Good News from Israel (From Yosi Behar)

– Good News #330 25 March, 2011

– private letter from Yosi Behar- No commercial intent

Screen resolution 1024×768

only Good News from Israel

in brief

Sara Palin in Israel; “Such an amazing country! G-d bless you”

Sara (P) and Sara (N) At Home

Palin; “I believe there are no major disagreements between the two countries”. She also voiced her “absolute” support of Israel; ”I stand strong with Israel and unapologetically I say that America should keep this strong democratic ally that we have there in the Middle East and allow for protections around Israel.” – One could feel Plain’s love towards the people of Israel and her great interest in the story of Purim. Palin told Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, that she was received warmly by the Israelis during her tour of the country, which included sites in Jerusalem (such as the Kotel) and the Dead Sea. Palin saw firsthand the atmosphere of the holiday of Purim, and the Netanyahu couple told her all about the Book of Esther and the traditions of Purim. Palin signed the PM residence guestbook: “Such an amazing country! G-d bless you. May our connection continue to grow and strengthen.”      See video at >


Michal Lipson wins “Genius Awards”

MacArthur Foundation awarded Professor Michal Lipson the so-called “Genius Awards.” She will receive $500,000 in no-strings-attached support over the next five years. Michal earned her first, second and Ph degrees at Haifa technion – all in 9 years before she was 28 old. Lipson, professor of electrical and computer engineering, developed photonic circuits, in which beams of light flitting through tiny wave-guides on a silicon chip replace wires to conduct currents. Thus, enabling to guide, filter and split light on silicon chips at smaller dimensions with much less energy (and heat) consumption and with greater efficiency. ;”Michal Lipson’s scientific rigor, coupled with her creative vision, has made her a pioneer in nanoscale photonics,” said Provost Kent Fuchs. “We are very proud of all her achievements and delighted that the MacArthur Foundation has recognized her in this way.”


Israeli innovations in Medicine, Healthcare:

Close the window on colon cancer

Cancer surgery wreaks havoc on a body’s immune system and stress hormones exacerbate the problem. As a result, about half of those who undergo surgery for tumor removal experience a recurrence of cancer in the same region or other parts of the body. Professor Shamgar ben Eliyahu developed a new clinical approach that will keep an immune system strong and prevent the recurrence of cancer increasing survival by 300%. Already tested in animal models, the compounds will be employed in a clinical trial in Israel, for which Prof. Ben-Eliyahu team is currently recruiting patients and funds. They hope to have 800 colon cancer patients participate in the trial, due to begin shortly. More > Curtsey Rina Berman


Israeli Scientists Develop Crucial Enzymes to Protect US Troops from Nerve Gas Attacks

Protection against nerve gas is a main part of the defense system in many countries, as the toxic substances are a threat to both military and civilian population. Existing drug solutions have limited efficiency. Now, a team at Weizman institute in Rehovot has succeeded to develop an enzyme that breaks down such organo-phosphorous nerve agent before damage to the nerves and muscles is caused. Recently tested in an American military installation (the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense, or USAMRICD) and proven effective. Published inNatural Chemical Biology’

Read more at >



New business hotel

A new business hotel named West Hotel has opened recently in northern Tel Aviv. The hotel has 65 suites (will doubled in 2 years) and is located next to the Sea & Sun complex as part of a 13-floor building that also includes 95 vacation units. All the suits measure 540 sq/ft and include a bedroom, a bathroom, a living room with a sofa that opens into a double bed, and an accessorized kitchen. The hotel also offers a spacious gym, a dry and wet sauna, a spa and a business lounge.   See inside >

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Economy & infrastructure;

The Grand plan for Jerusalem


Mayor Nir Barkat; “We’re in the midst of a revolution, 5 years from now, capital will be unrecognizable: Modern sports centers, parks hosting international concerts and revival of the city center turned into an artists’ quarter. The new complexes will host a variety of events – starting with international concerts, through the Macabya Games, to Israel’s leading cinema, acting and art schools.” Jerusalem‘s parks and public gardens will undergo extensive renovation. The Teddy Stadium will be expanded and a modern multi-purpose sports arena will be built nearby. A new national library, the Bible Land Museum will be expanded. Government allocated a special budget to develop and strengthen Jerusalem.  Find more at >



Acco <  –  > Carmiel rail line set to roll


Construction started on a double 23-kilometer track parallel to Highway 85, linking the northern cities. Total estimated cost of $750 million, the project will include two new train stations, at Moshav Achihud (in the Western Galilee) and at the entrance to Carmiel, and the construction of several bridges and tunnels. Train service slated to start in 2016.


Facebook buys ‘snaptu’ for $70 million

More Israeli self made millionaires; Ran, Micha, Barak and Lior developed a fast and easy way to stay connected on the go with any simple mobile phone. Snaptu application allows mobile phones, even those less advanced than an iPhone or Android phone, to access mobile Internet. Total investment in the company was $9 million (over 770% return on investment). All snaptu employees get to benefit from the success. This is the first facebook acquisition in Israel. See technology details >


US giantBroadcom’ buys Provigent for $360 million


Provigent is a semiconductor company that develops system-on-a-chip (SoC) solutions for the broadband wireless transmission industry. The company operates in the hottest wireless network equipment sector – the bottleneck between antennas and the network core. The company’s SoC solutions function as a kind of modem for routing and transmitting data. Broadcom CEO; “Provigent is a unique world-class microwave backhaul technology and strong engineering talent developing innovative and highly integrated semiconductor solutions for the microwave segment.”

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SOCIETY, culture, art

Natalie Portman active for Hadasa Hospital

Famed actress Natalie Portman, whose family name is Hershlag, was born in 1981 in Jerusalem, where her father worked as a doctor. The family left for Washington and ultimately ending up in New York, where she lived until her graduation from high school. She graduated with honors and attended Harvard. Natalie spent last summer studying Jewish history at Hebrew University. She is active with The Hadasa – Women’s Zionist organization in effort to improve and expand the Hospital trauma center which will enable 3 times as many victims to be treated at once.

See clip she did for Hadasa, She appears at the end:

Curtsey Dr. Meir Monselise


Gene Simmons; “those who boycott Israel are fools”

Simons is now visiting Israel with his family. In the early 1970s he founded the Kiss, turning it into one of the biggest rock bands of all times, which is easily identified by its members’ face paint. In 2006 he got his own reality television series. In addition to his musical talent, Simmons is also knows for his marketing skills, turning Kiss into an empire of products – starting with clothes, through credit cards, and up to coffins decorated with the band’s logo.,7340,L-4046360,00.html


Someone by your side

SELAH offers emergency and long-term practical and emotional support to newcomers in Israel beset by personal tragedies. Read all about Selah at >

Thanks to Yael Danieli



Montreal children support Carmel rehabilitation

A group of 6th grade pupils from Solomon Schechter School in Montréal Canada visited the Carmel forest.

The children raised $10 000 for the Carmel rehabilitation.



‘BrightSource’ energy chosen by MIT best innovative

Oakland, California) March 7, 2011 BrightSource Energy develops solar power stations in a large scale. The company was included in the TR50 for 2011 – the annual list of the most innovative technology companies in the magazine published by MIT Technology Review. BrightSource was chosen because the solar tower technology and its unique LPT 550 which is effectively able to produce clean solar energy, reliable and low cost. LPT 550 technology patented by BrightSource is the world’s most advanced technology in solar / thermal energy industry. This technology enables to build the world’s most efficient solar power stations. The company has signed purchase agreements with Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison for 2.6 Gigawatt of power. It plans to build over a dozen plants by 2017 to fulfill those contracts.


India chose Alvarion solutions for broadband network

Alvarion specializes in developing WiMAX for 4G broadband wireless communications networks. The Indian government awarded government-owned BSNL a grant to deploy the Israeli network.  Alvarion has the most extensive WiMAX customer base and over 250 commercial deployments worldwide.

< CEO Eran Gorev *    *    *

Your weekend delight

Small part of Moscow Turetsky Choir Kosher medley concert – Oh, they can sing!

Curtsey Kenneth L. Stein *       *       *       *       *       *       *

Shabat Shalom

Yosi Behar

Letter from Tammi Benjamin to Chancellor Wu of UC Hastings College of Law regarding anti-Semitic event planned for campus

Tammi Benjamin sent me a copy of the following letter, which she wrote to Chancellor Wu to protest an upcoming event entitled “Litigating Palestine:  Can Courts Secure Palestinian Rights.”

I am copying the letter in its entirety, and hope you will forward it to as many people as you can, and that you will voice your concerns about this event to Chancellor Wu.

Dear Chancellor Wu:

On March 25 and March 26, 2011, University of California Hastings College of the Law is officially co-sponsoring and funding a  conference entitled “Litigating Palestine: Can Courts Secure Palestinian Rights.” The conference is listed on Hastings’ official website, and you, in fact, are opening the conference by welcoming the participants.

It is, of course, completely within the purview of Hastings College of the Law to examine lawfare as it pertains to the Israeli-Arab conflict.  However, the authorized description of this event makes it clear that conference participants will be advocating for one side of the conflict, the Arab side, and seeking to exploit Western courts in order to agitate against Jews and the Jewish state through anti-Israel lawfare.  This is not only a misuse of the name and resources of the University of California for political and partisan purposes, it is also ethically and morally reprehensible.

Moreover, we believe that this event fits within the Working Definition of Anti-Semitism issued by the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC), endorsed by the U.S. State Department in its Reports on Global Anti-Semitism, and used as well by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in its examination of campus anti-Semitism.  As the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has observed, “Anti-Semitic bigotry is no less morally deplorable when camouflaged as anti-Israelism or anti-Zionism.”

The EUMC Working Definition identifies the following practices as anti-Semitic and distinguishes them from acceptable forms of criticism of a sovereign nation’s policies:

  • Denying the Jewish people the right to self-determination

  • Applying double standards by requiring of Israel behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.

The Trans-Arab Research Institute, which is the sponsoring organization, has stated that part of its mission is the elimination of the Jewish state.  Several of its board members are affiliated with the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign and serve as some of its leaders.  In addition, more than half of the speakers at the event are also affiliated with the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaigns, and at least one  talk will be devoted to finding legal strategies for defending these campaigns.

This leaves no doubt that the conference was organized for the purpose of harming the Jewish State. Your law school has provided funding and is therefore complicit in this effort.

The heads of sixty Jewish organizations — including the Anti-Defamation League, the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations,  Bnai Brith, Hillel, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox movements,  both Democratic and Republican supporters, as well as organizations from Mexico, Australia, Belgium and the United Kingdom — have recently signed a statement identifying Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Campaigns against Israel as “part of a greater effort to undermine the Jewish people’s right to self-determination in their homeland, Israel.”  They condemn such campaigns and assert that its “proponents have provoked deep divisions among students and have created an atmosphere of intolerance and hatred.”  We are copying this letter to the heads of many of those organizations.

Finally, we believe that this event may be in violation of Title VI of the 1964 Civil Right Act.  As you probably know, there has been a recent change in the interpretation of Title VI by the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights.  Now, under Federal law, anti-Semitic animus on campus is comparable to other forms of bias and must be aggressively combated by the university administration.   The Office of Civil Rights has already opened two investigations of possible Title VI violations at the University of California.  One of the complaints, submitted by one of us, argues that university funded/sponsored events that are virulently anti-Israel have created a hostile environment for Jewish students at the University of California Santa Cruz, in violation of federal law.

For the reasons we have outlined above, we urge you to publicly announce that you are withdrawing all Hastings College of the Law funding and sponsorship of this event, as well as your own participation in it.


Leila Beckwith, Professor Emeritus, University of California at Los Angeles

Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, Lecturer, University of California at Santa Cruz

CC: Hastings College of the Law Board of Directors

Governor Jerry Brown

Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom

State Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg

Assembly Speaker John A. Perez

Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore Fiona Ma

Heads of the following organizations, who are signatory to a statement condemning Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaigns against Israel:

Aish HaTorah

Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity

American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (AICE)

The American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)

American Jewish Committee (AJC)

Anti-Defamation League (ADL)

Association of Reform Zionists of America (ARZA)

B’nai B’rith International

The Board of Deputies of British Jews

Boycott Watch

Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations

The Fellowship for Campus Safety and Integrity


Hagshama – The Department for Diaspora Activities of the World Zionist


Hasbara Fellowships

Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life

The International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists

Israel on Campus Coalition (ICC)

The Israel Project (TIP)

Conrad Giles, Rabbi Steve Gutow

Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA)

The Jewish Federations of North America

Jewish National Fund (JNF)

Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI)

Masa Israel Journey


National Conference on Soviet Jewry (NCSJ)

National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC)

Orthodox Union (OU)

Rabbinical Assembly

Republican Jewish Committee (RJC)

Simon Weisenthal Center


Union for Reform Judaism (URJ)

United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism

United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and campus division KOACH

Women’s League for Conservative Judaism

World Jewish Congress, North America

Zionist Organization of America (ZOA)

Coming Attractions – A Prediction of Things to Come

In the last several days, there has been a dramatic surge in attacks on Southern Israel from the Gaza Strip.

On Saturday, there were 54 mortar shells, there have been several Grad rockets fired at Be’er Sheva, Ashdod, and Ashkelon, another 7 mortars today, and, although not from Gaza, there was a bombing in Jerusalem.

Hamas and their allies (Islamic Jihad, etc.) claim that this is retaliation for Israeli attacks against Gaza, but the only attacks that have occurred recently against Gaza have come in the wake of this surge of violence emanating from Gaza.

In one of the attacks by Israel, the IDF lobbed mortar shells at the source of an attack.  Several children were killed.  Of course, Hamas and the world instantly condemned Israel.  Never mind that the Hamas mortar team was firing from within a densely populated area in order to entice Israel to retaliate or fire preemptively, in the hope that civilians would be killed, since that is their ticket to world sympathy.

Never mind that what they are doing is clearly in the realm of war crimes, since they are using civilians as “shields”.

It is, as always, curious that the left and most of the world don’t seem to care about that.

The question is, what can and will Israel do if this escalation of attacks does not cease?

Regardless of who fired first, who fired last, or who was or wasn’t justified, the fact remains that Hamas is deliberately targeting the civilian population of Southern Israeli towns and cities.  DELIBERATELY.  This is also certainly a war crime, yet most of the world media doesn’t even report on it unless Israel retaliates.

After the barrage of 54 mortar shells on Saturday, Avigdor Lieberman, the Foreign Minister of Israel, directed Israel’s ambassador to the UN to lodge a formal complaint against Hamas.

Unfortunately, that is unlikely to arouse any sympathy in the world.  After all, the popular justification goes, “The Jews” are oppressing the Palestinians.  They’re blockading Gaza.  They are legitimate targets, obviously.

Never mind that the blockade was proven last week when the Israeli Navy confiscated over 50 tons of advanced weapons bound for Gaza.  What more does Israel have to do to show the world that the blockade is justified?

So, let’s move to the “prediction of things to come” that I promised in my headline.

1.  The Israeli complaint and any other, subsequent complaints about indiscriminate, deliberate shelling of Israeli civilians will fall on deaf ears at the UN.  There will be no resolutions proposed or passed (or supported) by more than a handful of countries.  The General Assembly will turn the complaint around to blame Israel for the shelling of Israeli citizens.

2.  The shelling will continue, and will increase.  Hamas has taken heart from the recent events in Egypt and their perception that Egypt, with the Muslim Brotherhood soon to be part of the government, will support them and their cause.  I believe this to be true.

3.  Israel will continue to complain to the world, but the complaints will fall on deaf ears.  The Left will cheer gleefully as Israelis are shelled, ranting that they deserve it.

4.  Eventually, after exhausting any legal complaints, Israel will launch a ground offensive in Gaza.  They will have no choice, since there is no country on Earth that would endure what Israel endures on a daily basis.  It will start with significant bombing of tunnels and Hamas command structures, and will be followed by an intense infantry battle, in which Israel will end up going house to house, building to building, until they have taken the entire Gaza Strip.  There is no middle ground that can be taken.

As part of this assault, they will have to very carefully, and probably at great cost of Israeli lives, enter places like Mosques and the underground bunkers under Gaza hospitals where the Hamas leadership hid during Cast Lead.

They will need to fully conquer Gaza, collect or destroy all the weapons, destroy all the tunnels, and arrest the Hamas leadership.

I am fully aware that a great deal of my prediction is “wishful thinking”.  It is more likely that as soon as they attack, the world will start to cry crocodile tears for the poor Palestinians in Gaza, and Israel will probably have to stop (again!) before finishing the job.  But, it is a job that needs to be done.

The alternative is simply bombarding Gaza, but the world won’t stand for that.

It’s ironic, given the bombardment of Libya, supported by most of the world.  Libya, in spite of Gadhafi’s overt support of terror, is much more benign than Hamas and Gaza, and is no more oppressive to his people than Hamas is to theirs.

Were the world logical, there would have been a coalition a long time ago to force Hamas to cease and desist with their attacks on Israeli population centers, but unfortunately, the world is insane, believing that an autocratic, Islamo-fascist government which suppresses its own people is somehow preferable to or better than Israel, with its clearly democratic society.

Good News from Israel (from Yosi Behar)

This is an authorized re-publication of a weekly letter I receive from Yosi Behar in Israel of Good News from Israel.

Unfortunately, I am unable to include the pictures here (if someone knows how to include images, please let me know!), but the text is great, too!

– Good News #329 18 March, 2011

– private letter from Yosi Behar- No commercial intent

screen resolution 1024×768

only Good News from Israel

in brief

Hats-off to Israeli Navy

IDF Navy Flotilla 13 commandoes (Shayatet 13) seized a vessel transporting weapons from Syria via Turkey to Gaza – 370 kilometers west off Israel’s coast on Tuesday. The “Victoria” ship was carrying various types of weapons; the source of the weapons is Iran. Israel tracked the vessel thanks to accurate intelligence including close surveillance via satellite enabling the long arm of the Israeli Navy to perform a surprise and swift takeover. Victoria was directed to Ashdod for further scan. So far, 50 tons of arms and ammunition unloaded from ‘Victoria’, including C704 missiles described as “game changing” potential. All foreign ambassadors were hosted at the port to witness the big display of arms captured on “Victoria”.

See live video in real time;

And >


Israeli innovations in Medicine, Healthcare:

New Natural source for Omega 3

Professor Shmuel Edelstein, the Chief Scientist of ‘Marvalous’, formerly a senior scientist at the Weizman Institute and Head of R&D at Teva Pharmaceuticals developed method to produce Omega 3 from clary sage. Omega-3 fatty acids are considered essential fatty acids: They are necessary for human health but the body can’t make them — you have to get them through food. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and may help lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. Omega-3 fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain and appear to be important for cognitive (brain memory and performance) and behavioral function.


A birth control pill for men

Prof. Haim Breitbart at Bar-Ilan University; “The female birth control pill is not 100% effective and some women’s bodies don’t react well to the extra hormones. Now, a new birth control option for men allows partners to share the responsibility.

Published in the journal Genes and Development.


Salt therapy

Jonathan Kestenbaum’s search to cure his son’s ear infections led to an Israeli salt therapy chain. Salt therapy is a natural remedy for respiratory and sinus problems. Salt rooms are used to treat children and adults suffering from allergy, chronic ear or sinus infections, asthma, bronchitis and lung disease.



Eilat Renewable Energy Conference

Renewable Energy Conference in Eilat attracted more than 3,000 participants from around the world to share unique, groundbreaking projects which determine the future direction for energy production and management.

The Eilat conference is among the world’s leading stages for presenting technological innovation, business opportunities, policies and implementation in the renewable energy field. ;”To hear, firsthand, from so many key players on a global stage, about how that investment is changing the face of our region is helping it become a global leader in renewable energy development and technology – is incredibly satisfying”.

Read more at >

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Economy & infrastructure;

Massachusetts delegation visits Israel

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is here with a business delegation that includes 30 executives from life sciences, renewable energy, and IT companies, as well as venture capitalists. The executives meet their Israeli counterparts aiming to boost business partnerships. Patrick; “great importance that Massachusetts attributes to its economic ties with Israel. We very much want Israeli companies to consider us as their second home. We want exposure to Israeli science and technology. Israel is a powerhouse in intelligence, technological innovation, and venture capital. This is a winning combination with few competitors in the world. We want to be part of this picture.”


16 Israelis on Forbes rich list

Sixteen of the billionaires are Israeli citizens, compared to only 10 included on the list last year. Sami Ofer, Shari Arison, Stef and Eitan Vartheimer, Nochi Dankner, Itzhak Tshuva, Gil Shwed, Marius Nacht, Benny Steinmetz, Teddy Sagi, Michael Strauss, Shlomo Eliahu, Eddie and Sol Zakay… All of them (except Shari Arison) are self made billionaires.


Elbit Systems cumulated orders at record $5.45b

11.8% rise in revenue at Defense electronics firm Elbit Systems. Elbit’s orders backlog for the year ended December 31 was $5.45 billion, compared with $5.04 billion as of December 31, 2009. 72% of the current backlog is scheduled to be performed during 2011 and 2012. Elbit attributed its increase in revenue to the electro-optics and airborne systems areas of operations.

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Soccer; High-school National championship

Over 200 high-schools took part in the national tournament. The Cup awarding ceremony was transmitted yesterday on TV channel #1- marked by the big surprise; Rosh-HaAyin team from Begin high-school led by coach Moti Sela and its captain Saar Behar made it to the finals after a long series of victories over the big cities teams.


Gymnastics; Our Alex took the silver

Alex Shatilov won the silver medal at Gymnastics World Cup competition in Germany,7340,L-4041045,00.html


Israeli Hutzpa – Ice hockey team wins gold in Canada

Israeli hockey team of children ages 11 to 13 from Bat-Yam and Rishon Lezion took first place at Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament 2011 Canada, beating 91 other teams – all without ever stepping on the ice prior to competition. The outstanding player in the tournament, David Levin, 11.5, said: “It was an incredible feeling to score goals in such a big tournament and beat Canadian groups.”  Lior Shein, 13, added: “I couldn’t believe we, who practice mostly on roller skates, would be able to bring home the gold medal.”

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New DNA technique to solve criminal cases

Prof. Ariel Darvasi from the Department of Genetics at the Jerusalem Hebrew University developed a novel method for identifying a suspect’s DNA even in complex DNA mixtures. With this technique; by examining the unique elements which make up a person’s DNA it is possible to provide admissible DNA as evidence even when there are multiple sources at the crime scene (which was not admissible until now). This method shows with certainty whether or not a suspect was at the scene of a crime. Published at Forensic Science International: Genetics.


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People; settlers save Arab baby

Haim Levin; “It felt amazing to hold the baby girl in my arms, know we did something good”. After massacre, settlers help bring new life into world: IDF soldier and local paramedics helped save the life of an Arab woman and her newly born infant Wednesday, at the settlement where Fogel relatives are sitting Shiva for the five Israelis brutally murdered last week.,7340,L-4043536,00.html

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Spring is here – breath-taking blossom all over the country

Red carpet in the Negev

Ella Valley (David and Goliath) picture taken yesterday


Day temperatures around 23 centigrade (~ 70 F) – bright days with pleasant weather conditions.

Happy Purim holiday (today)

Yosi Behar

So, you love Israel? Really?

The concepts of “loving Israel” and “supporting Israel” have been bouncing around in my head lately.

I see Jewish (even Israeli) friends, acquaintances, and strangers, all professing that they are staunch supporters of Israel, or that they “love Israel”.

But, then they add a “but”.

Sometimes it’s “oh, the settlements are wrong”,  “Israel is horribly racist in their treatment of minorities”, “look at how Israel oppresses the Palestinians”,  “what Israel did in Gaza during Cast Lead was horrific and should be treated as war crimes”,  “Israel stole homes from Arabs in Sheik Jarrah” and the list goes on ad nauseum.

So, it occurred to me that perhaps these people don’t really love or even support Israel.

They support the “IDEA” of Israel, but not the reality.  Nothing in life is ideal or perfect.  Striving for perfection is great as long as we don’t kill Israel trying to attain it.

In today’s world, there is an inordinately loud clamor for Israel to essentially cease to exist.

The sentiment is usually couched in anti-Zionist rhetoric, but essentially boils down to anti-Semitic sentiments.

In protests in the United States during the Cast Lead incursion into Gaza, this could be seen in the frenzied screams of protesters of “Jews to the ovens!!!”, or “Zionism = Nazism”, or “There is no Israel”, or “Kick the F’ing Jews out of Palestine” and “Palestine is Arab from the river to the sea”, the last implying of course, that Israel doesn’t even exist or that it should be wiped out completely.

These are not idle sentiments.

Many of my fellow Jews, who profess to “love and support” Israel, get caught up in protests about human rights issues in Israel, which is fine, and arguably, necessary if we want Israel to remain one of the best places on Earth to live.  It IS important to work from within to maintain the exceedingly high standards guaranteed by Israel’s declaration of independence and system of laws designed to protect minorities to ensure that minorities get a fair shake.

What disturbs me, though, is that while doing so, these “supporters” of Israel pay no heed whatsoever that their words and actions play into the hands of those who would see Israel destroyed.  Those who claim that Israel doesn’t or shouldn’t exist.  That Israelis are Nazis and that Israel’s treatment of Palestinians is Genocide, or Apartheid.  These statements are ridiculous in every way possible, yet our “friends” and “supporters” actually, in many cases, clamor to see who can be the most supportive of Israel’s enemies.

Sometimes, it is necessary to look at the big picture.

Israel’s big picture right now in the eyes of the world is bleak.  Support for Israel is anemic at best, even among friends like the USA under President Obama.  These “friends” claim that Israel somehow stole the right to self-determination from the poor Palestinians, that Israel is determined to wipe them out, that they oppress the Palestinians, that settlements are illegal or illegitimate, etc. etc. etc.

The truth, although these people choose not to see it, is that Israel, rather than being an “IDEA”, is simply a country made up of human beings, the majority of whom are Jewish.

We, as Jews, have many shared values through which we value the sanctity of life, moral and ethical behaviors, and a strong devotion to the rights of the minorities, especially given our several thousand year history as a minority pretty much everywhere we’ve ever lived.

But, those who hold Israel to a much, much, much higher standard than that to which they hold any other country in the world, demonstrated by their self-loathing behavior castigating and condemning Israel in the eyes of the rest of the world, provide strength to Israel’s enemies.

Having spent quite a bit of time in Israel and in many parts of the world, and having been a student of the world for many years, I can certainly attest that Israel treats both its friends and its enemies better than most countries on Earth do.

Yes, Israel is imperfect.  Sometimes it crosses lines that should not be crossed.  Makes mistakes in judgment.

Some of that is due to the nature of Israel’s system of democracy that requires coalition governments, and part of it is simply being caught between a rock and a hard place and having no good choice in many cases.

The world condemns Israel for “settlements”, although in reality, Israel has as much right to the West Bank and Gaza as do the Palestinians, given that Israel captured those territories in a defensive war in 1967.  The fact that Israel cannot unilaterally withdraw, and cannot sustainably retain the West Bank puts Israel in an unwinnable position.  They can’t move forward, and can’t move backwards.

The intransigence of the Palestinians, the continued oppression of the Palestinians in “refugee camps” in Jordan, the West Bank, Gaza, Syria and Lebanon BY OTHER ARABS, and the glee of the world at having a Jewish scapegoat all prevent a peaceful outcome, in the face of which Israel continues to be a beacon of light in a very dark region, winning Nobel prizes in every category, providing the world with medical and scientific advances and technology, and even fighting wars with the greatest attention to prevention of civilian casualties ever seen in the history of warfare.

But, does that placate those who continue to tear Israel down from within?

Nope.  They want “Ideal”.  “Perfection”.  For them, it isn’t enough that Israel be light years better than any of its neighbors, or better than most of the world.  Israel must be perfect.

And that attitude, and their constant whining and protesting against everything less than ideal that occurs in Israel, is most definitely harmful to Israel.

With friends and supporters like that, who needs enemies?

Let’s Talk About Principles and Foreign Policy

Yesterday, I read a column by Isi Leibler, titled “Candidly Speaking: Obama and Jewish leadership”.  You can read it at this link:

In the column, which discusses a recent meeting between President Obama and American Jewish leaders, one passage caught my eye and really made me think.

He said “But in response to expressions of regret at the harsh anti-Israeli statements made by US representatives before and after the vote, Obama stated that White House officials consider it imperative for the US “to do something to show balance” in view of the delicacy of Arab public opinion during these “sensitive” times.”

To me, this implies that Obama (whose views and philosophy regarding foreign policy are not unique in our government and the rest of the “politically correct” crowd) is more interested in displaying “balance” than in promoting what he believes is RIGHT.

What happened to the concept of having a position based on principles and supporting it?

Why is “balance” more important than having a philosophy based on a national, collective, moral belief system and standing up for what we believe in as a nation?   Why must we support all sides of a dispute, whether we really agree with them or not?  Do we not have any obligations whatsoever to our “allies”?

Is Israel our ally or not?

If so, why do we need to show “balance” toward the enemies of our ally?

If Israel is our ally, why do we need to prop up countries that overtly threaten Israel?  Why do we not tell the Palestinians that their demands are unreasonable, and that we will not give them money or support their views in any way until they actually sit down to negotiate with our ally?

Why is it so bad for us, as a nation, to pick a side?

We have already scared the crap out of our allies in the last two years with Obama’s clear need for the US to be friends with everyone.

Of course, that’s not realistic, the world doesn’t work that way.

Until we figure out what are the characteristics of those with whom we should be friends, we will muddle along offending true friends and allies at the expense of those who truly hate us.

The damage to our standing in the world from this lack of policy will be devastating to us in the long term.

We (Obama) have already proven to our allies that our word means nothing, driving countries like Turkey into the arms of Iran, who continues to thumb their noses at us.

We can either declare a set of principles to live by, and ally ourselves with other countries who share those principles, or we can continue to drift as we are doing now, leaving countries like Israel to suffer the consequences.

You may not have liked President Bush, but there was very little ambiguity about where we stood while he was president.  He picked a position, stuck to it, and made it clear to our friends and enemies that you should mess with it at your peril.

I miss that clarity of purpose.

Good News from Israel (Yosi Behar newsletter)

The following is a newsletter I receive from a gentleman in Israel named Yosi Behar.  He publishes it periodically via email, but has reached the limit of email addresses to which he can send it.

He has authorized me (and others) to forward it in its entirety as we wish.

Unfortunately, I am unable to post the pictures that go along with it, but the text and links are more important.  Enjoy!!


– Good News #328 11 March, 2011

– private letter from Yosi Behar- No commercial intent

screen resolution 1024×768

only Good News from Israel

in brief

Rudy Juliani; no need for another terror state

: US must be more supportive of Israel and more realistic about what the Jewish state is facing. Obamas` diplomatic attempts have been a mistake. The ball is at the Palestinian domain; eradicate terrorism and corruption and recognize Israel as a Jewish state. You do not want to establish another Arab state that is a terrorist enclave.”


Michele Bachmann; we have been blessed because of Israel

Minnesota Congresswoman Bachmann and the GOP House of Representatives leader; I am a Christian, but I consider my heritage Jewish, because it is the foundation, the roots of my faith as a Christian.  I am convinced in my heart and in my mind that if the United States fails to stand with Israel, that is the end of the United States… that as a nation, we have been blessed because of our relationship with Israel, and if we reject Israel, then there is a curse that comes into play.”


Israel is a world leader in recycling treated wastewater

With increased interest worldwide, Jewish state marketing its waste water reuse technologies and has developed billion-dollar industry by sharing systems and expertise. 92% of the wastewater in Israel is treated and 75 % is used for agricultural irrigation, this is the highest percentage of such utilization in the world. The cost of enhancing wastewater is half of the cost of desalinating seawater and is of great significance in an era when there is a shortage of potable fresh water. Treated wastewater is a suitable alternative that can be used for agriculture purposes. Israel‘s water technologies exports will double by 2012, from the $1.5 billion in exports in 2010.


Hagar Gelbard gets prestigious award

3 March 2911; Hagar Gelbard-Sagiv from Weizman institute received the 2011 L’Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science Award ($40 000). Outstanding Women Scientists” is an International Fellowships for Women in Science. Hagar is awarded for her research as part of her doctoral thesis on how we can learn about the memory mechanism from epilepsy patients undergoing a medical procedure.


Israeli innovations in Medicine, Healthcare:

Revolutionizing delicate spinal surgery

SpineAssist® is a robotic guidance system which enables surgeons to perform safer and accurate spine surgeries. For patients, this means better outcomes with less pain, fewer complications and shorter recovery time. SpineAssist is in daily use in leading hospitals with thousands of successful cases worldwide. SpineAssist transforms back surgery by advancing techniques from freehand method to guided procedures.    SpineAssist Workstation – allows surgeons to pre-plan optimal procedures in 3 dimensions according to the individual anatomy”.  SpineAssist Robotic Arm – guides the surgeon during surgery to perform the preoperative plan therefore optimizing clinical outcome. See demo at >


Detecting early kidney damage

5% of patients in hospitals and 30% of patients in intensive care wards suffer from acute kidney damage, which increases morbidity rates and the cost of care. Latest clinical trials prove that Urinflo 2000 device detected early-stage acute kidney damage.

The URINFO™2000 system provides automated (continuous, real-time, and reliable) monitoring of urine output for the optimization of fluid management and acute renal care.  The product is based on FlowSense technology and is in daily use in the critical care setting for managing fluid and renal care and preventing renal deterioration and failure.


Economy & infrastructure;

More trade with India and China

China and India are Israel’s two major destinations of exports with an impressive growth in exports in the last year ($ 7 billion – 49% increase). A joint committee of the Finance and Industry Ministries for increasing exports to East Asia has formed a program with $30 million budget intended to help realize the commercial potential in the Chinese and Indian markets.

China wants Israel as technology partner; Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming visiting in Israel (again) signed a memorandum of understanding to promote commerce and cooperation between the Israel and China.,7340,L-4038333,00.html


TEVA inaugurates huge center

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, the world’s largest maker of generic drugs, has opened a new, $100 million distribution center in Shoham, near Ben Gurion Airport. The new logistic center spreads over 19 acres, making it one of the worlds largest with advanced storage and transportation of drugs and medical equipment. Each building is 13 storeys high and 400 meters long with new facilities designed to cut truck-loading time from an hour to just 10 minutes and save $20 million each year (return of investment in 5 years). 350 trucks a day will carry TEVA products (worth $16 billion this year) to the airport to be sent all over the world. Yediot Mamon 27 Feb. page 4


First Jezreel Valley railway tender published today

As part of the Netivey Israel plan, the first tender for the project was published today. The tender is for the construction of the line between Migdal Ha’Emek, and Afula. Subsequent tenders for the Jezreel Valley railway will be published later this year. Cost of the Jezreel Valley railway is $ 1.2 billion and is scheduled to be completed in 2016. The Jezreel Valley railway will run 60 kilometers from Haifa to the Bridge over the Jordan River in the Beit SheAn Valley. Trains will be able to travel at 160 km/h on the line.

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SOCIETY, culture, art

Draftees’ Motivation for Combat at Record High

According to statistics revealed in the latest issue of BaMachane’, the IDF magazine; there has been a steep, steady climb in the combat motivation of Israel’s youth over the last three years. Nation’s youth are raring to go and fight if they must. The percentage of eligible draftees who seek to serve in combat units has climbed to a record high of 79.5%,


PM Honors female troops

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu marked International Women’s Day by paying tribute to the female soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces; “I am impressed by you. There is a revolution in the IDF. One-third of the IDF’s personnel are women. Growing percentage of the IDF’s combat force is women. We see this in all corps; Border Police fighters, Armored corps, Navy and Air Force including as pilots. This expresses the change in the status of women in the IDF and in the State of Israel as a whole. Israel is only country in region ‘in which women have equal rights.”


Volunteer: Israel has high quality youth

‘Our camp proves that there are teenagers in this country who contribute to society without asking for anything in return.’ Interact –is a service club for young people sponsored by the Rotary organization, an apolitical global organization of businesspeople and leading professionals associated with social clubs.

. Interact gives 14 to 18 years old a chance to take part in various voluntary and meaningful initiatives, a chance to develop leadership skills and take initiative, as well as meet new friends. 

Read more at >,7340,L-4039014,00.html


Yael Naim wins the “Globe de Cristal” award

Yael Naim, 33, was awarded the “Globe de Cristal” of the Best Singer of the year in France. This is her second trophy of “Victoires de la Musique” (French equivalent of the Grammy), in which she won Best Singer of the Year 2008. Yael lived in Ramat HaSharon and did her military service with the Israeli Air Force band. Her song ‘new soul’ was selected by giant computer company ‘Apple’ for its publicity campaign.

Video songs at >



Tennis; Israel moves up to world playoffs

Israeli tennis team beat Poland 3:0 at Davis Cup. Dudi Sela, Amir Weintraub Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich; Victorious in all games with Poland– singles and doubles.


Daniel Frenkel at European championship finals

Daniel Frankel recorded great achievement which qualifies her to the European Championship finals high jump. She made a new Israeli record of 1.94 meters which gave her ticket to the World Championships in South Korea.

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‘Bird Splitter’ to protect planes from avian impacts

Bird strikes are a significant threat to flight safety, and have caused a number of accidents with human casualties. Birds have been sucked into aircraft engines, which sometimes resulted in a shutdown. Israel Aerospace Industries has invented the Bird Splitter located on the aircrafts’ tail and designed to ‘split’ an incoming bird and thereby protect aircraft structure and crucial systems before they hit the plane. IAI presented its concept at the Annual Conference on Aerospace Sciences, held on Feb. 23. >


US Army buys ‘TowerJazz’ night vision

‘’’TowerJazz’ Presents Record Results for 2010: Surpasses Half a Billion Dollars in Full Year Revenue.

TowerJazz, will supply image sensors for the US Army night vision electronics and sensors directorate including CMOS low light image sensors for Army portable systems.


Another great Israeli gift to the world – Drought-resistant potatoes

Agro-biotechnology company Rosetta Green success in developing drought-resistant potatoes is an important achievement for enhancing plants’ capabilities in extreme conditions. Improving crops’ survivability is a critical field in global agriculture. The potatoes were enhanced with the micro-RNA gene RGN-131, which the company found can potentially improve the potatoes’ resistance to drought and severe environmental conditions. The trial found that the RGN-131 potatoes had significantly better survival capability and drought adaptability.



This week; Timely rain, Blessed quantity with good intervals and pleasant temperatures

Shabat Shalom

Yosi Behar