Chris Mitchell

CBN News Middle East Bureau Chief

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Seven Minutes

November 18, 2014, 7:00 a.m.
 
Paramedic Haim Gartner – one of the first on the scene – described what he saw. 
 
“We go inside. We see people are just lying down with this Jewish … tallit [prayer shawl] covered with blood. Part of them I’m wasn’t sure if they were shot or just cut up, I mean stabbed,” Gartner recalled. “You … run from person to person to check who’s alive, who’s not alive … every face you see you hope it’s not your brother, or your brother-in- law, or father-in-law, or parents cause you know we live in this neighborhood.”
 
Jerusalem Municipality Police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld gave the gruesome report:
    
“Two terrorists Palestinians from east Jerusalem entered inside the synagogue.  They were armed with knives, axes and a pistol.  The synagogue was packed at the time with people praying in peace and quiet and as a result of this terror attack where shots were fired and innocent people were sadly attacked.  Four Israelis were pronounced dead at the scene.”
 
Amateur video captured the final shootout with police. They shot and killed the terrorists.
 
Rosenfeld said the entire attack took seven minutes.
 
Seven minutes to wrack a community, shake a city and stir the world.   
 
Har Nof, a quiet, religious Jerusalem neighborhood was the scene of the assault.  Har Nof means “mountain of the view” and overlooks a panoramic vista on the outskirts of the city.  In the early morning hours, grief and shock greeted its residents along with the autumn sun. 
 
The attack took place about 7:00 a.m. We arrived later to report on Jerusalem’s worst terror attack in six years. Dozens of police scoured the area. Hundreds of residents surrounded the slopes beside the synagogue. A helicopter whirred overhead. Reporters faced their cameras and told the story in French, Chinese, English and of course Hebrew. 
    
David – a local – painted a picture of what he calls home. 
 
“They came into a quiet neighborhood. It’s not in east Jerusalem or occupied territories or any of that lexicon. They came in here to people who were praying and killed them while they’re praying in cold blood, people who were going to come home to take the kids to school. The kids are sitting home or actually walking around over here wondering where their fathers are,” he told us.
 
Another local – Avi – watched us finish our “stand up.” With tears he offered to give us pictures from inside the synagogue. The pictures revealed the full extent of the carnage. 
 
Men draped in the prayer shawls sprawled on the floor, blood spattered around them: Fathers who never came home; husbands who never said goodbye; friends who never gave one last hug.
 
They died in their beloved, but blood-soaked synagogue and never went home. According to Jewish custom, they were buried by sundown.   
 
Three of the four were Americans, one British.
 
The four came early in the morning to pray at the “Bnei Torah,” the Sons of the Torah synagogue. Psalm 74 reflected the butchery that morning. 
 
“The enemy has damaged everything in the sanctuary. Your enemies roar in the midst of Your meeting place; they set up their banners for signs. They seem like men who lift up axes among the thick trees. And now they break down its carved work, all at once, with axes and hammers.  They have set fire to Your sanctuary; they have defiled the dwelling place of Your name to the ground. They said in their hearts, ‘Let us destroy them altogether.’”  (Psalm 74: 4-8)
 
Hamas echoed that destruction and quickly called the murders a “heroic act.” 
 
Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank gave out sweets to celebrate. Abu Ali, father of one of the attackers, called it “a religious war.” 
 
Hamas called for more “revenge attacks.”
 
Yossi Klein Halevi ended his powerful commentary with this conclusion:
 
“In an era of moral madness, in which much of the world judges Israel more harshly than it judges Hamas, this must be said: Nothing Israel does or doesn’t do is responsible for provoking young Palestinians to hack to death Jews in prayer.  The provocation is Jewish prayer itself, the right of the Jewish people to live in its land.
 
“One image from the synagogue massacre will haunt Jews for a long time to come. According to a medic on the scene, terrorists severed an arm wrapped in the straps of tefillin, the phylacteries in which religious Jews recite their morning prayers. That terrible image has reinforced the prevailing sense within Israeli society that the war against the State of Israel is only the latest phase of an old war against the Jews.”
 

posted @ Wednesday, November 19, 2014 7:58 AM | Feedback (0)

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Before Being Killed, the Children Told ISIS: 'No, We Love Yeshua.'

Few people understand or have seen the persecution of Christians in the Middle East like Canon Andrew White, who has been in the eye of the storm.

White oversees St. George's Church in Baghdad. His ministry, The Foundation for the Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East offers comfort and humanitarian supplies to many of the Christians devastated by the march of ISIS throughout Iraq and Syria.

Here's an excerpt from a recent and revealing interview with the man known as the "Vicar of Baghdad."

posted @ Thursday, November 06, 2014 4:26 PM | Feedback (0)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Jerusalem Dateline Show: Beneath the Helmet

This week on Jerusalem Dateline: A symbolic gesture that gives a push to a Palestinian state.

Plus, “Beneath the Helmet,” we get a sneak peak at the show that’s taking you inside the IDF.

Finally, we take a look at how the media overlooks Palestinian abuses and targets Israel.

posted @ Friday, October 17, 2014 4:44 PM | Feedback (0)

Friday, October 10, 2014

Jerusalem Dateline Show: Defeating ISIS

This week on Jerusalem Dateline: Benjamin Netanyahu urges world: defeat ISIS, but don't forget Iran.

Plus, unraveling the mystery of the Four Blood Moons.

And, the Palestinian Authority claims to stand for the oppressed, so why are they getting rich?

posted @ Friday, October 10, 2014 4:46 PM | Feedback (0)

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Mideast Beast: Grasping Prophecy and the End Times

Do you shy away from prophecy? Does it seem too hard to grasp?

We spoke with best-selling author Joel Richardson, who wrote Mideast Beast: The Scriptural Case for an Isamic Antichrist about how to approach prophecy and why it's important for us in these days to know what the Bible says about the end days.

posted @ Wednesday, October 01, 2014 4:46 PM | Feedback (0)

Friday, September 26, 2014

Why Still Care About Israel?

Why should we still care about Israel could be described as the question of our age.

The recent war between Hamas and Israel saw the Jewish state maligned in the international media, castigated by massive demonstrations in European capitals, and the target of a surge in anti-Semitism.

In her timely and insightful book, Why Still Care About Israel, Sandra Teplinsky tackles this question with the precision of a lawyer and the passion of a believer.

With the panoramic view of Jerusalem in the background, CBN News sat down with Teplinsky to find out more why believers worldwide need to stand with Israel "for such a time as this."

posted @ Friday, September 26, 2014 1:35 PM | Feedback (0)

Friday, September 19, 2014

Jerusalem Dateline Show: Fighting ISIS

This week on Jerusalem Dateline: President Obama works to built an international coalition to fight ISIS. But who will fight the jihadist army on the ground?

Plus, the biblical roots of anti-Semitism.

And, we'll give you an exclusive look at a rare Jewish prayer book that's over 1,000 years old.

posted @ Friday, September 19, 2014 4:21 PM | Feedback (0)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Jerusalem Dateline Show: The Strategy against ISIS

This week on Jerusalem Dateline: President Obama's strategy to take on Jihadis in Iraq and Syria.

And what a caliphate means to the Muslim world.

Plus, Israelis see the radical Islamic threat just across their border.

posted @ Friday, September 12, 2014 4:09 PM | Feedback (0)

Friday, September 05, 2014

Jerusalem Dateline Show: Expanding ISIS Threat

This week on Jerusalem Dateline: The expanding threat of the ISIS army may be headed closer to Israel.

Plus, we take a look at the Christian ministry that brings spiritual and physical relief to Iraq refugees fleeing the jihadist army's onslaught.

Also, we examine why some are blaming the Obama administration's foreign policy for many of the crises around the world.

posted @ Friday, September 05, 2014 2:44 PM | Feedback (0)

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Islam 101: What is a Caliphate?

"O Muslims everywhere, glad tidings to you and expect good. Raise your head high, for today – by Allah's grace – you have a state and khilafah, which will return your dignity, might, rights, and leadership." Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, July 20, 2014

For some Muslims, the announcement of a Muslim caliphate by Al-Baghdadi of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria – which became the Islamic State – was a dream come true.

But what is a caliphate? What's its history?

A while ago, we sat down with Professor Moshe Sharon, one of the leading experts on Islam in the world. In this segment, he explained the history of the caliphate and why many Muslims see the restoration of the caliphate as their ultimate goal.

posted @ Wednesday, September 03, 2014 4:59 PM | Feedback (0)