“And a terror from God was on all the kingdoms of the countries, when they heard that the LORD fought against the enemies of Yisrael.” (2 Chronicles 20:29)
The “Herev” (Sword) Battalion, comprised of Druze, Jewish and Christian soldiers, are an elite unit specially trained in the Northern Command. (Photo: IDF)
For the first time, the International Fellowship and Christians and Jews, in partnership with the Israeli Christian Recruitment Forum (ICRF), will bestow academic scholarships on 40 Christian IDF soldiers, with the goal of enabling them to take advantage of Israel’s advanced higher learning institutions and ultimately helping them integrate into Israeli society.
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder and president of the Fellowship, and Father Gabriel Naddaf, head of the ICRF, said that they hope that the scholarship program will ease the transition of younger members of the Christian community into mainstream Israeli society, help close socio-economic gaps, and give more Israeli Christians the opportunities that come with higher education.
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein. (Wikimedia Commons/IFCJ)
Since Christians are not required to serve in Israel’s military, all of the Christian recruits are volunteers eager to do their part to defend their country. Eckstein and Naddaf believe they should be entitled to every benefit in return.
“We believe that every Israeli citizen deserves equal rights and opportunities in all areas of life, while on their part they provide an active share and contribute to Israeli society,” said Eckstein, the Jerusalem Post reported.
His organization and Naddaf’s work together in the Israeli Christian community to encourage its members to serve in the IDF, a project which has grown steadily in recent years. Eckstein said he was happy to see that “more and more young [Christians] are choosing to integrate into society and even serve in the IDF and national service”.
There is Biblical precedent for gentiles aligning with Jewish forces. Yael, a member of the Kenite clan, famously killed Sisera, the commander of the Canaanite army, thereby giving victory to the army of Israel and delivering its people – an action for which she was blessed in the Book of Judges.
Naddaf called the scholarship program “a message to the whole world, that two religious leaders from different religions can lead a change in society where they live and work through cooperation.” He also thanked Eckstein for supporting the ICRF.
The Christian leader founded the Israeli Christian Recruitment Forum in 2012. In its first year, the ICRF helped to enlist 40 Christian soldiers. By 2014, it had more than doubled its numbers in an upward trend that continued into last year. The ICRF is part of a larger effort by Naddaf to change the perceptions surrounding Israel’s Christian population and help its members become Israeli Christians, rather than aligning with the Arab population.
“Calling them ‘Arab Christian’ puts them on the side of Palestinians and terrorists, when in reality they’ve lived in Israel for generations and just want to live in peace and security,” Naddaf explained in December of last year at a Christmas celebration honoring several soldiers.
Full integration into Israeli society “begins with the youth and continues in enlistment in the IDF or national service and paves the way towards studies in higher education institutions and integration into the workforce. We are there every step of the way in order to encourage, strengthen, and support,” said Naddaf of the scholarship program.
The 40 scholarships will be presented to the IDF soldiers and soon-to-be students on Thursday at the Greek Orthodox Church in Yafa Inman-Naseriyye, an Arab local council located near Nazareth.
Menachem Begin in December 1942 wearing the Polish Army uniform of Gen. Anders’ forces with his wife Aliza and David Yutan; (back row) Moshe Stein and Israel Epstein
(photo credit: JABOTINSKY ARCHIVES)
During the inauguration of a memorial to the victims of the Siege of Leningrad in Jerusalem’s Sacher Park on January 24, 2020, before the climax of Holocaust remembrance events at which Russian President Vladimir Putin was given a central platform, we were stunned to hear a rendition of The Blue Kerchief (Siniy
Giant figures are seen during the 87th carnival parade of Aalst February 15, 2015
The annual carnival in Aalst, Belgium, is expected to take place on Sunday with even more antisemitic elements than in previous years.
Aalst’s organizers have sold hundreds of “rabbi kits” for revelers to dress as hassidic Jews in the carnival’s parade. The kit includes oversized noses, sidelocks (peyot) and black hats. The organizers plan to bring back floats similar to the one displayed in 2019 featuring oversized dolls of Jews, with rats on their shoulders, holding banknotes.
Pope Francis waves as he arrives at the Basilica of Saint Nicholas in the southern Italian coastal city of Bari, Italy February 23, 2020. Photo: REUTERS/Remo Casilli.
Pope Francis on Sunday warned against “inequitable solutions” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying they would only be a prelude to new crises, in an apparent reference to US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace proposal.
Francis made his comments in the southern Italian port city of Bari, where he traveled to conclude a meeting of bishops from all countries in the Mediterranean basin.
Palestinians walk past a shop selling fruits in Ramallah, Feb. 20, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Mohamad Torokman.
Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have reached an agreement to end a five-month long trade dispute, officials said on Thursday.
The dispute, which opened a new front in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, began in September when the PA announced a boycott of Israel calves. The PA exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank under interim peace deals.
Antisemitic caricatures on display at the annual carnival in Aalst, Belgium. Photo: Raphael Ahren via Twitter.
Disturbing images emerged on Sunday of the annual carnival at Aalst, Belgium, showing an astounding number of antisemitic themes, costumes, displays and statements.
Israeli journalist Raphael Ahren documented people dressed as caricatures of Orthodox Jews, a fake “wailing wall” attacking critics of the parade, blatantly antisemitic characters and puppets wearing traditional Jewish clothes and sporting huge noses.
Feb 02, 2020 0The remarks from the US official came in wake of the Palestinian decision to reject the administration’s peace plan. US PRESIDENT Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrive to...
The stench of anti-Semitism always hovers over Switzerland’s Lake Geneva when the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is meeting there. The foul emanations reached a new nadir last week with UNHRC’s publication of a “database” of companies doing business in the disputed territories in Israel.
Following the publication of the list, Bruno Stagno Ugarte, deputy director for advocacy of NGO Human Rights Watch, stated, “The long-awaited release of the U.N. settlement business database should put all companies on notice: To do business with illegal settlements [sic] is to aid in the commission of war crimes.”
One of the many things that annoys me about politicians is how sure they are of themselves. Everything is black and white. Every idea is good or bad. Take globalism, for example. You either love it or hate it. It works or it doesn’t.
Another thing that annoys me is how so much of a politician’s life revolves around power: Do everything you can to get it, and everything you can to keep it.
Why am I ranting? Because, while our politicians have been consumed with power and the media with the fights over power, a threat to our nation has been virtually ignored.
Blue and White Party leaders Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid are establishing their diplomatic credentials in the immediate run-up to Israel’s March 2 election with an insult to a U.S. administration that has arguably provided Israel with more diplomatic gains than any previous administration.
The Times of Israel reported that at a campaign stop in front of English-speaking Israelis, Gantz accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “of neglecting bipartisan ties in favor of exclusive support from U.S. President Donald Trump’s Republican Party,” under the headline “Gantz pledges to mend ties with U.S. Democrats if elected.”
Bipartisanship was in short supply at the State of the Union address earlier this month—with one notable exception.
Nancy Pelosi had been looking dyspeptic, shuffling the papers she would later rip to shreds, when President Donald Trump reminded his audience that “the United States is leading a 59-nation diplomatic coalition against the socialist dictator of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro.”
Suddenly, the House Speaker applauded. Trump then introduced “the true and legitimate president of Venezuela: Juan Guaidó.”
The law professor Alan Dershowitz has thrown a legal hand-grenade into America’s political civil war by claiming to have evidence that former President Barack Obama “personally asked” the FBI to investigate someone “on behalf” of Obama’s “close ally,” billionaire financier George Soros.
He made his cryptic remark in an interview defending U.S. President Donald Trump against claims he interfered in the prosecution of his former adviser, Roger Stone.