Israel in the News Nov/Dec 2017
Israel Helps Syrian War Victims
Israel has provided free medical care and hundreds of tons of humanitarian aid to more than 200,000 war-afflicted Syrians over the past year. The project, called “Operation Good Neighbor,” launched in June 2016 as part of Israel’s continuing effort to help the victims of Syria’s civil war.
To date, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has provided more than 390 tons of food and flour; 120,000 gallons of gas; 100 tons of clothes; 12 tons of shoes; 12,000 packages of baby formula; 1,800 packages of diapers; and 1,900 feet of water pipes to neighboring Syrian villages, The
Jerusalem Post reported. “Israel is saving lives on a daily basis, and we are working hard to improve the humanitarian situation on the ground. We will continue to do so and grow the project as needed,” IDF Brig. Gen. Yaniv Ashur said.
Israel also has provided free medical treatment to more than 3,000 wounded Syrians. According to Ashur, more than 600 Syrian children and their parents go to Israel every month to receive free, anonymous medical attention.
Though Syria and Israel officially remain at war, Syrians near Israel’s border have begun to view Israel as a friend, contrary to what the mainstream Arab narrative has taught them. “The IDF brought them to our hospital, and we—the Israeli doctors—helped them [and] cured them. They looked at us as the enemy, but after being taken care of in Israel, they changed their views,” Ziv Medical Center’s Dr. Alejandro Roisentul said.
Israel plans to open soon a new, IDF-built field hospital in Syria so victims can receive immediate medical attention without crossing the border. The hospital will treat 60 patients a day and maintain the capacity to grow to treat more than 500 a day.
From news reports
US Funds Extremist Palestinian Summer Camp
An extremist Palestinian summer camp in Ramallah has been receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars annually from the United States, according to a recent report by JNS.org.
The camp, called “Go Palestine,” is a three-week summer program run by the Ramallah Friends School and reaches 40 to 50 teenagers annually from countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, and Israel. Though the school’s stated intent is to introduce “Diaspora Palestinian youth and friends” to Arab-Palestinian culture, its own description of activities reveals its anti-Israel agenda.
“The camp’s own descriptions . . . report that the teens are shown films such as Occupation 101 and Jerusalem: The East Side Story, which depict Israel as a racist, savage oppressor. A panel on ‘Youth Activism and Engagement in Palestine’ featured representatives of the ‘Love Under Apartheid Campaign [and] the BDS movement,’” reported JNS.org.
Last year, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) gave $800,000 to the school. U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), after reviewing JNS.org’s report, called upon USAID to begin an investigation immediately. “If true, this school should be cut off because entities that receive USAID should be teaching about democracy and coexistence—not intolerance or extremism,” Schumer said.
Other anti-Israel activities listed on the camp’s website include visiting monuments of Palestinian “martyrs” (terrorists who died while attacking Israelis), meeting Palestinian ex-prisoners (convicted terrorists), and listening to lectures from the “renowned journalist, author, and teacher” Nasser Ibrahim (an affiliate of the terrorist group the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine).
The website also lists the Israeli city of Haifa as “Haifa, Palestine,” which further betrays the camp’s ideology of rejecting Israel’s right to exist.
From news reports
Royal Dutch Shell May Buy Gas From Israel
Royal Dutch Shell is in talks to buy natural gas from Israel’s Leviathan field, combine it with output from Cyprus’s Aphrodite field, in which it owns a 35 percent stake, and pump it to a liquefied natural gas plant in Egypt, a move that could help turn the Mediterranean region into a major gas-producing hub.
Bloomberg Markets reported that Leviathan’s partners, led by Noble Energy Inc. and Delek Drilling LP, “are looking at various shipment options as they face an estimated development cost of $3.75 billion.”
According to JNS.org, “Gas deliveries to Egypt would be channeled through a Shell plant pipeline located on the country’s Mediterranean coast. Israel, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, and the European Union have agreed to collaboratively develop the world’s longest gas pipeline, running undersea between Israel and Italy.”
From news reports
Israel Helps Houston’s Storm Victims
Israeli volunteers poured into Houston, Texas, following Hurricane Harvey to help the tens of thousands of Texans left homeless in late August.
Two Israeli organizations—IsraAid and the Israel Rescue Coalition (IRC)—sent groups of volunteers to assist victims in immediate disaster relief and trauma counseling. “The community in Houston and the people of Texas feel a strong connection to the State of Israel….It is therefore our responsibility to help them in their time of need,” IRC’s mission leader and Houston-native Miriam Ballin said.
The Israeli government also has donated $1 million in aid to the Houston Jewish community to restore infrastructure, such as schools and synagogues.
From news reports
American, Canadian Textbooks Promote Anti-Israel Bias
Anti-Israel textbooks are stoking sentiments against Israel on North American college campuses.
“The problem starts in high school,” Dr. Sandra Alfonsi, director of Hadassah’s Curriculum Watch, told JNS.org. “The lack of sympathy for Israel on college campuses today is at least partly the result of several generations of teenagers being educated with textbooks that are slanted against Israel.”
One American high-school textbook, The Arab World Studies Notebook, erroneously “[depicts] Israel as the aggressor in every Arab-Israeli war and [praises] Muslim conquerors throughout the ages for their ‘gentle treatment of civilian populations,’” JNS.org reported. It even falsely accuses Israel of torturing and murdering hundreds of Arab-Palestinian women.
A Canadian middle-school history book, Canada and the Global Community, lists Israeli children as “spies and soldiers” and accuses Israel of “kidnapping” child soldiers, Breitbart reported. B’nai Brith Canada’s CEO Michael Mostyn called on Ontario’s education ministry to restore truth to the classroom. “The Ministry has an obligation to not only correct these errors, but to teach the reality of the situation,” Mostyn said.
From news reports
Arab Cartoons Mock Israel
Arab media around the world have released a string of cartoons mocking Israel’s removal of the metal detectors placed at the entrance to the Temple Mount in July after Arab terrorists smuggled guns onto the site and murdered two Israeli guards.
Palestinians celebrated what they consider their victory over Israel. Israel plans to install what it calls “advanced technologies” with cameras that can detect hidden objects. But the Muslim Waqf, which administers the site, says it will not even allow the cameras.
From news reports
IDF Discovers More Terrorist Tunnels
The Israel Defense Forces have discovered via aerial photographs more Hamas terrorist tunnels with entry shafts underneath houses and public buildings. Hamas frequently hides its infrastructure in civilian areas then blames Israel for civilian casualties during combat.
The tunnels Hamas uses to hide and smuggle weapons into Israel are legitimate military targets under international law. “Anyone staying in these houses endangers himself and his family. Buildings used as cover for underground construction will become legitimate military targets,” IDF Maj. Gen. Eyal Zamir said.
Israel Develops New Parkinson’s Treatment
NeuroDerm, a Rehovot-based pharmaceutical company, has developed a new, less invasive treatment for patients with advanced Parkinson’s disease. “We have been able to produce a liquid formulation for the first time that can be administered inside the body directly, not through the stomach, but under the skin,” NeuroDerm’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Sheila Oren said.
Although the drug is still in clinical trials, Oren said the company plans to submit commercialization paperwork to American and European regulatory agencies by the end of 2018 and have the product on the market by the end of 2019.
Ontario Bans Israeli Wine
The Canadian province of Ontario’s regulatory agency for liquor has demanded all stores stop selling Israeli wines because of a dispute over the proper labeling of goods from the disputed territories. Israel, the Liquor Control Board of Ontario wrote, is not “an acceptable country of origin declaration for wine products that have been made from grapes…in the West Bank occupied territory.”
Last year, Berlin’s high-end department store KaDeWe also removed Israeli wines from its shelves over a similar labeling dispute. Due to backlash, KaDeWe apologized and restocked its shelves.