Good News to start the week

I missed posting a Good News Friday post so let’s start the week with some good news instead.

Rabbi Yehuda Glick on the Temple Mount

The most important piece of good news is that there is a slight improvement in the health of Yehuda Glick who was shot and critically wounded on Wednesday night in Jerusalem (via the Muqata):

Hospital officials reported Saturday that the condition of Rabbi Yehuda Glick showed another “slight improvement” but that he still is not out of danger.

They hope to be able to perform another operation on Rabbi Glick on Monday. He underwent a procedure on Friday, without being taken to the operating room, to stop internal bleeding.

The bullet wounds he suffered in the attempted murder Wednesday night at the hands of a Jerusalem Arab terrorist punctured his lungs and intestines, part of which have been removed.

However, doctors are cautiously optimistic that he his condition soon will be upgraded from “critical” and that he eventually will be able to make a full recovery without significant handicaps.

Considering the extent of his injuries this is nothing short of miraculous.  A prayer rally was held in Jerusalem last night for his recovery. Please continue praying for the recovery of Yehuda Yehoshua ben Rivka Ita Breindel.

Reader Yossie, in the comments to the Glick shooting article, posted this video of Rabbi Glick praying together with Muslims on the Temple Mount – and getting them to pray with him! It’s an amazing video and as Yossie says, “No wonder the PA was so quick to praise his attempted murder.”

An almost equally good news item is that John Kerry himself phoned PM Binyamin Netanyahu to apologize for the chickensh!t episode:

US Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday phoned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and apologized to him in the name of the Obama administration for the comments made by an anonymous US official who called the prime minister “a chickenshit.”

On Thursday, Kerry had publicly distanced himself from the comments, stressing that neither he nor US President Barack Obama were behind the remarks, which he said were “disgraceful, unacceptable, and damaging.”

American officials were quoted Friday night as saying that the Kerry-Netanyahu phone call was a “good conversation” and that they discussed ways to improve relations between the US and Israeli leaderships. The two were also said to have discussed other regional issues, including efforts to thwart Iran’s nuclear ambitions

Sadly it doesn’t look like the Administrations efforts to thwart Iran parallel Israel’s efforts or measure up to Israel’s wishes. There are still large gaps between the two countries.

It has been conjectured that Kerry was persuaded to apologise partly by a Washington Post editorial urging that the Administration “reset its relations with Israel”:

U.S. administrations have often clashed with Israeli governments — including some that were considerably more militant on settlements than Mr. Netanyahu’s. But presidents prior to Mr. Obama tended to smooth over differences, at least in public. They understood that an open rift with Israel could encourage political assaults on the Jewish state by U.S. allies and military adventurism by adversaries — such as Iran. Given the ongoing turmoil in the Middle East and the very real threat that it will spread and escalate, Mr. Obama would be wise to initiate a reset with Mr. Netanyahu.

Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel welcomes Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon

Interestingly, despite all these bilateral tensions, the American Department of Defence has just offered a $100,000 grant to the best Israeli startup in homeland security:

Israel-US relations may be at a low point, but the US Department of Defense is so sure that the next big homeland security idea will emerge in Israel that it is putting up $100,000, to be paid to one start-up with a great idea or product in homeland security. It’s the prize in a contest sponsored by DoD and the MIT Enterprise Forum in Israel. The best entries will be invited to present their company/group live at the Combating Terrorism Technology Conference in Tel Aviv on January 21, 2015.

This shows that despite recent political troubles, cooperation between the two countries in tech and security continues. In a recent interview, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon pointed out that though there were tensions between leaders at the top level of Israel-US relationship, that relationship was like an iceberg – 90% of the activity and cooperation goes on “below the surface,” in the form of defense cooperation and other activities. The politicians “have disputes,” he acknowledged. But “with all the disputes, the United States is Israel’s strategic ally.”

Maureen Lipman vs. Labour leader Ed Milliband

Regarding pro-Israel advocacy, it is so refreshing change to come across an actress, a British one yet, who is so pro-Israel that she has taken the Labour party leader to task for his anti-Israel attitude (h/t David). Maureen Lipman, a wonderful comedian and the author of some hilarious stories, soundly chided Ed Milliband for his recognition of “Palestine”:

Maureen Lipman, the actress, has announced she is ending five decades of support for the Labour Party, as she furiously denounced Ed Miliband’s stance on Israel.

Mrs Lipman said she will vote for “almost any other party” until Labour is “once more led by mensches” – the Yiddish word for a person of integrity.

“The world is exploding around us. Isis is beheading our civilians while raping and pillaging across Syria and Iraq. Presidents (Vladimir) Putin and (Bashar) Assad are playing such heavy-handed games that we don’t know which rebel group to support.

“Hong Kong may be about to see a replay of Tiananmen. Islamist terrorism in every spot on the globe and if one Jew had been responsible for any of those bombings, there would, I am afraid to say, have been another Kristallnacht.

“At this point in our history you choose to back these footling backbenchers in this ludicrous piece of propaganda?”

She went on: “May I remind you that no one is tunnelling into Dover or sending rockets into Coventry, yet we seem to have every right to bomb the living daylights out of Iraq.

“Again. Conclusion: one law for the Israelis, another law for the rest of the world. Plus ça change.”

Kol hakavod to Mrs. Lipman on her strong, unabashed pro-Israel stance. That is not something to take lightly or for granted at all nowadays.  Her attitude is all the more remarkable considering another British Jewish actress, Miriam Margolyes, has taken a consistently strident anti-Israel stance, (via Israellycool) much to the delight of her fans.

While the Jerusalem Post is leading with the headline Harry Potter actress: Israel’s ‘stupid’ actions causing anti-Semitism, I do not think that is exactly what she is saying. She acknowledges antisemitism exists because people do not like Jews, but claims because of Israel, the antisemites feel more comfortable expressing their antisemitism openly.

Ironically, it is Jews like Margolyes who are making it easier for the antisemites.

As I noted in my comment to the Israellycool post, Miriam Margolyes has plenty of previous anti-Israel form. For example, she signed a letter to the Guardian asking that the Globe Theater cancel an invitation to the Israeli Habima theater; she signed a petitionagainst Israel’s Law of Return; and she performed in the antisemitic Seven Jewish Children.

In fact read Israellycool’s  post on Maureen Lipman which includes a fabulous zinger by Lipman against Margolyes.  Ouch!

Former UK Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

In some more good news from Britain, Jewish members of the House of Lords rose to Israel’s defence in a debate about the recognition of a Palestinian state:

Jewish peers in Britain’s upper legislative chamber, the House of Lords, last night engaged in robust defense of Israel during a four-and-a-half hour debate on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Lord Jonathan Sacks, the former chief rabbi, told the chamber, “at the outset I declare an interest. I am a Jew. Israel is therefore for me the place where my people were born almost four thousand years ago,…

Later on in his speech, Sacks declared: “The Islamists also know that the only way they can win the sympathy of the West is by demonizing Israel. They know you can’t win support for ISIS, Boko Haram or Islamic Jihad, but if you can blame Israel you will gain the support of academics, unions and the media and you will distract attention from the massacres in Syria and Iraq, the slow descent of other countries into chaos, and the ethnic cleansing of Christians throughout the region.”

Another Jewish peer, Lord Mitchell, frankly told the Lords: “Around the world, atrocities are being committed and we all wring our hands and do precious little, but when Israel alone defends herself, everybody goes ballistic. At best it can be called hypocrisy, and at worst it is called something else.”

Unfortunately I doubt the peers’ views will have any influence on the Parliamentary vote to recommend recognizing a state of Palestine, but it is good that their views have gone on the record.

One last, slightly surreal item for this week: Vietnam, of all places, is to hold its first Israeli film festival:

(JTA) — A film festival in Vietnam will mark 20 years of diplomatic relations with Israel.

The five-day festival organized by Israel’s embassy opens Saturday at the National Cinema Centre in Hanoi, moving on Nov. 6 to the BHD Star Cineplex ICON68 in Ho Chi Minh City, the embassy announced on its Facebook page earlier this week.

Among other activities marking the 20-year anniversary is the Nov. 7 launching at Hanoi’s General Science Library of a Vietnamese translation of the 2012 book “The Chosen Few: How Education Shaped Jewish History,” by Maristella Botticini and Zvi Eckstein.

Trade between Israel and Vietnam in the first eight months of 2014 reached $624.9 million, a 60 percent increase over the corresponding period last year, according to data released earlier this month by the embassy.

After so many decades of considering Vietnam a place of war, communism and hostility to the West, it is almost incredible to see how far we have come. The thought gives us some glimmer of hope for the future.

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One Response to Good News to start the week

  1. Reality says:

    I was stunned at the video clip of Rabbi Yehuda Glick.This should go viral.
    After feeling depressed all weekend about the terrible anti semutism in Europe and USA ,it was so nice to read some heartwarming stories about Maureen Lipman &also the house of Lords.Everyone is so politically correct &terrified of Islamic backlash that they have “lost their souls”and can’t reason properly.It’s time someone stood up and shouted out the truth.I wonder if it”ll help

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