Archive for November, 2010

180,000 Palestinians treated in Israeli hospitals

November 30, 2010

180,000 Palestinians treated in Israeli hospitals

Sunday, November 28, 2010 | Ryan Jones



According to Israel’s detractors, it is a cruel and racist nation determined to oppress the Palestinian Arabs as much as possible. But medical officials last week published another piece of evidence that Israel is anything but what its detractors say.

Over the past year, 180,000 Arabs from the Palestinian-controlled territories were treated at Israeli hospitals.

Speaking during a conference on humanitarian medicine at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, Gen. Nitzan Alon, commander of the IDF’s Judea and Samaria Division, said that during the first years of the recent Palestinian terrorist uprising, so few Palestinians were able to get to Israeli hospitals that a true humanitarian crisis loomed.

Prior to the so-called “intifada,” Palestinians had been able to easily drive themselves to Israeli hospitals. But as the terrorist attacks escalated, Israel had no choice but to clamp firm restrictions on travel between Israel-proper and the Palestinian-controlled areas.

“We could not practice medicine beyond the minimum,” said Gen. Alon. “In those days, we were on the verge of a humanitarian crisis.”

But with medical cooperation improving and the IDF successfully heading off most remaining terrorist threats, Israel has been able to significantly increase the number of Palestinians it helps.


A Dairy Chanukah

November 28, 2010

A Dairy Chanukah.

Part of the great Chanukah miracle came about because of a courageous Jewish woman named Yehudit. She went alone into the Greek army general’s tent, fed him cheese to make him thirsty and then wine to ‘quench’ his thirst. In so doing, he became so drunk that he fell into a deep sleep and she was able to kill him, becoming God’s agent in facilitating the eventual Jewish victory over the mighty Greek army. In her honor many have the custom to serve dairy foods on Chanukah.

Mushroom Quiche

This one is a classic hit every time and is a welcome diversion to all the overly sweet things usually served at parties. Plus, it’s lighter on the oil than latkes are, as well as faster to prepare!

Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 1 cup canned or fresh mushrooms
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 & 1/4 cups grated yellow cheese of any kind
  • 1 cup cottage cheese or cream cheese

Preheat the oven to 350°F/ 180°C.

In a large frying pan, place the oil and onions and begin to sauté. When they are light brown, add in the mushrooms, curry, pepper, salt and garlic powder and stir for about five minutes. Turn off the fire.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs lightly with a fork and then add in the mushroom mixture. Stir. Add cottage cheese and half of yellow cheese; pour into a disposable pie pan of about 7-8 ” . Top with remaining cheese and bake uncovered for 45 minutes, until the top is light brown and the quiche is firm. If you happen to have any leftovers, it is also great cold the next day, or can be frozen and reheated for a different day.

Cheese and Vegetable Salad

Makes 4 average servings

  • 1 head bug-free iceberg or romaine lettuce, washed and shredded
  • (or you can of course take a shortcut and use one of those bags of pre-washed and checked bug-free shredded lettuce)
  • 1 cup purple cabbage, shredded
  • 2 tomatoes, cubed
  • 2 cucumbers, unpeeled, washed and chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive rings, optional
  • 2 pickles, diced, optional
  • 1 can tuna, drained
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, sliced
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds or coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese (in Israel, the tastier Tzafatit)

This recipe looks most appetizing when you take the time to lay it out properly in each person’s bowl individually.

In each bowl layer in this order:

Shredded lettuce – shredded cabbage – cubed tomato pieces – cucumber pieces – olive rings and/or pickle pieces – some tuna – some sliced egg – crumple some white cheese over all – then add nuts to top of each plate for garnish. Serve with a choice of dressings of your choice in the center of the table for each person to choose from.

For a healthier idea other than store bought dressings, drizzle on a bit of olive oil and fresh lemon juice to each plate. Combined with the crumbly cheese, you will usually find that this is quite tasty and no additional ‘salad dressings’ are necessary. Some also enjoy it with “zhatar” spice sprinkled on top of everything.

I couldn’t resist adding in this next recipe, really more of an idea, but it’s milchig, the kids love it, and well, it’s a nice treat on a Chanukah afternoon…

Fizzy Milk Foam

Serves: as many people as you have tall glasses for!

It’s best to use a glass that is tall, and is a bit larger than 8oz. for this one so that if it fizzes upwards, it will hopefully not go all over the place!


  • Chocolate syrup, (I’ll let you buy the store bought kind this time!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee powder
  • 1/2 cup, about 4 oz. of cold milk
  • 1/2 cup soda water
  • Ice cubes
  • Straws
  • Cocoa powder for dusting
  • Chocolate shavings or chocolate sprinkles for garnishing

In each glass layer the ‘ingredients’ as follows:

    Pour in a nice squirt of chocolate syrup 

    Sprinkle on the 1/2 teaspoon of instant coffee. Powder will dissolve faster than large granules will.

    Pour in the 1/2 cup of milk.

    Pour in the soda water.

    It should now begin to fizz…

    Quickly dust some cocoa powder on the top of the foam, sprinkle on the chocolate shavings and/or the sprinkles, dip in the straw, stir a bit…and enjoy!

Zucchini Cheese Potato Latkes

Well, it is Chanukah after all, so I just had to include some kind of latke. These are a nice twist off of the usual plain potato ones and are a bit less oily than the customary potato-only cousins.

This makes enough for about four hungry people or six regular people, all depending on how long ago they ate before you started to fry these up…

  • 1 medium sized onion
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 medium zucchinis, unpeeled, scrubbed and washed well
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons flour or potato starch
  • 1/2 cup yellow cheese such as parmesan or mozzarella, shredded
  • 2 stalks fresh parsley, chopped, optional **see note below
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • oil baking spray

In a food processor fitted with the sharp metal “S” blade, process the onion until it is completely pureed. Add the eggs and process one more minute. Change the blade to the shredding device. Shred the zucchinis and potatoes onto the onion mixture.

Pour this vegetable mixture out into a large bowl and add the potato starch, cheese, and fresh parsley. (**Adding it in really adds to the nice look and taste of this recipe. I only wrote it’s optional in case you have fussy little people who won’t eat them if they see ‘those green things’ coming out of their latkes…) Add in the salt and pepper. Mix well by hand.

Take out a large frying pan and spray it well with a thin coating of baking spray. Add 1 Tablespoon of oil to this and start to heat it on a medium to high flame. You will use the other tablespoon of oil when frying up the second batch. At most, you may need to add one more additional tablespoon of oil in between batches, but normally, with a good quality pan, the 2 tablespoons is more than enough.

Form small patties out of the cheese/vegetable mixture with the help of a milchig tablespoon and place them by spoonfuls onto the hot pan. Using your spoon, shape them a bit more to make them look nice while they are on the pan. Flatten slightly with a spatula. Let them sizzle until browned on the first side, then flip and do the same to the other side. You’ll be nicely surprised to see that this small amount of oil is sufficient to do the trick of ‘frying’ your latkes to a nice crunchiness. When they are done, lay them out on a flat plate that is lined with one or two paper towels, to drain them of the outside oil a bit more.

On the other hand, they may not get too much time to drain as your family will most likely enjoy them just as soon as they smell them coming off the frying pan…

See more recipes like this one in my gluten free (kosher for Passover as well) cookbook entitled “Pesach – Anything’s Possible!” from where this recipe & photo was taken.

With best wishes for a very Happy Chanukah to all!

Tamar Ansh

For this year’s Chanukah season, Tamar’s new website has a great EIGHT DAY giveaway! See for more details

The anti-Israel hysteria

November 28, 2010

Vote for Pilar!!!!

Saturday, 10 January 2009

The anti-Israel hysteria, by Pilar Rahola

“Does Hamas have anything to do with freedom, or rather, doesn’t it have everything to do with Islamism of a fascist tendency? Is freedom defended by training children to commit suicide attacks and by enslaving women? Is freedom defended by Iran, which supports Hamas financially? Does freedom belong to the terrorists of Hezbollah?”

“I understand that you want to wipe us off the map, just don’t expect us to help you attain that goal. The fact that this old sentiment – the gist of a line uttered by a caustic Golda Meir to the Palestinian leadership – is so relevant these days, gives us a sense of the scope of the tragedy the Holy Land has been suffering through for so many decades.
In fact, this same idea – the need for continued efforts to curb the intended destruction of Israel – lies behind the dramatic military decision made by the Israeli government, one that has again made it an object of wrath for so many around the world.
As Prof. Joan B. Culla said recently, there can be multiple reactions to the Israel Defense Forces’ military incursion in the Gaza Strip, and some of these are justifiably critical. But, given the fact that hysterical reactions abound, lacking any semblance of calm reflection, and based strictly on Manichaeanism and prejudice, there are some questions that must be asked.
Ari Shavit wrote recently in Haaretz (“A Just but Tragic War,” January 1) that “Operation Cast Lead is a just campaign” and that it is also a “tragic campaign.” I disagree with the term “just,” because, as Golda Meir also said, “We don’t want wars, even when we win.” A military incursion that causes dozens of deaths can never be considered just, even if it is aimed at the destruction of the Hamas military machine. But can it be considered inevitable?
Some intellectuals, including Amos Oz, have already warned that the Gaza incursion will lead to a significant new wave of anti-Israel sentiment. But even the Israeli left has taken a very lukewarm position about the incursion. The decision to attack Hamas was made by an Israeli society suffering from fatigue, fed up of not being able to find a way out, or reason for hope. And fed up, too, of the knowledge that the other side is working tirelessly to destroy it.
Here they are, then, the questions, directed particularly to those carrying signs proclaiming their hatred of Israel through the streets of our cities – most of them the usual suspects, from the certain ones belonging to the radical left, always ready to raise their fist against Israel, to the various sectors of Islamism. It’s curious, in fact, this obscene partnership.
Those who go into the streets claim to do so in favor of the freedom of Palestine. Well, where have they been all these years, as the fundamentalist phenomena that oppressed the Palestinians were on the rise? Does Hamas have anything to do with freedom, or rather, doesn’t it have everything to do with Islamism of a fascist tendency? Is freedom defended by training children to commit suicide attacks and by enslaving women? Is freedom defended by Iran, which supports Hamas financially? Does freedom belong to the terrorists of Hezbollah?
Those who protest in the streets also say they do so out of solidarity. Well, solidarity with whom? With Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, who has been less critical of the incursion than any European carrying a sign? With the Palestinians who do not agree with having the financial aid sent to their people being used to build armies and prepare bomb attacks? Do they wonder what happens to these funds? Does solidarity with the Palestinians mean defending terrorism and excusing Hamas’ aggressions? Is peace defended by boosting Palestinian leaders who do not believe in it?
It is true that the intolerant left lives better by being anti-Israel. And it is also true that, in the face of complex realities, the vociferous masses prefer the simplicity of the “good” and the “bad.” But, beyond prejudice, facts are stubborn. Israel withdrew from Gaza, leaving intact the economic structures it had created. Hamas destroyed them all, and took advantage of the withdrawal to prepare an army of destruction. And hundreds of missiles later, it continues its preparations. The silence of this left, which is so loud today, has been very significant. What is happening in Gaza is tragic. But it did not start with the Israeli incursion. And to put all the blame on Israel is comfortable and simple, but useless. Because the main enemy of the Palestinian people comes from within.”

Why is Israel a rogue state?

November 28, 2010
A nation unlike any other in the world. 

by Gabriel Latner
A nation unlike any other in the world. 

On October 21, 2010, the prestigious Cambridge Union Society held a debate on the motion that “Israel is a rogue state.”

In the end, the proposition was defeated, but the event didn’t proceed without an unusual twist. Nineteen-year-old Gabriel Latner, one of the debaters “in favor” of the proposition, argued that, yes, Israel is a rogue state – but he spun it into a decidedly pro-Israel position.

Opening Statement

This issue is too polarizing for the vast majority of you not to already have a set opinion. I’d be willing to bet that half of you strongly support the motion, and half of you strongly oppose it… I’m tempted to do what my fellow speakers are going to do – simply rehash every bad thing the Israeli government has ever done in an attempt to satisfy those of you who agree with them. And perhaps they’ll even guilt one of you rare undecided into voting for the proposition, or more accurately, against Israel. It would be so easy to twist the meaning and significance of international “laws” to make Israel look like a criminal state. But that’s been done to death.

It would be easier still to play to your sympathy, with personalized stories of Palestinian suffering. And they can give very eloquent speeches on those issues. But the truth is, that treating people badly, whether they’re your citizens or an occupied nation, does not make a state “rogue.” If it did, Canada, the U.S. and Australia would all be rogue states based on how they treat their indigenous populations. Britain’s treatment of the Irish would easily qualify them to wear this sobriquet…

So I’m going to try something different, something a little unorthodox. I’m going to try and convince the die-hard Zionists and Israel supporters here tonight, to vote for the proposition. By the end of my speech – I will have presented five pro-Israel arguments that show Israel is, if not a “rogue state,” then at least “rogue-ish.”

Let me be clear. I will not be arguing that Israel is “bad.” I will not be arguing that it doesn’t deserve to exist. I won’t be arguing that it behaves worse than every other country. I will only be arguing that “Israel is rogue.”

The word “rogue” has come to have exceptionally damning connotations. But the word itself is value-neutral. The Oxford English Dictionary defines rogue as “Aberrant, anomalous; misplaced, occurring (esp. in isolation) at an unexpected place or time,” while a dictionary from a far greater institution gives this definition “behaving in ways that are not expected or not normal, often in a destructive way.”

These definitions, and others, center on the idea of anomaly – the unexpected or uncommon. Using this definition, a rogue state is one that acts in an unexpected, uncommon or aberrant manner. A state that behaves exactly like Israel.

Related Article: Jose Maria Aznar: Supporting Israel

Darfurian Refugees

(1) The first argument is statistical. The fact that Israel is a Jewish state alone makes it anomalous enough to be dubbed a rogue state. There are 195 countries in the world. Some are Christian, some Muslim, some are secular. Israel is the only country in the world that is Jewish. Or, to speak mathmo for a moment, the chance of any randomly chosen state being Jewish is 0.0051 percent. In comparison, the chance of a UK lotto ticket winning at least 10 British pounds is 0.017 percent – more than twice as likely. Israel’s Jewishness is a statistical aberration.

(2) The second argument concerns Israel’s humanitarianism, in particular, Israel’s response to a refugee crisis. Not the Palestinian refugee crisis – for I am sure that the other speakers will cover that – but the issue of Darfurian refugees. Everyone knows that what happened, and is still happening in Darfur, is genocide, whether or not the UN and the Arab League will call it such. There has been a mass exodus from Darfur as the oppressed seek safety. They have not had much luck.

Many have gone north to Egypt – where they are treated despicably. The brave make a run through the desert in a bid to make it to Israel. Not only do they face the natural threats of the Sinai, they are also used for target practice by the Egyptian soldiers patrolling the border. Why would they take the risk? Because in Israel they are treated with compassion – they are treated as the refugees that they are – and perhaps Israel’s cultural memory of genocide is to blame. The Israeli government has even gone so far as to grant several hundred Darfurian refugees citizenship. This alone sets Israel apart from the rest of the world.

But the real point of distinction is this: The IDF sends out soldiers and medics to patrol the Egyptian border. They are sent looking for refugees attempting to cross into Israel. Not to send them back into Egypt, but to save them from dehydration, heat exhaustion, and Egyptian bullets.

Compare that to the U.S. reaction to illegal immigration across their border with Mexico. The American government has arrested private individuals for giving water to border crossers who were dying of thirst – and here the Israeli government is sending out its soldiers to save illegal immigrants. To call that sort of behavior anomalous is an understatement.

Talking with Terrorists

(3) My third argument is that the Israeli government engages in an activity which the rest of the world shuns – it negotiates with terrorists. Forget the late PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, a man who died with blood all over his hands – they’re in the process of negotiating with terrorists as we speak. Yasser Abed Rabbo is one of the lead PLO negotiators that has been sent to the peace talks with Israel. Abed Rabbo also used to be a leader of the PFLP, an organization of “freedom fighters” that, under Abed Rabbo’s leadership, engaged in such freedom promoting activities as killing 22 Israeli high school students. And the Israeli government is sending delegates to sit at a table with this man, and talk about peace. And the world applauds.

You would never see the Spanish government in peace talks with the leaders of the ETA. The British government would never negotiate with Thomas Murphy. And if President Obama were to sit down and talk about peace with Osama Bin Laden, the world would view this as insanity. But Israel can do the exact same thing – and earn international praise in the process. That is the dictionary definition of rogue – behaving in a way that is unexpected, or not normal.

(4) Another part of dictionary definition is behavior or activity “occurring at an unexpected place or time.” When you compare Israel to its regional neighbors, it becomes clear just how roguish Israel is. And here is the fourth argument: Israel has a better human rights record than any of its neighbors. At no point in history, has there ever been a liberal democratic state in the Middle East – except for Israel.

Israel’s protection of its citizens’ civil liberties has earned international recognition. Freedom House is an NGO that releases an annual report on democracy and civil liberties in each of the 195 countries in the world. It ranks each country as “Free,” “Partly Free,” or “Not Free.” In the Middle East, Israel is the only country that has earned designation as a “free” country. Not surprising given the level of freedom afforded to citizens in say, Lebanon – a country designated “partly free,” where there are laws against reporters criticizing not only the Lebanese government, but the Syrian regime as well.

Iran is a country given the rating of “not free,” putting it alongside China, Zimbabwe, North Korea and Myanmar. In Iran, there is a special “Press Court” which prosecutes journalists for such heinous offences as criticizing the ayatollah, reporting on stories damaging the “foundations of the Islamic republic,” using “suspicious (i.e. Western) sources,” or insulting Islam. Iran is the world leader in terms of jailed journalists, with 39 reporters (that we know of) in prison as of 2009. They also kicked out almost every Western journalist during the 2009 election.

I guess we can’t really expect more from a theocracy. Which is what most countries in the Middle East are: theocracies and autocracies. But Israel is the sole, the only, the rogue, democracy. Out of every country in the Middle East, only in Israel do anti-government protests and reporting go unquashed and uncensored.

Debating One’s Legitimacy

(5) I have one final argument – the last nail in the opposition’s coffin – and its sitting right across the aisle. Ran Gidor’s presence here is the all evidence any of us should need to confidently call Israel a rogue state. For those of you who have never heard of him, Mr Gidor is a political counselor attached to Israel’s embassy in London. He’s the guy the Israeli government sent to represent them to the U.N. He knows what he’s doing. And he’s here tonight. And it’s incredible. Consider, for a moment, what his presence here means. The Israeli government has signed off, to allow one of their senior diplomatic representatives to participate in a debate on their very legitimacy.

That’s remarkable. Do you think for a minute, that any other country would do the same? If the Yale University Debating Society were to have a debate where the motion was, “This house believes Britain is a racist, totalitarian state that has done irrevocable harm to the peoples of the world,” that Britain would allow any of its officials to participate? No. Would China participate in a debate about the status of Taiwan? Never. And there is no chance that an American government official would ever be permitted to argue in a debate concerning its treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. But Israel has sent Ran Gidor to argue tonight against myself, a 19-year-old law student who is entirely unqualified to speak on the issue at hand.

Every government in the world should be laughing at Israel right now because it forgot rule number one: You never add credence to crackpots by engaging with them. It’s the same reason you won’t see Stephen Hawking or Richard Dawkins debate David Icke. But Israel is doing precisely that. Once again, behaving in a way that is unexpected, or not normal. Behaving like a rogue state.

That’s five arguments that have been directed at the supporters of Israel. But I have a minute or two left. And here’s an argument for all of you – Israel willfully and forcefully disregards international law. In 1981 Israel destroyed Osirak – Saddam Hussein’s nuclear bomb lab. Every government in the world knew that Hussein was building a bomb. And they did nothing. Except for Israel. Yes, in doing so they broke international law and custom. But they also saved us all from a nuclear Iraq.

That rogue action should earn Israel a place of respect in the eyes of all freedom loving peoples. But it hasn’t. But tonight, while you listen to us prattle on, I want you to remember something; while you’re here, Khomeini’s Iran is working toward the Bomb. And if you’re honest with yourself, you know that Israel is the only country that can, and will, do something about it. Israel will, out of necessity act in a way that is the not the norm, and you’d better hope that they do it in a destructive manner. Any sane person would rather a Rogue Israel than a Nuclear Iran.

Courtesy of Balfour Street blog

This article can be read on-line at:

The Middle East conflict

November 14, 2010

I am Israel

November 11, 2010

From Toledo to Jerusalem (1994)

November 9, 2010

For more than 500 years, Jews were one of the many groups of people who occupied Spain’s Iberian Peninsula. While this time was not without persecution against the Jewish people, it was a time of enlightenment for art, education, and culture. Now one of Israel’s top male vocalists, Yehoram Gaon, takes the viewer on a musical journey celebrating the rich Sephardic history. Breathtaking scenery, fascinating historical facts, and beautiful landmarks blend together with Gaon’s melodic songs to present a fresh view of an ancient culture