Saturday, January 30, 2016

From Ian:

Ben-Dror Yemini: The apartheid myth
Despite the slanderous propaganda against Israel, the Palestinians not only have a parliament, but also higher education institutions, a police force, security forces, a justice system and prisons. Is this apartheid? Thanks to Israeli rule, they're number 1 among university graduates in the Arab world. Is this oppression?
A Kabbalat Shabbat was supposed to take place at the Chicago LGBTQ conference last Friday, but it was canceled by the organizers, and after being hit with criticism from the Anti-Defamation League, the cancelation was canceled. Except that when the Kabbalat Shabbat began, hundreds of hooligans from the forces of progress barged in. It happened, among other reasons, due to the participation of a representative from the Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance, Sarah Kala-Meir. The cries of "apartheid" were joined with, as always, the leading slogan: "From Jordan to the sea, Palestine will be free."
The useful idiots, gays and lesbians donning keffiyehs, have never seemed more pathetic. After all, each and every one of them would have been thrown off a tall building, like a bag of potatoes, in nearly every single one of Israel's neighboring countries. But their problem is with Israel.
VIDEO: Ceiling collapses on Palestinians during funeral for Hamas tunnel diggers
Problems appear to be coming in spades for the Islamist group Hamas and its followers in the Gaza Strip.
During a mass funeral for seven Hamas operatives who died after the tunnel in which they were digging collapsed due to the heavy rains that pounded the region earlier this week, a number of Palestinians required medical treatment when the ceiling of a kiosk in Gaza City collapsed under the weight of a number of people who were standing on the rooftop.
The number of people injured was not confirmed. Medical crews rushed to the scene to administer emergency treatment.
The video was taken from Arab sources and posted by 0404, a Hebrew-language Internet news site.
BBC News sidesteps the real issues in Hamas tunnel collapse story
The BBC News website’s reporting of that story – in a January 28th article titled “Gaza: Hamas militants die in tunnel collapse” – focused readers’ attentions on factors other than the core issue of Hamas policies and actions which will inevitably lead to an additional round of conflict.tunnel collapse art
The article fails to adequately distinguish between the smuggling tunnels in the area of the Gaza Strip’s border with Egypt and the offensive tunnels constructed under the border with Israel.
“Palestinian militants have used tunnels on Gaza’s borders with Israel and Egypt to launch attacks on Israel, transport weapons or smuggle goods.”
Despite the fact that the tunnel in this particular story has no connection to smuggling, a relatively large proportion of the article is devoted to that topic.
Once again BBC audiences are steered towards the inaccurate impression that smuggling tunnels are a product of the “blockade” when in fact they pre-date the border restrictions. No effort is made to provide audiences with appropriate context concerning the fact that the restrictions imposed by Israel in 2007 came about because of Hamas’ terrorist activities.
Neither is any effort made to clarify the issue of how Hamas acquired the materials necessary for the rehabilitation of its network of offensive tunnels: an omission which is particularly glaring in light of the fact that the BBC has devoted considerable air-time and column space to the topic of the import of construction materials into the Gaza Strip since the end of the 2014 conflict.

Israeli teen lightly hurt in Jerusalem stabbing attack
A 17-year-old Israeli youth was lightly wounded Saturday afternoon in a stabbing attack at the Damascus Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem.
The Israeli was said to be lightly wounded in the back in the attack, which occurred on Sultan Suleiman Street at around 5:35 p.m.
Initial reports said two attackers fled the scene and were being hunted by security forces. Police later announced the detention of two minors, both residents of East Jerusalem, who matched the descriptions of the attackers. The two were handed over for interrogation.
Both are apparently aged 15, Channel 2 television said.
Magen David Adom paramedics administered emergency first aid at the scene of the attack before evacuating the victim to Hadassah University Hospital on Mount Scopus.
Edgar Davidson: BBC's ludicrous response to my complaint about its report on the murder of Dafna Meir
On 18 January I made a formal complaint to the BBC about its online report on the terrorist attack that killed Dafna Meir. My complaint was based on what I wrote here.
Below is the main part of the response (which failed to address many of the complaints I raised) from Brian Irvine. I have highlighted some especially dubious parts, but the most ludicrous is the whole paragraph in response to the complaint that the BBC never mentions Palestinians as being the perpetrators. Irvine's response is to deny this by pointing to a different report of a different terrorist attack - a report dated 8 days after my complaint - in which he says Palestinians were mentioned as being the perpetrators. So - no need to be accurate in a report so long as you can point to some different report which was accurate. This suggests the BBC's policy is to routinely fail to mention Palestinians as being the perpetrators in its reports of terrorist attacks by Palestinians as long as once in a blue moon this rather salient fact is mentioned (also note that the report he links to was the murder of Shlomit Kreigman - but you would not know this because Shlomit's name is never mentioned - another example, in fact, of the BBC's dehumanisation of Israeli victims).
Israeli minister grants unprecedented interview to Saudi news site
An Israeli government minister granted an unprecedented interview to a Saudi news site on Friday.
In a sign of warming, albeit unofficial, ties between the Jewish state and the House of Saud, Ze’ev Elkin, the minister of immigrant absorption, told the Elaph Arab-language web site on Friday that Israel continues to maintain the status quo at the Islamic holy places in Jerusalem.
Israel and Saudi Arabia’s shared enmity for Iran has created an opening for dialogue, although any communication between government officials is likely to remain secret as Riyadh does not formally recognize “the Zionist entity.”
“Jerusalem is relatively calm in both [the east and the west],” said Elkin, whose ministerial portfolio also includes responsibility for Jerusalem-related affairs. “The wave of incitement this past year generated a wave of terrorism that is almost over in Jerusalem and has spread to Judea and Samaria.”
“Anyone who visits Jerusalem doesn’t see anything abnormal,” the minister told Elaph. “Accusations against Israel of violating the status quo on Temple Mount are false, because the directives from the prime minister are to prevent Jews from praying in Aksa mosque, and this is because it’s against the law.”
France: We will recognize Palestinian state if talks deadlock persists
France warned Friday that it will recognize a Palestinian state if its imminent efforts to end the deadlock in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians end without result.
“France will engage in the coming weeks in the preparation of an international conference bringing together the parties and their main partners, American, European, Arab, notably to preserve and make happen the solution of two states,” Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said.
France, Fabius said, has a responsibility as a permanent member of the UN Security Council to sustain efforts to reach a two-state solution.
Should efforts to breathe life into the moribund peace process fail, France would move to unilaterally recognize Palestine as a state, Fabius made clear. “And what will happen if this last-ditch attempt at reaching a negotiated solution hits a stumbling block?” he said. “In that case, we will have to live up to our responsibilities and recognize a Palestinian state.”
Israel rejects French ultimatum: ‘This isn’t how one makes peace’
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius announced earlier in the day that France would shortly try to convene an international conference, with the hope of enabling new Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, but that if this effort reached a dead end, Paris would recognize a Palestinian state.
“And what will happen if this last-ditch attempt at reaching a negotiated solution hits a stumbling block?” Fabius said. “In that case, we will have to live up to our responsibilities and recognize a Palestinian state.”
Israel rejected the approach. “This is not how one conducts negotiations and not how one makes peace,” an Israeli official was quoted by the Hebrew daily Haaretz as saying.
An unnamed American official also cautiously rejected the French proposal, according to Reuters. “The US position on this issue has been clear. We continue to believe that the preferred path to resolve this conflict is for the parties to reach an agreement on final status issues directly,” the official said.
Abbas welcomes French statehood plan: ‘We will no longer accept occupation’
Speaking at a summit of African nations in Addis Ababa, Abbas blasted the occupation, settlements, and what he said was Israel’s seizure of Palestinian natural resources. He also accused the Israeli government of stalling peace efforts by the international community.
“We cannot accept the current situation, including the occupation and settlements,” he said, the Maariv website reported.
“We have to establish a sovereign state with East Jerusalem as its capital,” he said, according to the official Palestinian news agency, Wafa. “We won’t accept interim or temporary solutions.”
“We won’t return to negotiations just for the sake of negotiating and won’t continue to unilaterally implement previous agreements,” Abbas told the summit. Nor will the Palestinians “accept the theft of our natural resources, and the non-utilization of our lands or investment in them,” he said.
“The region will not enjoy security and stability unless the Israeli occupation and settlement activities end,” Abbas continued. “We will stay here on our land and in our homeland, where we have developed our historical and cultural identity and made humanitarian contributions for thousands of years.”
Report: Hamas naval commando dies at sea during 'jihadi mission'
Hamas affiliated media sources reported on Saturday that one of the group's naval operatives died overnight during a mission at sea opposite the Gaza coast, Israel Radio reported.
Palestinian media initially reported that the deceased was a fisherman who drowned when he fell off his boat.
Israel news outlet Walla named the commando as Hamdi al-Sultan, adding that he died while carrying out a 'jihadi mission.'
The IDF does not comment on incidents that occur outside of Israeli territory.
In September, Hamas announced that another member of its naval commando unit drowned in a training accident off Gaza.
AJC in Berlin urges change in Arab refugees’ anti-democratic values
Amid fears that Muslim refugees’ arrival to Germany may cause problems for local Jews, the American Jewish Committee in Berlin called for a national summit on ways to combat anti-democratic values among the newcomers.
“It is five minutes before midnight, but not yet too late,” said AJC Berlin director Deidre Berger in a statement published Thursday, which calls for holding a national summit on strict educational priorities for refugees.
Approximately 1 million migrants entered Germany in 2015; more than half have asked for asylum. A majority come from Syria and other Muslim countries. Watchdog groups in France and the Netherlands said immigrants who arrived from the 1950s onward and their descendants are responsible for most violent anti-Semitic incidents today, as well as increases in attacks.
Berger’s words echo the concerns of Josef Schuster, head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, who has asked for reassurances that Chancellor Angela Merkel would take Jewish concerns seriously.
War of words: Defeating the distortion of the IDF
My Truth, a group of volunteer IDF reserve soldiers who came together around half-a-year ago to combat the delegitimization of the army conducted by the radical leftist NGO Breaking the Silence, is gearing up to release a report on what actually goes on in the IDF.
One of the main directors of the group, Emanuel Miller, spoke with Arutz Sheva on Wednesday about the new crowdfunding campaign launched in recent days to realize the group's testimony project.
He describes the project as "a formal, comprehensive report, written in Hebrew and English, backed up with video clips, of statements from reserve soldiers about their experiences in the army. With the help of our volunteers, and together with you, we can make the project a reality and help show the real face of the IDF."
Donations to the project can be given here. With 40 days to go as of Wednesday, it is at 39% of its goal of 80,000 shekels (just over $20,100).
Israelly Cool: “My Truth” Breaks The Silence
My Truth, an organisation of IDF reservists who came together over the last half-year to oppose the demonisation and distortions being told about the army by Breaking the Silence, is planning to produce an unprecedented dossier about what actually goes on in the IDF.
Last year, after discovering that Breaking the Silence’s May 2015 report into Operation Protective Edge was filled with half-truths, devoid of context and obsessed over minor Israeli mistakes while neglecting to show the massive humanitarian efforts implemented by the IDF, one reservist by the name of Avihai Shorshan had enough.
Shorshan wrote a Facebook post that went viral overnight. Knowing that IDF soldiers endanger themselves to a large extent due to their requirement to adhere to a strict moral code, he began a Hebrew Facebook page called האמת שלי (HaEmet Sheli) to counter the misleading and damaging statements being told about the army and educate about the way the IDF operates. In just half a year it has already reached the European Parliament, garnered over 23,000 “likes” and representatives of the organisation have been interviewed in the Israeli media dozens of times.
Breaking The Silence is succeeding internationally mostly because of the international community’s willingness to listen to stories that harm Israel’s image. Because of this, My Truth faces an uphill climb and needs support to get the real testimonies out there.
Anti-Israel Groups Team Up to Attack Florida’s Anti-Boycott Legislation
A coalition of pro-BDS groups including Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA), Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) have partnered with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in a bid to defeat HB 527, and sent representatives to attend the appropriations committee hearing on Wednesday. According to the Sentinel, some members of SJP told the committee that the bill infringed on their right to free speech. However, as HB 527 does not outlaw boycotts of Israel, but rather establishes that tax-payer money should not be involved in such efforts, the committee rejected their argument.
The coalition also launched a website called “Stop Joe’s Bill” in an attempt to stop passage of the Senate version of the anti-BDS legislation, which is sponsored by state Sen. Joe Negron (R). The website describes BDS as an effort to “shed light on the apartheid conditions” faced by Palestinians, and features a video that calls Israel a “hyper militaristic paraiah state.”
The rhetoric echoes language routinely employed by many of the individual groups in the coalition, which have previously faced charges of whitewashing Palestinian terrorism and engaging in anti-Semitic discrimination.
“SJP and/or its members spend almost all of their energy demonizing Israel, advocating for its eventual destruction, showing an unfortunate affinity for pro-terrorist figures, bullying and intimidating pro-Israel and Jewish students with vicious and sometimes anti-Semitic rhetoric, and even at times engaging in physical violence,” wrote Daniel Mael in the October 2014 issue of The Tower Magazine, adding that the group previously sponsored an event featuring a known fundraiser for the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas.
Guest Lecturer Shouted Down by Violent, Anti-Israel Protesters on London Campus: Invite Me Back for Stand on Free Speech
The former Shin Bet chief whose lecture at a King’s College London student event earlier this month sparked a violent anti-Israel protest requested to be asked back, the UK’s Jewish Chronicle reported on Wednesday.
Ami Ayalon, previously head of Israel’s internal security service and currently a peace activist and fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute, was referring to the January 19 event, co-sponsored by the KCL and London School of Economics Israel Societies, which – as The Algemeiner reported — was disrupted by chants of “Free Palestine,” the throwing of chairs, the breaking of a window, the setting off of fire alarms and a physical assault on one of the organizers.
According to the JC, Ayalon said he should be invited “as soon as possible to show that a person like me can give his speech and open it to a debate… The response should be to show you can do it. In England, you can create such an event that will not be violent and the speaker will have the floor to present his ideas and everyone will be able to oppose his ideas and respond.”
LGBT community wakes up to the BDS evil among it
None of this is happenstance.
Physical intimidation is the key to recent BDS activity, with speakers being shouted down and disrupted. The twisted doctrine of “Intersectionality” of which anti-pinkwashing is one version, makes Israel — and Israel alone — the common link among unrelated wrongs and problems in the world. Intersectionality has become the intellectual foundation of the movement.
That the LBGT community is waking up to what BDS really is, is not surprising. It’s sad that is took an incident like this to make it happen.
BDS Doctors Who Prescribe a Poison Pill for Israel Violate the Hippocratic Oath
Seventy-one British doctors are the most recent group calling for a boycott of Israel. Last week, they signed a letter to the World Medical Association (WMA) requesting the expulsion of the Israeli Medical Association, alleging that Israeli doctors carry out “medical torture” on Palestinian patients.
According to Dr. Ze’ev Feldman, chairman of the Israeli Medical Association World Fellowship, “A boycott of the Israeli Medical Association would prevent Israelis from participating in medical conferences [and] publishing papers in journals, would halt funding of research and joint research endeavors, and prevent membership in other medical associations.”
Whether they are successful or not, other academic networks seeking to exclude Israeli academics from their associations, such as the American Studies Association, the American Anthropological Association, and others, aim to delegitimize and marginalize Israeli scholars. This is pernicious enough, but in the parlance of the medical profession it does no physical harm.
On the other hand, the expulsion of the Israeli Medical Association from the WMA, by hindering the “funding of research and joint research endeavors,” would slow down and/or prevent future medical cures from reaching not only the Israeli-Jewish population, but also the Palestinian-Arab population as well as the rest of the global population — which, incidentally, includes the boycotters themselves and their friends and relatives in the United Kingdom.
No, NLRB did not rule that unions could boycott Israel
The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) decided earlier this month that unions may “endorse” the boycott, divest and sanction (“BDS”) campaign against Israel without running afoul of the National Labor Relations Act’s (the “Act”) ban on so-called “secondary boycotts.” But the case did not affirm that unions actually could engage in the boycott, since that issue was not before the Board.
Nonetheless, some people inaccurately are spinning the decision as the NLRB giving BDS a green light.
The issue arose when the the United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers of America (the “Union”) passed a resolution endorsing BDS in August, 2015. The Union is self-consciously radical – its website calls for “aggressive struggle,” blames “bosses and bankers,” and promises that it is “Fighting for Workers’ Rights in the New World Order.” In addition to a slew of posts about BDS and “build[ing] solidarity” with Palestinians, the Union’s Political Action update opposes the TransPacific Partnership, defends Venezuela’s farcical “democracy” and effectively endorses Bernie Sanders:
Dozens of Italian academics call for boycott of Israeli universities
Italian academics have signed a petition calling for a boycott of Israeli universities due to their “notorious complicity” with the country’s “state violence.”
The petition, which was published Wednesday, is signed by 168 Italian academics from more than 50 institutes, including the universities of Rome, Turin and Florence, as well as the European University Institute. The campaign stresses its support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, calling the petition an act of solidarity.
In the statement accompanying the signatures, the campaign denounces “the utter lack of any serious condemnation” of government policy by the Israeli institutes since the creation of the state in 1948.
The petition singles out the Technion, Israel’s Haifa-based institute of technology, which it claims “is involved more than any other university in the Israeli military-industrial complex.” The institute, the blurb continues, “carries out research in a wide range of technologies and weapons used to oppress and attack Palestinians.” It gives as an example Technion research into tunnel-detecting equipment, which it claims is “developed specifically to maintain Israel’s siege on the Gaza Strip.”
Gay Saudi Man Sentenced to Death Really Hopes U.S. College Students Get Their ‘Safe Spaces’ (satire)
Mohammad Mansour, 28, is a gay Saudi Arabian man, which is ironic because he hasn’t been very happy lately. Mansour has been upset because he hasn’t slept well in days, and also, he’s currently being held in a Saudi prison on charges of engaging in “icky, gay stuff.” Though he’s attempted to reach out for help from human rights groups, Mansour recognizes that his case is most likely hopeless, as the world often has trouble criticizing the only country that leaks oil the way people who eat Chipotle leak Chipotle. The key to staying positive, says the Homorabian, is to focus on a cause. In this case, the cause is privileged American college students.
“It just breaks my heart when I see their feelings hurt,” Mansour said via a message given to The Mideast Beast by the prison. “All they want is to have spaces where nothing makes them uncomfortable. I respect that.” But, there are those who think that the situation is a lot like seeing a dog, dressed in his Sunday best, walking down the street on his hind legs with his person wearing the collar and leash – backwards. They even think that it’s a bit like having a superfluously long set up for a joke that’s mediocre at best – sad. These misguided souls seem to think that the students would be better served fighting for the freedom of people like Mansour, rather than pursuing the narcissistic goal of creating a feelings-condom to act as a prophylactic against insult-STDs. But it seems that these students, who in the context of history are among some of the most privileged whiners that have ever lived, are so full up of indignant self-righteousness that they can’t hear Mansour’s cries for help.
The drip drip of politicised geography on BBC Two
Throughout this month BBC Two has been showing a series titled ‘Immortal Egypt’ presented by Egyptologist Professor Joann Fletcher of York University. The fourth and final episode opened with footage of Fletcher in Alexandria, telling audiences that:
“This is about as far north in Egypt as it’s possible to get because out there is the Mediterranean. To my west is Libya; to my east – Palestine and Arabia….”
Libya does indeed of course lie to the west of Egypt but to its east, Egypt has borders with the Gaza Strip and a country called Israel – which the BBC has apparently found fit to inaccurately rebrand as ‘Palestine’.
Is Mart Green Video Gone Baby Gone?
What happened to the 2010 video Little Town of Bethlehem? Has it been taken off the market?
One can only hope.
In November, 2015 CAMERA published an article about Little Town of Bethlehem, written and directed by Jim Hanon. This ugly propagandistic movie was produced by Mart Green, heir to the Hobby Lobby fortune and longtime CEO of Mardel's, a chain of Christian bookstores that he founded. In the article, CAMERA highlighted some of the factual misstatements, omissions and distortions present in this movie.
One of the biggest problems with the movie is that it allows Sami Awad, executive director of the Holy Land Trust to tell viewers that “The First Intifada is a lot like the Civil Rights movement in the U.S.”
This is simply false. The First Intifada was marked by terrible acts of violence that would have been condemned by civil rights leader Martin Luther King.
Awad also tells viewers that unemployment increased during the Oslo peace process and that this increase was one of the contributing factors to the growing popularity of the terror organization Hamas prior to the Second Intifada.
In fact, unemployment in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank decreased during Oslo because of increased job opportunities in Israel.
Exciting Contest From The New York Times! Find the Factual Statement in Today’s Diaa Hadid Column! (satire)
Readers of the New York Times are in for a unique treat as the Paper of Record has launched an exciting contest. From now through the end of February, New York Times Middle East Reporter Diaa Hadid places one factual statement in each of her stories and challenges you to find it!
New York Times’ Reader Advocate Margaret Sullivan explained the contest. “Think of this as a ‘Where’s Waldo?’ of the Middle East, except instead of looking for a goofy dork in a striped shirt, you’re looking for something Diaa said that wasn’t hearsay, rumor, cock and bull story, or fantasy!” Ms. Sullivan continued. “This may stop us from having to provide disclaimers and editorial corrections to each of her stories…..Basically, it’s all about context. If we change the narrative from trying to spot the falsehoods in Diaa’s work to trying to find the real stuff, them that is a real win-win across the board.”
Intrepid Times readers who find the factual statement in a given article are entitled to their choice of an NPR totebag, a CD of James Taylor and Carole King live in concert from Tanglewood, or a $20 gift certificate to Zabars.
Pantera singer in Nazi salute storm unrepentant
The former frontman of influential heavy metal band Pantera gave a Nazi-style salute on stage at a star-studded Los Angeles charity concert and appeared to shout “White Power!”
A YouTube clip posted by an audience member showed singer Phil Anselmo raising his arm before seemingly making the offensive remark.
Anselmo, who has refused to apologize for the slur, was standing on a mostly empty stage at the end of a January 22 concert raising money for cancer research.
He had been performing Pantera covers with major stars including Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, who is known for left-leaning politics, and Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo.
Anselmo justified himself in the comments section on YouTube, saying the gesture was an inside joke after the band members had been drinking white wine.
Telemedicine kit lets parents skip germ-ridden waiting rooms
Your preschooler wakes up with an earache and fever. You tell your boss you’ll be late to work, wangle a pediatrician appointment, bundle up the sick kid, sit in a waiting room full of other sick kids, spend five minutes with the doctor, and leave with a prescription and/or orders to return for a follow-up exam.
All parents loathe this scenario, but Israeli dad and healthcare industry entrepreneur Dedi Gilad took the initiative to change it. His vision was a home telemedicine kit to help parents perform standard throat, ear, eye, skin, heart and lung examinations of high enough quality to enable a remote diagnosis by the child’s physician. And it would not be limited only to pediatric patients.
In 2012, Gilad and Ofer Tzadik founded TytoCare and spent nearly three years perfecting the technology and design. The Netanya-based company raised $18.5 million from investors including US drugstore chain Walgreens, and now is beta-testing its user-friendly kits for home and clinical use.
The telehealth platform and home kit includes a modular device with a stethoscope, otoscope and computer-vision camera, along with smart audio-visual guidance to the user. Exam results are transmitted to the patient’s chosen clinician via a HIPAA-compliant secure connection.
Israeli Mining Company Discovers Rare Minerals Near Haifa
Shefa Yamim, an Israeli exploration and mining company, announced that it has discovered rare minerals near Israel’s port city of Haifa.
A report prepared by geologist William Griffin of Australia’s Macquarie University examined the mineral samples of corundum stones sent to him by Shefa Yamim, which found the stones in several sites in the Kishon River. The corundum stones contain a variety of rare minerals, including Moissanite and tistarite.
“Until now, [tistarite] has been found on a single meteorite that came from outer space; this has been the first find in nature in nature of this mineral, whose source is deep inside the Earth,” Shefa Yamim said, Haaretz reported.
Almost half of the components found inside the corundum stones are not yet identifiable. Shefam Yamim’s shares went up 6.5 percent on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange following the company’s announcement on the mineral.
5 Israeli Tech Startups Crushing Their Overseas Competition
If your business is situated in Asia, Europe, or the United States, you already know that the high-tech industry in Israel is a force to be reckoned with — together, this past year, startups in Israel raised $3.58B, not including the 69 that were sold for $5.41B. In fact, according to a recent report by Geektime and Zirra, Israel leads the way (by far!) in investment dollars per capita. It’s not farfetched then, to claim that the high-tech startups and solutions bred in Israel are outshining their competition overseas, not just in terms of investments, but also in innovation and technology, as well. That said, here are six startups in Israel that China, the US, and Europe better watch out for this upcoming year:
Israel’s cyber sector blooms in the desert
A modern metropolis rising from Israel’s Negev desert stands on the front-line of a global war against hacking and cyber crime, fulfilling an ambition of the country’s founding father.
David Ben-Gurion famously said he wanted to make the Negev bloom.
Today, in the streets of Beersheba, a city of 200,000, his dream is taking shape in a form he likely did not anticipate.
Long a poor relation of hyper-modern Tel Aviv, Beersheba has traditionally been a refuge for poor, working class and Sephardic Jews of Middle Eastern descent.
But the city in the vast Negev desert of southern Israel has experienced a rapid gentrification since the start of the decade, during which middle class neighborhoods have expanded.
The real estate boom in Beersheba has been fueled by the city’s ambition to be Israel’s cyber capital, especially since the creation of its industrial park CyberSpark.
Two ultra-modern complexes house a dozen Israeli companies, start-ups, venture capital funds and foreign groups such as Lockheed Martin, Deutsche Telekom, Oracle and IBM.
Already, 1,500 technicians, engineers and researchers are hard at work.
Israel honours 10 Slovaks for heroism
Those five families joined 546 brave men and women from Slovakia and almost 26,000 people from all over the world who have received the designation.
The Embassy of the State of Israel in Slovakia published their stories during a ceremony taking place in Bratislava to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day. President Andrej Kiska attended the event.
“The stories are about ordinary people that never planned to become heroes and were unprepared to take risky decisions,” Zvi Aviner Vapni, the Israeli ambassador, said at the event. “They were ordinary human beings, but it is precisely their humanity that touches us so, and should serve as a shining example.”
WWII veteran: ‘No cure for anti-Semite, he is born with it’
As part of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Jewish World War II veterans were awarded with medals and certificates in recognition for their efforts in the war.
While more Jewish soldiers fought in the Allied armies than in the Russian army, the long-overlooked American Jewish WWII veterans finally received homage last year at the 70th anniversary ceremony held in Israel’s Armored Corps' Memorial Site – the Yad Lashiryon Memorial at Latrun.
However, since many of the veterans are over the age of ninety, they were unable to attend the ceremony in Israel.
Ninety-five-year-old Dan Nadel, past commander of Post 180 of the Jewish war veterans of the United States, spoke to Arutz Sheva at the award ceremony held on Wednesday by the Museum of the Jewish Soldier in World War II.

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