On Thursday, June 22, the Cultural Attaché at the U.S Embassy Jonathan Berger hosted an end-of-year reception to recognize the achievements of the Debate for Peace (DfP) Model United Nations program supported by the Public Diplomacy office. Nearly 100 Jewish and Arab students, parents, educators and representatives from various Embassies attended the reception at the Cultural Attaché’s residence to honor and be inspired by the students and their achievements.

 

Cultural Attaché Jonathan Berger opened the evening by welcoming the guests and expressing his own admiration for the dedication for peace that he has witnessed from among the students in Debate for Peace. Following his remarks, Risa Levi, Cultural Program Specialist at the US Embassy moderated a panel titled “The MUN Impact from an Educational Perspective. Hassan Hassan, a teacher and MUN coordinator in the Negev and among the Bedouin sector, and Salah Fokra, a teacher and MUN coordinator at Bashaer high school, shared their experiences using Model UN to supplement learning in the classroom, and answered questions about the impact they have witnessed in their own students through participation in Debate for Peace programming.

 

In the second panel, Jewish and Arab students from six different cities discussed the Debate for Peace impact from the perspective of students. The panel, which was moderated by Yoni Eshpar, Political Affairs Officer at UNSCO, included Amalia Cedar Kellner, Avi Scharlat Baraa Massalha, Sharehan Alwakily, Yafa Nassar, and Yuval Zonensein. In addition to introducing the impact each has felt personally, the students answered questions from the moderator and the audience.


Dr. Yehuda Stolov, Director of the Interfaith Encounter Association (IEA), spoke in conclusion of the evening. Debate for Peace is one of the most active, and youngest, of the IEA’s dozens of interfaith groups. Following Dr. Stolov’s remarks, a number of students were called up to be recognized for outstanding participation in Debate for Peace: Omar Yaseen; Lea Sarsour; Yafa Nassar, Sharehan Alwakily, and Yuval Zonensein. Amalia Kellner was called up to receive the Best of Delegation award for the DfP delegation to the MEDIMUN conference in Cyprus.


Throughout the evening the guests enjoyed the musical performances of pianist Omri Weinstock, accompanied by singer Yonit Vareika, and a lavish reception provided by the US embassy. Distinguished guests included Ambassador Jean-Daniel Ruch (Embassy of Switzerland); Ambassador Esteban Penrod (Embassy of Costa Rica); DCM Ramunas Davidonis (Embassy of Lithuania); Jesse Shaw from the US Consular office; Dr. Rachel Tal, head of English Studies at the Amal network; Phil Saunders (European Platform for Middle East Dialogue); Steve Ganot (Israel Hayom); Karen Stiller (JCRC); Alona Timofeyeva (NYU Alumni club), and Mor Beer and Eyal Tur (IMUNA).


Debate for Peace is a youth empowerment and program that teaches leadership, conflict resolution, critical reasoning, debate, and other key skills using Model United Nations as a platform. Over the last two years, Debate for Peace has engaged nearly 1,000 Israeli and Palestinian students from about 60 different cities, towns, and schools; met with more than a dozen embassies; led Israel’s first three Jewish-Arab youth MUN delegations abroad; been hosted at the European Parliament, and helped nearly 100 students get into international youth camps in the US, Europe, and Asia. In the coming academic year Debate for Peace already has MUN conferences planned for October and November, and delegations to London (November); Kosovo (December), Cyprus (February), and Belgium.


Mr. Yoni Eshpar, Political Affairs Officer at UNSCO, told Diplomacy:


“Over the past few years, I have seen Debate for Peace evolve into a very special and impressive Model UN programme. It brings together Jewish and Arab high school students, who otherwise have limited opportunities to get to know each other, and provides them with the knowledge, skills, and enthusiasm for becoming active participants in shaping the future of Israel, the region, and the world. It is inspiring to see how through learning and debating some of the toughest issues, they become more optimistic about advancing peace, and more eager to take part in that work. By empowering these youth and putting them on a path of peacebuilding based on education and dialogue, this programme truly embodies the vision of the UN”

 

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=KBVhPr6amDY

 

Steven Aiello

Founder--DebateforPeace
 
 

 Photos by Silvia G. Golan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PMO statement regarding US withdrawal from UNHRC

 For years, the UNHRC has proven to be a biased, hostile, anti-Israel organization that has betrayed its mission of protecting human rights.

 

 Israel thanks President Trump, Secretary Pompeo and Ambassador Haley for their courageous decision against the hypocrisy and the lies of the so-called UN Human Rights Council.


For years, the UNHRC has proven to be a biased, hostile, anti-Israel organization that has betrayed its mission of protecting human rights.

Instead of dealing with regimes that systematically violate human rights, the UNHRC obsessively focuses on Israel, the one genuine democracy in the Middle East.

The US decision to leave this prejudiced body is an unequivocal statement that enough is enough.

Israel welcomes the American announcement.

 

 

 

Largest Hospital in Northern Israel Prepares for War

The Scenario: Faced with the threat of missile attacks, Rambam Health Care Campus, Northern Israel’s largest hospital will have to move underground.

Today, June 14, 2018, an emergency drill was conducted at Rambam Health Care Campus with the scenario of a missile attack on the Haifa area, forcing the only referral hospital in the north to transfer operations to the Sammy Ofer Fortified Underground Emergency Hospital. This unique facility, the largest of its kind in the world, normally operates as the hospital's parking lot, but in wartime transforms into a 2,000-bed medical facility within 72 hours. In a wartime scenario, this facility becomes the regional hospital for all wounded in the north.

As part of the drill, the hospital practiced several scenarios, some based on lessons from the Second Lebanon War, when Rambam operated under continuous fire. That experience led to construction of the underground facility, ensuring the ability to care for patients in a safe and secure environment.

 

 

During this morning’s first scenario, following receipt of an early warning, the Haifa region was placed on high alert and a decision made to evacuate the hospital departments to the underground facility. For this drill, logistical preparations included activating air purifiers and compressors, power generators, and air conditioning systems embedded in the walls of the underground hospital/parking lot, and the deployment of toilets, temporary showers, and wet up the rest of the infrastructure to become patient-ready. Medical teams then practiced transferring patients (in their hospital beds) and accompanying medical equipment to designated stations underground, including the transfer of advanced life-saving equipment such as dialysis units, and surgical equipment. This cannot be simply a temporary shelter: in the event of an emergency situation, the underground hospital is expected to absorb hundreds of oncology patients, pregnant women, dialysis patients and more—all of whom require ongoing medical care while the region is under fire.

The second scenario during the drill involved a situation in which missiles hit the hospital with no warning, damaging hospital departments. This exercise involved evacuating the wounded to Rambam’s Department of Emergency Medicine, which is also fortified, and will continue to function during wartime. After initial triage, the wounded were then transferred to the underground hospital for ongoing care.

The third and final drill addressed absorption of patients arriving from outside of Rambam. In this scenario, patients were being transferred by ambulance to the underground hospital. Ambulances drove in via the parking lot entrance and discharged the wounded there, to minimize exposure to the outside danger. The patients were received by medical teams who then transferred them, as appropriate to the protected emergency department (via an underground elevator), or elsewhere to the respective underground hospitalization area.

The drill also served as a first time test of the functionality of Rambam’s new underground Command Center from which all emergency activities were managed. The Command Center was inaugurated one month ago thanks to a generous one million dollar donation from the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews headed by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein. The center enables essential hospital management and expert personnel who are responsible for directing the flow of patients based on injury severity, , logistical needs, function of vital systems, and more. All critical information is gathered from the hospital's monitoring systems and analyzed by a proprietary emergency software system developed at Rambam. The emergency administration team can observe above ground activity with the help of hundreds of cameras installed throughout the hospital campus.

Observers of the drill included Maagan David Adom officials, the Home Front Command, and the Emergency Division at the Ministry of Health, in addition to 22 international participants of Rambam’s 19th Developing and Organizing a Trauma System and Mass Casualty Management Course, which ended today. The aim of the course was to provide participants with the knowledge and training to implement a trauma management and emergency system in their home nations.

"After two months of dealing with an impossible scenario of treating the sick and wounded under fire, we decided that this reality could not be repeated," said Professor Rafi Beyar, Director of Rambam. "About five years ago, the underground hospital at Rambam was inaugurated. This facility is of strategic importance for the entire northern region. I hope we will never have to use it, but if the day comes, we will be ready for any scenario."

 

 

Pictured:

The new Command Room of the underground hospital.

Rambam’s Dialysis Unit caring for patients in the underground hospital.

Transferring patients from the main hospital to the underground hospital.

Wounded are brought by ambulance directly into the underground hospital.

Photo credit: Pioter Fliter, RHCC.

 

 

For the first time in Israel – A Therapeutic Relaxation Garden in the Maternity Ward which utilizes elements from nature with an emphasis on attention to the needs of the new mother. The garden, which cost about 1.5 million NIS and was a donation by Jewish National Fund – Holland, is located in the center of the Hillel Yaffe Medical Center Maternity Ward, and is unique product of the project’s architect, Zvika Kanonitz.

Today, Monday, June 18th, a therapeutic relaxation garden was inaugurated in the maternity ward of the Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera – the first of its kind in a hospital maternity ward in Israel. The garden, which cost about 1.5 million NIS and was donated by JNF Holland through the Keren Kayemet Le’Israel-Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF) in Israel, was designed by Zvika Kanonitz, an architect with rich experience in therapeutic gardens.

The inauguration ceremony included members of JNF Holland and KKL-JNF in Israel, the Hillel Yaffe Medical Center management, maternity ward staff and more.

About the therapeutic garden – a relaxing and private experience in the maternity ward

The relaxation garden is built entirely of rejuvenating and comforting motifs for postpartum women – planned and designed exclusively for the new mothers. The garden includes walking paths made of pebbles for a reflexology massage for swollen feet, winding through shaded and intimate areas. Comfortable seating throughout is incorporated with plants to create a microclimate which shades and protects patients from the sun, and a small water pool at the foot of a green vegetation wall attracts butterflies and birds. The garden is located at the heart of the maternity ward in a closed courtyard that is only available to mothers and their newborns, and entrance to the courtyard is only available through the maternity yard. The area is carefully guarded to provide patients with a sense of comfort and security and provide a quiet and calm environment in the days after giving birth, before their return home.

JNF Holland President, Prof. Moshe Kon, said during the ceremony that, “We are happy for the cooperation that brought about not just any garden, but a piece of heaven. As a doctor, I understand the importance of a relaxing and healing environment and I am proud of the result. KKL-JNF will continue to support amazing social projects such as these for Hillel Yaffe, out of our sense of duty and commitment.

Director of the medical center, Dr. Miki Dudkevitch, said, “We are proud that we have the ability to provide our maternity patients not only a professional team and well-equipped department, but also a private garden accommodated specifically to their needs. I want to thank JNF Holland for the generous donation and to KKL-JNF for their collaboration along the way.”

KKL-JNF Chairman, Mr. Daniel Atar, sent his blessings and said that, “This is not a donation; this is an investment. There is no asset more worthwhile than humanity. There is no better investment than an investment in society, and there is nothing more important than investing in public health and equality. It is my privilege that the organization that I head is taking this part of the community’s mission and part of the country’s responsibility upon itself.”

Photo credit – Tal Zigdon
In the photo (R-L): Prof. Moti Halak, Maternity Division Director; Dr. Miki Dudkevitch, Hillel Yaffe Medical Center director; Dr. Amnon Ben Moshe, Administrative Director of Hillel Yaffe; Dr. Moshe Kon, JNF Holland President; Dr. Ehud Huchman, Deputy Director of the hospital; Mr. Freddy Rosenberg, JNF Holland CEO.

 

 

 

 

 Epsilon Delta Holdings and Investments - owned by the Afifi family – win the tender to build the first hotel in a Bedouin village. The 120 room, the 4-star hotel will cover an area of 14 dunams at the foot of Mount Tabor in the village of Shibli-Umm al-Ghanam.

Jerusalem, May 16, 2018 – Epsilon Delta Holdings and Investments, owned by the Alfifi family, have won the tender to build the first hotel in a Bedouin village and will pay the Israel Lands Authority NIS 150,000 with an exemption from the cost of leasing. The 120 room, 4-star hotel will cover an area of 14 dunams at the foot of Mount Ta4-star the village of Shibli-Umm al-Ghanam.

The winning developer will finance the development cost of the hotel, with the assistance of a Ministry of Tourism grant of up to 33% of the cost of the construction, subject to compliance with the conditions of the Tourism Ministry’s Investment Administration. In addition, the Ministry of Tourism has recently approved a budget for the establishment of a tourism infrastructure in the village, which is strategically located in terms of tourism potential, near Mount Tabor and other holy sites located on pilgrim routes in Israel.

A village of about 70,000 residents, Shibli is located on the route up to the holy churches on the top of Mount Tabor and on the axis of the Gospel Trail and the Israel Trail. More than half a million tourists pass through it every year on their way to the churches.

Tourism Minister Yariv Levin: "I welcome the establishment of the hotel, and I am convinced that tourists will enjoy its special location, its proximity to the Christian holy sites and the unique and authentic village experience. We are placing special emphasis on the development of tourism throughout Israel and all the different sectors, and I am convinced that, with the assistance of the ministry together with the establishment of tourism infrastructure in the area, tourism will develop successfully in the area. "

Adiel Shimron, Director of the Israel Lands Authority: "Alongside efforts to market land for housing, we are also working to promote tourism and commercial projects in Israel, such as the first Bedouin hotel in the world, which will attract both incoming and domestic tourism and serve as a source of employment for the residents of the region."

Shibli regional council head Na'im Shibli: "A luxurious and unique boutique hotel is planned, based on Bedouin culture, featuring Bedouin hospitality and healthy natural Bedouin cuisine from the Galilee. This will be a luxury hotel unlike any other in Israel, which will give an economic boost to the village and the entire region and create hundreds of jobs in the hotel itself and the surrounding tourist industry.”