Mainstream Media Misrepresents IDF Operation: Another Example of Anti-Israel Propaganda

By Arlene Bridges Samuels 

True to form, much of mainstream media downplayed the IDF’s outstanding accomplishment in its recent Operation Home and Garden in the terrorist stronghold of Jenin. During this 48-hour operation in Israel’s biblical heartland, no Palestinian Arab civilians were killed—only terrorists. In a crowded urban setting where terrorist cowards habitually hide behind civilians, IDF’s success is close to a miracle. 

However, it also reflects one of the guiding principles of Israel’s military: to avoid civilian casualties at all costs. 

If this is the first time you have heard that truth, you will doubtless agree that the mainstream media has once again reported its own version of Middle East warfare: anti-Israel propaganda. The intense level of decades-long media bias against the Jewish state has built skyscrapers of shop-worn lies repeatedly used instead of reliable research. In fact, to hear much of the mainstream media describe this operation, it was the Israeli Defense Forces who attacked innocent civilians.

Israel’s latest operation to root out terrorists was launched six months after 25 Israeli civilians were murdered there. The Palestinian city, Jenin, is now an Iran-bankrolled terror base. Among their discoveries, IDF soldiers found basement tunnels in mosques packed with sophisticated weapons. IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Richard Hecht expressed another of Israel’s exemplary principles, declaring, “Places of worship should never be used as a front for terrorist activity.”

One of the most glaring examples of slander occurred on July 4, when a BBC news anchor interviewed former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. She made this contemptible accusation: “Israeli forces are happy to kill children.” The BBC, considered the top tier of journalism for western media, was forced into a lackluster apology. Her seven words, like so many other lies, could have lingered in a stack of daily fictional accusations against the IDF and Israel. Thankfully, the BBC’s apology—which admitted “the language used in this line of questioning was not phrased well and was inappropriate”—was reported by other mainstream media outlets.

The good news is that not all media outlets are so quick to demonstrate bias against Israel. Instead, we are hearing voices of reason—admitting the Jenin raid was a counter-terrorism response on the part of beleaguered Israel, acknowledging how Palestinian terrorists routinely hide behind civilians and utilize tunnels to target Israeli civilians and soldiers, and that many Palestinians are now blaming the PA for its role.

Here are some excellent examples of what responsible journalism looks like:

A Newsweek contributor, writing about how close Jenin is to Jerusalem, said: “Israel’s surgical strike was totally justified. … Americans would never abide terrorist mega-centers in New Haven, Connecticut, 70 miles from New York, or in Richmond, Virginia, 90 miles from Washington, D.C.

From Reuters: “The Jenin camp has long been a hotbed of militants with an array of light weapons and a growing arsenal of explosive devices.”

An article in The Washington Post included this powerful promise by Netanyahu: “If Jenin will return to terrorism, then we will return to Jenin!”

Propaganda is one of many weapons Israel is fighting. Tragically, Israel-haters and most media outlets may not necessarily realize or even care that they are reenacting Hitler’s strategies. Revisiting Nazi era history is an informative and important backdrop when you are consuming most media. By definition, propaganda is “information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely to help or harm a person, group, movement, institution, or nation.” Before and since Israel’s modern establishment in 1948, Germany’s Joseph Goebbels was prominent in Hitler’s detailed propaganda plan. In the early 1930s, Goebbels made sure poisonous lies began crawling into German society little by little until the devastation of Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, burst into global awareness.

Historian and Holocaust survivor Professor Zvi Bacharach describes Kristallnacht, which took place when he was 10 years old. He describes some of the final grim results of November 9–10, 1933. “Ninety-one Jews were murdered, more than 1,400 synagogues across Austria and Germany were torched, and Jewish-owned shops and businesses were plundered and destroyed.” Professor Bacharach also explained that Nazis arrested 30,000 Jews and then sent them to concentration camps. The one-night rampage, book burnings, yellow stars, arrests in the thousands, and prolific media propaganda surged into the public domain with a vengeance. 

During Hitler and Goebbels’ rollout, many German citizens were star-struck by glamorous parties, massive rallies, and cultural events under Hitler’s hypnotic hold. Some prominent churches welcomed Nazis and hung Nazi flags in their sanctuaries—naively misunderstanding, denying, or choosing cowardice amid the lurking evil. Apathy embedded itself in the church with too few brave “Righteous Gentiles,” while the Third Reich regime’s industrialized scale of murder took place in concentration camps.

Goebbels, “Reich Minister of Propaganda of Nazi Germany,” earned another title after coming under Hitler’s demonic spell. The 5-foot, 5-inch Nazi was nicknamed the “Poison Dwarf.” His evil brilliance to take over Germany’s newspapers, radio, magazines, and films also incorporated media control of conquered countries. Today, we live in a world regulated by a leftist media complicit in lies and slander that trap the United Nations, social media, International Criminal Court, governments and some mainline churches that blame Israel for “oppressing Palestinians.” Goebbels’ strategies alert us now to inform ourselves then act to spread truth and facts.

Goebbels mimicked Hitler’s book, Mein Kampf, which propagated the “big lie.” He described his lies as “so colossal” that no one would even credit as true the “impudence to distort the truth so infamously.” For success,  propaganda must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over. Compare Hitler’s strategies to the outrageous dishonesty/distortion and repetition of anti-Israel propaganda today.

In 1942, the U.S. Office of Strategic Services commissioned psychoanalyst Walter C. Langer to develop a secret psychological analysis of Hitler. That information, now declassified, appears in Langer’s 1972 book, The Mind of Adolph Hitler. In it, he reveals: “His [Hitler’s] primary rules were: never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong.” 

Honest and accurate news must include context. In the 48-hour IDF operation, 12 Palestinian terrorists were killed. Even the Gaza terror group Hamas bragged that the 12 Palestinians were all terrorists. Yet, in the midst of unrelenting terror threats and attacks, thousands of Palestinians are able to go to work in Israel from Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. The truth is that Israelis want peace above all, whereas Palestinian leaders and Iran-backed terrorists thrive on hate, not peace. When terrorists use cars, sophisticated weapons, and knives in unabated violence against Jewish civilians, the IDF must defend their citizens and homeland.

How are we in the pro-Israel evangelical community to respond? Follow fact-based media such as CBN Israel, Honest Reporting, and Palestinian Media Watch. Join others who pass on important facts. Write congratulatory letters to the editor when they get coverage of Israel right, to encourage responsible journalism. 

Refusing to imitate the German church’s apathy, we must set aside the ineffective tools of anger and emotion. Instead, we must grasp the facts, then pass them on through social media, email, letters to Congress, and other means of spreading the truth. Our small actions, banded together, will honor God and His Son born into the Jewish lineage in the land God calls His own. 

Please join CBN Israel this week to pray for the IDF and Israel, pondering Psalm 59:1-2: “Deliver me from my enemies, O God; be my fortress against those who are attacking me. Deliver me from evildoers and save me from those who are after my blood.”

Prayer Points:

  • Pray for Christians to stay educated and join up as truth-tellers about Israel.
  • Pray for all branches of the IDF that must remain alert to terror 24/7. 
  • Pray with thanks for media broadcasting facts and good news about Israel.
  • Pray for PM Netanyahu and his coalition for wise decisions about security.

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

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Victim of Terrorism: Malka’s Story

Years ago, a Jewish couple narrowly escaped the Holocaust, and eventually moved to Israel. They thought the worst was behind them. Over 70 years after the war, Malka and Michael faced more danger, when their home in Israel was targeted in a rocket attack. 

Malka remembers, “When I heard the blast, I thought the world ended, and saw my husband covered in blood. Shrapnel pierced his ear. He has Parkinson’s disease, and I couldn’t move him to safety. It was so horrible.” As more than 4.000 rockets rained down from Gaza, medical personnel eventually reached and treated Michael. But their nightmare continued. 

Their apartment building had massive structural damage, so the government declared it unlivable. They evacuated and had to rent an apartment. After saving up for years to pay off their home, Malka says, “Now we are using what little money we have to pay for this rental apartment, while the government decides what to do with our old building. It’s heartbreaking.” 

In desperation, they turned to CBN Israel. Thankfully, friends like you brought them groceries, and have paid their rent as they wait to hear from the government. Michael says, “After all the hardships, it’s great to see that someone cares.” Malka added, “We knew you were Christians—I had never received help like this. Without it, we wouldn’t have made it. We are so thankful!” 

Your gifts to CBN Israel can bring aid and comfort to other terror victims—along with single mothers, lonely immigrants, frail Holocaust survivors, and more. 

In the face of rocket attacks, poverty, and those fleeing war, your support can supply food, shelter, financial help, and job training to those in need. 

Please help us share God’s love with those who are hurting!


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Weekly Q&A: What caused the anti-Judaism in the Greek and Roman worlds?

Jews stood out in the Greek and Roman worlds. In a world where uniqueness was appreciated only to a point, Jewish differences became a source of anti-Jewish rhetoric and violence. Jews stood out because of their faith. Their belief in one God, theirs, and their unique relationship to Him as His chosen people meant they lived differently. They did not accept many of the practices and beliefs which went along with Greek and Roman religion, which penetrated every aspect of the lives of Greeks and Romans. Had the Jews been willing to identify their God as Zeus, no one would have had a problem. But they couldn’t.

Prior to the second century B.C., however, Greek writers spoke about Jews and Judaism in positive terms. This shifted in the second century with the successful Jewish revolt against the Greek Seleucids. This led to the establishment of an independent Jewish State under a family of priest-kings known as the Hasmoneans. Judaism came to see part of God’s will for His people was their freedom in the land He promised to their fathers. This added a dimension of religious nationalism to Judaism. Jews began to define themselves against idolatrous non-Jews and sought to eradicate all non-Jewish idolatry from the land of Israel. From this point on, Greek and Roman authors began to criticize Jews and Judaism.

The anti-Judaism of Greek and Roman writers focused on four primary Jewish beliefs and behaviors:

  1. Jewish monotheism and the Jewish God – The Jewish declaration of only one God, Israel’s God, struck Greeks and Romans as offensive. As polytheists, they would worship gods of other peoples, as long as other gods were recognized. Judaism would not do this. Therefore, Greeks and Romans accused the Jews of atheism and impiety. Greeks and Romans found the invisibility of the Jewish God equally strange. Every Greco-Roman temple had a statue of the god or goddess within it. The Temple in Jerusalem had no statue of its God.
  2. Circumcision – God gave Abraham the covenant of male circumcision as a sign of His covenant with Abraham and his descendants (Genesis 17). Greeks and Romans believed a man’s created form was the ideal. To them, circumcision was mutilation.
  3. Sabbaths – Greeks and Romans saw the Jewish practice of taking a day off during the week as laziness and idleness; thus, they criticized the Jews for observing the Sabbath.
  4. Diet – The eating of pork was common throughout the Greco-Roman world. Most non-Jews did not distinguish among foods in their diet. The Jews did.

The Jewish revolts (A.D. 66-136) exacerbated anti-Judaism within the Roman world. The revolts brought about the destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple, as well as anti-Jewish legislation within the Roman world. These fermented anti-Jewish feelings among non-Jews, which also impacted the non-Jewish followers of Jesus.

When we look for the beginnings of Christian anti-Judaism, they lay in the Greco-Roman world. Christian anti-Judaism developed its own peculiarities. But the anti-Judaism of the Greco-Roman world certainly influenced its development.

Marc Turnage is President/CEO of Biblical Expeditions. He is an authority on ancient Judaism and Christian origins. He has published widely for both academic and popular audiences. His most recent book, Windows into the Bible, was named by Outreach Magazine as one of its top 100 Christian living resources. Marc is a widely sought-after speaker and a gifted teacher. He has been guiding groups to the lands of the Bible—Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Greece, and Italy—for over twenty years.

Facebook: @witbuniversity
Podcast: Windows into the Bible Podcast


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Zachor Legal Institute: A Light in the Law

By Arlene Bridges Samuels

Amid the mountain of Jew hatred metastasizing into a global cancer, it is indeed encouraging to recognize lawful efforts to do what is right as reflected in Proverbs 28:4: “Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but those who keep the law strive against them.” 

Advocacy in the halls of justice is vital when it comes to exposing the many forms of anti-Semitism. The Zachor Legal Institute is a legal think tank, battling forces that are against Israel as a nation and Jews as a people. Zachor is a Hebrew term meaning to remember—to remember not just the covenants between God and His chosen people but also historical events such as the Holocaust, and the rhetoric and acts that led to it. Zachor Legal Institute (ZLI) therefore rests on the brilliance of learning past lessons to infuse courage and strength in defending the Jewish people today. Producing legal, scholarly research for all organizations under a Zionist umbrella is part of ZLI’s widely respected activism. 

Americans might be surprised to learn where anti-Semitism is lurking in our country among businesses, universities, and government sectors. Zachor, however, is not surprised. This 501(c)(3) non-profit, which was founded in 2015, uses well-established legal principles—such as anti-terrorism and anti-racketeering laws. They litigate to expose wrongdoing, so that financial and criminal penalties might be imposed on anti-Israel movements in the United States. 

The discriminatory Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is one of ZLI’s main targets. BDS, in simple terms, is economic warfare against Israel. It has three goals: to boycott Israeli goods, institutions, and companies; divest from outside manufacturers of Israeli military equipment; and sanction Israel wherever possible. BDS is an engine of hate against Israel. Founded in 2005 with 146 Palestinian organization signatories, it promotes numerous lies—including accusations that Israel is an apartheid state. The BDS slogan embodies their destructive theme against the ancestral Jewish homeland, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

As a side note: BDS is not new. Nazis officially implemented violent boycotts of Jewish businesses on April 1, 1933, with the slogan, “Germans defend yourselves. Do not buy from Jews.” Ninety years later, will June 25, 2023, become a date similar to April 1, 1933? A reporter revealed that, on this date, the Biden administration revived an Obama administration boycott against scientific and technological cooperation with Jews living in Judea and Samaria. Former President Trump reversed the Obama/Biden decision and approved the cooperation. President Biden reenacted it in secret. Biden’s present-day action is an example of a government gone wrong. 

Zachor’s founder and president, attorney Marc Greendorfer, and its COO, Ron Machol, have dedicated their extensive skills and shared goals to making sure BDS does not advance in the U.S. and Israel. Their 2023 Midyear Report with research, activism, publications, and new projects is outstanding.

An AP report last summer described the Jewish community in Massachusetts as being “on edge” after an anonymously produced (and perhaps Palestine-based) website was launched. Named The Mapping Project, this interactive site lists a number of companies that it accuses of “complicity in a range of ‘harms,’ from ethnic cleansing to colonialism, ‘surveillance’ and Zionism.”

Zachor recently released two reports about the Boston Mapping Project, which ZLI researched in Al Jazeera media. In the first report, Zachor describes Al Jazeera as “Qatar’s foreign intervention masked as an American news outlet.” The Boston Mapping Project may sound innocent, but details indicate otherwise. In Marc Greendorfer’s briefing to Congressional staff about the Mapping Project, he revealed that the anonymous website maps 505 locations—including Jewish targets—in Massachusetts. Zachor’s first report rightly denounced the inclusion of Jewish institutions, synagogues, and connections to Israel.

However, Zachor’s second report, endorsed by 17 other American NGOs, adds that two-thirds of the 505 targets show the exact locations of 271 police stations and nine U.S. military bases, along with Homeland Security, FBI, and Secret Service offices. The Mapping Project combines dangerous security challenges to all locations, pinpointed on one map. Evidence is emerging that Iran’s state-owned PressTV praised the project and suggested that it should expand to other states. In an ominous remark, The Mapping Project site warns, “Every entity has an address, every network can be disrupted.”

Marc Greendorfer remarked, “There is no logical explanation for why the map was published other than to serve as a kill list for extremists to use when targeting United States’ national security infrastructure and prominent Jews in America.” He asserts, with good reason, “This has all the hallmarks of Iranian terror.”

Thirty-six states already have anti-BDS laws on the books, along with excellent bipartisan legislation in the U.S. Congress. Zachor Legal Institute has added a resource to its website to track companies violating state and federal laws and to send no-cost reports to states. 

In its research, Zachor unearthed the fact that Palestinian Arab terror organizations were using U.S.-based charities to raise money. In early 2023, they then launched a campaign to inform credit card companies about one of the main perpetrators, an Arizona charity called Alliance for Global Justice (AFGJ). More than 100 left-wing and Soros-backed organizations rely on AFGJ. Success was achieved when almost every credit card company denied access to AFGJ. Zachor staff is dedicated to pursuing other non-profits funneling large, tax-deductible donations to terrorists. 

Finally, ZLI is already addressing the roll-out of anti-Semitic K-12 ethnic studies in California. They contain brazen Marxist ideas and deny the Jews’ right to their homeland. The curriculum defies state and federal laws, as well as the U.S. Constitution. COO Ron Machol, who made Aliyah to Israel 30 years ago from California, reveals his serious concerns. “Critical Race Theory ethnic studies are beginning in California and throughout the country in K-12 schools,” he said. “We are pushing back aggressively.” If you or family live in California, Machol welcomes your examples of “discriminatory materials from children or grandchildren’s schools by emailing” He also expressed his appreciation for “loving support we receive from international religious communities.” 

An excellent law review article, “History of Arab Colonization of Historic Jewish Lands,” is the foundation for their legal actions. Marc Greendorfer observes, “A review of history and Marxist terminology shows that if there are settler-colonialists in the Middle East, it is those who refer to themselves as Palestinian Arab Muslims, not Israeli Jews.”

We welcome you to join our CBN Israel team this week to pray for the sanctity of laws, focusing on Psalm 19:7-9: “The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether.” 

Prayer Points:

  • Pray with thanks for the commitment of Zachor to stop terror funding.
  • Pray for Zachor’s increased success and cooperative networks. 
  • Pray for trustworthy firms in the U.S. and Israel to uncover hidden lawbreakers against Israel and the Jewish people.
  • Pray for other excellent law firms like Shurat HaDin in Israel and the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ). 

Scripture is taken from the English Standard Version.

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

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New Immigrant: Victoria’s Story

When the Russian invasion began, Victoria was 40 years old, and living in Ukraine with her husband and children. She believed the war would be short-lived, and that world leaders would stop it within days. She was wrong. Both of her sisters tried to convince her to flee.

Finally, she and her husband packed the car with the bare essentials, and left home with their three kids. Gasoline was scarce, and traffic was terrible with so many trying to escape. When the couple saw tanks outside of their city, they drove to another city to stay with relatives. However, there were already three other families staying there.

They eventually found another place to stay—yet they didn’t feel welcome there because they are Jewish. So, they decided to immigrate to Israel. They crossed into Moldova, and the Jewish Agency helped them secure safe passage to Israel, where they settled near Nazareth. As they started over in a new country with few possessions, they needed help. 

And friends like you came to their rescue. Through CBN Israel, donors brought them furniture—along with groceries and essentials. Victoria shared, “We now tell everyone about CBN Israel, and how you helped us. Your support has brought such hope and comfort to our family!” 

Your gifts to CBN Israel can deliver hope and comfort to even more people in need, by offering nutritious food, housing, furniture, and financial aid. Today in the Holy Land, growing numbers of people are hurting, and need assistance to survive. 

Your support can reach out to Holocaust survivors, new immigrants, victims of terrorism, and single mothers. Please consider a gift to help others today!


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Weekly Q&A: How did Christian anti-Judaism begin?

The non-Jewish followers of Jesus established themselves as a “third race” towards the end of the first century and in the early second century A.D. By this, they distinguished themselves from both the Jews and those who worshipped idols. They sought to identify themselves as the “true Israel” and disassociate from the Jewish people and Judaism. In their view, Judaism rejected Jesus and was, therefore, erroneous. Jews, moreover, murdered Jesus. Or so these Christians claimed.

They redefined the original “Jewishness” of Jesus’ movement to show Christianity as the only true religion. As such, it needed to be “Law free” and separated from any Judaizing. The Church Fathers struggled for supremacy and distinction from Judaism. To do this, they claimed the Jewish Law was no longer necessary, they removed the God of the New Testament’s ethnic, Jewish identity, and they prohibited interaction between Christians and Judaism.

Christian leaders declared the Jewish Law (Torah) as obsolete, devoid of any practical value. Ignatius of Antioch declared the practice of Jewish Law forbidden to Christians. Jews had to stop living as Jews when they became Christians (Letter to the Magnesians 8:1; 9:1; 10:3; see Letter to the Philadelphians 6:1). Justin Martyr permitted Jews to continue practicing Jewish observances, but he forbade them from suggesting that non-Jews should obey the Law of Moses (Dialogue with Trypho a Jew 47).

Official cannon law prohibited Christian participation in Jewish rituals at the Councils of Antioch (A.D. 341) and Laodicea (c. A.D. 360). The imperial orthodoxy of the Byzantine Empire opposed non-Jews practicing Jewish customs and criminalized conversion to Judaism. Jews became increasingly marginalized within late Roman society and became the subject of outbursts of violence fueled by the rhetoric of bishops and the theology of the Church Fathers. Within the Byzantine Empire, few Christians knew that Jesus and the Apostles were Jews.

Asia Minor became a particular location of tensions between Christians and Jews in the second century A.D. This already appears in the letters John wrote to Smyrna and Philadelphia (Revelation 2:8-11; 3:7-13). The Martyrdom of Polycarp tells of the Roman execution of Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, in which the Jews played a catalytic role. This work styles its story on the death of Jesus in the Gospels and Stephen in Acts; thus, we may question the degree of the Jewish involvement.

Of particular importance is the homily, On the Passion (Peri Pascha), by Melito of Sardis. Melito lived in Sardis, located in Asia Minor, in the second century A.D. His homily accused Jews of deicide, killing God, for the first time. Meilito falsely claimed that the Jews scourged and crucified Jesus. Conveniently, Pilate and the Romans remain absent from Melito’s homily. The Jews killed Jesus; the Jews killed their Lord. This became a common refrain of Christian anti-Judaism.

Today, it is essential that we understand the dangers of these distorted beliefs. For centuries, sermons and writings have claimed that the Jewish people—as a whole—rejected Jesus, and therefore God rejected them. But this is not an accurate reading of the Scriptures and nor is it an accurate portrayal of the historical accounts and events. 

The New Testament makes no such claim that gentile Christians replaced the Jews as God’s chosen people or covenant community. Rather, it presents the good news that gentiles have been given the gracious privilege of being grafted into the covenant and family of faith, which had been established by God with Abraham and his descendants.

Marc Turnage is President/CEO of Biblical Expeditions. He is an authority on ancient Judaism and Christian origins. He has published widely for both academic and popular audiences. His most recent book, Windows into the Bible, was named by Outreach Magazine as one of its top 100 Christian living resources. Marc is a widely sought-after speaker and a gifted teacher. He has been guiding groups to the lands of the Bible—Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Greece, and Italy—for over twenty years.

Facebook: @witbuniversity
Podcast: Windows into the Bible Podcast

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Amid Troubling Global Shifts, Good News is Ever Present

By Arlene Bridges Samuels 

The global community is increasingly being ensnared by ruthless dictators who are banding together to assert their brand of world dominance. Each day, news emerges about evildoers entrapping entire populations with lies and deceptions that stir up confusion, chaos, and disorder. We are living in what some are calling a “five-twenty” world—based on Isaiah 5:20, which describes a world that calls evil good, and good evil.

An upside-down atmosphere and internal challenges within both the U.S. and Israel are unsettling. Let’s take a brief look at the troubling trends across the world, then a close look at how to embrace and add to the good trends surrounding us. 

Iran’s Islamic regime is ever-present in the mix. Our open U.S. Southern border beckons not only anyone from more than 100 countries but also, and more disturbingly, those set on destruction—from Iran, its proxies, China, and others. Shifting our focus to Israel’s border, with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) stationed in neighboring Syria. We honor our 900 American soldiers also stationed there since 2015. They play an essential role in hindering the Islamic regime’s weapons shipments into Syria bound for the IRGC. Weaponry is also destined for Iranian proxy Hezbollah in Lebanon. The Military Times in varying reports indicates some 41,300 U.S. military are stationed in nine other nations in the Middle East such as Iraq, Kuwait, and Oman. 

Part of the Biden administration’s naiveté is to view another Iran deal as the means to providing a solution. Biden thinks a planned $17-billion payoff—which is being called a “mini deal”—will magically make the rogue regime comply with his wishes. However, the Ayatollahs and other bullying regimes respond to appeasement with disdain for the appeaser, not respect. They congratulate themselves for amassing more power to threaten and oppress not only their own citizens but also nations they view as weak. 

It is valuable to listen to reports from our troops in northeastern Syria and to others who suffer the Islamic regime’s cruelty firsthand. My close friend Marzi Amirizadeh—and thousands of other Iranians—are fully aware of the Ayatollahs’ evil intentions. 

Marzi, a Christian and now an American citizen, was arrested in 2009 for her faith. Her “crime”? Covertly giving out 20,000 Bibles in a nation opposed to Christianity. After nine torturous months, Marzi was miraculously released. Just last week, on June 20th, she wrote a Townhall op-ed that everyone, including the current U.S. administration, should read. No Deal for Iran ( 

She reveals, “It is impossible for me to read reports of the Biden administration negotiating a deal to placate Iran’s Islamist regime today, without bringing me back to my cell in Iran’s notorious Evin prison in 2009.” She also blames former President Obama [and then-Vice President Biden] for turning their backs on the Iranian people in Iran’s first nationwide protests about election fraud that same year. Eventually, thousands were arrested and executed. One of Marzi’s statements should be emblazoned in the minds of any leader, anywhere, who is negotiating with Iran: “If Iran is so callous and violates human rights at home, how can anyone trust the regime to be any better around the globe?”

Iran’s Supreme Leader Khamenei recently held friendly meetings in Tehran with two of their proxy leaders from Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, who also victimize their own people. Worse yet, Hezbollah, Iran’s proxy in Lebanon, has for the past few months successfully smuggled rifles into Palestinian-run Jenin, located in Israel’s biblical heartland. Hezbollah has set up a sophisticated weapons operation that has resulted in more Israeli and Palestinian deaths and injuries. 

Earlier this month, Iran’s president Raisi got busy linking like-minded countries by visiting three of them to form a coalition. Each of those nations—Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela—is under sanctions imposed by the United States. Raisi repeatedly denounced the “imperialist” United States while multiple trade and other agreements clinched the coalitions. The Islamic lust for nuclear weapons at any cost energizes every so-called “agreement” lie they tell. Domination is their goal, evident through their efforts to revive an oppressive worldwide caliphate. 

Among Iran’s other pursuits, they are selling thousands of drones to Russia and Communist China. Iran and China are active in Communist Cuba—only 90 miles from Florida—where both countries have embassies. China has now opened an embassy in Iran. 

Watching these global shifts, what can we do as Christians? Is it fruitful to complain and wring our hands? Do we give up and wait for the end to come? One answer can be found in 2 Corinthians 5:20—“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors.” We must rest in foundational, time-tested habits to read our Bibles, mature in our love, share the Gospel message, and serve those in need as unto Jesus while purposely looking for where God is at work.

Here are a few examples. The Asbury Revival generated prayer and salvation movements across the U.S. and the world. The Isaiah 62 Global 21 Days of Prayer for Israel engaged several million Christians worldwide between Passover and Pentecost. A majority in the U.S. Congress remains committed to passing important legislation benefitting both Israel and the United States. Brave pastors are eloquently reminding believers to walk in truth in our culture and exert influence wherever possible. Finally, CBN News reports that “a great awakening is exploding in Iran with visions, dreams, and miraculously answered prayers.”

The Apostle Paul offers us his example, as a Jewish believer kidnapped, beaten, imprisoned, shipwrecked, and ridiculed. In Romans 5:3-5 he says, “But we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

We are not exempt from difficulty or hardship. Nevertheless, remember that God will ultimately triumph over evil! 

Join our CBN Israel team with this week’s prayers based on Jeremiah 32:17: “Ah, Sovereign LORD, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for You.” 

Prayer Points:

  • Pray with thanks for the outpouring of God’s Presence in Iran.
  • Pray for increased internal security in Israel’s biblical heartland. 
  • Pray that the Biden administration will abandon the “mini deal” with Iran.
  • Pray for courage for all believers to maintain trust in God and stand for truth. 

All Scripture is taken from the New International Version.

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

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Weekly Q&A: What was the Bar Kochba Revolt?

Hope stirred within Judaism sixty years after the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of its Temple. Perhaps this was the time when the Jews in the land of Israel would finally remove Rome’s presence. The revolt broke out in A.D. 132. The Bar Kochba Revolt lacks the eyewitness accounts, like Josephus, who chronicled the First Jewish Revolt against Rome (A.D. 66-73).

The causes of the revolt are not entirely clear. Several factors seem to have contributed to a second Jewish revolt in the land of Israel within a sixty-year period. The Roman Emperor Hadrian banned circumcision in the year’s leading up to the revolt. His ban against circumcision grew out of a general ban against male castration. Romans viewed the Jewish practice of circumcision as mutilation. Of course, circumcision was the sign of the covenant between God and Abraham’s descendants (Genesis 17).

The ancient sources disagree whether Hadrian refounded Jerusalem as a Roman colony, named Aelia Capitonlina, with a Temple to Jupiter, before or after the Bar Kochba Revolt. If it happened prior to the revolt, it may have served as a cause of the revolt.

The Jews seem to have assumed this period would see the Temple of Jerusalem rebuilt. After the destruction of the First Temple, the Temple of Solomon, the Second Temple was built by Zerubbabel in Jerusalem. The Jews looked at this earlier precedent as a pattern for God bringing about the rebuilding of the Temple in their day. Some of the coins minted by the Jewish rebels depict the façade of the Temple. Others bear the inscription “for the redemption of Jerusalem.” The Jewish rebels anticipated their revolt would return Jerusalem to the Jews, remove the Romans, and see the Temple rebuilt.

The revolt receives its name from its leader, a charismatic, messianic figure named, Shimon ben Kosiba. Rabbinic tradition relates how a great Sage of this period, Rabbi Akiva, hailed Shimon as the Messiah, calling him bar Kochba (“son of the star;” Numbers 24:17). After the failure of the revolt, the rabbis referred to him as bar Koziba (“son of the lie”). Shimon took the title Nasi Israel (Prince of Israel). This language comes from Ezekiel where the future, hoped for ruler will be known as Nasi.

The revolt had a devastating impact upon the Jewish community in the land of Israel. Roman, Jewish, and Christian sources place the Jewish casualties between 400,000-500,000. Even if these figures are inflated, they speak to the widespread loss of Jewish life. The Jewish rebels also inflicted heavy causalities upon the Roman forces as well. Many Jews were sold as slaves because of the revolt. Others emigrated outside of the land. Jews from Babylon immigrated into the land of Israel at this time.

The Romans changed the name of the province from Judaea to Palestina. Jerusalem became a Roman colony and Jews were expelled from the city. The Galilee, which had been a center of Jewish life, had idolatrous non-Jews settling in the region. It also impacted the relationships between Jews and Christians.

Marc Turnage is President/CEO of Biblical Expeditions. He is an authority on ancient Judaism and Christian origins. He has published widely for both academic and popular audiences. His most recent book, Windows into the Bible, was named by Outreach Magazine as one of its top 100 Christian living resources. Marc is a widely sought-after speaker and a gifted teacher. He has been guiding groups to the lands of the Bible—Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Greece, and Italy—for over twenty years.

Facebook: @witbuniversity
Podcast: Windows into the Bible Podcast

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Artificial Intelligence Bible Translation: Will it Prove Harmful or Helpful?

By Arlene Bridges Samuels

News about Artificial Intelligence (AI) is saturating the airwaves, print publications, and digital media. Throughout the world, countries, technology giants, businesses, and nonprofits are holding high-level discussions about the AI phenomenon that is speeding into the stratosphere. Bible translation organizations are also busy exploring the pluses and perils inherent in AI’s world-changing possibilities. 

When OpenAI released the ChatGPT tool to the public last November, it signaled a paradigm shift that opened unimaginable doors far beyond simply asking Alexa, Google, or Siri to “find” things. ChatGPT literally creates new content, setting off what Oral Roberts University’s senior mathematics professor calls a big tech arms race. Professor Andrew Lang compared AI to a “Sputnik moment,” noting the paradigm shift that occurred in 1957, when Russia launched the world’s first artificial Earth satellite. 

Lang warned that Christians cannot ignore the AI transition, since the Christian worldview will not be at the top of secular agendas. His analysis and the Wycliffe Global Alliance AI Summit are timely. Founded in 1942, the respected Wycliffe Bible Translators non-profit now has more than 100 Bible translation organizations under its umbrella, with the goal of ensuring that all people worldwide “have access to God’s word in their preferred languages and formats.” With experts spanning the globe—from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Pacific—in April Wycliffe USA hosted its global alliance in Orlando, Florida. Only two months later, Professor Lang’s perspective proved true. 

On June 10th, an astounding announcement was made at the World Economic Forum (WEF). Yuval Noah Harari, senior advisor to WEF chairman Klaus Schwab and history professor at Hebrew University, proclaimed: “AI can create new ideas; it can even write a new Bible!”

Dismissing the astonishing ability of the God-designed universe and the human brain, Hariri parrots AI’s ability to create new ideas by a “superhuman intelligence.” The professor excitedly described what he calls a “globalist Bible” that could reshape the “spirituality” of the world—one that, in his opinion, corrects the Bible’s erroneous passages and thus advances the WEF’s vision of equity and inclusion. 

Calling himself a futurist, Hariri alleges that religions have dreamed for centuries about a book written by a superhuman intelligence, what he calls a non-human entity. Hariri’s resume is indicative of a brilliant mind, an author who has sold 20 million books, lectures worldwide, and has collected a stack of honors and awards. 

Although he is controversial in some academic and conservative circles, Hariri has been welcomed by WEF’s elite globalists into their halls of power in their ambitious attempts to restructure the world. WEF describes itself as “an international organization headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, that brings together individuals and political and business leaders each year to discuss significant issues that impact the global economy.” This description of the organization, which was founded in 1971 by German engineer Klaus Schwab, sounds tame enough. Nevertheless, its agenda is one that does not adhere to Judeo-Christian principles articulated by God though Jewish scribes in the Holy Bible. 

Indeed, a secular ideology drives Chairman Schwab’s WEF in his agenda for a “great reset” and Fourth Industrial Revolution. The fact that Yuval Harari is Klaus Schwab’s senior advisor is proof of Hariri’s influence. Professor Hariri states that governments must watch over the public domain so that AI will not spiral out of control.

The question then becomes, “How will humans use AI knowledge—for help or for harm?” And how can governments, leaders, and Christians curate wise controls for this new technology? 

The Wycliffe Global Alliance AI Summit delved into the AI help-or-harm questions. Unlimited possibilities of AI can serve as a digital disciple of God’s love and redemption for the world through the Bible. Christian experts observed that AI could reduce Bible translation time by more than half. Importantly, biblical ethics and principles would direct AI translations. 

One of the Wycliffe alliances is SIL International. Dan Whitenack, a data scientist working with SIL, uses the term “copilot” to describe AI, assuring that Christian translators sit in the pilot seat. Many Bible GPTs (Generative Pretrained Transformers) are under development. For example, with hundreds of Christian translating organizations creating innovations, SIL is working on a chat platform called M2. It will enable digital Bible translations to work together simultaneously in many languages on websites and social media pages. 

Digital theology consultant Adam Graber, who also spoke at the summit, emphasizes the correct biblical foundation: “God speaks first. Not the internet, and not us.” 

Summit participants frequently expressed serious concerns that AI robotic production be avoided at all costs. Presenters also underscored that Christian AI tools will streamline the labor of the human translation teams—not replace them.

As the Bible’s new disciple on the forefront of adding Bible translations for those without Bibles in their languages, AI is already a force for good. Not surprisingly, the United States and Israel are on the leading edge of varying AI developments, usage, and discussions in the U.S. Congress and Israeli Knesset. By necessity, Israel is a world leader in autonomous warfare, and already uses robot surveillance jeeps to patrol the dangerous Gaza Strip border. A Forbes article highlights examplessuch as AI’s use in New York’s internationally acclaimed Mt. Sinai Hospital, with improved breast cancer screening and the ability to predict diseases like liver, rectum, and prostate cancer 94 percent of the time. 

Although AI is thousands of years removed from God’s spoken word, the Sovereign of the Universe fashioned the Jewish culture into vessels for His holy scriptures. He transmitted an eternal paradigm shift through Jewish scribes in the Old Testament’s 39 books. A second paradigm shift manifested through our Lord Jesus Christ, born into the Jewish people in Israel. Finally, a third paradigm shift took place when scribes penned God’s word in the 27 books of the New Testament. 

The WEF, suspect and secular, seems overpowering. But it is not everlasting. Our Holy Bible is an enduring guidepost that tells the truth about our omnipotent God who spoke the universe and humankind into existence. 

A fourth glorious paradigm awaits believers. At present, Messiah Jesus is our loving attorney who intercedes for us, then completes His rescue mission for us into eternity. Neither AI, ChatGPT, nor any robot is capable of repeating such a singular unconditional, redemptive act for those who seek a personal, vibrant relationship with God. His personal touch is a relational revolution that will dismiss the WEF’s impossible secular designs in a single moment. 

Until then, let us remain vigilant in the darkness, focused on the Light of the World and continually reading our Bibles—given to us from God’s heart! 

1 Chronicles 29:11 (ESV) tells the truth! “Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all.” 

Join CBN Israel this week in prayer amid this AI paradigm shift:

  • Pray for governments to use wisdom in inaugurating clear standards of AI usage. 
  • Pray that AI benefits will infuse hope and help into our world!
  • Pray for the Wycliffe Global Alliance to expand exponentially to spread the Gospel with Bible translations. 
  • Pray for an outpouring of donations for savvy tech and translator staff.
  • Pray that AI usage will not increase evil. 

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

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Rescuing Food for Israel’s Hungry

The lingering economic damage caused by COVID-19 is significant. Israel’s government employment office predicts that unemployment will not return to pre-pandemic levels until 2025. And sadly, the people affected most are those who live on the periphery—including the elderly, immigrants, refugees, and poverty-stricken families.

The southern region of Israel in particular has seen a disproportionate level of unemployment. Thousands of people in these areas live below the poverty line and are at risk of food insecurity. To make matters worse, citizens of Israel’s south must also contend with the ongoing stress of living under the constant threat of rocket and other terror attacks from Gaza.

But thanks to compassionate friends like you, CBN Israel is linking arms with Israel’s national food bank to “rescue” fresh produce from fields and packing houses and deliver nutritious food packages to those who need them most in the Gaza border region. 

Trained staff and volunteers enter fields and orchards to pick surplus produce that farmers have not harvested and would otherwise go to waste, while trucks collect from packing houses excess produce that was slated for disposal. The rescued produce is returned to a logistics center for sorting and packaging and then redistributed to 300 nonprofit organizations, providing those at risk with a crucial source of nutrition. 

Through CBN Israel and our local partners, caring donors are providing food packages with fresh fruits and vegetables to needy communities across the Gaza border region. Abigal, a single mom, shares, “I have three children, and I need help to provide for them. Because of this special program, I am able to get the food and support I need. I am very thankful for all of your help.”  

In these challenging times, you can let so many in desperate situations know they are not forgotten—by offering food, clothing, housing, financial aid, and encouragement. 

Will you reach out in love and kindness to those in need?


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