September 25, 2020

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07/04 Links Pt2: Netanyahu Praises Trump, Calls on Europe to Break Relations With Iran, In July 4 Message; Israelis overwhelmingly prefer Trump to Obama; The environmental impact of war

From Ian:

Netanyahu Praises Trump, Calls on Europe to Break Relations With Iran, In July 4 Message
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu paid tribute to the historic alliance between Israel and the US at a July 4 reception at the newly-opened American Embassy in Jerusalem.

“We’re grateful for America’s independence,” Netanyahu declared. “We’re grateful for America’s strength. We’re grateful for America’s alliance with Israel.”

Netanyahu also singled out US President Donald Trump for special praise. “You remember that Iran nuclear deal? Remember that?” the Prime Minister asked. “President Trump decided to leave this bad deal and he did the greatest thing for the security of the world and for the security of Israel.”

Commenting on the arrest of an alleged Iranian terror network operating in France by French, Belgian and German authorities, Netanyahu remarked: “This Iranian terror plot was planned on the soil of Europe on the same week that the European leaders are supposed to meet the President of Iran about circumventing the sanctions on Iran.”

Netanyahu called on European nations to break relations with Iran.

“Here’s my message to the European leaders: Stop funding the very regime that is sponsoring terrorism against you and against so many others,” he said. “Stop appeasing Iran.”

Israelis overwhelmingly prefer Trump to Obama — poll

Israelis overwhelmingly favor US President Donald Trump over his predecessor Barack Obama, according to a poll released on Wednesday, and are lukewarm in their support for the immigration of American Jews to the Jewish state.

The survey, conducted for Haaretz newspaper to coincide with US Independence Day, found that almost half of Israelis — 49 percent — strongly approved of Trump (and 23% slightly approved), while only 22% disapproved of the US president.

However, when asked about Obama, only 19% of respondents strongly approved of him (while 30% slightly approved), compared to a substantial 46% who disapproved of the former American leader.

Trump came to Israel last year in his first overseas trip as president and visited Jerusalem’s Western Wall, becoming the first American president to do so. In December, he recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and in May the US embassy in Israel was moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. In his views vis-à-vis the Palestinian Authority, Trump has been seen as more favorable to Israel than his predecessor.

His approval ratings in Israel eclipsed his support at home, where he only enjoys a 41.8% approval rating, according to 538’s poll aggregator.

According to the Haaretz poll, 44% of Israelis believed Trump’s peace plan would be pro-Israel, while only 7% thought it would be pro-Palestinian (31% thought it would be balanced).

Jerusalem’s Past and Jerusalem’s Future

Among his other prominent roles in the public life of the Jewish state, Dore Gold has served as Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations and director general of the Israeli foreign ministry. In conversation with Eric Cohen, he discusses efforts to deny the Jewish historical connection to Jerusalem, 20th-century debates over the city’s fate, America’s decision to relocate its embassy, and the changing face of relations between Israel and some Arab states.

Does ‘Toy’ sound like ‘Seven Nation Army’?

Universal Music Group has sent a letter to the writer and composer of “Toy,” Israel’s Eurovision- winning song, threatening a lawsuit over its similarities to a 2003 White Stripes track.

Universal Music Group has sent a letter to the writer and composer of “Toy,” Israel’s Eurovision- winning song, threatening a lawsuit over its similarities to a 2003 White Stripes track.

The letter was sent two weeks ago to Doron Medalie and Stav Beger, who created the song that Netta Barzilai brought to victory in Lisbon last month. News of the letter was first reported on Tuesday evening in Israel, by the Good Evening with Guy Pines TV show. The letter claims that there are similarities between “Toy” and the White Stripes’s “Seven Nation Army.”

The letter reportedly notes similarities between the rhythm and tempo of the songs, rather than the melodies or lyrics. “Seven Nation Army” is known as the rock duo’s signature song; it won best rock song at the Grammy Awards that year and has become an anthem for many sporting events.

Medalie confirmed to The Jerusalem Post Tuesday that he had received such a letter.

“It’s not a lawsuit, there’s no court here,” he said. “It’s a letter of clarification, so we’re clarifying.”

Medalie said he could not comment further, since it involves legal proceedings, but said “everything will be okay.”

Ofer Menahem, the publicist for Barzilai, said the Eurovision-winning singer would not be commenting on the incident. Menahem reiterated that there is no current lawsuit, just a letter of inquiry.

Universal declined to comment on the reports.

PA warns against holding Eurovision in Jerusalem

The Palestinian Authority has launched a campaign to stop the Eurovision Song Contest from being held in Jerusalem, although it’s still unclear whether the contest would be held in the city next year.

Ahmed Assaf, the PA minister in charge of the official Palestinian media, said he has sent dozens of letters to Arab and European parties warning them against holding next year’s Eurovision in Jerusalem, which he said was “occupied Palestinian land according to international law and United Nations resolutions.”

He said, that in his letters, he made it clear that holding the Eurovision in “occupied Jerusalem would mean legitmizing the Israeli occupation and practises, including the Judaization of the city and house demolitions.”

The minister also warned that holding the song contest in Jerusalem would “constitute a grave violation of the international law, especially the 4th Geneva Convention, which prohibits altering the status of the city which is under occupation.”

He said that the heads of the Arab States Broadcasting Union (ASBU), an institution related to the League of Arab States and the Pan-Arab Association of Public Service and Commercial Broadcasters, supported the PA campaign to stop the Eurovision from being held in Jerusalem.

Honest Reporting: The environmental impact of war

When people are dying from war, we forget to think about the environment, and that’s totally understandable, but this is a topic we cannot ignore.

Since 9/11, war has destroyed more than half the forests in Afghanistan’s three major provinces. The Gulf War increased air pollution in Baghdad by 705 percent.

In 2009 the United Nations said that we urgently need a new set of international laws to protect the environment during war, but the problem has not been properly addressed yet, and the destruction is continuing.

For example, last Friday I went down to the Gaza border and saw Palestinian protesters launching explosive kites and balloons into Israel. So far, they’ve burned over 7,000 acres of nature reserves, farmland, and forests.

In just a month or two, a forest fire can release as much carbon emission as all the cars and trucks in an entire American state for whole year, and forest fires are usually only about 100 acres.

The fires in Israel have destroyed an area 70 times larger than that.

Protesters are also burning thousands of tires, releasing poisons like dioxins, metals and carbon monoxide into the air and groundwater. This damage will affect the local ecosystem for years and affects both Israelis and Palestinians.

Israel slams ‘immoral’ Irish bill banning trade with settlements

Israel on Wednesday slammed an Irish bill that would outlaw the sale and import of settlement-produced goods, saying it was “immoral” and encourages terrorism.

“The Embassy of Israel is concerned by bills that further the divisions between Israel and the Palestinians. Legislation, which promotes a boycott of any kind, should be rejected as it does nothing to achieve peace but rather empowers the Hamas terrorists as well as those Palestinians who refuse to come to the negotiating table,” Israel’s mission in Dublin said in a press release.

“Closing doors will not in any way facilitate Ireland’s role and influence. There are direct parties to the conflict. Boycotting one of them will not do any good and is immoral.”

After the Control of Economic Activities (Occupied Territories) Bill 2018 was frozen in late January, it is now scheduled to be voted on in the Irish Senate next Wednesday.

The government in Dublin — known to be one of the most pro-Palestinian governments in Europe — is opposed to the law, arguing that it is not legally entitled to curtail trade with Israeli companies based in the settlements.

David Collier: The Adalah scam. The farce of the ‘discriminatory laws database’

Adalah is a name you may not recognise. They are an Israeli NGO and are responsible for one of the most important ‘scams’ of the delegitimisation campaign against Israel.

Adalah created a database of laws that they claim ‘discriminate’ against the Arab citizens of Israel. There are currently sixty-six laws listed.

Whenever you hear the claim that Israel is a ‘racist state’ or that it is an ‘Apartheid state’, it is the Adalah database that underpins the claim.

So I went through each of the sixty-six ‘discriminatory laws’ and have just published a report on my findings. This is what I discovered:

Adalah’s list is racist
The first point I want to make is that Adalah’s list has many related to security and the fight against terror. 21% of the laws fell into the ‘security’ category. As the report shows, most western nations have introduced numerous laws over the last decade that have cut back on some civil liberties. Israel has done the same, but these laws do not discriminate. Former cabinet minister Gonen Segev will no doubt feel some of the force of these laws as he stands accused of spying for Iran.

So what does Adalah imply when they suggest a law that deals with interrogations is ‘discriminatory’ against the Arab citizens of Israel? That Arab citizens are all ‘terrorists’? That they are all violent? Isn’t it more likely that almost all Arab citizens of Israel are not impacted at all by these laws and only those extremists that come to the attention of the security services, Jew or Arab, will have their freedoms curtailed?

If anyone suggested that Arab citizens of Israel are ‘enemy aliens’ or are all ‘terrorists’, they would rightly be labelled as racist. That is exactly what Adalah do when they suggest some of these security laws discriminate. The Adalah list is racist.

Amnesty launches campaign to fight discrimination against Arab Israelis

Amnesty International Israel launched a new website on Wednesday calling for an end to discrimination against Arab Israelis, via a platform aimed at facilitating the reporting of cases of discrimination and taking part in various activities against it.”

The Israeli branch of the human rights organization established the website due to its perception that Arab Israelis, or “Palestinian citizens of Israel” as the organization refers to them, are undergoing a “severe attack” and need to operate in an organized and collective manner to fight for their rights as a minority in Israel.

“The Israeli government severely violates the freedom of expression and freedom of association of Palestinian individuals and organizations in Israel,” Amnesty International said in a press release. “These are fundamental and important freedoms in every democratic state, and in Israel they are fundamental rights of special protection, and the violation of them is a serious violation of Israeli and international law, which necessarily leads to a reduction and threat to the existence of Palestinian civil society in Israel.”

The campaign is focused on stopping the “silencing of Palestinian activists and organizations in Israel” as well as incitement against them.

With this view, the organization will gather testimonies and information on any incidents of this kind, and will monitor legislation and bills it deems discriminatory or as violating or restricting freedom of expression, freedom of association and freedom of demonstration.

Amnesty seeks to stop such discriminatory actions using various tools, one of which will be its new Hebrew-Arabic website.

NGO Monitor: French-Funded NGOs: The Radicalization of Human Rights

The banner of human rights provides non-governmental organizations (NGOs) around the world with a halo of credibility and impartiality, enhancing their access to funding and to decision making processes. Unfortunately, many NGOs routinely exploit the rhetoric of universal human rights and international law to promote narrow ideological and political campaigns.

Several government-funded NGOs involved in the Arab-Israeli conflict go further, using the façade of human rights and international law to blur the lines between “peaceful” and “nonviolent” campaigns, on one hand, and violent “resistance” including attacks against civilians, on the other. Some of these organizations also have ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) – a designated terrorist organization by the EU, US, and Israel. The term “resistance” is used by Palestinians to refer to armed groups that carry out attacks against Israel – including the PFLP, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad – and is used in this way by many of the NGOs discussed in this report.1

By exploiting the language of human rights and by working together in a tight network, these groups are able to amplify their claims, garner undue exposure, and gain legitimacy for their radical ideologies. Their messages, which are in blatant defiance of their funders’ policies, resonate in a global context of rising populism and increasing extremism that rewards fearmongering, incitement, and misleading rhetoric.

J Street: Netanyahu using July 4 as cover to demolish Bedouin village

A liberal pro-Israel lobbying group in the United States on Wednesday accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government of using the American July 4 holiday as a “cover” to advance the court-ordered demolition of a West Bank hamlet.

Clashes broke out earlier in the day between police and protesters at the illegally built Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, east of Jerusalem, which is due to be demolished.

The J Street organization said in a statement it was “outraged by the Israeli government’s dispatch of bulldozers today.”

“Prime Minister Netanyahu’s government seems intent on using the July 4th holiday as cover to move forward with demolition plans that have been opposed by dozens of US lawmakers, hundreds of rabbis and thousands of pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans,” the group said in a statement.

“Netanyahu and his government should know: Even on July 4th, Americans are watching their destructive actions in the West Bank, with deep frustration and concern for the damage they are doing to the future of both Israelis and Palestinians,” J Street said, noting that on July 2 it delivered a letter with 7,000 signatures to the Israeli embassy in Washington opposing the demolition.

German Festival With Israeli Sponsorship Targeted by BDS Campaign

The Palestinian-led boycott campaign against Israel is calling on artists to withdraw from Berlin’s Pop-Kultur Festival in August over the Israeli Embassy’s involvement in the event.

The demand — made by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) — has been endorsed by five performers to date, including American musician John Maus and UK-based acts Richard Dawson, Gwenno, and Nadine Shah.

Several of the artists cited the violence that took place by the Gaza-Israel border during recent Hamas-led riots in their statements, with the band Shopping explaining that it reached its decision after being “contacted privately by Palestinian artists and human rights activists.”

PACBI has targeted Pop-Kultur since May, accusing the festival — which receives funding from the German government — of “art-washing Israel’s regime” and engaging in “anti-Arab racism.” The group previously sought to force the festival to disassociate from the Israeli Embassy in 2017, but only succeeded in securing the cancellation of eight artists.

Islamic Relief is a cog in a dangerous machine

As our report shows in great detail, across the world, other Islamic Relief officials are tied to Muslim Brotherhood networks. In Sweden, for example, a recent government report concluded that Islamic Relief serves to provide “credibility” to the Muslim Brotherhood, and notes that Islamic Relief official Haytham Rahmeh is involved with providing weapons to Muslim Brotherhood fighters in Syria. Meanwhile, Swedish Islamic Relief official Abdallah Salah, is frequently pictured with Muslim Brotherhood insignia.

Islamic Relief collaborates with and funds several Hamas fronts. Islamic Relief UK has given money, for example, to the Al-Falah Benevolent Society, a Hamas da’wah organisation run by Ramadan Tamboura, described by journalists as a “well-known Hamas figure.” Islamic Relief Worldwide, meanwhile, remains financially linked with other organisations connected to terror, including Qatari regime fronts such as the Qatar Charity.

In 2014, the UAE’s decision to ban Islamic Relief was met with confusion and scepticism in the West. At the time, journalists (some, incidentally, since employed by Muslim Brotherhood media) attacked the UAE and deemed the designation “completely ludicrous and defamatory.” But as the Middle East Forum has discovered, the UAE understood what Western politicians have been unable to grasp – that a charity that has served for three decades as a key conduit for international aid efforts could also be the financial arm for an international movement dedicated to promoting extremism and instability, and to radicalising historically moderate Muslim communities.

Islamic Relief is a vital cog in a dangerous machine. Its duplicity may have won over credulous media and politicians, but now governments in Europe and America must follow the UAE’s lead, and restrict the influence and reach of this international Islamist franchise and its hundreds of millions of dollars. As our report concludes: there are plenty of charities that do not promote extremism and subsidise terrorism; why should taxpayers all over the world fund one that does?

Anna Baltzer: Gaza requires attention

The “great march of return” was nothing more than a massive temper tantrum by those middle children of the Arab world, the Palestinians. Its all about “visibility” and staying “in the spotlight”. Anna and her overlords want to insure you don’t get distracted by the myriad of domestic issues.

Lets help Anna out. Zionists are nothing, if not helpful. Over 80% of those killed in Gaza are identified members of terrorist groups. Lets show the world who her heroes really are.

For photos of the “civilians” killed in Gaza, start here, or use these:
If you decide to “plaster these all over your cities and towns”, send us photos and links, and we’ll be sure to post them, to help Anna in her quest to keep Gaza in the spotlight.

And it begins. Thanks to SW at UC Berkeley:

Code Pink Launches Campaign of Lies to Keep Bob Marley’s Son from Performing in Israel

David Nesta “Ziggy” Marley, Jamaican musician and leader of the band Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers, who is reggae icon Bob Marley’s first-born son, is coming to Tel Aviv for two concerts, July 31 and August 1. Ziggy, who is married to Israeli Orly Agai—the couple has four children—told Ynet back in 2011:

“The history of our connection to the root of Israel—David, Solomon—goes way before I met my wife. My father, my Rastafarian culture, is tightly linked to Jewish culture. We have a strong connection from when I was a young boy, reading the Tanach, the Bible, the Old Testament.”

Now the anti-Israel NGO Code Pink, whose leader has just been banned from visiting the Jewish State, has embarked on a campaign to force Marley to cancel his Tel Aviv Concerts.

To make their case, Code Pink just posted a string of lies about the reality of Jewish-Arab relations in Israel that should once and for all remove any claim the group may have made of loving Israel but hating the “occupation.”

IsraellyCool: Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider: “We Should Have Been Here (In Israel) Earlier”

Dee Snider of Twister Sister fame performed in Tel Aviv last night. And it was during that show that he expressed his regret at having not been in Israel before – especially considering two band members were Jews! (hat tip: Liberate Art)

(language warning)

For the record, as Dee mentions, he is not Jewish – at least not according to Jewish law, because his mother wasn’t – but his father was.

IsraellyCool: Don’t Point Out Jew Hatred On YouTube

It’s happened again. Two years ago I made a short video pointing out at that time, a little detail about how Facebook dealt with horrific Jew-hating content (antisemitism as some call it). I made the video, put it on Facebook and YouTube and wrote a blog post.

Then a funny thing happened: on January 19, 2016, YouTube removed my video (the one highlighting the existence of, but not spreading, Jew hatred). They accused that my video “violated our Community Guidelines”. I appealed immediately:

I produced a video highlighting the hate speech of OTHERS on Facebook; I didn’t even mention specifics of the hate speech. This video is still live on Facebook (of which I’m highly critical).

Someone at one of Israel’s main night-time news and comment shows, Hatzinor on Channel 10, picked up the story, ran most of my video and interviewed me on YouTube’s removal of the video. Just as that show went out on Israel’s national TV, YouTube accepted my appeal and re-instated the video.

Which is why I was somewhat shocked when yesterday I got the following email from YouTube:

Guardian cartoon of Abbas in an Israeli straitjacket illustrates the media’s failure to hold Palestinians responsible.

Yesterday, we tweeted this in response to a cartoon by the Guardian’s Steve Bell depicting Prince William’s recent visit with Mahmoud Abbas.

Though the ‘Israeli straitjacket around Abbas’ represents a motif we haven’t previously encountered, the idea that this imagery conveys, that Palestinians lack agency informs so much of what passes for enlightened opinion about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the British media.

As former AP Jerusalem correspondent Matti Friedman wrote in his landmark 2014 expose on institutional media bias, “Palestinians are not taken seriously as agents of their own fate.” “The story mandates”, Friedman added, “that they exist as passive victims of the party that matters [Israel].

This mindset not only leads the media to ignore widespread Palestinian antisemitism, but, in its most extreme form, it can end up excusing acts of terror – the “but, what choice do they have?” line. However, even far less extreme variations of the ‘Palestinian powerlessness’ narrative ignore the fact that their leaders – even without statehood – have the power to make choices that can significantly impact their quality of life.

Here are a few things that Abbas has the power to do:
– Whatever his misgivings about Trump’s peace plan, he could agree to talks without preconditions. (Even if what Israel is offering is less than a state, why reject a plan that could potentially provide the PA with far greater autonomy, reap significant economic rewards and represent a step closer to full statehood?)
– He could allow dissent in the PA, and stop arresting and beating protesters.
– He could hold elections (He’s currently serving the 13th year of a 4 year term).
– He could enact genuine economic and political reforms and begin to promote a culture of democracy.
– He could put an end to the PA’s glorification of terror and culture of incitement, end pay for slay and support projects which promote co-existence – ‘peace from the ground up’ as it’s called.
– He could stop placing roadblocks to Gaza’s rehabilitation.

BBC amends misleading Argentina match report after complaint

The claim that “our article does mention the threats” does not reflect the fact that the “mention” was added eleven hours after the report’s initial publication and that it is composed of a quote from the Israel Football Association relating solely to statements made by the PA’s Jibril Rajoub. The threats against the team at their training site in Barcelona were not reported.

Nevertheless, the article’s headline has now been changed from “Argentina cancels Israel World Cup friendly after Gaza violence” to “Argentina scraps Israel World Cup friendly after campaign“.

The added paragraphs read:
“The international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which campaigns for a complete boycott of Israel over its policies towards the Palestinians, had called on Argentina not to play against Israel, even before the venue moved from Haifa to Jerusalem.

The campaign escalated after Israel switched the venue to Jerusalem, which Israel regards as its capital and whose eastern part the Palestinians seek as the capital of a future Palestinian state.”

Does the Israeli-Polish Holocaust law agreement defend truth or betray history?

In October 2015, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed the World War II-era Palestinian mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini for inspiring the Nazis to exterminate the Jews.

The story made international headlines, with world leaders and Holocaust historians denouncing Netanyahu’s allegation as utterly inaccurate. Eventually, the prime minister walked back his incendiary accusation, clarifying that it was the Nazis and not the Palestinians who were responsible for the Shoah.

Last week, the prime minister — the son of a historian and a self-declared history buff himself — once again waded into Holocaust-related controversy, though with much less international attention.

On Wednesday, he signed an agreement with Warsaw that ended the spat between the two countries over a controversial Polish law that criminalized accusing the Polish nation of being “responsible or co-responsible for Nazi crimes committed by the Third Reich.”

While Jerusalem feted the annulment of the law’s most problematic stipulations, a leading Israeli expert on the Shoah called a joint statement that accompanied the deal not only factually erroneous but also a “betrayal of the memory of the Holocaust,” motivated by mundane present-day political considerations.

Accusations of anti-Semitism mount against Polish priest set for sainthood

Pope Francis’ decision to move the World War II-era head of Poland’s Catholic Church a step closer to possible sainthood has hit a stumbling block, after two leading Jewish organizations and even Polish Catholic publications called him out for anti-Semitic views.

It’s not clear if the protests will derail the sainthood cause of Cardinal August Hlond, but in the past the Vatican has taken such protests seriously and at the very least put the cases up for closer review.

In May, Francis approved a decree recognizing Hlond’s “heroic virtues.” Now the Vatican must confirm a miracle attributed to Hlond’s intercession for him to be beatified, and a second one for him to be made a saint.

Hlond, born July 5, 1881, was the highest-ranking church official in Poland from 1926 to his death in 1948. He is highly respected in this overwhelmingly Catholic country for having rejected Nazi Germany’s proposals for a collaborative government, and for protecting the church’s independence during the first years of communism.

Australian High School Students Suspended Over Antisemitic Bullying Campaign

Two students at a high school in Sydney have been suspended for the antisemitic bullying of Jewish classmates.

The students from the Balmain campus of Sydney Secondary College, a state high school in the Australian city, were sanctioned after a bullying campaign that lasted for over a month. School authorities clamped down on the group last week after a teacher witnessed the Jewish student being mocked with Nazi salutes.

The parents of 18 year seven students – both the bullies and their victims – were contacted during the investigation sparked by the Jun. 25 incident.

Most of the harassment is understood to have been propagated by the two suspended ringleaders, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

A similar scandal emerged at a Sydney high school less than a year ago – on that occasion, an elite private establishment was involved.

Timothy Wright, headmaster of the exclusive Sydney Church of England Grammar School, apologized unreservedly after an “insensitive and offensive’’ picture surfaced showing his own deputy, Rod Morrison, standing with a group of students in front of a swastika-emblazoned Nazi flag.

IBM showcases debating robot in Israel where it was sired by Haifa team

IBM once again pitted a computer against two human debaters — similar to a demonstration it held in San Francisco last month — but this time the show was held it IBM’s Givataim offices, in Israel, where the Israeli researchers who pulled off the so-called Project Debater feat proudly took ownership of the product in front of the local press.

At the event on Tuesday, as in San Francisco last month, the computer, called Project Debater — a tall black pillar with three blue, flashing, round, eye-like lights at its front — and the humans, in this case two professional Israeli debaters, Yaar Bach and Hayah Goldlist-Eichler — sparred over two subjects. The first, held against Bach, debated the pros and cons of mass surveillance methods; the second, which the computer held against Goldlist-Eichler, was about the pros and cons of genetic engineering.

The IBM team in Haifa has developed a “very special technology” that is “a significant milestone in the development of Artificial Intelligence technology,” said IBM’s Israel CEO and country manager Daniel Melka to an audience of journalists and IBM employees who worked on the project.

Intel mulling $9 billion investment in Israel, minister says

Intel is considering making a new investment of $9 billion in Israel, the country’s Economy Minister said Tuesday while addressing an accountants’ trade conference in the Israeli resort town of Eilat.

Intel reacted to the statement saying that “there is no concrete investment being considered right now in Israel.”

Eli Cohen, an accountant by profession, did not elaborate aside from saying that “Israel is benefiting from innovation, a global brand and human capital.”

When asked to specify the target of Intel’s investment, Cohen said the chipmaker “specializes in processors and data, an area that is growing and growing.”

The statement by Cohen comes two months after Intel confirmed that it would spend $5 billion to upgrade a semiconductor plant in the Israeli town of Kiryat Gat. Cohen said that the work on the plant would begin by the end of the year. As part of its negotiations with the Israeli government on the upgrade, Intel committed to buying a large portion of products from local companies.

Auto giant Hyundai forms strategic partnership with Israel’s Autotalks

Korean automaker Hyundai Motor announced Tuesday that it was partnering with Israel’s Autotalks, a semiconductor company that develops vehicle-to-vehicle communications in autonomous cars so as to improve road safety.

Founded in 2008, Autotalks is a privately held company with strong financial backing from leading global venture capital funds. The company is headquartered in Israel with offices in North America, Germany, France, Sweden, Japan and South Korea.

Hyundai said it was forming a strategic partnership with Autotalks to accelerate the development of the next generation chipset for connected cars.

The South Korean auto giant did not disclose the size of the investment but an Israeli industry source said it amounted to several million dollars.

Hyundai said it is expanding partnerships for connectivity technology vital to autonomous driving.

Universal Music Discovered Hasidic Singer Shulem Lemmer on YouTube. They Just Released His First Singles.

As best he can recall, Universal Music executive Graham Parker was just looking for a Passover song on YouTube to play for his kids. That’s how he stumbled across Belzer hasid Shulem Lemmer’s a cappella rendition of the traditional ditty “Chad Gadya.”

Parker was immediately hooked. “This guy really knows what he’s doing with his voice,” he remembers thinking. “I was just flabbergasted by him.”

At the time, Parker was the manager of WQXR, New York’s esteemed classical radio station. He soon became something of a Shulem superfan. “I was honestly a little obsessed with Shulem,” he said. “I just was like, who is this guy?”

He began by investigating the “Chad Gadya” video. “It took me ages to figure out: Where was this shot? It’s not in Israel because the Coke bottles are in English, so it’s somewhere in America. It’s clearly not a religious event because they’re filming it. So what is this?” When Parker arrived at Universal Music some time later to oversee their classical labels in America, he would finally find out.

Among other responsibilities at Universal, Parker was tasked with assembling his own roster of artists under a new label, Decca Gold. He immediately thought of Shulem, the Belzer hasid he had never met. “I had a meeting with our chairman where I mentioned the idea,” Parker recalled. “I said, ‘I’m looking at this guy,’ and he said, ‘What are you doing sitting here? Go reach out to him.’”

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

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