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Arab Village Electrician Uncovers Ancient Artifacts, Helps Israel Preserve Them

September 11, 2019 Human Interest, News-Drash

Some ancient artifacts are discovered by accident. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Diego Barkan, Israel Antiquities Authority.

Arabs can face opposition from their own people for helping Israel, but one Arab villager recently chose to do the right thing in spite of critique and in the process helped Israel preserve history. The resident of the village of Araba in northern Israel, Ahmed Nassar Yassin, is an electrician that last weekend inadvertently discovered artifacts dating back thousands of years. According to a press release from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), Yassin was just leaning against a mountain ridge when it partly crumbled and exposed pottery and a copper dagger blade that are believed to be 4,500 years old.

While finding the historically valuable items was surprisingly easy, Yassin’s next step to find them a safe home was not—but he chose to do the right thing anyway. “Ahmed showed good citizenship from the start by delivering the findings to the Antiquities Authority,” Nir Distelfeld of the Antiquities Theft Prevention Unit was quoted in the press release as saying. “He told me there were some who called him a dupe and a traitor in that he handed the artifacts over to the state [of Israel], but he chose to act as a law-abiding citizen.

“Ahmed realized that this was not his private property, but a legacy belonging to the general public and must reach the professional bodies responsible for antiquities.” … Continue Reading

US Ambassador Slams Iran for Religious Rights Abuses against Christians, Other Minorities

The US is pushing back against religious injustice in Iran. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

The Islamic Republic of Iran is not known for being open to religious minorities, and United States Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback highlighted some of the egregious Iranian offenses in a recent speech. Christians, Baha’is and even Sunni Muslims have faced religious persecution from Iranian authorities. “In Iran, blasphemy, apostasy from Islam, and proselytizing of Muslims are crimes punishable by death,” said Brownback in a speech last week published on the US State Department website.

“Minorities not recognized under the Iranian constitution—such as Baha’is and Christian converts—may not engage in public religious expression and are particularly vulnerable to discrimination, harassment, and arbitrary arrest.”

Brownback cited multiple examples of the plight facing Christians in Iran—noting that a dangerous label is to be called a Christian supporter of Israel. … Continue Reading

Israel Sends Rescue Teams to Mexico after Quake

September 24, 2017 Human Interest, Special Feature

When disaster strikes anywhere, call Israel. Image of IDF Aid Delegation Search and Rescue Missions in Mexico City. Photo courtesy of IDF.

Groups of Israelis decided to spend their New Year’s holiday traveling to Mexico—but it wasn’t for a vacation. Search and rescue teams from the Israeli military and the iAID organization went to assist Mexico in recovering from last week’s devastating earthquake—and chose to help out during last week’s Rosh HaShannah holiday, also known as the Jewish New Year.

Israel received a request from Mexico to assist and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commissioned such help to leave for Mexico “as soon as possible,” according to a press release from his office last Wednesday. Later that same day, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) team—consisting of dozens of soldiers—departed, arriving on Rosh HaShannah on Thursday last week, according to the IDF Spokesperson’s Twitter feedThe Spokesperson’s Twitter feed posted that the IDF team then spent the next several days “helping survey buildings & rescue trapped civilians from the rubble”.

On Saturday, Netanyahu spoke by phone with the leader of the IDF delegation, Col. Dudi Mizrachi, and Israeli Ambassador to Mexico Yoni Peled. “You are shining Israel’s light in the world, a big light,” Netanyahu told them, according to a press release from his office. “It is important from a humanitarian standpoint and also to show the world the true Israel.”

Meanwhile, iAID, an international Israeli aid organization, sent a 15-person search and rescue team during the holiday as well and quickly received special access from the Mexican authorities to a sensitive site. … Continue Reading

Israel Still Aiding Wounded Syrians, Turning Them from ‘Enemies to Friends’

Israeli Pres. Rivlin & wounded Syrian. Photo courtesy of Amos Ben-Gershom (GPO)

Israel and Syria have been mortal enemies since Syria attacked the newly reborn State of Israel almost 70 years ago. But that hasn’t impacted Israel’s ongoing work to help Syrians wounded in that nation’s civil war—and it may even offer hope for peace. It certainly isn’t stopping, even as violence continues to rage. The IDF Spokesperson Twitter page reported that on Thursday night, Israel evacuated seven Syrians needing medical care—all but one of which were women and children—to an Israeli hospital. That theme of aiding children is nothing new.

The Israeli Galilee Medical Center has seen more than 1,500 wounded Syrians, roughly 500 of whom have been children and infants, according to a Sunday press release from the Israeli President’s Office. Dr. Masad Barhoum, director of the Galilee Medical Center, was quoted in the press release saying that he recently spoke to the AIPAC conference and told them of their aid for the Syrians and “to explain how we turned those wounded Syrians from enemies to friends.” Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said the work is a point of pride for Israel and that it will continue. … Continue Reading

Israel Working on Special Economic Relationship with China

PM Netanyahu and Chinese Pres. Xi Jinping. Photo courtesy of Haim Zach / GPO

Israel is seeking to be on an exclusive list—nations receiving investment from China. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, following his recent visit to China, noted in Sunday’s cabinet meeting that while China isn’t investing around the world right now, Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to consider that China have a specific investment policy for the Jewish State.

“China recently decided to restrict, to completely halt, its external investments for its own reasons – I am talking about the world, not Israel,” said Netanyahu in comments released by his office. “In light of my request, the President of China said that he was prepared to consider an exception for Israel, meaning that Chinese investments in the high-tech and other sectors would continue.” And that’s not the only special arrangement in the works between Israel and China. … Continue Reading

Israeli Military, Paramedic Teams Head to Assist Nepal after Earthquake

April 26, 2015 Human Interest, News
Israeli medics at work. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Israel GPO. By Kobi Gideon / GPO.

Israeli medics at work. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Israel GPO. By Kobi Gideon / GPO.

Once again, Israel is sending disaster and medical experts to a tragedy-struck region in another part of the world, this team sending teams to assist with the efforts following the earthquake in Nepal. A press release on the website for Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel’s national medical and paramedic organization, said a “humanitarian mission” of paramedics and doctors was set to leave from Israel for Nepal on Sunday. The group is bringing medical supplies and baby formula. Preparations are also underway for sending additional supplies and engaging in “prolonged activity in disaster stricken zones” as part of the Red Cross response.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent a message to the leader of Nepal expressing condolences and offering support, while Israeli President Reuven Rivlin’s office released a statement saying, “Our thoughts and hearts go out to the people of Nepal dealing with this awful disaster, and with our loved ones who are in distress. The State of Israel is reaching out to help the search and rescue of the many victims.” … Continue Reading

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