iBlog: behind the stories

April 25, 2017

Israel: Taking time to remember

By Marney Blom

Today is Yom HaZikaron, the day Israel honours the memory of its fallen soldiers and civilians – ones who have lost their lives through war and acts of terrorism.

“We remember with sadness the young lives cut short – each and every one of them an entire world,” said IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz.

From the moment the modern State of Israel was born, it became a target of annihilation – an unwelcome member of the hostile neighbourhood of the Middle East.  As a result, 23,085 Israeli soldiers, police officers and innocent civilians have been caught in the crossfire of war and terrorism, 102 more names than last year.

“We are here thanks to Israel’s fighters who joined the struggle for our existence, thanks to those who survived the wars and thanks to those who fell,” remarked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his weekly cabinet meeting.  “We do not forget, even for a second, that we are here thanks to the fallen.”

In communities throughout Israel last night, an 8 p.m. national siren was immediately followed by memorial ceremonies in memory of fallen local residents.  A second siren sounded across Israel at 11 a.m. this morning.  To view the public observance of Yom HaZikaron click LINK.

Marney Blom is news director for the Acts News Network.

Copyright 2013 © Acts News Network, Inc.

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September 30, 2016

When the Kings of the earth gather in Jerusalem

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PM Netanyahu and wife Sara, Pres. Obama, King Felipe VI.

By Marney Blom

Today marked an unprecedented day in history: the kings of the earth gathered in Jerusalem.

Ninety foreign dignitaries representing 70 nations came to pay their final respects to the last of Israel’s founding fathers. 93-year-old Shimon Peres served as both prime minister and president of Israel, in a political career that spanned nearly 70 years. After suffering a stroke on September 13th, Peres passed away last Wednesday.

On simple white plastic folding chairs under a shade-covering on Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl, 30 former and present heads of state sat side-by-side Peres’ grieving family, friends, Israel’s chief rabbis, Israeli military and political elite.

“He belonged to the generation that emerged from bondage to liberty, that struck roots in our ancient homeland, and wielded the Sword of David in its defense,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the crowd of 5000 attending the state funeral. “Shimon made a monumental contribution to guaranteeing our capacity to defend ourselves for generations.”

Many of the male dignitaries wore kippahs, including Great Britain’s Prince Charles and King Felipe VI of Spain, while others like France’s President Francois Holland and the leader of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas chose to go without.

Counted among the Canadian delegation were Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, former PMs Stephen Harper and Jean Chretien, and Leader of the Opposition Rona Ambrose.

“A bountiful life driven by simple pleasures of family and by big dreams — this was Shimon Peres’ life. This is the state of Israel,” eulogized the American president Barak Obama, flanked by security detail. “This is the story of the Jewish people over the last century.”

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Funeral of Shimon Peres

Today’s tribute to Shimon Peres marked the largest gathering of international dignitaries since the 1995 funeral of assassinated Israeli prime minister Yitzak Rabin, and it came within days of Rosh Hashanah.

Members of Israel’s rabbinic community took note.

Rabbi Yosef Berger told Breaking Israel News that this sudden gathering of world leaders just prior to Rosh Hashanah could signify “the final stages before Messiah.” He pointed to Psalms 47:2-4, the Scripture passage read before the blowing of the shofar on Rosh Hashanah, which clearly exalts the Lord God as the king over all the rulers of the earth.

“For the Lord Most High is awesome, the great King over all the earth.  He subdued nations under us, peoples under our feet (NIV).

… set the stage for the unfolding of even greater prophetic events to come.
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Prince Charles, John Kerry

Berger also noted that the portion of Scripture read in synagogues all over the world this week, Deuteronomy 29:10, clearly depicts the scene witnessed on Mount Herzl today.

“All of you are standing today in the presence of the Lord your God — your leaders and chief men, your elders, and officials, and all the other men of Israel…” (NIV).

Before Peres’ sons Yoni and Nehemia, and daughter Prof. Tsvia Walden came forward to read their eulogies, soloist David D’or sang Avinu Malkeinu (Our Father, Our King), a Jewish prayer for forgiveness and mercy traditionally sung on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. It’s stirring lyrics are a confession of sin, a cry for compassion, and a plea for an end to war and trouble — hallmarks of the messianic age.

Today’s great gathering in Jerusalem was a clear demonstration of the profound impact tiny Israel has on the global community. Unknowingly, it may have also set the stage for the unfolding of even greater prophetic events to come.

Marney Blom is news director for the Acts News Network.

Copyright 2016 © Acts News Network, Inc.

 

 

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June 9, 2016

Jerusalem Day victory marches on …

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Jerusalem Day “Dance of the Flags” march

By Marney Blom

Late last week I attended a press briefing conducted by the Israeli police spokesperson, in preparation for the Jerusalem Day “Dance of the Flags” march.  New security measures were to be implemented in response to the clashes that had tarnished last year’s march.  Stone throwing by Arab Palestinians, and flared tempers by both Arab spectators and Jewish march participants had left several police officers and a French television cameraman injured at the Damascus Gate entrance of the Muslim quarter of the Old City.

Chief Inspector Micky Rosenfeld, foreign press spokesman for the Israel Police, informed us that five new media areas would be strategically positioned at the Damascus Gate and along Hagai Street, the artery of the march running through the Muslim quarter.  Even with the newly enforced security measures in place, the organization Ir Amin (“City of Nations”) petitioned the High Court Justice, albeit unsuccessfully, to re-route the procession to avoid the Muslim quarter.

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Over 30,000 Israelis march on Jerusalem Day

This year, however, the Jerusalem Day march proceeded without incident.  With over 2,000 police officers patrolling the route, more than 30,000 predominantly religious Zionist youth marched the streets waving flags and banners while singing and dancing in exuberant celebration.  The procession ended at the Western Wall plaza where it spilled into an already over-capacity crowd.  Although it was barely possible to move among the tens of thousands of jubilant flag-bearing Israelis, it was very easy to get swept up by the atmosphere of joy and celebration.

It has been 49 years since the miracle of Jerusalem’s reunification, yet the children of Israel continue to mark this day with a dance of victory.

To see the Acts News Network Jerusalem Day news brief click HERE.

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May 26, 2016

God’s Messenger …

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Rabbi Yehuda Glick and Marney Blom at the Knesset, Jerusalem

 

By Marney Blom

Early last week I received a communique confirming that I had been scheduled to meet with Rabbi Yehuda Glick, the founder and chairman of the Temple Mount Heritage Foundation and an outspoken advocate for the rights of all faiths – not just Muslims – to pray on the Temple Mount.  Rabbi Glick is also widely known for the 2014 assassination attempt on his life.  The four bullets that were fired into his chest by an Arab resident of Jerusalem were believed to be directly linked to his Temple Mount prayer-advocacy work. Remarkably he survived the attack.

Those were last week’s plans.

Then a series of events took place: the resignation of Israel’s Minister of Defence Moshe Ya’alon and the official appointment of Rabbi Yehuda Glick to Ya’alon’s vacant Knesset seat. The day of our scheduled meeting became the Rabbi’s first day at the Knesset, yet he kept his promise to speak to me.  Though he was clearly itching to get on with the myriad of first-day-on-the-job tasks, we sat down for a chat at the Knesset’s Kosher Dairy cafe because he had not yet been assigned an office.

I recognized immediately that this was not only a chance to interview Israel’s premier advocate for the rights of Jews and Christians to pray on the site scripture refers to as “a house of prayer for all the peoples” (Isaiah 56:7) but I was given a rare opportunity to speak with Israel’s newest Knesset Member on his first day on the job.  Amazing how life happens.

Although our 12-minute meeting was delayed by a pressing need for Glick to submit an official Declaration of Renunciation of his US citizenship, and was consistently punctuated by incoming phone calls, the yet-to-be-sworn-in MK graciously took the time to give his perspective on this new shift of events in his life.

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Rabbi Yehuda Glick’s first day at the Knesset, Jerusalem

Due to his Temple Mount prayer-advocacy work Glick today is considered the most controversial MK in the Knesset.  He is not deterred.  He sees his Knesset seat appointment as a divine set-up.

“God has picked me up from the pit and put me… here in the Knesset.  I am sort of like a messenger on a mission to do His mission,” said Glick. “It is very scary, but I pray to [the Name of the Lord] that I will do it faithfully.”

Marney Blom is news director for the Acts News Network.

Copyright 2016 © Acts News Network, Inc.

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October 20, 2015

Say what?

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Former PM Stephen Harper gives final speech on election night, October 19, 2015.

By Marney Blom

This morning I woke up in Jerusalem to the shocking news that the Liberal Party of Canada, which had been leading slightly in the polls, swept into power with a majority government in yesterday’s federal election.

Canada’s prime minister of nine years Stephen Harper is out, and Justin Trudeau, the son of the late PM Pierre Elliot Trudeau is in.

For die-hard supporters of Stephen Harper, today is a day of mourning and bewilderment.  In many ways the 43-year-old Justin Trudeau embodies the antithesis of our former PM.

Harper advocated balancing the budget, Trudeau endorses increased government spending and debt.  Harper holds a masters degree in economics – not a bad credential in times of growing economic turbulence – Trudeau an unfinished masters of arts in environmental geography.  Harper is unabashedly pro-Israel, the young Trudeau openly a friend of Imams and mosques linked to terrorism.

Although the people of Canada voted yesterday for change, a transformation could be on the way.

We scratch our heads, “Say what?”

Although the people of Canada voted yesterday for change, a transformation could be on the way. So how do we, who love God and pray for our country, respond?

I am reminded of a meeting I attended in 2009, a Watchmen for the Nations Christian gathering in Ottawa – the culmination of 12 years of prayer gatherings attended by devout Christians from across the nation.  During that particular gathering there was much celebration for what had taken place during the span of twelve years.  We had witnessed a clear transition of Canadian governance from Liberal socialist red, to Conservative blue  lead by an evangelical PM who displayed moral clarity on a number of key issues, not least of which was his unwavering support for Israel.  For most evangelicals the latter is non-negotiable.

However in the days prior to the shift in government that had taken place over a decade ago, I had noticed a transformation in the hearts of the “warriors” who prayed for Canada.  Even though we struggled with the socialist policies of the Liberal government of the day, there was a shift in our hearts to not only bless the government God had entrusted to us, but to speak words of life and blessing. The Bible says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”  (Proverbs 18:21).

And it worked! As Canadian believers practiced blessing their government, it began to transform before our eyes. Something to remember as we grapple with concern for the future of our country under its’ new government.  Let’s not forget the transformations of the past, and carefully select what we say about the government of our future.

Copyright 2015 © Acts News Network, Inc.

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