ZFA Weekly Israel Advocacy Update.

Written by Emily Gian. Media and Advocacy Director, Zionist Federation of Australia..


Over the years, I have received some fantastic “good news” stories across my desk that come from Israel and that really needed to be shouted about from the rooftops.


Whether it has been some technological advancement or a medical breakthrough, I have always wondered why such amazing stories are not usually considered “newsworthy” by media outlets.


So you can imagine how overjoyed I was this week, to open up the Melbourne Age newspaper and to read a two-page spread on what is really one of the most astounding inventions of our time – one which comes from the State of Israel.

This is the story of “ReWalk” which has deservedly won its place in the top 5 of Time Magazine’s 25 best inventions of 2013 (it has been around longer). Developed by Israeli company Argo Medical Technologies, ReWalk enables individuals with lower limb disabilities such as paraplegics to stand, walk and take steps independently. Even on paper, the benefits of this invention are remarkable, but I have now had the pleasure of seeing this demonstrated live in an event hosted this week by the Zionist Council of Victoria and the Israel Trade Commission.
The suit was worn and demonstrated by Radi Kaiuf, an Israeli Druze who was shot in the spine while serving in the IDF in 1988. He was confined to a wheelchair for more than twenty years, but thanks to ReWalk, he is now able to do everyday tasks that we often take for granted such as playing in the park with his children and getting around at the shopping centre.

Watching a man, who a few minutes earlier was sitting in a wheelchair, actually stand up and walk blew me away. When he told a story of walking down the aisle, and being able to stand eye to eye and give his wife a hug for the first time, I had tears in my eyes and goose bumps on my skin.

Sadly, the first thought that came to my mind was about of the BDS movement and how this organisation would not hesitate normally to boycott such an invention because it is the product of Israeli minds and Israeli technology and for no other reason. BDS was set up purely to harm Israel and put an end to the one state in the world which is a homeland for Jews. BDS does not have at heart the interests of peace or the progress of mankind.


I used the world “sadly” because the thought immediately lowered this wonderful innovation into the dark world of cheap propaganda.


Israel is much better than that. Radi’s story made me realise that when we talk of the fruits of the labour of the people of Israel whether they be in the arts, in science and education or in the pursuit of true peace with their neighbours, it is a useful exercise to consider what each of these things actually do and what they can achieve for the world at large.

Seeing the ReWalk demonstration, and then watching some testimonials online as well, made me realise what a life-changing invention this is; the world would be a poorer without it.

So I have made a decision that from now on, and I going to focus far less on what the hate mongers in the BDS Movement have to say. It is, after all, a lot easier for them to boycott an orange or some hand cream than it is to boycott a vaccine that could cure a wide range of cancers or an organisation that improves the quality of paediatric cardiac care for children from developing countries who suffer from heart disease.


If they want to boycott innovation, advancement and the prospects for a peaceful future, I say go for it, but I will not lower my sights to their level of mindless stupidity and hatred for some of their fellow men and women who do things in their daily lives to make the world a better place.

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  1. Leon Poddebsky

    The Nazis boycotted and otherwise persecuted brilliant, creative, productive residents of Germany because they were Jews. For the Nazis racism trumped everything else.
    For BDS, similarly, hatred of Jews trumps all other considerations.
    (Oh, I forgot: they love creatures like Chomsky and Pappe.)

    • Did you see the nice ‘little’ spiel in the AJN about the NIF?
      They are gaining ground and no one is doing a thing about it.
      I am furious with Josie Lacey and her push to have Stephen Lewis elected on the B of Deps. Surely she knew he is NIF?

      • Leon Poddebsky

        The Manhattan Sephardi Rabbi who heads a large number of institutions there has declared that if NIF is allowed to participate in a planned parade, his institutions will not take part because NIF is in bed with BDS.

        Isn’t it amazing: Chomsky, Pappe, Lowenstein, Mendes, NIF ?

        And what about Wertheim’s letter some weeks ago in “The Australian”, where he said something to the effect that the legal status of Judea and Samaria have not yet been determined? Hasn’t he heard of the 1922 Mandate for “Palestine” ?
        In 1967, when Israel liberated those regions from illegal Jordanian occupation, Israel could not have been “occupying another state” because Israeli forces did not cross international borders to get into Judea and Samaria- Israeli forces crossed TEMPORARY ARMISTICE LINES!

  2. As much as I can’t abide PW or the spineless ECAJ, with a member of the NIF now at the helm, they really can’t start on the legalities of it all. Same with Julie Bishop.

    You should follow
    The Levy Report Campaign Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/TheLevyReport

    The Levy Report Campaign website: http://thelevyreport.org/

    • Leon Poddebsky

      They can and they should “start on the legalities of it all.”
      That’s what the Levy Report is all about.
      The accusation of “illegality” is a monstrous lie; the intention of its adherents is to demoralise / soften up the Jews and Israel, just as the Nazis’ accusations that the Jews were immoral lawless rogues and thieves was a tactic to demoralise the Jews to facilitate the perpetration of the Shoah.
      The ECAJ and the other representative bodies should be conducting an ongoing campaign to destroy the myth of illegality; instead, we have a “leader” who wrote in a daily newspaper that the legal status of Judea and Samaria have not been determined- of course they were determined- in 1922 in the Palestine Mandate they were declared an integral part of the Jewish National Home. Jordan’s and Egypt’s aggression and illegal occupation of those regions and of Gaza did not diminish the Jews’ legal rights in those territories.
      Security Council Resolution 242 clearly endorses Israeli rights there, too.

      The “international community” is a willing victim of the big lie, and successive Israeli governments have allowed that big lie to go unchallenged for far too long.

      And let’s not be fooled by the invocation of the 1947 partition resolution; that was merely a recommendation only, and it was in violation of the Mandate anyway.
      Those who invoke that resolution, in order to be consistent, must support the territorial boundaries which it recommended, and these confined the “Jewish state” within an area SMALLER than Israel’s land area today.

  3. The problem is that they don’t want to ruffle anyone’s feathers.
    Meanwhile most people are now pushing for annexing Judaea and Samaria