Wednesday, May 27, 2015

From Ian:

Some Straight Talk About the BDS
A case in point is the recent article from Haaretz columnist Bradley Burston, who seems to genuinely want the BDS to come clean about its goals:
What does BDS really want from Israel?
I’m not asking for much. And I am certainly not asking out of antagonism. I’m just asking for clear goals. And straight talk.
I want to know if BDS wants to encourage two states – for example, by concentrating on supporting labeling of products from the West Bank and East Jerusalem – or if the goal is a one-state Palestine.

One state or two? That’s the essence of Burston’s question. Very reasonable.
Burston seems to answer this question a few paragraphs later when he relates comments from a pro-BDS activist in a motion to boycott SodaStream at the Park Slope Co-Op. Burston notes that SodaStream is in the process of moving its factory from an area over the Green Line to the Negev, well within Israel proper.
“SodaStream is now moving onto land stolen from Palestinian Bedouins, who are also human beings,” said Anna Baltzer, national organizer of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.
Baltzer, a California-born Jewish woman who has said her grandparents narrowly escaped the Holocaust, and who was rather unfortunately described by the far-left Mondoweiss website as “The It-Girl of Anti-Zionism” continued, “We support the rights of indigenous Palestinians inside Israel, including the Bedouins. We can’t end our boycott when SodaStream is simply occupying new land of Palestinians.”

Occupying new land of the Palestinians? Inside the Negev? Sounds like some straight talk on the issue, right Mr. Burston? Doesn’t sound like it’s concentrating on product labeling, does it?
Israeli Embassy slams ‘outrageous’ Dutch textbook
Israel’s embassy in Holland condemned the appearance of anti-Israel statements in a textbook on history for high school students.
The embassy’s statement on Tuesday about the book “Geschiedeniswerkplaats,” or “History Workplace,” by the Noordhoff Uitgevers followed complaints by members of the country’s Jewish community.
About the establishment of the State of Israel, the book states that David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, declared statehood after “Jewish militias carried out murders in Arab villages, and hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled and settled in refugee camps across the border.”
The book fails to mention Arab atrocities against pre-state Israel’s Jewish population or the invasion of several Arab armies into Israeli territory after its declaration of independence with the stated intention of destroying it.
“We are acting on the subject in several areas,” the embassy said. “We are looking into the outrageous statements to identify any factual inaccuracies and the possibility of incitement.” (h/t Bob Knot)
Israeli school bus bombing survivor reunites with nurse who saved him – 45 years later
May 22, 1970 – The School Bus Attack
Moshav Avivim and another community down the road split the school grades because neither itself had enough few children to justify a school with all grades. So the older children from the other community would come by bus to Moshav Avivim, and the bus would then bring the younger children from Moshav Avivim to the other community.
That was what happened on May 22, 1970. The older children got off the bus at Moshav Avivim, and the younger children from Moshav Avivim boarded the bus.
Shimon Biton, then six and one-half years old, boarded the bus accompanied by his father, Machluf Biton, who was the parent designated to ride the bus that day. Several of Shimon’s cousins also were on the bus. The bus clearly was a school bus, and followed the same routine every day.
A few kilometers after the bus left Moshav Avivim, it was attacked with bazooka fire from three terrorist belonging to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command, who infiltrated from Lebanon.
Shimon’s father was killed in the attack, but Shimon initially was not severely injured since he was at the back. As he ran forward to check on his father, Shimon was shot several time by one of the terrorists. (He offered to show us the wounds, but we declined.)
Medics and the army quickly descended on the scene. Here is a photo of Shimon being carried away on a stretcher, cared for by a nurse from a neighboring kibbutz. Shimon keeps the photo on his phone, and provided it to me:

Boycotting Marks and Spencer, Falsely Thought to be Jewish-Owned, Is Early Sign of Islamist Radicalization: Top Muslim British Cop
Young Muslims in the U.K. who refuse to shop at British retailer Marks and Spencer because it is mistakenly identified as Jewish-owned could be on the path toward radicalization, Britain’s most senior ranking Muslim police officer has warned.
Speaking with The Guardian, Scotland Yard commander Mak Chishty warned that Muslim children as young as five-years-old were already on the path toward the kind of Islamic extremism espoused by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
His concerns are fueled by an ongoing trend among certain radicalized British Muslims who travel to the Middle East to fight with Islamic State militants in their battle to reestablish an Islamic caliphate.
The inclination toward Islamic radicalization must be countered with diligent monitoring of young Muslims, especially over sudden negative attitudes toward behaviors forbidden by Islam such as drinking alcohol or wearing Western clothes, said Chishty.
 6 FIFA officials arrested in soccer bribery case
Six soccer officials were arrested in Zurich early Wednesday upon request from US authorities, suspected of receiving bribes worth millions of dollars, Swiss authorities said.
“The bribery suspects – representatives of sports media and sports promotion firms – are alleged to have been involved in schemes to make payments to the soccer functionaries – delegates of FIFA … and other functionaries of FIFA sub-organisations – totaling more than $100 million,” the Swiss justice ministry said in a statement.
“In return, it is believed that they received media, marketing, and sponsorship rights in connection with soccer tournaments in Latin America,” it added.
Swiss federal prosecutors say they have opened criminal proceedings related to the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
The justice ministry said the six officials were arrested upon request from US authorities “on suspicion of the acceptance of bribes and kick-backs between the early 1990s and the present day,” and that they were being held pending extradition.
“According to the US request, these crimes were agreed and prepared in the US, and payments were carried out via US banks,” the statement said.
Israel is Banned from Events Funded by the EU
This is what happened in Helsinki, where the Jewish National Fund has been banned from participating to the Maailma Kylässä, the World Village, the festival organized by the multicultural organization Kepa, which includes three hundred different NGOs and is funded by the European Union and the Red Cross.
The Israelis first received an invitation to participate, only to find Israel being banned because of the “existence of question marks about the legitimacy of its activities”.
The Israeli embassy in Finland protested to the government of Helsinki about the ouster of the Jewish National Fund, only to be told that “it is a private event on which the Foreign Ministry has no authority”, when in fact the World Village is funded by the Finnish Foreign Ministry (17 million euro over two years), as well as by Brussels - the European Union. The Israeli ambassador in Helsinki, Dan Ashbel, said “that this approach is what led to the Holocaust”.
At the World Village of 2014, the Palestine Forum distributed - and was allowed to distribute - maps of the Middle East from which the Jewish State was absent. A year later, they have been able to erase Israel from the family of nations.
Doctor Goebbels would have been proud of them.
Illinois, Latest State to Oppose BDS
Illinois recently became the third state in a month to pass legislation formally opposing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. But going further than non-binding anti-BDS measures in Tennessee and Indiana, the Illinois bill took concrete action against those who boycott the Jewish state.
The legislation—which unanimously passed both the Illinois House (102-0) and Senate (49-0), and will be signed into law by Governor Bruce Rauner—prohibits state pension funds from including BDS-participating companies in their portfolios.
“Illinois is the first state to take concrete, legally binding action against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign, providing a legislative model for the rest of the country,” said Jacob Baime, executive director of the Israel on Campus Coalition.
Peggy Shapiro, Midwest director for the Israel education group StandWithUs, told the Salomon Center for American Jewish Thought that Americans “understand what the BDS movement really means.”
“It means bullying, deception, and slander,” Shapiro said. “Americans understand that the real goals of BDS are to isolate, weaken, and ultimately destroy the only Jewish state. They understand and they are saying ‘no’ to undermine a loyal ally and the only democracy in the Middle East.”
New York Bill to Ban Business With 'Vicious' Israel-Boycotters
New York State legislators are working on a bill to ban the state's pension fund from doing business with companies that boycott Israel.
The proposed bill is being spearheaded by Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn), and already has the support of more than a dozen Assembly Members on both sides of the aisle.
It follows a series of similar bills passed by overwhelming majorities in other US states, most recently in Illinois, where legislators unanimously voted for a bill banning the state from investing in companies which in any way participate in a boycott of Israel. That bill is now set to be signed by the State’s Governor, at which point it will become official, binding state law.
The Illinois bill is one of the strongest anti-BDS moves in state legislature passed recently, following similar moves by Indiana and Tennessee.
Now Hikind wants to replicate that legislation in New York to combat the anti-Israel boycott campaign, which he branded anti-Semitic.
Major Jewish Groups: School Workshop Has Anti-Israel Bias, Flawed Pedagogy (VIDEO)
Mainstream Jewish organizations—including the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the women’s Zionist organization Hadassah, and a local Jewish Federation—are raising concerns about a Boston University-affiliated high school workshop over what they consider to be its anti-Israel bias and questionable pedagogical techniques.
In April, Jewish communal attention was initially drawn to the issue when the advocacy group Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT) released a video on Axis of Hope’s (AOH) “Whose Jerusalem?” workshop, which specifically selects Jewish students to act as members of the Palestinian terror group Hamas during mock negotiations. In the aftermath of the video’s release, other pro-Israel organizations are joining APT’s public criticism of AOH. At the same time, New England-based Jewish groups that have previously been divided on matters including anti-Israel texts in the Boston suburb of Newton’s public schools and antisemitism at Northeastern University are presenting a united front on the AOH issue.
AOH claims its mission is “developing in young adults an understanding of alternative, non-violent approaches to resolving complex conflicts locally, nationally and internationally.” But Carl Hobert, AOH’s founder, has admitted to receiving guidance for the “Whose Jerusalem?” workshop from anti-Israel professors Noam Chomsky (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and Denis Sullivan (Northeastern University). Hobert has told the Al Jazeera broadcaster that one of the workshop’s goals is “putting pressure on our government to create a Palestinian state.”
Irony: Spain Boycott Protest Targets Radical Leftist Singer Noa
In an ironic turn of events, the radical leftist Israeli singer Achinoam Nini, known abroad as Noa, who has been accused of delegitimizing Israel on the world stage, on Sunday announced protesters in Spain had called to boycott her.
Her Facebook post announcing the incident included pictures, showing the protesters with signs calling to boycott Israel and Nini, as well as a picture distributed by boycotters that had a large red "X" through her face.
"We're in Spain, we had a wonderful performance this evening, but the protest calling to boycott us and Israel was very troubling," wrote the leftist singer. "It was hard to get over it but we succeeded, and the Spanish non-Jewish crowd which filled the hall gave us a lot of support and love."
She added, "it's important that you see these pictures. Unfortunately this happens a lot."
The post evidently caused many to find irony in the situation, given that Nini has called to establish a Palestinian state with its capital in Jerusalem, and has been virulently anti-Israeli in saying the claims of the Palestinian Arabs to the land are more valid.
The most popular comment responding to her post, which garnered nearly 750 likes, read, "I hope you're aware that you're among the leaders of the protest against Israel, and it's coming back at you like a boomerang!" (h/t Yenta Press)
The Biggest Mistakes Pro-Israel Advocates Make #6: How to Win Friends In Order To Influence People
Mistake #6: Preaching to the Choir
Yes, most Conservatives and Jews love Israel. We know that. They know that. If we only cater to them, we are literally wasting our time, while the anti-Israel groups cover a lot of ground and gain a lot of fans through their extremely effective outreach programs.
Doing this is a big problem for us Jews especially. Due to our history of persecution we have a tendency to stay inside our bubble and not reveal any potentially contentious opinions or ideas to anyone outside of it, for fear of repercussion. Moreover, proselytizing is totally not our forte; in fact, unlike Christians and Muslims, we have no tradition of it. This gives the anti-Israel groups (which are mostly Muslim-affiliated) a HUGE advantage, as activism, in a way, is a form of proselytizing. The exact same skill set is needed, in addition to very similar approaches and tactics. This ability to persuade and proselytize, which is so deeply embedded into Muslim and Christian tradition and culture, is totally absent among Jews. In fact, we not only suck at proselytizing, we also revile it and see it as unnecessary and obnoxious, which is why most Jews really can’t stand activists, whom they decry as “radical nutjobs” with utmost derision. It’s no wonder that most Jews abide by the notion of sha shtil, which roughly translates to “sit down and be quiet,” which is the polar opposite mentality to activism. The polar opposite mindset to combating antisemitism. We are already fighting an uphill battle from the outset. If we want to get even close to an even playing field with the anti-Israel side (let alone surpass them), we absolutely MUST stop preaching to the choir and get out of our Jewish Bubble.
But… how? Many Jews just don’t know how to do it. Fortunately I have some insight here I need to share.
Evidently, the Guardian doesn’t have any file photos of Palestinian rockets
Moreover, regarding the photo, note that the Guardian decided to illustrate an article about a Palestinian terrorist attack on Israel with an image of a toppled minaret at a Gaza mosque from the summer war. Are we to conclude that photos of Palestinian rockets, rocket launchers or the destruction in Israeli cities caused by previous rocket attacks weren’t available?
Here’s how an alternative Guardian photo choice would appear if they had used the following still shot from a video released in August depicting a Hamas rocket-launching pad likely fired from areas heavily populated with civilians.
By failing to use an appropriate photo to illustrate a Palestinian terror attack on Israel, and by exaggerating the scale of the damage in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge, we once again see how nearly every element of Guardian reports on Israel can be compromised by tendentious, misleading or inaccurate information.
BBC News misleads on past Israel-PA negotiations
So the BBC would have its audiences believe that negotiations with the Palestinian Authority (not, as claimed, with “the Palestinians” as a whole, which of course includes Hamas and other factions that reject negotiation with Israel) during Olmert’s term failed to come to fruition because they were interrupted by Olmert’s resignation.
Ehud Olmert’s term of office ended on March 31st 2009. Following the Annapolis conference in late November 2007, his government conducted negotiations with the Palestinian Authority throughout most of the following year.
In August 2008 – half a year before Olmert’s term of office ended – the Israeli daily Ha’aretz ran a story headlined “PA rejects Olmert’s offer to withdraw from 93% of West Bank“.
BBC Business accuracy fail on Gaza tomato exports
Listeners heard a similarly context-free and misleading statement concerning “borders” in a segment of the programme recorded in a market.
MK: “So these tomatoes have been grown in Gaza?”
Interviewee: “Yeah, yeah, but the borders are closed – we can’t export them – so they give them back to the market and that’s that makes it a little cheaper for us.”

In contrast to the inaccurate impression given to listeners, agricultural produce is of course exported from the Gaza Strip. In addition to the existing exports to Europe and elsewhere, farmers in Gaza also now send produce to PA controlled areas and Israel.
So if a reduction in the price of tomatoes in the markets of Gaza is not because “the borders are closed”, what did bring it about?
In April 2015 – a month before this BBC report was made – the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture in Gaza announced that it was temporarily stopping the export of tomatoes from the Gaza Strip due to their high price there.
CBC Claims Reporter was “Clumsy” in Comparing ISIS Terrorists to Foreign Recruits of Israeli Forces
As we noted in our release, comparing ISIS’ recruitment from abroad, with a democratic country’s obligation to protect its citizenry from threats by internationally-designated terror groups was beyond the pale.
Following our complaint and the ensuing opprobrium directed at this CBC reporter, Sasa Petricic issued the following tweet:
Writing in response to a complaint sent by HRC subscriber Robert Wittes on May 22, Jack Nagler, the CBC’s Director of Journalistic Public Accountability and Engagement acknowledged that Petricic’s tweet was “written in haste, (and) was certainly clumsy” but denied that Petricic had violated any of the CBC’s journalistic standards.
His response can be found below along with a reply from Robert Wittes who has appealed to the CBC’s Ombudsman to review his grievances.
Imprisoned Soldier or Free Speech Martyr?
Indeed, Berrin was not arrested and imprisoned for what he said. Israel is a very self-critical society with freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Berrin would have been within his rights to say whatever he wanted were he not a serving soldier and plenty of former soldiers and reservists have publicly criticized the IDF in recent times.
The reality is very simple as outlined by these IDF regulations that are known and available to all IDF soldiers. These regulations are not about stifling of free speech or the opinions of soldiers but ensuring that the IDF remains a disciplined and organized body that is free from politicization.
This is common to many armies. In the U.S. Army, soldiers do not have the same constitutional rights to express themselves as civilians while the British Army’s regulations clearly state:
20% of BBC’s reporting on car attack in Jerusalem is amplification of anonymous hearsay
Contrary to the inaccurate impression given in the BBC’s account of the incident the perpetrator was not shot “after he swerved his vehicle” but after he ran the police officers over. Likewise, as can be seen from the reports above and others, the police officers were not “slightly” injured, but lightly to moderately – as described by the Jerusalem Post:
“According to police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, the attack took place shortly before 10 a.m. when Amran Abu Dhein, 41, of Jebl Mukaber in southeastern Jerusalem, rammed his car into a female and two male officers, who sustained light-to-moderate injuries to their legs and hips.”
No less notable than the above inaccuracies is the dubious editorial decision to use over 20% of the word count of this brief report to amplify anonymous hearsay claiming that “the driver had tried to swerve to avoid hitting pedestrians” – despite the existence of testimonies indicating that he had actually tried to run them over a second time.
Guardian columnist Giles Fraser smears Israel with the charge of ‘apartheid’ in Hebron
Guardian columnist Giles Fraser was born Jewish (the family name was originally Friedburg) but later converted to Christianity and became an Anglican priest. Though he sometimes speaks of his fondness for the British Jewish community, his columns at the Guardian leave no doubt regarding his hostility to the Zionist passions of the overwhelming majority of actual Jews. Similarly, though he claims to still believe in ‘the idea of Israel’, you’d be hard pressed to find more than a few actual citizens of the state who he regards as ‘righteous’. In this last regard, Fraser actually praised Haaretz columnist Gideon Levy as a courageous voice, among the few genuinely moral Israeli Jews.
Additionally, Rev. Fraser (in analyzing Israel’s unique pathos) once compared the state to an autistic child, and has – on more than one occasion – appeared to express sympathy for Palestinian terrorism.
So, given such a record, it certainly wasn’t surprising to come across the following tweet by Fraser on May 25:
Interfaith service held at pork-desecrated Holocaust memorial
An interfaith service was held at a cemetery in the Boston area, after a Holocaust memorial there was desecrated with pieces of raw pork.
Hundreds attended the service held on Friday at the Pride of Lynn Cemetery in Lynn, Massachusetts, located about 12 miles from Boston, the Boston Globe reported.
Earlier in the week, five chunks of raw pork were found on the stone base of the monument, which was dedicated in 1948 in memory of those killed in the Holocaust.
The incident is being investigated as a hate crime by Lynn police, according to the Globe.
Austrian Landlord Threatens Jew With Eviction for Israeli Flag
A Jewish resident of the Jewish quarter of Vienna, the capital of Austria, complained that his landlord demanded he remove the Israeli flag he had hung inside his window - or else be evicted from his apartment.
The man had received the Israeli flag during the most recent Eurovision contest, which ended on Saturday night with Israel coming in ninth place.
The landlord told the Jewish resident to remove the flag, claiming it "offends one of the neighbors."
When the Jewish man refused to remove the flag over the vague reason given, he was threatened, "remove the flag or leave the apartment."
The incident brings to mind a similar case of Israeli flags being removed in Europe.
Anti-Semitism in Malmö reveals flaws in Swedish immigration system
"A Jew, I cannot believe that you cannot be a Jew in Sweden!" says Siavosh Derakhti.
The 23-year-old Muslim is the child of Iranian parents, refugees of the Iran-Iraq war. He has become a champion in the fight against anti-Semitism in Malmö, a town a little smaller than Halifax perched on the southern tip of Sweden.
Muslim immigrants, most with roots in the Middle East, make up nearly a third of Malmö's population.
Cultural tension in the town has been building for years, much of it directed against the new immigrants, but anti-Semitism has also been rising. The Simon Weisenthal Center in Los Angeles issued a travel advisory to Jews in 2010 – don't go to Malmö. It reissued the warning last year.
Derakhti gets hate mail from the far-right and death threats from fellow Muslims.
Israeli consul in Budapest called a ‘dirty Jew’
An Israeli diplomat was accosted and subjected to anti-Semitic invectives in Hungary.
Consul Motti Rave was called a “dirty Jew” and was told that Hitler “should have finished the job” by a local man who overheard him speaking Hebrew on Monday, Yediot Aharonot reported.
According to the report, Rave, who as a child of survivors is fluent in Hungarian, understood the insults and called in the police, who arrested the culprit.
Israeli officials in Budapest praised the Hungarians for acting swiftly to deal with incident.
While Hungary recently apologized for its role in deporting Jews during the Holocaust, local Jewish organizations were at loggerheads with their government for much of 2014, accusing Budapest of revising Holocaust memorials to whitewash Hungarian complicity in the genocide.
Catholic school in Hungary makes Holocaust ed compulsory
A Catholic university in Hungary has made a course in Holocaust education mandatory for all its students, the first initiative of its kind in Europe according to Israel’s envoy to Budapest.
From September, students at the Pazmany Peter Catholic University in Budapest, Hungary’s main religious higher educational institution, must take a course titled “The Holocaust and its memory.”
“Anti-Semitism in any form is incompatible with Catholicism,” the university’s rector Szabolcs Szuromi said at a press conference to announce the move Tuesday.
The course content has been compiled by professors at a Tel Aviv university, he added.
German party lifts requirement for Muslim students to visit concentration camps
The governing Christian Social Union party in Bavaria’s state government sparked a row over excluding Muslim students and other immigrant pupils from visiting concentration camps as part of Holocaust educational programs. “There are a lot of children from Muslim families who do not have a connection to our past,” said CSU politician Klaus Steiner in the parliamentary debate justifying the exclusion, according to a May article in the paper Main Post.
The president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Josef Schuster, called for an obligatory educational visit to a concentration camp for all German students. The Haifa-born Schuster is a practicing physician in Bavaria. Opposition politicians sharply criticized the CSU, which is also Merkel’s coalition partner in the federal government, for seeking to exclude certain ethnic and religious groups from participating in the full Holocaust educational program.
George Rosenthal, a Social Democratic politician in the parliament, told the Main Post that official remembrances on the liberation of concentrations camps or the end of World War II have led to a “numbing ritual.” The visit to the “places of the perpetrators is essential for all students." It is important to clarify to young immigrants why they must take over responsibility for German history, he added.
Sephardic Jews Feel Bigotry’s Sting in Turkey and a Pull Back to Spain
For Rafi, a local newspaper’s anti-Semitic crossword puzzle was the final affront. He knew he had to leave Turkey.
“There are many reasons to leave: a lack of work opportunities, growing polarization within society and oppressive leadership. But the hatred toward our community has been the tipping point for me,” said Rafi, 25, a graphic designer based in Istanbul, who provided only his first name out of fear of harassment by Turkish nationalists. “There is no future here.”
Rafi is one of thousands of Sephardic Jews in Turkey who trace their ancestry to Spain and are now applying for Spanish citizenship in anticipation of a parliamentary bill expected to pass this month in Madrid that would grant nationality to the Jews who were expelled in 1492, during the Inquisition.
Most are seeking visa-free travel within Europe and an opportunity to escape what they see as rising anti-Semitism in Turkey. But many are taken with the idea of reversing the trek their ancestors took centuries ago as they escaped persecution in Spain and settled in the more tolerant environs of the Ottoman Empire.
Nepalese see Israel as source of inspiration
Three days after the deadly April 25 earthquake, Prof. Richard Isralowitz of Ben-Gurion University’s social work school got a call for psychosocial assistance from the director of the Arava International Center for Agricultural Training, where 116 Nepalese citizens are taking a 10-month training course on advanced farming techniques.
The students were distraught over the tragedy in their homeland but their families had urged them to remain in Israel. Every one of the trainees found out that their houses were destroyed, and many were grieving the deaths of relatives and the loss of valuable livestock. Ten young mothers in the class were consumed with worry for their children.
The next morning, Isralowitz arrived with two colleagues, Prof. Orly Sarid and Dr. Dorit Segal-Engelchin, director of BGU’s Center for Women’s Health Studies and Promotion. They discussed stress, stress responses and coping strategies, and then led art-based intervention sessions developed at BGU as an effective way for trauma victims to share and normalize emotions and fears.
One of the participants prepared a PowerPoint presentation showing how Nepal looked before and after the earthquake and “kept relating to Israel as a source of inspiration for building something from nothing,” she relates. “He encouraged them to use this disaster as an opportunity to better their lives and make changes by bringing home the knowledge they are acquiring in Israel.”
After health tech, GE spotlights Israeli cyber-security
GE currently has about 400 employees in Israel, most of whom have been working in the health care space. The company’s R&D center was set up using resources from Elscint and Elbit, both venerable names in Israeli technology. Among the fruits of that work are the Vivid-q Cardiovascular Ultrasound system, which measures heart and other functions in the body, and is able to produce high-quality 2D and panoramic images using ultrasound. The system was developed by Israeli medical tech start-up Vivid-Q, which partnered with GE Healthcare for deployment in a number of studies – including several by NASA, which has been using it on the International Space Station to examine the effect of space travel on the heart.
The company is hoping for similar innovation in the cyber-security space as well, said Lior Ateret, who is heading up GE’s cyber-security expansion in Israel. “What makes the Israeli cyber-security community unique is its innovative and high-quality workforce, who come to us with a strong background in cyber-security. With their assistance, we will be able to develop unique solutions that will help the company solve important cyber-security solutions to meet new threats in the era of the Industrial Internet.”
The company signed a deal recently with the Chief Scientist’s Office to provide material assistance to companies that are part of the office’s incubator programs. Under the terms of the deal, companies that get their funding from the Chief Scientist can take advantage of GE facilities and personnel to help them along with their development, hopefully saving them money, and cutting down the time to market for important innovations that can help save lives.
One Republic not sorry for Israel stop
It must be the season of the boy-band visits, as One Republic’s Ryan Tedder, Brent Kutzle, Eddie Fisher, Drew Brown and Zach Filkins touched down in Israel this week.
The Colorado Springs band is performing in Tel Aviv’s Yarkon Park on Thursday night.
The pop-rock alternative band first became known on MySpace. Yet it wasn’t until “Apologize” — the lead single of their debut album “Dreaming Out Loud” — was remixed by rapper Timbaland that they became an international success, reaching No. 1 in 16 countries and earning a Grammy nomination.
After arriving in Tel Aviv earlier this week (and tweeting their Hebrew plane menu), the band came to Jerusalem’s Old City, where they reflected on the “insanity” of standing in the Garden of Gethsemane, as well as the other ancient sites they visited.
Visa Europe Collab touches down in Tel Aviv
Today marks another exciting milestone for Visa Europe Collab with our launch in Tel Aviv, following our unveiling in London earlier this month. Our mission with Visa Europe Collab in Israel mirrors what we want to achieve in London.
Transforming the payments experience is our central focus. We will be working with Israeli startups, entrepreneurs and partners to develop products and services that offer commercially-viable propositions to shake up the payments world.
Israel is a fantastic place to develop something truly innovative and forward-thinking. It is widely considered to be the ‘startup nation’, with more startups per capita than any other region globally. There is a culture of innovation here and, just like in London, the ‘startup nation’ is focussing its creativity in the fintech arena.
We’ve already brought on four Israeli companies – Zooz, Prontoly, Payitsimple and MyCheck – to go through Visa Europe Collab’s 100-day innovation sprint. These companies will go from initial scoping and qualification, through market testing and design to proof of concept with the ultimate goal of us passing their products and services back to the main Visa business. (h/t Yoel)
How an ayatollah's daughter came to preach peace between Israel and Iran
After all, she grew up the daughter of one of Iran's most prominent ayatollahs.
She spent her summers in the city of Isfahan playing with the children of other prominent ayatollahs, including those of the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
During the school year, she attended a religious institution, where students were fed a steady diet of hatred for Jews. Israel was erased from all maps and there was no mention of the Holocaust in any history books.
But today she preaches the value of tolerance and urges the people of the region to "walk the talk."
"The Middle East is the land of differences," she told the crowd at a recent Harvard Business School conference on building bridges between Iran and its regional rivals. "We have to learn how to seize this opportunity and make the best out of it."
To say Imani was a strong-willed and rebellious child would be an understatement. As a young girl, she was admonished by her parents when she wanted to play with boys and when she tried to remove the headscarf required of all Iranian females.
IsraelDailyPicture: Ottoman Archives Posts More Rare Photos of the Holy Land This Week
More pictures were digitized and posted by the Ottoman Imperial Archives this week, and we are thankful to the archivists for preserving and sharing their photographic treasures.
Among the pictures was this unique photo of Jerusalem, taken from the Mt. Scopus area and dated 1886. The remnants of snow are still visible.
Another photo, dated 1916, shows the Galilee town of Tiberias on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. One of Judaism's holiest cities (along with Jerusalem, Hebron and Safed), Tiberias dates back to the era of the Bible and the Talmud.
By Ottoman order the town was confined within the ancient walls until 1908 when a Christian order built a convent outside of the walls. Several farms were established in 1911 outside of the walls, and they are visible in the photograph.


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