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Israeli Benevolence Toward Other Peoples is Not Fairly Conveyed


According to the overwhelming majority of western media agencies have failed to cover the impressive number of humanitarian missions and aid organized by Israel and organizations operating in Israel. With the exception of UPI and, none of the major news agencies reported on the Herculean humanitarian effort offered by Israel, including a planeload of medicines and humanitarian aid, army and civilian rescue teams and medical personnel, and other expert resources and experience, much of which was rejected by the government of Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka Rejects Israel's Rescue Team

By Ha'aretz, CNSNews & IsraelNewsFaxx Services

Sri Lanka refused to accept a 150-member Israeli aid delegation which was set to leave on Tuesday for the island to assist operations, after the country was hit with Sunday's massive tsunami, whose victims will reportedly number in six figures Israel Defense Forces officials told daily Ha'aretz.

"We are not opposed to a plane loaded with medical supplies, food and blankets that will be accompanied by a medical team comprised of 50 IDF people, as the Israeli Foreign Ministry requested in a letter," the Sri Lankan military secretary said. But Sri Lankan Ambassador Tissa Wijeratne said, "All our missions have been instructed to accept only supplies as we have been swamped with rescue teams from all over the world".

The aid delegation that had been set to leave for Sri Lanka on Tuesday included medical teams and IDF representatives, who were supposed to provide humanitarian aide to the devastated country and help other organizations in search-and-rescue operations. "Sri Lanka has asked for only supplies and not for the rescue team and we are extending the same", an IDF spokesperson said.

However, a far smaller team, headed by four doctors from Jerusalem's Hadassah University Hospital, landed in Sri Lanka. The Israeli team was carrying medicine and baby food. The doctors - who specialize in rescue operations, trauma and pediatrics - asked Israel to send a larger team, such as the one Sri Lanka rejected.

"We will advise Israel and the Foreign Ministry... to send something more massive," said Dr. Avi Rivkind, director of Hadassah's trauma unit. Israel, however, is sending food and medicine and other supplies to Sri Lanka, including 10,000 blankets, tents, nylon sheeting and water containers.

Sri Lanka restored diplomatic ties with Israel in 2000 despite objections from the island's Muslim minority. Neither side has officially explained the change, though some reports suggest that the objection came from Sri Lanka's military. On Tuesday, the Israeli humanitarian organization Latet said that it was sending a separate aid package on Tuesday. It filled a jumbo jet with about 18 tons of supplies worth $50,000, at Sri Lanka's request. It also said it was considering sending additional supplies in sometime soon. Israel is considering sending similar delegations to Thailand, where more than 1,400 people have died, and to India, where more than 9,500 people have died or are feared dead, but has yet to make a final decision on the matter.

North Americans Keep On Making Aliyah


Yet another planeload carrying 201 Jewish immigrants from North America touched down in Israel Wednesday, bringing the number of immigrants from the continent this year to more than 2,800 - the most since 1983. The flight was the first winter flight of new immigrants organized by Nefesh b'Nefesh, an organization aiming to "remove or minimize the financial, professional, logistical and social obstacles that potential olim face."

Though the average age of this year's North American immigrants is 33, two sisters in their 90s who survived the Holocaust were among those who realized their dream of moving to the Jewish homeland today. A two-week-old baby also made aliyah, "proving you're never too old or too young to come home to Israel," the flight's organizers said.

Anti-Semitism and the United Nations

By Ed Ziegler (Commentary)

A great Idea, The United Nations. Formed in the aftermath of World War II to make our world a better place and to eliminate wars. Unfortunately it has failed miserably, most notably in the area of anti-Semitism. Like it or not, the fate of the Jewish people is linked to that of Israel. Mark Weitzman of the Simon Wiesenthal Center said, "I think that anti-Semitism in the UN, at a minimum, reflects the level of anti-Semitism in the world and in some ways it may even intensify it." If the UN is a barometer Jews are in danger.

More than one quarter of the UN resolutions condemning a state's human rights violations have been directed at Israel. The mandate of the UN special reporter on the "Palestinian territories," set over a decade ago, is to investigate only "Israel's violations" and not violations by Palestinians in Israel. While the UN routinely adopts resolutions critical of Israel's treatment of Palestinians, it has never adopted a single resolution unequivocally condemning violence against Israeli citizens.

The UN has condemned virtually every conceivable form of racism. It has established programs to combat racism and its multiple facets - including xenophobia (fear and contempt of strangers or foreign peoples). It has consistently refused to do the same against anti-Semitism.

When the UN adopted an international convention against racial discrimination, it refused to include a reference to anti-Semitism. It was insisted that anti-Semitism was a question not of race but of religion. Yet when the UN later adopted a resolution on religious intolerance, it was insisted the anti-Semitism matter not of religion but of race. What is anti-Semitism?

On Nov 6, 2003 a General Assembly resolution to protect the Palestinian children was passed by a vote of 88 to 4. It is interesting that same month a similar draft resolution to protect Israeli children from Palestinian terrorists was dropped due to heavy opposition. As Israelis are demonized at the UN so Palestinians and their cause are deified. Every year the UN marks November 29th as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

In 2003 the Secretary General, Kofi Annan, and over 100 members stood for a moment of silence "for all those who had given their lives for the Palestinian people." A UN commission resolution has legitimized the Palestinian use of "all available means including armed struggle"--effectively an absolution for terrorist methods.

Only after 50 years from the Nov. 24, 1948 founding of the UN was the word anti-Semitism mentioned in a UN resolution. Not once in its six decades -- not until June 21, 2004 -- has the UN ever convened a meeting to discuss the hatred or persecution of Jews. Not once has it adopted a resolution dealing specifically with anti-Semitism. Not once has it published a report on anti-Jewish racism or incitement.

At the June 21st meeting Kofi Annan, finally acknowledged that the UN's own record on anti-Semitism has at times fallen short of the Organization's ideals. "The General Assembly resolution (3379) of 1975, equating Zionism with racism, was an especially unfortunate decision." WOW! Unfortunate! In 1975 U.S. Ambassador Daniel Moynihan more accurately called the resolution an "obscene act."

Did you know that from 1973 through 2003 the United States voted against Israel or abstained from voting on a motion against Israel roughly 66% of the time? According to the Jerusalem Post article of Dec. 6, 2004 the former US Ambassador to the UN, Jean Kirkpatrick, said that while serving at this international body, "I felt for the first time in my life that I could understand how the Holocaust happened."

The War on Terrorism is a real war a totally different kind of war. For Jews, ignorance as to what is happening is not an option. Accept the fact that you and yours are involved in this war. Affiliate with a Jewish organization. Remember NEVER AGAIN!

(Ziegler is a board member of the New Jewish Congregation in The Villages, Florida, and president of its Brotherhood. He can be reached at

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