The Media’s Assualt on Israel–Finding the Truth

This month’s guest blogger is Yossi Bar Negev from Israel. Yossi is a passionate voice for Israel. With his knowledge of scripture and watchful eye on the media, he brings clarity to the complex issues surrounding Israel.

A Modern Fable:
An Israeli is on vacation visiting a zoo in the USA when he sees a little girl lean against a lion’s cage. Suddenly, the lion grabs her by the cuff of her jacket and tries to pull her inside to slaughter her, right before the eyes of her terrified screaming parents.

The Israeli runs to the cage, hits the lion square on the nose with a powerful punch. Whimpering from the pain the lion jumps back letting go of the girl, and the Israeli brings her to her terrified parents, who thank him endlessly.
 
A reporter was watching the whole event. The reporter says to the Israeli:  ‘Sir, this was the most gallant and brave thing I’ve seen a man do in my whole life.’ The Israeli modestly replies, ‘Why, it was nothing, really. The lion was behind bars. I just saw this little kid in great danger and had to act swiftly, as I felt it was necessary.’

The reporter says, ‘Well, I’ll make sure this won’t go unnoticed. I’m a journalist, and tomorrow’s paper will have this story on the front page. So, what do you do for a living and what political affiliations do you happen to have?’

The Israeli replies, ‘ Proud to serve in the Israeli Defense Force, and I vote for the Likud Party.’

The journalist makes notes in his writing pad and leaves hurriedly to write his newspaper’s headline.

The following morning the Israeli buys a paper to see news of his actions, and reads, on the front page:

VISITING RIGHT-WING ISRAELI,  ASSAULTS AFRICAN IMMIGRANT AND STEALS HIS LUNCH!
 
Moral of the story - don’t believe anything you read about Israel in the mainstream media.

Think I’m over exaggerating? Take a look at these actual examples:

Al DuraThe Mohammed Al Dura affair, September 30, 2000. French media (France 2) set the world ablaze with its reporting of the “death” of the 12-year-old Mohammed Al Dura, supposedly shot by Israeli soldiers while crouching in abject fear behind his protective yet helpless father.

The iconic photo appeared on the front page of newspapers everywhere. But it was all a lie, a PR photo-op for the “Palestinian cause”. The truth is revealed in a report by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (Camera).

The Goldstone Report. What can we expect when the United Nations decides it has to investigate an Israeli action? Operation Cast Lead in September 2008 was a response to seven years of Hamas mortar and rocket attacks on southern Israeli cities and towns. The Hamas rockets were fired from hospitals, schools and mosques. Hamas fighters wore civilian clothes and used women and children as human shields.

Was any of this mentioned in the Goldstone report? Nope! According to the learned gentleman, it was the Israelis who targeted civilians, not the other way around. It was a feeding frenzy for the world media. Israelis were monsters, baby-killers, destroyers of mosques who were literally starving the poor Palestinians.

GoldstoneIn contrast, on April 1, 2011, when Judge Goldstone retracted his claim that the Israeli government deliberately targeted civilians, saying, “If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document“, the silence was deafening.

This story wasn’t a scoop; it was an annoyance that needed to be hidden somewhere between the want ads and the daily horoscopes.

Israeli attack on the Gaza Aid Flotilla, May 31, 2010. The tale (according to mainstream media) goes that there were these peaceful activists sailing their boats on a humanitarian mission to the stricken people of Gaza. They were simply bearing needed supplies like expired medications and teddy bears for the kids. But those nasty Israelis felt compelled to enforce their cruel and inhuman blockade and had the nerve to board the ship, Mavi Marmara armed with the most heinous of weapons – paint ball guns!

Flotilla - metal rods and batsThe intrepid reporters covering the event conveniently “forgot” a few details. Like the paint ball guns – mentioning them would have shown that the soldiers never intended to use lethal force. Like the metal rods, slingshots, bats and broken bottles that the “activists” assembled to greet the Israeli soldiers – because obviously they did intend physical harm.

The ship crew’s preparations were caught on the ship’s security cameras. The IDF cameras recorded the actual violence once they boarded. The soldiers only used their side arms as a last resort—when they received permission from their superiors—to save their own lives.

One would think that with video evidence the media would have had a difficult time concocting a “blame Israel” story. Think again! Splashed across the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald was this:

Israeli attack on the Gaza aid flotilla

Sydney Morning Herald photographer Kate Geraghty was traveling with the Turkish-backed aid flotilla bound for Gaza, and witnessed the Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara (Syndey Morning Herald).

My friends, make no mistake about it; this is an all-out attack by the media on Israel. To accomplish their purposes they count on a dumbed-down society that believes anything an “expert” says, who never bothers to dig any deeper for its news than the headlines of the New York Times or maybe CNN.

It will be interesting to follow the “fair and balanced” coverage of these future events:

1. Further attacks on Israel’s borders similar to the Nakba protests.

2. The Palestinian Authority which has formed a unity government with Hamas will request statehood admission to the United Nations General Assembly in September.

So how can you find out what’s really happening? The following are some recommended bloggers: Joel Chernoff, Joseph Finkelstein, Caroline Glick, Daniel Greenfield, and Melanie Phillips.

Some timely articles are published in Frontpage Magazine, Israel Unity Coalition, Jewish World Review, Family Security Matters, and One Jerusalem.

Other excellent resources include Palestinian Media Watch, The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), and Myths and Facts.

Let’s be informed and let’s be a voice for TRUTH.

We CAN Make a Difference–Learning from Elijah

This month’s guest blogger is Yossi Bar Negev from Israel. Yossi is a passionate voice for Israel. With his knowledge of scripture and watchful eye on the media, he brings clarity to the complex issues surrounding Israel.

I’d like to begin with a story about one of my favorite biblical heroes – Elijah (the same guy for whom we set a place at the Passover Seder and for whom we open the door while singing “Eliyahu HaNavi” – “Elijah the Prophet”). He may be considered a hero today but in his own time he wasn’t very popular.

The political leaders hated him; the king called him THE trouble-maker of Israel. The queen, Jezebel,  wanted him dead. Religious leaders despised him because he dared to tell the truth and rebuked them for what they were doing wrong – like worshiping the gods of the surrounding pagan peoples and engaging in their lascivious behavior. In short, he refused to follow or condone the politically correct philosophy of the day.

On top of that, he looked like a wild man – hairy, dressed in what would be considered rags – like something just blown in off the desert. In today’s jargon Elijah was a right-wing nut job.

 Scripture records Elijah’s miraculous victory over hundreds of pagan (false) prophets. You can read the entire account in 1 Kings 18:16-39.

 Despite a fantastical display of God’s awesome power and the humiliation of every pagan priest, one discouraging word from Jezebel and Elijah and ran away into the desert. There he plopped himself under a bush. He wallowed in his discouragement and complained to God that even though he himself had been very zealous he was the only one left standing for the truth – so why bother living anymore? The world was going to hell quickly – why not just forget about it, die and let them go along on their merry way.

 God didn’t put up with Elijah’s whining. First of all, Elijah was wrong: he wasn’t alone. God had 7,000 people who were standing with him against the forces of evil. That’s not a lot in a whole nation, but it’s something–a believing remnant. Secondly, Elijah wasn’t ready for retirement. God basically told him to get up off his tuchus (rear end) and continue the work God had called him to do.

Sometimes we who stand with Israel and the Jewish people may feel isolated in an increasingly hostile world. It’s politically correct now to be pro-Palestinian and anti-Zionist (read “anti-Jew”); just ask the UN, EU, the Obama administration, Arab nations, leftist NGO’s, campus and church BDS groups (boycott, divestment, sanctions), many Hollywood celebrities, mainstream media, etc., etc.

Those who take the opposite view and dare to express it are often labeled right-wing nut jobs, ignorant, trouble-makers, even terrorists . . . sound familiar? Because of extreme media bias, these brave souls even have difficulty getting their message out without having it twisted. It’s up to you and me to not allow them to be “voices crying in the wilderness”.

 Thanks to conservative talk radio, blogs and newsletters like Joel’s and mine (what a shameless plug!) we can unearth the truth - which frequently takes a lot of digging – and pass it around to others. Watch some YouTube videos such as Michele Bachmann and Allen West sharing their views on Israel. These people aren’t just speaking to woo Jewish voters or Jewish donations to their campaigns. They really mean what they say and have backed it up with action regardless of political cost.

 Then there’s Glenn Beck. Yes, I know that he may have some odd ideas about various and assorted topics. But the reason he’s been more vilified in the mainstream media than almost anyone else is his uncompromising stand for Israel.

Then there’s you and me, average folks who aren’t making speeches or YouTube videos. How can we get up off our collective tuchus and make a difference? Here are three simple things:

1. Send the link to this blog- another shameless plug – to your friends, post on your Facebook, LinkIn, and other social media outlets. Total time expenditure: 1 to 4 minutes.

2. Do some research on your own and pass your findings on to others. Remember that your friends won’t find this info on the evening news and so they may be totally unaware of the truth unless you inform them. Of course, please, please, please be sure to check out the veracity of your sources first so that even if people accuse you of being a wild-eyed nut case, you’ll be a credible wild-eyed nut case.

3. Be proactive! Watch for negative stories in the media. It is inexcusable to say “I don’t have the time” or “my opinion doesn’t matter”! Emails to newspapers, congressmen, senators, companies, and local businesses can and do make a difference.

Think you can’t make a difference?

I happened upon a news story a number of months ago about a bus ad in Seattle. The city of Seattle, WA, allowed a group to post on public buses ads which read, “Israeli War Crimes: Your tax dollars at work”[1], accompanied by huge, misleading pictures of “poor oppressed Palestinians”, I—and apparently thousands of other “watchers”—immediately fired off emails to Seattle city commissioners. Because pressure was applied from so many concerned citizens, the ad campaign was eventually cancelled.

So let’s not waste time on hand-wringing and kvetching (complaining). Let’s dust ourselves off like Elijah did, be encouraged, and get to work – we’re not alone!

“Shake yourself from the dust, arise; Sit down, O Jerusalem! Loose yourself from the bonds of your neck, O captive daughter of Zion!” (Isaiah 52:2)

Prayer Needs:

Pray that the Lord will provide an opportunity for us to be a credible “voice” for Israel.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem and all Israel.
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America.

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[1] Seattle Times, December 21, 2010, “Metro’s acceptance of  ‘Israeli War Crime’ bus ad draws complaints”, by Keith Ervin

It’s Time to Counter the Hypocrisy

Our Guest Blogger is the Jerusalm Intitute of Justice (JIJ). The JIJ is dedicated to advancing freedom for all Israelis—freedom of worship, expression, livelihood, and equal access to political representation, and education. They strive to strengthen the democratic integrity of Israel’s society, which in turn helps in the battle against anti-Semitism which is once again raging in the international community.

As political instability and unrest sweep the Middle East, and human rights atrocities run rampant through the streets of oppressive Muslim regimes, the State of Israel, the only viable democracy in the region, has become the target of incessant, unfounded scrutiny and delegitimization.

 The UN founded the Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) after the atrocities of the Holocaust to protect and promote human rights worldwide. A leading voice in the condemnation ofIsrael, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) succeeded the UNCHR in 2006 to further the UN’s mandate in safeguarding and advancing international human rights. However, ironically, the UNHRC has rather become a “safe-house” for terrorists and human rights violators, and a platform to systematically condemn the State of Israel and promulgate anti-Zionist propaganda.

 Since 2006, nearly 48% of the Council’s resolutions have expressed condemnation ofIsrael, while it has only voiced “deep concern” over Sudan’s countless human rights abuses and the Darfur genocide. Moreover, Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, notorious for his virulent anti-Semitic sentiments and disregard of human rights, was invited as keynote speaker to the UNHRC’s Durban II Anti-Racism Conference in 2009 where he launched a racist tirade against the State of Israel.

 In an attempt to counteract the hypocrisy and the onslaught of continuous delegitimization of Israel, the Jerusalem Institute of Justice (JIJ) organized and facilitated a massive demonstration on behalf of Israel at the Durban II conference inGeneva. JIJ succeeded in mobilizing approximately 1,500 Christians from ten different nations across Europe to stand with Israel and protest against the hypocrisy and double standards of the UNHRC.

 Initially established in 2001 to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance, the Durban Anti-Racism Conferences have inevitably become a mere guise to denounce the nation ofIsraeland challenge the legitimacy of her existence.

In September, the UNHRC will hold its third Durban Anti-Racism Review Conference in New York City while the Palestinian Authority (PA) will attempt to unilaterally seek a UN resolution on Palestinian statehood based on the 1967 borders.

 JIJ along with a coalition of organizations (The Jewish Agency, The World Zionist Organization, Eagles Wings and the European Coalition for Israel) has decided to facilitate another large-scale demonstration on behalf of Israel during the conference. The demonstration will challenge the hypocrisy of the UNHRC and call upon the Council to actually address racial discrimination, anti-Semitism, and human rights abuses around the world. The demonstration will be held on September 21, 2011 opposite the UN headquarters in Dag Hammershald Plaza in New York City. For more information about this demonstration see www.durban3nyc.com.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America.

President Obama’s Disturbing New Assertion at AIPAC

On May 22, 2011, President Obama followed up his controversial May 19 speech on the Middle East and Palestinian/Israel conflict with an address to the American Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC).  Some political pundits assert that he backed down from previous assertions concerning Israel’s boundaries made in his May 19 speech on the Middle East. Though charming and  conciliatory in tone when speaking to the 10,000 pro-Israel AIPAC delegates, as I read his speech I cannot agree with those pundits. As far as I can see, he did not back down or change his central assertions that Israel must fully withdraw its military from Judea and Samaria and that Israel must agree to establishing its new borders along pre-1967 borders.

He states:

…no matter how hard it may be to start meaningful negotiations under the current circumstances, we must acknowledge that a failure to try is not an option. The status quo is unsustainable. That is why on Thursday, I stated publicly the principles that the United States believes can provide a foundation for negotiations toward an agreement to end the conflict …

That doesn’t sound like backing down to me. That sounds like a defense or justification for those assertions.

Obama’s Justifications Restated

He also restated three reasons/justifications (and added a fourth and very disturbing new justification) for his controversial  initiative and push for indefensible pre-1967 borders as a pre-condition for peace. He continues:

First, the number of Palestinians living west of the Jordan River is growing rapidly and fundamentally reshaping the demographic realities of both Israel and the Palestinian territories. This will make it harder and harder-without peace-to maintain Israel as both a Jewish state and a democratic state. Second, technology will make it harder for Israel to defend itself in the absence of a genuine peace. And third, a new generation of Arabs is reshaping the region. A just and lasting peace can no longer be forged with one or two Arab leaders. Going forward, millions of Arab citizens have to see that peace is possible for that peace to be sustained. 

However, it is his fourth and disturbing new  justification that really caught my attention.

In his words:

Just as the context has changed in the Middle East, so too has it been changing in the international community over the last several years. There is a reason why the Palestinians are pursuing their interests at the United Nations. They recognize that there is impatience with the peace process — or the absence of one. Not just in the Arab World, but in Latin America, in Europe, and in Asia. That impatience is growing, and is already manifesting itself in capitols around the world. …But the march to isolate Israel internationally — and the impulse of the Palestinians to abandon negotiations — will continue to gain momentum in the absence of a credible peace process and alternative. For us to have leverage with the Palestinians, with the Arab states, and with the international community, the basis for negotiations has to hold out the prospect of success. 

Translation: In other words, though the US is trying hard to stand with you, Israel, you now have to satisfy and negotiate with not only the Palestinians and bordering Arab states but also an alienated and pro-Palestinian “international community”. Israel — can’t you see? The whole world is against you. The Palestinians are unilaterally angling to obtain official statehood status at the UN. They will get it. That would be a disaster for you. I’m just trying to head off that catastrophe. Your only chance is to follow my strategy whether you like it or not.  Help me help you!

I believe the President is also inferring that he can’t hold off Arab and international aspirations forever. Though he professes his support of Israel his support was very uncertain in the Gaza Flotilla incident last May. Only at the last second did he veto an extremely anti-Israel resolution by the UN Security Council.

All of this to say that President Obama’s intentions towards Israel , at the very least,  remain very uncertain and unclear.

Remember!

Watch very closely what a leader does–not what he says–to know his true intentions.  

God’s promise to Israel in the latter days:

If anyone stirs up strife, it is not from me; whoever stirs up strife with you shall fall because of you. (Isaiah 54: 14)

Joel Chernoff

Obama Continues Dramatic Shift Towards Palestinian Aspirations

In a continuation of the trajectory supporting Palestinian/Moslem aspirations for statehood at the expense of Israel’s security and some might argue survival, President Obama proclaimed to the world that he expects Israel to return to pre-1967 boundaries. Robert Satloff, writing for the International Jerusalem Post explains,

He is the first  sitting US President to say that the boundaries should be “based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps”. The Obama formulation concretizes a move away from four decades of US policy based on UN Security Council Resolution 242 which has always interpreted calls for an Israeli withdrawal to a secure and recognized border as not synonymous with the pre-1967 borders.

Likud MK, Danny Danon, further explains,

Barack Hussein Obama adopted Yasser Arafat’s staged plan for Israel’s destruction, and he is trying to force it on our Prime Minister…All that was new in the speech was that he called for Israel to return to pre-1967 borders without resolving the crisis. Netanyahu has only one option: “Tell Obama to forget about it.”

Israeli Prime Minister…

Benyamin Netanyahu, quickly responded to Obama’s new position on Israel’s boundaries by saying that  signing such an agreement would leave Israel in an indefensible military position and threaten the survival of the Jewish state.

Netanyahu further asserts,

The Palestinians, and not only the US, must recognize Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people…and expects to hear from President Obama a reconfirmation of commitments to Israel from 2004 that received wide support in both houses of Congress.

The Jerusalem Post also reports that….

… the President Bush letter to PM Ariel Sharon (in 2004) “did not call for a return to the 1967 lines, and that it recognized that any agreement would take into account the changed realities on the ground–a line interpreted by Israel to mean a recognition that it would hold on to the large settlement blocs.

Netanyahu goes on to say,

The Bush commitments deal with Israel not being asked to withdraw to pre-1967 lines, which are not defensible, and which place large population centers in Judea and Samaria outside of these borders.

Netanyahu also asserted that the Bush letter made clear that Palestinian refugees would be absorbed in a future Palestinian State. (Jerusalem Post)

So where is this headed?

As PM Netanyahu flies to the US to meet with President Obama and speak to both houses of Congress, there is no question in my mind that the current US administration is continuing to set a course that will further alienate the US from its close alliance with Israel. Israel has no choice but to reject the President’s  new formulations for peace which can only further strain and isolate Israel from its primary ally, the USA.

I would remind this government of the God’s words from Isaiah 54:14 in which He delivers a clear promise to Israel in the prophetic period called “latter days”. God promises:

If anyone stirs up strife, it is not from me. Whoever stirs up strife with you shall fall because of you…and you shall refute every tongue that rises up in judgment against you. Isaiah 54: 14-15

Continue to pray for both the US and Israel. Specifically that our leaders will forsake the path of antagonism with Israel and continue to be the support we have been for the past 50 years. A word to the wise…

Joel Chernoff

Osama Bin Laden’s Assassination and Middle East Peace

 

 

Will Osama Bin Laden’s (OBL) much celebrated death at the hands of American military special forces move the world closer to peace in the Middle East?

The answer is no.

While it is particularly gratifying to see OBL meet his just reward on this planet and to know that an American face was the last face he saw before leaving this earth, it was a temporary distraction and sideshow from the center stage of Arab political upheaval.

In particular, continue to keep your eyes on Egypt… 

Besides being the largest of the Arab Moslem countries, Egypt has maintained the longest peace with Israel of any Arab state. Since the recent overthrow of Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak and his government, we are seeing a gradual but clear tilt towards a radical Moslem takeover. The forces for democracy in Egypt, that were so prominent during the revolution, are much less organized than the radical Moslem  constituencies. Specifically, the Muslim Brotherhood is now the most powerful and organized political party in Egypt and will be a force to be reckoned with in the soon coming elections in Egypt.

My Prediction…

The radical Moslem cleric run political parties, the largest of which is the Muslim Brotherhood, will first takeover the democratic process that is desperately trying to maintain and nurture a foothold in the current  Egyptian political landscape. After rising to power, those radical elements will undermine the democracy (as Hitler did in Germany) and declare Egypt to be a theocracy (like Iran) and operate under “sharia law” i.e. the law of the Koran.

More Bad News for Israel

 In addition to the radicalizing of the political process in Egypt, I have noted from various  news sources over the last several weeks, other clear  indicators that the Egyptian populace and political process  is increasingly anti-Israel.

Here are some of them:

  • Many voices in Egypt are calling for Egypt to end selling natural gas to Israel. This call has manifested in two bomb attacks on the pipeline between Israel and Egypt which succeeded in temporarily halting the flow of gas to Israel.
  • Egypt recently opened the border between itself and Gaza infuriating Israel. This opening permits weaponry to be much more easily  moved into the hostile hands of the Hamas terrorist government.

    Hamas

    These weapons will be used against Israel and Israel knows this.

  • Many Egyptian citizens and politicos are calling for an end to the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt. Those voices are gaining a larger and larger following amongst the general population.
  • And lastly, Egypt has been central in helping Hamas and the Palestinian Authority to negotiate a political truce thus unifying the Palestinian Arabs against Israel. This despite the fact that Israel has stated very clearly that it will not accept this “unity” government and will not negotiate any peace with a government that includes the radical Hamas party unless it accepts the right of Israel to exist. Hamas has no interest in recognizing Israel.
So Where is This Leading?
 
Egypt is a boiling pot that is threatening to explode. Israel sees the anti-Israel direction the Egyptian revolution is taking and is feeling increasingly threatened and vulnerable on its southern border. It is just a matter of time until war breaks out as Israel feels it must move pre-emptively to protect itself from a crippling and potentially lethal first strike from its enemies.
 
All of this is prophesied in the book of Isaiah and elsewhere. We could be watching the precipitating events that cause and lead up to the Final Arab Israeli War.
 
More on this later.
 
For the restoration of Israel,
 
Joel Chernoff

Finally! Reconsidering the Anti-Israel UN Goldstone Report

In an earlier blog I asserted a prophetic promise God gives to Israel

Richard Goldstone

concerning her physical and spiritual restoration in “latter days”. Not only does He say that all who attack Israel will fall because  of her (Isaiah 54: 15)but in Isaiah 54: 17 he promises “you will refute every tongue that rises against you in accusation or judgment.”

In other words God Himself will vindicate Israel in the face of the many individuals and nations that rise up with hostile intent to maliciously and unfairly accuse her of various wrongs. The UN Goldstone Report was just one of many  unfair, disingenuous and slanderous accusations that have been authored by various UN entities to hurt, isolate and discredit Israel.

It is against this background that it is worth noting that now Richard Goldstone, the author of that horrific report is now backing away (although not completely) from his own report and I dare say with increasing amounts of egg on his face. In his own words:

We know a lot more today about what happened in the Gaza War of 2008-09 than we did when I chaired the fact-finding mission appointed by the UN Human Rights Council that produced what has come to be known as the Goldstone Report. If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been very different. (April, 2011, Washington Post)

He goes on to point out that “Israel has dedicated significant resources to investigate over 400 allegations of operational misconduct in Gaza while …Hamas has not conducted any

Current Rulers of Gaza

 investigations in to the launching of rockets and mortar attacks against Israel”.

I know you must be as shocked as I am that Hamas, a terrorist organization ruling Gaza, who has permitted the launching of over 5000 bombs into Israeli civilian populations, has not taken an aggressive posture in investigating who might be responsible for launching those bombs. Tsk, tsk!

It appears that many other politicians at least here in the US are beginning to rise up and ask that this report be discredited and shelved. Don’t hold your breath.

And also…don’t expect an apology from the UN anytime soon.

Accusers of Israel beware…the God of Israel keeps His promises! He will rise to Israel’s defense whether it is on the battlefield of war, the media or the courtroom.

Joel Chernoff