHERNET)

(Photo: ASHERNET)

As Stand for Israel has reported, the United States has affirmed Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas’ rocket attacks, while at the same time expecting Israel to show restraint. Writing at Tablet, Liel Leibovitz says that these are conflicting expectations, and says the first thing America needs to do is to admit that there is no moral equivalency between Israel’s actions and those of the true culprit, Hamas:

Some things are just plain evil, and when things are evil, they should be prohibited by law and by the consensus of right-thinking people and nations and prevented with all the means at our disposal. Raining down rockets on a civilian population is evil. Instructing one’s operatives to kidnap and murder children is evil. Using children as human shields is evil. Putting missile launchers underneath hospitals is evil. People who do these things are supposed to pay a price, so that they don’t do them again. That’s how the international system is supposed to work.

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Friday, July 11th, 2014 at 8:56 AM  | Stand For Israel

My Kids Are in Bomb Shelters

(Photo: wikicommons/ James Emery)

(Photo: wikicommons/ James Emery)

While the United States has upheld Israel’s right to defend itself against rocket attacks from Gaza, it has also urged both Israel and Hamas to “show restraint.” Blogging for The Times of Israel, American Rabbi Shmuley Boteach – who has four children currently living in Israel, living under fear of terrorist rockets – asks that America do the right thing and stand with Israel:

My four children, American citizens all, are running to bomb shelters in the Israeli capital while you’re asking terrorists to show restraint. For goodness sake, Mr. President. Do the moral thing. Say outright that the United States stands with Israel fully, completely, and unreservedly. That it supports the right of Israel to enact all military measures to defend its citizens. That it utterly condemns Hamas for its terrorism and will never recognize Hamas in any shape or form, other than to recognize it as a terror entity that must be destroyed. That it will supply Israel with everything it needs to eradicate the Hamas terror network in Gaza. That the United States, in having experienced the horrors of 9/11, understands the threat Israel is facing and stands with democratic countries everywhere, especially its most reliable ally, in defeating terrorists wherever they may be found.

Mr. President. This is a moral issue. And you are a moral man. Do the right thing.

We thank you, our friends in the United States and around the world, for doing the right thing and standing with Israel, and ask that you continue with your prayers and support.

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Thursday, July 10th, 2014 at 2:45 PM  | Stand For Israel

Independence Day – A Celebration of Freedom and Friendship

(Photo: wikicommons/ James Emery)

(Photo: wikicommons/ James Emery)

Because of Independence Day in the United States, we’re suspending activity for July 4. We’ll be back on Monday, July 7. If any critical developments related to Israel come up in the meantime we will post them on the Stand for Israel blog. Thank you for always standing for Israel.

We wish our American friends a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July, and present you all a still-timely Independence Day message from last year. In it Rabbi Eckstein expresses his gratitude for the blessings of freedom and the friendship between the U.S. and Israel:

Because I’m blessed to call both the U.S. and Israel home, on Independence Day I cannot help but reflect on the unique and enduring relationship between the U.S. and Israel. That relationship was established from the beginning, when in 1948 U.S. President Harry Truman made the U.S. the first country to recognize the newly-formed Jewish state.

Since then, Israel and the U.S. have been dependable friends. That friendship, it is true, has been strained and tested at times. But it has never broken. This is because both nations are built upon principles of democracy, individual freedom, faith, and the rule of law. These shared values create broad areas of agreement on key principles, meaning that Israel and the U.S. more often than not stand united on important issues.

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Friday, July 4th, 2014 at 8:00 AM  | Stand For Israel

President Obama, Say Something

(Photo: flickr/White House)

(Photo: flickr/White House)

As the mothers of Eyal, Gilad, and Naftali – the three kidnapped Israeli teens – stand strong as the IDF searches for their sons, very few can understand the pain and uncertainty these three women must be feeling. One woman who can relate, however, is Sherri Mandell. Sherri’s son Koby was stabbed and stoned to death in 2001 by Palestinian terrorists. Koby was a dual citizen of Israel and the United States, and his murder led to what was supposed to be a crackdown on terrorism. However, Ms. Mandell wonders in The Times of Israel, why isn’t President Obama speaking out about these three Israeli boys taken by terrorists?

Yet the Koby Mandell Act promised that the US government would vigorously pursue the killers of American citizens, including those killed in Israel. So far, not one of them has been brought to justice with the help of the American government …

With these lofty goals, you would think that there would be a picture or at least a mention of Naftali on the website. Or a mention of Koby. Or of the many Americans citizens killed by Palestinian terrorists in Israel. But when it comes to Americans who are the victims of Palestinian terrorism, the Justice Department, like the President remains silent.

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Friday, June 27th, 2014 at 10:02 AM  | Stand For Israel

The Man Who Broke the Middle East

(Photo: U.S. Navy)

(Photo: U.S. Navy)

As the IDF continues its search for the missing boys and its crackdown against Hamas, and as Hamas and the Palestinian Authority’s unity deal proves to be the farce we knew it would be, the rest of the Middle East continues to erupt, too. Elliott Abrams, former national security adviser for the Bush administration, writes of the many ways that the Obama administration’s Middle East policy has not only been a failure, but has left the entire region a much more dangerous place:

Arab rulers were more interested in knowing whether as a man he heard the approaching sound of gunfire, saw the growing threat of al Qaeda from the Maghreb to the Arabian Peninsula, and understood the ambitions of the ayatollahs as Iran moved closer and closer to a bomb.

Obama began with the view that there was no issue in the Middle East more central than the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Five years later he has lost the confidence of both Israeli and Palestinian leaders, and watched his second secretary of state squander endless efforts in a doomed quest for a comprehensive peace. Obama embittered relations with America’s closest ally in the region and achieved nothing whatsoever in the “peace process.”

 

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Thursday, June 26th, 2014 at 8:36 AM  | Stand For Israel

What We Need to Find Out About Iran Before the Nuclear Deal Deadline

(Photo: wikicommons/ Talmoryair)

(Photo: wikicommons/ Talmoryair)

As the deadline nears for a deal on Iran’s nuclear activities, and as the House Foreign Affairs Committee holds a hearing today on the same, Jennifer Rubin writes at The Washington Post that the United States is fast approaching a critical point when it comes to its stance on the situation and how it affects Israel:

Congress then should consider an array of new economic sanctions, means of making our military threat more capable and measures to enhance Israel’s ability to act unilaterally if it sees fit.

As for Israel, Iran’s continued progress toward a nuclear arms capability, its revived economy, its ongoing support for terrorism, its refusal to cooperate with inspectors and sustained research on Iran’s advanced centrifuges and ballistic weapons program should factor into Israel’s consideration as to how long it can wait before acting unilaterally. No serious observer in the United States or in Tehran thinks Obama will act; it therefore becomes an issue of timing for Israel: When will the Jewish state act in the absence of U.S. leadership to defend itself and, in turn, the West from the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran?

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Tuesday, June 10th, 2014 at 8:56 AM  | Stand For Israel

American Taxpayers Now Paying the Salaries of Palestinian Terrorists

(Photo: White House/ Pete Souza)

(Photo: White House/ Pete Souza)

As more details surface about the Palestinian unity deal, more reactions come out, as well. Lee Smith, writing for Tablet, picks apart the history of the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, the United States, and Israel – and where this agreement and the U.S. reaction to it will lead – and comes to the conclusion that American money will now be heading into the pockets of terrorists:

Meanwhile, as crazy as it sounds, U.S. diplomats will continue searching for loopholes that allow us to fund officially designated terrorist organizations with taxpayer dollars. As Jonathan Schanzer, director of research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, explains “there are waivers embedded in the legislation, with which the president can override stipulations for reasons of national security or national interest. The assumption,” says Schanzer, “is that Obama is going to override everything.”

The administration will also be able to cite a regional precedent for its likely next step of embracing the new Palestinian “unity government” as a “partner for peace” while claiming that America is not funding terrorism.

Comments (17) »

Friday, June 6th, 2014 at 8:34 AM  | Stand For Israel

Why the Peace Process Will Continue

(Photo: Official White House Photostream)

(Photo: Official White House Photostream)

Michael Doran, writing in Mosaic Magazine, says that in spite of absolutely no hope of success or even progress, the Middle East peace process is likely to continue in the near future because the U.S. will continue to push for it. We’re not sure that Israel or the Palestinians will continue to play along, but Doran’s take is an interesting one:

If the last five years are anything to go by, the American president will not abandon his quest for the latter goal. Why? Part of the answer lies in the grip of dogma on the mind of this administration, which has been deeply influenced by the “realist” school of foreign policy. For adherents of this approach, the Palestinian issue has always been—and will always remain—the central strategic problem in the Middle East.

Comments (6) »

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014 at 8:25 AM  | 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. Twenty-seven Israeli soldiers have been killed thus far during Operation Protective Edge.


Read Rabbi Eckstein's message »

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