Monday, April 22, 2019

Arab Writers – Sadat was Right

 ( With thanks to MEMRI

Against the backdrop of U.S. President Trump's March 25, 2019 recognition of Israel's sovereignty over the Golan, and the 40th anniversary of the peace accords between Israel and Egypt, the Arab press, and especially the Egyptian press, published articles criticizing the Arabs' and Palestinians' handling of the conflict with Israel. The writers argued that the "all or nothing" attitude to the conflict, which has led the Arabs and Palestinians to reject every proposed solution, has caused a steady erosion in the proposals presented to them, while allowing Israel to consolidate its control of the occupied territories. They added that the U.S. recognition of Israel's sovereignty over the Golan proved the wisdom of Egyptian president Anwar Sadat's decision to make peace with Israel and thereby regain Sinai, as opposed to the folly of the peace rejectionists, whose obstinacy has left the Golan and Jerusalem in Israeli hands.

a) Ahmad Al-Tawwab, a columnist for the Egyptian government daily Al-Ahram, (Mar 25th 2019) criticized the Arabs and Palestinians for rejecting every proposed solution to the conflict with Israel out of a misguided belief that, by digging in, they will eventually get the best possible deal. He wrote: "We must reassess the bizarre belief that has prevailed for many years among many Arab politicians and intellectuals, especially Palestinian ones. Opportunities were missed and better alternatives failed to materialize, each subsequent solution offered was worse than the one before”

b) Fatah member and former Palestinian Authority (PA) minister Nabil 'Amr made similar statements in his column in the London-based Saudi daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (Mar 30th 2019). He wrote: "Seven decades after the Arabs and Palestinians rejected the [1947] Partition Plan, the question is whether they were right or wrong in doing so. There are different answers. Those in favor of 'all or nothing' still think that rejecting [the plan] was the right decision. But those who believe in agreements and in the principle of 'saving what can be saved' consider this a bitter mistake that led to losses and no gain. The past is past and talking about it will not change it

c) Egyptian author and journalist Salah Montasser wrote in his column in the government daily Al-Ahram (April 1st 2019): "When Anwar Sadat felt, in late 1977, that the effects of the [1973] war were evaporating, he initiated the peace agreement with Israel. Before making his historic visit to Jerusalem, he visited Damascus and offered [then-]president Hafez Assad to join him in making peace, as he had joined him in making war. But Hafez Assad, as well as [Iraqi president] Saddam [Hussein], [PLO leader Yasser] Arafat, and [Libyan president Muammar [Qaddafi] attacked Sadat's [initiative], and he had to choose between appeasing the rejectionist Arabs or carrying on alone. At the time Egypt was accused of excluding itself from the Arab-Israeli conflict, and these accusations are still being heard today... as though the Arabs were doomed to wage endless war and could not seize an opportunity [to end it], [an opportunity that came] before Israel had built any settlement

d) Nashwa Al-Hofi, a columnist for Egypt's Al-Watan daily (Mar 24th 2019), wrote: "Sadat... attained a victory for my country that restored [its] honor, humiliated Israel and ended its arrogance... He restored Sinai, whereas the other Arab territories we are currently demanding have not been restored. He regained the territory thanks to his foresight... He triumphed over the pen-pushers who do nothing but sit in air-conditioned offices and reject [every proposal] out of ignorance, narcissism or lack of vision. He fought calmly and patiently, insisting that Egypt's flag fly over all of its territory...

United Colors of Bandages: Israel’s Secret Sauce

Jews from 130 countries who speak more than 100 different languages have immigrated to Israel. Nearly 70 years after its founding, Israel is a technological powerhouse, in part because it is one of the most diverse places on the planet, with citizens originating in the Middle East, Africa, Iran, Asia, Europe, and North and South America, and with large numbers of Jews, Christians and Muslims.

One outstanding example of this diversity is a partnership between a Jewish Israeli medic who created a revolutionary bandage and a Bedouin Israeli factory owner who employs women to manufacture it.
Bernard Bar-Natan first started thinking about bandages in the 1980s, a few years after he moved to Israel from Brooklyn. When he enlisted in the medic corps of the Israel Defense Forces, he was shocked to learn that the army’s standard bandages were made around World War II and had not been modified since then. All the bandages had a pad in the middle and gauze strings on each side, and Bar-Natan was taught to grab a stone and add additional bandages over a wound to quell the flow of blood. Not only were these methods unsanitary, they required medics to carry large numbers of bandages.
By the early 1990s, Bar-Natan had a prototype of a new concept. With the help of an Israeli government grant and accelerator program he launched his business, but he lacked a way to mass-produce his Emergency Bandage until he found an unlikely group to help him: Bedouins in northern Israel.
Bar-Natan met Ahmed Heib for the first time in 1996. An acquaintance in the garment industry made the introduction, thinking the two could help each other. Bar-Natan needed a manufacturer for his bandage, and Heib owned a factory. Their initial meeting was awkward. On the surface, the two had little in common: Bar-Natan was a cosmopolitan Jew from Brooklyn, while Heib was a Muslim who grew up in a rural backwater, infamous for its crime and gangs. “He didn’t know who this Ahmed guy [was],” Heib says. Bar-Natan seconds Heib’s assessment: “I thought tailors were only called Mr. Cohen,” he jokes.
Heib, with his low-cost business model and deep knowledge of tailoring, turned out to be the perfect partner for Bar-Natan. Heib initially worked with Bar-Natan through his small factory on the first floor of his house in Tuba-Zangariyya, a town of roughly 6,000 – mostly Muslim Bedouins – near the Jordan River.
The more Bar-Natan and Heib worked together, the more they developed a friendship – especially after two of Heib’s children died at birth. As Bar-Natan’s company grew, so did Heib’s business. He expanded his factory to three floors capable of producing millions of bandages a year. All 50 of his employees are women. “I know that if I didn’t have this factory here, these women would not be working,” Heib says.
Bar-Natan’s bandage has been a success. Today, the Australian military, the New Zealand military and most NATO countries have adopted it. It’s also standard issue for the U.S. Army, the Israel Defense Forces and the British Army. Diversity and innovation go hand in hand, Israeli innovations like the Emergency Bandage are saving lives and making the world a better place.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Second Temple Burial Grounds Looted

The ancient burial caves on the outskirts of Jericho date back to the Second Temple era, and are apparently part of the extensive burial grounds of the Hasmonean palace uncovered at the site. The cave was recently exposed in the course of landscaping work carried out by local Arab farmers, who rolled tractors over the site to prepare the ground for agricultural work.
Professor Rachel Hachlili of Haifa University’s Zinman Institute of Archaeology, who studied this region, identified these caves as the largest Second Temple-era burial ground in Israel.
Hikers who visited the site over the weekend were appalled by what they found: Human remains were strewn everywhere on the freshly-tilled ground, the catacombs were thoroughly ransacked and looted, and the sarcophagi (burial caskets) that had been resting in the caves for over 2500 years had disappeared.
The hikers were part of the group “Protecting the Eternal,” a new initiative of Regavim, an Israeli nonprofit focusing on land issues. Naomi Kahn, director of Regavim’s international division, said “Protecting the Eternal is an initiative that seeks to protect historical sites that are being erased mostly through looting but also in a targeted way by the PA [Palestinian Authority] through massive destruction to erase evidence of the Jews’ historical ties to the Land of Israel.”
Antiquities theft and destruction of archaeological treasures is rampant – in fact, it has become nearly commonplace  – throughout Judea and Samaria. In this case, ancient catacombs were wiped out by illegal quarrying despite the constant stream of alerts, warnings, and documentation we sent to the Regional Commander for Antiquities in the Civil Administration, the body responsible for law enforcement in the area.
Yakhin Zik, Director of Operations at Regavim: “The loss of our archaeological record and the ongoing failure to protect and preserve our heritage is an incomprehensible disgrace. The government must approve additional manpower and create standards that will ensure the preservation of antiquities and the severe punishment of looters.”
Moshe Gutman, who leads “Protecting the Eternal,” adds: “The time has come for those who make declarations about their commitment to our national legacy to open their eyes to the ISIS-style destruction that is happening all around us. I call upon the Prime Minister to take responsibility. It is inconceivable that a civilized country tolerates the plunder and devastation of word cultural heritage sites.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Israel Produces First 3D Heart

Tel Aviv University researchers have "printed"
the world's first three dimensional
(3D) vascularised engineered heart using a
patient's own cells and biological materials.
Their findings were published on 15 April in
a study in Advanced Science.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

BDS loses again in Airbnb Litigation!

AIRBNB rescinded its decision & settles lawsuit: It will return the listings of Jewish homeowners in Judea and Samaria to the site
This dramatic announcement comes in the wake of negotiations between the Shurat HaDin Law Center and AIRBNB in recent weeks to rescind the company's decision to delist the properties of Jewish homeowners in Judea and Samaria and as result of a federal lawsuit filed by the Shurat HaDin organization against the AIRBNB  on behalf of Israeli-American homeowners
Shurat HaDin Law Center: “This is a powerful defeat for the anti-Israel boycott movement. Other international companies need to learn lessons."

Dear Friends, (from Shurat Hadin)

We just scored a tremendous victory in the lawsuit we launched against Airbnb!  The online hosting platform has agreed to completely retract its policy of delisting Jewish homes in Judea & Samaria.  This is an important and precedential decision in the battle against the racist BDS movement.

Over the past few weeks we have been negotiating a
settlement agreement with the hospitality giant Airbnb to rescind its discriminatory policy redlining Jewish-owned properties in the Judea and Samaria region. That policy, announced in November 2018, had banned Jewish property owners in Judea and Samaria from listing properties on Airbnb, while allowing Muslim and Christian property owners to list properties in the same area. Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Airbnb has agreed to repeal the discriminatory policy, thereby resolving the discrimination lawsuit.
When Airbnb publicly announced its redlining policy barring rentals of Jewish-owned properties in November, it stated it would no longer agree to list these homes due to claims that such properties are located in Palestinian-owned territories illegally occupied by Israeli settlers. The plaintiff homeowners, however, dispute that contention and contend that all the properties are legal. Further, the plaintiffs asserted that Airbnb had succumbed to pressure from the extremist Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (“BDS”) propaganda movement which seeks to delegitimize Israel and challenges its right to exist.

Under the
settlement agreement, Airbnb has agreed to adopt a neutral policy towards all properties in the region, allowing all homeowners to list their houses for rental on its web platform regardless of their religion, race or national origin.

May we go from strength to strength,

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Cutting your Nose to Spite your Face

PA Denies Sick Palestinians Treatment to Pay Benefits to Terrorists

The Palestinian Authority has decided to penalize Palestinian civilians in need of medical assistance to avoid cutting salaries of Palestinian terrorists and their families under the so-called “pay-to-slay” scheme, which led the United States and Israel to cut aid until the PA stops inciting terror.

Explaining the decision, PA Ministry of Health Spokesman Osama Al-Najjar said: “The decision is political par excellence and comes in response to Israel deducting sums from the money that it collects for us.”
Israel’s Diplomatic-Security Cabinet decided in February to implement a major slash in the tax revenues that Israel collects on behalf of the PA, with the amount the PA pays to terrorists and their families to be deducted from the aid Israel hands over to the Palestinian leadership. The PA paid out some 502 million shekels ($138 million) to living terrorists in 2018, according to recent Israeli media reports.

The PA is using those cuts as an excuse to no longer permit Palestinians to travel for medical treatment in Israel — which costs the PA $100 million a year — while still paying in full the salaries to both imprisoned and released terrorists, as well as the allowances to wounded terrorists and the families of dead terrorists.
The decision comes on the heels of the PA’s decision to cut the salaries of civil servants, 40 percent of which earn less than 2,000 shekels per month (about $535). It demonstrates the reality that under the so-called “pay-to-slay” scheme, Palestinians terrorists who have been in prison for a cumulative period of three years earn higher salaries than 40 percent of the PA’s law-abiding public employees.

Additionally, in February, in response to the Israeli law, the PA said that it would not accept tax payments from Israel. PA President Mahmoud Abbas said at the time, “I tell you honestly that if we only had 20 or 30 million shekels, which is what is paid [monthly] to families of martyrs, we will give them to the families of martyrs. I mean if the [Palestinian] Authority doesn’t have anything other than that [amount], I will pay it to the families of martyrs and prisoners and wounded persons. This needs to be understood.”

Last year, PA President Mahmoud Abbas swore he would make paying terrorists a top priority. “By Allah, even if we have only a penny left it will only be spent on the families of the martyrs and prisoners and only afterward will it be spent on the rest of the people,” Abbas vowed.

Israelis and Palestinians can achieve peace through humanity and medicine

A Palestinian woman’s life has been saved thanks to the expert care of Sheba Medical Center, Tel HaShomer. And in an amazing turn of fate and friendship, the Israeli doctor who helped save her was once rescued by her family when he was attacked by a vicious crowd in a Palestinian village.
Four years ago, Dr. Eitan was traveling with his son and made a wrong turn into a Palestinian village near Ramallah. An angry mob formed around the car, throwing stones and breaking the car windows. The lives of Dr. Eitan and his son were clearly in danger when two bystanders who lived in the village, Imad and his cousin Ayoub, rescued them.
Imad and Ayoub ushered the Israelis into their home, calling for a rescue team and protecting them from the threatening crowd that closed in around the house. Without question, Imad and Ayoub saved their lives.
As a result, a deep friendship was born between the three men, and now it has come full circle.
When Imad’s sister-in-law was severely injured in a vehicle accident, Imad knew just who to call – Dr. Eitan. The doctor helped facilitate the sister-in-law’s transfer to Sheba Medical Center for lifesaving treatment and continues to oversee her care. Her condition is improving, and she will soon be transferred to Sheba’s Rehabilitation Hospital.
This story is the latest example of Sheba Medical Center’s long history of spreading peace through medicine. This hospital without borders has a firm belief in providing the highest quality of medical care available, regardless of nationality or religion.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Sane Arab voice not often heard.

Oh that this opinion should be
spread far and wide

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Israel Blessed with Abundance of Rain

TThe Sea of Galilee is likely to fill up completely as the heavy snows melt on the peak of Mount Hermon through the spring.
Weather that is seemingly more regular for Israeli winters has spilled into April.
The good news is that this means rising water levels for Lake Kinneret, which is another name for the Bible’s Sea of Galilee and the country’s only freshwater source, according to the Environmental Protection Ministry.
Lake Kinneret has risen to 316 centimeters below its maximum level, says the Globes business news outlet, citing the Israel Water Authority. According to this report, the lake is likely to fill up completely as the heavy snows melt on the peak of Mount Hermon through the spring.

The lake had in recent years reached dangerously low levels.
Weather forecasters say that this has been an especially wet winter after several years of much smaller amounts of rainfall and even drought. Most of all, it helps the Israel’s water supplies and the livelihood of farmers. However, hikers have also benefited from the tremendous amount of colorful vegetation throughout the country.
The many previous dry winters prompted Israel to construct desalination plants.
Israel currently has eight plants, with the plant in Hadera, a city in the Haifa area in the north of Israel, being the largest seawater desalination plant in the world, according to Interesting Engineering. In 2015, 50% of Israel’s water for households, agriculture, and industry was from desalination, it says.
Still, experts say that desalination does not solve all of the problems caused by a lack of rainfall and even with conservation, so that Israeli authorities are relieved by the plentiful supply of precipitation this year.
With Passover and then summer vacation approaching, the rains will stop, but the benefits will remain amid hopes that the trend will continue in future winters.