Tuesday, August 24, 2021

From Ian:

Emily Schrader: 'Woke' activists outraged by Israel stay silent on Taliban - opinion
There’s no shortage of hypocrisy when it comes to anti-Israel activists and the selective outrage over Israel’s actions. For as long as there’s been an Israel, there has been an obsessive focus on critiquing the state’s every move while more recently, turning a blind eye to human rights atrocities around the world, including human rights violations of Palestinians by Syria, Lebanon, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.

With the tragedy in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of US troops, so-called “woke” activists who previously were concerned with “joint struggles for liberation” now seem to be largely silent on the issue. These activists and groups are ignoring the crisis in Afghanistan at the hands of Taliban and instead are choosing to demonize Israel to further their own political agendas, throwing their allegiance to “intersectionality” out the window.

As the Taliban has swiftly taken control of Afghanistan, the world watches in horror as we can only forecast what the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” will mean for women, minorities, the LGBT community, and more, who are already being stripped of whatever rights they had obtained in the past 20 years. Does a shared intersectional struggle only matter when it comes to Palestinians? Do Afghani lives not matter to these activists and groups?

There are numerous anti-Israel organizations who pride themselves on intersectionality and have championed the term in their advocacy: for example, the BDS-supporting Jewish Voice for Peace which claims to be an ally of the black community against police brutality, as well as other minority groups. JVP hasn’t even tweeted once from its own account about what’s happening in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, every day they have put out anti-Israel content.

Another organization, American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), has also included intersectionality in its advocacy. AMP actively takes part in Black-Palestinian solidarity initiatives – yet like JVP, AMP has been silent about the Taliban takeover.
Have the Courage to Name the Real Threat to Afghan Women: Islamist Rule
The tragedy of Afghanistan today is not America's fault.

It's true that America has made many mistakes in Afghanistan. As far back as the Reagan era, we can clearly see heinous errors made by administration after administration. And it is certainly true that this latest crisis sits squarely on President Biden's shoulders. He failed to plan to get troops and allies out safely.

But the great tragedy of Afghanistan today—what the Taliban are doing to women—has nothing to do with America.

Americans did not train the Taliban to force women into blue body bags and to kill them if they disobey. America did not insist that they force women out of their jobs, that they force women out of school, that they force women to be housebound and to only leave if accompanied by a man. Americans did not instruct the Taliban to burn down amusement parks because they have statues in them. They did not insist that the Taliban hang gay people in the streets or throw them off of roofs before stoning them.

None of that training came from the American military.

The reason why families are handing their infants over to troops, why women are screaming at the airport, reaching their outstretched arms to American troops as if they are actively drowning and hoping someone, anyone, will extend a hand and save them, is not for a reason that is unique to Afghanistan. It is mirrored in across the world—in many other countries where women are enduring similar atrocities.
Where are the Feminists?
No, feminists in America will not be criticizing the Taliban, just as neither they nor gays in America have dared criticize the brutal treatment of women and gays under the governance of Hamas in Gaza. Feminists in this country are too consumed with another task: the destruction of the American male, who is seen as the producer of imperialism, “racist capitalism,” and systemic racial and gender oppression. This is their obsession. The destruction of the American male supersedes moral concern for the wanton annihilation of human lives in other countries. They will not speak out against the Taliban because they hate America and American men more than they care about the rights of any individual singled out as a target for discrimination based on membership in a demonized group.

As we hurtle towards a possible post-American future, this new breed of feminists, a phalanx of zealots, has forged fourth-wave feminism, and it’s far more rabidly anti-male than previous iterations of the ideological movement. You’d think because of its petty maliciousness and deranged radicalism, its appeal would be narrowly limited to the faculty lounges of liberal arts colleges. Yet since the inception of the #MeToo movement, the crazed foot soldiers of fourth-wave feminism managed not only to take their worldview mainstream, but also to put a headlock on the commanding heights of American culture. This is as impressive as it is terrifying.

These new man-haters are seething with toxic feminism, and the further spread of their noxious sentiment could likely spell the death of our country as we know it. Increasingly prevalent is their practice of exploiting female agency and identity to make blanket attacks on men, to neuter manliness, and to advocate for the end of masculinity. These goals are being achieved while simultaneously promulgating the dual concepts that men are by nature nefarious and that female advancement can only come through the wholesale annihilation of heteronormative constructs of maleness. The destructive consequences for relationships at every level of society—from the simple couple to the community to the nation—will be vast and irreparable.

The New Misandry, as I call it, arose out of the more extreme versions of second-wave feminism. Proponents of this form of feminism, such as Gloria Steinem and Kate Millett, Valerie Solanas (author of SCUM—Society for Cutting up Men) and Carol Hanisch, began the process of speaking to the irrelevance of men to women’s life and society in general. Steinem’s famous dictum, “a woman needs a man the way a fish needs a bicycle,” spoke to the changing cultural attitudes towards men that regarded them as disposable, annoying, and of having nuisance value only. Third-wave feminism, beginning in the early 1990s, saw a rise in affluent middle-class women influenced by Anita Hill who wielded their agency in strategic ways to exact a revenge against all men in the ways in which they imagined a malevolent, collectivist male psyche had inflicted irreparable damage on all women. Fourth-wave feminism, which arose in the 2010s, gained traction with the creation of the #MeToo Movement. This form of feminism is the most toxic brand we find in the history of feminism. With full malice aforethought, its adherents depict masculinity as inherently toxic, and claim that only the abolition of maleness will result in the creation of an egalitarian world for women.


Reflections on a Patrician Radical
Edward Said projected his self-hatred onto the whole of the west and its history.

Taking the Measure of Said

There is a tiny anecdote that captures the evasiveness of the author (and of Said). A taxi driver in Cairo once asked Said whether he was a Moslem. Said answered, “Alhamdulillah” (praise be to God). Obviously, the taxi driver would take this to mean “Yes,” though of course, it could also mean the opposite. I don’t blame Said in the least for this evasion: who wants to get into an argument with a Cairene taxi driver over religion or the existence of God? I would have answered something similar myself. But where both Said and the author are blameworthy is in not asking themselves why in the circumstances Said could not be straightforward or truthful by saying that he was of Christian origin but was now agnostic or atheist?

Similarly, we read that “as a Christian in the Middle East who, like others, had to navigate inherited colonial arrangements, Said was only too aware of the pitfalls awaiting multiethnic political arrangements based on identitarian allocations of power.” This suggests, without quite saying so, that religious conflicts were inventions of colonial arrangements, but only wilful ignorance or dishonesty could sustain such a view. In 1860, for example, in Lebanon and Syria, there was a war between the Maronites and the Sunni and Druze, with massacres on both sides. The Christian quarter of Damascus was destroyed with a thoroughness reminiscent of the present war, and 12,000 Christians were killed. This had nothing to do with “colonial arrangements.” And I doubt that today’s average Coptic Christian would agree with the author’s statement either.

Brennan has a strange way of dealing with criticisms of Said. He calls the famous article in Commentary, drawing attention to Said’s fabrications about his own past, “malicious”—as if proof of malice were refutation in itself. The article was indeed intended to destroy, or at least severely damage, Said’s reputation: but if the allegations were true, such that he falsely claimed to have fled Jerusalem in 1948, it deserved to be destroyed. And there is no strong denial in the book that Said did sometimes fabricate his history in a very gross fashion, let alone refutation of it.

The author likewise dismisses, very airily, criticisms of the book, Orientalism, for which Said is most famous, and without which a biography would probably not have been commissioned. The criticisms are that the book is muddled, incoherent, inaccurate, and self-contradictory—as well as malicious, of course, but malice is not in itself a refutation of its arguments. The biographer suggests that the criticisms are trivial and beside the point: but if incoherence, inaccuracy, and self-contradiction are not important criticisms, it is difficult to know what important criticisms could be.


To all Rabbis: We expect you to prepare teens to fight campus antisemitism!
US university campuses are cesspools of anti-Semitism. Most Jewishstudents begin their freshman year without the vocabulary to beat it back. By omission and/or commission lying about Israel is lying about Jews. That's today's campus anti-Semitism - a narrative of lies about Israel.

Our unprepared students are vulnerable to believing the slanders against us, then losing their Jewish pride, then walking away from their Jewish identity. Even Orthodox students, whose identity is strong to begin with, need the strengthening that a rabbi can provide.

There is no excuse for religious leaders in every kind of congregaton to not prepare our students:

1) Tip sheets on the five top Big Lies told about Jews on campus have been prepared (see below) and can be easily downloaded free of charge.

2) Rabbis know which students are high school juniors and seniors based on the dates of bar and bat mitzvah. This makes it easy to reach out to EVERY student even if he/she did not stay active in the congregation.

Giving our students the most basic tools to debunk the blood libels and other slanders against us is the bare minimum a rabbi can do to assure Jewish continuity in America.

Rabbis who deliberately resist preparing their students to combat the lies and slanders to which they will be constantly and disgracefully subjected on campus are making sacrificial lambs of the young people in their charge and need to be convinced or replaced.


PreOccupiedTerritory: Squad Discovers Its Candidates Lose Elections When Opponents Allowed To Run (satire)
Members of the progressive Democratic Congressional group known as The Squad – Rashida Tlaib (D-MN), Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MI), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), and Cori Bush (D-MO), and backed by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and activist Linda Sarsour – voiced their conclusion Thursday that the August 3 victory by Shontel Brown over Nina Turner in the primary to run for Ohio’s 11th District indicates a recurring challenge facing The Squad’s endorsements: opponents almost always run rival campaigns that attract enough votes to win, and that phenomenon must cease.

“It’s different from their home districts,” explained the aide, who requested anonymity. “Each member of The Squad enjoys a solid Democratic safety net; there’s virtually no chance for a Republican to take the seat. That’s just not the case for all these swing districts, where voters are up for grabs and a candidate has to offer something that’s actually appealing to the electorate as a whole, and can’t just rest on party loyalties while taking a radical rhetorical tone.”

“The problem is there are other people running against our people,” stated Ocasio-Cortez in the third group consultation The Squad has held since the 11th District defeat. “I don’t just mean Republicans in the regular election – I mean other Democrats who don’t share our progressive politics! Can you imagine? And those other people convince voters that in order to attract enough voters in that upcoming election the party needs a candidate with policies and rhetoric that don’t alienate large swaths of voters. That’s what happened in Ohio. There has to be a way to keep those others from running.”

“Not just in the primary,” added Omar. “When I ran for my seat, I ran unopposed. The Republicans simply didn’t field a candidate. Why can’t we prevent them from fielding a candidate in all the other important elections as well? That way we can advance our Justice Democrats agenda more easily, and protect our democracy from those who are trying to destroy it.”


Honest Reporting: It’s Complicated: Media Cherry-pick Elements of Jimmy Carter’s Middle East Legacy
An August 19 Associated Press article by Bill Barrow titled, Jimmy Carter, trounced in 1980, gets fresh look from history, correctly notes the 39th US president’s monumental role in brokering the 1979 Israel-Egypt peace treaty but thereafter fails to mention more recent forays into controversial Middle East waters.

The piece, which was subsequently republished by prominent news organizations such as The Washington Post and ABC News, rightfully included this sentence:
Carter’s brokerage of the Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt remains his most undisputed success.”

Indeed, the agreement between Jerusalem and Cairo, which launched wars against the Jewish state in 1948, 1956, 1967 and 1973, was a watershed event that earned then-Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin and then-Egyptian president Anwar el-Sadat the 1978 Nobel Peace Prize. Moreover, the treaty has since held, with the two countries now key strategic partners.

But Carter’s Middle East legacy is complicated, to say the least. In this respect, AP’s “fresh look from history” omits crucial context about his subsequent controversial positions and their lasting impact on the peace process.

Did Carter popularize Israel-Apartheid South Africa comparison?
In 2006, Jimmy Carter published Palestine peace not apartheid, which caused a firestorm. Much of the backlash focused on an assertion that Israelis were guilty of human rights abuses against Palestinians in the West Bank. Specifically, Carter equated the plight of Palestinians to victims of government-mandated racial segregation and oppression previously experienced in South Africa.

In doing so, Carter seemingly not only condoned but fast-tracked attempts by anti-Zionists to isolate Israel from the international community. The 2001 UN World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, was already etched in the minds of many as the beginning of an egregious camapign to compare the Jewish state to apartheid South Africa.

Indeed, the Durban Conference, or Durban I, featured some of the vilest antisemitism since WWII, and experts trace the roots of the ongoing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement back to the 2001 gathering.


Spanish university to host controversial Holocaust seminar
The University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain is planning to hold a seminar titled "Auschwitz/Gaza: A testing ground for comparative literature," with readings from iconic figures such as Primo Levi. It will be held by Prof. César Domínguez in the 2021-2022 academic year.

The Jewish human rights and Holocaust research organization, the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC), released on Monday a letter addressed to the Spanish Minister of Universities, Manual Castells Oliván, speaking out against the seminar, stating it is an "exercise in hate" and that the "expected content is not an issue of ‘freedom of expression’, but a banalization of the Holocaust, which can incite to hatred and violence against Jews of today.”

They also state that it is "an insult to Spanish republicans deported to the Nazi death camps." Simon Wiesenthal himself met many of these Spanish republicans during his imprisonment at the Mauthausen concentration camp.

The city of Santiago de Compostela is known for being the burial place of St. James, an apostle of Jesus Christ, with thousands making pilgrimages there each year.
Police arrest man for vandalizing Long Island Chabad, stealing Torah scrolls
Police in Long Beach, Long Island, New York have arrested and charged a man with the vandalism and burglary of a Chabad synagogue, which saw two Torah scrolls stolen.

The synagogue, known as Chabad of the Beaches, was burgled over the weekend, the ark broken, Torah scrolls thrown around the floor and two other Torah scrolls stolen along with several pieces of silver.

The suspect, 23-year-old Hunter McElrath, was discovered by police entirely naked save for a Jewish prayer shawl (tallit) at the beach, local outlet Newsday reported.

No motive was apparent, but the police do not think it was an antisemitic crime, Newsday reported.

It is unclear how McElrath was able to get into the synagogue, but according to the synagogue's Rabbi Eli Goodman, it may have been through the back doors.

"We just renovated the synagogue and are replacing some of the doors," Goodman explained to The Jerusalem Post. "Someone was supposed to come earlier to replace them, but with the hurricane, things got delayed."

Several of the silver ornaments were returned, with people having discovered them washed up on the beach. The Torah scrolls, however, remain lost.
Two Arrested in Cologne, Germany for ‘Cowardly’ Group Attack on Jewish Teen Wearing Kippah
Police in the German city of Cologne detained two men suspected of seriously injuring a Jewish 18-year-old on Friday night, in a group assault that left the Jewish community “appalled.”

The police have arrested an 18-year-old and a 19-year-old after a young Jewish man wearing a kippah was first insulted with antisemitic language in a park in Cologne, and then punched and kicked in the face, according to an initial investigation. The victim was brought to the hospital with a broken nose and cheekbone. One of the assailants in the group of about ten is said to have stolen the victim’s kippah from his head.

Dr. Felix Schotland, who serves on the board of the Cologne Synagogue Community, said Monday that its members “no longer feel safe in the city.”

“We expect the police, the public prosecutors and the judges in this country to take action against antisemitic excesses with the necessary severity of the law,” he said. “We know, however, that most representatives from politics and city society stand by our side.”

The attack was recorded by an installed police camera in the area, which helped identify the two suspected perpetrators who were arrested.

“The cowardly attack on the young man from Cologne has once again made the ugly grimace of antisemitism in Germany visible. Wearing a kippah without fear must be possible in North-Rhine Westphalia and anywhere in Germany,“ said Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, antisemitism commissioner for the German state of North-Rhine Westphalia. “Every perpetrator should know that we will not tolerate antisemitism in our society and will use all legal means to ban this inhuman attitude from our streets.”
Antisemitic Vandalism of Sofia, Bulgaria Synagogue Condemned as ‘Shameful Desecration’
World Jewish groups decried antisemitic and white supremacist symbols found daubed on the historic Central Synagogue in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, the largest synagogue on the Balkan peninsula.

On Sunday, Bulgaria’s Central Israelite Religious Council publicized photographs of the graffiti, which included a swastika and the number “1488,” a neo-Nazi shorthand.

“We strongly condemn this action and call on the authorities to find the perpetrators as soon as possible and to impose the most severe sanctions,” the Council said in a Facebook post.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, the symbol 1488 — sometimes written as 14/88 or 8814 — refers to a 14-word racist maxim and “Heil Hitler,” H being the 8th letter of the alphabet. It can be seen in email addresses, screen names, and even the pricing of racist merchandise, the ADL says.

On Monday, the group condemned the vandalism in Sofia, joining a number of global Jewish organizations.

“We are disgusted by the desecration of the Central Synagogue in Sofia with a white supremacist symbol ‘1488’ and a swastika,” tweeted the European Jewish Congress. “We stand in solidarity with the Bulgarian Jewish community and call on authorities to speedily bring the perpetrators to justice.”
Anti-lockdown protest in Melbourne features anti-Semitic sentiment
Anti-Semitic stickers have been found following Melbourne’s 'freedom day' rally on Saturday as concern builds over a rise in anti-Jewish sentiment.

Victoria’s ongoing COVID-19 outbreak and extended lockdown has led to concerns of rising hate speech directed towards the Jewish community.

Chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission Dr Dvir Abramovich said the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a “perfect storm” of people spending more time at home and “latching on” to anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

“People are outright scapegoating and pointing the finger at the Jewish community for the extended lockdown,” Dr Abramovich told Skynews.com.au.

It comes as footage emerged last week from a Jewish engagement party which showed more than 65 people breaching the lockdown orders.

The video went viral and led to an uptick in anti-Semitic sentiment.

Voice recordings supplied by the Anti-Defamation Commission featured callers to a synagogue and another Jewish Institution abusing the Jewish community about the party.

One caller said the engagement party had plunged Victoria into a “bigger black hole”.

Dr Abramovich said the engagement party had become a “vehicle for trafficking” age-old anti-Jewish tropes.
Surgical technician who made TikTok video comparing vaccine to Holocaust no longer working for healthcare company
Wellstar Health System, an American healthcare company based in the State of Georgia, confirmed yesterday that an employee who made a TikTok video comparing the COVID-19 vaccine to the Holocaust is no longer employed by the organisation.

The video shows a woman, since identified as Jessica Renzi, in surgical scrubs talking to the camera, discussing COVID-19 vaccines and saying how she wanted to “do her part”. Ms Renzi can be heard saying: “Since we’re going to the vaccine passport and all those things, I thought I’d make it so much easier and I was just going to go ahead and get the number tattooed on me instead.” She then flips the camera around to reveal her arm, tattooed with the numbers ‘7734209’, which reads “GO2HELL” when viewed from the other way, in a style reminiscent of the tattoos forced upon Jews in Nazi concentration camps.

Ms Renzi, who was reportedly a surgical technician at Wellstar Health System’s Wellstone facility in Marietta, Georgia, allegedly created other videos seemingly similar in content before deleting her TikTok account.

Several people then sent tweets to Wellstar Health System informing the company of Ms Renzi’s video, to which it responded: “Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We cannot discuss personnel issues due to employee privacy. We are investigating in accordance with our mission, which is to care for the health and wellbeing of every person we serve. Thank you.”

However, shortly after, the company began responding to the tweets with the following statement instead: “Jessica Renzi is no longer employed by Wellstar Health System. We stand strongly against antisemitism & behaviour of any kind that does not serve our commitment to diversity, equity & inclusion.” The company also included a link to its “Diversity, Equity & Inclusion” policy.

Last month, it was reported that antisemitic content on TikTok has increased by 912%, according to a new study.
Why has Spain’s Jewish citizenship law's acceptance rate plummeted?
Bernardo Pulido spent over $29,000 on genealogical documentation, Jewish heritage certificates, attorney fees and trips to Spain to prove his Sephardic heritage.

But last month, like so many others attempting to gain Spanish citizenship through a 2015 law promising to right the wrongs of the Spanish Inquisition that expelled Jews, Pulido received a rejection letter from the Spanish government.

Pulido, a 61-year-old engineer from Caracas, Venezuela, drew a parallel between the decision and the Inquisition, which forced many of his ancestors to flee in 1492, fearing for their lives. For Venezuelans, a Spanish passport represents a way out of a country in the midst of a deep economic and humanitarian crisis. He plans on appealing the rejection.

“It hurts me a lot because we have complied with all the requirements and followed the law. Many lawyers have told me that how the law is being applied to us now is illegal,” he said.

Newly published citizenship data from Spain’s Justice Ministry reveals that just in the last quarter alone, 2,276 applications were turned down — compared to a total of three before this year.

Of the 150,000 total applications that have been submitted since 2015, 33,485 people have been granted citizenship to date. Only about 6,000 have been accepted in the past quarter. Applicants from Venezuela, Colombia and Mexico have been severely impacted.

The sudden shift, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency has learned, is driven by a fear of fraud and is the product of what some experts say are retroactively implemented bureaucratic standards for applications. The Spanish government denies any changes in the application process.
Slovenia Backs Israeli Push to Revive High-Level Ties With EU, Signs Bilateral Cybersecurity Pact
Israel and Slovenia on Monday have committed to bilateral cooperation in cybersecurity and artificial intelligence, as the two countries agreed to work together to help reconvene a high-level dialogue between the Jewish state and the European Union (EU).

The cybersecurity agreement was signed in Jerusalem between Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and his Slovenian counterpart, Anze Logar. At a working meeting, the two ministers also discussed the re-establishment of the EU-Israel Association Council, which has not taken place since 2012.

Lapid called Slovenia a “trusted friend and a trusted ally” and said that relations between the two countries “extend from the bilateral to the multilateral, whether at the UN or the EU — we know we can count on your support.”

“It was during your presidency of the European Union when I spoke in Brussels with all the foreign ministers of Europe, and I hope it will be also during your presidency that the EU-Israel Association Council will finally take place. It will be a symbol of improving relations between Israel and the European Union and a symbol of your leadership,” Lapid remarked.

Logar, who invited Lapid to visit the Slovenian capital Ljubljana, described Israel as an important partner and confirmed the country’s commitment to help revive the high-level dialogue between the EU and Israel.
Israel’s SavorEat to launch US pilot offering 3D-printed, plant-based burgers
Israeli startup SavorEat, a maker of 3D-printed, plant-based “meat” alternatives, has signed an agreement with Sodexo Operations, the American subsidiary of Paris-based food services and facilities management conglomerate Sodexo, to launch a pilot project offering the startup’s kosher, vegan, gluten-free, allergen-free burger patties in the US.

This is the first major international partnership for SavorEat, which is also launching its food products with the Israeli burger restaurant chain BBB this year.

“Our main market is in the US so for us, this is a good opportunity to collaborate with an institutional kitchen as a way to test the market, evaluate challenges, and better design our final product to meet customer demand,” said Racheli Vizman, SavorEat’s CEO who co-founded the startup in 2018 with her partners Prof. Oded Shoseyov and Prof. Ido Braslevsky. Both professors are researchers at the Yissum Research Development Company, the technology transfer company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

SavorEat went public on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange in November, raising NIS 42.6 million (some $13 million) from Israeli institutional investors in the share sale.

Speaking to The Times of Israel on Tuesday, Vizman said that the details of the partnership with Sodexo were still being finalized but that the startup was looking to start the pilot at a number of universities across the country.
Technion researchers crack battery-free solar energy storage
Solar energy plays an enormous role in our lives. If we can harness it, we can eliminate the need for polluting fossil fuels like petroleum and gas. But the main challenge in switching to solar energy lies in the varying availability of sunlight as the day progresses and seasons change.

Since the electrical grid needs stable power at all hours of the day and night, use of solar energy depends on our ability to store it. But the current technology for storing solar energy, batteries, is inapplicable to solar energy storage in the amounts need to supply a manufacturing site, a neighborhood, or an entire city.

Researchers from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have made a scientific breakthrough on the storage of solar energy, as reported by Energy & Environmental Science. A project led by Professor Avner Rothschild of the Technion's Faculty of Materials Science doctoral student Yifat Piekner from the Nancy and Stephen Grand Technion Energy Program (GTEP has shown that hematite can serve as a promising material in converting solar energy into hydrogen.

The process entails the use of photoelectrochemical solar cells, which are similar to photovoltaic cells, but instead of producing electricity, they produce hydrogen using the electric power (current × voltage) generated in them. The power then uses sunlight energy to dissociate water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen.

Hydrogen is easy to store and when used as fuel, does not involve greenhouse gas or carbon emissions.

One of the main challenges of photoelectrochemical cells is the development of efficient and stable photoelectrodes in a base or acid electrolyte, which is the chemical environment in which water can be efficiently split into hydrogen and oxygen. This is where hematite-based photoelectrochemical cells come into play. Hematite is an iron oxide that has a similar chemical composition to rust. Hematite is inexpensive, stable and nontoxic, and has properties that are suitable for water splitting.











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