Beyond the Cusp

March 11, 2017

Time for Nations Saved by Israel to Demand United Nations Halt

 

The United Nations Envoy for Children and Armed Conflict Leila Zerrougui has introduced adding to the names on the Watchlist on Children in Armed Conflict which already lists Islamic State, the Taliban, al Qaeda and more and they are calling to add Boko Haram and countries such as the Congo and the Central African Republic, both nations known for using child soldiers. A year ago, then Secretary General Ban Ki-moon removed Israel and in an act of fairness since this required ignoring the deaths from the 2014 conflict, Hamas too was removed. Now United Nations Envoy for Children and Armed Conflict Leila Zerrougui is demanding that the Israeli Defense Forced (IDF) be rejoined on the list but with no mention of Hamas as Hamas, though targeting hospitals, schools and kindergartens, was unable to murder sufficient Israeli children but Israel should be held responsible for the children Hamas often chained to rocket launching areas where they used multiple launchers so that any Israeli return fire, which was necessitated by the potential for harm to Israeli citizens these platforms posed, would also render collateral damages including these children which they would then spread pictures of over Facebook, Twitter and filed with the United Nations and European Union all in their media effort to paint Israel as the monster and the Gaza terrorists as the poor and innocent victims. So, we are going to put out the call to every nation whose children have benefited from the IDF units such as their medical emergency hospitals, the emergency clinics, their search and rescue men, women and trained K-9’s (dogs) or the SACA Save a Child’s Heart program which provides free heart surgeries and care for children the world over as well as giving the necessary equipment, training and surgical training to doctors in facilities throughout the developing and third world or wherever the children would gain from having such help in their own country. We could devote an entire article to these people and to the IDF emergency response teams with their medical field hospital which was the first operating full care field hospital in Haiti after the devastating earthquake on January 12, 2010, as the Israelis were there and set up and running within forty-eight hours. In Haiti you can actually ask one individual and after he demonstrates what Israel gave back to him simply because Israel is about life and restoring every life to the fullest and dancer George Exantus can be our star witness (see video below). But we are not just calling on the Haitians as we also have assisted in the Philippines after Super-Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013, with a field hospital and clinics even in the farthest rural areas to include one village which told the IDF personnel they had never seen a government employee from any nation including their own. How many Philippine babies were saved or made possible by the IDF intervention sending healthcare supplies, equipment and personnel along with search and rescue teams including little Israel, the first child, a boy, delivered at the Maternity Ward of the Field Hospital (see image below). There was the IDF effort which was largely search and rescue but included a hospital in Nepal after the earthquake in April 2015. There have been IDF Field Hospitals set up at disasters all over the world even including in the United States for Hurricane Katrina. Below we have included a world map with the locations of IDF Field Hospitals throughout the world up through the first half of 2015. These hospitals have been of such a high professional level that the World Health Organization recognized their contribution to health in disaster regions worldwide.

 

 

The first baby born at the Israeli Defense Forces field hospital in the Philippines was delivered safely on Friday. The mother named the boy Israel.

The first baby born at the Israeli Defense Forces
field hospital in the Philippines was delivered safely on Friday.
The mother named the boy Israel.

 

Locations of IDF Field Hospitals throughout the world up through the first half of 2015

Locations of IDF Field Hospitals throughout the world up through the first half of 2015

 

The reason given by United Nations Envoy for Children and Armed Conflict Leila Zerrougui for reinstituting the listing of the IDF as a threat to children is due to the numbers of children who were injured or killed during Operation Protective Edge between Israel and the terrorist groups under Hamas rule during Summer of 2014. These terror groups include Hamas, of course, as well as Islamic Jihad and teams from al-Qaeda, Islamic State, Hezballah, IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps) and some other terror as well as criminal families and groups operating under the radar. The evidence and known use of children as human shields as well as the placing of children, sometimes even restrained, around groups of rocket launchers which Israel has no choice other than to eliminate as their use for mass firing at singular locations make the probability of Israeli casualties far too high and the Iron Dome would be overly challenged to prevent such an attack. Hamas knew swarms of rockets was the only means they could use against Iron Dome defenses and thus they used this manner which Israel would immediately use computerized reverse targeting after these groups launched in order to prevent their being adjusted for more accurate targeting as often the targets were hospitals, schools and residential locations placing Israelis, including children, in danger. Hamas would very likely place children near or in the center of such placements as either this would prevent the Israelis bombing them or if the Israelis relied on computer fired artillery to eliminate the target and not being able to detect the children placed there, then Hamas would have a photo opportunity with which to paint Israel as monstrous child killers. Swedish photographer Paul Hansen won the World Press Photo Award with the picture of a funeral of two Palestinian children. During the war in Gaza during the summer of 2014, the Independent and many other media outlets, especially those from Europe, leftist papers in the United States and across the Arab world, portrayed Israel as Palestinian child killers. These photo journalists were all operating within Gaza and were under Hamas supervision which means that much of their information was provided by Hamas operatives and Arab stringers who work hand in hand with Hamas and Islamic Jihad to stage pictures or take the most damning pictures often taking killed terrorist fighters and stripping them of weapons and all other indications they were fighters and then passing picture of them as part of the civilian death toll. There have been reports that after Israel sent SMS and dropped leaflets and transmitted radio warnings that certain areas would be bombed due to terror fortifications, rocket launchers or underground bunkers where Hamas either told the people that the location Israel informed them would be safe was the real target and they would be safe to remain in the target area.

 

The lengths that the IDF uses to try and minimize collateral casualties have been documented as some of, if not the, best the world over. Below is a pair of videos featuring retired British Colonel Richard Kemp reviewing the IDF efforts from the Gaza War of the summer of 2014. The first he produced for Prager University, and for those who will claim that Prager is not a neutral observer and is controlled by Israel, another totally bogus claim and slur of both Dennis Prager’s honor and Israel of a false charge of interference, the second is of the Colonel as he gave testimony to the United Nations General Assembly, not exactly a great fan of Israel. That is the full United Nations testimony to the Gaza inquiry by Colonel Richard Kemp, British Army retired, to the Human Rights Council. He mentions the statements by United States then Commander of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff that Israel went beyond normal means to prevent civilian casualties. There have been officers from numerous western militaries who have complained that the standards set by the Israelis could lead to difficulties for their efforts as they might be expected to attempt to meet such levels of precautions to protect civilians and noncombatants from becoming collateral casualties and preventing collateral damage in general. These efforts are likely doubled when children’s lives are in question. But there will be those who will continue to spread lies such as the staged supposed murder of Mohammed al Dura which has been proven to have been a staged attack where nobody was even injured, let alone killed as proven by a French media investigation which even survived court challenges. For more on staged incidents which are common from the same intersection where the al-Dura hoax was shot simply search “Pallywood” and view the numerous videos. Some of the stories you might even remember the initial releases which caused international condemnations of the Israelis and when they were proven to be false there were still many who use them as if they were fact to slur Israel. When it comes to denouncing Israel there is no such thing as going too far or falsifying reports. We covered another infamous instigator who uses his children as props in instigations and films them with assistance from European leftists simple praying that an IDF soldier will finally have taken enough abuse and lose their cool, or even appear to have gone too far as when you leave out the five, ten, fifteen, thirty or who knows how long of instigating and kicking, cursing, spiting or otherwise striking IDF soldiers in our article Neutered IDF Lost Control of Soldier to Leftist Instigated Clash.

 

 

 

These numerous staged items on top of the rare but actual incidents are much of the reason that human rights groups can believe that the IDF is far more guilty of poor judgement than is the actually truth. Add to that the propaganda which comes from invested interests such as the Arab world, anti-Semitic leftists, anti-Semitic extreme right wingnuts, government produced propagandas (Protocols of the Elders of Zion and the Dreyfus Conviction both of which have been used in the Arab world as proof of the Jews perfidy), and other anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist and just plain anti-Israel people and groups. There have been instances where groups (NGOs) financed by European government and also the European Union whose basic raison d’être is to vilify Israel using any methods, lies, propaganda or whatever it takes. This has actually become a lucrative business as the number of sources willing to pay for any anti-Israel information and they give a wink and a nod when insisting that whatever anti-Israel information, and double if it demonizes the IDF, you bring them. Of course they insist that they only accepted information which had multiple sources while leaking each group’s findings to others such that they could also use these “discoveries” thus these groups are basically self-validating as they are all working in tandem. What is unnerving is how much of this anti-Israel information is actively believed by the majority of populations across Europe and is simply more proof that traditional European anti-Semitism is alive and well. Add to this the Arab world and the anti-Semitism in the developing world and it is no surprise that the United Nations General Assembly is probably the most anti-Israeli body on Earth. For the latest report on anti-Semitism, something closely aligned with hatred of Israel, visit the results of the Anti- Defamation League Global 100: an index of anti-Semitism. The results will likely shock you to your core, it did us and we expected it to be bad, but not that bad.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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March 10, 2016

Think None Can Protect You but Yourself, Think Again

 

 

The fact is that only each of us can protect ourselves and any around us in a time of crisis. No government, no police, no politician, no political party, no teacher, no Rabbi, only Hashem and the empowerment we receive from on High can protect us when that fateful moment where for being a Jew we are assailed. In that moment we are as alone as we can ever be yet we will pray that there be other Jews around who once we show that fighting is the answer will respond and fight alongside us. This is why a Jew is safer with other Jews rather than on their own alone. Even alone one is far safer if they fight back as such will be unexpected and such surprise will likely startle the attacker and then the assailant will become the assailed. Also, if you are in a group of people, Jews or gentile, the fact you are fighting back against your assailant will embolden those around you and potentially bring others to your aid. Even if the assailant runs, those around you will be more likely to accost and detain the terrorist if you have actively shown them unprepared to fight back if they are attacked. Lastly, if you fight back, others are more likely to come forward and offer immediate first aid in those critical initial few minutes where stopping any bleeding is vital. The reasons behind attacking one’s attacker in their own defense will be to their advantage even against the most aggressive assailant as even they will be set back and in that moment the advantage is yours. Should you not fight back then they are likely to finish their attack killing you and attacking another; so if nothing else, one can save additional lives at the very least by tying up their attacker preventing further victims. Thus your resistance answers all of Rabbi Hillel’s famous quotation from “Ethics of the Fathers, 1:14”

 

If I am not for myself, who will be for me?
But if I am only for myself, who am I?
If not now, when?”

 

By reacting to such an attack with active resistance and engaging the attacker making them vulnerable to being prevented from further attacks and potentially subdued or eliminated; you will most definitely be acting for oneself, the first line of Rabbi Hillel’s directive, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me?” Further, you have made it more advantageous for others to assist your efforts thus negating the threat to others availing the answer to the second query, “But if I am only for myself, who am I?” Lastly we will have heeded Rabbi Hillel’s final challenge of “If not now, when?”

 

Rabbi Hillel was far from the only Rabbi who believed in a strong Jewish response to those who would harm us. Rabbi Meir Kahane also made arguments for our own defense against those who would do us harm. He also warned us of those evils which would befall Israel if we did not excise those who were not part of the body who desired a healthy and strong Jewish body for Israel. He was far from the first to press for an Israel free of foreign invaders or interests. Jewish history is full of such including but far from limited to the Maccabees or Bar Kokhba. Both rose to defend the Jewishness and independence of Israel, even if it was then known as Judea as that was the predominant remaining tribe. The fact that the Jewish state was named Judea and that the term Jew is derived from Judea and was a shortened form of Judean, should tell us a lot about where we should stand today when the world is demanding that we surrender an area of Israel known throughout history as Judea as well as Samaria to a foreign, hostile and cancerous body who call Judea the West Bank and are not interested in just Judea but in the end of all Israel and the eradication of the entire world’s Jewry.

 

We are not fighting over land; as if that were the case, there would have been an agreement long ago. We are fighting over who had a right to live. The terror groups we are entertaining, or at least our governments be they left wing, right wing, nationalist, internationalist or whatever have all had one thing in common, they believe we can compromise with how much of the body of Israel, the body of Judaism, we can sacrifice today to have a short period of calm before the next demand for a sacrifice will be made. The enemy does not desire their own state; they demand the end of our state and then the end of us, all Jews. They declare this loudly and with pride knowing that every other nation supports their end goal of a world without those Jews. There are some who refuse to say that they desire the Jews gone, but they will be willing to say they think that the Jewish State should surrender a piece of its body to a mortal foe today to buy some quiet, some form of peace with a ravenous beast. Even their own kind refuse to allow them to enter their soil and those on their soil are barricaded and refused any rights as they apparently must never be allowed to roam freely as that would only end in disaster. We have seen this when Yasser Arafat and his merry band of cutthroats roamed in Jordan and attempted to overthrow the government and then was pushed into Lebanon where they again attempted to overthrow the government as the result was them banned and the head of the snake was cut from its body and ensconced in a gilded prison in Tunisia. That could have been the end of the story and Israel left to live in peace and even the Arab population would have rested and lived peaceably; but no, the viper had to be resurrected as its job was not completed.

 

You ask Israelis who our greatest friend and benefactor is in the world and invariably the answer is ‘America’ virtually every time. You walk around Israel and their love for the United States is broadcast far and wide. Manufactured goods are packaged in fancy emblems in red, white and blue, not simply the blue and white which would indicate Israel. They often have a blue field with five and occasionally six pointed stars. Many packages are emblazoned with red and white stripes and all too many have both and claim American made parts inside. Many an Israeli talks about America as would have a European of fifty to a hundred or more years ago as if the United States too was a promised land. What they never speak of is the fact that there was a definite United States hand along with European hands so encouraging and helpful Israeli hands of Shimon Peres, Dr. Yossi Beilin, Professor Yair Hirschfeld and Dr. Ron Pundak with Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin brought in to the picture in the final stages forming the monstrosity which still haunts and threatens Israel’s existence to this day. The final status was forged through United States Secretary of State Warren Christopher’s Middle East negotiator, Daniel Kurtzer, who shuttled tirelessly between Tunis and Arafat to Jerusalem with Beilin and Peres, seeking to narrow and then close any final gaps between the PLO and the Israelis closing those parts of the deal not settled in Oslo under the tutelage of Director of the Fafo institute Terje Rod Larson, a Norwegian diplomat. Without the agreement and actual aiding of the clandestine secretive negotiations at the pivotal and vital final stages there would have been no Oslo Accord, no triumphant return of Yasser Arafat from his lavish Tunisian cell and most unfortunate and important item, no Nobel Peace Prize for Simon Peres along with Yasser Arafat, the worst Peace Prizes ever awarded in the Twentieth Century. Perhaps Terje Rod Larson, Secretary of State Warren Christopher and Daniel Kurtzer should have also been so honored for without all their efforts none of this would have been possible.

 

 

Nobel Peace Prize 1994 was awarded jointly to Yasser Arafat, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin for their Heroic Efforts in Resurrection of the PLO Terror Menace and Threatening Israel Which are Known as the Oslo Accords

Nobel Peace Prize 1994 was awarded jointly to
Yasser Arafat, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin
for their Heroic Efforts in Resurrection of the
PLO Terror Menace and Threatening Israel
Which are Known as the Oslo Accords

 

 

Still, nothing the United States could ever do to harm Israeli interests and survival could ever sway all too many Israelis from their idealistic views of the United States, or more accurately America as the Israelis are capable of something even Americans are incapable of managing, realizing that the ideal and shining principles which make up the ideal America can be viewed in their original and perceived perfect beginnings and the ideals of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution with its Bill of Rights from the United States which is mired in the two plus centuries removed from that America; or perhaps there is some other reason for so many Israelis starry-eyed view of America, as more often than not they use the term America and not the United States as that may provide the clue. Perhaps this view is upheld by the average heartland American to even some suburban and urban city-dwellers whose view of Israel and the Jewish State have their loving idealized view of Israel as the logical and perfect restoration of the lands of the Tribes of Israel and the Kingdoms of David and Solomon and the perfect revival and the symbol of Jewish survival which if only Israel was. Instead there are the realities and limitations of men and the governments they form and that leaves us with the problems and confusions which cloud what should be crystal clear to even the slightly idealized dreamers. Israel is the land of, by, for and forged by the Jewish People and it is their home to which the remnants of a decimated Jewish European Jewish population first tread and then was invigorated with near to a million more Jewish refugees who were disinvited and spat out the remnants of years of purges and forced conversions from the Arab and Muslim lands from the Middle East across Northern Africa to the Atlantic Ocean. Then the State of Israel sought to discern and find those remains of the Ten Lost Tribes which brought in far flung Jews from places such as Ethiopia and the Menashe from India and others from places equally as surprising and made all into a nation that shines as a light unto the nations of the world. This tiny nation whose representatives and the best of their best are found amongst if not the first to virtually every disaster scene across the globe no matter how far from Haiti to Nepal to Japan and the Philippines, no place is too remote nor person is considered insignificant as a dancer named George (see video below and marvel at miracles) can attest. Israel is amongst the sole nations who have offered to provide and actually provided aid to the citizens of the United States when she was struck by nature’s furies.

 

 

 

Additional CNN reporting from Haiti six days after the earthquake largely from one of the Haitian Hospitals where they are desperate for better facilities to save so many that they are unable to treat with their facilities and the one place they could turn.

 

 

But all the altruistic aid to foreign countries and all the taking in of Jews in distress no matter how lengthy their travels from ancient Israel to the modern day may have stretched, the world will never now, as in ancient times, accept and permit a Jewish State to stand unchallenged. In the past those who designed to eradicate the world from the Jew were Ancient Egypt, Philistines, Amalek, Amorites, Midian, Canaanites, Assyrians, Persians, Greek, Roman, Nazis, much of the Arab world in 1948, Egypt, Syria and Jordan in 1967, Syria and Egypt almost succeeded in 1973 and ever since the Arab Palestinians (with the support of the Arab League member states, Iran and the Soviet Union over the years). Yet somehow Israel still stands. Our peace agreements with Jordan and Egypt stand shivering in their stark coldness of an icy cooperation which can never change the hearts of beating hatred within their populace, but stand they do. Syria is no longer, but new threats are born on her still quivering, if prematurely stated, grave. Lebanon leaves stand with the nurturing assistance of a United Nations blind eye the menace of Hezballah currently slightly distracted but soon to leave the Syrian debacle freshly hunting a victory to declare despite any realities, and they will engage Israel to provide said claim. Israel will survive them all as it is not those threats which are aimed menacingly at her heart. Those threats come from the European Union, the United States Department of State, campuses of colleges and universities across the Western World where the future leaders of massive armies and nuclear arms stacked to the skies that are the biggest threats on the future horizons, not so much the Iranian nuclear threat which was loosed by an American President who challenges the reasons he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace. Perhaps he will challenge the winners of hypocrisy from the Twentieth Century.

 

But Israel remains and will through it all and the reason why is doubted despite the Jew surviving the perils of centuries past and doing so in the century of the present age. Hashem has many other names to reference and define but as Israel and the Guardian of the Jews will remain to define Hashem as miracles are performed though seldom recognized outside of Israel. There are those amongst our enemies who have recognized the Hand of Hashem deflecting rockets, defusing explosives, giving a guard that second sense which saves he and his unit by halting them just for that instant. Hashem works his miracles large and small both perceived and to be revealed later when a soul steps to the throne and asks, remember when and before another word is spoken Hashem looks to the soul and says I remember them all both large and small and yours was one of a million that instant and smiles returning to the million miracles Hashem will perform that day. You ask why Israel survives and there are a million reasons, a million personal stories, thousands are those who beat the odds, hundreds who recognize their miracle and the select few whose miracles astound, amaze and inspire us all, but there is only one answer, Hashem. The day will arrive when that is made so evident that none shall doubt Hashem’s hand working in the world and that will be the day when the Jews will finally face threats and foes no more. Until then we work hard in a world that is often cold and cruel pretending we depend on ourselves which we do only as far as needed and Hashem takes care of the rest. We may not even know or recognize as they occur but in that quiet moment when a whisper utters within our brains, then we know we are not alone and Hashem stands astride all and cares for His creations one and all, large and small. And that is why Israel stands and will continue to stand, for she is a miracle herself.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

February 1, 2016

Blessings We Have Found in Israel

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Israel gets some bad public relations if one depends on the news, editorials, talk radio and just about any mass media, even movies and other entertainment. Living in Israel very quickly dispels all the lies. Are there a few choice people who might make one take a less than superb view, but such are rare and even they warm with time. Needless to say, not knowing or speaking the language causes some difficulties but there is almost always somebody there to lend a translating hand. There was the time we were at a McDonalds and the woman at the counter spoke no English and two what had to be young High School age girls came in and realizing the communication problem immediately became our translators without being asked. Generally there are those who willingly offer to give directions to whatever place you need to find in ten minutes to make the appointment and it is your first time in the city and you got off the bus where you thought was the closest stop. That time we only missed by one or two stops and had to walk about a mile or so, you get used to walking in Israel because so much living is city center style European life, an initial system shock after life in the outer suburbs in the United States.

 

Our friends, acquaintances and relatives are quite surprised when we relate the ease and general atmosphere in Israel. When we tell them that we have found Israel more accommodating and generally having a softer and more easy and comforting nature they tend to express great surprise. One might expect that in Israel life would have an edge on it with the constant threats from virtually any direction and the added unpleasant surprise with the Iranian nuclear threat and President Obama and his team’s animosities and threats thrown at Israel but they would be quite wrong. Probably the best description we could give as a true barometer of Israel and Israelis would be to take everything ever attributed to Israel and her people by the United Nations General Assembly and the United Nations Human Rights Commission or virtually any other United Nations agency etcetera and take it all and place the initials of the United Nations in front of them but in small letters and then read the entirety as one word. An easy example would be if some United Nations commission claimed Israelis harbored a genocidal hatred then all one need do is take the two words and place the letter un in front giving you ungenocidal and unhatred and you would produce an honest appraisal. Sure it would take ignoring your spellcheck and do some translations where ungenocidal would become accepting of others people who are different and unhatred would become lovers making the entire accusation translate into accepting and caring for peoples who differ from Jews and accepting, caring and considerate of people who are of any other stereotypical, racial, religious or nationality different from Israeli or Jewish. A closer inspection of Israeli actions around the world will better exemplify this example.

 

When Haiti was struck by that devastating earthquake, the Israelis were amongst the first to have responders on the ground evaluating any special needs. Israel had the first field hospital which was equipped with X-ray equipment, a gynecological unit, a neonatal unit, burn center, surgical rooms, prosthetics and physical therapy, emergency room, and virtually every department and specialists which was on the ground and set up within six days of the earthquake. This hospital remained on the ground even after the search and rescue units had stood down. Israel also opened clinics in areas where urgent care not requiring the abilities of a full hospital were present and when the Israelis left Haiti a number of these clinics remained completely equipped with diagnostic, monitoring and other equipment and Israel had trained people in the area such as orphanage, school or other personnel who would be capable of offering care after the Israelis had left.

 

When Typhoon Haiyan spread destruction throughout much of the Philippines, Israel arrived with an one-hundred-forty-eight person team, including search, rescue and medical services and a fully functioning field hospital with one-hundred tons of aid. Making rescue and aid assistance even more difficult was when the typhoon struck, the region was still reeling from the Bohol earthquake in October before. One of the more interesting reports on the Israeli presence at the time was on television news where an on the scenes reporter had been directed to a small village not on one of the main Islands by the Philippine government when she requested assistance in reaching the “most remote village” to report on how they were coping with the aftermath of the storm. Imagine her surprise to find a clinic operated by Israelis already set up and operating while training the local villagers on how to treat people for emergency aid and familiarizing them with the equipment which the Israelis would leave behind as well as the clinic itself with one Israeli aid worker to remain behind and work for the next six months or so with the villagers to assure that they have received whatever training might arise.

 

When Nepal recently had their massive earthquake, once again Israel was amongst the first to respond and the operation was much like the one in Haiti with one exception which was remarkable; Israel took care to the most remote of places, some of which had rarely if ever seen support even from the Nepalese government where Israel set up satellite care units often referred to as clinic in a backpack, though we would hate to have to carry such a backpack, they are quite heavy (pictured below). These remote aid clinics provided urgent and critical care close to the, and often on the, mountain slopes treating climbers and vacation goers as well as native Nepalese citizens. They also operated as a remote triage for when victims were stabilized and given what treatment was available at the clinic and once the patients were stabilized for transport having them taken to the main Israeli or other field hospital.

 

 

The Israeli and Nepalese medical staff who operated the IsraAID mobile clinic in the village of Tar, ten hours northeast of Kathmandu. (Photo credit: Melanie Lidman/Times of Israel)

The Israeli and Nepalese medical staff who operated the IsraAID mobile clinic in the village of Tar, ten hours northeast of Kathmandu. (Photo credit: Melanie Lidman/Times of Israel)

 

 

Israel has sent aid groups to other areas struck by natural calamities with teams having gone to Japan after their earthquake and tsunami disaster, Myanmar after the tsunami, Turkey after they suffered an earthquake and offered assistance to the United States after hurricane Katrina swamped New Orleans and destroyed entire fishing towns along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, and reportedly one of a very remote few to offer assistance to the United States. When one considers the Save a Child’s Heart program and how it saves children of all ages who have debilitating if not life-threatening heart problems as well as setting up entire departments in hospitals around the world and training their staff and physicians on how to diagnose and treat these children including training the heart surgeons on how to perform these sensitive and vital surgeries, Israel leaves all the equipment the staff was trained on with the hospital.

 

And the Israelis you meet, see, work with and just generally run across are some of the most patient people and really do try to help in their own manner. They may sometimes have difficulty in expressing things in English but many are actually happy and anxious to use their English and respond well when one states the words in the correct syntax as that is important to them. Sentence structure in Hebrew is different than in English and thus literal word for word translations quite often makes for what at first one takes as Yoda speak from Star Wars, perhaps it was direct translation of Hebrew to English that was the basic transference used to make Yoda syntax. Our Hebrew is embarrassingly inadequate to even make a scheduled appointment and get the day of the week correct not to mention the time as some places use a twenty-four hour clock which reminds all of military times.

 

Then there is a tight knit group of what are referred to as Anglos, basically English speakers, and we have events, trips, sightseeing, Torah, Talmud and Bible classes for men and women and we have found our level of social activities is vastly more active and on a level of friendliness equal to our best of times and friends back in the United States. Another thing which leads to such is that Israel is a rather small nation, approximately the size of New Jersey, though that is misleading as the southern two-fifths, or forty-percent, of Israel is made up of the Negev Desert which is rather sparsely populated. Where New Jersey has a population of nine-million, Israel’s population is just over eight-million. Of course there are some groups who pretty much stick to their own group of like-minded and religious viewpoints such as the Haredi. In much of Israel where there is a mix of Arab and Jewish populations there is no evident difference in the treatment and the interactions are natural and as normal as humanly possible. In the area we reside there are Arab and Muslim stores and employees in larger stores or other places of employment are seamless as to their fitting into the society as a whole. At the regional hospital there are Muslim and Arab nurses, physicians, technicians and all positions and everything functions, as we said, seamlessly. The street signs are all written in Hebrew, Arabic, and English with some towns sporting French or Spanish or Russian, though we have yet to see one which had more than four languages and usually just the three required languages. What is always amusing is when a store has its name actually an English name but the letters on their sign is in Hebrew. What gets confusing is that when you read some of these signs you try to think what the prefixes and suffixes are as Hebrew has many words result only in a letter prefix or suffix. Some examples of prefixes are the ‘v’ which means ‘and’ along with an ‘h’ which means ‘the’ while the suffixes often give one the gender of the word as well as if it is singular or plural or includes the speaker or listener in the plural group and so on. Over half of learning Hebrew are the prefixes and the gender and singular versus plural of the words. Someday we will get a reliable translation program for our phones, or should we call them what the phones have become, life assistants and general applications from pictures to recordings, getting e-mail, surf the Web, record our every move and change of mood on Facebook, well, not quite, and most important movie or still camera and recorder.

 

Basically, virtually everything UNcomplimentary about Israel are UNtrue. Contrary to popular belief they are not contrarians. Israelis are like all peoples, there are the great, the good and the we wish they were nicer types. Many fall all over themselves attempting to make our lives as stress free as possible which had to be stressing on them. Of course it might be that as the ancient Hebrew scholars made a point of hammering into our stories and writings, people will only treat you as well as you treat them and life can be like a mirror to one’s soul which is revealed by ones actions when it appears nobody is watching, because, as we are taught in Judaism and is likely taught though with a slight difference, there is always somebody watching us from on High and nothing escapes that view as our innermost thoughts to our most expressed emotions. We can also count that such observations tell whether we’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake. Still, there is something else which permeates through the society at large. There is an air of optimism and hopefulness. You feel a vigor for living life and finding meanings where other places simply ignore and accept things as is. In Israel there is this striving to be better as a people and as individuals. There is also a level of acceptance which makes one more comfortable simply being themselves as all will be just fine in the end. There are more young children than we were used to in the United States. This too adds to the optimism as a society with declining populations is what is destroying Europe right before our eyes. They are dancing their last dance in Europe and if things continue as has been the scenario we in Israel will become all the more isolated and an Island of freedom and democracy in a sea of misfortune. There is still hope for Europe but only if they turn their ship of state around and rediscover what gave them the impetus to live life to the fullest and explore the world, that spark of life which made passing their ideas and ideals on to the next generation, something difficult to do when there are so few children born to the indigenous Europeans. Israel will only grow stronger as the Jews of Europe make their final decision and that plague may soon prove to be a prophesy for the United States though that need not be their future written in stone. The United States has a far better opportunity to reverse the slipping trend before the slope becomes too steep and wet for any traction and down becomes the only direction. We are both glad we have come to Israel and Israel has proven to be a wellspring of optimism and life, a future of light and enlightenment, more than a completion as it is an opportunity to grow with such splendor and a kaleidoscope of choices each colored so vividly and vibrant. It is really hope eternal or as close as we have seen on Earth. It is great to be at home, the home which was destined and a good, no, great home it is and will grow from there. Needless to say, but we do not expect the United Nations to understand as they are the people of ‘UN’ and that sums them up in total.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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