Tuesday, June 22, 2021

From Ian:

The EU Report on Palestinian Textbooks: The Dehumanization of the Jewish People
The report further acknowledges the obsessive use of certain descriptions meant to lessen the humanity of Israelis and Jews in the eyes of Palestinian students. Some of the titles given discard any attempt at subtlety, such as referring simply to “the enemy.” Elsewhere, instead of mentioning the “State of Israel” or describing their neighbors as “Israelis”: “Most often, the texts refer to the ‘Zionist occupation’ … or simply ‘the occupation.’ … Israel’s institutions, army and organs of state are generally described using the adjective ‘Zionist.’ … When ‘Israel’ and ‘Israeli’ … are used … [they] are usually paired with conflict-related terms such as ‘occupation,’ ‘forces,’ or ‘soldiers.’”

The authors, to their credit, recognize the game being played here. They write, “While the term [Zionist] by itself is not defamatory, it conveys negative connotations. Given this reading, using the term ‘Zionist occupation’ in place of the name of the state could be interpreted as questioning the legitimacy of the State of Israel.”

However, when the students are also taught in history class that the “Zionist ideology” is a “racist philosophy,” that’s more than just delegitimizing Israel. That’s a deliberate attempt to characterize Israelis, and indeed almost all Jews worldwide, as uniquely undeserving and racist, merely for believing in their right to self-determination in their ancient homeland.

What better way is there in modern society to depict a group as evil than to label them all as racists, except perhaps only the ancient but reliable blood libel that the Jews systematically grab non-Jewish children to torture and murder them?

Of course, that too is found in the textbooks.

The examples are many, which is why the concluding statement about UNESCO standards is so alarming. If we allow the EU to depict such blatant hatred and incitement as acceptably within global standards, then the last two months of antisemitism will surely become even more disturbingly normalized.

Don’t let our political leadership get away with the usual noncommittal language bemoaning antisemitism without taking concrete action against it. If we won’t stand up for ourselves and demand consequential action against those who dehumanize us and incite violence, then who will?

Mainstreaming of Jew-hatred in Canada
We know only too well from our history where this can lead. It’s essential that our leaders — in government and in the community — come together to focus on this issue urgently so we don’t see another tragedy like the one we just saw in London.

It’s now incumbent on those in positions of power and influence, many of whom have been, sadly, all too silent, to show leadership and take responsibility.

So intense has been the recent explosion of Jew-hatred that earlier this month, at the request of several Jewish community organizations, including the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced an emergency summit on antisemitism.

It will be convened later this summer under the leadership of Special Envoy on Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Antisemitism Irwin Cotler. A summit on Islamophobia was also recently announced in Parliament.

To be effective, the antisemitism summit requires more than earnest, quickly forgotten rhetoric. Words aren’t enough. Concrete steps are required.

We need real and meaningful action to take place in policing, the justice system, education and well beyond. All our institutions need new tools to fight this disturbing spike in racism, to the benefit of all minorities in Canada.

The summit must address the role of stakeholders at all levels of government — municipal, provincial and federal — to bring about serious strategies to address this scourge. It’s paramount the discussion not be siloed and that proper funding is ensured to implement recommendations. The status quo must not be an option.
A Response to ‘Rolling Stone’: Many Young Jews Like Me Support Israel
Marisa Kabas frames her May 21 “Cultural Commentary” for Rolling Stone by telling readers how torn she is about Israel as an American Jew. ( “Young American Jews Have Reached a Tipping Point with Israel”)

In her mind, being raised Jewish, with “Tikkun Olam — the Jewish principle of improving the world through action,” makes it impossible to voice her support for Israel, the sole Jewish state. She writes that she had “never questioned Israel’s existence,” implying that, suddenly, she feels otherwise.

Unfortunately, Kabas, along with many students, media personalities, and celebrities, has internalized the false narrative that Israel represents a unique evil in the world.

Kabas reveals her bias when she refers to the holiest site in Judaism, the Temple Mount, exclusively by its Arabic name, the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and calls it only “a Muslim holy site in East Jerusalem.”

And she betrays her lack of knowledge about the events in question when she says simply that “Israeli police invaded” the mosque. In fact, an Israeli news outlet reported that “The Israel Police said rioters had been hurling rocks and other objects from the holy site and launching fireworks at officers, leading them to enter the compound, a relatively uncommon move by Israeli security forces.”

Kabas delegitimizes Israel by claiming that it is an “apartheid” state that commits acts of “ethnic cleansing,” yet she is unable to support her statements with any facts or history of the region.

A country that affords equal rights to all citizens is, by definition, not an “apartheid state” — and Israeli Arabs not only have full rights, but serve in every facet of society, including the Knesset and Supreme Court. Kabas’ absurd comparison not only delegitimizes Israel, but also minimizes the suffering of people who lived through actual apartheid in South Africa.

David Collier: Palestinians and the Covid vaccine – the return of the anti-Israel libels
The propaganda surrounding Israel and the vaccine allows us a brief glimpse into the true motivations of the forces fighting the Jewish state.

The Palestinian propaganda industry is somewhat fortunate in that the core of the conflict is so often buried deep out of sight. The Jews did not just stand up and win against the genocidal forces that aligned against them, they created their state – Israel, and beat back those trying to kill them – again and again. Each time Israel won, it grew a little stronger and the Arab forces against them grew weaker and weaker.

Time was when an array of Arab national armies lined up to wipe the Jews out. Pointing out who were the bad guys was an easy task. How things have changed – Syria and Iraq are both failed states, Jordan is a basket case, and those in the hills of Lebanon stand at the edge of disaster. The conflict is a mere shadow of what it was. Because of this, it is ironically the anti-Israel activists who have a relatively easy time of it. The Palestinians have been transformed through a web of illusions into the underdog – and underdogs are always an easy sell.

Everyone has stopped asking the questions that matter – such as what motivates the Palestinian leadership, what are their end goals and are they truly willing to live side by side with a Jewish state? Instead, people just hold up both real, and photoshopped, images of Palestinian children who have lost their lives in the recent conflicts – and direct all the blame at Israel. The vaccine and the truth
This is why the PA rejection of the vaccine deal with Israel should be used as a reminder of why the conflict still exists at all. It reminds us that the Palestinian leadership prefer to sacrifice their own people rather than shake hands with the Jewish state. This is and always has been the central pillar of the conflict.

The vaccine deal was a perfectly good deal. The Palestinians – who need vaccines NOW – would be given Israeli stock – in return for stock to be delivered back to Israel later. Israel offloads expiring stock, the Palestinians get vaccines early. It is a classic win-win situation. The alternative is that the vaccines eventually get binned and the Palestinians are left to just sit and wait. As is so often the case with the Palestinians, their leadership chose the lose-lose option and everyone suffers.
Israel Using Vaccines Rejected by Palestinian Authority
Israeli Health Ministry Director General Hezi Levi said on Monday that Israel was using the COVID-19 vaccines that the Palestinian Authority had rejected.

The vaccines Israel had planned to send to the PA are being used “right now, today, to vaccinate adults and their children,” Levi told Channel 12.

“We didn’t transfer a single vaccine that had expired,” said Levi, dismissing the PA’s assertion that some 1 million vaccines in question were too close to their expiration date to be safe.

Asked why, then, the PA didn’t want the vaccines, Levi said, “I leave that to them to explanation … but all the vaccines came from the SLE [healthcare logistics center] warehouses under strict supervision with the correct temperature, and everything we provide the PA is within the use-by date.”

After Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s office announced on Friday that an agreement had been reached to transfer between 1-1.4 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine to the Palestinians, PA Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh said that the PA would not accept them.
CNN Errs on Israel’s Geneva Convention Vaccine Obligations
Safian noted:
Israel’s obligation under the Fourth Geneva Convention is to “agree to relief schemes” to get, in this case, vaccine supplies to the Palestinian authorities from other parties such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, and to allow for the safe transport to the Palestinian Authority of vaccines that the PA has independently acquired.

Separately, while Carey and Salman reported the claim of the Palestinian health official that Israel failed to disclose a June expiration date for vaccines, they omitted the response from the Israel authorities. Thus, they wrote:
According to Reuters, Alkaila said Israel had told the PA the vaccines expired in July or August, but it turned out the true date was June.

Reuters had also reported the following, which did not appear in the CNN story (“Israel says COVID-19 vaccines rejected by Palestinians were safe“):
The “vaccine delivery transferred to the Palestinian Authority yesterday was perfectly in order,” the Israeli health ministry said in a statement. The dates were known and agreed to by both parties, it said. “The vaccines delivered to the Palestinians are identical in every way to the vaccines currently being administered to Israel’s citizens.”

Given that CNN reported the Palestinian accusation about the expiration date, CAMERA urged CNN to update the article with the Israeli response. In addition, CAMERA has requested correction of the misreporting on the Geneva Convention. Stay tuned for any updates.

Progressives count their foreign policy wins with Omar flap in rear view
Ocasio-Cortez, a longtime Omar ally who's advocated for a tougher posture with Israel, said she often hears from young Jewish Americans who were “raised with one narrative” about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and they “do not want their identity tied to this injustice.”

One of several progressives pressing to put conditions on U.S. military aid to Israel, which is critical for its survival in the region, Ocasio-Cortez noted that she has long called for conditioning American aid money to various countries that are suspected of human-rights abuses, not just Israel.

Some lawmakers will confront such issues firsthand in the coming weeks. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, will lead a congressional delegation to Israel as early as July 5, according to multiple sources. The number of members and who is going remains fluid, but one source told POLITICO that Reps. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) will be joining Meeks’ first such trip as chair.

Meanwhile, progressives who want to keep reevaluating the U.S.-Israel relationship often add a social justice component to their messaging, underscoring that theirs is an anti-establishment tack. Progressives and young Democrats in particular view the foreign-policy establishment in Washington — which has encompassed a majority from both parties — as a destructive force.

And after a springtime conflict that saw more Democrats expressing deep reservations with President Joe Biden’s strategy of “quiet, intensive diplomacy” as Israel waged retaliatory strikes against Hamas assets in Gaza, liberals sense more of an appetite for taking on the traditional breed of foreign policy that Biden embodies.

“It’s a generational shift of prioritizing human rights and having a human-rights focus in American foreign policy,” said Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.). “And it’s definitely a recognition that those rights include Palestinian human rights.”
As Jew hatred boils over in NY, where is AG Letitia James?
As mainstream American news outlets continue to provide extensive coverage surrounding the dramatic uptick in anti-Semitic attacks on Jews and Jewish property, I pause and ponder about just how quickly this latest explosion of visceral Jew hatred has emerged on the scene.

I may be called a lot of things, but one thing I am not is naïve. As a son of Holocaust survivors and a lifelong Jewish activist who has been in the forefront of battling the perennial scourge of anti-Semitism since my youth, I am keenly cognizant of the fact that Jew hatred is simmering eternally under the surface; ready and eager to rear its odious head at just about any perceived provocation.

So, let’s be clear. This wave of heightened anti-Semitic assaults was not triggered by the latest Hamas attack on Israel and Israel’s response to it. These pro-Hamas supporters who we see on the streets of major cities in North America demonstrating against Israel’s right to exist share the terrorist dogma of the organization that they worship. The left wing media continues to erroneously label them as “pro-Palestinian” supporters but if they truly were supporters of the Palestinian Arabs, they would turn their wrath towards the organization that is totally responsible for turning the Palestinians into pawns in a deadly game by using them as human shields.

But I digress. What I have taken notice of is the torrent of vehement condemnations regarding the violent wave of anti-Semitic attacks from about every elected official and community leader under the sun. What really sparked fear and outrage was the severe beating doled out to 29-year old Joseph Borgen of Lawrence, Long Island. A visibly Orthodox Jew, Borgen was on his way to attend a pro-Israel rally in Times Square on Thursday evening, May 20th when he was savagely set upon by a gang of bloodthirsty Jew haters who were hiding under the guise of being “pro-Palestinian” and “anti-Zionist.”

For Second Time in Week, Antisemitic Vandals Target Jewish School in Australia
For the second time in a week, a Jewish educational institution in the southeastern Australian city of Melbourne has been targeted by antisemitic vandals.

On Tuesday morning, the misspelled phrase “Free Palenstine” was found spray-painted on the Rabbinical College of Australia and New Zealand, located in Melbourne’s St Kilda East neighborhood.

The graffiti has since been removed.

Last Friday, the same phrase, spelled correctly, was daubed along the driveway of the nearby Cheder Levi Yitzchok ultra-Orthodox Jewish school.

After that incident, the chairman of Australia’s Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC), Dvir Abramovich, told The Australian Jewish News, “To attack a Jewish institution in order to express a hatred against Israel is antisemitic, and these activists have torn up the rule book of decency and are now targeting Jewish schools with their vicious propaganda and calls to destroy Israel.”

Melbourne is home to Australia’s largest Jewish community, with Sydney a close second.
Labour official: ‘Combating antisemitism has seen us haemorrhage Muslim votes’
Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner has promised an investigation into comments attributed to a party official after they were criticised as “patently vile” Islamophobia.

Her vow on Sunday came after the individual reportedly linked the party “haemorrhaging votes among Muslim voters” with leader Sir Keir Starmer’s efforts to combat antisemitism.

The implication of the claim ahead of the Batley and Spen by-election was that Muslims are abandoning the party because they are against fighting anti-Jewish racism.

The Labour Muslim Network said “this is a patently vile, Islamophobic briefing”.

“This racism needs to be challenged urgently and publicly by the Labour leadership and the party as a whole,” a statement added.

The Mail on Sunday had quoted the “senior Labour official” as saying: “We’re haemorrhaging votes among Muslim voters.

“And the reason for that is what Keir has been doing on antisemitism. Nobody really wants to talk about it, but that’s the main factor. He challenged (former leader Jeremy) Corbyn on it, and there’s been a backlash among certain sections of the community.”

Chicago Dyke March Posts Promotional Image Showing Burning Israeli and American Flags
The Chicago Dyke March, an annual LGBT parade that in 2017 ejected marchers carrying flags with Jewish symbols, promoted its upcoming event with an image showing the burning of Israeli and American flags.

The image depicted a woman standing atop a burning car holding the two flags, which were both shown in flames.

The Instagram promotional post was removed by the company for “hate speech or symbols,” in a warning that threatened to delete the group’s account.

The March responded by urging followers to capture a screenshot of the post, “and share to prevent any attempts by Z1ON1ST and Instagram to censor our account.”

AP Erases Palestinian Firebomb Attacks in Sheikh Jarrah
The AP's 500-word article includes not one word about the Palestinian Molotov cocktail attacks targeting Jewish homes despite the fact that the violence apparently began with the firebombings. According to today's Haaretz ("Twenty Palestinians Injured, Firebomb Lobbed at Jewish Home in Sheikh Jarrah"):
Twenty Palestinians were injured and a firebomb was hurled at a Jewish home amid renewed clashes between Jewish settlers, Palestinians and police on Monday in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.

Two 14-year-old Palestinians were arrested on suspicion of throwing a firebomb at a Jewish home, which appeared to set off the violence.

Following the firebombing, which did not cause significant damage, a settler pepper sprayed Palestinian residents. Jews and Palestinians then threw chairs and stones at each other, and Palestinians shot off firecrackers at settler homes.

Nor were last night's firebomb attacks the first in recent days. On Sunday evening, Army Radio reporter Shachar Glick tweeted video of Molotov cocktails targeting a police position near a Jewish home in Sheikh Jarrah.

CAMERA has contacted AP to request that editors update the story to acknowledge that Palestinians lobbed firebombs at Jewish homes, and those attacks were the apparent start of the Sheikh Jarrah violence overnight.
3:33 pm ET Update: AP Adds Sentence on Firebombings Targeting Jewish Homes

Following communication from CAMERA and the publication of this post, AP added the following information to the third paragraph of the article:

The officials said someone launched fireworks at police forces and residents’ houses and that “several Molotov cocktails were thrown and stones were thrown.”

Nevertheless, the added sentence fails to make clear who (Palestinian teens) threw Molotov cocktails at whose (Jews') homes. This failure to identify the Palestinian perpetrators and the Jewish targets stands in contrast to the clear wording several paragraphs later: "The Red Crescent said settlers threw stones at one of its ambulances and Israeli forces sprayed skunk water on a second ambulance belonging to the service." The amended version including the information about the firebombing attacks appears in numerous secondary media outlets including The Los Angeles Times, The Charlotte Observer, and The Philadelphia Inquirer, among others. (An archived version of the original story is available here.)
An update: The Independent corrects and amends its brief history of Israel
Last month, during the May battle between Hamas and Israel, Joe Sommerlad of the United Kingdom's The Independent published an article titled "A brief history of the Israel-Palestinian conflict" (May 13 and May 20, 2021). His article was quickly picked up by MSN.

I'm pleased to report that, as a result of my writing, The Independent has made significant changes to Sommerlad's error-filled online article. In addition to those changes, the following editorial note has been appended to it:

"This article was amended on 18 June 2021 to include a reference to Al Nakba as a source, and also to say that the authenticity of the quote 'The bride is beautiful but she is married to another man' is contested. We added a reference to extermination camps in relation to The Holocaust, changed an incorrect reference to Irgun 'rising up' in 1942 as it had already been active for some years by then, and also changed a reference to Resolution 338 to say it followed the Yom Kippur War, and not Black September, as had previously been incorrectly stated."

The unamended and amended versions of Sommerlad’s article are viewable at MSN. For more about stories featuring the phrase "The bride is beautiful, but she is married to another man," see here.

I wish I could report that The Times of Israel, where I have a blog, had a role in ensuring that Sommerlad and The Independent were held accountable for publishing misinformation about Jewish and Israeli history and for failing to uphold journalistic standards.
BBC News website runs misleading ‘Israel attacks Iran’ headline
Throughout the day on June 20th visitors to the BBC News website’s ‘Middle East’ page found two reports relating to Israel and Iran.

The first of those articles appeared early in the morning local time under the headline “Iran election: Israel voices ‘grave concern’ over Ebrahim Raisi” and several hours later it was re-titled “Iran election: Israel PM warns world of Ebrahim Raisi”.

That article was later replaced by one carrying the potentially highly misleading headline “Iran nuclear deal: Israel attacks Iran as talks progress” which was promoted using the same provocative wording on social media.

Several hours after the report’s initial publication, that headline was amended to read “Iran nuclear deal: Israel warns Iran as talks progress”.

Both those reports open with the standard BBC amplification of Iranian denials concerning the purpose of its nuclear programme.

Article 1: “Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Iran’s “regime of brutal hangmen” wants nuclear weapons – something Iran has repeatedly denied.”

Article 2: “Naftali Bennett said Iran’s “regime of brutal hangmen” wants nuclear weapons, something Iran has repeatedly denied.”

Lithuanian Government Engaging in ‘Holocaust Denial,’ Says Author of Book Exposing Her Grandfather’s Past as Nazi Collaborator
An American journalist whose latest book is an emotional account of her grandfather’s role in the Holocaust of Lithuanian Jews under Nazi occupation has accused the current government of Lithuania of engaging in “Holocaust denial and revisionism.”

Author Silvia Foti was speaking at an event in Los Angeles on Sunday to mark the publication of her book, “The Nazi’s Granddaughter: How I Discovered My Grandfather Was A War Criminal.” Originally intended as a tribute to her grandfather, Jonas Noreika — a Lithuanian independence advocate and army general who has been lionized in post-Soviet Lithuania — the book details Foti’s discovery that her “flesh and blood ‘hero’ was a Jew-killer … even I could no longer believe the lie.”

Among the revelations in Foti’s book is Noreika’s approval of the killing of 2,000 Jews in north-western Lithuania in 1941 along with the appearance of his signature on over 100 documents concerning the deportation of Jews to Nazi concentration camps. However, he was declared a national hero when Lithuania secured independence from the Soviet Union in 1990.

In 2015, a Lithuanian court dismissed a case brought by Grant Gochin — a California-based descendant of a Lithuanian Jewish family ravaged during the Holocaust who has worked closely with Foti — against the state-run “Genocide and Resistance Research Center” (GRRC) over a report claiming that Noreika was innocent of the killing of Lithuanian Jews.
Trial Begins in France of Accused Antisemitic Gang Who Assaulted and Robbed Jewish Family in Their Own Home
The trial of nine individuals accused of subjecting a Jewish family to antisemitic abuse and robbery in their Paris home began on Monday at the assize court in Bobigny, a north-eastern suburb of the French capital.

However, lawyers for the nine are insisting that the invasion of the Pinto family’s home on Sept. 8, 2017, was not motivated by antisemitism.

The family’s ordeal began early on that morning when their 41-year-old son, David Pinto, woke up to discover that the electricity was not working in the family home in the Livry-Gargan neighborhood of Paris. Going down into the basement to check the electricity meter, David opened a door which allowed three assailants, who had set a trap by cutting off the electricity supply, to force their way into the house.

Having gagged David, the three men dragged him to the first floor of the family home. There, they encountered his mother, Mireille, at the time 73-years-old, who managed to alert her husband — Roger, then 83-years-old — before she too was grabbed by the gang. Mireille said that she was “caught and gagged” by the three men.

“As I struggled, the first man threw me down,” Mrs. Pinto recalled later. “He hit me. I really thought he wanted to rape me. The second one kicked me.”

Seth J. Frantzman: Israeli Elite F-35 Pilot Describes Groundbreaking Drill
The recent Falcon Strike exercise in Italy where six Israeli F-35 fighter jets flew abroad to a foreign base for the first time was an important breakthrough for Israel’s operational activity, according to an Israeli Air Force F-35 pilot. The pilot, whose name cannot be used for security reasons, described the importance of the recent drill, which included Italian, U.S. and UK pilots alongside their Israeli peers.

Six F-35 jets flew to Italy for the drill that lasted June 6–17. “The name of the exercise was Falcon Strike,” the pilot said. “It was the first of its kind exercise. It is a two-week deployment of the F-35 Adir and it includes all types of training for F-35 jets. He says the purpose is shared learning of fifth-generation aircraft to enhance Israel’s cooperation capabilities. “During the exercise the Israeli and other air forces trained on scenarios, [such as] strikes, SAMs, air to air combat, and supporting ground forces and generally all scenarios the F-35 encounters during wartime,” the pilot said. “On top of that what I can say this is the first overseas deployment for the Adir, a breakthrough for operational activity.”

The Israeli Air Force issued a statement noting that the historic deployment included Israel’s unique F-35 jets, according to a statement. It says this is the first deployment of the Adir Squadron abroad, and it included a bi-weekly exercise featuring a number of air forces. The objective was to improve strategic cooperation. The IAF practiced two sorties each day, including sorties. With U.S. F-16 jets and joint training with the UK and Italian F-35 jets. Israel sent two Boeing 707 airliners to the drill while the United States brought the F-35B variant and other aircraft included a KC-767 refueling aircraft and Italian Eurofighters, a Predator drone and helicopters. The British aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth also took part, according to the statement. The Israeli second Adir squadron, the 116th, was sent to the exercise. In addition, Israel’s 140th, 120th and 122nd squadrons sent elements.

“It was a great experience to fly with other aircrew that fly the same plane and have the knowledge to operate the plane in operational scenarios,” the pilot said. “It is the first time we do that.” Israel has conducted several joint drills in the past years, including Enduring Lightning with the United States last year. The coronavirus has made much of the joint training difficult. However, by this June drill in Italy, most participants were vaccinated. Nevertheless, masks and social distancing were still part of the protocol. Each country brought its own ground staff and technical experts.

While Israel won’t comment on any technical capabilities of the F-35 jet, the pilot noted that flying together with other F-35 jets and more planes are beneficial. He said he hopes to see more in the future. This was the first joint drill with British and Israeli F-35 jets flying together.
40 years after Iraq reactor raid, IDF reveals Ilan Ramon’s fears, intel sketches
The IDF Archive on Tuesday published a host of documents related to the bombing of Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor 40 years ago, including sketches of the site and a 2001 clip, in which fighter pilot and doomed astronaut Ilan Ramon spoke about the inspiration he drew from his Holocaust survivor mother before heading out in an F-16A jet.

The rare documents were published as part of a digitization project by the IDF Archive to make thousands of hours of video available to the next generations, the Defense Ministry said in a statement.

On June 7, 1981, eight Israeli fighter jets flew 2,000 miles to Iraq and destroyed Saddam Hussein’s Osirak nuclear reactor in Baghdad, before successfully returning back. Less than a day later, the government of then-prime minister Menachem Begin acknowledged that the Israeli Air Force was behind the attack, attempting to prevent an enemy state from obtaining nuclear weapons.

Though condemned internationally, the event has taken on near mythical proportions in Israel, where authorities have slowly lifted the veil off the operation with drips and drabs of new information, usually released around the anniversary of the attack.

The Tuesday release included rough schematics of the Osirak site — which Israel feared Hussein would use for a nuclear weapons program — including a drawing of what the facility would look like from the seat of an approaching fighter jet in a squadron.

The Defense Ministry said the drawings were part of the intelligence file for the operation.

Biometric login company Transmit Security raises a massive $543m.
Transmit Security, whose technology uses biometric authentication designed to replace the need for passwords on websites, said Tuesday it raised a massive $543 million in Series A funding.

The round, one of the largest in Israeli history, was also the largest Series A funding round in cybersecurity history and one of the highest valuations for a bootstrapped company, the Tel Aviv and Boston-based company said.

Israeli companies have now raised more than $11 billion in the first six months of the year, surpassing the total raised for all of 2020. The round was led by Insight Partners and General Atlantic, with additional investment from Cyberstarts, Geodesic, SYN Ventures, Vintage, and Artisanal Ventures. The funding will be used to increase the company's reach and expand its primary business functions, the company said.

Research shows that 55% of consumers stop using a website because the login process is too complex, and 92% of consumers will abandon an online purchase instead of going through the steps to recover or reset login credentials, Transmit said. In addition, weak passwords account for more than 80% of all data breaches and are the result of the majority of all account takeovers. Transmit Security's biometric authentication provides a passwordless identity and risk management solution to the largest brands in the world, improving the user experience, enhancing security, and satisfying compliance requirements at a fraction of the time and cost of traditional identity solutions.
Cybersecurity firm SentinelOne seeks $7 billion valuation in NY IPO
Cybersecurity firm SentinelOne Inc. has filed a prospectus with the US Securities and Exchange Commission to raise as much as $928 million in an initial public offering of shares on the New York Stock Exchange, aiming for a valuation of over $7 billion.

The company said it plans to sell 32 million shares priced between $26 and $29 a share, according to the filing. In February, Bloomberg said the firm was seeking an IPO at a possible valuation of $10 billion.

Founded in 2013, SentinelOne has developed AI-based software that protects laptops and cellphones from security breaches by identifying unusual behavior in enterprise networks.

The Mountain View, California-based company was founded in 2013 by Israelis Tomer Weingarten, its CEO, and Almog Cohen. The firm has raised some $697 million to date, from investors including US venture capital fund Sequoia Capital, New York-based hedge fund Tiger Global, Insight Partners, Samsung Venture Investment and Qualcomm Ventures, according to the database of Start-Up Nation Central, which tracks the industry.

In November, the firm said it raised $267 million in a series E funding, which gave the firm a valuation of more than $3 billion.
Southeast Asia looks to Israeli tech to improve farming techniques
Israel's agriculture technology companies are seeking business opportunities in Southeast Asia, as countries like Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines look to the Middle East for ways to boost food production.

Israeli agritech innovations have increasingly made their way into the farming communities in Southeast Asia through bilateral agricultural programs.

Israel expanded its cooperation with Thailand by marking the opening of a second greenhouse facility in Petchburi province in October. This followed its installation of the first greenhouse in 2018 as a demonstration unit for farmers in the area.

The project is equipped with Israel's irrigation and sprinkler systems designed for efficient and sustainable agricultural production, and involved Israeli experts who helped Thai farmers apply the technologies to growing crops.

In another instance of bilateral engagement, Vietnam is set to ink a Labor Cooperation Agreement with Israel as soon as this year. Under the agreement, Vietnamese workers will be sent to Israel to gain experience in the country's agricultural sector.

Like Thailand, Vietnam has Israeli-enabled greenhouses in the northern province of Vinh Phuc, where farmers have successfully cultivated some crops using hydroponic techniques.
First Israeli Druze Woman MK to be first Druze Jewish Agency emissary
Former Blue and White and Yesh Atid MK Gadeer Kamal-Mreeh, the first female Druze Knesset member, will become the Jewish Agency’s first Druze emissary in Washington, where she will serve as a senior shlucha.

Kamal-Mreeh will represent the Jewish Agency in its efforts to connect with North American college students. The Jewish Agency for Israel, which was created in 1929, has been instrumental in connecting Jews abroad with the State of Israel as well as facilitating aliyah.

In Washington, Kamal-Mreeh will work collaboratively with Hillel International and the Jewish Agency’s Israel Campus Fellows. Her work will involve prioritizing community building among young Jews, aged 18-35, across local Jewish Community Centers (JCCs), Jewish Federations and the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA).

The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington said it was looking forward to welcoming Kamal-Mreeh to its group of 10 shluchim in the area.

“We are proud to support the continued innovation of the shlichut [mission] program by bringing new voices like Kamal-Mreeh’s to our community and to further strengthen our long-standing partnership with the Jewish Agency through launching this initiative,” it said.
10 amazing reasons to visit Israel’s desert
If you are looking for a truly unique experience, you can’t do better than to visit the Israeli desert.

Beautiful, stark and ethereal, more than half of Israel is desert land. Join us on a tour of some of the most stunning locations, from Ramon crater, to Masada, Ein Avdat, Nitzana, the Qumran Caves, and Timna.


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