By Calev Myers
Attorney Calev Myers is an Israeli Human Rights activist for both Jews and Arabs. This article is taken from a fascinating yet critically important speech he recently gave at the University of Helsinki in Helsinki, Finland.
I believe it is possible to support the human rights of both Israelis and Palestinians. I don’t think in order to be a Zionist, or in order to support Israel, you have to be against the rights of Palestinians.
And I don’t think that if you appreciate Palestinian human rights, you have to condemn the State of Israel and Zionism. It is completely possible to support and advocate for human rights on both sides of the track.
In fact, there is really nobody more critical of the Israeli government than Israelis. We have a very, very intense civil debate; newspapers and journalists aggressively criticize our government.
My organization, the Jerusalem Institute for Justice, has invested the past nine years in actually calling the Israeli government to account on issues of human rights, civil rights, freedom of religion, and social justice. We’re calling the Israeli government to stand on the very standards and laws that it created itself.
Our founding fathers determined we would be a Jewish and a democratic State, and that there would be equality for all the citizens within our borders. We challenge the Israeli government on many of these issues.
We have noticed that because Israel has a high standard of democracy, and because we have the rule of law and independent courts that are not ashamed to criticize and make decisions against our government, there is an avenue where our voice will be heard.
Because of that, most advocacy on behalf of Palestinian human rights is directed only against the Israeli government who is there to listen when someone speaks out. And because of that, many of the human rights organizations in the international community that are working in the Middle East have basically given a ‘carte blanche’ to the Palestinian Authority to abuse the human rights of the Palestinian people themselves.
There is very, very little criticism coming towards the behavior of the Palestinian Authority. Why? No one is there to listen.
I think all of us should be interested in having a stable Middle East; that is beyond question. But beyond just wanting stability in the Middle East, we should care about issues affecting the Palestinian Authority, because your tax money is currently funding much of its activities.
OVER A BILLION A YEAR
The Palestinian Authority receives on average, around €500,000,000 ($650,000,000) per year, from the European Union. That amount is more or less matched by the United States. Also Canada and Japan are generous donors. We’re talking about more than a billion euros per year coming into the coffers of the Palestinian Authority. That is your tax money. You should be concerned how it is being spent.
In fact, over the last nineteen years, from the signing of the Oslo accords in 1994 until today, the Palestinians have received more than 25 times more aid per capita, than the amount of money donated from the United States to Europe under the Marshall plan after World War II.
The Marshall plan paid for the complete reconstruction and rehabilitation of the European economy! Let me put this in simple terms - with the monies donated to the Palestinian Authority over the last 19 years, we could have reconstructed the European economy 25 times!
WHERE’S THE MONEY?
What has happened to this money? Where has all the money gone? And why are Palestinians still living in abject poverty throughout the Middle East?
I’ll tell you that much of the funds have been siphoned off to the private bank accounts of the Palestinian leaders. Other funds have been used to stockpile weapons, to build the biggest police force per capita of any nation in the world, to support education which diametrically opposes Western principles and values, and supports racism, anti-Semitism, and hatred. This is how your money has been used.
According to Arabic newspaper reports, Mahmoud Abbas, the current President of the Palestinian Authority, receives a salary of €1,000,000 per month!
This is more than 30 times the salary of President Barack Obama, 90 times the salary of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. According to Arabic bloggers, Mahmoud Abbas is estimated to be worth €100,000,000 personally; that’s his personal net worth. He is also relatively young, so probably by the time he reaches the age of his predecessor, Yasser Arafat, when he passes away, he might be worth more. In Arafat’s own private bank accounts, accountants found investments of more than €1,300,000,000 ($1,700,000,000) upon his death.
So what we have happening right now in the Palestinian Authority is that all this massive aid coming in from Europe and the United States is going to make a few individual leaders at the top of the system rich, but it is not filtering down to actually build the proper institutions within the Palestinian Authority.
President Mahmoud Abbas (left) is said to receive a salary of $1.3 million per month,
according to Arab newspapers. His personal worth is reported to be $130 million.
PLO chairman Yasser Arafat was worth $1.3 billion (€1 billion) at his death.
WHAT RULE OF LAW?
Over the last year the Palestinian Authority has made over 1700 arbitrary arrests that have been reported by international human rights organizations. Arbitrary arrests, degrading treatment, torture, executions without trial. Just three weeks ago, for instance, there was a 21-year-old man named Anas Awwad, who received a one and a half year prison sentence for posting a joke about Mahmoud Abbas on his facebook page.
This is very troubling to me. It is troubling to me because I live and work in Jerusalem. Jerusalem is only a few kilometers from Nablus. I live in the Israeli society where we have freedom of religion, freedom of expression, human rights, civil rights, and a very active media. I can write whatever I want in my blog about the Prime Minister without any fear of repercussion.
This is why I am so passionate about calling upon the international community to get engaged in this issue, to start monitoring the funds going into this government, and demanding human rights reforms. If anyone in the world can demand human rights reforms of the Palestinians, it is the Western democracies that are sending all this money.
A STATE OF THEIR OWN?
I personally believe that the right for the Palestinians to have a State should be based upon their ability to properly govern their own people. It should be based upon their ability to uphold democracy, the rule of law, human rights, and individual freedoms. If their right to a State is only based upon some historical claim to land, creating a state today will only create more problems and actually complicate life and make it worse - not only for the Israelis, but also for the Palestinians.
So this process of starting to review and challenge the human rights abuses in the Palestinian Authority is a very important step to finding a solution to our region. People are more important than the land, and if you put land above the people, you’ll get a graveyard. So it is critical that we use human rights as our compass, in order to reach an equitable solution to the conflict in the Middle East.
PERMANENT REFUGEES - PERMANENTLY SECOND-CLASS CITIZENS
In 1948 about 500,000 Arabs left what was then called Palestine, and which we now refer to as Israel. There is legitimate historic debate regarding why they left. The Palestinians say that most of them were forced out and expelled by the Israeli forces. Israelis say that most of them actually left because they were encouraged by the Arab nations surrounding Israel to leave their homes and villages, with the expectation that the Arab nations attacking Israel would win the battle and bring them back. In the meantime they wouldn’t be in the crossfire.
Let’s set aside for a minute the debate regarding why they left exactly and think about their life today - what is happening today with these people and their descendants.
Let me tell you a story about a refugee camp on the northern coast of Lebanon, called Nahar-al-Bared. In 2008 this refugee camp was basically bombed to pieces. An Islamic militant faction fired upon a Lebanese army base, and then fled into this refugee camp. So the Lebanese army started to bomb this camp. The Palestinian refugees living there were caught in the crossfire. Imagine Dresden after World War II. There were just skeletons of buildings left. This is what the camp still looks like today, five years after this event took place.
Today Palestinians still live in this camp, living in steel containers, which are like ovens in the summer and freezers in the winter. We need to ask ourselves, why are Palestinian refugees still refugees?
When these Arabs left in 1948, they went to Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Egypt, and other countries throughout the Middle East. In 1959 the Arab League made a decision that no Arab State in the Middle East would grant citizenship to Palestinian refugees. This is regardless of the fact that the Palestinians are Arabs who speak the same language and have the same culture as citizens of the Arab League. And regardless of the fact that the vast majority is also Muslim.
These people have been living in these nations for the past 65 years, for three generations, and they are still second-class human beings. In many of the nations they cannot study in the public schools, cannot receive public medical coverage, and cannot own land. In Lebanon they cannot even leave the refugee camps without receiving a special pass from their government.
UNRWA’S GOAL: TO MAINTAIN REFUGEE STATUS
So the Arab nations around Israel have decided to keep them as a second class of individuals, and are treating them as in apartheid in every sense of the word. Add to that UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) for Palestine refugees in the Near East, an organization that was created by the United Nations to take care of the Palestinian refugee crisis.
We must insert here that there is actually another organization run by the United Nations, called UNHCR (United Nations High Council of Refugees) which takes care of all the other refugees in the world, EXCEPT the Palestinians. The mandate of UNHCR is to help refugees get integrated into the societies where they are living. They invest a lot of resources to do so.
On the other hand, UNRWA’s mandate, which deals only with the Palestinian refugees, is the exact opposite - it perpetuates the refugee status from generation to generation. So Palestinians are the only type of refugees under international law where the refugee status does not expire with the refugee. It is passed to children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, etc.
MILLIONAIRES ELIGIBLE FOR REFUGEE AID?
If, for instance, a Palestinian refugee family left Israel in 1948, and settled in Syria, and maybe the grandson of these refugees got a visa to study at the University of Helsinki. Let’s say that he did well in his studies, and while he was studying, he met a beautiful Finnish girl and married her. After his studies he started a business in Finland, and executed a successful corporate exit. Now we have a multi-millionaire Finnish citizen that has been a success in a society. That person would still be recognized as a Palestinian refugee eligible for UNRWA support under the international law. Does that make sense to you?
So we have the UNHCR, which is trying to integrate refugees into their society, and UNRWA, which is perpetuating the Palestinian refugee status. The Muslim nations surrounding Israel cooperate with this, because most of the money given to UNRWA is used to grant relief to the Palestinians living in the various Arab countries. The Arab host governments themselves have no financial responsibility toward these congested and restricted refugee camps.
By keeping them as permanent refugees, the Arab states use them as pawns, promising them a return to their grandparents’ homeland after cleansing the state of Israel from its Jews. By keeping them in a transitory impoverished state, together with indoctrinating them with propaganda that the Jews stole their land, these hapless Arabs are kept in a perpetual state of turmoil and rage.
UNRWA’S 31,000 EMPLOYEES
Furthermore, UNRWA is the second largest employer of Palestinians in the Middle East - after the Palestinian Authority. Just to give you a comparison - the UNHCR, which takes care of 40 million refugees throughout the world, employs 7,000 employees. The UNRWA, which takes care of five million Palestinian refugees, has 31,000 employees. Some of these employees actually belong to terrorist organizations. Leaders of UNRWA have confessed to the fact that there are Hamas militants working for them and receiving a salary from them.
This should be of concern to you, because UNRWA is supported, among others, by major donations that come from Western democracies - your tax money. What they claim is that Hamas is a political organization, and UNRWA can’t inquire about someone’s political leanings when interviewing him or her for employment. But in truth, they have people on their payrolls who are carrying on dubious terrorist activities supported by this money donated by your governments.
RETURN ALL PALESTINIAN REFUGEES TO ISRAEL?
So you have the Arab League on one side that does not want to grant citizenship to the Palestinian refugees. Then you have UNRWA, on the other hand, which is perpetuating the refugee status by keeping these people and their descendants on welfare, and continuing to recognize them as refugees. Mahmoud Abbas is demanding that for a final peace settlement, Israel must recognize the right of return of all [5,000,000] Palestinian refugees.
Now, when Mr. Abbas says “the rights of all Palestinian refugees,” he is not thinking of them returning to the cities in the Palestinian Authority, which are Ramallah, Jericho, Nablus, and so on. He is thinking of their return to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Beersheva, all cities of Israel since 1948. There is no question this idea is absurd - in a word, a non-starter.
In fact, this idea has never been suggested or taken seriously regarding any other group of refugees in the world. After World War II there were population transfers of up to 40 million people, from one country to another - between India and Pakistan there were three million people alone.
We believe the solution to the Palestinian refugee crisis is not the right of return - it is the right of absorption. All of the Arab states surrounding Israel and the Palestinian Authority must grant full citizenship and equal rights to all the Palestinian refugees and their descendants living in their areas - just as Israel has granted full citizenship to the 800,000 plus Jews who fled from the Arab nations. We also are calling upon the international community to begin monitoring the funds coming into UNRWA and the Palestinian Authority, to make sure they are used for the purposes they were intended.
WESTERN CITIZENS MUST DEMAND TRUE JUSTICE
We must expose these issues and talk about them, and also bring them up before our governments, so that we can begin putting pressure on Western societies that are sending all this aid and all this funding, to start advancing human rights of the Palestinians in the Middle East. Again, I want to say that the rights of the Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza today to be recognized as a state should be based upon their ability to properly govern their people, and to keep a system that upholds democracy, rule of law, human rights, and personal freedoms.
I pray that people like us can come alongside and strengthen them and say that we’re not willing for these people to be used anymore as political pawns in a game whose ultimate intent is to destroy or delegitimize Israel. The people who lose at the end of the day are the Palestinians, because they continue to live in abject poverty.
The Palestinians are not political pawns. They are people - like you and me.
Calev Myers, Adv. is founder of Jerusalem Institute of Justice, an Israeli human rights organization. www.jij.org.il
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On the 40th Anniversary of Israel’s Yom Kippur War:
The Story of a Soldier
By Uzi Lotan
A WEDDING & HONEYMOON IN EUROPE
June 1973 was a particularly hot and humid month in Tel Aviv. Yet, my fiancé and I had made our plans to get married that summer, no matter what the temperature… I was only 23 years old, and my wife-to-be was 21. Though we were both young in years, we had already finished our compulsory service in the Israel Defense Forces. I served in Sinai, a real desert-mouse. She served in an Air Force base near Tel Aviv. Our service was during the War of Attrition (1968-1971) between Egypt and Israel, on the Suez Canal. We both already knew first-hand the cost of war!
For our honeymoon, we flew to Switzerland at the beginning of September 1973. We returned to Israel on the last El Al flight, Friday, October 5th, the eve of Yom Kippur, just before the airport was closed for about 30 hours. You see, during the Day of Atonement, everything closes down for a day: air and sea ports, buses, trains, taxis, radio, TV, restaurants and cinema houses. All traffic on the roads ceases, too. Yom Kippur is a very solemn Day of Awe in Judaism, especially when it falls on a Sabbath, which was the case in 1973.
6TH OF OCTOBER 1973: THE BITTER REALIZATION
So, there I was, elated after the wonderful time in Zurich, coming back to the serenity, silence and awe of Yom Kippur in Tel Aviv. I had hardly managed to unpack my suitcase. I remember that Saturday morning, sitting snug on the couch, near the coffee table, savouring the wonderful flavour and aroma of our preferred blend of good Israeli coffee…
After finishing the coffee, and as a confirmed News Bulletin freak, I had a “nudge” from inside to go to my portable transistor-radio. I tried to get BBC World Service, since Israel Broadcasting Authority was shut down for Yom Kippur, with no radio transmission.
Uzi Lotan stands by an American M48A3 Patton in Israel Armoured Force Museum -
the same type of tank he drove in the Yom Kippur War.
And there I heard it, on the British News: Israel had been attacked simultaneously, with no prior ultimatum, by two Arab countries: Egypt in Sinai, in the south, and Syria, on the Golan Heights, in the north. Nobody in Israel seemed to have been ready for it: neither the government nor the army!
By then, the Egyptians had managed to cross the Suez Canal from Egypt back into the Sinai, from where they had been driven out six years before during the Six-day-war of 1967. They were storming the vast peninsula, almost unhindered. The Syrians were doing the same on the Golan Heights, from where they had been driven out, also in ‘67. If not stopped, they could have reached Galilee in Israel, and only God knows what could have been the result of this…
The majority of the IDF’s combat personnel is not made up of mandatory military conscripts, but rather of civilian reservists, called up routinely to do training and maneuvers. In the case of an emergency call-up they need to report immediately! This was the case on Yom Kippur 1973.
As I went outside, I started seeing men running in the streets, leaving the synagogues in the middle of the prayers, running home to get their combat-gear. Not long after that, I started noticing army vehicles, an unusual sight on Yom Kippur, driving up and down the deserted streets, going from house to house to pick up the men from their homes.
And then came the blood-curdling siren.
FROM HONEYMOON TO HELL!
I called my father, as my military gear and uniforms were still with my parents. Being a reporter, he had a “PRESS” tag on his car, permitting him to drive his car without the risk of being stoned by the ultra-Orthodox…
At that point I already knew, deep inside, that my Honeymoon was indeed over, in more ways that one!
SINAI, 8TH - 24TH OF OCTOBER: MY YOM KIPPUR WAR
What I did not know though, was the extent and magnitude of the hell I would enter. I was positioned to do what I knew best: to drive a tank, an American M48A3 Patton, modified and improved by Israel.
I had the honor of driving the tank for the Second in Command to the Battalion Commander - Ehud Barak, the most decorated soldier in the IDF. In 1991 Barak became Israel’s Chief of the General Staff, during which time the United States Armed Forces awarded him the US Legion of Merit Medal. Barak then proceeded to become our Prime Minister, and in recent years was Israel’s Minister of Defense. But in October ’73 Barak was called back from his studies at Stanford University in California to help in the efforts of survival!
There were many other Israeli men in the same position as Barak: scattered all over the world for business, study or vacation. Yet - when the going in the Land gets tough - the tough get going back to do their duties - even if nobody called them to do so!
Most of those men had not even been assigned to specific units. Neither was I. Barak hastily formed a new armoured-battalion from scratch - The 100th Battalion, Armoured Division 460, all of us non-assigned reservists.
It took a couple of days before we could reach the battlefields in the Sinai. Moving an entire tank-battalion, including 36 tanks, 15 APC’s, kitchens, mechanics, ammunition trucks, fuel delivery trucks, parts and food is a mammoth operation! We only caught up with the war on day-3 of 18!
EGYPT, 24TH OF OCTOBER: MY SAVIOUR'S GRACE WAS UPON ME...
Just an hour before the war officially ended, on the 24th of October 1973, we were told to “take five” before entering the Egyptian City of Suez. It was then that my participation in the war came to an abrupt halt. I sustained a shrapnel injury to my head from a mortar barrage while resting on the wing of my tank.
I felt the impact but wasn’t aware I was injured. It was only when I returned to my tank and began driving in a weaving manner, did my commander realize I was injured and ordered me to stop. I became one of Israel’s 7,200 wounded soldiers.
Not long after I had been removed from my tank, just minutes before the Cease Fire and an official Cessation of All Hostilities was declared by the UN, my tank was directly hit by another Israeli tank!! The soldier that took my place as a driver was killed instantly! He was one of 2297 Israeli soldiers who died in that war. Our faithful gunner, Isaac, lost his left arm with my wrist-watch on it - my precious wedding gift…
You can imagine that taking part in such a cruel war, straight after the Alps, did not injure me in body only. The sheer contrast between a honeymoon and a hellish war was enough to drive anyone insane!
My injury, high in the nervous system, caused an unusual phenomenon: paralysis in both of my legs, loss of control of the urinary bladder, orientation problems and speech impediment. Yet, this unpleasant injury also saved my life - in more than one way!
NEW BIRTH IN SOUTH AFRICA
Uzi testifies of his healing after using
this caliper - a device for people
with motor disabilities - for 17 years.
Seventeen years later, in 1990, at the age of 40, I left Israel as a man broken in body and spirit. I had recovered my speech and other areas of injury, but I was not able to walk without braces or crutches, and had absolutely no feeling in my left leg from the hip down.
I had received a contract for a hi-tech job in South Africa. I left behind a marriage in ashes and my 10-year-old daughter. Arriving in Johannesburg, I met a neighbor near the hotel where my company had placed me and she began to witness to me about salvation and eternal life. Three weeks later, I gave my heart and my life to Yeshua - Jesus.
Three months later - exactly the 17th year anniversary of my injury, I was in Rhema Church and the pastor laid hands on me and prayed for healing. I fell to the floor, and then I felt terrible pain in my left leg - the leg in which I had felt nothing from the hip down for 17 years. I then lifted that leg in the air even with the weight of my brace. The right leg, less injured, also went straight up into the air. I was healed!
THOUGHTS OF AN OLDER, WISER BELIEVER…
Today, as a 63 year-old believer living in the Land, my relation to this anniversary is a two-pronged response: personal and national.
I have my own, personal Yom Kippur saga to tell: of how God, in His Mercy, took a 40-year-old paralytic from Israel, and by grace led him to salvation and healing in South Africa, after 17 years of torment and hatred towards God! Torment ceased at the moment of salvation. Healing, in body and spirit, followed shortly after! He is still in the process of healing my memories of the awful smell of burning human flesh, shouts of comrades on the radio crying for help, and other issues - a lengthier process it seems…
But I also have my thoughts and sentiments concerning the national aspects. I know, like the majority of Israeli citizens, what led Israel to the near-catastrophic results right at the beginning of the war. We were not ready. We were not dependent on our God. We were asleep. All of us, who lived here at the time, remember well how Israel was taken by surprise on the holiest of days on the Jewish calendar, not even 50 years after the Holocaust. How Israel was nearly wiped off the map in the first 48 hours of the war. We also know that if the Keeper of Israel had not intervened - Israel would not have won that war!
Uzi's father - an army photographer - received this photo taken by Micah Bar Am, of Uzi's tank being repaired under fire after Uzi deliberately drove over a land mine to keep a Jeep of paratroopers behind him from being blown up.
Having unfolded my candid, somewhat somber thoughts before you, I am still convinced of one major thing: this Beloved Nation of mine, inhabiting the Land where the story of the Gospel began, and where the feet of our victorious Lord are going to stand firm one day - has no other way but to recognize Yeshua and turn to Him! He is the only Glorious Prince of Peace; the Sun of Righteousness who brings healing in His wings!
God has ordained that His people among the nations will participate in our salvation. I pray that during these Days of Awe, our High Holidays, God will reveal Himself to more Israelis seeking the Truth. And I pray that as you continue to bless Israel, the God of Israel will bless you.
Uzi Lotan is director of Maoz Hebrew Publishing and elder in Congregation HaMaayan Kfar Saba, Israel.
*Jewish holidays which are fixed according to the Hebrew calendar, fall on different dates of the Gregorian calendar. In 1973, Yom Kippur fell on October 6.
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It's All About Teenagers - In Israel!
By Eitan Shishkoff
A kibbutz off the far northern coast of Israel served as the base for our national summer youth camp of 118 teens and counselors. And with that many teens, it was packed out!
The camp is not a tourist spot in Israel. It’s “off the beaten path,” yet it is replete with mountain trails, crashing surf and lush fields.
Our theme this summer was “Changing Gears.” We felt it was time for some changes. In each case, even when the change created hardship, the campers rose to the occasion. For one thing, we selected a new venue. We had never used this site for a camp before. Breakfast was provided, so lunch and dinner were up to us. This made us more dependent on each other. The kids cooked their own lunch on campfires in a eucalyptus grove - giving them a new appreciation for their moms!
In the past we used a full amplified sound system for worship. The youth really respond to the Messianic songs authored by other young Israelis. However, the kibbutz could not allow us to leave equipment set up overnight, so we used a scaled down, modest system. This change brought us closer to each other and the Lord. The intimacy of a “quieter” system bonded us in some of the sweetest praise and worship sessions in our 15 year history.
Hiking Israel’s northern canyons, we discovered cold water streams and rapids at the bottom of the canyons. The skills of mutual assistance, watching out for each other, and coming together as a group were all enhanced by our times in nature. Of course, there’s nothing like floating downstream on a hot summer day, in a raft with five other campers. We got very wet and enjoyed every minute!
Our partners overwhelmingly blessed Katzir with over $31,500 - $11,500 more than we committed
for the summer camp. This means that the rest of these gifts will be invested in the young people
who come to the winter Katzir camp during Hanukkah!
Our mornings started with small groups consisting of a youth leader and five teenagers. The groups learned what God’s Word says about the subject for that day, and afterwards each person found a quiet place for personal time with God.
Additionally, every evening we had a time of worship, prayer and teaching from the word of God. We had many challenging games teaching the youth the importance of cooperation. Walking trips, thought-provoking activities and teaching were the combination that showed us in many ways what it means to follow Yeshua.
For me, the climax of the camp was seeing the young people in prayer circles at the end of a solid week together. To watch them, arms around each other, asking for God’s blessings on their lives as they return home to family and congregation - it’s simply an unforgettable reward.
I want to personally thank those of you who assisted us financially to equip these young Messianic Israelis. We are training and preparing them to be the workers and leaders in Israel’s promised final harvest. As leaders, it is our compelling passion to see the next generation transformed to become energized disciples of Yeshua. Thank you for coming along side of us and holding up our hands!
Eitan Shishkoff is the Coordinator of Katzir Camps
Moshe, 15 - So many things happened to me in this camp that I don’t know how to describe it. Last year I enjoyed the summer camp and resolved to reach out in a big way. But I got home and locked myself in my room with computer games. This year, I have a more realistic expectation of touching people’s lives and have no desire to lock myself in my room. Also, I broke through an important barrier in praise and worship. I didn’t get it before that you have to give yourself to it. So this year I was moved to jump in - literally - with dancing and singing and really participating. It changed me; and I want to continue to worship God as an essential part of my life.
Olga, 15 - God changed my life this week, in a way that I could not do myself. I’ve never been able to have a personal quiet time. But together with your help, I’ve experienced it.
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THE TIME IS NOW!
A note from Ari and Shira
We are expanding our Maoz Media outreach. NOW!
Since we have been extremely blessed to have handed Congregation Tiferet Yeshua over to our trusted friend and co-laborer Asher Intrater, we have turned our attention to reaching Israelis through Internet.
We know the challenge is enormous!
Why? As any pioneer knows... in the Lord’s work pioneers have to break down spiritual walls.
To build new foundations not yet laid.
In Israel, finding Israeli believers who are skilled in all the areas of modern-day media - well, it has to be a miracle!
But one by one, we are building a fantastic team - video photographers, editors, scriptwriters, graphic artists, animators, audio technicians, and of course producers/directors.
We are working with musicians from all over the country - to produce modern and contemporary Hebrew music to attract Israeli youth... And we have much more in the offing! But we are building... one step at a time.
We need you to build with us! Help us build a foundation!
The time is NOW.
The place is ISRAEL.
The next generation is READY!
Together, we CAN DO IT!!!
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HAPPY JEWISH NEW YEAR 5774!
Once again, this year we are pleased to offer our partners a beautiful 16-month Hebrew calendar, beginning September 2013, for your gift of $35 or more!
This calendar includes gorgeous photographs of Jerusalem - including the Western Wall in the snow, and fireworks over Jerusalem. You will love it!
Dear Maoz Partner,
The world is going virtual. It is a global reality.
Newspapers are folding. A couple of weeks ago, the New York Times Company sold the venerable Boston Globe for $70 million. Twenty years ago the Times bought it for $1.1 billion!
Can we tell you the truth? We both like to read newspapers made out of paper. But these days we are getting a lot more information from our iPhones and computers.
Our children however, don’t read any newspapers or magazines. It’s all about Internet.
The reality is - our world is changing every few years. This younger generation lives on the Internet and most of them will never touch a printed paper or magazine - or even a book! Today it’s about eBooks.
And soon, oh so soon, these younger generations will be our age. Their life experience and habits will be as different from ours - as ours are from our grandparents - before electricity and cars.
We as believers in the greatest story ever told, have the greatest task of any other people in the world. We have got to get the Gospel out to today’s generation. And at this time in history, we have at our fingertips the most incredible tools to reach the most people at one time!
For years the two of us have understood that one day we would be devoting much of our lives to media. We didn’t know how because of the heavy responsibility we had in pioneering a local congregation in Israel.
It’s now very clear to us! We see the hand of God directing us to give media everything we have - in prayer, energy, creativity and a strong bold faith to see it happen in our lifetime.
We have much of the equipment we need to go into high gear. But we still need talent. Creative people. Experienced technicians and artists. Professionals who can mesh with our vision and who have a passion to reach this generation with HOPE - the Truth of the Good News.
Talented artists cost more than ordinary, inexperienced workers. But the end result will be totally worth it!
We want and need the best talent Israel’s believing community has to offer - so that when our message goes out it will dynamically impact our nation and penetrate lives.
It won’t be done all at once. Pioneering is “in the trenches” work. But we race toward the goal to reach our Israeli people with the Light of the World.
Will you run with us? Will you invest in Internet media? The price is high. But the harvest will be great. And your name will be written in heaven as one who brought in the harvest in His Land, the Land of Israel, and among His people.
HAPPY NEW YEAR! We’re one year closer to the coming of our Messiah!
For this generation,
Ari & Shira Sorko-Ram
P.S. Remember to request your New Year’s Hebrew Calendar with your gift of $35 or more. (U.S. and Canada ONLY)
(The Jewish New Year starts the evening of September 4!)
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