Thursday, December 26, 2013

From Ian:

Hamad Amar: Israel offers full rights to all
"Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country," former U.S. President John F. Kennedy famously said at his inaugural address in 1961. These immortal words, meant to inspire societal and national contribution, are completely lost on Arab Israeli leaders like Ahmad Tibi.
In his piece on The Hill's Congress blog, “Israel’s ‘Jim Crow’ treatment of Palestinians continues”, Tibi once again maligns and libels the country which he purports and is paid to serve, not only as a elected official, but also as the Deputy Speaker of Israel’s parliament.
Perhaps more than anyone else, Tibi represents all that is wrong with parts of the Israeli Arab leadership. Rather than encourage integration among our community, the community of Arabic-speaking Israeli citizens, Tibi supports segregation, calling for the complete ostracism of any Israeli Arab who volunteers for national civilian service. (Amar is a Druze citizen of Israel and deputy speaker of the Knesset.)
Isi Leibler: Debasing the Warsaw Ghetto uprising
Haaretz’s unprofessionalism is simply inexcusable.
In its zeal to undermine the core principles of Zionism, it has done irrevocable damage. The distortion of facts, and outright lies, have aided our enemies and confused our friends, including Jews living in the Diaspora with limited understanding of Jewish or Israeli history. The Gat article demonstrates to what depths Haaretz will sink, twisting the facts – even of Holocaust history – to provoke its readers and disallow them even the smallest measure of Jewish pride.
Freedom of the press allows Haaretz, like any newspaper in Israel, the right to publish what it deems fit. However, newspapers are dependent on readers and the rapidly diminishing number of Haaretz subscribers should do what is necessary and take the most effective steps to influence the publisher and editor to prevent the paper from serving as a launching pad for enemies of Israel and the Jewish people.
Crisis in South Sudan
Israel has been a supporter of the South Sudanese since before independence and has been keen to develop relations with the country. Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman illustrated that with a phone call to South Sudan Foreign Minister Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin on Tuesday, saying he hoped the conflict would end soon and that Israel was prepared to send humanitarian assistance.
American Jewish Committee Executive Director David Harris has expressed support for the UN’s robust response.
“The US and international community were essential to creating the conditions for South Sudan’s independence, and now will be critical to ending the bloodshed, and to stabilizing the country and setting it on a hopeful course,” said Harris. These responses by Israel and by Jewish leaders are a step in the right direction. It is essential that US President Barack Obama and other world leaders speak out about this issue. The world has a chance to show that the mistakes of the 1990s in ignoring genocide in Africa will not be repeated.
Human Rights Gets It Wrong
When the United Kingdom's Shadow Secretary of State for Justice, Sadiq Khan, personally intervened to stop Babar Ahmad's extradition, what, then, did that mean? Is that Khan believed Ahmad to be innocent? Or is it that this politician -- who will most likely, under the next government, be the minister in charge of the Ministry of Justice -- believed the United States of America's judicial system is so institutionally corrupt that it will imprison an innocent man? Now that Ahmad has pleaded guilty, what does Khan believe now?
Likewise, for the broadsheet newspaper editors who offered Ahmad column inches, and for the "human rights" groups who joined arms with extremist institutions in opposing Ahmad's extradition, what does Ahmad's guilty plea mean?
Will these self-proclaimed champions of liberalism, human rights, and habeas corpus also offer their time to Ahmad's victims -- the women and children slaughtered by the very Taliban fighters to whom Ahmad's supplied money and personnel?
The Samer Issawi Test
Palestinian prisoner Samer Issawi, released by Israeli authorities for the second time yesterday, is an important test case for journalists. His high profile case, helped along by his months-long on and off hunger strike as well as a concerted publicity campaign, has garnered international media attention, with journalists churning out detailed accounts about his medical condition and his releases.
Less predictable, however, is the manner in which media outlets cover his violent crimes which landed him in jail in the first place. Many media outlets downplay or entirely ignore the fact that he was imprisoned for attempted murder.
More ‘last-first’ reporting in BBC account of sniper attack on Gaza border
As has also been the case in prior BBC articles relating to recent violent incidents, no serious attempt is made in this report to inform readers of the context of escalating numbers of terror attacks and security incidents emanating from the Gaza Strip and in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria in recent months. By treating each of the random cases it does decide to report (usually those involving fatalities) as separate, unrelated incidents – and whilst ignoring many others – the BBC denies audiences a complete picture of the background of rising tensions in the region and the ability to understand Israeli reactions to incidents in their proper context.
The evening before Tuesday’s incident on the Gaza Strip border, a policeman directing traffic after a road accident was stabbed in the back by a Palestinian attacker near the community of Adam, north of Jerusalem. After surgery which included the removal of a damaged kidney, Rami Ravid’s condition improved. That incident was not reported by the BBC.
Netanyahu’s Office Disappointed That Abbas Has Not Condemned Recent Terror Attacks
On Tuesday, a 22- year-old Israeli working on the security fence surrounding the Gaza Strip was shot and killed by a sniper firing from within Gaza.
“We are disappointed that so far Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] has not condemned these acts as we would expect from someone who is supposed to be a partner in peace talks,” wrote spokesman Ofir Gendelman.
Mothers of terror victims go on offensive against impending Palestinian prisoner release
Sherri Mandell – whose 13-year-old son Koby was violently murdered in Tekoa in 2001 along with his friend Yosef Ish-Ran – said the upcoming release served as evidence that the nation had lost its moral compass and subjugated itself to American pressure.
“We’re living in a country with a lack of ethics and justice,” said Mandell with thinly veiled contempt. “We have succumbed to America’s demands, and they would never do this. Let them release prisoners from Guantanamo Bay if they want peace with Afghanistan!” She beseeched the public to inundate Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with posts on his Facebook page to denounce the ongoing releases and prevent future episodes.
Canadian PM to Speak at the Knesset
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper will speak at the Knesset during his upcoming visit to Israel, which will begin on January 20, Shalom Toronto reported on Wednesday.
Harper will lead a delegation of some 200 people, including Canadian journalists, the report said.
UK – BDS fail. BIG time
In spite of these BDS actions business is looking very good for SodaStream who announced that their profits have risen more than three-fold since 2009. The group booked sales of over $436 million last year, with net profit up 18 percent to $44 million.
Queen of the kitchen and TV cooking Loraine Pascale has sparked a monumental sales increase in the retro kitchen gadget the SodaStream.
The Baking Made Easy presenter declared ‘Oh yes, it’s official. Bubbles…are back’ on her twitter feed sending fans heading for the SodaStream website to snap up the latest must-have kitchen gadget.
Stylish soft drinks maker, SodaStream, has seen sales of its Source machine nearly double in the past week after Lorraine was the latest star to tweet about using the drinks maker.
Buffett Donates $10 Million to Haifa Hospital
The contribution was announced by Eitan Wertheimer, according to Globes business newspaper. Buffet paid the Wertheimer family $6 billion in 2006 and this past May for all of the shares of the Iscar toolmaking company, his first acquisition in Israel.
His closeness with the Wertheimers and his stated love of Israel as a pot of gold for investors now has paid off for Rambam.
easyJet to launch Tel Aviv-Paris route - report
Low-cost carrier easyJet plc (LSE:EZJ) will operate six weekly flights to Paris Charles de Gaulle airport starting in the summer, reports "Yediot Ahronot."
The route between Ben Gurion Airport and Paris will be the ninth European destination offered by easyJet. In recent weeks, the low cost carrier announced new routes to Milan, starting May, London Gatwick starting April and Berlin starting February.
3D-printed Cosyflex panties to debut in Israel
Tamar Giloh did not set out to commercialize a futuristic fabric made on a three-dimensional printer for pennies.
Though global makers of everything from swimwear to footwear are beating down the door to get access to her patented, stretchable Cosyflex material, Giloh began with a very simple quest to invent a better form of feminine protection.
Eli Ben Zaken, wine entrepreneur
Ben Zaken’s winery, Domaine du Castel, is located on a plot of land beneath his home on the moshav (cooperative village) of Ramat Raziel. It is there that the 69-year-old former restaurateur and his four adult sons have been producing some of the best wines in the country since 1983. These include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Petit Verdot.
But Ben Zaken does not see himself as a maverick in the industry. “I’m a hitchhiker,” he says.
Perhaps. Nevertheless, Ben Zaken was one of two Israelis to be honored with the French National Order of Agricultural Merit this year. The prestigious award was presented to Ben Zaken and Ben-Gurion University’s Professor Pedro Berliner at the French Embassy in Tel Aviv on November 27.
Israeli USB stick inventor bets on TV, medical devices
Israeli high-tech pioneer Dov Moran, whose company M-Systems invented the USB stick and expanded the use of flash memory that today drives most electronic devices, is turning his sights to television and medical equipment.
"We are at the beginning of a new era. We will be more computerised, better connected and healthier," said Moran, 58, considered a founding father of Israel's high-tech sector, one of the country's main growth drivers.
Netanyahu to hail Israeli cyber industry at World Economic Forum
Netanyahu will make a speech at a special session titled "Israel's Economy." The prime minister is expected, among other subjects, to discuss Israel's cyber industry, which is among the world's most advanced.
The Davos forum is considered one of the most important stages for global economic issues. Netanyahu is also expected to hold a series of meetings with other heads of state and CEOs of global companies to encourage investment in the Israeli high-tech industry, and in other fields as well.
Gilat awarded $129 million projects in South America
Gilat Satellite Networks, a leader in satellite networking technology, has been awarded two multi-year projects valued at $129-million in Colombia and Peru.
The Israeli company that makes equipment for sending and receiving satellite transmissions will provide Colombia’s Ministry of Information and Technology (MINTIC) Connectivity Division with deployment and connectivity services to rural communities and schools and will design, setup and implement a network as part of the Integracion Amazonica Loreto initiative in Peru.
USC digitally remasters Holocaust testimonial tapes
Eyewitness accounts of the Holocaust believed to be lost forever may soon be restored, according to experts at the University of Southern California’s Shoah Foundation.
The foundation, following the completion of a multi-year effort to digitize its archive of 52,000 Holocaust testimonies, is now beginning the process of digitally restoring the approximately 5 percent of tapes that it previously thought were irretrievable.
Between 1994 and 1999, the foundation’s staff interviewed tens of thousands of Holocaust survivors and eyewitnesses on analog tapes, which have since begun to degrade.

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