Thursday, February 19, 2015

From Ian:

Muhammad Zoabi. The Arab Teenager. The Zionist Activist. The Human Being (h/t IsraellyCool)

Amb. Prosor: what can students do to face one of Israel's greatest challenges?

Matti Friedman's speech to the BICOM annual dinner

Anti-Semitism now ‘fashionable’ in the US, warn experts
Not a week seems to go by without an anti-Semitic attack in the United States – either verbal or violent – against Jews.
“Unfortunately anti-Semitism has become fashionable again,” Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, executive vice president for the New York Board of Rabbis, told The Times of Israel. “It’s not a big deal to hate the Jews. The first group that gets attacked is the Jews.”
This week, a Boise woman attacked her Jewish neighbor and stood on her neck until she said she believes in Jesus. Also this week, swastikas were spray painted on some 30 homes in Madison, Wisconsin.
In January, pro-Palestinian protestors stormed a New York City Council meeting that was discussing a resolution commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. And later in the month in California, two swastikas were found spray painted onto the wall and at the doorstep of the Jewish Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi) fraternity at UC Davis.
“Unfortunately, far too few have said too little for too long,” Potasnik said.
The Palestinian Victims of the West’s Israel Obsession
A particularly horrific consequence ensued in November, when an 11-year-old Palestinian died because the Rafah closure prevented her from entering Egypt for needed medical treatment. So why didn’t she go to Israel instead? Because Hamas refuses to talk to Israel directly, so requests for medical entry permits from Gaza are sent through the PA. But according to Razan al-Halkawi’s relatives, the PA refused to forward her request because it was embroiled in one of its periodic spats with Hamas.
In short, the PA refused to do what was needed to enable al-Halkawi to get treatment in either Egypt or Israel. And so she died.
As the PA’s major donor, the West could be pressing the Palestinians to live up to their post-war commitments. But it won’t, because if Israel can’t be blamed, it doesn’t care.
Report number three: Thousands of Palestinians who bought homes in the new Palestinian city of Rawabi can’t move in because the city isn’t connected to the water system. Why? Because all West Bank water projects need approval by the Israeli-Palestinian Joint Water Committee, which the PA has refused to convene for the last five years. Evidently, it would rather deprive its own people of better housing than agree to meet with Israeli officials.
Here, too, the West could use its financial leverage to press the PA to convene the panel and let Rawabi open. But it hasn’t, because if Israel can’t be blamed, it’s not interested.
In short, in numerous cases where the West could use its leverage over the PA to better the lot of ordinary Palestinians, it has refused to do so, because it only cares about Israel’s actions. And thus the biggest victims of the West’s Israel obsession have ended up being not Israelis, but the Palestinians themselves.
Michael Lumish: Jewish Palestinians
Here is a question. If there are Palestinian Muslims and there are Palestinian Christians, how is it that there are no Palestinian Jews?
Here is a possible answer.
Prior to 1948 the Jews of the British Mandate of Palestine referred to themselves as “Palestinian” in a manner not unsimilar to the way that I refer to myself as a “Californian.” The Jerusalem Post was the Palestine Post, the Israeli Opera was the Palestine Opera and so forth and, therefore, the Arabs did not use that attribution. It was only after the formal establishment of Israel that the Arabs could start comfortably calling themselves “Palestinian” and most did not do so until the late 1960s.
{In this way, I am myself older than are the “Palestinians” as a people.}
So much of our approach to understanding the Arab war against the Jews is trapped in outmoded tendencies of thought that are buttressed by loaded terminology derived from the so-called “Palestinian narrative.” “West Bank,” for example, always leaps to mind. The very term “West Bank” deletes 4,000 years of Jewish history on Jewish land, yet it is used daily by almost everyone who discusses the ongoing war.
Hamas bans novelist from leaving Gaza
How many of the Artists for Palestine UK will be protesting the ban that prevented Gazan novelist Atef Abu Saif from traveling to a book fair in Morocco, where he is a finalist for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction?
If it had been the Israeli authorities who prevented him from leaving Gaza, I imagine there would have been an outraged post on their website. Since in fact it was Gaza’s Hamas rulers who turned him back at the Erez crossing, I don’t expect to hear anything about it from them.
Je suis Mohammed: Palestinian cartoonist's depiction of the Prophet was intended to be favourable - but caused an uproar that saw him suspended from his job
It was meant to be a favourable image, designed to counter negative stereotypes of Islam in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo shootings.
But such are the popular and religious sensibilities around Islam’s founder that Palestinian cartoonist Mohammed Sabaaneh’s depiction of a robed man, spreading seeds of love drawn from a heart-shaped purse over the globe, caused an uproar.
He labelled his cartoon – published by al-Hayat al-Jadida, the official daily newspaper of the Palestinian Authority – “Prophet Mohamed” and, as this appeared to break a taboo on artistic depictions of the founder of Islam, there was an angry backlash.
Mr Sabaaneh was suspended from his job at the paper, where he has worked since 2002, and is under investigation by a team appointed by the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas.
Now back at the apparently impossible job of being a Palestinian cartoonist after his newspaper allowed him to return, he spoke for the first time about the challenges he faces to The Independent.
Iran's Views of Jews and the U.S.
It was not until the Pahlavi Dynasty (1925-1979) that Jews in Iran could live without threats from their own government. Reza Shah Pahlavi even rebuffed Hitler's attempt to target Iranian Jews; and under his son, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran, Jews lived in freedom.
After the establishment of the Islamic Republic, however, Reza Shah was called a "Zionist stooge," and Iranian Jews were often accused of being spies for Israel. Many of Iran's Jews emigrated to Israel, the United States, or other countries in the Free World.
Although Iran is Shia and not Sunni, the same basic anti-Jewish references in theological texts are to be found in the Koran and Hadith. Both purport to justify inveterate Jew-hatred. The most familiar texts are the Koran's condemnation of the Jews as "killers of the prophets," "all Jews are not all bad, the good ones become Muslims, The bad ones do not." There are also several Hadith passages that lend theological support for virulent Jew-hatred in today's Iran. For example, the murder by strangulation of a Jewess who speaks ill of the Prophet, is justified. These passages buttress more contemporary assaults on Jews by Iran's Islamic revolutionary leaders, such as those of Khomeini and Khamenei, along with earlier condemnation of Jews and Israel as najis, [unclean infidels].
Such a history -- which reveals why most Jews of Iranian ancestry live abroad -- can only intensify Israel's suspicion of any agreement reached with the current Iranian regime, which has pledged often to eliminate the "Zionist entity," the "Little Satan."
Iran's imminent nuclear breakout capability will, of course, come with insufficient notice for anyone to stop it.
Muslims and Islam in Sports
Not only are some Muslim players trying to insert their religion into the field of sports, but some wealthy middle eastern sheikhs also seem to be trying to push Islamic ideology into the games. Real Madrid, a leading Spanish soccer team, removed the Christian Cross from atop its official emblem to appease its new sponsor, the National Bank of Abu Dhabi. The Daily Mail wrote, "It is believed that the change is to pacify Muslim supporters in the UAE."
At the time of the first acquisition of a European club by a middle eastern interest in 2008, fans of Manchester City -- which was bought by Abu Dhabi United Group Investment and Development Ltd -- greeted the players by wearing Arab headdresses and waving British Pound notes, but with the picture of the Queen replaced by a Gulf sheikh. The club also has a £400-millio sponsorship deal with Etihad, an Abu Dhabi airline.
In the United States, Dion Waiters, a Muslim basketball player with the Cleveland Cavaliers, avoided singing the national anthem before a game against the Utah Jazz last November, claiming as a reason, "It's because of my religion... That is why I stayed in the locker room." There is, however, no religious wording in America's national anthem, so it would be interesting to hear what Waiters meant.
Islamic countries strongly discourage women's participation in most games. Members of the Afghan Taliban threatened the Afghan National Cricket Board by phone : "You should not develop women's cricket. It is not in Islam or in Afghan culture," the caller said. The Afghan national women's team, founded in 2010 by Diana Barakzai, is now defunct. "[The] Afghan cricket board," she said, "does not support cricket for women."
Tasmania: The New Jerusalem?
Few visiting Critchley Parker Junior Reserve, a bushland park in Upper Beaconsfield, Tasmania, would ponder how got its name, but there’s a fascinating story behind it:
Critchley Parker Junior was the only son of Ernest Frank Critchley Parker a self made publishing magnate…
… born into a life of luxury, he was wealthy, romantic and intellectual. In 1940 he fell in love with an older married woman, a Jewish journalist named Caroline Isaacson. As knowledge of the Jewish extermination during the second world war became public, he and many others rallied for the resettlement of those of Jewish faith to a new homeland state. The plan was for a massive group settlement with infrastucture in remote Australia. Originally a site was touted in the north of Western Australia but the idea was shelved as the Japanese threat to Darwin escalated. Critchley began pushing for the Port Davey region in the rugged south west coast of Tasmania. In 1941 he and a party of men including Dr Isaac Steinberg (a Russian politician and leader of the Freeland League) visited Tasmania and came away with the plan for the new Jewish homeland.
In March of 1942, Critchley decided to embark upon his own survey of the Port Davey region. He enlisted the help of Charlie King (the only resident of the area) to take him up river, where he was left by himself with a tent and limited supplies. … Within days the weather turned bad … Sick with pleurisy and out of supplies Critchley died three weeks later. Four months passed before his body was discovered … still in his sleeping bag but surrounded by plans and notes for the new Jewish homeland.
His designs were for a socialist state in the rugged southwest. He planned for a centre of manufacturing, producing perfume, fancy goods, jewellery and furs by the displaced people of France. Those people coming from Holland would be employed in drainage and dykes, and there would be German style freeways taking goods to Hobart. The utopian style development would receive it’s wealth from farming and mining. Although his plans were far fetched and possibly misguided, he had a very real ambition to save the Jewish people during one of the most horrific times in recent history.
Critchley died when he was just 31 years old. His father died two years later and the land in Upper Beaconsfield was donated to the shire and named Critchley Parker Junior Reserve.
The Murder of Adele Biton and the Glorification of Terrorism at York University
As the fatal attacks against Adele Biton (2013), Asher and Yonatan Palmer ( 2011), and Yehudam Shoham (2001) have made perfectly clear, rocks are thrown with the intent to wound, maim, and kill. In 2013 alone, there were more than 2400 rock throwing attacks in Israel, injuring over 100 civilians. No decent person can proffer an exculpatory explanation for the routine targeting of innocent civilians; to justify Palestinian stone throwing as a legitimate form of resistance is to incite and promote terror.
However, a terrorist-glorifying mural at York University’s student center is doing exactly that. In a topsy-turvy perversion of morality, not only is violent stone-throwing depicted as a valid form of protest against Israel, but this murderous act becomes the embodiment of “peace” and “justice”.
Every day, the tens of thousands of university students who pass by this painting – which is prominently displayed in one of the most populous areas of Toronto’s York University campus– are being taught that terrorism is the appropriate reaction to political grievances.
Stephen Hawking, BDS, and Why Geniuses Can Be Dumb
In May 2013, Hawking, after initially accepting an invitation to speak at Israel’s President’s Conference organized to mark the 90th birthday of Shimon Peres, changed his mind and declared that he would not participate in any academic or cultural exchanges with Israel. He announced his support for the BDS movement.
Now there are many reasons why ordinary people should oppose BDS.
But Hawking is not an ordinary person. Hawking suffers from ALS, which has left him unable to utilize any muscle functions except for his cheeks, whose movement is monitored by a sensor attached to his spectacles. His sole means of communication is through a computer Intel Core i7-based communication system, which runs on a chip designed in Israel.
If BDS were universally adopted, the very technology he relies upon to communicate would be unavailable to him. Hawking, a supposed champion of logic, thus takes the absurdly illogical position of opposing the same kind of exchange that allows him to communicate his opposition in the first place.
A first grader would blush at the internal inconsistency of such a position.
Hawking, of course, is not a first grader. He reportedly has an IQ of 160, and regularly appears on Internet lists of the world’s smartest people.
That’s what makes Hawking’s stand on BDS so interesting. It is not just an example of an ordinary person acting dumb. It is an example of a genius acting dumb – a phenomenon that turns out to be surprisingly common.
Alan Parsons Rejects Roger Waters’ Anti-Israel Riff
Lana Melman, Director of the Creative Community for Peace (CCFP), arranged an exclusive interview with Parsons and his band’s Israeli bassist, Guy Erez. The conversation, right before their Tel-Aviv performance, challenged Waters’ motives and took the BDS movement to task for “censorship.”
CCFP: Alan, you mentioned bringing people together. And as you for sure know now, there’s the cultural boycott movement which basically wants two main things: to prevent international artists like you [Alan] from coming to Israel and to prevent Israeli artists like you [Guy] from performing abroad. Do you guys see this as a form of censorship at all? And do you think it can have any particular impact on the artistic community?
Parsons: It’s totally censorship, yeah. I mean, people who follow it would be considered succumbing to censorship. But we didn’t. We said we want to do this.
CCFP: You had a lot of pressure. And not even just from activists but also from your fellow musician Roger Waters. How did it feel to be getting that pressure onto yourself and why was it important for you to not listen and to come here?
Parsons: Well, Guy would have killed me to start with.
Erez: If he doesn’t come and visit my country, we have a problem.
Parsons: No, the language of music has nothing to do with the language of politics. I don’t think… I have no aspiration towards political statements, contrary to what certain musicians do. I don’t think any of the band does, particularly.
Brandeis Center Fights Anti-Semites At UCLA
On Monday, the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law fired off a letter condemning the anti-Semitism within the University of California at Los Angeles’ Undergraduate Student Assembly Council (USAC). The Brandeis Center pointed to the videotape of the USAC’s debate over whether a student involved in the Jewish community could properly be appointed to the Judicial Board.
The Center blasted the Council’s treatment of the Jewish student as “outrageously discriminatory,” adding that it “blatantly violates UCLA rules, and raises serious questions of federal civil rights compliance.” LDB President Kenneth L. Marcus declared, “This deplorable UCLA student government debate raised old-fashioned canards about whether Jews could be entrusted with delicate positions in light of supposedly divided loyalty. It is a throwback to old racist views of the sort that have long since been discredited. Shame on UCLA’s student government for indulging in this display of stereotypes and defamations.”
University of Toledo Votes Down BDS Resolution
Toledo Hillel and the Jewish Federation of Greater Toledo condemned the resolution. A statement released by Hillel raised concerns that the measure would create “hostility against the small Jewish community at UT.” SJP members said their campaign did not target Jewish students or Israel as a whole, stressing that the companies they identified for divestment are not Israeli.
Each side was allowed five representatives to present arguments for and against divestment before the student senate Tuesday. More than 200 supporters of Toledo Hillel and SJP gathered to watch the debate from separate overflow rooms. Divestment advocates sported matching “#UTDivest” t-shirts. Members of Hillel countered with Israeli flags and matching t-shirt slogans of their own: “Say Yes to Peace; Say No to Divestment.”
Student senators debated the merits of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions for two hours, but ultimately determined that the resolution was unconstitutional, effectively ending debate on the issue.
Students opposing divestment welcomed the outcome. The decision “will allow students to educate themselves about the Middle East in a peaceful way…without privileging one narrative,” said Sara Federman, who argued against divestment before the student government.
Northwestern University student group narrowly passes Israel divestment measure
Northwestern University's Associated Student Government Senate narrowly passed a measure to divest from Israeli companies on Thursday. It urges the university to divest from Boeing, Caterpillar, Elbit Systems, Hewlett-Packard, G4S and Lockheed Martin, according to the school's paper The Daily Northwestern.
In the vote, 24 people were in favor of the resolution sponsored by the BDS group Northwest Divest, with 22 people voting against the measure and three people abstaining.
The resolution serves as a recommendation to the school and does not hold sway regarding actual university policy, which maintains close ties with Tel Aviv University as a sister university.
Furthermore, it is unknown if the university actually deals with the targeted corporations, as the school does not release such information.
Will Britain Do the Right Thing on Boycotts?
The one glimmer of hope in all of this is that there does seem to be an increasing recognition of just what a dangerous turn BDS represents. On the whole senior British politicians, including Prime Minister Cameron, have stressed their opposition to boycotts. But it was particularly noteworthy that the Times of London ran an editorial on the Copenhagen attacks and rising anti-Semitism that stated plainly, “The egregious campaigns for a cultural boycott of Israel are stoking ugly, atavistic movements in Europe. These need to be confronted by civilised opinion.” More remarkable still was that even the Guardian (a paper usually transfixed by the business of attacking Israel) printed a whole series of letters condemning the boycotts under the heading “Peace Not Promoted by an Israel Boycott.”
One senses that Britain’s liberal establishment is suddenly catching itself and pulling back at the last moment from the precipice. They have seen Paris, they have seen Copenhagen, they have seen anti-Semitism go off the chart from Brussels to Malmo. They have seen where all of this is leading and are now reconsidering their own responsibilities.
Of course the British establishment can only be expected to correctly identify boycotts as a form of racial discrimination if the Jewish community is unequivocal on the subject. And it must indeed be the Jewish community, and not the boycotters, who determine what is and what isn’t anti-Semitic. As it happens, a survey on anti-Semitism released in January found that 84 percent of British Jews consider boycotts to be a form of intimidation. Laura Marks of the Board of Deputies (Anglo-Jewry’s primary representative body) has also stressed that such a cultural boycott of Israel is racist.
The anti-Israel artists-turned-activists insist they won’t be silenced. Very well. But then the rest of us cannot afford to stay silent either about the racism inherent in what these people are doing.
Islamic charity under spotlight after being accused of promoting extremism
The chief executive of an Islamic charity has stepped down and an investigation launched after the organisation was accused of supporting extremism.
Global Aid Trust, which claims to raise money to educate the underprivileged and alleviate poverty around the world, was launched in 2004 and has an annual income of more than half a million pounds a year.
But the Charity Commission is now investigating after an undercover reporter found its staff praising terrorists and even offering advice on how to become a jihadist in in Syria.
There is also an ongoing fraud investigation by the National Terrorism Financial Investigation Unit.
Footage obtained by ITV’s Exposure documentary also found a speaker invited to address a Global Aid Trust even making anti-Semitic remarks and offering jihadists his blessing.
The charity’s chief executive officer, Rizwan Hussein, has now stepped down.
It is one of a number charities exposed by ITV1’s Exposure programme for allegedly spreading extremism, including the Steadfast Trust.
Posing as a volunteer, an undercover reporter begins working at Global Aid Trust’s headquarters, where he is introduced to a worker called Shaffiq Shabbar, who quickly confesses an admiration for hate preacher Anwar al-Awlaki, who has inspired a string of terror attacks.
In another section of the documentary the charity books a preacher called Dawah Man to speak at an event on a boat on the River Thames.
He was recently banned from speaking at the University of East London after referring to homosexuality as a “filthy disease”.
In his speech he makes a series of anti-Semitic comments, telling those gathered: “America, European countries, whatever you call it, these countries are controlled by Zionists.
“If you look at the biggest bankers in the world, that fund these countries, they are Zionists, and Zionists run Israel. So we can safely say that at any time there was an American, or English or whatever, invasion of the Muslim lands, it is all a problem coming back to the Children of Israel.
“Allah it would seem is punishing the greatest ummah [community] alive by the worst ummah [community] alive.”
A part of the Israeli story consistently ignored by the BBC
Adele Bitton, who was three years old at the time, was badly injured when Palestinian stone-throwers (later arrested and currently standing trial) attacked passing vehicles. She suffered serious neurological damage and spent the next eighteen months in hospital and rehabilitation. Earlier this week Adele, who never fully recovered from her injuries, was hospitalized again after having contracted pneumonia and yesterday afternoon she died.
In the year in which Adele was injured (2013) an additional 115 people suffered injuries as a result of stone-throwing attacks on civilian vehicles but BBC audiences remain unaware of the scale of everyday terrorism in Israel because the vast majority of non-fatal terror attacks are simply not reported.
That policy does not only mean that the BBC fails to meet its commitment to enhance its funding public’s “awareness and understanding of international issues“: it also means that BBC reporters are able to misleadingly frame the incidents it does chose to report as “sporadic” or “rare“.
Channel 4 drama about UKIP illustrates far-right protest by showing Israeli flag
A Channel 4 drama about the UK Independence Party (UKIP, the first 100 days) is essentially a “what if” scenario which imagines what might happen if Nigel Farage’s right-wing party comes to power following the May 7th British elections.
Though UKIP’s main objective is to encourage the UK to withdrawal from the EU, it is also associated with racism and homophobia, which makes Channel 4’s decision to use one particular flag in the following context that much more disturbing.
Here’s a still shot from a scene in the program evidently depicting an extreme-right protest.
According to reports about the show, the Israeli flag is the only one shown in this sequence.
Toronto Star Publishes Libel Claiming Israel Uses “Palestine as a Field Lab for Testing Weapons”
In the latest of a long line of malicious libels waged against Israel, the Toronto Star gave a platform to Reverend Steve Berube of the United Network for a Just Peace for Palestine and Israel to claim that “… Israel has become a leading arms exporter by using Palestine as a field lab for testing weapons, especially in Gaza.”
Published to the Toronto Star’s website on January 1, oddly on the topic of Israel’s nation-state law, Berube’s bilious slur certainly crossed the line. To claim that in an effort to become a leading arms exporter, that Israel is using the Palestinian territories as a “field lab for testing weapons” is abhorrent and without foundation. The implication drawn by Berube, a supposed man of the cloth, is that Israel is intentionally using its weapons not for self defence against terrorists trying to maim, murder and eliminate its civilians and wipe it from the map, but solely for financial gain and that Israel has no regard for the innocents who live in these areas. In reality, only the inverse is occurring.
Apart from being the most moral military in the world, Israel takes every effort to avoid civilian casualties when targeting terrorists and when using pinpoint precision weapons and surgical strikes to thwart out only those who intentionally target innocents and who fortify their infrastructures next to civilian areas. Israel’s weapons are used solely for defensive purposes, just like the name of its army, the “Israel Defense Forces” (IDF).
*** UPDATE *** The Toronto Star has reconsidered its decision and has now published our rebuttal commentary. Our letter entitled “Letter on Israel Crossed the Line“ can be found on the opinion section of the Star’s website.
Confronting neo-Nazis in Lithuania
Thus it was particularly upsetting to see a very large banner at the head of this week’s parade honoring none other than Juozas Ambrazevicius, the prime minister of the provisional government (LPG) established by the Lithuanians on July 5, 1941. This political body fully supported the Third Reich, as well as the cruel measures taken against Lithuanian Jews which resulted in the mass murder of thousands during the LPG’s one-month existence. I shudder to think how a Jewish survivor living in Kaunas today would react to that image.
As far as the lack of tolerance for minorities, the main slogan shouted ad nauseam by the marchers was “Lietuva lietuvams,” and “Lietuvams Lietuva” (“Lithuania for Lithuanians” and “Lithuanians for Lithuania”). In other words, the only worthy and authentic residents of their country, in their opinion, are ethnic Lithuanians, a blatant and obvious insult to the thousands of Poles, Russians and Jews who have called Lithuania home for generations. The irony of such slogans in our context is that the Jewish objects of this exclusionary message are the few individuals who, despite the highly significant role played by ethnic Lithuanians in the Holocaust, have chosen to tie their futures to those of the residents of a country many of whose ethnic Lithuanians thought murdering Jews was the epitome of patriotism.
Several hundred people participated in this march, with nary a word of protest from the official Jewish community or any of the embassies, including Israel. Perhaps it is the inertia engendered by repeated marches, perhaps it is a desire not to rock the boat, or a sense that in a country so busy rewriting the narrative of World War II and the Holocaust to hide the crimes of local collaborators and promote the canard of equivalency between Communist and Nazi crimes, what difference does a march like Monday’s really make? I beg to differ, however, since I believe that, despite Lithuania’s small size and population, the campaign that it has been pursuing so energetically has already reaped dangerous results, which ultimately threaten not only the country’s minorities, but the accepted narrative of World War II and the Holocaust as well. And both these issues represent a real and present danger.
Anti-Semitic, Pro-Islamic State Graffiti Continues to Plague D.C.
Anti-Semitic, pro-terror graffiti continues to plague an affluent neighborhood in Washington, D.C., causing worry among some residents as anti-Jewish incidents continue to spike across the globe.
Local officials with the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and the D.C. police were informed about the graffiti, according to those familiar with the situation.
Local FBI officials have also been investigating the events.
Graffiti containing the Star of David and the words “Allahu Akbar” have shown up around 19th and M Streets NW in Dupont, according to photographs and those monitoring the situation.
After being washed away in September, the same graffiti continued to appear in the exact location, sometimes within 24 hours of being cleaned up, sources said.
Prosecutor: French teens who defaced graves motivated by anti-Semitism
Five adolescents aged 15 to 17 were detained for questioning over the incident, in which tombstones were pushed over and vaults opened.
The youngest came forward earlier this week after being taken aback by the scale of the reaction across the country to the vandalism. He denied any anti-Semitic motive from the group of boys, none of whom has a criminal record.
But on Wednesday, local prosecutor Philippe Vannier told reporters that, despite their denials, “the anti-Semitic motive of their behavior is now clear” after a probe into the incident.
He said all five boys admitted to taking part in the vandalism but continued to maintain they were not motivated by anti-Semitism.
Vannier has asked for an official inquiry to be opened for “desecration and violation of burial places due to the religion of the deceased.”
Israeli-Made Goggles Revolutionize How We See Reality
RideOn, an Israeli start-up, promises to revolutionize heads-up display technology with its Augmented Reality Goggles.
Israeli start-up RideOn has come out with an augmented reality goggle, which seems to overcome many of the longstanding problems related to heads-up display technology.
In 2012, Google made headlines with its introduction of Google Glass, a new incarnation of heads-up display gear that moved the technology out of the exclusive realm of military and airline uses and into the hands of everyday people. Google Glass promised a variety of applications and information which until then had been regarded as the stuff of science fiction.
Israel to Bring New Desalination Methods to Marshall Islands
The Pacific Island nation known as the Marshall Islands will soon have its first water purification vehicle – thanks to the Israel.
The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs is supplying desalination vehicle to the tiny nation with a population of about 70,000 people. Located near the equator in the northern Pacific Ocean, the Marshall Islands suffers from a serious water shortage, which Israel hopes to help the country overcome.
“When I was at a meeting with the heads of state of the Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) in Samoa, I met with the president of the Marshall Islands, who asked me to help his country,” explained Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tzachi Hanegbi.
On Monday, February 16, a special launch ceremony was held for the desalination vehicle which was made possible by the Hadera-based company, G.A.L. Water Technologies, Ltd. The launch, held in Hadera, was attended by Israeli government officials and the Honorary Consul of the Marshall Islands in Israel.
“This event brings together the most important fields of environment, health, and desalination, while helping and mobilizing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to advance these issues and raise awareness around the world,” said Hanegbi. The deputy minister was pleased to be part of the launching of the first “desalination car” in the world, according to the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
Man finds love in bombing aftermath
Almost three years after falling in love with a woman he met after being seriously injured in a bus bombing, Daniel Fahima married the volunteer who nursed him back to health this week.
Fahima was among 30 injured and seven killed at the airport in Burgas, Bulgaria in July 2012 in what Israel said was a Hezbollah bombing orchestrated by Iran.
While hospitalized in critical condition, he met Dana Levi, a volunteer at the hospital, who helped him recover from his injuries.
“From the moment we met we haven’t parted,” Fahima, a resident of a Haifa suburb, told Channel 10 news. After a full recovery, the two got hitched this week.
Fahima said his two best friends, who were among those killed in the blast, would be dearly missed at the wedding.
Ya’alon meets Indian premier as defense firms ink deal
Ya’alon’s visit, the highest-level official visit since the countries established ties in 1992, marked another major step in the development of bilateral relations between New Delhi and Jerusalem, which has been linked in recent years to growing defense ties.
Ya’alon and Modi discussed matters of national security during a meeting in Delhi, according to Indian news site ANI.
“India is a very important country, and we are following with great appreciation the commitments and actions of PM Modi, who is leading India beyond the heights of growth,” Ya’alon wrote on Twitter Thursday.
India's Kalyani Group Announces Israel Defense Venture
India's Kalyani industrial group announced on Thursday a "substantial" joint venture with Israel to make missiles and other weapons, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi eased rules on foreign ownership in defense.
Kalyani and Israel's Rafael Advanced Defense Systems will make advanced missile systems and other technologies at a facility near the the southern Indian city of Hyderabad, AFP reported.
Kalyani managing director B.N. Kalyani said his company would hold 51 percent of the venture, in one of the first such tieups since the cap was lifted on foreign investment in the sector last year.
"The joint venture will ... manufacture (remote) weapons systems and advanced armor solutions for Indian and subsequently global customers of Rafael," Kalyani told reporters in Bangalore.
Kalyani did not disclose the size of the venture, but said it would be "substantial".
'Handshake in the open' may see $1.5 billion defence deals with Israel
India is close to finalizing several major defence deals with Israel, including the ones for two additional Phalcon AWACS (airborne warning and control systems) and four aerostat radars, together worth well over $1.5 billion (Rs 9,330 crore).
This comes even as Israeli defence minister Moshe Ya'alon is all set to touch down in India on Tuesday, the first such ministerial visit after the two countries established full diplomatic ties in 1992, as earlier reported by TOI. Ya'alon, accompanied by director-general of his ministry Major Gen (retd) Dan Harel and CEOs of Israeli arms companies, will hold meetings with his Indian counterpart Manohar Parrikar and others as well as visit the Aero-India show at Bengaluru from February 18 to 22.
It marks a significant departure from the long-standing policy to keep the expansive bilateral military ties under wraps due to international and domestic political sensitivities despite Israel being among the top three defence suppliers to India since the 1999 Kargil conflict.
NYU Langone-Technion to share $9 million cancer research grant
The NYU Langone Medical Center and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Israel will participate in joint cancer research projects funded by a $9 million grant.
The grant, announced Wednesday, is a gift from philanthropists Laura and Isaac Perlmutter.
Some $3 million will finance six cancer-focused research projects that will be conducted by teams of co-investigators from both NYU Langone and the Technion. The remaining $6 million will be used to establish a state-of-the-art research facility on Technion’s campus in Haifa that will support these and other research projects, according to a statement issued by the two facilities.
In January 2014, the Perlmutters donated more than $50 million to advance cancer research and treatment at NYU Langone. As part of that gift, the New York hospital was renamed from the NYU Cancer Institute, a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center, to the Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone. The Perlmutters both serve as members of the NYU Langone board of trustees.


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