Will Iran Tip the Balance Toward Hamas?

(Photo: flickr/theisraelproject)

(Photo: flickr/theisraelproject)

Aside from the obvious threat of a nuclear Iran, the deal made with the Islamic Republic poses other dangers to Israel and the world. One of these is the hundreds of billions of dollars in sanctions relief the deal will grant Iran. Commentary’s Jonathan Tobin writes that this money will allow Iran to better sponsor terrorism, greatly helping Hamas in its goal of destroying the Jewish state:

We already knew that Iran is funding Hamas’s re-armament plans and the construction of new terror tunnels along the border with Israel. But it is now apparently also hoping to using its influence in the region — which has been enhanced immeasurably by the nuclear deal — to ensure that the Palestinians are focused on fighting Israel rather than making peace with it.

Iran was Hamas’ principal patron through much of the last decade funneling arms and money to the Islamists in Gaza so as to create a southern front against Israel. With Iran’s Hezbollah auxiliaries facing Israel in the north with tens of thousands of terrorist missiles, that gave Tehran a formidable strategic threat against the Jewish state that made its nuclear program even more ominous…

The nuclear deal with the West won’t just give Iran a path to a nuclear weapon once the pact expires in a decade. In the meantime, their new status as a threshold nuclear power and the wealth that will pour into Tehran gives the Islamist regime the ability to advance their goals of regional hegemony and war on Israel.

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Thursday, August 20th, 2015 at 7:20 AM  | Stand for Israel

Spanish Festival Flip-Flops on Ban, Re-invites Matisyahu

(Photo: wikicommons/Jkupry1)

(Photo: wikicommons/Jkupry1)

While so much of the time, the world and the international media seems to be anti-Israel, it is comforting when a decision in favor of the Jewish state and Jewish people is made. We reported on the banning of Jewish singer Matisyahu from a music festival in Spain, due to his refusal to support the anti-Israel BDS movement. Now, The Times of Israel says that the festival’s organizers have changed their minds and will allow the musician to perform:

A Spanish music festival that disinvited Jewish American reggae singer Matisyahu over his refusal to endorse a Palestinian state apologized and extended a new invitation to the singer to perform, Spanish media reported Wednesday…

“Requiring a public declaration, which was demanded of him alone, is a violation of conscience and — to the extent that it came because Matisyahu is Jewish — challenges the principle of non-discrimination which is the basis for all plural and diverse societies,” the Spanish Foreign Ministry said in a statement Tuesday.

The United States Embassy in Madrid on Wednesday welcomed the ministry’s statement with its own condemnation of the incident. The embassy said the United States promotes and defends “fundamental liberties,” and called reports of the initial cancellation “troubling.”

The Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain also condemned Matisyahu’s exclusion, while in an editorial Tuesday, leading Spanish newspaper El Pais wrote, “He is the only musician performing at Rototom, which is funded with public money, who has been requested to make such a statement, and to make matters worse, he has been asked to do so solely on the grounds that he is Jewish: as said, he is not an Israeli national.”

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Wednesday, August 19th, 2015 at 3:00 PM  | Stand for Israel

Hamas Claims to Nab Israeli Spy Dolphin

(Photo: NASA)

(Photo: NASA)

A couple of years ago, Stand for Israel reported on the ridiculous Hamas claim that it had captured an eagle trained by the Mossad. Now, the Gaza-based terror group is up to the same type of shenanigans. The Times of Israel reports that Hamas is now claiming to have nabbed an Israeli spy dolphin:

Hamas claims to have captured a dolphin that was spying for Israel, Army Radio reported Wednesday.

The dolphin was said to have been equipped with “spying equipment” including cameras.

It was captured off the Gaza coast by the naval unit of the Hamas military brigades…

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Wednesday, August 19th, 2015 at 10:25 AM  | Stand for Israel

US Black Churches Rally in Support of Israel

(Photo: Justin McMahan)

(Photo: Justin McMahan)

Much of Rabbi Eckstein’s mission – and the mission of The Fellowship – has been building bridges between Christians and Jews. Arutz Sheva reports on his latest alliance, rallying support for Israel at African-American churches in the U.S.:

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder and president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), has rallied several major African-American churches in Detroit in support of Israel.

Eckstein spoke on Sunday before the congregations of the Second Presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ at the New St. Paul Tabernacle; the mega-church Third New Hope Baptist Church; and Family Victory Fellowship.

“We know that you take very seriously the biblical imperative to stand with Israel, and every day you show the world that Israel is not alone,” Eckstein said.

“The people of Israel and the Jewish people around the world can have confidence that you stand united with them, for peace for the Jewish State and for all peoples in the Middle East.”

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Wednesday, August 19th, 2015 at 8:45 AM  | Stand for Israel

Iran “Would Have Harmed” Nuclear Chief for Revealing Nuke Activity to US

(Photo: wikicommons/IAEA)

(Photo: wikicommons/IAEA)

As Congress prepares to either approve or disapprove the Iranian nuclear deal, it is doubtful that they have received all of the necessary information regarding Iran’s nuclear program and intentions. The Islamic Republic’s duplicity is becoming clearer, however, as The Times of Israel’s Tamar Pileggi reports that Iran threatened the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) if he shared details of the Iranian nuclear program with the U.S.:

According to the report, Tehran officials warned IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano of retaliation if he revealed specific information outlined in confidential documents handed over by Tehran for the IAEA probe of its nuclear weapons development.

“In a letter to Yukiya Amano, we underlined that if the secrets of the agreement [roadmap between Iran and the IAEA] are revealed, we will lose our trust in the Agency; and despite the US Congress’s pressures, he didn’t give any information to them,” Atomic Energy Organization of Iran spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi told Iranian lawmakers Monday, Fars said.

“Had he done so, he himself would have been harmed,” he added…

During Amano’s recent official US visit to brief lawmakers on the accord, the IAEA chief declined to give Congress a copy of the confidential inspection documents handed over by Tehran.

Republican lawmakers criticized Amano for withholding the information, claiming they needed access to the confidential documents to decide whether to vote to approve or disapprove the deal in September.

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Tuesday, August 18th, 2015 at 2:20 PM  | Stand for Israel

The Matisyahu Incident and the BDS Anti-Semitism Connection

(Photo: flickr/maxim303)

(Photo: flickr/maxim303)

This week, a concert by the Jewish-American musician Matisyahu was canceled in Spain. This would not be news, except for the fact that the show was canceled because the singer refused to agree with the BDS movement’s agenda. Commentary’s Jonathan Tobin discusses the incident before posting Matisyahu’s own response:

It shouldn’t have taken the decision of a music festival in Valencia, Spain to make this clear. Long before the Rototom Sunsplash told American singer Matisyahu that he must either sign a declaration of support for the creation of a Palestinian state or have his appearance canceled, it was clear that the BDS — boycott, divest, sanction — movement had crossed the line between legitimate criticism of Israel and anti-Semitism…

The facts of the Matisyahu incident are interesting because, as a religious Jew, his public image is so closely tied to Judaism. Though he no longer sports the look of a Hasid of the Chabad movement with which he was once affiliated, the singer whose real name is Matthew Miller is still very much identified as a Jew. Regardless of whether you think a Palestinian state would be a good thing, demanding that he make a political statement about the conflict with Israel is hardly reasonable. Nor does it appear that the pro-BDS organizers of the festival asked any of their other artists to weigh in on those nations and groups that threaten Israel with annihilation.

As the singer explained on his Facebook page:

The festival organizers contacted me because they were getting pressure from the BDS movement. They wanted me to write a letter, or make a video, stating my positions on Zionism and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to pacify the BDS people. I support peace and compassion for all people. My music speaks for itself, and I do not insert politics into my music. Music has the power to transcend the intellect, ideas, and politics, and it can unite people in the process. The festival kept insisting that I clarify my personal views; which felt like…

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Tuesday, August 18th, 2015 at 1:33 PM  | Stand for Israel

Rabbi Eckstein on The 700 Club

 

Last week, Rabbi Eckstein’s biography, The Bridge Builder, was released. He sat down with Pat Robertson on The 700 Club to discuss the book and his decades of work building bridges between Christians and Jews.

Learn more about Rabbi Eckstein’s biography at bridgebuilderbook.com

Click here to order your hardcover copy of The Bridge Builder, or click here to order a copy for Kindle.

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Tuesday, August 18th, 2015 at 8:07 AM  | Stand for Israel

Nuclear Deal Delusions

(Photo: wikicommons/ seyedkhan)

(Photo: wikicommons/ seyedkhan)

Even after the nuclear deal was made with Iran, the Islamic Republic’s leadership has continued to spout hatred and threats against Israel and the West. In response to the latest from Iran, Israel Hayom’s Ruthie Blum writes of the delusions many in the West still have even in the face of such rhetoric:

The Fars article covers Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s address to the so-called 8th International General Assembly of Islamic Radios and Televisions Union about the nuclear deal.

“Washington imagined that it could use this agreement whose fate is not clear yet … to find a way to wield influence in Iran, and this was their intention,” Khamenei said. “But we closed this path, and we will definitely keep it closed. We will not allow the U.S. to influence our economy, or politics or culture. We will stand against such penetration with all our power — that is, thank God, at a high level today.”

He went on to say, “[The Americans] seek to disintegrate the regional states and create small and subordinate countries … but the territorial integrity of the regional states, Iraq and Syria, is highly important to us.”

Elaborating on his own policies, which include “never yielding to excessive demands of the enemies, while safeguarding Iran’s defensive and security capabilities,” and not changing its stance toward the U.S., Khamenei stressed, “Iran fully supports resistance in the region, especially the resistance in Palestine, and supports anyone who fights against Israel and strikes at the Zionist regime…”

In other words, whatever the outcome of its bogus contract with the P5+1, the Iranian regime will proudly remain the greatest state sponsor of terrorism. And it will have lots more money at its disposal for this purpose than it had before its American, European, Russian and Chinese appeasers begged it to accept cash for signing the contract they so desired.

Tell your congressmen and senators to say…

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Tuesday, August 18th, 2015 at 8:00 AM  | Stand for Israel

Desire to Destroy Israel Is Part of Iran’s “Founding Vision”

(Photo: Presidential Press and Information Office)

(Photo: Presidential Press and Information Office)

While much of the media ignores Iran’s threats against Israel, that doesn’t mean such threats have not been – and don’t continue to be – made. The Algemeiner reports that an Israeli think tank published a report yesterday that details Iran’s continued threats to destroy Israel:

In the report, the author, Lt. Col. (ret.) Michael Segall, calls Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei the “chief agitator for the extermination of Israel.” He says this position is a continuation of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s “founding vision” that “the eradication of Zionism is an inevitable precondition for redeeming contemporary Islam.”

According to the report, this fight to destroy the Jewish state has been an axiomatic directive of the Islamic Republic of Iran from the founding of the theocracy in 1979, which could never be “questioned or strayed from,” and was an “objective to be perpetually and actively pursued…”

This hostility towards Israel, he asserts, allows Iran to fulfill two main aspects of Khomeini’s ideology: exporting the worldview of the ruling mullahs by posing as a champion of the Palestinian cause, expanding its regional influence in the process, and ultimately gaining enough power to pose a significant threat to Israel…

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Monday, August 17th, 2015 at 7:34 AM  | Stand for Israel

IDF Prepares as Jihadist, Hezbollah Threats Mount

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

As Stand for Israel has mentioned before, Iran’s nuclear aspirations are not its only threat against Israel. Its sponsorship of terror across the Middle East and around the world is also of great concern. The Times of Israel reports that the IDF is preparing to defend the Jewish state against threats from Iran-backed Hezbollah and other jihadist groups along Israel’s northern border:

The Israeli military is preparing for a possible ground operation on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights in the event of sustained rocket strikes or coordinated terror attacks against Israel either by Sunni jihadists or Hezbollah operatives.

The number of Islamists flooding into the area close to the border with Israel has the IDF on high alert, Channel 2 reported Sunday, adding that the military held a large-scale drill last week simulating a possible advance into Syria and the evacuation of Israeli civilians from border communities…

The IDF is also planning for a possible Hezbollah offensive directed by Iran, with an IDF source saying that hundreds of Hezbollah members are present in the Golan, and that Tehran has been behind several recent attacks against Israel. Israeli officials have routinely raised concerns over the presence of Iranian and Hezbollah fighters using positions in the Syrian Golan, partially held by rebel forces, to attack Israel.

“It’s clear that Iran is behind all of the terror attacks here [in the Golan] in the past two years,” the IDF officer said Sunday during a briefing with reporters. “The Iranians are using the border – they establish units – whether it’s [Jihad] Mughniyeh, [Samir] Kuntar, and more – to carry out [the attacks].”

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Monday, August 17th, 2015 at 7:23 AM  | Stand for Israel