Tuesday, August 16, 2022

From Ian:

Amb. Alan Baker: False and Malicious Catchphrases and Buzzwords in the Israeli-Palestinian Context
Over the years, states, leaders, international organizations, and the international and Israeli media have developed a tendency to endlessly repeat certain internationally recognizable catchphrases and buzzwords with the aim of dictating and influencing a distinct, partisan political narrative against Israel.

This tendency is becoming a permanent phenomenon and increasingly obstructs any genuine attempt to achieve reconciliation between the Palestinian and Israeli peoples.

The repetition of such phrases and terms in all and any discussion and reporting of events and developments in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute is legally inaccurate and blatantly misleading.

While such uses may emanate from ignorance as to the genuine meaning of such phrases and buzzwords and the actual facts and legal background of the various issues, it is more likely that they are deliberately intended to mislead the public.

The following are several examples of such false, misleading, and malicious catchphrases and buzzwords.

5. “Settler Colonialism”
The use of this curious terminology by extreme left-wing and ostensibly progressive elements is nothing more than a shallow and dishonest attempt to manipulate international thinking. It is done by using outmoded, anarchistic, and quasi-intellectual templates taken from age-old colonial situations in an effort to transpose them onto the case of Israel.

Such templates bear no relation whatsoever to the situation in the Middle East.

Accusing Israel of colonization is an attempt to fraudulently and artificially represent Israel in the same light as the European powers that colonized Africa and the Americas in centuries gone by. Such representation is absurd and an insult to intelligence.

This false and malicious accusation totally ignores the circumstances of the defensive war that brought about Israel’s acquisition of control of the territories in 1967.

It ignores and undermines those central UN resolutions and signed agreements calling for a negotiated settlement of the Middle East dispute.

It ignores that both the Israelis and the Palestinians have agreed to divide governance of the territories pending the outcome of the negotiations on the permanent status.

It also ignores the indigenous rights of the Jewish people in the area as well as the internationally acknowledged historical and legal claims of the Jewish people regarding the area, as recognized in such instruments as the 1917 Balfour Declaration, the 1920 San Remo Declaration, the 1922 League of Nations Mandate instrument, and reaffirmed in Article 80 of the UN Charter.

The establishment of settlements by Israel in the territories, in accordance with its prerogatives under international law as the governing authority in the territory, cannot in any way be seen as any form of colonialization. The use of non-privately-owned public land for settlement or agriculture is entirely consistent with accepted international norms as long as the status of the land is not changed pending its final negotiated outcome.

Pursuant to the Oslo Accords, settlements are an agreed issue of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians to determine the permanent status of the territories, together with other issues such as borders, refugees, security, economic interests, and Jerusalem.
In Berlin, Abbas says Israel committed ‘holocausts’; Scholz grimaces but is silent
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas caused shock in Germany Tuesday when, standing beside German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin, he accused Israel of committing “holocausts” against Palestinians over the years.

Scholz did not react verbally to Abbas’s comment in the moment, though he grimaced at the use of the word, which Abbas uttered in English. Scholz later said the use of the term in such a context was “unbearable.”

Abbas made his remarks when the two spoke to the media after holding a meeting on Middle East issues.

Abbas was responding to a reporter’s question about the upcoming anniversary of the Munich massacre half a century ago. Eleven Israeli athletes and a German police officer died after members of the Palestinian militant group Black September took hostages at the Olympic Village on September 5, 1972. At the time of the attack, the group was linked to Abbas’s Fatah party.

Asked whether as Palestinian leader he planned to apologize to Israel and Germany for the attack ahead of the 50th anniversary, Abbas responded instead by citing allegations of atrocities committed by Israel since 1947.

“If we want to go over the past, go ahead,” Abbas, who was speaking Arabic, told the reporters.

“I have 50 slaughters that Israel committed….50 massacres, 50 slaughters, 50 holocausts,” he said, taking care to pronounce the final word in English.

Scholz scowled at the use of the word but did not say anything.
'Apartheid' not true description of Israeli-Palestinian conflict - Scholz
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz rejected the word apartheid to describe relations between Israel and the Palestinian Territories after a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

"Naturally we have a different assessment with a view to Israeli politics, and I want to expressly say here that I do not espouse the use of the word apartheid and do not think it correctly describes the situation," said Scholz during a joint news conference with Abbas in Berlin on Tuesday.

Germany's stance on Israel
In March, Scholz made a visit to Israel after being invited in December 2021 by former Prime Minister Naftali Bennet. Bennet and Scholz visited Yad Vashem where he reaffirmed Germany's commitment to Israel's security.

"Germany will continue to be steadfast at Israeli's side," Scholz said.


Emily Schrader: Iran's proxy terror attacks are a direct hit on free speech
It’s hardly a surprise then that Matar, a known fan of Hezbollah and the Iranian regime, took such violent action. Indeed, within hours of the attack on Rushdie this past weekend, the Iranian regime and state-run media praised the attack.

While social media erupted with the expected condolences for Rushdie, it was also riddled with extremists praising the attack openly. Even more alarming, some claimed that while they reject violence, Rushdie somehow deserved “punishment” for insulting religion. This logic is as toxic and immoral as the logic of the Iranian regime itself.

No one, and no idea, is inherently exempt from criticism. There is no right to not be offended. Free speech and free expression – when it is not a direct call to violence with a high probability of leading to violent action (such as in the case of the ayatollah tweeting a call to murder Rushdie) – is the most important value that any society has for advancing humankind and living together in peace.

While it’s true that a government can impose laws, systems of power can only sustain laws against the will of the public for so long. The only thing with the power to change hearts and minds in society is the free exchange of ideas. After all, where would we be today if we silenced criticism of a government that denied the rights of women or blacks to vote? More recently, in the late 1980s, polls found that 84% of Americans opposed same-sex marriage. Today more than 70% of Americans support it. What changed the public opinion? The free exchange of ideas.

The truth is that wherever there is censorship and the silencing of dissent, there can be no societal progress. Human rights die in societies where dissent is not tolerated.

These attacks are not merely attacks on individual dissidents, but part of a larger effort to dictate what can and cannot be said (or done) in Western culture, which (generally) respects individual freedoms and expression. For precisely this reason, the correct response to Iran’s toxic efforts to murder dissidents in the West is an utter and complete refusal to be silent, a continuation of open criticism of Iran’s crimes against humanity and a commitment to free and unfettered dialogue about religion and other social issues.

Also critically important to defending basic freedoms is an absolute rejection of any nuclear deal that allows Iran to carry on these malignant activities around the world – and yes, that includes leaving crippling sanctions in place.

The enemies of human rights and basic freedoms must not be permitted to determine the laws of society in the West.


The Loud Message From CAIR’s Relative Silence on the Rushdie Attack
The news was so disturbing that it could not go without a comment from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR): Auburn University’s men’s basketball team was about to embark on a 10-day trip to Israel. They’d play some games and hold clinics with Israeli and Palestinian children. Coach Bruce Pearl emphasized the historical places the team would visit, including “where Jesus was born.”

CAIR issued a statement saying the trip was a “propaganda junket … clearly designed to normalize Israeli apartheid and racial segregation,” and should be canceled.

But when a world-renowned author was attacked on stage by an apparent radical Shia Muslim — 33 years after the Shiite Iranian theocracy issued a fatwa calling for his murder — CAIR has had little to say.

Thankfully, author Salman Rushdie is “on the road to recovery,” his agent says, although he may suffer permanent injury.

Part of CAIR’s mission is “to promote a positive image of Islam and Muslims in America,” its website says. That work apparently does not include speaking out against violence specifically inspired, and sometimes planned, by the Islamic Republic of Iran. CAIR couldn’t even go so far as to wish Rushdie a full and speedy recovery.

When asked for comment by a reporter last Friday, CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper did not even mention Rushdie’s name. Instead, he offered a generic statement, which he also posted on social media: “American Muslims, like all Americans, condemn any violence targeting anyone in our society,” said @CAIRNational‘s Ibrahim Hooper. “That goes without saying. We will have to monitor the situation and see what facts come to light.”


Former Jordanian Culture Minister: Rushdie Wrote 'The Satanic Verses' Out Of His Greed For Publicity – And It Was An Act Of Suicide
Following the August 12, 2022 stabbing attack on British author Salman Rushdie, author of the novel The Satanic Verses that prompted Iranian Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to issue a fatwa against him in 1989 calling for him to be killed because of the book's alleged affront to Islam, former Jordanian information and culture minister Saleh Al-Qallab criticized Rushdie for the book and did not condemn the attack on him.

Al-Qallab wrote, in an article for the Saudi website Elaph.com, that Rushdie's motive in the criminal and diabolical writing of this controversial novel was greed for publicity. No one, Al-Qallab stated, is entitled to support Rushdie's statements in the book, which have nothing to do with freedom of expression or opinion.

The following are translated excerpts from Al-Qallab's article that was published by Elaph.com.

"The book The Satanic Verses by British author Salman Rushdie – a Muslim of Indian origin – can be defined as an act of suicide, in the full sense of the word, because this book included a [kind of] courage that is not literary, but constitutes fierce opposition to Islam and to Muslims. Many of those who sought fame so 'brazenly' encountered denunciation and condemnation. The [attempt] to gain fame in this criminal manner is not limited to Salman Rushdie; many who suffer from a sense of inferiority have sought fame in this satanic way, surely motivated by a complex of greed for fame...

"This greed for fame is a well-known [phenomenon that is both] old and new, and whoever suffers from this inferiority complex uses these terrible methods... to gain fame and to 'market' themselves to good, poor people... It is known that there are many people like Salman Rushdie and that many... tried to emulate him, and many [others] intend to incite against that which is sacred to religions to gain fame... as holders of an opinion who are attempting to market it [this opinion] to passersby and decent people.


AIPAC broke spending records this campaign cycle — so why did it stay out of Ilhan Omar’s tight race?
The theory has preoccupied antisemites and pro-Israel strategists alike: If an anti-Israel political candidate loses, it’s because of pro-Israel money.

That theory came close to being disproved last week when Rep. Ilhan Omar, perhaps the most prominent Israel-critical member of Congress, nearly lost her reelection bid two years after cruising to victory — but pro-Israel donors didn’t play a role. It faces another test next week in a New York primary where a member of the Israel-critical “Squad” of progressives who was narrowly elected two years ago, Jamaal Bowman, is defending his incumbency — and where pro-Israel donors again have so far steered clear.

The lack of spending is especially noticeable in a year when the American Israel Public Affairs Committee has made national headlines for lavishing for the first time in its history tens of millions of dollars on congressional races.

AIPAC officials haven’t said whether they considered entering the Omar race or what they plan to do in Bowman’s. And it’s possible that outsized spending by pro-Israel groups would have benefited Omar, not hurt her: After all, her margin of victory was far wider in 2020, when Israel donors spent big to oppose her — and possibly increased turnout by Omar’s supporters as a result.

Still, the dynamics this year are notable for challenging a number of assumptions about the role of money in politics.

One is the incumbent rule, a longstanding orthodoxy of pro-Israel giving, which posits that sitting lawmakers are too firmly entrenched to merit the expense. Even as AIPAC’s super PAC, United Democracy Project, doled out $25 million on behalf of candidates in other races, making it the biggest spender of any nonpartisan PAC, AIPAC’s other PAC and their allies all bypassed Omar’s race, in part because they have forsworn taking on incumbents.

Don Samuels, whom Omar barely defeated, told Jewish Insider that AIPAC’s adherence to the rule was too inflexible. AIPAC should have understood “that there are different kinds of candidates, and that my potential for beating Ilhan was very high,” he said.
Sierra Club opens registration for Israel trips, after canceling under pressure
Five months after canceling its planned trips to Israel, and then — following outrage from Jewish organizations — apologizing days later and saying the trips would be reinstated, the Sierra Club has quietly posted a new excursion to Israel for next year.

Called “Natural and Historical Highlights of Israel,” the two-week trip in March 2023 will include many of the same activities the Sierra Club offered before activists convinced the environmental nonprofit to cancel two Israel outings: snorkeling, bird watching, nights on a kibbutz and visit to Tel Aviv.

But participants also will be meeting with Palestinians working on conservation to hear “first-hand about their daily and ongoing challenges,” according to the itinerary that was posted Friday, which also lists a visit with the Arava Institute, which brings Israelis, Palestinians, Jordanians and students from around the world together for environmental studies and research, and whose motto is “Nature knows no political borders.”

The news is the latest development in a saga that saw one of the country’s oldest and most influential environmental groups — which traditionally avoids politics in favor of a big-tent approach to environmental conservation — embroiled in a public controversy that drew ire from large Jewish organizations and prompted urgent intervention from California politicians. The Sierra Club is headquartered in Oakland.

Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel, who chairs the California Legislative Jewish Caucus, joined a virtual meeting with Sierra Club Executive Director Dan Chu along with other members of the caucus after J. broke the story March 11 that the Sierra Club had indefinitely postponed its trips to Israel at the urging of groups who claimed Sierra Club was “greenwashing” the conflict.

“It immediately caught my attention, as it did for a number of my colleagues in the [caucus],” Gabriel said. “A lot of us do work in the environmental space and have good relationships with the Sierra Club. People were obviously very upset by that, and very disturbed by it.”

Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt also met with Sierra Club leadership in March and said he was “encouraged” by those conversations. “Experiencing Israel through its environment, geology, history and people does not negate, nor ‘greenwash,’ the pressing reality of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” he wrote in an open letter to Chu.
CUNY Kingsborough ‘diversity officer’ search committee omits Jews, includes BDS supporter
A New York community college determined to have discriminated against Orthodox and Zionist Jews has placed a BDS supporter on its search committee for a diversity officer.

Last year, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission found Kingsborough Community College, its Progressive Faculty Caucus and its staff union displayed a pattern of discrimination against observant Jews and supporters of Israel.

Kingsborough is part of the City University of New York (CUNY) system, which is under fire for a larger pattern of anti-Semitism in its various branches.

Now, Kingsborough is in the midst of a search for an assistant dean for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). The position, as described in the job posting, is to deal with a number of race-related issues, including anti-Semitism. A well-placed source, though, informs JNS that the seven-member search committee not only includes no Jews but features a proponent of the BDS movement.

Lili Shi, an assistant professor of communications studies, signed on last year to a statement of BDS support. The statement called for signatories to pledge to “initiate, support and amplify campaigns in solidarity with Palestinian calls for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israeli apartheid at CUNY and in our wider communities,” including demanding that CUNY immediately divest from companies that aid in “Israeli colonization, occupation and war crimes.”

According to the source, she joins a LGBTQ activist, three black females, a Hispanic male and another female of color, but no Jewish candidates. The committee members are all university employees, but none are senior university officials, department chairs or supervisor-level staff members who would normally take part in this type of search, according to the source.


Budapest Music Festival Condemns Spanish Rap Group for Defacing Israeli Flag, Says ‘They Will Not Be Invited Back’
One of the largest music and cultural festivals in Europe denounced the Spanish girl band Tribade for defacing an Israeli flag during the festival over the weekend.

“The actions of the group Tribade are against our cherished values of welcome and respect and we deeply condemn this hateful stunt,” the Sziget Festival said in a statement shared on Monday on its Instagram Stories. “They will, of course, not be invited back to our festivals in the future.”

Two members of the Barcelona-based rap group recorded themselves at the festival in Budapest, Hungary, going into a tented area, where attendees slept, and spray-painting the words “Free Palestine” and “Israel doesn’t exist” on the Israeli flag, as well as a caricature of genitals with the words “Eat this.” The “Gaupasa” singers posted the video on their Instagram Stories and wrote in the caption, “Tribade does not go back on its word.” The video has since been deleted from the band’s Instagram account.

The band has since made their Instagram and Twitter accounts private and two of the members have deleted their Instagram accounts.
ILF Head of Operations Asher Stern on Radio Modiin-BDS and the Mapping Project
Join our Head of Operations on Radio Moddin with Rolene Marks as he discusses the Mapping project, the BDS movement, and what we can do going forward.


Vox Hit Piece Obscures Gaza Terrorist Groups’ War Crimes, Lambasts Israel For Defending Itself
Vox, a politically progressive publication with over four million followers on social media, prides itself on its “explanatory journalism.” According to the website’s mission statement, “millions turn to Vox to understand what’s happening in the news.”

Yet its latest article on the conflict between Israel and Gaza Strip-based Palestinian terror groups, titled ‘After the latest clash with Israel, Gazans’ struggle continues,’ written by the outlet’s weekend reporter Ellen Ioanes, leaves readers badly misinformed as to the threats facing the Jewish state.

Specifically, Ioanes’ piece downplays war crimes against millions of Israeli civilians, while falsely accusing Jerusalem of starting last year’s 11-day war with Hamas.

The August 14 story, which purports to portray life in Gaza after the recent three-day war between the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the US-designated Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terror organization, includes the following paragraph:
While attacks and retaliation from Gaza certainly affect Israeli civilians — forcing them into shelter, destroying property, and sometimes killing innocent people — there is a notable asymmetry not only in the kinds of weapons both sides use, but also in the effect they have on civilian areas, for a number of reasons.”

As the saying goes: Nothing someone says before the word “but” really counts. Ioanes is strongly suggesting here that the IDF’s defensive operations against terrorist infrastructure are more harmful to civilians than Hamas’ and PIJ’s documented war crimes, which include deliberately targeting millions of innocents and using Palestinians as human shields.

HonestReporting has repeatedly detailed how the Israeli military adheres to an exceptionally high moral standard of conduct. As Defense Minister Benny Gantz put it in 2019: “Our battle orders include the rules of engagement and the [biblical] Ten Commandments. The computer code of the F-35 and the moral code of the prophets of Israel.”

Consequently, Israeli troops go to great lengths to avoid harming noncombatants, often going beyond the nation’s obligations under international law. During the August 5-7, 2022 military confrontation with PIJ, Jerusalem called off many airstrikes at the eleventh hour, even when they provided the IDF with a “concrete and direct military advantage.”
BBC NEWS COVERAGE OF TERRORISM IN ISRAEL – JULY 2022
The Israel Security Agency’s report on terror attacks during July 2022 shows that throughout the month a total of 135 incidents took place: 113 in Judea & Samaria, twenty in Jerusalem and inside the ‘green line’ and two in the Gaza Strip sector.

In Judea & Samaria, Jerusalem and inside the ‘green line’ the agency recorded 75 attacks with petrol bombs, 27 attacks using pipe bombs, fifteen shooting attacks, twelve arson attacks, one rock throwing (the ISA only records rock throwing incidents resulting in moderate and serious injuries) and two assaults (which includes stabbing/axe attacks). Two separate incidents of rocket fire were recorded in the Gaza Strip sector.

Three civilians were wounded in July. On July 5th a 47-year-old man was attacked and injured in Givat Shmuel. On July 15th a woman sustained serious fractures to her face in a rock-throwing attack on her car while travelling on Route 60. On July 19th a man was stabbed in the head on a bus in Jerusalem.

Visitors to the BBC News website saw no reporting on those three attacks or any of the others throughout the month of July. Two separate incidents of missile fire from the Gaza Strip, each involving two rockets, on July 16th likewise did not receive any BBC coverage.

In the first seven months of 2022 the BBC News website reported just 0.9% of the terror attacks against Israelis which actually took place and 89% of the resulting fatalities.
France24 Arabic Footage Fiasco Kochavi’s Visit to Morocco
Without uttering a single word, France 24 Arabic loudly broadcasted its displeasure with Morocco’s first official state welcome for a high-level Israeli visitor.

During an otherwise informative segment on Israeli Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi’s July 19th trip to the North African nation, the only video footage that the Arabic-language French public broadcaster supplied was of a small-scale anti-Israel demonstration in which Moroccan participants carried signs denouncing the guest as a “war criminal” and a “child killer.”

The footage did not include a single frame of Kochavi meeting his counterparts, disembarking from his plane or otherwise sojourning in Morocco. The insignificant demonstrations were not noted in the straightforward narration by broadcaster Jaafar Aroum, who reported:
Israeli Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi arrived in Morocco Monday night on a formal visit, the first of its kind to the kingdom. He spoke with high-ranking military officials as part of the increasing cooperation between the two countries, according to military sources. Last November, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz signed a memorandum of understanding with Rabat establishing security relations with Morocco specifically stipulating intelligence services collaboration, industrial relations development, weapons purchases and joint training.

By running footage only of anti-Israel protests in a report about a state visit while absurdly withholding any footage of the prominent visitor and his meetings, the taxpayer-funded France24 Arabic yet again fails to uphold impartiality.
Sky News omits terror affiliation of Palestinian killed in Gaza
A Sky News online article and video report by their Africa correspondent John Sparks, reporting in Gaza, focused on Ibrahim Abu Salah, a Palestinian who recently succumbed to shrapnel wounds suffered during the war between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

The reports (“‘He was trying to escape the heat’: One more casualty in Gaza’s incurable conflict”, Aug. 13) are extraordinarily biased and tendentious, emoting about Palestinian rage about the 15 year blockade without mentioning Egypt’s blockade or the cause of Israel’s security measures: the need to protect its citizens from rockets and other deadly weapons that terror groups continually try to smuggle into the territory.

Sparks also notes that at least 49 Palestinians were killed during the war, without mentioning that a large number – 16 per AP, and 19 per Haaretz’s Amira Haas – were killed by misfired Palestinian rockets.

But, the most serious omission appears in the following sentences:
The Israelis may have mistaken her husband for a militia member, said Lobna, as she sat under a collection of lebbeck trees.

In an aerial video of the strike posted by the Israeli military, an official said militants were using the location to set up rocket launchers.


Israelis didn’t “mistake” Abu Salah for a “militant”. He was a Fatah terror operative, according to the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Centre, which could explain why he was killed when the IDF targeted rocket launchers.
The Media Erodes the Jewish Claim to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, with the New York Times Leading the Way
A recent New York Times article became a platform from which to diminish the Jewish claim to Jerusalem and Judaism’s holiest site, the Temple Mount. It is the continuation of an ongoing campaign of advocacy journalism to prioritize the Muslim claim to Judaism’s holiest site.

“Eight Injured in Shooting in Jerusalem,” by Jerusalem bureau chief Patrick Kingsley was ostensibly a news report about a Palestinian-perpetrated terror attack on Jewish worshippers leaving Jerusalem’s Western Wall. Aside from the NYT casting the terrorist nature of the shooting attack (that injured eight people, including the critical wounding of a pregnant woman, her baby and an American tourist) as a one-sided Israeli claim, the news story was used as an opportunity to minimize the Jewish claim to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount and elevate the Muslim one. Kingsley wrote:
“Sacred to both Jews and Muslims, the nearby Temple Mount houses the third-holiest mosque in Islam and was the location in antiquity of two ancient Jewish temples that remain important to Jewish identity.”

The Jerusalem bureau chief not only avoided mentioning that the Temple Mount is Judaism’s holiest site but he demonstrated a profound, overall ignorance of the centrality of the Temple Mount to Judaism, simplistically relegating its importance to having been the site, once upon a time, of two temples.

In fact, the Jewish temples were built on what was the epicenter of Judaism, the foundation stone (Even Hashtiya) upon which the world was created. The Divine Presence (Shechina) is believed to rest here and it is therefore the site where the biblical Isaac was brought for sacrifice, where the Holy of Holies and Ark of the Covenant housing the Ten Commandments once stood, and subsequently where the Jewish Temple was built and then rebuilt. The Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism, revered by Jews for millennia. It is the focus of their prays and the site of Jewish pilgrimage, just as Mecca is Islam’s holiest site and the site of Muslim pilgrimage.

The derogation of the Jewish claim to the Temple Mount as simply “important” in contrast to the portrayal of the Muslim claim as “third holiest” cannot be explained entirely by Kingsley’s ignorance of Judaism and history. Nor is it the first time he and other New York Times staff have diminished Judaism’s claim to its holiest site. It is part of a political advocacy campaign that diminishes Judaism’s claim to its holiest site while elevating the Muslim one (as explained further below).


New York police search for attacker who tried to choke Jewish woman at subway
The New York Police Department’s Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating an anti-Semitic attack on a Jewish woman that took place at a subway station on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, reported the New York Post.

The 44-year-old victim, whose identity was not revealed, was choked by an unidentified male suspect, who made anti-Semitic remarks while she waited on the subway platform of the No. 6 train at around 11:20 a.m. on Tuesday, according to police.

The attacker approached the Jewish woman and reportedly made anti-Jewish remarks while attempting to choke her by putting his hands around her neck and squeezing. The victim was taken to a hospital to be treated for injuries she suffered from the incident, police sources told the New York Post.
Three Israeli schools place in top 100 on Shanghai ranking of global universities
Israeli universities took a significant leap forward on this year’s Shanghai Academic Ranking of World Universities.

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem was Israel’s top-ranked school at 77th on the list, up from 90th place in 2021.

The Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot and the Technion–Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa came in tied in the 83rd position, after placing 92nd and 94th, respectively, the previous year.

Tel Aviv University was ranked in the 151-200 bracket, Bar-Ilan University in the 301-400 slot, and the University of Haifa in the 501-600 range.

Harvard University topped the list, followed by Stanford University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Cambridge and the University of California, Berkeley.
Israeli space-tech startup can now locate lithium deposits on Earth
Using technology originally intended to find deposits of subterranean water on Mars, Israeli start-up ASTERRA’s satellite-image analysis software can now detect deposits of lithium under Earth’s surface from space.

Currently one of the tech manufacturing market’s most sought-after minerals, lithium is used in electric vehicles, semiconductors, chips, cell phones – anywhere you find a battery, you’ll probably see lithium in use.

As such, the company’s tech development discovery is a remarkable windfall, and ASTERRA has registered a patent for the new use of its technology in finding lithium reservoirs around the world, while still developing its water-finding capabilities. It’s quieter in this place. Studying in the classroom, the forest, the lab, or the sea, you can hear yourself think It’s quieter in this place. Studying in the classroom, the forest, the lab, or the sea, you can hear yourself think

Having been used in over 70 countries since 2015, ASTERRA’s solution uses advanced algorithms and artificial intelligence to decode satellites’ synthetic radar (SAR) data using a unique ground-penetrating frequency.

Under founder Lauren Guy’s management, ASTERRA launched its CTO office (which Guy now helms) at the beginning of 2022, aiming to expand the technology’s uses to additional verticals and find other natural resources under the ground – the company decided to focus its efforts on lithium first, given its increasing demand and currently insufficient supply.

Part of the increased interest in lithium comes as a result of national programs from China, the US and the European Union to promote the sale of electric vehicles, as they are significantly less polluting than their internal combustion counterparts.

On that note, more available lithium could have a positive impact on the price of electric vehicles offered on the market, as lithium plays such a critical role in their composition.
Israeli Terror-Fighting Thermal Imaging Tech Being Adapted for Medical Purposes
Israeli thermal imaging technology designed to track terrorists and defend borders is getting a new incarnation — helping doctors get a clearer view of what is happening in patients’ bodies.

Sheba Medical Center has signed a new agreement to repurpose thermal imaging technologies that were previously reserved for military and security purposes. The agreement was signed this week between Sheba and Opgal, a subsidiary of Elbit Systems.

Thermal imaging is used to a limited degree in healthcare, but Sheba’s Dr. Boris Orkin told The Times of Israel that the new arrangement could lead to advances that help make the technology as commonplace as stethoscopes.

“Thermal cameras can become as widespread as stethoscopes, and there could well be devices in the pockets of every doctor,” said Orkin, director of Sheba’s Surgical Innovations Center, which will be developing new uses for the tech, told The Times of Israel.

He said that thermal cameras have the potential to help with a range of challenges in human imaging, including helping doctors get a better sense of physiological processes going on in the body based on changes in energy and heat in the body, as displayed on a digital screen.

Orkin said that used in a medical setting, this technology can be used for lots of purposes, including helping doctors and surgeons accurately identify the movement of blood vessels and presenting a clear picture of carbon dioxide being emitted by exhalation.

Elbit is one of Israel’s biggest defense companies, and Orkin said that opening up the considerable thermal imaging technology of one of its subsidiaries for repurposing could give rise to “major advances” in healthcare.


How did ancient Greeks gamble with these rare bones found in Israel?
A rare assemblage of animal knucklebones known as astragali, used in ancient Greek games and divination, was found in Beit Guvrin-Maresha National Park, according to a study published recently.

The study, which was conducted by archaeologists from institutes around Israel, was published in the peer-reviewed Levant journal.

The bones were mainly used by women and children for games, gambling and divination and date from the Hellenistic period 2,300 years ago. It’s quieter in this place. Studying in the classroom, the forest, the lab, or the sea, you can hear yourself think It’s quieter in this place. Studying in the classroom, the forest, the lab, or the sea, you can hear yourself think

What were astragali used for?
Many of the bones were engraved with the names of Greek gods that are associated with wishes and desire, such as Aphrodite, goddess of fertility, love and beauty; Eros, god of love; Hermes, god of travelers, thieves and merchants; Hera, goddess of marriage, women and family, and Nike, goddess of victory.

Other bones were engraved with instructions and game rules like “robber, stop, you are burnt.” A common game that has been recorded from that time was five stones, in which children would throw five astragali in the air and try to catch them all in hand, a game that has existed to this day.

Astragali were also used as tokens and charms. Often, they would be buried under the foundations of a house to bring prosperity and peace, and there are records of young women using them as tokens of marriage to mark their passage from maidens to married women.

The astragali discussed in the study were found to have had their shapes modified and were filled with lead.
Ancient dice game dug up in southern Israel
Archaeologists find a rare collection of knuckle bones used for gambling and divination dating back approximately 2,300 years to the Hellenistic period


Art comes alive in the Dead Sea:
Israeli artist Sigalit Landau wades into the warm, salty waters of the Dead Sea to inspect her latest creations: everyday objects coated in salt crystals that glisten in the bright morning sun. The lowest point on Earth is also Landau's studio where she submerges objects, from a ballet dress to a lampshade's wire frame, for weeks until they are magically transformed by ice-like layers of salt. Incredible!


IDF captain who stopped Syrian forces in Yom Kippur War dies at 71
Brigadier General Emi Plant, who received the Medal of Valor for his part in the Battle of Emek Habakah in the Golan Heights during the Yom Kippur War, under the command of Avigdor Kahalani, passed away on Monday at the age of 71.

Plant's funeral will be held on Tuesday at 6:00 PM at the Moshav Magshimim cemetery in central Israel, where he lived.

In 1975, for his role in the battle of Emek Habakah, Plant received the Medal of Valor, the second-highest decoration awarded by the IDF, from then-Chief of Staff Muta Gor.

The "Be'oz Ruham" (in the strength of their spirit) website, which is run by the IDF to honor the memory of service medal recipients, states that Plant "bravely fought while performing combat tasks and risking his own life."

The website further states that "Captain Plant's company was one of the mainstays against the Syrian force in the northern sector. While fighting, most of the tank commanders in his unit were killed, and the force dwindled."

"Despite this, he and his men remained in their positions, encouraged those who remained and continued to fire back at the attacking enemy. On October 9, 1973, at the end of the main attack of the enemy in the Hermonit sector [the battle] took a turn in favor of the Syrians."

Captain Plant ordered the retreating tanks that were in his area to return to forward combat positions, thereby bringing the Syrian war effort to a halt, despite the fact that his unit had only six tanks left. "In these actions, he showed exemplary courage and leadership ability," the website said.
120 years later, Israel reveals letter sent by Sigmund Freud to Theodor Herzl
A letter written by the Austrian Jewish psychologist Sigmond Freud and sent to Theodor (Binyamin Ze’ev) Herzl, founder of the Zionist Organization, has been revealed by Israel some 120 years after it was written.

The letter, dating to September 28, 1902, was found in the Central Zionist Archives in Jerusalem.

The letter was written in German, and in it, Freud recommends Herzl read his book “The Interpretation of Dreams”. Herzl and Freud lived at the same street in Vienna for many years, but never met in person. Freud, nevertheless, is said to have been an avid reader of Herzl’s pieces published in the “Neue Freie Presse,” a paper where the latter worked in as an editor. Freud also expressed interest in the World Zionist Congress, established in 1897 as the supreme organ of the Zionist Organization. In 1898, Freud also apparently attended a play written by Herzl. However, the 1902 letter was the only recorded attempt made by the founder of psychoanalysis to contact Herzl.

In the letter, Freud wrote: “Esteemed Dr, following a recommendation of your colleague, the editor Mr. M., I’ve allowed myself to send you a copy of my book, published in 1900, about interpretations of dreams, as well as a short lecture on the subject. “I don’t know if you’ll agree with Mr. M., but I beg you, keep it as a sign of my appreciation towards you, which I’ve felt – like many others – to the poet and fighter for our people’s human rights. With regards, Prof. Doc. Freud.” Herzl received this letter since he was considered a visionary and seer at the time. The letter still holds some unanswered questions about the subject Mr. M. thought about and how it relates to Herzl.






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