Rivka Borochov: A River of Water Technology from Israel to Africa

The Israeli company Waterways brings Israeli solutions to Africa with cultural sensitivity and an emphasis on people, planet and profit.
Economists predict that in the next 15 years Africa’s economy will be growing at a frenzied pace, similar to India and China. Early birds have started racing into Africa to get businesses off the ground.
But what works in Europe or America –– or even in Israel — doesn’t necessarily work in Africa, especially when you are talking about Africa’s poorest people.
That is why the new Israeli company Waterways has sprung to life. The basic idea is to take the enormous innovations in water coming out of Israel and adapt them to rural areas in Africa.
There is a triple bottom line to fulfill here: people, planet and profit, according to Waterways managing director and founder Ornit Avidar, a startup success story in her own right, and a former diplomat. She has made it her new life mission to help water technologies enter African villages and stick.
Through her research she’s found that about 50 percent of all water projects in Africa’s rural regions cease within a year of implementation.
Cultural reasons, lack of upkeep funding or conflict –– there are endless reasons why “abroad” solutions don’t work in Africa.
That’s too much money going down the drain, says a pragmatic Avidar, who has developed another way.
Soft solutions, for a change?
Rather than propose the sort of large water projects found in municipalities and cities in the West, Avidar has her water compass set on providing Africa’s villagers with soft solutions — scalable, powered by little or off-grid energy, and requiring no advanced technical knowhow to maintain. Her business approach also includes economic models to help villagers make money.
A growing number of Israeli companies fit the Waterways approach, such as SunDWater, which helps people tap into brackish water sources. The off-grid solution pumps up water and purifies it using thermal solar radiation. People from all over Africa are already asking for this.

A Smoke Screen for Palestine-Pushers Martin Kramer

Whenever criticism is leveled at federal funding for area studies in universities—especially those bias-laden, error-prone Middle East centers—someone jumps up to claim that this funding is crucial to the national interest. Now it’s the turn of Nathan Brown, a political scientist at George Washington University and current president of the Middle East Studies Associations (MESA).

Brown claims that federally-funded area studies centers are “essential” for U.S. policy, a “vital national asset,” and “often the only sources of knowledge when crises erupt in unfamiliar places.” They’ve done an “outstanding job of training” Middle East experts, and “political” criticism of them “threatens the ability of the United States to understand the world and act effectively in it.” If you don’t like it that “an individual faculty member offends a supporter of a particular political position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, should students of Swahili and teachers of Tagalog be caught in the crossfire?” Should “programming that is critical of Israel on some campuses endanger all funding for international education?”

Those are valid questions, but they’re posed disingenuously. Here are Brown’s two main elisions:

1. The only people who think that these centers are a “vital national asset” are the professors who collect the money. Over the years, there have been a series of government-sponsored reviews of these Title VI programs (reference is to the authorizing title of the Higher Education Act), and not one review has concluded that the programs do anything resembling an “outstanding job,” especially on languages. (The last major review, by the National Academies, concluded there was “insufficient information to judge program performance.”)


Israel would be acting lawfully by introducing a General Assembly resolution calling for Iran’s expulsion from the United Nations.
Every year, a sitting Iranian president, whether Hassan Rouhani or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, instructs the UN General Assembly that Israel represents some sort of defiling historical error, a mistake that should somehow be “rectified.” On occasion, Iran’s president, plainly, and with obviously full authority from (Supreme Leader) Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, goes beyond such narrowly focused denunciation, and offers an alleged rationale for Israel’s “disappearance.” What has yet to be examined, in any serious fashion, is whether these Iranian presidents have actually been urging genocide, and whether, in an aptly defensive response, the Israeli prime minister still retains proper legal authority to strike first.

At a minimum, however, Israel has every right to request a General Assembly resolution calling for Iran’s formal expulsion from the United Nations. While such a diplomatic and jurisprudential rejoinder to Iran’s presumptively genocidal pleas could be permissible, it would also likely represent, at best, only a preliminary first step toward improving Israel’s national security.

Under international law, genocide has a very precise meaning. This specific content is authoritatively defined at the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. According to this 1948 treaty, which entered into force in 1951, and is also binding upon non-signatory states as customary international law, pertinent violations are not confined to any specific enumerated acts “committed with “intent to destroy.” They also include “conspiracy to commit genocide,” and “incitement to commit genocide.”

The Democratic Party’s Civil War Is Here By Daniel Greenfield

There are really two Democratic parties.

One is the old corrupt party of thieves and crooks. Its politicians, black and white, are the products of political machines. They believe in absolutely nothing. They can go from being Dixiecrats to crying racism, from running on family values to pushing gay marriage and the War on Women.

They will say absolutely anything to get elected.

Cunning, but not bright, they are able campaigners. Reformers underestimate them at their own peril because they are determined to win at all costs.

The other Democratic Party is progressive. Its members are radical leftists working within the system. They are natural technocrats and their agendas are full of big projects. They function as community organizers, radicalizing and transforming neighborhoods, cities, states and even the country.

They want to win, but it’s a subset of their bigger agenda. Their goal is to transform the country. If they can do that by winning elections, they’ll win them. But if they can’t, they’ll still follow their agenda.

Sometimes the two Democratic parties blend together really well. Bill Clinton combined the good ol’ boy corruption and radical leftist politics of both parties into one package. The secret to his success was that he understood that most Democrats, voters or politicians, didn’t care about his politics, they wanted more practical things. He made sure that his leftist radicalism played second fiddle to their corruption.

Bill Clinton convinced old Dems that he was their man first. Obama stopped pretending to be anything but a hard core progressive.

The 2014 election was a collision course between the two Democratic parties. The aides and staffers spilling dirt into the pages of the New York Times, the Washington Post and Politico reveal that the crackup had been coming for some time now. Now the two Democratic parties are coming apart.

Reza Aslan’s Falsehoods Unveiled Dr. Mark Christian

Academic darling Reza Aslan has once again veered from scholarship into advocacy on behalf of his once-renounced, now reaffirmed religion of Islam. Responding to Bill Maher’s recent comments on Islam, Aslan has engaged in his trademark distortion of statistics and reality to make the claim that female genital mutilation (FGM) is not a Muslim problem, but rather simply a “central African” problem.

He goes further, claiming that Muslim-dominated nations have records on women’s rights and empowerment that are barely shy of the most liberal of western Democracies. What Mr. Aslan fails to acknowledge, (willfully, I would say) is that Islamic law and tradition itself puts the lie to his nonsensical claims for Islamic women’s lib.

Mohammed wasn’t one to leave much to chance. Islam is a system of total control over the conduct of all aspects of daily life. From hygiene to sex, there is an instruction from Mohammed on the proper Allah-approved method of accomplishing these functions, and unfortunately for Mr. Aslan’s version of a free-spirited female paradise sort of Islam, the strictures outlined by the Prophet are quite often somewhat more restrictive than, say…prison.

The primary argument behind all of Aslan’s mewling apologia is that Islam doesn’t dictate behavior to its adherents – an assertion that is laughable at best. He cites the fact that millions of Muslims do not wear the hijab or burqa, or practice the orthodoxy of Koranic Islam. Not following the rules, however, is not the same as there being no rules at all. For Aslan’s argument to be correct, then the source of these behaviors would have to have originated outside of Islam – norms and traditions imposed upon them, or adopted by them as a cultural thing.

Aslan’s example of FGM among other groups than Muslims fails to convince when you look a bit deeper into the origin of these traditions. Many of the more recent adoptees of the practice did so after living in proximity to Muslim practitioners who repeatedly described their Muslim women as more virtuous than all other women because of their “circumcision.”

Over many centuries, non-Muslim women were described as and treated as “whores,” leading to a gradual adoption of the practice of FGM by neighboring peoples as a means of elevating their women in the eyes of the dominant Muslim culture of the time. FGM spread because it was a Muslim practice, promoted by Muslim behavior, not due to some spontaneous occurrence of local origin.


Maxine Waters won big and no doubt her anti Israel friends are pleased. She has a rating of +4 from the Arab American Institute indicating pro Arab voting record.

John Wood’s California Dream In the Golden State’s least fertile ground, a young Republican sows seeds for the future. By Tim Cavanaugh


John Wood Jr. is spending Election Day campaigning against one of the most unbeatable Democrats in America.

The 27-year-old digital-marketing sales rep, jazz trumpeter, and occasional rapper is facing a 111-to-1 spending disadvantage, a 4-to-1 disadvantage in party registration, and 24 years of incumbency. His opponent, Los Angeles County congresswoman Maxine Waters, has taken at least 70 percent of the vote in every election since 1990; in seven of those races she took more than 80 percent. According to September voter-registration data from the California secretary of state’s office, Wood could turn out every single Republican voter in the recently gerrymandered 43rd congressionaldDistrict, along with every minor-party voter and every decline-to-stater, and he would still lose 60 percent to 40 percent.

“I do expect that, win or lose, this will prove itself to be the most successful campaign ever run against Maxine Waters,” Wood tells National Review Online. “Obviously the bar is low. The fundraising differential is enormous.”

In short, Wood will almost certainly not be one of the Republican legislative gains in the 2014 midterms — which are expected to be substantial in this sixth year of the Obama presidency. But the extreme-long-shot candidate is notable for bringing a message of free markets and conservative values to a place where the former are a foreign language and the latter have been buried under the Democratic party’s technocratic progressivism. Wood may be marking the twilight of Republican California or planting the seeds of its future. Either way, he’s an interesting candidate, for several reasons.

To begin with, Wood is actually a Republican. In 2012, when Waters was last reaffirmed to her seat, it was against Democrat Bob Flores (who held her to a mere 71.2 percent in the polls). California’s adoption of the Louisiana primary system in 2010 effectively turns general elections into runoffs, in which the top two vote-getters from sparsely attended primaries run against each other. While the new system was sold as a way to make elections more competitive, it merely strengthened the Democratic party’s stranglehold in the state, with the number of Democrat-versus-Democrat elections increasing. Races like Tuesday’s — in which a Republican runs against a Democrat — are becoming rare not just in the 43rd district but in many parts of California.

Wood has also been as viable as a man in a no-win situation can be. In the June primary, with about 50,000 of the district’s 350,000 voters turning out, Wood made a bigger dent in Waters’s support than did most previous opponents, pulling down a respectable (for a Republican in a district that includes towns such as Inglewood, parts of South L.A., and unincorporated county areas) 33 percent of the vote. He has managed that despite an almost comical level of disinterest from the media and the establishments of both parties. Waters has not debated Wood (though she did acknowledge that ”we’ve been watching you” when he buttonholed her at a 2013 town hall), and the Republican party has been unwilling to provide money or much support. According to Wood, when a series of anti-Waters “poverty pimp” signs appeared around the district (and possibly in front of Waters’s Hancock Park home), L.A.’s CBS affiliate reported that there was no evidence that the Wood campaign was involved but didn’t bother to call him. (The current version of the CBS story has a statement from Wood, who says his campaign had “nothing to do with the posters.”) The Torrance Daily Breeze ran a recent profile of Wood topped by a large photo of the candidate and bearing the headline “Newcomer Wood on a Quest against Waters in 43rd Congressional District,” but within a few hours the top photo was swapped out for one of Waters, and the headline was changed to “Newcomer in quixotic challenge of political veteran Maxine Waters in 43rd Congressional District.” According to OpenSecrets, Wood has a total of $10,223 on hand; Waters has $1.1 million.



“This is not the same industry we had 15 years ago,” Natural Gas Supply Association VP Jennifer Fordham said recently. That’s an understatement. The oil, petrochemical and manufacturing industries are also far different from those of 15 years ago. Together, they’ve created hundreds of thousands of new jobs and generated countless billions of dollars in economic activity. No thanks to the Obama Administration.

From EPA to Interior and even the Energy Department, the Administration continues to display a strong animosity toward fossil fuels. Its war on coal has hounded mines, power plants, jobs and communities. Its opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline has thwarted the creation of tens of thousands of construction jobs. Its bans on leasing, drilling and hydraulic fracturing on federal onshore and offshore lands have caused a 6% drop in oil production from those lands and a 28% plunge in natural gas output – costing thousands of jobs and tens of billions in bonus, rent, royalty and tax revenues to the U.S. Treasury.

Nevertheless, you’d think Obama regulators and policy makers would support natural gas pipelines. Even the Sierra Club promoted this fuel as a “clean alternative to coal” just a couple years ago. But no.

The fracking revolution on America’s state and private lands has unleashed a gusher of mammoth proportions. In just six years, 2008-2014, it has generated a 58% increase in oil production (from 5 million to 8 million barrels per day) – and a 21% rise in natural gas production. By the end of this year, U.S. crude oil production is projected to reach 9 million bpd. In the Marcellus Shale region, gas production is expected to reach 16 billion cubic feet a day, twice the volume of only two years ago.

However, this miraculous cornucopia is overwhelming the nation’s existing delivery systems and, far from striving to eliminate the bottleneck, the Obama Administration is creating new ones.

Not having the Keystone pipeline to transport Upper Midwest crude to refineries has forced oil companies to move that oil by train. Rail accidents have caused spills and deaths, but the regulatory focus has been on stronger tanker cars, with insufficient attention paid to track maintenance and safety – or pipelines.

Insufficient natural gas pipelines mean producers cannot deliver this vital fuel to homes, hospitals, factories and electricity generating plants, or to petrochemical plants that use it as a feed stock for literally thousands of products. Pipeline companies are clamoring for construction permits.

“We Need Your Head”: Muslim Persecution of Christians, July 2014 by Raymond Ibrahim

“The United States did not come out to say anything about Boko Haram. They kept talking about economic problem. That is not true… The United States deliberately ignored the fundamental issues of religious ideology.” — Nicholas Okoh, Primate, Church of Nigeria

A judge in Iran sentenced a Christian man to have his lips burnt with a cigarette for eating during the day in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

A church member added that members of the Muslim group had said they wanted to transform Uganda into am Islamic nation and would kill anyone who refused to convert.

The purge of ancient Christian communities throughout Iraq that started in June culminated in great intolerance in July.

Among other Islamic attacks, a Christian church that had stood Iraq for 1,800 years — a church that was erected less than 200 years after Christ — was reportedly torched by the Islamic State, according to countless news agencies, including Al Arabiya.

Terrorists Gunning for Egypt, Hamas Aims at West Bank by Yaakov Lappin

Under Hamas’s rule, terrorist groups are trying to acquire a foothold in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.

Hamas is also trying to construct terror cells in the West Bank.

Hamas’s dark influence is… starting a new countdown to the next showdown.

Under Hamas’s rule, terrorist groups in Gaza are currently trying to acquire a foothold in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, and Hamas is trying daily to resurface in West Bank.

Recent events in Sinai have placed Hamas on a collision course with Egypt, and threaten further instability in the region.

Egypt finds itself threatened by Al-Qaeda-inspired jihadi organizations that use Gaza — under Hamas rule, a nest of weapons and terrorism — as a base of operations.

These jihadi groups often attack the Egyptian state in the Sinai Peninsula, then, with their weapons, move back into Gaza through underground tunnels to escape Egyptian security forces.

Hence, Egypt continues to block underground smuggling passages linking Gaza and Sinai as quickly as it can find them.

On October 24, terrorists launched a major attack in Sinai in coordinated assaults. They targeted Egyptian security personnel in the Al-Arish area of north Sinai, near Gaza. The attack represented a blow to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and his quest to stabilize Egypt.


Lawyers for the Obama administration compared Israel’s control of Jerusalem to Russian claims over the Ukrainian territory of Crimea during oral arguments this week before the Supreme Court in a case concerning the rights of U.S. citizens to list Jerusalem as part of Israel on their passports.

U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, who is rumored to be in the running to replace outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder, drew the comparison on Monday while he attempted to convince the Supreme Court that Jerusalem is not officially part of Israel.

The controversial case hinges around Menachem Zivotofsky, who was born in Jerusalem in 2002. Zivotofsky’s parents requested that Menachem’s U.S. passport bear “Jerusalem, Israel” as his place of birth, a request that was denied by the Obama administration on the basis of its longstanding policy to not recognize the holy city as part of Israel.

The Zivotofsky family sued following the decision and the case has been stuck in judicial limbo since. The Supreme Court agreed to hear the case and initial arguments by both sides were presented this week.

Obama administration lawyers argue that the case infringes on the president’s executive right to conduct foreign policy. By acknowledging Jerusalem as Israeli territory, the White House would lose its credibility in the peace process, as well as its jurisdiction to manage foreign affairs, the government maintains.

Lawyers for the Zivotofsky family disagree.