Sunday, November 1, 2009

Gag Order Lifted: Ami’s Assailant Arrested

The gag order has finally been lifted and the arrest of the American born ultra-Orthodox man who placed the bomb-laden Purim package at the doorstep of the Ortiz home has also confessed to multiple terroristic murders and attempted murders.

Here are the news reports in the top three online English edition newspapers, with Haaretz giving far more coverage out of the gate than Jpost or Ynet - to the late breaking Sunday edition headlines out of Israel.

Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu also weighed in to the breaking news.

These first reports are indicating that Yaacov Teitel acted alone without the knowledge of others. I am a little concerned that he has confessed to so many incidents and they are painting him as a lone wolf who had no contacts with other radical elements - especially that he confessed to the Tel Aviv gay attack and the police are saying they have nothing to tie him to it.

Also so many people are painting a picture of him as being mentally ill - which is kind of their classic response, isn't it? That was used on the guy who killed all those Palestinians at a historical/religious site and also of the guy who killed Rabin, if memory serves. Conveniently insane. Time will tell what holds up under more intense scrutiny, but for now we are happy for this matter to have surfaced in the public.

Please continue to pray for the Ortiz family as the media turns an eye to them once again, and for what will become the prosecution of these cases. --Donna Diorio

Linked to the stories online

Alleged Jewish terrorist arrested for murder, series of bomb attacks

By Amos Harel Haaretz Correspondent 11-1-09

ALSO VIDEO: Ortiz family home security video of the Purim-bomb basket being place inside the gated entry way.

Yaakov "Jack" Teitel, 37, is suspected of killing two Palestinians, for rigging the package bomb which left the child of a Messianic Jew seriously wounded, for attempting to kill left-wing professor Ze'ev Sternhell, and for his alleged role in a series of warning attacks against Israel Police at the time of the Gay Pride Parades.

Jewish extremist arrested for alleged series of hate crimes

By Yaakov Katz Jerusalem Post Nov 1, 2009 16:44 | Updated Nov 1, 2009 19:03

The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and Israel Police have arrested an American-born Jewish settler who is allegedly behind an unprecedented series of deadly terror shootings and bombings spanning over a decade, in which two Palestinians were killed and Israel Prize Laureate Prof. Ze'ev Sternhell was injured. According to the Shin Bet, he also planted a bomb at the entrance to house of a messianic family in Ariel, seriously wounding their son, then-15-year-old Ami Ortiz.

Settler suspected of multiple hate crimes
Ynet reporters 11-1-09

Authorities believe Yaakov Teitel of Shvut Rachel murdered two Arabs, planted pipe bomb which injured Hebrew University's Prof. Ze'ev Sternhell, as well as multiple explosive devices in other incidents. Lawyer: He's mentally unstable

Netanyahu: ‘Minority’ of violent far-rightists must be stopped

By Haaretz Service 11-1-09

Following the arrest of a West Bank settler suspected of multiple murders and bomb attacks, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that Israel must fight the terror posed by violent extreme rightists, whom he termed a "marginal minority."

‘State must make an example of Teitel'

By Ben Hartman and JPost staff Nov 1, 2009 18:31 | Updated Nov 1, 2009 22:01

The Ortiz family of Ariel on Sunday urged authorities to "make an example" of Yaakov Teitel, a right-wing Jewish extremist arrested for allegedly sending the messianic Jewish family a bobby-trapped package in 2007 that left son Ami Ortiz critically wounded.

Who is suspected Jewish terrorist Yaakov Teitel?
By Chaim Levinson, Haaretz Correspondent 01/11/2009

Yaakov Teitel, who was arrested last month for suspected murder and a string of alleged murder attempts, was born in Florida in November 1972, the son of Mordehai (Mark) and Devorah (Dianne), American ultra-Orthodox Jews.

Relatives: Teitel wouldn’t destroy his family’s life
Roee Mandel Ynetnews 11-1-09

Friends, relatives describe Shvut Rachel resident who admitted to killing Palestinians and placing bomb outside Professor Sternhell's home as being reserved, moderate, but say he was deeply affected by injury of brother-in-law in terror attack

Shvut Rachel residents: We are not a community of terrorists
By Chaim Levinson Haaretz Correspondent 11-1-09

Residents of the West Bank outpost Shvut Rachel were shocked to learn that their neighbor Yaakov Teitel had been arrested for allegedly orchestrating a string of violent attacks against targets as disparate as Palestinians, the gay community, Messianic Jews and prominent left-wing figures.

Teitel’s lawyer: He is mentally unstable
By Yaakov Lappin JPost Nov 1, 2009 20:01 | Updated Nov 1, 2009 20:04

From the moment he arrived in Israel, Yaakov Teitel believed he was receiving a series of unmistakable signals and instructions from God to carry out his acts. Teitel told his investigators that he had dreams warning him that if he did not carry out the attacks, he would die. He viewed events like rocket attacks on Sderot as divine punishment for past transgressions by Israel. And he launched bomb attacks on police targets in order to persuade them to refrain from securing gay pride marches in Jerusalem.

More as information becomes available

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Jew on Jew Terrorism - Police May Have a Confession in the Ami Ortiz Case

The following report is gleaned from open U.S. and Israeli news sources and from nationalist-religious settlers blogs – a source I don’t usually look to but these are the only sources leaking information in an arrest that Israeli Security Forces have placed a 21-day gag order on.

Since the right-wing religious activists are ramping up to pressure Israeli officials in this matter, I thought it wise to pass along those details for believers to begin to pray over. The arrest earlier this month of a religious-nationalist has been linked to the 2008 bombing of Ami Ortiz.

Here are the details we have been able to glean from sources readily available on the web – if one knows where to look. - Donna Diorio, October 25, 2009

On Wednesday October 7th, the Israeli Security Services arrested a Jewish American Israeli citizen in an apartment in the religious Har Nof community located on the western-most hill of Jerusalem.

When security forces broke down the barricaded apartment door to arrest “Y.T.” - (whose name we will keep out of this report for the sake of the on-going Israeli investigation) - officers found several explosives which they later detonated according to a report on

In his family home apartment in Shvut Rahel, police found 4 M16 rifles which undoubtedly will have undergone ballistics testing to shots fired in the August shooting spree on the Tel Aviv gay youth club attack.

The man who is described by nationalistic-religious sites as a 36-year old former marine with dual U.S. - Israeli citizenship, is a father of 4 who lives in the Shvut Rahel settlement in Samaria/West Bank some 28 miles north of Jerusalem.

The fact of “Y.T.’s” dual citizenship may be the reason the American Consulate in Jerusalem obtained information of the arrest and why they were able to make first notification to the Ortiz family of an arrest linked to their son’s case. The Ortiz family of Ariel also holds dual Israel-U.S. citizenship.

Ami pre-bomb photo

Israeli officials did not notify the Ortiz family of a break in the case, but it is a locked tight conclusion that if both the victim and the perpetrator hold dual citizenship, the American Consulate would be informed at least of the fact of the arrest.

“Y.T.’s” defense attorney Adi Kedar is reported in an article dated 10/14/09 as saying, “Everything is classified. I don’t know anything. The case has even been to the Supreme Court. The judges know but I don’t know anything” – apparently in reference to the evidence and charges against his client.

Early Israeli media reports indicated Security Services had a confession from “Y.T.” according to Shmuel Meidad, who is the head of the Honenu Legal Aid Organization which defends the religious nationalist settlers against charges.

According to reports on a Hareidi website, Hadrei Hareidim, (a source we take with a grain of salt), the judge in the first remand hearing in Petah Tikva told defense lawyer Adi Kedar,

“Don’t try to appeal because until now there hasn’t been a case with so much clear evidence that links the suspect to the serious acts that he committed.”

The early press reports that appeared online were redacted when a gag order was swiftly placed by authorities on details of the arrest. However, reports that news correspondents had linked “Y.T.” to the pipe bomb that lightly wounded Professor Zeev Sternhell in September 2008, and to the shooting attack on a Tel Aviv gay youth bar that left 2 dead and 10 injured in August 2009.

One linkage the religious news sites have not mentioned is the attempted murder of the Ortiz family during the 2008 Purim season when 15-year old Ami Ortiz was gravely wounded by a bomb planted in a gift basket.

Ami lay dying on the family kitchen floor

Honenu head Meidad, however, is claiming, “They have accused him of every murder from Arlosorov (a murder in 1933) to the murder in the gay bar.”

The attempted murder of the Ortiz family is the ‘Most Likely to Be Suppressed’ charge against the religious activist, “Y.T.” This is something that must be monitored carefully as the charges against “Y.T.” and his co-conspirators are made public. The gag order is due to be lifted on Wednesday, October 28th.

One thing is for certain, if “Y.T.” is the person who actually carried out placing the bomb-laden Purim gift basket at the door of the Ortiz family home, Israeli officials have video security surveillance footage that shows the religious-garbed man placing it there. If “Y.T.” has confessed his involvement in these cases, the confession may have rested on the strength of the security tape from the Ortiz home and ministry.

“Y.T.’s” wife was reportedly arrested on October 21st two weeks after her husband’s arrest although it is not clear why she was arrested. The wife was en route to a hearing in Petah Tikvah where her husband was being held. Her temporary arrest is being painted as a political arrest and a “kidnapping” by the religious-nationalist settlers activists including Women in Green spokesperson Nadia Matar.

A Picture Emerging of Religious Right Wing Violence

The investigation of potential co-conspirators in the case is likely related to recent Israeli news reports on several right-wing activists who have been recently barred from reentering the West Bank for six months.

One report noted that the IDF Spokesman’s Office said “in light of information about the two settlers’ involvement in violent and illegal acts” – (Akiva HaCohen and Ariel Groner) – “and in light of the real danger posed by them to security and public order,” the two are banned from the territories for security reasons.

Both HaCohen and Groner, are young family men – aged 25 and 24 respectively. The fathers of four are also well known to security forces and judges as religious activists in the territories.

Fellow right wing advocates are stirring up protests on behalf of the men whose family homes are located in West Bank settlements near the family home of the arrested “Y.T.” Those areas are where the Shin Bet security service have been investigating the distribution of fliers a year ago on how to make bombs and weapons.

Women in Green, Land of Israel Faithful and other advocates of HaCohen and Groner have attempted to accuse authorities of a pre-emptive expulsion of their leaders before eviction and demolition of outposts, but news reports indicate the investigation really revolves around Jew on Jew violence by the activists.

This is an important point for believers outside of Israel to take note of.

Leaflets instructing in explosive and weapons making were found in the Adi Ad outpost near the home of “Y.T” in Shvut Rachel. A similar flier was distributed in 2006 prior to the Gay Pride Parade, according to a report in Haaretz.

The “Death to Sodomites” flier became big news in Israel, as it instructed how to make Molotov cocktails and other improvised weapons that could be used against lesbians and homosexuals. There was particular public outrage over a two-page pamphlet that offered a reward of 20,000 shekels to anyone who caused the death of “one of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah.”

Haaretz is asking "Will arrest of key rightist further inflame settler extremism?"

Reporter Chaim Levinson notes that Ariel Gruner - a key activist in Honenu - is a familiar person to the Shin Bet security service agents who deal with suspected right-wing extremists, and to the judges and lawyers involved in their cases:

"Anytime someone is brought to court for right-wing activity, Gruner is there too - to counsel the detainees on their rights, arrange money for bail, or find host families for those put under house arrest."

What do Israeli Jews who believe in Jesus have in common with gays, Leftist professors and the Palestinians? They are all targeted by hate crimes from the religious right wing nationalist zealots.

Some readers may be inclined to overlook right wing settler actions against gays or Palestinians because of empathy for religious Jewish groups or Zionist advocacy of settlement activism groups. Israelprayer hopes our readers will understand that the indigenous Israeli Body of Messiah are also included on the "enemies list" of these groups.

Even Israeli police and security are concerned with the threat of Jew on Jew crime according to this report: "Jewish underground may be emerging".

Officials have repeatedly attempted to dismiss media reports that the bombing of Ami Ortiz was tied to the violent acts against other groups targeted by religious threats. Israeli police officials have been trying to dodge that linkage that had been acknowledged in first reports to coming out of the bombing of Professor Sternhell.

A Jerusalem Post article sought to tamp down an earlier linkage to the bombing of Ami Ortiz at the time of the Sternhell bombing, reporting:

“According to the security officials, the investigation has also explored possibility that those who perpetuated the attack were also responsible for a series of bombings over the past two years, including one against a Messianic Jewish family in Ariel earlier this year, in which a boy was seriously wounded.

“However, Judea and Samaria police spokesman Danny Poleg on Sunday denied reports that a possible link existed between the Sternhell attack and the Ariel bombing. ‘I have no comment about it, except that as far as I know, it's not true,’ Poleg said.”

Professor Sternhell was reported in a Haaretz article to blame the attack on his life to apathy to settler violence. "Society does not respond," he said during the radio interview, adding that when someone does in fact respond it is "positively or with a wink."

I certainly believe it will pan out that these same key figures were intricately involved with the 2008 bomb-laden Purim basket that was left for the Messianic Jewish Ortiz family in Ariel.

But for the grace of God who orchestrated miracles of immediate medical intervention from a skilled medic who happened to be passing the residence, Ami Ortiz would have died on the floor of the ministry family home. His case deserves justice and for the facts to be made public.

Hopefully, believers around the world will not be guilty of the same thing Professor Sternhell accused Israeli society of – apathy, and a willingness to turn a blind eye to evil done by the religious-nationalist settlers.

Please keep these events in prayer. That the attempted murder of Ami Ortiz will not be buried or under-reported in light of the potential that one group has participated in violent acts against not only Jews who believe in Jesus, but also against gays, Peace Now activists and Palestinians. Pray for justice to prevail in the case of Ami Ortiz – as well as justice for all the other victims of religious violence.

This is a case that will try the wisdom of the soul of Israel, as a similar test tried the soul of the church in Nazi Germany. May Israelis remember and take to heart the poem made famous in post-Holocaust Germany by Pastor Niemoller:

First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out
—because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out
—because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out
—because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out
—because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me
—and there was no one left to speak out for me.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Like we didn't see this one coming....

I'm going to make an educated guess that news stories filed at Haaretz about three right wing settlers - Akiva Hacohen, Ariel Groner and Eliav Eliyahu - are connected to the private news report we got that there was an arrest made in the terror bombing of the Israeli Messianic Jewish Ortiz family home that nearly killed their 15-yr old son, Ami.

The American Consulate in Jerusalem notified the Ortiz family of the arrest two weeks after the fact. The Ortiz' were in the dark due to a gag order that has been placed on the Israeli media. Obviously, the Israeli officials are not excited about making this news public. Understandable considering the strained relations Israel already has with the U.S., but attempting to hide this is not going to make it any better. Christians can be made to understand that the actions of religious extremists do not reflect the policies of the Israeli people or government - but will not understand an attempt to cover up the facts of the case.

These right wing activists have also made threats against gays and Palestinians in the West Bank. This is the problem of religious extremists who become a law unto themselves. Currently the worry is about violent incidents in the settlements during the Palestinian's olive harvest.

This group of right-wing, religious settler extremists seems to have a long "enemies list" they are actively working.

On October 13th, Haaretz reported Shin Bet hunting for Rightists who threatened to bomb gays saying:

The Shin Bet security service is investigating who has distributed leaflets containing instructions on how to make bombs and weapons; the flyers were circulated in various illegal outposts a year ago.

The article noted that a similar was passed our in November 2006 titled "Death to Sodomites" and included instructions on how to make Molotov cocktails. Some readers may remember the deadly attack in August of this year on an Israeli Youth Gay club in Tel Aviv.

Now I don't condone homosexuality, but this is exactly the slippery slope that Germans found themselves on according to the proverbial poem of Pastor Nienoller from post Nazi-Germany:

First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak out for me.

There was also the attempt to murder an Israeli Leftist professor Zeev Sternhell at his home with a pipe bomb in September 2008.

Some readers may be inclined to overlook right wing settler actions against gays or Palestinians, but I hope you will understand that the indigenous Body of Messiah are also included on their "enemies list". Police were reported to say that a "Jewish underground may be emerging".

At that time Israeli police officials were trying to dodge the link that had been acknowledged in the first reports to come out of bombing of Professor Sternhell. The Jerusalem Post sought to tamp down the earlier linkage to the bombing of Ami Ortiz writing:

According to the security officials, the investigation has also explored possibility that those who perpetuated the attack were also responsible for a series of bombings over the past two years, including one against a Messianic Jewish family in Ariel earlier this year, in which a boy was seriously wounded.
However, Judea and Samaria police spokesman Danny Poleg on Sunday denied reports that a possible link existed between the Sternhell attack and the Ariel bombing.
"I have no comment about it, except that as far as I know, it's not true," Poleg said.

Professor Sternhell was reported in a Haaretz article to blame the attack on his life to apathy to settler violence. "Society does not respond," he said during the radio interview, adding that when someone does in fact respond it is "positively or with a wink."

Now Haaretz is asking "Will arrest of key rightist further inflame settler extremism?"

Reporter Chaim Levinson notes that Ariel Gruner - a key activist in Honenu - is a familiar person to the Shin Bet security service agents who deal with suspected right-wing extremists, and to the judges and lawyers involved in their cases:

"Anytime someone is brought to court for right-wing activity, Gruner is there too - to counsel the detainees on their rights, arrange money for bail, or find host families for those put under house arrest."

I certainly believe it will pan out that these same key figures were intricately involved with the 2008 bomb-laden Purim basket that was left for the Messianic Jewish Ortiz family in Ariel. But for the grace of God who orchestrated miracles of immediate medical intervention from a skilled medic who happened to be passing the residence, Ami Ortiz would have died on the floor of the ministry family home.

Obviously, because of the government sensitivities of Christian support of Israel, and also the desire to keep a lid on the truth of Israeli Jewish violence against the Israeli Messianic Jewish, the Israeli government has had a gag order placed on the Israeli media.

There may be an attempt to obfuscate the connection of these extremists to the attempted murder of Ami Ortiz, something that would be a tragedy on many levels.

It is not heartening to see that the three right wing, ultra_Orthodox settler extremists appear to have been released from jail already and only "banned" from entering the West Bank for six months.

Haaretz reported two weeks ago that the "IDF Spokesman's Office said the orders were issued 'in light of information about the two settlers' involvement in violent and illegal acts, and in light of the real danger posed by them to security and public order.'

Already the Haredi web sites and blogs are buzzing with indignation at police actions against Gruner and Hacohen.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Call to the Faithful Who Stand with Israeli Believers

The following is an appeal that was written by one of the Israeli Messianic leaders in the Land of Israel.

In the midst of the world-shaking events going on around us all, and the normal press of daily life, the situation surrounding the court case in Beer Sheva continues to impress me as something of greater significance than might initially meet the eye. We have spent time with Howard and Randi Bass (Yeshua's Inheritance Congregational leaders in Beer Sheva) and know that we are all in accord concerning what I have written here.

Though many of you are already aware of most of what I am going to share, I sense that putting it all together on one canvas might help us to see better what lies just beneath the surface. God has given us historical markers in the natural realm to help us see and understand those things that are spiritual in nature and invisible.

Many of us believe that this Beer Sheva incident, the situation in Arad, the Ortiz case, and various other “attacks” are not isolated incidents against single communities or individuals but part of the enemy’s strategy against the whole Body. Given the danger we (Israel) pose to the enemy’s very existence, should we not also consider that the powers of darkness amassed against us are national or even international in scope and authority? Friends, it is imperative for the Body in Israel, as well as the Body in the nations, to recognize this fact and respond in a commensurate manner.

It is also important to understand that though this matter involves a legal suit, the essence of the case is not about justice for the Messianic community, nor about the end of persecution, nor about our legal right to worship and gather. It is about a confrontation with a demonic stronghold that has kept multitudes of our people spiritually blind for thousands of years.

It is about preparing the way for the return of the Lord. And while we do not hold that a victory in court is necessary for a victory in the spiritual realm, we believe that God has called the Body of Messiah in Israel to confront this darkness in the public arena of the judicial system within the context of a suit against the Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Beer Sheva and the Yad L’Achim organization. Furthermore, the decision to go to court was reached through much prayer with the confirmation and blessing of Messianic leaders throughout Israel.

The background of the case is as follows: In 2005, on Shabbat, December 24th, two young ladies were scheduled to be immersed in water as part of the regular weekly congregational gathering of Congregation Nachalat Yeshua in Beer Sheva. The “anti-missionary” organization Yad L’Achim erroneously informed the Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Beer Sheva, Yehuda Deri, that there was to be a mass baptism of Jews and that ten tour buses full of people were coming to participate. Rabbi Deri passed the false information to a number of other rabbis in Beer Sheva.

As a result, about 600 Haredim (ultra-orthodox Jews) descended on the Beer Sheva congregation.
They destroyed property, accosted several of the believers, and even fought with a number of the 70 policemen that came to quell the riot. Verbal statements and signed depositions by Rabbi Deri confirm these facts and place him at the site from about 10:30 AM until around 1:00 PM.

The Judge declared in court that there was no question that a terrible thing happened there. Howard Bass, as the plaintiff of record, contends that at the very least Rabbi Deri was negligent in not exercising his authority to stop the riot and was in fact responsible for causing it, and that Yad L’Achim knowingly misrepresented the facts in order to foment a confrontation such as took place.

November 23rd has been set as the third and final day of the court proceedings. The Judge’s decision will be issued on December 23rd.

Friends, on December 25, 1989 the Supreme Court of Israel ruled that if a Jew believes in Yeshua he or she loses his (or her) automatic right to citizenship. The riot in Beer Sheva that gave cause for the current court case happened on December 24th. By law the Judge is required to render his decision by December 23rd. (It could be sooner). Can this really be coincidental? I think God wants to get our attention!

In both ancient and modern history, the fate of nations has come forth from the sands of Beer Sheva. It is the one city associated with all three of our Patriarchs.

In the wilderness of Beer Sheva (Gen.21:15) God opened a well preserving Ishmael’s life, and declared he would be a great nation. There King Abimelech acknowledged that God was with Abraham (Gen.21:22) and with an oath restored to him a well he had dug. Abraham planted there a tamarisk tree, and called on the Everlasting God.

In Beer Sheva Abraham received what was probably the most difficult command ever given to a man…to offer up his son of promise, Isaac. His wrestling with the Lord and decision to obey happened in Beer Sheva. There and then, the foundation was laid for the nation of Israel. I would go so far as to say that the way was opened for the coming of Messiah in Beer Sheva. From there, Abraham journeyed to Mt. Moriah in Jerusalem, where he actualized what had been already established in his heart.

Nearly 4000 years later, at the time appointed for the Israel’s rebirth, the Land was under the control of the Ottoman Empire. The decisive military victory that broke the Islamic stronghold and opened the way for our eventual statehood was the liberation of Beer Sheva on October 31, 1917. The battle was a life-or-death matter. Facing almost certain death from thirst, 800 Australian and New Zealand soldiers on horseback elected to charge across a flat desert plain directly into a line of entrenched Turkish machine guns and cannons for the water in the wells of Beer Sheva. This remarkable victory only claimed 36 lives. From there the British forces went on to Jerusalem…just like Abraham. (It’s interesting that this confrontation with Islam happened where God encountered Ishmael.) How significant is this city!

Today we stand on the precipice of another great breakthrough…the spiritual awakening of the children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Driven and empowered by the same spiritual forces that have rejected God’s rule since the days of Mount Sinai, covered in black, as if hiding from the light, a host of blind guides continues to block the path to life for multitudes of true Jewish seekers and lovers of God.

Woven into the spaces between the letters of God’s own words are the tentacles of a man-made religious system that has held our people in bondage for centuries. They curse the Name of Yeshua, openly disdain the law of the land, rebel against civil authority, and exercise political power disproportionate to their numbers.

I was recently with friends in Germany to discuss this matter. As we prayed, Olga Dammer, a respected voice in the Body there, was given a vision. She saw a gathering of many Orthodox Jews. From the heavens, the angel of Israel handed a scroll to the angel of the “church” in Beer Sheva who handed the scroll to Howard. We took from this that the course of action chosen by Howard and Randi was in fact God’s decision. If we believe this to be so we must seriously seek the Lord so that we do not miss an appointed hour of visitation.

Art Banner by Spencer Williams

The questions of if, when, where and why are behind us. Before us remain the what and the how. Our strategy for this spiritual battle is not to confront the enemy but to passionately call on the Name of the Lord in worship, which is the highest and most effectual act of spiritual warfare. If we prepare a place for Him who is the light, what can the darkness do but flee? The shofar has sounded. The clock is running. There is not much time to prepare and respond.

Even though we perhaps cannot say anything for 100% certainty:

- Can we acknowledge the likelihood that this is a defining moment in the life of our people and the nations?
- Will we each acknowledge this battle as being “ours” and not anothers?
- Can we imagine that anything less than an unprecedented response from the Body in Israel and the nations will be enough to achieve the breakthrough we all desire?

We have asked that every congregation in Israel gather a team of worshipers and intercessors to journey to Beer Sheva to worship and pray there in the congregational hall before November 23rd, and are seeking the Lord also about a time for a one-day national gathering there. Actually, there is time to come until December 23rd, when the Judge will give his decision.

All breakthroughs of this dimension, as in the aforementioned instances in Beer Sheva, are costly. When King David stood to offer a sacrifice to the Lord on Mt. Moriah, he refused to offer burnt offerings with that which cost him nothing. (See 1Chron.21:24).

What do you think? What do you believe to be true? Do the words you have read here resonate in your spirit? Will you respond? Can you come? Are you prepared to give a costly offering? Please please, for the sake of the Lord, for the sake of the blind House of Israel, for the sake of your own soul, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts. Do not be silent. Share this with everyone you know.

See about putting together a group…even three four people. Come in the name of your congregation. Come in the name of your nation. Come for two days. Come for a weekend. Come for a week. The shortest time could well accomplish the most. If you can’t come, sponsor someone that can. If you can’t find someone to sponsor, make a donation to cover the court costs.

Never in our day has there been such a moment.
Never has the Body of Messiah come together in such a way.

In order to protect these leaders, all inquiries about responding to this appeal to come to Beer Sheva to intercede for these proceedings should be directed to I will not be releasing any information to those who are unable to show proof of who they are - Christian or Messianic believers verifiable in a congregations as faithful believers.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Clash between Two Minority Groups in Israel - Religion and State

This is a guest column by Senior Legal Advision to the Jerusalem Institute of Justice, Michael Decker. Decker is also a Messianic Jew.

Several months ago, a same-sex couple petitioned the courts in an attempt to sue the religiously affiliated commune Yad Hadmashona for punitive damages. According to the petitioners, the moshav prohibited them from holding their marriage celebration on its premises. Clearly, this subject strikes personal discord for both parties—the couple aims to expunge all forms of supposed discrimination and intolerance, while the institution struggles to function successfully within the parameters of its belief system.

Founded in 1971, Yad Hashmona was presented to the state of Israel as a gesture of solidarity by Finland. Today, the grounds function as a commune and serve the public by running a guesthouse, convention center, and banquet hall, which the couple sought to rent for their celebration. Administrators seek to maintain a specific religious ethos and as a result place limits on the type of events renters wish to host. Now, because Yad Hashmona denied its services for the purpose of a same-sex marriage celebration, the commune faces a moral and legal dilemma. While this decision is not a reflection of the commune's feelings regarding homosexuals as individuals or citizens of the state, it is a direct reference to the institution’s devotion to the sanctity of marriage. Forcing Yad Hashmona to allow such events would defile the community's fundamental beliefs, business would be destroyed and Yad Hashmona may cease to exist.

Vanguard of Israel’s activist judicial system is Supreme Court Justice, Aharon Barak. He presided over several suits that have since set the precedent for the relationship between religion and state. Two cases in particular highlight his position on the Israeli government’s responsibility to protect religious institutions while guarding the freedoms of secular society. Citing these cases, in our opinion, will provide the insight needed to gain legal perspective on the suit filed against Yad Hashmona.

Bar-Illan Street is no longer simply a street, but a conduit for heated debate between the ultra-orthodox and secular communities in Jerusalem. In 1997, petitioners approached the Israeli Supreme Court claiming that the closure of Bar-Illan on Friday evenings during Shabbat was a coercive measure to violate freedom of movement. Justice Aharon Barak presided over the case and was forced to decipher the appropriate degree of state-intervention in religious matters. The suit quickly became a watershed in determining the relationship between religion and state.

A main vessel through which traffic flows into the center of the city, Bar-Illan Street also cuts through the nucleus of surrounding ultra-orthodox neighborhoods. Petitioners claimed that the Friday evening roadblocks impeded the freedom to use the street by non-Sabbath observers, along with emergency vehicles. Any alternative routes, they argued, were inconvenient. This upset the petitioners, who disregarded the injurious effects opening the street would have on the religious community. It was up to the courts to create balance and initiate an environment of tolerance.

Despite the opposition, it was clear that the harm induced by allowing of vehicles on Bar- Illan Street outweighed the inconveniences faced by the petitioners. Barak ruled that because the closure did not block off alternative routes, it was the responsibility of the petitioners to respect their cohabitants by changing the course of travel during hours of prayer. Their freedom of movement was minimally injured. This case became a benchmark in Justice Barak’s secular rulings regarding the cost of limiting human rights to protect religious sentiment.

In 2004, a similar case was brought to the Supreme Court. The subject of debate—the Enabling Laws, created in the 1950s to empower local authorities with control over the sensitive issue of the sale of pork and pig products in Israel. In Solodkin vs. Beit Shemesh, the courts once again were challenged with balancing Jewish national identity with secular democratic standards.

At the time of its induction, the Enabling Laws operated without noted opposition. However, an influx of immigrants in the early 1990s and subsequent societal shifts complicated its enforcement. While some bylaws disabled the sale of pig meat within the entire district, in other places, they were restricted to specific zones. Newly diversified communities compounded with citizens' frustration with the law's ill-administration led to unrest among the secular community.

In the court case, Solodkin vs. Beit Shemesh, petitioners agreed that the sale and consumption of pig in religious communities, where it would harm the feelings of the public, should be prohibited. However, they argued that the enforcement of such laws without due cause (i.e. in secular and mixed secular-religious communities) threatened to violate the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty by instating religious-based legislation that de facto coerces the non-religious community to follow. They also contended that the enabling laws violated the Basic Law: Freedom of Occupation by restricting business and employment opportunities on the basis of religious law.

Once again Justice Barak ruled that the injury caused by the sale of pig and pig products in religious communities takes precedence over the minimal damage to the petitioners, since they can sell pork it alternative areas. The decision was supported by Barak's insistence of the simplicity of purchasing pig outside of restricted zones and reassurance that the prohibition of pig was not a coercive religious tactic. Mixed neighborhoods, he asserted, should be judged with discretion by local authorities.

Justice Barak believes that Israel is obligated to maintain a tolerant and pluralistic society. As such, it is in the interest of the country and its citizens to protect the religious sentiments of all groups. Judging from the precedents set in the aforementioned cases, it seems plausible for the religious sentiment of Yad Hashmona to be declared secure and the charges, null.

As a private institution that does not seek to coerce the surrounding community, Yad Hashmona should be able to create religiously-inspired bylaws that are respected by surrounding communities and the government.
However, legally Yad Hashmona is categorized as a 'public place', which is broadly defined as any location 'meant for public use, including a tourist site, hotel…space…used for entertainment…etc.' Therefore, the commune is de facto resolved to following Israeli laws that explicitly prohibits discrimination by sexuality, religion, race, personal views, or disabilities. Additionally, Israeli law includes a segment that addresses sex-based discrimination or sexual harassment, which deems discrimination against someone on the basis of his or her gender or sexuality as unlawful. As a result, Yad Hashmona runs the chance of being charged for discrimination, however if the origins of and reasoning for the bylaws are examined carefully, in our opinion, the institution’s intentions should be clear and charges dropped.

While the couple should have the right to proceed with their marriage celebration, they are free to choose any other available venue. But their decision to challenge and potentially damage the religious sentiment of Yad Hashmona is antithetical to the nature of a tolerant, pluralistic society.

The wild shooting rage that killed three and wounded fifteen in Tel Aviv's homosexual community is tragic and serves to highlight the hatred and intolerance that boils at the surface of Israeli society, oftentimes ending in violence. Israel’s minority religious groups should all stand in solidarity against such hate crimes.

Michael Decker has a B.A. in law and is a licensed attorney in Israel. Michael also serves as Senior Legal Advisor to the Jerusalem Institute of Justice.

For further inquiries regarding the issues mentioned in this article, please do not hesitate to contact Michael Decker at

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Israeli Roulette on The 9th of Av - Will hundreds join the Temple Mount Faithful Thursday fanning the flames of hell while Christians egg them on?

The Mughrabi Gate ramp in the foreground, Dome of the Rock in background; overlooking Jewish security gates to the Wall

This week the Jerusalem Post published a report about how the Temple Mount Faithful are planning their annual attempt to ascend the Temple Mount to pray on the 9th of Av. The stated goal of the march (this year) is to be a statement to President Obama, “Get your hands off Jerusalem and the land of Israel.” It’s a message most Israel-supporting Christians agree with 100% - this writer included, however I do not support the march nor the group leading it.

This is an annual Tisha B’Av attempt by the Temple Mount Faithful although historically only dozens are attracted to participate. This year TMF leader Gershon Salomon is hoping for hundreds to join in the march to the mount on the date of the destruction of the first and second Temples in Jerusalem. The 9th of Av has become a date of dread in the Jewish community as many calamities for the Jewish people are believed to have occurred on this date throughout history.
The Wall where Jewish prayers are made

Christians need to know what they don’t know about the attempts of several primarily religious groups who seek to establish their unwelcome presence on the mount where the Dome on the Rock sits. The number one thing we need to know is that we have formed an unholy alliance that endangers the real work of the Lord in Israel, if we are funding and encouraging these groups and this article attempts to explain why.

Firstly, the Temple Mount Faithful routinely disregards the welfare of the Israeli public in its annual Tisha B’Av attempt to ascend the Temple Mount. On this and other Jewish holidays they try to make their way onto the Muslim-held Temple Mount and are thwarted by the Israeli police and security services. These attempts are much to the dismay of most Israelis who fear the group will trigger an Islamic ‘Holy War’ that will bring the wrath of Arab states down on the Jewish State in defense of the Dome of the Rock.

Unfortunately, Christians just don’t get it that this mission of Gershon’s is not a good thing for Israel and certainly not something they should be encouraging or funding. As Israeli journalist and Temple Mount expert, Nadav Shragai in a 2008 book review of Motti Inbari’s Jewish Fundamentalism and the Temple Mount wrote:

“Nearly 2,000 years have passed since the fire that the Romans set to the Temple walls died down, and still the embers are glowing. A tiny spark is enough to ignite them. Inbari's research focuses on those who would like to blow on the embers and make them burn again; those to whom the Temple is not just a word mentioned in Jewish prayers, but a reality toward which one must strive."

Inbari, a researcher at Brandeis University explored the various Temple Mount movements from the Haredi to the national-religious believers and also shedding light on how Israel-supporting Christians link into these movements. For the latter, most Christians who support Israel are completely out of their depth in understanding the issues surrounding the current status of the Temple Mount and the dangers a group like the Temple Mount Faithful poses.

There is a crazy, ill-informed devotion to Gershon Salomon’s Temple Mount Faithful among the Israel-supporting Christian community. So even before I hit the “Talkbacks” link on the Jpost article (Hundreds planning Temple Mount ascent), I knew reader comments would reflect the misunderstanding of situation that prevails with most Israel-supporting Christians.

As expected the “talkbacks” overflowed with Christians encouraging and applauding the news. Salomon Gershon, after all, as the head of the Temple Mount Faithful, is one of the most celebrated Israeli guests on many of the largest Christian television networks. The hosts of these networks and Christian prophecy teachers thrill to hear the charismatic Gershon regale with details of the preparations for the rebuilding of the Temple Mount.

The Christian thinking is that prophecy says a third Temple will be rebuilt where the Anti-Christ will seat himself as “God” before the second coming of the Lord. So, anything that points to the rebuilding of the Temple is considered a good sign that Jesus is coming soon. No thought is really given to the impact on Israelis – not even for the believing brothers and sisters in Israel.

Across from the security gate entrance to the Wall

For Israeli citizens, if the Temple Mount Faithful and their followers are ever successful in getting past the Old City police up onto the mount where the Dome of the Rock now sits, the aftermath is going to be very painful for Israelis. Too many Christians – just like the religious who continually try to “ascend” the Mount – do not care one whit about the hell that would be unleashed against Israelis in the aftermath by Islamic outrage.

Is it really such a difficult concept to grasp that the existence of the Dome of the Rock on the place where we know prophetic events will unfold – for bad and then for good – is a situation that is best left to God to resolve?
When God wants the Dome cleared, He will clear it Himself. However the Temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem, if it comes because the Temple Mount Faithful have successfully ascended the mount, it will be an extremely costly, bloody victory that will not be to the glory of the Lord Yeshua/Jesus.

Christians need to think through what they are supporting. For one thing, we need to awaken to the fact that the Lord is in the midst of building a living temple in Israel – the indigenous believers who are the Body of Messiah/Christ. Instead of focusing on the rebuilding of the Tribulation Temple, Christians should be focused on the building of the temple that is made without hands – the Living Temple in Israel.

Come on, believers! Wake up and smell the coffee burning on this one!

Can I just say it like it is? All of the focus over the years of the Christian TV network hosts who have doted on Salomon Gershon and the preparations of the Temple Mount Faithful is pure selfishness – it has certainly not been for love for Israel! Real Christian love for Israel expresses itself in a love for the people of Israel – and no, not just the rabbis and the religious legislators, but the average citizens of Israel AND the Body of Messiah/Christ in Israel.

The indigenous Body of Messiah - Arab and Jew - pray together at an annual picnic

If we say we love Israel and then support these groups threatening the national security of the citizens of Israel, then how real is our love? Isn’t it more that we just love our understanding of prophecy – that the Tribulation Temple has to be rebuilt before Jesus returns? And truly it does, but isn’t it true that we don’t really care what the ramifications will be to the people of Israel? Don’t we just want our ears tickled about the preparations for a Temple and the safety of Israelis be damned? That's pretty much the attitude of the religious Jewish groups many of us are misguidedly supporting. They aren't worried about the "sinners" of Israel as Yeshua/Jesus is.

Honestly? One would be hard pressed to find indigenous believers in Israel who back the efforts of the Temple Mount Faithful and similar groups.
It is one thing to know that this is the mountain that the Lord has chosen to place His name and be worshipped on, it is another thing to support Jewish religious extremists setting out to tip the fragile Israeli-Arab balance by a purely symbolic attempt to ascend the Temple Mount. If they ever made it, they could not hold it, but many would die or be wounded in the process.

God has never needed any kind of “arm of the flesh” help to fulfill His prophetic will. We can “help” God but when we do it inevitably turns out badly. (Isn’t this how the tug of war with Ishmael originated? Sarah trying to give God a little help fulfilling a prophetic heir to Abraham – a child of promise obtained through the works of the flesh?)

God doesn’t need any help clearing the Dome of the Rock from the Temple Mount when the time for that comes. Human beings don’t even have to be involved – or, at least not purposefully involved. The Dome of the Rock could crumble tomorrow from an earthquake, or it could implode on itself by the foundations having been undermined by the many excavations. According to,
“…complaints have been voiced by Israelis about Muslim construction and excavation on and underneath the Temple Mount, and by Muslims about Israeli excavations. Some claim that this will lead to the destabilization of the retaining walls of the Temple Mount, of which the Western Wall is one, and/or the al-Aqsa Mosque, and allege that one side is doing so deliberately to cause the collapse of the sacred sites of the other. Since the Waqf is granted almost full autonomy on the Islamic holy sites, Israeli archaeologists have been prevented from inspecting the area; they have, however, conducted several excavations under and around the Temple Mount."

If the Dome of the Rock is destined for destruction as scripture indicates, let it come naturally – the result of a natural disaster such as an earthquake, or through destabilizing of the competing excavations – an ‘act of God’, not the purposeful act of men.

The Symbolic Attempts are Political Talking Points

In recent past, there was much controversy stirred up as Ariel Sharon paid a visit to the Temple Mount in September 2000 a few months before his election as Israel’s Prime Minister. Sharon’s mission was to declare that the complex would remain under perpetual Israeli control. Palestinian riots broke out the next day as passions were enflamed over the issue of who ultimately rules the Temple Mount.

Then in 2005, a dubious Jerusalem source used by World Net Daily, again stirred emotions when he reported in March 2005 that 10,000 Jews to ascent Temple Mount to “spark Israeli dialogue about reclaiming the holy site from its Muslim custodians.” The leader of this group is a follower of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, a religious extremist whose political party was banned in Israel and likened to a KKK-style hate group. The organizer of this group was associated with Belz Hassid Yosef Elboim, ultra-Orthodox leader of the Movement for the Establishment of the Holy Temple.

In 2005 emotions were also running high during the period due to the impending Gaza pull out known as the Disengagement. Several groups – with Christian support – were getting in on the action hoping to make a statement about Israeli sovereignty over the Temple Mount.

In May 2005 Israeli police and the Shin Bet security service also arrested five Israeli Jews identified with the Bratslav Hasidic movement on suspicion of a planned attack on the Temple mount. One of the five was reported to say their goal was “to create a third intifada and a war with the Arab countries that would stop disengagement.”

A former Shin Bet Director, writing in the Israeli daily Ha’aretz, May 20, Carmi Gilloon said that an attack on the Temple Mount site “can be a disaster for the existence of the State of Israel, and can bring total war between the Muslim world, Israel, and maybe against Jewish targets abroad.”

It is a tragedy how Christians have been duped into supporting fanatic religious groups in Israel that threaten the safety of every Israeli citizen with ‘messianic’ delusions – even while skipping over the existence of the true Messianic movement in Israel, the indigenous Body of Messiah/Christ. So deep is the deception, however, among Israel-supporting Christians that most will not even listen to the facts that would expose them truth. ‘Don’t tell me about Israeli Jewish believers and don’t tell me the facts about those whose obsessive focus is taking the Temple Mount by force.’
"...because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." Pray the scales would fall off the eyes of every Christian whose heart has so far refused the truth of these matters.

While Israel may from time to time play an Israeli form of Russian Roulette with the political statements these groups make, not many Israelis would like to see any of these groups successfully ascend the Mount. The resulting Arab backlash would be far too grave and costly in spilt blood.

The Temple Mount really is dear to the Jewish heart but some things in life are better left in the hands of God to work out. This is one of those. Christians need to understand it and cease from being part of the danger to the State of Israel.

If only Christians had ears to hear and eyes to see through the fog of Jewish complexities at work here. If only Israel-supporting Christians would drop the obsessive thinking that any good will come from supporting Jewish religious extremists in a quest for the Temple Mount. If only Christians really “loved” Israel unconditionally enough to value the life of Israelis over religious domination of the Temple Mount.

The current timing may be good to stir a little Temple Mount controversy in Israel, what with the new diplomatic reality of the Obama presidency. Yet it is not worth playing Israeli Roulette, or letting Christians sit in the darkness of their illusions yet another year about what it would really mean if hundreds of Jews and Christians really did barge their way onto the mount.

Time to wake up, Christian world, and see who and what you are really supporting.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

RETRO: The Current U.S. - Israeli Standoff

In May I posted some comments on this blog as the first face to face meeting between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu was taking place in Washington, D.C. The post was titled A Pharaoh who did not know Joseph.

Here's the recap: "Don't be fooled by the cordial face of the meetings between Netanyahu and Obama earlier this week. The main issues have already been clearly defined: an intent to carve up Jerusalem and an insistence on stopping all Israel building in the disputed areas."

"Above is a photo I took in 2007 of Har Homa, which is a development just on the east entrance to Jerusalem coming from the Dead Sea. The last time Benjamin Netanyahu was Prime Minister, Har Homa was the battle ground, Arafat was the Palestinian head and Clinton was the man who wanted more than anything to deliver a final peace negotiation in the conflict.

"It didn't happen but there was intense international pressure applied to Israel the whole time. Expect more of the same now that there is not a President who understands Israel's rights."

That last comment, of course, was for all the Israel-supporting believers who were non-stop complainers throughout the Bush administration about Bush not doing enough for Israel. Israelis knew Bush was one of the presidents who most favored their situation. It was a no-brainer that the Obama administration was not going to be anywhere near as empathetic to Israel's plight.

Today I ran across this corroborating viewpoint from Makor Rishon editor Amnon Lord in a Jerusalem Post Op-Ed titled Obama's calculations were wrong:

"Instead, Obama chose to embark on a collision course. Among Netanyahu's advisers there are some who believe that those who set Obama on this course are close advisers like Rahm Emanuel who think they understand Israeli society and politics and who have detested Netanyahu from the time they served in the Clinton administration. Whatever the reason, this confrontation apparently started from day one of Netanyahu tenure: when he visited the White House for the first time a month and a half after taking office, he already encountered a chilly reception."

The average American citizen sees only the headlines about how some European leaders or the U.N. head has chimed in with Obama to "demand" Israel stop all construction. What they don't see is the history behind such demands, like those Clinton also made and failed to see any results from.

With Obama slipping mightily in the polls as the American people come to grips with the truth that the emperor has no clothes, the president might consider choosing his battles with Israel a little better than this. Rahm Emanuel is not serving him well if he is advising playing hard ball over the Shepherd Hotel construction project.

Obama administration demands are doomed to failure on this because, guess what? Obama is not the ruler of the world. He cannot demand anything of Israel and it was presumptuous to have assumed that he could. The President is the new kid on the block of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. A little humility, please, Mr. President. A little less style and a lot more substance required at your pay grade.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Is Israel Protecting the Rights of ALL It's Citizens?

Here’s the Good News & the Bad News

The good news is
that over the July 4th weekend the Jerusalem Post ran two honest reports by journalist Larry Derfner about the on-going persecution of believers in the Negev Desert region by the ultra-Orthodox. Praise God for Derfner’s, 'Watch out, missionaries!'

Religion can certainly get ugly and it has been this ugly many times over the past 5 and half years in Arad.

Lura and Eddie Beckford of Arad. Eddie has been under house arrest for over a year - seemingly the court's only 'solution' to the ongoing ultra-Orthodox harassment and persecution against the couple.

The bad news is that while the news article about Eddie and Lura Beckford, Christians in Arad was prominent in the online English JPost weekend magazine, Derfner’s article about the court case against the Chief Rabbi of Beer Sheva and anti-missionary activist organization Yad L’Achim by the Messianic Jewish congregation in Beer Sheva article was buried.

With an obscure title (‘Within the Law’) and Lord knows where they hid this article in the lineup of article choices – both editorial decisions not the decision of the journalist who wrote it – this article probably not seen by many English speakers at all. In fact, I have been informed that there has been NO HEBREW language coverage of this story at all!

The Jerusalem Post editors would like their English speaking Christian readers to see they are reporting on mistreatment of Christians in Israel, but they don’t want you seeing the mistreatment of our spiritual brothers and sisters, the Messianic Jews.

Heaven forbid, they don’t want the story to waft out into the Israeli public who would actually be concerned about things like injustice against Israeli Jews for their religious faith!

Howard Bass sitting outside of hospital room of Purim basket-terror bomb victim, Ami Ortiz, with dad David. The attempted murder of the Ortiz family in Ariel has not even seen an arrest in the case for almost a year and a half, despite surveillance footage of the religious perpetrator placing the shrapnel loaded package at the door. Howard Bass' Beer Sheva Congregation was the target of a religious mob invasion in December 2005. The mob was stirred by false accusations of child baptisms.

I suspect that Howard Bass’ Op-Ed, A nation under law? was also obscured in the Jerusalem Post online edition, based on the unbelievable fact that there are only 14 talkbacks attached to this major story (a trial that brings the Chief Rabbi of Beer Sheva to court for fomenting a riot against the Messianic congregation).

In contrast, talkbacks for the article on the Supreme Court declaring that the kosher certification that was pulled from Pnina Pie based on the owner’s faith in Yeshua/Jesus is not legal is registering a whopping 196 comments. Court declares Jew for Jesus ‘kosher’ There is no way this story is more controversial than the Bass Op-Ed, which means it did not see much light.

One footnote on the Derfner article on the Beer Sheva trial story about the testimony of Yad L’Achim’s Alex Artrovsky – a fact brought to my attention by Howard Bass: “Artrovsky, is not telling the truth when he says he was not at Deri's consultation with Deri the day before the riot. Deri's own affidavit says that he was!”

(Deri is the chief rabbi of Beer Sheva, and brother to Aryeh Deri, a Shas religious party politician who was imprisoned for various corruption charges. Pray that the judge presiding over this case is just and allows the truth to come to light. )

On the morning of Jul 7, as I would begin editing this Weekly Summary down into the key prayer points for Arrows of Zion, a Caspari Media Review has come in with yet another development:

The anti-missionary activists Yad L’Achim have made false accusations against the wife of Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon that Ann Ayalon is a “convert who is actively engaged in preaching Christianity.” This was reported on the popular Hebrew TV news show “Fact” (Uvda) and is further indication of the stepped up level of inflaming the public and criminalizing Jews who believe in Yeshua/Jesus in Israeli public opinion.

Anyone who reads the Israeli newspapers online can see that the ultra-Orthodox are feeling quite 'empowered' lately rioting against many issues like parking lot openings in Jerusalem on Shabbat, or the arrest of an ultra-Orthodox mother for starving her son. The riots have been ugly and covered extensively by the Israeli media and therein lies the problem. It is the same ugliness rioting in the streets that has been rioting against the believers in the Negev Desert, but the media exposure is certainly different!

If the media is not reporting the offenses of the ultra-Orthodox against Messianic Jews in Hebrew, what does that tell you? They don't want the public to know. If the Israeli newspapers are willing to publish stories about this ultra-Orthodox persecution against Christians in Israel - in English - what does that tell you? They want you to believe they are telling you everything...only they aren't because they are not telling you about the persecution of JEWISH believers in Yeshua/Jesus that is ongoing.

Ami before the blast.
When 15-year old Ami Ortiz found the Purim basket the housekeeper had brought into the family apartment and placed on the kitchen table, he was expecting candies and treats. Instead Ami was blown to bits and it is a miracle the boy survived. Doctors did not expect he would.
Bomb blast, Ami's blood on the floor where a medical passer-by saved him from dying at the scene. This healing has been nothing short of miraculous but it is an ugly story that must be told - not only to Christians but also to Israelis. Ami's story is one that Christians must sit up and take notice of and one that Israelis would sit up and take notice of if they knew ultra-Orthodox violence has crossed this line.

The perpetrators of violence against Yeshua's inhertitance in Israel must be held accountable...or their violence will continue to escalate in all Israeli society.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Shame on the Arad, Israel police who stand by as if nothing is going on

Ultra-orthodox station themselves next door to Eddie and Lura Beckford in Arad as part of a backlash from the honest article written by Jerusalem Post journalist, Larry Derfner about the 5-year persecution of believers in Arad by the religious.

Read up on what this couple and others in Arad have been going through - plus many other videos.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Important Lebanon Win

The all important vote in the government has gone in a most praiseworthy direction: Lebanon Votes Democracy. The vote of the Lebanese people was NOT with the terror group Hezballah. Praise God!

Hezballah is a terror group, backed by the Shia Muslim leaders of Iran and aided by next door neighbor Syria, which74% Sunni Muslim. (Syria also shelters the exiled top leaders of the Hamas terrorist group, Meshaal and Marzouk.)

When politicians talk about Iraq having upset the "balance of power" in the Middle East they are talking about the Shia Muslim nations versus the Sunni Muslim nations. [See my break down of those nations here.]

Yet Shia Iran and Sunni Syria are invested in the Hezballah terror group because Hezballah's main reason for being is to a northern attack front on Israel. Yes, Hezballah seeks to gain political power in Lebanon and had been making great inroads, but that is not the top priority. The terrorist opposition to Israel is the origin of birth of this terror group and its over ridding mission.

Israel had enough of Hezballah firing rockets for months and months indiscriminately into its northern cities and countryside in July of 2006, when Hezballah crossed its border and killed three Israeli soldiers and kidnapped two others. Prime Minister Olmert moved the Israeli Defense Forces to attack Hezballah inside Lebanon.

My point for the background brief is to say that there was much hand wringing over the action Israel took against Hezballah in Lebanon. Now the citizens of Israel were literally shell-shocked by dealing with the rockets that were coming down on their city streets, in their forests, in the countryside, so they were not hand wringing until AFTER the conflict ended and much damage had been done to the Hezballah infrastructure in Lebanon. That's when all the second-guessing set in.

Everyone said and everyone was worried that Lebanon would become even more radicalized by the Israeli war on Hezballah, that it would only serve to turn the pro-Western citizens into Hezballah supporting terrorist sympathizers.

This election ends that argument.

The proof that Israel did the right thing in the 2006 halting of Hezballah attacks on Israel's northern countryside is proven two-fold:

# 1. Now in the elections of 2006, Nasrallah and the bully terror leaders of Hezballah did not get the vote of citizens to take over the Lebanese government.

# 2. Guess what: the Israeli action halted rocket attacks terrorizing their citizens in the north.

The nay-sayers complained that Hezballah just rebuilt their infrastructure and gained even more popularity, but it sure didn't get them elected and it sure hasn't resulted in the cities of northern Israel being under the constant stress of an unpredictable rain of rocket fire.

Sometimes it just pays to stand up and fight against evil, and not be passive hoping to not make it worse.

Once again, the position that President George Bush took with Israel - that Israel must be allowed to defend itself - has been proven the correct stance.

I have heard a couple of prophets now make mention of how everyone thinks that Obama is chin-up confident, and that is the face he is keeping in public although in private he is very afraid that there will be a terror attack on his watch and he will be blamed. This word has borne witness to me.

This may be why Obama has been making such obeisant moves and statements towards the Muslims - trying to pacify so as to avoid terror attacks he will be blamed for.

Even in the eight or so hours between when I wrote this and when I posted it here, the Saudi King has come out with several demand statement about what Obama must do to tighten the screws on Israel in order to please the Arab nations. Obama thought his charm offensive would work on the Arabs like it did on the Americans. Think again.

This is exactly the wrong strategy for America to take. President Bush did have it right, and will be vindicated in the long run for having taken the courageous moral stand that he did in relation to terror and in the backing he gave our democratic and moral ally, Israel.

Declaring the word of the Lord from the Acco Sea Wall near the Lebanon border

Pray for Barack Obama to awaken to the truth and his need for fresh baptism of the Holy Spirit to lead him in all his decisions. Some people do not believe Obama is a Christian; I do, but I don't believe he is a Christian who has tasted of the heavenly gift, and has become a partaker of the Holy Spirit, and has tasted of the good word of God and the powers of the age to come. Pray that he will, and it will burst into his life quickly for the sake of the United States of America.

The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: He turns it whichever He wills. Pro 21:1

Will be believe with our natural eyes from what we see, or will we believe with the eyes of faith that even at this time, it is possible for God to change the course and direction of Barack Obama like the course of a river?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

5 decry jail terms in Holy Land case

Jason Trahan's initial coverage of the sentencing in the Holy Land Foundation trial was page 1 online yesterday before the court broke for lunch. After that, to find his updates I had to do a key word search of "Holy Land Foundation" on the Dallas Morning News site because editors chose to bury the coverage.

Same with his final report filed, 5 decry jail terms in Holy Land case
By JASON TRAHAN / The Dallas Morning News 12:00 AM CDT on Thursday, May 28, 2009

Maybe they are burying the story out of fear of being sued again by the supporters of the HLF 5, including fellow named co-conspirators, CAIR - the Council of American Islamic Relations.

As the successful prosecutor in the first World Trade Center bombing, Andrew McCarthy recently wrote, "Radical Islam’s apologists abuse courts to shut down criticism," Combating Libel Lawfare

Fear of lawsuit would make sense. I did a cruise of all the Google news stories covering the sentencing yesterday of the HLF 5 and one thing is for sure: they are counting on doing a hard public relations drive with an eye toward the appeal process to chalk these convictions up to a miscarriage of justice. As one who sat through both trials, I can tell you that the evidence was overwhelming. There is no miscarriage of justice here.

The only problem is that with few exceptions both trials were only attended by Hamas and Holy Land Foundation supporters. The public only knows what they are told, and with the exception of Jason Trahan's coverage and a handful of expert watchdog counter-terrorism sites, most of the commentators on this trial are selling fantasies of innocence to the public.

It was pretty amazing to me that there was more interest shown from overseas news outlets than of U.S. news sources. Even the outlets that conservatives count on are low balling the coverage, not only of the second trial but also the powerful statement sent by federal court Judge Solis yesterday. This should not be. When we have victories in the war on terrorism, we should be shouting it from the roof tops and making sure the public understands the convictions were solid and the sentencing just.

Even a Palestinian news source out of Bethlehem, Ma'an News Net, clearly identified the HLF 5 with Hamas most tip-top leaders, Khalid Mash'al and Musa Abu Marzouk. "Mufid Abdulqader, 49, the half brother of exiled Hamas leader Khalid Mash’al" and "Mohammad El-Mezain, 55, a relative of Hamas leader Moussa Abu Marzouq."

The Palestinian news agency wrote that Abdulqader was, "sentenced to 20 years in prison for aiding the group that the US deems a 'terrorist' organization." This is also why the five could stand up in court yesterday claiming innocence, because they do not even regard Hamas as a "terrorist" organization. They are pure in their own eyes, although tell that to the little children who have been blasted out of this life by Hamas suicide bombers while their strollers were parked outside of neighborhood Pizza parlors.

US District Judge Jorge Solis nailed it when he told the condemned yesterday, "Your function in life was raising money to support Hamas."

"You stated it was to help people, but the motive was to support Hamas," the judge said. "You state that you are innocent, but the evidence shows the opposite."

The evidence in the courtroom was overwhelming and clear, but that does not mean that lies will not prevail in the court of public opinion. That is why it is so disconcerting that there is barely any discussion of the victory of this trial in the current news cycle.

We are losing a perfect opportunity to educate the public in the facts with this trial victory. We are fools if we let it pass us by.

These five men can stand up with great conviction claiming that they are innocent because for a long time the world legitimized their terrorist acts against Israel as the war tactic of the weak. That is over.

Now that the reality of terrorist acts has been felt and faced in the American mind, the public is not so quick to give a pass to any who try to sell their innocence with the claim that terrorism is a legitimate ‘war’ tactic. Terrorists aren’t “freedom fighters” they are mass murderers.

Any who, like these five, have dedicated their lives to facilitating terrorists have made it possible for horrific terror strikes against men, women and children DESERVE to be recognized and shamed as cogs in the terror network that they are. It is time that public voices like Bob Ray Sanders, the Dallas Peace Center and the ACLU QUIT serving the interests of the terror networks by making so much noise about the “innocence” of Hamas terror network operatives like these five.

It is pure hypocrisy to say enhanced interrogation techniques are "torture," yet legitimatize terrorist acts by Hamas, Hezballah and other terror networks. The U.S. public should quit giving the benefit of the doubt to anyone who claims that terrorist acts are in any way legitimate. Terrorism is mass murder, not just another tactic of war.

Those who facilitate terrorism – including those who speak out for them trying to convince the public they are just victims of political witch hunting – deserve to be shamed and shunned by the good people of this land from shore to shore.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sentences handed down in Holy Land Foundation 5 Trial

Holy Land Foundation defendant sentenced to 65 years

Graphic by

The Judge has rendered the first sentence against the Holy Land Foundation Five this morning. Shukri Abu Bakr got 65 years. The sentencings are expected to take most of the day.

Breaking News on the Cover of the Dallas Morning News online site:
Holy Land Foundation defendant sentenced to 65 years
by Jason Trahan

“I did it because I cared, not at the behest of Hamas,” Shukri Abu Baker, 50, of Garland, told the judge during a long address to the court where he explained why he founded what was once the nation’s largest Muslim charity organization.

U.S. District Judge Jorge Solis, after cutting him off over the objections of his defense attorney, told the convicted man, “You didn’t tell the whole story. Palestinians were in a desperate situation, but that doesn’t justify supporting Hamas.”

Read the full story and updates online

I wrote this at 7:45 AM today: This day marks the end of a particular watch for me that has lasted since 1993 when I learned that our government knew Hamas was fund raising in the U.S. The most intense times for me were in the pre-9/11 summer & after the attacks in Sept of 2001, when we began actively encouraging the local Dallas newspapers not to wither under the protests over their investigations into the Holy Land Foundation.

Finally in 2007 the first trial of the HLF5 began in Dallas. It ended in a mistrial and was retried in federal court here in Dallas in 2008. Guilty verdicts were handed down all five defendants and much evidence of the deep tentacles of the Hamas terror organization were revealed in court evidence. Prayer teams pushed through this outcome.

Today, no matter how Judge Solis sentences each of the five, it is a victory that we had a part in and a day many experts believed in their hearts they were never going to see. Thank God that these men were held to account, may all their appeals before human courts be denied.

Donna Diorio

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Pharaoh who did not know Joseph.

Israel has a new Prime Minister and the U.S. has a new President - a man who has indicated he will not be as supportive of Israel as his predecessor President Bush was. Beginning in June the arm twisting will likely begin to kick into high gear.
Don't be fooled by the cordial face of the meetings between Netanyahu and Obama earlier this week. The main issues have already been clearly defined: an intent to carve up Jerusalem and an insistence on stopping all Israel building in the disputed areas.

This is a President who does not have a grasp of the depth of American alliance with Israel, just as he is a president who does not have a grasp of the common sense the majority of Americans have regarding terrorism and national security issues. Obama is about to step into a big pile with his intentions in forcing Israel into an unwise position with its Arab neighbors.

Above is a photo I took in 2007 of Har Homa, which is a development just on the east entrance to Jerusalem coming from the Dead Sea. The last time Benjamin Netanyahu was Prime Minister, Har Homa was the battle ground, Arafat was the Palestinian head and Clinton was the man who wanted more than anything to deliver a final peace negotiation in the conflict.

It didn't happen but there was intense international pressure applied to Israel the whole time. Expect more of the same now that there is not a President who understands Israel's rights.