Good News About Israel
The House of Representatives passed legislation that authorizes $2.55
billion in security assistance to Israel for fiscal year 2009. The United
States plans to provide increased security assistance to Israel’s to help
the two countries face growing threats in the region.
Speaking for us all,
President Bush said of the U.S.-Israel alliance, that it “is unbreakable,
yet the source of our friendship runs deeper than any treaty. It is
grounded in the shared spirit of our people, the bonds of the Book, the ties
of the soul.”
Newton Propulsion Technology believes it has “found a way to make
the traditional engine better.” A hybrid has been built using two different
engines that are presently in use. . . the internal combustion engine and
the gas turbine used to power jets. . . called the RotoRom engine. It
combines the better of the two engines, while avoiding the downfalls.
scientists call it “The Jesus Tree”: The Judean date palm, long
extinct, has been “brought back to life” by scientists who unearthed a 2,000
year-old seed of the plant and germinated it. The seed was discovered in a
jar full of discarded pits in a room on Masada. The healthy 4-foot-tall
seedling is named Methuselah after the oldest living man in the Bible. The
seed itself, perhaps the last link to the vast date palm forests that once
grew in the Jordan River valley, was first discovered in 1965, as
archaeologists excavated the ancient Israel site of Masada. While the
scientists named the tree the “Jesus Tree,” it is also known as the “Tree of
Life.” The “Jesus Tree” name could have come from the possibilities that
Jesus walked among the date palms and ate of their very rich fruit.
Methuselah is the name given to the plant, but if it turns out to be a
female, a more appropriate name will be given.
Antiquities Authority unveiled a project in Jerusalem to mark the
60th anniversay of the discovery of the first Dead Sea scrolls. A technology
developed by retired NASA scientist Dr. Greg Bearman will reveal portions of
that text that were invisible until now.
created a legal system that is the envy of the world, with a Supreme
Court that stands at the pinnacle of democratic judiciaries – a court open
to all with few, if any, restrictions on its jurisdiction... Israel’s’
continuing efforts to fight terrorists within the rule of law and within the
reasonable constraints of human rights and civil liberties may be among
Israel’s most enduring contributions to the civilized world.
At a future
leaders forum the discussion focused on how to solve Israel’s
leadership crisis. Morlie Levin’s comments included the following: we are a
people who have a covenant and a mission to work in partnership with God to
create a world that is more just and fair. . . three personal attributes
that are necessary: humility, openness to new ideas, ability to demonstrate
learning – particularly from failure, because it is not always a direct
has chosen a national bird, the Hoopoe. Its friendly nature may have
been the deciding factor. The hoopoe is unafraid of human beings, but when
in danger, it makes a hissing sound and secretes a foul-smelling liquid.
The supreme value
of even a single human life has long guided Israeli policies and
actions. On several occasions, the Jewish state has paid a very heavy price
in prisoner exchanges in order to bring home a few captive Israelis. In an
exchange Hizbullah returned the bodies of two soldiers – Eldad Regev and
Ehud Goldwasser whom they had abducted and murdered two years ago. In
return, the terrorist organization received from Israel the lopsided price
of five live terrorists, including child-murderer and Hizbullah leader Samir
Kuntar, as well as the bodies of nearly 200 Hizbullah terrorists and
Lebanese infiltrators. Israel was not officially informed that its two
soldiers were dead until the moment that the exchange was actually carried
out, so did not even know what they were negotiating for. Unless one has
completely lost his common sense to reason it’s not hard to see which nation
puts the most value on life. Following this Hizbullah deal, Hamas issued an
ultimatum demanding the release of 450 terrorist prisoners from Israeli
jails in exchange for the release of captive IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.
[Isn’t this an admission of the value of ONE Jewish soldier on the part of
Hamas as well? – ed.]
major corporation in the free world, and those from former communist
countries and China as well, has a presence in Israel. Many have gone into
partnership with Israeli companies and others are there just as observers to
be aware of the incredible breakthroughs that Israeli universities and
research are producing. It is almost like a magnet that draws them and they
really don’t fully know why.
Relations Seminars: In an unparalleled historical development, a
major Orthodox Jewish institution has announced its decision to begin
theological dialogue and fellowship with Christians. The integrity
established for this effort is by the founding member, Rabbi Shlomo Riskin,
the Chief Rabbi of Efrat, who said, “Both Judaism and Christianity have
profound messages for the world and each must speak to humanity and to each
other.” He believes that ”while the seminars will point out the areas where
Jews and Christians disagree, they will also point out the areas where they
share similarities.” Rabbi Riskin’s hope is that the effort promotes a new
understanding between Jews and Christians that would spread the message of a
God of love and peace to the world.
The number of
Israeli wage earners rose by 0.7% in the first half of 2008, with
the financial sector again recording the largest increase, with a rise in
employment by 3.4%.
Unkosher Stores: The brothers Ronnie and Adi Tzim, owners of the
Kim’at Chinam [Practically Free] chain, say they have no economic
interest in buying the stores. They explain that their only goal is to rid
the country of the sale of pig meat and other unkosher items.
The Jewish Agency
and the private Nefesh B’Nefesh organization have reached an historic
agreement. Nefesh B’Nefesh is going to become the primary operational
vehicle for promotion in North America, and the Jewish Agency is going to be
continuing its responsibility on the immigration eligibility process.
Aerial photograph of the
wall excavation, Mount Zion Valley.
Photo: Klara Amit, I.A.A.
section of the wall surrounding Jerusalem, dating from Hasmonean
times, has been unearthed on Mount Zion. The excavations have revealed part
of the expanded southern city wall, from the Second Temple period, when
ancient Jerusalem was at its largest. The new findings were described by
the Antiquities Authority as “exciting” and “extraordinary.”
Bowl shard from the Late
Roman Period (3-4 CD)
Photo: Klara Amit, I.A.A.
The World Health
Organization (WHO) recently said that male circumcision, if
affordable and widely available, could prevent more than five million HIV
infections over the next two decades. Who better to turn to for expertise
in the practice than doctors from the Jewish state? Israeli doctors have
been traveling to Africa to train local physicians in the procedure, which
has been shown to reduce the risk of contracting AIDS by as much as 60
percent in males. Swaziland, the small African nation of just over one
million people is burdened by the world’s highest HIV infection rate,
estimated at nearly 30 percent. The country has set the goal of circumcising
all of its 200,000 sexually active men over the next five years, but lacks
surgeons with the proper expertise... “Operation Abraham” has sent three
delegations of Israeli surgeons to teach circumcision in Swaziland.
“In order to be a
realist,” said David Ben-Gurion, “you must believe in miracles.” At
its birth in 1948, Israel was a tiny and fragile country of only about
600,000 people. Since that time, nearly three million Jews from all corners
of the earth have immigrated to Israel, including more than one million from
the former Soviet Union. Today, the Jewish state’s population has grown to
more then seven million; some 20 percent of whom are Arabs – mostly Muslims
– equal under the law. One cannot take for granted that Israel, a country
that has never had secure borders, exists as a free and democratic state. .
. With its strong commitment to human liberty, Israel is a natural friend
of the United States. America sees in Israel the values it holds most
sacred. Indeed, Israel is a country worth celebrating, but one must not
forget that the Jewish state’s successes have come at a tremendous cost. By
now we can all recite the familiar years of Israel’s many wars – 1948, 1956,
1967, 1973, 1982 and so on – but we must not become desensitized to the toll
that these wars have taken on Israeli society. In its War of Independence,
for example, Israel lost about 6,000 people – 1% of its population at the
time. Were this same percentage of the U.S. population to die in battle
there would be 30 million American dead. Since 1948, thousands of Israelis
have been killed or wounded in battle and from terrorist attacks. Having
known the horrors of war, the Israeli people yearn for peace more than any
other people [do]. They sing songs of peace, pray for peace and teach their
children the virtues of peace. As we mark Israel’s 60th, we must
be proud of America’s long friendship with the Jewish state and continue to
do all we can to work for peace.
Organization of America (ZOA) has urged the government of Israel to
drop plans to expel Jews from Judea and Samaria that would involve the
voluntary relocation and compensation of Jews living there.
Light to the
Nations: Inspired by what they see as Israel’s success in nation
building, hundreds of refugees from South Sudan say they want Israel to help
train them for jobs so they can go home and build their own country. There
are an estimated 4,400 Sudanese refugees – most from South Sudan – among the
12,000 African refugees and migrant workers who have fled to Israel from
Egypt over the last few years. They are looking for a better way of life in
the only democracy in the Middle East.
From Zion Will Go
Agriculture – In preparations of the Agritech, Israel’s
International Agricultural Exhibition, a delegation of journalists from some
13 + countries arrived in Israel to meet with agricultural and water
companies. Agritech’s website states, “Agritech Israel has become a
well-known brand name for showcasing the worldwide reputation of Israel’s
agriculture. Agritech Israel is regarded as one of the most important agro
technological exhibitions in the world, a fact proved by the thousands of
visitors from around the world at previous exhibitions.”
drawings by an architect for expanding the Auschwitz death camp,
including a gas chamber and a “corpse cellar,” were published in the German
newspaper Bild recently. Blueprint pictures clearly describe a room for a
1,200 square-foot “gas chamber” as part of a “delousing facility” to be
added to the death camp in 1941. The reported documents sketches were among
28 blueprints that were obtained. The publication of the sketches came on
the eve of the 70th year since Kristallnacht, when Germany went on a rampage
and burned synagogues and Jewish stores and killed or wounded Jews.
Government archives officials told another German newspaper that the
blueprints represent “authentic evidence of the systematically planned
genocide of European Jews.” Bild stated, “The documents refute once and for
all claims by those who deny the Holocaust even took place.”
News sources used here:
Biblical Heritage Center, Near East Report, Inside Israel Newsletter, Arutz
Sheva, JTA, and Israel Unity Coalition.