South African ex­o­dus

The Jerusalem Post - - OBSERVATIONS - • By GREER FAY CASHMAN (Cour­tesy)

CON­TRARY TO re­ports that South African Am­bas­sador has been re­called, South Africa’s Pres­i­dent

has said that he has been asked to come home for brief­ings, which could mean that hope­fully he will be back in Is­rael to host the African Unity Day re­cep­tion at his res­i­dence at the end of the month.

Ngom­bane is Dean of the Africa Group of the Diplo­matic Corps and leads a group of am­bas­sadors and heads of diplo­matic mis­sions from An­gola, Cameroon, Congo DRC, Congo, Cote D’Ivoire, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nige­ria, South Su­dan, Tan­za­nia, Rwanda and Zam­bia. There have been sev­eral at­tempts by BDS move­ments in South Africa to have Ngom­bane re­called, and he had in fact com­pleted his tour of duty last year, and an­nounced at the Free­dom Day re­cep­tion that this would be his last Free­dom Day in Is­rael. But it wasn’t. Amid calls on the home front for South Africa to down­grade its diplo­matic re­la­tions with Is­rael, Ngom­bane was asked to stay on.

De­spite South Africa’s con­dem­na­tion of the Gaza death toll re­sult­ing from Is­raeli re­sis­tance to at­tempts by Gazans to break through the fence and en­ter Is­rael, South Africa does not want to mar the cel­e­bra­tions of the 100th an­niver­sary of the birth of Nelson Man­dela, with­out whom apartheid might still be in force and there would be no Free­dom Day.

Chances are high that Ngom­bane will be back in Is­rael rel­a­tively soon.

Sisa Ngom­bane Cyril Ramaphosa

SOUTH AFRICA launched a se­ries of Man­dela cen­te­nary events last year on the 27th an­niver­sary of his re­lease from prison and will mark the 100th an­niver­sary of his birth in July. For­mer US pres­i­dent

will de­liver the an­nual Nelson Man­dela lec­ture for 2018 on July 17 at the El­lis Park arena in Jo­han­nes­burg. His topic will be “Re­new­ing the Man­dela Legacy.” The lec­ture is one of the flag­ship pro­grams of the Man­dela Foun­da­tion. A pop­u­lar say­ing of Man­dela’s was: “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of oth­ers that will de­ter­mine the sig­nif­i­cance of the life we lead.”

Obama

APROPOS OBAMA,

Barack Ehud Barak,

in his new book My Coun­try My Life pub­lished by St Martin’s Press, re­veals a dis­cus­sion that he had with Obama in 2012 with re­gard to the Ira­nian nu­clear threat. In 2011, Is­rael was al­ready con­sid­er­ing pre-emp­tive mil­i­tary ac­tion against Iran. The Amer­i­cans were op­posed to the idea, but proved their com­mit­ment to Is­rael’s se­cu­rity by hav­ing US radar pro­vide Is­rael with early warn­ings of in­com­ing Ira­nian mis­siles.

Barak knew Obama from the days when the lat­ter was a se­na­tor and even then they had dis­agreed over Iran. They dis­cussed Iran again af­ter Obama moved into the White House, and although Obama was de­ter­mined to pre­vent Iran from de­vel­op­ing nu­clear weapons, he con­tin­ued to fa­vor diplo­macy over mil­i­tary ac­tion, ar­gu­ing that the lat­ter would be harm­ful when it came to ex­ert­ing eco­nomic and diplo­matic pres­sure on Iran.

That didn’t mean that Obama would in­def­i­nitely post­pone Amer­i­can mil­i­tary ac­tion, but for him the sit­u­a­tion was not nearly as ur­gent as it was for Is­rael. Whereas Obama was tak­ing a wait-and­see at­ti­tude, Barak, who grew up in a tiny coun­try sur­rounded by enemies, was much more se­cu­rity con­scious. He told Obama that while Is­rael ap­pre­ci­ates the sup­port it has re­ceived from the US in man­i­fold ar­eas and is also con­scious of Amer­i­can in­ter­ests in the Mid­dle East, when it comes to crit­i­cal issues of Is­rael’s se­cu­rity and the fu­ture of the Jewish peo­ple, Is­rael could not af­ford to del­e­gate re­spon­si­bil­ity even to her best friend and clos­est ally.

FOR THOSE of us who are for­tu­nately able to walk, sit, run and jump, it is dif­fi­cult not to take such ac­tiv­i­ties for granted. Af­ter all – every­body’s do­ing it. Well, not ex­actly every­body. Some peo­ple are born with phys­i­cal dis­abil­i­ties that cause them to be con­fined to wheel­chairs from baby­hood on­ward, and some peo­ple are be­set with phys­i­cal dis­abil­i­ties in their youth or their adult­hood, some­times to the ex­tent that they can no longer func­tion in­de­pen­dently.

Among the worst cases are those peo­ple who can’t even sit up – but mod­ern tech­nol­ogy has pro­duced a so­lu­tion that has brought smiles to staff and pa­tients alike at Her­zog Hos­pi­tal. More than 150 peo­ple from four dif­fer­ent or­ga­ni­za­tions from across Amer­ica came to Her­zog Hos­pi­tal to do­nate 118 cus­tom-de­signed wheel­chairs for chil­dren and adults in Her­zog’s Chil­dren’s Chronic Res­pi­ra­tory Depart­ment and Adult Res­pi­ra­tory Depart­ment.

Spear­headed by the Forster Fam­ily Foun­da­tion, these wheel­chairs have en­abled chil­dren who had spent their whole lives ly­ing in bed, to sit up and gain a whole new perspective of the world. They can now be taken out­side to breathe fresh air and ab­sorb the beauty of their en­vi­ron­ment, while still at­tached to their res­pi­ra­tor. Ded­i­cated trained vol­un­teers trav­eled from the US to as­sem­ble each cus­tom-fit­ted wheelchair. The youngsters who ben­e­fited from what for them is an amaz­ing gift now have an ex­panded hori­zon in their lives.

Among those present at the mov­ing cer­e­mony in which nei­ther par­ents nor chil­dren could be­lieve what was hap­pen­ing as a re­sult of this new de­vel­op­ment, were: Her­zog Hos­pi­tal CEO Dr.

Her­zog Hos­pi­tal chair­man of the board Forster Foun­da­tion and Mir­a­cle Mis­sion chair­man Chil­dren’s Chronic Res­pi­ra­tory Care Depart­ment di­rec­tor Prof

Dr. of Har­vest of Is­rael; Is­rael Board Project chair­man

Caine; Gale; Ye­hezkel Shamai Keinan; Bill Forster; H. Dean Haun Hank Rich; Les Feld­man Greg Her­sh­berg, Rena Joseph

of Hope Haven; and rep­re­sent­ing Rabbi GITZEL.

Evey­one present then went on a tour of the Chil­dren’s Chronic Res­pi­ra­tory Care Depart­ment in the new Med­i­cal Pav­il­ion. None of the chil­dren who have been the ben­e­fi­cia­ries of these new wheel­chairs had ever been to the Western Wall, but one had al­ways dreamed of go­ing. That was made pos­si­ble thanks to the new wheelchair.

A child liv­ing in what seemed to be a hope­less sit­u­a­tion ex­pe­ri­enced two mir­a­cles within a short time span. An­other mir­a­cle is on the way. A foun­da­tion in the US has com­mit­ted to fund 50% of the cost of the pur­chase of a new ur­gently needed $360,000 oxy­gen gen­er­a­tor to meet the in­crease in the num­ber of chil­dren and adults on res­pi­ra­tors MEM­BERS OF the aca­demic del­e­ga­tion that ac­com­pa­nied Pres­i­dent Reu­ven Rivlin to Ethiopia. (L-R) Sim­cha Gathon, Avi Sag­iJen­nifer Shak­a­batur, Galia Sa­bat, Pres­i­dent Reu­ven Rivlin, Zvi Ben­twich, Sy­belle Heil­brunn, Irit Back, Shi­mon Shamir and Dana Manor. at Her­zog Hos­pi­tal. The oxy­gen gen­er­a­tor sup­plies a con­tin­u­ous source of oxy­gen to the hos­pi­tal’s pa­tients with­out the need to rely on ex­ter­nal sources.

The $180,000 gift is con­di­tional on Her­zog’s abil­ity to raise an­other $180,000 by June 15.

MIFAL HAPAYIS, the state lot­tery, in con­junc­tion with the Gi­vatayim branch of the Per­ach project whereby stu­dents from in­sti­tutes of higher ed­u­ca­tion tu­tor ele­men­tary and high school pupils from low so­cioe­co­nomic back­grounds with a view to start clos­ing so­cial gaps from an early age, this month dis­trib­uted 50 schol­ar­ships to stu­dents en­rolled in in­sti­tutes of higher learn­ing.

In or­der to be el­i­gi­ble for the schol­ar­ships, the stu­dents have to meet with pupils at least twice a week for two hours at a time. These meet­ings are prefer­ably held in the homes of the pupils, so that the tu­tor can gain an im­pres­sion of the child’s home en­vi­ron­ment and re­as­sure par­ents that no harm is com­ing to their child. When cir­cum­stances do not al­low for meet­ings in the home, other venues in­clude li­braries and com­mu­nity cen­ters.

The 50 Gi­vatayim schol­ar­ships were pre­sented at a spe­cial cer­e­mony where they were dis­trib­uted by Mifal Hapayis CEO and Gi­vatayim Mayor

DUR­ING HIS his re­cent trip to Ethiopia, the first by a pres­i­dent of Is­rael, Pres­i­dent was ac­com­pa­nied by an aca­demic del­e­ga­tion headed by Prof. of the Rup­pin Academy and in­clud­ing Prof. Dr.

Sibylle Heil­brunn, Irit Back, Avi Sagi, Shi­mon Shamir, Sim­cha Gathon, Dana Manor, Zvi Ben­twich Jennifer Shak­a­batur.

Prof. Dr. and Dr.

Reu­ven Rivlin

Prof.

Omri Lotan Ran Konik. Galia Sabar

Prof.

The del­e­ga­tion was in­ter­ested in ad­vanc­ing co­op­er­a­tion be­tween Is­rael and Ethiopia in var­i­ous ar­eas of re­search and de­vel­op­ment. To­ward this end, sev­eral mem­o­randa of un­der­stand­ing were signed and peo­ple-to-peo­ple con­tacts were made been Is­raeli and Ethiopian aca­demics.

IN DIPLO­MATIC cir­cles, the end of the year is in June, not De­cem­ber. Why? Be­cause con­sid­er­a­tion is given to the fact that diplo­mats may have young chil­dren who need to say farewell to friends, ad­just to their new sur­round­ings, and be en­rolled for the new school year, which in many coun­tries be­gins in Septem­ber.

Thus the mem­bers of Diplo­matic Spouses Is­rael, headed by

the wife of In­dian am­bas­sador, and the vice pres­i­dent of DSI and the wife of the Aus­trian am­bas­sador, is hold­ing its last event for the year 2017/2018.

DSI’s an­nual char­ity event will be held on May 29, at 10:30 a.m. on the ter­race of the Sharon Ho­tel, Her­zliya. This in­cludes a fun brunch at 10:30 a.m. with some highly var­ied and in­ter­est­ing raf­fle

Sharma, Arad­hana Su­sanne Weiss,

prizes that run the gamut from cook­ing les­sons to a dance class and lots of other in­ter­est­ing things be­tween. For those who so­cial­ize in the diplo­matic com­mu­nity, it’s a chance to say good­bye to those who are leav­ing and hello to new ar­rivals.

Pro­ceeds from the event will be di­rected to­wards Shanti House for youth at risk.

who founded Shanti House, was her­self an abused and ne­glected child who of­ten slept on park benches and more than once was sex­u­ally as­saulted. When her for­tunes im­proved, she started open­ing her home on Fri­day nights to youngsters such as she had been to re­lieve their lone­li­ness and give them a sense of com­mu­nity.

Even­tu­ally, at age 21, she set up Shanti House for youth at risk. She gave them food, a bed, a will­ing ear and a shoul­der to cry on. Be­cause of her, many went on to re­ha­bil­i­tate them­selves and live pro­duc­tive lives.

She will be present at the event, and will share not only her own story, but those of youngsters whom she per­suaded to choose life by chang­ing their lives.

Yosef, Mar­i­uma Ben greerfc@gmail.com

(Cour­tesy)

FOR­MER PRIME MIN­IS­TER Ehud Barak with US pres­i­dent Barack Obama and MK Tzipi Livni.

(Iki Mai­mon)

HADAR HAREL, a third-year med­i­cal stu­dent at Tel Aviv Univer­sity, re­ceives a schol­ar­ship from Mifal Hapayis CEO Omri Loyan and Gi­vatayim Mayor Ran Ku­nik.

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