“Why I Love Israel”: Personal stories

Compiled and edited by Jon Sutz

This page contains a compilation of testimonials from people around the world, who admire Israel, and have special reason to be grateful for its existence, generosity and benevolence.

Notable public figures (jump):

Mark Pellegrino (Actor, producer, activist)

Noa Tishby (Actress, producer, author)

Kathy Ireland (entrepreneur, former supermodel)

Jay Leno (Comedian)

Sarah Idan (Miss Iraq 2017)

Gal Gadot (Actress)

Ryan Kavanaugh (Movie producer)

Saeid Mollaei (Olympic wrestler)

Harnaaz Kaur Sandhu (2021 Miss Universe)

Hazzaa Al Mansoori (Emirati astronaut)




From Stand With Us, November 8, 2021:


Joshua Washington, director of Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel

June 11, 2020. Elder of Ziyon is a legendary, anonymous, pro-Israel blogger and author, who documents and blogs about anti-Israel bias and incitement in the media, academia and elsewhere. Here, EoZ conducted a fascinating interview with Joshua Washington, director of Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel, in which they discuss the current unrest, the black community and Israel. Learn more about Joshua here.


Black Zionist Leader: Despite Anti-Israel Movement Efforts, Vast Majority of African Americans Support Jewish State, by Rachel Frommer, The Algemeiner, March 20, 2017. Excerpt:

A black Christian Zionist leader told The Algemeiner on Friday that, “despite the anti-Israel movement’s best efforts, the vast majority of the African American community support the Jewish state.”

Dumisani Washington — senior pastor for California’s Congregation of Zion, founder of the Institute of Black Solidarity with Israel and diversity outreach coordinator with Christians United for Israel — was responding to endeavors such as Black History Month in February, during which anti-Israel Palestinian activism was highlighted at college campuses throughout the country.

Washington said that pro-Israel students should remember that “no community — black, Hispanic or Jewish — is monolothic, and the hard-left academic world involved in ‘black-Palestinian solidarity’ are not representative of the majority of the African-American population. The anti-Israel view is not true. It’s crap, and smart people don’t want crap.”


Former Islamic State captive says Israel a beacon of hope for Yazidis, by Emily Gatt, i24News, October 5, 2018. Excerpt:

Less than five years ago, Nadia Murad Basee Taha was a normal teenager living in the village of Kocho, in the Sinjar region of Iraq. But her life changed forever when in August 2014 she was taken captive by the Islamic State terrorist group and sold into sex slavery along with thousands of other Yazidi women and girls.

After a daring escape from the clutches of the jihadist group, Nadia emerged as the voice of the Yazidi people’s suffering when she testified before the United Nations Security Council on the atrocities committed by ISIS. […]

While in Israel, Nadia has visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial and Museum and the Museum of the History of the Jewish People, held meetings with Israeli lawmakers, and met with the President of Tel Aviv University together with Polizer in an effort to see Yazidi students brought to study in Israel.

“Like the Jews, the Yazidis have shown resilience in the face of oppression. Holding onto your identity can be a force of resistance. Every time we practice a traditional custom or stand up for one another we refuse to let our perpetrators be stronger than us,” Nadia says.

ISIS survivor Nadia Murad


Former Hezbollah fighter (Shia Muslim) discovered the reality of Israel – converts, becomes a rabbi, and moves there

From i24 News: “His name was Ibrahim. He was Lebanese, Muslim, member of Hezbollah. He became Abraham, Israeli, Jewish, and a rabbi. The unbelievable story of a man who crossed the border from one extreme to the other.”


The Syrian Refugee Who Became a Passionate Advocate for Israel

By Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center

In this video, Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Avi Benlolo chats with Aboud Dandachi, a former Syrian refugee who has become a passionate advocate for Israel.

More:

Syrian refugee’s website thanks Israel; Aboud Dandachi tells Ynet about his decision to dedicate a site to stories of Israelis who help Syrian refugees and his steadfast belief that there is no reason for Israelis and Syrians to be enemies, by Roi Kais, YNet, February 19, 2016. Excerpt:

Syrians will mark the fifth anniversary of their brutal civil war next month. Aboud Dandachi is one of millions whose lives have been completely overturned by the bloody conflict.

Speaking from Istanbul, the 39-year-old high-tech professional tells Ynet about his experiences during the Syrian crisis, and about one important lesson about the country he was always taught to hate and fear.

Dandachi, a Sunni Muslim, says that he was neutral when demonstrations against the Assad regime began in March of 2011. “I didn’t support anyone because my life was good,” he recalls. “I did not need the government and I only wanted them to leave me alone.”  But he reached a turning point when, he says, the government murdered 100 protesters one night.

(Ed.: The blog that Dandachi created is located at Thank you Am Israel)


Palestinian journalist, human right activist, defends Israel against charges of being an “apartheid” nation

A Palestinian Voice of Realism, by Sheree Trotter, Times of Israel, September 8, 2015. Excerpt:

Palestinian Human Rights activist, Bassem Eid, recently visited New Zealand bringing a fresh perspective on the plight of the Palestinians.

Eid grew up in the Shu’afat refugee camp in East Jerusalem, where he lived for the first 33 years of his life. The day to day struggle of Palestinians informs his perspective.[…]

Bassem Eid identifies proudly as Palestinian. From his perspective identity is not the primary concern for most Palestinians.  They know who they are.

At the core of Eid’s message is his concern for the future well-being of his own: “We are people who want to survive. We are people who are looking for a better level of life. We are a people that want to ensure the future of our children. If you come today to any ordinary Palestinian and ask him what are the top three priorities they are seeking, he will say a job to survive, he will say to secure the education and the health system for my children. People are (sic) not caring about the settlements, even about the wall, even about the foundations of the Palestinian state. People care about the economy.”

The Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment movement, according to Eid, is harmful to Palestinians and supports the agenda of others, not the Palestinians. Eid claims that Palestinians in the diaspora are not interested in the right of return to Israel, but would rather have compensation from the international community.

UPDATE: Bassem Eid is coming to the USA in October 2021:

Facebook post here.

May be an image of 1 person and text


Iranian journalist thanks Israel for saving her life

Safe in Jerusalem, Iranian blogger thanks Israel for ‘saving’ her, by Raphael Ahren, Times of Israel, August 10, 2017. Excerpt:

Hours after landing in Israel, ToI Persian’s Neda Amin, who feared she faced deportation to her native country, says she has Jewish roots and would love to stay here.

Hours after she arrived at Ben Gurion Airport on Thursday, Neda Amin, an Iranian-born journalist and dissident who feared being deported to her native country, thanked the Israeli government for granting her refuge, adding that she has Jewish roots and would love to live in Israel.

During a press conference at The Times of Israel’s Jerusalem offices, Amin — who blogged regularly and freelanced for The Times of Israel’s Persian site — described her anguish as she feared Turkey, where she had lived as a refugee since 2014, would deport her back to Iran.

Having written critically about the regime, Amin feared she would have been arrested, tortured, and that her life would have been in danger had she been forced to return to the Islamic Republic.

“I am very happy. Israel is my country,” she said in broken English, adding that she finally felt “safe now” because no one wants to attack or arrest her here.

Iranian-born journalist Neda Amin at the The Times of Israel’s Jerusalem office, August 10, 2017 (Tamar Pileggi/TOI)


Syrian Thanks Israel for Saving her Life

Operation Good Neighbor: Syrian Thanks Israel for Saving her Life, by Dr. Yvette Alt Miller, AISH, January 11, 2020. Excerpt:

A viral story is drawing attention to Israel’s heroic efforts that saved thousands of Syrian refugees.

Noam Shalev, an Israeli film producer, was recently vacationing in Sweden. While eating in a restaurant in Stockholm, he was served dinner by a young Arab waitress. When it was time to pay his bill, Shalev handed over his Israeli credit card – and his waitress went into shock, dropping the card on the floor, trembling and starting to cry.

“Where are you from?” she asked tearfully, looking at the Hebrew writing on the credit card.

Afraid that his waitress was anti-Semitic, Mr. Shalev started to put on his coat, ready to exit the restaurant quickly. When he answered that he was from Israel, the waitress composed herself. She was from Syria, she explained, and had never met an Israeli. Yet she owed Israel a huge debt of gratitude and wanted to thank her Israeli customer.

Continue reading here.


Convicted Palestinian terrorist discovers the reality of Israel, while imprisoned – becomes pro-Israel, pro-peace activist

In prison I understood Israelis want peace, says released Palestinian murderer, by Elior Levy, YNet, February 15, 2018. Excerpt:

In a special series of interviews, terrorists who were released in 2013 as part of an Israeli gesture to PA President Abbas tell Ynet about the murders they committed before the Oslo Agreements were signed, the ‘Israelization’ process they went through in jail and the impact of the second intifada; ‘When I heard about the Sbarro attack, I cried,’ one of them says.

In 2013, the American administration led by President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry placed heavy pressure on Israel and the Palestinian Authority to return to the negotiating table after three years of an almost complete diplomatic stalemate.

After great effort, the United States managed to reach the following understandings: Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas promised to halt his unilateral moves, which included appeals to the United Nations’ institutions and international organizations, while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised to release 104 prisoners in four stages over a nine-month negotiation period. […]

When Ziad Ghanimat of the village of Surif began serving his prison term in 1985, he couldn’t speak one word of Hebrew. He was 23 years old when he was convicted—together with his relative, Mustafa Ghanimat—of murdering Meir Ben Yair and Michal Cohen in the Massuah Forest near Beit Shemesh. He was released in the second stage, after 28 years in prison. Today, he speaks fluent Hebrew with hardly any accent.

“I learned Hebrew within three months,” he says. “One of my friends in the cell taught me, and then I got a subscription to Yedioth Ahronoth. Hebrew helped us in jail.”

How did it help? 

“It helped us get along with the wardens. Then I started reading books. Amos Oz, for example, and (former Shin Bet chief and minister) Yaakov Peri’s book too.”

Why Amos Oz? 

“I liked him because he tells stories about Israeli society and you get to understand Israeli society. You understand that they are people who want peace.”


Love for Israel from the Philippines

Philippine Ambassador to Israel Generoso D.G. Calonge expressed appreciation on Tuesday for the assistance Israel has offered to his storm-ravaged country, saying it made him “so happy.”

“I can’t describe the feeling right now… that my host country cares about our stricken people,” he told The Jerusalem Post. “I hope the people of Israel will maintain their attitude of people who are stricken with this crisis and who are on the losing end of natural disasters.”

The IDF, Foreign Ministry and Israeli and Jewish humanitarian organizations are sending aid workers to the Philippines to provide rescue and relief efforts in the wake of super-typhoon Haiyan. The confirmed death toll from the storm was at least 1,774 as of Tuesday, with estimates reaching 10,000.

In addition, according to the UN, approximately 800,000 people have been displaced by one of the strongest storms to ever make landfall.

Soldier preparing supplies for the Philippines 370 (photo credit: Courtesy IDF)


More

The Philippines Blesses Israel For Independence Day, by Hananya Naftali, YouTube, May 9, 2019:

More


Philippine envoy thanks Israeli government, NGOs as aid and assistance continues

November 13, 2013. By Benji Rosen, Jerusalem Post, Excerpt:

IDF, Foreign Ministry and Israeli, Jewish humanitarian organizations are all sending aid workers to the Philippines.

Philippine Ambassador to Israel Generoso D.G. Calonge expressed appreciation on Tuesday for the assistance Israel has offered to his storm-ravaged country, saying it made him “so happy.”

“I can’t describe the feeling right now… that my host country cares about our stricken people,” he told The Jerusalem Post. “I hope the people of Israel will maintain their attitude of people who are stricken with this crisis and who are on the losing end of natural disasters.”

The IDF, Foreign Ministry and Israeli and Jewish humanitarian organizations are sending aid workers to the Philippines to provide rescue and relief efforts in the wake of super-typhoon Haiyan. The confirmed death toll from the storm was at least 1,774 as of Tuesday, with estimates reaching 10,000.

In addition, according to the UN, approximately 800,000 people have been displaced by one of the strongest storms to ever make landfall.

In a letter to Philippine President Benigno Aquino III on Sunday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu extended his “heartfelt condolences” to the victims of the “horrific typhoon” and guaranteed Israel’s “assistance to alleviate the suffering.”

On Tuesday, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor said Israel was supporting the Philippines “not only in words but also in actions.”

In a statement, Prosor said the IDF was sending two Boeing 747’s with 234 Israeli doctors, nurses and paramedics, as well as equipment to set up a state-of-the-art mobile hospital, to the Philippines on Wednesday. Heading the mission will be Col. Ramtin Sabati, who commands the National Rescue Unit, and will also include deputy Medical Corps chief Col. Dudu Dagan, who will act as commander of the field hospital.

Soldier preparing supplies for the Philippines 370 (photo credit: Courtesy IDF)


Muslim, Christian, Druze, Bedouin and Christian Arabs express their love for Israel

WATCH: What Muslim, Christian and Druze Arabs Love about Living in Israel!, by United With Israel, October 22, 2017.


Egypt-born activist describes the anti-Israel indoctrination to which he was subjected, as a child — and how he came to love Israel, when he discovered the reality

‘Israel is what the Arab world can be but is unable to be’, by Dudi Caspi, Israel Hayom, January 12, 2019. Excerpt:

Hussein Aboubakr loves Israel. This is always a welcome sentiment, of course, but it is twice as moving when it comes from an Egyptian-born Muslim, and even more so when you consider that Aboubakr is one of the most outspoken activists fighting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement in Los Angeles.

Aboubakr, 30, defines himself as a Zionist. His sympathy for Israel forced him out of Egypt and in the last seven years he has been living in the United States. He moved to Los Angeles after getting a job with Stand With Us – a non-profit pro-Israel education and advocacy organization, seeking to bolster Israel’s image among the American public.

Read more about Hussein at:

‘Minority of One’: How Hussein Aboubakr Risked His Life to Become a Warrior for Peace

Buy his book:

Minority Of One: The Unchaining Of An Arab Mind

From the video description:

Egyptian ex-Muslim Hussein Aboubakr discusses how his unlikely journey from a student of Hebrew at Cairo University, to being imprisoned for doing research at the Israeli Embassy, to political asylum in the United States, has given him a sense of kinship with Jews and the state of Israel.

More:

Hussein Aboubakr: “My journey from hating Jews to supporting Israel has been long, exhausting, yet worth it in every way! Join me in educating people and changing the world!”

Also:

A May 2021 video commentary by Hussein regarding Palestinian knife attacks on Jews:


“From Maryland to the Holyland: Tales of an Ex Con”

June 18, 2020. A fascinating 42 minute video interview. by IsraellyCool editor David Lange with David Ben Moshe, an African American and ex con, who turned his life around to convert to Judaism and move to Israel, Learn more about David Ben Moshe at Magen Fitness, and follow him on social media:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/realdbenmoshe/
Twitter:
https://twitter.com/realdbenmoshe
Blog:
https://medium.com/@RealDBenMoshe
GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/f/Help-David-Ben-Moshe-Make-Aliyah


Black American basketball players discuss moving to Israel

“A Nightmare Video for Those Trying To Create Discord Between The US Black Community and Israel”

June 15, 2020. As reported by IsraellyCool editor David Lange:

“Recently, the Consulate General of Israel in New York and author David Goldstein held an online conversation with a panel of Israeli-American basketball legends (Andrew Kennedy, Cory Carr, Deon Thomas, and Derrick Sharp), who shared the phenomenon of African-American hoopsters travelling to play and live in Israel (https://www.facebook.com/IsraelinNY/v…) The entire thing is fascinating, but I have distilled the parts that are very inconvenient for the Israel-haters trying to exploit the murder of George Floyd in order to foster more hatred towards Israel and the Jewish people within the Black community.”

Notable public figures


Mark Pellegrino (Actor, producer, activist)

This custom quote was submitted to ILoveIsrael by actor-producer Mark Pellegrino; details of Mark’s advocacy for Israel are below:


WATCH: Mark Pellegrino Explains Why He Supports Israel, by David Lange, IsraellyCool, October 26, 2017.


Special Guest Post: Mark Pellegrino Sounds Off On The Arab-Israeli Conflict, IsraellyCool, March 27, 2016. Excerpt:

The summer of 2014 changed my relationship to social media forever. That was the summer that agents of Hamas kidnapped three Israeli youths and brutally murdered them. What followed was an Israeli incursion into Gaza which resulted in approx. 2,220 dead Palestinians and 72 dead Israelis.

To me, the issue seemed clear: Innocent civilians of a pluralistic society were murdered by agents of an authoritarian government. A government that deprives its own people for political and material gain, and murders political dissidents regularly. When the incursion uncovered a massive network of ‘terror tunnels’ (used in innumerable crimes against the civilian and military populations of Israel) it seemed like the icing had been spread on the proverbial moral cake. We were witnessing a no-brainer in the realm of moral culpability here….or so I thought.

It turns out, what seems obvious isn’t so much these days. First, Hollywood circulated a petition condemning Israel. Then college students protested Israeli war tactics, and the news piled on, reporting casualties (mostly Palestinian) on a daily basis.

Before long, maps began to accompany narratives on social media which accused the Jewish state of a concerted genocide against the Palestinian people. Watching this insanity unravel from the sidelines became an impossibility, so I finally waded into the fray.

Continue reading here.


Noa Tishby

Noa Tishby is an Israel-born actress, producer, and most recently, the author of “Israel: A Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth.” (April 2021).

In November 2021, Noa participated in a panel discussion with Bari Weiss and Eve Barlow, about the success of the BDS campaign about Israel. Excerpt:

“This is a well-funded political campaign that has been waged against Israel in the past 20 years. This is not going to get solved by tweets [or] by Hollywood. This is gonna be long work, thorough work … and we need to understand that we are at war. […] It’s a long-term battle, it’s going to be ugly.”

In October 2021 Noa was interviewed by CBN News:

In May 2021, Noa responded to the anti-Israel propaganda being published and spread by other Hollywood celebrities, as it was forced into another defensive military effort by Hamas:


Kathy Ireland

Kathy Ireland is a former supermodel, and an American entrepreneur, whose Kathy Ireland World Wide corporation is “the 15th most powerful brand in the world,” as determined by License Global Magazine. Learn more about Kathy at:

Born-again Zionist supermodel – The Jerusalem Post

Kathy Ireland Stands Up For Israel – Israellycool

Super mogul Kathy Ireland is the new super model for Israel – Jewish Journal

In this 2012 speech to AIPAC, Kathy explains her love for Israel, and why she is so outspoken in its defense:


Jay Leno

Comedian Leno heads back to Israel for cheek-pinching fun; Former late night TV host and ‘huge supporter’ of Jewish state to emcee award show; sets Sara Netanyahu off-limits for one-liners, by Josef Federman, Times of Israel, March 9, 2015. Excerpt:

Jay Leno is making a comeback — in Israel. The late-night legend says he will return to Israel in June to host the award ceremony for the second annual “Genesis Prize.” Leno also hosted the inaugural ceremony last year for what is billed as “the Jewish Nobel Prize.” The $1 million prize is being awarded to Oscar-winning actor Michael Douglas in recognition of his “passion” for his Jewish heritage and Israel. […]

Leno, who is not Jewish, described himself as a big supporter of Israel, and said he disagreed with critics who portray the country as an aggressor. “It seems like they (Israel) have the worst PR in the world,” he said. “I don’t understand how Israel is the bad guy here. It doesn’t make any sense to me.”


Sarah Idan (Miss Iraq 2017)

In UNHRC Speech, Ex-Miss Iraq Sarah Idan Blasts Antisemitism, ‘Biased’ Media Coverage Against Israel, by Shiryn Ghermezian, The Algemeiner, July 3, 2019. Excerpt:

Former Miss Iraq Sarah Idan criticized media bias against Israel and antisemitism taught in Muslim countries while speaking at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, recently.

Idan, recently named an Ambassador for Peace by the monitoring NGO UN Watch, began her speech at the UNHRC on June 26 by recalling the death threats she received after posting on social media a photo with Miss Israel, Adar Gandelsman, at the 2017 Miss Universe pageant. The Iraqi government ordered her to take down a photo and denounce Israel, both of which she refused to do. Since then she has not been able to return to her homeland, she said.

[Ed.: See a YouTube playlist of interviews with, and speeches by Sarah here.]


Gal Gadot

Gal Gadot teaches Hebrew, spills love for Israel in ’73 Questions’, by Tamar Beeri, Jerusalem Post, April 11, 2020. Excerpt:

Famed Wonder Woman and Israeli actress Gal Gadot sat down with Vogue to answer its infamous “73 questions” questionnaire, during which she shared her love for her homeland Israel. Although the video was uploaded on Thursday, it was filmed far before the coronavirus pandemic took hold. […]

Gadot described Israeli culture as “one big melting pot.” “With people from so many different places and different cultures and flavors,” Gadot added.


Gal Gadot Disables Comments On Controversial Tweet After Backlash, by Bruce Haring, Deadline, May 12, 2021. Excerpt:

“Israel deserves to live as a free and safe nation,” Gadot tweeted. “Our neighbors deserve the same. I pray for the victims and their families. I pray for this unimaginable hostility to end, I pray for our leaders to find the solution so we can live side by side in peace.”

The 36-year-old Gadot noted how “This is a vicious cycle that has been going on for far too long.”


Ryan Kavanaugh (Movie producer)

May 28, 2021 Tweet:


Relativity’s Ryan Kavanaugh: Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz Letter on Israel ‘Makes My Blood Boil’ (Exclusive); “Anyone calling it Israeli ‘genocide’ vs. protecting themselves are either the most ignorant people about the situation and shouldn’t be commenting, or are truly anti-Semitic,” by Tatiana Siegel, The Hollywood Reporter, August 4, 2014. Excerpt:

Relativity Media CEO Ryan Kavanaugh has become the first major Hollywood executive to weigh in on last week’s controversial letter, signed by Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem, that denounced what it called Israeli “genocide.”

“It makes my blood boil,” Kavanaugh told The Hollywood Reporter. “As the grandson of Holocaust survivors, anyone calling it Israeli ‘genocide’ vs. protecting themselves are either the most ignorant people about the situation and shouldn’t be commenting, or are truly anti-Semitic.”

In response to the escalating conflict in Gaza, Cruz and Bardem were among a group of Spanish film luminaries to pen an open letter that urged the European Union to “condemn the bombing by land, sea and air against the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip.” Oscar-winning director Pedro Almodovar also was among the signees, but Cruz and Bardem — both Oscar winners in their own right — work regularly in major studio films. Both later clarified their positions, though neither took back their original words.


Ryan Kavanaugh Extends Continued Support To Israel; Relativity Founder Makes Sizable Donations to Four Organizations, PR Newswire, September 3, 2014. Excerpt:

Ryan Kavanaugh, Founder and CEO of Relativity made four personal donations in the amount of $25,000 each to the Anti-Defamation League, America’s Voices in Israel, Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF), and Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, toward Hadassah Medical Organization. Kavanaugh made the donations on the heels of an op-ed recently published by “The Hollywood Reporter” voicing his support for Israel.

As Kavanaugh writes in the piece, “Hollywood is a special place; a place filled with creative geniuses…But in the end, all artists depend on diverse audiences who can enjoy, be inspired by, and support their work. Why – in a community that celebrates the human spirit, and the right to share opinions via art – do some celebrities side with Hamas in its war against Israel; a vicious and violent organization that seeks only to destroy it. Israel is perhaps the closest free thinking place to Hollywood.”


Saeid Mollaei (Olympic wrestler)

Winning judo silver in Tokyo, Iranian defector Mollaei dedicates medal to Israel Judoka says ‘todah’ to Israelis for support, by Amy Spiro, Times of Israel, July 27, 2021. Excerpt:

Israeli Sagi Muki, who had disappointing finish, congratulates his unlikely friend: ‘I’m so happy… He deserves it’

Saeid Mollaei, a former Iranian judoka now representing Mongolia, took home the silver medal in the men’s 81-kilogram division, losing the gold to Takanori Nagase of Japan.

It was the first Olympic medal for Mollaei, two years after he left his native Iran, revealing that his national team coaches had ordered him to lose in the semifinals of the 2019 World Championships in Tokyo to avoid facing Israel’s Sagi Muki in the final. Mollaei subsequently moved to Germany and then acquired Mongolian citizenship.

Mollaei told the Israeli Sports Channel that he was thankful for the support he’s received from Israel over the years.

“Thank you to Israel for the good energy. This medal is dedicated also to Israel,” he told the network. “I hope the Israelis are happy with this win.”

He added in Hebrew: “Todah” (thank you).

Saeid Mollaei of Mongolia celebrates with his silver medal during the award ceremony for the men -81kg judo match at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, Tuesday, July 27, 2021. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)


Harnaaz Kaur Sandhu (2021 Miss Universe)

Miss Universe’s pro-Israel post creates online firestorm, by  Eran Swissa, Israel Hayom, December 23, 2021. Excerpt:

India’s Harnaaz Kaur Sandhu, the winner of the Miss Universe pageant that was recently held in Israel has come under fire in recent days for sharing her positive reviews of the Jewish state.

Sandhu uploaded an Instagram reel on Dec. 15 sharing her experience and even wrote alongside the video “Shallom, Thank you from the bottom of my heart ISRAEL for hosting the 70th edition of Miss Universe in your beautiful country, the Holy Land. It’s a pleasure and honor for me to witness the great historic places in Jerusalem and Marvellous hotels in Eilat, can’t wait to come back again in Israel, Toda 🙏🏻✨ Escape from the sun.”

Auto Draft


Hazzaa Al Mansoori (Emirati astronaut)

UAE’s first astronaut reveals he brought Israeli flag to space, by Jerusalem Post, December 23, 2021. Excerpt:

Hazzaa al-Mansoori, the first Emirati astronaut in space, revealed he brought an Israeli flag to his first space flight in 2019, Ynet reported.

The Emirati astronaut presented the same flag he took to space to delegates of the Israeli pavilion at Expo Dubai 2020.

al-Mansoori launched aboard the Soyuz MS-15 in September 2019, a year prior to the signing of the Abraham Accords, which normalized ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

 Emirati astronaut Hazzaa Al Mansoori gestures as he gets ready at the International Space Station (ISS) in Star city in Moscow, Russia (photo credit: VIA REUTERS)

 


Indoctrinated as a boy to hate Israel & Jews, by Kuwaiti TV & schools, after discovering reality, man became an ardent activist for Israel

From Chabad.org:

“Mark Halawa was raised by secular Palestinian family in Kuwait. In school, TV and the streets he heard that Jews were monsters, not human beings. His discovery while attending school in Canada forever changed the trajectory of his life.”

More:

My Journey from Kuwaiti Arab to Jerusalemite Jew, by Mark Halawa,

I’ll never forget how the imam described Joseph’s brothers as “evil Jewish brothers of the prophet of Islam, who threw him down the well and then sold him into slavery.” The imam then said, “You see how Jews treat their own brothers!” That story angered me. Then, according to custom, the imam finished his sermon with a stream of supplications calling for the destruction of the Jewish people, while the crowd responded to each supplication with a thunderous “Amen!” Even then, as a ten-year-old, this was quite chilling.

After an eventful prayer session, we’d walk back together to my grandparents’ home to have lunch with everyone. The smells of my grandmother’s delicious food took my mind off of the horrible stories I heard at mosque. But as we ate, I’d think to myself, How could my sweet grandmother have belonged to an evil Jewish cult built on killing of innocent people? Is that why she left? And was she a descendant of pigs and monkeys? Or perhaps the imam was exaggerating? After all, my father told me that religious people were crazy: “Never trust people with beards! “


Albania thanks Israel for vital help after earthquake

Albanian president thanks Israeli soldiers for aid after deadly earthquake, by JNS, January 24, 2020. Excerpt:

Ilir Meta stopped at the Ramla military base, where he awarded the “Golden Eagle Decoration” to the IDF’s National Rescue Unit.

While in Israel for the Fifth World Holocaust Forum, President of Albania Ilir Meta met with soldiers from the Israel Defense Forces on Jan. 23 and thanked them for their help following November’s deadly earthquake in his nation.

Meta visited the Ramla military base, where he embraced Israeli soldiers and awarded the “Golden Eagle Decoration” to the IDF’s National Rescue Unit.

The 6.4-magnitude earthquake that struck on Nov. 26 in Albania killed 51 people and injured more than 3,000. It also damaged more than 11,000 buildings, leaving as many as 13,000 people homeless. The natural disaster was the deadliest earthquake to hit the country since 1979.

Israeli military engineers were among the foreign volunteers who worked on determining whether some buildings were safe in the aftermath of the earthquake.

President of Albania Ilir Meta thanked soldiers from the Israel Defense Forces for their help following November’s deadly earthquake in his nation, Jan. 23, 2020. Source: Albanian President Ilir Meta via Twitter.


President of Brazil thanks Israel for rescue mission after dam collapses

Bolsonaro thanks Israel as IDF ends rescue mission in Brazil, by i24NEWS, February 1, 2019. Excerpt;

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro thanked Israel for sending an army delegation to assist in search and rescue efforts following the collapse of a dam that killed at least 99 people and left hundreds missing earlier this month.

“The brave Israeli troops, sent by the Prime Minister (Benjamin) Netanyahu, today ended their mission in Brazil. Thank you, on behalf of the Brazilian people, for your services,” Bolsonaro wrote on his Twitter account.

The Israeli delegation was headed by Col. (res) Golan Vach, the commander of Israel’s national search and rescue unit, and included some 130 soldiers and officers from both active duty and reserve forces, among them, engineering experts, doctors, and search and rescue personnel, firefighters, and soldiers from the IDF’s underwater missions unit.

The collapse sent a massive torrent of mud over the complex where 300 employees of the dam, owned by Brazilian mining giant Vale, were working.

Israeli search and rescue delegation arrives in Brazil to assist with collapsed dam disaster on January 28, 2019


Haiti President thanks Israel for help after earthquake

Haiti President thanks Israel for help; IDF to decide Sunday on how long aid and rescue mission will stay on earthquake-stricken island, by Judy Siegel and Yaakov Katz, Jerusalem Post, January 22, 2010. Excerpt:

Haitian President Rene Preval on Thursday said his country appreciated the aid that Israel has provided to those hurt in last week’s devastating earthquake.

Brig.-Gen. Shalom Ben-Aryeh, commander of the Israeli field hospital in Port-au-Prince, said that the IDF delegation would return home only after it was confident that the wounded were receiving proper treatment.

The United States is supposed to begin receiving more patients on a ship-based hospital on Sunday. Until then, the only real functioning facilities are being run by the IDF and the Russians, who have opened a small 20-bed field hospital.

“As long as we don’t have someone authoritative to take our wounded we won’t leave,” Ben-Aryeh said. The IDF hospital, he said, has treated more than 450 patients, delivered seven babies and performed dozens of surgeries.

Haiti IDF hospital 311 (photo credit: E.B. Solomont)


Taught as a child to hate Israel, Lebanese native Brigitte Gabriel was saved by IDF, now is fervent Israel supporter

Brigitte Gabriel: A Remarkable Fighter For Israel, by Prof. Livia Bitton-Jackson, Jewish Press, March 2, 2015. Excerpt:

“I was amazed that the Israelis were providing medical treatment to Palestinian and Muslim gunmen… These Palestinians and Muslims were sworn, mortal enemies, dedicated to the destruction of Israel and the slaughter of Jews. Yet, Israeli doctors and nurses worked feverishly to save their lives. Each patient was treated solely according to the nature of his or her injury. The doctor treated my mother before he treated an Israeli soldier lying next to her because her injury was more severe than his. The Israelis did not see religion, political affiliation, or nationality. They saw only people in need, and they helped.”

These words were uttered by Brigitte Gabriel, a Christian Lebanese, journalist, author, social commentator and activist. She is the founder and president of the American Congress For Truth (ACT), a leading national security expert, providing information and analysis on the rise of Islamic terrorism through her lectures worldwide. Ms. Gabriel has addressed the United Nations, the Australian prime minister, members of the British Parliament/House of Commons, members of the United States Congress, the Pentagon, the Joint Forces Staff College, the U.S. Special Operations Command, the U.S. Asymmetric Warfare group and the FBI – and has been a regular guest analyst on Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, and various radio stations across America. If this were not enough for one young mother of two, she also serves on the board of advisers of the Intelligence Summit.


Human rights activist & lawyer Alan Dershowitz demolishes lies about anti-Israel petitions and boycotts

Recent Petitions Singling Out Israel for Condemnation Are Anti-Semitic, by Alan M. Dershowitz, Gatestone Institute, July 2, 2021. Excerpt:

The bigots who promote these petitions, and the useful idiots who sign them, cannot possibly be motivated by a concern for universal human rights. If they were, they would focus on nations with really horrendous human rights records, such as Iran, which hangs gays, China, which imprisons Muslim dissidents, Russia, which murders dissenters, Saudi Arabia, which oppresses women, Syria, which gases its own people, as well as Palestinians, and many other nations that face no external threats.

Israel, on the other hand, faces existential threats, and acts in self-defense. It does more to protect innocent civilians than any country faced with comparable threats. Yet it is the only country that is subject to petitions by teachers unions, faculty senates, student bodies, and other groups.


Love for Israel from Japan

Meet the Makuya, Israel’s most unwavering supporters; Abraham Teshima’s ‘New Zionism’ movement was born in Japan in May 1948, as Israel declared independence. It was no coincidence, by Aviva and Shmuel Bar-Am, Times of Israel, May 30, 2015. Excerpt:

For some time now, I’ve been singing the Israeli national anthem with less fervor than in the past. Indeed, despite the Zionist zeal that brought me to Israel nearly five decades ago and which will undoubtedly keep me rooted to this country forever, I may have become a bit jaded. And so have many of my friends.

Small wonder, then, that when a group of us spent an evening with members of the Japanese Makuya in Jerusalem, we could barely hold back our tears. For when they sang “Zion, Zion, Zion” under the Israeli flag, their enthusiasm and shouts of joy could have raised the roof. With a collective lump in our throats, my friends and I were carried back to a simpler time, when it had all seemed only a matter of survival – and Israel had somehow survived.

The Makuya movement was born in May of 1948, the same month and year in which Israel declared its independence. But the Makuya don’t believe in coincidence. In fact, they consider the establishment of the modern State of Israel and the reunification of Jerusalem 19 years later to be the fulfillment of biblical prophecies, miraculous works of God.

Makuya members march in Jerusalem (Shmuel Bar-Am)


Native New Zealanders organize public apology to Israel for NZ government blasting it at the UN

Maoris apologise to Israel, by Sheree Trotter, J-Wire, August 1, 2018. Excerpt:

History was made on 29 July 2018 when the indigenous people of New Zealand organised a special ceremony to honour and welcome the Israeli ambassador, His Excellency Dr. Itzhak Gerberg.

Led by Ngapuhi kaumatua (elder) Pat Ruka, and joined by many Māori from around the nation, a Powhiri (welcome ceremony) was held at Hoani Waititi Marae (meeting house) in West Auckland. The ceremony of apology, called a whakapāha, was held to express regret for New Zealand’s actions in standing against Israel at the UN and to seek forgiveness.

In December 2016 New Zealand co-sponsored the anti-Israel UNSC Resolution 2334, along with Senegal, Malaysia and Venezuela. Many New Zealanders felt betrayed by their government’s actions and responded with letters, petitions and marches. The Israeli Ambassador was recalled for six months, and while the relationship has since been restored, the New Zealand government has never expressed regret for its stance.

However, not all Māori are supportive of Israel. Greens co-Leader Marama Davidson, also Ngapuhi, has stood firmly against Israel, joining the protest flotilla to Gaza in 2016 and currently calling on the government to condemn Israel’s blockade on Gaza. Sadly, Davidson’s Green Party’s environmental concerns do not extend to the significant environmental damage caused by Hamas in recent months. Indeed, Davidson refuses to consider both sides of the conflict and ignores the fact that Jews have held mana whenua* over the land through their continuous presence for 3,000 years, in spite of many occupiers over that period. She seems unaware of the multicultural nature of Israeli society and the fact that, to put it simply, there are more brown Jews than white in Israel.

Ambassador Gerberg with Maori friends


Impoverished Ethiopian Jew walks from home country to Israel, without supplies — and is later elected to serve in the Knesset

Knesset to swear in 2nd Ethiopian MK; Kadima’s Shlomo Mula plans to “focus on the Ethiopian community… long-neglected by politicians, by Jerusalem Post staff, February 7, 2008. Excerpt:

Shlomo Mula begins nearly all his speeches with the same sentence: “I walked 800 kilometers from Ethiopia to Sudan.” On Monday, Mula will take one more journey, as he is sworn in to the Knesset as the second Ethiopian MK in Israel’s history.

MK Shlomo Molla 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

See a video about Shlomo’s journey to Israel here.


NFL Player Kirk Cousins expresses his love for Israel and Judaism

WATCH: NFL Player Kirk Cousins: “I Am a Huge Fan of All Things Jewish,” by David Lange, IsraellyCool, June 23, 2020.

“Kirk Cousins is an American football quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League. He is also a huge fan of the Jews and Israel!”


“The Best Side of Westside: Speaking With Noah Shufutinsky”

June 21, 2020. As reported by IsraellyCool editor David Lange:

“Black and Jewish. Student leader. Popular rapper. I speak with Noah Shufutinsky aka Westside Gravy in a not-to-be-missed interview.”


WATCH: Sudanese Family’s Journey to Judaism

March 15, 2020. By by IsraellyCool editor David Lange.

More:

How converting to Judaism has given Shimon and his family a sense of belonging, by Siobhan Hegarty, ABC Life (Australia),


Albanian president thanks Israeli soldiers for aid after deadly earthquake

January 24, 2020. By JNS,  Excerpt:

Ilir Meta stopped at the Ramla military base, where he awarded the “Golden Eagle Decoration” to the IDF’s National Rescue Unit.

While in Israel for the Fifth World Holocaust Forum, President of Albania Ilir Meta met with soldiers from the Israel Defense Forces on Jan. 23 and thanked them for their help following November’s deadly earthquake in his nation.

Meta visited the Ramla military base, where he embraced Israeli soldiers and awarded the “Golden Eagle Decoration” to the IDF’s National Rescue Unit.

The 6.4-magnitude earthquake that struck on Nov. 26 in Albania killed 51 people and injured more than 3,000. It also damaged more than 11,000 buildings, leaving as many as 13,000 people homeless. The natural disaster was the deadliest earthquake to hit the country since 1979.

Israeli military engineers were among the foreign volunteers who worked on determining whether some buildings were safe in the aftermath of the earthquake.

President of Albania Ilir Meta thanked soldiers from the Israel Defense Forces for their help following November’s deadly earthquake in his nation, Jan. 23, 2020. Source: Albanian President Ilir Meta via Twitter.


Haiti President thanks Israel for help after earthquake

Haiti President thanks Israel for help; IDF to decide Sunday on how long aid and rescue mission will stay on earthquake-stricken island, by Judy Siegel and Yaakov Katz, Jerusalem Post, January 22, 2010. Excerpt:

Haitian President Rene Preval on Thursday said his country appreciated the aid that Israel has provided to those hurt in last week’s devastating earthquake.

Brig.-Gen. Shalom Ben-Aryeh, commander of the Israeli field hospital in Port-au-Prince, said that the IDF delegation would return home only after it was confident that the wounded were receiving proper treatment.

The United States is supposed to begin receiving more patients on a ship-based hospital on Sunday. Until then, the only real functioning facilities are being run by the IDF and the Russians, who have opened a small 20-bed field hospital.

“As long as we don’t have someone authoritative to take our wounded we won’t leave,” Ben-Aryeh said. The IDF hospital, he said, has treated more than 450 patients, delivered seven babies and performed dozens of surgeries.

Haiti IDF hospital 311 (photo credit: E.B. Solomont)


NFL Player Kirk Cousins expresses his love for Israel and Judaism

WATCH: NFL Player Kirk Cousins: “I Am a Huge Fan of All Things Jewish,” by David Lange, IsraellyCool, June 23, 2020.

“Kirk Cousins is an American football quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League. He is also a huge fan of the Jews and Israel!”


“The Best Side of Westside: Speaking With Noah Shufutinsky”

June 21, 2020. As reported by IsraellyCool editor David Lange:

“Black and Jewish. Student leader. Popular rapper. I speak with Noah Shufutinsky aka Westside Gravy in a not-to-be-missed interview.”


WATCH: Sudanese Family’s Journey to Judaism

March 15, 2020. By by IsraellyCool editor David Lange.

More:

How converting to Judaism has given Shimon and his family a sense of belonging, by Siobhan Hegarty, ABC Life (Australia),