Monday, November 21, 2016

From Ian:

Seth Frantzman:" ‘Everyone I hate is Hitler’- Dangerous politicization of antisemitism
The Left’s voices against antisemitism also have an Israel- centric narrative to them, that seeks to tar pro-Israel groups as not only whitewashing antisemitism but being tied to Trump to discredit them. “Trump lends hope to Israel’s right,” The New York Times claimed. “Trump emboldens Israel’s far right,” wrote Saeb Erakat. America’s “most powerful Jewish organizations” have “kept quiet during the most bigoted presidential campaign in history,” wrote Peter Beinart.
They even perform the trick of pulling an antisemitic rabbit out of a Zionist hat. “Strange but true that many ardent Zionists view Western antisemitism as good,” wrote journalist Dan Murphy on Twitter. “How Bannon and Brietbart can be pro-Israel and antisemitic at the same time,” headlined The Forward. In the article Todd Gitlin at Columbia University claimed that “the coexistence of antisemitism and right-wing Zionism ‘in Trump’s world make sense.’” A new narrative is forming to claim that Zionism is actually a form of antisemitism. This fulfills a kind of fantasy on parts the Left whereby being pro-Israel will now be seen as a component of being antisemitic, which will mean that the reality of radical-left antisemitism will forever be inured from claims it is antisemitic.
“Israeli Right works with antisemites” is that goal many anti-Zionists have always had in mind since the 1920s when they suggested that Zionism was a form of antisemitism because it called into question the place of Diaspora Jewry. The strange intersection of this election has allowed this fringe view to take center stage.
Rarely in history has antisemitism been so politicized, so untethered from real acts of antisemitism. Can we escape the train wreck that is about to happen, where some elements of the Left tar Zionism as antisemitism and the Right stays mired in its over-use of claims of antisemitism? In the recent documentary The Last Laugh, co-writers Ferne Pearlstein and Robert Edwards looked at comedians making fun of the Holocaust. In the film many comedians, such as Sarah Silverman, make fun of the genocide, calling it “alleged Holocaust” in one scene. She’s mocking antisemites, but what happens when antisemites think it’s funny? There is also “Holocaust fatigue,” says Edwards. “When it gets to the point where people roll their eyes and it has no effect anymore, then you have a real problem.” Have we watered it down too much? In the 2013 Pew Survey, “remembering the Holocaust” was the most important aspect of Jewish identity for 73 percent of American Jews. Antisemitism is a major portion of identity. But we’ve also educated generations to see more antisemitism than there is, to mock the Holocaust while at the same time seeing a new Holocaust as just around the corner as media claims we live in the 1930s.
Claiming “antisemitism” is easy, but that’s precisely why it should be done sparingly.
Too much crying wolf over antisemitism has harmed its meaning. It is also leading to shocking levels of people believing they are just years away from being sent to concentration camps. An honest discussion should be had on the Left and Right of American Jewry to stop exaggerating and work to confront real incidents of antisemitism and not waste time inventing bogeymen and fearmongering. (h/t Elder of Lobby)
How Israel Surprised the World During Its President's Visit to India
President Barack Obama skipped his scheduled visit to the Taj Mahal in Agra last year because American sharpshooters were not allowed on the premises of the monument. The U.S. security agencies assessed that the American President was unsafe in a Muslim-dominated area.
If Muslim dislike was the reason that kept Obama away from the Taj Mahal, it should have surely stopped Israel's President Reuven Rivlin from even considering a visit to Agra. But Rivlin did visit Agra and was photographed, along with his wife, in front of the Taj Mahal.
Another notable surprise was Rivlin's visit to Teen Murti to pay homage to Indian soldiers who fought for and fell at Haifa. Most Indians would not know the history of the Teen Murti monument; the Israelis do. During World War I, Haifa was captured by the British 15th Imperial Cavalry Brigade comprising regiments of the Hyderabad, Mysore and Jodhpur Lancers.
Over 25 years of diplomatic relations, Israel has given to India unquestioningly. We desperately needed ammunition during the Kargil conflict, Israel shipped the shells to us overnight. We needed air-surveillance platforms, Israel provided them to us. With Russia faltering as India's primary supplier of weaponry, Israel stepped into the gap. A lot more can be added to the list - from agricultural and water technology to high-end satellite technology and sensors on borders to monitor movements.
A gaggle of extremists and Marxists issued a statement condemning Rivlin's visit to India. The statement hilariously demanded that India should join the "Boycott, Divest, Sanction" movement against Israel - a movement which has little to do with Palestinian aspirations and is really about anti-Semitism.
India-Israel Relationship Is on the Upswing
The current visit of Israeli President Reuven Rivlin to India highlights how both the nations are emerging from the closet to become natural allies. Long- held balancing acts in India-Israel relations have gone now. With the coming of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the era of India's staid diplomatic establishment was replaced by active engagement of nations, cutting across ideological barriers of the Cold War days. It is now crystal clear that Modi has placed national interest first, while making friends and, cornering enemies. At such a crucial juncture, the arrival of President Rivlin on a six-day visit to India, reflects how pragmatism is guiding bilateral ties, banishing the lull that overshadowed it, for nearly a decade during the UPA rule.
But, thanks to former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao, who first established full diplomatic ties with Israel in 1992, today, the country is reaping the benefits of an ally, which is so vital for our key advancements in defence and technology, to name a few. India-Israel partnership had witnessed rejuvenation during former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's tenure. Indeed, Israel's immediate supply of high-powered equipment was one of the major supports our Armed Forces received to make significant gains in the Kargil conflict with Pakistan. Thus, the India-Israel bond is not just a seasonal one; it has deep roots as well. There was a time when the coming closer for both the nations was stalled by India's growing proximity to Israel's enemies in the region. It seems, under Modi, India is ready to reap the rewards of its friendship with the Jewish state in crucial areas like weapons and military equipment, technology, agriculture and also in diamonds and many more.

Isi Leibler: The Trump revolution, Israel and American Jews
The victory of Donald Trump in the US presidential elections will have long-term global repercussions at many levels. It represents a revolt against the extreme postmodernism which has undermined the moral fiber of the West and its willingness to defend itself, facilitating the emergence of brutal Islamic terrorism throughout the world.
Many, if not most, of those who voted for Trump were offended by his vulgarity and aggressive language and did not support all aspects of his policies. They voted for him because they regarded him as the only opportunity to break with the status quo. The refusal of his antagonists – the self-styled liberal guardians of democracy – to accept the outcome of the election was despicable and unprecedented and contrasts with the acquiescence of the defeated Republicans when Barack Obama won both of his elections.
Whether or not Trump will succeed in restoring America’s former global and political status remains to be seen. We should bear in mind that when Ronald Reagan was elected, the media and much of the “intelligentsia” described him as an idiot and predicted disaster.
But he proved to be one of the greatest American presidents.
Trump’s victory could have dramatic ramifications for Israel. Of course, pre-election undertakings are never fully implemented, but it is historically unprecedented for Israel to enjoy such a committed pro-Israel incoming president together with massive support from both houses of Congress.
Trump, who literally gushes over Israel, has always been closely associated with Jews in business and politics.
Aside from his family, his senior advisers include committed devotees of Israel.
Ex-CIA chief: Trump will usher in new age in US-Israel relations
Former CIA chief and Undersecretary of the Navy James Woolsey on Sunday blasted the Obama administration’s handling of the US-Israel relationship and its conciliatory stance vis-à-vis the Iranian regime.
A registered Democrat, Woolsey was critical of what he described as the Bush administration’s intelligence “failure” prior to the Iraq war.
In September, 2016, Woolsey crossed party lines to become Donald Trump’s senior national security adviser.
Woolsey broke with the Obama administration over budget cuts to the military, the controversial 2015 Iran nuclear deal, and the icy relations between the White House and Israel.
Speaking to Fox News on Sunday, Woolsey said the incoming Trump administration was likely to alter or reject the Iran nuclear deal, signed by the Obama White House but never ratified by the US Senate.
Trump and the Jews
ZOA President Morton Klein stated, “The ZOA welcomes the appointment of Stephen Bannon as chief strategist to the incoming Trump/Pence administration. We wish Mr. Bannon every success in his new position. We urge Jonathan Greenblatt and ADL to withdraw and apologize for their inappropriate character assassination of Mr. Bannon and Breitbart Media.”
Would Trump’s extraordinary pro-Israel advisers such as Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani, Mike Pence, Sheldon Adelson, and Orthodox Jews Jared Kushner, David Friedman, and Jason Greenblatt ever allow an anti-Semite or Israel-hater to work with them? Would Trump’s Orthodox-Jewish daughter Ivanka, whose children go to an Orthodox day school, ever allow an anti-Semite to work with her father? And, remember, Donald Trump’s platform on Israel was the strongest pro-Israel platform ever. Why didn’t ADL and other Bannon bashers complain that Hillary’s advisers included some anti-Israel people, starting with major donor to Hillary, the Israel-hating George Soros?
Finally, Bret Stephens in the Wall Street Journal, who has strongly opposed the Trump candidacy from the start, said in his Tuesday column that in all fairness he also opposed the candidacy of Barack Obama in 2008. About the early Obama he said, “I thought he was an overrated talker grandiosely promising the transformation of redemption of an America that needed neither. The cult of personality that went with his candidacy creeped me out. People who wore T-shirts with the candidate posed as a prophet reminded me of religious believers, not democratic citizens.”
So at least Stephens is consistent in the condescending fashion that he writes about presidents of the United States.
There is truly nothing to fear about the upcoming Trump presidency. For Israel there are great days ahead, with the looming fear of the Obama foreign-policy descending on the neck of the Jewish state about to be removed. We gave Mr. Obama a chance to prove himself, and he failed. Why doesn’t Trump deserve the same opportunity?
In Trump Era, Israel Sees Opportunity to Shift U.S. Approach to Iran
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is working to win from Donald Trump what he failed to wring from Barack Obama: a harder line against Iran.
Aides to Netanyahu say the two men plan to meet in the first half of next year, probably by March, and the Israeli leader is already huddling with national security advisers to formulate a strategy. While the goal may stop short of killing the multilateral nuclear deal, Netanyahu is expected to tell Trump that the U.S. needs to take a harder line against Iran’s military program and lead a more concerted global effort to keep the Islamic Republic’s regional aspirations in check, a senior Israeli official said.
That may include stronger retaliation and sanctions against Iranian ballistic missile development and greater efforts to block Iran’s growing clout in the region via proxies in Syria, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip, the official said.
“The urgent task is to stop Iran from becoming a superpower in the region, something that has been occurring for some time now,” said retired Major General Yaakov Amidror, Netanyahu’s former national security adviser. “The prime minister will argue, first and foremost, that the U.S. should work to diminish the partnership between Russia and Iran in the region.”
A spokesman for Netanyahu said he couldn’t comment on Iran strategy talk and that no date has been set yet for a meeting between the two leaders.
If you condemn Trump’s pick of Steve Bannon, condemn Al Sharpton’s protest on Trump’s inauguration
If you condemn Trump’s pick of Bannon, condemn Sharpton’s protest on Trump’s inauguration. Here is why. The unending rants from the progressive liberal left never ceases to amaze me. Ranting continues over the cabinet that President-Elect Donald Trump is forming. Recently the left took on Steve Bannon, the second member picked by Trump for a cabinet post.
Liberals, and especially liberal Jews, cried false claims of antisemitism against Bannon. Obviously there was no substantial evidence proving these claims. Mort Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, who lost several family members in the holocaust, says he has known Bannon for several years and he has always employed many Jews. If he were anti-Semitic, he would not do that.
However the same people that cried wolf with Bannon are the same people who support a well-known racist by the name of “Rev” Al Sharpton. In Sharpton’s early years he was a civil rights activist turned into FBI informant. He continued with his civil rights agendas that many times weren’t so civil. He is well known for his anti-Semitic comments. His continued rhetoric caused incitement between two store owners, one black store owner and one Jewish. His rants continued, even motivating one of his protesters to start a fire that killed several store employees.
Senior Hamas official: Trump might be a Jew
Senior Hamas official Mahmoud Zahar has suggested that US President-elect Donald Trump is secretly a Jew.
In an interview with Al-Jazeera earlier this month, translated by MEMRI, Zahar said that "Trump loves the Jews, and not only because he likes the Jewish religion. I do not rule out the possibility that he is a Jew.
"He loves the Jewish religion," Al-Zahhar continued, "and the most important thing in the Jewish religion is Jewish money."
Zahar then went on an antisemitic rant, saying that Harry Truman was bought by $2 million in "Jewish Money" and therefore recognized the State of Israel.
Zahar continued by saying that American culture was consumed by "unnatural violence...obscene language, obscene acts, obscene declarations and obscene attacks on other countries," adding that "that is the American culture and upbringing, that is their true religion."
Hamas Leader: Trump Possibly a Jew

London-Based Islamist Preacher: "Were All Trump", America Founded on the Skulls of ...the Indigenous Peoples.
London-based Egyptian preacher Hani Al-Sibai said in his Friday sermon that both Trump and Hillary were murderers.
Calling Obama a criminal, who "killed more Muslims with drones than George Bush," Al-Sibai said that all U.S. presidents since George Washington were the same: "They are all Trump."
According to Al-Sibai, America was established upon the skulls of the indigenous people, and the Americans are inspired by the Old Testament in their global wars.
They are "the exterminators of the human race," he said in the sermon.

New initiative enlists lone soldiers to fight BDS on campuses
A new initiative called the Gideon Project is enlisting lone IDF soldiers as volunteers to combat the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanction movement in the United States, Canada and Europe, Israel Hayom learned Sunday.
The goal of the Gideon Project is to pull the rug out from under the BDS strategy of garnering support for its cause by evoking values such as minority and human rights, which resonates with students on college campuses in the West.
The project is headed by the Reservists at the Front organization and the Lone Soldier Center, which issued a joint statement describing the project as a "challenging and unique Zionist mission, on the front lines of the fight against hate organizations."
Within the project's framework, the lone soldiers will deliver lectures on U.S. campuses, in which they will underscore the human rights violations taking place in Palestinian society. Thus, says Reservists at the Front, the soldiers can confront the audience with the fact that supporting the Palestinians essentially encourages the oppression, abuse and acts of retaliation perpetrated against their own people, and that bolstering the Palestinians poses a threat to American and European citizens and their values, as well as core Western values.
Christian ‘Peacemaker’ Promotes Jew-Hatred in Promised Land
Most people understand that promoting a cartoon of a hook-nosed Jew getting kicked by a crucified Jesus is something no one should do. But one person who didn't get the memo is Yusef Daher, executive secretary of the Jerusalem Interchurch Center (JICC), a Christian ecumenical “peacemaking” institution located in the Holy City.
Daher, who also apparently works as a tour guide in the Holy Land, posted the cartoon as his Facebook cover photo in January 2016. The image showed Jesus kicking a hook-nosed Israeli soldier (wearing a kippah of course), while at the same time gazing beatifically at a young, presumably Palestinian child, standing respectfully at the foot of the cross with a bowed head and hands behind his back.
This isn't the only time Daher has invoked Jesus' crucifixion to demonize Israel. In an article published in early November, 2016, titled “Between Balfour and Pontius Pilate,” Daher declared Palestinians have been crucified as a result of Israel's creation and the international community's call for a two-state solution. In this same article, he declared that “the Torah does not center on love and genuine justice.”
Daher's use of the cross to demonize Israel is sadly reminiscent of the message offered by Rev. Dr. Naim Ateek, a notorious anti-Zionist, who during the Second Intifada, stated: “The Israeli government crucifixion system is operating daily. Palestine has become the place of the skull.”
Arab Writer: Israel Occupies Palestinian Land With “US Baking”
Dr Abdul Ruff, who describes himself as a “Prolific writer, Independent Analyst; Columnist contributing articles to many newspapers and journals on world politics” (which sounds superfluous given “prolific writer”) has written a piece that almost defies description.
Almost – I can describe it as antisemitic and incomprehensible. But it is also funny, thanks to Ruff’s seeming inability to decipher the results of Google Translate.
Humanity scurvies on hopes! With a new regime in place in USA, hopes are indeed very about the feasibility of establishment of much delayed Palestine state whose lands Israel occupies with US baking. Now all eyes are on the progress and process of establishing Palestine state.
Palestinians have, after a great deal of collective suffering under the Zionist military brutality for years, achieved last year their first objective of becoming a defacto member of UN which is indeed the most positive event in life of humanity in recent years. Notwithstanding all strenuous efforts by Israel, Mossad and American Jewish lobbyist lords, including those in Neocons that made the White House stand solid behind Israel brutally targeting the besieged Palestinians, PLO (PA) has managed to win the UN membership, though without any voting power but of course would also be realized sooner than later.
Honest Reporting: The New Statesman’s Palestine Solidarity Campaign
The New Statesman has published a one-sided anti-Israel article for the extremist Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), titled “The Frontline of Israel’s Settlement Regime.”
It is highly problematic for a mainstream media outlet to be publishing content for such an extremist movement- but this is not a one-time thing. The same article was published on the PSC website, where it explains:
PSC are working in collaboration with the New Statesman to produce a series of online articles on Israel’s illegal settlements and our campaign against them.
What is the PSC?
The Palestine Solidarity Campaign, based in the UK, claims that it is “working together for peace, equality, and justice and against racism, occupation, and colonisation.”
The PSC has led protests against Israel which often turn into harassment and violence, and officially supports the BDS movement, which denies Israel’s right to self-defense and existence, and essentially advocates for the destruction of the Jewish state.
Man threatened to cut heads off Jews, court told
Smael Heirouche, 39, faces a charge of making threats to kill or cause serious harm and he was remanded in custody until next week.
Two French nationals, who were neighbours of Mr Heirouche, made the complaint to gardaí. They said his attitude towards them changed on November 14, when his behaviour became erratic.
“He was quoting the Koran,” Det Garda Geraldine Daly told the court. “They did not have the same belief. He did not take kindly to this. He made reference to recent terrorist attacks in France. He said it was excellent and it gave him great joy.”
As this allegation was put before Judge Leo Malone at the courthouse on Washington St, the defendant spoke up from the body of the court and said: “It did.”
Det Gda Geraldine Daly testified she arrested Mr Heirouche at the Bridewell Garda Station on November 16. She said making a threat to kill or cause serious harm it was a serious offence that carried a jail term of 10 years on conviction.
'Hitler Youth' trend reportedly rising in Great Britain
A growing number of children across the United Kingdom are being radicalized by far right-wing or neo-Nazi ideology, stoking fears that a new "Hitler Youth" is on the rise, The Daily Mirror reported Monday.
Recently released figures by the UK government's anti-radicalization task-force, "Prevent," notes that nearly 300 children across Britain have been referred to the agency over the last year. Of those 300 cases, at least 16 were reported to be as young as 10, according to The Mirror.
Prevent is the UK's strategy in fighting radicalization in Britain, which seeks to stop citizens from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.
Compounding concerns is the recent appearance of stickers plastered across the streets of Liverpool proclaiming some neighborhoods to be "Nazicontrolled zones."
Notorious Anti-Jewish Demagogue David Duke Viewed Nationwide on C-SPAN
Jews are the only ethnic/religious group and Israel is the only nation routinely defamed in Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network (C-SPAN) broadcasts seen by potentially millions. The public service network, granted special privileges by the U.S. Congress, rarely challenges or even disassociates itself from the inflammatory mendacious rhetoric.
On November 2, 2016 C-SPAN broadcast a live feed of a debate among six candidates for an open U.S. Senate seat from Louisiana provided to it (and to TV stations throughout the state) by the New Orleans Fox-affiliated television station. Among the six candidates appearing in the hour-long broadcast at 8 p.m. (Eastern) was David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan leader. The KKK is a white-supremacist, antisemitic organization. Duke engaged in a predictable diatribe against Jews.
IsraellyCool: Wendy Kimani To Become First Kenyan Musician To Perform In Israel
Singer, songwriter, actress and entertainer Wendy Kimani is set to become the first Kenyan musician to perform in Israel. And she’s pretty excited about it.
Kenya’s neo-soul singer Wendy Kimani will become the first Kenyan musician to ever perform live in Israel.
In an exclusive chat with Nairobi News the award nominated singer, actress and entertainer, whose shot to the limelight after finishing as the first runner-up in the second season of Tusker Project Fame, could not hide her joy.
She said she was humbled by the prospects of performing in Israel during this year’s Jamuhuri Day celebrations alongside Gilad Millo following an invitation from the Kenyan Embassy in Israel.
Hadassah Announces Partnership With Pro-Israel Hispanic Evangelical Christian Group
The women’s Zionist organization Hadassah has announced an alliance with the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC) and its subsidiary, the Hispanic Israel Leadership Coalition (HILC), in order to mobilize Hispanic evangelical Christians in support of the Hadassah Medical Organization’s (HMO) humanitarian efforts in Israel.
The partnership will be formally launched on National Israel Solidarity Day, held December 4, which the groups will also be co-sponsoring.
Pastors, church-goers and entire congregations from the NHCLC and HILC — which calls itself North America’s fastest-growing ethnic and faith community — are expected to attend.
Hadassah National President Ellen Hershkin said in a statement announcing the relationship, “[NHCLC and HILC’s] support and engagement will play a vital role in HMO’s ability to continue to provide world-class medical care to the people of Israel and beyond. Together, we will continue to save lives and build ‘bridges to peace.'”
Pastor Mario Bramnick, president of HILC, said the “sanctity and security” of Israel is a priority for his community.
Israel gas partners close to $4 billion financing for Leviathan
The companies that own the rights to Israel’s largest natural gas pool are close to securing the $4 billion financing needed to develop the field, according to the chief executive officer of one of the partners.
"The Leviathan financing agreements are in the final stages of negotiations," Delek Drilling LP CEO Yossi Abu said at a Tel Aviv conference on Monday, referring to the Israeli gas reservoir.
With a large export contract already in hand, obtaining funds is the next milestone for the explorers looking to tap the Leviathan pool, led by U.S.-based Noble Energy Inc. and billionaire Yitzchak Teshuva’s Delek Group Ltd. The partners signed a $10 billion deal with Natural Electric Power Co. of Jordan two months ago.
The companies have been in talks with major banks since they cleared antitrust issues with Israel’s government earlier this year. Ratio Oil Exploration 1992 LP, which owns a 15 percent stake in Leviathan, has sold new debt and equity this year, raising about a third of its $600 million portion of the project.
The Leviathan partners will decide on a strategy to deploy the funds in December, Abu said.
Israel signs R&D cooperation deal with Chile
Chairman of the Israel Innovation Authority Avi Hasson recently signed an R&D cooperation agreement with his Chilean counterpart Eduardo Bitran, Vice President of the Innovation Authority of Chile (CORFO). The agreement between the authorities will connect startups, technology and research in a variety of fields.
Chile is among the leaders in entrepreneurship and technology in the Pacific Alliance (Mexico, Peru, Colombia and Costa Rica), in which the countries have a joint GDP of $3 trillion and 40 percent of the GNP of all of Latin America – the eighth largest global economy.
Israel and Chile will join forces to find technology-based solutions to the challenges of climate change, desert irrigation and the development of solar energy.
The Israel Innovation Authority hopes that Chile will serve as a springboard for Israel to enter global markets in a range of traditional industries. After all, Chile is a world leader in mining, agriculture and food production. And it is one of the countries with the highest export rates for wine, fishery, and metals.
Robots on the IDF's Front Lines

Israel tech ‘splash’ felt in Silicon Valley, FB official says
Facebook will hold its first Israeli developer conference on Tuesday to help creators of Israeli mobile app and bot technologies develop their products as part of the social network’s plan to create a connected world and also keep in touch with cutting-edge technologies, senior Facebook officials said Monday in Tel Aviv.
“I have been around the world and back again three or four times over the course of the last two years and this is my first time here,” said Ime Archibong, director of partnerships at Facebook. The Israeli startup ecosystem is “almost the most connected to Silicon Valley right now. Maybe that is the reason it took me so long to get here. The splash that this ecosystem has made on the world stage is felt in Silicon Valley, in my backyard, and that is one of the reasons I am excited now about being here in the heartbeat and feeling it first-hand.”
FBStart — a global program that is designed to help startups in the mobile and bots field build and grow their apps — is already fostering some 9,000 startups from 140 countries, of which more than 150 are Israeli, the company said.
The idea behind the initiative is to tap into the “potential entrepreneurs’ startups and developers sprinkled all around the world” and see if Facebook as a technology company could add some value to them “in a specific way,” , Archibong said.
Coldplay’s Chris Martin surprises Tel Aviv
Coldplay’s Chris Martin surprised many when he touched down in Tel Aviv and, with his unexpected arrival, kick-started the rumor mill that a local concert may be on the horizon.
According to Hebrew media, the British singer-songwriter arrived in Tel Aviv yesterday for one of two reasons: some gossip columnists say he’s in town for a private visit, others say he came for advance talks with local producers.
Over the years, concert promoters have tried time and again to secure a Coldplay concert in Israel. Some reports say the band has been offered as much as $5 million for a one night show.
The rock band has a huge following in Israel.
Coldplay’s latest album has Israeli creativity behind some of its best music videos. Earlier this year, directors Vania Heymann and Gal Muggia picked up an MTV Video Music Award for best visual effects award for their work on Coldplay’s music video Up&Up.
Lost Anne Frank poem unearthed, put up for sale
A very rare handwritten poem by Jewish diarist Anne Frank, who perished in the Holocaust, goes under the auctioneer’s hammer Wednesday.
Stirring a flurry of interest which may push the price well above the 30,000 euros ($32,000) reserve, the eight-line poem constitutes words of advice from one girl to another. The first four lines are said to be previously known; not so the last four, which could be Frank’s own work.
“These things are so rare that I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Thys Blankevoort, co-director of the Bubb Kuyper auction house based in the western Dutch town of Haarlem.
“Any document that’s written by Anne Frank is rare,” he told AFP Monday, adding only about four or five items signed by her had come to light in the past 40 years.
“There are some chance finds, some books from the libraries. But these are not manuscripts, they are owner entries,” he added, referring to books which have been found with Frank’s name written inside.
On Thanksgiving, Nefesh B’Nefesh olim are thankful for being in Israel
Moving WeFind to Israel was a big decision, Sokolow says, “but at the end of the day if you think about starting a company in the major tech sectors in the world – Silicon Valley, New York, Los Angeles, London, Tel Aviv – Israel really does come out on top.
“The talent here is really geared toward the start-up culture, everyone is very eager, inquisitive, and wants to do something big. It’s much cheaper to live in Israel than any of those other places, and you have access to a great venture capital investor environment, all things important for a start-up. It’s been great for WeFind thus far and we’re very excited to continue to grow our company in Israel.”
As Americans celebrate Thanksgiving this Thursday, what is he most thankful for?
“My parents,” he says. “When you make a big move like this and run a start-up, you start to realize how awesome your parents are in your life. My mom and dad were definitely surprised when I told them I was moving to Israel, but after many conversations, they were very supportive. You can’t put a price on that, and it’s really helped me push through the challenges of growing a company and moving to a new place.”
Asked what his future plans are, Sokolow says he is focused on “building WeFind into something amazing and adapting to life in Israel. I’m still learning Hebrew (and started to learn to sail randomly), so I have a long way until I will truly feel a part of Israel, but I am getting there. I don’t know what things will be like in six months, but I am excited for what could happen with both my company and my life, so I am feeling pretty good.”

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