What the main stream media chose not to publish

February 11, 2016

As mentioned before on this page, the true facts which the mainstream media often ignores will be posted without prejudice. Honest reporting is a rare commodity these days.

Israel is on the forefront of innovation and breakthroughs in the world:

Scientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have destroyed the HIV virus using peptides containing multiple copies of the virus’ DNA.  Combined with existing HIV medications the peptides activate the cell’s self-destruction mechanisms.  After two weeks there was no sign of the virus.  Human trials will commence in a few months.

To read further on this story: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4750903,00.html

The mainstream media often chose to publish negative news about Israel and most of the time it is propaganda of the worst kind. The following is only one of many good stories happening in Israel on a daily basis:

Doctors at Rambam Medical Center, Haifa saved the life of Jummana, a 17-year-old girl from Nablus suffering from a serious and rare endocrine problem.  With help from the US National Institutes of Health, the doctors traced the source to a tiny tumor, which they removed.

To read further on this story: http://www.jpost.com/Business-and-Innovation/Health-and-Science/Israeli-Palestinian-and-American-collaboration-saves-life-of-Nablus-teen-443374

The BDS movement’s disingenuous efforts to brand Israel as an Apartheid state and the call on countries and businesses to boycott Israel are rightfully ignored by many:

Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj came to Israel, seeking new areas where the two countries can cooperate.  Speaking from Jerusalem, she stressed the importance of Israeli-Indian ties and said the “potential of our relations are much much more.”  Meanwhile the number of visitors to Israel from India during 2015 increased by 13.5% compared to 2014 – to around 40,000.

To read more on this story: http://www.algemeiner.com/2016/01/18/indian-foreign-minister-in-israel-to-strengthen-bilateral-relationship/#

Jewish children are taught to be a light unto the nations from an early age:

13-year-old Israeli Roni Oron won a “Satellite Is Born” award from the Israel Space Agency for her design of a system to produce oxygen in outer space.  Her “BioSat” uses algae, carbon dioxide, water, sunlight, mirrors and photosynthesis.  She will develop the satellite at a NASA summer camp in Florida.

To read further on this story: http://www.algemeiner.com/2016/01/21/13-year-old-israeli-girl-develops-satellite-system-for-producing-oxygen-in-space/

Many dictators and regimes attempted to eradicate the Jewish people, but failed. They bounced back with even more determination and vigour and are a real blessing to the nations, despite the vitriolic propaganda disseminated on a regular basis:

Yisrael Kristal Kristal was born in 1903 to a religiously observant Jewish family in what is now part of Poland. His first wife and two children were murdered in the Holocaust. He survived Auschwitz and other death camps, remarried, made Aliyah, and had more children.

To read more on this story: http://www.jns.org/news-briefs/2016/1/22/israeli-auschwitz-survivor-oldest-man-in-the-world-at-112


Israel’s innovative spirit

February 5, 2016

While Israel is confronted with academic, trade and cultural boycotts, the innovative spirit of the Israeli people cannot be extinguished. The irony is that countries on the forefront of these boycott actions, are the ones who also benefit from the entrepreneurial prowess of the Israeli’s.

Although much of the international media focuses on the negative, many positive developments are indeed happening in Israel. It is, as if the media does not want Israel to have a positive image in the world.

Here are some developments the mainstream media choose not to report:

  1. The Israel emergency response organization ZAKA has received official consultative status from the United Nations. ZAKA will now be recognized as an official body in the UN, which will help it to expand its international search, rescue and recovery missions.
  1. Israel will spend 13 billion shekels ($3.3.billion) over the next five years to improve the standard of living of its Arab minority. Investment will be boosted in education, infrastructure, culture, sports and transportation in Arab areas.
  1. Jerusalem’s water company has been rewarded a key role on the 4-year European Union project to improve governance and social awareness of water environmental challenges. It involves setting up a Digital Social Platform to share details of water scarcity, security and water consumption related issues.

And the good news on a prophetic level:

  1. Over 30,000 new immigrants arrived in Israel in 2015, 10% more than in 2014 and the highest number in over a decade. Nearly 8,000 came from France, while around 7,000 came from Ukraine. Tel Aviv received the most immigrants, followed by Netanya, Jerusalem and Haifa. Aliya from the UK in 2015 increased by 25% since the previous year. Aliya from Western Europe hit record levels.

Israel is called to be a light unto the nations and that role is been fulfilled on many levels.

The media’s annus horribilis

January 19, 2016

On the media front, 2015 was an annus horribilis. The biased reporting on the history-changing developments in the Middle East reached a crescendo in the national and international press.

The strange silence on the massive persecution and murder of Christians in Syria and Iraq has still to be explained. Christian women are targeted and made sex slaves for ISIS fighters. If they refuse to be degraded in such a monstrous way, they are killed. Their husbands are killed anyway. The media either chooses not to report the atrocities or report it cursorily. Could somebody in the press circles explain this phenomenon? What happened to fearless factual reporting? It seems that social media has become more effective than the mainstream media.

Reporting of the Israel-Palestinian conflict in the mainstream media is often of such a nature that it can be regarded as a tragic comedy. When Israeli civilians were stabbed by a Palestinian teenager, the incident was reported with the headline: “Palestinian boy killed by IDF.” I can name many more examples, but suffice to say that the disingenuous manner of reporting has made the media complicit in fanning the flames of hatred in a very complicated situation.

Early December, some newspapers in South Africa reported on their front pages that an arrest warrant was issued by the Prosecuting Authorities for the arrest of senior Israeli military officers if they would visit South Africa. That proved not to be true. The Media Review Network went crazy and posted the information repeatedly on social media – and again fanning the flames.

During 2015, I became frustrated many times when the media refused to publish articles or letters of mine – with verifiable facts, but chose to publish articles and letters clearly based on propaganda. Was I surprised? No, but disappointed in the media for allowing a public platform to be used by people with personal agendas and radical ideologies. I can even live with that if the media keeps a healthy balance and practices freedom of speech in an unbiased way.

What is the agenda of the media other than reporting the facts, or other than selling papers to make it a viable business? Whatever it is, the media has a duty to report with integrity.

May we experience in 2016 a year of unbiased factual reporting driven by integrity.

Islamic Fundamentalism

November 17, 2015

Islamic fundamentalism has made the world a dangerous place and we can no longer keep our heads in the sand and wish that this ideology of submission will go away. It will not.

We should seriously take note of what is happening in the Middle East. It is not only Jews in Israel that are threatened by Islamic radicalism, but Christians as well. It is time to call a spade a spade and expose the real causes of this radicalism, and I am aware that I will be called Islamaphobic by some.

It is not my intention to incite or to offend anybody, but to open-mindedly look at the root causes of this phenomenon which is causing mayhem in the world at the moment. I realise the best way to make a proper analysis would be to look at the matter holistically and also to consult what the holy book of Islam, the Koran prescribed. The reason for choosing to consult the Koran is that the vast majority of terrorist acts perpetrated in the world today are undoubtedly Islamic orientated.

Therefore, we need to investigate why people and even children are moved to attack and kill people who do not share the same religion as them. Incitement to kill by religious leaders does not fall out of thin air. Sadly, but true, It can be found in the precepts of their faith.

Statements made by Islamic religious leaders while teaching their followers are a direct cause of incitement and such incitement puts the conflict beyond a mere dispute over a piece of land.

“The day will come when we will rule America. The day will come when we will rule Britain and the entire world….” (Sheik Ibrahim Mudeiris at a Friday sermon on official Palestinian Authority TV)

“When the Jews are wiped out … the sun of peace [will] begin to rise on the entire world.” – Pirzada Muhammad Raza Saqib Mustafai, Pakistani religious leader.

A recent example of how Palestinian government TV continues to educate the younger generation to grow up hating the Jews occurred on the popular children’s show The Best Home. A young girl appearing in the episode recited a poem that referred to the Jews (not just Israeli’s, but all Jews) as “barbaric monkeys” and “the most evil among creations.”

Another example that it is not only about the so-called Israel-Palestinian conflict can be found in the words of Iraqi Ayatollah Ahmad Husseini al-Baghdadi: “We (Muslims) will conquer the world, so that there is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is the Prophet of Allah will be triumphant over the domes of Moscow, Washington and Paris….. We will annihilate America.”

I would like to emphasize that the intention of this article is not to criticize a specific religion and in this case Islam, but to find answers to the intended or unintended results of the basic tenets of the religion. It is important because it is impacting the world in many ways and on so many levels.

When I read comments such as the above and correlate it with some of the Islamic texts, I realize that jihad or holy war is forced upon every Muslim and it is especially directed at Jews and Christians.

Allah’s apostle said, “I have been ordered to fight with the people till they say, ‘None has the right to be worshipped but Allah’….” (Hadith 4:196 Narrated Abu Huraira).

The fans of intolerance are further flamed by claiming that Islam is the only acceptable religion:

“The Jews call Uzayr a son of Allah and the Christians call Christ the son of Allah. That is a saying from their mouths; (in this) they but imitate what the Unbelievers of old used to say. Allah’s curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the Truth!” (Sura 9:30)

Unfortunately, the Koran contradicts the notion that Islam is a religion of peace. It cannot be more clearly stated as it is written in Sura 5:51: “O you who believe! Take not the Jews and Christians as Auliya (friends, protectors, helpers), they are but Auliya of each other. And if any amongst you takes them (as Auliya), then surely he is one of them. Verily, Allah guides not those people who are the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers and unjust).”

Now I also understand the thought-processes of ISIS. The men who execute people in the most barbaric way were most likely taught to hate anyone other than their own religion since childhood.

“Now when you meet those who disbelieve, smite their necks until when you have slain them greatly, then make fast the bonds; then, thereafter let them off either freely or by ransom, until the war lay down its burdens.” (Sura 47:4)

We are in the middle of a religious war and Israel is, for historic reasons, chosen as the centre point for this war which will eventually have a global reach. We will not escape and we should seriously take note of these threats. It is time for the world to realise that Israel is a bulwark against these threats. The constant demonization and de-legitimization of Israel is a well-planned strategy to demolish Israel and to implement the ultimate goal of Islam, namely world domination.

“Oh Muslims everywhere, I call on you to fight and become martyrs in the war against the Zionists (Jews) and the Crusaders (Christians)… It is a jihad for God’s sake and will last until (our) religion prevails.” (al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri).

It is often said that not all Muslims think like the radicalised fundamentalists. The question should be asked, why they are they silent when Jews and Christians are murdered in the most brutal way – and the answer is fear.

“And those who are with him are severe against disbelievers and merciful among themselves.” (Sura 48:29). “Whoever changes his Islamic religion, kill him.” (Hadith Sahih al-Bukhari 9:57).

In our anger we condemn the people behind the grave atrocities, and yes, we cannot tolerate such behaviour. What we actually should condemn, is the radicalization of people by their particular brand of religion.

All of us are born as innocent loving human beings with a purpose to serve each other and to make this world a better place. It is therefore sad to see how the precepts of a religion can change people into dysfunctional humans stripped from love and joy.

Corroboration of facts

September 22, 2015

The power of corroboration is often ignored or underestimated. Webster’s dictionary defines corroborate as: “To make more certain; confirm. This is often ignored when reporting the Israel-Palestinian issue.

The world is drawn into an abyss by forces deliberately spreading false information which causes disharmony between people and ultimately, violent actions. However, it is not the first time in history that hateful propaganda is used against the Jewish people. The level of obsession in which the venom is been spread is alarming, to say the least.

The T-shirt debacle created by the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) campaigners is a perfect example of the obsession in which some propagandists drive their campaigns. The truth doesn’t matter as long as it reaches the stated goal: deligitimization or obliteration of the other side. For the BDS, Israel is an Apartheid state, finish and klaar, but what do Palestinians themselves say about BDS and Israel being an Apartheid state?

This is what Palestinian human rights activist, Bassam Eid said about the Israeli company SodaStream which moved from the Jewish settlement of Mishor Adumim near Jerusalem to Beersheba because of international pressure: “I’ve met with Palestinians who worked at the factory and were fired because of the move. They told me they were earning an average of 5,000 shekels ($1,300) a month there, and that today they are being offered salaries of just 1,400 shekels ($365) in the Palestinian Authority.”

“People there are deep in debt because they have taken on long-term commitments based on the understanding that their work at the plant would continue; but reality slapped them in the face because of the pressure created by the BDS movement, “ he continued. “Today, they are running between the courts and the bailiff offices, and is anyone taking any notice of them? Do you think the boycott movement cares about them at all?”

Compare the desperate situation of ordinary Palestinians as described above with the $13 million palace replete with helipads, to be built in Ramallah for the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas as announced on the official website of the Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction (PECDAR). Even Nkandla will be pale in comparison to the luxurious palace of Abbas.

In Gaza we see the same tendency among the Hamas leadership.  Many people in Gaza live in desperate circumstances, while there leadership live a life of splendour – living in luxury hotels and travel in private jets. Egyptian officials sharply criticized Hamas political leader Khaled Mashal, stating that “while the Hamas leadership lives in luxury hotels; it is abandoning the innocent Palestinian people.”

Is the BDS movement aware of these offences of the Palestinian leadership against their own people? If so, why are they silent about it and instead branding Israel as an Apartheid state, which they propagate as the cause of Palestinian suffering?

While Israel is unjustly branded as an Apartheid state, Palestinians over the border are suffering real Apartheid. In the words of a Palestinian woman: “We are Palestinians in Lebanon. It is illegal for us to own property, to work in desirable occupations, and to receive social security benefits. We are denied access to health care and education.”

 It is time for the Palestinian leadership to start a process of deep introspection instead of playing the blame game, and for the BDS movement to stop their arrogance to talk on behalf of the Palestinian people. Perhaps, they should take cognisance of the wise words of the award-winning Arab Israeli journalist, Khaled Abu Toameh : “If BDS supporters really care about Palestinians, why don’t they go to the Gaza Strip and try to promote the rights of women living under Hamas rule? Why don’t they come to the Palestinian territories and try to promote reforms, democracy and freedom of speech under the PA and Hamas? At the end of the day, BDS seems to be more about hating Israel than helping the Palestinians.”

The highly politicised and often hateful agenda of the BDS movement does more harm to the Palestinian people than helping them. It seems that it only benefits themselves and the people who sponsor them.

The growing BDS movement is reminiscent of Nazi Germany when signs went up saying, “Don’t buy from Jews!”

The United Church of Christ General Synod 2015

June 2, 2015

A church unwilling to learn the real facts about an issue and in particular the complicated situation in the Middle East, is a church without love and incubates hateful actions in their hearts. This description is in particular relevant to the United Church of Christ, who has divestment from Israel as one of the items on the agenda for their General Synod which will be held on 26-30 June 2015.

The United Church of Christ is only one of the member churches of the World Council of Churches which follow the ill advice of the WCC. The WCC never had any sympathy for the situation Israel and the Jewish people had to deal with – a total lack of a nuanced approach. To propose that Israel’s actions towards the Palestinians constitute “apartheid” is a lack of understanding what apartheid really was.

With Israel surrounded by enemies and by calling for the destruction of Israel, why is it so difficult to understand that Israel has to calculate every move and decision in an environment of existential threat? The unfortunate and extreme security measures to protect the citizens of Israel emanates from the violent attacks by Palestinians on ordinary people of Israel. The UCC should take note of what happened every time Israel compromised to make peace with the Palestinians – the withdrawal from Gaza was answered with rocket fire on Israel’s citizens.

Judith Yovel Recanati of the Israel Trauma Center for Victims of Terror and War estimates that 10% of Israeli’s suffer from Post Traumatic Stress as a result of war and terrorism. If the UCC has the love of God in their hearts, they would’ve shown more compassion and understanding.

Sadly, rather than pursue a peaceful coexistence alongside Israel, history records show Palestinians proliferated terror instead. Nevertheless, in 2000, Israel offered the Palestinians full sovereignty over 95 percent of the disputed territories, including East Jerusalem, with secured geographic contiguity. There was virtually nothing left for the Jews to give away. But the Palestinians said no. US Middle East envoy at the time said the Palestinians’ main objection was the insertion of one critical clause in the agreement: “This is the end of the conflict.” The Palestinians could not end the conflict with anything less than ending Israel.

I call upon the United Church of Christ to consider the following before castigating Israel as an apartheid state:

  • Arab women in many Muslim countries enjoy no rights at all – in Israel they enjoy all.
  • There is Arab representation in the Knesset and in the government, and there is an Arab Supreme Court judge.
  • More than 2 million Israeli citizens are not Jews.
  • There is complete freedom of religion, freedom of expression and a totally free press, used against Israel at times to her detriment.
  • More than 300,000 Arab children attend primary and secondary schools in Israel; and Arab students and professors study, research and teach at Israeli universities.
  • Arabic is an official language in Israel, even posted on all road signs.
  • Under the so-called Israeli occupation, Palestinians have the highest percentage of university students, the lowest infant mortality and the longest life expectancy of any front-line Arab state.

I would suggest to the delegates of the General Synod of the United Church of Christ to search their own hearts before castigating Israel based on half truths, obvious lies and propaganda with hurtful intent.

The social fibre in South Africa unravelling

March 30, 2015

The social fibre of our communities is in a dangerous stage of unravelling and I believe the media and some community organisations are partly to blame for this unacceptable situation. The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is brought to our communities by biased and sometimes gravely propagandistic reporting and actions, pitting sections of the community against each other.

On Saturday night, 21 March 2015 at The Zone, Rosebank, three Jewish teenagers were physically assaulted and verbally abused by three South African men. The teenagers were clearly identified as Jewish, wearing Kippot (traditional Jewish head coverings). While one of the students was being hit, another assailant swore at him saying: “You F***ing Jew” and “your f***ing people are killing our innocent children”.

As far as I know, this is the first time that Jewish teenagers are physically and verbally abused in this way. It led me to the conclusion that the media together with organisations in furthering their particular brand of ideology play a huge role in stigmatizing and demonizing people in our communities. This is a very dangerous development and the media in particular have to reconsider their responsibility of informing their readership with unbiased and substantiated facts.

Partly to blame for the tendency to propagandize events is the seemingly, and which I call, the copy and paste method. That is simply to copy reports from AFP, Reuters and other news agencies and publish it in our local media without considering the possible negative effects on society. A better approach would be proper investigative journalism.

I do not propagate censorship of sensitive issues at all. Press freedom is a too precious commodity and I support it wholeheartedly. The thorn in the flesh is the deviation of the media from professional journalistic standards which have been particularly evident the past 3 years. The media should not play a role in dividing communities but rather to educate by publishing issues responsibly and professionally.

The uninformed in our communities are also used as cannon fodder by dubious organisations to enhance their questionable agendas. One example is the “activists” who demonstrated in front of a conference centre in Sandton where a Jewish conference was held in the beginning of March 2015. When asked why they demonstrate, they said they don’t know and that they were bussed in to demonstrate.

The usual line is that Israel should be branded as an Apartheid state and therefore boycott actions should be instituted against Israel. Such a notion is clearly false and the latest elections result, which was held on 17 March 2015, makes nonsense of the growing efforts to stigmatize Israel as an Apartheid state. An Arab Palestinian party is now the third largest party in the Knesset (Israeli Parliament). Even a person who visited Israel only once will testify to the fact that Israel is not an Apartheid state. The only conclusion to these feverish hate-mongering is a sinister hidden agenda.

If these multiple actors on the hate stage are transparent and their goal is to seek justice for the disenfranchised, they should be applauded. But, that is not the case and some pertinent questions should be asked. Why do they choose to ignore the status of women and public executions in Saudi-Arabia? Why are they silent on the grave atrocities in Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, Somalia and other countries where innocent people are murdered just because they don’t practice the same religion as the murder gangs. I find it very strange, to say the least.

South Africa is a multi-cultural, multi-faceted country consisting of various races, religions and creed. If we allow the current divisive actions to go unchecked, we will leave behind a shattered country no one of us wants to see our children and grandchildren live in.

Our rainbow nation is broken and only we can heal it. In this regard the media plays a crucial and underestimated role.