Israeli-Japanese Jew Dr. Kenichi Hartman talks with Yishai about the similarities — and economic ties — between Japan and Israel.
Dr. Hartman, who converted to Judaism at the age of 12, has a doctorate in neuroscience from Harvard and is today a patent agent. He writes about Japan-Israel economic cooperation for the Times of Israel and is a mentor at Samurai House Israel, a Japanese investment fund. He shares the story of his remarkable life, as he crisscrossed continents, got in touch with his Jewish father’s heritage and ultimately ended up in Israel. He offers his unique perspective on the religious, cultural and philosophical similarities between the states of Japan and Israel.
(JNi.media) Whole colonies of Israeli Bees are being sent from Israel to Japan to help farmers overcome the damage caused by the Japanese bees shortage, which has worsened due to the use of pesticides in rice fields.
The Bees making their way to Japan flew in airy hives, each including a fertile queen accompanied by fifty drones who takes care of all her needs.
Members of Bio-Bee, in Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu in northern Israel, some two miles south of Beit She’an, who nurture and ship the bees, take care of the queen and the workers to ensure comfortable, first class flight conditions. Each hive is equipped with a small bag of sugar water in a special drinking facility, a delicious alternative to airplane meals.
The bees make only one fast connection in Moscow, but do not enjoy duty free store privileges.
Upon their arrival in greenhouses across Japan, the Israeli bees get busy pollinating vegetable crops. Without bees, it is nearly impossible to raise some crops. And, contrary to what people think of Israelis, the Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu bees are renowned for their mild temperament and are not quick to sting, so farmers can work alongside them without fear.
Bio-Bee bumblebees do not produce honey, they only pollinate. They have been bred to carry out their work even when the weather gets cold, cloudy and rainy, when honey bees turn inactive and prefer to gather inside the hive.
While extracting nectar from the flowers, the bees spread the pollen around.
Pollinating bees have begun to serve Israeli farmers several years ago, when the population of Israeli honey bees started to diminish. The advantage of these bumblebees is that they tend to stay within the closed structure of the greenhouse and don’t go out to seek greener—or sweeter—pastures.
The decline in the number of bees is a global phenomenon, made worse in Japan as a result of pesticide spraying in the rice fields around the country. Testing conducted by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture showed that many cases of death have occurred when bees which had been exposed to pesticides during the search for nectar return to the hive and expand the scope of the poisoning.
Generally, the bumblebee is a social insect, maintaining contacts and cooperation between different individuals that belong to the same colony. The bumblebee community has a number of groups, each with a defined role. The colony Queen is the head, but she does not look very different from the drones, other than being bigger.
President Barack Obama told the American people that last week’s murder of nine blacks in a Charleston, S.C. church should wake up Americans “to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency.”
Here are the stats: Per population, we kill each other with guns at a rate 297x more than Japan, 49x more than France, 33x more than Israel.
The comparisons are a bit ridiculous and miss the point completely.
In Japan, the law states, “No one shall possess a firearm or firearms or a sword or swords.” Exceptions are few and far between, and licenses for hunting and sports are allowed only after a lengthy procedure.
In Israel, tens of thousands of people walk around with guns, most of them soldiers, licensed guards or members of first response teams, with virtually no incidents except when shooting at terrorists.
Two notable exceptions, often used by anti-Semites to try to describe Israelis as violent, were the murders of Arabs by Baruch Goldstein and Eden Natan-Zada.
They were exceptions and not examples. Gun violence in Israel historically is related to defend the country against terrorists.
President Obama wants to solve the problem of gun violence in the United States, but he put the emphasis on the word “gun” and not “violence, which is deeply rooted in American society from the days of the Wild West.
Obama said after the murders in Charleston:
It is within our power to do something about it. I say this recognizing that the politics of this town foreclose a lot of those avenues. But it would be wrong for us not to acknowledge it.
Gun control is the obvious first way to find and quick and easy fix to American gun violence. The gun lobby has successful limited gun control laws, but the Charleston massacre may break the lobby’s back.
The more that guns are easily available, it is a reasonable conclusion that more shootings are likely to result.
The issue of gun control is so highly charged in the United States, under the guide of “freedom,” that it will be difficult to legislate and enforce stricter controls.
If legislation is enacted, it remains to be seen if those who should have guns will be denied them while those who should not have them will get guns anyway.
It is easier to legislate gun control than it is to legislate violence.
It is even easier for President Obama to decide what is best for Israel.
Here is Obama’s tweet:
Below is Obama’s speech on Thursday after the murders in Charleston.
United States Secretary of State John Kerry promptly issued a formal statement Saturday night condemning the “vicious murder” of Japanese journalist Kenjo Goto by an Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) executioner after a video showing the ritual beheading was uploaded to the internet.
The American reaction to the journalist’s death was much swifter than the response last week to the killing of two Israeli soldiers after a Hezbollah missile attack on a convoy traveling in northern Israel. Seven others were wounded, including two critically, in the attack which also destroyed a private home in the Druze village of Ghajar. A Spanish UNIFIL soldier also was killed in the exchange of artillery fire in the battle between Israeli and Hezbollah forces that followed. It took hours for the United States to issue a statement.
“The United States condemns ISIL’s vicious murder of Japanese journalist Kenji Goto. We extend our sincere and heartfelt condolences to his wife, his family, and his loved ones, as well as to the people of Japan,” Kerry said in his statement Saturday evening Eastern time, shortly after the murder video appeared.
“The barbaric killing of Kenji Goto, and of Haruna Yukawa before him, shows again ISIL’s brutality and extremist agenda. The United States knows this pain on a personal level born of our own experience. We share the sorrow and continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our ally Japan in confronting terrorism.
“We commend Japan’s support for those in the region who have been displaced by ISIL, the Syrian regime, and other militant groups. Japan’s generous assistance to vulnerable communities fully reflects its commitment to international peace and development.”
The ritual beheading – much like those that preceded the one seen in the video uploaded Saturday to the internet – came 10 days after a demand for ransom by the group was not met. ISIS told Japan the price for Goto’s freedom and that of his friend, who was executed the week prior, was $200 million and the release of a female Al Qaeda failed suicide bomber currently waiting for execution on death row.
The group had also tied the release of a Jordanian pilot to the fate of the Al Qaeda terrorist as well; negotiations over the prisoner swap are still ongoing between ISIS and the Jordanian government, which has said it cannot release the woman without proof the pilot is still alive.
Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has released a video purporting to show the beheading of Japanese freelance journalist Kenji Goto on Saturday.
Goto, 47, was a freelance TV journalist. He went to Syria to try and free his friend Haruna Yukawa, who was beheaded by ISIS last week when Japan did not pay the terrorists $200 million in ransom.
Speaking to the camera, the British-accented terrorist informally dubbed by the media as Jihadi John, says in the video:
“To the Japanese government: You like your foolish allies in the Satanic coalition have yet to understand that we by Allah’s grace are an Islamic Caliphate with authority and power, an entire army thirsty for your blood. [Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo] Abe, because of your reckless decision to take part in an unwinnable war, this knife will not only slaughter Kenji but will also carry on and cause carnage wherever your people are found. So let the nightmare for Japan begin.”
Goto is seen kneeling in an orange prisoners’ jumpsuit in front of the black-clad executioner, before footage of his decapitated body is shown.
Goto, captured on October 25, 2014, is survived by his wife Rinko Goto and his two baby daughters, ages 2 and five months old.
The video hasn’t been officially authenticated by Japan yet, but it resembles previous beheading videos and members of the intelligence community say there is no reason to doubt it.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe condemned the murder, vowing to work with other nations to bring those responsible to justice. “I feel strong indignation at this inhumane and contemptible act of terrorism,” Abe said in brief remarks to journalists. “I will never forgive these terrorists. Japan will work with the international community to bring those responsible for this crime to justice,” he said, repeating his prior statement that Japan would not give in to terrorism.
The cabinet was to convene in Japan in an emergency meeting following the publication of the video Saturday night on the internet. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters, “I cannot help feeling strong indignation that an inhuman and despicable act of terrorism like this has been committed again. We resolutely condemn this.”
U.S. officials were also trying to confirm the authenticity of the video along with officials in Japan.
Bernadette Meehan, a spokesperson for the U.S. National Security Council, told reporters, “We have seen the video purporting to show that Japanese citizen Kenji Goto has been murdered by the terrorist group ISIL. The United States strongly condemns ISIL’s actions and we call for the immediate release of all the remaining hostages. We stand in solidarity with our ally Japan.”
There was no mention in the 60-second video about the fate of Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasasbeh, who was being held with Goto. Jordan has said it cannot release a female Al Qaeda terrorist suicide bomber in a prisoner swap as ISIS has demanded, without proof that Kasasbeh is still alive.
Jordan caved to the hostage threat by Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Wednesday, agreeing to swap a convicted terrorist for its pilot, held captive by ISIS.
A second hostage being held with the Jordanian, Japanese journalist Kenji Goto, is still in captivity. There is no word on his status.
The deal came just minutes before the deadline was reached to execute Muaz al-Kasazbeh. “Jordan confirms that it is completely prepared to release the prisoner Sajida al-Rishawi if Muaz al-Kasazbeh is released intact,” read a statement from Amman, The New York Times reported early Wednesday.
Rishawi helped murder 60 people in an attack on three hotels in Amman with three other suicide bombers. Her explosives vest failed to detonate, however, allowing her to be captured and sentenced to death for the slaughter.
The deal was arranged in response to a massive demonstration against the Jordanian government that began Tuesday evening and continued into Wednesday morning. The pilot’s father also pleaded with King Abdullah II of Jordan to swap the terrorist for his son. “Who is Sajida to us? Sajida is a burden on us, let them release her,” he said during the demonstration.
Two hostages – one each from Japan and Jordan – may die soon if their respective governments don’t pay a handsome sum to ransom them.
A new video uploaded by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist organization appearing to show Japanese freelance journalist Kenji Goto and a Jordanian pilot held with him, proclaims the two will die in 24 hours unless Jordan frees terrorist Sajida al-Rishawi from death row.
Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh was captured after his jet crashed in northeastern Syria this past December (2014) during a bombing mission against ISIS.
Goto’s friend, 42 year old Haruna Yukawa was beheaded last week after a previous 72-hour ransom deadline expired. ISIS had demanded $200 million in exchange for that hostage.
In the new clip, the man speaking states, “She (Rishawi) has been a prisoner for a decade and I’ve only been a prisoner for a few months. Her for me, a straight exchange.”
Rishawi, an Iraqi, has been on death row for years in Jordan for her involvement in a suicide bombing that took the lives of 60 people in 2005.
Japanese government spokesperson Yoshihide Suga was quoted by The Guardian as saying Tuesday in response, “In this extremely tough situation, we are continuing as before to request the cooperation of the Jordanian government to work toward the immediate release of Mr. Goto.”
The Kyodo news agency quoted unnamed officials who said Jordan has been in contact with ISIS through a third party about negotiating a deal for the release of the two hostages. Jordan’s King Abdullah II, however, was quoted as telling a Jordanian newspaper that the case of the Jordanian pilot “tops the country’s priorities.”
The United States meanwhile is adamantly opposed to any prisoner swaps with ISIS, let alone the payment of ransoms to that or any other terror organization.