This week’s Good News Friday installment is going to be a little bit different for this very strange week.
My first item comes from Saudi Arabia of all places: The Saudi Foreign Minister has said that “we must denounce our hatred towards Israel“: (h/t Lewy 14 in the comments).
Speaking on the sidelines of the world assembly of Islamic scholars in Jeddh, Saud bin Faisal Al Saud said that the Middle-East needs peace and co-existence more than ever and Saudi Arabia as a leading Islamic country is ready to make sacrifices in peace negations [that HAS to be a typo! – Ed] and encourages President Abbas to follow the same policy.
Referring to the ongoing war in Gaza strip, the Saudi foreign Minster stressed that Hamas authority is the sole responsible for Palestinian calamity and they must brought before the law.The Saudi official further added that Arab World Increasingly Frustrated With Hamas which is seeking more wars.
I know that this is just a small beginning, but if it signifies the beginning of a change of heart amongst our Arab opponents this can only be to the good. Let’s hope this is not just a swallow without the summer to follow.
On the subject of support for Israel, here is a fantastic letter by a Jewish American actress in London saying Thank you to Hollywood exec Ryan Kavanaugh for your support (h/t Henry):
Last week, Relativity Media CEO Ryan Kavanaugh became the first major Hollywood executive to publicly oppose a letter condemning Israel signed by Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz. “It makes my blood boil,” Kavanaugh told The Hollywood Reporter. “As the grandson of Holocaust survivors, anyone calling it Israeli ‘genocide’ vs. protecting themselves are either the most ignorant people about the situation and shouldn’t be commenting, or are truly anti-Semitic.”
Here’s an excerpt from the letter. Read it all:
The past few weeks have been some of the most trying and isolating I have ever experienced. In the arts world especially, I feel as though I am on an island of one, as any voice of support for Israel is met with accusations of war mongering, genocide and disgust.
My parents raised me to always use my voice.
I don’t understand why so many titans whose voices could be heard around the world refuse to use theirs.
At a time when Jewish businesses are being fire-bombed in Paris, when Jewish families in Amsterdam have had to remove mezuzahs from their doors for fear of being attacked, and when Jewish storefronts in Rome are being vandalized with swastikas and tags such as “Jew your end is near,” I can’t help but fear for the future.
What example are we setting?
What legacy are we leaving?
Israel is fighting for her survival in a unique moment of absolute moral clarity, and some of the most accomplished and successful artists in the world have labeled this genocide. Where is the overwhelming disgust? Where is the backlash? At best, where is the education?
The blatant double and ultimately suicidal standard by which Israel is being judged is not a reasonable critique of a military situation; it is in fact a thinly veiled anti semitic assault perpetrated by the likes of Jimmy Carter and Navi Pillay and echoed by throngs of ignorants around the globe to delegitimize Israel as a Jewish state. These extraordinary standards to which no other country in history have been held are part of a larger movement that is unearthing and harnessing the virulent, deep seated and devastating tides of victriolic hatred that too often seem to percolate just beneath the surface against the Jewish people. In my lifetime the tide has never been stronger.
Jews around the world who are being assaulted and maligned need your support, you in Hollywood whose voices cut across oceans.
Mr Kavanaugh, thank you for cutting across oceans, for not only cutting across, but for leading by example.
As I stare at the sea of articles posted by fellow actor “friends” on Facebook, all riddled with mis-truths vilifying Israel, and hear the faint cries of a “peaceful” protest rejecting Israel’s right to exist through my cracked window, I cannot begin to articulate how much I appreciate your public and definite stance both supporting Israel and condemning the horrific and dangerously false accusations towards Israel by certain celebrities.
And for a brief moment, six thousand miles away, I don’t feel so completely alone.
Kol hakavod to Ryan Kavanaugh for his support and kol hakavod to Taube Brahms for expressing her thanks in her own name and in all our names.
And to conclude on a different note, the Apple co-founder visited Israel even as rockets were flying:
One of the issues Wozniak feels strongly about is how technology can help kids learn better. On Monday, he will be talking about that issue at Eduaction, a conference on all things educational sponsored by Mifal HaPayis (the Israel Lottery). Profits from Mifal HaPayis, which runs games like lotto, scratch card contests, and other legal gambling ventures, go into the educational system, generally to build classrooms and community centers and to sponsor programs in schools in depressed areas. Wozniak — making his first trip to Israel — is set to be one of the keynote speakers at the conference, which will take place in Holon, south of Tel Aviv.
And this is what Wozniak found during his trip:
It started when Woz posted a picture of Jerusalem, with the following message attached.
Woz: “Had a good time visiting Jerusalem and Gaza Strip today. If Israel did not react, the rockets would continue anyway. If Hamas halted rockets, Israel would not attack them. Peace.”
This incited a flurry of comments, both supportive of Israel, and against.
But Woz is a straight talker – he doesn’t avoid a chance to voice his opinion – so he continued on.
“Sam, I looked across a few miles to Gaza. Right there you realize how stupid and senseless these crude rockets are. They can only kill indiscriminately. They are fired into populated areas. They can’t do much good for the Arab ideology since they really can’t inflict much damage. But the Israeli’s in certain places have to live with some fear and alarms and these rockets keep coming. You may be mathematically safe, but it’s like being raped when you can’t do anything about it. It may be ‘pinpricks’ to Russell Brand but he could say the same thing about rape. If Israely instantly bombs where the rockets come from they would likely hit a school or a home and the terrorists are a short distance away (most likely) or quickly move the small launchers. When it continues like this, it’s not unreasonable to call it an act of war and we know what the response to an act of war has to be.”
Then Woz got into the philosophical – good technology versus bad technology. This is where my favorite quote came from.
Thank you Mr. Wozniak for your clear-sightedness and for your support of Israel. What a shame you can’t give some lessons in clear thinking to world leaders and the UN.
Apologies for the short posting this week but I’m posting from my short summer holiday in the north (not near the border!).
Wishing you all a quiet and safe weekend and Shabbat Shalom!