Thursday, January 26, 2017

Israel: Inspiring people across the globe

The start up nation , Israel continues to inspire and influence people across the world

Last year, Abhinav Kukreja, Anish Prabhu and Aryaman Dalmia, all students at  UC Berkeley students launched  “Moonshot”, a company dedicated to connecting startups in India with resources in Silicon Valley.

The accelerator program was designed to help connect startups in India with interns, mentors and investors.

Aryaman Dalmia, in the student newspaper at UC Berkeley, the Daily Cal mentioned

...that he was inspired by Israel’s connections with U.S. companies. He said Israel does not have many domestic investors, but because of outside investment from the United States, Israeli companies have funding. He said if Israel can do this successfully, India should be able to do it as well.

Read all about it here

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Israel. Still the only democracy in the Middle East

The Economist Intelligence Unit's Democracy Index rates 167 countries scored on a scale of 0 to 10 based on 60 indicators

In 2016, Israel was ranked as a flawed democracy,  with scores increasing steadily over the past few years.

The Palestinian  territories remain in free-fall, without an election in sight.

Israel. Still the only democracy in the Middle east.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Linda Sarsour gets burned on Twitter

Check out this interchange on Twitter, documented by the indomitable Chloe Valdary

Linda Sarsour, one of the co-organizers of this weekend's Woman's march is touting Saudi Arabia as a feminist, um, Mecca.

She tweets "10 weeks of PAID maternity leave in Saudi Arabia. Yes paid. And ur worrying about women driving. Puts us to shame"

In response, Israeli Dani Dayan tweets back "Well in Israel women enjoy 14 weeks of PAID maternity leave AND drive".


Friday, January 20, 2017

Anti-Trump protests hijacked by Israel- haters. Could have seen that coming.

Via Emunah

First the Palestinians  hijacked airplanes. Now they hijack agendas.

Its happening again.

We saw this with first with the local anti-war movement. We saw it with Occupy and with Black Lives Matter. And we are seeing it with the anti-Trump protests, as the San Francisco Israeli consulate is targeted in this afternoon’s protest.

San Francisco Israeli Consulate targeted  in anti-Trump protests 

Palestinian Flag at anti-Trump protest in San Francisco

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

US Israel Technology event in San Francisco

Check out what the start up nation has to offer, and see the hottest examples of Israeli innovation close to home.

The 23th 'US – ISRAEL Technology event' will be held on February 2, 2017, at the San Francisco offices of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman 4 Embarcadero Center 22nd Floor San Francisco

The announcement follows:

When six of the ten companies on Forbes’ “Top 10 Health Tech Changing the World” are Israeli, it’s fair to say that Israel is not only the Startup Nation, but the Health Tech Nation as well. Israeli technologies overwhelmed the list not only with the variety of life-saving applications, but their ingenious and innovative way of doing so as well

According to the PwC Israel 2015 Hi-Tech Exit Report, mergers and acquisitions accounted for $7.2 billion in 2015, 44 per cent more than the preceding year. Total initial public offerings in the life science sector went up from $1.3 billion in 2013 to $3.6 billion last year

Israel boasts the world’s highest concentration of high-tech startups per head and almost 1,000 new companies are launched there every year*. Venture investments in Israel-based companies have not only increased in the number of deals – with a near 40% rise quarter on quarter, but they have more than tripled the total amount invested in Q1 of 2015.

This dramatic rise in investment has fueled an Israeli startups and has firmly established the region as one of the world's hottest centers for online and internet technology innovation and development.

Selected delegates will present the latest in Israeli MedTech technology : We expect the upcoming event to provide a great opportunity to identify breakthrough solutions.

1# Session
09:00 – 09:15 Registration & Networking
09:15 – 09:30 Welcome remarks
Mr. Michael J. Torosian, Partner - Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
Mr. David Hava, CEO - MIW
09:30 – 10:00 Israeli companies presentations
10:00 – 12:00 One-to-one meetings

2# Session
12:00 – 12:15 Registration & Networking
12:15 – 12:30 Welcome remarks
Mr. Michael J. Torosian, Partner - Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
Mr. David Hava, CEO - MIW
12:15 – 12:30 Israeli companies presentations
12:30 – 15:00 One-to-one meetings
15:00 End

Registration information is available here

Anti-Semitic flyers found in UC Bekeley printers and fax machines. Again.

Over the weekend, UC Berkeley computers, printers and faxes throughout the campus were found with flyers described as "anti-Semitic and homophobic". The flyers included swastikas and pro-Nazi propaganda.

Because the sender exploited open source printers and fax machines that were legally accessed via the internet and the machines were not hacked,  this act is not considered a hate crime. There was a similar incident in March of 2016 targeting Berkeley and other universities across the country.

UC police Sgt. Sabrina Reich  speaking to the East Bay Times  said that UC’s Internet Services and Technology Department has been communicating with the offices and departments on campus to “provide information on how to update the settings on (the machines) so they can be better secured on the network.”

“This is not something we welcome in our community,”

In the UC Berkeley student paper, the Daily Cal, Campus spokesperson Roqua Montez stated  “The UCPD was immediately called and took whatever info they could find about who could be behind this...The next step was to work with the IT department to patch those vulnerabilities."

Please contact the campus police at 510-642-6760 if you have any information about the origins of the flyers.

Bomb Threats force evacuations at 2 Bay area Jewish institutions

The Osher Marin Jewish Community Center in San Rafael was evacuated after it received a bomb threat at 8:45 this morning.  It was one of 32 Jewish institutions in 16 states threatened today. The Ronald C. Wornick Jewish Day School in Foster City was also targeted.   Today's threats follow a January 9th wave of 16 bomb threats also directed towards Jewish community institutions.

Occupants of the San Pedro Road Jewish Community Center were taken to a nearby Marin School. Other nearby schools were placed on lockdown as a precaution.

Similar bomb threats called in today to Jewish community centers, schools and other institutions in Miami; Edison, New Jersey; Cincinnati and Alabama,  Albany, New York, Nashville; suburban Boston and Detroit; West Hartford, Connecticut, and Orlando.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists at it again

Via Emunah:

The Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists is intent on proving that the fetid intersection where the hard left and the hard right meet is anti-Semitism. They'll be hosting anti-Israel activist Alison Weir for a talk on....wait for Israel activism. Alison's appearance at the BFUU  is part of a rather disturbing pattern of behavior at the fellowship, which has previously hosted holocaust denier and 9/11 truther  Ken O'Keefe  (We didn't know he was anti-Semitic. Really we didn't!) and Gilad Atzmon (We didn't know he was anti-Semitic! Really, we didn't!) 

Alison Weir is the former editor of a Marin penny-saver, who has catapulted 2 trips to the Mid-east into a career.  She is the executive director of If Americans Knew, run out of her Richmond home, and president of the Council for the National Interest 

Alison Weir is a controversial figure, even among her peers. Groups as extreme as Jewish Voice for Peace and Students for Justice in Palestine have publicly distanced themselves from her. If Americans Knew has been condemned for furthering anti-Semitism by the Anti-Defamation League, Jewish Voice for Peace, and the U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation.

From Tablet:

Weir earned this remarkable wall-to-wall opprobrium by promoting anti-Semitic myths, working with white supremacists, and publishing anti-Jewish content on IAK’s web site. Among other exploits:
  Weir published an original blog post on her personal site which justified anti-Semitism by labeling the Jewish “race” as “an object of hatred to all the peoples among whom it has established itself,” In the words of the U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation, the piece “effectively blam[ed] Jews for anti-Semitism.”
  Weir has not only promoted the conspiracy theory that Israel harvests the organs of Palestinians—an update of the medieval blood libel—but has actually asserted the accuracy of the original blood libel itself, which accused Jews of ritually murdering Christian children to use their blood in Passover matzo. (Weir cited the discredited and since withdrawn research of a Jewish writer.)
  Weir has worked repeatedly with white supremacists, while never challenging their bigoted claims. For instance, in a series of appearances on the radio show of white supremacist and Holocaust denier Clayton Douglas, Weir dismissed allegations that he was a racist, did not challenge his repeated assertions of Jewish control of the world, and did not protest when he played a speech by former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke. Writes the U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation, “Weir made little to no effort to challenge, confront, or rebut any of these views; on the contrary, she continued to appear on the show.”
  Weir has also published repeatedly at the American Free Press, a white supremacist anti-Semitic site that is designated as a hate outlet by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
For these actions and others, both Jewish Voice for Peace and the U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation severed ties with Weir in July 2015. (Though the same cannot be said for many other anti-Israel activists, who continue to defend and even honor Weir.)
From Political Research Associates: Challenging the Right: Advancing Social justice

IAK’s criticisms of Zionism and Israel dovetail with traditional antisemitic narratives, and Weir often cites antisemitic writers and publications as her sources. When asked if the work of antisemitic authors including Israel Shamir, Gilad Atzmon, and Kevin MacDonald were truly legitimate, she replied, “Yes. I suggest people read their work for themselves.”

Much of Alison's past presentations are based on a statistical study she personally undertook, alleging bias in reporting on Israeli and Palestinian dead. Her analysis has been described as "amateurish" and "flawed", with  media watchdog CAMERA concluding 

"Weir's pseudoscientific study and absurd conclusions are not so surprising in light of her history of distortion."

Weir's study claims

 "the Times reported Israeli deaths at rates up to seven to ten times greater than Palestinian deaths," and that this discrepancy is "based on the ethnicity of the person killed."  and that "Times reporting regularly gave readers the impression that equal numbers of people on both sides were being killed – or that more Israelis were being killed," and that "the majority of Palestinian deaths ... are never reported by the Times at all."

However, according to CAMERA:

The bulk of the study is based only on the headline and first paragraph – often just one sentence – of New York Times news reports, and completely ignores the remaining text of the articles. In other words, most of the news reports condemned by the study are not even read.

In an op-ed in the April 4, 2008  Greenwich Citizen,  Alison Weir described Judaism as  "such a ruthless and supremacist faith".

Information on Alison Weir's extremist conspiratorial views are widely available on the Web. Her facebook page, and those of If Americans Knew are filled with anti-Semitic imagery, conspiracy theories and classic Jew-hate 
Study of New York Times Coverage Severely Flawed

Alison Weir posing with convicted Palestinian terrorist Rasmea Odeh
Will the Berkeley fellowship of Unitarian Universalists still claim they didn't know?
Event details:
Thursday, February 16 at 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM PST
Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists
1924 Cedar Street, Berkeley, CA 
(Corner of Cedar St and Bonita Ave)

This talk is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the Social Justice Committee of the Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Ari Lesser sings about Martin Luther King.

Check out this new song from Ari Lesser in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It acknowledges the close bond between the Jewish and black people and the parallels of their history.

To read more about Jewish-Black relations, check out the Jewish Virtual Library 

Years ago, John Lewis described Dr.Kings relationship with the Jewish people in an article published in the San Francisco Chronicle.

He wrote:

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. understood the meaning of discrimination and oppression. He sought ways to achieve liberation and peace, and he thus understood that a special relationship exists between African Americans and American Jews.
This message was true in his time and is true today.
He knew that both peoples were uprooted involuntarily from their homelands. He knew that both peoples were shaped by the tragic experience of slavery. He knew that both peoples were forced to live in ghettoes, victims of segregation.
He knew that both peoples were subject to laws passed with the particular intent of oppressing them simply because they were Jewish or black. He knew that both peoples have been subjected to oppression and genocide on a level unprecedented in history.
King understood how important it is not to stand by in the face of injustice. He understood the cry, "Let my people go."
Long before the plight of the Jews in the Soviet Union was on the front pages, he raised his voice. "I cannot stand idly by, even though I happen to live in the United States and even though I happen to be an American Negro and not be concerned about what happens to the Jews in Soviet Russia. For what happens to them happens to me and you, and we must be concerned."
During his lifetime King witnessed the birth of Israel and the continuing struggle to build a nation. He consistently reiterated his stand on the Israel- Arab conflict, stating "Israel's right to exist as a state in security is uncontestable." It was no accident that King emphasized "security" in his statements on the Middle East.
On March 25, 1968, less than two weeks before his tragic death, he spoke out with clarity and directness stating, "peace for Israel means security, and we must stand with all our might to protect its right to exist, its territorial integrity. I see Israel as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy. Peace for Israel means security and that security must be a reality."
During the recent U.N. Conference on Racism held in Durban, South Africa, we were all shocked by the attacks on Jews, Israel and Zionism. The United States of America stood up against these vicious attacks.
Once again, the words of King ran through my memory, "I solemnly pledge to do my utmost to uphold the fair name of the Jews -- because bigotry in any form is an affront to us all."
During an appearance at Harvard University shortly before his death, a student stood up and asked King to address himself to the issue of Zionism. The question was clearly hostile. King responded, "When people criticize Zionists they mean Jews, you are talking anti-Semitism."
King taught us many lessons. As turbulence continues to grip the Middle East, his words should continue to serve as our guide. I am convinced that were he alive today he would speak clearly calling for an end to the violence between Israelis and Arabs.
He would call upon his fellow Nobel Peace Prize winner, Yasser Arafat, to fulfill the dream of peace and do all that is within his power to stop the violence.
He would urge continuing negotiations to reduce tensions and bring about the first steps toward genuine peace.
King had a dream of an "oasis of brotherhood and democracy" in the Middle East.
As we celebrate his life and legacy, let us work for the day when Israelis and Palestinians, Jews and Muslims, will be able to sit in peace "under his vine and fig tree and none shall make him afraid."

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Harper's Bazaar: Israel is one of 2017's "Best Places to travel"

Attempts to isolate Israel appear to be failing.

Israel has made  Harper’s Bazaar  “Best places to travel in 2017" list

Start your trip in the bustling-metropolis-meets-beach-town of Tel Aviv, but then make sure to explore all that this country has to offer. It would be an unfortunate mistake to fearfully paint this country's complicated politics as war-torn. Don't be fooled; its vibrant culture, phenomenal food scene, historic landmarks, beaches and endlessly impressive hotels are too much of a draw to ignore. Be sure to tour the shuks (markets) and the historic sites in Jerusalem–a trip to Israel is definitely not complete without a visit to the Kotel, the Wailing Wall. (When you visit, cover up as you would any temple–it's a place of prayer). While in town, be sure to enjoy the food; the delicious and dynamic scene at Mahane Yehuda is not to be missed. 

Then, choose your own adventure: head north to experience jeep rides and hikes in the mountains of the Golan, explore Tel Aviv and Jaffa's vibrant food, arts and cultural scene, head to the world-renowned Dead Sea spas in the desert or to Eilat for its hippie, beach vibes. Don't get overwhelmed by the various experiences this country has to offer–you may want to spend 1-2 weeks here to soak it all in, but its size rivals that of New Jersey. If you're looking to be strategic in planning out the right amount of time in each city, consult an expert like Travel Composer (Israel's premiere luxury trip planner) who can also advise on attaching a visit to  Jordan (and if you do, Petra is a must) and/or Egypt, which should also be on your bucket list.

Where to Stay: Israel's ever-evolving food scene is part-in-parcel of its expanding hospitality industry–which is no longer centric to Tel Aviv. The King David Hotel is the unrivaled top of the heap in Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv's boutique hotel The Norman is redefining style and luxury in a culture that is inherently laid-back in vibe. The Efendi Hotel in Akko, an untapped area of the country but well worth a visit, feels like a mix of Moroccan, Latin and authentically Israeli styles with its low-key feel and eclectic décor. When in the desert, the Hotel Beresheet in Mitzpe Ramon is the place to book. Located 2,600 feet (800 meters) above sea level on sky-high cliffs that slope down into the desert lands of the Ramon crater, this luxury resort-meets-natural-phenomenon is the kind of experience that will have you wanting to stay forever.

Check out the whole list here

Can you visualize the BDS holes rocking quietly in a dark corner of Mom's basement, muttering "but, but, but...the occupation...."?

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Monday, January 9, 2017

Germany. In Solidarity with Israel

The famed Brandenburg Gate in Berlin is emblazoned with an Israeli flag,  in solidarity with four victims of yesterday's Palestinian terror in Jerusalem. 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Truck Ramming Attack in Jerusalem

A Palestinian terrorist rammed his truck into a group of soldiers near the Armon Hanatziv promenade in Jerusalem today. Three female soldiers and one male soldier, all in their early 20s were killed, and 18 others were wounded. The names of those killed are Yael Yekutiel, 20, Shir Hajaj, 22, Shira Tzur, 20, and Erez Orbach, 20.

The murderer in todays Jerusalem attack has been identified as Fadi al-Qunbar, the 28 year old father of 3.

In an interview with the Quds News Network Qunbar’s sister declared “God chose him for this martyrdom. Thank God. We are patient and we thank God for this… it is the most beautiful martyrdom.”

Palestinians celebrated the attack by passing out sweets.

Although security camera footage of the attack shows the truck driver plowing his vehicle into a group of IDF soldiers, hitting them and then backing up and running over them again,  Ali Abunimah of the Electronic Intifada tweeted

 All over Arab social media, posts were made mocking the dead, and celebrating the murders.

There was worldwide condemnation of similar attacks in Nice, France and in Germany.  There are no Je Suis Jerusalem hashtags now. The world is silent when Jews are killed.