Friday, February 08, 2019

From Ian:

Danny Danon: When anti-Semitism pretends to be just anti-Israel
Instead of viewing anti-Semitism against Israelis as the irrational bigotry that it is, the world often attributes it to rational motives, part of a legitimate national struggle.

Western apologists justify violent rioters shouting “Jews, we’re coming to slaughter you!” at the Gaza border, claiming such hateful outbursts are an understandable reaction to the “occupation.” Ditto for the 17-year-old Palestinian who last year murdered Ari Fuld, an Israeli-American Jew, in cold blood.

People who would rightly condemn violence against Jews for ­being Jews as anti-Semitism lose their moral bearings when it comes to Israel, where political, territorial or economic reasons are offered as alibis for what is, at the core, anti-Semitism.

And when Israel is forced to defend itself, world leaders often draw a false moral equivalence ­between a Jewish democracy and its terrorist enemies. Naturally, they blame Israel for any resulting casualties. The inability or unwillingness to unequivocally condemn the anti-Semitic perpetrator is uniquely applied to Israel — the “Jew” among the nations.

Such biased attitudes allow the boycott, divest and sanctions movement to conceal its true goal of destroying the Jewish state. They also enable the likes of Corbyn to normalize overt hostility against Israel, something that was once considered beyond the pale in the West. Finally, elite tolerance for Israel-focused anti-Semitism has led to Jews being ostracized from supposedly “progressive” rallies in the West. You can claim that you find Zionism “creepy” when really you detest Jews.

This new form of anti-Semitism is especially pernicious, as it will bide its time until an ever-changing political climate allows it to ­reveal its true nature and turn on its ultimate target: the Jewish people everywhere.

It is imperative for the world to recognize that, to paraphrase the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., anti-Semitism anywhere is a threat to Jews everywhere. An ­attack against a Jew for being a Jew must be condemned for what it is — bigotry — regardless of whether it occurs in New York, Paris or ­Jerusalem.
American Jews Thank Trump in Full Page New York Times Ad
American Jewish leaders took out a full-page advertisement in the New York Times on Thursday to thank President Donald Trump for his efforts to combat anti-Semitism across the globe and criticize Democrats for their open embrace of causes advocating the destruction of Israel.

The advertisement, signed by more than 50 leading American Jewish voices, comes on the heels of Trump appointing Elan Carr as the new State Department Special Envoy to Combat Anti-Semitism, a post that has become increasingly important in recent years as anti-Semitism and violence against Jews flourishes across the globe, particularly in Europe.

"Thank you, President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, for the appointment of Mr. Elan Carr as Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism," states the ad, which was purchased by the Republican Jewish Coalition.

"Anti-Semitism must be confronted and defeated," the advertisement declares. It also contains a direct quote from Trump in which he declares, "The scourge of anti-Semitism cannot be ignored, cannot be tolerated, and it cannot be allowed to continue."



Antisemitism goes mainstream
World Jewish Congress CEO and executive vice president Robert Singer addressed the Conference on Combating Antisemitism in the OSCE Region in Slovakia, which this week brought together political leaders, government representatives, stakeholders in academia, civil society organizations and the media.

Singer related to the survey released late last year by the European Union’s Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) that indicated a high sentiment among Jews of feeling targeted by hate. Noting that “extremists on both the far Left and the far Right, antisemites and other lowlifes find common ground when it comes to hatred of Jews,” Singer said: “On the far Right, extremist parties have entered the mainstream, exploiting and manipulating Holocaust memory and glorifying Nazis as part of a nationalist agenda, denying their own antisemitism by claiming to be pro-Israel. On the far Left, disagreement with Israeli government policies has morphed into a disturbing anti-Zionism that seeks to deny the Jewish people the right to a state of their own, and to delegitimize Israel’s very existence. Antisemitism is no longer the extreme. It is mainstream.”

Antisemites have found the Internet to be an effective way of spreading their hate to an unimaginable number of people, Singer continued, noting that this serious threat pales in comparison to the threat Jewish communities around the world face to their physical security – in Bulgaria, Belgium, Denmark and the United States, to name just a few recent examples.

“We must find new ways to reach young people, whatever their nationality or religion, so they will be able to learn the lessons of history’s greatest tragedy,” Singer said, pointing to further statistics released last month by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, which found that one in 20 Britons do not believe that the Holocaust happened, and that 12% think the scale of the genocide has been inflated.
Berlin – Europe’s antisemitism capital
Berlin has become Europe’s capital of antisemitism. Those who have been accustomed to considering Malmö as such were, however, not wrong. Malmö still suffers from major antisemitism. Yet, antisemitic incidents require not only potential perpetrators. These in Malmö come mainly out of parts of the Muslim community. There must also be a sufficient number of Jews to harass.

Berlin, Germany’s largest Jewish community, has well over 30,000 Jews. The Jewish community in Malmö has shrunk to an estimated 500-600. Perhaps the best solution would be to establish different categories of European antisemitism capitals according to the number of Jews.

When the associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, spoke a few months ago in Malmö, he was asked by Jewish and non-Jewish leaders to abolish his organization’s travel warning for the town. Rabbi Cooper answered that he would do so when finally one complaint about antisemitism in Malmö would lead to condemnation by a court. Although several years of numerous antisemitic incidents are behind us, this has not yet happened.

The Research and Information Center for Antisemitism in Berlin (RIAS) published a report that said in the first half of 2018, 527 antisemitic incidents were recorded in the German capital. These included 18 attacks, 21 intentional acts of vandalism and 18 threats. In the same period of 2017, 514 incidents were recorded. RIAS mentioned that there is particular reason for concern because of the increased number of attacks and threats.

In March 2018, a Berlin police report revealed that antisemitic crimes in the capital had doubled during the 2013-2017 period. Police sources told the German newspaper Tagesspiegel that the rise in antisemitism was connected to the increased number of migrants from the Middle East living in the city. National Antisemitism Commissioner Felix Klein has also admitted the statistics presented by the RIAS support the feeling among Jews that Muslims are far more involved in antisemitic incidents than official statistics indicate.
Venezuela: The Left manages to blame the Jews

The truth, as many commentators have pointed out, is that the flags of all countries who recognised the interim-government of Juan Guaidó – almost two-dozen so far, including most of Europe, The US, Canada, and several other South American countries. So why make it about Israel?

Perhaps it was just a bit of leftie conspiracy nutter click-bait, you might be thinking. But how does that explain the presence of Palestinian flags at today’s protest outside the Bank of England, where a mob of Jeremy Corbyn’s sweaty peons laboured at the emotional work of screeching “No War On Venezuela!” and demanded the Exchequer unfreeze the assets of the falling regime. Maduro desperately needs the money for tank tracks, teargas and rubber bullets. Perhaps his police haven’t shot enough limbs off protesting students yet – as documented by Amnesty International, that well-known alt-right pro-Imperialist shill organisation (as it undoubtedly will soon be dismissed).

But back to the Palestinian flag waving outside the Bank of England. What crazed mind thinks taking a Palestinian flag to a protest involving a social revolution in South America Is relevant and appropriate? I’ll tell you why:
  1. It’s outside a bank, so ‘Jews’, right? Running the world, sitting on the pile of gold in the vaults like a nesting Kraken so it can’t be used to feed the starving, or whatever they imagine Maduro needs it for. And how do you frighten Jews? You wave a Palestinian flag at them.
  2. They imagine that the Venezuelan issue is one of National Liberation, rather than one in which the National Reserves have been liberated and transferred to the accounts of ordinary Venezuelans with the last name of Chavez or Maduro. And of course the uber-intersectionality is the intersection of righteous liberation causes with Palestine being the star on the tree.
  3. Jeremy Corbyn supports the Maduro regime and the flag Jeremy Corbyn is most photographed in front of is not the Union Jack (the flag of the country he hopes to one day become Prime Minister of); and not the Hammer & Sickle (of the country he’s most misty eyed and nostalgic for), but the Palestinian flag. So it is packed into any basic protest utility pack.
  4. Lastly, The Canary said the shadowy hand of Israel was behind the “attempted coup” in Venezuela and also that “Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip demonstrated in solidarity with Venezuela’s democratically elected government.”
So there you have it.

Isn’t it interesting that while The Canary has had to make up a story about Israel’s flag flying at anti-Maduro event, there actually is a Palestinian flag at pro-Maduro event. The former fact is easily explained, the latter defies logic unless it it twisted and distorted through a far-left media lens.
Jewish Labor MP Luciana Berger Faces No-Confidence Motion Over Stance Against Antisemitism, Corbyn
UK Labour MP Luciana Berger, who has been outspoken on the issue of antisemitism within her own party under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, is facing a no-confidence motion in her constituency.

Berger, who is Jewish, has been the target of extensive criticism and abuse due to her stance against antisemitism and what she believes is Corbyn’s failure to adequately address the issue.

The no-confidence motion, which will be voted on Feb. 17, states, “Wavertree CLP has no confidence in Luciana Berger as our representative in parliament.”

“The UK is in crisis because of the appalling austerity policies of a government that serves the interests of the rich,” it continued. “We need a Labour government under the socialist leadership of our twice-elected leader Jeremy Corbyn. Instead of fighting for a Labour government our MP is continually using the media to criticize the man we all want to be prime minister.”

Wes Streeting, a Labour MP from Ilford North, tweeted in response, “Disgraceful. Motions of solidarity should be brought, not motions of no confidence.”

Journalist Oliver Kamm also weighed in, saying, “Almost all British Jews believe Labour is now led by an antisemite. Evidently Momentum activists in Liverpool Wavertree are intent on entrenching this belief. It won’t help her but I’m a longstanding Labour voter & @lucianaberger has my strong support.”

Former Labour official Adam Langleben reacted in a similar manner, saying, “An attack on @lucianaberger is an attack on all Labour Jews. I and others will be standing with Luciana all the way. I hope that all Labour members will join us in that solidarity.”

“If members deselect any MP due to their opposition to anti-Jewish racism in our party then its over,” he added.
Labour Member Leading Berger Deselection Attempt is Israel Conspiracist Who Called Her 'Disruptive Zionist'
Labour’s anti-Semitism problem has risen to the fore again with Labour members in Luciana Berger’s Liverpool Wavertree constituency tabling a motion of no confidence against her. Incredibly, John McDonnell has responded by pointing the finger of blame at Berger herself, eliciting disbelief from other senior Labour figures. Chuka branded it “totally unacceptable” and Shadow Cabinet Minister Angela Rayner has given Berger her “full support”. Labour’s official responses so far have been woeful…

It now emerges that the local Labour member who proposed one of the (two) no confidence motions, Kenneth Campbell, goes on regular rants about “traitorous Blairites” on Facebook, saying it is “about time [Berger] was exposed for the disruptive Zionist she is” and even claiming that Israel supports ISIS. In another rant he menacingly said that Laura Kuenssberg’s days are “nearing there [sic] end”

When is Labour going to get serious about rooting out the rot of anti-Semitism that has infested the party?

UPDATE: Both motions of no-confidence have been withdrawn by the local Labour Party and the extraordinary meeting has been cancelled…


Standing Up to the Eurovision Boycott Brigade
Who knew that when Israel won the right to host Eurovision 2019, it would ignite controversy in Australia? Australia's entrant will be selected this weekend. At the same time, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Australia will set up shop nearby, demanding that SBS Television boycott Eurovision because it's being held in Israel.

To its credit, SBS responded quickly and definitively. "SBS respects the right for people to express their views and we acknowledge the concerns raised by those opposed to the contest being held in Israel. SBS has been proudly broadcasting Eurovision for 35 years and we will continue to do so because of the spirit of the event in bringing people and cultures together in a celebration of diversity and inclusion through music."

Then there are the principled voices, notably Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who blasted BDS during a historic apology for Canada's refusal to admit Jews fleeing the Holocaust. "Of all the Allied countries, Canada would admit the fewest number of Jews...far fewer than the UK and significantly fewer per capita than the U.S.," Trudeau said. "Of those it let in, 7,000 were labelled prisoners of war and unjustly imprisoned alongside Nazis....Hitler tested the world's resolve...as country after country proved indifferent to the plight of Jewish refugees. He watched as we...denied them entry."

Is it unrealistic to dream that the hypocrisy in singling out the world's only Jewish state for boycott while ignoring some of the most egregious human rights abusers - who also participate in Eurovision - will one day be rendered obsolete?
Netta Barzilai on BDS: ‘When you boycott light, you spread darkness’
Eurovision winner Netta Barzilai slammed calls to boycott this year’s contest being held in Israel, saying in a BBC interview on Thursday, “When you boycott light, you spread darkness.”

The contest is typically kept separate from politics, but anti-Israel protesters have called on Eurovision organizers to pull the contest out of Israel and for participants to abstain from performing in the Jewish state, an approach the Israeli singer described as counterproductive.

“Boycotting is preventing light from being spread and when you boycott light, you spread darkness, that is what I think. I believe in a dialogue, I believe in protest, let’s have it, but boycotting isn’t the answer,” Barzilai told the BBC.

Barzilai won the song contest in 2018 with her massively popular ode to female empowerment, “Toy,” giving Israel hosting rights this year. The contest will take place in May in Tel Aviv.


The competition is expected to draw tens of thousands of people and massive media attention to Israel. Anti-Israel protesters have zeroed in on the contest as a target for their boycott demands.




A fraudulent piece of anti-Semitic legislation.
It was once considered immoral to divide a city politically and ideologically. Think Berlin and its wall. Now, Ireland wants to divide Jerusalem. Has it not learned anything from Belfast? Jerusalem is a united city where Jews, Christians and Muslims mingle, as any tourist can attest. It is also the capital of the State of Israel. But the Irish legislators want to divide this holy city. They will not sanction and boycott Arab goods and services. They will punish only its Jewish residents. This is anti-Semitic political practice.

Jordan illegally annexed Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) including Jerusalem in 1950. King Hussein, in 1960, called Jerusalem not Palestine but, “the second capital of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.” Jordan gave Arab refugees who had left their homes by order of the Arab High Command, during the Arab war of annihilation, Jordanian citizenship though they ensured that a specific United Nations refugee agency kept them in refugee camps. While Jordan occupied Judea and Samaria they did nothing to allow these Arabs to return to their homes. Instead, they kept them as political pawns in a cynical diplomatic battle against Israel or, as they told them, until the Arab armies will come and liberate Palestine and drive the Jews into the sea. Hence the war cry we still hear today, “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free!” a slogan for a world without Israel.

The Palestinian movement, although divided against itself, is, at heart, part of that futile Arab war of annihilation against the Jewish State, and they look on the pending Irish bill as simply another shot in their attempts to dislodge Israel.

The malevolent Irish lawmakers can expect heavy blowback from a number of sources, including the EU which has decreed that such discriminatory legislation is against EU principles. It will also be subject to counter sanctions from the US Administration and twenty-seven American states. All have passed stringent laws banning contact with any entity practicing BDS against Israel. State and federal laws may lead to divestments from Irish pension funds, stop trade negotiations with Ireland, and instruct corporations not to invest or do business with entities that conduct discriminatory practices.

This then is the essence of what is likely to occur as a result of this biased, anti-Semitic bill that has cast a terrible stain of the character and reputation of the Irish Parliament that, with this bill, will be speaking in the name of the whole of Ireland.

Shame on them!
I Would Be a Criminal under Proposed Irish Bill to Boycott Israel
I enjoy kosher wine from the Golan Heights and the small candelabrum I use to light candles during the festival of Chanuka was purchased from a stall in the Jewish quarter of the old city of Jerusalem.

That makes me a criminal twice over if this bill boycotting goods manufactured in the West Bank, which was passed by the Dáil, becomes law in the Republic of Ireland.

I would face up to five years in an Irish jail.

And with thousands of Irish citizens visiting Jerusalem each year as pilgrims and holiday makers, I suspect it would not just be me.

This bill treats the Jewish presence at the Western Wall in Jerusalem or at the burial place of the Patriarchs in Hebron, as illegal settlements and doing business with any Jews there is a criminal offence.

Those behind this bill have failed to impose an effective consumer-led boycott against Israel despite over ten years campaigning.

They are therefore turning to abusing the criminal law to impose a partisan anti-Israel point of view.

The Palestinian Authority is corrupt, hasn’t held a democratic election in over a decade, and rewards violence targeted against Israeli citizens by paying those convicted of terrorist crimes.

Hamas, perhaps the largest Palestinian political party, wants to impose a radical Islamist state in place of Israel from the river Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea.

These are not matters discussed in the Dail by those who propose this hopelessly one-sided bill.
“Jewish Voice for Peace” (JVP) What the Media is Concealing
The anti-Zionist group “Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP)” has been described in the mainstream media, at various times, as “an anti-discrimination group”(Boston Globe, Aug. 7, 2015); “an American Jewish group” that has been “critical of Israeli treatment of Palestinians” (Los Angeles Times, Jan. 8, 2018 and Sept. 9, 2015); a “U.S. organization…run by Jewish activists” (Washington Post, July 8, 2018); “an organization that opposes Israel’s policies toward Palestinians and the continued expansion of settlements in the region” (Chicago Tribune, May 5, 2014); and a “liberal group… critical of the right-wing Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu …” (New York Times, Dec. 7, 2017).

Is it any wonder, then, that some news consumers think JVP is just a pro-peace organization representing Jewish interests while opposing certain policies of the current Israeli government?

Nothing can be further from the truth: JVP lobbies against Jewish interests, using its “Jewish” label to shield it from accusations of anti-Semitism while it tries to disguise its shameful purpose in the misleading language of peace and human rights. Far from being “inspired by Jewish tradition to work together for peace, social justice and human rights,” as its website sanctimoniously declares, its animus is not directed against any specific Israeli policy or leader as much as it targets support from any headquarters for a Jewish state.

CAMERA’s backgrounder follows with a more detailed look at JVP’s actions, with information on:
JVP’s Acknowledged Goal: Dividing Jews and Eliminating the Jewish State
Peddling Anti-Semitic Tropes and Engaging in Anti-Semitic Actions
Celebrating Terrorists and Partnering With Jew Haters
Attacking Those Who Fight Against Anti-Semitism and Attempting to Alter the Definition of Anti-Semitism
Attempting to Muzzle Free Speech, Alternate Viewpoints and Educational Opportunities
Brainwashing America’s Youth: JVP Pushes BDS in U.S. Public Schools
BDS Lobby in South Africa Determined to Wreck $354 Million Dollar Purchase of Local Dairy Giant by Israeli-Led Consortium
Shares in South Africa’s largest dairy firm plunged by nearly 10 percent on Thursday, as anti-Israel activists attempted to wreck a $354 million buyout deal with an Israeli-led consortium.

Composed of local, black-owned investment companies and the majority stakeholder, the Tel Aviv-based Central Bottling Co. (CBC), the consortium announced the buyout of South African dairy company Clover on Monday, sending the company’s stock soaring by 21 percent.

But after protests from the influential political lobby in South Africa that advocates for an economic and cultural boycott of Israel, Brimstone Investments, one of the four South African partners in the consortium, said on Thursday that it would “reconsider” its participation in the deal, sending Clover’s share price tumbling.

News of the Israeli-led buyout earlier in the week had been warmly welcomed by South African financial analysts, who are concerned by the sharp decline in foreign direct investment in the country in recent years.

“Yesterday’s South African Rand 4.8 billion takeover offer for Clover Industries by an Israeli-led consortium is notable,” wrote leading financial commentator Douglas Hogg on Tuesday.

Despite ongoing international concerns about South Africa’s business climate, particularly in the politically-sensitive agricultural sector, the offer for Clover showed that “the smart money is returning to SA,” Hogg asserted. “Believe it.”
One in Five Americans Support BDS, New Poll Finds
One in five Americans back boycotting Israel, according to a new Rasmussen Reports poll.

“Support by several prominent new Democratic members of the House has raised the profile of the effort to punish Israel economically for its treatment of the Palestinians, but few voters are ready to join in,” Rasmussen said.

The poll found that 41% of likely US voters oppose BDS, while 39% are undecided on the issue.

A Middle East security bill passed by the Senate on Tuesday includes a provision that would allow states to penalize businesses that take part in boycotts of Israel.

The legislation — welcomed by pro-Israel groups — faces an uncertain future in the House of Representatives, partly due to free speech concerns that have been raised by its opponents.


BBC News website replaces a photo caption with anonymous ‘criticism’
On the evening of February 6th a report headlined “US to buy Israeli Iron Dome missile defence system” was published on the BBC News website’s ‘US & Canada’ and ‘Middle East’ pages.

Overall the report’s text gives an accurate account of the story.

“The US military has announced plans to buy and test out Israel’s Iron Dome missile defence system.

The system, which uses radar and interceptor missiles to combat incoming threats, has been in use since 2011.

The US Department of Defence has said the system will be used on a test basis, while it assesses options for the military’s long-term needs.”

The report includes a photograph which was originally captioned “Iron Dome anti-missile system fires an interceptor missile as rockets are launched from Gaza towards Israel near the southern city of Sderot, Israel August 9, 2018”.

The BBC however chose to reword that photo’s caption as follows:
“The system, which took billions of dollars to develop, has faced criticism for its cost”.

Criticism from whom? Is that criticism relevant or justified? What is the cost of the system? Is its cost made effective by savings elsewhere? The BBC of course did not bother to answer any of those questions.
Report Exposes Antisemitic Rhetoric on Social Media by Bulgarian Ultra-Nationalists
A report released this week exposes antisemitic rhetoric used on social media by the far-right activists behind the Lukov March in Bulgaria, a torch-lit ceremony that consists of nationalists and neo-Nazis from across Europe.

The annual February march in Sofia is held in remembrance of Gen. Hristo Lukov, a Nazi ally who sent 11,300 Jews to the Nazi death camp of Treblinka in Poland.

The demonstration’s organizers have claimed not to be antisemitic, but comments displayed on its official Facebook page convey Jew-hatred among advocates against both Bulgarian and worldwide Jewry, according to a report from the World Jewish Congress.

For example, a Facebook post by the organizers, reacting to WJC efforts last year to stop the march, targeted the organization’s CEO and Executive Vice President Robert Singer: “No mister, with a name of a brand of sewing machines, the problem of Bulgaria is not Lukov March. The problem is that there are people with too long noses like you, who are burning with desire, snooping where they do not belong. But be sure that whatever you do, General. Lukov will receive a worthy honor from the Bulgarian youth!”

“More than 50 comments were written on the post by the followers of the page, many objectively anti-Semitic in nature and tone, including: ‘Jews are the ones who sow hate in the world! Crafty and cheeky!’ and ‘These Jews want to be everywhere, they are so busybody. And then they wonder why everyone hates them,’ ” according to the WJC.
Auctioneer stops sale of suspected Hitler forgeries
A German auction house Thursday scrapped the planned sale of 26 artworks attributed to Adolf Hitler, after doubts emerged about their authenticity just days before they were to go under the hammer.

Five other paintings signed “A. Hitler,” all of them watercolors, will still be auctioned off on Saturday as scheduled, according to the Weidler auction house in the southern city of Nuremberg.

A vase, wicker armchair and table cloth presumed to have belonged to the late Nazi dictator also remain on offer in what Weidler has billed a “special auction.”

“Unfortunately we must inform you that some of the pictures have been dropped because of a review,” the auction house said in a statement.

The move came after prosecutors on Wednesday collected 63 artworks from the Weidler premises bearing the signature “A.H.” or “A. Hitler,” over suspicions the works were not created by Hitler himself.
US distributes further $30m to survivors of France Holocaust train deportations
The US State Department is ready to allot the second half of the $60 million in compensation for survivors deported to Nazi camps via the French rail system, and their spouses and descendants.

Claimants will receive virtually double the amount they were allotted after the governments of the United States and France reached agreement on the $60 million in 2014.

The agreement redressed longstanding claims by survivors who were otherwise unable to obtain reparations limited to French nationals through the French pension system. The SNCF rail system, which is owned by the French government, transported Jews to the death camps during the Holocaust.

The fund, with monies from France but administered by the US government, was available to non-French nationals who are citizens of the United States and any other country that does not have a bilateral reparations agreement with France. (Belgium, Poland, Britain, the Czech Republic and Slovakia are subject to such agreements.)

Officials accelerated initial payments from half the fund to get some compensation to survivors and their spouses while they were still alive, and kept half in reserve for other potential claimants.
Israeli Invention Saves Grain by Putting a Zip(loc) on It
A company headquartered in Concord, Massachusetts with Israeli roots is playing an important role in curbing global hunger, saving millions of people from malnutrition, and pulling farmers around the globe out of the cycle of poverty. Its invention is already doing great things, but much more can be done to help the people of the developing world. The Grain Cocoon, a hermetic storage bag, should be a standard arrow in the quiver of every global development agency, including USAID, that works with farmers.

Worldwide, 805 million people are chronically undernourished, and many farmers in the developing world still use burlap sacks to store their goods. Insects can easily infiltrate these bags, often destroying more than half of a farmer’s harvest. When farmers use pesticides, they often lead to extreme sickness and even death. And worse, over time, toxic products also become ineffective.

Inefficient storage techniques result in the loss of roughly 1.3 billion tons of food annually. That’s one-third of all food produced for human consumption, an amount sufficient to feed every starving person in the world. Reducing these losses, experts say, would play a critical role in the fight against world hunger.

Shlomo Navarro came to Israel from Turkey as a young adult in the 1960s. He later became a research entomologist at the Israel Agricultural Research Organization (VOLCANI), a prestigious institute where he worked for many years. As a result of his work, he developed the Grain Cocoon, a large, hermetically sealed bag for rice, grain, spices, and legumes. The bag can hold anywhere from five to 300 tons of grain. It’s made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a strong material that doesn’t tear easily. When farmers seal the bag, it traps bugs and their eggs inside and deprives them of oxygen, suffocating them to death, which makes pesticides unnecessary. On average, Navarro says, the cocoon can save more than 99 percent of a farmer’s crops. It can be used any time after harvest collection, and once grain is placed inside it, the insects generally die within about 10 days. Farmers can easily remove the dead bugs using a sieve or other techniques.
A Beloved Israeli Snack Prepares to Take Bigger Bite Out of American Market
Bamba, a peanut butter-flavored puffed corn snack, is synonymous with Israeli childhood. Generations of Israeli kids grew up eating Bamba — which is considered highly nutritious and is often credited with lowering peanut allergy rates in the country — since it was introduced in the 1960s.

A 2017 blog post by the US National Institute of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins discussing the rise in peanut allergy in the US suggests exposing babies to peanut-containing foods as early as four to six months of age as a means of inoculation. The post lists Bamba as one of the foods shown to reduce the occurrence of peanut allergy.

Now, Bamba manufacturer Osem Group is negotiating with Swiss multinational Nestlé S.A. for a US distribution agreement that will see Bamba become a staple in the diet of US kids. Osem itself is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nestlé. If the agreement is finalized, Bamba will be added to Nestlé’s baby food division, which distributes such popular brands as Gerber and NAN.

A spokeswoman for Osem told Calcalist Thursday that while Osem is working vigorously to market Bamba in North America through its US subsidiary, it is not negotiating with Nestlé over Bamba’s distribution.
Israelis are world’s top users of social media, survey finds
Israelis are the world leaders in social media use, with 77 percent of adults using social platforms, and rank second in smartphone ownership, according to a survey published Tuesday.

Younger, better educated and higher income Israelis were more likely to use outlets such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and women more likely than men, according to the Pew Research Center.

Israel edged out South Korea, where 76% of respondents reported using social networks. Sweden, the Netherlands, Australia and the US follow — the latter coming in at 70%.

Israel ranks second in terms of smartphone ownership, with 88% of the population owning a smartphone (98% own a mobile phone of some kind). South Korea has the highest rate, with 95% of adults owning a smartphone.

Worldwide, 76% of people in advanced economies own a smartphone, while only 45% of respondents in emerging economies own one.
Israeli Technology Comes to the Rescue in Brazil to Help With Water Crisis
Brazil will receive 10 generators that use Israeli technology to produce pure, clean-drinking water from ambient air, according to Brazilian Minister of Science Marcos Cesar Pontes.

The revelation came to light on Tuesday when Pontes was in Israel as part of Brazil’s mission to this year’s Cybertech conference in Tel Aviv.

During his visit, Pontes toured Watergen’s headquarters, where he tasted the fresh water produced by the GEN-350. He also met with Watergen’s president, Dr. Michael Mirilashvili.

Each of the 10 units is a GEN-350 atmospheric water generator, developed by the Israel-based company of Watergen. A single GEN-350 can produce up to 900 liters of water per day.

According to Pontes, the GEN-350s will be installed in schools and hospitals throughout Brazil, particularly in areas that lack safe drinking water.

Weighing just 800 kilograms, the GEN-350 is easily transportable and can be installed anywhere, even in remote places. It is provided with an internal water-treatment system and needs no infrastructure to operate except for electricity.



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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 14 years and 30,000 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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