Monthly Archives: September 2014

Remembering 9/11 – Smoke, Tears, Islamic Jihad

9/11 – the end of innocence.
Photo: Joel Leyden

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

New York … On a sun drenched, cool Autumn morning, within a period of two hours, the United States had lost its innocence, isolation and security.

Islamic terrorists attacked multiple targets in the US murdering over 3,000 civilians. Four civilian airliners, packed with passengers and fuel became deadly suicide missiles hitting, collapsing New York’s World Trade Center and destroying a part of Washington’s Pentagon.

As a journalist reporting from New York, I visited “Ground Zero” twice. A hellish, gray gas, smoke filled area where only twisted metal and body parts remained. A place where I had once worked – a city within a city from where New York’s Twin Towers once proudly kissed the sky.

I had started the day with a run through Central Park. Towards the end of that run I heard a huge roar above me as I looked up to see a large, civilian aircraft flying very low, very fast heading south. I didn’t think much of it as New York is embraced by three airports and thousands of aircraft dotting the skies. Little did I know that was hijacked American Airlines Flight 11 in her final moments.

I made my way back to a restaurant inside the Wellington Hotel. Inside I saw about a dozen people standing around a portable TV set on one of the counters. We saw smoke coming out of the World Trade Center. We were told that a small plane, Piper or Cessna had hit one of the towers. Then we saw a second aircraft slam the north tower of World Trade Center. What at first appeared to be an accident quickly turned into a transparent attack on the US. I made my way down to the United Nations where my family had a nearby apartment. From the roof of that building I witnessed the World Trade Center burning. One could smell the acrid smoke. One could see thousands of people slowly walking up First Avenue covered in a whiteish, grayish soot heading to exit a closed Manhattan through the 59th Street Bridge. It was like watching a horror movie. 

The following morning I headed down to NYPD’s headquarters to secure press credentials. After 3 hours of waiting on line, it was a short walk to Ground Zero.

Slowly approaching the area, you could hear the roar of F-15’s flying overhead, circling Manhattan.

The smell of burnt plastic and rubber filled the air – burning the eyes and throat. You walk past American landmark symbols, such as the NASDAQ building with it’s sign cracked and submerged in debris, covered with a fine, thin, grey dust.

Israelis live in an atmosphere where senseless and barbaric terrorist attacks have almost become routine. Israelis have adjusted to a traumatized life style where crazy has become the norm. But for America – for Americans it has been very, very different. Americans had become so isolated from global affairs that on September 11th with total surprise they repeatedly kept asking “why”, “why did this happen to us?”

American culture had become so safe, so secure – approaching uncomfortable heights of boredom which manifested itself into “reality television”.

On September 11th – every American had now taken a lead role in the popular TV series “Survivor” and “Lost “. But only for a very short period of time. For Americans are an intelligent and proud people who once threatened, join hands, hold their Stars and Stripes above their heads and transform a “sleeping giant” into a fierce and fiery eagle which is unmatched for it’s potent, respected speed and power.

Standing among the ruins of the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers, wearing a white hard-hat and breathing through a gray and red gas mask – one could only remember the Gulf War. A time when all Israelis wore gas masks, heard sirens wail and scud missiles explode.

Photo by: Thomas E. Franklin

In the middle of where the Twin Towers once stood were three gray, dust laden flag poles. One which would bear the flag of New York, another the flag of the World Trade Center and the third – the flag of the United States of America. Only one flag survived this terrorist attack, the American flag and three fire fighters made sure it was going to stand for a long time to come. American flags quickly blossomed in every direction – hanging from tall commercial buildings, taped to store windows and flying from car antennas. Nationalism had revisited the United States for the first time since the December 7th attack on Pearl Harbor.

Police, fire and National guard soldiers created a five mile security perimeter. Soldiers marching in green uniforms with automatic weapons at the ready and armored personnel carriers patrolling the streets. It was a nightmarish scene, something that only existed previously in Hollywood sci-fi movies. But now – it was not King Kong or Godzilla, but rather human beasts which had turned the lights out on what was once America’s vibrant financial capital.

In effect, this security perimeter created two cities – one which was completely evacuated leaving behind devastation and thick smoke south of Canal Street and the other up North – clean with restaurant and hotel doors open but almost completely deserted.

Traumatized New Yorkers took refuge in their cement caves as others headed for their green,  tranquil suburban homes.

The only activity was in the city to the south where brave rescue workers from New York and those who had driven hundreds of miles to assist from other states and cities, were digging under intense search lights, non-stop for any signal of life.

Many of these huge, brave men, sweat dripping from their faces, were seen collapsing and crying from total exhaustion – not wanting to leave, not wanting to rest – their only desire was to find survivors who might still be alive trapped in air pockets below. Vietnam veterans had dusted off their old uniforms volunteering to join the search with sniffer dogs attached to their wrists.

Photo: Joel Leyden

Tons of supplies were donated and placed at the site. Food, medical and construction materials were within a few feet of the workers. At this point only 159 bodies had been recovered. 20,000 tons of debris had been carefully removed – ever so carefully so as not to create further danger for the survivors and rescuers and so that criminal evidence could be gathered and analyzed.

For a period of time, I was detained and interrogated by the FBI. They ignored my New York Police Department press credentials and were obsessed with my Israeli nationality.

“What did you know about the attack” they asked. I was in shock. I looked at them with revulsion as if to say: “how can you dare associate me with this barbaric act?”

These agents did not know that I was born and bred in the USA, that I had worked at the World Trade Center for several years, that my brother had an office across the street on Vesey and that I was no less American than they are.

After three hours they released me, taking both my film and press credentials. They were overreacting, but I could not blame them, it was the first time that many of them were face to face with terrorism. Some Israeli officials suggested that I file formal complaints, I responded, “this is not the time, these are our friends and they are traumatized, let it go”.

As an American citizen who had done absolutely nothing wrong and in fact had valid NYPD press credentials and followed all of the rules – it was a very sad and traumatic experience, but if the film and photos that I took in Manhattan of candle lit memorials, paper signs showing photos of the missing tacked onto light poles and the pure devastation at Ground Zero assists the FBI in their investigations and research – I’m pleased!

The policeman, the fireman, the uniformed soldiers in their new, shining black boots – all had tears in their eyes.
A piece of America had been ripped away from them. We were on holy ground, no one spoke at Ground Zero unless they had to. You worked, you ate, you rested and worked again in a deafening and depressing silence. 

You smelled death and heard only the sound of jackhammers.

As one left “Ground Zero” you could not miss the hundreds of memorial candles lighting up the entrance to the New York fire department’s World Trade Center Ladder Company Number 10 which had lost so many good and brave men. Thousands of posters were clinging onto telephone and electric poles with photos staring at you, descriptions of many of the men, woman and children who were missing.

Darkened churches, parks and subway stations were also lit up displaying more posters and more flowers throughout the city.

Ground Zero: smoke, floodlights, rescue workers and American flags 
Photo: Joel Leyden

You could not escape the shock, tears, or anger. America and the world had never witnessed such an evil and barbaric act of terror in the history of mankind. You could only think – what kind of people, what kind of animals could murder so many, could even kill their own Muslim brothers who were working in the Trade Center?

As I was now riding north on a subway train to the other city, two exhausted, spent fire fighters sat across from me. I asked them what they thought, how would they describe all that they had seen.

They looked up at me and responded with only one word – “war”.

Israel PM Netanyahu: We Mourn With US on 9/11, Support Fight Against ISIS

bibi 911

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem — September 11, 2014 … Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the 13th anniversary of the terror attacks on September 11th, 2001, with a moment of silence and a speech on the threat of Islamic terrorism.

US Ambassador Dan Shapiro was in attendance.

Addressing the 14th World Summit of the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) at the Daniel Herzliya Hotel), Netanyahu reflected on the barbaric attacks on the US, drawing a moral divide between Israel’s response to the attacks and those of the Palestinians in Gaza.

“We remember that day, 13 years ago, and we mourn with you on this day for the thousands who lost their lives in that horrific attack, Netanyahu said. “All of Israel mourned on September 11th. In Gaza, Palestinians were dancing on the roofs. They were handing out candy. That’s the moral divide – we mourn, they celebrate the death of thousands of innocents. And then when the US took out Bin Laden, I, speaking virtually for the entire country, congratulated President Obama; in Gaza, Hamas condemned the US, and called Bin Laden a holy warrior of Islam. That’s the moral divide – we celebrate, they mourn the death of an arch terrorist.”

The Prime Minister also stated that had Al Qaeda had nuclear weapons on September 11, 2001, they would have used it against New York and Washington, D.C. He further offered his full support of President Obama’s campaign against ISIS (The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) and offered his optimism in defeating them.

Israel 9/11 Condolence Memorial Site

US – Israel Arrow 2 Missile Test Completed


By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel — The Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) of DDR&D and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency conducted an intercept test of the Arrow 2 interceptor missile. The Arrow 2 is an operational system currently providing the Arrow Weapon System (AWS) with an interceptor engagement capability and the test was conducted at an Israeli test range over the Mediterranean Sea.

An Arrow 2 missile was launched and performed its flight sequence as planned. The results are being analyzed by program engineers.

The test results have no effect on the Israeli operational systems capability to cope with the existing threats in the region. This test was an improved version of the joint U.S. – Israel AWS, intended to counter future threats.

The primary contractor for the integration and the development of the Arrow Weapon System is the Israel Aerospace Industries, in conjunction with Boeing, Elta, and Elbit/ Elisra.

Archive pictures of the Arrow Missile System can be found at:

Archive videos of the Arrow Missile System can be found at:

UN Human Rights Council: “Forget Hamas Targeting Israeli Civilians”

UN Human Rights Council: Kill Jews, But Say Free Palestine!

Special to Israel News Agency from Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Instead of investigating Hamas’ deliberate attacks on Israeli civilians and the use of Palestinian civilians as human shields, the UN decided to “investigate” Israel, a democracy exercising its legitimate right of self-defense.
Throughout the recent conflict Israel has done its utmost to comply with the strictest standards of international humanitarian law, despite significant operational costs.

On July 23, while Hamas rocket fire on Israel continued daily,  the United Nations Human Rights Council decided to appoint a “commission of inquiry” the purpose of which is to investigate purported violations of international humanitarian laws in the Palestinian territories, and particularly Gaza, since 13 June 2014.

The blatantly unbalanced mandate of the commission proved yet again the UNHRC’s betrayal of its fundamental mission of defending human rights.

Instead of investigating Hamas’ deliberate attacks on Israeli civilians and the use of Palestinian civilians as human shields, the UN decided to “investigate” Israel, a democracy exercising its legitimate right of self-defense against Hamas’ murderous campaign of terrorism.

In a separate resolution on 1 September, the same Council decided to launch an investigation into the terror acts committed by ISIL in Iraq. While entirely justified, this measure exposed the double standard practiced by the UNHRC. Unlike Hamas, which was not even mentioned in the 23 July decision, this time the terror organization (ISIL) was appropriately singled out.

The acts committed by extremist Islamic terror groups should be unequivocally condemned by the international community – be it in Iraq or in Gaza. Unfortunately the Council is so politicized that it is unable to function as a useful, universal instrument to successfully protect the rights of all victims of terrorism across the globe, Israelis included

On 11 August the UNHRC appointed Professor Willian Schabas to serve as chairman of the commission of investigation, alongside two other members. The appointment of a vocally biased critic of Israel as chairman of the Council’s commission of inquiry demonstrates once again that Israel cannot get a fair hearing from the UNHRC.

Prof. William Schabas has called for the indictment of Prime Minister Netanyahu and former President Peres and has refused to label Hamas a terrorist organization despite its designation as such by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada and other countries.

In addition, Schabas statements from recent days make it very clear that he has already made up his mind that the International Criminal Court should prosecute Israeli individuals, and this even before his commission started working. Prof. Schabas told the BBC on on July 17, 2014, “There are huge numbers of civilian casualties on one side and virtually no civilian causalities on the other, and so prima facie, there is evidence of disproportionality in the response that Israel is undertaking in order to protect itself.”

Is she the next President of  UN Human Rights Council?

In October 2012, Schabas told the Russell Tribunal on Palestine that he was “inclined to speak about crimes against humanity, war crimes and crimes of aggression, all of which I think can be shown to have been perpetrated at various times during the history of the State of Israel.”

The work of the commission is tainted also by the fact that Palestinian officials – prominent Palestinian speakers as Ibrahim Kreisha, the PA representative in Geneva, and Hanan Ashrawi – as well as four Palestinian NGO’s, are allowed to be deeply involved in its work.

Throughout the recent conflict Israel has done its utmost to comply with the strictest standards of international humanitarian law, despite significant operational costs.

Moreover, as part of Israel’s commitment to the rule of law, Israel decided to in initiate a professional and comprehensive examination of alleged violations of international law, including the laws of armed conflict.

In the midst of Operation Protective Edge, the IDF Chief of General Staff ordered the establishment of a General Staff Mechanism for Fact-Finding Assessments (the FFA Mechanism) designed to examine exceptional incidents that occurred during the operation. Such incidents include events allegedly resulting in unanticipated harm to civilians as well as events where military activity may have resulted in damage to medical or UN facilities.

The FFA Mechanism is tasked with providing the Israel Military Advocate General (MAG) with initial investigatory information which, in turn, is charged with deciding whether to initiate a full criminal investigation. The MAG enjoys professional independence within the military system. On legal matters he is subject only to the rulings of the Israeli judicial system and to the Attorney General, subject also to review by the Supreme Court of Israel.

Tel Aviv Innovation High Tech Festival Week


By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Tel Aviv — September 9, 2014 … Tel Aviv’s largest international high-tech gathering, DLD Tel Aviv Innovation Festival, will be taking place on September 13-20th, 2014.

The festival will feature hundreds of startups, VC’s, angel investors and leading multinationals boasting top technological talent, the highest venture capital investments per capita and multinational centers for industry leaders such as Google, Microsoft, Amazon, GM, Amdocs, Facebook and more.

The Festival will contain 100 different international innovation events, ranging from meetups, conferences and panels to public events, receptions and networking events. An updated list of events for the Festival can be found at

The events throughout the festival are organized by different companies, networks, organizations, etc.

Main events will include:

The DLD Tel Aviv Conference: (9:00-18:00) taking place at the “Tachana” Complex :

Foreign Press Startup Tour: (9:00-12:00 or 15:00-18:00) members of the press will visit co-working spaces, incubators and small startup that are about to be the next big thing.

Open Startup: (17:00-23:00) – Over 100 startups around the city will be opening their offices to the general public – exposing the innovations and ground-breaking technologies that make Tel Aviv one of the world’s leading “startup cities”. Information regarding Open Startup can be found at:

Rothschild Boulevard Urban Happening: (18:00-23:00) Tel Aviv’s startup Boulevard will transform into a “Meetup Boulevard”, as cafes’, bars and galleries will host meetups in a large array of fields. More info at:

Plaza to Plaza (19:00-23:00)– an outdoor public-space celebration of urban innovation and ingenuity throughout the main Startup Boulevard – Rothschild Blvd. Including screening of sci-fi movies on the wall of the national theater, augmented reality posters, computer games stations, art displays using innovative technology, fashion show of wearable tech, a teen-expo of teen inventions and more.

Additional events taking place during innovation week:

SundayThursday, Sep. 14-18 – Start Tel Aviv – Startup entrepreneurs from 16 countries around the world will be given the opportunity to experience Tel Aviv’s startup ecosystem. Participants were chosen through startup competitions held in the respective countries. Start Tel Aviv is collaboration between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Tel Aviv Global. Additional Information can be found at:

Monday – Tuesday, Sep. 15-16 – The 5th Annual Cities Summit Tel Aviv: “Cracking the Innovation Code” – bringing together urban administrators and innovators from leading cities around the world, discussing what cities are doing to attract the creative class.

Updated information can be found at:

Israel’s Rambam Hospital: Transplant Saves Gaza Youth


By Israel News Agency Staff

Haifa, Israel — September 8, 2014 … For years, M, a 14 year old boy from Gaza, had suffered from kidney failure. Recently, the youth’s doctor informed his family that without a transplant, the boy would die. Exacerbating his condition, M’s blood also coagulated too easily, reducing the chance of a successful transplant.

Against all odds, with the donation of a kidney from his sister, Rambam Hospital doctors saved the boy’s life.

To stay alive, patients who suffer from kidney failure require a transplant. When that problem is intensified by excessive blood coagulation, they need a great deal of luck too.

One such patient was 14-year old M. He urgently needed a kidney transplant, but his blood condition had obstructed all blood vessels in his groin except the one vein through which he received dialysis. This significantly lowered chances for a successful transplantation.

Doctors explained to M’s family that it was only a matter of time before the final vein would also clog up, preventing dialysis and greatly threatening the boy’s life. To save him, his sister decided to donate a kidney.

Eight years ago, the boy had received a kidney donation from his brother, but the transplant, performed in Egypt, failed immediately. In light of this situation, Rambam doctors made it clear to the family that M’s chances for success were especially low. Despite this, his sister insisted upon the donation.

Considering the state of M’s blood vessels, the doctors were faced with a great challenge. In a regular transplant, doctors remove the donor’s kidney and then connect it to the recipient’s blood vessels. In M’s case, the doctors feared they wouldn’t find healthy blood vessels that could feed the transplanted kidney.

As a result, the doctors worked ‘in reverse’: first, they operated on M and checked for useable blood vessels. Finding a few, they then removed one of his sister’s kidneys and transplanted it in within M.

To compensate for all the blocked veins, M’s body had developed a system of bypass veins. Shortly after surgery, it became apparent that this collateral network could not stand up to the demands of the transplant.

Two hours after leaving the OR, the youth was returned there. Examinations revealed that all vascular connections performed by Rambam doctors were working, but M’s own blood vessels were not sustaining the transplanted kidney.

The Rambam medical staff had never been confronted with such a situation before. “It was a nightmare scenario,” said Dr. Ran Steinberg, head of Pediatric Surgery. To solve the problem, the doctors implanted a synthetic connector between the vein exiting the kidney and the one that exits the liver.

This innovation worked and M’s body was able to function with the new kidney. After an eight-month stay in Rambam, the boy recently went home to Gaza, and will return for periodic check-ups.

“There are no words to describe the excitement of triumphing in an impossible situation. Not everyone believed we would succeed,” said Dr. Steinberg. “As soon as M started to recover, our doctors’ smiles returned. M is a great kid and he will be able to enjoy the regular life of any child his age.”



Israel PM Netanyahu Meets Norway Foreign Minister Borge Brende


By Herb Brandon
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel — September 8, 2014 … Communicated by the Israel Prime Minister’s office to the Israel News Agency.

 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this morning met with Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende and told him at the start of their meeting: “You’re coming here at tumultuous times. I think there is a growing awareness in the international community of the threat posed by Islamist terror and radicalism. Groups like ISIS, Hamas, al Nusra, al Qaeda, al Shabaab, Hezbollah supported by Iran, they form a clear and present danger to our civilization, to our way of life, our values.”

The Prime Minister added: “I think the most important thing is to nip it in the bud, and those who don’t do so will find Islamic terrorism that is here today, tomorrow at their doorstep. I know that you understand that, and I look forward to talking to you about that and the pursuit of peace.”

 Norwegian Foreign Minister Brende replied, “[I send] condolences from Norway on what has taken place in difficult times for Israel this summer with unprovoked terror attacks from Hamas in Gaza. I just came from the NATO summit in Wales to Israel and also there was a lot of discussion of to join forces now against Islamic extremism, especially now with the growing ISIS and challenge in Syria and Iraq.”

“I was in Iraq a week ago, and saw the horrible development in Irbil, thinking looking there and seeing that 20 kilometers away that was this extremist organization taking more and more control. I am also looking forward to discuss the upcoming donor meeting in New York, and all our collaboration.”

Slain Journalist’s Family Challenges ISIS’s Leader To Debate On Koran


By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Miami — September 5, 2014 … The family of Jewish journalist Steven Sotloff, the second American beheaded by Islamic State terrorists, issued a challenge to the leader of ISIS. A family spokesperson said on Wednesday that Steven was “a gentle soul”, and invited the group’s leader to a debate on the peaceful teachings of the Muslim holy book, the Koran.

Family spokesperson Barak Barfi ended the statement with off-the-cuff remarks in Arabic, saying: “Steve died a martyr for the sake of God.”

He then challenged Islamic State (ISIS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to debate Islam, saying: “Woe to you. You said the month of Ramadan is the month of mercy. Where is your mercy?”

“Abu Bakr, I am ready to debate with you. I come in peace. I have no sword in my hand and I am ready for your answer,” added Barfi, who is an Arabic scholar and research fellow at the New America Foundation think tank in Washington.

Islamic State released a video on Tuesday (September 2) purporting to show the beheading Sotloff.

Following the beheading of journalist Jim Foley last week, Sotloff’s mother made an emotional plea to Islamic State, requesting they release her son.

The Sotloff family has yet to speak personally to media following their son Steven’s death and requested to mourn privately.

US and British officials both examined the video, showing the same British-accented executioner who appeared in an Aug. 19 video of the killing of US journalist James Foley, concluding it was authentic.

Family and friends gathered to remember the life of slain Miami journalist Steven Sotloff at a memorial service Friday.

Temple Beth Am in Pinecrest, Florida was expecting upwards of 1,000 people for the 1 p.m. memorial, which is open to the public. Sotloff had attended the temple’s elementary school and his mother, Shirley, had worked as a teacher there.

Most Middle East experts expect that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi will read or see the above challenge on the Internet. But they expect little or no response.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is a coward who hides behind distorted verses of the Koran,” said one highly respected academic in Middle East studies. “Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi lives in a fantasy world where he is a god and only death can enhance his existence. We trust that US and NATO forces will soon provide Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi with a new existence, one which will no longer butcher and threaten innocent Jews and Christians in the Middle East.”

Letter: Parents of Israeli Child Daniel Tregerman to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon


Text of a letter sent by Gila and Doron Tregerman, parents of 4 year-old Daniel, who was murdered
during a mortar attack on his home, to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

By Israel News Agency Staff

For UN Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon
Dear Sir,

My name is Gila, I am an Israeli citizen, and I am a resident of Kibbutz Nahal Oz, near the border with Gaza.

A week ago, we lost our eldest son, Daniel 4.5 years old, when he was killed by a mortar shell fired from Gaza into Israel.
I address you after your announcement to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to establish an international investigation Committee to investigate “Israel’s crime” in the recent fighting in Gaza.

About us: Doron and I were married five years ago and we have three amazing kids: Daniel 4.5 yrs, Yoval 3.5 yrs and Uri 4 months old. We were a happy family. We lived in Kibbutz Nahal Oz near Gaza, and found ourselves constantly debating whether not to abandon Nahal Oz and move to another location, quieter, safer, far from rocket fire from Gaza, and far away from the alarms.

Then came the threat of terrorist tunnels, which Hamas members dug from Gaza to Israel under our home to hurt us. At night we heard noises and voices digging beneath us. Thus, in the last six months our children slept with the window closed and locked. We were afraid that they will be kidnapped from us.

Can you imagine our life, Mr. Secretary-General? How do you live in constant fear of mortar shell and terrorists emerging from tunnels?

Then, last Friday [August 22], Daniel was killed. All the precautions we had taken failed. Daniel, 4.5 yrs old, was killed in our House, while playing with Yoval in a tent built indoors and not outside, because it’s dangerous. He was killed from a mortar shell that was shot by terrorists from Gaza, he died in our hands. Daniel died in front of his little sister and his best friend Yoval, 3.5 years old; he died in front of Uri, only four months old and right before our eyes, his mother and father.

We failed. We couldn’t protect our beautiful and talented baby. Daniel was killed from a mortar shell that was fired by Hamas members from an elementary school for boys in Gaza City. It wasn’t a stray shell. It wasn’t accidental death. From that school terrorists fired deliberately at the kibbutz to murder civilians — children, women, old people. This time, they also achieved their goal. Daniel was killed almost immediately. Daniel’s father, Doron, covered him with a blanket while crying bitterly and we escaped from home with two small children, leaving our precious son behind, in order to protect them from bombings that continued to explode around the house. Yoval, Daniel’s sister, saw the terrifying sight and understood that something terrible happened. It is unbearable to watch that little child staring at the wall, in overwhelming silence with teardrops from her eyes.

This week, during the “shiv’ah”(Jewish ritual of mourning) at Doron’s parents home, we heard of your decision to appoint an international investigation committee to investigate “Israel’s crime” during the recent fighting in Gaza. You informed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu half an hour after our Daniel was killed, perhaps while he was lying dead in our living room, covered in a blanket.

The investigation committee will examine the “crimes of Israel” during the fighting. The investigation committee is not asked to investigate how terrorists shoot out of U.N buildings and schools.The committee is not asked to investigate how inside buildings of the United Nations and in hospitals in Gaza terrorist infrastructure flourishes and is maintained over time, or how from these places terrorists depart for activity aimed against innocent people.

It won’t investigate how Hamas abuses the Palestinian people, and how its members force residents of Gaza, even children, to dig tunnels aimed only for terrorism against Israel.It won’t investigate how after these excavations, carried out under duress and in slave-like conditions, the Hamas murdered the diggers, even the children, just to be sure they won’t be able to pass information to Israel.

Why are you silent?

Does your silence indicate consent with the abuse of the Palestinian people and the Israeli people?

The answers to these questions will remain unknown.

And I want to ask you, Sir:

Do you and the U.N not see the links that make up the global terrorism picture?

The terrorists units, fully equipped and full of hatred that attacked us in our homes, are the same units that kidnapped 43 UN observers in Syria; They are the same units that decapitated innocent people in Syria and Iraq; these units crashed aircrafts into crowded buildings in 2001 in New York; these units threaten the essence of democratic life, and life itself, in Europe, in the United States and anywhere on the planet.

Let me tell you some more about the history of our lives here, on the border with Gaza. My husband’s parents, Doron, also live near the border fence and three and a half years ago a Qassam rocket exploded and destroyed their home.
Up until a few years ago they had good relations with the residents of Gaza. They hired workers from Gaza to work in their fields and Paulina, Daniel’s grandmother, drove them home – to Rafah, every evening after work. They used to invite each other for weddings and other celebrations and often traveled to Rafah or Gaza to enjoy life at cafes there.All that ended when Hamas rose to power and ordered the civilians who worked in Israel to kill their Israeli employers; otherwise, Hamas would hurt their families. Daniel’s grandparents used to tell us this, longing and hoping that the good proximity will resume. They even found ways to maintain contact with their friends from Gaza during the mortar shelling.

Like the parents of Doron and their friends from Gaza, we want to live in good proximity, in peace and security. It is our hope that our neighbors, the people of Gaza, will be able to live peacefully in their homes and build and develop their beautiful country. We believe that the vast majority of the people on this planet do not want to see the sights of blood, tears and fire of the radical Islam movement, but to live peacefully, enjoy kid’s laughter, wait for a better tomorrow.

We do not seek the people responsible for our Daniel’s death.
We only wish your response and your voice against this crime and the crime Hamas has committed against their own people.

Gila and Doron Tregerman
Parents of Daniel (RIP), Yoval and Ori

Nahal Oz, Israel

Joan Rivers, Comedy Pioneer, Israeli Advocate, Dead At 81


By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

New York — September 4, 2014 … Queen of comedy and staunch Israeli advocate Joan Rivers died today at the age of 81.

“My mother’s greatest joy in life was to make people laugh,” Melissa Rivers said in a statement. “Although that is difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon.”




Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu issued a statement on Joan Rivers’ death, saying she brought laughter to millions of people around the world “and was proud of her Jewish heritage and a vocal supporter of Israel.”

“We will miss her deeply and we send our heartfelt condolences to her family,” he said in a statement.