Friday, January 24, 2014

From Ian:

IRS Wants Gaza Caravan-Tied Charity's Status Stripped
An Internal Revenue Service audit recommends stripping a New York-based charity of its tax-exempt status after it served as a conduit for donations for a convoy that delivered cash and goods to Hamas officials in Gaza.
The investigation was prompted by a 2009 report by the Investigative Project on Terrorism that documented statements during a Viva Palestina fundraiser directing contributions to the charity, the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organizations (IFCO)/Pastors for Peace. Viva Palestina is the brainchild of British MP George Galloway.
Caroline Glick: Canada takes its place at the table
For instance, for years, the false Arab claim that Israeli communities beyond the 1949 armistice lines are illegal under international law has gone unchallenged. But last week, Australian Foreign Minister Julia Bishop dropped a bombshell when, in an interview with The Times of Israel, she broke from the consensus of mendacity saying, “I would like to see which international law has declared them illegal.”
Statements by Australian foreign ministers seldom receive global coverage. But Bishop’s did.
And the more outspoken Australia is in its support for Israel and rejection of the discourse of lies that characterizes the discussion of Israel, the more attention Australia will get and the more influential it will become on the world stage.
Like Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Harper’s decision to support Israel is rooted in his most deeply held convictions about right and wrong. There is nothing opportunistic about his policy.
It is therefore wonderful and empowering that by staying true to his beliefs, Harper is also transforming Canada into a force to be reckoned with on the global stage. Moreover, he is setting an example that will likely be followed by more and more countries, as the benefits of his embrace of Israel become widely recognized.
Canada's Prime Minister: A Display of Rare Courage
Stephen Harper's message to the Israelis, spoken in their parliament, did proud to all Canadians who expect their leaders to speak truthfully when it matters. In a world where the Jews have been treated appallingly just for beings Jews, where many states regularly berate Israel as a pariah state, and where the Holocaust still remains in the living memory of Jews, the appalling truth is how the denial of these truths grows and is expressed even within the UN that bears witness to it, and was responsible for the establishment of the Jewish state.
As the first Canadian prime minister to address the Knesset, Stephen Harper concluded his remarks by stating that in "the democratic family of nations, Israel represents values which our government takes as articles of faith and principles to drive our national life." This was not high praise and cheap politics, it was instead the summing up of the threads that bind the two democracies together in what rightly can be called a "special relationship." It is worth celebrating.



Irwin Cotler: Universal lessons of the Holocaust
Finally, we must remember – and celebrate – the survivors of the Holocaust, the true heroes of humanity. For they witnessed and endured the worst of inhumanity, but somehow found, in the depths of their own humanity, the courage to go on, to rebuild their lives as they helped build our communities.
And so, together with them we must remember – and pledge – that never again will we be indifferent to incitement and hate; never again will we be silent in the face of evil; never again will we indulge racism and anti-Semitism; never again will we ignore the plight of the vulnerable; and never again will we be indifferent in the face of mass atrocity and impunity.
The ‘Homeland’ is the Homeland History Exhibit’s Rightful Home
Few realize that in 1948 modern Israel became the land’s next native state after Jewish Judaea, which Rome finally vanquished in the year 135. Every intervening ruler was a foreign invader. And few realize that all through those long dark foreign rule centuries the Jews, as such, remained in the land.
Israeli premiers Begin, Sharon and Netanyahu referenced the Jews’ continuous presence and its significance, but 20th century British historian James Parkes put it best: the “heroic endurance of those who had maintained a Jewish presence in The Land all through the centuries, and in spite of every discouragement,” wrote the Zionists’ “real title deeds.” Yet, as Katz wrote in his Introduction to Battleground, even knowledgeable people are startled to learn of “the gap between what is generally known and the facts of the continuity of Jewish life in Palestine since the destruction of the Second Temple.” Here’s a quick look at those facts.
Zogby's "Myths" are Stubborn Facts
Zogby has nothing to say about Palestinian incitement against Israel, but instead focuses on the "myth" of former Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat's rejection of a peace deal. In his telling of events, the offer made by former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak at Camp David in 2000 "was never clear -- he wouldn't commit it to writing." Furthermore, it was "Barak who suspended the Taba talks because of looming elections. According to Zogby "Arafat didn't reject a 'deal;' negotiations were aborted before they could conclude with a 'deal.'"
Well, who are you going to believe, President Bill Clinton, the senior U.S. negotiators, the Israeli officials, all of whom were present at the negotiations and place the blame on Arafat, or James Zogby, who wasn't there?
Sky News: promoting an antisemite
I have just watched Sky News' 'exclusive interview' with Dieudonne M’bala M’bala - the antisemitic friend of Nicolas Anelka who was finally charged yesterday by the FA for his 'quenelle' gesture. This has been Sky News' leading story all evening, taking up nearly 10 minutes at the start of each news programme. The programme allowed Dieudonne a platform to present himself as the victim of injustice and to proclaim Anelka as a 'prince' - a great heroic figure standing like him against world injustice.
Anti-Semitic salute not all in fun
Interestingly, the same college students who are Mr. Stewart's prime demographic target and have been weaned to consume news as if it's a joke are also fed a steady diet of anti-Israel bias and BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) malarkey. (Members of the American Studies Association last month voted to endorse a misguided boycott of Israeli academic institutions to protest the Jewish state's treatment of Palestinians.) For Dieudonné and his ilk it only makes sense, when appealing to post adolescent minds, that the way into their supposed scholarly heads is through their funny bone. They can then post, share and make the evil viral.
But it's just a joke … right? No, the problem here is that there's a relation between the "out" that socio-political humorists, particularly on the political left, like Mr. Stewart and Bill Maher on his show, "Real Time" often use, and the antics of a Dieudonné.
Is anti-Semitism essentially envy?
During a documentary aired on Israel's Channel 2, on Holocaust Remembrance Day, a man was interviewed and said that the Jews are to blame for all the troubles of the world, and that "Hitler was too nice."
What was most shocking, as one commentator put it, was that this was not a swastika-tattooed, swivel-eyed, card-carrying member of the Agitprop brigade. It was a seemingly normal middle class American. Indeed, "this is the face of modern anti-Semitism: not criminals, but your next-door neighbour, your bus driver, your child's teacher…"
It is just one illustration of the nasty and insidious anti-Semitism that is creeping into normal discourse, skulking under a cloak of support for the Palestinian ‘cause’. That cause is the annihilation of Israel from the face of the earth, although its Christian supporters and funders don’t often mention that.
German State Flip-Flops, Allows Publication of Mein Kampf
Germany's Bavaria state signaled Wednesday it would not seek to prevent the publication of an annotated version of Adolf Hitler's manifesto "Mein Kampf" in an apparent about-face, according to AFP.
Amid a debate over academic freedom and a back and forth over whether to pursue the project, Bavaria indicated that it would not try to stop a historical institute from bringing out a version of the book with scholars' commentary.
After 250 Years at Touro Synagogue, Jewish History Alive and Well in Newport
Newport’s importance stems not just from the 1763 Touro Synagogue, the oldest-standing synagogue in the United States and a designated national historic site, but also from the Ambassador John L. Loeb Jr. Visitors Center next to the synagogue, which tells the story of Touro and of religious tolerance. In May 2013, a 132-page book “A Genesis of Religious Freedom: The Story of the Jews of Newport, RI and Touro Synagogue,” by Melvin Urofsky, was published by The George Washington Institute for Religious Freedom.
Canadian MP discovers picture of relative in Ghetto during Israel visit
Candian MP Mark Adler, who arrived in Israel as part of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's delegation, visited the Yad Ezer La’Haver (Helping Hand to a Friend) Holocaust survivor center, where he discovered a picture of his cousin distributing food in Ghetto Lodz. A deeply moved Adler gazed at the picture while shedding tears, and then proceeded to hear stories from survivors.
An exhibition held at the support center shows pictures from different camps and ghettos, including one picture that featured Adler's cousin, Helen Himmel.
Gadot lassos 3-picture deal
Gal Gadot fans need not worry that the Israeli ingénue won’t have enough screen time in the upcoming Batman/Superman mega-flick. The model-turned-actress has signed on to play Wonder Woman in a three-picture deal with Warner Bros.
Gadot, who recently beat out a bevy of dark-haired actresses to be cast in the superhero caper as Diana Prince, AKA Wonder Woman, revealed her multi-picture contract on Wednesday night during an interview on Israeli television with entertainment host Guy Pines. She also disclosed her salary: a not-so-wondrous $300,000 per flick.
Russian Police to Get Counter-Terrorism Training in Israel
Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev, who is on a three-day working visit to Israel, has met with his Israeli counterpart Yitzhak Aharonovich and a number of senior police officials, including commander of the Israel Border Police, Maj. Gen. Amos Yaakov.
“We are interested in learning how your special units carry out anti-terrorist operations and hostage-release missions and ensure security and order at mass public events,” Kolokoltsev said during the meeting with Yaakov at a border troop base.
Novel Israeli tech prevents aortic aneurysm progression
If aneurysms could be treated early to prevent worsening, the incidence of rupture and death would fall dramatically. And that is the aim of a patented technology from Israel.
“Our purpose is to intervene at a stage where the aneurysm is not at the point where an emergency procedure is necessary,” says Dr. S. David Gertz, the Brandman Foundation Professor of Cardiac and Pulmonary Diseases at the Institute for Medical Research of The Hebrew University—Hadassah Medical School.
Peres honored at Davos World Economic Forum
President Shimon Peres was honored at a special plenary session of the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Friday. Peres received the Spirit of Davos award from WEF founder and Chairman Klaus Schwab in recognition of his contribution to the cause of peace, to economics and technology and to the spirit of Davos.
Before receiving his award, Peres participated in a short question and answer session with Schwab, responding to inquiries about Iran, peace negotiations with the Palestinians, and Syria.
NASDAQ CEO Greifeld Tells Peres: ‘Israeli Companies Are a Success Story’
Greifeld told Peres that “Israeli companies are a success story on the NASDAQ, a success which can be mathematically proven. There are no national boundaries when relating to Israeli science and innovation. Israeli companies are inventive in their initiatives, think globally and are very much like American Silicon Valley companies. All the world’s companies wish to imitate the Israeli companies, and we recommend they do so.”
President Peres explained that Israeli Chutzpah was the key to its success. “Israeli audacity and the desire to change, to improve life standards and to dare – they are the true drive of Israeli companies,” he said. Peres believes Israel’s success as a ‘Start-Up Nation’ is a result of it being surrounded by hostile countries, situated in a desert region with no natural resources. “Israel relies on science, technology, and its human resources. There is no question that today’s Israeli hi-tech companies received a strong basis and a push by Israel’s military industries,” the President said.
Samsung, Flextronics pour $10m into 3D start-up
Israeli start-up Mantis Vision has some new partners — global giants Samsung and Flextronics, who are investing $10 million in the 3D technology company. In addition, the multinationals have also entered into a marketing agreement with the Israeli firm, which develops technology to convert 2D video into 3D models.
The technology consists of an active triangulation system, meaning that it uses software to “observe” a scene from different points of view, taking into account the dimensions, lighting, shadows, etc., via laser. The raw image is sent to a computer, where the 3D modeling takes place, allowing a viewer to see the scene from all angles, 3D style, by moving it around the screen with a mouse.
Larry King funds venture promoting Israeli high tech
Former CNN host Larry King and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have agreed to work together to promote Israeli high tech.
King and the Technion are establishing the Israel Silicon Valley Chambers of Commerce, the Israeli business daily Globes reported. They are set to be launched in Tel Aviv and at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif.
King is financing the project with a nearly $600,000 investment through a holding company, according to Globes.
Israeli Prof’s ‘Artificial Intelligence, Robots, and Art’ Lecture at TEDx Goes Viral (VIDEO)
Professor Guy Hoffman, a lecturer and researcher at the Sammy Ofer School of Communications and co-director of the IDC Media Innovation Lab (miLAB) at the IDC Herzliya, gave a TEDx talk in October that has since become one of the 30 most viewed lectures in the TED Talks program, and, last week, was ranked by YouTube as one of the three most viewed videos in the world.
Guy Hoffman: Robots with "soul"



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