December 7, 2022

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07/05 Links Pt2: Why Is the New Israel Fund Backing Breaking the Silence?

From Ian:

Israel supporters confront Iran hate-fest en masse
Last week, London – like many cities throughout the world – saw its own “Al Quds Day” march, a yearly anti-Israel hate-fest first launched by the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979, to call for the destruction of the Jewish state.
Typically, the march sees thousands of Islamist and far-left demonstrators parading Hezbollah flags and calling for Israel’s destruction unchallenged through the streets of the British capital – though in recent years the number of anti-Israel marchers has dwindled somewhat, as Sunni Muslims and supporters of the Syrian opposition have boycotted the parade due to its support for Iran and Hezbollah, the two most important allies of the brutal Assad regime.
Pro-Israel groups have tended to shy away from confronting the parade, with many among the Jewish establishment preferring to “play it safe” and ignore the event – much to the frustration of grassroots activists, who say such demonstrations of anti-Israel hatred, which often spill over into open anti-Semitism, cannot go unchallenged.
This year, however, was different, courtesy of a coalition of pro-Israel and Jewish groups, spanning grassroots groups such as the Israel Advocacy Movement and Sussex Friends of Israel, as well as major Jewish and Zionist organizations such as the Board of Deputies, Jewish Leadership Council and Zionist Federation.
First, a handful of pro-Israel counter-protesters fearlessly confronted the march, at one point even blocking their route in an unprecedented show of defiance. (h/t vwVwwVwv)

IsraellyCool: EU Ambassador Refuses To Condemn Abbas Standing Ovation After Blood Libel

When IBA News anchor Eylon Aslan-Levy asks EU Ambassador to Israel Lars Faaborg-Andersen if he condemns the EU Parliament’s decision to give Mahmoud Abbas a standing ovation after his infamous blood libel, this is the response.
Why am I not surprised? This is so typical of Europe (home of the blood libel, incidentally).
Imagine if the EU had sent a clear message to Abbas. No terrorism! No incitement! Or otherwise no funding!
Instead, the Europeans continue their downward slide by siding with the very forces that will be the end of them. (starts 3:35)

Palestine in the 1800s

Félix Bonfils (1831-1885) was French photographer and writer who was active in the Middle East. Four years after his arrival he reported 15,000 prints of Egypt, Palestine, Syria, and Greece, and 9,000 stereoscopic-views. He traveled to the region several times and we hear of no mass population of Palestinians, which contradicts everything the Palestinians lie about to the world.
His pictures did not manage to capture any photographs of a single so-called ‘Palestinian’ who are suppose to have lost land to Jewish occupation, if we believe Arab propaganda.
Amin al Husseini made the dome his special project. It had fallen into a state of utter disrepair, but al-Husseini saw it to his political advantage to restore it. The dilapidated Dome of the Rock was a decaying old relic well into the 20th century. It was of no import and it was no longer used as a place of worship.

The Entebbe Raid as recounted by Jeremy Corbyn (satire)

Forty years ago, an ad-hoc troupe of Palestinian activists and Germans with a passion for Social Justice staged a direct-action work stoppage, temporarily disrupting and re-routing scheduled air transportation from Occupied Yafa Tel Aviv to Paris. This protest was not unlike how some of our more boisterous Trade Unionists might temporarily shut down the Bakerloo Line in an attempt to draw attention to the cutbacks enacted by today’s Neo-Thatcherite Government under Mr. Cameron.
The activists then took the passengers on an impromptu excursion to Uganda where they were hosted by a man I considered a friend, Idi Amin. Mr. Amin, who was in the midst of taking his country on a somewhat accelerated course toward true equality (with the unfortunate side effect of several hundred thousand deaths and the expulsion of the Indian minority), proved a gracious host. In order to better achieve a sense of Solidarity, the activists grouped the passengers into “working groups“, to include “Jews and Israelis” and “Everyone Else“. In order to better focus the Collective toward the goal of reducing Palestinian incarceration rates, “Everyone Else” was sent home, allowing for a true emphasis on the interaction between the Social Justice activists and the “Jews and Israelis“.
Mr. Amin received his guests with the traditional hospitality that he was known for, and allowed everyone to camp out at the Entebbe Airport, not unlike the Occupy protests around St. Paul’s Cathedral in 2011, but somehow not as filthy. Unfortunately, for reasons not entirely known, Israel did not appreciate the gesture and planned to disrupt Mr. Amin’s Conclave. Instead of meeting with the Activists in the spirit of constructive dialogue, Israel went down a path that is all too familiar to those of us who care for Justice. The Israelis chose to violate the laws of an African State through an act of piracy. Incidentally, the man in charge was named “Netanyahu“. There are so many things that one could say about this gross violation of sovereignty, but I feel one must focus on the quite frankly racist Israeli action of disguising one of their soldiers as Mr. Amin.

Naz Shah Suspension Lifted

Labour have lifted the suspension of Naz Shah, the MP who Guido revealed had said Israeli Jews should face “transportation” out of the Middle East, compared Israelis to Hitler and claimed “the Jews are rallying”. Shah had been profusely apologetic all along and will apologise again for bringing the party into disrepute. Shami Chakrabarti’s recommendation of no lifetime ban for anti-Semitism is being enforced. Promotion to the Shadow Cabinet imminent?

CNN Chases Trump’s Anti-Semitic Ghosts; Ignores Clinton’s Anti-Semitic Connections

It was Trump’s fault that CNN could not dedicate more time and resources towards examining Clinton’s interview with the FBI, implied Berman. Were it not for Trump’s forwarding of anti-Semitic memes on Twitter – which Berman implied was knowingly done – then CNN would have ensured that the “no good, terrible, awful week” would have befallen Clinton.
CNN has not asked Clinton or her surrogates about her connections to anti-Semitism via Max Blumenthal, the son of one her top advisors and loyalists. The son of Sidney Blumenthal, Max Blumenthal is an anti-Zionist who regularly pushes anti-Semitic innuendo in his career as an agitator on behalf of “Palestinian” nationalism. One of the most prominent faces of the contemporary left-wing anti-Zionist movement, his connection to Clinton via his father has never been investigated by CNN.
CNN falsely described last Monday’s meeting between Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton as “unplanned” and a “misstep.” Lynch’s obfuscatory responses when asked if she would recuse herself of her discretion over the investigation into Clinton’s email use were also mostly ignored by CNN. As head of the Justice Department, the decision as to whether or not to proceed with an indictment of Clinton in the event of a recommendation to do so from the FBI rests in Lynch’s hands. CNN has not pressed Lynch, Obama Administration officials, or any prominent Democrats about her near denial of her control over the investigation.
Despite Berman’s posturing, CNN has almost entirely ignored Judicial Watch’s depositions of Clinton’s loyalists over recent months – including last week’s deposition with Huma Abedin – who followed her into the State Department during her tenure as Secretary of State. Also ignored by CNN are scandals pertaining to the ostensibly charitable Clinton Foundation. The Clinton Foundation’s primary donors are foreign governments, including Muslim-majority and Islamist states such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Oman; governments which fund anti-Zionist, anti-American, and anti-Semitic propaganda.

Hillary’s Email Trail of Troubling Anti-Israel Conversations

In fact, if you do an exhaustive search of Ms. Clinton’s emails, you will not find a single pro-Israel article or piece of advice from Mr. Blumenthal throughout the hundreds of missives he sent. (Indeed, you will be hard pressed to find any pro-Israel articles or advice in Ms. Clinton’s thousands of released emails.)
Furthermore, Mr. Blumenthal’s stream of anti-Israel articles included many written not only by his son Max, but by Paul Blumenthal—his other anti-Israel son. He too contributed to the torrent of articles attacking Israel. The apples don’t fall far from the tree and Ms. Clinton was fed a steady diet of Israel disparagement from the Blumenthal trifecta.
In 2013, even before Ms. Clinton’s emails were released, Alan Dershowitz—a known supporter of the Clintons—already foresaw the Hillary-Blumenthal debacle. Wary of how damaging Mr. Blumenthal’s defense of his son’s anti-Israel views would be to Ms. Clinton’s future, Mr. Dershowitz warned, “Max Blumenthal is well outside the acceptable range of rhetoric about Israel. His constant comparisons between Nazi Germany and the Jewish state establish him as an extremist bigot whose greatest appeal is to anti-Semites and others who apply a double standard to the Jewish state. Any political candidate who would associate himself or herself with such views would be unacceptable to Americans… I hope that the Clintons ask Sid to expressly disassociate himself from his son’s views–and if he refuses to, that they no longer work with him on any matters.”
Mr. Dershowitz’s wise words have gone unheeded by both Clintons, and the newly released emails have thrown fuel on the fire.

Why Is the New Israel Fund Backing Breaking the Silence?

Breaking the Silence (BtS), a radical Israeli organization that implies all of Israel is occupied territory and defames the IDF, has been banned from any events attended by Israeli soldiers, and is banned from Israel’s school system.
Education Minister Naftali Bennett has said, “Our children are sent to the education system in order to encourage mutual responsibility, and not to harm IDF soldiers. The operations of Breaking the Silence caused the slander of Israel in the world, as they made it their target to harm their brothers, who protect us. Lies and propaganda against the IDF — not in our schools.”
As such, it wasn’t a surprise in Israel last week when Ben-Gurion University, which was going to honor BtS for its achievements in humanitarian aid, ultimately decided the organization was an inappropriate choice to receive the prize. The university said that Breaking the Silence “is an organization that is not in the national consensus, and the giving of the prize is liable to give an appearance of political bias.”
Yet, the extremist liberal American Jews of the New Israel Fund chose to come to the rescue — and launched a campaign, raising $20,000 for the organization.

Legal Expert: First Test of New Illinois Law Showed How Anti-Israel Tactics Backfired

The announcement by global security firm G4S a few months ago that it was selling its Israel-based affiliate was hailed as a major victory by the BDS movement. Given the terms of the Illinois law, G4S was notified that the state could divest from the company, because G4S’s actions were widely perceived to be part of a boycott effort. In response, G4S produced evidence to the Illinois Pension Board that not only explained that its decision to sell was strictly on business terms, but also that it intended to maintain broader, long-term business ties with Israel, albeit with a lower profile.
Kontorovich summed up the two-fold effect of the Illinois anti-boycott law:
The story of the anti-boycott laws and G4S reveals many interesting lessons. Firstly, G4S–one of the BDS movement‘s greatest alleged “victories”–is not only not “boycotting” Israel, it has committed to keeping an operational presence there for decades to come. In short, one of BDS’s biggest successes is a colossal failure. This also shows something about how the BDS campaign works.
It is not about convincing companies to change their views about Israel. Rather, it is about pestering and harassing them. G4S obviously saw great value–and no moral problem–in continuing to operate in Israel. However, even such companies face pressure to appease boycott activists: this shows that boycott activity by companies is typically not political, but simply a response to pressure. That is important to keep in mind when boycott activists attack anti-BDS laws for limiting “corporate speech” about Israel.

After the passage of the Illinois anti-boycott law last year, Kontorovich explained to The Tower that “companies don’t want to boycott Israel. In fact, companies targeted by the BDS movement are currently doing profitable business with Israel, but are afraid of the tactics of the BDS movement that want them to stop. This allows companies a good response to the BDS movement. The Illinois law will give protection to businesses—such as Caterpillar—and help save jobs in Illinois. The law, if it has any effect on the performance of the pension fund, will be a positive one.”

Anti-Israel Event to be Protested at Arlington Public Central Library

A radical Anti-Israel organization, Jewish Voice for Peace, is hosting a screening and discussion of the film The Occupation of the American Mind – Israel’s Public Relations War in the United States at the Arlington Central Library in Arlington, VA on Sunday, July 10 at 6 PM. The film is narrated by the anti-Israel rock personality Roger Waters and is co-sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington’s Committee for Peace and Justice in Palestine.
A group of concerned, pro-Israel advocates, led by Citizens Opposed to Propaganda Masquerading as Art (COPMA), plans to protest at the event, including distributing literature inside the room.
Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) uses the Jewish identity of some members and symbols of Judaism in an attempt to legitimize itself as a Jewish organization and protect itself and partner organizations from charges of anti-Semitism. Jewish Voice for Peace embraces the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against the Jewish State, and according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), JVP is counted among the top ten most anti-Israel organizations in America.
Abraham Foxman, former director of the ADL, classified JVP among the “groups fixated at delegitimizing Israel and convincing the American public that Israel is an international villain.” JVP participates in rallies and symposiums with groups that support terrorism, express anti-Semitic as well as anti-Israel venom, and shut down speakers that are pro-Israel.
An example of JVP’s indifference to attacks on Israeli civilians: in October of 2015 the organization referred to an increase in terror attacks against Israeli civilians and security forces as “Palestinian popular resistance” and posted a statement on its Facebook page that praises “a new generation of Palestinians… rising up en-masse against Israel’s brutal, decades-old regime of occupation, settler colonialism and apartheid.”

Newest VH1 Talk Show Host Supports Boycott of Israel, Defends Hamas

Reports indicate that a supporter of the anti-Israel BDS movement and a self-proclaimed radical who has supported numerous anti-American initiatives has been named the host of a new late night talk show on VH1. Marc Lamont Hill, a CNN commentator, will launch VH1 Live which will begin airing weekly on the Viacom-owned cable network on Sunday, July 17 at 10 PM.
Would a supporter of segregation be rewarded with a talk show? How about someone who is fiercely anti-LGBT? It seems that bigotry is only OK if it is directed at Israel. Hill is a staunch opponent of Israel, a proud supporter of the Boycott Divestment Sanctions movement, and an outspoken advocate against the so-called “occupation of Palestine.”
Witness: on June 7, 2016, Marc Lamont Hill tweeted: “Israel is very much, by definition, an apartheid state.” He recently criticized New York State Governor Cuomo’s initiative to stop illegal American boycotts of Israel, and simplistically defends the movement, insisting it is not seeking Israel’s destruction. Hill, quite active on social media, says that “Blaming the Palestinian Authority for violence in the region is dishonest and unproductive,” noting that Jerusalem is occupied. Hill advocates the “return” of third- and fourth-generation descendants of Palestinian Arabs who left Israel in 1948 and 1967 – a position which would lead to the demographic destruction of the State of Israel.
Hill believes there is no religious component to the issue of “Palestine.” In a remarkable denial of accepted facts, he denies that radical Islam or any religion at all is an issue between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs.

Social Justice Warriors Link Palestinian Plight to Black Lives Matter

A USA Today opinion piece written by Dynamic Education Foundation’s Imani Jackson argues that there is an inextricable link between the plight of Palestinians and the liberation of African-Americans sought under the Black Lives Matter movement.
The two factions a world apart share parallel themes of liberation, Jackson surmises, seeing the similarities between tear gas in the streets fired on the uprising against authority in Ferguson and “Palestinians who had also resisted state violence.”
The pairing of BLM activists and Palestinian sympathizers is gaining ground. This year, a meeting took place between BLM members and a liberation organization known as Dream Defenders which seeks to “end wars of aggression all over the world.” This particular meeting happened in Ramallah, Jerusalem and Haifa “to develop a deeper understanding of the Palestinian struggle and to figure out how their fight parallels that of blacks in the U.S.”
Palestinian-American journalist/activist Mariam Barghouti is quoted in the piece, his words noting how the connection between the two must be made, as it is “essential for human rights”:

SPME BDS Monitor: Boycott Suffers Setbacks, But Advances Elsewhere

The BDS movement suffered important setbacks in June. The membership of the American Anthropological Association voted down sweeping BDS resolutions but by a tiny margin. More US states also joined in opposition to BDS, through legislative and executive action. In contrast, the Presbyterian Church USA approved several anti-Israel resolutions that edge it closer to rejecting a two state solution. Most significantly, the Democratic Party platform committee debated but rejected several planks supported by the BDS movement that would have put the “occupation” at the center of party policy. These trends indicate how BDS has moved from an academic and cultural issue to a “fully” political one.
In academia, there were several major BDS developments in June, notably the narrow defeat of sweeping BDS resolutions by members of the American Anthropological Association (AAA). The final vote was 2,423 votes against 2,384 in favor, with 51% of the membership participating.
Most observers predicted that the BDS resolution would pass and it is unclear why so many members voted against it. Opposition to the resolution was well-organized but the potential for an embarrassing and destructive lawsuit against the AAA likely contributed to the outcome. The fact that voting took place anonymously on-line may have also played a role, since it removed face to face group pressure and virtue signaling that would have been present if the vote had been done at the association’s annual meeting. Proponents of the BDS resolution expressed disappointment and vowed to continue pressure on the organization.

Shuttleworth Distorts Facts to Suit Bias in RNZ Interview

Shuttleworth commenced her report with a description of an “escalation of violence” in the “occupied West Bank”. She referred briefly to a shooting attack “killing a man and wounding three others”. The “man” was prominent and respected Rabbi, 48 year old Rabbi Miki Mark, the father of 10 children, two of whom were present during the attack, witnessing their father’s murder and receiving gunshot wounds in the hailstorm of bullets, along with their mother. Shuttleworth made no mention of the fact that the wounded included a mother and two children; to her they were simply “others”.
Shuttleworth went on to explain that the violence followed “the death of a 13 year old Jewish American settler girl”, referring to 13 year-old Hallel Yaffa Ariel, murdered by 17 year-old Palestinian Muhammed Nasser Tarayra, who broke into her house, found her sleeping in her bedroom and slashed her throat and stabbed her repeatedly as she slept. Shuttleworth’s use of the description “settler girl” was telling. Not necessary for the story (she had already emphasised the fact that the attack occurred in the “occupied West Bank”), the words were likely chosen to reduce sympathy for the victim and imply some moral justification for the attack; the implication being that the victim somehow deserved it or had it coming because of where she lived.
Such a reporting style; the conscious use of judgement-laden terms, and the omission of context, dehumanises the victims of terror and muddies the distinction between victim and aggressor. When the facts don’t fit her favoured narrative, Shuttleworth simply omits them or manipulates them to make them fit.
Thus, when Kathryn Ryan asked Shuttleworth why there is now a sudden escalation in violence, Shuttleworth’s answer was to blame Israeli government rhetoric – rhetoric aired after the murder of Hallel Yaffa Ariel.

Epiphany at The Independent? Shock as Palestinians Described as Terrorists

Has there been an epiphany at The Independent? Or has someone in the editorial department gone rogue?
How to explain a story with this headline?
“Terrorists responsible for Tel Aviv attack were ‘inspired by Isis'”
And it’s not only the headline that references terrorists. We’ve taken screenshots just in case The Independent reverts to type and amends the article.

Evening Standard obscures anti-Zionist extremism in London with Jewish fig leaf

The Evening Standard’s decision to downplay the extremism at last Friday’s ‘Al Quds’ day march in London – part of an international event inaugurated in 1979 by Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini – was evident in the photo used to illustrate the story by Hannah Al-Othman (London pro-Palestine demo sees thousands take to the streets, July 4th).
As you can see in the caption beneath the photo of the child whose face is painted to match the Palestinian flag, the march is characterized as “peaceful”, a word used again in the strapline to describe the event.
However, though the march may have been ‘non-violent’ in the narrow sense of the word, the slogans of many protesters were anything but peaceful. David Collier (a blogger who attended both the main rally) and others reported that many marchers held flags of the terrorist group Hezbollah. Additionally, The Jewish Chronicle reported a banner at the front of the rally reading: “Dismantling of Zionist State = End Of Bloodshed.” Another man, according to The JC, carried a homemade placard which said: “Israel is a cancer. We are the cure”.
Now, here’s the opening sentence of the article:
Muslims were joined by Jews in the rally against Zionism that started near BBC Broadcasting House in Portland Place, central London, at around 3.30pm.

UK Media prompts correction to UK sports journal claim on “illegality” of occupation

False reports on Israel sometimes turn up in the most unexpected places.
Earlier in the week, we received a complaint about an article in a UK-based online sports journal called Inside the Games.
The article, about FIFA’s efforts to mediate a dispute between Israel and the PA over travel permits for Palestinian football players (“Sexwale admits ‘slow progress’ following FIFA visit to Israel and Palestine“, July 2) included the claim – in a passage attempting to provide political context on the dispute – that “Israel’s occupation of the region is considered illegal under international law.”
This is not true.
Though the settlements are considered illegal by much of the international community, there is no consensus under international law that the occupation itself is “illegal”

BBC’s Knell airbrushes two-thirds of Quartet report out of the picture

Knell does not clarify why she apparently thinks that would be an issue and again chooses not to discuss the fact that the evacuation of Israelis from their homes in the Gaza Strip did not prove conducive to ending the conflict.
If readers are perhaps wondering how much of the column space in her nine hundred and sixteen-word article Yolande Knell devoted to presentation of the two additional “negative trends” cited in the Quartet’s report, the answer to that question is below: eighty-two words in which key points raised in the Quartet’s report are completely ignored.
Once again we see that the Palestinian Authority’s incitement and glorification of terrorism, together with Hamas’ terrorism, tunnel building, its weapons smuggling and production and its violent rivalry with the PA – all of which are noted in the Quartet’s report – are airbrushed out of an article obviously intended to herd BBC audiences towards one specific view of what – and who – is “destroying a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict”.
While completely consistent with Yolande Knell’s record, this of course is the type of editorialised advocacy journalism which flies in the face of the BBC’s claim to provide its audiences with ‘impartial’ reporting.

BBC’s Sarona Market attack speculations come unraveled

Readers may recall that in much of its reporting on the terror attack at Sarona Market on June 8th in which four Israelis were murdered and 15 wounded, the BBC found it necessary to stress the proximity of the site of the attack to the Ministry of Defence and the IDF’s headquarters, thus inferring some kind of significance which audiences were left to interpret for themselves.
The two terrorists and an accomplice have now been indicted and during that process it emerged that the location of the attack was chosen randomly.
“The Shin Bet also discovered that alleged terrorists originally conspired to attack passengers traveling on an Israeli train, according to the indictment. The investigation noted that the Sorona market attack was a “random,” last-minute target.

Dutch Jewish woman evicted after anti-Semitic abuse, threats by neighbor

A Dutch court reviewing a neighborly dispute ordered the eviction of a Jewish woman whose neighbor reportedly threatened to kill her and used anti-Semitic insults against her.
The court ruled in favor of the Ymere housing corporation, which asked the court to evict the woman, Gabriela Hirschberg, the AT5 television channel reported last week.
Ymere asked the court to have Hirschberg evicted in connection with her years-long quarrel with her Amsterdam apartment building neighbor.
Last year, the neighbor offered in a Facebook post to pay 10,000 euros, about $11,500, to anyone willing to kill Hirschberg. The man posted the message recently along with anti-Semitic statements.
“I have one desire in my life: To tear out this nest of devils,” he wrote in reference to Hirschberg’s apartment. Naming Hirschberg and her partner, he added, “Each head is worth 10,000 euros to me.”

Polish president: No room for anti-Semitism in the country

Poland’s president strongly condemned all forms of racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism as he led commemorations Monday marking the 70th anniversary of a massacre of Jews after World War II.
Andrzej Duda spoke in Kielce, where communist police and a mob killed 42 people on July 4, 1946. Coming a year after the end of World War II, the killings sent waves of fear through Poland’s Jewish community and sparked a wave of Jewish emigration from Poland.
“In a free, sovereign and independent Poland there is no room for any form of prejudice, for racism, for xenophobia, for anti-Semitism,” Duda said in a speech in Kielce, according to remarks carried by the Polish news agency PAP.
Duda and other leaders with the governing Law and Justice party, which backs Duda, have sent mixed messages on matters of prejudice since the election last year that brought them to power.

Poland Among Safest European Countries for Jews Today, Says Holocaust Foundation Director

The Polish president’s condemnation of antisemitism on Monday illustrates how Poland has shifted its attitude to such an extent that it has become one of the safest European countries for Jews, the head of a European Holocaust foundation told The Algemeiner on Monday.
Jonny Daniels, founder and executive director of From the Depths — which works with Holocaust survivors, Eastern-European Jewish communities and the Polish government to preserve the memory of the Nazi genocide — was responding to President Andrzej Duda’s speech commemorating the 70th anniversary of a post-Holocaust massacre of some 40 Jews in Kielce.
“In a free, sovereign and independent Poland there is no room for any form of prejudice. There is no room for racism, for xenophobia, for antisemitism,” Duda said at the site of the pogrom.
According to Daniels, Duda “reiterated what the government has been saying for a long time — that there is no place for antisemitism and racism in Poland. His words are remarkably important.”

Israeli high-tech exits reach $3.3b in first half of 2016

Israeli high-tech exits reached an impressive $3.3b in first half of 2016, but the overall level is expected to be lower than last year, according to data compiled by IVC Research Center [] and the Meitar law firm.
In the first half of the year, 45 high-tech companies completed exit deals averaging $74 million, somewhat higher than the $72 million average deal last year. All in all, however, the total accounted for just 41% of the value of 2015’s exits, below the expected rate to hit the same level.
But that might not be a bad thing, according to Koby Simana, CEO of IVC. Instead of looking to quickly sell, Israeli companies may be focusing on growth, which could mean a later increase in public offerings and companies that are global players in their own right.
“We don’t think that 2016 figures will be dramatically different than in previous years. That being said, our projections reflect a decline in exit volumes since we believe companies are using the current market atmosphere to focus on growth rather than exit,” he said.

Amy Poehler visits Tel Aviv on the sly for adaptation

If you think you caught sight of Amy Poehler sightseeing in Tel Aviv’s Carmel Market, or sipping an iced latte with her good friend and “Orange is the New Black” star Natasha Lyonne, you wouldn’t be wrong.
The comic actresses are reportedly here for a couple of days of meetings about their newest project, the adaptation of Talya Lavie’s award-winning “Zero Motivation” for the small screen.
According to website Walla!, the two have met with “Zero Motivation” actress Nelly Tagar, as well as with filmmaker Talya Lavie and the film’s producer, Elon Ratzkovsky, all of whom are purported to be involved in the project.
The two would be producing it with “Zero Motivation” filmmaker Talya Lavie and the film’s producer, Elon Ratzkovsky. The American comediennes purchased the rights for the Israeli film with BBC America.
The filmmakers wouldn’t confirm Poehler’s presence in Israel, although Joz ve Loz chef Talia Meron Cnaany posted on her Facebook page a coy reference to Poehler’s visit at the restaurant on Monday.

Jason Donovan takes his show to the Mediterranean

Australian singer Jason Donovan, who came to fame by way of the famed soap opera “Neighbors” (with co-star Kylie Minogue), just landed in Israel for his starring role in “Priscilla Queen of the Desert.”
The Aussie actor and singer, who now lives in London, said he loves being on the beach and plans on taking a “dive in the Mediterranean” each morning of his stay at the Tel Aviv Hilton.
The play, being performed in Tel Aviv’s Menorah Mivtachim Arena from July 4 through July 9, is part of a world tour featuring Donovan.
It’s a comic, colorful musical based on the film “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert,” featuring familiar pop songs and telling the story of two drag queens and a transgender woman on a road trip to perform at a resort in a remote Australian town.
In a radio interview on Monday, Donovan praised Israel’s “liberal” society, and said that was why he was bringing the play here.

The Israeli who brings urban gardening to Harlem kids

Plenty of rain falls in Harlem, the northern Manhattan neighborhood synonymous with New York City’s African-American culture. Yet agriculturally, Harlem is a desert.
A young woman with roots in Israel – a real desert with thriving agriculture – started an urban hydroponic farm in Harlem supplying organic locally grown produce served up alongside a helping of youth empowerment.
What’s more, Leigh Ofer’s Seed Street has Harlem kids planting hydroponic vegetable gardens inside repurposed shipping containers. This material has symbolic resonance given that Ofer’s forebears established the Ofer Brothers shipping company in 1950s Israel, and her family retains strong ties to the international shipping industry.
An environmental justice class she took at Brown University opened Ofer’s eyes.
“I saw how in the US there so much abundance but people are starved of a connection to the land and to their souls,” she tells ISRAEL21c. “The whole way of life is so artificial and manufactured. I think it all starts with what you put in your mouth.”

Shenkar among Top 10 fashion schools in the world

Planning a career in Fashion? – a news site covering the personalities, companies, events and trends that shape the fashion universe – has published its annual survey of the world’s best fashion schools and ranks Israel’s Shenkar College of Engineering, Design and Art in the top 10.
“Definitely off the beaten path and with a distinct point of view, this well-kept secret has an amazing — and incredibly affordable — fashion design program,” write the news site’s editors about the Ramat Gan college.
Famous alumni of Shenkar include Alber Elbaz and Nili Lotan.
To create the “25 Best Fashion Schools in the World in 2016” list, Fashionista editors looked at tuition costs, successful alumni, student feedback, quality of the faculty, practical and business training on offer, social life, career counseling and financial aid options.
Fashionista gave top marks to Central Saint Martins (London, UK); followed by London College of Fashion (London, UK); Parsons, the New School for Design (New York, USA); and Istituto Marangoni (Milan, Italy).

Prestigious travel magazine dubs Tel Aviv a world culinary capital

Tel Aviv has been handed another impressive accolade by an international publication: the prestigious American magazine Conde Nast Traveler just named the White City one of the world’s top 15 culinary cities.
The list comprises major cultural nexuses like London, Rio de Janeiro, Vancouver, Buenos Aires, Sydney, and Singapore.
This is not the first time the swanky travel publication has lauded the Tel Aviv food scene. In November 2015, it ran an article titled “Why the World’s Best Vegetarian Food Is in Tel Aviv,” which called the city an “herbivore smorgasbord” and cited the mix of gastronomic influences from all over the world that “can coax a world of flavors out of the most humble potato.”
The following month, the magazine featured a “Chef’s Pick” overview of some of the best places to eat and drink in Tel Aviv.

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