Kiwis for Balanced Reporting on the Middle East

Kiwis for Balanced Reporting On The Mideast New Zealand Media bias

Recent Letters

Letters written by members of KBRM

Submitted to The NZ Herald on February 7, 2014

Lois Griffiths' letter incorrectly claims that there are ‘Jewish-only’ towns and swimming pools in Israel and the West Bank, however she clearly has misunderstood the reality. Israel, like all Western Democracies, has strict laws against discrimination; the Israeli Supreme Court has ruled that it is illegal to refuse to sell property or restrict access to facilities to Arabs or any other minority. In contrast, in the Palestinian Authority selling property to Jews carries the death penalty, and there are large signs at the entrance to the self-ruled Palestinian areas forbidding entrance to Jews or Israelis ( see an example here ). Such signs or practice would be illegal anywhere in Israel.
Ms Griffiths claims to have been to the West Bank. Next time she goes, I suggest she travel with both an Israeli and Palestinian to find out for herself which areas have restricted access. At the same time she may want to visit the Mishor Adumim industrial Zone where the SodaStream factory is located, to see what peace would look like with Israelis and Palestinians working, shopping, eating, and praying side by side.

Submitted to The NZ Herald on February 7, 2014

Re Lois Grifiths recent letter. She has obviously been taken to the poorer Arab parts by West Bank propagandists. Can I suggest she visit Arab Hebron, where the main street is very wide with plantings down the centre and where numerous shops have the most exquisite beaded ball gowns in their windows (many strapless). I once did an Arab tour it was lead by a Palestian activist as he called himself and guess what, he took us to the poorest part of town, the old dilapidated market alongside a small Jewish area, but we also had witnessed very different driving through the city on our way to get there. We even had lunch at his humble abode, all theatre. I was disgusted at the lies I heard, culminating in “Jesus was a Palestinian.” Next, Lois should try a visit to Ramallah with its luxury hotels, luxury apartments, cafes, expensive European cars etc. There are some very wealthy Arabs in the West Bank where the two wealthiest families are Egyptians, interestingly. Much of the aid given goes into very deep pockets, not to help the populace; they are just pawns.

Submitted to The NZ Herald on February 7, 2014

When Lois Griffiths (6 Feb 2014) accused Israelis of destroying water cisterns “in their push to rid the Jordan valley of Palestinians”, she presented an entirely wrong picture of what is actually happening.
Israel has a long history of living peaceably with its 1 1/2 million Palestinian citizens. While a few wells have been destroyed in the West Bank for specific reasons, the overall picture is that Israel works with Palestinians to improve the common water supply. In fact, Israel signed an agreement in December to increase by 50% the water that it now supplies to Palestinians. As the Palestinian Water Authority Minister said, “We showed that we can work together despite the political problems.” So much for destroying cisterns to push out Palestinians.
But even if it were the goal of Israel to rid the Jordan Valley of Palestinians (which it isn't), compare that with the Palestinian goal, which is to wipe out Israel. This goal is held not just by a few Palestinians, but by the majority, and it is openly proclaimed by the ruling groups, at least when they speak in Arabic. And they do not just destroy water cisterns; they fire rockets and send suicide bombers to kill Jews.
If someone misreports and distorts a supposedly “cruel” action by Israel, while ignoring the much greater “cruelty” on the other side, there can be only two possible explanations: ignorance or anti-Semitism.

Submitted to The NZ Herald on February 7, 2014

Lois Griffiths claims she's seen swimming pools for “Jews only” in a West Bank town.
Without photos of signs stating this, it must be seen as a fabrication. All nationalities are welcome in Israel, except those with homicidal intentions. In contrast, in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and much of the Arab world, selling property to Jews carries the death penalty. Does Griffiths have an opinion on that?
From 1948 onward, Israel's Jewish settlers have slaved to turn thousands of acres of desert into a market garden, even while under fire from local Arabs. If they can do it so could the Palestinians.
Meanwhile, public money from the UN has been poured into Gaza and the West Bank in eye-watering quantities. How much of that has been spent on Qassam rockets to fire into Israel?
Instead of using foreign aid for conservation and recycling projects the Palestinian Authority prefers to use taxpayers' money of donor nations on weapons and on preparing their children for war via hate education in UNRWA and other schools, and in their media. It's much easier to blame the Jews for all their woes as that has always worked in the past and still does today.

Submitted to The NZ Herald on February 7, 2014

Lois Griffiths (letters 6 Feb) has obviously been shown around ‘Palestine’ by ‘minders’ similar to those who conducted Western fellow-travellers around totalitarian utopias decades ago. The lies she parrots have a certain de ja vu about them, as does the fact that the lies are against Jews. Here we go again, eh?
Her point about swimming pools is ambiguous. Islamic fundamentalists would tend to murder ordinary citizens who dared to indulge in this decadent western luxury, especially women. It is a lie that the Israel authorities ban anyone on the basis of non-Jewishness, from property ownership or the use of public facilities including swimming pools. Anecdotal evidence has logical non-race-based explanations.
The availability of water in the region is due to decades of enterprise by the young State of Israel, ‘making the desert blossom as a rose’. There is no inherent reason Muslim Arabs cannot do the same — they do so in Dubai.
By far the highest per-capita aid subsidies in the world go to Gaza and the West Bank. It would have helped if money were used for water schemes instead of bombs, missiles and terrorism, and lives of luxury for corrupt local leaders.

More Letters

Our Kiwi in Israel

Reports from our man on the ground in Israel.

Michael Kuttner

Dayenu – Enough Already

April 17, 2014

By Michael Kuttner
One of the amazing characteristics inherent in the Israeli approach to life is the refusal to be cowed by threats, implied or overt, and to live life to the full at every opportunity..... Read Article

In every generation

First published in jWire

April 10, 2014

By Michael Kuttner
Once again as we have done since the Exodus of our ancestors from Egypt, Jews worldwide will be sitting down together with family and friends to recount the dramas associated with that history making event so long ago.

In between prayers, songs and food, the lessons of the Festival of Pesach will be transmitted to a new generation in the same way that we learnt it from our parents and if we were lucky, our grandparents. .... Read Article

How Low Can You Go? ...asks Michael Kuttner

October 28, 2013

April 4, 2014 by Michael Kuttner
When it comes to the Palestinian Arab Authority and now it seems the White House and State Department the depths to which they have sunk has created a new record in cynical behavior of a kind not seen for many years.

The track record of our so called Palestinian Arab peace partners is well known and therefore nothing that they can pull out of their recycled bag of lies should surprise us in the least. The amazing thing however is the number of people who are still seduced by false promises, .... Read Article

Chutzpa of the Week

March 27, 2014

By Michael Kuttner

Another example of naïve Israelis being treated as idiots by those with whom they keep hoping will become peace partners occurred in Jerusalem this week.

The Prague Forum, a grassroots initiative launched in February to bring together Israelis and Palestinian Arabs in support of the two state solution heard an address given by Muhammad All-Madani, Chief Coordinator with Israeli society for PA President Mahmoud Abbas. .. Read Article

Peace Partner? Judge for Yourselves

March 20, 2014

By Michael Kuttner

The three wise men of our generation, Barak Hussein Obama, John Kerry and Shimon Peres, together with other followers of the illusory holy grail of a vanishing mirage, continue to assert and maintain that Mahmoud Abbas, whose term as President of the Palestinian Authority expired quite a few years ago, is a genuine partner for peace..... Read Article

With Friends Like These...

March 16, 2014

“A doubtful friend is worse than a certain enemy” (Aesop) This quote came to me as soon as I heard the latest pronouncements emanating forth from the US Secretary of State, John Kerry.

It is highly unlikely that he makes decisions or statements without first making sure that his master's voice in the White House has approved them. Therefore whenever some pearls of wisdom trip forth from his lips you can be confident that Barak Hussein Obama has given his seal of approval..... Read Article

What a Sorry Mess

March 10, 2014

Download a pdf

By Michael Kuttner

Surveying the international landscape at present, one is left with an unmistakable impression of chaos, danger and failed policies.

The common denominator in all this mayhem is what I like to call the OK factor, translated simply as Obama/Kerry. The White House ably supported by the State Department are both demonstrating how easy it is to lose the trust of long time allies and at the same time provide those who threaten democratic and liberal States with a reason to continue on their chosen bully tactics. One has to give credit where it is due. No more diligent students of Chamberlain type diplomacy can surpass the efforts of the OK team. They get A plus for effort and another A plus for repeating the same failures time after failed time..... Read Article

More From Israel Here

Recent Posts


February, 2014

News coverage of Israel in the New Zealand Herald in 2013 showed improvement over 2012, but its published opinion remained generally hostile to Israel. Why? We suggest some reasons in our annual report, along with statistics and analysis. Download and Read pdf HERE

All Previous Posts Here

From Other Angles

More than one perspective

Good News Stories

April, 2014

Facez of Israel - Dr. Nof Atamna Ismaeel

Arab, Jewish kids from southern Israel to camp together

Israeli Desert - Secret growing techniques for designer-shaped vegetables get kids interested in healthy food.

Technion Beyond Borders - Dr. Qanta Ahmed Interview

Enemies? No, patients, say Israeli doctors treating Syrians

Mum's Invention does more than help kids with dissabilities walk....

Ngatamariki Geothermal Power Plant, New Zealand

April, 2014

Israel Experiencing Record-Breaking Drought

By Aryeh Savir Tazpit News Agency

JERUSALEM — Israel has experienced this winter the worst drought recorded in modern history. Since the mega snow storm in the beginning of December there has been no significant rainfall. Israel's Water Authority has noted with some degree of alarm that the drought is the harshest around its main water bodies, in the north and in Samaria. Israeli's Meteorological Service (IMS) stated that this winter has been the driest since records began more than 70 years ago, some of them even for more than 100 years as rainfall reports in Jerusalem date back to the mid 19th century. Precipitation totals were less than 20% of the normal in many parts of the country.... Read Here

Israeli Aid Follows Syrian Refugees to Europe

Israel continues to reach out to aid refugees of the ongoing Syrian civil war, this time by sending assistance to refugee camps in Bulgaria.
The Israeli NGO umbrella group IsraAID last week dispatched a delegation to Bulgaria to help deal with the influx of Syrian refugees arriving in the eastern European nation via neighboring Turkey. Read Here

Iranians: Be More Like Israel!

April 1, 2014
Iranians are furious with their government for not behaving more like Israel when it comes to the well-being of its soldiers, reported The Times of London. Read Here

Former Islamist Says ‘Palestinian Leadership’ Preventing Peace

March 27, 2014
Former member of Egyptian terrorist group says ‘suffering of Palestinians’ caused by their leadership's “barbaric attitude towards Jews”. Read More

Children's stories hardest to bear — Article the NZ Herald

March 18, 2014
By Kate Shuttleworth, Read at NZ Herald

Three More Links to Positive Articles on Israel's respose to the suffering of Syrians

March 18, 2014

Israeli doctor: Syrian snipers deliberately paralyzing children — Read More Here

Israelis risk their lives to help Syrians — Read More Here

Caught up in the Syrian conflict — Read More Here

Sheikh Insists ‘Israel is the Land of the Jewish People’

March 14, 2014

Jordanian Sheikh writes in Yesha Council pamphlet that Mecca, not Jerusalem, is the Muslim capital — and the Koran proves it.
Read More Here

Christ at the Checkpoint's government enablers

March 10, 2014

By Yitzhak Santis
Why are taxpayer monies of Western democracies being used to fund anti-Jewish polemics more reminiscent of medieval disputations than 21st century pluralism?
Read More Here at The Times of Israel

Israel: A failed state

6 March, 2014

By Charles Abelsohn
I grew up in South Africa and left for Israel in the 1970`s. So I consider myself somewhat knowledgeable on South African apartheid. In view of the criticisms of Israel as an apartheid state, I felt it my duty that my understanding and knowledge of apartheid should be put to good cause by exposing the evil manifestations of apartheid in Israel. .... Read More Here at The Times of Israel

UTube video —Friends of Atidim NAM Program for Outstanding Arab Youth at Technion

Canada recognizes Jewish refugees from Arab countries

4 March, 2014

Canada yesterday formally recognized the refugee status of the 850,000 Jews who fled or were expelled from Arab countries after Israel’s founding.
The recognition follows a November 2013 report to the Canadian House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs on “Recognizing Jewish Refugees from the Middle East and North Africa.” The report detailed the persecutions faced by Jews living in Arab countries in the 20th century and the circumstance that led to almost all of them leaving their homes in such countries as Egypt, Iraq, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Syria, Libya, Lebanon, and Yemen. Jews had inhabited those countries for centuries. .... Read Here at WJC

First Visit by Israeli Minister to Republic of Ghana

March 2014, Tazpit News Agency

By Aryeh Savir

Photo: / Description: 1 - Minister Shamir in Ghana. Credit: Ministry of Agriculture.

Minister of Agriculture Yair Shamir is the first Israeli minister to visit the West African Republic of Ghana since the establishment of an Israeli embassy there in 2011. Minister Shamir is heading an agriculture-business mission comprised of 12 leading Israeli companies in the agricultural industry who currently touring the country in search of commerce ventures..... Read Here

More Other Angles Here