Wednesday, August 17, 2016

From Ian:

A Soros Plan, a Marginalized Israel
Funding groups like Breaking the Silence is not an accident. As the 2013 leaked report says: "Our theory of change was based on strengthening the advocacy efforts of civil society organizations and platforms in order to maintain sustained and targeted international advocacy that would oblige the international community (mostly Europe and America) to act and to hold Israel accountable to its obligations under the international law."
In Obama's first term, this meant pushing for Israelis to be "held accountable" for the 2008-9 Gaza War, when Israel barraged Hamas positions interspersed in the civilian population. The foundation's Washington office arranged meetings in 2010 with Richard Goldstone, the author of a report that said Israel may have sought out civilian casualties. Goldstone recanted in 2011, saying the report was used to demonize Israel.
In this respect, Open Society is treating Israel the way it treats autocratic countries like Russia or Iran, as an adversarial abuser of human rights. In the case of Iran though, the group has also supported Obama's outreach to the country. "Human rights defense work remains an important priority for the Iran Program," a 2014 program summary says. "But should not be pursued to the exclusion of all other work, including work on supporting better policy outcomes such as support for a nuclear deal with Iran." In 2009, the Open Society Policy Center in Washington worked with other groups to open relations with Iran, and in 2015 the nuclear deal was signed.
There has been little progress on Open Society's goal of pressuring Israel. Eight years into the Obama administration, the organization has certainly not isolated Israel as a rogue state, and it's unclear what the threat of doing so has accomplished. While Obama has been more public than any of his predecessors in condemning Israeli settlements, he has also strengthened the U.S.-Israeli military bond. The U.S. today is close to signing a new 10-year extension of the defense subsidy to Israel. Obama's advisers promise it will be the most generous aid package in U.S. history. Meanwhile, the peace process has been dormant for more than a year.
This is not to say Israel doesn't have its problems. It faces boycotts on college campuses and frosty relations in Europe, and some businesses are wary of investing in the West Bank. But in a Middle East upended by civil war and revolution, the region's one open society has not become a pariah or ended its occupation of the West Bank. Despite the best efforts of George Soros and his foundations.
Isi Leibler: Has the ADL lost the plot?
I rubbed my eyes with incredulity when I read the bizarre statements emanating from Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), one of the most powerful American Jewish organizations whose principal mandate is to combat anti-Semitism.
A few months ago I was drawn into a heated dispute with Greenblatt after criticizing an address he delivered to J Street students which included implicit criticisms of Israeli government policy and a failure to urge J Street to cease demonizing Israel and canvassing the US government to intensify pressure against the Jewish state.
Instead, he should have encouraged them to engage in the battle against the mushrooming anti-Semitism proliferating on campus. Greenblatt responded that he was “impressed” with these students and felt that they were “the future Jewish leaders of our community.”
But more recently, Greenblatt appears to have entirely lost the plot, behaving as though he remained employed by the Obama administration.
He was entirely out of line in his condemnation of the Republican platform as “anti-Zionist” for omitting reference to a two-state solution.
One can disagree about a two-state policy, but for an American Jewish organization which must remain bipartisan and should be concentrating on anti-Semitism, to issue such a statement breaches all conventions. It is totally beyond the ADL’s mandate to involve itself in such partisan political issues.
Zionist-Hating Young Labour Chief Pictured Brandishing Gun
Young Labour’s International Officer Abdi-Aziz Suleiman sparked a furore over the weekend when he appeared on the Iranian state-run Press TV to defend Corbyn. He has previous. In another Press TV interview, Suleiman rails against “dedicated Zionists” and rants about Israel. When he was called out, he responded by arguing Israeli media should be boycotted instead. What does the Momentum-backed Corbynista get up to in his spare time? The above image of Suleiman brandishing a gun, finger curled around the trigger, has been circulating in Labour circles. He reassures Guido he was just on holiday in America. Glad to hear he’s not taking the whole Jezbollah thing too seriously…

Israeli peace festival in Scotland met by shouts from pro-Palestinian protesters
Hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters demonstrated outside of a peace festival featuring Jewish and Arab Israeli performers in Edinburgh, Scotland on Wednesday, calling out to those entering the venue, "Your tickets are covered in Palestinian blood."
The one-day, International Shalom Festival, was part of the Edinburgh Fringe, the world's biggest arts festival, which is taking place throughout August. The Shalom festival sought to bring together both Jews and Arabs in order to "build cultural bridges with Israel," according to pro-Israeli NGO StandWithUs, which organized the event.
However, the festival intended to build bridges was met by a boycott effort from the pro-Palestinian activists who shouted anti-Israel slogans and attempted to prevent patrons from entering the event, Tamir Oren, StandWithUs UK's director of public affairs who was present at the event said.
Police were called to the scene to keep the peace, and no injuries or arrests were initially reported.
Ariel, an Israeli artist performing at the festival, said that the protest against the festival was "sad" because "artists came from Israel and Arab countries with the goal of building a bridge, and we have here people who are not interested in coming together."
New Jersey to divest from firms supporting anti-Israel boycott
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has signed a bill banning the state's pension fund from investing in companies that boycott Israel. New Jersey's annual trade with Israel amounts to $1.3 billion.
The legislation, signed Tuesday night, will force the New Jersey State Investment Council to seek out, identify, and divest from companies that participate in the boycott movement. The council oversees more than $80 billion in pension funds. Firms providing humanitarian assistance to Palestinians through various organizations are exempt from the ban unless the organization participates in the prohibited boycotts.
Christie criticized U.S. President Barack Obama for being at odds with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying, "Israel is the beacon of democracy in a region that is constantly in turmoil." He also called Israel the "one, true, and best friend" of the United States.
In February, Obama released a statement accompanying a trade deal saying that his administration "strongly opposed" efforts to boycott Israel.
PLO's Erekat lashes out at Europe for not supporting Israel boycott
PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat expressed dismay at the European Union for failing to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel on Tuesday.
In an op-ed penned for Newsweek, Erekat said that the Palestinians had been "astonished" to see official EU representation at two recent anti-BDS conferences. Erekat claimed that the EU representative to Israel had both praised the Jewish state for its human rights record and stated that "settlement products are welcome in European markets.”
Erekat called on EU representatives, such as foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, to reverse statements to the effect that "no concrete actions" would be taken against Israeli "violations" of international law.
Singling out the UK's decision to criminalize boycott campaigns against Israel, Erekat said that the Palestinians would no longer accept empty statements of support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, "while granting immunity to Israeli crimes and systematic violations of international law."
Still searching for boycott of Turkish academia, finding only hypocrisy
I have been searching for evidence that supporters of the academic boycott of Israel will now launch an academic boycott of Turkey in light of the widespread purge of Turkish academia after the failed coup, destruction of civil society including the judiciary and media, suppression of Kurdish self-determination, and complicity in the Syrian civil war that has killed hundreds of thousands, among other offenses.
But so far, no luck in my search, just some hot air by American academics expressing outrage:
  • Internet hunt: Find anti-Israel academic boycotters also boycotting Turkey
  • American Studies Association discussing possible academic boycott of Turkey, but why stop there?
  • Will anti-Israel academic boycotters now also boycott Turkish universities?
That purge now has passed 5,300 employees of Turkish higher ed, as reported by Inside Higher Ed:
Turkey’s Council of Higher Education announced Friday that a total of 5,342 university employees have been suspended since the July 15 coup attempt, according to reports in theDaily Sabah and The Hurriyet Daily News. A total of 4,225 academics and 1,117 administrative staff at public and private universities have reportedly been suspended from their positions as part of the government’s investigations into the failed coup. Many international higher education groups have expressed concerns about the government’s purges of the higher education sector.
Garbage skewers BDS in Israel show: 'We believe in intelligent debate'
Garbage front woman Shirley Manson on Tuesday forcefully rejected calls from Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) supporters to cancel their two-night gig in Israel.
“We as a band have been getting a bit of flack for coming to play Israel,” Manson told a rapt audience at the Amphi Shuni theater in Binyamina.
Manson, clad in brick-patterned tights with her pink hair pulled up in a bun, continued: “People are very very quick to make judgments and they know nothing, necessarily, about all the facts. But we in Garbage believe completely and entirely in tolerance and kindness and respect. We believe in non-violence, we believe in compromise and we believe in discourse and intelligent debate.”
Before taking the stage, Manson elaborated the band’s thinking in a Facebook post.
“As a musician I hold on to my right to travel to Israel and not be accused of denying the State of Palestine or of being on one side of the conflict over another. This is NOT the case. I know enough to understand that I don’t know enough about much,” she wrote. “I stand in the middle, hoping that peace prevails and the art of negotiation and compromise is practiced.
Pro-Israel group helps Texas high schooler win probe
A high school student, with help from the pro-Israel activist group StandWithUs, has won a formal probe against his Houston public school which refused to put an end to harassment of Jewish students by anti-Israel students identifying with Hamas. The anti-Israel students have replaced hung Israeli flags with Palestinian and Iranian flags, and have called for an intifada.
The incident is part of an increase in anti-Israel activity on high school and college campuses in the US, but has some extra shock value coming from the generally very pro-Israel state of Texas.
In November 2015, anti-Israel students at Eliav Terk’s public high school in Houston (Carnegie Vanguard High School) tore down Israeli flags during an international festival, replacing them with Palestinian and Iranian flags.
They then “ran around school wearing Hamas-affiliated scarves,” saying “Jerusalem is Ours” and “We’re coming for It,” while waving a large Palestinian flag, a statement from Stand- WithUs noted.
'Jewish college students in the US are a persecuted minority'
Of 941 incidents of anti-Semitism in the U.S. in 2015, some 90 took place on university campuses, says advocacy group • Declining global interest in the Palestinian issue is "driving the Palestinian Authority and its supporters crazy," says Likud MK.
The Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Tuesday held a special session on the growing targeting of Jewish students in the U.S. by the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.
The meeting was called by MKs Anat Berko (Likud) and Nachman Shai (Zionist Union) following a June 16 report in Israel Hayom, which found that Jewish students in renowned American universities, including NYU, the University of Pennsylvania, Connecticut College, the University of Oklahoma, Harvard, Claremont College in Los Angeles, and Vassar College in New York, to name a few, were being harassed by pro-Palestinian and BDS activists.
In some schools, Students for Justice in Palestine activists taped fake eviction notices on the doors of Jewish students' dorm rooms, and threatened to forcibly evict them if they refused to leave.
While the schools profess to oppose any anti-Israeli activity, they have done nothing against those accusing Israel of genocide, ethnic cleansing, and war crimes.
"BDS is a wave of anti-Semitism against Jews, which unfortunately has been taking place on so-called enlightened campuses [in the U.S.]," committee Chairman MK Avi Dichter (Likud) said.
Pro-Palestinian activist group denies compiling data on Jewish students at US campuses
Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), a pro-Palestinian student advocacy group, denied that it has been compiling data on Jewish students on college campuses in North America. Two pro-Israel groups active on campus also said they had no knowledge of such behavior.
Their comments came after Israel Radio reported on Tuesday that information on the alleged SJP activity was presented to members of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, which met to discuss efforts to boycott Israel by anti-Israel groups at US colleges. The radio report, which The Times of Israel subsequently reported, said the committee had vowed to work against the marking out of Jewish students.
Knesset member Anat Berko (Likud), one of the MKs who initiated the session, specified in an Israel Radio interview after the committee meeting that SJP has been collecting information on where Jews live at New York University among others. Asked by the (Hebrew-language) interviewer (at approx 23:00) about the “personal marking out of Jewish students,” Berko said the committee was told “about the marking out of Jewish dorms, of rooms of Jewish students (on campus), for example at New York University and other campuses.” She cited information from Miluimnikim BaHazit (Reservists On Duty), a pro-Israel advocacy group of IDF veterans.
The National Students for Justice in Palestine later told The Forward it had “never heard of such cases,” but said “all SJP chapters on campuses across the country are autonomously run.”
IsraellyCool: BDS Dumbassery of The Day: Let’s Boycott Life-Saving Drugs!
For those who don’t know, the NHS (National Health Service) is the publicly funded healthcare system for England. Teva is an Israeli multinational pharmaceutical company headquartered in Petah Tikva and is the largest generic drug manufacturer in the world. They are responsible for many life-saving drugs, and hold patents on multiple drugs including Copaxone, a specialty drug for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (now the world’s best selling MS drug), and Azilect (sold as Agilect in some countries) for treatment of Parkinson’s disease.
So, yes, FoAq, next time you are lying in an NHS hospital after a serious health scare, feel free to boycott the drugs they will try to administer to you in order to save your life.
Germany’s State-run Broadcaster Peddles Anti-Israel Water Libel as News
As a casual observer of German and European media, regular display of anti-Israel bias doesn’t surprise me anymore. But the report aired Sunday by German’s state-run broadcaster Tagesschau (ARD) during prime time was disturbingly biased — even by usual European standards. A video report titled “Dry Faucets in West Bank” was broadcasted on Germany’s most watched news show. The video clip accused Israel of ‘rationing the water supply’ of the Palestinian and diverting water resources to the neighbouring ‘Israeli settlements’.
The report narrated by ARD’s Israel correspondent Markus Rosch talks to a resident of a small Arab town of Salfit, who says, “We need water to live. Now there isn’t any. How can this go on like this?” The camera then switches to his little daughter who says she can’t go the holiday camps anymore due to water scarcity.
The story would be heartbreakingly tragic; if only it were true.
To check the facts, correspondent Markus Rosch doesn’t feel the need to consult any Israeli official or expert. He instead goes to Clemens Messerschmid, a German hydrologist based in the region. Messerschmidt is quick to blames this ‘water scarcity’ on — no prizes for guessing this one rights — the ‘Occupation’.
According German media watchdog Honestly Concerned, Messerschmid is the same genius scientist who in 2014 accused Israel of flooding Gaza by opening the gates of its dams that were built for the sole purpose of flooding Gaza. Not just Arab media, but even some reputed Western media outlets ran wild with the story of apocalyptic ‘Gaza Floods’. Later Al Jazeera and other news outlets were forced to retract their articles after the story was exposed as hoax.
BBC policy of ignoring Gaza smuggling continues
As has consistently been the case for many months, there was no BBC coverage of these latest smuggling attempts. That of course means that when the BBC states (as it frequently does) that “Israel says” that the restrictions on the import of weapons and dual-use goods into the Gaza Strip are for reasons of security, audiences have an insufficient understanding of the background and the facts to be able to put that statement – and the restrictions themselves – into the correct context.
Honest Reporting: Does Israeli Media Need to Be Saved?
Gavin Gross, a New York native who now lives in Israel, is a former director of public affairs at the British Zionist Federation, and is a member of HonestReporting’s Israeli amutah (non-profit governing committee).
Anyone who has visited or studied Israel knows that it can be a very tempestuous and argumentative place, with a wide range of hotly expressed opinions. Members of Israel’s national parliament, the Knesset, often descend into finger pointing and shouting during fierce debates. In the same way, Israel’s media shares a similar reputation for its boisterous, wide-ranging and no-holds-barred approach to reporting, politics and opinion.
Despite this, the New York Times recently published an opinion piece by Ruth Margalit which makes serious allegations about Israel’s media landscape, entitled “How Benjamin Netanyahu Is Crushing Israel’s Free Press.”
Is that a fair and accurate assessment, or wildly exaggerated?
While there are some troubling issues (more on that below), Margalit’s wrong on several counts.
The New York Times at 120
One hundred and twenty years ago, on August 18, 1896, the precociously ambitious 28-year-old publisher of the Chattanooga Times, Adolph S. Ochs, purchased the financially flailing New York Times. Rejecting the sensationalist “yellow journalism” of its competitors, Ochs preferred a “clean, dignified and trustworthy” newspaper that would, in the enduring front-page motto that he introduced two months later, provide “All the News That’s Fit to Print.”
Six months previously, a Jewish lawyer-turned-journalist named Theodor Herzl had published a pamphlet entitled Der Judenstaat, propelling Zionism to world attention. In its first mention of Herzl the Times identified him as “originator of the Zionist scheme.” With the approaching Zionist conference in Basel in August 1897, it paid closer attention to “The Jewish State Idea,” warily wondering “is it feasible”?
In Europe and the United States, the Times concluded, “There are many Jews who oppose the founding of this State on the ground that it could only be a small, weak State, existing by sufferance.” It was also “urged” – although the Times did not identify those doing the urging – “that Israel’s mission is no longer political, but purely and simply religious, and that the establishment of the State would do incalculable harm, and could do no good.” Indeed, it would inevitably raise the lurking menace of dual loyalty that has haunted the Times ever since.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Israeli Teachers Find 2016-17 Curriculum Has No Anti-Arab Incitement (satire)
Public school teachers in Israel preparing for the 2016-2017 school year have discovered that the neither the Ministry of Education nor local governments have included anti-Arab incitement in the curriculum, a teachers’ union representative said today.
Primary and secondary educators conducting meetings and preparing lesson plans for the coming academic year are reporting that they are not expected to teach the glories of killing or abusing ethnic minorities, and that no local or governmental mandates bind them to instilling in their students a drive to oppress or kill Palestinians in particular, says Avi Uss, a union spokesman.
“Anyone consuming international media coverage of the Arab-Israeli conflict is going to be rightly shocked,” commented Uss. “That includes a good number of our teachers, who of course are some of the best, well-rounded, dedicated educators on the planet. Imagine their surprise to discover that, despite the media’s efforts at balance, which requires portraying Israeli and Palestinian societies as two sides of the same violent coin, their own government and culture do not expect of them to dehumanize the other.”
“This goes against everything I’ve been taught by The Guardian and Haaretz,” worried Hasa Ta, a Tel Aviv literature teacher. “I’m not sure how well equipped I can claim to be for my mission as an educator if the Ministry of Education doesn’t match its expectations to the ones created by the BBC and the Times of London.”
Israeli Traveler Says Chilean Border Official Defaced His Passport
The Daily Mail reports: An Israeli man has accused a Chilean border official of defacing his passport with pro-Palestinian words and a rude drawing.
Tal Y’aakobi, from Rosh HaAyin claims the member of staff drew a penis and the phrase ‘Viva Palestinia’, which translates as ‘Long Live Palestine,’ on his travel document while he was crossing the border from Argentina during a holiday.
The 25-year-old man alleges that he was held for an hour and a half by hostile staff when trying to cross the border.
He believes that the drawing was written on one of the pages of his passport at this time. But because the scribble was hidden inside the document, he says that he didn’t notice it until four days later.
Y’aakobi was then forced to spend £200 on replacing his passport when he returned to Israel after his holiday.
Watch: German vice-chancellor gives middle finger to neo-Nazi protesters
A video depicting German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel giving the middle finger to a group of neo-Nazi-linked demonstrators has recently drawn uproarious attention.
While visiting northwestern Germany's Lower Saxony region on Friday, a group of masked far-right protesters bombarded the German official while holding banners and shouting slogans accusing him of being a "traitor," AFP reported Wednesday.
Gabriel's Social Democrat party reportedly confirmed the authenticity of the footage uploaded to social media by a youth branch of the neo-Nazi National Democratic Party (NPD) group - which Germany has sought to ban.
The group allegedly accosted Gabriel during an election campaign event, apparently decrying him for distancing himself from the policies of his Nazi father.
Israeli-made theraputic contact lenses receive FDA approval
The FDA has approved a new therapeutic contact lens that will help treat corneal edema, a common eye condition in adults that causes swelling, a build-up of fluid, blurred vision, haziness and scarring. EyeYon, the Israeli company responsible for this development, created these special lenses in an effort to increase the amount of time eye drops can remain in the eye in order to help alleviate symptoms of the condition which is common after cataract and corneal transplant surgeries.
“(Drops) are washed out from the center of the cornea a few seconds after the patient blinks,” Nahum Ferera, CEO of EyeYon told The Media Line. “So, this lens has a very unique design that creates a cavity above the center of the cornea that increases contact time (with the eye drop solution).”
This Hyper-CL lens, which is unlike others on the market, has dual base curves, eight small holes and a reservoir above the center of the cornea, which is the part of the eye that deflects light and is responsible for about a third of the eye’s optical power.
The holes in the lens enable the prescribed drops and ointments to seep into the eye under the contact lens, allowing for the extraction of excess fluids from the cornea.
“Your eye has a membrane which is a layer of cells in the cornea which pumps water out of the cornea,” Dr. Brian Marr, associate professor at Memorial Sloan Kettering and Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City told The Media Line. “The cornea is like a dry sponge and the only thing that is keeping it dry is this endothelium (membrane of cells).”
When the cornea has too much fluid, vision is affected.
Tel Aviv Boasts Being Dog-Friendliest City in World
Tel Aviv claims to be the friendliest city in the world for dogs, having the highest number of canines per capita anywhere.
There are roughly 25,000 dogs, which works out to one pet per 17 residents, according to city officials. Pooches have access to 70 public dog parks and special beaches where they can play without a leash.
With a no-kill shelter, a city animal patrol that checks on animal abuse complaints, and 24/7 veterinary services for treating homeless animals, Tel Aviv has prioritized the welfare of dogs.
The city is hosting a first ever day for dogs, The Festival of Dogs of Tel Aviv-Jaffa in the Bnei Dan Park in Ganei Yehoshua on Aug. 26 to include adoption, information on caring for canines and more.
ISRAEL21c serves a taste of Israel at SF film festival
More than 1,000 moviegoers packed San Francisco’s Castro Theatre on July 23 for a screening of the Roger Sherman documentary The Search for Israeli Cuisine sponsored by Amy and Morton Friedkin as part of the annual San Francisco Jewish Film Festival.
Amy Friedkin, president of ISRAEL21c, addressed the sellout crowd that came to an after-movie culinary event at Aaxte with the filmmaker and the film’s host, Israeli-American chef Michael Solomonov, co-sponsored by Moses and Susan Libitzky and ISRAEL21c. Susan Libitzky is an ISRAEL21c board member.
San Francisco chefs Ryan Pollnow (Aaxte), Nick Balla and Cortney Burns (Bar Tartine) and Mourad Lahlou (Mourad and Aziza) paid homage to Solomonov’s award-winning Israeli-influenced cuisine with interpretations of dishes such as shakshuka, lamb kabobs, chicken liver, and latkes with smoked salmon.
Everyone had a great time and was inspired to learn about Israel through the story of its food,” says Nathan Miller, ISRAEL21c’s social media director. “The event gave people another perspective on what makes Israel a unique and special place — not just the food but the people behind the food.”
This theme tied in perfectly with the film’s compelling message and with ISRAEL21c’s mission to expand the conversation about contemporary Israel and its diverse culture, he and Friedkin added.
Ford buys SAIPS to meet pledge of driverless cars by 2021
Automobile manufacturing giant Ford has announced its buyout of Israeli computer vision and machine learning company, SAIPS. The acquisition comes in the wake of the giant car-maker’s pledge to develop driverless cars by 2021.
In a press statement, Ford said it is “investing in or collaborating with four startups to enhance its autonomous vehicle development, doubling its Silicon Valley team and more than doubling its Palo Alto campus.”
The acquisition of the Rehovot-based SAIPS is reportedly in the tens of millions of dollars though no financial details of the buyout were disclosed.
“The next decade will be defined by automation of the automobile, and we see autonomous vehicles as having as significant an impact on society as Ford’s moving assembly line did 100 years ago,” said Mark Fields, Ford president and CEO. “We’re dedicated to putting on the road an autonomous vehicle that can improve safety and solve social and environmental challenges for millions of people – not just those who can afford luxury vehicles.”
Intel’s new ‘merged reality’ headset sports made-in-Israel tech
Israeli-developed technology took center stage at Intel’s annual Developer Forum in San Francisco Tuesday as the company unveiled its new virtual/augmented reality system, code-named Project Alloy.
The system was introduced by Intel CEO Brian Krzanich in his keynote address at the event as an “all in one, self-contained virtual reality solution made from the ground up.”
Along with the new product, Intel introduced a new term — “merged reality” — which is where the Israeli part of Alloy comes in. While most virtual reality systems today are totally immersive, meaning you can get “lost” in the virtual world, Alloy allows users to integrate elements of the real world in an experience.
“Through merged reality, see your hands, see your friends … see the wall you are about to run into,” according to Intel. “Not only can you see these elements from the real world, but you can use your hands to interact with elements of your virtual world, merging realities.”
Alloy does this using Intel’s RealSense technology, a version of advanced gesture-based computing that allows users to interact with the camera and computers — for example, enabling them to change TV channels by moving their fingers in the air. Developed largely at Intel’s Haifa research labs, RealSense sees the distance between objects and separates objects from the background layers behind them. This visual data provides much better object, facial and gesture recognition than a traditional camera, according to the company, and creates a touch-free interface that responds to hand, arm, and head motions as well as facial expressions.
Hapoel Beer Sheva pose serious threat to Celtic's Euro ambition
Barak Bakhar will not be a name familiar to Scottish football's fervent followers. At least not yet.
Bakhar leads his Hapoel Beer Sheva side to Celtic Park on Wednesday for the first leg of their play-off tie with the sole intention of dragging the unheralded club into their first ever Champions League group stage.
It is not something he is just hoping to do - he expects to. And that does not appear to be beyond the popular 36-year-old from Haifa.
While Claudio Ranieri was making global headlines for his odds-defying English Premier League coronation with Leicester City, Bakhar was doing something similar in Israel.
Like Leicester, Beer Sheva are not part of the 'big four' quartet that is made up of powerhouse clubs Maccabi Tel Aviv, Hapoel Tel Aviv, Maccabi Haifa and Beitar Jerusalem.
Yet they emerged top of the pile, two points clear of Hapoel Tel Aviv, who remain the most decorated club in the country.
It was their first championship in 40 years and it shook Israeli football to its core.
This was no accident either. (h/t Zvi)
Israeli scientist may have proved Hawking’s black hole theory
In his new paper Steinhauer explains that he simulated a black hole event horizon by cooling helium to just above absolute zero (-273.15°C or -59.67°F), and then heating it rapidly to create a barrier impenetrable to sound waves, similar to light from a black hole.
During the experiment, Steinhauer found that tiny particles of energy that formed sound waves did escape his simulated black hole, as Hawking predicted.
“This confirms Hawking’s prediction regarding black hole thermodynamics,” Steinhauer wrote in the introduction to his paper.
The findings were first published in April on the physics site. In order to published in Nature Physics, the research first had to undergo intense peer review, with experts checking if Steinhauer’s observations could be attributed to something else, such as tiny vibrations caused by flaws in the experiment’s design.
According to numerous reports, Steinhauer’s observations on the ground-breaking theory could win Hawking his first Nobel Prize.
Ironically, Hawking supports the academic boycott of Israel, and in 2013 canceled his participation in a Jerusalem conference organized by then-president Shimon Peres.

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