Iranian Leader’s Bizarre Twitter Feed

(Photo: Presidential Press and Information Office)

(Photo: Presidential Press and Information Office)

All too often, the people (and leaders) of Iran rejoice in hurling insults and death threats at Israel and the United States. They do so in the streets, and they do so in the digital realm, as well. Michael J. Totten takes a look at the bizarre Twitter account of Iran’s “Supreme Leader,” Ayatollah Khamenei:

Khamenei has 120,000 Twitter followers but only follows five people himself. Wondering who are the lucky five, I clicked to find out and discovered that three of them are his other accounts, one of them is from the ghost of his predecessor, Ayatollah Khomeini, and the last is some random Islamic Twitter feed.

Twitter is a one-way conversation for this guy. Following other people? That’s for teachable folks who might learn something from somebody else, or at least for those of us who are passively interested in what somebody else has to say.

Iran’s ruler is doing what the Soviet Union used to do and what Hugo Chavez did more recently. Both used the West’s language of human rights as weapons against the West while resisting everything Western human rights activists stand for. Partly they were just being cynical, and partly they were pointing out the West’s supposed hypocrisy.

You could argue that I’m just doing what Khamenei is doing by saying the other guy has no clothes, but there’s a difference, and it’s crucial. I actually care about human rights, not just for Americans, but also for Iranians and everyone else. Plenty of Iranians care about human rights, too, but it’s safe to say that pretty much none of them are fixtures in the Iranian government.

The most foolish among us might be convinced that tyrannical dictators on the other side of the planet care more about such things than we do. That’s the theory, anyway. Hey, maybe the Iranian leader is one of us! Maybe everything our own government says is a lie!

Every village has its idiot. Moscow managed to sucker some of…

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Monday, May 4th, 2015 at 8:20 AM  | Stand for Israel

Palestinians Need Reforms, Not Elections

(Photo: flickr/News Agency)

(Photo: flickr/News Agency)

Last week, we reported that Hamas has gained much support in student elections in the Fatah-controlled West Bank. Now, as Western powers urge the Palestinians to hold general elections, Gatestone Institute’s Khaled Abu Toameh writes that that is not a good idea, as that would pave the way for a Hamas victory:

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has recently come under pressure from Western governments and politicians to hold long overdue elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

But those who are demanding that the Palestinians hold another free and democratic election are ignoring the possibility that Hamas will once again win the vote…

Free and democratic elections are the last thing the Palestinians need now. Such elections would only pave the way for a Hamas takeover of the Palestinian Authority and plunge the region into chaos and violence. As long as Abbas’s Fatah faction is not seen as a better alternative to Hamas, it would be too risky to ask Palestinians to head to the ballot boxes. Instead of pressuring the Palestinians to hold new elections, world leaders should be demanding accountability and transparency from the PA.

They should also be urging the Palestinian Authority to pave the way for the emergence of new leaders and get rid of all the corrupt old-guard representatives who have been in power for decades. Finally, the international community should be urging the PA to stop its campaign to delegitimize and isolate Israel, which drives more Palestinians into the open arms of Hamas and other radical groups, who assume that if the Israelis are as terrible as they are told, they might as well join the group dedicated to killing them rather than to discussing peace.

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Monday, May 4th, 2015 at 8:11 AM  | Stand for Israel

Photo Friday: The Joy of the Lord Is Your Strength

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength. (Nehemiah 8:10)

At the field hospital set up by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in earthquake-devastated Nepal, an IDF soldier shares much-needed comfort, nourishment, and joy with a grieving Nepalese child. Shabbat shalom, friends.

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Friday, May 1st, 2015 at 12:57 PM  | Stand For Israel

Iran Testing the West

(Photo: wikicommons/Aspahbod)

(Photo: wikicommons/Aspahbod)

The Iranian Navy intercepted a Marshall Islands-flagged cargo ship in the Persian Gulf as it passed through an internationally recognized maritime route near the Strait of Hormuz. Four Iranian patrol boats surrounded the commercial vessel, fired shots across its bow, and escorted it to Iranian territory. The status of the vessel and its crew is still unclear.

The U.S. Navy has long maintained security for shipping routes all across the world. And while there have been multiple incidents of piracy along the coast of Africa in recent years, a flagrant action such as the one taken by Iran has not been attempted for some time.

Forgive me for being naïve, but wouldn’t you think Iran would hold off on abducting U.S.-protected cargo ships until after the impending nuclear agreement has been finalized? And if Iran is so brazen without a nuclear weapon and with its economy crippled from years of sanctions, how will it act with refilled coffers and a nuclear bomb?

On April 2, President Obama victoriously announced that U.S.-led negotiators had reached a “historic agreement with Iran which … will prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” while Israelis, Saudis, Egyptians, Turks, and others who fear a nuclear-capable Iran watched in disbelief.

What really happened in the nuclear talks is that the world powers and Iran did not reach an understanding. John Kerry, who is spearheading the talks, failed to convince his Iranian counterpart to agree to the framework he hoped to achieve. Instead, both parties issued a “Fact Sheet,” each of which contradicted the other on key issues.

So it seems to the Iranians, as well as to the rest of the world, that no matter what the mullahs in Tehran do, they will not be penalized for their actions. As a result, it’s not business as usual for Iran’s terror ambitions. Right now, business is booming.

Iran is continuing and even stepping up its open support of Hamas and Hezbollah. Tehran is also one of the driving forces behind Syria’s horrific civil war. Meanwhile, even as nuclear negotiations…

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Friday, May 1st, 2015 at 10:52 AM  | Stand For Israel

Yael Eckstein to Speak at Religious Liberty Panel in Washington, DC

(Photo: IFCJ)

Penny Nance and Yael Eckstein meet with an IDF officer at Fellowship-funded IDF base during a recent trip to Israel (Photo: IFCJ)

This coming Monday, May 4, Fellowship Senior Vice President Yael Eckstein will be in Washington, D.C., to speak on Capitol Hill on a subject of great importance – religious persecution in the Middle East.

The Fellowship and Concerned Women for America will be presenting a Religious Liberty Panel at the Capitol Hill Visitor Center. Featured Speakers will include:

  • Erick Stakelbeck – Correspondent, author, and terrorism analyst
  • Yael Eckstein – Senior Vice President of The Fellowship
  • Penny Nance – President of Concerned Women for America
  • Dr. Walid Phares – Correspondent, author, and terrorism expert

You can find out more here.

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Friday, May 1st, 2015 at 9:49 AM  | Stand For Israel

Calling the Holy Land Home

(Photo: Oren Nahshon)

(Photo: Oren Nahshon)

Last week’s celebrations in Israel – Yom HaZikaron, or Memorial Day, and Yom HaAtzmaut, or Independence Day – especially resonated with Fellowship Senior Vice President Yael Eckstein, who writes in The Jerusalem Post of her love for the Holy Land that she calls home:

I love the street names, which are almost all named in honor of biblical heroes, founders of the nation of Israel, or philanthropists who helped develop the modern state.

I love the savtot (grandmothers) who spend their days reciting Tehillim (psalms) while sitting on park benches, in public buses and inside ancient synagogues.

I love the fact that my children are in school with Jewish kids from Ethiopia, Yemen, Morocco, Russia and many other places.

I love how people go to weddings in jeans and a button-down shirt.

I love how everyone feels like family to each other, creating an atmosphere where you can be blunt and speak your mind.

I love how when I take my babies for a walk, everyone on the street comes up to me with their opinion on whether the baby is too cold or too hot.

I love how the people of Israel have diverse opinions on almost everything, yet everyone comes together in unity during times of celebration and hardships.

I love how the country shuts down for Jewish holidays, and how on Fridays even the radio broadcaster closes his show with “Shabbat Shalom.”

I love taking family trips to biblical places like Beersheba, Jerusalem and the Judean Hills, and studying the stories that took places there thousands of years ago.

Most of all, I love living in country where every stone, hilltop and flower is imbued with holiness and sanctity, with the story and heritage of my people.

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Friday, May 1st, 2015 at 8:53 AM  | Stand For Israel

IDF Field Hospital in Nepal Delivers Baby, Treats 100


Yesterday we reported on the Fellowship-adopted IDF battalion currently serving the many injured and homeless in Nepal. Today, The Times of Israel reports on the busy (and uplifting) first day of the field hospital set up by the IDF to treat those affected by Saturday’s earthquake:

Israel’s field hospital in earthquake-hit Nepal began operating Wednesday morning, with staff treating nearly 100 patients and delivering their first baby — a boy — on the first day, according to an IDF spokesperson…

Over 250 doctors and rescue personnel were part of an IDF delegation that landed Tuesday in the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu, in the wake of Saturday’s magnitude-7.8 earthquake that devastated large swaths of the mountainous country, killing at least 5,000 and leaving some 8,000 wounded and tens of thousands seeking shelter and food.

The Israeli group set up the field hospital with 60 beds, including an obstetrics department, and was operating in coordination with the local army hospital.

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Thursday, April 30th, 2015 at 4:35 PM  | Stand For Israel

Death Toll Rises in Nepal; Israel Sends Aid

iitnLast weekend, a 7.9-magnitude earthquake struck Nepal, and has now claimed more than 6,000 lives. That death toll is expected to rise, even as the devastated nation struggles to rebuild. Showing what Prime Minister Netanyahu called “the true face of Israel,” the Jewish state has sent five IDF planes and more than 250 soldiers to Nepal – to set up field hospitals, conduct rescue missions, and airlift those in need to Israeli facilities.

Also this week in Israel in the News:

• Four terrorists were killed by an IDF airstrike after clashes on the Israeli-Syrian border.
• PM Netanyahu’s Likud party has reached an agreement as Israel’s new coalition government begins to form.
• Russia was caught sending air-defense systems to rebels in Ukraine – a violation of the ceasefire.
• The nuclear deal with Iran has taken center stage at this week’s Republican Jewish Leadership Summit.


This week’s Israel in the News Perspective features The Fellowship’s Yonit Rothchild on Israel’s aid to Nepal, and its commitment to being “a light unto the nations.”

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Thursday, April 30th, 2015 at 4:32 PM  | Stand For Israel

Yael Eckstein Welcomes Newest Israelis to the Holy Land

As we reported this week, 53 Ukrainian Jews landed in Israel aboard The Fellowship’s latest Freedom Flight. Watch Fellowship Senior Vice President Yael Eckstein welcome the Holy Land’s newest olim (immigrants) home.

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Thursday, April 30th, 2015 at 2:05 PM  | Stand For Israel

After 5 Days Under Rubble, Nepalese Woman Rescued by Israeli Team

(Photo: facebook/IDF)

(Photo: facebook/IDF)

Teams from Israel continue to help earthquake-devastated Nepal, with Israeli soldiers and civilians alike pitching in. The Times of Israel’s Tamar Pileggi reports that an Israeli-led team has just rescued a Nepalese woman who was trapped under rubble for five days:

Workers from the Israeli group IsraAID, along with local soldiers and a team of experts from France and Norway, worked into the night to pull Krishna Devi Khadka to safety.

Khadka had been stuck underneath a collapsed hotel alongside three bodies and could only breathe due to an air pocket that formed alongside her…

Nepalese soldiers and the huge team of experts who had worked on the rescue cheered and clapped as Khadka — a rare survivor — was carried away by stretcher.

As the ambulance sped away, the team returned to the building as signs of a potential second survivor were felt, Zahavi said

“She was injured but she was conscious and talking,” a Nepal Army major told an AFP reporter at the scene. “She has been sent to a military hospital.”

“It is as though she had been born again,” he said.

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Thursday, April 30th, 2015 at 12:23 PM  | Stand For Israel