Thursday, October 25, 2018

From Ian:

PMW: The worst chapter in Palestinian schoolbooks
If you want to know why Palestinian children believe that killing Israelis is model behavior, all you have to do is look at a chapter in one of their schoolbooks.

PA schoolbooks have been criticized ever since Palestinian Media Watch wrote the first report on them in 1998, and the newest books in some respects are the worst ever. However, one chapter stands out in its overt promotion of terrorism. This chapter, appearing in the fifth-grade Arabic Language book published in 2017, serves as a window to understanding the PA leadership’s profoundly twisted values.

The chapter starts innocently by stressing the importance of heroes to national identity and national pride: “Heroes have an important position in every nation… the people – even if they are divided over many things – they all agree regarding the pride in their heroes…”

The schoolbook continues and teaches students that feeling pride is not enough. Society takes numerous active steps to honor its heroes: “[We] sing their praise, learn the history of their lives, name our children after them, and name streets, squares, and prominent cultural sites after them…”

In short, society assures that heroes are never forgotten. They might have lived in earlier times, but by naming streets and squares after them and singing their praise, these heroes remain in Palestinian consciousness.

The next message is most important: The children are taught that these heroes are not merely memories of the past they are the role models for the future: “Every one of us wishes to be like them.”

PMW: “Zionist Christians” do “not belong to Christianity” according to Palestinian Christian leader
A Palestinian Christian leader has demonized Evangelical Christians as being "pulpits in the service of the Zionist enterprise." In fact, the Head of the Sebastia Diocese of the Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem Archbishop Atallah Hanna stated that "Evangelical Christians" or "Zionist Christians" do "not belong to Christianity," and that they "have no connection to the values of Christianity":

"Head of the Sebastia Diocese of the Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem Archbishop Atallah Hanna said that neither the Christian nor the church dictionary contain anything called 'Evangelical Christians' or 'Zionist Christians.' He added: 'The aforementioned do not belong to Christianity at all; they have no connection to the values of Christianity and to the evangelical principles that always prefer to identify with the deprived and ill-fated of the world. They are closer to Judaism and Zionism and have no connection to Christianity.'
Archbishop Hanna said: 'The Christian Evangelists are tantamount to pulpits in the service of the Zionist enterprise. They are enemies of the Christian values, and when they come to Palestine they do not visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Church of the Nativity, but rather the colonies located on the stolen lands of our people as a sign of solidarity with the occupation.'"
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 24, 2018]

Palestinian Media Watch has reported on Hanna's activities in the past, among them visits to families of imprisoned terrorists and advocacy against "normalization" with Israel.
Yisrael Medad: A Jewish Polity
Who wrote:

1. Looking toward a land and a polity, our dispersed people in all the ends of the earth may share the dignity of a national life which has a voice among the peoples of the East and the West

2. There is store of wisdom among us to found a new Jewish polity, grand, simple, just, like the old--a republic where there is equality of protection, an equality which shone like a star on the forehead of our ancient community, and gave it more than the brightness of Western freedom amid the despotisms of the East. Then our race shall have an organic centre, a heart and brain to watch and guide and execute; the outraged Jew shall have a defense in the court of nations, as the outraged Englishmen of America. And the world will gain as Israel gains.

3. Let our wise and wealthy show themselves heroes. They have the memories of the East and West, and they have the full vision of a better...So will a new Judaea, poised between East and West--a covenant of reconciliation.

George Elliot in Daniel Deronda, 1876.

As if the British and the League of Nations didn't know what they were doing.

The Soviet-Jewish Translator Who Wrote Publicly about the Holocaust—until Soviet Censorship Caught Up with Him
Even before World War II ended, the Soviet government was taking pains to suppress the memory of the Holocaust, eliding the persecution and slaughter of Jews under the general rubric of “fascist crimes.” Lev Ginzburg (1921-1980)—a Latvian-born Jew, professional translator of German poetry, prolific writer and essayist, and for many years chairman of the translators’ section of the Moscow Branch of the Union of Soviet Writers—was one of few Soviet-Jewish writers able to write openly about the subject, even receiving permission to travel abroad to investigate Nazi war crimes. Eventually, however, the Soviet authorities turned against him. The turning point came with his book Otherworldly Encounters, as Maxim Shrayer writes:

Ginzburg [had made efforts] to meet face-to-face with some of the surviving top-tier Nazi leaders and with those who had known them intimately. Ginzburg enjoyed phenomenal freedoms . . . for a Soviet writer, and especially for a Soviet Jew. Having taken a number of trips to West Germany in the 1960s, he reported on his meetings and conversations with Albert Speer, Baldur von Schirach (former leader of the Hitler Youth), Hjalmar Schacht (Nazi minister of economics in 1934-1937), . . . and also with Eva Braun’s sisters, Himmler’s son-in-law, and others.

At the end of 1969, Otherworldly Encounters, [a book based on these interviews], was serialized in the Moscow monthly Novyi mir (New World)—then still the most progressive Soviet literary journal, where Solzhenitsyn’s One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich had been published in 1962. Excerpts were printed in newspapers and journals of the Eastern Bloc countries. On the initiative of the distinguished actor and director Oleg Efremov, a stage production was in the works at the Moscow Art Theater.

Then followed a change of fortune. In a Pravda article dated April 13, 1970, the then-deputy chief of the Propaganda Section of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, A. Dmitryuk, zeroed in on Ginzburg in a defamatory passage: “In the very least, one cannot say of Otherworldly Encounters that it helps denounce the social and class nature of fascism. But it does reek of sick sensationalism.” Historians cite the party’s official verdict on Ginzburg’s book as one of the factors leading to the retirement of Alexander Tvardovsky as editor-in-chief of Novyi mir. . . .
New Israel Fund Director: Grantees That Call Israel Colonial, Apartheid State Don’t Violate Red Lines
The New Israel Fund won’t back away from funding groups that accuse Israel of colonialism and apartheid, a senior official with the progressive charity told The Algemeiner last week.

The clarification comes after Hassan Jabareen — the head of the Israeli legal center Adalah, an NIF grantee focused on Palestinian rights — levied these charges in a July interview with the publication Arab48.

Jabareen said the recently-passed basic law enshrining Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people presented “a new opportunity for us to define the Israeli regime according to its laws, and not only based on its practices both internally or inside the territories occupied in 1967.”

“This law clearly explains why the Israeli regime is a colonial system similar to apartheid, in contradiction to the international Apartheid Convention, which considers apartheid a crime against humanity,” he argued.

Jabareen then suggested that “the legal discourse within the Green Line and in the 1967 Occupied Territories has to change” to reflect this situation.

Mickey Gitzin — the Israel-based executive director of NIF, which has described the nation-state law as inconsistent with Israel’s Declaration of Independence — said in response to a query from The Algemeiner that Jabareen’s comments did not cross the charity’s red lines against the Palestinian-led campaign to boycott, divest, and sanction (BDS) Israel.
ZOA Pushes Professor’s Firing From CNN, Temple University, for Promoting Farrakhan
The Zionist Organization of America has called for academic and activist Marc Lamont Hill to be fired from Temple University in Philadelphia, where he teaches, and CNN, where he is a contributor, for his support of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

“It’s time for CNN and Temple University to fire Marc Lamont Hill, where Hill is a contributor and professor respectively,” said ZOA national president Mort Klein. “Hill has continued to promote Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan even after Farrakhan equated Jews to ‘termites’ on Facebook last week, and despite Farrakhan’s unrepentant, lengthy, continuing history of making virulent antisemitic speeches, sermons and statements.”

Klein cited that Hill posted the following on Instagram in 2016: “Been blessed to spend the last day with Minister Louis Farrakhan. An amazing time of learning, listening, laughing, and even head nodding to music. God is Great.”

“Can you imagine the reaction if someone insisted on ‘amazing’ ‘learning, listening and laughing’ etc. with [Ku Klux Klan activist, and white supremacist and nationalist] David Duke? Such an individual would immediately be fired from every respectable media station and university in the country,” said Klein. “Shouldn’t someone who praises and insists upon learning from, listening to and laughing together with hate-mongering Louis Farrakhan be treated similarly?”

Hill posted on Twitter last week, “My disagreement with Minister @louisFarrakhan on LGBT/Jewish issues is principled and sincere. We see the world differently on those issues, as well as specific comments that the Minister has made recently.”

Additionally, the ZOA leader blasted Hill for subsequently tweeting, “Although I disagree with the Minister on those [LGBT/Jewish] important issues, I will not allow that to be an excuse for allowing dishonest media or poorly intentioned observers to create unnecessary division. I will not be told who to speak to, sit with, or engage.”
IsraellyCool: Antisemite Ariyana Love Behind Harassment Campaign Against Me & My Family
Yesterday I was confronted with a barrage of comments on my private Facebook page by someone calling themself Cindi Martin, who left a link to the nasty attack post against me and my wife. They then turned to my wife’s blog, leaving comments of the vilest nature imaginable, before my wife blocked and reported them.

The person only wishes they looked like that.

But I knew whoever was behind this clearly fake profile was likely behind the post itself.

This brave individual, of course, (falsely) accused me of being anonymous, yet posted anonymously themself.

As I suspected, it wasn’t too hard to work out who it was. And I cannot even take credit for that.

A number of readers noticed that the website that published the piece is run by one Ariyana Love. The name may be familiar to some of you, because I exposed her Jew hatred on here earlier this year.

Turns out, she continues to disseminate the vilest antisemitic material. Like this, for example:
Twitter Reinstates Canary Mission Account After Appeal by Its Supporters
Twitter has reinstated the account of Canary Mission—a blacklist of anti-Israel and antisemitic activists, academics and organizations—following confusion over a tweet by the watchdog earlier this month.

“After 2 weeks of being locked, and after 3 rejected appeals, we just received an email from Twitter stating: ‘After further review, we have unsuspended your account as it does not appear to be in violation of the Twitter Rules,’ ” Canary Mission told JNS. “We are grateful to all our supporters, who asked Twitter to reverse their original shameful decision.”

Canary Mission tweeted earlier this month: “.@thisisuic student Niveen Nabulsi @niv33n enjoyed her uber ride: ‘We’re bonding with our Uber driver over our hatred for Zionists and how they control the media.’ #AntiSemitism.” The tweet has apparently been deleted.

We’re bonding with our Uber driver over our hatred for Zionists and how they control the media. He’s also pro-Palestinian and Muslim #bless

— Niveen / نيڤين (@niv33n) July 5, 2017
After Nabulsi, a senior at the University of Illinois in Chicago, complained to Twitter, Canary Mission’s account was locked for exposing her racism, the watchdog told JNS.

Canary Mission added that it received a fake email two days before Nabulsi’s complaint to Twitter, allegedly from Nabulsi herself. The message claimed to be from a UIC official.
PreOccupiedTerritory: We Prefer More Subtle Antisemitism At This Institution, Mr. Crabtree By Professor Albert Bunchwick, Rector (satire)
Sit down, Mr. Crabtree. We must have a little talk.

It has come to the administration’s attention that during your lectures, you have taken to indulgence in some rather distasteful stereotypes about members of the Hebrew persuasion. Now, Mr. Crabtree, we appreciate your abilities as an instructor, but it is my duty to remind you that at this august institution, we adhere to rhetorical standards that insist on a much more discreet expression of Jew-hate.

This is not the first time we have felt compelled to stress this point with you, Mr. Crabtree. Our didactic standards assume a certain minimum level of intellectual competence on the part of our students, and it represents quite the insult to their intelligence to engage in such crude, dare I say, “in your face” displays of antisemitism. We are better than that.

We do not assume – please do not interrupt, Mr. Crabtree; you will have an opportunity to respond later – that our students require such babying. We do not assume that their cerebral functions are so impaired that you must spoon-feed them the messages you intend for them to absorb. Come now, Mr. Crabtree. Our intellectual tradition, both here and in the society at large, offers ample room for subtlety. Do exercise some.

I trust I do not need to provide more than a token example or two to illustrate the point. In this proud, venerable institution, Mr. Crabtree, we shy away from epithets such as “kike,” “Heeb,” and, it pains me to have to speak this plainly, “filthy Jew.” We can convey the noble tradition of blaming Jews for their suffering – and for ours, should it come to that – in ways that bear less resemblance to hitting our students over the head with it. Your lack of subtlety is… unseemly.
Activist Linda Sarsour Calls to Vote against Ted Cruz, Questions Faith of Muslims who Defend Police
Speaking during a panel titled "Unapologetically Muslim" at an event held by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), British journalist and Al-Jazeera TV host Mehdi Hasan said that complicated political issues require different strategies and that "we will need Linda [Sarsour] in the corridors of Congress, maybe being pulled out by Capitol police." Linda Sarsour said that American Muslims are complicit in the murder of Palestinian protestors and questioned the faith of Muslims who debate the issue of Palestine and try to defend or "humanize the oppressor." Speaking about police violence, Linda said: "I don't want to get into debates with Muslims about what Mike Brown did before he got shot, or what [any] young black person did before he got shot. That's not a conversation any Muslim should be having." She said that Muslims should not spend time defending police officers and questioned the faith of Muslims who "act like Donald Trump" by saying there are nice people on both sides of political issues. Sarsour added that she is motivated by anger. In addition, Sarsour urged Texan Muslims to vote against "religious, zealot, bigot" Ted Cruz in the upcoming midterm elections, and she questioned the faith of those who don't intend to vote against him.

UKMW prompts Guardian correction to claim Israeli police crash dance parties in Ramallah
Do Israeli police raid and break up dance parties in PA controlled Palestinian cities in the West Bank? That’s what an interview in the The Observer (sister site of the Guardian) with Palestinian rapper Muqata’a, focusing on Ramallah’s dance culture, claimed. (Muqata’a: ‘Our music is a way to disrupt, to be a glitch in the system’, Oct. 20).

Whilst Israeli security forces do at times enter Palestinian cities within Area A to search for terrorists, or investigate terrorist activity, the notion that the IDF would send in forces to raid a Ramallah rave strained credulity, skepticism we expressed in a tweet to the Guardian journalist, Kieran Yates, and the Palestinian rapper.

Muqataa replied to our tweet to confirm that, as we suspected, the Guardian was wrong. Yates then assured us it would be corrected, which it was.
A second hand BBC News report on Palestinian torture
While the vast majority of the BBC’s 704-word article is given over to paraphrasing and quoting HRW’s press release, at its end readers find second-hand responses taken from a Reuters report on the same story.

“Officials in the West Bank and Gaza rejected the findings.

Maj Gen Adnan al-Dmairi, a spokesman for the PA’s security forces, told Reuters news agency: “Arrests are being carried according to the law and we are committed to upholding the law.”

Eyad al-Bozom, spokesman of the Hamas-run ministry of interior in Gaza, said: “We do not have a policy of torture. This is a violation of the law.”

“We have taken action against officers who violated the law, including issues of torture. Some were detained and put on trial, others were demoted,” he added.”

Readers may recall that Adnan Damiri (or, as spelt in the Reuters article, Dmairi) is the same PA police spokesman whom the BBC found it appropriate to quote when, in 2016, it portrayed a temporary roadblock set up by Israeli troops following a terror attack by a member of the Palestinian Authority security forces as “collective punishment”.

While it is obviously refreshing to see this issue getting some exposure on the BBC’s website (and the article did at least refrain from recycling the irrelevant comment relating to Israel found in the HRW report), it is nevertheless notable that this is not a report by the BBC informing its funding public about the serious topic of torture conducted by Palestinian factions but the recycling of a report by an external organisation.

And so, BBC audiences still await serious, original BBC reporting on this issue as well as on other aspects of internal Palestinian affairs.
Mixing music and politics on BBC WS ‘Newshour’
BBC World Service audiences were not informed that the Joubran brothers were in fact all born in Nazareth.

Rather than an interview, what listeners actually heard was a monologue from Adnan Joubran in which he began by talking about music – and promoting the trio’s recently released album – but which soon turned political.

[Music] Joubran: “We’ve heard by a common friend that he likes our music and he does listen to our music. And we went to New York and we called him and he invited us to his house for a dinner and over this dinner he made us listen to his new album. He played for us in the house on his guitar ‘Wait For Her’ – his last track with the poem of Mahmoud Darwish – knowing that we have collaborated with Mahmoud Darwish, the Palestinian biggest poet. And he kind of asked us for our blessing because Mahmoud Darwish has died in 2008 and he wants to feel that he is doing the right thing. And then we shared with him our project ‘The Long March’ and we said if you feel that you wish to write something and to sing something with us, that would be big honour. And we dedicated this track to the four kids who were killed in Gaza beach – bombed by the Israelis. [Music] Whether they were targeted or by mistake – as the army is saying – they are still human.”

The incident to which Joubran refers occurred in July 2014 during Operation Protective Edge. The subsequent investigation by the Military Attorney General showed that the four boys who were unfortunately killed were in a Hamas military installation at the time and were mistaken for terrorists.

Although that information has been in the public domain for well over three years, the BBC World Service nevertheless obviously had no qualms about broadcasting Joubran’s promotion of the inaccurate notion that the boys may have been deliberately “targeted”.

Again without listeners being informed that he and his brothers hail from the northern Israeli town of Nazareth (and how come they are exempt from Roger Waters’ long-standing BDS campaign against Israel and Israelis),
Holocaust institute stops training guides for Poland over its rhetoric law
A Holocaust education institute in Israel that trains guides for study trips abroad said it will switch its activities to Ukraine from Poland following the latter country’s law prohibiting some rhetoric about the genocide.

The Shem Olam institute, located in a small village in central Israel that also includes a small museum, focuses on religious life during the Holocaust and has trained some 20 guides for Holocaust study trips in Poland. The institute made the announcement Thursday in a statement to the media.

The goal of the switch is to “reduce the number of delegations to Poland, which constitute a major touristic element, and even hurt the ‘touristic’ inflow of roots trips and thereby send across a clear message of rejection of the state’s interference with the narrative of the Holocaust.”

Earlier this year, Poland’s parliament passed a measure that outlawed rhetoric in which Poland is blamed for Nazi crimes, triggering angry reactions from Israel and Jewish groups that said it amounted to Holocaust revisionism.

“The Polish people [are] trying to deny [their] crimes during the Holocaust but the main problem is the Polish government, which is adhering to a worrisome policy lately of Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism,” said Rabbi Avraham Kriger, Shem Olam’s director, adding, “It is time to stop the river of millions of dollars flowing into Poland each year” through the trips.
Auschwitz museum gets baton of Nazi death camp ‘kapo’
The Auschwitz museum has obtained a new relic from the death camp that Nazi Germany operated during World War II: the baton of the inmate orchestra’s conductor.

The 32-centimeter (13-inch) wood-and-ivory baton with a plaque reading “F. Nierychlo 1940 (A)” was obtained from a private individual, Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum spokesman Bartosz Bartyzel said Wednesday.

Franciszek Nierychlo, a postal clerk and a musician, was brought to Auschwitz in June 1940 in a transport of Polish prisoners. The Nazis made him the supervising “kapo” in the camp kitchen. According to the museum, survivors who gave testimony after the war described him as cruel and cooperative with the Germans.

The orchestra that Nierychlo organized on Nazi orders played lively tunes while Auschwitz inmates were maltreated.

The inmates were ordered to march in time to the music after hours of arduous toil. Survivors said the musicians received more food and had clean clothes.
'Sex and the City's' Chris Noth visits Israel for filming
Actor Chris Noth - aka "Big" from Sex and the City - arrived in Israel earlier this week for a short work trip.

According to Channel 12’s Good Evening with Guy Pines, Noth is in the Jewish state in order to film an episode of Yehuda Levi’s TV series Very Important Person. In the episode, Levi – who plays a fictionalized version of himself – is finally cast in a Hollywood film featuring Noth.

And Walla! caught photos of the Good Wife actor and married father of two dining all by his lonesome at a restaurant in Jaffa on Tuesday night.

This isn’t Noth’s first time in the Holy Land – but it has been a while since his last visit. In 2004, he visited Israel on a 10-day tour organized by the Tourism Ministry. During that visit, he visited the Western Wall, the Dead Sea and Masada, and even planted a tree at a JNF forest outside of Jerusalem – a Birthright trip of sorts for celebrities. He even filmed a TV commercial for an Israeli deodorant brand.

“I feel great solidarity, as a New Yorker, being here in Israel,” Noth told reporters in 2004, according to AP. “I hope to show Americans that they should come here.”
Alibaba founder says in Israel, innovation is as natural as water
Jack Ma, the founder of China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, said on Thursday at a conference in Tel Aviv that he has learned two things about Israel during his two trips to the country: it has innovation, and it has chutzpah, “the courage to change.”

“In Israel, innovation is everywhere, like water and food, it’s so natural,” the business magnate and philanthropist told an audience of local and foreign tech entrepreneurs, investors and government officials who gathered for the Prime Minister’s Innovation Summit.

Even if you don’t have anything, he said, “if you have brain and a heart, you can make everything possible.”

When knowledge — IQ — meets emotional intelligence, or EQ, “that is called innovation.” he said. “Israel has all of these things.”

“Israel knows that the most precious resource in the world is not oil, gas — it is the human brain,” he said. And Israel innovates not only for itself, but for the world.

“Most people innovate for success, but I find Israel innovates for survival,” he said. “You don’t have diamonds, but you have the biggest diamond exchange in the world. You don’t make cars, but you have the best car technology in the world. You don’t have water, but I heard that you are one of the biggest exporters of vegetables and fruits to Europe. That is amazing.”
Microsoft overtakes Intel in list of best tech firms to work for in Israel
On Tuesday, business data, analytics, and insights company Dun & Bradstreet Corporation revealed its annual list of best 50 workplaces in Israeli tech. Google and Facebook nabbed first and second places on the list, same as last year.

The list was presented at an event held in at shared office venture Labs in Tel Aviv in partnership with Calcalist.

Microsoft came in third, displacing Intel, which dropped to the 7th place. Last year, Microsoft came in 13th. Apple Israel and came in fourth and fifth, the same as last year.

In January, Microsoft appointed Assaf Rappaport to head its Israeli research and development center. Rappaport, 35, joined Microsoft in 2015 after the company bought Adallom Inc., the cloud security startup he co-founded and led. The center was relocated to a leased WeWork space in Tel Aviv earlier this year.

Microsoft's jump in the ranking can be attributed to the global company's change in attitude from "we know everything" to "we'll learn everything," Rappaport said Tuesday. In Israel, the company is becoming more socially involved not just when it comes to its own employees, but also concerning society in general, he said, adding that there is still much to be done to increase diversity.
Tel Aviv University to partner in new Chicago innovation, entrepreneurship hub
Tel Aviv University has been chosen to become one of four founding partners of a new innovation and entrepreneurship hub to be set up in Chicago.

The university will join three other institutions – University of Illinois, University of Chicago and Northwestern University — in the venture, which will be backed by $500 million from the State of Illinois and has the support of the City of Chicago.

The funding will go toward the building of the innovation and entrepreneurship hub, to be called the Discovery Partners Institute (DPI), and to create a network of interconnected hubs across Illinois, Tel Aviv University said in a statement.

The new center will focus on research and education in the fields of entrepreneurship and innovation, emphasizing areas like cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, big data and food security.

TAU will operate labs, classrooms and offices at the center, for the benefit of undergraduates, graduate students and faculty who will go to the DPI for studies and research. The center will promote entrepreneurship though helping set up new companies, connecting startups with venture capital funding, and linking new companies with established firms in their market sectors.
Late president Peres delivers hologram message at Israel Innovation Summit
Shimon Peres, the late Israeli president who helped forge Israel’s identity as a so-called Startup Nation, was heard from again via hologram message heard by hundreds of investors, entrepreneurs and members of foreign delegations attending the Innovation Summit in Tel Aviv on Thursday.

The message, a “spiritual will” prepared by Peres before his death two years ago, was released by his family for the first time at the summit, where the Peres Center for Peace inaugurated its Israeli Innovation Center.

“My vision for the Israeli Innovation Center, established here within the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation, is to serve as a window to the future. A place for dreams. A place that expresses the desire to leave the next generation with a better and brighter future,” Peres said in the message.

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“The future is made of the dreams of today – we must continue to work on developing the vision of tomorrow, not simply on remembering the past. We have the power to create change and the opportunity to have an impact. A revolution against convention is necessary. It requires daring, dissatisfaction, and healthy and vibrant chutzpah.”
Israeli Businessman to Be Honored by Queen Elizabeth II for Creating UK-Israel Tech Partnerships
An Israeli businessman will be honored by Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday for building partnerships between the UK and Israel in the field of technology, Buckingham Palace announced.

Haim Shani, chairman of the UK Israel Tech Hub, will receive the Order of the British Empire by British Ambassador to Israel David Quarrey on behalf of the queen.

“Through his belief in the potential of collaboration between the UK and Israel, Haim has helped transform the tech partnership between the two countries,” Quarrey said. “We have benefited hugely from Haim’s experience and wisdom. I am grateful to Haim for his role in making the UK Israel Tech Hub a success and for pioneering this new form of economic diplomacy.”

The UK Israel Tech Hub, which operates out of the British Embassy in Israel, focuses on promoting technology and innovation partnerships between the two countries. Shani has been the chairman of the The Hub since its establishment in 2011 and during that time has overseen the delivery of 175 partnerships between UK and Israeli companies, according to The Jewish Chronicle.

“In a short time the UK Israel Tech Hub has created fruitful collaborations which carry great value both for the UK economy and Israeli innovation,” Shani said. “The fact that the Palace chose to award me with this honor demonstrates how important this initiative is for the UK, and I am grateful for that.”
At least 17 killed in Jordan flooding; IDF joins rescue effort
At least 17 people, most of them children, were killed when their bus was swept away by flash floods near the Dead Sea in Jordan on Thursday, according to Jordanian emergency services.

A further 22 people were injured in the incident, the official Petra news outlet reported, citing civil defense sources.

The students from a private school and their adult chaperones were touring near the Dead Sea when heavy rains led to flash floods in the area, Health Minister Ghazi al-Zaben and official media said.

“It appears that a mudslide along the road swept their bus away,” said an official from the civil defense, Jordan’s fire service, who asked not to be named.

The Israeli military joined in the search, sending several helicopters from the Israeli Air Force’s elite search-and-rescue Unit 669 across the border, the army said.

“In light of a request from the Jordanian government, a number of air force helicopters with 669 soldiers, led by the commander of the unit, were dispatched,” the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement.

“At this time, the soldiers are assisting in the search and rescue efforts for the missing and are doing all they can, despite the weather conditions, to assist the survivors in the flood area,” the army said.

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