Israel to Install Mortar Warning in Communities on Gaza Border

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

During Operation Protective Edge this summer, the worth of the Iron Dome system was proven, as it knocked down a majority of Hamas’ long-range missiles that were launched at Israel. These missiles, however, are not the danger for those Israelis who live near the Gaza border. Mortars are fired at their communities with much more frequency, and cannot be intercepted by Iron Dome. However, there is hope, as Israel’s i24 News reports that these residents will soon be alerted to incoming mortars:

Israel will install an alarm system to detect incoming mortar fire in southern border communities which border Gaza within the next three to six months reported Israel’s Channel 10 news on Sunday,

The alarm, which will not be able to intercept incoming shells, will give residents a five second warning to find shelter.

Israel’s Iron Dome system was able to intercept numerous longer-range rockets during this past summer’s 50-day conflict between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza.

During Operation Protective Edge mortar shells caused the most deaths, with 10 soldiers in one week, a number of Israeli civilians as well as Thai worker.

Four-year-old Daniel Tragerman was the youngest victim of the conflict after a mortar landed outside his home in kibbutz Nahal Oz on August 22nd.

Daniel, who was playing in a tent outside the family home, was killed by the impact of the mortar. His family said that they had only three seconds before they heard the siren and the blast.

“The siren startled all of us, it all happened so fast. You straight away know that this time it was not near the border fence or in open spaces, but on the other side of the wall,” said his father,Doron, at the funeral.

During the war, 70% of Israelis living in towns bordering the Gaza Strip abandoned their homes due to ongoing rocket and mortar attacks coming from the Hamas-ruled enclave.

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Monday, January 5th, 2015 at 11:43 AM  | Stand For Israel

As Israel Braces for Snow, The Fellowship Prepares to Help

(Photo: Oren Nahshon)

(Photo: Oren Nahshon)

Israel is bracing for winter storms this week – weather that is not common in the Holy Land, and for which both residents and the government are often unprepared. But The Jerusalem Post reports that The Fellowship is ready to help Israel’s neediest – the poor and the elderly – as the cold and snow arrives:

Given the impending winter weather, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews will distribute NIS 8.5 million in heating grants to some 25,000 impoverished elderly people as part of their “Warming with Friendship” annual winter campaign on Tuesday.

“During the winter months the plight of the elderly is exacerbated and many of them have to make an impossible choice between heating the house and buying food or medicine,” Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder and president of the IFCJ, said on Sunday.

The grants, totaling NIS 350 per elderly person, will be distributed by social workers and hundreds of IFCJ volunteers in 62 local authorities throughout the country that do not receive government heating grants for the elderly from the National Insurance Institute.

“The strength of a society is measured in how it treats the weakest links within.

“About a quarter of Israel’s elderly live in poverty and are unable to cover their monthly expenses. The pensions barely cover half of the basic needs of the elderly while the cost of living is only increasing,” Eckstein said.

“We, as a society, cannot allow this situation to persist. I call on the public to join us and help heat the homes and hearts of the elderly,” he said.

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Monday, January 5th, 2015 at 8:24 AM  | Stand For Israel

The Fellowship’s Emergency Freedom Flights

Over the past two weeks, The Fellowship has flown 440 Ukrainian Jews to Israel on two separate Freedom Flights. With their aliyah (immigration to Israel), these people who have endured so much during Ukraine’s civil unrest finally get a chance to live freely as Jews. Thank you, friends, for making this lifesaving work possible!

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Monday, January 5th, 2015 at 8:13 AM  | Stand For Israel

Photo Friday: New Year, New Home, New Life

(Photo: Daniel Bar On)

(Photo: Daniel Bar On)

This past week saw the second historic Fellowship Freedom Flight – a flight that brought another 200 Ukrainian Jews to the Holy Land, allowing them to leave the chaos and violence of their country behind and make aliyah (immigrate to Israel). Here, a father and his child arrive at Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv, ready for their new life and new home. We could not do this without the generosity and love of you, our faithful supporters. Shabbat shalom, friends.

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Friday, January 2nd, 2015 at 1:13 PM  | Stand For Israel

14 IDF Innovations from 2014

(Photo: U.S. Army)

(Photo: U.S. Army)

2015 is here, and we hope for a blessed year for Israel, those who stand for her, and the world. While 2014 was a rough year for Israel – with terrorism, the summer’s war in Gaza, and the endless international bias the Jewish state faces – there were positives. Arutz Sheva’s Tova Dvorin reports on 14 innovations made by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) over the past year:

The IDF released a list Friday of 14 new changes instituted in 2014 on its website – ranging from a focus on healthier food to upgrades in defense.

Overall, meals became healthier and more “green,” it said, with two new programs upgrading ready-to-eat meals for combat soldiers and offering vegan options for all recruits. Combat rations were made with lower fat and served for the first time during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza …

In terms of defense, the IDF incorporated many new technologies and equipment to its ranks this year.

The Israeli Navy welcomed the addition of the INS Tanin, the fourth of six German-built, Israeli-equipped Dolphin-class submarines, which arrived at its home base in Haifa in September. Two locally-built tow vessels were also built to support the Dolphin-class submarines.

The Israeli Air Force received several new manned and unmanned aircraft, including the Lockheed-Martin Hercules Samson C-130J and part of Israel’s squadron of Alenia-Aermacchi M346 jets.

In addition, Elbit Systems’ Hermes 900 unmanned aerial system (UAS) became operational during the summer war; similarly, the IDF used US-built Patriot batteries to intercept unmanned vehicles from Palestinian Arab terrorists for the first time in world military history.

IDF ground forces received new equipment as well. The IDF Armored Corps debuted a new tank round, the Hatzav multi-mission tank round, during Protective Edge; it also reorganized its tank arsenal completely, retiring older Merkava models.

In tech, the “Yahalom” (Diamond) Unit of IDF Combat Engineers fielded its first Foster Miller-built Talon 4 tracked ordinance disposal robot in support of Operation Protective Edge, and…

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Friday, January 2nd, 2015 at 10:42 AM  | Stand For Israel

US Academics Usher in New Year with Anti-Israel Vote

(Photo: Flickr/ Takver)

(Photo: Flickr/ Takver)

Stand for Israel keeps you up-to-date on the various anti-Israel groups and movements that attempt to boycott or oppose the Jewish state. Last year we even attended a symposium against one of the most prominent academic organizations in the U.S. when it made an anti-Israel stand. Now, as 2015 begins, The Times of Israel’s Rebecca Shimoni Stoil reports on another academic body that has stopped just short of boycotting, divesting from, or sanctioning Israel – a resolution that will actually be harder to defeat:

As yet another American academic organization brings anti-Israel resolutions before its annual plenum, those monitoring the boycott, divest and sanctions movement against Israel eagerly wait to hear if the new year will start with a bang or a whimper.

The resolutions prepared by Historians Against the War (HAW) to be presented at the American Historical Association’s annual meeting January 2-5 in New York reflect a new direction for anti-Israel activism: condemnations of Israel’s policies and behaviors that stop short of calls to boycott, divest from, or sanction the state or Israeli institutions.

This new approach comes after 2014’s high-profile American Studies Association academic boycott vote and the subsequent fizzling of academic and professional organizations’ enforcement of new academic boycott rules — as Israeli academics participated in its conference.

The first of the two resolutions the group of historians plan to present next weekend is framed as “protecting the right to education in Palestine-Israel.” It accuses Israel of violating the principle of universal access to higher education (as delineated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) by refusing Gazan students the ability to travel to universities outside Gaza and restricting travel of foreign academics into Palestinian areas.

The first resolution also notes that “the Israeli Defense Forces bombed the Islamic University in Gaza which houses the Oral History Center,” alleging that this action is condemnable for violating historians’ traditional concern with the preservation of historical material.

If AHA, the largest association of historians in America, adopts the resolution, it would condemn “the acts of violence…

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Friday, January 2nd, 2015 at 9:23 AM  | Stand For Israel

Our Answer to
Darkness and Fear

(Photo: Oren Nahshon)

(Photo: Oren Nahshon)

As 2015 begins, there is much to look forward to, but still so much uncertainty and fear – in Israel and elsewhere around the world. Writing at The Jerusalem Post, The Fellowship’s Senior Vice President Yael Eckstein says that while there certainly is cause for concern, she spends her days inspired and joyful:

My husband and I were standing in the kitchen cooking a meal together when the difficult things I’ve wanted to say for months finally came out.

“Honey, living here in Israel, do you ever think about a worst-case scenario?” I could barely say the words. It felt terrifying to give voice to the thoughts that had been going through my head since this past summer’s war, which left us, and nearly the entire country, running to bomb shelters, trying to escape the rockets being fired into our towns. I intentionally avoided the details of my nightmares – the thought that my family could be locked in our bomb shelter with nowhere to run, with terrorists surrounding our home.

“Of course I worry about the unspeakable,” answered my husband.

As always, he was completely in tune with what I meant, but couldn’t find the words to properly respond …

We stood in silence.

We were thinking of recent video clips released by Islamic State and other terrorist organizations on Israel’s borders, videos so horrible and shocking that they were impossible to forget. Beheadings. Mass murders. Women and children being taken as slaves. And ringing in my ears were quotes from Israel’s many enemies, pledging to do the same to us.

Truth be told, these days, the terrifying threats are not only against Israel; they are against any person who desires to live in a free and democratic world. Yet for the Jewish people, these threats take on a different meaning. Because, along with the real danger that Israel and the Jewish people face today, there are the soul-based memories from our recent past, when these atrocities happened to our ancestors.

Standing in the kitchen with my husband…

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Friday, January 2nd, 2015 at 8:32 AM  | Stand For Israel

HarperCollins Tries to Wipe Israel Off the Map

(Photo: Tablet)

(Photo: Tablet)

HarperCollins, the publisher whose textbooks are used in public schools across the U.S. and around the world, has been selling English-language atlases that conveniently omit Israel to Middle East schools. The publishing house commented that Israel’s inclusion on the maps would have been “unacceptable” to Arab countries, and that the Jewish state’s omission was meant to appeal to “local preferences.”

In other words, the Arab world despises Israel and doesn’t want its children to face the simple reality – that Israel does exist. And now a Western publishing company has no qualms about catering to this vitriolic anti-Semitism by erasing Israel’s existence from the map.

The West wants Israeli-Palestinian peace, and expects Israel to make far-reaching and often dangerous concessions to attain said peace. Yet despite insisting on this peace, the West allows those opposing Israel to display the most rabid anti-Jewish hatred since Hitler.

How can the free world excuse, and even cater to, this refusal to recognize the tiny democratic nation of Israel? If HarperCollins aims to produce respectable educational material, shouldn’t they do so by educating the younger generation of the Middle East that Israel exists, and must be recognized the same as any other country?

Hatred, much like love, has no boundaries. If you allow it to grow, it will spread.

If the Western world tolerates Jew hatred in the Middle East, it will see an increase in the recruitment and indoctrination of more and more Muslims into the darkest and most radicalized factions of their religion. And eventually, I fear that it won’t only be Israel fighting for her place on the map and in the world.

- Ami Farkas

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Friday, January 2nd, 2015 at 8:17 AM  | Stand For Israel

Resolution for Palestinian Statehood Fails in the UN

iitnA resolution to acknowledge Palestinian statehood and its claims to Israeli territories in the West Bank was voted down in the U.N. Security Council. The measure fell just one vote short of the number needed to pass. The U.S. had threatened to veto the resolution, which it considers biased against Israel and detrimental to the peace process.

Also this week in Israel in the News:

• In Ukraine, 150 Ukrainian prisoners held by Russian rebels were released this week, while peace talks were scrapped with no word why.
• Israel provided thousands of Christian pilgrims access to the Palestinian-held holy site of Bethlehem during the Christmas season.

This week’s Israel in the News Perspective features The Fellowship’s founder and President Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein on the historic Freedom Flights that have rescued more than 400 Jews from war-torn Ukraine.

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Thursday, January 1st, 2015 at 6:24 PM  | Stand for Israel

Happy New Year from Stand for Israel

(Photo: flickr/israluv)

(Photo: flickr/israluv)

Stand for Israel is suspending activity Thursday, January 1, for the first day of 2015. We’ll be back on Friday, January 2 — and rest assured, if any critically important developments related to Israel come up in the meantime, we’ll let you know about them. We wish you all a Happy New Year, and thank you all for always standing for Israel!

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Wednesday, December 31st, 2014 at 2:48 PM  | Stand For Israel

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

Rabbi’s Commentary
Terror Returns to the Holy Land — Again

Recently our attention has been focused on brutal terrorist attacks around the world. But with Wednesday’s attack on Israelis aboard a Tel Aviv bus, our focus returns to Israel, where we must continue to defend the society and the values we have taken so long to develop and build.

Read Rabbi Eckstein's message »


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