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Friday, 10 January 2014

Last year, in Israel

Wherever I turn to in the popular media, I find the State of Israel being criticised and, indeed, demonised!   Increasingly, she is being isolated, internationally, as world 'leaders' cosy up to régimes that are the supporters of terrorists whose actions have a negative effect on the whole of the developed, and the developing, world.

It is regrettable that some of the news from Israel does not reach our western television screens, radio broadcasts, and newspapers.  However, in order to make some small attempt to redress the situation, I share the following, with gratitude to Michael Ordman, publisher of the popular blog “Good News from Israel – News of Israel’s Achievements and Heartwarming Stories of the Jewish State.”  It came to me through the website

"In May, doctors at Schneider’s Children's Hospital transplanted a kidney into a 10-year-old Palestinian Arab boy. The kidney came from 3-year-old Israeli Noam Naor who died in a tragic fall and his parents decided to donate his organs to save the life of others.  Following the operation, Noam’s mother said, “To see Yakub today is very exciting. I wish him only health, a full and speedy recovery.” In the same month, Hadassah Hospital doctors performed an extremely rare operation to deliver the conjoined (“Siamese”) twins of a Palestinian Arab mother. The babies weighed 4.9 pounds and shared a heart.

The Israeli charity Save A Child’s Heart (SACH) performs more life-saving surgery on Palestinian Arab infants than from any other part of the world.  In August, of the 22 children at SACH’s base in the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, seven were from the Palestinian Authority.  SACH works with Christian organization Shevet Achim which funds and transports PA and Gaza children requiring heart surgery to Israeli hospitals such as the Wolfson and to Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer.

In July, IDF (Israeli Defence Force) paramedics and Magen David Adom joined together with the PA police and the PA Red Crescent to save a Palestinian Arab who was hit by a car when riding his donkey near Nablus (Shechem).  MDA transported him to an Israeli hospital for further treatment.  And coming right up-to-date, in December an IDF emergency medical team rescued a 10-year-old Palestinian Arab boy whose head was cut open following a car accident and airlifted him to hospital.  The team also treated the boy’s mother, who suffered from shock after the accident.

In 2013, truck drivers from Israel were fully occupied making 64,783 deliveries of food, medicines, finished goods and building materials (some 1.3 million tons) into Gaza.  Unfortunately for Hamas, their leader Ismail Haniyeh was caught feeding orphans in Gaza with “boycotted” Israeli yogurts.  Meanwhile in July sixty Gaza farmers attended an agricultural seminar in northern Israel.  They completed workshops on cultivation methods, planting schedules, soil preparation, irrigation, fertilizers and pesticides. In the following video, dozens of Gaza farmers are shown at an Israeli exhibition earlier in the year learning about innovative Israeli agricultural methods and new fruits and vegetables developed in Israel.

When the December storm struck, Israel intervened in Hamas’ quarrel with the PA by rushing in 1.2 million liters of diesel into Gaza to restart its power station.  And when the snow trapped a Palestinian Authority ambulance carrying a very sick woman, Israeli soldiers from the Kfir Brigade were there to help it back on the road.

The PA shuns normalisation of relations with Israel, but the 20,000 Palestinian Arabs working for Israelis in Judea and Samaria (25 percent more than in 2012) illustrate that the reality is quite different.  In August we also read about the hundreds of Israeli and Palestinian Arabs who have become business partners and colleagues in joint start-ups. For example Israeli startup Naked Sea Salt partners with a Palestinian Arab company to use eco-friendly methods to harvest salt from the Dead Sea.  And the massive project involving Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority will construct a pipeline from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea to produce millions of cubic meters of drinking water for the region, hydroelectric power and replenish the critically dwindling Dead Sea.  Even Al Jazeera broadcast the news of the joint project."

There is much more.  It remains true that the first casualty in war, is truth.  Please take the time to access the Ordman blog, or the site

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