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October 23, 2016 / 21 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘israeli’

New Israeli Crowdfunding Platform Starts Micro Funds Named After Donors [video]

Monday, September 26th, 2016

LivinGift, a new Israeli crowdfunding platform, www.LivinGift.org, has been launched a few days ago and is now raising donations for its first two social impact projects: a course training Haredi men and women seeking employment in finance, the other supporting the fair hiring of security guards and medics. The service offers donors an evergreen fund in their name, starting at $25. Donors may also launch a memorial fund or make it a gift.

The evergreen or endowment fund is made possible thanks to a unique mechanism to solve social problems: the donor chooses a social project which he or she are passionate about and donates. The social project receives the donation as a zero-interest loan. Once the social project starts repaying the loan, the donor can roll the donation for a new social project.

LivinGift’s Public Advisory Council is headed by Prof. Meir Heth, Israel’s former Banks Commissioner, Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange Chairman , Bank Leumi Chairman and Chairman of Teva Pharmaceuticals. The credit rating for ventures, will be performed by the international rating agency D&B.

Social impact enterprises seeking to get a loan from LivinGift will have to show a double impact strategy: social or environmental impact, alongside a sustainable and profitable economic model and a fixed income.

In addition, LivinGift is open for applications to all forms of organizations from around the globe: non-profits, NGOs, for-profit companies, and cooperatives. Registration is open to social impact enterprises from all sectors: health, education, animal protection, social impact technologies, environment, and support for disadvantaged populations.

Shiry Eden, LivinGift founder, said in a statement, “We believe that significant social problems can only be solved over time by organizations that have a sustainable economic model. In the long-term, our objective is to support the formation of a strong, stable and profitable fourth sector, which can be a positive influence on a range of social problems throughout the world.”


Bennett: US Elections an Opportunity for Imposing Israeli Sovereignty

Monday, September 26th, 2016

Habayit Hayehudi Chairman, Education Minister Naftali Bennett, on Tuesday morning told Israel time Israel should take advantage of the elections season in the US to impose Israeli law on Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria such as Ariel, Maale Adumim, Gush Etzion and Ofra.

“It’s time to take an active step instead of constantly being on the defensive,” Bennett said.

When told that while President Trump would probably endorse such a move, President Clinton would likely reject it, Bennet said, “We can’t expect the world to be more Zionist than we are. We must be the ones initiating the action.”

Responding to a question about the world’s reaction to such a move, Bennett noted that Labor Prime Minister Levy Eshkol did not cower before world opinion when he unified Jerusalem in 1967, nor did Likud Prime Minsiter Menahem Begin when he passed the law making the Golan Heights part of Israel.

“I’m not suggesting it would be easy,” Bennett said, “but we need to do that which is proper for us. We must chart our vision and we must start working to apply it.”

Bennett admitted that his party’s line is in conflict with Prime Minister Netanyahu’s call at the UN for making the Two State Solution a reality. “Creating a Palestinian State along the 1967 border, with some swapping of territories, would be a horrendous mistake,” he said. “Currently we only have eight seats in the Knesset. When we have 30 seats we’ll be able to apply our entire agenda on this matter.”

When asked if he didn’t think it was time to end the cycle of violence once and for all, Bennett suggested that so far violence has been the result of Israel handing over territory, and not from annexing territories. “When we handed over the Gaza Strip we got rockets; when we handed over Judea and Samaria we got the second intifada.”

“The rules in the Middle East are sometimes counterintuitive,” Bennett said. “To maintain peace here, we must be very strong. As soon a you’re too soft in this neighborhood, you catch a blow. When everyone around understands that we are determined not to hand over even one square inch, the appreciation for our position would only grow, and we’ll see fewer conflicts and confrontations. They’ll accept it.”

Regarding the issue of the Amona community, which the Supreme Court has ruled must be evacuated and demolished by early December, Bennett said, “We’re working on it. Yesterday we launched a team of several judicial experts to examine several proposed alternatives, not just regarding Amona but concerning a long line of settlements in Judea and Samaria.”

“The Supreme Court must obey the law and must follow government policy,” Bennett said, explaining that “in recent years, before Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi) became Justice Minister, and before we were part of the government, unfortunately governments have gone to the Supreme Court and stated, ‘Of course, we must demolish.’ And so the high court responded, saying, ‘Do go ahead and demolish.’ They asked for extensions, but eventually the time expires. The high court very much relates to government policy. And we must turn this policy by 180 degrees, which we will do.”

Reminded that the AG Avihai Mandelblit is on the record as saying the proposed “Arrangement bill” to compel Arab claimants who can prove ownership over Jewish land to accept market value compensation, Bennett said, “Maybe that’s what he’s saying, and he is an advisor (the AG is also the government’s legal counsel). When I was a hi-tech CEO I had legal counselors, but I made the final decisions. The government rules, the legal counselor gives legal advice. Usually we prefer to accept their positions, but on occasion we don’t. Otherwise, the legal counselor becomes prime minister, which isn’t what the citizens of this country want.”

“Otherwise, why waste our time having elections, let the legal counselors run the country,” Bennett concluded.


Israeli Innovations That Could Save Your Life

Sunday, September 25th, 2016

While most people were soaking up the sun this summer (hopefully, with sunscreen), researchers in Israel were busy cracking the code of the human body. It’s not by chance that there are over 250 major R&D Centers in Israel owned by multinational companies, including Apple, General Electric, Johnson and Johnson, and Google. Known worldwide as the start-up nation for its technological innovations, Israel is also a leading country in medical innovation.

Helping people in wheelchairs stand with ReWalk, using breathing to detect life-threatening diseases with NaNose, screening for cervical cancer with smartphones from MobileODT, and even a special drinking cup that helps keep track of individual hydration needs called Pryme Vessyl, Israel is paving the innovation path with thousands of medical breakthroughs.

NaNose and ReWalk were invented by professors and alumni of Technion Institute of Technology, one of the leading Israeli hubs developing technology and medical innovations. With Technion’s American Medical Program, that provides students from abroad the opportunity to learn in a cutting-edge environment, and the opening of Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute (TCII) in New York, Israeli innovations will make an even bigger impact around the world.

2016 Technion American Medical Program graduate, Allen Pimienta, from Toronto, matched at Mayo Clinic in Family Medicine. While studying at Technion, Pimienta published papers in four different journals and is the first author on two. “I can’t get this research opportunity anywhere else,” Pimienta said. “Not only do renowned researchers teach our classes, but they also give us their cell phone information and say, ‘Please contact us with any questions.’ ”

Another Israeli-American partnership that has already seen promising results is a recent study conducted by Technion and Harvard University. Through a time-lapse video, they have captured the study that illustrates bacteria mutating to overcome drugs meant to stop and destroy them. This is the first time antibiotic resistance has been documented in such a clear way and will have enormous ramifications on understanding antibiotics and bacteria.

Another Technion alumni, Dr Amit Goffer, invented ReWalk, the ‘bionic’ suit, which relies on motion sensors to help paralysis victims to stand upright and even walk again. Just less than two weeks ago, 36 year-old Claire Lomas used a ReWalk suit to walk the Great Northern Run; the largest half-marathon in the world. In 2007 Clair Lomas was paralyzed from the chest down in a riding accident. Although it took her 5 days to complete the run, she never expected to walk again. “It felt surreal,” Lomas described. “When I was walking the last bit it was really hard not to start crying.”

Goffer was inspired to invent ReWalk, after an accident in 1997 left him in a wheelchair. However, due to limited function in his arms, he was unable to utilize his own technology, so he invented a new product; UPnRIDE Robotics. UPnRIDE is an innovative, upright, self-stabilizing chair that goes from sitting to standing with the push of a button and can handle rough terrains and inclines. “I was able to stand with my colleagues and drink coffee,” Goffer said. “Being able to stand was an experience out of this world, the psychological effect is dramatic.”

Other Israeli innovations that are having an enormous impact are NaNose and Mobile ODT’s device to screen for cervical cancer. Early detection is the key to saving lives when it comes to the big C word and these technologies are doing the job.

NaNose was created when Technion professor, Professor Hossam Haick set out to non-invasively discover traces of cancer in the human body. When there is a cancerous growth in the body, it releases distinctive volatile organic compound (VOC). Upon release they travel in the bloodstream and when these molecules reach the lungs they are emitted to the breath. The number of molecules is extremely small and detecting them is like trying to find the one 5 petal tulip in a massive field of 6 petal tulips.

When they leave the mouth with the exhaled breath is when NaNose can identify the molecules and detect the cancer. In four out of five cases, the device differentiated between benign and malignant lung lesions and even different cancer subtypes. It is currently being customized to detect other diseases, to ensure early detection and help save lives.

Unlike other types of cancer, cervical cancer is relatively easy to identify and treat, but is responsible for the deaths of more than 270,000 women annually, and is a leading cause of death in developing nations. Thanks to routine Pap smear screening, cervical cancer rates in the U.S. have been drastically reduced, but this kind of medical infrastructure is hard to come by in developing countries, especially in rural areas.

Ariel Beery, CEO and co-founder of Tel Aviv-based startup MobileODT wanted to increase life expectancy in developing countries. “There’s no reason a woman should die of cervical cancer just because she’s not screened on time,” said Beery, “so we make sure that women get screened on time.”

MobileODT develops and sells relatively small and cheap colposcopes, designed for developing countries without a strong healthcare infrastructure. Their secret weapon? They integrated the colposcopes with smartphones, which are readily available everywhere in the world and have built-in imaging technology. Co-founder David Levitz helped design the mobile colposcope. “With a smartphone, you’re getting a much better camera with much better specifications than you are on this expensive medical device,” said Levitz. “It seems counterintuitive, but there’s just so much more innovation happening on the phone side that the phone cameras are just better, and going to get much better.”

New Israeli innovations continue to emerge daily and R&D centers, Technion’s American Medical Program and many other institutions are helping bring the life-changing technology to the rest of the world.

If you aren’t paying attention yet, keep an eye on the Middle East for the next innovation that will change your life and may even save it.

Raizel Druxman

Israeli Paralympic Delegation Comes Back to Cheers, but Committee Says That Gaps Remain

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

By Ilana Messika/TPS

Tel Aviv (TPS) – Approximately 200 Israelis from all over the country, most of them youngsters and students, welcomed the Israeli team home from the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio with signs and balloons at Ben-Gurion Airport.

“I felt we needed to show our appreciation and our respect to the members of the Paralympic delegation. They accomplished incredible things and succeeded in connecting the Israeli community together.” said Ouri Shechter, who organized the welcoming reception at Ben-Gurion, to Tazpit Press Service (TPS).

Thirty-three athletes in 11 sports participated in the games, winning three bronze medals, bringing the total number of medals won by Israel in the Paralympic Games to 383 since the country’s first delegation in 1960.

Rower Moran Samuel won bronze for the 100 meter women’s single sculls event on September 11. The next day, Doron Shaziri repeated the feat in the men’s 50 meter Rifle 3 Positions SH1, adding to continuing his record winning at least one medal minimum in each Paralympic game. Finally, on September 15, swimmer Inbal Pezaro finished third in the 200 meter individual medley.

In response to statements made on the inequitable coverage of the Paralympic games as opposed to the Rio Olympics, Leah Schneider, Spokesperson for the Israel Paralympic Committee, told TPS:

“Coverage was better this year than in the past, but it remains insufficient and definitely not on par with the broadcasting generated by the Olympics,” she said.

Schneider added that there has been a perceptible shift in Israeli society and media regarding Paralympic team members. “Whereas once people viewed us as disabled people with sport capabilities, today we are primarily seen as athletes,” she said.

Committee members also said that Israel lags behind other countries in terms of support and investment for sports, especially for disabled people.

“Israel is not a sports country.” said Schneider. “In other states, such as China or the United States, sport is considered a profession in itself. Here in Israel, members of the Paralympic delegation all have regular jobs. Their achievements are a credit to their capabilities, less than any institutional investment made by the government.

“We need mechanisms in order to identify disabled kids with potential for sports, to train them properly with specific courses and resources for adaptive sports. It takes regular people constant training over the course of six-to-eight years to acquire a professional level.

“[But mainly we need] awareness. We need plans and budgets on an institutional level. But for the moment, constructing a Paralympic team remains extremely difficult,” she concluded.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Israeli Postal Service Delivers Letters to God at the Wall Ahead of Rosh Hashanah

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

Israel Post Director General Danny Goldstein on Monday met with Western Wall and Holy Sites Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, to deliver to him a consignment of letters addressed to God. The holy mail was delivered ahead of the upcoming Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur holidays, and will be placed in the cracks and crevices of the ancient stones of what used to be a supporting wall for the Temple. The letters were posted from Israel as well as from Russia, China, France, Nigeria, Spain, the Netherlands, the US, and the UK.

Letters to God

Letters to God

Hundreds of letters are mailed to Israel annually addressed to “God,” “Jesus,” “Our Dear Father in Heaven” and “the Western Wall.” These letters, most of which lack a return address, are sent to the Israel Post Lost and Found Dept., which then sends them, every few months, to be placed among the stones of the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Back in 2006, a company called Letter to God Ltd. announced a service of placing letters to God, written on the customer’s home computer, in the cracks and crevices of the Western Wall. We are not sure what happened to them, but their website, letter2god.com, is available for the right price. Another example of free enterprise losing out to the nanny state.


Rare Captured Footage Released Shows Israeli Spy Eli Cohen’s Execution [video]

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

Mainstream media broadcast rare footage on Tuesday of the execution by hanging of Israeli spy Eli Cohen, and the removal of his body from the gallows in a Damascus public square.

The footage was filmed by official Syrian government television.

The film was captured by Syrian opposition forces during the civil war and handed over to Israeli contacts.

Cohen began working for Israeli intelligence in May 1960 in a unit that eventually became known as the Caesarea special operations unit of the Mossad. He joined the agency three years after moving to Israel from Egypt at age 33.

Eli Cohen worked in Damascus under the alias of Kamal Amin Ta’abet from 1962 until his exposure and execution on May 18, 1965. Cohen was able to supply considerable details on Syrian political and military matters because of his strong interpersonal skills and abilities to build close ties with business, military, and Ba’ath Party leaders, and Syrian President Amin el Hafiz.

He was captured on January 18, 1965, by three Syrian intelligence officers, led by the head of Syrian intelligence, Col. Suweidani, who broke into his apartment in the early morning hours. He was hanged in Martyr’s Square with the television cameras rolling for the entire world to see.

Cohen left behind his wife Nadia and three children, all living in Israel.

Watching the video Tuesday after its release was difficult, to say the least, for Nadia Cohen and other family members.

“There were tears and nerves as we watched, how they lowered him down from the rope into the coffin, to see three cars circling around and to see the crowd in the square with celebratory music blaring. It’s not easy,” Cohen’s widow said.

“I hadn’t seen the movie, only pictures,” she noted. “The children saw it today, and obviously the sadness echoed in our souls. I just hope someone reveals where Eli is buried so we can bring him back, that there’s one person who reveals where the body is, so we can have peace.

“Whether it’s the prime minister of the head of the Mossad, they should fight to bring Eli home,” she added. “We need a man who will bring Eli home to restore our peace. Even in death, there is truth.” She underscored the fact that for her, there is no peace while she has no grave at which to mourn for her husband.

Cohen was sent in 1961 to build an identity as a Syrian exile working as a merchant in Argentina, forming connections with Syrian government officials along the way. “Don’t mourn for the past,” he wrote to his wife, “but rather look to the future.”

Hana Levi Julian

BBC Amplifies UN Criticism of Israeli PM Without Providing Relevant Context

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

{Originally posted to the BBC Watch website}

In an article date stamped September 15th (but which actually appeared on the BBC News website’s Middle East page the following day) the BBC chose to amplify some specific passages from earlier remarks made by the UN Secretary General.  Readers of “UN’s Ban: Netanyahu ethnic cleansing remarks ‘outrageous’” were told that:

“UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has criticised Israel’s prime minister for saying Palestinians want the “ethnic cleansing” of Jews in the West Bank.

Benjamin Netanyahu’s use of the term in a video attacking opponents of Jewish settlement construction on occupied territory was “outrageous”, he said.”

While readers would not necessarily understand that the above (and later repeated) tendentious portrayal of the aim of Netanyahu’s video came from Ban himself, a more accurate description appears further down in the same article.

“Last Friday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu published a video in English on his Facebook page in which he criticised people who described settlements as an obstacle to peace with the Palestinians.”

Predictably, the article includes amplification of the BBC’s stock mantra on Israeli communities in Judea, Samaria and certain districts of Jerusalem.

“Mr Ban stressed that settlements were illegal under international law.” […]

“About 570,000 Jews live in more than 100 settlements built since Israel’s 1967 occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Mr Netanyahu called the demand that they leave “outrageous”.” […]

[Quoting Ban] “”Let me be absolutely clear: settlements are illegal under international law. The occupation, stifling and oppressive, must end.”

Israel rejects the assertion that the settlements are illegal, and over the past two weeks has advanced plans for another 463 housing units at four locations.”

As ever, the BBC compromises its own impartiality by failing to inform its audiences of the existence of alternative opinions on that particular issue of ‘international law’. Neither are readers told that more than half of those touted “463 housing units” are accommodation for senior citizens and that they, like the rest, are located in regions which, under any reasonable scenario, would remain under Israeli control in the event of an agreement.

But the most remarkable feature of this BBC report is that while it provides amplification for censure from Ban Ki Moon and Mahmoud Abbas, it makes no effort whatsoever to inform audiences of the facts behind the statements which are the subject of that criticism.

In 2010 Mahmoud Abbas told journalists:

“We have frankly said, and always will say: If there is an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, we won’t agree to the presence of one Israeli in it,”

He repeated that message in 2013:

“Abbas said that no Israeli settlers or border forces could remain in a future Palestinian state and that Palestinians deem illegal all Jewish settlement building within the land occupied in the 1967 Six Days War.”

And Abbas is of course not the only PA political personality to adopt such a position: here, for example, is the ‘moderate’ Sari Nusseibeh speaking to Al Jazeera in 2007.

“The Israelis now living in the territories of the future Palestinian state should return to living within the borders of the state of Israel. No Jew in the world, now or in the future, as a result of this document, will have the right to return, to live, or to demand to live in Hebron, in East Jerusalem, or anywhere in the Palestinian state.”

Moreover, in addition to demanding a Jew-free Palestinian state, Mahmoud Abbas and his colleagues consistently refuse to recognise Israel as the Jewish state – i.e. to declare an end to their claims regarding that country and the ‘return’ of Palestinian refugees to its territory.

Of course Israelis do not have to dig too deep in their collective memory to recall that prior evacuation of all the Jews from their homes in Hebron in 1929, in Jerusalem in 1948 or in the Gaza Strip and parts of northern Samaria in 2005 did nothing to remove ‘obstacles to peace’. As former Labour MK Einat Wilf noted:

“While the settlements are not (to say the least) the best vehicle to make the argument about ethnic cleansing in the Israeli – Arab conflict, it’s not a bad idea to remind the world that it is the Arab side that has pursued a consistent policy of ethnically cleansing the Jews from the region – whether from Arab countries (successfully) or during the Arab war of 1947-1949 designed to crush the nascent State of Israel (mercifully a failure to this day).

It has to be said again and again: Had the Arabs not violently rejected the UN Partition proposal and opened war against the nascent State of Israel there would have been no displacement of Arab Palestinians and no refugees. If anything, when the cease fire lines were set in 1949 all Jews were ethnically cleansed from the Arab side of those lines, whereas Arabs remained securely on the Israeli side of it, becoming Israel’s Arab citizens.”

The BBC, however, chose to amplify Ban Ki Moon’s remarks without providing audiences with the relevant context which would enable them to judge their accuracy and relevance. The result of course is that once again – and despite the corporation’s remit – audiences are deprived of the opportunity to see beyond the BBC’s favoured political narrative.

Related Articles:

BBC tells audiences location of centuries-old Jewish habitation is an ‘illegal settlement’

More BBC promotion of the ‘Peace Now’ narrative on construction

Why is the BBC’s failure to properly report the Jewish state issue important?

BBC News silent on Abbas’ rejection of Jewish state

Hadar Sela

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/bbc-amplifies-un-criticism-of-israeli-pm-without-providing-relevant-context/2016/09/20/

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