Tuesday, November 24, 2020

From Ian:

How Trump can expose biggest lie in Middle East: Palestinian ‘refugee’ myth
The outgoing Team Trump should issue an updated, unclassified report that provides a current estimate of the number of people receiving UNRWA assistance today who were personally displaced in 1948, aren’t residing within the borders of the Palestinian Authority and aren’t citizens or permanent residents of another country, such as Jordan.

This number should be easy to estimate by simply requesting figures from Israeli, Palestinian, UN, Jordanian and other Mideast officials. The public release of these figures could spark an international debate over UNRWA’s mandate. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo should also announce an official US policy change that for purposes of future US funding and planning, Palestinian refugees are narrowly defined as people who were personally displaced from then-Palestine between 1948 and 1949 and aren’t currently citizens or permanent residents of the Palestinian Authority or any country.

Such a move would challenge the notion that UNRWA is a refugee agency and demonstrate how it instead has kept people in poverty. Unlike the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, which has a mandate to resettle refugees, UNRWA has encouraged multiple generations of helpless people to remain erroneously identified as refugees.

The policy change would thus upend the mythology of a Palestinian “right of return” — making it clear that Israel determines who becomes Israeli citizens, not a UN agency. With all of this established, destitute Palestinians living in the West Bank might finally be encouraged to lead economically productive lives within a future Palestinian state.

The United States should not be alone in this effort. The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are among the agency’s top contributors. As they look to a future of peaceful coexistence with Israel, they can influence UNRWA’s mandate and remove a significant historical hindrance to the peace process. American allies in Europe may also quietly seek to reduce UNRWA’s unending financial burden. They, too, may be persuaded to join a reform coalition.

UNRWA has done enough damage. It’s time for reform.

The Peace Illusion
It is not surprising that Israelis, including those, like Schwartz and Wilf, who want a two-state solution to the conflict, will not accept the putative right of return. What is surprising and dismaying is that Western governments, including that of the United States, have failed to recognize the centrality and pernicious character of this demand. How, then, should the Biden Administration approach the Israeli-Palestinian conflict beginning in 2021?

First, it should follow the lead of the Trump Administration, which declined to continue to fund UNRWA, and seek to abolish that agency. In their concluding chapter, the authors of The War of Return offer some helpful suggestions for how to do so. Second, the new administration should make clear to the Palestinian authorities that the necessary condition for the continuation of an American-sponsored peace process is a clear, unambiguous, publicly and repeatedly stated renunciation of the right of return. By retaining their claim to this right, the Palestinians signal that they continue to pursue the destruction of Israel, in which case no settlement is possible.

Third, the Biden Administration should observe the diplomatic equivalent of the Hippocratic Oath in medicine: it should do no harm. Persisting in trying to broker an agreement while the Palestinians insist on a right of return does do harm. It encourages the Palestinians to believe, or at least to hope, that the American government does not oppose the elimination of Israel, which in turn gives them reason to continue to seek it. As long as they call for millions of people to be able to make themselves at home in a country that they have never seen, with the vast majority of whose citizens they do not share a common language, common aspirations, or common values, and whom they have been taught their whole lives to despise, nothing American diplomats can do will end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Under such circumstances that is precisely what the United States should do about that conflict: nothing.
Jonathan S. Tobin: The man Israel left behind and the damage left with him
What followed was a long-running shadow play in which many American Jews and Israelis portrayed Pollard as a martyr to anti-Semitism—something that only undermined the otherwise strong case for clemency for him and also hardened the desire of U.S. intelligence to keep him in prison in order to make an example of him. Eventually, he even became a bargaining chip in which his release was offered as an inducement to make Israel make territorial concessions in peace negotiations, though in the end, Netanyahu’s efforts to get President Bill Clinton to free him in this manner ultimately failed.

While the value of his spying and the damage he did to America remains a matter of debate, what isn’t in question is that this affair created unnecessary tension between the two allies that lasted for decades.

Just as bad was the shadow that his spying cast on the loyalty of every Jew working in the Pentagon. Indeed, U.S. authorities spent many years hounding Jewish personnel searching for another mythical Israeli spy, harming the careers of many Jews. It also fed into an anti-Semitic narrative that dovetailed with the “Israel Lobby” myth that portrayed the United States as being ruthlessly manipulated by Jews who were more loyal to Israel than to America.

It is only right that the ordeal of the spy, who paid far more dearly than he should have for his mistakes (Pollard served more time in prison than many murderers), is over. Let’s hope that after so much suffering, he finds some peace in Israel and will avoid doing anything that will fuel a revival of the controversy he engendered.

But it is just as important that his many supporters not misinterpret what happened to him as being solely a morality tale of a heroic Jew who was persecuted by anti-Semites for helping Israel. Both the hapless Pollard and his cynical Israeli handlers—none of whom were ever truly held accountable for their part in this fiasco—supplied ammunition to those anti-Semites who falsely claim that there is a contradiction between being an American patriot and having a deep concern for Israel. Sadly, that will remain Jonathan Pollard’s true legacy long after he has completed his journey to the Jewish state.
Netanyahu phones Pollard: ‘When are we going to see you here? We’re waiting’
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday spoke by phone with Jonathan Pollard, telling the former US Navy analyst convicted of spying for Israel that the Jewish state is waiting for him to move here after his parole ended.

“When are we going to see you here? We’re waiting for you,” Netanyahu told Pollard, speaking in English.

Pollard’s reply, which caused Netanyahu to chuckle, could not be heard.

“You should feel comfortable and you should really feel at home,” the prime minister added.

He also promised to make sure Pollard’s wife Esther gets the cancer treatment she needs.

Caroline Glick: To be clear, I think the title the Jew hating "Jewish Voice for Peace" gave to their panel featuring four enemies of Jewry is accurate (facebook)
To be clear, I think the title the Jew hating "Jewish Voice for Peace" gave to their panel featuring four enemies of Jewry is accurate, or at least the beginning "Dismantling Anti-Semitism," is accurate.

"Dismantling" in the sense of "deconstructing," as in denying anti-Semitism exists or denying that it is a problem, or both. That is their object.

And by the way, they aren't wrong, by their bigoted standards. The Jew hating left has by and large jettisoned the racial anti-Semitism of the Nazis. They've replaced it with the anti-Zionism of the Soviets. The essence of both is the same -- hatred of Jews in their most pronounced, significant contemporary form.

We often forget that the term "anti-Semitism" was invented by Jew haters who sought to provide a veneer of "science" to their new form of Jew hatred. Eugenics, scientism and "race science" were all the rage among the Western elite in the mid to late 19th century. By reinventing Jews as "Semites" and calling them a race, the Jew haters were able to pretend that they weren't bigots whose lives were centered on their obsessive hatred of the Jews and desire to annihilate them. The were simply intellectuals, "researching" race and "discovering" -- surprise, surprise -- that Semites, that is, Jews, were subhuman and needed to be annihilated.

Anti-Zionism is the new veneer, adapted to the popular anti-colonialism of the chic progressive, post-nationalist neo-imperialist left. It's not that they hate Jews -- heaven forbid! Some of their best friends are Jews. It's just that the Jewish state, that is, the center of the Jewish world and the largest Jewish community in the world, is inherently evil and racist and must be annihilated. And Jews outside of Israel who support the Jewish state need to be booted out of civil society.
Human rights and antisemitism: Beyond the partisan divide – opinion
AT THE SAME time, there are legitimate concerns regarding the perception that the US declaration, coming at this time, is partisan and politicized, and thus detracts from the potential impact. The issues stemming from the hostile takeover of the human rights movement by obsessive anti-Israel ideologues started long before the current administration, and should not be simply dismissed in the context of American political polarization.

Addressing this point, antisemitism analyst Ben Cohen warned, “In practical terms, then, to announce such a policy during the twilight of the Trump administration is perhaps condemning it to an undeserved fate. Undeserved, because the basic idea underlying the policy is a sound one – that trafficking in antisemitic canards should not be permitted to hide behind noble labels such as freedom of speech, and nor should doing so leave offenders free from the material consequences of their actions. That is a courageous position to take.”

Liberals for whom human rights are sacred principles need to stop turning a blind eye to the systematic distortions and abuses led by Human Rights Watch and the others. The evidence is in plain view for all who care to look. To cite one of many examples, in 2006 Ken Roth derisively referred to the Israeli responses to a brutal Hezbollah terrorist attack as “an eye for an eye” and “the morality of some more primitive moment,” are, in the words of the head of the ADL at the time, Abraham Foxman, “a classic antisemitic stereotype.” Legitimate criticism of Israeli actions must not be confused with or used to justify demonization and hatred.

Precisely because the basic idea “is a sound one” and the evidence is overwhelming, it is important that this initiative be joined by Democratic Party officials in the United States, and by Europeans. The demand for serious measures, such as pressing these organizations to adopt and implement the IHRA working definition of antisemitism, are not bounded by party affiliation. Human rights, antisemitism and the need to take a strong stand against attempts to confuse them are too important to be rejected on the basis of narrow political partisanship.
David Dinkins, New York's first and only Black mayor, dies at 93
New York, during Dinkins' term, was battling high crime, a fierce economic recession and the AIDS epidemic.

But it was his role in the 1991 Crown Heights riot that would most define his mayoralty.

The riot was sparked in the racially divided Brooklyn neighborhood by the acquittal of a young black man, Lemrick Nelson, in the killing of Yankel Rosenbaum, a 29-year-old Jewish student.

Speaking in 2011, Dinkins remembered his handling of the riot as one of his chief regrets.

"The thing that hurt the most, I suppose, was to be accused by some of permitting - holding the police back - and permitting young blacks to attack Jews," Dinkins said, according to the New York Times.

"And this was untrue, inaccurate and not so, and that's kind of painful. But if I had it to do over again, I would have said maybe 24 hours earlier to the police, ‘What you’re doing isn’t working,’ which I finally said."
Media Blackout: Panel on Antisemitism to Feature Notable BDS Proponents
BDS Movement: Bent on Israel’s Destruction

A casual newsreader could be persuaded to believe that the BDS movement is non-violent and simply aims to advance Palestinian interests. But this could not be farther from the truth. A few quotes from BDS leaders reveal their real motive:

“Definitely, most definitely, we oppose a Jewish state in any part of Palestine.”
– Omar Barghouti, founder, BDS
(Barghouti subsequently clarified that “Palestine” encompasses all of present-day Israel)
“The real aim of BDS is to bring down the State of Israel… this should be stated as an unambiguous goal.”
– As’ad Abu Khalil, Professor of Political Science at California State University, Stanislaus and BDS leader
“I think the BDS movement will gain strength from forthrightly explaining why Israel has no right to exist.”
– John Spritzler, author and BDS leader.

Despite its adherents’ attempt to cloak the movement in “progressive” terms, BDS has one goal: to demonize Israel incessantly in hopes that the masses will eventually agree that the lone Jewish state is illegitimate and should thus be eradicated.

Tlaib: I Hope Blinken Doesn’t Suppress My Right to Speak Out Against Bibi
She subsequently tweeted on November 23: “[Secretary of State Mike] Pompeo has moved to suppress BDS [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions], a peaceful protest movement protected by the 1st Amendment. I hope that Mr. Blinken and President-Elect Biden’s Administration will change course from [President Donald] Trump’s State Department & not target or suppress support of Palestinian human rights.”

On November 19, the State Department classified the BDS movement as anti-Semitic and announced that it will take steps to ensure that foreign aid does not go to organizations that boycott Israel or support BDS.

Pro-Israel Twitter users criticized Tlaib’s tweets as being anti-Semitic.

“If a Jewish American politician tweeted this, they would be immediately accused of being more loyal to Israel than the people they represent…by Rashida Tlaib,” Israel-based writer Hen Mazzig tweeted.

Former New York Democratic Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who also heads the Americans Against Antisemitism watchdog, similarly tweeted, “Biden names a Jew to his cabinet. What’s Rashida’s response?! ‘Welp, as long as that Judische pick doesn’t stop me from focusing my hatred on one country, Israel, then he’s a good Jew!’ It’s not your 1A right you’re trying to protect but your vile Jew-hatred!”

International human rights lawyer Arsen Ostrovsky also tweeted to Tlaib, “You are just obsessed with Israel and BDS. Why don’t you focus a little more on your district, than engaging in mild Antisemitism and bigotry.”

BDS Without Campus
In late September, students at Columbia College voted yes on a resolution for the university to divest its assets from companies that do business with Israel. But this vote looked different from hundreds of other Boycott, Divest, Sanctions resolutions: Instead of holding demonstrations on the campus quad, hosting speakers on campus for teach-ins, and posting flyers on bulletin boards, all campaigning happened online.

The vote had originally been scheduled for April 2020, but after the first wave of the coronavirus cleared out the campus, it was postponed until the fall in the hope that it could happen in-person then. But for the fall semester, Columbia only invited back to campus students who had extenuating circumstances at home, forcing a change in organizing tactics and a decrease in the campaign’s visibility.

“I don’t remember seeing anything that was like vote for or against BDS … It seemed very vague to me,” first-year student in Columbia’s Engineering School Ben Stettin told me. “Also, [I was] not sure if freshmen were allowed to vote in it.”

What happens when a social movement rooted in physical campus protest moves online? From all sides, the new environment presents new challenges and opportunities. Removed from campuses, some of the vitriol of discussion may be diffused. Conversely, by moving online, debate can extend beyond the students on campus and include outside agitators.

Israel rhetoric varies greatly from campus to campus, affected by the students’ political leanings, institutional support for Israel-Palestine conversations, and college reputation for activism. Students at the University of California, Berkeley have served as national leaders in college activism since the Vietnam antiwar movement. Its students frequently protest and debate about Israel, boycotting and shouting down speakers, sponsoring and teaching courses about Israeli settler-colonialism through the university’s DeCal system, and lobbying local government representatives. At Berkeley and other “activist campuses,” students supporting Israel often end up defending against attacks rather than proactively educating and advocating.

“Before COVID I think Berkeley's pro-Israel community in some aspect largely felt like we were on the defensive a lot of the time and it was largely about putting out fires that were started by the pro-Palestinian movements on campus,” said Garrett Layton, a junior at Berkeley and executive board member of Bears for Israel. “There were protests consistently. There was a lot of propaganda, negative propaganda … People would just kind of spin each other's language to try and demonize the other side.”
Albanian Prime Minister says antisemitism is threat to civilisation after the country adopts the International Definition of Antisemitism
Antisemitism is a threat to civilisation, according to Albania’s Prime Minister, who made the statement within days of his Government adopting the International Definition of Antisemitism.

Speaking at a forum against antisemitism organised in partnership with the Jewish Agency for Israel, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said: “We need to continue and fight any form of antisemitism, which is a threat to our own civilisation.”

The first such forum to be staged in the Balkans, and held online owing to the Coronavirus pandemic, it was attended by top diplomats, including US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The event was held just days after the Muslim state’s Parliament voted unanimously to adopt the Definition.

During the forum, it was stated that Jews were protected in Albania during WWII, and that no Jews were handed over to the Nazis, despite occupation by Nazi Germany from 1943 to 1944.
Manchester Metropolitan University and Buckingham New University adopt International Definition of Antisemitism
Manchester Metropolitan University and Buckingham New University have both reportedly adopted the International Definition of Antisemitism.

Buckingham New University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Nick Braisby reportedly said: “Antisemitism is repugnant. It is a form of racism, has no place within society and will not be tolerated at our University. Our decision to adopt the [International] Definition of Antisemitism demonstrates our commitment to be an inclusive community that welcomes and celebrates all of our members irrespective of their background or ethnicity. Adopting the Definition is an important step in our ongoing work towards eradicating racism, harassment, discrimination and prejudice.”

They join Lancaster University and the University of Cambridge as recent adopters of the Definition.

Recently, Gavin Williamson, the Education Secretary, called on universities to adopt the Definition.
Lancaster University adopts International Definition of Antisemitism after campaign by Jewish students
Lancaster University has adopted the International Definition of Antisemitism after a campaign by Jewish students.

The University agreed to adopt the Definition at a meeting of the University Council on 20th November.

The University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Andy Schofield, said: “This is one important element of the University’s wider commitment to ensure that the University is fair and inclusive. We will be continuing to work with our partners in both Israel and Palestine to increase our awareness and understanding of the major issues that affect our diverse community.”

Previously, Jewish students at Lancaster had protested perceived inaction by the University following a call from the Education Secretary for universities to adopt the Definition. The Jewish Society’s President had said: “We will not stop working until this Definition is adopted.”
SJP-Backed Student Referendum at Tufts Pushes Antisemitic Libel That Israel Trains US Police to Harm Minorities
A notorious anti-Israel group is pushing a student referendum at Tufts University that promotes the discredited libel that the Jewish state trains US police forces to harm minorities.

The Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter at the Massachusetts institution got the initiative — which calls for the “demilitarization” of the Tufts University Police Department (TUPD) — on the Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate special election ballot that will be sent out this week.

Several unnamed members of SJP told The Tufts Daily that the referendum was specifically related to alleged Israeli training of the TUPD.

“Our referendum is seeking to promote the safety of students (especially POC students) by demanding the Tufts administration prohibit TUPD officers from attending military-led and/or similar international trips in the future, refine the vetting process to prevent prior attendees from being hired, and apologize for sending the former Tufts police chief to a militarized training trip,” they commented.

Facebook Still Ignoring Warnings of Neo-Nazi Fundraising Network on Its Platforms, New Report Claims
Tech giant Facebook has failed to heed warnings that a far-right network involving 80,000 activists continues to use both the Facebook and Instagram platforms to raise funds, according to a new report issued on Monday.

Headlined “Hatebook,” the report from the Center for Countering Digital Hate — a London-based NGO — argued that it was “a sign of the impunity with which modern Fascists radicalize, recruit and finance on Facebook and Instagram that they feel comfortable using the platforms to sell branded merchandise, as though they were mainstream brands.”

Pulling no punches, the report continued: “Popular and mainstream brands are unlikely to be aware that their advertisements appear next to extreme Neo-Nazi material on Facebook and Instagram, especially as they have been reassured that countermeasures are in place. Governments will be appalled that their counter-extremism efforts are being undermined so openly.”

The report claimed that Facebook “was told about this specific problem two years ago but failed to take action.”

It added: “The scale of their inaction means it would not be unreasonable to conclude that it ‘knows and intends’ that its platforms are used for such purposes. Instead, it has allowed the development of a network of over forty Fascist and Neo-Nazi Facebook pages and Instagram accounts, with a total of 80,000 followers, hawking merchandise.”

The report alleged that “this Fascist finance network is intimately linked with two violent neo-Nazi extremist movements operating out of Ukraine: Azov Battalion and Misanthropic Division. Both groups have sought to export their ideology to Western countries, gain followers and incite violence.”
Facebook Said It Would Ban Holocaust Deniers. Instead, Its Algorithm Provided a Network for Them
Last month, Facebook announced a crackdown: The platform would no longer permit content that “denies or distorts the Holocaust” as part of its larger policy prohibiting hate speech.

While noting that successful enforcement could take time, Monika Bickert, Facebook’s vice president of content policy, explained the ban in a blog post. “Our decision is supported by the well-documented rise in anti-Semitism globally and the alarming level of ignorance about the Holocaust, especially among young people,” she wrote.

But as of mid-November, The Markup has found, numerous Facebook pages for well-known Holocaust denial groups remain active—and for users who find the pages, Facebook’s algorithms continue to recommend related content, effectively creating a network for pushing anti-Semitic content.

Facebook has long struggled to tamp down on quick-traveling misinformation and shape-shifting conspiracy groups, but many of the discriminatory pages The Markup found either belonged to groups with a long history of prominence within the Holocaust denial movement or directly referenced well-known anti-Semitic or white nationalist memes, making them seem like obvious targets for Facebook’s crackdown.

It’s unclear whether Facebook considers the posts and groups The Markup found unacceptable. The company did not announce how it would define Holocaust denialism, and the company did not respond to multiple requests for comment; all the pages and posts referenced in this article were still active as of Nov. 23 at 5 p.m. ET. (h/t L_King)

Deutsche Welle Corrects UN Resolution 194 Doesn’t Guarantee ‘Right of Return’
Finally, there is no evidence that the Trump administration took “umbrage” with UN Resolution 194. Because of the reasons detailed above — the resolution, a suggestion, is conditional on the willing of returning refugees to live at peace with their neighbors; the resolution placed resettlement, return and compensation on equal footing, and the plan also called for a conciliation commission — the resolution does not pose a problem for supporters of Israel, the Trump administration among them.

In short, contrary to the article’s original claim, UN Resolution 194 does not guarantee a “right of return.” Thus, while Israel, the Trump administration and the Obama administration all oppose the “right of return,” they do not take umbrage with the UN Resolution.

In response to communication with CAMERA, Deutsche Welle forthrightly set the record straight, giving the text in question an overhaul. The amended text now correctly states that the Trump administration takes umbrage with UNRWA and its mandate (as opposed to with UN Resolution 194) and that the President’s opposition to the “right of return” has long been the White House’s position. In addition, the revised no longer makes the false claim that UN Resolution 194 “guarantees” a Palestinian “right of return.” The amended text now states:

In 2018, President Donald Trump deferred payment of US yearly contributions of more than $300 million, taking umbrage generally with UNRWA and its mandate. Among other things, the Trump administration is at odds with the organization over the right of return for Palestinian refugees, an issue that has long been a thorn in the side of both Israel and the White House.

Furthermore, editors commendably appended the following correction to the bottom of the article:

German far-right activists wish to protest ‘Zionism’ in front of synagogue
Right-wing extremists in Germany are planning to demonstrate for “freedom for Palestine” and against “Zionism” in front of a synagogue.

The event is scheduled for Tuesday in Brunswick, 120 miles west of Berlin, the Braunschweiger Zeitung reported Friday.

Separately, on Friday, an unknown individual threw a large stone slab at a window of the Jewish Community in Essen, 150 miles west of Brunswick, the RIAS anti-racism watchdog group reported. No one was hurt in the incident, which police are investigating as a possible hate crime.

The organizers of the Brunswick rally belong to the far-right Dierechte party and have advertised the event on social networks as scheduled to take place between 7:33 and 7:45 p.m. – a reference to the 12 years in power of the Nazi Party 1930s and ’40s.

“Freedom for Palestine – Humanity is non-negotiable. Stop Zionism!” the slogan for the event reads.

City authorities said they have not authorized the demonstration and will disperse it if it takes place.
Dutch right-wing politician resigns in wake of party’s anti-Semitism scandal
The leader of the Dutch right-wing Forum for Democracy party resigned Monday following reports that members of its youth movement had engaged in anti-Semitic behavior.

Thierry Baudet, a colorful politician who in 2018 published a nude self-portrait on Instagram, said that assuming responsibility for the anti-Semitism scandal was not the immediate reason for stepping down.

Rather, the trigger was demands within the party that the guilty members be kicked out before the completion of an internal disciplinary review of their actions.

The review is of members of the party’s section for young members who in a WhatsApp group shared Nazi songs. One of them called “Der Untermensch,” or “Subhuman,” a 1942 Nazi propaganda book inciting hatred of Jews and Slavs, a “masterpiece,” the Het Parool newspaper reported last week.

Some party members seek to “skip the process and throw people under the bus before we know what’s happened,” Baudet said in a video he shared on social media announcing his resignation as party leader. He warned against a “trial by the media, which isn’t trustworthy.”

If the accused engaged in anti-Semitism, he said, “they should leave the party, and my resignation will be an act of assuming responsibility for what happened.”
Man charged with stirring up racial hatred with antisemitic coronavirus hoax wears Nazi armband to court
A man charged with stirring up racial hatred with an antisemitic coronavirus hoax is understood to have appeared in court wearing a Nazi armband.

Matthew Henegan, 35, faces seven charges of publishing, distributing and possessing material in March and April that is likely to stir up racial hatred. It is also claimed that he distributed leaflets in Cambridgeshire, where he resides, and possessing a document titled “How To Make Armour Piercing Bullets”, which apparently contains information likely to be useful in terrorism.

Mr Henegan is currently on bail and reportedly appeared at a preliminary hearing at the Old Bailey wearing dark glasses, a hairband and an armband with a red swastika.

According to a report, the judge asked the defendant’s lawyer: “Can you see what he’s wearing?”, and ordered Mr Henegan to leave the courtroom. The defendant asked: “Are we done for the day then?” The judge replied: “We are not.” The defendant replied: “I have a right to freedom of expression, freedom of dress, freedom of religion. They are rights not for debate.” The judge instructed the lawyer to give his client advice and said: “Next time it will not be out in the public corridor.” Mr Henegan returned to the courtroom with a jacket, with the armband no longer visible.
Percepto to create fleet of robots and drones to monitor industrial sites
Percepto, an Israeli maker of drones, said Wednesday it is launching a new solution that will create a fleet of fully autonomous robots and drones to monitor industrial sites by teaming up with US robot maker Boston Dynamics.

The development of the new solution will be funded by a $45 million strategic investment led by Koch Disruptive Technologies, whose parent company operates numerous industrial sites and is also a customer of Percepto’s services.

As part of the cooperation, Percepto will integrate a solution it originally developed for its Sparrow drone into a Boston Dynamics robot, the Spot. The new Autonomous Inspection & Monitoring (AIM) software and hardware suite is able to work all autonomous vehicles or robots.

This symbiosis between Percepto’s AIM and Boston Dynamics’ Spot robot will allow the dog-like machine to automate inspection rounds completely controlled remotely via the platform, offering high resolution imaging and thermal vision to detect issues including problems on machines or electrical conductors, water and steam leaks around plants, and equipment with degraded performance.
Israeli crack team combats plague of locusts in war-torn Ethiopia
At the request of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, a crack team of Israelis swooped into the war-, storm-, and famine-struck country earlier this month to aid in its fight against a further plague — desert locusts.

Currently on the ground in the country’s eastern Somali region, the Israeli delegation is testing out an innovative technique of using drone surveillance and targeted night-time spraying, which will reduce the amount of pesticides.

As the country faces civil war in the north and massive flooding from Cyclone Gati, the locust swarms have invaded the country and are affecting over 70,000 households.

To combat the spread of the swarming menace, a four-man team, headed by Israeli Ministry of Agriculture locust expert Dr. Yoav Motro, was sent by Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi.

“It’s the worst it has been in 75 years. And a tropical cyclone that hit the eastern part of the region in the past few days will only make things more complex,” Motro told The Times of Israel. “One has to note these regions do not deal with locusts on a regular basis — which hampers their readiness and their resilience to it.”

According to local Ethiopian media, the team arrived with two tonnes of equipment, including 27 surveying drones, 2 generators and a large supply of spray pesticides.
Is this house under a convent in Nazareth the boyhood home of Jesus?
The house in question, or what's left of it, can be found underneath the Sisters of Nazareth convent in central Nazareth, Israel. It's near the famous Church of the Annunciation, the spot where many Christians believe the angel Gabriel informed Mary that she would have a child.

The building has been dated to the first century AD and, according to Professor Dark, it appears to be "a typical family home of its time and place."

"There was nothing unusual about it. It's not pitifully poor, but there's no sign of any great wealth either. It's very ordinary," he told CBS News. "If this is the childhood environment of Jesus, there's no reason to believe he grew up in anything other than a very typical Galilean rural home of its time."

So, what are the clues?
One, says Dark, is the quality of construction. "Whoever built the house had a very good understanding of stone-working. That would be consistent with the sort of knowledge we would expect of someone who might be called a tekton," the Ancient Greek word for craftsman that was used to refer to Joseph. "By itself, that's not got flashing lights saying, 'this is where Jesus lived.' But it's underneath a fifth to seventh century Byzantine church."

Dark said that church is "almost certainly" the one described by a pilgrim in the 380s and known as the Church of the Nutrition [taken to mean the nurturing or upbringing of Christ]. The name stems from the idea that it was built over a crypt that contained the home of the young prophet.
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