Dear Friend of Israel,
Israel faces enemies on all sides — but with the recent focus on the escalating conflict on Israel’s southern border with Gaza, it’s sometimes easy to forget just how true that statement is.
This week, however, we were reminded of this painful fact when the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) launched a campaign to destroy cross-border tunnels dug by Hezbollah terrorists operating out of Lebanon in the north. It has been dubbed Operation Northern Shield.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier this week emphasized the gravity of the threat posed by Hezbollah. The terror tunnels, he noted, are “not an isolated operation, but a wide and ongoing operation” aimed at capturing parts of the Galilee region. “It is part of an effort with a breadth and depth that we have not seen before.”
As I read this news, I was reminded of the 2006 Lebanon War — which some called the “scorched summer” — during which Hezbollah launched some 4,000 rockets at Israel, killing scores of Israelis and forcing others to live in bomb shelters for weeks at a time. I am proud to say that during this time when Israel was besieged, The Fellowship was there, offering emergency assistance to cities under fire, providing food and medical care, and expressing our solidarity — and the solidarity of Israel’s American friends — with the Israeli people.
In the years since, rocket attacks from the north have become more sporadic, but have never stopped completely. And all the while Hezbollah has been increasing its storehouse of armaments, while also increasing its already considerable power within the Lebanese government. The terrorist group follows the dictates of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which is sworn to Israel’s destruction. It is truly a force to be reckoned with.
And yet, I remember the biblical promise: “no weapon forged against you will prevail” (Isaiah 54:17). Sure of this promise, even as we witness security threats faced by Israel and Jewish communities around the world, let us continue to pray for security for Israel and her people, for wisdom for her leaders, and for safety for the fighting men and women of the IDF who stand on the front lines of the war on terror.
Israel does indeed face enemies on all sides; but she has on her side the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob — against whom no weapon will prevail.
With prayers for shalom, peace,
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President