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  Hamas tunnel near Gaza border (illustrative) Tuesday, 2 February 2016 | Gaza is ramping up for another war with Israel and openly says so. Hamas leader Haniyeh is pledging to attack and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is pledging a devastating response. As a result, there is talk today in Israel that another Gaza war might be only months away.

Experts in Israel say that Hamas has as many tunnels today as it had just before it started its war with Israel in the summer of 2014. Spending upward of $140 million per year since that conflict ended a mere 20 months ago, tunnel reconstruction has been a breathtaking exercise. Literally breathtaking.Last week seven Hamas members were killed in tunnels that collapsed under heavy rains in Israel.

  US Secretary of State John Kerry Wednesday, 3 February 2016 | In a remarkable departure from his country's commitment to separation between religion and the state, US Secretary of State John Kerry yesterday branded members of Islamic State as, "above all, apostates ...who have hijacked a great religion and lie about its real meaning and ...purpose." His remark has provoked a number of sardonic observations by political analysts, including Israel where Islam is the primary religion of its Arabic citizens. Israel is also a country where, according to President Reuven Rivlin, ISIS has established a presence inside the nation's borders.

Kerry made the comment in Rome where he appeared in a joint press conference with Italy's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Paolo Gentiloni.

Headline first posted by CBS, before it was changed to reflect reality. Friday, 5 February 2016 | Mourning the murder of 19-year-old Hadar Cohen just outside Jerusalem's Old City on Wednesday afternoon, Israelis were outraged to learn how the United States' network, CBS News, headlined the breaking story.

"3 Palestinians killed as daily violence grinds on," it read. The absence of the story's essence, that an Israeli policewoman was murdered by one of three terrorists, was appalling to readers here.

 Monday, 8 February 2016 | Yesterday Hamas's official television channel, Al-Aqsa TV, publicized a new music video launched one day before on YouTube. Performed by a 10-member Lebanese band that calls itself Promise of Islamic Art, its latest release is "Roof of the Bus Blows Off." It is a six and a-half minute production that features band members performing by the burned out shell of an Egged (Israeli) bus. The bus, obviously depicting the remains of a suicide bombing, is lovingly depicted as a holy object.

Israeli community of Har Homa Tuesday, 23 February 2016 | Israel's detractors invariably refer to the nation's communities in the biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria as "illegal settlements." Everyone, it seems, from ambassadors to the United Nations to people on the streets, has embraced the idea that Israeli townships like Maale Adumim, Har Homa, and Efrat, suburbs of Jerusalem, exist in violation of international law. Is it true? Are Israel's "West Bank" [Judea-Samaria] settlements illegal?
  Wednesday, 24 February 2016 | Six years ago the evangelical market was targeted by two films. One, With God on Our Side, produced by Porter Speakman, Jr., purported to expose the shallowness and fallacies of Christians who support the Jewish state of Israel, commonly called Christian Zionists. The other film, Little Town of Bethlehem, produced by a company called Ethnographic Media, presented itself as "the story of three men of three different faiths and their lives in Israel and Palestine."
Iranian ambassador to Lebanon Mohammad FathaliThursday, 25 February 2016 | Iran is pledging to financially reward the families of slain Palestinian terrorists. Lebanese news outlets broke the story yesterday in their report about a press conference held at the Islamic Republic's embassy on Al-Quds Street in Beirut. At the event, Iran ambassador Mohammad Fathali said that "each intifada martyr's family in Jerusalem will be receiving an amount of US $7,000, while US $30,000 will be provided to every family whose home had been destroyed in this intifada."
  Israeli President Reuven Rivlin Friday, 26 February 2016 | Israel is increasingly concerned about the situation in Syria. Knowing it would cause resentment, yesterday Israeli President Reuven Rivlin abruptly cancelled a diplomatic visit to Australia in order meet with Russian President Putin. According to the Israeli intelligence news service, DEBKAfile, the unexpected trip was triggered by a phone call by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to Putin earlier this week, expressing Jerusalem's heightened apprehensions.
Ad to attend upcoming conferenceMonday, 29 February 2016 | When Christians support the State of Israel as a matter of biblical conviction, have they embraced a corruption of their faith? There is a growing chorus of voices that do not even bother to ask the question. According to these voices, both Christian and Jewish support for Israel is self-evident proof of dangerous religious fanaticism.

Next week in Bethlehem an international gathering of voices will be leveling this charge. Sponsored by Bethlehem Bible College, the fourth bi-annual "Christ at the Checkpoint" (CatC) conference has chosen as its theme, "The gospel in the face of religious extremism.

Israeli flag waving over the Sea of GalileeTuesday, 1 March 2016 | Why do Christians stand with Israel? Arguably, everybody wonders. For Christians who align themselves with the Jewish state, the question poses a challenge to explain. That is because most Christians ask it with inflections that mean, how could you?

In fact, from its earliest days in Rome, Christian history sided with those who regarded Jewish homelessness and suffering as God's judgment for rejecting Jesus as Messiah. Replacing the Jews as God's "chosen people," Christianity asserted that it alone was the rightful heir to all of God's biblically recorded blessings and promises.

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