Thursday, May 14, 2015

From Ian:

How Israeli ‘Human Rights’ Groups Threaten Our Very Existence
Im Tirtzu has issued a number of position papers to counter the narratives slandering Israel, including: Nakba Nonsense, which refutes the Nakba narrative; a report on Palestinian funding of organizations which produced “evidence” against the IDF and Israel during Operation Protective Edge; a report that revealed the organizations behind and the funding of the migrants’ protests; and position papers focusing on foreign governmental funding of Israeli organizations.
A comparison of the issues that are emphasized by these organizations with those they choose to ignore reveals a completely different picture from what one might expect from a human rights organization. In fact, these organizations, which speak in shrill tones in the name of equality, are actually and deliberately perpetrating ethnic discrimination as part of their political agendas.
Organizations that scream in favor of basic living conditions for every infiltrator are encouraging the distress of the residents of entire neighborhoods (and, ironically, of the infiltrators themselves). Adding in the reality of foreign funding produces a frightening picture in which European governments have deliberately sought to promote racist attacks against Jews and their rights in their national home.
The appropriate name for these organizations is actually “organizations for the exploitation of the issue of human rights as a political objective.” Not only the State of Israel, but also its supporters all over the world, must understand the threat that hangs over it from foreign funding intended to prejudice the country’s identity.
Above all, Israel must stop the destructive influence exercised by anti-human-rights “human rights” organizations.
Belgian groups condemn airing of video featuring anti-Israel guide at Auschwitz
Belgian anti-racism groups condemned a public broadcaster’s airing of a video showing a guide at Auschwitz telling visiting youths that she is pro-Palestinian and anti-Semitic because of Israel.
The video was aired by the Flemish VRT network on May 8 as part of the program Terzake. It was about a trip organized by the “Trein der 1000” nongovernmental group for 1,000 teenagers from Belgium to the former Nazi death camp in Poland. The program is meant to teach adolescents about the Holocaust in order to educate them about the dangers of racism.
At the camp, the group’s Jewish guide, Lydia Chagoll, 84, is seen saying: “I am pro-Palestinian. I’m anti-Semitic.” Chagoll made the statement while talking to 18-year-old Fida’a Temraz, a Belgian high school student of Palestinian descent, and several other students. Referencing Israel, Chagoll added: “I am an anti-Semite, because I think it is a scandal that cannot be permitted. It cannot happen.”
In a statement, the Flemish Forum of Jewish Organizations wrote that Chagoll’s statement about being anti-Semitic was probably sarcastic, but that because of her actions, “an activity meant to be educational turned into a disgusting and historically incorrect statement.”
‘Rubble-washing’? Israel’s disaster outreach does little for its image
Providing emergency disaster relief has become something of an Israeli tradition. Jerusalem sends help almost wherever and whenever calamities occur: Rwanda, Haiti, Japan, the Philippines and even Turkey and Egypt (in 2004, members of the IDF’s Medical Corps and search and rescue teams rushed to Taba in the Sinai peninsula and stayed for three days after several explosions killed and injured dozens, including 13 Israelis).
Each aid delegation that rushes out brings with it accusations from critics of the Israeli government of “rubble-washing” — that Israel is providing aid in far-flung areas, at least in part, to distract from human rights violations at home.
Others argue, though, that Israel, which has mastered the art of emergency medicine, altruistically yearns to help those in need, simply because it’s the right thing to do.
A look at recent disaster relief operations shows that Israel could not have realistically expected any diplomatic dividends beyond slightly improving its image through worldwide coverage of its field hospitals. And that’s precisely how things have played out: A little bounce in Israel’s standing, but no substantive benefit; just the satisfaction of doing the right thing.


Israel’s Magnificent Medical Efforts to Save Syrians
A couple of remarkable news reports have been broadcast in recent days about the care given Syrians wounded in the civil war across the border. One – the more dramatic one – was at the Israeli news site Ynet (affiliated with the daily Yedioth Ahronot); the other at CNN.
The Ynet article written and narrated by one of the paper’s top journalists, Ron Ben-Yishai told of an injured man -likely a jihadist – who was severely injured by a bullet to the stomach and shrapnel wounds. Israel has “trusted intermediaries,” on the other side of the border who communicate when there is an injured person who needs treatment in Israel.
Most of the injured are woman, children and the elderly. However there are also younger men, such as the subject of the article. In this case the Israeli were told that without a hospital the man would die.
Despite having contacts in Syria, the Israelis know who’s on the other side of the border on the Golan Heights, so they have to take care:
Should American Jews Embrace the Evangelicals?
We live in a world that is hostile to the Jewish people. Few ethno-religious groups have ever been so embattled for so long, having had to endure persecution, intolerance, war, and exile for millennia. This still holds true today, in all its old and new incarnations, particularly as anti-Semitism sweeps across the “tolerant West” with renewed vigor. Following the Holocaust, we questioned how so many could turn a blind eye or, worse, actively participate in the savagery of those dark days. Conversely, we honored the brave souls who rescued Jews from certain death and hailed them as “righteous gentiles.” In either case, one constant remains: Historically our enemies have always outranked our friends, and this is a sobering fact that we rightfully lament. It’s odd, then, that many American Jews are so wracked with ambivalence toward millions of people who are doggedly trying to extend a hand of friendship and offer their support to the Jewish state.
Of course, I am referring to Evangelical Christians; a demographic which comprises nearly 100 million people in the U.S. alone, and whose mere mention invokes reactions ranging from warmth and appreciation to outright repudiation among members of the Jewish community.
For the most part, despite Evangelicals’ support for the Jewish state and desire to embrace the Jewish people, their affection has often largely gone unrequited. In fact, only one-third of American Jews view Christian Zionists in a favorable light. This harsh reality, however, has not deterred Evangelicals from trying to befriend the Jewish people both at home and in Israel. According to a recent Pew poll, 69 percent of Evangelicals view American Jews positively, while 64 percent of American Jews view Evangelicals with skepticism or even negativity. In fact, Jewish Americans trail only atheists in their coolness toward Evangelicals.
What is at the root of this stark imbalance?
The answer is hardly obvious. While divergent theological beliefs certainly play a role, as does Christianity’s history of anti-Semitic transgressions, the root of some American Jews’ modern-day distance from Christian Zionists may actually lie in the two communities’ often polarized political and social ideologies.
Anti-Semitism in a liberal disguise
The fifth Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism (GFCA) opened in Israel on Tuesday evening in the presence of senior statesmen, parliament members, diplomats, research bodies, Jewish community heads, religious leaders and international organizations from dozens of countries, led by the Foreign Ministry.
The state of anti-Semitism has never been as serious as on the eve of this forum. Seventy years since the darkest chapter in the history of Europe, anti-Semitism is reaching levels which have yet to be seen, and there is barely a single area in Europe which is free of hatred towards Jews. There are thousands of cases of anti-Jewish violence, anti-Semitic incitement and Holocaust denial.
One of the reasons is the export of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to European countries through extreme propaganda led by radical Muslim immigrants, who are intentionally blurring the distinction between Israel and the Jews. In addition, Jews in Europe have become the target of the radical and communist left, and at the same time we are witnessing the rise of neo-Nazi and radical right-wing parties.
The "liberal" or "institutional" anti-Semitism, which has developed from the political center, is also growing stronger in recent years, and it may be the most alarming type of anti-Semitism: "Liberal" activists are leading efforts to outlaw key elements in the Jewish life, presenting circumcision and kosher slaughter in a demonic way, thereby igniting the winds of hatred.
Google and Facebook need your help to police online hate
According to Google and Facebook policy directors, only through users’ input will questionable material even be reviewed. Speaking in Israel at the biennial 5th Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism, Google’s Juniper Downs and Facebook’s Simon Milner joined a panel called “The Oldest Hatred in the Newest Vessels: Toward Solutions” chaired by the US special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism Ira Forman. UK Ministry of Justice head of the Cross Government Hate Crime Programme Paul Giannasi and Prof. Raphael Cohen Almagor rounded out the panel.
Although many governments have legislation against hate speech, there is no unified legislation, making an international product like the world wide web fertile ground for anti-Semitic or other racist individuals and groups to spread their screed.
Governments are becoming increasingly aware of the issue of online hate. In the wake of the jihadist terrorist attacks against journalists and Jews in Paris, The New York Times reported that French Prime Minister Manuel Valls announced last month his government is dedicating €100 million over the next three years to combat racism and anti-Semitism by launching a nationwide awareness campaign, instituting harsher punishments for racist acts, and increased monitoring of online hate speech.
Canadian Minister: Defending Israel Key to Beating Anti-Semitism
Supporting Israel is part and parcel of the fight against anti-Semitism, and other countries should learn from Canada's example in doing so, a Canadian minister has said.
Speaking to Arutz Sheva at the 5th Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism, Minister of State for Multiculturalism Tim Uppal said it was "only natural" that the Canadian government should send a senior delegation to the event.
He cited Canada's role as a safe haven for Jews fleeing persecution in the past, including some 40,000 holocaust survivors "who came to the country, established themselves and really helped helped build the country into what it is today."
Apart from that, Uppal said Canada was immensely proud of its roughly 330,000-strong Jewish community, and its contribution to Canadian life.
"We have a strong and vibrant Jewish community right across the country and it has contributed to Canada in every single way... Economically... but also towards our social fabric and culture itself."
But Uppal, who is the first ever turban-wearing Sikh to serve as a cabinet minister, admitted his government was concerned about anti-Semitism not only globally, but also in its own backyard, citing Bnei Brith reports in a rise in anti-Jewish hate crimes.
Anti-BDS bill passes Illinois House committee, Senate
A bill that would bar state pension funds from including companies that participate in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel passed an Illinois State House of Representatives committee.
The bill on Wednesday was unanimously approved by the Illinois State House of Representatives Executive Committee by a vote of 10-0 and will now move forward for a vote by the full chamber. It previously passed the Illinois State Senate unanimously, 49-0.
The bill requires the state’s pension system to remove companies that boycott Israel from their portfolios. The bill, an amendment, is based on existing legislation that the Illinois Investment Policy Board currently enforces, mandating that state pension funds be divested from foreign firms doing business in Iran, Sudan or other countries with known human rights violations.
In a statement, B’nai B’rith International said it “applauds Illinois citizens and their representatives for taking such a strong stance against a movement rooted in anti-Semitism that ultimately impedes the peace process by opposing constructive dialogue between Israel and Palestinians.” (h/t Jewess)
New Organization Monitors Campus Radicals to Expose Them to Future Employers
A new organization was launched on Tuesday to track organizers of anti-Israel movements on U.S. college campuses and alert the public, as well as future employers, about their involvement with the hate groups, The Algemeiner has learned.
Canary Mission was founded by students and citizens concerned by the growing number of campus movements that work to demonize and boycott Israel, harass Jewish and pro-Israel students, and spread radical, antisemitic ideas.
In a statement issued on its website, Canary Mission’s anonymous founders said the public has the right to know who is a part of this “dangerous campaign” of “ugly antisemitism and anti-Americanism that drives the anti-Israel movement on campuses across the United States.”
“So do the future employers of those who immerse themselves in antisemitic activity as college students,” the statement continued. “We are determined to expose the statements, activities, and unsavory affiliations of all of those responsible for spreading this hate on our campuses.”
BDS Battles Taking Toll on Jewish Students
Haaretz reporter Ari Shavit paid a visit to two dozen US campuses and came back with a dire warning: the Jewish future is slipping through our fingers, he writes, referring to those who support Israel and Zionism.
What he found on his listening tour was a besieged Jewish community, squeezed between the extreme rhetoric of BDS on one side and their own concerns about Israel’s policy on the other.
We feel like we’ve been abandoned on the battlefield, many of them told me. The anti-Zionists, they said, are accusing us of collaborating with evil, but Zionism doesn’t understand us and doesn’t speak to us; instead, it’s busy building more and more and more settlements.
Zionism, Shavit writes, has failed provide “a reliable, relevant and inspirational narrative” to counter the “near-overt anti-Semitism” of the BDS offensive. “And when they arrive on campus and are exposed to anti-Israel venom, the Jewish and pro-Israel identity of many of them collapses.”
In other words, it’s a battle for legitimacy. And Israel is losing.
The signs are clear, even without Shavit’s poignant account of beleaguered students and tearful conversations.
Protesters Arrested for Storming Synagogue in Protest of IDF
Two men from New Haven, Connecticut were arrested on Tuesday after storming a Westport synagogue hosting a delegation of the Israel Defense Forces.
The Hartford Courant reported that Gregory Williams, a student at Yale University's Divinity School, and Daniel Fischer, a community activist with the Middle East Crisis Committee, were both charged with first-degree trespassing and second degree-breach of peace.
According to a Westport police statement, a call was received at around 1 p.m. local time, with complaints of "unwanted people protesting" a luncheon and discussion at Temple Israel featuring IDF soldiers.
Witnesses believed one of the suspects was carrying a gun as he approached the building, but police said no weapon was found on the premises.
"A witness had observed one of the men approaching with a shirt over his arm and hand which led some witnesses to believe he was carrying a gun," police elaborated in the statement.
According to the police report, the two suspects entered the synagogue and were immediately confronted by staff who told them to leave. They refused and continued to walk past the staff.
Denying Jews the Right to Define Judaism is Anti-Semitism
In honor of this week’s 5th Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism, I’d like to propose a new definition of the term: Anti-Semitism is when Jews, alone of all the world’s religions, are denied the right to decide for themselves what their religion’s core tenets actually are. Nobody would dream of telling Christians that, for instance, their religion really has nothing to do with Jesus. Nobody would dream of telling Muslims that their religion really has nothing to do with the Koran. Yet a growing number of people seem to feel they have a perfect right to tell Jews that their religion really has nothing to do with being part of a nation.
Thus you get people like Jannine Salman, a member of the Columbia University chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine, blithely telling the New York Times last week that Jews have no call to feel their religion is under attack by strident anti-Zionists, because “There is a bifurcation: Zionism is a political identity, Judaism is a religious identity, and it does a disservice to both to blur the line.” And never mind that neither the Bible nor 4,000 years of Jewish tradition recognize any such bifurcation.
Indeed, the concept of Judaism as a religious identity devoid of any national component is so foreign to the Bible that nowhere in it are Jews ever referred to as adherents of a “religion.” Rather, the most common Biblical terms for the Jews are bnei yisrael, the children of Israel, and am yisrael, the nation of Israel. The rough modern equivalents would be kin-group and kin-state, though neither captures the Biblical imperative that this particular kin-group and kin-state be committed to a particular set of laws and ideals.
The Biggest Mistakes Pro-Israel Advocates Make #4: How to Not Look Like A Total Jerk
I don’t think I know a pro-Israel advocate who hasn’t lost their marbles, threw off their kid gloves, and thought, “no more Mr. Nice Guy/Girl!” at least once. There are, after all, some pretty rabid antisemites and nutcases out there. However, the more seasoned, prominent pro-Israel activists I know are very professional and seldom if ever lash out at their opponents no matter how fed up they are. And when closed-minded nitwits refuse to listen to anything you have to say because, for example, you’re not their friend so they won’t trust you over their friend who is saying the opposite of what you are (or who claims his cousin’s best friend’s sister’s husband’s aunt’s house was destroyed in Gaza and she was only given five seconds’ warning to grab all her belongings so how dare I deny her lived experience), or because to them the fact that the Palestinians are the underdog and the Israelis are victorious necessarily means the Israelis are the oppressors of the Palestinians, sometimes you have to know when to quit. Case in point illustrating what not to do: calling people closed-minded nitwits. To their face, anyway. You can vent all you want when you go home to your husband or your best friend or your local Zionist World Domination Planning Committee meeting.
When you start to feel like you’re talking to a brick wall despite your best efforts, when you start to realize that too much is at stake for the person you’re talking to should they decide to change their opinion for them to ever consider doing so, you need know when to stop what you’re doing. I even have friends whom I’ve been friends with since high school or earlier who are anti-Israel because they fell for the “Social Justice” anti-Israel rhetoric in university hook, line, and sinker, but they’re still my friends. I just gave up talking politics with them because I knew I would never get anywhere (not for lack of trying, through) and that any further attempts would only create friction between us. I have other friends who were more open-minded whom I was successfully able to convince. So your mileage may vary, but you have to know that when there are sparks – the first signs of a flame war on both sides – you sometimes have to put out the fire and just leave the building, otherwise you just burn down with it and all you’ll be left with are ashes.
Jewish Groups Protest Outside UJA over NIF Funding
A number of Jewish organizations banded together on Monday for a rally outside of UJA-Federation in protest of the UJA's promotion of organizations with ties to the Boycott Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
Some 200 protestors carrying signs against the BDS movement, called on UJA to cease support for the New Israel Fund (NIF) as well as to bar the organization from marching in the Celebrate Israel Parade to be held in New York City later this month.
The New Israel Fund has been found to finance organizations that promote BDS against Israel, as well other anti-Israel groups.
Recently, Israeli grassroots organization Im Tirzu published a report tracing NIF funds to a Ramallah-based Palestinian organization that financed reports by Breaking the Silence and B’Tselem accusing the IDF of war crimes during Operation Protective Edge.
 Petraeus: BDS Poses ‘Strategic Threat’ To Israel
Efforts by anti-Israel activists to boycott the Jewish state pose a “strategic threat” to the nation, according to former CIA head David Petraeus.
The former intelligence chief warned about international efforts to promote the anti-Israel Boycott, Sanctions, and Divestment (BDS) movement and said they are just as dangerous as the threat posed by terrorists.
“You see growing worries about the possibility of a so-called ‘international intifada,’ the boycott, divestment and sanction moves,” Petraeus was quoted as saying by the Times of Israel during a recent discussion in New York City. “That may be coming back to a strategic issue that has to be resolved at some point.”
Petraeus also warned that a nuclear deal with Iran that will provide the Islamic Republic with billions in sanctions relief could open to door to an uptick international terrorism.
“The lifting of sanctions will mean that Iran will have vastly more resources. It will be reconnected with the global economy,” he was quoted as saying. “It’s going to have a lot more resources to pursue mischief around the world and that concerns me.”
EU Amb. to Israel: Boycott? What boycott?
The slogan of Israel Science Day, held this year on May 12, is "Science is everywhere". In scores of events throughout the country, the general public, especially young people, will be exposed to lectures and demonstrations on how science affects all of us in our daily lives.
Israel has good reason to be proud of its outstanding scientific achievements. However I wonder how many Israelis are aware of the important role that Europe has played in turning the ideas generated by Israel's excellent scientists into real research projects.
The EU's cooperation with Israel in the field of science and technology took a giant leap forward in 1996, when Israel joined one of the EU's seven-year R&D Framework Programmes. It was raised to its highest level last year when Israel became associated to the EU's 80 billion euro Horizon 2020 program, the biggest research program in the world. To this day, Israel is the only non-European country in the world to be fully associated to such programs.
Israel preps media battlefield for next Hezbollah war
Much of the war against Israel is fought in the media and through deceptive “Non-Governmental Organizations” which issue endless distorted reports against Israel.
There hardly is any pretense of objectivity anymore — there is an attempt to tie Israel’s hands when dealing with groups like Hamas and Hezbollah which strategically use civilians as shields.
In Gaza, the media was intimidated by Hamas, and maintained a near-silence about the use of the main hospital in Gaza as a Hamas headquarters, and the firing of rockets from near schools, apartments and hospitals. But a few reports leaked out and some reporters admitted to the distorted reporting after leaving Gaza:
This media war is important because one side (Hamas, Hezbollah) uses media outrage as a strategic weapon to shape the physical battlefield. And biased, agenda-driven NGOs and media organizations are part of the plan.
Jim Clancy’s Obsession With Hatin’ On Israel (Updated)
The last we heard from ex CNN anchor Jim Clancy, he had interviewed with Lebanon’s Daily Star, spreading his anti-Israel views.
After Brian pointed this out, Clancy himself paid us a visit to deny he was disseminating anything anti-Israel.
But judging by his twitter timeline, he is not just anti-Israel. He’s really anti-Israel.
Here is but a sample of his recent tweets.
Update: Since I posted this, Clancy has become even “less polite” with his hatred for Israel.
BBC News misrepresents BDS campaign yet again
The report includes a description of the adverts promoting BDS but fails to inform readers that they also featured a series of inaccurate maps frequently used in anti-Israel propaganda. Whether or not the BBC’s description of ‘Charlotte and Lizzie from Hellerup’ as “two Palestinian women” is in fact accurate is unclear.
Clearly readers will be unable to comprehend the bus company’s decision to remove the adverts because, as usual, they are not informed of the aims of the political campaign promoted by the non-transparently funded ‘Danish-Palestinian Friendship Association’ – despite the fact that a link to the organisation’s website appears in the BBC’s report.
Whilst the BDS campaign’s political crusade to bring about the demise of Jewish self-determination by means of delegitimisation and demonization is not infrequently directly or indirectly amplified in BBC programming, the corporation inevitably refrains from informing its audiences exactly for what its ‘one-stater’ supporters are campaigning.
Freed Al Jazeera Journo: Network an Arm of Qatar, Muslim Brotherhood
After spending 400 days in an Egyptian prison, an Al Jazeera English journalist is suing his network for $100 million dollars in damages, and has accused the Doha-run news organization of violating his contract.
Mohamed Fahmy and two colleagues were thrown in jail after they were charged with being members of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is designated as a terrorist organization in many countries. He is currently free on bail while he awaits retrial for the charges.
Fahmy now claims that the network is responsible for putting him in situations where it appeared as if he was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. He claims that the news network acted as “an arm of Qatar’s foreign policy” and “was not only biased towards the Muslim Brotherhood — they were sponsors of the Muslim Brotherhood.”
“Egypt put us three journalists on trial instead of punishing the network,” Fahmy said during a press conference in Cairo. “But I will not be as lenient as Egypt and I am here to announce that I will set the record straight and put Al Jazeera on trial in Canada’s top court.”
German court authorizes return of two Nazi-looted paintings
A German court formally authorized the return of two Nazi-looted artworks from the collection of the late art collector Cornelius Gurlitt.
The paintings, among the most valuable of the more than 1,400 artworks discovered in Gurlitt’s home in Munich and later in a second home in Salzburg, Austria, can be retrieved this week by the heirs of the Jewish owners from whom they were stolen, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday following the decision by the Munich District Court.
The court did not reveal the names of the owners of the artworks — Henri Matisse’s “Woman Sitting in an Armchair” and Max Liebermann’s “Two Riders on the Beach” — or the names of the heirs who will receive them, according to The Associated Press.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the Libermann painting was stolen from David Friedmann, a German-Jewish collector who died in the early 1940s, and the Matisse was stolen in a Nazi raid on a bank vault in France belonging to Paul Rosenberg, a Jewish art dealer.
Unlike Portugal, Spain Sephardic citizenship plan hits snags
Spanish lawmakers are finally preparing this month to approve a law that potentially allows hundreds of thousands, and possibly millions, of Sephardic Jews around the world a shot at citizenship, though there are no reliable estimates of how many people might be eligible.
A Spanish passport means those who get it would be able to live or work anywhere in the 28-nation European Union, and apply for citizenship for immediate family members. While some European nations are experiencing a surge in anti-immigration sentiment, Spain and Portugal are not, and the laws have not generated opposition.
Many would-be applicants thought the Spanish law, announced in 2013, would carry few requirements beyond thorough vetting of ancestry. That’s the case with the Portuguese law, which was proposed after Spain’s but went into effect in March 1.
But Spanish lawmakers ended up adding amendments making the process for Sephardic Jews similar to that faced by permanent residents seeking citizenship. The hurdles are significant: Sephardic applicants must learn and be tested in basic Spanish if they don’t speak one of several Jewish languages rooted in Spanish. They also must pass a current events and culture test about Spain. And they have to establish a modern-day link to Spain, which can be as simple as donating to a Spanish charity or as expensive as buying Spanish property.
Paredes Henriquez — whose Spanish ancestors were driven into Portugal by the inquisition — predicted the extra steps would translate into more lost time, money and frustrating red tape. In Portugal, he only has to prove his family history and that he has never been convicted of a crime punishable by three or more years in prison.
Israeli researchers use supercooling to revolutionize delivery of drugs
A new Tel Aviv University study shows how the complex process of crystallization through supercooling could revolutionize the delivery of drugs in the human body, providing a way to “freeze” the drugs at an optimal time and location in the body.
The new study, published in Scientific Reports, is the first to break down the rules governing the complex process of crystallization through rapid-cooling. According to the research, membranes can be engineered to crystallize at a specific time.
“We describe a supercooled material as ‘metastable,’ meaning it is very sensitive to any external perturbation that may transform it back to its stable low-temperature state,” said Dr. Roy Beck of the Department of Physics at TAU’s School of Physics and Astronomy, who co-lead the study. “We discovered in our study that it is possible to control the process and harness the advantages of the fluid/not-fluid transition to design a precise and effective nanoscale drug encapsulating system.”
The research was led jointly by Beck and Prof. Dan Peer of the Department of Cell Research and Immunology at TAU’s Faculty of Life Sciences, and conducted by TAU graduate students Guy Jacoby, Keren Cohen, and Kobi Barkai.
Israeli big data teaches farmers a cup of joe means better crops
Big data isn’t just for cybersecurity or mobile app developers. Farmers, too, can use it to increase their productivity, believes Ron Shani, CEO of ag-tech big data firm AKOL (Agricultural Knowledge Online).
“Our platform lets users see exactly what to do to take care of crops, when to do it, and how much of it to do, in order to get the best results from their fields” – even if the thing they need to do is to drink a piping hot cup of coffee in the morning, said Shani.
“For example,” said Shani, “we discovered that for farmers in Serbia, there was a definite connection between drinking coffee and farm productivity – that farmers who did not drink coffee first thing in the morning were not as productive as those who did.”
Chinese agricultural authorities signed a deal last month with AKOL to use its “agricultural cloud” technology for fish farms. The AKOL system allows fish farmer operators to access in-depth information, gathered via sensors and analyzed on the system’s servers, that instructs them when to clean pools, how much and when to feed fish, etc.
Israel Increasingly Attractive for Chinese Academics, Investors, and Tourists
East China New University and the University of Haifa this month launched a joint Israeli-Chinese research center in Shanghai—the first center of its kind and the latest testament to the growing alignment between the two countries.
As part of the venture, the Jerusalem Post reported, the research center will foster collaboration between Israeli and Chinese academics in the fields of computer science, mathematics, and more, and the two universities will also have a student exchange program.
More broadly, Israel and China have been building broader strategic ties through special high-ranking delegations that have traveled between the two countries.
On the economic front, China was Israeli’s fourth-most-popular destination for exports in the world, and the most popular among Asian countries, wrote Dr. Yoram Evron, a member of the academic staff at the University of Haifa’s Department of Asian Studies, for Yedioth Ahronoth. Chinese investments in Israel have grown to at least $4 billion in less than four years, while Chinese companies have been increasingly establishing infrastructure projects in Israel. The Jewish state recently applied to join China’s Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
According to Evron, “Beijing appreciates Israel’s stability and regional strategic importance and sees it as one of the regional central pillars in the foreseeable future,” particularly considering the instability in much of the rest of the Middle East.
Backyard unit eats trash to make biofuel
When UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon visited the sukkah of Israeli President Reuven Rivlin during the Jewish harvest holiday last October, he was treated to a demo of a machine the government has given to Bedouin families to convert organic waste into clean biogas for cooking, heating and lighting, as well as organic liquid crop fertilizer.
“He got very excited and told us, ‘Millions of women and children die each year due to indoor smoke from open fires. This is just the thing they need. The UN should be purchasing these units!’ recalls Ami Amir of HomeBioGas, which develops and manufactures a new class of anaerobic biodigesters to convert organic waste to clean renewable energy.
“He asked us to be in touch with the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization to see where and when our systems could be deployed,” the marketing director tells ISRAEL21c.
The family-size TevaGas (TG) backyard units, available as an easy-to-assemble kit, generate safe energy and fertilizer through bacterial anaerobic digestion of organic waste such as food scraps and animal manure. They provide a sustainable solution for off-grid urban and rural families, as well as environmentally conscious homeowners and small farm owners, in warmer climates.
Hebrew University of Jerusalem announces plans for Einstein Museum
The planning of an Einstein Museum was announced by the Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University at a dinner hosted in Toronto Wednesday evening. The museum, along with three other Einstein-related initiatives, are in celebration of the centennial of Einstein's theory of relativity.
The Einstein Museum will be the first institution dedicated to continuing the legacy of Albert Einstein, who co-founded the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and bequeathed to the university his entire estate.
In addition to the museum, designer Ron Arad has been commissioned to create the world's first 3D printed book, featuring essays from leading opinion formers, Cosmic Pictures will produce an IMAX 3D film exploring the origins and meaning of Einstein's ideas, and the third annual "The Next Einstein" competition will soon get underway.
Jerusalem Day Statistics Reveal Israeli Capital’s Progress, But Room for Growth
May 17 marks Jerusalem Day (Yom Yerushalayim) in Israel, a national holiday commemorating the reunification of eastern and western Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War. In honor of this year’s holiday, Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics has released figures showing the growth and development of the Israeli capital in the last five decades, based on data collected from 2013-14.
These key findings, as translated from Hebrew, reveal both the progress that the city has made and its room for additional growth. Here are the highlights:
1. Jerusalem is currently the largest city in Israel. At the end of 2013, Jerusalem’s population was 829,900. Sixty-three percent of the city’s residents were either Jews, non-Arab Christians, members of other faiths, or those not registered as belonging to any faith in Israel’s Ministry of the Interior. Thirty-seven percent were Arabs. The population of Jerusalem also grew by 14,600 residents in 2013.
2. Among the Jews living in Jerusalem, 35 percent define themselves as haredi, 18 percent as religious, 12 percent as traditional-religious, 14 percent as traditional-not very religious, and 20 percent as secular.
‘Mr. Sinatra Adored Israel, and Israel Adored Him Back.’
Sinatra’s initial visit to Israel came in 1962, as part of his first world tour. At the height of his popularity, his managers wanted him to embark on a series of concerts that would take him as far as Japan. Sinatra also had personal reasons for touring: His falling out with the recently elected JFK and the rest of the Kennedy clan, due to a combination of Sinatra’s volatile temper and allegations concerning the singer’s links to organized crime, hurt him deeply. Sinatra turned toward reviving his own career and stepped up his charitable work, which his managers hoped would “temper the image of the flip playboy.”
In May and June of 1962 Sinatra gave 30 concerts in cities around the world. A percentage of the proceeds went to children’s charities. The tour began in Tokyo, where legions of fans turned out see and hear the singer. Because Israel appeared on Sinatra’s schedule, the Arab League rejected proposals that he perform in Cairo and Beirut.
Israel—and the response to European persecution that it embodied—was a deeply personal cause for Sinatra. He was born and brought up in an Italian-American enclave in Hoboken, New Jersey; his grandparents had emigrated to the United States from Italy in the 1890s, and the anti-immigrant bigotry they faced in turn-of-the-century New York still lingered in Frank’s childhood in the 1920s. He told his friend Pete Hamill that “growing up, I would hear the stories … things that happened because you were Italian … the stories were there. The warnings, the prejudice you heard about it at home, in the barbershop, on the corner. You never heard about in school. But it was there.”
These experiences of prejudice made the young Sinatra aware of other forms of bigotry, including anti-Semitism. And there were Jewish connections in his Hoboken childhood. Among his caretakers (Frank’s mother worked often outside of the home) was a Mrs. Golden. She spoke to him only in Yiddish, and in his adulthood Sinatra often joked that he “knew more Yiddish than Italian.” For decades Sinatra wore a Jewish star pendant that Mrs. Golden had given him.


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