Those being directed to this web page from other websites in order to watch the Israel-Haiti rescue VIDEOS, should scroll down to item three below (titled “CBS News: the Israeli army hospital is the ‘Rolls Royce’ of medicine in Haiti”).
* Has the Haitian earthquake been blamed on the Jews yet?
* Israel at forefront of Haiti rescue efforts; Arab countries conspicuous by their absence
(Please see the short CNN video which I attach at the end of the second item below, titled “Israel’s disproportionate response”)
* National Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau, a hardliner from Avigdor Lieberman’s Israel Beitenu party, becomes the first Israeli cabinet minister allowed to visit Abu Dhabi
* Latest round of Palestinian-upon-Palestinian violence in Gaza again ignored by international media: a hardware store, a billiard hall, a pharmacy and two cafes among those targets bombed
* Norwegian Deputy Prime Minister: I wish the United Nations would fire missiles at Israelis
* Norwegian government invests $30 million to celebrate the late Knut Hamsun, a writer who dedicated his Nobel Prize to Joseph Goebbels and in 1945 eulogized Hitler
Condolences to the family of Erich Segal, who passed away yesterday evening. Erich, who was a great classical scholar, a strong supporter of Israel and the author of the popular bestseller “Love Story” was, together with his wife and daughter, a long time subscriber to this email list, as well as being a close family friend. Erich also wrote the screenplay for The Beatles’ 1968 motion picture, Yellow Submarine.
1. International aid to Haiti: Arabs opt out
2. Israel’s disproportionate response
3. CBS News: the Israeli army hospital is the “Rolls Royce” of medicine in Haiti
4. Copts demonstrate against “BBC bias” following murder by Islamists
5. Shabak report 2009
6. Dubai rape victim jailed for sex outside marriage
7. For the first time, an Israeli cabinet minister visits Abu Dhabi
8. Poll: Israelis more tolerant of Islam than Swiss
9. OECD Sec-Gen. visits Israel tomorrow, prior to a decision about inviting Israel to join
10. Al-Qaeda reportedly behind failed bomb attack against Israeli diplomats in Jordan
11. Saudis admit to slaughtering Yemenis; world silent
12. Norwegian political leader: We are embarrassed at our government’s hostility to Israel
13. Crete’s only synagogue nearly burnt down in second anti-Semitic attack
14. NY Daily News: “Accused terrorist Aafia Siddiqui says toss Jews from jury pool”
15. Bombs detonated in pharmacy and two coffee shops in the Gaza Strip
16. Damascus plans metro system
[All notes below by Tom Gross]
INTERNATIONAL AID TO HAITI: ARABS OPT OUT
This CBS / Associated Press report lists countries providing aid to Haiti in the wake of that country’s devastating earthquake. Conspicuous by its absence is the entire Muslim world, including the extremely rich oil producing nations.
However, Arab countries do not discriminate against non-Muslim countries. Their help was missing after the earthquakes in Turkey and Iran and during war and famine in Muslim Africa too.
ISRAEL’S DISPROPORTIONATE RESPONSE
Because of Israel’s long history of enduring bomb and missile attacks the Israeli army (the IDF) is one of the most experienced in the world in treating mass-injuries and using specially trained sniffer dogs to locate wounded persons in the rubble.
The IDF was one of the first on the scene in Haiti last week (sending considerably more troops and doctors than, for example, Britain and France did). Hundreds, if not thousands of Haitians have already been treated (and many life-saving surgeries performed) in the IDF Medical and Rescue Field Hospital, set up in a large tent on a soccer field in Port-Au-Prince. In addition, Israeli forces have located and rescued survivors trapped in ruined buildings, including many who were injured during the collapse of the UN headquarters.
In addition to teams from the IDF’s canine unit, Israel sent 52 doctors and 25 nurses as well as paramedics, and has set up a pharmacy, a children’s ward, a radiology department, an intensive care unit, an emergency room, two operating rooms, a surgical department, an internal medicine department and a maternity ward. Israel has since sent a further 220 doctors, medics and nurses. Israel also sent a number of French-speaking translators to aid doctors.
Yesterday, a baby boy was delivered inside the Israeli field hospital. The mother of the child said she will call him Israel.
You can see some photos here.
CBS NEWS: THE ISRAELI ARMY HOSPITAL IS THE “ROLLS ROYCE” OF MEDICINE IN HAITI
Here are some positive stories from major international media.
This is perhaps the most positive TV news coverage I have ever seen on Israelis since the advent of cable news.
This is a heart-warming piece here on WABC News (18 January): A brother of a resident of Queens, New York, is pulled out of the rubble by an Israeli rescue team after four days.
In this piece from Britain’s Sky News, the Israelis rescue a man alive after a very dangerous 8 hours digging in the debris.
This short CNN report piece (18 January) is worth watching:
As is this item from Fox News (17 January):
Below (and also here) NBC’s main evening news (January 19) says Israel “created the best field medicine available” and “What the Israelis have brought is a model for medical disaster response.”
CBS News (as repeated here on Sky News) (18 January) calls the Israeli IDF hospital the “Rolls Royce” of medicine in Haiti:
And here is a story from ABC News (18 January): Miracle birth amid Haiti's rubble.
And as for the BBC (the world’s biggest news broadcaster)? Instead Panorama, the flagship news program of the BBC’s main channel, BBC1, this evening again devoted the entire program to another piece of anti-Israeli agitprop.
COPTS DEMONSTRATE AGAINST “BBC BIAS” FOLLOWING MURDER BY ISLAMISTS
More than 100 activists from “Copts Abroad Britain” organized a protest in front of the headquarters of the BBC on Friday morning to protest and condemn what they charged was the “biased and distorted way” the BBC has covered the recent murders of Christian Copts in Egypt. As reported on this email list, Copts were gunned down as they left church services during the Coptic Orthodox Christmas earlier this month. Seven worshippers died and others were injured.
Dr. Ibrahim Habib, the head of the United Copts Organization said this was the first time that Copts had held a demonstration in Britain. He said Copts were furious at the way the BBC had covered the killings, which, he said, “showed a complete lack of objectivity and effectively sided with the Islamist killers of innocent Christian worshippers.”
In a related development, Free Copts and the Coptic Voices Organization in the United States called for a peaceful march and demonstration tomorrow, January 19, in front of United Nations headquarters in New York, to protest the recent violence by Muslims against Christians in Egypt.
SHABAK REPORT 2009
Israel’s security and domestic intelligence agency, the Shabak, today publishes in English on its website its “Annual 2009 Summary of Data and Trends in Palestinian Terrorism”. It can be read here.
DUBAI RAPE VICTIM JAILED FOR SEX OUTSIDE MARRIAGE
A 23-year-old woman who was raped in Dubai on New Year’s Eve has been jailed for having sex outside her marriage. The woman, who was spending a 3-day holiday with her fiancé to celebrate their engagement, reported to police that she was raped by a hotel worker. She was then arrested and jailed for having sex without being married, which is illegal in the United Arab Emirates.
In March 2007, this email list highlighted the case of a Saudi gang-rape victim who was given 90 lashes and a jail sentence as punishment for having sex outside marriage. This email list was strongly critical of major newspapers such as The New York Times and the BBC for ignoring that story, even though the punishment was meted out by the Saudis on International Women’s Day.
After a sustained campaign by myself and others, in an effort to force the mainstream media to report it, The New York Times eventually did so eight months later, after which Hillary Clinton, who was then senator for New York, spoke out against the punishment, and the victim’s jail time was reduced. This list continues to be strongly critical of Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch for failing to speak out properly on behalf of Arab victims of Arab violence. But, as I reported last year, this is not surprising since Human Rights Watch has solicited funds from the Saudi regime.
Please see these dispatches for background on the above note:
FOR THE FIRST TIME, AN ISRAELI CABINET MINISTER VISITS ABU DHABI
Abu Dhabi has for the first time allowed Jerusalem to send a cabinet minister to meetings in the United Arab Emirates, a Persian Gulf country that has no diplomatic ties with Israel.
However, National Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau, a hardliner from Avigdor Lieberman’s Israel Beitenu party, told The Associated Press yesterday that he did not meet with any Emirati officials while attending a conference of the International Renewable Energy Agency, based in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi. The agency’s activities are open to Israel because it is a member state.
Landau said the Israeli delegation entered the country after “special arrangements” were made. “They had to do it since they committed themselves to making it possible for all member states, with or without relations, to participate in the agency’s activities,” Landau said in a phone interview from Abu Dhabi.
Last year, as reported in this email list, the UAE denied entry to Israeli tennis player Shahar Pe’er, who was due to play in an international tournament in Dubai.
POLL: ISRAELIS MORE TOLERANT OF ISLAM THAN SWISS
A survey by the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding found that a quarter of all Israeli Jews support banning minarets on mosques in Israel. This is a far lower percentage than populations in Europe. “The results prove there is room for respectful coexistence between Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs when it is based on religion rather than politics,” the foundation’s president, Rabbi Marc Schneier, said.
Last November, 57.5% of voters in Switzerland approved a referendum banning the construction of minarets on mosques in their country. Opinion polls in other European countries show similar results to the Swiss referendum. The strongest opposition to banning minarets in Israel came from religious Jews.
OECD SEC-GEN. VISITS ISRAEL TOMORROW, PRIOR TO A DECISION ABOUT INVITING ISRAEL TO JOIN
OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria will visit Israel tomorrow to meet with senior Israeli political and economic figures, prior to the upcoming decision on whether to admit Israel to the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development).
In May 2007, the Council of the OECD, which numbers 30 member states, decided to initiate a process of co-opting to the organization Israel, Chile, Russia, Estonia and Slovenia. The organization submitted a road map to Israel at the beginning of 2008 in which it was asked to undergo a large number of check-ups and hearings by the organization’s professional committees. This process should be completed in the first quarter of this year.
The Israeli foreign ministry said in a press statement: “Joining the OECD, which has among its membership the major players in the global economy, will open up possibilities for Israel of ongoing dialogue with representatives of these economies; upgrade Israel’s public administration; improve Israel’s corporate management; expand trade opportunities, and improve Israel’s credit rating.”
AL-QAEDA REPORTEDLY BEHIND FAILED BOMB ATTACK AGAINST ISRAELI DIPLOMATS IN JORDAN
The detonation of sophisticated remote-controlled bombs in Jordan last Thursday, when a convoy of four Israeli diplomats drove from Amman toward the Allenby Bridge, was apparently the work of al-Qaeda, a Jordanian security official told the al-Ghad newspaper
No one was injured in the blasts, but the two vehicles sustained damage. The road is normally considered safe. The Jordanian security official told al-Ghad that the explosions were a message to Jordanian authorities and that those behind the attack were capable of infiltrating Jordan’s security establishment and hitting its strategic assets.
Israeli security sources said the attempt, which took place 30 miles west of the capital Amman, was a well-planned ambush, which failed due to inaccurate timing only by a matter of seconds.
They said that based on preliminary reports, it appeared the attackers had good intelligence. “They knew when the diplomats were traveling and where they were going,” one security official said.
This is the second breach of security in recent weeks for Jordan, which prides itself on its effective intelligence and security services. The suicide bomber who killed C.I.A. officers in Afghanistan last month was a Jordanian intelligence agent.
SAUDIS ADMIT TO SLAUGHTERING YEMENIS; WORLD SILENT
Following up previous references on this email list to the ongoing bombing of northern Yemen by Saudi Arabia (a bombing campaign which is being all but ignored by those very same media, governments and “human rights” groups that constancy criticize Israel), Prince Khaled bin Sultan, the Deputy Saudi minister of defense and aviation for military affairs, has admitted – in effect boasted – that Saudi Arabia has killed many hundreds, if not thousands, of Yemenis in recent weeks.
Although the Saudis are primarily dropping bombs on Yemeni rebel positions, they have hit at least two crowded markets and other buildings, including schools, killing an untold number of civilians.
Prince Khaled said the number of Saudi soldiers killed in the fierce fighting had reached 82 with 21 Saudi soldiers missing and 470 soldiers injured.
NORWEGIAN POLITICAL LEADER: WE ARE EMBARRASSED AT OUR GOVERNMENT’S HOSTILITY TO ISRAEL
It is easy to understand why many Israelis view Norway as a hostile country, a Norwegian opposition leader told the Israeli paper Ha’aretz prior to the arrival of the Norwegian foreign minister in Israel yesterday.
“Instead of saying there’s no problem, Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store should listen to the concerns of Israel regarding the Norwegian government’s attitude,” said Hans Olav Syversen. Syversen is in charge of foreign policy for the Christian Democratic Party, Norway’s sixth largest party.
Many Israelis have been furious with Norwegian Foreign Minister Store who last month endorsed a book by the pro-Hamas Norwegian doctors Mads Gilbert and Erik Fosse which accuses Israeli troops of deliberately hunting down children to kill in Gaza. Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg expressed gratitude to the authors for their efforts, describing them as “a voice to the world.”
“FIRE MISSILES AT ISRAEL”
Israel is also unhappy with the appointment in November of Ingrid Fiskaa from the Socialist Left Party as deputy minister. In 2008 she told a Norwegian paper she wished the United Nations would fire missiles at Israelis. In September, Norway’s finance minister announced a major Norwegian pension fund would divest from Israeli companies. Last January, a Norwegian diplomat serving in Riyadh compared Operation Cast Lead to the Holocaust.
In Durban II last year, when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad addressed the conference, virtually all European representatives left the hall – except for the Norwegian foreign minister.
Norway is a NATO member, but failed to protest when NATO bombed Serbia, killing many innocent civilians in its efforts to overthrow Slobodan Milosevic. Nor has Norway protested about innocent civilians killed by NATO in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Last year, the Norwegian government invested $30 million in support of major celebrations in honor of the late Knut Hamsun, a writer who had dedicated his Nobel Prize to Joseph Goebbels and in 1945 eulogized Hitler.
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has accused Norway of adopting a “hostile stance” towards the Jewish state and being indifferent to anti-Semitism.
Syversen said 26 Norwegian parliamentarians had come to Israel as a show of support for the Jewish state and said they would hang their heads in shame at the attitudes of their own government.
CRETE’S ONLY SYNAGOGUE NEARLY BURNT DOWN IN SECOND ANTI-SEMITIC ATTACK
Greek fire fighters have narrowly managed to save Crete’s historic Hania synagogue following the second arson attack on it so far this year.
The Etz-Chaim Synagogue was targeted by arsonists for the second time in two weeks, police said yesterday. An unknown number of people entered the building at around 4 am on Saturday, broke through a first-floor door and started a fire, they said.
The fire brigade said the blaze partly destroyed the synagogue’s wooden ceiling, as well as many of its archives, computers and CDs. It estimated the damage at $43,000.
In an earlier attack on January 6, investigators found evidence of arson, including a bottle with a flammable liquid still burning when they doused the flames at the synagogue, the only one on the island of Crete. The synagogue also functions as a museum and memorial to the town’s Jews. The 300 members of the Hania Jewish community were shipped out by the Nazi invaders in 1944, and died when their ship was sunk in transit by an Allied torpedo.
About 2,500 books, many of them rare editions, were destroyed in this and the previous arson attack, police said.
Greek media also reports that bars of soap were left in the synagogue by the perpetrators of the first attack. A common Greek anti-Semitic expression (based on Nazi practice) is “We’ll turn the Jews into bars of soap”.
Leading Greek-American groups joined Jewish groups in condemning the arson attack and urged the Greek government to do more to stem the rising tide of Greek anti-Semitism. For over 200 years, beginning in the sixteenth century, the Greek city of Salonika was home to the world’s largest Jewish community, who made up 54% of the city’s population. The city’s Jews were all but wiped out in the Holocaust. Among those who supervised deportations from Greece was Kurt Waldheim, the Austrian diplomat and politician, who later served as a two-term Secretary-General of the United Nations and was elected President of Austria even after his Nazi background was exposed.
NY DAILY NEWS: “ACCUSED TERRORIST AAFIA SIDDIQUI SAYS TOSS JEWS FROM JURY POOL”
Under the headline “Accused terrorist Aafia Siddiqui says toss Jews from jury pool,” the New York Daily News reported that “Jury selection in the ‘Lady Al Qaeda’ trial got off to a bizarre start yesterday with the accused terrorist demanding Jews be excluded from the jury.”
Siddiqui, 37, a U.S.-trained neuroscientist, is charged with attempted murder. She is accused of picking up an M-4 Army rifle and firing two rounds at a team of FBI officials who tried to question her in Afghanistan on July 18, 2008.
Prosecutors said she screamed, “Allah Akbar” and vowed to kill Americans before she was wrestled to the ground. She also allegedly had two pounds of poisonous sodium cyanide and hundreds of pages of notes and documents on how to build chemical and biological weapons.
Her notes indicated she planned to target the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building and the Brooklyn Bridge, prosecutors said.
Siddiqui vowed at previous pretrial hearings to ignore her legal team and instead demanded a meeting with President Barack Obama. Siddiqui, a native of Pakistan, is a specialist in neuroscience who trained at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and at Brandeis University.
BOMBS DETONATED IN PHARMACY AND TWO COFFEE SHOPS IN GAZA
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) has issued a statement condemning the latest round of Palestinian-upon-Palestinian violence in Gaza. “In the past 4 days,” it said “unknown persons detonated bombs in a pharmacy and two coffee shops in the Gaza Strip. Such attacks are the result of the state of security chaos and proliferation of weapons in the Palestinian territory.”
The international media continues to ignore Palestinian-upon-Palestinian violence, which I report about occasionally on this email list. Instead some Western media and “human rights groups” have dishonestly added those Palestinians killed by other Palestinians onto death tolls of “Palestinians killed by Israelis”.
In further violence, two Palestinians were killed when the explosives they were carrying accidentally detonated near the town of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip. And in separate incidents, according to the PCHR, bombs were detonated in Gaza city in a hardware store, a billiard hall, a police vehicle and a private vehicle belonging to a member of the naval police.
DAMASCUS PLANS METRO SYSTEM
The Syrian capital Damascus, one of the world’s oldest cities, is to have its own metro system. The Syrian State Planning Commission says it needs to raise another $864 million for the construction of a light railway in Damascus. So far the European Investment Bank and the French Government have said that they are willing to contribute to the project.
Damascus is one of the world’s oldest cities, with signs of human activity recorded as far back as 6300 BC and planners say they will take extra care not to damage historical artifacts they may find when they dig up the streets.
Similar concerns have been faced by planners in the Israeli capital Jerusalem, which is in the midst of building a light railway. Due to poor planning, Tel Aviv has yet to start building a metro.
[All notes above by Tom Gross]