12/07 Links Pt2: Muslim scholar: No connection btw Temple Mt. and Islam; A Quiz for Christian Anti-Zionists
Renowned Egyptian scholar Youssef Ziedan, a specialist in Arabic and Islamic studies, has given a series of interviews to Egyptian television stations of late, the purpose of which appears to be to anger his Muslim colleagues.
His main point has been to say that there is actually no connection between Jerusalem and ancient Islam. When Islam was founded during the 7th century, he says, Jerusalem was a holy city to the Jews, while the Mosque of Omar was not even built until 74 years after Muhammed’s death. The reason it was built, Ziedan says, is because the builder wished to detract from the centrality of Mecca in Islam.
Prof. Ziedan is the director of the Manuscript Center and Museum in the Library of Alexandria. He is a public lecturer, university professor, columnist and prolific author of more than 50 books. He won the 2009 International Prize for Arabic Fiction for his work Azazeel, which was also translated into Hebrew.
Jerusalem was not known as Al-Quds (City of the Sanctuary) during Muhammad’s times, Ziedan says.
“Al-Aksa is not ours,” he emphasizes, “and though the word comes from the word ‘extreme,’ it does not refer to the far mosque on the Temple Mount, but rather to a mosque that is the “further” of two mosques in Mecca.
According to Ziedan, Muslims are purposely and falsely turning a political struggle between Israel and the Arabs into a religious one. “The religious aspect of the conflict is nonsense… The only reason why Muslims insist on the sanctity of Jerusalem is simply politics.” (h/t Gee)
Ironically, according to Islamic doctrine, many Muslims may well see themselves as lining up in Europe to supersede the Catholic Church as they pursue their dream to conquer the world for Allah.
Some suggest that if current population trends continue, prodded by the new migration and the extended families that are sure to follow, Islam will soon be the new majority. Such a demographic shift would not only leave Christians in jeopardy, but Jews in double jeopardy — antipathy from their own government and overt hostility from Islam.
While it was not French Christians per se who fired the gun on the Jewish shoppers outside Paris in January, it is legitimate to question the role that Christian anti-Semitism plays in creating this climate shift as Jews, yet again, become victims in their own homeland.
The “Supersessionist” DNA, hidden beneath the surface of society, is what drives secularized Christian nations such as France, Britain and Sweden to appease Islamists, who are working to increase their influence, numbers and decibel levels.
“France does not really oppose Palestinian terrorism. On the contrary, France facilitates it. Every year, the French government pays millions of euros, dollars and shekels to Palestinian NGOs whose stated goal is to destroy Israel.” – Caroline Glick.
Yisrael Medad: A Quiz for Christian Anti-Zionists
Dear Christians who support Palestinianism and fight Zionism, those who think we Jews have no rights to the Land of Israel, the name of a country as we know from Matthew 2:19-20:
An angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel,
some of who are uncouth:
It appears that Judaism made a mistake when it rejected Christ’s gospel of Love. As a consequence, Judaism may have become a primitive and possibly dangerous anachronism in the 21st Century…Judaism is a xenophobic totalitarian belief system that has morphed into a fanatical Zionist ideology that now threatens the whole world.
who believe the content of the Kairos Document, those who will be attending the Christ at the Checkpoint Conference in March, which promotes “Any exclusive claim to land of the Bible in the name of God is not in line with the teaching of scripture” and those who reinterpret the Abrahamic Covenant. You are wrong. Jesus was not a Palestinian.
There are too few voices for peace coming from the Arab world today. In fact this penury is so dire that Mahmood Abbas, a habitual liar and terrorist enabler, is widely courted by Western governments as a hope for peace! What a joke.
We need genuine Arab voices for peace. We do not need Arab voices that hide their anti-Semitism by recognizing only the few Jews who do not support Israel. We need Arab voices who, when they say that they support peace, they mean it because they support Israel as well.
Aboud Dandachi is such a voice.
Dandachi lost his house in the Syrian war, and he was forced to flee. He wrote, “Despite my best efforts and most earnest wishes, in the end I could not avoid becoming a refugee, one among millions of other Syrians scattered across the region and the world”. Dandachi now lives temporarily in Turkey.
Before the war started, Dandachi had worked in several positions in the Information Technology (IT) industry in various Gulf countries, and he was ready to settle down back home in Syria. The war disturbed his plan, and he became what he never thought he would become, a refugee dependent on the help of others.
But Dandachi is not just any refugee. Through his writings and interviews, he has become known around the world, especially among Zionists. Dandachi is one of the rare Arabs and Muslims who openly and eloquently speak in support of Israel and Jews. What’s more, he has made his voice heard while still a refugee and while still living in the Middle East.
The UN General Assembly, UNESCO, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon frequently discriminate against Israel, through employing moral relativism. The latter may be succinctly defined as a worldview where “there is no universally valid morality, only moralities plural, each having merely local validity.”
The very existence of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) is an expression of moral relativism. This UN agency was established in 1949 to provide services for 750,000 displaced Palestinian refugees. Two years later the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was founded to “protect refugees and solve refugee problems worldwide.” It would have been commonsense to incorporate UNRWA into this new body, which looks after all other refugees throughout the world. The survival of UNWRA more than six decades later, while UNHCR deals with far larger numbers of refugees from all other countries, thus constitutes an expression of extreme moral relativism.
There are significant additional aspects to this issue. For every other category of refugees in the world, as dictated by the 1951 UN Convention on the Status of Refugees, refugee status applies to each refugee personally, and cannot be passed down to subsequent generations. Only Palestinian refugee status can be passed down from generation to generation. Because of this mandate, there are currently an estimated 5 million so-called “Palestinian refugees” worldwide.
Based on the UNHCR definition, the actual number of Palestinian refugees is not more than 30,000 -50 000, at most only 1% of the figure currently presented by UNRWA. By implication, UNRWA’s 2014 budget of $1.4 billion dollars, a budget funded by voluntary contributions from UN members, could be shrunk by more than 95%, if the organization were only required to support real refugees.
Mazen Aribe, a Palestinian terrorist killed last Thursday while carrying out a shooting attack near Jerusalem, is a relative of senior Palestinian Authority official Saeb Erekat, Palestinian sources told The Times of Israel on Monday.
Erekat drew the ire of Israeli officials when he was seen in photos published in Palestinian media showing him paying a condolence visit to Aribe’s family on Saturday.
Israeli PM spokesman Ofir Gendelman tweeted on Saturday that the Erekat condolence visit shows the “PA’s clear support for attacks on Israelis.”
A later tweet shows pictures depicting Aribe’s body carried by PA security forces in what he described as a “military funeral” procession.
Erekat said in response he would continue to back Aribe.
“I am honored to offer my condolences… on the martyrdom of our son Mazen.”
But on Monday, Palestinian Authority sources seemed to backtrack on Erekat’s previous statements, saying Erekat’s visit to the Aribe family home was not an ideological statement, but a simple act of consoling members of his extended family.
It did not reflect support for Aribe’s actions, the sources said.
The London School of Economics reportedly removed a blog post from its website by an Australian academic claiming Zionism to be an ideology based on concepts of racial superiority.
LSE decided to take the post down because it failed to comply with “editorial guidelines,” according to a statement published by the Jewish Chronicle, which reported extensively on Notre Dame University Mideast politics professor Dr. Sandra Nasr’s blog post since its publication last week.
The statement, according to the UK JC, read:
LSE has received a number of complaints regarding a recent post on the student-led Human Rights blog. The post was by a non-LSE academic and, as noted on the blog, the views expressed were by the author alone.
With all academic engagement, the School will seek to balance the concerns of research quality, academic freedom and reputation. LSE uses blogs, among other channels, to offer a platform for academic discussion on often contentious and emotive topics. The School has firm guidelines on blog posts and editorial procedure.
Regretfully, editorial guidelines were not followed in this instance. The blog post has now been taken down.
While The Algemeiner did not manage to see Nasr’s post prior to its removal, a segment was copied and pasted to the Islamic blog called “Rehmat’s World.” The paragraph described Zionism as a colonialist enterprise based on divine instruction, as derived from the Old Testament.
An article in Foreign Policy magazine states that 40 percent of women in the West Bank have had abortions even though the Palestinian leadership has outlawed it. Many of the women turn to Israel in order to help them avoid the brutal at-home abortion methods they are forced to use, often to prevent themselves from becoming victims of “honor killings.”
A 2007 study conducted by the Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association (PFPPA) and the U.N. Palestinian relief agency UNRWA found that approximately 40 percent of Palestinian women in the West Bank had undergone an abortion, and 26 percent of those abortions were conducted through unsafe, at-home methods.
More and more Palestinian women are turning to at-home abortion methods, including throwing themselves down staircases and inserting sharp instruments into their bodies. One woman interviewed by Foreign Policy magazine was 14-years-old when she was impregnated by her 32-year-old cousin. She jumped off a nine-foot wall belly first and, despite nearly dying, was told by her doctor that she would have to deliver her dead fetus at home because abortion is illegal in the Palestinian territories.
The article states that even though abortion is illegal in most of the Middle East, what sets Palestinian women apart is that they live in such close proximity to Israel, a country where abortion is completely legal, easily accessible, and even government-funded.
The FBI found that rates for hate crimes fell by almost 8% last year, when more than 6,400 hate crimes were reported, compared with nearly 7,000 in 2013. According to the data, 47% of these 2014 hate crimes were motivated by racial prejudice. Crimes motivated by religious and sexual orientation were next, at 18.6% each. These were followed by crimes motivated by ethnicity (11.9%), gender identity (1.8%), disability (1.5%) and gender (0.6%).
Last year, as in previous years, Jews were the most frequent victims of reported crimes targeting members of a religious group. Of the 1,140 reported victims of anti-religious hate crimes, 648, or almost 57%, were Jewish. Looked at another way, of the 1,014 reported anti-religious hate crime incidents (some of which had multiple victims), 609, or slightly more than 60%, targeted Jews.
Where data details submitted by the local law enforcement agencies make it possible, the FBI report identifies perpetrators by race and ethnicity; but not by religion. Of the anti-Jewish hate crime perpetrators whose ethnicity could be identified, 87 were white and 20 were African American. Another 231 of the known offenders were of unknown race.
Muslims were the second most frequent target of anti-religious crimes. They were targeted in 154, or 15.2%, of such reported incidents. These crimes resulted in 184 victims, or 16.1% of the total.
The situation in the Middle East today—where the current state order is being challenged by upheavals that began with the so-called Arab Spring and deteriorated into violence in and between several states—raises the question of whether this situation is conducive to the initiation of regional security dialogue as a means of helping to enhance security and restore stability. In one sense, the breakdown in security underscores the need to create new understandings and mechanisms, and the first step is regional security dialogue. Indeed, as states feel increasingly vulnerable in the face of the intensifying violence it is perhaps a particularly opportune moment to begin seriously considering regional discussions. In another sense, however, it might be the worst possible time to entertain such ideas, given the chaos in a number of regional states, especially Iraq and Syria. And the failed-state status of Libya raises the question of who would even be the relevant participant in such a dialogue.
Complicating the situation further is the complex matrix of state and sub-state interests that has emerged across the Middle East over the past few years. Regional upheaval has exacerbated tensions and disputes between pragmatic Sunni Arab states and Iran and its proxies, as well as between these states and Salafi-jihadist organizations like Al Qaeda and ISIS. These states are feeling weaker also due to internal tensions. But superimposed on this dynamic are the rivalries among the Sunni states themselves. Turkey, for example, cooperates with Saudi Arabia and Qatar in fighting Assad and ISIS, but is in conflict with Egypt over the treatment of the Muslim Brotherhood and related factions.
Four Syrian soldiers were killed and 13 injured when a bombing raid by the US-led coalition hit an army camp in the east of the country, a monitor said on Monday. The US-led coalition denied the report.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the air raid Sunday “by the international coalition” hit the camp in the west of Deir Ezzor province, “around two kilometers from an area controlled by the Islamic State group.”
The Observatory said it was the first time that a strike from the US-led coalition had killed Syrian government troops.
“Regime forces have never previously been hit by raids from the international coalition, which was targeting jihadist bases and oil tankers in Deir Ezzor,” Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said.
The Assad regime confirmed the airstrikes on its forces, calling them “an act of aggression.”
The US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group denied its planes carried out such airstrikes.
“We’ve seen those Syrian reports but we did not conduct any strikes in that part of Deir Ezzor yesterday. So we see no evidence,” said Colonel Steve Warren, spokesman for the coalition.
Israeli remained officially silent on Sunday over reports from last week that Iran will send fighter jets to Syria to take part in Russian air strikes against rebel organizations.
According to an unconfirmed report in the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Rai, two Iranian squadrons of Sukhoi fighter jets will be based in the Western Syrian city of Homs.
Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror, former national security adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, didn’t rule out the possibility that Iran would be carrying out air activity in Israel’s immediate vicinity.
“Anything can happen,” he told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday. Israel would “not have to respond so long as the Iranian jets don’t interfere with us. We are free to dislike it, but if they don’t interfere with us, they can bomb their targets. It doesn’t require a change of course on our part,” said Amidror, a senior fellow at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.
Amidror was chief intelligence officer of the IDF Northern Command, and served as director of the Intelligence Analysis Division in the IDF’s Military Intelligence Directorate.
The Iranian planes, he said, do not pose a significant aerial threat to Israel, and could not challenge Israeli air superiority in any location. If, on the other hand, the jets act to threaten Israel or its air activities, the Israel Air Force “will have to shoot them down. There would be no hesitation here,” he added.
Elliott Abrams: Iran’s refusal to come clean
Where does that leave us? First, we see that all the Iranian propaganda about never, ever building a weapon, and about the mysterious “fatwa” barring Iran from having a nuclear weapon, was a pack of lies. They were working on a weapon as recently as 2009. Second, we see that the nuclear deal, however weak its terms, will not in any event be enforced. Read again those words from our top negotiators, Kerry and Sherman. If those demands on Iran have been abandoned, which will be next?
The treatment of the famous PMDs, the “possible military dimensions” of Iran’s nuclear work, has now been abandoned — and the IAEA apparently was not even allowed to speak with the head of the program, the Iranian official Mohsen Fakrizadeh. The lesson this teaches Iran is that the United States, at least under this administration, has too much invested in the agreement to demand full Iranian compliance with it.
There are other implications, as The Times suggested:
“Iran’s refusal to cooperate on central points could set a dangerous precedent as the United Nations agency tries to convince other countries with nuclear technology that they must fully answer queries to determine if they have a secret weapons program.”
Quite right. The deal itself is bad enough, but a failure even to enforce it means the likelihood of nuclear proliferation has risen even further.
Iran is rejecting the part in the recent report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which states it tried to build nuclear weapons in the past, its envoy to the UN agency said Saturday, according to Press TV.
The ambassador, Reza Najafi, said the report has “certain negative points,” including allegations about some studies pertaining to the development of nuclear weapons.
He emphasized that the report in general indicates no diversion in Iran’s nuclear activities and in fact rejects all allegations made over the past 12 years about Tehran’s intention to make a nuclear bomb, but said that certain claims in the report are not accepted.
The report, issued last Wednesday, found that the Islamic Republic attempted to develop nuclear weapons in the past, and that most of the dedicated work took place before 2003, though some parts continued until 2009.
Iran’s senior nuclear negotiator later claimed that the report, despite determining Iran had tried to develop nuclear weapons, showed Iran’s nuclear program was “peaceful”.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon has issued a stark warning about a post-nuclear deal regional reality in which Iran’s weapons industry will receive a significant cash boost from sanctions relief to mass produce advanced arms for Iranian proxies, chief among them Hezbollah.
Speaking in Washington on Thursday to US Senators John McCain and Jack Reed from the Senate Armed Services Committee, and later with senators from the Committee on Foreign Relations, the defense minister said, “The Iranian weapon industry is very serious, and very advanced.
“It is not stopping in its attempts to develop advanced weapons that threaten not only Israel, but also other regional states and beyond the region. Now, thanks to the large quantity of money that will begin flowing to it after the lifting of the sanctions, it will begin manufacturing much more high-quality weapons, and will arm terrorist organizations in the region, particularly Hezbollah, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.”
Ya’alon said Iran is working “tirelessly to arm Hezbollah with advanced weapons,” saying, “In Gaza, there is a local arms industry that manufactures rockets, drones and other weapons, and it is based on Iranian knowledge and instructions.”
Israeli United Nations Ambassador Danny Danon has hailed the passage of an Israeli-sponsored bill at the UN, in defiance of massive concerted opposition from the Arab bloc.
“It’s a special day in the UN” for Israel, Danon told Arutz Sheva.
“It is very important to us,” he said of the successful initiative which, although pertaining to the seemingly innocuous topic of agricultural technology for sustainable development, represents a major diplomatic victory for the Jewish state in a usually hostile arena.
“It was not easy. We saw the Arab countries, (including) the Palestinian delegation, fight against the resolution – but we prevailed.”
Danon said the victory showed that despite the existence of a fierce anti-Israel bias at the General Assembly, there was still hope for Israel at the UN. “We passed that resolution, and it showed that we can sometimes even win in the UN.”
“Many, many states attack Israel in every committee, on every issue – but we are strong, standing firm and tall here in front of them, telling the truth to the nations,” he continued.
Israel appointed Dani Dayan ambassador to Brazil two months ago, but Brasilia has yet to reply or approve the official Israeli request, Army Radio reported Sunday morning.
While Jerusalem hopes the Brazilian government will approve the appointment and that the delay is only technical, concern has spread within the Foreign Ministry that the Brazilians do not plan to respond to the request, effectively quashing the appointment.
Immediately after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced his intentions to appoint the former Yesha Council chairman to the post last August, opposition from the Left surfaced.
Three former Israeli ambassadors even approached the government of Brazil, through the Brazilian ambassadors in Israel and the Palestinian Authority, demanding that Brasilia reject Dayan’s appointment.
According to the former envoys, Brazil allowing Dayan to serve as Israeli ambassador in its territory would give international legitimacy to the “settlement enterprise” in Judea and Samaria.
Last week the President of the National Union of Students made a statement of solidarity for countries who have fallen victim to terror. Here is the list of countries she mentioned:
France, Nigeria, Lebanon, Turkey, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Kenya, Palestine, and Mali.
Presumably Palestinians are victims of Israeli terror. Israel…not a mention.
Bearing in mind Israel’s history of falling victim to terror attacks both inside and outside her own borders omitting Israel from such a list is pretty shocking even to those familiar with general malaise which has overtaken NUS in recent years. Fortunately Jewish students on campus who are offended by this have the Union of Jewish students (UJS) to raise concerns to the student body on their behalf.
It’s appalling to think that victims of terror are being erased entirely from the collective memory of NUS when it comes to Israel. Is the implication here that Israeli victims of terror got what they deserved? That attacks against Israelis aren’t terror attacks at all?
PreOccupiedTerritory: I Like To Think Of Jews As ‘Those People With No Political Rights’
By Jeremy Ben-Ami, director, J-Street (satire)
You’ve heard me say it many times, and you’ve seen our publicity campaigns: we’re a pro-peace, pro-Israel organization. In practice, that means we suborn our idea of “pro -Israel” to our idea of “peace.” To us, peace means removing Jews from their ancestral heartland so Palestinians can get what we claim is all they want, and recasting Israel itself as a non-Jewish state. In short, I like to think of Jews as, “those people with no political rights.”
My organization is a staunch supporter of national self-determination, if you’re Palestinian. Of course any Palestinian state would have to be Muslim, because, well, that’s what Arab states do (and a few non-Arab ones, such as Iran, Pakistan, and Malaysia). Their faith is an integral part of their ethnicity. No problem. If you’re Israeli, not so fast. A Jewish state would prejudice the non-Jews living there. We couldn’t have that. Israel, yes; Jewish state, no.
In taking that position I am hardly alone. Millions of Palestinians agree that Jews do not constitute a nation, but a religion. That might sound rich coming from a people that only emerged as a coherent political identity in the last ninety years, and were only widely referred to as “Palestinians” fifty years ago, but whom are you going to believe, the facts or my vision? They, and I, are free to wave away the collective identity of Jews, forged over thousands of years, regardless of their individual adherence to religion. We will have to, if the dream of an independent, Muslim Palestine alongside an explicitly not-Jewish Israel is to be achieved. Remember, we’re pro-Israel and pro-peace. If that means redefining Israel to fit what we think would bring peace, that’s fine. It all comes down to Jews not having political rights.
Yesha Council Director-General Shiloh Adler spoke to Arutz Sheva on Monday about a stormy debate held in the Knesset Finance Committee earlier in the day, in which leftist and Arab MKs voiced support of the EU labeling of Jewish products.
While at this stage the EU move only involves labeling Jewish products from Judea, Samaria, eastern Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, Adler warned this is only the first step of a much more harmful process.
“We need to understand that the labeling of products is a step before a boycott (in those regions), and a step before a boycott on the (entire) state of Israel,” said Adler.
He noted that he returned just last week from a visit to Europe as part of a Yesha delegation, where he met with European Parliament President Martin Schulz.
“The process that is occurring in Europe is awful. Last week my wife told me, ‘don’t fly to Belgium, it’s dangerous there.’ I live in Eli, in a neighborhood 300 meters from an Arab village, but in Brussels there are armored vehicles in the streets and a lockdown.”
Students Supporting Israel: When a rally against Islamophobia excluded our campus pro-Israel group
The Muslim Student Association at SDSU drafted a list of demands made to students, the administration, local, state and national leaders, calling for zero tolerance for Islamophobia and concrete measures to be taken to make the campus community a safer place. An astounding 30 student organizations co-signed onto the demands, including Students Supporting Israel, a pro-Israel organization that I am on the board of.
When MSA posted their demands, SSI was one of the first to support the demands made to make our campus a more inclusive environment for marginalized communities. As an organization that acutely understands the history of violence that results from the demonization present in Islamophobic speech, SSI explicitly showed our solidarity and expressed our desire to co-sign the document against Islamophobia. Many of our members attended the rallies, shouted their support and prayed with their fellow students.
However, it became aware to SSI that members of the pro-Palestinian group, Students for Justice in Palestine, who took part in organizing the event had rejected SSI’s signature. Out of the over 30 organizations that had signed the document, SSI was the only organization to be excluded from the statement. When asked why SSI was excluded from the statement, the response was simple and damning: “It didn’t serve the interests of the community.”
The New York Police Department has ruled that a series of arsons targeting a Jewish neighborhood in Queens are not hate crimes, the New York Jewish Week reported.
Police have identified a suspect believed responsible for at least six of the fires at under-construction homes owned by Bukharian Jews in Forest Hills as a resident of the neighborhood.
However, the NYPD says the motivation behind the fires was not anti-Semitism, but the arsonist’s opposition to new construction in the area.
The arsons have not injured anyone, though they caused damage to the homes and also sometimes spread to neighboring houses.
Forest Hills and its surrounding areas are home to approximately 35,000 Bukharians – Jews who hail from Uzbekistan and Tajikstan.
The trial of a 93-year-old former SS guard accused of being an accessory to the murder of at least 170,000 people at the Nazi death camp Auschwitz will open in mid-February, a court spokeswoman said on Monday.
The court in the western town of Detmold took the case against the man known as Reinhold H. who lives in the neighboring village of Lippe.
The news came after a German court last week permitted the trial of another German man, aged 95, accused of being an accessory to the murder of at least 3,681 people at Auschwitz-Birkenau.
The higher court of Rostock in northern Germany deemed Hubert Z. fit for trial, overruling a previous decision by a lower court that considered him too fragile for a legal process.
H., whose last name is confidential under German privacy laws, served at the same camp between January 1943 and June 1944.
US congressional leaders have protested the construction of a monument in Hungary to a government minister who ordered the deaths of some 500,000 Jews during the Holocaust.
The co-chairs of the US House Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Anti-Semitism on Friday sent a letter to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban protesting the monument to Balint Homan, a minister in Hungary in the 1930s and 1940s. Homan participated in drafting legislation in 1938 and 1939 that restricted the rights of Hungarian Jews, and in 1944 he called for their deportation.
Some 420,000 Hungarian Jews were deported to Auschwitz in the summer of 1944.
The life-size bronze statue of Homan, largely funded by the Hungarian government, is scheduled to be unveiled this month in the city of Szekesfehervar.
The committee in its letter wrote of its “deep concern” about the statue, saying Homan “spearheaded Hungary’s anti-Jewish legislation and paved the way for deportations of and atrocities against Hungarian Jews during the Holocaust.”
From now on, access to smartphone technology for the disabled is going to be a lot easier. Thanks to a joint effort with Beit Issie Shapiro and Google, Sesame Enable, the inventor of the first smartphone designed for people who are largely paralyzed, is offering a free device to anyone who needs it.
“It’s rare that an initiative can address the needs of an entire cohort,” says Sesame Enable CEO and co-founder Oded Ben Dov. “We are thrilled to improve the lives of so many people who have until now been shut out of the smartphone revolution. The Sesame Phone empowers people with limited or no use of their hands to gain independence and privacy and become digitally connected – things many of us take for granted in the digital age.”
The device is designed for individuals with ALS and other debilitating diseases, in which victims are unable to move their limbs.
Internationally recognized and the winner of major awards – including a million-dollar award presented by US cellphone firm Verizon last year – the Sesame Enable device uses voice commands and gestures – very slight ones – to control the device. The Sesame phone is a specially rigged Nexus 5 smartphone that includes the Sesame software system – an adjustment of the Nexus device’s Android operating system – which takes control of the device, with voice commands used to open up applications, make calls, etc.
Out of all the technology areas Israel and China have worked on together over the past several years – from mobile technology to agriculture and water to processors and communications technology – health care is emerging as the most important, both in terms of the levels of investment, and benefitting the residents of China. In 2013, Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical purchased 95% of Israel’s Alma Laser, a maker of medical laser devices, for some $220 million, and in 2014 Fosun led a a round of Chinese investment in Israel’s Check-Cap, developer of technology that allows non-invasive colon cancer screening. Also last year, Chinese pharmaceutical giant WuXi PharmaTech, one of the world’s largest medical research companies, opened an office in Israel, in order to reach Israeli customers, and, with help from VC firm Pontifax, to seek out promising investments in the biotech and medical devices spheres.
And out of all the medical technologies Israel produces, the need for a treatment for diabetes is perhaps the most acute. A 2013 Journal of the American Medical Association study estimated that there were 113.9 million Chinese with diabetes, as well as a whopping 493 million with pre-diabetes – and according to US government figures, as many as a third of those people are likely to develop the disease itself.
For those who do contract diabetes, Oramed specializes in developing orally ingestible versions of drugs that are usually administered by injection – such as insulin, the first drug the company has developed (others are in the pipeline, Oramed said).
The company’s theory (borne out, it says, by several studies) is that taking a medicine like insulin orally, in pill form, will make it much more likely that patients will comply with doctors’ orders to take their meds.
Antibiotics, disinfectants and detergents are proving no match for biofilm, the sticky cluster of microbes that can form on everything from household surfaces to medical implants and devices.
A reported 75 percent of healthcare-associated infections – which cause 99,000 deaths every year in the United States alone — can be traced to biofilm on devices such as catheters, ventilators and endotracheal tubes.
Within the next 24 months, the Israeli company NanoLock expects to win regulatory clearance for its first two products embedded with a novel antimicrobial nanomaterial developed in the lab of Prof. Ervin Weiss, former head of prosthodontics at the Hebrew University Hadassah School of Dental Medicine in Jerusalem and current dean of the Tel Aviv University dental school.
Dental materials are NanoLock’s first priority and from there the sky’s the limit, depending on the needs of strategic partners for the Kfar Saba-based company.
Israeli event-management platform Bizzabo recently won “Best Event Management Software” and “Favorite Event Technology Supplier – The People’s Choice Award” at this year’s Event Tech Awards in London.
“This year’s event technology awards saw the best of the best recognized for the great achievements, development and work they had delivered for the wider events sector in 2015,” said Adam Parry, commercial director of Event Tech Live.
“The competition and caliber of this year’s entries were of the highest standard, being shortlisted is an achievement in itself however those who won on the night should be especially proud. Bizzabo picking up two awards shows how hard the team is working to make a difference within the sector and they are the people’s choice for an all in one event management platform,” said Parry.
Bizzabo says it is the first in its space to introduce an integrated event management system for mid-sized events. The Israeli company’s all-in-one “event success” platform offers event planners a website builder, registration management, advanced analytics, networking tools and event app.
Three Israeli startups recently won major awards that will help them make their way to the market.
AseptoRay won first place in the Cleantech Open Global Ideas program on November 24 in Redwood City, California, for its proprietary technology to deactivate bacteria in all liquids. This next-gen solution increases energy efficiency in pasteurization, the most common and energy-consuming step in beverage manufacturing. The company is headquartered in Ma’alot.
Smart water management at home
BwareIT won a $50,000 first-place prize in the Unilever Innovation Foundry “Ideas for Life” competition in London on November 27.
Based in Jerusalem and incubated in the European Commission’s IoT accelerator, BwareIT is developing the SmartH2O home water meter that attaches to sink, shower or garden hose and sends data to a smartphone app to illustrate exactly how much water your household is using, how long the water is running and at what temperature, and how much it’s costing you. The app also alerts to leakage and shows how your water usage compares with the average in your region or country.
Review: Saul David, ‘Operation Thunderbolt: Flight 139 and the Raid on Entebbe Airport, The Most Audacious Hostage Rescue Mission in History’
Operation Thunderbolt, in which Israeli commandos stormed a Ugandan airport terminal in 1976 to rescue hostages hijacked on an Air France flight, remains what Max Hastings calls “the high water mark of Israel’s standing in the world.” In his new book on the rescue mission, Saul David provides a fast-paced, suspenseful account of those tense summer days. While there have been several books (and movies) about the operation, this one draws on new sources and explores the motivations of the terrorists more deeply than earlier efforts.
Each chapter covers a single day over an eight-day period, from hijacking to rescue. Within each chapter the events are organized down to the hour, quarter-hour, and sometimes to the minute.
The rescue itself began when four C-130 Hercules aircraft, crammed with 91 commandos and paratroopers from Sayeret Matkal, otherwise known as “the Unit,” flew a hazardous 2,500 miles from Israel to Entebbe Airport. As the first Hercules landed, the ramp lowered and out drove Israeli commandos. They made their way past the cordon of Ugandan soldiers using a black Mercedes and Land Rovers—the typical vehicles used to shuttle around high-ranking Ugandan government officials. Once they reached the terminal where the hostages were held, they shot the terrorists, freed the hostages, and blew up 11 Russian MiGs.
From the start of the operation to the moment when the first Hercules took off with its cargo of 101 hostages—including dead and wounded—51 minutes elapsed. All this was carried out by soldiers who had only 18 hours of practice.
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