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Arab Pastor Seeks to Overcome Racial Tensions with Cross-Cultural Outreach

Based on past conflicts, many feared that with the Hamas atrocities of October 7, and then Israel’s strikes on Gaza, racial tensions between Israel’s Jewish and Arab citizens would follow.

Yet so far, those attacks haven’t happened. One reason is due to people like Saleem Shalash, the Arab pastor of Home of Jesus the King Church in Nazareth, who focuses on being a peacemaker.

“We are trying all the time to build bridges between Arabs and Jews. And especially during these times that hatred is spreading all over, we try to be light in darkness…by taking action and showing the love of Jesus,” Shalash told CBN Israel.

Unfortunately, when Arab Christians help Israeli Jews, they are often viewed with suspicion on all sides. Despite being a minority of minorities in Israel, Shalash has always geared his humanitarian aid distribution to anyone in need—including Muslims, Jews, and Christians.

So, when Israelis fleeing war zones began arriving in nearby Nof Hagalil, the mayor turned to Shalash to help equip the nearly 1,000 evacuees being housed in the city’s hotels. Many arrived with little during the hot weather. Now, with the cold winter temperatures, they need warmer clothing. And they have no income—their jobs are back home. Where could they turn?

Thankfully, friends like you were there. Through CBN Israel, donors partnered with Shalash to buy them new coats, boots, and other items. Even more moving to victims like Yehonatan is that an Arab ministry, joined with Christians, helped them. He shares, “It has touched our hearts at this difficult time, despite the terrible horrors… There is also a good side, and it is amazing.”

Your gifts to CBN Israel can offer hot meals, housing, and crucial aid to more war victims—plus give ongoing relief to seniors and families in desperate need.

Please join us in reaching out to those who have been devastated by the war!

GIVE TODAY

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International Holocaust Remembrance Day and October 7

By Julie Stahl

Today, January 27, is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. This year, that day marks the 78th anniversary of the 1945 Liberation of Auschwitz. But on October 7, 2023—what many are calling the deadliest day since the Holocaust—Israel experienced the unthinkable.

Thousands of Hamas terrorists broke through Israel’s defenses by air, land, and sea in multiple locations along its southern border with Gaza. In several communities the killing and devastation were so complete, Israeli archaeologists were called in to employ equipment and techniques—methods normally used for antiquities—to sift through the ashes to find human remains.

The hatred motivating all this was clear. Senior Hamas leader Ghazi Hamad claimed that his organization’s actions were totally justified. 

“We must remove that country because it constitutes a security, military, and political catastrophe to the Muslim and Islamic nation and must be finished,” said Hamad in an interview. He asserted that they would replicate the attack again and again until Israel was wiped out. 

About three weeks after the October 7 attacks, Palestinian activist and terror supporter Ahed Tamimi called for the murder of Israelis living in Judea and Samaria. 

“We are waiting for you in all the West Bank cities from Hebron to Jenin—we will slaughter you and you will say that what Hitler did to you was a joke,” she threatened in an Instagram post. “We will drink your blood and eat your skull.” 

The massive, multi-pronged attack sent Israel reeling and plunged the Jewish state into a war against the Iranian proxy in Gaza. Another Iranian proxy, Hezbollah, joined almost immediately—launching rockets at northern Israel and forcing the evacuation of tens of thousands of Israelis from the north. 

At first the world was shocked by the Hamas massacre, but shortly thereafter a wave of pro-Hamas sentiments and anti-Semitism swept the world. 

However, in the midst of all the horrors, Israelis rose up immediately to fight Hamas and provide for the tens of thousands made homeless due to the war. 

There were many heroic stories from that day, like that of Yedidia Harush, who was part of the 11- man security team from the community of Shlomit, less than five miles from Gaza. The neighboring community of Pri Gan called for their help when Hamas attacked. 

“We got a phone call for our security team from a family from Pri Gan … and he said that outside his house, there were 12 terrorists,” Harush told CBN News. 

“Immediately, the security team got into the cars and drove to Pri Gan,” he said. 

“For two hours, there was a heroic battle of the first-response team with the 12 terrorists. They had special tool kits to open bomb shelters. They wanted to open the shelters and basically massacre the entire community, and then go to the next community and the next community,” Harush explained. 

As the Israeli security team got the upper hand, the terrorists ran away. Sadly, while Pri Gan suffered no losses and the surrounding communities were saved, four of their rescuers were killed in the fight. 

Many others also banded together immediately to help. Restaurant owners prepared thousands of hot meals at their own expense and sent them to reservists as they were called up to go into Gaza. 

Jewish and Christian groups—including CBN Israel—joined together to provide food, water, shelter, trauma counseling, and other essentials for terror victims and war zone evacuees. 

And of course, millions and millions of Christians around the world prayed and gave generously. 

Police commander Roy Valdman, who oversees 850 officers in an area that was attacked by Hamas, believes that despite the shock of October 7, Israel will overcome. 

“Israel is strong—the army, the police—we’re strong, we’ll prevail, we will win. … We can defend our people because there’s nowhere to go,” Valdman said. 

He warned the West that the battle against Hamas is the battle against terrorism—that fighting ISIS, Al Qaeda, and Hezbollah isn’t just Israel’s problem. 

“No one wants to live next to an enemy like that. It’s a terror organization—it can hurt you in a heartbeat, and not just hurt you; it wants to butcher you and kill you,” Valdman said. 

Nevertheless, he is convinced that Israel will rise up as it did after the Holocaust. 

“For us, no other time since the Holocaust, after 6 million of our Jewish family were murdered, did we say never again. So, for us, it’s never again.”

Julie Stahl is a correspondent for CBN News in the Middle East. A Hebrew speaker, she has been covering news in Israel full-time for more than 20 years. Julie’s life as a journalist has been intertwined with CBN—first as a graduate student in Journalism at Regent University; then as a journalist with Middle East Television (METV) when it was owned by CBN from 1989-91; and now with the Middle East Bureau of CBN News in Jerusalem since 2009. She is also an integral part of CBN News’ award-winning show, Jerusalem Dateline, a weekly news program providing a biblical and prophetic perspective to what is happening in Israel and the Middle East.

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CBN Israel Partners with Center that Creates a Sense of Family and Changes Lives for Elderly Israelis

By Nicole Jansezian

With his family in South Africa and a minimal grasp of Hebrew, Gershon Brodovcky spent 18 years living in Nof Hagalil feeling isolated until a social worker encouraged him to check out the Alma Center.

“It changed my life,” Gershon, 73, told CBN Israel. “I can’t put it to words.”

Now Gershon is thriving. He found a place where he can build relationships and practice cultivating bonsai plants—an expertise of his that he had to give up when he moved to his small apartment.

Alma, an organization which CBN Israel supports on a monthly basis, serves dozens of elderly Israelis—including Holocaust survivors—in the city of Nof Hagalil in the Galilee region.

“It helps so much to give this type of support. Many organizations donate twice a year or just at the holidays,” said Dmitry Schneidmann, who oversees CBN Israel’s programs for Holocaust survivors and the elderly. “I believe it is important to be a monthly partner, especially in peripheral areas such as this.”

Each month, CBN Israel covers the costs of hot meals for participants and delivery to others who are homebound and cannot make it to the center. CBN Israel has also donated one-time gifts for kitchen renovations and for new equipment whether ovens or refrigerators in the homes of some of the beneficiaries.

Throughout the week, 150 elderly people come to Alma. A bus picks them up in the morning. They arrive to a full breakfast followed by all sorts of activities from art to lectures, music, gardening, and more. The participants learn how to use computers and apps on smartphones. Of course, they also have a chance to socialize and eat a hot meal before they go home.

But most importantly, Alma has cultivated a sense of family, said Miri Koren Yavich, director of the center. 

“This is a natural medicine,” Miri told CBN Israel. “Here they have family, activities, and friends. It’s their home. I know them well and can tell if they’re having a good day or a bad day just by their face, their smile.”

The alternative, Miri explained, is sitting at home alone in front of a TV. 

“They can’t cook, they can’t do their own shopping so at least after a day at Alma, all they have to do is go home and enjoy their evening,” Miri said. 

During the war, the center had to close for the first few weeks. After they got permission to reopen, Miri feared many would be too scared to leave their homes. 

It was the opposite. 

“They didn’t just come back, they ran back,” Miri said.

Many of the participants are Holocaust survivors. There is also a large population of new immigrants making for a variety of languages peppering the center including Russian, Spanish, Romanian, and English. They recently established a club for new immigrants from the tribe of Menashe—Jews from India.

Alma welcomes all citizens of Israel—Jews, Muslims, and Christians—without regard to nationality or religion. At the center, they celebrate the different cultures through events and festivals focusing on the food and traditions of the various groups represented. 

Dmitry said Alma acts as a natural absorption center for these immigrants who get a chance to deepen their understanding of Jewish traditions and integrate into Israeli society better than if they were stuck at home.

“As an immigrant myself, I understand the importance of this,” he said. 

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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Fighting Against Information Warfare On Behalf of Israel

By Arlene Bridges Samuels

Anti-Israel individuals and institutions continue to widely disseminate false information as fact. AI’s timely use is escalating propaganda by turning words into weapons that act like a dangerous mind-altering drug—one that is already manipulating millions of minds globally. 

Israel is not only fighting for its existence on land, sea, and air. It is also fighting the information warfare of lies—a formidable barrage that is poisoning opinions on a global scale. As we approach International Holocaust Remembrance Day—January 27—the Iran-backed October 7 massacre is now seared into Jewish minds and hearts. The World War II Holocaust and the genocidal purposes of Hamas were inseparably iron-clad on October 7, 2023.

Incredibly, suggestions of a two-state solution—whether voiced by the United States, Europe, or Arab countries—are emerging. Everyone must realize that Israel has no peace partner with Hamas nor with the Palestinian Authority. As Khaled Mashal, a senior Hamas official, bluntly exclaimed on January 20, “We are not interested in a two-state solution… there should be only one state, a Palestinian state, from the river to the sea, and from the north of Israel to its south.” 

The Hamas founding charter has not changed: “The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight Jews and kill them.” And as former Prime Minister Golda Meir so eloquently stated: “You cannot negotiate peace with someone who has come to kill you.”

During the Nazis’ genocidal Holocaust (Shoah), the regime murdered 6 million Jews—long before AI existed. It only required Hitler’s satanic mind, occupied with evil, to hypnotize Germans through media run by his Reich Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels. Goebbels was skillfully mentored by Hitler, who observed: “Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way round, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise.” 

In fact, much of the world did not know the extent of evil until General Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered photographic evidence of the concentration camps and survivors when liberated in 1945. Eisenhower explained, “The visual evidence and the verbal testimony of starvation, cruelty and bestiality were so overpowering as to leave me a bit sick. … I made the visit deliberately to give first-hand evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations merely to ‘propaganda.’” 

After Eisenhower and the Allies encountered tens of thousands of Jewish prisoners who survived, the forward-thinking general directed General George C. Marshall to bring members of the U.S. Congress and media to see for themselves. They came, they wrote, and they published the photos. Almost 80 years later, despite the evidence, Holocaust denial and/or its twisted versions grew acceptable over time. 

Lamentably, the same phenomenon is happening with Israel today. Hundreds of media giants, international leaders, and members of the U.S. Congress—too many are believing the outrageous lie that Hamas did not invade Israel on October 7, 2023. Despite massive amounts of evidence from Hamas itself, the unthinkable reverse is true: Israel is actually being blamed for instigating the attacks.

As a past example, Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority president, completed his dissertation in 1982 in the former Soviet Union. He titled his doctoral thesis “The relationship between Zionists and Nazis, 1933-1945.” This piece of fiction alleged that Nazis and Zionists shared a close connection about racial superiority: Aryan for the Nazis, Jewish for the Zionist. Abbas accused Jews in pre-state Israel of collaborating with Nazis in the Holocaust. Today, warped narratives like these motivate minds filled with the mind-altering drug of hatred. 

Propaganda proliferates from governments, saboteurs, mainstream media, the United Nations, and demonstrators busy writing another sinister chapter of Jew hatred that resurfaced just a few days after October 7, 2023. One of the most shocking and offensive lies is that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza.

Unlike General Eisenhower’s order for photographs after the fact of the Holocaust, Nazi-like Hamas triumphantly took photos of its brutality in real time on October 7 with their body cams and the mobile phones stolen from Jewish victims. They have provided the world with tangible proof as to who the aggressors were.

It is my prayer that as you read the next story you will use it as a reality check to determine just who is genocidal. Pass it on to uninformed family, friends, and churches: 

Last week mainstream media outlet CNN reported the confession of a Hamas terrorist who tried to sell the head of a decapitated IDF soldier for $10,000. Yes—from the terrorist who cut off Cpl. Adir Tahar’s head, stuffed it in his backpack, and returned to Gaza planning to make money. 

That CNN itself reported this atrocity should grab the attention of Jew haters as a fact about the depths of evil manifesting in Hamas’s minds. CNN had also aired October 7 footage taken by the terrorists as they sawed the necks of dead Israelis.

Adir Tahar’s family story unfolded with David Tahar, father of the 19-year-old soldier who was murdered on October 7 when he faced the Hamas terrorists. He said that Adir’s body was confirmed by DNA tests and his identity tags. At Adir’s burial on Israel’s Mount Herzl military cemetery, David insisted on seeing his son in the coffin

The bereaved dad then experienced what he called “a miracle” after spending two months watching endless hours of Hamas’s massacre videos, which saboteurs proudly posted on social media. David had identified his son’s body, and when captured later, the vicious terrorist gave the location of an ice cream store where he had put Adir’s head in a bag inside a freezer. 

An elite IDF unit, backed up by tanks, entered central Gaza and retrieved Adir’s head, which was also abused. DNA and dental records verified Adir’s identity. It is unimaginable what the IDF unit experienced themselves and even more profoundly Adir’s father as he suffered through a second burial. To think that Israeli Defense Forces, the most humane army in the world, is conducting genocide against Gazans or anyone is 100 percent irrational.

If history is an accurate indicator, the genocide label and other lies against Israel will continue. Nevertheless, amid the current information warfare it remains essential that we in the evangelical community do our part to pass on facts. Truth-telling, part of our own spiritual DNA, is birthed in Old and New Testaments and passed on to us through the Jews under God’s inspiration. 

If you wish to take part in a volunteer action, the Arolsen Archives invites you to volunteer for #everynamecounts to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27 now or in the future. Click here to choose which topic you wish to digitize. It takes only five minutes to complete one document. 

May we be motivated like never before to fight against information warfare on behalf of Israel and her people. Our CBN Israel team welcomes you to join us in prayer this week meditating on Proverbs 12:22, “The Lord detests lying lips, but He delights in people who are trustworthy.” 

Prayer Points

  • Pray that Christians will be motivated to share facts about Israel frequently.
  • Pray that the IDF will finally discover the remaining hostages’ whereabouts.
  • Pray that families know that IDF is doing everything possible to locate their family members.  
  • Pray that Israeli Jews and Jews worldwide receive blessings from our genuine prayers and assistance.

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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Easing Loneliness for Holocaust Survivors

They escaped a world that was hunting them down. Since the Second World War, Israel has been a haven for multitudes of Jewish people who survived the Holocaust. But those who managed to live through that huge battle are now facing new challenges as they continue to grow older. 

As of last year, there are approximately 147,000 Holocaust survivors residing in Israel. Many of these vulnerable seniors are living at or below the poverty line—and struggle to keep up with ever-rising costs for medications, groceries, and rent. Some grapple to understand Hebrew, making it hard to connect with others, get necessities, and navigate a complex bureaucracy.

And 40 percent of survivors deal with crushing loneliness. They have lost many friends and loved ones who have passed, and struggle to cope with the isolation that affects both their physical and mental health. 

But friends like you are there for these precious seniors. Donors enable CBN Israel to partner with the Jewish Agency to offer a vital program that matches Holocaust survivors with caring young adults. They provide training and college scholarships for their volunteer commitment. 

And they offer these elderly survivors vital companionship, while helping them with errands, chores, and accessing benefits, services, and community activities that enrich their quality of life. 

For example, Anna, an active 91-year-old Holocaust survivor whose entire family was murdered, was teamed in a special friendship with Leah, a graduate student. Anna says, “We talk about all the issues of the world… I can always rely on Leah.” She adds, “When Leah comes to visit me, the room is filled with so much light!” 

Leah concurs, “I always say, Anna has become like family to me. I feel so privileged to know her and to be there for her when she needs me. Plus, I have learned so much from Anna’s wealth of wisdom and life experience.” Leah plans to stay in touch with Anna after she completes her master’s degree. 

This is just one of the many ways you can bless Holocaust survivors through CBN Israel. And as the war with Hamas continues, you can also reach out to others in dire need—including terror victims and displaced families—with food, clothing, and shelter, and letting them know they are not alone.

Please join us in offering tangible help and hope during this dark hour for Israel.

GIVE TODAY

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Wartime Support for Evacuees Who Have Children with Disabilities

By Nicole Jansezian

Shalva—the national center for people with disabilities in Jerusalem—was already bursting at the seams, but after the October 7 massacre, the organization established a national crisis center and opened its doors to evacuees from around Israel. 

“We always think we’re at capacity and then new programs come along and, somehow, we always find a way to make it work,” Director of Development Gaby Hirsch told CBN Israel.

Long before the war, CBN Israel supported Shalva, which receives 1,000 children with disabilities on a daily basis for a variety programs from birth through young adulthood. But when Shalva welcomed hundreds more after the Hamas invasion of Israel on October 7, CBN Israel also expanded its support to Shalva in order to aid the wartime effort.

“CBN has become significant partners in Shalva and now, in time of war, they’ve upped the ante and continued to help us in the most meaningful and significant ways,” said Kalman Samuels, Shalva’s president and founder.

Among its many wartime initiatives, Shalva provided housing to an entire boarding school of at-risk teenage girls and the staff after their kibbutz—which overlooks the Gaza Strip—became a military zone. 

Then, Shalva created an essential daily program for evacuees who have children with special needs. Placed temporarily in Jerusalem hotels—and without therapies and their normal routine—the children were climbing the walls at these hotels. Being able to come to Shalva for therapies and organized activities was a godsend for these parents. 

“Shalva’s role has been a game changer for these families,” said Nicky Cregor, a Jerusalem Municipality social worker responsible for assimilating evacuated children with special needs into local frameworks. “A whole network was set up with over a hundred children who are coming to Shalva, enjoying the amazing resources here.”

In addition, Shalva allowed the residents of Naveh—an entire community evacuated from near the Gaza border to a Jerusalem hotel—to use their meeting facilities as classrooms so that Naveh’s elementary school girls could continue their education uninterrupted. 

“Fortunately enough, we had Shalva right next door open their doors, open their hearts, and let us in,” Zion Leshem, a Naveh resident, told CBN Israel. “Whatever we need, they are here for us as a community that’s been displaced and evacuated and we know that our basic needs are met.” 

Gaby said that Shalva stands ready to take in more people if need be. 

“We already have hundreds of people who are staying here and that we are servicing—some are sleeping here and some are using the facilities—but this is all here ready in case we have to bring up thousands more evacuees,” Hirsch said pointing to mattresses and other equipment stored in the warehouse.

Kalman said it is amazing to see how traumatized people have “come to life” after a few weeks of receiving the care and a warm welcome that Shalva provided. 

“For donors of CBN, I can only say that for every dollar you want to put toward a humanitarian cause that is not just touching lives, but is impacting and changing lives, this is one of those places.”  

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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Modern ‘Blood Libels’: Ugly, Untrue, and Unparalleled

By Arlene Bridges Samuels

“Blood Libel” is not a familiar term or phrase for most in the modern world. In the Middle Ages, blood libel was a fictitious accusation that Jews murdered non-Jews (such as Christian children) in order to use their blood in religious rituals. Intensifying in number since October 7, 2023, modern versions of blood libels have spread like a cancer throughout our world. While the medieval phrase, “blood libel,” may not be used explicitly, the term’s insidious meaning has lurked globally for centuries.

Throughout history, blood libels have prompted pogroms, mob violence, torture, trials, and the eviction of entire Jewish communities—often ordered by governments. The alleged death of Nazism after World War II is undergoing an evil renaissance from new Nazis, with Iran’s Islamic regime and its proxies. Today, lies are exploding in what we call fake news or propaganda. As we explore how social media is poisoning millions of minds with unfounded hatred, history’s rear-mirror perspective provides an insightful beginning.

When Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in the 15th century, it served both good and evil purposes. It was an absolute godsend for printing mass copies of the Bible. The printing press enabled news, albeit very slowly, to go global. The invention made the esteemed Martin Luther, father of the Reformation, the world’s first best-selling author. Luther once observed, “Printing is the ultimate gift of God and the greatest one.” Today, the Bible is still the world’s most popular book. Based on British and Foreign Bible Society research in 2021, Guinness World Records estimates that some 5–7 billion copies have been printed. Now, we even have Bible apps that have been downloaded by hundreds of millions!

So, what harm could come from Luther’s book being printed with Gutenberg’s innovative printing press? Sadly, blood libels were spread even through this remarkable man. In 1543, in a change of heart toward the Jews, Luther lashed out in his small booklet, The Jews and Their Lies. He viciously condemned them for their refusal to convert to Christianity. He suggested burning their homes and synagogues (“a den of devils”) and confiscating their prayer books. Adolph Hitler seized on Luther’s book and popularized it during the Third Reich.

Kurt Hendel, professor emeritus of Reformation History at Chicago’s Lutheran School of Theology, observed: “They [the Gestapo] very clearly used Luther’s writings that had all this anti-Semitism in them to support their cause.” Hendel went on to say that Luther was not a Nazi anti-Semite, he was a religious anti-Semite because Jews would not convert to Christianity.

The printing press, with its effect on global culture and advancements for both greatness and woe, informs us today about how the computer, internet, smartphones, and social media are shaping culture more than 500 years later. Global news is instantaneous, artificial intelligence (AI) speeds up Bible translations, and platforms proliferate for both the most holy and the most evil ideas and voices. Worldwide, there are 5.3 billion internet users, with 4.95 billion using social media. Evangelicals’ use of social media to multiply good news globally is an opportunity of colossal proportions—if we choose to take advantage of it.

Advances in technology have moved us from the information age into the digital, AI, or experience age. Evil occupies platforms that greatly victimize minds with blood libels that in the modern era are known as propaganda. Propaganda/fake news circulates the globe with one click, one post, one twisted headline without any factual context. It is imperative that Christians join up in massive information warfare using facts and truth to combat the lies and misinformation.

A list of libels that fuel hate speech and violence could fill pages, as anti-Semitic incidents have increased by 1,180%. Here are a few examples:

  • Israel has been accused of illegal organ harvesting. The latest accusation from Hamas and other questionable news outlets says that Israel returned 80 bodies to Gaza with vital organs removed. Israel is rightly returning Palestinian bodies to Gaza, but the malicious lies about illegal organ harvesting are baseless. These rumors are especially malicious and evil coming from terrorists who refuse to return Israeli bodies for proper burial.
  • In the Dagestan region of Russia, a mob of citizens tried to lynch Jewish passengers arriving on a flight from Israel. Thankfully, those attempts were thwarted.
  • The slogan reverberating in mass anti-Israel demonstrations “from the river (Jordan) to the sea (Mediterranean), Palestine shall be free” is a call for genocide from most participants despite the fact that some demonstrators are dangerously uneducated.
  • After receiving hundreds of millions in funding, TikTok has pushed this narrative: Palestinians are oppressed, and Israelis are the oppressors.
  • Blood libel, a propagandic disease, has bled into American Jewish businesses, universities, and synagogues and can be seen in violent attacks on streets across America. Plenty of anti-Semitic professors weigh in with their dangerous lies: A Yale professor called Israel “a murderous, genocidal settler state and Palestinians have every right to resist through armed struggle.” When a journalist reminded her that she was talking about innocent civilians she replied, “Settlers are not civilians.”
  • Finally, the South African government is pushing a case against Israel, accusing them of genocide in hearings at the International Court of “Justice” (ICJ). The ICJ is the legal arm of the United Nations. In response, South African Christians are standing in support of Israel: [read article here].

Here is part of it: “This [government’s] silence is more conspicuous given the recent hosting of a delegation from Iran and Hamas in South Africa. Such actions could be interpreted as direct support to Hamas’s tactics, including using civilians as human shields and diverting aid for military purposes and the building of tunnels, rather than humanitarian relief sent to the Palestinian people, which was intercepted by Hamas.”

At this writing, 20 prominent Christian organizations and churches have signed this document. The South African Christians have bravely spoken out against their government, a role model for all of us.

In the meantime, I have not read about any country that has taken Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah, or Houthis to the ICJ. Hamas describes the shared ideology in its founding charter: “The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight Jews and kill them.” Fortunately, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States reject South Africa’s charges.

Do we need any more proof that blood libels and propaganda have infected our world in an unparalleled way? And will believers step up and join information warfare using facts and truth to combat the lies and misinformation? Becoming involved—making a difference—is simple: Begin by sharing weekly facts from trusted news sources like CBNIsrael.com and CBNNews.com as well as your other favorite pro-Israel ministries on social media.

All of us together can create a groundswell of opposition to such poisonous lies and lethal misinformation.

Our CBN Israel team invites you to join us in prayer this week recalling the Jewish apostle Paul’s inspired words in Romans 3:2-4—“First of all, the Jews have been entrusted with the very words of God. What if some were unfaithful? Will their unfaithfulness nullify God’s faithfulness? Not at all!” To his protégé Timothy, Paul wrote: “If we are faithless, He remains faithful—for He cannot deny Himself.” We thank God that He unconditionally loves His chosen people and us, His adopted non-Jewish children!

Prayer Points:

  • Pray that the International Court of Justice will dismiss South Africa’s falsehoods.
  • Pray that the overwhelming evidence of Hamas brutality will change minds.
  • Pray that Christians will commit to opposing lies with facts in social media.
  • Pray for still-terrorized hostages imprisoned in dark tunnels amid the darkest evils.
  • Pray that IDF and all Israel will encounter peace and strength through our Lord.

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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Providing Food and Activities for Displaced Families

Israelis continue to grapple with the trauma of the October 7 terrorist attacks, waiting to see what the future holds. Through CBN Israel, caring friends like you made it possible to evacuate, feed, and house hundreds of families rescued from the war zone.

But during these difficult months, they also needed a sense of comfort and normalcy. And donors helped by hosting a series of outdoor events to provide food and fun activities for these displaced families and children in Israel.

As one volunteer described it, “It’s a Fair Day, sponsored by CBN Israel. CBN has provided bouncy houses, a food truck, and all kinds of wonderful things.”

He added, “Israel has been in turmoil, and many families had to leave their homes—so CBN Israel housed many of them far from the fighting. This has been a valuable ministry to these families, and an opportunity to give them and their kids a fun and worry-free day.”

The event brought together outreaches and volunteers—both from within Israel and around the world—to encourage these suffering and displaced families.

Even the little things can mean so much. Daniel Carlson from CBN Israel shared, “The personal touch of having a specialty sandwich made for you at our CBN Israel food truck… it’s more than a sandwich, a bag of chips, and a drink. It really communicates the love of God in an individual way, and that’s what we want to do.”

And your support can communicate God’s love in so many ways— from continued aid for terror victims, to caring for Holocaust survivors, single moms, and others in need.

Please join us in helping Israel’s people at this crucial time!

GIVE TODAY

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The Biblical Red Sea Needs A Modern Miracle

By Arlene Bridges Samuels

The Islamic Republic of Iran has successfully ramped up more anarchy from yet another proxy, the Houthis. Based in Yemen, this organization has joined the regime’s favorites—Hamas and Hezbollah—to generate worldwide shipping delays on the Red Sea since November. Houthis have turned the ancient Israelites’ miraculous Red Sea crossing into a modern nightmare that is already affecting some 44 nations, including the United States and Israel.

The Houthis’ terror tools include drones, small boats, missiles, hijackings, and now anti-ship ballistic missiles. Their attacks generate multilayered problems for huge commercial cargo ships and create a slowdown in world markets. On December 1, 2023, the UN Security Council issued a feeble, inconsequential 120-word statement to the Houthis. A coalition of 14 world leaders released a joint statement on January 3, published by the White House. That statement laid out these critical statistics: “Nearly 15 percent of global seaborne trade passes through the Red Sea, including 8 percent of global grain trade, 12 percent of seaborne-traded oil and 8 percent of the world’s liquefied natural gas trade.”

The statement warned that “malign actors” will be held accountable for “unlawful seizures and attacks.” However, neither the UN nor the White House press release mentioned Iran, the Houthi enabler—the government behind every invasion, murder, weapons supply, attack, and oppression of its own citizens in the Middle East and beyond. The only way to stop Houthis backed by their Iranian merchants of death is to deploy multinational warships and aircraft carriers to use military force against the Houthis in Yemen.

The Muslim Houthis live in a Middle Eastern country that is strategically located on Bab-el-Mandeb, the strait at the southern entrance of the Red Sea that connects the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea. At the northern end, Egypt’s Suez Canal connects the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, making it one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. Interestingly, in Arabic Bab-el-Mandeb means “Gate of Lamentation, Grief, or Tears.” Iran and its Houthi proxies are reinvigorating the Arabic definition—giving grief to the world in a potential global catastrophe affecting food, crude oil, natural gas, and consumer products.

The alternative for shipping through Bab-el-Mandeb is to re-route ships to the southern tip of Africa, which significantly increases time and shipping costs. For instance, for oil shipped from Saudi Arabia to the United States, navigating around the southern tip of Africa adds 2,700 miles and 8 to 10 days to the journey.

The Islamic ayatollahs have been demonstrating their aggression for years on the Strait of Hormuz, located next to Iran itself. Around 30 percent of crude oil sails through what is considered the world’s most important chokepoint. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) describes world oil chokepoints “as narrow channels along widely used global sea routes.”

Considering the strategic points Bab-el-Mandeb (the Gate of Grief) and the Strait of Hormuz, it is easy to see the Islamic regime’s geographical reach of terror and how it can easily reshape the global economy. The Strait is the quickest way for oil to be shipped to other countries from the Middle East. While this is a conversation for another time, if the United States returned to the energy independence we enjoyed under former President Trump, neither of these chokepoints would concern us.

It is no surprise then that Iran, the largest state sponsor of terror worldwide, violates the international Law of the Sea Convention (LOSC) mandated in 1982 and ratified by more than 150 countries. LOSC serves as a “constitution for the oceans.”

Here’s one example of the seriousness of shipping disruptions. Fearing violent aggression, A.P. Møller-Mærsk—one of the biggest global shippers—decided to stop their ships from transiting the Red Sea and the Suez Canal. That one decision diverted $200 billion in trade.

Speaking of billions of dollars, the U.S. House of Representatives acted against Iran by passing legislation in December to refreeze $6 billion in oil revenue sanctions against Iran. President Biden had ordered that a South Korean account release the sanctioned $6 billion to Qatar (home of several top Hamas leaders). It was designated for “humanitarian purposes” in exchange for five Americans.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken then emphasized to Congress that the money could only be used for the “humanitarian trade.” Our history with Iran since 1979 has vividly demonstrated that Iran’s ayatollahs operate only on Shia Islam’s oppressive standards while pretending cooperation. Since the Islamic regime overthrew the Shah of Iran almost 45 years ago, then stormed the U.S. Embassy and kidnapped 66 American citizens, their regime has grown into the largest terror-sponsoring country in the world. 

The “No Funds for Iranian Terrorism Act,” was passed in the House by a vote of 307-119. Ninety Democrats voted with Republicans. Kentucky’s Thomas Massie, a Republican, voted NO. In my research I consider this statement as double-speak in a December POLITICO article, especially considering the October 7 invasion of Israel: “Even though there’s no evidence Iran was involved in the attack, the country is a known backer of terrorist group Hamas.” How much evidence does Politico need? Evidence is strewn across southern Israel and now among hostages imprisoned in the wicked tunnels of subterranean Gaza. Fact: Without Iran’s ideology, financing, and actions, much of the world’s terror would not exist. The evidence is clear. 

On necessities like food and water, rising prices from disrupted shipping affect families globally. Gas prices will also rise and supply chains will break down. Just since November, Houthis haveused missiles, drones, and fast boats 20 times in the Red Sea. However, when it comes to safety, the current American administration must open its eyes to the dangerous character of Iran’s leadership where diplomacy is viewed as weakness and makes way for manipulation. Iran is an enemy of the United States, Israel, and its own population. Our open southern border is an invitation for Iranian saboteurs to walk into the United States of America, disappear, and plan their next act of terror—this time on American soil. 

The Biden administration is procrastinating and currently saying NO to several military options proposed by the Pentagon to completely stop Iran and the Houthis’ takeover of the Red Sea. Naval vessels are present in the region but not currently proactive against and inside terrorist Yemen itself. While Biden wavers, the world economy will lessen, Iran will keep supplying Houthis at the Bab-el-Mandeb chokepoint, and Iran will capitalize on its Strait of Hormuz chokepoint.

Mr. Biden is also pressuring Israel to end its defensive war in Gaza and refrain from defending against Hezbollah’s warfare in northern Israel. However, 136 hostages (including Americans) remain unaccounted for, and they have not been visited by the International Red Cross since October 7. Let that sink in for a moment and you will understand why Israel cannot and will not relent. The Allies’ war against Hitler and the Nazis in World War II is a case in point. The Nazi evil demanded a response, the response of a just war. Israel is fighting a just war. 

We must pray for a modern miracle for the Red Sea yet affirm our trust for the Creator of the oceans to intervene with His purposes and according to His timeline.

Join our CBN Israel team this week reflecting on the apostle Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 1:7-9 NIV—“And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings,so also you share in our comfort. We do not want you to be uninformed,brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experiencedin the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God,who raises the dead.” 

Prayer Points:

  • Pray for wisdom for the U.S. government to uphold Israel’s safety.
  • Pray for IDF soldiers who have faced more than 90 days of trauma.
  • Pray for God to silence the critical voices and lies against Israel.
  • Pray that Christians will join the information warfare by sharing facts that disprove terrorist claims.
  • Pray that IDF can miraculously locate the hostages and bring them to safety.  

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: Tamara’s Story

Tamara was just a little girl in Ukraine when World War II began. Her father fought in the war, while her mother evacuated with her and her siblings to Tajikistan. They spent five hard years there—yet, returning to Ukraine afterwards was difficult, too.

Twenty years ago, Tamara moved to Sderot, Israel, near Gaza, where there were frequent rocket attacks. She is now an 87-year-old Holocaust survivor, and it’s been challenging to survive there on a fixed income. But friends like you stepped in. Last year, through CBN Israel, caring donors renovated her apartment, and provided groceries, household items, and special visits.

And on October 7, when her city was suddenly under siege and invaded by Hamas terrorists, donors came to her rescue again. Through a local CBN Israel partner, they helped her flee the heavy barrage of rockets—even as shrapnel damaged the vehicle they drove off in.

Tamara recalls, “It was shocking to see so many rockets… We were attacked. All the boilers on the roof of my building were destroyed, and a rocket went through the roof. Even if I wanted to go back, I can’t stay there.” She had survived one major war in her life—only to face another.

Our donors brought her to a safe place, far away from danger, and provided her with temporary housing, hot meals, water, and other basic essentials. She is extremely grateful, and holds onto the dream of returning to her home, saying, “When this war ends, and it’s safe to go back, I want to go back to my city. Sderot is part of my life.”

Your gifts to CBN Israel can bring emergency aid, shelter, and trauma counseling to so many whose lives have been devastated by the war—while continuing assistance to single mothers, aging Holocaust survivors, and others in dire need. By offering groceries, housing, financial aid, and more, you can deliver help and hope across Israel.

Please join us in blessing Israel and her people in need at this historic moment!

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