— Rebbe Nachman of Breslov
— Rebbe Nachman of Breslov
Four-year-old suffering from deadly heart condition successfully operated in Isreali hospital; ‘We can show Syrians, world we want peace,’ says surgeon
Telem YahavPublished: 05.14.13, 16:44 / Israel News
After an arduous journey, a four-year-old Syrian girl was successfully operated for a deadly heart condition in the Israeli Edith Wolfson Medical Center in Holon.
“Without the surgery she could have died within a few months, maybe even weeks,” said the surgeon, Doctor Lior Sasson. “It’s uplifting to perform surgery on a child from a hostile country. We can show Syrians and the world we look for peace.”
The child’s journey began three and a half years ago, when an examination in Syria revealed her heart had only one ventricle, instead of two, causing her chronic fatigue, weakness and shortness of breath, critically endangering her life.
When the Syrian civil war broke out, her mother realized that to save her daughter, the family has no choice but to leave the country and seek help for the girl from abroad. Half a year ago, they moved to Jordan, from which the mother appealed an American-Christian association and pleaded for their help.
The group approached the Israeli Save a Child’s Heart Foundation, and with Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar’s approval, the mother and her sick child arrived in Israel a few days ago for the complex open heart surgery in the Israeli hospital which specializes in such cases.
As said, the operation was a success, and the girl is currently recuperating ahead of her return to Jordan.
“At first I feared the Syrian regime’s response to our coming here,” said the mother. “Naturally, I myself was also afraid to come to Israel. But the moment I arrived I felt at ease. The doctors treated me and my girl nicely.”
Save a Child’s Heart Foundation Director Simon Fischer said the foundation has already helped more than 3,200 children from 44 countries worldwide.
“Bringing a child from an enemy state is an uneasy feat, which requires coordination between many groups. The child’s operation was made possible thanks to the support of Minister Sa’ar.”
May 19, 2013, 4:33 pm
mysterious First Temple-era archaeological find under a Palestinian orchard near Bethlehem is increasingly gaining attention — despite attempts to keep it quiet.
In February, a tour guide leading a group through an underground tunnel in the rural West Bank, not far from Jerusalem, was surprised to stumble upon the remains of a unique carved pillar.
The pillar matched monumental construction from the 9th or 8th centuries BCE — the time of the First Temple in Jerusalem. That signaled the presence of an important and previously unknown structure from that period.
Buried under earth and rubble, the pillar was now two yards below the surface.
The guide, Binyamin Tropper, notified antiquities officials. He was surprised when they encouraged him to leave the subject and the site alone, said Tropper, a guide with an educational field school at Kibbutz Kfar Etzion.
“They told me — we know about it, keep it quiet,” he said.
The remains are in the politically charged West Bank, on the outskirts of an Arab village and on land privately owned by a Palestinian — all reasons the Israeli government might deem attempting an excavation there a major political headache to be avoided.
When it became clear that antiquities officials did not intend to excavate what he believed to be a potentially huge find, Tropper went to the Hebrew press, where several reports have appeared on inside pages in recent weeks.
Tropper has kept the location secret to avoid attracting the attention of antiquities thieves.
Early this month, several prominent Israeli archaeologists were brought to inspect the site. Among them was Yosef Garfinkel, an archaeology professor from Hebrew University.
There is no doubt the remains are those of monumental construction from the time of the First Temple, Garfinkel said.
The top of the pillar, known as a capital, is of a type known as proto-aeolic, he said. That style dates to around 2,800 years ago.
The pillar marks the entrance to a carved water tunnel reaching 250 yards underground, he said, complex construction that would almost certainly have been carried out by a central government. At the time, the area was ruled by Judean kings in nearby Jerusalem.
In its scale and workmanship, Garfinkel said, the tunnel evokes another grand water project of First Temple times — the Siloam Tunnel in Jerusalem, now underneath the modern-day Arab neighborhood of Silwan. That project is believed to have been undertaken by the biblical king Hezekiah to channel water into the city ahead of an Assyrian siege in the 8th century BCE, according to an account in the biblical Book of Kings.
The existence of a large water tunnel at the new site suggests the presence nearby of a large farm or palace, Garfinkel said.
“The construction is first-rate,” he said. “There is definitely something important there from biblical times, the 9th or 8th centuries BCE.”
Archaeology in the Holy Land has long been caught up in modern-day politics. The Zionist movement always viewed unearthing remnants of the ancient past as a way of proving the depth of Jewish roots in the land. Palestinians, for their part, have increasingly taken to denying the existence of any ancient Jewish history and tend to condemn all archaeology conducted by Israel as an attempt to cement political control.
Palestinians would thus be unlikely to be sympathetic to the discovery of a new site of significance to Israel on land they claim for a future state.
Tropper, the guide, said he hoped interest from professional archaeologists would prod the government to conduct an excavation. The site could be a source of income for the Palestinian owners and the nearby village, he suggested.
The Israel Antiquities Authority has been careful in its public responses to reports of the new finding, but did not rule out an excavation.
“This is indeed an important find, which preliminary information dates to the time of the kings of Judah,” the authority said in a statement Sunday.
“At the same time, it should be known that the subject is sensitive and requires treatment that is delicate and responsible. The Antiquities Authority, along with all other relevant authorities, has been dealing with this for some time in an attempt to bring about the complete excavation of the remains, and will continue its attempts to do so.”
Guest Post By Raffe Gold
A few moments before 4:00 in the afternoon on 14 November 2012 Ahmed al-Jabari looked out the window of his car as it travelled down the dusty road. Israeli Air Force officers in the underground top-secret secure room in the Kirya Headquarters in Tel Aviv watched intently at the grey image that adorned the large screen. They knew that they only had a short window of time, seconds at the most, when they could successfully launch this attack. Jabari had the blood of innocent Israelis on his hands and rarely ventured out in public. When the IDF Chief of Staff had his chance he took it. Mere moments after al-Jabari was killed a tweet was sent out. This tweet would shape the conflict as one of the first major conflicts in which social media played an integral role on both sides.
It was only 24 words. In total it just edged on Twitter’s 140-character limit but it was a declaration of war. ‘The IDF has begun a widespread campaign on terror sites & operatives in the #Gaza Strip, chief among them #Hamas & Islamic Jihad targets’. This was the first shot fired across the bow in this new social media war. The mainstream media found themselves the targets of both pro and anti-Israel activists for their perceived biases in the conflict. Fox News was often denounced as being militantly pro-Israel whereas the British BBC was touted, as a mouthpiece for Islamic militants, the slogan ‘CNN lies’ became a popular bumper sticker in Israel during the mid-1990s. Both sides were looking for ways to both circumvent the media yet also to appeal to it. They each wanted to be perceived as the victims of aggression and paint their enemies as anything but.
The IDF began to formulate a social media strategy several years prior to that fateful November day. It began with a blog. The young soldier in the IDF Spokesperson’s Office who approached her superior with the idea was forced to pay for the blog’s hosting with her own credit card. Eventually the IDF began to expand their social media presence. They opened up a Facebook account, a Twitter account, a Google+ page….heck the IDF was even on Pinterest. Yet by far the most important social network that they signed up to was the video sharing website ‘YouTube’. It was here that they were able to create videos of rockets hitting Israeli homes and kindergartens, they were able to display some of the hateful propaganda which Hamas produced and they showed the pinpoint precision of IDF attacks. With this the IDF, well known for its innovative tactics on the battlefield, would take their case straight to the people.
As if they were enemies on the battlefield the IDF had collected reams of intelligence about their audience. They knew exactly when to post their content in order to capture the attention of people in America, Britain, Australia and scores of Western countries around the world. They were able to prove, through YouTube clips, that Hamas terrorists were hiding bombs in Mosques and using human shields and they were able to humanize their own soldiers by showing photos of them preparing for battle and helping citizens take shelter from rockets. They proudly displayed the advanced technology of the Iron Dome anti-missile system and they made sure to tweet, Facebook and record clips and pictures that were easily sharable. For the eight days that fighting dominated the mainstream media; the IDF dominated social media.
Academics and activists alike will long debate whether or not the IDF’s social media campaign was a success. The IDF’s twitter account gained more than 50,000 followers in only eight days and their content was constantly being shared amongst hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people. What we do know is that the IDF continued its long tradition of innovation and originality. They took the Israeli cause to the place where people were spending the majority of the time and they made them share their talking points. This was the greatest milestone of military communications in a generation and it proudly bears the colors blue and white.
Raffe Gold is the founder of Transcending Social Media, a social media consultancy agency based in Sydney. He has advised numerous NGOs and companies on the importance of social media and is currently writing a book about how social media has impacted both traditional and digital revolutions.
He can be contacted at email@example.com