Tuesday, July 07, 2020

From Ian:

Caroline Glick: Edward Said, Prophet of Political Violence in America
Twenty years ago, on July 3, 2000, an incident occurred along the Lebanese border with Israel that, at the time, seemed both bizarre and, in the broad span of things, unimportant. But with the hindsight of 20 years, it was a seminal moment and a harbinger for the mob violence now taking place in many parts of America.

That day, Columbia University professor Edward Said was photographed on the Hezbollah-controlled Lebanese side of border with Israel throwing a rock at an Israel Defense Forces watchtower 30 feet away.

Said, who passed away in 2003, was no mere professor. He was the superstar of far-Left intellectuals. Even better, he was at once both a professor and a member of a terrorist organization. Said served not only as an academic, but as a member of the Palestine National Council, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) terror group's formal governing apparatus.

Still, his action was strange. The PLO had ostensibly forsworn terrorism seven years earlier, when it embarked on a peace process with Israel. True, since then, Palestinian terrorism had risen to unprecedented heights, with more Israelis killed by Palestinian terrorists between 1993 and 2000 than had been killed over the previous 15 years. But Said himself insisted that he was a man of peace. So why did he choose to get photographed throwing a rock at Israeli soldiers protecting their border?

To understand his action, it is necessary to understand Said's intellectual record.

Although his field of expertise was comparative literature, Said became a celebrity intellectual for a work that had nothing to do with comparative literature.

In 1978, Said published Orientalism, a polemical analysis of Western study of the Arab and Islamic worlds. Said's work, which became the canonical text of postcolonial studies in the American academy, was a repudiation of all Western scholarship on the Islamic world—and, more broadly, a repudiation of the capacity of Western academics to study other regions and peoples of the world.

In Orientalism, Said characterized all Western—and particularly American—scholarship on the Arab and Islamic worlds as one big conspiracy theory. As Middle East scholar Martin Kramer explained in his 2001 work, Ivory Towers on Sand: The Failure of Middle Eastern Studies in America, Said said that Western scholarship on the Arab and Islamic worlds amounted to an expression of white supremacy, "articulated in the West to justify its dominion over the East."
Melanie Phillips: The war against the west, and its defender
Trump wasn’t stoking a culture war or exploiting social divisions. He was instead responding to the culture war now being waged upon core American and western values of freedom of expression and the rule of law, and declaring that he would not allow it to succeed.

“One of their political weapons is cancel culture, driving people from their jobs, shaming dissenters, and demanding total submission from anyone who disagrees. This is the very definition of totalitarianism, and it is completely alien to our culture and to our values and it has absolutely no place in the United States of America.

“This attack on our liberty, our magnificent liberty must be stopped and it will be stopped very quickly. We will expose this dangerous movement, protect our nation’s children from this radical assault, and preserve our beloved American way of life. In our schools, our newsrooms, even our corporate boardrooms, there is a new far-left fascism that demands absolute allegiance. If you do not speak its language, perform its rituals, recite its mantras, and follow its commandments, then you will be censored, banished, blacklisted, persecuted, and punished. It’s not going to happen to us.”

Right from the start of Trump’s presidency I have expressed concerns about aspects of his character: his narcissism and thin skin, his volatility, his short attention span, his transactionalism, his occasional lapses into believing in fantasies, his Twitterhoea. And his leadership during the coronavirus crisis – or rather, the lack of it – has been lamentable.

Yet despite all that, I still believe as I did in November 2016 that if he were to lose the presidential election to the Democratic party, America and the west would be lost. The slim chance of their surviving this great crisis for civilisation would be snuffed out altogether if the morally bankrupt and venomously west-bashing left were to come to power in America. I also thought the west was now in such disarray, and the political and cultural establishment was so uniformly bankrupt, that it was only an individual defying conventional rules of behaviour who – paradoxically – would stand any chance of restoring America’s centre of moral and political gravity. And I believe all that even more strongly now.
Melanie Phillips: Video interview with Gadi Taub
I did a video interview with Gadi Taub, a historian at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University and a columnist for the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz.

We talked about my novel, The Legacy, and its themes of antisemitism, fractured Jewish diaspora identity and the pull of history, as well as my political and personal memoir, Guardian Angel. Then we talked about the journey I describe in that memoir, “from leftism to sanity” as it’s put on the cover or, as I prefer to style it, from fantasy to realism. We also talked about the reality-denying transformation of Israel in the western mind from victim to victimiser, and the malign processes which had brought this about.

You can watch the interview here.

Melanie Phillips: The long march, and how to reverse it
I took part remotely in a discussion held in London by the New Culture Forum to discuss their new book, “The Long March: How the Left Won the Culture War and What To Do About It.” The first part of the title refers to the “long march through the institutions”, the strategy of achieving revolutionary change by infiltrating subversive ideas into all the cultural institutions of society and thus transforming it from within.

As chairman Peter Whittle observed, however, it’s the latter part of the title that’s the most important and difficult bit. The long march has succeeded in Britain to the letter. The great question is whether it can be reversed and if so, how.

Other participants in the discussion were the book’s author, Marc Sidwell, and historian Ralph Heydell-Mankoo. You can buy the book or download a pdf at the NCF website here.

Yisrael Medad: Are Palestinians Philistines?
Here is a Philistine artifact found in the Land of Israel:

No Arabic you'll notice.

Here is an inscription from Tel Arad left by the people known as the Jews in the Hebrew language from the same period

So, no. Arabs are not descended from the Philistines but Jews are descended from those who spoke and wrote in Hebrew. Indigenous.
Yisrael Medad: Palestine or Syria?
I stumbled across this 1928 publication of a Missionary society that was founded in 1854 as the Turkish Missions Aid Society and later it was named the Bible Lands Missions Aid Society and is now called Embrace the Middle East.

It contains a map of the Middle East.


No "Palestine". Just Syria.

Yes, it reads "Bible Lands" but countries do have modern names, like Bulgaria.

It is 1928.

Why no "Palestine"?
Movement for Black Lives is having a 2020 confab. Will Israel be on the agenda?
More than 150 groups dedicated to advancing racial justice in the US will host a first-of-a-kind national conference in August, bringing together thousands of activists to produce a “new agenda” that builds off the worldwide protests sparked by the police killing of George Floyd.

Many American Jewish leaders have said they are eager to participate, but some are also wondering: Will the Israeli-Palestinian conflict be on the docket?

Their concern is founded upon a 2016 policy platform released by the coalition orchestrating the event — the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL). The collective, which was formed in 2014 as an umbrella group for anti-racism advocacy organizations, produced a manifesto that was intensely critical of Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians and of the US-Israel relationship.

The M4BL document presented 40 policy proposals that largely focused on domestic issues like abolishing the death penalty, providing free tuition to public universities, and enacting reparations to Black Americans. But a section titled “Invest-Divest” addressed US foreign policy and called Israel an “apartheid state,” alleging the country systematically carried out a “genocide” against the Palestinians.

The platform supported the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) campaign against Israel and urged America to end its close ties with Israel, arguing it makes “US citizens complicit in the abuses committed by the Israeli government.”

August’s Black National Convention’s organizers have said the 2020 agenda will not be a “duplication” of the 2016 platform, but US Jewish activists anticipate the plank may revisit issues raised in the “Invest-Divest” section.
UK Media: BLM Antisemitism is “Criticism of Israel”
When checking for instances of antisemitism and anti-Israel bias in the media, HonestReporting regularly scans the news section and the op-ed department, as well as taking a close look at any relevant cartoons, caricatures, and photographs. But sometimes politics and sports become intertwined.

Just last week, we credited the BBC for its decision to ban presenters from wearing badges in support of the BLM organization, following a string of tweets that many adjudged to have crossed the line from supporting black people’s human rights to something altogether less acceptable.

One tweet in particular stood out. Making reference to Israel’s plans to apply sovereignty to certain areas within the West Bank, the organization claimed that “British politics is gagged of the right to critique Zionism.”

The claim that British politics is “gagged” is as laughable as it is risible. Within days BLM UK was disproved by none other than Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister of the UK himself, as he took to the pages of an Israeli national newspaper to criticize Israel’s annexation aspirations.

Both the British press and British politics are full of leading figures who openly express support for the Palestinians and openly talk disapprovingly of settlement construction, sometimes sharply so. In what reality is anyone in Britain “gagged?”

It’s important to see this claim for what it is. Suggestions that Israel, or a pro-Israel lobby, has silenced others from criticizing Israel is a modern iteration of the age-old antisemitic trope that “Jews control the world”.

Extreme versions of this theory posit that a “Zionist Occupation Government” has installed itself as a state within a state, in which a secret Zionist organization controls international banks, and through them multiple governments, in order to put Jewish interests ahead of all else.
Eagles' DeSean Jackson accused of anti-Semitism after posting quotes attributed to Hitler, praising Farrakhan
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson was accused of anti-Semitism on Monday for promoting quotes attributed to Adolph Hitler on his social media.

Jackson highlighted three paragraphs from a book that attributed the quotes to Hitler. He posted the picture of the highlighted passages to his Instagram.

The passage reads:
“Hitler said, ‘because the white Jews knows [sic] that the Negros are the real Children of Israel and to keep Americas secret the Jews will black mail America.

‘The will extort America, their pan to world domination won’t work if the Negroes know who they were.

‘The white citizens of America will be terrified to know that all this time they’ve been mistreating and discriminating and lynching Children of Israel.’”

The Philly Voice noted that the passage appears to be from the book “Jerusalem,” which attributed the quote to “The Nazis World War II.”

Jackson then posted two pictures of noted anti-Semitic preacher Louis Farrakhan.

In one caption, Jackson wrote: “This man powerful I hope everyone got a chance to watch this !! Don’t be blinded. Know what’s going on.”

He also posted a quote-picture attributed to Farrakhan, which read: “There must be 100% change… There’s a burden the Earth is carrying that it must be relieved from. The Earth is burdened by the wicked living on a planet that was made for the righteous.”

Jackson also posted a video on his Instagram Stories relating to Bill and Melina Gates talking about vaccines. The caption on the video read: “Farrakhan warns against vaccines.”

West Midlands Labour council leader under investigation for alleged 'antisemitic' social media posts
A Labour council leader in the West Midlands is under investigation by the party for alleged antisemtism after she backed claims on social media that "Israel's hand" and the “Jewish establishment” were responsible for undermining Jeremy Corbyn.

Yvonne Davies, leader of Sandwell Council, is now the subject of a probe by the party over the posts which also include a link to a petition calling for a parliamentary debate over whether Israel has "improper influence" over British politics.

In another August 2018 tweet she shared an article by the ‘’non-Zionist” writer Robert Cohen headlined ‘The Jewish establishment’s ‘War on Corbyn’ risks bringing real antisemitism to Britain.’

A further post by Ms Davies stated:’’I might be wrong?? But isn’t soros (sic) Jewish? Who remembers the atrocity of the Nazis and is frightened by what he sees as the re-rise of extremism across Europe?...’’

John Spellar, the Labour MP for Warley, was amongst those to condemn Ms Davies conduct and he suggested that as well as investigating the posts the party should also look ”at how the Labour group in Sandwell is being run at the moment."

He said: "It is not for me to prejudge the investigation, but the tweets are clearly cause for concern.

"I would have thought that at the very least she would want to withdraw them and apologise for posting them.

"The Labour Party really needs to look into this – and indeed at how the Labour group in Sandwell is being run at the moment."

As On-Campus Denial of Anti-Zionism as Anti-Semitism Surges, So Do Attacks on Jewish Students
AMCHA Initiative today released its annual report, Understanding Campus Anti-Semitism in 2019 And Its Lessons for Pandemic and Post-Pandemic U.S. Campuses, which documents a more than 300% increase in campus activity intended to undermine and discredit the global acceptance of anti-Zionism as a form of anti-Semitism. And this increased activity was accompanied by an increase in anti-Semitism, specifically incidents targeting Jewish students for harm, on campuses that hosted those challenges.

The researchers also found that Israel-related anti-Semitism is easily adaptable to the distance learning platforms that will likely play a large role in the college experience during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and they unveiled a new approach to protecting Jewish students on physical or virtual campuses.

Specifically, the researchers found that expression challenging the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition’s identification of anti-Zionism as a form of anti-Semitism increased 3.7 times from 34 incidents in 2018 to 126 incidents in 2019. The definition is used by 18 countries across the globe, including the U.S. In addition, researchers found that schools where these challenges occurred were more than twice as likely to host anti-Semitic incidents targeting Jewish students for harm, and the more challenges the higher the number of incidents.

Ninety-four percent of these challenges came from anti-Zionist student groups, chief among them Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), a very small but vocal minority of Jews that identify themselves as anti-Zionist, and faculty members who support and promote an academic boycott of Israel. In fact, JVP’s campus activity increased 45% in 2019, much of the activity involving challenges to the definition of anti-Semitism.

The study also found that Israel-related anti-Semitic harassment is far more likely than classical anti-Semitic harassment to occur online or be adaptable to the online platforms that will be utilized in 2020/2021 for COVID-19-related distance learning.

The researchers suggested that the dramatic and alarming uptick in challenges to the definition of anti-Semitism is likely a response to recent federal, state and student efforts, as well as the Trump Administration’s recent executive order, to get government agencies and universities to use the IHRA definition to ensure that Jewish students are adequately protected from anti-Semitic harassment under anti-discrimination laws, such as Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and university harassment policies based on them. Although Jewish students have been considered a protected minority under Title VI for several years, their complaints of Israel-related harassment have regularly been dismissed by the Department of Education and ignored by university administrators. It was therefore hoped that use of the IHRA definition would allow government officials and university administrators to recognize and adequately address Israel-related harassment as anti-Semitism.
Toronto eatery dishes out antisemitic theories and tropes
Foodbenders, a Toronto-area restaurant located in the heart of the city, has been accused in recent weeks of promoting extreme antisemitic anti-Zionist theories and tropes through its social platforms and at the storefront, displaying signs claiming IDF or Israeli responsibility for police brutality in the United States, calls to 'Defund Israel,' and allegations that Jeffery Epstein, the late disgraced sex offender, was part of a "Zionist Mossad" operation.

Beyond her promotion of antisemitic anti-Zionist conspiracy theories online and at her store, Kimberely Hawkins, the manager of the restaurant in the Bloordale neighborhood of Toronto, has said on Instagram and elsewhere that "Zionists are Nazis" and are not welcome at her restaurant, while also tying it to alleged Jewish and Zionist influence within the Canadian government and in US foreign policy.

Additionally, Hawkins expressed her admiration for Leila Khaled, a Palestinian woman who was responsible for hijacking two planes in 1969 and 1970 as a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). The PLFP is widely considered a terrorist organization by most Western democratic governments, including Canada, the United States and the European Union.

On her personal Facebook account and the restaurant's Instagram page, Hawkins has claimed that Canadian Jewish organizations, such as B'nai B'rith Canada, “...control your media and elected officials,” in addition to suggesting that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is a “Zionist puppet.”

Speaking to the popular local news outlet blogTO, Hawkins denied any claims that she harbors antisemitic views and glorifies Palestinian terrorists.

"I’m not antisemitic," Hawkins said to blogTO. "That would go against all the other principles that I’ve been standing up for the past few weeks. I believe that Palestinians should be free and have the same equal human rights as everyone, and that’s not a stance I will apologize for."

"When I'm making a statement about Zionism, I am not referring to Jewish people... It's about the state government," Hawkins added.
The reaction in the Toronto and wider Canadian Jewish community to Hawkins' claims and tropes has been fierce.
Argentinian professor offers bonus to ‘whoever finds a poor Jew’
A university professor in Argentina told his students that he “will give a bonus to whoever finds a poor Jew.”

During an online class on international politics at the 21st Century Business University located in Cordoba, Argentina, Prof. Esteban Lizondo also said that the creation of the State of Israel was a concession to the “Zionist lobby” in exchange for money, according to local reports.

One of Lizondo’s students, who is not named, recorded the lecture and posted it on social media. The student also reported the incident to the Cordoba office of the Argentine Jewish umbrella organization DAIA, which complained to the university.

The money that Jews have, the professor said, also “demonstrates the power that the Jews have.” He added: “They are capable of handling business and financial enterprises, to continue enriching themselves. And not for nothing, go fight a Jew for money.”

“Why do you guys think the Nazis killed so many Jews? Because of the envy they had. Imagine Germans bleeding to death in a terminal economic crisis, with hyperinflation, and the Jews … they kept getting rich,” he said.

The DAIA in its complaint noted that the comments violate an Argentine law against discrimination, which states that it is illegal to “by any means encourage or initiate persecution or hatred against a person or groups of people because of their race, religion, nationality or political ideas.”
Watch: Newfoundland Media Fall for Anti-Israel Protestor’s Lies
Media outlets love to cover protests. Without exerting much effort, journalists ably present a narrative of conflict mixed with fiery passions that are easily digested by the cameras. Many protests are staged as a manipulative public relations exercise and the media, more often than not, are complicit in providing a platform.

On July 5, anti-Israel protestors gathered at the Confederation Building in St. John’s, Newfoundland, as a part of domestic and worldwide protests, dubbed “Day of Rage,” to oppose Israel’s plans to apply sovereignty to Judea and Samaria.

NTV News TV which claims to have 1.6 million weekly viewers, aired a segment about the protest that was replete with errors about the protest of several dozen anti-Israel protestors. (Watch the report by clicking here or on the image below).

Here’s how NTV’s anchor introduced the report:
It’s a conflict that is half a world away, between Israel and Palestine. But, it made its way to St. John’s yesterday, as dozens of protesters met at the Confederation Building to denounce the annexation of Palestine.”

Firstly, there is no such recognized State of “Palestine” in existence, only the Palestinian territories. Secondly, Israel is in no way carrying out an “annexation of Palestine”.

Not acknowledged by NTV News or by the protestors at the Confederation Building, is that while Israel’s plans to apply sovereignty to Judea, Samaria and perhaps the Jordan Valley are divisive, the Jewish state has legitimate legal and ancestral claims to these lands.

In similar fashion, the Saltwire newspaper ,The Telegram, also produced one-sided coverage of the protest and of Israel’s sovereignty application in its print edition on July 6.

When it comes to Israel, the ‘Post’ swings and misses (again)
In the June 30 article “Jericho fears its vision for peace could soon be lost,” The Washington Post airs its latest speculation about what “could” result from an Israeli action. In so doing, the daily newspaper stokes fear about something that will most likely not occur at all or not cause nearly as much damage as the Post alarmingly predicts.

In its latest apparition, the newspaper once again quotes a Palestinian (or simply declares), saying that the Israeli action du jour will foil the chance for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians as if it were a fait accompli. In this article, the Post predictably quotes the widely cited Palestinian negotiator and propagandist Saeb Erekat, who said that the declaration of Israeli sovereignty over parts of the West Bank, including his birthplace Jericho, will be “the lowest point of Palestinian-Israeli relations in the past few decades.”

The Washington Post reported that Erekat, now “secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization,” was born in Jericho and “can trace his family’s history in the biblical town back many generations.” To The Post’s credit, the very next day, on July 1, the editors did publish a correction stating that Erekat was not, in fact, born in Jericho, but in Abu Dis. So Erekat’s continuous sympathy crusade for the Palestinian movement is once again rife with non-truths.

The Post also had the temerity to quote another Palestinian, Bassam Abu Sharif, who also claimed a connection to Jericho. Abu Sharif, according to the report, is “a one-time militant known for a string of airplane hijackings in the 1970s.” A “string” sounds like more than a “one-time” occurrence and wouldn’t “terrorist” be a better description of a professional airplane hijacker than “militant”?

In a token nod to the Israeli point of view, the Post quoted Eugene Kontorovich, professor of international law at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School and director of the Kohelet Policy Forum based in Jerusalem. According to Kontorovich, annexation is “a loaded term” and “is not the case here.”

But the Post failed to explain why Kontorovich made that remark, even though it was central to the controversy. The key point was that the only legally binding law addressing the sovereignty of the West Bank (where Jericho is located) was unanimously approved long ago by the League of Nations—the predecessor of the United Nations. The landmark vote explicitly allocated the West Bank and the other disputed lands to the Jewish people. To this day, the League’s decision remains valid international law.
The Israel Security Agency’s report on terror attacks (Hebrew) during June 2020 shows that throughout the month a total of 95 incidents took place: 69 in Judea & Samaria, 22 in Jerusalem and inside the ‘green line’ and four in the Gaza Strip sector.

In Judea & Samaria and Jerusalem the agency recorded 70 attacks with petrol bombs, four attacks using pipe bombs, twelve arson attacks, two stabbing attacks, two shooting attacks and one vehicular attack. In the Gaza Strip sector four rocket attacks were recorded.

Three members of the security forces were injured throughout June: one in a vehicular attack in Bethlehem on June 15th and two during a stabbing attack at the Qalandiya checkpoint on June 27th.

The BBC News website did not report any of the attacks which took place during June, including the rocket attacks launched from the Gaza Strip on June 15th and June 26th, the first of which at least was known to one BBC Jerusalem bureau correspondent.

Since the beginning of the year visitors to the BBC News website have seen coverage of 6.15% of the terror attacks against Israelis which actually took place and no reporting of the one fatality. Five of the first six months of 2020 saw no BBC reporting on Palestinian terrorism at all.
Economist errs in claiming grassroots org is 'Israeli backed'
The Economist got it wrong.

ACT.IL is a grassroots Israeli organisation, and is not backed, either financially or in any other way, by the Israeli government – a fact we confirmed earlier with a spokesman from the group.

But, in addition to that factual error, the reference to ACT.IL is fundamentally misleading in the context of the article.

Unlike the “authoritarian” Arab regimes which are the focus of the piece, who lean on Facebook to stifle democratic dissent within their own countries, ACT.IL merely disseminates information to activists on Facebook perceived as violating their rules, such as incitement to violence or racism. Then, individual ACT.IL activists use this information to flag the hateful posts. It’s then of course entirely up to Facebook moderators how they respond.

The Economist’s attempt to makes grassroots pro-Israel activists’ efforts to get extremist content removed from Facebook sound like a nefarious government plot to stifle dissent is supremely dishonest and sadly predictable.
UK paper corrects false claim that prominent British Jews support sanctions
An article in the Gazette and Herald (a local paper based in Wiltshire) reported on a protest by 30 Bradford on Avon Friends of Palestine members to “raise awareness of the plight” of Palestinians, and to oppose ‘annexation’.

The article (“Bradford on Avon Friends of Palestine are urging the UK Government to introduce sanctions on Israel”, July 6) included the following sentence about the as yet theoretical application of Israeli civilian law in some communities across the green line.

However, as we noted in a tweet and an email to the journalist, the letter by the 30+ prominent Jews he’s referring to is critical of ‘annexation’, but clearly does NOT call for sanctions against Israel in the event that the government enacts such a policy.

To his credit, the journalist quickly responded to us, and amended the article. Here’s the new paragraph:

EU court to hear case against Belgian shechita ban
The European Court of Justice will hear a case against Belgium’s ban on kosher slaughter of animals on Wednesday.

The Dutch-speaking Flanders and French-speaking Wallonia regions of Belgium passed laws 2017 prohibiting slaughter without pre-stunning, even in the context of religious rites, such as kosher slaughter, known as shechita, and Muslim slaughter.

Belgium’s Constitutional Court sent the lawsuit, filed by the Coordinating Committee of Jewish Organizations in Belgium (CCOJB), to the European Union Court of Justice last year to determine whether the laws violate EU regulations.

The European regulations ban slaughter without pre-stunning, but makes an exception for religious slaughter. At the same time, the regulations state that countries can set their own laws to reduce animal suffering.

The International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists (IJL) filed an amicus brief authored by European Law expert and New York University Professor Joseph Weiler, advocating against an outright ban of Jewish and Muslim slaughter, while allowing for lesser restrictive measures to minimize animal suffering.

Meir Linzen, president of IJL and a senior partner at Herzog, Fox & Ne’eman – one of Israel’s biggest law firms – explained that “the ban may have a detrimental effect on the relevant Jewish communities, and will undermine Jewish life in all [EU] Member States.”
The brief states that freedom of religion is a fundamental human right guaranteed by European constitutions and the EU.
Israeli Autonomous Vehicle Startup VayaVision Acquired by Canada’s LeddarTech
Canadian company LeddarTech announced Tuesday it has acquired Israeli automotive company VayaVision Sensing. The financial terms of the agreement were not specified, but according to one person familiar with the matter who spoke to Calcalist on condition of anonymity, the sale price is estimated to be in the region of tens of millions of dollars.

VayaVision, which is now a subsidiary of LeddarTech, was founded in 2016 by Nehmadi Youval and Ronny Cohen and employs over 30 people in Israel, all of whom will retain their positions following the sale.

In 2018, VayaVision raised $8 million in a seed round led by Israeli early-stage venture fund Viola Ventures, San Francisco and Tel Aviv-based Mizmaa Ventures, and Jerusalem-based equity crowdfunding company OurCrowd. Mitsubishi UFJ Capital and LG Electronics also participated. VayaVision also received a 2.45 million euro (approximately $2.77 million) grant from the European Commission’s European Innovation Council (EIC) in March 2019.

VayaVision develops a data processing system compatible with a variety of autonomous sensor systems, cameras, radars, and LiDAR. VayaVision’s system is designed to provide precise 3D imaging of a vehicle’s surroundings. According to its statement, the company provides its technology to leading players in the automotive industry addressing use cases from L2 to L5 ADAS (advanced driver assistance systems) and AD (autonomous driving). The VayaVision team is comprised of experts in the fields of machine and computer vision as well as deep neural networks.
Israeli Startup Pixellot’s AI-Powered Robot Photographers to Help Coach Soccer Star Leo Messi and Barcelona Team
Israeli sports broadcasting startup Pixellot has signed an agreement with soccer team FC Barcelona through the Barça Innovation Hub (BIHUB) to develop a system for automated recording and processing of images of the routine sporting activities that take place on the club’s premises, mainly at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper training ground and in the Estadi Johan Cruyff.

Pixellot, which announced just two weeks ago that it raised $16 million in round C investment led by Shamrock Capital with the participation of Altshuler Shaham, as well as existing investors the Erkin family, and Grupo Globo, uses artificial intelligence to provide viable alternatives to traditional video broadcasts to games and training sessions in professional and amateur leagues.

Pixellot was founded in 2013 and today employs about 150 people in Israel, the US, and Singapore.

Pixellot’s technology is based on a photography system that captures the whole sports field. Using artificial intelligence algorithms, it becomes a virtual photographer that automatically tracks what’s happening on the pitch. Its live broadcast includes graphics, advertisements, the scoreboard, and the ability to integrate with commentators in remote locations.

“Thanks to this partnership, the Club will become a testing laboratory for developing new products for automated artificial intelligence-based viewing and recording of training sessions and matches, the aim being to improve technical and tactical analysis by the managers of different professional sports at the Club,” read an FC Barcelona statement. “These new products will also be used to support the methodology employed by the Barça Academy.”
Netflix Airs Anne Frank Documentary That Also Features Stories of Holocaust Survivors
A documentary titled “#Anne Frank — Parallel Stories” began streaming on Netflix this month.

The 2019 film — narrated by Academy Award-winning actress Helen Mirren — shares the story of the teenage diarist who died in the Holocaust alongside those of five female survivors of the Nazi genocide, who retell their experiences on camera.

The survivors featured in the documentary faced deportation and suffering during childhood and adolescence like Frank, but were fortunately able to stay alive.

As a young German Jewish girl, Frank kept a diary of her family’s two years in hiding in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam. The family was eventually captured and deported to Nazi concentration camps where they all died except for Frank’s father, Otto.

Mirren tells Frank’s story through the pages of her diary.

The documentary includes commentary from historians and professors, and a guide through some of significant places in Frank’s life, as well as those of the survivors.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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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