05/18 Links Pt2: An open letter to Roger Waters; Legitimizing the Groups that Hate You
There is nothing personal in this letter. I am putting aside your history and ignoring the relationship I have had with your music; I have simply read your recent public comments and felt a need to respond.
I am a Zionist, which simply means that I believe the Jews have the right and need to control their own destiny just like every other nation does. That for a long time, Jews were without that nation, doesn’t detract from that right. Or arguing another way, believing what you do, I doubt you would suddenly announce that all Palestinian claims had expired due to some imaginary time limit.
You argue by having ‘researched’ that your opinion is of more weight and value than anyone who disagrees with you, claiming as you have in the Dionne Warwick case that she is ‘ignorant’ and ‘misunderstands’. You support dismantling the Middle East’s only liberal democracy (the ‘one state solution’) in line with the central tenets of the BDS platform. I have no intention of dealing with propaganda or the creation of a separate storyline; my intent is simply to show that the basic facts highlight that the BDS narrative is wrong. What I am also not going to do is suggest Israel is without flaws, nor posit that Israel is always right; that isn’t my Zionism; for me Israel has every right to be a state that makes mistakes; just like the UK. At the same time, my Zionism allows for the Palestinians to be victims too, even if you and I would radically disagree both about the causes and the possible solutions to the conflict.
As for your research; many people have studied the conflict, many taking opposing views to yours. I too have done so, spending many years living and working with both Israelis and Palestinians. You have clearly taken a stance that considers some ‘sources of information’ untrustworthy, building your opinion only from those you have chosen to follow. Most people do that when taking sides, but it is important to remember your opinions are not facts but merely conclusions drawn from individually and carefully selected pieces of information. (h/t cba)
On May 21, a representative of a prominent British Jewish charity, the Anne Frank Trust, will share a platform with one of Britain’s most anti-Semitic extremists: the Salafist preacher, Abdurraheem Green.
The event, organized by the Islamic Diversity Centre, is named “Against Racism Against Hatred: Tackling Anti-Semitism & Islamophobia.”
The speaker, Abdurraheem Green, has spoken of a “Yehudi [Jewish] … stench” and urged Muslims to “push them [Jews] to the side.” In addition, he encourages men to hit their wives to “bring them to goodness,” and has called for the killing of homosexuals and adulterers.
In addition to Green, Councillor Alyas Karmani will also be speaking at the event. A former member of George Galloway’s Respect Party, Karmani has claimed that the “ideology” of “the Yahood [Jews] and the Nasara [Christians]” has “no issue killing women and children.”
Despite these views, Grace Dunne, a representative of the Anne Frank Trust, as well as anti-racism campaigners and Labour MP Jeremy Beecham, seem happy to share a platform with these two anti-Semitic preachers, all in the name of tolerance.
What have “pro-Palestinian” activists done for the Palestinians?
Did they help Palestinians achieve national independence? Did they help them build an economy? Did they help them build a civil society? Did they help them grow talent and integrity among their leaders? Did they help them define their identity as anything other than victims and terrorists?
Where are the pro-Palestinian conferences helping Palestinians achieve all these things? Where are the organizations who believe in the Palestinian identity and who help shape it towards the future? Where is the funding that would help grow the Palestinian civil society that Palestinian Bassem Eid believes is fundamental to the Palestinians’ future?
When the United Nations approved in 1947 the partition plan aiming to create a two-state solution that gave little to Jews, the Arabs were eager to kill it, and they used war to try to do it. Did anyone care that the Palestinians’ interests would have been greatly served by that plan?
Between 1948 and 1967, when Gaza and the West Bank were under full Arab control, did anyone attempt to create a Palestinian state on that land?
For some time, there have been voices within U.S. intellectual and academic circles that question how vital Israel is to the U.S. Some openly wonder whether Israel has done anything good for the U.S., or if Israel is actually important at all to American national interests. Such voices, while few, still manage to utilize a very effective anti-Israeli propaganda machine, for example the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, as well as some academic institutions that have chosen to turn themselves into enemies of the Jewish state. Their main argument is: What do we need Israel for?
Of course, those voices get a lot of support from us, the Arabs. We Arabs have been claiming for seven decades now that Israel is the source of all evil. Some of our rulers have been saying this to the Western media for decades. Basically, we claim that if Israel disappears, our lives will become wonderful and iPhones will grow on the trees in our backyards.
Nonetheless, facts on the ground suggest that these claims could not be further from the truth. Let’s see why.
It is no secret that the Obama administration has had a very difficult relationship with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Nevertheless, Israel has become more vital to American interests than ever, for the following reasons: (h/t Alexi)
JPost Editorial: FIFA folly
Jibril Rajoub, a senior member of Fatah’s Central Committee and chairman of the Palestinian Football Association, wants to get Israel suspended from FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association).
He might succeed if the motion he is pushing comes up for a secret vote before the FIFA Congress at the end of the month – not because his claims are so convincing but because of the antagonistic mood against Israel that has taken hold in European states and elsewhere.
For at least two years now in every possible forum, Rajoub has been bandying about a litany of complaints: Israel restricts the movement of Palestinian soccer players; Israel prevents the transfer of soccer equipment from Israeli sea ports to the Palestinian Authority; Israel destroys Palestinian soccer stadiums; Israel prevents Arab teams from countries that have no formal diplomatic relations with the Jewish state – such as Iraq – from entering the West Bank to play against Palestinian teams; Jewish teams representing towns and cities located in Judea and Samaria are incorporated under the aegis of the Israel Football Association.
We were invited to Qatar by the prime minister’s office to see new flagship accommodation for low-paid migrant workers in early May – but while gathering additional material for our report, we ended up being thrown into prison for doing our jobs.
Our arrest was dramatic.
We were on a quiet stretch of road in the capital, Doha, on our way to film a group of workers from Nepal.
The working and housing conditions of migrant workers constructing new buildings in Qatar ahead of the World Cup have been heavily criticised and we wanted to see them for ourselves.
Suddenly, eight white cars surrounded our vehicle and directed us on to a side road at speed.
A dozen security officers frisked us in the street, shouting at us when we tried to talk. They took away our equipment and hard drives and drove us to their headquarters.
Later, in the city’s main police station, the cameraman, translator, driver and I were interrogated separately by intelligence officers. The questioning was hostile.
Recently, I spoke in the first-ever Canadian parliamentary special debate on the rise of global anti-Semitism. One of the main themes in this parliamentary debate, as well as in my talk to the earlier, historic United Nations General Assembly Forum on anti-Semitism, was one particularly insidious manifestation of this new permutation of hatred.
I am referring here to the laundering or masking of anti-Semitism under universal public values – laundering under the protective cover of the UN, the authority of international law, the culture of human rights, and the struggle against racism.
As Canadians, the UN is part of our DNA; international law is a centerpiece of our identity; and human rights is an organizing idiom of our foreign policy.
Indeed, as the Canadian minister of justice, the struggle against racism and hate was a focus of my work, including introducing the first-ever National Justice Initiative against Racism and Hate.
Regrettably, the laundering of anti-Semitism under universal public values effectively subverts these values as it seeks to portray Israel and the Jewish people as the enemy of all that is good and the repository of all that is evil. This strategy is not only prejudicial to Israel, but undermines these universal values themselves – incriminating the UN in these pernicious and prejudicial falsehoods – as illustrated in the following brief examples.
Laurie Cardozo-Moore is a woman on a mission.
The president and founder of Proclaiming Justice To The Nations (PJTN) is in Israel to film and promote a new film exposing the anti-Israel BDS (Boycott Divestment and Sanctions) Movement as “inherently anti-Semitic,” as well as to take part in the upcoming Moskowitz Prize for Zionism.
But that’s just the latest project in a tireless campaign waged by Cardozo-Moore, a native of Tennessee and committed Christian Zionist.
Speaking to Arutz Sheva, she explained her group’s objective as “raising awareness among Christians of our biblical duty to stand with Israel and the Jewish people.”
That “Biblical duty” is drawn in part from the better-known sources of Christian Zionist doctrine; namely, God’s various covenants with the Biblical Patriarchs, as well as the children of Israel as a whole, in which He explicitly gives the land of Israel to the Jewish people.
The three prisoners whose families were officially honoured are serving sentences for their part in the October 2000 lynching of two Israeli reservists – Vadim Nurzhitz and Yossi Avrahami – in Ramallah.
As has been noted here in the past, a number of inaccurate BBC reports on that incident are still available on the BBC News website.
Whilst the BBC on the one hand devotes considerable amounts of airtime and column space to the topic of the ‘peace process’, on the other hand it systematically avoids informing its audiences about such examples of the Palestinian Authority’s glorification of terrorism, despite their being a crucial part of the story it claims to tell.
Steinglass later asks if Americans can continue to “support a Jewish state that rules over a conquered people and denies them the rights of citizens, permanently?”
The answer is: yes, of course. In any conflict, when the possibility of a neutral peace breaks down, everyone is forced by rational self-interest to side with their own. It is senseless (and dangerous) to be the last person arguing for compromise and dialogue when the knives are out and blood is in the streets. As the peace process melts away, Americans will side with the faction they identify with. Certainly, Jewish Americans will find ways to defer moral compunctions and continue to support the Jewish state. For many, it is a matter of solidarity with Israeli family and friends. Some have ties to the secular, non-militaristic part of Israeli society, which they consider innocent of the occupation. Others agree with various versions of the religious-nationalist ideologies that lie behind the settler movement.
So, for Steinglass, it’s inconceivable that Jewish Americans who support Israel are acting out of moral principle in defending a progressive democracy under siege by reactionary terrorist movements and struggling to solve a complex territorial dispute stemming from decades of Arab aggression and terror. Rather, Jews who defend the world’s only Jewish state, it seems, are necessarily putting moral concerns aside, and acting out of obtuse tribal or familial loyalties.
Steinglass (aka, M.S.) has a history of analyzing the moral behavior of Jews.
On May 15th the BBC Jerusalem Bureau’s Yolande Knell produced a filmed report for the corporation’s television news programmes which was also promoted on the BBC News website’s Middle East page under the title “How will new Israel government affect two-state solution?“.Knell Har Homa
The synopsis appearing on the website includes the following statement:
“The government includes conservative, far-right, and ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties who would fight any recognition of a Palestinian state.”
The accuracy of that statement is of course contestable – not least in relation to the stance of coalition member party Shas, which has traditionally supported the two-state solution.
If viewers thought that the title of this report indicated that they were going to get some reliable background information on the new Israeli government’s approach and policies, they were sorely mistaken: Knell’s report is just one more addition to her long record of partial and inaccurate political propaganda.
A Jewish youth was violently attacked in Paris on Friday afternoon just days following a similar attack on a Jewish woman and two weeks after 40 men assaulted two Jewish youths in the city, the French-Jewish JSS News reported.
The incident took place at 6 p.m. on Paris’ Rue Manin in the 19th Arrondissement near the Buttes Chaumont park.
The victim, a 16-year-old wearing a yarmulke who was heading home for Shabbat, was approached by three men described as “North African” who robbed and assaulted him, stole his shoes, and smashed his cellphone on the ground. The attackers were aged between 17 and 20 years old, according to the report.
The group then began to beat him. Two of the assailants held the victim back while a third repeatedly struck him in the body and head. One of the young man’s eyes was severely injured.
According to a witness who spoke to police, during the attack another individual who was passing by, described as “Maghrebi,” approached the group, but instead of assisting the victim, he encouraged the attackers to “break” the Jewish teen.
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II is to visit the site of Nazi concentration camp Bergen-Belsen during her state visit to Germany next month, Buckingham Palace said Sunday.
The 89-year-old queen and her husband Prince Philip will visit what remains of the camp and see a memorial to Anne Frank, the teenage Jewish diarist who died of typhus there in 1945.
The British monarch will also meet Holocaust survivors and some of those who helped liberate Bergen-Belsen in northern Germany.
More than 50,000 people deported from across Europe and 20,000 prisoners of war died at the camp between 1941 and 1945.
Faced with blistering criticism over objecting to the presence of the Star of David on a monument dedicated to Holocaust victims, the mayor of Kavala in northern Greece told protesters Sunday that the dedication ceremony, originally set for this Sunday, will take place “very soon.”
Mayor Dimitra Tsanaka confirmed that councilors from her list had objected to the size and placement of the Star of David on a commemorative stone, although she denied she shared the opinion or wanted the star removed, as the Central Board of Jewish Communities has alleged.
A Star of David is engraved into the monument.
The authorities had wanted the ancient Jewish symbol, which also features on the Israeli flag, removed before they allow the memorial’s display, angering Jewish groups.
A German neonatologist has passed her PhD defense exam at the age of 102, after being denied the opportunity by the Nazis.
Ingeborg Syllm-Rapoport passed the exam last Wednesday at the University of Hamburg, some 77 years after she completed her thesis on diphtheria.
She had been refused entrance to the oral exam in 1938 by the Nazi authorities because her mother was Jewish.
“This is about principle, not about me,” she told the Daily Tagesspiegel over the weekend. “I did not defend the work for my own sake; that whole situation was not easy for me at 102 years old. I did it for the victims. The university wanted to make amends for wrongs and has shown great patience, for which I am grateful.”
She immigrated to the United States in 1938 and was required to study for two additional years to be certified as a doctor, despite graduating from a German medical school. She married in 1946 and the couple returned to Germany after her husband was persecuted by anti-Communist efforts during the McCarthy era.
A wine press used 1,400 years ago was recently unearthed in the Neve Yaakov neighborhood in northeast Jerusalem.
Local resident Tamar Simon was running with her dog in a nearby wooded area when noticed the ancient remains. Simon alerted the Israel Antiquities Authority.
Archeologists were surprised at the sight of the ancient press, which measures five meters (16.4 feet) across, carved out of a boulder. The wine press is comprised of a large, square treading floor where grapes were laid down and crushed by barefoot workers. The newly extracted grape juice, or “must,” flowed into a square distributing vat via a conduit also carved into the rock. From there, the juice was moved into a collecting vat.
Amit Re’em, an archeologist with the IAA assigned to the Jerusalem District, said that the Antiquities Authority team was surprised at what they found, and noted that the wine press had been excavated with care, but that archeologists from the Antiquities Authority hadn’t conducted any dig in that location.
When inspecting the site, the archeologists spotted a teenager, who told them enthusiastically that he and his friends liked archeology and had decided to dig out the wine press together.
The Israeli biomed field is healthy and robust, thanks to a record year of investments in 2014 and a creative startup community of researchers, engineers and medical professionals.
This year’s Israel Advanced Technology Industries (IATI) Biomed 2015 conference, held last week on May 12-14, 2015, attracted some 6,000 people including top healthcare industrialists from 45 countries.
“Biomed 2015 offers an attractive networking venue and business opportunity for players across the biomed industry to create new partnerships and collaborations,” says IATI Biomed co-chair Ruti Alon, also general partner at Pitango Venture Capital.
“This is the biggest and most established annual meeting of the Israeli life-science industry, and as such attracts senior representatives from global companies that search for innovation and groundbreaking technologies.”
Israel’s life-sciences figures show a record 1,380 companies active in Israel today – 53 percent of them medical devices companies, 23% pharmaceutical companies, and 20% digital or mobile healthcare companies, according to a report published by IATI, the umbrella organization of the Israeli high-tech industry.
Frutarom Industries, one of the world’s 10 largest companies in the field of flavors and specialty fine ingredients, has signed a purchase agreement for the acquisition of 95 percent of the share capital of Investissements BSA. The $35.6 million deal provides for the acquisition of the remaining balance of shares starting two years from now at a price conditional on the company’s business.
“This is an important and significant strategic acquisition that solidifies Frutarom’s position as one of the world’s top companies for flavors, and reinforces its presence and standing as a leading global producer of savory solutions. Until now Frutarom has already enjoyed market leadership for savory solutions in Europe, and the acquisition of BSA is expected to boost its position in this field in North America and India as well,” said Ori Yehudai, President and CEO of Frutarom Group.
The Canadian BSA company’s main activities include the development, production and marketing of unique and innovative savory flavor solutions (the non-sweet spectrum of flavors) that include seasoning blends and functional ingredients for the food industry, with particular focus on the areas of processed meats and convenience foods.
Typos are the scourge of using a touchscreens.
But a new smart pen helps you avoid spelling mistakes by letting you write notes on any surface, which then appear on your phone’s screen automatically.
Called Phree, the $169 (£108) stylus also doubles up as a Bluetooth headset and shows your phone’s notifications on a built-in display.
Phree has been developed by Israel-based OTM Technologies and the firm has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund production of the gadget.
OTM stands for Optical Translation Measurement, and Phree uses this patented technology with a 3D laser interferometer sensor to track motion.
In particular, it uses motion tracking lasers to follow the movement of the pen and trace the shape of the letters.
These letters can be traced onto any surface including a table, chair, hand or even a wall.
It’s been called the breakthrough the medical marijuana industry has been waiting for, a technology that will bring widespread use of cannabis for pain relief to hospitals all over the world.
But most people who have heard of the Syqe Inhaler, a medical inhaler that provides just the right dose for patients, don’t know that it was developed in Israel, and they also don’t know that Israeli-US 3D printing tech firm Stratasys has been essential to the development of the project.
“The Syqe device was created on a 3D printer using different kinds of materials, both rigid and flexible, to create a unique material that you could not get in the typical manufacturing process,” said Ronny Eden, director of 3D printing technologies for Su-Pad, the exclusive retail distributor for Stratasys printers in Israel. “The material gives a unique combination of flexibility and rigidity needed for the proper functioning of the inhaler.”
Eden was speaking at BioMed 2015 event, an event that drew hundreds of industry executives, scientists and engineers, with thousands of attendees from over 45 countries. Hundreds of Israeli life science companies presented and exhibited their products, services and technologies.
Two leaders in renewable technologies are collaborating on a home battery solution that will enable individual solar power producers to store surplus energy at point of generation for later reuse. Electric car maker Tesla Motors and SolarEdge Technologies [Israel], manufacturer of photovoltaic (PV) inverters, have teamed up to create an inverter solution that will allow for grid and photovoltaic integration with Tesla’s newly launched home battery solution, the Powerwall. Storage has been the Gordian knot of PV; their product would enable more cost-effective residential solar generation, storage, and consumption.
An inverter converts the variable direct current (DC) output of a PV solar panel into a utility frequency alternating current (AC) that can be fed into a commercial electrical grid or used by a locally, off-grid. It is a critical part of a PV system (and often the costliest) that allows the use of ordinary AC-powered equipment. The joint development by SolarEdge and Tesla builds on SolarEdge’s DC optimized inverter solution and Tesla’s automotive-grade energy storage technology.
StorEdge“Tesla’s collaboration with SolarEdge unites leading organizations in two rapidly-growing industries—solar energy and energy storage—to bring homeowners a more cost-effective and integrated energy generation, storage, and consumption solution,” said J.B. Straubel, Chief Technology Office of Tesla. “SolarEdge’s commitment to improving the value of PV systems through product innovation, combined with more than 1.3 GW of successful deployments, makes it an ideal partner for Tesla to develop and introduce this new energy storage solution to the PV market.”
For its third direct investment in Israeli technology – and its second in a month – Chinese internet giant Baidu has chosen Taboola, one of Israel’s biggest Internet exports and one of the best-known Israeli brands in the web world.
Baidu invested a sum it referred to as “millions” in the tech firm, saying that the new partnership “brings together two cutting-edge technology companies that are re-defining the ‘search’ and ‘discovery’ categories across the world’s biggest markets. Together, Taboola and Baidu plan to bring discovery to the Chinese market, where mobile is the number one way people go online.”
“Though our roots are in China, Baidu actively seeks out innovative technology companies abroad to partner and invest with,” said Peter Fang, senior director of Corporate Development at Baidu. “Taboola’s remarkable vision and growth over the past few years captured the admiration of our executive team, and we’re very excited about the potential of the discovery market worldwide.”
Taboola is best-known for its “you may also be interested in” meme, which is ever-present on innumerable web content pages. The system is used to drive traffic from one site to another, or to keep readers on a site by offering them more of what they came for. Using advanced intelligence techniques based on hundreds of metrics – how long a reader stays on a site, how many times they visit one, which ads they linger on when viewing a site (e.g., how quickly they close pop-up windows), where they are located, and more – Taboola determines what content will be most interesting to a reader, and presents links that, site owners hope, will garner more clicks for a site or a network.
Five months after announcing a major investment in the firm, China online commerce giant Alibaba has put Israeli start-up Visualead to work – producing “dotless” QR (Quick Response) codes that will help the company battle counterfeit goods.
As an online marketplace, Alibaba is vulnerable to unsavory entrepreneurs who counterfeit luxury goods made by some of the world’s top names – an ongoing problem in China. Now, as a publicly traded company, the company has been working hard to prevent counterfeit goods from being traded through its site – and for help in doing that, it has turned to Visualead to develop unique, decorative – and unduplicable – QR codes for high-end products.
The new Dotless Visual Codes debuted Monday as part of its “Blue Stars” platform for product engagement and anti-counterfeiting. Alibaba’s new platform, for which Visualead is a leading technology partner, enables product manufacturers to print labels with unique codes for each individual product package. When consumers scan the Blue Stars codes with Alibaba Group’s Mobile Taobao application they receive information about the specific product, such as feedback on the authenticity of the product they are holding or targeted online promotions directly from the product brand.
Leading brands, such as L’Oréal and Ferrero, have created millions of unique Dotless Visual Codes for their product packages sold in China.
Mother’s Day is a good time to reflect on the amazing lengths some moms go to to ensure the well being of their children. One such “supermom” is Debby Elnatan, a former Israeli stay-at-home mom who became a press sensation when she invented the “Upsee”, a harness that allowed her young disabled son, and other handicapped children around the world, to walk in tandem with their parents.
When we first wrote about the Upsee harness a little over a year ago, the device was just gaining worldwide attention. A year later, NoCamels speaks to the inventor of the Upsee to hear about how her life-changing device is reaching more children and parents around the world.
A low-tech device with high impact
Debby came up with the idea for the harness, which allows handicapped children and parents to walk in unison, when she found out that her son Rotem had cerebral palsy and would be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Armed only with a mother’s love and a relentless drive to make her son’s life as normal as possible, Debby spent years creating the Upsee.
Of all the members of Israel’s espionage and intelligence community, few are as well known by name if not exactly by deed as the legendary Eli Cohen who was sent to Syria and who was apprehended and executed in Damascus fifty years ago.
Had Syria returned his remains to Israel, Eli Cohen may well have remained one of the anonymous soldiers of Mossad.
All attempts to find the exact location of his grave so that his bones could be brought back to Israel for proper Jewish burial have met with failure.
Because this is a landmark year for his family and the nation which he served, President Reuven Rivlin decided to hold the commemorative ceremony at the President’s official residence. This was the first that memorial ceremony was held there. It was attended by Cohen’s widow Nadia, their three children, Cohen’s three brothers, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Mossad Chief Tamir Pardo.
Despite the breathtaking progress in medicine, the chances a person living to the age of 106 are remote. Particularly so for men. Imagine a 106-year-old man who actually saved the lives of 669 children. Sir Nicholas Winton is such a man.
Born on May 19, 1909, Sir Nicholas is responsible for having conceived and organized one of the most imaginative life-saving operations known by mankind, just before WWII broke out.
Winton’s parents were German Jews who had moved to the UK and converted into Christianity before he was born. Back in 1938, Nicholas was a young and successful stock broker at the London Stock Exchange. On the eve of Christmas of that year he was about to embark in a holiday trip to Switzerland, but a call from his friend, Martin Blake, made him change his plans. The latter was working for a refugee aid committee in Czechoslovakia and was asking for assistance. The young Winton did not hesitate. He called off his scheduled vacation and traveled to Prague, answering his friend’s call.
While in Prague, Winton immediately understood the looming threat posed by the Nazis and he embarked on a relentless effort to save as many Czechoslovakian children as possible. He started to contact various relief organizations in the UK with the aim of finding foster homes for the children. He even wrote a poignant letter to US president Franklin Roosevelt, urging him to do something for the children of Czechoslovakia. Unfortunately, America failed to act.