Good News Friday

Thank goodness it’s Friday, and as we approach Shabbat it’s time for another Good News Friday installment.

Let’s start with one of my favourite subjects, Israel’s biomedical industry. There are several great items to report this week.

A British doctor who treats cancer patients has discovered that a special Israeli honey, Life-Mel Honey, neutralizes the worst of the side-effects of chemotherapy.  You can read about it at the link but the explanation is just as clear in the video below. The doctor clearly explains the devastating effects of chemotherapy on the body and how the honey helps:

Kol hakavod to the Israeli developers of Life-Mel honey. Israel bringing sweetness to the world – what better news could there be?

Another method of treating cancer has also been discovered by Israeli researchers who have found a way to curb the growth of cancer cells:

A group of researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev has developed a new molecule that they say inhibits the growth of cancer cells and also reprograms them to be noncancerous.

The new treatment is based on inhibiting the production of a protein, the voltage-dependent anion-selective channel 1 (VDAC1), highly increased levels of which are found in many solid and non-solid tumors.

The research was led by Prof. Varda Shoshan-Barmatz of the Department of Life Sciences and the National Institute for Biotechnology in the Negev Ltd. (NIBN), both of which are part of BGU.

Prof. Varda Shoshan-Barmatz of BGU

The VDAC1 protein regulates the mitochondria, which control cell metabolism. Cancer cells are known to have a very active metabolism.

“Cancer cells have hundred times more VDAC1 than normal cells,” said Shoshan-Barmatz in a phone interview. “So we said, let’s prevent, down-regulate its formation.”

The researchers thus developed a molecule called the siRNA, which when applied to the cells was found to stop the growth of cancer cells and when applied to mice with tumors, it caused the shrinking of the tumor. Not only that, explained Shoshan-Barmatz, the cells were found to go back “to their original normal-like state.”

The study was conducted on both in vitro and in mouse models of brain cancer, lung cancer and breast cancer.

Normal cells, which are not as needy of the VDAC1 protein, did not react negatively to the drop in the protein level, she said. The “treatment with siRNA against VDAC1 inhibited growth of cancer cells but not of noncancerous cells, pointing to a potentially safe treatment.”

And most significantly, she added, the siRNA treatment of various cancer types in mouse models “resulted in reprogrammed cancer cells metabolism, leading to reduced tumor growth, induced disappearance of cancer stem cells and prompted cell differentiation. Thus, we discovered a code for reprogramming cancer cells so that they lose their oncogenic features.”

“Although still in early stages, we are excited with our results that demonstrate the potential of this novel molecule for cancer treatment,” said Shoshan-Barmatz.

The potential for this new treatment is enormous. Kol hakavod to Prof. Shoshan-Barmatz and her team at BGU. May they go on to ever greater success so that so many cancer patients can benefit.

The best cure for cancer is early detection. Israeli researchers have now discovered breath and urine tests for the early detection of breast cancer:

A screening method that, more accurately and earlier, detects breast cancer by identifying biomarkers has been developed Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Soroka-University Medical Center researchers.

The biomarkers are identified by using two electronic nose gas sensors for breath, along with gas-chromatography mass spectrometry to quantify patterns of substances in urine.

The new technology, using commercially available technology, has just been published in the journal Computers in Biology and Medicine.

In their study, researchers detected breast cancer with more than 95% average accuracy using two different commercial electronic noses (e-noses) that identify unique breath patterns in women with breast cancer. In addition, their revamped statistical analyses of urine samples submitted both by healthy patients and those diagnosed with breast cancer yielded 85% average accuracy.

“Breast cancer survival is strongly tied to the sensitivity of tumor detection; accurate methods for detecting smaller, earlier tumors remains a priority,” says Prof. Yehuda Zeiri, a member of BGU’s department of biomedical engineering. “Our new approach utilizing urine and exhaled breath samples – analyzed with inexpensive, commercially available systems – is noninvasive, accessible and may be easily implemented in a variety of settings.”

What a beautifully simple diagnostic tool. Kol hakavod to Prof. Yehuda Zeiri and the research team at Ben Gurion University which has turned into a powerhouse of biomedical research and advances.

And now for something completely different. With the violence in Gaza having died down, but the vile anti-Israel media coverage still continuing, it is both important and heartening to watch this video of Israeli Arabs of all religions talking about their pride in being Israeli. Watch and share!

 

I’m sure that a good part of these loyal citizens’ love for their country stems from the optimistic and hopeful nature of Israel (something which the anti-Israel media have no concept of). Watch this beautiful short video by former UK Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, made in honour of Yom Haatzmaut but relevant every day of the year:

 

And on this hopeful and heart-warming note I wish you all Shabbat Shalom!

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

Debunking the lies about Israel and Gaza

Linda Sarsour, leader of the anti-Trump “Women’s March” in the US, who has become a champion of intersectionality  – the notion that all oppressed peoples are equal and intertwined; all that is except for the Jews who cannot possibly be oppressed or discriminated against – saw fit to spout off about Israel’s behaviour in Gaza.

I won’t repeat all her lies. You can watch her video at Israellycool – just take it for granted that she covered all the usual tropes: apartheid, disproportionate, oppressed, unarmed, protestors,  etc.

The Israel advocacy group Boomerang, headed by Ezri Tubi, has produced this excellent video debunking these vile and antisemitic claims. Feel free to share, and also make use of the arguments therein to counter any similar lies you find in the media or online.

Israellycool also made a similar video, less snappy but with more details. Again, share widely and use the arguments he has made to smack down the Israel-haters (aka Jew-haters):

Posted in Defence and Military, Incitement, Israel news, Terrorism | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Ken Livingstone resigns from Labour, letting Corbyn off the hook

Ken Livingstone

Former London Mayor “Red” Ken Livingstone has had his name immortalized as the chief proponent of the “Livingstone formulation“,as described by David Hirsh:

It is a means of refusing to engage with an accusation of antisemitism; instead it reflects back an indignant counter-accusation, that the accuser is taking part in a conspiracy to silence political speech.

The key elements of the Livingstone Formulation are as follows:

  1. To refuse to discuss the content of the accusation by shifting focus instead onto the hidden motive for the allegation.
  2. To make a counter-accusation that the accuser is not mistaken, has not made an error of judgment, but is getting it wrong on purpose.
  3. To collapse everything, some of which may be demonization of Israel, support for boycott, or antisemitism, into a legitimate category like ‘criticism’.
  4. To allege that those who raise the issue of antisemitism are doing so as part of a common secret plan to silence such ‘criticism’.

Livingstone will also be remembered forever for claiming that Hitler was a Zionist until he went mad, and rather than recant this insane allegation, has been repeating it ever since.

Even today he was still unbelievably doubling down on his insane views of Hitler as a supporter of Zionism!

One last hurrah for Ken (well, almost certainly not) – he has been on LBC this morning explaining how Hitler supported Zionists. More interesting is Theo Usherwood’s scoop that, in his evidence to his disciplinary hearing, Ken revealed that he was so close to Corbyn’s office that Seumas Milne [Labour’s far-left Director of Communications and Corbyn’s spin doctor -Ed.] even wrote his tweets. He coordinated with Milne on his media appearances and, when the anti-Semitism row blew up, Seumas never told him to stop saying Hitler on the TV.

There is an audio clip of his radio interview at the link.

So it is with great joy and relief that we learned that Livingstone has resigned from the UK Labour Party.(h/t HDK).  He said he did it for the sake of the party, and that his (antisemitic) views had become “a distraction” which contributed to the party’s sorry showing in the local elections last month:

Ken Livingstone has announced that he is resigning from the Labour Party, saying the issues around his suspension for alleged anti-Semitism had become a “distraction”.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the former Mayor of London’s resignation from the party was “sad” but “the right thing to do”.

In a statement, Mr Livingstone, who was suspended in 2016 for claiming Hitler supported Zionism in the 1930s, said he was leaving with “great sadness”.

He said that he continued to reject the allegation that he had brought the party into disrepute and insisted he was in no way guilty of anti-Semitism.

“After much consideration, I have decided to resign from the Labour Party,” he said.

“The ongoing issues around my suspension from the Labour Party have become a distraction from the key political issue of our time – which is to replace a Tory government overseeing falling living standards and spiralling poverty, while starving our schools and the NHS of the vital resources they need.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “Ken Livingstone’s resignation is sad after such a long and vital contribution to London and progressive politics, but was the right thing to do.”

We can all breathe a sigh of relief and say “about time too!”. But in truth it is not completely good news. The Jewish community and their supporters, including all decent people who oppose antisemitism, have been demanding of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn for years to fire Livingstone and expel him from the party. But Corbyn held back from doing so for any number of reasons: either he is constitutionally incapable of seeing antisemitism even when it is in front of his eyes, and despite claiming to detest antisemitism; or because he was reluctant as a personal friend; or most likely because by not expelling Livingstone, he is free at any point in the future bring him back into the party.

Guido Fawkes made the following remarks about Ken’s resignation:

Corbyn statement:

“Ken Livingstone’s resignation is sad after such a long and vital contribution to London and progressive politics, but was the right thing to do.”

Sad? Did he want him to stay?

UPDATE: Tory vice chairman James Cleverly:

“I’m relieved that Ken Livingstone has resigned from the Labour Party but why had it taken so long and why didn’t Corbyn deal with this months ago?
“Livingstone’s repeatedly offensive comments should have been dealt with ages ago.

If Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party were serious about tackling anti-Semitic racism within the party they would have kicked out Livingstone two years ago.

All Jeremy Corbyn could muster was that it was sad that Ken had chosen to go.

“When will Corbyn take proper action and ensure labour members and activists who express racist views are given the boot. Enough is enough.”

Indeed. There are several others who are in agreement:

Even the Guardian, not known for its pro-Zionist leanings, slammed Livingstone for his petulant farewell:

Ken Livingstone is not enormously sorry. That much seems evident from his resignation statement, a classic of the “if anyone was offended by my perfectly reasonable behaviour, then … ” genre. Even now, he can’t seem to grasp why repeatedly insisting that Hitler was a Zionist was so damaging to his party and to his own reputation. …

For this recalcitrant resignation is the worst of all worlds. Livingstone has clearly been forced out, with all the behind-the-scenes bitterness that entails. But Jeremy Corbyn wasn’t seen to do the forcing, leaving Jewish voters still wondering how he feels about it deep down; the Labour leader said only that it was “the right thing to do” and that the whole affair was “sad”. This departure leaves too many unanswered questions – including, it must be said, for TV bookers, who kept putting the 72-year-old Livingstone on screen even when he’d become a grim standing joke, every appearance a countdown to the first mention of Hitler. They knew he was likely to repeat something offensive, yet for no good reason beyond ratings kept wheeling the dancing bear out to say it.

Expelling the former mayor was one of few points of agreement between mainstream Jewish bodies like the Board of Deputies of British Jews and Jewdas, the leftwing, anti-establishment grouping which famously hosted Corbyn at Passover.

Except he hasn’t been expelled. He’s jumped before being pushed, insisting he isn’t an antisemite but doesn’t want to become a “distraction” – even though he’s arguably been a distraction ever since his suspension two years ago, and if he was really worried about that then the answer was either to quit before the local elections or more straightforwardly to apologise and shut up about Hitler. Instead he clung stubbornly to what even now he grandly calls a “historical argument”, rather than an eccentric and offensive theory based on a misreading of history.

The Times of Israel lists all of Livingstone’s malicious anti-Israel and anti-Jewish statements over the decades, but here too the author wonders if he isn’t having the last laugh on the Jewish community with his mate Jeremy Corbyn at the head of the Labour Party.

Labour, and British politics, are well rid of him. Now the only problem is waiting to see if – or how long it will be until – he will be allowed back into the party.

We also need to see how long, if ever, it will take Corbyn and the party to get rid of all the other antisemites embedded within Labour. Ken Livingstone was simply the loudest and maddest of all of them. In a way he had become such a joke figure that he lost his danger. The others are much worse.

Posted in Antisemitism, International relations, Lawfare and Delegitimization | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Chag Shavuot Same’ach!

Chag Shavuot Same’ach!

The festival of Shavuot (“Feast of Weeks” or Pentecost), beginning on Motzei Shabbat (Saturday night), is the culmination of the 7 weeks (hence the name) of counting the Omer – Sefirat Ha’Omer. We are instructed by G-d (ויקרא כ”ג:ט”ו – Lev. 23:15) to count, from the 2nd day of Pesach, 7 weeks, at the end of these 7 weeks, a measurement (Omer) of first fruits (bikurim) were brought as a sacrifice to the Temple in a joyous parade.

The one-day festival also commemorates the giving of the Torah to the Jewish People at Mt. Sinai, and we mark this by learning Torah throughout the night (or at least for part of the night), including a special text that is customarily read – the Tikun Leil Shavuot. Synagogues have all-night study sessions, as do schools, youth groups and social groups (including my own women’s group). It is a wonderful feeling to be outdoors in the middle of the night and still see groups of people going to and from their study sessions.

Sivan Rahav Meir (my favourite “Rabbanit” and female Torah scholar/commentator) wrote this lovely Facebook post post earlier today about the meaning of Torah study, and what this experience really feels like – together with a list of shiurim to be given by Petach Tikva’s wonderful (and incredibly energetic, judging by the list of shiurim he will be running to and from over 24 hours!) Chief Rabbi Micha Halevi over Shavuot:

Millions of Jews all over the world will study Torah during the upcoming Holiday of Shavuot. What is the actual meaning of Torah study? What is the difference between this kind of learning and another? Here is a wonderful explanation by Rav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik, of blessed memory, of what happens when we learn Torah:

“When I sit to ‘learn’ I immediately find myself in the fellowship of the sages of tradition. The relationship is personal. Maimonides is at my right, Rabbeinu Tam at the left. Rashi sits at the head and explicates the text. Rabbeinu Tam objects, the Rambam decides, the Ra’abad attacks. They are all in my small room, sitting around my table. They look at me affectionately, enjoy arguing and studying the Talmud with me, encourage and support me the way a father does. Torah study is not solely an educational activity. It is not a merely formal, technical matter embodied in the discovery and exchange of facts. The study of Torah is a staggering experience of generational comradeship, of the mating of spirits, the fusion of souls. Those who transmit Torah and those who receive it meet at the caravanserai of history. Those who transmit Torah and those who receive it meet at the caravanserai (Inn) of history.”

All year long, but especially during the Holiday of Shavuot, we are invited to join in at the historic caravanserai.

On Shavuot we eat dairy foods, for various reasons, including the following possible explanations:

Shavuot celebrates the giving of the Torah to the Jews. Included in the Torah are the laws of kashrut (kosher dietary laws), which tell Jews what can and cannot be eaten and in which combination. For instance, dairy and meat cannot be mixed in the same meal and animals must be killed in a certain way in order to be considered kosher. Before the Torah was given the concept of kashrut did not exist. Hence, one explanation for the eating of dairy on Shavuot is that when the Jews received the Torah they did not have the tools they would need to prepare kosher meat. As a result their first meal after receiving the Torah was a dairy meal. (Mishnah Berurah 494:12; Talmud – Bechorot 6b.)

Another possible explanation has to do with Shir HaShirim (the Song of Songs). Verse 4:11 says “milk and honey are under your tongue” and some have said that the Torah is like the milk in this verse. Like milk, the Torah sustains us. Hence, a dairy meal on Shavuot celebrates the nourishing quality of the Torah.

The Revelation at Sinai (when the Torah was given to the Jews) occurs directly after their Exodus from slavery in Egypt. This journey is described as one “from the misery of Egypt to a country flowing with milk and honey…” (Exodus 3:8-17). Thus, eating dairy on Shavuot commemorates the sweetness of freedom and the new life that lay before the Jewish people.

I have to admit the cheesecake is one of my favourite parts of the festival! 🙂

We also decorate our synagogues and homes with flowers and greenery to commemorate the way that Mt. Sinai burst into flower in honour of the Torah.

In the morning we read Megillat Ruth (the Book of Ruth) in the synagogue for a couple of reasons: the story takes place at harvest time; and more importantly, Ruth, an ancestor of King David, was a Moabite convert who voluntarily became a member of the Jewish nation.

If you would like to learn more about Shavuot, here are some more resources: Judaism 101 and Aish.com.

Wishing my family, friends and all of Am Yisrael Chag Same’ach!

!חג שמח

Posted in Israel news, Judaism | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Good News before Shavuot

It’s not quite Friday as I write (though it may well be so by the time I post), but with the upcoming Shavuot festival starting straight after Shabbat, and after this week’s upsetting news, I thought it fitting to post a Good News post now.

The most important good news of the week was the long-awaited opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem, as promised by countless Presidents but fulfilled only by Donald Trump.

President Donald Trump was the only president to fulfill his promise to move the American embassy to Jerusalem—this was the message repeated by all speakers at the inauguration ceremony for the new US Embassy in the Israeli capital on Monday.

Trump’s daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, along with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, led the US delegation with a single message: Only Trump had the courage to act on what America has wanted for a long time.

Ivanka Trump and Steve Mnuchin unveil the US Embassy plaque in Jerusalem

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also thanked Trump for “having the courage” to keep his promise to move the embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

“What a glorious day for Israel,” a jubilant Netanyahu said. “Remember this moment. This is history. President Trump, by recognizing history you have made history. All of us are deeply moved, all of us are deeply grateful.”

“This is a great day,” he continued. “A great day for Jerusalem. A great day for the state of Israel. A day that will be engraved in our national memory for generations.”

I believe it’s a great day for peace,” the prime minister pronounced.

He thanked Kushner, Trump’s envoy Jason Greenblatt and US Ambassador David Friedman for their “tireless efforts to advance peace” and for their “tireless efforts to advance the truth.”

“The truth and peace are interconnected,” Netanyahu opined. “A peace that is built on lies, will crash on the rocks of Middle Eastern realities. You can only build peace on truth. And the truth is that Jerusalem has been and will always be the capital of the Jewish people, the capital of the Jewish state.”

Here is Donald Trump’s video-recorded speech at the inauguration ceremony. I have never heard him speak so well – fluently and from the heart:

And here is Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech, both grateful and triumphant in tone, and that is as it should be on such a momentous occasion:

And here is Ambassador David Friedman’s speech:

Here is President Reuven Rivlin’s speech, after he was graciously introduced by Ambassador Friedman:

 

The event was a huge triumph for both countries. Israel finally received official recognition and backing from a superpower, from America itself, confirming that Jerusalem is its capital and therefore it makes the most sense for the embassy to be located there.

This was also a huge personal success for Binyamin Netanyahu. After all the vilification he has received over the years from his opponents that his actions have endangered the US-Israel relationship, particularly in his clash with former President Obama and his administration about the Iran nuclear deal, there can be no greater vindication.

Professor of International Law Eugene Kontorovich explained to the BBC the relevance of the relocation of the US Embassy to Jerusalem:

 

It surprises me every time how dumb the mainstream media appear when they ask such obvious questions and disbelieve the answers.

The positive repercussions from the embassy move to Jerusalem could be felt throughout the week:

Two days after the American Embassy, Guatemala too opened its embassy in Jerusalem:

The Central American country’s president, Jimmy Morales, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cut a blue-and-white ribbon, and later placed pieces of the ribbon in the pockets of their suit jackets.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu his wife Sara, Guatemala President Jimmy Morales (2R) and Guatemalan Foreign Minister Sandra Jovel (L) pose for a picture at the official opening ceremony of the Guatemala embassy in Jerusalem on May 16, 2018. (Marc Israel Sellem/Pool)

“This is the beginning of something extraordinary, or I would say, the re-beginning of something extraordinary, which is the relationship between Guatemala and Israel,” Netanyahu said.

“Yesterday we opened the American embassy in Jerusalem, two days ago, and it’s not a coincidence that Guatemala is opening its embassy in Jerusalem right among the first. You are always among the first, always among the first,” Netanyahu went on, recalling that Guatemala was the second nation, after the US, that recognized the State of Israel in May 1948.

Netanyahu mentioned that there is a Guatemala Street, named in honor of the country’s former ambassador to the UN Jorge Garcia Granados.

Seventy-one years ago, Granados played a crucial role in convincing Latin American countries to vote in favor of General Assembly Resolution 181, which called for the partition of Mandatory Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab state.

The next country to move its embassy to Jerusalem is Paraguay, due to open its doors next Tuesday. while the Czech Republic is considering a 3-stage move to Jerusalem.

It seems that the US Embassy move has opened, if not a floodgate, then at least a doorway to permit other countries, who have been too timid until now, to move their embassies to Jerusalem too. They can now feel confident that they have the backing of the world’s superpower.

This in turn gives a boost to America, restoring its image as the world’s no. 1 superpower, enabling it to return to the world’s stage and project its power as it used to before Obama destroyed its deterrence.

This is all excellent news for Israel, America and the Middle East in general. A very good way to enter Shabbat and Shavuot.

Shabbat Shalom everyone!

Posted in International relations, Israel news, support Israel | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

More on anti-Israel media bias re Gaza, plus a mea culpa

This is the gift that keeps on giving, the subject that never dies away. As I have written previously, and especially in this latest round of clashes in Gaza, the automatic bias in international forums against Israel is almost Pavlovian. As soon as Israel takes active measures to defend itself Israel is condemned for disproportionate actions, war crimes, and generally being a Bad Thing that ought to be gotten rid of.  UN resolutions abound, ambassadors are humiliated and expelled, and the media get out their blood-libel textbooks in order to copy it out for the next day’s headlines.

Here are some more interviews and articles which are sure to raise your blood pressure. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Via Daphne Anson, here is the indefatigable Ambassador Mark Regev on UK Channel 4. How he keeps his cool I don’t know but he ought to be awarded a medal. I found myself screaming at the screen:

Here is an Israeli embassy spokesman on BBC Breakfast TV:

UK Media Watch brings us two absolutely revolting articles from those old antisemitic standbys:

The Guardian’s editorial demonstrates its unbridled hatred of Israel

The Independent wheels out its blood libel machine as it accuses Israel of “gassing” a Gaza baby (which turned out to have died of pre-existing causes).

But all is not lost. Not quite.

The editor of the Jewish Chronicle, Stephen Pollard, issued a stupid and shameful tweet about Gaza a few days ago:

His tweet gave the backing to a revolting libellous article in the daily Express of which he is also the editor, as Edgar Davidson explains:

Yesterday Jewish Chronicle editor Stephen Pollard Issued an appalling statement slamming Israel for defending its border against the genocidal hordes led by Hamas. Today the Express newspaper of which he is also Editor has published one of the most vicious and unbalanced anti-Israel hit pieces I’ve seen. It is based on a blood libel – it was known yesterday that this baby’s death had nothing to do with Israel ( the baby died of a pre-existing condition). The unprecedented full page story (the Express rarely does this for foreign news) is straight Hamas propaganda. It uses Hamas sources as facts but puts Israeli claims in sarcastic quotes. The worst reporting. Would like some explanation from Pollard.

This was followed by an equally stupid and shameful article by the JC’s reporter Daniel Sugarman who wrote that Israel should be condemned for its overwhelming response to the Gaza rioters.

Two days later and Sugarman had the grace to admit he was wrong and say that he was ashamed of himself:

It’s never easy to say you’re sorry.

To admit you’re wrong. To announce publicly, “I made a mistake”.

But to apologise when that apology comes bound up with what is, perhaps, the most intractable conflict on earth, makes it a thousand times harder.

But that is what I am. Sorry.

A few days ago I wrote a column about the latest round of violence on the border with Gaza.

But the criticism I paid more attention to was from people who pointed out that it was absurd to deal in hypotheticals. I’d said that surely there must be a way the protestors could be stopped without shooting live ammunition at them – that Israel, with its incredible technological capabilities, must be capable of developing a way. That was a cry of anguish, but it was not an argument. If no such technology currently exists, then it was absurd of me to blame the IDF for not magically willing it into existence. The traditional crowd stopping technology would not have worked effectively. Rubber bullets are only short range. The same with water cannons. And with tens of thousands of people rushing the border, this would have been extremely unlikely to work effectively. The border would have been broken through. And then, without much of a doubt, a lot of people in Israel would have died. That was, after all, Hamas’s stated aim.

But what really affected me the most was yesterday, when a Hamas operative went on television and claimed that, of the 62 people killed in the last two days, fifty were Hamas operatives. Islamic Jihad claimed three more, meaning that over 80 percent of the people who were killed while trying to breach the border were members of terrorist organisations whose direct aim is to bring death and suffering into Israel.

And I opened my eyes and saw what I had done.

I had fallen into the trap I had always been convinced I would not fall into. I had condemned Israel for defending itself.

Kol hakavod to Sugarman for this clear mea culpa.

However, my thoughts are not quite as forgiving. As a Jewish journalist who knows and loves Israel well, why did he not trust the IDF and the Israeli reports from the scene? Why was he only convinced when Hamas confessed?

It’s disgraceful how he immediately jumped to the wrong conclusion and saw fit to play into the hands of the antisemites.

After all the myriad of times that Israel has been unfairly condemned surely he of all people should have known better!

So yes, nice apology but too little too late. Next time he should keep his mouth shut and his keyboard locked till the full details emerge.

For his information and for anyone else looking to defend Israel and not worry about its moral character, here is the wonderful Col. Richard Kemp:

And here is his article in the Daily Telegraph this week:

And here is Sky News Australia correspondent Andrew Bolt with a staunch defence fo Israel. What a refreshing change for Sky News! Then again, he is an Aussie, and it is well known that Australia is a staunch supporter of Israel:

I don’t think anything is going to change any time soon, which is pretty depressing. But we have to take heart from those who see the truth and defend us staunchly. And from those like Sugarman who see the error fo their ways and admit it in public.

Posted in Antisemitism, Defence and Military, Incitement, Media and journalism, Terrorism | Tagged , , , , , , , | 13 Comments