IDF Nabs Bomb-Laden Terrorists

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

We here at Stand for Israel appreciate the bravery and determination shown by the brave men and women of the IDF who protect Israel and her people, and today they proved themselves heroes once again. The Algemeiner reports that alert IDF members stopped a terrorist attack in the West Bank on Thursday afternoon:

Alert army and Border Police forces foiled a planned terror attack by two Palestinians, as they tried to get through a busy Samaria junction, in the northern West Bank Thursday afternoon, according to Israel’s 0404, News.

Border Police inspectors at the Tapuach Junction, who stopped the pair to check their bags, found they contained three small explosive devices, an improvised gun, and a box cutter …

The checkpoint, near the large Palestinian-inhabited city of Nablus, is frequented by both Israelis and Palestinians, has often been the site of attempted attacks against both Israeli troops and civilians.

In early June, a Palestinian terrorist opened fire at Israeli soldiers at the junction, just three days after soldiers apprehended another Palestinian terrorist wearing a suicide belt at the same location.

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Thursday, October 2nd, 2014 at 1:31 PM  | Stand For Israel

Ukraine Conflict Renewed with Fighting at Donetsk Airport

(Photo: wikicommons/ MOs810)

(Photo: wikicommons/ MOs810)

Yesterday we reported on the resumption of fighting in Ukraine, which led to the shelling of a school and a bus, leaving at least 10 people dead in the war-ravaged city of Donetsk. Today, BBC News reports that fierce fighting is also taking place at the airport in Donetsk:

Rebel forces in eastern Ukraine are conducting an offensive to capture the government-held airport in Donetsk, officials say.

Pro-Russian rebels have tried several times in recent weeks to take the airport, which lies to the north-west of the city, despite an official truce.

The Ukrainian military said the rebels were moving on “a broad front”.

However a spokesman denied claims they had taken a large part of the airport and insisted it was not surrounded.

The ceasefire was called on 5 September, but on Wednesday four people were killed by a shell which landed on a school in Donetsk, and six died when a minibus was hit.

A spokesman for what the Ukrainian government calls its anti-terrorist operation said Ukrainian forces repelled four attacks on the airport on Wednesday evening.

A T-64 tank was destroyed and seven rebels were killed, Vladyslav Seleznyov told Kanal 5 TV.

The rebels used tanks, multiple-launch rocket systems, artillery and mortars, he said, resuming their attacks on Thursday morning with small-arms fire.

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Thursday, October 2nd, 2014 at 9:16 AM  | Stand For Israel

Jerusalem: The Undivided Capital of Israel

(Photo: flickr/ agroffman)

(Photo: flickr/ agroffman)

Smiles and warm handshakes exchanged by Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu at their White House meeting yesterday quickly turned into jibes and snarky rebukes which have been the hallmark of the often hostile relationship shared by the two leaders, whose mutual dislike for each other is fortunately overcome by the bond of the two nations they lead.

The squabble which overshadowed the warm White House reception enjoyed by the Israeli premiere erupted when reports of a Jerusalem Municipality decision to approve construction of 2,500 apartment units in East Jerusalem was publicized by leftist NGO Peace Now, just hours before Obama and Netanyahu met in Washington. Shortly after the meeting, the White House issued some of its harshest condemnation towards Israel to date, warning that construction of these units would distance the Jewish state from its “closest allies” and declaring that Israel’s decision to build in East Jerusalem is “poisoning the atmosphere” with our supposed “peace partner,” the Palestinian Authority.

Netanyahu and mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat defended the building approval by stating that Jerusalem is Israel’s undivided capital and no construction freeze will be imposed based on race or religion. In fact, a third of the residential units in the new plans are intended to be used for Arab housing. Considering that Arabs make up roughly one third of Jerusalem’s residents, this new project equally benefits both Jews and Arabs living in an overcrowded metropolis in desperate need of new housing to meet the growing demands of its residents.

In general, Arab residents of Jerusalem enjoy far greater freedom to live anywhere in the city than their Jewish neighbors. Just this week, Jewish residents moved into legally purchased apartments in Jerusalem’s Silwan neighborhood, on the eastern side of the Western Wall, a mere five-minute walk from Judaism’s holiest site. Upon moving into their newly purchased apartments, the Jewish residents were greeted by their new Arab neighbors with a bombardment of stones and Molotov cocktails. Riot police had to be called in to calm the situation….

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Thursday, October 2nd, 2014 at 8:58 AM  | Stand For Israel

Palestinians Still Won’t Negotiate

(Photo: wikicommons/ Peter Fedynsky)

(Photo: wikicommons/ Peter Fedynsky)

While the meeting yesterday between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu was marred by the White House’s reaction to Israel’s declaration to build in East Jerusalem, it was also marred by the actions of Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas. Right before the Obama-Netanyahu meeting, Abbas submitted his latest U.N. proposal for Palestinian statehood. Writing at Commentary, Tom Wilson says that while the proposal’s demands are ridiculous, it is even more ridiculous that Abbas expects these demands to be met before he’ll even negotiate:

The draft of the Palestinian proposal, submitted just as Prime Minister Netanyahu was about to step into the Oval Office for a meeting with President Obama, seeks to win UN Security Council backing for a deadline that would force Israel to cede the West Bank by November 2016. But that is not all. The petition also gives an extensive rundown of what the final settlement must look like. In addition to the total Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and Jerusalem being turned into the Palestinian capital, the resolution also calls for a complete end to all Israeli military activity in the territories, an end to any Israeli settlement construction, an opening of all Gaza’s borders, and the deployment of an international force throughout the disputed territories–for the protection of Palestinian civilians, of course. Naturally the resolution draft also calls for a just settlement of Palestinian refugees, which is code for Israel being obliged to allow several million Arabs claiming Palestinian descent to relocate to the Jewish state.

Now, you can think these demands are reasonable or you can think that they are not. But what is undeniable is that it is ridiculous for Abbas to have essentially made meeting all his demands the precondition for his participation in any further peace talks. What kind of negotiation is it that can only begin once all of the outcomes have already been decided? In effect what the Palestinians have said is that there will…

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Thursday, October 2nd, 2014 at 8:47 AM  | Stand For Israel

Obama and Netanyahu Meet at White House

(Photo: ASHERNET/Amos Ben Gershom)

(Photo: ASHERNET/Amos Ben Gershom)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the White House today and met with President Obama. The Times of Israel reports on what the two leaders discussed during this, their first meeting since Operation Protective Edge:

Referring to Netanyahu by his nickname “Bibi,” the president said their talks would focus on rebuilding Gaza and paths to Israeli-Palestinian peace. It would also cover the struggle against ISIS, and the Iranian nuclear program.

“It’s challenging, I think, for an Israeli prime minister to have to work so hard during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur,” Obama said. “But I know that the prime minister’s utmost priority is making sure that his country is safe during these difficult times, and we’re glad that the United States can be a partner in that process.”

Netanyahu struck a conciliatory tone before the gaggle of cameras and reporters, thanking Obama for his “unflinching support” of Israel, praising the “strong” US-Israel relationship, and saying he is committed to a two-state solution. That would require, he stressed, however, “mutual recognition” and “rock solid security arrangements on the ground.”

He praised Obama for approving new funding for Iron Dome — “which has saved so many lives” — at the height of the conflict. He also highlighted the “continuous bond of friendship.”

He also repeated his call for Arab involvement in the peace process.

Something was “changing in the Middle East” offering a new “commonality of interest between Israel and leading Arab states, and I think that we should work very hard together to seize on those common interests and build a positive program to advance a more secure, a more prosperous and a more peaceful Middle East. I remain committed to a vision of peace of two states for two peoples based on mutual recognition and rock solid security arrangements on the ground,” he said. The US and Israel should “think outside the box” and “see how we can recruit the Arab countries to advance this very hopeful agenda.”

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Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 at 2:01 PM  | Stand for Israel

10 Dead When Ukrainian School and Bus Are Shelled

(Photo: youtube)

(Photo: youtube)

While the recent ceasefire in Ukraine has provided something of a respite for the nation’s Jewish communities and all others whose lives have been devastated by war, a tragic incident today shows that there is no real peace in the embattled region. Vice News reports that fighting in the city of Donetsk has resulted in the shelling of a school and bus, leaving 10 people dead:

At least 10 people were killed on Wednesday as fighting around Donetsk airport spilled into a nearby residential area, with shells hitting a local bus and a school playground in the north of the city.

The shells hit the playground in the Kyivskiy district on the first day of the school year in Donetsk, where the start of term had already been delayed by a month due to safety concerns over fighting in and around the city. No children were killed, but a parent, biology teacher, and rebel wearing military fatigues were among the dead, Reuters reported. Six bodies from the bus, which took a direct hit, were visible in the street, two inside the bus and four more on the sidewalk where emergency services battled to save the lives of the seriously wounded …

Wednesday’s violence comes more than three weeks into a supposed ceasefire that has long only existed on paper. Although officially the peace deal agreed by the warring parties on September 5 in Minsk is still holding, in practice it has been violated near daily ever since it was signed.

Violence is now escalating with heavy fights being reported in several flashpoint areas across the region including districts near Donetsk airport, as well as Debaltseve, Shchastya and Popasna.

On Monday alone heavy fighting in the vicinity of the airport killed seven Ukrainian soldiers and three civilians. A further 28 people were wounded.

The United Nations estimates that more than 3,000 people have been killed in fighting in east Ukraine since the conflict broke out in mid-April and up to 1 million people have been displaced.

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Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 at 1:11 PM  | Stand for Israel

Watch: Rioters Attack Jerusalem Day Care Center on Mount of Olives

(Photo: Flickr/ IDF)

(Photo: Flickr/ IDF)

While the rocket attacks on Israel have ceased – for now – the Jewish state and its people are still experiencing many violent attacks. Arutz Sheva provides a disturbing video showing Arab rioters throwing rocks at Jewish children on the Mount of Olives:

Arab rioters hurling rocks, fireworks and molotov cocktails at a Jewish infant day care center on Ma’ale Hazeitim, the Jewish neighborhood on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, were caught on film on Tuesday in further testimony to the ongoing “silent intifada” in the capital.

The video, which was posted by Jerusalem Council Arieh King to his Facebook on Tuesday, shows four Arab criminals throwing various of projectiles with impunity for many long minutes from a protected nook on one of the rooftops, forcing infants to be rushed inside to bomb shelters.

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Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 at 10:57 AM  | Stand for Israel

Human Shields Aren’t Rethinking Hamas

(Photo: IDF blog)

(Photo: IDF blog)

Yesterday Stand for Israel reported on a new poll that showed 80% of Palestinians support resumed rocket attacks against Israel. Writing at Commentary, Jonathan Tobin explains why these people – used by Hamas as human shields – still support the terror group:

In the aftermath of its disastrous 50-day war against Israel this past summer Hamas saw its popularity skyrocket with huge majorities in both Gaza and the West Bank telling pollsters that the Islamists “won” and that they supported their conduct. A month later, Palestinians have sobered up a bit. But the latest numbers paint a picture of a population that is still not ready for peace or anything that looks like it …

Palestinians continue to support Hamas firing more rockets at Israel if the blockade of Gaza is not lifted with 80 percent overall endorsing this position and 72 percent of Gazans also backing the proposition. Given that the only reason the blockade was imposed on Gaza to begin with was the Hamas coup with which the group seized power in 2007, this position sets up a circular argument. But far more shocking than that is the response to the question posed about whether they support Hamas firing rockets from populated areas.

While Hamas generally denies doing this, it is not exactly a secret that it does it so as to use civilians as human shields against possible Israeli counter-attacks aimed at silencing the rocket launchers. Nor are Palestinians unaware of the fact that this practice deliberately exposes them to death and destruction, a cynical tactic whose purpose is to get as many civilians killed as possible.

Yet the survey showed that a solid majority of Palestinians—57 percent—supported this slaughter …

Though enthusiasm for Hamas is not unanimous, it remains more popular than its Fatah rivals. Why? Because the unchanging dynamic of Palestinian politics is that whichever party spills the most Jewish blood will always have the upper hand. Since its inception a century ago, Palestinian Arab…

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Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 at 8:49 AM  | Stand for Israel

Islamic State Using Human Shields

(Photo: flickr/ News Feed)

(Photo: flickr/ News Feed)

During Operation Protective Edge, Hamas once again resorted to its tactic of using Gaza’s civilians as human shields. They are not the only terrorist organization to do this, though. Writing at World Affairs Journal, Michael J. Totten says that the Islamic State (IS or ISIS) is using human shields in its fight against the U.S.-led coalition:

The Pentagon says Islamic State fighters in Syria are using human shields to protect themselves from American airstrikes. I can’t verify that claim, but it’s a little like saying the Islamists breathe oxygen. Of course they’re using human shields. It’s what terrorist armies in the Middle East do when facing a civilized enemy.

It wouldn’t accomplish squat against a war criminal like Bashar al-Assad. His regime would happily take out a thousand Sunni civilians to kill a single Islamist fighter. He’d see the thousand civilians as bonus points. But the West doesn’t fight like that and the Islamic State knows it …

The US cares more about the welfare of Sunni Muslims in Syria and Iraq than the Islamic State does—which is not likely to help the medieval head-choppers and crucifixion enthusiasts much in the hearts-and-minds department.

Hamas gets an almost-free pass for this gruesome behavior in Gaza, but that’s only because no one but Israelis and Palestinians fear Hamas might one day come after them. Dozens of countries are involved in the war against the Islamic State, including Arab countries, and the Islamic State is clearly at war with the entire human race, beginning with the very civilians it’s hiding behind.

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Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 at 8:41 AM  | Stand for Israel

Poll: 80% of Palestinians Support Resumption of Rocket Fire Against Israel

(Photo: REUTERS/Baz Ratner)

(Photo: REUTERS/Baz Ratner)

After Operation Protective Edge, one would imagine Palestinians might think twice about launching rockets into Israel. However, The Algemeiner reports that a new report published this week instead shows that 80% of the Palestinians polled support resuming terrorist attacks against the Jewish state:

The poll, conducted in recent days among 1,200 respondents aged 18 and over, at 120 locations throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip, presents a different picture than that obtained from a similar survey conducted immediately after Operation Protective Edge about a month ago

Eighty percent of respondents made ​​it clear they would support firing rockets and mortars at Israeli communities if Israel does not allow unfettered access to the coastal enclave. 57 percent of respondents also claimed that they supported launching rockets from populated areas in the Gaza Strip. However, the breakdown of this figure shows that most Gaza residents – 52 percent – oppose such a course of action, while in the West Bank that step has a clear majority: 62 percent …

Meanwhile, Hamas may be returning to self-production of rockets in Gaza, and has been testing out new models, by firing them out to sea, according to Israel Defense News.

A rocket was recently fired from the ruins of the former Jewish community of Netzerim, according to Monday’s report, the fifth such test since the end of Protective Edge on Aug. 26th.

As well, Hamas is seeking to restore hundreds of lathes used to construct rockets, according to the IDF; some 50 percent of them were destroyed during the fight, the army believes.

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Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 at 11:58 AM  | Stand For Israel

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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.

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