Tuesday, December 08, 2015

From Ian:

Caroline Glick: Answering John Kerry
Unfortunately, the Secretary of State's presented options are fantasies.
Finally, Kerry asked, “And wouldn’t Israel risk being in perpetual conflict with millions of Palestinian living in the middle of a state?” The answer is that Israel is at risk of perpetual conflict with the Palestinians and the Arab world as a whole for as long as the Arabs hate Jews. The millions of Palestinians living within Israel’s borders constitute a far smaller strategic danger to Israel than the millions of Jew-hating Arabs, who have terrorist armies, perched on its international borders.
At the outset of his remarks, Kerry explained that as far as US Middle East policy is concerned, “Our goal, our strategy is to help ensure that the builders and the healers throughout the region have the chance that they need to accomplish their tasks.”
Sadly, this is neither a goal nor a strategy. It is the sort of platitude you’re likely to find inside a Chinese fortune cookie.
If Kerry is interested in an actual strategy, he can fork out 20 bucks and buy my book.
Danny Dannon: Artificial wound of Palestinian refugees has festered too long
Every time Palestinian leaders sit down at the negotiating table, or give a public speech, they never fail to raise the plight of the 700,000 Arab-Palestinians displaced when they refused to accept Israel’s existence in 1948.
For too long, the State of Israel and the global Jewish community have done too little to memorialize and honor the other side of that story — the 850,000 Jewish refugees from Arab countries.
For many Jews, these are personal stories, family accounts told around the Shabbat table. It is now our duty to ensure that the world finally recognizes the stories of these forgotten refugees.
For over 2,000 years, places like Algiers and Aleppo, Tunis and Cairo, Aden and Tripoli and so many others across the Arab world were vibrant centers of Jewish life. The Jews in these communities did not always have much in the way of material possessions, but they were rich in culture and in the spiritual heritage of our people.
Douglas Murray: The left is to blame for the creation of Donald Trump
A few weeks ago I recorded a podcast with the American author and neuroscientist Sam Harris. He is one of the few people on the political left in Europe or America who recognises the problem of Islamic extremism and doesn’t mind talking about it. For this he gets – I think it is safe to say – more trouble than the average liberal left-wing west coast American might wish to expect. But his role on the left, along with Bill Maher, Dave Rubin and a very few others, is incredibly important not least because it should remind people that the great problem of our time does not have to be a partisan issue.
But the political left has a problem at the moment. In Britain it is – as I said here recently – unsalvageable, led by people who have spent their life tolerating and stoking anti-Semitic racism and whose track record shows them not only excusing our enemies but urging them to win. In America the left has not gone this rancid, but the wider political problem is in some ways even starker because in response to the political left failing to identify the problem, the political right has started going off.
The American left has a huge problem in the form of a President who refuses to name Islamist terrorism or identify where it comes from. His likely successor, Hillary Clinton, has the same issue. Of course the word-play this leads to may be perfectly well-meaning, and the desire to ensure that you’re not talking about ‘all Muslims’ when you use the term ‘Islamist’ for instance is a legitimate concern. But when you have 14 people being gunned down in America again apparently in the name of a specific extremist ideology, not identifying where it comes from becomes part of the problem, driving people on all sides mad with rage and making them wonder what else is being kept from them.
Which brings us onto Donald Trump. Last night Donald Trump announced a new ‘policy’ idea which would be to stop any more Muslims going to America. He would even, it seems, prevent Muslim Americans who are currently out of the country on their holidays, from returning home. This is – it need hardly be said – a back of the envelope policy. And it has already had the desired effect. The social justice warriors who mistake Twitter for real life, have been busily signalling their utter outrage at Trump’s remarks. Journalists have seized the opportunity (which the New York Times and others have been trying all along) to insinuate that Trump is in fact the new Hitler. The reaction is as ill-tempered as the original comment. But we should know how we got here.

Pro-BDS Prof Who Snubbed Israeli Girl Probed for 'Nazi Jews' Remark
A British Jewish academic who told a 13-year-old Israeli girl that she would not answer her questions for a school project until there is peace in Palestine is under police investigation.
The Cambridgeshire Constabulary has confirmed to the London-based Jewish Chronicle that it was investigating a complaint about a comment by archaeo-zoologist Marsha Levine. The former academic at the University of Cambridge who told the Jewish Chronicle in response to an interview about the girl’s request that “the Jews have become the Nazis.”
The Jewish Chronicle’s reporting of the email exchange between Levine and Shachar Rabinovitch of Zichron Yaakov, and later comments reportedly triggered a complaint to the police from the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism. The police are investigating the comments as a possible hate crime, according to the Chronicle.
Shachar Rabinovitch had sent an email to Levine last month asking for her help to learn about the early history of the horse and the use of horses by humans in ancient times, as part of a school assignment.
The Palestinians' Window of Opportunity Is Closing
Now the Israelis are trying to circumvent us by means of agreements with the Arab countries. They may not have much to offer the Arabs, except for advances in technology, agriculture and medicine, but now they all have a common enemy: Iran.
Our demands are the result of the greed of our leaders, who do not want a Palestinian state alongside Israel, they want a Palestinian state instead of Israel. Recently we openly exposed our desire to destroy the Jewish state. That is why we demand Jerusalem for ourselves, insist on the right of Palestinians refugees to "return" and threaten the Jews.
Like Hezbollah, we interpret Israel's political left as a sign of weakness and dissention. We all sense their hypocrisy, arrogance, disdain, and how they patronize us as if we were stupid. That is why the Palestinians have always respected the Israeli right: they always tell us the truth.
The Europeans attempt to weaken Israel with territorial concessions that would make it possible for the Palestinians to fire rockets at Israel's main cities and airport from the West Bank.
After seeing the results of their withdrawal from Gaza, the Israelis doubtless think one would have to be crazy ever to give up control of the border with Jordan.
Joel Pollak: John Kerry Touts False Idea of ‘One-State Solution’
Secretary of State John Kerry warned this weekend that without a two-state solution, a one-state solution would emerge that “is no solution at all for a Jewish, democratic Israel living in peace.”
Kerry, addressing the Saban Forum in Washington, D.C., was citing the tired talking point that without a two-state solution, Jews would be a demographic minority in the territory ruled by Israel, and that would lead to minority rule.
However, the scenario Kerry describes is based on faulty Palestinian demographic statistics.
Nearly ten years ago, scholars began debunking the Palestinian Authority’s demographic numbers, which assumed unreasonable rates of population grown, both due to immigration and birth rates. The demographic data were inflated precisely to create the kind of international pressure that Kerry is now applying, forcing Israelis into an impossible choice between security and democracy.
However, the repeated predictions of Palestinian numerical majority have failed to materialize because the numbers are wrong.
State Department denies calling out Abbas on incitement
The US State Department pandered once again to the Palestinian Authority (PA), backtracking on remarks noting the PA's incitement campaign against Israel and blasting Israel's "illegitimate" presence in Judea and Samaria.
During Monday's press briefing, State Department spokesman John Kirby denied that US Secretary of State John Kerry had accused the PA of incitement.
During Sunday's Saban Forum address, Kerry had said that "the Palestinian leadership should stop the incitement and condemn terror attacks."
He also specifically noted PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas's role in the incitement. "He made some very incendiary comments, which I called him on," he said. "I was very direct with him about the al-Aqsa Mosque [Temple Mount - ed.]. And there was some very inciteful comments made."
But Kirby denied this ever happened Monday.
Kerry’s 'Binational State' Slammed By Palestinian Authority, Hamas, Islamic Jihad
In interviews with Breitbart Jerusalem, the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad each rejected U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s assertion that Israel will become a binational state if the so-called two-state solution is not implemented.
That “solution” calls for the creation of a separate Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and eastern sections of Jerusalem.
Speaking at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, Kerry asked, “If there is a risk that the PA could collapse — and it is in Israel’s interest for it to in fact survive, as the prime minister suggested — should more therefore not be done to sustain it?”
“The one-state solution is no solution at all for a secure, Jewish, democratic Israel living in peace. It is simply not a viable option,” he added.
Middle East Analyst: Obama Will Leave Office With The Middle East In Ruins
For its part, the Obama administration has only itself to blame for being “an expert at making fatal mistakes in the Middle East” and showing “amateurism” and “ignorance” when dealing with the region’s problems.
President Obama’s “almost-obsessive focus” on pushing a settlement freeze has meant that Abbas now refuses to enter talks without a moratorium – something that was never discussed before Obama.
“The White House and the U.S. administration do not have anything to be proud of regarding the Middle East, including the Iran deal,” states Issacharoff. “The Iranian monster is stronger than ever and will harmfully influence the region.”
Ultimately, concludes Issacharoff, when Obama leaves the presidency he will also be leaving the Middle East in tatters, and for Israel the worst is yet to come.
Egyptian Novelist Youssef Ziedan: The Al-Aqsa Mosque Is Not Sacred to the Muslims or the Jews
In a recent TV interview, Egyptian novelist and scholar Youssef Ziedan said that the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Palestine is not the Al-Aqsa Mosque referred to in the Quran. Citing ancient scholars, Ziedan said that the Al-Haram Mosque and Al-Aqsa Mosque were "on the road from Mecca to Ta'if." "Neither we nor the [Jews] have anything to do with it," he said. "It's all politics." The interview aired on the Egyptian CBC TV channel on December 3, 2015.

Argentina Rewrites Ending of Alberto Nisman Documentary
The last word spoken in Los Abandonados, a documentary detailing the multiple investigations of the worst terrorist attack in Argentina’s history and the death of the prosecutor who believed he had found the truth, is “no.”
It is not an optimistic film.
Yet at its New York premiere, director Matthew Taylor expressed a palpable optimism impossible for the Argentine–and American–right-wing regarding the potential for justice months earlier. Since its premiere in October, Argentina has elected a right-wing president, who has vowed to cut ties with Iran and investigate the death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman. Nisman argued before he was found dead of a gunshot wound to the head that the leftist Argentine government had protected Argentine terrorists. There now exists a sense among those who wish to see justice that the revelations Los Abandonados details will have their day in court.
And what revelations they are. Los Abandonados begins its tale in Buenos Aires in 1994, at the site of the Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association (AMIA). A bomb has leveled the building, killing 85. The attack will remain the deadliest act of terror in the Western Hemisphere until the al-Qaeda attacks of September 11, 2001, storm New York and Washington, D.C. After multiple failed investigations due to sloppy work–following leads with little evidence, police blatantly disregarding pivotal evidence at the scene of the crime–Néstor Kirchner, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s predecessor and late husband, orders Alberto Nisman to take up the case. Nisman spends a decade researching the case and convinces Interpol to issue five red alerts against high-ranking Iranian government figures.
Los Abandonados Trailer_English

Anti-Israel activists attack progressive St. Louis Rabbi who supports #BlackLivesMatter
A controversy brewing in St. Louis progressive activist circles sheds light on how the anti-Israel movement’s effort to demonize Israel by hijacking the Black Lives Matter agenda is intensifying.
At issue is an offensive poster and cartoon featuring the image of a prominent St. Louis Rabbi Susan Talve. Both were circulated last week on social media by HandsUp United, a “social justice organization” based in Ferguson, Missouri.
The anti-Israel group Jewish Voice for Peace is supporting the effort to demonize Rabbi Talve, and the vile anti-Israel cartoonist Carlos Latuff has created a cartoon meme that is spreading.
This is all part of an effort to turn Black Lives Matters into an anti-Israel movement, an increasing focus of anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activists.
Targeting St. Louis Rabbi Susan Talve
Rabbi Susan Talve, who leads St. Louis’ Central Reform Congregation, is a well-known and nationally respected figure in St. Louis’ interfaith community and in the Ferguson protest movement. Last year, she was named one of America’s most inspiring rabbis by the Forward.
Israellycool: #BDSFail: Jewish Student Unanimously Beats Ethics Probe After Standing Up To Anti-Israel Protesters
The Judean People’s Front is proud to report that the latest BDS attempt to silence pro-Israel voices on college campuses has failed miserably!
On November 19 – the same day that Palestinian terror attacks killed 2 Israelis, 1 Palestinian and an American Jew – Students Allied for Freedom and Equality (SAFE), an anti-Israel group at the University of Michigan, erected a mock checkpoint on campus. While walking to class sophomore and Central Student Government representative, Jesse Arm, challenged the protesters.
The protest included students dressed as Israeli soldiers and two large walls with a dove in a sniper’s cross-hairs, a poorly drawn version of the map that lies and “TO EXIST IS TO RESIST” written in large red letters. Mr. Arm confronted the protesters about their provocative message questioning both the taste and timing of the event.
After this brief encounter, the Central Student Government, at the urging of SAFE, called for an ethics probe to determine if Mr. Arm should be expelled from the student government. Unfortunately for SAFE, their own video recording of the event (which has yet to be released to the wider public) was to prove their own undoing.
After watching the video, Mr. Arm was unanimously vindicated as it showed he did not engage in any form of intimidation, hate speech or aggression and despite the fact that it happened on the same day as a fellow American Jewish student was murdered by Palestinian jihadists, Mr. Arm conducted himself respectfully though forcefully.
The response from the Ethics Committee was unanimous, unambiguous and precedent-setting given that this was the first time an ethics probe had ever been initiated at the University.
(Unintentional) Pro-Israel Advocate Of The Day
Sometimes, some of our best advocates are on the other side!
Case in point: This anti-Israel student at McGill University, responding to materials pointing out the relatively high standard of living of Arab-Israelis, disseminated by Israelis who traveled to Canada for StandWithUs Canada’s WordSwap – a dialogue on the Middle East.
“What are you talking about? This is a propaganda! You cannot compare the minority in Israel with the Arab in other countries because Israel is a democratic state.”
Oh mystery student, thank you for pointing out Israel is a democracy among the dictatorship Arab states. A point well made!
Sparks fly: Rabbi Shmuley Debates Peter Beinart Over Israel Boycott Movement
In a debate about Israel’s future, the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, and the so-called peace process, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach locked horns with American Jewish author Peter Beinart in Tel Aviv on Sunday, the first night of Hanukkah.
Much of the debate, which was organized by the Tel Aviv International Salon, Globes Business Conference, and StandWithUs, contained references to the Hanukkah story, including overt comparisons of the Maccabees to the IDF.
Boteach, author of such titles as Kosher Sex and Kosher Jesus, represented the conservative side of the debate. He said that being a Maccabee was “a proud honor,” and labeled IDF soldiers and pro-Israel activists as modern-day Maccabees.
Beinart, author of The Crisis of Zionism and a professor at CUNY, claimed that the Maccabean victory could not last because of internal corruption, which, he posited, is not dissimilar to the corruption of modern-day Israel vis-à-vis its treatment of the Palestinians.
Beinart, who calls himself an avid Zionist, justified the boycott of goods produced in Jewish settlements and said that the only path to a viable peace was Palestinian statehood. Boteach argued that the motivations behind the BDS movement have nothing to do with Palestinian statehood and everything to do with anti-Semitism.
Shmuley Boteach: No holds barred: British Jewish students rally against silencing Israel
When I recently criticized a British Jewish student group for its failure to speak truth to power and the fear of some students to even speak about Israel, I knew I was kicking a hornet’s nest.
Far from provoking the wrath of my British hosts, however, I was pleasantly surprised to be inundated by emails and Facebook posts that offered examples of British and other students who unashamedly support Israel on their campuses.
I received an email from the co-president of University College London (UCL) JSOC (Jewish Society), the largest in London, who assured me that what happened at Kings would never happen at UCL or indeed at some of the other London JSOCs. He called what happened at Kings “an absolute disgrace.” At UCL, by contrast, he wrote, “the JSOC is actively Zionist, and co-hosts events with the friends of Israel society.” He admitted that students at UCL have sometimes raised objections, but “I told them many times that Israel is a Jewish state, it needs our support, and when they [Israel’s detractors] want BDS [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions] passed on campus, it’s an attack on all of us.”
Here are more responses: “You’ve hit the nail on the head again, Rabbi. Keep speaking the truth, no matter how uncomfortable it makes people. Your courage is so badly needed in these strange and dangerous times, and I thank you every day for helping me find the words.”
Israellycool: Heavy Metal Musician Ross The Boss: “We Love Israel”
Last week, I blogged about the Titans of Metal acts who ripped BDS and Roger Waters, ahead of their December 17th concert in Israel: Tim Ripper Owens in a video, and Ross the Boss in a post on Facebook.
Now Ross has come out with a video expressing his love and support for Israel, and refusal to listen to the BDSholes.
Do Feminists Have to Hate Israel?
The Daily Beast spoke with Janet L Freedman, who has been a member of NWSA [National Women’s Studies Association] for decades, and formerly served as the chair of its Jewish Caucus.
She has spoken out against the BDS endorsement, not only because of the resolution’s content but the way in which it was passed.
She attended the NWSA’s annual conference this past November in Milwaukee, where she felt organizers “were emphasizing a single point of view, which deeply troubled me.”
Still, Sharoni [resolution proposer] championed the NWSA’s vote to boycott Israeli institutions as part of “redefining feminism and putting solidarity with Palestine into that definition of what it means to be a feminist.”
The NWSA’s endorsement may, in fact, be a step towards redefining feminism, but it does not take into account the many people who support the right of both Israel and Palestine to exist in two separate states.
Its critics are hardly the realm of right-wingers. Jay Michaelson (a Daily Beast contributing editor) wrote in the Jewish Daily Forward, “BDS rhetoric distorts Israel’s motives, ignores Palestinian violence, singles out Israel unfairly and calls for destroying a society that many people love. Its supporters are often silent about bigotry within their ranks, and duplicitous as to their vision for the future.”
Women's studies and the moral vacuity of an academic boycott of Israel
Seeming to give proof to Orwell’s observation that some ideas are so stupid they could only have been thought of by intellectuals, yet another academic association—this time the National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA)—has followed the lead of the American Studies Association, the American Anthropological Association, the Asian Studies Association, and several others by ignobly voting to approve another academic boycott of Israel.
With the characteristic pseudo-intellectual babble that currently dilutes the scholarly relevance of the social sciences and humanities, the NWSA’s recommendation to approve a boycott announced that, “As feminist scholars, activists, teachers, and public intellectuals we recognize the interconnectedness of systemic forms of oppression,” that “interconnectedness,” no doubt, justifying the singling out of Israeli academics for their particularly odious role in the oppression of women in the Middle East. “In the spirit of this intersectional perspective,” these moral termagants continued, “we cannot overlook the injustice and violence, including sexual and gender-based violence, perpetrated against Palestinians and other Arabs in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, within Israel and in the Golan Heights, as well as the colonial displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians during the 1948 Nakba.”
Is it possible to understand Ben White’s view that the Guardian is anti-Palestinian?
Whilst some of White’s analysis is misleading – as it erroneously suggests that op-eds written by commentators born in Israel should necessarily be viewed as pro-Israel – the broader, unintended narrative which can be inferred from his op-ed, that the Guardian has taken a turn away from extremist pro-Palestinian voices (like White himself), is true. Additionally, the overall quantity of Israel related content published by the Guardian has declined, and they’ve even published a few official editorials about Israel and antisemitism which were surprisingly nuanced and even-handed.
So, why have the Guardian’s editorial decisions regarding Israel shifted slightly?
White hints at one possibility:
The Guardian is often accused of ‘pro-Palestinian’ bias by Israel and its supporters: over ten months last year, the paper received a complaint from the Israeli embassy in London on average once every 2-3 weeks (in addition to dozens by Israel advocacy groups and ‘monitoring’ websites).
There is, of course, a distinction between the paper’s on the ground reportage, and its op-ed pages. Yet the fact remains that, despite Israel’s anger at how the paper covers the issue, when it comes to the comment pages, Palestinian voices are marginalised.

Of course, one of the monitoring websites he’s referring to is UK Media Watch.
Though it would be a big mistake to overstate the degree to which the Guardian’s coverage of Israel has improved, we believe it’s undeniable that our insistence on holding them accountable to the accuracy clause of the Editors’ Code, our ‘naming and shaming’ of extremist voices published on their pages and exposes on antisemitic tropes licensed by editors has had a significant impact. Indeed, our name change from CiF Watch to UK Media Watch in part reflected the success in carrying out our original Guardian focused mission.
Reviewing BBC compliance with PLO media guidance
Early in November the PLO’s ‘Negotiations Affairs Department’ – headed by frequent BBC contributor Saeb Erekat – issued a guidance document to members of the international media titled “Key Points to Remember when Reporting on Occupied Palestine“.
Analysis of the document’s content falls outside our remit but has already been carried out by Dr Eran Lerman at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies. In this post we will take a look at the degree of BBC compliance with some of the PLO messaging laid out in that ten-point media guidance.
The PLO’s first point is titled “Israel occupies the State of Palestine” and journalists are told that “Israel is the occupying power and Palestine a nation under foreign occupation”.
Whilst the BBC stops short of describing the geographical areas controlled by different Palestinian factions as a state, it does describe them as ‘occupied’ – including the Gaza Strip.
BBC just cannot resist antisemites
Joey Barton is a convicted criminal currently playing for Burnley in the second tier of English football. He has never won any honours at football, and his footballing ability is restricted to being a vicious 'hard-man' on the pitch.
Last year Barton was a panellist on BBC's flagship political programme Question Time. Yesterday he was the guest expert on BBC's flagship football programme Match of the Day.
In case you are wondering why the BBC should be so enamoured with a person like Joey Barton it is important to note that after his criminal convictions and various other FA assault charges in 2012, Barton tried to reinvent himself as a working-class philosopher; and what better way to gain credibility than becoming an obsessive Israel-hater. The 'quality' of the thoughts and writing of this self-appointed Hamas spokesman can be seen here which includes antisemitic gems such as
".. those innocent children, women and men were being killed in Gaza because of a largely interpreted book that was written more than 2,000 years ago,...there are a group of Jews out there, with extreme beliefs, that think the Old Testament is all fact, which means that Israel belongs to the Jews and the Palestinians must give all of the land back to them".
And while on the subject of antisemites that the BBC just cannot resist from inviting on as experts, I note that they (and Sky News) are STILL regularly employing the good old-fashioned Arab antisemite Abdul Bari Atwan who made an antisemitic speech at LSE that was captured on video, and is also infamous for stating in 2010 that “If Iranian Missiles Hit Israel, I Will Dance in Trafalgar Square”.
Mayor de Blasio to Attend Chanukah Lighting After Manhattan Menorah Vandalized and Smashed
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is set to join the Upper East Side Chabad and nearby Kehilath Jeshurun for the second night of Chanukah lighting, a day after vandals tore down and smashed the community’s menorah in Carl Schurz Park.
Police are treating the incident as a hate crime. They have offered a $2,500 reward for any information leading to a suspect’s arrest.
“Obviously, it was a hate crime,” UES Chabad Rabbi Ben Tzion Krasniasnki told The Algemeiner on Monday afternoon.
Kranianski said it was the first such incident in the eight years the two synagogues have carried on the tradition of lighting the menorah in the park together.
NYPD sends elite units to arson-stricken Bukharian neighborhood
The New York Police Department has sent several elite units to a Queens neighborhood where several Jewish homes have been set on fire and has published surveillance video of the suspected arsonist.
The police announced Monday they are dispatching a Strategic Response Unit to Forest Hills to address the seven arson attacks there since October, The Daily News reported.
Seven fires, the most recent set Sunday, have targeted new homes under construction for Bukharian Jewish owners. According to radio station WINS, a rabbi owns the home torched most recently.
An estimated 50,000 Bukharians, Jewish immigrants from central Asia, live in New York, the vast majority of them in Forest Hills and adjacent neighborhoods. In Forest Hills,the construction by Bukharians of large, expensive homes, mostly on plots that once housed more modest residences, has sparked tensions with longtime residents in recent years.
Fleeing recession and violence, Brazilian Jews flock to Israel
For four years, llana Lerner Kalmanovich rode a hot and crowded bus three hours each day to reach the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, where she was pursuing degrees in physical education and nutrition.
Police raids into nearby slums, or favelas, often blocked the freeway, and stray bullets from gun battles with criminals were a constant threat. Even on the Federal University campus, the oldest and among the most prestigious in Brazil, Kalmanovich felt unsafe. Robberies were commonplace and, every now then, corpses were found in the nearby woods.
So in 2007, Kalmanovich moved to Israel. She had spent a whole year there a decade earlier on a youth movement program and fallen in love with the country. And though she holds German citizenship and could have built a new life for herself in Europe, there was never any doubt she would make her home in the Jewish state.
“Israel is the place where I feel at home, happy, among my people,” Kalmanovich told JTA. “We say ‘Shabbat shalom’ to the bus driver, to the garbage man, to the sales clerk. Everyone shares mostly the same social and economic level. We all celebrate the same national holidays. It’s like living in a huge kibbutz of 8 million people. Here I am the rule, not the exception.”
Kalmanovich is not alone. Immigration to Israel, or aliyah, from Brazil has more than doubled in the past four years, from 191 in 2011 to over 400 so far this year. The average growth in aliyah for all of Latin America in the same period was just 7 percent. Though it has approximately half the Jewish population of neighboring Argentina, Brazil has sent more immigrants to Israel for two years running. An estimated 120,000 Jews live in Brazil.
Elton John to Headline Life Festival Oświęcim, Near Auschwitz
On Sunday, Life Festival Oświęcim, a festival promoting “peaceful relations beyond cultural and state borders” and all that good stuff, announced that living legend Elton John is slated to headline the 3-day music event. Last year, Eric Clapton played on the final day of the festival, which is in the town of Oświęcim, the location of Auschwitz. In her dispatch from the 2014 show, Tablet contributor Ruth Ellen Gruber wrote:
The festival was the brainchild of Darek Maciborek, a well-known radio DJ who was born and still lives in Oświęcim. It’s one of the latest steps in [the town’s] ongoing struggle to redefine its role as a real, living city—and not just an appendage of the death camp where the Nazis murdered at least 1.5 million people, most of them Jews.
A month prior to his Poland show, John will perform in Israel, in Tel Aviv, reported The Times of Israel.
“Like everyone, I am shocked by the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and elsewhere,” John said. “In June, in Oświęcim, we’ll be celebrating life, peace, and music.”
Israeli tech to protect planes at Seattle’s airport
Technology developed by Israel’s Xsight Systems are set to protect planes at Seattle-Tacoma Airport from dangers on the ground and in the sky.
After tests and evaluation by the Port of Seattle, the airport’s contractor Leidos will install Xsight’s RunWize – a system that automatically detects runway “junk,” also known as FOD (Foreign Object Debris) and alerts pilots.
In addition, the system includes Xsight’s novel BirdWize system, which helps protect planes from flying hazards in the form of birds that get sucked into jet engines.
XSight uses hybrid radar and electro optical technology to detect objects on runways, with units installed together with runway lights ensuring that all parts of the runway are constantly monitored. When debris is detected, the control tower is alerted, and it can contact the pilots and hold up flights as necessary.
12 Israeli technologies transforming lives of the disabled
We’re used to talking about the Israeli tech ecosystem as the Startup Nation, focusing on the young country’s ability to quickly launch and scale innovative ideas and build companies from the ground up. Tech giants like Facebook, Google, and Apple understand the role the Startup Nation plays globally and they routinely acquire startups here.
What’s sometimes lost in the cool-whiz-bang-awesomeness of some of the startups coming out of Israel is the fact that some of these companies are dramatically changing lives. Israel has an entire tech sector dedicated to enabling the disabled. The impact Israeli tech has on people is almost biblical in nature: whether it’s helping quadriplegics to walk (and look their loved ones directly in the eyes or use their hands or move more efficiently) or the deaf to hear and the vision-impaired to see, Israel is a leading medical innovator.
Robots and drones get the gift of Israeli machine sight, via Intel
Robots that move around and do the heavy lifting, drones that drop off stuff you ordered on-line an hour before, self-driving cars, even self-driven vacuum cleaners that don’t bump into the furniture – it’s all part of the big technology revolution that 3D vision is on the verge of bringing to the world. And according to Igal Iancu, a senior manager on Intel’s RealSense 3D vision tech team, based in Haifa, none of it is going to be possible without a heavy dose of made-in-Israel technology.
“Israel is a hub of innovation in machine vision, chip development, and 3D technology,” Iancu told The Times of Israel in an exclusive interview. “Israel was the natural place for the development of RealSense, which combines hardware and software to bring human-like senses to personal devices, so they can experience the world like we do.
The idea of RealSense, said Iancu, is to enable devices to “see” in the same way humans do. “When we look at the world around us, our brains automatically build a 3D model of our surroundings,. They identify objects like people, animals, and pieces of furniture and figure out how big and far away they are. By introducing Intel RealSense 3D cameras, Intel is enabling devices to see like us, so they can understand the people using them and the world around them. This will allow us to interact with our devices in a much more natural way and have an immersive experience.”
Israeli airport makes Condé Nast Traveler top 10 list
Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion International Airport won fourth place in Condé Nast Traveler’s 2015 Readers’ Choice Awards for best international airports.
The influential travel mag had this to say about the airport designed by Israeli native architect Moshe Safdie:
“Named after Israel’s first prime minister, this airport’s highest score was for easy access from downtown Tel Aviv, nine miles to the north west. Known primarily for being one of the world’s most secure airports, 15 million passengers passed through here in 2014 and it has consistently won awards for best airport in the Middle East. The country’s national carrier, El Al, is the top dog here.”
Changi Airport in Singapore was No. 1 on the list.
IDF Blog: Five Inspiring Stories from the IDF
We are surrounded by wondrous coincidences, seemingly ordinary moments that wake us up from our routine lives. Whether it is meeting our true love or just a simple phone call, these moments can transform our lives. In the spirit of Hanukkah, we have collected five inspiring stories that have happened in the IDF over the past year.
A Miracle In Nepal
Magy, an 18-year-old dancer, was one of the first patients in the IDF field hospital set up to help those injured in the earthquake in Nepal. He was trapped under rubble for two days with a severely injured back, right hand and head trauma. No one thought he would ever be able to stand up by himself again. Three weeks and three major surgeries later, IDF medical staff watched as Magy stood up and started walking.
Lieutenant Colonel Martine Barhom, the officer responsible for patient intake and rehabilitation, was moved when she saw Magy walking again. “We all hugged him. He was our inspiration. It was truly a miracle,” she said.
Tibor Rubin, Holocaust survivor and Korean War hero, dies at 86
Congressional Medal of Honor winner ‘wanted the goyim’ to know Jews also fought for the United States
Tibor “Ted” Rubin, who survived two years in the Mauthausen concentration camp and then two-and-a-half years in a Chinese prisoner of war camp during the Korean war, has died at the age of 86.
Rubin passed away Saturday in Garden Grove, California. His death was attributed to natural causes.
Born in Paszto, a Hungarian shtetl of 120 Jewish families, Rubin was 15 when he was liberated by US troops, and vowed to repay his debt by enlisting in the American army after arriving in New York in 1948.
During the Korean War in 1950, Rubin single-handedly defended a hill for 24 hours against waves of North Korean soldiers to cover the retreat of his company.

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 11 years and over 22,000 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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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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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