Israel is reeling from terrorist attacks that took place near the southern city of Eilat earlier today. At least seven people were killed and another 26 injured in a three-stage attack that included gunmen firing on a bus, a series of bombs detonating near an IDF patrol, and anti-tank missiles fired at a car.
Sadly, these types of attacks
aren't that unusual in Israel, a land surrounded by people sworn to her destruction. The rapid succession in which these attacks occurred is much more unusual — and troubling. And all of this is happening as Israel is gearing up for what appears to be a critical month for the state and her supporters.
On September 20, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas's campaign to have the United Nations unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state will finally come to a head when the resolution is presented to member nations of the U.N. If it passes, it would allow Palestinians to avoid negotiating with Israel, effectively killing the likelihood that they would ever compromise on key issues and making the possibility of peace between Israel and the Palestinian even more remote than it already is. Durban III
, the U.N.'s World Conference Against Racism, will also take place in New York on September 22, marking the tenth anniversary of the first such conference, held in Durban, South Africa. At that event, American and Israeli delegations walked out when the proceedings took a decidedly vicious anti-Israel turn. The United States and several other nations boycotted Durban II in 2009, which was again riddled with harsh and unjustified criticism of Israel. Durban III promises to be little better.
Next month also marks the ten-year anniversary of the 9/11 terror attack. On that fateful day, the U.S. lost some of her naiveté and much of her sense of security. And she learned an unmistakable lesson about what radical Islamists are capable of, and the need to be constantly on guard against the radical Islamist threat — a lesson that Israel learned well prior to September 11, 2001.
As Michael Oren, Israel's ambassador to the United States, put it in a recent conference call with Jewish leaders in the U.S., for friends of Israel this is a time for "all hands on deck." Now, more than ever, we need to be educated and aware. You can follow the news on all these key events on our Stand for Israel
blog. And once we're armed with the truth of what's going on, it's important to voice it in our circles of influence, where others might not know what's happening — or might be hearing misinformation from a media that's riddled with anti-Israel bias.
But, most important, I ask you to keep Israel in your prayers — especially the grieving friends and family members of those killed in the attacks and the leaders who will navigate these key events in September. In the face of Palestinian power grabs, Israel-bashing disguised as a conference on racism, and a day that marks the loss of so much life at the hands of terrorists, we turn to God, clinging to the words of Psalm 5:11
, "But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you
With prayers for shalom
, peace,Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
President, International Fellowship of Christians and Jews