Israelis Turn Right

(Photo: Haim Zach/GPO/ASHERNET)

(Photo: Haim Zach/GPO/ASHERNET)

Two years before serving out a full four-year term, the 19th Knesset – Israel’s parliament – will be dissolved, and Israelis will head to the polls to vote in a new election. The feeling on the streets here in Israel is one of frustration with our leaders’ abilities to lead.

Polls conducted over the last few days show that if elections were held now, right-wing parties would be the big winners. Netanyahu would remain prime minister. The only change in the Knesset would be a cabinet occupied by right-wing ministers, as opposed to the more left-leaning politicians currently sitting in the government.

What the polls also show is that most Israelis believe peace talks with the Palestinians will be fruitless. In his address to the Arab League just a few days ago, Palestinian Authority (P.A.) President Mahmoud Abbas declared his intent to seek statehood unilaterally unless Israel concedes to a list of his demands, which would leave the Jewish state utterly defenseless.

And while the world huddles around Abbas – as we are seeing in Europe where recognition of a Palestinian state is gaining speed – Israelis are hunkering down. We understand that, at least for the foreseeable future, there are no solutions to our security issues, and that our conflict with the Palestinians is not going away any time soon.

As the P.A. begins to seek statehood outside of negotiations, Israelis are set to elect a government less likely to succumb to international demands of concessions for a return to negotiations. Israel is no longer willing to pretend that pursuing peace through negotiations was ever the Palestinians’ intention.

- Ami Farkas

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Friday, December 5th, 2014 at 8:34 AM  | Stand For Israel

France Recognizes Palestinian State in Non-binding Vote

iitnFrance became the latest nation to adopt a non-binding resolution recognizing a Palestinian state, joining Spain, Ireland, and Great Britain. None of these votes officially recognize Palestinian statehood, but rather were adopted to put pressure on both Israelis and Palestinians to resume peace negotiations.

Also this week in Israel in the News:

• Terrorist attacks continued inside Israel this week with two separate stabbing incidents in the West Bank.
• Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired two of his senior officials this week — a move which will send Israelis back to the polls for new elections.
• U.S. officials are considering supplying Ukraine with arms to fight pro-Russian forces.
• U.S.-led coalition to fight the terrorist group ISIS is now 60-nations strong, while Iran launched its own attack against ISIS.

This week’s Israel in the News Perspective features The Fellowship’s Yonit Rothchild on the current tensions in Israel.

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Thursday, December 4th, 2014 at 5:00 PM  | Stand for Israel

Why a Palestinian State Will Become a Source of Instability

(Photo: flickr/ crazymaq)

(Photo: flickr/ crazymaq)

Tensions and violence in Jerusalem and the rest of Israel have risen. Palestinian leadership incites their people, while also threatening to pursue statehood on the international level. But if Palestinian statehood should occur, writes Khaled Abu Toameh, Palestinians will still be the problem of Israel and the West, and a continuing source of instability throughout the Middle East:

The Palestinians know very well that if and when they have a state of their own, they will never be able to rely on their Arab brethren.

The Arab countries have a long record of turning their backs on the Palestinians, not only with regard to financial aid promises, but even when it comes to basic needs such as medical treatment.

But what will happen after the creation of a Palestinian state? Palestinians say they do not have high expectations that the Arab countries will help them build their state.

Today, it is much easier for Palestinians to receive medical treatment in Israel, Turkey and Germany than in most of the Arab countries …

While the Egyptians continue to seal off their border with the Gaza Strip, Israel has become the only hope for the 1.7 million Palestinians living there.

In the period between November 18 and 23, some 2,966 crossed the Erez border crossing with Israel in both directions, according to the Israeli Ministry of Defense’s Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories.

In addition, some 1,490 trucks carrying thousands of tons of goods entered the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom terminal along the border with Israel during the same period. The goods consisted of food, construction materials, input for agriculture and medicine products.

How many Arab trucks loaded with goods entered the Gaza Strip over the past month? None.

This is precisely what Egypt and the rest of the Arab countries want: to turn the Gaza Strip into an Israeli, and not Arab, problem.

There is good reason to believe that the Arabs are not going to change their attitude toward the Palestinians once a Palestinian state is…

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Thursday, December 4th, 2014 at 8:57 AM  | Stand For Israel

The New Ottoman Emperor

(Photo: wikicommons/ Randam)

(Photo: wikicommons/ Randam)

The spread of radical Islam throughout the Middle East and the rest of the world, especially in recent times, has been alarming. Writing at Israel Hayom, Clifford D. May looks at the role that Turkey and its president Recep Tayyip Erdogan have played in this troubling phenomenon:

Turkey should have been part of the solution. Instead it has become part of the problem. The problem, of course, is the spread of jihadism throughout the Middle East, North Africa and beyond.

Turkish policies have been aiding and abetting the Nusra Front, an al-Qaida affiliate; the Islamic State group, which has turned large swaths of Syria and Iraq into killing fields; the Islamic Republic of Iran, still ranked by the U.S. government as the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism and well on its way to becoming nuclear-armed; and the Muslim Brotherhood, including Hamas, the group’s Palestinian branch.

Troubling, too, is the rhetoric we’ve been hearing from Turkish leaders. Turkish Science, Industry and Technology Minister Fikri Isık claimed last week that it was Muslim scientists who first discovered that the earth is round. Two weeks earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan insisted that Muslim sailors reached the Americas 300 years before Columbus — only to find that well-established Muslims in Cuba had built a beautiful mosque.

Such myth-making might be dismissed as nothing more than attempts to play to Islamic pride. Less easy to excuse is Erdogan’s increasing xenophobia. “Foreigners,” he recently observed, “love oil, gold, diamonds, and the cheap labor force of the Islamic world. They like the conflicts, fights and quarrels of the Middle East.” He added that Westerners “look like friends, but they want us dead, they like seeing our children die. How long will we stand that fact?”

If Turkey were just another tin-pot dictatorship, none of this would much matter. But Turkey is a Muslim-majority (98 percent) republic with a dynamic economy (not dependent on the extraction of petroleum), a…

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Thursday, December 4th, 2014 at 8:31 AM  | Stand For Israel

Jewish Student Hospitalized After Beating in Moscow

(Photo: ytcm.org)

(Photo: ytcm.org)

Throughout Europe we are seeing rampant anti-Semitism – on the streets and in the governments. Now The Algemeiner reports on an attack in Russia that left a young Jewish yeshiva student hospitalized:

Shlomo Romanevsky, a 26-year-old Russian yeshiva student was hospitalized after a brutal beating by three unknown assailants in a Moscow suburb, Israel’s NRG News reported Wednesday.

Romanevsky sustained a skull fractures, and a broken nose and jaw in the assault, according to officials.

He was heading back to his religious seminary, Yeshivat Torat Chaim, after giving a private lesson in a Moscow suburb, when the trio off thugs attacked him, according to Jewish officials. Police officials are investigating the background of the attack, and if it was motivated by anti-Semitism.

A spokesman for the Conference of European Rabbis, Moshe Friedman, said said Romanevsky was scheduled to undergo an operation for his injuries on Wednesday, and that the dean of the school, Rabbi Moshe Lebel, was with the student.

The head of the Department for Combating Antisemitism at the World Zionist Organization called on the Russian government to “take a hard line against any anti-Semitic violence in their country.”

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Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014 at 2:47 PM  | Stand For Israel

Breaking News: Two Injured in Terrorist Attack

(Photo: flickr/zeevveez)

(Photo: flickr/zeevveez)

Arutz Sheva is reporting that a terrorist attack has just occurred near Jerusalem, the latest in a string of such incidents. Details are still emerging, but early reports state that two were injured and the terrorist was shot:

Two people were injured in a stabbing attack Wednesday afternoon, after a terrorist began attacking civilians at a Rami-Levy superstore in Mishor Adumim, near Ma’ale Adumim in the Jerusalem area.

Magen David Adom (MDA) forces arrived at the scene shortly after the attack began at around 4:20 p.m., and gave emergency first-aid treatment to the injured. Both are men in their mid-50s and suffering from shoulder and head wounds.

The terrorist was apprehended and has sustained light injuries after being shot by a security guard at the scene.

“Near the cash registers there were two people, injured, about 50 years old, fully conscious with stab wounds in the upper body,” Fadi Badarne, an MDA medic, stated to the press. “They told us that as they were shopping, they were jumped upon suddenly by a terrorist, who stabbed them.”

“We gave them first aid at the scene and evacuated them to Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem while fully conscious, with moderate injuries,” Badarne continued. “The terrorist was shot in the limbs and treated there as well; he’s in mild to moderate condition.”

Initial reports indicated that the attack was a shooting, but MDA medics and Channel 2 reported shortly after reports first aired that the attack was, in fact, a stabbing – and that the terrorist was not shot and killed, but merely injured.

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Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014 at 9:00 AM  | Stand For Israel

The Growing Rift Between Israel’s Poor and Financially Stable

(Photo: Olivier Fitoussi)

(Photo: Olivier Fitoussi)

So much of what The Fellowship does is centered around helping the neediest in Israel – the elderly, the children, the hungry. The Jerusalem Post reports on a new survey that points to the growing problem of those in poverty in Israel:

Some 95 percent of people living in poverty are pessimistic about their chances to escape their situation a new survey conducted by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews found …

The Fellowship presented the findings at the Sderot Conference for Society at Sapir Academic College, which it conducted to provide a better understanding of the situation of the poor in Israel.

“The survey presents a shocking picture of the separation of Israel’s population into two separate groups and hostile to each other.

“Unfortunately poverty in Israel is perceived as a problem of the poor and not as a significant threat to society,” said Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder and president of the IFCJ. “These figures are a warning sign for leaders facing the signing of the state budget for the coming year. Israel must act quickly to rehabilitate the weaker classes …”

Eckstein added that in the absence of sufficient action by the state, charitable organizations such as the IFCJ are forced to fill the gaps and help the poor, noting that, in 2015, his organization aims to … aid hundreds of thousands of the elderly, families and children living in poverty.

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Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014 at 8:51 AM  | Stand For Israel

Who Needs Abbas’ Approval?

(Photo: White House/ Paul Morse)

(Photo: White House/ Paul Morse)

While so much of the world might see Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas as a leader who is striving for peace with Israel, they need only look at what he says when the whole world’s not his stage. Writing at Israel Hayom, Dr. Ronen Yitzhak looks at Abbas’ true feelings on the Jewish state and the Jewish people’s historic right to Israel:

“We will never recognize Israel as a Jewish state,” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas declared at an Arab League foreign ministers’ meeting over the weekend in Cairo.

This declaration, like others made by Arab and Palestinian leaders, was intended not only to undermine Israel’s historical right to and international legitimacy as a Jewish state, but also to signal that the Palestinians are not ready to move forward with serious negotiations for a resolution to the conflict.

But Israel is not defined as a Jewish state by this or that Arab leader. It is defined as such by the international understandings and agreements that recognize the historic link between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel, as our Declaration of Independence states. This is a link that the Palestinians have been denying for years.

Indeed, many declarations and agreements have clearly outlined not only the link between the Jewish people and Israel, but also their right to establish a Jewish state in this land. Among those is the 1917 Balfour Declaration, which expressed the willingness of the British government to support the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Israel; the Faisal-Weizmann Agreement of 1919, in which the Arabs recognized the establishment of a Jewish state in Israel in exchange for the establishment of a large Arab nation (not a Palestinian one) in the Middle East; the British White Paper of 1922, which explicitly states that Jews have the right to the Land of Israel “as of right and not on sufferance,” and there are more.

A genuine…

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Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014 at 8:23 AM  | Stand For Israel

Child Holocaust Survivor Shares Harrowing Tales

(Photo: German Federal Archives)

(Photo: German Federal Archives)

The most tragic chapter of the Jewish people’s – and the world’s – history, the Holocaust can never be forgotten. The Missourian brings us this piece on Sara Moses, who survived the Holocaust as a child, though her mother was one of the Nazis’ millions of victims. Ms. Moses reminds us all that “The silence speaks to the evil-doer … The silence says it’s OK. We approve of what you are doing, and to the victims, the silence says we don’t care about you” as she shares her harrowing story of loss and survival:

When Moses was just a year old, Hitler attacked her hometown of Pietrokov, Poland. It became the first Nazi-occupied Jewish ghetto in Poland.

Nazi troops seized the town’s synagogue, beat up worshippers and robbed the synagogue of its sacred artifacts.

It wasn’t long before Jewish people, called “illegals,” were not allowed to walk the streets of their town. Their homes were taken away and given to non-Jewish people.

As a little girl, Moses witnessed the brutal beatings of many fellow Jews in the streets.

“Is it any wonder that the very earliest memory I have of my childhood is one of me and my family living in fear and terror?” she asked the students.

Moses shared memories of her mother and the stories she would tell. When she was with her mother, she felt safe and secure.

She didn’t know it then, but it would be her well-developed imagination that would help her survive the horrors she had yet to face.

One day, Moses’ parents heard that Jewish women and children would be rounded up and taken from the ghetto. Not wanting to lose their only child, Moses’ parents smuggled her to a Christian friend’s home.

It was the last time she ever saw her mother. When it was safer to return to the ghetto, she was smuggled back in.

“When I got there, I couldn’t wait to be with my mother. When I ran to see her, I was told she…

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Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014 at 3:17 PM  | Stand For Israel

Ukraine Appeals to Israel, US for Military Assistance

(Photo: flickr/polandmfa)

(Photo: flickr/polandmfa)

The shaky ceasefire in Ukraine – between the Ukrainian military and the pro-Russian separatists from the nation’s east – continues. Even so, shelling and fighting continues to kill innocent civilians. The World Tribune reports that Ukraine is now asking Israel and the United States for military assistance during this time of chaos and turmoil:

Ukraine has reached out to Israel military for discussions on military training as it faces an unremitting challenge from Moscow-backed rebels.

Officials said Kiev has invited Israel to provide training for Ukraine’s military and security forces. They said Israel could provide expertise in the field of counter-insurgency and special forces.

“We have started to learn about the Israeli experience in greater detail, and we will invite Israeli instructors just as we invite American instructors,” Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleh Mahnitskiy said.

The Fellowship continues to aid the troubled and displaced Jewish communities of Ukraine. Learn how you, too, can help with our upcoming emergency airlift that will help hundreds of Ukrainian Jews make aliyah (immigrate to Israel).

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Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014 at 1:30 PM  | Stand For Israel

"informing, equipping and mobilizing individuals and churches to support the
State of Israel"

Rabbi’s Commentary
Answering His Call, Faithfully and Joyfully

2014 has certainly been a year of struggles. But those challenges have been answered by God, and by His faithful followers. The Fellowship and our generous friends have been able to offer assistance to those who need it most, from the Holy Land to the former Soviet Union, and we look hopefully to the coming year as one of peace, prosperity, and repairing the world.


Read Rabbi Eckstein's message »

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