Leaving Home, Missing Home

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

As terrorist rockets continue to bombard Israel, and as the IDF continue their battle against those who would do Israel and her people harm, Yael Eckstein talks about how hard it is to leave for a trip when her beloved country is in peril. Lamenting the horrors the war has brought, Yael rejoices at the wonderful moments she has witnessed, as well:

The past few weeks of this war have brought about some terrible moments, yet awesome beauty as well:

-Soldiers covering children with their own bodies, as code red sirens wail

-Children staying up late at night to bake cookies for soldiers

-Singing “Am Yisrael Chai” – “The Nation of Israel Lives” – while huddled in a bomb shelter

-Families in northern Israel opening up their living room and couches to war torn families from the south

-Anonymous pizza deliveries to soldiers on the border.

-Countless volunteers working tirelessly at Fellowship emergency projects in cities under fire

But these are not the only things that have inspired me. Millions of Christians and Jews around the world have been sending their support, love, and prayers to the people of Israel during this difficult time.

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Monday, July 21st, 2014 at 8:29 AM  | Stand For Israel

“Turkish Jews Will Pay Dearly”

(Photo: wikicommons/ Bahar)

(Photo: wikicommons/ Bahar)

As soon as Israel launched its campaign against Gaza terrorists, predictably there was a spike in anti-Semitism around the world. The situation in Turkey is particularly troubling:

At the Israeli Consulate in Istanbul and the Israeli Embassy in Ankara crowds of protesters gathered and shouted anti-Israel slogans.

“Fight! Martyrdom!” they were heard saying in Istanbul. Protesters attempted to enter the building where the Consulate is located three times and lit a fire nearby. Haber Turk described the scene as a “battlefield environment” and rioters were seen throwing stones and bottles at police.

In Ankara an Israeli flag was removed by rioters and replaced by Palestinian and Turkish flags. Police were able to push the crowd back at times. Among the rioters were some of the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) parliament members, according to local reports. After some time, police used tear gas to confront the protesters.

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Friday, July 18th, 2014 at 4:50 PM  | Stand For Israel

IDF troops uncover 21 smuggling tunnels in Gaza

smuggling tunnelThe IDF’s efforts in Gaza are paying off:

IDF soldiers from the Paratrooper Brigade uncovered 8 shafts leading to smuggling tunnels during Friday morning skirmishes in the Gaza Strip. Soldiers from the Givati Brigade also uncovered 13 similar tunnels for a total of 21 so far.

The finds align with the government declaration that the IDF’s main targets in their ground incursion would be tunnels in use by Hamas.

The troops apparently uncovered the tunnels in coordination with intelligence efforts and found a cache of weapons being stored there.

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Friday, July 18th, 2014 at 4:36 PM  | Stand For Israel

Photo Friday: Do Not Be Terrified

(Photo: IDF)

(Photo: IDF)

Do not be terrified by them, for the LORD your God, who is among you, is a great and awesome God. (Deuteronomy 7:21)

As Israel continues its ground campaign against Gaza terrorists, please pray that God will give His people the strength and courage they need during these trying times, and that He will protect the brave men and women of the IDF fighting to protect the country they love. Shabbat shalom, friends.

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Friday, July 18th, 2014 at 1:40 PM  | Stand For Israel

Moral Clarity in Gaza


(photo: Edi Yisrael/Flash90)

Writing at The Washington Post, Charles Krauthammer breaks down the differences between the Palestinian and Israeli leadership, which were summed up well in Prime Minister Netanyahu’s recent quote, “We’re using missile defense to protect our civilians, and they’re using their civilians to protect their missiles.”

To deliberately wage war so that your own people can be telegenically killed is indeed moral and tactical insanity. But it rests on a very rational premise: Given the Orwellian state of the world’s treatment of Israel (see: the U.N.’s grotesque Human Rights Council), fueled by a mix of classic anti-Semitism, near-total historical ignorance and reflexive sympathy for the ostensible Third World underdog, these eruptions featuring Palestinian casualties ultimately undermine support for Israel’s legitimacy and right to self-defense.

In a world of such Kafkaesque ethical inversions, the depravity of Hamas begins to make sense. This is a world in which the Munich massacre is a movie and the murder of Klinghoffer is an opera — both deeply sympathetic to the killers. This is a world in which the U.N. ignores humanity’s worst war criminals while incessantly condemning Israel, a state warred upon for 66 years that nonetheless goes to extraordinary lengths to avoid harming the very innocents its enemies use as shields.

It’s to the Israelis’ credit that amid all this madness they haven’t lost their moral scruples. Or their nerve. Those outside the region have the minimum obligation, therefore, to expose the madness and speak the truth. Rarely has it been so blindingly clear.

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Friday, July 18th, 2014 at 12:49 PM  | Stand For Israel

IDF Soldier Killed


Sergeant Eitan Barak (photo: Flash90)

An Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldier was killed during the ground action in Gaza today, Israel’s first military fatality during this operation.

Sergeant Eitan Barak, 20, from Herzliya, was critically wounded during an operation against rocket launchers in the area of Beit Hanoun and died of his wounds before he could be evacuated. Four other soldiers were injured, one moderately and the rest lightly.

Please pray for comfort for Sergeant Barak’s loved ones and for safety for the rest of the IDF troops working bravely and selflessly to defend the Holy Land.

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Friday, July 18th, 2014 at 10:51 AM  | Stand For Israel

Israel’s Critics Wage War on Reality

Smoke trails from rockets.jpg

(photo: REUTERS/Baz Ratner)

In Commentary, Max Boot writes about the power of images versus the power of facts.

It tells you all you need to know about Hamas that its biggest victory to date against Israel–one that is no doubt being celebrated in the fortified bunkers that house its leadership–was the death of four young Palestinian boys on a Gaza City beach on Wednesday. The boys were apparently killed by an Israeli bomb or missile.

Needless to say, the Israel Defense Forces do not deliberately target children–any more than do the armed forces of the United States or other civilized powers. That is both morally abhorrent and strategically stupid: What possible purpose can be served in killing children? But while deeply harmful and counterproductive for Israel, this inadvertent strike was a big win for Hamas. It produced the most coveted of victories in modern warfare: a front-page picture, taken by the storied New York Times photographer Tyler Hicks, of one dead boy lying on the Gaza sand and another being carried in a man’s arms.

There is no surer or better way for Hamas to make its propaganda point, which is the only point of this entire exercise from its standpoint. Hamas, like other terrorist groups, knows it cannot win a military victory against a much more powerful enemy, but it can win a public-relations victory by fostering the illusion that Israel is the aggressor and the Palestinians its victims.


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Friday, July 18th, 2014 at 9:40 AM  | Stand For Israel

Arab World Increasingly Frustrated With Hamas

Palestinian militants.jpg

Palestinian militants (photo: Alamy/Ahmed Deeb/ZUMA Press)

Writing in the Algemeiner, terrorism expert Steve Emerson says that the Arab media is increasingly open in criticizing Hamas for instigating violence against Israel.

Media in Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Egypt blame Hamas’ actions for inviting Israeli counter attacks and prioritizing conflict over the safety of the Gazan population and criticized the leadership for waging war far from the conflict, a Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) report shows.

After Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal criticized Egyptian inaction in Gaza, Egyptian columnists responded emphatically.

“[Meshaal], we are tired of defending the [Palestinian] cause that you have sold for cheap to an MB (Muslim Brotherhood) gang whose way you followed even though they have lost their [own] way,” wrote columnist Hamdi Razaq. He also called Meshaal out for living in luxurious Qatari hotels instead of fighting in Gaza.

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Friday, July 18th, 2014 at 9:23 AM  | Stand For Israel

Israel Forced to Launch Ground Incursion into Gaza

iitnOn Thursday, the Israel Defense Forces began a ground incursion of the Gaza Strip with a mission to destroy underground tunnels that reach into Israel. This comes after Hamas had rejected two proposed ceasefire agreements.

Also this week in Israel in the News:

• In Gaza, the death toll rises as Hamas continues to use Palestinians as human shields.
• President Obama and other U.S. officials continue to express support for Israel and Operation Protective Edge.
• Meanwhile, the Israeli military campaign has sparked violent anti-Israel protests throughout the world.

This week’s Israel in the News Perspective features The Fellowship’s founder and President Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein on how The Fellowship is responding to the crisis in Israel through the generous support of Christians.

Listen to this show »     Read More »    Comments (4) »

Friday, July 18th, 2014 at 12:10 AM  | betsy.schmitt@ifcj.org

Breaking: IDF Begins Ground Incursion into Gaza

Photo: IDF

Photo: IDF

IDF ground forces have begun moving into the Gaza Strip with the purpose of destroying Gazan terror tunnels leading into Israel, the prime minister’s office confirmed Thursday:

“Israel is committed to act to protect its citizens. The operation will continue until its goals are reached: To bring quiet to the citizens of Israel for a long period of time, and to seriously harm Hamas and other terrorist organizations’ infrastructure in the Gaza Strip,” the statement read.

Prior to the commencement of the ground invasion, the IDF launched a massive wave of combined air and artillery strikes on Thursday night.

The IDF said that the operation will involve infantry, engineering corps, and tank units combined with air force and naval support and intelligence.

Thank you for keeping Israel in your prayers as she continues to fight for her safety.

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Thursday, July 17th, 2014 at 3:02 PM  | Stand For Israel
"informing, equipping and mobilizing individuals and churches to support the
State of Israel"

Rabbi's Commentary
Heartbreak, Courage - and Unity

The news from Israel has been heartbreaking. Ten more IDF soldiers were killed yesterday, five while fighting Hamas terrorists who crossed into Israel through tunnels…

Read Rabbi Eckstein's message »


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