Thursday, January 28, 2010


The Zionist Federation welcomes the safe return of the Israeli rescue and medical team that did such incredible work in helping with the search and rescue and medical treatment in Haiti

We also congratulate the Save a Child's Heart organisation for identifying a number of children whom they hope to bring to Israel for heart surgery, and welcome the arrival of the first child in Israel today (Thursday). We urge people to respond to the SACH fundraising appeal to make this possible.

We note with pleasure that the Israeli team has left a legacy of equipment behind, including 30 tons of medical equipment for use in the ongoing aid effort. This includes bandaging gear, surgery equipment, two incubators and other medical accessories as well as 1150 blankets, 30 large-sized tents, 500 mattresses, 200 sleeping bags and kitchen equipment. The equipment will be distributed to tent-cities in different locations in Haiti, under the coordination of the Israeli Ambassador.

We are proud that Israel has played such a valued role alongside the delegations from other countries around the world, including the UK, saving many lives and providing medical care for the injured, demonstrating the highest level of humanitarian concern after this tragedy.

Joy Wolfe co President Zionist Federation

The ZF extends condolences to the families of the bereaved in Haiti, and sends a message of sympathy to the many who have suffered hardship.
Israel has featured predominately in the news for its response it has provided in Haiti after sending over 200 troops to assist in the search and rescue for survivors, along with setting up a field hospital.  Below are only a few of the links showing Israel’s importance and achievements on the ground. 
• CNN’s video state’s that:  “No one except the Israeli hospital has taken any of our patients. [At seeing the Israeli field hospital – set up in a football pitch] “I am amazed at what’s here.  Its like another world compared to the other hospital”.  “Have the Americans set up a field hospital?  Not yet.  The Israeli’s came from the other side of the world”.  Watch the video here. 

• At the Israeli field hospital a baby was delivered by Doctor Shir Dar on Sunday.  The mother has decided to name the baby ‘Israel’.  Watch the YouTube video here.

• Tom Gross writes:  Israel’s Disproportionate Response.  Because of Israel's long history of enduring bomb and missile attacks the Israeli army (the IDF) is one of the most experienced in the world in treating mass-injuries and using specially trained sniffer dogs to locate wounded persons in the rubble.  The IDF was one of the first on the scene in Haiti last week (sending considerably more troops than, for example, Britain and France did). Over 5,000 Haitians have already been treated in the IDF Medical and Rescue Field Hospital, set up in a large tent on a soccer field in Port-Au-Prince. In addition, Israeli forces have located and rescued survivors trapped in ruined buildings, including many who were injured during the collapse of the UN headquarters.  In addition to teams from the IDF's canine unit, Israel sent 52 doctors and 25 nurses as well as paramedics, and has set up a pharmacy, a children's ward, a radiology department, an intensive care unit, an emergency room, two operating rooms, a surgical department, an internal medicine department and a maternity ward. Israel has since sent a further 220 doctors, medics and nurses. Israel also sent a number of French-speaking translators to aid doctors. 

• The Israeli Army is the “Rolls Royce” of medicine in Haiti.  You can see six new videos of the Israel team in Haiti by clicking here and scrolling down to the third item.  

• After only 38 hours the ZAKA international rescue unit delegation pulled eight students alive from the collapsed university building.    In an email that the head of the ZAKA International Rescue Unit delegation managed to send to the ZAKA headquarters in Jerusalem on Sunday, he writes of the “Shabbat from hell. Everywhere, the acrid smell of bodies hangs in the air. It’s just like the stories we are told of the Holocaust – thousands of bodies everywhere. You have to understand that the situation is true madness, and the more time passes, there are more and more bodies, in numbers that cannot be grasped. It is beyond comprehension”.  Amid the stench and chaos, the ZAKA delegation took time out to recite Shabbat prayers - a surreal sight of ultra-orthodox men wrapped in prayer shawls standing on the collapsed buildings. Many locals sat quietly in the rubble, staring at the men as they prayed facing Jerusalem. At the end of the prayers, they crowded around the delegation and kissed the prayer shawls.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010


by OLIVER WORTH, Jerusalem Post

When sending two jumbo-jets of aid, and setting up a field hospital with hundreds of doctors, nurses and other medical personnel is met with scorn, you know something isn't right.  While most of the mainstream American and British news networks reported extensively on Israel's reaction to Haiti's devastating earthquake, unfortunately we were also reminded just how entrenched some of the world's hatred for the Jewish state really is.
        While the fact that most of the Arab world donated mere pennies, or nothing at all, has escaped mention, Israel's attempt to save lives has been labeled by many as nothing but a PR exercise. The sad truth is that the the anti-Israel hard left has done such a great job of dehumanizing Israelis, that the idea they could be doing good deeds is totally incomprehensible. It's true -Israel's actions in Haiti are creating good press, but that's what happens when you do good things.
        The assertion that Israel should somehow have to apologize for coming across positively is absurd, and grounded in anti-Semitism. As Kevin Myers writes for the Belfast Telegraph, "They are perhaps the only people in the world for whom extenuating circumstances are routinely cited in explanation of their charitable deeds".
        While it’s no surprise that the Islamist, anti-Semitic Iranian mouth-piece Press TV accuses Israeli doctors of using the Haiti emergency to harvest organs, one should not expect to read the headline "Israel's double standards over Haiti," in Britain's Guardian newspaper, except, of course, in the comparison between Israel's efforts in Haiti and the efforts of any of Israel's neighbours. Unfortunately it comes as no surprise to those regularly inflicted with the Guardian's bias that the piece is, of course, in reference to Israel's treatment of Haitans and those it is at war with.
        Israel's commitment to saving lives in disaster zones has nothing to do with Gaza. Israel has shown its amazing commitment to the preservation of life in India, Indonesia, Kenya and many other nations, Gaza war or no Gaza war. There is simply no comparison between the response shown to a people at the mercy of horrific natural events, and a people who have effectively been at war with srael since its birth.
        It's truly astonishing that part of the mainstream British press has found itself unable to differentiate between a helpless Haitian people in desperate need of aid, and the Palestinian people who elected a terrorist organization into power.
        While no one in their right mind would deny the widespread suffering of the Gazan people, drawing any moral equivalence between Israel's relationship with them and those trapped under rubble in Haiti is truly perverse. When the attitude toward Israel is so widely based on anti-Semitism and hate, what evidence is there to believe things would change with an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement? For peace to be possible, Israel rightly has to believe that its concessions and sacrifices would be met by more than continued hatred, that peace with the Palestinians is also peace with the world.
        As things stand, Israel is the only country in the world—bar none—that has to justify giving aid and saving lives. As long as Israelis (or perhaps simply Jews) are viewed as incapable of doing anything good, in a sentiment propagated by so much of the world media, then Israel will be in no position to make concessions for peace.
        No one is asking for the world to kiss Israel's feet for acts which are in line with its own moral code, but when Israel provides more per capita than any other nation in the world and is met with scorn, and the world's worst and wealthiest human rights abusers give nothing and are met with silence, well, something isn't right.


Press time available.

The ZF is pleased to announce that Ishmael Khaldi, the first Bedouin Deputy Consul of Israel will be visiting the UK between Sunday January 24th and Thursday January 28th.

Ishmael, who grew up as a shepherd in the village of Khawalid in northern Israel, went on to become a Deputy Ambassador in San Francisco – Israel’s first Deputy Consul of Israel.
He obtained a Masters Degree in Political Science from Tel Aviv University and served in the Israeli Ministry of Defense and the Israeli Police.

Ishmael will be speaking at the following locations:
Sunday 24th – North London
Monday 25th – LSE University, Birmingham University, Leicester
Tuesday 26th – Leeds University, South Manchester
Thursday 28th – SOAS University, North London

Ishmael is part of a ‘Minorities in Israel’ series that the Zionist Federation is running. Previous speakers have included Mohammad Darawashe, Khaled Abu Toameh and Zeidan Atashi.

Journalists interested in Khaldi’s unique story and insightful views are welcome to contact Gary at the ZF on 020 8202 0202 or

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Press Release

On Wednesday January 20th the Zionist Federation together with Christian Friends of Israel will be holding a Lobby Day in Parliament to speak up for Israel. Around 200 participants from all over the UK will be attending the event and raising their concerns directly to their constituency MP, thereby exercising their fundamental political rights. At the heart of the Lobby are two issues: Firstly, the principle of universal jurisdiction, which has been putting Israeli officials such as Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni under threat of arrest, and secondly, the worrying Iranian nuclear programme and its threat not just to Israel, but to the rest of the international community.

“In the run up to the election it is more important than ever to make our voice heard on issues we feel strongly about”, says Alan Aziz, ZF’s Director. ”It is crucial for ZF and CFI members to remember that they have the right to discuss matters that concern them with their elected MPs”. The event will include a training session in the morning about how best to approach one’s MP, and briefings in the afternoon by a number of prominent MPs.

For details contact Gili at the ZF on 020 8202 0202, 07588201848 or at

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


By DANNY AYALON, Wall Street Journal

The recent statements by the European Union’s new foreign relations chief Catherine Ashton criticizing Israel have once again brought international attention to Jerusalem and the settlements. However, little appears to be truly understood about Israel’s rights to what are generally called the “occupied territories” but what really are “disputed territories.”

That’s because the land now known as the West Bank cannot be considered “occupied” in the legal sense of the word as it had not attained recognized sovereignty before Israel’s conquest. [This is because, according to the Geneva Convention, a country can only "occupy" a land of another country. And the world's opinion is based solely on that Convention.] Contrary to some beliefs there has never been a Palestinian state, and no other nation has ever established Jerusalem as its capital despite it being under Islamic control for hundreds of years.

The name “West Bank” was first used in 1950 by the Jordanians when they annexed the land to differentiate it from the rest of the country, which is on the east bank of the river Jordan. The boundaries of this territory were set only one year before during the armistice agreement between Israel and Jordan that ended the war that began in 1948 when five Arab armies invaded the nascent Jewish State. It was at Jordan’s insistence that the 1949 armistice line became not a recognized international border but only a line separating armies. The Armistice Agreement specifically stated: “No provision of this Agreement shall in any way prejudice the rights, claims, and positions of either Party hereto in the peaceful settlement of the Palestine questions, the provisions of this Agreement being dictated exclusively by military considerations.” (Italics added.) This boundary became the famous “Green Line,” so named because the military officials ! during the armistice talks used a green pen to draw the line on the map.

After the Six Day War, when once again Arab armies sought to destroy Israel and the Jewish state subsequently captured the West Bank and other territory, the United Nations sought to create an enduring solution to the conflict. U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 is probably one of the most misunderstood documents in the international arena. While many, especially the Palestinians, push the idea that the document demands that Israel return everything captured over the Green Line, nothing could be further from the truth. The resolution calls for “peace within secure and recognized boundaries,” but nowhere does it mention where those boundaries should be.

It is best to understand the intentions of the drafters of the resolution before considering other interpretations. Eugene V. Rostow, U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs in 1967 and a drafter of the resolution, stated in 1990:

“Security Council Resolution 242 and (subsequent U.N. Security Council Resolution) 338… rest on two principles, Israel may administer the territory until its Arab neighbors make peace; and when peace is made, Israel should withdraw to “secure and recognized borders,” which need not be the same as the Armistice Demarcation Lines of 194.”

Lord Caradon, the British U.N. Ambassador at the time and the resolution’s main drafter who introduced it to the Council, said in 1974 unequivocally that,

“It would have been wrong to demand that Israel return to its positions of June 4, 1967, because those positions were undesirable and artificial.”

The U.S. ambassador to the U.N. at the time, former Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg, made the issue even clearer when he stated in 1973 that,

“the resolution speaks of withdrawal from occupied territories without defining the extent of withdrawal.” This would encompass “less than a complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from occupied territory, inasmuch as Israel’s prior frontiers had proven to be notably insecure.”

Even the Soviet delegate to the U.N., Vasily Kuznetsov, who fought against the final text, conceded that the resolution gave Israel the right to “withdraw its forces only to those lines it considers appropriate.”

After the war in 1967, when Jews started returning to their historic heartland in the West Bank, or Judea and Samaria, as the territory had been known around the world for 2,000 years until the Jordanians renamed it, the issue of settlements arose. However, Rostow found no legal impediment to Jewish settlement in these territories. He maintained that the original British Mandate of Palestine still applies to the West Bank. He said “the Jewish right of settlement in Palestine west of the Jordan River, that is, in Israel, the West Bank, Jerusalem, was made unassailable. That right has never been terminated and cannot be terminated except by a recognized peace between Israel and its neighbors.” There is no internationally binding document pertaining to this territory that has nullified this right of Jewish settlement since.

And yet, there is this perception that Israel is occupying stolen land and that the Palestinians are the only party with national, legal and historic rights to it. Not only is this morally and factually incorrect, but the more this narrative is being accepted, the less likely the Palestinians feel the need to come to the negotiating table. Statements like those of Lady Ashton’s are not only incorrect; they push a negotiated solution further away.

Mr. Ayalon is the deputy foreign minister of Israel.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


The alleged attempt by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to blow up an airliner over Detroit on Christmas Day has focused attention on the major issue of extremism in British universities. He is the fourth President of a London student Islamic society to face terrorist charges in three years and reportedly attended talks given by the extremist Anwar al-Awlaki who has links to Al-Qaeda.

Antisemitism and vilification of Israel are features of Islamist extremism. Numerous meetings at British universities have provided a climate where extremism can flourish. Recently there was the BRICUP (British Committee for Universities for Palestine) meeting at SOAS London (School of Oriental and African Studies) where the openly antisemitic comparison of Israel with apartheid South Africa was repeatedly drawn. There was antisemitic shouting at the meeting and one speaker, Bongani Matsuku, was recently found by the Human Rights Commission in South Africa to have practised hate speech against Jews. Another example was at Goldsmiths College in November 2008. There a meeting with an openly antisemitic title - comparing Israel to the Nazis – gave a platform to a profoundly antisemitic speaker. 

The Zionist Federation notes the recent cancellation of a meeting at UCL which was to have been addressed by Abu Usamah. It also notes the letter in The Times from Denis MacShane MP (see below) saying that University vice-chancellors and the university lecturers’ union "pooh-poohed" the concerns of the all-party parlimentary commission on antisemitism which he chaired..

 It calls upon:
               -         University Vice Chancellors and student unions to be more vigilant and more proscriptive against this extremism and antisemitism. Vice Chancellors   must have regard to their duties under the Race Relations Amendment Act, the Racial and Religious Hatred Act, the Protection against Harassment Act and the Public Order Act.  'Free speech' is only possible with appropriate boundaries.

-         The government to encourage Universities to be more vigilant against Islamist extremism and against antisemitism.

-         The Crown Prosecution Service to be more willing to prosecute extremists and those who host them (the CPS is still looking at the Goldsmiths case over a year after it occurred)

-         The government and Vice Chancellors to implement recommendations of the Parliamentary Group against Antisemitism which were published over three years ago:

o       University Authorities to record all reports of antisemitism

o       Vice Chancellors to set up a working party to take robust action against antisemitism on campus.

Letter from Denis MacShane MP: The Times 31 December 2009:
"Sir, In 2006 an all-party parliamentary commission I chaired reported on rising anti-Semitism on university campuses and the support for Islamist ideology, including appeals to jihad, which are widespread in students circles.
University vice-chancellors and the university lecturers’ union pooh-poohed our concerns. Might they now have the intellectual honesty to admit that this is a serious problem, or do we have to wait until some student radicalised by campus Islamism succeeds in killing hundreds before our university elites realise what is incubating on British campuses?"
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