Saturday, April 18, 2015

From Ian:

Israel analysts shocked by Obama’s comments on sanctions, S-300 supply
Israeli analysts expressed shock and amazement Friday night at US President Barack Obama’s stated openness to Iran’s demand for the immediate lifting of all economic sanctions, and his defense of Russia’s agreement to supply a sophisticated air defense system to Iran.
There was no immediate official Israeli response to the president’s comments, which were made after the start of Shabbat in Israel, when politicians generally do not work.
“Jaws dropped” around the studio, said the Channel 10 News diplomatic commentator Ben Caspit, as news broke of Obama’s declared empathy for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to supply Tehran with the S-300 missile defense system.
“Obama is something else,” Caspit added. “He’s decided to take America out of the wars…”
The station’s news anchor, Alon Ben David, chipped in, “He’s amazed that the Russians honored an agreement with him [for this long]? That’s what is astonishing.”
Responded Caspit, “This is the new America. We had better get used to it.”
Channel 10 also quoted unnamed senior Israeli diplomatic officials saying the prospect of Israel derailing the deal taking shape in US-led talks with Iran on its nuclear program was now zero. “The Iran issue is finished,” the officials were quoted saying.
US Taxpayers Paying Muslims Who Don’t Want to be Terrorists to Carry Out Terrorist Attacks
Here’s where the US funding of the PLO has taken us.
US taxpayers subsidize the PLO’s Palestinian Authority. The PA pays out handsome salaries to convicted terrorists. This encourages even those Muslims in the West Bank who don’t want to be terrorists to try and commit an act of terrorism in order to get a handsome salary and other perks when they’re actually released.
This latest terrorist was unenthusiastic about the terror part. He just wanted to be arrested.
The man approached the soldier and told him that he wanted to stab a soldier and then be arrested, and he then showed the soldier his folded knife.
The soldier pointed his gun at the man, and told him to not come any closer. The Golani soldiers nearby arrested the sort-of terrorist and took away his knife.

That would be the safe way to carry out a terrorist attack. And this happens all the time.
5 Australian teens arrested on charges of plotting ANZAC Day attack
Five Australian teenagers were arrested Saturday on suspicion of plotting a terrorist attack at a Veterans' Day ceremony that included targeting police officers, officials said.
The suspects included two 18-year-olds who are alleged to have been preparing an attack at the ANZAC Day ceremony in Melbourne, Australian Federal Police Acting Deputy Commissioner Neil Gaughan told reporters.
Another 18-year-old was arrested on weapons charges and two other men, aged 18 and 19, were in custody and assisting police, police said.
ANZAC stands for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps and commemorates the World War I battle in Turkey on April 25.
"I will say the attacks related to edged weapons," Victoria Police Acting Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton told The Australian. "We believe the attacks could have occurred at any time in the next week."

Obama says US open to talks with Iran on immediately lifting sanctions
US President Barack Obama on Friday left open the door to “creative negotiations” in response to Iran’s demand that punishing sanctions be immediately lifted as part of a nuclear deal, even though the initial agreement calls for the penalties to be removed over time.
Asked whether he would definitively rule out lifting sanctions at once as part of a final deal aimed at keeping Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, Obama said he didn’t want to get ahead of negotiators in how to work through the potential sticking point. He said his main concern is making sure that if Iran violates an agreement, sanctions can quickly be reinstated — the so-called “snap back” provision.
“How sanctions are lessened, how we snap back sanctions if there’s a violation, there are a lot of different mechanisms and ways to do that,” Obama said. He said part of the job for Secretary of State John Kerry and the representatives of five other nations working to reach a final deal with Iran by June 30 “is to sometimes find formulas that get to our main concerns while allowing the other side to make a presentation to their body politic that is more acceptable.”
Obama ‘Frankly Surprised’ It Took This Long for Russia to Cross His Red Line on Missiles to Iran
President Obama said that he was “not surprised” Russia sold an advanced missile system to Iran in the midst of his negotiations with the Ayatollah to prevent Iran’s nuclear facilities from making a bomb. He went even further to say that he expected the deal to happen a lot sooner than it did.
“I’m frankly surprised that it held this long given that they were not prohibited by sanctions from selling these defensive weapons,” President Obama said on Friday.
The sanguine comments from President Obama are surprising considering the negative effects his administration said it would cause.
“He’s sort of thanking Russia,” CNN’s Jim Sciutto said.
Standing beside Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Obama downplayed the development, which has been viewed as a threat to the coalition seeking a deal with Iran. Previously, however, the administration made it clear they strongly objected the sale of the missile system to the Ayatollah.
The Free Beacon’s Adam Kredo pointed out that the sale crossed another red line for President Obama.

Watchdog Group Says Obama ‘Appears to be Conceding’ to Khamenei Demand for Immediate Lifting of Sanctions
A Washington DC-based advocacy group said that President Obama’s comments on Friday regarding Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei’s insistence on the immediate lifting of sanctions in a nuclear deal, indicated that the White House was actually prepared to accept the demand.
“The administration appears to be conceding to the new demands,” The Israel Project said in an email to reporters.
Khamenei’s demand, along with a statement that Iran wouldn’t allow inspections of atomic work on its military sites, was made in a speech last week soon after the framework nuclear agreement was announced between Iran and world powers. His remarks directly contradicted a factsheet on the agreement released by the Administration.
Khamenei’s speech prompted “a firestorm of criticism,” The Israel Project said. “If his interpretation was correct, the US would have no ability, first, to detect, and second, to respond, to Iranian cheating.”
UN Atomic Agency Says Iran Still Stonewalling on Nuclear Investigation
The U.N. nuclear watchdog said it had a “constructive exchange” with Iran this week but there was no sign of a breakthrough on aspects of its nuclear program that the agency says Tehran has failed to fully address.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is investigating Iran’s nuclear program in parallel to talks between Tehran and six world powers that aim to broker a deal by the end of June to scale down the program in exchange for sanctions relief.

Iran marks Army Day with cries of ‘Death to Israel, US’
Iran on Saturday marked Army Day with a military parade featuring new weapons systems, as well as a truck carrying a massive banner reading “Death to Israel.”
A televised broadcast of the parade was punctuated by repeated cries of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel.”
“If Israel makes a mistake,” the announcer on Iran television said during the broadcast, as heavy trucks carrying armored personnel carriers rolled past, “those in Tel Aviv and Haifa will not sleep at night, not one person.”
Broadcast on national television, military brass and political leaders, foremost President Hassan Rouhani, attended the procession south of the capital Tehran, which showcased the country’s military technologies.
Iran unveils self-developed knockoff of S-300 missiles
The Iranian army displayed on Saturday a self-developed version of the advanced Russian S-300 missile system during a military parade south of the Tehran, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.
Tehran decided to design its own version of the S-300 missile, the Bavar 373, following a postponement by Russia of the sale of the anti-aircraft weaponry to Iran five years ago. Earlier this week, Russia announced it would finally lift the ban and deliver S-300 systems to Iran, in a move that would give the Islamic Republic’s military a strong deterrent against any air attack.
On Wednesday, Iranian Ground Force Commander Brigadier General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan stated that the Bavar 373 air missile shield possesses similar features to the Russian S-300, Fars reported. The Iranian news outlet said that the Iranian missile system has “increased mobility, agility and reduced launch-preparation time” than its Russian counterpart.
“Iran’s Air Defense Base has carried out great task in recent years, including the designing and manufacturing of Bavar 373 air defense missile system, which has the same capabilities as the Russian S-300,” the Iranian commander said.
Iran Nuclear Deal’s Fate Could Swing on Decisions of a Few US Lawmakers
Corker also agreed to modify the bill’s language on terrorism. The bill originally called for the president to certify to Congress every 90 days that Iran was not involved in terrorism against Americans, with sanctions being re-imposed if Iran was found complicit in terror. Under the new language, the president would need to send Congress periodic reports on Iran’s involvement in terrorism and on its ballistic missile program, but the details of those reports would not set off the renewal of sanctions that were lifted under the nuclear deal.
“What I’m most proud of is we’ve kept the pure integrity of the process in place and the president cannot lift—while Congress is reviewing this—cannot lift the congressionally mandated sanctions, which is what they’ve been trying to do and push for over the past couple of weeks,” Corker told reporters Tuesday.
Israeli media magnate Saban hints Clinton opposes Iran nuclear deal
American-Israeli media mogul and long-time Hillary Clinton supporter Haim Saban hinted in a Channel One news interview that the new Democratic presidential candidate is opposed to an Iranian nuclear deal, the American news site The Hill reported on Friday.
While speaking to Ya'akov Ayalon, host of Channel One's nightly news broadcast, Saban was asked what Clinton's stance was on the issue.
“She will have to, at some stage, express her opinion. But we know that in essence and in every important matter, she is committed to the security of Israel. She is a friend of the State of Israel," he said. "And we've seen this over the past 25 to 30 years. So, there won't be any problems with relations between the United States and Israel when Hillary Clinton is president. No problem. On the contrary.”
Ayalon, sensing Saban's somewhat aloof answer, pressed further by asking if he knew where Clinton specifically stood on the issue.
"I know where she stands but I can't talk about it," Saban admitted.
‘Foreign Policy’ Editor: Nuke Deal that Doesn’t Halt Iran’s Regional Threat is “Serious Error”
Unfreezing billions of dollars worth of Iranian assets, a likely consequence of the nuclear negotiations with the Islamic Republic, will have the effect of exacerbating Iran’s “systematic, 35-year campaign of regional meddling, destabilization, and extension of … influence” that threatens the Middle East, David Rothkopf, editor of Foreign Policy, argued Thursday.
How much Iran actually will make off sanctions relief is unclear. But based on the calculation that its overseas assets (which will likely be unfrozen) will total north of $120 billion, and the equally reasonable estimate that Iran may gain in excess of $20 billion a year in oil revenues, you end up with a 15-year deal that would result in a relative gain of $420 billion.
To put this in perspective, Iran’s GDP in 2013 was roughly $370 billion. Or, to put it another way — relevant in the context of the kind of influence the cash might buy Iran in the region — its Syrian client state had a GDP of about $65 billion in 2011 before the crisis there heated up and devastated the country. Its would-be client Yemen has a GDP of about $36 billion. So the amounts in question would give Iran the means to not only shore up its own weak economy, but also to extend its influence, buy weapons, and underwrite terrorist groups to an even greater extent than it has been doing throughout the period the country has felt the squeeze of sanctions. (Iran is estimated to have given tens of billions of dollars to Syria during the period in question, despite the financial pressures on its own people and economy.) …
James Baker: Iran Cannot Be Trusted
In an editorial in the Wall Street Journal, Baker wrote that there are “substantial misunderstandings” about the deal reached between Iran and six world powers and added that it was clear that much work needs to be done before a final agreement.
“Iranian leaders quickly disputed key points about the White House’s description of the terms of the agreement. Among them was Iran’s demand that all sanctions be removed once a final deal is signed. That is a far cry from the U.S. understanding that sanctions will only be removed over time, as Iran meets its obligations. This different Iranian position may have been aimed at Iran’s domestic audience. But if Iran holds to it, there should be no final agreement,” wrote Baker.
“Arms-control negotiations are rarely easy, and there remain serious questions about more than the phasing out of sanctions. These include verification mechanisms (including access to Iran’s military bases for inspections); the “snapback” provisions for reapplying sanctions; and Iran’s refusal so far to provide historical information about its nuclear-enrichment program so that there is a baseline against which to measure any future enrichment. The proposed snapback and verification provisions, while still being negotiated, look like they will be particularly bureaucratic and cumbersome,” he continued.
“Experience shows Iran cannot be trusted, and so those four weaknesses need to be addressed and fixed,” wrote the former top diplomat, adding, “Yes, it would be good if we could have a verifiable agreement extending the current ‘breakout’ period for Iran to acquire nuclear weapons to one year from the current two-to-three months. And for that extension to last at least 10 years.
L.A., Houston Nuke Contractors Indicted for Smuggling $24M in Missile Tech to Iran
Five individuals and four companies, including Iranian government and Centrifuge Technology company contractors, have been indicted for illegally exporting technology frequently used in military systems such as surface-air and cruise missiles to Iran. This technology is “frequently used in a wide range of military systems, including surface-air and cruise missiles,” according to the Department of Justice. $24 million worth of technology was allegedly sent to Iran starting in July 2010.
“The nine defendants charged in the indictment allegedly circumvented U.S. sanctions and illegally exported controlled microelectronics to Iran,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin. The elaborate path detailed in the indictment follows the technology on a route from the U.S. to Taiwan, then to Turkey and finally to Iran.
In a Friday Department of Justice (DOJ) release, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas details the indictment and those charged, which include: Houston-based Smart Power Systems Inc. (SPS); Bahram Mechanic, 69, and Tooraj Faridi, 46, of Houston; Khosrow Afghahi, 71, of Los Angeles; and Faratel Corporation, co-owned by Mechanic and Afghahi in Iran. These individuals are described as “members of an Iranian procurement network operating in the United States.”
Mechanic and Afghahi are described in the indictment as “co-owners of Iran-based Faratel and its Houston-based sister company SPS.” The DOJ release continues: “Faratel designs and builds uninterruptible power supplies for various Iranian entities, including Iranian government agencies such as the Iranian Ministry of Defense, the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran and the Iranian Centrifuge Technology Company, according to the charges.”
Iran accuses US of creating Islamic State, Boko Haram
Iran on Friday accused the United States of creating the murderous Islamic State, Boko Haram and al-Nusrah terrorist groups.
The commander of Iran’s ground forces, Brigadier General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan, said the US had established these terror groups to harm Islam and bolster Israel’s security.
“The ISIL (another name for Islamic State), Boko Haram and al-Nusrah have been created in line with the US strategy of religion against religion, which seeks to impair the divine face of Islam,” Pourdastan said, according to the Iranian Fars news agency.
“The American and European people’s high tendency towards Islam and (the necessity for) protection of the Zionist regime’s security have caused the US to create the terrorist groups,” he added, in an address at Tehran University.
IDF network reportedly infiltrated by hackers
Hackers managed to infiltrate and compromise the IDF’s computer network with malicious spyware, Reuters reported on Friday.
The hackers, believed to be from the Arabic-speaking world, claimed to pull off the attack by confusing system operators with trick emails, according to experts at Blue Coat, a company specializing in high-level cyber security.
Military officials said that they were “not aware of hacking on IDF operational networks.” An unidentified senior member of the IDF speaking with Channel 2 denied the report.
Waylon Grange, a Blue Coat analyst credited with discovering the purported security breach, said that hackers used existing code from other viruses to gain access to the network and engage in a four-month espionage campaign.
Palestinians in West Bank clash with IDF on ‘Prisoners Day’
Palestinian protesters clashed with Israeli troops in the northern West Bank on Friday during annual demonstrations marking Palestinian ‘Prisoners Day’.
More than 100 Palestinians rallied near Israel’s security barrier in the village of Bil’in, with some throwing stones before soldiers used tear gas to disperse the crowd, according to the AFP.
One protester was wounded, a correspondent reported, speculating that it was either from a gas canister or a rubber bullet.
Prisoners Day is marked every year in solidarity with the more than 6,000 Palestinian security prisoners in Israeli jails.
Israel, PA agree on transfer of frozen tax monies
The agreement was reached following a meeting between the Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and Minister of Civil Affairs Hussein a-Sheikh with the IDF’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai.
Nickolay Mladenov, the UN special coordinator for Middle East peace efforts, welcomed the deal as an important step “in the right direction.”
Last month, Israel indicated it would release the frozen funds, but the payment remained held up over a dispute regarding the size of the PA’s unpaid electric bill. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas refused to have Israel deduct electricity costs and said that if the issue remained unresolved, he would turn to The Hague.
According to a-Sheikh, Israel will transfer the tax monies owed for the months of March and April without deducting the PA’s debt due for electricity, water and medical services. A-Sheikh added that the rest of the money owed by Israel for the months of December to February would be transferred with a deduction of the said costs.
UC Santa Barbara: The repugnant anti-Semitism at the heart of the Campus Divest Movement
This week students at the University of California Santa Barbara defeated a BDS resolution for the 3rd year in a row. The debate featured the divisive and shocking rhetoric we've come to associate with the BDS movement. In a effort to further marginalize Jewish voices on campus, the debate was scheduled for Yom Hashoah.
Margaux Gundzik, a student at UCSB has written to the school run newspaper "The Bottom line", highlighting the rotten core at the very heart of the BDS movement.
Margaux documents the a repugnant rhetoric at the hearing that clearly crossed the line into anti-Semitism
Furthermore, I am disgusted by the normalization of anti-Semitic language so casually thrown around at the meeting. In those eight hours, I was told that Jews control the government, that all Jews are rich, that Zionism is racism, that the marginalization of Jewish students is justified because it prevents the marginalization of other minority groups, that Israel sterilizes its Ethiopian women (this is obviously not true), and that Palestinians in America who speak out against Israel are sought out by the IDF and denied entrance into Israel (also a ridiculous conspiracy theory). I heard a senator—someone who is supposed to be my representative—say that people were only voting against this resolution because they were afraid of losing “Jew support.” I heard my peers laugh at the mention of terrorists hurling stones at the heads of Israeli civilians intending to kill them. I saw students smile and cheer enthusiastically as a woman stood up and said the words, “I am ashamed to be a Jew.” The rhetoric I heard from students opposing Israel at this meeting could easily be equated to arguments that I have only seen in quotes at museums or mentioned in textbooks for their use in the justification of historical persecution of the Jewish race.
UCLA Newspaper Defends Pro-Terror Student Group
After several posters criticizing the pro-Hamas group Students for Justice in Palestine were found at the UCLA campus Thursday morning, the Daily Bruin, UCLA’s campus newspaper, defended the group as victims of “offensive” accusations. The posters had read “Stop SJP because it promotes…” and linked SJP as supporters of Hamas with pictures of Hamas terror victims and the quotes, “Terror Groups that oppress women,” “Terror Groups that kill gays,” and “Terror Groups that persecute Christians.” At the bottom of the posters were the David Horowitz Freedom Center logo, the #JewHatred signoff, and the campaign web address. Similar posters were put out on college campuses around the country in February as part of Horowitz’s “Jew Hatred on Campus” campaign.
The Bruin quoted SJP members, who complained that they felt threatened by the message in the posters, which they view as hate speech. It accused Horowitz of not having taken responsibility for the posters in February, although he had claimed responsibility for them in the Jewish Journal soon after they had appeared on campuses. The Bruin noted, “Horowitz was never arrested in connection with them.”
For Palestinian Group, a Double Standard of ‘Justice’
Jihadist fighters from ISIS are terrorizing Palestinians in the Yarmouk refugee camp outside of Damascus. Snipers are shooting people as they attempt to flee the fighting between ISIS and forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Assad’s air force has indiscriminately dropped unguided and inaccurate, but lethal, “barrel bombs” onto residential neighborhoods in the camp. The UN has not been able to get food or medical supplies into the camp.
A humanitarian crisis is unfolding and outrage is building. But one group, purportedly dedicated to promoting the welfare of the Palestinian people, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), has largely ignored the crisis. Its website, Facebook page, and Twitter account offer hardly a word of condemnation for the violence inflicted on the helpless inhabitants of Yarmouk.
The reason for this is quite obvious: Israel is not involved, and as a result, the suffering is not worth SJP’s attention.
No less guilty than SJP is the UN Human Rights Council. In the words of Hillel Neuer, Executive Director of UN Watch: “ISIS has taken over the Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria and is beginning to behead Palestinians. But the UN Human Rights Council won’t adopt a single resolution, convene a single emergency session, or create a single commission of inquiry. Why? Because Israel can’t be blamed.”
Report Documents Forced Labor Conditions at NYU Abu Dhabi Campus
A report on the conditions for laborers at the New York University (NYU) Abu Dhabi campus found that around 10,000 workers contracted by the school to build the grounds did so under revolting conditions.
Before starting the job, many of the 10,000 workers had their passports taken by their employers, leading to a situation that made it impossible for them to exit the country.
In 2009, NYU issued a “statement of labor values,” regarding its workers in the Gulf State. However, a New York Times 2014 report found that the workers suffered gross human rights abuses.
The Times interviewed dozens of workers in an effort to understand the real conditions on the campus. The report found that laborers were often violently beaten, and had to pay a “recruitment fee” of roughly one year’s salary just to gain employment.
NYU had previously stated that the UAE workers would face no more than 48 hours per week, but some employees told the Times that they would put in 12 hour days for six or seven days per week.
NY Times Covers Palestinian Harassment of Jews, Blames Jews for Tensions
One minus: Editors declined to amend language that suggested Jews, the party said to be responsible for "increasing tensions," are thus responsible for the Palestinian harassment they face:
A small group of religious Jews have for years sought to pray at the site, and more Jews have visited in the past few years, increasing tensions that burst into violence last fall.
By contrast, according to The New York Times, it did not increase tensions when the "Islamic Movement began busing in thousands of Palestinians for prayers," or when the group "started study circles on the stone platforms scattered throughout the site, paying participants $300 per month to keep vigil all day," although the vigils involved watching for Jews to harass. These activities were sympathetically described as "reinforcing Muslims' own claim to the site."
This is a clear example of the type of language bias that appears too frequently in New York Times stories about Israel and Palestinians. For example, Yehuda Glick, who was shot and nearly killed for what could be called "reinforcing" Jewish claims to a right to prayer at the site, was labeled by the newspaper as an "agitator." How is it that no such negative language is used to describe the radicals who shriek at Jewish visitors, often horrifying little Jewish children?
Mass Graves of Nazi Victims Dug Up in Crimea, Russian Jewish Leaders Call on Authorities to Take Action
A Russian Jewish organization called on authorities in Crimea to take action after vandals desecrated mass graves of Nazi victims outside the city of Simferopol, The Moscow Times reported on Friday.
“To desecrate the grave of those slain by the Nazis is sacrilegious and heinous to the utmost degree,” Alexander Boroda, head of the Federation of Russian Jewish Communities, said on Wednesday, according to the local Jewish News Agency.
Vandals dug four holes, each about 1.8 meters deep, at the site of the graves. Human bones and remains of clothing excavated from the graves were found scattered on the ground nearby, according to the report.
The desecrated graves were those of Jews, Roma and Soviet prisoners of war who were shot by Nazis in mass executions in late 1941, The Moscow Times said. The victims were stripped of jewelry, gold tooth fillings and valuable clothing before being shot, Boroda told the Jewish News Agency. Their bodies were then thrown in an anti-tank trench off the Simferopol-Feodosia highway.
Boroda said violent antisemitic attacks have recently become more common in Russia.
RFK Jr. Apologizes for Likening Mandatory Vaccinations to Holocaust
Robert Kennedy Jr., an outspoken opponent of vaccinations for children, apologized Monday for cavalierly using Holocaust imagery when he spoke of mandatory vaccines.
Confronted by the Anti-Defamation League, which called his remarks “inappropriate and insensitive,” Kennedy said, “I want to apologize to all whom I offended by my use of the word ‘holocaust’ to describe the autism epidemic.”
The Sacramento Bee quoted Kennedy’s April 7 remarks at a screening of an anti-vaccination film titled Trace Amounts. He said, “They get the shot, that night they have a fever of 103, they go to sleep, and three months later their brain is gone. This is a holocaust, what this is doing to our country.” He also warned of public health officials: “They can put anything they want in that vaccine and they have no accountability for it.”
Ukraine security chief slammed for praising anti-Semitic militia
A leader of Ukrainian Jews accused the head of the country’s security service of targeting Jews and legitimizing a militia that killed Jews in the 1940s.
Eduard Dolinsky, the director of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, made the accusation on Facebook against Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, head of the Security Service of Ukraine, the news website reported, after Nalyvaichenko said his organization needed to base its work on the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, or UPA, which murdered thousands of Jews in the ’40s.
“Instead of creating a modern, high-tech security service, Nalyvaichenko proposes the revival of highly questionable methods from 80 years ago,” Dolinsky wrote, noting this seems to include the “attitudes and actions of UPA against the Jews and the Poles.”
According to Yad Vashem, UPA under Stephan Bandera “considered the Soviets and the Jews their main enemies.”
Israel's Newest Ally in Asia - Taiwan
Taiwan appears to be posed to be the latest in a growing coalition of Asian allies Israel is building, including Japan, China, India and South Korea.
Following the footsteps of Japan, which last July chose Israel as its first partner to sign an Industrial R&D (Research and Development) Collaboration Agreement with, Taiwan next Monday is to sign its own first R&D Agreement - with Israel.
The signing will take place as part of an Asia visit by Chief Scientist at the Ministry of Economy Avi Hasson, and will be likewise attended by the Taiwanese Minister of Economic Affairs John Chen-Chung Deng.
"As far as Taiwan is concerned, this agreement is groundbreaking - it is the first agreement of its kind Taiwan has signed," said Hasson. "The agreement was also aided by the fact that Taiwanese industry holds Israeli innovative technologies in high esteem and many Taiwanese companies have already expressed interest in beginning to work on joint projects with Israeli companies."
While there has been cooperation between Israel and Taiwan in academic research in the past, the new government support for R&D between Taiwanese companies and Israeli companies is expected to have a massive impact on bilateral ties and trade.
Actress Moran Atias to represent Israel at world expo in Italy
Israeli actress, model and television hostess Moran Atias was selected to represent Israel at Expo Milano 2015, the upcoming world's fair set to begin in Milan on May 1.
Atias, who has worked extensively in Italy, is expected to participate in the opening ceremony and other important events at the expo's Israeli pavilion. Israeli musician Ivri Lider was chosen to compose the original music to be presented at the fair.
The expo, which will be open for five months, is the largest world fair and has taken place once every five years for the last 150 years. The theme for this year's fair is "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life."
At the last expo, in 2010 in Shanghai, some 3 million people visited the Israeli pavilion.
This year, organizers expect 140 countries and international organizations, including the United Nations, to participate, along with some 20 million visitors.
How DogTV built a global TV channel for man’s best friends
No cats allowed on the first TV station for dogs, which wants to relieve separation anxiety: ‘People feel really guilty leaving their dogs at home...’
“We had some cats, but we found out that dogs do not react well to cats. So there are no cats on DogTV any more,” says Ron Levi, midway through explaining the origin story of the world’s first TV channel for dogs.
For dogs. Not about dogs – although there are plenty of canines on-screen – but a channel designed for dogs to watch, usually (but not exclusively) when their owners are out of the house.
To many non dog-owners, it may sound like a joke. To many dog owners, especially those who’ve had furniture, shoes and/or fridge-fulls of food chewed by a stressed-out animal home alone, the idea has (four) legs.
DogTV isn’t a joke. Launched in Israel in 2009, it now has TV distribution deals in nine countries; is reaching a global audience through YouTube and its own apps; has “millions, maybe tens of millions” of viewers, and is part-owned by TV giant Discovery Communications.
World’s Tiniest Bible to be Presented at Israel Museum for 50th Anniversary
As part of its yearlong 50th anniversary celebration, the Jerusalem-based Israel Museum will display the “Nano Bible,” the world’s smallest bible, an Israeli innovation created at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.
The tiny bible will be displayed alongside the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Aleppo Codex, a manuscript of the Jewish bible from 10th century C.E. The Nano Bible is a gold-coated silicon chip smaller than a pinhead. It is 0.04 square millimeters, and 0.00002 millimeters (20 nanometers) deep. The 1.2 million letters of the bible were written using a focused ion beam generator that shot gallium ions onto a gold surface covering a base layer of silicon.
Dr. Ohad Zohar and Professor Uri Sivan of the Technion Physics Department developed the idea, and the engineers of the Technion’s Sara and Moshe Zisapel Nanoelectronics Center were responsible for the manufacturing of the chip and the development of the software that allows the engraving of the letters.
The Israel Museum will also exhibit a documentary on the creation of the Nano Bible and will enable the reading of the biblical text under a microscope.

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