May 22, 2024

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12/08 Links Pt2: N.Y. blacklists Dutch companies for boycotting Israel; Amanpour Misleads CNN Viewers About Israel

From Ian:

NGO Monitor: Recent Activities of NGOs Receiving Core Funding from the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat
The Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Secretariat is a joint funding mechanism of Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Denmark, and, until recently, Norway. The Secretariat is managed by the Institute of Law at Birzeit University (IoL-BZU) in Ramallah and the NIRAS consulting firm. The Secretariat has been providing $6 million in 2013-2017 to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) active in BDS campaigns (boycott, divestment and sanctions) and other forms of demonization. Some of these NGOs have also promoted antisemitic rhetoric and have apparent links to terror.
The following document summarizes the recent activities of Secretariat-supported NGOs:
B’Tselem (Received $710,000 between 2014-2016)
14 October: Hagai El-Ad, head of B’Tselem, spoke at a highly publicized Arria-formula UN Security Council session, where he described Israel as committing “invisible, bureaucratic, daily violence” against Palestinians that occurs from “cradle to grave.”
Defense for Children – Palestine (DCI-P) (Received $738,000 between 2014-2016)
31 October: Released an article claiming that the Gaza wars “propel child labor for Palestinian kids” due to “Israel’s blockade and repeated military offenses.” In its repeated demonization of Israel, DCI-P referred to the Gaza blockade which, they alleged, “perpetuates and worsens an entirely man-made humanitarian and economic crisis,” entirely removing the context of terrorism.
17 November: In a meeting with the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Palestine, held with Addameer (see above), DCI-P “urged the European Union during a meeting on Thursday to pressure Israeli authorities to end ill-treatment of Palestinian children in the Israeli military detention system.” In accusing Israel of violations, Khaled Quzmar, general director of DCI-P, erased Palestinian stabbing and other terror attacks against Israeli civilians that were perpetrated by minors.

Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) (Received $710,000 between 2014 and 2016)
31 October: Director Raji Sourani spoke at an event sponsored by the World Council of Churches. Sourani asserted that Israel’s blockade of Gaza was “illegal” and “criminal,” and that the Palestinians are living “in one of the biggest manmade disasters.”
22 November: Sourani was quoted in the press release promoting the 145-page communication to the ICC falsely claimed that “The siege on Gaza is unprecedented and is a form of collective punishment. The aim of the closure and the occupation is to de-develop Gaza, to strip Palestinians of their dignity and send Gazan society back to the Middle Ages.”

Keith Ellison’s Views on Israel Reflect the Democrats’ True Colors

Haim Saban is wrong when he says Minnesota’s US Rep. Keith Ellison is unqualified to head the Democratic National Committee. Ellison’s anti-Israel and antisemitic lineages do not disqualify him from the position. They more than qualify him.
It is Ellison, not Saban — the Israeli-American mega-donor to both the Democratic Party and pro-Israel causes — who represents the Democrats’ true colors. The party has been abandoning support for the Jewish state for well over a decade. Recent studies by Brookings, Gallup and Pew reveal a growing gap of support for Israel between Democrats, Independents and Republicans. Israel — an issue that should never be partisan — is strongly supported by Republicans and independents. Democrats? Not so much.
When there are anti-Israel demonstrations and antisemitic activities on our college campuses, it is not the Young Republicans declaring allegiance to the US-designated terrorist group Hamas. Progressives are chanting, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” This call for the destruction of Israel and murder of the Jewish people comes from Leftist groups, not Christian organizations.
Democrats generate more sackcloth and ashes over a Jew building an extra bathroom in eastern Jerusalem than an Iranian building a nuclear device in Tehran. This is the party that remains silent over the murder of gays in Iran and inhumane treatment of women in Saudi Arabia, while condemning Israel when they defend their citizens from rocket attacks launched from Gaza.

Crazy About Keith Ellison

In one of the comments that the ADL said was disqualifying, Ellison described the Jewish state as having a stranglehold on U.S. foreign policy.
“The United States foreign policy in the Middle East is governed by what is good or bad through a country of 7 million people,” Ellison said in 2010. “A region of 350 million all turns on a country of 7 million. Does that make sense? Is that logic?”
Ellison is no stranger to making controversial statements.
Back in 2010, the same year of his comment on Israel, Ellison called Arizona’s immigration laws “fascist” and “racist.”
He also compared anti-terrorism surveillance policies to Japanese internment during World War II.
In 2013, Ellison said the National Rifle Association supports people who “traffic in death” and the following year said he wished the Democratic Party would come out against the Second Amendment.
Ellison is running against South Carolina Democrat Jaime Harrison, who spent the last eight years as a lobbyist for the Podesta Group, and New Hampshire Democratic Party chairman Ray Buckley to head the DNC.

Crazy About Keith Ellison SUPERcuts!

Homeland Security Dept: Hamas-Tied NJ Imam Must Prove Why He Shouldn’t Be Deported

On Tuesday, a Hamas-connected imam testified that the evidence being used in the Department of Homeland Security’s effort to deport him is the product of torture, and is not credible.
Mohammad Qatanani is the imam at the Islamic Center of Passaic County. Immigration officials have been trying to deport him since 2006, alleging that he failed to disclose connections with Hamas when he applied for permanent residency.
That history makes Qatanani subject to deportation, DHS says.
Tuesday’s hearing centered on Qatanani’s October 1993 arrest and conviction by an Israeli military court on charges that he provided support to Hamas. Qatanani claims that Israeli authorities detained him and never charged him.
“No lawyer prior to 2008 ever told me that I had a conviction,” Qatanani said.
US Immigration Judge Judge Alberto Reifkohl ruled in 2008 that the bulk of the evidence and testimony introduced by the Department of Homeland Security was not credible, and granted Qatanani permanent residency, better known as a “green card.”

New VIDEO surfaces implicating Rasmea Odeh in deadly supermarket bombing

Aisha Odeh: “Immediately after the 1967 war (i.e., the Six Day War) we changed [the name] from the Arab Nationalist Movement to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. We were organized. We engaged in resistance to the occupation in all its forms… I turned to involvement in armed activity. We carried out an operation (i.e., terrorist attack) in western Jerusalem on Feb. 22, (sic., 21,) 1969.”
Official PA TV host: “When you carried out the operation and afterwards, how were you arrested?”
Aisha Odeh: “Of course Israel arrests many people in such situations… They gathered information and found evidence that led to the people who carried out the operation… A year later I was tried, I and the members of the cell – Rasmieh Odeh and Yaqub Odeh.”
Official PA TV host: “Are you all from the same family?”
Aisha Odeh: “No, Rasmieh Odeh and Yaqub Odeh are from Lifta. I am from Dir Jarir. In addition there were Samia Al-Tawil and Mahmoud Al-Ubeid. The five of us were tried together, even though I had no connection to any of them aside from Rasmieh. Yaqub Odeh was sentenced to 3 life sentences, Rasmieh Odeh was sentenced to 3 life sentences, and I was sentenced to 2 life sentences… One life sentence for carrying out an operation, one life sentence for not reporting the operation, and ten years for my membership in the [PFLP] organization…”
Official PA TV host: “Israelis died [in the bombing].”
Aisha Odeh: “We placed two bombs. One bomb exploded and one bomb was discovered a few moments before it exploded. Two were killed and 10 (sic., 20) were wounded.” [Official PA TV, In a Fighter’s Home, Aug. 27, 2013]

IsraellyCool: WATCH: Michael Moore Encouraging Palestinians And Israelis To Get Themselves Killed

Bloviating filmmaker Michael Moore was recently a panelist at the Other Israel Film Festival, which showcases films that tend to bash Israel (see for yourself).
Here he is actively encouraging palestinians and Israelis to engage in civil disobedience in order to bring out “the violence of the oppressor.”
His example? Lying in the middle of the road so people are killed. I kid you not.

New York blacklists Dutch companies for boycotting Israel

The state of New York placed four Dutch companies on a blacklist because the Americans believe the boycott Israel. The comopanies are ASN Bank, Royal HaskoningDHV, Triodos Bank and water company Vitens, reports.
In June of this year New York decided to boycott companies that boycott Israel by withdrawing investments or making sanctions against the country. The four Dutch companies on the list have 90 days to prove that they are not boycotting Israel, or they will never again do business with New York.
ASN Bank told that they are not boycotting Israel. The bank invests in Israeli company Amiad, which makes water filters, as well as in other companies that are active in Israel. “ASN Bank assess companies, governments and projects in which int invests or it finances on their sustainability. In that we apply sustainability criteria in the areas of human rights, climate and biodiversity.” a spokesperson said to the newspaper. That includes government bonds and Israel, like 180 other countries, does not meet this criteria.
Vitens made headlines in 2014 when it decided to end cooperation with Israeli water company Mekorot. The Dutch company did this based on reports by the United Nations which stated that Mekorot withdrew water from Palestinian territories to use for Jewish settlements. “If we share the knowledge of this, then we ourselves contribute to the act”, a spokesperson said to the newspaper.

German Chancellor Merkel’s party labels BDS antisemitic

Germany’s Christian Democratic Union party on Wednesday passed a resolution opposing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement because the anti-Israel action is antisemitic.
“Who today under the flag of the BDS movement calls to boycott Israeli goods and services speaks the same language in which people were called to not buy from Jews. That is nothing other than coarse antisemitism,” the CDU said.
The CDU likened BDS to the National Socialists who boycotted Jews in the 1930s. BDS dresses up antisemitism in the “new clothes of the 21st century” as anti-Zionism, the party said.
“The German CDU declares with this motion its disapproval and rejection of every form of BDS activity and condemns these activities as antisemitic. The CDU will decisively oppose every hostile action that Israel faces.
The CDU professes its deep friendship toward Israel and continues to work toward a peaceful solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians,” the resolution read.

Guardian fails to challenge Church spokesperson’s claim they don’t support BDS

A Guardian report by their Jerusalem correspondent Peter Beaumont (Israel refuses visa to theologian over boycott and divestment activism, Dec. 7th) focused on a World Council of Churches (WCC) official from Malawi who was denied entry into Israel due to her BDS activism.
WCC, an umbrella organisation for 349 Protestant and Orthodox churches in 110 countries, has brought more than 1,500 pro-Palestinian volunteers to the West Bank since 2012 to “witness life under occupation” and “act against injustices”. This program is administered through a group WCC established called Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI).
NGO Monitor’s profile on WCC (and its sub-groups) includes evidence that they don’t merely advocate for Palestinians, but often use demonising rhetoric about Israel, including the false charge of “apartheid”. WCC also has used language suggesting that they’re sympathetic to Palestinian terrorism. Though they claim to reject violence, in a joint statement with another church group, they declared that Israel “cannot keep an entire people subject to pressure and violence for many years and not expect a violent reaction.”

‘Underhanded Tactics’ of BDS Movement Unnerve Jews on College Campuses Worldwide

At the University of Michigan, anti-Israel students erected an “apartheid wall” in a central location on campus to confront Jewish students walking to services on the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah.
At the University of Indianapolis, a resolution to boycott, divest and sanction Israel was presented to the student senate at two separate meetings, both on Saturdays, the Jewish Sabbath. When Jewish students objected, university officials offered that they could participate by video conference — a use of electricity that was an obvious nonstarter for the Sabbath observers.
At Oregon’s Portland State University, the student government took up a BDS resolution against Israel at a meeting the day before Yom Kippur and passed it on the Jewish holiday of Shemini Atzeret.
The timing amounts to a pattern aimed at preventing Jewish students from countering Israel’s increasingly professionalized, sophisticated and well-funded on-campus critics, Jewish leaders say. And it’s just one of a series of “underhanded tactics” that are concerning Israel’s advocates on campus.
“It’s not a coincidence. It’s not an accident,” the executive director of the Israel on Campus Coalition, Jacob Baime, told The Algemeiner. He said he sees about one example every month of anti-Israel actions on campus timed to the Sabbath or Jewish holidays.
“It is a fairly common tactic,” Baime said. “Israel’s detractors have an interest in shutting out Jewish voices.”

British-Jewish Student Leader Co-Sponsors Motion to Sever Ties With UK’s Campus Umbrella Over President’s Failure to Retract Antisemitic Statements

British-Jewish students are “fed up with taking a soft approach” to the head of the country’s largest student union — who is embroiled in an ongoing antisemitism scandal — and therefore are taking steps to sever ties with the organization, a leader of the effort told The Algemeiner.
Binyomin Gilbert, president of Goldsmiths, University of London’s Jewish Society, was referring to a motion he is co-sponsoring at the upcoming Union of Jewish Students (UJS) national conference, which seeks to officially split with the National Union of Students (NUS) over what he says is the failure of its president, Malia Bouattia, “to address her antisemitic rhetoric” and her “continual dismissal of our concerns.”
“We have had enough of her victim-blaming. This is a reluctant, difficult step but so far, there seems to be a general agreement among Jewish students that we have gone as far as we can when it comes to Bouattia,” he told The Algemeiner.
The NUS president has had various opportunities to “clarify and apologize for certain antisemitic comments she made,” and outline how she is personally working to uphold and enforce NUS policy on antisemitism, Gilbert said.

Study: U.S.-Israeli Academic Collaboration Has Grown 45% Despite Campus Boycott Efforts

The rate of academic collaboration between American and Israeli professors has dramatically increased in the last ten years despite organized efforts on college campuses to boycott Israeli academics a new study (.pdf) has shown.
In 2006, there were 3,439 articles in academic journals whose authors included one researcher from an institution in each country, while in 2015 that number soared to 4,979—an increase of nearly 45 percent.
The main disciplines in which the collaborations took place were medicine, physics, biochemistry, and genetics, according to the study, which was carried out by the Israel on Campus Coalition and the Technion’s Samuel Neaman Institute for National Policy Research.
Many of the collaborations involved faculty at prestigious universities. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology led the way with 1,835 such collaborations over the time period studied (more than 1,000 with Tel Aviv University alone). Also near the top of the list were the University of California-Berkeley, Columbia, Harvard, and Stanford.

Rogue One: The Gilad Atzmon Saga Continues

Late last night, a very interesting development occurred after I submitted my most recent blog post for the Times of Israel, which laments the upcoming, December 11 performance of notoriously anti-Semitic jazz musician Gilad Atzmon at Brooklyn venue ShapeShifter Lab.
Matthew Garrison, listed as creative director at the space, emailed me in response to a message I sent more than a week ago that condemned Gilad’s appearance at ShapeShifter Lab and urged management to cancel the show. In my latest piece for the TOI, I wrote that the operators of the spot didn’t seem to care about Atzmon’s bigotry, owing in part to the fact that he is still slated to play there later this month. But Garrison had some interesting things to say that in his email yesterday evening, and I’d like to share a bit.
For one, he noted that he is “in full agreement that any person that would publicly spew hatred, racial/gender/religious bias does not deserve a further platform to deliberately denigrate any other human being.” That’s good. He also stated: “Based on my personal view regarding the matter and your reaching out to us, I made every effort to ensure that the artist you are concerned with will not in any way shape or form use our venue to verbally express his political positions.” That’s good, too. And furthermore, Garrison “will reserve the right to cut the performance if he should violate this position we’ve agreed upon.”
Great. Thank you, Matthew Garrison. Those are all righteous steps to take.
But the ShapeShifter Lab CD did express that he wanted “to be clear about some reasons why we will not stop the performance from taking place.” Among them: “As an American man, growing up in a multicultural family”—here, he cites his Jewish, Mexican, Irish, African American and Native American heritage—”I firmly believe in people being able to express their inner creative self. Creative expression is something my family fought for with blood, sweat and tears and I must uphold this tradition.”

Amanpour Again Misleads CNN Viewers About Israel

Amanpour’s production suggests that Israeli control in the West Bank (ancient Israel’s heartland of Judea and Samaria) is typified by violence and subjugation. She promotes a narrative that Israel’s victimization of the Palestinians precipitates the hopelessness that leads to understandable violence. Al-Qudsi charges that Israeli soldiers’ “killing of children and women and elder people” has led to “the destruction of [the] Palestinian people entirely.” But this is not factual. First, the checkpoints and Israeli military intrusions are a response to Palestinian violence, they are not the cause. The recurring violence is incited by longstanding and relentless anti-Israel and anti-Jewish invective from the Palestinian media, mosques and schools. Such incitement to violence violates Article 26 (2) of the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as Israeli-Palestinian agreements.
In contrast, no such incitement to violence or hatred against Arabs exists in mainstream Jewish society that is analogous to that found in Palestinian society. For example, the Palestinian Arabs (and their anti-Israel supporters) demand a Jew-free West Bank. Israel’s mainstream makes no such demand to remove Arab residents within Israel.
The recent Palestinian violence – a year-long spate of stabbings, shootings and car rammings has been fueled by daily Palestinian incitement against Jews by Palestinian Authority (PA) officials who honor terrorists and praise their acts of violence. The most recent wave of terror began around the time that an incendiary declaration was broadcast to Palestinians by PA controlled media.
Among the sources reporting on this matter was the Wall Street Journal on Oct. 18, 2015: “Mr. Abbas, the PA president, said the following on Palestinian television on Sept. 16: ‘We welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem. This is pure blood, clean blood, blood on its way to Allah. With the help of Allah, every martyr will be in heaven, and every wounded will get his reward.'”
Abbas has insisted that the recent Palestinian terror attacks against Israelis is a natural consequence of despair but the evidence shows that Palestinian incitement plays a major part in the phenomenon. The upshot of this is the attitude of Palestinians as a society towards their Jewish neighbors.

Why the LA Times Defends Threats, Intimidation and Anti-Semitism

The United States Congress is trying to reduce anti-Semitism on college campuses, while the LA Times is trying to defend it.
Yes that’s right, the LA Times is defending anti-Semitism.
What specifically, does the LA Times have a problem with?
Congress is working to pass a bill called HR 6421, also known as the “Anti-Semitism Awareness Act.” Should it become law, this bill will help make Jewish students safer from the rampant and growing anti-Semitism in American schools and universities.
How will this bill help?
Intimidating, threatening and harassing students based on their ethnicity (in the manner currently being done to Jewish students) violates Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a US Federal law. Yet the law is not adequately enforced by schools or even by some courts, because the United States does not have a clear and legal understanding of the concept of “anti-Semitism.”
In order to create the clarity necessary to enforce the law and properly protect Jewish students, Congress decided to create an official definition of anti-Semitism for use in schools and universities.

More unquestioned amplification of Syrian regime propaganda from BBC News

The BBC’s report uncritically amplifies the Syrian regime allegations:
“Syria’s state news agency, Sana, cited a military source as saying that a number of surface-to-surface missiles landed around Mezzeh airport at 03:00 (00:00 GMT).
They were reportedly fired by Israeli forces from a position “west of Tal Abu Nada”, a mountain in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights known as Mount Avital to Israelis.”

It then goes on to unquestioningly amplify Syrian regime propaganda:
“The military source said the attack was part of Israel’s “desperate attempts” to support “terrorist groups and raise their deteriorating morale”, an apparent reference to recent losses on the battlefield by Western-backed rebel forces.”
This is the second time in a week – and at least the tenth time in the last three years – that the BBC has given unchallenged and unquestioned amplification to falsehoods put out by the Assad regime alleging Israeli support for Syrian rebel factions.
The BBC clearly needs to explain to its funding public why they are being serially fed unqualified, inaccurate Syrian regime propaganda that obviously hinders understanding of this particular “international issue“.

Maclean’s Exposé Ignores Terror Attacks in Israel in 2016

In a special “Newsmakers” double issue of Maclean’s Magazine released on December 12, 2016, Maclean’s produced a two page exposé (see here and here) dubbed “Terror Around the Globe” which chronicled shocking terror attacks in Florida, Brussels, France, Nigeria, Turkey, Germany, Philippines, Syria, and Pakistan.
As Maclean’s put it: “Many of the attacks that shocked the world in 2016 were by Islamists. Most of those who died were Muslims, largely at the hands of Syria’s secular regime.”
And yet, during the unrelenting wave of terror in Israel from September 2015 to present day, 42 people have been killed in terrorist attacks and 577 people (including 4 Palestinians) were injured.
Israel’s Ministry of Foreign affairs says “There have been 166 stabbing attacks and 89 attempted stabbings; 109 shootings; 47 vehicular (ramming) attacks; and one vehicle (bus) bombing.”
Israel says that the recent series of attacks against Israelis is the direct result of incitement by radical Islamist and terrorist elements, calling on Palestinian youth to murder Jews.
For some reason, hundreds of Palestinian terror attacks that killed dozens of people and injured hundreds was not worthy of news coverage by Canada’s national magazine.

British man convicted for anti-Semitic online campaign against Jewish MP

A British court found a man guilty of waging an anti-Semitic internet campaign against a Jewish lawmaker.
Joshua Bonehill-Paine, 24, was convicted Wednesday of racial harassment for posting a series of articles online in which he targeted parliamentarian Luciana Berger. The campaign, which Bonehill-Paine named “Operation Filthy Jew B***h,” referred to Jewish lawmaker as evil and responsible for the death of Jesus. It also included Berger’s face superimposed onto the body of a rat, according to The Evening Standard.
Bonehill-Paine, who was arrested for the campaign in February, is currently serving a three-year prison sentence for promoting a far-right nationalist protest against the “Jewification of Great Britain” last year.
Berger testified in front of the court that Bonehill-Paine’s articles left her afraid.
“I felt sick, really… I have received, as an MP, anti-Semitism since I was elected. The scale and body during this period, combined with articles, I felt very much under attack. It was all-consuming,” Berger said, according to The Evening Standard.
Berger has been the subject of anti-Semitic death threats and a hate campaign on social media.

Israel, Cyprus and Greece ties forge ahead with trilateral rescue unit

Israel, Greece and Cyprus have agreed to the formation of a joint emergency and rescue force that will deal with disasters such as fires, floods and earthquakes, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday at a trilateral meeting with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades.
After meeting separately with each of the leaders, Israeli PM Netanyahu said that the assistance Cyprus and Greece extended to Israel last month in putting out the fires across the country was both “invaluable” and “deeply appreciated.”
This is a “concrete example of how this cooperation can save lives,” he noted, adding that other countries were invited to join the emergency force that will be set up.
Thursday’s trilateral meeting was the second in less than 12 months, and a sign of the strategic relationship that has developed between the three countries. The last meeting was held in January in Nicosia, and the next will be held in Salonika.
Netanyahu lauded the relationship as one of “genuine friendship and sympathy of our three peoples to each other.”
Up until the early 2000’s Greece and Cyprus were among the most critical countries toward Israel in Europe. This changed, however, in the middle of the last decade with Israel’s discovery of natural gas in the Mediterranean, and because of a sharp deterioration in Israeli-Turkish ties.

IDF, Technion Join Forces to Develop Medical Glider

The development of a medical glider that will streamline on-the-scene treatment of injured soldiers and potentially save many lives has been developed by the Medical Corps of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Israel Hayom reported Wednesday.
The glider — designed in collaboration with the prestigious Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa — is able to carry up to 110 pounds of critical medical supplies and cover a distance of 12 miles within eight minutes. Its collapsible wings allow it to be transported in and launched from a plane if necessary.
“The glider won’t eliminate the need to evacuate [wounded] soldiers, but it will allow us to bring the hospital to the patients and carry out evacuations in a more considered, calm manner, and deliver soldiers to the hospital in better condition,” said IDF Medical Corps Maj. Dr. Dean Nachman.
He said that the glider — which can carry blood transfusion and intubation kits, as well as antibiotics — will allow medics to bring perishable supplies to troops on prolonged deployment, and to the scenes of “mass-casualty events, where there is a shortage of equipment in the field.”

Israel sees all-time record for November tourism

This year saw the highest-ever influx of tourists for the month of November, the Tourism Ministry announced on Thursday.
Authorities recorded 287,900 tourists entering Israel during the month, a 38 percent increase over last November, when the country was in the midst of a wave of terror attacks. The steep rise this year is more than just a recovery from the 2015 slump, as it also constituted a 12% increase over the previous all-time November high of 256,500, in 2013.
In a statement, Tourism Minister Yariv Levin attributed the increase to “our intensive marketing efforts in new countries such as China and India, as well as targeted [advertising] campaigns for the winter season.”
The ministry will continue the advertising campaigns with the stated goal of “a sustained growth in tourist travel,” he said.
Tourism figures over the past decade show slumps in years of war and conflict, including 2006, 2009 and 2012, but complete and sometimes dramatic recoveries in their aftermaths, with a 52% jump in November 2007 compared to the same month a year earlier, a 19% jump from 2009 to 2010, and a 15% jump from November 2012 to November 2013.

‘Jewish Oscars’ Raises Over $500,000 for Special IDF Brigade

A glamorous New York City event hosted by a non-profit organization on Saturday night raised over $500,000 for the Israeli military, The Algemeiner has learned.
The 14th annual gala of the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) Young Leadership division raised the funds for the IDF’s Iron Trails Brigade, which specializes in tank units that lead ground forces into battle. More than 1,500 young professionals attended the sold-out event, dubbed the “Jewish Oscars” by The New York Observer in 2006 for its tendency to be an over-the-top affair.
“It was definitely a lot of fun,” said Charlene Yomtobian, 25. “It was a great crowd; everyone was very enthusiastic; and they were clearly there for the right reasons.”
This year’s Havana nights-themed gala was held at the Metropolitan Pavilion and featured an expansive buffet with gourmet foods inspired by classic Cuban dishes, an open bar, live music and casino-style games. There was also a raffle that offered more than $150,000 in luxury prizes, including spa and vacation getaways, upscale pieces of jewelry and artwork.
Yomtobian praised the FIDF as “incredible” for giving “so much financial and emotional support” to Israel’s soldiers, adding that she intends to go to more of the organization’s events in the future.

13 best Israeli gadgets for under $100 to give this holiday

From disposable smartphone chargers to a cup that changes the taste of water to tiny computers, these Israeli-designed gadgets will surely win you best-present-giver status for this holiday season.
In the US, the average holiday spending on gifts is $830, according to a 2015 Gallup poll.
ISRAEL21c has sifted through the best of Israeli design to keep your bank account balanced while shopping for the ultimate gift. Here’s our list of 13 best gadgets for under $100 this holiday, starting with the least expensive item.

Expert claims inscriptions from Egyptian exodus proves Hebrew is world’s oldest alphabet

Hebrew, resurrected by Eliezer Ben-Yehuda during the late 19th century after having been considered a dead language, may contain the oldest alphabet in the world, a Canadian expert contends.
According to Douglas Petrovich, an ancient-inscription specialist, archeologist and professor of Egyptian history at Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario, more than 3,800 years ago Israelites enslaved in Egypt invented the alphabet using roughly two dozen Egyptian hieroglyphs.
While critics argue that the original alphabet likely derived from a grouping of Afro-Asiatic languages – including Akkadian, Aramaic, Phoenician, Ethiopic and Hebrew – Petrovich claims that an inscription discovered on an ancient Egyptian stone slab in 2012 proves his case.
The slab in question, known as Sania 115, dates from 1842 BCE and is on display at Harvard’s Semitic Museum. It identifies Joseph and his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, and is inscribed with the words “6 Levantines: Hebrews of Bethel, the beloved.”
“I was translating Middle Egyptian and proto-consonantal Hebrew inscriptions that nobody ever had translated successfully before,” Petrovich said during a recent interview with Fox News. “There were many Aha! moments along the way, because I was stumbling across biblical figures never attested before in the epigraphical record, or seeing connections that I had not understood before.”

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