02/18 Links Pt2: Majoring in Anti-Semitism at Vassar; Ban Ki-Moon’s Obsession with Israel
Wild charges against Israel have often been aired on U.S. campuses over the past several years, and their moral perversity pointed out. But Ms. Puar’s calumnies reached a new low. She spoke of Jews deliberately starving Palestinians, “stunting” and “maiming” a population. The false accusation that a people, some of whose members were experimented on at Auschwitz, are today experimenting on others is a disgrace.
Yet characterizing Israel and Zionism in ways that anti-Semites formerly characterized Jews has become a stock in trade among anti-Israeli activists on college campuses. And it exposes the real motivation of those who profess to criticize only the Israeli government’s policies with regard to the West Bank, not Jews themselves.
Now there is a resolution before the Vassar student union, in part seeking a boycott of Ben & Jerry’s, on the grounds that the company—founded by two Jews—sells ice-cream “transported on Jewish-only roads to be sold in Jewish-only settlements.” This is part of a broader divest-from-Israel resolution to be voted on this spring, which also includes other U.S. companies.
These events are transforming a prestigious institution into a parody ripe for ridicule—a place embarrassing to prominent alumni and worrisome for prospective Jewish students.
BDS claims it protests against Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land, and models itself on the anti-apartheid boycott of South Africa.
But polls show that the Jewish community believes it to constitute anti-Semitism. Why?
First, BDS aims to eradicate Israel completely – its founder, Omar Barghouti, openly declared that “we oppose a Jewish state in any part of Palestine”.
Second, the boycotters target the Jewish state alone. BDS does not go after any other liberal democracy or British ally, let alone any dictatorship; only Israel, the Jew among nations.
Third, wherever BDS surfaces, it is accompanied by harassment of Jews – whether it’s Jewish students who retreat from campus life for fear of intimidation, or kosher food being forcibly removed from supermarket shelves, or Jewish trade union members who see their unions become vehicles for anti-Jewish hate, or a Jewish-American reggae performer being booted from a music festival.
Fourth, anyone remotely sensitive to Jewish history will know that boycotts have been the instrument of Jewish persecution for a millennium. The last century taught the Jews full well that what begins with a boycott by a few thugs or unknown academics does not end there. If “never again” is to mean anything, it is that BDS cannot be tolerated in a decent and civilised society.
Abbas’ Fatah and the Palestinian Authority never miss an opportunity to demonstrate to their people that their vision of “the State of Palestine” encompasses all of Israel, leaving little meaning to Abbas’ claim that he accepts the two-state solution, which he repeats when addressing international forums.
Illustrating “Palestine’s” borders, Fatah’s official Facebook page sported the macabre photo above, of a dying terrorist and her trickling blood, with the text:
“This is the blood that drew the borders of the State of Palestine” [Official Fatah Facebook page, Feb. 14, 2016]
The photo-shopped image shows the shape of the map of “Palestine” including the PA areas as well as all of Israel, formed by the blood of terrorist Yasmin Al-Zaru Tamimi, a 20-year-old female terrorist, who was shot when she tried to stab an Israeli soldier near the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron on Feb. 14, 2016. Part of the map is her actual blood, while some was added to the photo. Tamimi later died of her wounds in an Israeli hospital.
Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations, recently penned an op-ed piece in the New York Times called “Don’t Shoot the Messenger, Israel”. He wrote this article to explain his recent comments that Israel’s unwillingness to end the “occupation” of Judea and Samaria is the true cause of Palestinian terrorism, and the Palestinian Authority’s incitement to stab, shoot, and ultimately murder innocent Israelis. The current wave of Palestinian terrorism in Israel has claimed the lives of 31 Israelis — most recently Hadar Cohen, a 19-year-old woman stabbed and shot to death while standing guard in Jerusalem. Thousands of Palestinians turned out for the funerals of Cohen’s assailants to honor them.
The secretary general’s column is both wrong in its facts, and demonstrates an obvious bias by him against Israel.
The secretary general writes, “the everyday reality of occupation provokes anger and despair, which are major drivers of violence and extremism and undermine any hope of a negotiated two-state solution.” This statement is simply not true, and quite literally excuses Palestinian terrorism. The major driving force of the violence and extremism stems from the incitement to murder Jews and Israelis that has come from the Palestinian leadership for decades. Former Palestinian Authority president Yasser Arafat, the father of the PA, said in 1970, “The goal of our struggle is the end of Israel, and there can be no compromise.” In 1995, just after the second Oslo Accords were signed, Arafat stated, “All of us are willing to be martyrs along the way, until our flag flies over Jerusalem, the capital of Palestine.” The PA have incited violence against Israelis for years. His successor Mahmoud Abbas recently admitted to ignoring a 2008 ‘land for peace’ offering from Israeli Prime Minister Olmert stating “I rejected [the peace plan] out of hand.” The Secretary General ignores the fact that from Arafat to Abbas, Palestinians have endlessly acknowledged they do not want peace.
This is a very interesting development, because the U.K. already labels products from Judea and Samaria. In 2009, the British Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs issued a new, voluntary guidance, which said that labels should give “more precise information” about the origin of Israeli goods, like “Israeli settlement produce” or “Palestinian produce.” Until then, food from Judea and Samaria had been simply labeled “Produce of the West Bank.” At the time, the British Foreign Office denied this was a boycott, stating that “this is emphatically not about calling for a boycott of Israel. We believe that would do nothing to advance the peace process. We oppose any such boycott of Israel. We believe consumers should be able to choose for themselves what produce they buy.”
Well, with the new bill, British policy seems to have become less categorical, perhaps through the realization that Britain needs Israel (trade between the two countries reached nearly $7 billion in 2014) and perhaps also throught the very late realization that British policies — or lack thereof — have stoked anti-Semitism in Britain, which has become a European center for the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. British universities are hotbeds of anti-Semitism and recently The Algemeiner reported that the co-chairman of the Oxford University Labour Club, Alex Chalmers, had announced he was resigning over both rampant anti-Semitism and the group’s endorsement of Israel Apartheid Week on campus.
“Whether it be members of the Executive throwing around the term ‘Zio’ (a term for Jews usually confined to websites run by the Ku Klux Klan) with casual abandon, senior members of the club expressing their ‘solidarity’ with Hamas and explicitly defending their tactics of indiscriminately murdering civilians, or a former co-chair claiming that ‘most accusations of anti-Semitism are just the Zionists crying wolf,’ a large proportion of both OULC and the student Left in Oxford more generally have some kind of problem with Jews,” he wrote. The 12th annual Israel Apartheid Week is scheduled to kick off across U.K. campuses on Feb. 22.
The bill is a very welcome, albeit belated, initiative, which one might hope will be copied by other European nations, which are realizing that boycotting Israel is wrong — and bad for business.
Accusations of anti-Semitism within the Oxford University Labour Club (OULC) have left Ed Miliband “deeply disturbed” and led to his cancellation of an appearance to speak to students.
The OULC, which counts a number of politicians as former members, including Michael Foot and David Miliband, has been thrust into the public spotlight by allegations of racism and support for the Islamic terrorist group Hamas – with one MP calling for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to “personally look into” the claims.
Mr Milliband, the former Labour leader, was due to address the club’ s annual John Smith memorial dinner in a few weeks’ time however recent events have forced him to review the offer.
A spokesman for the former Labour leader told the Press Association: “Ed is deeply disturbed to hear of reports of anti-Semitism in the Oxford University Labour Club.
“It is right that the executive of the club has roundly condemned the comments and fully co-operates with the Labour Students’ investigation. Ed and the Labour Club have agreed that his talk should be postponed until the investigation is resolved.”
In response, the Oxford JSoc immediately wrote a post of its own on Facebook: “We are… unsurprised… It is not the first time that Oxford JSoc has had to deal with antisemitic incidents within the student left and it will not be the last.”
A few hours later, the Jewish student organization posted a more detailed message, describing the many reports it had been receiving of long-term antisemitic behavior at the OULC, including comments made by senior members, such as: “Filthy Zionist,” “All Jews are legitimate targets of Hamas” and “We should not associate with any Jew who fails to denounce the state of Israel.”
These reports then triggered a wave of subsequent responses. The Israeli Embassy in London released a sharp statement, noting,
The Embassy of Israel is appalled by reports of antisemitism, intimidation of Jewish students, and support for terrorism against Israel at the Oxford Labour Club. We would not expect such disgraceful activity from any morally upright person — let alone students at one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Antisemitism masquerading as politics is abhorrent. It must be recognized as such and condemned by all.
Approximately 10 Brooklyn College students who interrupted a faculty meeting called for “Zionists off campus” among its list of demands.
A faculty member at the Tuesday afternoon meeting told JTA that along with the demand on Zionists, the students called one faculty member a “Zionist pig.” The educator who spoke to JTA wished to remain anonymous.
Other demands ranged from calls for better pay for adjunct teachers to ending “racist” class offerings.
Some of the faculty members at the meeting applauded during the students’ vocal protests, but it was not clear as to which demands the teachers were reacting to.
The faculty member also told JTA that when computer science professor and faculty council head Yedidyah Langsam told the students they were “out of order,” they called him a “Zionist pig.”
In the latest caustic outbreak in an ongoing cultural war, a prominent Jewish organization Wednesday urged Jewish Canadian high school students to think twice about applying to York University.
In a blistering statement, the Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre for Holocaust Studies (FSWC) accused the university’s faculty association of endorsing “a campaign of censorship against Israel and the Jewish People.”
In the statement, FSWC president and CEO Avi Benlolo said his group is concerned “for the safety and security” of York’s Jewish students and faculty. “What I’m asking for Jewish students, who are considering going to York or putting in their application for the … 2016-17 year, is to know what’s going on at York (and) to maybe take a pause until the final vote is in,” he said in an interview.
The outcry relates to a vote by the faculty association executive in favour of a campaign urging York to divest itself of any investments in weapons manufacturers, domestic or international.
Two professors from Boston’s Jewish Wheelock College have filed complaints with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against the school, in the claim that they suffered anti-Semitic discrimination that damaged their reputation and careers.
The Boston Globe reported that Professors Eric Silverman and Gail Dines accused Wheelock President Jackie Jenkins-Scott and other administrators of having “made their work lives miserable” after the two spoke out about a lack of Jewish perspective on campus. They are seeking unspecified damages and attorneys’ fees.
Silverman is a professor of American studies and psychology and human development who has taught at Wheelock since 2006. Dines is a professor of sociology and women’s studies and chairwoman of American studies at the college since 1986. Both have tenure.
Silverman’s complaint claims he was blocked from applying to several administrative positions and was accused of using racist language in the classroom – an accusation he denies.
Both professors, who are practicing Jews and who “explore” Judaism academically, said they felt slighted when they were not consulted about a performance about diversity, the Black-Jew Dialogues, that came to the campus.
London riots convict turned pro-open borders agitator Syed Bokhari delivered a speech to a handful of hard-left activists and anarchists outside the French Embassy in London this weekend. Mr. Bokhari – married to fellow campaigner Mona Dohle, who claimed migrants were not responsible for the Cologne sex attacks – said that his hard-left group need to use “Palestinian” tactics against the British and French governments.
Mr. Bokhari, in a wending and self-contradictory speech firstly urged no collaboration with governments, before going on to claim how his organisations and followers had helped formulate government policy. He concluded by claiming he believed his rag-tag group of activists could, “bring [the British] government to its knees” over the issue of open borders.
The British Social Attitudes Survey reveals that 77 per cent of Britons want to see immigration reduced, with 56 per cent saying they want to see it reduced ‘a lot’.
The comments come shortly after the deputy mayor of Calais told journalists that British activists were working to stroke tensions in the area, effectively radicalising migrants. Philippe Mignonet said: “They are obsessed with increasing tensions and setting the migrants up against the authorities,” a claim backed by left-wing journalist Maike Engels, who revealed: “We went [to Calais] with our cameras, only to find the No Borders Network stirring up dissent.”
And Mr. Bokhari went further in the video above, urging the use of tactics used by “international solidarity activists around the Palestinian liberation struggle” specifically mentioning “human chains” – a tactic employed by the terrorist outfit Hamas, who put civilian lives in danger in Gaza in 2008.
He added: “…those are the kind of things that we need to start thinking of doing”.
While this level of moral blindness is truly horrific, at least in the case of ideological trans-nationalism willful ignorance is being put to use towards a perceived productive end: the creation of a new world based on the preferred ideology. But in the case of the Palestine uber alles brigade, the subject of veneration is not a belief system but a people.
After all, the charge of “pinkwashing” was not concocted in order to pursue a political agenda that would lead to the creation of a new and perfect society (even one based solely on fantasy). Rather, it was created to place discussion of the dark side of one set of people (Palestinians) beyond discussion. Their role as perfect victims much be maintained at all cost. And if gay rights (like women’s rights and human rights in general) must be thrown overboard in order to maintain this fiction, that’s a price the BDSers are ready to make the world pay.
I could go on about the assault on one’s own reasoning faculties required to hold in your head all the contradictions inherent in the championing of the “pinkwashing” accusation but, like last time, I’m going to leave it to you to read Palmer’s original piece to appreciate the power of the author’s insights.
But as you read it, consider for a moment how a people who have embraced a particularist identity (Zionism) have managed to avoid the self-imposed ignorance, moral blindness and sheer wickedness unleashed by on the planet by those who believe they have transcended such particularism to become “citizens of the world.”
Later on listeners heard the following description of the BDS campaign during the conversation between Ley and one of his two interviewees, Douglas Murray.
DM: “…the nature of the BDS campaign….”
SL: “This is the campaign for disinvestment in Israel because of….”
DM: “Boycott, divestment, sanctions.”
SL: “And that is about the argument about the status of the occupied territories and whether goods there should be sold and traded internationally.”
DM: “It tends not to be limited to the occupied territories but the BDS movement is a movement that singles out the sole Jewish state in the world for reprehensible smear and maltreatment and it’s clearly a racist movement because, among other things, it never does this with any other state.”
Despite Douglas Murray’s efforts, listeners to this item still went away without any knowledge of the BDS campaign’s rejection of the two-state solution and its goal of dismantling the one and only Jewish state.
The offending article, written by Tel Aviv University professor of anthropology Moshe Shoked, compared the behavior of Israel’s academia today with the passivity of Germany and Austrian universities in the face of the Nazi Party’s rise in the 1930s.
In the piece, entitled “Passive in the cheerful days of Weimar”, Shoked directed his sharpest attacks against Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home), excoriating the minister’s behavior as being “reminiscent of dark regimes from other times”, a thinly veiled reference to the Nazi regime which replaced the Weimar Republic.
Shaked responded to the piece noting both the incitement against Bennett and more importantly, the shameless use of the memory of the Holocaust.
“This isn’t merely incitement against Education Minister Naftali Bennett,” explained Shaked. “He’s strong enough, he’ll continue on and I’m not worried about him. It’s this ongoing cheapening of the Holocaust, this horrible way they’re using it’s [legacy]. When you compare the Education Minister of Israel to the Nazis, that’s cheapening the Holocaust.”
In a Newsweek op-ed this week, Israeli Knesset Member Haneen Zoabi published a series of misleading statements and outright lies about Israel.
From incorrect assertions that Israeli soldiers had murdered a 15 year old girl while she was lying helpless on the ground, to entirely false accusations of “executions,” to a surreal denial that Jews have any history in the Land of Israel: Zoabi’s essay was closer to a fantasy novel than an opinion piece. But for Zoabi, this is just business as usual.
People who don’t know Israel are often surprised to discover that Israel’s population includes 1.7 Million Arabs who are full citizens with full equal rights, and that Arab Israelis make up several political parties and hold 17 seats in the Israeli Knesset: including the seat held by Zoabi herself.
The dismissal of a bribe taken by a high-ranking public official as “peanuts” and “nothing” does not raise any reaction from the programme’s presenter and neither does the fact that Rubinstein airbrushes Olmert’s additional convictions for fraud, obstruction of justice and breach of trust. Rubinstein then continues:
“”But I want to add here that I think that there’s also a lot of politics involved here. Eh…the campaign against Ehud Olmert started when he start to be…how to say…moderate or he start to talk with the Palestinians. He was ready to [make] Israeli concessions about ten years ago when he was prime minister. He was the first prime minister of Israel that was ready to divide Jerusalem and to give the Palestinians a lot of – you know – the West Bank and so on and I’m sure that it’s not…I’m sure that also politics involved in this case.”
And what is the BBC presenter’s reaction to the unsubstantiated allegation that the “moderate” Olmert was stitched up by people to whom that description presumably does not apply just because he wanted to make “Israeli concessions”? Did the presenter bother to inform listeners around the world that there is no evidence to support those claims? Did he point out that there were various investigations into alleged corruption on the part of Olmert months and even years before Olmert attended the Annapolis conference in November 2007 and subsequently began negotiations with the PLO?
A mysterious campaign in Berlin to stoke fears of “Jewish terror” is spreading and becoming increasingly sophisticated.
According to a report by the Department of Research and Information on Anti-Semitism (RIAS), flyers, cards, and notices warning of “Jewish terror” threatening “attacks on Berlin’s citizens” have increased around the city since October of 2015.
No organization has claimed responsibility and it remains unclear who is behind the campaign.
While the campaign initially appeared to be limited to the spreading of propaganda, it now appears to be actively tracking Jews living in Berlin. Materials associated with the campaign have been found in homes and attached to cars of Jews residing in the German capital, suggesting that whomever is behind the flyers has been keeping local Jews under surveillance.
Some of the most recent flyers found have warned residents about a possible Mossad attack.
Ted Nugent has joined a Jewish gun rights advocacy group after being sharply criticized for posting an image on Facebook blaming several prominent Jews for spearheading gun control.
Nicki Kenyon of the Zelman Partisans group claimed Monday that Nugent accepted the group’s honorary membership offer. The right-wing rocker also reportedly said he would wear a yarmulke with the group’s logo on television.
Nugent had posted a graphic on Facebook on February 8 that included Jewish leaders such as former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and New York Sen. Chuck Schumer next to images of the Israeli flag.
“Know these punks. They hate freedom, they hate good over evil,” Nugent wrote in the post. “They would deny us the basic human right to self defense & to KEEP AND BEAR ARMS while many of them have tax paid hired ARMED security! Know them well. Tell every1 you know how evil they are. Let us raise maximum hell to shut them down!”
Nugent took to Facebook again after the initial response to his post and wrote: “Plummet on punks. Plummet on. Meanwhile I adjust my yamika[sic] at my barmitzva[sic] playing my kosher guitar. My dad killed nazis & saved Jews in WWII. Eat me.”
Jean-Marie Le Pen’s Advisor: Zionism and Freemasonry Control the French Media and Government
A group of lawyers representing a Hungarian Holocaust victim have sued Hungary’s national railways in the Hungarian Court “for transporting and profiteering from the Hungarian Holocaust,” The Algemeiner learned on Tuesday.
The lawsuit, which was filed by 91-year-old Hungarian Holocaust survivor Iren Gitta Kellner, today a US citizen, and signed by more than 150 other Hungarian Holocaust survivors mainly in the US and Israel, accuses the MAV of crimes against humanity, aiding and abetting genocide, wrongful, illegal, unlawful and inhumane actions, false imprisonment and prolonged arbitrary detention, torture and stealing personal property.
Kellner is demanding monetary compensation for personal injuries and intentional infliction of emotional and psychological distress, as well as stolen property. It also calls on MAV to accept responsibility for abetting the Nazi genocide of Hungarian Jewry, and to issue a formal apology. The lawsuit was organized by attorneys in Chicago, New York and Hungary.
The Hungarian national railway was instrumental in deporting hundreds of thousands of Jews and other victims to their deaths in Nazi concentration camps during World War II.
Several hundred ultra-nationalists marched in Lithuania’s prewar capital of Kaunas on Tuesday, yelling slogans in honor of Holocaust collaborators and denouncing their nation’s enemies, drawing harsh condemnations and accusations of anti-Semitism.
The annual march, which was timed to coincide with the anniversary of the Baltic state’s independence from Russia in 1918, was smaller than that of previous years, said Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s chief Nazi hunter, who attends the event every year.
Zuroff estimated that between 200 and 300 people took part, a significant decline from the usual 500 to 1,000 participants.
“There were the usual nationalistic slogans and they announced that they are honoring the heroes of Lithuania who are being discredited by the enemies” of their country, Zuroff said in a phone call from Kaunas. “All of those are people who murdered Jews during the Holocaust.”
Among those honored in recent years is Juozas Ambrazevicius, the prime minister of Lithuania’s wartime provisional government and an enthusiastic Nazi collaborator.
Serbian lawmakers have voted on a bill allowing the restitution of heirless and unclaimed Jewish property expropriated during the Holocaust.
The World Jewish Restitution Organization said Friday Serbia is one of the first countries in Eastern Europe to pass such a bill, which means the property will be returned to the local Jewish community.
Gideon Taylor, WJRO chair of operations, said, “This is a step toward justice and the recognition of history.”
Taylor added, “We look to other countries to follow Serbia’s lead.”
The organization had actively campaigned for the law to be passed.
Tens of thousands of Jews living in Serbia during World War II perished in brutal Nazi-run death camps or were mass deported to the camps outside the Balkan country.
Science, Technology and Space Minister Ofir Akunis on Tuesday signed the first agreement of its kind between his ministry and the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine in the field of biotechnology, with an emphasis on stem cell research.
The agreement was facilitated by the Israeli-American Council, which encourages cooperation between the United States and Israel.
This is the “sharpest response to all the foolish initiatives to make academics boycott Israel, including here in California,” Akunis said at the signing ceremony, adding that “anyone who boycotts Israel — the loss is all his.”
Akunis continued, “This agreement will deepen the partnership between Israel and California, bringing together our most talented scientists to push the boundaries of stem cell research and advance medical breakthroughs in the treatment of diseases ranging from cancer and diabetes, to Alzheimer’s and HIV-AIDS.”
In a vast expanse of open desert in southern Israel, a 787-foot (240 meters) tower is taking shape that its builders hope will help make solar energy much more cost effective.
The tower, being built by Israel-based Megalim Solar Power, whose shareholders include General Electric, will be taller than other solar towers, enabling it to generate up to 121 megawatts of power.
Due to be completed late next year at a cost of 3 billion shekels ($773 million), the facility will provide around 1% of Israel’s electricity under an agreement with the Israeli government, which aims for 10% of the country’s energy needs to be provided by renewables by 2020.
Most solar power in the world is generated by photovoltaic (PV) panels, which can be installed anywhere from a roof to a backyard. In contrast, towers that use concentrated solar power, known as CSP, require a lot of land and are only cost-efficient in large-scale projects.
For that reason they have seen limited deployment, and mainly in the United States and Europe.
The Russians are coming – and they’re bringing as much as $50 million with them for early stage investments in promising Israeli Internet of Things, cyber-security, and other start-ups.
“We have a lot of experience in helping to develop early stage start-ups, and we’re good at helping companies overcome hurdles that other investors might not be able to help them with,” said Alexander Ayvazov, CEO of Titanium Investments, which unveiled the new fund Tuesday. “We have a top team on the ground in Israel, with people in IT, management, and personnel to help build teams and develop markets for start-ups.”
With $350 million under management – mostly in Russia and Europe – Titanium is now looking to invest in additional companies as well as to increase its existing investments in its portfolio companies, and Ayvazov has determined that Israel holds the best promise – and lowest risk – of his available options.
An Israeli military industry official said that the country’s defense exports had exceeded $5 billion in 2015, despite international defense budget cuts, currency fluctuations and dropping oil prices, the Hebrew news site nrg reported on Tuesday.
Michel Ben-Baruch, the chairman of SIBAT – the Defense Ministry’s International Defense Cooperation Directorate – made his comments at Tuesday’s opening ceremony of the Israeli pavilion at the Singapore Airshow, taking place this week (from Feb. 16-21), where Jerusalem has the largest presence among the participating countries.
Ben-Baruch said that Israeli industries must continue overcoming global challenges by making the most of their capabilities.
The first day of the recent CyberTech 2016 conference on cybersecurity in Tel Aviv, Yuval Steinitz, Israel’s minister of national infrastructure, energy and water resources, dramatically demonstrated the urgency of the matter at hand: He admitted that the state electric authority itself was currently “facing a very serious cyber attack.”
His government agency had identified the malware and isolated the infected computers. And the attack affected only a regulator of the electric industry, not the actual power generation or transmission systems. But Steinitz’s point still stood: “This is a fresh example of the sensitivity of infrastructure to such attacks.“
Or, as Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu put it during an address earlier that day: “In the Internet of everything, everything can be penetrated. Everything can be sabotaged, everything can be subverted.”
Israel knows this better than most countries. It has been on the receiving end of numerous online attacks of varying levels of competence (though not as many as the United States receives), and it has launched some particularly advanced and effective assaults of its own — most famously, the Stuxnet malware that it and the U.S. reportedly collaborated on to disable Iranian nuclear centrifuges.
“Israel is one of the top targets of cyber attacks, and also a source of a lot of defensive and offensive cybersecurity technology,” according to Johannes Ullrich, dean of research at the SANS Technology Institute, a cybersecurity research and training organization in Bethesda, Maryland. A report released before the conference by the IVC Research Center, a Tel Aviv tech-startup hub, touted Israel as second in the world to only the U.S. in cybersecurity.
On February 1, 2016, Ahmad Al-Sarraf, wrote in his column in the Kuwaiti daily Al-Qabas about Israel’s advantages over the Arabs in a wide variety of fields – democracy, military, science and technology, human rights and freedom of worship, and economics. He called on the Arabs to look at the reasons for Israel’s success and superiority, instead of viewing it as a political-religious foe about which they know nothing at all.
Following are excerpts from his article:
“In theory, Arabs have [only] one enemy in the region – except that recently we have made additional enemies, such as Iran. Some went even further, stepping up their hatred of Iran, while at the same time becoming more accepting of Israel [than in the past], to the point where it has become more friend than foe…
“Usually, every conflict is rooted in one side’s ignorance of the situation and nature of the other – though I tend to believe that Iran knows far more about the 22 Arab countries that those countries know about it. I attended Kuwaiti schools; in my day, their curricula were far more developed and were open to the other. Despite this, I do not remember reading a single line about [Iran] that was even remotely positive – neither about [its] geography or climate, nor about [its] strength, weakness, or history. So it was only natural for us to view it negatively, [even though we] had no [concrete] reason to do so.
“As for Israel, many [of us] view it as a political-religious foe, as opposed to a cultural danger, and this is a serious mistake. Even though our conflict with it has never ceased, we have remained ignorant regarding everything it represents, and for 70 years we have lacked, and continue to lack, all knowledge about it, and have learned nothing from it.
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