This Monday evening, Fellowship President Yael Eckstein joined thousands of our faithful friends for a special Fellowship family meeting. On the call, Yael discussed the rising threats against Israel, the Middle East’s changing reality, and what we are doing to help the Holy Land. Below is an edited transcript of Yael’s remarks, and you can also listen to the call above.
It’s amazing and encouraging and inspiring to just see how many people, friends of Israel are so interested in hearing updates on the Holy Land — Christians and Jews involved in order to make a tangible difference through prayer and action and knowledge of how to stand with Israel.
I’ve been in America for the past three weeks and in that time I’ve actually flown back to Israel for six hours to greet a Fellowship aliyah flight where we brought Jews from the former Soviet Union home to Israel. And who was there to greet the flight, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who spoke beautifully about The Fellowship and about how important Christian friends to Israel are. I was with Governor Huckabee earlier this week, with Gordon Robertson. I spoke at chapel services at Regent University. And I was in Canada, so it’s been a very busy schedule that’s left me awed and inspired by how many friends Israel has here in America and around the world.
I’m going to start by speaking about the security situation in Israel. There are three things on my mind tonight I wanted to talk to you about. The first one is just about being in Israel and seeing how the needs are bigger than ever, and how our Fellowship friends continue to walk beside us in support as we fulfill biblical prophecy every single day thanks to you. Every single day Jews from all four corners of the earth come home to Israel just as the prophets told thousands of years ago. There’s no other people who have been exiled from their land for so long and persecuted by so many countries and so many leaders, so many peoples, and then after 2,000 years they’re reunited with their homeland. And it’s amazing to see how Christians and Jews coming together are making this possible.
I recently spoke to a young man from Ukraine who had to change his last name for the past ten years because he had a Jewish last name and there was so much anti-Semitism there that he had to change his last name so he wouldn’t be persecuted and face threats of attacks. These are the people that we’re bringing home from the former Soviet Union and around the world.
In Israel there are different threats. On one hand, Israel is the safest place in the world for the Jewish people. What we’re seeing is really historic — not only prophetic, but historic —it’s the first and only country in the world where the government and army have one goal and objective and that’s to protect the Jewish people. There’s no other country like that in the world. And The Fellowship is there in order to help the government, to really partner with the government and partner with the local municipalities to tell them that Christians around the world stand with the people of Israel.
The Fellowship has built over 5,500 bomb shelters and I was speaking recently to a mother who has four children and she was saying every time she runs to her bomb shelter, sometimes she’s able to get all the children there in time and sometimes not. And when she goes in there, she always remembers that it’s Christians around the world who are standing with them because on the radio they hear about everyone who’s against Israel — the UN, the EU, the Arab Union, Iran calling for Israel’s destruction, tunnels underneath their homes being dug so that terrorists can jump out of them. And she goes into the bomb shelter and she remembers that indeed the Jewish people are not alone.
It’s been amazing to see what The Fellowship is doing on your behalf in Israel. With all of the threats arising daily, you are there to tell the Jewish people that they’re not alone. So that’s the first thing that I wanted to say. Thank you for standing with Israel, with Jewish people around the world, through The Fellowship, as the risk of anti-Semitism and attacks rises across the world. Many people say we haven’t seen this much anti-Semitism in Europe since before World War II. We’re protecting synagogues and schools and it’s thanks to you.
We now have over 16,000 people on this call. Wow, we are a community, friends. We are more than a community. We are family and it’s one big family. Thank you for joining us.
The second thing that I want to talk to you about is the security situation in Israel. Israel is facing threats from Hamas in the Gaza Strip, which is less than a mile away from communities, big towns in Israel with children and schools and synagogues and parks. We know that there are tunnels underneath these communities dug by Hamas terrorists trying to prepare for a surprise attack. And actually just a few weeks ago I was with Pastor Johnnie Moore, who is an amazing inspiring man and also the head of the Evangelical Council for President Trump, and together we were touring one of these tunnels that Hamas terrorists dug that Israel found, thank God. And as we were going through the tunnel on the border with the Gaza Strip we heard a Hamas terrorist doing their prayers — that close to us that we were able to hear it. And not very far away were children playing in parks. Also, Israel was digging fresh water lines into the Gaza Strip — that’s something you’ll never see on the news. And so as terrorists are digging tunnels out of the Gaza Strip in order to kill Jewish people, Israel is digging tunnels into the Gaza Strip to give them fresh water.
And what I saw was that, once again, The Fellowship was there to secure the people on the border of Gaza. We’ve built operations centers where the mayor and the head of police and the head of security, the head of Israel Defense Forces, they all gather to assess different threats to Israel. And that was built by Christians around the world who love Israel. We’ve built bomb shelters. We’ve provided flak jackets. We’ve provided everything to first responders so that they can be secure and save lives. And everything we do, we tell them this is donated from Christians and Jews around the world who love the people of Israel, who are not alone.
I’m sure you haven’t heard about this because it hasn’t been reported on mainstream media, but just last week there was a 19-year-old boy who was killed. He was both studying the Bible and also defending Israel in the IDF and he was killed by terrorists simply for being Jewish. And it’s that same week that Hamas had a meeting with Iran where Iran announced that they’re going from supporting Hamas terrorists for $100 million to $360 million a year. Their support is increasing because Iran wants information on Israel. They have little proxy terrorist networks on every border of Israel, in the Gaza Strip, in the south. In the north, Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon are actually part of the government. We know that there are hundreds of thousands of rockets directed towards Israel.
And what the latest security assessment says is that if there is going to be war and what they say is not if, but when, with either the Gaza Strip or Hezbollah in Lebanon, there is going to be war on both of those fronts and potentially rockets from Iran as well. And so as the Israeli government is doing everything to prepare to protect Israel’s people during the occurrence of this war, The Fellowship is also doing everything we can in order to get ready because once war breaks out, it’s very hard to provide those needs. Now is the time, during times of quiet when we know war is on the way, to start preparing the home front.Tags: audio Fellowship Family meeting IFCJ Israel townhall call Yael Eckstein