Bird sanctuary dedicated to Stephen Harper opens in Israel
After many years of construction and logistics, the Stephen J. Harper Hula Valley Bird Sanctuary Visitor and Education Center in northern Israel has officially opened.
Harper and his wife Laureen attended an opening gala yesterday, along with the 2013 JNF gala co-chairs Senator Linda Frum and former Toronto Argonauts owner Howard Sokolowski, as well as current Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu and his spouse Sara Netanyahu.
A couple weeks ago marked the 100th birthday of the last Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (known colloquially as simply “the Shah”). Love him or hate him, he truly was a good friend to Israel during his tenure.
From ancient history, there had been a Jewish presence in Iran, and an acknowledgement for the Jewish people’s indigenity to the land of Israel.
This can be seen in the Book of Esther, where a Jewish woman by the name of Esther ascends to being Persia’s queen and was able to foil a plan that would have killed all the Jews in Persia.
Cyrus the Great later recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and allowed all Jews of Persia to return to their indigenous land and build what later became the Second Temple in the holy city of Jerusalem.
The relationship similar to what Persia (Iran) had under Queen Esther and Cyrus the Great was reestablished under the Shah, in his support for Israel.
The Shah ensured that his country would be only the second Muslim country to recognize Israel as a state.
His friendship with Israel resulted in the creation of trade bureaus in both nations. The bureaus even acted as embassies.
He did not take offence to the criticism and backlash by other countries in the Middle East for his support for Israel.
Project Flower, a collaborative mission by Iran and Israel was another positive operation that the Shah worked on with Israel to produce a nuclear-style missile. The mission illustrated the common goals and values of both states striving for military cooperation.
Before the 1979 Revolution, Iran was seen by Israel as one of its closest allies in the region. Religion did not matter, it was simply a partnership of allies in a continually conflicted region.
Working together eventually with Egypt brought more peace than ever into the ever-continual hostile Middle East climate.
It should be known that the offspring of the Shah, particularly his son, and heir apparent if the monarchy returns to Iran, supports Israel and told Ynet News that “in a future Iran, Israel will once again be an ally.”
The Shah’s administration even mourned the loss of Yoni Netanyahu. The admiration of Mr. Netanyahu went so far with the letter calling him a martyr.
Followers and loyalists of the Shah around the world have continued support for Israel, Zionism, and its existence as a Jewish state.
Jewish people have noticed this friendship, and have established meaningful relationships with anti-Iranian regime organizations around the world.
Had the Shah lived to old age, it would be likely that Iran and Israel would continue to be strong Middle East allies and would truly show as an example to the world of the partnership of allies who may be of different faiths but believe in commons goals and values.
The tangible relations between Iran under the Shah and Israel may be minor, but it is the everlasting impact and remember of what the Shah did for Israel during his tenure that will stick with Israel and the Jewish community.
Western-style values in Iran may be gone, as is its support for Israel, however, the world will always remember the contributions the Shah brought for peace in the region.
On the 100th birthday of the Shah, the world needs to celebrate his contributions to Israel and the everlasting legacy he leaves of hope, shared values, human rights and peace.
An Israeli company has provided a deprived, Colombian village with a machine that turns air into water. The machine, which arrived at the beginning of October, has already provided thousands of locals with clean drinking water, according to the Algemeiner.
The water machine requires no external infrastructure and can operate, so long as it has a source of electricity. As a result of this, the machine only weighs 780 kilograms (1719 lbs) and yet can produce 800 litres of drinking water per day.
Many other villages throughout South American are now interested in obtaining this machine due to its efficacy in providing clean-drinking water to destitute villages—a significant issue in Latin American, particularly amongst rural communities.
The machine works by collecting humid air and then cleaning it of its impurities. The machine then cools the air to the temperature where dew is produced, after which, the liquid is purified and infused with carbon. The bacteria is eliminated through ultra-violet rays.
The success of the machine has made it the most popular thing in rural Columbia since the communist insurgency, FARC. The machine is soon to be transported to the Northeastern part of Columbia where it will stay for three months.
China has issued an angry statement over Stephen Harper’s recent visit to Taipei, the capital of Taiwan. His visit makes him the first former Prime Minister to step foot in the province/country and he publicly praised Taiwan’s democratic process, while giving a thinly veiled critique of Communist China.
“China expresses strong dissatisfaction with the relevant Canadian person’s visit to Taiwan and has lodged serious representations to the Canadian side,” China’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement to the Globe and Mail.
“We urge Canada to fully recognize the sensitivity and complexity of the Taiwan issue, to earnestly abide by the one-China principle and properly handle Taiwan-related issues,” the Foreign Ministry said.
China has long been concerned over the state of Taiwan, an autonomous, democratic nation within a nation which China has de facto claimed as its own province.
It has never ruled out the possibility of using force to subjugate the nation if Taiwan ever becomes too independent or separatist.
Amidst the Hong Kong freedom movement, these concerns have grown as has criticism and hostility over anyone who would promote such autonomy.
Two Arab plumbers in Israel, brothers Simon and Salim Matari, have been praised for their good deed for repairing the pipes of an elderly woman free of charge after discovering that she’s a Holocaust survivor.
“When we got there, we saw there was a large blast of water and we started fixing it,” said Simon. “At some stage, while working, my brother Salim started to talk to Rosa about her life. She told us she’s 95, a Holocaust survivor, and that she has a daughter.
“Her life story touched my heart. At that moment, I decided I won’t take a cent from her.”
Rosa, the 91-year-old woman, when interviewed that the deed touched her heart deeply and that they even left a goodbye note, offering to do repairs for her again free of charge should she ever need it. They also wished her all the best and for her continued good health.
“Holocaust survivor, may you have health until 120 [years old], from Matari Simon and Matari Salim,” the bill read, reports The Time of Israel. adding that the cost of the service was “0 shekels.”
“The brothers really surprised me,” Rosa said. “It was so moving and uplifting, and I thanked them a lot.”