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

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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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CBN Israel Links Arms with Arab Pastor to Help Overcome Racial Tensions with Cross-Cultural Outreach

By Nicole Jansezian

In 2021, when Israel and Hamas were engaged in an 11-day conflict, racial tensions between Jews and Arabs spilled over into Israel’s civilian sector.

Mixed cities erupted in violent and sometimes deadly clashes as Hamas launched 2,400 rockets into Israel and the Israeli army responded by bombing the Gaza Strip.

Following the Hamas atrocities of October 7, 2023 and Israel’s subsequent strikes on Gaza, many feared racial attacks among Israel’s Jewish and Arab citizens would follow.

They haven’t—so far—but this could be due in part to people such as Saleem Shalash, the Arab pastor of Home of Jesus the King Church in Nazareth, who said his focus is 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,” Shalash told CBN Israel. “How? To take action and to show the love of Jesus.”

When local Christians help Israeli Jews, they are viewed with suspicion from both sides.

“From one side, if you stand for helping the Israeli families you become a spy for an Arab because they don’t understand your opinion or your vision,” he explained. “From the other side, to the Orthodox Jew, you are still Arab. You are not accepted, you are between. It’s hard. Sometimes you can’t explain it because you are in the middle.”

Despite the precarious position of 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 his neighboring city, Nof Hagalil, the mayor turned to Shalash for help in equipping the nearly 1,000 evacuees that have spread out into the city’s hotels.

“These people are here more than a month now, most of them arrived with only a bag in their hands,” Plot told CBN Israel. “Now we are in winter, in rain, and they have nothing suitable. Also, people aren’t able to work—their jobs are there, so here they have no work.”

After the war began in southern Israel, a few infiltration attempts and rocket attacks took place along the northern border as well, where Hezbollah is entrenched in southern Lebanon. Shortly after Israel evacuated communities surrounding the Gaza Strip in the south, the government expanded evacuation orders for the north resulting in more than 120,000 displaced Israelis.

CBN Israel partnered with Shalash to buy brand new coats, boots, and other winter essentials for those who ended up in Nof Hagalil.

“We are helping the evacuated families that came from both sides, from both south and north because they fled from their homes with nothing,” Shalash said. “They came during hot weather with short sleeves, and they have nothing.”

All the more poignant since the Hamas atrocities of October 7 is that an Arab ministry is leading the outreach—something that hasn’t gone unnoticed. Yehonatan Biton told CBN Israel it restores his faith in humanity.

“It has touched our hearts at this difficult time to realize that there are still hearts willing to give, that despite everything you see, and the terrible horrors, the heart is still open,” he said. “The world isn’t all bad, it’s not all evil. There is also a good side and it is amazing.”

Maia Barcelo-Shelef who picked up a coat at the distribution told CBN Israel that most evacuees are living with uncertainty and have no idea when they will return home.

“I never guessed we would be in a situation like this waiting, one more week, one more week. We don’t have a deadline, that’s the worst,” she said.

Shalash hopes that outreaches such as this will help heal the trauma of war.

“What happened was very hard and it will take time to get better. We will not forget, because those who lost a son or daughter will not forget. But we are trying to show the love of Jesus and trying to bless these families,” Shalash said.

In Nazareth and many Israeli cities, where Jews and Arabs mingle in shops and restaurants largely without any racial tension, Shalash believes that such love will overcome racial divides.

“The media shows the worst examples, but there’s a lot of good things happening,” Shalash said. “God wants to gather His family again, His Abrahamic family—Isaac and Ishmael together.”

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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Music Turning Tragedy into a Triumph of the Spirit

By Arlene Bridges Samuels

The exhilarating power of 1,000 Israeli singers and musicians rang out across Israel on December 18, filling hearts worldwide with hope. The “Homeland Concert” in the Caesarea Amphitheatre along the Mediterranean Sea not only beckoned Israelis to remain resilient and strong. Anyone who listened was touched by the power of its eloquent messages, a triumph of the spirit over tragedy.

The concert communicated a profound message for me, for the world, and for 2024—to renew our dedication to truth, remembering how the great prophet Isaiah transmitted God’s promise that, in the future, “the government will be on His shoulders.” Today, we do not know the day of Israel’s forever government. Until then, Israel must press on in the Gaza battlefield—the terror-infested cities in Judea and Samaria—and in northern Israel to defend their homeland against Hezbollah in Lebanon. Israel’s Christian friends worldwide must take up arms on another important battlefield, the information battlefield, to expose Jew-hating lies with clarifying facts.

The famous Caesarea Amphitheatre, site of last month’s concert, echoes with ancient history. Built by King Herod in 22 B.C., this “entertainment” arena featured the mass executions of Jews who revolted against Romans between A.D. 66 and 70. Producer Talya Yarom planned her musical idea “to warm everyone’s frozen hearts” with its “Bring them Home” theme about the remaining 129 hostages. The ancient amphitheater’s more than 2,000-year-old structure is indeed more architectural evidence that Israel is the Jewish homeland. It serves as a reminder to the world that Israel has lived, does live, and will live despite any evil! Am Yisrael Chai, the Nation of Israel Lives!

When some of the hostage families arrived and joined in the singing, their presence deeply reinforced the “Bring Them Home” message. Producer Yarom had envisioned “something that felt universal, national” and without any “big names.” When Yarom sent out the call for volunteer musicians, nearly 2,000 responded. She ended up with 1,000 musicians—professional, amateur, all ages and instruments—with backgrounds in musical genres ranging from orchestral to rock.

A medley of lyrics from beloved songwriter and poet Ehud Manor combined his famous classic song, “Home” or “Bring Them Home” (HaBayita) with “The Hope,” Hatikva, Israel’s national anthem. The elevated atmosphere—expressed in tears, joys, grief, and power—moved the hearts of everyone sitting in the ancient amphitheater and internationally. Not knowing the Hebrew language did not hinder the power of the concert. The voices and instruments conveyed transformative prayers. Here are the English lyrics from Ehud Manor (1941-2005), which Manor wrote in the 1980s:

Another Hour has passed
Another Hour of madness
The weeds have grown in the path and garden
The wind sighed
Opening the shutter
Banging the old wall
As if calling

Home, Home
It’s time to return
From hills and foreign fields
The day is fading and there’s no sign

Home, Home
Before the light is dimmed
Cold nights, bitter nights
Closing in
Until the dawn I pray for you
Bound in the grip of fear
I hear steps

Home, Home
Because it hasn’t yet been given
As was promised long ago.

Conductor Eran Mitelman, maestro Mark Wollach, directors Shilo Gallay and Danny Casson, orchestral arranger Ron Klein, and composer Yair Klinger joined senior producer Talya Yarom for the Bring Them Home Concert, the biggest concert ever held in Israel.

Music has not been confined to the Caesarea Amphitheatre. Various well-known Israeli stars are visiting the wounded in hospitals, families in mourning, and IDF troops. Ishay Ribo held concerts at IDF bases, including a concert along the Gaza border to “lift up their spirits.” He encouraged them with his music and words: “May God succeed through you and your tasks, and may you return home safely and unharmed.”

Ben Ari, a religiously observant singer and father of seven children, served in the army and is not currently called up for reserve duty. After writing a song called Birthplace, he remarked, “This song is dedicated to my nation. … Not the one that was here a week ago [October 7], the one that we’ll create again when all this is over.” He now sings with people, “the best thing I know how to do.” In Birthplace he sings, “You are the special unit, You will always be my homeland. Even on the brink of an abyss, Even in hell, you are heaven, Paradise.”

I’ve looked at video clips where various Israel Defense Forces units are singing to lift their spirits. During Hanukkah they sang their traditional songs as they lit their menorahs on the battlefield or at bases. Other clips include IDF singing the prayer Shema Yisrael, the key affirmation of Judaism—that God is One, and incomparable. It echoes from Jewish hearts as a love song to God.

As part of Israel’s Fellowship of Israel Related Ministries (FIRM), believers have also united in concerts. Acclaimed Messianic artist Joshua Aaron, who leads Gather the Nations worship conferences based in Jerusalem, organized a concert in Israel during Hanukkah. Earlier, on October 21, 2023, Joshua Aaron and Aaron Shust held a benefit concert in Wildwood, Florida, to raise money through ticket sales and additional donations.

Let us remember throughout 2024—during Israel’s war against unleashed evil—that Isaiah 9:6-8 ends with a precious proclamation: “And the government will be on His shoulders. … Of the greatness of His government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over His kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.”

Our CBN Israel team welcomes you to join us in prayer for Israel in wartime:

  • Pray that IDF’s military leaders will make wise decisions that eliminate Hamas.
  • Pray that Arab nations will decide to resettle Gazans within their own (Muslim) borders. 
  • Pray for an outpouring of commitment from Christians to spread illuminating facts about Israel. 
  • Pray for strength and breakthroughs for hostages and their families.
  • Pray with thanks to God for endowing humanity with songs and music.

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

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Delivering Groceries to Victims of War and Terror

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Weekly Devotional: Going When You Don’t Know Where

“By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place which he was to receive as an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was to go. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise” (Hebrews 11:8-9 RSV).

“Now the LORD said to Abram, ‘Go’” (Genesis 12:1 NASB). God didn’t tell Abram (Abraham) where he was going. He didn’t tell him the challenges, pitfalls, or blessings that awaited him along the way. God simply said, “Go,” and Abram went.

Throughout Abraham’s life, God made promises to him. His descendants would inherit the land. He would have progeny. His progeny would come through Isaac, the child of Abraham and Sarah in their old age. Some promises Abraham lived to see; others he did not. Yet no matter what, when God told him to “Go,” he went.

God didn’t lay out the road map or blueprint for Abraham at the beginning. In fact, if you read the story of Abraham, God revealed His plan and promise to Abraham bit by bit. As Abraham proved faithful through his obedience, God led him further down the path.

Abraham stumbled at times, but when God said, “Go,” he went, not knowing where.

We often want God to reveal the path before we walk it. We want to understand His plan and where He’s leading us. However, God doesn’t usually work that way. He simply bids us “Go.” Will we? Do we trust Him enough to lead us?

Abraham never experienced most of the promises God made to him. His descendants did. Still, Abraham went. Still, he remained faithful, even when he was not the recipient of the promise.

Too often we look to God for what He can do for us. We seek His promises for us, in our lives, during our lifetimes. The problem, however, is that usually the really big things in life, those things that have long-lasting impact, do not materialize in one lifetime. They take years and decades—even centuries—to come to fruition.

Do we have that kind of faithfulness to see beyond ourselves and look to God’s promises and what He can accomplish through us, even beyond our lifetime, if we will simply “Go?”


Father, we hear Your call to “Go.” May we follow You, even when we do not know the way. May we trust You, even when the promise extends beyond our lifetimes. Amen.

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CBN Israel Provides Food and a Sense of Home for the Displaced

By Nicole Jansezian

As an architect, Talya Baruchi defines home from many different perspectives.

“When you plan a home, you plan a house, four walls, you plan the street, you plan for the people and a public area,” she explained. “Back in my town near the Gaza border, I only have four walls to go back to. Here, I have a home.”

Talya was anxious about having to return home to Maagalim where sirens still sound daily alerting of incoming rockets.

“There’s no routine in my area yet and that is something I can’t make in my home.”

Along with some of their neighbors, Talya and her young son were welcomed at a moshav in the hills outside Jerusalem where CBN Israel set up a food truck for free lunches for evacuees and is helping to pay for the costs of temporary lodging and shelter.

“What we have here is home, we have routine,” Talya told CBN Israel.

CBN Israel provided a daily food truck where residents can gather for a free meal in the middle of the day at Yad Hashmona, the moshav where Talya is staying.

The food truck project has provided more than just food—it has become part of the “public space” that makes a home and has enabled evacuees to connect with each other and share the traumas and challenges of being forced from their homes.

“The kids that have now been a month out of their house,” said Daniel Carlson, director of CBN Israel. “They are still getting missile attacks almost on a daily basis. There’s no school. There’s no normal life.”

Israelis that have been evacuated from the north and south have had to make a new routine and new home for themselves in different towns and neighborhoods around the country. While the government has been slow to provide support, many organizations—including CBN Israel—have pitched in and are welcoming the evacuees.

CBN Israel hosted a festival at Yad Hashmona with bouncy castles, carnival food, and a movie—Superbook—for the displaced children staying there giving them a few moments to disconnect from the war. 

CBN Israel held a similar event for evacuees staying at a conference center in Israel’s coastal plain, which still comes under daily rocket fire, and in the southern city of Eilat where many evacuees are staying. The festival included a food truck, cotton candy, music, and bouncy castles and an airing of Superbook in Hebrew.

Carlson said the music had to be kept at a certain decibel in order to be able to hear sirens.

“With all that’s going on, this just gives them some time to forget and be kids again,” Carlson said.

Talya thanked CBN for being present during her hour of extreme need.

“We can see their logo everywhere around the hotel,” she said. “And to see the logo here now, it warms my heart that there are people who think of us, that we can be better off in this strange situation, in this dark situation, who want the best for us.”

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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A New Year’s Resolution: Fact Sharing from Christians

By Arlene Bridges Samuels

For the last 82 days, the world’s only Jewish homeland has faced enormous upheaval that will not end anytime soon. As it stands on the brink of 2024, Israel has been confronting an exceptionally difficult conundrum since October 7. That is why they need help from an army of Christians. Not an army of soldiers but of advocates—who are committed to engage in fact-sharing aimed at slowing the tide of global lies from the mainstream media and their followers.

For Christians who want to help oppose lies about Israel, one of the best New Year’s resolutions is to be part of a Christian communications force on behalf of Israel. Jewish culture is traditionally infused with tikkun olam, “to repair the world,” and modern Israel remains a light of innovation to a broken world. But now, more than ever, Israel needs our help in the critical arena of public relations—to help shape global opinion.

A tsunami of misinformation is pouring out of media channels and flooding unsuspecting minds. Minds tired of bad news, or predisposed to hatred, or wanting to help yet not knowing where to begin. Christians often ask, “Where do I find reliable news?” This column addresses that concern.

I have written hundreds of feature columns for CBN Israel, and I am thankful to stand for Israel. Collecting ideas and sources along the way, I am sharing a few of them with you. After you read this, I invite you to make an important New Year’s resolution: to engage in public relations efforts on behalf of Israel. Efforts that promulgate facts, not lies. Facts that disprove the malicious stories being repeated and put truth in their place.

To begin, make sure you value your own fact-sharing, since God pours His power into all of us especially when we are unified. “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together,” Vincent van Gogh reminds us.

Educating yourself is important, yet signing up for a course is not necessary since Israel’s needs are immediate. Whatever your station in life, it is simple. If you treasure Bible truths and recognize Israel as your spiritual homeland, you qualify! Make this one a New Year’s resolution: Share one or more facts about Israel each week.

The next step is to go on a simple search. Here are just a few of my sources when I am researching for my next column—reading news and the Bible. Indeed, countless Christian and Jewish resources are at your fingertips … on a computer or mobile phone. Because I write for CBN Israel, I read their social media, particularly CBN Israel ( and CBN News ( Some others are The Times of Israel (, All Israel News (, Friends of Israel Defense Forces (, The Jerusalem Post (, Israel Defense and Security Forum (, Gatestone Institute (, American Israel Public Affairs Committee (, and Palestinian Media Watch ( Explore some of these links to determine which ones resonate with you. 

Begin with one, several, or use the same source at least weekly. News about Israel is at the epicenter and available 24/7. For example, if you are curious to know what Palestinian media reports are saying about Israel, visit This organization, the Palestinian Media Watch, translates Arabic into English to learn exactly what Palestinians think or say. The site is eye-opening. Choose one link, then share it. By posting a quick message on your mobile phone, even while waiting to pick up your child from school, you have taken an important action. 

If you want information about the excellent legislation the U.S. Congress is enacting to help Israel, click Scan a few article titles, read one, copy the link, and share it via social media or in an email to a friend or your pastor. Copy and paste while you drink your coffee. Just that quickly, you are done—and a disseminator of the truth!

Another method I use to share facts is by commenting on articles I have read. I choose not to argue or inflame and only state the facts. I confess, I often feel righteous anger when reading propaganda against Jews and Israel. After all, we are in another Nazi era. Yet wisdom is essential, and James 1:5 ESV instructs us: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” When choosing to comment on an article, to share a fact in conversation or via social media, let us make wisdom our aim.

Again, the reason I am suggesting a New Year’s resolution for everyone in the pro-Israel Christian community is that we are so greatly needed. Israelis are expressing their heartfelt gratitude for the overwhelming Christian humanitarian responses and prayers pouring in from multiple sources. Yet the tsunami of lies is too much for our Jewish brethren to overcome alone. When friends are in crisis, we come alongside them. And that surely applies to Israel, the land and the people that God created. 

Here is an example of why Christians are vital to share facts: Most of the mainstream media list the deaths and injuries of Gazans. They blare out headlines that provide verbal ammunition—which inflames the uninformed or misguided to slander Israel. Thus, the tsunami of misinformation. I rarely see a headline about Israel’s ongoing losses.

So, here is a fact about Israel’s casualties to counter the relentless barrage from the other side: On December 17, Israel’s Health Ministry reported that more than 10,580 Israelis have been wounded in Gaza, through Hezbollah strikes along the Lebanon border, and from Palestinian terrorist hostilities in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria). Israel’s Defense Ministry details that 6,125 are IDF soldiers, Israel police, and other security forces. Of these, 2,005 are permanently disabled.

Israel was unprepared for such heavy numbers of wounded soldiers and civilians, as well as those needing post-surgical rehabilitation. Israelis are suffering varying degrees of trauma. Hundreds of thousands have been displaced from their homes and jobs and are still hearing the Red Alert, announcing more incoming rockets to take shelter from! Families wonder if they will learn that a loved one is dead or injured. And counseling is essential to treat serious post-traumatic stress—for people unable to escape the horror of witnessing or experiencing demonic brutality, who have had to attend one funeral after another, or are wondering when the turmoil will end.

On the encouraging side, within a few hours of the shocking October 7 murders and hostage-taking, hundreds of medical professionals began offering their skills. Applications quickly grew to 7,500 physicians worldwide. The Israeli Health Ministry ended up accepting 200 volunteers—among them world-renowned medical specialists—based on a range of expertise. These include forensic experts to help identify the burned and desecrated bodies, as well as ophthalmologists needed to treat numerous eye injuries from shrapnel. Volunteer doctors are both Jews and non-Jews who are leaving behind their lucrative professions and their families. All are desperately needed.

Please prayerfully consider joining a fact-sharing brigade of Christians, to communicate both the terrible facts about wounded Israelis and the wonderful facts like the volunteer doctors. We welcome you to join us at CBN Israel to copy, paste, and share the facts!

Prayer Points:

  • Pray asking God to enable you to commit to this important New Year’s resolution.
  • Pray asking God for His reminders and empowerment to take action.
  • Pray for God’s comfort for the traumas facing Israeli Jews and Jews worldwide.
  • Pray for Prime Minister Netanyahu, his security council, and military leaders.

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

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Victims of Terrorism: Omer and Gal-Lee’s Story

Omer, Gal-Lee, and their one-year-old daughter live on Israel’s Gaza border, and are used to occasional rocket alerts. But on the morning of October 7, something was different.

Waking to the sound of bombs raining down, the couple jumped out of bed, grabbed their baby, and ran to their shelter. Gal-Lee held her little girl close, while Omer shut the doors. As he closed the iron window, he heard AK-47 rounds fired. He looked at Gal-Lee and said, “Get to the car—we’re leaving.” They fled just in time. Five minutes later, Hamas invaded their kibbutz.

More than 1,000 armed Hamas terrorists had broken through the fence and spread into the nearby communities. During their escape, the couple saw the damage to their own home through their baby monitor. Kibbutz Re’im and other communities in the area were decimated.

Fortunately, friends like you were there to help Gal-Lee, Omer, and others evacuate to safety. Through CBN Israel, donors provided them with food, water, and temporary shelter far from the frontlines—to heal from the trauma and find hope for the future. Gal-Lee shares, “It’s showing us a light at the end of the tunnel, knowing that people support us. They hear us. They are mourning with us. And they will help us build back our homes from the ashes.”

Your gifts to CBN Israel can rush vital aid to war victims, while also delivering food and essentials to aging Holocaust survivors, single mothers, and immigrants.

And as the war continues, your support to CBN Israel can be a lifeline to so many in need. You can provide groceries, housing, financial help, and more to those in the Holy Land who need our assistance.

Please join us in blessing this special land and its people today!


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Weekly Devotional: Good Tidings for All People

At Christmas, we can rejoice that God has not turned a blind eye to the suffering of the righteous or a deaf ear to the cry of the afflicted. His love and mercy extend to all mankind.

This shines forth in the angel’s wonderful proclamation to the shepherds in Bethlehem: “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” … And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:10-11, 13-14)

We often sing, “Angels we have heard on high, sweetly singing o’er the plains” at Christmas. The season would not be complete without “Gloria in excelsis Deo!”—Glory to God in the highest. Yet how often do we actually reflect upon the true meaning of those words that the angels declared? 

Their magnificent words of praise underscore the reality of God’s nearness in the birth of Jesus, as well as embodying Jewish redemptive hopes of the first century. 

They also give voice to the hope for redemption shared by Jews and Christians through the centuries. With the advent of Jesus, God draws near to His people—His goodwill is for everyone. His reign dawns through those who receive and obey Him. He demonstrates that He is Immanuel—God with us.

The angels told the shepherds that this good news would be for all the people. God’s goodwill is not simply for a select or chosen group of people; it extends to everyone, “for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matthew 5:45 NASB). 

His merciful will reaches out to all mankind to bring peace, healing, and wholeness. Through the gift of His only beloved Son Jesus, God has drawn near to demonstrate what His will is.

God’s will is for all humankind. In the birth of Jesus, His glory, peace, and favor draw near to everyone. This is the good news that the angels proclaimed: God is for us! And so we can declare with the angels,“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” 

Scripture is quoted from the NKJV except as noted.


Father, this Christmas, as we reflect on Your nearness and goodwill toward us, may we extend Your mercy and goodwill to everyone around us, even those who are away from You. And, in so doing, may we truly proclaim with the angels: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill.” Amen. 

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