Abbas’s untranslated book
On Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s website there are about 20 books listed, that have been translated to dozens of languages.
There is one book, written in Arabic, that has never been translated.
For the past 11 years Abbas has been the chairman of the PA, yet nobody bothered to check his ideology as reflected in this book – The Other Face: The Secret Contacts Between Nazism and Zionism (1984), Dar Ibn Rashid, Amman – based on Abbas’s PhD thesis, written while he was a student in the Soviet Union. (Recently it was reported that Abbas was a KGB agent and his thesis was probably written at the direct order of his Soviet commanders, to demonize Israel and the Jewish people.)
There has been a deliberate institutional silence regarding this issue. No one dared expose Abbas’ thesis, which basically denies the Holocaust. No one wanted to destroy Abbas’s “peaceful” image. Yad Vashem has never published a single article about Abbas’s thesis or book. Other academic institutions simply ignore the issue – which proves that there is no real academic freedom in Israel.
In his book Abbas claims that the Holocaust was a Zionist-Nazi plot, and indicts the Zionist movement and its leaders such as David Ben-Gurion as “fundamental partners” in the destruction of European Jewry. Abbas also wrote that the Zionists thought anything that would cause Jews to immigrate was justified, including antisemitism and cooperation with Hitler.
He makes this case by arguing that the Jews ignored the Holocaust, cooperated with Hitler and encouraged antisemitism and persecution of Jews in Europe – anything to increase immigration to the Land of Israel and speed up the growth of the Jewish National Home in Mandatory Palestine.
Abbas also claims that the Zionists deliberately sabotaged the rescue of the Jewish communities of Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and the Baltic countries, including a shipment of 3,000 Jews from Hungary.
It is not racist to accuse Muslims of wrongdoing; Islam is a religio-political system, not a race. This conflation of two very different things already causes endless confusion and miscarriages of justice. Such scattershot accusations fail to make a distinction between genuine hatred for Muslims and fair and balanced criticism of some of their behavior and their religion.
“Anti-racism… an instrument of intellectual terrorism has become today the greatest channel of the new anti-Semitism”. — Georges Bensoussan.
The CCIF’s charge of “Islamophobia” is almost certainly built, not so much about Arabs but about perceptions of a refusal by Muslim immigrants from North Africa to integrate into French society,
“To say that one drinks in anti-Semitism from one’s mother’s milk means that it is transmitted culturally. I have not spoken of a transmission through blood, which implies a genetic transmission. And I maintain that in some Arab families in France, anti-Semitism is taught. … I have not invented the Kouachi brothers, who, after the attack on Charlie Hebdo, asked the printer with whom they took refuge if he was Jewish.” — Georges Bensoussan.
“This visceral anti-Semitism proven by the Fondapol survey by Dominique Reynié last year cannot remain under a cover of silence. Conducted in 2014 among 1,580 French respondents, of whom one third were Muslim, the survey found that they were two times and even three times more anti-Jewish than French people as a whole”. — Georges Bensoussan.
An exhibition on the diverse multiculturalism of medieval Jerusalem has been ecstatically received. There’s just one problem: the vision of history it promotes is a myth.
Obviously, the Met doesn’t support anything like Temple denial; but its inability to characterize the “absent” Temple’s importance or to give a sense of the Jewish historical experience in Jerusalem, along with its exaggerations of the glories of Islamic rule and its relentless focus on “internationalism,” unmistakably lends itself to the purposes of those who engage in that nefarious activity—and at least one essay in the catalog, on the Dome of the Rock, silently endorses it. That essay, by Robert Hillenbrand of Edinburgh University, simply omits any mention of something called the “Temple Mount”—this, despite the fact that early Islamic sources did the exact opposite, referring to the site as Bayt al-Maqdis (Hebrew: beyt hamikdash) and to Jerusalem itself as madinat bayt al-maqdis (“the city of the Temple”). Instead, Hillenbrand locates the Dome of the Rock “on the “Haram al-Sharif, the vast open esplanade that, . . . largely empty in the late-7th century,” was described variously as a rubbish dump and a “place accursed” since the Temple was destroyed there. In other words, the Dome of the Rock was erected on unused land—an assertion that is in itself a complete perversion of the very reason why it was built there in the first place. The Mount was called a “dungheap” by St. Jerome in the 5th century: a fulfillment of Christianity’s triumph and the Jews’ curse. Today a comparable historical erasure is being advanced by other parties.
The show’s refusal to confront history in any serious way; the failure to find artifacts that match its multicultural thesis; the depiction of the Jewish presence in Jerusalem as an “absence”—all of these contribute to the impression that, for the organizers of this exhibition, the undeniable facts of ancient Jewish history were the very things that could never be acknowledged. (As, in an opposite way, were the undeniable facts of medieval Islamic history.) Better by far to imagine Jerusalem in this fantasy as an international city without a hint of historical Jewish sovereignty, and a mythical place in which all faiths enjoyed equivalent standing.
In 1995, Edward Said, writing in polemical opposition to continued Israeli control of Jerusalem, yearned for the triumph instead of the “massive Palestinian-Muslim-Christian-multicultural reality in Jerusalem.” Said’s view of Jerusalem’s supposed “multicultural reality,” which he desired to enhance and advance, was just as distended as the view on display at Jerusalem 1000-1400: Every People Under Heaven, preserved now in its catalog and in the message it has so effectively promulgated. At least Said, a pro-Palestinian radical, was being open about his ambitions. In the Met’s soft-focus presentation, a variant of the same view came bearing the imprimatur of one of the most imposing aesthetic authorities in the West, and was thus all the more easily gulped down by viewers and reviewers besotted with its dreamy and meretricious promise.
As we approach the 50th anniversary of Jerusalem’s reunification in the Six-Day war of June 1967, it is necessary to bear this fact in mind: one of the few times in Jerusalem’s history when conquest was not followed by the demolition and appropriation of major holy sites was in the aftermath of that war, when Israel became the sites’ guardian and expanded access to them while ceding control to the authorities of different faiths. This ongoing relationship has hardly been untroubled, but it is far closer to an ideal of genuine diversity than any yet dreamed of while in the throes of Jerusalem Syndrome or its latest mutations.
That night, the JNF delegations will be among 4,000 people on Ammunition Hill in the Commemoration Ceremony to celebrate the reunification of Jerusalem. Among those attending will be President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Netanyahu, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, and several cabinet ministers and members of Knesset.
“Most importantly, we will be honoring the 1967 liberators of Jerusalem and their families, as well as the families of the soldiers who fell in the Battle for Jerusalem,” Rosby adds.
Rosby noted that JNF had opened a Tu Bishvat Sweepstakes competition, with the grand prize being one roundtrip EL AL ticket, two nights at the Carlton Tel Aviv and two tickets to attend the festivities at Ammunition Hill. The Sweepstakes is open to legal residents of the United States and the District of Columbia who are at least 18 years old. Entries to the competition may be made via the purchase of a tree ($18) online at www.jnf.org/sweepstakes.
Alon Wald, Ammunition Hill’s marketing manager and events coordinator, is the brainchild behind a $10,000 photographic competition to mark the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem. Alon’s father, Rami Wald, was one of the 36 Israeli soldiers killed in the Battle of Ammunition Hill. Entries to the competition may be made via gurushots.com/jerusalem/en.
“We decided that 50 years after my father and his fellow fighters gave Jerusalem to the Jewish people, we would symbolically offer Jerusalem to the whole world through photographs,” Wald says. “For us, it’s a kind of closure. Together with JNF and other organizations, we aim to set a new Guinness record with the number of photographs we collect over the course of our competition. We have a committee of judges that will choose the best photographs of Jerusalem from around the world, and we will exhibit the best 100 pictures right here on Ammunition Hill.”
Today, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu raised with his British counterpart, Theresa May, the issue of UK funding for Israeli non-governmental organizations (NGOs), including Breaking the Silence.
Millions of shekels are provided by the UK government to a number of highly politicized NGOs – some of the funding is directly granted by government agencies, and other amounts are channelled indirectly by humanitarian aid groups, ostensibly for humanitarian purposes.
For example, Breaking the Silence has been receiving funds originating with the British government, via aid organizations, as follows (information taken from submissions to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits):
- In 2015, Christian Aid provided NIS 293,500 for “testimony collection.”
- In 2016, Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD) provided NIS 57,407 for “general support.”
Prof. Gerald Steinberg, President of NGO Monitor, commented: “For many years, the UK, like other European governments, has streamed money to groups that polarize Israeli society, and for campaigns exploiting false allegations of ‘war crimes’. The UK has recently been scandalized by such incendiary claims against its own soldiers, and British leaders will understand that funding similar NGO campaigns against Israelis is immoral.”
Last year, Tonge wrote to The Guardian: “It is difficult to believe that a 75 percent increase in antisemitism it reports have been committed by people who simply hate Jewish people for no reason. It is surely the case these incidents are reflecting the disgust amongst the general public of the way the government of Israel treats Palestinians and manipulates the USA and ourselves to take no action.”
Baroness Tonge’s hatred for Israel and the Jewish people is nothing if not consistent. Her elite status in her society ensures that her hatred will find its way into the mainstream of British culture. Tonge’s bigotry should serve as a reminder and challenge that antisemitism is, or at least should be, a problem that non-Jews must oppose.
In 2017, silence in the face of antisemitism only feeds the beast of hate. We Jews must be vigilant and outspoken. But we can only overcome the hate if bigots like Baroness Tonge are taken on — openly and loudly — by their peers.
A newly elected official in a local chapter of the UK Labour Party has accused the “Israel lobby” of controlling the British government, the volunteer-led charity the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism reported on Friday.
According to the report, Rebecca Massey, the Interim Chair of Central Hove, Brunswick and Adelaide, has been using the Twitter handle @beckycheabas not only to attack the Jewish state — calling it “pathological” and “barbaric” — but to libel Jews under the International Definition of Antisemitism, adopted by the British government in December.
CAA also noted that Massey attacked MP Chuka Umunna over the summer for saying that “[o]ffending Jewish people is a betrayal of our Labour values,” after former London Mayor Ken Livingstone claimed that Hitler supported Zionism. “Umunna swallowed the conflation of Zionist with Jewish (or pretends to). He was clearly full of malice, yet seems proud of it,” Massey tweeted in June.
If you Google “Was the Holocaust real?” right now, seven out of the top 10 results will be Holocaust denial sites. If you Google “Was Hitler bad?,” one of the top results is an article titled, “10 Reasons Why Hitler Was One Of The Good Guys.”
In December, responding to weeks of criticism, Google said that it tweaked it algorithm to push down Holocaust denial and anti-Semitic sites. But now, just a month later, their fix clearly hasn’t worked.
In addition to hateful search results, Google has had a similar problem with its “autocompletes” — when Google anticipates the rest of a query from its first word or two. Google autocompletes have often embodied racist and sexist stereotypes. Google image search has also generated biased results, absurdly tagging some photos of black people as “gorillas.”
The result of these horrific search results can be deadly. Google search results reportedly helped shape the racism of Dylann Roof, who murdered nine people in a historically black South Carolina church in 2015. Roof said that when he Googled “black on white crime, the first website I came to was the Council of Conservative Citizens,” which is a white supremacist organization. “I have never been the same since that day,” he said. And of course, in December, a Facebook-fueled fake news story about Hillary Clinton prompted a man to shoot up a pizza parlor in Washington D.C. The fake story reportedly originated in a white supremacist’s tweet. (h/t Nicolai)
Tell a lie often enough and people will start to believe it.
This sad truth came to mind as I addressed the European Parliament last week as part of the fight against the notorious global campaign against the State of Israel known as Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS). It is but the newest weapon in a decades-old effort to eliminate Israel, and deny the Jewish people their right to self-determination.
For years, those who wanted to destroy Israel first tried wars, and failed. They tried terrorism, and failed. And now they are trying another method, one which has been used in the past: boycotts.
For decades, starting in the 1950s, Arab countries boycotted Israel. Any company that sold products to Israel could not sell products to Arab states.
So this is not new. Only the method has changed. Instead of fighting the Israeli army on the battlefield or killing civilians through acts of terrorism, the BDS movement seeks to destroy Israel’s image in the eyes of the world. As long as they damage Israel’s image, the leaders of the movement do not care that they are actually harming thousands of Palestinians who work in Israeli-owned factories or joint ventures.
At a time of turmoil throughout the world, Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, is singled out for boycott.
In a January 25, 2017 letter to the President of the UN Human Rights Council, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Jordanian Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, requested that the Council defer its consideration of a report on a database of all companies that conduct business – directly or indirectly – relating to Israeli “settlements” in Arab-claimed territories. The creation of a boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) blacklist was mandated in a March 2016 resolution of the UN Human Rights Council. The U.S. voted against the creation of the blacklist – which would affect American companies among others – but were overwhelmingly outvoted. The Council’s human rights “authorities” include such states as Saudi Arabia, China, Qatar and Cuba. Also over U.S. and Israeli objection, the UN General Assembly – after the fact – approved spending $138,700 to create the database on December 23, 2016.
The March 2016 resolution calls for the list of companies intended to be blacklisted to be presented to the Council’s session in March 2017. However, the High Commissioner’s letter requests, “Bearing in mind the complexity of the requested report,…that the Council defers for one time only its consideration of my report… to allow for the submission of the report as soon as possible but no later than the end of December 2017. My request is based on the need for more time to carefully consider the inputs submitted in relation to the open call for submissions…”
However, the executive or “bureau” of the Human Rights Council declined to support the High Commissioner’s request. Instead, on January 31, 2017, they agreed to put his letter before a Human Rights Council meeting on February 13, 2017 specifically “with the purpose of taking a decision on the High Commissioner’s request.”
CST put this increase down to a number of factors in their report, including the “perceived increase in racism and xenophobia” after the Brexit vote. The charity also blames the ongoing anti-Semitism controversy in the Labour Party.
Gardner commented: “We’ve never had a situation like this in recent memory, where one of the main political parties [Labour] was embroiled in a controversy about racism, in this instance about anti-Semitism. It is very, very discouraging for Jewish people to see and to undergo.”
Deputy leader of the Labour Party Tom Watson said this report was “extremely distressing” and that it is vital to “root out anti-Semitism whenever it takes place”.
CST has been gathering data on anti-Semitic incidents in the UK since 1984. (h/t Messy57)
A Jewish human rights organization will be hosting a convicted Palestinian terrorist at its upcoming conference, The Algemeiner has learned.
Rasmea Odeh, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), is a featured speaker at the Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) 2017 National Member Meeting. Odeh is slated to speak during the “All In!” workshop alongside three other panelists, including Linda Sarsour, a vocal anti-Israel activist who recently made headlines for her involvement in and comments during last month’s Women’s March in Washington, DC.
In 1970, Odeh was sentenced to life in prison by an Israeli military court for her involvement in an illegal organization and planting the explosives used in two 1969 Jerusalem bombings. The first attack, at a grocery store, killed two Hebrew University students and wounded nine others. The second, which occurred four days later, targeted the British Consulate. After spending 10 years in prison, Odeh was one of 78 terrorists freed by Israel during a prisoner swap with the PFLP.
Odeh made headlines once again in 2013 when she was indicted by a US court for immigration fraud. The PFLP terrorist was found guilty of having concealed her arrest, conviction and imprisonment on her immigration forms, resulting in the revoking of her citizenship. Odeh’s lawyers filed an appeal, claiming she is innocent of the terrorism attributed to her; that her confession was obtained under duress; and that she suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Odeh was later hit with a new terrorism-related indictment, and she is currently awaiting trial in May.
A new project by the Israeli American Council in Boston aims to enlist international support for Israel by training high school and college students to tackle anti-Israel activity online.
Launched two weeks ago, the Boston Media Room is modeled on the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya’s “situation room,” which created the #israelunderfire hashtag during Operation Protective Edge. Time magazine included the IDC’s hashtag in its list of the most influential hashtags of 2014.
“This is an innovative project, the first of its kind, in which … three significant forces join together for the first time,” said Shoham Nicolet, co-founder and CEO of IAC.
Nicolet praised the joint project of “the Israeli-American community, which is today considered to be a rising force in the Jewish-American community and which serves as a living bridge within [the community], the Israeli side — our partners on every project — the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya — that brings with it knowledge and Israeli innovation” and the third, “the most important, is the Jewish federation in Boston, which is our branch’s local partner in the city.”
Albawaba reports on the latest outrage perpetrated by Israel against some of its Arab residents – a coloring book distributed to their children.
And what was so outrageous about this coloring book?
It was inclusive!
A kids’ coloring book handed out in primary schools across the predominantly Arab town of Umm al-Fahm, within the 1948 borders of Israel, has provoked anger among Palestinians.
The publication, distributed by the Israeli police, has offended over its choice of names for its featured police officer characters. By calling the figures “Amir” and “Reem”, Arab names, the Israeli authorities have added fuel to the fire of the prickly issue of conscription.
For the second time in less than two weeks – and fourth time since June – UK Media Watch has prompted a correction at Times of London over the erroneous suggestion that Tel Aviv is Israel’s capital. You can see the passage in question, in a Times of London article (Settlement building must stop, May to tell Israeli prime minister, Feb. 6th) co-authored by Catherine Philp and Lucy Fisher, in the following tweet:
We then followed up the tweet with an email to Times of London editors. Within a couple of hours, the passage was revised and the word “Tel Aviv” was replaced with “Israel”.
After several months of referring to settlement lands and the rest of the West Bank as “Palestinian territory,” The New York Times appears to have departed from its tendentious language. To assign the entire West Bank to one side or the other in the Palestinian-Israeli dispute, as the newspaper has done in a number of articles this autumn and earlier this winter, ignores international agreements signed by both parties that assert the status of the land is to be negotiated. Partisans may make arguments supporting one side or the other’s claim to the land, but a serious newspaper is expected to report impartially on the dispute, not to adjudicate it.
To its credit, the Times in recent weeks has shifted to more objective descriptions of these disputed lands.
The apparent return to impartial language comes after an extended correspondence between CAMERA and Times editors, and the subsequent publication of a scathing essay in The Tower exposing the newspaper’s partisanship.
Editors had initially stood by the newspaper’s references to settlements being “Palestinian territory,” telling CAMERA that as a matter of policy they refuse to use the objective term “disputed territory,” in part because anti-Israel activists reject that language.
On the morning of February 6th sirens sent residents of the Hof Ashkelon district in the western Negev running for cover as a missile fired from the Gaza Strip hit Israeli territory south of Ashkelon.
Israel responded with strikes on Hamas installations in the Gaza Strip and the missile fire was later claimed by a Salafist group. Later in the day shots were fired at Israeli troops working on the fence in another area along the border with the Gaza Strip.bbc-arabic-missile-6-2
While the BBC did not produce any coverage of that missile fire in the English language, the BBC Arabic website did publish an article reporting the Israeli response.
Throughout the whole of 2016, only one of the ten barrages of missile attacks from the Gaza Strip which took place received (belated) English language coverage, while reporting in Arabic on Israeli responses to those attacks was seen in the majority of cases.
A leading US-based Jewish human rights group has expressed “outrage” over an antisemitic title listed for sale by Amazon Germany.
In a letter sent to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos on Monday, Dr. Shimon Samuels — the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s France-based director for international relations — said of “Die Rothschilds: Eine Familie beherrscht die Welt” (“The Rothschilds: A Family that Controls the World”):
This blood libel could have been drawn from the ravings of Hitler to the genocidal charter of Hamas…for the last 12 years, we have monitored the Frankfurt Book Fair and their Arab counterparts, identifying books such as ‘The Rothschilds’ on the display stands. In most cases, the Frankfurt authorities will confiscate those we expose, on grounds of violating the contract (and in many cases German law) between the publisher and the Fair — that contract explicitly prohibits fomenting hate and violence.
Samuels went on to urge Bezos “to follow that principle, whether through Amazon.com, Amazon.de or any part of your constellation. Amazon must not serve as a figleaf for conspiracy theories or defamatory incitement that endangers us all.”
They bullied and bluffed, bamboozled and bedeviled bureaucrats, politicians and soldiers.
They climbed mountains and traversed other treacherous terrain. They fed the hungry and clothed the nearly naked. They smuggled refugees out of countries in which they were in mortal danger, into other lands, some of whose borders were supposed to be closed and most that were unenthusiastic about accepting the fugitives. They regularly risked their lives.
Leaving their two young children with friends, Rev. Waitstill Sharp and his wife Martha did all that and more in their efforts in 1939 and 1940 to rescue Jews and others fleeing or hiding from the Nazis.
Their remarkable story is told by their grandson Artemis Joukowsky in Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War, which complements the documentary of the same name, co-directed by him and the well-known American filmmaker Ken Burns.
Both works are based on a thorough study of the Sharps’ papers and interviews with those whose lives intersected with the couple.
It is difficult to quantify the Sharps’ efforts, their grandson writes. However, in the few months they were in Czechoslovakia and later for a short time in Vichy France, they apparently helped about 125 people flee to freedom from an almost- certain death at the hands of the Nazis. The two also provided money for transportation and clothes for other people to get to ports where their visas would allow them to escape.
In addition, the Sharps set up a feeding program in Prague that kept 264 people alive long enough to get out and provided milk for 800 starving French children for a month.
The Jews of Friesland, a region in the northern Netherlands, are not known for stories with happy endings.
During the Holocaust, Friesland’s vibrant Jewish community was forever obliterated, including its endemic customs and distinct Yiddish dialect. It is one of the starkest examples of how the Holocaust decimated and irreparably changed Dutch Jewry.
That’s why the recent surfacing of a unique film from 1939 showing the wedding of a Frisian Jewish couple who escaped the genocide is generating remarkable reactions from local media and Dutch state historians here over the past week.
The film is the only known footage of Frisian Jewish life from before the Holocaust. Its discovery comes amid a wave of popular interest in the Holocaust in the Netherlands, including in films and series with record ratings and in the construction of monuments – most recently with the opening last year of the National Holocaust Museum in Amsterdam.
A long-lost wire spool — containing recordings of German songs that Jewish prisoners in Nazi concentration camps were forced to sing, and Yiddish songs they sang in rebellion – was recently located by accident in the University of Akron archive where it had been mislabeled, the UK’s Daily Mail reported on Friday.
According to the report, the retrieved spool was one of a set of 200 recordings of interviews conducted right after World War II with displaced Holocaust survivors in Germany, Italy, France, and Switzerland. The interviews, with at least 130 Jews, were conducted by Dr. David Boder in 1946 for the purpose of preserving the history of the “unspeakable horrors” they had endured at the hands of the Nazis. During Boder’s talks with the survivors, some recounted and sang the songs in question.
According to the Daily Mail, all the oral histories that Boder recorded were transferred in 1967 to the Nicholas and Dorothy Cummings Center for the History of Psychology at the University of Akron in Ohio.
A delegation from the Turkish Energy Ministry is currently visiting Israel for talks about a joint gas pipeline that would pump gas from Israel to Turkey and Europe.
The project, which has been under consideration for some time, was also the focus of Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz’s visit to Turkey in October.
Steinitz attended the World Energy Congress in Istanbul and met with Turkish counterpart Berat Albayrak in the first meeting between high-ranking Israeli and Turkish officials since the two countries reconciled following the six-year rift between them over the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident.
In a separate pipeline project, Energy Ministry Director General Shaul Meridor is scheduled to visit Brussels this month to meet with his counterparts from Greece, Cyprus and Italy. If that project comes to fruition, it will become the longest underwater pipeline in the world, stretching some 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles).
A new study ranked Tel Aviv University among the top schools producing billion-dollar startups.
According to the cloud accounting software firm Sage, Tel Aviv ranks eighth in the world for training the founders of startup firms worth more than $1 billion.
Stanford University topped the list with 51 alumni responsible for founding startup firms worth more than $1 billion, followed by Harvard with 37. Tel Aviv University had seven, according to the study, ahead of Cornell and the University of Southern California, which had six apiece.
The companies founded by Tel Aviv alumni include ForeScout, a computer security firm whose co-founders attended the school, and ironSource, which builds tools for app developers.
Israeli and foreign private equity funds invested $3.5 billion in 68 local deals in 2016, up 14 percent from 2015 and the highest amount ever invested by private equity entities, according to a new survey by IVC Research Center and attorneys Shibolet & Co.
The number of deals, however, dropped 17% percent in 2016, down from 103 deals in 2015 and 17% below the five-year average of 82 private equity transactions, the survey revealed. Private equity firms invested $3.1 billion in Israeli deals in 2015 and $2.73 billion in 2014.
The four largest deals closed in 2016 were all buyouts above $100 million each, accounting for $2.54 billion, or 72 percent of total capital proceeds.
The buyout of Keter Plastic Ltd. by BC Partners, a private equity firm, for $1.4 billion — the largest Israeli private equity deal recorded in five years — was followed by the $643 million buyout of Xura, a provider of digital communications services, by affiliates of Siris Capital Group LLC. In third place was the $400 million buyout of SintecMedia, a developer of software for media brands, by Francisco Partners. Israeli PE fund FIMI Opportunity Funds carried out a $100 million buyout of G4S Israel, a security services company.
Is 90s music nostalgia more excusable than pining for oldies from the 70s and 80s? If it’s the Pixies, the answer is yes.
The American, alternative rock veterans will be returning to Israel this summer on July 25 for their first show at the Caesarea Amphitheater. They last performed here to a sold-out audience in 2014 at Bloomfield Stadium in Jaffa.
The Boston-based band, who broke up in the mid-1990s and reformed bigger than ever in 2003, are considered one of most influential outfits of the late 80s and 90s, with albums like Surfer Rosa and Doolittle setting a blueprint for post-punk eclecticism.
Lead by the iconic Black Francis (Frank Black) and including founders David Lovering on drums, Joey Santiago on lead guitar and bassist Paz Lenchantin – a replacement for longtime mainstay Kim Deal – the Pixies will be touring the festival circuit in Europe around their Israel visit.
Motorsports fans in Israel are getting psyched about reports of the country’s first full-size auto racing track coming down the road in several months in the southern city of Arad.
While there is a 1.5-kilometer Formula 3 racetrack in the north, and an annual Formula 1 race through the streets of Jerusalem since 2013, Israel’s handful of racecar drivers have had to hone their sport abroad.
The trailblazer of this group, 25-year-old professional driver Alon Day, was the first Israeli to drive in each of America’s hugely popular motorsports events — IndyCar and NASCAR — and to win an international auto race.
Day spoke with ISRAEL21c while visiting family and friends on winter break in Israel, long enough to accept his trophy as the Ministry of Culture and Sports’ 2016 Athlete of the Year in motorsports, the first time that category has been included in the annual competition.
“During 2016 I spent more than six months away from Israel because I was chosen to NASCAR Next — a pretty big deal, aiming for the NASCAR Spring Cup, the top level. I mostly was staying in Charlotte, North Carolina, and sometimes in Sarasota, Florida.”
A commercial for web development platform Wix featuring Israeli actress and model Gal Gadot was the most popular ad that aired during Sunday’s Super Bowl, the Hebrew news site nrg reported, citing a Taykey poll.
The poll was based on real-time monitoring of social media reactions.
In the Wix commercial, the 31-year-old “Wonder Woman” star is seen battling bad guys alongside British actor Jason Statham.
“The information we gathered during the Super Bowl showed that web surfers liked Gadot better than more veteran and established Hollywood celebs, and she even surpassed her previous peak popularity with the ‘Justice League’ trailer,” Taykey CEO Amit Avner was quoted by nrg as saying.
Last month, as reported by The Algemeiner, Gadot co-presented the Golden Globe award for Best Foreign Language Film.
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