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Wednesday, December 16, 2020

During Syria's Civil War Days in 2011-2014 and Israel's Hospitals

 Nadene Goldfoot                                            

Neighbors but enemies, that was the situation between Syria and Israel in 2014 and it remains so. 

Then, the Syrian public had been fed the line that Israel wanted to kill all Syrians, wanted to murder them all!  Truth was that terrorists came from Syria to kill Jews of Israel.  After 3 years of a bloody war on the border with the Syrians, Israel saw Syria in a Civil War with other factions.  Israel wound up providing medical aid to Syrians at the border.  

The Syrian civil war was an ongoing multi-sided civil war in Syria fought between the Ba'athist Syrian Arab Republic led by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, along with domestic and foreign allies, and various domestic and foreign forces opposing both the Syrian government and each other in varying combination, starting on March 15, 2011.  Over the course of the war, a number of peace initiatives have been launched, including the March 2017 Geneva peace talks on Syria led by the United Nations, but fighting has continued. It's even more of a threat to Israel with Hezbollah terrorists.  


       Netanyahu visiting injured Syrian treated by IDF

Some Israeli NGOs also provided humanitarian aid across the border to refugee camps in Jordan, as some 600,000 Syrians had fled to Jordan and the Jordanian kingdom's financial and social welfare systems now were under enormous strain, as they had been overwhelmed by the previous wave of Iraqi refugees.  Turkey and Bulgaria had also become refuge centers for Syrians, and a few had gone to Egypt as well.

 In 2013, Israel had opened a new neurosurgical department at the hospital near the border which was the only one in northern Israel at that time.  Syrian wounded, mostly combatants and also civilians began arriving at Israel's Western Galilee Hospital, and the Ziv Medical Center in Safed, and Rambam Hospital in Haifa and the smaller regional Poriya Hospital near Tiberias.  The most serious patients went to the one nearest the border.                        

The new neurosurgical department after a few months found that 20% of the patients in the neurosurgical department were Syrians.  By June 2014, the hospital had treated 250 Syrian war wounded, most with horrendous trauma with head injuries showing there had been attempted execution-style shootings and attempted machete beheadings.  One patient arrived with his whole lower jaw missing and was illiterate so couldn't write.  17 hours of surgery by doctors rebuilt his jar from part of a leg bone.  Injured Syrian women and children were also being treated.

Syria had 120,000 dead and more homeless suffering from disease and injuries and no treatment. In the beginning of the conflict, the Syrian government made it illegal for Syrian doctors to give medical care to anyone who supported the opposition.  Many doctors became targets.  Almost half of Syria's doctors, about 15,000 had fled the country.  About 60% of their hospitals were destroyed.  

The city of Aleppo, Syria had 1,171 doctors.  The opposition took this city.  292 doctors were left by last September 2013.  Just outside Damascus in Aghota, only 30 doctors out of 1,000 remained.  All other medical personnel escaped as well.  

Refugees didn't make a bee-line for Israel but got to Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey and Egypt. Then word was out that they could find aid in Israel.  They coordinated with the IDF and how they did it remains a secret.  

It was early in 2013 and the first 7 wounded Syrian fighters arrived at the Golan Heights border with Syria.  Medical ethics in the army is clear; the IDF doctors gave them help.  Then all the IDF wound up helping Syrians who had been taught to hate Israelis, and here they were, receiving medical aid from them!  

They had taken almost 1,000 Syrians into Israeli hospitals with some 450 treated at the IDF field hospital-like in MASH, The IDF were even protecting their patients from Katyusha rockets fired into northern Israel from Lebanon by Hezbollah.  

At the Western Galilee Hospital in Nahariya, a Syrian mother watched as a medical clown performed for her wounded daughter who was receiving treatment there.  What she must have wondered; the female clown looked really clownish!

"In this world, we hope that someday there will be peace, but now we are "enemies." said Dr. Salman Zakar of the IDF field hospital.  "For them, it is being told that we, the enemy, are Satan and then seeing how suddenly it is not true.  They see professional, ethical people who are doing everything they can for them."

In June 2016, from the territory of the Golan Heightsoccupied by Israel since 1967 and annexed in 1981, the Israeli military began Operation Good Neighbor, a multi-faceted humanitarian relief operation to prevent starvation of Syrians who live along the border and provide basic or advanced medical treatment.

The aid consisted of medical care, water, electricity, education or food and was given to Syrians near the ceasefire line between Israel and Syria, often escorted across by Israeli soldiers. Over 200,000 Syrians received such aid, and more than 4,000 of them were treated in Israeli hospitals from 2013 to September 2018. Many of the treated victims were civilians, often children. Allegations have been made that some were rebel fighters from the Free Syrian Army. This theory is supported by the claim that Israel had a strategic interest in aiding the rebels; they fought against both ISIL and Iranian-allied forces. 

All Israeli doctors follow the Hippocratic oath.  The Hippocratic Oath is one of the oldest binding documents in history. Written in antiquity, its principles are held sacred by doctors to this day: treat the sick to the best of one's ability, preserve patient privacy, teach the secrets of medicine to the next generation, and so on.

At the border of Israel and Syria, people will see the IDF doctor

It's sad for the doctors when they do their best and must let the patients return to the battlefield as they request.  They most likely will not get any follow up care and might again be wounded.   "What we are seeing here is an indiscriminate lack of respect for human life."  

Syria's total population now is estimated at 18,000,000 with 16,000,000 being Muslims.  That's 87% Muslims.  They had a population in 2011 of 22,505,000 and 90% Muslims and were the 17th largest Muslim country.  Israel now has 8,424,904 population with 1,516,482 Muslims in their population.  Muslims make up 18% of Israel's population.  There are no known Jews left in Syria.  


The Jerusalem Report, June 16, 2014

Sunday, November 8, 2020

What AIPAC and J Street Stand For Concerning Israel

Nadene Goldfoot                                       

We all know that anti-Semitism is very strong everywhere right now and AIPAC has been receiving the attacks.  "Progressive groups are demanding that Democratic presidential candidates, who in past cycles might have rushed at the chance to address such a large and engaged crowd, stay away. At least six, including Senator Kamala Harris, who addressed the conference in 2017, have said they would comply. (New York Times).                                          

It was a shock to read this, "In her very first foreign policy vote in January 2017, for instance, Harris sided with President Trump in criticizing the outgoing President Obama’s refusal to veto an otherwise-unanimous, very modest, and largely symbolic UN Security Council resolution on Israeli settlements. Among other things, that resolution reiterated previous Security Council calls for Israel to stop expanding its illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank, which violate the Fourth Geneva Convention and a landmark ruling by the International Court of Justice."  This has been my point of contention with Obama.  He voted against Israel on his last day in office in this UN decision.  
Harris highlighted the co-sponsorship in a 2017 speech at AIPAC’s policy policy conference, saying it would help “combat anti-Israel bias at the United Nations and reaffirm that the United States seeks a just, secure and sustainable two-state solution.”

While considering him a close friend, Biden has not shied away from criticizing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and has joked about not agreeing with “a damn thing” the premier says. Harris on the other hand has yet to publicly spar with Netanyahu, who several democratic candidates went as far as to call him a “racist.” Harris's husband is Jewish. (Douglas Emhoff is an American lawyer and the husband of U.S. Senator and vice president-elect of the United States Kamala Harris. He is set to become the first Second Gentleman of the United States.) Asked about the prime minister’s plans earlier this year to annex large parts of the West Bank, Harris told Pod Saves America last year that she is “completely opposed” to the move and would “express that opposition.” However, she avoided calling out Netanyahu by name.

"The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC /ˈpæk/ AY-pak) founded in 1963, is a lobbying group that advocates pro-Israel policies to the Congress and Executive Branch of the United States. The current president of AIPAC is Betsy Berns Korn.   Aipac was never the big spender its antagonists claim. Its total lobbying expenditures in 2018 came to $3.5 million, which doesn’t even put it in the top 50. (Realtors spent $72.8 million.) Instead, Aipac depends on grassroots organizing in every state. It is built on people power.

One of several pro-Israel lobbying organizations in the United States, AIPAC states that it has over 100,000 members, 17 regional offices, and "a vast pool of donors." Representative Brad Sherman (D-California) has called AIPAC "the single most important organization in promoting the U.S.-Israel alliance." In addition, the organization has been called one of the most powerful lobbying groups in the United States. The group does not raise funds for political candidates itself, but its members raise money for candidates through political action committees unaffiliated with AIPAC and by other means.   AIPAC is not a political action committee and does not donate to political candidates.

Its critics have stated it acts as an agent of the Israeli government with a "stranglehold" on the United States Congress with its power and influence. AIPAC has been accused of being strongly allied with the Likud party of Israel, and the Republican Party in the U.S., but an AIPAC spokesman has called this a "malicious mischaracterization." 


The Washington Post described the perceived differences between AIPAC and J Street: "While both groups call themselves bipartisan, AIPAC has won support from an overwhelming majority of Republican Jews, while J Street is presenting itself as an alternative for Democrats who have grown uncomfortable with both Netanyahu's policies and the conservatives' flocking to AIPAC."  

"J Street is a nonprofit liberal advocacy group based in the United States whose stated aim is to promote American leadership to end the Arab–Israeli and Israeli–Palestinian conflicts peacefully and diplomatically. J Street was incorporated on November 29, 2007. It is believed that George Soros was behind its beginnings and helped financially."  Being that they are a very liberal group, I doubt very much if they were backers of Trump, who ran on the Republican ticket.  Trump has been the president during 3 Muslim states making peace with Israel by moving their embassies to Jerusalem and a Christian state in Africa; a first since Israel's birth on May 14, 1948.

J Street does support political parties financially.  "

Contributed 40 percent of all pro-Israel money to US congressional campaigns

Raised over $3 million in political giving in 2016

Endorsed 110+ Congressional candidates, including more than half of the Democratic caucus


Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law-has worked on the plan for the past 3 years.

Asked what J Street thinks about Trump's peace plan, they said, "We need to be clear: This is a “two state solution” in name only, just as it is a “peace plan” in name only."  I take it they did not approve.                                   

J Street's goals say that "the contours of a workable negotiated outcome that would be broadly supported by both peoples are well known. Various initiatives by the parties and others have spelled out the principles and even many of the the details of such a resolution, including President Clinton’s parameters in 2000, Israeli Prime Minister Olmert’s proposal in 2008, the offer by Arab states and the Palestinians in 2013 to adjust and negotiate based on the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, and the official US principles put forward by Secretary of State Kerry under President Obama in 2016."

J Street believes that Israel’s capital is in Jerusalem and will be internationally recognized as such in the context of an agreed conflict-ending resolution, through which the majority-Jewish areas of Jerusalem are recognized as the capital of Israel and Palestinian areas of East Jerusalem become the capital of the future Palestinian state."

"J Street believes the next US administration should reinstate an independent US diplomatic mission to the Palestinians in East Jerusalem that is physically and institutionally separate from the US Embassy. While the next administration is likely to keep the US Embassy in Jerusalem, it could offset much of the harm caused by the Trump administration’s move by declaring that it is the intention of the United States, upon the achievement of a negotiated resolution to the conflict, to open an embassy in East Jerusalem to the Palestinian state."

The U.S. diplomatic presence in Jerusalem, first established in 1844, was designated a Consulate General in 1928.  In March 2019, the U.S. Consulate General was merged into U.S. Embassy Jerusalem.  As part of U.S. Embassy Jerusalem, (the Palestinian Affairs Unit (PAU) operates out of our historic Agron Road property to promote our overarching strategic objective of achieving a just and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.) It happens to be in the heart of Jerusalem. 

AIPAC has maintained high levels of participation from Democratic and Republican lawmakers. AIPAC describes itself as a bipartisan organization, and the bills for which it lobbies in Congress are always jointly sponsored by both a Democrat and Republican. AIPAC's supporters claim its bipartisan nature can be seen at its yearly policy conference, which in 2016 included both major parties' nominees—Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump—as well as high-ranking Democrats, including former Vice President Joe Biden and senator Kamala Harris (both of whom ran for president in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary), and high-ranking Republicans, including Speaker of the House Paul Ryan."


      Jeremy Ben -Ami, one of founders of J Street,  became President 

Worked under Bill Clinton as Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy

"J Street was created to serve as the political home and voice for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans. The views of the majority of American Jews were previously underrepresented and ignored in our politics. We’re changing that, and in the process transforming our national conversation about what it means to be pro-Israel. We advocate and engage on every level – in Washington, in political campaigns, in our communities and on campuses." 

If they are advocating Israel's viewpoints on campuses, they're not doing so well, as campuses are the hotbeds of anti-Israelis.  BDS is doing well on campuses.  

J Street endorsed the nuclear disarmament deal with Iran, which Obama supported and Netanyahu and AIPAC opposed.

The feelings between Israel and J Street have not been like Israel and AIPAC.  According to Nathan Guttman, "J Street and its supporters have never made a secret of their opposition to Netanyahu and his policies." But on October 22, 2009, then–opposition leader of the Knesset, Tzipi Livni, sent a letter congratulating J Street on its inaugural event. She said she would not be able to attend but that Kadima would be "well represented" by Meir Sheetrit, Shlomo Molla, and Haim Ramon."  Kadima is closer to J Street's ideal than 

other Israeli parties. It's left of others.  

The Israeli Embassy stated that Ambassador Michael Oren would not attend J Street's first national conference because J Street supports positions that may "impair" Israel's interest. Oren continued his criticism after the conference, telling Conservative rabbis meeting in Philadelphia that J Street "is a unique problem in that it not only opposes one policy of one Israeli government, it opposes all policies of all Israeli governments. It's significantly out of the mainstream." Hannah Rosenthal, head of the Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism in the Obama Administration, criticized Oren, saying his comments were "most unfortunate." 

After several American Jewish groups criticized Rosenthal, the U.S. State Department said that "Rosenthal has the complete support of the department."] 

In April 2010, Oren had a meeting with J Street Executive Director Jeremy Ben-Ami to discuss the issues. After leaving his role as Israeli ambassador to the U.S. and campaigning for an MK position in the Knesset, Oren described his view as follows: "We have to understand that people who aren't anti-Israel have criticisms of specific Israeli policies. We have to show greater flexibility on the peace issue. Israel is willing to go a serious distance on peace."


Thursday, October 29, 2020

Learning Arabic at Lincoln High School

 Nadene Goldfoot                                       

 Arabs in Israel playing my favorite game, Sheshbesh (Backgammon) 

Israel has about 1.4 million Arab citizens who have all the rights as Jews do in this very tiny state. 
 Israel is bordered by Judea and Samaria,  heavily populated with Muslim Arabs of Fatah, former PLO terrorists, as well as Gaza's Muslim Hamas terrorists.  Both Hamas and Fatah have joined up for one purpose, to drive Israel into the sea, or in other words, to destroy Israel and make it a Muslim state.  This was confirmed at their meeting in Africa in Khartoom in 1967 after the Six Day War of 67.  

The fight from the Muslims is coming in all way; rockets and missiles raining down from Gaza into southern Israel as well as the "Palestinians" getting into the UN through UNESCO and attempting to use this group to destroy the Jewishness in Israel. To this day, Hamas continues to rain rockets on Israel.  (I wrote this several years ago way before COVID 19 when I heard about it but didn't publish.) 

It had been using some Arab high-schoolers from Israel before COVID 19  to go into American high schools and spread their hateful propaganda against Israel. 


 Lincoln High has experienced such a program through the Qatar Foundation International, who has sponsored DAM, a three brother rap group's visit to the high school.  It was at first found to be presenting to only the Arabic language class, then was found to spread to other classes as well as in a student assembly given on November 4th and again that evening at a concert sponsored by Portland State University's Middle East Studies Center.  They also included a film apart from their rapping  depicting Israel as an Apartheid, fascist state.  Marcia Weiss, a Lincoln parent and JFGP board member as well as Becky Davidson, a Wilson High School student, co-president of the Jewish Student Union at Wilson, agreed that anyone not understanding the issues in Israel would be swayed by DAM's opinions.  Even the teachers and principal at Lincoln seem to not understand.  I personally feel that Cain would do a better job of understanding Israel's situation than he did with Libya. 

The group used rap to show their dislike of being treated like someone different in Israel like having to show ID at certain places.  They neglected to admit that everyone, Jew and Arab must do this and they were not alone.  This is due to the terrorism that has occurred and must happen in order to protect all citizens.  I myself had to show the contents of my purse and bags when I went into any store from 1980-1985.  They hate to speak in Arabic on buses and get angry if people look at them for it.  Otherwise, they do blend into society, not being different in other ways.  

They neglect to mention that signs all over in Israel are in 3 languages; Hebrew, Arabic and English.  They shouldn't feel oppressed but may from the influence of their parents, and of course, Hamas.  Their lyrics are crossing a line to hate.  What they present is an extreme and mendacious portrait in which Israelis are Nazis.  They think that Jews murdered by terrorists is what they deserve.   Their differences, though small, are being played on by Hamas, I'm sure, whose goals are well known in wanting to destroy Israel and who rain missiles on southern Israel constantly.  The only reason they haven't hit the rest of Israel is because they haven't procured the missiles that can reach that far-yet.  

The school principal and the superintendent of schools so far see nothing wrong in bringing this group to the school while much of the Jewish community including their children are upset by it.  Lincoln High, formerly heavily populated by Jewish students as it is the school within the borders of the old Jewish neighborhood of South Portland, now have Jewish students afraid.  The non-knowledgable teaching community feel they are just giving students the opportunity to hear another perspective on a controversial issue, the Israel-Palestinian conflict to young students completely uneducated in the points.  

Monday, August 31, 2020

Portland, City of Roses; Now City of Riots-95 Days, Looting, Fires, Broken Windows

Nadene Goldfoot                                   

July 4, 2020 downtown Portland, 
forced to use tear gas on rioters 
By a Saturday night in mid-August,
 22-year-old K was showing her
 sister how to put on a gas mask
 and helmet before going to meet
 other demonstrators in
 Portland’s Laurelhurst Park.
July 22, downtown Portland, OR...Getty image; boarded up businesses to protect windows
By August 29, one man was shot and killed in downtown Portland as dueling demonstrations; one a pro-Trump car caravan, and another-a counter-protest mounted by various opposing groups--unfolded late Saturday.  Portland police said the man was shot around 8:45pm near SW 3rd Avenue and Alder St.  The agency didn't say whether the incident was related to the demonstrations or not.  
Here's the Portland Police Report on what's been happening to our City of Roses, Portland, Oregon.###PPB###
At Portland's federal courthouse building, Black Lives Matter Protests 
Individuals within a protest gathering set an arson fire at the offices of the Portland Police Association (PPA) building Saturday morning, prompting a riot declaration.

On Friday, August 28, 2020 at about 11:45p.m., a march began from Peninsula Park in the street. Many in the gathering were wearing protective gear, including helmets, goggles or gas masks, all black clothing, and/or carrying shields. Marchers arrived at about 12:10a.m. to the PPA building, in the 1800 block of North Lombard Street. They blocked traffic both directions. Someone cut the power line to the building almost immediately.

Fires lit in the streets 
Portland gained national attention this week when the head of Homeland Security toured the vandalized Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse, the federal courthouse in downtown Portland.
Acting secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf said "the City of Portland "has been under siege for 47 straight days by a violent mob."  Note the graffiti on the wall. 
 The PPA office has been the site of numerous violent protests over the past few months, and protesters have lit the building on fire several times. It is located in a residential neighborhood and there is concern that any building fire could spread to occupied homes, especially during the current stretch of dry weather.
Day 72 of demonstration
About 10 minutes later, individuals wheeled multiple dumpsters into the road and lit at least one on fire. The fire was in the road and not threatening any structures. In the interest of deescalating the situation, Portland Police Bureau (PPB) officers remained out of sight. However, arsonists put some debris, including a large mattress, against the front door of the building, appeared to spray accelerant on it, and lit it on fire. The flames appeared to engulf the front door area of the building and nearly reach the roofline. Due to the extreme life safety concerns, the Incident Commander declared the incident a riot. A warning was broadcast by loudspeaker that the incident was declared a riot and all persons were to disperse immediately to the north. Failure to comply with the order may subject them to citation or arrest to the use of tear gas, crowd control agents, and/or impact munitions.
Portland Police Union President call for end of all this
Officers responded and moved the rioters away from the building so the fire could be extinguished. As officers approached, rioters threw objects at them, including rocks. Multiple officers suffered minor injuries after being struck by rocks. During the response, officers used crowd control munitions. However, no CS (tear) gas was deployed.

There was fire damage to the front of the PPA building (photos). Officers also recovered a bottle that contained flammable fluid (photo). An arson investigator responded and gathered evidence of the crime.
Inside PPA building where fire was set
Officers made multiple arrests. Information about the arrests will be released at a later time.

A Goodman family member (remember Doug Goodman of a parking lot in downtown Portland?-good friend of Sam Arnstein, both in AZA) wrote to city mayor Ted Wheeler about what's happening:

Dear Mayor Wheeler and city council members;
I have attached an article from a recent 
Business Journal relating to Standard Insurance, 
the largest private business in downtown Portland, moving their 
employees to their Hillsboro campus for safety reasons. 
A larger number of businesses are moving out
 of or locating outside of the Central City. These 
companies include, Daimler Chrysler 
(subleasing 100k SF), AirB&B, Banana
 Republic, Microsoft (80k SF, plus permanently 
closing their retail store),
Saucebox, etc.. Google, who leased 90k SF
 in the Macy's building has stopped construction
 of their improvements. The list goes on and on.
 If you know a retail or office broker, give them
 a call and ask them how many clients they
 have are trying to leave. The number is like
 nothing I have seen in 42 years of doing business
 in downtown.Their departure has absolutely 
nothing to do with Black Lives Matter movement 
(which has been a positive), but does have 
most everything to do with the  lawlessness 
you are endorsing downtown. You are doing 
an excellent (job) of enabling people who
 don't know or care about George Floyd
 to ransack our city at the expense 
of the people you are trying to help.
 Think how many jobs have been lost by
 people of color in our city, not through protest, 
but from vandalism. I would make the case
 that your actions have hurt those
 you have intended to help.I would
 encourage each of you to walk around
downtown Portland in the morning.
 Name the time and I will give you a tour.
You aren't sweeping the streets, needles 
are all over the place, garbage cans 
are broken and left open, glass from
 car windows that have been broken 
out is all over the streets, parks are 
strewn with litter (their fountains 
turned off) weeds are taller than
 the plants in the planter boxes,
 graffiti is on sculptures, etc.
 You are willfully neglecting your duties
 as elected officials to keep our city safe and clean.
President Donald Trump and Democratic rival 
Joe Biden have been accusing  one another 
over violence that has erupted at protests 
in Portland, Oregon.  A man linked to a 
right-wing group  was killed on Saturday, 
as elsewhere in the city a pro-Trump 
rally clashed  with Black Lives Matter 
protesters. Mr Trump called participants 
of the  rally "great patriots" and blamed
 the city's Democratic  mayor for the 
unrest.But Mr Biden accused the
 president of encouraging the violence.