Wednesday, March 09, 2016

From Ian:

Israeli Arab Diplomat’s Lecture at UC Davis Disrupted by Chants of ‘Long Live the Intifada,’ ‘Allahu Akbar’ (VIDEO)
A talk by an Israeli diplomat at the University of California, Davis on Monday was disrupted by pro-Palestinian protesters, The Algemeiner has learned. After unfurling a large banner across the room, the demonstrators chanted “Long live the intifada,” and other slogans, then exited the premises.
George Deek, an Israeli Arab Christian, was speaking on “The Art of Middle East Diplomacy,” when some 30 people moved to the front and sides of the room, according to witnesses and video of the event.
Completely obscuring Deek from the audience, they unfurled an enormous banner across the front of the room that read “1948=1492,” referring to the years of the Israeli War of Independence and the year in which both Columbus discovered America and the Jews were expelled from Spain.
They then began chanting anti-Israel slogans. Upon their exit, they yelled “Allahu Akbar!”
Protesters Interrupt and scream at Israeli Diplomat with "Long live the Intifada" at UC Davis

Palestinian Bassem al-Tamimi lead plaintiff in suit against dozens of Americans for supporting Israel
A group of Palestinians led by professional provocateur and propagandist Bassem Al-Tamimi has filed suit against a slew of Americans, American businesses, American organizations, international businesses and Israeli entities. The Complaint is embedded at the bottom of this post.
Altogether nineteen Plaintiffs have brought claims against fifty-three defendants. Plaintiffs’ attorneys are Martin F. McMahon, a colleague in his law firm, and Sameer Jarrah, who claims a license to practice law in Jordan.
Al-Tamimi is a familiar figure. He is at the heart of LI’s ongoing battle with Ithica, New York’s public school system (where he encouraged third-graders to become “freedom fighters for Palestine”), peddles the blood libel that Israel harvests and sells Palestinians’ organs, and uses his own daughter (and other children) as props in his war against Israel
Shirley Temper’s Father/Terror Supporter Bassem Tamimi Has US Visa Revoked
Bassem Tamimi, terror supporter & enabler, and father/exploiter of “Shirley Temper”, has apparently had his US visa revoked, according to a letter he himself posted on his Facebook page.
In 2012, Tamimi was arrested and sentenced to prison for planning demonstrations in Nabi Salih, as well as “soliciting” others to throw stones at IDF soldiers as they attempted to disperse the weekly rallies. Later that year, he was again arrested, this time for an illegal demonstration in the car park of Rami Levy, a supermarket accessible to both Jews and palestinians. I am guessing he failed to disclose at least one of those.
Tamimi has just been in the news, leading a group in some anti-Israel lawfare: filing a lawsuit in a US federal court against Sheldon Adelson, Elliot Abrams, John Hagee and a range of banks, companies and NGOs “linked to the settlement enterprise and to alleged war crimes in the three Gaza wars.”
German bank teller refuses service to Israeli
A bank teller at Bank Sparkasse, one of the largest banks in Germany, refused to open an account for an Israeli living in Berlin, telling him that Israeli passport holders are under embargo.
As a result of Ynet's request for comment, the bank's management - after an inquiry that lasted two weeks - responded by saying it was an error done by the teller, adding: "All we can do is apologize."
The Israeli, Yakir Avraham, went to the bank's branch in the Alexanderplatz area of Berlin, and when he gave the teller his Israeli passport in order to open the bank account, the teller took the passport and went into another room to check it. She returned a few minutes later and said "I'm very sorry, but we cannot open up a bank account for you here. We aren't allowed to open accounts for citizens of countries under embargo."
"I was in shock at first. How did it get to the point that they treat us like lepers? I took my passport and left the bank," Avraham told Ynet.
Immediately after the incident on February 24, Ynet turned to the bank management asking if there was a specific bank policy concerning Israel, and what they meant by "a country under embargo." The bank clarified that there is no official policy, and it was simply a mistake made by the teller.

University College London Union votes to boycott Israel
The University College London Union has voted to boycott Israel, just hours after a series of terror attacks left one dead and many injured across the country, writes Justin Cohen.
Officers voted 14-4 for the motion which mandates the union to join the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign.
The vote followed a day in which the Friends of Palestine Society organised fake checkpoints at the university, manned by students dressed as Israeli soldiers, as part of what it called the ‘Palestinian Experience’.
Ariel Tamman, co-president of the Friends of Israel Society, said anti-Israel activity had become more “invasive” on campus and claimed the latest move would leave supporters of Israel on campus feeling “intimidated”. “It may lead to less Jewish students coming to UCL,” he told the Jewish News, saying his group would be writing to the university authorities over both the motion’s impact and the way the process was conducted.
Tamman claimed he had only become aware of the motion a few hours before it was debated, saying it had only been mentioned on the union’s website and no effort been made to flag it more prominently.
Anti-Israel Divestment Attempt FAILS at U. Minnesota
Supporters of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement had high hopes at passing a divestment motion at the U. Minnesota student government. Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) put everything they had into it.
The student council at U. Minnesota, however, was having none of it, and passed a motion to strike both the divestment resolution and a counter-resolution to declare BDS anti-Semitic.
This was similar to what happened at Cornell two years ago, when a motion to table was passed. This is the most devastating blow to the BDS because they don’t get to put on their multi-hour dog and pony show making false accusations for the cameras and their supporters. They don’t get to dominate everyone’s time.
Labour Oxford antisemitism inquiry told of fresh Jew-hate claims at second university
Labour’s investigation into allegations of antisemitism at a leading university has been made aware of similar Jew-hate claims at a second campus, the JC can reveal.
A complaint has been sent to Baroness Royall, who is leading the enquiry, about the actions of a candidate running to lead the London School of Economics’ students’ union.
Rayhan Uddin lobbied another candidate to drop out of the race, claiming that “leading Zionists” were trying to swing the election.
He has since apologised for his remarks, saying he was "deeply sorry to all those who I have angered or offended".
Mr Uddin, who is a vice-chair of the school’s Labour Society, and a Labour Party member, encouraged Samiha Begum to leave the contest to be general secretary of the LSE union.
IsraellyCool: WATCH: BDS Hate On Display At Wits University
This is what happens to you if you’re a Jewish kid and you try to defend Israel against BDS during Apartheid Week. Nope. It’s not Vassar or Oberlin. This time it’s Wits University in Johannesburg, South Africa.
As the young lady on the right rips apart the posters as the Jewish student tries to protect them by SITTING ON THEM, the female student makes a pronouncement:
“Under no circumstances will we allow Zionists to continue to bury women and children alive.”
Do you think she actually believes that is the case or is she just pretending? Because hey! In college, you know, you gotta have a cause. And what better cause than antisemitism. (Oops, did I just say that?)
#BDShate on display at Wits University

Manhattan JCC Hosting Event with Israeli Anti-Zionist, Communist Who Compares Law of Return to Nazi Germany
The Jewish Community Center of Manhattan (JCC) has announced that is is hosting a “conversation” on March 17th with Avraham Burg, a former Deputy Speaker of the Israeli Knesset who recently joined the Israeli Communist party and has declared that “Zionism is over.”
Advertisements for the event do not mention Burg’s extremist record since leaving Israeli politics.
In September 2003, as buses were exploding all over Israel, he wrote an op-ed titled “The end of Zionism” in The Guardian and in the French daily Le Monde which justified Palestinian terrorism. He wrote:
Israel, having ceased to care about the children of the Palestinians, should not be surprised when they come washed in hatred and blow themselves up in the centers of Israeli escapism. They spill their own blood in our restaurants in order to ruin our appetites, because they have children and parents at home who are hungry and humiliated.
In 2015 Burg declared yet again in Yediot Achronot, a major Israeli newspaper that “Zionism is over,” appearing to justify terrorists who kill Israelis.
IsraellyCool: Roger Waters Makes An Ass Of Himself Again
Rock’n’roll BDSHole Roger Waters recently appeared on a French Canadian program called Tout le monde en parle (pardon my French). Of course, his pet topic of Israel and BDS came up, and he did not disappoint, showing the kind of ignorance and aversion to the truth we have come to expect.
Note how when Waters speaks of Israel’s creation, he says it was done in the context of two states being suggested per UN resolution 191. This is hogwash – UN resolution 191 deals with Apartheid South Africa, and was passed in 1964 (the same year the PLO was formed, incidentally).
Waters no doubt meant UN resolution 181, and there is a reason why “there never have been” two states created per this resolution (as Waters decries) – the Arabs rejected it and launched a war of annihilation against the Jewish state! Of course Waters does not mention this pesky fact because, inconvenient.
Waters also mentions there being “no serious moves” to allow the palestinians to have a state. Besides UN resolution 181, there have been two other very serious moves – Ehud Barak accepting the Clinton Parameters at the Camp David Summit in 2000 (which Arafat rejected before launching the Second Intifada), and Ehud Olmert making an even more extensive offer in 2008, only to be turned down by Mahmoud Abbas. Waters makes mention only of the 2012 UN General Assembly vote to grant Palestine non-member observer State status at the United Nations.
Real Madrid to host young Arab survivor of Duma arson
Major Spanish football team Real Madrid will be welcoming an Arab boy whose family was murdered in an arson attack last year, the Palestinian Football Federation said Saturday.
Ahmad Dawabsha, 5, was the sole survivor of an arson attack on his family’s home in Duma, Samaria, on July 30 last year. Israel’s State Prosecution is reportedly set to charge four Jews in carrying out the attack.
The child lost both his parents, Sa'ad and Riham, as well as his 18-month-old brother, Ali.
Federation president Jibril Rajoub said in a statement that Real Madrid “sympathized with Dawabsha after a photo of him wearing the team’s uniform in his hospital bed went viral,” and agreed to host him later this month.
According to Bethlehm-based news agency Ma’an, the boy will be accompanied by two adult family members, as well as a representative of the Palestinian Real Madrid supporters club.
IsraellyCool: They Seek Him Here, They Seek Him There
It’s not just those Frenchies who are searching for a search box on the HuffPo.
A few days ago Dave posted a damning documentary about the execrable Huffington Post. That documentary made extensive use of the search facility on HuffPo’s website to prove just how slanted against Israel and Jews that organisation really is.
Just about every website and blog since soon after the beginning of the web has a search box. Israellycool has a great one.
Huffington Post used to have one. Today it doesn’t:
SaveTheWest’s debut documentary, “The Huffington Post’s Anti-Semitic Bias and Incitement During the Third Intifada,” was released on Monday, March 1. As shown in the video below, the film included several examples of searches we did using HuffPost’s own search engine, to demonstrate its bias against, and dehumanization of Jewish victims of Palestinian terrorism:
Analysis: Israel's next war with Hezbollah will be swifter and decisive
In the spirit of Ofer Shelah’s spoton book, Ha’ometz L’natzeach (The Courage to Win), the IDF is no longer satisfied with merely relying on the binary model – one which holds the option of either conquering all of the territory or waging a long, protracted war of attrition along the border.
In the spectrum that separates these two options, the army says it has found methods and actions that are supposed to bring a quick end to the fighting – this time with a result much more in our favor.
Gabi Ashkenazi, the former IDF chief of staff, often told his charges that in the next war it is forbidden to ask who won. This is the same spirit behind the plans drawn up by his successor, Gadi Eisenkot.
The word “victory” doesn’t appear there, but they do prescribe the need to register “a ringing achievement,” one that reverberates long after the fact, so much so that it would not begin the countdown to the next round of fighting.
The IDF high command is preparing a number of surprises for Hezbollah.
The next war will be a tough, painful one, and the hope is it won’t come to pass. But if it does, it is supposed to end differently than the most recent ones.
IDF can put Lebanon back 300 years if Hezbollah attacks, officer tells Saudi paper
A senior IDF officer told a Saudi newspaper on Monday that "the IDF could put Lebanon back 300 years and in parallel conquer the Gaza Strip and destroy all of its infrastructure." The officer told journalist Majdi Halbi of the Elaph news site that despite the IDF capability, the army is subject to the political echelon that in the officer's estimation will not order such action.
Regarding Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah's threat to target the ammonia plant in Haifa, the officer said Israel was prepared for such an attack and was aware that its strategic infrastructure could be cut off during a confrontation with the militant Shi'ite organization.
"The organization [Hezbollah] and its leader know very well what Israel's reaction will be, so it will not set out on such an adventure," he said.
The officer revealed that Israel sent messages to Hezbollah, via a third party country, warning it to think twice before attacking Israel and that it would regret the action.
"Just like what happened during the Second Lebanon War in 2006," he added.
Report: Special Tribunal for Lebanon to accuse Hezbollah of Hariri's assassination
The Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) is reportedly set to accuse Hezbollah of the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, as opposed to its original decision to try only four individual members of the terrorist organization for their role in the murder.
Diplomatic sources told the Kuwaiti newspaper al-Anba Monday that the STL has decided to revise its indictment due to additional evidence uncovered by the Special Tribunal prosecutor, which indicated that Hariri’s assassination was the result of central planning and not a private decision made by individual senior members of the Shi’ite terrorist group.
No official announcement has been made by the STL confirming the al-Anba report, and the STL did not respond to an inquiry on the issue.
The Lebanese tribunal started operating on January 16, 2014, trying in absentia four senior Hezbollah members for their involvement in the central Beirut car bombing.

Dennis Ross: Why the Nuclear Deal Hasn’t Softened Iran’s Hard-Line Policies
Iranians may want to reform and open up economically, but what’s become clearer since the nuclear deal was signed is that culturally and socially almost nothing has changed. Nor are these, or Iran’s broader policies, likely to anytime soon. The supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, continues to rail against “American influence” and engages in a war of words with the Saudis — and backs the aggressive use of Hezbollah and other Shiite militias to extend Iran’s reach throughout the region. It is Qassem Soleimani, the leader of the IRGC Qods Force, not the more moderate president, Hassan Rouhani, who shapes and implements Iran’s policies in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen, and the sudden granting of $7,000 to every Palestinian “martyr.”
True, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action may have strengthened Rouhani politically — or at least made him more popular with the Iranian public. Perhaps, that will mean something over time. For now, however, the key centers of power in Iran have not been weakened. If we truly want to see Rouhani and the more pragmatic constituency in Iran strengthened over time, we need to raise the costs to Iran for its destabilizing and threatening policies in the region — we need to show that what Solemani is doing around the region is costing Iran and blunting its future development.
Ironically, the recent elections offer more evidence of the limits of change in Iran. Weeks before the elections for the parliament and the Assembly of Experts, the Guidance Council — a body of 12 that determines who can be candidates — excluded nearly all those identified as reformers and moderates. Reports at the time indicated that out of 760 reformers who had registered to run in the city of Tehran only four were permitted to stand as candidates for parliament; in all of Iran, out of 3,000 who registered, fewer than 300 were allowed to run for Iran’s legislative body. And, yet when the parliamentary elections were held, the big story was that “the moderates had made big gains in the elections.”
Biden says US will ‘act’ if Iran missile tests confirmed
US Vice President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that the United States would take action against Iran if long-range ballistic missile tests Tehran said it carried out were confirmed.
“A nuclear-armed Iran is an absolutely unacceptable threat to Israel, to the region and the United States. And I want to reiterate which I know people still doubt here: If in fact they break the deal, we will act,” he said in Jerusalem.
“All their conventional activity outside the deal, which is still beyond the deal, we will and are attempting to act wherever we can find it.”
Iran fired two more long-range ballistic missiles on Wednesday as it continued military tests in defiance of US sanctions and fresh warnings from Washington.
Coming just weeks after the implementation of Iran’s historic nuclear deal with world powers, this week’s multiple missile tests were described by Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guards as a show of force in the face of US pressure.
Iran Threatens to Exit Nuclear Deal After Conducting Ballistic Missile Test
Hours after the Iranian regime breached United Nations Security Council treaties by test-firing ballistic missiles on Tuesday, the nation’s leadership has again threatened to walk away from the nuclear deal they had agreed to in July of last year.
According to Iran’s state-controlled Fars News Agency, Iran’s deputy foreign minister, Abbas Araqchi said, “If our interests are not met under the nuclear deal, there will be no reason for us to continue. What makes us remain committed to the deal is our national interests.” His comments were reportedly made hours after the breach was discovered.
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani had similarly threatened to walk away from the now-historic deal back in November.
The AP notes that Tuesday’s missiles launch took place during a military exercise and was carried out by the Revolutionary Guard. Iran first test-fired ballistic missiles this past October, violating international treaties and resulting in new U.S.-imposed sanctions on persons and entities with ties to the Iran’s missile program three months later.
Referring to the U.S. possibly slapping new economic sanctions on Iran as a consequence of Monday’s missile launch, Fars News quoted Araqchi as saying, “If other parties decide, they could easily violate the deal. However, they know this will come with costs.”
Nuclear Expert: “Incomplete” IAEA Report “Lacks Relevant Details” to Prove Iran’s Compliance
A former top official of the UN’s nuclear watchdog agency wrote on Friday that the organization’s most recent report on Iran’s nuclear program is “incomplete” and “lacks relevant details” to explain how it concluded that Iran is following the terms of the nuclear deal signed last year.
Former International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) deputy director-general Olli Heinonen, who is now an adviser to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, pointed out that the U.S. government “stressed that the [deal] depends on robust verification and transparency, making detailed reporting on Iran’s implementation of its commitments all the more important.” But last week’s IAEA report does not have an inventory of Iran’s uranium stockpiles—indeed, it has not provided uranium inventories since 2014, despite such information being “a staple of IAEA verification.”
According to the nuclear agreement, Iran was supposed to have no more that 300 kg of uranium enriched to 3.67 percent, and have no uranium enriched to 20 percent. Limiting the amount of uranium Iran has was essential to the administration’s claim that the deal kept Iran at least a year away from “breakout” to nuclear weapons capability. Excess uranium was supposed to be downblended or shipped to Russia, but specific information on how much enriched uranium was shipped to Russia was not included in the report.
The IAEA report also does not share how many centrifuge components Iran has. This information is necessary not only as a “baseline for further monitoring,” Heinonen wrote, but also because Iran could reinstall centrifuges it removed, or install new ones, shortening its “breakout time.”
IAEA Chief: Nuclear Deal Limits Reporting on Iran’s Atomic Program
On Wednesday, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency stated that the nuclear deal with Iran has limited the types of Iranian nuclear activities on which the IAEA is required to publicly report. When asked, at 16:07 in the video linked to, why the IAEA is “not giving enough details for the international community to follow the process and review” of Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal, the Director General of the IAEA, Yukiya Amano, explained that the basis for reporting changed under UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2231 and the December IAEA Board of Governors resolution. UNSC Resolution 2231 authorized the nuclear deal with Iran and replaced previous UN Security Council resolutions on Iran. Amano asserted, “as the basis is different, the consequences are different.”
The journalist’s question was prompted by several analyses by nuclear experts who observed that the IAEA was publicly reporting on fewer aspects about Iran’s nuclear program than previous reports, and that the IAEA’s first report on Iran’s compliance with UNSC Resolution 2231 provides insufficient information on Iranian nuclear activities that are pertinent to effective verification and monitoring. Aspects not covered in the report include the exact amount and forms of Iran’s 3.67% enriched uranium; the amount of near 20% low-enriched uranium Iran currently possesses (the nuclear deal mandates that Iran have none); the numbers and types of centrifuge rotors and bellows which are essential to calculating Iran’s breakout time; and whether Iran has given the IAEA appropriate access to certain sites under the Additional Protocol (AP).
Iran: Ayatollah Celebrates International Women's Day by Condemning Western Freedom
In observance of International Women’s Day, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei tweeted an image condemning the freedom women enjoy in the West as commodification.
Iran is one of the world’s most repressive nations for women’s rights. Women may attend college, but some prevent “female students from studying specific subjects, usually those concerning engineering and technology.” Husbands, fathers, and male guardians exercise extreme control over women’s lives; for example, a national female soccer star could not travel to an international tournament because her husband did not give her permission.
A woman must wear a headscarf and long overcoat if they dare step outside. If they refuse to do, so authorities can punish them. A man can prevent “his wife from working if he believes this would be ‘incompatible with the interests of the family or with his or his wife’s dignity.'”
Iran was far from alone in using International Women’s Day to claim to support freedom for women. The Cuban government, for example, observed the day through its state newspaper, Granma. The propaganda outlet boasted of the importance to women of the Revolutionary Armed Forces.
Iranian admiral says US ships ’cause of absolute evil’
An Iranian admiral blasted US warships in the Persian Gulf for doing more harm than good and said they are “the cause of absolute evil,” the semi-official Iranian Fars News Agency reported.
“We have been telling the Americans for years that their military presence in the Persian Gulf is not only damaging but also cause of absolute evil,” Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi said.
The naval commander made the comments at a ceremony in the northwestern city of Tabriz on Monday.
According to the report, Fadavi also claimed that an incident earlier this year in which 10 US Navy sailors were captured and held after their patrol boats strayed into Iranian waters was a plot to sabotage the nuclear deal signed between Iran and world powers. He did not elaborate.
U.S. Navy: Somalia-Bound Weapons Cache Came From Iran
An Australian frigate intercepted a Somalia-bound fishing dhow carrying thousands of arms that authorities believe came from Iran, NBC News reported Monday.
The HMAS Darwin intercepted the small vessel, which hid the weapons under fishing nets, nearly 200 miles off the coast of Oman. The Darwin is part of an international task force against smuggling and piracy that includes the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and others. The dhow’s crew was released as members of the task force only have the authority to intercept weapons, not to detain smugglers in international waters. The U.S. Navy believes that the crew was Iranian and that the vessel departed from Iran.
The seizure of the more than 2,000 weapons took place on February 27, but wasn’t made public until Monday. According to the Australian navy, the shipment included “1,989 AK-47 assault rifles, 100 rocket-propelled grenade launchers, 49 PKM machine guns, 39 PKM spare barrels and 20 mortar tubes.”
While the U.S. Navy originally determined that the arms were meant for Houthi rebels in Yemen, it later assessed that they were in fact headed to Somalia. The weapons were seized because of an existing embargo on shipping arms to Somalia. (Iran is also prohibited from exporting arms for the next five years, according to the terms of last year’s nuclear deal.)
In Texas county, GOP disavows sexist, Israel-bashing leader
The Travis County Republican Party Executive Committee publicly distanced itself Wednesday from its own newly elected leader and denied having any connection to “the notorious and offensive statements of its chairman-elect.”
During a meeting, the committee voted to adopt a resolution clarifying its position regarding Robert Morrow, who gained headlines after winning the record-turnout primary election.
Morrow’s obsession with outlandish, fringe conspiracy theories related to gay politicians, among other targets, and his anti-Israel expressions include calling the close relationship between Israel and Washington a “cancer” for the United States.
In a statement to The Times of Israel, the party resolved that while it “does not condone profane slander of Republican former or current elected officials” and “seeks to raise the level of public debate,” it also “hereby condemns and disavows all profane or slanderous statements made by newly elected Travis County Republican Party Chairman Robert Morrow.”
He is set to take office June 13, replacing James R. Dickey.
Intel acquires Replay Technologies to up its sports game
Intel has announced its buyout of Israeli startup Replay Technologies to re-invent the way people consume and interact with sports media. The price tag of the acquisition was not reported.
“More than ever, everything in sports is becoming digital and measurable,” said Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, in a blog post. “This will fundamentally change everything we know about the way athletes perform — and the arenas in which they compete.”
Replay’s proprietary freeD format uses high-resolution cameras and compute intensive graphics to let viewers see and experience sporting events from any angle.
Intel has collaborated with Replay Technologies since 2013. Most recently, the technology was used at the NBA All-Star Weekend.
February brought $665m to Israeli investment firms
The month of February has seen a number of new VC funds, and all signs point to another busy year in Israeli tech.
In early February, Catalyst CEL, in partnership with Catalyst Private Equity, announced a first Israel-China private equity fund of $200 million, with a focus on mid-to-late-stage Israeli startups in manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare and water, among other fields. And in mid-February, Russia’s Titanium Investments unveiled a $50 million fund for investing in Israeli startups, while the Israeli VC firm TLV Partners announced a new $115 million fund later in the same month.
In all, investment firms in the country received more than $665 million in new commitments in the first two months of the year.
It’s not just direct investments, either. Continuing the announcement extravaganza, Israel Secondary Fund launched a $100 million slush fund in early February.
Shock rocker Alice Cooper books Tel Aviv
Heavy metal rocker Alice Cooper Tuesday announced his “first ever” concert in Israel as part of his “Raise the Dead” 2016 tour.
While the June 16 date at Tel Aviv’s Bloomfield Stadium is not listed on the official Alice Cooper website, tickets are already being sold at the Leaan ticket website (priced from NIS 304 to NIS 1104).
A YouTube video featuring Cooper, who is 68, was published Tuesday, March 9, announcing the Tel Aviv concert, “after many years” of trying to get to Israel.
Cooper, a five-decade rock veteran, promises to play “all my hits, and all my classic tricks,” adding that “you never know what might happen. It will be an historic night.”

‘They All Survived for Me to Be Here’
A few years ago, Dustin Hoffman, now 78, was interviewed by The Forward in the run-up to the release of his directorial debut, Quartet. The Academy Award-winning actor talked about his “non-religious” upbringing, his father, who was an atheist, and how neither he nor his brother were bar mitzvahed. “Luckily,” he said, “we got circumcised, but that was about it.”
Joking aside, Hoffman said that he was subject to anti-Semitism growing up in the Los Angeles area. It made him “deny” his Jewishness.
During a long stretch of my formative, pre-teen years I lived in what I would call an anti-Semitic neighborhood. I got a few “dirty Jews” and got beat up a couple of times. It was substantial enough for me to always deny my being Jewish as I was growing up. If someone asked me what religion I was, I would pretend I didn’t understand the question. I’d say “I’m American.”
Despite his lack of Jewish upbringing, later in the interview Hoffman talks about his love for Isaac Bashevis Singer, borscht and vodka (influenced by his mother’s background, he says), and his Jewish sense of humor. Hoffman’s two sons and two daughters have all become a bar or bat mitzvah.
Apparently, Hoffman’s father hid details of his family’s roots, namely that of his great-grandmother Libba. The actor recently learned about his family’s past—and undeniably Jewish roots—on the Season 3 finale of Finding Your Roots on PBS Tuesday night, and the clip below is a beautiful scene to watch. “She was a hero,” said Hoffman.

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