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Friday, September 13, 2013

9/13 Links Part 2: Oslo 20 Years on, 20 Hottest Startups in Israel, Yom Kippur 100 Years Ago.

From Ian:

Caroline Glick: Israel’s 20-year nightmare
Our media outlets run a constant stream of post-Zionist propaganda that has reduced our elected representatives’ field of action to the size of a postage stamp. They ignore knowledgeable, well-spoken representatives of the majority. They regularly invite cognitively and aesthetically challenged nationalists to their studios to embarrass into silence the majority of viewers who share their opinions. Zionists are hired to high-profile but powerless positions to make the public feel uncomfortable about complaining that its views have no voice in the media.
Today the Obama administration plumbs the depths of strategic dysfunction. The Arab world empowers the most dangerous elements in country after country. The European Union treats Israel as a greater international outlaw than Iran, North Korea or Syria. Anti-Israel indoctrination is the norm on university campuses throughout the Western world. A generation is coming of age that has never heard the truth about the Jewish state.
To contend with all this, the single-most important step Israel must take is to end our 20- year nightmare with the PLO. As long as it continues, we will remain incapable of defending ourselves.
Sarah Honig: Flat earth – 20 years on
The need to pay for our right to live is uniquely Jewish. We alone bear an onus to justify what’s self-evident and inalienable to any other people. Our obsession to perceive things from our enemies’ point of view is unparalleled.
The origins of Jewish guilt for burdening assailants and the compulsion to make amends are traceable to the penchant of every local medieval tyrant to oblige Jewish communities to pay exorbitantly for the privilege of not being slaughtered. Jews began to treat such levies as the way of the world.
That’s possibly why Israelis can’t conceive of their territory as inviolable as that of other nations – ones whose ancestral tribal thugs or robber barons managed to wrest given land holdings. Nobody doubts ordinary nations’ legitimacy or their continued tenure in their various grabbed real estate.
The Jewish state’s postulate, however, is that its existence is impermanent and its possessions are currency with which to haggle for reprieve. No other nation pays for its right to exist, buys time or seeks acceptance.
No nation would countenance such ignominy.
Even so, while we still smart from Oslo’s repercussions, our land-for-peace fanatics mulishly return to their discredited old habits. As with Flat-Earthers, hard evidence and reality checks don’t count.
20 years to Oslo
While the Oslo process failed to attain peace and security for Israel, it was conducive to a partition of the Land of Israel, relieving Israel of the Palestinian burden. Most Israelis have supported the traditional Zionist pro-partition position. They also supported the withdrawal from Gaza and the establishment of a security barrier that signal a desire to disengage from territories heavily populated by Arabs.
Israeli society paid dearly for the Oslo experiment. It can honestly say, "We tried to make peace with the Palestinians," which is a prerequisite for treating future armed conflict as a "no-choice" (ein breira) war. Such an attitude, prevalent during the Oslo years, has been central in forging great Israeli resilience to withstand protracted conflict, and an unwillingness to make dangerous concessions.
What's wrong with a Zionist lobby anyway?
Given that the Middle East conflict dominates world agendas, and has done for a long time, lobbies – pro, anti and powerful – are bound to be active volcanoes. In the American context everyone knows about the Israel lobby, AIPAC.
“There is a big bad lobby that distorts US foreign policy…way out of proportion to its actual support by the American public. But the offending lobby is not AIPAC but rather the Arab lobby, which opposes the Jewish state.” So wrote Mitchell Bard in a book titled, The Arab lobby: the invisible alliance…
Looking today at Barak Obama’s envoy John Kerry and his unequal treatment of the parties in the new peace process, at the way he forced Israel to make concessions and allowed the Palestinians to make demands, it’s not difficult to hazard which of the lobby groups wields the greater power in America – Jewish or Arab.
How they wield power is a different matter. An unhealthy lobby, Bard says, is one that tries with unlimited money to buy what it cannot win on the merits of its case… Which Bard views to be the distinguishing mark of the American Arab lobby.
Guardian’s latest report on MOU between Israel and NSA: What we don’t know
The Guardian published another NSA document today, this time about a Memorandum of Understanding between the NSA and Israel’s SIGINT agency, ISNU, that looks worrying.
If this sounds appalling, that is because several things here are not presented accurately in the Guardian’s story.
For starters, the MOU is dated, in some way, in March of 2009 (there is no date on the document and the Guardian does not say when it was drafted). It is only signed by an Israeli official, and not by any U.S. official, so we do not know if this is the final MOU that frames the intel sharing agreement. But there’s more: this past June, the Guardian reported that in July of 2009 the minimization procedures governing US person information were dramatically tightened.
Security forces gear up for Yom Kippur
In addition, the West Bank was placed under closure starting Thursday night, until Saturday evening when the Day of Atonement comes to an end.
In Jerusalem, forces were to spread out across the city, securing synagogues, the Western Wall, areas along the seamline and those prone to violent demonstrations, and set up roadblocks leading from the eastern part of the city. The police called on those riding bicycles around Jerusalem to use caution.
Revealed: How Terrorists Planned Jerusalem Mall Bombing
In order to put his plan into action, Rumana learned how to make bombs using guides he found on the internet, and worked to gather the chemical materials he would need. He turned one of the rooms of his house into a bomb-making lab.
He forged ties with three other Ramallah men, who helped him to gather the materials he needed, including potassium nitrate, glycerol, and ammonium nitrate.
Rumana attempted to prepare not only bombs, but also explosives for a rocket. He planned to create rockets for use against the nearby Israeli communities of Psagot and Beit El.
Burgas bombing suspects to go on trial in early 2014
Sotir Tsatsarov told reporters that an indictment should be ready in the first three months of next year.
Bulgaria has already identified the suspects as 32-year-old Meliad Farah, also known as Hussein Hussein, an Australian citizen, and 25-year-old Hassan El Hajj Hassan, a Canadian citizen, both of Lebanese origin.
The suicide bomber, who died on the spot in the bombing at Burgas Airport on the Black Sea coast, has not been identified.
Wiesenthal Center urges UN to press Olympic chief on pro-boycott stance
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is urging the United Nations to pressure the International Olympic Committee to force its newly elected president, Thomas Bach, to resign his position as head of a German organization that advocates boycotting Israeli products, Israel Radio reported late Thursday.
Bach, a former fencer who went on to head the German Olympic Committee, is considered a controversial figure due to his position as chairman of Ghorfa, the Arab-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a body which supports boycotting Israeli-made products.
In a letter to the UN special advisor on sport, the head of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s international relations department, Shimon Samuels, said that Bach’s support for boycotting Israeli products as well as his backing the IOC’s decision to refrain from officially commemorating the slain Israeli athletes from the 1972 Munich games creates a conflict of interest.
The 20 Hottest Startups in Israel
The Israeli startup scene needs little introduction. Tel Aviv is rapidly becoming one of the most innovative tech hubs on the planet, vying with London, New York and Berlin as Silicon Valley's second.
Big acquisitions, such as Waze to Google and Snaptu to Facebook, as well a upcoming IPO for Outbrain means Israeli startups are aspiring for big exits.
To find out more about the near 5,000 startups in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and other emerging Israeli hubs, check out Mapped in Israel, a definitive, location-based guide. For now, here are our top 20 hottest Israeli startups.
Advanced Technologies Park brings high-tech to the Negev
Beersheva’s new Advanced Technologies Park is being hailed as a defining moment for the high-tech industry as it stands to date. During the official inauguration, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – who earlier this summer declared Beersheva the national cyber center — told the crowd gathered that “this is a day that will change the history of the State of Israel.”
Netanyahu, as well as leaders of the high-tech field, are on a mission to turn Beersheva into a Silicon Valley of Israel’s south. Earlier this summer, Netanyahu announced that IDF technology units will move to the city.
Sea of Galilee gets 600,000 fresh fish
The fish aren’t only expected to increase the lake’s biodiversity, but also to clear its waters of toxins originating in seaweed – the tilapias’ food source – and act as biofilters to balance out the lake’s ecosystem.
Tilapia are introduced en masse into the Sea of Galilee by the Agriculture Ministry each year.
Peres to honor Spielberg, Wiesel with annual award
The president’s office said Thursday that Spielberg will be recognized for his contribution to cinema and “his unique contribution to the memory of the Holocaust, to the State of Israel (and) to the Jewish people.”
The statement commended Spielberg for his work on Schindler’s List, “one of the most important films in the history of cinema.”
Wiesel, a world-renowned author, intellectual and Nobel laureate, survived the Holocaust and is being honored for his work commemorating it across the world, and especially in the US.
Israel Daily Picture: Yom Kippur 100 Years Ago -- Or More
For the 19 years that Jordan administered the Old City, 1948-1967, no Jews were permitted to pray at the Kotel.
The Library of Congress collection contains many pictures of Jewish worshippers at the Western Wall over the last 150 years.
After the 1967 war, the Western Wall plaza was enlarged and large areas of King Herod's wall have been exposed. Archaeologists have also uncovered major subterranean tunnels -- hundreds of meters long -- that are now open to visitors to Jerusalem.