Tuesday, December 22, 2015

From Ian:

New York Times Remakes Jewess Berenice Into Islamic 'Queen of Palestine'
In a feature on French literature, The New York Times' art department takes a creative turn in depicting Berenice, a first-century Jewess, the daughter of King Agrippa I, king of Judea, and wife of Herod, king of Chalcis, a tiny principality in the Lebanon mountains, as a "queen of Palestine."
After Herod's death, Berenice ruled together with her brother Agrippa II before the Jewish revolt against the Roman Empire. The Romans renamed the Holy Land Palestine in 135 CE, dozens of years after Berenice's rule came to an end and long after she died. (Indeed, nothing more is known of her after the year 79, when she returned to Rome, following her love affair with Titus, which ended in 75.)
In a news article about the "Islamic world . . . looming large in French literature this season," Rachel Donadio would have readers believe that Berenice, a Jewish queen, was in fact a Muslim queen of Palestine ("The French Literati and the Arab World Do a Complicated Dance").
"Three of the four novels shortlisted in October for France’s most prestigious book award, the Goncourt Prize, concern the Arab world," intones Donadio, and it's not clear whether or not she includes among the three the story of the Jewish queen Berenice, who resided and ruled in Judea some six centuries before the Arab conquest of the region. She does not specify whether the novel not concerning the Arab world is the Berenice novel or, alternatively, "Ce Pays Qui Te Resemble" ("This Country That Resembles You") by Tobie Nathan, also shortlisted for the Goncourt Prize, about the Jewish community of Cairo in the 1920s.
Note this 2011 New York Times music review which more accurately refers to Berenice as "queen of Judea."
Politically Incorrect - Interview von Mr. Merkava mit Caroline Glick (JP)

NGO Monitor: Breaking the Silence: Details of European Government Fundin
Breaking the Silence (BtS) has been receiving direct and indirect funding from various European governments for many years. In 2014 (latest comprehensive data available), 61% of BtS’ annual budget was from foreign (European) governments (direct and indirect combined). The total income for this NGO in 2014 is listed as NIS 3.8 million (accessed July 12, 2015).
The main governmental direct donors in 2014 were the European Union, the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland and the Netherlands), and Norway.
In addition, in December 2015, following inquiries from NGO Monitor, the EU disclosed that it was providing to BtS an additional €236,000 (~1 million NIS) in 2015-2017, under a project titled “Educating for Change: Human Rights Education in Israeli Society” (Table 1 below).
NGO Monitor research reveals that most foreign governmental funding frameworks exhibit a lack of transparency and accountability pertaining to process, objectives, and evaluation. The criteria used to approve the grants remain unclear, as is the degree to which these criteria correspond to the official foreign policies of the funders. Similarly, there is little transparency regarding measures used to evaluate the activities of recipient NGOs, in contrast to self-reporting.

An open letter to Breaking the Silence
Dear Breaking the Silence,
I too served as an infantryman in the West Bank, Lebanon, and the Gaza Strip during the disengagement. I too served in Nahal, in what was probably the most left-leaning company in the army at the time, until I finished my operational training.
I have continued to serve Israel in various capacities, abroad and here in Israel, since my discharge in 2007.
I have read your various posts and “testimonies.”
If you saw someone get hit for “no reason,” why did you not speak out then? If you thought that your actions were immoral why did you not have the intestinal fortitude to report them to your commanders and officers? Why did you wait years to tell stories to audiences abroad? Stories that include a lot of hearsay, jumping to conclusions, lack of knowledge regarding the incidents in question... I could go on, but you get my point. The stories you tell seem to have little basis in the reality that I remember.
I remember being told in every briefing that all civilians were to be treated with respect, that in case of a firefight we were to avoid returning fire if there were civvies in the area. I remember going into Lebanon and running out of food and being told that we were not allowed to touch the food stores in the houses we were in, that rule only being broken after realizing that we wouldn’t make it back to Israel on foot on a starvation diet (I lost between 4-8 kg. that week).
I remember officers telling soldiers not to sleep on the beds and mattresses or damage anything unnecessarily – this in houses with tank-shell holes in them. I remember the civilians that we would give food to in Hebron – until we realized that they were carrying out recon on us and that their brothers would throw rocks at us after they left.
Independent amplifies the smears of EU-funded group ‘Breaking the Silence’
There’s nothing at all surprising about an op-ed published at the Independent by their former Jerusalem correspondent Donald Macintyre – at least for anyone even remotely familiar with his views. In the most recent example of Macintyre confusing personal prejudices with journalistic objectivity, he concluded – based merely on the claim of one anonymous source – that Prime Minister David Cameron’s putative pro-Israel policies were the result of Jewish donors to the Tories.
His latest piece, published on Dec. 20, offers a spirited and unqualified defense of the European-funded NGO, Breaking the Silence (BtS) – a group which claims to “expose the Israeli public to the reality of everyday life in the Occupied Territories”.
Though Macintyre frames his defense of the NGO by suggesting that Israelis should be proud that their democracy protects such groups, the emphasis of his op-ed is to refute allegations, by “right-wing critics”, against the group in the context of a dispute in the Knesset between Israel’s president, the prime minister and the opposition leader.
He begins by vouching for BtS’s “credibility'”:
Upholding San Remo 1922
Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s well-written response to the Hotovely document is classic. The earlier Ze’ev Jabotinsky would be exceedingly proud of him. He makes a clear case for all the legal arguments concerning settlements. “The U.N. invoked Article 80 of its charter to limit any changes to the national rights granted to the Jewish people and so the decision of the General Assembly on November 29 violated a clear article of the charter. So it has no legal validity”.
In essence, Mr. Jabotinsky puts all the cards on the table in his summation statement. “The U.N. Security Council contradicted the sovereign rights granted to the Jewish people in 1922”.
I hope the Hotovely document will be disseminated among all the members of the United Nations, awakening their dulled memories of an international agreement of 93 years ago. Whether or not member states agree with the 1922 decision, they are legally bound to uphold it in principle.
Let there be no more discussion concerning the legality of our settlements. They are established facts on the ground and will increase in numbers and in Jewish population.
The decision of the 1922 League of Nations Conference in San Remo is lawful and must be upheld.
Israel Is Only Mid East Nation Protecting Christians From Radical Islam, Netanyahu Warns
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has claimed that Israel is the only Middle East nation protecting Christians from violence at the hands of radical Islam.
Netanyahu pointed out that Christians are being persecuted and killed by radical Islamic groups across the Middle East, most notably by the Islamic State, and are facing violence and discrimination in Muslim majority nations. The Israeli leader apparently made the remarks in a video message to the Israeli Christians Recruitment Forum, Fides News Agency reported.
"You know very well that our region is in flames and Christians in Iraq, Syria and, unfortunately, under the Palestinian Authority, are suffering a lot because of radical Islam. These communities are persecuted, and unfortunately many people have lost their lives for their faith," Netanyahu added, praising the organization which enlists Christian soldiers into the Israeli army.
The Israeli PM pointed out that extremists target all people of faith who do not agree with their radical ideology.
National Jewish Democratic Council Dries Up
In its annual search to shame Jewish organizational leaders by pointing out how much money they make, and calculating the percentage by which they do not deserve the salary, the Forward newspaper (formerly known as the Jewish Daily Forward) made an unexpected discovery: the Republican Jewish Coalition no longer has a partisan counterpart.
The National Jewish Democratic Council has apparently dumped its staff and “outsourced its activities to a Washington, D.C. public relations firm,” the Forward reports.
The NJDC’s counterpart, the Republican Jewish Coalition, has a staff of 18 and revenue in excess of $3 million. It is based in Washington, D.C. and chaired by Matt Brooks, who has been the RJC’s executive director since 1990. The RJC has become increasingly and aggressively engaged in persuading Jews to reconsider their long-held ties to the Democratic party. It has been an uphill struggle, but the tide may slowly be turning, at least for strongly affiliated Jews.
More than 70 percent of American Jews voted for the Democratic nominee for president in 2012, and by an even higher percentage when Obama ran the first time in 2008.
“Hamas lawyer” Stanley Cohen out of prison
You may remember our coverage of the federal prosecution of Stanley Cohen on a charge of failing to file federal income tax returns for several years.
Cohen pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 18 months in prison, starting January 2015. It appears Cohen was just released, though it’s unclear if it is to a halfway house or some other arrangement.
Cohen was a particularly flamboyant character. Cohen was termed “Hamas lawyer” because of his love for and allegiance to Hamas:
Iran-Backed Houthis in Yemen Fire Missile Into Saudi Arabia Killing Three Civilians
A missile fired from Yemen Saturday struck the Saudi southwestern border city of Najran, killing three civilians and injuring others, according to the Gulf Kingdom.
The incident marks “yet another violation of a ceasefire aimed at helping peace talks,” reports the Saudi Gazette.
Since March 26, a Saudi-led coalition and armed units loyal to the internationally recognized government of Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi have been fighting Iran-backed Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, and their allies, forces loyal to former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Russia construction on Iran nuclear reactors to start ‘next week’
Russia will begin construction on two nuclear reactors in Iran next week, the spokesman for the Iranian atomic agency said Tuesday.
It comes a year after Tehran signed a contract with Moscow to build two reactors at the existing Russian-built Bushehr power plant in southern Iran.
Work on the two reactors “will commence next week,” the state television website quoted Behrouz Kamalvandi as saying.
A series of agreements signed between the two countries last year foresees eventually increasing the total number of Russian-built reactors in the country to nine.
Iranian Cyber-Attackers Hacked New York Dam Control System in 2013
Iranian hackers infiltrated the control system of a New York dam in 2013, raising concerns about America’s vulnerability to cyber-attacks, The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.
The Bowman Avenue Dam in Rye—located about 20 miles from New York City—is used to control flooding. The breach reportedly occurred as Iranian hackers launched a cyber-attack campaign against American financial institutions.
The incident at the New York dam was a wake-up call for U.S. officials, demonstrating that Iran had greater digital-warfare capability than believed and could inflict real-world damage, according to people familiar with the matter. At a congressional hearing in February, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper called Iranian hackers “motivated and unpredictable cyber actors.” Iranian officials didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Iranian Hackers Targeting U.S. Electrical Grid
Iranian cyber-attackers have been targeting the U.S. electrical grid’s networks and stealing highly sensitive data, an Associated Press investigation revealed on Monday.
Brian Wallace, a researcher at the cyber-security firm Cylance, discovered that critical files from Calpine Coroporation, which operates 82 power plants in 18 states and Canada, were stolen in a breach that began around August 2013 and may be ongoing. The information in those files included passwords, diagrams, and sensitive engineering designs of power plants, at least one of which was marked “Mission Critical.” After analyzing circumstantial evidence, investigators concluded that the data was compromised by Iranian hackers.
Robert M. Lee, a former U.S. Air Force cyber-warfare operations officer, told AP that having this level of control could allow Iran to launch an attack on America’s electrical infrastructure at any time. “If the geopolitical situation changes and Iran wants to target these facilities, if they have this kind of information it will make it a lot easier,” he warned.
Cylance researchers determined that the stolen files were stored on unencrypted servers and embedded with code to spread malware, as well as software to mask the hackers’ Iranian IP addresses.
Obama Admin: Congressional Crackdown on Terror Will Violate Iran Deal
Senior Obama administration officials are expressing concern that congressional attempts to tighten laws preventing terrorists from entering the United States could violate the Iran nuclear agreement and prompt Tehran to walk away from the agreement.
Congress is considering measures that would tighten the Visa Waiver Program to make it harder for potential terrorists to legally enter the United States by increasing restrictions on individuals who have travelled to countries with prominent terrorist organizations from bypassing security checks upon entering the United States.
Iranian officials have in recent days repeatedly issued threatening statements to the Obama administration, saying that such moves would violate the nuclear agreement, and the Obama administration last week conveyed the Iranian anger to American lawmakers.
GOP blasts Kerry for suggesting Iran can skirt new visa restrictions
Republicans on Monday blasted Secretary of State John Kerry for suggesting in a letter to his Iranian counterpart that the administration could help the country get around new visa restrictions passed by Congress.
“Instead of bending over backwards to try to placate the Iranian regime, the White House needs to be holding it accountable for its recent missile tests, its continued support for terrorism, and its wrongful imprisonment of Americans,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, R-Calif., said in a statement to FoxNews.com.
At issue are tightened security requirements for America’s visa waiver program, which allows citizens of 38 countries to travel to the U.S. without visas. Under changes in the newly signed spending bill, people from those countries who have traveled to Iran, Iraq, Syria and Sudan in the past five years must now obtain visas to enter the U.S.
Iran Warns Turkey Against Renewing Ties With Israel
Iran warned Turkey against rapprochement with Israel, semi-official Fars News Agency reported on Monday.
“The Turkish government shouldn’t pursue a different path with the Quds Occupying regime [Israel]” at the expense of its relations with other neighboring governments,” Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hossein Jaber Ansari said, in a veiled reference to recent tensions between Turkey and Iran.
Ansari continued: “The Muslim governments [such as Turkey] should adopt policies which meet their and the Islamic Ummah’s interests, as well as the rights of the Palestinian nation.”
PreOccupiedTerritory: Obama Admin Insists Deal Gives Iran Right To Confiscate American Guns (satire)
President Barack Obama’s administration is interpreting the recent nuclear agreement with Iran so broadly that it gives the Islamic republic the right to deprive individual Americans of their legally-owned firearms, analysts are noting.
In a bid to solidify the agreement, arrived at over the summer, the administration has proved increasingly accommodating to Tehran, effectively ignoring violations or dismissing evidence of Iranian perfidy as exaggerations. At the same time, to encourage Iran to accept the arrangement, the US has adopted a Mideast policy that in practical terms grants Iran everything it demanded and more. Experts in Washington are noting that Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have been taking pains to make Ayatollah Khamenei, the country’s supreme leader, and its president Hassan Rouhani, as happy as possible, an approach that now includes reading the agreement as affirming Tehran’s right to confiscate the weapons of any US citizen whose use of the firearms or whose rhetoric makes the Iranian regime feel insecure.
“The general reaction to terrorist attacks in the US is a brouhaha about gun control,” explained Enna Ray, who writes for The International Review. “Vigilantism scares the mullahs, because they’re trying to assert control over, or simply sideline, the formal, recognized international institutions that could threaten their nuclear ambitions. Free radicals who see fit to take matters into their own hands aren’t exactly what they want to see or facilitate. So Obama is meeting them more than halfway, not least because getting Iran to implement the JCPOA is key to his strategy of enlisting them in the campaign against the Islamic State.”
Israel welcomes Ukrainian president at risk of aggravating Russia
At the risk of aggravating Russia, Israel on Tuesday welcomed Petro Poroshenko, the President of Ukraine with full red carpet pomp and ceremony that included a military honor guard and military band.
Poroshenko who is on a two-day state visit to Israel, met early Tuesday morning with President Reuven Rivlin whom he invited to come to Ukraine early next year, telling him that he would be delighted to welcome him to his hometown of Odessa which was also the birthplace of Rivlin’s mentor Ze’ev Jabotinsky.
Poroshenko said that although Ukraine and Israel were different in many ways, there were similarities in their common struggle for independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and democracy.
Both countries also face external threats and are engaged in a fight against terrorism.
'Ukraine stands with the State of Israel'
President Reuven Rivlin hosted an official welcoming ceremony for President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine Tuesday morning, who is on a state visit to Israel.
The Presidents stood together for the national anthems, inspected an honor guard of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), and delivered brief media statements before going on to hold a working bilateral meeting.
"In the Ukraine, we remember a long history, a history of one thousand years of Jewish life in the cities and towns of the Ukraine; in Kiev, in Odesa, in Lvov - and even in the imagination of the great Shalom Aleichem, in the little town of Anatevka," Rivlin began.
"Life that was almost totally wiped out by the Nazis who wanted to destroy Jewish life, and the Jewish people. We also know however, that from these great, beautiful cities came the seeds of hope who rebuilt Jewish independence."
Israel and Albania Strengthen Ties
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama on Monday signed a joint declaration of friendship marking 25 years of diplomatic ties between the two countries.
During their meeting, Rama expressed an interest in strengthening bilateral relations with Israel in the fields of security, cyber, water, energy and innovation. Netanyahu added that Israel plans to expand relations with Albania in a number of areas including trade.
Netanyahu also thanked Albania, a Muslim majority country, for their steadfast support of Israel.
Convicted Holy Land Foundation Chief Rewrites Hamas Charity’s History
A former top official of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) is trying to whitewash the Hamas charity’s true history in a detailed self-interview published by the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (WRMEA), a virulently pro-terrorist and anti-Israel publication.
Shukri Abu Baker was HLF’s chief executive, but now is serving 65 years in prison for conspiring to provide material support to the terrorist group Hamas. Jurors in Dallas determined that under Baker’s control, HLF illegally routed more than $12 million to Hamas.
But, Baker claims, the case “was an insult to the American judicial system and ravaged the lives of those who were only trying to alleviate suffering.”
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed, upholding the convictions of Baker and four co-defendants in 2011. The court cited evidence that “contradicted a sworn declaration from Baker wherein he had denied that he and other HLF board members had any connection with Hamas.”
CBS: While Israeli Exports to Europe Down, Sharp Rise in Sales to US, Asia
The data on Israeli exports trends for the period of September through November 2015, released by the Central Bureau of Statistics show decrease of 10.3% in exports to EU countries. At the same time, there has been an increase 24.8% in exports to the United States, and an increase of 10.1% in exports to Asia. There has been a 5.0% decrease in imports of goods from Asia.
The same report shows a positive change in trade with South Africa. Between 2008 and 2014, the balance of trade in goods between Israel and South Africa moved from a deficit of $33.9 million to a surplus of $227.3 million.
The gross export of goods, not including diamonds, in November 2015 totaled $3.9 million, and the trade deficit in trade in goods was $0.67 billion. Of that total, 27% of the goods were exported to the EU countries, 26% to the US, 18% to Asian countries, and 19% to the rest of the world.
UCLA Condemns Anti-Semitic Facebook Post
The University of California at Los Angeles last week condemned an anti-Semitic comment that a UCLA student posted on the Facebook page of Mayim Bialik, the actress. Bialik, a UCLA alumna, wrote on Facebook about her pride in being Jewish and Zionist. The student -- in a comment widely discussed on the UCLA campus -- posted a comment apparently addressed to Jews who immigrated to the United States from Europe.
UCLA officials have said that, since the university is public, it is covered by the First Amendment and does not seek to punish students for writing or saying offensive things. But periodically, UCLA officials find comments worth publicly criticizing and this was one such case. Janina Montero, vice chancellor for student affairs, sent an email to all students. "We have become aware of anti-Semitic comments allegedly posted by a UCLA student on a private Facebook page not affiliated with UCLA," the email said. "The hurtful and offensive comments displayed ignorance of the history and racial diversity of the Jewish people, insensitivity and a disappointing lack of empathy. Bigotry against the Jewish people or other groups is abhorrent and does not represent the values of UCLA or the beliefs of our community. UCLA remains proud of the ethnic, racial, religious and cultural diversity of our campus. Sustaining such a diverse community is possible only if we treat each other with compassion and resist the temptation to stereotype or belittle those who may be different. Incidents like these are a reminder that we must always remain committed to inclusiveness and to understanding and respecting others."
IsraellyCool: Israel’s Apple Users Deserve Better Than iDigital
There’s only one goal with this post: spur something to change in Israel with customer service connected to Apple.
Over the last few years, spearheaded by the iPhone, Apple products have come to be massively popular in Israel. The big problem? Apple does not have an official support presence here. All service and support is provided by the woefully deficient iDigital franchise.
MacBook Pro Retina repair extensionCase in point: earlier this year my 2013 MacBook Pro had developed a fault with it’s graphic card. This is a known problem. Apple has issued a recall and a warranty extension for all affected models.
But when you select the country in which to have this easily taken care of you get a long, long list with one glaring omission between Ireland and Italia. Yup, Israel.
That’s because Apple doesn’t run its own retail stores in Israel. This despite Israel being fundamental to it’s research and development arms through the purchase of Anobit, Primesense and other small companies. In fact Apple only do research in the USA and Israel.
IsraellyCool: Dickie Gets Shafted
How dare someone refuse this job! Don’t you know who I am?
Dickie’ indignation is funny because 1) it is Dickie and 2) this is someone who advocates boycotting Israel and has done way worse things to people whose politics he detests. Say, trying to endanger their life and employment, and attempting to blackmail them.
Meanwhile, in a follow-up post, Silverstein names and shames the developer in question.
A Very Merry Anti-Semitic Christmas From Sweden
This year The-Untouchable-Can-Do-No-Wrong-Ms-Dirawi: Swedish Television’s favorite anti-Semite (who will host Eurovision 2016 in Stockholm as well) will be the person bringing the Christmas spirit into all Swedes living rooms. Maybe choosing a Muslim as a host for this Christian holiday fits perfectly into the multicultural and oh, so politically correct Sweden: but an anti-Semite? Yes, you heard that right. Gina Dirawi has been caught with her hand in the anti-Semitic cookie jar more than once, and got away with it just as many times.
Swedish-Palestinian Gina Dirawi, born in Sundsvall in 1990, started as a blogger, and then went on to star in several public service events and shows.
In 2010, she made her first public faux pas, when comparing Israel to Hitler: “The Israeli government does the same thing as Hitler did to its people but with other means. They are racists, they oppress, and kill people who are not like them!” When she was hired to host Eurovision, Melodifestivalen, in Sweden in 2011, this blog entrance magically disappeared from cyber space, and her words were defended by the project manager for the show, Thomas Hall: “It is an unfortunate headline that she no longer stands by.” How fitting that her beliefs also magically disappeared, just in time for her public service gig.
A year later, in 2012, she did it again. On her blog she posted a pic of the book “Är världen upp och ner?” by the infamous anti-Semite Lasse Wilhelmson, under the title “Some bedtime reading…”
EU mulls adopting definition of Jew hatred, says new anti-Semitism czar
At Israel’s request, the European Union may formulate a clear definition of anti-Semitism in a bid to better fight the phenomenon, the EU’s new point person for combating Jew-hatred said.
“The definition of anti-Semitism is very disputed, even among Jews themselves. The main dissent revolves around the question of manifestations against the State of Israel. We’re currently looking into this issue,” Katharina von Schnurbein told The Times of Israel in a telephone interview last week from Brussels. “One thing is clear: Anti-Semitism can sometimes hide behind anti-Zionism. That is certainly our understanding here.”
A German national, Schnurbein was named the European Commission’s coordinator on combating anti-Semitism earlier this month. Last week, she participated in the ninth EU-Israel Seminar on Combating Racism, Xenophobia and Anti-Semitism in Brussels, together with some 30 representatives from Israel’s Foreign Ministry, the European Commission, the EU’s External Action Service, Fundamental Rights Agency, technology experts and NGOs.
During the meet, Israel asked the EU to adopt a formal definition of anti-Semitism, said Akiva Tor, who heads the Foreign Ministry’s bureau for world Jewish affairs and world religions. “This would enable better monitoring and better law enforcement,” he told The Times of Israel on Monday.
Council of Europe comes out against Ukrainian ban on Nazi and Communist symbols
The Council of Europe has come out against a de-communization and anti-Nazi law passed by Ukraine earlier this year, calling it incompatible with European standards.
The controversial measure – which was condemned by Jewish organizations as well as the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum – came into force in May and criminalizes propaganda on behalf of the German Nazi and Soviet Communist regimes.
It was approved alongside another bill extending government recognition to the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, an ultra-nationalist faction that sought to establish an independent Ukrainian state and which engaged in anti-Semitic violence.
While the law’s prohibition on the use of Communist and Nazi symbols does not apply within academic contexts, it does prevent broadcast media from airing material that “justifies the fight against participants in the struggle for Ukraine’s independence in the 20th century,” according to a translation of the law published by the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group.
Local Jews in shock after Ukrainian city of Konotop elects neo-Nazi mayor
Two months after local elections were held across Ukraine, residents of the small northern city of Konotop are expressing shock and dismay over the behavior of newly chosen Mayor Artem Semenikhin of the neo-Nazi Svoboda party.
According to reports, Semenikhin drives around in a car bearing the number 14/88, a numerological reference to the phrases “we must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children” and “Heil Hitler”; replaced the picture of President Petro Poroshenko in his office with a portrait of Ukrainian national leader and Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera; and refused to fly the city’s official flag at the opening meeting of the city council because he objected to the star of David emblazoned on it. The flag also features a Muslim crescent and a cross.
Svoboda, known as the Social-National Party of Ukraine until 2004, has been accused of being a neo-Nazi party by Ukrainian Jews and while party leaders have a history of making anti-Semitic remarks, their rhetoric has toned down considerably over the past years as they attempted to go mainstream.
OurCrowd named in Top 10 most innovative fintech companies
Eight Israeli companies are among the world’s most innovative and exciting fintech startups reshaping the financial services industry, according to a new list published by KPMG and investment firm H2 Ventures.
OurCrowd, one of the world’s leading equity crowdfunding platforms for accredited investors to invest in Israeli and global companies, was the only blue-and-white representative in the Top 10.
“It is truly an honor to be a part of such a prestigious list of Fintech innovators two years in a row. We are proud to be recognized as the world’s leading equity crowdfunding platform. Fintech is now a global sector and we are glad to be leading an Israeli contingent of eight companies on the list,” said OurCrowd CEO Jon Medved.
“It’s unique for us to be leading this global market from Jerusalem,” Medved tells ISRAEL21c. “Jerusalem is taking a rightful place in Israel’s tech environment as a source of great startups.”
Peru Chooses Israeli Company To Establish Rural Telecommunications Network
The government of Peru has awarded a $108 million regional telecommunications infrastructure project to the Israeli company Gilat Satellite Networks.
The new project, which will be based in the Cusco region, is the latest awarded to Gilat by Fitel, Peru’s telecommunications investment fund. Gilat has projects currently underway in the regions of Huancavelica, Ayacucho and Apurimac. The projects will connect about 615 public institutions and 371 remote villages to broadband services.
“The fact that Gilat was awarded an additional regional project by Fitel for $108 million testifies to the confidence placed in our ability to deploy massive telecommunications projects under challenging conditions,” said Dov Baharav, chairman and interim CEO of Gilat. “On top of the bid, Gilat expects additional revenues to be generated by enabling cellular carriers to acquire network capacity to address the growing needs for voice, data, and internet in these regions.”
China to Invest Millions in Israeli Robotics
Chinese businessmen are on the verge of investing millions of dollar in Israeli robotics research, Israeli news site nrg reported on Monday.
The Israeli Robotics Association (IROB) signed a $20 million deal in Tel Aviv on Monday with investors from China’s Guangzhou (also known as Canton) province.
“With this money the Chinese investors can purchase Israeli companies or to set up an R&D center for the development of products for companies making [robotics] goods in China,” said IROB Chair Professor Zvi Shiller.
Earlier in September, it was decided that an Israeli robotics R&D center — called SIRI (Sino-Israeli Robotics Institute) — would be established in Guangzhou to meet the growing need for robotics in China’s manufacturing sector. This week’s deal launches the start of a SIRI counterpart in Israel.
Israeli startup turns trash into natural gas
HomeBioGas turns your organic waste into cooking gas and liquid fertilizer.

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 11 years and over 22,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 18 years and 38,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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