Ambassadors of Terror

(Photo: wikicommons/ Farzaaaad2000)

(Photo: wikicommons/ Farzaaaad2000)

Iranian diplomat Ahmed Sabatgold has been more involved in terrorism than diplomacy, as he was recently caught gathering intelligence about the Israeli embassy in Uruguay, and is also suspected of having planted an explosive device near Israel’s embassy in Montevideo in early January.

Sabatgold was serving as a political consultant for the Iranian embassy when he was caught planning a terrorist attack against Israeli diplomats. Apparently, while wining and dining other diplomats, Iranian diplomats also gather intelligence in order to facilitate terror attacks on foreign soil.

The government of Uruguay tried to keep a lid on the affair, so as not to embarrass and thus damage its relations with Iran, which has one of the world’s largest oil reserves and far-reaching influence in South America. So Ahmed Sabatgold was given sufficient time and warning to leave Uruguay as a diplomat with his head held high, as opposed to being expelled or detained for being the terrorist that he is.

Only a few weeks ago, Argentinian prosecutor Alberto Nisman was assassinated hours before he was set to reveal the Argentinian government’s role in covering up Iran’s direct involvement in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires that killed 84 people. Nisman’s body was discovered shortly before he was to present evidence which would have exposed Argentina’s President Cristina Fernández‘s central role in the cover-up.

Iranian tentacles have a global reach, and its influence in South American countries should worry Israelis and Americans. It amazes me how the Western world has taken up the fight against ISIS, yet Iran is being treated as though they are different from the thugs beheading journalists in Iraq and Syria.

Remember when Barack Obama called ISIS a JV team? Compared to Iran’s global influence, oil reserves, money, army, and missile capabilities, ISIS really is in many respects a junior varsity team. If the West does not wake up before the Persian version of ISIS attains nuclear capabilities, we will enter a period where the most sadistic and extreme Islamic regime will…

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Tuesday, February 10th, 2015 at 8:14 AM  | Stand For Israel

Amid Attacks, The Fellowship Exploring Ways to Help French Jews Make Aliyah

(Photo: Serge Attal/Flash90)

(Photo: Serge Attal/Flash90)

Due to the threat ongoing violence in Ukraine has placed on that nation’s Jewish community, The Fellowship continues to provide aid and aliyah. But with recent violence and terrorism also rampant in France, JNS.org reports on The Fellowship’s efforts to provide help to the French Jewish community, as well:

In the wake of Islamist terror attacks that killed a combined 16 people at the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine and a kosher supermarket in Paris, the leader of a prominent Christian-Jewish aid group told JNS.org that he is exploring ways to help French Jews immigrate to Israel.

Brothers Cherif Kouachi and Said Kouachi, the two Muslim terrorists suspected to have carried out the Charlie Hebdo shooting, were killed Friday in a police raid on a printing shop in the Paris suburb of Dammartin-en-Goele, where the Kouachi brothers had taken one man hostage. A separate but simultaneous raid killed Islamist terrorist Amedy Coulibaly, who took nearly 20 hostages at Hyper Cacher (the kosher supermarket) on Friday and had killed a female police officer on Thursday. According to French police, Coulibaly was a close associate of Cherif Kouachi and may have been involved in the Charlie Hebdo attack.

“There’s no question in my mind that incidents like this [and] the many others recently are increasing the risk for the Jewish community in France and their desire to leave,” Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder and president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), told JNS.org.

France, which has both the largest Muslim and Jewish populations in western Europe, saw a dramatic rise in anti-Semitism in 2014, especially in reaction Israel’s Operation Protective Edge against the Hamas terrorist group last summer. France’s Jewish community suffered several violent attacks, including a recent home invasion and rape in which the attackers referenced the victims’ Jewish faith.

According to Israeli government statistics, France was the leading country for aliyah to Israel in 2014 with new 7,000 arrivals, up from 3,400 in 2013.

While Eckstein said that it is not his organization’s role to take…

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Monday, February 9th, 2015 at 8:53 AM  | Stand For Israel

ISIS Threat Brings Jordan and Egypt Closer to Israel

(Photo: ASHERNET/GPO)

(Photo: ASHERNET/GPO)

The Islamic State (ISIS) has for some time now been a threat to the entire Middle East, as well as to the free world. Because of recent attacks, however, Haaretz’s Amos Harel reports that the threat ISIS poses has brought nations such as Jordan and Egypt closer to Israel, in a “unity of the threatened”:

The two countries that share peacetime borders with Israel, Jordan and Egypt, are dealing with a historic challenge presented by Islamic State, also known as ISIS, and its local extensions. The two countries, which over the past year have strengthened their ties with Israel in light of regional instability, could rely even more on the strategic support their neighbor gives them. Only occasionally is information released by foreign media. Thus, according to a report on CNN last week, Israel sent drones to the Jordanian border with Syria to assist Amman in collecting intelligence with the goal of stopping possible attacks by ISIS from the northern border.

The conflict between Jordan and ISIS worsened following publication last week of a video showing ISIS members immolating the Jordan pilot Muath al-Kaseasbeh, which actually was carried out more than a month ago. A wave of demands for revenge swept over Jordan following the gruesome murder of the captured pilot. The Jordanian air force has already conducted dozens of sorties against ISIS targets in Syria. In Sinai, the Egyptian army has undertaken a major operation against the extremist group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, following the murder of 32 Egyptians, most of them members of the security forces, in a series of coordinated attacks by the group in the northern Sinai Peninsula on January 29. The organization announced it was moving its support from Al Qaida to ISIS in November.

The murder of the Jordanian pilot and recent terror attacks in Sinai have created expectations from both regimes to take strong steps. The Hashemite kingdom sees to it that every aerial assault on ISIS targets in Syria gets maximum media coverage. In Sinai, the Egyptian army is…

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Monday, February 9th, 2015 at 8:47 AM  | Stand For Israel

In Gaza, Youth See Future As Hamas Fighters

225R4  Gaza. kindergarten graduation (5751) .jpgOperation Protective Edge, last summer’s conflict in Gaza, found the IDF putting a dent in much of Hamas’ terror capabilities. But despite the defeat the terrorist organization took, The Times of Israel’s Mai Yaghi reports that thousands of Gaza’s young people are being trained as the group’s next generation of Hamas terrorists:

Hatem is only 14 but has already lived through three wars with Israel. Now the young Gazan says he is making sure he’ll be ready to fight in the next one …

“I will become a resistance fighter,” the boy said proudly during a graduation ceremony in Gaza.

Hatem is one of 17,000 youngsters who graduated late last month from two military training camps where Hamas — the de facto power in Gaza — said it was preparing the next generation to fight against Israel.

Last summer, Israel and Hamas fought a 50-day war that killed nearly 2,200 Palestinians and 73 people, including 66 soldiers, on the Israeli side. Israel maintains that up to half of those killed in Gaza were Hamas fighters.

It was their third conflict in less than five years, following an eight-day conflict in 2012 and a 22-day war in late 2008 and early 2009. Hamas seeks the destruction of Israel.

Children were on the frontline of the latest conflict, with UN figures showing about 500 were killed in Gaza. Jerusalem blamed Hamas for all civilian fatalities, since it placed its rocket launchers and cross-border tunnel openings in Gaza residential areas.

Just five months after the war ended, thousands of those who survived signed up to join the Hamas training camps.

“I want to join the Qassam Brigades because they are the strongest in Gaza,” said 15-year-old Mohammed Abu Harbid, who also took part in the training.

With the humanitarian situation in post-war Gaza growing steadily worse, a fresh flare-up with Israel seems likely, some say.

And with many schools being used to shelter the displaced and unemployment standing at 41 percent, many youngsters were eager to join the camps.

Hamas insists that teaching children how to carry…

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Monday, February 9th, 2015 at 8:31 AM  | Stand For Israel

Photo Friday: The Trees of the Forest Sing for Joy

(Photo: flickr/fabcom)

(Photo: flickr/fabcom)

Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them;
    let all the trees of the field sing for joy. (Psalm 96:12)

This week, the Jewish people celebrated Tu B’Shvat, also known as the “New Year of the Trees.” We rejoice in the bounty and beauty of the Holy Land God has provided for His people. Shabbat shalom, friends.

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Friday, February 6th, 2015 at 12:41 PM  | Stand For Israel

ISIS Meeting Resistance Across Middle East

(Photo: flickr/topsoftbe)

(Photo: flickr/topsoftbe)

When ISIS brutally murdered a captured Jordanian fighter pilot this week – and put the video of him burning alive online – the world was horrified, and parts of it that have been quiet thus far now oppose the expanding terror group. Michael J. Totten writes of the resistance ISIS now faces, and says that the U.S. should do all it can to help those fighting the terrorists:

The Lebanese army is facing as many as 3,000 fighters in the Anti-Lebanon Mountains along the Syrian border and Nicholas Blanford reports a war of attrition is taking place there. In late January the army “roasted” ISIS with artillery, according to a military advisor he spoke to, then picked up “the smoking remains.”

Meanwhile, the Jordanian air force flew devastating sorties over the Islamic State’s “capital” of Raqqa in Syria yesterday to retaliate for the gruesome murder of its fighter pilot Muath al-Kaseasbeh.

Farther afield, ISIS attacked and killed at least 30 Egyptian security men in the Sinai and killed 10 at a hotel in the Libya’s capital Tripoli …

Lebanon is also findings its spine. The army is entirely useless when the country’s various communities slug it out with each other … But Lebanon isn’t Syria, and ISIS is opposed almost monolithically in Lebanon, even among their “natural” Sunni constituency.

ISIS is expanding its deadly operations at an alarming rate, but it’s also finding out the hard way that not every country in the Middle East and North Africa is as soft a target as Syria and Iraq. Libya might be … But taking on Egypt, Jordan, and the Kurdish regions of Syria and Iraq is almost as perilous for ISIS as taking on the Israelis.

Lebanon is more vulnerable—its soldiers are not especially competent—but ISIS would require a diabolical miracle to make any headway in the parts of Lebanon where Christians, Shias, and Druze live. Every family in the country has at least one rifle in the closet, and they’d correctly see ISIS as a potentially…

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Friday, February 6th, 2015 at 12:00 PM  | Stand For Israel

Iran’s Nuclear Dreams

(Photo: wikicommons/ Fastfission)

(Photo: wikicommons/ Fastfission)

This week, the Middle East has been thrown into further unrest – following last week’s Hezbollah attack on Israel’s border, and Iran’s direct threats of violence against the Jewish state. Iran continues to pursue its nuclear aspirations, while ISIS horrifically burned a captured Jordanian pilot alive. Writing at Tablet, Lee Smith provides this insight into the region’s latest turmoil, Iran’s ultimate goals and the flawed manner in which the West is handling the situation:

The point of burning alive Jordanian pilot First Lt. Muath al-Kasasbeh was to outrage onlookers, including his family—but especially the members of his large tribe, the Bararsheh, in southern Jordan. The Jordanian tribes form the core of support for the Hashemite kingdom against the Palestinian West Bankers, who may constitute the country’s majority …

What IS seems to betting on is that Kasasbeh’s death was so gruesome, and so evocative of the hellfire that awaits false believers, that the dead pilot’s tribe, a pillar of the Hashemite monarchy, is likely going to be shocked into wondering whether King Abdullah has pulled them into the wrong war, on behalf of a frivolous and potentially treacherous ally—the United States.

Right now, the Obama Administration sees the Islamic State as a major threat to U.S. national security—and to the political fortunes of President Barack Obama and the rest of the Democratic Party. An episode like the Charlie Hebdo/Hyper Cacher attack played out on the streets of Chicago, say, or New York, would be a catastrophe for the administration, which is why it has enlisted allies like Jordan in its campaign against the deranged jihadists of the fertile crescent …

So, why is the White House turning the Middle East upside down? Obama is willing to throw away a U.S. framework built by American statesmen, soldiers, businessmen, and educators over the last century because he sees a really big prize out there for the taking—an agreement with Iran over its nuclear weapons program that will be the linchpin of a new…

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Friday, February 6th, 2015 at 8:50 AM  | Stand For Israel

Desperate Civilians Evacuate Ukraine

(Photo: flickr/Viktor Kovalenko)

(Photo: flickr/Viktor Kovalenko)

The fighting and violence in Ukraine continues to rage, placing the people of Ukraine in greater danger each day. The Fellowship has been providing aid to the country’s Jewish communities since the conflict started last year, has already had two Freedom Flights out of the nation, and will continue its aid and aliyah. ABC News reports that during a brief truce window today, many Ukrainian civilians are trying to evacuate:

A nine-hour humanitarian truce is currently holding in Ukraine, pro-Russian rebel officials and Ukrainian government officials told ABC News Friday. The two sides agreed that a humanitarian corridor would last from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. local time (11 a.m. ET), allowing civilians to evacuate from Debaltseve, a strategic railway hub that has become the epicenter of recent fighting.

BBC News described the town as “almost too dangerous for civilians,” and many have been trapped in the cross-fire, left without power, heating or running water for almost two weeks, reports the Associated Press.

“Corpses lie on the road, nobody takes them away anymore. People have psychosis, they are afraid to leave the cellar. There is no water, electricity or gas… people have no opportunity to prepare meals or wash their children. They’re melting snow to get water to drink,” Yulia, a recent evacuee from Debaltseve told the Kyiv Post.

Some 5,400 people have died since April, the UN says, and many that are left in the area surrounding Debaltseve are boarding buses today to escape the fighting.

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Friday, February 6th, 2015 at 8:24 AM  | Stand For Israel

King of Jordan Vows Revenge After ISIS Executes Captured Pilot

iitnEarlier this week, the terrorist group ISIS released a gruesome video documenting the execution of Muath al-Kasaesbeh, the Jordanian fighter pilot held by ISIS since December. Jordan’s reaction to the execution was swift as the country unleashed numerous airstrikes on ISIS targets and executed prisoners of war with links to ISIS and al-Qaeda.

Also this week in Israel in the News:

• King Abdullah of Jordan cut short a visit to the U.S., vowing that “the response of Jordan will be tough — earth-shaking” in the wake of the brutal slaying.
• The crisis in Ukraine is escalating to a full-blown conflict, endangering the lives of thousands of civilians, as the U.S. considers how to intervene.
• NATO forces are scrambling to respond to Ukraine as Secretary of State John Kerry calls on Russia to do its part to end the violence.
• Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demands an end to the U.N. investigation of Gaza war crimes, calling the investigation biased against Israel.

This week’s Israel in the News Perspective features The Fellowship’s Yonit Rothchild on remembering Israel’s fallen soldiers.

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Thursday, February 5th, 2015 at 7:56 PM  | Stand for Israel

Netanyahu: Iran Trying to Open New Front Against Israel

(Photo: GPO/Amos Ben Gershom)

(Photo: GPO/Amos Ben Gershom)

With concerns about continued attacks on Israel’s borders with Syria and Lebanon, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traveled to northern Israel yesterday to speak to IDF troops stationed there.

While assessing the IDF’s readiness in the north, Netanyahu spoke of Iran opening a new front against Israel in the region:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon on Wednesday visited the Hermon Brigade and IDF bases overlooking the Syrian and Lebanese borders in the Shebaa farms region and the Golan Heights, assessing from up close the army’s readiness in sectors that have seen increased tension recently …

Netanyahu said, “I came here to see the IDF’s preparations against the developing threats on the Golan Heights. For a while now Iran has been trying to establish a new front here; in addition to the fronts it has already established against us in southern Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.

“It’s curious to me that in the face of this terror activity by Iran, both here in the region and throughout the world, leading countries in the world are not demanding that Iran cease this activity, but are racing to forge a deal that would enable it to have nuclear weapons, and that is the greatest danger of all.

“Israel will oppose this deal, which is dangerous to us, dangerous to the region, dangerous to the world.”

According to Ya’alon, “Iran has recently intensified its efforts to open a front against us on the Golan Heights, and is trying to build a terrorist infrastructure to carry out attacks against us. This is the same Iran that reaches into Afghanistan and Iraq, into Lebanon, Syria and Yemen, and everywhere it has encroached there is instability.”

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Thursday, February 5th, 2015 at 9:12 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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