Dancing And Weeping In The Holy Land

Dancing and Weeping in the Holy Land Share:
November 3, 2011

Dear Friend of Israel,

It’s hard to believe that just two short weeks ago the state of Israel was filled with joy and celebration inspired by the Jewish holidays of Sukkot and Simchat Torah and the long-anticipated homecoming of captured IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.

In stark contrast to the festivity, this past week school closures have been in effect for 200,000 children, and residents have been instructed to stay close to bomb shelters because of the scores of rockets fired at southern Israel since last Saturday by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza.

A resident of Ashkelon, 56-year-old Moshe Ami, was killed after he sustained serious shrapnel wounds, and thirty other residents were injured in the attacks. Rockets damaged numerous buildings, including one school, which thank God was empty at the time.

To add insult to injury, earlier this week the United Nations’ cultural agency, UNESCO, voted to grant the Palestinians full member status. Soon after, Palestinian leaders announced that they would be seeking membership in an additional 16 U.N. agencies as part of their ongoing bid to be recognized as a state.

This is the way it has often been for Israelis throughout our long and dramatic history seasons of joy and seasons of pain so closely interspersed. Years of harsh slavery under the Egyptians, then a miraculous rescue orchestrated by God Himself.

The horrors of the Holocaust, then the glorious re-establishment of the Jewish state.

I am reminded of the passage in Ecclesiastes 3 that wisely instructs us that there “is a time for everything” (v. 1) – “a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build up, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance” (vv. 3-4).

Right now we weep with the family of Moshe Ami and we mourn at the United Nations’ continued harsh anti-Israel bias. But we do this weeping and mourning as a people who know that laughing and dancing will return and, most of all, that our God is still in control.

So we keep our eyes fixed on Him during these days of danger and grief, praying for and anticipating our promised “time for peace.”

With prayers for shalom, peace,

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein President

A Newsbrief From The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews

Sweet Freedom

 RYEOctober 13, 2011Dear Friend of Israel,

Israel is awaiting with anticipation the return of Gilad Shalit, the IDF soldier held captive by Hamas terrorists for over five years. On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu announced that a deal had been finalized with Hamas for Shalit’s return, and though no date for that release has yet been announced, it looks like this time he will really be coming home.

Israelis are famous for their boisterous public debates on a host of topics. But for years they have been united in their concern for this young man who was kidnapped and held under such cruel conditions. He was allowed virtually no contact with the outside world. In clear violation of international law, his captors never allowed him even one visit by the International Red Cross. The United Nations, which criticizes Israel at every turn, never saw fit to address Shalit’s plight. Israel and her friends never forgot him though — and now, with his release imminent, his homecoming seems like nothing short of a miracle, a gift from God.

Shalit’s freedom comes at a painful cost — a price exacted by Hamas, which outrageously demanded the release of 1,000 Palestinian prisoners to ensure Shalit’s release. Among these prisoners are many terrorists with the blood of innocent Israeli men, women, and children on their hands. Certainly, there are many moral and ethical questions — and strategic risks — associated with this prisoner swap.

Gilad’s parents, too, are understandably anxious about how five years of being held captive by terrorists has affected his psychological and physical health. Aviva Shalit, Gilad’s mother, expressed her concern as only a parent can. “This joy is mixed with a great deal of fear; it is obvious that he won’t be the same boy we sent off,” she said. “No matter what we do when we get home, the most important thing is that Gilad comes back.”

Whatever our fears and apprehensions, it is a time to be thankful. And so we say, welcome home Gilad Shalit! The entire nation of Israel, and Israel’s friends everywhere, celebrate your return. May the rest of your life and the lives of your loved ones be as blessed with joy and happiness as the past five years have been fraught with struggle and sorrow. On this momentous occasion, may we all turn toward God in gratitude, remembering the words of the Psalmist, “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever” (Psalm 107:1).

With prayers for shalom, peace,

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
President

Liberty Counsel – Stand With Israel

Israel is once again being severely threatened by her
enemies while the Obama administration seeks to marginalize
the relationship between our countries. 

Right now, I am in Israel and will soon have the
opportunity to personally discuss your “Stand with
Israel!” statement – along with tens of thousands of
other “pro-Israel” American citizens – with key Israeli
officials!

But our work is far from done. We must change America’s
unacceptable policy and posturing toward Israel!

Please take a moment to read my message below and alert
all of your pro-Israel friends to sign our powerful
“Stand with Israel!” statement of support, which will
be delivered along with yours to key elected officials
in America.

Simply forward the message below to your friends.

Thanks, and God bless you (as He promises He will!) for your
bold stand with His people.

Mat Staver

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Forward this message to your friends:
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Mathew Staver
Founder and Chairman
Liberty Counsel

      Israel is once again facing heightened threats by
      foreign enemies while the Obama Administration’s
      policy toward our ally has taken a marked turn for
      the worse, severely threatening our nations’ vital
      relationship.  I am in Israel for an important
      visit that will include meetings with several
      high-ranking Israeli officials.  I will be telling
      these leaders that President Obama’s policies DO
      NOT represent the view of the majority of Americans!
      Please read my vital message below – Mat.

I have just landed in Israel. One of the first things we
noticed upon arrival is that tension seems to be extremely
high here based on renewed pressure from the UN and other
international organizations to enter into a “land for peace”
deal with the Palestinian Authority.

       It is obvious that the people of Israel are genuinely
       confused by the dramatic change in United States
       foreign policy under the Obama Administration.  And
       the pressure from long-standing enemies in the
       region is sharply rising.

Today, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad assailed Israel
, calling “Jewish Zionism” one of history’s worst ills. He
told the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a security
group regarded as a NATO rival, that 60 plus years of
Zionism has brought only humiliation and destruction to
the Palestinians and the region at large.

      His virulent words are made more ominous by Iran’s
      growing nuclear threat and the fact that Israel could
      be provoked into launching a pre-emptive strike against
      Iran if the threat rises much further.

++Has Barack Obama become a Palestinian spokesperson?

We’ve only been here a few hours, but we are already aware
that a large number of Israeli leaders feel that America’s
attitude toward Israel, which has dramatically changed under
President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton, is seriously
undermining the relationship between our nations.

      Some have embraced the idea that President Obama has
      actually become an unofficial “spokesperson” for the
      Palestinian point of view and has moved the American
      government into a nearly adversarial relationship with
      the nation of Israel. 

Meanwhile, according to the Jerusalem Post, “Ambassador Yossi
Ben Aharon, who served as the chief of staff and close
confident of Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, is warning of
what he calls an impending ‘explosion’ for Israel in September,
when the United Nations General Assembly is expected to
recognize a Palestinian state within Israel’s 1967 borders,”
which is the proposed starting point for peace under Obama’s
plan.   

      What really disturbs me is that President Obama should
      know without a doubt that previous “land for peace”
      deals between Israel and Palestine, in which Israel
      transferred land to the Palestinians in exchange for
      peace, have been abysmal failures and increased – not
      decreased – violence in the region. 

++I am here delivering a message from tens of thousands of
Americans who “Stand with Israel”!

Since our President seems to be doing everything he can to
undermine our nation’s bond with Israel, it is vitally
important that American citizens let our friends in Israel
know that we are still committed to our friendship!

      Can you imagine a better opportunity than now?

I will be expressing our solidarity directly with several key
Israeli officials with whom we will be meeting this week with
a message from over 50,000 United States citizens saying,
“We Stand with Israel!” 

But these signed Statements of Support represent just the
early response to this opportunity to encourage and strengthen
our friends in Israel – by the time our mission here is
complete next week, we expect that well over 100,000 Americans
will have taken this bold stand with us!

Teresa, I am thrilled to be delivering this message
to these Israeli leaders!  But our work is far from complete.

I am calling upon all of Liberty Counsel’s friends and
supporters to boldly rise up in support of Israel!  We need
to be as plain and direct as we can to reject policies that
force Israel into accepting any “land for peace” proposals. 

      That’s why we are also sending a special, pointed
      letter to President Obama, Secretary of State Hilary
      Clinton, Speaker of the House John Boehner, and Senate
      Majority Leader Harry Reid. 

We must forthrightly tell our elected officials that Americans
stand in support of Israel – and pray the Lord will intervene
before the Obama Administration does any more damage to our
relationship with Israel!

Click here to read and sign our letter: 

http://www.libertyaction.org/r.asp?u=43296&PID=31497184

++Our gift to you for standing with Israel.

When you join many tens of thousands of concerned Americans
in signing this powerful letter, we will send you our custom-
designed “Stand with Israel!” vinyl sticker that you can
proudly display.

This colorful 4 x 6 inch oval delivers an unmistakable
message and will not fade or come off, even after many car
washes and prolonged exposure to the elements.  It’s our gift
to you – a small token of our appreciation for the important
stand you are taking.

You can see your sticker and sign the letter of support for
Israel by going here: 
 
http://www.libertyaction.org/r.asp?u=43296&PID=31497184

When the United Nations votes to accept Palestinian statehood
in September, we unfortunately expect President Obama will
do what is politically expedient for him, his public
perception, and his relations with Muslim groups and
nations – and not what is in the best interest of Israel,
or even, sadly, the United States of America. 

      We soundly reject the Obama Administration’s policy
      shift!

      I very much want to include your name in these letters
      to key American leaders letting them know that
      President Obama DOES NOT represent the views of the
      majority of Americans!  The fact is, a vast number
      of us don’t agree with his call for Israel to retreat.

This is a wonderful opportunity for you to
make YOUR voice heard on this crucial issue! I believe we
will achieve our goal of securing well over 100,000
Statements of Support from concerned Americans, hopefully
including you!

Please be heard by signing our “Stand with Israel!” letter.
Go here to sign:

http://www.libertyaction.org/r.asp?u=43296&PID=31497184

I also ask for your fervent prayers for the Lord’s covering
over our meetings with the Israeli leadership over the next
several days. I will continue to update you on our progress.

God bless you for personally standing with His people in Israel!

Mathew Staver, Founder and Chairman
Liberty Counsel

P.S. While I am delivering the powerful message to key Israeli
leaders from so many Americans that we “Stand With Israel,”
please help us strengthen our campaign by signing the “Stand
With Israel” letters being delivered to high-level American
leaders.  Click here to sign and be sure to watch for my updates:

http://www.libertyaction.org/r.asp?u=43296&PID=31497184

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Note: Please do not “reply” directly to this e-mail message.
This e-mail address is not designed to receive your personal
messages. To contact Liberty Counsel with comments, questions
or to  change your status, see the link at the end of this e-mail.)
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http://www.libertyaction.org/r.asp?U=43295&CID=333&RID=31497184

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the sanctity of human life and family. 
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