Monday, June 20, 2016

From Ian:

A Dynamic Duo of Duplicity Hits Jerusalem
David Sheen, whose tweets about Jews and Judaism frequently resemble those of neo-Nazis and who once produced a video in which Judaism is said to “hate humans,” and Dan Cohen, who engaged in pro-Hamas propaganda from Gaza while in the territory with the terrorist group’s approval, did participate in this year’s Jerusalem Day march – in order to defame its participants.
Together they’ve produced a video for the hate site Mondoweiss entitled “Worship God by Nakba,” the supposed translation of a Hebrew chant shouted by teens during the march. Sheen and Cohen write that the chant calls for “the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.”
Unfortunately for Sheen and Cohen, however, some of their less credulous viewers understand Hebrew.
The teens in the video (10:15) are actually shouting “Worship God with rabak,” (עבדו את השם בראבק) a slang word that roughly means “great enthusiasm.” It is a take on Psalm 100:2, “Worship God with joy; come before Him with exultation,” which the teens are seen singing immediately afterward.
Sheen and Cohen portray this as a “call for ethnic cleansing.” That is, of course, a lie. (The pronunciation of בראבק. ba-rabak, leaves little question as to what they’re saying. בנכבה, be-Nakba, would both sound different and make no sense grammatically.)
In fact, the video is riddled with made-up translations.

JPost Editorial: Twitter and Hamas
If Osama bin Laden were alive today, would he have a Twitter account? There is a good chance he would, judging from the sorts of folks permitted to remain active on the online social networking service.
News of the horrific massacre of innocent restaurant- goers at Tel Aviv’s Sarona Market had barely broken when Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh took to Twitter to praise the murderers.
“One of the #TelAviv bomber heroes, mercy and light on the kindness of your soul,” the former Hamas prime minister tweeted in Arabic at 10:45 p.m. on June 8, alongside a picture of one of the attackers, “shot in the street.”
Haniyeh’s Twitter account has been active since March 2012, and has 314,000 followers.
And Haniyeh is not alone. Khaled Mashaal, Hamas’s leader, has had an account active since May 2015, now with 45,800 followers. The main Hamas Twitter page, active since October 2010, has 239,000 followers. It even has an English-language account to helpfully convey the organization’s support of shooting innocents at a shopping center, dubbing it “a natural response to Israeli crimes.”
Twitter has already taken significant steps to remove the Twitter accounts of Islamic State supporters. A study commissioned by Google Ideas and published by the Brookings Institution’s Project of US Relations with the Islamic World found that in 2014 and 2015, Twitter banned hundreds of accounts used by the most active IS supporters.
Google, Facebook must be held accountable for criminal content – justice minister
Large internet companies and content providers such as Facebook, Google and Twitter should be held accountable for criminal activity on their platforms, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said at a conference in Tel Aviv on Monday.
“We need to acknowledge the fact that some very severe crimes are being conducted and incited through those platforms — such that there should be some measure of accountability” regarding the illegal activities and content that is published through their services, declared Shaked, who said these large internet companies were an “area of focus” for her ministry.
The Justice Ministry is working on draft legislation “to order a removal” of certain content from websites that incite to terrorism, and other legislation to curb specific content, like the distribution of child pornography, for example, she said. “In each case we are talking about content and websites that reach a particularly high threshold of criminal severity,” she added.

‘Politico’ Writer Indicts Israel for Palestinian Violence
On June 8, 2016, two Palestinian Arabs murdered four Israelis and wounded more than a dozen others in a terrorist attack at Tel Aviv’s Sarona Market. But one self-described analyst, Ben Ehrenreich, knows who is really to blame for the terror attack: Israel itself.
In his op-ed, “How Israel is Inciting Palestinian Violence,” which appeared in Politico, Ehrenreich asserted that Israel and its “occupation” were responsible for Palestinian “humiliation” and “despair” — and that this is what fuels terror attacks. To craft this narrative, Ehrenreich relied heavily on omissions and a questionable source.
He used the word “occupation” repeatedly, but failed to inform readers that Israel gained the West Bank in self-defense during the Arab-initiated 1967 Six-Day. That is, the “occupation” came into existence after Arabs sought, but failed, to destroy Israel. Moreover, Arab attacks against Israel long predated the 1967 war and resultant occupation. There are many examples, including the 1948 War of Independence in which five Arab states rejected a United Nations partition plan that would have offered a “two-state solution,” choosing instead to go to war to eradicate the fledgling Jewish state.
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the umbrella organization currently led by Palestinian Authority President and Fatah movement head Mahmoud Abbas, was created in 1964, three years before the 1967 war. What “occupation” was it seeking to “liberate”?
[See also EoZ The deceptions of Ben Ehrenreich]
Shame on the world’s anti-Semitic media
Four Israelis butchered in Tel Aviv’s Max Brenner restaurant (Max Brenner is one of the Israeli chocolate brands targeted by the BDS) and the whole foreign media is “mistaken” once again the headlines.
La Repubblica, Italy’s largest newspaper, called the Palestinian Arab terrorists “aggressors”. Il Corriere della Sera, another large Italian daily, called them “killers”.
From Le Monde to Libération and Le Nouvel Obs, the entire French mainstream press used the word “fusillade”: shooting.
CNN reported about the “terrorists” in quotation marks. The BBC used the phrase “Tel Aviv shooting” as if it was a criminal event, while Israeli security forces had already stopped the terrorists and there was no doubt about the attack's roots. Sky News also used “Mass Shooting in Tel Aviv”, while the Guardian wrote: “Three Dead in Tel Aviv Market Shooting.”
The Independent did something even worse, "Tel Aviv shooting, three killed and six wounded in Israeli attack capital". Not only did they refuse to use the word “terrorism,” but for them, Tel Aviv has become Israel's “capital” instead of Jerusalem (The Independent changed the headline after Honest Reporting’s protests). The New York Times was also unable to tell the truth and referred to the terrorists as “Palestinian gunmen”.
The best journalism was Fox News, which ran the headline: “Terror in Israel”. Was that so difficult?
NGO Monitor: Will European Parliaments Halt Funds to Israeli Political NGOs?
In all three instances, the parliamentary debates, votes, and policy changes followed recent briefings from NGO Monitor, based on our research reports. The need for responsible policies regarding NGO funding from Europe has been repeated by Israeli government officials, diplomats, and members of the Knesset in their contacts with European counterparts.
These changes and the requirement for close oversight, including the involvement of parliament, mark fundamental changes in the way NGOs are funded by these countries. The extreme secrecy in budgets for radical NGOs, involving tens of millions of euros, opened the door for many abuses, including BDS and other forms of demonization. Similar steps are underway in the European Union, despite some efforts to block transparency and discussion, and in other countries that are involved in these activities.
Not coincidentally, the changes in European government NGO funding processes also come at an important time in the context of the parallel Israeli debate. After years of “under the radar” European interference through funding for a very selected group of Israeli NGOs (most affiliated with the US-based opposition organization known as the New Israel Fund), efforts are underway to end this political manipulation. Israelis have realized that no other democracy is subject to this type of attack on national sovereignty, through the manipulation of civil society organizations.
Under the framework of transparency, and following the precedent set in the US Congress, the Knesset is weighing laws that would require NGOs that are funded by foreign governments to declare this when they lobby and interact with official frameworks. But if European officials scale back or end this irresponsible practice, which is used uniquely to undermine Israeli democracy and sovereignty, and negotiate funding guidelines with their Knesset counterparts, such legislation will be unnecessary. Such a cooperative outcome would also mark a fundamental improvement in relations between official Europe and Israel.
PreOccupiedTerritory: EU Flings Sacks Of Money At Anti-Israel NGOs, Injuring 30 (satire)
Israeli medical crews rushed to treat dozens of far-left-wing activists today for injuries sustained after being hit by sacks of cash indiscriminately flung by the European Commission at those activists’ organizations.
Thirty people were injured, four seriously, when the sacks struck them around midday Monday, with a further eight people being treated for shock. According to police, the sacks of cash came flying through the air and hit the personnel of the recipient organizations. Seven of the victims required hospitalization, while eight were treated and released, and the remainder treated at the scene.
Tel Aviv District Commissioner Dur Bann told reporters that shortly before noon, European Union representatives in Israel launched four dozen eight-kilo burlap bags of cash toward a random assortment of NGOs whose work involves undermining Israeli legitimacy or impairing the proper application of the rule of law and security maintenance in Israel proper and in Judea and Samaria. The sacks of money crashed through the windows of the organizations’ offices, resulting in flying glass that accounted for more than half the injuries.
“According to witness statements, at this point it appears that the sacks of cash, distributed with little or no regard for their effect, caused mostly glass-related injuries,” said Bann. “We have asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to lodge a protest with the European Commission over this incident, but we cannot arrest any suspects at the EU offices, as the personnel there still enjoy diplomatic immunity.”
Paramedic officials said only a few people were injured directly by the flying sacks of cash. “Two persons standing near the window at the Peace Now office suffered skull and neck fractures from the impact of the sack,” said Magen David Adom spokeswoman Faye Spalm. “At more or less the same time, two sacks full of money struck the Breaking the Silence offices. One person’s foot was stuck between the sack and a piece of furniture, and may require amputation.”
Muslim Terror in Israel and America Evokes Irrational Responses from the Left
In the totality of the collective untimely salvos at Israel where were any comments regarding the responsibility of the Palestinian Arab leadership? For example, Hamas was eager to take responsibility for the attack, offering praise to the murderers. Mahmoud Abbas provided a general statement which criticized violence, yet offered no specific condemnation of the attack.
Am I the only one who thinks that after such an event, it might be an appropriate time to suggest Mahmoud Abbas publically condemn the murderers and announce strict measures to prevent such attacks, since the terrorists came from territory he is responsible for? Is it unreasonable to expect that mainstream media such as MSNBC include comments about how little is done by the Palestinian leadership to prevent ongoing terror? Moreover, would be reasonable to expect that MSNBC state that murdering innocent civilians is unacceptable, period, even if their network disagrees with Israeli policies.
Might one expect that the UNCHR urge the Palestinian leadership to act more like a genuine peace partner by cracking down on the extended intifada which has pushed the prospects for peace further away than ever. Where are such voices?
Statements from the EU, Britain and even the US did not mention a word about the need for the Palestinian Arabs and their leadership to do a better job of policing their own. General statements condemning the violence do nothing to prevent similar murders from reoccurring. This is inexcusable.
When the response to terrorism is viewed as less acceptable than terrorism itself, it’s a welcome mat for more.
Sometimes I wonder if two Israelis were sitting in a café in Ramallah or Gaza City and suddenly without warning started shooting indiscriminately at Palestinian Arabs, murdering them in cold blood, what might world reaction be to such horror?
On second thought maybe it’s not such a good idea to wonder such things.
Lynch: Transcripts of Orlando Killer’s Talks With Negotiators Will Omit References to Islamic Terrorism
Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Sunday that published transcripts of conversations between the Orlando nightclub shooter and negotiators would omit his pledge of allegiance to the Islamic State terrorist group.
In an interview on Meet The Press, Lynch said the FBI would be releasing a “partial transcript” of Omar Mateen’s calls to law enforcement while inside the Orlando gay nightclub where he murdered 49 people, the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil since September 11, 2001.
Mateen reportedly pledged allegiance to ISIS in a 911 call shortly after he began his rampage.
“It will be primarily a partial transcript of his calls with the hostage negotiators,” Lynch said.
“You say partial,” host Chuck Todd said. “What’s being left out?”
“What we’re not going to do is further proclaim this individual’s pledges of allegiance to terrorist groups and further his propaganda,” Lynch said.
“So we’re not going to hear him talk about those things,” Todd said.
Orlando and Tel Aviv Shootings Highlight American-Israeli Dichotomy on Guns
In a span of less than a week, deadly shooting sprees at the hands of gunmen affiliated with Islamic terror movements rocked Orlando and Tel Aviv. In America, the deadliest mass-murder attack since Sept. 11, 2001, has strengthened calls for stricter gun-control laws. Yet, in Israel, where many civilians carry firearms, questions on how the terrorists acquired their weapons did not spark national debate.
“Israelis relate to guns totally differently than Americans,” said Marc Provisor, director of security projects for One Israel Fund, an organization that provides security equipment to Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria, and the Jordan Valley.
A majority of terrorists who have attacked Israelis in recent months have been neutralized by armed Israelis, including police officers, off-duty soldiers, and even civilians.
“People here have guns out of a grim necessity. It’s not a hobby,” Provisor told
PreOccupiedTerritory: Harrowed Khamenei Describes His Orlando Nightclub Ordeal (satire)
Now back in the safety of the Iranian capital, Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei described for well-wishers the tale of his miraculous survival in the Orlando, Florida nightclub where a Muslim radical killed 50 people and injured 53 on Sunday.
Khamenei, still visibly distraught from the horror of the incident, escaped harm by hiding behind and under other patrons, and managed to hold another person between himself and the gunman long enough to escape the carnage. Friends and relatives in Iran described his actions as heroic.
The Supreme Leader, 76, was spirited back to Iran immediately following the shooting. He had traveled to Orlando to visit the various Disney theme parks and the Universal Studios resort, and in the course of his stay discovered that Pulse, an establishment catering mostly to an LGBT clientele, was celebrating Latin Night as part of Pride Week, and he decided to check out the scene, which is illegal back home in Iran.
However, recalled the Ayatollah, gunfire soon rang out and people scrambled. He managed to avoid being seen by Omar Mateen, the shooter, at one point even flinging a 25-year-old man into the path of the gunfire, an act he regards as heroic. “I soiled myself, but kept my wits about me,” he said, breathing heavily as the moments came back. “Somehow I managed to conceal myself from the shooter. I managed to maintain a buffer between him and me of at least one person who was immodestly dressed, and therefore deserved to be shot. But it was close. I hightailed it out of there as best I could.”
Guardian smears Israel in article on the right-wing extremism of Jo Cox’s murderer
News reports on the shocking murder of Labour MP Jo Cox have centered on the extremist political affiliations of the 52 year-old man arrested for the crime, Thomas Mair of Birstall, West Yorkshire. For instance, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, “Mair was a dedicated supporter of the National Alliance (NA), the once premier neo-Nazi organization in the United States, for decades”.
Yet, Mark Townsend, home affairs editor for the Observer (sister site of the Guardian), in an article published on June 18th (Why has the far right made West Yorkshire a home?), somehow managed to tie Israel into the story.
The reference to EDL’s (English Defence League) supposed support for Israel is completely inappropriate in the context of the article, as the far-right group’s alleged position on that particular issue is not even minimally central to their mission. Nor is the information in any way helpful in contextualizing the extremist views of Jo Cox’s suspected murderer.
Community Security Trust (CST), the charity tasked with protecting British Jews, has demonstrated that the claim that “Zionists are somehow in bed with the Muslim haters of the EDL” is nothing but dangerous lie, and that the decision by EDL leaders to, for instance, fly the Israeli flag at some rallies merely represented a cynical (and entirely unsuccessful) effort to attract British Jews to their cause.
British Jews (the overwhelming majority of whom identify with Israel) have, in fact, consistently condemned the group.
On the Labor candidate who thought Hizb ut Tahrir wasn’t “extremist”
Australia - A FEDERAL Labor candidate has been revealed to have close ties with Islamic extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir.
Christian Kunde, Labor’s candidate for the NSW seat of Farrer, ... last night resigned after The Daily Telegraph made inquiries into his background.
Labor leader Bill Shorten was reported to be furious that Mr Kunde’s links to the firebrand senior spokesman of Hizb ut-Tahrir in Australia, Uthman Badar, had not been disclosed during the preselection process…
Mr Badar was banned in 2014 from delivering a lecture at the Opera House entitled “Honour Killings Are Morally Justified” after widespread outrage.
Mr Kunde attended several events with Mr Badar and vigorously defended attacks against him and claims that he supported terrorism.
In fact, Badar is spokesman for a group whose Australian head, Sheik Wahwah, has preached Jew hatred:
THE top Australian cleric of extremist Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir has ramped up his hate speech in a rant referring to Jews as who have “corrupted the world” and will “pay for blood with blood”....
In Mr al-Wahwah’s latest video speech, he says “refraining from fighting (Jews) constitutes widespread evil”.
“Jews are the most evil creature of Allah. Moral corruption is linked to the Jews, prostitution in the world began with the Israelites. Usury and gambling began with the Israelites, killing began with the Israelites.”
Daphne Anson: Aussie Greens' Policy Imperils Israel (video) & Greens Candidate Digs at Danby's "Duality"
In the lead-up to the imminent Australian federal election (2 July), the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network sent questionnaires to candidates soliciting their attitudes towards Israel and Palestine.
Australian Greens member for Melbourne Adam Bandt (who used to be the Greens' deputy leader under former leader Senator Christine Milne, predecessor to Richard Di Natale) was among those who answered with alacrity, and with the answers APAN hoped to hear.
But there can have been no surprise, given Bandt's and his party's form on the subject.
Nor can there have been surprise at the alacrity with which he agreed to take part in an APAN forum, at which Sophie Ismail, Labor candidate for Melbourne, spoke.
Here's a video showing how dangerous Adam Bandt and the Greens are: frankly, any supporter of Israel who votes for the Greens in the forthcoming election needs his or her head examined.
Adam Bandt [Australian Greens MP] Israel and Palestine Adopting a Just Position
APAN hosted Australian Greens MP Adam Bandt and Labor Member for Melbourne Sophie Ismail on 13/6/16 for a 1.5 hour discussion on "Palestine & Israel: Adopting a Just Position".
I selected what I believe are the most consequential quotes from Adam. Please be aware that I have cut and pasted these from this discussion and if that has caused them to be misconstrued it is not my intention, in fact I went to great lengths to ensure the quotes were left as they were said as much as possible for a short video.
As the 2016 Federal Election is coming up, I believe that this topic is of great interest to many Australians and they may benefit from understanding more about the stances of our politicians before voting.
I have also annotated this video in parts where I have found information that contradicts their statements as well as where it supports them. I have tried to use sources that are objective as possible knowing full well this is a very contentious topic. Following are the links to the sources referenced in this video.

A School of Anti-Semitism?
Jewish students no longer feel safe at the School of Oriental and African Studies
Earlier this year, SOAS held an ‘Israel Apartheid Week’ , culminating in a vote to ‘boycott’ the Jewish state: not a student protest, but an official, university-sanctioned boycott. Needless to say, there have been no comparable protests against Syria, Saudi Arabia or China, which have far worse human rights records. You might forgive a bit of idealised student geo-political ignorance, but Soas’s decision to boycott Israel was made with the endorsement of the school’s academic staff. The vote was preceded by a six-week campaign during which an ‘apartheid wall’ was constructed and anti-Israel activists went around menacing their fellow students with fake machine guns. Little wonder that Soas Jewish Society president Moselle Paz Solis said the whole experience had left some students feeling isolated. ‘We are too scared to go anywhere so we walk in a group to the station,’ he says. ‘People come up to me and say I heard you hate Palestinians.’ She doesn’t, of course. But such is the ferocity and political dishonesty of the campaigners that Jewish students are considered fair game by some of their more impressionable fellow students.
‘I was surprised that a majority of the academic staff voted in favour of a boycott that left so many Jewish students felling vulnerable,’ says Dr H. ‘But if Arab and Islamic courses are increasing, as they are, then surely the number of academics in those areas will be too.’
Pretty much all student societies at Soas have no choice but to conform to the Islamo-Marxist orthodoxy. Last year, an Israeli student was ejected from the Israeli Society (which is staunchly ‘anti-Zionist’) for having the temerity to oppose the boycott. There is little or no tolerance for anyone who objects to the demonisation of Israel and the casual visitor could be forgiven for thinking that only one religion is tolerated on campus. There’s a designated ‘multi-faith’ prayer room, but the noticeboard has only Islamic information. There’s no prohibition on the monthly meditations of the Urdu/Panjabi poetry-lovers’ group, but those who use the room are expected to conform to Islamic precepts. ‘If I was doing my Hindu prayers to íshvar (Skt. ‘Lord’), then that wouldn’t be a problem,’ says Dr H. ‘But a múrti (Skt. ‘image/statue’) would not be permissible in the prayer room as it violates the sanctity of the place.’ So the Soas prayer room is welcoming to people of all religions, provided they observe the diktats of the sharia. Small wonder the room is used almost exclusively by Muslims.
BBC Trust rejects appeals on Willcox ‘Jewish hands’ complaints
Eighteen months after the original broadcast, the BBC Trust’s Editorial Standards Committee has now published its findings concerning complaints about remarks made by Tim Willcox during a broadcast from Paris after the terror attacks at the office of Charlie Hebdo magazine and the Hypercacher supermarket in January 2015.
Readers will no doubt recall that in response to complaints, the BBC originally claimed that Willcox’s subsequent apology on Twitter sufficed. Having received a large number of complaints, the BBC then decided to consolidate them. Concurrently, additional complaints made to OFCOM were rejected.
In other words, the BBC Trust appears to be claiming that because anti-Israel activists – and murderous antisemites – use the terms ‘Israel’ and ‘Jewish’ interchangeably, it is legitimate for it to adopt the same language and that the use of such language is legitimate according to its editorial guidelines. One can of course only speculate whether or not the BBC would find it similarly appropriate to adopt and amplify the language of ‘justification’ used by those perpetrating acts of violence against, for example, the gay community.
Notably, this is not the first time that the self-regulating BBC Trust has rejected appeals concerning remarks made by this reporter, despite their having been flagged up by expert bodies dealing with antisemitism: the CST and the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism.
Successful cancer drug made in Israel? BBC won't tell you
An Israeli-developed drug cocktail that has been shown to cure 58% of terminally ill cancer patients has been approved in record time by the National Health Service of the United Kingdom.
BBC, reporting the story, failed to mention that the drug was developed in Israel. So discovered Michael Ordman of Israel's Good News Newsletter.
The Sheba Medical Center in Tel HaShomer, near Ramat Gan, Israel, reported a year ago that Dr. Yaakov Schachter, head of Sheba's Ella Institute, had developed the new combination of drugs – a discovery that was hailed by the scientific community as "a major breakthrough in cancer research." Based on the drugs nivolumab and ipilimumab, the new medicine shrinks cancerous tumors or eliminates them altogether.
In its article of more than 600 words, BBC reported that "a pioneering pair of cancer drugs that unleash the immune system on tumours will be paid for by the NHS in England" and that the decision to approve the drugs "is one of the fastest in NHS history and is likely to be adopted throughout the UK." The article goes on to sing the praises of the new drug, but does not divulge a word as to its Israeli origins.
Final status negotiations on Area C passé for BBC’s Kevin Connolly
In other words, Connolly’s portrayal of a ‘rich’ Israel with “enough water” and – by inference – ‘poor’ Palestinians and Jordanians lacking water for crop irrigation is a very partial (although in no way unusual) picture of the real situation.
An additional notable feature of Connolly’s article is its use of politicised terminology – for example:
“Part of the [Dead Sea] shoreline is in the Palestinian West Bank under Israeli occupation so it’s possible that in future Palestinians too will reap the economic benefits of the sea’s unique properties.”
Not only does that framing do nothing to enhance audience understanding of the history of the region, but it also conceals the fact that, like all other parts of Area C, the future of the area concerned is to be determined in final status negotiations according to the terms of the Oslo Accords, to which the Palestinians are of course party.
Do BBC editorial guidelines on accuracy permit the misleading of audiences by means of an unqualified and preemptive claim about the end result of a process which has yet to take place?
Mass Nazi Salute at Euro 2016 Match Spurs French Police to Investigate Hungarian Fans for Antisemitism
French police are investigating a group of Hungarian soccer fans who were caught on camera performing the Nazi salute during their team’s Euro 2016 match against Iceland on Saturday, the UK’s Daily Mail reported.
The fans in question, believed by police to be far-Right “ultras” (soccer enthusiasts whose fanaticism about the game often erupts into violence), were wearing identical black shirts with the word “Magyarország” (Hungary) in white letters, as they made the Hitlerian gesture, en masse, in the direction of the competing team.
The incident, a police source said, “could lead to prosecutions under anti-racism laws, and legislation aimed at combating antisemitism.”
According to the Daily Mail, the Stade Velodrome, the stadium in Marseilles where the match took place, is located near a Jewish district, whose residents regularly complain of verbal and physical intimidation at the hands of antisemites.
The Hungarian fans under investigation were seen climbing over segregation walls after the match and brawling with stewards.
Anti-Semitic attack in Belgian elementary school
A 12-year-old Jewish boy studying in a school in Rennes-le-Château, south of Brussels, claims to have been the victim of an anti-Semitic attack by three fellow students, in what his mother has described as a “gas attack in showers.”
The Jewish boy’s mother filed a complaint last Thursday to the local police which is currently investigating the claims. The school itself also opened an internal investigation. According to the individual responsible for the investigation at the municipality of Rennes-le-Château, it was still not possible to determine the veracity of the charges leveled by the pupil. He also said that the city municipality is considering turning to an outside official in order to conduct the investigation.
The pupil’s mother has been quoted in the Belgian media saying that her son told her about the trauma which he underwent in elementary school. The boy complained about verbal and physical attacks which included obscenities, anti-Semitic jokes and punches which continued for between one and two years. Three pupils, one of whom is the son of one of the teachers, are responsible for the alleged attack.
According to the mother, the systematic abuse began in 2015 when her son told her that he had been “gassed in the showers” when the bullies sprayed him with deodorant and beat him with mops on his hands and on his back. The boy claimed that he had repeatedly informed one of the school teachers of the abuse for two years but its significance was downplayed. “My son will leave the school soon. It is important that the teachers take his complaints seriously,” she said.
Spanish village formerly named ‘Kill Jews’ twins with Israeli town
The ancient Spanish town of Castrillo Matajudios (“Camp Kill Jews”) that changed its name last year to Castrillo Mota de Judios (“Jews’ Hill Camp”) has twinned with the northern Israeli town of Kfar Vradim (Village of the Roses).
A delegation from Castrillo Mota de Judios arrived in Israel on Sunday for a ceremony designating the two as twin towns to promote cultural, touristic and commercial ties.
The signing was attended by the mayor of the Spanish town, Lorenzo Rodriguez, and the Spanish Ambassador to Israel, Fernando Carderera.
“We’re here in the Promised Land to safeguard the roots of the town, established in 1035, “said Rodriguez alongside the head of the Kfar Vradim local council, Sivan Yehieli.
Rodriguez said the agreement twinning the towns marks a “new chapter in the history of Castrillo Mota de Judios,” announcing that archaeological digs were recently launched to “rediscover ancient roots” and set up a Jewish culture museum in the town.
Israeli startups have raised $356 million in June – so far
June continues to be a hot month of investments for Israeli startups, with companies raising an amazing $356 million in 20 days.
Just the first week of the month brought in an astounding $237 million. But instead of slowing down as the global markets indicate is happening in the rest of the world, Israeli startups are endlessly announcing multi-million dollar funding rounds.
Flash storage company Elastifile may not have brought in the biggest funding round but because of who its newest investor is, the Israeli storage software startup garnered top headlines this past week.
Cisco Systems invested $15 million in Elastifile, bringing its total investment this year to $50 million.
Sony Pictures Entertainment also promoted media and technology company, Interlude, to international headlines this past week with its announcement of a cash injection into the Israeli startup known for its Eko interactive storytelling platform. Financial details were not disclosed by US media said the investment is a “multi-million dollar” one.
Major Auto Makers Relying on Israeli Tech to Beat Google’s Driverless Car
Several major automakers are teaming up with an Israeli assisted-driving developer to beat Google to releasing driverless cars, Forbes reported Wednesday.
General Motors will be the first to integrate semiconductor chips from Mobileye that can map road condition in real-time into its vehicles, followed by Volkswagen and Renault-Nissan in 2018. The amount of data provided by these vehicles, which represent nearly a third of the global car market, will allow Mobileye to map local conditions effectively.
The mapping strategy adopted by Mobileye contrasts with that favored by Google, which records every detail of the roads its cars navigate in 3-D maps. For now, that’s limited Google to areas near its headquarters in California and a few select other locations in the United States. The enormous level of detail necessitated by Google’s approach could lead to bandwidth issues.
Google also differs in that it’s seeking to create an autonomous car with no controls, whereas Mobileye is pursuing a more gradual approach. The Jerusalem-based company will be modifying its existing technology, which is already used by 90 percent of the world’s automakers, to improve the accuracy of its mapping.
Los Angeles Dodgers sign Israeli in Major League first
Dean Kremer became the first Israeli to sign a contract with a Major League Baseball team.
The Los Angeles Dodgers signed Kremer, a 20-year-old Israeli-American Tuesday. The team drafted the right-handed pitcher in the 14th round of this month’s 2016 MLB draft.
Kremer, a Stockton, California native born to Israeli parents, was drafted last year in the 38th round by the San Diego Padres but did not sign with the team. He transferred from San Joaquin Delta College to the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, where he went 4-5 with a 4.92 ERA in 12 starts.
He was the first Israeli to be drafted by an MLB team.
Kremer played for Israel’s national baseball team for the past three years. He was named the European baseball championship’s most valuable pitcher each of the last two years and led Israel out of the tournament’s C-pool into the stronger B-pool last year.
To Russia with Bugs
Some 500 million little critters from Israel’s Bio-bee company will head to Russia, it was announced on Sunday.
Aiming to cut dependence on foreign agriculture imports as much as possible, Russia has been investing heavily in providing farmers with financial incentives for building greenhouses as well as using chemical-free pest prevention methods.
The country has banned the import of many European Union fruits, vegetables and even flowers, ever since violent conflict broke out between Russia and Ukraine, garnering sanctions from the EU.
Bio-bee stepped in when the Russian government called with its $1 million order.
This particular order of Bio-bee insects from Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu, near Beit She’an, included several types of predatory mites. Among them is the Phytoseiulus persimilis mite and the Amblyseius swirskii mite, which are intended to be a “natural pesticide” for crops of tomatoes, cucumbers and roses.
In addition, an order of Bombus terrestris – commonly known as bumblebees – will be sent to improve crop yields.
In Israeli desert, world's highest solar tower looks to future
In the middle of southern Israel's desert, engineers are hard at work building the world's tallest solar tower, reflecting the country's high hopes for renewable energy.
Once completed in late 2017, the Ashalim Tower will rise to 240 metres (787 feet), taller than Paris's Montparnasse Tower and London's Gherkin, according to the Israeli government and the consortium building it.
Covered in stainless steel, the square tower in the rocky Negev desert with a peak resembling a giant lighthouse will be visible from dozens of kilometres (miles) away.
A field of mirrors covering 300 hectares (740 acres) -- the size of more than 400 football pitches -- will stretch out from its base, directing sunlight toward the tower's peak to an area called the boiler, which looks like a giant lightbulb.
The boiler, whose temperature will rise to 600 degrees Celsius (1112 Fahrenheit), generates steam that is channelled towards the foot of the tower, where electricity is produced.
The construction, costing an estimated 500 million euros ($570 million), is being financed by US firm General Electric, with France's Alstom and Israeli private investment fund Noy also involved.
Israel's government launched a tender for the project in 2013, committing to purchase electricity from it over 25 years as part of a shift towards renewable energy and energy independence.
Why 1.6 million people have shared a music video in Hebrew
Israeli band Jane Bordeaux has won over Internet users with its visually captivating music video for the song “Ma’agalim” (Cycles). That the song is sung in Hebrew – which most of the 1.6 million viewers probably can’t understand – hasn’t halted its viral trajectory.
The video is set inside an old penny arcade in which a wooden doll is stuck in place while the world around her changes and passes by.
Viewers and critics have cited the gorgeous animation. A look at the credits shows that director Uri Lotan has worked on projects with Sony Pictures Image works, Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Animation Studios.
“Please take a few moments to immerse yourself in this lovely new music video for folk country trio Jane Bordeaux’s ‘Ma’agalim.’ The animated short transports us inside a device inspired by components from an old penny arcade device that contains a perpetually moving landscape where people go about their daily lives. The attention to detail in color and texture of every frame is breathtaking,” writes Christopher Jobson on Colossal, one of the top 50 blogs on the web.

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