Thursday, April 13, 2017

From Ian:

Camera: Quantifying the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict's Importance to Middle East Turmoil
For decades, attention has been lavished on the Palestinians, bestowing upon this small segment of the Arab world an exaggerated importance. As a result, in media, academic and diplomatic circles, addressing Palestinian grievances was elevated to the status of the most urgent political and humanitarian cause in the Middle East.
At the United Nations, Muslim and European blocs apply a harsh and unfair double standard to the actions and policies of the Jewish state. In 2016, the Human Rights Council (HRC), over which some of the worst human rights abusers preside, passed 20 anti-Israel resolutions and only 6 against all other countries (UN Watch), even as mass atrocities –including the use of chemical weapons - continue unabated just north of Israel's border, in Syria. This lopsided record in 2016 is typical for the HRC. Taking their cue from the Council's agenda, compromised human rights watchdogs, like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, and numerous media and academics that cite reports produced by these groups, raise a clamor whenever Israel vigorously responds to cross-border attacks by terrorist organizations.
The upheavals that shook the Arab world from one end to the other starting in 2010 should have discredited the erroneous perception of the central role of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the region's problems. Yet, for many observers, events of the past six years have not altered their priorities.
In 2013, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was determined to make restarting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process the signature achievement of his Middle East policy. In December 2016, after three years of fruitless effort, a frustrated Kerry and President Barack Obama, helped shepherd the United Nations Security Council into passing a resolution condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank as illegal in what many saw as a parting shot at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Wildly distorted perceptions of the magnitude of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict prevail even among those who should know better, like foreign policy officials of the EU and its constituent states. Ron Dermer, Israel's ambassador to the United States, in a speech to the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) in April 2016, recounted his dismay to discover that some of his fellow European ambassadors believed the conflict to have cost millions of Palestinian lives, orders of magnitude greater than the actual toll which he estimated at 20,000.

Turkey, where are your Jews?
The Turkish newspaper Milliyet published a news report on March 20 entitled “Synagogues from the era of Byzantium are about to disappear forever!”
“Among the historical and cultural heritage of Istanbul that is on the verge of extinction are Byzantine synagogues which belong to the Turkish Jewish community,” said the report. “Most of the historic synagogues which numbered in dozens in the early 20th century are located in the Balat and Hasköy areas. Many run the risk of disappearing forever”.
“A lot of historic monuments belonging to the Jewish community and built during the Byzantine era are in ruins,” said Mois Gabay, a columnist for the Jewish weekly Salom, and a professional tourist guide. Gabay added that Turkish Jews who lived in the region of Golden Horn, also known by its Turkish name as Haliç "left Turkey a long time ago”.
When there are no more Jewish congregants, it becomes almost impossible to preserve synagogues.
Jews in Turkey are mostly known for being the descendants of the immigrants who moved to the Ottoman Empire after being expelled from Spain. However, Jews have been living in Asia Minor since antiquity. Professor Franklin Hugh Adler explains: “Jews, in fact, had inhabited this land long before the birth of Mohammed and the Islamic conquests of the seventh and eighth centuries, or for that matter, the arrival and conquests of the Turks, beginning in the eleventh century. On the eve of the birth of Islam, most of world Jewry lived under Byzantine or Persian rule in the lands of the Mediterranean basin.
“At the beginning of the Turkish Republic, in 1923, the Jewish population was 81,454. In Istanbul alone there were 47,035 Jews, roughly thirteen percent of a city that then numbered 373,124.”
Today, there are fewer than 15,000 Jews in Turkey, whose entire population is almost 80 million. What happened?
Sean Spicer’s Holocaust Boo-Boo Was Stupid. Obama’s Foreign Policy Promoted A New Holocaust. Guess Which One The Media Cared About.
The furor over Spicer’s comments is even dumber when we consider that President Trump’s predecessor actively forwarded the most genocidal anti-Semitic regime on earth in their goal of wiping Jews off the planet. President Obama’s Iran nuclear deal resulted in billions of dollars flowing into a regime that openly calls for the annihilation of the Jews – dollars that the Obama administration itself recognized could be used for terrorism. The Iran deal also left most of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure in place, got rid of sanctions on the state, ensured the growth of malignant anti-Semitic radical Islam across the Middle East, and openly embraced a nuclear Iran within a decade. The mullahs have made clear that their big problem with Hitler was that he didn’t go far enough.
Yet the media ran point for Obama on the Iran nuclear deal.
The media also covered for Obama’s lies about Syrian weapons of mass destruction. Obama handed control over the WMD issue in Syria over to the Russians, claiming that the problem of WMD had been solved by doing so. Then Assad gassed his own people. Again.
So before we throw Sean Spicer to the wolves as some sort of covert neo-Nazi, let’s remember: Spicer works for the most pro-Israel president in recent history, he was clearly not trying to undermine the importance of the Holocaust, and the media cheered Trump’s predecessor as he paved the way for a new Holocaust.

FLASHBACK: This Famous Leftist Said Hitler Didn’t Use Chemical Weapons
The dumb mistake White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer made in stating that Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons, when in fact the Nazis killed millions of people with poison gas, was outrageous, and his clarifying remarks were equally as stupid, but there’s one famous leftist who only four years ago also claimed Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons: MSNBC’s Chris Matthews.
Spicer later apologized, stating, "I mistakenly used an insensitive and inappropriate reference to the Holocaust … I apologize for doing that."
With the flood of criticism pouring in from all corners, it might well be pointed out that in 2013, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews said the exact same thing:
The problem is, I don’t like it, first of all I’m rather dovish, I don’t like what I’m going to say but it’s true. If you basically put down a red line and say don’t use chemical weapons, and it’s been enforced in the Western community, around the world — international community for decades. Don’t use chemical weapons. We didn’t use them in World War II, Hitler didn’t use them, we don’t use chemical weapons, that’s no deal.
Defense Minister knocks UN for ignoring when Palestinians kill Palestinians
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman slammed the United Nations on Wednesday for ignoring the Palestinian- on-Palestinian killings in Gaza and Lebanon, while regularly condemning “justified Israeli actions against terrorism.”
Liberman’s comments, according to his spokesman, came during a telephone conversation on Wednesday with the UN’s Mideast envoy Nikolay Mladenov.
According to the statement, Liberman protested that the UN is ignoring a number of killings and executions that have happened in recent days among the Palestinians in the Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp in Lebanon, as well as in Gaza.
“The international community’s ignoring dozens of dead and wounded shows again the hypocrisy and the double standard that the world employs by ignoring these grave incidents, while on the other hand condemning Israel’s justified actions against terrorism,” he said.
Liberman, according to the statement, expects that the issue of intra-Palestinian killings will be raised at the next meeting of the UN Security Council.
UN peacekeepers who created child sex ring in Haiti were never punished
The UN report eventually concludes the number of sexual assaults is too numerous to describe in detail and involved 134 Sri Lankan peacekeepers:
“The sexual acts described by the nine victims are simply too many to be presented exhaustively in this report, especially since each claimed multiple sexual partners at various locations where the Sri Lankan contingents were deployed throughout Haiti over several years,” the report said.
Investigators showed the children more than 1,000 photographs that included pictures of Sri Lankan troops and locations of where the children had sex with the soldiers.
“The evidence shows that from late 2004 to mid-October 2007, at least 134 military members of the current and previous Sri Lankan contingents sexually exploited and abused at least nine Haitian children,” the report said.
After the report was filed, 114 Sri Lanka peacekeepers were sent home, putting an end to the sex ring.

The AP contacted Sri Lanka to ask what happened to the soldiers who were implicated in the crime. After refusing to answer for six months, the government finally replied that the UN considered the matter closed. None of the soldiers were imprisoned and some are still serving in the military.
For its part, a UN spokesman offered the AP this sort of pablum: “Improving the assistance provided to victims, who are at the heart of our response, is fundamental.” The UN continues to send Sri Lankan peacekeepers to Haiti.
Europe sacrifices the victims to avoid fighting the executioners
Berlin, London, Stockholm ... Just three important terror attacks which took place on European soil in the last three months.
Europe feels that the price it is paying for Islamic terrorism is tolerable and that these crimes should not divert the continent from its lazy lifestyle. We must be passive in the face of ignominy. We light candles, bury the dead, we treat a terror attack like a car accident and we publish editorials to say “they will not change our lifestyle”.
European compassion has become totally debilitating. It is reflected in the astonishment that an entire society, France, reputed to be pluralistic and free, has silently accepted the fact that 40,000 of its Jews have packed and left for Israel in the last fifteen years.
In 1940, a French historian, Marc Bloch, published a book titled L'Étrange Défaite, (The Strange Defeat), in which he argued that the French élites failed to recognize the Nazi threat and blamed the ruling political and intellectual class for a weak defense against the German menace. Bloch was eventually tortured and shot by the Gestapo. His book’s main message couldn’t be more actual today.
The Islamic hurricane will not pass. Instead, it will change Europe’s face forever.
Europe seems to have devised a new strategy in wartime: sacrificing the victims to avoid having to fight the executioners. It is as if we collectively accepted the sacrifice because we think we will not have the moral strength and the political firmness to fight the vicious Islamic killers. That is the meaning of the slogan “we must live with terrorism.” This is reflected in the legal concept of “state of emergency.”
IsraellyCool: Haters At Concordia University Engage In Shameless Passover Cultural Appropriation
It seems that there is a plague of Jew hatred infesting North American universities.
Only days after I posted about the Tufts Community Union student senate BDS vote deliberately held right before Passover when Jews could not attend, comes the latest in Jewish holiday Jew hatred: Passover Against Apartheid, co-sponsored by the Concordia University Student Union.
Make no mistake about it: This is a vile cultural appropriation of a Jewish holiday.
It’s occurrence today, during Passover, also ensures fewer Jews (or at least ones who truly care about their religious traditions) will be able to attend.

Daphne Anson: "Why Are You Boycotting Israel, Why Aren't You Boycotting Iran ...?" (videos)
Outside Sotheby's in London, a gaggle of familiar figures unfurl their flags and unleash their slander of Israel; it's the same old stuff, screamed by Sandra, the lady with the beautiful hair and powerful lungs, except that, rather early in the footage (so no need to stay around for the raucous ranting), passers by (I counted three in all) politely challenge the demonisers.
A second Alex Seymour video from the Old Dart, featuring, to a background track of a tinkling old joanna, footsteps hurrying past a demonstration by the Kick Apartheid Israel Out of Fifa brigade outside the stadium where Spurs and Watford are about to play.
Suddenly, the dulcet tones of Alex Seymour/Seymour Alexander himself are heard, interviewing the loquacious Irishman with whose face and voice we have all become so well-acquainted.

How Academics think about Freedom of Speech: Fisking the Email that Killed Phyllis Chesler’s Talk on Shame-Murders
In preparing an article on how Phyllis Chesler, one of the few scholars and feminists to tackle the problem of honor-killings/shame murders in the Muslim world (and elsewhere, eg, Hindus in India, Sikhs to a much lesser extent everywhere), got disinvited from a conference on the subject of honor-killings, I managed to get a hold of the email that nixed her invitation. Written by three professors from the King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies at University of Arkansas: Joel Gordon (History, author of email), Ted Swedenburg (Anthropology), and Mohja Kahf (Comparative Literature), it addressed Thomas Paradise, the Head of the King Fahd Center.
The letter is deeply embarrassing to its signers in its stupefying polemic, its craven reasoning, and its complete disregard for academic integrity. My guess (hope) is that its authors will object to its being made public in much the same way that “professors” of Middle Eastern Studies object to having their talks and class lectures made public.
NB: issue of terminology. “Honor-killing” is a supposedly neutral term that does not judge. Instead, I think, it enables, using “to kill” where, by any standards of modern democracy, these are murders. My use of “shame-murders” not only identifies the act as murder, but makes it clear that this is not restoring family honor – what family is honored by killing its daughter? – but rather it is a grotesque and criminal way of trying to wipe out shame.
Below, a fisking of this McCarthyite letter attempting to ban a major researcher on the basis of a dogmatic and anti-intellectual ideology.
The Greens Israel problem
In some respects, the NSW branch of the Young Greens ought to be congratulated for their honesty.
As reported in the Daily Telegraph, their decision to boycott activities and communication with Australia’s only peak Jewish student organisation betrays the hideous moral monstrosity that is their NSW organisation.
Where in the past left-wing anti-Semites have hid behind the odious Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement or obsessive, pathological criticism of Israel, this decision pretends to be nothing else but blatant, unshielded anti-Semitism.
Now, it seems, they just don’t talk to Jews.
This virulent prejudice is as old as the world itself and it now seems to reveal itself more publicly in sections of the Left. This sort of reasoning is how anti-Semitism slips so seamlessly into the sort of political fascism that if directed at any other group would be the subject of endless Greens Party condemnation.
Leftist Millennial Protestors Flip Off Memorial For Communist Victims
A group of millennials recently flipped off a monument in Washington DC that commemorates the 100 million victims whose lives were lost under communist regimes.
The obscene action appears to be part of a protest against the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s conference, a pro-Israel annual gathering last month where Vice President Mike Pence was a keynote speaker. Outside of the conference, an estimated 1,000 people gathered in Washington DC to protest it and push the idea that Israel should give up more land in an effort to appease hostile neighbors.
The same account belonging to an individual who describes himself as a Black Bolshevik and aligned with the #BlackLiberationMovement and #FreePalestine tweeted out anti-Israel, anti-police, and pro-Palestinian photos of demonstrators just minutes before issuing the photo of a group of people flipping off the memorial. An individual in the photo above appears to have a Palestinian flag draped over his or her arm.
IsraellyCool: Music Journo Writes Anti-Israel Article Too Crazy For Even The Guardian
Tom Horan, a freelance journalist who writes music articles for The Guardian, has decided to delve in to the world of fiction for his article “‘I’m the only trip-hop artist in Palestine!’: the musicians shaking up the occupied territories.”
It is a piece so batshit crazy, even The Guardian saw it fit to remove it “pending review” (you can access the cached version here).
It is a tale of IDF soldiers summarily murdering people..
Guests arriving at international music conferences are usually welcomed with a bit of a meet-and-greet by the pool, an ice-cool daiquiri and some tasty canapes, perhaps. They are not normally whisked off to sites of forced evictions and summary killings.
Preview: Bias by the Numbers
If an uninformed observer were to read the recent headlines in the British newspaper and web site The Independent, such a reader would most likely conclude that Palestinians are infallible and that Israel is nothing more than a uniquely destructive force in the Middle East.
The widespread publication of falsehoods like these is nothing new in the media – it was brutally exposed by former Associated Press journalist Matti Friedman in 2014 – but a new HonestReporting study illustrates the shocking intensity of anti-Israel narratives across several online newspapers.
With over 20 million unique website visitors per month, The Independent is positioned to inform millions about events occurring in Israel and the Middle East. But when reporting on the Jewish state, the publication operates on a double standard, muddling the truth in its disproportionate coverage of alleged Israeli wrongs.
In Bias by the Numbers, HonestReporting has analyzed the headlines of non-syndicated online articles that were principally related to the Israeli-Arab conflict or to Israeli or Palestinian political, diplomatic, or security events.
The findings have been stunning.

The Fake News About "Fake News"
“Tips for analyzing news sites," a list of media outlets compiled by Merrimack College Assistant Professor Dr. Melissa Zimdars, first circulated soon after the 2016 election when concerns over “fake news” became widespread. The document purports to be a guide to help readers discern reliable and unreliable news sites, and it is now being promoted by the Harvard University Library on its website. The guide itself, however, is in need of some corrections. To Dr. Zimdar’s credit, the document does state that “all tags may be subject to revision based on feedback, discussion, continued analysis, or website changes etc.” This analysis will examine two sites that have been incorrectly classified by Dr. Zimdar’s guide.
The lengthy document lists various websites, either news sites or sites designed to look like news sites, and rates each site using a combination of labels including (among others):
Fake News (tag fake): Sources that entirely fabricate information, disseminate deceptive content, or grossly distort actual news reports. …
Extreme Bias (tag bias): Sources that come from a particular point of view and may rely on propaganda, decontextualized information, and opinions distorted as facts. …
Proceed With Caution (tag unreliable): Sources that may be reliable but whose contents require further verification or to be read in conjunction with other sources.
*Political (tag political): Sources that provide generally verifiable information in support of certain points of view or political orientations.
*Credible (tag reliable): Sources that circulate news and information in a manner consistent with traditional and ethical practices in journalism (Remember: even credible sources sometimes rely on clickbait-style headlines or occasionally make mistakes. No news organization is perfect, which is why a healthy news diet consists of multiple sources of information). …
Two listings on the site stand out as mislabled. Dr. Zimdars lists the Alternet site as “political” but “credible,” and MintPress as simply “political.” Both of these sites are extremely biased, and have published false assertions concerning Israel and the Middle East. MintPress, moreover, appears to have affiliations with hate sites.
X-Men artist fired over antisemitic messages hidden in comic book art
Former Marvel illustrator Ardian Syaf stated that his "career is over" after leaving secret messages embedded within the artwork of the first issue of the comic book X-Men: Gold, some of which readers are calling antisemitic, anti-Christian and pro-Islamist.
Syaf, a resident of Indonesia, referenced numerous political and religious messages in the comic book's artwork and was quoted as saying that "when Jews are offended, there is no mercy" by the Indonesian news site Coconuts Jakarta.
Within the first issue of X-Men: Gold, the artist emblazoned QS: 5:51, or Quranic Surah 5:51, on the shirt of X-Men character Colossus. This verse has been used by hardliner Islamists to discourage Muslims from voting for non-Muslims and is considered by many to be antisemitic.
Greece Holocaust memorials vandalized
Two Holocaust memorials in Greece were vandalized.
A Holocaust memorial in Kavala in northern Greece was smashed on Wednesday night, the Athens-based daily newspaper Ekathimerini reported.
The monument unveiled about a year ago commemorates 1,484 Jews from Kavala who died in Nazi death camps during World War II. The marble veneer of the memorial was smashed with hammers by the vandals, who have not been identified.
“Every act of vandalism on a monument opens a new wound in regards to the history and culture of Kavala, a community that has always been open, always tolerant and respectful of other cultures and religions,” the municipal authority said in statement, according to Ekathimerini.
Days before the attack in Kavala, a Holocaust memorial in Arta in northwestern Greece was vandalized with paint and the word “Yolo.”
The attack came several days after the community held a ceremony to remember its pre-Holocaust Jewish community.
New film on Nazi occupation of Channel Islands prompts disquieting questions for Brits
When the Germans invaded the Channel Islands in June 1940, at least one resident was determined to show that she would not be intimidated. The ruler of Sark, Dame Sibyl Hathaway, received two German officers at her residence, making them walk the length of a long drawing room to greet her.
“You are not afraid?” one of them asked.
“Is there any need to be afraid of German officers?” she responded in perfect German.
Sark is one of the small cluster of islands — an archipelago which includes Jersey, Guernsey, and Alderney — which lie in the English Channel off the coast of Normandy. Semi-independent, they were nonetheless the only part of the British Isles to be occupied by the Nazis.
Hathaway’s actions appeared to encapsulate what one observer later termed the “icy contempt” shown by the Channel Islanders towards their occupiers. She served as an example of the indomitable British spirit which led the country to stand alone against Hitler in the summer of 1940.
Some of the islanders paid a high price for their refusal to buckle under the Nazi jackboot. Few more so than Louisa Gould, a Jersey shopkeeper who perished in the gas chambers at Ravensbruck after the Germans discovered she had been sheltering an escaped Russian prisoner of war, one of the thousands forced to work in slave labor camps building concrete fortifications which still stand today.
To counter ignorance, educational initiative asks Germans to ‘Rent a Jew’
Rita Haikin, a Jewish graduate student living in Krefeld, Germany, “rents” herself out. When she gets the call, she heads to a local school with another Jewish partner and some ritual objects to meet with pupils and introduce them to Jews and Judaism.
To dispel an age-old anti-Semitic myth, Haikin also likes to bring a shofar, a ram’s horn blown on the High Holidays.
“A few years ago, a German person actually asked me about my horns,” she said.
In a country with only 200,000 Jews out of a total population of 80.6 million, it is not uncommon for a German to have never met a Jew. For Germans, Jews are the victims of their country’s mid-20th century crimes against humanity. And there they remain in the minds of most, despite the fact that the German Jewish community is the fastest growing in Europe today.
There are several educational initiatives attempting to counter prevalent ignorance. Back in 2013, there was a “Jew in a Box” at Berlin’s Jewish Museum. As part of an exhibition titled “The Whole Truth,” German Jews took turns sitting for two-hour shifts in a glass box, answering visitors’ questions about Jewish life, religion and culture. Notwithstanding its instructive intentions, the merit of putting Jewish men and women on show in what was essentially a see-through cage was contentious.
Now a few years later, another initiative aimed at introducing Germans to contemporary Jews and Jewish life is similarly causing a stir, this time mainly because of its provocative name: “Rent a Jew.”
Record incoming tourism to Israel in Q1
Ministry of Tourism officials are hoping that 2013's record number of 3.54 million tourists will be surpassed this year.
The number of tourists coming from abroad to Israel reached an all-time record of 739,000 in the first quarter of 2017, up 24% from the corresponding quarter of last year, the Ministry of Tourism reports. In March alone, 293,000 tourists reached Israel from abroad, up 22% from March 2016.
The sharp rise in tourism comes despite the significant strengthening of the shekel, which makes Israel an especially expensive destination. In the first three months of the year, incoming tourism earned the Israeli economy an estimated NIS 4 billion, up NIS 730 million from the corresponding period of 2016. The rise in tourism has added some 5,000 new jobs to the Israeli economy.
In 2016, nearly 3 million tourists came to Israel, up 3.6% from 2015.
Virtually all tourists enter Israel by air. So for example in March, 256,000 tourists came by air and only 38,000 by land or sea, including 12,000 day visitors - this figure was down from 19,000 in March 2016.
Israeli start-up extracting water from air, around the world
From the remote corners of India to the palm-lined streets of Miami-Dade County, one Israeli company is aiming to do the unthinkable – extract safe, inexpensive potable water from the air we breathe.
“We created a product that can really be the next source of drinking water,” Maxim Pasik, executive chairman of Rishon Lezion-based Water Gen, told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday.
Water Gen made headlines at the AIPA C Policy Conference in Washington two weeks ago, when Prof. Alan Dershowitz presented the company’s GENius device, generating water out of thin air on stage.
Just days earlier, the company had signed a memorandum of understanding to install its technology in Vietnam’s capital city, while days later, the firm inked another memorandum with India’s Vikram Solar Pvt. Ltd., to deploy solar powered Water Gen units in remote parts of the subcontinent.
“All these countries that have the water shortages have a humid and hot climate,” Pasik told the Post. “We take all the humidity from the air and extract the water.”
Hydroponic farm sprouts on the roof of a shopping mall
The upper parking lot of the Dizengoff Center shopping mall in Tel Aviv is a concrete maze of cars. There is also a hothouse up here with the freshest green vegetables you’ve ever seen.
While gardening on the roof of an urban parking garage may seem absurd, Yarok Ba’ir (Green in the City) is serving city dwellers – and restaurants within a 2-kilometer radius — straight-from-the-farm veggies.
Green in the City is a joint venture between LivinGreen, a company that pioneers hydroponic and aquaponic solutions, and the Dizengoff Center, opened in the 1970s as Israel’s first shopping mall.
“The main goal of Green in the City is to bring agriculture to the middle of the city, to be able to grow food right in the heart of the city,” Yoav Sharon, co-manager of Green in the City, tells ISRAEL21C.
“People can come here and buy their products, so that trucks don’t have to come into the city to deliver products to restaurants. You see buildings, cars, pollution and then here’s a nice green garden in the middle.”
Your dinner is in the washing machine
A sprinkle of washing powder, a dash of fabric conditioner and a good slug of teriyaki sauce? Next time you load the washing machine, you might be adding some extra ingredients, if Israeli design student Iftach Gazit’s idea catches on. In response to our increasingly energy-conscious, time-poor existence, he has come up with a plan for boil-in-the-bag meals you can throw in with the laundry. Your dinner will come out steamed, pummelled and spun to a T.
His project imagines a range of pre-packed foods, from steak with garlic and herbs to salmon in teriyaki sauce, that come in waterproof Tyvek bags complete with washing temperatures and nutritional information displayed in the style of clothing labels. “I was inspired by the craze of sous vide cooking, where food is vacuum-sealed and immersed in hot water for long periods of time,” says the 31-year-old from Tel Aviv. “But rather than cooking a piece of meat at 58C for two and a half hours, you could just set your washing machine to ‘synthetics’ for a long cycle. For vegetables, you could set it to a short hot ‘cotton’ programme.”
His idea wasn’t initially prompted by the restaurant fad for sous vide, but by time spent researching the daily routines of homeless people in New York. He was struck by how important launderettes have become as 24-hour havens. As one homeless blogger put it, the launderette is “probably the most useful place on earth for the homeless, besides the library”. It is a place where “you can clean your laundry, fill your water bottles, find an electrical outlet to plug in a computer or phone, take a bird bath, take a dump ... rest for a good few hours and not get hassled”.
‘Clean meat’ confab in Haifa advances slaughter-free food
On May 7, 2017, the Israeli nonprofit Modern Agriculture Foundation is bringing together international food-tech industry experts, government representatives, academics and students to drive the “clean meat” movement from small-scale production to mass production on a global scale.
Clean meat, also called cultured meat, is real meat grown from animal cells in food-production facilities without slaughter. It’s “cleaner” in terms of basic sanitation and environmental friendliness. Clean meat also is meant to reduce animal suffering and health crises caused by food-borne pathogens and drug residues in meat from slaughtered animals.
Topics will include technologies and bioengineering tools for mass production of clean meat, regulation and legal issues, and strategies to gain consumer awareness and trust. Dr. Yaron Bogin, head of The Modern Agriculture Foundation, will speak on “Why Israel is Well-Positioned to Advance Cultured Meat.”
The Modern Agriculture Foundation partners with academia, commercial companies and the general public to raise awareness and resources for the clean meat field.
The conference will take place in Haifa at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology’s Faculty of Biotechnology & Food Engineering.
Muslim driver delights Haredi passengers with ‘Passover bus’
A Muslim bus driver in Jerusalem decided to craft a holiday surprise for his ultra-Orthodox passengers and transformed his vehicle into a “Passover bus” with aluminum foil, flowers, and even a miniature Seder table.
Ihab drives his bus on the 77 line in Jerusalem, explained simply to Ynet, “I wanted to make my passengers happy so that we’ll feel love for at least one day, in the hope that it’ll stay forever.”
The passengers of Line 77 were greeted with flowers and balloons and a whole bus interior covered with aluminum foil. In the center of the vehicle was an improvised Seder table, and one of the passengers even found the Afikoman, receiving dinner for two as a prize.
Ihab didn’t really know how render a bus (or anything else) kosher for Passover. “I don’t really understand that, because I’m not from the Jewish sector,” he said. “But a guy who works with me, Nadav Azariah, helped organize the ‘Seder night’—he set the table and bought the groceries.

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