Reporter Byron Tau tweeted Wednesday morning that “protesters are burning an Israeli flag now in front of the secure perimeter and chanting ‘intifada.'”
As can be seen in video snippets that are being uploaded on Facebook and YouTube, a woman whose face was covered in a black bandanna, Hamas fashion, set an Israeli flag on fire amidst a group of protesters outside of the cordoned Wells Fargo arena in Philadelphia. A person standing next to her was waving a Palestinian flag. There were reports of protesters burning the American flag as well.
The protesters are Senator Bernie Sanders supporters who have not heeded their own champion’s call to join the DNC in supporting the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton against their common enemy, GOP candidate Donald Trump.
More than 50 protesters were detained on Monday following a demonstration outside the Wells Fargo Center by activists from Democracy Spring. Police issued the detainees citations for disorderly conduct,
Sanders activist Jocelyn Macurdy Keatts told CNN she supports the Democracy Spring “very coherent” set of demands. “There seems to be legislative leverage here,” she said, adding, “The Democrats are already moving further to the left to accommodate Bernie supporters.”
It should be noted in this context, that during the writing of the DNC platform, Sanders fielded five rabid anti-Israel proxies who tried to enter anti “occupation” language into the platform, and they were blocked firmly by the majority of the platform committee: five Clinton proxies and four proxies appointed by then DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.
Congresswoman Wasserman-Schultz has been maligned this week and forced to resign her post, but it should be remembered that in the DNC she is one of the most consistent pro-Israel voices. She may differ with rightwing Jews and Israelis on the two-state solution, but she has been a dyed in the wool pro-Israel legislator. And, unlike many fellow Democrats, and despite the fact that she was Obama’s handpicked leader of the Democratic National Committee, the Congresswoman attended Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech to Congress. She ended up voting for the Iran deal, which turned out to be a giant mistake, but she did not shame the Israeli PM publicly as other Democrats have done.
According to the German newspaper Das Bild, the deadly Munich shooting that claimed the lives of 10 people and injured 27 was the work of an 18-year-old German citizen of Iranian origin named Ali David Sonboli.
Bild released a video after the shooting, with the loud shouting match between the shooter, who was pacing on the top floor of a nearby parking garage, and Thomas Selby, 57, a truck driver who was looking at him from his balcony.
Selby told Bild: “I was having a beer after work and I heard gunshots. First they were at the McDonalds – boom, boom, boom. Then people were running out of the parking lot. It’s right under my house. I looked from my balcony and saw him reloading his pistol. I threw my beer bottle at him. It broke on the roof.”
Their calls back and forth, including a third person who joined in, were captured on video. The following is a translation from the German transcript:
Neighbor: “You’re a son of a [expletive].”
Shooter: “Because of you I’ve been abused for seven years.”
Neighbor: “You’re a son of a [expletive].”
Shooter: “And now I have to buy a pistol in order to shoot you.”
Neighbor: “A pistol? Go [expletive] yourself.”
Shooter: “I’m German.”
Neighbor: “You’re a son of a [expletive], that’s what you are.”
Shooter: “Stop taking pictures.”
Neighbor: “You son of a [expletive], what are you doing?”
Shooter: “I was born here.”
Third voice: “[Expletive] foreigners.”
Neighbor: “What the hell do you think you’re doing.”
Shooter: “I grew up here in Hartz IV (a welfare neighborhood).”
On Friday, eBay, which has reported adjusted earnings per share of 47 cents on revenue of $2.1 billion in Q1, announced the completion of its acquisition of Israeli startup SalesPredict, which leverages advanced analytics to predict customer buying behavior and sales conversion. SalesPredict will support eBay’s artificial intelligence, machine learning and data science efforts, and their deep expertise will contribute to eBay’s structured data efforts.
Upon the close of the transaction, a number of SalesPredict’s employees will join eBay’s structured data organization, working from eBay’s Israeli Development Center in Netanya. SalesPredict Co-Founder and CEO Yaron Zakai-Or will serve as a Director of Product Management, Technology, and SalesPredict Co-Founder and CTO Kira Radinsky will be Director of Data Science & Chief Scientist, eBay Israel.
SalesPredict was co-founded in 2012 by Zakai-Or and Radinsky and its main investors include Yandex, AfterDox, Redline Capital, KGC Capital, and Pitango Venture Capital.
Dr. Kira Radinsky, who immigrated to Israel from Russia at age 4, says her passion “has always been, and always will be, predictions.” During her PhD studies and her work in Microsoft Research she was leading research in the field of Web Dynamics and Temporal Information Retrieval. She developed algorithms that “leverage web knowledge and dynamics to predict future events, that enable early warning of globally impactful events (e.g. riots or diseases) by spotting clues in past and present news reports.”
One of the best examples of Radinsky’s ability to predict future events was her warnings about violent riots in the Sudan during the Arab Spring. “We noticed a pattern that repeats in countries where the people are poor but the land is rich in resources—like the Sudan,” Radinsky told The Marker last week. “We noted that in such countries the canceling of state subsidies starts riots among students, and if the spiraling down isn’t stopped, things may end up in violent clashes.”
“At that time, when it was known that gas subsidies were being removed in the Sudan, our system had already issued an alert for a high chance of riots there. And, indeed, the riots began with student demonstrations, and turned into clashes with police and many protesters being hurt,” Radinsky continued. She said their system had also pointed to a similar pattern in Egypt, when bread subsidies were removed, but at the time there wasn’t enough data for the system to work with and it didn’t predict the downfall of President Mubarak.
“We lead the predictive marketing industry and strive to build the next generation business operating system,” Radinsky wrote on her Technion web page. “I am passionate about our vision of ‘Automatic Data Science’: an on-going effort to create a product that is completely automated without the need for an expert in the loop.”
“Today’s agreement to acquire SalesPredict builds upon our recently completed acquisition of Expertmaker, marking another milestone for eBay in our plans to apply world class learning approaches to building the world’s most comprehensive product catalog and pricing guide,” said Amit Menipaz, Vice President and General Manager of Structured Data at eBay. “SalesPredict’s deep expertise in predictive analytics and machine learning will contribute to eBay’s structured data efforts. For our buyers, it will help us better understand the price differentiating attributes of our products, and, for our sellers, it will help us build out the predictive models that can define the probability of selling a given product, at a given price over time.
There are three key efforts that comprise eBay’s structured data initiative: collect the data; process and enrich the data; and create product experiences. SalesPredict will contribute to data processing and enrichment, specifically with respect to inventory insights.
“With more than 900 million listings on eBay, there is an enormous opportunity to extend our experience in machine learning and predictive analytics to help eBay identify important product attributes that can affect the price of a product,” said Yaron Zakai-Or. “In partnership with eBay’s broader structured data team, we will help arm eBay sellers with more information about the value of items, ultimately helping to increase customer sales conversions.”
“As a data scientist at heart, I’ve always been interested in exploring the myriad ways we can leverage data to predict future high impact events,” said Kira Radinsky. “In founding SalesPredict, our vision was to bring about a major change in how business is conducted by unifying micro- and macro-economic predictions. Today, this vision has yielded state-of-the-art automated data science capabilities. I am excited to have the opportunity to bring these capabilities to eBay’s community and ecosystem.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday fielded questions he did not get a chance to read in advance from MKs, in a fashion reminiscent of the British Parliament’s Question Time. This was Netanyahu’s first-ever Question Hour appearance.
Question Hour is a new parliamentary feature in the Knesset’s plenary sessions. Each year, the opposition has the right to invite 10 ministers to answer questions they did not see in advance. One of those times, it can be the prime minister. At least three-quarters of the questioners must come from the ranks of the opposition.
MK Yael Cohen Paran (Zionist Camp) asked Netanyahu, “It was written that an allegation is being checked [by police] that your son, Yair Netanyahu, used a passport with a fake name that the Mossad gave him to open a bank account in Panama to which hundreds of thousands of dollars were funneled. I want to ask you, did your son Yair Netanyahu get a falsified passport, and in which situations can a citizen get a passport with a fake name?”
In response, Netanyahu said, “There’s no passport, no Panama, no bank account, nothing. There is a flood of foolishness, of nonsense, of fabrications, of lies. Although they’ve been dealing with this for many years, they haven’t found anything for one simple reason: there isn’t anything and there never was anything. There’s no fire and no smoke. There’s hot air – a lot of hot air. Spoiler alert – nothing will come of this, because there is nothing. Therefore, I ask all those who are asking questions and those who may have hope in their hearts: don’t hurry to have suits made. Stop the tailors. Spoiler alert – nothing will come of this, because there is nothing.”
“Since there are those who are still interested in all sorts of things like this, I want to give you all a tip: In the beginning of September I am going to Holland and afterwards I’m continuing to the UN General Assembly,” Netanyahu continued. “Since I’ve noticed that these piles (of nonsense) usually come in certain proximity to my political travels, here I’m giving you the time to come up with new things.”
Netanyahu told the House he was delighted to have this opportunity to speak to the MKs, whom he said asked better and more challenging questions than the press does. “I’m enjoying every minute,” he said, and looked it.
Addressing a question by MK Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) on the anti-gay remarks made by Rabbi Yigal Levinstein and why he did not address them, PM Netanyahu said “I’m not a professional internet commentator and neither do I work on MK Zandberg’s schedule, but the comments are unacceptable. The LGBT community is part of us. They are citizens like everyone else. Israel needs to be a home for all Jews.”
Asked by MK Esawi Frej (Meretz) whether he would “launder the land theft in Amona,” the prime minister said “I do not support the laundering or appropriation of lands anywhere, and I suggest that you be careful when using such terms, because they apply to many places. The court ruled that [the Jewish settlement Amona in Samaria] should be evacuated, even if there is no specific ownership over it. It is private land, but it is not known who it belongs to exactly.”
“Amona is a matter of doing justice in an issue that’s been going on for many years. Several proposals have come up, and the Defense Minister asked for a few days to examine the matter. All involved parties would like to see a settlement rather than anything else.”
MK David Amsalem (Likud) asked PM Netanyahu about the US Senate report establishing that the US State Department had interfered with the previous Israeli elections by funding the V-15, or “Victory in 2015” organization, which operated with the explicit goal of causing Netanyahu to lose the election. “I want to explain what is improper about V15,” Netanyahu said. “We have non-profits that need to work with the minimum transparency, but there is one thing that we cannot accept – bypassing the election law. How does the [election] financing law work in Israel? It sets out how each party should fund its election [campaign]. The law limits the amounts. V15 bypassed this. How? They said ‘we’re not giving to a party but rather opposing a party.'”
Netanyahu said the money was used to influence the results of last year’s Knesset election. “We in Likud complained about this loophole and didn’t get relief from the court. It’s clear to me that this is intervention. These are huge sums. This needs to be stopped, for everyone, by the way.”
Addressing a question by MK Elazar Stern (Yesh Atid) on the conversion crisis, PM Netanyahu said, “The rabbinate is not mine. It was established in arrangement in the State of Israel from the time [the country] was established and even before that. I can’t tell you that I have managed to reach a consensus. I haven’t.”
MK Zouheir Bahloul (Zionist Camp) asked Netanyahu about the “expulsion bill.” Netanyahu said, “In the United States [a legislator) can be dismissed with a small majority without any explanation. I believe that in Israel’s Knesset there cannot be MKs who support terror or the annihilation of Israel.”
MK Hilik Bar (Zionist Camp) mentioned a video clip from a 1990s talk show that resurfaced recently, in which Netanyahu said he supports a two-term limit for prime ministers.
Netanyahu – who is now on his fourth term, third consecutive one – said “When I made that remark I was referring to direct elections [for prime minister]. There are restrictions if someone is elected in the presidential system. I voted in favor of changing the system of government in contrast with my party’s position. If you strengthen governance, limit the number of terms, and if you do not strengthen governance, do not limit the number of terms.”
MK Yousef Jabareen (Joint Arab List) asked Netanyahu what his diplomatic plan was. “The desirable solution for us is a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state,” he said, adding that the Arab League’s peace initiative could be a basis for peace talks with the Palestinians, but only in a revised form.
“If it’s a script, then certainly we cannot [agree to it]. If it’s a basis to open talks, then sure,” he said.
Avi Mayer, the international media spokesman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, tweeted a video showing Hamas henchmen attacking Arab families in Gaza who stood in their way and were trying to prevent the demolition of their homes.
According to Mayer, Hamas claimed the homes had to be demolished “to expand the street,” but local residents, who demand market value compensations for their property, accused Hamas of using double standards when it came to home demolitions — bad when Israel does it, highly acceptable when the Hamas government is doing it.
Meyer cited Arab media reports saying that many Arab civilians, including children and the elderly, were beaten and injured by Hamas thugs.
The video, titled Security in Gaza Assaulting Civilians, was posted by Alquds.