Monday, January 26, 2015

From Ian:

Netanyahu presented with emergency plan to absorb 120,000 French Jews
Indicating displeasure with Israel’s immigration promotion and absorption strategy, the Jewish People Policy Institute last week presented Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with its emergency plan for the absorption of 120,000 French immigrants.
According to the high profile Jerusalem think tank, which maintains close ties with the Jewish Agency and senior politicians, Israel has thus far not implemented the necessary policies to compete with the United States, Canada, and various European states in attracting highly educated and business savvy French Jews.
According to JPPI senior fellow Dr. Dov Maimon – himself a French immigrant – despite the increase in French aliya over the past several years, the number of people making the move is relatively small compared to the large numbers of people who have made inquiries with the Jewish Agency.
Agency chairman Natan Sharansky recently told The Jerusalem Post that some 50,000 French Jews had requested information on aliya during 2014.
 BBC Arabic Won't Call Charlie Hebdo Attackers 'Terrorists'
The head of BBC Arabic has instructed editors not to use the word "terrorist" to describe the Islamist gunmen who murdered 12 people at the Paris offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine.
Tarik Kafala told the UK's Independent newspaper that the term "terrorist" is too "loaded," and said the decision was in-line with the BBC's overall policy on reporting such attacks.
"We try to avoid describing anyone as a terrorist or an act as being terrorist. What we try to do is to say that 'two men killed 12 people in an attack on the office of a satirical magazine'. That’s enough, we know what that means and what it is," said Kafala.
"Terrorism is such a loaded word," he added. "The UN has been struggling for more than a decade to define the word and they can’t. It is very difficult to. We know what political violence is, we know what murder, bombings and shootings are and we describe them. That’s much more revealing, we believe, than using a word like terrorist which people will see as value-laden."
He also explained why the BBC, like other mainstream British media outlets, was censoring any images of the founder of Islam Mohammed, with the only exception being its inclusion of the front cover of the post-attack Charlie Hebdo "Survivors" edition.
But while "the cover has appeared… on a banner or on a newsstand, on our screens," he emphasized that "we haven’t shown it in full frame or real detail."
BBC Tim Willcox Investigation Moves Forward
The BBC’s Tim Willcox caused a wave of revulsion and outrage in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo and kosher supermarket massacres in Paris. Many complaints were sent to the BBC including one from HonestReporting.
We’ve continued to pursue the complaint through the drawn-out BBC process and we can share with you the latest email to HonestReporting from the BBC’s Editorial Complaints Unit.
Due to the large quantity of complaints and issues raised, the Editorial Complaints Unit has expedited the process by dealing with the complaints in their totality and drawing up a summary of the issues that will be investigated:

Abandonment of Jews is Blowin' in the Western Wind
Europe is seriously plagued by Israelophobia. The former Dutch Minister of Economy Herman Heinsbroek just gave an interview in which he argued that it would be good to move the Jews from Israel to the United States: "It was a historical mistake to give the Jews a state in the midst of Islam". This is also the opinion of the European majority.
When the German Academic August Rohling, towards the end of the nineteenth century, said that the Jews had to be given civil rights but that it was necessary to ban them from political life, he helped to set the scene for future, atrocious persecutions. Today the West is trying to do the same with the abandonment of Israel. A few days ago the Jewish state disappeared from the maps of Harper Collins, the largest publishing house in the English language in the world.
The progressive isolation of Israel in international forums has meant that the culture of rights founded by Judaism is now used against the Jews, from the Geneva Convention to the charges of "crimes against humanity". The International Court of Justice has just opened an inquiry that could drag Israel in the dock.
The proverbial slowness and myopia of Dutch judges vanishes as soon as it comes to the Jewish state (the court has already condemned Jerusalem for having built a wall of defense against terrorist attacks). In March, William Schabas will present the long-awaited UN report on the Gaza war. It will not be a nice report for Israel.
Meanwhile, the terrorists of Hamas, no longer blacklisted by the European Union, can claim the "heroic" stabbings of Jewish commuters in Tel Aviv.
If this trend continues, in a few years the Jewish state will be treated as a "rogue state". Like North Korea. The poison of hatred is circulating in this international resentment.
Everywhere in the West the reality of the Jewish state has been obfuscated, waiting for the disappearance of this vulnerable enclave seen as a mere accident of history.
Islamic Terrorism: The Taboo Topic
The political violence of the Koran is eternal and universal. The political violence of the Bible was for that particular historical time and place. This is the vast difference between Islam and other ideologies." — Bill Warner, Director, Center for the Study of Political Islam.
The word has turned into a place where free speech is confused with hate speech, and people in positions of responsibility, who take that responsibility seriously, such as the Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders, are bullied, marginalized and brought to trial.
So, to a degree are we all mentally ill, but not all mental illnesses are socially acceptable and not every mentally ill person channels his mental illness through a prism of religion that glorifies homicide.
Every time Islamic terrorism is discussed, those who bring up the "Christian terrorism" of the Ku Klux Klan or anti-abortion violence simply block free speech, as if deliberately trying to scramble the main topic. They seem to be saying, "Whether the Islamic State is Islamic or not is irrelevant; there are Christian terrorists as well, so do not talk about Islamic terrorists."
When violence and domination in a religion are so deeply rooted -- and sanctioned with promises of rewards -- fundamentalists will always find people to excite and people to persecute. It is a magnificent ready-made outlet for people who wish to be violent and dominate, or identify with a cause bigger than themselves.
That is why Islamic theology, ideology and goals desperately need to be discussed. They deeply affect the life choices most Muslims make.
PM greets thousands chanting for Hizbullah in Charlie Hebdo protest in southeast Turkey
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has greeted around 100,000 people who protested French magazine Charlie Hebdo in Diyarbakır, while also cheering for Hizbullah.
“The region suddenly has a reaction whenever a shameless act happens toward the Prophet Muhammad. I greet each and every brother who defends the Prophet Muhammad here,” Davutoğlu said during his speech at the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) provincial congress in Diyarbakır.
The Lovers of the Prophet Platform organized a two-hour long Jan. 24 protest at the central İstasyon Square with the participation of thousands of demonstrators coming from nearby towns.
Most speeches, banners and slogans, either in Turkish, Kurdish or Arabic, targeted Charlie Hebdo for publishing Prophet Muhammad cartoons. In reference to the “Je Suis Charlie” slogan, some banners read “I am Hizbullah in Kurdistan,” “I am Hamas in Palestine,” “I am Malcolm X in America” and “I am Imam Shamil in Chechnya.”
“As long as you are the enemies of Allah, we will be your enemies,” Free Cause Party (Hüda-Par) chair Molla Osman Teyfur said in his speech, vowing to “cut the tongue that talked against the prophet.”
UK Government Minister Warns Mosques About Hate Preaching
A letter from a top British government official calling on United Kingdom mosques to root out “men of hate” is generating push-back from the Muslim Council of Britain.
The letter from Communities Secretary Eric Pickles was co-signed by Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon, a member of the House of Lords and sent to 1,100 imams and other Islamic religious leaders.
It called on the imams to dissuade young Muslims from following extremists, urging them to emphasize the threat that extremists pose to British freedoms.
“We must show them the multitude of statements of condemnation from British Muslims; show them these men of hate have no place in our mosques or any place of worship, and that they do not speak for Muslims in Britain or anywhere else,” the letter said.
Inside France’s Sharia No-Go Zones
There is a tremendous controversy these days about the no-go zones in France. Fox News has apologized for covering them. Fox Report host Julie Banderas said: “To be clear, there is no formal designation of these zones in either country and no credible information to support the assertion there are specific areas in these countries that exclude individuals based solely on their religion.” Yet while it may be true that there aren’t specific areas of France where non-Muslims are prevented from entering, there are many that, if they do enter, they must conform to Islamic norms.
This has been reported for years. The New York Times reported in April 2002, “Arab gangs regularly vandalize synagogues here, the North African suburbs have become no-go zones at night, and the French continue to shrug their shoulders.” And Newsweek said in November 2005: “According to research conducted by the government’s domestic intelligence network, the Renseignements Generaux, French police would not venture without major reinforcements into some 150 ‘no-go zones’ around the country–and that was before the recent wave of riots began on Oct. 27.
Just two weeks ago, the New Republic wrote: “The word banlieue (‘suburb’) now connotes a no-go zone of high-rise slums, drug-fueled crime, failing schools and poor, largely Muslim immigrants and their angry offspring.”
800 Muslims Gather Near Sydney To Protest Over 'Negative Coverage of Islam'
Hundreds of Muslims gathered in Lakemba, a suburb of Sydney, to protest the ‘negative coverage’ of Islam in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks and shootings in a Kosher supermarket in Paris.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald the event, called “Our Prophet, Our Honor” featured an 800 strong crowed who rallied together on Friday night to complain about the French satirical magazine’s portrayal of the Prophet Mohammad in cartoons, including the front page of what was dubbed the ‘survivor’s issue’ which featured a sketch of of the prophet holding a sign saying ‘Je Suis Charlie’ and a headline ‘All is forgiven.’
The crowd, which included children, held up placards saying “Je Suis Muslim” in the New South Wales town.
Speaking at the rally outside Lakemba train station, local Muslim leader Sufyan Badar told those who had gathered that Charlie Hebdo was using freedom of speech as “a smoke screen” for underlying issues. And he said it was also a response to the waves of protests in the wake of the attacks, which left 17 people dead.
There have been anti-Charlie Hebdo protests in countries, including Pakistan, where blasphemy laws still exist. In contrast, Jewish people in Britain have had to increase security around synagogues and schools and there was a spike in anti-Semitic attacks with police putting extra staff out on the street to prevent any violence.
“Freedom is the smokescreen with which Western politicians and media conceal the underlying issues,” Mr Badar said.
“In reality free speech is one of the many political tools that are used to maintain dominance over the Muslims.”
“We also gather to place the politics of the events in France in the correct context,” he said.
Saudi Imam on Paris Attacks: This Is the Only Language Jewish and Christian Infidels Understand (and Muslims Discovered America)

Arab Commentators Clash over Freedom of Speech in Wake of Paris Attacks

Hollywood Heavyweights to Join Spielberg at Auschwitz Commemoration Ceremony in Poland
A number of Hollywood executives joined director Steven Spielberg on a trip to Poland this weekend for a ceremony commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Auschwitz concentration camp liberation, industry publication Variety reported.
Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav and other big names in Hollywood worked with Spielberg’s USC Shoah Foundation, the Polish government, and the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum to bring a group of 100 Auschwitz survivors and their families to Poland for the ceremony on Jan. 27, which is marked as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
The delegation also includes 25 teachers from around the world who will participate in a four-day seminar on how to teach students about the influence of genocide and hate on world history, according to Variety.
Zaslav is chair of the Auschwitz: The Past Is Present Committee. He led the leadership team made up of Spielberg, Len Blavatnik, Haim Saban, Starbucks founder Howard Schultz, investor Joel Citron, attorney Stephen A. Cozen, World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder and tech mogul Yuri Milner. Executives from the media and entertainment industries also participated including Barry Diller, Ari Emanuel, David Geffen, Harvey Weinstein, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Ron Meyer, Leslie Moonves, Eric Schmidt, Diane Von Furstenberg, Rob Wiesenthal and Jeff Zucker.
Most Germans want to put the Holocaust behind them, survey finds
Seventy years after the liberation of Auschwitz, some 58 percent of Germans say the past should be consigned to history, while three-quarters of Israelis reject the idea of putting the past behind them.
Some 48 percent of Germans also say their opinion of today’s Israel is poor and the Germans’ view of the Israeli government is even worse, with 62 percent expressing a negative opinion.
Israelis have a much better view of today’s Germany, with 68 percent saying they have a positive image of the country, while only 24 percent have a poor opinion.
Auschwitz had up to twice as many staff as once thought
Polish officials said Friday they had drawn up a list of 9,500 staff members at the Nazi German death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, thousands more than previous estimates.
The individuals all worked at the notorious death camp in occupied Poland between 1940 and 1945, according to the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN), which prosecutes Nazi and Stalinist-era war crimes.
“Until now, Nazi staff [at Auschwitz] had been estimated at between 4,000 and 6,500 people,” IPN prosecutor Lukasz Gramza told AFP.
A historian compiled the names for the IPN’s probe into the day-to-day operations of the camp in the southern city of Oswiecim.
BBC's big question on the Holocaust
The BBC asked a big question today on their Twitter forum. Sounds important, doesn’t it?
Their question was this: "Is the time coming to lay the Holocaust to rest?"
What can you say, except for #noclass
Because tomorrow is International Holocaust Day – the day where the world commemorates the victims of the Holocaust, including the murder of 6 million Jews, or at least that’s the idea. But it seems the BBC think it’s a little too much for their sensitive hearts to bare. You see, the day is supposed to be about all victims of the Holocaust, yet something tells me the BBC wasn’t referring to the gay people or the mentally disabled people when they put out their callous statement.
In a country built on pomp and ceremony, with traditions that go back many hundreds of years like the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, the BBC somehow feel that an event that is a mere 70 years old is nevertheless far too old to keep commemorating.
And really – why should they commemorate it? It’s so much easier to fit in with their pre-disposed “narrative” to portray the Jews as the bad guys, if they aren’t reminded of it constantly.
Report: Anti-Semitism in US campuses on the rise
Ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Tuesday, the government on Sunday was presented with a report about global anti-Semitism showing that anti-Israel activity increased in campuses across the U.S. in 2014. The report, composed with the cooperation of the Coordination Forum for Countering Anti-Semitism, was presented by Economy and Trade and Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett.
The report found that during July and August 2014, when Operation Protective Edge was being waged in the Gaza Strip, a 400 percent increase in the number of anti-Semitic incidents was registered from the same period in the previous year. The radical Right continues to be a major factor in anti-Semitic activity, but in the majority of the violent cases recorded, the perpetrators were of Arab or Muslim descent.
Furthermore, according to a report by the Anti-Defamation League, since the Gaza campaign there has been a dramatic rise in student groups across U.S. campuses advocating Israel's delegitimization and international isolation. During the recent fall semester, the number of anti-Israel incidents across U.S. college campuses more than doubled to 75, compared to 35 in the previous year.
How BDS failed in the American Historical Association
Thanks to the assistance of the Israeli journalist Ehud Yaari, I was able to inform many colleagues that rockets were being manufactured and fired from the Islamic University in Gaza and that Israel’s strikes accurately struck those manufacturing and launching sites. While members of the American Historical Association may be predominantly liberal, they are not predominantly radical leftists. In this instance, that means that faced with factual claims made by the government of Israel or a highly respected Israeli journalist, on the one hand, and those of Hamas on the other, they were not willing to give Hamas the benefit of the doubt. In August an objectively pro-Hamas left emerged within the American historical profession. In January in New York, it suffered an unexpectedly humiliating defeat. Flushed with optimism in August, it ran into a wall of scholarly integrity in New York.
I cannot prove it but I think there was another factor at work in the victory over BDS in New York, namely Israel’s unity and the nature of the threat from Hamas. The threat from Hamas is too real, its ideology too fanatical and its actions too barbaric for a majority of historians to become useful idiots in its cause. If you ask historians to behave like political hacks, many of them will realize that their self-respect as scholars is at stake and will refuse to do so. That, in my view, is what happened in New York on January 4, 2015. It’s a lesson about self-respect and scholarly integrity that is well worth keeping in mind in months and years to come.
And Now, Israel's Leftist Filmmakers Take Aim at 6 Day War
Leftist Israeli filmmakers are known for negatively portraying IDF soldiers, as recently exemplified by "5 Broken Cameras," but a new documentary is seeking to push the envelope and go back in time to the 1967 Six Day War.
The film, "Censored Voices," premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on Saturday, reports the New York Times. It takes snippets from interviews conducted after the war with soldiers from Israel's socialist kibbutz movement, using them in an apparent attempt to portray the IDF as immoral, even though the war has always been in the Israeli consensus as a justified and miraculous victory.
Even the Times recognizes the slant of the film, calling it "the latest in a series of movies by leftist Israeli filmmakers who have won awards abroad by presenting harsh looks at their own society."
Director Mor Loushy (32), who created the movie, was quoted as saying that her motivation was to change the perception of the 1967 war as a victory - a perception that exists given the remarkable nature in which the nascent modern Jewish state, faced with near-certain destruction, recorded a stunning victory over numerous professional armies on all fronts in less than a week.
Her film has been criticized for removing that context from the war, even as it briefly presents the threats facing Israel.
"People abroad who don't remember the circumstances of the Six Day War the way we do will turn this into one more indictment of Israel," said Yossi Klein Halevi, author of the book "Like Dreamers" from 2013, which traces the lives of veterans of the war.
The BS of the Anti-Israel Activists, Groupies And Plebs
The war of words become particularly heated when history and politics surrounding Israel are discussed and people who have never met become fierce opponents. These adversaries fight bravely and tirelessly, that is until they put their phones on silent, or turn off the computers and retire into a cosy bed, far away from those they have battled.
The pro-Israel and anti-Israel groups have some similarities but many differences. The pro-Israel group contains people from various political and cultural groups, but apart from a small group of Looney Toons, the majority are pro-peace and long to see an end to wars between the Jews and Arabs/the Israelis and Palestinians. The anti-Israel side are rarely pro-peace and their main goal is in demonizing Israel and excusing Arab hatred and violence. They want to perpetuate the issues and not resolve them and the majority prescribe to the “River to the Sea” mantra and ignorantly conclude that Israel’s very existence is the problem.
The anti-Israel crowd are active in a variety of “discussion” groups and pages and it is possible to come to certain conclusions about their behaviour and tactics.
The three main groups are the AGP, the activists, groupies and plebs:
1. The “activists” who are part of networks actively seeking to “enlighten” others. This group consists of people who have connections with political parties, news agencies, BDS and other organisations around the world.
2. The “groupies” who think they are part of the “inner sanctum” and spend hours passing on the information from their gurus.
3. The “plebs” who simply repeat slogans, over and over again.
Edgar Davidson: More parallels with the 1930s
As Daniel Greenfield explains brilliantly, the Western media and politicians have their reasons for choosing to ignore the 'Elephant in the Room' of anti-Semitism that is not only rampant throughout the Muslim world, but is the main driving force of Arab societies. The Muslim world makes no attempt to hide its rampant anti-Semitism which dominates its media and politics. But the Western media and politicians go to extraordinary length to stop their public from knowing about it because to admit such anti-Semitism exists destroys the narrative of Muslim and Arab victimhood which underpins all Western liberal world views. That is why, for example, the media ignored the anti-Semitism which dominated many of the images from the "Arab Spring"
But there is nothing new in turning a blind eye to such genocidal anti-Semitism. As this article describes the Western media and politicians went to similarly enormous lengths to cover up the extent of Nazi anti-Semitism in the 1930s, which the Nazis themselves made no attempt to hide.
Edgar Davidson: Anti-Israel 'charities'
Most people are completely unaware that some of the most popular ‘charities’ (or NGOs: Non Governmental Organisations as they are more accurately called) actually divert large amounts of their income to political propaganda. And in many cases the brunt of this political propaganda is directed against Israel. To get a feel for the damage these 'charities' cause to Israel read read this article by Tuvia Tenenbaum who infiltrated EU-funded NGOs operating in Israel pretending to be a German anti-Zionist. NGO Monitor continually provides updates of this type of activity, but I felt a simple summary was needed, since every week or so I end up having to tell a friend that the charity they or their children are asking us to contribute to is actually helping to fund the deligitimization of Israel or even worse, directly funding Palestinian terrorists.
Following the lead of Debbie Schlussel I have awarded a number of Arafats (rather than stars) to each charity (where 5 Arafats is the worse possible). The list - ordered by the fame of the charity - is by no means exhaustive. It does not include the many specifically ‘Palestinian’ charities, such as Interpal, and Muslim charities, such as Muslim Hands, and Islamic Relief which directly fund Hamas and other islamic terrorist organisations. But I would not expect any rational person to be in any doubt about the purpose of such ‘charities’.
CNN Thinks Its Miss Israel's Fault, Too
Outrage from her home country was leveled at Miss Lebanon, Saly Greige, after she appeared in an impromptu selfie with Miss Israel, Doron Matalon, in the days leading up to Sunday's Miss Universe Pageant.
Shirking any responsibility, Greige deferred the blame to her Jewish competition, saying Matalon forced herself into the photograph and posted it on social media before she had a chance to protest. Meanwhile, Miss Israel refrained from pointing fingers and said she was "sad" that Greige could not put aside her "hostility" if not at least during the competition.
CNN weighed in on the matter and in much the same manner as Greige, concentrated the blame on Israel for its role in this and past pageant controversies.
In her piece Monday CNN contributor Emanuella Grinberg wrote on the "diplomatic dance" these young women are plunged into as they delicately balance participation in a beauty pageant with being political representatives for their countries, all while it plays out on the world stage. But noticeably absent from Grinberg's piece was any voice in support of Israel. Instead, the conch was given to Miss Lebanon 2002, Christina Sawaya.
New York Times Can’t Disguise its Disdain
HonestReporting has often discussed the “halo effect” whereby so-called human rights organizations and left-wing NGOs are considered beyond reproach or criticism by the media. These non-governmental organizations and related personalities generally get a free ride from the media. This is not the case for NGOs considered to be pro-Israel.
And so it is with the New York Times and Jodi Rudoren’s profile of Nitsana Darshan-Leitner of Shurat HaDin, the Israel Law Center, that works to achieve justice for Israelis and other victims of terror or states that sponsor terror such as Iran.
We don’t expect a puff piece from Rudoren but we shouldn’t accept what appears to be a fixation on adding as many negatives into the article to create a correspondingly negative tone. Indeed, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner and Shurat HaDin are treated with a level of skepticism bordering on hostility.
When People Who Know Better Say Tel Aviv is Israel's Capital
Ellie Geranmayeh, a policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, is the second observer of international affairs in recent days whose fancy title didn't stop her from misidentifying Tel Aviv as Israel's capital in a leading American newspaper.
Referring to the capitals of Iran, the U.S and Israel, respectively, Geranmayeh writes today in The New York Times ("Political sabotage over a deal with Iran"): "Spoilers have been striking from Tehran, Washington and Tel Aviv."
In The International New York Times, the mischaracterization of Tel Aviv as Israel's capital is highlighted in a pull quote.
LA Times Corrects: Jerusalem is Israel's Capital
CAMERA's Israel office prompts correction of a Los Angeles Times Op-Ed by Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, which erroneously identified Tel Aviv as Israel's capital. The Jan. 15 Op-Ed ("The Palestinians' decision to join the ICC deserves support") had stated:
"In Washington, Ottawa, Paris and London, as well as in Tel Aviv, the response [to the Palestinians' move to join the International Criminal Court] has ranged from discouraging to condemnatory."
On Jan. 22, editors commendably published the following correction:
"Israel: A Jan 15 OpEd about the Palestinians' move to join the International Criminal Court implied that Tel Aviv is the seat of the Israeli government. The government is based in Jerusalem."
In addition, the correction was added near the top of the online edition of the article, though the original reference to Tel Aviv as Israel's capital remains.
The victory of Syriza in Greece is bad news for Israel
The party’s 40-year-old leader, Alexis Tsipras, said the vote would mark “the return of dignity” to Greece. His party was expected to get between 36% and 39% of the popular vote compared to between 23% and 27% for the conservative New Democracy party of outgoing Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.
Syriza’s ranks include an array of leftists ranging from Marxists to Greens.
The party has constantly identified itself with the Palestinian cause and its program includes a demand for abolition of Greece’s military cooperation with Israel and the support for the creation of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders. Israel and Greece have enjoyed a strong relationship and cooperation since 2008 in several aspects of military, intelligence, economy and culture.
Alexis Tsipras’ party colleagues and his own inner circle have repeatedly attacked Israel and the "Zionists claiming that they are not anti-Semitic, just ''anti-Zionist.'' Syriza's former head, Nikos Konstandopoulos, has consistently offered his services as a defense lawyer for convicted and alleged Arab terrorists who have been arrested in Greece.
Neo-Nazi Golden Dawn holds steady in Greek elections
The neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party remained the third-largest party in Greece following elections.
In Sunday’s balloting, Golden Dawn received 6.3 percent of the vote, giving it 17 seats in the 300-member national parliament. Nearly all of the votes had been counted.
The far-left Syriza party fell one seat short of a majority needed to govern alone as Greeks embraced its promise to end six years of economic austerity. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ center-right New Democracy Party finished second with 27.9 percent of the vote.
Golden Dawn was only slightly below the 6.9 percent of the vote and 18 seats it won in the 2012 election despite a widespread crackdown in the past year that saw most of the party’s top leadership jailed on charges of heading a violent criminal organization.
Italian neo-Nazis convicted of anti-Semitic acts
A Rome court convicted the men on Tuesday. They were sentenced to prison terms of eight to 18 months.
Among those charged were Maurizio Boccacci and Stefano Schiavulli, who were directly responsible for many hate incidents against Jewish targets. They also attempted to reconstitute the Fascist Party.
Militia recently had publicly marked the anniversary of the death of Erich Priebke, an SS captain convicted of war crimes for participating in the massacre at the Ardeatine caves in Rome on March 24,1944. Priebke died in October 2013.
During a hearing last March, Schiavulli also threatened Rome Jewish community leader Riccardo Pacifici.
Last August, Militia called for a boycott of Jewish-owned stores through a massive poster campaign.
Romanian watchdog protests honoring fascist sympathizer
A Romanian anti-Semitism watchdog group condemned Romanian President Klaus Iohannis’ honoring of a man who praised fascists who murdered Jews during the Holocaust.
The Center for Monitoring and Combating Antisemitism, or MCA Romania, was responding to the admission last month of the anti-Communist political activist Octav Bjoza into the Order of the Star of Romania for his efforts within the Association of Former Political Prisoners in Romania.
Bjoza, 76, was the first of 25 people Iohannis decorated with the Star of Romania medal. The Dec. 22 ceremony was the newly elected president’s first official function after assuming office the previous day.
“It is deeply regrettable that in post-communist Romania, Mr. Bjoza chose to celebrate the ideas and beliefs of a criminal group like the Legionnaires,” MCA Romania Director Maximillian Marco Katz told JTA Thursday, referring to Romania’s pro-Nazi Iron Guard. Iohannis’ embrace of Bjoza was “a disappointing note of populism,” he added. “It sends the wrong message.”
Space Week lifts off as Google space race intensifies
Israelis are looking to the stars once again, as Space Week begins Sunday, with exhibits, lectures, contests, demonstrations and more showing off Israel’s prowess in space tech. The event is perhaps more relevant this year than ever, according to Dr. Isaac Ben-Israel, chairman of the Israel Space Agency (ISA), because this year the core tech that will bring Israel to the moon needs to be finished.
2015 was set to be the “year of space” for Israel as well as for many other countries that have teams competing for a $20 million prize in the Google LunarX space race contest. The mission for the moon-bound spaceships: to take high-definition video and beam it back to earth, and explore the surface of the moon by moving, or sending out a vehicle, that will move 500 meters along the moon’s surface.
Thirty-three teams entered the contest when it was first announced in 2007; today, 18 remain, but only five, including Israel’s team, are thought by industry experts to be making significant progress on their projects.
Israeli Doctors Join Mission to Help Hundreds of Children in Vietnam
For more than 30 years, Operation Smile has provided more than 200,000 free surgical procedures to children and young adults around the world suffering from facial deformities – giving each one a new start in life in some of the world’s most impoverished communities.
During this year’s Operation Smile campaign in Vietnam, two Israeli doctors joined 300 delegation members from 18 countries to provide free reconstructive surgery for children born with conditions such as a cleft lip or cleft palate, as well as other facial deformities.
Dr. Omri Emodi and Dr. Zach Sharony hail from Rambam’s Health Care Campus. Dr. Emodi works in the hospital’s Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, and Dr. Zach Sharony works in the Department of Plastic Surgery.
 A game-changing battery for renewable energy
Everybody agrees that producing energy from wind, sun and other renewable resources makes good sense, but it won’t be widely adopted unless it makes good “cents,” too.
One of the cost hurdles to be overcome is storing the energy in a way that maintains the balance between the peaks and lows of electricity demand and generation. That’s where Israeli startup EnStorage is making news.
Its uniquely low-cost flow battery system is now being deployed at sites in France and the United States. Because the storage systems available today are too expensive for large-scale alternative-energy producers, the company expects that these two installations will spur interest from many additional parts of the world.
EnStorage CEO Arnon Blum, who was one of the Tel Aviv University team of scientists to invent the first prototype, explains that the concept of a flow battery – which separates the power and energy components – is hardly new. Neither is the idea of using the common chemical hydrogen bromide for energy storage.
EnStorage’s innovation is putting the two concepts together in a low-cost, commercial-sized unit that can store from 150 kilowatts up to many megawatts for six hours or more.
Over $900 million in one week
Acquisitions and funding rounds are de rigueur for the Israeli startup arena but even veterans and VC experts were astounded to see blue-and-white tech ring up over $900 million in a seven-day spread last week.
Amazon’s purchase of Annapurna Labs, the Yokneam-based semiconductor company, for $370 million was the largest of the deals. The acquisition marked Amazon’s first purchase in Israel.
HARMAN paid $200 million for mobile software management company, Red Bend Software.
Dropbox picked up CloudOn to a tune of $150 million.
Microsoft acquired equivio, text analysis software developer, for $50 million.
Alibaba also set the cash register ringing with its investment in Israeli company, Visualead. The giant Chinese online marketplace infused a reported $5 million into the Herzliya company that makes a visual QR Code generator.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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