December 8, 2023

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08/31 Links Pt2: US announces it’s cutting all funding to UNRWA; Deborah Lipstadt: Jeremy Corbyn’s Ironically Ahistorical Anti-Semitism; Peres remembered as visionary who strived to unite nation

From Ian:

US announces it’s cutting all funding to Palestinian refugee agency
The Trump administration announced Friday it is cutting nearly $300 million in planned funding for the UN agency that aids Palestinian refugees, ending decades of support.

The State Department announced in a written statement Friday that the United States “will no longer commit further funding to this irredeemably flawed operation.”

“The fundamental business model and fiscal practices that have marked UNRWA for years – tied to UNRWA’s endlessly and exponentially expanding community of entitled beneficiaries – is simply unsustainable and has been in crisis mode for many years,” the statement said, a reference to the fact that the agency grants refugee status to all the descendants of the original Palestinian refugees, something not granted to those from any other places.

However, the statement said the US would look for other ways to aid the Palestinians.

“We are very mindful of and deeply concerned regarding the impact upon innocent Palestinians, especially school children, of the failure of UNRWA and key members of the regional and international donor community to reform and reset the UNRWA way of doing business,” it said, adding that “Palestinians, wherever they live, deserve better than an endlessly crisis-driven service provision model. They deserve to be able to plan for the future.”

The US will now work together with other international groups to find a better model to assist the Palestinians, the statement said.

Reports had circulated throughout the week that the US was planning the move.

Palestinians clash with IDF on Gaza border; 180 said wounded

Some 5,000 Palestinians protested Friday along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, with some 180 wounded, according to Palestinian reports.

The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza said some 180 demonstrators were wounded in clashes with IDF troops, including several who were hit by live fire. Among the wounded were a ten-year-old boy and a female paramedic, identified as Horouq Abu Masamah, the ministry said.

The IDF had no immediate comment.

The Ynet news site said that a hand-grenade was thrown at IDF troops and that Palestinians also managed to down an IDF drone used to disperse tear gas on the protesters. There were no IDF injuries, Ynet said.

One incendiary balloon sent over the border from the Strip caused a fire near Kibbutz Be’eri. Fire fighters extinguished it before it could spread.

The clashes came despite reports that Israel is in advanced indirect talks with Hamas, via UN and Egyptian mediation, for a long-term truce in the Strip.

Gaza has seen a surge of violence since the start of the “March of Return” protests along the border in March. The clashes, which Gaza’s Hamas rulers have orchestrated, have included rock and Molotov cocktail attacks on troops, as well as attempts to breach the border fence and attack Israeli soldiers.

The Anti-Jewish Jews

Anti-Israel activist Peter Beinart had spent years arguing that Hamas was a potentially moderate organization. Then when he was questioned at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport, he played victim.

But as Caroline Glick notes, there was every reason for Israeli authorities to question Beinart’s visit, because the anti-Israel BDS activist had participated in anti-Israel protests in Israel. Beinart was not, despite his claims, detained. He was asked about his participation in that protest by the Center for Jewish Nonviolence. The Center, despite its name, is used by Jewish Voice for Peace members, a BDS hate group, which also, despite its name, advocates for and supports terrorists who attack Israel.

JVP members are on the banned list. Beinart had participated in a protest organized by a group that it used as a vehicle. So it’s completely normal that he was asked about it just as visitors to this country are asked about their membership in prohibited organizations such as the Nazi, Communist and other totalitarian parties. The BDS blacklist that bigots like Beinart rave about is no different than the United States blacklist on anyone who “has used a position of prominence to endorse terrorism.”

That’s the BDS movement.

JVP declared that it was proud to host Rasmea Odeh. Odeh had been convicted of a supermarket bombing in Israel that killed Edward Joffe and Leon Kanner: two Hebrew University students. It called the terrorist an “inspiration” and used the hashtag, #HonorRasmea. That’s using “a position of prominence to endorse terrorism” which gets you banned from both the United States and Israel.

Beinart writes for The Forward, a paper notorious for attacks on Israel and Jews that veer into the anti-Semitic. Typically anti-Semitic Forward headlines include, “3 Jewish Moguls Among Eight Who Own as Much as Half the Human Race” and “Why We Should Applaud The Politician Who Said Jews Control The Weather.”

Beinart, an anti-Jewish activist of Jewish descent, is the perfect fit for an anti-Jewish tabloid of Jewish descent. The Forward’s rebranding dropped the “Jewish” part of its name in 2015. That was also the year that Beinart accused Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel of a “tendency, to whitewash Jewish behavior.”

“He is largely blind to the harm Jews cause,” Beinart railed against Wiesel in terms ominously similar to those used by anti-Semites. Israel, he claimed, “leads gentiles of goodwill to fear that if they criticize Israel they’ll be called anti-Semites.” Peter Beinart or Richard Spencer: who wore the bigotry best?

But the gauzy line between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism is if anything even thinner among obsessive Israel bashers of Jewish origin like Beinart or The Forward’s Jane Eisner, its radical editor who stripped the lefty tabloid of its Jewishness, but not of its poisonous hatred of Jews. On the cocktail party circuit, Beinart is misleadingly billed as a ‘liberal Zionist.’ Like the Holy Roman Empire, he’s neither a liberal nor a Zionist. Neither liberals nor Zionists excuse Hamas or blame the victims of terror for their own deaths.

Terrorism is a “response to Israel’s denial of basic Palestinian rights,” Beinart has insisted. It’s “the Israeli government is reaping what it has sowed.” His vicious hatred of the Jewish State is matched by his crush on Hamas. “Hamas is the final frontier,” Beinart bloviated in 2009. “A shift in US and Israeli policy towards Hamas is long overdue,” he insisted in 2011. And seven years later, it’s still overdue.

John Kerry’s new book details his relationship with Bibi

An exclusive sneak peek at former Secretary of State John Kerry’s upcoming book titled Every Day Is Extra.

In the book set to be released on September 4, a copy of which was obtained by Jewish Insider, Kerry writes about the failed Middle East peace initiative he undertook after becoming Secretary of State, what drove his optimism that he would succeed in solving final status issues, how both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas failed to live up to expectations, and why the Obama administration decided to abstain at the UN Security Council on UNSC 2334 in December of 2016.

— Kerry suggests that Trump’s appointment of David Friedman as U.S. Ambassador to Israel impelled Obama to act: “President-elect Trump had announced he was going to appoint an ambassador to Israel who was a hard-core proponent of the settlements and an avowed opponent of the two-state solution. At the same time, the Israelis had shown themselves to be completely disdainful of our policy by starting a process of formally legalizing outposts… We could not defend in the UN Israeli actions that amounted to a massive and unprecedented acceleration of the settlement enterprise.”

Kerry writes that following fierce Israeli criticism, he felt the need the respond, receiving Obama’s backing for a speech he later delivered at the State Department: “I remember sitting with former undersecretary of state Wendy Sherman in my office with a draft of the speech I was planning to give about the resolution. Wendy and I both have strong ties to the Jewish community. She reminded me of what we both understood: ‘Mr. Secretary, If you give this speech, you’re going to lose some friends.’ I looked out of the window of my office over the Mall in Washington and said to Wendy, ‘I understand that. But I have done a number of things in my life because I thought it was the right thing, not because it was easy.’”

Deborah Lipstadt: Jeremy Corbyn’s Ironically Ahistorical Anti-Semitism

British Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn declared that Zionists “clearly have two problems. One is that they don’t want to study history, and secondly, having lived in this country for a very long time, probably all their lives, they don’t understand English irony, either.”

It wasn’t their ideology he attacked, but what he deemed their lack of Englishness – that “Zionists” might live in Britain for a very long time, even all their lives, and still remain alien, unable to grasp either history or irony.

For this Jew, this was a cut to the quick. For what is it but a sense of history and irony that has sustained Jews through the vicissitudes of their collective experience?

Jews are obsessed with history. Every Jewish festival is linked to a moment in the collective history of the Jewish people. The central prayer of every Jewish service describes God as the Lord of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And no sense of irony? Jews have relied on irony to help them traverse the most difficult moments in their history.

It was this latest recording from Corbyn that left many Jews utterly convinced that this was a man in whom contempt for Jews ran deep – far deeper than necessary.

Maybe Corbyn should be reminded of the retort offered by Benjamin Disraeli, a prime minister of Jewish origin, when attacked in the House of Commons for being a Jew. “Yes, I am a Jew. And when the ancestors of the right honorable gentlemen were brutal savages in an unknown island, mine were priests in the temple of Solomon.”

Veteran UK Labour Party lawmaker quits, citing anti-Semitism scandal

A veteran British lawmaker quit the Labour Party grouping in Parliament Thursday, saying the opposition party had become a “force for anti-Semitism.”

Frank Field quit with a letter to the party’s chief whip accusing the leadership of the left-of-center party of overseeing an “erosion of our core values.”

“Britain fought the Second World War to banish these views from our politics, but that superhuman effort and success is now under huge and sustained internal attack,” he wrote.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been under mounting attack for his own allegedly anti-Semitic positions and for failing to root anti-Semitism out of Labour, Britain’s main opposition party. Earlier this week, Britain’s former chief rabbi, Lord Sacks, called Corbyn a dangerous anti-Semite. Labour dismissed this claim as absurd and offensive.

The latest firestorm to engulf the party followed the revelation last week of comments made by Corbyn in a 2013 speech at the Palestinian Return Centre in London, where he said of a group of British “Zionists”: “They clearly have two problems. One is they don’t want to study history and, secondly, having lived in this country for a very long time, probably all their lives, they don’t understand English irony either.”

Veteran Labour MP Frank Field resigns the Labour whip, calling Jeremy Corbyn “antisemitic”

Veteran Labour MP Frank Field has resigned the Party whip over antisemitism in the Party.

In a letter addressed to the Labour Party’s chief whip, he wrote that the Labour leadership is becoming a “force for antisemitism in British politics” and accused Jeremy Corbyn of trying to “deny that past statements and actions by him were antisemitic.”

He added: “Britain fought the Second World War to banish these views from our politics, but that superhuman effort and success is now under huge and sustained internal attack…It saddens me to say that we are increasingly seen as a racist party. This issue alone compels me to resign the whip.”

Gideon Falter, Chairman of Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: “It is very sad that after almost 40 years as a Labour MP, Frank Field felt morally compelled to resign the Labour whip because the Party that was fiercely anti-racist when he joined it has now become infested with antisemitism. It is inevitable that if a political party is led by an antisemite who lets Jew-hatred run rampant, people of conscience will reject it. The indications are that others may now follow where Frank Field has led.”

The move comes as 35,000 people signed our petition in just a few days calling on Labour MPs to leave the Party if Jeremy Corbyn does not resign.

Meanwhile, thousands of people have begun changing their profile photos on social media as part of our “Together Against Antisemitism” campaign to show solidarity with Jews against antisemitism in public life.

Jeremy Corbyn ‘ignored Israeli Labour’s invitation to visit Yad Vashem’, Isaac Herzog says

Jeremy Corbyn ignored an invitation from Israel’s Labour Party to visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem, the party’s former leader has said.

Isaac Herzog told the JC he wrote to the Labour leader to make the offer in March 2016 but never received a reply.

In an interview to mark his appointment as chairman of the Jewish Agency, Mr Herzog also backed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for condemning Mr Corbyn.

“Two years ago, while I was still leader of the opposition and the Israeli Labour Party, I sent a written invitation to Jeremy Corbyn, as leader of Labour’s Israeli sister party, to come to Jerusalem and visit the Yad Vashem museum,” Mr Herzog said. “Sadly, the invitation wasn’t answered.”

He continued: “It’s good that there’s a clear and sharp protest from the Jewish community in Britain and that the political leadership in Israel has echoed them.

“After all, it’s not a fringe party. You ask yourself how come, in Great Britain, with a democratic system so respected around the world, you have such a deep phenomenon at the heart of the political establishment?”

But the Labour Party denied Mr Corbyn had never sent an answer.

Jeremy Corbyn is accused of misleading MPs after failing to disclose private meeting with Holocaust denier in Parliament

Jeremy Corbyn held a private meeting with a Holocaust denier in Parliament and failed to disclose it when quizzed by a Home Affairs select committee inquiry into anti-Semitism, MailOnline can reveal.

The meeting with Deir Yassin Remembered (DYR), run by Holocaust denier and notorious anti-Semite Paul Eisen, took place in 2014, one year before Mr Corbyn was elected Labour leader.

When giving evidence to the select committee in 2016, Mr Corbyn admitted attending public DYR events but claimed to have stopped when he learned of its leader’s views.

He made no mention of a private meeting in Parliament just two years before. Mr Eisen has been open about his Holocaust denial since at least 2005.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign, of which Mr Corbyn is a patron, disavowed Mr Eisen and DYR in 2007 due to Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism. The group’s co-founder, Tony Greenstein, publicised the decision in an article in the Guardian.

‘Participation in DYR is incompatible with being a member of PSC,’ he wrote. ‘You cannot oppose racism against the Palestinians and turn a blind eye to anti-Semitism.’

The Labour leader continued to attend DYR public events for a further six years, however, and is today exposed as having met privately with them in Parliament a year later.

As Labour ‘considers’ IHRA anti-Semitism rules, it practices a sleight of hand

For Britain’s Labour party, parliament’s long summer recess has resembled the movie “Groundhog Day.”

Barely a morning has passed without new revelations about Jeremy Corbyn’s past associations with a motley crew of anti-Semites, terrorists and Israel-haters.

Last week’s disclosure of a video showing the Labour leader suggesting in 2013 that British Zionists “don’t understand English irony,” despite “having lived in this country for a very long time,” brought the whole ghastly show to an abysmal nadir.

It is therefore grimly appropriate that, as parliament returns September 4 and the new political season commences, the battle begins where it ended in July: with another row over whether the Labour party will adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism.

This summer’s crisis — the latest episode in the row over Jew-hate within the party’s ranks, which has regularly rocked the party throughout Corbyn’s three-year leadership — was triggered by Labour’s decision in July to write its own definition of anti-Semitism. Quite deliberately, the party’s governing body, the National Executive Committee (NEC), adopted a code of conduct which omitted key illustrative examples of anti-Semitism — all of them relating to criticism of Israel.

These guidelines matter: they will be used by Labour to decide the huge backlog of up to 300 complaints against members who have been accused of anti-Semitism and whose chances of escaping disciplinary action were immeasurably aided by the NEC’s stance.

Corbynista Andrew Murray and Hezbollah

It is easy to see why Andrew Murray has been welcomed to Jeremy Corbyn’s inner circle. He is a fanatical Israel hater.

Consider a scene from London in July 2006, when Murray, Corbyn, far left agitators and Islamists marched to protest against Israel’s bid to defend itself against Hezbollah.

Excited, Murray reads a message from Hezbollah to a cheering crowd. It is addressed to “our friends from around the world” from the “freedom fighters of Hezbollah”. Unity! Listen for yourself.

Explicit support for Hezbollah was right out in the open at this demonstration. The poor old Socialist Party was somewhat disgruntled:

However, left-wing leading members of the Stop the War Coalition, including George Galloway and Andrew Murray, not only failed to raise socialist ideas but also expressed uncritical support for the Islamist Hamas and Hezbollah.

The crowd was predictably ugly. “Victory to the Intifada!”

“Raise the red flag!”

“We are all Hezbollah!”

“Let’s chant for Hezbollah as Azzam ‘Kaboom’ Tamimi speaks!”

For his part, Jeremy Corbyn shouted about Israeli “state terrorism” and told the crowd it was important that they had assembled because the demonstration would be reported on television. For him, the nasty scenes were a matter of pride.

Hezbollah is not enough for Andrew Murray. As readers know, he also supports “resistance” against NATO forces. Our soldiers on active duty overseas? Best kill them.

Dem Socialist Candidate’s Brother and Mother Say She’s Lied About Her Upbringing

Contrary to Salazar’s claim that “my mom ended up raising my brother and me as a single mom, without a college degree and from a working-class background,” her brother says they lived comfortably and their father made six-figures as a pilot and continued to pay child support following their divorce.

“We were very much middle class. We had a house in Jupiter along the river, it was in a beautiful neighborhood,” he said.

Julia, in response, said since her parents separated when she was six, there were two years that she lived only with her mother before Christine Salazar graduated from college.

Salazar’s claim that “I was raised by a single mom who didn’t have a college degree. My father didn’t graduate from high school,” was also wrong, they said. Christine Salazar got a college degree in psychology when her daughter was eight. Her husband, Luis Hernan Salazar, attended high school in Santa Barbara, California, although it’s unclear whether he ever graduated from the school. Christine Salazar said it’s possible he received his degree from a night school as an adult if he did not in fact graduate from the California school as a teen.

The Salazars said there were times when money was a bit tight, such as when Luis Hernan Salazar was briefly laid off or late in his life when he went on disability. But they denied the assertion on Julia’s campaign website that she began “working at a local grocery store when she was 14 to help make ends meet.” Christine Salazar said she encouraged her children work to build character and because they didn’t get an allowance, not out of necessity.

Salazar’s family also denied the candidate’s claim that she spend her childhood moving back and forth between Florida and Colombia. The family made a few visits to Colombia they said, but never lived their permanently. “Maybe she was just referring to going there more than we went anywhere else,” her mother suggested.

Another fib from Salazar was her claim that growing up, “We didn’t all have permanent residence in the U.S.” By the time she was born, every member of the family was a U.S. citizen.

Julia Salazar: “My Hebrew name is רחל בת דולזל” (satire)

Everyone’s favorite immigrant born in Florida who grew up poor in a McMansion has come out forcefully that she is in fact Jewish. Julia Salazar is running for New York State Senate from Brooklyn and has embraced the identity as a Woke Latina Jew. Despite certain statements contradicting her claim of Jewish ancestry from unreliable partisan organizations, like, um, her brother, Julia adamantly stands by her claim of Jewish roots. “I even have a Jewish name! she explained to the Daily Freier. “רחל בת דולזל. She was a hero from the Bible or something. I dunno, the Rabbi explained it halfway through the conversion, but I was texting Shaun King and must have forgotten.“

The Daily Freier asked Ms. Salazar the name of the Rabbi who converted her, and she quickly answered that it was Krusty the Clown’s dad from the Simpsons he works at the same Shul where Tim Whatley converted in the ‘Yada Yada Yada‘ episode. When the Daily Freier tried to delve further into our claim, she accused us of being “Anti-Dentite“.

The Daily Freier then asked Ms. Salazar about her future plans, and she replied: “I really want to win this, praise Jesus, I mean, B’zrat HaShem. But if this doesn’t work out, maybe I can move to Spokane and chair a NAACP chapter.“

Tufts Student Condemns ‘Colonizing Palestine’ Course Taught by Professor Who Claims ‘Israeli Occupation’ Started in 1948

A student at Tufts University in Massachusetts has condemned an upcoming class led by a instructor who previously suggested that the entirety of Israel is occupied Palestinian land.

Spencer Zeff, co-president of the campus club Tufts Friends of Israel, wrote in an op-ed published in the school’s student newspaper on Wednesday that the course Colonizing Palestine “positions a one-sided narrative as truth from the outset of the semester.”

As the Jewish News Syndicate first reported, the course will be taught by Thomas Abowd — a lecturer in American Studies and Colonialism Studies — starting next week. It will help students “address crucial questions relating to this embattled nation, the Israeli state which illegally occupies Palestine, and the broader global forces that impinge on Palestinians and Israelis,” according to its description.

Zeff noted that this summary does not mention any “Jewish writers or filmmakers,” and warned that the exclusion of “any non-Palestinian perspective” may prevent students from properly examining the subject matter.

The course “quite literally denies Jewish indigeneity to Israel,” he argued, and “overtly labels” Israelis — including his family members — “as foreign settlers and colonists, as if it was a dynamic as simple as Europeans coming to North America.”

Yisrael Medad: A Fact Falsifier and An Adulterator of History

Nimer Sultany is Senior Lecturer in Public Law, the School of Oriental and African Studies at University of London and a member of its Center for Palestine Studies. Sultany expresses an affinity and identification with “radical left theoretical thought and radical left practice”. At that Center, a graduate student, and undergraduates as well I would presume,

will develop an understanding of Palestinian history, political structure, development, culture and society.

As for Israel, insight into the school’s agenda perhaps could be gained from what Sultany published in one of his early articles on Israel’s Supreme Court, he paraphrases David Grossman’s, The Yellow Wind, writing of “occupation” that

With one stroke, the West Bank becomes Judea and Samaria, Nablus becomes Schem, al-Khalil turns into Hebron, and the Occupied Territories become the Area, the administered Territories or the Territories. Language becomes a mechanism to disguise and conceal the reality, a mechanism to present an alternative reality by giving it new packaging.

I would maintain that that semantic sleight-of-mind is exactly what the Arabs-called-Palestinians have done and do to Eretz-Yisrael. By the way, Nablus is the Arabic pronunciation of Neapolis, the Roman name for Shchem, just as Filastin is the approximation in Arabic pronunciation (the language has no ‘P’ sound) of Palestina, the Latin term the Romans awarded vanquished Judea.

IsraellyCool: Champion Debater Wipes Floor With BDS-Hole

On South African TV, BDS-hole Muhammed Desai challenged champion debater, writer, analyst and commentator Jamie Mithi, who opposes BDS (and BS).

Muhammed Desai never stood a chance.

Can one be politically neutral?: Lets Have it Out – Part 1

Is Israel an Apartheid state?: Lets Have it Out – Part 2

Are sanctions ineffective?: Lets Have it Out – Part 3

Lana Del Rey cancels Israel gig, cites inability to perform for Palestinian fans

In an apparent victory for boycott Israel activists, American singer Lana Del Rey on Friday canceled her show in an Israeli music festival set to take place next week.

Del Rey said that due to scheduling constraints she would not be able to play in front of both Israeli and Palestinian crowds, and decided to cancel her performance at the Meteor Festival in the Galilee as a result.

“It’s important for me to perform in both Palestine and Israel and treat all my fans equally,” Del Rey wrote on Twitter.

“Unfortunately, it hasn’t been possible to line up both visits with such a short notice, and therefore I am postponing my appearance at the Meteor Festival until a time when I can schedule visits for both my Israeli and Palestinian fans, as well as hopefully other countries in the region.”

One to watch on BBC Two

Next Tuesday and Wednesday – September 4th and 5th – at 9 p.m. BBC Two will air a two-part programme titled ‘We Are British Jews‘.

“In a two-part series, eight British Jews with a broad range of opinions, beliefs and practices, go on a journey to explore what it means to be Jewish in Britain today and examine some of the most pressing questions and challenges facing the Jewish community at home and in Israel.

In the first episode, the group meet in Manchester, home to the UK’s largest Jewish community outside of London. After getting to know each other, and discovering their differences, they explore what antisemitism looks and feels like in modern Britain and reflect on how perceptions of Israel affect them here at home. They meet the owner of a local restaurant which has been attacked a number of times in recent years and talk to a Labour MP who has been the focus of abuse online. The group go on to meet with Jewish students, where they hear how they have needed security when they have held Israel events on campus.

The group then travel to Israel, the country many of the group call their homeland. Starting their journey on a Kibbutz, a communal farm, they get some stark reminders of the realities of life in the Jewish State and meet a young American woman who has volunteered to serve in the Israeli Defense Forces.”

“In the second episode, the group continues their journey in Israel. The group travel the country and go to the occupied West Bank, meeting with people from across the religious and political divide – Israelis and Palestinians – who force them to question their long-held views.

‘His views on Jews, gays and immigrants show a total lack of R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Call him an Uber out of there’: Fury as anti-semitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan has a front row seat with Bill Clinton at Aretha Franklin’s funeral

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan was seated on the stage at Aretha Franklin’s memorial alongside Bill Clinton, Rev Jesse Jackson and Rev Al Sharpton.

Photos and livestream video show the controversial religious figure and black nationalist front and center at the star-studded service honoring Franklin, who died aged 76 from pancreatic cancer on August 6.

At points during the five-hour-long service, Rev Sharpton appeared to be leaning away from Farrakhan and whispering to Rev Jackson to his left, who is seated next to former President Clinton.

At points during the five-hour-long service, Rev Sharpton appeared to be leaning away from Farrakhan and whispering to Rev Jackson on his left

Farrakhan detailed his long relationship with Franklin in a statement issued after her death earlier this month.

Japanese gov’t opens Israeli startup accelerator

Tel Aviv (Tribune News Service) – Economic cooperation between Japan and Israel is being stepped up: the Japanese External Trade Organization (JETRO), a Japanese governmental agency, is opening a business center and accelerator program for Israeli startups. The center will support Israeli startups and mediate business cooperation between Japanese and Israeli companies. The JETRO center is focusing on support for Israeli companies in the founding stages and the expansion of their business to Japan.

JETRO promotes bilateral trade and investments between Japan and the rest of the world. As part of its activity, JETRO operates the Invest Japan program aimed at helping foreign companies wishing to develop their business in Japan. The program includes a great deal of information for foreign investors about all aspects of doing business in Japan by providing professional consultation and temporary office space for free in large business centers throughout Japan. Under the name Global Acceleration Hub (GAH), similar Japanese centers operate at 12 sites around the world.

The JETRO program is designed for Israeli startups interested in finding fruitful ground for cooperation with Japanese companies. The center’s personnel will assist with information about the Japanese market and in finding suitable companies for cooperation. In cases in which such a company is found, the center is likely to obtain support in establishing a presence for the Israeli company in Japan.

Israeli Startup Wins European Sports Technology Award

Track160, a Petah Tikva-based Israeli startup developing a fully automatic team sports analytics service using deep learning technology, won first place in the 2018 European SportsTech held during the SpielMacher conference in Hamburg on August 9.

The victory cup was awarded to Track160 cofounder Miky Tamir.

“Artificial intelligence and deep learning methods completely change sports technology,” said Tamir. “We can now produce new services and products for sports professionals and for the broadcast and gaming markets that have never been dreamed of just few years ago.”

Tamir established Track160 in 2017 with fellow sports technology and computer vision expert Micha Birnboim. Their fully automatic system tracks player and ball position and produces performance and tactical metrics, without GPS sensors, RF receivers or human operators.

The patented technology combines a single-viewpoint camera unit (two handycams or any professional video unit on the customer side) and miniature low-cost tags worn by the players. Later on, the system will become “pure optical,” the company says.

Based on the players’ IDs, locations and ball position, Track160 automatically prepares a comprehensive team/players game analytics database as well as injury and roles predictions.

A New Excavation Could Uncover Evidence of the Israelites’ Migration to Canaan

In the Bible’s telling, the Israelites, after leaving Egypt, traveled through the Sinai Peninsula into what is now Jordan, and from there entered Canaan from the east. While there is scant archaeological evidence to support this narrative, scholars are divided on what that absence implies; after all, nomads who wandered through an area for a generation or two wouldn’t leave much behind. New excavations, however, may reveal traces of just such evidence, as Philippe Bohstrom and Ruth Schuster write:

[A]rchaeologists are excavating strange ruins previously found in inhospitable parts of the Jordan Valley, hoping to prove or disprove the theory suggested by the late Adam Zertal of Haifa University: that the stone structures found there were erected by the ancient Israelites as they slowly crossed into Canaan 3,200 years ago. Interestingly, if the Israelites did build these structures, they may have done so to shelter not themselves but their livestock. . . .

[A] meticulous survey of 1,000 square miles of the western part of the Valley, headed by Zertal and his team from 1978 onward, found the remains of hundreds of ancient settlements. (One seems to be shaped like a foot, with toes and all.) Of the hundreds, Zertal estimated that about 70 had been erected in the early Iron Age. That is, about 3,200 years ago, which is when the ancient Israelites were said to have been led by the Prophet Joshua from the wilderness to fertile Canaan. . . .

No signs of the builders’ identity have been found thus far. The only reasons to associate the structures in the bitterly inhospitable valley with the ancient Israelites are their location and the estimated timing of their erection. [The current excavation] began with a large and very strange settlement called Khirbet el-Mastarah (loosely translated as “hidden ruins”). While today the only sign of life there is the occasional Bedouin shepherd passing by with his herd, Mastarah seems to have once housed a large Iron Age village. . .

Two years after death, Peres remembered as visionary who strived to unite nation

Speakers at Friday’s memorial ceremony marking the second anniversary of the death of Shimon Peres, Israel’s ninth president and two-time prime minister, praised the late leader as man who aimed to unite the nation, strived for peace, and sought to strengthen the moral character of the Jewish state.

Peres dreamed of “the image of the state before it was established and afterwards become one of its best builders, and one of the most prominent of its visionaries,” said President Reuven Rivlin, who spoke at the event at Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl, where Peres is buried in the Great Leaders of the Nation section.

“Some ask how much our country really belongs to everyone, is really good for everyone, really wants all of its citizens,” Rivlin continued. But Peres “always [knew how to explain] how much we all are connected to each other, how responsible we are for each other.”

The event, which was organized by the Peres Center for Peace, was also attended by IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot and Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog.

“You were so optimistic,” Rivlin said of Peres. “Keep showing our good side [to the world], continue to be an advocate for all of us.”

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