A recent eruption of violence in Judea and Samaria was riddled with the usual accusations of Israeli brutality toward the Palestinians. But one story being touted in the Hebrew press demonstrates that Israel has no such lust for violence, and in general adheres rather well to Yeshua’s admonition to “love thy enemy.” According to the story, at the height of the violence, an Israeli doctor quietly entered the Palestinian-ruled Biblical city of Shechem (today known as Nablus) without an army escort in order to save the life of a young Palestinian man who had been badly injured in a clash with Israeli soldiers and Jewish settlers.

It mattered not that the young man had sought out violence with the Israelis, and any trepidation over entering Shechem without escort was suppressed. All Dr. Micah Shamir knew was that this Palestinian man would die without the kind of treatment Israel can provide. Dr. Shamir, a senior physician at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital, told the Ma’ariv daily newspaper about the harrowing experience: “It was clear we needed to save this young man. But entering Shechem was not pleasant, and there were moments of real fear.”

Dr. Shamir and his colleagues were made aware of the young man’s condition when Palestinian doctors at a Shechem hospital unequipped to save his life reached out for help. “I didn’t think twice,” said Dr. Shamir. While the rescue operation was sanctioned by the Palestinian mayor of Shechem, had any of the local terror groups decided to attack or abduct the Israeli doctor, they could have easily done so. “It was extremely dangerous,” Dr. Shamir recalled. Ultimately, the mission was a success, and the young Palestinian man was secreted out of Shechem and transferred to a hospital in Jerusalem where he is recovering in stable condition.

Many Israelis were angered by the story, not because of what Dr. Shamir did for this Palestinian man, but because Israel typically shies away from taking such action on behalf of its own. Shechem was the setting for a similar situation in October of 2000, when a Palestinian mob stormed the Jewish holy site of Joseph’s Tomb and violently assaulted the Israeli soldiers stationed there. As the Israelis pulled back, Cpl. Madhat Yusuf, 19, sustained serious gunshot wounds. Fearing that an incursion back into Shechem to rescue Yusuf would result in a major and bloody gun battle and subsequent international condemnation, the young Druze soldier was left to bleed to death.

Source: Israel Today



For the first time since the establishment of the State of Israel, a Russian warship docked at the port city of Haifa earlier this month. The “Azov” of Russian’s Black Sea Fleet came to Israel at the request of the Association of Russian War Veterans to help celebrate the anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany. Jewish veterans of the Red Army who later immigrated to Israel were invited to participate in a ceremony aboard the massive ship. However, there was another even more important, even historical, reason for the visit-with the looming collapse of the Assad regime in Syria, Russia is on the lookout for new Middle East alliances.

Russia has long maintained a large naval base in Tartus, the second largest port city in Syria. But with Syria’s ongoing civil war likely to end in that country descending into factional warfare and chaos, Russia is concerned for its interests in the region. Recent reports are that Moscow is searching for a new Mediterranean seaport to maintain strategic balance in the region. Russian delegations have reportedly examined Egypt and Algeria. But Israeli officials say that the Arab Spring has changed Russia’s view of Israel, and Moscow now understands that in this volatile and unpredictable region, the Jewish state is an anchor of stability.

“There are things on which we do not agree with Russia, but there is a general understanding that we defend the same principles of democracy and security,” said one official in Jerusalem. “They share our concern over Islamic  fundamentalism taking over the Middle East. The Russians realize now more than ever that you can rely on Israel.” The Russians very loudly publicized the Azov’s visit to Israel, and their decision to mark the victory over the Nazis together with Jewish veterans. A statement issued by Russia said “Russia is proud of its connection to this historical event, and wants to remind everyone that we fought on the right side.”

The statement went on to say “There is something to be understood from this for the contemporary Middle East. Where we decided to make anchor is a clear statement, both to the Israelis and the entire region.” There was a general understanding that the Azov’s visit was not a one-time event, and that other Russian warships would come calling in the near future. Israelis officials did not deny that they are open to further cooperation with Moscow.

Source: Israel Today



Stamps bearing tribute to the daring Australian Light Horse Brigade and the monumental battle fought by the ANZACs in Beersheba in 1917 were jointly issued by Israel and Australia this month. The release of the stamps serves as a celebration of the enduring friendship between Australia and Israel that dates back 96 years to the Battle of Beersheba. The joint issue was officially launched at the World Stamp Exhibition Australia 2013 in Melbourne. Australia Post Managing Director and CEO Ahmed Fahour said, ‘the joint stamp issue is a great addition to the World Stamp Expo and a tangible way for Australia Post to acknowledge its relationship with Israel Post’.

‘It’s been a real pleasure working with Israel Post on this stamp issue. The Battle of Beersheba is something close to the hearts of both Israelis and Australians and was a clear choice to feature on the stamp issue,’ said Mr Fahour. Israel’s Ambassador to Australia Yuval Rotem acknowledged the special relationship forged between Australian soldiers and Jewish residents amid the Battle of Beersheba, which has endured until this day. ‘Despite great geographical distance, our two nations operate on the same values. I am proud of what our countries have achieved together and am genuinely excited by the prospects the future offers’, said Ambassador Rotem.

CEO of Israel Postal Company Haim Elmoznino also welcomed the initiative saying, ‘the Israel Postal Company is proud to issue two joint stamps with Australia as a manifestation of the friendship and cooperation across a number of fields between the two countries’. ‘I welcome the excellent working relationship we enjoy with Australia Post and thank Australia Post for their cooperation throughout and beyond this joint project’, said Mr Elmoznino. The stamps and related products will be available for purchase from Max Stern & Co, 234 Flinders Street, Melbourne (contact via 03 9654 6751).  Israel’s stamps are also available online from

Source: National Alliance of Christian Leaders