‘Tis that time of year again

January 1, 2016 by Michael Kuttner
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It hardly seems like twelve months since 2015 commenced but here we are on the cusp of 2016 in the civil calendar…writes Michael Kuttner.

Michael Kuttner

Michael Kuttner

Living in Israel where life is generally regulated by the feasts, fasts and commemorations of the Jewish religious calendar the switch to 2016 is not really a big event for the majority of Jewish citizens. Nevertheless it is a good opportunity to review the past year and look forward with some trepidation to the forthcoming year.

Concentrating on the positive to begin with, the year just ending has seen Israel once again stand out as a leader in innovation, discoveries in health and high-tech fields as well as first in the field when it comes to providing aid and expertise to countries afflicted by natural disasters. Its trade opportunities are expanding with countries in Asia and Africa who do not obsess about what part of the country products are produced or manufactured in. This past year has also seen Israeli-produced security innovations take centre stage especially with countries facing terror threats. Ironically, labeling of these types of items doesn’t seem important which merely highlights yet again the hypocrisy of those in the EU who continually feel the need to discriminate against Jews living in certain parts of their homeland.

Here are some facts which prove that 2015 has been a vintage year in the Jewish State:

  • Aliyah (immigration) to Israel has been a twelve-year high. It rose by 10% making it the year with the highest immigration since 2003. More than 30,000 immigrants arrived with notable numbers of course from France and also Eastern Europe. Indications are that 2016 will see many more from Europe and other places threatened by a rising tide of Judeophobia.
  • Groundbreaking and revolutionary advances in the fight against cancer. Examples are: triple treatment to stop tumor growth, use of the body’s natural chemicals to suppress malignant growths and protect healthy cells, tiny silicone containers which deliver chemotherapy without damaging healthy tissue and new drugs to combat a variety of cancers.
  • Ongoing research which will help to treat, combat and defeat many of the most debilitating degenerative diseases presently afflicting individuals worldwide.
  • Advances in the fields of agriculture which produce strains of fruit and vegetables resistant to disease.
  • Irrigation techniques which save water, produce higher yields of crops and combat world poverty.
  • Continued advances in solar energy and other “green” technology.
  • Robotics in surgery and other disciplines.
  • Space related technology.
  • Advanced missile defense systems for military and civilian use.

This is just a summary of the most exciting achievements in 2015. For a glimpse at a more comprehensive list of Israeli trail blazing contributions to the human race over the last few years click on this link and read at your leisure:


It can be safely asserted that no other country in the world in such a short span of time has managed to contribute so much to so many. All of this by the way, in the midst of and despite unrelenting efforts by our neighbours to delegitimize and murder us ever since the Jewish State was re-established 67 years ago.

So what does 2016 portend?

At the beginning of this year I predicted that neither peace nor goodwill would break out and that those who ignore the clear signs of mayhem would be in for a shock. Unfortunately this is exactly what happened. The situation has only become more extreme and those who should have woken up a long time ago are only still now scrabbling around in a vain attempt to deal with the situation. Political correctness will not defeat terror or those who spread it. The coming year will I fear see an intensification of terror related activity and continued vacillation on the part of those political leaders who cannot and will not grasp what must be done. No doubt Israel will once again be the main target. The notion that all the world’s troubles will disappear as soon as the Jewish State does seems to be a continuing hallucination. The United Nations will yet again pass more resolutions against Israel than any other country and the university campuses, academics and other fellow travelers, self loathing or just plain haters, will continue to spread poison against us.

Given the realities facing us it would be foolish to predict that we are on the brink of an era of universal love, tolerance and peace.

Will the media perhaps suddenly see the light and become more balanced? On current performances this also seems like a pipe dream. This Christmas for example, our “peace partners” erected a tree in Bethlehem’s manger square, dedicated not to the season of peace and goodwill to all, but rather honouring “martyrs” who had murdered Israelis in recent times. Did you read about this in your local media? Instead reports appeared about how pilgrims were deterred by violence (caused by whom?) and the security situation. This selective reporting is indicative of what we can expect in 2016.

Will New Zealand use its remaining year on the UN Security Council to concentrate on solving world terror, poverty and injustice or will the obsession with Israel dominate? No prizes for guessing the answer.

In reality the omens do not look good for any sort of positive change.

None of these incontrovertible facts should however deter us from standing firm and insisting that genuine peace can only be attained once the purveyors of hate have been dealt with. In the meantime we will concentrate on making the Jewish State stronger in every field of endeavour, domestically and internationally.

Michael Kuttner is a Jewish New Zealander who for many years was actively involved with various communal organisations connected to Judaism and Israel. He now lives in Israel and is J-Wire’s correspondent in the region.


3 Responses to “‘Tis that time of year again”
  1. Debbie Scholem says:

    Once again Michael has hit the nail right on the head. His clear thinking is refreshing. Unfortunately I have to agree with him that the situation vis a vis the UN, the media, the ‘Judeophobia'(an interesting new term for antisemitism) etc is unlikely to change and it will probably get worse. What makes me feel better is the knowledge that the vast majority of Jews and Israel will survive and prosper despite these evil forces. Michael have you the stomach for Israeli politics – I’d vote for you.

    (proof read version this time)

    • Yirmiyahu Natan says:


      Unfortunately the persecution complex that pervades Michael’s column and which you so enthusiastically support, provides not an ounce of practical advice as to how to arrive at a better future.
      Moaning that everyone is against us will not extricate Israel from the morally and diplomatically debilitating corner Netanyahu has painted the country into. As long as Israel insists on denying full civil rights to ALL the population under its control, yours may be the lone vote that Michael and his ilk attract.

      • Yaakov ben Yehuda says:

        You’ are right yeah the persecution complex perceived is an illusion the left use too often and the debilitating Netanyahu refusal of allowing civil rights to defenseless Jews population living in less of0.2% of the region’s territory.

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