Rudolf and Helga Frei (holding up the sign) dedicate a new bomb shelter at Kibbutz Magen. From far left: David Parsons (Vice President ICEJ), Nicole Yoder (ICEJ Aid Director), Dr. Jurgen Buhler (President ICEJ) and Rabbi Shmuel Bowman (Executive Director Operation Lifeshield). (Credit: David Brummer/ Breaking Israel News)
For several months now – since at least March – Israel’s southern frontier communities abutting the Gaza Strip have been living under almost constant Hamas-inspired Palestinian terrorism.
Arson terrorism as it was known – the releasing of incendiary kites and balloons, seemingly harmless children’s toys, but with a very real sting in their tails – were sent toward Israel’s arable fields. Carried by the helpful West-East breeze blowing off the Mediterranean Sea, these incendiary devices have scorched around 9,000 acres of agricultural land.
Now the harvest is in and plans for winter planting move on apace. But the terrorists in Gaza are not standing idly by. There is currently less vegetation to burn, so instead of sending kites or balloons with flaming tails, they now send them with hand grenades and crude homemade ordinances attached. That may give it the impression of being harmless, but nothing could be further from the truth. They are intended to wound, to maim and even to kill.
To counter the debilitating effects of the arson terrorism, the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem (ICEJ) began a campaign to help communities in Israel’s south. The response was magnificent and prayers for Israel’s safety have been matched by tangible, practical help.
At Kibbutz Magen, a mere four-and-a-half kilometers away from the Gaza border, Christian donations have resulted in the purchasing of bomb shelters. Six of the seven new steel bomb shelters – which are much lighter than the concrete ones, but equally as tough – were donated from ICEJ Switzerland, made possible through the generosity of the Rudolf and Helga Frei family. They were present to dedicate the shelter on Kibbutz Magen, also made possible because of the ICEJ’s strategic partnership with local Israeli non-profit Operation Lifeshield. As Shmuel Bowman, Operation Lifeshield’s Executive Director said, “In partnership with the ICEJ we work to save and protect lives in Israel. Every life is sacred and there are people here who need protection from terrorism.”
ICEJ’s President, Dr. Jurgen Buhler, was also present at the dedication and explained about an amazing coincidence. “The ICEJ wants to always be with the people of Israel. And in its [Israel’s] 70th year, this is the 70th bomb shelter that we have dedicated.”
Both Shoshi Oroni and Gilad Yarkoni, director of the kibbutz and the mayor of the Eshkol region, respectively, welcomed the ICEJ visitors and expressed their gratitude for helping people to feel a little safer.
Yarkoni expressed his personal thanks for the love and understanding that emanated from the ICEJ to the citizens of the Eshkol region. He used the example of the kibbutz children, who had minutes earlier provided a karate demonstration at Magen’s dojo. “It’s a simple thing,” he said. “It’s good for those children to know they have a place to run. Think of all those people connected with these children. We have a greater sense of security now.
Traveling approximately 15 kilometers northwest to Kibbutz Kisufim (literally Yearning), one is struck by how burnt the ground looks and how much damage has been done. Elan Isaacson, Head of Security in the Eshkol Region explained that between 500-600 of the 1,900 fires that have broken out in the region since March have occurred in either Kisufim or Be’eri. He and his team now have 34 fire trailers – each capable of holding 750 liters of water. They are 4×4 vehicles allowing them to traverse terrain that regular fire trucks cannot and despite the invaluable help that fire crews from as far away as the Golan and Haifa provided, they were not familiar with the lay of the land.
Eleven of the 17 fire trailers donated this summer, as the arson terrorism was at its height, were provided by Eagle Mountain International Church from Ft. Worth, Texas. It is clearly a community and a church that practices what it preaches. Part of the Word of Faith evangelical stream and heavily influenced by Pastor Kenneth Copeland, Eagle Mountain is a firm believer in its support of the people of God in the land of God.
There was a mixture of resignation and resolution at the unveiling of the bomb shelter and the fire truck. Resignation that the frontier communities inhabit a world – which is actually difficult to imagine – where implacable foes seem to assess that they can dislodge Jewish communities through terrorism. The resolution part was equally obvious; the people in Israel’s southern communities are there to stay. They haven’t anywhere else to go.
A 2018 demonstration against antisemitism in Berlin. Photo: Reuters / Fabrizio Bensch.
A slight drop in the number of antisemitic incidents in Berlin during the first half of this year is no excuse for complacency, the city’s antisemitism commissioner emphasized on Thursday following the publication of statistics for hate crimes targeting Jews in the German capital from January-June 2019.
“Antisemitism remains a serious problem that we cannot tolerate in Berlin,” Lorenz Korgel — the city’s commissioner for combating antisemitism — told local news outlet Berliner Morgenpost. “The number of antisemitic incidents remains at a high level. ”
People wear kippas at a demonstration in front of a Jewish synagogue denouncing an antisemitic attack on a young man wearing a kippa, in Berlin, Germany, April 25, 2018. (photo credit: FABRIZIO BENSCH / REUTERS)
The population of the State of Israel has increased 2.1% since last year, according to a report released in time for Rosh Hashanah by the Central Bureau of Statistics.
Today, there are 9.1 million citizens of Israel, of which some 6.7 million (74%) are Jewish, the report shows. The country’s citizens also include 1.9 million Arabs (21%) and 0.4% of “others,” including Christians and those of other minority groups.
A women holds up a sign against anti-Semitism at a rally in New York City on Sept. 22, 2019. Photo: Rhonda Hodas Hack.
JNS.org – Hundreds of demonstrators rallied in front of City Hall in New York on Sunday, calling on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and other municipal leaders, as well as those on the national level, to act against antisemitism and the wave of antisemitic hate crimes taking place against the Orthodox Jewish community.
The beach in Tel Aviv, Israel, May 17, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Ammar Awad.
On the eve of the holiday of Rosh Hashanah, ushering in the Jewish year of 5780, Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics released its traditional end-of-the-year findings.
Israel’s population now stands at 9.092 million people — 6.744 million (74.2 percent) of whom are Jews, with 1.907 million (21 percent) Arabs and 441,000 (4.8 percent) listed as “other.”
Drew Seigla and Stephanie Lynne Mason. Photo: Instagram.
Drew Seigla and Stephanie Lynne Mason play Pertshik and Hodl, whose love story takes them all the way to Siberia in the award-winning show by the National Yiddish Theatre.
Oct 25, 2019 0People arrive at a polling station to vote in the federal election in Beauce, Quebec, Canada, Oct. 21, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Mathieu Belanger. A top Jewish advocacy group said on Friday it...
Sep 30, 2019 0
Sep 25, 2019 0
“There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.” — Sherlock Holmes, The Boscombe Valley Mystery
“Israel must, in the most blunt and clear way possible, illustrate to Washington that the prosperity of Jordan is a first-rate Israeli security and strategic interest.” — Former head of Mossad Ephraim Halevy at “Between Jerusalem and Amman: 25 Years Since the Signing of the Peace Agreement Between Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan,” Institute for National Security Studies, Sept. 25, 2019.
A thought came to mind the other day.
For all the bluster about Judaism and anti-Semitism in America, I am not convinced that far-out-left and liberal young Jews, who have been very strident and even threatening on Israel-related issues and local American political battles, have done much on the ground to confront and quash, one way or another, attacks on Jews. They have portrayed themselves as gliding along a moral highway but have permitted immoral actions to exist quite close to home, far from Gaza (did any of them recite a public Kaddish in the town square for murdered and injured Jews, or their damaged and desecrated property)?
One of the hallmark features of Yom Kippur are the communal sins which we need to repent for. Most Jews focus on what we have done personally towards G-d and towards others. Little thought is given to how we could be better as a community. Or the sins we bear as a community.
However, the communal recitation of the Al Chet, repeated over and over on Yom Kippur is to drive the point home that we are responsible for one another
Incoming freshman Member of Knesset from the leftist, Democratic Union list, Yair Golan, did it again. Golan’s constant delegitimization of his political opponents on the right, smacks of the same delegitimization that tyrants, dictators, demagogues and assorted totalitarians always use, just before the Putsch.
In that regard, he’s right when he said recently, “I’m reminding people that the Nazis came to power democratically, so we have to be careful, very careful, so that radicals with a messianic view won’t exploit Israeli democracy to replace the system of government.” Think “
As Israeli frustration mounts about violence coming out of Gaza, the idea of a ground invasion, and once and for all to finish with Hamas aggression, becomes more appealing. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has endorsed this approach, saying, “There probably won’t be a choice but to topple the Hamas regime.” While sympathetic to this impulse, I worry that too much attention is paid to tactics and not enough to goals. The result could be harmful to Israel.