Wailing Wall, Jerusalem

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Our Kiwi in Israel 2016

Michael Kuttner

Reports from our man on the ground.

First published in jWire


December 27, 2016

In a fitting finale to a year marked by international hypocrisy and double standards, Christmas and Chanukah are being celebrated by Christians and Jews in the very places where the original historical events took place.

Bethlehem in Judea and Jerusalem's Temple Mount are at the very core of these religious celebrations. These obvious facts most certainly never entered the closed minds of the band of merry men who proposed, promoted and finally presented a resolution to the corrupt United Nations which denied a Jewish connection to the very places which have seen a Jewish presence for three thousand years or more.

I have never felt more ashamed to be associated with a country which so shamelessly peddled such unadulterated rubbish as did New Zealand on Friday. For the first time since arriving in Israel twenty five years ago I had the dubious task of fending off a barrage of outraged questions from friends and neighbours alike. Normally when people discover we originally come from New Zealand they burst out in admiration for a country so full of natural beauty and friendly citizens. Now, however, the only thing that they associate with the country is a blind obsession and an inability to acknowledge reality on the ground here.

This Shabbat I was bombarded by an endless number of friends puzzled by the actions of a country which seems to have ditched any semblance of even handedness and has instead embraced the revisionist lies peddled by a motley collection of politicians. No matter how many times I tried to explain that not all Kiwis had joined the bandwagon of Israel bashing and that there were still many who were appalled at what had transpired, the prevailing response was bewilderment at their seeming lack of ability or perhaps motivation to influence legislators to see sense. .... More


20 December, 2016

There is no shortage of individuals or indeed organizations who when it comes to Israel and Jews are able to “put their feet in their mouths.”

This week has produced another bumper crop. Here are a few samples for your edification.

As mentioned last week I attended an international media summit where representatives of the Jewish media from many countries gathered to discuss, debate and exchange views on subjects facing Jewish communities worldwide. One of the panel discussions was devoted to the subject of “Anti Semitism and the Jews of Europe.” One of the questions posed was “Are the Jewish media doing enough to inform and mobilize the Jewish People?” The general consensus was that much more needs to be done. In a private conversation with two people I heard two diametrically opposed views. From someone living in Berlin I heard that Europe is doomed but most don't want to recognize this awkward fact. From another person living in Vienna I heard that life was wonderful and the Austrians are very friendly towards Jews. Take your pick as to what reality actually exists in Europe today.

One thing that came through loud and clear was the fact that American Jewry does not have a clue as to the real situation in Europe. A lady from California (where else?) maintained that “it can't happen here!” Anyone who still thinks that Jews anywhere are immune from the toxic effects of Jew hatred has certainly not learnt the lessons of recent history. The biggest clanger of the day however was provided by the gossip columnist of the Jerusalem Post who in all seriousness claimed that the Holocaust was not unique. She went on to claim that the Jewish insistence on exclusive victimhood makes the rest of the world hate us. .... More


13 December, 2016

It's been another busy week with John Kerry having a tantrum, the UN performing as per the usual script and some Palestinian Arab journalists trying to put confusing spins on history.

An extraordinary scene played out at the Brookings Institute annual gathering when John Kerry gave a keynote speech.
Unsurprisingly it centered on Israel and featured the US Secretary of State venting his spleen on the Jewish State. Reminiscent of a spoilt child throwing a tantrum after having been refused his demands the outgoing politician blamed everyone but himself for a disastrously failed Middle East policy. From Aleppo to Yemen, Iraq to Iran and all points in between, Kerry's attempts at foreign diplomacy have produced chaos, confusion, abandonment of allies and strengthening of terror groups and their sponsors.

Israel's refusal to accept sacrificial lamb status and allow itself to be the 2016 version of Munich's Czechoslovakia sell out has obviously been the straw that has broken the camel's back. Lashing out at Israel's leaders and hysterically branding Jewish settlement and settlers as beyond the pale he has at the end of the day revealed the real agenda driving the Obama Administration. The venue was ideal. Receiving funding from Hamas terror sponsoring Qatar and other Gulf States, the Brookings Institute was the perfect place to dump on Israel. John Kerry is of course entitled to speak his mind and articulate frustration .... More


6 December, 2016

Incendiary incitement usually results in a burning desire to take action and so it proved this past week.

It has taken the better part of a week and international assistance to douse the wildfires which “spontaneously” erupted up and down the country. The end result has been large swathes of forest and nature reserves plus homes and communities destroyed and damaged. People have been displaced causing disruptions to normal life and precious personal property has been lost to the flames.

There is ample evidence of deliberate arson and as the police arrest more suspects it is becoming clear that a concerted campaign of terror by fire was launched. It has been proven over many years that inflammatory incitement inevitably leads to pyromaniac terror and other forms of terrorist activity. The drip feed of poison which is imbibed by Arab school children, teenagers and adults inculcates a culture of hate which leads to acts of violence.

If further proof was needed it was provided by the eruption of joyous celebrations in Arab media. Celebrating the devastation being caused, those who have been conditioned to hate took to the streets and held parties. Needless to say this spurred on others to start new fires and thus the atmosphere of incitement fuelled the ongoing mayhem. It is important to point out that most of the joy expressed emanated from Palestinian Arabs and others in the wider Arab world. Israeli Arabs on the other hand, realizing that these terror tactics threatened their homes as well, generally condemned the arsonists and offered practical assistance to those displaced. .... More


29 November, 2016

Hardly a day passes when Jews and the Jewish State are not featured in the media.

Occasionally featuring positive, but more often than not highlighting negative and one sided reports, one can guarantee that newspapers, news broadcasts and websites somewhere in the world will be publishing and posting stories about us. This unnatural and obsessive fetish inevitably leads to millions of readers and viewers gaining a distorted and warped perception of what Jews and Israel are up to.

Why should a group of people so miniscule in the overall scheme of the world's population and a country so small that it can hardly be seen on a map of the world be the constant target for the global media? Why for example did CNN feel compelled to display a banner headline from a far right group proclaiming “Jews are not people?” They have since apologized but of course the damage has already been done. This is just one example of how the media operates when it comes to reporting about Israel and Jews.

The selective distortion of facts and often the deliberate omission of balanced facts is an endemic epidemic these days. Watching news presentations on various channels is a mind numbing torture especially when one knows that what is being presented to an ignorant audience is false and devoid of any balance whatsoever.

This past week has once again seen a bumper crop of noxious news. How has the media in your part of the globe handled it? Did they ignore it altogether and if not, how distorted was its presentation? .... More


14 November, 2016

Undoubtedly the major and only talking point internationally this week is the election of Donald Trump as President of the USA.

For the first time a non politician and non establishment figure has been elected to the highest office in the land. In achieving this amazing feat, Donald Trump demolished the vested interests and elitist groups which have infested Washington for umpteen years. He also single handedly destroyed the cozy club of left wing self styled progressives and their politically correct army of hangers on.

Most of the media and the “beautiful” people inhabiting the make believe world of Hollywood and who cheered lustily for Hilary Clinton have been left stunned by the earthquake which has just occurred. Above all the pollsters have once again been left with egg on their collective faces. Political experts and commentators have likewise been left looking bereft as their wild and inaccurate predictions have been destroyed along with their credibility.

In a few words we can confidently state that the entire political and media establishment have been stumped by Trump. .... More


30 October, 2016

Hardly a day goes by when we are not bombarded with what has become infallible dogma from befuddled politicians, media and others who either wish we were not here anymore or are just mouthing politically correct slogans.

It is important to get this subject into some sort of perspective and strip away all the myths, misconceptions and plain old lies which seem to have multiplied as time goes by. In the complete absence of any semblance of historical veracity or current logic the repeated repetition of worn out ideas fulfills no discernable purpose. Given the total detachment from reality on the ground displayed by the multitude of international self proclaimed experts who usually think they know what is best for us, it could well be a useful exercise to clarify some home truths.

These can basically be divided into two main subjects. First the legal facts as they pertain to another Palestinian Arab State and second some recent surprising developments which the media in general prefers to ignore. .... More


24 October, 2016 by Michael Kuttner

As predicted, the Jewish New Year has kicked off with a bumper crop of anti Israel activity.

All those naïve individuals who hoped that the United Nations and its associated organizations would embrace truth and spurn lies about the Jewish State should by now be wondering how once again they could be so delusional. The trouble is that no matter how many times reality hits them in the face they continue to dwell in cloud cuckoo land.

While carnage continues on a scale scarcely seen since the end of the Second World War in Aleppo and Mosul as well as Yemen and other parts of the “new” Middle East, endless hours are wasted on convening meetings and condemning the Jewish State.

Let's make one thing clear at the very beginning. The instigators of all these slanderous accusations against Israel are none other than our continually touted “peace partner.” These malignant legacies of Oslo and those who helped bring it about demonstrate on a daily basis their real agenda. Manipulating willing facilitators such as the UN, NGO's and their poisonous international funders they pursue their objective by crippling, emasculating, demonizing and boycotting Israel. The Palestinian Arabs and their helpers instead of working day and night for genuine peace, tolerance and co-existence devote all their energies towards fostering mythical historical lies and the elimination of any Jewish presence in our homeland. .... More


18 October, 2016

The VIP's have returned to their countries and the oratorical funeral eulogies have subsided.

Jerusalemites can breathe easy now that roads have been re-opened and the suffocating security dislocation of the past week has passed. Having been bombarded with overblown rhetoric, gratuitous advice and unsolicited lecturing by Barak Obama and Bill Clinton we are faced with reality again as opposed to flights of fancy.

The legacy of Oslo has once again hit us full in the face. We must deal with its disastrous consequences as opposed to all those who either admonish us from a safe distance or who prefer to pretend that peace is just around the corner. The latest leftist politically correct narrative is to accuse anyone who refuses to rejoice over the prospect of surrendering parts of our land to terrorists as desecrators of the legacy of the late Shimon Peres. This legacy which has been elevated to the infallible level of revealed dogma has resulted in murder and misery for innumerable Israelis.

This past week has vividly demonstrated not only the utter failure of Oslo but also its dire consequences for the citizens of the Jewish State. Any more explicit examples would be hard to find. .... More


9 October, 2016

One couldn't have asked for a bigger stage than last week's funeral for Shimon Peres z&lddquo;l, with all the strutting actors performing according to a pre-ordained script.

It was certainly the end of an era. The last of Israel's founding fathers and disciple of David Ben Gurion, Shimon Peres was a larger than life figure who played a pivotal role in the country's many momentous events since 1948. Without a doubt it was his consummate and often surreptitious skills which enabled the fledgling State to build a formidable defense force and associated industry. Ben Gurion had the foresight to realize that only by establishing a first class IDF and acquiring the most modern weapons could Israel survive in a region which was dedicated to its destruction. In Peres he found a young talented linguistically savvy assistant who shared his vision and moreover who was not afraid to take bold steps to achieve ultimate objectives.

Thus, when countries banned the export of desperately needed armaments to the Jewish State it was thanks to a combination of chutzpah and bold strategy that enabled Peres to persuade the French authorities to sell modern weaponry. Not just weapons as it turned out but also to build what was laughingly referred to as Israel's first “textile” factory in Dimona. .... More


20 September, 2016
“Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously and accepting both of them.”

The art of double think and double speak has reached such a level of sophistication that if George Orwell was still alive today he would marvel at how acceptable this 1984 symptom has become in the current corridors of power. Every week provides yet more examples of how we are bombarded with statements designed to confuse, befuddle and lie. Plain speaking it seems is now banned by the guardians of the politically correct and is instead replaced with banality and truth evading pomposity.

As usual Israel is the target of most double speak although there are also some other victims. Here is a selection of the latest eruptions.

How many times have you heard the well worn and by now thoroughly discredited double speak mantra of two democratic states for two people living together in peace and tolerance? A more perfect example of double think would be hard to find yet the politicians who burble this nonsense continue to promote this fatally flawed vision despite all evidence that it is doomed to failure. Look around the Arab world today and add up the number of democracies. How many fingers would you need to calculate it? None it seems. The Palestinian Arab Authority, long touted as a paragon of democratic aspirations and our intended partner, is a glittering example of how double speak operates in the rarified reaches of political and media territory. ... More


12 September, 2016
This has been another vintage week during which many individuals once again demonstrated an uncanny ability to detach from truthful reality.

First off the block was New Zealand's Foreign Minister who predictably performed according to a well worn script. Assuming the Presidency of the UN Security Council for the second and last time he quite correctly mentioned that organization's abject failure to resolve the continuing Syrian genocidal civil war in particular and other festering conflicts in general. Instead of realizing that the United Nations as currently constituted is incapable of tackling anything meaningful he once again latched on to Israel Palestinian Arab illusory peace mirages. ....

What a contrast to Julie Bishop, the Australian Foreign Minister who has just concluded a visit to Israel. In refreshingly clear and unambiguous language, she stated: Australia and Israel are among the closest of friends and we have shared values, shared outlook and we work together for the betterment of humankind. She said Australia is one of the very small handful of countries that continues to take a stand in multilateral forums against obviously biased, discriminatory and unfair resolutions put forward and that this will continue”. More


6 September, 2016 by Michael Kuttner

George Orwell predicted that in an age of universal deceit telling the truth would become a revolutionary act.

When one surveys the sorry state of the world in general these days and in particular the almost daily fixation that most have with the Jewish State, Orwell's brilliant prophecy rings true. Deceit and its close relatives, double standards and hypocrisy, are alive, well and thriving in the international corridors of power.
Living in Israel one tends to notice this because we are the targets of venomous vitriol, bare faced lies, blatant boycotts and incessant incitement. The assault on Israel takes many forms ranging from physical acts of terror, verbal abuse, and revisionist narratives to deliberate delegitimization. It is incessant and unrelenting and emanates from fair weather friends and implacable foes alike.

Most Israelis look with astonishment and incredulity at events currently taking place on the world stage and can only shake their heads in wonder over how despite clear evidence to the contrary our little country is continually seen as the source of all turmoil.

Some of this week's examples should suffice to illustrate the age of deceit we live in. .... More

Black Holes

28 August, 2016
The current conventional understanding of these phenomena is that nothing can escape being sucked into the seemingly mysterious holes in space.

However in a dramatic discovery this week an Israeli scientist may have paved the way to proving Hawking's black hole theory. This challenges current belief that nothing can escape black holes and instead demonstrates that mysterious celestial bodies are slowly evaporating. The ramifications of this theory are unclear to all but a few select scientists.

This discovery may be earth shattering to some. For those of us however who follow the machinations of what passes for international diplomacy as far as it impacts the Middle East in general and Israel in particular, the presence of black holes and their ability to make matter disappear is something which has been around for many years. It certainly is no mystery except to those who still delight in living in a parallel universe, lost in an outer space of unreality and starry eyed political correctness.

Ever since the fatally flawed Oslo accords which resurrected the terrorists led by Arafat and created the corrupt Palestinian Authority, the international community has been pouring billions of dollars into not one but a multitude of black holes. These Government sanctioned funds which are your tax monies .... More


21 August, 2016

The latest buzzwords among the politically correct elites these days have become holy writ. Woe betides anyone who dares to challenge this example of religious dogma.

I believe it is about time to explode the myth of those who believe that only black lives matter. It is the ugly manifestations of Israel phobia lying beneath the surface and now coming to the fore which need to be exposed for what they are.

The USA is the birth place of this movement which has now transported itself to other countries. It has mutated from a genuine concern over violence by police against black Americans to enthusiastic cheer leaders for Palestinian Arab terror acts against Israelis and Jews. In response to restrained and rather tepid voices of protest by some Jewish groups over this embrace of Islamic Jew hatred those behind this movement of black lives matter have reacted with undisguised venom. The very notion that all lives matter is dismissed outright as a symptom of racist, colonialist, apartheid superiority. The idea is to shut down those who dare expose the glaring hypocrisy and double standards and in most cases it succeeds. The heavy hand of political correctness is so prevalent these days that at the slightest whiff of being tainted as a racist those who point out the obvious are effectively silenced. More


This Sunday, many Jews worldwide will be remembering the first exile of their ancestors from Judea to Babylon and subsequent calamities including the destruction of the first and second Temples.

Originally recorded in Psalm 137 and a few years ago popularized by the group Boney M. the images of the Jewish exiles mourning and yearning for Zion have been seared into Jewish consciousness over the millennia.

The lyrics succinctly sum up the theme of this sad yet at the same time hopeful day.

By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down
Ye-eah we wept, when we remembered Zion.

When the wicked
Carried us away in captivity
Required from us a song
Now how shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land

Let the words of our mouth and the meditation of our hearts
Be acceptable in thy sight here tonight

By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down
Ye-eah we wept, when we remembered Zion.

Several questions come to mind at this time.

With the return of a large number of Jewish exiles to the resurrected Jewish homeland is there any point in still having a day of mourning for the loss of sovereignty so long ago? When a minority of exiled Jews came back to Judea from Babylon they faced a herculean task in rebuilding a devastated country.
Facing local hostility and hate they looked to their brethren in Babylonia for not only material aid but also hoped that the majority of them would wake up and realize that the material illusions of safety in a strange land were fleeting. Unfortunately, like today, the gathering storm clouds were ignored until it was too late. More

Counterproductive and Clueless

7 August, 2016

Another week has passed with yet more manifestations of madness masquerading as gestures designed to promote an illusory peace.

From tunnel tours to termites to corrosion and finally duplicitous deceptions in Ramallah, the whole gamut of what passes for international hypocrisy was on display in recent days.

Most tourists to Israel usually visit the Western Wall and also tour the spectacular tunnels beneath the Wall which show beyond doubt the ancient and historical Jewish presence in Jerusalem. Faced with irrefutable proof of how and where the Temples were constructed one leaves with a feeling of awe, not only at the complicated engineering techniques needed to build them but also at the dedication of those undertaking the task. In addition, the realization that generations of Jews walked, stood and prayed in the very places now restored, imparts a sense of being part of an ongoing march of Jewish destiny.

In contrast, tours of vastly different sorts of tunnels are taking place in Gaza this summer. Constructed with concrete intended to build homes, clinics and schools and delivered to Hamas by courtesy of Israel's misguided humanitarian gestures, these terror tunnels serve a sinister agenda. They exist for the sole purpose of carrying out terror and murder of Israelis, a stark fact which the international community prefers to ignore.

During the current summer school vacation, Hamas has organized tours of these facilities combined with an exhibition of weapons and explanations of various methods for murdering Israelis. More


31 July, 2016

It was inevitable that sooner rather than later, the chickens released by the European Union's open borders would come home to roost with a vengeance.

Thus it is coming to pass as we witness a week in which terror attacks in France and Germany bring home the unpalatable truth that borderless and uncontrolled frontiers, instead of heralding the expected age of love, brotherhood and harmony, have instead facilitated the spread of Islamic jihadist terror on an unprecedented scale. The prevailing political correctness whereby acts of terror are attributed to unbalanced and mentally disturbed individuals has blinded those in power to the real and menacing forces on their very doorstep. A refusal to initially at least acknowledge the evil ideology driving this latest wave of terror combined with a fatally flawed and blinkered blindness to actually doing anything drastic to defeat this scourge, has led to the terrorists becoming ever more brazen.

It is pathetic to witness after every barbaric atrocity how the authorities squirm and wriggle in order to avoid placing the blame where it should be and instead issue pathetic statements of denial. It is only after the evidence becomes so overwhelming that those in charge can actually bring themselves to mention the word Islamic terror. The latest outrage where a Catholic Priest was murdered as he was taking mass in Church is only the latest example of where this weak kneed policy is leading. President Hollande maintains that his country is at war with Islamic terrorists but apart from great sounding rhetoric and a beefed up police and army presence nothing much else is happening to destroy the terror cells lurking and waiting to be activated. Mind you this is still marginally better than the current USA administration which has banned the words Islamic terror and operates in a wonderland of denial. More


The definition of this phrase is: “messy consequences brought about by previously secret or ignored situations becoming public.”

Nothing could be more appropriate as one surveys the wreckage of this past week's events.

First of all we had the sickening spectacle of yet another jihadist causing murder and mayhem in the name of Islam on the streets of Nice, France. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology the entire terror attack and its aftermath was broadcast live via social media and TV around the world instantly. Those familiar with the carnage which occurs in these situations knew straight away that it was more than a mere vehicular accident. Others, including the French authorities, were loathe at first to apportion blame lest the politically correct mob was stirred into righteous indignation. Only when it became apparent and abundantly clear that this was a terror attack perpetrated by yet another brainwashed fanatic did the French authorities admit that indeed something more sinister than an out of control driver was involved.

This reluctance to face reality is now endemic throughout western democratic countries and nowhere is it more pronounced than in Europe and in Washington. Jihadist Islam is at war with civilized societies everywhere but those under attack, or at least most of their leaders, prefer to ignore, sweep it under the carpet and if possible keep the truth secret. However in a world where keeping things secret is almost impossible the aftereffects when they hit the fan, splatter everywhere. More


15 July, 2016
“Opportunities are like sunrises. If you wait too long you miss them.”

This quote by William Arthur Ward, American author and motivational speaker, succinctly sums up the situation Israel currently finds itself in. One of the reasons for the success story called Israel, and contrary to all those who cry doom and gloom every Monday & Thursday, is the ability to seize opportunities and make stunning achievements as a result. Ever since 1948, situations which seemed dire and hopeless have been turned around, sometimes in miraculous ways, to confound all those doomsday soothsayers masquerading as experts. Apart from the unique Jewish reliance on Divine miracles there is no doubt that opportunities grasped have transformed this country from an arid desert wasteland to a water surplus technology giant on the world stage.

The need to grasp opportunities and make the most of them has never been more relevant and urgent. Faced with Europe staggering under the weight of economic and political turmoil which given current circumstances will lead to the European Union's implosion, Israel has an urgent need to seek trading opportunities with other parts of the world. Moreover, Europe's unhealthy and unhelpful negative obsessions with the Jewish State's vital interests, sours an already skeptical relationship. When Israelis see the reappearance of labeling, boycotts and questioning of its very right to exist at all, the prospects of enhancing links with this sick continent seem fruitless in the long term. .... More


11 July, 2016 by Michael Kuttner
First published in jWire

“In wonderland, Alice knew she had but to open her eyes again and all would change to dull reality.”

This quote from the book, exquisitely encapsulates the situation we face today as all and sundry stumble around, deliberately oblivious to the threats and dangers looming ever larger. One would have thought that by now the warning signals would be glaringly obvious yet like lemmings stampeding towards the cliff, a mob mentality of madness has taken hold. It is as though those who should be waging a battle to save civilization, have all fallen down a black hole and are living in some sort of wonderland where logic and reality have been replaced by mirages, fantasy and hallucinations.

This past week has witnessed the horrendous murder of a 13 year old girl, stabbed to death in her bed, by a teenage Palestinian Arab. Fuelled by daily doses of incitement and hate from the media, educators and those erroneously touted as “peace partners,” a generation of youth now aspire to become honoured martyrs and heroes. Lauded by political leaders, peers and parents, these murderous representatives of a sick and twisted ideology are held up as role models.

Following on the heels of this horrendous event we had the murder of the head of a Yeshiva and father of 10 children by Arabs ....

Hate education of children continues in Palestinian Arab schools and at summer camps. Here is the latest example of this as broadcast on Israel TV recently:.... Read More


1 July 2016 by Michael Kuttner
First published in jWire

Unlike Shakespeare's words from Romeo and Juliet the partings which have taken place recently and others which are bound to occur contain a mixture of bitterness and blessed relief.

The biggest parting earthquake was of course the UK referendum result which in the face of all the polls and political pundits resulted in a victory for the Brexit campaign. The aftershocks from that seismic event are still rumbling across the UK political landscape and the casualties are mounting with ever increasing collateral damage. David Cameron, in classic British stiff upper lip style, resigned and this triggered a series of events which are unprecedented in UK political life for many years. The British Prime Minister’s departure is regretted by most Israelis because he was and still remains a genuine advocate for the Jewish State. He did not always overcome the inherently anti Israel bias of the Foreign Office but there is no denying that compared with many other political leaders in the UK and certainly in the EU, his understanding of and commitment to Israel's rights is exemplary.

On the other hand the leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, representative of the hard left and certainly no friend of Israel, ...More


24 June 2016 by Michael Kuttner
First published in jWire

By the time you read this, the results of the British referendum will be known.

Whether the UK remains or exits the European Union the repercussions of its decision will be felt by Israel and Jews in Europe alike. My observations are based on many discussions held with British Jews and observing past, current and potential actions emanating from the continent of Europe.

The EU was originally conceived as a free trade union known as the Common Market. Its original intentions were laudable and designed to benefit all members and create a strong and peaceful cohesive trading bloc on a continent which in past generations had been torn apart by nationalistic tendencies. The United Kingdom did not join at first because the British were suspicious of getting too tangled up with European problems. However it soon became apparent that in order to safeguard the UK's trade relationships and guarantee future beneficial trading deals joining this venture would be advisable. Thus in 1973 it joined and this action was confirmed in 1975 by a referendum. I still remember the chaos this caused in New Zealand because at one stroke the country's preferential trade agreements with the UK were ditched and instead of Commonwealth solidarity the long and slippery slope towards a continent dominated by Germany commenced. ... More


17 June, 2016 by Michael Kuttner
First published in jWire

Unlike its Russian namesake one can guarantee that every weapon is fully loaded and intended to be lethal.

Every day is a target of terror but some days are more lethal than others. That is why Ramadan which lasts an entire month has become over the years a favourite time for the carrying out of terror attacks against innocent civilians. Regardless of whether those targeted are fellow Moslems or others identified as infidels the fact remains that a brutal war has been declared precisely at a time when faithful followers of Islam are observing one of their most sacred festivals. A time of fasting, introspection and dedication to good deeds has become hijacked in large parts of the Islamic world by an agenda of murder, mayhem, jihad and hate. This year is no exception to past years, all of which have produced a bumper crop of terrorist outrages against innocent civilians right around the globe.

Israelis have become used to the fact that as Ramadan rolls around each year, the level of incitement and threats mount in ferocity and the probability of terror is guaranteed. These days this Ramadan rage has spread to almost every part of the world. No country is immune from this toxic poison. Thus it has proven again this year with devastating results. It is instructive to observe the reactions of those targeted because unfortunately despite the clear messages of the jihadists there are still far too many who do not want to acknowledge the stark realities exploding in their faces.... More


9 June, 2016 by Michael Kuttner
First published in jWire

Listening carefully to what individuals or groups are saying about you is a prerequisite to understanding what actions may subsequently follow.

During the Jewish People's millennial march through history there has been virtually no period when they have not been subjected to verbal abuse followed inevitably by attempts to physically eliminate them. One would think that these experiences had inculcated a keen sense of danger of where threats can lead. It is true that some kind of early warning system has developed which alerts many to the imminent dangers ahead. In fact Jews have been described as the canaries in the coalmine in so far as they are usually the first victims of disasters but certainly not the last.

Canaries are passive victims of their own vulnerabilities and while this was true of Jews in past generations, with the re-establishment of the Jewish homeland it is not so today. The verbal lies, slanders and delegitimization may remain the same but our ability to counter them bears no relationship to our defenseless helplessness prior to 1948.
Tragically there are still too many who ignore those threatening us and who have not learnt the lessons of history. Most of the international community carries on as they always have and in some ways this is expected. The real tragedies are those targeted as the first victims who prefer to pretend that nothing is amiss. Not taking threats against us seriously is the first step on a slippery slope of denial, inaction and often fatal finality.... More


3 June, 2016 by Michael Kuttner
First published in jWire

In a few days time most of us here in Israel will be celebrating the anniversary of the liberation of half our Capital from illegal Jordanian occupation.

It will be an opportunity for the usual deniers of Jewish sovereignty, locally and internationally, to denounce our historical and legal rights. Their cacophony of delegitimisation will once again drown out, thanks to the media, the few sane voices of reason which seek to shine a spotlight on incontrovertible facts and truths. This is nothing new and has been the hallmark of Judeophobia and incitement over many years. Students of history recognize the tactics only too well. ... More


Michael Kuttner

Honest Reporting Down Under has caught Radio New Zealand out yet again.

During their regular morning show they discussed two items relating to Israel and interviewed two so called experts who presented totally one sided and unbalanced perspectives.

The first totally misrepresented what Prime Minister Netanyahu had said relating to the shooting of a terrorist in Hebron.

The second topic concerned the possibility of death penalties for convicted terrorists who have murdered Israelis. In this segment the views expressed by the person interviewed were the usual half truths and twisted versions of reality. In neither case were those interviewed by Radio New Zealand challenged to provide proof of their allegations or questioned as to the veracity of their assertions.

Compounding this travesty was the fact that Radio New Zealand did not feel it necessary to interview anyone who could have presented rebuttals to the distortions broadcast.

One of the fundamental requirements for fair and balanced reporting is the basic need to provide the opportunity for both sides to be heard. Once again, when it comes to Israel, Radio New Zealand has failed to live up to this requirement.

Yarden Frankel's full report (from Honest Reporting) can be read here: honestreporting.com/radio-new-zealands-biased-sources More


Michael Kuttner
The latest in a series of videos exposing hate education in UNRWA schools has just been released.

Produced by the Center for Near East Policy Research this short documentary shows how schools in Palestinian Arab refugee camps continue to inculcate incitement against Jews and Israel. Spanning elementary, intermediate and high schools these children are being indoctrinated to become future jihadists, martyrs and murderers. This has been going on for quite some time and yet donor nations prefer to avert their eyes and pretend that nothing untoward is happening. They prefer to accept the assurances provided by UNRWA and its army of apologists.

One has to wonder how in the face of incontrovertible evidence provided by the students themselves and the text books which have been translated by experts from Arabic, it is business as usual. Millions of dollars continue to pour into the coffers of an organization which is dedicated to the perpetuation of refugee misery and whose schools are breeding grounds for the next generation of terrorists.

There are many well meaning individuals in Israel who have established sporting groups which bring together Israelis and Arabs in order to prove that sport can overcome the toxic effects of a poisoned education and upbringing. In their own limited sphere of influence they are helping to spread an ethos of tolerance to the participants of these programmes. However when faced with the mass indoctrination taking place in schools in particular and amongst Arab society in general the prognosis seems anything but positive.

Watch this latest video and judge for yourselves. This scandalous situation will only change when donor nations demand accountability and refuse to fund the sort of education exposed in this documentary. ...www.youtube.com/
Download a pdf for PEDAGOGICAL POISON


By Michael Kuttner
Honest Reporting Down Under has just released its latest assessment on the media down under.
Download a pdf

Yarden Frankel reports that the New Zealand Broadcasting Complaints Authority has upheld a complaint lodged by the Wellington Palestine Group against Television NZ .... For a full report on Honest Reporting’s reaction to this piece of revisionist thinking click on the link. http://honestreporting.com/is-jerusalem-in-israel

Incessant Interference

27 May, 2016 by Michael Kuttner

Consumer warning: Some contents may be disturbing or unsuitable for politically correct and sensitive individuals. Guidance is advised.

For those who just cannot bring themselves to acknowledge the inane and insane behaviour exhibited by members of the international community towards Israel, every outrageous example provokes feelings of frustration, anger and wrath. These reactions please note are not directed at the hypocritical perpetrators but rather at those who blow the whistle and highlight the ongoing campaign of double standards. This past week provided yet more proof of the incessant interference Israel faces. Anyone whose blood pressure rises at revelations of such blatant goings on but prefers to blame the messenger rather than the initiator should stop reading now.

Spouting forth from the heart of the European Union we witnessed more manifestations of malevolence towards the Jewish State. One could aptly call it “Brussels Sprouts noxious crops.” ... More


May 19, 2016 by Michael Kuttner
First published in jWire

Every year at this time our misnamed “peace partners” and their cheer leaders mourn the re- establishment of the Jewish State.

Referred to as the “nakba” this Arabic word means disaster or catastrophe and has become the all embracing slogan for lamenting the fact that Israel exists and that Jews have succeeded in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds to create a technologically advanced democratic society.

One would have thought after sixty eight years they might have received the message that their current plight is entirely one of their own making. If we were dealing with normal societies where logic and common sense prevail that would be the case. However given the dysfunctional state of Arab countries today, the symptoms of self inflicted disasters and delusions have reached unprecedented levels. Instead of helping them to recognize reality, past and present, the international community prefers to support and promote policies which not only deny reality but also guarantee future disappointments.... More


May 13, 2016 by Michael Kuttner
First published in jWire

As I write these lines Yom Hazikaron (Memorial Day for Fallen soldiers and terror victims) is concluding.

It is a day to remember and honour all those who have fallen in the line of duty and who have been murdered and maimed by terrorists for no reason other than that they are Jews or non Jewish Israelis. The wailing of the siren on the eve of this day as the commemoration begins at the Western Wall is a stark reminder of the losses sustained not just since 1948 but ever since the illegal Roman occupation of Judea and Samaria. This year one could not ignore the recent UNESCO declaration that the Wall has no connection to the Jewish People but is in fact a Moslem holy site. The French Prime Minister who is due here shortly to peddle his tainted plan obviously has realized that voting for this fatally flawed resolution has doomed any chance that those who conspire daily to murder us will finally recognize the Jewish connection to Israel. All the spin and damage control cannot undo the damage already caused. At least he has admitted that the resolution passed flies in the face of all historical facts. This is more than can be said for New Zealand's Foreign Minister whose stunning silence on the subject reflects an unbalanced and total detachment from the daily campaign of lies and delegitimization of Israel at the UN.

Yom Hazikaron day also starts off with a 2 minute siren with the whole country coming to a complete halt. Following this the memorial services take place at every military cemetery throughout the country. Bereaved parents, grandparents, orphans, extended family members and friends visit the graves of their loved ones. Heart rending scenes are enacted at each and every grave. Witnessing this nationwide grieving by young children to elderly adults brings home the enormous sacrifices which were made and continue to be made in order that the Jewish State resurrected from the smoking ashes of the Shoah can survive and flourish.

Do you know how many have fallen protecting Israel from Arab wars to destroy us? The number is staggering for a country as small as Israel.... More

Isi Leibler


On 7 June, Bar Ilan University will be conferring a well deserved Doctorate Honoris Causa on Isi Leibler in recognition of his many years of service to the Jewish People and the State of Israel.

In anticipation of this event, J-Wire interviewed him at his Jerusalem home. The subjects traversed past, present and future challenges as seen by someone who has been in the forefront of momentous events from the early 1960's up until the present day. Download the pdf article


May 8, 2016 by Michael Kuttner
First published in jWire

Who in their wildest dreams could have imagined as the horrors of the Shoah were exposed in 1945 that a mere seventy one years later we would be faced once again with a global outbreak of the same hatred which resulted in the murder of six million Jews and countless others?

Amazing as it may seem to many but unsurprising as it is to those whose grasp of Jewish history is strong, the virulent virus of Jew hatred has made a resurgent return. This time it has crossed national boundaries to infect huge swathes of the globe. Without a doubt modern means of communication have facilitated its rapid spread.

The poisonous seeds of Judeophobia which were laying more or less dormant have now sprouted their venomous vines into almost every corner. Once upon a time this infectious plague was confined to certain groups such as ultra nationalist right wing sectors, Church theologians and uneducated peasant societies. Today it seems that this poison has penetrated even areas which once seemed immune. One of the attributes of this virus is its uncanny ability to mutate into different forms and this is precisely the situation we now face.

This week's annual commemoration of the Shoah is a stark reminder especially for those who have been lulled into a sense of complacency that if anything the dangers are growing and real. When an Israeli mother who lives in Berlin confesses to a newspaper that she has instructed her children not to speak Hebrew on the street and that she and her family keep their Jewish origins under tight wraps, one has to wonder whether we are living in the 1930's or today’s reality. Why there should be any Jews still living permanently in Europe is another matter altogether but the spectacle of Israeli Jews in particular cowering in the shadows lest they be targeted is a potent symptom of the sickness now sweeping the globe.... More

Deliberate Feckless Foolish Folly

April 8, 2016 by Michael Kuttner
First published in jWire

How many times must we endure a never ending stream of unmitigated folly? When it comes to Israel apparently the answer is simple: without limit.

The intermediate days of Passover have provided us with perfect examples (as though more were actually needed) of the sort of hypocrisy which pervades the international community these days.

No sooner had we finished reciting at the Seder, “in every generation there are those who rise up to kill us” then it once more came to pass. From a teenage terrorist blowing himself up on a Jerusalem bus to incitement from our non existent “peace partners” to plans for an international gang up on Israel initiated by the French and cheered on by New Zealand, all these manifestations of malevolent intentions erupted to try and disturb our Passover festivities.

Passover is one of the three Pilgrim Festivals of ancient Israel when Jews from wherever they resided made the difficult journey to Jerusalem to pray at the Temple. ... More

Resetting the GPS

April 22, 2016 by Michael Kuttner
First published in jWire

Once upon a time not so long ago when planning to travel from home to one's destination it was necessary to consult maps in order to work out the best and quickest route.

The problem of course was that these maps could not keep up with changes and more importantly could not predict traffic congestion and diversions. All this changed dramatically when the GPS was introduced. In Israel we use WAZE which is an Israeli-developed guidance system. There can hardly be any motorist who does not have this navigational aid and it has made traveling that much more efficient and hassle free, especially as one does not have to read maps but merely listen to the instructions in the language of your choice.

As Jews celebrate Passover this year I cannot fail to make a connection between this annual Festival and the navigational systems most of us use.... More

Cleaning out the chometz

April 15, 2016 by Michael Kuttner
First published in jWire

In many Jewish households worldwide the week before Passover is a time of intensive chametz clearing out.

Supermarkets are stocked full of cleaning material and advertisements for special deals abound. Spring is in the air and after winter months of cold weather the Biblical command to rid our houses of accumulated leaven products seems to be a very logical exercise. Not only are we commanded to eliminate leaven from our dwellings but also any other place where it may have accumulated during the year such as vehicles, offices, factories etc. It seems that the entire country is undergoing a spring clean and there can be no doubt that as far as most Jewish Israelis are concerned Passover is imminent.

There is another aspect to getting rid of leaven residue which deserves greater attention.Based on commentaries by many scholars and Rabbis, the Hebrew word Chametz or leaven can also be analogous to the character trait of arrogance, conceit and egotism. It has also been described as symbolic of the “yetzer hara” which in translation means “an evil inclination.” This affliction unless uprooted, cleaned out and eradicated more often than not leads to evil deeds. What starts with evil dehumanisation and delegitimisation progresses very rapidly to acts of evil intent. We have seen so many times in our history the results of such unchecked behaviour and therefore with the imminent annual celebration of the Exodus from slavery to the Promised Land, now is as good a time as ever to shine the spotlight on modern manifestations of evil inclinations.... More

Keeping afloat in a sea of deligitimisation

April 8, 2016 by Michael Kuttner
First published in jWire

The endless lava flow of anti Israel/Jewish activities continues to erupt with volcanic force.

In academia, media and international forums the toxic effects of these noxious emissions contribute to an ever-increasing level of toxicity which inevitably has a negative byproduct wherever Jews may live. It seems now the Holocaust years are well and truly behind us that the haters are emboldened to spread their poisonous lies, safe in the belief that the vast majority of today's generation will be receptive to the myths being paraded as facts.

One has only to witness the scandalous degree to which the official Labour Party opposition in the United Kingdom is currently embroiled in dealing with Jew-hating activists in its midst parading as anti-Zionist/Israel champions. The capture of what was once a reasonably balanced political party by zealots of the ultra-left should ring a warning bell for countries like Australia and New Zealand. Mind you, pandering to human rights abusers, executioners of gays, non-Islamic believers and political opponents, deniers of women's rights and fanatical haters of the Jewish State seems to be the easiest way to garner votes from certain sectors of the electorate. Hence, if you want to succeed the surest technique is the age-old one of demonisation and delegitimisation.... More

Foot in Mouth epidemic

April 1, 2016 by Michael Kuttner
First published in jWire

“If you keep your mouth shut you will never put your foot in it.”

This quote came to mind in a week which has witnessed a seemingly endless parade of prattle by all and sundry. Living in Israel one somehow becomes used to the gratuitous and mind numbing pontifications issuing forth from politicians, commentators and those who know better than everyone else. If nothing else it becomes almost second nature for those of us targeted, to discern the genuine from the malicious, friend from foe, realist from orbiting astronaut and ambitious politician from ill informed journalist. Not an easy task admittedly but essential if one is to combat lies and disinformation. ... More

Purim shpiel

March 25, 2016 by Michael Kuttner
First published in jWire

At this time of the year as Jews worldwide celebrate the deliverance of the ancient Persian Jewish Community from the threat of genocide, one of the customs is to stage a “shpiel” which translated from Yiddish literally means “play.”

Originally depicting historical events which took place, it has today morphed into depictions of current events and personalities using biting wit, satire, lampooning and humour. The key component of the Purim miracle as recounted in the Book of Esther which we read twice on this Festival is the Hebrew expression &lquo;venahafoch hu” meaning events turned upside down. From a situation of utter hopelessness and helplessness the Jews found themselves saved. Not only saved but their ordained fate completely transformed with their enemies and persecutors eliminated. With bold leadership the trembling Jews were saved from a fate which could have been catastrophic.... More

Blunders Down Under

March 18, 2016 by Michael Kuttner
First published in jWire

A visit by the Iranian Foreign Minister to New Zealand was always going to be a duplicitous charm exercise, but in actual fact it turned out to be even more nauseating than one could have anticipated.

At least in Australia one Member of the Federal Parliament was prepared to buck the sycophantic embrace of the Iranian admiration chorus. In New Zealand however there was a deafening silence from those usually jumping up and down over alleged Israeli “crimes”. Far worse were the embarrassing, inane and totally unbelievable comments from the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade.... More

Days of Infamy

March 11, 2016 by Michael Kuttner
First published in jWire

We are in a state of war yet unfortunately there are still many who prefer to pretend that this is not so.

Even prior to 1948, Palestinian Jews faced Arab terror attacks as they fulfilled their internationally legally sanctioned rights to settle and build a Jewish State. Once the British Mandate finished and independence was achieved, an official declaration of war by Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Jordan followed with the rest of the Arab world eventually also joining the jihad bandwagon. Make no mistake. This marked a concerted attempt to annihilate the Jewish State at birth and massacre all its Jewish citizens. Incited by religious fanaticism, hate filled rhetoric and a blind obsession to murder and destroy, this failed attempt at genocide was only, at the time, the latest manifestation of unbridled enmity. Ever since then, Jewish Israelis have faced an unremitting torrent of violence.... More

Clueless Politicians

March 4, 2016 by Michael Kuttner
First published in jWire

Some definitions of &lduo;clueless” according to the Webster and Oxford dictionaries are: ignorant, oblivious, unacquainted, hopelessly unaware, uninformed, unknowing, unmindful and unwitting. An additional definition is: having no knowledge, understanding or ability.

Take your pick as to which best suits those whose recent pronouncements I report on in this op-ed.

Most probably the politician who takes first prize for issuing the best clueless pontification is none other than the United Kingdom Prime Minister, David Cameron. Speaking in the House of Commons he condemned the building of houses for Jewish Israelis in Jerusalem and its suburbs. Claiming to have been “genuinely shocked” and “outraged” by what he saw on a previous trip to Israel, he launched off onto an amazing indictment of perceived Israeli crimes. Coming from a Prime Minister who has previously had an excellent record of balanced and forthright views this sudden outburst of irrational condemnation had many people mystified. Sounding more like a throwback to the colonial mandate era when Jews were prevented from living, building and worshipping in certain designated places, his strictures against a Jewish presence in their own country went down here like a lead balloon.... More

French (and other) follies

February 26, 2016 by Michael Kuttner
First published in jWire

From the country which falsely accused Alfred Dreyfus of treason and whose Vichy collaborationists enthusiastically rounded up and transported Jews to their deaths, we now await another Gallic gesture of ill will heading in our direction.

Despite domestic problems greater than the Eiffel Tower and a resurgence of Judeophobia unparalleled since the Shoah, the French Foreign Minister and his Government have decided that the only problem menacing world peace is the lack of yet another dysfunctional terror State in Israel's midst. Their recipe for curing this alleged problem is to convene an international conference whose sole purpose would presumably be to impose some sort of pre-ordained plan. Ostensibly the idea is to get the Palestinian Arabs and Israelis talking again with a view to removing every obstacle which until now has prevented any sort of peace arrangement coming to fruition.... More

Timing is indeed crucial

February 19, 2016 by Michael Kuttner
First published in jWire

Momentous events in our recent past and also today are more often than not determined by timing.

A reader in a feedback recently stated that seizing the right opportunity in order to make decisive moves was the key to success or failure. She is absolutely correct as a brief look at events since the re-establishment of the modern Jewish State testifies.

In 1948, a mere three years after the Shoah, Britain abdicated its responsibilities under the terms of the mandate. Refusing entry to Palestine (not the fake entity touted these days) for all the remnants of Europe's genocidal war against the Jews, training and supporting the army of the artificially created Hashemite Kingdom and confidently expecting the Jews to be crushed by the gathering Arab armies, His Majesty's Government scuttled out of the country. David Ben Gurion realized that this was a decisive moment in Jewish history. Battling doubters and fearful colleagues he determined that this was the time to proclaim Jewish sovereignty as promised by the San Remo Agreement (still legally binding today). He had the vision and the courage to act because he knew that if this opportunity was frittered away it might very well never come round again.... More

Ignorance is not bliss

February 12, 2016 by Michael Kuttner
First published in jWire

Benjamin Franklin said it best when he stated:
“We are all born ignorant but one must work hard to remain stupid.”

This quote came to mind when surveying the events of the past week. One does not these days expect too much common sense from political leaders or media mavens but even low expectations are being beaten by stupidity of the lowest order.

A round-up of a few examples should serve to illustrate the level of ignorance, mostly self-induced, which passes for leadership these days. Although at first glance, North Korea and its megalomaniac glorious leader for life, have nothing to do with Israel, in actual fact a closer look at what is happening there reveals a deeply disturbing and dangerous scenario. In reality the trail leads directly to Iran and therefore whatever North Korea gets away with you can be sure that the Mullahs of Tehran ultimately benefit. The best example of impotent ignorance has been the utterly futile attempts to prevent North Korea from obtaining the nuclear bomb. Bill Clinton in 1994 triumphantly proclaimed:

“This is a good deal for the United States.”

“North Korea will freeze and then dismantle its nuclear program. South Korea and our other allies will be better protected. The entire world will be safer as we slow the spread of nuclear weapons.”

By 2002 this triumph of American diplomacy lay in tatters as it was revealed that in actual fact North Korea had secretly enriched uranium and developed nuclear capabilities. We all know what has happened since then. Obviously the experts in the White House and State Dept. are still wallowing in blissful ignorance. ... More

Holocaust black hole

February 5, 2016 by Michael Kuttner

As the number of Shoah survivors able to personally bear witness to the horrors they experienced decreases, the challenge is to ensure that future generations will be educated and informed of what happened during the years 1933 to 1945. With deniers and revisionists increasing, as time progresses it is more imperative than ever for the lessons of this unique catastrophe to be internalized. Failing to do so will result in the present generation being blissfully ignorant of what led to the murder of six million Jews plus others designated as subhuman by citizens of Europe. It will also mean that students in today's schools and institutes of higher learning will graduate totally ignorant of the subject. As these pupils are future politicians and decision makers the potential for them being infected with the same virus of Judeophobia is fairly high. Moreover as we can already see the mutation to hatred for the Jewish State is an inevitable progression... More

Failing grades for dummies

January 29, 2016 by Michael Kuttner
First published in jWire

Way back in the 1940's and 1950's when I went to elementary and high school the punishment meted out to pupils who consistently failed to listen, learn and do their homework ranged from detention and lines to strapping (hands or bottom) and caning.

While most of these disciplinary actions probably did not achieve the desired results, there is no doubt that the pupils concerned knew they couldn’t get away with any nonsense. Today of course, more enlightened methods are employed to motivate recalcitrant students. The only recourse we have today is to expose politicians’ fatally flawed policies, criticise their obsessive refusal to face facts and attempt to highlight continuing ignorant statements. ... More

The following clip of a speech by the Iranian Supreme Leader has just been released by courtesy of MEMRI. As a reward Iran receives billions of dollars. Sick? You bet.

Uncontrollable urges

January 22, 2016 by Michael Kuttner
First published in jWire

This common medical condition seems to apparently afflict politicians, diplomats and media personalities alike especially when Israel is the object of their obsession.

There seems to be no known cure because despite the best efforts of those involved in countering this affliction the pandemic continues unabated and undeterred by any logical arguments to the contrary.

The past week provides numerous examples of how widespread the urge to interfere, condemn and censure the Jewish State has become. From one end of the globe to the other we witness an endless fascination with what can only be described as a fetish like desire to decry whatever we do or may not do. One would think that there are no other threats to the human race which call for similar attention. ... More

.... Watch this clip by courtesy of MEMRI and hear exactly how our “peace partners” view the establishment of their State as advocated by the international community. Then please explain why you continue to waste your time in demanding Israel accept this poisonous plan.

Netanyahu briefs the international media

January 17, 2016 by Michael Kuttner
First published in jWire

Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the international media.
Photo: Amos Ben Gershon/GPO

Arranged by the Israeli Government Press Office, the annual briefing by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu provides an opportunity for members of the foreign press and diplomats to be updated on the Israel Government's latest assessment of current developments. ... More

Birds of a feather

January 15, 2016 by Michael Kuttner
First published in jWire

The company a person keeps is more often than not indicative of how they feel about certain things.

The saying, “birds of a feather flock together” came to mind in recent times. The noxious friends and advisers that many politicians seem to gravitate towards and the toxic company that some countries enjoy, featured in the news over the past week. This phenomenon is nothing new but in recent times it has become much more noticeable thanks to media scrutiny and exposure. ... More

Australia to review UNRWA contributions

January 12, 2016 by J-Wire News Service
J-Wire has received a response from the Australian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to an inquiry about UNRWA and Australia’s continuing aid to them in light of their (UNRWA) involvement in certain dubious activities. ... More

It's indeed a small world

January 8, 2016 by Michael Kuttner
First published in jWire

Life is full of surprises and one never knows when a person or name from the past will suddenly re- appear.

Israel, being a land of immigrants from every corner of the globe, the chances of meeting former acquaintances or speaking to someone who knows them is very high. Quite often these encounters can be purely co-incidental which makes it even more exciting. In most cases we may not have seen and spoken to each other for many years and in fact quite likely we have not even thought about them. ... More

Portrait presentation sparks a myriad of memories

January 4, 2016 by Michael Kuttner

In a moving and memorable ceremony Sydney-based Johnny and Thea Weiss have presented a print portrait of Lotte Weiss to the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem's Yad Vashem.

Thea Weiss and her work

Conceived and drawn by Thea, an amazingly creative and talented artist, this loving tribute to her mother-in law who survived the hell of Auschwitz, will be part of the permanent display in the art gallery of Yad Vashem. It will no doubt be viewed by thousands of visitors who visit this most impressive museum from all corners of the globe, as well as by groups of school children, soldiers and citizens of Israel. ... More

‘Tis that time of year again

January 1, 2016 by Michael Kuttner
First published in jWire

It hardly seems like twelve months since 2015 commenced but here we are on the cusp of 2016 in the civil calendar.

Living in Israel where life is generally regulated by the feasts, fasts and commemorations of the Jewish religious calendar the switch to 2016 is not really a big event for the majority of Jewish citizens. Nevertheless it is a good opportunity to review the past year and look forward with some trepidation to the forthcoming year. ... More

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