Good News Friday

The week has gone by without any postings from me for which my apologies. I will blame it on Pesach cleaning and other pressures, though I am trying to lighten my blogging load (in case you hadn’t noticed!). However I shall continue to post my Good News Friday posts as much as possible, even if you haven’t heard from me all week.

With that explanation out of the way, let’s go to this week’s good news. I shall start with some good news on the diplomatic front, where Israel’s ties with Arab countries have been, if not exactly warming up, defrosting slowly:

From Arlene Kushner, via Jews Down Under:

We have been hearing Prime Minister Netanyahu talk for some time about how Israel’s relationship with certain Arab nations is shifting.  And here we have growing evidence that this is the case:

US President Donald Trump speaks with then-Deputy Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman during a meeting at the White House on March 14, 2017. Photo: White House / Shealah Craighead.

According to Al-Araby (London), when Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman was in Egypt last week, he met with “senior Israeli officials.”

“The report said the meeting focused on the normalization of ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia.”

(See this Alegemeiner link).


Also last week, in yet another sign of their shifting policies, the Saudis gave permission for Air India to fly to Israel via Saudi airspace.  It has been decades since the Saudis permitted use of their airspace for any flight to or from Israel.

(See Ynet report).

The importance of this decision is not just the political benefit. It has enormous practical benefit too as it will shorten the flight from Israel to India by around two hours, which will have the knock-on effect of bringing the airfare down. El Al has objected to the deal because it puts it at a disadvantage and they do have a point. But maybe in the not too distant future, if Saudi-Israel ties continue thawing, El Al too will be allowed to overfly Saudi Arabia.

Arlene continues:

And then there is this diplomatic first, as well:

“Trump administration officials worked the phones for weeks to bring Israeli and Arab diplomats around the same table at the White House, and finally succeeded in doing so for the first time on Tuesday.

“Senior administration officials said that several parties to the US conference, which focused on the dire and pressing humanitarian plight facing the Gaza Strip, had expressed that ‘they could not be in the same room as each other.’

“And yet, ‘we had discussions with them, and everybody realized the importance of being in the room,” one senior official told The Jerusalem Post after the six-hour conference…”

(Not quite everybody: I note that Jordan and Egypt seem to be missing.  We’re looking at the Gulf States. Qatar may be a factor here.)

“The discussion brought national security officials from Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Bahrain together for an exceptional diplomatic moment – the possible start of a regional dialogue over Israeli-Palestinian peace, ahead of the publication of a peace plan by the Trump administration meant to comprehensively end claims to the conflict.”

(See this Jerusalem Post link).

This items of news taken all together signify something much greater than simple regional diplomatic shifts. They represent a 180-degree turn in the attitude of the US Administration towards Israel, Iran, the Gulf States and the Palestinians. I had my doubts about the ability of President Trump, no matter how high his good intentions, to undo the damage done by Barack Obama with his malign treatment of Israel and his coddling of Iran and the Palestinians. Yet here we are, just over a year after Trump took office, and the change is palpable and having real effects on the ground.

We can add to all this Trump’s firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson because of his lenience towards Iran, and the appointment of CIA Director Mike Pompeo in his place. Pompeo is considered pro-Israel:

Pompeo, a 54-year-old former congressman for Kansas’s 4th District, is considered very supportive of Israel. His hardline positions on Iran are nearly identical to those of Trump and Netanyahu, who argue that the 2015 landmark nuclear agreement between Tehran and six world powers need to be significantly improved or abrogated entirely.

Mike Pompeo, new Secretary of State

Tillerson’s decision to skip Israel during a trip to Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon earlier this year was seen by some as a snub of the Jewish State.

In contrast to Tillerson, who had never been to Israel before he accompanied Trump during his May 2017 visit, Pompeo visited as a congressman in 2015, receiving security briefings and visiting the Western Wall.

For a change things are looking up for Israel in the US Administration. Kol hakavod to Donald Trump as well as to all the diplomats and politicians in the background who have worked to bring about these radical changes. May their efforts lead us to a real peace agreement.

Moving now from the international scene to the local, an 86-year old Israeli guide helped rediscover the Incense Route that was lost for millennia: (via Reality):

At 86, the grandfather of Israeli hiking finally fulfilled a decades-long dream.

Over five days, trailblazing outdoorsman Yehoshua “Shuka” Ravek traversed some 100 kilometers (62 miles) by foot, walking from Petra, Jordan, to Avdat in the Israeli Negev. From February 18-23, Ravek walked along with a group of some 40 Israelis and, before crossing the border, a handful of Jordanians — and two camels.

Shuka Revak

Why the camels? The octogenarian’s goal was to accurately retrace the steps of the ancient Incense Route, laid down circa 3rd century BCE by Nabatean traders. He wanted to see if the path, first used by the mysterious desert dwellers and later by the Roman invaders, could really have supported this means of transportation.

And if fulfilling a dream wasn’t enough, on the final day, the group of hikers discovered and mapped out a “lost” 7.5 km (4.6 miles) section of the path that had eluded searching scholars for decades.

A portion of the 40-odd Israelis who hiked from Petra to Avdat along the ancient Incense Route, February 2018. (courtesy)

“I’m already 86 years old, almost at the end of my abilities. I walked the whole thing by foot, because I wanted to do it at least once,” Ravek told The Times of Israel this week. Having the opportunity to participate in discovering the new section Ravek said, “Filled my heart with joy.”

Read the article to see what efforts Ravek put into opening the route for hiking, and now he wants to hand it over to the authorities so that they can open a proper hiking path for tourists.

Kol hakavod to this wonderful man who did not give up on his dream, and lived not only to see it fulfilled, but even to make new discoveries while doing so. May Shuka Ravek continue to enjoy good health and strength to continue his explorations and hiking activities.

And now to conclude this week’s post with the most inspiring story I have ever read. Miriam Peretz is a very well-known personality in Israel, a woman of incredible courage, fortitude and warmth. She lost two sons in the IDF, 12 years apart, and her husband died of a broken heart after the death of their first son. Miriam also had a very hard, deprived childhood as an immigrant from Morocco. Yet she never let bitterness overtake her, and never let her profound sadness overwhelm her.

Miriam Peretz

Instead she took her grief and transformed it into an inspiration for others by becoming a motivational speaker and writer. The story of her life, Miriam’s Song, written by Smadar Shir, is an inspiration for thousands. You can read the review here. This is just a small excerpt of the review:

In sharing her lived experiences with the readers of this book, Miriam demonstrates how she has integrated her traumatic experiences and associated emotions into her story and is able to live with them in a productive way. While there is no closure, no sense of wholeness, she has been able to survive “the test of life through suffering given to me through the One on High,” move forward, and grow alongside the pain and grief of multiple losses. She does this, with a deep faith in God, and by following a path in which: “Every day you wake up, and the question is what do you do with your life, what meaning you put into it…. Every day I pick myself up by myself, to a new battle for existence.”

And now, with Israel’s 70th anniversary on the doorstep, it is entirely fitting that Education Minister Naftali Bennett came knocking on Miriam’s door to tell her that she is going to receive the Israel Prize (Israel’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize):

Miriam Peretz was surprised to see Education Minister Naftali Bennett visit her today. She was even more surprised to learn that he was visiting to inform her she will be this year’s recipient of the Israel Prize for her life’s work in strengthening the spirit of Jewish-Israeli life. She broke down in tears and dedicated it to two of her children.

Watch the video:

Mazal tov and kol hakavod Miriam on a very well-deserved award! Israel lost two heroes with the death of Miriam’s sons but Israel is the richer for having Miriam Peretz as one of our main cultural heroes.

May Miriam Peretz continue to find strength in the memory of her sons and husband, as well as in the living legacy they left behind, her other children and family, and all the rest of Am Yisrael.

May these thoughts inspire you as I wish you Shabbat Shalom!

Posted in International relations, Iran, Israel news, Mideast news, support Israel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Good News Friday

We mustn’t let the bad news get us down, so there is no time like the present for a Good News Friday post to cheer us up for Shabbat.

Let’s start this post with the Israel love-fest at the AIPAC conference that took place this week. The star of the show was undoubtedly US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley. Watch her speech below:

You can read the full transcript here.

Here are some highlights of her speech for which she received 12 standing ovations!

She also confirmed every last gripe her audience and their parents and grandparents had been harboring since the late 1940s: “In the real world, Israel is a strong country with a vibrant economy and a first-class military. On the battlefield, Israel does not get bullied. The Iranians and Syrians can vouch for that,” Haley said. “But the UN is a different story. At the UN and throughout the UN agencies, Israel does get bullied. It gets bullied because the countries that don’t like Israel are used to being able to get away with it. Well, just like when I was that little girl in South Carolina, that just doesn’t sit well with me.”

“As many of you know, one of the UN agencies with the worst track record of Israel bias is UNESCO,” the ambassador brought up a favorite topic. “Among many other ridiculous things, UNESCO has the outrageous distinction of attempting to change ancient history. UNESCO recently declared one of Judaism’s holiest sites, the Tomb of the Patriarchs, as a Palestinian heritage site in need of protection from Israel.”

“That was enough,” Haley said. “Ten months into this administration, the United States withdrew from UNESCO.”

“You know, our embassy decision caused a little bit of a stir at the United Nations,” she moved to the other crowd-pleaser. “In the Security Council, almost exactly one year after the United States shamefully abstained when the Council attacked Israel with Resolution 2334, I had the great honor of casting my first American veto. When I was governor, I used my veto power dozens of times. At the UN, I never got to do it until the Jerusalem vote. I got to say, it felt pretty good.”

“The next week, the Jerusalem issue was brought before the UN General Assembly. We lost that vote, but to many people surprise, 65 countries refused to go against us. In the long history of UN’s mistreatment of Israel, that’s quite a record. And we’re not forgetting that vote. Like I said at that time, on that vote we were ‘taking names.’”

Again, fantastic reaction, and the ambassador moved to the big closer: “Last week I took a trip to Guatemala and Honduras and I thanked them both for voting with us. God bless Guatemala. They even joined us in moving their embassy to Jerusalem.”

“In all that we’re doing, whether it’s the embassy decision or UNESCO, or what we’re doing with UNWRA – don’t even get me started on that one – our approach on Israel is tied together by one major idea, the idea that runs through all of it is the simple concept that Israel must be treated like any other normal country,” Haley said, and the audience had enough yiddish naches for two weddings and a bar mitzvah.

“We will continue to demand that Israel not be treated like some sort of temporary, provisional entity,” Haley stressed. “It cannot be the case that only one country in the world doesn’t get to choose its capital city. It cannot be the case that the UN Human Rights Council has a standing agenda item for only one country.”

Binyamin Netanyahu also addressed the conference of course: you can watch him below:

His words focused on the need to stop Iran:

WASHINGTON – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was welcomed with a resounding ovation at the AIPAC conference in Washington on Tuesday, where he gave a 30-minute speech on “the good, the bad and the beautiful” in Israel and the region.

Netanyahu steered completely clear of his legal woes piling up at home. His wife, Sara, also received a standing ovation when she was introduced.

Showing no outward signs of the impact of his situation at home, Netanyahu was strikingly upbeat. He strolled away from the podium at one point to get a “closer look” at the 18,000-strong audience and used slides on large screens to talk about Israel’s contributions to the world in the spheres of agriculture, water preservation and security, as well as its growing diplomatic standing.

On the back of his notes he wrote for all to see, “1-800-How’s-my-speech?”

Against the background of a picture of an airplane on the screens behind him, Netanyahu – referring to Israel’s intelligence capabilities – said: “A plane like that could have been blown out of the sky if it weren’t for Israeli intelligence, a plane heading from Australia to the Persian Gulf. You’re boarding planes when you leave this place, you are safer because of Israeli intelligence. It not only protects Israeli lives, it protects innocent lives around the world.”

He then moved on to Israel’s diplomatic standing. As he pointed to another screen with a map of the world, in which all the countries with which Israel has diplomatic relations were colored in blue, Netanyahu said to a resounding ovation, “You remember people talked about Israel’s isolation? You remember that? Israel’s isolation? Pretty soon, the countries that don’t have relations with us, they’re going to be isolated. There are those who talk about boycotting Israel? We’ll boycott them.”

While the good news coming out of Israel – regarding its technology, military and intelligence expertise – is very good and getting better, the bad news, he said, “is that bad things are getting worse and they’re very bad.”

The overwhelmingly bad thing, he said, was Iran. “We have to deal with this challenge,” he said. “If I have a message for you today, it’s a very simple one: We must stop Iran. We will stop Iran.”

Netanyahu also spent a few minutes talking about the Palestinian Authority’s payment of $350 million per year to terrorists and their families, and asked what message this was sending to Palestinian children.

“I believe [Palestinian Authority] President [Mahmoud] Abbas should find better use for this money,” he said, “to build, roads, schools, hospitals, factories. Build life, don’t pay death. Invest in life, invest in peace.”

The “beautiful,” in his “good, bad and beautiful” equation was the Israeli-US relationship.

“What is this beautiful alliance made of? It’s made of our shared values,” he said. “That’s the wellspring of the great alliance between our two countries.”

Since Netanyahu also mentioned Israel’s leadership in so many technological endeavours, it is fitting to bring you here yet another item from the biotech industry. An Israeli breakthrough has  developed a non-invasive prostate cancer test:

Scientists at Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot, Israel, have reported a breakthrough of successfully detecting prostate cancer cells with high sensitivity using Micromedic Technologies’ CellDetect noninvasive diagnostic test, developed at Kaplan over the past two years.

Current screening tests for prostate cancer deliver a high rate of false positive results (as low as 25% specificity), leading to unnecessary invasive diagnostic tests such as biopsies. In fact, for the past 10 years many experts have discouraged men without symptoms from undergoing an annual prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, commonly used for screening in the United States since 1994.

Trials of CellDetect, a new-generation cytopathological staining platform for accurate cancer detection, demonstrated successful detection of prostate cancer cells in urine samples with 91.3% sensitivity and 75% specificity.

CellDetect previously was proven effective for diagnosing cervical and bladder cancer in multiple clinical studies and it is expected that the technology can be implemented for use in additional cancer detection indications.

Both the cervical and bladder cancer diagnostic products are in initial commercial stages in the United States and Europe, ISRAEL21c was told by biochemist Keren Gueta Milshtein, director of R&D at Micromedic Technologies. For the prostate cancer indication, a blinded study is planned next.

This is really excellent news. Imagine how many lives can be saved through this test, when previously men might have been put off being tested in the old-fashioned way. Kol hakavod to all the researchers and developers of CellDetect.

Moving now to sports, after the diplomatic kerfuffle between Israel and Abu Dhabi – which refused to allow the Israeli flag to fly – Israeli athletes nevertheless won two gold medals at the Abu Dhabi competition:

The Israeli ju-jitsu team won two gold medals at the Abu Dhabi Ju-Jitsu World Championship Juniors and Aspirants 2018.

Israel was the only country represented at the competition whose national anthem was not played and whose flag was not flown in the main competition hall.

Meshi Rosenfeld, who competed in the under 55 kg. (121 lb.) category won the gold in his division by defeating an opponent from Kazakhstan in the finals.

Meshi Rosenfeld (2nd left) won the gold (Photo: Ayelet Federation)

Nimrod Ryeder, who competed in the under 77 kg (170 lb.) category also won the gold after defeating an opponent from Kyrgyzstan in the finals. Ryeder defeated another Israeli participant, Amir Alroy, in the semifinals. Alroy received the bronze medal.

Nimrod Ryeder (2nd left) and Amir Alroy (2nd right) on the podium (Photo: Ayelet Federation)

In addition, Israelis Shalev Hazut and Yarin Chriki won the silver medals in the under 66 kg. (145 lb.) and under 60 kg. (132 lb.), respectively.

Sara Kovaliov, who is deaf, won over the crowd with her inspirational story and skill. The 16-year-old competitor won the silver medal in the under 48 kg. (106 lb.) category. As the Israeli team reached the airport to return to Israel, the head of the local security service which accompanied the team during the competition handed Kovaliov a gift from a local sheih, a fancy watch, Ynet reported.

Kovaliov and the watch she received (Photo: Ayelet Federation)

The Israeli team came home with two gold medals, four silver medals, and seven bronze medals

The event was the second international sports competition in Abu Dhabi in which the Israeli team was not allowed to wear or show the Israeli flag or to have Hatikva played. In October the Israeli delegation to the the Grand Slam Judo competition was forced to compete as as part of the International Judo Federation instead of as Israelis. The jujitsu team was likewise forced to compete under the banner of the Ju-Jitsu International Federation.

The event organizers stated that the Israeli team could not be identified as Israeli due to “security concerns.”

However, the Israeli team stated that they were warmly received by the organizers of the event.

Erez Alroy, the head of the Israel Jiu-Jitsu Federation, said: “Hosts went out of their way during the competition to provide us with quality hosting—an excellent hotel, transportation everywhere, separate warm-up area and so on.”

It is a blooming cheek of Abu Dhabi to refuse to fly the Israeli flag, and they should be punished by the various world sporting bodies for this unsporting behaviour. It is gratifying though to learn that the team itself was treated well during its stay.

And a huge kol hakavod to Israel’s ju-jitsu team for all their wins. May they go on to ever greater victories.

Last but not least, today the Jerusalem Marathon took place with an astounding, record-breaking 35,000 participants!

More than 35,000 runners, including some 4,000 from 72 different countries, joined the Jerusalem Marathon on Friday morning, the largest-ever number to take part in the annual race.

Jerusalem Marathon runners against the skyline of Jerusalem

The winner, it was announced shortly after 9:30 a.m., was Kipkogey Shadrack, 27, of Kenya. Shadrack finished the race in 2:21.26.

The half-marathon race kicked off at 6:45 a.m., followed by the full marathon at 7. The 10-kilometer race began at 9:30.

The guest of honor at the marathon was Olympic medalist and long-distance running world champion Haile Gebrselassie from Ethiopia. Gebrselassie holds two Olympic gold medals in 10,000-meter running and four world titles for that same distance, and he was the first in the world to break the 2:04 time for the marathon run.

International runners came from 72 countries — including China, the US, Germany, Poland, Portugal, and Lithuania. The city of Hong Kong sent the greatest number of runners from outside Israel, followed by Los Angeles, Beijing and London.

The route started next to the Knesset and took the runners past the Mahane Yehuda market, Mount Scopus, the Old City, David’s Tower, and the Haas Promenade.

This year, the municipality connected marathon participants from abroad and throughout Israel by launching the “guest runner” project, wherein Jerusalemites host tourist runners in their homes.

But, perhaps befitting an event that marks 50 years since the reunification of the city, the vast majority of runners in the full, 42.2-kilometer marathon are Jerusalemites, the Jerusalem municipality said.

They were followed by runners from Haifa and then by runners from Modiin, Tel Aviv and Kfar Saba.

Our family is very proud of our cousin Miriam who came all the way from Texas to run the half-marathon in aid of Shalva (the Jerusalem respite home), along with her daughter, my cousin’s granddaughter from Toronto, my second cousins from Gush Etzion, my nephew and family from Jerusalem… the list goes on!

The marathon team from Dallas. Miriam is 2nd from left.

Kol hakavod to every one who ran in this fantastic race – those who did it to raise money for charity, those who did it as a personal challenge, and those who took part to enjoy Jerusalem’s wonderful scenery.

I hope they all get a very well-deserved rest on Shabbat, along with the rest of us. So I wish you all Shabbat Shalom!


Posted in Culture, Arts & Sports, Family, International relations, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The depressing persistence of antisemitism on the Left

The Left, which purports to be the bastion of defender of human rights and equality for all, is in fact the core of the problem of anti-Jewish racism and bigotry. This is unfortunately true on both sides of the Atlantic.

In the last few days, antisemitic insults have been flying back and forth as the American “social justice intersectional” organization Women’s March leaders have not only attended a Savior’s Day rally led by the notorious antisemite Louis Farrakhan, but when called out on their behaviour have doubled down and defended him.

A co-president of the Women’s March movement attended a rally in Chicago on Sunday sponsored by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan – only the latest incident in which she has associated with the man whom the Anti-Defamation League calls “the lead­ing anti-Semite in Amer­ica.”

Tamika D. Mallory, one of four presidents of the Women’s March, attended the 2018 Saviours’ Day event at Wintrust Arena in Chicago, an annual event organized by the Nation of Islam.

Farrakhan made multiple inflammatory comments during his three-hour speech. He claimed that “the powerful Jews are my enemy,” that “the Jews have control over agencies of those agencies of government” like the FBI, that Jews are “the mother and father of apartheid,” and that Jews are responsible for “degenerate behavior in Hollywood, turning men into women and women into men.”

CNN host Jake Tapper tweeted details of Farrakhan’s speech to his 1.67 million followers on Twitter, including that the Nation of Islam leader said. that “the powerful Jews are my enemy.”

Watch Louis Farrakhan in a speech last year to get an idea of who he is and what are his ideas:

Here he is in his own words

I could post videos of his speech in its entirety but it is so sickening that I do not want to pollute my blog with his words. If you are interested, simply google his name and “Savior’s Day” and you will find it.

Here is CNN’s Jake Tapper’s tweets regarding the reactions to Farrakhan’s speech:

After coming under fire for supporting Farrakhan, the Women’s March and Tamika Mallory issued a half-hearted apology – which was pretty much rejected:

Tamika Mallory, co-president of the Women’s March, sparked an outcry when she posted a photo of herself and Farrakhan on Instagram following his Saviours’ Day speech in Chicago on Feb. 25.

In that speech, Farrakhan declared that “powerful Jews are my enemy” and that he had “pulled the cover off the eyes of the Satanic Jew.” Farrakhan, as he has done repeatedly in the past, also accused Jews of controlling the FBI and Hollywood, and plotting to synthesize marijuana in order to “feminize” black men.

Mallory subsequently deleted her post, but not before critics demanded to know why the leader of a broad-based civil rights movement would boast of her connections to Farrakhan.

The statement goes on to say, “We love and value our sister and co-President Tamika Mallory, who has played a key role in shaping these conversations. Neither we nor she shy away from the fact that intersectional movement building is difficult and often painful.”

They went on to explain their delay while social media exploded in protests against Mallory’s support for Farrakhan.

The organizers of the Women’s March, from left to right: Bob Bland, Linda Sarsour, Carmen Perez and Tamika Mallory at BET’s Social Awards in Atlanta, Feb. 11, 2018. (Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET)

“Our external silence has been because we are holding these conversations and are trying to intentionally break the cycles that pit our communities against each other,” the organizers wrote.

For her part, Mallory tweeted a statement on Sunday that addressed the criticism without mentioning Farrakhan.

“It seems I am not being clear,” she wrote. “I am and always have been against all forms of racism. I am committed to ending anti-black racism, antisemitism, homophobia & transphobia. This is why I helped create an intersectional movement to bring groups together.”

Intersectionality is the theory that various forms of oppression — for example, racism, sexism and homophobia — are all interconnected.

CNN anchor Jake Tapper was among the first to point out Mallory’s support of Farrakhan’s speech. She was then vociferously criticized by Women’s March participants and others for not condemning Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic, anti-gay and transphobic statements, which he has repeated for decades. Some critics called for her to step down as Women’s March co-chair.

Rabbi Sharon Brous, who spoke on the dais at the January 2017 Women’s March, was critical of Mallory’s support for Farrakhan.

“There is no room in a multi-faith, multi-ethnic coalitional movement for anti-semitism, homophobia or transphobia. Full stop,” Brous, rabbi of Ikar in Los Angeles, wrote on Facebook. “You can’t fight racism but excuse anti-Semitism, just as you cannot fight anti-Semitism while excusing and justifying racism or Islamophobia.”

Brous told JTA that she wished that both the Women’s March leadership and Mallory had responded more quickly and pointedly.

“I wish Tamika had walked out [of Farrakhan’s speech] when he started saying those things or immediately posted ‘I made a mistake, he is deeply flawed in his anti-Semitism and homophobia,’” the rabbi said.

Linda Sarsour, a Palestinian American and frequent critic of Israel, is another of the Women’s March organizers and co-chairs. She also defended Mallory in a tweet.

“Don’t hold people to standards you refuse to hold yourself to,” she wrote.

The progressive Zionist women’s group Zioness slammed the Women’s March for their support of Farrakhan:

All three leaders of the Women’s March, Tamika Mallory, Carmen Perez, and Linda Sarsour, have longstanding connections to Farrakhan and have declined to condemn his speech.

In a statement on Friday, Amanda Berman, president of Zioness, said, “No one expects progressive leaders — who are humans — to be perfect. We expect them to be inherently good, as opposed to profoundly racist. It would be absolutely unacceptable to Tamika Mallory, Carmen Perez, and Linda Sarsour if a leader made heinous and hateful comments about their respective communities. And we would join them in loudly condemning that leader.”

“Thus, it is hypocritical beyond words that they continue to align themselves with Louis Farrakhan, who is an unapologetic bigot that spews hate targeting the Jewish community, LGBTQ community, and others,” she continued. “There is no ambiguity on this issue. Either the Women’s March leaders endorse the vilification of the Jewish people or they don’t. It’s that simple. This episode only reaffirms the need to activate and empower new leaders in the feminist movement who show up to fight for the civil and human rights of all people, not just some people.”

In short:

Meanwhile back in London, yet another “intersectional social justice warriors” (for lack of a simpler description) gang simply won’t leave the Jews alone. Here is that bastion of academic freedom, Kings College London, which did not prevent these “pro-Palestinian”, aka antisemitic thugs from invading a Jewish Society event because they didn’t like the idea that an Israeli was among the speakers:

VIOLENT anti-Israel protest at King’s College London!

KCL Action for Palestine, KCL Intersectional Feminist Society, KCL LGTB+, King’s Justice for Cleaners Society organised an aggressive protest against a discussion, hosted by the KCL Libertarian Society, between YouTuber Carl Benjamin and Yaron Brook, an Israeli-American from the Ayn Rand Institute. The aim of the demonstrators was to drive these ‘non-progressive’ speakers off campus with force and they collaborated with thugs from antifa to achieve this.

Smoke bombs were set off outside the university and masked thugs punched their way through security into the hall and pounced on the speakers and student organisers.

The co-organisation of the protest by KCL Action Palestine, motivated by the fact that Yaron Brook is Israeli, is another example of the pro-Palestinian group’s racist intolerance towards anything or anyone Israeli.

The rot of course starts at the top. I have written countless times about the antisemitism prevalent in the Labour Party under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.

This week, Jewish activist, researcher and blogger David Collier published a shocking new report on the depraved depths of the antisemitic activities of members of the Hard Left, including some of the Labour Party’s leaders, which he discovered in a secret Facebook group called Palestine Live. Here is an excerpt from his article:

I have been engaged in an exercise to analyse a secret Facebook Group called ‘Palestine Live’. Immersed deeply in an antisemitic soup was disturbing enough, but seeing names there that simply should not ever have stepped foot inside, gave an entirely new, and far darker feel to the entire exercise.

Corbyn was there in late 2014, he may have joined a year earlier, and every indication is, that he stayed in the group until shortly after he became leader of the Labour Party. Jenny Tonge is still a member, David Ward too. Clive Lewis? Go figure. It just shows how blind everyone is to anti-Jewish racism.

I quantified the level of antisemitism within the group, by analysing all those who shared posts over a two week period during February 2018. The level was 64%. When I extracted the Jewish anti-Zionists, the level rose to 73%. Nobody should be able to spend any time at all in that group, without understanding the twisted antisemitism that drives so much of the activity.

Read the rest of the article, but more importantly, read the reports that he has published (Note: AIPL stands for Antisemitism Inside Palestine Live – the name of the secret Facebook group):

AIPL Antisemitism in Palestine Live – Report Part One Download Link

AIPL Antisemitism in Palestine Live – Report Part Two Download Link

I don’t know how David Collier doesn’t become ill from swimming in the sewers of this intense Jew-hatred.

Let’s keep this story at the top of the news until Labour deal with their Jew-hatred problem:

The battle against Labour antisemitism continued on social media as the Twitter account of Labour Antisemitism, aka @gnasherJew, was taken down apparently at the behest of Labour activists:

GnasherJew, which describes itself as a group of Jewish ex-Labour Party members, has been registered on Twitter since March 2017. The image it used for its account was a Yellow Star, as worn by persecuted Jews during the Holocaust. Members of the team said some of them were the descendants of Holocaust survivors who had been consulted about (and agreed with) the use of the image, which they said was “in solidarity” with those who had suffered anti-Semitism.

Labour Antisemitism Twitter account temporarily blocked because of its avatar

But earlier this week GnasherJew found its on-line account had been locked by Twitter. A warning message said that the account could not continue to operate because it had “violated Twitter rules by use of hateful imagery”; unless the image was removed, Twitter said, the account was blocked.

The team told the Jewish News that they were “firmly of the belief” that the suspension was as a result of an angry on-line row with the general secretary of the Unite union, Len McCluskey, whose girlfriend, Jennie Formby, has declared that she is running to succeed Ian McNicol as general secretary of the Labour Party.

GnasherJew had posted a year-old article from the Independent about Ms Formby which included claims about her views on Israel having become “an embarrassment” to the Unite union — claims which were firmly denied by Unite.

But Mr McCluskey reacted with fury and attacked GnasherJew for spreading “lies”, denouncing the account for remaining anonymous and insisting that he was going to “report” it and urging his own followers to do the same.

Within a day Twitter had suspended the GnasherJew account. After intervention from the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism and the Community Security Trust, however, the GnasherJew team were assured that the suspension had been an error and that the account would be reinstated.

The GnasherJew team reposted the Yellow Star image, bearing the word “Jude” on their account — only for it to be suspended a second time on Tuesday. It was reinstated shortly afterwards.

The suspensions were greeted with glee by anti-Israel users of Twitter, notably Jackie Walker, who tweeted: “This account, which ferments abuse, hatred and harassment has been suspended at last”. An account using the name @streetswept described GnasherJew as “an abusive troll with a history of violating Twitter’s terms of service”. The team, @streetswept claimed “only care about anti-Semitism when they can use it to smear and harass political opponents”. But there was also a major backlash from supporters of GnasherJew, many of whom changed their own profile image to the Yellow Star to express their anger at Twitter.

Now the GnasherJew team has decided to change tack and has adopted a new profile image designed for them by an autistic Jewish woman who has suffered numerous anti-Semitic attacks, and posts using the name “Sparks of Brass”. A spokesman for GnasherJew told the JN: “We don’t want to risk our account again, as we’ve received no assurances from Twitter that they won’t do this again.”

Shame on Twitter for forcing GnasherJew to remove its avatar of the yellow star. If they are so closed-minded that they cannot tell the difference between a hateful image and a defiant Jewish stance, maybe we should all abandon Twitter altogether.

The only bright light to be spotted this week was from a new Twitter account which represents the beginnings of a lashback within the Labour Party – Labour Councillors against Antisemitism:

Posted in Antisemitism, Incitement, Lawfare and Delegitimization | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Good News Friday

Purim finished yesterday in most of the Jewish world, while Jerusalem and other walled cities are still celebrating though they too are now getting ready for Shabbat, so what better time for a Good News Friday post than right now.

Let’s start with the biggest news of the week, possibly the biggest news of the century (literally!) for Israelis: Prince William, the 2nd in line to the British throne, is going to be making the first ever official royal visit to Israel in the summer.

It has been a long-running irritant to Israelis that the Royal Family has visited almost every country in the world, including some pretty nasty dictatorships and tyrannies, yet little Israel is always left off the itinerary for no discernible reason. The unofficial word, never confirmed, but very much suspected, is that it is the work of nefarious Foreign Office officials who didn’t want to offend Arab oil despots. But since many of these oil powers are now drawing closer to Israel themselves there seems to be no more reason to avoid Israel.  Britain also didn’t want to give any legitimacy to “Israeli settlements” but what that has to do with a visit to Israel is a mystery to me and most Israelis, especially as the Royal Family had no problem visiting those human-rights luminaries such as Jordan, Saudi Arabia, not to mention Russia, China and so many others.  Brexit has also played a part in this decision, with Britain wanting to regain its international standing.

The Jerusalem Post reports:

For the first time since British Mandatory rule here ended seven decades ago, a member of the royal family – Prince William – is scheduled to make a visit to Israel.

Kensington Palace announced the visit in a tweet on Thursday, saying “the Duke of Cambridge will visit Israel, Jordan and the Occupied Palestinian territories in the Summer.”

The visit, it said, “is at the request of Her Majesty’s Government and has been welcomed by the Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian authorities.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu immediately welcomed the news. “We welcome the announcement that Prince William will be coming to Israel,” Netanyahu said in a statement. “It is a historic visit, the first of its kind, and he will be received here with great enthusiasm.”

While members of the royal family have never made state visits to Israel, they have traveled widely in the Arab world. Prince Charles was in Israel twice, but only to attend funerals: Yitzhak Rabin’s in 1995 and Shimon Peres’s in 2016.

During the latter trip, he also visited the grave of his grandmother, Princess Alice of Battenberg, the mother of Prince Phillip, who is buried at the Convent of Saint Mary Magdalene on the Mount of Olives. The princess has been recognized by Yad Vashem as one of the “Righteous Among the Nations” for hiding a Jewish women and her two children in Athens during World War II.

Phillip came here in 1994 to attend the Yad Vashem ceremony honoring her, and visited her grave, but the Foreign Office took pains then to stress that his visit was private.

Netanyahu, who met Prince Charles on the sidelines of a climate change conference in Paris in 2015, invited him at the time to visit the country – an invitation numerous Israeli officials have extended to the royal family over the years.

The Telegraph at the time quoted a Foreign Office source as saying that, “until there is a settlement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the royal family can’t really go there.”

With the United Kingdom due to leave the European Union, greater involvement in the Mideast – the kind of involvement symbolized by this type of trip – is seen by some in Jerusalem as a way for London to retain some of the stature and influence on the world’s stage that it will lose by leaving the EU.

President Reuven Rivlin wrote on his Twitter account that William will be a “very special guest,” and that his visit will be “a very special present for our 70th year of independence.”

I think this is going to be a\a wonderful occasion, a fantastic way to mark and celebrate Israel’s 70th anniversary. I just wish the announcement hadn’t included the words “Occupied Palestinian territories” as one of the Prince’s stops, since there is no such official place. The Palestinian territories are under self-rule and have been since the Oslo Accords. Baby steps I guess, until we can re-educate the British Camel Corps (Foreign Office).

Another hugely important diplomatic bonus for Israel was last week’s announcement by the Trump Administration that the US is going to open its Embassy in Jerusalem – finally! – in time for Israel’s 70th anniversary:

The new US Embassy in Jerusalem will open in May 2018 to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Israel declaring independence, two Trump administration officials said Friday. At first, the embassy will operate out of the US’s current consular premises in Arnona, south Jerusalem.

The US Consulate in Jerusalem, the temporary site of the new US Embassy in Jerusalem

The officials said Congress was being notified of the impending move on Friday. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson signed off on the security plan for the new embassy on Thursday.

The State Department confirmed the timing of the move, with an official telling The Times of Israel: “We are planning to open the new US Embassy to Israel in Jerusalem in May. The Embassy opening will coincide with Israel’s 70th anniversary.”

The official said, “The Embassy will initially be located in Arnona [in south Jerusalem], on a compound that currently houses the consular operations of Consulate General Jerusalem. At least initially, it will consist of the Ambassador and a small team.”

A ribbon-cutting ceremony is being planned for mid-May. Israel proclaimed independence on May 14, 1948. According to Channel 10 and Hadashot news, the ceremony could be held on May 14 to honor that date. (Israel celebrates its anniversary of independence according to the Hebrew calendar; Independence Day — Yom Ha’Atzmaut — falls on April 19 this year.)

The May opening marks a significant acceleration. Vice President Mike Pence had said previously the embassy would open by the end of 2019. And Tillerson had said it could take years.

The date of the move is seen as largely symbolic, as the logistics of a permanent relocation are expected to take much longer. Most of the embassy staff could continue to operate from Tel Aviv during the early stages.

Staff at the consulate were told Friday that, as of mid-May, they would be considered employees of the embassy, Channel 10 reported.

In its initial phase, Ambassador David Friedman will move to the consular premises, Channel 10 said, and the building will be formally redesignated as the US Embassy.

The rest of the embassy staff will remain at first in America’s current facility in Tel Aviv. Over time, the Arnona facility will be expanded to accommodate more embassy personnel. The expansion could ultimately involve an adjacent property that currently houses a home for senior citizens. It will come under US control in the next few years under a previous arrangement, officials said.

Finally, a new purpose-built embassy will be planned and constructed.

Israel’s leaders were obviously delighted with the move:

“President Trump’s decision to move the United States Embassy to Jerusalem on the coming Independence Day follows his historic declaration in December to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital,” a statement issued by the Israeli Embassy in Washington on Friday said.

“This decision will turn Israel’s 70th Independence Day into an even bigger celebration. Thank you President Trump for your leadership and friendship,” it added.

Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon praised the Trump administration on Friday shortly after the announcement.

“President Trump’s bold decision to move the American embassy to Jerusalem this May, in honor of our 70th Independence Day, is a testament to the unbreakable alliance and true friendship between the US and Israel,” said Danon.

Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer posted on social media that on May 14, 1948, US President Truman recognized the State of Israel and now on May 14, 2018, US President Trump will move the embassy to Jerusalem.

“70 years apart. Two historic decisions. One united capital,” tweeted Dermer.

The symbolism of this 70 year gap – between the end of the Mandate and the first Royal visit, and between the initial recognition of Israel in 1948 and the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem, the capital 70 years later, cannot be overstated.

It is also significant that Purim, which fell yesterday, marked the beginning of the end of the Babylonian Exile and the return of the Jews to Israel after 70 years in exile.

It will be interesting and exciting to see what the next 70 years hold in store for us!

If Israel’s technological advances are anything to go by, it will be a very good place for everyone.

A team of Israelis has developed eyedrops to replace glasses!

From Interesting Engineering:

A team of Opthalmologists at Shaare Zedek Medical Center and Bar-Ilan University’s Institute of Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials developed eye-drops that have been found to repair the corneas and improve short and long sightedness. The nanoparticle solution called as “nanodrops” was successfully used on pigs’ corneas.

Eye-drops to replace glasses?

Clinical trials on humans are expected to be carried out later this year, and if successful, this revolutionary invention could potentially eliminate the need for eyeglasses. According to Dr. David Smadja, leader of the research team, the eye-drops could revolutionize ophthalmological and optometry treatments of patients suffering from myopia, hyperopia and other refractory conditions.

The revolutionary breakthrough was revealed by Dr. Smadja on Wednesday at Shaare Zedek’s second biennial research day, which was held at Steinberg Auditorium in Jerusalem. He said that nanodrops could even be used to replace multifocal lenses and allow people to see object from different distances.

“This is a new concept for correcting refractory problems,” Smadja said. He, however, did not mention how often the drops will require being applied to replace eyeglasses completely.

According to the research abstract, the experiment led by Dr. Smadja and his colleagues involved analyzing refractive errors of pig eyes before and after instillation of nano drops filled with various concentration of synthetic nanoparticles. The results showed significant improvement in error correction for both myopic (near-sightedness) and hyperopic (far-sightedness) refractive error.

If the results in humans are successful, prospective patients will simply require a smartphone app to scan the eyes, measure their refraction, create a laser pattern and then “laser corneal stamping” of an optical pattern onto the corneal surface of their eyes.

The research from Smadja was one of the two chosen works by an impartial team of judges from 160 pieces of research carried out by Shaare Zedek physicians and nurses over the last two years. The hospital staff publishes around 330 articles every year in different medical and science journals through the Shaare Zedek Mada’it (Scientific), a research and development company established for hospital researchers.

This is quite an eye-opener (pun intended 🙂 ) and wonderful news for all those “four-eyes”, “goggle-eyes” and others who hate their glasses. Kol hakavod to Dr. Smadja and the research teams at Shaare Zedek and Bar Ilan.

The other item of technology news that I wanted to share with you is a novel process to remove mercury from factory emissions:

Toxic mercury spewing out of coal-fired power plants, waste-incineration facilities, cement factories, metal processing plants and many other industries pollutes the air, water and land.

To comply with increasingly stringent environmental regulations, facility managers are always seeking improved technologies for reducing and even eliminating mercury emissions.

And that’s why Israeli startup MercuRemoval of Netanya is generating so much steam.

MercuRemoval’s novel process for removing toxic mercury from flue-gas streams originated in the chemistry lab of Hebrew University professors Yoel Sasson and Zach Barnea. The company was established within Hutchison-Kinrot Cleantech seed incubator owned by Hutchison Water and was supported by Israel’s Innovation Authority R&D funds. It went commercial only three years later.

MercuRemoval’s pilot installation at Israel Electric Company’s Rutenberg Ashkelon coal-based power plant. Photo: courtesy

The patented technique renders the mercury stable and safe for disposal, in contrast to existing solutions that eventually redistribute and re-emit the mercury back to the environment through byproducts created in the removal process, CEO Hagay Keller tells ISRAEL21c.

A trial conducted in collaboration with the Israel Electric Corporation demonstrated that MercuRemoval’s system achieves above a 95 percent absorption and removal rate, leaving no contaminated byproducts.

The closed system is based on a unique absorbent liquid formulation circulated inside a common pollution-control device called a “wet scrubber.” The liquid, which is reused again and again, oxidizes and captures all forms of the mercury into a stable complex which is then precipitated out for safe disposal.

“This simple regeneration and mercury separation process dramatically reduces operational costs and avoids the contamination of the environment compared to other commonly used solutions,” says Keller.

The MercuRemoval system can be custom-made and installed as a retrofit. The scalable solution is applicable to a variety of industries, plants and processes emitting mercury.

What a brilliant invention! Once again Israeli ingenuity saves the world. Kol hakavod to professors Yoel Sasson and Zach Barnea who originated the idea and to MercuRemoval for running with the idea. May this development continue to great success for the benefit of all of us to give us a cleaner, healthier world.

And with these very happy thoughts I wish you all Shabbat Shalom!

Posted in International relations, Israel news, support Israel, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Purim Same’ach! Happy Purim

Purim Same’ach! Happy Purim

Let’s put aside all the depressing news that dominates the airwaves. Purim is here and it’s time to celebrate!

The festival began at sundown this evening  when we went to shul and heard the Megillah (Book of Esther) being read, with the ra’ashanim (greggers) of various sorts – from toy gun caps to bells, whistles, rattling keys, even phone ringtones! – drowning out evil Haman’s name every time it was mentioned; and there was lots of laughter at some of the funny costumes and hats that people turned up in (including yours truly in a very unbecoming blonde wig. :-) ).

Later we went to our friends for a Purim party, complete with a quiz and funny games, and delicious food. A great time was had by all! 😀

Our Mishloach Manot parcels are all wrapped and ready to be delivered tomorrow, and then we’ll be off to our Seudah at our our son’s house together with all our children and grandchildren. Quiet it won’t be…  📢 🙉♫ ♪

This is part of my contribution to the Seudah: rainbow-coloured Challot, topped with sprinkles. I am so proud of myself! :-):

One rainbow challah

Rainbow challahs – the finished product

For your Purim entertainment here are a few funny videos and pictures.

In case you are still not sure what Purim is about, here is Jewish American actress Mayim Bialik giving a (very!) condensed version of Purim 😀

Here is former British Chief Rabbi Rabbi Jonathan Sacks with Jewish comedian Ashley Blaker, talking about Purim:


It’s funny to see Rabbi Sacks taking the mickey out of himself, and also the outtakes at the end.. 😀

This is how sick children in hospital are entertained on Purim:

In Schneider Hospital in Petach Tikva, the window washers dressed up as super-heroes!

Super-hero window washers at Schneider Children’s Hospital, Petach Tikva, Purim 2018

And who better to conclude this post with than Sivan Rahav Meir, the popular Israeli journalist and commentator, who has become something of a “Rebbe” herself:

More than one million students – from kindergarten children to teenagers – wore costumes to school this morning. Why is it that so many years after the Megillah story, this morning so many clowns, princes, princesses and policemen [OK, also Static and Ben El (very popular Israeli singers)] will go out into the streets? What is the meaning of this custom? Here is an explanation sent to me last night by a reader who wants to remain anonymous, and it is based on Hasidism: “The whole year round we are captivated by our own stigmas about ourselves and by what other people think about us. Purim is a day of opportunity, because the costume reminds us that just as one can easily change externally – so it is possible to change also internally. The grey routine does not have to defeat us. The costume we wear today is just a reminder of our ability to really renew ourselves, to be refreshed, to develop, to surprise ourselves and our surroundings for the better. After all, it is not only on Purim that we wear costumes. Sometimes we wear a fake costume all year long. But we can do a VeNahafoch Hu (a Purim expression that means: turn things around), because it is possible to do things differently”.

Wonderful food for thought for a joyous holiday.

Wishing everyone who is celebrating Purim Same’ach! Happy Purim!

Posted in Israel news, Judaism, Slice of Israeli life | Tagged , | 3 Comments

South Africa wilts in its water crisis due to BDS

South Africa is experiencing one of its worst droughts ever. The city of Cape Town is nearing “Day Zero”, when it will run out of water altogether, and severe water rationing will then come into effect. Israel has offered its help with its renowned water conservation technology – but for South Africa, hating Jews is more important than helping its own people.

Cape Town, South Africa, has designated July 9 “Day Zero.” That’s when water taps throughout the city are expected to go dry, marking the culmination of a three-year drought. South African officials aren’t responsible for the lack of rain, but inept management and a devotion to anti-Israel ideology needlessly made the situation worse.

Carrying containers of water in Cape Town, South Africa, on Feb. 7. Photo: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg News

Even before Israel declared statehood in 1948, its leaders focused on water security as closely as they did military preparedness. Mostly desert, Israel would need adequate water to thrive. In the decades since, the country has developed an apolitical, technocratic form of water governance.

Conservation is taught from kindergarten. Market pricing of water encourages everyone to waste nothing. Sensitive prices have driven innovation. Israelis helped create desalination, drip irrigation and the specialized reuse of treated wastewater in agriculture. Although Israel is in the fifth year of a drought, today its citizens can reliably count on abundant water.

Cape Town is another story. Its reservoirs began receding more than two years ago. This problem turned into a crisis because of subsidy-distorted water pricing, inefficient irrigation, and a lack of desalination facilities and a long-term plan. In 2016 officials from Israel’s Foreign Ministry recognized the problem and alerted national, provincial and local governments in South Africa. Israel has trained water technicians in more than 100 countries, and it offered to bring in desalination experts to help South Africa.

 South African officials ignored or rebuffed the no-strings Israeli proposal. It would be admirable if South Africa’s rejection came from a can-do attitude, in a statement of national self-sufficiency. But it appears to have been for ideological reasons that South African officials wanted no help from Jerusalem.

The leadership of South Africa’s dominant political party, the African National Congress, aligns itself with the Palestinian cause. Although the two countries have diplomatic ties, South Africa under the ANC has refused to develop warm relations with Israel. This antagonism goes back to the 1960s, when current Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas lived in Moscow with exiled ANC leaders, and Yasser Arafat often visited. Students and leaders of the two movements were supported by the Soviet Union, and they shared revolutionary aspirations.

Even more confounding, the South Africans turned to Iran for help. In April 2016, when there was still enough time for a smart plan to make a difference, South Africa’s water minister visited Tehran. She brought home a memorandum of understanding in which Iran agreed to help develop South Africa’s water infrastructure.

Unlike Israel, Iran is not known for its water-management expertise.

Two months after the South African water minister’s Iran trip, Israel brought a team of water professionals to Cape Town. Neither the mayor, also strongly hostile to Israel, nor any senior municipal official would see them.

If the South Africans are snubbing the Israelis out of solidarity with the Palestinians, they might want to consider this: The Palestinian Authority has worked with Israel on a range of water projects since 1995.

Why does South Africa feel compelled to be so anti-Israel? The question has no rational answer.

The question has a very rational answer: Antisemitism.

Rabbi Benjamin Blech at writes:

But the governing body of Cape Town sides with the Palestinians. That makes Israelis the enemy. And that allowed hatred to trump sanity and enmity to prefer calamity over offered salvation.

Harry Emerson Fosdick put it well when he famously said, “Hating people is like burning down your own house to get rid of a rat.”

Thanks to the growing influence of the increasing Muslim population and the leadership of the pro-jihad President Jacob Zuma aligned with the BDS, South Africans rejoiced at their ability to “tell off the Israelis” and to deny Israel the ability to claim credit for any humanitarian aid.

It is hard to imagine how much joy there must be today for a people to know that soon they are destined to helplessly watch their citizens die of thirst rather than accept aid from “those accursed Jews.”

It is a story of tragedy in South Africa – but it is more than that as well. It is a paradigm of the conflict between the world and the Jews, between the Arabs and the Israelis, between those consumed by a hatred and those anxious to extend a hand of help and of friendship to even the bitterest of enemies.

The issue was also addressed by former MK Dov Lipman:

Former Yesh Atid MK Dov Lipman, who today is director of public diplomacy in the vice chairman’s office at the WZO, said that if the BDS claim of responsibility for the conference’s cancellations is correct, it shows that “Israel can do no right” in South Africa.

“In a conference that can help South Africa, they are willing to hurt themselves to avoid having an Israeli involved,” he said.

I disagree with his suggestion that Israel needs a “more nuanced approach to Israel advocacy”. My attitude is that if they do not wish Israeli help, let them stew in their own juice. Or in their own drought in this case. It is not up to Israel to beg nations to deign to accept our help. If they do not wish to be helped by Israel there are plenty of others who gladly welcome our assistance.

Watch these short videos to understand:


South Africa has now even advocated cutting diplomatic ties with Israel:



WATCH key part of announcement (35 sec)

“The South African government is intending to cut diplomatic ties with Israel in protest of its treatment of the Palestinian people, the country’s Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor announced yesterday.

Pandor informed parliamentarians of the government’s resolution during a ten-hour joint debate on South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) that he delivered last week.

“The majority party has agreed, that government must cut diplomatic ties with Israel, given the absence of genuine initiatives by Israel to secure lasting peace and a viable two-state solution that includes full freedom and democracy for the Palestinian people,” she said.

The comments were made in response to opposition leader Kenneth Meshoe, who had argued that it was disappointing that national and provincial authorities in South Africa had refused help from Israeli companies to address the country’s current water crisis.

However, the proposal was applauded by parliamentarians and Pandor, who is expected to be appointed vice president in Ramaphosa’s new Cabinet, was given a standing ovation as she left the podium.”

ANC madness. It prefers lies and terrorists to the only liberal democracy in the ME where people of all colours and religions live side by side.

I have quoted my old high school headmaster Dr. Grunfeld before, and I will quote him again. One of the axioms he taught us was השנאה מקלקלת את השורה – hatred causes one to “not think straight”.

I can’t think of a better example of this than South Africa.

Posted in Antisemitism, Boycotts and BDS, International relations | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments