April 21, 2024

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05/15 Links Pt2: Efraim Karsh: An Inevitable Conflict The Six-Day War; Sarsour Doesn’t Pass ‘3D’ Antisemitism Test


From Ian:

Seth J. Frantzman: A war is being fought between the 21st and 15th centuries
There is a slow, creeping war being fought between those who are hanging, jailing and beheading people for blasphemy, and those who don’t want to live in the 15th century. To shield themselves from critique, far-right Islamists shout: “Islamophobia!” That’s like the Inquisition leaders shouting “Christianophobia!” But we aren’t afraid of “Muslims,” we are afraid of hatred, bigotry and intolerance spread by the far-right Islamists. It is Islamistophobia. Fascistphobia. And people should not be cowed by this accusation.
You don’t like female genital mutilation? You’re anti-Islamic.
Wait, I thought you said genital mutilation is a “tribal” practice and non-Muslim?
You don’t like instant divorce whereby Muslim men, but not women, can get rid of their spouses? You’re anti-Muslim.
But wait, isn’t it a “cultural” practice?
Niqab and burkas, you don’t like them, so you’re intolerant of religion.
But aren’t they not “really” Islamic?
To paint all objections to extreme right-wing Islamism as “anti-Islam” is like treating objections to the KKK as “anti-white.” If you oppose the KKK you aren’t “anti-white,” you are anti-white supremacist. And opposing hate-filled imams who incite to murder isn’t “phobia,” it is anti-Islamist supremacist. If you don’t want the 15th century returning, you have to be willing to have this argument. They aren’t just “radicals” and “extremists,” any more than Nazis are just radicals. Far-right Islamists are a very real threat to daily life throughout the world. So either you confront them, or start preparing your kids for the return of the Salem Witch Trials. Because that will be the future.

David Collier: The conference at the University of Sussex; a gathering of (mostly) idiots

The Palestinian
Right at the end of the final panel at Sussex was a fascinating delivery by Leila Sansour who was sandwiched between Adi Ophir and Yoav Peled. Or perhaps it is fairer to suggest Leila Sansour directly and brutally attacked the ‘one state’ paradigm of Ophir, Peled, the Brighton BDS, Brighton PSC, the organisers of the conference and many of the other anti-Zionists in the room. This video is well worth watching:
So many anti-Israel activists in the UK push forward the idea of a single secular state as a way of ‘punishing’ Israel. The brutal truth is that nobody on the ground wants it. Not the Israelis and not the Palestinians. You cannot push BDS and suggest the Palestinians want ‘one state’. It is a fraud. Sansour calls it ‘the worst possible solution’.
Activists and academics
This event at the University of Sussex wasn’t like the conference at Cork, but at times it was even more disturbing. A bunch of naive, ignorant and blindly idealistic academics got together with other less well-intentioned folk, and put on a show that was all about how Israel is ‘the bad guy’. There was not a single submission, not one, that suggested the current situation was created and is perpetuated by a very real, and very worrying security situation. That was an unforgivable bias.
As each activist / academic delivered a presentation, I was required to work out which particular hat they were wearing at the time. An academic conference really should not be like this. When for example, they were pushing elements of their own activism, it turned into the equivalent of political propaganda. Some of these people live and breath the anti-Israel cause, and this conference is part of that activism. Like Pappe, you feel they are willing to bend the truth.
No, BDS is not doing well. I lost count of the times I was fed BDS propaganda about its own success. Can you call it an academic conference, when so many panelists have an underlying requirement to overstate the results of whatever particular ideology they are pushing? How do you tell the difference between the academic and the activist? Why should so much university funding be channeled into something so academically weak?
Questions that perhaps only the organisers know the answer to.

Efraim Karsh: An Inevitable Conflict The Six-Day War

May 13, 2017: Fifty years ago today, a false Soviet warning of large-scale Israeli troop concentrations along the border with Syria touched off a chain of events leading to the 1967 Six-Day War. However, as Middle East Quarterly editor Efraim Karsh explains in this advance-release article from the Summer 2017 issue of Middle East Quarterly, another all-out Arab-Israeli war was already “a foregone conclusion.”
It has long been conventional wisdom to view the June 1967 war as an accidental conflagration that neither Arabs nor Israelis desired, yet none were able to prevent. Had Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser not fallen for a false Soviet warning of Israeli troop concentrations along the Syrian border and deployed his forces in the Sinai Peninsula, the standard narrative runs, the slippery slope to war would have been averted altogether; had Israel not misconstrued the Egyptian grandstanding for a mortal threat to its national security, if not its very survival, it would have foregone the preemptive strike that started the war. In short, it was a largely accidental and unnecessary war born of mutual miscalculations and misunderstandings.
This view could not be further from the truth. If wars are much like road accidents, as the British historian A.J.P. Taylor famously quipped, having a general cause and particular causes at the same time, then the June 1967 war was anything but accidental. Its specific timing resulted of course from the convergence of a number of particular causes at a particular juncture. But its general cause—the total Arab rejection of Jewish statehood, starkly demonstrated by the concerted attempt to destroy the state of Israel at birth and the unwavering determination to rectify this “unfinished business”—made another all-out Arab-Israeli war a foregone conclusion.
Pan-Arabism’s Politics of Violence
No sooner had the doctrine of pan-Arabism, postulating the existence of “a single nation bound by the common ties of language, religion and history…. behind the facade of a multiplicity of sovereign states” come to dominate inter-Arab politics at the end of World War I than anti-Zionism became its most effective rallying cry: not from concern for the wellbeing of the Palestinian Arabs but from the desire to fend off a supposed foreign encroachment on the perceived pan-Arab patrimony.

Pre-Six Day War Israel gets its own Twitter account

Most years just come and go, but 1967 has made a remarkable comeback on social media, thanks to Foreign Ministry efforts to mark the 50th year since the reunification of Jerusalem.
A Twitter account with the handle Tweeting 1967 became active earlier this month and has been featuring and re-tweeting accounts in the names of some of Israel’s most famous historical figures, as well as some fictitious characters, as the ministry re-lives the weeks leading up to the Six Day War.
These characters post about their feelings, observations and actions as though they were now experiencing the events leading up to June 5-10 1967 when Israel recaptured East Jerusalem (and the West Bank) from the Jordanians.
Among those featured are Moshe Dayan — the-then defense minister of Israel, Levi Eshkol, the then-prime minister, a Swedish volunteer, a foreign journalist, an IDF reservist soldier called to serve his country, and his homemaker wife longing for her husband.
“Been a part of the #IDF since I was 14,” wrote the account in Dayan’s name. “Time to prove my worth during the Six Day War.

IsraellyCool: Know Your History: Ramallah – Three Years After The Six Day War (NY Times May 17, 1970)

A series where I use history to debunk common misconceptions about the Middle East conflict.
On May 17th, 1970, the New York Times published an extensive piece on Ramallah, looking at Ramallah and its citizens 3 years after reverting to Israeli control following the Six Day War.
It is mostly told from the point of view of the people living there, so contains many negative statements about Israel. But even so, there are a number of telling points I have marked in yellow, including the following:
  • How so many Ramallah Arabs left voluntarily at the turn of the 20th century
  • How so many of the people of Ramallah were wealthy Arabs who had moved there from Arab states like Kuwait, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon
  • Right after the Six Day War, the majority of Ramallah Arabs wanted Jordan to regain control – they did not speak about a Palestinian State
  • Others wanted some form of autonomy for the so-called West Bank of the Jordan (but not Gaza), but Fatah opposed it because it meant giving up on the aim of destroying Israel and taking over the entire land
  • Mention of a resident who left Jaffa in 1948, thinking they would be returning (after the Jews were defeated) – this is indicative of many Arabs who were not kicked out but rather left at the behest of their leaders thinking they would be victorious and return
  • Some of the residents thriving due to an Israeli economic boom
  • How Arab terror affected many residents (a theme we see today)

Today in History: Harry Truman Defies State Department, Recognizes Israel

On May 14, 1948, U.S. President Harry Truman recognized the newly-declared State of Israel — over the vehement objections of the State Department, which was partial to the Arab states and lacked confidence that the Jewish state could defend itself.
Truman declared:
This Government has been informed that a Jewish state has been proclaimed in Palestine, and recognition has been requested by the provisional Government thereof.
The United States recognizes the provisional government as the de facto authority of the new State of Israel.
Truman’s brief telegram was an act of immense political courage.
For months, his leading foreign policy advisers, including Secretary of State George C. Marshall, had been urging him not to recognize Israel, but rather to consider a prolonged “trusteeship” of Palestine after the British Mandate had expired.

The Palestinian Connection to the Nazis

The mufti met with Himmler on July 4, 1943, at Himmler’s field quarters. They spent a day with SS men, all known Jew-hunters. Two years prior, the local Jews there had been killed by SS-commandos. Husseini later praised his meeting with Himmler as a solid base of mutual trust.
On that summer day, Himmler told the mufti that Germany had already killed three million Jews. He also confided to him other top secrets, such as German nuclear research. Himmler told the mufti that in three years, Berlin would have an atomic weapon that would secure “final victory.” The phrase “final victory” was modified in Himmler’s cable to “certain final victory,” perhaps betraying some uncertainty.
A year earlier, the Axis Powers had elevated Husseini, not Gaylani, to the leader of a future Greater Arab Empire. In turn, the mufti soon informed Berlin about the Allied landing in North Africa. But Hitler didn’t believe it. Many of the mufti’s plans remained idle, such as his attempts to bomb a 1943 Zionist meeting on Balfour Day in Jerusalem. The Nazis had no airplanes to spare, and refused to participate.
Himmler’s 1943 cable to the Grand Mufti al-Husaini.
In 1943, as the Nazis left the Mideast and retreated to Europe, the mufti sent 60 men to be trained as paratroopers at Den Haag’s SS “sabotage school.” He called them his “troop kernel” for the war against Palestine’s Jews. He visited his “Dutch commandos” in August. In turn, Himmler rewarded the mufti with that anti-Balfour telegram, which was given to each participant of that meeting — along with the mufti’s speech.
In the end, the mufti put all his eggs into Hitler’s racist basket — and lost alongside him.

UN agency helps North Korea with patent application for banned nerve gas chemical

For more than a year, a United Nations agency in Geneva has been helping North Korea prepare an international patent application for production of sodium cyanide — a chemical used to make the nerve gas Tabun — which has been on a list of materials banned from shipment to that country by the U.N. Security Council since 2006.
The World Intellectual Property Organization, or WIPO, has made no mention of the application to the Security Council committee monitoring North Korea sanctions, nor to the U.N. Panel of Experts that reports sanctions violations to the committee, even while concerns about North Korean weapons of mass destruction, and the willingness to use them, have been on a steep upward spiral.
Fox News told both U.N. bodies of the patent application for the first time late last week, after examining the application file on a publicly available WIPO internal website.
Information on the website indicates that North Korea started the international patent process on Nov. 1, 2015 — about two months before its fourth illegal nuclear test. The most recent document on the website is a “status report,” dated May 14, 2017 (and replacing a previous status report of May 8), declaring the North Korean applicants’ fitness “to apply for and be granted a patent.”

Sarsour Doesn’t Pass ‘3D’ Antisemitism Test

New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) called Sarsour out on her hypocrisy and double standards after she was invited to give a commencement speech at CUNY School of Public Health in Brooklyn. Hikind highlighted Sarsour’s dishonesty in a recent op-ed published in the New York Daily News.
“Until recently, she’d convinced a lot of people that she stood for progressive liberalism, stood for feminism, stood for dignity, human rights and all of the things that people who favor the liberal left say they stand for, too,” Hikind wrote.
“But there’s an old saying: You can’t hide the crazy.”
That “crazy” includes embracing Rasmea Odeh, a convicted terrorist whose participation in a 1969 grocery store bombing in Jerusalem killed two college students. Sarsour called it an honor to be in Odeh’s presence after Odeh announced her intention to plead guilty to naturalization fraud.
Sarsour “associates with terrorism and supports terrorism,” Hikind told the Investigative Project on Terrorism. “Her record, her involvement, her statements, is just beyond the pale. What kind of message does that send?”
It is not clear if Sarsour is feeling the heat or has other motivations, but she is orchestrating a broad campaign to insulate herself from questions of whether she fails the 3D test and is antisemitic.

Plane Hijacker, Terrorist… Female Icon?

In an article about female jihadis in the International Business Times [IBT], Yasmin Alibhai-Brown equates Israelis who fought to defend Israel with Palestinian terrorists – who she merely describes as “female fighters.” She writes:
The unending Palestinian struggle has produced female fighters. Leila Khaled, for example, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine [PFLP], hijacked four planes in the stormy late sixties. In her last attempt in 1970, the plane was forced to land in Heathrow. Khaled was holding two hand grenades. She was held in Ealing police station, five minutes away from where I live. They sent her back. Khaled is still alive and involved in the struggle for a Palestinian state.
The PFLP is an internationally recognized terror organization responsible for dozens of attacks against Israelis over the decades, including suicide bombings, rocket attacks, shootings, and in 2014, the barbaric murder of five Jewish worshippers in a synagogue in Jerusalem.
Last year in a speech she made in Germany, Khaled called for an intifada, referred to terrorists and mass murderers as heroes and martyrs, and said “negotiations will be held only with knives and weapons. That is what the Palestinian people are like.” She was a guest of honor for the extremist BDS movement in South Africa, which masquerades as a human rights group but denies Israel’s legitimacy – and actually promoted her as both a plane hijacker and “freedom fighter.” She recently began a hunger strike in solidarity with imprisoned Palestinian terrorists and murderers who have been on a hunger strike for the past few weeks.

Macleans: Failure to Disclose

In December 2016 HonestReporting exposed how the New York Times had failed to disclose the links between the author of a major feature article on the Palestinian refugee camp of Shuafat and the radical Breaking the Silence organization. The article was a teaser for a book of essays critical of Israel’s control over the disputed territories, due for release at the end of May 2017.
Complaints from HonestReporting and our readers resulted in a response from the New York Times’s public editor Liz Spayd, who acknowledged:
the wiser choice would have been to make clear the role of Breaking the Silence in the project. Disclosure ahead of time is better than questions afterward.
Now, the Canadian media outlet Macleans has published a lengthy and critical piece by Madeline Thien expressing her thoughts on a visit to the South Hebron Hills – an excerpt from the very same book connected to Breaking the Silence.

Palestinian voters display the “culture of peace”

A local Palestinian Arab election last week provided a powerful illustration of what Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Mahmoud Abbas meant when he said at the White House “We are raising our youth, our children, our grandchildren on a culture of peace.”
The election was held at Bir Zeit University, which has 10,000 students making it the third-largest university in the Palestinian Authority-controlled territories. The students were all born in the 1990s, meaning that they have spent their whole lives under the rule of the PA.
That means their nursery schools, elementary schools and high schools were PA schools using PA approved and provided textbooks. The newspapers they have read, and the television and radio programs to which they have been exposed throughout their lives, were all controlled by the PA. In other words, they are Exhibit #1 of Arab youth raised in Abbas’s “culture of peace.”
The parties that competed in this week’s student elections at Bir Zeit University were all established by the students themselves. Surely, then, these student groups must be advocates of peace and moderation. Surely the parties the students have formed—after being immersed for 20 years in the “culture of peace”—oppose terrorism and promote coexistence with Israel.
Not quite.
Every party that these “culture of peace” children created is aligned with a Palestinian terrorist group.

For Palestinians in Lebanon, 69 years of despair

As refugees, various U.N. charters entitle them and their descendants to the right to work and a dignified living until they can return to their homes or such settlement is reached.
But Palestinians in Lebanon suffer discrimination in nearly every aspect of daily life, feeding a desperation that is tearing their community apart.
Many live in settlements officially recognized as refugee camps but better described as concrete ghettos ringed by checkpoints and, in some cases, blast walls and barbed wire. The United Nations runs schools and subsidizes health care inside.
In Lebanon, there are 450,000 refugees registered in 12 camps, where Lebanese authorities have no jurisdiction inside.
“Our lot is less than zero,” Dawoud said in a recent interview outside Ein el-Hilweh, the crowded camp in the city of Sidon that is one of the most volatile.

Toronto protest supports the Palestinian Intifada, calls for elimination of Israel

Speakers at the Toronto protest in support of the hunger strike of the Palestinian “political prisoners” (convicted terrorists, according to Israel) that took place on Saturday, May 13, 2017, in front of the Israeli Consulate in Toronto, led the crowd in chanting slogans in support of the Palestinian Intifada, the liberation of Palestine and the elimination of Israel.
The following are excerpts from the event:
Hammam Farah (Palestinian Canadian activist against Israel)
Free Free Palestine. Viva Viva Palestina. Viva Viva Intifada. Viva Viva Palestina. Viva Viva Intifada. Viva Viva Palestina. Viva Viva Intifada. I need you to become louder. Let them hear us across the street. Viva Viva Palestina. Viva Viva Intifada. Viva Viva Palestina. Viva Viva Intifada. (click HERE to listen to the clip – Facebook)
Viva Viva Palestina. Viva Viva Intifada. Viva Viva Palestina. Viva Viva Intifada. Free Palestine. (click HERE to listen to the clip – Facebook)

Trevor Noah set to fundraise with Islamists in Toronto

Ezra Levant of TheRebel.media spoke with Sam Westrop of the Middle East Forum about the hypocrisy of Trevor Noah fundraising with an Islamist speaker who promotes a homophobic, sexist, and racist ideology.

Top Jewish Human Rights Group Urges Coca-Cola to Take Action Against Palestinian Franchisee After Map Without Israel Displayed at Gaza Factory

A leading US-based Jewish human rights group is urging the head of Coca-Cola to “take appropriate corporate measures” against its Palestinian franchisee following the display of a plastic bottle cap map — showing a Palestinian flag over all of Israel — at the company’s factory in the Gaza Strip.
The map was brought to the facility earlier this month, according to Dr. Shimon Samuels of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, by members of the Teacher Creativity Center — a UNESCO-sponsored Palestinian NGO — as part of a Coca-Cola “green” initiative.
“But this was not an innocent environmental exercise,” Samuels said. “This map shows a ‘Palestine’ totally obliterating the State of Israel.”
In a letter sent to Coca-Cola President and CEO James Quincey on Sunday, Samuels called the map “a disturbing abuse of your corporate good name.”
Coca-Cola, Samuels told Quincey, should demand that its Palestinian franchisee “create a Coca-Cola bottle cap map of Israel to place alongside a Palestinian peace map…That would be a great Coca-Cola message against hate and violence.”
A Coca-Cola spokesperson told The Algemeiner on Monday the map was not on display at the Gaza plant “inside or outside.”

BBC News website fails to update report after story develops

However, less than a day after that report was published the story changed significantly. The parents were cleared of suspicion of neglect or abuse, released from custody and permitted to visit their son in hospital. The “makeshift cage” reported by the BBC turned out to be a storeroom for cans which the unemployed father collected and recycled for cash as well as a workshop where he repaired bicycles. The allegation that the boy had been “kept at home since birth” that appears in the BBC’s headline was shown to be untrue.
On May 15th (while the BBC’s report was still in place) the same Army radio station quoted in the BBC’s article reported that the boy is to return home.
Nevertheless, the BBC’s article was not amended to reflect those developments, meaning that for four consecutive days visitors to the BBC News website read an inaccurate story concerning the supposed abuse and neglect of a minor.
As regular readers are aware, the BBC News website has a curious penchant for domestic stories from Israel – particularly those of a legal/criminal genre – that are of little or no interest to foreign audiences. If the corporation is going to publish such stories, it clearly has the journalistic responsibility to ensure that they are accurate and to keep them updated as developments come to light.

BBC World Service tells sports fans tall tales of ‘stolen Palestinian land’

Alan Green’s introduction to the item included unqualified amplification of inflammatory Palestinian messaging and a one-sided portrayal of ‘international law’.
Green: “Now to a very controversial argument which could have serious repercussions for football in the Middle East: an argument that has led to calls for Israel to be suspended by FIFA. The Palestinians are angry. They say that there are six Israeli football teams playing on their land: territory which was stolen from them following the Six Day War in 1967. The Israeli settlements, which have grown and developed over the years, are illegal under international law and considered to be a violation of the Geneva Convention. And to have football clubs playing there goes against FIFA rules. The Israelis deny any wrong-doing, insisting that the teams are free to participate in Israeli leagues.”
Green’s references to “their [Palestinian] land” and “territory which was stolen from them [the Palestinians]” obviously do not meet the requirements of BBC editorial guidelines on impartiality. While Green may of course claim to have been paraphrasing the Palestinian position, he clearly should have informed listeners that the said territory was captured from Jordan (rather than the Palestinians) in 1967 after 19 years of unrecognised occupation and that agreements signed between Israel and the PLO – the Oslo Accords – clearly state that the region concerned, Area C, will have its status determined in negotiations, meaning that it is both premature and highly partial to portray that territory as ‘Palestinian land’. Additionally, Green’s one-sided presentation of ‘international law’ and the Geneva Convention does not inform listeners of the existence of differing legal opinions on those topics.
Neither did Green provide listeners with a proper presentation of the “FIFA rules” that he claimed are being breached by football clubs in Ma’ale Adumim, Ariel, Kiryat Arba, Givat Ze’ev, Oranit and the Jordan Valley. While article 72.2 of the FIFA Statutes says that “Member associations and their clubs may not play on the territory of another member association without the latter’s approval”, had Green bothered to clarify to audiences that the territory concerned is disputed and subject to final status negotiations, their understanding of this story would have been greatly improved.

MEMRI: Russian TV News Item On Rothschild Family Uses Nazi Footage

A weekend news broadcast, aired on Russia’s Channel 1 on April 2, reports on the history of the Rothschild family, using Nazi propaganda footage and antisemitic caricatures. The item, which was broadcast following the death of American banker David Rockefeller, purported to shed light on another wealthy international banking dynasty, the Rothschilds. The use of Nazi propaganda footage – and moreover, without explicitly mentioning the Nazi regime – is unusual in public broadcasts on Russian media. The broadcast describes the major conspiracy theories regarding the Rothschild family, claiming that it is part of an international Jewish plot to take control of the world. The MEMRI TV clip has translated excerpts from the original news item.

Russian TV News – ‘Rothschild Family Uses Nazi Footage’

Anti-Semitic tweets target Virginia mayor who slammed nationalists

The mayor of the Virginia college town of Charlottesville was the target of anti-Semitic tweets on Sunday after speaking out against white nationalists who converged on a local park carrying blazing torches the previous night.
Mayor Mike Signer said two protests led on Saturday by Richard Spencer, a leader of the “alt-right” movement, came on the same day the city held its annual Festival of Cultures event, which celebrates diversity in the town, which is home to the University of Virginia.
“You’re seeing anti-Semitism in these crazy tweets I’m getting and you’re seeing a display of torches at night, which is reminiscent of the KKK,” Signer, who is Jewish, said in a phone interview. “They’re sort of a last gasp of the bigotry that this country has systematically overcome.”
Signer issued a statement on Saturday criticizing the torch-carrying marchers as either “profoundly ignorant” or aiming to instill fear.

Report: Israeli Experts Helped Repel Massive Global Cyber Attack

As businesses resumed activities after the weekend in Israel, the nation was still assessing how many organizations and companies had been compromised by a massive electronic attack that hit over 150 countries around the world. But quick and joint action by cyber experts in Israel helped keep the attack at bay, a cybersecurity expert said on Sunday.
“We are still assessing the damage,” Sharon Nimirovski, the founder and CEO of Tel Aviv based cyber firm White Hat said in a phone interview. “We are working on this event around the clock and Israeli firms have been hit but we still believe it is minor. We are still investigating. The systems have been infected, but we don’t see damage. The attack reached the computers but was blocked.”
“We have no idea what is going to happen today – it is still only the early hours of the day. We are already seeing a second version of the attack that was released yesterday because the first was blocked,” he said.
The cyber extortion attack, which locked up computers and held users’ files for ransom, was believed to be the biggest of its kind ever recorded, disrupting services from the US to Russia, the UK, Spain and India. It appeared to exploit a vulnerability purportedly identified for use by the US National Security Agency and later leaked to the internet.
The unprecedented global ransomware cyberattack has hit more than 200,000 victims in more than 150 countries, Europol executive director Rob Wainwright said Sunday.

Israeli-Developed Food Safety Test Wins UN Prize for Innovation

Yarok Technology Transfer, an innovation-based developer of fast, accurate tests for the food industry, today announced it has received the United Nations International Award 2017 for “Innovative Ideas and Technology on Agribusiness.”
The Jerusalem-based company was honored for its fast testing system that is able to detect the presence of dangerous bacteria in food in just 45 minutes.
Yarok was one of five winners selected from over 330 entries from 80 countries submitted to the competition. The contest aimed to identify the world’s most innovative technologies and ideas in agribusiness to improve the socio-economic, food safety and security conditions in Less Developed Countries (LDCs).
“We’re honored to receive this award for our project which aims to empower farmers from LDcs by means of our fast testing technology. One major barrier LDC producers face are Developed Countries’ high Food Safety standards. Adapting the Yarok system to LDC needs will, we hope, open export opportunities,” said Yarok CEO Jonathan Sierra.

Palestinian, Jewish teens saved by organ donation from each other’s family

The mother of a 19-year-old Jewish man near Nahariya donated one of her kidneys to a 16-year-old boy from Jenin, while the brother of the Palestinian teen gave a kidney to the young Jewish man.
The “cross transplant” at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa was necessary because while each donor was not compatible to their relative needing the organ, their tissues were compatible with that of the other family.
The Rambam surgeons said the operations were challenging and complicated — especially from the logistic point of view — because they have to be performed simultaneously.
In the first stage, the two donors were brought into operating rooms for removal of one kidney each, and the organs were prepared for transplant. This procedure took three hours. Then the recipients were wheeled into the operating rooms to undergo their transplants.
Dozens of doctors, nurses and other personnel from vascular surgery, nephrology and other units were involved in the procedure. All the operations were successful and the patients are recovering.

Tunisia seeks UNESCO status for Jewish pilgrimage isle

Tunisia plans to seek UNESCO World Heritage status for the island of Djerba, site of Africa’s oldest synagogue and an annual Jewish pilgrimage, its culture minister said on Sunday.
Speaking on the last day of the pilgrimage to the Ghriba synagogue, Mohamed Zine El-Abidine said the island was important for its “cultural and religious uniqueness.”
He said the application to add Djerba to the World Heritage List would highlight the rich religious heritage of the island, which is home to centuries-old mosques, churches and synagogues.
He did not give a specific time frame for the application.
The cultural agency of the United Nations already lists eight sites in the North African country, including the old cities of Tunis and Sousse and the city of Carthage, once the capital of the Mediterranean-wide Phoenician empire.

Taglit-Birthright Israel launches biggest season in its history

The Taglit-Birthright Israel program is launching the largest season in its history, with 33,000 Jewish youngsters from 33 countries expected to visit Israel this summer.
The program offers free 10-day trips to Israel in an effort to strengthen the connection between young Diaspora Jews and Israel.
The organization is kick-starting the summer with 131 groups expected to land in Israel this week.
Additionally, the Taglit Plus program will be unveiled this season, giving participants the opportunity to continue touring Israel for a further four to five days after the end of the 10-day trip, and to choose enrichment programs from various fields of interest.
“This summer we will celebrate 600,000 participants,” said Birthright Israel International CEO Gidi Mark. “We are proud to mark this benchmark, which represents, beyond the number, the change in which Jewish youth in the Diaspora sees Israel and Jewish identity.”

Mother’s Day

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