Friday, May 20, 2016

From Ian:

IDF-critiquing NGO faces court debate on revealing its sources
The State Prosecutor’s Office has demanded that Breaking the Silence name its sources, saying anonymous witnesses allow potential lies to spread and make it impossible to investigate alleged abuses.
According to Israeli media reports earlier this year, the army is demanding testimonies that primarily relate to evidence of alleged war crimes and compliance by IDF troops with illegal orders. The State Prosecutor’s Office — officially acting on behalf of the army as the matter pertains to a civilian organization — presented the petition to the court.
Breaking the Silence co-founder Yehuda Shaul said the hearings were aimed at closing down the NGO, and insisted the group is determined to protect the identities of its sources.
The NGO provides a platform for military veterans to describe what they say were disturbing aspects of their service in the 2014 war in the Gaza Strip and in operations in the West Bank.
It has faced increased political pressure in Israel, where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presides over one of the most right-wing governments in the country’s history.
In March, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, who on Friday morning announced his resignation, accused the NGO of “treason” by asking discharged soldiers to reveal classified information, a charge denied by the group.
The Military Police have also demanded the names of the NGO’s sources — a request it refused.
The Israel That Arabs Don’t Know
On my flight from Rome to Tel Aviv on Israel’s El Al airlines, I thought about what awaited me and what I would see. Although I had an idea of what Israel was like and friends who have told me of their experiences working there, memories of the accumulated assumptions about the place that I had gained throughout my childhood in Egypt presented a conflicting counter narrative. I wondered which was the truth: what I now knew, or what had been instilled in us Egyptians as children. Do the “Jews” in Israel actually hate Arabs? If they found out I was Egyptian, would treat me poorly? Would I be verbally or physically abused if Israelis heard me speaking Arabic?
Halting my train of thought, a man sitting next to me with his wife asked me something in Hebrew. In English, I explained that I didn’t understand the language. The man then apologized and asked in English, “Where are you from?” When I answered that I was from Egypt, he and his wife smiled genuinely and welcomingly. These were not the fake smiles our schools, society, television, and film had attributed to Israelis and Jews.
When I arrived in Israel’s financial capital, Tel Aviv, the airport’s clean atmosphere and facilities left me wondering whether I had left Europe. Its modernity left little doubt that I had entered a developed country.
On the road from the Ben Gurion Airport to Jerusalem (al-Quds)–Israel’s political capital–I saw wide, clean roads, filled with trees and captivating natural scenery. I took notes on everything, in line with my mission to relay the truth of life inside Israel. Once I had arrived in the political capital, I visited the Ministry of Exterior, the Knesset, and the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum.
I met with both Arabs and Jews of Arab origin, and they recounted their memories of life in Iraq, Egypt, and the other countries from which they had come. I listened to how they had left those countries after bitter experiences of incitement and hatred. Life had brought them to a place where they peacefully coexisted. Unfortunately, the truth of coexistence has been muddled with the help of many media organizations. (h/t IsraellyCool)
A week of ordinary French anti-Semitism
September 1972, Munich’s Olympic Village, “31” block. Some of the Israeli athletes were Holocaust survivors. The Black September Palestinian terrorists took them hostage demanding the release of 234 terrorists in the Israeli jails. But Black September was not there for an exchange or negotiation, what they wanted the killing of Jews, the young representatives of the Israeli people hosted by the nation which once planned the Holocaust.
The Olympic Village was located a few kilometers from Dachau.
The Cannes Film Festival has now hosted “Munich: A Palestinian Story” by the Lebanese filmmaker of Palestinian origin Narsi Hajjaj. Ilana Romano, widow of Yossef Romano, who was murdered in the massacre, has refused to cooperate with this film because the director insisted on defining as “freedom fighters” the Black September terrorists who killed her husband, while the murdered Israelis are called “representatives of an occupying country”.
A year ago, it emerged that at least one of the athletes, Yossef Romano, was castrated bythe Palestinian kidnappers in front of his companions. Hajjaj, however, called the massacre not a terrorist act, but an “international incident”.
Roger Cukierman, president of the Council of Jewish Organizations in France, voiced “anxiety and deep concern” over the viewing in a letter to Cannes Film Festival President Pierre Lescure and French Culture Minister Audrey Azoulay.
Resoundingly ghastly is the fact that the Cannes Festival agreed to host and commercialize this anti-Semitic movie.
But this has been a week of ordinary French anti-Semitism.



Combating Anti-Israelism and Boycotts
An earlier article defined and classified various strategies for combating both boycotts directed against Israel other kinds of hostile activity. Not discussed, however, were questions about who or what bodies should be implementing which strategies.
Such questions have become more acute, now that the Israeli government has designated substantial means for defending Israel from boycotts. We shall consider these questions after briefly reviewing the range of available strategies.
Kinds of Strategy
Up to now, most of the anti-boycott activity has been basically defensive. It assumes that Israel can be vindicated by providing relevant information. Either one complains that the anti-Israel activists are misrepresenting reality, by lying or omitting relevant facts or whatever. Or one complains that there are other countries that obviously deserve to be targeted in the alleged respects, but Israel alone is picked out for criticism and attack. Both strategies fall under the rubric "It's not fair!" They are so familiar as to need no further elaboration here.
Unfortunately, such strategies are of limited utility: they work only with institutions that are obliged to be fair. Thus misleading reports in foreign media can be combated if those media are committed to standards of fair reporting. Likewise, foreign governments and parliaments can be held to standards laid down in their own legislation. Much excellent work is being done in both regards, often by organizations making the most of limited means (see the list in the earlier article). This sort of work is also essential for keeping Israel's friends on board, reassuring them that the accusations against Israel are undeserved.
Caroline Glick: The Koch Brothers meet the crackpots
Led by Mearsheimer and Walt, the disparate band of experts that Ruger assembled share but one common position. And to advance that position, they have advocated policies that stand in open contradiction of the very foreign policy doctrines on which they built their careers.
That common position is hatred of Israel.
All of them oppose the US alliance with Israel, and to varying degrees, maintain the bigoted view that Jews who support Israel have undo and malign influence on US foreign policy.
In other words, they are anti-Semites.
Ruger invited several other prominent haters of Israel with records of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish pronouncements to speak at the Koch brothers’ conference.

These include former US ambassador to Saudi Arabia Charles Freeman.
Since retiring from government service in 1992, Freeman has been a hired gun of the Saudi government and the Chinese politburo. His public statements have involved vitriolic assaults on Israel and American Jews. Among other things, Freeman blamed the September 11 attacks on US support for Israel.
In 2009, Obama nominated Freeman to serve as chairman of his National Intelligence Council. Freeman’s appointment was shot down by then-House speaker Nancy Pelosi due to his contemptuous remarks against Chinese democracy activists. But Freeman blamed the Jews, and their malign control over US foreign policy, for torpedoing his appointment.
Other invitees to Wednesday’s conference were Prof. Andrew Bacevich from Boston University and Prof. Michael Desch from Notre Dame. Both men have made public statements claiming that Israel controls US foreign policy to the detriment of American interests.
Ruger’s decision to invite so many outspoken opponents of Israel and American Jewry was made more notable by the fact that he failed to invite any serious champions of the US-Israel alliance. For instance, as Lake noted, no members of the neoconservative foreign policy school were invited to participate in the Koch brothers’ maiden voyage into foreign policy waters.
The Next Anti-Israeli Temper Tantrum
The book, Chabon and Waldman explained, "is not an analysis of the history of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. It asks a simple question: What does occupation look like? What does it feel like to live under occupation?" So while raising consciousness to end the occupation, the book will offer no words about why it's lasted a half-century, why Israeli hasn't succumbed to such pressure before, and what might happen if it did.
Readers, then, won't learn that Palestinians leaders have rejected peace with Israel that would end the occupation multiple times, most recently in 2008 when Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Ohmert offered Palestinians 93.7 percent of the West Bank, land to almost fully compensate for the other 6.3 percent, a link to Gaza, Israeli withdrawal from Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, and international control over the Old City (where Jerusalem's most sensitive religious sites are located). They won't learn that Palestinian leaders reject peace with Israel because Palestinians largely reject the vaunted "two-state solution" – that is, the reality of a Jewish state in the historic Jewish homeland.
They won't learn that the Palestinian side is divided between the Palestinian Authority (which runs the West Bank) and Hamas, the terrorist group dedicated to Israel's destruction (which runs Gaza); that Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza in 2005; that Hamas ousted the Palestinian Authority from Gaza in a violent coup in 2007, turning it into a terrorist haven from which the group launches missiles and builds tunnels to attack Israel; or that Israel legitimately fears that withdrawing from the West Bank could bring the same thing there.
They won't learn that Palestinian leaders indoctrinate their people in the ethos of endless war and boundless hostility to Israel; that "moderate" Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas pays homage to Palestinian "martyrs" who spill Jewish blood; and that Palestinian media feed their people a steady diet of content urging them to retain the "resistance," kill Jews and oust Israel from its land.
They won't learn that the recent deadly Palestinian knifings in Jerusalem and the West Bank are predicated on myths, perpetuated by Palestinian leaders – that Israel planned to close the Temple Mount and that, rather than respond to the knifings, it's targeting Palestinian children for slaughter.
Thus, this book will be another anti-Israeli temper tantrum that criticizes the occupation while offering nothing useful to end it.
Michael Chabon and Israel’s ‘Occupation’
Author Michael Chabon’s traveler’s tale based on his recent trip to Israel reminds us that being a celebrity does not remotely qualify one as being an expert on the Middle East, and being a best-selling author does not restrain one from indulging in mindless hyperbole.
Mouthing anti-Zionist shibboleths and being a celebrity will get you a spread in the anti-Zionist, Zionist Forward, and if your ego is as large as Chabon’s, I would imagine that when you read your own words in the newspaper, you end up believing you really had something profound to say.
“Most grievous injustice I have ever seen in my whole life,” Chabon says about Israel’s “cruel” occupation. Really, the most grievous injustice you have ever seen, Mr. Chabon?
I guess you missed the Tiananmen Square Massacre. How about the Soviet invasion of Georgia or the Crimea? The leveling of Grozny? The butchery of Bosnian Muslims? The routine hangings of homosexuals from cranes in Tehran? The slaughter of Egypt’s Coptic Christians after the Muslim Brotherhood came to power? Saddam Hussein’s chemical weapons attack against the Kurds? Maybe you missed the recent scenes of carnage in the streets of Aleppo or Syrian refugees struggling for life in the seas off the coast of Greece?
The wanton violence against innocent Jews generated by Palestinian incitement and glorification escapes your notice. But not your wife, leftist terror apologist Ayelet Waldman, as she tweets that the Jews have it coming. It’s the occupation, you know, because before the occupation there never was Palestinian violence, pogroms, or promises to throw all the Jews into the sea. And the Palestinians have always sought to embrace a peace plan that would lift the occupation. You do remember Arafat’s outreach at Camp David and Abbas response at Taba?
IsraellyCool: Know Your History: Those Palestine Mandate Coins 1927-1948
A series where I use history to debunk common misconceptions about the Middle East conflict.
One of the popular memes of the antisemites and Israel haters involves showing a coin from pre-1948 Palestine, somehow as proof there was a state of Palestine.
The Hebrew on the coin is פלשתינה – Hebrew for “Palestine” – followed by (א”י).
What is this א”י?
It is none other than the abbreviation for ארץ ישראל – Hebrew for the land of Israel!
This was added to the coin to conform to the Balfour Declaration. In fact, the coins were officially introduced on November 1, 1927 – the eve of the 10th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.
And what was the Arab response to this abbreviation on the coin?
This infuriated the Arab citizens who rioted in protest.
But of course.
Anti-Israel students ambush, attack Jewish Movie Screening at UC-Irvine
Two student groups at the University of California, Irvine (UCI), ambushed a movie screening held by Students Supporting Israel (SSI).
The protesters belonged to the Muslim Student Union and the Students for Justice in Palestine. Apparently, the presence of two former Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers sent them over the edge and feared for their safety.
Yes, the group actually believed that the two former IDF soldiers “threatened our coalition of Arab, black, undocumented, trans, and the greater activist community.”
But their protest left those in the event fearing for their life as the demonstrators blocked the exits and would not let people leave. People frantically called campus police for help, who “had to escort Jewish students away from the scene.”
Kevin Brum, SSI’s vice president, said the police only escorted them away because the protesters had a right to be there.
The Jewish Federation & Family services and Hillel at UIC said the protesters “physically intimidated and threatened on student attempting to enter the event.” The incident will not deter the groups from moving forward with more events:
UC Irvine chancellor: Anti-Israel protesters ‘crossed the line of civility’
Anti-Israel student protesters this week disrupted the screening of a film about the Israel Defense Forces at University of California, Irvine, leading to police intervention to protect the Jewish students at the event.
In a campus-wide message sent Thursday, University of California Irvine Chancellor Howard Gillman said the disruption, which appears to have been coordinated by the campus group Students for Justice in Palestine, “crossed the line of civility.”
The attendees at the screening of the Israeli documentary “Beneath the Helmet” Wednesday night, under the auspices of the campus Hillel, had to be escorted away from the scene by campus police, the Orange County Register reported.
Anti-Israel protesters have disrupted numerous pro-Israel events and Israeli speakers at campuses and other venues around the world in the past year. The incidents include demonstrators at London’s Kings College in January smashing a window during a speech by former Shin Bet chief Ami Ayalon; protesters at San Francisco State University shouting down Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat during a speech there in April, and activists drowning out Hebrew University Professor Moshe Halbertal as he delivered a speech at the University of Minnesota in November.
The Last Pro-Israel Democrat?
In his Haaretz column Beinart acknowledges that the two did highlight their disagreements over Israel at their Brooklyn debate in April. He might have also pointed out that this contrast was apparent even before that, in their contrasting Middle-East-policy speeches earlier in the campaign. Clinton gave a standard issue stalwart pro-Israel speech at the AIPAC conference. Sanders, who has gotten closer to winning a major party presidential nomination than any other American Jew in history, chose to boycott AIPAC and then gave a policy speech on the Middle East that was highly critical of Israeli policies while still reflecting support for Israel’s right to exist.
Yet Beinart is correct that aside from those two moments and the Vermont senator’s slanderous exaggeration of Palestinian casualties during the 2014 Gaza war, Sanders’s equivocal approach to Israel didn’t play a role in the campaign. It’s Beinart’s thesis that this was a mistake because of the way most liberals feel about the issue. Though I seldom agree with Beinart, he may be right about this. As I noted last week, Hillary Clinton’s decision to take a stand against the BDS — boycott, divest, sanction — movement against Israel before the convention of the Methodist church where a resolution on the topic was to be voted on, put her at odds with the base of the Democratic Party.
Like Beinart, I cited a new Pew Research Center poll that showed that while most Americans remained solidly pro-Israel, there were two groups that were not: liberals and Bernie Sanders voters. However, if we take it as a given that the left represents not only the base of the Democratic Party but its future — due to the fact that Sanders has captured the enthusiasm of younger voters — then there may be some truth to the thesis. He believes that just as Donald Trump won the Republican nomination by telling the GOP base what it wanted to hear about immigration (but wasn’t getting from other candidates) about immigration, trade, and isolationist positions in foreign policy, so, too, is there “an unserved market among grass roots Democrats for a candidate that is critical of Israel.”
Is he right about that? He might be.
Members of Wealthy Saudi Family Emerge as Clinton Foundation, Dem Donors
A wealthy family closely aligned with Saudi Arabia’s ruling family has emerged as a key donor to both the Clinton Foundation and prominent Democrats, despite the clan’s involvement in a domestic violence case that it has sought to sweep under the rug, according to police reports and funding documents viewed by the Washington Free Beacon.
Nasser al-Rashid, one of Saudi Arabia’s wealthiest figures and an adviser to the country’s royal family, has donated somewhere between $1 million to $5 million to the Clinton Foundation, putting him in an elite category of prominent donors.
Al-Rashid’s children—including one who pled guilty to assaulting his estranged wife—have poured almost $600,000 into Democratic coffers during the past several years, raising questions about influence peddling by prominent foreign families.
The controversy has already rippled through Florida’s contentious race for a Democratic Senate seat and threatens to further entangle presidential contender Hillary Clinton, who has already faced questions about her close ties to foreign governments.
“This raises a very simple question in my mind—why is this family of one of Saudi Arabia’s richest billionaires and a key adviser to the royal family pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into our political system to elect and influence these Democrats?” asked Ian Prior, a longtime Republican political operative and current spokesman for the Senate Leadership Fund, which advocates the election of Republican candidates.
Nasser Ibrahim al-Rashid, the family’s patriarch, is the founder and chairman of the Riyadh-based Rashid Engineering, making him one of the country’s top five wealthiest men.
Jewish Students Intimidated on Campus (h/t Daphne Anson)
Dr Alan Mendoza engages with a panel to discuss the rise of anti-Semitism on campus, often disguised as anti-Zionism. Alan is joined by Jonathan Neumann from Jewish Human Rights Watch, Ben Hayton from University College London and Devorah Khafi from Queen Mary University. Current Affairs | J-TV


The Media Platform For BDS Lies
Rafeef Ziadah, a Palestinian-Canadian BDS activist who co-founded Israel Apartheid Week, writes in the Irish Times about being invited to “tour Ireland during Nakba commemorations and the 1916 Easter Rising centenary.”
As she is in Ireland, she refers to the ”historic example of the workers at Dunnes Stores” who refused to sell fruits from South Africa in the apartheid era, as an inspiration to BDS activists.
Her description of BDS is that it
upholds the simple principle that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity. It aims to end international support for Israel’s regime of apartheid and settler colonialism that began with the Nakba.
She uses the language of human rights, but she is actually – whether intentionally or not – revealing that the BDS movement’s true goal is ending Israel in its entirety. By saying that Israel’s “regime of apartheid and settler colonialism” began with the Nakba in 1948, she is denying Israel’s very right to existence. While the Nakba may have been a catastrophe for the Palestinians, it was the result of an Arab-initiated war that failed in its goal of wiping out the Jews in the newly established state.
Indy seeks the ‘wisdom’ of Juan Cole in story on Israeli government shake-up
As we’ve noted previously, Juan Cole is an American academic and blogger who has called Israel a fascist state whose behavior was partly responsible for 9/11. He’s also advanced antisemitic narratives about dual loyalty, and has warned his followers about the dangers of unchecked ‘Jewish power’. (He also has been a Guardian contributor)
Naturally, the Independent highlighted his ‘analysis’ – and only his analysis – in a story about the appointment of Avigdor Lieberman as Israel’s new defense minister.
Here are the final two paragraphs of the report, by Matthew Payton.
Professor Juan Cole from the University of Michigan, an expert on Middle Eastern politics, described him as a “far-right extremist”, telling the Salon: “There is no European cabinet minister who comes close to Lieberman’s far, far right positions, and if there were he or she would be boycotted by the other Europeans.”
He added that in his opinion the current politics of the Israeli government has no real comparison other than in Hungary’s neo-fascist party.

And, when it comes people with a visceral hatred of Israel, Cole ‘has no real comparison’ other than bloggers at places like Mondoweiss and Electronic Intifada.
BBC Monitoring uses Sykes-Picot anniversary to promote conspiracy theory
The 100th anniversary of the Sykes-Picot Agreement this week produced a rash of journalistic commentary, much of which succumbed to the fashion of lazily blaming that agreement for the Middle East’s contemporary ills.
That trend was not however confined to Western commentators and BBC Monitoring produced a report titled “Sykes-Picot marked with bitterness and regret by Arab media” which appeared on the BBC News website on May 16th.
Not for the first time, readers found BBC Monitoring using its platform for the amplification of baseless conspiracy theory.
Twitter user @Pencil192 also suspects a conspiracy: "There is a new Sykes-Picot planned for Arabs, using the argument that dividing them along sectarian and national lines will protect them from infighting and conflicts that are in reality staged by the West and Zionists."
One of course presumes that before deciding that the above comment was worthy of translation and amplification to audiences worldwide, BBC Monitoring exercised due diligence and took the time to check out that Twitter feed. If so, then it would have realised that the so-called ‘Pencil192’ has something of a pathological obsession with ‘Zionists’.
BBC’s soundbite journalism conflicts with its public purposes
In other words, the BBC is perfectly aware of the fact that the soundbite “occupied West Bank” is not neutral terminology.
In the written report readers are told that:
“When it is up and running, the Palestinian Museum will chronicle the story of the Palestinian people and their displacement by the conflict which followed the establishment of the state of Israel at the end of the 1940s.”
In the audio report Razia Iqbal interrupted her interviewee Omar al Qattan with the following remarks:
“Sorry to interrupt you Omar; you mention the Naqba. This month marks the 68th anniversary of the Naqba which – in translation it means the catastrophe – which was the…the monumental displacement of Palestinians…ahm…in the immediate aftermath of the creation of the State of Israel.”
Clearly that editorialized soundbite conceals from BBC audiences the fact that the departure of Arab residents began before the State of Israel came into being (for example in Haifa and Tiberias) and that in many cases they were told to leave their homes by the Arab leaders waging war on the nascent Jewish state: a war which is completely erased from this context-free BBC soundbite.
The public purposes laid out in the BBC’s current charter include the remit of “Build[ing] a global understanding of international issues”. However, through its frequent use of soundbites including (but by no means limited to) those above, the corporation is instead actively limiting audience understanding by prioritising editorialized slogans which re-frame the story over essential background and context.
Bias at NYT Arts/Cultural Desk
Worse, though, was that elsewhere, the authors themselves adopted the Palestinian narrative and presented it as fact in their own voices. They wrote:
In the West Bank, where Palestinians have for years struggled to build political and civic institutions while resisting Israel’s occupation of the territory, the fate of the exhibition may say as much about the realities of Palestinian society as any art collection could.
Objective and knowledgeable readers may well recognize that "resisting Israel's occupation" is the justification invoked by Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups for carrying out murderous attacks on civilian targets in Israel, but others may be misled by what amounts to the reporters' own stamp of approval on the biased language.
Former Diplomat: Venezuelan Regime Uses Anti-Semitism to Distract from Power Grab, Failures
The regime of Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela has promoted anti-Israel and anti-Semitic themes in an effort to distract from the damage it is doing to the country, a former Venezuelan diplomat wrote Wednesday in the New York Daily News.
Diego Arria, Venezuela’s former ambassador to the United Nations, cited a recent instance where the country’s current UN ambassador, Rafael Ramirez, asked rhetorically in a speech, “What does Israel plan to do with the Palestinians?” and whether Israel was “trying to impose a ‘final solution’ on the Palestinians in the West Bank.”
Arria criticized the envoy for making an “obscene comparison” between Nazi Germany and the Jewish state, where many survivors of the Holocaust found refuge. The false comparison was so egregious that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and representatives of the United States, United Kingdom, and France publicly denounced it.
Arria charged that Ramirez’s comments on Israel, made during a session on the protection of civilians affected by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, were meant “only to fuel hatred.” Making matters worse, Ramirez was speaking at a process “designed to increase dialogue and understanding, rather than boosting hatred and polarization.”
Brazilian senator likens current political crisis to Holocaust
Two leftist Brazilian senators compared Nazi Germany and the Holocaust to Brazil’s political environment in light of President Dilma Rousseff’s suspension as part of an ongoing impeachment process.
“In times of crisis, the Jewish people are historically designated as 'guilty' for the evil that does not concern it. And history is repeated,” Israel’s honorary consul in Rio, Osias Wurman, told JTA on Thursday.
The Brazilian Israelite Confederation, the country’s umbrella Jewish organization, condemned the comparison in a statement.
Sen. Roberto Requiao proposed last week that Brazil follow Nazi Germany’s example to handle the economy. He used the Adolf Hitler archetype to defend Rousseff’s illegal maneuvers to mask a perilous budget deficit, which led last Friday to her suspension for 180 days and the naming of her centrist vice president, Michel Temer, to replace her.
On May 16, far-left Sen. Lindbergh Farias suggested on his Facebook page that Temer inspired his debut speech last week in Parliament in which he mocked the “Arbeit macht frei” (Work will set you free) sign over the entrance gate at Auschwitz.
Anne Frank’s Step-Sister to Recount Harrowing Holocaust Story on Irish Talk Show
Eva Schloss, step-sister of Anne Frank, is appearing on a talk show in Ireland on Friday night to describe surviving the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, the Irish Examiner reported.
Schloss will be a guest on the Late Late Show, which is broadcast on RTÉ One.
Born in Vienna, Schloss and her family immigrated to Belgium and eventually to Holland in 1938. After the Germans invaded Holland in 1942, her family went into hiding, but were betrayed two years later. They were captured by the Nazis and sent to Auschwitz on Schloss’ 15th birthday. It was at the concentration camp that her father and brother were killed.
Schloss and her mother were liberated by the Russian army in January 1945. She has since written two books and spoken to thousands of audiences about her experiences, according to her website.
Salvadoran savior of tens of thousands of Jews honored in Germany
An army colonel and diplomat from El Salvador who helped save tens of thousands of Jews from Nazi persecution during World War II by providing them with false Salvadoran identity papers was honored in Germany.
The tribute to Jose Arturo Castellanos, who served as El Salvador’s consul general in Geneva, was held last week by Germany’s Ministry of Foreign Relations and the Berlin Jewish Center, the Elsalvador.com news portal reported.
The film ‘The Rescue,” which documents Castellanos’ little-known but heroic acts during the Holocaust, was screened to the audience, which included El Salvador’s ambassador in Germany, José Atilio Benitez Parada.
Yad Vashem representative Sandra Witte said that Castellanos, who was recognized posthumously as Righteous Among the Nations by the Israeli Holocaust memorial and museum in 2010, is a distinguished icon among all saviors.
“We can say that very few are like Jose Castellanos or Raoul Wallenberg, who have saved several thousands. And it happened in times that they say there was no margin for action and nothing could have been done. Castellanos proved something can be done,” Witte said.
First class of Technion-Cornell program set to graduate
After three years, the first class of students at the joint Technion-Cornell University program are set to graduate. Heads of the program, along with Israeli education officials and diplomats, gathered Thursday night in New York to mark the event, which will officially take place on May 29.
The graduating class of the Joan & Irwin Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute will mark the first time an international university has ever granted an accredited degree for studies on US soil. Graduates will receive two degrees, one from Israel’s Technion and one from Cornell University. The degrees are being granted to 12 graduates in the area of connective media — technically an MS in information systems.
“These graduating entrepreneurs are armed with the knowledge and experience in areas that are vital to the city’s economic health, and the betterment of society as a whole,” said Professor Adam Shwartz, director of the Jacobs Institute. “We look forward with anticipation to the great things they will accomplish and their impact on the economy, as well as the start-ups they will launch in New York City and beyond.”
The graduation event is the fulfillment of a vision to integrate Israel’s start-up spirit and advanced scientific skills with the vast educational resources of one of the world’s top universities, according to former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who was mayor when the program was established.
Israeli actors make their debuts in Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones’s Melisandre has some competition as the latest season of the hit fantasy TV show gallops on, in the form of a fellow Red Priestess played by Israeli actress Ania Bukstein, who makes her first appearance in the show next Sunday.
Bukstein, a Tel Aviv-based actress who moved to Israel from the former Soviet Union when she was eight years old, plays Kinvara, a devotee of the fire god R’hllor who encounters key characters Tyrion Lannister and Varys the eunuch in Meereen, and who could well be a significant new player in the epic saga.
And Bukstein is not the only Israeli to pop up across the Narrow Sea in this season’s song of ice and fire. Fans of the show will have already encountered Haifa-born actor Yousef Sweid with his portrayal of former Meereenese slave Ash.
Sweid, who appeared in last week’s episode, wrote on Facebook that while his appearance in the show is very limited, he did at least get to meet Peter Dinklage, who plays fan favorite Tyrion.
Rapper LL Cool J talks Israel and Jewish friendships at event for trauma
American rapper LL Cool J was the guest of honor at a symposium of Jewish community leaders that focused on employing methodologies for treating trauma in Beverly Hills on Wednesday, the Jewish Journal reported.
The event, hosted by the California-based Ulmer Institute, brought together members of the international Jewish community and the African-American community in discussion of techniques developed by Israeli psychiatrists for treating trauma relief.
In addition to Dr. Eyal Fruchter, former head of the mental health division of the IDF medical corps., and the Simon Wiesenthal Center Rabbis Marvin Hier and Yitzchok Alderstein, the event featured a surprise guest, LL Cool J.
The rapper-turned-actor spoke fondly of the cause, and in general of the importance of strong connections between the Jewish and African-American communities. "I always had people in my life that were Jewish and it was always a big part of everything I did."
Cool J even reminisced about some of his memories of growing up in a Jewish area of New York, "My grandfather was from the Bronx and he came home with gefilte fish every week."
Israeli Physicists in Multinational Research Team Help Develop More Efficient Solar Cells
A team of scientists from Israel, Singapore, and Switzerland has reported a major advance in the physics of perovskite solar cells – a new class of hybrid materials that is creating a revolution in solar energy technology.
Unlike most other solar devices, where efficiency worsens as temperature rises, the research team—including Profs. Jeffrey M. Gordon and Eugene A. Katz of the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research and Alexandre Yersin of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev—produced high-performance cells whose efficiency surprisingly improved as the cells heated up.
The researchers used experiments that varied the intensity of light and cell temperature, helping to better understand the molecular mechanisms that allow these solar cells to discharge surprisingly high voltage while maintaining high current density and low internal resistance, which are essential for their superior performance.
“Perovskite” refers to a specific type of crystal structure, originally identified by the 19th century Russian mineralogist L.A. Perovski. Perovskite solar cells are far less expensive than those made by silicon, and are relatively easy to manufacture since they can be processed at temperatures 1000°C below what silicon requires.
The new study, which was recently published in Advanced Materials, suggests deploying perovskite solar cells under concentrated sunlight in order to realize even higher efficiency—one of the next tasks in their planned experimental studies.
Israeli life expectancy among highest in world, WHO finds
A World Health Organization report on global life expectancy has found that Israelis have one of the highest life expectancies in the world. According to the report, released Thursday, Israel ranks sixth in the world, with an average life expectancy of 82.5 years.
The report found that life expectancy around the world has increased dramatically over the past 15 years, with the global average rising by about five years. Such an increase has not been recorded since the 1960s.
Worldwide, the average life expectancy for a baby born in 2015 is now 71.4 years of age -- 73.8 for women, and 69.1 for men.
Topping the list is Japan, with an average life expectancy of 83.7 years, followed by Switzerland, with 83.4. Broken down by gender, Japan tops the list for women, with an average life expectancy of 86.8 years, while Switzerland has the highest life expectancy for men, 81.3 years.
In third place overall is Singapore with 83.1, followed by Australia and Spain in equal fourth place with 82.8, and Iceland and Italy in equal fifth place with 82.7.
Israel comes in sixth place overall. When the results are split by gender, Israel has the fifth highest male life expectancy, with 80.6 years, and the ninth highest for women, 84.3 years.
The United States comes in at no. 25 overall, with 79.3. At the bottom of the list, babies born in Sierra Leone are only expected to live to the age of 50.



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