Tuesday, March 07, 2017

From Ian:

March 8 International Women’s Strike platform calls for destruction of Israel
“The decolonization of Palestine” is “the beating heart of this new feminist movement”
The so-called “Day Without A Woman” strike scheduled for March 8 was first conceived by a group of extremists under the banner of the International Women’s Strike, through a call to action posted in The Guardian newspaper, Women of America: we’re going on strike. Join us so Trump will see our power:
One of the women issuing the call was the virulently anti-Israel activist Angela Davis, former leader of the Communist Party USA and Black Panther.
Another was convicted terrorist Rasmea Odeh, who served 10 years in Israeli prison for the 1969 SuperSol supermarket bombing that killed Edward Joffe and Leon Kanner. See the background on Rasmea in the post On March 8, remember victims of #DayWithoutAWoman co-organizer Rasmea Odeh (#DayWithoutEdwardandLeon).
Rasmea’s involvement has stirred controversy in the U.S.
The International Women’s Strike has affiliated marches and strikes around the world in many countries. In the U.S., the strike is marketed by the same group that arranged the Women’s March on Washington.


Bill banning boycotters from Israel becomes a law
The Knesset plenum passed a bill on Monday 46-28 in its third and final reading that will allow the Interior Ministry to ban those who support the boycott of Israel from entering the country.
The measure will enable the interior minister to refuse to grant visas to non-Israeli citizens if they are active in a body aligned with the BDS movement or if they publicly support the boycott of Israel.
Knesset Interior Committee chairman MK David Amsalem (Likud) presented the bill and said it should be perceived as an obvious step.
“If someone demeans me, I do not let them into my home,” he said. “If anyone insults us, we respond; this law is elementary.”
Amsalem added that he is not against legitimate criticism and that this law is for handling situations where red lines are crossed. “They are not talking about boycotting only the settlements; they are talking about boycotting the state as a state, without any distinction. We are talking about antisemites here,” he added.
After the bill passed, MK Bezalel Smotrich (Bayit Yehudi), one of the initiators of the bill, said that the law reflects the will of the state to fight its enemies.
“We are done turning the other cheek,” he said. “In recent years, a new antisemitic front has been initiated against Israel.
Israel law banning entry to boycott supporters draws fire
A new Israeli law banning entry to foreigners who support boycotting the country came under fire Tuesday from human rights groups and the opposition, who called it “thought control” harmful to Israel’s international standing.
The approval of the law late Monday was defended by government ministers and supporters as a necessary response to the movement that calls for Israel to be boycotted over its perceived ill-treatment of the Palestinians.
Israel sees the boycott movement as a strategic threat and accuses it of having anti-Semitic motives. Activists deny this claim, saying they only want to see the end of Israel’s civilian and military presence in the West Bank.
The law follows other recent measures seen as targeting left-wing NGOs, and human rights groups said it could affect their work.
Lifting ban, Israel lets Human Rights Watch staffer in
An American employee of Human Rights Watch was granted entry into Israel Monday evening, after authorities blocked his previous attempts to enter the country over his alleged anti-Israel bias.
Omar Shakir, HRW’s Israel and Palestine director, entered Ben-Gurion International Airport on a tourist visa for a 10-day visit.
“Landed safely in Ben Gurion-@IsraelMFA awaited w a sign, secured tourist visa & escorted me thru in >5 mins.Thanks to them/y’all for support,” he wrote on Twitter, thanking the Foreign Ministry for facilitating his quick entry.
“At first we decided not to let him enter the country. But we reconsidered,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon told The Times of Israel on Tuesday morning. “That doesn’t mean that we do not have serious misgivings with regards to the organization and the purposes in coming here to Israel.”
Shakir was not given “VIP treatment” but the Foreign Ministry, which has a permanent representative at Ben-Gurion Airport, wanted to avoid any problems with his entry and decided to escort him, Nahshon said.



Legacy of the Mufti and Hitler
The titular leader of the Palestinian Arab community in the previous generation: Haj Amin Al Husseini, the Mufti of Jerusalem, forged a pact with Adolf Hitler on November 28, 1941, one week before the Wannasee conference, originally scheduled for December 9, 1941, yet was postponed by one month, due to the attack on Pearl Harbor only two days before, and one day before Hitler declared war on the US, on December 10, 1941.
The protocols of the Hitler -Mufti pact were presented as evidence against the Mufti in the Nuremberg war crimes trials, explicitly state that Hitler would exterminate the Jews in Europe, while the Mufti would enlist Nazi aid to exterminate Jews in Palestine, so as to establish a “JudenRein” state of Palestine.
To that end, the Mufti ensconced himself in Hitler’s bunker, from where he recruited an Islamic unit of the Waffen SS, which actively engaged in the mass murder of Jews, while issuing Arabic language appeals on Nazi radio which incited Moslems to join the Nazi cause and to prepare for mass murder of Jews in Palestine.
The Protocols of the Nuremberg conviction of the Mufti were published in the 1946 book, MUFTI OF JERUSALEM, authored by Journalist Maurice Pearlman, who was appointed in 1948 as the first director of the Israel Government Press Office.
Michael Lumish Podcast: This Week on Nothing Left
This week Michael Burd and Alan Freedman ask three parliamentarians invited to the Netanyahu event in Sydney for their view of the function: Senators Brian Burston (One Nation), James Patterson (LNP), and David Clarke (LNP).
We then hear from author Dina Gold who wrote a book about her quest for justice in recovering her family's building confiscated by the Nazis, and speak with Israeli soldier Tzur Goldin who is leading a campaign to recover the slain body of his twin brother Hadar, which is currently being held by Hamas.
And of course, Isi Leibler joins us from Jerusalem.
3 min Editorial: J-Air’s fundraising campaign
12 min Senator Brian Burston (One Nation)
21 min Senator James Patterson (LNP)
30 min Senator David Clarke (LNP)
40 min Vox pop clip from Netanyahu event
50 min Dina Gold, author of Stolen Legacy
1 hr 7 min Tzur Goldin, brother of captured & killed soldier Hadar
1 hr 28 min Isi Leibler, Jerusalem
Alan Dershowitz: Never Apologize for Being a Jew


INSIGHT


Switzerland funds NGOs that call for Israel’s destruction
A February article in the Swiss daily Basler Zeitung reported that some of the nearly $60 million its government has sent in support of Middle East projects funds initiatives that call for the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews.
“Switzerland finances in different ways organizations in Israel and the Palestinian territories that call for the annihilation of Israel and for the death of Jews,” wrote Dominik Feusi, senior editor of Basler Zeitung.
According to the report, since 2013, the Swiss government has funneled nearly $700,000 to a human rights office in Ramallah that has functioned as a front organization, to avoid criticism by Western countries. The office is funded by Switzerland, Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden, and seeks to cover up the antisemitic work of its partner NGOs, the report said.
Another organization supported by the Swiss government, the Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, advocates a boycott against the Jewish state, the report said, adding that doing so contradicted the country’s endorsement of a two-state solution to the Israel- Palestinian conflict.
Switzerland has long faced criticism for its refusal to outlaw Hezbollah and Hamas as terrorist organizations.
New LibDem Donor Promoted Anti-Israel Website Which Defends Suicide Bombers
The LibDems’ new million pound donor has posted material advocating a boycott of Israel from a notorious website which expresses sympathy with suicide bombers. Greg Nasmyth, who it was revealed last week had made the major donation to the LibDems, posted a link to the Innovative Minds site calling for a boycott of companies “that support Apartheid Israel”. Innovative Minds gained notoriety last year when it emerged the site had published sympathetic articles about suicide bombers, including a terrorist who murdered 19 Israelis outside a nightclub. The site has also claimed Israel has no right to exist and should be “dismantled”. When John McDonnell was caught posting links to Innovative Minds last year he was forced to delete the posts and condemn the site. The unhinged article shared by Nasmyth calls for a boycott of companies including McDonald’s, Starbucks and Coca Cola for “supporting Apartheid Israel“. Unfortunate for the party of David Ward…
Hollywood star demands Israel divide Jerusalem, end 'occupation'
Hollywood A-lister Richard Gere, who portrayed King David in the eponymously titled 1985 film and is perhaps best remembered for his lead roles in An Officer and a Gentleman, Pretty Woman, and Runaway Bride, is set to land in Israel later on Tuesday. But while the actor’s past visits to the Jewish state received warm welcomes, Gere, whose expertise and qualifications justifying his telling Israel what to do consist of his being a movie actor, may be greeted by a far chillier reception, following political comments made on the eve of his trip.
Gere’s visit, planned ostensibly for the premiere of his latest film, an Israeli-American production entitled Norman: The Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer, is already raising eyebrows in Israel over the actor’s scheduled meetings with far-left activists and a provocative interview with an Israeli newspaper, set to be published in full this Friday.
This is hardly the first time Gere has involved himself in the Israeli-Arab conflict; Gere met with left-wing Israeli activists and toured Ramallah in 2003 at the height of the Second Intifada, and he has maintained ties with the Peres Center for Peace for more than two decades.
But Gere’s comments to Yediot Ahronot ahead of his trip Tuesday expressed sharp rhetoric towards Israel that Gere himself admits has been absent from previous statements.
In the interview, part of which was publicized Monday night, Gere slams Israel, warning it is in danger of becoming an “apartheid state” and demanding the Jewish state put an end to the “occupation” and allowing a newly created Palestinian state to claim Jerusalem as its capital.
Daphne Anson: Itching for the Itchen, Vicar?
Our old friend the Vicar of Virginia Water's new outfit, Peacemaker Mediators, has apparently changed its registration address.
No longer, it seems, is it headquartered in Windsor but in a part of Southampton that fronts the River Itchen.
Woolston, to be precise.
That our old friend is itching to swap his pulpit for the new venture by the Itchen is suggested in a sermon of his that he has linked to on Facebook.
Although by agreement with his diocesan overlord, the Bishop of Guildford, he's supposed to desist from referring to the Middle East until he relinquishes his pulpit (on Easter Sunday) or immediately resign, there's a reference there to the contemporary situation, as well as an overt plug for Peacemaker Mediators (which the vicar is plugging separately on social media now):
"[T]he most valuable piece of real estate in the world, is the Haram al Sharif, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The site on which Abraham offered Isaac, on which Solomon and Herod built their temples. The Temple Mount is sacred to 16 million Jews as well as 1.6 billion Muslims, and of interest to 2.2 billion Christians.... Were it for sale, there would be no problem getting a deposit Orthodox Jews pray 3 times a day that the Temple will be rebuilt in their life time.
Jewish students fight back against ‘Zionism is Racism’ events at Columbia
‘Genderfluid’ environmental activist will tell you Israel’s sins
Jewish students spoke out against anti-Israel protests at Columbia University last week, calling the activists “bigoted” and ignorant of “facts” regarding the history of Israel and Palestine.
Flyers for Columbia’s version of Israeli Apartheid Week, an international series of events marking the 100th anniversary of Great Britain’s pledged support for a Jewish state, proclaimed that “Zionism is Racism” and Israel is “Stolen Land.”
The anti-Israel events were countered by Jewish students who proudly wore shirts labeled “ZIONIST” and accused their opponents of “lies” against Israel.
The president of Columbia’s main pro-Israel student organization told The College Fix that pro-Israel students “felt empowered by these shirts, and I hope they continue to refuse to be intimidated by false accusations.”
One 1990s graduate of Barnard College, Columbia’s affiliated women’s school, told The Fix the campus environment for Jews was not hostile back then: “I never saw anti-Israel rallies.”
Italian University Students Clash Over Israel Boycott
A youth group of Italians in Israel has denounced the decision of the University of Turin’s student council to cut ties with Israel’s Technion Institute of Technology as a protest over Israel’s military rule over the Palestinians.
Last week the student council passed a motion urging the university president, Gianmaria Ajani, to “withdraw from the agreements currently in place with the Technion in Haifa” by mid-April, a move that has been condemned by an Italian student group in Israel called Giovane Kehila.
The student council came to its decision after granting a hearing to a member of a militant group called the “Palestine Project,” which in recent years has been instigating boycott initiatives as part of the so-called BDS movement (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) against Israel.
The lengthy text of the decision was approved with 16 votes in favor and 5 opposed, and asks that the University “to take a public stand against Israel’s violations of international law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” among other demands. ” The Student Council also urges all students to join the boycott against Israel.
Citing Amnesty International, the text claims that the “State of Israel has deliberately targeted civilians and has thus been responsible for war crimes during the attack on Gaza conducted during the summer of 2014.”
“Project Palestine” issued a statement saying they were “satisfied” with the Council’s decision and that they “hope that this is a first step and that other university groups will follow this example.”
Canada: School Board Shuts Down Question on Arabic Hate Speech
A school board in Canada shut down a public question and answer session, rather than give an answer about hate speech in schoolsduring Islamic prayers in Arabic.
Journalist Kevin Johnston attempted to ask the following question toPeel District School Board Chair Janet McDougald:
“When you vote to allow Islamic Prayer in public schools, will you record all sermons that are offered in Arabic so we can analyze them later to ensure there is no hate speech being offered?”
Rather than answer the question she elected to call Mr. Johnston a racist and end the session early. The audience at the event took the side of Mr Johnston and the situation became heated.
Johnston delivered a lengthy speech denouncing, in colorful language, the school board for perceived betrayal of Canada. The sound technician at the meeting began blasting classical music in an effort to drown him out.
Curbing Anti-Israel Activism on Campus Causing ‘Unnecessary Stress,’ Members of Palestinian Societies at UK Universities Lament in New Video
A newly released video shows UK university students complaining that a recent crackdown on anti-Israel campus activity has caused an “unnecessary amount of stress.”
Members of Palestine Societies (PalSoc) from schools such as the University of Exeter, King’s College London (KCL), University College London (UCL) and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) — notorious for anti-Israel activism — are seen on camera claiming that their events are more likely to receive “high-risk assessments” and face more rigorous approval processes.
The video, published by independent online news portal Middle East Eye — headed by former staffers of The Guardian and Al Jazeera, and frequently used as a source for pieces in the New York Times, BBC and Huffington Post — was part of an investigation into the recent cancellation of Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) programs at several UK universities.
IAW — a series of annual events promoting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement at universities around the world — has come under greater scrutiny this year by British officials, due to reports that the anti-Israel atmosphere of the February-March happenings often crosses the line into antisemitsm.
South African anti-Israel activists violently attack delegation of Jewish and Arab Israelis
WATCH: Shocking scenes today as BDS anti-Israel activists turn violent, attacking Jewish students and their Israel display at Wits - University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. Once again so-called Israel "Apartheid Weeks" bring havoc to university campuses. Shameful.
Kudos to the SAUJS - South African Union of Jewish Students and our StandWithUs delegation of Israeli students there to reach out to people about Israel in an atmosphere of peace, despite the violence of these protesters. In spite of this incident, they are continuing their educational outreach and won't be deterred!


New York Times Movie Review Packs Anti-Israel Propaganda Punch
Sometimes the most telling words in New York Times coverage of Israel come not on the editorial page or the front page, but in the movie reviews.
Such is the case with a Times review of “The Settlers.”
The Times review, by staff editor Helen T. Verongos, includes these passages:
The film takes viewers into the living rooms (and, in one case, the yurt) of Jews who have moved onto Palestinian land. Packed with maps and facts, the documentary pointedly notes that the approximately 400,000 settlers stand in the way of peace by ensuring that the land will not revert to Palestinian control.
Some of today’s settlements of spacious homes with swimming pools have tunnels that allow residents to zip to Israel proper. Keeping settlers safe, the film notes, is costly….
Mr. Dotan talks to Palestinians whose olive groves have been disturbed by settlers or who have seen their land gobbled up by the illegal construction of outposts by renegades. Their frustrated accounts illuminate some subtexts for the rock-throwing boys of the Palestinian uprisings.

It’s an impressive feat to convey such a sweepingly one-sided view of the Israeli-Arab conflict in six sentences of a movie review, but there it is, a fine example of the whole narrative as seen from New York Times headquarters.
Let’s try to unpack the Times propaganda one sentence at a time.
Continuing documentation of BBC double standards on disputed territories
Another example of that double standard appeared on the BBC News website on February 27th in a report titled “Western Sahara: Morocco to pull out of UN buffer zone“.w-sahara-art-27-2
In the caption to the image at the top of the article, readers are told of a “dispute”:
“As a result of the dispute over Western Sahara, thousands of people have been living in refugee camps in Algeria.”
That terminology is also found in the report itself.
“Morocco is to pull out of a UN buffer zone in the disputed Western Sahara territory, an official statement says.”
A map shows readers “Morocco-controlled territory” – with the term ‘occupied’ avoided.
Twitter account of white supremacist David Duke briefly suspended
The Twitter account of former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke was reinstated a day after it was suspended following a tweet in which he called to “SHUT DOWN a few synagogues.”
Duke’s account was suspended on Monday and reinstated hours later, but with all of his followers erased. The suspension followed a tweet on Sunday in which Duke linked to an article in the Israeli daily Haaretz about synagogues serving as sanctuaries for those who might be affected by the Trump administration’s new immigration policies.
Following the reinstatement, Duke issued several negative tweets about Jews and Israel. Several of his supporters blamed the suspension on the Jews.
Holland’s Complicity In The Holocaust
Holland, a nation celebrated for tolerance and compassion, had a mercurial relationship with the Holocaust.
Dutch Jews who emerged from hiding and from German concentration camps in the wake of Holland’s liberation from Nazi tyranny in 1945 learned to their utter dismay and disgust that they would be fined for not having paid their property tax during Germany’s five-year occupation of the country.
To add salt to the wound, they also discovered they would have to pay gas and electricity bills accrued by the non-Jewish occupants of their expropriated homes.
It staggers the imagination that Dutch authorities could have been so obtuse, insensitive and cruel. Could they not understand that Dutch Jews were unable to settle their bills during this dark and desperate period?
This was truly a Kafkaesque situation.
Having been informed they were in arrears on their tax bills, Jewish property owners in postwar Holland lodged appeals, but to no avail. The bills had to be paid, whatever the circumstances may have been.
Senate unanimously calls on Trump to act against anti-Semitism
The U.S Senate unanimously joined in urging the Trump administration to take action to stem the wave of threats against Jewish community centers and other institutions, saying their viability had been made vulnerable by the harassment.
“We are concerned that the number of incidents is accelerating and failure to address and deter these threats will place innocent people at risk and threaten the financial viability of JCCs, many of which are institutions in their communities,” said the letter sent Tuesday.
The letter, which was coincident with a sixth wave of nationwide threats against Jewish institutions on Tuesday, was signed by all 100 senators and addressed to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director James Comey.
“We encourage you to communicate with individual JCCs, the JCC Association of North America, Jewish Day Schools, Synagogues and other Jewish community institutions regarding victim assistance, grant opportunities or other federal assistance that may be available to enhance security measures and improve preparedness,” the statement said. “We also recognize the anti-Semitic sentiment behind this spate of threats and encourage your Departments to continue to inform state and local law enforcement organizations of their obligations under the Hate Crime Statistics Act and other federal laws.”
The letter was spearheaded by Sens. Gary Peters, D-Mich., Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Marco Rubio, D-Fla., and Bill Nelson, D-Fla.
Brooklyn man arrested for drawing swastikas at Penn Station
A Brooklyn man has been arrested for drawing swastikas and other bias graffiti in men’s bathrooms in Penn Station.
New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority, or MTA, said in a statement Monday that detectives from the transit service arrested Pasquale Vargas, 65. He is accused of multiple incidents of hate-crime graffiti at Penn Station since Feb. 28, according to MTA.
Vargas admitted to writing the graffiti during an interview with MTA police, according to the statement. He also was arrested while carrying a black Sharpie permanent marker in his bag.
He was charged with eight counts of Criminal Mischief in the Fourth Degree, which are being prosecuted as hate crimes.
“This arrest sends a clear message that all hate crimes will be thoroughly investigated, and we will prosecute those found responsible for perpetrating these reprehensible actions,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “We have zero tolerance for these acts of bigotry, which stand in direct contrast to the values that we New Yorkers represent.
Ivanka Trump Accompanies Parents-in-Law on Tour of DC Holocaust Museum, Founded With Help of Husband Jared’s Late Paternal Grandmother
Ivanka Trump and her in-laws took a private tour of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum last Monday morning, a source told Bloomberg.
The insider said that US President Donald Trump’s daughter — who converted to Judaism ahead of her marriage to Jared Kushner in 2009 — visited the Washington, DC-based museum with her parents-in-law, Seryl and Charles Kushner.
According to the report, Jared’s late paternal grandmother, Holocaust survivor Rae Kushner, helped found the institution.
Bloomberg cited two White House aides who said that President Trump has expressed an interest in visiting the museum, but has not yet scheduled a date.
A Country of One’s Own: An Israeli Couple Rules a Beach for 65 Years
When shooting the movie “Exodus,” Paul Newman was a frequent visitor at a remote, idyllic bay situated only a stone’s throw away from the Lebanese border and Nahariya, Israel’s northernmost city. It is a little stretch of beach run by Eli and Rina Avivi, the micro-state of Achzivland’s only citizens.
This controversial place, nestled between the Mediterranean Sea and the green hills of the Galilee, about 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) north of Acre, is, strictly speaking, a dictatorship. Eli, the president, is elected by his own vote. His first lady doesn’t seem to mind.
Sixty-five years ago, Eli, a fisherman and former soldier, discovered this bay and founded his tiny country spanning 3.5 acres, whose borders are drawn by the country road on the right and the ocean waves on the left.
Achzivland’s flag depicts a jolly, topless mermaid, and behind a blue, metallic gate, sit several wooden houses, a wild arrangement of self-made cottages, a hut for passport control, an open-air parliament, boat docks and a museum. Numerous cacti pop out of the dry earth, with the smell of salt and fish sweeping over from the coast. Of course, Achzivland’s national anthem is the breaking of the waves.
Travel Articles Echew Bias, Highlight Beauty of Israel
While the mainstream national newspapers continue push the Palestinian narrative about Israel and the Middle East, two recently-published travel articles about Israel are refreshingly honest. Harper’s Bazaar has published a photo essay full of gorgeous scenes from Israel, “30 Photos that Will Make You Want to Book a Flight to Israel ASAP.” The Hindu, an Indian publication, has provided a detailed plan for vegetarians to eat their way through the Jewish state, “Breaking Bread in Israel.”
In The Hindu, reporter Pankaja Srinivasan is relieved to report that vegetarians can, in fact, travel in Israel without fear of "starvation." He samples laffa bread in Tel Aviv’s Carmel Market, zatar bread in Jaffa, hi-tech pita bread and chocolate rugelach in Jerusalem, and falafel everywhere.
Srinivasan’s article is yet another welcome sign of the increasingly warm ties between India and Israel. You can read the whole thing here.
In addition, Harper’s Bazaar has published 30 beautiful images of Dead Sea beaches, Jerusalem landscapes, markets, and holy sites, Tel Aviv skylines and neighborhoods, food in Jaffa, and Caesarea relics.
Government approves measure to decriminalize marijuana
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that Israel will move forward with marijuana legislation in a “cautious, controlled manner” as the cabinet approved a blueprint for decriminalization of personal use and possession of the substance.
During the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, ministers approved the proposed guidelines on decriminalization put forward by Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home), allowing for the establishment of an interministerial committee of directors that will decide how best to implement the measure.
Speaking ahead of the meeting, Netanyahu said that government would not rush forward with decriminalizing cannabis.
“On the hand one, we are open to the future,” he said, adding that “we also understand the dangers and we will try to balance the two things.”
Three Israeli Firms Among Top 50 Artificial Intelligence Companies
Fortune magazine last week released a list of “50 Companies Leading the AI Revolution,” and the prestigious list includes three hot Israeli companies in the artificial intelligence sector: Logz.io, Voyager Labs, and Zebra Medical Vision.
Fortune’s infographic includes only six countries and features an equal number of notable AI companies from Israel (population 8.5 million) as China (population 1.38 billion) and the United Kingdom, and more than France and Taiwan. Only the United States has more companies on the graph.
Fortune relied on research firm CB Insights’ AI 100 list of the most promising artificial intelligence startups globally, based on factors like financing history, investor quality, business category, and momentum.
The CB Insights list also includes Israeli companies Prospera Technologies (ag-tech at work in Spain, Mexico, and New York) and Chorus.ai (conversation intelligence for sales teams).
“A look at the 50 largest startups on the list, ranked by total funds raised, shows that investment in AI is surging worldwide,” Fortune writes. That number in 2016 was $5 billion.
IDF Blog: By the numbers: IDF women in combat
International Women’s Day is a celebration of empowerment and equality. Since the establishment of the IDF, women have been recruited to various positions throughout the Israeli military.
In 1995, the IDF opened combat positions for women.
In 2016, 2100 women were serving as combat soldiers, and the number keeps rising.
Female combat soldiers advance to higher positions such as commanders and officers.
Many women who don’t serve in combat choose to draft to influential science and technology programs, such as the “Atudah” Academic Program Engineers.
“Atudah” is similar to ROTC in the United States. Draftees study at the university level, acquire academic degrees, and then serve in military positions relevant to their academic fields before proceeding to the IDF Officers Course.

60% of Israelis support women's integration in combat roles
Sixty percent of the Israeli population supports the integration of female fighters in the Israel Defense Forces, a survey by the Sapio research institute for the Women's International Zionist Organization has found. The survey was taken ahead of International Women's Day on March 8.
The findings reflect a change in the public's perception of women in the military.
Asked whether they support the incorporation of women in combat roles, 60% of respondents said they were in favor of the move, while 23% said they opposed it.
Many of those who opposed women serving in combat units cited the physical conditions, such as sleeping in tanks, which they said were too difficult for women to endure. Others expressed concern that women in combat roles could incur physical injuries or that combat service was liable to damage a woman's "delicate psyche." Others said women should not serve in units with men at all.
Lt. Col. Oshrat Bachar | No limits
I believe that a woman should not fear remaining a woman, regardless of the role she performs. It is pivotal for her to maintain her character wherever she goes, because in the end, it is character and not gender that constitutes the deciding factor.
These days, the IDF is working on opening the fourth mixed-gender combat battalion, joining Caracal, Arayot Hayarden, and Bardelas. The demand for combat positions among female recruits is tremendous, and for that purpose, the army decided to establish new platforms for female combat soldiers and expand the contributions they can make.
This is reflected in the growing number of women in the mixed Homefront Command battalions patrolling in Judea and Samaria, in the Oketz K-9 special forces unit, and in the Air Defense Command, which is tasked with manning the missile defense batteries and protecting the people of Israel.
As a career soldier, a sense of pride and duty accompanies me each day. I call on you, dear women, those who already serve in the army and those who are awaiting conscription, who have a deep sense of calling mixed with a touch of fear -- I am calling on you to believe. Believe in your way and in yourselves; believe that you are good and capable on your own merits. There is no doubt in my mind that you can make it big -- it is up to you.
Israel stuns Taiwan to stay unbeaten in world baseball tourney
Israel’s national baseball team clobbered Taiwan 15-7 Tuesday, racing off to a 2-0 start in the country’s first-ever appearance in the World Baseball Classic.
Powered by strong hitting and capped by a three-run homer by Nate Freiman in the top of the ninth inning, the Israeli team continued its fairy-tale start to the international tourney, all but clinching a spot in the next round, after beating Korea in the opener 2-1 Monday.
Israel next faces The Netherlands, considered a weaker team than both South Korea and Taiwan, but still ranked way ahead of Israel, which is seen as a heavy underdog.
The top two teams from each group in the 16-team tournament will advance to the second round in Japan next week.
Israel’s hitters started off by battering Taiwan starting pitcher Hong-Chih Kuo for four runs off six hits in the first inning, quickly knocking him out the game. The teaming added two more runs in the third when Ryan Lavarnway tattooed a home-run, before Taiwan halved its lead with a three-run sixth inning.



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Mondoweiss commenter: "For virulent pro-Zionism (and plain straightforward lies of course) there is nothing much to beat it."
Didi Remez: "Leading wingnut"

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