Wednesday, June 29, 2016

From Ian:

NGO Monitor: The Role of Political NGOs in the World Health Assembly's Condemnation of Israel
On May 25, 2016, the delegates of the 69th World Health Assembly (held under the auspices of the World Health Organization) in Geneva adopted a decision condemning Israel. Out of 24 items on the meeting’s agenda, only Item 19 focused on political issues – specifically on “Health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan”.
Representatives of one-hundred and seven countries voted in favor of the resolution, with eight voting against, while others either abstained or did not take part in the vote. Commenting on this activity, Hillel Neuer, of Geneva-based UN Watch declared, “Shame on Britain, France and Germany for encouraging this hijacking of the annual world health assembly, and diverting precious time, money, and resources from global health priorities, in order to wage a political prosecution of Israel, especially when, in reality, anyone who has ever walked into an Israeli hospital or clinic knows that they are providing world-class health care to thousands of Palestinian Arabs, as well as to Syrians fleeing Assad.”
The documents accompanying the resolution include blatant propaganda from the Syrian and Palestinian health ministries. (The Syrian “report” is absurdly entitled Health Conditions of Syrian Citizens in the Occupied Syrian Golan.) The report of the Palestinian Ministry of Health to the World Health Organization, dated May 20, 2016, is based on numerous wild accusations with minimal citations. For example, the text (p. 29) asserts that “In April 2013 the Russian newspaper Pravda accused Israel of injecting a number of Palestinian prisoners who were approaching their release date with cancer-causing viruses. Despite Israel’s rejection of the accusations made by the newspaper, the question remains: is it true that Israel is injecting prisoners with viruses?”
Many similar allegations have no citations or sources – instead, the text includes “references” to political bodies and NGOs with no medical credentials. For example, Euro- Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor is a strictly political group whose Chairman of the Board of Trustees, former UN Rapporteur Richard Falk, has been widely denounced for his extreme anti-Israel and antisemitic agenda.
In addition, the Palestinian document includes a number of graphic images, designed to reinforce the narrative of Palestinian victimization and Israeli responsibility. A detailed analysis by the CAMERA media watchdog demonstrated that the imaged claiming to show Israelis “attacking a Palestinian child while being observed by Israeli occupation forces” in fact was a conflict between Israelis and included no Palestinians. Similarly, a “photograph taken during the Israeli war on Gaza, 2014” was shown to be an artificial image that was created digitally.
Digital Activist Creates ‘Nazi Detector’ Using Logic, Database of Neo-Nazi (((Echo))) Plug-In
A digital activist has turned the tables on neo-Nazi and white supremacist trolls by using their own tool to track and identify their antisemitic activity online, news and culture site Fusion reported on Tuesday.
According to the report, using the same technology behind the now-banned “Coincidence Detector,” Daniel Sieradski has found a way to out antisemites who launch attacks on Jews and their allies with his “Nazi Detector.”
As reported by The Algemeiner earlier in June, Google Chrome pulled the innocuous-sounding neo-Nazi plug-in after it was revealed that it was being used to track Jews online. Using a special web construction called an “(((echo)))” — three parentheses around the names of targets — white supremacists were able to encase the names of Jews that appeared on a webpage and attack them online. Each new Jewish or anti-white personality identified by the extension was then added to a database of names which was updated regularly.
The extension was uploaded by “altrightmedia,” a nod to the emerging far-Right movement made up of young, tech-savvy white supremacists. Since the use of the (((echo))) became public knowledge, both Jews and non-Jews alike have encased their names in an (((echo))) as an act of defiance.
Using this same logic, Sieradski created a Chrome browser extension that pulls from a database of names and bookends a user’s name in swastikas. After asking a journalist for the original Coincidence Detector database, Sieradski told Fusion he “just hacked away at it for a few minutes” and the Nazi Detector was born.
“I just whipped it together the other day when the idea popped into my head,” he said.
StandWithUs+: LGBTQ Rights
What began with the persecution of LGBTQ, Jews, and other minorities in the Middle East, has now spread throughout the world because of extremist religious ideology.

Lamenting Gaza and White-Washing Hamas
It would be difficult to write about the Gaza Strip without mentioning its rulers: Hamas, the US-designated terrorist group whose charter calls for the destruction of Israel and genocide of the Jews.
Yet that’s precisely what Elizabeth Kucinich did in The Hill, in her more than 1,100-word op-ed “Gaza’s plight matters to the world.”
Kucinich, the wife of former US Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), is a self-described “D.C.-based consultant dedicated to working to bring social, economic, health, agricultural and ecological systems into balance.” But balance — among other things — is lacking in her anti-Israel missive that is full of lies and distortions.
In her commentary, Kucinich refers to Gaza as “occupied Palestinian territory,” but doesn’t say that in 2005, Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza. Shortly thereafter, Palestinian Arabs elected Hamas, which subsequently initiated three wars against the Jewish State: in 2008-9, 2012, and 2014.
Kucinich calls Israel’s blockade of the Strip “illegal.” However, the UN’s Palmer Report (2011) called it a “legitimate security measure in order to prevent weapons from entering Gaza by sea and its implementation complied with the requirements of international law.”
Sanders appointee to 'Post': Democratic platform should include 'occupation,' right to boycott
The Democratic Party should recognize Israel’s “occupation” of the West Bank and the rights of Americans to boycott Israeli policies, James Zogby told The Jerusalem Post.
The founder and president of the Arab American Institute and a Bernie Sanders appointment to the Democratic Platform Committee reaffirmed his position in an interview Monday that the party platform should update its language to reflect these views. But he also acknowledged that change is unlikely, at least this time around, after unsuccessfully pushing for new wording in negotiations over the weekend.
According to excerpts of the platform draft agreed upon in St. Louis and acquired by the Post, the party will declare, for the first time, that Palestinians “should be free to govern themselves in their own viable state, in peace and dignity.”
The new language is not satisfactory to Zogby, whose appointment by the Vermont senator and former presidential candidate was greeted with skepticism among some in the Israeli and Jewish-American communities.
Think Tank Misleads C-SPAN Viewers About Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
The nearly three-hour live broadcast (“Israeli-Palestinian Conflict”) on May 31 from Washington, DC’s Willard Hotel was a case of seemingly well-intentioned individuals aiming to discuss conditions for a two-state peace solution between Israelis and Palestinians. The audience in the hall consisted of no more than a few dozen invitees, all seemingly exhibiting groupthink, but a useful challenge did occur during the time for audience questions. As if it were the key factor, much of the discussion was devoted to the feasibility of creating workable security systems needed to reassure both the Israelis and the Palestinians.
The panelists consisted of CNAS’s Ilan Goldenberg (moderator); Michele Flournoy, director of CNAS’s Middle East Security Project; CNAS CEO and co-founder Amnon Reshef, a retired Israel Defense Forces major general; and John Allen, a retired United States Marine Corps four-star general currently affiliated with the Brookings Institution.
Washington insider Flournoy, former US under secretary of defense for policy, was the highest-ranking woman at the Pentagon.
The discussion failed to deal with key problems: Palestinian leaders rejected US and Israeli offers of two-state solutions in 2000, 2001, 2008, and spurned renewed talks on such an agreement proposed by Secretary of State John Kerry in 2014. The Palestinian Authority (West Bank ruler) insists on various conditions unlikely to be accepted by any Israeli government before peace negotiations can take place, including: Israel must accede to the demands that it accept Palestinian refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state (evidently 22 Arab Muslim states is fine but one Jewish state is one too many) and a “right of return” (that does not exist in international law) for millions of Arabs (nearly all of whom have never lived in Israel).
The closest that the discussion came to dealing with fundamental issues springing from repeated Palestinian rejections of the two-state solution came at the outset of the discussion. Goldenberg, the moderator, said, “The work…in 2000 all the way through 2013…made it easier for negotiators to wrap their heads around what the solution might be.” If that meant it made recognition by mediators of Palestinian rejectionism unavoidable, then it was a start.
The Imam Celebrated by the Church of Sweden: "The Jews are Behind the Islamic State!"
Priests are afraid to talk about Jesus during mass. — Eva Hamberg, priest and professor, who in protest resigned from the priesthood and left the Church.
The Church of Sweden may be headed towards "Chrislam" -- a merging of Christianity and Islam. Swedish priests, noting the religious fervor among the Muslims now living in Sweden, enthusiastically take part in various interfaith projects.
"There are reliable sources from Egypt, showing that the Saudi royal family is really a Jewish family that came from Iraq to the Arabian Peninsula sometime in the 1700s. They built an army with the aid of British officers fighting the Ottoman sultanate." — Imam Awad Olwan, with whom a priest, Henrik Larsson, is cooperating in an interfaith project.
"The involvement that the Church of Sweden has shown for the vulnerability of Christian Palestinians, has been replaced with indifference to the ethnic cleansing of Christians in Syria and Iraq. In these countries, it is mostly Muslims who commit the atrocities, which is evidently enough to make the Church of Sweden concentrate on climate change and environmental issues instead." — Eli Göndör, scholar of religion.
Berlin government: Flying Hezbollah flag incitement to genocide
The Berlin State Senate has agreed to ban Hezbollah flags, with their image of an upraised assault weapon, from an anti-Israel Al Quds march, likening the symbol to a call for genocide.
The announcement came following a request by the American Jewish Committee in Berlin. The march is scheduled for Saturday.
Berlin state interior minister Frank Henkel, on the advice of the Berlin police, said that the flags would be added to the propaganda material that is not permitted to be displayed publicly.
A spokesperson for the Berlin police, Thomas Neuendorf, told JTA that not only are Hezbollah flags banned, but Hezbollah symbols themselves may not been shown at all – whether on flags or posters or clothing or any other manner.
This is due to the fact that “the display of these flags and symbols can be tantamount to incitement to hate, in that they prompt people to chant hate slogans against a part of the population, namely Jewish fellow citizens,” he wrote in a statement. “In addition, such actions represent an identification with and approval of Hezbollah and their acts that, in relation to the upcoming march, without current context, are not protected free speech.”
The AJC in Berlin greeted this as a step towards Germany recognizing that Hezbollah is a terrorist organization. “We should not stop halfway,” Deidre Berger, head of the Berlin office, said in a statement. “Germany should make every effort to have Hezbollah put on the EU terror list.”
JPost Editorial: Presbyterian voice
At its biennial General Assembly in Portland, Oregon, last week, the Presbyterian Church of the US blamed “Israel’s policy trajectory of continued settlements and brutal occupation” for the stalemate in peace talks with the Palestinians, and called for pursuing alternatives to the two-state solution.
The Presbyterian leadership also called on its faithful to “prayerfully study the call from Palestinian civil society for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against the State of Israel.”
Unfortunately, the Presbyterians, like some other progressive movements, once again, have shown how their sincere desire to defend the weak has been exploited by organizations with rabidly anti-Zionist and even anti-American agendas. Presbyterians, one of the many Protestant denominations that have flourished thanks to the unique religious freedoms offered by America, should find their own unique moral voice instead of blindly following the lead of anti-Western progressives.
Though Presbyterians have been the most aggressively anti-Israel among liberal Protestant denominations, all five of the mainline churches in the US – Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, Evangelical Lutheran and United Church of Christ –have debated, and in some cases adopted, policies that reflect a simplistic and slanted perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that sees Israel as the perpetual aggressor and the Palestinians as the helpless victim.
Many buy into the liberation theology of Palestinian Protestants such as Naim Ateek, head of Sabeel, who likens Palestinians to the persecuted Jesus and views Jews – not Muslims – as the persecutors. In the process, they ignore the fact that Israel is one of the few places in the Middle East where Christians’ rights are fervently protected.
‘Jewish Voice for Peace’ Could Rival Hamas and the KKK
The rank antisemitism of Rebecca Vilkomerson oozes from her essay. Israel’s incursion in Gaza is depicted as part of a continual, nefarious siege, without a simple mention of the more than ten thousand rockets and missiles launched from Gaza that have rained death, trauma, and destruction on Israel’s southern cities. Palestinian terror and illegal arms shipments necessitated the blockade of Gaza and the security barrier on the West Bank, but this is unworthy of her concern.
The random murder of Israeli civilians is justified as a “horrifying symptom of occupation and repression.” In her mind, the Palestinians have a just cause. A just cause legitimizes the murder of civilians. Protecting your children from random death is not legitimate, not if you are a Jew.
Vilkomerson gave several mutual-admiration interviews to American Free Press, a conspiracy-oriented, antisemitic newspaper that traffics in Holocaust denial and publishes in its book selections conspiracy theories ranging from 9/11 Truthers to “Man did not go to the Moon…Paul McCartney was replaced after his death in 1966, and that the official narrative of the Holocaust cannot be sustained.”
In her 2012 AFP interview, Vilkomerson repeated another JVP fiction that MSCI had dropped Caterpillar from its social choice portfolio because of JVP. But the reality is that MSCI dropped Caterpillar because of a lockout during a London, Ontario labor dispute. Here is MSCI’s statement on the issue: “In February 2012, Caterpillar’s ESG rating was downgraded by MSCI ESG Research due to declining ESG performance associated with the management of its Employees & Supply Chain challenges.”
Vilkomerson and the AFP deserve each other. Whether the readers of the WaPo should be exposed to her hatred is another question entirely.
"A Setback in the Fight Against Prejudice": High Court judge upholds British local councils' BDS initiatives
Founded in Britain at the end of 2014, Jewish Human Rights Watch (JHRW) first came to public attention when, as I mentioned at the time, it mounted a demonstration outside the anti-Israel NGO War on Want. More recently, they sponsored a full-page ad in The Guardian in response to one advocating an academic boycott of Israel.
They have also sought judicial reviews against local councils passing BDS resolutions (Leicester City Council, Swansea City Council and and Gwynedd Council) alleging that those resolutions breached equality law requirements, and “failed to have regard “to the need to eliminate discrimination and harassment of Jewish people”.
Defence counsel for the councils concerned called this legal action “misconceived”, brought because JHRW “wants to stop local authorities debating Israel’s actions,” and argued that the councils“were exercising their right to freedom of expression protected by both the common law and Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.”
Yesterday, 28 June, Lord Justice Simon, ruled at the High Court in London that however, said that the councils had nothing unlawful.
Richard Silverstein Suggests Entebbe Was “Israeli False Flag Operation”
Besides being Independence Day of the United States, July 4th is also the anniversary of Operation Entebbe, one the most famous commando operations in history.
Fresh from his amazing detective work identifying me as the originator of the Abbas blood libel against Israel, DouchebloggerTM Richard Silverstein has decided to recall Entebbe in his usual endearing way.
By “good to recall”, Silverstein is lending credence to this conspiracy theory (which has been debunked by CAMERA).
Heck, it sure beats recalling the terror the hostages were subjected to, or those who were killed during the operation. At least in Silverstein’s twisted mind.
Slamming BDS criticism, Moroccan minister denies commercial relations with Israel
Brushing off criticism from the BDS movement for allegedly trading with Israel, a senior Moroccan minister has denied the existence of any commercial relations between his country and the Jewish state.
Asked during a parliament meeting about the popularity of Israeli dates in Morocco during the fasting month of Ramadan, the Minister of Foreign Trade, Mohammad Abu, answered: "The government has not given anyone any license to import dates or other Israel-originated products."
Abu added that the official figures regarding Morocco's international trade indicate that "Morocco has no commercial relations with this entity."
The Moroccan BDS movement launched a special campaign at the beginning of the month of Ramadan calling on merchants not to sell Israeli dates, urging the government to take a clear stance on the issue and take the required measures to prevent Israeli dates from entering Morocco.
"The government is decisively fighting to prevent any Israeli product from entering Morocco in an illegal way," Abu stated.
Mahdi Mazwari, a member of the Moroccan Parliament, issued a press statement regarding the Israeli-Moroccan trade relations, saying that the products entering Morocco from Israel are valued at $50 million dollars.
BBC News ignores latest Temple Mount rioting
However, the thugs eventually got their way.
“Following three consecutive days of rioting by Arab youths on the Temple Mount, police announced Tuesday morning that the contested holy site will be temporarily closed to non-Muslim visitors, at least through Thursday.
In a statement, police said the decision was made after security assessments indicated it was not safe for Jewish visitors, who have been the target of numerous attacks there since Sunday, when the final 10 days of Ramadan commenced.”

Notably, the BBC has not found it necessary to report on this latest round of organised violence intended to prevent non-Muslims from visiting a site of importance to three religions.
Meanwhile, Israel continues to facilitate Ramadan visits to the site by Palestinians from the Gaza Strip and PA controlled areas.
Al-Aqsa Mosque Confusion at the International Business Times
The International Business Times reports on Palestinian violence on the Temple Mount over the past few days.
The sub-header mistakenly refers to the Al-Aqsa mosque being “sacred to both Muslims and Jewish visitors.”
It’s not.
The mosque itself is not sacred to Jews, who usually pray in synagogues. The Temple Mount compound, however, is the most sacred site in Judaism.
Following correspondence with HonestReporting, the IBT has completely changed both its sub-header and text.
The sub-header now reads: “The unrest has led to renewed calls for peace talks, which last broke down more than two years ago.”
UK Media Watch prompts speedy Times of London correction on Israel’s capital
Less than an hour ago, we posted on a Times of London article which included two sentences falsely suggesting that Tel Aviv is Israel’s capital.
Within a half hour after complaining to Times of London editors, they responded and informed us that the references to Tel Aviv as Israel’s capital have been removed from the online edition. In both sentences, the word “Tel Aviv” was replaced with “Israel.
We commend editors on the quick correction.
Jewish mother, child attacked by stone-throwers - in Brooklyn
An Orthodox Jewish woman and her six-year old child were attacked by stone-throwers in Brooklyn Tuesday afternoon, narrowly escaping injury.
The incident took place on Nostrand Avenue near Avenue J at approximately 5:00 p.m.
Witnesses say two African American teenagers threw stones at a vehicle driven by an Orthodox Jewish woman while yelling anti-Semitic slurs.
One of the vehicle’s windows was smashed, covering the woman’s small child with glass. However, no injuries were reported.
The two assailants reportedly fled the scene after the attack.
Local authorities were quickly called to the scene. New York police found security camera footage showing at least one of the attackers fleeing.
Because of the anti-Semitic slurs hurled during the incident, NYPD is currently investigating the attack as a hate crime, and has brought in the department’s Hate Crimes Task Force, the New York Daily News reports.
Was beloved children’s author Roald Dahl a raging bigot?
Dahl’s death in 1990 prompted some critics to denounce the author’s frequent expressions of bigotry, a side of Dahl that was mostly buried in the obituaries. Writing that Dahl was a “blatant and admitted” anti-Semite, former Anti-Defamation League head Abe Foxman took The New York Times to task for its Dahl obituary, which neglected to mention this aspect of the author’s public statements.
“Praise for Mr. Dahl as a writer must not obscure the fact that he was also a bigot,” wrote Foxman in his December 7, 1990 letter to the editor, which went on to quote some of Dahl’s anti-Semitic remarks.
“There is a trait in the Jewish character that does provoke animosity, maybe it’s a kind of lack of generosity towards non-Jews,” said Dahl in a 1983 interview with New Statesman. “I mean there is always a reason why anti-anything crops up anywhere; even a stinker like Hitler didn’t just pick on them for no reason,” Dahl told the British magazine.
The author was also not above blaming Holocaust victims for being murdered, as he explained in the same interview.
“I mean, if you and I were in a line moving towards what we knew were gas chambers, I’d rather have a go at taking one of the guards with me; but they were always submissive,” said Dahl of Jews murdered in Nazi death camps.
Dahl’s anti-Semitic commentaries increased during his twilight years, notably with Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982. That conflict gave Dahl an opportunity to blend classical anti-Semitic motifs with news coverage of the carnage, as the Jewish state sought to remove the chokehold of PLO terrorists on northern Israel.
Accusing Israel of “bestiality” in Lebanon, Dahl said the IDF behaved “like Hitler and Himmler” in its aggressive treatment of terrorists. In the same 1983 article for Literary Review, Dahl posed the question, “Must Israel like Germany, be brought to her knees before she learns how to behave in this world?”
In Cannes, Spielberg told The New York Times he had “no excuse” for not researching Dahl’s public statements. But the 69-year-old director also pushed back on allegations that Dahl was a diehard anti-Semite, comparing the author’s Jew-baiting to that of old-school Hollywood types who denounced Jews from time to time, some of whom — i.e., the Disney brothers — Dahl was close friends with.
New tech reveals forgotten Holocaust escape tunnel in Lithuania
An international research team has located a forgotten tunnel in Lithuania dug by Jewish prisoners trying to escape their Nazi captors during World War II, the Israel Antiquities Authority said Wednesday.
A team of archaeologists and mapmakers from Israel, the US, Canada and Lithuania used mineral and oil exploration scanning technology to pinpoint the tunnel, the authority said in a statement Wednesday.
The 35-meter (115-foot) tunnel is located in the Ponar forest, known today as Paneriai, where the Nazis killed 100,000 people – mostly Jews – during the Holocaust.
Israeli researcher Dr. Jon Seligman, whose family originated from Lithuania, said the discovery of the Ponar tunnel “reduced him to tears.”
“This is a heartwarming testimony to the victory of hope over despair,” he said according to the IAA statement. “The discovery of the tunnel allows us to not only expose the horrors of the Holocaust, but also the hope for life.”
Arbe Robotics uses radar to avoid drone crashes
It appears that in just a couple of years, drones – unmanned flying craft – will be everywhere. They will be used by companies to deliver books and clothes, by governments to monitor borders and for military surveillance, and by farmers to keep tabs on their produce in distant fields.
But with so many drones buzzing around, the chances for these crashing into each other or into other objects rises significantly. So Tel Aviv-based Arbe Robotics has developed a solution that uses radar technology — radio frequencies — to help drones detect objects and avoid collusion.
“The drone market started only two or three years ago and it is still an emerging technology,” Kobi Marenko, the co-founder and chief executive officer of the start-up said in an interview. “Today it is mainly a hobby market” for people who use drones for taking pictures and other fun activities. “But in the next three to five years, drones will be used in almost every area in industry.”
Unmanned Israeli sea vessel successfully test fires torpedo
Israel's Elbit Systems announced on Tuesday a recent successful test torpedo launch by its Seagull unmanned sea vehicle.
The test, conducted in the Mediterranean Sea near Haifa, confirmed the Seagull's ability to fire lightweight anti-submarine torpedoes.
The Seagull, a 12-meter-long unmanned surface vehicle, is designed to carry out an array of maritime missions, including securing sensitive sea areas and protecting ships against threats posed by submarines and mines.
Ofer Ben-Dov, vice president Naval Systems Business Line at Elbit Systems' ISTAR Division, said, "The success of this test demonstrates Seagull's modular mission system capability, enabling a highly effective anti-submarine warfare configuration of high performance dipping sonar using two single tube torpedoes. The test highlighted Seagull's unique capacity to detect and engage submarines, in addition to its ability to detect and destroy sea mines -- all using the same multimission USV system in modular configurations. This new and important capability has, to date, only been available to navies through manned vehicles."
Cisco Buys Israeli-Founded Firm for $293M After Signing Tech Deal with Israel’s Top Bank
Cisco Systems has acquired an Israeli-founded cloud security firm a day after announcing a strategic cooperation agreement with Israel’s largest bank.
Cisco will acquire CloudLock, which was established in 2011 by three IDF veterans, for $293 million, Globes reported Tuesday. The company has 150 employees, 30 of them in Israel, and has raised $39 million thus far.
On Monday, Cisco and Bank Hapoalim signed a financial technology agreement “designed to speed up the digital revolution in Israel,” Globes reported. “I am happy to cooperate with Bank Hapoalim on the future of the banking industry. The Memorandum of Understanding that we are signing today is the first step towards change in this sector in Israel,” said John Chambers, CEO of the U.S.-based networking giant.
The world’s largest networking technology company, Cisco has had several high-profile dealings with Israeli firms. Cisco “invested $15 million in Israeli storage software start-up Elastifile,” Reuters reported two weeks ago, and the giant bought the Israeli company Leaba Semiconductor for $320 million back in March.
At a San Francisco forum in April, Chambers said he was optimistic about Israel’s position as a start-up hub, but emphasized that it needs to invest in strong STEM education and forward-thinking policy. “When I talk about Israel, I’m talking about one of my favorite countries in the world,” he added.
What do hummus and water purifiers have in common?
Fresh out of Hebrew University with a food technology degree 26 years ago, Ronen Zohar got a job at Elite, supervising 12 middle-aged women as they coated caramelized orange peels with chocolate.
He climbed up the corporate ladder, and four years after Israel’s Strauss Group acquired Elite in 1997, Zohar was named CEO of Strauss Frito-Lay Salty Snacks. He then served as CEO of Strauss Dairies from 2005 to 2007, and from 2007 to 2014 he was CEO of Sabra Dipping Company, a Strauss and PepsiCo venture to introduce the Mideast chickpea paste to American consumers.
Now 54, Zohar returned to Israel in February following his seven-year Sabra stint to become CEO of Strauss Water, which puts Israeli technology inside countertop Water Bars that supply purified hot, cold and carbonated water for homes and businesses.
In those seven years, Zohar grew Sabra more than tenfold (from $45 million to $480 million), built a hummus factory and R&D facility in Virginia and positioned the company as the top seller of readymade hummus in North America.
Make it a White Night in Tel Aviv
This Thursday night, June 30, marks the arrival of Tel Aviv’s White Night, an all-night affair of free and low-cost events throughout the streets, courtyards and auditoriums of the white-walled city.
Events this year include a number of musical, theater and dance performances as well as opera recitals, poetry readings, street fairs and literary discussions.
Here’s a selection of what’s on for Thursday:
The European Union, sans Britain of course, is presenting five hours of arts and crafts workshops, including Austrian street art, Finnish works, Romanian textiles and Italian street dance. From 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., 1 Rothschild Boulevard.
Head to a chill out party on the roof of the Tel Aviv municipality, (8 p.m. to 1 a.m.) while overlooking the headphone party at Rabin Square, where you can tune into the DJ setup and Radio Tel Aviv broadcast. Headphones are available for rent at NIS 40 per pair. Sunset until 2 a.m.
Israel’s top soccer star moves to China in multi-million dollar deal
The captain of Israel’s soccer national team Eran Zahavi signed a deal with the Chinese club Guangzhou R&F on Wednesday, ending a period of doubt that the beloved star would remain with Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Zahavi, 28, who has led his team to a total of four Israeli championship victories, including three consecutive ones with Maccabi, signed a two-and-a-half-year contract with the Chinese club for a total of $12.5 million.
The midfielder is the second Israeli player to compete in China, and will be joining a team hovering in the middle of the league table, according to the Haaretz daily. Liron Zarkon was the first player to head to China, joining Chongqing Lifan in 2009.
The soccer star’s new contract also includes a clause guaranteeing nearly $20,000 for each goal he scores. This is no insignificant detail, as the captain led the Israeli premier league in scoring for the past three years, and in the past season, he broke a 61-year-old record for goals in a season with 35.
IsraelyCool: Queen’s Brian May And Adam Lambert “Very Much” Excited To Come To Israel
This is simply a great interview by Israeli TV presenter Assi Azar with Brian May and Adam Lambert of Queen, who will be performing in Israel on September 12 (hat tip: Lana Melman).

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