Not to be sold, distributed or given to BDS Supporters, unless they ask.

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (known as the BDS movement) is a global campaign, which began in 2005. It is coordinated by the “Palestinian” BDS National Committee and encourages various forms of boycott against Israel, urging people and nations not to buy Israeli products, not to participate in Israeli cultural events and to rid themselves of all kinds of investments in Israel, Israeli companies and research projects.

Israel, such a small country that has reached three score and ten years of age, has been responsible for a multitude of inventions and products that are beneficial to all of us on a daily basis. Some of the BDS supporters may have availed themselves of some of the following, but will probably not admit it. The following list barely scratches the surface of what Israel has invented, developed and contributed in its brief history.

Robotics

ReWalk is a bionic walking assistance system that enables paraplegics to not only stand upright, but to walk.

Mazor Robotics is an Israeli medical device company and manufacturer of a robotic guidance system for spine surgery. As of September, 2013, the company’s robotics technology was installed in 54 hospital (28 of which were in the U.S.) and has been used in more than 4,000 procedures worldwide. Its initial product, SpineAssist, became the first commercially available mechanical guidance system for spinal surgery.

Chemistry

For those who try to maintain a high protein diet, the discovery of the role of the protein Ubiquitin, by two researchers at the Technion Institute, in Haifa, led them to receive the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Optics

Medigus Ltd. developed the world’s smallest video camera (0.039 inches in diameter; 0.99 mm). The camera is designed for medical endoscopic procedures in hard to reach regions of the human anatomy. An endoscope is an illuminated optical, typically slender and tubular instrument that is used to look deep into the body and used in procedures called an endoscopy. It is used to examine the internal organs like the throat (esophagus), bladder (cystoscope), kidney (nephroscope), colon (colonscope), abdomen or pelvis (laparoscope), among others. They can also be used to examine visually and diagnose, or assist in surgery, such as an arthroscopy. Anyone who has had to undergo a medical procedure using an endoscope is thankful for the development of the tiny video camera.

In line with the smallest video camera of Modigus Ltd. is the “Pillcam”, Pillcam-CapsuleEndoscopedeveloped by Given Imaging. It is the first capsule endoscopy solution to record images of the digestive tract. The capsule is in the size and shape of a pill and contains a tiny camera. It is Israel’s “camera in a capsule” that has been approved for esophagus diagnosis. For BDS supporters, this may be a hard pill to swallow.

Medicine

Azilect (or Rasagiline) is used to treat symptoms in early Parkinson’s disease, or as an adjunct therapy in more advanced cases. The Israeli pharmaceutical company, Teva, marketed the drug, in partnership with others, in Europe, the U.S. and elsewhere. For additional news along these lines, click here.

Researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science are responsible for the development of the Copaxone immunomodular drug (also known as Glatiramer Acetate and as Copolymer 1) for treating multiple sclerosis.

Interferon proteins were also discovered by a researcher at the Weizmann Institute of Science. Interferons are a certain type of “signaling proteins” released by host cells in response to the presence of certain pathogens (for example, viruses, bacteria, parasite and also tumor cells). The release of interferons by an affected cell alerts nearby cells to heighten their anti-viral defenses.

Breakthrough in a cure for leukemia. A research team at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Faculty of Medicine developed a new biological drug that had a significant success rate in the laboratory. The drug acts like a cluster bomb and attacks several leukemic proteins at once, making it difficult for the leukemia cells to activate other proteins that can evade the therapy. This “single-molecule drug accomplishes the work of three or four separate drugs. If it were to be used in humans, one of its potential advantages would be to reduce the number of different drugs – each with its own side effects — to which cancer patients would need to be exposed. The other promising aspect of this new drug is its ability to eradicate leukemia stem cells. This has long been the big challenge in cancer therapy and one of the main reasons that scientists have been unable to cure acute leukemia.”

Nano Eye-Drops – a potential alternative to laser correction, glasses and contact lenses. The eye drop adjusts the refraction of light through the cornea, the protective layer that rests above the eye’s lens and the iris.

Computer Hardware / Software

The USB flash drive – a “disk on key” memory data storage device integrated with a USB interface, is said to be the brainchild of the  Israeli company300px-TwinMOS_Mobile_Disk_III_K24-256MB_USB_Flash_drive M-Systems, working in partnership with IBM. 

The Intel 8088 is the first PC CPU (central processing unit) from IBM that was designed in Israel at Intel’s Haifa laboratory. A CPU is the electronic circuitry within a computer that ca540px-KL_Intel_TD8088rries out the instructions of a computer program, by performing the basic operations specified by the instructions. Everyone who uses a computer can be thankful for this development.

Quicktionary Electronic Dictionary is a pen-sized scanner able to scan words or phrases and immediately translate them into other languages, or keep them in memory in order to transfer them to the computer. It was deveQuicktionary3loped by the Israeli company, Wizcom Technologies Ltd.

Laser Keyboard is a fo440px-ProjectionKeyboard_2rm of computer input device, whereby the image of a virtual keyboard is projected onto a surface. When a user touches the surface covered by the image of a key, the device records
the corresponding keystroke. Some of them connect to Bluetooth devices, including smartphones, tablets and mini-PC devices.

Babylon is a computer dictionary and translation program developed by the Israeli company Babylon Software Ltd., established in 1997. It is a tool used, among other things, for translation and uses a text-to-speech agent, so users hear the proper pronunciation of words and text. 

ICQ (which derived its named from the phrase “I Seek You”)  was among the first stand-alone, instant messengers and the first online instant messenger service.

Viber is a proprietary, cross-platform instant messaging, voice-over-Internet Protocol (IP) application for smartphones.

Mobileye vision-based, advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) providing warnings for collision prevention and mitigation. Many companies developing autonomous vehicles, such as BMW, rely on Mobileye’s technology. In some places, use of this invention could reduce the costs of car insurance.

OrCam MyEye is a portable, artificial vision device that allows the visually impaired to understand text and identify objects through audio fee440px-OrCam155dback describing what such people are unable to see.

Waze is a GPS-based geographical navigation application program,
which provides turn-by-turn information and user-submittedWaze_4.3_iPhone_app travel times and route details is available in over 100 countries.

WeCU (pronounced ‘We See You’) Technologies, is a technology able to pickup, analyze, and identify in real time terrorists and is being implemented in airports around the world to help identify potential terrorists.

Defense

Among Israel’s many developments in the area of defense, used worldwide, are the following:

The Uzi submachine gun.

The Python short-range air-to-air missile.

The Protector USV unmanned surface vehicle – the first of its kind to be used in combat.

600px-Flickr_-_Israel_Defense_Forces_-_Iron_Dome_Intercepts_Rockets_from_the_Gaza_Strip

The Iron Dome mobile air defense system, designed to intercept short-range rockets and artillery shells.

The Arrow 3 anti-ballistic missile defense system capable of shooting down ICBMs and other long range missiles.

David’s Sling – an air defense system capable of intercepting enemy planes, drones, tactical ballistic missiles, medium- to long-range rockets and cruise missiles.

MUSIC (Multi Spectral Infrared Countermeasure) – a system that counters surface-to-air heat-seeking missiles.

MagnoShocker – combines a metal detector and a taser to immediately neutralize a dangerous person.

Wall radar – a unique radar, that allows its users to see through walls.

Injured Personnel Carrier – A unique evacuation method, comprises a strap which allows someone to carry a wounded person on his back. See the demonstration on YouTube.

The Emergency Bandage is a first field dressing which can be applied and secured with one hand to prevent bleeding from battlefield injuries.

One more item that was reported in the news this past week is: 

The Bullet-Proof Back Pack. Made by the Israeli company, Masad-Armour. itt is a bullet-proof backpack that transforms into a bullet-proof vest to protect against the threat of school shootings in less than two seconds. To see the demonstration, scroll down to the video portion and see how quickly it can turn into a protective bullet-proof vest.

In addition, Israel has also been at the forefront of advances in mathematics, agriculture, economics and theoretical computer science, among a multitude of other matters, including consumer goods, such as “Epilator” (originally “Epilady”), Wonder Pot and games like Rummikub and Taki. The list is simply too large to describe in this post. You can check this link for a few additional innovations that have been beneficial to people all over the world.

For the BDS people to remain true to what they preach, they should not take advantage of any of Israel’s technology. But, their ideology will eventually yield (if it hasn’t already done so) to their unwillingness to give up their conveniences and when it comes to dealing with issues related to their health. If they ever need a surgical procedure that requires using an Israeli invention, it is doubtful that any of them would be willing to die, because they refuse to use the Israeli invention that could save their lives. So, if BDS people try to distract you from supporting Israel, tell them that they have lost their way, but that they can get back on track by using Waze – a remarkable Israeli invention that will help them find the right way in the shortest possible time. We can explain truthful and reasonable things to them, but we are not responsible if they fail to understand them.

“*** I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing; and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” (Genesis 12:2-3)

“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.” (Galatians 6:7)

Bless, be blessed and be a blessing.

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Iran and Israel – From Friendship to Enemyship

Two of the prophetic Fall feasts of Israel, the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonements, are now behind us. Beginning at Sunday evening at sundown, Israel began to celebrate the seventh and final feast, Succot (the Feast of Tabernacles). Officialdom in Israel (government offices, schools and all kinds of businesses) will be closed for eight days, with the first and last days being major feast days. After this holiday, Israel will settle down and return to normal activity, while children wait for the next school-holiday, Hanukkah, in December. 

Tensions remain high in the region, particularly because of the on-going civil war in Syria and the constant threats from the leader of the Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, and from the chief mucky-mucks in Iran. The situation was made even more tense following the terrorist attack that took place on Saturday against the military parade in the southern city of Ahvaz, which left some 30 people dead, about half of them from the Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard, and another 70-plus wounded. Even though at least two organizations claimed responsibility for the attack, no evidence was forthcoming from them to prove that they carried it out. Other organizations, which were named as being possible perpetrators of the attack, denied having any involvement. At the end of the day, it was not known who was responsible for the attack. 

That event was an embarrassment for the theocratic regime of Iran and its Revolutionary Guard Corp. The fact that the attack was carried out at this time and within the borders of Iran was a particularly difficult blow to Iran’s security establishment, which has boasted of its ability to repel any external threat and revealed that even Iran’s best military unit is vulnerable to a properly coordinated military action. Therefore, it was necessary for them to quickly accuse one or more potential aggressors. In this regard, Zarif accused the United States of being behind the attack, while a spokesman for the Revolutionary Guard accused Saudi Arabia of backing the terrorists. Zarif threatened revenge and the Guards vowed retaliation. “Iran holds regional terror sponsors and their US masters accountable for such attacks. Iran will respond swiftly and decisively in defense of Iranian lives”. Relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia are fragile, to say the least. Whatever may have been the situation in the past, it never reached such a scale, where so many soldiers were killed inside Iran itself. Even more embarrassing for Iran and a serious blow to its national pride is the fact that the attack was carried out at a military parade commemorating the 30th anniversary of the 8-year war with Iraq. Moreover, the attack came only days before U.S. President Donald Trump’s address  today to the U.N., where he spoke, among other things, about Iran’s destabilizing “aggression and expansion” and sponsorship of terrorism in the region. It is doubtful that Iran will be affected by anything that Trump said.

It would appear that Iran is once again looking to further its threats against both the United States and Israel and may try to use the attack against its Revolutionary Guards as an excuse for additional military action in the region. Even though Iran has no evidence of U.S. or Israeli involvement, the deputy head of the Revolutionary Guards accused them both and said they they should expect a “crushing and devastating” response from Tehran.

Iran chooses to ignore, at least officially, that this particular attack was in response to Iran’s aggressive actions in the Middle East theatre. Iran (formerly known as Persia) is a Shiite-dominated theocracy. It has become more and more involved and entrenched in this region. Its proxies include not only Syria to the northeast of Israel, but the terrorist Hezbollah in Lebanon, which is directly north of Israel and which has played a significant role in the Syrian civil war, supporting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Last week, Hezbollah’s General Secretary, Hassan Nasrallah, threatened that his organization “possesses precision and non-precision rockets and weapons capabilities…If Israel forces a war on Lebanon, Israel will face a fate and a reality it has never expected on any day.” 

Earlier this month, Iran openly fired multiple missiles on a base in northern Iraq, housing an Iranian Kurdish opposition party. A dozen people were killed and several dozens of people were wounded as a result. The Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (“PDKI”), an anti-Iranian organization, accused Iran of using “long-range missiles in a coordinated attack on PDKI’s bases and adjacent refugee camps”. The Kurds, who number about 30 million, have sizeable communities in various countries in the Middle East. The PDKI threatened retaliation for Iran’s actions and it is reasonable to credit that organization with carrying out its threats. If Iran can attack Kurds outside of Iran’s borders, then the Kurds can attack Iranians within Iran’s borders. If, in fact, they were the ones responsible for the attack on the military parade of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, then it would be another example of the eye-for-an-eye mentality so prevalent in Middle East conflicts and portends that more of such incidents will follow.

Iran’s accusation are like “the pot calling the kettle black”. It loves to blame others for behaving as it does. 

According to the United States Department of State’s Annual Country Reports on Terrorism 2017, released 19 September, 2018, at page 218: Iran creates “instability in the Middle East and “uses regional proxy forces to provide sufficient deniability to shield it from the consequences of its aggressive policies” Iran’s nature being what it is, the cycle of cross-border attacks that we’ve seen take place this month will most likely not end soon. The only real question for Israel is: How far will Iran, itself, go to carry out its threats against Israel?

We’ve gone through a few “almost war” scenarios since the beginning of the year, but the actions and threats have fallen short of actual international belligerence.

The two countries weren’t always at odds with one another. In fact, it was quite the opposite.  Israel and Iran were actually friendly and cooperated with one another on many levels, including military cooperation, even after Iran cut diplomatic ties with Israel following Iran’s Islamic Revolution of 1979. Today, however, the situation is completely different and Israel views Iran as an existential threat.

In the light of the present, on-going tensions between the two countries, it is difficult to imagine that the two of them ever got along with each other. The “friendly” relationship between the Jewish people and Iran goes back to the time of the Persian King, Cyrus the Great, who allowed the Jews living in Persia to return to Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 36:22-23; Ezra 1:1-2, 7-8; 3:7; 4:3; 5:13-14, 17; 6:14; Isaiah 44:28; 45:1, 13). Fast forward to modern times, Iran served as a convenient intermediate point of transit for Jews fleeing Iraq shortly following Israel’s independence in 1948. Ironically, Iran followed Turkey’s lead and, in 1950, it became the second country with a Muslim majority to recognize Israel, although in a de facto manner at first and more officially several years thereafter. The relationship was mutually beneficial for many years, with Iran supplying oil to Israel when other oil-producing countries would not. Israel, for its part, provided assistance to Iran in many different areas, such as agriculture, medicine, construction and military intelligence.

During the 1950’s and 1960’s, Iran was split between its secular and religious elements, with the latter pushing for Iran to join Arab countries in their opposition to Israel. However, the country maintained its secular perspective until the Shah was deposed in 1979. The primary issue that divides Iran and the Arab world today is a religious one. Most of the Arab world are Sunni Moslems (headed up primarily by Saudi Arabia), while Iran leads the minority Shi’ite element. After the secular Shah was deposed in 1979, the religious fringe which took over the country was overtly anti-Israel and promptly severed all relations with Israel and, over time, eventually led to the establishment of local proxies, like Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza, as well as in other places. However, even after the ties between the two countries were “officially” at an end, Iran purchased hundreds of millions of dollars worth of arms from Israel during the early years of the Iraq-Iran War in the early 1980’s. Religious zeal yielded to secular needs.

When the former U.S.S.R. came apart, things became progressively worse between the two countries and former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, an ardent denier of the Holocaust, openly called for the annihilation of Israel. The U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear agreement with Iran – a move strongly encouraged by Israel – added to the anti-Israel stance of Iran. It is no wonder that Iran condemns and threatens Israel at every opportunity. 

With Russia’s entry into the Middle East arena, Israel needs to re-evaluate its strategy for multi-front warfare. After Syria shot down a Russian plane, resulting in the death of

The Dry Bones Blog-25 September, 2018
The Dry Bones Blog – 25 September, 2018

some 15 Russian personnel, Russia blamed Israel for what Syria did and now plans to reward Syria and supply it with S-300 air-defense systems – a serious concern for Israel.

Pray for wisdom for our political and military leaders, for strength and boldness for those who stand ready, day and night, to defend us from attacks from our enemies.

“No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; and every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn.” (Isaiah 54:17)

Celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles with joy.

The Dry Bones Blog-27 June, 2018
The Dry Bones Blog – 27 June, 2018

Bless, be blessed and be a blessing.

Marvin

UNRWA – Debunking and Defunding a Deception – Part Two

Shalom all,

Many things have happened over the past ten days, significant things that will have long-term implications. The U.S. decided to close the Washington, D.C., office of the PLO, then it expelled the PLO ambassador. An Israeli-American, the father of four, was stabbed to death by a “Palestinian” terrorist in broad daylight. And earlier today, Russian blamed Israel for Syria’s shooting down of a Russian jet, following Israel’s attack on the Syrian port city of Latakia. These and other events happened quickly and each deserves its own space. In addition, the Day of Atonements, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, will begin at sundown tonight and continue until sundown tomorrow. From an official perspective, the country will be in a shut-down mode. 

The last post dealt with the background for the establishment of UNRWA and the clear fact that it was devoted exclusively to deal with one class of alleged refugees, with manner of operation that goes contrary to all other relief organizations. Billions of dollars have been poured into this agency by different countries, including the United States, with little or no accountability to those donor countries for how the funds are used. 

Even though throughout the years it was widely believed that the U.S. is biased in favor of Israel, the regrettable reality is that the U.S. is not exempt from bearing its share of responsibility for the broad international acceptance of the false “Palestinian” narrative, a narrative that the “Palestinians” repeat at every opportunity to whoever would listen. This false narrative starts with the unfounded and historically inaccurate claim that Israel stole “Palestinian” land and now illegally occupies it. The myth of stealing the land has been repeated so often and so loudly that the lie has filtered down to the generations that have been born sinice 1948, who are willing to die for a lie. Other aspects of the “Palestinian” narrative include, among other things: that as a result of the claim of Israel stealing “Palestinian” land, so-called “Palestinian refugees”, who now number about 5.5 million, have a “right of return” to reclaim that land and that the Jews have no claim to Jerusalem, all of which belongs to the “Palestinians”. Until now, neither the U.S. nor any other democratic country  was willing to publicly challenge the “Palestinian” narrative. Attempts by the U.S. to give the appearance of being impartial in the Arab-Israeli conflict have not helped to resolve the conflict. Countries have turned a deaf ear and a blind eye to the truth, not wanting to upset the Arab oil-producing nations.

Clearly, the time has come for truth telling with regard to the false claims of the “Palestinian” narrative. One of the most important issues that needs to be dealt with is the falsehood regarding the so-called “Palestinian refugees”. It began as, and continues to be, a political tool that UNRWA perpetuates in an effort to justify its own existence (and the money that it receives and disburses) and to keep the narrative alive, as well as keeping a multitude of people in refugee “camps”. Lest we forget, those who can be legitimately be defined as “refugees” number only about fifty thousand today. The rest are descendants of people who have since died. These descendants never lived in Israel and cannot be considered as refugees under the  definition of the Refugee Convention, mentioned in Part One of this blog, but who are, nevertheless, considered as refugees by UNRWA. Even if the Arab world would agree to resettle them, grant them citizenship and the opportunity to live normal lives, UNRWA would still consider them to be refugees. This position fans the flames of the modern 70-year-old conflict and only makes it worse. It creates a false hope, that is passed down from generation to generation, that the descendants of the Arabs who left Israel prior to the outbreak of the War of Independence will be able to reclaim the land by force and cleanse it from any Jewish presence. UNRWA does its part in this as well, as can be seen here and here. Every country with half a brain in its diplomatic head recognizes the impossibility of Israel agreeing to repatriate millions of alleged “Palestinian” refugees. Clearly, other alternatives need to replace this part of the “Palestinian'” false narrative.

In all fairness, it should be pointed out that Israel had also been willing to placate the international community and allow the continued existence of UNRWA and its support by the international community, rather than attempt to persuade the world that this agency needs to be revamped or cancelled. However, in June, 2017, Israel finally took a stand and declared that UNRWA should be dismantled. The position, announced by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was based on the argument that there is a lot of incitement against Israel in some of UNRWA’s institutions and that UNRWA’s work perpetuates the “Palestinian refugee” situation, rather than helps to resolve it. Somewhere along the line, the world seemed to overlook the fact that UNRWA’s teachers union and workers union had both been under the control of Hamas for years before Hamas gained control over the Gaza Strip in 2007 – without a word of opposition by UNRWA. And, while we are dealing with UNRWA’s silence, we should be vocal about the fact that UNRWA did not voice any objection to Hamas using its facilities to teach school children to become involved in the war against Israel, as seen in the above videos. So, it was not surprising that the day finally came when Netanyahu announced, “Therefore, the time has come to dismantle UNRWA and merge its components with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees [UNHCR].” There cannot be any real disagreement with the fact that UNRWA was politicized from the outset and has been used as a tool used by the “Palestinians”, who live under the delusion that Israel would one day agree to commit national, demographic suicide by permitting the country to be flooded by millions of so-called “Palestinian refugees”.

While Netanyahu’s belated call for dismantling UNRWA may have been unrealistic, defunding that organization might ultimately accomplish the same goal. This idea has been given a substantial “push” by the United States, who expressed its intention to defund UNRWA. The decision, announced by U.S. President Donald Trump, mixed diplomacy and business and made the first conditioned on the second. If the “Palestinians” refused to negotiate peace, they would pay the financial penalty for their failure. In this regard, Trump the businessman was still looking to make his “deal of the century” – a deal that would end the Arab-Israeli conflict. This has long been a policy in international relations – if you want money, be willing to participate in the game and play ball.

At the beginning of this year, the issue became more crystallized, with President Trump tweeting: “But with the ‘Palestinians’ no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?” Good question! It should have been asked decades ago.

Fast forward to 31 August, 2018. The U.S. State Department announced:  “Beyond the budget gap itself and failure to mobilize adequate and appropriate burden sharing, the fundamental business model and fiscal practices that have marked UNRWA for years – tied to UNRWA’s endlessly and exponentially expanding community of entitled beneficiaries – is simply unsustainable and has been in crisis mode for many years. The United States will no longer commit further funding to this irredeemably flawed operation.”

The U.S. move to cut funding to UNRWA was welcomed by Israel. Even the head of Israel’s opposition party, Yair Lapid, said that not only does that organization provide “cover to terror”, it also caters to “5.5 million fake refugees … [and] perpetuates the big Palestinian lie” regarding the number of refugees and their non-existent “right of return”.

Obviously, the decision did not warm the cockles of the hearts of the “Palestinian” leadership, who broadly condemned the move. Only a few days prior to the U.S. announcement that it would cut off the funding to UNRWA, PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat and the main “Palestinian” negotiator in Israeli-“Palestinian” peace talks, responded to another US decision to cut $200 million aid to the “Palestinians”, stating: “The international community is not doing the ‘Palestinians’ a favor by providing them with financial aid. This is a duty of the international community, which bears responsibility for the continued Israeli occupation.” His statement was published on 25 August, 2018, in Arabic in Wafa, the official news site of the “Palestinian” Authority.  This is an incredible statement. The “Palestinians” see themselves as being victimized by Israel and blame the international community for allowing it. In their view, the international community is now indebted to the “Palestinians” and, therefore, obligated to provide it with financial support because of the international support of Israel. Talk about ingratitude! It would appear that the “Palestinians” themselves are not aware of all of the anti-Israel resolutions that have been passed by the “supportive” international community.

Nikki Haley, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, has been a thorn in the side of Israeli-bashing countries in the U.N. since her first day in office. In an interview conducted with her on 29 August, 2018, she stated, among other things, that if the countries that receive funds from the U.S. shout “Death to America”, why should the U.S. give them a single penny? She added: “When you look at UNRWA, there’s a couple of issues there. First of all, you’re looking at the fact that … there’s an endless number of refugees that continue to get assistance, but more importantly, the Palestinians continue to bash America. … They have their hand out wanting UNRWA money. We were supposed to give them $130 million. We cut it in half, saying that they really needed to reform and fix the things they were doing, because they teach anti-Israeli and anti-American things in their textbooks. They are not necessarily doing things that would cause peace. They didn’t say thank you (for the money we did give). UNRWA had them protest in the streets that we didn’t give more.”

At last, U.S. leadership that is prepared to stop funding countries – and organizations (like the PLO) that call out “death to America”. This is so incredibly basic. When the recipient bites the hand that feeds him, why has that hand continued to feed? If the answer defies logic, then we need to look for the answer from a different perspective.

Will rich oil-producing Arab countries step in and make up the shortfall in the funding for UNRWA? Time will tell.

[The] eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.” (2 Chronicles 16:9)

Restore us to You, O LORD, that we may be restored; Renew our days as of old (Lamentations 5:21)

Bless, be blessed and be a blessing,

If you choose to fast this Yom Kippur, may it be an easy one for you.

Marvin

UNRWA – Debunking and Defunding a Deception – Part One

Shalom all,

The major buzz around here this past week, just before the Jewish New Year (Rosh HaShanah – or Feast of Trumpets) was the excitement, good and bad, over the possible defunding of the United Nations Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA) by the United States. This post is intended to provide a background to this matter, which will be followed up by the next post. Since the end of Israel’s War of Independence in 1948, efforts have been made by international agencies and governments to “deal with” the so-called “Palestinian refugee” issue. The issue has gathered momentum and has cost tens of billions of dollars and it seemed as though it was impossible to bring it to a peaceful conclusion. But, God, for Whom nothing is impossible, brings light into darkness and exposes the deceptions of the father of lies.

“Alice: There’s no use trying … one can’t believe impossible things. 

The Queen: I daresay you haven’t had much practice….When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” (Lewis Carroll, 1871, Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There, Chpt. 5)

In the introductory chapter to her classic work, From Time Immemorial (J. KAP Publishing, 1985), Joan Peters stated: 

“It was 1974, two and a half decades after the war against Israel’s statehood, with several Arab-Israeli wars since, and these . . . people were still refugees . . . . “Why were the Arab refugeees, unlike refugees on other continents, not yet rehabilitated but still in camps?

* * * *

“But the increasingly insistent depiction of the Arab Palestinians as victims of Israel’s existence is difficult to avoid. The high visibility causes nagging doubts. The provoking of doubts is well financed and carefully orchestrated: a mere phone call to request refugee estimates from the United Nations Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA) brings to me, by return mail, not only the requested data, but politically focused brochures and eight giant elegantly printed photographic posters, eloquently and sympathetically depicting Palestinian women and children – ‘Survivors who go on surviving.’ News cameras that once captured ‘terrorist’ Yassert Arafar with his revolvers in the United Nations later find him cuddling infants in the smoking ruins of Lebanon, and still later, as the ‘moderate’ under siege by ‘extremists.'” (Peters, pages 4, 6)

By October, 1948, less than half a year after the establishment of the State of Israel, there was heated debate over the exact number of Arab “refugees” who left Israel. According to the United Nations, the number was estimated to be about 500,000. On December 8, 1949, the United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution 302, establishing an agency under the jurisdiction of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR – whose primary purpose is to resettle and rehabilitate refugees). This agency, UNRWA, was given the unique responsibility to “direct relief and works programs” for the “Palestinian” Arab refugees and for them only. After spending several hundreds of thousands of dollars in an attempt to establish a census, whose purpose was to separate genuine from fraudulent claimants, it finally reported that “it is still not possible to give an absolute figure of the true number of refugees as understood by the working definition of the word.” (Report of the Director, Special Report of Director and Advisory Commission, UNRWA to Sixth Session, General Assemblym UN Document A/1905)

By 1961, the then Agency Director of UNRWA acknowledge that the number of refugees included in the counts by the United Nations, included “other victims of the conflict of 1948”. These were persons neglected by their own, Arab governments, who should not have been included in those considered to be Arab refugees from Israel. “[By] continuing to be unfaithful to its own mandate, UNRWA contributed to further distortion of an already misrepresented and misunderstood refugee situation” (Peters, p. 19)

The Inclusion Clause in Article 1A(2) of the 1951 Refugee Convention provides that a refugee is a person who:

“… owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.”

However, the UNRWA, for the purpose of its trying to obtain a census of Arab refugees in 1950, defined “refugee” as “a person normally resident in Palestine who had lost his home and his livelihood as a result of the hostilities and who is in need.” This definition was modified by UNRWA to include those people who had lived in “Palestine” a minimum of only two years preceding the 1948 conflict. These definitions differed from that of the 1951 Refugee Convention and further perpetuated the great cloud of unresolved doubt regarding the true number of Arab refugees. But, instead of being absorbed by the Arab nations in and around the Middle East, the matter of the refugees remained a political tool, which exploited and perpetuated the issue of the so-called “Palestinian refugees”. UNRWA played a major role in this matter, allowing the definition of a “Palestinian” refugee to also include the descendants of the original so-called “refugees”, resulting in the multiplying of the numbers of alleged “refugees” by hundreds of percent over the original numbers of 1948, whatever they actually were. So, instead of resettling and rehabilitating so-called “Palestinian refugees”, UNRWA has actually perpetuated their existence . . . and its own, thus furthering, rather than resolving, the “Palestinian refugee” issue. The claim of “refugee” status is based on voluntary information supplied by the individuals who seek to benefit from the services of UNRWA.

Present numbers are estimated  to be some 5.5 million refugees. Even if some of these so-called “refugees” became citizens of different countries, they are still treated as “refugees” by UNRWA and eligible for its aid. The “repatriation”, of these alleged “refugees” is one of the major demands of the so-called “Palestinians”. The political structure was and remains well-oiled, well-funded and enables UNRWA to continue its unending goal of providing for the ever-increasing numbers of “Palestinian refugees” – until now. Part Two of this blog post will deal with the present resistance to the continued existence of UNRWA.

It is important to get a perspective of where the billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money have gone over the years. Some of it, unsurprisingly, has ended up in the pockets of the Hamas terrorist organization, many of whose members are openly on the payroll of UNWRA’s full-time staff of some 23,000 people. Despite the almost 70 years since its creation and a present annual budget of hundreds of millions of dollars, getting these so-called “refugees status in different countries is not any closer now than it was back in 1948. UNRWA’s creation was flawed from the outset. It was devoted to one people group and has acted over the last three score and ten years to perpetuate not only the Middle East conflict, but its own existence. The world community has been duped and has been paying a hefty price for the privilege of being used as a financial tool to help prolong a situation that it condemns and wrongfly blames Israel for causing. If you want to know where the problem areas of the world are, follow the money.

The time is long past due for UNRWA’s existence to come to an end and for Arab countries in the Middle East to absorb all of the so-called “Palestinian refugees”, which they have refused to do for the past 70 years. A lie has been perpetrated during all that time. It was repeated over and over again, more and more loudly over the years and is even believed by those who promulgated the lie, to create a great myth – the myth that Israel stole “Palestinian” land. One cannot steal from someone what that someone never owned.

To be continued ….

“God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said and will He not do it? Or has He spoken and will He not make it good?” (Numbers 23:19)

“… God will surely take care of you and bring you up from this land to the land which He promised on oath to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob.” (Genesis 50:24)

“[In] a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” (1 Corinthians 15:52)

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.” (1 Thessolonians 4:16-17)

May this Feast of Trumpets, which begins tomorrow night, bring with it the sound of the Heavenly Trumpet, that when we hear it, our eyes would see the coming of the Glory of the Lord.

Bless, be blessed and be a blessing,

Have a healthy and joyful Rosh HaShanah.

Marvin

No Free Lunches

Shalom all.

“*** [The] issue of Jerusalem is a misleading one. Whether or not there will be an independent “Palestinian” state somewhere is not the focal point of the conflict. The bottom line is the unwillingness of the Arab states to recognize and allow a Jewish state to exist in their midst. Iran desires to re-establish the Persian caliphate. Turkey wants to re-establish the Ottoman Empire. ISIS wants to establish an Islamic caliphate and usher in the Third Imam. None of these things are possible as long as Israel is in the land of its forefathers that was promised to it by the God of all the earth. To the Islamic mind, the Jew is an infidel, whose presence in the midst of the Arab nations prevents the coming of the Islamic messiah. Therefore, the struggle to remove Israel will continue, whether or not Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, or East Jerusalem will be the capital of a future “Palestinian” state. Real peace will not be based on possession of any particular stretch of desert sand, but upon a recognition and personal acceptance of the Prince of Peace, Messiah Yeshua.

“The only question I have at the moment is ‘What price is Israel going to have to pay for this announcement?’.

In response to the question posed at the end of the quoted segment, one of the long-time readers of this blog wrote: “I believe there are no free lunches. We will be forced to compromise on something significant in exchange. That’s the nature of a deal.”

And so it is. A little more than a month and a half after U.S. President Trump’s historic anouncement, recogning Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel and the Jewish people, he opined that Israeli and “Palestinian” attempts at peace failed because of the inability of both sides to agree over Jerusalem. So, his recognition of Jerusalem was his way of taking the issue of Jerusalem off of the negotiating table. At a press conference held on 26 January, 2018, Trump stated: “there were never any deals that came close because [of] Jerusalem. You couldn’t ever get past Jerusalem. So when people said, oh, I ‘set it back’ – I didn’t set it back. I helped it. Because by taking it off the table, that was the toughest issue. And Israel will pay for that.(emphasis mine) The removal of Jerusalem from the “peace” discussions prompted the chief “Palestinian” negotiator, Saeb Erekat, to condemn the President’s remarks and to comment that taking Jerusalem off of the table was the equivalent of “taking peace off the table”, as if the issue of peace was ever genuinely a matter for negotiation from the point of view of the “Palestinians”.

About a half year has passed since then, with the proposed “deal of the century” being drafted and re-drafted. And lo and behold, once again we face the reality in politics that “there are no free lunches”. 

Last week, at a rally in West Virginia, President Trump re-shuffled the cards and wanted to deal out a good hand to the “Palestinians”. He referred again to the fact that Jerusalem was “off the table” and that there is a price to pay for that, saying: “We took it off the table. In past negotiations, they never got past Jerusalem. Now Israel will have to pay a higher price because it’s off the table (i.e., because of the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal capital). The Palestinians will get something very good because it’s their turn next.” (my emphasis)

From the point of view of the “Palestinians”, Trump’s “higher price” in peace talks declaration fell on deaf ears. They dismissed his comments are “meaningless”, asserting that President Trump’s declaration was “a continuation of U.S.’s biased policy in favor of Israel. The U.S. administration is peddling an illusion, as if the ‘deal of the century’ can be implemented without Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state in any future agreement” [and] that if the U.S. does not cancel its statement that the issue of Jerusalem is “off the table”, there is “no chance for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.” As a result of the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the only alleged “compensation” that the “Palestinians” say would be acceptable to them is “to recognize the State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital.” But, Majdi al-Khaldi,  the senior diplomatic adviser to “Palestinian” Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas, hit the nail on the head when he stated that from the “Palestinian” point of view: “The obstacle in the path of the peace process is not Jerusalem – it is the occupation.” And so we come full circle and return to the opening paragraph of this post: The bottom line is the unwillingness of the Arab states to recognize and allow a Jewish state to exist in their midst….Therefore, the struggle to remove Israel will continue, whether or not Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, or East Jerusalem will be the capital of a future “Palestinian” state. 

Things are bound to heat up somewhat, as the U.S. is planning to announce that it rejects the “Palestinian” claim to a right of return and will take this issue “off the table” as well.  If that’s not enough, the waving of the “Palestinian” flag in the public sphere in Israel might become illegal. Such a potential prohibition would apply to the flying of flags of all enemy states and not specifically, or exclusively, to the “Palestinian” flag.

Realistically, we have nothing to talk about with the “Palestinians”. They will not recognize Israel as a Jewish state. For our part, we cannot give up any land in the heart of Israel to allow the setting up of a “Palestinian” state in our midst. Such an action would be sheer madness on our part. When will the dead peace process be finally buried? Maybe then, talk about a two-state solution will cease. This is not, and cannot be, an acceptable solution for Israel, but an opportunity for the “Palestinians” for further conflict against Israel.

The proposed “deal of the century” will soon be put on the table. And “the cost of the lunch” will be …..

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you.” (Ps. 122:6)

“May the L0RD bless you from Zion, He who is the Maker of heaven and earth.” (Ps. 134:3)

Have a great week.

Bless, be blessed and be a blessing.

Marvin

Israel’s Nation-State Law – A Continuing Controversy

Shalom all,

On 19 July, 2018, the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) passed a quasi-constitutional law, which has come to be known as the “Nation-State Law”. This legislation has been cheered by many and objected to by many more. It has been the center of controversy at home and abroad since its enactment. It has generated public protests attended by tens of thousands. At least seven petitions have been filed with Israel’s Supreme Court in an attempt to have the law declared “unconstitutional”. And, as with most matters of controversy in Israel, it has taken on political overtones. Proponents hail the legislation as a breath of fresh air, claiming, among other things, that it puts Jewish values and democratic values on an equal footing. Opponents condemn it, asserting that law discriminates against Israel’s minority communities. Some of the comments will be mentioned below.

When dealing with legislation, two primary questions need to be asked, namely: (1) What does it say? and (2) What does it mean?

The law itself is relatively short, only 11 provisions. So in answer to the first question – What does it say? – I decided to include here a full translation of it, so that it can be seen as a whole:

Basic Law: Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish People

1 – Basic principles

A.  The land of Israel is the historical homeland of the Jewish people, in which the State of Israel was established.

B.  The State of Israel is the national home of the Jewish people, in which it fulfills its natural, cultural, religious and historical right to self-determination.

C.  The right to exercise national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.

2 – The symbols of the state

A.  The name of the state is “Israel.”

B.  The state flag is white with two blue stripes near the edges and a blue Star of David in the center.

C.  The state emblem is a seven-branched menorah with olive leaves on both sides and the word “Israel” beneath it.

D.  The state anthem is “Hatikvah.”

E.  Details regarding state symbols will be determined by the law.

3 – The capital of the state

Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel.

4 – Language

A.  The state’s language is Hebrew.

B.  The Arabic language has a special status in the state; Regulating the use of Arabic in state institutions or by them will be set in law.

C.  This clause does not harm the status given to the Arabic language before this law came into effect.

5 – Ingathering of the exiles

The state will be open for Jewish immigration and the ingathering of exiles.

6 – Connection to the Jewish people

A.  The state will strive to ensure the safety of the members of the Jewish people in trouble or in captivity due to the fact of their Jewishness or their citizenship.

B.  The state shall act within the Diaspora to strengthen the affinity between the state and members of the Jewish people.

C.  The state shall act to preserve the cultural, historical and religious heritage of the Jewish people among Jews in the Diaspora.

7 – Jewish settlement

A.  The state views the development of Jewish settlement as a national value and will act to encourage and promote its establishment and consolidation.

8 – Official calendar

The Hebrew calendar is the official calendar of the state and alongside it the Gregorian calendar will be used as an official calendar. Use of   the Hebrew calendar and the Gregorian calendar will be determined by law.

9 – Independence Day and memorial days

A.  Independence Day is the official national holiday of the state.

B.  Memorial Day for the Fallen in Israel’s Wars and Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day are official memorial days of the State.

10 – Days of rest and sabbath

The Sabbath and the festivals of Israel are the established days of rest in the state; Non-Jews have a right to maintain days of rest on their Sabbaths and festivals; Details of this issue will be determined by law.

11 – Immutability

This Basic Law shall not be amended, unless by another Basic Law passed by a majority of Knesset members.

That’s it. Relatively short and to the point. After it had been debated and revised for over a year, it was passed by a vote of 62 in favor, 55 against, with two abstentions. Commenting upon the legislation immediately after its passage, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated this was “a pivotal moment in the annals of Zionism and the State of Israel…We enshrined in law the basic principle of our existence. Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people, that respects the individual rights of all its citizens. This is our state — the Jewish state. In recent years there have been some who have attempted to put this in doubt, to undercut the core of our being. Today we made it law: This is our nation, language and flag.”

As for the second question – What does it mean? – this is the part that has sparked such ongoing opposition and antagonism. The primary argument of critics of the law is that it is discriminates against minorities in Israel. This claim is expanded upon and embellished, and is filled with accusations of wrong-doing, including the enshrinement into law of racial superiority, relegation of minorities to being second-class citizens and insensitivity to their feelings.

In a nutshell, the language of the nation-state law is designed to make sure that Israel does not succumb to multi-culturalism that would destroy its national identity, its historical and Biblical right to the land and its unique culture, that was generated primarily by Jews who returned to their ancestral homeland, bringing with them both diversity with identity. What Israel wants to achieve with this law is exactly what its opponents want to prevent – an attempt to make the obvious explicit: Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people, with all that such a statement entails. That means it can have an official language, a flag,  national holidays and that it possesses the sole right to expand its tent pegs to settle the land, from “Dan to Beer Sheva”. It is this latter aspect which is the crux of the opposition to it. Just as a brief aside: The law refers to the “development of Jewish settlement”, not the setting up of “settlements”. There is a significant difference between the two.

If the “exercise [of] national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people”, that precludes non-Jews from being able to claim the right to self-determination as a nation within the borders of Israel. The need for such a provision is abundantly evident in light of the unrelenting efforts of the so-called “Palestinians” to claim a non-existent right of return to the land to set up a “Palestinian” state. As has been mentioned time and time again, the Islamic perspective is that Judaism, along with Christianity, are false religions and that Islam has replaced Judaism. From that perspective, Islamists assert that there can no basis for the establishment of a Jewish state. But, Jews can continue to live, along with Christians, under Islamic law and rules. So, if there is no “right” to a Jewish state, the argument naturally follows that Jews also have no right to defend it, i.e., Israel should have no army or other defenders of the nation, but Jews and others should live at the mercy of Islam.

But, there is more. Israel’s Arab neighbors reject Israel’s very existence as the “nation-state” of the Jewish people. Their constant claim is that Judaism is a religion and not a nationality and that “Islamic history” negates any Jewish connection with “Palestine”. This denial of genuine historical fact regarding the ties between the Jews and the land known as Israel is an essential part of Islamic theology, which asserts that any land that was ever under the control of Islam remains holy to Islam, even if Islam’s rule is temporarily removed from the land. Viewed from this perspective, all of Israel is considered as “occupied territory”, as it was once controlled by the Ottoman Empire, which was Islamic.

1534648986a_mo1-412x291.jpg
Cartoon from Israel Hayom, August 19, 2018

Thus, the enshrining into this new law the factual existence of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people runs contrary to everything that is claimed by the “Palestinians” and Islam and is a difficult pill to swallow.

In this regard, the real underlying opposition to the law became abundantly clear during one of the rallies that took place a few weeks ago, during the course of which “Palestinian” nationalist symbols, like flags, were displayed. Stated differently, the outcry against the new law is that it fails to treat all Israeli citizens equally. And the intention behind the argument of inequality is that it denies “Palestinians” the right to “national self-determination”, i.e., to set up a state of their own “in the State of Israel”. And so it is as it should be! The calls for “Palestinian” national rights at the protest gathering were what the opposition is really all about. Those calls were interspersed with calls in support of a “Palestinian” state and against Israel, even including the oft-repeated cries of Hamas terrorists, “With blood and fire, we will redeem ‘Palestine'”, as well as “Millions of martyrs are marching to Jerusalem.”

The new law is not intended to be legislation in the normal course, designed to guide the daily affairs of the country’s populace. It is intended to be a formal “declaration” of what Israel is, historically, nationally and Biblically – the place where God has called the Jewish people, the place where He wants to bless them and, as a consequence, to bless the world through them.  The desired equality that opponents of this law desire could well eventually result in the same multi-culturalism that Islamists have successfully used to bring about the cultural suicide that Europe is experiencing in our day.

All the issues raised by the Nation-State law are not dealt with here. Some things in the law will still need to be ironed out. For the time being, the controversy will continue.

Then the LORD said to him [Moses], “This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, ‘I will give it to your descendants’.” (Deut. 34:4)

This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “When I bring them back from captivity, the people in the land of Judah and in its towns will once again use these words: Save [us], LORD, from lying lips and from deceitful tongues. (Psalm 120:2)

Bless, be blessed and be a blessing.

Marvin

 

Gaza – Are We Being Manipulated into Another War?

Shalom all,

It seems like a long time since I last wrote. Well, maybe because it is a long time, some of which is attributable to my being abroad and some from severe jet lag. While in the U.S., I experienced what some would refer to as “culture shock”. It simply is not the same place that it was when I left there in the mid-80’s. My wife’s suitcase was “lost” on the way over and then “found, three and a half weeks later, the day before the return trip. On landing in Tel Aviv, my wife and I discovered that her suitcase did not make it on the plane together with us. But, the airline was prompt and diligent to deliver it to our home the very next day. The great part about the trip was catching up with dear friends and even having a mini-family reunion. There were times of sharing the Word of Truth in local congregations, as well as about our pro-life ministry in Israel. We were in four states and drove through two more. All in all, we had sweet fellowship with precious brethren and were able to catch up with family members. The time seemed to fly.

Upon returning to Israel, the big issue of the day was the backlash against the passage of what is known as the “Nation-State Law”. Its passage has resulted in renewed accusations of apartheid, caused at least one politician to submit his resignation as a Member of Knesset (Israel’s Parliament), generated mass protests and created a serious rift with the Druze community in Israel, which, up to the time of the Bill’s passage, had been strong supporters of Israel and, and, and….

What is it about this new law that has generated such antagonism and split even further the political divide? Is the criticism justified or is it merely the result of a lack of understanding regarding its content and consequences? This is what was on my mind, but it took second place to the recent events taking place in the south of Israel.

As a brief reminder, every Friday for the last several months, violent demonstrations have taken place along the Gaza fence, which separates Gaza from Israel communities in the south of Israel. As part of those weekly incidents, whose participants number in the thousands, terrorists use all kinds of weapons against the soldiers who are protecting our southern border. While various weapons have been used by terrorists from Gaza against the IDF, causing injuries and even one soldier’s death, the Hamas terrorist organization has also used incendiary kites that have destroyed wide areas of agricultural property and have caused damage to residences, businesses, and individuals here. 

However, beginning this past Wednesday night and continuing into Thursday, Hamas once again broke the cease-fire that it asked for and about 200 rockets were fired from Gaza into communities by Hamas terrorists. The Reuters News Agency captured one of the Hamas missiles exactly at the moment when it was intercepted and destroyed by Israel’s Iron Dome Defense System. But, when Hamas tried to stretch its wings and fired a rocket toward

Reuters PHOTO-2018-08-10-13-38-34.jpg
Reuters PHOTO-2018-08-10-13-38-34

Beersheva, that was the trigger that resulted in the IDF retaliating and destroying a building in Gaza City that was used by the internal security forces of Hamas. Israel retaliated against approximately 140 Hamas military targets. People on both sides of the conflict have been injured or wounded, some seriously, some mortally.

 

The missile barrage on Israel of some 200 projectiles within the space of less than 24 hours was picked up by many media sites. But, not all of them bothered to deal with the essential facts, so that the matter could be put into proper perspective. This appears to be particularly true when the one on the receiving end is Israel. As is often the case when reporting about Israel, the realities of the situation are twisted to the point of casting blame on the victim, Israel, instead of Hamas.

Case in point, as reported in Hebrew by Ynet:  The British Broadcasting Company (the BBC) issued a Tweet, whose headline read: “Israeli airstrikes ‘kill woman and toddler'”, without any mention of the rocket barrage fired at Israel. A spokesperson from the Israeli Foreign Ministry responded: “This is a formal complaint by [the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs]. This title is a deliberate misrepresentation of reality (that’s the polite equivalent of “this is a LIE”, if you don’t get it). Israelis were targeted by Hamas and IDF acts to protect them. Change it IMMEDIATELY!!!”

While the Twitter account did not change the headline right away, the news site changed the headline to read: “Gaza air strikes ‘kill woman and child’ after rockets hit Israel.” Later on, the original Tweet in Twitter was deleted and a new Tweet was written: “The Israeli army says it attacked Hamas targets in response to the firing of dozens of rockets at Israel.” What should be noted about the “P” report of the mother and child is that the “Ps” actually took the photo from somewhere else. It is a photo of an American baby that they downloaded from Instagram.

Most of the larger news networks were fairly balanced in their headlines, even those which chose to include in the bylines the death of the “Palestinian” mother and her daughter, following the Israeli response to the missile barrage. But, the popular Italian newspaper, “La Republica”, stood out in its blatant failure to every try to present the reality of the situation. It read: “Gaza: A pregnant Palestinian mother and her daughter, a year and a half old, were killed by bombings.” In the sub-headline, there appeared only: “Among the victims was also a 30-year old man. The present escalation in the Gaza Strip comes when Egypt and the U.N. are brokering an attempt to bring about a cease-fire.”

The Dry Bones Blog,blog@mrdrybones.com.png>-9 August, 2018
The Dry Bones Blog,blog@mrdrybones.com.png>-9 August, 2018

The firing of missiles from Gaza was not mentioned at all in the article that appeared on the front page and only those who bothered to read further were able to discover the information about the firings from Gaza. It seems that only when we do something, that it becomes newsworthy – distorted, but newsworthy.

 

I could easily relate to the multitude of different news sites that bothered to report on the matter, which didn’t even try to put first things first. But, this would only repeat what has already been written. Prejudice against Jews and Israel is expressed in many forms and, sometimes, it is expressed by its failure to present the entire picture, thus creating a misleading impression, which allows one’s innate attitudes to take over.

But, where do we go from here? There has been yet another “temporary” cease-fire. If things go as they have always gone, the present cease-fire will soon cease – Hamas will once again fire missiles into Israel and we will once again retaliate. And we will be blamed again for defending ourselves and for surviving and for the consequences of our retaliation to the instigation of Hamas.

The Dry Bones Blog,blog@mrdrybones.com.png>-15 July, 2018
The Dry Bones Blog,blog@mrdrybones.com.png>-15 July, 2018

Expressed somewhat differently, we are, and will continue to be, accused of a disproportionate response. And the cycle will begin again. Residents in the south of Israel are willing to risk war for the sake of gaining long-term peace and quiet. Mothers do not want to constantly be in a situation where they need to decide which child to save when the sirens sound, signaling incoming missiles.

As a result of the missile bombardment, Air Force personnel were called up and ground troops were being prepared for a move southward for another military engagement with Gaza. Israel is pragmatic and knows that at some point, it will have no choice, but to re-enter Gaza. Most of us will agree with the words of President Thomas Jefferson: “I have seen enough of one war never to wish to see another.” War is not our goal, nor is it our desire. It never has been. But, it is a reality that we have dealt with in the past and will, unfortunately, have to deal with again before too long. 

So, why haven’t we already put an end to this on-going cycle of “If you hit me, I’ll just hit you back, harder”?

Several possibilities exist: (1) Gaza is simply a time bomb with a fuse, that once it is ignited, it will cause the entire region to explode, something that Israel does not want – nor do most of Israel’s neighbors; (2) If a war breaks out with Hamas, which is an Iranian proxy, Iran could pull the strings with its other proxies in the region and bring about a multi-front war with Israel – Hezbollah in Lebanon (north), Assad in Syria (northeast) and Hamas from Gaza (southeast), as well as the possibility of direct confrontation with Iran (from the far northeast). While being far from an ideal situation, Israel is already planning for this eventuality; (3) Another war with Hamas is likely to generate a worldwide backlash, particularly from a media point of view. Regrettably, Israel has not done well in the war of public opinion. 

And so we wait. 

In the meantime, proposals are being considered in order to bring about another, admittedly, “temporary peace” with Gaza. But, none of the proposals are good for Israel. We cannot allow our enemies to dictate to us terms for peace. The consequences of “them” deciding, rather than Israel, will be disastrous. It’s been said that “War settles nothing.” 

“And He will judge between the nations, And will render decisions for many peoples, And they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, And never again will they learn war.” (Isaiah 2:4)

Have a great week and remember: Bless, be blessed and be a blessing.

Marvin