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January 21, 2017 / 23 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Berlin’

Tel Aviv is #3 in Top 10 Startup Ecosystems, 2nd Year in a Row

Sunday, November 6th, 2016

Tel Aviv has again won third place among the Top 10 Startup Ecosystems in the World, for the second year in a row, announced SparkLabs Global Ventures, the creator of the San Francisco-based VentureBeat tech news site which holds the competition.

Only Silicon Valley and Stockholm preceded the White City, which was followed by New York and Los Angeles, and then Beijing, Seoul, Boston, London and Berlin.

The Israeli city earned four “unicorns,” according to the site, defined as having a private company valuation of a billion dollars or more, a private company acquired for a billion dollars or more, and IPO’ed during 2010 to the present, with a current market capitalization of a billion dollars or more.

“To find this top 10, we looked at eight factors,” the judges noted. “Funding Ecosystem & Exits, Engineering Talent, Active Mentoring, Technical Infrastructure, Startup Culture, Legal & Policy Infrastructure, Economic Foundation, and Government Policies & Programs.”

Hana Levi Julian

Jewish Runners Take On Berlin Marathon Proudly Wearing Israeli Flags

Sunday, September 25th, 2016

When 36-year-old Levi Levine crossed the finish line at today’s BMW Berlin Marathon, his emotions far exceeded his personal pride at having successfully finished the 42-kilometer course.

“This was my tenth marathon, but my first time running in Berlin,” said Levine, a nurse atShaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem who made aliyah to Israel from Manhattan. “We crossed the finish line representing Israel with a lot of pride – I mean, to take part in a marathon as Jew in Berlin with the Israeli flag on my back was very exciting.”

“To think back to what the Jewish people experienced under the Nazis, of a day when they were forced to march to their deaths… to flash forward to where we stand today as a country that can provide the best of care for the most vulnerable of our society, is nothing short of miraculous,” said Levine, who is married with four children.

Levine was part of a team of Jewish runners representing Israel’s ALEH organization, a network of residential facilities for children with severe physical and intellectual disabilities. The team included native Israelis, North American and South African immigrants to Israel and a resident of New Jersey, who started and finished at the iconic Brandenburg Gate, the German landmark used by the Nazis as a party symbol during their rise to power.

“We looked at major international marathons and decided to run in Berlin because we felt it would be particularly meaningful to race there as a team from Israel,” captain Jason Gardner told Tazpit Press Service (TPS). Gardner, who is ALEH’s Director of Development in the USA and Canada, commented that some of the team members have relatives who are Holocaust survivors.

“The team has trained really hard,” said Gardner.

This was ALEH’s first international marathon and the team of runners raised over $15,500 towards their the organization. ALEH runs four residential facilities across Israel, providing rehabilitative and therapeutic treatment, special education and specialized services for over 700 vulnerable children and young adults with disabilities.

ALEH Ascend team members who took part in the Berlin Marathon included Shmuel Shani, Marc Romain, Trevor Solomon, Amir Zuker, Moshe Klaiman, Danny Marx, Sharon Marx, and Lillesol Kane.

“This was a great way to raise awareness for Israel’s disabled, as well as an opportunity to fundraise for ALEH,” added Gardner. “We plan to take on the New York City Marathon next year.”

Anav Silverman, Tazpit News Agency

Analysis: Merkel’s Party Losing Badly as Social Democrats, Anti-Immigrant AfD Win Berlin State Vote

Monday, September 19th, 2016

The Social Democrats (SPD) have won roughly 33 of the 149 seats in Berlin’s state assembly, and will continue to lead a coalition government, although it appears that their former partner, the local chapter of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), may no longer be useful, having finished with 17.5% of the vote, its worst showing since 1990. Going into the election, incumbent mayor Michael Müller led a grand coalition of his SPD and the CDU. Meanwhile, Berlin voters have welcomed the anti-immigrant party Alternative for Germany (AfD), giving them 12.9% of the vote and representation in the tenth regional assembly out of Germany’s 16.

The AfD, founded in 2013 as a middle class, conservative party, has adopted last spring a platform based on opposition to Islam, including a call for banning Islamic symbols such as burkhas, minarets and the call to prayer, under the slogan, “Islam is not a part of Germany.” The party is also opposed to gay marriages and denies the role of industry and technology in causing global warming. And it supports reinstating the draft in Germany.

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung wrote on Sunday that the AfD gains in a major city like Berlin prove that the party “doesn’t just benefit from discontent in rural areas but can establish itself … in a city of millions that is known for its open lifestyle.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, the AfD, who score as high as 15% in national polls, took 20.8% of the vote and finished ahead of the Christian Democrats in the state election in the northeast region of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania two weeks ago.

Incidentally, according to an ARD exit poll, only 32% of Berlin voters said they were afraid of refugees, while 55% said they saw refugees as enriching life in Germany.

The SPD is expected to form a new regional coalition government with the Left and the Greens, who suffered a 2.5% drop to 15.1%.

Mayor Müller warned on Saturday night that a strong AfD showing would be “seen throughout the world as a sign of the resurgence of the right and of Nazis in Germany.” Well, what do you know…

And so, as Germany is stepping once again into a period of economic and political uncertainty and the EU is still licking its wounds following the UK’s departure, the reader is encouraged to avoid reading history books, because they’ll only upset you.

JNi.Media

Coming Home: Jewish Secondary Schools Opening in Düsseldorf, Munich

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

A Jewish secondary school will open in the city of Düsseldorf in western Germany on Wednesday, and a Jewish high school will soon open in Munich, bringing the total number of Jewish high schools in the country to three, the World Jewish Congress reported. Until now, Germany’s only Jewish high school has been in Berlin.

Out of the 522,000 Jews who lived in Germany in January 1933 only 214,000 remained by the end of 1939. On May 19, 1943, Germany was declared Judenrein (clean of Jews), with no Jewish high schools. Now we’re back to three, and counting.

Some 40 fifth-grade students will make up the inaugural class of the newly founded Albert Einstein Gymnasium in Düsseldorf, the state capital of North Rhine Westphalia. For now the new school will be housed in temporary accommodations, with a new school building scheduled to be completed in five years. Some 90% of the new school budget is funded by the North Rhine Westphalia state government.

“We are convinced that Jewish life has a firm place in Germany,” Josef Schuster, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, told the news agency DPA. Whenever there are enough students to open such a school, that’s “a great gain for the Jewish community,” Schuster said.

Schuster, a physician, was born in Haifa in 1954. His father David Schuster emigrated to Palestine in 1938, and both of his mother’s parents died in Auschwitz. The Schuster family returned to Germany in 1956. Josef went to school in Würzburg and studied medicine at the Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg. He became a specialist in internal medicine after training at the Juliusspital. Since 1988 he has maintained a private practice in internal medicine in Würzburg.

Josef Schuster is well aware of the risks Jews living in Germany are facing. He told the newspaper Welt that many refugees seeking to live away from the ISIS persecution nevertheless come from “cultures in which hate toward Jews and intolerance are fixed components,” and that as a result, “sooner or later we will not be able to avoid [setting limits]” on refugee migration into Germany. He said he feared that if the influx of refugees in Germany continues at the present rate, it will become “increasingly difficult” to integrate migrants and “pass on our values.”

Meanwhile, the 7,000 strong Jewish community of Düsseldorf, Germany’s third largest, after Berlin and Munich, have established the new school as a way to pass their values to the next generation of German Jews. The school will offer eight hours a week of Hebrew and Jewish subjects, which non-Jewish students will also be allowed to attend.

JNi.Media

Digging for Treasure Resumes in Tracks of Illusive Nazi Gold Train

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

A small band of hopeful explorers on Tuesday resumed the search for a Nazi train which was, supposedly, buried with a full cargo of stolen gold and weapons: local legend says as many as three Nazi trains were buried underground near the Polish city of Wałbrzych (Waldenburg) in Lower Silesia, south-western Poland, in January 1945, before the end of World War II.

Explorers Andreas Richter (German) and Piotr Koper (Pole), and several others, believe they’ll hit pay dirt in only a few days. A year ago, they used radar to receive a positive signal from one train beneath the city of Walbrzych. Then Polish Deputy Culture Minister Piotr Żuchowski announced that Koper’s and Richter’s radar images confirmed “with 99% probability” that a train 300 ft long is waiting to be plundered down there. But the local governor voiced his doubts about those prospects, and several teams that conducted similar surveys in the area came up empty-handed.

Nevertheless, last May, Koper and Richter secured a permit from Polish State Railways to dig for the gold train, and on Tuesday, one year to the day after their original announcement, they’re out there, digging three exploratory shafts from which they plan to start moving in on the buried treasure.

The World Jewish Congress last year issued a call on the Polish government that the train most likely holds valuables that were robbed from Jewish victims, and that once they are retrieved, a search must be conducted to locate the heirs of their owners.

Tadeusz Slowikowski, 86, is responsible for the Nazi gold train rumor. In 2015 he told the Daily Mail: “I became aware of the tunnel after saving a German man named Schulz from being attacked by two men. As gratitude for saving him, he told me about the tunnel.” That was in the 1950s, and Slowikowski has spent much of his time since searching for that train.

Local historian Pawel Rodziewicz told the AP that he had seen documentation showing without a doubt that the gold was transported to the German central bank in Berlin, and that the Nazis were not going to bury their stolen gold in Waldenburg, where the advancing Soviet Red Army could grab it. It made no sense for the Germans to invest in digging a secret railway tunnel, when for a lot less money they could ride that train home, he argued.

Of course, that’s exactly what someone who knows where the gold is buried would say to discourage competition…

JNi.Media

Luxury Berlin Hotel Denies Claude Lanzmann’s Claim It Erased Israel

Friday, August 12th, 2016

French filmmaker Claude Lanzmann on Thursday published an op-ed in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and Le Figaro claiming that when he was staying at the Luxurious Hotel Bristol near Kurfürstendamm in western Berlin Tuesday, he discovered that management had removed the Israeli dialing code from its directory, to avoid offending its Arab customers.

But the Süddeutsche Zeitung published the hotel’s statement, saying the dialing code directory only includes the names of 35 countries. “There is no instruction on the part of the hotel management or from the [hotel owners, the] Kempinski Group to take the Israeli dialing code out of the telephone directory.”

Lanzmann wrote that he was leafing through the hotel’s service brochure, looking for country phone codes and noticed that the Israeli code was absent.

In his op-ed, the Jewish filmmaker wrote that he inquired with hotel staff, who replied that Arab clients had specifically urged the hotel not to include the Israeli dialing code in its list. Lanzmann explained he was writing to help himself understand what had taken place and to inform others about his experience.

“One cannot fight against Arab terrorism and at the same time allow Israel to be eradicated at one of the noblest and most important hotels in Berlin,” Lanzmann wrote.

He insisted this seemingly petty issue was particularly significant because it happened in the same hotel where he stayed for the first time in 1986 to present his film “Shoah” to the Berlin Film Festival.

Bristol director Birgitt Ullerich, told the Associated Press that omitting Israel from the list “was simply an oversight.”

JNi.Media

Merkel Uses the I Word in Pointing Finger at Terrorist Refugees

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday has agreed publicly that Germany is “at war” with Islamist terrorists, but insisted that they would nevertheless not erode German values or cause her to change her refugee policy.

“A rejection of the humanitarian stance we took could have led to even worse consequences,” Merkel said at a press conference in Berlin, adding that the terrorists “wanted to undermine our sense of community, our openness and our willingness to help people in need. We firmly reject this.”

She defended her open door policy for refugees, said she feels no guilt for the violent attacks those refugees have carried out in Germany, and insisted she had been right to permit those hundreds of thousands of migrants and refugees to enter a year ago.

Still, Merkel did call a spade a spade, berating Islamist extremists for biting the German hands that feed them. “Taboos of civilization are being broken,” Merkel said. “These acts happened in places where any of us could have been.”

She was referring to a string of attacks Germans have endured in the space of one week: an axe attack on a train, a mass shooting in Munich that left nine dead, a machete attack that killed a pregnant woman, and a suicide bomb in Ansbach. Three of the attacks were carried out by refugees.

“The fact that [the] men who came to us as refugees are responsible mocked the country that took them in, mocks the volunteers who have taken so much care of refugees. And it mocks the many other refugees who truly seek protection from war and violence with us, who want to live peacefully,” Merkel said.

“I didn’t say eleven months ago that it would be easy,” she said. “I am still convinced today that ‘We can do it’. It is our historic duty and historic task in these times of globalization. We have already achieved so much in the last 11 months.”

Merkel is counting on the EU migrant deal with Turkey, which she negotiated, and the closure of the Balkan Route, will slow down the rush of asylum seekers into Germany. “An influx like last year’s will not happen again, but I cannot say that we will not take in any more refugees,” she said.

Merkel introduced a nine-point plan to defeat domestic terror, including improved monitoring of suspects and improved intelligence co-operation with the US and the Europeans. She is also determined to speed up deportations of rejected asylum seekers. The Ansbach suicide bomber had been rejected but was able to stay in Germany.

“I believe we are in a fight, or for that matter at war with ISIS,” Merkel said. “We are not in any way in a fight or war with Islam.”

The next German federal elections will take place in late summer or early fall, 2017, unless the Merkel government loses a no confidence motion.

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/merkel-uses-the-i-word-in-pointing-finger-at-terrorist-refugees/2016/07/28/

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