Wednesday, January 25, 2017

From Ian:

After Eight Years with a Friendly White House, J Street Has Little to Show
The self-styled “pro-Israel, pro-peace” lobbying group is now in its tenth year; during most of this time it has benefitted from having a White House supportive of its goals. Indeed, its director stated that he and his colleagues saw themselves as the president’s teammates. Yet, writes Gregg Roman, J Street has precious little to show, especially since peace between Israel and its neighbors, let alone Palestinian statehood, seems as far off as ever:
J Street’s continued criticism of the Israeli government created a pseudo-Zionist political shield on the Jewish community’s left flank that the Obama administration used to blame Israel for actions largely caused by Palestinian obstinacy.
For eight years J Street supported President Obama’s destructive policies toward Israel, like the unilateral settlement freeze, nuclear détente with Iran, and his allowance for international condemnation of Israeli communities in the West. . . . At the end of 2008, when Israel decided to defend itself against incessant rocket attacks from the terrorist organization Hamas in the Gaza Strip, J Street attacked Israel’s defensive actions. . . .
J Street also placed itself out of mainstream pro-Israel circles when it invited prominent activists in the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement to its conferences and claimed that George Soros had not funded the organization until it became a matter of public record that he had in fact provided significant donations, especially during its formative years. All of these hits have left J Street and its combative but rarely reflective president Jeremy Ben-Ami’s reputation battered and bruised.

Maajid Nawaz: Students are sleepwalking into anti-Semitic hysteria
How did it all come to this? The perfect storm: Islamist theocrats, their regressive left apologists and right wing populists.
Though they may hate each other, they agree to hate on Jews more. I call this Europe’s triple threat, and it is tearing our political culture asunder, poisoning our discourse and leaving a nasty aftertaste to campus activism.
No surer sign of rising fascism have we had in our history than the scapegoating of our Jewish communities. Alarm bells should be sounding, and yet they are not.
This week, we remember the tragedy that was the Holocaust. An atrocity made so easy because Europe was allowed to sleep walk into anti-Semitic hysteria.
So ponder this. Last month the government’s first higher education adjudicator, cross-bench peer Baroness Ruth Deech, warned that certain UK universities are becoming no-go zones for Jews.
No-go zones, she said. Never again, we had promised.
Douglas Murray: Nomination for Nobel Peace Prize: Reverend Gavin Ashenden
The section of the Quran that a Muslim student recited at the church service points out the Islamic belief that Jesus was not the Son of God. Even in today's Britain, this does not seem quite the view that leaders of the national church are supposed to propagate.
"The justification offered that it engages some kind of reciprocity founders on the understandable refusal of Islamic communities to read passages from the Gospel in Muslim prayers announcing the Lordship of Christ. It never happens.... apologies may be due to the Christians suffering dreadful persecution at the hands of Muslims in the Middle East and elsewhere. To have the core of a faith for which they have suffered deeply treated so casually by senior western clergy such as the Provost of Glasgow is unlikely to have a positive outcome." — Reverend Gavin Ashenden, The Times.
"I resigned in order to be able to speak more freely about the struggle that Christianity is facing in our culture. I had no idea that there were plans afoot by a Scottish Cathedral to 'reach out to Muslims' by scrapping a Bible reading from their worship on the Feast of the Epiphany (when Christ's Lordship is celebrated as the Light of the World) and replacing it with a part of the Koran that denied Jesus was the Son of God.... it represented one more step along a road, which if the Church continues to follow, will speed up the destruction of Christianity in our country." — Reverend Gavin Ashenden, The Times.



Jerusalem schools, synagogues would be shut if UN resolution is implemented
The human consequences of implementing the recent United Nations resolution about Israel would be devastating, say American representatives of Israeli schools, synagogues and other institutions in parts of Jerusalem that Israel captured in 1967.
U.N. Security Council Resolution 2334, adopted Dec. 23 with the U.S. abstaining, asserted that all “Israeli settlement activities” in “the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem” are “a flagrant violation of international law.” It stated that Israel must “immediately and completely cease” such activities and also take action to “reverse negative trends on the ground.”
A number of major Jerusalem neighborhoods are situated in what the U.N. calls “East Jerusalem,” which is the area that Jordan occupied following the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. Nineteen years later, those sections of the city were reunited with the rest of Jerusalem as a result of the 1967 Six-Day War.
One of those neighborhoods is French Hill, a major urban area located in the northeastern part of the city. “I live in French Hill,” award-winning Israeli author Yossi Klein Halevi told JNS.org. “So the recent U.N. resolution has criminalized me and my family as occupiers.”
“I’m not illegal, and I’m not a ‘settler,’” said historian Maurice Roumani, a professor emeritus at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev who resides in Armon HaNetziv (East Talpiot), a neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem with a population of 14,000. “These artificial definitions by the U.N. do not reflect reality.”
What Aid to Israel Buys America
Israel is perhaps unique among American allies in that it genuinely doesn’t want America to protect it militarily. The belief that it must defend itself by itself is deeply ingrained in Israel and enjoys virtually wall-to-wall consensus, and this would remain true even if America gave it no military aid at all.
Moreover, while the price tag may sound astronomical–aid to Israel currently totals $3.1 billion a year, and is slated to rise to $3.8 billion in 2019–it’s cheap compared to the cost of U.S. troop deployments to protect other American allies. For instance, maintaining U.S. bases in Japan costs America about $5.5 billion a year, and that’s in a country where troops haven’t had to fire a shot in decades. The costs rise sharply when America actually has to send soldiers into action.
The 1991 Gulf War, for instance, was fought to liberate one ally, Kuwait, from Iraqi invasion and protect another, Saudi Arabia, from falling to Iraq as well. Even with allies picking up most of the estimated $61 billion tab, it cost the U.S. about $9 billion, and that’s just the money spent on the war itself. It doesn’t include the incalculable human cost of the 383 U.S. soldiers who were killed and the 467 who were wounded or the costs of treating the latter. Yet the Gulf War was a short, low-casualty war; most U.S. wars have been far more expensive and had much higher casualty tolls.
Nor can Israel be accused of failing to contribute financially to its own defense. It’s pathetic that 23 of NATO’s 28 members spend less than 2 percent of GDP on defense when that’s the alliance’s own agreed-upon floor, and most member states could easily afford it. But Israel can hardly be faulted on that score: Its defense spending constitutes 5.2 percent of GDP, well above America’s 3.5 percent, and is the largest single item in Israel’s budget by a large margin. By comparison, America’s defense spending comes in well below its spending on both healthcare and social security.
Needless to say, the U.S. also gets many tangible benefits from the Israeli defense capabilities that its aid helps finance. One is intelligence. Just last July, Haaretz reported that in the battle against ISIS, “According to Western intelligence sources, Israel has supplied more intelligence to its allies than any other intelligence organization.” Another is combat testing of weapons systems and ensuring beneficial modifications. For instance, America’s F-16 fighters contain over 600 modifications introduced by Israel. As Haaretz reported in 2010, “between 10 percent and 15 percent of every new F-16 made in America … consists of Israeli systems.”
In addition, America derives strategic benefit from having an ally willing to police its own neighborhood to some degree rather than relying on the U.S. to do so. For instance, as I’ve noted before, Israel’s destruction of a Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007 prevented ISIS from getting its hands on the raw material for a nuclear bomb. The reactor was located in one of the swathes of Syria ISIS captured. Similarly, America was able to defend its allies in the Gulf War only because Israel had destroyed Iraq’s nuclear program a decade earlier. After the war, then-Defense Minister Dick Cheney publicly thanked Israel for doing so, though the U.S. had condemned the operation at the time. Had America had an Asian ally willing to take similar action in, say, North Korea, the U.S. wouldn’t now be worrying about Pyongyang’s nukes.
Noah Pollak: Obama Wanted to Turn the Democratic Party in a More Anti-Israel Direction
Noah Pollak, the executive director of the Emergency Committee for Israel and a Washington Free Beacon contributor, discussed Israeli settlements in the West Bank and criticized the Obama administration’s treatment of the Jewish state during an appearance Tuesday on Fox Business.
Charles Payne, who was guest hosting Neil Cavuto’s show “Coast to Coast,” introduced the segment by noting that the United Nations Security Council has described Israeli settlements in the West Bank as violations of international law.
“The Security Council was wrong,” Pollak responded. “The West Bank is disputed territory; it is not occupied territory.”
Pollak said that before the Obama administration, these settlements were not viewed as controversial, but the administration used this issue to create discord with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“Do you believe that under President Donald Trump there is a greater chance of resolving this issue than it was with Barack Obama?” Payne asked.
“I think the Trump administration is going to try its own approach. I’m not sure if there is a greater chance of that. I think the Palestinians have to be tested,” Pollak responded. He then went on to criticize the Obama administration for looking to attack Netanyahu instead of working towards a peace agreement.
Noah Pollack Discusses The Change in US-Israeli Relationship Under President Trump


Palestinian terror group backer teaching at German university, sparks row
The University of Hamburg’s appointment of a guest professor who teaches Islamic theology sparked a row on Monday. The professor in question reportedly supports BDS and helped raise funds for the PFLP terrorist organization.
The South African academic Farid Esack, who is the chairman of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement in his country, welcomed his “comrade” plane hijacker Leila Khaled, of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, at a fund-raiser in 2015.
Israel’s embassy in Berlin told The Jerusalem Post on Monday: “This is a man who expressed antisemitic statements, and who is sympathetic to Holocaust denial. A person with such views has no place as an educator in a university, in particular not in Germany; due to both professional as well as moral and probably also legal reasons.”
Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s chief Nazi-hunter, added similar comments. “A person who is sponsoring an unrepentant terrorist is hardly a person who should be educating German students,” he told Post on Wednesday. Zuroff, who oversees the center’s Jerusalem office, added that “BDS is a form of antisemitism.”
The PFLP has been designated by the US and the EU as a terrorist organization.
Human Rights Legal Expert: Virginia Motion to Recognize Antisemitism as Unlawful Discrimination Aims to ‘Get Ahead’ of Jew-Haters at State-Funded Universities
The head of a legal NGO supporting a Virginia motion to recognize antisemitism as an unlawful form of discrimination explained to The Algemeiner why it was proposed and what it aims to achieve.
Kenneth Marcus, president and general counsel at the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law (LDB), said that Bill 2261, put before the Virginia House of Delegates earlier this month, aims to “get ahead of antisemites,” particularly on campuses, where they have been causing Jewish students distress.
“We need to be as agile and adaptive as our enemies are if we are to defeat antisemitism once and for all,” he said. “And too little is being done to address the problem on the state or federal level.”
The bill, Marcus said – which also demands that Virginia schools adopt the State Department definition of antisemitism, including certain forms of anti-Zionism – “would not outlaw the phenomenon; it would merely provide tools for the state’s public universities to use when applying their existing codes of conduct. For example, if someone assaults a Jewish student or vandalizes a Hillel building, it will provide helpful examples to assist in determining whether the nature of the incident was antisemitic.”
Daniel Davies, a legislative assistant to Delegate Dave LaRock, who co-sponsored the bill, told The Algemeiner that it was born after Virginia lawmakers became aware of antisemitic organizations operating on campuses funded by the state.
Peacemaker Supported by World Council of Churches Promotes Lie About Israel
Yusef Daher just can’t help himself.
Daher, who works as executive secretary of the Jerusalem Interchurch Center, an ecumenical “peacemaking” organization supported by the World Council of Churches, has a nasty habit of posting ugly anti-Israel propaganda on his Twitter and Facebook accounts. For example, in January 2016, he posted a picture an Israeli soldier getting kicked in the rear end by Jesus who is hanging on the cross.
And on October 13, 2015, Daher posted a picture that lionized Palestinian rock throwers.
Posting images like this is in direct contradiction to Daher’s status as part of the ecumenical peacemaking community in Jerusalem supported by the World Council of Churches. Instead of promoting peace, Daher posts images that incite hostility toward Israel. CAMERA has prepared two articles about Daher’s work, but the World Council of Churches has not responded publicly to Daher’s postings, nor has Daher himself refrained from posting anti-Israel propaganda.
He’s still at it.
For example, he recently posted a link to an article published on AWD, a well-known fake news side, that falsely attributes a quote to Israeli Presidnet Reuvin Rivlin. The article falsely reports that that Rivlin stated that Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians is worse than the Holocaust. Here is a picture of the Facebook Post (which also appears at the top of this entry).
CAMERA Op-Ed in the Washington Jewish Week: 'Fake News' and Iranian 'Moderates'
When former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani died, aged 82, on Jan. 8, 2017, he was falsely labeled a “moderate” by many Western news outlets. Rafsanjani, however, played an important role in the founding of the Islamic Republic of Iran—a repressive, totalitarian theocracy. And an examination of his record evidences little “moderation.”
A protégé of the Islamic Republic's first Supreme Ruler, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomenei, Rafsanjani was a founding father of the regime that came to power in the 1979 Iranian revolution. With Khomenei's death in 1989, Rafsanjani, sensing a political opportunity, supported a political rival for Supreme Ruler, Ali Khamenei.
Rafsanjani's gambit failed; Khamenei quickly consolidated power. As Sohrab Ahmari, an Iranian-born Wall Street Journal reporter, noted, the “regime's Western apologists framed” the rivalry between the two “as a genuine ideological conflict between the ‘hard-line' Mr. Khamenei and the ‘pragmatic,' ‘moderate' Rafsanjani (along with others, such as current President Hassan Rouhani).”
However, as Ahmari pointed out:
“In 1992, during Rafsanjani's presidency, Iranian operatives gunned down four dissidents at a Berlin restaurant. The ‘pragmatic' Rafsanjani regularly sat on a ‘Committee for Special Operations' that oversaw foreign assassinations, according to an Iranian intelligence officer who testified at a criminal trial in Germany.”
Unpacking Avi Shlaim’s claim in the Guardian that occupation is “the root of all evil”.
This claim is often repeated, and it was recently made in a Guardian op-ed by Avi Shlaim, an Oxford historian, and one of the “New Historians”. He is avowedly anti-Israel, supporting economic sanctions against Israel, and writing for anti-Israel publications like Electronic Intifada. His latest article is no different, with him placing all the blame for the conflict on Israeli. “He (Netanyahu) and his government are addicted to occupation – the root of all evil,” Shlaim wrote. This one-sided view, whereby the Israelis are to blame for everything, is not something new in the writing of Professor Shlaim – in the past, he has said that Israel is the cause of anti-Semitism around the world. Though even by his standards – the “root of all” evil seems a characterisation more symbolic of a fanatical hatred on the part of the author, than an objective reading of facts.
root
But let us focus on the claims he makes specifically about the settlements, because some of these represent mainstream opinion. “In the teeth of almost universal condemnation, they (Netanyahu’s government) continue to expand the Jewish settlements on the West Bank, thereby deliberately destroying the basis for a viable and territorially contiguous Palestinian state.” This is a staple argument against settlements, that the existence of Jewish settlements in the West Bank torpedoes the idea of a Palestinian state. But why? Defenders of the settlements often refer to the fact that 80% of the 500,000 or so settlers live in settlement blocs, such as the Jewish areas of East Jerusalem, Maaleh Adumim and Gush Etzion, that will remain part of Israel under any peace agreement, and thus are not on land designated for a future Palestinian state. But let us focus on the 100,000 or so settlers who live outside these blocs, on land that could be a future Palestinian state as part of the two state solution. Why should the existence of 100,000 Jews amongst some 2 million Arabs challenge the “viability” of a Palestinian state? Almost every state in the world has ethnic, religious or national minorities. In fact, one need look no further than Israel itself – the world’s only Jewish state has a Arab minority of 1.8 million people, around 21% of Israel’s population. About 5% of the UK population are of Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnicity, approximately 25% of the population of Switzerland are foreign nationals, and one in nine people in France is Muslim. It would be outrageous to suggest that any of these minorities challenge the “viability” of these states – such language would be found on the fringes of the extreme right, and would rightly be characterised as racist. It is a principle of Western liberal democracies that members of society should be treated equally regardless of ethnicity, race or religion. So the question returns – why should the existence of 100,000 Jews in villages and towns in a future Palestinian state make the state “unviable”?
The Gray Lady Doth Protest Too Much
Fact-checking season is in full swing. Whether the conversation is about "fake news," "alternative facts," or any other euphemism for false information, there's a renewed media focus on examining the veracity of claims.
The New York Times is trying to capitalize on public concerns about accuracy with an online advertisement that states, "In a world of fake news, independent, fact-based journalism stands apart." Then, in large font, is the hard sell: "Truth. It comes at a cost."
Falsehood: Donald Trump "Vowed to Support Israel No Matter What"
An article published in January opens with the claim that Donald Trump "has vowed to support Israel no matter what." When asked about the provenance of this claim, editors admitted the article was not referencing any specific statement by Trump. Instead, they insisted, the "vow" is a sort of composite of his collective statements. In other words, reporters told readers of a vow that did not really exist.
The newspaper has refused to correct the misinformation.
Falsehood: A Paris Communiqué Called for "A Return to the 1967 Boundaries"
In that same news story, readers were told that, at the end of an international meeting in Paris about the two-state solution, "countries issued a joint communiqué that reaffirmed support for … a return to the 1967 boundaries between the Israelis and Palestinians, including the removal of Israeli settlements from the West Bank."
In fact, the communiqué says nothing at all about a return to specific boundaries, nor does it reference the removal of settlements.
Editors insisted no correction is warranted.
BBC WS’s ‘Newshour’ continues the promotion of a myth
Nevertheless, in all its recent reporting of UNSC resolution 2334 and the Paris conference the BBC has framed the story as being about a “moribund”, “fading” two-state solution which is endangered primarily by Israeli construction of housing units in Judea & Samaria and parts of Jerusalem.
Not once in all that generous coverage have BBC audiences been reminded that when last given the chance to vote eleven years ago, 44.45% of Palestinians supported the party which rejects outright the option of peace with Israel. Neither have they been told that a recent opinion poll suggests that if elections were held today, Hamas would gain around a third of the votes.
Instead – as this example yet again shows – the BBC repeatedly promotes the myth that support for the two-state solution is a matter of consensus among Palestinians. While that myth certainly helps shore up its chosen narrative on the issue of the peace process, it obviously does not contribute to the BBC’s remit of building “global understanding” concerning the range of factors preventing the two-state solution from becoming reality.
BBC News avoids telling Brits about PA’s Balfour ultimatum
On January 18th the same Riyad al Maliki gave an interview to Palestinian Authority TV in which he provided “further details” concerning the PA’s demands.
“When I met the British foreign secretary, I told him very clearly what we expect. We expect them to apologize, to accept their historical responsibility, to acknowledge [their culpability], and to pay reparations.” [emphasis added]
And what if the UK does not agree to those demands?
“So far, we haven’t heard from them. The current escalation on their part makes us consider [possible] Palestinian action with regard to all those issues, including our action with regard to the Balfour Declaration. I won’t be divulging anything by saying that we have made plans for action in the framework of our embassies and our communities in Europe and Britain, and plans to mobilize civil society institutions in Britain and elsewhere.” [emphasis added]


IsraellyCool: Where Even Reuters Can’t Deny How Israel Is Helping Syrian Wounded
It happens nearly every night. After dark, the Syrian wounded come to known locations on the Israel-Syria front in the Golan Heights, driven by desperation to seek help from an enemy army.
Israel refuses to accept refugees fleeing the nearly six-year conflict in Syria, a country with which it remains technically at war. But it has allowed in more than 2,600 Syrians for medical care.
“We’re doing everything we can to save their lives, to stabilize them and evacuate them to hospital,” said Captain Aviad Camisa, deputy chief medical officer of the Golan brigade.
The medics lift the wounded men onto an army ambulance which slowly drives off down a dirt road.

Of course, old habits die hard for Reuters, and they can’t be totally positive when it comes to Israel – ascribing alterior motives to our compassionate actions.
The Israeli army helped facilitate access to the hospital, perhaps concerned to counter the negative image it has in most of the Arab world.
Globe and Mail: No Jewish History in Eastern Jerusalem
In its article “Six Key Questions About Trump’s Israel Agenda,” The Globe and Mail referred to the eastern part of Jerusalem as “historically, home to Arabs,” implying that there has never been any Jewish history in eastern Jerusalem.
Author Dakshana Bascaramurty wasn’t talking about all of Jerusalem. Just the part with the Western Wall, the Temple Mount (the holiest site in Judaism), the Old City with its ancient Jewish Quarter, and countless artifacts from Jewish history.
Bascaramurty writes:
The Palestinians want to establish their future capital in East Jerusalem, while Israel sees the whole city as its own capital. While the western part of the city is almost entirely populated by Jews, the eastern part, historically, has been home to Arabs. Since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, Jews began moving into that territory, though under international law, settlements in the region (as well as the West Bank and the Golan Heights) are considered illegal.
Historically home to Arabs?
Germany busts far-right extremists looking to attack Jews, refugees
About 200 German police searched a dozen homes in six states on Wednesday as part of an investigation into a far-right extremist group suspected of planning armed attacks against police, Jews and asylum seekers, the chief prosecutor's office said.
The prosecutor's office said the early morning raids included searches of the homes of six people believed to have founded the new group, and that of a seventh person who is suspected of helping the group obtain supplies.
"The goal of today's search measures was to obtain further evidence of the actual creation of a formal group, as well as the alleged planned criminal acts and any potential tools," the office said in a statement.
There were no details of any arrests. The prosecutor's office was not immediately available to comment.
It said the suspects were largely connected via social media and were believed to have begun planning armed attacks in the spring of 2016.
Anger at Croatian school’s snub of Anne Frank exhibit
A Croatian school came under fire Tuesday for refusing to display an exhibition on Holocaust diarist Anne Frank because it included panels on crimes committed by the country’s World War II pro-Nazi regime.
The Nazi-hunting Simon Wiesenthal Center called for the school’s head to be dismissed, saying otherwise it signaled that pro-Nazi nostalgia was “perfectly legitimate” in modern-day Croatia.
The exhibition, prepared by the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, was due to be displayed at a high school in the coastal town of Sibenik from Tuesday last week.
But the organizers withdrew the same day after the school’s director Josip Belamaric refused to allow six panels explaining the role of Croatia’s wartime Ustasha regime, saying the pro-Nazis were presented as “criminals” while their rival communists’ crimes were ignored.
The Ustasha persecuted and killed hundreds of thousands of Jews, Serbs, Roma and anti-fascist Croatians.
London mayor calls for action following string of antisemitic incidents
The Muslim mayor of London called for zero tolerance for hate crimes in the wake of a series of antisemitic incidents in the British capital.
Sadiq Khan met Monday evening with genocide survivors, including from the Holocaust, as part of the city’s programming surrounding International Holocaust Memorial Day on Jan. 27.
“I ask all Londoners to report any form of hate crime, no matter how trivial,” Khan told The Guardian newspaper. “A brick with a swastika on it thrown through a window of a Jewish home is not a trivial matter and needs to be addressed.”
The incidents included a brick with images of swastikas and antisemitic messages thrown through the window of a Jewish home in the Edgware neighborhood on Saturday morning. Hours earlier in the same neighborhood, a group of identifiably Jewish people were pelted with eggs while walking home from Shabbat dinner.
Israel cracks US magazine’s ‘Great Powers’ list
Israel made it onto an influential conservative magazine’s list of the top eight “Great Powers” worldwide in 2017, with the publication declaring the Jewish State a “rising power with a growing impact on world affairs.”
The American Interest credited Israel’s economic prowess, ability to navigate regional turbulence and “diplomatic ingenuity” in placing it alongside the US, Russia, Germany and China.
“India, China and Russia all want a piece of Israeli tech wizardry,” the article’s authors noted, adding that gas fields found in the Mediterranean had the potential to turn it into an energy player, which could “boost Israel’s foreign policy clout.”
Israel was also praised for its ability to take advantage of a changing balance of power in the region to turn itself “from a pariah state to a kingmaker,” citing its alliance with a number of Sunni states that have common enemies.
And despite coming under censure from the UN Security Council over settlement building and frosty ties between Jerusalem and the White House during Barack Obama’s time in office, the magazine saw Israel expanding its diplomatic footprint around the world.
4 Israeli companies named in 2017 Global Cleantech 100
The latest edition of the Global Cleantech 100 has been published and Israel’s BreezoMeter, Kaiima, TaKaDu, and Netafim are among the companies picked by Cleantech Group as poised to make significant market impact within a five- to 10-year timeframe.
This year, 9,900 distinct companies from 77 countries were nominated for the eighth edition of the Global Cleantech 100 list, featuring companies best positioned to solve tomorrow’s clean technology challenges.
An 86-member expert panel narrowed down the finalized list of 100 companies from 17 countries.
“These companies represent the most innovative and promising ideas in cleantech and that are best positioned to solve tomorrow’s clean technology challenges,” says Cleantech Group, the creator of the annual list.
Israel slated to be 4th country to land vehicle on the moon
Israel is scheduled to become the fourth country to land a spacecraft on the moon, with a launch planned for the end of 2017 by billionaire businessman Elon Musk's SpaceX company.
The scheduled launch is also set to send several satellites into space, but the Israeli spacecraft is the only one designed to continue to the moon.
The dishwasher-sized spacecraft was built by the Israeli SpaceIL team for Google's Lunar XPRIZE competition, which aims to promote space technology and interest in the private sector. Thanks to advanced innovation and engineering, the Israeli team was the first to reserve a spot for a space launch out of 33 teams that began the competition. Only five teams remain that have clinched spots on space launches, but all the others are set for after SpaceIL's scheduled launch at the end of 2017.
The "ticket to the moon" cost the team over $10 million, a sum reached with funding by the group's two main benefactors: Morris Kahn's Kahn Foundation and Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson's Adelson Family Foundation.
Lone Holocaust survivor visited by Bar Refaeli on birthday
A lone Holocaust survivor had a particularly happy 92nd birthday on Tuesday, thanks to and Israeli nonprofit organization that assists Holocaust survivors.
Ahead of his birthday on Tuesday, Ernest Veiner asked the Association for Immediate Help for Holocaust Survivors.
to help him organize a birthday party and invite the public to come celebrate.
The nonprofit posted an invitation on their Facebook page, encouraging members of the public to attend. Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli was among the many who responded to the group's open invitation. She was joined by many others, including fellow Holocaust survivors and volunteers from the group, at the Rihot ve-Teamim restaurant in Ramat Hasharon.
Volunteers from the group organized the party venue, food and decorations for the party.
Veiner was born in Vienna, Austria in 1925 and fled to Holland in 1938. Eventually, he was captured by Nazis and sent to the Ravensbruck concentration camp in northern Germany. He moved to Israel in 1949. Currently, he has no living family and is both blind and disabled.



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