Thursday, April 20, 2017

From Ian:

Scientists Take a Stand Against Academic Boycotts of Israel
More than 100 Boston-area researchers in health care and life sciences released a statement April 13 in defense of “the liberal ideals which have shaped our democracy” and in support of “the free flow of ideas and information” that is central to their work. Why affirm something so obvious? To stop academic blacklisting by the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment movement, which targets Israeli universities and scholars.
Attempts to isolate Israel and its educational institutions aren’t new. In 1945 the Arab League declared that all Arab institutions and individuals must “refuse to deal in, distribute, or consume Zionist products of manufactured goods.” The original boycott soon extended to entities that traded with Israel. This did great economic and political damage until the U.S. Congress in 1977 prohibited American companies from cooperating with it, as some were doing. Only U.S. prohibition of the prohibition had the force to guarantee free international trade.
In 2002, a group of professors from Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology were among the first academics to advocate divesting from Israel. Two years later the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel was founded with the explicit purpose of isolating Israeli academics and institutions. Its goal was to deny Israeli scholars access to scholarly conferences, journals and employment opportunities. The boycott also includes keeping unwelcome speakers and information from campus to maintain Israel as the permanent object of blame.
The campaign’s efforts paid off in the U.S., where the American Studies Association and the National Women’s Studies Association approved boycotts in 2013 and 2015, respectively. Academic associations that have so far voted such resolutions down—the American Anthropological Association, Modern Language Association and American Historical Association—introduce new ones every year. Only through a concerted effort by school administration can universities remain free spaces. Jewish students should not be expected to bear the full brunt of attack by those who import the Arab-Muslim war against Israel into the American campus.
Nikki Haley urges UN to shift its criticism from Israel to Iran
It’s high time the United Nations Security Council set its sights on Iran, rather than Israel, United States Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said Thursday during the Security Council’s monthly meeting on “the Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question.”
“Every month the Security Council convenes a meeting on the Middle East. We have lots of meetings on specific countries and conflicts in this region but this debate is our opportunity to talk about the Middle East as a whole. Regrettably, these monthly meetings routinely turn into Israel-bashing sessions. That’s the way the Security Council has operated for years. It’s a formula that is absurdly biased against one country. It’s a formula that is painfully narrow in its description of the conflicts in the region,” said Haley, who is this month’s president of the Security Council.
In her remarks before the 15-member council, Haley condemned Iran, which she said is responsible for regional tumult, from meddling in Yemen and Syria, to its support of Hezbollah.
“Iran is using Hezbollah to expand its regional aspirations. That is a threat that should be dominating our discussions at the Security Council,” she said.
Since Haley assumed her post in January with the promise that there “is a new sheriff in town,” she has repeatedly chastised the UN for what she says is its Israel obsession and anti-Israel bias.
Rabbi Sacks on The Mutation of Antisemitism
In recent months and years we have seen the return and rise of antisemitism across Europe and around the world. But how has antisemitism mutated over time? And why does its return today present a danger not just for Jews, but for all who care about our common humanity? Please watch and share my new whiteboard animation and this important message.

Fathom: Ken Livingstone and the myth of Zionist ‘collaboration’ with the Nazis
Ken Livingstone’s examples of pre-war Nazi-Zionist ‘collaboration’ are either distorted or invented. He has taken fragments from a paper by one historian, Francis Nicosia, and from a propaganda tract by a Trotskyist, Lenni Brenner, and twisted them beyond recognition.
The existence of forced contacts between the Nazis and German Zionists (as well as non-Zionists) during the 1930s is no secret. The aim of the Nazis at the time was to terrorise Jews into leaving Germany after stealing their property. The aim of the Zionist movement was to rescue Jews from Nazi control and, if possible, to preserve a fraction of their assets.
Historians, including those cited by Livingstone, dismiss the ‘collaboration’ charge (e.g., Laqueur, 1989: 500-1; Nicosia, 2008: 291; Schulze, 2016; Snyder, 2016). In describing the contacts between Nazis and some Jews as ‘real collaboration,’ Livingstone is mutilating facts; he is equating persecutors and rescuers, aggressors and victims, the powerful and the powerless, oppressors and the oppressed. His record betrays an obsession with attacking various Jewish people, and his campaign of falsification will be grist to the mill of the worst antisemites – both on the totalitarian left and on the fascist right.
Even as horrors exposed, AP news agency kept secret pact with Nazis
When the United States entered World War II in December 1941, American correspondents in Germany left. Most reporters had already undergone difficult years of reporting under the Nazis, and major foreign photo agencies had already departed earlier, following the 1934 “Editors Law,” which stipulated only Aryans with proven loyalty to the regime could work as journalists.
The Associated Press photo department, however, stayed. According to archive material recently unearthed by German historian Harriet Scharnberg, the AP kept working under the auspices of the Nazi Ministry of Propaganda and employed Germans — among them one of the most prominent SS photographers, Franz Roth.
The discovery was published last year. Now, German researcher and fellow at the University of Vienna’s history department, Norman Domeier, found documents that reveal more about the full extent of the cooperation.
“You would think that with the entry of the US into the war there would be a final cut,” said Domeier. “But the surprising thing is, there was no cut. The German AP company continued working, in agreement with their New York office. They simply continued.”
Between 1941 and 1945 — when the Nazis were systematically murdering Europe’s Jews and the US and Germany officially became enemies of war — the Associated Press and the German regime exchanged tens of thousands of pictures.
It was a deal that gave the news agency a competitive advantage over others. And the Nazis used the pictures they received from overseas for their own propaganda purposes — Hitler himself had them regularly delivered to his office, according to a letter Domeier found in a US archive.
Anne Frank, Syrian refugee? Appropriation of diarist sparks debate in Holland
Decades after her death at a Nazi concentration camp, Anne Frank’s restless spirit in heaven finally finds a soulmate in Zef Bunga, an Albanian teenager who was murdered in a revenge killing.
Anne, whose world-famous diary recounts her two years in hiding from the Nazis in Amsterdam with her family, falls in love with the Muslim boy. They kiss and they commiserate and bond over the injustice of their early deaths — Zef in the 1990s in Tirana, Anne in 1945 in the Bergen-Belsen Nazi concentration camp.
This original take on the Anne Frank story is the plot line of a 2015 opera for children titled “Anne and Zef.” Critical of the Nazi genocide as it is of Albanian revenge killings, the show was performed last month at the National Holocaust Museum here by singers and the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra.
Based on a 2009 play of the same name, the “Anne and Zef” opera is a recent addition to a growing but controversial slew of artworks and essays that examine the Anne Frank icon outside of her historical context.
Breaking the Silence shortlisted for freedom of expression award (not satire)
The non-profit organisation Index On Censorship presented its annual Freedom of Expression Awards on Wednesday at London’s Unicorn Theatre. In the Campaigning category, Breaking the Silence was one of the four individuals/organisations on the short list. (In the event it didn’t win. The winner was Ildar Dadin of Russia, an LGBT rights activist who was the first (and remains the only) person to be convicted under a notorious 2014 public assembly law).
Around 12 of us protested outside the theatre about the choice of Breaking the Silence (including Harry Markham who recently featured in Jewish News’ ’Eighteen Under 18’ list).
The protest was organised by Campaign4Truth.
Here are my remarks delivered outside the theatre:
“So Breaking the Silence is tonight shortlisted to receive an Award for ‘Freedom of Expression’
I think they’ve got the wrong Organisation and the wrong Award.
It should be ISRAEL which is getting the Award for ‘Freedom of Expression’.
A Predictable BDS Win at Tufts
News that Tufts University was the latest to join an ignominious list of schools at which student governments have voted to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel prompted yet another round of shock and calls for action from parents and alumni.
In a particularly obnoxious move, Tufts’ Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter engineered the vote to occur just before Passover, thus blindsiding many Jewish defenders of Israel who had already headed home for the holiday. Those individuals were told to submit questions via Google if they couldn’t attend the proceedings.
The balloting — undertaken in notably secretive style, with photos and recordings prohibited to conceal the identities of individual delegates and their votes — wasn’t even close. Seventeen students voted in favor, with six against and eight abstentions.
With the vote, these Tufts students opted for punishing Israel — for allegedly being an apartheid regime — and called on several corporations to end their economic activity with the Jewish state.
Israel, of course, is flourishing economically — and not a single American college or university has acted on the recommendations of radicalized student governments to boycott the Jewish state. And the apartheid smear is a trope of global anti-Israel propagandists, which is belied by the realities of Israel’s diverse, democratic and progressive society.
But fairminded people are right to be dismayed by the bigoted BDS attacks against Israel, and their potential to poison the academic community with lies about the Jewish state. Therefore, defeating these attacks is important.
Tufts Trustees Announce They Will Not Support BDS, After ‘Ambush’ Resolution Passed by Student Government
Tufts University’s Board of Trustees announced on Thursday it “will not divest from companies doing business in Israel,” after student government passed a BDS resolution in an “ambush” vote just ahead of Passover.
Tufts Friends of Israel (FOI) posted on Facebook that an email was sent by the trustees’ chairman, Peter Dolan, to the campus community stating a decision was made in a meeting yesterday “that there will be no changes to the management of our endowment portfolio in response to [the student senate’s resolution].”
“Our decision is consistent with…our expressed opposition to academic boycotts of nations, including Israel,” Dolan wrote, adding that Tufts remained supportive of “respectful expression and debate” about controversial topics “in an environment free from discrimination.”
This announcement throws a wrench in the plans of the school’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine, whose spokesperson had told The Algemeiner that the group planned to call a meeting with the trustees before the end of the academic year to make a case for BDS.
‘We Were Ambushed,’ Say Claremont Colleges’ Jewish Students After Senate Passes Sudden Pro-BDS Motion on Passover, Easter Sunday
Jewish student leaders at the Claremont Colleges told The Algemeiner they felt “ambushed” by an unexpected vote on a pro-boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) motion in the student senate on Sunday, which was Passover’s sixth day and Easter.
Members of the Claremont Progressive Israel Alliance (CPIA) said Wednesday that the vote at Pitzer College — one of five California-based undergraduate institutions included in the Claremont consortium — “directly negated” the senate’s values of free speech, dialogue and representative governance by passing the amendment to the budget by-laws on a day when many Jewish and Christian students involved in the Israel issue were off-campus celebrating their respective holidays.
Kate Dolgenos, president of CPIA, said the “lack of transparency from Pitzer Student Senate is disturbing” and that Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) — the group CPIA believes to have been behind the amendment — initiated a “secret vote” that gave students like her no opportunity to respond.
Deena Woloshin, who sits on the executive board of CPIA, said the group was given “no forewarning” of the vote and the timing effectively “silence[d] the Israeli narrative.”
UK Jewish Rep Calls for ‘Massive Reform’ Following Latest National Students’ Union Antisemitism Scandal
As a new antisemitism scandal rocked the UK’s national umbrella student group last week, a Jewish representative — in a interview with The Algemeiner — called for a major shakeup of the organization.
Hannah Kaufman — a delegate with the National Union of Students (NUS) and president of the Jewish Society at the London School of Economics — said “more than some general apology” was necessary after it was revealed last Wednesday that a candidate running for a top leadership position in the upcoming NUS elections had posted comments on social media suggesting Jews are stingy and charging Israel with “ethnic cleansing.”
“Everyone agrees that it’s unacceptable, but that hasn’t stopped the ongoing cycle of people with histories of making antisemitic remarks running in NUS,” Kaufman said, noting that the exposure of comments by Ali Milani — a candidate for vice president of urban development — follows a year of fractured relations between the organization and the Jewish community, especially surrounding NUS President Malia Bouattia (who participated last month in a conference backed by a defender of the terror group Hamas).
“Nothing’s changed,” Kaufman said. “The individual who has been found out will make a generic apology and no actions follow. People are rightly fed up.”
The NUS, Kaufman stated, was in “desperate need of massive reform.”
Chilean BDS Activist Threatens Jewish Community After Israel Denies Entry
The Palestinian Federation of Chile (PFC) warned the Chilean Jewish community Monday not to “play with fire” following Israel’s denial of entry to Anuar Majluf, PFC’s executive director and a prominent BDS activist.
Majluf works to undermine economic relations between Israel and Chile. He was purportedly attempting to visit Israel to lead an Easter pilgrimage.
“The Chilean government should act reciprocally and refuse entry to Israeli citizens who come as tourists to Chile,” Majluf said after he was denied entry.
Israel’s move falls in line with the Israeli Knesset’s recent approval of a bill forbidding BDS activists from entering the Jewish state.
“Anuar Majluf is a major boycott activist whose organization is trying to significantly harm the state of Israel, and his attempt to enter the country is intended for this purpose,” Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan said.
The Chilean Foreign Ministry criticized Israel’s barring of Majluf, while Chile’s Jewish community umbrella body defended the move and said it was “surprised” by the Chilean government’s response.
Author’s Effort To Make Jewish History Die
The Irish Times has published an essay by author Eimear McBride, who visited the West Bank on a trip organized by the controversial and highly politicized Israeli NGO Breaking the Silence (BtS). BtS campaigns against the occupation by publishing Israeli soldiers’ testimonies of alleged IDF misdeeds or “war crimes.” However, BtS relies almost exclusively on accounts that are both anonymous and unverified, leading to many stories that later turn out to be distorted or even entirely disproved. As part of this campaign, BtS brought authors to the West Bank, to compile their essays into a book of their experiences.
The headline in the Irish Times quotes McBride: “All that is human in me recoils from this.” This indicates the theme of her article, which goes on to dehumanize and demonize Israelis, while affirming only the Palestinian narrative that “this is their homeland, all of it.” In her view, all of Israel is Palestinian and Jews have no place in Israel whatsoever. By her logic, anything Israel does is wrong because the Jewish homeland shouldn’t even exist, in which case the only proper course of action for Jews in Israel would be to leave entirely.
McBride dismisses the notion that Israelis should have any legitimate security concerns regarding Palestinians. In her view, the security fence that finally stopped the hundreds of suicide bombings in the second intifada is a “separation wall,” motivated by discrimination.
She mentions the signs Israel has put up near Palestinian villages, warning Israelis that entry is forbidden and dangerous for them, and says these signs “alarm” her. Paradoxically, though, she is not alarmed by the Palestinian attacks on innocent Israelis that made the warning signs necessary in the first place.
IsraellyCool: Reader Post: Open Letter to Professor Mary Kaldor, London School of Economics
You invited Richard Falk – who constantly uses anti-Semitic images and language – to speak at LSE on 20 March, with entirely predictable results – see here and here. You chaired the meeting. The event was billed as a book launch. In your introduction, you described the book thus: “A lovely beautifully written book of essays which I highly recommend.” (0:49 on the video).
You are quite a fan of Falk, aren’t you? Here’s the blurb you wrote for a book he published in 2014 (Palestine: The Legitimacy of Hope) – a book which justifies Hamas terror:
This is the voice of reasoned outrage. The blogosphere and legal scholarship are combined in an extraordinarily moving, detailed, and perceptive account of what Richard Falk calls the ‘legitimacy struggle’ of the Palestinian people. Anyone who cares about human solidarity and wants to understand what is happening now in Gaza must read this book.
So I thought I’d better read Falk’s new book……
I must admit to being somewhat disappointed……
Alyas Karmani on Islamic State and Zionism
Many Salafi Muslims like to claim that their way is one of the best bulwarks against violent extremism.
Usually the pitch is bakwas, to be multicultural about it.
They may well oppose Islamic State, but the way they go about it only makes things worse.
Alyas Karmani provides a lesson from this field in the clip below. The Bradford imam and old mate of George Galloway is addressing Muslims at the Green Lane Mosque, the Salafi centre in Birmingham of “Undercover Mosque” infamy.
He is speaking against Islamic State. To make his case, what does he turn to? Zionism, that’s what. There is a “direct parallel” between Islamic State and Zionism, you see, from militarism to ethnic cleansing.
Learn from the Jews of Neturei Karta, he advises, if you want to know the truth.

Once Again, CAIR Shows That Islamism and Civil Rights Don't Mix
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has been claiming for years to be not merely the nation's preeminent Muslim civil rights group, but a defender of the civil rights of all Americans.
In addition to denouncing alleged acts of "Islamophobia," representatives of the organization have been quick to condemn acts of antisemitism, police shootings of African Americans, anti-LGBTQ violence, and so forth, while expressing solidarity with every "progressive" cause under the sun.
But peer beneath CAIR's carefully-crafted press releases and publicity stunts and it's clear that the group's reactionary Islamist roots are as strong as ever.
Last week came a striking demonstration that CAIR's support for workers' rights is just a ruse. The group had been seeking for some time to block the Service Employees International Union from organizing the staff at its national office, claiming that it is a religious organization and therefore exempt from the National Labor Relations Act. The National Labor Relations Board rejected that argument in an April 7 ruling.
Impassioned ‘Homeland’ Creators Gut Their Show to Avoid Trolling; Ratings Drop
In the drama’s new alternate PC universe, Hillary is President, domestic terrorism doesn’t exist, Israel is the bad guy in the Middle East, and Carrie Matheson is a mom who defends a teenager who supports ISIS on Facebook
In its sixth season, Homeland went rogue. What began six years ago as a gripping, edgy dramatization of the war against Islamic terror waged by well-intentioned, but deeply flawed intelligence officers took a dramatic dive this season into the politically correct. Intelligence officials who risk their lives to prevent another Sept. 11 are anti-Islamic and untrustworthy. Israel is a racist state determined to oppress Palestinians and thwart America’s nuclear deal with Iran. The nation’s first female president—which must have seemed like a sure thing last summer when the show was initially scripted—turns out to be not what she seems. American Muslim communities are demonized victims of an overzealous FBI. While al-Qaida and its even more virulent successor, Islamic State, were the enemy in the first five seasons, the enemy in season six is no longer IS, but us.
Yet partly because of its gifted cast and Lesli Linka Glatter’s superb direction, Homeland remains compelling. Former CIA operative turned civil-rights-defender Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) is still among the most exasperating, if riveting, characters on TV. Ditto, the CIA’s Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin), her CIA mentor and protector, a former director who has fallen or been pushed from grace but remains as determined as ever to soldier on for his country. You never stop rooting for British heartthrob Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend), America’s answer to James Bond, no matter how disabled and seemingly dysfunctional the former special-forces assassin has become after Islamic terrorists nearly kill him with sarin gas in Season 5 in a planned terrorist attack at a Berlin subway station at rush hour. Canny CIA survivor Dar Adal (F. Murray Abraham), Saul Berenson’s false friend and evil dramatic bookend, becomes ever more villainous in the name of pursuing America’s national-security interests as he defines them.
Financial Times editorial on persecution of Mid-East Christians avoids noting the Israeli exception
The Financial Times pulled off quite a feat in their April 14th editorial on the persecution of Christians in the Middle East: they somehow managed to avoid so much as mentioning the Israeli exception to this disturbing phenomenon.
Their omission of Israel’s unique progressive advantage in this regard was even more glaring in light of the editorial’s opening sentence.
On Palm Sunday, as Christians gathered to commemorate Christ’s entry into Jerusalem, jihadi suicide bombers blew themselves up outside a Coptic cathedral in Alexandria, and at the altar of a church in Tanta, in the Nile Delta, killing 47 people.
FT editors failed to contextualise this remarkable contrast – between the sight of thousands of Christians freely gathering in the capital of the Jewish state and Christians again being butchered by jihadists in an Arab capital – by noting that the rights enjoyed by Christians in Israel simply do not exist in the Muslim Middle East.
BBC News promotes PLO narrative in copious coverage of prisoners’ strike
Significantly, in all three of the reports, readers find (not for the first time) amplification of the PLO’s narrative concerning Palestinian prisoners – as promoted, for example, in a PLO ‘media brief’ from June 2015. [emphasis added]
Report 1: “Palestinians regard the detainees as political prisoners. Many have been convicted of attacks against Israelis and other offences.”
Report 2: “Palestinians say the detainees are political prisoners, while Israel describes them as “terrorists”” (photo caption)
“Palestinians regard the detainees as political prisoners. Many have been convicted of attacks against Israelis and other offences.”
Report 3: “Palestinians regard the detainees as political prisoners. Many have been convicted of attacks against Israelis.”
The idea that people who have been convicted of perpetrating acts of terrorism are ‘political prisoners’ is rejected in Europe and we certainly do not see the BBC promoting the notion that people imprisoned in the UK for terror related offences may be defined in such terms.
There is of course nothing novel about BBC compliance with the PLO’s ‘advice’ to the media. However, the repeated promotion of the narrative according to which convicted terrorists are ‘political prisoners’ in this over-generously covered story obviously calls BBC impartiality into question.
Holocaust denial leaflets strewn at Australian universities
Leaflets denying the Holocaust were distributed on two university campuses in Melbourne, Australia.
The leaflets distributed in recent days began appearing at the same time of the opening in the city of the movie “Denial,” which portrays the court battle between Jewish historian Deborah Lipstadt and Holocaust-denier David Irving.
The leaflets tell readers that that the “official version” of the Holocaust, which is also portrayed that way in Hollywood, is “demonstrably false.”
The National Chairperson of The Australasian Union of Jewish Students Isabella Polger said: “These leaflets are the result of a nationally organized campaign to spread poisonous anti-Semitic conspiracies at our nation’s top universities. They represent an atrocious assault on the dignity of Jewish students.”
The leaflets distributed at Monash University and the University of Melbourne contained slogans such as “the greatest swindle of all time” and the “Holohoax.”
Hungary remembers Holocaust victims amid calls for tolerance
Thousands of Hungarians took part this week in a march remembering the 550,000 Hungarian Jews who died during the Holocaust.
The March of the Living on Sunday was held on Hungary's national Holocaust Memorial Day, which marks the mass detention and deportation of Hungary's Jews in 1944.
Speakers called for tolerance and facing up to the truth.
Hungarian Jewish writer Gabor Szanto said: "No nation bears collective guilt for the past, but we all have a personal responsibility for the present and the future."
This was the 15th year the march has been held.
Near the end of the event, amateur runner Peter Hajdu began an eight-day run covering 420 kilometers (260 miles) to Auschwitz, Poland. Many of Hungary's Jews who died during the Holocaust perished at the Nazi death camp in Auschwitz.
German court upholds politician’s sentence for Nazi ink
The Brandenburg Higher Regional Court rejected Wednesday an appeal by a far-right politician against his sentence of eight months in prison for displaying a Nazi-style tattoo at a public swimming pool.
The case against Marcel Zech, a member of the far-right National Democratic Party, involves a tattoo that appears to combine an image of the Auschwitz death camp with the slogan from the Buchenwald concentration camp’s gate, “Jedem das Seine,” meaning “to each his own.”
In his petition against the sentence, Zech argued that the depiction of the concentration camp is not incitement because it does not express an opinion, the German-language Märkische Allgemeine daily reported.
The court responded that the view of the Auschwitz watchtower, including the barbed wire, as well as the “Jedem das Seine” slogan, showed approval of the mass murder of the Jews by the Third Reich.
How Cartoonists fought the Holocaust
Most of the world turns a blind eye to today's growing anti-Semitism, which, as Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks has perceptively said, is "legitimized" by a façade of concern for "human rights."
The fact is that those who consider themselves the watchdogs of human rights see no contradiction to their humanistic creed in denying the right of the lone democracy in the Middle East to exist, and the right of its Jewish population to security and to life without fear of terror. Today's BDS, shameless lies, irrational hatred of Jews and mob tactics are only too reminiscent of the 1930s when the Nazis rose to power.
Nazi Germany, where the "legitimization" of that generation's anti-Semitism was the so-called "science of race," coupled with the ease with which the Jews were blamed for Germany's economic ills, was observed by the West with equanimity, as long as it was the Jews suffering, Fleeing Jews found the gates of the USA locked shut, the British White Paper prevented their immigration to Palestine - and they and their young children were sent back to Europe to certain death - while the Nazis went on to bring the world the horrors of WWII.
In the 1930s, Western leaders did not evince any signs of perspicacity about Hitler's intentions nor did they manage to dredge up any shreds of humanity in the face of Nazi trampling of Jewish rights, while mainstream media gave the topic short shrift. The NYTimes, for example, did not even consider the genocide of Europe's Jews worthy of its front pages in the 1940s, as the aptly titled book "Buried by the Times" proves.
MeMed gets $9.2 million contract from US DoD arm
MeMed Ltd., a Haifa-based firm that develops tests to monitor the body’s immune state, said Wednesday that it received a $9.2 million contract from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), a branch of the US Department of Defense (DoD). The funds will help MeMed complete the development of its bedside device to help distinguish bacterial from viral infections, the Israeli firm said.
Eran Eden, the CEO of MeMed, said the contract was a “vote of confidence” from DTRA, and a recognition of the company’s work that “further positions MeMed as a world leader in immune-based diagnostics of infectious diseases,” he said. “This joint effort, and our growing collaboration with other international stakeholders from industry and government, will facilitate the global availability of our tests aimed at combating antimicrobial resistance.”
In the past eight years, Eden and company co-founder Kfir Oved have collaborated with researchers and clinicians from around the globe to study the changes that take place in the human immune system when it is fighting infections.
Int’l Conference Highlights Israeli Leadership in Optical Technology
In the early 1970s, when physicist Abraham Katzir was a graduate student at Hebrew University, his supervisor urged him to get into optics, the study of light. The future, he predicted, was all about lasers and optical fibers.
So Katzir studied modern optics in the United States and in 1977 established the Applied Physics Group at Tel Aviv University. His many students have made significant contributions to the burgeoning optics field – which indeed became a major industry in Israel.
Israel today is world-renowned for its optical devices and electro-optical devices (powered by electricity) for medical and military applications. More than 10,000 Israelis work in optical technologies, also called photonics. An estimated 500 optics companies in Israel contribute 5 percent of total annual exports. Almost a quarter of the exits, mergers and acquisitions in Israel over the least 15 years have been photonics related.
“This is why I started a conference 12 years ago,” Katzir tells ISRAEL21c, referring to Optical Engineering And Science in Israel (OASIS) of the Israel Lasers and Electro Optics Society, held every two years in Tel Aviv.
No entry to viruses, thanks to Israeli-US team’s wastewater filter
Researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) said they have developed new ultrafiltration membranes that significantly improve the process of removing viruses from treated municipal wastewater used for drinking in water-scarce cities.
Current membrane filtration methods need intensive energy to adequately remove pathogenic viruses without using chemicals like chlorine, which can contaminate the water with disinfection byproducts.
The norovirus, for example, which can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, is the most common cause of viral gastroenteritis in humans, and is estimated to be the second leading cause of gastroenteritis-associated mortality. Human adenoviruses can cause a wide range of illnesses that include the common cold, sore throat, bronchitis, pneumonia, diarrhea, pink eye (conjunctivitis), fever, bladder inflammation or infection, inflammation of the stomach and intestines, and neurological disease, the researchers, Prof. Moshe Herzberg of BGU and Prof. Nguyen Thanh H. Nguyen of UIUC said in a statement.
“This is an urgent matter of public safety,” Herzberg and Nguyen said. “Insufficient removal of human Adenovirus in municipal wastewater, for example, has been detected as a contaminant in U.S. drinking water sources, including the Great Lakes and worldwide.”
Brazil looks to Israeli tech to solve a stinky problem
Sixty percent of the 6.8 million liters of daily sewage sludge generated in Brazil gets dumped back into nature untreated. And even that is a big improvement over the situation five years ago.
Now the South American country is poised to clean up its sewage problem using an Israeli invention for transforming human waste into odor-free, sterilized farm fertilizer.
Incorporated in February, Lodologic was established by a group of Brazilian companies in partnership with Paulee CleanTec in Israel. (“Lodo” means “sludge” in Portuguese.)
“Paulee CleanTec has a proprietary process to oxidate organic residue. We’re going to apply that process to sludge,” Lodologic CEO Gabriel Kainuma tells ISRAEL21c from his office in Sao Paulo.
“We mix a chemical reagent with the sludge and blend this mix in a high-speed chamber that eliminates all pathogens in the sludge, transforming it into safe, affordable, effective fertilizer,” he says.
IsraellyCool: Another Slam Dunk For Israel
We already know Israel haters are basket cases. This is just going to send them into overtime overdrive.
The National Basketball Association (NBA), the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the Israel Basketball Association today announced that the 16th edition of Basketball without Borders (BWB) Europe will be held Aug. 13-16 at The Wingate Institute in Netanya, Israel, marking the first time that the NBA and FIBA’s global basketball development and community outreach program will be held in Israel.
BWB Europe will bring together the top male and female players born in 2000 from across Europe to learn directly from NBA and FIBA players, legends and coaches and to compete against the best young players from the continent. BWB Europe will also include a variety of NBA Cares and Jr. NBA community outreach efforts with youth in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv in partnership with local community organizations. These programs will highlight the power of sport to promote cultural understanding while teaching the importance of a healthy, active lifestyle and the values of the game, including teamwork, integrity and respect. Nike, a BWB global partner since 2002, will outfit the campers and coaches with Nike apparel and footwear.
Israeli Economy Ranked 3rd Most Stable in the World for 2016
A nearly nonexistent inflation rate and low unemployment have helped propel Israel to the No. 3 spot on a list of the world’s most stable and promising economies for 2016 published by the Bloomberg financial news agency.
The list named Hong Kong as the most stable economy in 2016, followed by South Korea. Denmark, Taiwan, Iceland, Japan, Switzerland, Singapore and Thailand followed Israel to round out the top 10 in the rankings.
The countries ranked lowest for stability in 2016 included Croatia, Colombia, Uruguay, Brazil, Serbia, Spain, Ukraine, Turkey — ranked fifth from last — Greece, Argentina, and South Africa. The country whose economy was rated lowest for 2016 was Venezuela, despite its rich oil resources.
Israel’s economy continues to perform well by international standards. In January, Israel cracked the top 10 on the 2017 Bloomberg Innovation Index, which rates the level of innovation in a nation’s economy by scoring its spending on research and development and the number of publicly traded high-tech companies.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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