New Holocaust, Genocide Curriculum at Boston U’s Elie Wiesel Center ‘Perfect Fit’ for Renowned Survivor’s Legacy, Says Jewish Studies Prof
A new secondary academic discipline offered at Boston University (BU) — aimed at educating about mass murder in the 20th century — has generated much excitement among students, a teacher of one of its courses told The Algemeiner on Friday.
The Holocaust and Genocide Studies minor, which is being offered through BU’s Elie Wiesel Center for Jewish Studies “fits perfectly with the social justice legacy” of the man after whom the center is named, said Nancy Harrowitz, associate professor of Italian and Jewish studies.
“Racism, prejudice and xenophobia, unfortunately, are not things of the past. Educating ourselves about history so as to learn from it is vital in today’s world,” Harrowitz said. “We hope to create empathy and sensitivity in our students about persecuted groups, past and present, that will go beyond specific topics studied,” among them “History of the Holocaust” and “History of Genocide.”
Equally important for students to study, she said, is the role of bystander complicity — crucial for “understanding warning signs and our ethical duty as citizens.”
“Do we go out of our way to help others who are suffering oppression? What does it mean if we don’t? It makes me think of the provocative slogan sometimes seen at Black Lives Matter rallies: ‘White Silence is Violence.’ Some may see that as excessive, but the point it makes is thought-provoking,” she said.
Dave Rich is deputy director of communications at the Community Security Trust (CST), and is the author of a timely new book titled The Left’s Jewish Problem: Jeremy Corbyn, Israel and Antisemitism.
Though anti-Jewish racism on the left is of course not a new story, the issue came to the forefront last year in the UK with the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour Party leader and ensuing scandals involving the suspension of party members for antisemitism.
The row continues to garner significant media attention both in the UK and abroad, and a recent report by a British parliamentary committee upheld complaints that the Labour Party leadership has failed to seriously confront incidents of antisemitism within their party.
Rich agreed to answer a few of our questions about his book, which is a must-read for those interested in understanding the political and intellectual context of the current crisis.
UKMW: In the first chapter of your book, ‘When the Left Stopped Loving Israel’, you argued that the rise of anti-imperialism and anti-colonialism as the defining ideologies of the radical left influenced activists to see the Israeli-Arab conflict through a different lens. Is it a fair reading of this chapter to say that, contrary to most theories, this left-wing intellectual tide began to turn before the Six Day War – that is, before Israel occupied one square centimeter of land?
Daniel Pipes: The SPLC Finds Niqabs and Kippahs Equally Threatening
The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Heidi Beirich has distributed a standardized reply to the avalanche of protests (including a particularly eloquent one by National Review) against its wretched Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists (of which I am allegedly one). Her apologia makes a quite remarkable claim in reference to me that calls for a response. She writes that
the calling for a ban of any religious dress is indeed extreme, regardless of the religious institution. Calling for a ban on the niqab is akin to banning a kippah. Daniel Pipes, another extremist on this list, has also called for a similar ban. These calls are contrary to religious freedom.
The kippah (aka the yarmulke); really? In response, two points addressed to Ms Beirich:
1. I am fine with the wearing of a hijab or burkini because these do not threaten public security. They are a matter of personal Islamic expression. But I reject the niqab and burqa because they do threaten public security. Had you bothered to consult my blog on this subject, with over a hundred incidents where these articles of clothing have been used to facilitate criminality, political violence, and jihad, you would understand the problem.
2. Headgear like niqabs and burqas are banned in banks and other commercial institutions around the world, for the obvious reason that criminals use them as accessories to holdups. So far as I know, not a single institution has ever banned the kippah, a tiny covering at the top of the head, on security grounds. Can you possibly figure out why not?
Following its much-discussed survey of American Jewry from 2013, the Pew Research Center conducted a similar survey of Israeli Jews. Herewith, a comparison of the two communities based on the results of these surveys, accompanied by video interviews with both experts and ordinary Jews:
[A]lthough Israeli Jews are—on the whole—more religious than American Jews, that’s not the whole story. Because 22 percent of Israeli Jews are Orthodox and an even larger number are secular, Israel has a more religiously polarized Jewish public than America does.
For example, while proportionately there are more Israeli Jews than American Jews who attend synagogue weekly (27 percent vs. 11 percent), there also are more Israeli Jews than American Jews who never attend synagogue (33 percent vs. 22 percent). . . .
Jews in the U.S. and Israel also differ on what “being Jewish” means to them, personally. While both groups largely agree that remembering the Holocaust is vital to their Jewish identity, Americans are far more likely than Israelis to say that pursuing ethics, morality, and justice in society, as well as displaying “intellectual curiosity” and having a “good sense of humor,” are essential to what being Jewish means to them. Israeli Jews, meanwhile, more commonly highlight observance of Jewish law and a connection to Jewish history, culture, or community. . . .
Daniel Gordis: What we don’t know and what we do
The story that we tell of Herzl, Nordau, Bialik, Alterman, Ben-Gurion, Rabin, Golda and the like is no longer most Israelis’ narrative. If anything, they see that story as the story that was imposed on them, that often shunted them to the side.
And the changed demography is not only a matter of numbers. The secular Israeli working the fields of the kibbutz, the Srulik whom American Jews loved to coddle and to whom they loved to condescend, has virtually vanished. The kibbutzim are mostly gone. Relatively few Israelis work the fields. And Israelis are no longer so secular.
A new religiosity is emerging in Israel, in a form deeply troubling to much of North American Jewry. Some elements of this religiosity that are inspiring.
Others are worrisome, and some are downright offensive. But the neatly groomed, understated, increasingly egalitarian Judaism, colored by decorum and a kind of Protestant civility, is just not the Judaism emerging in Israel.
To be sure, many American Jews (like many Israelis, myself included) disagree with (either all or part of) Israel’s current settlement policy. The Israeli Chief Rabbinate’s medieval rejection of non-Orthodox varieties of Judaism understandably enrages many American Jews. Other policy issues are equally contentious.
But the root cause of our distress is deeper than policy. It is a matter of growing pains and shrinking pains. A country that is home to 45% of the world’s Jews will not behave the same way as a country that not long ago was home to 6% of the world’s Jews. A country that is a military, technological and demographic powerhouse never behaves like a country whose survival hangs by a thread.
That is not to suggest that the “new” Israel will always act wisely or ethically.
Sadly, it will not. But the changing and sometimes painful relationship between that new Israel and Jews worldwide is largely the result of Israel’s extraordinary success and flourishing. Whatever discomfort we may sometimes feel as a result of the divide, it would do us all well to recall that its greatest underlying cause is worthy of celebration.
Seventy-eight years ago, the Nazis used the murder of a diplomat by a Polish Jew, Herschel Grynszpan, to launch anti-Semitic attacks. A newly uncovered photo suggests that he may have surprisingly survived the Holocaust.
The accepted historical wisdom on Herschel Grynszpan is that he was either executed or died of disease while imprisoned in Germany some time between 1942 and 1945. But a photo found in the archive of the Jewish Museum in Vienna, Austria, seems to document that he actually survived World War II.
The image shows a man bearing a resemblance to the few existing photos of Grynszpan amongst a group of Jewish displaced persons protesting against the British decision to seal off Palestine to Jewish immigration in 1946.
The director of the Jewish Museum’s archive, Christa Prokisch, recently discovered the photo and contacted German journalist, Achim Fuhrer, the author of several books about Nazi history, including a biography of Grynszpan. He says that “to a very high degree of probability” the photo is indeed of Grynszpan, the man who shot and fatally injured German diplomat Ernst von Rath in November 1938.
On Monday, the Temple Mount activists ascended to the Knesset. They came by the dozens to attend the Dorshei Zion organization’s annual conference, which coincides with the anniversary of a visit by the Jewish sage Maimonides to the holy site 851 years ago. And they came to celebrate the recovery of former activist Yehuda Glick, who was shot four times by a Palestinian terrorist outside the organization’s convention in Jerusalem two years ago to the day, according to the Hebrew calendar.
Monday’s conference was the first to be held in Israel’s parliament and was organized in coordination with Glick, now an energetic Likud MK, who has arguably done more than anybody else of late to inject the subject of Jewish prayer rights at the volatile, sacred compound into public discourse.
Once a fringe issue, Temple Mount activism has in recent years become increasingly mainstream in Israeli Orthodox circles, even as Palestinians attributed the year-long wave of terror attacks to their public’s anger at ostensible imminent changes by Israel to arrangements on the holy site, which Israel firmly denies planning.
The growing popularity of the movement appeared to be corroborated by the location of Monday’s conference, in the heart of Israel’s political realm, and the appeals issued by ministers from the governing Likud and right-wing Jewish Home parties for greater access to the site. Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein and Glick also used the event to announce the launch of a new Temple Mount lobby in the Knesset.
The at-times quirky, at-times emotive event also featured a history lesson from a self-proclaimed “Quranic Zionist” sheikh and awards given to Israel’s public security minister, to the mother of 13-year-old terror victim Hallel Ariel, who was stabbed to death in her bed in June, and to a young activist who was recently detained by police — after attempting to carry out a ritual Passover sacrifice on the Mount.
“Fascists!” the young woman furiously screamed at a speaker at Saturday’s Nuremberg town meeting. Just a few seconds before, a man had grabbed her companion by the neck following a heated exchange, and shook her.
What was supposed to have been a discussion about censorship and the radical Left instead devolved into a violent attack against critics of an anti-Israel group.
The impetus for the town meeting was the aftermath of a decision to ban a group of artists from erecting an anti-Israel exhibit at the Nuremberg Left Literature Fair. The fair takes place each year in the city-owned Künstlerhaus cultural center and Mayor of Nuremberg Ulrich Maly (Social Democratic Party) had prohibited the building’s use for a well-known anti-Semitic program.
The program in question was a photography exhibit on the so-called Cologne Wailing Wall — a controversial interactive art installation that was on display in Cologne’s Cathedral square on and off since 1991. There creator Walter Herrmann, who died this year, invited passersby to write their opinions of the Jewish state on pieces of cardboard.
Historically adorning the “wall” have been such slogans as, “Hitler is the past, but Israel is the present.” Alongside the slogans, a painting showed a man draped in an American flag and a Star of David devouring a boy on the end of a fork. In his other hand, the man held a knife with the word “Gaza” on it. Next to the dinner plate stood a glass of blood.
Jewish organizations, political parties and the mayor of Cologne have accused Herrmann of spreading anti-Semitic sentiments.
A bill seeking to bar activists from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement from entering Israel passed a vote in the Knesset committee stage Monday, receiving the go-ahead to progress through the legislative process.
The proposal, which has received government support, would deny entry to individuals calling for a boycott of Israel or representing an NGO that does, but would allow the interior minister to make exceptions.
The Knesset Internal Affairs Committee passed the bill by 8-5 votes after a mainly even-tempered debate, interrupted only by Joint (Arab) List MK Jamal Zahalka who was ejected for shouting during the discussion. The outburst, ostensibly a protest over the lack of a clause specifically denoting Jewish activists as possible BDS supporters, appeared to be an attempt to grab headlines, coming just as television cameras entered the committee room.
Speaking during the committee session, Meretz MK Michal Rozin said the law was “completely unnecessary” and would, like other measures passed against left-wing NGOs, draw sharp criticism of Israel from abroad.
“The interior minister already has the ability to stop anti-Israel groups coming into the country. All this law does is take away his ability to make considered decisions,” she said. “It does nothing productive and will make us look bad.”
Contrary to the popularly accepted Quaker image as lovers of peace, the Quaker movement continues to take positions that distance both Jews and Arabs in the Holy Land from each other and from the longed-for goal of peace. With barely a word of condemnation of Hamas and Fatah terrorism, but with across-the-board blame for Israeli “militarism,” the Quakers’ activities, wittingly or not, encourage Palestinian terrorists to believe that their goal of destroying Israel is near.
Even within Israel, various Quaker organizations such as the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) continue their anti-Israel activism.
They were there in the spring of 2015, for instance, to cheer on 18-year-old Ido Ramon as he was about to begin a jail sentence for refusing to serve in the IDF. The organization’s program coordinator in Israel is Sahar Vardi, who herself served three prison sentences for refusing to serve in Israel’s Defense Forces.
AFSC also seeks to encourage young Druze soldiers not to serve in the IDF, thus unraveling the delicate ties that bond this ethnic group with Israeli society. AFSC works with a small group called “The Druze Initiative Task Force” to this end, and recently bragged of four young Druze men who had decided not to join the IDF.
The AFSC is also a strong supporter of the “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” (BDS) movement, a loose coalition of anti-Israel groups seeking to cripple the Israeli economy. In the summer of 2013, AFSC and others sponsored a five-day event in New York State, where campus activists and organizers were trained in promoting BDS.
The Green Party of Quebec has formally endorsed the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel, the Canadian Jewish News reported.
The Green Party Council voted on October 16 on a resolution to express support for boycotts and sanctions against what it refers to as “organs” of the State of Israel, organizations that do business in Israel, and Israeli cultural and academic institutions, that it accuses of being “engaged in and complicit in the violation of Palestinians’ human rights.”
The resolution made three exceptions to its support for a comprehensive boycott of all things Israeli. It specifically excludes the fields of medicine, clean energy, and computer technology. The resolution states that the Green Party “supports and promotes the global success of Israel’s green technology companies.”
The Green Party says that it will support BDS against Israel until Israel ends it ‘occupation’ of Judea and Samaria and “enters into good faith negotiations” with the Palestinian Arabs in order to create “viable, contiguous and truly independent Palestinian state.”
The Green Party also plans to lobby the Canadian government to ban the import of Israeli good produced beyond the so-called ‘green line’ of 1949 and will work to create a database of Canadian organizations doing business in Judea and Samaria.
Jewish leaders in Quebec dismissed the Green Party’s resolution as bluster.
As a law student at George Mason University, I can certainly appreciate and defend the First Amendment rights to which all Americans are entitled. Yet we should all be deeply concerned that our university is hosting Students for Justice in Palestine’s (SJP) national convention this weekend. SJP disguises itself as an organization promoting social justice and the Palestinian cause — yet in reality, SJP promotes war, hate, and destruction, with numerous SJP leaders, members, and guest speakers going so far as to endorse terrorism. The GMU student body deserves to know who is using our university as a place to spread extremism and lies.
SJP has more than 100 chapters on campuses across the country, and draw student activists using rhetoric and tactics that make it attractive for them to join their cause. SJP claims to promote human rights — but it’s a ruse. Look behind the social justice clichés and human rights talking points, and you can easily spot the group’s true agenda: preventing a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, rejecting compromise or negotiation, and advocating the destruction of the world’s only Jewish state.
During my undergraduate studies at Indiana University-Bloomington, I attended an SJP event and was flabbergasted when an SJP member asked an invited speaker, “What will be the final solution to the Israeli problem,” a question frighteningly similar to the one Adolf Hitler addressed in his “Final Solution.” No country is perfect, but SJP consistently scapegoats, using the ugliest of rhetoric and the falsest of accusations, one nation — Israel — for all the world’s ills.
On September 17, 2016, I detailed how anti-Israel groups were organizing to exploit a dispute between the Standing Rock Sioux and an oil company seeking to build a disputed pipeline, BDS Settler Colonial activists exploit Standing Rock Sioux pipeline dispute.
In that post, I provided links and images to the efforts to make the Palestinian cause the centerpiece of the Standing Rock protests.
It was a classic hijacking of another cause in which expressions “solidarity” are the means to subjugate another cause to the anti-Israel effort. It’s part of a pattern I have explored before, BDS is a Settler Colonial Ideology.
As I documented, the expressions of solidarity “From Standing Rock to Palestine” put “Palestine” at the center. When the anti-Israel cause comes to town, often in the form of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, it all about them.
And so it continues in the weeks since my last report. The Standing Rock protests have continued and intensified over what they say is a danger to their water supply and burial grounds. They also say that the pipeline is a violation of treaties between sovereign Indian nations and the federal government.
As the protests have intensified, so too has the infiltration and exploitation of the Standing Rock protests by anti-Israel activists.
IsraellyCool: WATCH: BDS-Holes’ Deceitful HP Computer-Smashing Video
Except those are not BDS-holes in the video smashing HP computers.
My suspicions were aroused by the fact they all seem to be kids – not who I would think would be behind the site
And sure enough, I have located some of the source footage – from a video created by a kid trying to be funny.
We already knew BDS-holes are hypocrites. After all, how did they even upload this video to YouTube? Whatever computer they did end up using almost certainly contains some Israeli technology. But in this case they won’t even do the dirty work themselves!
In a Nov. 6 Haaretz Op-Ed, Amiram Goldblum cites a string of statistics to argue that Yitzhak Rabin’s diplomacy led to a dip in Palestinian violence (“We Neither Forgive nor Forget”):
The Rabin government, which came to power in July 1992, brought about a dramatic drop in terror attacks. In 1991, under the Shamir government, 105 people were killed in terror attacks. In 1992 the number was down to 31 (eight after Rabin’s government took office), and in 1993, before the Oslo Accords were signed, 26 were killed.
Significantly, though, the figures that Goldblum cites do not at all correspond to those of either Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs or B’Tselem. The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs lists 21 Israelis killed in terror attacks during 1991, falling far short of the 105 people cited by Goldblum. Moreover, the MFA’s numbers for subsequent years reflect an increase in Israeli fatalities during Rabin’s tenure – 34 in 1992 and 45 in 1993 – not the decrease that Goldblum claims. Perhaps the disparity between Goldblum’s figures versus those of the MFA is due to the fact that Goldblum cites “105 people . . . killed in terror attacks,” possibly counting also Palestinians, including assailants.
According to B’Tselem, 19 Israelis were killed in 1991, along with 104 Palestinians. B’Tselem’s figures, which we have criticized in the past for not identifying Palestinian assailants listed among Palestinian “civilian” fatalities, include all those killed in Israel and the disputed territories, civilians and security personnel. B’Tselem’s total number of both Palestinians and Israelis killed in 1991 (123) also does not match up to Goldblum’s figure (105 people), although the inclusion of Palestinians (including attackers) brings the number significantly closer to Goldblum’s.
Here’s what you see today at the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict page at The Independent.
One article amplifies false Palestinian charges (see here) that Israel destroyed graves in a historic Muslim cemetery.
One article misleads readers (see here) into believing that Israeli soldiers shot – for no particular reason – an unarmed 13-year-old Palestinian girl.
One article cites a UN report which accuses Israel of breaching Palestinian rights to development.
One article is based on a claim by academics at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) that Israel violates academic freedom by unfairly turning away British lecturers (who are pro-Palestinian activists) at the border.
One article reports on the IDF’s interception of a boat carrying pro-Palestinian female activists trying to break Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza.
So, Indy readers interested in learning about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict are informed that Israel destroys Muslim graves, shoots innocent Palestinian children, breaches Palestinian rights to development and violates the academic freedom of pro-Palestinian Britons.
Later on, following a description of manifestations of antisemitism by Howard Jacobson, Harding responds by saying:
“But Howard Jacobson – wouldn’t there be people listening to you now, particularly Muslim listeners, who’d say consider Islamophobia in Europe; consider the plight of Muslims who are facing much more critical commentary and, frankly, much more hostility across Europe.”
The issue raised by Connolly’s Belgian interviewees in fact receives no serious discussion throughout the item.
Another interesting point about the item is the absence of any introspection on the part of the BBC’s director of news concerning content produced by his own organisation which has amplified the kind of tropes described by his expert guest Howard Jacobson.
Jacobson [46:28]: “And here we get onto the very thorny problem of Israel because in my view – which has got nothing to do with defending Israel at all: the politics of Israel; we can leave that out. But I do think that Israel has enabled a vocabulary of antisemitism to surface and express itself again. I’m not just talking about how we feel about individual Israeli policy. We will find descriptions of what’s happened in Israel that are too close to comfort to medieval tropes about what Jews were like. You will hear people saying Israel is supported by a ‘Jewish lobby’ or there’s an immense amount of money supporting Israel politics or when it comes to Israel, the Jewish lobby is the tail wagging the American dog. So these are all old ways of talking about the Jews that go all the way back to things that were said in Mein Kampf but they now have another…another battle ground if you like.”
Readers may recall that the ‘tail wagging the dog’ theme was promoted by a senior BBC correspondent in September 2013 and that amplification of the notion of a powerful ‘Jewish lobby’ has regrettably been an all too frequent feature of BBC content – for example here, here and here.
A German court has sentenced a far-right politician to eight months in prison for displaying a Nazi-style tattoo, stiffening the suspended term he originally received after prosecutors appealed.
The news agency dpa reported that the state court in Neuruppin, north of Berlin, on Monday upheld the defendant’s conviction for incitement.
The case against Marcel Zech involves a tattoo that appeared to combine an image of the Auschwitz death camp with the slogan from the Buchenwald concentration camp’s gate, “Jedem das Seine” — “to each his own.”
The 28-year-old admitted displaying the tattoo while visiting a swimming pool. In December, a district court in Oranienburg gave him a six-month suspended sentence.
Engie, an Israeli app that aims to revolutionize the car repair industry, has announced a $3.5 million investment round. The app allows drivers to connect to the car’s computer, understand the car’s health, know how much the repair will cost, and choose the best mechanic nearby.
Almost 100,000 users and 200 mechanics have joined Engie since it was launched in Israel last year. The U.S. and UK version of the product were recently added to Google Play.
“We saw an amazing market response in Israel because Engie solves a big consumer pain and offers a much better experience when it comes to car maintenance,” said co-founder and CEO Yarden Gross. “This investment will help expand into other markets where drivers lose millions of dollars due to unnecessary repairs. Engie’s goal is to create a better experience to drivers around the world, offer them control over the car’s health and of course save money.”
The memorandum of understanding signed in 2014 by Benjamin Netanyahu and California Governor Jerry Brown has led to some ground breaking collaborations.
Over the summer, a delegation of 18 California policymakers traveled to Israel to explore issues related to climate change, water use and smart agriculture. Their travels included a tour of a water management facility in Jerusalem, plant breeding company Kaiima Ltdin Moshav Sharon (listed by MIT as one of its top-50 smartest companies.) a visit to a nursery near Gaza, a trip to Netafim, an Israeli Ag technology company in the Negev Desert, and a visit to the Ben Gurion University Desert Research Institute. They meet with agricultural innovation, climate change and water use experts across Israel
Karen Ross at the California Department of Food and Agriculture blog, Planting Seeds wrote of her trip “The sense of history here leaves me in a state of awe”
A day before Israel marks its first official “Aliyah Day” holiday to honor its immigrants, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday praised their “tremendous contribution” to the country.
The Knesset passed the National Aliyah Day into law in June, with 21 Knesset members in favor and five opposed. Literally “ascension,” aliyah is a Hebrew term used to refer to Jewish immigration to Israel.
Nearly all Israelis, if not immigrants themselves, are the descendants of immigrants, many of whom fled Europe before and after the Holocaust, or were expelled from Arab countries in the early 1950s.
“The contribution of so many different communities is so broad and deep,” Netanyahu said at a meeting of his Likud party’s MKs. The prime minister also praised immigrants’ contribution to Israel’s relationship with the countries from which they emigrated.
“I see it in Russia, in Ukraine, in France. They don’t just contribute to Israel, they contribute to Israel’s foreign relations,” he said.
“Aliyah is the foundation of the state of the Jews and the fulfillment of the biblical prophecy of the Jewish people returning to its land and building it.”
The center will also scout for investment opportunities in technology companies relevant to the car industry.
German corporation Daimler, which, among other things, controls car manufacturer Mercedes Benz, announced today that it will open a new R&D center in Tel Aviv. The new center will join the corporation’s global network of R&D centers, currently operating in the US, Germany, India and China. The Israeli technology center will be managed by Adi Ofek, an Israeli with international management experience, who has served in several management positions in Daimler since 2000. The center will focus on “car mobility and information services, in addition to the development and testing of various projects and user interfaces.”
Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, Daimler AG board member and head of Group Research & Mercedes-Benz Cars Development, said that the new technology center in Tel Aviv “is aimed at boosting the global R&D array with the help of Israel, the high tech nation. The center joins Daimler’s global array of R&D centers, so that we will continue to be the automotive industry’s technological vanguard in terms of efficient, technologically advanced and safe cars.”
The Royal Bank of Scotland will hold a hackathon in Tel Aviv next week to scout for Israeli financial technologies that will enable the Edinburgh-based retail bank to tap into new technologies and boost services to customers.
The hackathon will be held at the fintech hub The Floor at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, in cooperation with Google and Intel, the organizers said in a statement.
During the November 15-17 hackathon, RBS will ask Israeli entrepreneurs to come up with suggestions and ideas for innovation in digital and mobile banking, payment methods, data security and processing, and new financing technologies.
International banks including Citi, Barclays Bank Plc., HSBC and Banco Santander have all set up fintech hubs in Tel Aviv as new technologies are changing the world of finance and especially the way consumer banks work. They look to Israel, with its strong innovative tradition, to help find solutions in the fast-changing financial world, in which banks are facing increased pressure to reduce costs and find new ways to engage users as technology-driven newcomers snap at their heels and bite into their market share.
The Israeli actress Gal Gadot, who plays Wonder Woman on the big screen, announced Sunday that she and her husband are expecting their second child.
Gadot posted a picture of herself and husband Yaron Varsano on Instagram, with their hands making a heart shape on her belly. Alongside she wrote, “So excited to share this wonder with you…” and used the hashtag #mommyforthesecondtime.
Gadot, a former Miss Israel, married the real estate developer in September 2008 and the couple have a 5-year-old daughter, Alma.
Within an hour, her post received over 100,000 likes and the news was trending on social media.
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