Wednesday, September 02, 2015

From Ian:

The Original Truck People
Austrian authorities on Thursday discovered an abandoned truck on a highway near the Hungarian border, packed with the decomposed bodies of 71 dead migrants, including four children. While migrants have perished at sea in the multitudes, this tragedy has put Europe on notice: The horrors from which the migrants flee, and that regularly play themselves out in the middle of the Mediterranean, will soon become commonplace in the heart of the continent unless something changes.
Now how addled and obsessed must one be to use this event as a stick to beat Israel? About as addled and obsessed as Juan Cole, professor at the University of Michigan and popular blogger on the edge of the left. See as evidence this post: “Austrian Truck Tragedy echoes Palestinian Story, reminding us of 7 million still stateless [Palestinians].”
What is that Palestinian story? It is a 1962 novella by the Palestinian writer Ghassan Kanafani entitled Men in the Sun. The allegorical storyline is about three Palestinians who flee the misery of Lebanon’s refugee camps to Iraq, in the hope of reaching the Xanadu of Kuwait. They are smuggled across the desert from Basra in the empty barrel of a water tanker truck. But because of a delay at the Kuwaiti border, the three suffocate to death. (The novella was made into a film in 1972.)
I won’t make an issue of the “seven million still stateless” Palestinians. (The upper-end estimate is closer to five million.) And far be it from me to quibble with anyone’s free associations. But Cole tops off his with this statement, which purports to be historical: the Palestinians’ “home has been stolen from them by the Israelis and they were unceremoniously dumped on the neighbors or in the West Bank or in the Gaza Strip. They are stateless. They are the original truck people.”
This concluding dramatic flourish, identifying the Palestinians as “the original truck people,” jolted me. The first people made stateless, dispossessed, stripped of their humanity, and packed into sealed trucks where they died horribly, all in the very heart of Europe, were many thousands of Jewish victims of the Nazi extermination machine.
Gaza could be 'uninhabitable' by 2020, UN report warns
Israel and Egypt have maintained a blockade of Gaza since the Islamic terrorist group Hamas violently seized control of the territory in 2007.
The U.N. report came as Egyptian military bulldozers pressed ahead with a project that effectively would fill Egypt's border with the Gaza Strip with water and flood the last remaining cross-border underground smuggling tunnels, which have brought both weapons and commercial items into Gaza.
The report called the economic prospects for 2015 for the Palestinian territories "bleak" because of the unstable political situation, reduced aid and the slow pace of reconstruction.
UN official to JPost: Lift blockade, reconnect Gaza to the world
The agreement "called to reconnect Gaza with the West Bank and the rest of the world and to construct a seaport in Gaza and to start negotiations on establishing or constructing an airport in Gaza," he said.
UNCTAD argues that support from donors is important for Gaza's recovery and reconstruction, but will not reverse the ongoing de-development and impoverishment in Gaza if Israel's blockade of the Strip is not ended.
"Since 2014 no major reconstruction has been done. No major rehabilitation has been done. Only minor things," Elkafif emphasized.
If the blockade is not lifted and Gaza is not given the opportunity to rebuild, "I think the situation will be even worse than what the UN has forecasted for 2020," he predicted.
Both Israel and Egypt maintain a blockade of the Gaza Strip, whose Hamas leadership they deem a terrorist organization. When asked whether the Egyptian blockade was taken into account in UNCTAD's research, the project coordinator asked, "What Egyptian blockade?" (h/t The_Kenosha_Kid)
Hillary-Sidney Emails Herald Demise of a Pro-Israel Democratic Party
Despite what Clinton may tell her many pro-Israel donors, keeping a man like Blumenthal in her inner circle is a telling indication of her true feelings about a lot of issues, but especially that of the state of Israel. If she were to become president, Sidney’s voice would continue to have great weight in her counsels. Just as dangerous, it would help legitimize Max Blumenthal’s views.
During the course of the debate about the Iran nuclear deal, we have already witnessed the collapse of the pro-Israel wing of the Democratic Party. Faced with pressure by President Obama, most liberal Democrats, even many with strong pro-Israel records, caved into administration pressure and backed the agreement despite the fact that it fell far short of Obama’s own criteria for success when the negotiations started.
Despite the rearguard efforts of some figures in the party to keep it at a distance from Obama’s antagonism to the Jewish state, Democrats are largely abandoning Israel on Iran. The Blumenthal emails make it clear this won’t be a passing fancy if Hillary becomes president.
The assumption has been that if Clinton were elected, the damage done to the U.S.-Israel alliance by Obama would begin to be undone. Clinton was, we were told, the adult in the room. Her backers assure us that she has a tougher-minded foreign policy approach than that of a president who is clearly committed to prioritizing détente with the Islamist regime in Tehran over strengthening the alliance with Israel. But so long as Sidney Blumenthal, and by extension his son Max, are going to be treated as valued voices within the Clinton camp, Hillary’s pose as a defender of Israel is no longer credible. She may not go as far as they like in distancing herself from the pro-Israel community. But the notion that she will restore the closeness Obama wrecked is obviously untrue. With Sidney whispering in her ear, there will be plenty more of the dangerous “daylight” that Obama has done so much to create between the two nations.
While Clinton has more to fear from the email issue than fallout about Blumenthal, the Hillary-Sidney emails show just that the pro-Israel community will be on thin ice if she recovers and wins in November 2016.



How to Save the Bipartisan Pro-Israel Consensus—Without Compromising its Message
In my last post, I noted the serious threat posed by the joint left/right effort to paint being “pro-Israel” as an inherently conservative position. The problem is less one of argument and more one of psychology: people tend to develop beliefs that are consistent with their broader cultural outlook and peers; hence, coding pro-Israel as a position of the right will almost certainly result in a collapse of that position’s favorability amongst the left. Overall, such a result would be disastrous for the standing of the American pro-Israel community.
Rather, the long-term stability of the pro-Israel consensus depends on resisting its cultural encoding as the province of a particular partisan side. The Iran deal debate, where much of the pro-Israel community has thrown its weight behind one side of an increasingly-ugly partisan throwdown, emphasizes the dilemma faced by the pro-Israel movement. Unlike some, I have no objection to the pro-Israel community intervening in such contentious debates, whether for or against. What matters is that these interventions are not perceived as entailing an alliance with a particular partisan camp. That’s what would trigger the disastrous cascade outlined in the last post, and that’s the outcome that must be avoided at all costs. To that end, the pro-Israel community must do three things, in increasing order of difficulty:
(1) Opponents on One Issue May Be Friends On The Rest. Treat Them Accordingly. The difference between a friend and an enemy often boils down to how one behaves during a disagreement. Friends disagree sometimes, and it’s not the end of the world—so long as one still treats them as a friend through the duration of the disagreement.
What a top U.S. diplomat really thought of Netanyahu — from the Hillary e-mail stash
In his advice to Clinton, Indyk urged her to “put your arm around Bibi: he still thinks we are out to bring him down” and “try to find a way to make him understand that his negotiating tactics are counterproductive to his own purposes.”
The memo is interesting, too, as a nostalgia trip.
In 2010, both Clinton and Obama said there could be peace between Israelis and the Palestinians in a year.
Also, as Indyk reminded Clinton, “Bibi needs President Obama in his corner to deal with the threat from Iran and to avoid punishment by the voters for mishandling relations with the U.S.”
Flash-forward to 2015, when Netanyahu is rewarded with a historic fourth term after directly confronting a sitting U.S. president over the peace process and Iran's nuclear ambitions. A few months later, he accuses Obama of selling out Israel in a bad nuclear deal with Iran.
Rivlin: West Bank settlements are as Israeli as Tel Aviv
The settlements in Samaria are as much a part of Israel as the country’s largest city Tel Aviv, said President Reuven Rivlin as he visited an elementary school in the community of Peduel.
“Sometimes, people talk of the state of Tel Aviv or the state of Jerusalem, the Jewish state and the state of Israel,” Rivlin said as he stood in the school’s courtyard to help celebrate the first day of classes.
“Those who live here know that there is no such thing as the state of Tel Aviv or the state of Jerusalem. There is just one country, the state of Israel,” said Rivlin.
As he looked at out at the several hundred elementary school children that sat on folding chairs, under a large tan cloth awning, the president spoke of the role their West Bank community played in the history of the nation and the state.
Rivlin, who is a veteran member of the Likud party, is fairly outspoken about the importance of national unity among all segments of Israeli society and all regions of the country.
But on Tuesday, he linked that message with the larger diplomatic one, that highlighted the importance of the West Bank settlements to the state of Israel.
IsraellyCool: Da President’s Denali Denial
With much ballyhoo this week, President Obama restored the name of America’s highest peak from Mt. McKinley to the ancient Native Alaskan name, Denali. The White House explained the cultural importance of the ancient name for what many Indigenous peoples consider a sacred place.
We laud President Obama’s recognition of the importance of indigenous place names, especially in regards to sacred tribal lands. In the spirit in which he restored the ancient name to Denali, we urge the President to refrain from using the modern colonialist name West Bank for the sacred tribal heartlands that we have from time immemorial referred to as Judea and Samaria.
PM’s spokesman confirmed as new envoy to UK
The Foreign Ministry on Monday officially approved the appointment of the prime minister’s foreign press spokesman Mark Regev as ambassador to the United Kingdom.
Regev, who has long served as the face of the Israeli government in international press interviews during conflict, had been tapped for the position earlier this month.
Melbourne-born Regev defended Israel’s position during the 2006 Second Lebanon War, and during the IDF’s Gaza campaigns in 2008, 2012 and 2014.
Regev joined the Foreign Ministry in 1990, and formerly served as spokesman for the Israeli embassies in Washington and Beijing. In 2004, he became the Foreign Ministry spokesman, a position he held until 2007. Regev then moved to the Prime Minister’s Office, under then-premier Ehud Olmert.
Channel 4 News falsely places Mark Regev in “occupied” territory
A story was posted on the website of the British program Channel 4 News (the home of Jon Snow) based on reports that Mark Regev, Benjamin Netanyahu’s spokesman, was named to replace Daniel Taub as the next Israeli ambassador to the UK. The piece (Mark Regev tipped to become Israeli ambassador to the UK, Aug. 14th) included the following passage, providing readers with some background on the incoming ambassador who, the report noted, has been a regular interviewee on the program.
Mr Regev, 55, has described his role as Israeli government spokesman as “accidental”. His father, Martin Freiberg, was a Holocaust survivor and as a young man, he joined the socialist Jewish youth movement Habonim Dror.
When he moved to Israel as a 22-year-old, he changed his surname to Regev because his parents’ name sounded German, which he said “bothered me at the time…It didn’t seem right”.
He worked as a teacher at the Tel Katzir kibbutz in the disputed Golan Heights region of Syria that Israel occupies. Reports have suggested he was nicknamed Cyril.

However, Kibbutz Tel Katzir is not located in the Golan Heights.
It’s on the stretch of land next to the Golan which was always part of Israel and which was declared a demilitarized zone after the War of Independence. It’s under the jurisdiction of the Jordan Valley regional council and was established – in 1949 – by the Nahal brigade.
Prosor: Efforts to fly Palestinian flag at UN not the way to peace, statehood
Palestinian efforts to have their flag raised at the UN alongside those of member states is yet another “cynical misuse” of the UN to score hollow political points, Israel’s ambassador Ron Prosor said on Tuesday.
Prosor formally raised Israel’s objection to the proposal in a letter addressed to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and current president of the General Assembly, Sam Kutesa of Uganda.
The Palestinians presented a draft resolution to the UN last week calling for the Palestinian flag to be raised at the world body. A vote on the resolution, co-sponsored by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and another 18 countries, is expected to take place on September 15.
“For 70 years, the United Nations has raised only the flags of full member states,” Prosor wrote. “Even though the Palestinians are attempting to change longstanding protocols and traditions, they have not deemed it appropriate to allow the member states of this organization to debate, discuss or reflect on the consequences and implications of this proposal.”
France closes Arafat poisoning probe without charges
French judges investigating claims that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was murdered have closed the case without bringing any charges, a prosecutor said Wednesday.
“At the end of the investigation… it has not been demonstrated that Mr. Yasser Arafat was murdered by polonium-210 poisoning,” the three judges ruled, according to a statement from the prosecutor from the court in Nanterre near Paris told AFP.
Arafat died in Percy military hospital near Paris aged 75 in November 2004 after developing stomach pains while at his headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
His widow Suha has maintained he was poisoned, possibly by highly radioactive polonium.
But the judges ruled there was “not sufficient evidence of an intervention by a third party who could have attempted to take his life,” the prosecutor said.
Suha’s lawyer, Francis Szpiner, also announced the judges’ decision on Twitter.
Netanyahu says willing to meet Abbas for peace talks ‘right now’
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday he was willing to meet Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas “right now” to resume peace negotiations without preconditions.
During a meeting with Women Wage Peace, an organization formed after 2014’s Operation Protective Edge and which is comprised of Jewish and Arab women calling for coexistence, the prime minister said he was “prepared to go to Ramallah or anywhere else right now to meet and hold direct negotiations without preconditions.”
Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians have been on hold since April 2014, and few efforts have been made publicly to restart negotiations. However, diplomats have indicated efforts will ramp up in the fall after the Iran nuclear deal is no longer dominating the world stage.
Netanyahu said Israel was interested in resuming peace talks right away. The solution to the conflict, he stressed, was “two states for two peoples – a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the nation-state of the Jewish people.”
Khaled Abu Toameh: Analysis: Is Abbas really quitting?
They note that if he really wanted to quit, there’s nothing stopping him from doing so. Abbas, they believe, is just seeking to send a message of “Hold me back” from resigning.
Abbas, meanwhile, seems to be enjoying the suspense and confusion that the talk about his purported plan to step down has created.
According to one theory, his real goal is to reach a situation where as many Palestinians as possible rally behind him and demand that he remain in power indefinitely.
Abbas, the same theory claims, is also hoping that the international community, first and foremost the Americans and Europeans, would join the bandwagon and appeal to him to abandon his plan to leave.
Whatever his intentions are, he has managed to stir a debate among Palestinians about his plans and the post-Abbas era. Moreover, he has managed to ignite a behind-the-scenes battle of succession among the top brass of the PLO and Fatah.
Some of the leaders of the two parties have made it known that they see themselves as potential successors to Abbas.
Now everyone is waiting for the PNC session to see what Abbas has up his sleeve. Only then will the world know whether his intention to quit was real or just another bluff.
Abbas’s resignation from the PLO would be largely symbolic
At first glance, it seems like a historic step: the successor to Yasser Arafat giving up his seat for another. One of the participants in the meeting, Amin Maqbul, secretary-general of the Fatah movement’s Revolutionary Council, told the Ma’an news agency Tuesday that Abbas said that during a recent meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan he explained that, as he is over 80 years old, the time has come to clear the way for younger blood in the PLO. According to Maqbul, those present at the meeting on Monday asked Abbas to delay his decision.
Palestinian commentators have been expressing varying opinions as to how seriously one should take Abbas’s declarations. Some say that despite his announcement, Abbas will run in the elections for the executive committee during the PLO Central Committee meeting slated for September 15. Others claim he really does intend to step down from the executive committee.
However, everyone agrees that for the time being Abbas will stay on as president of the PA and leader of the Fatah party. In other words, even if he does quit the PLO, the impact on the running of the PA would be minimal, at worst.
PreOccupied Territory: Abbas: I’ll Step Aside To Let Someone Else Pocket Aid Money (satire)
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told officials two days ago that he intends to quit politics entirely sometime soon in order to allow someone else to embezzle money from international donors and distribute it to cronies. Abbas, 80, announced his intention to step down as President of the Palestinian Authority, Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization Executive Committee, and Chairman of the Fatah faction within the PLO, to enable at least one other person to further enrich himself through graft and corruption at the expense of the Palestinian people. He stressed that history would judge him harshly if he held onto power until death instead of stepping aside so that younger, more energetic despots could have a chance at stifling dissent, collecting kickbacks, fomenting violence, stonewalling negotiations, and blaming Israel for all the resulting ills.
The Palestinian leader has threatened or announced intent to quit or step down before, usually in an attempt to pressure Israel with the prospect of having to assume more responsibilities and headaches in the territories now under Palestinian control. This time, however, Abbas appears more serious. Aides and potential successors are scrambling to handle both possibilities. Fatah official Nabil Sha’th, for example, recently declared no intention to vie for the PLO or PA leadership, then announced yesterday that he would be willing to succeed Abbas if the latter so desired. Other machinations have been occurring in less overt fashion, as would-be successors try to shore up their own positions while not appearing too eager for their erstwhile leader to leave. All, however, offered praise for Abbas’s stated desire to let other ambitious, well-connected Palestinians line their pockets with funds intended for development of the Palestinian economy, governance, rule of law, and transparency.
Few countries are as tolerant of gays as the Jewish state
This weekend, the French newspaper Le Monde headlined a full page story: "Being gay in Israel: a daily struggle." On closer inspection, it turns out that the exact quote from the interviewed activist was: "Being gay in Jerusalem is an everyday struggle." Beyond this manipulation of the headline, the deadly attack at the end of July on the Jerusalem gay pride parade raises legitimate questions.
I was in the procession of the gay pride, with an i24news microphone in hand, when 16-year-old Shira Banki was stabbed to death, almost right before my eyes, by a Jewish terrorist. My cameraman and I were among the first to film the unfolding drama. The pictures of the injured and the blood on the ground, according to some, shattered the image of an Israel tolerant of the LGBT community. An image that, as claimed by Le Monde, was actually designed for marketing purposes to avoid talking about the plight of the Palestinians.
Let us assume that this is, in fact, official Israeli strategy: "pink washing" - focusing on gays so as to avoid discussion of Palestinians. If this is the case, then all of Israel's communications experts had better change careers because just type the word "Israel" in any search engine and you will realize that what dominates media coverage is, of course, the armed conflict with the Palestinians.
However, the municipality of Tel Aviv highlights openly gay life in the city. And the reason is simple: gay tourism generates revenue. According to a deputy mayor who told me this in confidence a year ago, gay tourists are those who spend the most money. Better yet: they are loyal, returning year after year, accompanied by their friends who are also looking for nightlife and restaurants at which to spend their savings. So this has nothing to do with the "pink washing" denounced by pro-Palestinian activists from the BDS movement. They can rest assured that the Palestinian question is always asked, regardless of the number of gay events organized in Tel Aviv. Especially since many gay tourists also visit the Palestinian cities of the West Bank …
Anti-Israel Boycotts Haven’t Changed Israel’s Politics, But They’ve Supercharged its Music Scene
As an Israeli music lover, I get the sense that Israelis generally don’t get the message that their boycotters are trying to send. When artists cancel Israeli tour dates due to BDS pressure, is there an Israeli voter out there who lies awake at night pondering his personal political views? Did people stare longingly at their defunct Lauryn Hill tickets and weep, “Since you feel so strongly, Lauryn, I guess you’re right?”
Usually, I hear the opposite. When Pink Floyd comes on during our pan-Israel road trips, I say, “Wait… doesn’t Pink Floyd hate Israel?” “Just Roger Waters,” my boyfriend, a bassist and maniacal music fan, grumbles. “And Roger Waters is an old fart! Who cares what he thinks?”
So besides alienating Israeli fans, what impact does cultural BDS really have? There is one.
Israelis will come out, in droves, for anyone who does perform in the country.
Norwegian bank issues anti-Semitic credit card, says sorry
A pro-Israel advocacy organization demanded an explanation from a Norwegian bank after the company issued a credit card bearing blatantly anti-Semitic images.
The Hallelu Foundation, which aims to promote a positive perception of Israel around the world, came across the bank card after it was issued by one of Norway's largest banking firms, DNB, to an Australian national residing in the Scandinavian country.
The card features a centuries old trope of the hook-nosed Jew, wearing a kippah and a prayer shawl, rejoicing against the backdrop of gold coins. The DNB logo can be seen beside the image.
Upon hearing of the anti-Semitic illustration, the Hallelu foundation immediately contacted DNB's corporate staff.
The pro-Israel group passed the image to the company via email and within a short period of time received a response.
Jeremy Corbyn, John Rees and “Peace Process” Lies
Jeremy Corbyn’s one man Foreign Office act is ridiculous enough.
Worse are the lies rolled out in its defence. This one is typical:
I chaired a meeting discussing the future of the Middle East and the Middle East peace process. I have indeed met people with whom I profoundly disagree on many things in order to try and bring about a peace process.
Corbyn was referring to the now infamous “Meet the Resistance” conference, where he hailed the peace campaigners and social justice warriors of Hamas and Hezbollah as “our friends”.
Corbyn certainly didn’t seem to chalk up much peace mission progress at that conference. See this video, for example. It shows far left activist John Rees at the very same event. Watch Rees explicitly calling not for peace, but for support for terrorists, while keeping in mind the fact that Corbyn knows Rees well from the foul circles they both frequent.
Ahava bought by Chinese conglomerate in midst of BDS concerns
A Chinese business conglomerate has agreed to become the majority shareholder of the Israeli Ahava Dead Sea minerals cosmetics company for close to $76.5 million.
The final number of shares China’s Fosun International will buy has yet to be determined, but the company, mainland China’s largest private-owned conglomerate, signed an agreement to become the majority owner, Globes reported.
Fosun has been busy acquiring several overseas companies in the past year, and Globes reported that Ahava could be close to breaking into the Chinese cosmetics markets.
Ahava, which makes skincare products from Dead Sea minerals, has since June been considering moving its facilities from the West Bank, potentially in response to pressure from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which seeks to damage Israel’s economy for its policies against Palestinians.
The company, which has 25 percent fewer employees than it had in 2013, denies it is yielding to BDS pressure.
BBC: India Rape Sentence Story Championed by Amnesty International False
Something occurred between the man and woman, but Superintendent of Police Vidyasagar Misra could not find anything illegal.
“We believe that the woman went with the man willingly,” he stated. “But in our investigations we didn’t find any evidence that a village council meeting took place and order passed against anyone as reported.”
The BBC reached out to Amnesty International only to discover the human rights organization did not confirm the story before they set up a petition.
“We have not been on the ground, we have not visited the village,” explained spokesperson Gopika Bashi. “We still believe that whatever has occurred, regardless of allegations being thrown back and forth that it’s very important that the family is safe and the girls are safe.”
More BBC News rebranding of Munich Olympics terrorists
The current edition of the BBC News feature ‘This week in history’ includes the murder of eleven Israeli athletes at the Olympic Games in Munich in 1972.
As can be seen below, both in the synopsis to the clip appearing on the BBC News website and in the on-screen caption in the video itself, the BBC has once again avoided the use of the word terror, preferring to describe the perpetrators as “Palestinian extremists” and a “Palestinian extremist group”.
Dutch authorities advised chief rabbi to avoid train travel
Dutch authorities advised Dutch Chief Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs to avoid traveling in international trains last year.
Jacobs made the revelation on Sunday during a speech near the eastern city of Arnhem, days after an armed Islamist attempted to kill passengers aboard the Thalys train, which connects Paris to Amsterdam.
“The events illustrate the threat is real not only for Jews, but for all in Europe because we are in the same boat,” Jacobs told JTA ahead of the event, where 500 people convened to note the 40th anniversary of his years in service of Dutch Jewish communities.
The police advice was due to Jacobs’ official function, for which he often appears on television, making him easily identifiable, he said.
Auschwitz removes offensive outdoor showers after uproar
Following a storm of criticism, the Auschwitz Museum said it has decided to remove makeshift showers installed at the entrance to the site, but said the cooling sprinklers were not taken down due the offense that many took from the installation.
Administrators told the Hebrew-language Nana10 website that the water spraying pipes were no longer needed, as the local temperature had dropped.
On Monday Auschwitz dismissed criticism of its installation of sprinklers at the entrance to the Nazi death camp, saying they were put there for the health and safety of visitors during the summer heat, and that it was wrong to associate them with gas chamber showers.
The decision to install the sprinklers came in response to extreme heat afflicting southern Poland during the dog days of summer. Local temperatures recently soared to 37°C (98.6º F).
Israeli mom’s invention gets cerebral palsy kids walking
A Jerusalem child named Rotem was the inspiration for an invention that allows mobility-challenged little ones to experience walking, while tethered to an adult.
Rotem’s mother, musician Debby Elnatan, traveled to Ireland ahead of the April 7 launch of her Upsee product under the new Firefly brand of Irish company Leckey, and has been featured on ABC News, The Daily Mail, International Business Times and other media.
On April 1, 2 and 3, therapists and parents from around the world are welcome to join a live-streamed discussion on the Firefly website on how to use this mobility innovation to help children with disabilities experience the benefits of walking.
IsraellyCool: Dodge Brothers Star Commercial
Watch this emotionally loaded car commercial, shed a tear and then questions at the end.
Did you catch it? At 1:13.
From the Jewniverse site:
In 1900, Horace Elgin Dodge and John Francis Dodge founded the Dodge Brothers Company. The brothers were not Jewish, but their original logo looked a lot like the Star of David. It was a circle with two interlocking triangles forming a six-pointed star. An interlocked “DB” was at the center of the star, and the words “Dodge Brothers Motor Vehicles” encircled the outside edge.
One popular belief was that the symbol was chosen to anger their competitor Henry Ford, a notorious anti-Semite, though the Dodge Brothers Club insists it wasn’t so: they were friends at the time. Plus, the club points out, the “Star of David” was not universally linked to Judaism when the logo first appeared in 1914.
Experts Say Threats Against Israel Made Jewish State a Cybersecurity Superpower
Israel is at the center of global cybersecurity innovation, largely because the country has needed to constantly battle enemies on its borders, Fortune magazine reported on Tuesday, citing experts.
“The challenging environment Israel faces in the Middle East in the physical world has reflections also on the cyber world,” said Dudu Mimran, CTO of the Cyber Security Research Center at Ben-Gurion University in the Negev. “Security is a subject that can be taught theoretically, but nothing is a substitute for a real hands-on experience and we’ve got lots of it.”
Israel accounts for 10 percent of global security technology and sales of its security software reached $60 billion in 2014, according to Israel’s National Cyber Bureau. Fortune said that the country’s high-tech power is a result of innovation in Internet security, anti-virus software and other cyber defense technologies.
Israel’s cyber security expertise has evolved from the need to make sure Israelis can take on all types of threats, the publication said. The concern has become central to Israel’s governmental strategy and has turned the cyber security industry into a booming sector of Israel’s economy.
Intel’s ‘game changing’ tech another Haifa milestone, says firm
Intel’s Israel team has come through for the company again. On Tuesday, the company announced its most advanced processor ever, with Intel benchmarking its new Skylake processors at more than double the performance, triple the battery life, and with graphics that are thirty times better than the most popular computers in use today – the five-year-old PCs and laptops that sport a previous generation of Intel processors.
Israel has traditionally been an important development center for Israel, with local teams developing some of the company’s most important products – among them the Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge processors, which are in many of the computers currently in use. In fact, according to Intel, there are some 600 million computers in use today that are based on the five-year-old technology, and Intel would like their owners to upgrade.
The capabilities and performance that Skylake brings will provide that incentive to upgrade, according to Shlomit Weiss, Vice President of Intel’s Platform Engineering Group. Skylake is “a game changer, with capabilities and form factors that we couldn’t even imagine a few years ago.” Although teams from the US and India helped, the lion’s share of development on Skylake was done at Intel’s Haifa R&D lab.
Israel ranks 6th in global healthy life expectancy study
A new study on global healthy life expectancy shows that Israelis are among the healthiest people in the world and boast long life expectancy. An international team of researchers surveyed data for 188 countries to measure the quality of life in today’s world.
Japan, with a life expectancy of 73.4 years, is the country with the highest healthy life expectancy for both sexes, according to the study published in The Lancet weekly peer-reviewed general medical journal. The study shows a stark difference to the country with the lowest healthy life expectancy – Lesotho – of just 42 years.
Singapore and Andorra placed second and third respectively among the highest healthy life expectancies, followed by Iceland, Cyprus and Israel. Rounding out the top 10 are France, Italy, South Korea and Canada.
“The world has made great progress in health, but now the challenge is to invest in finding more effective ways of preventing or treating the major causes of illness and disability,” said Professor Theo Vos of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. The study was conducted by an international consortium of researchers working on the Global Burden of Disease study and led by the IHME.
Arabs who love Israel? This film producer wants the world to hear their stories
Issues pertaining to the Arab-Israeli conflict make headlines around the world on an almost daily basis, but American film producer Max Federman feels that there is a sore lack of positive stories about Israeli society in the media. He set about to change this, with a documentary called 'Working Together' that shines a light on Muslim Arabs who love their lives in Israel, delving into matters of employment and business opportunities, education, women's rights, security, health care, and freedom of religion and expression.
"This project is foremost about giving a voice to a narrative that is typically overlooked by the mass media," Federman tells The Jerusalem Post. "It's not about a political agenda or lofty ideals of peace; but rather about simply presenting the views of individuals who see the value of showing the world the day-to-day realities of coexistence in Israel."
"It's to give a point of view directly from an underrepresented people whose view is not shared with the world," he elaborates, adding that while people expect a US Jew to paint a positive picture of Israel, they don't expect it from an Israeli-Arab.


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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 12 years and over 25,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

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The Jerusalem Report:"A seemingly indefatigable one-man operation, armed only with a computer, chutzpa and stamina."

Algemeiner: "Fiercely intelligent and erudite"

Omri: "Elder is one of the best established and most respected members of the jblogosphere..."
Atheist Jew:"Elder of Ziyon probably had the greatest impression on me..."
Soccer Dad: "He undertakes the important task of making sure that his readers learn from history."
AbbaGav: "A truly exceptional blog..."
Judeopundit: "[A] venerable blog-pioneer and beloved patriarchal figure...his blog is indispensable."
Oleh Musings: "The most comprehensive Zionist blog I have seen."
Carl in Jerusalem: "...probably the most under-recognized blog in the JBlogsphere as far as I am concerned."
Aussie Dave: "King of the auto-translation."
The Israel Situation:The Elder manages to write so many great, investigative posts that I am often looking to him for important news on the PalArab (his term for Palestinian Arab) side of things."
Tikun Olam: "Either you are carelessly ignorant or a willful liar and distorter of the truth. Either way, it makes you one mean SOB."
Mondoweiss commenter: "For virulent pro-Zionism (and plain straightforward lies of course) there is nothing much to beat it."
Didi Remez: "Leading wingnut"

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