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100 Years Ago in Jerusalem (1917)

--Theresa Newell, 23 Aug 2017
Allenby reviews his troopsOne hundred years ago this Fall, the world changed – especially the map of the Middle East. Because the Ottoman Empire headquartered in Istanbul, Turkey, aligned itself with Germany in World War I, the entire area was up for grabs by the Allied Forced as Germany surrendered. England, France and Russia all vied for sections of the old Empire. At the same time an internal battle among the adherents of Islam–-Arab and Turks–-was raging and rife with intrigue, spies and plots. In the midst of promises made and political power plays, General Sir Edmund Allenby marched into Jerusalem and received the surrender of the Ottomans. Thus, 1917 was the year that changed the world-–a world which continues to demand our attention and prayer.

General Edmund Allenby Takes Jerusalem 1917

On December 11, 1917 General Edmund Allenby, Field Marshal of the British Empire's Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF), walked through the Jaffa Gate of the Old City of Jerusalem declaring victory over the Ottoman Empire by England and its allies. The event took place just in front of the entrance to the compound of CMJ's Christ Church, which had stood since the 1840s as the oldest Protestant church in the Middle East. It was the first day of Chanukah 1917, celebrating the liberation of Jerusalem by the Maccabees in 163 BC!
Chanukah with Judah Maccabee and General Allenby in JerusalemIt was the most historic of moments. With him were soldiers of the honor guard composed of English, Welsh, Scottish, Indian, Australian and New Zealand troops, with twenty soldiers each from Italy and France continuing the line inside the gate. East met West in a way that changed history and set the stage for the formation 31 years later of the State of Israel.
The Balfour Declaration had been signed in London on October 31, 1917 calling for a Jewish homeland in Palestine. On that same day General Allenby's legion captured the city of Beersheba. This battle opened the way for the British force to move toward Jerusalem by early December.[1] While the Balfour Declaration was a great political coup for the Jewish aspirations for a homeland, it was not until Allenby's military victory that it was possible for the Declaration's intent to be set in motion. 
For over 400 years the territory of the future home for the Jews had been under Ottoman Turkish rule! While Jerusalem was a holy city for Jews, Christians, and Muslims, access to the area had been not only greatly restricted while under Ottoman rule but had become an undesirable place to live - subject to disease and poverty.
This year as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, we also focus on the importance of Allenby's triumphant military campaign. His entrance was the first time Jerusalem had been liberated from Muslim rule since the Crusader period ended in AD 1291.

Who was Allenby?

General Sir Edmund Allenby, Kcb Art, Wikimedia The men under his command nicknamed him "Bloody Bull," but Allenby did not start out wanting to be in the military. Born in Nottinghamshire in England on April 23, 1861, Allenby failed the exam for India civil service, but passed the one to enter Sandhurst Military Academy. He fought in the Second Boer War in South Africa in 1900 and then in World War I -- first on the Western Front in France and later in the Middle East, where he took command in June 1917. Prime Minister David Lloyd George told Allenby that his objective was to take "Jerusalem before Christmas." 
Twice Allenby's predecessor had failed in the attempt to capture Gaza, giving access to the route to Jerusalem. Under Allenby, known as one of the greatest mounted cavalry officers of England, the EEF was reorganized and not only took Gaza, but stormed Beersheba, which opened the door to Jerusalem's capture. The element of surprise showed Allenby's skill as a strategist as his British, Australian and New Zealanders attacked from three sides -- a military feat that had never happened before in the taking of Beersheba.
He was created 1st Viscount Allenby of Megiddo and of Felixstowe in October 1919 and served as High Commissioner of Egypt from 1919 to 1925. 
Allenby dismounting at Jaffa Gate, Jerusalem (1917)In its official response to the restoration of Jerusalem and the British declaration of a Jewish homeland in Israel, CMJ asked: "What does all this mean for us Christians? In the light of prophetic Scripture we recognise that such an action on the part of our Government and on the part of the Allied Powers, in being united in their resolve to reinstate the Jew in his own land, is full of significance. Our Lord, when asked the question, 'What shall be the signs of Thy coming and of the end of the age?' gave one of the signs, in Luke 21:24, to be that 'Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles (nations) until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.' Ever since A.D. 70 Jerusalem and Palestine have been under Gentile domination, and now we seem to be on the very verge of a literal fulfillment of the last prediction. . . ."[2]
1 For details of this historic battle, read Anzacs, Empires and Israel's Restoration (1798-1948) by Kelvin Crombie.
2 Crombie, p 203.
1. Gen Allenby reviewing his troops in front of David’s Citadel opposite Christ Church, Jerusalem.
2. Chanukah with Judah Maccabee and General Allenby in Jerusalem. Illustrated by M.M. Harris, San Francisco. Published by A.B. Schayer, Cincinnati, Ohio: 1918.
3. Gen. Sir Edmund Allenby, painting by Philip Tennyson Cole [Wikimedia].
4. Gen. Allenby dismounting in front of Jaffa gate in order to walk in, showing respect for the holy places of Jerusalem.

Standing with Israel

Perhaps some of our readers have seen the movie or read the book The Zookeeper's Wife recently. Based on a true story of the overseers of the famed Warsaw (Poland) Zoo, this couple saved the lives of over 300 Jewish men, women and children by extricating them from the Warsaw Ghetto before its inhabitants were taken by train to the Nazi death camps. They risked their lives by hiding these precious Jewish people and keeping them from destruction. The Epilogue at the end of the movie states that only two women among their hidden people were killed and that the couple have been honored among "the righteous gentiles" at Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem. The shocking part of the story is that in the summer of 1939 all was peaceful in Warsaw and within months the Nazi army had overtaken Poland and the lives of Warsaw's 3.3 million Jewish people were in jeopardy.
Today, Israel and the Jewish people face again the horror of antisemitism and threats of annihilation by Iran-backed terrorist groups. Here is a report from our CMJ UK communications director, Charles Gardner, re the situation being faced by leaders in Britain today. Let us pray for the Peace of Jerusalem as the clouds gather again against His Jewish people. Let us pray for God's protection and for righteous leaders to be raised up in this time.
--Theresa Newell, 10 July 2017

It's time to back Israel

Disaster awaits if we don't stand with the Jewish nation

By Charles Gardner, CMJ UK
The moral backbone of the UK Government is once more being tested – this time on the crucial issue of whether or not we will stand with Israel in her time of need.
Stalked by terror and threats on every side, the Jewish state is potentially in as great a peril now as its people were under the Nazis, with an estimated 120,000 missiles pointed at Israeli cities by the Iran-sponsored, Lebanese-based terror group Hezbollah. [1]
And supporters of this vile enemy of democracy have been allowed to march through the streets of London waving an intimidating flag featuring an assault rifle, and calling for the destruction of Israel!
In the wake of a petition signed by over 10,000 people calling upon the UK Government to ban Hezbollah, which Home Secretary Amber Rudd has promised to consider, a House of Commons debate on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was called on Wednesday.
It was perhaps aptly summed up by the sense of deja vu expressed by one participant as 'two-state solution' mantra once more echoed through the chamber.
But Israel clearly still has friends in the UK who understand their predicament. Conservative member John Howell made the point that no lasting peace was possible if Palestinians continue to be indoctrinated to hate Jews, and Scottish Conservative Ross Thomson called for a full ban on Hezbollah, adding that Israel was “truly a beacon of democracy in a troubled region.”
Fellow Conservative Theresa Villiers said that glorifying terrorists was part of the problem, mentioning how 25 Palestinian schools had been named after them, and quoting PA leader Mahmoud Abbas as saying, “We welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem.”
Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt commended Labour’s new MP for Peterborough, Fiona Onasanya, for blaming man’s frailties rather than God’s love for causing these problems after she had referred to the UK Parliament’s motto, “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labour in vain” (Psalm 127.1) – inscribed into the stone floor of the central lobby and written in Latin.
Unfortunately, the general misunderstanding of Israel being the 'occupying power’ skews the narrative in favour of the Palestinians, whereas in truth the Jews are entitled to every square inch of Judea and Samaria – and much more – according to the terms of the international treaty signed at San Remo in Italy in 1920. [2]
The aforesaid petition, launched by Christians United for Israel (CUFI), follows the June 18 Al Quds march through central London during which anti-Israel protestors carried Hezbollah flags.
The terror organization is banned throughout the world – including by the Arab League – but only its military wing is proscribed in the UK. This provided the legal loophole allowing marchers to show their support for its political wing. Yet, by its own admission, Hezbollah does not differentiate between its political and military wings.
“If Britain is to genuinely say "no to terror," then all terrorist organizations must be banned without compromise,” says CUFI UK executive director Des Starritt. “Following the Arab League and the United States in proscribing Hezbollah is one simple step that the UK Government can take in ensuring that extremism will not be tolerated in this country.”
Indeed, what is so complicated about that?
The organization shamelessly calls for the destruction of Israel and now has “more missiles below ground in Lebanon than the European NATO allies have above ground,” according to Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon. [3]
“Hezbollah has placed these positions next to schools and other public institutions, putting innocent civilians in great danger,” he said.
In fact, Israeli Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot says “every third or fourth house” of southern Lebanon’s civilian population is being used as human shields for terror activities. [4]
Meanwhile mortar shells have been fired across the Israeli border from the Tehran-backed Syrian army, increasing the prospect of global conflict possibly also involving Russia. [5] And Iran’s long-held aim of wiping Israel off the map was graphically demonstrated at the UN where a photo was shared showing their use of a Jewish ‘Star of David’ symbol as a target for a ballistic missile test. [6]
It’s time our politicians faced up to the fact that the terror tactics we have recently witnessed in Manchester and London were first used on the streets of Israel. Now even Muslim London Mayor Sadiq Khan has reportedly sought help from Israel on security matters. [7]
The Bible says very clearly that if you bless the seed of Abraham, you will be blessed; but that cursing will bring judgment. (Genesis 12.3) In the days leading up to the Balfour Declaration of 1917, Britain ruled the waves, and it was said that the sun never set on our empire. But in the last 100 years, during which we have repeatedly betrayed Israel, we have not only lost our empire, but have fallen into decadence and confusion.
Surely we are not suggesting that Israel deserves terror, but we don’t?
Speaking of the future glory of Zion, the prophet Isaiah wrote: “For the nation or kingdom that will not serve you will perish; it will be utterly ruined.” (Isaiah 60.12)
And it’s also worth noting that former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar has urged support for Israel on the basis that “if it goes down, we all go down.”
He argues that the Jewish state is at the cutting edge in the battle between militant Islam and the West and, in a Times article, concludes: “Israel is a fundamental part of the West which is what it is thanks to its Judeo-Christian roots. If the Jewish element of those roots is upturned and Israel lost, then we are lost too. Whether we like it or not our fate is inextricably intertwined.” [8]
 1 World Israel News, June 22, 2017
 2 See elsewhere on this site for details
 3 World Israel News, June 22, 2017
 4 Ibid.
 5 Jerusalem News Network, June 30, 2017, quoting the New York Post
 6 JNN, July 2, 2017, quoting the Jerusalem Post
 7 The Algemeiner & United with Israel,  June 14, 2017
 8 The London Times, June 17, 2010

Heroes of the Holocaust

As we prepare to celebrate Passover (Pesach) April 10-18 and Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah) April 24, it is critical that we remember the Gentile believers in Jesus who stood heroically at the side of Jews during the terrifying days of Hitler's Third Reich. These believers did not just STAND with Jewish people: they put their lives on the line for them! The story of Master Sgt Roddie Edmonds, of Knoxville, Tennessee, who saved 200 American Jewish lives in January 1945, was recently unearthed from his diaries. It is told here by our CMJ UK Communications Director, Charles Gardner - along with other generally unsung heroes during those perilous days. The question for us today is, in the light of rising anti-Semitism across the West, will we stand with His Jewish people in our day? May God help us and give us resolve.
--Theresa Newell, 13 April 2017

Christian soldier risks his life for Jewish men

By Charles Gardner, CMJ UK
[Originally published in Israel Today, January 30, 2017]
Seventy-two years after the liberation of Auschwitz by the Red Army on January 27, 1945, Britain and other nations are acknowledging Holocaust Memorial Day at a time when anti-Semitism is once more on the rise.
[RIGHT: International Holocaust Remembrance Day Memorial Ceremony at the Raoul Wallenberg square with Holocaust survivors. Image by Frankie Fouganthin.
Israel itself, which has since risen from the ashes of that dreadful scourge that wiped out six million European Jews, is under dire threat from enemies on all sides while attacks on synagogues and other Jewish centres are still being carried out in the ‘civilised’ West. Only this last weekend in north-west London, a swastika-daubed brick was hurled through a Jewish family’s window while others were pelted with eggs.[1]
The fragile borders to which the United Nations expect Israel to agree (just nine miles wide in places) have for good reason been described by politicians as ‘Auschwitz lines’ because they leave the Jewish state highly vulnerable to attack from neighbouring states who have repeatedly threatened to wipe them off the map.
It was also in January 1945 that one of the most heroic accounts of the war took place. But the incredible story has only just surfaced because the hero concerned never spoke about it.
The truth was finally unearthed by his granddaughter when asked to focus on a family member as part of a college assignment. Her widowed grandmother gave her the diary kept by her husband during his time in a prisoner-of-war camp which revealed the astonishing fact that, by standing up to the German commandant, Master Sgt Roddie Edmonds, of Knoxville, Tennessee, had saved the lives of 200 American Jews.
[LEFT: DAYTON, Ohio -- "Forty and Eight" POW boxcar on display in the Air Power Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force.  Image: Courtesy of U.S. Air Force, public domain]
As the highest-ranking officer there, Edmonds was made responsible for the camp’s 1,292 American GIs, 200 of whom were Jewish. Then one day the Germans ordered all Jewish POWs to report outside their barracks the following morning. Knowing what awaited them – being moved to a slave labour camp at the very least – he decided to resist the directive, ordering all his men to fall out the following morning.
The commandant, Major Siegmann, duly ordered Edmonds to identify the Jewish soldiers, to which the sergeant responded: “We are all Jews here.”
Holding his pistol to Edmonds’ head, the commandant repeated the order. But the sergeant – a devout Christian – refused.
“According to the Geneva Convention, we only have to give our name, rank and serial number. If you shoot me, you will have to shoot all of us, and after the war you will be tried for war crimes,” Edmonds had said, according to one of the men saved that day.

Edmonds’ pastor son Chris regards all of them as heroes as they could easily have identified the Jews among them to save their skin. But they all stood together.
Late last year Roddie Edmonds was posthumously awarded the Yehi Or (Let there be light) Award by the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous. He has also been honoured by Jerusalem’s Holocaust Museum Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations.[2]
But as Jews were herded into cattle trucks for transporting to death camps, there weren’t many Roddies about who dared to speak up and stand up on their behalf. These days, where controversial issues are concerned, leaders still prefer to keep their heads below the proverbial parapet while remaining ‘impartial’. But there is a time when we must take sides. We must choose between life and death, between God and evil. If we claim to be Christian, we have no option.
“Neutrality is only an illusion,” writes Robert Stearns. “Those who are not for God are against Him (Matthew 12.30a). The German public’s unfortunate legacy during World War II lies not in what they did in response to their despotic leader and his horrendous practices, but in what they did not do.”[3]
This did not apply, however, to Hans Scholl and his sister Sophie, young Christians who led the White Rose leaflet campaign of resistance for which they paid with their lives. Prophetically, they asked the question: “Who among us has any conception of the dimensions of shame that will befall us and our children when one day the veil has fallen from our eyes and the most horrible of crimes… reach the light of day?”[4]
Stearns also points out that, when the Nazis invaded European nations, many monarchs vacated their thrones and fled. But King Christian X stayed in Denmark as he defied the bullies. And thanks to his example, most Danish Jews survived the war.[5]
Princess Alice, the Queen’s mother-in-law, has also been recognized by Jerusalem’s Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum as ‘righteous among the nations’ for saving a Jewish family during the war, and is buried on the Mount of Olives.
[RIGHT: Memorial stone in the Garden of the Righteous, Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum, Jerusalem. Image: Brenda Van Ness, Shoresh Tour, January 2017]
As Princess of Greece, she hid Jewish widow Rachel Cohen and two of her five children in her home. Rachel’s husband had in 1913 helped King George I of Greece, in return for which the king offered him any service he could perform, should he ever need it. When the Nazi threat emerged, his son recalled this promise and appealed to the Princess, who duly honoured her father’s pledge. Prince Charles last year fulfilled a longstanding wish to visit his grandmother’s grave.[6]
It’s interesting in this respect that Prince Charles has compared the dangers facing minority faith groups across the world today with the “dark days of the 1930s.”[7]
The Queen herself is a wonderful example of someone who is prepared to make an uncompromising stand for faith and truth, declaring in her latest Christmas message to the nation: “Jesus Christ lived in obscurity for much of his life and was maligned and rejected by many, though he had done no wrong. Millions now follow his teaching and find in him the guiding light of their lives. I am one of them…”
Are we, like the Queen, courageous enough to tell the entire world that we are followers of Jesus and, as such, will do all we can to stand up to the evil that lurks in every dark corner of our land?
Roddie Edmonds was prepared to die for 200 Jewish men. Abraham was prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac. But the greatest sacrifice of all was when Yeshua (Hebrew for Jesus), “though he had done no wrong,” laid down his life for both Jews and Gentiles on a stake outside the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City after being “led like a lamb to the slaughter” during the Passover feast (Isaiah 53.7). He bought our pardon; he paid the price.
1 Jerusalem News Network, January 24, 2017, quoting Algemeiner
2 Gateway News (South Africa), December 1, 2016, originally published by The Times of Israel
3 The Cry of Mordecai by Robert Stearns (Destiny Image)
4 Ibid
5 Ibid
6 Torch magazine, Christians United for Israel – UK, Dec 2016-Feb 2017
7 Saltshakers December 24, 2016, quoting Premier Online

Israel and the UN 2017

By Dr. Theresa Newell
This week saw a flurry of Israel issues surface at the United Nations in New York.
On Tuesday, March 21, 2017, UNITED WITH ISRAEL group reported the following:
The secretary-general of the United Nations (UN) on Friday rejected a report, authored by UN officials, that accused Israel of establishing an “apartheid regime,” prompting the resignation of the head of the agency that authored it. The resignation was by UN Under-Secretary-General and ESCWA Executive Secretary Rima Khalaf of Lebanon who has championed anti-Israel rhetoric in the UN. 
The report, compiled by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) and titled “Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid: Palestine and the Israeli Occupation,” was produced by Princeton Professor Emeritus Richard Falk, the UN’s former Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Palestine, and American political scientist Virginia Tilley of Southern Illinois University.
Both have a long history of anti-Israel activism.
The report “concludes, on the basis of overwhelming evidence, that Israel is guilty of the crime of apartheid, and urges swift action to oppose and end it.”
ESCWA is comprised of 18 Arab states.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for the report to be removed from ESCWA’s website.
On Monday March 20, The Times of Israel had reported that the US issued a strongly worded statement accusing the United Nations Human Rights Council of longstanding bias against Israel.
The State Department announced it would boycott the council’s entire Monday discussion about alleged human rights abuses committed by Israel and vote against any resolutions that came from it. Specifically, the United States strongly and unequivocally opposes the existence of the UN Human Rights Council’s Agenda Item Seven. Agenda Item Seven is a permanent fixture requiring the council to discuss three times each year any alleged abuses of human rights committed by Israel against Palestinians.
Addressing the UN on March 1, US Envoy and career diplomat Erin Barclay stated:  “No other nation is the focus of an entire agenda item… The obsession with Israel… is the largest threat to this council’s credibility. It limits the good we can accomplish by making a mockery of this council. The United States will oppose any effort to delegitimize or isolate Israel.”
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the US would reiterate its “strong principled objection to the Human Rights Council’s biased agenda against Israel.” Tillerson wrote that the US was concerned as well about membership in the council of countries accused of human rights violations, such as China, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
When the UNHRC was created out of the discredited UN Human Rights Commission in 2006, then-US president George W. Bush refused to join the new group, believing that it would lack credibility and that, like its predecessor, it would allow human right violators to become members.
In 2009, then-President Barack Obama reversed that decision, hoping to improve the UNHRC.
“With others, we will engage in the work of improving the UN human rights system,” then-secretary of state Hillary Clinton said at the time.
In the article below, the CMJ UK Director of Communications Charles Gardner brings to light telling comments by Israeli Arabs, both Christian and Muslim, about UN reports accusing Israel of being an “apartheid” state. Mr. Gardner’s report, "Apartheid Claims Exposed," follows.

Apartheid Claims Exposed

Arab ACE card trumps anti-Israel campaign

By Charles Gardner
As genocide is being committed against Christians, Yazidis and even "dissident" Muslims across the Arab world, the international finger of criticism continues to point at Israel.
The latest example is a UN report urging swift action to oppose and end Israeli “apartheid”.1
Thankfully, my Christian Friends of Israel colleague David Soakell has produced an "ace" card exposing all this nonsense with a timely series of testimonies from Arabs which I have aptly titled Apartheid Claims Exposed (ACE).2
He tells us that Israeli Arabs – both Christian and Muslim – are risking disapproval from their own communities by volunteering for the Israeli Defence Forces in increasing numbers, disproving the lie that Israel is a racist, apartheid state. (Non-Jews are not obligated to serve in the IDF).
One Muslim female soldier said: “I wanted to enlist because it is my duty to serve and protect my country.” And she is even allowed weekly visits to her family during the Ramadan fast, so there is no difficulty with her practicing her religion in the Jewish state.
Ibrahim Bari, an African Muslim refugee, went public with his testimony, saying: “In the army, I made friends for life [and] would do everything to defend Israel.”
Elinor Joseph, an Arab Christian serving in the IDF, says: “This is my country. When I see the [Israeli] flag waving in the wind I get excited.”
Another Arab-Israeli soldier, Monaliza Abdo, adds: “I came to serve my country and my home.”
And Major Ala Wahib, the highest-ranking Muslim in the IDF, asks: “Is Israel inherently racist – an apartheid state? Well, do you think that such a country would tolerate a person like myself getting to the position I am today? Someone who has not only fought alongside Jewish soldiers, but now trains them too? ...I do not serve in the army to kill people – I serve in it to save people. When Hamas fires rockets, or Fatah encourages stabbings, we are here to protect the lives of all Israeli citizens, Jewish and non-Jewish.”
Adam Ram has also decided to “break the silence” by standing against the slander and constant defamation of Israeli soldiers. A Bedouin serving as a combat soldier in Hebron, a particularly tense area, he says: “The war is against all Israelis, regardless of who you are, because when a terrorist leaves his home with a knife, planning on murdering a soldier or a civilian, he does not care if his victim is a Jew, a Muslim or a Christian …As long as you hold a blue Israeli ID card, you are a fair target.”
Furthermore, Palestinians he has met on the streets see them as their protector, preferring them to the failure that is the Palestinian Authority which, incidentally, contributes just 10% of the cost of medical care for Palestinians treated in Israel – the rest is paid by the Israeli taxpayer.3
“As opposed to Daesh and other Islamic regimes, Israel is democratic and extends rights even to those who are not citizens of the state,” Adam adds.
Contrast this with the blatant discrimination against non-Muslims in much of the surrounding Arab world, where even Muslim women do not share the rights of their menfolk.
Meanwhile a group of North African journalists from Muslim Arab countries, visiting the Jewish state as guests of the Foreign Ministry, have described their first impressions of Israel as “appearing Western and free” and as “an opportunity to see the real Israel without the media acting as a middle man.” 4
Even if all this criticism of Israel was justified, it is out of all proportion to the reality that exists in the region. The tiny Jewish state has had to suffer wars and rumours of wars on a constant basis since she emerged once more onto the world stage as a new nation in 1948.
The world, particularly in the shape of the United Nations, is largely silent as terror stalks the streets of Jerusalem, but at the same time condemns the Jews for stealing land allegedly not their own.
The sabre-rattling of Israel’s enemies involves guns, knives, rockets, missiles and even the threat of nuclear weapons. But more than anything it is a battle for truth in the midst of ferocious spiritual warfare which demands the engagement (in prayer and other ways) of all who love the truth, perfectly revealed in our Messiah Yeshua. And we must stand up for Israel against such shocking bias that is so transparent it demands a rewriting of history.
Accusing Israel of being an "apartheid" state is just the latest in a long line of anti-Semitic attempts to invoke the wrath of a world effectively rebelling against the God of Israel, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Jewish Messiah.
First there was identity theft as Yasser Arafat invented a "Palestinian" nation where Jews were once known as Palestinians; then the Jews were accused of stealing "Palestinian" land they had inhabited for thousands of years, which God himself had given them according to the Scriptures, and to which they even acquired an international legal right through a treaty signed at San Remo on the Italian Riviera in 1920. And now, in raising their protests during the recent Israel Apartheid Week, students have abandoned their inquiring minds in pursuit of a vendetta of lies and propaganda against the only democracy in the Middle East.
Open their eyes, dear Lord!
1Produced by the UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, according to World Israel News, March 15, 2017.
2CFI’s Watching over Zion newsletter, March 9, 2017.
4United with Israel, March 16, 2017.

Moon walkers' heavenly perspective

OVER THE MOON: Temple Mount proves more exciting than walking on the moon. Photo by Charles Gardner

Three heroic astronauts worship the God of creation

By Charles Gardner, CMJ UK
Following in the steps of Jesus was more exciting than walking on the moon. These are the words attributed to Neil Armstrong, the first man to set foot on the moon’s surface, during a visit to Israel.
And fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin, who accompanied him for the Apollo 11 lunar landing, was similarly taken up with a heavenly perspective. Shortly after touching down where no man had been before, he took communion with bread and wine he had carried from earth in special plastic packages, and ensured that among the first words ever spoken there were those of the Creator of the Universe, Jesus Christ, when he read a passage from John’s Gospel. (The bread and wine are symbols of the sacrifice Jesus made – through his broken body and shed blood – in dying for our sins on the cross).
Buzz had wanted to share his experience with the world at the time – back in 1969 – but NASA (the National Aeronautics and Space Administration) was embroiled in a legal controversy over broadcasting the Christian beliefs of their pilots, and he was persuaded to tone down his enthusiasm. He went ahead with the ceremony nevertheless, but with radio contact switched off.
Completing a trio of famous astronauts with a strong faith in the Creator is John Glenn, who recently died, aged 95, and who was the first man to orbit the earth in space.
When Neil Armstrong visited Israel in 1994, he asked his host, archaeologist Meir Ben Dov, if there was a place where Jesus would undoubtedly have walked when he was on earth. Dov, one of the excavators of the Temple Mount, was sure that he would have used the southern steps as he walked up to the Temple. So when Armstrong got there, the man who is more famous for his statement, “This is one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind,” is understood to have bent down and kissed the ground, saying that this was an even more exciting moment for him than walking on the moon.
This rings so true. I can’t speak for the moon, but I know that there is something out of this world about Israel – and Jerusalem in particular. As the Bible says, it truly is God’s city, and when you know that it is where Jesus walked, your faith really does come alive in a new way.
Back to Buzz Aldrin and the controversy surrounding Apollo 11. A previous mission, Apollo 8, was the first manned spacecraft to orbit the moon. On Christmas Eve 1968, in what was the most watched television broadcast in the world at the time, the crew read in turn from the opening verses of the Bible (Genesis chapter 1). Bill Anders, Jim Lovell and Frank Borman unashamedly recited the first ten verses (focusing on creation) to a world still mercifully free of political correctness.
Aldrin had planned to do something similar by sharing communion with the world over the radio, but NASA was in the middle of a legal battle with arch-atheist Madalyn Murray O’Hair who was determined to remove Christian influence from schools and other public organizations. So, just before the two men stepped onto the lunar surface, Aldrin reluctantly switched off radio communication and took communion while also reading a verse from John’s Gospel. Later explaining what he did, he said: “I opened the little plastic packages which contained the bread and the wine. I poured the wine into the chalice our church had given me. In the one-sixth gravity of the moon, the wine slowly curled and gracefully came up the side of the cup. Then I read the Scripture (quoting Jesus), “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whosoever abides in me will bring forth much fruit. Apart from me you can do nothing.”
“It was interesting for me to think: the very first liquid ever poured on the moon, and the very first food eaten there, were the communion elements.”
And through Aldrin’s momentous decision, the first ever ceremony to be performed on the moon was in honour of his Lord, who created it all!
Madalyn O’Hair’s atheistic life mission ended tragically in 1995, when she was murdered, along with her son and granddaughter, by fellow anti-God activist David Waters. Surviving son William J. Murray, who thus lost his mother, brother and daughter, had been disowned by his family after becoming a Christian in 1980.
Meanwhile John Glenn, whose historic space flight aboard Friendship 7 in 1962 catapulted him to heroic stature, was also a man of deep Christian faith. And when he again left the bounds of earth on December 8, 2016, he passed into the arms of his Saviour, Jesus Christ.
He said he prayed every day during those pioneering space flights, which were inherently risky, and shortly after orbiting the earth he delivered a sermon entitled Why I know there is a God that described how his mission had strengthened his belief, and pointing out “the orderliness of the whole universe about us, from the smallest atomic structure to the most enormous thing we can imagine.”
In 1998, aged 77, Glenn returned to space on the Space Shuttle Discovery’s STS-95 mission, becoming the oldest person to travel in space. Afterwards he told reporters: “Looking at the earth from this vantage point, looking at this kind of creation and not to believe in God is, to me, impossible. To see [earth] laid out like that only strengthens my beliefs.”
For Buzz Aldrin’s story – founded by Rev. Ralph Burden
For Neil Armstrong’s Israel visit – Christian Friends of Israel’s David Soakell in his weekly newsletter Watching Over Zion, December 8 2016
For John Glenn’s story – Mark Ellis, senior correspondent for ASSIST News Service and founder of

Secret Weapon Against Anti-Semitism

In the culture wars in Western Europe and America, the growth of anti-Jewish movements have rightfully been viewed with alarm by the Jewish communities of the world. In this article published recently in The Forward, (the largest Jewish weekly published in the US), writer Sam Kestenbaum asks if messianic believers are “a secret weapon in the anti-Semitism fight with the *‘Alt-right’,” and postulates that it is perhaps the Jewish believers in Jesus who are the bulwark against anti-Semitism as they take a vocal pro-Jewish stand for their own people!
CMJ USA stands with our messianic Jewish brothers and sisters quoted in the article--Jews for Jesus, Chosen People Ministries and the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America (MJAA)-- in their outspoken position against any form of anti-Semitism. We base our love for the Jewish people on the biblical truth that they are “the apple of His eye” and the people of His choosing. We believe God when he promised Abraham that “[He] will bless those who bless you [Jewish people], and whoever curses you [he] will curse” (Genesis 12: 3). As the dark clouds of anti-Semitism once again gather, let us pray diligently for and stand courageously with His Jewish people.
* “Alt-right” is a shortened version of Alternative Right, which was a white supremacist website created by Richard Spencer and Colin Liddell in 2010. Followers of the Alt-right movement swung away from the traditional “conservative” movement in the US. Its ideology often embraces anti-Semitism. (Source:
by Dr. Theresa Newell, CMJ Board Member
[Photo:  Dr. Newell with Rabbi Paul Liberman, Executive Board Member of the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America (MJAA) and Executive Director of the Alliance for Israel Advocacy (AIA)]

New Orleans-style Shakshuka discovered in Pennsylvania

Here's a surprise find by our board member Theresa Newell, from the Sunday magazine of her local newspaper (in Lancaster County, PA)...  "Louisiana Shrimp Shakshuka" by an Israeli chef associated with a famous restaurant in New Orleans! Dr. Newell remembers the first time she tasted shakshuka in Jerusalem. She assumed it was a Latin American dish (it reminded her of huevos rancheros), only to find out it is a Mediterranean dish. 
Another surprise is Chef Alon's addition of shrimp and okra (he IS in New Orleans, after all). It may not be kosher, but Theresa says it is delicious. (She recommends substituting a few red pepper flake for the hot sauce, if you're from the North.)

Christ Church Numbered Among Treasures in the Old City

Inside Jaffa Gate: Christ Church Jerusalem is numbered among other treasures near the Jaffa Gate in a Times of Israel travel article, entitled "Inside Jaffa Gate: remembering the Caliph who revered the Temple Mount" [click here to read the article]. Christ Church is located directly across the street from the Citadel, also noted in the article.
[Image: CMJ's "Christ Church, also home to the Christian Heritage Center, a 2,000-year-old water reservoir, and a guesthouse." (Shmuel Bar-Am)]