Thursday, March 31, 2016

From Ian:

NGO Monitor: BDS Groups Encourage Congress to Curb Aid to Israel
On February 17, 2016, U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy and 10 members of Congress sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, advising him to open an investigation into “gross violations of human rights” in Israel and Egypt. The lawmakers cited Amnesty International “and other human rights organizations” in suggesting that Israel has carried out “extrajudicial killings” of Palestinian terrorists. Secretary Kerry was asked to determine if these killings would restrict military assistance to Israel, as per the Leahy Law. While the small number of signatories reflects the widespread rejection of this false claim in Congress, the media impact is significant.
Anti-Israel groups who collaborated on the letter
Multiple anti-Israel organizations contributed to the letter. NGOs involved in this campaign are involved in anti-Israel BDS (boycotts, divestment, sanctions), demonization and lawfare activities. As a result of their strong political biases and their methodological errors, these groups are not accurate sources of information.
- Amnesty International– Amnesty regularly publishes methodologically flawed, one-sided reports condemning Israel and accusing it of human rights violations.
- Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP)- JVP seeks to drive a “wedge” in the Jewish community over support for Israel.
- American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)- AFSC is involved in BDS campaigns on campuses and churches in the United States
- National Lawyers Guild– National Lawyers Guild, a Marxist organization, engages in anti-Israel “lawfare,”
Involvement of members of Congress in recent anti-Israel activities
- Nine of the signatories of this letter also signatories of a June 2015 letter to Secretary Kerry, claiming that Israel tortures Palestinian children during detention. The 2015 letter was organized by AFSC and Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCI-P).
Funding
- Eight out of the signatories receive funding from JStreetPAC, designed to help elect politicians sympathetic towards JStreet’s goals. (h/t Yenta Press)
Prize to ‘nonviolent’ wife of terrorist will not be rescinded
The British-based foundation that awarded a Palestinian Authority schoolteacher a $1 million prize for teaching nonviolence will not change its decision, despite revelations that the woman's husband participated in a horrific terror attack that murdered at least six Jews, reports the Associated Press.
The Varkey Foundation awarded Hanan al-Hroub of El Bireh its Global Teacher Prize two weeks ago, in a ceremony in Dubai. In selecting her, it cited her slogan "No to Violence" and her efforts to protect Palestinian schoolchildren from the effects of living in a conflict zone. The ceremony was addressed by Pope Francis via video link.
It has since been revealed that her husband, Omar, served ten years in Israeli prison after being convicted as an accomplice in the 1980 Beit Hadassah bombing attack that murdered six Jews as they approached Beit Hadassah in Hevron. According to an Associated Press account at the time, Omar al-Hroub was a chemist who provided chemicals needed for making the bombs.
An article in the Qatari newspaper al-Araby al-Jadid drew attention to his sordid past by praising him as a "freedom fighter...who took part in one of the most daring guerrilla operations in the occupied territories."
In a statement, the Varkey Foundation said it does not look into the conduct of candidates' relatives and that the teacher was committed to nonviolence.

IsraellyCool: The Ongoing Failure Of Global Journalism
And that’s it. Just a brief mention of her husband and specifically a mention that marks HIM as a victim of Israeli violence! Now we switch from the Washington Post to the efforts of Aussie Dave here on this blog. Five days before on March 18 he posted this piece: Hanan Al Hroub, Winner Of Global Teacher Prize, Married A Terrorist.
Oh, that’s interesting, the Washington Post didn’t mention that her “lawyer” husband has a terrorist past. I wonder how that slipped past them.
But this also piqued the interest of another Israellycool contributor (JPF) and he did some investigative journalism: also known as searching for stuff in Google. He published on March 29 but this is based on the Palestine Chronicle from March 17. He found that this Global Award teacher had the following in her biography:
Hanan Al-Hroub was born and raised in the alleys of Dheisheh refugee camp… She married a Palestinian freedom fighter, Omar Al-Hroub, who took part in one of the most daring guerrilla operations in the occupied territories, the Dabboya operation, in Hebron in May 1980. When the guerrillas were being pursued in the mountains they attacked a group of settlers going from the illegal Kiryat Arba settlement to the Dabboya building near the Ibrahimi Mosque. Thirteen settlers were killed, including their military leader in Hebron, and dozens were injured. Months after the operation, the guerrillas were captured; Omar was imprisoned and spent many years in Israeli prisons before being released. It was then that he met and married his life partner who became the best teacher in the world.
You see when you look at the Palestinian media, they’re PROUD of the fact her husband murdered Jews. This husband wasn’t released from prison because he was remorseful (of course) he was released in a prisoner exchange. A journalist might want to ask her and her husband directly how they feel about this. What messages does she convey to her students about “guerrilla operations” that kill Jews? But we don’t have many journalists any more.



PMW: Danish Ministry for Foreign Affairs ignores Fatah terror promotion in PMW report
Danish Ministry for Foreign Affairs never intended to reassess Fatah's status as moderate, even if it was proven that Mahmoud Abbas' movement is promoting terror.
Ministry states it "does not share PMW's interpretation" that Danish Minister for Foreign Affairs implied that were such evidence presented, it would be cause for Denmark to reconsider its assessment.
PMW presented report to Danish ministry documenting numerous examples of top Fatah leaders promoting and glorifying terror attacks against Israelis
"We have nothing more to contribute," ministry says when urged by PMW to comment on the specific examples of Fatah terror promotion. Ministry's official response to PMW was mostly a standard EU declaration, that ignores the reality that Fatah openly promotes terror, saying merely:
Denmark "firmly condemns the terror attacks and violence from all sides and in any circumstances. We call on political leaders to work together through visible actions to contribute to calm and address the underlying causes of the tensions."
Elliott Abrams: The British Royals and Israel–Again
I’ve written before in this blog about the British royals and their refusal to visit Israel, the most recent time here.
Now we learn that Prince Charles may visit Iran.
The story in The Independent tells us that
A Clarence House [the Prince’s residence] spokesman said: “The autumn tour is not confirmed.” But the newspaper source was quoted as saying: “The prince is very keen to visit Iran. He hopes he would be able to use his role as a diplomat to further encourage the relationship and dialogue between the two countries.”
Prince Charles is said to have a strong interest in Persian history….

Apparently the Prince lacks much interest in Biblical history, or at least enough to warrant visiting the lands where the Bible narrative took place.
The Mottle Wolfe Show: Roseanne Barr nails it, Trump starts imploding
Roseanne Barr was here in Israel this week to speak at the YNET anti-BDS conference. Also are we starting to see the Trump campaign imploding? He sure had a rough 24 hours.
New York Times Op-Ed Misleads on the True Nature of BDS
The New York Times op-ed about the BDS movement by Eric Alterman is at times both accurate and deceptively misleading. Yes, not all BDS activity at universities are antisemitic. Characterizing them as such, while many Jews promote BDS, is ridiculous. However, what Alterman fails to say is that the foundation of BDS is 100% antisemitic and anti-Zionist. The establishment and direct roots of BDS originated with the Palestine Liberation Organization, representatives of the Organisation of Islamic Conference, and Arab states, including Iran.
It is unfortunate that Alterman paints the Zionist Organization of America as “far-right Zionist,” while not referring to Jewish Voice for Peace as far-left, but rather as “pro-boycott.” He also negatively singles out Republicans, yet the fight against BDS crosses all party lines. Few, if any, have more articulately and passionately spoken out against BDS than Democratic New York City Councilman David Greenfield on the floor of the New York City Council, when BDSers raised a Palestinian flag.
Alterman’s parroting of BDS’ talking points (“brutality and self-defeating nature of Israel’s nearly 50-year occupation” and “goal of a peaceful, two-state solution”) without giving factual context or debate is inexcusable, and it falsely promulgates BDS lies. BDS’ founders and leadership have no desire for a two-state solution. Rather, they support a “One State Declaration” that will become one more Arab-majority state (with their demand for a right of return for millions more Arabs today than were living in the area in 1948). BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti himself has stated that there will be a “Palestine next to a Palestine.”
How Not to Be Silenced by ‘Breaking the Silence’ on Campus
For some, the members of the Israeli NGO calling itself Breaking the Silence (BtS) are “whistleblowers” and human rights activists; for others, they are a tiny group of dangerous messianists who tour the world promoting anonymous and false allegations of Israel Defense Forces (IDF) war crimes. The recent exposé on Israel’s Channel 2 showing how they gather sensitive and potentially classified information on IDF tactics and equipment — far removed from any human rights claims — increased the suspicion and hostility with which they are viewed by many Israelis.
This debate is important, particularly when some college students in the US are trying to push the BtS activists into Jewish and pro-Israel frameworks such as Hillel. In response, critics note that although BtS is a fringe group with a handful of activists, unfounded accusations against Israel feed BDS (the Boycott, Divestment Sanctions movement), demonization and other forms of political warfare. BtS speakers’ allegations seem persuasive simply because they are Israelis, have served in the military, and look the part of righteous whistleblowers.
In these controversies, the details appear to get lost, while vague ideological perceptions take over. BtS supporters —inc luding the CEO of the New Israel Fund (NIF), a BtS core funder — use shut-down techniques, arguing that valid criticism of the group is a “smear campaign.”
Berkeley's Tikvah: Students for Israel responds to hate on campus
From Tikvah: Students for Israel. at UC Berkeley. A poignant reminder of why checkpoints and security precautions are still needed in Israel

ALERT – NYU Grad Student Union BDS Vote Mid-April
We reported previously on the deceptive anti-Israel Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign at NYU, in which BDS supporters try to co-opt unrelated divestment movements, such as fossil fuel.
This campaign has now morphed into a boycott petition at NYU’s Graduate Student Union (GSOC-UAW Local 2110). Meanwhile the deceptive tactics continue.
This episode illustrates, yet again, the strategy of pro-Palestinian activists in taking over student governments and other associations and hijacking them for their own agenda.
If all goes according to plan, there will be a referendum on a Boycott and Divestment petition that includes a call for Academic Boycott and a call to shut down NYU-Tel Aviv). The referendum, open to all union members, is tentatively scheduled for April 18-22.
NY legislators demand suspension of CUNY pro-Palestinian group
Two Jewish New York state assemblymen have called for the “immediate suspension” of a pro-Palestinian student group from the City University of New York’s campuses.
In a letter to CUNY Chancellor James Milliken released Tuesday, Dov Hikind and David Weprin, Democrats from Brooklyn and Queens, respectively, demanded that Students for Justice in Palestine be suspended, saying they were responding to “several incidents that have left many Jews feeling fearful and intimidated,” according to a news release issued by Hikind.
Thirty-three other elected officials, Republicans and Democrats, signed onto the letter, in which Hikind described Students for Justice in Palestine as a “toxic” organization whose “true nature and belief” is “nothing short of the total destruction and elimination of the State of Israel.”
Earlier this month, the New York State Senate approved a resolution to cut $485 million in funds for the CUNY system, saying it was to “send a message” that the colleges were not taking enough action in response to alleged campus anti-Semitism.
The lies of BDS exposed yet again
Yet again, a spokesperson for the BDS movement is guilty of deliberately lying and completely misrepresenting the facts to advance this organization’s racist agenda.
By way of example, Kekana’s article claims that Jerusalem’s Christian population dwindled “from approximately 30,000 in 1944 to less than 11,000”. In her attempt to deceive her readers, Kekana’s article conveniently omits the relevant factors behind this dramatic change.
The facts are as follows:
- In 1944, the number of Christians living in Jerusalem totaled 29,400.
- During the period 1948 to 1967, the Old City of Jerusalem, home to Jerusalem’s Christian population, was under Jordanian rule. During this period, the number of Christians living in Jerusalem dwindled to 12,646.
- In 1967 immediately following the Six Day War, Israel declared the city of Jerusalem unified and guaranteed free access to holy sites for all religions.
- By 2012, the number of Christians living in Jerusalem had increased to 14,000.
- Since coming under Israeli rule, the freedom for all religions to worship at their holy sites in Jerusalem has been rigorously upheld.
Beating Swords into Law Books: A Review of “Lawfare”
Four of the chapters in the book document how the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, and sympathetic NGOs wage lawfare against Israel and how Israel defends itself. Kittrie notes that the threat of the PA waging lawfare against Israel is so acute that two years ago, “Israel decided to trade the release of dozens of Palestinian prisoners who had murdered Israelis in exchange for a nine-month respite from PA lawfare.”
One case mentioned in the book that has relevance to recent news events was Flatow vs. the Islamic Republic of Iran, in which a New Jersey title attorney, Stephen Flatow, teamed with litigator Steve Perles to sue Iran for the death of Flatow’s daughter Alisa. Alisa Flatow was killed in a 1995 suicide bombing carried out by Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a terror group funded by Iran. Flatow ultimately accepted a settlement based on seized Iranian assets, but only after he “received a personal commitment from Jack Lew that the funds he was being paid were being paid from the Iranian blocked assets and that no taxpayer funds were implicated.” Lew, now Treasury Secretary, was President Bill Clinton’s director of the Office of Management and Budget at the time.
But in January, apparently to get five American hostages freed from Iran, the Obama administration (for which Lew works) agreed to release $1.7 billion in Iranian funds, meaning that the 2000 settlement with Flatow and others who won judgments against Iran ended up coming out of taxpayer money. “We all believed that Iran would pay our damages, not U.S. taxpayers,” Flatow told Newsweek in January. “And now, 15 years later, we find out that they never deducted the money from the account. It makes me nauseous. The Iranians aren’t paying a cent.”
Van Damme de-Israelizes Facebook post
Jean-Claude Van Damme visited an Israeli kabbalah center for “spiritual guidance” in the wake of last week’s terror attacks in his native Brussels.
But when the martial arts star posted a photo of himself in a cap on Facebook with the caption “Shalom from Jerusalem, Israel!” he faced a wave of angry comments within minutes.
One user said “you should say salam from palestine” and garnered over 1,300 likes. Another said “Jeruzalem is not from Israel But from Palestina” and garnered 854 likes.
Others were more pro-Israel, including one who said “Israel loves u” and garnered over 4,700 likes.
Van Damme subsequently took out the words “Shalom” and “Israel” from the caption, which now reads “Hello from Jerusalem!!”
The BBC's militant tendency
Following the atrocities in Brussels, the BBC’s flagship News At Ten programme referred to the bombers as “militants” rather than “terrorists.” Initially, I thought this was a mistake. And then the BBC did it again, this time in the context of events in Syria and Iraq where ISIS is engaging in a wholesale massacre of the innocents.
How long had the BBC been referring to suicide bombers and beheaders as “militants”? I rarely watch the BBC’s news output, so I couldn’t be sure. Someone told me that it was part of the BBC’s style guide. But, I reasoned, the word “militant” suggests someone who is belligerent or combative, e.g. a militant feminist. Not so long ago, the trade union movement in the UK was described as “militant.” But neither feminists nor trade unionists are terrorists.
So I contacted the BBC. And I explained to them that the trouble with the word “militant” is that it falls short of describing an individual who engages in acts of extreme violence with the express aim of terrorizing – of invoking fear and submission in the general population. In response, a spokesperson for the BBC told me:
“The BBC has an obligation to be impartial, independent and accurate. We use neutral language to describe news events, particularly in complex situations where any appearance of bias would undermine our credibility.”
Credibility?
BBC programme with mistranslated Arabic nominated for award
Courtesy of the Jewish Chronicle we learn that Lyse Doucet’s programme ‘Children of the Gaza War’ which was broadcast by the BBC last summer has been nominated for a BAFTA award.
“A BBC documentary which substituted the word “Israeli” for “Jews” in its translation of interviews with Palestinians has been nominated for a Bafta.
Children of the Gaza War, which aired on BBC2 in July, followed journalist Lyse Doucet as she spoke to children in Israel and Gaza in the wake of the 50-day war. […]
At the time of its airing, Ms Doucet stood by the decision to translate “yahud” as “Israeli” in subtitles on her hour-long documentary.
The correct translation for “yahud” from Arabic to English is “Jew”.
The BBC’s chief international correspondent said that Gazan translators had advised her that Palestinian children interviewed on the programme who refer to “the Jews” actually meant Israelis.”
A quick and fun lesson for Indy editors: the difference between facts and opinions
A report at The Independent, by Ben Lynfield, on Knesset legislation which would allow for the suspension of sitting MKs was not particularly problematic – at least not by British media standards. The proposed law would allow the Knesset to suspend MKs (with a 90 MK majority) if they engage in incitement to violence or racism; support armed conflict against Israel; or negate Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.
Though the bill was inspired by the moral support shown by a few Arab MKs to the families of Palestinian terrorists who murdered Israelis, this law would apply to all lawmakers, not just those from Arab parties.
Though some British media outlets have predictably amplified voices characterizing it as a bill ‘targeting’ Israel’s Arab minority, the Indy’s headline accompanying their March 30th article fails to even minimally adhere to the basic journalistic requirement of distinguishing between fact and opinion.

Pakistan on the Mediterranean
From the beginning, Erdoğan has looked at the Syrian refugee crisis not as a humanitarian tragedy but an arrow in his quiver. Inside Turkey, he has offered Sunni refugees Turkish citizenship if they settle in Turkish provinces currently dominated by the Shi‘ite offshoot Alevi sect. And, whereas the world condemns ISIS “genocide” against the Yezidi, the Yezidi who sheltered in Turkey were then victimized, again, by local AKP-run municipalities who refused to provide services offered to Sunni refugees.
Allowing Turkey to choose which refugees to send to Europe and promising to eliminate visa restrictions for Turks only rewards Erdoğan for his behavior and gives him additional leverage in his dealings with the West. Nor is this the type of policy Erdoğan’s neighbors would support. Earlier this year, King Abdullah II of Jordan told Congress, “The fact that terrorists are going to Europe is part of Turkish policy and Turkey keeps on getting a slap on the hand, but they are let off the hook.” He added that, “radicalization was being manufactured in Turkey.”
Abdullah’s message fell on deaf in ears in Washington, Brussels, Paris, and Berlin. It is Erdoğan who has the initiative as he pursues the Islamicization of Turkey and neo-Ottoman imperialism. He has built a Pakistan on the Mediterranean: an incubator of terror that markets itself as the only available partner of the West, with tragic results.
Elliott Abrams: The Erdogan Visit to Washington
To welcome Turkey’s President Erdogan to Washington, a group of several dozen former officials, foreign policy analysts, and academics have written him an open letter. The letter can be found here, and signatories include two former U.S. ambassadors to Turkey and two former U.S. senators, in whose company I am happy to find myself.
The letter begins this way:
Within the past decade, many of Turkey’s friends here were optimistic about your country’s potential to become a vibrant and stable democracy as well as an increasingly strong and capable U.S. ally. The salutary role Turkey can play, regionally and globally, has been demonstrated by the hospitality your country has extended to millions of refugees. Recent developments in Turkey, however, are deeply troubling.
The letter notes Erdogan’s assaults on free media in Turkey, the recent turn away from negotiations toward violence regarding Turkey’s Kurdish population, and use of a such a broad definition of “terrorism” that it includes writing and speech by many peaceful lawmakers, academics, and journalists.
It can only be hoped that Vice President Biden uses his meeting with Erdogan to raise these issues and let him know how troubling they are to many Americans.
WATCH: German TV parody of Erdogan sparks diplomatic row with Turkey
Turkey's Foreign Ministry summoned Germany's ambassador last week over a satirical broadcast by German television station NDR, Spiegel magazine's online edition reported on Monday.
The ambassador, Martin Erdmann, was called to the ministry last Tuesday over the NDR broadcast on March 17 that featured a two-minute satirical song mocking Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, Spiegel Online reported.
The German Foreign Ministry declined to comment. Turkish officials could not immediately be reached to comment.
The report comes at a time when German Chancellor Angela Merkel is actively seeking closer ties with Turkey, a candidate for European Union membership, whose help she needs in tackling Europe's migrant crisis.
Song: Erdowie, Erdowo, Erdogan


Auschwitz survivor, Hungarian Nobel laureate Kertesz dies aged 86
Hungarian novelist and Auschwitz survivor Imre Kertesz, winner of the 2002 Nobel Literature Prize, died on Thursday at the age of 86 after a long illness, the state news agency MTI reported, citing his publisher.
Kertesz became a Nobel laureate for works the judges said portrayed the Nazi death camps as "the ultimate truth" about how low human beings could fall.
As a Jew persecuted by the Nazis, and then a writer living under repressive Hungarian Communist rule, Kertesz went through some of the most acute suffering of the 20th century and wrote about it in both direct and delicate prose.
He won the $1 million Nobel prize for "writing that upholds the experience of the individual in the face of a barbaric and arbitrary history," the Swedish Nobel Academy said when it awarded literature's highest honor.
In his work, Kertesz returns repeatedly to the experience of Auschwitz, the camp in German-occupied Poland where more than one million Jews and other victims of Hitler's Third Reich died.
Ceremony in Venice Marks the 500th Anniversary of the First Jewish Ghetto
On Tuesday night, at La Fenice theater in Venice, Italy, the world’s first ghetto was remembered 500 years after a 1516 decree from the Venetian Senate confined the city’s 700 Jews to a small gated island on the periphery of the lagoon. The event, said historian Simon Schama during his keynote speech, was a time to reflect on the ghetto’s dual role in both ostracizing and uniting Jews. “Our commemoration should be weighing in the balance of rejoicing and mourning,” he said. “History is not always a stroll down memory lane.”
During the ceremony, an orchestra, conducted by Israel-born Omer Meir Wellber, played Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 in D major, which washed over a number of luminaries in attendance, including Venetian mayor Luigi Brugnaro.

President of the Jewish Community of Venice Paolo Gnignati said the anniversary was an opportunity to “emphasize the capacity and steadfastness of a group that, in spite of adverse conditions, and against all reasonable expectations, succeeded in making the ghetto a place where Jewish tradition could grow.” He noted the ghetto’s five extant synagogues, the first printed edition of the Talmud, and the capacity to “to indomitably maintain [its] own strong and independent identity over the centuries, fostering cultural exchanges and influencing the surrounding society.”
It was vital to “remember all of this because of what is happening today in Europe,” added Ronald Lauder, the president of the World Jewish Congress. “Jews learned what happened when the world is silent and we learned it the hard way. When we face the past with complete honesty we actually create a much better future.”
Schama echoed this sentiment, saying it was “incumbent on Jews and non-Jews not to be silent” particularly in the wake of the Brussels attacks earlier this month that killed 35 people.
Gett buys UK black cabs
London’s “taxi wars” just got crazier as Gett (formerly Get Taxi) announced its acquisition of Radio Taxis, the British black cab company. Media reports cite Gett Western Europe managing director Remo Gerber saying the all cash deal is worth “several million pounds.”
“We are delighted to bring such a great business as Radio Taxis into the Gett family. Our aspiration is to provide our technology to their corporate customers,” Gerber said.
The Israeli company now has a fleet of 11,500 London licensed taxicabs, almost 50 percent of the black cabs in the city.
Gett’s buyout of Radio Taxis will give it control over Xeta, another black cab brand, and One Transport, a platform that gives businesses access to vehicles.
Rapper Wiz Khalifa to bring his 'reefer party' to Israel
Israel, get ready to be "under the influence" of Wiz Khalifa.
The American rapper and recording artist announced that he will be performing at Live Park in Rishon Lezion on June 25.
Khalifa, whose real name is Cameron Jibril Thomaz, is a prominent rap artist with numerous hit songs including "See You Again," which was No. 1 for more than two months this year on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Tickets for the show are available at wizkhalifa.co.il. This will be the North Dakota native's first-ever appearance in Israel.
Khalifa's show will be one of a number of star attractions set to rock the Holy Land in the coming spring and summer months.
Israeli companies to build smart city in Brazil
Three Israeli companies won an international competition to help create a pilot smart city in Brazil to house 20,000 residents of low socioeconomic status.
The startups won a challenge to develop high-tech solutions in security, landscaping and engineering for the future city called Croatá Laguna Ecopark in the northeastern municipality of Sao Goncalo do Amarante, the Brazilian Israelite Confederation announced Monday in its newsletter.
In most cases, the smart technology is fitted to existing cities, but the Brazilian government decided recently to try a different approach and build a smart city from scratch.
Twelve Israeli tech firms participated in the 3C Smart Cities Challenge held in Tel Aviv with cooperation from the Brazilian government; Italian group Planet Idea; the Tel Aviv University center for entrepreneurship, Startau, and the Israeli innovation center from global security conglomerate Tyco.
NYC’s phone booths 2.0 to be powered by Israel-developed VoIP
Phone booths are making a comeback in New York City – except that this time, callers won’t need a quarter to make a connection. Thanks to technology created in Israel by VoIP pioneer Vonage, those calls will be free, part of the new LinkNYC wi-fi and communications system the city has begun rolling out.
“We’ve been working with New York for the past two years to implement this,” said Sagi Duda’i, head of Vonage Israel. “Previously we were best known for our consumer applications and communications service, but we have in the past several years concentrated on the business market, and one of the results is our role in this very ambitious program by New York City.”
The free calls are part of LinkNYC’s first-of-its-kind communications network to replace over 7,500 payphones across the city’s five boroughs with new structures called Links. Each Link will provide fast, free public wi-fi, device charging and a tablet for Internet browsing, access to city services, maps and directions, as well as phone calls.
Dubai woman delivers baby in Israel, names him after IDF officer who helped her
An Arab woman who delivered her baby at the Israeli-Jordanian border crossing on Tuesday named the infant after the IDF officer who helped her give birth.
The woman, heading from Dubai to the West Bank, arrived at Allenby border crossing when suddenly she started feeling contractions. An Israeli IDF officer who was present at the scene gave her initial medical treatment at the border crossing, after which he accompanied her to a hospital in Jericho.
The woman was so thankful to the Israeli, a Druse officer who serves in the Israeli Civil Administration, that she named her baby after him – Hadi.
While Druse news sites in Israel were fascinated with the story, Palestinian news sites raised doubts about the story that was first published on Tuesday on the Facebook page of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the territories.
Vogue: 9 Reasons Tel Aviv Should Be Your Next Mediterranean Getaway
Tel Aviv is a fascinating bubble where history, culture, and what might be the wildest nightlife on earth come together. Wander its meandering streets and you’ll encounter beautifully restored Bauhaus architecture and century-old stone buildings, vibrant markets, and beautiful locals and expats sipping espressos at sidewalk cafés. Did we mention the farm-to-table restaurants and tantalizing cocktail scene? It’s all here and just steps from scenic sandy beaches and the sapphire blue Mediterranean. Here are nine reasons why Tel Aviv should be on your list.
1/9 Art and Architecture
Design Museum Holon features an archival collection and gallery spaces for permanent and temporary exhibits. But for architecture fans, the attraction is the Instagram-worthy building itself. Architect Ron Arad chose bands of Corten weathered steel that undulate around the museum’s internal spaces, like ribbons wrapping a present. Located in the city center and opened in 1932, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art houses a comprehensive collection by local and international artists. A new building of twisting geometric surfaces, designed by Preston Scott Cohen, is one of the city’s landmarks. But you don’t have to go to a museum to be immersed in art and design. In a city with the largest concentration in the world of Bauhaus buildings, fascinating architecture is everywhere you look.


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