Hamas’ Twitter Campaign Is Mocked Before It Even Starts

(Photo: flickr/ hughes_leglise)

(Photo: flickr/ hughes_leglise)

Desperate to use any ploy or manner of technology to gain favor in the eyes of the world, yesterday Hamas announced that it will begin a social media campaign on Twitter. The terrorist group’s plan has already backfired. The Washington Post reports on the extremely negative backlash the #AskHamas hashtag operation has already received:

According to a number of reports, the media wing of Hamas, the Islamist militant group that controls the Gaza Strip, announced a social media operation aimed at Europeans on Thursday. One feature: The group would set up an English-language Twitter account (@HamasInfoEn) and allow senior members of the group to take questions via the hashtag #AskHamas.

What could possibly go wrong?

A lot, obviously. According to social media analytic company Topsy, there have already been over 3,000 tweets with the hashtag #AskHamas in the last three hours and almost all appear to be negative. Incredibly, the campaign isn’t even due to begin until Friday.

Right now, #AskHamas is going so terribly that you have to wonder if someone was seeking to discredit Hamas. However, the campaign appeared to have been retweeted by Hamas’ Arabic language account and some high-profile members of Hamas, as well as featured in a number of Palestinian news outlets. There have been no denials issued from Hamas at the time of writing.

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Friday, March 13th, 2015 at 8:38 AM  | Stand For Israel

Partnering with the Christian Community for Israel

(Photo: Oren Nahshon)

(Photo: Oren Nahshon)

It is because of The Fellowship’s faithful Christian friends that we are able to help the neediest Jewish people – the elderly, children, families – in Israel, the former Soviet Union, and elsewhere around the world. Writing at The Jerusalem Post, Fellowship Senior Vice President Yael Eckstein talks of her appreciation for this partnership and says that this friendship blesses both Christians and Jews:

There is a phrase I have been hearing more often lately, one that agitates me to no end. It makes me feel like so many of my people are being foolish and blind about the fate of our nation, which has been friendless for thousands of years and has only recently acquired a deep and respectful friendship with a group of people we used to consider “the other.”

Let me set the scene for you.

I receive a phone call from the executive of a large non-profit organization or company in Israel saying they need to meet with me about an urgent issue. I clear my schedule and arrive at the meeting. With a big smile, the executive opens our meeting with a line that goes something like this: “For years, I’ve been reluctant to receive money from Christian Zionists, but now we’re in a very difficult situation, so we have decided to accept money from The Fellowship.”

Astonished and angered, I try to keep my feelings to myself. But now, it’s time to speak out. It’s time for me to raise my voice, before it is too late.

For more than 30 years, my father, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, has dedicated his life to building bridges between the Jewish and Christian communities. “The Jewish people have never been large in number,” he recently told me.

“To have hundreds of millions of Christian friends support us financially, politically and with prayer puts Israel in a stronger position than we ever could have dreamed of.”

And, indeed, in the past 30 years that friendship has only grown. Today, the Christian community is one of the most…

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Friday, March 13th, 2015 at 8:25 AM  | Stand For Israel

ISIS Video Shows Child Executing Israeli Prisoner

iitnISIS’ shocking brutality reached a new level this week when it released a video showing a young boy, possibly 10 or 12 years old, shooting a man who the terrorist group claim was a captured Israeli spy. Israeli sources have not confirmed if the footage was authentic.

Also this week in Israel in the News:

• Israelis go to the polls next Tuesday, March 17, with incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holding a slim lead over challenger Isaac Herzog.
• Following Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech warning Congress of making a “bad deal” with Iran, a group of U.S. Congressmen have sent an “open letter” to Iranian leaders, saying any nuclear deal that Congress doesn’t approve will not be accepted.
• Last weekend, a Palestinian terrorist rammed his car into a crowd of pedestrians in Jerusalem, injuring five. The attack is the latest in a string of vehicular terror attacks which began last year.
• This week, Hamas said it intends to continue kidnapping IDF soldiers as part of its overall military strategy.

This week’s Israel in the News Perspective features The Fellowship’s Ami Farkas with thoughts on the upcoming Israeli election.

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Thursday, March 12th, 2015 at 5:00 PM  | Stand for Israel

Jewish Teens Attacked in France

(Photo: wikicommons/Tiia Monto)

(Photo: wikicommons/Tiia Monto)

Earlier this year, the terrorist attacks at a Paris newspaper and Jewish kosher deli highlighted the problem of Islamist extremism Europe is facing. More specifically, France – and the entirety of Europe – has become a dangerous place for the Jews who live there. This anti-Semitic violence was demonstrated again today, The Times of Israel reports, as two Jewish teens were attacked after leaving their French synagogue:

Two Jewish teens in France were robbed and beaten after leaving their Marseille synagogue …

According to the victims, the assailants said, “Dirty Jews, we will exterminate all of you,” before they were robbed and beaten. The Jewish teens required medical attention …

“Jewish citizens have become increasingly vulnerable targets,” the BNVCA said in a statement. “This gives rise to insecurity, despite the significant steps taken by the government to try to protect its Jewish citizens, and their places of worship.”

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Thursday, March 12th, 2015 at 3:55 PM  | Stand For Israel

What’s It Like to Be a Christian in Israel?

With anti-Semitism rampant in Europe, a Jewish man recently showed how unsettling it is to walk the streets of Paris as a Jew.

Living freely as a Christian in Israel, Father Gabriel Naddaf – whose projects The Fellowship supports, and who Stand for Israel has long championed – wanted to show how well religious minorities are treated by their fellow Israelis, so he asked a friend to wear a cross through the streets of Haifa. Watch the video to see what happened!

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Thursday, March 12th, 2015 at 1:47 PM  | Stand For Israel

Elections in Israel: Our Futures Are Bound Together

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

Israeli elections are less than a week away. Every sidewalk, billboard, and bit of empty space is covered with campaign ads featuring one of the many leaders Israelis will have to choose from. Unlike American elections, where voters usually elect either a Democrat or Republican, the Israeli system is made up of many political parties.

After the votes have been tallied, the president gives the winning party 30 days to form a coalition government – and this is where the real political maneuvering begins. This involves making deals and offering ministerial positions – besides the prime minister spot, to which the leader of the winning party is entitled – to some of your fiercest political foes. If the leading party cannot form a coalition government during that time, the president assigns the next party in line to do so.

This democratic engineering can make for some very awkward partnerships. Current Prime Minister Netanyahu’s coalition government is made up of parties from the left and right of the Israeli party system, parties that could not find enough common ground to keep the government functioning for a full term.

But life here goes on despite political changes. In Israel, Election Day is a national day off of work. And Israelis I have spoken to are more excited to talk about what they’re going to do with their families on their day off, rather than who they will choose to be the nation’s next leader.

This past Sabbath on the playground, a man approached me wanting to know what a religious person like myself thought about the election, and who I planned to vote for. He listened respectfully as I explained why I want a right-wing government, and why I don’t believe peace with the Palestinians is possible right now.

We spoke for a while, and eventually the man left with his family, but not before telling me he was voting for a far-left government, and believed we could achieve peace with the Palestinians through negotiations. And while I disagreed with this gentleman’s viewpoint,…

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Thursday, March 12th, 2015 at 8:26 AM  | Stand For Israel

Hamas Working to Outsmart Iron Dome

(Photo: Alamy/Ahmed Deeb/ZUMA Press)

(Photo: Alamy/Ahmed Deeb/ZUMA Press)

During last summer’s conflict with Hamas, Israel’s Iron Dome defense system saved countless lives by knocking down rockets launched by the Gaza-based terrorist organization. While the Iron Dome is invaluable in defeating powerful long-range missiles, the terrorist attacks that did the most damage were from shorter-range rockets and mortars. The Algemeiner reports that Hamas is now investing in short-range missile production in order to beat Israel’s defenses:

Gaza based terror group Hamas is attempting to bolster its capabilities with shorter range rockets, that have a maximum range of 30 kilometers, in order to bypass Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system.

Seven months after Operation Protective Edge, the IDF’s Southern Command has concluded that the ongoing rocket trials being carried out by the terrorist organization are not focused on long-range rockets, principally because the Iron Dome system virtually neutralized them in the last engagement between the IDF and Hamas.

“Almost all of the trials being tested out to sea are short-range,” a senior IDF officer told Israel’s NRG news, adding that in recent months there were no long-range tests. “They are now working on improving their short-range rockets. I guess they learned their lessons and understood that Iron Dome will take down their long-range rockets. In fact, it has even become more difficult for them to smuggle these weapons into the Gaza Strip, since the tunnels and the Philadelphi Corridor are almost completely closed.”

The IDF is monitoring Hamas’ rocket experiments in order to gather intelligence, as well as develop knowledge on the progress of Hamas’ capabilities, and to see whether new rockets are being smuggled into Gaza or whether the production has become more domestic …

… Hamas, which has already publicized that it has returned to building up the strengths of its forces in anticipation of the next battle with Israel. Israeli monitoring of developments in the Strip reveal that Hamas is up to much of its old habits, like digging tunnels and building rockets launchers.

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Thursday, March 12th, 2015 at 8:19 AM  | Stand For Israel

Remembering the Coastal Road Massacre

(Photo: wikicommons/MathKnight)

(Photo: wikicommons/MathKnight)

Today marks the 37th anniversary of the terrorist attack known as the Coastal Road Massacre. March 11, 1978, witnessed what Time magazine called “the worst terrorist attack in Israel’s history.

The attack began when 11 Palestinian terrorists from the Fatah group landed on the Israeli coast from Lebanon. After murdering a Jewish-American tourist on the beach, the terrorists shot at passing cars on the Coastal Highway, and hijacked a taxi, killing those inside. Next, they hijacked a bus. After the terrorists killed a teenager in a passing car, Israeli police were alerted and began to follow the bus.

The terrorist-held bus passed through many roadblocks – with exchanges of gunfire with police at each – before being stopped when its tires were punctured by nails planted by the police. There, at the Glilot Junction, Israeli police were finally able to stop the terrorists, killing nine of them in the process. During the final firefight, the bus burst into flames and exploded, and terrorists gunned down escaping hostages. By the end, 38 Israelis – including 13 children – had been killed, with another 71 wounded. Today, 37 years later, we honor the memory of those who lost their lives, and again ask God to bring peace to His people, Israel.

In this video, a survivor of the attack gives a first-person account of the Coastal Road Massacre (in Hebrew, with English subtitles):

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Wednesday, March 11th, 2015 at 12:42 PM  | Stand For Israel

Supporters of Deal Are Strengthening Iran’s Negotiating Position

(Photo: U.S. Dept. of State)

(Photo: U.S. Dept. of State)

Throughout the continuing nuclear talks with Iran, Stand for Israel has stood against making a bad deal with the Islamic Republic – a deal that would allow the very nation that threatens Israel’s existence to obtain nuclear weapons. Yet there are many who still want such a deal to be made. Writing at the Gatestone Institute, Alan Dershowitz argues that supporters of such a bad deal are only giving Iran more leverage with which to negotiate:

Despite repeating the mantra that “no deal is better than a bad deal” with Iran, the United States seems to be negotiating on the basis of a belief that the worst possible outcome of the current negotiations is no deal. Many supporters of the deal that is now apparently on the table are arguing that there is no realistic alternative to this deal. That sort of thinking out loud empowers the Iranian negotiators to demand more and compromise less, because they believe — and have been told by American supporters of the deal — that the United States has no alternative but to agree to a deal that is acceptable to the Iranians …

This is the worst sort of negotiation strategy imaginable: telling the other side that any proposal that is not acceptable to them will be taken off the table, and that any leader who offers it will be attacked as a deal breaker. This approach — attacking Netanyahu without responding to his proposal on their merits — characterizes the approach of the administration and its supporters.

We will now never know whether Iran might have accepted a conditional sunset provision, because the advocates of the current deal, both inside and outside the administration, have told Iran that if they reject this proposal, it will be withdrawn, because it endangers the deal. What incentive would the Iranians then have to consider this proposal on its merits? None!

The current mindset of the deal’s advocates is that the United States needs the…

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Wednesday, March 11th, 2015 at 8:22 AM  | Stand For Israel

Rabbi Eckstein on America and Israel in the World Today

Last week, Rabbi Eckstein addressed a group of The Fellowship’s donors and board members in Florida. Watch him speak about the concerns that Israel and America share in today’s world.

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Tuesday, March 10th, 2015 at 2:23 PM  | Stand For Israel

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

Rabbi’s Commentary
The Lord Is in This Place

For decades, The Fellowship has built bridges between Christians and Jews in the U.S., Canada, Spanish-speaking nations, Australia, and South Korea…


Read Rabbi Eckstein's message »

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