Archive for February, 2013

For the last few days, much of Israeli news has been about an Australian born Jewish man by the name of Ben Zygier who had settled in Israel about ten years ago served in the army,  married,  was evidently later recruited for the “Mossad”,  was accused of giving intelligence information to foreign sources, and was     brought to trial and imprisoned under an unknown name. This was evidently for security reasons, and even his guards were not aware of his true identity. Two years ago he committed suicide, and although so far we don’t  know any of the real details, all this about him has suddenly come out, and is being published as a news item all over the world. It is said that the Australians have known about him for long, and he is even buried in  Australia. So far it’s a great mystery. I wonder how many of my readers have heard about him.

A most unusual event took place on our Syrian border last Saturday, when seven wounded blood-covered Syrians were allowed to cross the border into Israel and were admitted to     the Ziv Hospital in Safad. Two of them were taken to surgery right away, the others first treated in the emergency department. All their wounds were evidently caused by gunshots. Who knows what will be with them when they are cured? And hopefully the continuous fighting in Syria will be further away from our borders (or may even stop, although who knows if a change of     government there will be better for Israel, and not be led by the Muslim Brotherhood or Hezbollah terrorist organization?) .
Prime Minister Netanyahu has so far been unable to form  a new government after the elections last month. One of the reasons seems to be the demand by 2 newly elected political parties which received relatively many votes, wanting equal conditions for all citizens, especially wanting the ultra-religious to serve in the army, to work and not only study “Torah” at the expense of the tax payer. And they want this agreed on, before they are willing to join a coalition government. That’s all for now. Shalom from Irene

Not much new to write about this week, though of course I must mention that the newly appointed Secretary of State John Kerry will be visiting here

and other places in the area, and at the end of next month President Obama will also be coming to Israel. But of course till they actually come,

there is nothing I can write about these visits, just hope they will be successful for all.

Another subject which has been on all Israeli news programs since yesterday is the unexpected resignation of Pope Benedictus the 16th which will take place on February 28th. This is a great surprise to the world, especially the Catholic one.

So far our Prime Minister Natanyahu has been unable to form a coalition government, although he is constantly meeting with the leaders of the many different parties. There seem to be too many different opinions about what to do amongst them. Hopefully, when it is formed, there will be less ministers in the government this time . Natanyahu has spoken much about possible peace talks with the Palestinians, and he again called directly on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to join him at the negotiating table but their demands seem impossible, and the Hamas organization ruling in Gaza, doesn’t want peace with us at all, and apparently President Abbas secretly agrees with them. Yesterday I heard rumours that Natanyahu is again willing to stop building in the West Bank for a certain period, but the last time he did that for 10 months, nothing came of it. In a speech to the new Knesset members, Natanyahu spoke of making a “prudent” diplomatic peace process, in which Israel’s capacity to effectively protect itself against security threats must be kept.

And now for something completely different. About a dozen bird experts from all over the world are enjoying visits among Israel’s bird oases. They are exploring   the winter homes of an array of birds found in the Kinneret basin, in the Hula Valley and in the Gamla Nature reserve. Due to Israel’s geographic position, birds from northeast and northwest converge in Israel on their way to Africa for their winter migration. With that I end today. Shalom from Irene


Again another anti-Israel, anti-Semitic act, and this time in England. On International Holocaust Remembrance day The Sunday Times published a virulently anti-Israel cartoon, showing Prime Minister Netanyahu with blood covered hands, building a wall with the blood and bodies of Palestinians. The caption beneath said “Israeli elections – will cementing peace continue”. “This cartoon would be offensive at any time of the year, but to publish it on International Holocaust Remembrance Day is even more sickening and expresses a deeply troubling mindset,” said European Jewish Congress President Dr. Moshe Kantor. Whilst tens of thousands of innocent people are being butchered in the Middle East, Israel, the only democracy in that area, underwent fully democratic elections. A sort of apology from the owner of the Sunday Times did come a week later though.

And while I am partly on the subject of the Holocaust, I must mention what an aide to Egyptian President Morsi said last week, surely with his approval. He claimed that  the” “myth” of the Holocaust was a hoax invented by the American intelligence, and that the six million Jews “who were killed by the Nazis” merely just moved to the US.  This is a new invention – till now so many Muslim leaders have only said that the Holocaust never happened and is a Jewish invention. (So how come that I am the only survivor of my family? Both my parents, brother, sister, uncles, aunts and cousins were brutally murdered in Concentration Camps. They certainly never made it to America! Neither did I.)

In Syria a convoy of vehicles containing very modern sophisticated missiles evidently on their way to the Hezbollah organization in Lebanon was destroyed by planes, and a plant producing chemical and biological weapons was also bombed in Syria. Israel has been accused of these deeds, but so far our spokesmen have not commented. But it is certain that we can’t let these kind of arms fall into the hands of terrorists. There is a lot of concern here that they are increasing the quality of the weapons. It is believed that many weapons are supplied by Iran, a country which constantly threatens Israel with total destruction. Lebanon is complaining that Israeli planes are flying over their territory to reach Syrian areas. And President Assad has threatened to retaliate, believing this will help him to survive against the groups fighting against him.                 Shalom from Irene