Melanie Phillips: The pathological animus of ‘The New York Times’
A recent column by Bret Stephens in The New York Times was headlined “Donald Trump is bad for Israel.”
Others may think a more appropriate headline would be: “The New York Times is bad for Israel.”
The paper is regarded as the bible of America’s intellectual classes. Yet for years, its coverage of Israel has been a disgrace.
Of course, it’s entitled to criticize Israel as it would any other country. But it doesn’t treat Israel like any other country. It singles it out for demonization based on falsehoods, distortion and selective reporting which makes no attempt at objectivity, fairness or truth.
Last weekend, it published a 4700-word story on the life and death of Rouzan al-Najjar, a young Gazan female doctor who was killed during the riots on the southern border last June.
The story, by its Jerusalem correspondent David Halbfinger, oozed sympathy for al-Najjar and her cause. It described the rioters as “protesters”, obscuring their leaders’ aim of storming the border to murder Israelis.
It presented Al-Najjar’s death with studied but false equivalence as part of a “cycle of violence” with simplistic “narratives” on either side.
Israelis were then portrayed as trigger-happy killers who “obliged” Hamas’s aim of using bloodshed to win international sympathy and whose snipers – despite the IDF’s stated tactic of aiming at rioters’ legs unless they presented an immediate danger – deliberately shot Gazan civilians in the back.
This included al-Najjar. It was only towards the end that the story revealed she was in fact killed accidentally, when an Israeli bullet struck the ground away from her and ricocheted into her body.
NGO Monitor: Amnesty International Singling Out Jews in 2019
Leaked documents seen by NGO Monitor and an analysis of public statements from NGO officials indicate that Amnesty International will conduct a series of intense campaigns singling out Israel in early 2019.
In this process, Amnesty will delegitimize Jewish historical connections to Jerusalem and elsewhere, as well as promote discriminatory boycotts (BDS) against Israel.
Amnesty’s 2019 attacks will include at least two components:
Amnesty’s Blacklist: A “new campaign targeting some of the businesses that are profiting from human rights abuses by operating in the illegal Israeli settlements.” This language mirrors that used by UN bureaucrats preparing the UNHRC blacklist. The list is aimed at economically damaging companies that are owned by Jews or do business with Israel, and is ultimately meant to harm the Jewish state. Amnesty’s campaign is timed to bolster this UN blacklist, for which Amnesty has been lobbying intensively, and to serve as an alternative should the UN not publish its list.
Amnesty documents, seen by NGO Monitor, also show the NGO specifically seeks to censure companies that educate the public about Jewish history and historical ties to Jerusalem.
“Ban Israeli settlement goods”: A continuation of a campaign to press governments, in particular the UK, to “to ban Israeli settlement goods from entering your markets, and to stop companies based in your country operating in settlements or trading in their goods.” Amnesty has built dedicated website sections for this purpose. In addition, it has supported legislation in Ireland that, if enacted, will criminalize visiting Jewish historical and holy sites, including Jerusalem’s Old City, and purchasing goods and services from Jews located for whatever reason or duration in Jerusalem and over the 1949 Armistice Lines.
Amnesty’s Antisemitism Problem
Amnesty’s 2019 attacks on the Jewish state come at a time when NGO is facing increased criticism over its own deeply-rooted antisemitism.
In 2018, Amnesty antagonized the British Jewish community by cancelling a debate sponsored by the UK’s Jewish Leadership Council, scheduled to be held at Amnesty’s Human Rights Centre in London. And when Amnesty conducted “an unprecedented large scale analysis of abuse against women on Twitter,” it included sexism and racism against female journalists and politicians, but not antisemitism.
Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of Britain’s main opposition Labour Party, was in 2011 filmed applauding a speaker at a conference who called for the dismantlement of Israel, which he also said “kidnapped” Judaism.
The footage published Thursday was taken at a pro-Palestinian conference that Corbyn, a far-left politician, attended in 2011 alongside several anti-Israel activists who have been accused of anti-Semitism.
In it, Yisrael Dovid Weiss of the Neturei Karta ultra-Orthodox sect, is seen saying: “You said there should be the end of a Jewish state. I just wanted to respectfully say: The end of a Zionist state that has kidnapped the name of Judaism. It’s not a Jewish state.” He added: “We want … a peaceful dismantlement of the state and to live together in harmony, God willing it will happen.”
Corbyn is seen clapping for Weiss, who in 2006 attended in Iran a conference aimed at denying and ridiculing the Holocaust.
This is depressing news as the exhibition seemed like a great initiative, and one which might have helped alleviate some concerns raised when it was first announced that the Golders Green Hippodrome was going to be converted into a mosque.
The planned exhibition, organised by Yad Vashem, had been going to focus on Muslim Albanians who rescued Jews from the Holocaust. This would have been a real opportunity to build bridges between communities – with both the content of the exhibition and its location reflecting mutual support rather than mistrust.
No reason has been offered for the cancellation but it may be relevant that this interfaith initiative wasn’t welcomed by all. 5pillars, ever egregious, ran a post titled ‘Mosque in Golders Green to host Israeli Holocaust event’. The writer complained that Yad Vashem wasn’t an appropriate partner for the Mosque because they are ‘based in Jerusalem which is partially financed by and supports the state of Israel’. Shocking. They go on:
Over the past year the mosque has gone to great lengths to ingratiate itself with the local Jewish community, most of whom are thought to be supporters of Israel.
‘Ingratiate itself’ is a telling phrase – it implies that the mosque is selling out by trying to be a good neighbour. Another recent post offers a further reminder of 5pillars’ lack of interest in fostering good relations between communities. In its account of how a Derby radio station was fined for broadcasting hate speech against the Ahmadiyya Muslim community it explains that:
The Ahmadis, or more commonly known as the ‘Qadianis’, are a heretical sect who claim to be Muslim.
‘Qadianis’ is a derogatory term – as well as being subjected to discrimination and persecution in Pakistan (the subject of the censured broadcast), they are vulnerable to sectarian violence in the UK – Asad Shah, the Glasgow shopkeeper murdered back in 2016, was targeted because he was Ahmadi.
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) incorrectly attributed historic firsts to the 116th Congress during its first day in session, as pointed out by Rep. Justin Amash (R., Mich.).
Listing purported reasons for the new Congress to “be proud,” Omar made a series of claims on Twitter Thursday about its makeup, celebrating features like age, nationality, race and sex.
Omar claimed the Congress included the “1st Palestinian-American,” presumably in reference to Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.). Tlaib is the first female Palestinian-American elected to Congress. Omar has previously touted Tlaib’s heritage.
However, Tlaib is not the first Palestinian-American elected to the body. In reply to Omar’s incorrect tweet, Amash pointed out that he has been Palestinian and in Congress since the 112th Congress. “My father is Palestinian, and I’ve been in Congress since 2011,” he wrote.
In fact, Republican John E. Sununu, who served as a congressman and senator from New Hampshire for 12 years starting in 1997, also predates Omar’s claim. His father, former White House chief of staff John H. Sununu, traces his paternal lineage to Greek Orthodox Christians in Jerusalem.
How did this happen? How could a march, organized by those on the political Left, primarily by black women – a minority group clamoring for equality and critical of bias – turn its collective back on another minority and hurl criticism at that group? One would think participants and organizers of the Women’s March would join hand-in-hand in condemning antisemitism.
But no. They were the people responsible for spewing forth and perpetuating antisemitic bias in the context of women’s rights. Their thinking is convoluted and wrong. If you can make no sense of this, it is because it makes no sense. It goes like this: Because the majority of Jews are white, they are viewed as the white oppressors.
Letty Cottin Pogrebin, the founder of Ms. magazine and a person whose feminist and Jewish bona fides are without question, confirmed this attitude in a letter to the editor of The New York Times. In her letter, Pogrebin pointed out that antisemitism in the liberal movement is not new. Forty years ago, she wrote, she confronted the exact same antisemitism.
When it comes to antisemitism and leftist movements logic plays no role. We see it historically. We saw it in the period that heralded the rise of Zionism.
The socialist and communist movements were ideal homes for Jews in Europe. Jews were an oppressed minority and, by definition and doctrine, socialism and communism offered protection from the oppressor. Jews, however, were not welcomed into those movements. From the very beginning, there was tension with the Jews. Ironically – and thankfully for the future of the future State of Israel – that tension was extremely positive for the future of Jews and Jewish socialism.
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, co-authors of The Communist Manifesto – the guide book to communism and socialism – originally partnered with another philosopher and thinker. Moses Hess was the third member of their triumvirate and a member of the inner circle. The man who went on to father Labor Zionism and conceptualize socialist-Zionist philosophy was forced out and denounced as a “utopian socialist” by Marx.
Movements founded on the principle of unity against racism and hatred have often featured one caveat: Everyone is equal, everyone but Jews!
The New Orleans Women’s March has been canceled with its chapter citing “several issues,” one being antisemitism within the national movement.
Marches are scheduled nationwide for Jan. 19.
“Many of the sister marches have asked the leaders of Women’s March, Inc. to resign but as of today, they have yet to do so,” the New Orleans chapter said in its announcement on Saturday.
Additionally, “the controversy is dampening efforts of sister marches to fundraise, enlist involvement and find sponsors, and attendee numbers have drastically declined this year. New Orleans is no exception.”
Other local marches that have been canceled include those in Chicago and Eureka, Calif.
It’s almost like Planned Parenthood wants to stick with the Women’s March, but had to find a way to phrase a statement to make it seem like it doesn’t align itself with the anti-Semitic views of Sarsour and Mallory.
So what’s more important, Planned Parenthood? Anti-Semitism, racism, and division or showing up the Trump administration?
At least others have decided that anti-Semitism is enough to distance themselves away from the Women’s March no matter how much they despise Trump’s administration.
The Women’s March lost funding from the National Organization for Women while the Baton Rouge chapter of NOW canceled the New Orleans march.
The Washington state chapter of the Women’s March closed last month. The Chicago chapter decided to cancel its march in January.
Actresses Alyssa Milano and Debra Messing, two of the loudest opponents of the Trump administration, said they will not support the Women’s March over anti-Semitism within the leadership. Rosanna Arquette tweeted the same thing.
We must also remind everyone that Sarsour adores terrorist Rasmea Odeh, the woman who bombed an Israeli supermarket in 1969 and killed two Jewish boys. Odeh was also convicted of trying to bomb the British Consulate that same year.
Freshman Democratic congresswoman Rashida Tlaib used her first day in the House to quietly propose the creation of a new state of “Palestine” near the Egyptian capital city of Cairo.
The foreign policy proposal was spotted by Buzzfeed reporter Hannah Allam, who tweeted out a picture of a post-it added to the world map in Tlaib’s new congressional office.
A close Washington Free Beacon examination of the proposal found that Tlaib’s proposed state would be centered just northwest of Cairo.
Tlaib’s chief of staff Ryan Anderson did not respond to an inquiry on the proposal, and whether she believes the new state should extend beyond Israel’s border.
Tlaib has expressed support for the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, better known as BDS, which aims to destroy the Jewish state through economic warfare.
She also recently defended Marc Lamont Hill for comments he made calling for Israel to be eliminated and replaced by “a free Palestine from the river to the sea,” a frequent rallying call made by terrorist group Hamas.
Rabid Israel-hater Rashida Tlaib was yesterday sworn in as the first-ever palestinian American woman in Congress. Naturally, she wore a a traditional “palestinian gown” (read: Arab gown).
Some noted an interesting map in her new office.
No prizes for guessing who helped her make a photo opp out of it.
Let’s be clear about this. Placing “Palestine” over entirety of Israel is sending a loud and clear message.
G-d help America.
I have unearthed a 2013 interview by Lara Kollab, the Jew-hating doctor who, among other things, tweeted she would purposefully give Jews the wrong meds (and has since been fired from the Cleveland Clinic at which she worked).
In the interview, Kollab asks her father and 17-year-old cousin about Israel and “Palestine”. You can read the entire thing if you want, but I’ll cut to some of her conclusions:
The negative and dehumanizing view of the other is something that we have seen time and time again in Palestinian and Israeli literature. In The Nomad and the Viper by Amos Oz, Palestinians are described in animalistic terms, stripping them of their humanity. This dehumanization of the other is instrumental in the continuation of the conflict. As my dad described, “When you are beaten and tortured and treated like a non-human, it changes you, makes you angry”. When people are seen as inhuman, oppressing and hurting them becomes more justifiable. When people are on the receiving end of that dehumanization, they become filled with rage and begin to see the other as the devil. In Here We Shall Stay by Tawfiq Zayyad, Israelis are demonized and said to have “blue fangs”. When one side sees the other as inferior savages, and the other side sees them as demonic monsters, peace is difficult to attain.
This is why my father firmly believes that the path to peace is dependent upon the ability of each side to see the other as human, and to be able to individualize the members of the “other” group. When I asked my cousin what she thought of this approach to peace, she agreed with it, but said “How are we supposed to understand each other when they just have us walled off and all we see of them is soldiers coming and destroying our lives and all they hear of us is rockets on the South?” I intended to interview a Palestinian of an older generation and a Palestinian of the younger generation in order to compare their viewpoints and experiences. I found that both experienced similar hardships and equally traumatizing childhoods filled with violence. However, I was surprised to find that the younger Palestinian, my cousin, seemed to have less hope for peace. I’m not certain whether this is due to the generational gap or the fact that my father hasn’t had to live in those devastating situations in decades. One thing is for certain: If peace is to ever be achieved in the Holy Land, the discrimination, dehumanization and oppression must stop and the occupation must end, because if people continue to experience traumatic events in the context of the conflict, they will never be able to forgive and move past the pain to a peaceful future.
This is rich given how she has dehumanized Jews and shown she does not want peace.
In its own statement, the police chiefs’ association “emphatically” rejected that GILEE programs were “being used to train law enforcement in tactical or military operational techniques designed to oppress minorities or other members of their communities (characterized as ‘deadly exchange’).”
“Not only do such claims lack any foundation in the facts or histories of such exchanges, but the inflammatory causal attribution that such training leads to deadly encounters in the US is utterly fallacious and slanderous,” the GACP wrote. “In fact, participants receive a better understanding of how to network with their citizenry and enhance the service delivery to these underserved communities.”
Echoing this language, the GSA statement likewise rejected claims that this “important peer-to-peer executive law enforcement training” included instruction “designed to oppress minority populations or other specific groups.”
“Accusations that these valuable international training exchanges lead to deadly encounters in the United States are fallacious and slanderous,” it emphasized. “The initiative is meaningful to the safety of Georgians and it is our hope to continue our participation for many years to come.”
The claims promoted by the “Deadly Exchange” campaign were also denounced by Robbie Friedmann, a professor emeritus of criminal justice at GSU, who founded GILEE in 1992 with the aim of bolstering public safety in Atlanta before the city hosted the 1996 Summer Olympics.
In an extensive statement shared with Elman, Friedmann countered a report published in support of the campaign by JVP and the pro-BDS group Researching the American-Israeli Alliance, calling it “methodologically deficient and logically indefensible.”
IsraellyCool: JTA’s Sh*t List of Jews To Follow on Twitter
It is no secret: We (the Jews) have long been our own worst enemies. For a supposedly smart people, we have, throughout the ages, been shooting ourselves in the foot. And we see it more and more today as those Jews who not only turn their backs on Israel but actively work against her are promoted as role models by many in the Jewish media (no, I am not suggesting Jews own the media – I am referring to Jewish media outlets!)
The latest example of this is the JTA’s new list: The 50 Jews everyone should follow on Twitter. Here’s some of those JTA saw fit to implore people to follow on Twitter:
– Peter Beinart, the Israel-hater who has shown contempt for Jewish belief
– Sophie Ellman-Golan, the Women’s March Deputy Head of Communications who defends antisemite Linda Sarsour at every available opportunity
– Lisa Goldman, the founding editor of +972 and rabid Israel-hater who trashes Israel non-stop
– Jill Jacobs, the executive director of T’ruah (formerly Rabbis for Human Rights), who has accused Jews living in Jerusalem of being “settlers” and signed on to the “Rabbis for Iran” and “Rabbis for Hamas” letters
– Josh Nathan-Kazis, the Forward writer who constantly attacks Jewish organizations, but is remarkably silent about antisemites
– Elad Nehorai, an unhinged Trump hater who thinks we should compare him to Hitler and claims White Nationalism has spread in the Orthodox Jewish community
– Eve Peyser, Vice writer and Israel hater
– Rebecca Pierce, member of the detestable anti-Israel group Jewish Voice for Peace who also loves talking about the evils of “White” Jews
– Sigal Samuel, religion editor at The Atlantic, who has a penchant for bashing Israel
I don’t even know how to introduce this next video. Just watch!
It just goes to show you how people will do pretty much anything to give Israel a bad name.
Less warm and fuzzy, though, is the actual role played by Iran’s state media. According to the Associated Press, the country’s state-backed broadcasters are engaged in an “information offensive,” and have “churned out a blitz of policy statements, negotiating points and news breaks as the main soapboxes for Iran’s public diplomacy.” In other words, Iranian state media, including the Islamic Republic of Iranian Broadcasting (IRIB) division, is a propaganda arm of the regressive, authoritarian regime led by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. IRIB’s English language broadcaster Press TV, in fact, goes well beyond pro-Iranian policy statements and into rank anti-Semitism (for example by offering “analysis” on Jewish control by former KKK grand wizard David Duke), as documented by the ADL and others. So much for respecting other cultures.
And Hezbollah, that purported demonstrator of inclusivity, makes Press TV look like Ghandi. The terror organization — Hezbollah is viewed as a terrorist group not only by the U.S., but also, in its entirety or partially, by Australia, Canada, the European Union, United Kingdom, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, and even parts of the Arab world — is believed to be responsible for the bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, which killed 85 people. The organization’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, has insisted Israel exists only because “Allah the Glorified and Most High wants to save you from having to go to the ends of the world” to do battle against “the Jews.”
Not only do the New York Times reporters withhold skepticism about purported inclusivity and cross-cultural respect, but they fail to engage with the most basic context about the destabilizing role played in Lebanon by Iran and its well-armed creation, Hezbollah. Indeed, it is striking that a New York Times piece about activities in Lebanon by the Iranian cultural attaché would say nothing about widespread concerns that Iran is, in the words of Lebanese journalist Ali al-Amin, “turning Lebanon into … an Iranian base” for carrying out “military missions” in neighboring countries.
And it is astonishing that a story citing Hezbollah’s political and military “inclusivity” would exclude details about Hezbollah’s violent rejection of those who cross the group. Hezbollah activists, for example, are suspected of severely beating al-Amit, the journalist who criticized their group, when he ran against Hezbollah candidates in last year’s Lebanese elections. This was consistent with a long history Hezbollah’s political violence against Lebanese citizens.
While the BBC enthusiastically reported that ‘unity government’ story at the time, those statements obviously do not reflect Palestinian political reality.
Earlier this week Fatah accused Hamas of arresting a large number of its members in the Gaza Strip.
“Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction claimed on Monday that Hamas has arrested 500 of its activists and officials in the Gaza Strip.
Fatah spokesmen said the arrests were designed to prevent the men from celebrating the 54th anniversary of the launching of its first attack against Israel.”
Although Hamas denied the allegations saying that “only 38 senior Fatah men were summoned for questioning”, as the Jerusalem Post reports the row continues.
A bipartisan bill to elevate the status of the US special envoy on antisemitism was reintroduced on Thursday as the 116th Congress commenced.
Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) proposed again the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Act that, if enacted, would upgrade the status of the special envoy to combat antisemitism—a position the State Department has left vacant for 20 months—to an ambassadorship requiring Senate confirmation.
The president would be required to fill the position within 90 days. The special-envoy position is currently vacant and has been so since the start of the Trump administration.
“We are seeing a precipitous rise in antisemitism around the world, manifested through acts of violence against Jews and synagogues, insults, slurs, threats and criticism of Israel that meets the criteria of what Soviet refusenik and religious prisoner Natan Sharansky called the ‘three Ds’: demonization, double-standard and de-legitimization,” said Smith, a co-chair of the Bipartisan Congressional Task Force for Combating Anti-Semitism.
“The US must be a world leader in standing against this menace, and my legislation would help us redouble our efforts to fight global antisemitism,” he continued.
Berlin has witnessed more than three times the number of violent anti-Semitic attacks in 2018 compared to the previous year, provisional police statistics reveal.
The German capital’s first commissioner for anti-Semitism, Claudia Vanoni, said just seven violent anti-Semitic attacks were recorded by police in 2017, compared to 24 incidents recorded between January and mid-December 2018.
Vanoni described it as a “drastic increase” in an interview with the Berliner Zeitung published earlier this week.
“I have the impression that anti-Semitism is becoming louder, more blatant and more aggressive,” she said, acknowledging Berlin law enforcement authorities wanted to take a stand and focus on “combating anti-Semitism.”
When asked why Berlin’s prosecution office needs a commissioner dedicated solely to combating to anti-Semitism, Vanoni said there had been an “increase in hatred against Jewish citizens.”
Any number of high-profile incidents against Jews were reported in Berlin in 2018, with some gaining more notoriety than others.
In April, a Jewish teenager wearing a traditional kippah was attacked on a Berlin street by a Muslim assailant who whipped him with a belt in an anti-Semitic attack.
A cinema in western Germany has offered free tickets to a screening of “Schindler’s List” later this month to members of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.
The independent Cinexx movie theater in the town of Hachenburg plans to show the 1993 Steven Spielberg classic — which won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture — on Jan. 27, which is International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
The AfD — now Germany’s third-largest party — has faced numerous antisemitism accusations since its founding in 2013.
Last June, AfD co-leader Alexander Gauland sparked controversy when he downplayed the Nazi era as a “speck of bird poop in more than 1,000 years of successful German history.”
The AfD branch in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate criticized the theater’s offer, saying, “”We find the fact that the AfD is being linked to the Holocaust, the industrial mass extermination of people of the Jewish faith, to be an unspeakable mistake.”
The theater said in a statement, “We see ourselves as a meeting place; films are windows on the world and initiate discussion in society.”
Members of a violent neo-Nazi group in Australia shocked the Jewish community in Melbourne this week when they placed a sticker bearing a swastika at the entrance to an elderly care residence that is home to several Holocaust survivors.
The offending images were discovered by Sam Seigel, who was visiting his parents, both aged 94, at the Emmy Monash Aged Care facility in southeast Melbourne.
The local Herald Sun newspaper quoted Seigel saying, “I just saw it stuck to the front gates.”
“I just stood there and looked — it knocked me about,” Seigel said. He added that those residents who survived the Holocaust would be “horrified” at being confronted with the symbol of the Nazi regime.
The chairman of the Australian Jewish community’s Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC) denounced the sticker — placed by the neo-Nazi group Antipodean Resistance — as “cowardly and evil.”
“We are appalled by this latest attack, made all the more despicable as there are Holocaust survivors living in this aged-care home who lost family relatives and suffered under Hitler’s regime,” the ADC’s Dvir Abramovich said.
Writer and filmmaker Alexander Bodin Saphir confesses to feeling a little overwhelmed. He has just emerged from the first rehearsal of his first play, “Rosenbaum’s Rescue,” and although the theatrical production process is new to him, the experience has thus far been a positive one. Everyone, he says, has been very supportive.
The play, inspired by his grandparents’ story of escape from Nazi occupied Denmark, opens January 9 at the Park Theatre, a dynamic neighborhood fringe venue in north London.
The play is set in Denmark in 2001, during the holiday of Hanukkah — three weeks after the formation of a coalition government, a member of which was the far right Dansk Folkeparti that had campaigned on an anti-immigration platform. It explores the true story, known as the “Miracle Rescue,” of how the majority of Danish Jews managed to flee and cross the water to Sweden in October 1943.
The play focuses on two childhood friends — Lars, a historian, and Abe, a Jew whose family were rescued. Trapped in a snowstorm, the pair debate the events of the past in an attempt to solve its mysteries. Faith, identity, myths, facts and miracles are all explored in pursuit of the truth, and, in the process, the very foundation of their relationship is threatened.
Bodin Saphir’s “Rosenbaum’s Rescue” has been several years in development, including staged readings in New York, London and Copenhagen. This is his first foray into theater, and the fledgling playwright says everyone has been very supportive.
Israeli startups raised a record $6.1 billion in 2018.
This figure was calculated with $400 million fundraised in December, plus the $4.5 billion raised in the first nine months of 2018, according to a joint report from the IVC Research Center and the law firm Zag-S&W.
This is in addition to an estimated $1.2 billion raised in October and November.
The total figure beats last year’s record of $5.24 billion.
Israel is known as a “Startup Nation,” having the third-most companies on the Nasdaq.
A new smartphone app developed by students at the Holon Institute of Technology (HIT) will facilitate communication by deaf people without the aid of sign language.
DAS-Deaf Access Solution was developed by two students at HIT and uses a Google app called Speech Recognizer to translate speech into text, allowing the deaf and hard of hearing to interact one-on-one with hearing people in various situations, such as doctors’ visits and business transactions.
Ayelet Avraham, 28, one of the developers of the application, told Hebrew news site Mako that she got the idea when she saw a deaf person trying to buy a cellular phone, but was unable to communicate with the salesman.
“I returned home and couldn’t relax,” she said. “My husband and I couldn’t understand how in 2018 there was no technological solution to this problem. It seemed insane to me, so we investigated and found that there was no such technology in Israel. Even though there’s a law that obligates places to be accessible, there had been no attempt until today to advance the issue.”
“Thanks to technology,” she added, “we can all function anyplace in the world even if we don’t know the language. For example, you can write something and the taxi driver can hear it and understand, so how could it be possible that there is no such possibility for the deaf? Reality today isolates the deaf from the public space.”
Anyone who has purchased tickets to one of Jewish American comic Jeremy Piven’s scheduled upcoming shows in Israel might find themselves in a documentary film.
Piven, known for his role as agent Ari Gold in the hit series “Entourage,” is slated to take the stage in Jerusalem on Jan. 12; in Tel Aviv for two shows on Jan. 13, and at Kibbutz Lehavot Haviva in northern Israel on Jan. 14.
Israel Hayom has learned that a film crew will be accompanying Piven to document his tour of Israel, both on stage and behind the scenes. As is common with stand-up specials of this kind, the audience will also be filmed, so anyone attending could catch a glimpse of him or herself in the final cut.
Piven, 53, last visited Israel in 2016. He posted pictures to social media of himself at the Western Wall, where he celebrated a “second bar mitzvah.”
The lid has been blown off the mystery surrounding a now-famous kippa gifted to Frank Sinatra in 1981 that sold at auction last month for nearly $10,000.
It was recently reported that the kippa – which was decorated with musical notes and the name “Frank” – was presented to Sinatra by well-known journalist and radio host Samuel “Sonny” Schwartz at an annual awards dinner held by the Hebrew Academy of Atlantic County. But the provenance of the skullcap was even harder to trace.
Sotheby’s, which sold the Hebraic headgear last month to an anonymous buyer, gave no indication in its catalog as to who made or gave the kippa to Ol’ Blue Eyes, though it did note his lifelong sympathy for a host of Jewish causes.
Reaching out to The Times of Israel, the kippa’s maker, Marcia Freedman of Edison, New Jersey, was able to help uncover its history. Freedman was also able to explain the musical notation on the kippa – which spells out the first two-and-a-half bars of Sinatra’s classic, “New York, New York.”
“I spent a lot of time on it because I wanted it to mean something,” said Freedman. “I did have some piano background. I’m not a great piano player, but I remember playing around with it.”
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