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ISRAEL

NEWS WITH VIEWS ON THE MIDDLE EAST

A Split Over Israel Threatens the Democrats’ Hopes for Unity By Jason Horowitz and Maggie Haberman

A bitter divide over the Middle East could threaten Democratic Party unity as representatives of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont vowed to upend what they see as the party’s lopsided support of Israel.http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/26/us/politics/bernie-sanders-israel-democratic-convention.html

Two of the senator’s appointees to the party’s platform drafting committee, Cornel West and James Zogby, on Wednesday denounced Israel’s “occupation” of the West Bank and Gaza and said they believed that rank-and-file Democrats no longer hewed to the party’s staunch support of the Israeli government. They said they would try to get their views incorporated into the platform, the party’s statement of core beliefs, at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in July.

“Justice for Palestinians cannot be attained without the lifting of the occupation,” Dr. West, one of Mr. Sanders’s five representatives on the platform committee, said in an interview. Dr. West said that while he recognized the necessity to provide for the security of Jews, who for thousands of years have been a “hated people,” he thought that the platform needed to bring more balance to “the plight of an occupied people.”

The presence of Dr. Zogby and Dr. West on the 15-member panel, which also has six appointees of Hillary Clinton and four from the party chairwoman, does not guarantee their views will prevail. But it raises the prospect that one of the party’s most sensitive issues will be open to public debate while Mrs. Clinton is in a fight to unify her party and appeal to voters turned off by Donald J. Trump.

It also laid bare a steady shift in the Democratic Party, whose members have been less willing to back Israel’s government than in years past. According to a Pew Research Center survey in April, self-described liberal Democrats were twice as likely to sympathize with Palestinians over Israel than they were only two years ago. Forty percent of liberals sympathized more with Palestinians, the most since 2001, while 33 percent sympathized more with Israel.

Feminist Totally Occupied by Palestine Guess why a British feminist historian refused a half a million dollar prize?Phyllis Chesler

This month, a British feminist historian, Dr. Catharine Hall, refused a half a million dollars because the money is connected to an Israel-based foundation.

The Dan David Foundation had absolutely no trouble finding two other European feminist historians (Drs. Arlette Farge and Dr. Inga Clendinnen) and awarding them the distinguished prize.

The matter is a curious one. First, because Hall herself not only declined the prize; her supporters, the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine, released the news of her rejection. Hall and her supporters/handlers clearly want credit for her “politically correct” sacrifice. Perhaps a pro-Islamic or a British anti-Zionist foundation will soon find a way to reward her. Perhaps others will then follow suit.

The British Committee for the Universities of Palestine described Hall’s decision as “a significant endorsement of the campaign to end ties with Israeli institutions.”

The matter is also curious because the Committee posted a press release on May 10th—andHa’aretz did not report this until May 22nd. Ha’aretz states that Hall declines this prize “after many discussions with those who are deeply involved with the politics of Israel-Palestine.”

The Dan David Prize was founded in 2000 with a one hundred million dollar endowment and awards were given for the first time in 2002. It seems to be an end-of-career or a later-in-one’s-career kind of award. Scientists, novelists, musicians, thinkers, and academics, mainly historians, have been recipients of this largesse. Many undeniably great historians have received this prize such as Sir Martin Gilbert and Robert Conquest, who shared the prize in 2012.

The Lie of “Disproportionality” by Fred Maroun

By making an accusation of disproportionality without defining the meaning of the term, Bernie Sanders and Haaretz betrayed not only the Palestinians and the Israelis, but also their professions. They made false and unsubstantiated accusations while ignoring the thousands more deaths that the Palestinians are inflicting on their own people — by training toddlers and children for war, using their own people as human shields and failing to provide shelters for them, as the Israelis do for their citizens.

Unsubstantiated claims of disproportionality divert attention from the fact that preventing more wars requires replacing Gaza’s Iranian-backed terrorist regime with a regime that is interested in the well-being of the Palestinians.

In addition to helping Bernie Sanders attract the naïve and anti-Israel vote, and helping Haaretz attract anti-Semitic readers, unsubstantiated claims of disproportionality divert attention from the fact that preventing more wars requires replacing Gaza’s Iranian-backed terrorist regime with a regime that is interested in the well-being of the Palestinians.

As a fourth Gaza war looms on the horizon, we should be aware of the hypocrisy and demagoguery of past Gaza wars: because we are likely to see more of the same.
The Accusation

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, a candidate in the Democratic primaries for president, claimed that Israel’s response in the 2014 Gaza war was “disproportionate,” and Haaretz columnist Asher Schechter agreed. Yet neither Sanders nor Haaretz provided evidence to back that claim.

Schechter made one point worth mentioning: the claim of “extremely permissive rules of engagement during the operation that aimed to protect the lives of IDF soldiers even if the cost was a greater loss of civilian lives.” If true, it simply means that IDF soldiers, as all soldiers, have to make split-second decisions, and when they do so in a situation when confronted with Palestinians who appear to be terrorists, they err on the side of assuming they are terrorists in order to protect their own lives. That is not unexpected, and Israel has no obligation to do otherwise.

Israel has repeatedly demonstrated how much it values the civilian lives of the people it is fighting. No other military force drops leaflets, telephones its adversaries and “knocks on the roof” to warn them of an imminent attack, so that civilians will have time to evacuate. Israel values the lives of Palestinian civilians, but naturally, it values the lives of its own soldiers more. Israel has repeatedly demonstrated how much it values its soldiers, for example when it freed more than one thousand Palestinian criminals. Why would anyone expect Israel to suddenly to value its soldiers less when forced to fight terrorism in Gaza?

What is disgraceful is not that Israel cares about its soldiers, most of whom have families at home — in many cases dependent on them for their livelihood. What would morale in any military be if soldiers felt they were merely regarded as cannon-fodder, not cared about?

Israeli companies develop 3D bioprinter for stem cells

Israeli 3D print electronics developer Nano Dimension Ltd. (Nasdaq: NNDM; TASE: NNDM) today announced that it has successfully lab-tested a proof of concept 3D Bioprinter for stem cells. The trial was conducted in collaboration with Haifa-based Accelta Ltd., which that has developed proprietary technologies for the unique production of high quality media, stem cells, progenitors and differentiated cells for drug discovery, regenerative medicine and research.

The feasibility study confirmed that the combined know-how and technologies of the companies enabled printing of viable stem cells using an adapted 3D printer.
Nano Dimension CEO Amit Dror said, “3D printing of living cells is a technology that is already playing a significant role in medical research, but in order to reach its full potential, for the field to evolve further, there is a need to improve printing speeds, print resolution, cell control and viability as well as cell availability and bio-ink technologies. By combining our high speed, high precision inkjet capabilities with Accellta’s stem cell suspension technologies and induced differentiation capabilities led by a world-renown group of experienced engineers and scientists, we can enable 3D printing at high resolution and high volumes.”

The companies will consider the formation of a new venture for these future solutions and do not intend to invest significant capital directly to expand this activity. Such funds would be raised by and for the use of the joint venture.

Israel — the startup nation by Ben Rothke

In January, I attended the Cybertech conference in Tel Aviv, on a trip sponsored by the America–Israel Friendship League and the Israeli Foreign Ministry. Also on the trip was Richard Stiennon who wrote about it here. In his illuminating article, he calculated the number of information security vendors per country.

Predictably the United States came out on top with 827 firms. Surprisingly, Israel was second with 228. What’s astonishing from Stiennon’s research is that Israel has more security companies than the next 5 countries combined. How is it that Israel has more security firms than the UK, Canada, India, Germany and France combined? The question is even more compelling given that Israel has a population of roughly 8 million; while those five countries have roughly 1.5 billion inhabitants.

An excellent resource with detailed listings of Israeli technology startups is the IVC Research Center High-tech Yearbook. It has trend analysis and YOY investor activity, along with detailed profiles of investors, including venture capital funds, private equity funds, incubators, angels and corporate investors investing in Israel.

For a visual listing of firms, the Israel CyberScape map from Bessemer Venture provides a listing across 14 information security domains.

So just how did Israel become a global information security superpower? Here’s a few of reasons.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu set the goal of making Israel one of the world’s five leading global cyber powers. When a government makes something a priority, and backs it up with financials incentives including research and development grants, which Israel has done; that’s a compelling initiative to generate interest.

“I Love Israel … Free People Need to Unify against Islam as a Belief System”: Son of Hamas leader (video)

http://daphneanson.blogspot.com/

At the Jerusalem Post Annual Conference Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of a prominent Hamas commander, pays warm tribute to Israel as “the only light in the Middle East”, condemns BDS, the “apartheid” slur, and the political correctness that muzzles expressions of fear regarding Islam (“the Muslim people have a problem”), and issues a stark warning that the danger from Islam endangers the whole world, not just Israel.

Palestinians and Jordan: Will a Confederation Work? by Khaled Abu Toameh

“Jordan is not the only Arab country that does not consider the Palestinians trustworthy partners. The Jordanians still have painful memories from the early 1970s, when the PLO and other Palestinian groups tried to establish a state within a state inside the kingdom, and thus threatened Jordan’s security and stability. Today, there is only one solution: maintain the status quo until Palestinian leaders wake up and start working to improve the living conditions of their people and prepare them for peace with Israel.”

In a rare moment of truth, former Jordanian Prime Minister Abdel Salam Majali admitted that the Palestinians were not “fully qualified to assume their responsibilities, especially in the financial field, in wake of the failure of the Arab countries to support them.”

According to the study, the Jordanian public is totally opposed to the idea of confederation, even after the establishment of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem. The Jordanians fear, among other things, that the confederation would lead to the “dilution” of the Jordanian identity, create instability and undermine security in the kingdom.

The reality on the ground is that the two-state solution has already been fulfilled: in the end, the Palestinians got two mini-states of their own – one governed by the Palestinian Authority and the second by Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Today, there is only one solution: maintain the status quo until Palestinian leaders wake up and start working to improve the living conditions of their people and prepare them for peace with Israel.

Talk about a confederation between the Palestinians and Jordan has once again resurfaced, this time after a series of unofficial meetings in Amman and the West Bank in the past few weeks. Jordan, fearing that such confederation would end up with the Hashemite kingdom transformed into a Palestinian state, is not currently keen on the idea.

Many Palestinians have also expressed reservations about the idea. They argue that a confederation could harm their effort to establish an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

UCI 911: Police Rescue Jewish Students as Intifada Returns to Campus By Rabbi Yonah Bookstein

Hearing chants of “Long live the Intifada” on video shot at UCI Wednesday night brings back the tumultuous and scary days as a campus rabbi at University of California, Irvine. (Video below)
As the campus rabbi at UCI for almost five years, I became accustomed to constant anti-Israel programs, racist and anti-semitic speakers, anti-Israel marches, protests and disruptions and an administration that looked the other way or denied how bad it was.
The atmosphere was so toxic, that in a blog post in May of 2006, I coined the phrase “UC Intifada” to describe their hateful anti-Israel, anti-Jewish campaign.
The Muslim Student Union later adopted it as their motto, made t-shirts, and it can be seen today on the Students for Justice – UCI Facebook page.
The most infamous episode — but by no means the worst — was in February 2010, when eleven Muslim students conspired to prevent Ambassador Michael Oren from speaking, and then lied about it. This embarrassed then UCI President Drake and the University, and the climate improved as the ring-leaders were now having to defend themselves on criminal misdemeanor charges. They had less time to parade hate and racism. I was asked by a prominent muslim leader to sign a letter requesting charges be dropped. I agreed on condition the group apologize for their behavior. They showed zero remorse.

TOM GROSS: DISPATCHES…

“Relax, Lieberman won’t bomb Egypt… He’s a pragmatist and he’s harmless”
100 years on, the Islamic State, Al-Qaeda, Jon Stewart and Joe Biden all agree…
Aryeh’s violin: The Improbable Happiness of Israelis (& Turkish brawl as MPs beat up Kurds)
How British leftists omitted Jews from the list of Holocaust victims

“Relax, Lieberman won’t bomb Egypt… He’s a pragmatist and he’s harmless”I attach several articles concerning the agreement in Israel to bring the Yisrael Beiteinu party into the governing coalition, and appoint its leader, Avigdor Lieberman, as defense minister.

Delegitimizing Israel in Our Classrooms Ziva Dahl

The New York Times Upfront magazine, distributed by paid subscription to approximately 1 million American 8th to 12th graders, recently included an article, “How the Middle East Got that Way.” Author Joseph Berger, former Times reporter, blames the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916 for the current mess in the Middle East.

In his view, “a century ago, two diplomats carved out lines on the Middle East map, creating new nations and sowing the seeds for much of the strife in the region today.”

Referring to the Arab-Israeli conflict, Berger tells students, “Most Arabs opposed the Zionist movement, which called for a Jewish state in Palestine. But world pressure to create a Jewish homeland increased after World War II… because 6 million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust.”

The article emphasizes that Western imperialism created the Arab-Israeli conflict because Sykes (British) and Picot (French) disregarded the wishes and rights of the indigenous Arab population and, Berger writes, “Arab leaders were angry” and “felt betrayed.”

The article continues, “In 1947, Britain, with approval from the United Nations, came up with a partition plan (to) create the nations of Israel and Palestine…. The Palestinians and surrounding Arab countries rejected it… (and) fought an unsuccessful war…. In the 1967 Six-Day War, Israel expanded territory…by capturing lands where many Palestinians were living…. The occupied Palestinians continue to demand a state of their own.”

Reading this description of historical events, young students, with little pre-existing knowledge about the topic, have no idea why the Jews would want a nation-state in the Middle East, which Berger characterizes as “Arab.” The author portrays the Arabs as victims of Western domination, legitimizing their 1948 rejection of a Jewish state and their subsequent war against newly declared Israel.

Neither the article nor the teacher’s guide or handouts mention the 3,000-year historical connection of the Jews to the area, the continuous Jewish presence in this land, the Jewish immigration to their historic homeland in the late 19th and early 20th century or the promise made to the Jews for a national homeland in Palestine in the 1917 Balfour Declaration. Also lacking is information about the 1922 League of Nations’ Mandate for Palestine to create a Jewish national home in today’s Israel, the “West Bank” and Sinai and the UN’s assumption of that international legal commitment.

The article’s failure to provide historical and legal context for the Jewish presence in the Middle East and the establishment of the Jewish state delegitimizes the creation of Israel. The Jews are made to look like foreign colonialists taking Arab land — the false narrative promoted by Arabs and Western progressives.