The violent demonstrations in Egypt are continuing with already over 60 dead and thousands wounded. The pro and anti-Morsi (who has been replaced by a temporary president) protesters seem unable to come to any agreement, and the Moslem Brotherhood, who are now a minority, vow more violence. It is said that new electionswill take place in another 6 months. What Egypt really seems to need most is economic stabilization. Israel is staying neutral so far.Israel has been blamed by the International Red Cross for letting the “Magen David Adom” (Red Star of David ambulance service) operate in East Jerusalem and West bank,although it is for both Jewish and Arab population. They insist that only the “Palestinian Red Crescent” should do so. In life-saving situations such details should not be of importance.The Knesset has voted for a daylight saving scheme which will lengthen the daylight saving time by three weeks till the end of October. This has been opposed by the religiousparties as it will force people to pray before sunrise (a religious problem). But it will save much electric power.Now a few words about what is happening in Nigeria, an African country, not connected in any way to Israel. A boarding school in the north-east of that country was attacked by an Islamic group and 27 students and one teacher were cold-bloodedly murdered, some burnt to death when the buildings were set on fire. A similar attack happened a week before when 9 were shot dead in another school. Why don’t actions like these make headlines in the world?Will close now. Shalom from Irene
Violent demonstrations are taking place in Egypt against President Morsi and evidently against the Moslem brotherhood as a whole. Many have already been killed, although it seems that the armed forces sympathises with the demonstrators. Strangely enough although Morsi has certainly shown no favours to Israel, the crowds accuse him also of being on our side. The main problem though seems to be economical.More rockets were fired by Gaza terrorists into Israel at civilian populations, and we called on the UN to denounce these. The usual statements calling for mutual restraint are not enough. It is time the Security Council unanimously condemned these frequent attacks which are not based on any provocation from Israel.Last week Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust museum unveiled a new exhibition that marked 50 years of recognizing non-Jews who risked their lives during World War II, dedicated to the thousands of people from 47 countries who have been honoured as “Righteous among the Nations”. Between 400 and 500 are usually recognized a year.A ceremony was held at the Haifa cinematheque to recognize the record-high 3,000 Arabs volunteering in the national service program this year. Unlike the Jewish Israelis, they are not called up for compulsory military or national service. Minister Bennet who is in charge of national service spoke against incitement by Israeli Arab leaders against those who participate in the program. We want to see Arabs and Jews living together in coexistence. Ninety percent of Arab volunteers serve in the Arab sector, in schools, daycare centers, hospitals,and programs against drugs and violence. The make up of the minority volunteers is Christian Arabs 17%, Druze 21% (also serve in the army), and Beduin Muslims 51%.We heard about the terrible fires in Arizona with 19 firefighters losing their lives. We share in their grief. Shalom from Irene
With the encouragement of U.S. Secretary of State, there is now a possibility that Peace Talks will take place between Israel and the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, if the latter makes no preconditions. So far due to preconditions it has been impossible to hold talks, and even now Abbas has hinted that talks will only be for a certain time period, and evidently if they don’t go “his way” he will stop them. At a conference in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Natanyahu said,”The only way to end negotiations for peace is to begin them. We’re ready to negotiate peace without preconditions. Till now every time the government gave the Palestinians what they demanded for preconditions, they made additional demands. Our main object is peace, safety and recognition of Israel as a Jewish State.”
Again rockets have been shot into Israel from the Gaza Strip, our air force responded this time. No country in the world would allow shooting into their territory without reciprocating,but Israel is usually blamed fordoing so.I mentioned some time ago that gas has been found in Israeli territory, and now there have been discussions of how much should be kept for Israeli use and how much for export (which of course is good for our finances). After much talk, it was decided only to export 40% and leave the rest for local use.
In Syria the fighting continues, with Iran and the Hezbollah terrorist organization helping, and Russia supplying arms to Assad’s armed forces. Yesterday it was said that Assad’s troops used chemical arms again – which of course they have denied. Lebanon is not happy either with the fighting, fearing it will pass into their territory.Hope to have better news next week. Shalom from Irene
Prime Minister Natanyahu visited Poland last week, not only to meet Polish government high officials, but also for the opening of Block 27 at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State museum
This Block in the terrible World War II death camp has recently been renovated by the Israeli “Yad Vashem” holocaust museum. The 1,000 square meter exhibition in the two floor block consists of several spaces, each dedicated to a different part of the Holocaust, including one devoted to the 1.5 million children who were killed. The exhibition also includes a 2 meter high “Book of Names” that lists the names compiled by Yad Vashem of 4.2 million Jews murdered by the Nazis. The book includes empty pages at the end for additional names, as Yad Vashem continues collecting the names of victims. (not all are known). Natanyahu said” We will never be helpless again. The State of Israel will do whatever is necessary to prevent another Holocaust. We must not be complacent in the face of threats of annihilation (Iran and many Muslim groups are threatening Israel), and can not wait for others to do the work for us”.
Presidential elections took place in Iran and Hasan Rohani , the most moderate and liberal candidate won by over 50% of the votes. He said he was willing to speak to Western countries, but has not mentioned stopping the development of nuclear power. That evidently is up to the Prime Minister there.
Our neighbouring country Egypt may go to war – this time not with Israel, but with Ethiopia. Evidently Ethiopia is building, or intends to build a giant dam across the river Nile in Addis Ababa, and this will surely reduce the flow of the river when it arrives in Egypt. Egyptian President Morsi said that he understood the need for development in poorer nations but said Egypt would not accept any water reduction in the river Nile. “Egypt does not want war with Ethiopia, but will keep all options open.
I have mentioned before that Israel has been treating some wounded Syrians in our hospitals, but now we even had one sent directly by a Syrian doctor, with a handwritten note attached to the clothing of a Syrian man in critical condition. The note began with the words “Hello distinguished surgeon” and gave details about a gunshot wound in the chest, shrapnel damage, heavy abdominal bleeding and more. He ended with the words,”Please do what is necessary and thanks in advance.” Of course the patient is getting the best medical care. But will Syria ever be willing to make peace with Israel?
Our President Shimon Peres is celebrating his 90th birthday these days, and even ex-president Bill Clinton is here to be with him. In a speech Clinton joked about Peres, calling him a
visionary who looked into the future (a better one ) but had also promised him to come and celebrate his , Clinton’s) 90th birthday with him.
Enough for today. Shalom from Irene