Good News Friday

It’s chol Hamo’ed Sukkot and we’ve emerged from the first day of Chag with half a day to catch our breath before heading into Shabbat. The whole festival is a “time of rejoicing” so I would normally be very happy to write my Good News Friday post. However I’m having a very hard time trying to find any good news at all. If anyone has any good news items, please post them in the comments or on my Facebook page – or both!

There are still one or two bright spots. I don’t usually post about politics on my Good News Friday posts but I’m making an exception today because time is short before Shabbat.

IAEA flag

I have just read on Ynet that the UN nuclear assembly IAEA rejected an Arab attempt to single out Israel for criticism for its nuclear arsenal. This is no small achievement to put it mildly:

Member states of the UN nuclear agency on Friday rejected an Arab resolution singling out Israel for criticism over its assumed atomic arsenal, in a diplomatic victory for Western powers that opposed the initiative.

Arab states had submitted the non-binding resolution to the annual gathering in Vienna for the first time since 2010 to signal their frustration at the lack of progress in efforts to move towards a Middle East free of nuclear weapons.

Fifty-one countries voted against the text and 43 states for.

Frustrated over the indefinite postponement last year of an international conference on banning atomic arms in the region, Arab states proposed a non-binding resolution expressing concern about “Israeli nuclear capabilities.”

Had it been adopted at the annual member state gathering of the UN International Atomic Energy Agency, the proposal would call on Israel to join a global anti-nuclear weapons treaty and place its nuclear facilities under IAEA monitoring.

The United States said this week the move would hurt broader diplomatic efforts towards creating a Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction. Israel said it would deal a “serious blow” to any attempt to hold regional security talks.

More at the Times of Israel too.

It’s almost incredible that Israel, who has not had an active role in any of the crises playing out across the Middle East, was going to find itself yet again at the centre of opprobrium at the good ole United Nations. The fact that Bashar Assad has been mass-murdering his own citizens with poison gas and similarly mass-murdering them with “regular” bombs and guns; that the Muslim Brotherhood and the Egyptian army are murdering each other’s supporters by the dozens across Egypt; that the Syrian civil war is spilling over in all directions across international borders, seems not to matter a whit to the Arab nations or to the United Nations.

Or perhaps I should say, it matters a lot more than a  whit, so how better to distract international attention than by focussing a willing world on Israel.

Well done to the Americans, to the countries who voted against the resolution and to Israel’s diplomats. The battle may be won for now but the war is far from over. Let’s hope all our holiday prayers continue to reach Hashem’s ears and receive a positive answer.

For my next item, moving from the sublime to the ridiculous, the well-known journalist Matthew Kalman has written a groan-worthy punny blog “Israelis move to shelters as Iran attack nears” – with his “shelters” being in reality sukkot.  😉

Israelis built makeshift shelters on balconies across the country in preparation for Iranian nuclear attack. Experts said the “God Pods” would provide little protection

(Jerusalem, September 19) As if sensing an imminent Iranian missile attack, Israelis moved en masse into makeshift shelters on Wednesday night, prompting diplomats and international news organizations to predict that a strike against Tehran’s fast-developing nuclear industry was imminent.

There was no official announcement, but millions of Israeli citizens made the move on Wednesday, perhaps as the result of a coded message issued by the government and unintelligible to foreigners.

[…]

The shelters, visible at homes across Israel, seemed to provide scant protection. Most were hurriedly constructed from wooden boards and roofed with tree branches. Some were lavishly decorated inside, while others remained bare.

[…]

The shelters were soon dubbed “God Pods” by foreign media analysts.

Israelis were also laying in stocks of citrus fruit, palm branches and other natural vegetation that are believed to have medicinal properties in the event of an attack.

LOL! I’ve only just discovered Kalman’s blog. It looks like it’s going to be a bundle of laughs. :-).

Talking of new blogs, I am delighted to introduce you to a great Kosher recipe blog run by my cousin Suzanne. I recommend you go and have a look. I can guarantee from personal experience that Suzanne is a fantastic cook and all her recipes are guaranteed to turn out wonderfully. Bete’avon! Bon Appetit!

Getting back into the Sukkot mood, and to give you more fun before Shabbat, here’s a golden oldie video, Shake your Lulav, to get you shaking with laughter if not with Lulav. 🙂

Wishing you all Mo’adim Le’simcha and Shabbat Shalom!

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