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Point: Protesters Are Adamant — Eliminate Israel

(For a different point of view see: Counterpoint: Students’ Struggle for Justice in Gaza Must be Protected at All Costs)

The protesters taking over college campuses are not antisemitic, so we’re told, they want to destroy the only Jewish state. They just want all of the Jews to go  … somewhere else. They chant for the creation of Palestine from the river to the sea, an explicit call for the end of Israel.

Would Jews be welcome in the Palestinian state? Consider the only Jews in Gaza are Israeli soldiers trying to free Israeli captives.

They’re not antisemitic; they just have an affinity for all the organizations that have spent decades explicitly calling for the murder of Jews and carrying out those crimes whenever possible. They proudly wear headbands of Hamas and fly Hezbollah flags, and, yet we still pretend not to know who they are and what they want. They are terrorist wannabes at best, and they want what all Islamic extremists want: dead Jews.

For the Daily Wire last week, Kassy Akiva reported, “One of the most vocal student activists leading the anti-Israel Gaza Solidarity Encampment at Columbia University, Khymani James, openly stated in a livestream of an official university inquiry in January that ‘Zionists don’t deserve to live.’” Only because of the following uproar did Columbia take action, booting James from the university.

And yet, the day after Akiva’s report was published, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez praised the encampment during a visit, gushing, “The leadership you have is just so fantastic.”

Ocasio-Cortez, a founding member of the Squad, a group of legislators with a long problematic history of antisemitism themselves, isn’t the only one wholeheartedly supporting the protests. Rep. Ilhan Omar joined the protests after her daughter was suspended for her involvement and called some Jewish students “pro-genocide,” drawing a deserved rebuke from the Anti-Defimation League.

The protests aren’t just in response to how Israel has handled its operations in Gaza. Their love of terror was immediately evident before Israel launched its response to the attacks of October 7. It’s not about what Israel has done or what they have alleged it has done. It’s that the Jewish state dares to exist. The Jerusalem Post reported in October, before any Gaza operation began:

“A tenured professor at New York’s Columbia University authored an article praising Hamas’ attack on Israeli civilians last Saturday, less than a day after the attacks took place. What can motorized paragliders do in the face of one of the most formidable militaries in the world?” asked Joseph Massad, who has taught Modern Arab Politics at Columbia since 1999, in his article for the website Electronic Intifada. “Apparently much in the hands of an innovative Palestinian resistance.”

The protests taking over America’s college campuses can’t be more explicit. And their love for terror organizations is reciprocated. Sami Al-Arian, convicted financier of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, tweeted his support of his wife, Nahla, who had set up camp at Columbia’s encampment. She knows who her friends are.

In an email recently, Columbia’s president, Minouche Shafik, told the campus community that the pro-Hamas camp and the environment on campus have become intolerable to Jewish students and others. Many Jewish students, at the behest of their rabbi who sent a WhatsApp message to observant students on campus, have already fled. Shafik went on to explain that antisemitic language and actions, not to mention calls for violence, have no place on campus.

This had to be said because this is the environment that these protests have created. They are antisemitic at their core, and they need to be dismantled immediately.

These protests and encampments have shown that there is a large and growing fifth column of terrorist sympathizers in our most elite institutions from coast to coast.

Counterpoint: Students’ Struggle for Justice in Gaza Must be Protected at All Costs

(For an alternative viewpoint see: Point: Protesters Are Adamant–Eliminate Israel)

University campuses nationwide have long been the focus of political debates and battles in the form of protests and demonstrations. In recent weeks, students galvanized by their consciences have been leading an anti-war movement that our nation hasn’t seen the likes of in decades, and it is spreading like wildfire. At last count, at least 100 Gaza solidarity encampments have been launched at colleges and universities.

These students are setting up tents, staging sit-ins, and raising their voices in solidarity with the people of Gaza. But their courageous actions are about more than protesting the war. They’re about demanding justice, challenging authority, and reshaping and normalizing the conversation around one of the most pressing issues of our time — freedom and liberation for Palestine.

The urgency of this moment is spurred by the reality that for more than 200 days, they, along with the rest of the world, have witnessed the Israeli government’s brutal massacring of at least 34,000 Palestinian civilians in Gaza, including more than 14,000 children.

On April 30, Haaretz reported that Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who is a member of the security cabinet, called for the “total annihilation” of Rafah and other areas of Gaza. He said: “There are no half measures. (The Gazan cities of) Rafah, Deir al-Balah, Nuseirat — total annihilation. ‘You will blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.”

This genocide is being waged with American students’ tax and tuition dollars. A growing number of them recognize they have a moral obligation to mobilize swiftly against the Israeli government’s violent, catastrophic rampage bolstered by the Biden administration and Congress.

These students feel compelled to act, knowing it’s wrong for their colleges and universities to invest their tuition funds into weapons manufacturing companies like Lockheed Martin and Boeing, enabling these institutions to profit off Israel’s military campaigns against Palestinians.

They’ve done their homework, and they know that many universities, such as Yale, aren’t obligated to disclose most of their investable assets in SEC filings, and their investment portfolios are often not publicly accessible. This lack of transparency means there’s no way of knowing the actual dollar amount their institutions are investing in these companies.

That’s why two of the critical demands of many student protesters launching encampments, such as at Johns Hopkins University, is that their universities disclose financials and divest from weapons manufacturing companies.

Student activists courageously leading the charge to demand justice, transparency and accountability are risking their safety, freedom, education, future, and even lives. They deserve our gratitude, attention and support. Instead, as one student put it, “We’re often met with tear gas, threats and intimidation.”

According to sources, more than 1,200 people have been arrested in college protests. That number has risen as New York officers stormed Columbia University and arrested dozens more people Tuesday.

To understand the significance of what’s happening on campuses today, we must first look back at history. In 1970, during the Vietnam War, the world was shaken by the events at Kent State University. Students protesting the war were met with violence, and four students were tragically killed by the National Guard. The Kent State shootings became a symbol of the struggle for justice and a rallying cry for those who refused to accept the status quo.

Today, the parallels between Kent State and the Gaza solidarity encampments are impossible to ignore. Just as the students at Kent State were protesting the violence of war, today’s students are protesting Israel’s decades-long violence and oppression of the Gazan people. They are demanding an end to Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine, lifting the siege on Gaza, and an end to violations of Palestinian human rights. Like the students at Kent State, they are too often facing criticism, pushback and violence for daring to speak out.

Despite their challenges, these students are determined to make their voices heard. As one student organizer said, “The violence I’m risking here can’t compare to the violence Hind Rajab experienced there.”

They acknowledge that they’re protesting on their campuses while there are no universities remaining in Gaza. They recognize that silence in the face of oppression and genocide is not an option. They believe in the power of collective action and the importance of standing up for what is right. And they’re willing to do what many others lack the courage or conviction or willpower to do: risk sacrificing to fight for a better world.

The significance of the current campus activism represents an unequivocal rejection of the politics of fear and division. It’s a reminder of what’s possible when people unite and organize.

Perhaps most important, it’s a testament to the power of young people, proving they can shape the course of history and to create real change. They are a reminder that the future belongs to those who are willing to stand up and fight for what they believe in.

These students are on the right side of history. They inspire hope. They deserve our advocacy and solidarity. Please support their efforts, amplify their voices, and join them in the fight for a better world.

Narberth Rallies for Nana’s Kitchen After Anti-Israel Graffiti Hit

When the Jewish owners of Nana’s Kitchen in Narberth found their building had been hit with graffiti reading “Free Gaza,” it was angering and disturbing. But the reaction from the community since then?

“It was amazing,” said Lee Senderowitsch.

“I think it was the silver lining of the whole really terrible situation. Seeing graffiti on a Jewish-owned restaurant, I think, triggers many, if not all, Jewish people and human beings in general. And yet, the response to the hate was a lot of outpouring of support and love that made us feel really good,” she said.

“We are backed up and that we’re part of a really strong and powerful and beautiful Jewish community.”

Around 300 people came and stood outside the restaurant on Sunday to demonstrate against antisemitism and offer the owners their support.

“We saw different people from Orthodox, Conservative and Reform or secular and non-Jewish people — all standing together against hate,” said Senderowitsch. “And that was very powerful.”

Eitan Horn

After her mother saw the graffiti on Thursday and reported it to the police, she could not scrub it off. The borough’s public works department came out to help, and the Narberth police are investigating.

Unfortunately, a camera did not show the culprit or culprits, said Senderowitsch, one of Gladys Fink Senderowitsch’s four daughters. They help with the family-run business. Their father, Maxi Senderowitsch, died seven years ago, she said.

The family lived in Argentina, immigrated to Israel, then came to the U.S. about 20 years ago.

The graffiti hit Senderowitsch’s family even harder because their adopted relatives, Brothers Yair Horn, 44, and Eitan Horn, 37,  are among the hostages kidnapped and held by Hamas in Gaza after the Oct. 7 terror attack.

“They are very dear to us,” said Senderowitsch.

Yair Horn

There are about 100 hostages, including five Americans, currently being held by Hamas.

The Senderowitsch family learned the brothers were still alive in November when some of the other hostages who were held with them were released. But since then, there has been no word.

“We really do want to use the spotlight to speak about them,” said Sendrowitsch. “If we feel the way we feel from this vandalism, it puts it in perspective as to how our people in Israel are feeling with the hostages and the families of those who perished.”

Nana’s is a kosher vegetarian restaurant, she said.

“Our goal is to be inclusive,” she said. They provide food to various Jewish schools in the area, and one of their kitchens at a school serves meat. They serve a combination of “homey” Israeli and Argentinian food.

The Jewish Federation of Philadelphia has been working with the family and local legislators to raise awareness for the hostages, the organization said on its Facebook page. “Please patronize Nana’s Kitchen in Narberth or visit to support this family and fight back against this vile act of antisemitism.”

Senderowitsch said, “Our hearts are very full, and at the same time, we feel so very sad and heartbroken.”

Anyone with information about the vandals is asked to contact Sgt. Michael Vernacchio at [email protected].

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Anti-Israel Social Media Postings by Central Bucks West Teacher Draw Ire

Emotions ran high at Tuesday’s Central Bucks School Board meeting as students spoke in defense of Spanish teacher Youssef “Mr. A” Abdelwahab, and Jewish parents expressed concerns about student indoctrination into antisemitism.

Abdelwahab sponsors the Central Bucks West Muslim Student Association (MSA). He is also a businessman with an online dew-rag and Arab head scarf business. The parents are concerned with the postings on his Instagram account, which many students follow, and Facebook and business webpage, which include messages like “Zionism = Nazism.”

While teachers and students are “entitled to their beliefs…by having the teacher’s social media handle available in the classroom on the whiteboard, which there is photographic evidence of, this drifts into a problem,” said Mara Witsen. “As well as posting pictures of the students on a business Instagram page held by that person, this goes beyond the scope of a club teacher sponsor.”

Witsen told the board she was speaking for herself and other parents who were afraid to attend the meeting.

“If a Jewish teacher directed students to his pro-Israel Instagram page, I would have the same concerns,” Witsen said. “The posts that students are directed to when they visit that Instagram page that was written on the whiteboard in the classroom is a page that publicly states that Zionism is equal to Nazism. Upwards of 90 percent of the world’s Jews are Zionists. It is disheartening to know that a teacher in our district sees 90 percent of his Jewish students as Nazis. And it is an untenable situation for many students. Should any students request to be removed from the class, I highly suggest you grant that request.”

Another parent, Fania Karlitsky, said Abdelwahab “violated school rules and policies in several ways,” including promoting the suicide of Aaron Bushnell, a mentally ill man who immolated himself outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., on his Instagram account. Students follow that account and are very impressionable, she said.

He “not only shared content on suicide but also implied that acts of violence toward others are justified in the name of resistance,” she said.

“On Oct. 10, 2023, only three days after the tragedy in Israel, he posted content stating, ‘resistance is justified when people are occupied.’

“In this case, the resistance he was talking about was the rape, murder, torture, and other unthinkable acts perpetrated against Israel’s most vulnerable citizens, including the children, the elderly, women and even babies. He shared photographs of others using guns. At a time when high schools nationwide are on edge waiting to see who will be the next school shooter, this is more than irresponsible. It is reprehensible, and it must stop,”  said Karlitsky.

Numerous students defended “Mr. A.”

Senior Mary Ayata, the MSA co-president and founder, noted that Abdelwahab is the only Muslim teacher in the district and claimed accusations against him are rooted in “Islamophobia and racism.”

“Allegations suggesting that a teacher is manipulating the thoughts of myself and my peers are unfounded. As someone from the Middle East, I am fully capable of forming my own opinions on matters pertaining to my region of origin, particularly those in life-threatening conditions.”

“As a representative of MSA, I would like to make it clear we feel targeted and persecuted in this community,” she added.

Lamees Shaat, a sophomore whose parents are Palestinian, claimed that 150 of her family members have died in the Gaza war.

“I should not have to deal with people saying I’m a terrorist when I say I’m Palestinian,” she said. “I should not be uncomfortable around certain teachers when they ask me tone-deaf questions about my country.”

“Dealing with the weight of the deaths of 150 family members has been nearly impossible. The C.B. West MSA and Mr. A have provided me a community to lean on during these traumatic times. That is why these false accusations made against Mr. A are so upsetting. Mr. A has been one of my sources of comfort at school. While I am feeling sad or distressed about everything that’s happening, I can talk to him and the MSA about everything I’m feeling…Mr. A is a beacon of light in the darkness,” Shaat said.

Asiyah Jones of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) spoke and offered her organization’s services to train teachers and staff. However, her organization has a troubled reputation regarding links to terrorism and a record of defending Islamist violence.

Shortly after the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attack killing 1,200 Israeli civilians,  CAIR leader Nihad Awad said he was “happy” about the attack and that Israel did not have the right to defend itself, drawing condemnation from the White House.

Acting Superintendent Jim Scanlon told DVJournal district officials investigated Abdelwahab when the allegations were brought to his attention and concluded he had not violated any policies. As for the teacher’s social media handle written on his classroom whiteboard, that was done by students and taken down, said Scanlon. He noted that the Jewish Student Union and the MSA have been meeting to understand each other and plan a joint event “to promote peace.”

And while the MSA wrote letters to protest the state treasurer buying Israeli bonds, the JSU wrote letters in support of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), he said.

Abdelwahab did not respond to requests for comment.

Anti-Israel Protestors Block Expressway Even as Area Synagogues Face Bomb Threats

Hundreds of rush-hour drivers were stuck on the Schuylkill Expressway near the Philadelphia Art Museum when pro-Palestinian protesters locked arms and blocked the highway Thursday.

According to a state police spokesperson, 32 people were arrested for disorderly conduct.

The protesters, with the left-wing groups Jewish Voice for Peace and Rabbis for Ceasefire, blocked traffic in the westbound lanes of the I-76 Expressway at 3:38 p.m. Officers from the Pennsylvania State Police, the Philadelphia Police Department, and the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Department took them into custody and reopened the highway. The protesters were transported to the State Police Headquarters on Belmont Avenue, where they were cited for disorderly conduct and released, police said.

Most of those who were cited gave Philadelphia addresses. Two were from Maryland, according to police records.

“I hope the people on I-76 can understand that demanding a ceasefire, that calling attention in every way that we can to the horrific situation in Gaza makes being stuck in traffic not that important,” protestor Rabbi Linda Holtzman reportedly said.

But law enforcement officials said protesting on a major highway at rush hour is not just foolhardy; it is dangerous for demonstrators and people in vehicles.

“They should be arrested, period,” said Mike Chitwood, retired Upper Darby police chief.

“I think the police department did the right thing with respect to opening up the freeway. You cannot block a major thoroughfare for any type of protest. It impacts the safety of the public.”

The protest was “dangerous to everybody,” he said. “Not just the protesters but the motoring public, especially at that time of day. And at the entrance to I-76, give me a break. They put everyone in danger.”

Radnor Police Superintendent Chris Flanagan agreed.

“It’s extremely dangerous to themselves and to the motoring public,” said Flanagan. Stopping traffic on the expressway might have caused a chain reaction accident with “a significant loss of life.” And ambulances or doctors heading to work could have been impacted by the highway closure.

Flanagan said if people want to protest, they should contact the local authorities and get a permit.

“They can get their message out in a safe way,” said Flanagan.

On its Facebook page, Jewish Voice for Peace said it held protests on the last night of Hannukah in Washington D.C., Atlanta, Chicago, Minneapolis, Portland, Ore., Seattle, Los Angeles, and San Diego, as well.

“Thousands shut down rush hour traffic with banner drops, candle lightings, and giant handmade ceasefire menorahs demanding an immediate, lasting ceasefire, an end to the siege on Gaza, and full Palestinian freedom,” the anti-Zionist group stated.

At the same time the protest occurred, police and FBI agents were investigating bomb threats against Pennsylvania synagogues and Jewish centers, including some in the Delaware Valley. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported the Germantown Jewish Centre and Kol Ami in Newtown, Bucks County, were among the locations that received bomb threats.

Carrie Adamowski, an FBI spokeswoman,  confirmed there is an ongoing investigation into bomb threats but declined to confirm that those specific locations were targets.

“The FBI is investigating a series of bomb threats targeting synagogues in Pennsylvania and multiple other states across the country. The FBI takes all threats seriously, especially those motivated by hate or bias. Although, at this time, no explosive devices related to these threats have been found, we continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners and will remain vigilant to protect our communities.”

Philadelphia School District Walks Back Professional Development Course on the So-Called ‘Genocide’ in Gaza

(This article first appeared in Broad + Liberty)

The School District of Philadelphia says it is not offering teachers a professional development course on the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict after a screenshot detailing such an offering was widely circulated on social media sites earlier this week.

The district’s careful and terse wording in response to Broad + Liberty’s request for comment did not make clear whether the course was axed in response to political concerns, or if the district had ever intended for such a course to be available.

The screenshot shows the professional development “event” carried the title, “Decolonizing the Curriculum: Brief History of Palestine and the Creation of Israel: Contextualizing the Current Conflict and Genocide.”

The course description said, “This professional development will help teachers better understand the history of the on going [sic] conflict of Palestine and Israel, the colonization of Palestine, and the current genocide in Gaza and the West Bank,” wrongly implying that Israel was carrying out a genocide as opposed to being the target of one.

 

 

“Yesterday [Monday], the title of a professional development training was posted to the District’s internal portal for employees,” Monique Braxton, the district’s deputy chief of communications, said in an email. “The title was not an accurate depiction of the Districts position relating to the Middle East and was immediately removed.”

Broad + Liberty followed up by asking if the seminar was still available, or if the only issue was re-wording the course title and description.

“The professional development course isn’t being offered,” Braxton said in response.

The controversy comes as the current Israel-Hamas war nears its eighth week.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia was quick to condemn the language, even if the course was not an offering.

“The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia strongly condemns the anti-Israel language used to describe a School District of Philadelphia professional development course on the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” said Jason Holtzman, director of the Federation’s community relations council.

“While we recognize the district’s efforts to remove this course from its portal, misinformation posted on the web has a permanent footprint that emboldens antisemitic and anti-Israel rhetoric. We urge the district to firmly denounce the problematic nature of the language used in this course to make it clear that they are committed to building a safe schooling environment for Jewish students and teachers,” he concluded.

The controversy emerges as rhetoric, particularly by educators at all levels, has been scrutinized in the wake of the October 7 surprise terror attacks by Hamas.

Earlier this month, Colonial School District board member Dr. Jamina Clay resigned after public outcry over a social media post.

Dr. Clay, however, “will continue to serve as assistant superintendent for the School District of Philadelphia, where she oversees ten schools,” according to 6 ABC.

“The Board of Education Policy 320 states that ‘employees are protected by the First Amendment when speaking on a matter of public concern that is not part of their job duties.’ The views and opinions expressed in Dr. Clay’s Facebook post do not reflect the position, opinion or views of the School District of Philadelphia,” said a spokesperson for SPD in response to the Clay issue.

McCormick Blasts Casey’s Slow Response on Gaza Hospital Bombing

When it comes to standing with Israel in the wake of the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attack, Sen. John Fetterman may be closer to Republican Dave McCormick than his fellow Democrat, Sen. Bob Casey.

“Innocent Israelis were the victims of a terrorist attack that resulted in the largest loss of Jewish lives since the Holocaust. Now we know that the tragedy at the Gaza hospital was not caused by Israel,” Fetterman posted on X.

“Now is not the time to talk about a ceasefire. We must support Israel in efforts to eliminate the Hamas terrorists who slaughtered innocent men, women, and children. Hamas does not want peace; they want to destroy Israel. We can talk about a ceasefire after Hamas is neutralized.” Fetterman added.

McCormick, who is running against Casey, replied to Fetterman, “Thank you, Senator Fetterman, for your leadership on this. It’s a shame Pennsylvania’s other senator sits silent and won’t criticize his own party.”

McCormick, a West Point graduate, and Gulf War combat veteran, said on Fox Business Thursday, “We are at a critical moment of weakness, in terms of how the world sees us, and risk. We see it with China. We see it with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. We see it with this horrible, barbaric invasion. This isn’t war. These were war crimes that were prosecuted against Israel.

“And it’s time for strength and resolve from our leadership,” McCormick added. “We need moral clarity. We, as Americans, need to stand by our closest ally, Israel, with all the military support and intelligence support they need to prosecute the war.

“We need to tighten the noose around Iran,” McCormick said. “If it was ever a question that Iran was a threat to America and a threat to Israel, that question has been resolved.”

Casey did not post his thoughts regarding the Palestinian Jihad missile strike on the Gaza hospital until 10 p.m. Wednesday.

“In the 11 days since Hamas brutally attacked Israel, we’ve seen abhorrent statements from college students to elected officials blaming Israel for the murderous actions of Hamas. The United States stands with Israel as it responds to this attack by working to destroy Hamas,” Casey tweeted. “We cannot ignore the massive and urgent humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Millions of Palestinian civilians are going without water, medical supplies, or power, and hundreds of thousands have been displaced.

“In the coming days, the administration will request funding that will include resources for Israel to defend itself and destroy Hamas, as well as humanitarian aid to help civilians at risk. Congress has an obligation to pass this, and robust funding for Ukraine, immediately.”

Another Pennsylvania lawmaker, Rep. Summer Lee (D-Pittsburgh), has joined a group of progressive lawmakers in calling for Congress to support a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war. Lee is a co-sponsor of the Ceasefire Now Resolution that urges an “immediate de-escalation and ceasefire in Israel and ‘occupied’ Palestine.” Other sponsors include Reps. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.).

“We’re all being tested. We see our university presidents being tested, and many of them failing,” McCormick said. “We see members of Congress being tested, and many of them failing without moral clarity. And in this particular case, my opponent, Sen. Casey, has not demonstrated moral clarity, and I called him out on that because it’s important that our leaders stand up and make it clear that this was a barbaric act against Israel and we need to stand by our ally.”

A spokesperson for Casey did not respond to requests for comment.

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Lower Moreland Pastor Helps Persecuted Christians Abroad

The Rev. Dr. William “PB” Devlin has gotten a lot of ink over the years.

Maybe that is because Devlin, who turns 71 this month, has led an amazing life. One article called him “the Indiana Jones of Jesus,” which is apt since he travels to areas of war and conflict to help those who need care: Yazidis and Christians in Gaza and Nigeria for his nonprofit Widows and Orphans.

“God is my safety and protection,” he said, adding he was not afraid when he travels to dangerous places.

Next, he heads to communist Cuba to hold a Jesus Youth Festival for hundreds of teenagers for his other nonprofit, REDEEM! He has held more than 500 events in Cuba since 2007, all with permission of that country’s government.

“This, of course, drives the U.S. State Department crazy,” he said.

Devlin and his wife, Nancy, now Lower Moreland residents, agreed to “live simply so that others may simply live” after talking to an older Mennonite couple when they were engaged. They are the parents of five adult children and have 11 grandchildren.

Pastor Devlin with a Yazidi family in Dohuk, Iraq. ISIS murdered all the men in the family.

While the kids were growing up, the family lived in Philadelphia, first Logan, then Olney, and then East Oak Lane. In a borrowed house in Logan in the mid-1980s, the couple took in pregnant, HIV-positive women who no one else wanted to help as part of their pro-life stance, he said.

After 44 years, “We’re still in love; we’re still on our honeymoon,” he said.

While living in Logan, a would-be robber attacked him as he came home from an evening church service. When he said he had no money, the man stabbed him and “left a knife in my head.”

Their son, Luke, then 2, was diagnosed with leukemia shortly afterward. He was treated at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia on the Eagles Fly for Leukemia floor, recovered, and is now cancer-free.

Devlin traveled to northern Nigeria, Gaza, Egypt, and Jordan in June.

In Nigeria, the terrorist group Boko Haram and the Fulani Islamist jihadists burned down 32 villages.

“I’ve committed to rebuilding one of the villages,” he said. He plans to raise $50,000 and has already garnered $35,000. He will work with the governor of Plateau State in a public-private partnership.

“We will rebuild the church, the school, and 50 houses,” he said.

“I started REDEEM! in 2010, and then God called me to war zones,” he said. “And that was my target area, meaning Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria, and Gaza. And in the midst of that, as I looked at who are the people that I’m attempting to reach and that would be widows, orphans, the neglected, the forgotten, the broken, the lost.” So, Devlin created another charity, Widows and Orphans.

“I have an earned doctorate in emotional trauma, which allows me entrée,” he said. “That gave me influence in areas where I go, whether it’s to work with the Yazidi girls and women who were taken as sex slaves by the Islamic State (ISIS), so I work in northern Iraq, AKA Kurdistan.”

He has helped persecuted Christians in many countries, including Kenya and Sri Lanka, but added he only goes where he is invited.

Pastor Devlin and his Yazidi team leader meet with a Yazidi mother and daughter who were captured by ISIS and held for a year. Widows and Orphans is helping them financially and emotionally.

“And, of course, my work in Nigeria, with the women who have seen their husbands beheaded by Boko Haram in the West Africa Islamic State province by Fulani herdsmen. I do trauma healing and Jesus gatherings in four cities in Nigeria.”

Most recently, he traveled to Kano State in northern Nigeria and was “ministering to orphans there.”

“In May 2023, when the outgoing president of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, left office, over 700 Christian believers were murdered within Nigeria in 10 states. The Fulani Jihadist, Islamist herdsmen said, ‘We give this as a gift to the outgoing president, Muhammadu Buhari.’ That was their gift, to kill the infidels.”

Devlin, through his charity, provides “emotional, spiritual, psychological and practical physical care to persecuted Christians” in Nigeria and 17 other countries. “That’s what God has called me to do.”

There is a small community of Christians living in Gaza that Devlin visits, bringing food, medicine, and money. Hamas (the ruling Islamic group) has allowed their three churches to remain. He also delivers items to Muslims in refugee camps, he said. When he speaks to Hamas leaders, he always tells them, “Israel is your friend,” and points to free medical care in Israeli hospitals for Gaza residents.

Devlin also serves as co-pastor at Infinity Bible Church in South Bronx, professor at Nile Theological College in Khartoum, Sudan, and co-chair of Right to Worship in New York City. If all this wasn’t enough, Devlin recently joined the Huntingdon Valley Fire Company to “give back to my community.”

“I am a long-term advocate of Israel and the right of the state of Israel to exist and a supporter of the Jewish people here in America and around the world,” said Devlin.

Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, executive vice president of the New York Board of Rabbis, said, “Pastor Bill Devlin is a person of faith who speaks out for people of all faiths under attack. He marches with me each year in the Celebrate Israel Parade as a proud advocate of the Jewish State. Fearlessly, he travels to several countries where Christians are persecuted and seeks to redeem those who are imprisoned. Some people in our world do so little and ask, ‘What can I do?’ Pastor Bill Devlin risks his life and asks, ‘What else should I do?’ He is a true blessing to humankind.”

Devlin’s father, an alcoholic, left the Schenectady, N.Y., family when he was 16. His mother died two years later. He graduated high school and went to live with a brother, and then joined the Navy. It sent him to San Diego, and while hitchhiking along a highway there, he met a “Jesus freak” who changed his life.

“I heard the Good News about Jesus, and that was the night of June 23, 1971, when I invited God into my heart and life, and He transformed me,” said Devlin. “And two weeks later, I volunteered to go to Vietnam.”

“A year after my conversion to Jesus, I was in a battle off the coast of North Vietnam. I was on a ship (the U.S.S. Bausell), and they blew up part of our ship. And that’s where I was wounded.”

Devlin received the Purple Heart, the Combat Action Medal, and other honors.

In 2022 the Biden administration gave Devlin a Volunteer Service award for his work with persecuted Christians.

Mark Houck, a pro-life activist and Republican candidate for Congress in Bucks County, counts Devlin among his friends.

“Pastor Bill Devlin is the most courageous man I know. He has sacrificed himself so much for the crucified church that I see the face of Christ in him every time I am in his company. A true hero. A true patriot. A true Christian,” said Houck.

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