Friday, September 28, 2018

From Ian:

Israel: IAEA was told Iran site had ‘forbidden nuclear material,’ yet didn’t act
Israel told the United States and the International Atomic Energy Agency about the existence and contents of the previously unknown Iranian nuclear site whose presence was publicly revealed at the UN Thursday by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but the atomic watchdog failed to act on the information, a senior Israeli official said.

According to the unnamed official, quoted Friday by Israel’s Channel 10 news, the “secret atomic warehouse” revealed by Netanyahu contained nuclear materials that Iran is not allowed to hold without declaring them to the IAEA. Yet the IAEA knew nothing about the site, the official said, and still failed to act when Israel informed both the IAEA and the US administration about it.

The official added that Israel knows exactly what was being stored at the facility after it was uncovered by the Mossad spy agency a few months ago, from which time the Israeli secret service kept the location under surveillance.

When the IAEA failed to act, the Israeli government apparently agonized over what to do with the information, and decided after discussions in the Prime Minister’s Office that Netanyahu would reveal it in his annual speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday in an attempt to goad the IAEA into taking action.

“There was no choice but to reveal this information, because the goal is to prompt the IAEA to take action,” the senior official said. “We wanted to wake up the world and pressure the IAEA to act against the suspected facilities in Iran.”

Channel 10 reported that the senior official revealed that the nuclear facility is under the supervision of a secret Iranian defense ministry department headed by Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, named by Netanyahu in his April presentation of the seized nuclear archive as the Iranian physicist who heads the country’s nuclear program.

“Remember that name, Fakhrizadeh,” urged Netanyahu in April, showcasing the material that he said proved conclusively that Iran has lied when it says it has not sought nuclear weapons and that the 2015 nuclear deal was built upon “Iranian deception.”
Haley tells PM that Palestinians should complain to Abbas, not Israel
US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Friday the Palestinian people should complain to their own leader and not to Israel, and urged Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to resume peace negotiations with Israel.

“We believe that the Palestinians are going to have come to the table. President Abbas is not helping the Palestinian people at all. He hasn’t acknowledged Hamas,” Haley said at a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Haley said she had no plans to meet with Abbas while he is in New York, where he addressed the UN General Assembly on Thursday.

“The Palestinians, if they want to blame anyone, it shouldn’t be Israel,” the ambassador said. “They should be looking at President Abbas and saying, what are you doing for us?”

Speaking to the press before their bilateral meeting, Netanyahu thanked Haley for her staunch support of Israel at various UN agencies.

“With you, it’s better,” he said, after Haley asked him how things are going, referring to her strong pro-Israel stance at the world body, which has long been anti-Israel.

Wiesenthal Center: Don't allow terror-linked group to visit
The Wiesenthal Center has called on governments in the Americas scheduled to host a 10-member delegation from an Islamic political organization to cancel the programs and deny entry to its members, citing their terrorist ties.

Abdur Razzaq, deputy secretary-general of the the Jamaat-e-Islami, is scheduled to lead the Salafist group starting Oct. 9 in Washington, D.C., to meet with political leaders.

The Wiesenthal Center pointed out that Jamaat-e-Islami is linked to the Taliban, al-Qaida and ISIS.

In Washington, the delegation will meet with Democratic Congress members and think tanks close to Hillary Clinton and former US President Barack Obama.

On Thursday, the director of international relations for the Wiesenthal Center, Shimon Samuels, and the group’s Latin America representative based in Buenos Aires, Ariel Gelblung, requested the intervention of the Organization of American States and its secretary-general, Luis Almagro, to alert authorities from the host nations to the group’s violent background and terror ties.

The Wiesenthal Center called on the governments to deny the delegation’s entry at their borders.

Overcoming Strategic Deficits in the 1948 Israeli War for Independence
Creating Future Victories

Israeli leaders learned from the experience of 1948 and formed four principles for their national defense strategy. First was the rapid penetration of enemy forces. Defensive operations to preserve the status quo were “judged either impossible or too risky.”[82] Israeli Defense Force leaders realized preemptive strikes and rapid counter-attacks could achieve the dual purposes of removing immediate threats from the domestic population while increasing the threat to the enemy.[83] Second, Israel needed to destroy major portions of its rivals’ military assets to help maintain Israeli superiority in arms as there would be no time to build up equipment once the next conflict broke out. Third, the potential exchange of the Galilee for the Negev showed seized territory could be used to advantage at the negotiation table. Finally, Israel understood the important role the international community played in its survival as well as the role it played in controlling ceasefires and negotiations. Future wars must be swift and achieve reasonable gains before the intervention of outside powers limited Israeli options.[84]

The battle-worn Jewish nation began immediate preparations in 1949 for the next round of fighting. The success of the Israeli Defense Force as an homogenizing agent meant it would remain the “bottleneck through which almost all Israeli citizens” would pass.[85] Israel finalized its military reorganization by structuring the force on the Swiss three-tier army model consisting of a standing army of conscripts, a mass of reserves to mobilize in war, and a cohort of permanent military leaders and intelligence services to provide early warnings. At great expense to the young state, Israel held three large-scale mobilization exercises in 1950 and 1951 to ensure the system worked.[86]

Israel’s success in overcoming its imbalances in 1948 provides important lessons for the development of national strategy. Israel’s victory demonstrates how capable leadership can unite competing interests to create a professional military in a short period of time, how diplomatic and military efforts can complement each other, and how military principles such as mass and space can be manipulated. The 1948 war also helps the observer understand Israel’s strategic thinking in later conflicts and highlights the importance and possibilities of military organizational reform.

Out of various scattered militias and immigrant communities, Israel created a professional military capable of fighting multiple foreign armies. From a population outnumbered 1 to 67, it created localized mass by deploying larger forces against weaker, divided enemies. Finally, in an indefensible geographic territory, Israel created artificial space through excellent planning, offensive aggression, and an unwillingness to retreat at great expense to its population. Israel’s ability to overcome its three strategic deficits led to its survival and recognition as a nation. Its victory was no “miracle”, but a “reflection of the underlying Arab-Israeli military balance.”[87] Through analysis and preparation, Israel shifted a seemingly impossible military balance in its favor to earn its independence.
NGO Monitor: Political Advocacy NGO Involvement in UN Humanitarian Aid Clusters
Advocacy within Humanitarian Clusters

The following examples demonstrate the political advocacy, and not necessarily humanitarian work, of the various clusters that are led by a narrow group of secretly selected NGOs.
  • In August 2014, the Protection Cluster relied on B’Tselem, Al Mezan, and Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) for reporting on Palestinian casualties in Gaza during the 2014 Gaza war. Much, if not all, claims were based upon those of the Hamas Ministry of Health. Former and current senior PCHR officials have ties to the PFLP.
  • Connie Martinez-Varela Pedersen is the current Cluster Coordinator for the Protection Cluster and a Human Rights Officer at OHCHR. Pedersen previously worked as the director of international advocacy for the politicized Israeli NGO Yesh Din.
  • Since 2013, under the “oPt Education Cluster,” UNICEF has partnered with Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) in providing “protective presence” to Palestinian children going to and from school. EAPPI brings volunteers to the West Bank for three months to “witness life under occupation.” Upon completion of the program, the volunteers return to their home countries and churches where many engage in anti-Israel advocacy, including advocating for BDS campaigns in churches, comparing Israel to apartheid South Africa and Nazi Germany, and other delegitimization strategies.
  • The “Shelter Cluster Palestine” is run by a Strategic Advisory Group (SAG) controlled by the Palestinian Authority. As of December 2017, members of this group include Ma’an, Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees (PARC), Palestinian Housing Council (PHC), Ministry of Social Development (MoSD) of the Palestinian Authority, OCHA, and UNRWA (as observers).
  • The Health Cluster specifically outlines its advocacy strategy under the 2017 HRP, stating that “The cluster will also advocate for the right to health for Palestinians in the oPt through evidence-based advocacy with duty-bearers concerning their legal obligations under International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law, especially regarding barriers to access to health services, through research, training, reports and direct advocacy with international and national actors.”
J.K. Rowling and the darkness on the left
Knight appears in J.K. Rowling’s latest crime novel, Lethal White. I don’t want to overplay its political message: Rowling is too good a writer to stop her story and advance to the front of the stage and deliver a homily in a pious voice. Like so many others, I enjoy her Cormoran Strike series for the conventional reason that she combines intricate murder mysteries with a thwarted romance between her private detective and his assistant: a drama of missed opportunities and repressed emotions that could only be British.

But Rowling’s stories succeed because they are also state-of-the-nation novels, which convey the landscapes and tensions of Britain with more authenticity than many ‘serious’ writers manage. Lethal White is set in 2012, and shows the type of activist who was about to take over the Labour party.

At that time, you could have heard Knight’s sneers at Amnesty International and the Socialist Workers Party, who told women who warned them against allying with supporters of the Taliban’s lethal misogyny that the cause of protesting against Guantanamo Bay or defeating American imperialism overrode all others. Anyone who said otherwise was on the side of US, if they were a white westerner, or a ‘native informant’ if they were not.

You can hear the sneers again today from leftists who condemn as transphobes feminists who say that trans people with penises should not be permitted to endanger female safety by being allowed in women-only spaces .

As for maintaining that ‘Israel is the root of all evil’ – far from being a handicap, a belief in the anti-Semitic conspiracy theory qualifies you for the leadership of the Labour party.
The Logic of the West’s New Anti-Semitism Crisis
While the rising tide of anti-Semitism on the European left is most evident in the British Labor party, whose leader, Jeremy Corbyn, is an Israel-hater in the old Soviet mold, it is apparent elsewhere in Western Europe as well. Furthermore, writes Alex Joffe, there are disturbing signs that the U.S. is not so far behind. Joffe asks why it is that these hostile attitudes toward Jews and the Jewish state, long present on the fringes of the left, are now moving to the center:

Coupled with the burgeoning of racialized identity politics and “intersectionality”—localized versions of Third Worldism and the “red-green alliance” [between socialists and] Islamists—traditional anti-Semitism has been updated. Jews are suddenly called upon to [make a familiar false choice]: reject their identity and join the vanguard, or become an enemy of the people. . . .

Another explanation for the current explosion of deep-seated anti-Semitism is [that] Jews are simultaneously the most assimilated Western minority and the one that remains demonstrably—even uniquely—grateful to host nations and to the idea of the nation-state and its opportunities. This is intolerable to left-wing positions that reject the nation-state, national identity, and national pride. Jewish attachment to Israel compounds the transgression against post-nationalism, and this connection to a unique and cosmic evil positions the attitude firmly as old-new anti-Semitism. . . .

This sort of reasoning generally appeals most to members of the educated elite, but they have given license to popular outbreaks of what might be called middle-class anti-Semitism, expressed most vividly by hundreds if not thousands of British Labor-party members. A sudden eruption of mostly traditional anti-Semitism from the public was waiting for its moment, with oddly familiar rhetoric: Jews as disloyal, greedy, alien, clannish, manipulative, and conspiratorial. This is merely 19th-century anti-Semitism updated, no longer theological but not yet racial.
Help expose radical Islamist Linda Sarsour

Entertainment Industry Group Works to Thwart the Cultural Efforts of BDS
While CCFP believes in coexistence and using art “as a tool to bring people together,” according to Renzer, the BDS movement uses “misinformation and preying on artists’ natural empathy for the downtrodden to politicize art and keep people apart in order to further their anti-Israel agenda.”

The general consensus is that the BDS movement is not interested in making peace, but causing friction and greater divides between people. Nowhere in the BDS movement’s rhetoric does it talk about Israelis and Palestinians living together in peace, pointed out Miller. Instead, the campaign focuses on vilifying Israel as oppressors and land occupiers. Miller said CCFP’s message is quite the opposite: “Let’s find common ground. Let’s build bridges not boycotts.”

The BDS movement puts a heavy emphasis on attacking Israel’s cultural endeavors, and founder Omar Barghouti told the The Hollywood Reporter that calling on artists to boycott shows in Israel is “one of the most critical aspects of the BDS movement for Palestinian rights.” He claimed Israel uses culture “to cover up its decades-old regime of occupation and apartheid,” and he called culture a “central weapon in Israel’s propaganda arsenal.”

But Miller explained that the BDS movement has “no business” even getting involved in Israel’s cultural activities. Culture should “transcend anything that’s relevant to politics,” she insisted.

Miller urged people not to be silent about their support for the Jewish state. She said that CCFP does not attack BDS activists; rather the organization focuses on defending and countering the negativity.

The next major cultural event set to take place in Israel is the 2019 Eurovision song contest, which Israeli singer Netta Barzilai won this year with her catchy hit song “Toy.” Israel confirmed earlier in September that the competition will be held in Tel Aviv.

Miller expects BDS supporters to make a commotion about it.
Federal court blocks Arizona's anti-BDS law
A federal court blocked an Arizona law requiring state contractors to certify that they will not boycott Israel, finding that the law likely violates state contractors’ free speech rights.

In Thursday’s order blocking the law, District Court Judge Diane J. Humetewa wrote: “A restriction of one’s ability to participate in collective calls to oppose Israel unquestionably burdens the protected expression of companies wishing to engage in such a boycott.”

She also said that the law interferes with First Amendment rights, the news site reported.

Collective action “targeted by the [law] specifically implicates the rights of assembly and association that Americans and Arizonans use ‘to bring about political, social, and economic change,’” Humetewa added.

The law, enacted in March 2016, requires that any company that contracts with state or local government in Arizona submit a written certification that it is not currently boycotting Israel and will not do so. The Arizona law is similar to legislation passed in other states. Earlier this year, a federal court blocked a comparable Kansas law, which the Kansas Legislature subsequently amended.

The American Civil Liberties Union, or ACLU, filed a case challenging the Arizona law on behalf of an attorney, Mikkel Jordahl, and his one-person law office, which contracts with the government to provide legal services to incarcerated individuals. Jordahl has had a state contract to provide legal advice to inmates in Coconino County Jail for 12 years.
Amid Anti-Israel Controversy, U. Michigan Faculty Urge Professors to Place Student ‘Merit’ Over Politics, but Concerns Persist
An executive faculty body at the University of Michigan on Monday urged professors to base their letters of recommendations on “student’s merit,” after a professor refused to write one due to his support for academic boycotts of Israel.

The Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs (SACUA) — a nine-member branch of the school’s faculty governing system — unanimously approved the statement in an apparent rebuke of John Cheney-Lippold, a digital studies professor who recently rescinded an offer to recommend a student after learning she sought to study abroad in Tel Aviv.

In affirming its opposition to such conduct, SACUA pointed to the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), whose guidelines call on professors to “avoid any exploitation, harassment, or discriminatory treatment of students,” and to “encourage the free pursuit of learning in their students.”

Per these directives by the AAUP — which has in the past rejected academic boycotts, including of Israel — “faculty should let a student’s merit be the primary guide for determining how and whether to provide such a letter,” the SACUA resolution noted.

Both the university and its president, Mark Schlissel, reiterated their condemnation of academic boycotts targeting Israel last week, while a school regent denounced Cheney-Lippold’s “antisemitic” behavior.
IsraellyCool: Anti-Zionists-Not-Antisemites of the Day: ‘People of The World United For Palestine’
Those behind the Facebook page People of the World United for Palestine would like us all to know they are ok with Jews, just not Zionists.

Either they’ve changed their tune in a mere 3 hours, or are not counting on people like me paying close attention.

Besides the clear hatred of Jews implicit in the mockery of the “God’s chosen people” concept, note the smiley face Emoji they use while posting this photo of IDF soldiers clearly crying over a fallen comrade.
More to a BBC Radio 4 item on ‘morality’ of aid to Palestinians than meets the eye
Given that the BBC’s coverage of the topic of the US decision to cut donations to UNRWA and other projects has been uniformly superficial, it would be easy to dismiss this item as more of the same.

Yet again BBC audiences were denied information concerning UNRWA’s problematic record and were given no insight into the background to its politically motivated perpetuation of the refugee issue. Yet again BBC audiences heard no discussion of why citizens of the Gaza Strip and PA controlled areas are classified as refugees and deliberately kept dependent on foreign aid.

However, in this item Radio 4 listeners heard more than an academic discussion. They heard a significant contribution from the “head of marketing and fundraising” at an NGO that is raising money for this particular cause – a cause that was repeatedly portrayed to the Sunday morning audience as the right “moral” choice.

Obviously it would therefore have been appropriate for Edward Stourton to have explained to BBC Radio 4 audiences listening to this item why a PR firm that describes ‘Embrace the Middle East’ as one of its clients claims to have been involved in the item’s production – and what that entailed.
Star Columnist Linda McQuaig Claims Pro-Israel Lobby Tail Wags Canadian Political Dog
What exactly is Linda McQuaig saying when she tacitly claims the “pro-Israel lobby” tail wags the Canadian political dog? This claim was made in the following September 27 Toronto Star column that she authored entitled: “Reactions to anti-Muslim video highlight political double standard”.

Substitute the word “Israel” with “Jewish” and you have a classic antisemitic Jewish conspiracy theory and trope which outrageously claims that a cabal of powerful Jews control government and as McQuaig argues, “political discourse” in our country.

Canada’s Ottawa Protocol on Combatting Antisemitism asserts the following: “Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective – such as, especially but not exclusively – the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy, or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.”

Furthermore, when Dimitri Lascaris (Chairman of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East, CJPME) accused Jewish M.P.’s Anthony Housefather and Michael Levitt of being more loyal to Israel than Canada, Lascaris shamefully engaged in antisemitism.

This allegation, which was rightly condemned by the leaders of all federal parties, is antisemitic according to the Protocol and the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism.
BBC News website’s groundless speculations still online
Readers of an article published on the BBC News website on September 19th under the title “Mustafa Badreddine Street sparks outrage in Lebanon” found an economical description of the death of the person described as “a late military commander of the Hezbollah movement”:

“Badreddine – who was designated a terrorist by the United States – was killed in 2016 in Syria, where he was believed to have led Hezbollah units fighting in support of President Bashar al-Assad.”

The article included a link to the obituary for Badreddine published by the BBC News website in May 2016 and readers who bothered to follow it would have read that:

“Mustafa Amine Badreddine, who has been killed in Syria, was a top Hezbollah military commander.

He was killed by jihadist artillery fire on a Hezbollah base near Damascus airport, the group said. […]

His death was initially blamed on Israel, Hezbollah’s chief enemy.

But Hezbollah later said its commander had been killed in a bombardment carried out by Sunni extremists. It has not named any of the groups.”

Any member of the BBC’s audience searching online for more information on the circumstances of Badreddine’s death in 2016 would, however, be likely to have come across BBC reports presenting conflicting information.
BBC’s ME editor continues his ‘Bedouin village’ narrative – part one
Bowen closed his report with amplification of the notion that the relocation of squatters from an illegally constructed encampment on land to which they have no claim is a “war crime”.

Bowen: “Down the desert road from Jerusalem the big issues of the conflict are in play. The UN and the Red Cross say forcing the people of Khan al Ahmar out of their village would be a war crime. But at the heart of this are families losing homes, children losing their school and pain for yet another generation.”

Notably the BBC’s Middle East editor – whose job it is to “make a complex story more comprehensive or comprehensible for the audience” – chose yet again not to tell the BBC’s funding public that the EU has also carried out illegal construction at Khan al Ahmar and other sites in the vicinity or that the Palestinian Authority and various NGOs have for years used the encampment’s residents as political pawns.

To do so would of course hamper the narrative to which Jeremy Bowen has self-conscripted and which he elected to promote in this report as well as subsequent ones which will be discussed in part two of this post.
BBC’s ME editor continues his ‘Bedouin village’ narrative – part two
With apparently nothing to say about Erekat’s barely veiled threats or the Palestinian education system which teaches glorification of terrorism and negates Israel, Bowen closed his report.

Bowen: “The row over Khan al Ahmar touches the big issues of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. But it’s also about families who most likely will lose their homes, children who will lose their school and a community that might be dispersed. This conflict has caused great suffering across generations and it seems that more will soon be inflicted on the people of Khan al Ahmar.”

Once again Bowen deliberately refrained from informing listeners that if the residents of Khan al Ahmar had not been exploited by the Palestinian Authority for entirely political purposes they could, like other members of their tribe, have relocated to a site nearby offering free plots of land, utilities and a school, with no need whatsoever for the community to ‘suffer’. Those facts, however, do not help advance the political narrative to which Jeremy Bowen has self-conscripted and so in these three radio items – just as in his previous filmed and audio reports – they were erased from the one-sided and politicised picture he presented.
The Mideast Beast Presents the Fill-in-the-Blank Israeli-Palestinian Conflict News Template (satire)
Are you a reporter who finds reporting the news on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict incredibly tedious and unvaried? Does it seem like every news story you write sounds the same, offering little-to-no varied perspective or alternative context? Fortunately for you, our idiot brilliant writers at The Mideast Beast (TMB) have created a template so you can take your reporting to even lazier and shallower levels! Just fill in the blanks and you can report on anything!

Date Line: Jerusalem, Israel or Al-Quds, Occupied Palestine (Depending on which side you secretly want to win).

Israel has been criticized by the UN for ______ a Palestinian _______.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has defended Israel’s _____ of Palestinian ______ explaining that they were legitimate targets in Israel’s fight against _______. “My friends, Israel should never have to fear Palestinian ______. Israel’s right to ______ itself is unquestionable. If Palestinians don’t _____, we won’t ______ them.”

Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas told the international community that Israel’s ______ of Palestinian _______ goes against international ______ law and should be _________ by the international community. We will continue to fight against Zionist ______, but we are committed to peace.

The United States once again affirmed Israel’s right to ________, while France affirmed the Palestinian right to ______.
Polish synagogue’s alleged attacker under psychiatric evaluation
A man who was arrested for allegedly hurling a rock into a Polish synagogue on Yom Kippur in Gdansk recently also assaulted a church and is undergoing psychiatric evaluation, local Jews said.

Officials handling the investigation of the Sept. 19 incident gave this information this week to Michal Samet, the head of the Jewish Religious Community in Gdansk, he told JTA Friday.

“I think it’s being handled correctly,” Samet said. The suspect, whose name has not been published as per Polish laws on privacy, assaulted the Catholic church in recent weeks, Samet said, citing information given to him by police. The man was arrested last week in a town near Gdansk.

“That said, the suspect did try to conceal his identity, he changed his hairstyle after the attack so he could not be easily identified through security cameras, so he’s not completely stupid,” Samet said. Still, he said local Jews have “great confidence” in police, who showed up on the scene within minutes of the report of the attack “and great to great lengths to identify the culprit,” he said.

The incident led to an outpouring of sympathy and interest by non-Jewish locals in Gdansk’s tiny Jewish community of fewer than 200 people. Its website registered half a million entries in just two days and emails and letters expressing support reached it from across Poland.
Danish committee OKs draft call to ban circumcision
A parliamentary committee in Denmark cleared the path for a nonbinding vote on a petition that calls for banning nonmedical circumcision of boys for humanitarian reasons.

The Folketingets Administration said Thursday that the text of the petition presented no constitutional obstacles.

A vote could be held before November, according to Lena Nyhus, an activist for the ban and an initiator of the petition.

The petition by the group Denmark Intact crossed the 50,000 mark in June, four months after its launch, Danmarks Radio reported. According to regulations passed in January, petitions approved for posting on the Danish parliament’s website are brought to a vote as nonbinding motions if they receive that level of support within six months and unless they are deemed unconstitutional.

Petitions that make the signature threshold are read out as resolutions, requiring the government to take no actions whether they pass or fail. Still, a vote in a major European parliament on whether circumcision should be banned would be a precedent in Europe after World War II, when the Nazis imposed and introduced anti-Semitic legislation and practices in many countries they occupied.

Jews circumcise males when they are 8 days old. Muslims perform the practice at a later age, but rarely after the boy turns 13.
India’s Flipkart to acquire Israeli retail analytics startup Upstream Commerce
Indian Electronic retailer Flipkart Internet Private Ltd. is acquiring Israel-based retail analytics provider Upstream Commerce Inc., the companies announced Tuesday. Financial terms were not disclosed, but one person familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity valued the deal at $40 million to $50 million.

Founded in 2010, Upstream is based in both Tel Aviv and New York. The company offers online retailers a pricing and product analytics service.

Flipkart, founded in 2007 and headquartered in Bengaluru, India, is the country’s e-commerce leader, with over 100 million registered users, over 100,000 sellers and over 80 million products on offer. The company reported revenues of $3.07 billion for the fiscal year ended March 2017. In August, Walmart completed its $16 billion acquisition of a 77% stake in Flipkart.

Upstream raised around $6 million in total equity to date. Investors including Israeli venture capital firm YL Ventures, Moscow-based Bright Capital, and Los Gatos, California-based Webb Investment Network.

Upstream’s team will continue to operate from Israel, according to the announcement by the companies.
IDF Blog: IDF Holds Tech Expo
The State of Israel is known for its technological advancements and is often referred to as the “Start-up Nation.” The IDF is no exception and is constantly developing something new.

In honor of its 70th anniversary, the IDF is putting its technological history on display for a week. The expo is open to the public and will feature not just technological milestones from the past, but also new developments that will be in use soon. There’s also a tunnel that allows visitors to “travel in time,” and see the history of the IDF in the air, at sea, and on land. Some of the exhibits are interactive including robotics, a flight simulator, boat training, and a parachuting simulator.

The technology on display isn’t the only draw to this expo. The Chief of the General Staff, Lieutenant General Gadi Eisenkot spoke about the IDF’s operational capabilities and its current activity.

"On the technological spectrum the IDF stands as one of the world's leading militaries. Its operational and technological strength, which is displayed in the exhibition, reflects extensive activities in the deployment of forces, activities which are done with professionalism to prevent our enemies from having advanced abilities that would threaten the State of Israel," said Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot.

So, what’s on display?

There’s the Merkava Eitan armored personnel carrier (APC). This APC can go up to 55.9 mph and weighs up to 35 tons. It’s currently the world’s only APC to run on wheels rather than on continuous tracks, which look like a conveyor belt, making it extremely fast, lightweight, and highly sophisticated. While the tank itself was developed in 2016, it won’t be put into operational use until 2020.

This advanced weapons system, known as the Mini-Typhoon, is designed to be used on most of the Israeli Navy’s vessels. The Mini-Typhoon, a lightweight, remotely operated machine gun system, is controlled by a naval combat soldier who operates it remotely. It even has engine stabilizing engines that allow the cannon to shoot accurately and stay stable. The system was developed and manufactured in Israel and has been operational since 2008.
Israel’s All-Terrain EZRaiders Latest Law Enforcement Rage
The EZRaider is presented by its maker, Israeli startup company DSRaider, as a breakthrough vehicle in a new category all by itself in all-terrain riding, allowing the user complete control with minimum training. Its simple and unique design makes the EZRaider—or its more serious version, the SDRaider—an effective vehicle for military, paramilitary, homeland security, and rescue applications. So far, the new vehicle’s most enthusiastic clients have been police forces in Europe and the US, as well as Israel’s Border Guard.

Israel Police this year has been purchasing the four-wheel tactical electric vehicles, to carry fighters and equipment in difficult terrain, including electric carts that can be attached to the vehicles. The DSRaiders have been used recently by Border Guard officers operating alongside the Gaza Strip, who have been consistently the first to reach incendiary kites and balloons launched from behind the border fence into Israeli territory.

“The high reliability of the vehicle and the simplicity of maintenance significantly reduce maintenance costs, and the ease of operation minimizes the need to invest resources over time,” Brig. Gen. (res.) Miki Bar, the company’s CEO, told Israel Defense. “The high carrying capacity can be extended in a modular fashion by connecting the vehicle to the cart, which is unique in the sense that it can be both electric and non-electric. In the electric configuration, the cart does not slow down the vehicle and allows it to carry considerably high weights.”

Bar expects the DSRaiders to be widely adopted for infantry maneuvers, ground and airborne operations, critical infrastructure security, firefighting operations, and public security.
Israeli TV show nominated for International Emmy Award
An Israeli TV show about an interracial family was nominated on Thursday for an International Emmy Award.

The Reshet comedy Nevsu, which was first broadcast in 2017, was nominated in the comedy category. The show will be competing against comedies from Mexico, Spain and Canada.

Nevsu, which is an Amharic slang world for sweetheart, focuses on the marriage of Gili, an Israeli man of Ethiopian descent and Tamar, an Ashkenazi woman - and their corresponding families.

Last year, Fox announced it was remaking the series for US audiences and titling it Culture Clash. While a pilot for the show was filmed, it was ultimately not picked up by the network.

While Nevsu was the only Israeli nominee on Thursday, it was not the only Israel-inspired one.

The Dutch production Etgar Keret: Based on a True Story, was recognized in the arts programming category. The 2017 film was a hybrid documentary of the Israeli writer's life, and his stories, which appear in animated versions sprinkled throughout the film.
JPost Editorial Israel’s Christian friends
The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ) is hosting more than 5,000 pilgrims from 85 countries for its annual Feast of Tabernacles celebration, which coincides with the week-long Jewish festival of Sukkot.

“Feast attendance has been on the rise in recent years, which is a reflection of the dramatic growth of the Christian Zionist movement worldwide,” says ICEJ spokesman David Parsons. “Our Feast pilgrims are especially excited to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Israel’s rebirth as a nation, as well as the nations’ starting to return their embassies to Jerusalem.”

The highlight of the colorful festival is being marked this afternoon, when ICEJ national delegations waving their countries’ flags assemble at the northern end of Jerusalem’s Sacher Park and join dozens of groups from Israel in the traditional Jerusalem March. Then tonight, more than 1,000 Israelis are scheduled to join the pilgrims for a gala cultural and musical program at the Pais Arena featuring artists, choirs and performers from across the globe. According to the ICEJ, the program will comprise “a celebration of Israel’s 70th anniversary of modern statehood, as well as the moving of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem” on May 14, and a special tribute to Senator John Kyl, the initiator of the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995.

After Sukkot, the pilgrims will pay a solidarity visit to Israel’s border with Gaza, where they will hold a ceremony with community leaders from the Eshkol Region. The ICEJ and its partner, Operation Lifeshield, are being honored for their assistance to Gaza periphery communities, including a donation of six new mobile bomb shelters, 15 all-terrain firefighting trailers and three special ATV security vehicles.
Evangelicals parade through Jerusalem in support of Israel
Thousands of flag-waving evangelical Christians from dozens of countries marched in Jerusalem on Thursday as part of annual religious celebrations that are also a show of support for Israel.

Many evangelicals see Israel's existence as a fulfillment of biblical prophecy, and a pilgrimage to the holy city is auspicious during the festival of Sukkot – a holiday which evangelicals celebrate as the Feast of the Tabernacles – which this year started on Sept. 23 and ends Sept. 30.

Thursday's parade was festooned with Israeli flags, as well as those of the native countries of the marchers, many of whom also wore their traditional national garb.

Israeli police said more than 7,000 people took part in the march which the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, a main organizer of the event, described as an "expression [of] our solidarity with Israel."

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