Wednesday, September 20, 2023



 Israeli United Hatzalah volunteers working in earthquake-stricken Morocco have pivoted from search and rescue to treating victims.

In a phone call with the Tazpit Press Service from the rural Moroccan village of Askouen, Hatzalah’s director of French operations, Samuel Arrouas, said, “Now we’re treating people who, for example… can’t get the medicines they need.”

United Hatzalah is an Israeli non-profit emergency medical services organization.
At least 3,000 people have died since a 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck Morocco on Sept. 8. The quake, whose epicenter was near Marrakech, devastated rural villages where thousands of homes collapsed, trapping people in the rubble.
Within 24 hours, a Hatzalah delegation was on the ground, involved in search and rescue operations.

Arrouas said the delegation has been traveling around rural Morocco, setting up a field clinic in small communities and treating people. Locations were chosen in consultation with local community leaders.

“We’re seeing people who didn’t have a lot, [and] who lost everything,” said Arrouas. “People with diabetes or high blood pressure who lost their medicine. People who broke a leg and now it’s
 infected, or they’re dehydrated. We’re treating on average 150-200 people a day.”

Arrouas said that when there’s free time, the volunteers spend time with Moroccan children, drawing pictures, passing out balloons and distributing toys.

“It’s like they’ve never seen toys in rural areas,” said Arrouas. “Most of the kids don’t go to school. They start working at a young age, and now they’ve lost their parents, and Israelis are passing out bread and playing with them.”

He told TPS about one eight-year-old boy who received a piece of candy from another humanitarian delegation and shared the treat with the Israelis “as a thank you” gesture.

“The Moroccans love Israel. They’re happy we’re there,” he said.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Biden Administration Trying to Bribe the Palestinians

by Bassam Tawil 

  • Palestinian officials have assured the US that they will not oppose Saudi-Israeli efforts at normalization, in the hope of receiving security, financial and political incentives from the Biden administration.
  • The Palestinian list of demands for not opposing a Saudi-Israeli deal includes, among other things: Resuming Saudi financial support to the Palestinian Authority, which slowed from 2016 and stopped completely three years ago, to the tune of around $200 million per year, and transferring parts of the West Bank currently under full Israeli control to the governance of the Palestinian Authority. The talk is about land in the West Bank's Area C, which, according to the Oslo Accords, is exclusively controlled by Israel.
  • It appears, then, that Saudi Arabia and the Biden Administration are offering a bribe to the Palestinians in return for their silence over a Saudi-Israeli deal. The Biden administration seems desperate to achieve some kind of deal ahead of the 2024 US presidential election, presumably in the hope that it would boost President Joe Biden's chances of being re-elected.
  • The Palestinian list of demands for refraining from condemning a Saudi-Israeli peace accord can be seen as tantamount to blackmail. The Palestinian leadership is telling the Saudis and Americans that if they want to avoid Palestinian condemnation, they must pay the price -- with money and territory.
  • The Saudis are being asked to pay $200 million per year and the Americans, it appears, are expected to pressure -- or blackmail -- Israel into ceding control of more territory in the West Bank to Mahmoud Abbas's Palestinian Authority, in exchange for promises. [T]he Americans, it appears, are expected to pressure -- or blackmail -- Israel into ceding control of more territory in the West Bank to Mahmoud Abbas's Palestinian Authority, in exchange for promises.
  • The Palestinian leaders will happily accept any additional land in the West Bank, but, as experience has shown, they will do nothing to prevent these areas from becoming terror hubs.
  • Given the ongoing state of financial and administrative corruption in the PA, there is every reason to doubt that the Saudi funds would be used to boost the Palestinian economy or improve the living conditions of the Palestinians.
  • "The corruption began from the first moment that the Palestinian Authority began to gather the Palestinian people's money and aid and pour it into the [ruling] Fatah [faction] budget, even though this money was given to the Palestinian people, not the Palestinian Authority or its officials who have divided it amongst themselves.... The many scandals of such officials and those close to Abbas have been exposed and seen as symbols of financial and political corruption, nepotism, bribery, smuggling and theft." — Middle East Monitor, "Corruption in the Palestinian Authority," December 2013.
  • Several militias and armed gangs are currently operating in the northern parts of the West Bank, while the PA is doing nothing to rein in the terrorists or prevent them from attacking Israeli civilians and soldiers.
  • The PA, which has spectacularly failed to enforce law and order in areas under its control, is demanding that Israel now allow it to gain control over even more territory in the West Bank?
  • Any land that will be handed over to the Palestinian Authority will end up in the hands of militiamen and armed gangsters. All one has to do is look at the situation in the Palestinian cities of Nablus and Jenin.... The terrorists there are carrying out attacks against Israelis on a daily basis, and the PA is not lifting a hand to stop them.
  • Handing over more land to the Palestinian Authority only means allowing Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad to expand their control to still other parts of the West Bank. The Biden administration and the Saudis, in fact, would probably be quite happy if the entire West Bank fell into the hands of Iran's proxies.
  • Worse, the starry-eyed American assumption that the Palestinians, once they receive financial aid, will not turn around and trash a normalization deal between Saudi Arabia and Israel, is completely baseless. Palestinian leaders may keep quiet about a deal, but they cannot stop the Palestinian people from condemning Saudi Arabia.
  • As with the Oslo Accords, the Israelis would be expected to trade tangible land for intangible promises. That arrangement did not work before, and there is no reason to think it will work this time.
  • If the Biden administration does give the Palestinian leadership money to avoid Palestinian criticism of the Biden administration, the Palestinian people will condemn both the US and their own leadership as traitors for slipping more money than they will ever see into the corrupt leaders' Swiss bank accounts.
  • Abbas and his aides will take the money, but they will never be able to sell their own people a peace agreement with Israel. Palestinian leaders have been allowed by the international community -- which never demanded anything in return for the billions of dollars they showered on the Palestinian Authority -- to radicalize their own people to a point where any peaceful solution with Israel can longer be put forth without the Palestinian leadership being called traitors and immediately condemned, or put, to death.

Thursday, September 7, 2023

Swiss Celebrate Israel Outside Parliament

 It is good to know that Israel has more support than we realise since the media always fails to report events such as the one described below which I received from a friend who was visiting Switzerland, 

“My two granddaughters and myself walked around the Swiss capital, Bern on a somewhat rainy day. We arrived through a narrow lane at the Bundesplatz, the square in front of the Swiss Parliament and to our surprise discovered there a huge stage decorated with large Israeli flags and an orchestra getting organized there for an event. 

About 200 plastic chairs were arranged in front of this stage and a big crowd assembled there with raincoats and umbrellas, and holding any number and size of Israel flags. I approached some people and was informed that the event is entirely meant to advocate for Israel by Swiss Christians, and not meant to be proselytizing. It had absolutely no connection to the current internal problems in Israel and was not biased to the left (quite the contrary). The event started by singing the Swiss anthem and then Hatikvah, followed by reading Psalm 24  and all under the heading "Praise the King of Kings". 

The Israeli Ambassador to Switzerland Ifat Reshef got onto the stage to greet the event. Following this and due to the strong rain that started, we left, still having a hard time to believe in what we had just experienced. “


Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Are We ‘Seeing’ the Palestinians?

 I am reprinting this article below as having read it, I feel it truly represents my feelings entirely. I would be interested in readers comments

Written by Benjamin Kerstein September 5, 2023 

 One of the many accusations we Zionists encounter is that we do not “see” the Palestinians. That is, we “erase” or otherwise ignore the existence of the Palestinians and their suffering. Zionists and Israelis, the accusers claim, go about their lives blissfully ignorant of the Palestinians all around them in a subconscious act of racist erasure.

Sometimes this accusation is simply made in bad faith. Many use it as nothing more than a weapon of emotional blackmail, seeking to foster shame and a sense of personal and collective original sin among Zionists and Israelis.

In all cases, however, it is simply untrue, because it is impossible for Zionists and Israelis not to “see” the Palestinians.

Israelis, of course, are constantly reminded of the Palestinians due to the Palestinians’ insistence on committing terrorist atrocities against them.

But Zionists outside of Israel are hardly left unmolested. They are inundated with the claims of the Palestinian national movement, mainly through a compliant and sympathetic media. They couldn’t escape it if they wanted to.

This is not to mention the increasing number of antisemitic attacks and other forms of harassment committed by Arabs and Muslims in the name of the Palestinian cause.

In fact, I believe I can make the Palestinian case as well as anyone: 
Zionism is a form of racist settler-colonialism that sought to ethnically cleanse the indigenous Palestinian people; Israel’s 1948 War of Independence was a conspiracy to expel the Palestinians and steal their land; the occupation of Judea and Samaria is a system of constant violence and abuse; Israel continues its illegal land grab through the settlement movement; the IDF commits war crimes against the Palestinians as a matter of conscious policy; Israel in its entirety is an apartheid state; and so and so forth, into infinity.

It must be said that most thoughtful Zionists and Israelis have wrestled with these claims, as Jews tend to wrestle with almost everything.

Moreover, I am not entirely without empathy for the Palestinians. It does not give me joy that many of them live as refugees. I do not take pleasure in the fact that they have to wait at checkpoints. I know that when an army exercises control over non-citizens, there are bound to be abuses. I am not happy about the deaths of non-combatants in military operations. My reflex is to be sympathetic to any people seeking national independence—I wouldn’t be a Zionist if it were otherwise.

There is also the fact that Palestinian claims cut to the bone of any Jew. We have a long history of suffering, oppression, exile and dispossession. When others claim to have suffered such things as well—such as the Uyghurs today—we are naturally sympathetic. We want to stand up for the weak and downtrodden because we have often been the weak and downtrodden. It is easy to make us feel guilty when we are accused of being the oppressors and the persecutors.

I have even gone so far as to engage in a small thought experiment: What, I asked myself, if everything the Palestinians say about us is true?

This experiment helped me reach certain conclusions: First, even if we were as bad as the Palestinians claim—which we are not—we would still be a people like all other peoples. We would still have a right to self-determination of some kind in some part of our indigenous homeland. Our behavior at any given moment is irrelevant to that right, which is absolute.

Second, even if the accusations were true, Israel has tried multiple times to address them and reach some kind of reconciliation with those who believe we have wronged them. Each time, reconciliation has been rejected in the most violent manner possible. Many Israelis have paid with their lives for these attempts. To simply pretend that these attempts never happened or have no moral import defames those martyrs to peace.

As a result of this thought experiment, I find myself less plagued by the idea that I may not “see” the Palestinians, because I believe Israel has done everything it could to “see.” The extra mile was gone, and it did not work. It did not work because the Palestinians did not want it to work.

That was their choice. One must accept it, but they must accept that, as a result of that choice, their movement can make no moral demands on any of us. If there is to be a reconciliation, it will have to come from a different choice: The Palestinians must choose to see us.

This Israeli NGO is Changing Lives with Clean Water

 Most of us probably take clean water for granted. We turn on our sinks, and we can drink the water. Maybe you prefer your water machine, which is an even bigger luxury. But the fact is, most of us can drink water straight from our sinks. We have clean drinking water at the tips of our fingers on a constant basis. We can shower in clean water. We can cook with clean water. Most people probably never think twice. But people in the village of Cameroon did not have this basic necessity until the Israeli NGO Innovation: Africa came to save the day. This organization literally saves lives. And the people of Africa are clearly very thankful.

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

China: Transforming its Economic Strength into Middle East Political and Military Influence

(With thanks to the Alma Research and Education Center)  

In recent years, and even more so in recent months, China has been accelerating a regional process in the Middle East designed to convert its economic influence into political and possibly military power. There are indications that Beijing is engaged in a process designed to leverage its economic and political strengths to establish a certain military presence in the region as part of a systematic plan to challenge the United States’ position as the regional alliance system’s preeminent superpower.

China is accomplishing all of this without having to assume the American military burden in the region and with few actual risks.

The fact that the United States has attained energy independence (though it is not immune to global energy market influence) and is no longer dependent on Middle Eastern oil imports, whereas China is heavily reliant on such imports, is also a factor in China’s involvement in the region. In the meantime, Iran has established an alternative economy that allows it to export energy to China while circumventing sanctions against it.

Sunni Arab countries’ fear of America’s lack of commitment to their security and the US-led regional agenda drives them into Chinese arms as part of their desire for a de-escalation mechanism with Iran, mediated by China.

China’s expanding presence in the Middle East poses a current and especially future challenge to America’s position as a dominating force in the region.

The full report presents and analyzes the regional situation and China’s strategy in the Middle East. The report explores the process of establishing Chinese influence in a number of case studies: Saudi Arabia, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and finally Israel. The report also examines American responses to Chinese activity in the region.

In terms of political influence in the region, China is posing a growing challenge to the United States, particularly among pragmatic Sunni-Arab nations, which were previously firmly in the pro-American camp.

These countries (especially Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates), driven by tensions between them and Washington, have increased cooperation with China. These tensions reflect their growing concern about the American commitment to their security.

Monday, August 28, 2023

Palestinian Child cancer sufferer gets surprise birthday party

Lian Fakhoury, a Palestinian girl from Hebron 

who is receiving cancer treatment at 

Tel Aviv’s Sourasky Medical Center, 

Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, was surprised 

 when her medical team threw her a Barbie themed

party to celebrate her 8th birthday.