Tuesday, June 29, 2021

From Ian:

The Three Best Books on Antisemitism, recommended by Dave Rich
There are so many books about antisemitism that it seems foolhardy to try to summarise the full scope of literature on the subject, never mind choosing just three to recommend. Some books cover the vast expanse of antisemitism throughout history; others focus on a particular country, period, episode or trope. Holocaust-related literature alone provides an endless choice of ground-breaking research alongside fascinating and disturbing stories. Each new outbreak of antisemitism generates a new round of publications: for example, the past decade alone has seen several new books that try to explain the recent surge of antisemitism within radical, progressive politics. Even books that are not about antisemitism can still illuminate so brightly that they are become essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the subject (Vasily Grossman’s Life And Fate comes to mind).

Consequently, this is very much a personal choice of mine and the absence of so many wonderful books from this short list is in no way a slight on any of them. I have chosen one book about antisemitism; one book about how Jews think about, or relate to, antisemitism; and one book about how non-Jews think (or rather, don’t think) about antisemitism.

David Nirenberg – Anti-Judaism: The Western Tradition
There are so many different manifestations of antisemitism throughout history, in different epochs, societies and systems of thought and belief, that it ought to resist neat explanation via a single unifying theory, yet this is what David Nirenberg achieves in his phenomenal piece of scholarship. Nirenberg’s compelling argument is that, since the earliest days of Christianity (and even beforehand), people have used Jews and Judaism as concepts and reference points through which to interpret and understand the world. This is not so much about real Jews or Judaism, but rather their deployment as labels through which ideas, products and behaviours are categorised as the antithesis of what is valued or good in that particular society and time. As Nirenberg puts it when discussing the conflation of Jews and capitalism by some leading nineteenth century socialists, there are ‘long habits of thought that understood human life and history in terms of the struggle to achieve the proper relation between law and love, thing and person, letter and spirit, and called the failure to achieve that ideal “Judaism.”’ Hence money or property can be ‘Jewish’, as could the French revolutionaries, or early Christian fathers, or anyone or anything else that is not actually Jewish, but can have the characteristics of ‘Judaism’ thrust upon them as a way of assigning and explaining their (usually negative) place in the world. This is what gives antisemitism its unique character that differentiates it from other racisms and bigotries. Nirenberg’s theory also provides a framework for understanding new expressions of this idea, such as the otherwise inexplicable phenomenon of non-Jewish Labour MPs who have no connection to Israel being called ‘Zionists’ by supporters of the previous Corbyn leadership. If I could only recommend one book on antisemitism rather than three, this would be my choice.
Emily Schrader: Facebook’s policy inconsistency puts Israelis at risk
Ironically, El Kurd, presumably angry over her pro-terrorism content being removed, has begun pushing back against Facebook by promoting a social media campaign dramatically named “End Digital Execution” which claims Palestinians are being “censored” by Facebook. The irony, of course, is that this is the opposite of the truth. Despite multiple posts that clearly violate Facebook’s policies by its own admission, El Kurd is very active on the platform on a near daily basis. So who exactly is censoring her?

In contrast, consider content from Israeli social activist Yoseph Haddad, which called out The New York Times for using a photo of a Hamas terrorist and listing him as a child who was killed by the IDF. This post was removed without any explanation whatsoever.

In May, a pro-Israel Facebook page with 77 million followers was removed completely due to violating “spam” policies, after anti-Israel activists left hundreds of thousands of antisemitic comments. Yes – you read that correctly. Facebook removed a pro-Israel page due to the actions of antisemites targeting the page. Similarly, dozens of pro-Israel activists have found themselves with content randomly removed and accounts suspended over generically pro-Israel content.

IF PRO-ISRAEL or anti-Israel activists are posting content that violates Facebook’s policies, they should be dealt with accordingly, but the double standards in enforcement cannot continue, especially when activists like El Kurd are not simply repeating falsehoods about Israel at a time of rising antisemitism, but are also actively glorifying terrorists to her more than one million followers.

Make no mistake – these double standards put Israelis at risk.

It is utterly unacceptable that accounts with hundreds of thousands of followers are permitted to have pro-terror content for days, even after it’s been reported to Facebook. Facebook has a responsibility to act swiftly and consistently with issues of incitement to violence, and glorifying terrorists in the Middle East certainly qualifies as such.

Additionally, Facebook must be more transparent about what its policies are and how it is enforcing them, equally.

The status quo is insufficient. Facebook, do better.
Pro-Palestinian Jew-Hate in Europe
Violent anti-Semitic eruptions in Europe following the outburst of hostilities between the Gaza-based Hamas terrorists and Israel have become common and repeated occurrences. The European governments have done little to prevent the largely Muslim and some local anti-Semites from initiating violence against European Jews. It is particularly true of the German government and its leader, Angela Merkel. Chancellor Merkel invited over a million migrants into Germany, mostly Muslims from the Middle East and Africa. Their inculcated hatred for Israel and Jews has resulted in the desecration of Jewish cemeteries, Holocaust memorials, and attacks on synagogues. To assuage Jewish concerns, Merkel and the German government pay lip-service to the unacceptability of anti-Semitism in Germany due to Germany’s role in perpetrating the Holocaust in which Six Million Jews were murdered by Nazi Germany. In reality, few of the perpetrators are punished, and certainly not with long prison terms or deportation.

The New York Times reported (May 19, 2021) that rocks were thrown at doors of a Synagogue in Bonn. Israeli flags were burned outside a synagogue in Munster. Pro-Palestinian rallies took place in Berlin, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, and Leipzig. “In Germany, where historical memory runs especially deep because of the Holocaust, pro-Palestinian rallies have been held in cities across the west of the country and in the capital, Berlin. Several have descended into violence, including anti-Semitic chants, calls for violence against Israel, desecration of memorials to Holocaust victims, and attacks on at least two synagogues.”

The German Interior Minister Horst Seehoffer threatened to crackdown on anti-Semitism at pro-Palestinian protests. He stated, “We will not tolerate the burning of Israeli flags on German soil and attacks on Jewish facilities.” He added, “Anyone who spreads anti-Semitic hatred will feel the full force of the law.” We have heard these immaterialized threats before, but then, political correctness appears to cause German officials to fold rather than deal forcibly with violent Muslims, many of them new migrants. European White Guilt, particularly toward Third World people, accompanied by the loss of national pride, and the will to defend its own traditional values, is allowing a violent minority to perpetuate anti-Semitic violence.

Disallowing anti-Semitic rallies, especially in Germany, isn’t only a matter of decency and morality, considering what preceded the latest Guardian of the Walls operation. The unprovoked Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) massive rocket attacks on Israel’s capital, and civilian population centers in the south and center of Israel, should be reason enough for Germany (and other European governments) to aggressively prevent these hate-filled riots. Moreover, the Israeli government was trying hard to reach an agreement with Hamas, whereby Israel would advance humanitarian gestures to Gaza in exchange for calm. The German nation, more than any other, should consider the fact that Hamas and the PIJ have committed themselves to the destruction of the Jewish state, just as Hitler committed Germany to the destruction of the European Jewry. And yet, Merkel’s Germany is doing business with the Islamic Republic of Iran, which has declared its intention to “wipe Israel off the map.” German fear to alienate Muslim anti-Semites has found recourse in blaming native German right-wingers for most of the hatred and anti-Semitism in Germany rather than the radical Muslims.

Sen. Stabenow Gives Award to Group Linked to Terror and Bigotry
The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) is the American arm of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), South Asia’s largest Islamist group. As such, ICNA is related to terrorist organizations and spreads fanatic ideologies. Recently, United States Senator from Michigan and Chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Debbie Stabenow, gave ICNA an award for community service. In learning about this travesty, this author contacted Senator Stabenow’s office, in hopes of persuading the Senator to rescind the award. Her staffer allotted me just one short minute to rattle off five reasons why she should do so. The following will discuss each reason.

As mentioned, ICNA is linked to groups involved in South Asian terror. Being related to JI means ICNA is also related to JI’s militant wing, Hizbul Mujahideen (HM), a group found on the US State Department list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) that has been responsible for several terrorist attacks in the Kashmir region of India. In December 2017, ICNA, under its subsidiary Helping Hands for Relief and Development (HHRD), organized an event featuring Qari Rehmtullah, the Timergara, Pakistan chief of Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF). FIF is a US-banned front for Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the group responsible for the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

For the past three decades, ICNA has harbored Ashrafuz Zaman Khan, a former death squad commander in JI’s then-military wing, al-Badr, during the 1971 genocide committed in what is now called Bangladesh. In November 2013, the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) sentenced Khan to death (in absentia) for the torture and murder of 18 individuals, at the time of the massacres. Without an extradition treaty between Bangladesh and the US, Khan has been able to remain here. Khan has served as National Vice President of ICNA and President of ICNA New York. According to Khan’s LinkedIn page, he is currently acting as an imam for ICNA.

ICNA has been tied to support for Hamas and other terrorist outfits. In July 2014, ICNA co-sponsored a pro-Hamas rally in Downtown Miami, where rally goers repeatedly shouted, “We are Hamas” and “Let’s go Hamas.” In August 2006, JI’s Al-Khidmat Foundation (AKF) took a delegation to the Damascus, Syria home of then-global Hamas leader, Khaled Mashal, and handed him a check for $100,000 to continue terrorist acts against Israel. At the time ICNA was a partner and top donor to AKF. ICNA has used the web to promote terrorist groups, including Hamas, Hezbollah and the Taliban and the financing of al-Qaeda-related militants in Chechnya.
Sued by CAIR, Ex-Employee Releases Evidence of Discrimination and Hush Money Payouts
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) rescinded a 2018 job offer to run its Dallas-Fort Worth chapter — at least in part because the candidate was a Christian. A year earlier, the staff at CAIR’s New York chapter was so concerned about the behavior of National Litigation and Civil Rights Director Lena Masri, that they debated whether they had an obligation to report her to the state Bar.

In both cases, staffers expressed concern about the harm that could result if these incidents became public. Now they have — but only because CAIR has sued a former employee-turned relentless critic for defamation.

Lori Saroya is “actively engaging in a systemic and continuous internet smear campaign to damage CAIR’s reputation and to cause CAIR severe economic harm,” CAIR said in its lawsuit, filed on May 21 in Minnesota Federal Court. Saroya ran CAIR’s Minnesota chapter from 2007-16, then moved to its national office. She also served on its national board of directors. But she left the organization two years later, and now CAIR and Saroya accuse each other of unprofessional behavior.

In her response to the lawsuit, filed on June 11, Saroya included internal CAIR communications showing staffers grappling with sensitive legal issues that they acknowledged could cause the organization significant embarrassment.

Saroya has been active on social media, accusing the organization – which touts itself as “America’s largest Muslim civil liberties organization” – of discriminating against women in pay and other workplace issues, and of ignoring allegations of sexual harassment. CAIR describes her action as a “media and internet smear campaign” filled with falsehoods.

For example, the lawsuit alleges that Saroya controls an account called “Muslims Documenting Sexism,” which has sent numerous communications asking allied people and organizations not to “partner with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) or their chapters” because they “documented a pattern of discrimination and abuse inside CAIR.” That pattern includes “Sexual harassment, abuse, and exploitation,” religious discrimination against non-Sunni Muslim employees, a hostile work environment, and more.

Yale Student Government Condemns Israel for ‘Genocide’
The Yale College Council on Sunday adopted a resolution condemning Israel for committing "human rights violations."

The student leaders passed the "Statement of Condemnation," a joint resolution with Yale's Middle Eastern and North African Cultural Center, Yalies 4 Palestine, and the Arab Students Association, after weeks of opposition from Jewish students. The measure denounces "injustice, genocide, and ethnic cleansing occurring in Palestine" and claims Israel is an "apartheid" state.

"We stand against the discriminatory application of the law that strips Palestinians of basic rights," the statement reads. "We stand against the apartheid and the persecution of Palestinians, and stand for peace and the freedom of the Palestinian people from violent military occupation."

The measure comes a month and a half after Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip launched more than 4,000 rockets into Israel over an 11-day span. The resolution criticized the Israeli military's counterstrikes, which neutralized several Hamas weapons stores and leaders. The statement did not mention Hamas's assault.

Yale's student leaders urged peers to "recognize the connections between the [United States'] domestic racial oppression" and the "oppression" it commits by backing the Israeli military.

"Just as Israel's military enforces the apartheid system against Palestinians, the U.S. police enforces the system of white supremacy against black Americans," according to the resolution.

The Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale, the university’s Hillel chapter, released a statement hours after the student government adopted the resoution. The Slifka Center said the council's measure contributed to creating an unsafe environment for Jewish students. (h/t MtTB)

BBC Arabic host defends contributor’s reference to ‘war on the Jews’
In contrast, the day after the end of Operation Guardian of the Walls – May 22nd – saw BBC Arabic presenter Iman al-Qassir defending a contributor’s use of the word ‘Yahud’ on the programme ‘Talking Point’.

The first contributor was Omar Rajoub from Dura, near Hebron, who was identified as a Fatah speaker.

Rajoub: “The victory which the Palestinian people achieved, it [the people] was united behind the banner of [waging] war on the Jews and fighting them and the liberation of Palestinian land.”

When the second contributor – independent researcher Dr Edy Cohen – took issue with the use of the phrase ‘the Jews’, the presenter insisted that “he did not incite, he is free to have his opinion”.

The IHRA working definition of antisemitism of course includes “Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel” but as we know only all too well, five years since its publication the BBC has not yet adopted that definition and so a BBC Arabic presenter is free to justify a Palestinian contributor’s use of the term ‘the Jews’ as an “opinion”.

But perhaps next time the BBC considers translating ‘Yahud’ as ‘Israelis’, it should first think back to how Omar Rajoub and others define “the enemy”.
Channel 4 News grossly distorts CST's views on antisemitism
A June 25th segment on Channel 4 News by reporter Fatima Manji centered around incidents in cities such as London, Manchester and Leeds during the May war between Israel and Hamas, where students were engaging in pro-Palestinian activism on school grounds.

The segment (“Schoolchildren complain of being unfairly punished for taking part in pro-Palestine protests“) purported to explore the question of what rights students have to engage in such political activism. However, not only was the report overtly sympathetic to the pro-Palestinian students, but it almost completely ignored the relevant context: the dramatic surge of antisemitic incidents in the country during the war driven by such anti-Israel activity.

Here’s the full segment:

Here’s exactly what the Channel 4 journalist said about CST’s concerns in the matter, between 2:53 and 3:06 into the segment:
The Community Security Trust [CST], a Jewish group which monitours antisemitism, say Jewish schoolchildren are being intimidated by anti-Israel protests. They say such cases rise when the conflict in Palestine and Israel is escalating”.

We were immediately concerned that Manji wasn’t accurately characterising the views of the charity, so we reached out to a CST spokesperson, who replied as follows:
Our complaint is twofold: firstly, that they attempted to represent CST’s view without asking us what our view was; and secondly, that as a consequence of that unprofessional behaviour they got our view wrong.

Specifically, they said it is CST’s view that “Jewish school children are being intimidated by anti-Israel protests”. This may well be the case but it isn’t really the point: the main problem is that Jewish school children and teachers are being singled out and targeted by some students in some schools because they are Jewish. This sometimes involves explicit antisemitic abuse, but mostly it is the use of pro-Palestinian or anti-Israel language being used to target and harass them because they are Jewish. This has happened in record numbers and it is a problem that the Channel 4 report minimised or ignored.

So, contrary to Channel 4 News’s claim, the main problem, according to CST, isn’t pro-Palestinian protests per se, but those protests concerning Israel and the Palestinians which include antisemitic behavior. Also, those watching the Channel 4 segment would know nothing of the dangerous rise in antisemitic incidents during and related to the conflict.
Financial Times corrects erroneous reference to marching 'settlers'
As we noted to editors, it’s of course impossible to know where the thousands of Israelis who participated in the march reside, and the chance that all of the marchers live in settlements is practically zero. Moreover, the word “settler”, in this context, seems less a precise descriptive than a general, all-purpose pejorative – a synonym for ‘bad’ Israelis.

After several follow ups, they finally corrected the paragraph, which now reads as follows:

Though the revised paragraph represents a substantive improvement over the original, the new language, informing readers that among the marchers were “many Jewish settlers”, is still gratuitous and ultimately meaningless in the context of the story.
Daily Beast Errs on Hamas Tunnels, Gaza Unemployment
July 29 UPDATE: Daily Beast Corrects on 'Smuggling' Tunnels

In response to communication from CAMERA, journalist Sébastien Roblin amended the article to acknowledge that Hamas' tunnels into Israel are for attacks, not smuggling. The unemployment rate error has not been corrected. See below for a detailed update.

"I was shocked from what I saw in the tunnel. It is clear that this tunnel has only one purpose: to carry out terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers," said then U.S. Ambassador Israel Dan Shapiro while visiting a cross-border Hamas tunnel in October 2013 which had led from the Gaza Strip to Israel.

What was plainly clear to President Obama's ambassador — that Hamas tunnels from Gaza to Israel are used for terror purposes — is now lost on the Daily Beast. In his June 25 article, "Israel is Sending Robots With Machine Guns to the Gaza Border," Sébastien Roblin, a reporter specializing in international affairs, security and military history, errs: "The barriers extend underground too, blocking some but not all cross-border tunnels used by Palestinian smugglers." But as Shapiro rightly noted, the cross-border tunnels extending from the Gaza Strip into Israel are used for attacks, not smuggling. Roblin is conflating the attack tunnels into Israel with the smuggling tunnels that extend from the Gaza Strip into Egypt.
AP Answers Call of “Palestine Coverage” Crusaders
The last paragraph is an extremely partisan formulation. It completely ignores the following obstacles to security: Palestinian demands for a so-called “right of return” of refugees and their millions of descendants, which fair observers understand as an existential threat to the only Jewish state; Palestinian rejectionism of Israel as a Jewish state and the consistent Palestinians rejection of offer after offer of a Palestinian state alongside Israel; Palestinian denial of any historic Jewish connection to the land, including its most holy site in Jerusalem; government-backed incitement calling for attacks on Israeli civilians; Palestinian Authority payments to terrorists and their families; Palestinian investment in terror infrastructure such as rockets and tunnels at the expense of investment in its civilians; Palestinian rocket-firing on Israeli civilians and arson attacks on southern Israel; Hamas camps that brainwash a generation of kids to admire suicide bombers and other terrorists; and so on.

All of these points feature Palestinian actions as obstacles to conflict resolution. Every single one of them counters the “full, contextualized truth” as the media crusaders, including one anonymous AP journalist, see it, and thus, they believe, have no place in reporting on behalf of the Palestinian narrative.

“Expand the reach of factual reporting,” promises the AP, even as it suppresses information contradicting the favored anti-Israel narrative. “The free exchange of information has been replaced with the free expungement of inconvenient information,” wrote this media critic last week in The New York Daily News, weighing on the open letter’s heavily partisan agenda as anathema to ethical journalism.

“Label advocacy and commentary,” exhorts the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics. Turn news into advocacy, counter the unethical practitioners. And the Associated Press, quietly laying aside its longstanding commitment to factual reporting, obliged.
Antisemitism Watchdog Calls for Disciplinary Action Against Spanish TV Host Over Antisemitic Comments
The Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) is calling for disciplinary action against a reporter from a television station in Spain who made antisemitic remarks during a broadcast about Israeli athletes.

TV3’s commentator Clara Basiana made the offensive remarks while reporting live on air on June 10 about Israeli artistic duet swimmers Eden Blecher and Shelly Bobritzky after they performed and awaited their results from judges at an Olympic qualifier in Barcelona.

According to a translation by CAM, Basiana told viewers in Spanish, “Beyond the technical aspects, I would like to point out that Israel’s international presence in the field of sport and culture is another strategy for the laundering of genocide and the violation of human rights that they are committing against the Palestinian people.”

She also said on air, “it seems that during these events the war crimes of the Israeli state disappear. We have to be aware as spectators and make this situation visible so as not to normalize its place in sports commentary, or general societal discourse.”

In a letter sent to Jaume Peral, CEO of the Catalyunya Comunicacio conglomerate, which includes TV3, CAM called for Basiana’s reprimanding, accused TV3 of not reporting on events factually and objectively, and insisted that the station take preventative measures to make sure a similar incident does not happen again.
Nearly half of QAnon supporters believe Jews want world domination- survey
Nearly half of all QAnon supporters believe in an old antisemitic theory that the rise of liberalism "equipped Jews to destroy institutions, and in turn gain control of the world," according to a new survey.

The survey, conducted by data intelligence company Morning Consult and published on Monday, found that 49% of the supporters of the discredited far-right conspiracy theory known as QAnon also believe the antisemitic claims first made in the fake Protocols of the Elders of Zion document. The QAnon conspiracy has its root in many other antisemitic tropes, including the belief that there was a "deep state" fighting against former president Donald Trump, evoking the claim that Jews secretly control the world's media, banks and governments.

Additionally, believers in the conspiracy theory think that members of the satanic cabal torture and kill children in order to harvest their organs, a claim which directly relates to ancient blood libel conspiracies.

"Although we wouldn't say initially that QAnon had antisemitic tropes, very quickly it became apparent that there was a strain within QAnon belief that articulated some of these very clearly antisemitic tropes," Joanna Mendelson, associate director of the Anti-Defamation League's Center on Extremism, told Morning Consult.

The survey found that in comparison to QAnon believers, only 32% of right-leaning and 11% of left-leaning American adults believe in the claims made by the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

New Israeli ‘GPS’ nano-drug busts inflammation, touted as antibody replacement
Israeli “GPS-guided” nanoparticle drugs can tackle inflammation without touching healthy immune cells, scientists say, calling the innovation “game-changing” and predicting it could replace antibody therapeutics.

“Instead of today’s treatments for inflammation, which are felt across the body, we’re sending ours with a GPS of its own that takes it to precisely the right cells in the body,” said Prof. Dan Peer, vice president for research and development at Tel Aviv University.

Peer has tested the injected drug on mice, found it as effective as familiar antibody treatments, and outlined the achievement in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Nanotechnology.

The technology uses ribonucleic acid or RNA, a major growth area in scientific research today, as pharmaceutical companies invest more in developing RNA therapeutics and vaccines, following the success of RNA-based coronavirus shots.

“Our injection is so precise that it’s akin to a GPS that takes you not just to the right street, but to the right room in the right apartment in the right apartment building,” Peer said.

Peer, whose past innovations include RNA technology licensed by BioNTech, Pfizer’s partner in developing its coronavirus vaccine, said that he hopes to begin human trials within two years.

“This is research that could well pave the way for treatment of inflammation to shift from antibodies to carefully targeted and highly effective RNA therapies,” he said.

Peer said the development has implications for all inflammatory diseases, various viral diseases such as the coronavirus, and, when the method is further developed, blood cancers.
No accident: Israeli dash cam startup helps make America's roads safer
Israeli dash cam manufacturer Nexar, whose products enable crowd-sourced vision, and Blyncsy, a Salt Lake City-based movement and data intelligence company, are partnering to collect data on America's 4.1 million miles of public highway and provide actionable insights to the state and local governments that maintain them.

National studies show that effective marking of roadways saves lives. Over 50% of fatalities on America's roadways result when motorists veer out of their travel lanes, according to federal data. Most road markings are repainted only once a year, but with harsh weather conditions and degrading asphalt, markings often need to be repainted or maintained more often. The challenge for transportation departs is knowing how their roads are performing on a daily basis and responding proactively before problems develop.

Blyncsy's Payver technology uses the billions of real-time images and detections collected from Nexar dash cams currently in use on America's roads and applies Blyncsy's proprietary machine learning models to understand the changing road conditions and visibility of pavement markings. The technology can also be used to map locations of stop signs, traffic lights, lane lines, and curbs, all valuable data that can also be used to train autonomous vehicles.

Nexar co-founder and CEO Eran Shir said his company was "proud to partner with Blyncsy using our combined AI smart technology to improve our roads."

"With many cities investing in expensive lidar technologies to monitor their streets and roads, or human surveyors, the crowdsourced vision data from Nexar 'sees' the world at eye-level just like we do and provides superior insights at a fraction of the cost. Pavement monitoring is just one example of Nexar's value while other cities and businesses are using the data to monitor and understand curb use, real estate trends, pedestrian traffic, construction, and more. Nexar creates a platform that other companies can run their AI on and in some cases applies its own AI, such as work zone detections in the Las Vegas Valley," Shir explained.
How Israeli AR tech is transforming the way we see the world
Israeli tech may be best known for creating world-leading cybersecurity solutions, but there’s a lot to be said for the startup nation’s burgeoning augmented reality landscape and how it’s driving positive change around the globe.

Recent data suggests that Israel’s tech landscape is going from strength to strength, with a Catalyst Investments report stating that unicorns established since 2008 have taken less than half the time to reach their golden $1bn valuation compared to their pre-2008 counterparts. Likewise, IPOs, mergers and acquisitions reflect the same pattern.

Now, as Israel shifts from life as a ‘startup nation’ to that of a ‘scale-up nation,’ the time it’s taking for new companies to grow – and even to unicorn – is decreasing at a significant rate, according to a report from Jonathan Cohen of Catalyst Investments.

As data shows, we can see that significant levels of investment enter into the security and healthcare industries in Israel, but this windfall for startups is inadvertently helping another sector to thrive within the country: augmented reality.

With the many applications of augmented reality – particularly within the realm of healthcare, Israel is already becoming an innovative player in developing more practical use cases for the burgeoning technology.

Pioneering AR Surgery
In early 2021, we saw AR in action like we’ve never seen it before as surgery led by Prof. Samer Srouji of the Galilee Medical Centre’s Center for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery led to a pioneering operation to repair a fracture of the floor of a patient’s eye socket using a combination of augmented reality and 3D technology.

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