Wednesday, October 22, 2014

From Ian:

Baby killed as car rams crowd in apparent Jerusalem terror attack
A three-month-old girl was killed Wednesday afternoon and eight others were injured when a car crashed into a crowd at a light rail station in Jerusalem in what officials said was a likely terrorist attack.
A suspect, identified by an Israeli official as a member of terror group Hamas, attempted to flee the scene on foot and was shot by police, a police spokesperson said.
“A private car which arrived from the direction of the French Hill junction hit a number of pedestrians who were on the pavement and injured nine of them,” police spokeswoman Luba Samri said in a statement.
“Initial indications suggest this is a hit-and-run terror attack,” Samri said. (h/t Alexi)
Netanyahu blames Abbas incitement for Jerusalem attack
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leveled blame on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for an apparent terror attack in Jerusalem Wednesday, saying the Palestinian leader was inciting violence against Jews in the city.
At the same time Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat called for a bolstered police presence in neighborhoods that have seen violent riots in recent months, as stone throwing protests broke out across East Jerusalem Wednesday night.
Isi Leibler: British vote epitomizes ignorance, opportunism and malice
Abbas continues to incite to violence and hate and his Fatah party still calls for the destruction of the Jewish state. In recent months, the official PA TV revived the medieval blood libel accusing Jews of using the blood of Palestinian children to make matzot for Passover, promoted The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and alleged that Israel was poisoning Palestinian water wells. Abbas continues to glorify mass murderers and insists that there will never be an agreement unless Israel accepts the right of return of the five million descendants of Arab refugees, which would entail the end of Israel as a Jewish state. He also reaffirmed his union with Hamas – the globally designated terrorist organization.
The UK parliamentary resolution effectively endorses a state in which the genocidal Hamas occupies a central role and which, according to polls, would emerge victorious in an election. To make matters worse, Abbas has publicly stated that should that occur, he would hand over control of the state to Hamas.
British socialists who voted for the resolution totally disregarded Israel’s security concerns by supporting the establishment of a state based on the 1949 armistice lines. The resolution does not even require Hamas to amend its charter calling for the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews throughout the world – a charter that the Nazis would proudly have supported. Nor did it call for demilitarization and cessation of hostilities against Israeli civilians.
The implications of passing such a resolution are harrowing, exceeding the worst excesses of perfidious Albion when the anti-Semitic British foreign secretary Ernest Bevin displayed his hostility to the Jews during the last years of the mandate.
One cannot justify such behavior on the basis of ignorance. Clearly, the motivations represent a combination of electoral opportunism, leftist political correctness which transforms Israel the victim into the aggressor, cultural relativism which no longer distinguishes between good and evil and promotes moral equivalency; and above all, an indisputable odor of outright anti-Semitism.
Alan Dershowitz: Metropolitan Opera Stifles Free Exchange of Ideas about a Propaganda Opera
The Palestinian murderer is played by a talented ballet dancer, who is portrayed sympathetically. A chorus of Palestinian women asks the audience to understand why he would be driven to terrorism. "We are not criminals," the terrorists assures us.
One of the terrorists—played by the only Black lead singer—is portrayed as an overt anti-Semite, expressing hateful tropes against "the Jews". But he is not the killer. Nor, in this opera, is Klinghoffer selected for execution because he is a Jew. Instead, he is picked because he is a loudmouth who can't control his disdain for the Palestinian cause.
At bottom The Death of Klinghoffer—a title deliberately selected to sanitize his brutal murder—is more propaganda than art. It has some artistic moments but the dominant theme is to create a false moral equivalence between terrorism and its victims, between Israel and Palestinian terrorist groups, and between the Holocaust and the self-inflicted Nakba. It is a mediocre opera, by a good composer and very bad librettist. But you wouldn't know that from the raucous standing ovations received not only by the performers and chorus master, who deserved them, but also by the composer, who did not. The applause was not for the art. Indeed, during the intermission and on the way out, the word I heard most often was "boring." The over-the-top standing ovations were for the "courage" displayed by all those involved in the production. But it takes little courage to be anti-Israel these days, or to outrage Jews. There were, to be sure, a few brief expressions of negative opinion during the opera, one of which was briefly disruptive, as an audience member repeatedly shouted "Klinghoffer's murder will never be forgiven." He was arrested and removed.
What would require courage would be for the Met to produce an opera that portrayed Mohammad, or even Yassir Arafat, in a negative way. The protests against such portrayals would not be limited to a few shouts, some wheelchairs and a few hundred distant demonstrators. Remember the murderous reaction to a few cartoons several years ago.

The Sick Logic of Wealthy Jewish Met Opera Donors
What these wealthy American Jewish Metropolitan Opera donors are, in fact, really saying when they say that “there are two sides to the conflict” to rationalize their continued donations of millions and millions of dollars to the Met Opera despite the Met’s showing of the Palestinian terrorist glorification opera, is that an argument can be made for the cold-blooded terrorist murder of an American Jew in a wheelchair by a Palestinian terrorist. Why? Because there exists an Arab-Israeli conflict, and because the Palestinians are, therefore, somehow ‘aggrieved.’
These American Jewish Metropolitan Opera donors have just legitimized the murder of any, and all, American Jews, in, and out of, wheelchairs specifically, because there exists an Arab-Israeli conflict.
Why not? If there is an argument for murdering Leon Kinghoffer because there is an Arab-Israeli conflict, then there’s an argument for murdering any American Jew because there is an Arab-Israeli conflict.
These same wealthy American Jewish Metropolitan Opera donors have also legitimized the murder of any non-Jewish Americans who get in the way of a Palestinian terrorist trying to murder an American Jew - because there exists an Arab-Israeli conflict.
And if these wealthy American Jewish Metropolitan Opera donors think that there is an argument for the murder of American Jews because there exists an Arab-Israeli conflict, then can you imagine the argument that now exists for the terrorist murder of Israeli Jews because there is a Arab-Israeli conflict. After all, if a Palestinian terrorist can murder American Jews because the Arab-Israeli conflict exists, why can't he be understood for the murder of Israeli Jews simply because an Arab-Israeli conflict exists?
The American Jewish Metropolitan Opera donors have legitimized the murder of all Jews everywhere simply because there exists an Arab-Israeli conflict. Sick, indeed.
Analyst Calls Met Opera House 'Al Qaeda Terror Safe House'
In a heartfelt and hard-hitting speech at the demonstration Monday against the opening night of “The Death Of Klinghoffer,” Arutz Sheva's UN correspondent and Chairman of Americans For a Safe Israel (AFSI) Mark Langfan called the Metropolitan Opera House “an Al Qaeda terror safe-house.”
The crux of his remarks, on which Langfan further elaborated in his op-ed “The Sick Logic of Wealthy Jewish Met Opera Donors,” was that by legitimizing the Palestinian terrorist murder of an American Jew in a wheelchair “because there is an Arab-Israel conflict,” the Met in fact put a “bulls-eye on the forehead of every American Jew” through the validation and glorification of Palestinian Arab terrorism.
“It wasn’t enough that Mr. Klinghoffer was murdered once by terrorists,” Langfan said. “The Met Opera has to murder him eight more times!”
Guardian contributor suggests Leon Klinghoffer’s murder wasn’t motivated by antisemitism
Whilst we encourage you to read a review of the opera (based on the 1985 Achille Lauro cruise ship hijacking and terrorist murder of a wheelchair bound Jewish passenger named Leon Klinghoffer), by CAMERA Senior Analyst Myron Kaplan, which provides one of the better arguments among those morally offended by the production, a passage in one of the Guardian reviews, by Brooklyn College professor Moustafa Bayoumi, is especially worth noting as it aptly represents the quintessentially Guardian tick of obfuscating antisemitism.
The Guardian chose its contributors for this opera review wisely.
"Klinghoffer wants to collapse the complexities of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians into a timeless religious battle between Muslims and Jews.
Like the next guy, I find it annoying when historians pedantically tell you which little facts are wrong in a work of art based on history, but my point is not about the details. By suggesting that this conflict is based in religion and not in territory, Klinghoffer removes much of the history (and people) of this conflict and replaces it with a mythic clash of civilisations."

It’s remarkable that we even need to point this out, but Klinghoffer was an innocent American Jew murdered – because he was a Jew – by Palestinian hijackers belonging to the Palestine Liberation Front, a component of Yasser Arafat’s PLO.
Opinion: Does Britain Seek a Mandate Over Palestine? An Open Letter to David Cameron
Dear Mr. Prime Minister,
Born and bred a British-Jew, I have often been confused in dealing with that hyphenated identity in the context of U.K. policy.
Last month you led a “light brigade” to Edinburgh to quell an attempt at Scottish independence. Last week, in some contradiction, your party supported a Parliamentary motion to recognize a State of Palestine. Indeed, one member of your Conservative Party used the occassion for an anti-Semitic attack on ” well-funded powerful lobbying groups and the power of the Jewish lobby in America…”
Though I left Britain more than a half century ago, I maintain a respect for its bonhomie, humour, often exasperating ”muddling through,” and its history of fair-play”:
1290, the Jews are expelled by Edward the Confessor
1655, they are welcomed back by my childhood hero – Oliver Cromwell
EU seeks talks with Israel over ‘red lines’ in West Bank
The European Union is interested in opening negotiations with Israel with the aim of preventing a series of Israeli moves in the West Bank deemed “red lines” which may jeopardize the possibility of a future Palestinian state alongside Israel, an internal EU document obtained by Haaretz reveals. Officials in the Israeli Foreign Ministry are concerned the negotiations are a prelude to further European sanctions against Israel.
In recent weeks, since the Israeli appropriation of 4,000 dunams in Gush Etzion in the West Bank and even more since the push forward in planning for additional construction in Givat Hamatos, a neighborhood beyond the Green Line, a series of discussions have been taking place in the EU’s headquarters in Brussels between the ambassadors of the 28 members states over the European response.
During these discussions, which ended last weekend, it was decided to relay a sharp message to Israel in the name of all EU members, focusing on the Israeli moves which create a “focused and increasing threat to the possibility of the two-state solution.”
Haaretz Smears American Terrorism Expert with Political Hit Job
To be sure, the information provided by Steve Emerson regarding a decision by the U.S. government to stand down on an ongoing attempt to provide the Israeli government with critical information regarding an Israeli soldier whom Hamas claimed it had in its custody during this summer’s conflict was shocking.
But perhaps just as shocking – or it should be – was a politically driven smear by Haaretz of Emerson’s credentials and his alleged political friendships, suggesting that was all that was driving Emerson’s claims.
Although the Haaretz article claimed Emerson was wrong about the facts that he alleged, its portrayal of the U.S. government’s refutation was misleading and its focus ugly – that Emerson, a “right-wing Republican” is a “personal friend” of Sheldon Adelson, who is a “formidable patron of the Republican party and Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu.”
New York Times Story Covers Up Hamas Destruction of Gaza Antiquities
A story in yesterday's New York Times deals with threats to Gaza's ancient artifacts — or at least, some threats.
Although the story relays the charge that Israel fired missiles into a museum during fighting in 2008, purportedly damaging several ancient pots and other artifacts, it says nothing about Hamas's bulldozing of portions of Gaza's ancient harbor. The harbor is a UNESCO heritage site. According to Al Monitor,
"Earlier last month, amid overwhelming criticism from public figures and nongovernmental organizations, the military wing of the Islamic movement of Hamas, Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, bulldozed a part of the ancient Anthedon Harbor in northern Gaza along the Mediterranean Sea. The Brigades damaged the harbor in order to expand its military training zone, which was initially opened on the location in 2002, according to Ejla."
Why did the author, freelance reporter Kate Shuttleworth, ignore the terrorist group's assault on Gaza antiquities in an article meant to be about threats to antiquities?
Serving Hummus Without Mention of Hamas
The Jewish Chronicle of Pittsburgh first reported this Palestinian gastro-political imbroglio story a week ago: “The Conflict Kitchen (a Pittsburgh based federally funded public art project / restaurant) …served up a discussion Tuesday afternoon billed as focusing on ‘current events in Palestine,’ but quickly shifted to wholesale condemnation of Israel.” Conflict Kitchen’s materials, speakers and planned activities all add up to the creation of a publicly funded anti-Israel epicenter for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement in the middle of Pittsburgh’s academic community.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh was targeted by a major city newspaper’s editorial board, a well-known culinary blog and various anti-Zionist personalities on Twitter for statements it made opposing the project’s anti-Israel political agenda. Contrary to these media reports, the Jewish Federation’s objection is to the literature and events made available to Conflict Kitchen customers, not their choice of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as their current culinary-political iteration. Before reading on and passing judgment; survey Conflict Kitchen’s publication provided with every meal. After finishing, ask: Do you have a problem with the statements made in this pamphlet?
Students for Justice in Palestine to Help Pals Strengthen Resistance Against Israel
Members of the anti-Semitic campus organization Students for Justice in Palestine announced via a new video that it is launching a "Right to Education" tour that will bring Palestinian students to the United States to speak on campuses across the country.
A video, titled "SJP West- Right to Education," explained that "students from Bir Zeit University will travel to five regions in the United States." One girl explains that this will give Palestinian students a chance to "strengthen their self-advocacy and resistance."
SJP is best known for is incessant bullying and harassment of pro-Israel students and its chapters often champion the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement which seeks to ignorantly isolate Israel and its citizens. SJP also maliciously hijacks the suffering of both the Holocaust and apartheid South Africa to manipulate the Palestinian narrative and promote intolerance of Israel, Israelis and often times Jewish students.
In August, a Jewish student was hit in the face while he was engaged in dialogue at an SJP table on the campus of Temple University.
The pro-Israel community, largely centered around Hillel International, rejects SJP. J Street, a fringe campus group which claims to be pro-Israel, eagerly co-sponsors events with the SJP despite the group's rejection of mutual understanding or coexistence.
Author Naomi Wolf Once Again Compares Israelis to Nazis
Radical feminist author Naomi Wolf has again attacked Israel by invoking the Nazi Holocaust of six million Jews.
Writing on her Facebook page, Wolf linked a video which allegedly shows “settlers, protected by Israeli police, singing and dancing in provocation.” The individuals in the video are not identified and nor is there anything to indicate that the footage was shot at Jerusalem’s Al Aqsa mosque, as Wolf claims. While Israeli police barriers are visible, no police officers are seen in the video.
“It is one if the most disgusting and demeaning things I have ever seen in my life,” Wolf wrote. “The expressions of gloating and sadism exactly the same as those of Nazis cutting off the beards of Jews. I am sorry, sorry, sorry.”
No Palestinians appear in the video. The only audio consists of singing and dancing; none of those filmed address the camera or express any racist sentiments.
‘I Can Hear Music’ But Not in Israel, as Beach Boys Cancel Gig‏
“God Only Knows” what diehard fans here are thinking about a statement by local promoters on Tuesday announcing that the Beach Boys have cancelled a gig set for Nov, 29 in Tel Aviv.
Israel Radio chalked up the cancellation to poor ticket sales, based on disappointment that only one of the original band members would be in the lineup at Nokia Arena.
Mike Love, Bruce Johnston, Randell Kirsch, Tim Bonhomme, John Cowsill, Scott Totten and Jeffrey Foskett, were scheduled to appear, according to local promoter, Gad Oron.
French Jewish leader indicted for denouncing Dieudonne
Roger Cukierman, president of France’s largest Jewish group, was indicted for calling the comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala a “professional anti-Semite.”
Cukierman, who heads the CRIF umbrella of French Jewish communities and organizations, announced the indictment on Monday in a video that appeared on the CRIF website.
“So I am being indicted for having stated on Europe 1 that Dieudonne is a professional anti-Semite. Isn’t that funny? For once, Dieudonne is actually comical,” Cukierman said.
Belgian Jews call out official for Nazi collaborator comment
A representative of Flemish Jews asked a deputy prime minister of Belgium to clarify statements in which he appeared to condone the actions of Nazi collaborators.
Jan Jambon, who is also Belgium’s interior minister, made the statements during an interview which was published last week in the La Libre Belgique newspaper.
During the interview, Jambon, who is a member of the New Flemish Alliance party, was asked about his participation in 2001 at a rally organized by the far-right association Sint-Maartenfonds, whose mission statement is to support Flemish Belgians who fought on Nazi Germany’s side in World War II.
Spanish anti-Semitism due to Gaza media coverage — watchdog
The Madrid-based Action and Communication on the Middle East lobby group, or ACOM, made the assertion over the weekend in connection with the October 4 spray-painting of dozens of epithets on Jewish heritage sites in the Old City of Toledo. Two days later, police arrested a 32-year-old in connection with the graffiti, reported.
“Spanish media coverage of the last Gaza war and the Israeli conflict in general has encouraged such actions,” Daniel Fernandez of ACOM wrote in a statement on Friday. “Spanish public TV’s coverage, coupled with general ignorance in Spain about Israel, could serve to incite just about anyone.”
The reports about the Toledo vandalism did not name the suspect or indicate whether the actions were believed to be connected to Israel.
One of the epithets was spray-painted on the foot of a statue of Samuel Levi Abulafia, who in the 14th century founded Toledo’s El Transito Synagogue. It read “No Jews!” and featured dollar signs. Abulafia, or Samuel Levi, served as treasurer under Peter I, the King of Castile, until his death in 1360 in Seville, where he was tortured on trumped-up charges of treason.
Hitler cream strikes sour note for Swiss
Swiss retailer Migros apologized on Wednesday for putting cream capsules with the faces of Hitler and Mussolini on them in cafes in the Alpine country.
Migros said it “offered its apologies for this unforgivable incident” and that it was in the process of withdrawing them from cafes to which they had been delivered.
It also said that it had ripped up its contract with the company that had designed the offending labels decorated with the faces of the two fascist dictators.
New film tells Holocaust story of Polanski producer
They were both Holocaust survivors from Poland who suffered through unspeakable tragedies. But when director Roman Polanski and producer Gene Gutowski teamed up in the 1960s they never spoke of the war, preferring to focus on life by making movies and partying hard.
Even when the two reunited decades later for the 2002 Holocaust film “The Pianist,” they didn’t talk about the horrors they had seen.
On Thursday, a new documentary about Gutowski’s improbable wartime survival premiered at the Warsaw Film Festival, directed and produced by his son, Adam Bardach.
Gutowski didn’t even speak about his past for years with his three sons, telling them the truth only when they were adults: that he was Jewish, that most of his family died, and that the name Gene Gutowski was an assumed identity that helped him survive World War II.
“For many years, I was living in absolute denial as far as being Jewish was concerned,” Gutowski, 89, said at his home in Warsaw this week. “I just didn’t wish to pass the burden of the Holocaust on to the next generation. It’s very painful.”
Slowly, he opened up. Finally he wrote a memoir.
Heirs to German Jews sue Swiss bank for looted art
The relatives of German Jews whose art collection was seized by the Nazis have sued UBS, claiming the Swiss bank cheated them out of their inheritance.
The family of Ludwig and Margret Kainer — the children of their cousins — filed lawsuits in New York and Switzerland contending that the bank never made an effort to find them.
According to the lawsuit, UBS created a fake foundation in which to place the proceeds of the sales of artworks once owned by the couple, The New York Times reported.
Wolf Blitzer Explores His Jewish Roots
Wolf Blitzer is the latest participant in CNN’s ‘Roots’ series, in which the cable news network has its hosts and talking heads explore their family history on-air. Blitzer’s installment, which aired last week, runs at two speeds: sacchrine and deeply moving. Wolf (née Zeev, the hebrew word for the animal) begins his 14-minute journey in Buffalo, N.Y., where he grew up, and where adoring locals actually chant his name when he walks into a bar. The second, more sobering segment features Blitzer traveling first to Yad Vashem in Jerusalem and then to Auschwitz and the surrounding town in Poland.
The video’s shift from upstate New York to Israel’s Holocaust museum is jarring, but Blitzer didn’t become Wolf Blitzer without the ability to guide viewers through emotional ups and downs. Blitzer’s family took a route so archetypal to 20th century Jews it could be called Rothian: Polish family suffers immeasurable loss during the Holocaust, survives out of ingenuity and luck, moves to America and never discusses it.
10 Ways Israel is Fighting the Battle Against Breast Cancer
Israel has been one of the leading countries in the development of breast cancer therapies and research. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, here are 10 ways that Israel has been leading the fight against breast cancer.
1. First Blood Test for Breast Cancer Detection
2. Cancer Blocking Treatment for Triple Negative Breast Cancer
3. IceSense - Freezing Away Tumors Without Surgery
4. Real Imaging: The Life Saving Alternative to Mammograms
5. Optimata's Virtual Patient: Predicting Patient Responsiveness to Breast Cancer Treatment
6. The Iron Dome for Breasts: A drug that specifically targets cancerous tissues.
7. The Creation of the Pink Perfect Nipple
8. Tumors Gear Up in the PM - Can Timing of Treatment Optimize Drug Therapy Results?
9. The Best Breast Collaborative
10. Immune System Enhancing Vaccine
How to grow ample food as water, farmland dwindle
Why did the giant Chinese conglomerate Shenyang Yuanda Enterprise Group purchase the little Israeli agri-tech startup AutoAgronom for $20 million?
Two words: food security.
This is one of the most pressing issues in the world as population spikes upward alongside a reduction in usable farmland and available water. Commercial farmers everywhere, including the world’s most populous country, are seeking ways to grow more food crops with fewer resources and waste.
AutoAgronom seeks to fill this need by taking Israeli drip-irrigation to the next level. Its Root Sense technology uses sensors to examine a variety of soil and weather conditions around the roots. After analyzing that data via advanced algorithms, the system’s controller provides automatic irrigation and fertilization (“fertigation”) customized to each crop.
Telefónica sees future of telecom in Israel
Telefónica, a leading global telecoms company, is partnering with Jerusalem-based technological incubator VLX Ventures (Van Leer Xenia Ventures) to make potential investments in Israeli startups focusing on video, cloud computing, big data, Internet of Things, smart homes, wearable technology and future communications.
Chosen companies will receive investment capital and also the potential to scale their products to some 300 million Telefónica customers around the globe. The planned collaboration is part of Telefónica’s Open Future program.
“Joining forces with Telefónica is strategic for Israeli startups, and supplies them with the highest level of professional support, funding and a partnership with a leading strategic global company,” said VLX Ventures CEO Ori Choshen.
11 Non-Jewish Celebrities—and 2 Jewish Ones—Show Off Their Hebrew Tattoos
Non-Jews seem irresistibly drawn to Hebrew tattoos. Perhaps even more than Sanskrit letters and Chinese symbols (which are equally foreign to most of the people who have them emblazoned on their skin), Hebrew tattoos hold mysterious allure. In some cases they’re meant to convey woo-woo Kabbalistic mysticism; in others they say, “Whoo! I am so Christian I have the original language of the Bible on me!” Non-Jews don’t have to struggle with cultural prohibitions against tattooing; the (incorrect) notion that a tattoo means that one can’t be buried in a Jewish cemetery refuses to die. So, while there are certainly Jews out there who choose Hebrew tattoos, for the most part, inking Hebrew letters onto one’s body seems to be a largely Christian phenomenon.
Two Israelis Promoted As Google Vice Presidents
Professor Yossi Mathias, the General Manager of Research and Development for Google Israel, and Noam Bardin, the General Manager of Waze (which was acquired by Google for more than a billion dollars) have been promoted to Vice Presidents of Google, according to a Globes report.
Larry Page made the announcement by email over the weekend.
Google has 35 vice presidents and 8 senior vice presidents.
IonMed gets CE Mark for incision-closure system
Israel’s IonMed has received CE Mark clearance for its Bioweld1 cold plasma system for surgical incision closure — the first-ever system in the rapidly emerging field of plasma medicine designed as an alternative to surgical staples, sutures and sealants.
“The use of cold plasma holds enormous promise as a new therapeutic paradigm in wound care, and more broadly in medicine,” said Shai Levanon, CEO of IonMed. “With the CE Mark clearance of Bioweld1, our first system, we have achieved important validation for our technology, a key milestone for the company, and a significant step towards commercialization.”
IonMed, a portfolio company of The Trendlines Group and of Generali Financial Holdings Fund, will seek a distribution partner to begin commercializing the system in Europe during 2015.
Japan finally ready to embrace Israel, says expert
After years of avoiding Israel, Japan appears ready to embrace the Start-Up Nation. This week a group of Japanese officials and executives of Toyota, the car manufacturer, will be in Israel to shop around for technologies that could become part of the next generation of Japanese smart cars.
Japan had long been an immovable object when it came to developing business relations with Israel, reluctant to engage Israel because of fear of upsetting its Arab oil suppliers, or because of cultural differences. Now things have begun to change, after Japan Inc. met the irresistible force of Israel’s technology success, said Vered Farber, director of the Asian Institute, an Israeli organization that has long been seeking to persuade both Japanese and Israeli companies that there is much to be gained from working together.
“The Japanese finally realized that there is a Silicon Wadi in the Middle East that rivals California’s Silicon Valley, and they don’t want to get left behind,” said Farber. “It took them a while to realize it, but they have finally begun to understand that Israel may have what it takes to keep their economy dynamic and growing.”
Israel's Elbit Lands $85 Million Asian Defense Contract
The world-leading Israeli defense company Elbit Systems announced Wednesday that it has been awarded contracts from an unnamed Asian country for roughly $85 million, as Israel's Asian ties continue to blossom.
Most of the contract is for an avionics upgrade program to the American-made Northrop F-5 fighter jet, and the rest is for the supply of electro-optic and communications systems, in a deal that will be carried out over the course of three years.
"Asia-Pacific is a very important market for Elbit Systems, and we are pleased to be awarded further programs in the region," said Elbit President and CEO Bezhalel Machlis.
Israeli TV star snags Moscow beauty prize
Linor Shefer, an Israeli-American reality television star who was born in Ukraine, won Moscow’s first “Miss Jewish Star” beauty pageant.
Shefer, a former contender in the Israeli version of the reality television show “Big Brother,” beat 19 other contestants to become Miss Jewish Star 2014 on Sunday in Moscow’s Metropol Hotel, according to the STMEGI association of Mountain Jews.
The pageant was sponsored by over a dozen companies and groups including the Russian branch of the Hillel Jewish network and was open to any unmarried woman under the age of 30 who is Jewish according to Halacha, the Jewish Orthodox law.
Israeli ‘eye exercise’ app lets IAF pilots dump glasses
No matter how good your eyesight is, presbyopia — a progressively diminishing ability to focus on nearby objects — is an almost inevitable result of aging, making reading or seeing things in dim light increasingly difficult. An Israeli-developed app called GlassesOff claims to be able to prevent, and even reverse, the effects of presbyopia — and now, the company says, it has scientific evidence proving its case in the form of a study conducted on Israel Air Force pilots.
To thoroughly test its contention that “eye exercises” can allow users to throw out their half-moon reading glasses, GlassesOff chose IAF pilots, one of the most “vision-intensive” group of subjects out there. Pilots need near-perfect vision in order to carry out missions, as they must identify ground targets through fog, rain, pollution, and other atmospheric hindrances, often from thousands of feet above the earth. In a study of its equipment that the company is set to present to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, pilots’ visual acuity — sharpness and clarity of vision — improved 35%, and they were also able to respond to images and visual cues 24% faster.

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