1
Jul

Responding to the Senseless Deaths

(Photo: ASHERNET)

(Photo: ASHERNET)

Yesterday’s discovery of the bodies of Eyal Yifrach (19), Gilad Shaar (16) and Naftali Frenkel (16), who were kidnapped and murdered by Hamas a little over two weeks ago, has brought the entire Jewish state to a place of mourning. Spontaneous prayer vigils popped up all over the country well into the night, as mothers and fathers sobbed for children lost to other parents.

Candles arranged in Star of David formations flickered alongside tea lights spelling out the boys’ names, all encircled by teenagers swaying in unison, singing songs of redemption and pain, frustration and hope, faith and unity. Cries could be heard throughout the night in Israel as the country mourned together as only the Jewish people can, with unmatched unity.

Our enemies must not mistake our cries for hopelessness, for when the…

   
Posted in: Ami Farkas / EyalGiladNaftali / Israel
16
Jun

Israel’s First Line of Defense

(Photo: ASHERNET)

(Photo: ASHERNET)

At a press conference yesterday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that Hamas was directly involved in the kidnapping of three teenage boys last Thursday night in Hebron. Immediately after Netanyahu spoke, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon addressed reporters and explained that over the past year and a half dozens of other kidnapping attempts have been foiled by Israeli forces.

The surge in attempted kidnappings is a new phase in terrorism. Although this tactic has been employed in the past, terrorist groups nowadays believe they can extract heavy concessions for their captives, in the form of prisoner releases. This has created a new security threat for Israel’s citizens, where even children can be taken hostage by terrorist groups.

The Israeli public has responded to the horrifying news of the kidnapping with incredible…

   
Posted in: Ami Farkas / EyalGiladNaftali / Hamas
16
Jun

Israel: Hitchhiking Home

(Photo: flickr/ wmliu)

(Photo: flickr/ wmliu)

In the wake of the kidnapping of three Israeli teens by terrorists, much has been made of the fact that the boys were hitchhiking. Some religious leaders in Israel have forbidden their followers from hitchhiking, while those around the world have questioned its safety in such a volatile area. Writing at The Algemeiner, Dave Bender gives some cultural perspective on hitchhiking in Israel (a very common mode of transportation, referred to as “tremping”):

Dozens of riders, from teens to the elderly, regularly crowd together under the streetlamp alongside the bus bay, holding plastic shopping bags, backpacks and whatever else you’d lug along home after a day in town, at work or school.

They wait for rides to their communities, and – from firsthand experience – commonly not more that 10-15 minutes until…

   
Posted in: Algemeiner / Dave Bender / EyalGiladNaftali
30
Aug

The Blessing – and Peril – of Living in Israel

Ami Farkas:

KotelI recently traveled back to Israel with my wife and children after spending a quiet summer with family and friends in the U.S. The cab driver who drove us to the airport had only good things to say when he learned that Israel was our destination: “Israel is number one,” he exclaimed, raising his hands in the air. My wife and I gave each other a proud glance as we explained to our bewildered kids what a privilege it is to live in the Holy Land.

After we arrived in Israel, we once again packed our five overstuffed suitcases into a taxi. We were thrilled that the long flight was behind us and soon we’d be home at last. Within five minutes we were on the highway heading north and soon the familiar top-of-the-hour news jingle blared inside the cab….

   
Posted in: Ami Farkas / Terrorism / 
24
Jul

Raw Video: Life Under Hamas Rocket Attacks

When Code Red sirens go off in Israel, signaling that yet another rocket has been launched on civilian areas by terrorists in Gaza, people have a matter of seconds to get to safety in a bomb shelter. On the 19th of November 2012, three international students traveled to the southern Israeli city of Ashdod, to catch a glimpse of life under constant rocket threat.

Posted in: Learn / Middle East Climate / Terrorism