September 23, 2019

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08/22 Links Pt2: NYPost: Dems are heading for a complete split with Israel; ‘Our Boys’ vs. ‘Their Boys’; PBS Distorts the Truth About Gaza Violence

http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2019/08/0822-links-pt2-nypost-dems-are-heading.html

From Ian:


NYPost Editorial: Dems are heading for a complete split with Israel
Meanwhile, Dems close their eyes to the pair’s blatant anti-Semitism, which is only growing after Israel’s decision. On Friday, for example, the two posted an anti-Israel cartoon by an artist known for drawings that mock Holocaust victims and feature anti-Semitic imagery. Outrage from Dems? Ha.

The pair also upped their “We Hate Israel” campaign. Tlaib teared up before the cameras over how her family members had to pass through “dehumanizing” checkpoints — with nary a word about how those stops are needed to prevent terrorism by Palestinians. Omar called for ending aid to Israel (which lets it buy US military equipment).

Where are the Dems who’ll stand up for the Jewish state against such attacks?

True, Democrats have been moving away from Israel for years now, a shift that makes little strategic — or moral — sense. If they continue to stick with Tlaib and Omar, the split will be complete.

The great ‘non-visit’

I suggest that the visit would have been a nightmare for Israel, one with possibly far worse implications than might initially had been conceived. The two women are skilled demagogues, and everywhere they would have gone would have been an up close and personal indictment and delegitimization slugfest.

Israel would have been on the defensive, and as it often is, and not very effective or compelling in its responses.

The greater damage would have taken place on their return as the two would have sought to whip up anti-Israel sentiment in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party based on their personal experiences.

They would have pulled the center of gravity of the party toward the left-wing position (as they have been doing on several fronts), which is increasingly hostile to Israel.

While those who are upset with Israel’s decision believe it will weaken bi-partisan support (meaning Democratic support), the aftermath of the Magical Misery Tour would have been intense criticism of an “apartheid, colonialist regime.”

It is hard for many Israelis to understand just how toxic American political discourse has become. Given the Democratic hatred of all things Trump or Trump-related, Israel, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in particular, are walking around with targets on their backs. In the world of intersectionality, with designated victims and designated oppressors, Israel and, increasingly, Jews are being categorized as bad guys.

The visit would have heavily played into this narrative and mindset.

While we can never know the implications of that which did not happen, my strong intuition is that notwithstanding the current criticism, Israel dodged a bullet.

‘Our Boys’ vs. ‘Their Boys’

The actors playing the roles of the hilltop youth do a professional job of convincing us that all young settlers are just as crazy as the young Haredi killer. The scenes involving the Israel Police and Security Forces are dramatized in a constantly negative light, as if the Israeli Authorities are conducting a cover-up, not wanting the truth to be discovered, making all of Israeli society seem responsible for the Arab boy’s murder.

All these decisions are deliberate directoral decision.

The director, Yosef Cedar, has allowed the main actor, playing the role of the investigating Shabak agent of the Jewish Division, only one facial expression throughout every scene, a constant sneer which seems to say, “Everything in Israel is corrupt and evil.”

In short, in this unabashedly leftist Israeli masterminded TV mini-series, the Jews are always the villains, and the Arabs always are the victims.

When you add to this the very deliberate use of one-sided dramatization, manipulated dialogue, slick camera angles which make the Jews look constantly guilty and the Arabs persecuted, plus professional editing favoring the Arab side of the story, scary music accompanying the Jews and sympathetic music heightening the injustices against the Arabs, with seasoned actors in tear-jerking performances portraying the victimized Arabs and no actors at all playing the three slaughtered Jewish boys and their families, you end up with a movie that is sure to win top awards in Hamas and Islamic Jihad film festivals and Cannes.

Of course, Israel’s Minister of Culture, Mir Regev, will raise her voice in protest, but no positive and truthful movies about the life of Israel’s brave and idealistic settlers are ever funded and therefore never made, leaving a vacuum for movies like “Our Boys” and their hateful propaganda to thrive.

PBS Distorts the Truth About Gaza Violence

NewsHour also introduces us to Dr. Adnan al Borsh, who treated many Palestinians injured that day. He’s disturbed that so many Palestinians were all shot in the leg, and that the bullets did a lot of damage to bones, blood vessels, and nerves.

But Ferguson misses the obvious point.

IDF sharpshooters aimed at peoples’ legs because they were not shooting to kill.

Dr. Borsh’s talk of bullets, damage, and entry points are a red herring. Israel faced thousands of Palestinians violently seeking to breach the border. Yet PBS NewsHour gives a platform to a doctor who implies that Israeli soldiers are war criminals because they’re not equipped with magic bullets capable of dispersing rioters without causing unpleasant damage.

A big problem with the NewsHour dispatch is that there are no Israeli voices. To be fair, Ferguson says that she sought to talk to the IDF, but all they provided was a short statement, which the video notes. She also refers to an old quote by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejecting the findings of a UN inquiry on the Gaza violence.

But that doesn’t mean NewsHour is off the hook for the lack of balance. This was not a 90-second update; this was a 10-minute dispatch. The time invested to line up interviews with disabled Palestinians, a doctor, and officials from Amnesty International, as well as Doctors Without Borders isn’t insignificant. NewsHour is better than that.

Were there no Israeli experts available to provide fresh quotes to a PBS reporter?

Was her query to the IDF merely going through the motions?

Would an Israeli point of view have ruined the arc of her story?

Toward the end of the report, Ferguson makes a small, but telling observation, perhaps oblivious to its importance, or maybe taking a half-hearted stab at even-handedness:

The most cynical here encourage the smallest to approach the fence, goading Israel guards.

Who exactly are these “most cynical” Palestinians sending children to the border?

Could they be the same Palestinians who sent Ahmed Abu Nair and his soccer friends to be cannon fodder as well?

Honest Reporting: Your Headlines Are Biased

The Democratic Party Is Becoming Unsalvageable

This, American Zionists realized early on, is a tricky proposition in a meting pot society where, as Woodrow Wilson thundered in 1915, “you cannot dedicate yourself to America unless you become in every respect and with every purpose of your will thorough Americans.” Conscious of the perpetually pending charge of dual loyalty, Brandeis helped engineer an ingenious solution.

“Let no American imagine that Zionism is inconsistent with patriotism,” he wrote, adding that “a man is a better citizen of the U.S. for being also a loyal citizen of his state, and of his city, for being loyal to his family… every American Jew who aids in advancing the Jewish settlement in Palestine, though he feels neither he nor his descendants will ever live there, will likewise be a better man and a better American for doing so.”

Put simply, Brandeis believed that if you didn’t support Israel, you either lacked knowledge or showed a great disloyalty to your own people — a view that would’ve been utterly uncontroversial, even banal, until very recently. Unless you require neither context nor reason and are inclined to hear everything the president says as hate speech, you can rest easy and understand his latest gaffe as poorly stated at worst.

So where does all of this leave us American Jews? Many of us are losing a bunch of sleep these days, feeling as if the world may be coming to an end. It’s not, but it is changing, which is history’s single defining characteristic and the thing that makes human life on this planet so terrifying and so thrilling. And, historically speaking, Jews who refused to take heed when things started changing dramatically all around them very often wound up as dead Jews.

Let us, then, observe these changes candidly and without succumbing to the pressures of screaming ideologues on either side. The party our parents voted for, the party we thought would be ours for eternity, appears to be well on its way to becoming something entirely hostile to Jews. The president we are told again and again is the single greatest menace to our community is many things, but certainly not that.

What you choose to do with these realities is entirely up to you. Decent people will likely invest their energies in divergent projects, working in good faith to create a safe and sustainable future for themselves and their children. We may still disagree. We may still find ourselves divided on important, substantive questions, from immigration to health care reform to foreign policy. Arguing, after all, is our birthright. But if we grow addicted to the narcotic effect of absurd histrionics masquerading as moral outrage on social media, and if we insist that observable reality take a backseat to our feverish fantasies and desperate hopes, we’ll find ourselves the authors of a new and particularly bleak chapter of the timeless Jewish story.

J Street’s Alternative Universe Tour

I wonder if anyone asked what would happen to the Jews if the Palestinians controlled all of Hebron or if Israel ended the “occupation” of the entire West Bank. Mahmoud Abbas has already given the answer: “In a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli — civilian or soldier — on our lands.” Would it bother these students to learn that “Palestine” would be one of the few places on earth to ban Jews?

Ofran reportedly compared the massacre of 67 Jews in Hebron in 1929 with Baruch Goldstein’s murder of 29 Muslims in 1994. The killing of Jews on August 23, 1929 was part of a countrywide campaign to murder Jews, instigated by the Mufti of Jerusalem. Arab terrorism against Jews has continued unabated for the last 90 years — before and after the “occupation.” By contrast, Goldstein’s monstrous act was an anomaly, one that was condemned by all but a lunatic fringe of Israelis.

Everyone today understands that young Jews cannot be educated without exposing them to Israel’s faults and challenges. Any student who wants to learn about these on their own can read Haaretz online. Focusing on Israel’s deficits, however, without understanding its history and surroundings or the context of its actions, will produce the type of Jews who join Jewish Voice for Peace and Students for Justice in Palestine and become boycott advocates.

It should come as no surprise that Halbfinger found that “as the day grew long, the facial expressions more pained and the questions more anguished, the J Street tour seemed increasingly incompatible with Birthright’s goal of hooking young American Jews on Israel.”

This should give pause to the trip’s funders, especially those worried about the next generation’s commitment to Israel, and their ability to respond to the myths about Israel they hear from detractors on campus.

Dr Martin Sherman: The Omar-Tlaib affair: Tough questions for AIPAC

Bipartisanship: At what price?

The first of these is the question of the price that Israel is called upon to preserve bi-partisan support for it. After all, no-one can assume that the two fiercely anti-Israel Congresswomen would not exploit their stay in Israel to inflict the maximum possible damage on it—irrespective of any “inconvenient facts” they might have happened to encounter on it.

Accordingly, if Israel is required to forsake important national interests in order to appease a party, in which some of its most prominent members are viscerally opposed to the Jewish state, one might very well question the value—even, the very point—of preserving such bi-partisanship. Indeed, at some point, bi-partisanship may well cease to be an invaluable asset and become a burdensome liability instead!

In this regard, perhaps the most telling—and most surprising—censure came from the prestigious and powerful pro-Israel lobby, AIPAC, which, as a rule, has consistently backed the decisions of the Israeli government—virtually without exception. Accordingly, public reproach from an organization so closely identified with pro-Israel advocacy is, without doubt, extraordinarily significant. Of course, for AIPAC, the issue of bi-partisanship is an almost sacred value, the very “holy grail” of its political influence. Indeed, it attributes—with considerable justification—much of its political stature and sway to its ability to harness such bi-partisan support for Israel. It is thus, clearly understandable that it will react negatively to any development that appears to threaten that ability.

Lessons From The Tlaib, Omar, And Israel Firestorm

Those of us who had some previous trepidations about how to best defend Israel found themselves no longer in a defensive crouch, but standing tall and seizing the initiative. It was like the opposing football team turned the ball over, leaving the pro-Israel team with excellent field position. And the entire playbook was open for the offense.

Right out of the gate, a steady light could be focused on Miftah, an organization that publishes ancient blood libels against Jews, along with neo-Nazi propaganda and praise for suicide bombers. That isn’t merely anti-Israel sentiment — it is unadulterated and vile anti-Semitism.

Just about every subsequent development in the arc of the story has reflected poorly on the two congresswomen: From their anti-Semitic cartoon tweets to HBO’s Bill Maher roasting them to their disastrous Monday press conference.

There are many lessons at the intersection where the Jewish world and Democratic politics meet — to the extent there still exists a distinction. That Trump and Netanyahu agreed on the decision to bar Tlaib and Omar’s entry reflects their calculation that the bipartisan pro-Israel congressional consensus that existed in the past is vanishing and they are not willing to pretend otherwise. Many of us on the Jewish and political Right have already accepted this reality, as unfortunate as it is.

This drift away from Israel on the political Left, however, is nothing new. But the rapid elevation of the kind of voices represented by Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib is different and worrisome. While House Democratic leadership may believe the anti-Israel trend is reversible, it is leadership’s decision not to confront the rising anti-Semitism in its own chamber that is solidifying the very reality it refuses to recognize. And in the process, it serves as a reminder for the rest of us of the importance of the Jewish state. It is, among many other positive things, the greatest insurance policy against the kind of anti-Semitism that flourishes when people of good conscience look the other way.

Maher Fires Back at Tlaib: Does She ‘Want to Boycott 93 Percent of Her Own Party?’

Cable talk-show host and comedian Bill Maher fired back at Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) on Wednesday after the freshman congresswoman called last week for boycotting his HBO show, where he criticized the anti-Israel BDS movement that both she and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) have been vocally supporting.

“Maybe folks should boycott his show,” tweeted Tlaib, who compared boycotts of Israel to that of apartheid South Africa in the 1970s and 1980s.

“I am tired of folks discrediting a form of speech that is centered on equality and freedom,” the congresswoman continued. “This is exactly how they tried to discredit & stop the boycott to stand up against the apartheid in S. Africa. It didn’t work then and it won’t now.”

Maher responded on Twitter,

In July, a whopping 89 percent of Democrats voted for an anti-BDS resolution in the US House of Representatives.

The back-and-forth began when Maher said on his latest show that BDS is “a bulls**t purity test by people who want to appear woke but actually slept through history class. It’s predicated on this notion—I think it’s very shallow thinking—that the Jews in Israel are mostly white and the Palestinians are browner, so they must be innocent and correct, and the Jews must be wrong.”

“As if the occupation came right out of the blue, that this completely peaceful people found themselves occupied,” he continued. “Forget about the intifadas and the suicide bombings and the rockets and how many wars.”

PreOccupiedTerritory: Bomber Decries ‘Dehumanizing’ Security Check That Prevented His Synagogue Entry (satire)

A would-be terrorist attacker denounced safety procedures at a Jewish house of worship this morning, asserting they made him feel “less than human” by reducing him in that moment to nothing but a potential threat and dismissing the rest of his emotional, biographical, and intellectual being as irrelevant.

Ahmad Subhi, 24, failed to gain access early Thursday to a synagogue in the center of the city in advance of morning services, where he hoped to set off his explosive belt packed with ball bearings and metal shards and kill or maim as many Jews as possible. A security guard refused to allow him into the building unless he passed through a metal detector and underwent other screening measures. The frustrated bomber later abandoned his effort to enter the synagogue and called Gisha, one of several dozen prominent NGOs that monitor and critique Israel’s restrictions on Palestinian movement that the Jewish State’s leaders call essential for national security.

A a press conference this afternoon, Mr. Subhi decried the inhuman treatment that faced him in undergoing such a check. “I am not some animal,” he insisted. “I’m a human being with inherent dignity and rights, and those cannot be waved away because some people think it’s more important to keep Jewish pigs from getting the bloody, violent deaths they deserve. This is just one more demonstration of the inhumanity of the Occupation. It cannot continue.”

Evangelical Charity World Vision’s Terror-Funding Scandal Continues

World Vision has a history of ignoring finance risks. In 2016, Mohammed El Halabi, head of World Vision’s Gaza operations, confessed to redirecting $50 million to the terrorist group Hamas. In 2012, World Vision diverted $1.68 million of Australian government aid to a fake Palestinian charity established by the PFLP terror group.

World Vision maintains a strong New York presence, where supporters have largely turned a blind eye to the group’s sinister activities. World Vision’s partners include three of New York’s biggest evangelical churches: Redeemer, Hillsong, and Times Square Church, along with local civil society and non-governmental groups, including Operation Exodus, Crossroads Tabernacle Church, Real Life Church, South Bronx United, Manhattan Bible Church, and Hope for New York.

Institutions reached for comment about World Vision’s record appeared indifferent or defensive.

“I’m not very aware of their international work but that sounds out of character with the people and the ethos that I see coming out of the organization,” said Matt Mahony, CPO of Operation Exodus.

Local World Vision partners presented with information about these cases responded with silence or defensiveness.

“I’ve never heard anything like that about World Vision,” said Pastor Willie Lopez of Manhattan Bible Church. “All I know is that they are a tremendous help to the community.”

One affiliate isolated the El Halabi scandal, claiming his church would stand by World Vision because charges weren’t proven in court. Another church administrator said accusations were driven by an anti-evangelical agenda.

Pro-Israel evangelicals should also be troubled by World Vision staffers’ anti-Israel stances and borderline anti-Semitic comments — like those of former World Vision International Operations Director Tom Getman, who called Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah a “friend.”

New York Times Faces Intense Backlash After Editor’s Anti-Semitism Exposed

The New York Times faced intense backlash on Thursday after one of its editor’s anti-Semitism was exposed and the scandal trended to the top on Twitter — which led multiple high-profile figures and politicians to call for his firing.

The latest anti-Semitism scandal to break out at The New York Times came after writings from Senior Staff Editor Tom Wright-Piersanti, who oversees the infamously left-leaning newspaper’s political coverage, were revealed on Thursday morning and showed years worth of anti-Semitic and racist views.

The revelation comes after The New York Times has repeatedly defended anti-Semitic Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) while trying to cast President Donald Trump — the most pro-Israel president in U.S. history — as being anti-Semitic.

In a tweet from 2010, Wright-Piersanti tweeted: “I was going to say ‘Crappy Jew Year,’ but one of my resolutions is to be less anti-Semitic. So… HAPPY Jew Year. You Jews.”

In another tweet that included a picture of a car with a Menorah on the roof, Wright-Piersanti wrote: “Who called the Jew-police?”

Wright-Piersanti, who also wrote numerous racist things about Indians, began to aggressively delete his old tweets once they went viral on social media and eventually locked his Twitter account so that people could not see other things he tweeted.

Dan Crenshaw Crushes ‘Young Turks’ Commentator Who Said ‘Brave Soldier F***ed’ His ‘Eye Hole’

During a Twitch livestream on Tuesday night, “The Young Turks” commentator Hasan Piker, who is the nephew of “Young Turks” co-creator Cenk Uygur, mocked U.S. Military veteran Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) for losing an eye in combat.

“This guy has the understanding of foreign policy of, like, a 12-year-old. What the f***. What the f*** is wrong with this dude? Didn’t he go to war and like literally lose his eye because some mujahideen — a brave f***ing soldier — f***ed his eye hole with their d***?” Piker rambled, adding, “Isn’t that how he f***ing lost his dumba** eye, because he got his f***ing eye hole f***ed, by a brave soldier?”

Crenshaw responded to the vile remarks made by Piker on Wednesday. “[Hasan Piker] seems to confuse ‘Improvised Explosive Device’ with some weird terrorist fantasy,” he wrote via Twitter. “Lol sorry for triggering you Hasan.”

“You’re no Pete Davidson, stop trying so hard,” the Texas representative added, referencing a “Saturday Night Live” comedian who made a much-maligned joke about Crenshaw’s wartime injury last year. Unlike Piker, Davidson apologized for the (in comparative terms, mild) joke about Crenshaw, who, in turn, graciously appeared alongside the comedian for a powerful SNL segment.

Reviewing available BBC content about the Hebron Massacre

This coming weekend will mark ninety years since the Hebron Massacre in which sixty-seven Jews were killed and sixty wounded. That and subsequent violent events brought hundreds of years of Jewish life in Hebron to an end for nearly four decades.

Ten years ago the BBC published a report titled “Long shadow of 1929 Hebron massacre” which is still available online.

The background to the violence is presented as follows:
“Hajj Yussef says problems with the Jewish community started in the mid-1920s, when more Jews began to arrive from abroad. They did not speak Arabic and they dressed differently. They were coming in their hundreds.”

The article closes with a quote from its main interviewee:
“Hajj Yussef believes today’s settlers have no right to live in Hebron at all.

“I have no problem living with the Jews, like we lived many years ago,” he says. “But today’s settlers are not Palestinian Jews, they came here from abroad. And I have a problem if the Jews live in my country as occupiers and settlers.””

In 2014 BBC Radio 4 aired a history programme (also still available online) which included an account of “an outbreak of rioting between the Muslim and Jewish population” which completely erased one key piece of context: the role played by the British-appointed Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al Husseini in inciting the violence.

Guardian journalists use six year old PTSD study to accuse Israel of abandoning its soldiers.

Guardian journalists Amanda Forslund and Charlotta Lindblom have combined forces to write a piece that accuses the Israeli government of abandoning its soldiers who suffer from PTSD. Any idea that this might be a piece showing concern for Israel’s brave soldiers is dispelled almost immediately when they write “the UN accused soldiers of intentionally firing on civilians protesting at the Gaza frontier”.

The catalyst for their piece is a study that was released on 13th February 2013 called Attention to threats and combat-related posttraumatic stress symptoms: Prospective associations and moderation by the serotonin transporter gene.

The study acknowledges that “soldiers psychiatric responses to combat stress vary markedly between individuals” and it analyses soldiers deployed in various combat situations (see table above).

But in their piece Forslund and Lindblom reduce this complex report down to 19 words:
“As many as one in 12 Israeli soldiers who experience high intensity combat report PTSD symptoms, one study found,…”

The study seems to be a general study into the effects of combat and was carried out for the American Medical Association, not the Israeli army. Neither the Israeli army nor its soldiers are named in the title of the study as you can see. The results are presumably applicable to different armies and combat situations throughout the world. The IDF was used merely as a guinea-pig six and a half years ago.

Forslund and Lindblom use the study as a catalyst to specifically track down disatisfied Israeli soldiers to write about their fight for recognition of the illness and for treatment to be financed by the Israeli government.

BBC repeats uncritical promotion of ‘Gaza’ film

Kesby made no effort to clarify to audiences that those so-called “protests” are in fact weekly episodes of premeditated violent rioting organised by terror groups and that fifty-three of the sixty-two people killed that day were claimed by terrorist organisations. Instead she continued her innocuous questioning.

Kesby: “And was it quite challenging to strike the right balance between reflecting ordinary live people, you know, getting married, going about their normal lives, trying to educate their children, trying to enjoy themselves and this constant pressure and…and, you know, elements of violence and threat that people live under?”

Towards the end of the item listeners heard three times – twice from Hannona himself and once from Kesby – that he has not seen the film “because there’s no cinema in Gaza”. Seeing as that talking point also arose in the earlier ‘Today’ interview, Kesby should have been able to inform listeners that the reason there is no longer a cinema in Gaza is because it is ruled by an extremist Islamist terror organisation.

And so for the second time BBC audiences heard uncritical, unchallenging and uninformative promotion of this film in an item which only served to hinder their understanding of a complex topic.

Photos of Brandeis students, professors posted on anti-Semitic website

Brandeis University said Wednesday it does not believe there’s a threat to campus safety after photos of several students and professors were posted to an anti-Semitic website.

School safety officials are investigating after images from the university’s website appeared on the Vanguard News Network Forum, which promotes white nationalist views.

The photos were posted in a thread containing hundreds of other images along with comments mocking the appearance of Jews.

The university issued a campus letter this week saying that the situation is “obviously disturbing” but that safety officials found “no direct threat” to Brandeis or those depicted in the photos.

Campus officials say they will monitor the situation.

Brandeis is a private, nonsectarian university that was founded on Jewish values. It enrolls about 6,000 students at its campus west of Boston.

California Congressman Censures High-Schoolers Who Used Nazi Propaganda

Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.) condemned on Wednesday a group of 10 or so members of the boys’ water-polo team at Pacifica High School in Garden Grove, Calif., which is part of his district, who were caught on camera doing a Nazi salute and singing a Nazi song last year during an awards ceremony.

“This disturbing incident saddens me greatly,” Lowenthal, who is Jewish, told JNS. “We as a community must face uncomfortable facts, and ask hard questions about hatred and ignorance in our midst. I can only hope that this can become a teaching moment—not just for the students who participated, but for the entire student body on the horrors of the Holocaust and the evils of the Third Reich.”

The Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust has invited the students from the awards ceremony to tour the museum and interact with Holocaust survivors. It also plans to invite those boys depicted in the video, which was first reported by The Daily Beast on Monday.

“Flashing Nazi salutes and singing Nazi songs is contemptible,” said Lowenthal. “These are not issues to joke about, use for shock value or be taken lightly. I sincerely hope that this lesson is instilled in these students by both the school district and by their parents.”

The Garden Grove Unified School District and the high school condemned what occurred in which the school administration was unaware of the video until March, when “school administrators took immediate action and addressed the situation with all students and families involved,” said the district, without specifying how the students were disciplined, citing the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

Netanyahu’s praise of Kyiv’s Holocaust remembrance only tells part of the story

On Monday evening, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stood at Kyiv’s Babi Yar ravine with Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’s recently elected Jewish president, and praised the former Soviet republic for what he said was its commitment to memory.

More than 30,000 Jews were murdered by the Nazis at the site over a period of two days in 1941.

“I thank you President Zelensky, and I also thank the Ukrainian government, for your efforts to preserve the memory of the Holocaust,” Netanyahu said. “You are continuing your efforts in the war against anti-Semitism.”

While Ukraine has indeed made efforts to commemorate the Holocaust in recent years, especially at Babi Yar, its record on memory is far more complicated than Netanyahu’s statement indicated.

U.S. Air Force tests Israeli-made SMASH system for firing accuracy

The US Air Force has showcased a cutting edge Israeli-made firing control system at the Beale Air Force Base in California.

According to a statement by the USAF on its website, Chief Master Sgt. Dustin Hall and Col. Andrew Clark, the 9th Reconnaissance Wing’s command chief and commander, tested the SMASH 2000 fire control system developed by Smart Shooter last week.

“The 9th Security Force Squadron Airmen have been using off-the-shelf commercial technology to help train and improve how their missions are conducted to protect the installation,” the USAF said.

The SMASH 2000 fire control system has been using innovative technologies to help militaries and other security or law enforcement agencies accurately neutralize moving targets. It has a built-in storage system allowing for videos and images to be recorded for training and debriefings.

The SMASH 2000 sighting device attaches to a weapon and has built-in targeting algorithms that can track and accurately hit targets, including moving and aerial ones, at ranges of up to 120 meters, with the first shot.

With the system, the user selects and locks onto the target. As soon as the trigger is squeezed, the system calculates the target’s movement and predicts its next location using advanced image processing and algorithms. SMASH 2000 prevents the bullet from being fired until the target is precisely in its cross hairs.

Ridesharing startup Via to manage NYC school bus system

US ridesharing startup Via has been chosen by the New York City Department of Education to provide “a revolutionary school bus management system” for the nation’s largest school district, the company said on Thursday.

“Via for Schools” will be the first integrated, automated school bus routing, tracking, and communication platform in the world, the company, founded by two Israelis, said in a statement.

Parents and students will be able to track in real-time the locations of buses, boarding and alighting of passengers, route changes, and delays, the statement said. Via’s algorithms to optimize school bus routing will make the system safer, “significantly improve operational efficiency” and ultimately reduce transportation costs.

“Through our partnership with Via, we’ll soon have a state-of-the-art app for families to track buses and get real-time automatic updates,” said Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza in the statement. “Safe and reliable transportation is critical for all families, and we’re committed to getting it right this year.”

Ridesharing startup Via to manage NYC school bus system

The European Film Academy, a pan-European film body that, like Eurovision, includes Israel, announced the short list this week from which nominees for this year’s European Film Awards will be drawn, and three Israeli films made the cut. The films were selected by a committee made up of the film academy board and several other film professionals.

All three of the Israeli films had their world premieres in Europe. Sameh Zoabi’s Tel Aviv on Fire, the story of a Palestinian who writes for a soap opera in Ramallah, was a huge hit at the Venice International Film Festival last fall, where its lead, Kais Nashif, won the Best Actor Award. Yaron Shani’s Chained, about a desperate policeman, premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival and won the top prize at the Jerusalem Film Festival earlier this month. Nadav Lapid’s Synonyms, a look at a troubled Israeli in Paris, won the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Festival in February.

All three films are nominated for the multiple Ophir Awards, the awards of the Israel Academy for Film.

Israeli movies have won many important European Film Awards, including the Best Actor Award for Sasson Gabai for The Band’s Visit in 2007.

More than 3,600 members of the European Film Academy will vote for the nominations in the European film, director, actor, actress and screenwriter categories over the next few weeks. The nominations will then be announced on November 9 at the Seville European Film Festival in Spain before the awards ceremony on December 7 in Berlin.

From the webIsrael’s 10 hottest startups, according to WIRED magazine

Among those 100 companies are 10 “hottest startups” from Tel Aviv (and Israel generally). In an article highlighting “success stories” from the Startup Nation, WIRED UK’s business editor Katia Moskvitch emphasizes that Israel’s tech capital – Tel Aviv – has “the highest number of startups per capita in the world…with more than 6,000, of which 18 are unicorns…more than 100 venture capital funds, plus hundreds of accelerators and co-working places.”

The article cites Amit Gilon, an investor at Kaedan Capital VC fund, as saying that “Israel is not just about successful B2B [business-to-business] companies anymore, such as Checkpoint, Nice and Amdocs, but also about ‘big B2C [business-to-consumer] success stories like Playtika, Wix, Fiverr and others.’”

WIRED has slowly been rolling out its top 10 lists from cities across Europe (and Israel, which is technically in Asia) this past month. The “hottest startups” in London, Berlin, Dublin and Helsinki, are already available online.

US and Israel Sign Agreement to Cooperate on International Development Efforts

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation (MASHAV), have inked a historic memorandum of understanding that will see the two countries cooperate on a variety of global development efforts.

USAID Administrator Mark Green signed the MOU together with Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz in Jerusalem, with the administrator saying, “We are much more than partners, we are true friends.”

The MOU states that it “aims to establish the framework for further international development cooperation between the Participants in trilateral activities that advance the development of third countries, including, but not limited to, those in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean.”

“The Participants intend to share knowledge, experience, and resources to develop projects in a wide range of development sectors, including the private sector, water, education, technology, science, agriculture, cyber-security, and humanitarian assistance,” it adds.

“The Participants share the purpose of strengthening, in all cases, the institutional and socio-economic capacities of governments, civil society, and the private sector in partner countries towards self-reliance,” the MOU says.

Israeli Delegation Visits Chad to Discuss Agricultural, Economic and Technological Ties

A delegation of Israeli government officials visited the central African nation of Chad this month to discuss bilateral economic ties.

The delegation to Chad—a Muslim-majority nation—was led by Economy and Industry Ministry Foreign Trade Administration export-policy director Itai Melchior, as well as other officials from regional cooperation ministry, the agriculture and rural development ministry, and the Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute.

According to the Israeli government, the delegation met with ministers and director generals from the ministries of economy, finance, agriculture, water, energy, communications, education and health. Meetings were also held with international partners such as representatives from the World Bank and the US embassy, in order to consider increased foreign investment in Chad.

The local chamber of commerce invited the delegation to meet with leading local businesspeople in order to consider cooperation with the Israeli business sector. The government mining company briefed the delegation on the relevant economic potential of Chad.

Melchior noted that delegation members were impressed by efforts of the Chadian government and private sector to cooperate with Israel.

“After an intensive two days of meetings, I can say with certainty that there is definitely room for cooperation with both the government and the business sector,” he said. “I assume that we will see Chadian visits to Israel soon in order to continue the dialogue.”

Production begins on ‘Valley of Tears,’ Israel’s most ambitious TV show ever

Shooting has begun on Israel’s highest-budgeted television show ever.

“Valley of Tears,” an ambitious eight-episode miniseries that depicts the 1973 Yom Kippur War through the eyes of three young combatants, reportedly will cost $1 million per episode.

The heretofore-secretive project was first revealed by Deadline.

The cost is due in part to the battle scenes, but also because of the well-known creatives behind the project.

The cast features Israeli star Lior Ashkenazi, best known to American audiences for his roles in “Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer” (opposite Richard Gere), the Academy Award-nominated “Foxtrot” and “7 Days in Entebbe.”

The writers are Ron Leshem — who wrote the anti-war novel (and co-wrote the Academy Award-nominated film) “Beaufort” and created “Euphoria,” the Israeli hit whose successful American version was recently renewed for a second season on HBO — and Amit Cohen, who created the successful TV series “False Flag.”



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