ISIS Attacks Air Base Housing US Troops

(Photo: flickr/United States Forces Iraq)

(Photo: flickr/United States Forces Iraq)

Stand for Israel has followed the spread of the Islamic State (ISIS) and the horrors it has unleashed across the Middle East. Now it is being reported that ISIS has attacked al-Asad air base in Iraq, which houses U.S. troops:

Eight Islamic State fighters were killed when they attacked an air base where US and coalition forces were training Iraqi forces.

Army Colonel Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, said that initial reports Friday showed that all of the IS attackers were killed by Iraqi troops at or inside a gate to al-Asad air base in the western province of Anbar.

There are about 400 US troops at the base, but Warren said none of the American forces were involved in the fighting. He said the US troops were about two miles (three kilometers) away, in a different section of the sprawling air base.

US unmanned surveillance aircraft and Army Apache attack helicopters were sent to the scene from Baghdad, but the attack was over before they arrived, so they did not engage in fighting.

We thank God that none of the American or friendly forces were hurt, and pray that He continues protecting those who so bravely fight for our freedoms.

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Friday, February 13th, 2015 at 1:39 PM  | Stand for Israel

Photo Friday:
Your Unfailing Love

(Photo: Neve Michael)

(Photo: Neve Michael)

But I trust in your unfailing love;
    my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the LORD’s praise,
    for he has been good to me. (Psalm 13:5-6)

These young girls from the Fellowship-supported Neve Michael Children’s Village in Pardes Hanna, Israel, show their endless appreciation for the unfailing love of The Fellowship’s faithful friends. Because of your love and generosity, so many children can live the lives they deserve. Shabbat shalom, friends.

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Friday, February 13th, 2015 at 12:33 PM  | Stand for Israel

South African University Rejects Call for Expulsion of Jews

(Photo: twitter)

(Photo: twitter)

Stand for Israel has long kept up with the troubling anti-Israel trend in academia. Now we learn that the student council of Durban University in South Africa called for the expulsion of Jewish students who did not support the Palestinian cause. In a turn of an administration making a just decision, The Algemeiner reports that the university has rejected this blatant anti-Semitic discrimination:

The vice chancellor of Durban University of Technology  (DUT) in South Africa on Wednesday rejected the student council’s call to expel Jewish students who do not support the Palestinian cause.

University Vice Chancellor Professor Ahmed Bawa released a statement calling the demand “outrageous, preposterous and a deep violation of our National Constitution and every human rights principle.” He added, “No student at DUT will be discriminated against on the basis of religion, race, gender, political affiliation or sexual orientation.”

Bawa also told South Africa’s Daily News that the request was “totally unacceptable.”

The demand to expel all Jewish students, especially those who do not support the Palestinian agenda, was made by the university’s Students Representative Council and Progressive Youth Alliance.

Natan Pollack, national chairman of the South African Union of Jewish Students, called the suggestion “deplorable.” “To discriminate against people because of their religious and political standpoint goes against freedom of speech,” Pollack said.

The Chairwoman of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, Mary Kluk,  said she was “appalled”  that such demands could be made at an academic institution.

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Friday, February 13th, 2015 at 10:53 AM  | SFI

Palestinian Dictator Abbas Gets a Free Pass

(Photo: White House/ Paul Morse)

(Photo: White House/ Paul Morse)

While the world’s media spends so much of its time, energy, and ink criticizing and demonizing Israel, it rarely does the same for those who are truly at fault. Writing at The Daily Beast, though, David Keyes calls out Palestinian Authority dictator Mahmoud Abbas, whose wrongdoings are ignored by the world:

Which “moderate” Arab president publicly hugged the genocidal leader of Sudan last week? Which Middle Eastern “reformer” just entered his 10th year of a four-year term? Which Western “ally” days ago ordered an investigation into a cartoonist for possibly drawing Mohammed?

The answer is Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

These three stories barely made it into Western press. Why? Put simply, the bar has been set so low that they were not deemed newsworthy. An Arab leader who doesn’t allow elections? Yawn. A Middle Eastern president who embraces one of the worst mass murderers in recent history? Nothing to see here.

There is a tragic disconnect between Western rhetoric and Arab reality. Abbas, if one listens to leaders of the free world, is a moderate, reformer and ally. He is better than Hamas, after all, isn’t he?

Never mind that Abbas said in 2013, “There is no difference between our policies and those of Hamas.” The point is this: Being better than a genocidal terrorist organization does not a “moderate” make. Pretending it does demeans the word. It is condescending to Palestinians and insulting to true moderates.

Less than a month ago, Abbas marched in Paris in solidarity with the cartoonists who were murdered in the attack on the French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo. Last week, he ordered an investigation into a Palestinian cartoonist who may have drawn Mohammed.

Under Abbas’s rule, the Palestinian Authority has arrested activists for Facebook posts and jailed atheists. Two weeks ago, a 22-year-old student was imprisoned for insulting the head of the Palestinian Football Federation. Torture is rampant and Abbas refuses to hold elections, even though his…

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Friday, February 13th, 2015 at 8:52 AM  | Stand for Israel

Caring About the Jews in Ukraine

(Photo: IFCJ)

(Photo: IFCJ)

This week much of the mainstream news has, as usual, been about inconsequential things. Writing at The Jerusalem Post, Fellowship Senior Vice President Yael Eckstein says that hidden under the fluff about celebrities was real news – the fighting in Ukraine that has left thousands dead and many more desperate for help:

Flipping through news sites this week, before Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine reached an agreement that is supposed to lead to another cease-fire, I was dismayed at the media attention reporters gave to Kanye West’s adolescent behavior at the Grammy Awards and Jon Stewart’s departure from The Daily Show – as if these were pressing issues we should concern ourselves with.

Buried under these headlines was real news about fighting in eastern Ukraine, which left thousands of people dead and tens of thousands more trapped and desperate.

I strongly believe the world should have paid greater attention to the senseless violence taking place in Ukraine. The Jewish community in particular should be concerned with the violence inflicted upon a land many of our grandparents called home, and where thousands of Jews are under siege.

Since the Holocaust ended, we have not seen this degree of violence and death in Ukraine. For thousands of Jews who survived the twin evils of the Holocaust and Communism, and put all of their energy into establishing a personal “life after death” in Ukraine, once again their hopes, dreams, and livelihoods were being violently taken from them in an instant. And once again, the world remained silent.

As I watched world events repeat themselves in a terrifying way and saw an international response that was eerily familiar to stories I have read about in history books, I had to ask myself fundamental questions: How serious is the world’s vow of “never again”? And what happened to the Jewish community’s passionate cries of “Let my people go”? Whatever happened to the Jewish motto of Kol Yisrael areivim zeh lazeh (All Jews are responsible for one another)? There are more than 4,000 Jews…

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Friday, February 13th, 2015 at 8:39 AM  | Stand for Israel

Netanyahu Warns Pending Deal with Iran “Bad and Dangerous”

iitnAs U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iran’s foreign minister announced earlier this week that they intend to complete a framework next month on the Iranian nuclear program, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it was a bad deal. Netanyahu said the deal would allow Iran to arm itself with nuclear weapons.

Also this week in Israel in the News:

• A ceasefire agreement set to begin Sunday has been reached between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists.
• Top Democratic congressional leaders have announced plans to be absent when Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu addresses the Congress early next month.
• President Obama has asked Congress to approve military action to fight ISIS.

This week’s Israel in the News Perspective features The Fellowship’s Ami Farkas on the global reach of the Iranian threat.

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Thursday, February 12th, 2015 at 4:59 PM  | Stand for Israel

Female Christian IDF Soldier: “I Came to Serve My Country and My Home”

Stand for Israel fully backs Israeli Christians who decide to protect the Holy Land by serving in the IDF – The Fellowship has long supported projects that both promote this and that support Israel’s Christians. This video from the IDF features Monaliza, who joined the IDF to protect her country and all its citizens.

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Thursday, February 12th, 2015 at 11:46 AM  | Stand For Israel

IDF Arrests Three Hamas Smugglers

Operation Protective Edge put a dent in much of Hamas’ terrorist capabilities in Gaza, but that does not mean that the terror organization has stopped its plans to attack Israel. Just cleared for publication, the IDF reports that less than a month ago, it intercepted three terrorists trying to smuggle weapons materials into Gaza:

On January 19, IDF forces identified a suspicious boat making its way towards the Gaza Strip. The navy, in conjunction with the Israel Security Agency (ISA), intercepted the vessel after requesting that the passengers stop the boat.

The craft was disguised as a fishing boat, but underneath the fishing gear liquid fiberglass was concealed. The liquid fiberglass was intended for Hamas and meant to be used in the manufacturing of rockets and mortars …

The three suspects, Mahmed Bechar, Ahmed Zaidi and Awad Zaidi​, were arrested and interrogated by the ISA. During the interrogation, the suspects admitted that they were sent to collect the manufacturing materials from the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt and to deliver the liquid fiberglass to Hamas’ military wing.

Furthermore, the three men provided detailed information about previous weapon smuggling activities and how Hamas intended to use the fishermen and smugglers for future smuggling attempts.

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Thursday, February 12th, 2015 at 9:47 AM  | Stand For Israel

Is There Such a Thing As “Winning” Against ISIS?

(Photo: flickr/Day Donaldson)

(Photo: flickr/Day Donaldson)

As ISIS continues to terrorize the Middle East – and the world – some have questioned if they can be defeated, and if the U.S. can or should involve itself. Former national security adviser Elliott Abrams writes how ISIS can and should be defeated, and why it is important that we do so:

Surely one of the reasons ISIS is attracting recruits is that it appeared to be winning, going from victory to victory. Potential recruits will naturally want to join such a group instead of its less successful rivals, and may even be persuaded that it is winning because God is on its side.

Here the United States role can be central: stop ISIS from having all these victories. Stop the momentum. Erode the image of success. Traub is not against a military role for the United States, but I think he underestimates the utility of making ISIS a failure. Easier said than done, to be sure, but the rate at which ISIS is conquering territory has changed already, and air power can achieve a great deal against the group.

Traub insightfully discusses the legitimacy and illegitimacy of Arab regimes, ISIS’s ideological and religious appeal, and other aspects of the struggle that may be even more important than the “merely” military side. But ISIS did not gain all that territory and a surge of recruits from around the globe just because of ideology or because its opponents are sometimes regimes whose popularity and legitimacy are questionable. Victory breeds the sense of inevitable future victory–momentum. Defeat, retreat, setbacks, casualties will have an opposite effect. It’s hard to see that happening without leadership from Washington, ranging from military aid and training, to diplomatic efforts to create and lead coalitions, to actual use of American air power and some troops on the ground. ISIS will not be defeated “merely” by battlefield successes, but it won’t be defeated without them.

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Thursday, February 12th, 2015 at 8:52 AM  | Stand For Israel

Syrian, Hezbollah Troops Advancing Toward Israeli Golan

(Photo: wikipedia/Johnny Zoo)

(Photo: wikipedia/Johnny Zoo)

The recent Hezbollah attack in the Golan Heights that killed two IDF soldiers and wounded seven showed once again that Israel is threatened from all sides. Yediot Achronot hammers this point home today as it reports that Syrian and Hezbollah forces are advancing toward the Israeli Golan Heights:

Syrian troops and fighters from Lebanese terror group Hezbollah seized several towns and villages south of Damascus on Wednesday, state media and activists said, advancing in a region bordering the Israeli Golan Heights.

“The operations are being led by Hezbollah’s special forces,” said Rami Abdurrahman, who heads the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. “Their aim appears to be to eventually reach areas bordering the occupied Golan and set up a border zone under Hezbollah’s control.”

The Observatory, which relies on a network of activists around the country, said Iranian volunteers are also taking part in the fighting. It said 20 opposition fighters were killed there on Tuesday alone.

Hezbollah has been fighting alongside forces loyal to Assad, saying it is battling Sunni Islamic extremists who pose a threat to the whole region. Israeli officials accuse Iran, through Hezbollah, of working to establish a base in southern Syria to launch attacks against the Jewish State.

 

 

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Thursday, February 12th, 2015 at 8:36 AM  | Stand For Israel

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

Rabbi’s Commentary
Fighting Anti-Christian Hatred
in the Middle East

Recent reports of violence directed at Christians in the Middle East have horrified us all – Jews and Christians alike. Now more than ever we need unity between our communities of faith…


Read Rabbi Eckstein's message »

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