Thursday, January 07, 2016

From Ian:

A great legal victory
The most important part of winning the five-year legal battle over the exclusion of Ariel University from participating in the 2010 Solar Decathlon Europe competition is the message it sends -- one cannot bar via illegal or immoral pretexts Israeli universities, including those located in Judea and Samaria, from participating in international contests and conferences.
Generally, it is not difficult to create academic cooperation between Israeli researchers and their international colleagues. This is true at Ariel University, where researchers academically collaborate with colleagues from dozens of universities worldwide, including in the U.S., Europe and the Far East.
The problems stem from the pressure certain governments put on universities and other academic institutions to avoid becoming involved in cooperative academic projects with Ariel University and other Israeli institutions. This pressure is often the result of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, which seeks to boycott Israeli activities in the realms of science, industry and agriculture, among others.
The danger here is that BDS pressure will prompt universities and academic institutions that initially had no reservations cooperating with Israeli bodies to be deterred from pursuing joint academic efforts with them.
The event in Spain demonstrated the danger Israel faces. The Technical University of Madrid, which organized the 2010 Solar Decathlon competition, had invited Ariel University to enter the contest, knowing the university was located in Samaria and having no reservations about it.
David Singer: David Singer: European Union Drowns In Sea of Inconsistencies
The European Union (EU) has concluded an unhappy 2015 with the introduction of racist and discriminatory labelling laws for Jewish goods and products originating from Judea and Samaria (West Bank) and East Jerusalem.
EU members Hungary, Greece and the Czech Republic have rejected these laws which have also been condemned in a bipartisan resolution presented to the US Congress.
The EU's Ambassador to Israel – Lars Faaborg-Andersen – has attempted to justify these labelling laws as being simply an expression of the EU's longstanding view that such designated territories are not part of Israel.
He omitted to state that EU policy will never support any part of these disputed territories becoming part of the State of Israel because the EU claims that Jewish settlement there since 1967 is illegal in international law.
However there is no binding legal decision in any Court that substantiates this EU claim.
IsraellyCool: Facebook Doesn’t Let Israelis Learn Truth About Jews
Here’s what’s going on. A number of years ago people reported a page on Facebook called “Jewish Ritual Murder”. It was also know as “The Truth About Jews”. It consistently ran the classical old blood libel that Jews, ordered by their Torah, kill non-Jews (especially children) and use their blood for various invented rituals.
Well this Facebook community did appear to go away. Certainly if you’re in Australia or in Israel, you can’t see their page. But if you’re in most of the Arab world you can. So how is this deception by Facebook helping anyone, when the people most likely to be incited to go out and stab a Jew can still see the lies, while those most likely to report it can’t see it? I don’t know.
Yesterday’s big video from Shurat Ha’Din has caused a stir for sure. My problem with all this is that policing hate speech vs incitement vs allowed criticism of religion is a very fraught area. All we’re learning from this, I believe, is that it can’t be done online and that the standards companies like Facebook have set for themselves can’t be met equitably. Unfortunately we’re getting into a trap where the speech deemed offensive by those who chop heads off, is censored whereas lies about Jews stay up because Jews don’t go on killing sprees about lies.
A quick note: blocking content by IP address to exclude it from certain geographies is not a perfect science. It is possible that some connections in Israel will see the community and Israellycool’s Aussie Dave can see this community from his internet connection without using the proxy service I used. Feel free to tell me in the comments if you can see this page or not.
Facebook hides the “Truth about Jews” but only from Jews.

Humanitarian Racists
Two recent developments serve to illustrate this trend. British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon announced that the UK government is drawing up plans to take Britain out of the European Convention on Human Rights. He explained that this was due to the over 2000 separate legal cases to date, which have been brought against the Ministry of Defense concerning actions of British forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. Fallon remarked that such cases inhibited the operational effectiveness of British soldiers, weakening their fight against terrorists through fear of being dragged through the courts by human rights lawyers.
Fallon also mentioned heavy costs to the government and thus the taxpayer: approximately 150 million pounds for inquiries and compensation, including cases filed from 2004 and amounts earmarked for new claims. The government is now working on a new national Bill of Rights to replace the European Convention.
A public investigation known as the Al-Sweady inquiry was launched in 2009 by the then Labour Government. It examined accusations that Iraqi civilians were killed and tortured by British soldiers in 2004. The investigation cost 31 million pounds sterling and found that the most severe allegations against the Army were deliberate fabrications.
Fallon’s statements shed light, by extension, on another issue – the attempts of several British lawyers to have certain prominent Israeli political and military decision-makers arrested on their arrival in the UK. It is now clear that these moves were just the tip of a large legal iceberg which threatens the United Kingdom.
Britain needs watch-list of Israeli 'war criminals', says Labour MP
The government must set up a “watchlist” of Israelis who have committed war crimes by detaining and interrogating Palestinian children, a Labour MP has claimed.
Sarah Champion said the Israeli Defence Forces were guilty of "mass intimidation and collective punishment" of Palestinians in order to protect Israeli settlers in the West Bank.
Leading a debate on the issue in Westminster Hall on Wednesday, the Rotherham MP called for a list of “all known war crime suspects” who attempt to enter Britain.
Ms Champion said: "The issue of transferring detainees en masse from occupied territory is a standalone issue because it is a war crime. It requires decisive action in accordance with our international legal obligations.”
'Human rights activist?, 'Exposed: Radical leftist gets PA to execute Palestinians
A group of nationalist activists has succeeded in infiltrating radical leftist groups, and exposed how extreme leftist activist Ezra Nawi passes information on Palestinian Arabs interested in selling land to Jews and has them executed by the Palestinian Authority (PA).
The PA has long outlawed the sale of land to Jews in Judea and Samaria, and has made no secret of its position of executing Arab sellers. Nawi admitted he knew that by passing the Arabs' names to the PA he was handing them a death sentence.
The expose regarding Nawi's role in it all was revealed by Channel 2 on Thursday, and is to be aired as an investigative piece in full on Friday in the channel's TV show "Uvda."
Nawi, who is mostly active in the southern Har Hevron region of Judea, was born in Jerusalem to Jewish immigrants from Iraq, and is a fluent Arabic speaker.
He was arrested several times in the past, including for assaulting police officers, and also served half a year in jail for statutory rape over his sexual relations with a 15-year-old Palestinian boy in the early 1990s. He has also been revealed to be a supporter of Hamas.
U.S. Promotes Fayyad as Potential Successor to Abbas, Palestinian Source Says
The United States has been promoting former Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad as a potential successor to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, a source in the Palestinian president’s office told Breitbart Jerusalem.
The source said Abbas’ aides are dismayed at Israel’s “relentless attempts” to spread rumors about his allegedly ill health, which have undermined his leadership and sowed divisions within the Palestinian administration.
At the behest of Israel and some Arab regimes, the source said, Palestinian Authority officials have called for the appointment of a vice president and in some cases for ousting Abbas entirely.
He also said that U.S. and EU officials have contacted PA officials to explore the prospect of a Fayyad presidency, even though he is not a member of the ruling Fatah party. Besides serving as prime minister from 2007 to 2013, Fayyad also functioned as the PA’s finance minister.
The Palestinian officials were told that Fayyad is the international community’s favorite candidate due to his uncompromising positions against violence and corruption, and for negotiations with Israel, the source said.
Abbas: Final decision on cutting relations with Israel next week
Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas announced Wednesday that the PLO would officially make a decision next week regarding the upholding of contractual relations with Israel, reported the Bethlehem-based Ma'an news agency.
Abbas made the announcement during a speech delivered in Bethlehem during Orthodox Christmas celebrations.
He reiterated past statements made by PA bodies supporting putting an end to agreements signed with Israel, notably the security coordination with Israel that was established through the Oslo Accords.
Despite threatening in September to stop coordination with his Israeli counterparts, Abbas has yet to make such a move.
East Jerusalem: Israel’s Puerto Rico?
Unlike the West Bank, east Jerusalem inside the security wall has a special status; a status that should be modeled after the ongoing relationship Puerto Rico has to the United States.
For many, the ongoing transition of the Israeli Arab population is the desired model. In the past decade, aggressive and sustained affirmative action government programs have dramatically improved their occupational and educational situation.
This has increasingly led the Israeli Arab populace to demand that its politicians shift from confrontational nationalism to constructive engagement through the legislative process.
Israel okays plans to build first new Druze town since ’48
Israel has approved a plan to build a new Druze town in the North. The plan, an initiative of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was approved Tuesday by the National Planning and Building Council, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office, and will be located near Tiberias.
Netanyahu said in a statement that it will be the first Druze town built in Israel since the state’s founding in 1948.
The town “will advance the Druze population economically and socially,” he said.
But the decision was met with criticism by members of the Druze community because the plot of land was formerly the location of two Palestinian villages before 1948, Haaretz reported.
Evangelical Brazilian senator: BDS wins if country rejects proposed Israeli envoy
Brazilian Senator Marcelo Crivella, who is also a prominent Evangelical leader of millions, declared that rejecting the appointed Israeli ambassador conveys a pro-boycott message.
“Rejecting the ambassador can convey a message that Brazil supports BDS. Leaving Israel without an ambassador won’t help anyone,” he wrote in an article published earlier this week by Brazil’s most influential newspaper, Folha de S. Paulo.
“Dani Dayan is a prepared diplomat selected legitimately by a friendly country. The fact that he defends settlements in the West Bank is a weak motive for such discourtesy and so much political inability,” he bitterly criticized.
In an unprecedented imbroglio, Israel is expected to withdraw the name of Dayan, a former settler leader, to be its ambassador to Brazil, ending a four-month diplomatic row. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tapped him to serve in Brasilia, but the Brazilian government remained silent on the choice to signal an official rejection of Dayan’s credentials.
Malaysia threatened with table tennis ban over Israel visas
Malaysia could be barred from hosting major table tennis events unless it gives Israel visas to compete in next month's world team championships, the sport's global body said on Thursday.
Judit Farago, CEO of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), gave the warning as the results of the Israeli team's visa applications remain undecided.
"If they deny visas, then Malaysia will not be awarded any world title events in the future by the ITTF," Farago told AFP by email.
"The problem has not occurred yet, if it does, then the ITTF’s executive committee will discuss the situation and try to find solutions."
Muslim-majority Malaysia has no diplomatic ties with Israel.
The Jerusalem Post reported last week that the Israeli team had yet to obtain visas, despite working with Malaysian officials for months to solve the issue.
Gerald Steinberg: The Issues Behind Israel's NGO Law
In this sense, the proposed legislation is similar in spirit and purpose to US Foreign Agent Registration Act (1938), and the rules adopted last year in the House of Representatives, requiring witnesses testifying before a committee in a “nongovernmental capacity” to disclose “the amount and country of origin of any payment or contract related to the subject matter of the hearing originating with a foreign government.” Such regulations seek to prevent foreign governments from secretive and undue influence over democratic processes, outside diplomatic channels. (No Washington Post editorial has compared Congress to Putin’s Russia).
Shaked’s proposal follows many earlier efforts and angry exchanges on the tens of millions of shekels given by foreign governments to radical Israeli NGOs. During the election campaign in early 2015, candidates and parties on the right sought votes by pledging to address the NGO wars. Recently, centrist politicians such as Yair Lapid and Michael Oren, and some on the left, have joined the criticism.
Although NGOs have always been significant actors in Israeli politics and society, in the past fifteen years, a network of about 30 groups claiming to promote human rights and peace have received large grants from the European Union and individual governments. The scale of this funding, with annual budgets upwards of $1 million, as well as the extreme secrecy and impact, are unique; there are no parallels in relations between democracies. Although the EU has funded a few U.S.-based groups that oppose the death penalty, and there are some other isolated examples, Israeli NGOs are specifically and intentionally targeted. Imagine the response if Europe were to provide $2 billion--the per capita equivalent--to fringe American NGOs focusing on controversial issues, such as abortion or immigration.
Why does Europe fund left-wing Israeli groups?
Breaking the EU funding myth
Critics often accuse the EU of giving money to groups they claim are hostile to the Israeli government or the army, such as Breaking the Silence, which publishes anonymous testimonies by former IDF soldiers regarding alleged human rights violations by the army in the Palestinian territories.
“We know that Breaking the Silence is funded heavily by the EU,” said Gerald Steinberg, the president of NGO Monitor, an Israeli watchdog group critical of the way Europeans allocate funds to Israel nonprofits. Breaking the Silence, he charged, is clearly associated with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The EU recently earmarked 236,000 euros (NIS 1 million) for a Breaking the Silence project entitled “Educating for Change: Human Rights Education in Israeli Society,” Steinberg said. But it is unclear how much of that money is really spent on educating young Israelis about human rights, since the group is very active abroad and hosts few events in Israel, he said.
Furthermore, the EU’s funding mechanism is too opaque, Steinberg, a political science professor at Bar-Ilan University, complained. The EU puts a lot of money in Israeli civil society but it is unclear based on which criteria funds are allocated, he said.
“The EU has to be more transparent and open up the processes of its NGO funding to the Knesset and the Israeli public,” he added. “How are these decisions made? Who makes these decisions, and what is their objective? It’s entirely a black box.”
Why is Israeli Democracy an Issue?
What explains the growing distress in the United States about a bill being debated in the Israeli Knesset? The controversial measure aims at forcing left-wing non-governmental agencies that get a majority of their funds from foreign governments and related agencies to essentially be labeled as foreign agents. The merits of the bill are, as I’ve written before, debatable, but the terms of that debate are predictably partisan as the country’s left-wing minority reflexively oppose any measure promulgated by the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu government. But as seems to happen with just about everything in Israel, minor kerfuffles are not only inflated into major issues out of all proportion to their actual importance. They also become excuses for foreign critics of the Jewish state to opine about its decline and eventual fall. No better example of this type of commentary can be found than a Washington Post editorial that ran last weekend about the NGO bill under the headline, “A danger to Israeli democracy.”
The piece follows the playbook being used by Netanyahu’s critics in which the bill is seen as not merely wrongheaded but an example of how the country’s center-right majority is eroding Israel’s democratic values. That’s become a staple of critiques of the Jewish state in recent years and has been sounded by left-wing groups like J Street and its cheerleaders in the press that believe Israel must be saved from itself. Such voices believe Zionism can only be rescued by foreign pressure that will force Israel to make more concessions to the Palestinians. More territorial withdrawals and the uprooting of West Bank settlements will, they think, magically create the peace the country needs. The fact that the Palestinians have repeatedly rejected offers of withdrawals and statehood in exchange for peace and that they used the Gaza withdrawal to create an independent state in all but name that is terrorist launching pad are treated as irrelevant. For the left, ideology trumps all, including such inconvenient facts that have led Israeli voters to elect Benjamin Netanyahu and his party in three consecutive elections with no end to their dominance of the country’s government in the foreseeable future.
Faced with a political position that seems to have made them a permanent minority since the collapse of Oslo, the left looks to its foreign cheerleaders to help them get their way. Part of that is in the form of pressure from the Obama administration that tried and failed to persuade the Palestinians to make peace with Israel. Part of it is the function of foreign governments that help fund left-wing groups including NGOs, whose primary purpose is to act as critics of both the Israel Defense Forces as they seek to defend the country from yet another Palestinian terrorist offensive.
Pro-Palestinians protest against Israel's Batsheva dance company in Paris
Pro-Palestinian activist groups released statement prior to the performance calling for members to protest
A few dozen pro-Palestinian activists tried to disrupt a performance by the Batsheva Israeli dance company in Paris on Tuesday night.
Several dozen protesters held a demonstration outside the Opéra de Paris, but a number of pro-Palestinian activists managed to get inside where they draped Palestinian flags and shouted anti-Israel slogans.
A number of pro-Palestinian activist groups released a statement prior to the performance calling for it's members to demonstrate against it.
BBC Trust’s ESC rejects complaint about Tim Willcox’s ‘Jewish faces’ remark
A complaint concerning a BBC programme which was flagged up in the CST’s report on Antisemitic Discourse in Britain in 2014 has been rejected by the BBC Trust’s Editorial Standards Committee.BBC Papers on website
“The Committee concluded that:
A reference by the presenter to ‘Jewish faces’ was not anti-Semitic in the context of a discussion about prominent Jewish people (donors to the Labour party). The presenter had been struggling for a phrase to sum up the group of people they were discussing in the heat of the live discussion, and had come up with Jewish “faces”. Trustees noted that the word “face” or “faces” was in common use as a synonym for a prominent person or people. Trustees considered it was clear that this was the meaning the presenter had intended the audience to take and that the potentially offensive meaning understood by the complainant, suggestive of a negative stereotype of Jewish facial features, would not have been intended; nor would the majority of the audience have interpreted it in that sense.”
The real significance of this ruling, however, is found in the fact that the BBC Trust’s Editorial Standards Committee obviously considers itself to have sufficient authority, knowledge and expertise to determine what is – or in this case, what is not – antisemitism even though one of Britain’s leading expert bodies on that form of racism has classified the programme concerned as an example of antisemitic discourse.
Year-End Globe and Mail Article Blames Israel for Ills in Region
While Martin passingly refers to "terror and vengeance...employed by both sides in the long-running conflict," he avoids any discussion of the myriads of terror attacks perpetrated by Palestinians against Israelis. By contrast, he takes the diametrically opposite approach regarding attacks by Jews, providing a litany of anything and everything he can possibly pin on Jewish perpetrators, from the pre-state Mandate era on, under the heading "Roots of the Conflict."
Since there are so few examples of Israeli terrorists or Jewish-perpetrated attacks, Martin is reduced to conflating non-fatal property attacks with those that resulted in death, and nationalistically-motivated actions directed against British and Arab in Mandate Palestine and during the 1948 war with religiously-motivated actions directed at the property of fellow Jews. Included in his list, for example, are an obscure and short-lived group of religious zealots in the 1950's whose attacks were directed at Jewish storefronts selling non-kosher meat. How exactly this contributed to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is never explained.
Hamas – designated a terrorist organization by the U.S., E.U., Canada, and other western countries – is described by Martin as a "militant Palestinian resistance movement" echoing their own self-description. And a recent attack by Hamas terrorists on a young couple in front of their children, the only specific example of Palestinian terrorism mentioned by Martin is labelled a "revenge attack" meant to "[remind] people of the unsolved Dawabsheh killings."
One of the tenets of the Canadian Association of Journalists Ethics Guidelines is to disallow one's "own biases to influence fair and accurate reporting." Mr. Martin's own biases, however, are on clear display in this one-sided and misleading analysis of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
The BBC Says Only Jews Can Be Terrorists, Not Palestinians
While those guidelines are controversial and considered by many to be unfit for reporting, they are ostensibly the basis for all BBC reports on the subject of terror attacks.
Nevertheless, we have often documented the BBC’s inconsistency in adhering to those guidelines on these pages, pointing out that they are applied in some geographical locations but not in others. We have also criticized the corporation’s use of coy euphemisms such as ‘militants’ or ‘radicals’ to describe members of recognized terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah, and its serial avoidance of using the word terror in reports on violent attacks against Israelis.
In our view, the BBC’s inconsistent application of those editorial guidelines and the resulting two-tier system of reporting is evidence of precisely the type of “value judgement” it supposedly seeks to avoid, and indicates that the choice of language when reporting acts of terror is subject to political considerations that undermine the BBC’s claim of impartiality.
If further evidence of those double standards were needed, it can be found in an article published on the BBC News website on January 3, under the title “Israelis charged over fatal West Bank family arson attack“.
There, not for the first time, readers found the words “Jewish terrorists” used not in a quote, but by the BBC itself.
JPost Editorial: Anti-Semitism in Europe
France and other countries throughout Europe are facing major challenges. The Euro crisis has sparked another bout of skepticism about the entire European Union project, which has led to the rise of right-wing parties in a number of northern European countries, including France. Further buoying this right-wing surge are the waves of refugees from Syria, Libya and other Muslim countries pouring into Europe who are seen by many Europeans as a threat to their socioeconomic stability and culture.
While it is true that the vast majority of anti-Semitic attacks are associated with Europe’s Muslim population, it is difficult to imagine far-right political parties, some of which with neo-Nazi or fascist roots, seriously and aggressively combating Muslim Jew-hatred.
Unfortunately, as The Jerusalem Post’s Jewish world correspondent Sam Sokol pointed out in an analysis this week, European nations currently lack systematic methods of collecting data on anti-Semitism. The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) noted in 2013 that this state of affairs was contributing to “gross underreporting of the nature and characteristics of anti-Semitic incidents that occur.”
Europeans have a moral obligation to take violent anti-Semitism seriously. An important first step should be to develop systematic methods for measuring the phenomenon.
There is no better time for this than now, as millions commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher attacks.
Analysis: European anti-Semitism likely to grow in 2016
European nations currently lack systematic methods of collecting data on anti-Semitism, contributing to “gross underreporting of the nature and characteristics of anti- Semitic incidents that occur,”the FRA said late last year.
“Incidents that are not reported are also not investigated and prosecuted, allowing offenders to think that they can carry out such attacks with relative impunity,” the organization stated.
The institution of reforms that allow law enforcement to effectively combat anti-Semitism is an essential prerequisite to restoring the confidence necessary for European Jews to continue living their lives on the continent.
There is no doubt that the most dangerous anti-Semitic attacks on Diaspora Jewish communities have been by Muslim immigrants or the children of Muslim immigrants.
The reluctance of European governments to clearly and unequivocally identify that problem as such is one of the major obstacles to prevention and treatment. The current influx to Europe of hundreds of thousands of Muslim immigrants will most probably only exacerbate the problem. In that respect, European Jews have every reason to be wary of the future.
Hungarian man faces jail for Holocaust denial on Facebook
A Hungarian man is facing a possible jail term over Holocaust denial comments on Facebook, a sentence handed down under a 2010 law banning public denial of genocides.
The man, identified in a court ruling as Norbert Juhos, 38, made the comments on Facebook last August in response to an article published on the social media site by a Jewish group called TEV (Action and Protection Foundation).
During a three-sentence expletive-rich tirade he used anti-Semitic insults and a term which questioned the veracity of the Holocaust.
According to the court ruling seen by AFP on Wednesday, the defendant was ordered to pay a fine of around 800,000 forints ($2,700/2,500 euros) or spend 400 days in jail.
Two far-right Czech politicians charged with supporting blood libel
Two far-right Czech politicians have been charged with incitement to hatred and defamation over a note they wrote supporting a 19th-century blood libel.
The police launched criminal proceedings against Adam Bartos and Ladislav Zemanek on December 20, and the charges were confirmed to JTA on Tuesday.
Bartos, chairman of National Democracy, and Zemanek, a party official, left the signed note last Easter at a memorial to Anezka Hruzova, a 19-year-old woman who was murdered in 1899. Bartos does not deny leaving the note.
In a case that became one of Europe’s most notorious blood libel trials, Leopold Hilsner was sentenced to death for killing Hruzova, which attorneys suggested was part of a Jewish ritual. Hilsner was pardoned after 18 years in prison but never acquitted.
Dr. Robert Berger, who discredited Nazi medical experiments, dies at 86
Dr. Robert Berger, an eminent cardiothoracic surgeon who discredited medical experiments conducted by the Nazis, has died.
Berger, a Holocaust survivor from Hungary who risked his life fighting with the resistance, died Jan. 1 in Boston of complications from a heart attack. He was 86.
The director of clinical research in The Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center’s Division of Thoracic Surgery and Interventional Pulmonology, Berger published his groundbreaking study in the May 1990 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine, challenging the continuing use of medical research on hypothermia conducted on hundreds of inmates at Dachau.
His study of the experiments at the German concentration camp in 1942 and 1943 made headlines at a time when the issue of unethically conducted research was a hotly debated subject. At the time, he told The New York Times, the data “cannot advance science or save human lives.”
These children finally have clean water at school
Volunteers from the Engineers without Borders (EwB) chapter at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology joined up with a rural community in northern Ethiopia to design and build a safe drinking-water system for their school.
The system collects rainwater from the rooftop during the rainy season and stores it in a stone reservoir constructed as part of the project. The water is cleaned and treated before reaching the school’s holding tank.
As a result, more than 600 students finally have access to safe drinking and washing water during the school day, all year long. The visiting Israelis formed an engineering club for older children at the school and trained them to be responsible for the maintenance of the system and treating the water.
Israeli-Designed $150 Million Dairy Project to Start in South Sudan
A large-scale dairy project will be built at a cost of $150 million in South Sudan, a country whose milk production is very low and mainly based on local farms supplying only local markets. The project is being designed by Alef Bet Planners Ltd. for Indian developers and it is expected to integrate several Israeli dairy companies.
The project, one of the largest on the African continent, is expected to include five dairy farms, each housing some 2,000 cows, attached to advanced milking parlors. Dafna Regev, Business Development Manager at ABP said planning the project has been a complex task, since it requires offering numerous solutions, especially in infrastructure: providing clean water, a reliable and continuous source of electricity, feed for the cows, imported or domestic, as well as a system that would facilitate moving and marketing milk and milk products across the country in refrigeration. The cowsheds will be furnished with cooling systems to ease the discomfort of the cows in the hot weather.
Over the past few years the Israeli cowshed model has been used successfully in many places around the globe, including China, the US and Russia. The largest Israeli dairy project to date was built in Vietnam and has ushered a revolution in dairy consumption habits in that country. The ABP connection with the Indian investors followed several dairy farm projects the Israeli company designed in past years in India.
H & M markets tallit look-alike scarf
H&M is at it again — they’ve made a scarf that looks remarkably like a tallit, or Jewish prayer shawl.
Racked is reporting that the fast-fashion retailer is currently hawking a beige scarf with black stripes on its website for $17.99. “H&M even incorporated its own version of tzitzit, the knotted fringe you’ll find on every tallit,” the story notes.
The Stockholm-based chain also has a matching fringed poncho for $34.99.
This isn’t H&M’s first foray into prayer-shawl chic: In 2011, they issued a similarly-styled women’s poncho. (Three years later, the brand was accused of anti-Semitism when it issued a tank top with a skull superimposed atop a Star of David.)
Tel Aviv Researchers Develop Innovative Therapy to Treat Incurable Blood Cancer
Tel Aviv University (TAU) researchers have developed an innovative system that may treat an incurable blood cancer.
A recently published study revealed that using RNA therapy can successfully stop the reproduction of cancer-related protein in white blood cells in both animals and samples from human mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) patients.
The research was led by Prof. Dan Peer of TAU’s Department of Cell Research and Immunology, and conducted by TAU Ph.D. students Shiri Weinstein and Itai Toker, in collaboration with Prof. Pia Raanani of Rabin Medical Center and Prof. Arnon Nagler of Sheba Medical Center.
MCL is known as the most aggressive blood cancer, and affects 3,000 Americans every year. The cancer has a survival rate of five to seven years after diagnosis, with limited systemic therapeutic drug therapies available.
Ebola can’t escape Israeli mobile isolation units
When an infectious pandemic hits – SARS, swine flu, MERS or Ebola, for instance – health officials in dozens of countries turn to the Israeli company Beth-El Industries for its IsoArk biological isolation units.
The line was first developed in response to a request from the Israeli Ministry of Health in 2002, as part of Israel’s national preparedness plan during the SARS pandemic. When the Ebola virus pandemic erupted in 2014, Beth-El’s isolation systems were ready to be deployed in hospitals, airports and field hospitals in Africa and around the globe.
Among the many countries that used IsoArk products during that crisis was Spain. The Spanish air force used a stretcher-based IsoArk unit to airlift a Spanish priest infected with Ebola virus disease to Madrid from Liberia. The product was specially designed to withstand a possible scenario of rapid loss of cabin pressure en route.
Israeli Debate Teams Achieve Record Showing at World University Championship
Israel has long been a force to be reckoned with in the world of competitive debating. At last year’s European Championship in Vienna, debaters from Tel Aviv University were declared victors in the English as a Second Language (ESL) category, while another Tel Aviv team reached the Open Final against native Anglophones from Scotland and Ireland. Last week, during the 2016 World University Debating Championship in Thessaloniki, Greece, members of the Israeli Debating League progressed deeper into the tournament than ever before in their quest to oust teams of native English speakers and capture the trophy.
The tournament in Greece marked a return to world debating for the Israeli league, after its exclusion from the previous year’s tournament in Kuala Lumpur because of the refusal of Malaysia to recognize Israel. At Thessaloniki, Israel was represented by 12 teams, each comprising university students. After nine rounds, it was announced that three Israeli teams had reached the “open break,” consisting of the top 48 teams (of nearly 400 attending) from across the world. Israel has thrice won in the ESL trophy in the last decade, but this was the first time that Israelis progressed to the runoff towards the Open Final at the World Championship against native Anglophone teams.
The Secret Jewish History of Frederick Forsyth
The latest book from Frederick Forsyth — author of bestselling espionage thrillers like “The Day of The Jackal,” “The Odessa File,” and “The Dogs of War” — is a bit of a departure for the 77-year-old author.
“The Outsider” is a memoir, and it turns out that Forsyth has led a life every bit as eventful as those of his fictional characters. Forsyth counts among his previous jobs RAF pilot, journalist, foreign correspondent, novelist, and occasional spy.
Forsyth was raised in Kent, on the southeast corner of England close enough to occupied France that he was briefly evacuated in 1940 to safety, away from what many feared was an imminent German invasion.
His father ran a fur shop. “Back then, before PC, every woman wanted a fur coat,” he told the Forward. “Even small towns had fur shops. The fur trade was dominated from the East End of London, the Jewish area, where the great fur traders from Leipzig who’d fled Hitler, had set up businesses.
Who should keep Iraqi Jewry’s archives, saved from Saddam, now on tour in US?
American special forces stormed the basement of the notorious Mukhabarat, the headquarters of Saddam Hussein’s secret police, shortly after the invasion of Iraq in 2003. And while they didn’t find the alleged weapons of mass destruction, nor the Iraqi dictator himself, what they did find was a rare collection of artifacts from the Iraqi Jewish community dating back hundreds of years, including a Hebrew Bible and Babylonian Talmud.
The collection was waterlogged and damaged, and the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq placed an urgent call to the United States National Archives and Records Administration in Maryland. With permission from local officials, the treasures were soon airlifted to the US in a special rescue operation.
At a cost of $3 million, the collection of over 2,700 books and tens of thousands of documents dating from the 16th to the 20th centuries has been preserved, cataloged and digitized. Today, some are being shown in an exhibition touring the US until they are ultimately to be returned to the Iraqi National Archives in Baghdad.
“There is no date,” said US National Archives exhibit director Lisa Royse about the exact time the collection is to be returned to Iraq. “[For now] they are willing to let us extend the archive’s time in the US.”
On the House Floor, Ros-Lehtinen Celebrates The Opening Of The Iraqi Jewish Archives In Miami

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