Israel Defense Forces: Defense is Their Mission, Security is Their Goal

By Arlene Bridges Samuels

After six months of justly defending against Hamas’s barbaric invasion into their homeland on October 7, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have been accused of every evil that has been executed by the terrorists themselves. Iran and its terror proxies—Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Houthis—are proficient propagandists.

Note the word “Defense” in the IDF’s official name. Israelis are not warmongers. Indeed, after its modern founding on May 14, 1948, Israel was invaded in 1948–49, 1956, 1967, 1973, 1982, 2006, and 2023. Not counting years of unrelenting rocket fire from terrorist enclaves and the two Palestinian-incited Intifadas—one beginning in 1987 and the other in 2000—unrelenting hatred has forced Israel to defend its population and develop into the most powerful, yet moral, military in the world.

Hamas tore pages out of Hitler’s still-popular 1925 autobiography Mein Kampf (“My Struggle”) by using his strategies to murder 1,200 people last October. In this book, Hitler wrote about the “big lie.” He described this propaganda technique as being so “colossal,” no one would believe that his “impudence to distort the truth so infamously” would even be attempted. Re-enacted now by new Nazis copying advice from the almost 100-year-old book, this technique has obviously been successful. The world is easily swayed by twisted headlines and outright lies. The IDF has recently found Arabic copies of Mein Kampf in Gaza and in Lebanon and Palestinian Authority territories during past conflicts. As a guidebook, Mein Kampf points straight at terrorist mindsets based on their devotion to Hitler’s techniques and their implacable hatred of Jews.

Israel now faces the worst and most prolific propaganda I have ever witnessed as an Israel advocate. With Hitler’s demonic book and Holocaust era murders, Hamas and their sympathizers are using the same strategy: “If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it, and you will even come to believe it yourself.” It is inconceivable that much of the world’s mainstream media puts its stamp of approval on terrorist lies that glorify Hitler’s strategies. In addition, the media have chosen to believe the Hamas Ministry of Health’s inflated numbers of civilian deaths. This is journalism? Many within the media have shifted from believing Israel’s Government Press Office (GPO) facts to tearing the IDF apart and blaming them for their nation’s existential fight. They have erased truth and wisdom from their pages and broadcasts with the inflammatory, unsubstantiated facts they received from other sources.

Stop for a moment and absorb the following. To mark six months since the Simchat Torah massacre of October 7 and the outbreak of the Hamas War, the National Public Diplomacy Directorate and the GPO have summarized media statistics. In October and November 2023, the largest media events since Israel’s modern founding in 1948 took place. Over 4,000 foreign journalists gathered from all over the world. Five hundred hours of video were broadcast from the destroyed kibbutzim and Sderot. The GPO conducted 60 tours. Screenings of the October 7 “atrocities film” took place with an IDF spokesperson. (As a reminder, this disturbing footage was taken with the body cams and iPhones of the Hamas terrorists themselves.) My friend Nitzan Chen, director of the GPO, has worked in heroic efforts with his staff. Nitzan narrates this YouTube video.

Now, I am highlighting the IDF’s humanitarian policies that conform to the International Laws of War within their moral compass regarding civilians living in enemy territories. Unique to the Israeli military, these foundational policies toward civilians have guided the IDF for decades in defensive wars. However, due to the enormous challenges of urban warfare in Gaza’s crowded locations, the IDF is implementing an even more meticulous set of lifesaving standards to minimize civilian casualties.

The contrasts between Hamas and the IDF are stark. The IDF’s mission is to protect its population and provide security. By contrast, Hamas uses Gazan civilians—including women and children—as human shields. (Their top leaders are multi-millionaires and live safely in Qatar, over 1,000 miles away.) John Spencer, chair of Urban Warfare Studies at the Modern War Institute at West Point, served for 25 years as an infantry soldier with two tours in Iraq. This expert observed, “Israel has taken more measures to avoid needless civilian harm than virtually any other nation that’s fought an urban war. No military has ever implemented any of these practices in war before.”

What follows are some of the IDF’s long-time practices. Before impending strikes, Israel sends texts and pre-recorded phone messages and makes real-time phone calls. The Israel Air Force (IAF) drops leaflets urging civilians to vacate buildings where Hamas weapons are stored, warning them to move away from Hamas. The IAF uses a roof knock—dropping a loud but non-lethal bomb that warns residents to leave the building within the hour.

Another example is simply a comparison, not intended to demean our American forces that fought in the Iraq War. John Spencer reveals that the United States did not alert Iraq before its initial invasion in 2003, despite involving major urban battles in Baghdad, nor an alert for civilians in its first Battle of Fallujah. Before the second Battle of Fallujah, a civilian warning took place.

Hamas terrorists are an army of cowards. Rather than dressing in military uniforms to fight conventional warfare, they wear ordinary civilian attire and hide among the population. Israeli military policies to decrease Gazan civilian deaths via advance warnings increase the possibility of death and injury for Israeli soldiers. Alerted, Hamas terrorists pop up out of tunnel openings in Gaza armed and ready to kill, or to plant IEDs in tunnels where the IDF is searching for hostages or eliminating terrorists. The criticisms from world governments, violent demonstrators, and mainstream media are outrageous and hypocritical. Indeed, we live in a world in which the famous biblical prophet Isaiah wrote in chapter 5, verse 20, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”

To expose today’s slanders against the IDF, the Christian community must remember and proactively share IDF policies, abandon apathy, and maintain vigilance. Choose to consult trusted media and organizations like CBN News, Chris Mitchell on Jerusalem Dateline, Stakelbeck Tonight on TBN, All Israel News, Amir Tsarfati’s Telegram, and Israel Defense and Security Forum. Dismiss denial and naivete, and most of all, share the facts.

Our CBN Israel team welcomes you to join in our ongoing prayers for Israel, our spiritual homeland, and to recall John 1:5—The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

Prayer Points:

  • Pray for all men and women serving in the IDF in all positions for strength and hope.
  • Pray for the families of 604* IDF soldiers who have died defending their nation.
  • Pray for the total of 3,202* IDF soldiers mildly, moderately, or severely wounded.
  • Pray for the soldiers traumatized by the deaths and injuries of their compatriots.
  • Pray for Director Nitzan Chen and his heroic staff at Israel’s Government Press Office.    

*These figures were updated April 7, 2024, by the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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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Israel: Fighting the Islamic Regime’s Death Cult

By Arlene Bridges Samuels

One hundred and eighty days ago, Hamas ripped away a cloak of barbaric evil revealing Iran’s final, deadly goal. The evil that befell Israel on October 7, 2023, points to the Islamic Regime’s determination to establish a modern caliphate—an Islamic-founded, tyrannical government—across the world. For decades, Iran’s leaders have called Israel the “Little Satan” and the United States the “Great Satan.” Make no mistake—these hostile labels describe an ongoing religious war between the life-giving Judeo-Christian heritage and the death cult of Shia Islam.

Mainstream media promotes its anti-Israel biases with predictions and propaganda—accepting Iran proxy Hamas’s lies rather than the established facts of Israel’s defensive war. Rarely does secular media mention that the globe is undergoing a religious war. However, a recent Atlantic Council article highlighted Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and sounded the alarm about his extreme views.

The article revealed that Khamenei is determined to force-fit his oppressive Islamic Shia religion onto the world, in part by using and funding his Middle East trio of hate—surrogates Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Houthis. In a recent speech, Khamenei arrogantly declared, “It was my tongue, but words of god (Allah).” Although Khamenei has long been considered the Supreme Leader (his media machine calls him the “implementer of god’s orders”), this latest pronouncement sent out shock waves in Iran. On X, one writer, a critic, said about Khamenei, “At 86, he claims to be a god.”

And a satanic false god, he is. He controls the regime’s nuclear ambitions, military, media, judiciary, and foreign policy. We need not look far to see Khamenei’s power-hungry principles enforced by his Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) at home and abroad. His mandate toward upwards of 89 million citizens is marked by harsh, oppressive laws and brutal violence. In 2021 he called street protesters “evil, corrupt … weeds, or insects.” In other words, “mow them down.”

Khamenei’s like-minded President—former judge Ibrahim Raisi, nicknamed “The Butcher of Tehran”—is committed to carrying out violence against any freedom protests breaking out, especially after the arrest of Mehsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman. The Iranian “morality police” arrested her in September 2022. Her crime? Incorrectly wearing her compulsory hijab (head covering).She was brutally murdered while in detention.

The “Woman, Life, Freedom” movement was born as a result. The regime responded by murdering more than 550 citizens—including 68 children and 48 women—and arresting thousands. The Fact-Finding Mission established by the UN’s Human Rights Council recently reported (among many other violations) a pattern of blinding eye injuries, torture, and rapes in detentions—vicious crimes against humanity by anyone’s definition. 


I consulted with my dear friend Marziyeh (Marzi) Amirizadeh for her first-person explanation of the Islamic regime’s religious goals. Marzi grew up in schools that targeted children by brainwashing them against the U.S. and Israel. As a young woman, Marzi met her Savior Jesus in a series of dreams. She has been a grateful American citizen since 2011.

However, in 2009 she and her close friend were arrested and imprisoned for their faith in Jesus. Their crime? For three years, under the cover of nighttime darkness, they covertly placed 20,000 Bibles into mailboxes in Iran’s capital, Tehran. Eventually found out by the regime’s police, they were put in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison. Sentenced to death by hanging, they miraculously survived nine months of horror, then were released after a letter-writing campaign from thousands of Christians provoked an international outcry.

Marzi is an author (Captive in Iran and A Love Journey with God), a speaker worldwide, and an activist for religious freedom. A devoted believer, she is an expert on the dangerous Islamic Regime and warns fellow Americans that freedom must be cultivated and defended. She speaks on behalf of Iranians who long for freedom, fully supports Israel, and treasures her first trip there last year. Some estimate that over a million Muslim-background believers are part of a growing Christian revival, yet they are forced to live under the Islamic ideology that Islam will conquer the world in the end times. The regime’s theocracy teaches that conquest will come either by war or by infiltrating Western countries through their Muslim population to destroy these countries from within. 

Marzi explains, “Radical Muslims teach that Islam is the perfect religion, sent through Mohammad. Everyone must convert to Islam. They await their 12th Imam Mahdi—the Islamic messiah—to appear in Jerusalem after the annihilation of all Israel and Jews.”  

She explains further, “Reading the Quran, it is obvious that they use various parts of the Bible and reverse everything. They demand that every Muslim join their Holy War to open the path for their coming Imam Mahdi. He will then start a series of military wars all around the world to convert infidels—Christians and other religious minorities, who are ‘pagans.’ The Mahdi will give them a chance to convert to Islam. If they refuse, Muslims have the right to murder them and confiscate their property.” 

Having encountered their apocalyptic leaders’ oppressive laws both outside prison and inside those grim walls, Marzi compares the Ayatollah’s Shia Islam and Christianity: “Christianity is all about love and forgiving, but their Islam is all about hate, violence, and anti-Semitism. If you ask, they say that Islam is a religion of peace, but it is a big lie to deceive people.” Marzi believes in religious freedom, but not at the cost of tolerating hatred and violence taught in other countries.

“Muslims know how to take advantage of religious freedom to brainwash people in Western countries,” continues Marzi. She knows firsthand that “in the eyes of their Allah, we are infidels and pagans, and it makes a way for Imam Mahdi to establish an Islamic government or caliphate.” Marzi wisely referred to Matthew 7:16, where Jesus observed, “By their fruit you will recognize them.Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?” His wisdom is our measuring stick.    

I close by recalling great moments in many past trips to Israel. For my groups of Christian leaders on a geopolitical and spiritual journey, we received excellent briefings from the Israel Defense Forces. Before asking one of the pastors to pray for their safety, I took the opportunity to encourage them. “I am a Christian Zionist and thankful for your service. You are opposing evil on the front lines of freedom, not only for your Jewish homeland, but for us as freedom-loving Americans.”

Friends, first know that Hamas imitated and expanded the Islamic Regime’s brutality, barbarism, and hegemonic goals. Then remember, Israel’s war is like the adage about the canary in the coal mine. If Iran and its terror proxies are coming after Israel, realize that this conflict may eventually be at our front door.

Our team at CBN Israel welcomes you to pray with us this week and find hope in Isaiah 45:16-17: “All the makers of idols will be put to shame and disgraced; they will go off into disgrace together. But Israel will be savedby theLORD with an everlasting salvation; you will never be put to shame or disgraced,to ages everlasting.” 

Prayer Points:  

  • Pray for the world to recognize the evil behind Iran’s military and religious goals.
  • Pray for Christians worldwide to strengthen their Ephesians 6 spiritual armor. 
  • Pray for Israelis to find a way to remain united, no matter what. 
  • Pray for Christians to use wisdom in their media choices.
  • Pray for Christians to press in fully to the truths of our Bibles. 

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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Resurrection Day: Recalling the Jewish Roots of Our Christian Faith

By Arlene Bridges Samuels

Celebrating the reality of our Lord Jesus Christ’s resurrection is more important than ever! In the face of all the evil, brokenness, and despair we see throughout our world, we need to be reminded that good triumphs over evil, that truth conquers all lies, and that life overcomes death. Our world is at a critical crossroads, and we need to see the same power that raised Jesus from the dead at work in our world today.

The murderous onslaught against Israel on October 7, 2023, reminds us that truth is turned upside down with a shocking barrage of lies against Israel, Jesus’ earthly homeland. The just war that Israel is battling on the ground is accompanied by a larger spiritual battle in which Satan is continuing his centuries-old plot to wipe out the Jewish people. Why? Because God has always intended the Jewish people to be at the center of His redemptive plans and purposes.

For those of us who are non-Jewish believers, we believe that God graciously grafted us into the unbreakable eternal promises He bequeathed to the Jews. He sustains us as branches on the deeply rooted olive tree. However, among too many Christians and in our churches, Christianity has become all about us, the Gentiles. The non-Jews.

We too often forget our grafted-in Jewish roots. Without God’s establishment of the Jewish people, culture, and identity through Abraham—and His inspired words through Jewish scribes and prophets—Christianity would not exist. God the Father’s rescue plan was embedded in the Old Testament and completed in the New Testament. On Resurrection Day, our Savior, crucified as an earthly Jew outside Jerusalem and gloriously resurrected, returned to heaven in His ascension 40 days later as our High Priest.   

Ignoring God’s imperishable gifts through the Jews and overlooking their homeland Israel is a cause for concern. Too many Christians seem unwilling, ignorant, or too easily accepting of terrorists’ lies and fabricated statistics about the Israeli Defense Forces’ battle against Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Islamic Republic of Iran. A refresher in the truths of the Bible is timely on Resurrection Day 2024. We rejoice in the historic and sacred Scriptures in the Bible’s 66 books declaring that Israel, the ancestral homeland, and the land God calls His own, is eternal. 

Israel is our spiritual homeland, and Christians are called to do no less than pray for the peace of Jerusalem, the ancient and modern capital. We stand beside Israel not only to receive the blessing in Genesis 12:3—“I will bless those who bless you”—but also because we firmly believe that when we support Israel and the Jewish people, we are taking part in the redemptive story that God is still telling through His chosen people.

During Holy Week, revisiting the four Gospels, the book of Acts, and beyond helps us understand the importance of our Jewish foundation, which sadly crumbled a few centuries later into a Gentile-only faith. Let us recall that Pentecost (Shavuot) is the day the Holy Spirit came upon 3,000 gathered who became Jewish believers. The Gospel swept from Jew to Jew afterwards. For some 10 years after Jesus’ resurrection and ascension, only Jews, with a few exceptions, wore the mantle of our faith and carried the Good News to other lands. Later, God spoke to the brilliant scholar Saul on the Damascus Road. Newly named Paul, he prized his Jewish heritage while preaching and writing the Good News directly to Gentiles in his travels.

Some Bible translations describe Jesus’ own three-year ministry referring to churches, rather than synagogues. He trained His Jewish disciples outdoors, in homes, and on the Temple Mount in the courtyards of the Second Temple. He and His disciples only read from Old Testament scrolls. Jesus was a Jew, not a Christian. The New Testament was yet to be written.

During each Holy week, we still hear misguided pastors and churches teach that “the Jews rejected and killed Jesus!” They fail to understand the events recorded in the Gospels, which indicate Jesus’ popularity and favor with the Jewish people. They fail to understand that it was not the Jewish people at large who killed Jesus; rather, it was an elite group of Chief Priests and their scribes who collaborated with Rome to eliminate Jesus, because they wanted to maintain their power, corruption, and wealth. This is why they had to arrest Jesus in secret under the cloak of darkness, because they feared the people and what would happen if they arrested Him out in the open (Luke 22:2-6).

There were many to blame for killing Jesus: Chief Priests, their scribes, Judas, Pilate, and the Roman soldiers who carried out the execution. However, we dare not overlook the words of Jesus in John 10:17-18: “The reason My Father loves Me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have the authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from My Father.”

We must emblazon His words, “No one takes it [My life] from Me” into our minds. Jesus willingly underwent suffering and death on the cross to redeem us. Jesus paid our debt of sin as only He could, the Perfect Lamb. God’s redemptive plan offers us new life, new hope, and our eternal homeland! No one could have stopped God’s plan!

The human heart sank into the weakness of human nature by blaming the entire Jewish race for the worst murder in history. In a sense, Christians themselves have forgotten God’s redemptive plan to save us from ourselves by sending His only begotten Son to die as our perfect substitute. The treasure of the Jewish origins of Christianity was camouflaged by placing blame only on the Jews—instead of looking at ourselves or the crucifixion’s accomplices.

Previously, anti-Semitism marched through the centuries with boots, bombs, tanks, and terror in multiple contexts. While German propaganda ruled during World War II, since October 7, 2023, the barbaric Hamas/Hezbollah/Houthi/Iran war turned on a global switch. Aided by toxic world media’s instant, biased news, anti-Semitism’s resurgence moved to deeper depths, darkening human minds worldwide to believe lies and distortions. It has penetrated organizations, universities, institutions, governments, and yes, even churches. Now, here we are five months into unmitigated Jew hatred that is surging throughout the world.

Nevertheless, God’s sovereignty towers far above evil—and wins! In word and deed, we must press in to remain active on behalf of Israel and celebrate our Savior’s world-changing resurrection. May we worship Jesus, our Jewish rabbi under His Prayer Shawl (Tallit).

Under Your Tallit, I dwell safe and secure. Under Your Tallit, my hiding place is sure. Though life is full of struggle, Your joy is fuller still. Under Your Tallit, I’m in Your sovereign will. Jesus (Yeshua) my High Priest, You tore the veil in two. I stepped inside, You welcomed me to share this place with You, both Gentile and Jew. Yeshua, You are the One Who reigns in majesty. Into Your royal priesthood You have adopted me so that I can be…under Your Tallit! (© 1999 Arlene Bridges Samuels)

Our CBN Israel team wishes you an inspiring Resurrection Sunday overflowing with hope! Join us in praises and prayers!

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:3-5)

Prayer Points

  • Pray for strengthened faith and maturity for Christians worldwide.
  • Pray for God’s mercy upon persecuted Christians facing torture and death.
  • Pray for hope in a chaotic world—trusting God, the Alpha and Omega.
  • Pray for Easter safety in Israel for Jewish, Arab, and Gentile believers.
  • Pray for wisdom, unity, and victory for Israel’s government and military.

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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The Promise of Purim: Israel is Eternal!

By Arlene Bridges Samuels

For Purim, the Feast of Esther, Israelis have already prepared for one of their most joyous holidays. On the Hebrew calendar year, 5784 in the month of Adar, the celebration will commence at sundown on March 24 and end at nightfall on March 25. Purim is greeted in religious and secular contexts with street parties, costumes worn by adults and children, and synagogues filled to capacity.

Israelis will take a festival breather from their ongoing national five-month trauma, whether reading the Megillah—Esther’s ten chapters—or fasting, feasting, attending parties and parades, and giving gifts to charities and children. Purim holds the promise of celebrating victories over enemies. It is a Jewish way to affirm life.

During the first Purim since October 7, 2023, the “Hamans” in the Middle East—Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran—should take notice. Israel is alive and standing strong!

Haman, of course, was the genocidal, power-hungry propagandist who hated the Jews exiled in the Persian empire. In the dramatic book of Esther, he was considered as a prime minister in the empire of King Xerxes (also called Ahasuerus) around 474 B.C. God in His sovereignty used the exiled Queen Esther and her kinsman Mordecai to change the course of Jewish existential history from death to life.

The Persian Empire was the largest ever, stretching across three continents: Europe, Africa, and Asia. Estimates suggest a population of 50 million—thus comprising 44 percent of the world’s people at that time.

Esther (Hadassah) truly lived the Persian meaning of her name, “Star.” This stunning woman stepped onto the runway of history when King Xerxes chose her in an ancient beauty contest to replace his deposed Queen Vashti. Esther grew up in obscurity under the protection of Mordecai, her kinsman and mentor. The numbers are lost to antiquity, but some scholars estimate the Jewish population to have been at 20 percent in the Persian Empire. Esther and Mordecai, a future Jewish heroine and hero, were among them.

We can easily assume that Mordecai was a righteous Jew as we read about his refusal to obey the arrogant Haman’s order to bow to him. When Mordecai refused, a fire of hatred lit inside Haman against the Jews as a whole. Haman’s hate manifested by using lies and propaganda against the Jewish population to persuade the King to issue a genocidal edict. Sounds familiar! Mordecai overheard Haman’s murderous plan and covertly passed it on to Queen Esther. He asked her to appeal to the King, although it was a risky request, even for a Queen, to disregard the royal protocols.

God spoke through Mordecai’s discerning challenge in Esther 4:14 NIV. “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

Although Esther was hesitant, she responded courageously with a strategy of fasting and prayer and asked others to join her. When the King chose Esther as Queen of Persia, in wisdom Mordecai advised her not to reveal she was Jewish. When Esther later made the request to petition the King on behalf of her people, the timing was perfect. She openly declared her Jewish heritage and reported Haman’s genocidal plan. Furious at Haman, King Xerxes acted immediately by sending out a decree across the empire ordering the Jewish community’s rescue. He then sentenced Haman and his sons to hang on the very gallows Haman had built to hang Mordecai.

Presently, Hamas is the most notable example of genocidal anti-Semitism, promising to repeat October 7 again and again. However, Hamas closely imitates an ancient and modern line of evil Haman predecessors. Hamas’s attempts to wipe Israel and Jews off the map are no different than the Hitler’s Jew hatred that ultimately led to the systematic murder and genocide of 6 million Jewish men, women, and children. The top modern-day Hamans are the Islamist Imams who in 1979 took over Iran in a religious war to recreate a worldwide Muslim caliphate. Their key targets are the United States, Israel, Europe, and the Western world at large.

The Islamic Regime of Iran is not only forging ahead in its quest for a nuclear bomb; they also finance their own Haman-like prime ministers in Hamas, Hezbollah, and Houthis. It is no secret that the Islamic Regime and each proxy “prime minister” avows their goals—shouting in media, speeches, and now, the most barbaric murders and kidnappings in one day since the Holocaust.

The name Hamas appears in the Bible, defined not only as violence, but also as sin and injustice against God and others. Although scholars may not agree on exactly how many times that word appears—from as few as four to as many as 60—what is certain is this: Hamas instigated the first great destruction of all mankind where Genesis 6:11 records, “Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence.” The Hebrew word for violence here is Hamas. Today, Hamas bears the identical character and definition from ancient to modern times against Jews, Christians, Muslims, and anyone blocking their evil intent.

One of the Purim traditions I like best happens during the reading of Esther. When a rabbi, leader, or family member reads Mordecai’s name, others shout, “Blessed be Mordecai.” When Haman’s name is read, people stomp their feet, make noise with groggers (rattles) and yell, “Cursed be Haman!”

Esther and Mordecai are our brave role models for today—to speak out on behalf of the Jewish people everywhere possible with truth. Israel is here to stay, confirmed by world history and the Bible’s sacred history. Will we in the Christian community heed God’s call to us through Mordecai and Esther? Or, with silence and inaction, will we become accomplices to Iran and its surrogates, similar to the German church prior to and during the Holocaust?

Our CBN Israel team welcomes you to pray with us from a proclamation in 2 Samuel 7: 22-24:

“How great you are, Sovereign LORD! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you. … And who is like your people Israel—the one nation on earth that God went out to redeem as a people for himself … and to perform great and awesome wonders by driving out nations and their gods from before your people, whom you redeemed from Egypt? You have established your people Israel as your very own forever, and you, LORD, have become their God.”

Prayer Points:

  • Pray for Christians to stand firm in our resolve to spread truth about Israel.
  • Pray for the American public to see the grave consequences of appeasement strategies with Iran that have been employed by the current and previous administrations.
  • Pray for President Biden and his surrogates to relent from intruding into Israel’s governmental decisions.
  • Pray for unity among Israelis as the war passes into another month and as Israel fights for its very existence.

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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Jerusalem’s Western Wall: The Place to Post Prayers for Israel, the IDF, Hostages, and Their Families

By Arlene Bridges Samuels

The unholy terror assaults of October 7, 2023, have generated a constant flow of humanitarian aid and prayers worldwide, including kindhearted outreaches toward Israelis from evangelical Christians. Due to Israel’s necessary existential war against barbaric trespassers, visits from overseas supporters have diminished. Our prayers, however, have not.

For both Jews and Christians, the Western Wall in Jerusalem is a sacred place to pray and insert our written prayers. The Western Wall is the retaining wall of the Temple Mount, which has been the most holy site in Judaism since Solomon built the First Temple, completed in 957 B.C.  The ideal way to leave prayers in the wall is walking up to it and wedging our prayers into crevices. Doing so is spiritually unforgettable. However, whether for those who have previously stood and touched the Kotel or those who long to go to Israel for the first time, the organization Aish HaTorah (“The Fire of Torah”) will place your prayer notes in the Kotel for you.

Founded in 1974, Aish is now a vast educational institution. Their building sits directly across—and above—the plaza from the Kotel. Simply use this link. Some years ago, advances in technology first opened this digital door for prayer. Once you send your email, Aish will print your prayer in a very small font on a very small piece of paper. One of the Aish students then quickly delivers it to the Kotel and stuffs your prayer in between the holy stones. In essence, we are participating in a centuries-long tradition through another human messenger!

I invite every reader to send supportive digital prayers now and as frequently as possible. In 2005, my dear friends Earl and Kathleen Cox organized a detailed 24/7 prayer vigil at the Kotel. Visitors from many nations signed onto the prayer schedule for the year. Earl and Kathleen wound up sitting for hours when some time slots weren’t filled. Earl is the Ambassador of Goodwill to Jews and Christians worldwide, appointed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Their example sets a precedent for an easy digital effort.

Describing the Western Wall in Jerusalem, you may have heard the phrase, “All prayers are local.” By writing our prayers on paper, then placing the papers into a crevice, rabbis have added their perspective, observing that this action represents “having a continual prayer linked to the prime source.” Their estimate rings true with in-person prayers from millions of people a year—Israelis and visitors alike.

These moments are a reminder that no matter how deep and dark the crisis, we should offer up our highest praises for God’s sovereignty, love, and justice. Feel free to invite your children and others to add their prayers. Include personal prayers for your family and friends, as I have done many times over the years.

Here is one of the prayers I sent to the Kotel through using this link. I chose and referred to Psalm 20 under the topic of Protection and Danger to Jewish People.

Dear Heavenly Father, I praise You! Your unending love for Israel and for me and my family is a treasure! Please keep police and IDF safe on the Temple Mount and Kotel area during the threats for jihad during Ramadan. I pray that ‘You will grant support from Zion… May the enemies fall, and Israel rise up and stand firm. I will shout for joy over your victory and lift up my banners to You!’”

The Kotel, a symbol and reality for the worldwide Jewish community, is engraved into the Jewish DNA. Their prayers over thousands of years toward their ancient and modern capital, Jerusalem, have continued every day—whether the Jews were scattered all over the world, trapped in the Holocaust, or (as they are today) uniting against the evil Islamic Regime and its surrogates on their borders. In the Jewish ancestral homeland, we can be grateful that the IDF is fighting evil on the front lines, since Christians are also in the crosshairs, even in the United States.

In addition to delivering our digital prayers to the Kotel, another service provided by Aish is a 24-hour live webcam of activity at the Western Wall. You can view live feed at this link. The webcam offers opportunities to view the beautiful Jewish culture through both its celebrations and its sorrows. Bar and Bat Mitzvah celebrations for local and international Jewish families often take place at this site. Several IDF units hold their inspiring swearing-in occasions and other related events there, such as the opening ceremony of Yom Hazikaron—Israel’s Memorial Day for its fallen soldiers. For prayers since October 7, 2023, crowds gather on the Western Wall Plaza, which can hold some 400,000 people.

Standing as Judaism’s holiest site, the Western Wall Plaza contains the world’s largest synagogue, houses 153 Torah scrolls, and hosts 10 million people each year. A staff of around 150 people operate out of the central hub of the Western Wall Heritage Center next to the Kotel. One example among numerous logistics, before the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) 20 workers build a giant Sukkah at the back of the plaza. The shelter holds 400 people! The staff works in quiet excellence, in shifts around the clock, day in and day out. Every detail in their myriad tasks holds with it the sacred responsibility of the Kotel.

Under the direction of rabbis, the prayer notes are removed from the Kotel twice a year—at both Rosh Hashanah and Passover. They are reverently buried on the Mount of Olives (also sacred to us in the Christian community), where Jesus ascended to heaven. As Christians, we can be grateful for the welcome given to us at the Kotel where our Lord walked, and to know our own prayers are buried with care.

Let us stand together, more than ever, with all forms of prayer, at the Kotel—digitally, in our churches, in our homes, and in our Bible studies on behalf of our spiritual homeland and our unsurpassed ally, Israel. We welcome you to join our CBN Israel prayers from Psalm 103:19—“The LORD has established His throne in the heavens, and His sovereignty rules over all.”

Prayer Points

  • Pray for our Christian commitment to continue our daily prayers for Israel.
  • Pray for safety amid Ramadan, where Imams turn their main holiday into a jihad.
  • Pray for hostages still alive or for Hamas to return the bodies of those murdered.
  • Pray for Israeli fortitude to press on in unity to rid Gaza of evil.
  • Pray for valiant IDF members fighting Hezbollah in the north and terror groups operating in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria).

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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Rehabilitating Modern Politics by Following Ancient Biblical Lobbyists

By Arlene Bridges Samuels

Americans view politics as though it’s the 11th plague! A 2023 poll will not surprise you with its findings. Sixty-five percent of Americans say that they “feel exhausted” just thinking about politics. Only 10 percent expressed hopefulness. Evangelicals are present in both camps. However, it is estimated that 25 million evangelicals who are registered to vote, do not vote in presidential election years. Valuing our freedom to vote and reviving our responsibility to vote are essential!

This column today is not designed to fuel division. May these words simply motivate you to re-read the stories of Moses and Esther from a fresh perspective, take them to heart, vote, and tell others to vote.

The stories are familiar. After Moses’ mother placed him in the bullrushes on the Nile River, he was found by and adopted into the Pharaoh’s family. Moses’s birth mother sacrificially saved his life after Pharoah ordered the murder of male Israelite babies. God then prepared Moses with a superb education and leadership capabilities, eventually placing him, at age 80, into his divine destiny to lead the Israelites from slavery to freedom. After embracing his Jewish identity, Moses laid aside his royal Egyptian credentials. Exodus regales readers with the dramatic story of Moses then appealing to Pharoah, “Let my people go.” Controversy still exists among scholars about the Pharoah’s’ identity; some say he was Ramses II and others, Seti I.

Moses (Moshe in Hebrew) and his brother Aaron (Aharon) were persistent in pleading with Pharoah throughout the Ten Plagues that God sent to unharden Pharoah’s cruel heart. In his role as an ancient lobbyist with Aaron as his chief of staff, Moses successfully carried out God’s plan with God’s empowerment. Pause to remember; because Moses obeyed God by accepting his role to lead hundreds of thousands of Jewish slaves to freedom, God’s redemptive plan through His chosen people remains a historical fact today, a symbol of God’s eternal promises.

The birth of Esther—as with Moses—was unremarkable, although her life was nevertheless transformed by God’s miracles. Esther (Hadassah) is described as an orphan protected by her kinsman Mordecai. Esther and Mordecai were among the Jews in Judah’s Southern Kingdom who were conquered by Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar in 597 B.C. They were exiled in Babylon from their Jewish homeland. After Persia later defeated Babylon, Esther’s political career began in an unusual and unexpected way.

Angry with his wife, Persian monarch King Ahasuerus (also known as Xerxes I) ordered his staff to find the most beautiful women in Persia (modern Iran) to compete in a royal beauty contest where he would choose his next queen. Advised by Mordecai, Esther kept her Jewish identity secret, competed in the contest, and was crowned by Xerxes as his queen. She walked on the runway of history in prayer and bravery.

Esther’s story grows perilous when Haman, one of the king’s top officials, decides to murder the Jewish exiles—all because Mordecai, a religious Jew, would not bow to him. Mordecai secretly passed Haman’s murderous plan to Esther, wisely observing that she was born “born for such a time as this” to save their Jewish people. Esther prepared herself with a prayerful strategy and fasting. The Queen not only revealed her Jewish identity to King Xerxes, but she also reported Haman’s evil plot. Xerxes acted quickly and reversed Haman’s decrees. The Queen rescued the Jewish community scattered throughout the vast Persian empire!

God used Moses and Esther, who began life in crises, yet as His obedient vessels they lobbied powerful leaders in two different eras when Jews faced both slavery and genocide. Neither Moses nor Esther could have predicted that God would use them politically with the top leaders in Egypt and Persia. Their actions and bravery embody politics at its finest.

Theologian C.S. Lewis gave us his grand observation in Mere Christianity: “Good and evil both increase at compound interest. That is why the little decisions you and I make every day are of such infinite importance. The smallest good act today is the capture of a strategic point from which, a few months later, you may be able to go on to victories you never dreamed of.”

After reading about Moses and Esther advocating politically, will you commit to advocating and voting for issues dear to you in the U.S. and those that include Israel, our spiritual homeland?

The United States remains Israel’s strongest ally after October 7. God will supernaturally keep His promises to the chosen people; however, we have an opportunity to play a pivotal role in that process. Vote and advocate with your representatives in the U.S. Congress, letting them know your positions on weighty matters. Be among Christians who are an active part of hopes for our nation and for Israel—with all men, women, and ethnicities standing together. Nearly 80 years after the Holocaust, God is giving Christians a second chance to stand with the Jewish people at a turning point in world history. 

Let us follow Jesus, our Light in the darkness and obey God like Moses and Esther. May each of us take a stand here and now in our generation and advocate for what matters to God, because we were “born for such a time as this.”

Prayer Points:

  • Pray for the U.S. Congress, the U.S. administration, and Israel’s Knesset for unity on prominent issues.
  • Prayerfully consider your role in U.S. political advocacy with Super Tuesday behind us.
  • Pray for every Christian to register to vote and that every Christian registered will vote!
  • Pray for Christians to consider whom to vote for based on biblical understanding.
  • Pray for all hostages’ release, the Israeli Defense Forces, and for Prime Minister Netanyahu and his war cabinet.

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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American Center for Law and Justice: Defending Israel in Global Courts

By Arlene Bridges Samuels

The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) may not be a familiar name to everyone. However, amid a slate of world-changing initiatives launched by Christian media pioneer Pat Robertson (1930-2023), he and attorney Jay Sekulow founded the not-for-profit organization in 1990 after Robertson observed a steady decline of Judeo-Christian principles. Today, Robertson’s forward-thinking initiative is composed of legal warriors for justice who focus on constitutional and human rights law worldwide. The ACLJ’S calendar is crowded with weighty litigation that actively opposes irrational accusations against the Jewish state. Paramount among these cases post-October 7 are those representing Israeli hostage families.

ACLJ’s history of litigation on behalf of Israel in world courts includes establishing a Jerusalem office in 2011. After October 7, their workload increased dramatically. They immediately mobilized their Jerusalem office and other offices worldwide, sending legal briefs to the United Nations, European Union, Council of Europe, and key members of Congress—demanding action and making the case for Israel’s right to defend itself. At this writing, 134 hostages remain imprisoned in a concentration camp of tunnels.

Early on, ACLJ launched a petition demanding the release of all hostages. Then, via their affiliate, the European Centre for Law and Justice, Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow sent a letter to the UN condemning the attacks on Israel. In November, from their headquarters in Washington, D.C., they advanced essential conversations on Capitol Hill by setting up a series of meetings with Congress and media. Speaker of the House Mike Johnson formally recognized the hostages’ families as well as Jay Sekulow and his son Jordan Sekulow, ACLJ’s Executive Director. With great emotion, family members recounted with Democrats and Republicans how Hamas had kidnapped and brutalized their family members. Each story was wrapped in horror and heartbreak.

Doris Liber, the Israeli-American mother of Guy Iluz, related the story of her 26-year-old son, a musician abducted at the Supernova Music Festival. On October 7, when Doris first heard Israeli sirens, she called her son to check on him. He was driving home with friends for dinner. Then 30 minutes later, Guy’s father called, putting Doris on a three-way call with their son. Guy told them all his friends in his Jeep had been murdered, that he had been shot and was hiding in a tree.

Guy’s father told him, “Look around, try to find dead bodies—try to crawl under a dead body. Act like you’re dead.” Doris heard gunshots in the background and Guy said in a whisper, “Nobody is getting out of this alive, so I need to say my last words.” He told his mother and father that he loved them. And Doris said her last “I love you” to her son.

Doris learned later that Hamas terrorists had eventually spotted Guy and taken him hostage. Then came every parent’s nightmare: An Israeli group representing hostage families reported on December 1 that Guy had died in captivity after Hamas dragged him into Gaza. Since the attack that killed her son, Doris Liber has attended the funerals and sat shivas (Jewish mourning rituals) for her son’s dead friends. She has also traveled the world to raise awareness about her son’s abduction and to share her family’s story. 

ACLJ is pressing in with additional litigation as well as resources for Israel advocacy. Examples include a January case at the International Court of Justice where South Africa’s government accused Israel of genocide. ACLJ helped defend Israel by sending legal briefs to over 50 countries. Long before October 7, ACLJ was already presenting arguments at another court, the Hague’s International Court of Justice, to help protect Israel’s national security interests.

In January, ACLJ created a video titled The Myth of Palestine, an especially valuable tool now that the United States is leading a misguided demand for a two-state solution, which is an existential issue for Israel. ACLJ’s online presence is filled with additional educational tools, including A Brief Legal History of the Conflict, The Myth of Occupation, and The Myth of Israeli Apartheid, among other topics. While the U.S., Qatar, and other countries are pressing evil-minded Hamas to free the remaining hostages—and the bodies of those already murdered—ACLJ remains hard at work not only advocating for Israel but representing pro-life Christians in the United States. They are appearing before the U.S. Supreme Court to contest states trying to remove Former President Trump from ballots, litigating on behalf of persecuted Christians in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and defending Jewish students on college campuses.

Since its 1990 founding, ACLJ has expanded exponentially in Israel, France, Kenya, and Zimbabweafter those interested in religious rights asked the ACLJ to form these organizations modeled on the ACLJ-USA.

Sekulow, who is a Jewish believer, has engaged a team of experts that includes former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Richard Grenell, who served as Director of National Intelligence. ACLJ’s commitment rests on “ensuring the ongoing viability of freedom and liberty in the United States and around the world” by “focusing on U.S. constitutional law, European Union law and human rights law” to protect “universal, God-given and inalienable rights.”

Former Israeli Ambassador to the United States Danny Ayalon (serving from 2002–2006) described Sekulow as “a true friend of Israel who has fought with us hand-in-hand in some of Israel’s most strategic, international battles.” Sekulow’s letter to the United Nations immediately after October 7 demonstrates his skill and commitment. Yet, it is indeed outrageous that in almost five months, the UN has done little of what Jay Sekulow’s letter outlined: Publicly condemn Hamas. Demand the immediate return of hostages to Red Cross/Red Crescent custody. Conduct a detailed review of all UN funds for Gaza. Publicly affirm Israel’s legal right to respond to the Hamas attack under the UN Charter and the laws of armed conflict. Renounce any equivalency between Hamas’s actions and those of Israel.

After reading Jay Sekulow’s essential points, we as Christians must seriously consider our commitment to stand with Israel amid the diabolical voices still assaulting Israelis with lies and accusations, the cruel game they are playing with hostage release, and the severe trauma that has beset our brave and determined Israeli friends. ACLJ is recruiting “Champions” to join them as they fight almost 24/7 for true justice. There are numerous ways to be a champion. Learn more at

And let us thank God once again for the visionary Pat Robertson, founder of The Christian Broadcasting Network. His legacy as a Christian statesman to bless Israel endures. Join our CBN Israel team this week knowing that the God of the Universe will triumph. Proverbs 21:15 says, “When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.”

Prayer Points:

  • Pray for ACLJ in their critical efforts to stand with Israel in global courts.
  • Pray for the families of hostages as they wait in agonized suspense for news of their loved ones.
  • Pray that the U.S. will abandon any two-state solution proposals. 
  • Pray for unity to remain between the Knesset, Prime Minister Netanyahu, and the IDF.

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

By Arlene Bridges Samuels

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Prayer Points:

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

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

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Living As Light Bearers For Our Spiritual Homeland

By Arlene Bridges Samuels

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Prayer Points:

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

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

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

By Arlene Bridges Samuels

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Prayer Points:

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

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

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