Archives For Middle East Updates

Middle East Update

Ron Cantor —  January 17, 2019 — Leave a comment

In this issue:
> Israel has struck ‘thousands’ of Iranian targets in Syria
> Hezbollah Planned to Infiltrate Israel with up to 2,000 fighters
> Offensive ‘McJesus’ sculpture
> Arab wants to be in Bibi’s party

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Middle East Update 019

Ron Cantor —  January 9, 2019 — Leave a comment

Sadly, this week in Israel we learned about some radical, indoctrinated Jewish youth who allegedly murdered a Palestinian woman. It has rocked the nation. Also, Trump sends John Bolton to Israel and Turkey with good news for Israel and bad news for Turkey. Here is this weeks’ Middle East Update.

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Middle East Update

Ron Cantor —  November 7, 2018 — Leave a comment

Iran accuses Israel of attacking networks with ‘violent’ virus 

Iran has indirectly accused Israel for a cyber attack on its strategic networks and infrastructure with a computer virus “more violent, more advanced and more sophisticated” than Stuxnet.

Israeli officials have not admitted any role in this operation, but the report came in hours after Israel’s Mossad thwarted an Iranian murder plot in Denmark and days after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s phone was found to be bugged.

Hadashot, an Israeli TV show, reported the incident last week.

“Remember Stuxnet, the virus that penetrated the computers of the Iranian nuclear industry?” the Hadashot news asked. Iran “has admitted in the past few days that it is again facing a similar attack, from a more violent, more advanced and more sophisticated virus than before, that has hit infrastructure and strategic networks.”

The Iranians, the TV report said, are “not admitting, of course, how much damage has been caused.” Iran said it has neutralized the computer attack.

Several Iranian officials made reference to “the occupying regime” and “the regime – with a notorious background in using cyber weapons in cases such as Stuxnet,” as being responsible for the attack. 

Last week Israel announced that its intelligence agency Mossad had thwarted an Iranian murder plot in Denmark. In addition, Iran acknowledged that Rouhani’s mobile phone had been bugged for weeks. 

Though Israel won’t say whether it had a role in the attack, the TV report noted that “behind the scenes lately, the Mossad … has been fighting a real shadow war.”

Last week, Israeli officials said the Mossad provided Denmark with information concerning an alleged plot by Tehran to assassinate three Iranian opposition figures living there. Denmark on Tuesday recalled its ambassador to Iran over the incident.

“What Iran hides, Israel will find,” Netanyahu declared in his speech at the United Nations in September.

You could win a free trip to Israel when you support Tiferet Yeshua Congregation in Tel Aviv

Students from Gaza border towns march to Knesset

Israeli teenagers who have been living under the threat of rockets and arson attacks by Palestinians are taking their plight to the highest level of government with a five-day march from their school near the Gaza border to the Knesset in Jerusalem. 

The teens say they are tired of the current security situation and they want change. 

“Since we were born, we’ve been living from one war to the next. We want to grow up on the Gaza border in peace,” said Roei Rahaf, a senior at the Shaar HaNegev regional high school. 

The students embarked on this 90-kilometer (56-mile) march and are expected to reach the Knesset by Thursday. They will be joined along the way by students from other areas of the country. 

This is the biggest protest by Israelis since the Palestinians in Gaza began their “March of Return” in March. The weekly protests at the border, intermittent rocket fire and daily threat of arson terrorism coming from the Gaza border have traumatized the residents in the towns surrounding the coastal enclave.

“The change is in the hands of the leadership in Israel, and that is why we are marching to the Knesset,” Rahaf said. “This is a journey to raise awareness of what’s going on here, on the Gaza border; to tell our story, of the teenagers who deal with the difficult security situation.”

The students are wearing shirts that say, “Let us grow up in peace.” 

The students will be posting updates on social media. Meanwhile several adult protesters blocked the Kerem Shalom border crossing on Sunday morning, preventing trucks with supplies from entering the Gaza Strip.

Footnote: When Israel evacuated Gaza in 2005, Israelis were very divided, but the feeling was, if we were going to forcibly removed 10,000 Israelis from their homes in Gaza, we should then respond as if we have been attacked by another nation, when Hamas sends its rockets. Sadly, we have not, and it has only encouraged belligerence.

Israel welcomes restored US sanctions on Iran

Israel’s Defense minister Avigdor Lieberman welcomed newly implemented American sanctions against Iran and said they will deal a “critical blow” to the Islamic regime’s military presence in the Middle East. 

This decision by the Trump administration “is the sea of change the Middle East has been waiting for,” Lieberman said on Twitter.

President Donald Trump said the original agreement negotiated by former President Barack Obama was the “worst ever” deal and announced in May that his administration was withdrawing from it. Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia have said they will not leave.

Israel has fiercely opposed the 2015 Iran nuclear deal saying it did little to halt Iran’s progress on developing an atomic bomb.

The United States reimposed oil and financial sanctions against Iran on Monday.

Ben & Jerry’s new anti-Trump flavor won’t make it to Israel

Israel has rejected Ben & Jerry’s new anti-Donald Trump ice cream not for its taste, but for its political ingredients and anti-Semitic flavor.

Stunning! Ben and Jerry stand with Palestinian’ terror supporter named Linda Sarsour. Boycott Ben and Jerry’s!

“Ben and Jerry’s, the American Jewish ice cream producers, decided to name their new ice cream after a ‘Palestinian’ terror supporter named Linda Sarsour, who has become a symbol of anti-Semitism and hatred of Israel (a darling of the media and the American left),” Israeli Facebook personality Yoav Eliasi wrote.

Eliasi called for a boycott of all Ben & Jerry’s products until the company retracts its decision and, in the meantime, urged his followers to check out Haagen-Dazs ice cream instead. His post was shared over 1,400 times.

According to Ben & Jerry’s, proceeds from the new flavor — called “PeCAN Resist!” — will go to four groups that rally against the policies of President Donald Trump, including the Women’s March, whose co-leaders support the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement and anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

“Who knew that Ben & Jerry’s would align the company with people who idolize the bigot Louis Farrakhan and seek the destruction of Israel,” another Twitter user said. “This is just so offensive and hurtful.”

Here, Linda Sarsour embraces Palestinian terrorist, Rasmea Odeh, who was complicit in the murdering of two Israelis. She was sentenced to life in prison after she not only confessed to the crimes, but investigators found “extensive bomb-making materials and explosives” and “explosive bricks in her room”. She was released in a prisoner exchange. She then fraudulently immigrated to America. When here identity was discovered, she was deported to Jordan.

Israelis and Jews around the world say this social activism has forayed too far into the realm of anti-Semitism.

“Just days after the worst anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history, you honor (Linda Sarsour) a racist and anti-Semite who publicly told people not to ‘humanize’ Israelis, and who stated that she was honored to share a stage with a convicted murderer of Jews? Are you crazy?” Joseph Steinberg said in a Tweet referring to the massacre at a Pittsburgh synagogue on Oct. 27.

The Israeli Ben & Jerry’s franchise said it will not import Pecan Resist.

“Ben & Jerry’s Israel is not involved in local or global politics and we have no connection to the move made by the Ben & Jerry’s company in the U.S.,” it said. “We do not intend to market in Israel the flavor discussed.”
Trump is popular among Israelis who appreciate his pro-Israel policies and his Jewish daughter and son in law. 

In response to changes of anti-Semitism, the liberal Ben & Jerry’s defended the “controversial” nature of the selected groups. 

“We’re comfortable with the idea that the people and the causes we partner with may have a point of view different from our own on some issues,” the statement said.


This week was a particularly sad week here in Israel, as a well-known advocate for the State of Israel was stabbed to death by a terrorist. In addition, anti-Messianic Orthodox Jews vandalized a growing congregation in the south of Israel. The war in Syria rages on, as the Syrians accidentally shoot down a Russian ground attack plane. And, the Trump administration continues to take steps against the Palestinian Authority for their refusal to discuss peace. Here is this week’s Middle East update.

Ashdod Messianic Congregation is Vandalized By Orthodox Jews

It is no small thing, in Israel, for Messianic Jews to purchase or build their own building. Wages are low and the cost of real estate is high. Pastor Israel Pochtar is from Ashdod, where Orthodox Jews have been harassing them and their congregation for many years. Not long ago, the 300 members of Beth Hallel (House of Praise) dedicated their new building.

Two Ultra Orthodox activists broke though the barrier to vandalize property. One is even brazen enough to take pictures of his friend. They spray painted the same phrase all over the building. 

Earlier this week, two Orthodox Jews spray painted graffiti all over their facility. They wrote the same words everywhere: Missionaries are a National Danger. Of course, we are not missionaries, but rather Israeli citizens exercising our free right to worship Yeshua and spread His message. They seek to portray us as foreign workers coming here to convertpeople, not as we really are: Jewish Israelis spreading the message of Israel’s Messiah.

The police are usually reluctant to investigate such matters, but Pochter has video surveillance evidence of the actual vandalism. As well, a soldier who goes to the congregation caught them in act and chased them off, which was also caught on film.

While these attacks can be frustrating (even scary), we must remember that these are the very people we hope to reach. Saul of Tarsus was a violent, anti-Messianic individual – until He met Yeshua. Plus, we are called to rejoice in the midst of persecution (Matt. 5:10-12). Pochtar does not want to press charges, but simply wants the perpetrators to fix the damages. Pray that through this, the message of Yeshua will prosper.

Ari Fuld Saves Israeli Falafel Worker as He Died From Wounds

On Sunday, a 17-year-old Palestinian ordered a falafel and then sat outside the shop for about forty minutes. The woman who served him the falafel said she then “saw him pull out this big knife that was glimmering in the sun, and all of the sudden he plunged it into [Ari Fuld’s] heart.” 

American-born immigrant, Ari Fuld was a beloved, outspoken supporter for the right of the Jewish people to have their own country. He was often seen on news programs in spirited debate. He served faithfully in an Israeli Defense Force combat unit and fought in the 2007 Lebanon War. 

Prime Minister Netanyahu released a statement: “Ari was a wonderful father to four children. He was an advocate for Israel who fought to spread the truth about Israel. May his memory be a blessing.”

Hear Ari tell how he quit his job in hi tech to serve Israeli soldiers.

The most remarkable part of this story is what happened after Fuld was fatally stabbed. The killer started to run after the woman who made him the falafel. Fuld got up and went after him. “The terrorist was right behind me,” she stated later. “I started running down the stairs but he jumped to try to get in front of me. He [Ari Fuld] really saved my life. He’s not just a hero. He gave his life for me.”

Fuld was able to shoot the terrorist before being rushed the hospital, where he died. You can read more here and here.

Syrians Shoot Down Plane of Russian Backers

The Bible says, “Whoever digs a pit will fall into it; if someone rolls a stone, it will roll back on them.” (Pro. 26:27) Russia has provided Syria with their very sophisticated S-200 Missile Defense System. They never dreamed that the Syrians would turn around and use it against them. But that is exactly what happened last night, when they shot down a Russian military plane. Aboard the plane were 15 Russian soldiers. 

Image result for syrians shot down russian plane
Remains of a Russian plane that was shot down accidentally
by their Syrian patrons in northern Syria.

The Russians blamed Israel, as the Syrians were targeting Israeli fighter Jets that were seeking to attack a chemical weapons facility. The Israelis allegedly used the Russian aircraft as cover for the attack. It has been widely reported that Syria is planning on using chemical weapons against the lone holdout province of Idlib, near the border with Turkey. Israel is not sitting by while Assad and Putin murder innocent Syrians, even though most of those Syrians hate Israel without cause. Instead, Israel is seeking to neutralize Syria’s ability to use chemical weapons. 

The Russians are furious and released a statement: “We consider these provocative actions by Israel as hostile. Fifteen Russian military service members have died because of the irresponsible actions of the Israeli military. This is absolutely contrary to the spirit of the Russian-Israeli partnership.”

Belgium Cuts Ties with Palestinians

The Belgium Education Ministry notified the Palestinians that they were cutting ties with them over the naming of a school after a terrorist. Belgium has repeatedly requested that the Palestinians change the name of the school that is currently honoring PLO terrorist Dalal Mughrabi. 

Dalal Mughrabi was part of a PLO team that carried out a mass terror attack in the 1978 Coastal Road massacre. This is considered one of the more gruesome acts of terrorism, as 13 of the 38 Israeli civilians that were killed were children. What does it say about a culture when they revere and pay homage to someone who murders little children? The school had been funded by the Belgians. Ironically the school named after the murderer of children is an elementary school.

The Belgium ministry of education released a statement saying, “As long as school names are used to glorify terrorism, Belgium can no longer cooperation with the Palestinian Education Ministry and will not give out budgets for the constructions of schools.”

Image result for Dalal Mughrabi Elementary School.
Palestinian children hold of the picture of terrorist Dalal Mughrabi who led a terror team that killed 38 Israelis, including 13 children, in 1978.

Good for you, Belgium! Now, see if you can get the rest of Europe to act reasonably when it comes to terrorism.

Trump Freezes Aid to Palestinians—Kicks Them Out of Washington

Just before the Jewish New Year, President Trump spoke to American Jewish leaders in a conference call. 

“What I will tell you is I stopped massive amounts of money that we were paying to the Palestinians and the Palestinian leaders. The United States was paying them tremendous amounts of money. And I say, ‘You’ll get money, but we’re not paying until you make a deal. If you don’t make a deal, we’re not paying.’” 

Recently, the President cut $200 million in aid to the Palestinians. Then he pulled the US out of UNRWA, the UN agency responsible for Palestinian humanitarian aid. The US was giving $365 million in aid, each year. Part of the problem with UNRWA is that they consider any Palestinian Arab who was displaced after War of Independence a refugee—including their descendants. That is five million people! The real number of actual Palestinian refuges is in the tens of thousands, according to a Times of Israel article.

In addition, Trump has ordered the PLO to get out of Washington. The crime? The PLO tried to get the International Criminal Court (ICC) to prosecute Israelis for crimes against Palestinians. There is a 2015 US law that states “any action with respect to the ICC that is intended to influence a determination by the ICC to initiate a judicially authorized investigation, or to actively support such an investigation, that subjects Israeli nationals to an investigation for alleged crimes against Palestinians,” will cause the closing of the PLO Washington mission. 

Image result for trump close plo offices
PLO offices in Washington DC have been ordered to close after they violated at 2015 law outlawing taking Israel to the International Criminal Court.

The United States does not recognize the authority of the ICC. It does not allow the ICC to take US soldiers or officials to court. Despite the fact that the US has been the world protector and policemen, not to mention primary source of aid to so many countries, there would be a line around the corner seeking to prosecute US officials at the ICC, if the US was a signatory.  Sadly, many of them would be fellow Americans.  


Massive Terror Kite!

In a new attempt to disrupt the flow of Israeli life, Hamas sent a massive kite over the border of Israel. While this one was not on fire, it landed on Israeli power lines. The Israeli Electric Corporation sent a team out to deal with the kite, before an electrical fire had a chance to start. A crane had to be used to remove it.

Hamas spends its days and nights inventing new ways to terrorize the children living in southern Israel, and not attempting to help the Arabs of Gaza live a stable, normal life. The terror kites are just their newest invention. Already, over 7,000 acres of Israel’s farmland and nature reserves have been turned to ash.

Leading British MP Honors Terrorist

Jeremy Corbyn (the British equivalent of Nancy Pelosi, the US opposition leader) has long been accused of anti-Semitism and befriending terrorists. He once referred to his “friends in Hamas.” While he has always denied this charge, he is now dealing with a new scandal.

Pictures surface of him laying a wreath “in front of a plaque honoring Black September founder Salah Khalaf, his key aide Fakhri al-Omari and Hayel Abdel-Hamid, PLO chief of security,” and “Another photo allegedly shows Corbyn joining in Islamic prayers at the graveside.” —Breaking Israel News.

Black September is the PLO-connected terror organization that murdered 11 Israeli athletes during the Munich Olympics in 1972. It has gone down as one of the most infamous terror attacks in history.

In addition, a video recently emerged where Corbyn compares the Palestinians under Israel to Europe under the Nazis. However, his popularity continues to grow in recent months.

Palestinian Flags Fly in Tel Aviv

On Saturday night 30,000 Israelis, including thousands of Israelis Arabs (these are not Palestinians, but full Israeli citizens) brought Palestinian flags to Tel Aviv, in order to protest the new Nation State law. We reported on it last week. The purpose of the law is to ensure the Jewish nature of Israel. However, opponents of the law have said that it does not ensure equality to non-Jewish Israelis such as Muslims, Druze and Bedouins.

Critics say that the very fact that Israeli Arabs were waving Palestinians flags shows the deep need for the Jewish State law, that ensures the Jewish identity of Israel into the future. They were shouting, “By blood and fire, we will clear Palestine!”

55 Million Views

‘One for Israel’, an Israeli outreach ministry, records and publishes testimonies of Jewish believers. They recorded my story just over a year ago. Recently, they passed the 55 million views mark. They post testimonies in Hebrew and English. Listen to the media director of ‘One for Israel’, Eitan Bar:

In contrast to ancient Israel, modern-day Israel continues to be on the cutting edge of technology. Studies have shown that we Israelis, are more active on the Internet and social networks, such as Facebook, and YouTube, than any other country in the world.

Pray that God will continue to use One for Israel and other ministries using the internet to reach Jewish people.

Turkey Could Fall

President Trump has called on Turkey to release jailed American pastor, Andrew Brunson. Turkey dug in its heels, refusing to let him go. He is being accused of being involved in espionage, but many believe his captivity is in response to the US refusal to deport a Turkish cleric, accused of being behind the unsuccessful coup.

“Turkey has made it clear that this is a sham trial, and, as indicated by President Erdogan’s multiple demands to swap Pastor Brunson for Fethullah Gulen, Pastor Brunson is undoubtedly a political prisoner behind held as a bargaining chip for Turkey,” — The European Center for Law and Justice

In response, Trump put tariffs on Turkish goods, causing their currency to fall by 45 percent.  Turkey responded with tariffs against the US, but they will have little impact. Hopefully, the sagging economic conditions will cause the Turks to throw out their president—who is seeking to become a dictator.

From Iran to Turkey, Middle East leaders are not used to dealing with a US President with a backbone. In the past, the US has backed down in the face of temper tantrums from overly emotional Middle Eastern leaders. However, Trump has proven that he is willing match their rhetoric, rather than compromise.

Prayer Points

<> Pray for revival in Turkey and Iran.

<> Pray for unity in Israel over new nation state law.

<> Pray for Israel ministries to bear fruit in evangelism.

<> Pray that the winds will direct any terror will blow the kits back on those who send them.