Thursday, January 19, 2017

From Ian:

Is Judith Butler the New Edward Said?
Of all the non-Middle East specialists writing on the Middle East, few have been as prolific or as indecipherable as Judith Butler. More than an academic, she has become a pop culture figure. In an age of identity politics, Butler's identity as a Marxist, feminist, lesbian practitioner of critical theory who writes prolifically about gender and transgenderism have made her among the most-interviewed active college professors. But her anti-Israel advocacy has made her a star, and a possible successor to the late Edward Said, another academic whose fame rests more on tendentious scholarship and agitprop than rigorous, objective research.
With a Ph.D. in philosophy and a professorship at UC Berkeley's Comparative Literature department, Butler might have led a career as a big name academic, which is to say very well known by perhaps as much as one tenth of one percent of the American population. But as the face of academe's Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, she reaches and influences a much wider audience.
Butler's turn away from literature and language theory in favor of Middle East politics, criticism of U.S. foreign policy, and demonization of Israel came in a collection of essays titled Precarious Life (2004) in which she focused on the effects of the 9/11 attacks on America. What many people would describe as an atrocity, Butler describes as a "dislocation from first-world privilege, however temporary." Her condemnation of terrorism rings about as hollow as Kofi Annan's or Yassir Arafat's.
Not only is Butler unwilling to condemn Hamas and Hezbollah, her tepid equivocation contains more than a hint of comradery: "Understanding Hamas, Hezbollah as social movements that are progressive, that are on the Left, that are part of a global Left, is extremely important. That does not stop us from being critical of certain dimensions of both movements." Despite the great admiration that the Left has for Hamas and Hezbollah, neither group shares any of the Left's ideals and anyone claiming otherwise is delusional.
The UN’s Long, Shameful History on Israel
The Israeli English-language newspaper The Jerusalem Post was originally called The Palestine Post. It adopted its current name in 1950, two years after the creation of the state of Israel.
When the paper first appeared in 1932, the word “Palestinian” generally referred to those living in the British Mandate of Palestine. It was viewed by people everywhere as an appropriate word to describe the Jewish minority living in the area.
Languages change. Sometimes a word takes on a meaning that contradicts an earlier definition. Occasionally, different forms of a word reflect both meanings. Think of “awful” and “awesome” in English today. We can be filled with awe because something is terrible (awful) or wonderful (awesome).
In 1947, when “Palestine” still sounded like it might refer to a Jewish state, the United Nations voted to divide the territory into two countries: one Jewish and one Arab. The UN intended to create two independent states that would live together in peace and harmony.
One of the two halves — Israel — accepted its independence. The other side did not. On the day that Britain left and Israel declared its independence, five Arab nations invaded the whole territory, with the intent of conquering, and destroying, the Jewish half. Besides pushing the Jews into the sea, it was not clear what they wanted to do with the actual territory had they been victorious. Yet when the war was over and Israel controlled more land than the UN planned to give it, the remaining Arab territory went to Jordan and Egypt. There was no movement for an independent Palestinian Arab state.
Brandeis Hires Anti-Semitic Islamist With Al-Qaeda Links
In 2016, Brandeis University hired an anti-Semitic Islamist formerly linked to al-Qaeda to teach students about Islam.
Brandeis offered Boston-based cleric Suheil Laher a job in its Near Eastern and Judaic Studies department despite his long history of involvement with extremist causes. That history includes his leadership of a now-defunct charity that raised funds for jihadist causes in Bosnia, Chechnya, and Afghanistan.
This academic year, Laher is teaching two courses at Brandeis: “Introduction to the Qu’ran” and “Muhammad: Life, Teachings, and Legacy.” Given Laher’s past, what strain of Islam is he likely to promote?
Before Brandeis, Laher was the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)’s Muslim chaplain for almost twenty years. While at MIT, he also served, from 2000, as head of a Boston-based charity named CARE International (not to be confused with the current charity of the same name). Originally named the “Al Kifah Refugee Center,” the charity was founded by Abdullah Azzam, a founding member of al-Qaeda and a mentor to Osama Bin Laden.



Deputy commander of 1976 Entebbe rescue 'Landing was trickiest part'
The July 4, 1976 Entebbe rescue and the October 18, 1977 Mogadishu raid against terrorist plane hijackers by Israeli and German commandos respectively are two of the most dramatic kidnapping rescues in modern history. But for Matan Vilnai – former minister, ambassador, and IDF general who was the deputy commander of the Entebbe rescue – the most tense moment of all was trying to land the commando force without authorization in Uganda, thousands of miles from Israel.
“The first critical moment was when we needed to land a group of heavy airplanes, which was already suspicious, because usually groups of airplanes do not fly together…and there was no GPS like today,” Vilnai told The Jerusalem Post on Monday during a two-day Hebrew University of Jerusalem conference on the 40th anniversary of the two rescues.
Vilnai said it was “critical that there were no injuries” during the landing, noting that in many operations, including the famous Bin Laden assassination, even top special forces pilots end up crashing aircraft or helicopters because of the uniquely difficult covert conditions for landing.
As the landings progressed, the flight control tower started “asking in African English: who are you and we all started to give ideas of what to say to the commander.”
“The eight Sayeret Matkal (special forces) under my command along with Doron Almog (a future major general) were on the first airplane to land, with lighting, but the second airplane had to land in a blackout,” said Vilnai.
He credited the operation’s commander and sole IDF casualty, Lt.-Col. Yoni Netanyahu, for giving critical orders as they got off the Hercules transport – orders which he said likely led to Netanyahu’s death from a sniper who likely noted his hand signals, which distinguished him as the senior officer.
'German research institute trivializes Holocaust to attack Israel'
Israel’s embassy and leading deputies in the German parliament slammed a Max Planck Institute branch for stoking hatred of Israel and Jews with a series of lectures from a pro-Hezbollah US academic who trivialized the Holocaust and is popular among neo-Nazis.
“It is outrageous that a distinguished German institution [Max Planck Institute branch in Halle] gives a stage to someone who spreads, in the best case, science fiction, and in the worst, pure incitement against Israel. Supporting [Norman] Finkelstein to maintain his academic facade is highly dangerous and an abuse of the scientific standards,” the Israeli Embassy in Berlin told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday.
Michaela Engelmeier, a Social Democratic deputy in the Bundestag, told the Post she was astonished that “with our history it is possible to welcome academics who play down the Nazi regime’s murder of six million Jews and present it as trivial.”
She added that the fact that the anti-Israel academic is delivering talks close to International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27 is “especially insensitive.”
She urged the Max Planck Institute to cancel next week’s Finkelstein lecture titled “Gaza: An Inquest into its Martyrdom.”
Senators introduce bipartisan anti-BDS bill
Two senators introduced a bill to protect to state and local governments passing anti-BDS legislation from lawsuits.
On Tuesday, Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., introduced the Combating BDS Act, which would increase legal protection for state and local governments that ban, limit or divest from companies “engaged in commerce-related or investment-related BDS activity targeting Israel.”
Under the measure, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions activity includes boycotting or limiting business with those in Israel and “Israeli-controlled territories.”
The bill is an updated version of a measure introduced in February by Manchin and Mark Kirk, a Republican senator from Illinois who was defeated in November.
Among the bill’s 17 co-sponsors are Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and Benjamin Cardin, D-Md.
Manchin praised the bill as a way to protect American and Israeli security and economic priorities in a statement announcing the bill.
SOAS students 'scared to wear the star of David and speak Hebrew’
On the wall of the bar beneath SOAS’s student union is a quote from the Chinese civil rights lawyer Ni Yulan, entreating us all to “strive for equality”. This is at the heart of what the union considers its mission. Its executive includes both a “people of colour officer” and two anti-racism officers, while one of its four co-presidents is tasked with addressing “equality and liberation”.
Earlier this week the union was again in the headlines for its efforts to address racial inequality. In a report called Degrees of Racism the student union asked that “all academics must be prepared to acknowledge... they are capable of racism”.
A proudly-progressive stance is part of SOAS’s draw. Russell Brand and political activists are among its current student body, alongside more typical students (one on SOAS steps was debating the merits of cigarettes versus spliffs when I visited), while Jemima Khan received her MA there in 2003. The school is diverse: its 5,900 students hail from 133 countries, and it likes to celebrate this diversity.
But according to Avrahum Sanger, president of SOAS’s Jewish Society (JSoc), there is a minority that doesn’t feel able to express itself. He believes there is an anti-Semitic sickness in the heart of Bloomsbury.
IsraellyCool: University of Lethbridge Files Human Rights Complaint Against Antisemite Anthony Hall
Things seem to be going from bad to worse for antisemite Anthony Hall, with the university that suspended him now moving forward with a complaint to the Alberta Human Rights Commission.
The University of Lethbridge is moving ahead with a complaint to the Alberta Human Rights Commission in regards to one of their professors who has been suspended without pay.
Anthony Hall is a tenured member within the U of L’s Faculty of Arts and Science. He teaches Globalization Studies at the university and has a history of activism.
Hall has been criticized for spreading conspiracy theories and angered Jewish groups over many of his public statements.
In October, the university suspended Hall without pay over concerns that he contravened section 3 of the Alberta Human Rights Act.
Conference Speaker Understands Terrorism, Misunderstands Anti-Semitism
A conference that questions Israel’s legitimacy cannot constitute anti-Semitism, according to one of its speakers, John Reynolds, writing in the Irish Times. The fact that he is both a speaker at the conference and on its organizing committee are omitted from the article, displaying a lack of journalistic transparency from Reynolds and the Irish Times. The paper also has a history of publishing extreme anti-Israel articles, with one journalist saying she’s “not interacting with Zionists anymore” in response to criticism of an article of hers.
The conference is due to take place at University College Cork in Ireland, after being cancelled last year due to security concerns when it was originally meant to be held at the University of Southampton. It was roundly condemned by Jewish leaders and groups, Members of Parliament who called it a “one-sided diatribe,” and a Zionist Federation petition that garnered 6,700 signatures.
Reynolds suggests that the Israeli government attempts to stifle criticism by saying that “to criticise the state of Israel is to demonise Jewish people.” Actually Israel considers demonizing the Jewish state with lies and denying its right to exist as demonizing the Jewish people – which is what the conference does. He dismisses the Israeli embassy’s concerns that it will propagate hatred, as he says the speakers are “established scholars… committed to critical thinking and the promotion of anti-racism.”
But Reynolds himself is a former legal researcher for Al-Haq, a Palestinian NGO involved in libel, BDS and “lawfare” campaigns against Israel, and has defended rocket attacks and “resistance” against Israel as understandable.
Anti-Semitic flyers found in UC Bekeley printers and fax machines. Again.
Over the weekend, UC Berkeley computers, printers and faxes throughout the campus were found with flyers described as "anti-Semitic and homophobic". The flyers included swastikas and pro-Nazi propaganda.
Because the sender exploited open source printers and fax machines that were legally accessed via the internet and the machines were not hacked, this act is not considered a hate crime. There was a similar incident in March of 2016 targeting Berkeley and other universities across the country.
UC police Sgt. Sabrina Reich speaking to the East Bay Times said that UC’s Internet Services and Technology Department has been communicating with the offices and departments on campus to “provide information on how to update the settings on (the machines) so they can be better secured on the network.”
“This is not something we welcome in our community,”
University of Toronto Grad Student, Instructor Openly ‘Bullies’ Jews Online
A graduate student at the University of Toronto, who teaches courses at the school, has harassed Jews and supporters of Israel on social media, using the pejorative “Zios” to refer to advocates of the Jewish state, the British activist group Never Again UK reported this week.
Tadhg Morris, who is pursuing his doctorate and is listed as an instructor in the Celtic studies department on the St. Michael’s College campus, caught the attention of Never Again UK when he began to “bully” the group online. “[He]…uses [T]witter to vent out his rage” when he is “no longer [able to] suppress his anti-Semitism,” it said.
Morris — a self-described “disgruntled old lefty,” whose Facebook cover photo is a 1959 picture of the late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro waving a rifle — has called Twitter users “Zio f***wit,” and referred to the Jewish state’s military as the “IOF,” standing for “Israel occupation forces.”
Never Again UK also reported an online assault by Morris against Ari Fleischer, who served as White House press secretary for the Bush administration. Replying to a tweet by Fleischer, who is Jewish, about the deadly Jan. 7 terrorist attack at the Fort Lauderdale airport, Morris wrote, “And the f****er missed you.”
Campus Watchdogs Laud Fordham University's Decision to Ban Notoriously Anti-Israel Student Group
Watchdogs lauded the recent decision by a New York academic institution to prevent a notoriously anti-Israel group from organizing on its campus.
AMCHA Initiative co-founder Tammi Rossman-Benjamin and others told The Algemeiner on Wednesday that Fordham University’s preemptive measure indicates that its administrators grasp “the hateful precedent” that Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) has set elsewhere.
“Most officials at other schools do not understand what our research has clearly revealed: that the presence of an SJP or a like-minded chapter committed to opposing the existence of the Jewish state has a particularly serious impact on Jewish students,” she said. “Nor do they end up doing anything about the harmful behavior when it is exhibited.”
Aviva Slomich, international campus director for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), called it both “reasonable and commendable that Fordham is not permitting SJP to spread its hatred there.”
“SJP and its affiliates promote extreme anti-Israel propaganda; harass students and faculty members — Jewish and non-Jewish — who are known to support Israel; and are responsible for the rise of antisemitism,” she said. “How can such a group be allowed to have a presence on campus?”
Video: Reuters and Israel: Do Ethics Matter?
News organizations get a lot of their content from outside companies these days, so you probably don’t realize just how much of your news actually comes from Reuters, behind the scenes. But Reuters employees don’t always follow their company’s own rules: including its Jerusalem bureau chief. Is it any wonder we see so much bias?
Here is our critique of Jerusalem Bureau Chief Luke Baker, as referenced in the video.
And here is the interview with Reuters President and Chief Editor Stephen J. Adler.
You may also be interested in the Reuters code of ethics.
Reuters and Israel: Do Ethics Matter?
News organizations get a lot of their content from outside companies these days, so you probably don't realize just how much of your news actually comes from Reuters, behind the scenes. But Reuters employees don't always follow their company's own rules: including it Jerusalem bureau chief. Is it any wonder we see so much bias?


Here’s what the Guardian doesn’t want you to know about obstacles to a two-state solution
Before we properly examine a Guardian article (The two-state solution in the Middle East: Everything you need to know, Dec. 28th) by the paper’s former Jerusalem correspondent Harriet Sherwood, let’s first provide a short textual analysis:
In an article putatively providing readers with ‘everything you need to know about the two state solution but were afraid to ask’, here’s a count of the number of times the following words were used in the text, headline and strap line:
Settlements (4); Hamas (1); Terrorism (0); Rockets (0); Incitement (0); Extremism (0); Antisemitism (0)
As you’ll see, the appearance or absence of these words are crucial to understanding how Harriet Sherwood misleads readers over the failure of the two parties to achieve an agreement.
BBC’s Bowen tells WS listeners Israel bombs Syria ‘regularly’
The lead story in the January 13th edition of the BBC World Service radio programme ‘Newshour’ was introduced by presenter Paul Henley as follows:
“First; not for the first time, Syria has accused Israel of military aggression, blaming it for a series of explosions at a military airport on the outskirts of Damascus. The Syrian government said it had been a flagrant attack and that there would be repercussions. Their stance was possibly born of a new-found sense of confidence that things in Syria are going the way of the Assad government. Russian involvement in the war has been hugely important and the possibility of a more Moscow-friendly White House come the end of this month will be greeted with delight in Damascus. I’ve been talking to our Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen who’s on route from the Syrian capital to Aleppo; was he surprised by these accusations of an Israeli military strike in Damascus?”
The idea that the Syrian regime’s response to this incident is any different to the statements it has put out previously on similar occasions is of course not supported by reality. The term ‘flagrant’ was used by Assad spokespeople back in 2013 and the Syrian regime has threatened retaliation against Israel in the past.
IsraellyCool: WATCH: Israel Critics And Haters Engaging In Extreme Mental Gymnastics
Al Jazeera recently had a debate on the rampant antisemitism on the Left.
Naturally, the only people invited to engage in this debate were either pro-palestinian, or from the Left when it comes to Israel, being:
  • Jonathan Freedland, a frequent critic of Israel
  • Anti-Israel “Palestinian-American” human rights lawyer Noura Erakat
  • Lisa Goldman, a former olah to Israel who became extremely anti-Israel over the years and left Israel for New York, where she now never misses an opportunity to trash her former place of residence
I am posting it because it is a great example of the kind of mental gymnastics the anti-Israel side engages in to justify their position. Notice their attempt to somehow distinguish between “theoretical” Zionism and Zionism in practice. My head literally hurts.
You also have to love how Goldman’s reflexive response to the idea that there is antisemitism on the Left is “The real antisemitism comes from the Right!” Deflection much?


At Least 32 Jewish Community Centers Targeted in Second Wave of Bomb Threats
At least 32 Jewish Community Centers across the United States were subjected to bomb threats on Wednesday, less than ten days after 16 more JCCs were evacuated after similar threats.
JCCs and other Jewish institutions were targeted in the Boston, Miami, Detroit, Cincinnati, Nashville, Minneapolis, and Orlando metro areas, among others. The Anti-Defamation League reported threats in 16 states: Alabama, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.
Paul Goldenberg, the director of Secure Community Networks, which is associated with the Jewish Federations of North America and advises Jewish institutions on security matters, explained to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that some institutions were shut down while others stayed open, depending on the determinations of local law enforcement. “It’s the second salvo in 10 days, we’re asking people to ensure they stay in contact with local law enforcement,” he said.
“Bomb threats to Jewish communities are nothing new,” Goldenberg added in a phone interview with Reuters. “What’s extraordinary is that we had so many in such a short period of time.”
The Italian Schindler Who Conned the Germans into Letting 5,000 Jews Go Free
An early enthusiast of fascism, Giorgio Perlasca volunteered to fight for Italian forces in Ethiopia in 1935 and then went to Spain to fight for Francisco Franco. But after returning to Italy in 1939, he quickly became disillusioned with Mussolini and, to avoid military service, found himself a job procuring livestock for the Italian army, which involved traveling around southeastern Europe. His travels made him aware of—and deeply troubled by—what was happening to the Jews. After Mussolini’s fall in 1943, he found himself in Budapest. Elizabeth Salthouse writes:
[I]n late 1944, the Spanish consul to Budapest beat a hasty retreat to Switzerland leaving behind empty offices, his official consulate seals, Jewish staff, and hundreds of Jews desperate for Spanish protection. . . .
Unbeknownst to the Germans, the Spanish consulate had been quietly sheltering Hungarian Jews in eight apartment blocks under its control, but the rescue effort was jeopardized by the consul’s departure. And so Giorgio “Jorge” Perlasca stepped in, brazenly convincing Hungarian authorities that he was now the Spanish ambassador with all the powers that went with the title.
China uses Israeli tech to stay connected in-flight
Gilat Satellite Networks, an Israeli leader in satellite networking technology, solutions and services, announced today a strategic partnership with Air Esurfing, a fully owned subsidiary of Air Media Group, to transform the domestic in-flight connectivity market in China. The partners intend to utilize China’s Ka-band HTS capacity for domestic IFC services over mainland China.
“We have chosen to collaborate with Gilat due to its proven presence in China and its technological leadership in mobility baseband as well as Aero antenna terminals for IFC,” said Zhou Hong, General Manager Air Esurfing. “We see in Gilat the perfect partner to open the door for IFC in the domestic Chinese market and are excited about the joint opportunity.”
Gilat and Air Esurfing will deliver broadband connectivity to airlines throughout China.
Gilat will leverage its multi-service HTS platform that will operate with ChinaSatcom’s Ka-band capacity planned to be launched sometime in 2017. Gilat’s solution will enable continuous service exceeding 100Mbps and servicing many dozens of passengers per aircraft.
Leonardo DiCaprio showcases Israeli solar thermal plant on Instagram
American actor Leonardo DiCaprio took to Instagram on Thursday to post a photo of a future Israeli power plant that is expected to boast the tallest solar thermal tower in the world.
“The arid landscape of Israel’s Negev Desert will look like a futuristic movie in the near future,” DiCaprio captioned the photo. “The country is building the tallest solar thermal tower in the world above its dusty sands. Surrounded by 50,000 mirrors, the 250-meters high tower should be able to produce enough power for about 5% of Israel’s population when it’s concluded.
“The sunlight will be reflected by the mirrors to a boiler at the top of the tower,” DiCaprio’s post continued. “The boiler will then be able to convert them and heat water to steam to turn the turbine in a conventional power plant.”
DiCaprio was referring to the 121-megawatt Ashalim Solar Thermal Power Station, which is currently under construction in the Negev. Slated to go online at the end of 2017, the project is one of the largest of its type in the world and the first concentrated solar power plant to be built in Israel.
IC Power files for $400m NYSE IPO
The prospectus shows that of the power stations owned by the Idan Ofer controlled company in 11 countries, the OPC plant in the Negev is easily the most profitable.
Kenon Holdings (TASE: KEN; NYSE; KEN) unit IC Power Pte. Ltd. (ICP) (IC stands for Israel Corporation) has filed a prospectus with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The company did not disclose details about the offering but back in 2015 when the company first spoke of an IPO its plan was to raise $400 million, at a company value of $1.5 billion.
ICP is the main asset of Kenon, which is controlled by Idan Ofer, and has a market cap of $591 million. ICP owns a string of power stations in 11 countries, mainly in Central and South America, with three of the power stations in Peru supplying 2,189 megawatt. The company also has two power stations in El Salvador (210 megawatt), one in Chile (140 megawatt), one in Guatemala (179 megawatt), two in Panama (126 megawatt), one in the Dominican Republic (67 megawatt), three in Nicaragua (185 megawatt), one in Bolivia (228 megawatt), one in Colombia (31 megawatt) and one in Jamaica (60 megawatt).
National Library acquires treasure trove of rare Jewish texts
A copy of the Pentateuch printed in Lisbon, Portugal, in 1491 and a Venetian prayer book on parchment printed in 1549 are among the many treasures of the Valmadonna Trust Library, a collection of rare Jewish tests and manuscripts the National Library of Israel has acquired, the library announced Wednesday.
Collector Jack Lunzer started amassing the Valmadonna Trust Library over 60 years ago. The collection grew to contain over 10,000 works that chart the spread of Hebrew printing and the global dissemination of Jewish culture. Some of the standout items include an incunabula (pre-1500 print) of the Pentateuch printed in Lisbon in 1491; one of only two surviving copies of the version of the Passover Haggadah that was printed in Prague in 1556; an Ashkenazi siddur (prayer book) printed on parchment in Venice in 1549; and over 550 broadsheets printed throughout the Jewish world from the 16th to the 20th century: calendars, notices by local governments to the Jewish communities, and Hebrew alphabet study tables.
The collection was purchased at a private sale at Sotheby's New York, in conjunction with collectors of archaeological artifacts, books, and Judaica Dr. David and Jemima Jeselsohn, as well as a donation from the Haim and Hana Solomon Fund.
Amaliah-iAID mission delivers warm clothing to refugees
Israeli and Jewish American humanitarian aid organizations have launched an emergency mission to deliver warm clothing to Syrian refugees suffering from sub-zero temperatures and heavy snowfall in Greece. The extreme wintry weather has made life in the refugee camps even more difficult than usual.
The non-governmental international humanitarian aid organizations, Amaliah (based in New York) and iAID (based in Tel Aviv) are currently in Greece with a team of five Israeli and Jewish American relief workers. The relief workers are bringing winter clothing and blankets to refugees on the island of Lesbos.
The 1.5 tons of supplies were gathered via donations from ordinary Israelis and sorted, packed, and readied for shipment.
Tom Brady ad highlights Israeli-developed video tech
A recent ad by tech giant Intel starring New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady highlights video technology developed by Israel’s Replay Technologies that will be used by FOX Sports in its upcoming Super Bowl broadcast.
Intel’s “Be the Player” technology will provide viewers with 360-degree replays of key moments in the game.
Using the tagline “Intel 360 Replay makes anything look epic,” the commercial features triumphal music and dramatic views of Tom Brady getting out of bed, brushing his teeth and eating a dropped pancake off of the floor.
The “freeD” system developed by Replay allows broadcasters to freeze video, rotate the angle of view and zoom in on the action. It has been used in other sporting events, including NBA and Olympics games.
For the Super Bowl, 38 cameras were installed throughout the stadium for the 360-degree reconstructions. Each clip will be around 15-30 seconds long and is around one terabyte of data.
The technology was developed by Replay Technologies, founded in Israel in 2011. Replay specializes in seamless 3D video rendering, allowing a viewer to see a scene from any angle as it would be seen live.
Gal Gadot, Jason Statham launch Wix’s Super Bowl ad
Wix.com, the Tel Aviv-based do-it-yourself website development company, on Wednesday said it would once again broadcast a commercial during the Super Bowl on Sunday, February 7.
The 30-second spot, which will be broadcast in the fourth quarter of the NFL final, will be part of a campaign Wix will launch using YouTube Live and Facebook Live, the company said.
The campaign will showcase a series of shorts featuring Israeli actress and model Gal Gadot, who plays the title role in the not-yet-released 2017 film “Wonder Woman,” and her “The Fast and the Furious” colleague English actor Jason Statham.
One of the shorts produced will be the 30-second commercial that will be broadcast during the Super Bowl, Wix said.


Rare photos of 20th century icons planting trees in Israel
January 17, 2017 (Tevet 19 on the Jewish calendar) marked 115 years since Keren Kayemet Le’Israel-Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF) was founded in 1901 at the Fifth Zionist Congress in Basel.
On that same date in 1878, the first furrow had been dug in Petah Tikva, symbolically beginning the replanting and revitalization of the land of Israel for which KKL-JNF would become so well known.
Though the organization grew to include many projects in sustainability, education, tourism, agriculture, road and reservoir development and even programs in other countries to share Israeli expertise, KKL-JNF remains synonymous with planting trees.
Responsible for about 400,000 acres of forests and natural woodlands in cooperation with the Israeli government, KKL-JNF has planted some 240 million trees in the past 115 years. All these trees help mitigate effects of climate change, prevent soil erosion and desertification, create green lungs around residential areas, and promote biodiversity.
Lots of people from across the world relish the opportunity not just to contribute to afforesting Israel but to come and plant trees with their own hands.
Frank Sinatra plants a tree in the hills of Jerusalem in 1962. Photo courtesy of KKL-JNF Archive



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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 12 years and over 25,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

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