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Is the Islamic Regime Active in the United States?

By Arlene Bridges Samuels

The Islamic Regime’s savagery against Israel comes in many forms—all right out in the open. Israel, in Iran’s crosshairs in the Middle East, is defending its land on the ground, in the air, and at sea against Iran’s proxies—who are literally a stone’s throw away. In the United States, Iran’s chaos manifests in another way: disguising itself in a covert cloak of social media, using online bots armed with repetitive software in fake accounts to stir up protestors on university campuses across the country.

Demonstrators who buy the lies not only become Hamas supporters, they aid the largest terror-sponsoring country in the world, Iran. The United States is a major target for these radical Islamic terror groups. The bots take the place of humans, but the apocalyptic Islamic imams control these messages of hate. Also using Artificial Intelligence (AI), Iran counterfeits reality with the goal of sowing hatred between everyone in America.

The assassination attempt on July 13 targeting former President Trump is a shocking example of conflict in our nation. Not that the failed assassin was directly prompted by Iranian disinformation, but no one questions the weaponization of words filling conversations and airwaves. Although millions witnessed a true miracle in real time when God saved Trump’s life, it is not wise to dismiss any future attempts against the Republican candidate for president.

A combination of quieting the weaponized words and focusing on policy, plus increasing security for viable candidates, is a necessity. Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu weighed in with his valuable perspective: “This wasn’t just an attack on Donald Trump. … It was an attack on democracy.”

At a time like this, memorizing Proverbs 18:21 is a helpful antidote: “The tongue has the power of life and death.”

Last week Avril Haines, U.S. Director of National Intelligence, reported that Iran is hard-hitting “in their foreign influence efforts, seeking to stoke discord and undermine confidence in our democratic institutions.” Haines also mentioned Iran’s financial support for some protest groups.

Surely weaponized words create a hostile atmosphere. Even so, our southern border is another Islamic strategy. A few statistics paint an alarming canvas of dangerous possibilities.

Steve McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, reported that 151 people on the terrorism watch list have been apprehended at the southwest border since 2021. In a thumbnail statistic for the month of October 2023 alone, Border Patrol caught four Iranians. Two were on a security threat watch list.

Expanded information about what are called “special interest countries” shows that more than 10,000 illegals from Afghanistan, Egypt, Iran, and Syria were arrested at the border between October 2021 and October 2023, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Among the illegals, 659 were Iranian. It is well-nigh impossible to know exactly how many Iranians or others are bent on destruction in our country. Given the lack of freedoms in Iran, though, it is easy to conclude that many of its citizens are simply escaping the Islamic Regime’s harsh rule.

Here is the other special interest countries’ breakdown between October 2021 and October 2023: Border agents encountered 6,386 nationals from Afghanistan, 3,153 from Egypt, and 538 from Syria. However, when adequately armed with one of Iran’s most-used weapons—Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), which can be made right here in the U.S.—one Iranian terrorist with a single IED can cause mayhem and murder on our soil. The Islamic Regime, which is weaponizing the biblical heartland in Judea and Samaria among Palestinian terrorists, is already murdering Israeli soldiers with IEDs. One more piece of data since 2021 shows that more than 1.5 million “gotaways” have managed to avoid our overwhelmed border agents forced to operate under ineffective orders from the Biden administration. Were Iranian or other terrorists among them? Where are they now?

Diverging somewhat from Iran’s use of our southern border and their bot battle against the United States, the Israel Defense Forces’ cloud-computing network reports an alarming and astonishing figure. Since the Hamas War began on October 7, the IDF’s network has received over 3 billion cyberattacks! Also astonishing is that Israel intercepted all the attacks—resulting in no damage. Many of the attacks were focused on IDF troops fighting on the ground. Civilian computer systems were hacked, including the Israel State Archives that were attacked in November. Thankfully, as of June, they were finally back online.

Gaby Portnoy, Israel’s cyber defense czar, issued a warning that the nature of cyber attacks by Iran has been more aggressive, not just against Israel, but also against its own allies. Portnoy went on to say at Cyber Week 2024 (Tel Aviv University’s annual conference): “That makes Iranian cyber aggression an international problem, not only an Israeli one, and therefore the solution needs to be international.”

Portnoy adds, “We see the Imperial Kitten work [Imperial Kitten is an Iranian hacker group], operated by the IRGC [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps], both in Israel and the U.S., where four activists and four straw companies were sanctioned for operating against federal facilities.” The cyber defense chief highlighted the fact that Iran is violating international privacy laws and conventions, “causing worldwide damage to innocent civilians.” Once again, it is plain to see how the Islamic Regime is multi-layered as the largest terror- sponsoring country in the world.

Our CBN Israel team invites you to pray with us using the anthem America the Beautiful as our prayer: “America! America! God shed His grace on thee, and crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea!”

Prayer Points:

  • Pray with praises and thanks for God’s modern miracle to save Donald Trump’s life.
  • Pray for protesters who are often ignorant about the true nature and genocidal hatred behind Hamas, Hezbollah, and their sponsor, Iran.
  • Pray for all cyber security staff in Israel and the U.S. to maintain online vigilance.
  • Pray for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the IDF to make wise decisions to enact victory against evil.

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

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Palestinian Arabs: Turning the Biblical Heartland into a Hotbed of Hatred

By Arlene Bridges Samuels

A special box of beautiful and useful Israeli-made products arrives at our front door several times a year. Ordering merchandise made in Judea and Samaria is one way to support Israelis, especially now during the war being carried out by the Islamic Regime. Our box was shipped from Lev Haolam, a subscription gift box service operating in the Judean hills south of Jerusalem. The company bears a profound Hebrew name. In English it means heart of the world (Lev, heart and haolam, the world).

A few years ago, when I visited Shiloh in the Judean Hills of Samaria, a sense of awe filled my every step. This was the Tabernacle’s resting place for 369 years, built before the First Temple. Eli, Hanna, and Samuel walked in Shiloh, which is biblically described as Israel’s first capital. Shiloh’s Hebrew name means “tranquil” or “He Whose it is.”

But since October 7, attacks, assaults, and arson—supported and celebrated by most Arab Palestinians living in what the world calls the West Bank—are turning the heartland into a hotbed of hatred. The Islamic Republic of Iran is making the West Bank Palestinians into another powerful proxy.

The lackluster name West Bank is in essence a moniker, a nickname that holds little meaning except perhaps to a broad swath of politicians, leftists, Arabs, and the secular world. West Bank is simply the west bank or west side of the Jordan River in Israel. Keep in mind that the name West Bank—used since 1950—and the ancient names Judea and Samaria refer to the same location. However, most Jews and Christians who respect the Bible refer to it as Judea and Samaria or the biblical heartland.

Threats are mounting against the heartland’s 500,000 Jewish citizens. The U.S. government estimates that 3 million Palestinians live in Judea and Samaria. It is lopsided when it comes to 500,000 overwhelmingly peaceful Israeli citizens and far too many Arabs brainwashed with mind-altering hatred.

Cities in the biblical heartland that are governed by the Palestinian Authority—cities like Nablus, Jenin, Tulkarem, and Kalkilya—are now direct proxies of the Islamic Regime. It is another battle in Israel’s existential war against terror with an Iranian weapons pipeline that began in 2005. Simply put, Iran’s current route from Hezbollah in Lebanon, through Syria (which borders Israel and Jordan), means increasingly advanced weapons are smuggled into the West Bank. Now you may understand why, for almost 20 years, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) were forced to go into Palestinian cities—and that formerly unsophisticated, disorganized attack locales have been transformed into Palestinian terror strongholds. The Islamic Regime is also committing a violation of Jordanian sovereignty, which has had a peace treaty with Israel since 1994.

In his July 8 article on IsraelHayom.com, David M. Weinberg outlines some of the statistics, writing that “more than 5,000 Palestinian bomb, car-ramming, knifing, and shooting attacks a year [are] aimed at killing Israeli civilians in Judea and Samaria.” Thus far this year, the increasing terror threats since the Hamas War have required Israel to “eliminate 450 terrorists in Judea and Samaria” with “more than 60 Israeli brigade-level raids” and arrest 3,600 suspected terrorists. In fact, some 8,000 Israeli reservists are stationed nearby in the heartland.

As one of many smuggling examples, in March IDF and Shin Bet (Israel’s internal security) discovered an entire arsenal. They seized large fragmentation bombs, five anti-tank weapons, four grenade launchers, 31 rocket-propelled grenades, five advanced explosive mechanisms, 25 grenades, 50 guns, and more! IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) are favorites that Palestinians use to plant in the ground. These IEDs are not conventional warfare, and the terrorists are using them more frequently in the biblical heartland. Recently, two IDF soldiers were killed by these roadside bombs, which are planted inside Palestinian refugee camps, towns, and residential neighborhoods.

Israel’s security in the heartland is exceedingly worrisome when it comes to IEDs. These deadly devices are easy to make in most any size and can be buried even under concrete. The Times of Israel reports that since January, Palestinians have thrown more than 1,000 IEDs at Israeli troops. In addition, the IDF has disarmed more than 50 weapons labs and found and disarmed 150 IEDs. The IDF is now pointedly and quickly ramping up the formerly porous Jordanian-Israeli border with, among other assets, a Military Intelligence Satellite Unit 9900 in the heartland. In April’s Iranian barrage of drones, ballistic missiles, and cruise missiles against Israel, the Jordanians helped the U.S., UK, France, and Israel deflect 99 percent of the torrent, realizing that they themselves were in the danger zone.

The Palestinian terrorists are fast becoming more proficient in their goal to murder Jewish men, women, and children. The years-long grassroots attacks, definitely a terrible reality, are quickly becoming more of a force to be reckoned with. In addition, the word complexity takes on another dimension when it comes to the geographical makeup of Judea and Samaria. Here in the biblical heartland, Jewish and Palestinian towns and villages are closely interwoven within irregularly shaped and geographically unorganized enclaves of Arabs and Jews. 

With hundreds of thousands of active and reserve soldiers defending Israel, the biblical heartland is more vulnerable than ever—especially in their puzzle-piece communities of Arabs and Jews. Even the women, as an example, are stepping into their security gap by arming themselves and training on the gun ranges. Several of the women voiced this necessity: “My husband was conscripted, and I needed a tool to save my children.” Another observed, “It’s only a matter of time before they [terrorists] come and it won’t surprise me. I’ll do everything not to be slaughtered in bed.” An additional comment referred to the Bible, “I decided to become a fighter, like women from our history.”

One of the skilled women trainers said that every time she comes to the gun ranges, she thinks to herself, “It is in the name of God, for my home and family.” As a mother, that would be my reasoning too. And every time I receive and touch products from Israel’s heartland, I am interacting with God’s eternal Holy Land where in the Bible Samaria is mentioned 117 times and Judea, 817 times.

Claims made about Judea and Samaria belonging to Arabs are not a fact in reliable history books, most especially in the Bible, which outlines God’s land deed to the Jews’ ancestral homeland. The Holy Land remains as “God’s, Whose it is.” One day, in the Sovereign of the Universe’s timing, tranquility will reign!

Our CBN Israel team welcomes you to join us this week to pray by recalling God’s ironclad promise to Israel: “This is what the LORD says, He who appoints the sun to shine by day, who decrees the moon and stars to shine by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—the LORD Almighty is His name: ‘Only if these decrees vanish from My sight,’ declares the LORD, ‘will Israel ever cease being a nation before Me’” (Jeremiah 31:35–36).

Prayer Points:

  • Pray for widespread security for all Jewish citizens in Judea and Samaria.
  • Pray for IDF success to stop weapons smuggling into Palestinian-run towns.
  • Pray for Israel as it ramps up its defenses against Hezbollah on its northern border.
  • Pray for more Christians to order products from Judea and Samaria.
  • Pray for Jordan’s continuing cooperation with Israel.

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

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Shattered Yet Resilient: Israel’s Ongoing Trauma

By Arlene Bridges Samuels

Psychological traumas remain ever-present among Israel’s 7.4 million-plus Jewish population. That’s why, month after month, mental health professionals in Israel are busy developing new research and programs to meet the needs of the small, traumatized nation.

After October 7, 2023, Israel’s citizens experienced a new kind of trauma when Hamas broke through Israel’s complex border security systems, murdered 1,200 Israelis, and kidnapped around 250 hostages. It was a day when Israelis suffered the most egregious losses in one 24-hour period since the Holocaust, this time on their own soil.

Based on ancient Jewish history in the hymnbook of Israel, King David describes his own mental health in Psalm 120:6-7: “Too long have I lived among those who hate peace. I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war.” In Psalm 31:9-24 David asks God for mercy, saying in verses 10 and 13, “I am consumed by anguish. … I hear many whispering ‘terror on every side.’” And herein some of David’s long-ago assessments of his life could easily apply to Israelis living next to Hamas and Hezbollah—who “hate peace.”

During an enlightening panel at Israel’s Ono Academic College, PhD psychologist and author Pamela Paresky described the October 7 trauma as “unique” and wondered if another term might be more fitting than “trauma.” For example, “shattering” conveys a stronger meaning than the word “trauma,” she stated. Paresky observed that Israelis are also not allowing terrorists to rob them of their joy, but instead are filled with “a firm determination to cherish life and live life to its fullest.” Adding that “Jews are strongest” after their enemies try to break them, she addressed the lack of critical thinking among those currently protesting Israel’s response to Hamas—especially on university campuses where they rely on “logical inversions” that create oppressors and victims, naming Jews as the oppressors.

As an aside to Israel’s increasing mental health initiatives, I discovered a phrase coined by the late actor Mark Venturini. While it had nothing to do with anti-Semitism, it is descriptive of worldwide Jew hatred: “The eyes are useless when the mind is blind.” Despite terrorists’ body cams recording hours of horrors—and 4,000 journalists viewing these—millions of minds are blind despite the evidence so many have witnessed with their own eyes. Clearly, mainstream media has aided and abetted the whipped-up emotional responses by locking into, for example, the Hamas Health Ministry’s inflated statistics about Palestinian deaths and instantly accusing Israel of inhumane acts rather than Hamas, a world-designated terror organization backed by the Islamic regime.   

Despite those lies and accusations, the classic Israeli response to tragedy and crisis—and their persistent search for solutions—often results in creative new ways not only to address the Jewish nation’s unique challenges but also in discoveries that bless the world. One solution undertaken by Hebrew University is its Institute for Traumatic Stress and Recovery. Their pioneering research to address trauma among Israeli children held hostage in Gaza could someday benefit children around the world—children who have been scarred by traumatic events of violence or natural disasters.

Professor Asher Ben-Arieh, one of Israel’s highly regarded experts in childhood trauma, remarked about the hostage children, “These experiences are beyond anything we have seen.” Part of the National Task Force to care for children who were abducted, Ben-Arieh mentions that the Hebrew University program urgently needs complete funding “for a stable center to think out of the box,” he said. “And we need it urgently. We’re not even post trauma. We are not past this. It’s still happening!”

It is disturbing to read the National Task Force’s descriptions of six groups of vulnerable children: child hostages; those who witnessed severe violence and murders; newly orphaned children; children who lost a parent, sibling, or other relatives; children whose friends or peers were killed or kidnapped; and children displaced from their homes. (About 200,000 Israelis and many thousands of children are internal refugees displaced for security reasons due to Hamas and Hezbollah’s aggression.)

Ben-Arieh noted than many parents on October 7 could not save their children. He pointed out, “We have new forms of trauma that we don’t understand.” Updated training for mental health professionals is also part of Israel’s efforts to provide help and comfort. Amid reports that hundreds of thousands of Israelis are in acute psychological distress, an outpouring of those in counseling-related professions have volunteered to become involved. Metiv-Israel Psychotrauma Center in Jerusalem calls such training “mental health first-aid,” where PTSD specialists are instructing other psychologists who want to help but don’t know how. An accredited course is now in place to train psychologists who hold at least a master’s degree.

After reading about Israel’s traumas, if you are compelled to act, The Israel Forever Foundation offers letter writing, a small action that carries big results of encouragement. To participate in their Letters of Friendship program, click here. Choose whom to write to—a lone soldier, a terror victim, Holocaust survivor, or someone with special needs. Simply submit on their website—and your solidarity blessing is on its way.

We welcome you this week to join with our CBN Israel team to pray with King David these closing verses from Psalm 31:14-16. “But as for me, I trust in You, LORD, I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in Your hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies and from those who persecute me. Make Your face shine upon Your servant; save me for Your mercies’ sake.”

Prayer Points:

  • Pray for Israel’s efforts to help those suffering from trauma and PTSD.
  • Pray for the release of all remaining hostages in Gaza and comfort for their families.
  • Pray for the safety and success of IDF soldiers as they defend their nation and people.
  • Pray for the IDF to be vigilant and cautious in detecting Hamas-planted IEDs.
  • Pray for the thousands of wounded soldiers and their families.
  • Pray for families who are grieving the deaths of their soldiers, now numbering 319.

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

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Israel Persists in Defending Her People Amidst a Strained Relationship with the U.S.

By Arlene Bridges Samuels

Like a ship gradually coming loose from its moorings, the U.S.-Israel relationship is heading into rough waters. It’s facing enormous controversy between the President of the United States and Israel’s Prime Minister. The waves of conflict are out in the open, with Biden telegraphing unmistakable signals to Israel—first about pulling back from Rafah in southern Gaza, and now about Israelis backing off from defending themselves against Hezbollah in the north.

In May, Biden threatened the Middle East’s only democracy about moving into Rafah, saying he would halt some shipments of American weapons into Israel. Netanyahu responded, “I hope we can see eye to eye with the United States. We’re talking to them, but ultimately we do what we have to do to protect the life of our nation.” Netanyahu has also made it clear that Israel will not leave Gaza “until we return all 120 of our hostages, both the living and dead.”

Amid the contention on the global stage, the U.S., EU, Qatar, and other countries are demanding that Israel secure the safety of Gazan civilians. However, mostly overlooked, Israel has repeatedly set up safe zones up and down Gaza, and successfully moved about 1 million Gazans from Rafah into well-defined safe zone boundaries with tents, food, and water. To infer that Israel is lax in its determination to protect civilians undermines the long-held humanitarian policies of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). In fact, Israel’s own policies of warning Gazans in advance has increased deaths and injuries among Israel’s military. No other country on earth lets its enemies know when they are coming.

Meanwhile, Israel is “doing what it must do to protect the life” of Israel by moving ahead with important inroads to rid Rafah of the Hamas terrorists. This, despite Prime Minister Netanyahu’s observation in a June 23 interview that “there has been a dramatic decline in the supply of munitions from the United States.”

However, the IDF’s biggest shock was yet to come. In Rafah, they discovered some 50 sophisticated tunnels—likely Egyptian engineered—some of which are large enough to drive trucks through from Egypt into Gaza. This means that Egypt, which has had a peace treaty with Israel since 1980, has raked in millions of dollars from large-sized weapons flowing into Gaza.

During the hearings at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Israel’s Deputy Attorney General Gilad Noam attempted to persuade that assembly with those facts. “Nearly 700 tunnel shafts have been identified in Rafah,” he stated. “These tunnels are used by Hamas to supply itself with weapons and ammunition.” Further, he warned, they could “potentially be used to smuggle out of Gaza hostages or Hamas senior operators.” Unfortunately, these unbelievable findings made no difference to the UN court, which ordered Israel not to go into Rafah.

It’s been nothing short of a miracle—the IDF first moving a million Gazans out of harm’s way, then going in with their decision as a sovereign nation, and then making these major discoveries. And the combined pushback that Israel now knows about may be just the tip of the iceberg about which leaders are complicit, in additional disturbing ways.

For an in-depth explanation of Rafah’s importance, the perspective of Brigadier General Amir Avivi is quite revealing. Rafah—the last Hamas stronghold—is located on the Egyptian border. The combined Egypt/Rafah/Hamas role serves as the economic engine for Hamas’s terrorists and weapons shipments. Hamas has four battalions of thousands of hate-motivated men in Rafah. The IDF is also discovering more evidence of the Hamas terror mindset and practices: weapons stored under baby cribs and terrorists operating tunnels under the UNRWA headquarters.

Despite the intensely complex challenges in Rafah, last Sunday IDF Chief of Staff, Lt. General Halevi, in his briefing to the IDF in Rafah reported good news: that “they’re about to finish off Rafah’s brigade of four battalions.” It is one of the biggest, most important achievements in the war against terror that the Philadelphi Corridor is now controlled by IDF Division 162. The corridor runs the full length of the Egypt-Gaza border. Halevi said the hard-fought victory will “prevent Hamas from its smuggling operations.”

Had Prime Minister Netanyahu and his military leaders backed down from entering Rafah, where the IDF destroyed tunnels and took control of the Philadelphi Corridor, Hamas would have continued to transport Iran-financed weapons into Gaza with Egypt as an accomplice. Hamas’s evil intent to murder every Jew has not changed. More weapons mean more attacks and assaults launched against the Jewish nation.

Looking up to the north on Israel’s tense border with Lebanon, Hezbollah is endangering the Christian Lebanese population speaking out against it. In eight months, the terrorist organization has already fired 5,000 projectiles into Israel, killing 25 Israelis (both civilian and soldiers). More than 80,000 Israelis were forced to evacuate from their homes shortly after the Hamas war began. Twenty thousand acres are burned and nearly 1,000 homes and large parts of the towns have been destroyed.

The Hezbollah all-out war is a reality. President Biden has already told Israel not to engage with Hezbollah because it might “risk drawing Iran in.” Truth be told, last fall Biden unfroze Iran’s billions and sent the cash to the Islamic Regime. Add Biden’s unwise effort to resuscitate the ineffectual 2015 Iran deal, and now the Middle East is heading toward a potential World War III footing.     

Biden doubled down through his Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. General Charles Brown commented, “The U.S. will NOT be able to assist Israel in the war against Hezbollah as it assisted it in intercepting the missile and drone attack from Iran in April.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu needs no advice or lessons from President Biden. Again, Netanyahu responded as the strong leader of his endangered, yet eternal nation in a speech to Knesset on Sunday: “At any cost and in any way, we will thwart Iran’s intentions to destroy us.” As he spoke to the leaders and press in the room, he reminded the world that Israel is currently “in an existential war of seven fronts.”

Our CBN Israel team invites you to pray with us amid Israel’s dark days, knowing that God keeps His word in His time. Exodus 23:31 promises, “I will establish your borders from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, and from the desert to the Euphrates River. I will give into your hands the people who live in the land, and you will drive them out before you.”

Prayer Points:

  • Pray for the IDF during their preparations for an expanded defensive war against Lebanon-based Hezbollah.
  • Pray for Israeli families that have lost sons recently fighting for their country.
  • Pray for American Jews who have been attacked by pro-Hamas activists in their synagogues, homes, and streets.
  • Pray for Christians across the globe to express their commitment in words and deed toward Jewish friends near and far.

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

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CAMERA: Combatting Untruths in Major Media

By Arlene Bridges Samuels

Last week, Dr. Tricia Miller returned to the United States from Israel, part of a seven-member solidarity trip sponsored by National Religious Broadcasters (NRB), the largest Christian media organization in the world. NRB’s significant role cannot be underestimated as an influential organization that views support for the world’s only Jewish state a top priority. Since the Hamas War, NRB’s combined worldwide media influence provides an indispensable ballast against the anti-Jew, anti-Zionist, anti-Israel propaganda flooding the airwaves 24/7.

In the NRB membership of more than 1,100 Christian media communicators, Dr. Miller, PhD and author, is the director of the Partnership of Christians and Jews for CAMERA—the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis. Since 1982, CAMERA staff and volunteers have monitored and researched media output—and motivated laypeople to be part of advancing accurate, balanced coverage of Israel and the Middle East. 

Dr. Miller and I have networked on various pro-Israel projects for more than 15 years. She is a respected friend. After reading her first-person experiences and conversations with Israelis, you will discover simple, quick, yet powerful ways to volunteer as a “sleuth for truth” with CAMERA. The seven solidarity trip leaders interacted with wide-ranging segments of Israeli society. These included members of Knesset, Israel Defense Forces, President Herzog, hostage survivors, hostage family members, and rescuers.

As a small nation, with currently hundreds of thousands serving in Israel Defense Forces (IDF) as either active-duty members or reservists, Israel embraces soldiers as sons and daughters. Their funerals are attended by hundreds—sometimes thousands—of Israelis. Tricia spent much of her time listening—a valuable, compassionate trait for interacting with a nation that has been suffering a daily national trauma since October 7.

“I felt the pain in the souls of the people. I saw it in their eyes.” She explained that no one is exempt from suffering because “literally everyone is related to, or knows someone who is related to, someone killed, wounded, who escaped, or taken hostage.” Tricia reiterates that Israel is dealing with an existential battle for its survival against terrorists funded by the Islamic Regime, with its goal to destroy the Jewish State. “Every Israeli lives with this reality every day of their lives.”

Although Israel’s Government Press Office hosted and briefed more than 4,000 journalists in the weeks following the fatal assaults, more pain is heaped on Israelis now—since most of the world is turning against them, even blaming them! Tricia goes on to note that “Israelis feel like the world has forgotten what happened, as Israel is demonized for defending itself—and the media ignores or denies the numerous precautions IDF takes to protect Gaza’s civilians.” Where are the 4,000 “journalists” now?

Over and over, within the pain and “tangible sense of isolation” she mentions, the message Tricia heard about the Hamas invasion and massacre is the same from everyone in Israel—including President Herzog. All are unified and agree on one thing: the absolute necessity for the Jewish state to survive.

Dr. Miller highlighted their meeting with Jerusalem’s former Deputy Mayor Fleur Hassan-Nahoum. “What’s going on is a civilizational battle between the forces of good represented by democratic, peace-loving Judeo-Christian countries and very dangerous Islamic jihadi fundamentalism that wants to take the world back 500 years when nobody had any rights,” Fleur commented. “They really dream that the whole world will become one huge caliphate and they are represented by the heads of Iran and Hamas who attacked Israel brutally on the 7th of October.”

Fleur went on to say, “The Jewish people are a peace-loving people, we are trying to survive. This is an existential war, we didn’t want to fight it, we didn’t want to go to war.” She concluded, “This is not just Israel’s problem; it will come everywhere. … The free world really needs us to win this war and should do everything in their power to help us get rid of this terrible cancer we have right on our border.” Remember: the IDF is a DEFENSE Force.

However, no matter what events transpire globally, God will keep His enduring promises in Deuteronomy 33:29 NIV: Blessed are you, Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord? He is your shield and helper and your glorious sword. Your enemies will cower before you, and you will tread on their heights.”

To help others make sure our enemies will “cower” before us, Tricia is pioneering a new effort that’s uniting Jews and Christians in tangible ways. Launched in southwest Florida, it is called Naples Partnership of Christians and Jews under the umbrella of CAMERA’s Partnership of Christians and Jews. She welcomes your interest in organizing a similar effort where you live. Tricia will provide information and guidance to form these much-needed alliances amid the outbreak of lawless antisemitism here in the U.S. and worldwide. She will integrate the superb, proven work and techniques CAMERA is known for.

To volunteer for CAMERA is what I call being a “sleuth for truth. You do not need to be a professional. If you care about opposing the lies regarding Israel, your heart is equipped to motivate you—with tools you already use to send emails or talk/text on your mobile phone. CAMERA does the research, and with your extra set of eyes, voices, and hands-on activism it becomes a winning combination: [learn more here].

CAMERA’s varied opportunities are quick and easy if we remain alert each time we read or look at the media. Yes, we are often upset, but emotions are not a strategy when we encounter biased reporting. Instead, act! Join CAMERA’s international team of activists who call and write the media with facts. You will receive talking points, analyses of news articles, and contact information for reporters, editors, producers, or executives.

Jonah Cohen, CAMERA’s Director of Communications, revealed that with added volunteers since October 7, record-breaking milestones have “prompted 303 on-the-record admissions of error about Israel from some of the world’s most influential news outlets.” In May 2024, “a record 75 corrections from major media outlets” not only correct inaccuracies “but also deter recurrence of misrepresentations.”

These successes prove that supporters of Israel are changing the media environment, yet we face a David-and-Goliath challenge. After you read my next paragraph, remember that David defeated the enemy with just five smooth stones. Joining with CAMERA means providing well-aimed smooth stones.

In a YouTube video from June 14, 2024, Alex Traiman, CEO at the Jewish News Syndicate, interviewed tech entrepreneur and philanthropist Yossie Hollander. Hollander gave statistics about the infection of lies and bias against Israel. The Chinese Communist TikTok algorithm ratio against Israel is 200 to one. Iran’s algorithms are mostly based not on real people but on fake bots. Yossie adds, “Social media companies do not necessarily want to shut down fake news, because traffic is money.”

No matter what, as truth sleuths let each of us pick up our stones of truth against the Goliath of lies against Israel—and together help CAMERA.

Tricia’s resounding words give us courage and hope. “The Israelis understand the existential danger, they know who the enemy is, and they will have the victory! Am Yisrael Chai” (“the people of Israel live”). That saying is a declaration of Jewish survival and resilience echoed in Jewish prayers, songs, and ceremonies as a reminder of the enduring nature of the Jewish people and their faith.

We welcome you this week to pray with our CBN Israel team, recalling Zechariah 4:10 that points to an important concept for our activism. “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin.”

Prayer Points:

  • Pray for more sleuths for truth volunteers to join with CAMERA.
  • Pray for God’s redemptive hope in a world invaded with lawlessness.
  • Pray for Israelis who remain in deep mourning after more IDF deaths.
  • Pray for PM Netanyahu amid the heavy burdens he carries.
  • Pray for God’s angel armies to defeat His enemies in the battles between good and evil.

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

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Holding On to Faith and Hope Amid a Global Mental Health Crisis

By Arlene Bridges Samuels

Most of us are aware of the mounting mental health crisis in our country and across the globe. We see it first-personwhether in our families, among our friends, in workplaces or churches. Research conducted in various international collaborations affirms what we already know. It shows that our world is facing unprecedented manifestations of mental illnesses, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress.

A 2023 Harvard study claims that half of the world will develop a mental health disorder in their lifetime. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes our nation as being in a “catastrophic” mental health crisis. The irrational Jew hatred promoted and enacted by Iran and its proxiesHamas, Hezbollah, and the Houthisis a perfect example of another kind of illness with minds and hearts twisted and distorted with hate doing the unthinkable. The mental and emotional state the terrorists exhibited to carry out the brutal assaults and atrocities against Israeli families and communities on October 7th is unimaginable yet true.

Our Israeli and Jewish friends are the prime targets of hatred and hostility. They valiantly endure traumatic stress and other anxieties. Last weekend the bold, well-designed, and complex rescue of four hostages generated desperately needed waves of joy for Israelis. The people of Israel also honored a hero:counter-terrorism officer Arnon Zmora, 36, a top cop in the Border Police’s magnificent Yamam unit. After leading the charge in a rescue firefight, hours later the married father of two children succumbed to his wounds. Prime Minister BenjaminNetanyahu named the outstanding rescues of four hostages in the fallen policeman’s honor: the Zmora Operation. 

With swirling lawlessness, challenging mental health issues, and disturbing news filling the global atmosphere, how do we cope? Holding on to faith and hope can be a simple daily reading out loud from King David’s ancient hymnbook of Psalms. King David was no stranger to depression, anxiety, loneliness, grief, and fear.

Other news surrounds us—good news. God is at work, and we must make it a point to recognize this truth. We are assured in Psalm 34:18, “The LORD close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Several of the most promising public efforts in modern times from two Christian leaders is generating landmark events that draw Gen Zers and all ages together in hope. God is raising up Sean Feucht and Nick Hall for the next generation amid the passing of Christian statesmen like Billy Graham and Pat Robertson, who bequeathed the world with huge legacies of spiritual hope and humanitarian aid.

Feucht, a 43-year-old author, artist, and activist, is the founder of global worship and prayer movements across six continents and more than 250 cities. Burn 24-7 (Light A Candle) is a missions and compassion movement spreading humanitarian love to some of the darkest, most isolated places on earth. Let Us Worship is well known since the arrival of COVID-19, when Feucht and a praise team stood on the Golden Gate Bridge singing and praying for our country during the pandemic. Since then, the outdoor worship movement across America has shown up with praise music through Kingdom to the Capitol in states across the USA. The singer’s Let Us Worship albums often hit number one on Apple Music. The world’s hunger for hope is evident.  

Due to the outbreak of Jew hatred on college campuses all over the U.S., in April 2024 Feucht arrived at the gates of Columbia University in a “United for Israel March.” Leaders Eric Metaxas, Russell Johnson, and Luke Moon joined in. Feucht compared the current anti-Semitic demonstrations to the 1930s Nazis and proclaimed, “We are coming to bring the light; we’re coming to say we’re going to join with our Jewish brothers and sisters.” Hundreds, possibly thousands, of Jews and Christians came together at Columbia’s gate. 

Another rising leader is 42-year-old Nick Hall, who founded Pulse Evangelism on his North Dakota State University campus in 2006. Early on, he served as part of the student advisory team for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA). Later,he attended a BGEA event at The Cove launched by the U.S. Lausanne Committee. Approximately 300 evangelists attended. Hall, now a board member on the National Association of Evangelicals, was mentored in part through the BGEA. He recognizes the Billy Graham and Luis Palau teams for his training. “I’ve MC’d events for both teams and traveled with both organizations around the world.” He credits their mentorship with really “launching Pulse.” 

Hall’s career has grown into prayerful and active excellence with a solid set of board members who together are unveiling initiatives that appeal to Gen Zers in person and through social media. In his book, Reset, Hall writes, “Jesus says, ‘Come to me dirty, and I’ll clean you up. Come broken, and I’ll reassemble the parts. Come desperate, and I’ll replace pain with joy. Come to me with all your questions, all your confusion, all your fear. I can reset your purity, your self-image, your faith. Come.’” Last Sunday morning, the evangelist appeared on Fox News. Watching this clip is a source of hope [watch here]!

One of Pulse’s most outstanding initiatives is Pulse 100, a training program that equips Gen Zers as evangelists in an immersive 10-month program. In April, my husband and I were invited as guests to a Founder’s Weekend in Florida and left with a deep excitement for this next generation. Two of their Gen Zers evangelists spoke, and we were mesmerized by their authenticity and inspiring words. Another Pulse initiative is Anthem of Grace, which was broadcast on Good Friday (March 29, 2024), impacting over 300 million peoplewith 2 million saying yes to Jesus. Anthem of Grace will continue.

Sean Feucht and Nick Hall are single-minded in their particular styles in an era of world history where praise, prayers, worship, evangelism, compassion, hearts for Israel, and solid biblical teaching are present and prolific. One day, for believers in our Jewish Jesus, our mental health will reach perfection in God’s Presence with no more sorrows or stresses.  

Our CBN Israel team welcomes you to join us in prayer,recalling Romans 15:13: May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Prayer Points:

Pray for Sean Feucht, Nick Hall, and their families for wisdom and strength.
Pray for Israel, a nation beset with deep anxieties, for more hostage rescues.
Pray for Israel Defense Forces and Jewish civilians nationwide who are reconnecting with their faith.

Pray for Christians to remain Israel’s committed friends in prayer and aid.

 

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

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Who’s the Next Target of the Islamic Regime?

By Arlene Bridges Samuels

The world’s only Jewish state is fighting for survival against an Islamic Regime that is also targeting the United States of America. Our citizenry and government would do well to remain vigilant—not only among Bible believers on behalf of Israel and its existential war—but because Israel is the USA’s irreplaceable intelligence partner. In casting a wide net across the globe, the Regime has quietly established formidable operations in the Western Hemisphere—notably, in Latin America.

Seven years ago, I wrote about a Cuban threat to the U.S. as one of the Islamic Regime’s goals: to establish a “Little Iran” 90 miles from Florida. In my high school in 1962, we practiced ducking under our desks during the Cuban Missile Crisis when the Soviet Union threatened our country. Although Cuba and Iran have cooperated with us on various levels since 1960, when the Shia Islamic Regime took over Iran in 1979 it energized its cooperative agreements in opposition to the United States, which it called the “Great Satan.”

Prior to his death last month in a helicopter crash, Iran’s president, Ebrahim Raisi, made a point a year ago—June 2023—to visit not only Cuba but also Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. Each of those nations is run by an authoritarian leader. A 2023 report from the Interamerican Institute for Democracy reveals that “the dictatorial consortium in the Americas is led by Cuba and includes Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Bolivia.” Raisi chose well—and the results of his tour paint a worrisome picture. (Incidentally, China and Russia are also active in our hemisphere, with Iran 7,000 miles away in a 15-hour flight.)

Bolivia, no longer in a diplomatic relationship with Israel, has requested Iranian drones and welcomed more than 700 military members from Iran’s Quds Force. Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro wants to increase flights between Iran and Venezuela and has signed 25 agreements, including oil, petrochemicals, and other trade efforts they anticipate increasing from $3 billion to $20 billion in the years ahead.

The Nicaraguan/Iran ties have not been as high volume. However, Foreign Minister Denis Moncada attended Iran’s International Conference on Palestine in December 2023, attended by political and religious heavyweights, as well as media figures and scholars from over 50 countries. President Raisi spoke, accusing the U.S. of being the “first and biggest violator of democracy in the world,” which of course is the Islamic Regime’s own goal. The colossal lies of the world’s largest terror-sponsoring country are uttered by a regime that has not one ounce of compassion for Gazans. Instead, it is fully supportive of its Middle Eastern proxies—the terror trio of Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Houthis.

Raisi appeared on Telesur, a Venezuelan TV channel, which outlined his perspective. “In the past, Latin America was considered to be the backyard of the Americans, but over time, each of the Latin American countries regained their independence.” Proud of the 1979 regime’s rule, Raisi claims that “harmony” has increased between people in Iran and Latin America “who have the same spirit and follow the same ideals.” His statement is like a red flag of warning for the United States.

In this historic era where personal and world events seem overwhelming, as believers we must proactively stand on the rock of our faith, the birthplace of Christianity. Psalm 46:1-3 assures us that “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”

This brings me to our southern border chaos. The U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security released transcribed interviews with border patrol testimony from December 2023. One of the most concerning facts revealed by Committee Chair Mark E. Green, MD (R-TN), is the following: “The number of individuals apprehended illegally crossing the Southwest border and found to be on the terrorist watchlist has increased 2,500 percent from Fiscal Years 2017-2020 to Fiscal Year 2023. And those are only who we’ve caught.” Under Alejandro Mayorkas, secretary of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection sources report that over 1.7 million illegals are known gotaways—a number that could possibly be 20 percent higher.

FBI Director Christopher Wray’s comments about Homeland Security Committee’s annual worldwide threats provide added evidence about our enemies’ s infiltration through our Southwest border. When asked if the FBI can guarantee that known or suspected terrorists, including any from Hamas or other tour groups, are not amongst the reported gotaways, Wray responded, “The group of people that you’re talking about are a source of great concern for us. That’s why we are aggressively using all 56 of our joint terrorism task forces.” He also indicated that the threats coming from the other side of the border are affecting every state.

Like the people of Iran—once a vibrant nation and friend of Israel before the Islamic Regime took over—Venezuela’s people under two dictatorships have endured terrible economic conditions that forced its innocent citizens to flee to neighboring countries and to the U.S. However, it is impossible to determine who among Venezuelans are covert Iranian Regime operatives. In September 2023, Venezuelans comprised the largest number of illegals—54,833 crossing the U.S. southern border, outpacing Mexicans. The totals since 2014, under Venezuela’s dictatorships, represent the largest displacement ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere.

More alarming, the Federation for American Immigration Reform reports that “Iran’s ally, Hezbollah, designated as a terrorist group by the U.S., has a network operating in 11 different states.”

On her recent trip to Israel Nikki Haley, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, reminded us: “Iran has said the easiest way to get into America is through the southern border.”

Amid paragraph after paragraph filled with darkness, we must meet the realities of evil with prayers and actions to shed God’s Light by helping each other standing on the Bible’s certainties. Our CBN Israel team invites you to join us this week remembering Psalm 119:105 NIV—“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”

Prayer Points:

  • Pray for U.S. citizens who live along the southern border and encounter many traumas.
  • Pray for the U.S. Border Patrol and its ability to freely enforce our border laws.
  • Pray for the U.S. government to utilize every available resource to root out known or suspected terrorists who have gained legal or illegal entry into the country.
  • Pray for Israel’s leaders facing global pressures to abandon total victory over Hamas.

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

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Hate: A Runaway Addiction with a Global Impact

By Arlene Bridges Samuels

Jew hatred has clearly shown itself as a widespread addiction since the “New Nazis” attempted another holocaust last October 7—torturing, then slaughtering, Jewish men, women, and children in their ancestral homeland. Based on Nazi strategies, decades of unleashed propaganda from Palestinian leaders, the Islamic Regime’s theocracy, and its Triple H proxies (Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Houthis) have destabilized brains and emotions. Minds that either look for the next high of violence, or find excuses to imbibe the lies of victimization, or possess a worldview full of naïve ignorance—each resulting in a new kind of cartel: the cartel of hatred.

Demonstrators, institutions, and international bodies are dangerously consuming lies that lead to poorly formed decisions. The failure (or deliberate refusal) to distinguish good from evil and right from wrong is an assault on Judeo-Christian values—values that have generated the greatest freedoms, well-being, and hopes the world has ever known. The most horrific examples of hate in the last 90 years began in pre-World War II with Hitler’s hypnotic evil. Hamas’s murderous October 7 rampage reenacted Nazi evil in a pattern that continues today: in Gazan tunnels torturing hostages held in underground concentration camps and murdering Palestinians above ground.

Many of Hamas’s hate addicts are high on an amphetamine called captagon, an addictive stimulant that permits higher levels of stamina while lowering inhibitions. Captagon’s history reveals this mind-altering drug—which has been available throughout Arab countries in the Middle East—to be a source of terrorist money. In a short summary, here are a few facts based on a detailed report from NewLinesInstitute.org. The German company Degussa Pharma Gruppe designed the drug in the 1960s to help with narcolepsy, attention deficit disorder, and for use as a stimulant. Beginning in the 1980s, many countries banned it due to a dangerous chemical in the formula. Criminal organizations in Turkey and the Balkan nations began smuggling operations, then in 2011 Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad hijacked the drug operation to bolster his failing economy after the horrific civil war exploded.

Now, Syria is the top captagon cartel of the “jihad drug,” whose consumption makes billions of dollars each year from the six nations comprising the Gulf Cooperation Council: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Amid such a vast drug trade, the Council is very concerned about the drug’s usage and ensuing health and security concerns. Further, a detailed Council report about captagon’s expansion into Europe and Africa outlines the serious threat it represents beyond the Gulf. The report notes that trafficking this drug is “a revenue source for state and non-state actors such as the Syrian government, Hezbollah, and state-affiliated militias [fueling] malign activities that have exacerbated insecurity, encouraged corruption, and empowered authoritarian behaviors.”

Learning about the billions of dollars earned from captagon sales by Syria’s cartel dictator and other criminals, it is important to realize that the billions are used not just for the terrorists themselves who are taking the drug. Since Syria harbors Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), we must question where the money goes. Other countries also finance terror with expensive media propaganda, buying weapons, making payoffs not only to demonstrators and agitators but also to powerful institutions and authorities. For instance, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinians (UNRWA) employs mostly Palestinians. The agency funds 30,000 employees; a small international staff in New York, Geneva, Brussels, and Cairo; plus, five field offices in Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and the West Bank (Judea/Samaria.)

Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Oren Marmorstein, stated in April that “more than 2,135 UNRWA workers are members of either Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad.” Hamas has successfully permeated UNRWA so that “it is no longer possible to determine where UNRWA ends and where Hamas begins.” The drug cartels boost a multiplicity of promoting the world’s oldest hatred—a hatred targeting Israel, God’s Land, and His people, the Jews.

In the global judicial arena, it is highly unlikely that the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the United Nations International Court of Justice (ICJ) are taking captagon. However, they are consuming another drug: hate disguised in lies. Last November, I wrote my CBN Israel column proposing that Israel itself hold a war crimes tribunal. Indeed, historic precedent affirms such a move. In December 1961, a Jerusalem court tried and sentenced Nazi SS Lieutenant Colonel Adolf Eichmann to death for crimes against humanity, crimes against the Jewish people, and war crimes. He had escaped U.S. custody in 1946 and was found by Mossad—16 years after the war’s end. The Hamas charter imitates the Nazi’s “Final Solution” to “obliterate an entire people [Jews] from the world.” Israel will not relent in pursuit of those like Eichmann in Gaza, West Bank, or anywhere in the world for their crimes against humanity, crimes against the Jewish people, and war crimes.

The United Nations established the ICC in 2002 as the world’s first permanent international criminal court, with its 18 judges chosen allegedly for their legal qualifications, impartiality, and integrity. The ICC investigates war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity. It was extraordinary, then, that on May 20, ICC chief prosecutor Karim Khan announced seeking arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. Putting Israel’s leaders into the same category is outrageous, equating them with the top Hamas terrorist leaders Yahya Sinwar, Ismail Haniyeh, and Mohammed Deif. Note the word impartiality as a qualification to serve on the ICC court. A verdict of disbarment is a good decision to levy against these judges. They are unqualified, unable, and/or unwilling to acknowledge the vast differences between good and evil.

Despite different roles, the ICC and ICJ are twins when it comes to reckless decisions about Israel. The ICJ’s ill-informed decision on May 24 after South Africa had accused Israel of genocide and demanded that Israel completely withdraw from Gaza. Israel is the only army in the world that consistently notifies citizens living in an enemy territory to leave the area before they take military action. The IDF also sets up safe zones for Gazans, first in northern Gaza and now in Rafah, for 900,000 civilians.

The ICJ, established in 1945, serves as the United Nations judicial branch with 15 judges. Their role is to arbitrate between nations, to settle disputes, and to offer legal advisory opinions. Although ICJ did call for the immediate and unconditional release of hostages, I am left to wonder if ICJ’s judges read anything other than Hamas “facts” or the South African government’s absurd accusations. The ICJ is located at the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands. Yet neither the judges in the Peace Palace, nor the world, will encounter peace if they prohibit Israel from fully defeating Hamas—which clearly declares it will repeat October 7 again and again.

True justice is mostly a missing commodity in this era of world history. Nevertheless, take heart in Proverbs 24:24-25, which assures us: “Whoever says to the guilty, ‘You are innocent,’ will be cursed by peoples and denounced by nations. But it will go well with those who convict the guilty, and rich blessing will come on them.”

Our CBN Israel team welcomes you to pray with us this week—prayers for the Jewish nation and people are needed now more than ever.

Prayer Points:

  • Pray that our Christian faith, founded on the rock of Judaism, will strengthen standing for righteousness.
  • Pray for the IDF and their families in a particularly dangerous mission in Rafah.
  • Pray for true justice within world courts.
  • Pray for God’s justice, Creator of true justice, to rule and reign in His perfect timing.

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

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The “Butcher of Tehran” Has Perished: What Does the Future Hold? 

By Arlene Bridges Samuels

Last Sunday, Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi died in a foggy-weather helicopter crash in a mountainous region of Iran. Reactions to his death are coming in amid converging narratives. Some narratives offer hope despite the Regime’s ongoing harsh theocracy under 85-year-old Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Iranians, though, are celebrating Raisi’s death with fireworks and sweets. Yet the population suffers under the ironclad Ayatollah’s policies that endure—embedded in Shia Islam’s oppressive rule.

Why are Iranians celebrating the “Butcher of Tehran’s” death? Epoch Times cites Raisi’s judicial role on the “death committee” prior to his election in 2021. Human Rights Watch reported that, under Raisi, mass executions of thousands of political prisoners in Evin and Gohardasht prisons occurred in 1988 and beyond. Raisi called it “divine punishment” and a “proud achievement” for the regime. His evil disposition never changed when he attained the presidency in a low-turnout, possibly rigged vote. One of the most infamous examples of cruelty took place in 2022 amid protests about the death of Mahsa Amini murdered in police custody. Her crime? Not wearing a headscarf (hijab). The Islamic Regime adheres to inhumane actions against its own population and for its proxies against Jews and Israel. 

World leaders are adding to an interesting obituary of condolences including, for example, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, China, and Russia. Hamas, in its condolences, states they are mourning an “honorable supporter” of the “Palestinian resistance.” Pakistan and India observed a day of mourning. Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Al-Thani, sent condolences to the government and people of the Islamic Republic. Maybe it is bad manners to mention the truth about Raisi, the has-been probable successor to the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. But by the same token, who mourned Hitler?

However, on Monday the United Nations did mourn a Hitler—Raisi, the “Butcher of Tehran.” Russia, China, and Algeria requested that the UN Security Council stand up for a minute of silence to honor Raisi. U.S. Deputy Ambassador to the U.N. Robert Wood, stood up. Only one utterance of truths was spoken. Israeli U.N. Ambassador Gilad Erdan rightly condemned the council which “bowed its head for a man responsible for massacring and murdering thousands in Iran, in Israel, and around the globe.”

My good friend, author Marzi Amirizadeh—now an American citizen—knows first-hand about the Islamic Regime’s tyranny. The authorities arrested and imprisoned her in 2009 when she and a good friend covertly distributed 20,000 Bibles. Like many Iranians, she met Jesus in a dream. It transformed her life into one of hope, despite horrors that later followed her into prison. Miraculously released after nine months from Evin Prison’s hellish confines, Marzi is an advocate for her Iranian people, for the United States, and for Israel.

Marzi observes that before she was arrested, she talked to thousands who were receptive—and many also who had visions of Jesus. “There are many underground churches, and research shows that Iran has the fastest-growing church.” Marzi added an important fact: that “most Iranians do not consider themselves Muslims and believe the Islamic Regime does not represent them. They believe that Persian King Cyrus is their father and Iran has been taken hostage by terrorists.” She is prayerful that “after the fall, millions are going to worship Jesus.” Operation World reports that in 1979, only 500 Muslim-background believers were known—and now estimates that more than 1 million Iranians are Christians.   

Part of Marzi’s post on Facebook expresses the intensity of the facts: “Islamic Regime criminals like Raisi have the blood of countless innocent Iranians, Israelis, and other people on their hands. They are now burning in hell as millions of Iranians and people around the world are celebrating their death. However, we should not forget that the head of this evil octopus—the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and his son—are alive. As long as he is in place, nothing will change because Raisi and the others were only his puppets.” 

Here is how Proverbs 28:15-16 describes the Islamic Regime’s leadership: “Like a roaring lion and a rushing bear is a wicked ruler over a poor people. A leader who is a great oppressor lacks understanding, but he who hates unjust gain will prolong his days.”

In a post on Monday, Amir Tsarfati, president of Behold Israel, observed that “Israelis did not set off any fireworks after news of Raisi’s death.” But justifiably, Iranians did set off fireworks. He went on to add how lies take on a life of their own, this time due to a joke. Someone posted the joke saying that the helicopter pilot was a Mossad agent named “Eli Copter.” Israel haters are now calling it a FACT across the world. They will blame Israel in any way possible, even with jokes. Tsarfati adds, “His death spares other deaths.” I pray that Raisi’s replacement will not be more of the same. Stay watchful. 

As expected in any governmental change, speculation about a Raisi replacement is in the news—with an election in less than 50 days, according to their Constitution. However, the Persian-language television news station, Iranian International, reports that the Supreme Leader has plenipotentiary power (full authority to take independent action) over Iran’s government (executive, legislative, and judiciary). It mimics Muslim caliphs in the Middle Ages.  

With Iran’s first vice president, Mohammad Mokhber, currently set to take over prior to an election, a fight is already unfolding with ex-president Hassan Rouhani (2013-2021) opposing the privileged Guardian Council, which passes muster on candidates. It is highly questionable whether the 85-year-old ailing Ayatollah Khamenei will allow an open election since he absolutely dismisses a preference for more moderate candidates.

Amid the ongoing war that the Islamic Regime is financing and directing against Israel, the longing for freedom in its population is only increasing. Added to economic crisis, policies will remain the same unless the population rises again to protest.

We welcome you to join our CBN Israel team this week to pray for Iranian freedom, remembering Ephesians 6:12. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” 

Prayer Points: 

  • Pray for Iranians to protest in a vast army of unity and freedom for regime change. 
  • Pray for worldwide practical helps for Iranian freedom from oppression.
  • Pray for new Christian believers for their strength, hope, and safety. 
  • Pray for the right leader to emerge and miraculously win Iran’s presidency.

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

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After October 7, How Are American Jews?

By Arlene Bridges Samuels

On May 12, Israel literally stopped—as it does each year for two minutes of silence—when sirens notified the country to come to a standstill on their Memorial Day (Yom Hazikaron). Warning sirens also sounded with incoming rockets from Hamas and Hezbollah. There was no peace that day, even in grief. Later, at the Western Wall, President Isaac Herzog stood with his shirt collar torn in mourning, which he called “a symbol of a blood-drenched rend in the heart of the people. A tear in the heart of the State of Israel. … A great tragedy has befallen us.”

Since October 7, 2023, every day is Memorial Day in Israel. The Times of Israel reports that 1,600 soldiers and civilians were killed either in combat or by terrorist attacks since Israel’s last Memorial Day, according to authorities. It was unquestionably the deadliest year for Israel’s security forces and civilians in 50 years. For 76 years—in multiple wars launched against Israel since its founding—the national casualties in this small country have totaled 30,140.

The day after Memorial Day, Israelis celebrated their Independence Day (Yom HaAtzma’ut). The switch from mourning to celebration is intentional, because for Israel, hope and happiness must endure. On May 14, Israel’s 76th anniversary was still celebrated, yet the celebrations were muted amid the heartbreak hovering over Israel in its national trauma. The usual dazzling fireworks displays—which might have triggered additional trauma in IDF soldiers, families and victims—were canceled.

The grim realities in Israel resonate with most American Jews. I checked in with several of my Jewish friends here in the United States by taking an informal poll during this significant week in Israel, asking them to reflect on their experiences here during the ongoing Hamas War. With eruptions on university campuses and the advent of additional silencing strategies toward Christians, we must echo the same concerns of our Jewish friends. Heed their voices. They are our “canary in the coal mine”—right here in the USA.

Susanne M. Reyto, a Holocaust survivor and an author (Pursuit of Freedom and Destination Freedom), is an educator through her books and leadership. She brought to Los Angeles the Violins of Hope, a collection of lovingly restored violins played by Jews during the Holocaust, to educate modern audiences through the power of music. Susanne cautions, “We must teach youngsters to empower themselves to fight for the truth. American Jewry has the good fortune of never having to flee and run to a homeland, so their appreciation for Israel is different than those of us who feel Israel is our umbrella protector.”

Ari Bussel, an Israeli-American friend and a foreign correspondent, gives us a clear view of what he saw with his own eyes: “Seeing my alma mater turn into a battleground at the University of California in Los Angeles caused me not to sleep. Jewish women dared to stand up at a press conference, and the young terrorist-protesters made them into victims. When the police moved in to arrest the aspiring terrorists in the encampment, they also attacked the police.”

Ari’s observation is that, once again, the lie has been multiplied—that Jews dared to attack the peaceful students! He warns, “To win, we must understand this is a war against the USA. Our enemies want ‘Death to Israel and Death to America’; they are against the two satans, and our fate will be one. Therefore, it is time for action to save America.”

My friend Norma Zager, an award-winning journalist, declares: “As a Jew in America today I feel an enormous sense of betrayal and fear. The promise of my country to accept all races, creeds and colors of people has been changed to ‘all but Jews.’ It should be a priority for every Jewish person to pray the Jewish State is triumphant.”

Paul Samuels, my Jewish husband, reveals another perspective. “Both my parents’ families fled Russian pogroms and immigrated through Ellis Island in the early 1900s. In the Bronx I was called a “Christ killer,” but no one marched against us. I am shocked now by the intense Jew hatred in the U.S. I don’t have deep fear, yet I look around me far more now,” he said. “I am glad that my parents are not alive to experience the same Jew hatred they faced as children in Russia. At 80, I am a proud first-generation American. My Dad served in World War II, and I am a Navy veteran.”  

Another Israeli-American friend is a deeply concerned parent of three younger children. “My children know they are Jews by birth and tradition and have family in Israel. Sadly, it’s a challenge to preserve their innocence. Some people simply dislike my kids for who they are, an awful reality. Can you imagine your kids living with that? I must teach my kids how to deal with hate and advocate for themselves. It’s a lot to ask.” My friend had chosen to remain silent about her Israeli heritage to avoid conflict, but October 7 totally changed her. “I cannot afford to keep quiet now. I must face the hatred head-on.”

Ari Bussel has an unambiguous message for his fellow Jews. “American Jews are responsible for the failure to respond to our Jewish students. The Anti-Defamation League, Jewish Federations of North America, Hillel and J Street, the organized Jewish world failed miserably and is fully responsible.”

My message as a Christian to other Christians reflects the thoughts of my Jewish friend who was a U.S. Navy pilot flying the famous F-14 Tomcats. “As an American I put my life on the line for the United States, including in the Iraq War. I am heartened by the evangelical Christian outreach to the Jewish community.”  

Let us make sure our “evangelical Christian outreach” multiplies. We must not remain silent on the sidelines like the German church in the 1930s. Our Christian faith was built on the rock of ancient Judaism. We are grafted into Israel, our spiritual homeland, and read a Jewish-inscribed Bible and serve a Jewish Savior. Standing with the Jewish community in the United States and worldwide is an important way to honor the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob’s redemptive plan! Reach out to your Jewish friends with encouragement this week!  

Our CBN Israel team welcomes you to join us this week based on Psalm 119:28—“My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.”

 

Prayer Points:

  • Pray strength for Israelis afflicted by the ongoing national traumas.
  • Pray that Jews everywhere will reconnect with their Holy Scriptures.
  • Pray for Christians to reach out personally to any Jewish friends.
  • Pray for total victory for the Israel Defense Forces in Rafah.

 

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

 

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