Thursday, January 30, 2014

From Ian:

Elliott Abrams: The EU's Mrs. Ashton and the invisible Jews
It's becoming a habit. The EU's "foreign minister," High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton, cannot seem to see Jews or anti-Semitism or to pronounce the word "Jew."
In 2012 a terrorist murdered three Jewish children at a Jewish day school in Toulouse, France. Mrs. Ashton issued a statement saying that "when we think of what happened in Toulouse today, when we remember what happened in Norway a year ago, when we know what is happening in Syria, when we see what is happening in Gaza and Sderot and in different parts of the world, we remember young people and children who lose their lives." It was beyond her to acknowledge what had just happened: the murder of Jewish children in Europe for the crime of being Jewish.
She has, amazingly enough, just done it again. Her statement this week on the occasion of International Holocaust Remembrance Day did not mention Jews. That's worth repeating: She puts out a statement to honor Holocaust Remembrance Day that does not mention Jews -- thereby advancing the project of forgetting the Holocaust and robbing it of meaning.
Sarah Honig: Moral Obtuseness
It’s highly doubtful that Ashton’s lapse is inadvertent.
Not everything can be plausibly ascribed to unintentional slip-ups. The bizarre homage Europe’s spokesperson paid to “every one of those brutally murdered in the darkest period of European history,” without even minimal reference to their identity, constitutes too great a strain on the commonsense.
Perhaps Europe in general and Ashton in particular find Holocaust Remembrance Day a troublesome, even a disagreeable onus. Hence Ashton obscured the Jewish context with a short collection of hackneyed platitudes on tolerance and human rights.
This is a cogent example of how Holocaust history is increasingly watered down, especially in Europe. Yesteryear’s physical destruction is followed up by today’s distortion of remembrance. (h/t Bob Knot)
Sorry to burst your bubble, BDS. Scarlett Johansson has parted ways with Oxfam
In response, social media erupted with the inevitable "Even when we lose, we win" announcements.
Her Sodastream debut will be during Super Bowl -Sunday Feb. 2.
Its been out for two days, and its been viewed over 4[now 5] million times. I'd call that a BDS fail.

Candidly speaking: Pollard, American Jewish leaders and anti-Semitism
For the first time, Jewish leaders are now being called upon to confront the painful anti-Semitic motivations of those engaged in the ongoing incarceration of Pollard. Admittedly, the pressures confronting the American Jewish establishment are intensifying. Presenting the case for Israel and opposing the nuclearization of Iran has already created major tensions with the Obama administration.
As the insinuations of dual loyalty become ever shriller, Jewish leaders need to review the situation and develop a strategy which will be consistent with justice and retaining their Jewish way of life in conformity with the multi-pluralism of American society.

The Pollard case goes far beyond the issue of commuting an excessive sentence meted against a Jewish spy. Its outcome will impact on the essence of the relationship between the American-Jewish community and broader American society.
MK Rotem: Christians can’t be Palestinians
Citing the Christian exodus from Bethlehem in the years since the city’s transfer to Palestinian Authority control, Rotem said Christians should not kid themselves that “in a Palestinian state you will have a good time.” He added that the State of Israel was letting them down by not drafting them into the IDF and thus accepting them “as partners in everything.”
“Your brothers are not sitting in Jordan or Lebanon. Your brothers are more here than anywhere else,” he continued. “Christians have to be a part of the State of Israel. They are citizens and so they have to be partners in everything that happens in the state. We have to encourage and adore you.”
Qanta Ahmed: Persecution of Christians in the Muslim world: We are what we tolerate
Christian persecution in the Muslim World goes unremarked upon in the Muslim world. Yet Christian existence in the Middle East, the very region where Christianity first arrived to world, is today imperiled to a degree formerly unseen in its history.
The erosion of Christians in the Middle East and North Africa region daily escalates. Rabid political Islamism, which both calls for the elimination of Christians from formerly pluralistic societies and seeds a climate ripe for sectarian violence, drives the exodus of Christians from the region.
UN body in charge of NGO-accreditation fails to dismiss application from major Bin Laden, Hamas supporter
At a 2013 UN NGO Committee session, the US representative said that the IARA was designated as a terrorist organization by the US Treasury Department in 2004 "for providing support to Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda, Hamas and other terrorist groups. They were involved in terrorist financing ... and have provided hundreds of thousands of dollars" to terrorist organizations. The UN press release, on the other hand, described this terrorist patron as an organization "focused on humanitarian relief, rehabilitation and development".
On January 27, 2014 at the UN Committee the US delegate questioned Sudan-based IARA regarding its classification as a terrorist organization by the United States government. The representative of Sudan - a member of the UN NGO Committee - stepped in to defend the IARA on the grounds that "there was no evidence that this organization supported terrorist activities" and asked that the application "move forward". The representative of Pakistan also objected to the questions posed by the United States.
Consideration of the application will continue.
Guardian whitewashes Nathan Filer’s support for pro-terror group, ISM
Yet, in an over 1700 word story, the Guardian journalist never once mentions ISM’s terror-supporting activities nor noted the seeming contradiction of Filer’s alleged support for “peace” and “human rights” with his active participation with a group which aids and abets antisemitic extremists who intentionally murder innocent Israelis.
Indeed, one of the biggest scandals of the Guardian’s coverage of Israel and the Palestinians is the dishonest manner in which they frame the debate – the way they automatically impute good will and progressivism to nearly anyone claiming to advocate on behalf of Palestinians, even those compromised by their support for violence against innocent civilians. Such moral blind spots regarding the human rights of Israelis continue to define the ideological territory occupied by the Guardian Left.
More on Harriet Sherwood’s love letter to the “miraculous” people of Gaza
Beyond the misleading nature of Sherwood’s specific claims, the decision (presumably by Guardian editors) to use the word “miraculous” to describe Gaza’s survival is a great illustration of the fetishization of Palestinians continually on display in their reports and commentaries, most which lack the critical scrutiny that Israelis are typically subjected to. A more sober assessment of Gaza since Israel’s withdrawal in 2005 would surely evoke Abba Ebban’s dismay over Palestinians’ tendency to “never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity”.
BBC ties itself in Neturei Karta knots
It would appear that Neturei Karta presents something of a conundrum for the BBC. Its description of the London demonstrators as “members of the Jewish community” clearly indicates that it does not adequately comprehend the fact that Neturei Karta has a negligible number of followers who have no contact with mainstream Jewish communities. On the other hand, the temptation to amplify the views of a handful of anti-Zionist Jews – and thereby downplay the antisemitic aspects of many an anti-Israel demonstration, meeting or conference – is apparently irresistible.
Now that members of Neturei Karta have made their support for European fascists (rather than ‘just’ Middle East ones) known directly to the BBC, perhaps the penny will finally drop.
The Economist Finally Apologizes for Anti-Semitic Cartoon
Perhaps we have an answer as the Editor’s note has now been updated to the following:
This story was originally illustrated by a cartoon that combined the Star of David with the Congressional seal. Some readers felt that the cartoon implied that Jews controlled Congress. That is not what we intended to imply, nor what we believe, so we removed the cartoon. We apologise for any offence that was caused.
We are pleased that The Economist has finally apologized and stated, for the record, that the magazine does not believe that Jews control Congress.
Having taken this step forward, will John Mickelthwait acknowledge our petition and the call to adopt the EU Working Definition of Anti-Semitism?
Anti-Normalization Absurdities
Fadi Arouri, a Ramallah photojournalist and one of the anti-normalization movement’s big names (honored by readers as one of the Dishonest Reporters of 2013), obtained a permit to enter Israel. He even showed it off on Facebook. The District Coordination Office permit is dated January 16, and Arouri can go anywhere in Israel except for Eilat.
I hope Arouri has a normal time in Israel, meeting the normal Israelis he normally chases out of Ramallah.
MEMRI: Article On Jordanian Website: The Lessons Of The Holocaust Are International; All Peoples Must Combat Racism And Extremism
On January 28, 2014, on the occasion of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27, the Jordanian news website posted an article stating that the Holocaust is the most heinous crime in human history and that all peoples must learn a lesson from it. The article added that, even though the German Nazi regime has ceased to exist, antisemitism has not passed from the world, and even today we witness attacks on Jews. Hence, antisemitism must be fought, along with all other racist and extremist ideologies that ultimately lead only to bloodshed.
Young Koreans learn from Start-Up Nation
Some 100 people gathered for the Korea-Israel Entrepreneurship Forum (KIEF) Monday evening at Tel Aviv University in a program that seeks to grow economic partnerships between the two countries. Attending the event were young Korean entrepreneurs, Israeli students, Korean diplomats, Israeli tech and start-up veterans, as well as several seeking to build business ties.
The event was the closing one for KIEF, a 6-month program in Israel for 15 Korean aspiring entrepreneurs that was run together by StarTAU and Small and Medium Business Corporation (SBC). The participants were paired up with Israelis mentors, and worked at internships with companies like Wix, Ginger, Giza Venture Capital and others. Of course, they toured through Israel as well.
Hebrew U program gives foreign students Start-Up ‘taste
For English-speaking students from abroad who want to experience the Start-Up Nation firsthand, Hebrew University has started a one-year MBA program, emphasizing entrepreneurship and innovation. Beginning this fall, the program, stretching over three semesters — offered jointly by Hebrew University’s Jerusalem School of Business Administration and the Rothberg International School — will offer internships as well.
‘Girlfri3nds’ gets around
Keshet International, the global distribution and production arm of Israel’s titan Keshet Media Group, announced Tuesday that it has sold its popular British dating format “Girlfri3nds” to both Canadian and Australian networks.
The UK version of “Girlfri3nds” was spawned from the original Hebrew-language show, which premiered in Israel in 2011 and at the time broke records for non-live reality programming. The program follows three female friends searching together for long-term love, and is known for avoiding the schlock and clichés that mark so many other reality dating programs.
The Waze of agriculture
Which way will the wind blow or the crop-munching pests flow? Cosmologists, meteorologists and agronomists have tried to answer these questions since the beginning of time.
The Israeli company ScanTask is crowdsourcing data from the farm to answer these questions better, taking the guesswork and risks out of farming.
This is exactly the kind of technology that massive companies like PepsiCo, Syngenta, and Monsanto said that they needed at the recent Agrivest conference in Israel.
Israel's Cyber-Security Prowess Is Attracting Foreign Firms
Israel's cyber-security industry has grown from a few dozen companies to more than 200 in just the past three years amid a flood of hacks targeted at the country. As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomes more outsiders to invest in or collaborate with the country's cyber-defense industry, a Big Four professional-services firm, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, is stepping up to the plate.
Deloitte plans to open a cyber-security operations center in Israel and is looking to partner, acquire or license technologies developed by Israeli startups, executives for the firm said in interviews yesterday at the Cybertech conference in Tel Aviv. Deloitte has similar centers setup in Chile, Costa Rica, South Africa, Spain, the U.K. and the U.S.
The company that makes instructions easy
When crime-scene investigators need to check a procedure manual, or when airplane mechanics need a repair reference guide, they require clearly organized information at the touch of a button on whatever kind of device they’re holding in their hands.
Because it’s no simple task to keep updated documentation and instruction manuals at the fingertips of employees and customers, hundreds of businesses, manufacturers and government agencies – including HTC, Plantronics, Dell, Cisco, EMC, McAfee, Emerson, Hitachi, Israel Aerospace Industries and the Police Academy of the Netherlands – have purchased software and training from the small Israeli company Suite Solutions.

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