Sunday, December 22, 2013

From Ian:

Anti-Israel academic boycotters threaten legal action against opponents
In seeking to make Israel a pariah, the ASA anti-Israel boycotters have made themselves pariahs in American civil society and severely damaged the reputation of the ASA.
The pressure apparently is getting to those at the ASA who were behind the boycott resolution. The ASA Activism Caucus has issued a statement claiming that its members are the subject of harassment and threats.
More important, the ASA Activism Caucus has threatened legal action against critics in academia and university administrators:
We will try to address any academics and administrators who participate in undemocratic, unethical, and illegal behavior, and if necessary we will take legal action with the support of our legal team.
The statement is curious because it is not issued in the name of ASA, but in the name of the ASA Activism Caucus, as if the ASA Activism Caucus considered itself able to take legal and other actions in the name of the entire organization. That tells you something right there.
Native Canadian Stands Up For Israel (Again) (VIDEO)
Native Canadian Ryan Bellerose condemns NAISA’s call for the boycott of Israeli academic institutions.
Pro-Israel campaigning causes anti-Semitism, claims loony Left student
The Union of Jewish Students (UJS) is a decent organisation which helps to ensure the rights of Jewish students to freely express their cultural and religious identity on campuses across the United Kingdom.
Perhaps illustrating the intimidating environment faced by Jewish students, this year’s conference featured a most bizarre motion which in many ways contradicted the UJS’ mandate.
Saul Gaunt, President of the Brighton and Sussex Jewish Society, was met with ridicule at his insistence that “having JSocs in charge of Israel campaigns creates anti-Semitism.”
Arab League rejects Kerry security plan for West Bank
The Arab League on Saturday rejected a security plan put forth by US Secretary of State John Kerry which would have allowed a limited presence of IDF troops within the borders of a future Palestinian state under a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.
At an emergency meeting on Saturday, called by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, the league’s secretary-general, Nabil al-Araby said that not one Israeli soldier could remain in the West Bank.
PA: Strip Judea, Samaria Residents of Their Israeli Citizenship
The alternative, according to the PLO official, is not through fighting - but through PA citizens garnering international support. Shtayyeh threatened Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria that they would be stripped of their Israeli citizenship and pursued by the governments of the US, Britain, Russia, and the European Union, claiming that they were violating PA territory after the UN allegedly legitimized the body last year.
PA officials have claimed since 2012 that the UN granting the PA non-member status has effectively made them a full-fledged country according to international law.
The remarks also confirm similar statements by Abbas, who has openly declared that a future Palestinian state will have no Jewish presence, military or civilian.
Report: Kerry Seeks Deal Within a Month
Despite ongoing disagreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority over significant issues, the United States plans to keep Israel-PA talks moving rapidly forward, and even hopes for a basic deal to be hammered out within the month, Reshet Bet reports.
The report was based on a report in the London-based Arabic paper A-Sharq Al-Awsat, which spoke to senior Arab League officials at the Arab League meeting in Cairo.
Former IDF general: Israel must control Jordan Valley
According to Maj. Gen. (res.) Avi Mizrahi, Israeli forces in the Jordan Valley would have two missions: to prevent a missile threat from the West Bank akin to the threat from Gaza, and to prevent the transfer across the Jordanian-West Bank border of explosives, people and equipment used in terror attacks.
“In order to do that you need to control the border and the border crossing-points,” he said. “To make that happen, you need to be there.”
Mizrahi rejected the possibility that these goals could be achieved by a third-party force.
What American Generals Knew About Peace
The minimum territory recommended for Israeli security included all of Judea and the western half of Samaria. The “non-annexed zone” was confined to eastern Samaria, running from the northern tip of the Dead Sea to Israel’s pre-1967 border. And, as Langfan notes, that recommendation preceded the introduction of shoulder-fired anti-air missiles, chemical weapons, and laser guidance and radar detection that might be available to the next generation of Arab attackers.
To be sure, the Joint Chiefs’ report preceded the Oslo Accords, the illusion designed to bring peace now between Israelis and Palestinians that Secretary Kerry works so tirelessly to create. Twenty years later, however, it seems that American military experts may have known something that still eludes their Israeli counterparts.
Bogus Bus Boycott
Even though the sale of the Israeli transportation company was part of the company's global strategy, supporters of BDS hailed it as a "one of the most significant, tangible victories" of the BDS movement.
Clearly, Veoila which for months has not owned a company running bus routes in Israel did not "just announce" that they will no longer operate busses on route 443. Nor did it do so, before the sale. Presspectiva, CAMERA's Hebrew site, contacted Veoila which emphatically denied the claims in the Ha'aretz report. The company's spokesman told Presspectiva: "The public transportation company Connex was sold in its entirety to Afikim. This was solely a business decision. Before the sale no bus line on Route 443 was cancelled."
MPAC Peddles Debunked Gaza Dam Story
MPAC posted the article Friday and also sent it on the group's email list.
The problem is that the dam doesn't seem to exist, and the story, originally pushed by Hamas, was debunked days ago by the Times of Israel.
A spokesman for Israel's Water Authority told the newspaper that the story is "baseless and false" and that Israel has no dams in that area. The flooding is real, but caused by overflowing reservoirs after 10 inches of rain fell in a three-day period. That's 60 percent of the normal annual rainfall in the area.
Officials demand Pollard release in light of US spying
“Now the secret is out: the United States spies systematically on the Israeli political and defense leadership,” said Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud).
“This is how friends behave?” asked Katz in a Sunday morning statement. “Pollard was arrested for far less” than the alleged espionage acts revealed in recent days, Katz charged. “I intend to recommend that the government demand an American commitment to end the surveillance and immediately release Pollard,” he said.
The linkage of the espionage revelations to the fate of Pollard crossed ideological and political lines.
The revelations of “the years-long active surveillance the US committed against Israel’s leadership clarify at long last one painful point – that the punishment given to Jonathan Pollard crossed the line of reasonability long ago,” opposition leader MK Isaac Herzog (Labor) said in a statement Sunday.
‘US spied on Barak’s home from apartment across the street’
In 2007, Israeli intelligence noted that the US government had rented an apartment across the street from Barak’s high-rise apartment in Tel Aviv, and observed “sizable amounts of electronic equipment” being delivered to the address, Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Sunday. Washington said at the time that the apartment was being used by a member of the US embassy’s security team.
The US Embassy said it was “entirely coincidental” that the apartment in question faced directly into Barak’s home in the Akirov Towers block, Sunday’s report said. “All we did was rent an apartment for a member of the Marines,” the embassy was quoted saying, “who was working as a security guard at the embassy.”
Professor Responds with Sarcasm to Left-Wing Boycott
Speaking to Channel 1’s program Roim Olam, Aumann joked : “I’ve prayed and aspired to getting an honorary doctorate from Haifa University for my whole life.”
“I’m very disappointed,” he added, sarcastically.
“The ‘blow’ to Professor Aumann does not actually exist,” Eldad said. “The only party that could be hurt by this is the university. The idiots sitting there are so dumb that they forgot that universities give honorary degrees in order to honor themselves, not in order to honor the recipient."
Fiddling While Iran Enriches
According to a graphic in the New York Times – based on ISIS’s research – at the time of the Geneva deal Iran had a stockpile of 196 kilograms of 20% enriched uranium. The terms of the agreement moved the breakout time from less than two months to more than two months. The breakout time is the time it would take Iran to produce enough highly enriched uranium – weapons grade – for a nuclear weapon. (Iran also had less enriched uranium, but that’s not my concern here.)
If two months pass before the agreement is implemented and Iran stops enriching to 20%, then Iran will have 226 kilograms of 20% enriched uranium. According to ISIS’s estimates, given the current centrifuges Iran has, a stockpile of 226 kilograms of 20% enriched uranium, could possibly lower the breakout time to less than a month.
US Senate Condemns Iran's Discrimination Against Bahais
The US Senate has urged Iran to free jailed members of the Bahai faith, raising human rights concerns as President Barack Obama pursues diplomacy to curtail Tehran's nuclear program.
In a resolution approved unanimously Friday amid a flurry of activity before a holiday break, the Senate called on Iran to free seven Bahai leaders among other detained members of the religion, including 12 educators.
Iran bans popular social networking service
The Thursday report by said a decision by a governmental monitoring body on communications led to the ban of VChat.
Many users complained on Twitter and in messages that they do not have access to the cell-phone based social networking service.
Erdogan blames 'international groups' for corruption scandal that rocks Turkey
Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan denounced "international groups" and "dark alliances" on Saturday for entangling Turkey in a corruption scandal that has exposed deep rifts between him and a US-based Muslim cleric who helped him rise to power.
Sixteen people, including the sons of two ministers and the head of state-owned Halkbank, were formally arrested on Saturday, local media said, in a corruption inquiry that Erdogan has called a "dirty operation" to undermine his rule.
The Turkish leader raised the stakes by accusing unnamed foreign ambassadors of "provocative actions." Some pro-government newspapers had accused the US envoy of encouraging the move against Halkbank - a charge denied by the embassy.
10 Israeli startups you’ll hear more about
Looking for the next new cool technologies? Look no further than the third graduating class of Tel Aviv’s Microsoft Ventures Accelerator.
At the program’s Demo Day, international and local media came to have a peek at the next new cool technologies.
“The accelerator opened the proverbial rolodex of contacts to us. We’re so grateful for it,” says Mandell.
The 10 companies to have concluded the Accelerator’s program are likely to snag headlines in the near future, so in addition to Roojoom, remember these names: Appixia, CellMining, ConferPlace, KitLocate, Navin, MetalCompass, Kytera, Semperis and Vubooo.
Top 10 Israeli medical advances to watch in 2014
In our recent “Top 12 most amazing Israeli medical advances”, we promised a top 10 list of the most exciting Israeli medical-device and pharmaceutical developments just around the corner.
Like the top 12, this list was also very difficult to narrow down, because Israeli breakthroughs in this field are a near-daily occurrence. Our top 10 is just the tip of the iceberg.
Israeli developers partner with African startup entrepreneurs
Among the many participants and startup founders who crowded the Google campus in Tel Aviv the week of Nov. 17, two guests stood out in the crowd. The event — a "hackathon" focused on the development of technologies for the Third World — was especially close to their hearts. At the event, groups of developers had to develop and present, within a specified period of time, a software product that directly dealt with the problems of Africa and the developing countries.
However, the two did not attend as competitors but rather as proven developers who had already done it, having set up their own company in Ghana, in the heart of West Africa.
Gregory Rockson and Emmanuel Foucault, his partner, attended the event, which was jointly organized by the global CleanWeb movement, the TerraLabs technology incubator and IsraelDev, to promote mPharma — a unique medical venture designed to bring progress to Africa. “Many seek to change Africa, but Africa is transforming itself. This is the only way it can happen,” Rockson said, who, after being awarded a scholarship from Princeton University, chose to return to his native country with the aim of solving the numerous problems the African continent was coping with.

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