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May 29, 2016 / 21 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘report’

Report: Shaked to Fight Israelis Who Download Pirated Content

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi) is in the advanced stages of preparing a government bill that would compel Internet providers to reveal which users are downloading pirated content, The Marker reported Wednesday. The content providers would then be able to sue home users for copyright infringement.

11 major Israeli content providers who formed the organization Zira (Hebrew acronym for Internet copyrights) have been complaining that existing laws are limiting their ability to stop distribution of pirated content, because today they can only effectively bring to justice providers who operate inside Israel, while enormous distribution resources are available online but off-shore.

Current Israeli law does recognize certain private downloads as copyright infringements, but to date Internet providers are not obligated to reveal information about their customers. According to The Marker, content providers in the US and in several other countries have been allowed by new legislation to force Internet providers to turn in clients who download illegally, and have sued them successfully.

In 2011 the Knesset passed in a first reading a law that combined compelling Internet providers to expose clients who download illegally as well as clients who are accused of spreading libel online. But the bill did not survive the committee deliberations and was put on hold.

Shaked would like the new version to focus on illegal downloads alone, which would mean that even if a user is downloading pirated content from abroad, they can be sued over it in Israel.

Attorney Jonathan Klinger is a fierce opponent of the proposed legislation. “This is a significant and severe violation of the privacy of citizens, as Internet providers would be demanded to expose private information about users,” he told The Marker. He cited similar litigated cases in the US, where, he said, content providers have had to spend as much as $1,000 on litigation to collect $1. “They’ve invested in expensive technologies to prevent infringement but to no avail. In Germany there’s a little more enforcement, but there, too, you don’t really see lawsuits, it’s more like sanctions by the Internet providers.”

Klinger believes the solution is in new models of distribution. The problem is that content providers have yet to change their archaic business model, which is why they require laws to protect them. He noted that wherevr content providers have used creative business models that came from an understanding of the product and the end users, there is no piracy.

“Unauthorized downloads happen when the content copyright holders won’t allow people to enjoy it. They should look for new, creative models.”

JNi.Media

Report: US Using Foreign Aid to Damage Israel’s Military Industry

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

The security agreement between the US and Israel is yet to be signed, and as time goes by it appears that the Americans are in no hurry to complete the deal, Walla reported on Tuesday. Sources at the defense ministry who expected the US aid package to be agreed on by the Passover holiday are seeing the weeks since that target date passing by with little movement from Washington. So far, the Obama Administration has decided to increase the security aid budget to Israel above the current annual $3.2 billion, but in addition they would like to reduce the portion of the budget which may be converted from USD to shekels for IDF purchases from Israeli security manufacturers. That last part would be the most painful, with long-term consequences for Israel’s security.

As part of the US aid package in the past, Israel was allowed to convert a quarter of the money into 3 billion shekel ($786 million) for purchases from Israeli companies. The Israelis object to the American decision to bite into that part of the package, because it would result in a long-term effect on Israel’s defense budget and its military industrial complex.

A former senior defense apparatus official told Walla that “the US plan to cancel the conversion to shekels, even if it’s only a reduction, would have a significant effect on the attractiveness of the entire US security aid package.”

The aid budget offer as it stands today is far lower than Israel’s stated ambition at the start of negotiations with the US. Congressional sources have said that Israel was asking for $4 to $5 billion a year, which over the span of the deal, from 2019 to 2028, could total $50 billion — compared with $30 billion for the 2009 to 2018 package signed with President George W. Bush. The final deal will likely fall between $37.5 billion—the US position, and $40 billion—the amount Israel has come down to. Even at the minimalist, US version, Israel still receives a bump of $750 million over 10 years.

Today the US pays for $3 billion out of Israel’s $15.6 billion defense budget.

The defense source speaking to Walla said an American decision to keep the entire aid package in dollars, to be spent only with US manufacturers, could mean serious out-of-pocket costs for Israel. “For instance,” he explained, “when we purchase the F-35 from the US, it comes with additional derivatives paid for in shekels: we are expected to build an advanced infrastructure for the new squadron, as well as specialized maintenance and special takeoff lanes—for which the US budget converted part would have paid. Cutting it would directly harm the defense budget as well as the military industries.”

Incidentally, as Defense News reported in April, Israel is demanding of Lockheed Martin and the F-35 Joint Program Office to maximize its autonomy over its new stealth fighter force, including its own command, control, communications and computing (C4) system, indigenous weaponry and the ability to perform heavy maintenance in-country rather than at predetermined regional overhaul facilities. No other buyer has asked or received these exceptions for a system that’s considered the most advanced and secret in the US’ possession.

Brig. Gen. Tal Kalman, IAF chief of staff, told an audience in Tel Aviv this year that Israel’s “unique requirements” demand independence in maintaining the stealth fighters. Speaking on Sunday at a conference of Israel Defense and the Fisher Institute for Strategic Air and Space Studies, Kalman said the IAF is going for a “phased and coordinated process” to establish an F-35 logistics center at squadron headquarters at Nevatim Air Base in southern Israel.

JNi.Media

Report: Habayit Hayehudi to Leave Netanyahu’s Government in Six Months

Saturday, May 14th, 2016

As the Israeli media continue to generate reports about the behind the scenes hectic negotiations between Likud and the Zionist Camp (Labor) over the latter’s joining Prime Minister Netanyahu’s government, Habayit Hayehudi—which stands to lose some of its key portfolios in the shuffle—is threatening to leave the coalition in six months should the threatened move take place.

But Labor is not moving in so fast, for a number of reasons: first, about a third to a half of their MKs, as well as many activists, object to joining with the very political enemy they have sworn to topple; second, Labor is leery of coming in as little more than a rubber stamp for the Netanyahu policies they oppose, without the ability to change said policies. Which is why on Friday Labor chairman Itzhak Herzog posted an ad on his Facebook page listing his conditions for joining:

Lowering the cost of living; involvement in the offshore natural gas outline; authority to act to block international boycotts (presumably by pushing the Jewish settlements under the bus); guarding the Supreme Court’s integrity (from the assaults of Habayit Hayehudi Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked who is pushing to tame the hyper-activist court; eliminating “racist legislation”; starting negotiations with the countries of the region (is Syria available?); and implementing the plan to disengage from the “Palestinians.”

The ad was deleted shortly after it had been posted, probably because it was an open admission that Labor is indeed in negotiations with Netanyahu. But the content signaled a strong break to the left as the price for their joining, essentially wiping off most of Habayit Hayehudi’s chairman Naftali Bennett’s achievements so far.

According to NRG, Bennett plans to crash the Netanyahu coalition in six months, with or without Labor taking up residence in the cabinet. This is because Bennett must differentiate his party from the Likud. Last elections, Netanyahu’s message to the rightwing voter, which Bennett tacitly supported, was that it made no difference which of the two equally pro-settlements party you voted for, in the end both parties would be in government.

That generous gesture cost Habayit Hayehudi a whopping four seats, and pushed Likud up to 30 seats. This time around Bennett is determined to get those seats back, and he’d like to be able to tell his voters, simply: a vote for Netanyahu is a vote for Labor.

On Saturday night, dozens of Labor activists demonstrated outside Herzog’s home, demanding that he abandon his cabinet aspirations. The Labor youth is not enamored with the chairman, although he has brought in the highest number of Labor seats in recent memory. Herzog cannot risk a rift with the very people on whom he would later have to count to canvas voters and man local election offices for him. Or as young activist Ne’ama lazimi told NRG Saturday night, “You don’t serve Bibi, you replace him.”

JNi.Media

Report: IDF Soldiers Rescue Arab Terror Kidnap Victim in Daring Raid

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

IDF soldiers entered the Arab town of Nil’in late Sunday night to hunt down three Arabs who crossed the security fence after allegedly having kidnaped an Israeli citizen, according to the Hebrew-language ‘0404‘ news website.

Nil’in is located 17 kilometers (about 10 miles) west of Ramallah, but just a mile north of the Jewish city of Modi’in Illit. It is also very close to the 1949 Armistice Line (the so-called “Green Line”) and not far from Highway 443, where there have been numerous Arab attacks on Jews during the terror wave that began last October.

Map of Arab village of Nil'in and the Jewish city of Modi'in Illit.

It’s not clear how the infiltrators managed to get through the security fence.

The hostage was dragged into a location in the village while a mob of Arabs pelted the IDF troops with stones. Other Arabs placed rocks in the road in order to block vaccess by Israeli army vehicles.

Neither strategy was effective in stopping the IDF forces, who simply pushed through the hail of rocks and entered Ni’ilin to search for the kidnap victim.

A group of IDF soldiers were successful in tracking down the hostage and rescuing him, miraculously unharmed, while a second unit covered them with gunfire aimed at the rioting Arabs who had begun to surround the house where the captive was being held.

No details have been released about the identity of the kidnap victim or about which IDF units tracked down his captors and got him out of there alive and in one piece. All Israeli soldiers reportedly returned safely to base.

Hana Levi Julian

Report: Israel McDonalds Offering Passover Meals in Leavened Restaurants

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

The owners of the fast food chain McDonalds’ Israeli concession have been selling on the week of the holiday “Passover Meals” which website Kikar Hashabbat claims are simply not so, thus apparently misleading customers who believe their restaurants have been cleaned for Passover.

Cleaning a restaurant (or any kitchen) for Passover requires a thorough removal of all traces of leavened substances in the manner by which they had been absorbed — so that stoves and ovens must be scrubbed and then fired, metal utensils dipped in boiling water, wood utensils and clay vessels removed completely and replaced, and preparation surfaces made from marble or wood completely covered — and that’s the bare minimum required to make a kitchen “kosher l’Pesach.”

Instead, according to Kikar Hashabbat, McDonalds is selling its customers hamburgers in unleavened buns, using their year-round utensils and vessels, in spaces that have not been cleaned for Passover. In other words, the chain is apparently serving meals which aren’t kosher for Passover to clients who believe they are in keeping with Jewish law. In addition, the chain offers its year-round condiments, declaring that they are not kosher for Passover, and letting the customer decide whether or not to use them.

That last part would suggest that the average McDonalds customer is not really expecting a kosher meal, and the entire presentation is a legal fiction intended to allow the chain to operate on Chol Hamoed (intermediary days) Pesach without violating Israel’s Chametz Law, which prohibits selling leavened products in public during the seven-day holiday. Most Israeli non-kosher restaurants, especially in the more secular-leaning cities, simply ignore the law, and Israeli Jews who want to can get their pizza and falafel in pita on Passover, too. McDonalds might be too big to fail, so to speak, and cannot risk violating state law.

The chain issued a statement saying it runs two kinds of restaurants on Passover: those which are marked in blue have actually been kashered by rabbis and are, indeed, kosher for Passover. The other restaurants have merely switched to buns made from potato flour and to chicken from kosher for Passover plants, and all those good are turned thoroughly chametz on the customer’s plate.

It should be noted that while year-round kashrut requires a minimum portion of non-kosher ingredients to declare a food un-kosher, the Passover requirements are absolutist and forbid any presence whatsoever of leavened food.

JNi.Media

InterNations Report: Israel Fourth Best Place to Raise your Children

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

According to the InterNations survey’s Family Life Index, in a roundup of the world’s 41 top countries to raise a family in, the best three countries are Austria, Finland, and Sweden. And right behind those wealthy, industrialized European nests of socialized everything and the baskets of goodies from the nanny state, in fourth place, you’ll find a country that’s been fighting for its life for almost 70 years, with a huge security budget, supposedly enormous gaps between rich and poor, and ceaseless ethnic strife — and there, according to the survey’s criteria, is the fourth best place on the planet to raise your children. Go figure.

For comparison — the UK came in at 22nd place. The US in 25th place. France in eighth. New Zealand came fifth. Saudi Arabia is in 41st place, so, in case you were planning to go raise your kids in the Kingdom, we can advise you, based on these findings — don’t.

After the success of InterNations’ first Expat survey in 2014, the second annual survey report involved 14,400 expatriate respondents, in one of the biggest topical surveys worldwide. The information benefits mainly the group’s 1.8 million members, who are interested in moving, living, and working abroad. By providing insights into expat life in 64 countries, from Argentina to Vietnam, the report is a valuable resource for people seeking temporary or long-term relocation.

The Expat Insider survey included questions on demographics, basic facts about moving abroad, and daily life in the respective country. The questionnaire especially emphasized individual satisfaction with various aspects of expat living. Survey participants cover a variety of people from 170 countries of origin and all kinds of backgrounds. The section regarding the “family life index” evaluates the best places to raise children, based on three categories:

Availability of Childcare and Education — Israel was ranked 4th, behind Austria, Finland and Sweden. The US ranked 12th, France 13th, the UK an abysmal 24th.

Cost of Childcare and Education — there Israel was ranked 13th, with Sweden, Austria, Finland and Denmark at the top of the list for state-paid education for everyone. France was ranked 8th, the US 37th, right behind the United Arab Emirate, and the UK was in 31st place.

Quality of Education — OK, Israel was ranked only 16th on that one, which could, to be honest, bring into question the entire celebration we’ve been having here. So, it’s available and it’s relatively cheap, but maybe you get what you pay for? Finland, Austria and Singapore—where they cane you for spitting on the sidewalk—lead the bunch, with Kenya, surprisingly, in 7th place (it’s where US presidents get their diplomas, after all). The UK is in 9th place (which is still behind Kenya), France is 11th, the US is 25th. ‘Nuff said.

Finally, there’s the category of Family Well-Being — Israel is ranked 3rd on that one, behind Australia and Austria. Because, let’s face it, Israel is essentially one big family, occasionally happy. The US is 16th (better than we expected, to be honest), Sweden is 10th (on account of the suicides and those truly depressing movies), The UK is in 21st place, and France in 24th.

So the result of the survey, in terms of recommendations to Jews wishing to move abroad with their families, has to be Israel, because, let’s face it, if you’re making the move because you fear the growing anti-Semitism in your country, are you really going to move to Austria or Sweden?

JNi.Media

Guardian’s Cartoon of Powerful Jews Manipulating Western Leaders

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

Last November we posted about a political cartoon at the Guardian by Steve Bell depicting British foreign minister William Hague and Tony Blair as puppets being controlled by Binyamin Netanyahu, in the context of expressions of support by these leaders during the war in Gaza.  Bell’s image evoked the canard of powerful Jews controlling western politicians for their own nefarious purposes and was hauntingly similar to more explicitly antisemitic cartoons routinely found in Arab and Islamist world.

The Guardian’s readers’ editor, Chris Elliott, addressed the row a couple of weeks later, and actually rebuked Bell for ‘unintentionally’ using the visual language of antisemitic stereotypes.

While such cartoons often have more of an immediate impact in reinforcing negative stereotypes about Jews than lengthy essays, the damage done by such toxic ideas regarding ‘Jewish control’, in any form, should be taken seriously.  The Guardian narrative of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, in news reports and commentaries, often includes passages with the unmistakable  suggestion that Israel (and the pro-Israeli lobby) wields enormous power over ineffectual Western leaders – a theme present in a report by Harriet Sherwood and Julian Borger titled ‘Iran nuclear programme deal in danger of unravelling’, Nov. 11.  The story centered on nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 (the permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) which ultimately unraveled largely due to concerns that the agreement would have eased sanctions on Iran without requiring that it cease enriching uranium.

The report by Sherwood and Borger included the following:

In a bid to contain the danger, the lead US negotiator, Wendy Sherman, flew straight from the talks in Geneva to Israel to reassure Binyamin Netanyahu’s government that the intended deal would not harm his country’s national interests.

The hastily arranged trip represented an acknowledgement of Netanyahu’s power to block a deal through his influence in the US Congress and in Europe. Egged on by the Israelis, the US Senate is poised to pass new sanctions that threaten to derail the talks before they get to their planned next round in 10 days’ time.

More immediately, Netanyahu demonstrated over the weekend that he could sway the Geneva talks from the inside through his relationship with Paris.

These passages of course strongly suggest that US congressional leaders take their marching orders from Jerusalem and that the French government’s position was not motivated by what it saw as its own national interests but, rather, as a result of the influence of the Israeli prime minister.

However, the deal was fatally flawed, according to many experts, due in part because it would have fallen short of the requirements in six resolutions adopted by the UN Security Council over the years which called on Iran to suspend ALL uranium enrichment – resolutions passed under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, rendering them binding under international law.

As Adam Chandler observed in an essay published at Tablet about the superficial analysis by Sherwood and Borger:

[Their argument] smacks of that paranoid, evergreen charge that all wars and international campaigns are waged on behalf of Israel, a claim that devolves from Israel into “the Jews” as it goes through portal after conspiratorial portal.

You don’t even need to believe that antisemitism is at play to nonetheless be contemptuous of the extraordinary myopia displayed in the Guardian report.  As Walter Russell Mead observed recently about the broader intellectual dynamic which unites antisemitism with anti-Zionism:

Weak minds…are easily seduced by attractive but empty generalizations. The comment attributed to August Bebel that anti-Semitism is the socialism of fools can be extended to many other kinds of cheap and superficial errors that people make. The baffled, frustrated and the bewildered seek a grand, simplifying hypothesis that can bring some kind of ordered explanation to a confusing world.

Guardian “journalists” may fancy themselves sophisticated, erudite and worldly, but their frequent ‘Zionist root cause’ explanations betray both their ideological bias and the extraordinarily facile nature of their reasoning.

Visit CIFWatch.

Adam Levick

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/cifwatch/guardians-cartoon-of-powerful-jews-manipulating-western-leaders/2013/11/13/

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