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Remembering God’s Faithfulness

{image_1}In his book Mein Kampf, Adolph Hitler claimed that he would be doing the work of the Lord by ridding the world of the Jewish people. Only a few short years later, he was ruling Germany with an iron fist, conquering Europe, and attempting to make good on his threat to make the world judenrein. And he was only one of many leaders throughout history who unwittingly went to battle with the God of the Universe by attempting to destroy His chosen people.

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The Levy Report: Settlements Are Legal

{image_1}A special commission named this year by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has submitted some clear-cut conclusions regarding the legality of the so-called “Israeli settlements”. The three-member committee, informally known as the Levy Commission—headed by former Supreme Court Justice Edmond Levy, along with former Foreign Ministry Legal Advisor Alan Baker, and former Deputy President of the Tel-Aviv District Court Tehiya Shapira—determined that these settlements are perfectly legal within the standards of international law.

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Fears Arise over Syrian Conflict

{image_3}With Syria overcome by violence, Jordanian King Abdullah has expressed the fear that sectarianism in Syria could lead to a fragmentation of the country. And that’s not the only regional fear. A sizable Syrian stockpile of chemical weapons also looms as a very real threat—both within the nation and out of it.

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Other Security Fences…besides Israel’s!

{image_1}If we were to review a list of Israel’s actions that have incurred the wrath of the nations, it would actually be hard to decide which should be ranked at the top. Certainly in the running would be the decision, over a decade ago, to build a security fence, the largest infrastructure project in Israel’s history. Developed specifically to protect citizens from the infiltration of suicide bombers after years of intifada (Arab uprisings)—which left 1,226 Israelis dead and 8,341 maimed— the cost was nearly US $2 billion.

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Young Adults Discovering Their Roots

{image_1}Two names, two programs, one Jewish, the other Christian, but there are more similarities than differences between them. While Taglit-Birthright is aimed at helping young Jewish adults of the Diaspora [the Jewish population outside Israel] reconnect with their Jewish roots, Zealous8:2 seeks to connect Christian young adults to the Hebraic roots of their faith. Both are using tours to draw young people around the world to Israel. The curious bystander in Israel who observes the endless lines of excited, English-speaking Jewish youth on Taglit tours must wonder how this program began.

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Christian Exodus from the Holy Land

Is Israel the oppressor or protector?

{image_1}Throughout their history, regardless of where they have lived, the Jewish people have been blamed for everything from the plague to the high cost of automobile insurance. They have been accused of poisoning wells, intentionally spreading the HIV virus, killing Christian children to use their blood to make Passover matzah (unleavened bread), and attempting to take over the world through their alleged control of its finances. No matter how ludicrous some of these may sound, there have always been anti-Semites at hand ready to believe the current rhetoric and incite the local populations to hatred, violence, and even murder.

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IDF Celebrates 64 Years of Defending the State of Israel

{image_1}Facts about the Israel Defense Forces [IDF] you have never heard before:

—When the IDF was formed on May 26, 1948, its structure was based on that of its predecessor, the Haganah.

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Pirkei Avot: A Banquet of Wisdom

{image_1}”Moses received the Instructions of the Lord from Sinai and passed it on to Joshua, and Joshua to the Elders, and the Elders to the Prophets.” This encapsulation of the beginning of the transmission of the Torah (God's teachings) has been a fundamental truth for the Jewish people for thousands of years.

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Off the Beaten Track

{image_1}One of the advantages of living in Israel as volunteers with Bridges for Peace instead of just touring Israel for a week or two is being able to see some sites off the beaten track that are usually not part of a tour. In May, our staff from Karmiel and Jerusalem came together for our annual retreat. Besides spiritual refreshment, another delightful ingredient of the three-day event is going on fun excursions.

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The Desert Will Blossom

{image_1}“The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom…” (Isaiah 35:1, NIV)

After seeing photos of the lush, green Galilee, an astonished friend once told me that she thought Israel was all desert. Well, Israel is not exactly all desert, but desert does make up almost 60% of the nation’s land mass. I expect she envisioned camel caravans making their way across endless dunes of sand, but, in fact, the desert of Israel is comprised primarily of rocky outcrops and mountains, deep craters, and dry riverbeds.

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