Sunday, March 23, 2014

  • Sunday, March 23, 2014
From Ian:

Richard Millett: Boycotted at Ben White Amnesty event as David Hearst announces “I know who you write for”.
Last night (shabbat) I was at Amnesty International’s London HQ for the launch of Ben White’s updated Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide. The event was chaired by David Hearst, former chief foreign leader writer of The Guardian.
After White’s talk he had a Q&A with Hearst after which members of the audience were allowed to ask White questions. Well, most of them anyway.
I had my arm raised for half hour while Hearst took questions from those sitting around me, before taking questions from the other side of the room. While my arm was still raised Hearst called an end to questions.
Feeling rather frustrated I asked whether I could put a question to White. Hearst declined my request and replied:
“I know exactly what you’re up to. And who you are. And who you write for.” (h/t Yenta Press)
Paris Jewish teacher has nose broken, swastika drawn on chest
A Jewish teacher from Paris told police that three men had assaulted and cursed him in Arabic before drawing a swastika on his chest.
The attack occurred on Thursday night, according to a report by the Drancy-based Bureau for National Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, a watchdog group known as BNVCA.
“They pressed him to the wall and hit his face, around the eyes and on his chest,” the report said. The blows broke his nose and deformed it, according to the report.
“One of the perpetrators opened the victim’s shirt and with a black marker drew a swastika on the man’s bare chest,” BNVCA president Sammy Ghozlan wrote in the BNVCA report.
Israel Trek Sponsor Apologizes to TruthRevolt Reporter, 'Shocked' by Arafat Grave Visit
Finally I need to say that I and many others were deeply shocked by the photo at Arafat’s grave. While the dialogue with Palestinian leaders was essential to the purposes and success of the mission the photo at the grave was deeply offensive. Yasser Arafat was a vicious terrorist who caused the death of thousands of innocents but in addition, his hatred of Israel caused him to destroy a promising peace process and the hopes and dreams of Israelis and Palestinians alike for peace between our peoples.
Clearly the group was not there to “pay respects” but even the appearance of “honoring Arafat’s memory” never should have happened and must never be repeated, a view that is clearly shared by our student leaders as well.

For The Israeli Left, Democracy Is Too Democratic
David Landau, one of the lions of Israeli journalism, published a stunningly revealing article in Haaretz at the beginning of February – one that gave perfect voice to the Israeli left’s disgust with the nation’s own democratic system.
Due to the efforts of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Landau wrote, “the dream of Israel’s peace camp is coming true.” The dream itself is the “most yearned-for and most oft-repeated” wish, though Landau cautioned it is only spoken of “in private.”
There’s a twist, though: The dream, it turns out, isn’t a Palestinian state. A state is the culmination of the dream. No, the dream is “that friendly foreign governments summon up the political will to force Israel to end the occupation at last, in the interests of its own future as well as in the interests of world peace.”
A call for anti-Israel academic boycotters to boycott themselves
In justifying the academic boycott of Israel, the faculty boycotters frequently cite the fact that they are responding to a request. Some even go so far as to suggest they would boycott U.S. universities if requested to do so.
Okay, I call on the anti-Israel academic boycotters to boycott themselves.
Using their own narratives of colonial domination, indigenous peoples’ rights, and complicity of their universities in the military-industrial state, intellectual honesty and consistency compels them to boycott themselves.
Why Abbas wants Marwan Barghouti to go free
Though Abbas sees Barghouti’s release as some kind of magic key, it is highly unlikely that anyone in Israel is willing to contemplate such a move, even as a means of keeping the talks going — which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants. Even now, well before the sides have begun to talk about Barghouti, the scheduled fourth release of veteran security prisoners has run into problems.
The prisoners are supposed to go free in barely a week’s time. Most of them are not well-known to the Israeli public, and most are too old to represent any danger to Israel. Still, it won’t be easy for Netanyahu to release the group demanded by the PA, which includes 14 Israeli Arabs, without knowing first that Abbas will continue talks beyond their scheduled April cessation.
Report: US could free Pollard to rescue Israeli-Palestinian peace talks
Citing Western diplomatic sources, Israel Radio reported that Obama administration officials have not ruled out Netanyahu’s proposal that Pollard be released in exchange for Israel’s agreement to free Israeli Arabs convicted of terrorist acts, as has been demanded by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
The sources would not say whether they believed President Barack Obama would agree to such a move, according to Israel Radio.
Senior Israeli officials told Israel Radio that the peace process is in danger of collapsing. If no agreement is reached between Israel and the PA regarding the fourth installment of the prisoner release, which was originally scheduled to take place next week, the negotiations could break down completely.
Israeli officials blast EU, UN for condemning West Bank settlement plans
Israeli diplomatic officials slammed the EU and UN Saturday night for condemning plans for new settlement construction, but were silent in the face of maximalist Palestinian positions they say are jeopardizing the diplomatic process.
"Are they really putting their fingers on the real problem with these automatic responses," one official said. He questioned why the EU did not see fit to criticize Fatah for organizing a rally Thursday in Ramallah when Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas returned from Washington that "celebrated rejectionism, that celebrated 'not one inch,' a position that makes peace impossible."
The official said that "a few more housing units inside the settlement blocks will not change the final maps of peace, but it should be clear that the Palestinian refusal to show any flexibility in the talks is preventing things from moving forward."
Samaria Town Faces Demolition, Even Though Land Legally Bought
Much of the town of Migron was destroyed after Palestinian Authority resident Arabs claimed ownership of the land on which it had been built. Officials agreed to destroy the community even after the Arabs who claimed the land withdrew their lawsuit when requested to present proof of their claims. The Attorney General found that the claims could not be substantiated. Yet despite that fact, the Courts ruled that land not registered as state land is de facto not to be settled by Jews.
However, the government took a different approach regarding 17 homes belonging to Israeli residents who had documents proving that the land on which their homes had been built had been legally purchased. The Arabs registered as having sold the land to the 17 families disputed the sale, but the government agreed to wait and not to demolish the buildings for three months in order to allow their legal status to be determined. If the land sale was found to be valid, government officials were to have examined the option of allowing the buildings to remain as part of a small Jewish homestead.
After fatal Jenin face-off, there could be much worse to come
An incident like that which took place early Saturday morning in the Jenin refugee camp, in which three Palestinians were killed by the IDF, would have been the lead story on all of the Arab satellite news stations in the past.
But unfortunately for the Palestinians, in the twilight of the Arab Spring, the incident was pushed to the margins of the news — if it was reported on at all.
Netanyahu praises IDF operation that killed wanted Hamas man
“Our policy is to do harm to those who harm or plan to harm us,” Netanyahu said in his opening remarks before the Sunday cabinet meeting.
“Over the weekend, our forces struck at a terrorist who arranged attacks on Israelis and planned attacks on innocent citizens,” he added. “I want to praise the elite police units, the IDF, including the Haredi Nahal, and the Shin Bet for this important action to remove a man who endangered Israel’s citizens.”
Palestinian Arabs Try to Disrupt Jerusalem Marathon
Some 100 Palestinian Arabs tried to disrupt the annual Jerusalem Marathon on Friday, the Israel Police told AFP.
"Around 100 demonstrators holding Palestinian flags tried, at two separate parts of the course, to disrupt the race," police spokeswoman Luba Samri told the news agency.
Police arrested four of them and dispersed the rest "with ease," she said, adding that the race had "continued as normal."
UN: Who Says Gaza Kidnapping Tunnel To Be Used For Kidnapping? (satire)
The United Nations Security Council reacted this morning with dismay to Israeli efforts to destroy a tunnel from the Gaza Strip, denouncing Israel for collectively punishing Gaza residents by denying all of them the ability to sneak into Israel and sow destruction or kidnap soldiers.
“We condemn Israeli measures that punish the entire population of the Gaza Strip for the actions of a few,” read a Security Council statement read, in part. “Preventing every single Gaza Strip resident from surreptitiously gaining entry to Israel and harming Israeli soldiers, civilians, or infrastructure constitutes a clear violation of the Geneva Convention,” under which efforts to protect soldiers must include reasonable measures not to harm the civilian populace in the area. “Putting up barriers to the free movement of Gazans into Israel in order to harm Jews and Jewish interests unfairly targets those Gazans who have not done so.”
Hamas sends threatening text messages to Israelis
The messages were sent in the name of Hamas. Saturday marked the tenth anniversary of the assassination by Israel of former Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. Yassin, the spiritual authority who encouraged Hamas suicide bombings against Israel, was killed in a targeted air strike on March 22, 2004.
The messages may also have been a response to the killing of one of the terrorist group’s West Bank operatives by Israeli troops early Saturday.
“A warning to the Zionists. The al-Qassam rockets are waiting for you,” one message read in broken Hebrew, referencing Hamas’s armed wing – the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades. “If you want your life, then get out of our land.”
The Vienna lesson
Iran’s standing has been radically enhanced via the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. Moscow has throughout been Tehran’s main backer in the international arena.
Now that Russia is at loggerheads with America and Europe over Crimea, there is even less incentive for Russia to cooperate with the Western effort to curb its leading protégé in the Middle East, to put it mildly.
Since the bark of the Obama administration and its European sidekicks appears to be considerably worse than their bite, the Russians are hardly deterred by the ludicrous punitive measures adopted against them.
Moscow’s fundamental geopolitical interests far outweigh denial of entry visas to its VIPs. The hectoring from Western capitals is as an irritating mosquito sting.
Iran: Evangelical Christians Are a 'Threat to National Security'
The Iranian government views evangelical Christians as a threat to national security and has imprisoned some of them for up to 8 years, according to a UN report. The report on the human rights situation in Iran also says that things have not improved for the country's religious minorities since the election of President Hassan Rouhani last year.
Presenting his report to the UN Human Rights Council, Dr Ahmed Shaheed, Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran, said that President Rouhani had yet to deliver on promises to end discriminatory practices and grant minority citizens more rights.
The report features a list of known religious prisoners in Iran, including their sentences and reasons for conviction.
Among Christians imprisoned are Rasoul Abdollahi, serving three years for "collusion against the government and evangelism", Farshid Fathi, serving six years for "propaganda against the system... Undermining national security..." and Jamshid Jabari, accused of "insulting Islam".
After Iran's leader questions Holocaust, Liberman hits back at 'Hitlerian' Khamenei
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman lashed out at Iran on Sunday just days after its supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, questioned the “certainty” of the Holocaust.
“The omnipotent ruler and spiritual authority of Iran, Ali Khamenei, denied the existence of the Holocaust over the weekend,” Liberman wrote in Hebrew on his Facebook page on Sunday.
“After [former president Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad left the scene and after the charm offensive [of his successor Hassan Rouhani], a small, Hitlerian mustache continues to lurk underneath the ayatollah’s beard. This is yet another reminder for those who think we are seeing another Iran.”
In Europe, Anti-Semitism Looks Like Other Hate Crimes
Dimitrakopoulos explained that the report also highlighted differences among Jews from different countries. For example, while in Belgium and France Jews identified anti-Semitism as mainly coming from “people of a left-wing persuasion,” in Hungary, Italy and Latvia they identified “people of a right-wing persuasion.” But the internet was labelled by nearly all respondents as the main place where they encountered anti-Semitism. Other findings showed that most Jewish respondents did not view mere critique of Israel as anti-Semitic, but only when Israeli actions were equalled to those of German Nazi crimes.
But an astonishing 68 percent of those surveyed said they hide their Jewish identity at least occasionally. Nonna Meyer, of the Centre for European Sciences in Paris, indicated that French Jews were the most worried about anti-Semitism and had the largest group of Jewish citizens considering emigrating. Meyer noted that hate crime incidences in France were on the rise in general, and from nowhere more so than from right-wing circles. She also pointed out that among people of North African and Arab background by and large neither religion nor Israel was the basis of anti-Semitism, but rather an envy that had absorbed old anti-Semitic stereotypes, such as the belief that Jews looked after themselves and had more money, power and acceptance compared to others.

Norway museum to return Matisse looted by Goering
The 1937 painting, “Woman in Blue in Front of a Fireplace,” has been the centerpiece of the Henie Onstad Art Center near Oslo since the museum was established in 1968 by shipping magnate Niels Onstad and his wife, Olympic figure-skating champion Sonja Henie.
The museum said in a statement Thursday that although it acquired the painting in good faith, it has “chosen to adhere to international conventions and return the painting to Rosenberg’s heirs.”
Preserving Jewish Calcutta
The once-influential Jewish community of Calcutta has dwindled to fewer than 20 members.
Jael Silliman, who in her late 50s is one of the youngest members, says she is on a mission to educate the community and document its 200-year history to preserve a record of its former glory before it is too late, the BBC radio program Outlook recently reported.
The first Jews arrived in Calcutta from Syria and Iraq, seeking business opportunities in the 18th century. The community prospered under the British Raj, exporting silk and indigo and playing a important role in the opium trade. Schools and newspapers were founded, and the community grew.
Chechen president dedicates Abu Ghosh mega-mosque
Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov on Sunday dedicated a multi-million dollar mega-mosque built with Chechen donations in the Arab village of Abu Ghosh, just west of Jerusalem.
Kadyrov, a former separatist who is now an ally of Russian president Vladimir Putin, was in Israel mainly for the mosque ceremony and, according to material sent by the GPO, did not have a meeting scheduled with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Kadyrov said on Sunday that it was an honor to visit “this good and holy land” during a stop in Abu Ghosh.
Water-confident Israel can dry California’s tears
In California, he says, one important difference is that treated wastewater gets dumped back into the sea. This water may not be good for drinking but it’s perfectly good, even superior, to fresh drinking water for agriculture, as it has some added nutrients.
Using a two-system approach with pipes for both gray water and drinking water, Israeli farmers irrigate crops with gray water even in desert areas with practically no rain at all. Israel, he says, is now pushing 75 percent wastewater reuse and aiming for 90%.
No water from Israel’s treatment plants gets discharged into the sea. The missing numbers can be accounted for from sewer overflow in the winter months.
Newton-based Desalitech announces partnership that will bring water solutions to Mexico, other countries
Desalitech, which was founded in Israel and relocated to Newton last year, offers high-recovery, low-energy water treatment solutions in the agriculture and the industrial sectors. Since 2008, Desalitech has expanded its industrial installation base. Desalitech's products use patented Closed Circuit Desalination Reverse Osmosis technology, able to reduce waste generation by up to 70 percent and energy consumption by 35 percent.
Russian search engine giant Yandex acquires KitLocate
Yet another multinational is setting up shop in Israel. Russian search engine giant Yandex this week acquired Israeli location technology start-up KitLocate. Details of the deal were not revealed, but sources close to KitLocate said that Yandex paid as much as $20 million for the Tel Aviv-based company.
Whatever it paid for his company, said KitLocate CEO Omri Moran, Yandex is going to get its money worth, and more. “Yandex is like Google, in that they are a search engine and have a lot of apps that provide many services, many of them geolocation and map based.” KitLocate’s approach to geolocation is different than that of others doing location technologies — resulting in not only a new set of services KitLocate can offer customers, but also in substantial battery savings, said Moran.
What drives Israel’s serial entrepreneurs?
Israel has more serial entrepreneurs per capita than any other nation. ISRAEL21c uncovers some surprising motivating factors pushing them to succeed.
It’s not about the money.
That’s the surprising conclusion ISRAEL21c drew from several Israeli serial entrepreneurs – defined for the purposes of this article as people who have started at least three companies.
“I think that a common value underlying people who continue to generate startups is the love for creating value as opposed to the love of making money,” says Hebrew University Prof. Amnon Shashua, a founder of Cognitens, OrCam and Mobileye. “Making money is a byproduct, not a goal on its own sake.”

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