Tuesday, June 08, 2021

From Ian:

No Justice, No Republic
The French used to be extremely proud of their public administration—arguably one of the most comprehensive, efficient, and honest in the world—as well as of their police force and their judiciary. But over the past four decades, they have perceived a steep decline in these institutions. The decline is the result of various factors, including the transfer of governmental jurisdictions to either poorly organized local powers or to the European Union; the advent of the euro and its corollary, budget cuts; mass immigration; the decay of public education; and the descent into a post-industrial, two-tiered society.

The breakdown of public safety, as witnessed in Paris’s 11th arrondissement and in many other places, or more recently by a returning wave of jihadist-inspired assassinations, has been more deeply resented than anything else. However, the French people do not blame the police, who on the whole bravely stick to older standards, but rather a politicized judiciary. The extent to which the French magistracy has succumbed to woke ideologies was disclosed in 2013, when a French TV journalist found a “Wall of Bums” displayed at the main judiciary union’s headquarters. This was a list of “bums,” or citizens demanding justice for themselves or their relatives in cases that the union deemed to be “politically incorrect.” As a matter of fact, many of the offenders or criminals now arrested by the police are released by the prosecutors or the courts on such pretexts as age, inconclusive evidence, or “ethical” leniency.

Political correctness may have been no less crucial in the Sarah Halimi case. As noted earlier, the murder took place in between the presidential election’s two ballots. While Macron stood well ahead of his only challenger, the far-right leader Marine Le Pen, in every opinion poll, some people, unbeknownst to Macron, may have been afraid that the brutal assassination of an elderly Jewish lady by a young African Muslim would vindicate Le Pen's anti-immigration platform. Hence, perhaps, a move to sweep the news under the carpet, at least until the second ballot.

This media manipulation may have subsequently comforted the judiciary in their wokeish prejudice and inspired them to shelter Traore from the full consequences of his act. Then, by an all-too-natural process, the more that public opinion—or the head of state, for that matter—insisted on justice, the more the judiciary fought back. Until justice was entirely denied.

The due process of justice means that innocents should be protected against arbitrary charges and that everything should be done to avert judicial errors or unfair sentences. However, it means also that criminals should be eventually punished. Short of that, growing numbers of citizens may be induced to think that there is no Republic and no government anymore. Shortly after the Cour de Cassation issued its highly contested final decision on the Sarah Halimi case, a number of retired generals published a petition asking the president and the government to restore order, law, and patriotic values. According to a Harris Interactive/LCI poll, it was approved by 58 percent of the French.
Jackie Mason: The 3 Constants in Life: Death, Taxes and Anti-Semitism
All this anti-Israel rhetoric from American politicians has tremendous ancillary effects, giving license to bigots worldwide to unleash themselves, spewing invective and vitriol that will undoubtedly have collateral damage.

It’s ironic that this is the same exact kind of criticism that was levelled against Trump. It’s clear that all the rhetoric coming from left circles are beginning to have real world consequences.

This canard that anti-Zionism is not antisemitism is a heaping pile of smoking BS, served on the finest silver platter. You know, it’s like those people who say, but some of my best friends are Jews. Yes, some of my best friends who I speak badly about behind their back.

The Jews who I have been hearing from overseas have been telling me things that I hoped I would never hear, although I knew deep down that it was inevitable. Jews of whatever level of observance or identity sitting pretty here in the United States have no understanding of what’s going on.

My friends, worldwide Jewry is under siege. We are under siege. Like I told you in my earlier articles, I didn’t know what was going to happen with Biden’s presidency. I was hoping for the best when it came to Israel, but I was expecting the worst.

Biden just doesn’t have the spine to stand up to all the anti-Semites that have co-opted the once sane Democrat Party.

Unfortunately, my worst fears have come true. I’m not saying that I’m a prophet or anything, but it seems like you just have to have eyeballs that work to see what’s going on. All the radical activists screaming about Israel, who sound like they are on a religious mission from I don’t know what God, don’t know the first thing about what’s really going on in Israel.

All the journalists who have been covering this tiny sector of the world have been telling the same narrative, the same lie, for so long that any 18-year-old on any American campus thinks that Israel is the antichrist, devil and Charles Manson all wrapped in one.

Stay strong, be sensible, and God help us all.
‘Free Gaza’ Warsaw Ghetto vandaliser ‘supporting’ union antisemitism sessions
An activist who sparked outrage after she sprayed “Free Gaza and Palestine” on the walls of the Warsaw Ghetto is helping to organise “Understanding Antisemitism” workshops for Britain’s biggest education union.

Ewa Jasiewicz was condemned in 2010 after she daubed slogans on a wall at the site of the former ghetto in Poland where thousands of Jews were imprisoned and starved to their deaths under the Nazis.

Attempting to justify the vandalism – which included the wording “liberate all ghettos” – Jasiewicz said Israel had “co-opted” the Holocaust to serve “agendas of colonisation and repression”.

Jewish News can reveal that in her role as an organiser with the NEU North West Region, National Team, the 43 year-old has been behind three recent sessions called “Understanding Antisemitism”, held for members of the National Education Union (NEU).

Two Jewish NEU members said they were “absolutely sickened” by the decision of the union to allow a controversial figure such as Jasiewicz to organise antisemitism training sessions for members.

One told Jewish News: “This says everything about the NEU’s attitude towards its Jewish members.

“It’s no wonder hundreds of teachers and teaching staff have decided to quit the NEU in recent months.


The Screamers
After the Durham resolution, I watched in nauseating astonishment as my local Jewish community center platformed the very mayor who had spearheaded Durham city’s boycott. I noted, to my horror, how my Reform synagogue, under its “big tent” policy, regularly amplified anti-Zionists through study sessions, committee appointments, and even board election slates—while simultaneously shutting down strong Zionist voices as “divisive.” I wrote regular letters, pointed but polite, about the damage they were causing to our community, our people, and our country. My letters were ignored. My application to sit on the shul’s Israel discourse committee was denied. My request to establish a committee on the scourge of anti-Zionism went unanswered. Last week, my synagogue named our Durham mayor one of its volunteers of the year. I am composing another letter: Dear Temple Executives and Leaders …

In our own way, my peers in this movement are the new screamers in Arthur Koestler’s stunning essay, in 1944, The Nightmare That Is a Reality, which Eric Weinstein read last summer in his podcast “The Portal,” and which resonated so deeply that we can’t stop talking about it. Koestler’s screamers tried in vain to awaken a slumbering world as to the urgency of saving European Jewry from the ditches and the ovens. Some of us have been screaming for several years now about the urgency of awakening a slumbering Jewish world as to the dangers of dismissing, excusing, and normalizing anti-Zionism.

For the longest time, our screams seemed to fall on deaf ears. On the occasions when we were loud enough to cause people to put down their lattes for a moment, they largely dismissed us as hysterics, or “right wing,” or simply too Jew-y for genteel American Jewry.

And so it is with equal parts dismay and empathy that I watch as a familiar hatred appears in the sacred double-digit streets of Manhattan, far from “regular America”! Will the people with their hands on the levers at our shuls, our Jewish studies departments, our federations, associations, and committees take our warnings seriously? Maybe. Or maybe not.

A virus is a strange equalizer. It turns out that the disease we feel so keenly out here in the shtetl-burbs doesn’t stop at the county line. It now lies in wait on every city street of our tinsel new Jerusalem. It is knocking on all our doors. And if I have learned anything, it is this: The cavalry is not coming. We are the cavalry.

In Durham, we are here for you.
Use your Jewish fist
Allow me to state this differently; We have all heard of the Jewish head – the Yiddishe Kup - and we are truly proud of that but my Rabbi taught me that in order for that Jewish head to be complete, it must be attached to a Jewish fist! In the Yeshiva, we need to be “The People of the Book” and on the street – when dealing with anti-Semites – we need to be “The People of the Weapon and the Fist”. (A quote from the late Rabbi Meir Kahane) Yes, my friends, we need both.

Therefore, in addition to studying Daf Yomi and attending shul 3 times a day, make sure you spend an equal amount of time learning how to shoot a gun and how to punch with force. Do everything you can to get a legal firearm and make sure the anti-Semites know you will not hesitate to use it. Enroll your kids in little league and also karate… and make sure this includes your daughters as well! Organize volunteers for Hatzalah but also for a neighborhood patrol that guards Jewish homes, businesses, shuls, Yeshivas, mikvehs and social gatherings.

By the way, I made the analogy to Hatzalah for 2 reasons. Just like Hatzalah works with local EMT’s and hospitals, the “Never Again Patrol” should coordinate efforts with the local police. But the second reason is even more important. We all know why Hatzalah was started and how many Jewish lives have been saved when we handle these matters ourselves. The same must be true in the world of Jewish security.

Do not raise money to hire an outside company or off-duty cops to stand in the lobby of the shul or drive a car with some weird yellow light… do it yourselves! Every one of those Hatzalah guys spent hundreds of hours training and getting ready and if that is true to save a Jew from a heart attack then it’s equally as true to save a Jew from a gang attack.

After the “Never Again Patrol” is formed, post the number in every house and, just like when calling Hatzalah, call these tough Jews when needed. By the way, this idea is not limited just to Jewish communities outside Israel but must be done within Israel as well! The latest round of riots in Lod, Ramle, Yaffo, Akko and Jerusalem taught us that, with all due respect to the Israeli police and IDF, they cannot be relied upon to respond quickly in these situations.

These communities must organize their own self-defense teams who are ready, willing and able to spring into action as soon as a problem arises. Let’s not fool ourselves… the quiet we have now is simply “the calm before the storm”. Riots will once again erupt in Lod and Akko (and the other places mentioned) so let’s be prepared with a strong response.

With Hashem’s help, these tough Jews will respond in lighting speed, teach the anti-Semites a lesson and make the words of Megillat Esther come true, once again; “The Jews organized themselves in their cities… to send forth their hand against those who sought their hurt, and no man could stand before them, for fear of them had fallen upon the people” (9:2 – Stone edition)


Norwegian divestment illustrates weakness of campaign to boycott Israel
Divestment decisions by the Norwegian Fund are exceptionally important because its size and vetting processes lead it to be considered the gold standard that other socially responsible investors often follow. The Fund owns about 1.5% of all stocks worldwide.

The Fund is therefore a natural target for, and barometer of the success of, BDS. The campaign’s efforts gained momentum with the February 2020 publication of the UN Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) blacklist of 112 businesses involved with West Bank settlements. BDS leaders immediately called for divestment from these firms.

Two international trade unions soon urged the Norwegian Fund to divest from companies on the UNHRC blacklist. In addition, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights criticized the Fund for investing in companies doing business with the settlements.

Mivne and Shapir appear to be the first companies from which the Norwegian Fund has divested for settlement-connection reasons since the UNHRC blacklist’s publication. While Shapir was one of the 112 listed companies, Mivne was not. The two also appear to have been the first two firms from which the Fund has divested for settlement-connection reasons in almost a decade. The Fund reportedly divested itself of approximately $12 million in Mivne stocks and $1 million in Shapir stocks.

As detailed in a 2018 report, the Norwegian Fund invests in several companies operating in the disputed Western Sahara. The fund’s divestment from one conflict zone while maintaining investments in another exposes it to accusations of double standards and unequal application of standards.

Regardless, the Norwegian Fund’s divestment from only two Israeli firms in the year since the UNHRC issued its blacklist of 112 firms may be an indication that the blacklist is having a surprisingly weak impact. In another indication of the Norwegian government’s views, an official clarified that its procurement office will not use the blacklist as a basis for excluding companies.
Pinsker Centre PodCast: Ep. 13 - From the Students' Unions to the TUC, Jewish Students Should Be Free... From Antisemitic Abuse
In this week's episode, Dan, Daniel and Lili discuss the exponential rise antisemitic incidents, particularly in university and academia, in the aftermath of the recent flare up in Israel and Gaza.


‘Block the Boat’ Protests of Israeli Container Ships Spread to Port of New York
A group backed by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel protested the unloading of a container ship owned by Israel’s ZIM shipping firm at the Port of New York/New Jersey on Sunday, two days after another Israeli ship was reportedly blocked from unloading in Oakland.

Gathered at the Maher Terminal in Elizabeth, New Jersey, the protestors acted as “part of an International Week of Solidarity called for by [the Arab Resource and Organizing Center] to ‘Block ZIM everywhere,” according to a press release issued on Monday.

On Friday, a similar protest at the Port of Oakland — organized by the Arab Resource and Organizing Center (ACOC) and aided by a local union — managed to prevent a ZIM ship from unloading its cargo.

Based in the Israeli port city of Haifa, ZIM controls 1.5% of global container capacity, according to the Wall Street Journal, and became listed on the New York Stock Exchange in early 2021.

ZIM did not immediately return an Algemeiner request for comment.

The so-called “Block the Boat” campaigners plan to stage a second event in New York City on Wednesday, outside the ZIM America Offices in Staten Island, New York. Another effort is planned for Tuesday at the ZIM shipping facility in Detroit, Michigan.
LA teachers union to vote on endorsing anti-Israel BDS movement

Labour MP unaware antisemitic remarks were being made at pro-Palestine rally she attended
Labour MP Naz Shah has defended her appearance at a pro-Palestine demonstration in Bradford, where antisemitic remarks were blared through a megaphone.

During the rally, which took place in May, an activist chanted to a crowd in Arabic: "God, make us part of the mujahideen in Palestine.

“God, purify al-Aqsa from impure people.

“God, make the earthquake under their feet.

"God, lift the curse of the Jews off the Muslims in Palestine."

The remarks were met with enthusiasm and approval from demonstrators draped in Palestinian flags in the crowd.

In a post on her Twitter page, the Shadow Minister for Community Cohesion explained that she does not speak Arabic and wasn’t aware at the time of the antisemitic remarks being made.

Ms Shah said: “Over recent weeks, a small minority of individuals have been trying infiltrate demonstrations about the situation in Palestine to spew hatred.

“I was made aware that an individual present at one of the rallies I spoke at, made remarks following the rally in Arabic – a language I do not speak. The individual was not a speaker but gained access to a microphone – the translation of their comments given to me are not remarks I’d ever make.


Warwick Uni Lecturer Claims Antisemitism Definition “Tory move to legitimate racist speech”
An associate Professor of Sociology at Warwick University claimed that the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism was part of a Tory plot to “legitimate racist speech and de-legitimate anti-racist and anti-colonial research, teaching and activism”

Goldie Osuri, who was previously cleared by Warwick University of making an antisemitic statement in a different lecture, lambasted the IHRA definition, which has been adopted by her employer, at an event in April organised by the Universities and Colleges Union entitled Resisting the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism.

Harry’s Place has published a tape of Osuri’s shocking comments on Soundcloud so as to prove their veracity.

The Warwick University lecturer added that:
“Pressure to recognize or adopt the IHRA working definition with its examples should be understood as a racist move against Palestinians.”

“[IHRA] should be understood as a way of smearing as antisemitic and hence silencing critics of Israel and pro Israel advocacy organizations”

“It is part of a broader gamut of Tory moves to legitimate racist speech and de-legitimate anti racist and anti colonial research, teaching and activism.”


Osuri claimed that she had been the victim of a “smear campaign” at Warwick university following a complaint made against her by the University’s Jewish Society after she said in a lecture:
“So the next time they say that the Labour Party is antisemitic, or you know there are some people possibly that are possibly antisemitic, but the idea that the Labour Party is antisemitic is very much an Israeli lobby kind of idea, the idea that you want to discredit the Labour Party because there is support for Palestine among some members of the Labour Party.”

Osuri called the complaint made against her a “deliberate misinterpretation”.
Hamilton Spectator Op-Ed Rife With Antisemitic Tropes
In Raza Khan’s June 4 op-ed in the Hamilton Spectator: “Condemning Israel’s actions is not anti-Semitic,” he creates a chilling narrative where anyone with a pro-Palestinian view is punished in society.

Pro-Israel voices, he claims, are “perpetuating a global ‘gag culture’ to silence any criticism of Israel and label critics as ‘anti-Semitic,'” adding that “politicians and members of the public will either stay silent or vociferously tweet their ‘unwavering support of Israel’ for fear of receiving this dreaded label.”

Khan goes further, claiming that those with pro-Palestinian views risk their jobs and livelihoods at the hands of this mysterious pro-Israel force.

Despite this quite serious charge, Khan offers no real evidence of any kind for his outlandish claims. Who, exactly, is behind this alleged pro-Israel effort out to punish pro-Palestinian activists? Khan never does tell us.

Ironically enough, for an op-ed whose central argument is that criticizing Israel is not antisemitic, Khan veers rather close into classic anti-Jewish tropes about a shadowy group of sinister Jews who silence dissent. It hearkens to the 19th century classic forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Khan writes:
Those who orchestrated the killings of these children, and those who support the governments who committed them such as Gustavo Rymberg, CEO of the Hamilton Jewish Federation, cannot even mention their names (We must unite to fight rising anti-Semitism, May 28). “

Importantly, according to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Definition of Antisemitism, a statement is antisemitic by “Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.” That is exactly what Mr. Khan has done.
Now Magazine Gives Platform To Unfounded Allegation Of IDF Recruitment In Canada
With a modicum of research, then, it is abundantly clear that contrary to Engler’s claims of widespread IDF recruitment to Canadian citizens is simply without basis. But the bigger issue is why, of all the 200+ countries in the world, he takes issue with one tiny country, smaller than Vancouver Island, defending itself against armed aggression from Islamist terrorist groups?

He writes that “It’s long past time to stop Toronto’s direct complicity in violence against Palestinians,” but writes nothing about the barrage of rockets from Hamas & Islamic Jihad, two groups who are sworn to Israel’s destruction, and who have fired more than four thousand rockets, indiscriminately at Israeli civilian centres, in recent weeks.

These Palestinian murder rockets purposefully target Israeli schools, hospitals, and power stations in Israel which provide electricity to the Gaza Strip, and even Israeli aid convoys to the Hamas-run enclave.

So while Palestinian rockets rain down on Israeli civilians, murdering foreign workers from Thailand and India, an elderly woman, an Arab Muslim father and daughter, a five year old boy, and others, and Jews are assaulted here in Canada by pro-Palestinian activists for standing up for Israel, Engler argues that Israel educating Israeli citizens is one of the most pressing threats facing Canada.

Engler – who in 2016 argued that “antisemitism is of such insignificance that increasing something so insignificant is not that big a deal” – contrary to Statistics Canada’s own research showing Jews are the most targeted religious group in the country, is wrong on two major counts: that Israel is actively recruiting for the IDF to Canadian citizens, and that Canadians should be taking issue with that, if it were in fact happening.

But, contra Engler, what Canadians should be taking issue with is the misuse of facts to serve one’s ideological agenda, and to disallow Israel’s right to defend itself against a murderous, Islamist terrorist group – the same right and responsibility that all countries have to their people.
Another UNRWA story ignored by the BBC
On June 2nd the BBC’s Sebastian Usher put out the following Tweet:


Seeing as the BBC has not produced any reporting on that story, his followers may well have had difficulty understanding what those ‘protests’ were about, who organised them and why.

The story began on May 23rd when the director of UNRWA operations in the Gaza Strip, Matthias Schmale, gave an interview (in English) to the Israeli channel N12 during which he expressed the opinion that Israeli strikes during the eleven days of conflict were “precise”, stated that some 1,000 residential units in the Gaza Strip had been destroyed and clarified that there had been no shortages of food, water or medical supplies throughout the hostilities.

Two days later, after his statements had incurred the wrath of Hamas, the Hamas dominated UNRWA workers’ union, assorted NGOs (including the PCHR) and others, Schmale issued an apology.
Quoting lies about Israel - the easy way to write an article
Al Nakba — written and directed by Rawan Damen, produced and first run on Al Jazeera Arabic in 2008, and reversioned by Al Jazeera World to English in 2013 — is precisely the sort of documentary one would expect to be promoted by Al Jazeera, the Qatari government-funded news channel.

The four-part documentary is an over three-hour long attack on the Zionist movement and the state of Israel. The first quote to flash across the screen at the start of the documentary is from Arnold Toynbee: “The tragedy in Palestine is not just a local one; it is a tragedy for the world, because it is an injustice that is a menace to the world’s peace.”

Damen’s Al Nakba presents an entirely anti-Israeli perspective, eliding and ignoring the national, religious, historic, and cultural connection between Jews and the Land of Israel/Palestine, and blaming Zionists for the current troubles in the Middle East — and perhaps for the lack of global peace, too. It’s a propaganda film for a propaganda news channel.

Apparently, though, Al Nakba’s narrative is also exactly what the editors of the British online newspaper The Independent wanted to convey to readers by publishing writer and blogger Joe Sommerlad’s “A brief history of the Israel-Palestinian conflict” (May 13, 2021) during the recent eleven days of fighting between Hamas and Israel.

About three quarters of the content of Sommerlad’s 2,300-word article is taken directly from Al Nakba, often word for word — but with no mention of Damen or her documentary. It seems that, having gone that far, Sommerlad may as well have plagiarized more of Damen’s propaganda film. When he doesn’t have her documentary to rely on for information, or veers from her script and begins interjecting content not spelled out there, his writing is usually incorrect or false anyway.
Financial Times amends article which characterised a mere allegation as a fact
A Financial Times article by their Tech correspondent Hannah Murphy (“Facebook employees demand changes around Palestinian content”, June 1) included the following claim:
[the letter] calls on Facebook’s management to order a third-party audit of enforcement actions around Arab and Muslim content, and to refer a post by Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu describing Palestinian civilians as terrorists to its independent oversight board.

We complained to the Financial Times Tech editor, noting that we reviewed the last several weeks of Facebook posts – presumably the time period in question – by the prime minister and were unable to find a post where he describes Palestinian civilians as terrorists. We asked that – unless the journalist can cite the specific post in question – the article be amended to make it clear that the alleged post represents merely a claim by anti-Israel activists, not, as the wording would suggest, a fact.


German royal family lawsuit could backfire and reveal nobles’ support for Nazis
No moment in the story of the German resistance to Nazism has received greater attention — or been more mythologized — than the 1944 “July Plot” when Count Claus von Stauffenberg’s bomb came close to assassinating Adolf Hitler. The plotters, former German chancellor Helmut Kohl proclaimed in 1994, were “the most noble and greatest” individuals “that have ever been produced in the history of mankind.”

Stauffenberg and his fellow conspirators’ bravery — and their aristocratic backgrounds — has cemented in the popular imagination the notion that the German nobility were at the forefront of the domestic opposition to National Socialism.

But, argues Dr. Stephan Malinowski in “Nazis & Nobles: The History of a Misalliance,” the real picture is somewhat more complex. Not only did the overwhelming majority of the plotters’ peers make a “substantial contribution to the rise of the Nazi dictatorship,” he writes, but many of those who attempted to kill Hitler in the summer of 1944 as Germany hurtled towards defeat had themselves previously had a deeply ambiguous relationship with the Third Reich.

The role of the upper echelons of German society in helping the Nazis to power is a largely overlooked and forgotten story.

“It’s fascinating that… we have books on the history of the peasantry and of women and shopkeepers, but very little has been written on the nobility and on these still very powerful, very influential families,” Malinowski tells The Times of Israel in an interview. “It’s difficult to explain.”

Malinowski’s book, which has recently been published in English for the first time, is well-timed. The German media is currently pouring over the details of a legal effort by the former German royal family to claim compensation for property confiscated from it by the Soviets after 1945. But, for its claim to be successful, the Hohenzollern family needs to prove that Crown Prince Wilhelm, the son of the Kaiser who fled into exile at the close of World War I, did not provide “substantial support” to the Nazis.


Israel researchers find four security flaws in Microsoft Office software
Cybersecurity researchers at Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. said they have identified four vulnerabilities in the Microsoft Office software suite, including Excel and Office.

If exploited, the vulnerabilities would enable hackers to inject malicious code into Office documents, such as Word, Excel and Outlook, and send them to unwitting targets.

The vulnerabilities could allow hackers to take control of computers, start a ransomware attack, access data and read files, the researchers said.

The source of the weaknesses stem from coding mistakes in a graph-making feature called MSGraph that has been in use in the Office software package since 1995. This leads the researchers to believe that the security flaws have been around “for several years,” Check Point said in a statement.

Hackers could use the vulnerability within that graph-making tool to send victims a file that includes the malicious graph. Once that file is downloaded and opened, the vulnerability is triggered.

The researchers urge users of Windows software to update as soon as possible. They have informed Microsoft of the vulnerability and the issues have been now fixed, Check Point Software said.
Israeli Startup Verbit Reaches Unicorn Status With $157 Million Funding Round
Israeli startup Verbit, which has developed an AI-powered real-time transcription and captioning platform, announced on Tuesday that it has secured $157 million in Series D funding, giving the company a valuation of over $1 billion, just four years after its inception. The new round comes just a little more than six months after it raised $60 million in its Series C. Verbit also raised an additional $37 million in debt from Silicon Valley Bank and is expected to embark in the near future on a secondary round valued at $70 million during which the company will allow its early investors and employees to sell their shares.

Verbit CEO Tom Livne told Calcalist that the goal of the secondary round will be to provide the company’s early investors an opportunity to profit from its remarkable growth. “There are investors who invested when the company was valued at $5-10 million and now they will be able to sell their holdings and register a fantastic return. The same also goes for the employees. All of Verbit’s investors will partake in the secondary round,” said Livne.

The round was led by Sapphire Ventures alongside new investors such as Third Point, More Capital, Omer Cygler, Azura, and ICON fund, as well as existing investors such as Stripes, Vertex Ventures, and Vertex Growth, HV Capital, Oryzn Capital, Viola Ventures, and ClalTech. Verbit’s total funding now exceeds $250 million, including debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank. Big-Tech 50 R&D Partnership, traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, invested $2 million in the latest round.

“We are a very efficient company,” said Livne. “We have raised over $200 million to date and a large portion of it is still in our coffers. We are approaching income of $100 million annually and are very efficient and aren’t burning up funds the way many companies are currently.”

When questioned regarding the valuation of the company compared to other tech startups, Livne said, “I prefer to have a fair valuation that will allow our investors to make money. I know our multipliers are realistic and normal.”
Israeli Monday.com’s $6b IPO shows the remote collaboration market is thriving
The COVID-19 pandemic arrived more than a year ago, but the remote collaboration revolution is showing little signs of slowing down. This favorable climate has led to the arrival of Monday.com’s IPO, which has the potential to achieve a valuation of $6 billion.

As the pandemic initially began to disrupt business, many companies adapted to the changes by temporarily closing offices and canceling work-related events and travel. Fast forward 12 months and there is clear evidence of digital transformation taking place as businesses seek to utilize tools to continue to thrive in this new climate.

Although larger, more resourceful businesses may have made more of a seamless transition towards facilitating remote work and collaboration, other small and medium-sized businesses were severely impacted by the pandemic. However, the rise to prominence of cost-effective tools designed to help facilitate productivity while working from home (WFH) has been vital to the survival of smaller businesses that may have been less flexible at digital transformation.

Collaboration software adoption rocketed in early 2020 as businesses attempted to avoid getting caught flat-footed by the disruption caused by COVID-19. As a result, platforms like Zoom, a video conferencing platform, experienced exponential growth.

As a Nasdaq-listed company, Zoom performed exceptionally well off the back of the rise in remote work. Now, Monday appears set to follow in the footsteps of other collaboration platforms that have enjoyed exceptional success over the past 12 months in going public. But what can we expect from the listing? And is the remote collaboration boom here to stay?
12 books to help you understand Israel’s history
As Israel made headlines across the world in recent weeks, we at ISRAEL21c noticed people’s growing interest in understanding how things got to where they are, the ins and outs of the country’s history and the matters that influence public opinion.

We therefore put together a list of recommended books that tackle multiple facets of Israel’s fascinating history, ranging from the Holocaust and wars and battles to the most famous city on the planet and breakthrough innovation. Enjoy.

No Room for Small Dreams: Courage, Imagination, and the Making of Modern Israel by Shimon Peres
Authored by none other than the late Shimon Peres, one of Israel’s legendary presidents, No Room for Small Dreams gives a detailed account of the decisions and events that shaped the country. As a statesman involved in the machinations of the state from the very beginning,

Peres was uniquely positioned to give an insider view of the way Israel became what it is, discussing topics such the country’s nuclear power, the famous Operation Entebbe and the establishment of Start-Up Nation. Fans of the book include former US Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and George H. W. Bush.

Israel: A Concise History of a Nation Reborn by Daniel Gordis
Israeli analyst and author Daniel Gordis’ book does what it says on the cover: offering a concise, brief and accessible view of Israel that at the same time also manages to be thorough and intense.

A great read for anyone interested in the history of Zionism and the makings of the Israeli state. The author’s passion of the country resonates throughout.
34 Stereotype-Breaking Photos of Israelis Inspire Unity
A new photo exhibition representing the different shades of Israeli society is displayed through the end of the year in the departures concourse of Ben-Gurion International Airport.

The 34 photographs document religious, secular, ultra-Orthodox and Arab Israelis, as well as members of the global Jewish community, outside of the stereotypical way in which they are generally portrayed.

Among the subjects pictured are Sanaa Mahamid, the first Muslim woman motorcycle ambulance driver; Adam Ziv and Ala Suweitat, who set up the Buza ice-cream chain that won an award for embodying the UN goal of a better world; and inspiring young students of Yeshivat Mekor Haim. “Cracking the Glass Ceiling in the Sky,” a picture of Nechama Spiegal Novak, the first ultra-Orthodox female pilot to fly for El Al. Photo by

The name of the exhibit – Hamsa Aleinu – is an expression wishing good luck and protection from harm.

A hamsa is a popular folk symbol comprised of five fingers, each different from each other but part of the same whole.

The exhibit is a joint initiative of outgoing President Reuven Rivlin’s Israeli Hope project and Vibe Israel, a nonprofit organization that brands and markets Israel around the world.











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