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US and Arab Leaders: Appeasing Evil With a Palestinian State Does Not Yield Peace

By Arlene Bridges Samuels

The United States and five Arab countries are uniting in an unasked-for effort to push Israel into a worn-out and ineffectual two-state solution. The “reasoning” emerging from the United States, Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates borders on the delusional. That’s because for decades, Palestinians in both the West Bank and Gaza have proven their aversion—their outright refusal—to negotiate with Israel.

Any blueprint for a Palestinian state side by side with Israel is also doomed, because Israel has already “been there and done that”—as witnessed by the disastrous, ongoing results of October 7. A look at the Hamas charter reveals that peace will never be an option for these terrorists, only violence. That is the only solution they will consider for Israel.

Let’s examine the implausibility of this six-nation “peace plan” in light of events during the last two decades. In 2005, Israel unilaterally—without negotiations or advice from any country—handed Palestinians a state in Gaza. At the time, Israel believed its departure would permit the rise of a well-functioning government, a “Singapore by the Sea.”

In making this magnanimous move, Israel forfeited years of hard work by its Jewish community living in Gaza. Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (1928-2014) ordered Israel’s own soldiers to remove more than 8,000 Jewish citizens from the enclave. Thus, on August 15, 2005, the Israel Defense Forces began removing the Jewish community from Gaza. Jewish soldiers who were forced to evacuate the Jewish families and the families themselves shared the heartbreak as these Israelis left behind their homes, businesses, synagogues, and schools. By September 22, 2005, the last IDF soldier locked the gate to Gaza behind him.

Instead of putting this windfall to good use, the Palestinians immediately trashed everything left behind that could have provided them with jobs and food—and in 2007 they voted to put Hamas in power. Eventually, Hamas proved to be a destabilizing presence, unleashing a bloodthirsty culture of terror that roped most of the Gazan population into Jew-hatred, misery, and war.

Not one Jewish person has lived in Gaza for almost two decades.

It is imperative to recall the patience Israel has exhibited while living close to those who want to murder them. The intricately planned October 7th invasion, combined with almost two decades of life under constant threat, shows why Israelis do not now support a Palestinian state. The six nations’ leaders are morally wrong to compel Israel to a cease-fire instead of holding accountable the perpetrators—Hamas, the Palestinian Authority, Hezbollah, and Iran—and requiring Hamas to lay down its arms, destroy the tunnels, and release the hostages. Following the unspeakable evil and brutality of October 7th, proposing any two-state solution or ceasefire is insulting, untenable, and unworkable.     

Evacuating its citizens in Gaza in 2005, Israel’s one-of-a-kind sacrifice for peace turned into a 19-year nightmare of rocket barrages. I have traveled to the kibbutzim many times and heard their stories of trauma. However, my admiration for their bravery and zest for life grew each time. Unbelievably, the world blamed Israel every time terrorists forced the IDF into protecting its civilians living along the Gaza Envelope.

Sderot kindergartners became accustomed to indoor play areas with reinforced concrete and steel doors. And try to imagine parenting in the context of falling rockets. Moms who are alone during the day with young children chose not to take showers for fear that the Red Alert would sound, where they could not quickly grab their children and run to their safe room. A dad driving in Sderot with his children in the backseat was forced to stop the car, jump out, open the back door, and throw himself over his children to protect them.

Palestinians devised all kinds of attacks. They destroyed Israel’s beautiful crops by launching what I call a balloon intifada, arming these innocent-looking toys with explosives that floated over to Israel and burned up crops. Parents were forced to warn their children against balloons, a formerly joyful sight, if they fell into their yards.

The class schedule for Shaar Hanegev High School in Sderot was constantly disrupted with Red Alert alarms and frantic sprints to bomb shelters. In 2012, Israel spent $27.5 million on concrete walls, reinforced windows, and architectural designs to absorb and deflect rocket fire. The necessary safety features meant students could stay put. One principal commented, “You can finally teach without constantly worrying about what to do when there is a rocket attack.” 

On October 7th, Hamas murdered 50 of Sderot’s citizens. Most of the over 30,000 residents are now living in temporary shelters and lodging. Including Israelis on the Lebanon and Gaza borders, 125,000 people from kibbutzim, towns and villages are displaced. Yet the six nations are pressuring Israel, which was the target of evil, instead of the terrorists who perpetuated that evil.

Are these wrong-headed purveyors of peace pressing or arresting the top Hamas leaders who fly in private jets and appear for media interviews? No Arab countries are willing to resettle the Gazans. Yet, they expect Israel to live next to them again after years of dealing with Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. Further, what Palestinian can govern a state peacefully?

Amir Tsarfati, the Israeli founder of Behold Israel, succinctly describes the Palestinian mindset via his Telegram channel: “They don’t want to live next to us—they want to live instead of us.” Tsarfati does not envision either the Palestinian Authority or Hamas signing on to any new deal that recognizes Israel’s sovereignty, despite the settled biblical facts of both ancient and modern history.

I agree, since any two-state solution is akin to the Nazis’ “final solution,” which resulted in the Holocaust. Appeasing evil does not produce peace. In human terms, any such plan is a roadmap to disaster. In the past, present, and future the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob kept—or will keep—His promises to His Chosen people.

In the meantime, I support the clear, unanimous decisions on February 18 rendered by Prime Minister Netanyahu and his war cabinet: “Israel utterly rejects international diktats regarding a permanent settlement with the Palestinians. A settlement, if it is to be reached, will come about solely through direct negotiations between the parties, without preconditions.” On February 21st, the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, strengthened Prime Minister Netanyahu and his security cabinet’s unanimous decision by resolving to formally oppose any imposition of a Palestinian state. The vote: ninety-nine lawmakers in favor and only 9 against. Their unity is absolutely remarkable.

Before finalizing their latest foolish plan, the six leaders should not only take note of Israel’s unity but revisit the outcome of former President Clinton’s Camp David summit in 2000 with Yassar Arafat, founder of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), and Ehud Barak, former Israeli Prime Minister. Barak agreed to withdraw from 97 percent of the West Bank (the biblical heartland) and 100 percent of the Gaza Strip. Further, Barak approved a Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem. Arafat, however, refused all offers, unwilling to accept any Israeli sovereignty anywhere.

Are the six leaders aware that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has yet to condemn the 10/7 massacres? The question of who would govern a Palestinian state remains unanswered. The question eludes the misguided two-state proponents and the polluted airways filled with Palestinian lies and evil.

Former Prime Minister Golda Meir said it best: “You cannot negotiate peace with someone who has come to kill you.” As Prime Minister Netanyahu said last weekend, “There is no alternative to total victory. And there is no way to achieve total victory without destroying those battalions in Rafah, and we will do so.”

We welcome you to join our CBN Israel team this week to pray with understanding that God’s covenants with the Jewish people are eternal. Deuteronomy 14:2 reminds us, “For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the LORD has chosen you to be His treasured possession.”

Prayer Points:

  • Pray that other nations will stop meddling in Israel’s rightful decisions to defend its homeland.
  • Pray for unity to remain within Netanyahu’s war cabinet and Israel’s citizens.
  • Pray that Jew-hating voices will grow silent.
  • Pray for Hamas to free all hostages or for IDF to miraculously rescue the remaining hostages.
  • Pray for IDF preparing for a widened war to oppose Hezbollah’s attacks from Lebanon.

Arlene Bridges Samuels pioneered Christian outreach for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). After she served nine years on AIPAC’s staff, International Christian Embassy Jerusalem USA engaged her as Outreach Director part-time for their project, American Christian Leaders for Israel. Arlene is an author at The Blogs-Times of Israel and has traveled to Israel since 1990. She co-edited The Auschwitz Album Revisited and is on the board of Violins of Hope South Carolina. By invitation, Arlene attends Israel’s Government Press Office Christian Media Summits. She also hosts her devotionals, The Eclectic Evangelical, on her website at ArleneBridgesSamuels.com.

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Victim of Terrorism: Oshri’s Story

On October 7, 27-year-old Oshri woke up early in Sderot to go fishing with his father, Eliyahu. But his dad was too tired, so he went to Zikim Beach alone. As he arrived, suddenly sirens blared, rockets flew overhead, and Hamas terrorists in boats were firing machine guns.

Panicked, Oshri and others fled to a bomb shelter. Terrorists lobbed grenades inside and gunned down everyone. A bullet went through Oshri’s arm, eye socket, esophagus, and stomach. Miraculously, he survived, but barely. Buried under dead bodies, he cried for help. No one came.

So, he forced himself to stand, and somehow began the long drive to a medical center in Ashkelon. When the police stopped him, they saw his condition, and sped him to the hospital.

Meanwhile, his family hadn’t heard from him, and feared the worst. Dodging gunfire, Eliyahu was thrilled to find his son alive at the hospital, though gravely wounded. To the staff’s amazement, Oshri quickly recovered from multiple surgeries. Yet he still has a long road ahead.

But friends like you were there for Oshri. Thanks to caring donors, CBN Israel partnered with the Jewish Agency after October 7 in a special outreach, to assist terror victims and families of hostages. They supplied financial aid for Oshri and his family, along with trauma counseling.

Your gifts to CBN Israel can evacuate war victims, and give them safe lodging, meals, trauma therapy, and more—while delivering food and essentials to those still in harm’s way.

Plus, you can provide assistance across the Holy Land to single moms, Holocaust survivors, and refugees who need our help.

You can make a difference in Israel—please join with us today!

GIVE TODAY

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CBN Israel Helps Provide Courses to Equip Young Gypsies in Jerusalem for Success

By Nicole Jansezian

Perhaps one of the most marginalized groups in Israel is the Domari, an ethnic minority living in the Jerusalem area for approximately eight centuries.

Considered neither Israeli nor Palestinian, the members of this gypsy group are at the bottom of the socio-economic scale and are discriminated against even though they speak Arabic and live among the Arabs in East Jerusalem.

This generations-long prejudice has contributed to a drop-out rate from school of 40 percent and an illiteracy rate among the Dom women of 80 percent. That usually leads to low-paying jobs or, worse, unemployment.

Amoun Sleem knows this from personal experience. A Dom herself, Amoun was raised in poverty and dropped out of school after being severely discriminated against by one of her teachers. After pulling herself back up, returning to school, attaining higher education degrees and even becoming the first Jerusalem Dom to travel by plane, Amoun dedicated her life to improving the lot of other Jerusalem gypsies.

She founded the Domari Society for Gypsies in Jerusalem which offers all sorts of programs to help other Dom people succeed in today’s society.

One such program is a series of courses on cosmetics and hair that is intended to propel young people into a career that will help them support themselves and their families. CBN Israel has partnered with the Domari Society to fund several of these courses including the barber program, nails and eyebrow and eyelash design for women.

The women in the program will get their own kit that allows them to start working right away.

The knowledge and skillset are meant to equip these young people with the tools that will help them find work and maybe even open their own businesses in a trending market overcoming the obstacle of a low literacy level.

“Most of the women don’t read or write so we find something to fit the situation, what the market is looking for,” Amoun said.

The course results in practical knowledge, but Amoun said the ones for women are also focused on empowerment since women hold an inferior status in the Domari community.

“Not only will they do this job with respect, but they will build self-esteem, build confidence and at the same time, it’s a career they have,” Amoun said. “It’s something they can continue to work with afterwards and, if they love  it, that’s very important.”

Because most of the older generation is illiterate, the Domari center also offers tutoring to young gypsies who choose to stay in school.

“God gave me this work for a reason,” Amoun said. “Life is difficult as a gypsy.”

Nicole Jansezian is the media coordinator for CBN Israel. A long-time journalist, Nicole was previously the news editor of All Israel News and All Arab News and a journalist at The Associated Press. On her YouTube channel, Nicole gives a platform to the minority communities in Jerusalem and highlights stories of fascinating people in this intense city. Born and raised in Queens, N.Y., she lives in Jerusalem with her husband, Tony, and their three children.

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Living As Light Bearers For Our Spiritual Homeland

By Arlene Bridges Samuels

Following the inhumane infiltration of the Jewish homeland on October 7, an octogenarian Christian acted on a bright idea which is now shining lights into the lives of  thousands of Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers.

Last weekend I interviewed the 81-year-old on the phone. As I had agreed in advance to her request for complete anonymity, I nicknamed her “Lady Bright” for this article. She has refused other media interviews, so I deeply appreciated her exclusive story. In journalism, we call it a scoop to report news of importance, surprise, excitement, originality, or—like Lady Bright’s story—secrecy.

I first found out about Lady Bright last fall when a friend called asking for a Zoom briefing, aware that I was offering updates in person or online to groups both large and small. Soon, a small group joined the Zoom meeting, where I updated them about Israel’s defensive war, an existential necessity against Hamas’s public and prideful statements about murdering every Jew. A few weeks after that Zoom update, my friend called again, this time to tell me about an exceptional mission initiated by one of the participants.

I learned enough about her remarkable acquaintance to seek a telephone interview, and my friend obliged. Kurt Kaiser’s 1969 song, “Pass It On,” expresses the heart of Bright’s mission: “It only takes a spark to get a fire going. And soon all those around can warm up in its glowing. That’s how it is with God’s love once you’ve experienced it. You spread His love to everyone; You want to pass it on.” 

In our interview, I learned that Lady Bright felt inspired to write letters to IDF soldiers. “I figured if Jesus asked me to do this,” she explained, “He’s got a way of making it happen to bless the soldiers.” And she certainly found a way. Considered the matriarch of a group of lifelong childhood friends for 70-75 years, Lady Bright reached out to them about a letter-writing campaign. Five of her friends caught the spark to pass on love—and got to work as members of Lady Bright’s private group with “just the girls that are committed to help me.”

They composed a short letter assuring the IDF of prayers to God for their safety, and that they were simply sending love and encouragement from “people in the United States who support them”—a team of women in their 70s and 80s.

Lady Bright suffers from arthritis, so handwriting is difficult. She uses her home printer, places three letters to a page, then cuts them apart. Each letter is signed with handwritten initials to make it more personal. The team spends time and energy to sign their initials and stuff envelopes—and also helps defray costs for postage, envelopes, and outside printing. 

After one team member included her two weekly Bible study groups in this enterprise, she passed on 2,500 letters to Lady Bright. They had stuffed envelopes while studying the Bible!

In her small church in small-town America, Lady Bright is a choir member and mentioned a hymn they recently sang, “Til The Storm Passes By.” She is deeply engaged in the latest information about Israel through CBN News and prays for Israel “until the storm passes by.”

Lady Bright reached out to the Jewish Federation of North America and Friends of the IDF, asking how to send letters to the IDF. Both responded with help—and now the New York Jewish Federation has been inundated with thousands of letters to Israel’s soldiers. The federation also sends letters when staff and friends are traveling to Israel.

When the Jewish Federation asked Lady Bright why Christians are writing letters to IDF soldiers, she replied, “You are God’s chosen people. We’re just ‘step kids’ and the only way we get to God’s family is through Jesus Christ, who grafted us into your land. So, we’re honored to try and help in some way. And that’s how we feel.” Prayers are also added for the letters’ safe travel to New York’s Jewish Federation and beyond to IDF units on the ground.

Lady Bright’s mission reached the Jewish community in the United States, too. On November 7, 2023, a Jewish family in metro Atlanta was devastated by the news that Sgt. Rose Ida Lubin, a 20-year-old native of Dunwoody, Georgia, had been murdered by a terrorist while on duty as an Israeli Border Police officer in Jerusalem. Grappling with grief that hit so close to home, Sgt. Lubin’s family and Jewish community were touched when they received sympathy cards from Bright and her Christian team.

It is no surprise that Jewish organizations want to interview Lady Bright, with thousands of letters already in Israel. This amazing woman’s goal is to send 360,000 letters in all! When I asked how she arrived at that number she remarked, “Because that’s how many they called up from IDF reserves.”

However, Bright’s determination for anonymity remains firm, and it’s based on her most important goal: “We want God to get all the glory. I don’t want anything to come to me. I’m not doing it for attention or anything except these boys and girls,” says the 81-year-old.

Lady Bright revealed another way publicity could interfere with the team’s task. She shrouds her identity and the letters in secrecy because “I want to get by with as many letters as we can before anybody tries to stop us. If the wrong people find out, somebody will try to shut us down.” She mentions that the people who would be opposed to the mission outnumber her team, and she wants to keep the letters just between the soldiers and her small group who are “praying for them and asking God to keep them safe and bless them.”

Lady Bright is very aware of and attuned to the Jew hatred breaking out worldwide and here in the United States. She and her team understand that covert operations might enable the small group to better reach their goals.

President Ronald Reagan once phrased it well: “They say the world has become too complex for simple answers. They are wrong.” Fighting a war simultaneously above and below ground in Gaza is the most complex terrain ever encountered by any army. However, each simple letter of prayer sent to IDF soldiers is sure to light sparks of encouragement when it is opened.

Bright and her team anticipate their final, eternal destination as they conduct their covert operation here on earth. However, Matthew 25:23 heralds a glorious truth when Jesus exclaims, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” The Bright team is now in charge of hundreds of thousands of letters! And her mission is still expanding, still growing.

How many of you reading the story of Lady Bright and her team of active senior citizens will ask the Lord what you can add to your prayers for Israel? Many options await you to send practical lights of help to the IDF, to 100,000 Israeli citizens displaced from their homes, or to help organizations aiding Israel’s elderly Holocaust survivors.

In our phone interview, Lady Bright referenced Genesis 12:3, “If you bless my people, I will bless you. If you curse my people, I will curse you.” She adds, “As Christians, we have absolutely no choice but to bless God’s people, and that’s the Jews.”

We welcome you this week to join our CBN Israel team to pray and meditate on this truth in Psalms 18:28—You, LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.

Prayer Points:

  • Pray with thanks for small beginnings that grow into big blessings for others.
  • Pray for God’s Holy Spirit and protection for IDF members as they fight evil in dark places.
  • Pray for IDF spouses and children for shalom and strength during these deployments.
  • Pray that Hamas will release all hostages into freedom.
  • Pray that intel coming from captured terrorists will help IDF in the complex war. 

Arlene Bridges Samuels pioneered Christian outreach for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). After she served nine years on AIPAC’s staff, International Christian Embassy Jerusalem USA engaged her as Outreach Director part-time for their project, American Christian Leaders for Israel. Arlene is an author at The Blogs-Times of Israel and has traveled to Israel since 1990. She co-edited The Auschwitz Album Revisited and is on the board of Violins of Hope South Carolina. By invitation, Arlene attends Israel’s Government Press Office Christian Media Summits. She also hosts her devotionals, The Eclectic Evangelical, on her website at ArleneBridgesSamuels.com.

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Delivering Groceries to Victims of War and Terror

Imagine living through the invasion of your neighborhood by terrorists—and then worrying about having enough to eat for weeks and months afterwards.

The war in Israel has been devastating for thousands of people across the nation. Some who survived the attacks by Hamas were evacuated away from the line of fire. But others who chose to stay (or couldn’t leave) have struggled ever since to get basic necessities.

As a result of the fighting, supply chains and routes were disrupted, threatening the local inventory of groceries in many communities. With Israel’s stores understocked, and supplies running out, hunger was a very real threat. And in areas targeted by rocket fire, many elderly and others were afraid to even venture out to shop. Where could these people turn for help?

Thankfully, friends like you were there for them. Through CBN Israel, donors were delivering nutritious food to families and seniors in need. They have made door-to-door deliveries and held distributions at multiple locations—both on the streets and inside apartment buildings.

At one location, people patiently waited well into the night for our truck to arrive. When it did, everyone pitched in to help unload and get this desperately needed food distributed to everyone.

Your gift to CBN Israel can be a crucial way to let these hurting people know they are not alone. You can provide meals, temporary shelter, trauma counseling, and more to those who were evacuated. And you can bring food, water, clothing, and other essentials for those in harm’s way.

Your support is so important—please join us in making a difference today!

GIVE TODAY

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CBN Israel Partners with Israel’s Largest Food Bank to Tackle Rising Food Insecurity and Poverty

By Nicole Jansezian

More than 20 percent of the Israeli population was living below the poverty line before the war, but now more than twice that number of Israelis fear that they are on the brink of economic hardship.

With an estimated 200,000 citizens internally displaced around the country, many have lost their jobs or have been forced to close their businesses, some temporarily and others permanently. 

Recognizing this brewing crisis, CBN Israel—which partners with several food banks and distribution centers—ramped up its assistance during this time to make sure people don’t go hungry.

Latet, one of CBN Israel’s partners, estimates that 46 percent of Israelis are concerned that their economic situation will deteriorate in the aftermath of the war. Many of these citizens are living in temporary shelters and are unable to cook a hot meal for their families, while those already living in poverty have been further impacted by rising prices in Israel.

Along with other organizations, Latet, which in Hebrew means “to give,” have been scrambling to address these issues. Latet acts as an umbrella organization to 210 municipalities and local charities in Israel. These institutions have reported a 58 percent increase in the number of families asking for assistance since October 7.

In an attempt to alleviate this growing need, CBN Israel increased its support of food security organizations. In just four months, Latet was able to distribute an additional 104,000 food packages and has been providing food to soldiers and first responders who are on the frontlines of the conflict in addition to serving its regular beneficiaries—95,000 families and 1,450 Holocaust survivors.

“Truly, we the Latet team, would like to thank you. You made us feel we are not alone in a very lonely and scary time,” Tal Avnet, head of resources development at Latet, told CBN Israel. 

Israel’s largest NGO combating food insecurity and poverty, Latet is no stranger to international crises having responded to natural disasters and civil wars around the world.

Latet also produces an annual report on the state of poverty and food insecurity in Israel taking into account various factors beyond just income but other expenses such as housing, education, healthcare, and the cost of utilities. Latet uses these details to advocate within the Israeli government on behalf of the needy.

The organization works with grocery stores and food manufacturers to salvage fresh and canned food and make sure it goes to people in need. It also helps with providing other essentials such as back-to-school equipment, hygiene boxes, and winter equipment.

Latet relies on a vast network of thousands of volunteers who help sort and pack the food that goes out of the warehouse. Thanks to CBN Israel and compassionate donors, Latet has a strong ally in the ongoing fight against rising food insecurity and poverty in Israel.

Nicole Jansezian is the media coordinator for CBN Israel. A long-time journalist, Nicole was previously the news editor of All Israel News and All Arab News and a journalist at The Associated Press. On her YouTube channel, Nicole gives a platform to the minority communities in Jerusalem and highlights stories of fascinating people in this intense city. Born and raised in Queens, N.Y., she lives in Jerusalem with her husband, Tony, and their three children.

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Israel The Miracle: A Book, A Nation, and Its Christian Friends

By Arlene Bridges Samuels

Israeli Jonathan Feldstein felt compelled with an idea in late October 2022 that may surprise you. This modern orthodox Jew living in Efrat, Israel, decided to create a book highlighting present day pro-Israel Christian leaders as one way to celebrate Israel’s upcoming 75th anniversary in 2023. He began fully exploring the idea in late November 2022.

He mentioned it to a friend—a bestselling author—who exclaimed, “Jonathan, this is an impossible timeline to have a book of this scope printed for Israel’s 75th anniversary year!” Jonathan knew his friend was more knowledgeable yet had no idea if he was right or wrong. Unable to abandon the idea, he easily admits that he had “no understanding of what was involved” at the time and described himself as “too naive and just ran with the project because I didn’t know any better.” However, he moved forward, perceiving it as based on his faith in God.

Although Jonathan is the founder of Genesis 123, a foundation that builds meaningful relationships between Jews and Christians working together on projects to bless Israel, Jonathan had never thought of book publishing. Yet, based on his already successful track record of envisioning unique, successful projects, the new idea proved to be another good fit for his compassionate and practical ideas for drawing Jews and Christians together.

Jonathan swept into action, settling on the number of Christians that would most fittingly define Israel’s modern anniversary. He asked 75 pro-Israel Christian leaders to each write a personal essay for this special book project. He set about contacting those he knew to be committed to the Jewish state. Their essays arrived between January and March, and then the process of editing, getting photos, art, and layouts began with his excellent publisher in the United States.

The proof copy arrived in May 2023, just in time for Jonathan to attend the National Religious Broadcasters convention in the United States. As Jonathan walked the halls of the world’s biggest gathering of Christian authors, speakers, and media, he described the immediate response to his book as “incredible.” June and July passed by, packed with a myriad of details. Plans were falling into place, along with unforeseen challenges as Jonathan worked and waited.

Then it happened, a miracle within the miracle of Israel! By August 2023, Jonathan and his publishing team were able to send the files to the printer. The book’s birth, a miracle “baby,” took place nine months from conception to delivery. A father of six, Jonathan now knows that the nine-month timeline is unheard of in the publishing industry. God proved Himself once again to be the ultimate Publisher. Jonathan’s exquisite coffee table book—one to share with family, friends, synagogues, churches, and children—came off the press in September amid the autumn biblical festivals and Jewish holidays.

However, following the Hamas invasion and massacre on October 7, like every Israeli, Jonathan quickly turned his attention totally toward his Jewish homeland. The joy of Israel The Miracle book transitioned into another focused project, a divine surprise! Originally, Jonathan had directed the book’s proceeds to the Genesis 123 Foundation’s 12 supported projects. Among them were emergency medical care for Israelis from all backgrounds, feeding the hungry, embracing Holocaust survivors, and protecting unborn babies.

Overnight, Jonathan created the Genesis 123 Israel Emergency Campaign. All those proceeds have helped fund projects including civilian security, soldiers’ welfare, trauma sufferers, Israelis’ destroyed homes, and emergency medical needs.

Jonathan had originally scheduled a U.S. book tour for November 2023. Nevertheless, he quickly abandoned his schedule—not only to oversee the Israel Emergency Campaign, but because several family members were called into Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) reserve units. However, even without the formal book launch and media tour last fall, the pre-sales and recent spike in orders show that Israel The Miracle is flying off the shelves. On Amazon, it became an immediate “top new release” in its first week. Jonathan is ordering an additional printing.

Yet, the redirection of funds from the upcoming book sales traveled to another divine destination. Jonathan made a targeted decision to expand the book’s significance beyond its September 2023 birth date as a beautiful coffee table book. Now, Israel The Miracle holds an important dual purpose. Although the book brims with gorgeous photos of the land and its people and inspires us with 75 essays as a symbol of Christian support for Israel, it has expanded far beyond a wonderful personal purchase.

Jonathan explains the other half of the book’s updated purpose: Through an incredible printing connection, the book also serves as an instrument of blessing “for humanitarian aid to one of the hardest-hit kibbutzim on October 7.” The book is being printed in conjunction with Kibbutz Be’eri, which ran a successful, prominent printing company, Dfus Be’eri. (Dfus means print; be’eri means belonging to a fountain or expounder.)

Kibbutz Be’eri was among the hardest hit on October 7, with 120 homes destroyed and dozens of its 1,200 residents murdered, many kidnapped, and some still imprisoned in a dark concentration camp tunnel. The survivors’ determination to retain the purposeful meanings of its name and somehow continue its printing business is a true example of Israeli resilience.

Worldwide, each individual or group purchase of Israel The Miracle book transitions profits into a direct donation through the Genesis 123 Foundation for the restoration of Kibbutz Be’eri. Here is how to be part of this humanitarian kind of miracle: www.IsraeltheMiracle.com.

Jonathan made another decision, one that paid respect to Pat Robertson before his homegoing at age 93 on June 8, 2023. Robertson, a Christian media pioneer and founder of The Christian Broadcasting Network in 1960, symbolized an unmatched commitment, influence, and support of Israel. Jonathan honored Dr. Robertson by placing his essay first in what is called his “final testament” on Israel.

I am honored that my endorsement is included in Israel The Miracle: “Essays from seventy-five devoted advocates share gleaming insights about our spiritual homeland during its 75th Sapphire anniversary year.” God reveals His design for Jerusalem in Isaiah 54:11 to use blue sapphires for its foundation. Israel is the only place on earth where rare, deep-blue Mount Carmel sapphires are found. Israel itself, shining as a rarity, is the only nation where God declares in Leviticus, “the land is mine.”

I welcome you to our CBN Israel team this week to personally consider Psalm 45:1 (NASB): “My heart is moved with a good theme; I address my verses to the King; My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.” This verse not only reflects the 75 beautiful essays within Israel The Miracle. It is also an invitation to you from me to honor our King Jesus by sharing truth and facts in person or on social media about Israel from trusted sources such as CBN News.

Prayer Points:

  • Pray with expectation that profits from Israel The Miracle will grow into a financial miracle for Kibbutz Be’eri.
  • Pray for 136 hostages trapped and abused in Hamas’s underground concentration camp.
  • Pray for family and friends of hostages, those already released, and especially for those deeply traumatized.
  • Pray for Prime Minister Netanyahu, IDF leadership, and Israeli citizens to remain united.
  • Pray for Israel’s Government Press Office, which interacts with all international media personnel.

Arlene Bridges Samuels pioneered Christian outreach for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). After she served nine years on AIPAC’s staff, International Christian Embassy Jerusalem USA engaged her as Outreach Director part-time for their project, American Christian Leaders for Israel. Arlene is an author at The Blogs-Times of Israel and has traveled to Israel since 1990. She co-edited The Auschwitz Album Revisited and is on the board of Violins of Hope South Carolina. By invitation, Arlene attends Israel’s Government Press Office Christian Media Summits. She also hosts her devotionals, The Eclectic Evangelical, on her website at ArleneBridgesSamuels.com.

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Single Mother: Veronica’s Story

Veronica came to Israel 27 years ago from Mexico, and lives in a kibbutz near Jerusalem. When she and her husband separated 12 years ago, she raised their two boys alone—with no child support, or family nearby. But after the October 7 attacks, life got more challenging.

Her sons, now ages 23 and 21, are in the military. Veronica shared, “It was shocking to suddenly see my son coming into the room and saying, ‘I’ve been called—I have to go.’” She prays for her boys serving with the IDF in Gaza, even as she hears rockets flying over her own area. She adds, “You feel like this is a movie, this is not happening…” So how does she cope?

Thanks to friends like you, Veronica has found help for the past 10 years through CBN Israel’s support group for single moms. Caring donors have created a special community for these women in many ways, which includes shared meals, financial assistance, and holiday gatherings.

In fact, donors were there for Veronica two years earlier, when she received short notice that she had to vacate her home. The kibbutz offered her a much smaller house that was 75 years old, had no kitchen or working bathroom, and was in terrible disrepair. With no job or savings, she wept.

But through CBN Israel, donors provided finances, materials, and a construction worker. Together, she and her sons worked with him to repair, paint, and refurbish it to make it a home.

Your gifts to CBN Israel can also offer a lifeline to Holocaust survivors and immigrants—delivering food, shelter, finances, and more to those in need. And as the war continues, your support is crucial in supplying emergency aid to terror victims, while reaching others in crisis.

Please join us in making a difference for others!

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CBN Israel Helps Provide Housing and Peace of Mind for Holocaust Survivors

By Nicole Jansezian

The genocidal attacks carried out by Hamas on Israelis on October 7 evoked painful memories of the Holocaust and cast a spotlight on the remaining survivors of the Nazi onslaught in Europe decades ago.

For Holocaust survivors, the horrors of October 7 revived a dormant trauma forcing them to relive their nightmares and threatening their welfare and sense of security.

CBN Israel is partnering with The Jewish Agency to provide affordable housing for more than 27,000 Holocaust survivors and other needy elderly people around Israel.

The CBN Israel contribution enables dozens of couples and single elderly to live in comfort and dignity. Amigour Plugot is a housing program from The Jewish Agency that gives them this opportunity.

“Amigour is one big family, and no one ever feels lonely,” said Phima, a Holocaust survivor originally from Belarus. “Whenever I’m asked where I live, I proudly say Amigour.”

This year’s observance of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, marked on January 27, was all the more poignant amid rising anti-Semitism and the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. Fewer than 200,000 Holocaust survivors—almost half of all Holocaust survivors worldwide—are still living in Israel today.

But around 25 percent of those here in the Holy Land live below the poverty line.

Phima, who is now 85, was 3 years old when World War II reached his town in Slonim, Belarus. His parents fled to Uzbekistan with Phima and his two sisters. Nevertheless, his father disappeared after leaving for work one day and never made it back home. Eleven years later, the family learned that the father and six others had been captured and murdered by Nazi soldiers.

Phima joined the Uzbekistan military when he was 19 before attending university and becoming a history and economics teacher. He and his wife finally made Aliyah in 1996 joining their adult children who had already moved to the Jewish state as young adults. But shortly afterwards one of their daughters died from a deadly disease.

He and his wife, like so many other survivors, struggled financially as they grew older. Due to their dire financial predicament, they were eligible for Amigour’s housing program.

CBN Israel is working with the Jewish Agency to reach its goal of helping people like Phima and his wife live with peace of mind. Amigour’s new assisted living complex, under construction right now, will consist of 90 units with 22 units for couples and 68 units for single residents making room for many more elderly Israelis.

Nicole Jansezian is the media coordinator for CBN Israel. A long-time journalist, Nicole was previously the news editor of All Israel News and All Arab News and a journalist at The Associated Press. On her YouTube channel, Nicole gives a platform to the minority communities in Jerusalem and highlights stories of fascinating people in this intense city. Born and raised in Queens, N.Y., she lives in Jerusalem with her husband, Tony, and their three children.

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UNRWA’s Humanitarian Aid Gone Rogue

By Arlene Bridges Samuels

More stunning facts about Hamas—the new generation of Nazis—are coming to light. The latest exposé is that many staff members of The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) helped Hamas attack Israel on October 7, when 3,000 terrorists slaughtered some 1,200 Israeli men, women, and children and kidnapped around 250 hostages.

As reported by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the agency has already fired 12 of their “employees” named among the 13,000 Palestinian staff in Gaza. Overall, UNRWA has a combined 30,000 employees strewn across Israel’s  West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan. The WSJ estimates that 10% of UNRWA workers are directly implicated, which could mean 3,000 are Hamas accomplices. Meanwhile, Israel views 190 UNRWA staff as “hardened militants,” some who are teachers and others who have turned their professions into terror platforms.

Now UNRWA, Hamas’s main accomplice, is losing donations right and left after operating for 74 years. Why? The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports on the two organizations’ deadly, Jew-hating collusion. 

UNRWA’s mandate since its establishment in 1949 by the UN General Assembly was “to carry out … direct relief and works programmes” for Palestine refugees. However, its operations have gone rogue since Palestinians elected Hamas in 2007.

The list of countries already suspending their donations is growing—including the United States, Canada, Britain, Australia, Romania, Switzerland, as well as various nations in the European Union, such as Germany, Netherlands, Austria, Italy, Estonia, and Finland. The U.S. is the biggest donor annually with $343,937,718. By comparison, South Africa—which accuses Israel of genocide—donated a measly $171,600 in 2022 to help Gazans. Hamas is the biggest employer in Gaza, with its collaborator UNRWA right behind it. As donor countries learn about UNRWA as Hamas accomplices, they are realizing how they likely helped fund tunnels and terror.

Arab nations are criticizing the monetary suspensions although they barely contribute to UNRWA—nor are they willing to resettle any Palestinians in their own countries. That of course includes Iran, which conveniently amasses propaganda via Hamas and its other surrogates through the global mainstream media.

With donations UNRWA receives—and Hamas’s financial portfolio of investments rife with illegal hidden accounts, $100 million annually from Iran, another $100 million from Qatar)—it is proof that Palestinians who face 47 percent unemployment with 80 percent living in poverty have been robbed by terrorists to promote hate and destruction instead. The United Nations itself reports that around $250 is the estimated monthly income for ordinary Gazans. In 2022, UNRWA reported that more than $1 billion was pledged from its “voluntary contributors.”

Clearly, sanctions are necessary. Former U.S. President Donald Trump canceled aid to UNRWA, understanding its links to terrorism and anti-Semitism. The Biden administration restored U.S. aid to UNRWA in 2021 while it also declared “zero tolerance” for anti-Semitism.

The acronym UNRWA is hard to pronounce but easy to understand. Based on its published policies, this is the only UN agency designed to care for a specific refugee group, the Palestinians. On UNRWA’s website, it shows a staggering statistic: 110 million people are forcibly displaced in our world due to persecution, violence, and human rights violations. Nevertheless, 2 million Palestinians have been treated differently since 1949.

This selection of facts from the excellent Aish.com and the recent Wall Street Journal article describe some of the agency’s policies. The facts are emerging in a dossier of intelligence information. A senior Israeli official commented, “A lot of the intelligence is a result of interrogations of militants who were arrested during the October 7 attack.” In addition to taking part in the attacks, which included sexual violence, torture, kidnapping, and murder, UNRWA employees used UNRWA vehicles and buildings on October 7. Some employees held hostages and moved them from point to point in UNRWA facilities shared by Hamas. Tzipi Hotovely, Israel’s Ambassador to Great Britain, observes that, “Every school, every mosque, every second house” conceals a Hamas entrance, weapons depot, or both.

Gazan schools use UNRWA textbooks to teach Jew hatred. They make terrorists into heroes, brainwash children into martyrdom, and demonize Israelis. The UNRWA slogan for children should be “Victimize with lies.”

One of the most egregious mind games perpetuated by UNRWA is that being a “refugee” is a permanent state of being. UNRWA identifies all the world’s more than 7 million Palestinians as “refugees,” with a right to return to Israel based on the Arab-initiated War of Independence against Israel in 1948. Among them is Mohamed Hadid, father of two famous Palestinian-American models. He lives in a 4.5-million-dollar mansion in Beverly Hills. Hadid has been a refugee since birth. He is now more than 70.

UNRWA accuses Israel of killing 150 of its employees. Even if the number is accurate, in buildings identified as Hamas-run with tunnels and weapons, it prompts the question of why “employees” were there. UNRWA has mentioned Hamas tunnels in past years, but those comments seemed to fall on deaf ears. When humanitarian aid began arriving in Gaza, the agency tweeted that Hamas was looting UNRWA food and fuel supplies. While that claim is true, unfortunately UNRWA deleted the tweets. Whether willingly or coerced, UNRWA, an arm of the United Nations, was protecting Hamas and its 17-year military buildup after Palestinians voted for them in 2007.

Characterizing Hamas as the “new generation of Nazis” is a fitting description. In 2007 Hamas began building a new kind of headquarters repurposed into hatred—300 miles of weaponized tunnels, a literal underground suburb for Hamas. In December, the IDF discovered the biggest weapons depot to date filled with large stores of rocket-propelled grenades, anti-tank missiles, explosives, and unmanned aerial vehicles.

One hundred thirty-six hostages remain imprisoned in the deadly Hamas suburb. For them, it is an underground concentration camp. Yocheved Lifshitz, an 85-year-old hostage freed on October 24, described the tunnel network as a “spider web.” And a spider web it is, with UNRWA now identified as an accomplice with Hamas in the October 7 attacks.

The world public easily forgets disaster after disaster. When another horror comes along, the past is erased. It is imperative that we not erase the hostages and their families from our hearts and minds. In our community of Christian believers, we are the ones inclined toward compassion. Let us take command of facts on social media, with groups, friends, and our churches to counteract the massive barrage of lies worldwide. May we choose to be ambassadors for hostages by posting their photos and stories.

As we stand with Israel together, join our CBN Israel team drawing hope from Isaiah 2:4 NIV: “He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.”

Prayer Points:

  • Pray daily for the 136 hostages and their brave, yet traumatized families.
  • Pray for the IDF to locate all hostages amid the dangerous, complex tunnels.
  • Pray for Prime Minister Netanyahu, military leaders, and the Knesset to remain unified.
  • Pray for Christian commitment to spread facts about Israel.
  • Pray for the endurance of Christian media like CBN News, TBN, and All Israel News operating 24/7 to report the facts.

Arlene Bridges Samuels pioneered Christian outreach for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). After she served nine years on AIPAC’s staff, International Christian Embassy Jerusalem USA engaged her as Outreach Director part-time for their project, American Christian Leaders for Israel. Arlene is an author at The Blogs-Times of Israel and has traveled to Israel since 1990. She co-edited The Auschwitz Album Revisited and is on the board of Violins of Hope South Carolina. By invitation, Arlene attends Israel’s Government Press Office Christian Media Summits. She also hosts her devotionals, The Eclectic Evangelical, on her website at ArleneBridgesSamuels.com.

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