Violence in Israel Escalates with More Car Attacks, Stabbings

iitnAs tensions continue over access to the holy sites in Jerusalem, terrorist attacks against Israelis are also escalating, with car attacks and stabbings on the rise. Earlier this week, two Israelis were stabbed to death by Palestinian terrorists in separate attacks.

Also this week in Israel in the News:

• Responding to these attacks, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has accused Palestinian President Abbas of helping to incite the violence.
• During a recent international summit in China, President Obama and Russian President Putin discussed the crisis in Ukraine with little progress.
• Israeli surgeons perform groundbreaking brain surgery that could benefit many.

This week’s Israel in the News Perspective features The Fellowship’s founder and president, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, on Israel’s latest terror threat – the so-called “car intifada.”

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Thursday, November 13th, 2014 at 5:00 PM  | Stand for Israel

How to Combat Hunger in Israel

(Photo: Oren Nahshon)

(Photo: Oren Nahshon)

Living in the Israel is a blessing. But the poverty and hunger that plague so many is something The Fellowship‘s Senior Vice President Yael Eckstein sees as a heartbreaking reality, but one that The Fellowship and its faithful friends can help change:

In my work with the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, I am confronted daily with the poverty that plagues much of Israeli society. Speaking both as an Israeli and a Jewish woman, I feel that it is critical for us all to be proud of the incredible progress our young state has made. Yet, at the same time, we must make a pledge to never close our eyes to the growing population of Israelis who live well below the poverty line.

The desperate requests for basic necessities that I see from needy people in Israel are heartbreaking.

One in three children lives below the poverty line, as do close to 25 percent of the elderly. There is no national food program to ensure that people don’t go hungry. The combination of no food cards, no safety net, and a growing poverty rate creates a tremendous need for help. This huge responsibility of feeding Israel’s hungry is left completely to nonprofits such as The Fellowship. It’s hard to digest the scope of the problem until you see it firsthand.

I often remember a life-changing visit I paid to a Fellowship-sponsored soup kitchen in Haifa a few years ago, where the reality of Israel’s underbelly came to full light. Pulling up to the soup kitchen, I saw a crowd of elderly Jews waiting anxiously for its doors to open. As the manager opened the entrance, there was pushing and shoving. The elderly men and women – many of whom were immigrants from Russia – clearly were desperate to receive their only meal of the day.

I had come that day to help kitchen staff serve lunch to these desperate elderly. I tried to squeeze through the line of people to enter the building, but they would…

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Thursday, November 13th, 2014 at 8:42 AM  | Stand for Israel

A Society Indoctrinated

(Photo: ASHERNET)

(Photo: ASHERNET)

The recent wave of terrorism in Israel – with cars being used as rockets to target and kill civilians, and stabbings being carried out in broad daylight – is despicable. It also says a lot about Palestinian society, where such attacks are not only condoned but are met with praise.

In the 20 years since the Oslo Accords and the Palestinian Authority’s creation, Palestinian society has been indoctrinated to hate Jews, an indoctrination the likes of which has not been seen since the fall of Nazism.  Is it any surprise that so many Palestinians are willing to kill Jews even if it gets them killed in the process?

The biggest innovations in Palestinian society during this time have been methods of killing. Once it was suicide bombs. Then it was rockets. This summer we discovered a subterranean tunnel network that would facilitate the kidnapping and killing of Jewish men, women, and children. And now, mowing down Israelis with a car.

Israel’s security establishment cannot keep up with the ever-changing tactics used by Palestinians to target Israeli civilians. And unfortunately, because of decades of incitement and the indoctrination of a whole generation of Palestinians, the chances of lasting peace grow slimmer and slimmer.

Who’s to fault for the violence?

Many people in the West blame Israel. They point to the lack of a peace accord and blame Israel’s construction in Jerusalem and parts of the West Bank – even construction in those areas which no Israeli leader on the left or right would ever relinquish. But to those who hold such views, Palestinian violence is not terrorism. To them, it is a legitimate form of resistance.

The reality is that the Palestinian Authority is to blame. Under their leadership, Hamas was allowed and encouraged to grow and to build a terror network. The P.A. facilitated incitement in Palestinian schools and summer camps, and in the media. The P.A. has continuously glorified “martyrs” who kill Israeli civilians, and has made it their mission to free terrorists from Israeli jails and throw them a…

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Thursday, November 13th, 2014 at 8:41 AM  | Stand for Israel

Israeli Trauma Doctors Leave Their Emotions at the Door

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

Israel and its supporters have watched horrified in recent weeks as terrorists have committed attacks using cars and knives, leaving Israelis dead and wounded. The Israeli physicians who have treated both the victims and their attackers have been forced to make some tough decisions, writes The Times of Israel’s Renee Ghert-Zand, but their ethics and dedication mirror the overall goodness of their nation and its people:

Accused Hamas terrorist Abdelrahman al-Shaludi was brought with severe gunshot wounds by ambulance to Shaare Zedek Medical Center on October 22. He had been shot by police as he tried to flee the scene at a crowded Jerusalem light rail station where he had allegedly run over bystanders, killing two of them, including a 3-month-old baby, Chaya Zissel Braun.

One of Shaludi’s victims, an injured woman, was transported to the hospital at the same time. Doctors at Shaare Zedek opted to treat the terrorist first.

As the doctors saw it, it wasn’t really a choice. Shaludi’s condition was more critical, so he needed more urgent medical attention, regardless of what he had done.

Whatever their opinions about what happens outside the hospital, once they stand within its walls, Israeli physicians, sworn by oath to do no harm and save lives, say they manage to put aside their emotions and treat each and every patient equally.

“Five department heads were called in to try to help save this guy who purposely ran people over,” Dr. Ofer Merin, Shaare Zedek’s deputy director and head of trauma, told The Times of Israel …

The team of physicians performed two surgeries on Shaludi, but he died on the operating table five hours after having been brought to the hospital.

“We gave him 30 units of blood. We did everything we would have done had it been the prime minister or the president, God forbid,” said Merin.

Merin does not deny that seeing victims of terrorist attacks rushed in to the emergency room can provoke strong emotions, but he insists that medical professionals…

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Wednesday, November 12th, 2014 at 3:49 PM  | Stand for Israel

What They Didn’t Tell You About Dahlia

(Photo: Flash90)

(Photo: Flash90)

A recent string of terror attacks in Israel, perpetrated by Palestinian terrorists driving their cars into crowds of people or stabbing Israelis on the street, has left many dead, including 26-year-old Dahlia Lamkus.

The Times of Israel’s Sherri Mandell points out that many news reports offer details about the terrorist and why he felt compelled to attack Israelis and yet leave out the details about this beautiful young life tragically and senselessly cut short:

We learn nothing about 26 year old Dahlia, who was just getting started in life after finishing college, studying occupational therapy so that she could have a job where she could help people who were sick or infirm or disabled to live in a fuller way.

They don’t tell you how she loved to bake with her mother, the two of them bringing rich, luscious cakes to parties and the way she spoke English with an accent — but not a Hebrew accent — a South African accent because her parents made aliyah from there thirty years ago. They don’t tell you how she went to synagogue every Sabbath and smiled at the people in her row before she prayed. And they don’t tell you how she had to hitchhike to get to her job working with children in Kiryat Gat or that she was the main volunteer at Yad Sarah in Tekoa which lends medical equipment like wheelchairs to those who are sick or injured. They don’t tell you how she liked to help brides look beautiful by doing their makeup for them before their weddings.

They don’t care that Dahlia’s father Nachum drives the ambulance in Tekoa. Day and night he is called on to make the drive to Jerusalem, and that Dahlia’s mother cares tenderly for the elderly.

(more…)

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Wednesday, November 12th, 2014 at 8:08 AM  | Stand for Israel

What Will Palestinian Christian Leaders Say Now?

(Photo: flickr/ joshhough)

(Photo: flickr/ joshhough)

The recent violence in Israel has become unbearable. Two are dead – a young woman and an IDF soldier – from terrorist stabbings. Four more have died from attacks that saw terrorists drive vehicles into crowds. Riots and fighting threaten daily life in and around Jerusalem. How will it stop? How can it be stopped? Dexter Van Zile writes that one group that could help ease the strife is made up of Christians:

What we see has all the makings of a Third Intifada that will cost hundreds, if not thousands, of people their lives. It will make life more difficult for both Jews and Arabs.

If the violence continues unabated, there will be more checkpoints in the West Bank and it will be more difficult for Palestinians to get into Israel to work or worship in Jerusalem’s Holy Places.

Tourism will decline, costing shop owners in both Jerusalem and Bethlehem the income they need to survive. A Third Intifada will simply be a disaster for Israelis and Palestinians.

Clearly, somebody in Palestinian society needs to come forward and speak words of peace to their fellow Palestinians.

One group that should be in a position are Christians living in Bethlehem, particularly those associated with Bethlehem Bible College and The Holy Land Trust, located nearby.

Both of these institutions were established by the Awad family, a prominent Christian family in Bethlehem.

For the past few decades, these Christians, who have close ties to the Palestinian Authority, have portrayed themselves as a force for peace and development in Palestinian society.

They have done this at Christ at the Checkpoint Conferences organized by Bethlehem Bible College, where Israel is condemned left right and center for its actions and where Palestinian and Arab violence is downplayed or condoned.

These Christian activists now face a test.

Will they condemn their fellow Palestinians who have run over Israelis with their cars in Jerusalem?

Will they condemn their fellow Palestinians who have stabbed Israelis in…

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Wednesday, November 12th, 2014 at 8:07 AM  | Stand for Israel

The Rabbi in Wartime

(Photo: wikicommons/ Erich Robert Joli Weber)

(Photo: wikicommons/ Erich Robert Joli Weber)

On Veterans Day, we honor those brave men and women who defended our freedoms, yet we sometimes forget the chaplains who provide much-needed faith, hope, and love in wartime and in peace. Tablet’s Hillel Kuttler brings this extremely moving story of a young man at his lowest while fighting in Vietnam, the U.S. Army chaplain who changed his life, and a reunion of families decades later:

For a half-century, the Vietnam War has taken huge bites of Richard Eisenberg’s soul, plaguing him with memories of battles fought and friends lost. He certainly didn’t want to go. In 1960, he graduated Thomas Jefferson High School and bounced between jobs at banks in Manhattan before reaching Vietnam. “I wasn’t doing a whole lot with my life,” he says now. So, hoping to pre-empt the inevitable draft notice, he enlisted in the Army, took eight weeks of basic training at Fort Dix, N.J., then was off to Fort Gordon, Ga., for another two months to become a military policeman. That, he figured, might keep him stateside.

It didn’t. Eisenberg got to Vietnam in August 1964. He’d return, shattered, the following summer.

Lots of vets have rituals to help ease the painful memories: regular visits to the memorial in Washington, drinking sessions with VFW or American Legion buddies. Eisenberg’s ritual is different. He says Kaddish for a fallen friend—one who died not by a bullet but of a heart attack, a military chaplain whom he met just four times …

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Tuesday, November 11th, 2014 at 10:56 AM  | Stand for Israel

U.S. Veteran Helped Get IAF off the Ground

(Photo: wikicommons)

(Photo: wikicommons)

Today we celebrate Veterans Day in the United States. We salute all of the brave men and women of who have fought for our freedoms and defended us against our enemies for more than two centuries.

Recently, Rabbi Eckstein wrote about a new documentary – Above and Beyondthat tells the story of volunteer airmen who went to the newly independent Jewish state in 1948 to help fight off the Arab attack that followed Israel’s declaration of independence. These pilots not only turned the tide of the war in Israel’s favor, they laid the groundwork for today’s Israeli Air Force.

Today, we would like to tell you about one of these men, an American veteran of World War II and a Jewish-American who stood for Israel.

Milton Rubenfeld was born in 1919 into a Jewish family in New York. While he attended college and teaching aerobatics, World War II broke out. The United States, however, was not yet involved in the conflict. Eager to fly combat missions, Rubenfeld joined the Royal Air Force and flew with England. Once the U.S. declared war on Germany, he signed on with the U.S. Army Air Force.

After World War II ended, Rubenfeld – a seasoned veteran of combat – was asked by the Haganah (the predecessor to the modern-day IDF) if he would volunteer to fly for the new state of Israel. Rubenfeld agreed.

This was 1948 – when the American and Russian superpowers had already entered the jet age. But the only fighter plane Israel could procure was the Avia S-199. The S-199 was a Czech-built variant of the Messerschmitt Bf 109, the Nazi fighter plane flown by the Luftwaffe. Not only was this aircraft a symbol of the enemy that had hoped to wipe the Jewish people from the earth, it was also seriously outdated and notoriously difficult to fly.

Five volunteer pilots – Milton Rubenfeld and four other men who had combat flying experience – and four of these S-199 aircraft were all that made…

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Tuesday, November 11th, 2014 at 8:05 AM  | Stand for Israel

Arafat Ten Years Later: A Curse to the Palestinians

(Photo: wikicommons/ Hans Jørn Storgaard Andersen)

(Photo: wikicommons/ Hans Jørn Storgaard Andersen)

Ten years ago today – November 11, 2004 – saw the death of Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat. As chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), president of the Palestinian Authority (P.A.), and leader of Fatah, Arafat spent his life dedicated to the destruction of Israel and her people. While he claimed to hold the interests of the Palestinian people in high regard, former U.S. national security advisor Elliott Abrams writes that Arafat was actually a curse to Palestinians:

[C]harismatic to be sure, but also violent, corrupt, destructive leadership that created the political mess in which Palestinians live today. When he had a great chance for peace, a chance to create a Palestinian state at Camp David in 2000, he said no. He had a historic opportunity then–remember, the foreign “leader” with the greatest number of visits to Bill Clinton’s White House was Arafat–but he kicked it away rather than seizing it. The defense of Arafat is that Palestinians were not really prepared for him to say yes, and not prepared for the concessions peace would require. I agree–but whose fault was that? Arafat’s.

The point is not that every problem facing Palestinians is his responsibility, any more than every benefit Emiratis have can be attributed to Sheik Zayed. But leadership matters enormously, and Arafat’s was a plague for Palestinians–and all their neighbors. Under him the PLO was an ingredient in widespread violence in both Jordan and Lebanon. After the Israeli victory in 1967, civic life began to grow in the West Bank and Gaza. Roughly 700 NGOs were formed, the economy grew, and a far better future seemed possible. But after Arafat returned to rule in 1994, he crushed that civic life, made a mockery of the new Palestinian legislature that had been formed, and substituted a corrupt dictatorship. Theft of aid funds was constant and totaled around a billion dollars. Arafat created 13 “security” forces that he manipulated to assure his total control, and most were also involved…

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Tuesday, November 11th, 2014 at 8:05 AM  | Stand for Israel

Update: IDF Soldier Stabbed in Terror Attack Dies from His Wounds

(Photo: flickr/israluv)

(Photo: flickr/israluv)

Earlier today we told you about the IDF soldier who was stabbed in a Tel Aviv terror attack – as well as the young woman who was killed in a similar West Bank terror stabbing. Now we must report that the soldier, 20-year-old Almog Shiloni, has died from his injuries:

An Israel Defense Forces soldier stabbed by a Palestinian terrorist at a Tel Aviv train station died of his wounds Monday night after doctors spent hours trying to save his life.

Almog Shiloni, 20, of Modiin, died of multiple wounds to his stomach and chest, an official from the Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer Hospital said.

“After resuscitation efforts that began in the field and continued for hours in the hospital, the stabbing victim who arrived at the hospital earlier today was declared dead,” a spokesperson announced.

When Shiloni was first brought into the hospital following the attack he had no pulse, although doctors were able to restart his heart.

Shiloni was critically wounded after being stabbed multiple times in a terror attack at Tel Aviv’s Hahagana train station on Monday afternoon.

His death marks the second fatality in separate terror incidents Monday. After the Tel Aviv attack, a 26-year-old woman was stabbed to death at a bus stop outside the West Bank settlement of Alon Shvut, south of Jerusalem.

Shiloni’s family was by his bedside throughout the day as doctors worked to stabilize his condition …

Please pray for God’s comfort for the families of both victims of these attacks, as well as His protection over all of Israel.

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Monday, November 10th, 2014 at 3:18 PM  | Stand for Israel

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

Rabbi's Commentary
What a Blessing

One of the things I give thanks for every day is the continued and faithful support for Israel and the Jewish people shown by you, The Fellowship’s friends and supporters. I want to share with you just a few words of thanks from those you have helped, so you can see what a blessing you are for each one of them.


Read Rabbi Eckstein's message »

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