Good News Friday

Time for another installment in my Good News Friday series.

Slavosh Derakhti, recipient of the first Elsa Award for fighting Antisemitism

The first item actually appeared in the press last week but it’s never too late to publish good news. The Swedish Committee against Antisemitism gave out its first Elsa Award to a young Muslim who has been combatting Antisemitism in his hometown of Malmo:

On Nov. 8, the Swedish Committee Against Antisemitism gave out its first Elsa Award to a somewhat unlikely recipient: a young Muslim Swede named Siavosh Derakhti.

Derakhti, who has worked tirelessly to teach students about anti-Semitism in his hometown of Malmo, is the founder of his own organization, Young Muslims Against Antisemitism. His work frequently takes him across the country to educate students about anti-Jewish bigotry and the Holocaust.


Derakhti, 21, acknowledges that the road he has chosen is not the easiest. “I know what I’m doing is dangerous, but I know it’s also good, and receiving the Elsa Award helped confirm this,” he told The Times of Israel by phone.

A lifelong resident of Malmo, Derakhti was shocked when he first learned about anti-Semitism in the city, Sweden‘s third-largest and the site of regular anti-Semitic attacks and intimidation.


“I found out Jews are fleeing Malmo, that they feel scared and unsafe on the streets,” says Derakhti, who is studying to be a youth worker at Malmo University and Folkhögskola Hvilan college, both in southern Sweden. “And then I thought that something needs to be done. We can’t keep on letting this happen — not in a country like Sweden, and not in my hometown of Malmo.”

Learning about anti-Semitism struck a chord in Derakhti, whose Turkish-Azerbaijani family left Iran during the country’s war with Iraq in hopes of an easier, safer life in Scandinavia.


Derakhti decided to educate his fellow Swedes about anti-Semitism and the Holocaust after learning not only how little his high school classmates knew, but that his school, Malmös Latinskola, was not trying to change the situation.

Read the whole article to understand how dedicated Mr. Derakhti is, and how courageous given the anti-Israel and antisemitic atmosphere in Sweden today. Kol hakavod to him; may he go from strength to strength, and always in safety.

Elbit’s C-MUSIC anti-missile system

My next item is from the world of military technology: The Israeli company Elbit Systems announced that it has successfully tested an anti-missile system for passenger jets:

An Israeli defense technology company, Elbit Systems Ltd, says it has successfully tested an anti-missile system designed to protect commercial passenger jets.

On Wednesday, Elbit said its C-MUSIC system to protect large jets against shoulder-launched missiles from the ground passed tests. Elbit said it proved effective a number of times in protecting a Boeing 707 aircraft.

The Israeli Ministry of Transportation contracted Elbit Systems Ltd. in 2009 for the initiative; the systems are to be supplied by the Elbit subsidiary Electro-optics El-Op Ltd.

In 2002, militants fired two surface-to-air missiles at an Israeli charter plane shortly after takeoff in Mombasa, Kenya. The missiles missed their target but spurred an Israeli effort to improve countermeasures.

This is excellent news both for Israeli planes and for the entire international air-travel industry who are all at risk of missile fire from terrorists.  Kudos to all the Israeli researchers and developers of this new system.

My last item for this week is not really good news per se. It is simply a great video (via cousin Elchi) which brought a huge smile to my face.  The video is of a flash mob, but one with a difference, taking place in Buenos Aires, Argentina and entitled “Celebrate the history Judaism your way”.  The “mob’ is huge and I love how it takes place on all floors of the mall. But the best bit in my opinion is the policeman doing crowd control at the beginning, and then jumping in to join the dancing. 🙂

I’m sure your feet will be tapping to the music in no time. Enjoy!

Shabbat shalom everyone!


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3 Responses to Good News Friday

  1. reality says:

    what a lovely way to end the week & go into shabbat. Thank you. Shabbat Shalom-with emphasis on the word shalom=peace.

  2. Earl says:

    I do hope that the Elbit system is perfected. It is a “slight” bit disconcerting flying into Ben Gurion knowing that a single MANPAD leaked out of Shi-holistan could drop one’s plane into the Med (or PT…)

    • anneinpt says:

      I’m actually less concerned about a missile hitting an El Al plane in Israel than the same happening in some airport anywhere else in the world. The one time an attempt has been known to take place was in Mombasa as mentioned in the article. there are Muslim terrorists all over the world nowadays, in Europe, Asia, you name it. Probably even in the US.

      And of course it’s not only El Al planes who need the protection nowadays. Probably most of the world’s airlines could do with such a system. The difference is El Al’s pilots are all military trained which probably makes the anti-missile system a bit safer in their hands.

      I wonder if other airlines will be interested in this system.

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