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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

MAY 2013 PRAYER GUIDE (Isaiah 62 Prayer Campaign)

Dear Prayer Partners,
In the Gospel of Luke, we find a beautiful and holy act of prayer, where the supernatural power and dimension of prayer comes into focus as well.
Zacharias was a priest at the Temple in Jerusalem and a descendant of Aaron, the High Priest. While he was performing his priestly service in the appointed order of his division, he was chosen by lot to enter the Temple of the Lord and burn incense. This meant Zacharias was now chosen to go and pray to God in the holy place.
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Prayer Points: MAY 2013

The next global day of prayer and fasting in our Isaiah 62 Prayer Campaign will be on Wednesday, 1 May 2013.

Prayers for Israel
  • Pray for Israel and her leaders, that they might have wisdom and discernment in order for them to be able to deal with all the challenges surrounding them, both internal and external. Pray that the recent budget disputes would be resolved and the economy would remain strong. Pray that the members of the new Israeli government would know how to be a blessing to their own people and to the nations. (Proverbs 21:1, Numbers 6:24–26)
Prayers for the Region
  • Pray for the surrounding nations of Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, that the political turmoil and bloodshed in these nations would soon end, that oppressive rulers and radical Islamic forces would be defeated, and that true freedom and democratic rights would finally be realised by the people. Pray for the people of Gaza and the West Bank, that new leaders would arise sincerely interested in living at peace with Israel. Pray for Iran, that the nuclear ambitions of the ruling regime would be thwarted and that the Iranian people and all the peoples of the region would come to know the goodness and forgiveness of God in Christ Jesus.
Prayer for the ICEJ
  • Pray for the preparations for the upcoming Feast of Tabernacles in September, including for the speakers, musicians, singers, dancers and entire Feast volunteer team. Pray that the glory of the Lord would fall on all of the Feast delegates this year. Pray that Israel would be blessed through the Feast and the word of the Lord would go out into the nations from the Feast. (Psalm 24:7-10)
  • Pray for the ICEJ’s many social projects in Israel which are touching many people, both Jews and Arabs, from children in the schools to Holocaust survivors and other elderly people. Pray for our Aliyah projects, and especially for the upcoming flights of the Bnei Menashe from India. Pray for the many speaking engagements we have scheduled in the nations and for our Media outreaches. Pray for our partnerships with Yad Vashem, The Jerusalem Post, the Knesset Christian Allies’ Caucus. And pray for our expanding television ministry, both on the Daystar TV network and other doors that are opening to us. (Matthew 5:13-16)

In the holy place, in front of the veil to the Holy of Holies, was a golden altar of incense and on it Zacharias was to burn sweet, fragrant incense. The Lord had commanded that a perpetual trail of burning incense was to rise before Him throughout all generations, so every morning and every evening this sweet aroma went up to God in the Temple (Exodus 30:1-10).
So Zacharias now had the great honour to perform this duty of offering the daily incense – he was the one to offer the prayer to the Most High God. And he went in to pray.
Yet while he was praying and the fragrant incense went up to God, an angel of the Lord appeared to him and suddenly his communication with the Almighty God became very, very real! The angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John” (Luke 1:13).
Thus was the birth of John the Baptist announced! Zacharias, together with his wife, had prayed for a child for years and now the time had come for their petition to be heard from Heaven. God had His plan and Zacharias was a very essential part in it and now His purposes were finally being revealed.
Zacharias, however, did not believe his own prayers were being answered! He was in the presence of the Lord, in the holy place, hearing an angel speaking a personal message to him – and yet he was deaf to the words of the Lord in the mouth of an angel! But the gracious Lord did not give up on him!
The angel Gabriel rebuked Zacharias for not receiving by faith the glad tidings from Heaven and said as a result he would now become mute until the child was born (Luke 1:19-20). In other words, the Lord would put a sign in his very mouth that God’s words which He speaks always will come true! Zacharias and others around him would never forget this (Luke 1:64-66)! He was deaf to the words of the Lord when he entered the Temple, and mute when he came out! But only for a season...
The priest was supposed to bless the people of Israel with the Aaronic blessing (Numbers 6:24-26) after coming out again from burning the incense and after the prayers in the holy place – but this time the blessing was not pronounced. The priest was mute because of his unbelief. The spiritual leaders of God’s people who do not believe God’s word, rob blessings from their flock! But it does not have to stay that way!
Today, by faith in Jesus our High Priest we as children of God have free access in prayer to enter the very throne room of God, even the Holy of Holies (Hebrews 10:19-23). God has become our Father. In Jesus’ name we are to intercede on behalf of the people, offer our praise and prayers always and in all things to Him, and thus a sweet and fragrant aroma constantly ascends to our heavenly Father (Revelation 8:3-4).
We are to be people who offer up to God spiritual sacrifices, the fruit of our lips; a people who give thanks to His name; a praying people! (1 Peter 2:5, Hebrews 13:15)
And after we have prayed and come out of our prayer rooms, we are to believe the word of God and pronounce blessings in faith on the people, blessings empowered and backed up by the spirit of prayer.
So be a true and committed priest to God our Father! Burn the incense of your prayers constantly before Him and may the sweet and fragrant aroma of intercessory prayer always go up from your spirit to God. Be a delight to your Father!
In prayer together with you,
Rev. Juha Ketola
ICEJ International Director

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Witnessing the Wonder

Dear Friend of Israel,
My Christians friends often ask me why Jewish holidays fall on different days of the year, or why observance of the Jewish Sabbath begins at sundown. The answer is that the Jewish calendar is based on lunar cycles, while the Gregorian calendar (the calendar in common use throughout the world) is based on the sun. Thus, Jewish calendar days begin at sundown and run to the next sundown, based on the biblical account of God’s creation of the earth: “And there was evening, and there was morning – the first day” (Genesis 1:5).
The Jewish calendar is also geared toward religious observance; its numerous holidays and festivals, both major and minor, give unique meaning to the Jewish year. We are in the midst right now of one of those minor observances. The Counting of the Omer, based on a biblical mandate in Leviticus 23, is a seven-week period extending from the second night of Passover until the night before the holiday of Shavuot (Pentecost). (An omer was a unit of measure in biblical times – on the second night of Passover, an omer of barley was brought to the Holy Temple in Jerusalem). Jews count these days to remind themselves that the physical liberation remembered on Passover was not complete until we received spiritual liberation through the gift of God’s word, an event remembered on Shavuot.
The Counting of the Omer is also a period of partial mourning – strange, considering that it occurs between two of the most joyous events in the history of the Jewish people. Why? Jewish oral tradition tells us that during the Roman domination of Israel, a plague killed thousands of students of a great Jewish teacher, Rabbi Akiva. This occurred because the students did not show respect for one another or their fellow man. This teaches us the importance not just of honoring God by observing His law, but also of honoring Him by showing our love and respect for each other.
Thus, during the Counting of the Omer, we mourn in remembrance of a tragedy. But on one day, known as Lag B’Omer, the thirty-third day of this seven-week period (which begins this year at sundown on Saturday, April 27), sadness gives way to celebration as we recall the day on which this plague was lifted.
This is but one example of how the Jewish calendar turns our minds back to pivotal events, both tragic and joyous, in the life of the Jewish people. But ultimately, these observances bring our minds back to God. They give us a chance to pause to worship and reflect on how He has extended His blessings to us in the past, and to remind us that He is still at work in the present.
Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, one of the great Jewish theologians of the 20th century, once summed up the necessity for giving thanks to God in all things: "How strange we are in the world, and how presumptuous our doings! Only one response can maintain us: gratefulness for witnessing the wonder, for the gift of our unearned right to serve, to adore, and to fulfill. It is gratefulness which makes the soul great." Today, whether you are Jewish or Christian, I hope that you will take a moment to reflect on how God is at work in your life, and to offer Him thanks, even as I thank you today for the great blessing of your support for Israel and the Jewish people.
With prayers for shalom, peace,

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Win a Free Trip for Two to the 2013 CUFI Washington Summit

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You and a guest will receive free registration, transportation and accommodation. Enter now! You will be prompted to log onto Facebook or join Facebook if you are not currently logged into Facebook.
Whether you win the contest or not, you need to join us in DC! Christians United for Israel's Washington Summit is the premier pro-Israel event of the year.
Israel needs unwavering friends to stand and speak up on her behalf more than ever. From Cairo to Beirut, from Gaza to Damascus, and from Ramallah to Tehran, the Jewish people are surrounded by enemies who seek to destroy them. These are truly dark and dangerous days for our ally Israel.
It is therefore critical that we show to our leaders in Washington that grassroots Christian support for Israel is strong, deep and wide.  The annual Christians United for Israel Washington Summit is the best opportunity all year to send this important message!  Over 5,000 Christians standing up and speaking up for Israel in our nation's capital makes a powerful statement to our leaders that they cannot ignore!
If the winner of the contest is already registered for the Summit, we'll not only refund your expenses, but as an added bonus for registering early we'll also give you and your guest free seats at our Chairman's club banquet featuring Senator Ted Cruz and Governor Mike Huckabee. We pray that you will join us July 22-24, 2013. Click here to register today!
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Israel's 65th Birthday Greetings (Send Cards To Israel)

Join teachers, speakers, journalists, politicians and other well-known personalities in wishing Israel happy birthday as she reaches her 65th milestone.

There is no doubt that Israel's modern restoration to the land of her forefathers is a continuing miracle. Not only has she survived against insurmountable odds, but she has blessed the world through her ingenious contributions to mankind in general. We can easily recognize the hand of God in all this which gives us even more reason to celebrate with Israel at this time.

Add your voice to the ICEJ's birthday card for Israel and we'll hand deliver it in Israel for you on May 14, 2013:

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Monday, April 22, 2013

The ISLAMIC Apartheid Week 2013


Freedom Center Ads Depicting Victims of Islamic Apartheid Attacked, Censored in College Newspapers

Every year college campuses across the country hold a festival of hatred aimed at Jews and the Jewish State. Israeli Apartheid Week has become notorious for the targeted harassment of Jewish students, support for Hamas and even physical violence.

This year the David Horowitz Freedom Center responded to Israeli Apartheid Week with Islamic Apartheid Week. Unlike Israeli Apartheid Week, which is based on a lie, Islamic Apartheid Week addresses the sexism, homophobia and religious bigotry threatening minorities in the Muslim world. To promote Islamic Apartheid Week, the Freedom Center attempted to place an ad in forty college papers.

The ad called "Faces of Islamic Apartheid" drew attention to the victims of Islamic sexism, homophobia and theocracy by briefly telling the stories of gay men hanged in Iran, women and girls murdered by their governments and their families for the crime of falling in love and the Christian Minister for Minorities Affairs in Pakistan's cabinet who was murdered for trying to reform his country's theocratic blasphemy laws.

These four women, three men and one little girl were the victims of Islamic Apartheid. Five of them have been murdered. Their memory lives on only when they are remembered. One has been on death row for six years. Telling her story may help save her life. The remaining two live under threat of death.

Instead of listening to their stories, the campus culture of political correctness drowned out their voices and apologized for even allowing their stories to be told.

Nine college papers turned the ad down, five of them in the University of California system which has been criticized for tolerating anti-Semitism. When the California State Assembly passed a resolution condemning anti-Semitism on campus and warned that no public resources should be used for anti-Semitic hate, the University of California objected on free speech grounds. However free speech for Israeli Apartheid Week did not translate into free speech for Islamic Apartheid Week.

Seven college papers took the advertisement. Of those papers, Tufts University's Tufts Daily, Austin's Daily Texan, and UPENN’s Daily Pennsylvanian ran apologies from their editors for even printing the ad.

Tufts Daily editor Martha Shanahan called the decision to run the ad an "editorial oversight." Daily Texan editor Susannah Jacob denounced the attempt to tell the stories of victimized women and children as "hateful" and "an unspoken incitement to violence."

Martha Shanahan spent two pages apologizing for the existence of the "Islamophobic and violently offensive" advertisement, the existence of Tufts Daily, its staff and her own existence. At no point during her long series of apologies, did Martha acknowledge that her paper had run four editorials in a single week from Students for Justice in Palestine attacking Israel and promoting hatred for the Jewish State. And in an unequal response to this, it also ran a brief letter from Tufts Friends of Israel distancing itself from the ad and politely suggesting that apartheid shouldn't be used to refer to Israel.

Anthony Monaco, the President of Tufts University, took to Twitter to denounce the advertisement for vilifying Islam, but made no such denunciation of the Tufts Daily's op-ed, "The Case for Israeli Apartheid" which (not coincidentally) appeared on the same day as the ad. At Tufts, no one apologizes for accusing democratic Israel of apartheid. There are only apologies when theocratic Iran and Pakistan are accused of practicing Islamic Apartheid.

When anti-Israel voices are outweighed 4-to-1 and the editor apologizes for publishing another perspective that would have made it 4-to-2 then the freedom of debate at Tufts University is in a very sad state. When that same editor prints editorials describing Israel as an apartheid state, but promises to put in place an entire
system of oversight to make certain that no advertisement challenging Islamic Apartheid is ever printed again, then a system of censorship has been put into place silencing the voices of victims and encouraging their persecutors.

The Daily Texan's Susannah Jacob claimed that the crosshairs over the faces of the victims were an incitement to violence when they were actually a way of bringing urgency to the violence that had been committed against them. And making it clear that she never even saw the advertisement that she was denouncing, Susannah described the ad as depicting six women, when it included two gay men, one Christian man and one little girl.

Susannah further distorted the truth about Islamic Apartheid when she described the pervasive sexism, homophobia and theocracy that these people fell victim to as "discrete incidents of violence by Muslims" being used "to implicate all Muslims" while ignoring the fact that five of the victims in the ad had been targeted by their governments or with government backing.

Can the Daily Texan's editor honestly claim that Iran's persecution of women and gay men or Pakistan's persecution of Christians are "discrete incidents of violence", rather than state policy? Could she find a single human rights organization that would agree with such a dishonest whitewashing of the terror under which millions live?

Jennifer Sun, editor of the Daily Pennsylvanian, printed a letter revealing that her paper’s executive board has decided that they “will no longer publish advertisements from the David Horowitz Freedom Center.” This stunning admission of censorship was apparently motivated due to negative campus response to our ad and pressure from the Muslim Students Association and the university’s interfaith student group, PRISM.

The responses to the advertisement have established once again that some forms of apartheid are privileged on campus and that some forms of persecution cannot be talked about. Demonizing the Israeli victims of Islamic terror is within the realm of campus free speech, but speaking about the vulnerable minorities in the Muslim world is not.

If the advertisement was wrong, then there would have been no need to censor it. False claims can easily be disproven. Five minutes with Google would have told every reader and editor whether there was any truth to the Faces of Islamic Apartheid.

It is never necessary to censor lies. It is only necessary to censor truth.

That is why the majority of campus papers – ten so far, including Harvard whose editors said they would not print it under any circumstances -- refused to run this paid advertisement. It is why those few who did have begun making ritual apologies while lying about its contents. It is why the attacks on the advertisement have taken refuge in vague platitudes about offensiveness, without a single attempt at a factual rebuttal. It is why every response to the advertisement has consisted of claiming that speaking about Islamic bigotry is the real bigotry.

There were eight faces and eight names in the censored advertisement that the President of Tufts, the editors of Tufts Daily, the Daily Texan and the editors of ten college papers that turned down the ad, did not want their students to see or know about because it might disturb the manufactured campus consensus that they have constructed with great effort around Israel and Islamic terrorism.

These are the names. Amina Said. Sarah Said. Afshan Azad. Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani. Shahbas Bhatti. Rimsha Masih. Mahmoud Asgari. Ayaz Marhoni.

They were repressed as individuals. Now their story is being repressed on the American campus.

★   ★   ★


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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Why "Revisionism" Isn't Revisionism

Is true that the Holocaust never happened?
an essay by Gord McFee
This essay describes, from a methodological perspective, some of the inherent flaws in the "revisionist" 1 approach to the history of the Holocaust. It is not intended as a polemic, nor does it attempt to ascribe motives. Rather, it seeks to explain the fundamental error in the "revisionist" approach, as well as why that approach of necessity leaves no other choice.
It concludes that "revisionism" is a misnomer because the facts do not accord with the position it puts forward and, more importantly, its methodology reverses the appropriate approach to historical investigation.
What Is the Historical Method?
History is the recorded narrative of past events, especially those concerning a particular period, nation, individual, etc. It recounts events with careful attention to their importance, their mutual relations, their causes and consequences, selecting and grouping events on the ground of their interest or importance. 2 It can be seen from this that history acknowledges the existence of events and facts and seeks to understand how they came about, what they resulted in, how they are interconnected and what they mean.
The distinctions need to be made among facts, analysis and interpretation. Facts are demonstrably empirical events whose occurrence can be proven using evidentiary methods. Analysis is the method of determining or describing the nature of a thing by resolving it into its parts. Interpretation is the attempt to give the meaning of something. It follows that facts lead to analysis which leads to interpretation. And it follows that each step in the process is more subjective than the preceding step.
In this context, history is inductive in its methodology, in that it accumulates the facts, tries to determine their nature and their connectivities and then attempts to weave them into an understandable and meaningful mosaic.
What is Legitimate Historical Revisionism?
On its basic level, revisionism is nothing more than than the advocacy of revision, which in itself is the act of revising, or modifying something that already exists. Applied to history, it means that historians challenge the accepted version of the causes or consequences of historical events. As such, it is an accepted and important part of historical endeavour for it serves the dual purpose of constantly re-examining the past while also improving our understanding of it. Indeed, if one accepts that history attempts to help us better understand today by better understanding how we got here, revisionism is essential.
Three examples of legitimate historical revisionism should suffice to illustrate this:

  1. A.J.P. Taylor has applied a very new interpretation to the events leading up to the Second World War. He minimizes Hitler's role in those events - the Anschluß with Austria, the annexation of the Sudetenland, the Danzig crisis, the role of the Allies, appeasement - compared to the standard interpretation, while portraying Nazi Germany as much less centralized and monolithic than the norm. 3
  2. Daniel Jonah Goldhagen has challenged virtually all the usual interpretations of the reasons for the complicity of many Germans in the perpetration of the Holocaust, and has posited that ordinary Germans willingly involved themselves because of the existence of a deep-rooted, eliminationist antisemitism in Germans of that era. He downplays, if not outright dismisses, the influence of Hitler and the Nazi Party. 4
  3. German historian Christian Gerlach has interpreted a diary entry by Joseph Goebbels and a newly discovered one from Heinrich Himmler to mean that the date of the decision by Hitler to exterminate the Jews is in December 1941 rather than late spring or early summer as most have till now believed. 5
What Do "Revisionists" Do?
"Revisionists" depart from the conclusion that the Holocaust did not occur and work backwards through the facts to adapt them to that preordained conclusion. Put another way, they reverse the proper methodology described above, thus turning the proper historical method of investigation and analysis on its head. That is not to say that historians never depart from a preconceived or desired result; they often do. But in adhering rigorously to the correct methodology, they accept that the result of their investigation may not be what they envisaged at the beginning. They are prepared to adapt their theories to that reality. Indeed, they are often required to revise their conclusions based on the facts. To put it tritely, "revisionists" revise the facts based on their conclusion.
Since "revisionists" depart from the conclusion that the Holocaust did not happen, i.e., they deny its existence, they are often called "deniers". Rather than analyze historical events, facts, their causes and consequences, and their interactions with other events, they defend a conclusion, whether or not the facts support it.
Why they do this is not the subject of this piece, but a few examples of the distortions, evasions and denials that it forces on them will illustrate how intellectually dishonest it is. And it should be remembered that they are forced on them, since "revisionists" are denying a historical occurrence, then distorting the facts into accord with that denial.
The Conspiracy Theory
Since the facts are not in accord with the "revisionist" conclusion, they must find an all-encompassing way to dismiss them. This is not a simple task, since the facts converge in the result that the Nazis had a plan to exterminate European Jewry, succeeded in large part in accomplishing it, and left behind multitudinous evidence of the attempt. 6
Hence, "revisionists" must argue that there is a conspiracy to fabricate all that evidence - a conspiracy that must have begun its work before the end of the war - and one that continues to this day. "Organized Jewry" or several variants on "Zionists" are at the root of this conspiracy. The conspiracy theory manifests itself in the following contrived positions:

  • survivor witnesses lied, even where their evidence is corroborated by documents, or other sources;
  • perpetrator evidence was evinced through torture, fear for their families or falsified in various ways;
  • documents left behind by the Nazis were falsified, don't mean what they appear to mean, or are forgeries;
  • photographs were faked;
  • films were faked;
  • words don't mean what they appear to mean. When Himmler used the word "ausrotten" (exterminate) in respect of the Jews, he didn't really mean "exterminate". When Hitler used the word "vernichten" (annihilate) in respect of the Jews, he didn't really mean "annihilate". When the Einsatzgruppen spoke of killing Jewish women and children, they really meant partisans, even though partisans had a separate listing in the many reports they left behind;
  • recorded speeches were faked. Himmler's 1943 Posen speech, which was recorded, wasn't really his voice, or parts were added later, or the technology to record didn't exist in 1943 (it did), or it disagrees with Himmler's notes for the speech (it doesn't);
  • the victims were responsible for what happened to them. The Jewish women and children were partisans or were guilty of committing heinous crimes, or both;
  • Jews deserved rough treatment anyway. Even though the Holocaust didn't happen, it would have nonetheless been justified because the Jews are an alien, parasitical race, hell-bent on destroying the noble Aryan, and/or defiling his blood, etc.;
  • if no written Hitler order for the Holocaust can be found, there was no order at all;
  • no gas chamber is currently functioning. Therefore, there never were gas chambers. But even if there were gas chambers, they were only for fumigating clothing, even if they were in morgues.
Falsus in Uno, Falsus in Omnibus
Since, as this list shows, the amount of empirical evidence for the Holocaust is so overwhelming, the "revisionists" must throw in another dismissal trick. This has been called the "falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus" condition (one thing mistaken equals all things mistaken). It means, for example, that if any single piece of survivor evidence can be shown to be wrong, all survivor evidence is wrong and is to be dismissed. If any Nazi official lied about an aspect of the Holocaust (on-topic or not), all Nazi officials lied, and anything Nazis said after the war is dismissed. If any Nazi can be shown to have been tortured or mistreated, they all were and anything they said is invalid.
"Revisionism" is obliged to deviate from the standard methodology of historical pursuit because it seeks to mold facts to fit a preconceived result, it denies events that have been objectively and empirically proved to have occurred, and because it works backward from the conclusion to the facts, thus necessitating the distortion and manipulation of those facts where they differ from the preordained conclusion (which they almost always do). In short, "revisionism" denies something that demonstrably happened, through methodological dishonesty.
Its ethical dishonesty and antisemitic motivation are topics for another day.


  1. The quotes around "revisionists" are not sneer quotes. They indicate that methodologically "revisionists" are not what they claim to be. This is explained in detail in the body of the essay.
  2. Funk & Wagnall's Standard Dictionary of the English Language, Volume 1, New York, 1973, p. 599.
  3. A.J.P. Taylor, The Origins of the Second World War, Penguin Books, Middlesex, 1964.
  4. Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1996.
  5. Die Zeit, edition of January 9, 1998. His findings are reported in Zeitschrift Werkstatt Geschichte, Heft 18/1997.
  6. See inter alia Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews; Gilbert, The Holocaust; Yahil, The Holocaust; Dawidowicz, The War Against the European Jews 1933-1945; Breitman, The Architect of Genocide; Less, Eichmann Interrogated; Fleming, Hitler and the Final Solution; Broszat et al., Anatomie des SS-Staates; and many more.

Suggested further reading: Pierre Vidal-Naquet's A PaperEichmann: Anatomy of a Lie, in particular part 4, Onthe Revisionist Method.
Gordon McFee received his Master's degree in 1973, from the University of New Brunswick, Canada, and Albert Ludwigs Universität, Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany (split studies), in history and German.
     Last modified: May 15, 1999
Copyright © 1998-99 Gordon McFee. All rights reserved.
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The anti-Semites caused the Holocaust, but now, they are denying Holocaust.
God blesses the Jews and Shalom!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Monday, April 15, 2013


This Israeli Independence Day, put yourself on the map of Israel and celebrate Zionism. Is Israel just a dream? The choice is yours. Join the Step Up For Israel campaign today at

A project of Jerusalem U (formerly

Today is Memorial Day and tomorrow is Independence Day. And there's always temptation to say something new about the nature of Israel, or to attribute special meaning to 65 which wasn't yet there at 64, or to battle those who only care for Independence Day as an opportunity to say something nasty about Israel. But this year I've decided to resist all temptations and keep it simple. It is Israel's Independence Day, and the Jewish Journal is read (mostly) by Jewish Americans, so I'm going to list seven things that Jewish Americans should keep in mind as they think about Israel.
Israel needs you, even if it doesn't always communicate its need in ways which you can understand. It needs you because it is rather alone. It needs you because you are the next of kin. You are family. It needs you not just for political or financial support, but also to have someone with which to have a serious conversation about things that matter, about what it means to be Jewish. A conversation doesn't necessarily mean that there will always be an agreement, but some measure of mutual influence is expected. I see such influence wherever I go.
You need Israel too. As much as some of you hate to admit it, a Jewish America disconnected from Israel will be duller. A Jewish America alienated from Israel will also be lonelier.
Running Israel and maintaining it is a serious business. Israel is a country with many people, and even more problems, in a tough neighborhood. Israel is not a Lab in which ideas can be tested and retested without risk, it is a place where people raise children, go to work, live lives, hope to be able to grow old. The margin for error is small, the risks are many. This means that we can't always conform to Jewish-American ideals born under very different circumstances. Israelis, if they are smart, should forgive those of you who have naïve views about Israel's nature – and you should forgive them for not being able to level with your expectations.
You tend to patronize Israel, as if it were a slow-witted place with less than adequate processes for achieving goals. Admittedly, Israel can improve itself, but please remember that it has achieved quite a lot in its 65 years, using the unruly processes that Americans find hard to understand. On the flip side: Israelis also tend to patronize you, as if you're the last remnants of a dying Diaspora. They should also remember the fact that the American Jewish Diaspora is one of a kind, one which the Jewish world has never seen before. They should have respect for such great achievement.
Don't get lost in Israel’s heated internal debates. Israelis tend to be blunt and use harsh rhetoric when they make their cases. This often results in exaggeration, a tendency to scandalize trivialities, an inclination to see things in black and white and avoid necessary nuances. Take Israeli claims with a grain of salt, especially when they debate with one another over matters of politics and policy. No, Israel doesn't have a war-mongering coalition, it is not ruled by religious zealots, or by the settlers, it is not becoming less democratic, it is not racist, it is not immoral – it is no less moral (and possibly even more so) than most other countries.
Israel is still very young. The fact that its character isn't yet set in stone is not a problem, it’s a reality, and one that should be expected.
Israel is also becoming older. It is not a temporary arrangement for misplaced Jews. It is no longer just the pipe dream of kooky visionaries. Think about all of Jewish history and feel blessed: you get to see a Jewish sovereign prosperous state in your own time with your own eyes.




Photo of MDA helicopter at sunset. Text: When your culture values life, you'll spare almost nothing to save one

As Israel turns 65, we celebrate the Jewish State, a democracy amid tyrants, and a people who more than anything value chai — life. Magen David Adom is proud of its role in helping ensure Israel's health and survival, providing two medevac helicopters, 900 ambulances, 180 medical motorbikes, and 13,000 of the best-trained EMTs and paramedics on Earth.
Help Israel celebrate life. Support Magen David Adom.
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American Friends of Magen David Adom. Saving Lives in Israel.



The World Zionist Organization Center: Happy Birthday Israel

Yom HaZikaron is Israel’s officially memorial day. It is a day set aside for remembering Israel’s fallen soldiers and civilian victims of terror. Yom HaZikaron is observed annually on the 4th of Iyyar, the day preceding Israel’s Independence Day.
In Israel, Yom HaZikaron begins with a siren that sounds at 8:00 PM. It is heard throughout the country, and at this time, all activity stops, and Israelis stand in silence to commemorate the fallen soldiers. The opening ceremony of Yom HaZikaron is held at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, where the Israeli flag is lowered to half mast in honor of the dead. The following morning, another siren is heard at 11:00 AM, which lasts for two minutes. Again, the entire country stands silently at this time, remembering the soldiers who gave their lives for the State of Israel. Throughout the day, memorial ceremonies take place at military cemeteries across the country, and many Israelis visit the graves of their loved ones. Yom HaZikaron ends in the evening, when Yom HaAtzmaut celebrations begin at the national military cemetery on Mount Herzl.
The decision to schedule Yom HaZikaron, Memorial Day, the day before Yom HaAtzmaut, Independence Day, came out of the desire to remind people of the price paid for independence and the continued existence of the State of Israel. The Center for Diaspora Communications and Countering Antisemitism of the World Zionist Organization recognizes Yom HaZikaron as being representative of the sacrifices made by soldiers prior to the establishment of the State of Israel and up through the modern day, so as to ensure the continued safety of the Jewish people and existence of the Jewish State.
On this page, you will find information about Yom HaZikaron, as well as activities and campaigns related to the day.



Jerusalem Prayer Team: Happy Birthday Israel

Dear Friend,

Tonight at sundown marks the start of Yom HaAtzmaut—Israeli Independence Day. Tonight more than 100 friends of Israel, including Glenn Beck, will gather at our home to celebrate the birthday of Corrie ten Boom and the birthday of Israel. We are celebrating this occasion with a special offering. Will you join us with your anniversary gift today? Remember the Genesis 12:3 promise of God, “I will bless them that bless thee” is still in force today!

Sixty-five years ago, a miracle happened. Just as foretold in the pages of Scripture, a nation was born in a single day. After centuries of wandering in exile, the Jewish people once again had a home in their ancient land. From the moment of Israel’s miraculous rebirth, she has faced a struggle to survive. War after war has seen Israel’s neighbors attempt to destroy her…and the same threat is present today. But you and I have joined together to defend the nation of Israel and the Jewish people through our prayers.

In addition to defending Israel, we are hard at work to meet the needs of Holocaust survivors who live in Israel today. We have a special outreach to these precious people. When I was recently in Israel, we had a wonderful Passover Party for Holocaust survivors that the members of the Jerusalem Prayer Team made possible. But our love and compassion for Holocaust survivors living in poverty is not just for special events or once in a while; it is every single day. The beautiful community center that we renovated for Holocaust survivors in Jerusalem distributes free food, clothing, and other basic necessities of life…but we need to do even more, and we can’t do it without you.

I am asking you today to send a special gift to help the Jerusalem Prayer Team touch their lives. Today is the anniversary of Corrie ten Boom’s birth. She and her family risked their lives—and most of them perished—to save 800 Jewish people from the Holocaust. Since 1988, we have opened the doors to the ten Boom house free of charge to all who come.

As Chairman of the Board of the ten Boom House and Museum
, I am asking you today to continue that legacy of love and compassion with your gift to help the Jerusalem Prayer Team do even more to meet the urgent needs of the elderly Holocaust survivors living in Israel.

“The one who is gracious to the poor lends to the LORD, and the LORD will repay him for his good deed” (Proverbs 19.17).

Most Jewish people have never seen an act of compassion and love from a Christian. Unlike those Jewish people who took refuge in the ten Boom’s home and ate and prayed with them daily, most Jewish people alive today have never experienced that kind of care and love. But together we can show it to them, and we need your help.
For your gift of $35 or more…

We will send you a copy of the wonderful book The Hiding Place as well as a special Corrie ten Boom notebook filled with information about Corrie and her family along with reproduced pages from her personal journal.

These are treasures that you will enjoy and want to share with friends.

For your gift of $77 or more…

We will send you this special clock.

This beautiful piece is a reminder of the ten Boom's family clock business and their beautiful heritage of love and compassion and sacrifice for the Jewish people. It's a great way for you to share your support of Israel with everyone who sees it.

Your support of the Jerusalem Prayer Team today allows us to continue our work on the Righteous Gentiles Heritage Center, to stand up and speak out for Israel, and to meet urgent humanitarian needs among the poor Jewish people living in Israel. Thank you so much for being part of this vital worldwide prayer movement.

Barukh atah Adonai eloheinu melekh ha-olam, ozier Yisrael bigvurah.
Blessed art thou, Lord our God, King of the universe, who girds Israel with might.

Your ambassador to Jerusalem,

Dr. Mike Evans

Honoring a hero of the faith: Corrie ten Boom (April 15, 1892 - April 15, 1983):