Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Baby Born 600 grams Survives in Israeli Hospital

A baby born weighing only 600 grams in the 23rd week of pregnancy and whose two siblings died due to their prematurity was sent home this week weighing a hearty 2.24 kg. – four months after his birth, reports the Jerusalem Post

The baby, Jazen Jamal, was born to a Druse couple, Hend and Haiel, at Western Galilee Government Hospital in Nahariya. The childless couple, who live in Kafr Yarka, had undergone fertility treatments, but the triplet fetuses were very small.

Even though Hend was hospitalized in the high-risk pregnancy unit for a month, the fetuses refused to remain in the womb much longer. A boy and a girl died at 23 weeks of pregnancy, leaving just one of the triplets.Jazen struggled to survive in the premature baby intensive care unit, where Dr. Vered Fleischer-Sheffer was a member of the team that took care of the baby.“Twenty-three weeks is the recognized border between life and death for [premature babies] because the lungs, brain and digestive system are not ripe. It is rare indeed for a baby who is one of a multiple pregnancy to survive when born at that stage,” she said. The chances for survival for a baby born at 23 weeks is only 7 percent, she added.“It was a real miracle,” said the happy father. “I am shaking from excitement.

The baby survived severe infections and diseases, and all this at a very low birthweight and age.” Incredibly, the baby apparently does not suffer from any disability.“We go home with joy and tears combined,” the couple said, “because we are bringing the baby home but without his two siblings. We want to thank the doctors and nurses for the holy work they do.”Hospital director Dr. Masad Barhoum said that keeping the baby alive and healthy was an “impressive achievement; I am proud of the professional medical staff that took care of him from the moment he was born.”

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

To Be A Forester for a Day

You can now help to save Israel's forests with a new innovative program sponsored by KKL

Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund have announced the "Forester for Day" program, a new ecological initiative, offering visitors a unique opportunity to help maintain Israel's forests, prevent forest fires, and guarantee a greener tomorrow for Israel.

The program runs for 2-3 hours and is open Sunday-Thursday 8 am – 3pm and Friday 8 – noon. Program participants will have the opportunity to work side-by-side in groups with KKL-JNF foresters to clear underbrush, prune trees, prepare fire breaks and forest paths in the Carmel Region forests.

The forester for a day program is suitable for groups of 15 – 150 and is available in English, French, German and Spanish. Thereis a nominal cost and upon completion, each participant receives a KKL-JNF hat, pin and certificate of appreciation.

Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael - Jewish National Fund is leading the quest for a more environmental Israel: open spaces, forests, recreation areas and appreciation for Israel’s natural and cultural heritage. KKL- JNF's work in Israel is concentrated in six action areas that include water, forestry and environment, education, community development and security, tourism and recreation, research and development.

If you are interested and are liley to be in Israel, call for more information, 02-6707367 or visit :

Sunday, November 20, 2011

From Israeli Soldier on Egyptian border

I am 25 years old, was born in Brooklyn NY, and raised in Efrat Israel. Though very busy, I don’t view my life as unusual. Most of the time, I am just another Israeli citizen. During the day I work as a paramedic in Magen David Adom, Israel’s national EMS service. At night, I’m in my first year of law school. I got married this October and am starting a new chapter of life together with my wonderful wife Shulamit.

15-20 days out of every year, I’m called up to the Israeli army to do my reserve duty. I serve as a paramedic in an IDF paratrooper unit. My squad is made up of others like me; people living normal lives who step up to serve whenever responsibility calls. The oldest in my squad is 58, a father of four girls and grandfather of two; there are two bankers, one engineer, a holistic healer, and my 24 year old commander who is still trying to figure out what to do with his life. Most of the year we are just normal people living our lives, but for 15-20 days each year we are soldiers on the front lines preparing for a war that we hope we never have to fight.

This year, our reserve unit was stationed on the border between Israel, Egypt and the Gaza Strip in an area called “Kerem Shalom.” Above and beyond the “typical” things for which we train – war, terrorism, border infiltration, etc., – this year we were confronted by a new challenge. Several years ago, a trend started of African refugees crossing the Egyptian border from Sinai into Israel to seek asylum from the atrocities in Darfur.

What started out as a small number of men, women and children fleeing from the machetes of the Janjaweed and violent fundamentalists to seek a better life elsewhere, turned into an organized industry of human trafficking. In return for huge sums of money, sometimes entire life savings paid to Bedouin “guides,” these refugees are promised to be transported from Sudan, Eritrea, and other African countries through Egypt and the Sinai desert, into the safe haven of Israel.
We increasingly hear horror stories of the atrocities these refugees suffer on their way to freedom. They are subject to, and victims of extortion, rape, murder, and even organ theft, their bodies left to rot in the desert. Then, if lucky, after surviving this gruesome experience whose prize is freedom, when only a barbed wire fence separates them from Israel and their goal, they must go through the final death run and try to evade the bullets of the Egyptian soldiers stationed along the border. Egypt’s soldiers are ordered to shoot to kill anyone trying to cross the border OUT of Egypt and into Israel. It’s an almost nightly event.

For those who finally get across the border, the first people they encounter are Israeli soldiers, people like me and those in my unit, who are tasked with a primary mission of defending the lives of the Israeli people. On one side of the border soldiers shoot to kill. On the other side, they know they will be treated with more respect than in any of the countries they crossed to get to this point.

The region where it all happens is highly sensitive and risky from a security point of view, an area stricken with terror at every turn. It’s just a few miles south of the place where Gilad Shalit was kidnapped. And yet the Israeli soldiers who are confronted with these refugees do it not with rifles aimed at them, but with a helping hand and an open heart. The refugees are taken to a nearby IDF base, given clean clothes, a hot drink, food and medical attention. They are finally safe.
Even though I live Israel and am aware through media reports of the events that take place on the Egyptian border, I never understood the intensity and complexity of the scenario until I experienced it myself.

In the course of the past few nights, I have witnessed much. At 9:00 PM last night, the first reports came in of gunfire heard from the Egyptian border. Minutes later, IDF scouts spotted small groups of people trying to get across the fence. In the period of about one hour, we picked up 13 men – cold, barefoot, dehydrated – some wearing nothing except underpants. Their bodies were covered with lacerations and other wounds. We gathered them in a room, gave them blankets, tea and treated their wounds. I don’t speak a word of their language, but the look on their faces said it all and reminded me once again why I am so proud to be a Jew and an Israeli. Sadly, it was later determined that the gunshots we heard were deadly, killing three others fleeing for their lives.

During the 350 days a year when I am not on active duty, when I am just another man trying to get by, the people tasked with doing this amazing job, this amazing deed, the people witnessing these events, are mostly young Israeli soldiers just out of high school, serving their compulsory time in the IDF, some only 18 years old.
The refugees flooding into Israel are a heavy burden on our small country. More than 100,000 refugees have fled this way, and hundreds more cross the border every month. The social, economic, and humanitarian issues created by this influx of refugees are immense. There are serious security consequences for Israel as well. This influx of African refugees poses a crisis for Israel. Israel has yet to come up with the solutions required to deal with this crisis effectively, balancing its’ sensitive social, economic, and security issues, at the same time striving to care for the refugees.

I don’t have the answers to these complex problems which desperately need to be resolved. I’m not writing these words with the intention of taking a political position or a tactical stand on the issue.

I am writing to tell you and the entire world what’s really happening down here on the Egyptian/Israeli border. And to tell you that despite all the serious problems created by this national crisis, these refugees have no reason to fear us. Because they know, as the entire world needs to know, that Israel has not shut its eyes to their suffering and pain. Israel has not looked the other way. The State of Israel has put politics aside to take the ethical and humane path as it has so often done before, in every instance of human suffering and natural disasters around the globe. We Jews know only too well about suffering and pain. The Jewish people have been there. We have been the refugees and the persecuted so many times, over thousands of years, all over the world.

Today, when African refugees flood our borders in search of freedom and better lives, and some for fear of their lives, it is particularly noteworthy how Israel deals with them, despite the enormous strain it puts on our country on so many levels. Our young and thriving Jewish people and country, built from the ashes of the Holocaust, do not turn their backs on humanity. Though I already knew that, this week I once again experienced it firsthand. I am overwhelmed with emotion and immensely proud to be a member of this nation.

With love of Israel,

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country, has no diplomatic relations with Israel. Despite this gulf, five medical experts from Indonesia are currently at Rambam, learning to build a system for treating victims of catastrophe, both natural and manmade.

Rambam, 27 doctors and nurses from 17 countries are taking part in a unique simulation. This staged Mass Casualty Event (MCE) is not unusual in itself. What is special is the human mosaic of participants from Albania, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Burma, Georgia, India, Vietnam, Jordan, Nepal, Kenya, Nigeria, Chile, Peru, Kosovo, Thailand, Ghana and New Zealand. Even Indonesia, the largest Muslim country in world, which has no formal diplomatic relations with Israel, has sent five representatives.

The simulation is part of the eighth course of its kind, titled the “Eighth Seminar on Developing and Organizing a Trauma System and Mass Casualty Event (MCE) Organization. Held from November 6-19, the course is jointly sponsored by Rambam, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Health. It is aimed to teach participants to develop systems for medical operations in emergency, trauma and MCE situations suited to their countries.

Of course, the seminar’s Rambam setting is no coincidence. RHCC ‘enjoys’ the dubious distinction of being an expert in trauma, emergency and mass casualty situations. For years, the hospital has received soldiers injured on Israel’s northern border and beyond, as well as civilians caught in home front wars and terrorist attacks in Northern Israel.
“In the course, we learn how to build a system for operating in emergency, trauma and MCE. We did not come to seek medical information, but guidance on how to get organized in case of these situations,” said Prof of Neurology Andi Asadul Islam, from Hassan Udim University, Makassar, East Indonesia. “Rambam’s system for trauma is the best there is, and we can learn a lot from it.”

“We don’t have a good system,” continued Prof Islam, who explained that Indonesia’s broad geography presents specific challenges in supplying medical care. With 250 million citizens scattered among five large islands and thousands of smaller ones, Indonesia spans an area, from west to east, equal to the length of the United States.

Further, RHCC houses the only trauma system in the region. Severe trauma patients from nine general hospitals feed into Rambam, making it the busiest center for trauma in Israel. The hospital’s Teaching Center for Trauma, Emergency and Mass Casualty Situations [MCS] leads instruction in this field nationwide, and regularly holds international seminars for physicians and nurses from throughout the world. In addition, the center sends representatives to different countries to teach courses and holds workshops for NATO personnel.

“I had heard about the Rambam course from colleagues who had taken it, and they said it was great,” said Asti Puspita Rini, who manages the 118 Emergency Ambulance Service Foundation in Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta. “It has been an excellent course,” she continued, “we won’t be able to implement each and every thing we learned, but will certainly adopt parts of the program.”

The course involves theoretical lectures, as well as tours in Rambam and different Israeli hospitals. This program allows participants to receive a wide view of activities of the various emergency medicine units. Additionally, they visit IDF simulation centers, and Magen David Adom (MADA) headquarters.

The seminar is hardly all-work-and-no-play. Participants get to know another side of Israel as they visit a number of tourist sites, among them Yad Vashem, and other sites in Jerusalem, Nazareth, Jaffa, Acre, Zichron Yaakov and others

“As a Muslim, it was especially interesting for me to see the Muslim quarter in Jerusalem,” said Prof Islam. “Some of my friends and family were afraid and didn’t want me to come here because of what they see on television,” said Rini, “but it’s totally different than what the media shows.”

“Everything is well-organized and perfect,” added Dr Edi Prasetyo, Medical Advisor of Home Care in Jakarta. “We get to see the big picture – how the whole nationwide system works.”

Judging from these comments, it was obvious that the only connections these Indonesians do not have with Israel are diplomatic. Warm, open and enthusiastic, these visitors had nothing negative to say about the course or the country, except perhaps regarding the national food, hummus, for which they showed no great passion.

And while the visitors clearly learned their lessons on trauma, emergency and MCE, one hopes they will never have to use them.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Is This Really Apartheid?

Some interesting questions were posed by friends of mine recently in the debate of Israel as an apartheid state.

How, we wonder can Israel possibly be called an Apartheid Country?

a)If this is true, then why, when we needed some medication from the pharmacy in our upmarket Jerusalem shopping mall this week, was the charming and helpful pharmacist who served us and gave us some excellent advice, an Arab?

b) Why, the last time Nxxx had his eyes tested, (in the opticians in the same mall) was the optometrist a young Arab woman?

c) Why are there always a large number of Arabs shopping in said mall? Why, when Lxxx fell last year and needed emergency treatment at Sha’arei Zedek hospital in Jerusalem, was the doctor who examined her an Arab

d) and why, out of the 9 people queueing for X-rays was she only non-Arab?

e) Why is the professor that Lxxx sees every year for a breast-check an Arab who, incidentally, pioneered the liver-transplant programme in Israel.

If someone can explain this to us we would be very pleased to hear from them!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Improving the Economic Situation of the Bedouin

As part of the Israeli Government's ongoing dialogue with the Bedouin public about improving the living standards and economic viability of the Bedouin in the Negev of, the Prime Minister met last week with the Negev Bedouin community leaders.

The plan constitutes an historic opportunity to bring about a significant improvement in the situation of the Bedouin community in the Negev and advance the Negev for the benefit of all of its residents – Jewish and Bedouin alike. At the start of the meeting, it was stated that "After years in which needs were insufficiently met, this Government decided to take matters in hand and bring about a long-term solution of the issue. The plan will allow the Bedouin, for the first time, to realize their assets and turn them from dead capital into living capital – to receive ownership of the land, which will allow for home construction according to law and for the development of enterprises and employment. This will jump the population forward and provide it with economic independence."

It is now important to invest in areas such as employment and housing so that the Bedouin will take part in this development process and enjoy the fruits of the development and prosperity in the Negev.

Israel is leaping towards the future and the Bedouin are part of this future. The plan will help the Bedouin community to reach economic independence. This plan is designed to bring about development and prosperity.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The United Nations and Human Rights Abuse

This story by a Muslim lady, Wafa Sultan, a Syrian certified psychiatrist, on October 13, 2011 is asking the questions that should be shouted from every corner of the earth.

The full article can be read at

Never did I imagine that one day I would stand outside the United Nations to oppose its perverted conference, to defend against its malicious attempt to single out Israel -- a country that I was taught to hate.

But here I am today, proud to stand for light in the midst of darkness. This darkness brought about by the multiple Muslim countries and their international enablers, who have dishonored the initial objective of the United Nations, only to vilify, and eventually to destroy Israel - the one and the only free democratic country in the entire Middle East.

For the last 1,400 years, since its inception, Islamic ideology has attempted to deprive the Jews of their three most cherished possessions -- their Bible, their Lives, and their Land of Israel.

During my school years, I heard my teachers, family members, neighbors, and the media all bombarding us daily, throughout the Arab world. We, as small kids and young adults, were indoctrinated to share the anti-Semitic vitriol -- to despise and denigrate Jews.
• God condemned the Jews because they falsified the Torah. How did I know it? That is what I was taught.
• Since Jews forged the Bible, they were despised and depicted as pigs and apes. How did I know it? That is what I was taught.
• Jews killed our prophets and were the enemies of Allah. How did I know it? That is what I was taught.
• Therefore, the Jews represent an existential danger to all humanity, so their annihilation, as individuals and as a people, was and would be a legitimate service to God and mankind. How did I know it? That is what I was taught.

Yes, killing Jews was always presented to me and my classmates as a religious obligation. We absorbed this evil propaganda with our food and water, and with our school books, each and every day.
As a trained psychiatrist, I assert that seeds of hatred planted in the mind of a child, lead to immense hatred as the child grows into adulthood. Tragically, this hatred generates dangerous actions and even death.

I believe that any nation that grants equal opportunity to every citizen, regardless of race, religion, political affiliation, or gender, thereby, establishes its moral legitimacy. According to this principle, Israel stands alone in the Middle East region, as a nation with moral legitimacy: it grants all citizens equal rights for men and women alike, freedom of religion, and freedom of speech and of the press.

Not a single Arab or Muslim country in the surrounding region does the same. Nor do any of those Arab and Muslim nations allow their citizens personal freedom, or the right to maintain and express opposing points of view.
The United Nations time and again focuses its power on the perpetual manufacturing of false anti-Israel accusations. Painting Palestinians as perennial underdogs provides the perfect cover for their subversive effort.

Without doubt, this trend encourages hatred and violence against the Jewish people in Israel and everywhere else. And that is exactly its point.

Hence, as a woman of an Arab and Islamic background, with that perspective, I join you all today to highlight the hypocrisy of the UN. I challenge the U.N. for neglecting its fundamental mission. They do it under pressure from totalitarian Muslim regimes who put their full faith and credit of their oil wealth behind this anti-Israel campaign.

A Palestinian women's organization reported that Muslim men perpetrate some 40 honor killings annually in the West Bank alone, not including the vast majority of honor killing and abuse of women that go unreported -- as Islamic society maintains secrecy in upholding the popular belief that those "cursed with a sin, [should] hide it."

Where is the UN Human Rights Commission's outcry over the Muslim world's honor killing epidemic? Has the UN adopted the same Islamic philosophy, hiding a societal sin to protect Muslim honor?

I receive countless letters from Arab readers throughout the Middle East, expressing their desperate desire to live as free people with the same human rights we enjoy in the West -- and especially, freedom from Sharia!
One young Arab woman, a student, wrote to me only last month:
"They deprive us of any right to think, and ... remind us each time, how we will burn in hell. They terrorize us, and they do the same with the children. I would like that to stop. I try very hard to change things. I created a little group against sexism. And I hope to be able to defend Arab women one day."

Tell me Mr. Ban Ki-moon, who will defend this young student and her small group fighting Arab sexism and the atrocities committed against Arab women?

Concerning Islamic and Arab violence, the UN remains tragically blind and silent. The UN repeats its denunciation of Israel, the only Middle East nation that grants all citizens the basic human rights this young Arab woman wishes to have for her people.

Those who love liberty and life will strengthen their ties and warm relations with Israel, and stand with her. Israel will continue to shine its light among all nations