May 22, 2024

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11/19 Links: Islamic Terrorists not Poor and Illiterate, but Rich and Educated; Jerusalem welcomes Trump’s ‘pro-Israel’ security picks

From Ian:

Islamic Terrorists not Poor and Illiterate, but Rich and Educated
“The better young people are integrated, the greater the chance is that they radicalize. This hypothesis is supported by a lot of evidence”. — From a report by researchers at Erasmus University in Rotterdam.
“The proportions of [Islamic State] administrators but also of suicide fighters increase with education,” according to a World Bank report. “Moreover, those offering to become suicide bombers ranked on average in the more educated group.”
Britain’s MI5 revealed that “two-thirds of the British suspects have a middle-class profile and those who want to become suicide bombers are often the most educated”.
Researchers have discovered that “the richer the countries are the more likely will provide foreign recruits to the terrorist group [ISIS].”
The West seems to have trouble accepting that terrorists are not driven by inequality, but by hatred for Western civilization and the Judeo-Christian values of the West.
For the Nazis, the “inferior race” (the Jews) did not deserve to exist; for the Stalinists, the “enemies of the people” were not entitled to continue living; for the Islamists, it is the West itself that does not deserve to exist.
It is anti-Semitism, not poverty, that led the Palestinian Authority to name a school after Abu Daoud, mastermind of the massacre of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics.

An Anti-Israel Brigade With Ties To Hamas Finds A Home In San Francisco State University

Opponents of academic accountability and apologists for terrorism alike are seething with fury over a campaign by the Middle East Forum (MEF) and Campus Watch to end San Francisco State University’s Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which it coordinates with Hamas-dominated An-Najah University in the West Bank. Accurate criticism of a taxpayer-funded institution and extensive documentation of An-Najah’s ties to radicalism and terrorism go unanswered, while accusations of “McCarthyism,” “Islamophobia” and “hate-mongering” by “Zionists” abound.
Predictably, SFSU’s General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS) rushed to defend MOU architect and faculty adviser Rabab Abdulhadi (who is also director of SFSU’s Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Initiative) with a cliché-ridden statement accusing Campus Watch and other “Zionist organizations” of racism, “Islamophobia,” and, most absurdly, “anti-Semitism.”
The Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network released a statement claiming that Campus Watch and other “Zionist groups … target Palestinian academics in the United States . . . [and] operate hand in hand with the violent military raids and pre-dawn arrests against Palestinian student activists at An-Najah.” Translation: Jews who object to relentless defamation of Israel on campus are as guilty as dastardly Israelis, and you know what we do to dastardly Israelis, right?
The 2016 Prisoner, Labor, and Academic Delegation to Palestine – a group comprised of radical activists and academics with whom Abdulhadi traveled to An-Najah earlier this year for an MOU-facilitated conference – equated Campus Watch’s campaign with “an escalating backlash by pro-Israeli, Zionist organizations to undermine support for Palestine.”
The U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI), of which Abdulhadi is a founding member, accused MOU opponents of engaging in “McCarthy-like tactics.”
Abdulhadi herself resorted to the same tiresome banalities, describing Campus Watch’s effort to end the MOU as a “McCarthyist attack” and “a witch hunt campaign.” She maintained that the campaign “seeks to whip up hysteria, Islamophobia, racism and xenophobia to divert attention from Israeli criminality.”

Why all Labour members need to read parliament’s antisemitism report

It is unfortunate that both Corbyn and Chakrabarti only seem fully to understand antisemitism when it comes in the form of state sponsored genocide and verbal and physical assaults on Jewish people. Indeed, the committee remarks that it is “not persuaded that [Jeremy Corbyn] fully appreciates the distinct nature of post-Second World War antisemitism”.
It is unfortunate, too, that Chakrabarti trivialised the evidence she heard of antisemitic anti-Zionism in the Labour Party as “a series of unhappy incidents”.
Those on the anti-racist left, and indeed all those who care about race hate, must accept the the IHRA definition of antisemitism. Corbyn and his supporters must also accept, once and for all, the committee’s conclusion that antisemitism is happening in the Labour party. Only then can they resolve to stamp it out.
As left-wing journalist Owen Jones recently said: “It is incumbent on the progressively-minded to take antisemitism seriously. We wouldn’t belittle other forms of bigotry or seek to deflect from it. Discussion about serious antisemitism should not be launched into a debate about Israel.”

Indigenous activist is new ‘face’ of B’nai Brith Canada

Activist Ryan Bellerose sees Israel as not just “a light unto nations” in a general sense — it’s a prescription, too.
Specifically, the State of Israel, whose establishment Bellerose considers the “greatest human rights story ever,” can offer a blueprint for securing land and rights for indigenous tribes around the world.
This connection between Israel and native peoples is personal. Bellerose, 40, of Calgary, is a member of the Metis nation, which is recognized by the Canadian government as one of the country’s official aboriginal peoples.
Bellerose, who was raised Roman Catholic and now practices Cree spirituality, jokes that his friends call him “Rabbi Ryan.” He rose to prominence within Jewish circles when he launched a successful pro-Israel organization, Calgary United With Israel (now known as Canada United With Israel) in 2013.
And now Bellerose, who was raised in northern Alberta in the Metis settlement of Paddle Prairie, has been hired by B’nai Brith Canada as its advocacy coordinator for the country’s western sector.
While he’s not a member of the tribe, he feels that he has “some valid things to teach and to learn” from his Jewish friends.

Barbara Kay: Only Palestinians inherit “refugee” status

Barbara Kay of the National Post talks to Ezra Levant of about Trudeau’s decision to give $25 million to UNRWA.

What kind of virulent anti-semitism are Liberals funding with our tax dollars?

Brian Lilley details how blatant UNRWA employees are in calling for Jews to be killed, Israel to be destroyed and more, all with the help of Canadian tax dollars, thanks to Trudeau and his Liberals.

Douglas Murray – [Q and A] Islam in Secular Society

Wire Services Play Major Role in Anti-Israel Coverage

As the media landscape adjusts to financial realities and more news outlets make cuts, the role of wire services has increased.
While the New York Times, Washington Post and other big media beasts can maintain bureaus in Jerusalem, others take copy straight from Associated Press, Reuters and other wire services.
But when a wire service gets it wrong, how much responsibility rests on media outlets that republish a story without any due diligence?
At the beginning of November, HonestReporting critiqued a story on the Reuters site looking at Palestinian water issues in the West Bank. The story also appeared on the Haaretz website, where it was attributed to Reuters, as well as a number of English-language Arab media outlets.
The story alleged that Palestinians were going thirsty due to Israeli intransigence, buttressed by Palestinian claims and politicized reports from non-governmental organizations (NGOs). There were, however, huge holes in the story. The journalist had evidently not done her homework. There was no background on the various Oslo-era agreements that still govern Palestinian water issues, no commentary from Israeli sources such as the Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), which plays a direct role in working with Palestinians to ensure that water is properly managed, etc.
HonestReporting contacted Reuters, explaining that, contrary to the published claim, Mekorot (Israel’s national water company) is not solely responsible for supplying Palestinians with water (the Palestinians are also responsible). We supplied a COGAT statement explaining that, due to Palestinian rejectionism, the Joint Water Committee had not convened for the past few years, thereby putting hundreds of Israeli water efforts to benefit Palestinians on the back burner. (h/t Elder of Lobby)

Jerusalem said to welcome Trump’s ‘pro-Israel’ security picks

Israel welcomed US President-elect Donald Trump’s new round of appointments to top administration positions, a source in Jerusalem said Saturday, as a former general known for his anti-Islam rhetoric and a strident opponent of the Iran nuclear deal were tapped for top defense positions.
The source specifically hailed both Rep. Mike Pompeo, the incoming CIA chief, and new national security adviser Gen. Michael Flynn as supporters of Israeli policy, according to Army Radio.
Pompeo has been one of the leading critics of last year’s deal with Iran that traded sanctions relief for a nuclear rollback, aligning him with much of the centrist and right-wing pro-Israel communities. He is a reliable backer of Israel and last November had high praise for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after they met on an Israel tour.
Pompeo tweeted on Thursday: “I look forward to rolling back this disastrous deal with the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism.” Pompeo had warned last year that the agreement is “empowering an Iranian regime that is intent on destroying America.”

Trump’s CIA pick Pompeo anticipates ‘rolling back’ the ‘disastrous’ Iran deal

Mike Pompeo, named Friday by President-elect Donald Trump to lead the Central Intelligence Agency, tweeted on Thursday that he was looking forward to “rolling back” the year-old nuclear deal with Iran, which he called “disastrous.”
Long a strident critic of the Iran nuclear accord, a central foreign policy deal championed by the outgoing Obama administration and bitterly opposed by Israel, Pompeo tweeted on Thursday: “I look forward to rolling back this disastrous deal with the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism.”
Pompeo had warned last year that the agreement is “empowering an Iranian regime that is intent on destroying America.”
Pompeo gained exposure to intelligence matters in 2013 when he was appointed to the House Intelligence Committee. In that venue he leveled scathing criticism of the accord. In interviews and written pieces, he has pointed to Iran as the primary source of conflict in the Middle East since Tehran’s 1979 revolution.
“Ayatollah Khamenei watches America allow Iran to expand its power while our president writes him missives ensuring we will protect Iran’s interests. This is dangerous. The Islamic Republic cannot even feed its own people without access to markets and our president rewards that nation, which has killed countless Americans, with sanctions relief,” Pompeo complained in December 2014, before the deal was signed. “We should make clear that nuclear enrichment is not acceptable inside of Iran for any purpose…” Last year’s deal does allow Iran ongoing limited enrichment.

Huckabee denies being tapped as Trump’s Israel envoy

Former Arkansas governor and failed Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee denied Friday that he was tapped by President-elect Donald Trump to serve as the next US ambassador to Israel.
Britain’s Daily Mail earlier on Friday quoted an unnamed source in the Trump transition team confirming both the appointment and that moving the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would be a first item of business for ambassador Huckabee. “That’s going to happen,” the transition source said. “Governor Huckabee is going to see it through.”
But Huckabee wrote on Twitter that the “media buzz” about his nomination was wrong. “Was never discussed with PE Trump; slot probably not picked until State Dept in place,” he said. On FOX News later Friday, he repeated that the issue was “not discussed” and reports of the appointment were “totally not true.”
Huckabee met with Trump on Friday at Trump Tower in New York City, but did not comment on the rumors of his posting to Israel, and there was no official confirmation from the Trump team. “I’m just here for the Starbucks,” Huckabee quipped before going into his meetings.

The Jewish Alt-Left and the Devil that is Donald Trump

Bubbling just below the surface of the losing side’s public outrage over the election of Donald J. Trump as president, the American Jewish alt-left is smacking its lips in jubilation because now there is something they can rally against “bigly” — and use to raise buckets of money.
As the Devil, Donald Trump is a gift from God to those groups whose tune had flat-lined. Now they have a new shrill song of warning to chant. My inbox is full of howls of protest from the likes of the Anti-Defamation League, Jewish Voice for Peace, J Street, Bend the Arc, Code Pink, Open Hillel, IfNotNow, and others, decrying Trump – and asking for a donation so they can “fight the good fight.”
The President-elect’s appointment of Steve Bannon as chief strategist is a special gift to their furious fundraising efforts. From the ADL’s embattled Jonathan Greenblatt’s squeals of opprobrium to J Street’s Jeremy Ben Ami’s politically calculated falsetto cries, everybody is pumping out the fundraising emails as fast as they can. As they say: never waste a “good crisis” to raise money, and stoking fear raises the most.
By his words and actions, Donald Trump opened this Pandora’s box. There’s no need to repeat the list of fears America’s next President has kindled. They are justifiably horrifying to many. That’s a big reason why the appointment of Bannon merely confirms these good people’s most dire concerns. His meme, whether deserved or not, would have been disqualifying in the past, but apparently that’s no longer so in this post-fact political environment. Or, as Stephen Colbert would say, “In this time of ‘truthiness.’” That must explain how the same line of truthiness – “a person can be Pro-Israel but anti-Semitic” – can be used to excuse both the antics of alt-left BDS supporters and to denounce Bannon, the alt-right Breitbart boss.
In this new Trumpian world, the American Jewish alt-left, with ADL and J Street sliding to its right edge with JVP still holding down the far left, now has an unholy Trinity against which to focus their moral outrage. And, boy, are they! For the past eight years, these moralizing high-grounders couldn’t really rage and fundraise against Obama, and the incessant harangue against Bibi Netanyahu had grown stale becoming nothing more than a scratchy broken record on a continual tone-deaf loop being pumped into the same silo. (h/t Elder of Lobby)

While the World Is Distracted, the International Criminal Court Is Quietly Bleeding Members

Some once solid-seeming pillars of the international system have taken their licks this year, the European Union and American democracy among them. But both are in good health compared to the International Criminal Court, which has seen a string of defections over the past couple of months alone. This week, Russia announced it was quitting the ICC, just days after the Court declared the Russian-annexed Crimea was under a “state of occupation.” Gambia and Burundi, two small African countries with despotic governments, announced that they were leaving the court in October. But so did South Africa, a cosmopolitan democracy and one of the continent’s political and economic leaders.
As a practical matter, the ICC’s jurisdiction, and with it its ability to deter and prosecute some of the world’s worst human rights violations, shrinks with every country that leaves. The defections also undermine the central idea under which the court is organized. The ICC theoretically exists on behalf of all humankind: the preamble to the 1998 Rome Statute, the Court’s founding document, begins by noting that the various state signatories are “conscious that all peoples are united by common bonds, their cultures pieced together in a shared heritage” and also “concerned that this delicate mosaic may be shattered at any time.” The court requires member states to cede crucial aspects of their national sovereignty to a supra-national legal institution not just in order to create a safer and more orderly world, but in the interest of a common human destiny. The South African case is an especially vivid illustration of just how little pressure it takes to crush these lofty ideals—and of the implications this might have for Israel, a country often on the receiving end of the international legal regime.
South Africa is pulling out of the ICC largely because of a dramatic incident that unfolded on June 14th and 15th. That week, Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir was in South Africa for an African Union summit, traveling to a Rome Statute member state in defiance of a 2009 ICC arrest warrant over his government’s alleged crimes against humanity while fighting an ongoing insurgency in Darfur, in western Sudan. The warrant was the Court’s first for a sitting world leader, and it obligated every Rome Statute member to arrest Bashir if the Sudanese dictator ever set foot in their territory. On June 14th, the High Court in Pretoria ruled that Bashir was prohibited from leaving the country until the court could hear a petition from South African human rights groups requesting the Sudanese leader’s arrest. But the next day, Bashir’s plane took off from a South African air force base outside Pretoria. He was back in Khartoum, and thus safely out of ICC jurisdiction, by nightfall.

Abbas ally: French peace summit will go forward, with or without Israel

An associate of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said France will hold a much-discussed international conference on the Middle East peace process before year’s end.
Ahmad Majdalani, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee, told Palestinian newspaper Donia Al-Watan Saturday that French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault would soon travel to the region in preparation for the summit, as part of France’s peace initiative.
The conference, he added, will take place “whether the Israeli government consents or not.”
Abbas affirmed his commitment to a French-led international peace conference Monday, days after Israel reiterated that it would boycott the effort.
Abbas, speaking during a state visit to Turkmenistan, said he was planning on sending a delegation to the proposed peace talks set to be hosted in France in December.
He also expressed support for a Russian peace initiative that seemed to have stalled in recent months.

Pro-Iran group to urge Germans to vote Israel is illegal

The radical Islamic pro-Iran regime NGO “The Feather” announced that it will urge Germans to reject Israel’s existence on Saturday at an information stand in the the northern German city of Delmenhorst in the state of Lower Saxony.
The Feather, which shows a photograph of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on its website, announced the vote on its Facebook page.
The Weser-Kurier paper reported that The Feder member Hassan Mohsen said “the citizens have the possibility to drop a chip in a box for or against “ the creation of Israel. “It is our conviction that Israel should have never been founded,” said Mohsen. Pedro Benjamin Becerra, the chairman of the Jewish community Delmenhorst, told the paper that The Feder’s activity is “incitement to hate.“
The German-Israeli Friendship Society in Oldenburg plans to hold a counter-information stand across from The Feder’s booth in Delmenhorst—a city of nearly 75,000.

Special Arutz Sheva interview with EU Ambassador Middle East

Arutz Sheva asked EU Ambassador Lars Faaborg-Andersen to Israel why Europe always condemns Israel when it builds in Jerusalem, its capital city. Faaborg-Andersen answered that East Jerusalem is “occupied territory” and by transferring its own population there Israel is breaching international conventions on occupied territory” . Even though the area of East Jerusalem has been declared part of Israel it is not recognized as such by the international community, the US or the EU.
Faaborg-Andersen conceded that in a final status agreement the ‘settlements’ located in Judea and Samaria could be incorporated into Israel but stressed that unilateral steps by Israel are unacceptable.

MEMRI: Reports In Arab Press: ‘Abbas Resisted Arab League Pressure To Appoint Successor – Despite Threats Of Sanctions Against Him

The Arab Quartet (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the UAE) is continuing its efforts to effect a reconciliation within Fatah and to have a successor to Palestinian President Mahmoud ‘Abbas appointed. Recently, ‘Abbas rejected a Quartet initiative for such an appointment, on the grounds that he would not accept Arab intervention in Palestinian affairs.
Several Arab media reports stated that recently, in order to resolve this issue, a high-level Arab League delegation visited ‘Abbas in Ramallah on November 9, 2016. The delegation, comprising Arab League Secretary-General Ahmad Abu Al-Gheit and his two predecessors, ‘Amr Moussa and Nabil Al-Arabi, came to the city on the pretext of attending the opening of the Arafat Museum. According to the reports, the three attempted to pressure ‘Abbas to choose a successor, and also tried to persuade him to reconcile with Muhammad Dahlan – who previously served as Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) member from Fatah and head of Preventive Security in Gaza, and who is now a proposed successor – as well as to allow him to return to the political scene after his 2011 expulsion from Fatah, and to stop persecuting him and his supporters.
The Arabi21 website, which is close to the Muslim Brotherhood, noted in a November 12 report that the delegation’s visit to Ramallah and its meeting with ‘Abbas had been conducted “far from the eyes of the media” in order to avoid the appearance of normalization with Israel, and also due to the sensitive nature of the meeting’s goal – that is, appointing a successor to ‘Abbas.

Turkish Constitutional Changes Could Keep Erdogan in Power Another Decade

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is getting closer to that dictatorship he has always wanted, as proposed changes to the Turkish constitution could keep him in office until 2029.
“Erdogan and his supporters argue Turkey needs the strong leadership of an executive presidency, akin to the system in the United States or France, to avoid the fragile coalition governments that hampered its development in the past,” Reuters reports.
Perhaps Erdogan’s AKP Party missed the subtle nuances of American and French limits on executive power, such as not installing presidents for two or three decades at a stretch or not tossing opposition journalists in jail by the truckload.
Erdogan’s opponents, of course, view the proposed constitutional changes as “a vehicle for Erdogan’s ambition, and fear it will bring increasing authoritarianism to a country already under fire from Western allies over its deteriorating record on rights and freedoms, especially after widespread purges in the wake of a failed military coup in July.”

UN protests Turkey bill on amnesty for child abusers who wed victims

The UN children’s fund said Saturday it was “deeply concerned” over a draft bill in Turkey which would overturn a child sex assault conviction if the offender married his victim.
The bill passed an initial reading in parliament on Thursday, despite fierce criticism from critics who accused the government of encouraging the rape of minors.
But Ankara has dismissed the criticism, insisting the legislation is aimed at tackling the widespread phenomenon of child marriages.
“UNICEF is deeply concerned by the draft bill on sexual offenders recently submitted to the parliament which introduces some type of amnesty for child abuse perpetrators,” spokesman Christophe Boulierac told AFP.
“These abject forms of violence against children are crimes which should be punished as such, and in all cases the best interest of the child should prevail,” he said.
If passed, the bill — which will be put to another vote in the coming days — will allow for the release from prison of men guilty of assaulting a minor if the act was committed without “force, threat, or any other restriction on consent” and if the aggressor “marries the victim.”
Officials say the legislation would affect 3,000 families.

Three Christians are sentenced to 80 lashes by Sharia court in Iran for taking communion wine

Three Christians in Iran have been sentenced to 80 lashes by a Sharia court after they were found guilty of blasphemy for drinking holy communion wine.
Yaser Mosibzadeh, Saheb Fadayee and Mohammed Reza Omidi, also known as Youhan, are due to be flogged in public after they were arrested at a house church gathering in Rasht in May.
The trio spent weeks in prison before they were finally released on bail, but they will now have to face the cruel and degrading punishment after they were guilty by Islamist judges.
The three men are Christian converts from Muslim backgrounds, and the sentence reflects the state’s hard-line refusal to recognise the right of Muslims to change their religion.
It is not illegal for Christians to drink alcohol in Iran but under Sharia law, Muslims are forbidden from drinking and it is illegal for Muslims to convert to another religion.
Security agents also raided the home of their pastor Yousef Nadarkhani and his wife Fatemeh Pasandideh and arrested them at the same time, but the couple were not jailed.

Inter-Varsity Press withdraw Stephen Sizer’s books
In these challenging times, here is some positive news: Inter-Varsity Press (IVP), one of Britain’s largest Christian publishers, has withdrawn Stephen Sizer’s books from sale and no longer lists them on its website.
How has this come about? Well, a few weeks ago, a friend of mine wrote to IVP, forwarding them a link to this blog post, which argues that IVP were taking a different approach to Sizer than they had taken to other disgraced or discredited authors:
IVP replied to my friend as follows:
“The Stephen Sizer books have been in print for over 10 years and we understand and are very mindful of the sensitivities around this subject and author. We have decided to remove these titles from our list and the rights have reverted back to the author. Our website no longer lists these titles, though book retailers may well still be carrying stock and online retailers will continue to list these books for unsold and second-hand copies.”
Something stronger than “very mindful of the sensitivities around this subject and author” would have been better, as would a clear public statement on IVP’s website, comparable to the recent one about Peter O’Brien. And, though it may seem churlish, questions can surely be asked about IVP’s initial role in editing Sizer’s books, particularly Christian Zionism: Roadmap to Armageddon? (2004). How was it that they missed the following things?
Swastikas, Trump graffiti defaced park named for Jewish Beastie Boys rapper

According to the Post, local officials have announced a rally at the Crown Heights, Brooklyn park to “denounce hate and intimidation.”
Yauch, who founded the Beastie Boys with Mike Diamond and Adam Horowitz in 1979, was born to a Jewish mother and a Catholic father in Brooklyn. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2009 and passed away at age 47 in 2012.
Two swastikas were carved into a door at the Manhattan apartment building where New York State Sen. Brad Hoylman resides earlier this week, prompting the senator to express his fear they were inspired by President-elect Donald Trump’s recent victory, according to the New York Daily News.
The vandalism, according to Hoylman, was a result of Trump refusing to condemn the white supremacist ties of Steve Bannon, who Trump recently “rewarded” as his chief strategist.

In post-coup Turkey, Jews plan their future abroad

At a chic café overlooking the Bosphorus, two Turkish Jewish women are discussing their plans to emigrate when the call to Friday prayers blasts from the loudspeakers of a nearby mosque.
Unable to talk over the deafening singing that fills the café in the Bebek neighborhood of western Istanbul, the women turn to their smartphones to read the news. At least they try to.
Turkey’s government has jammed access to the internet on this November day, reportedly to prevent terrorists from communicating with each other. It spurs major traffic disruptions and overloads several cellular towers.
“This is Turkey,” said one of the women, a 42-year-old businesswoman and mother named Betty, who asks that her last name not be used for security reasons.
“If they don’t want you to communicate, you won’t,” adds her friend Suzette, who makes the same request about her surname.
Betty and Suzette are among the thousands of Turkish Jews seeking foreign passports this year amid growing religiosity in a society where civil rights activists and some ethnic minorities are feeling the weight of the increasingly authoritarian policies of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey’s Islamist president who has used anti-Israel rhetoric.
“Of course we’re thinking about emigrating,” said Betty while scanning the top floor of the café — a quiet place that she proposes for an interview because she does not want to be overheard speaking about Jews to a journalist. “Everyone in the Jewish community is because it is hard to imagine a future for ourselves here. Many Muslims are, too.”

Jewish Agency notes spike in aliya from Brazil

There has been a significant rise in immigration to Israel from Brazil, with as many as 700 newcomers expected by the end of this year, according to the Jewish Agency.
The head of the Jewish Agency’s delegation to Brazil, Revital Poleg, said the reasons for the jump in the aliya are not political.
“Certainly the economic crisis in Brazil has been a catalyst, but Jews are not leaving for political reasons,” Poleg told The Jerusalem Post from Sao Paulo, ahead of the Jewish community’s annual conference there on Saturday night. “The Jewish community is very Zionist and very connected to Israel, and their decision to make aliya is a combination of different factors, including the economic situation, issues of personal safety, educational opportunities in Israel, and of course, the possibility of living among your own people.”
Brazil, a country of more than 200 million, has a Jewish population of 120,000, with about 55,000 Jews living in Sao Paulo and 30,000 in Rio de Janeiro, while the rest are spread out in smaller communities.

Solar-powered desalination cuts energy costs by 90%

As 2.4 billion people face severe water shortages in the world, desalination and water-purification technologies are in hot demand – many of them invented in Israel, considered the world leader in desalination.
The most common method of reverse osmosis using membranes is costly, energy-intensive, high-maintenance and environmentally problematic. It is best suited to mega-scale plants built on large tracts of high-value land near the ocean or sea and consumes enormous amount of electricity generated from fossil fuels. Then, the treated water has to be piped great distances to farms, industries and households.
Israeli startup TSD (Tethys Solar Desalination) plans to revolutionize the process with a low-cost, off-grid, scalable and environmentally friendly module technology using only the power of the sun – no fossil fuels and no carbon dioxide emissions.
TSD plans to have its first pilot site up and running in Israel by mid-2017, followed by possible pilots abroad. One of the four founders, Ze’ev Emmerich, tells ISRAEL21c that TSD modules are attracting serious interest in China, the United States and several other countries in Africa and Asia.

World’s first blood test to aid diagnosis of Parkinson’s

Doctors diagnose as many as 60,000 new cases of Parkinson’s disease (PD) every year in the United States. Yet diagnosing PD with certainty can take years — long after early signs and symptoms have appeared.
The Israeli startup BioShai has a game-changing product on the horizon: PDx, the world’s first simple blood test for the early diagnosis of PD.
The test results can be combined with clinical data, providing a more accurate diagnosis to help physicians decide on the best course of treatment at a much earlier stage.
More than 10 million people worldwide are living with this chronic and progressive movement disorder caused by the malfunction and death of neurons that produce dopamine, a chemical that coordinates the brain’s control of movement and coordination.
“Having a diagnosis at an earlier stage can lead to a more precise treatment and a higher quality of life for the patient,” says BioShai CEO Jennifer Yarden, who has a PhD in medical science and formerly was responsible for clinical and commercial development of diagnostic assays and kits at Glycominds. Yarden is also CEO and cofounder of Curewize Health.

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