The Haiti disaster is still much in the news, especially as there have been two more earthquakes, though luckily weaker than the first one. There have been some miraculous cases of saving of life, of people found under the rubble even after 10 days without food and water, but I believe the rescue teams have now given up this work, and most efforts are given to providing food, shelter and medical services to those left alive. In many countries in the world, including Israel, people are donating money for this cause. So far, the Israeli field hospital is still working full-time, and even has incubators for babies, x-ray machines and the like, but will probably close soon. Now we hear that Israelis and others want to adopt orphans from Haiti – but I wonder if this will really happen- the Haitis will surely object..
Today, January the 27th, is the 65th anniversary of the liberation of the largest Nazi death camp Auschwitz. In 2005 the United Nations General Assembly designated this day as International Holocaust Remembrance Day (IHRD), an annual day of commemoration to honour the victims of the Nazi era. Every member nation of the U.N. has an obligation to honour the memory of Holocaust victims and develop educational programs as part of an international resolve to help prevent future acts of genocide. The U.N. resolution that created IHRD rejects denial of the Holocaust, and condemns discrimination and violence based on religion or ethnicity. But of course unfortunately not all UN member states think this way, and so many, mostly Muslim ones, would like another holocaust with its complete destroyal for Israel.
Israeli President Peres is now in Berlin and will address the German government tomorrow, and Prime Minister Natanyahu is in Poland, at former Auschwitz concentration camp, for the Remembrance ceremony. In Israel we commerate Holocaust Remembrance Day, a week before Israel Independence day. It is impossible to do too much remembering.
Some two weeks after announcing that a physical barrier needed to be built there, and two weeks before the initiative is to come before the cabinet for approval, Natanyahu personally visited Israel’s southern Sinai border to take a look at the area. He noticed the problem of illegal infiltrations was even greater than he had at first believed. If the border with Egypt is not closed, then al-Qaida may use Sudanese refugees making their way into the country as cover to infiltrate and set up terrorist cells in Israel. Therefore a physical barrier is of greatest importance.
And now we hear that Egypt is doing something similar with the Gaza Strip border. Much to the anger of Hamas, they are going to build an underground defence wall against tunnel building. President Mubarak of Egypt said that the Hamas organisation was not only smuggling material and weapons into Gaza through their many tunnels, but also terrorists out of Gaza into the Sinai desert of Egypt and it was his job to defend his citizens.
I’ll end with a local subject, which is rain. Although it is really so blessed after so many drought years, it came in such great quantities during a short period this last week, that it has even caused some damage. There was flooding not only in the south, but also in the north and led to much damage to agriculture and even buildings. Well the saying is “It never rains, but it pours” . Seems true here. At least the water level in Lake Kinneret which had been dangerously low, has risen. With these words I close today. Shalom from Irene