By Shira Sorko-Ram
There is only ONE reason for Israel’s blockade of Gaza. It is to stop weapons smuggling into the hands of Hamas. There is only ONE reason for pro-Palestinian organizations to “free Gaza.” It is to break the blockade in order to allow for weapons to be smuggled in. ~ Asher Intrater (reviveisrael.org)
Israel Navy: “Mavi Marmara [ship], you are approaching an area of hostilities which is under a naval blockade. The Gaza area coastal region and Gaza harbor are closed to all maritime traffic. The Israeli government supports delivery of humanitarian supplies to the civilian population in the Gaza Strip and invites you to enter the Ashdod port. Delivery of supplies in accordance with the authorities’ regulations will be through the formal land crossings and under your observation, after which you can return to your home ports on the vessels on which you have arrived.”
Response: “Negative, negative. Our destination is Gaza.”
Israel Navy: “Mavi Marmara, you are approaching an area of hostilities which is under a naval blockade....”
Response: “Shut up, go back to Auschwitz.” Second voice: “We’re helping Arabs go against the US, don’t forget 9/11.” (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs 31May2010; www.mfa.gov.il)
This, of course, was not the first time Israel’s navy had intercepted ships aiming to penetrate the Jewish nation’s blockade against the Hamas terrorist regime in Gaza. In 2002, Israel’s navy seals intercepted the Iranian arms ship Karine A. It was loaded with 50 tons of advanced weaponry for Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip. Then on November 4, 2009, Israeli commandos boarded another ship, the Francop. It had 36 containers containing 500 tons of missiles and highly developed weapons headed for Hezbollah in Lebanon. Even though known terrorists were aboard, both ships were seized without resistance or violence.
But on this sunny Monday, the last day of May, a Turkish flotilla of six ships sailed toward the Gaza coast with, they said, 700 peace activists aboard. But even peace activists have to be stopped from aiding the terrorists and so the Israeli navy prepared to board the ships and reroute them towards Israel’s Ashdod port, as they have done in the past. The first five ships were intercepted without a hitch within a few minutes.
The Mavi Marmara with 600 passengers was another story. This was a three-decker passenger ship which could only be boarded from a helicopter. When the first three Israeli commandos fast-roped from a helicopter down to the top deck of the “humanitarian aid” ship with paintball guns in their hands (in case needed for crowd control), they planned to politely greet the peace activists and explain to them they could not break Israel’s maritime blockade against Hamas-run Gaza, but would be taken to the Israeli port of Ashdod.
Video taken by Israeli navy shows mercenary militants beating Israeli commandos (top) and throwing one soldier over the side of the boat, where he fell 30 feet to the first deck (bottom).
To their astonishment they found themselves facing squads of well-trained mercenaries who leaped on them swinging iron bars, axes, knives, bottles and using live ammunition. One soldier was thrown over the side and hit the first deck 30 feet down. As the fourth commando slid down the rope, he saw his team leader lying on the deck with a Turkish activist holding a pistol he had grabbed from him and pointing it to his head. K. jumped from the rope, pulled out his emergency pistol holstered on his back and managed to shoot the activist holding the gun.
A total of 15 navy seals were on the deck within seconds. The last one to rappel down, St.-Sgt. S., realized they were being ambushed by what he called “murderous mercenaries.” He later told the Jerusalem Post, “When I hit the deck, I was immediately attacked by people with bats, metal pipes and axes. These were without a doubt terrorists. I could see the murderous rage in their eyes and that they were coming to kill us.” These passengers were equipped with night-vision goggles, bulletproof vests, and stun grenades,” said S. (4June10)
Looking to his side, he saw three of his commanders lying wounded – one with a gunshot wound to the stomach and another with a gunshot wound to the knee. A third was lying unconscious, his skull fractured by a devastating blow with a metal bar.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared Israel will not allow the establishment of an Iranian port in Gaza. Even as we speak, Iran has announced it will be sending two “aid” ships to Gaza and has offered to escort them with its warships. In fact, there are a number of dictators announcing their intention to send “aid” ships.
Being the next in command S. immediately took charge. He pushed the wounded soldiers up against the wall and created a perimeter of soldiers around them to begin treating their wounds. He then arranged his men to form a second perimeter and pulled out his 9 mm. Glock pistol to stave off the charging attackers and to protect his wounded comrades.
By now the Turks were shooting repeatedly at them. The commandos pulled out their pistols and within less than four minutes nine Turks were dead, 30 more injured, along with nine Israeli soldiers injured, two critically. Half an hour later, the ship was in their control. The Turkish captain later told the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) that the mercenaries threw their weapons overboard after the commandos took control of the vessel. (Ibid.)
Journalist Haviv Rettig Gur spoke for most Israelis: “It is a testament to the training and resourcefulness of those two-dozen soldiers that, undermanned, armed primarily with paintball guns and caught by complete surprise, they managed to take control of the situation away from the crowbarwielding mob without losing one of their own, even if five required surgery.” (Ibid.)
BACK AT THE U.N.
This was an emergency. It was May 31, 2010 at the U.N., the same day the Turkish convoy of six ships was intercepted by Israel. The news was everywhere of a “terrible bloody assault by the Israeli navy against peace-loving innocent humanitarian aid pacifists.” All these activists wanted to do, they told the world, was to deliver aid to the poor people of Gaza.
Indeed, five of the ships were boarded by polite soldiers who took command of the boats with no problem and no violence, steering them towards Ashdod. The issue was that violence had broken out on the largest ship of the Turkish flotilla, the Mavi Marmara.
The “peace loving humanitarian aid” ship was now the center of the world’s attention.
The members of the U.N. were outraged. How dare Israel kill innocent aid workers! New York is seven hours behind Israel’s time zone giving that much more time to write up a resolution blaming Israel for the “slaughter” of the peace activists. Their goal, of course, was to pass a harsh resolution against Israel, and demand an international investigation – like the previous Goldstone investigation that blasted Israel for attacking Gaza’s terrorist infrastructure in 2009.
However, there was a slight bump in the road the U.N. was determined to avoid. The problem was that at midnight, the presidency of the U.N. Security Council would pass from Lebanon to Mexico. The Hezbollah terrorist organization is part of Lebanon’s government coalition so Lebanon could be counted on to “throw the book” at Israel. Actually, Mexico probably wouldn’t have been any softer on Israel, but the U.N. Security Council members weren’t taking any chances.
With unprecedented speed and only hours to go, the Security Council unanimously agreed on the Lebanese presidential statement which summed up the bashing of Israel by the entire U.N. Check out the U.N. document yourself! www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2010/sc9940.doc.htm.
Not a single nation stood up for Israel. Including the U.S. President Obama not only agreed with the other nations but (can you believe?) called for the U.N. to initiate another investigation – in other words, a second Goldstone inquiry against Israel’s blockade of Gaza. As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “Israel is guilty until proven guilty.”
Jump to the Human Rights Council in Geneva on a parallel course that same day. They convened an emergency session to discuss the Israeli “flotilla attack.” There, the U.S. – who had joined this notorious demonizing-Israel organization to “protect” Israel – listened quietly with 30 plus nations while The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) brazenly and without pretense rejected Israel’s right to exist and therefore her right to defend herself.
These photos were taken by the “peace activists.”
The Turkish government which approved if not conceived the IHH flotilla operation, vowed that Israeli soldiers attacked the innocent peace-loving activists. The photos that Turkish newspapers published, however, blew their story by clearly showing that Israeli soldiers were badly beaten and wounded. Turkey’s desire to show humiliating photos of Israeli soldiers was greater than its desire to give credibility to its claims.
At the Council, Arab states condemned the attack as a “heinous crime” and an act of “Israeli terror” while the United States and the U.K. refrained from assigning blame (read: remained neutral) prior to an investigation. Once again, Israel stood alone.
To date, the 47-nation Human Rights Council has devoted 33 out of its 40 censure resolutions to Israel, and six out of its nine special sessions focused on Israel.
How do you say it? In the diplomatic arena, Israel is hopelessly outgunned. The Arab League has 22 members; the Islamic Conference has 57 and is part of the Non-Aligned group of 118 nations out of a total of 192 U.N. members. These figures explain why Israel is continually thrown under the bus with no hope of ever winning a debate in the U.N.
In fact, the only person who can prevent a crushing diplomatic disaster for Israel coming her way every time is the president of the United States. But that’s history. President Barack Obama has now become just another of the nonaligned members of the U.N.
The U.N. has absolutely nothing to do with justice or righteousness. It is a composite of a fallen race. Human rights in China, North Korea, Sudan, Iran, Syria and so many other nations, go ignored. Worst of all for the Middle East – and for the world, Iran serenely continues building her bombs to keep her promise to destroy Israel.
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They Set a Trap for Israel and She Fell Into It
There is no doubt that Israel’s intelligence was a colossal failure. As one Israeli reporter asked, “How in the world could we – who have spies in Syria and Iran – have failed so dismally as to not know there would be Turkish terrorists on the Mavi Marmara ship paid to kill Israeli soldiers?
As the Washington Post emphasized in an editorial last week, all of those killed were in that group of mercenaries. Some didn’t have IDs, but all 50 had approximately $10,000 each in their pockets. And the two “charities,” the Turkish IHH and Free Gaza both, have known connections with Hamas and even Al-Qaida. (See U.S. Department of Treasury Press Release, 12Nov08 and Israelnationalnews.com,6June10)
And now there is increasing evidence that extreme American leftists such as Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn from the Weather Underground terrorist organization, and Code Pink Jodie Evans - all associates of President Obama - helped organize the Free Gaza flotilla. (www.washingtonexaminer.com, 2June10)
Turkey, with an Islamic extremist president quickly moving into the Iran-Syria sphere and away from the West, from all appearances provoked Israel on behalf of Hamas. How could Israel not have known?
In fact these Turkish Jihadists were making statements to the press while sailing towards Gaza. Like this one: “When I was on the first convoy, I wanted to be a Shahid (martyr). I wasn’t that lucky. The second time I wanted to be a Shahid. It didn’t work. Third time with Allah’s help I will be a Shahid.”
For Israel, the greatest existential danger was not the military trap. It was the subsequent diplomatic catastrophe. When the English Arab station Al Jazeera started broadcasting at 4:00a.m. – the time that Israel intercepted the flotilla, Israelis were stunned. We all knew that the Arab propaganda about Israeli’s storming a boat and massacring passengers was ridiculous. Israelis knew that our soldiers were not shooting indiscriminately. Said journalist Haviv Rettig Gur, “We all have sons or brothers in the army. And they don’t shoot indiscriminately. They don’t massacre.” (Ibid., 4June10)
But the Israeli government’s public relations people were busy carefully checking all the facts “so we know what to say.” The plodding officials just don’t get it. Their well-meaning “we are going to take our time and we’re going to study the situation carefully before making public statements” doesn’t cut it in this war. Sure, Israel is concerned about integrity and getting it right the first time. The problem is that Muslim PR doesn’t care a whit about truth. And TV and the press need the story NOW.
Many hours later the IDF released the video footage of the battle that clearly showed organized life-threatening violence against the soldiers – which excused deadly force even in a domestic police situation.
But it was way too late. The world had already formed its opinion. The U.N. smelled blood. Gur suggests: “To deliver its own messages to a skeptical world, Israel must develop the same capabilities displayed by election campaigns. Tell the story simply, directly, believably. Tell it fast, and don’t make us beg for the proof.” (Ibid., 4June10)
Do not rejoice over me, my enemy;
When I fall, I will arise;
When I sit in darkness,
The Lord will be a light to me.
I will bear the indignation of the Lord,
Because I have sinned against Him,
Until He pleads my case
And executes justice for me.
He will bring me forth to the light;
I will see His righteousness.
Then she who is my enemy will see,
And shame will cover her who said to me,
“Where is the Lord your God?”
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Those Troublesome Jews
By Charles Krauthammer
The world is outraged at Israel's blockade of Gaza. Turkey denounces its illegality, inhumanity, barbarity, etc. The usual U.N. suspects, Third World and European, join in. The Obama administration dithers.
But as Leslie Gelb, former president of the Council on Foreign Relations, writes, the blockade is not just perfectly rational, it is perfectly legal. Gaza under Hamas is a self-declared enemy of Israel -- a declaration backed up by more than 4,000 rockets fired at Israeli civilian territory. Yet having pledged itself to unceasing belligerency, Hamas claims victimhood when Israel imposes a blockade to prevent Hamas from arming itself with still more rockets.
In World War II, with full international legality, the United States blockaded Germany and Japan. And during the October 1962 missile crisis, we blockaded ("quarantined") Cuba. Arms-bearing Russian ships headed to Cuba turned back because the Soviets knew that the U.S. Navy would either board them or sink them. Yet Israel is accused of international criminality for doing precisely what John Kennedy did: impose a naval blockade to prevent a hostile state from acquiring lethal weaponry.
Oh, but weren't the Gaza-bound ships on a mission of humanitarian relief? No. Otherwise they would have accepted Israel's offer to bring their supplies to an Israeli port, be inspected for military materiel and have the rest trucked by Israel into Gaza -- as every week 10,000 tons of food, medicine and other humanitarian supplies are sent by Israel to Gaza.
Why was the offer refused? Because, as organizer Greta Berlin admitted, the flotilla was not about humanitarian relief but about breaking the blockade, i.e., ending Israel's inspection regime, which would mean unlimited shipping into Gaza and thus the unlimited arming of Hamas.
Israel has already twice intercepted ships laden with Iranian arms destined for Hezbollah and Gaza. What country would allow that?
A few of the hundreds of Weapons Found on the Mavi Marmara Flotilla Ship, 31 May 2010
But even more important, why did Israel even have to resort to blockade? Because, blockade is Israel's fallback as the world systematically de-legitimizes its traditional ways of defending itself -- forward and active defense.
(1) Forward defense: As a small, densely populated country surrounded by hostile states, Israel had, for its first half-century, adopted forward defense -- fighting wars on enemy territory (such as the Sinai and Golan Heights) rather than its own.
Where possible (Sinai, for example) Israel has traded territory for peace. But where peace offers were refused, Israel retained the territory as a protective buffer zone. Thus Israel retained a small strip of southern Lebanon to protect the villages of northern Israel. And it took many losses in Gaza, rather than expose Israeli border towns to Palestinian terror attacks. It is for the same reason America wages a grinding war in Afghanistan: You fight them there, so you don't have to fight them here.
But under overwhelming outside pressure, Israel gave it up. The Israelis were told the occupations were not just illegal but at the root of the anti-Israel insurgencies -- and therefore withdrawal, by removing the cause, would bring peace.
Land for peace. Remember? Well, during the past decade, Israel gave the land -- evacuating South Lebanon in 2000 and Gaza in 2005. What did it get? An intensification of belligerency, heavy militarization of the enemy side, multiple kidnappings, cross-border attacks and, from Gaza, years of unrelenting rocket attack.
(2) Active defense: Israel then had to switch to active defense -- military action to disrupt, dismantle and defeat (to borrow President Obama's description of our campaign against the Taliban and al-Qaeda) the newly armed terrorist mini-states established in southern Lebanon and Gaza after Israel withdrew.
The result? The Lebanon war of 2006 and Gaza operation of 2008-09. They were met with yet another avalanche of opprobrium and calumny by the same international community that had demanded the land-for-peace Israeli withdrawals in the first place. Worse, the U.N. Goldstone report, which essentially criminalized Israel's defensive operation in Gaza while whitewashing the casus belli -- the preceding and unprovoked Hamas rocket war -- effectively de-legitimized any active Israeli defense against its self-declared terror enemies.
(3) Passive defense: Without forward or active defense, Israel is left with but the most passive and benign of all defenses -- a blockade to simply prevent enemy rearmament. Yet, as we speak, this too is headed for international de-legitimation. Even the United States is now moving toward having it abolished.
But, if none of these is permissible, what's left?
Ah, but that's the point. It's the point understood by the blockade-busting flotilla of useful idiots and terror sympathizers, by the Turkish front organization that funded it, by the automatic anti-Israel Third World chorus at the United Nations, and by the supine Europeans who've had quite enough of the Jewish problem.
What's left? Nothing. The whole point of this relentless international campaign is to deprive Israel of any legitimate form of self-defense. Why, just last week, the Obama administration joined the jackals, and reversed four decades of U.S. practice, by signing onto a consensus document that singles out Israel's possession of nuclear weapons -- thus de-legitimizing Israel's very last line of defense: deterrence.
The world is tired of these troublesome Jews, 6 million -- that number again -- hard by the Mediterranean, refusing every invitation to national suicide. For which they are relentlessly demonized, ghettoized and constrained from defending themselves, even as the more committed anti-Zionists -- Iranian in particular -- openly prepare a more final solution.
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In Jewish life, the Bar Mitzvah or “coming of age” is a major milestone in the life of a young man. One of our young members marks his 13th birthday, both in our Congregation Tiferet Yeshua and at the “Kotel” or Western Wall in Jerusalem.
The traditional celebration of a Jewish boy becoming a man at the Western Wall
which once surrounded the Temple where Yeshua taught and prayed.
|Our elders bless “E” at his Bar Mitzvah celebration in the congregation with the laying on of hands.
||Reading the Torah – God’s Holy Scriptures, with the traditional phylacteries, based on Deuteronomy 6:8
Unfortunately, such “Charities” as the anti-freedom of religion Yad L’Achim are increasing their harassment of Messianic Jewish believers in Israel. Therefore we are protecting the identity of this family.
We celebrate the joyous occasion with lots of food!
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The Teenage Years
The teenage years are in our experience often the most important – spiritually speaking – in a believer’s life. It is the time when the greatest temptations will be thrown at a young person with the least amount of experience and spiritual tools to overcome evil. It is the time when teenagers need and crave friends and acceptance.
In Israel, most believing teenagers are alone in their schools – with no other believing friends. That is why the ministry to our young people is so important. That is why they must have friends in the congregation. To us – our children of all ages are top priority.
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Dear faithful Maoz Partner,
Today, we, like other Israeli ministries, have less and less freedom to share details with you of what God is doing in Israel because of the intense scrutiny of the Orthodox. Yes, there are such extraordinary and exciting things going on. But to write about it publicly would put some individuals at great risk. (For that reason we are protecting the identity of our Bar Mitzvah boy.)
Government agencies controlled by Rabbinical authorities are working indefatigably to harass and even deport long-time Jewish believers who immigrated to Israel.
However – and this is a huge however – Israelis are still making their peace with the God of Israel through Yeshua their Messiah! Our community is a small minority, with little political or social strength. But we are constantly gaining ground!
Israelis are coming to faith! We are training and mentoring a new generation of fearless and consecrated spiritual soldiers, seasoned in spiritual warfare, and ready to put their lives on the line for the salvation of their people.
Throughout Israel there is a whole host of Messianic children who are growing up and being prepared to impact our nation – like our young member in this month’s Maoz Israel Report who has just celebrated his Bar Mitzvah.
In order to grow up to be a strong believer, he must survive his years in school – not just as the only believer in his class, but in his entire school. He will always be seen as “different” and will face many trials and temptations along the way. Children who speak openly of their faith may face hostility from teachers and/or students.
When he finishes high school, he will be drafted for three years into the army where he will need all the spiritual strength he can gain, to come out of the army with unshaken faith. (A young lady serves two years.)
The good news is, the number of Messianic Jewish officers – both men and women – in the Israel Defense Forces who are open about their faith is growing rapidly!
This is why the congregations in Israel are fundamental and indispensable. Our youth leader, Motti, ministers to our young men from the time of their Bar Mitzvah (age 13) until they finish the army.
And we have a young couple working with our teenage girls. Together the teens are strengthening each other as they spend time together. They also regularly meet with teens from other congregations in the Tel Aviv area.
Your gift this month to Congregation Tiferet Yeshua enables us to maintain a strong foundation of faith for the young people now growing up in the congregation. They are learning to hear God’s voice, establish friendships with believing peers, stand against persecution, and grow in the nurturing environment of mature leaders in a loving community.
Not only our youth, but all those they will impact in their lifetime, will one day thank you for giving them the chance to receive eternal life and to be a strong witness to many others.
The long and the short of it is that the gates of hell will not prevail against us. Your standing with us is making the difference, and together, we shall be victorious.
Your co-partners in Israel,
Ari and Shira Sorko-Ram
Partner with Maoz today by supporting our projects:
Maoz Israel Ministries | istandwithisrael | Persecuted Believers
Congregation Tiferet Yeshua | Coffee House Outreach
Driven by Eternity book | Arab Congregations | Hebrew Literature
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