Friday, September 04, 2020

From Ian:

Netanyahu: Kosovo to be first Muslim-majority nation to open Jerusalem embassy
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Friday that not only would Kosovo recognize Israel but it would open an embassy in Jerusalem, becoming the first Muslim-majority nation to do so.

Earlier Friday, Serbia announced that it would move its embassy to Jerusalem. The moves come as part of US-brokered discussions to normalize economic ties between Belgrade and Pristina.

After two days of meetings with Trump administration officials, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovo’s Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti agreed to cooperate on a range of economic fronts to attract investment and create jobs. The White House announcement provided US President Donald Trump with a diplomatic win ahead of the November presidential election and furthers his administration’s push to improve Israel’s international standing.

Netanyahu hailed the moves and said Israel would establish diplomatic relations with Kosovo.

A statement from Netanyahu’s office said that during a meeting between Trump and Hoti, the president called Netanyahu and congratulated the two leaders on the decision to establish full diplomatic relations.

According to the statement, Hoti also announced that he would open an embassy in Jerusalem.

“Kosovo will be the first Muslim-majority nation to open an embassy in Jerusalem. As I said in recent days the circle of peace is expanding and more nations are expected to join,” Netanyahu said.

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci confirmed Prisitna’s intention, saying he welcomed Netanyahu’s announcement “about the genuine intention to recognize Kosovo and establish diplomatic relations.”

” Kosovo will keep its promise to place its diplomatic mission in Jerusalem,” he tweeted.

Palestinians slam Trump for pushing Serbia, Kosovo to set up Jerusalem embassies
The Palestinian Authority on Friday slammed US President Donald Trump, accusing him of orchestrating the decision by Serbia and Kosovo to establish embassies in Jerusalem to satisfy his “electoral ambitions.”

During a summit at the White House between Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovo’s Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti to normalize economic ties between the Balkan nations, Trump announced that Serbia would move its embassy to Jerusalem and Muslim-majority Kosovo would recognize Israel and establish full diplomatic relations.

The White House announcement provided Trump with a diplomatic win ahead of the November presidential election and furthers his administration’s push to improve Israel’s international standing.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later revealed that Kosovo would also establish its embassy in Jerusalem, while Israel would recognize Kosovo.

Top PLO official and Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat reacted angrily to the news.

“The Trump Administration once again shows their full commitment with the violation of international law, UN resolutions and denial of Palestinian rights by encouraging nations to illegally recognize annexed Jerusalem as Israel’s capital,” Erakat tweeted.

“Palestine has become a victim of the electoral ambitions of President Trump, whose team would take any action, no matter how destructive for peace and a rules-based world order, to achieve his re-election,” Erakat charged.

Erakat appeared to call on the Arab League and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to sanction Kosovo and Serbia, calling for “concrete measures against those who encourage crimes and violations against the land and people of Palestine.”



Biden Refuses to Criticize Blake’s Father Over Anti-Semitic Social Media Posts
The Biden campaign has remained silent on revelations that the father of Jacob Blake, a black man shot by police in Kenosha, Wis., posted numerous anti-Semitic messages on his social media accounts.

Biden met with Jacob Blake's family on Thursday in Kenosha following the police shooting that reignited nationwide protests, rioting, and arson.

Multiple anti-Semitic Facebook posts by Jacob Blake Sr. were exposed prior to the meeting. Blake Sr. excoriated the "Jewish media" and claimed they "control the interest rate [and] control the media they control Minds and money." In another post, he wrote, "A Jew can’t tell me shit period." In another, he said, "The Jewish media picks and chooses who is a terrorists and is not."

In other posts from 2017 to 2019, Blake Sr. stated that he stood with anti-Semitic Nation of Islam Leader Louis Farrakhan, who has promoted hatred towards Jews for years. One missive stated, "A cracker jew can do whatever to a white woman for years but let a jig try it."

During his meeting with the Blake family, Biden reportedly discussed issues of racism and police violence in America. He also spoke by phone with Blake, who is still in the hospital following the shooting.

The Biden campaign, which has claimed Biden is not afraid to confront anti-Semitism among Democrats and liberals, did not respond to multiple requests for comment from the Washington Free Beacon. Biden’s Jewish outreach director, Aaron Keyak, also did not respond to requests for comment about Blake Sr.’s views.

Keyak and Biden have repeatedly leveled charges of anti-Semitism and tolerance of anti-Semitism against President Donald Trump.
Louisiana GOP State Rep Under Fire for Tweeting Infamous Antisemitic Mural
A Republican state representative in Louisiana was under fire this week for tweeting the same inflammatory antisemitic image that was once infamously defended by the former leader of the British Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn.

State Rep. Danny McCormick, of Oil City, was heavily criticized by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Thursday after he shared a photo of an outdoor mural that caused an uproar in London several years ago before it was removed.

The mural, by the left-wing US artist Kalen Ockerman, was titled “Freedom for Humanity,” and showed a group of stereotypical Jewish bankers playing a Monopoly-like board game that rested on the backs of a crowd of naked, kneeling figures.

Corbyn opposed the removal of the mural in 2012, favorably comparing Ockerman with the Mexican artist Diego Rivera. He apologized for these comments when they were uncovered six years later during the antisemitism scandals that rocked Labour under Corbyn’s leadership.

On Wednesday afternoon, McCormick tweeted an altered version of the mural that included the slogan, “All we have to do is stand up.”

In a message posted alongside the image, McCormick commented, “public opinion controls politics.” On Thursday afternoon, following criticism, he deleted the tweet.
100-year old hoax: Why the ‘Protocols’ is still a hit with anti-Semites
An anti-Semitic hoax more than a century old reared its ugly head again, as the Republican National Convention was underway last week.

Mary Ann Mendoza, a member of the advisory board of President Trump’s reelection campaign, was due to speak on August 25. But she was suddenly pulled from the schedule, after she retweeted a link to a conspiracy theory about Jewish elites plotting to take over the world.

In her now-deleted tweet, Mendoza urged her roughly 40,000 followers to read a lengthy thread that warned of a plan to enslave the “goyim,” or non-Jews. It included fevered denunciations of the historically wealthy Jewish family, the Rothschilds, as well as the top target of right-wing extremism today, the liberal Jewish philanthropist George Soros.

The thread also made reference to one of the most notorious hoaxes in modern history: “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” As a scholar of American Jewish history, I know how durable this document has been as a source of the belief in Jewish conspiracies. The fact that it is still making the rounds within the fringe precincts of the political right today is testament to the longevity of this fabrication.
Prof. Phyllis Chesler: What's on my mind
How the subject du jour—race—has turned into an everyday, round-the-clock issue.

Will this focus turn into revolutionary, structural change or is this really an organized and funded Marxist class war masquerading as anti-racism?

Will working poor, impoverished, bourgeois, or super-wealthy black folk be better off when every single statue in the public square has been toppled; when every college classroom has been newly re-segregated; when small African-American businesses have been set on fire and forced to close down; and when a defunded and openly despised police force cannot rescue black people from black criminals?

Does this virtue-signaling racism include Muslim hatred towards and enslavement of black Africans and the historical role black Africans played in the international slave trade?

Does it include the historical and contemporary Muslim persecution and enslavement of white and dark-skinned Christians, of central Asian Buddhists—and of “brown” Hindus and Sikhs today?

Why has the American mass media, especially the New York Times, increasingly been publishing mainly photos and pieces about both ordinary and extraordinary African-Americans? And in every conceivable section: The news, Op-Eds, Obits, Arts, Books, Food, Sports (of course), and in the Sunday magazine, etc., day after day, week after week, month after month?

I was initially surprised, then pleased (all those years of mainly white faces, in their pages, right?, it’s only fair, right? ), but now I feel that this incessant display is rather heavy-handed propaganda, pure indoctrination into the false 1619 narrative, perhaps even meant as intimidation, another version of bullying mobs in the street.

I await a series of articles with photographs of Jews of color, both in Israel, but also in India, and all over Europe and North America.
True: Most people on Planet Earth are not Caucasian and are not living in the West. We white folk need to be educated about this, preferably in school, and early on. But in a newspaper? And one that increasingly resembles a computer screen, or Cliff Notes on everything from the Presidential election to Race.

The good news: Israel has, more or less, been knocked off the front pages—off all the pages—as scapegoats, targets, subjects of infamy.
Alberto Fernandez: Arabic TV Channels "Promote Poison"
Alberto Fernandez, vice-president of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), spoke to participants in a July 13 Middle East Forum webinar (video) about Arabic satellite TV channels in the Middle East.

The most influential Arabic TV channels fall into three main categories: media outlets funded directly by authoritarian regimes in the region that "generally mimic the[ir] foreign policy goals" (e.g. Saudi-funded Al Arabiya, UAE-funded Sky News Arabia, and Qatari-funded Al Jazeera); Islamic religious channels (including Salafi and pro-Muslim-Brotherhood Islamist outlets); and channels funded by actors outside of the Arab world (e.g. the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Russia, Iran, and Turkey).

Turkey has developed a "very aggressive" Arabic media footprint in the last six years, said Fernandez, with over a dozen major Islamist channels broadcasting to the Arab world. Since the fall of the Muslim Brotherhood-led government of President Mohamed Morsi in Egypt in 2013, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood has established numerous Turkey-based channels, which disseminate anti-Semitic, anti-Israel, anti-American, anti-Christian, and anti-Western content across the region. Qatari financing plays a major role in their operations. While there are smaller Salafi channels in Egypt that preach anti-Semitic and anti-Shia content, Turkey has become the "new promoter ... of radical [Sunni] Islamist media content in Arabic to the Arab world."

Qatar's Al Jazeera, begun in 1996, is the "most notorious" of the Mideast channels. Its audience appeal is based upon its in-depth coverage of significant news events since the late 1990s, especially the rise of Osama bin Laden and the Taliban, the U.S.-led war in Iraq, Hezbollah's 2006 war against Israel, Israel's 2008 Operation Cast Lead against Hamas, the 2011 "Arab Spring," and the civil war in Syria. Its coverage was uniformly anti-American and anti-Israeli, and then increasingly biased against rival Arab governments in keeping with Qatar's foreign policy agenda. "There's a ... near 100% correlation between Al Jazeera's editorial line ... and the foreign policy line of the state of Qatar," said Fernandez.

Al Jazeera's ideological bent is Islamist and pan-Arab. It owes its success to taking the discourse about Islamist politics already occurring "off-screen" in Arab societies and "mainstream[ing] the discourse. ... Al Jazeera put it front and center and made it credible and ... respectable."


NPR regrets elevating pro-looting anti-Semite
Is that so? "Jews were not targeted because they were Jewish. They were targeted because they have all the money," is not quite the defense of anti-Semitic violence that Osterweil apparently thinks it is. Or maybe it is exactly the defense the author thinks it is, which then justifies my referring earlier to the pro-looting activist as a gigantic anti-Semite.

Did anyone at NPR read the book, which includes a chapter titled “All Cops Are Bastards”? Did no one at NPR question the wisdom of elevating an activist whose Twitter handle even bears the acronym for “All Cops Are Bastards”? Did it not occur to anyone that, instead of elevating a provocative but worthwhile voice, they were actually amplifying an ignorant bigot with no basic understanding of history or community?

Apparently not, which is why NPR is in the embarrassing position this week of having to issue mea culpas for what was always an extremely avoidable fiasco.

“This piece was fact-checked, but we should have done more,” Code Switch editor Steve Drummond said of the interview, which has been updated to correct Osterweil’s many false assertions.

But even with the corrections, NPR’s McBride explained Thursday, “this failure to challenge this author’s statements is harmful on two levels. Publishing false information leaves the audience misinformed. On top of that, news consumers are watching closely to see who is challenged and who isn’t.”

She adds, "In this case a book author with a radical point of view far to the left was allowed to spread false information. Casual observers might conclude that NPR is more interested in fact-checking conservative viewpoints than liberal viewpoints. Or possibly, that bias on the part of NPR staff interferes with their judgment when spotting suspect information.”

Due diligence. What is it?
Brendan O'Neill: People must have the right to mock Muhammad
Of course, alongside its desire to show things that are of historical importance, Charlie Hebdo is republishing the cartoons in order to demonstrate that no one, not even threatening radical Islamists, should be allowed to curb or chill freedom of speech. As its editorial says, ‘We will never lie down. We will never give up.’

This is a message not only to intolerant Islamists, but also to the intellectual elites of Europe. They said ‘Je suis Charlie’ for about five minutes in 2015, before then going back to their old view that un-PC speech is a problem, that criticism of Islam is ‘Islamophobia’, and that campuses and public life in general should be cleansed of so-called transphobic, homophobic and other offensive forms of speech. Charlie Hebdo is confronting the cowardice of the cultural elites as much as (if not more than) it is saying another ‘screw you’ to radical Islamist movements that think they can use menace to prevent the expression of ideas they don’t like.

Indeed, as the trial of the alleged accomplices begins this week, it is worth asking whether there were other accomplices to the Charlie Hebdo massacre, too. Not violent accomplices; not people who provided logistics and weaponry, as these 14 are accused of doing. No, intellectual accomplices, moral accomplices, a cultural worldview that had already demonised and even criminalised ‘offensive’ speech and ‘hate speech’ long before the two gunmen stormed the Charlie Hebdo offices. This massacre didn’t happen in a vacuum. It happened at a time when PC censorship was growing, censorious wokeness was emerging, and the bizarre idea that people have the right not to be offended was being institutionalised in universities and in political circles.

Our intellectual elites have a great deal to answer for. They have abandoned the ideal of freedom and especially freedom of speech. They have rebranded certain moral views, political opinions and even biological facts as ‘hate speech’ deserving of punishment. They have mainstreamed the idea that questioning Islam and its practices is ‘Islamophobia’, a fancy term for blasphemy. They have helped to nurture a climate across Europe where you can be No Platformed from campuses for expressing unorthodox views on anything from immigration to climate change, where people have been arrested and fined for mocking Islam or denouncing homosexuality as a crime against nature, and where ‘wrongthink’ is cleansed from social media on a daily basis.

This machinery of political correctness was also an accomplice to the events in Paris in 2015. That massacre can be seen as the armed wing of political correctness, the nadir of the reactionary, regressive idea that people and ideologies have the right never to be questioned or ridiculed, and that anyone who does question or ridicule them deserves to be punished – whether that is by being hounded, sacked, arrested or, in the one-step-further outlook of the Islamist killers of January 2015, murdered.

Charlie Hebdo is right to continue insisting that freedom of speech, including the right to offend, is something really worth fighting for. Whether this freedom is being undermined by armed gunmen, government censorship or woke mobs, we all suffer when the liberty to express ourselves is betrayed. So let’s say it again: Je suis Charlie.
‘I am innocent’: Charlie Hebdo, kosher grocery suspect denies charges
A primary suspect in the trial over the 2015 massacres at satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo and a Kosher supermarket in Paris denied on Friday any responsibility for the attacks carried out by jihadists, one of whom was a close associate.

Ali Riza Polat, a 35-year-old Franco-Turkish man, was jailed a few weeks after the terror attack that stunned France, with investigators saying he tried to flee the country several times heading for Syria.

“I am innocent!” Polat told the court, his head shaved and his face hidden behind a cloth mask.

“I’m here because certain people, lying squealers, said all sorts of nonsense… but they’re lying,” he said.


SUMMARY OF BBC NEWS WEBSITE PORTRAYAL OF ISRAEL AND THE PALESTINIANS – AUGUST 2020
Throughout the month of August 2020, seventeen written or filmed reports relating to Israel and/or the Palestinians appeared on the BBC News website’s ‘Middle East’ page, some of which were also published on other pages and one of which was carried over from the previous month.

In short, 41% of the reports appearing on the BBC News website’s ‘Middle East’ page throughout August related to the normalisation agreement between Israel and the UAE. All three of the items concerning Palestinian affairs related to health issues and included promotion of Israeli counter-terrorism measures as a contributing factor but once again BBC audiences saw no meaningful coverage of social, economic or legal issues in Palestinian society.
PostMedia Columnist Drafts a Fiction Claiming Israel in a State of “Chaos”
In an effort to paint Israel as a country undergoing an historic self-implosion and turmoil, Louis Delvoie engaged in mental acrobatics and drafted a fiction in his August 15 Kingston Whig-Standard commentary entitled: “Chaos in Israel”.

While Israel, like most countries, is struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic, but despite its challenges, Israel is fairing comparatively well with a rate of death per million citizens that is well below that of most developed countries in the Western world, including Canada.

Nearly every day, Israeli researchers and scientists are announcing new progress in the scientific fight against the deadly coronavirus pandemic, ranging from promising vaccine clinical trials and treatments, and most recently, a gargle test which, with 95 percent accuracy, is able to produce COVID test results in only one second.

Beyond Israel’s borders, the Jewish state and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced they will be soon be launching full diplomatic relations, in a historic first. The UAE is an influential Gulf Arab state, a significant exporter of petroleum around the world, and the news of the diplomatic breakthrough is a major sign that Israel, far from being the pariah state as Delvoie describes it as being, in fact is enjoying a never-before seen breakthrough in normalizing relations with the broader Arab world.

In fact, Israel’s detente the UAE may be just the tip of the iceberg. This past week, the president of Lebanon, Michel Aoun – a country still technically in a state of war with Israel – publicly mused about accepting a peace agreement with Israel. Such words would have been extraordinarily unlikely even a few years ago. Meanwhile, Bahrain, Oman, Morocco, Kuwait and even Saudi Arabia and inching towards making peace with Israel. So much for Delvoie’s argument that Israel is isolated.
BBC WS airs softball interview with representative of Hamas-run body
Failing to clarify to listeners that the chronic shortage of medical supplies in the Gaza Strip is rooted in long-standing infighting between Hamas and Fatah, Iqbal turned to another topic.

Iqbal: “On top of what you have just outlined there is also the issue of the lack of electricity for 20 hours a day.”

Al-Haj: “Yeah this is a chronic problem very certainly. But the acute thing of this problem is that it has deteriorated. It was 8 hours on, 8 hours off. Now it is 4 hours on and almost 16 hours or more off. Some of our hospitals last year we connected them to the main lines of electricity in order to save them but at least 50% of our facilities are still not connected to those main lines so they are exposed to those cut off for 16 hours. That’s we are need for a huge amount of fuel in order to run the generators. I mean now the ministry of health declare that there is a need for 400,000 liters per month for fuel and we are facing the Covid 19, we are opening more quarantine centres. The considerable number of our doctors and nurses have been infected when they don’t know that they are dealing with cases who are infected before discovery of the first case.”


Iqbal made no effort to remind listeners that the “chronic problem” of electricity supply in the Gaza Strip (which made BBC headlines in 2017) is likewise rooted in Hamas’ dispute with the Palestinian Authority. She went on to make a curious reference to “a period of 48 hours” for which no supporting evidence was given.

Iqbal: “You’re painting a picture that suggests that this situation could go out of control very quickly; in fact within a period of 48 hours. What is it that you need from aid agencies, the outside world, that you are not getting because the whole of Gaza and its 2 million residents are now under lockdown?”

Al-Haj: “We need urgent assistance of materials and intensive care equipment and the medications. Also on top of that, as soon as possible we need from the Israeli side to permit fuel to enter Gaza, to pass to Gaza, in order to work the only station of electricity in Gaza. Just to return the situation as before – 8 hours on, 8 hours off – at least the situation will be better than now.”


Listeners were not told that the stoppage of fuel supplies to the Gaza Strip came in response to the hundreds of terror attacks using incendiary balloons, airborne explosive devices and rockets launched from the territory with the approval of the same terrorist organisation which runs the ministry that employs Iqbal’s interviewee.

Iqbal: “But presumably that is very unlikely to happen given the tensions between those people who run Gaza – Hamas – and the Israeli security services.”

Al-Haj: “Yeah.”

Iqbal: “There has been a real spike in tensions in the last two weeks.”
Reuters Erroneously Reports That U.S. Sold F-35’s to Turkey
According to Lockheed Martin, US allies who have or are procuring F-35’s are Israel, Japan, South Korea, Poland and Belgium.

CAMERA contacted Reuters about the error yesterday but as of this writing the articles have yet to be corrected.

The Jerusalem Post and Israel Hayom, which both ran Reuters stories with the incorrect claim, both commendably corrected yesterday in response to communication from CAMERA. In addition to the inaccurate claim within the article itself, the error had also appeared in Post‘s subheadline: “The United States has sold the F-35 to allies including Turkey, South Korea, Japan and Israel.”

Following communication from CAMERA, The Post amended the subheadline and article to accurately report:
The United States has sold the F-35 to allies including South Korea, Japan and Israel. A previous sale to Turkey was canceled after Ankara decided to purchase advanced Russian-made air defense systems.

Israel Hayom commendably deleted the erroneous reference of a sales to Turkey. Neither The Post nor Israel Hayom, however, appended a correction notifying readers of the change, a standard journalistic practice.

Stay tuned for an update about a correction from Reuters.




Coronavirus Bolstering Extremists on Both Left and Right, as Well as Islamist Antisemites, EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator Warns
The European Union’s top counter-terrorism official has voiced concern regarding an increase in antisemitic rhetoric and actions during the global coronavirus crisis.

“Violence against minorities ‐‐ particularly Jews ‐‐ has increased during the pandemic,” Gilles de Kerchove — the EU’s counter-terrorism coordinator — observed in an extensive interview with the Combating Terrorism Center of the United States Military Academy at West Point.

“We need to tackle these problems and counter antisemitic hate speech and violence,” de Kerchove said.

A former law professor from Belgium who has been in his position since 2007, de Kerchove was candid in his analysis of how Islamism, the far left and the far right dovetail around certain subjects — particularly hostile attitudes to Jews.

“It is a lot about a rejection of globalization,” he said. “It is often about projecting a black-and-white vision of the world, hatred of Jews and antisemitism.”

De Kerchove emphasized that antisemitism was “not just linked to the right-wing, by the way; Islamist extremism is a case in point, but there is a strong strain of antisemitism on the far left as well.”

He argued that leftist antisemitism was “linked to anti-Zionism and an anti-[Israeli PM Benjamin] Netanyahu feeling rather than the exact same strands of ideology linked to the far right.”
In Emotional Appeal to Christians, French Archbishop Compares Antisemitism to ‘Pollution’
The Catholic archbishop of the French city of Strasbourg has issued an emotional appeal to his fellow Christians to confront rising antisemitism, which he compared to the environmental crisis facing the Earth.

“Silence supports [those who commit antisemitic offenses], indifference feeds them,” Bishop Luc Ravel said in his message on Friday.

Ravel was moved to speak out by the recent assault in Strasbourg on Raphael Nisand, a Jewish graphic artist. Nisand was accosted by two people who showered him with antisemitic abuse while he was working on a project commissioned by the City Council.

During the incident on Aug. 27, the two individuals verbally insulted and jostled Nisand after they noticed him wearing a t-shirt that displayed the names of several countries and cities, including Israel.

One of the assailants aggressively told Nisand, “You are a Jew, you have no place here,” before ordering the frightened artist to change his shirt ‐‐ which he duly did.

But when he returned later to complete his work, Nisand was confronted again by the same man, who grabbed one of his paint canisters and sprayed offensive slogans on the ground, including, “Forbidden to Jews,” “Bitch,” and, “You can believe in Christ and the Prophet but not the Jews.”
Antisemitism Cow is fighting Jew hatred with 'moos'
Antisemitism Cow is a Twitter user who, in their own words, “is a simple cow that moos at antisemitic stuff.” Antisemitism Cow joined Twitter in June of this year and has spent their time on the social media website mooing in all caps at antisemitic tweets and comments.

The user, whose profile picture and cover photo are both of cows, responds to antisemitic content on the platform, sometimes commenting, but generally retweeting antisemitic content with an added moo comment.

Antisemitism cow has amassed over 12,500 followers, many of whom came to its defense when antisemitic Twitter users tried to publish the personal details of the person they thought was behind the account, according to the Forward.

In a show of support for Antisemitism Cow, scores of fans and followers claimed to be the person behind the account.

When asked what it wanted its followers to know about hate speech on social media, Antisemitism Cow didn’t give a straight answer but, rather cryptically, sent the Forward two articles in response to the question.

The first, an article from The Verge, asserts that “not feeding the trolls” or ignoring online hate, only exacerbates online abuse.
4 Israelis in Fortune’s ’40 under 40' list of influential businesspeople
Fortune, the US-based multinational business magazine, has named four Israelis in its 2020 “40 under 40 list,” its annual ranking of the most “extraordinarily important and influential” young people in business.

This year’s ranking has been expanded, and highlights a total of 200 people — 40 influential people in each of five categories: finance, technology, healthcare, government and politics, and media and entertainment.

“There are just so many stars throughout the industry that deserve recognition,” said Fortune’s editors and writers in presenting the ranking on the website. They were chosen not just because of their current title and position, but because of the “scope and trajectory” of their career and their influence on the industry, and because they have an “outsized amount of potential for future creation and achievement,” Fortune said.

The Israelis included are:

Nir Bar Dea, 38, is listed in the Finance category. He is the co-head of Bridgewater Associates, a hedge fund with $138 billion in assets, and which is “by far the largest in the world,” Fortune said.

“After serving in the Israeli special forces, Bar Dea landed at Bridgewater just over five years ago, but has quickly ascended through the ranks,” Fortune said. Since starting as a management associate in the research department of the hedge fund, Bar Dea “has risen to oversee a team of more than 500 people, connecting the firm’s exhaustive quant research and technology to plug into the algorithms that underpin Bridgewater’s trading.”
Untold Story of Life-Saving 'Iron Dome' Rocket Defense Revealed in New Documentary
Producer Nati Dinnar on his new documentary, "Iron Dome," which tells the untold story of Israel's incredible life-saving technology.


Kinneret at highest level in 27 years
Israel's Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) has reached its highest peak in 27 years, according to a KAN news report on Thursday.

The report noted that a contributing factor to the precipitous rise has been heavy rain falls over the past two years, contributing to a revitalization of the freshwater lake's ecosystem.

A water level rise of this type has not been seen since 2003. Since the end of winter, the Kinneret's water level has dropped by 64 centimeters, well above the previous years average when measured during the same time of year.

Meanwhile, Israelis have been visiting the Kinneret in droves throughout the summer, due to ongoing travel restrictions as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

In May, the Kinneret Urban Union announced that the 15 beaches which comprise the Kinneret Union reached full capacity, with an estimated 35,000 people, crowding the area.

Similarly, in early August, the beaches of Shikmim, Lavnun and Kinar beaches were closed for swimmers during the day because of overcrowding, and in order to prevent the further spread of coronavirus.
13 ways Israel is helping the world fight forest fires
This year alone, Australia battled its largest-ever bushfire, California has more than 500 blazes burning, many of them mega fires, and forest fires have been reported in 14 other US states. In August, Argentina registered 8,493 fire alerts and Cyprus wasn’t far behind.

The frequency and intensity of wildfires is growing across the globe. Reasons include hotter and drier weather, poor land use management and human negligence.

Israel’s worst fire was in December 2010 in the Carmel Forest when 44 people died in the blaze. It was a wakeup call for the state, forcing authorities to rethink strategies, and bringing the dangers of wildfire to everyone’s attention. It even motivated employees at the nearby Google office in Haifa to build the company’s first crisis alert product.

Since 2018, the country’s professional and volunteer firefighters and foresters have not only had to tackle regular forest fires, but also had their hands full with daily terrorist arson attacks launched from Gaza on southern Israel.

In August alone, more than 450 such fires burned almost 495 acres of Western Negev forest, not counting agricultural fields. Over the last couple of years thousands of acres of Israeli parks, fields, and forests have been reduced to ash.

“The difference between Israel and other places is the size of the country, the density of the population and long periods of dry windy weather,” says Prof. Avi Perevolotsky, former chief scientist at the Israel Nature and Parks Authority (INPA) and a retired Volcani Research Center specialist in natural resources management.

“We don’t have large areas like in Australia that can burn for days without damaging population centers.”

With such an obvious and dangerous growing problem, it’s no surprise that Israeli thinkers, innovators and aid experts are devoting a great deal of time and energy in the hunt for solutions that will do anything from prevention and early warning to fighting the fires itself. It’s also no surprise that these solutions are now attracting the attention of people all over the world.

“We try to think out of the box,” says Shay Levy, head of the National Fire and Rescue Authority’s Wildfire Doctrine Department and a renowned lecturer on forest fires.

Check out the best solutions below.



We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

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