Saturday, February 08, 2014

02/07 Links Pt2: Israel is...By Natalie Portman; The PA’s Self-Inflicted Financial Wounds

Elder of Ziyon


Chloe Valdary: Race & politics: From the classroom to the UN
The professor’s lesson plans include scholarly documents written by academics who purport to show that every form of inequality is unjust and proof positive of the racial hierarchy plaguing society today. Historical figures like Che Guevara and Lenin are praised; their crimes against humanity obfuscated because they allegedly represent the great fight against “the system”–which is always dominated by the white colonialist capitalist. Terrorists who lob bombs at buses full of children are depicted as freedom fighters who simply wanted to get a break from the white /capitalist man. And that tired line that nonwhites can never be called racists since they are perpetual victims of the system persists in the professor’s textbooks and syllabi.
Of all the great disputes that plague the world, the Arab-Israeli conflict is perhaps the one that proponents of this ideology obsess over the most. Incessant fixation on the peoples involved, the politics at play, and the absolute necessity of the destruction of Israel as the only pragmatic solution to the conflict are the factors that are discussed by the academics that promote this ideology. Why?
Richard Millett: A day of anti-Israel hatred and Holocaust minimization in Parliament
This is how Britain’s Parliament is sometimes so abused. While innocent Syrians are being murdered and left permanently disabled by barrel bombs dropped out of the sky by Assad’s forces certain MPs are offensive about Israel, Israelis and the Holocaust instead.
While Kaufman voted against any intervention in Syria, Qureshi couldn’t even be bothered to turn up to that vote last August!
Last night’s event launching the “Jerusalem Report” was sold out but due to the strike on the London underground not many people could get there.
It must be galling that when so much effort has been put into producing an evening of hatred, lies and Holocaust minimization so few people are there to appreciate your efforts.
Israel committing Holocaust in UK Parliament
There was a debate in the British Parliament on Wednesday during which Members of Parliament (MPs) took turns to attack Israel. There was a literal barrage of filth heaped upon the Jewish state by MPs from Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrats. It must be said that the chair of Conservative Friends of Israel, James Clappison MP was trying to make Israel’s case, though no one was interested in listening.
The woes of the people of Gaza were laid squarely at Israel’s feet and it was “the occupying power’s responsibility” to deal with them. It seems in the British Parliament the IDF never withdrew from the territory. It seems that in the British Parliament the democratically elected government of Hamas cannot be expected to provide any kind of services for Gazans at all. In the British Parliament there is “no greater priority” than dealing with Israel.

Attack on a California Transformer Could Have Been Dress Rehearsal for Terror Attack on Power Grid
An attack on California electrical transformers in April is believed by some to be a practice round for a terrorist attack on the U.S. power grid.
The coordinated attack began outside of Silicon Valley where attackers cut telephone wires at 1 a.m. on April 16, according to the Wall Street Journal.
About half an hour later snipers shot at an electrical substation for about 19 minutes, destroying 17 transformers in the process. The attackers escaped before police arrived and remain at large.
Scarlett Johansson, War Criminal?
No matter what one thinks about the legality or wisdom of these settlements, they are a political reality. Without finding a workable solution for them there will be no sustainable peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians. And EU diplomats know perfectly well that the only workable solution will be for Israel to keep certain settlement blocks and Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem in exchange for territory on the Israeli side. The official EU position actually accepts such mutually agreed land swaps.
Yet the EU's absolutist outlook, as expressed in its guidelines, makes finding such a pragmatic solution more difficult. It turns off average Israelis who don't consider Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem to be criminal operations. It helps harden the position of Palestinians, who know they can always walk away without being blamed. And it fuels an anti-Israel boycott movement that is not interested in a peaceful solution, but motivated by enmity toward Israel.
If the EU wants to remain an honest broker in the peace talks, it needs to stand up now and send two clear messages: It must unequivocally reject the boycott of Israel. And it must warn the Palestinians not to use settlements or any other excuse to break up the peace talks.
CEO: SodaStream Promotes Biblical Peace

The PA’s Self-Inflicted Financial Wounds
"In short, with its own two hands, the PA has driven lucrative businesses out of the West Bank–businesses that would have provided it with much-needed jobs and tax revenue. As Khaled said bitterly, any talk about bolstering the Palestinian economy under such circumstances is “nonsense.”
"Such self-inflicted disasters have nothing to do with Israel, and ordinary Palestinians are honest enough to admit it: As one of SodaStream’s Palestinian employees told the Forward when asked about the claim that “the occupation” thwarts Palestinian development, “I think we have to stop putting all our faults on the Israeli side." (h/t Norman F)
House Bill Would Cut Funding to Backers of Israeli Boycotts
The “Protect Academic Freedom Act,” jointly filed by House Chief Deputy Whip Peter Roskam (R., Ill.) and Rep. Dan Lipinski (D., Ill.) could serve as a deterrent to other groups considering Israeli boycotts.
It would amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 “to prohibit an institution that participates in a boycott of Israeli academic institutions or scholars from being eligible” to receive federal funds, according to text of the legislation.
“Attempts to single out Israel for discriminatory boycotts violates the principle of academic freedom guaranteed by the United States,” the bill states.
Julie Bishop's stance on the legality of Israeli settlements might be right
Julie Bishop had some sensible things to say in Jerusalem, as she broke ranks from a cosy, normally unexamined international consensus: the idea that, by permitting Jewish residence in the West Bank, Israel is violating international law.
Asked if she agrees Jewish communities located beyond the Arab/Israeli 1949 armistice lines are illegal, Bishop replied: "I would like to see which international law has declared them illegal."
Her reply has drawn attacks from perfervid Palestinian spokesmen - such as Palestinian Authority veteran official Saeb Erekat - who cite Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. But what does Article 49 actually say?
"The Core Agenda of the BDS Movement is anti-Semitic": Aussie Jewish Leftist Philip Mendes nails it
Australian academic Philip Mendes, an associate professor at Monash University in Melbourne, is decidedly not a man of the Right. But he does not share the often treacherous attitude of some Jewish Leftists towards Israel. He is, indeed, an expert on the Jewish Left in Australia, having published widely on that topic. Sometimes he has to suffer the slings and arrows of critics on both the Left and the Right of the Jewish community. Nevertheless, he will not be intimidated and is always true to himself.
And now, on the website of the ABC (Australia's equivalent of the BBC, and just as left-liberal in its inclinations) Philip Mendes delivers a nicely argued attack on the BDS Movement and its advocates, chiefly its Aussie mainstays.
Returning Fire: Dutch Jews Boycott Anti-Israel Firm
The Dutch pension asset manager PGGM, one of the largest in the country, announced in early January that it was divesting from five Israeli banks because they finance "Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories." The firm manages about 153 billion euros ($208 billion dollars) in funds.
In response, a group of young Dutch Jewish professionals called Tradition is Our Future (TOF) have have launched a boycott of their own. The group, whose goal is to defend Jewish life in the Netherlands, decided to take action after the PGGM divestment while noting a recent wave of anti-Israel fomentation.
Friedman’s Immoral Intifada
Friedman is right about one thing. The BDS movement must be seen in the same historic context as the previous intifadas and, indeed, all the other Arab wars waged against Israel since its birth in 1948. The purpose of BDS is not to shame Israelis into giving up a bit more land than they’ve already offered the Palestinians, who refused three offers of an independent state including almost all of the West Bank, Gaza, and a share of Jerusalem in 2000, 2001, and 2008. Like mainstream Palestinian nationalism, BDS seeks Israel’s total destruction.
Anti-Semitism isn’t merely an aspect of BDS: it is its essence. Those who single out the one Jewish state in the world for moral opprobrium that they choose not to impose on any other country—including those with monstrous rights violations—is nothing but an expression of bigotry. Those who would deny the Jews what they grant to all others—the right to sovereignty in their homeland and the right to self-defense—are bigots, not human-rights activists. To grant such a movement, as Friedman does, the mantle of the late Nelson Mandela, as the cutting edge of human-rights activism isn’t merely obtuse; it’s an abomination. (h/t Norman F)
Woodside to Invest Up to $2.6 Billion in Israeli Gas Venture
Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL), Australia’s second-largest oil producer, plans to buy a quarter of Israel’s biggest natural gas field for as much as $2.6 billion under a revised agreement as demand rises in the Middle East.
A deal would put Woodside in the middle of Israel’s nascent natural gas industry as the company’s proposed projects in Australia face delays. The original 2012 agreement was held up because of uncertainty over Israel’s export policy, while the venture partners also shifted the project focus from liquefied natural gas to pipeline shipments.
Israel reduces its carbon footprint with wind, solar and natural gas
The first prime minister of Israel, David Ben-Gurion, once had a vision to "make the desert bloom."
Through innovation, arid regions of this country were successfully turned into bountiful farmland. Now Israelis are harvesting another resource: renewable energy.
Israel to Export Flexible Endoscope for Treatment of Acid Reflux
Israeli medical device-maker Medigus will begin selling its flexible endoscope for the treatment of acid reflux this year. The medical product is expected to garner several million dollars in revenue in 2014 alone.
The Medigus device allows for outpatient treatment without surgical intervention. The endoscope is inserted through the mouth and staples the stomach to the wall of the esophagus to close a gap the allows acid to rise up. Physicians can see the procedure as they perform it through a small video camera on the tip of the device as well as an ultrasound machine.
Lexifone seeks to make foreign languages less foreign
Lexifone deploys its technology in the form of an app which is either offered directly by a phone company for customers, or directly from Lexifone, via a local access number. Users dial into a foreign calling code and start speaking, with the listener having the option of hearing the speaker talk in their native language, or hearing the caller directly. The translation is done automatically by computer, with the system interpreting what the caller is saying and delivering it to the listener in a form “they will understand and comprehend,” said Ike Sagie, CEO of Lexifone.
Israeli start-up claims it may be able to stop all viruses
An Israeli start-up claims it may be able to put an end to the viruses, malware, and trojan horses that cost the world economy hundreds of billions of dollars a year. Not only does Cyactive say it can stop viruses that are already “in the wild,” currently causing damage, but according to CEO & Co-Founder, Liran Tancman, it can beat them most of them even before they are invented.
The secret? Viruses are overwhelmingly evolutionary, not revolutionary. “Much of the code found in even major attacks is reused over and over again in new attacks,” Tancman said. “There has actually never been a virus that did not draw substantially on malware that was already in existence.”
Why it’s Cheaper to be Healthy in Israel
A study carried out by the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture found that the cost of fruits and vegetables in Israel are lower – sometimes even significantly lower – when compared to prices of fruits and vegetables in the United States and Western European countries including France, Germany, and the U.K.
Eleven fruits and vegetables were surveyed in America and Israel and all fruits except for bananas were found to be cheaper in Israel. In the vegetable department, the study found that the average price of a kilogram of tomatoes in the U.S. was 340% higher than in Israel and the average price of peppers was 116% higher.
What Israel Means To Natalie Portman…A Touching Description Of Her Homeland
Where I was born. Where I ate my first Popsicle and used a proper toilet for the first time. Where some of my 18-year-old friends spend their nights in bunkers sleeping with their helmets on. Where security guards are the only jobs in surplus. Where deserts bloom and pioneer stories are sentimentalized. Where a thorny, sweet cactus is the symbol of the ideal Israeli. Where immigrating to Israel is called “ascending” and emigrating from Israel is called “descending.” Where my grandparents were not born, but where they were saved.

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