Archive for category Israel

Happy Rosh Hashanah

I have just received a Rosh Hashanah greeting from Sarah Palin and thought I’d share it with you.

As Jewish families gather to celebrate the New Year and a new beginning marking the Day of Creation, I want to join them in praying for a good and sweet year ahead. This day marks the beginning of a period of reflection and repentance. It is a time to remember our responsibilities to our families, our communities, our country, and our world.

This is also a time to remember who we are as Americans and our responsibilities to help our friends and allies as they seek peace and security. The people of Israel have overcome so many challenges, taken so many risks, and made so many sacrifices in the pursuit of peace and a better life for their children. This New Year begins with a new hope for peace, but the threats to Israel – and to us – have not gone away.

These are challenging times as Iran continues to work on building a nuclear weapon, Hamas attacks innocents on the eve of peace talks, enemies refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist, and even in Europe and the United States we hear voices from those trying to delegitimize Israel.

To our Jewish friends and neighbors on this Rosh Hashanah, may you be inscribed in the Book of Life. And for our friends in Israel, know that the American people will continue to stand with you in this New Year as you strive for peace and security.

Shanah tovah u’metukah.
- Sarah Palin

The IDF in Haiti

I promised I’d write a blog about Israel’s response to the Haiti earthquake crisis due to the lack of reporting happening in the British media (surprise surprise).

The IDF search and rescue delegation landed in Haiti on January 15th and the Medical and Rescue Team immediately set up a field hospital in Port-Au-Prince and began to treat patients there.  In addition, the forces started locating and rescuing survivors trapped in ruined buildings, including many who were injured during the collapse of the UN headquarters.

The IDF field hospital is currently the most advanced medical facility in the area, with intensive care units, operating rooms and maternity/delivery rooms, as well as over 40 doctors and specialists.  The field hospital has been set up on a football pitch:

Link to Google Maps – here

So, what are the stats? Well, as of writing this post it has been reported that the IDF Field Hospital has so far treated 383 people including dozens of children.  140 life saving operations were executed and seven babies were delivered. As of now, approximately 60 patients are being treated in different departments of the hospital.  Last night, two children who were trapped under the ruins of a building for seven days and then rescued by an American team were brought to the IDF hospital for treatment.

So, this is just a taster of how the Israelis have responded to the crisis in Haiti.  Please remember this when people start telling you that Israel is an evil country and abuses human rights.

You can find out more information from Twitter, YouTube and the IDF Blog.

I’ll leave you with a video produced by Neil Lazarus of

Please forward a link to the post to at least 5 people.


Save the Kinneret

I’ve been reading reports today that the Israeli government is launching an emergency campaign to save the Sea of Galilee from an environmental disaster.

Severe draught has left water levels so low that the lake bed is dry and cracked for several meters until any water can be further into the lake.

The tragedy is that you don’t have to be Jesus Christ anymore to walk here on the Sea of Galilee.

-Gidon Bromberg, Friends Of The Earth

This lake provides a third of all the water in Israel and some people say that mismanagement by the Israeli Water Authorities have left it in this state. Nobody really knows who is to blame, but the point is that something needs to be done before a catastrophe befalls upon this place of beauty, history and social importance.

I spent a few days on the shore of this beautiful lake in January this year and it is a special place that the people of Israel need to look after. It will be hard to conserve water even more so than they already do, but if anybody can manage with less water, it’s the Israelis.

Swimming in The Kinneret

Swimming in The Kinneret

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Gaza and Dresden

I’ve just made one of my legendary rants about Gaza, so I thought I’d share it with you:

Here’s a good article about what’s going on at the minute and puts it into a slightly more historical and strategic context…

I happen to agree (surprise surprise) with what Israel has done in Gaza and happen to be using the fantastic analogy that it’s exactly what the RAF and Britain did towards Dresden in Germany in WW2.

Basically, Hitler and the German war machine was indiscriminately firing V1 rockets (Doodle Bugs) towards large British cities and their innocent civilians in an attempt to cause panic, chaos and terror amongst the civilian population. The response by Britain was to fire-bomb the industrial city of Dresden in four raids. The raids saw 1,300 heavy bombers drop over 3,900 tons of high-explosive bombs, destroying 13 square miles of the city. Estimated loss of life was between 25,000 and 40,000. It is largely argued that this bombing campaign was a major factor in the surrender of the German armed forces 12 weeks later.

Now put that into context in Israel and Gaza – for some time Hamas and it’s allies have been firing rockets towards Israeli cities, indiscriminately targeting Israeli civilians in a huge campaign of rocket attacks:

Since 2001, total number of identified rocket and mortar shell hits: 8,910
Since Israel’s unilateral disengagement from Gaza in August 2005: 6,218
Since 4 November 2008: 1,116
Since the ceasefire ended on 19 December 2008: 1,045
Since Operation Cast Lead began on 27 December 2008: 896

As a sovereign nation, I would expect Israel to react – and react in this way. It worked in Dresden and it will work here.

Consider this quote:
Daniel Dawson*, British soldier who served in Intelligence Corps in Afghanistan and Iraq (22/1): “Footage of Gaza released today does show devastating damage to individual buildings, but this is no Stalingrad. A fact often unappreciated by those with no military experience is that the selective use of overwhelming force, aimed at key targets, actually shortens conflict and saves lives.”

* The soldier asked for his name to be changed for security reasons.

Neturei Karta – Not Kosher

Despite being wholly unrepresentative of Ultra-Orthodox Judaism or the Jewish people in general, many of the images of the widely condemned Iranian Holocaust Denial conference featured members of the Neturei Karta sect. The conference featured an unsavory variety of Holocaust deniers and anti-Semites under the false guise of promoting “freedom of speech”.

While some of the media may have given Neturei Karta unwarranted airtime and newspaper columns, the Jewish world has made it abundantly clear that this extreme fringe represents nobody but themselves.

The Satmar, the largest Ultra-Orthodox movement published an unprecedented statement calling on the public to disassociate themselves from those Neturei Karta who attended the Iranian conference, while Israeli Chief Rabbi Yonah Metzger also called for a boycott.

British Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks also condemned Neturei Karta, saying:

“Lest those unfamiliar with Neturei Karta take it to represent a significant strand within Jewry, it should be made clear that it is an extremely small and unrepresentative sect whose views are rejected by the overwhelming majority of Jews, religious and secular alike.”

HonestReporting urges subscribers to ensure that the media does not mislead the general public into thinking that Neturei Karta is the legitimate face of world Jewry despite this group’s existence far beyond the accepted and recognized framework of the Jewish people. Neturei Karta is definitely not Kosher.