Wednesday, October 13, 2021

From Ian:

Jonathan S. Tobin: BDS again proves it's all about antisemitism
It's no accident that Israel is the country that is always singled out by so-called human-rights advocates for its alleged crimes even though other nations, which are actually tyrannies, get ignored. Israel is the only nation in the world that has spawned a worldwide movement that aims at its destruction. Only Jews and Jewish rights are treated in this manner, which is to say that BDS, in whatever form it takes, is, like anti-Zionism itself – inherently anti-Semitic. And the fact that some Jews, like Cohen and Greenfield, or groups with Jewish names like Jewish Voices for Peace, which promotes anti-Semitic blood libels, support it doesn't give them a pass for a movement that targets their own people for hate and discrimination.

That's why laws being pushed in states all around the country to punish those companies that engage in discriminatory commercial conduct against Israel and Jews are not only not a violation of free speech but desperately needed.

In much of the mainstream media and polite liberal society, BDS is still treated like a legitimate protest rather than antisemitism. The growing acceptance of critical race theory and intersectionality is part of the reason for this since those toxic ideas provide a permission slip to antisemitism so long as it is cloaked in the rhetoric of the left.

But the actions of people like Rooney and Ben & Jerry's rip the veil from this subterfuge. Those who think that only Israel's efforts to defend itself against the Palestinian war on its existence or to assert Jewish rights are the most intolerable acts happening anywhere on the planet mustn't be allowed to pose as do-gooders. Whether actively or passively, they are complicit in a hate campaign with an anti-Semitic goal that essentially justifies terrorist violence. Those who engage in such despicable behavior deserve the same opprobrium and boycotts that they would use against Israel and the Jews.
David Collier: An open letter to Sally Rooney – on the boycott of Israel
BDS is about destroying Israel – the only Jewish state in the world and the only democracy in the entire MENA region. And you support it. Yet as the slave trade flourishes in some Arab nations, democracy is non-existent and human rights are unheard of – you do not take an issue with translations into Arabic. Nor do you have a problem with Chinese – with China a Titan of human rights abuses. Nor Russian, or any of the languages of the world’s real human rights abusers.

But it isn’t just about brazen hypocrisy. Last week I published a devastating report on antisemitism in Ireland. Those people you seem to feel comfortable surrounding yourself with are neck deep in anti-Jewish hatred. You side with those that believe the Protocols of the Elders of Zion are real, push Holocaust denial, rabid anti-Jewish conspiracy and wish for a violent end to Jews and Zionism. Not all of them sure, but how many antisemites do you have to stand alongside before you feel uncomfortable?

Because BDS plays on people’s antisemitism. The BDS National Committee is fully aware that they can make up any old story about Jews and Zionism and there are enough antisemites to drive their twisted demonising narrative into the mainstream. Once in the mainstream it find support from the naive virtue signallers. People it seems, such as yourself.

This obsession with Israel exists in certain bubbles, but like most false paradigms, eventually the bubble will burst. I don’t know whether it will be 10 years from now (doubtful), 20 (probably a little too soon), or 50 years from now (almost certainly) but at some point mainstream researchers will be looking at the obscenity that is the ‘obsession with Israel’ and tearing it apart. They will point to the UN and the UNHRC targeting of the world’s only Jewish state and explain them away as despots ruling the roost – and they’ll go on to wonder at how it was that anyone took these organisations seriously. They will talk about the damage done by the increasing Islamist influence of global NGOs like Amnesty and HRW too. But they will also turn to the players who supported the BDS boycott. By then it will be seen for what it is – just another attempt by the Arab ’empire’ to do away with the tiny Jewish enclave that fought for freedom in its midst. And those fools in the west that played along – boycotted the products of the Jewish state – or refused to have anything to do with publishing houses there – will be seen just as racists are always viewed through the lens of history. I have no doubt that your current actions will be held up as an example of the antisemitic fervour of the day. That will forever be part of Sally Rooney’s legacy.

So go ahead – boycott Israel. It isn’t like the Jews are not used to people boycotting them. Let your books continue to be translated into Chinese and not Hebrew – Israel will continue to thrive without the Israelis reading them. But you should always remember that the brave folk are the ones that stand up against the tide of rising antisemitism. Those who see the anti-Israel obsession for what it is and refuse to partake in the blatant attack on Jewish self-determination are the heroes worthy of remembering. Your actions are those of a coward.
Naked double standards: Raunchy Marxist author Sally Rooney refuses to have her new novel translated into Hebrew because of her left-wing beliefs about Israel but is quite happy to see it sold in repressive China
Rooney is entitled to her political beliefs, however simplistic and ill thought through they might be.

But she is also a novelist, a highly regarded one at that. And all novelists – indeed all artists – should properly believe in free speech, the free exchange of ideas and art for art's sake.

As a committed Left-winger, she might also espouse some of the internationalist instincts that motivate Left-wing parties around the world. By allowing Hebrew speakers to read her books, she might in time convert some to her passionate cause.

Plenty of artists are clever enough to understand this.

One is the great Australian singer-songwriter Nick Cave: he has called the BDS boycott 'cowardly and shameful' – while also making it clear that he doesn't support everything Israel does and that he hopes fervently for a resolution to the plight of the Palestinian people.

Yet all too often the Left is incapable of understanding this – as the wretched regime of Jeremy Corbyn's Labour party showed us all. (I will never forget the time a Left-wing BBC journalist chillingly told me to my face that he thought that Israel, a state created out of the worst genocide in the history of our species, 'had no right to exist'.)

The same is true in Rooney's native Ireland, where Leftists and nationalists have long-standing links with Palestinian activism, seeing Ireland and Palestine as both being involved in a struggle against 'colonialism'.

If Rooney really wanted to address the serious injustices of the world, she might instead be campaigning on Communist North Korea, Burma, Zimbabwe or plenty of others … and so aim for a shred of consistency.

Instead, she does a terrible disservice not only to Hebrew speakers around the world – but to all of us who believe that art should be widely shared.

‘Bring Down the State of Israel’: Media Outlets Obscure BDS Campaign’s True Goal in Sally Rooney Boycott Coverage
The debate over Irish author Sally Rooney’s severing of ties with an Israeli publisher in line with her support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement continues.

Over the last two days, numerous international media outlets have published articles about Rooney’s decision to partake in a “cultural boycott” of the Jewish state by preventing her latest novel, Beautiful World, Where Are You?, from being translated into Hebrew by Modan Publishing House.

A striking theme that many of these news reports have in common is how thoroughly they distort and misrepresent the true aims of BDS, making it seem palatable to the uninformed reader.

For example, the BDS website clearly advocates “for a boycott of Israel’s entire regime of oppression” and appeals to supporters to “pressure [their] respective states to impose embargoes and sanctions against Israel.”

Yet, The Washington Post minimizes the scope of the movement’s goal in its October 12 article, Sally Rooney won’t release new bestseller in Israel, publisher says, intensifying debate on cultural boycott:
The BDS campaign aims to change Israel’s policy toward the Palestinians by encouraging boycotts, stock divestiture and sanctions against Israeli and international companies that operate on land that Palestinians consider theirs. Land that Palestinians consider theirs encompasses the West Bank and East Jerusalem.”

However, BDS does not discriminate between Israeli businesses that operate in the contested areas and those that do not. Rather, it urges the blacklisting of all companies – Israeli or foreign – that do any kind of business in any part of the Jewish state.

A list published by BDSGuide, which works to expose “the hypocrisy of BDS,” points out that proponents of BDS would have to boycott corporations including, Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, Amazon, Facebook, Google, eBay, Viacom, Universal Studios, Coca-Cola, Nestle, McDonald’s and Walmart.

Indeed, were people to fully acquiesce to the BDS movement’s demands, it is unlikely they would ever eat, drink or use technology again.
More dishonesty in British media coverage of BDS
This is a classic example of ‘stacking the deck’, highlighting, as opponents of BDS, only those figures the journalist knows her readers overwhelmingly dislike, whilst citing, as a prominent BDS supporter, a public figure readers hold in high esteem. Sandhu could have mentioned that Netanyahu’s position on BDS is shared across the Israeli political spectrum. Even Nitzan Horowitz, head of the far-left Meretz Party, opposes boycotts.

In the US, Barack Obama, Joe Biden and the overwhelming majority of the Congress oppose BDS. Even Jimmy Carter opposes it, as does the European Union, Boris Johnson and the British Labour Party under Keir Starmer.

Sandhu also fails to explore the views of Jews on BDS – those who are either directly impacted by a boycott of the Jewish state, or, with diaspora Jews, have an organic, historically-informed hostility the movement – a community which has born the brunt of antisemitic attacks often inspired by the anti-Israel vitriol of those supporting the boycott movement.

A major EU poll of European Jews (including Britons) conducted in 2018 showed “82% of Jews classed calls by non-Jews to boycott Israel or Israelis as anti-Semitic”, and a poll of British Jews by Campaign Against Antisemitism in 2020 found that “83% felt intimidated by tactics used to boycott Israel”.

In the US, a poll in 2020 by Pew Research Center found that “the vast majority [of American Jews] who have heard of the [BDS] movement say they oppose it”, with only 10% supporting it, whilst an American Jewish Committee poll that same year found that 80% of US Jews believe BDS is compromised by some degree by antisemitism.

Once again, we see how media outlets publishing putatively straight news articles on BDS, through omission and misrepresentation, skew the story in a manner that leads readers to the desired pro-boycott position.
Israel Advocacy Movement: Labour activist’s father was Hamas minister
Remember that anti-Israel motion passed at the Labour Conference? Al-Jazeera said they believed Omar Mofeed ‘helped draft’.

For the first time, we can reveal that Omar is the son of Mufid al-Mukhalalati…Hamas’s Health Minister from their 2012 government.

Jewish, Swedish leaders discuss antisemitism ahead of Malmö Forum
Top Jewish and Swedish leaders met at Malmö Synagogue Tuesday to celebrate the history and vibrant life of the local Jewish community, most notably its resilience during a period of heightened antisemitism in the country.

The synagogue event, hosted by the World Jewish Congress (WJC), along with the Official Council of Swedish Jewish Communities and the Jewish Community of Malmö, was held one day ahead of the Malmö International Forum on Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism.

Malmö, the third-largest city in Sweden, has been slammed with antisemitism in recent years. In 2013, it saw near a tripling of reports of antisemitic attacks, JTA reported.

WJC President Ronald Lauder shared insight at the event about the history of Jewish life in Sweden and next steps in combating antisemitism. “I have been dealing with antisemitism since I became involved in the Jewish world. That’s most of my adult life. I’ve witnessed it, I’ve talked to too many victims of antisemitism. I’ve also been the target of it, myself. I have seen people lose their lives … because they happened to be Jewish," Lauder said.

“I am aware that a just and reasonable settlement must be found with the Palestinian people. I have pursued a two-state solution for years and I have never given up on this idea. Two states for two people is the only way that this long conflict can finally come to a just conclusion," he continued.

He added, “All schoolchildren must learn about the Holocaust and understand how it came about and where hatred ultimately leads.”
Swedish PM calls for 'concrete measures' to combat antisemitism at Malmö conference
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven called on Wednesday for “concrete measures” to combat antisemitism and advance Holocaust remembrance, at the Malmö International Forum on Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism.

Speaking at the conference, Löfven noted that antisemitism is present in all parts of society, observing specifically that it had been boosted in Europe by the arrival of immigrants where antisemitism is rife, an implicit reference to Muslim immigrants from the Middle East.

Malmö Mayor Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh, whose city has been a hotbed of antisemitic incidents and attacks emanating in particular from its large Muslim population, also addressed the conference, while Israeli President Isaac Herzog, French President Emmanuel Macron and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken addressed the event through video messages.

Speaking first in the plenary session of the conference, Löfven mentioned the Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust of January 2000, which resulted in the founding of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, and the 2020 IHRA Ministerial Declaration as important milestones in efforts to combat antisemitism and preserve the memory of the Holocaust.

“We are not looking for another declaration, we are looking to translate these principles of these documents into reality,” Löfven said at Wednesday’s conference.

“I have therefore encouraged delegations that are representative here in Malmö today to present concrete measures to promote Holocaust remembrance and to combat antisemitism, anti-Gypsism and other forms of racism,” he continued.
At Swedish Holocaust event, Herzog says social media giants must tackle hate
Speaking at a major conference hosted by Sweden on Wednesday, President Isaac Herzog called on the world to more vigorously confront social media companies to ensure hateful material is dealt with.

“Antisemitism is an infusion of hate into pockets of ignorance, a force of destruction which wears down any virtue in its path,” he said.

“It will require not only improving Holocaust education in schools, such as the outstanding program of Yad Vashem, but also working aggressively on social media, including with and confronting social media companies to ensure that hateful incitement is quickly removed.”

He also urged leaders to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism.

“The IHRA has become a widely accepted reference point in the fight against antisemitism and Holocaust denial, with over thirty countries having adopted the IHRA definition of antisemitism, and I call upon all nations to do so,” he said, speaking by video from Jerusalem.

Diaspora Minister Nachman Shai echoed Herzog’s focus on social media, telling the assembled media when he entered the conference site that “there is a dangerous rise of antisemitism all over the world mainly because of the new social media.”

UK Jewish Student Group Launches IHRA Campaign, Issues Call to Education Ministers
The Union of Jewish Students (UJS) has announced a new campaign to advance the leading definition of antisemitism at British and Irish universities, finding that less than ten percent of schools in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland have done so.

“This is a critical step that must be taken to ensure that they support their Jewish students,” UJS said Tuesday, noting that the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism has been adopted by just five of 61 Scottish, Welsh, Irish and Northern Irish higher education institutions.

According to the IHRA definition, “antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

Today, 107 universities have adopted the IHRA definition, the UJS said, up from 29 in July 2020. All but five of those institutions are found in England.

UJS President Nina Freedman wrote Monday to education ministers in the UK and Ireland, urging them to advance “this basic standard for supporting and protecting” Jewish communities.
Toronto law professor apologises for pairing Nazi quote with photo of Jewish judge on Twitter
A Toronto law professor has apologised for changing his Twitter profile photo to an image of a Jewish judge with a quote attributed to a well-known Nazi written over it.

Professor Mohammad Fadel, who teaches Business Organisations at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, changed his Twitter profile photo last week to that of Justice David Spiro, a Jewish member of Canada’s Tax Court, with the words “The sovereign is he who decides the exceptions” written below. This is a quote from Carl Schmitt, who was an active member of the Nazi Party. Prof. Fadela also changed his Twitter name to “Schmitt lives in Toronto.”

Prof. Fadel has since released an apology in which he said that although he “never intended to compare Justice Sprio to a Nazi,” he understood in retrospect why people accused him of making the connection. He went on to say that he was “deeply sorry for the pain” that he “unintentionally caused them.”

In August, the University of California Merced launched a formal investigation into the alleged antisemitism of Prof. Abbas Ghassemi after he reportedly tweeted that “Zionists” controlled the American economy, government policy, banking, and media. [edit. corrected name from Mohammad Fadela, h/t Dafna]
Google, Amazon Workers Call to Cancel Billion-Dollar Israel Contract
Hundreds of Google and Amazon employees have signed a public letter demanding that the tech giants cancel Project Nimbus, a billion-dollar contract to provide public cloud computing services to Israel.

In the letter, published by The Guardian on Tuesday, the authors state that they were “morally obliged” to speak out against the project, calling on Amazon and Google to cancel the contract and sever all ties with the Israeli military.

“We cannot look the other way, as the products we build are used to deny Palestinians their basic rights, force Palestinians out of their homes and attack Palestinians in the Gaza Strip—actions that have prompted war crime investigations by the international criminal court,” the letter stated.

According to the letter, 90 employees at Google and 300 at Amazon had signed the missive, but wished to remain anonymous “because we fear retaliation.”

The letter went on to state that the tech giants’ “aggressive” pursuit of military and law enforcement contracts, including Nimbus, was part of a “disturbing pattern of militarization, lack of transparency and avoidance of oversight.”
PreOccupiedTerritory: After Iron Dome, Squad Also Votes Against Bulletproof Vests For Police (satire)
Just weeks after constituting the tiny congressional minority that opposed funding for Israel’s civilian missile defense system, a group of vocal, ultra-progressive Democrats in the House of Representatives cited parallel reasoning in a failed bid to defeat legislation aimed at providing American law enforcement personnel with body armor.

Legislators from New York, Michigan, Massachusetts, Missouri, and Minnesota supplied the sole “nay” votes on a bill to help police departments across the nation combat a spike in violent crime, with measures that include allocations for bulletproof vests and other protective gear. Invoking the same rationale as when they opposed funding three weeks ago for the Iron Dome – with interceptors manufactured by the American company Raytheon – “the Squad” railed against what they called the imbalance of power between police forces and violent criminals.

“We cannot allow police violence to go unpunished,” charged Ilhan Omar (D-MN). “My colleagues and I already went through this last month. Providing funding to shield Israel from rocket attacks deprives Palestinians of effective resistance, and thus endorses continued Israeli brutality. I’m not saying Israeli civilian lives aren’t valuable, and I’m not saying police lives don’t matter. I’m just saying they don’t matter enough to matter.”

“With rampant police brutality disproportionately affecting minority groups, this bill sends exactly the wrong message,” declared Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who voted “No” this time, in contrast to her “Present” vote on the Iron Dome bill. “We need more dead cops, just as we need more dead Jews, if we are to make the world a better place.”
Antisemitism is being “introduced to teenagers” through Instagram and TikTok, according to new report
Antisemitism is being “introduced to teenagers” through Instagram and TikTok, according to a new report from the anti-racism organisation Hope Not Hate.

The report also found that users were being led down a “rabbit hole of political extremism” due to the social media platforms’ algorithms and that users were spreading antisemitic sentiments using emojis and filters.

Common, antisemitic hashtags used on the platforms allegedly included #JewWorldOrder and #synagogueofsatan. In addition, hashtags seemingly belonging to broader conspiracy theories such as #illuminati and #NWO (New World Order) embedded hidden content that redirected users to antisemitic tropes. It was also reported that Instagram’s algorithm would present people looking at these hashtags with far-right accounts for them to follow.

We reported last year that Instagram and Facebook came under pressure to take action following the revelation that a network of 80,000 white supremacists was operating on its platform.

A spokesperson for Instagram said: “Antisemitism is completely unacceptable and we don’t allow it anywhere on Instagram. We’ve always removed attacks against people based on their religion, and last year we made important updates to our policies, to remove any content that denies or distorts the Holocaust, as well as more implicit hate speech, such as harmful stereotypes that Jewish people control the world.”
‘Target of Hate Messages, Threats’: German Jewish Singer Files Complaint After Alleged Incident at Leipzig Hotel
Speaking to German media Monday, Gil Ofarim described the hate messages and personal threats he has received since the German Jewish singer-songwriter publicly reported an alleged antisemitic incident in a hotel in the city of Leipzig.

In a video posted on Instagram last week, Ofarim described how he was told by an employee at the Westin Hotel Leipzig to remove his Star of David necklace so that he can proceed with the check-in.

Ofarim told live German TV show “Zervakis & Opdenhövel” on Monday night that he had made himself a target by making the incident public.

“I am still speechless and shocked, but at the same time not surprised,” said the 39-year-old. “I have hardly switched on my cellphone over the past week. I have been getting open threats and hate messages via social media channels.”

“I got a message that said, ‘At the next cleanup, you will be first in line my friend,” Ofarim disclosed.

Ofarim recounted that earlier this week he played in a theater and “suddenly the police stood in my dressing room and asked for information about where I was going to spend the night. None of this made sense to me. Then I was escorted by the very friendly officers. A bus in front of me, a bus behind me.”

At the same time, Ofarim acknowledged that he receives a “lot of solidarity,” but raised the question of his disclosure will ultimately change, once the media attention dissipates. “What remains of it? Does it change anything? I don’t know. I would like it to.”

Antisemitism has “now arrived in the middle of society. And that must not be the case,” Ofarim warned.

“Especially when you experience something like that, you have to open your mouth and do something about it and say something,” he urged.
Religion-related hate crime against Jews at highest level since records began, Home Office figures reveal
Jews are now the victims of more than one in five hate crimes related to religion – the highest percentage ever recorded.

The shocking Home Office statistics continue a disturbing rise over the past few years.

The latest data reveals that there were 1,288 offences against Jewish people in which their perceived religion was recorded as relevant to the case in England and Wales.

The figures amount to 22 per cent of the total for the 12 months up to March this year, making Jews the second largest group.

The findings come after members of the community have been the targets of a series of shocking attacks over the past few months.

Recent horrific incidents include violent assaults on Orthodox Jews in north London, and alleged offences related to the pro-Palestinian protests during the Gaza conflict in May.

The Muslim community suffered 2,703 offences over the year up March, amounting to 45 per cent of the total, the greatest share of any of the nine religions recorded.

For the year up to March 2020, Jews were victims of 19 per cent of religion-related crimes, amounting to 1,205 offences.

That was up as a share on the previous year, when Jews were targeted in 18 per cent of religious hate crime, in 1,326 incidents.

Israeli tech firms raised staggering $17.8b this year, almost double 2020 total
Israel’s tech sector once again broke capital-funding records, with firms raising a total of $17.78 billion in 575 deals since the start of 2021, almost double the total raised in all of 2020, itself a record year.

In the first three quarters (Q1-Q3) of 2021, the amount of capital raised by Israeli high-tech companies increased by 71 percent over 2020’s annual total of $10.3 billion, according to data released Wednesday by the IVC-Meitar Israel Tech Review, published by the IVC Research Center and the law firm Meitar. The historic amount was due in part to a significant number of funding rounds of over $100 million — 53 such deals — which accounted for a 51% share of the total sum for Q1–Q3, according to the report.

In Q3 alone, Israeli companies raised $5.89 billion in 177 deals, down slightly from the $6.5 billion raised in Q2 but more than the $5.3 billion in Q1.

The number of deals also reached an unprecedented level. According to IVC’s estimation, the projected deal number by the end of the year will reach 1,800, a 33% gain over 2020.

In addition, the value of high-tech exits soared so far this year, reaching $18.92 billion — up 92% from 2020’s annual results. According to the findings, this is mostly due to a surge in IPOs, 65 in total.

“We observed the current upward trend since March 2021, leading monthly averages in Q1–Q3/2021 to $1.98 billion, compared to a $864 million monthly average in 2020, as more mature Israeli companies have established trusted connections with their foreign investors, proving themselves as stable targets for growth investments. We believe that at least for the near term, this trend will continue,” said Mariana Shapira, senior analyst at IVC, in a statement accompanying the report.
Israeli travel tech company TripActions raises $275m at $7.25b valuation
Travel tech company TripActions, founded by Israeli entrepreneurs, raised $275 million in a Series F round at a valuation of $7.25 billion, the company announced on Wednesday.

The growth round was led by San Francisco-based Greenoaks Capital, with participation from serial entrepreneur Elad Gil, who was a former VP of corporate strategy at Twitter, and Brazilian investment firm Base Partners. It brings TripActions’ total fundraising capital to date to $1.3 billion.

Founded in 2015 by Ilan Twig and Ariel Cohen, TripActions set out to overhaul corporate travel, building an AI-powered platform that centralizes trip bookings including flights, hotels, car rentals and transfers, as well as tracks expenses and provides 24/7 personalized global support for executives and employees.

The company said in a statement that the funding underscores “the increased demand for end-to-end, corporate travel, payments, and expense management technology.”

TripActions, based in Palo Alto, California, established an R&D branch in Israel earlier this year. It has a customer base of over 5,000 companies including leading firms such as Zoom, Lyft, Canva, Heineken, and Crate & Barrel.
Israeli AI chip maker Hailo becomes newest ‘unicorn’ after $136m investment
Hailo, a maker of chips that allows edge devices like smart cameras or smart cars to have artificial intelligence capabilities, said on Tuesday that it raised $136 million in a Series C funding round, considered the largest in the edge AI chip space to date. The round brings Hailo’s total funding to $224 million.

A source familiar with the company said the investment values Hailo at over $1 billion, making it Israel’s latest unicorn, a private company valued at $1 billion or over.

Edge devices are electronic devices that are installed at the edge of networks — the entry point to networks — in products such as autonomous vehicles, drones, and smart home appliances including personal assistants, smart cameras and smart TVs, alongside internet of things, augmented reality and virtual reality platforms, wearables and security products.

The investment in Hailo was led by Poalim Equity and Gil Agmon, CEO of Delek Motors, a publicly traded company and the sole importer of Mazda, Ford and BMW vehicles and products to Israel. The round was also joined by existing investors including prominent Israeli entrepreneur Zohar Zisapel, founder of the RAD Group and chairman of Hailo; Swiss-based ABB Technology Ventures (ATV); London’s Latitude Ventures; and Israel’s OurCrowd. Vehicle importer Carasso Motors and Shlomo Group joined the round as new investors.
Oracle Opens First of Two Cloud Data Centers in Israel
Oracle on Wednesday opened the first of two planned public cloud centers in Israel, which will enable companies and other Israeli customers to keep their data on local servers and not be reliant on other countries.

The data centre, nine floors underground in one of Jerusalem’s technology parks cost an estimated hundreds of millions of dollars, and is designed to operate in the face of potential terror acts.

“This facility … can withstand a rocket direct hit, a missile direct hit, or even a car bomb, and the services will keep running with customers not even knowing that something so horrible has happened,” Eran Feigenbaum, Oracle’s Israel country manager, told Reuters.

The site, which has its own generators in case of power loss, is one of 30 such cloud centers globally. Until now, the closest to Israel was in the United Arab Emirates. Oracle also has a research and development centre in Israel.

Feigenbaum said there will be a second data centre in Israel as part of a plan to open 14 more centers by the end of 2022, which will meet growing demand by Israeli tech firms and serve as a backup to ensure data stays within Israel’s borders.

“This is going to be even more helpful for all the unicorns that we see here and for all the startups that have gone IPO,” he said, expecting Oracle’s competitors to follow suit.

For Israeli companies, having a local cloud could save costs since they would have the ability to rent storage instead of building their own servers or relying on other countries.

Miss Universe president on Israel hosting pageant for 1st time

Jewish Anti-Fascist Film Thought Destroyed by Nazis Gets World Premiere
A Polish Jewish couple’s anti-fascist movie thought to have been destroyed by the Nazis was shown to the public for the first time in more than 80 years.

The 1931 anti-fascist short film “Europa,” by Stefan and Franciszka Themerson, is based on a 1925 futurist poem of the same name by Anatol Stern. It was featured last week as part of the British Film Institute’s (BFI) London Film Festival, where it was introduced by the Themersons’ niece, according to the Independent.

The Themersons made the 12-minute movie in their bedroom in Warsaw. It is considered the first noteworthy avant-garde film from Poland, The Jewish Chronicle reported.

When the couple moved to France in 1938, they deposited all copies of their short film at the Vitfer Laboratory in Paris for safekeeping. Nazis seized all prints of their film after invading France and “Europa” was thought to have been destroyed.

The Themersons, who survived World War II, were lifelong collaborators as writers, filmmakers and illustrators. They died weeks apart in 1988 in London, still believing that their film was long gone.


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