Good News Friday

What a week it’s been! This time last week, how many of us were dreading the election of Hilary Clinton and the effective continuation of Obama’s administration? What a turnaround there was! Not that Donald Trump is exactly the knight in shining armour for most of us, but he’s got to be better than Clinton would be.

All the more reason to celebrate with another Good News Friday installment, although because time is short this will be a short post.

Norway-Israel flags

Norway-Israel flags

Some good news from Norway of all places, (via Reality), that bastion of vitriolic anti-Zionism – a changing wind is blowing through Israel-Norway relations:

In frigid Oslo, Norway, a city and country known among Israelis largely for its role in the brokering the Oslo Accords, a subtle shift is taking place. Some in the Norwegian government and hi-tech sector are looking at Israel not through the traditional lens of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but as a potential partner in business, hi-tech and innovation.

At the 2016 Oslo Innovation week held in October, Anya Eldan, the general manager of early stage innovation at the Israel Innovation Authority (under the Economy Ministry), was a keynote speaker on a panel with Norway’s Innovation Chief Anita Krohn Traaseth.

“We feel like a popular kid in the class,” said Dan Poraz, deputy chief of mission at the Israeli Embassy in Norway, to group of journalists in October at the embassy. “At the most important event in Norway for the second year in a row we have very prominent Israeli speakers as keynote speakers,” he added.

According to the Norwegian Ambassador to Israel, Jon Hanssen-Bauer, the current Norwegian government is looking to have “a much wider horizon” when it comes to Israel. “With the current government, we are trying to build up trade and bilateral relationships. We are active in the peace process, we do work together with Israel on that, but we are also trying have a much wider horizon,” he said during a meeting with a delegation of journalists in his Ramat Aviv office in October.

The 2013 Norwegian elections led to the election of a center-right government led by a Prime Minister Erna Solberg of the Conservative Party and the right-wing Progress Party. The alliance dethroned the left-leaning Labour coalition.

This is such welcome news! It’s clear that the change of government has brought about a change of heart, and not a moment too soon. Both countries can benefit hugely from each other’s products and developments, and we can hope to look forward to the beginning, or the renewal of a beautiful friendship.

Closer to home, here is an amazing  defence of Israel and a rebuttal of the terrible accusations lobbied at the IDF by the extreme left and BDS bigots, written by an extraordinary young man, an Israeli Bedouin who serves in the IDF:

Click the words “see more” to read the whole thing.

Kol hakavod to Adam Ram both for his service and his courageous stance in defence of Israel and the IDF. His family and people can be very proud of him, and we Israelis must give thanks that we have such wonderful young people willing to serve in the defence of our (and their!) country.

A fitting note to conclude this post is the Shabbat Project (or Shabbos Project) which is taking place in Jewish communities throughout the world. It is an incredible venture aimed at bringing the beauty of Shabbat, with its mitzvot and customs, to Jews around the world, whether they are religiously observant or not. The project also entails mass challah-baking sessions and other preparations for Shabbat, and it has taken off in Israel as well as elsewhere.

Watch this beautiful video, and if the Shabbat Project is taking place anywhere near you, go and join in!

Kol hakavod to the initiators and campaigners who got this massive rpoject off the ground a few years ago, and to all the activists and volunteers who take part each year (including my wonderful cousin’s daughter Dena in Toronto) to make this fantastic project such a success.

And with this heart-warming thought I wish you all Shabbat Shalom!

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12 Responses to Good News Friday

  1. Pingback: Good News Friday – 24/6 Magazine

  2. Elise Ronan says:

    Donald Trump’s advisors have already backed off on his promise to move the embassy to Jerusalem. Which we all knew he would. And how you think a man whose campaign legitimized mainstreaming antisemitism is better than Clinton would have been for Israel is beyond wishful thinking. The altright has taken over the GOP and that does not bode well for Israel or for Jews anywhere or for those who believe in a respectful civilized society. Sorry but you are very wrong about this one.

    • anneinpt says:

      I see where you’re coming from, and definitely understand you. I don’t even disagree with you so much. But I think that Clinton would have been worse.
      I think that we’re going to just have to hope that Trump has good advisers who will both give good advice (obviously) and rein in his more outlandish intentions.

      But why you think Clinton would be better for the Jews is a puzzle to me. Her closest advisers are extremely anti-Israel and yes, antisemitic too. The American left has become vitriolic in its hatred for Israel and by extension, for Jews, and they only get less attention for it because they cover up their Jew-hatred with Israel-hatred which is more PC.

      Have the alt-right really taken over the GOP? Or are they just making the most noise? It’s hard to tell from over here, but certainly they made a lot of Israelis very nervous.

      We’re going to have to sit tight and buckle up for a bumpy ride.

    • anneinpt says:

      I would add this link: a message to Jews upset about Trump’s election

      The truth you presumably do not know is that it is Trump who has a genuine link to Judaism (his daughter is an orthodox Jewish convert) and it is Trump whose support for Israel is unconditional (he has promised to finally relocate the US embassy to Israel and his team of advisors on the Middle East include genuinely pro-Israel visionaries who also understand the Islamist threat worldwide).

      In contrast ‘philo-semite’ Clinton refers to staff as “f*cking Jews”, is in the pay of the terrorist funders of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, has Huma Abedin as her closest adviser (a Saudi Muslim Brotherhood operative) as well as antisemitic, anti-Israel fanatics like Max Blumenthal, and is proud of her role as ‘designated yeller’ at Bibi Netanyahu.

      There’s more at the link.

      Yes, As you said, the alt-right are disgusting, dangerous and downright evil. But are Clinton’s people any better? I say not. Having gone through 8 years of Obama, 4 more years of more of the same or worse is not a good thing imo.

      On the other hand, I don’t get to vote, so my opinion is basically worthless. I can only comment on what I see in their attitudes towards Israel.

      • Elise Ronan says:

        You seem to think that Trump cares that his daughter is Jewish and that it means something to him. You view that as a member of the Tribe and how it relates to you, instead of seeing who he really is- an opportunist with loyalty to no one and nothing except himself. If it behooves him to abandon Israel he will. And if you think that an antisemitic veneer of an administration will be good for Israel, all you need to do is look to how Israel is treated by Europe to see what will happen here.

        Would Clinton have been better? I have no idea. She too has association with Jews because she has a Jewish SIL and half Jewish grandchildren. The Blumenthals notwithstanding, her reality was understanding who the USA is and what is its role in the world. But what I do know is that the majority of the Israeli electorate did favor Clinton despite her associations, not because she is seen as unfailingly pro-Israel but because she is stable.

        If you also think a Trump administration that says its main goal is to remove itself from international entanglements will be good for Israel that too is not so. Leaving Iran and Russia as the powers that be in the MENA, will only bring Israel closer to a devastating war.

        This morning, his people have already said they are not going to tear up the Iran Deal on top of backtracking on the embassy. Remember he likes and lauded Putin. He thinks its fine what Putin is doing shoring up Assad and giving hegemony to Iran.

        From what I can see is that the world, especially Israel’s world, actually just got more dangerous.So I don’t see how looking at this election through Israeli eyes only, makes it seem like a win-win.

      • Elise Ronan says:

        In truth I think this is more than a bumpy ride. I think it is terrifying.

        • Yves P. says:

          There are several powerful leaders on the planet but the Americans have just promoted the most inadequate one to the most powerful spot of all. Unfortunately Trump has proved time and time again that he is extremely sensitive and that he cannot resist the instant gratification of his acts. Didn’t he promise to make America great again? Indeed we should be all terrified of what could happen in the next 4 years. Yves P.

  3. YJ Draiman says:

    There is one thing everyone is missing. Donald Trump loves America. Hillary Clinton does not. All she cares is about winning at any cost. She has tremendous baggage as a representative of the people. She has committed numerous illegal activities. While Donald Trump is not part of the establishment, he was dully elected, the people have spoken, now give him a chance, he might surprise you; I know he has baggage also, but who doesn’t.
    Let us hope and pray that this change will be for the better.
    Shabbat Shalom
    YJ Draiman, Los Angeles Mayoral Candidate for 2017

    • Elise Ronan says:

      You obviously live in an alternate universe. Hillary Clinton has spent the better part of 4 decades in service to her country. Trump has spent those decades amassing a fortune and bankrupting several companies, ruining small businesses and middle class people whose bills he refuse pay, defrauding people in Trump University and possibly being guilty of child rape. All he has done was simply for himself. He has never thought of anyone but himself and expanding his empire. You don’t have to like Clinton. But to support happily a man responsible for mainstreaming antisemitism in this country is obnoxious. And by the way, the people did not speak. The electoral college spoke. The popular vote , now with over 400,000 lead to Clinton, plus the millions who voted for Johnson is how the majority of people think. And Trump is not it.

    • Yves P. says:

      Mr Draiman, did you already forget that Trump loves his wives too, yet more than 20 other women had come out during the election with their own sad stories. So the fact that Trump loves America is not a guarantee that he will care for all its people and that he will be a good president. Most of us know that both candidates were flaw from the start but for months only one of them kept coming in front of the camera as a bully. The logic would have been to choose the lesser evil on Nov 8. Unfortunately people have voted for change without consideration for the risk that came with it.
      Sorry but I cannot reconcile what you wrote with what I read in David Remnick’s article ‘AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY’ in the New Yorker (

      I love Israel and I wish the country will benefit somehow from the new presidency. But I am genuinely afraid that Israel and the free world will come to terribly regret the like of Bush, Obama, Clinton.

      Yves P.

  4. cba says:

    Hey everyone, I think Crazy Russian Dad has the right idea!

    • anneinpt says:

      Thanks cba. That video is GREAT! And Crazy Russian Dad is my new hero. I’ve started following him on Facebook. 🙂

      He puts it all into proportion.

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