Hillel Neuer: 10 Basic Questions for Ban Ki-moon as He Visits Canada
As UN chief Ban Ki-moon continues his high-profile visit to Canada today with an address at McGill University, my alma mater, I hope students will ask Mr. Ban 10 basic questions concerning U.N. actions over the past year, which new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau failed to ask yesterday:
5: If the UN Charter promises equality, why does the UNGA condemn Israel 20 times a year, with 3 times for the rest of the world combined?
4: Why was an Algerian dipomat who notoriously campaigned to muzzle UN rights experts just now himself elected a UN rights expert?
3: After the deadly Islamist terror attacks in Paris, why did UN expert Alfred de Zayas try to blame France and the West?
2. Why on Feb. 25th is the UN planning to reelect Syria to a leadership post on the Decolonization Committee, which aims to end the “subjugation of peoples”?
1: Why did the UN recently elect Saudi Arabia to behead of a UN Human Rights Council panel that names human rights experts?
10 Questions for UN Chief Ban Ki-moon
Anne Bayefsky: The UN's 'violent extremism' scam: What to say when 'radical Islamic terror' is too scary
There is a dangerous scam gaining traction at the United Nations, backstopped by the White House. It’s called “violent extremism.” Given the U.N.’s long and undistinguished history of being unable to define terrorism, and an American president who chokes on the words “radical Islamic terrorism,” pledges to combat “violent extremism” have become all the rage.
It turns out that the terminological fast one is a lethal diplomatic dance that needs to be deconstructed, and quickly.
In 1999, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) adopted an “anti-terrorism” treaty stating that “armed struggle against foreign occupation, aggression, colonialism and hegemony, aimed at liberation and self-determination…shall not be considered a terrorist crime.”
In practice, that means it is open season on all Israelis, as well as Americans and Europeans who get in the way. Each of the 56 Islamic states, and what the UN labels the “State of Palestine,” is a party to this treaty.
The September 11 terror attacks then launched a growth industry in U.N. counter-terrorism chit-chat and paraphernalia.
White House: Obama Will Sign Trade Bill Begrudgingly, Hates Anti-BDS Part
The White House has announced it is partially unhappy with the new bipartisan bill, Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015. They like the bill in general, they say, as the W.H. Press Secretary put it in a statement: “We are pleased the Senate passed the bipartisan Customs conference report because it will provide additional tools to help crack down on unfair competition by trading partners and foreign companies that put our workers and businesses at a disadvantage.” However, there’s this one portion they really dislike:
“…there are provisions in this bill that we do not support, including a provision that contravenes longstanding US policy towards Israel and the occupied territories, including with regard to Israeli settlement activity.”
Here’s what the new trade bill has to say about that last, unpleasant Jewish settlements part (abbreviated, because it’s Friday and you need to go shopping for Shabbat). But if you’re really in a hurry, the part Obama et al loath the most is hidden way down there, in item (b) (7), which declares that Congress
“supports efforts to prevent investigations or prosecutions by governments or international organizations of United States persons solely on the basis of such persons doing business with Israel, with Israeli entities, or in any territory controlled by Israel.”
The brutal BDS tactics that harmed hundreds of Palestinians
According to the SodaStream CEO, his company was unable to act against these attacks, except in one case in France in which a lawsuit was filed against the BDS movement for libel.
"It happened following slander we suffered, including claims of butchering Palestinian children," said Birnbaum. "They published, for example, a picture of a soda bottle covered in blood, and over it the words 'one product is worth the slaughtering of a family.'"
He noted that "the court accepted our suit, ruled in our favor and fined the organization. That was the only time in the world that the (BDS) organization was sued, but that was also the only time that we sued."
Now that SodaStream no longer is functioning in Mishor Adumim, one might expect that BDS has left it alone - but one would be wrong.
"Now they claim that we are stealing natural resources from the Bedouins, in particular land and water," said Birnbaum.
"The claim is particularly ridiculous given that fact that Rahat Mayor Talal al-Krenawi invested great efforts to convince the Israeli government and SodaStream to establish the new factory there."
Healthy Institutions Don’t Boycott Israel
Among the enduring strengths of the Israel boycott movement are its ability to convince certain types of people that the cause is not only just but successful. But with whom are those arguments effective? There is a strong contrast between institutions governed by rules and evidence and those controlled by emotion.
Negative examples are ample: the European Commission’s relentless demands that products from Israeli communities in the West Bank be specially labeled, the refusal of the student government at Vassar College to fund a J Street group on the grounds that “Zionism is an inherently racist ideology,” violence directed at Jewish participants at the National LGBTQ Task Force’s Creating Change conference, the demand that singer Matisyahu denounce Israel as a condition for performing at a Spanish reggae festival. Many more could be cited.
A look at the boycott movement’s failures, and successes, tells us much about the worlds in which it is embedded. Those diverse worlds—of universities and academic associations, liberal Protestant denominations, the European Commission, far-left protest movements and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), far-left Jewish groups, and Islamists—is failing, in the sense of intellectual coherence, the ability to persuade, and basic morality. Some, like liberal Protestants, are actually shrinking fast. But that doesn’t mean they will lose in the end.
EU Calls for Labelling Bernie Sanders as Jewish (satire)
In a move that has outraged Jewish groups throughout the United States, the European Union has called for Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders to be clearly labelled as “Jewish.”
“We feel that many voters are unaware of Bernie’s true identity,” one high-ranking EU official said yesterday in a statement. “Senator Sanders will have to wear a mark of some sort to signify that he is, in fact, Jewish,” the official continued. “It’s not that we’re being anti-Semitic, it’s just that we want voters to have all the facts when they’re making their decision.”
“This is deplorable”, a spokesman for the Anti-Defamation League said in a statement. “Senator Ted Cruz will not require a label signifying that he was made in Canada. This is an unfair double standard.”
Many college students and professors have gotten behind the movement known as DBS, or “Destroy Bernie Sanders.” “Bernie Sanders’ campaign is built on the backs of the 1%,” a sophomore at Dartmouth University told reporters from his campus safe space. “We feel that the electorate should know all the facts about him before supporting such a candidate.”
British Airbnb host refuses Israeli because of ‘aggressive settlers’
An Israeli man said a British Airbnb host refused to rent an apartment to him because, the host said, Israelis don’t respect “basic human rights.”
Ben Kelmer, a Tel Aviv photographer, reserved a London apartment for a week in March through the online company, which has come under fire recently for listing properties in West Bank settlements. In some cases, the listings indicate that the properties are in Israel proper.
When Kelmer contacted the host with a question about public transportation, the host said he could not “even consider hosting you,” the U.K.’s Jewish News reported.
“This is how the world pictures you: aggressive settlers occupying land, destroying houses. In a few words: not respecting basic human rights,” the message said. “On that basis, I just cannot even consider hosting you, even if you pay me millions.”
Kelmer posted to Airbnb’s Facebook page: “We were served a healthy dose of Grade A, European bigotry and discrimination at its finest, poorly masked as so-called, socially-conscious political protest of the worst, most prejudiced kind, that is strictly reserved to Israelis.”
Ronaldo attacked on Twitter over Israeli ad
The football player appeared to be pleased with the ad, posting a link to it on his Twitter account. While the post was liked by 5.6 thousand people, negative reactions weren’t far behind.
One user commented: “You spelled ‘OCCUPIED PALESTINE’ kinda weird there.”
Another wrote: “WTF İSRAEL ? MY İDOL İS MESSİ NOW U ARE SHİT”
Many others responded with the hashtag #freepalestine. The tweet soon became a battleground between Israeli supporters and detractors.
International celebrities who express support for the Jewish state or simply cooperate with Israeli ventures are often faced with intense backlash from pro-Palestinian activists and groups. Activists from the anti-Israeli Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, most notably former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters, often try to pressure international artists to cancel performances in Israel.
U.S. Colleges: Middle East Money Speaks to Silence Socrates
For over a decade, Muslim donors have made significant financial contributions to American educational institutions. Appearing philanthropic, they are anything but.
Used to create Middle Eastern and political science studies programs, the donations come with strings attached — only professors pontificating the donor’s anti-U.S. brand of Islam are to be hired.
These schools willingly accept the brand, abandoning any effort to provide students with a balanced worldview, prostituting themselves for cash to donors’ agendas. Socrates must be rolling over in his grave.
- Also at Rutgers: Middle East studies professors reportedly talk about wiping Israel off the map.
- Northeastern University: Professor Muhammad Shahid Alam “demonizes Israel, delegitimizes Jewish history, and infringes on his students’ free speech by shutting down any differing views.”
- University of Missouri: Well-known anti-Israel University of California Los Angeles English professor, Saree Makdisi, was invited to speak while an effort to have an opposing viewpoint shared was rejected.
Vassar student: “F*ck Jews” really only means F*ck Israel-supporting Jews
We previously reported on the anti-Semitic messages sent at Vassar College after the launch of a Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) student campaign by Vassar Students for Justice in Palestine and Vassar Jewish Voice for Peace.
The messages also followed fast on the heels of a faculty-sponsored anti-Israel speech by Rutgers Professor Jabir Puar in which, among other things, she accused Israel of conducting an experiment in “stunting” growth of Palestinian bodies, Vassar faculty-sponsored anti-Israel event erupts in controversy.
Not much was known about the anti-Semitic messages except that they were sent via the anonymous campus app Yik Yak. Here is an example which was posted on Facebook by the Vassar Jewish Student Union:
How to Win An Election at York University: Anti-Semitic Conspiracy Theories
Nevertheless, a vicious and mostly anonymous campaign has been waged on social media against “YuLift” – a new electoral slate that aims to challenge the decade-long dominance of “Student Action” – the incumbent and fervently anti-Israel party. Individual members of the YuLift slate have been accused of a lack of solidarity with Palestinians and of being secret Zionists. Wild anti-Semitic conspiracies have warned that the “f*cking Jews” will vote en-masse for YuLift and decide the election. Non-student anti-Israel activists and infamous anti-Semites have been prominently campaigning for Student Action on campus over the last week.
Why has YuLift been subjected to such a torrent of anti-Semitic and xenophobic abuse? The slate has not been endorsed by any Israeli or Jewish student organizations. It is has not proposed any Zionist or particularly pro-Israel policies. The simple reason is that anti-Semitism is a known vote-getter at York University. Portraying oneself as a bulwark against a vast Jewish conspiracy is an irresistible narrative. And when that vast Jewish conspiracy doesn’t exist, it is politically fortuitous to invent one.
This past November, a Jewish student submitted a motion to implement online voting in future elections for student government. Activists from “Students Against Israel Apartheid (SAIA) York” and OPIRG York labelled this student a “pro-Israel racist”. The justification provided for these serious accusations was that the student in question was an executive on Glendon Campus’ Hillel. Moreover, non-Jewish students who voiced support for the electronic voting motion were defamed as “racists” and “murderous extremists” by association and were accused of “collaborating” with the Jewish student in other pro-Israel activities. SAIA York and OPIRG York mobilized their considerable membership to successfully quash the “racist” and “Zionist” e-voting motion.
McGill Undergrads Weigh 3rd BDS Motion in Under 2 Years
The McGill University undergraduate association is raising a measure in support of divestment from Israel for the third time in 1.5 years, the Canadian Jewish News reported on Wednesday.
The motion calls on the Students Society of McGill University in Montreal “to support any [boycott, divestment and sanctions] campaigns on campus and to pressure the McGill board of governors to divest from corporations ‘complicit in the occupation of the Palestinian territories,’” according the report.
The motion, launched by new campus group McGill BDS Action Network, will be brought for a vote on February 22.
Israeli, Arab, Christian and Gay: Jonathan Elkhoury’s Story Hits US Campuses
Jonathan Nizar Elkhoury wants minority populations in Israel to speak up about what life is really like in the Jewish state. He wants the world to know that Israel is a safe haven for persecuted Middle East minorities. For Elkhoury, this isn’t just loose talk. He is gay, Christian, and a Lebanese refugee.
Elkhoury was nine years old when his family fled war-torn Lebanon for Israel. His father was a soldier in the South Lebanon Army (SLA), which was established in 1982 and was supported by Israel in its fight against the Palestine Liberation Organization and Hezbollah. In 2000, Israel withdrew its troops from Lebanon and the SLA collapsed, leaving the militia with the unsavory options of finding asylum, surrendering, or being captured by the Hezbollah terror group and subsequently put on trial for treason.
After Elkhoury’s father sought asylum in Israel in 2000, the rest of the family followed him in 2001 as persecution of Christians and SLA members became more widespread in Lebanon.
Dutch Zionist store owners highlight settlement goods to protest EU
A store owned by Dutch Christian Zionists advertised to its customers products from Israeli settlements to protest an EU requirement that they be labeled separately.
The Israel Products Center in Nijkerk, a town situated 20 miles east of the Dutch capital, advertised the products in question specifically in a letter dated Feb. 10 by Pieter van Oordt, the store’s director, to its database of thousands of clients.
Among the products he recommended because they were made in Israeli settlements were wines made by the Jerusalem Hills and Zion Noblesse wineries, dates and a new shipment of olive products by the Shilo brand, which the store is expecting in May.
In the past, the store made no distinction between settlement products and ones from inside Israel’s internationally-recognized borders but Van Oordt wrote that the decision to highlight the former follows the adoption in November by the European Commission of regulations that require separate labeling for products that originate from Israeli settlements in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.
German mayor opposes €10,000 award to anti-Semitic group Code Pink
The mayor of the German city of Bayreuth, Brigitte Merk-Erbe, said on Thursday that she rejects awarding the city’s tolerance prize to the radical US NGO Code Pink because of its ties with alleged deniers of the Holocaust.
“I consider it correct to refrain from awarding the prize out of a sense of [historical responsibility, and out of respect for the victims of National Socialism,“said Merk-Erbe.
Merk-Erbe recommended to the city council that the award and prize money be rescinded. The city council will address the row next week.
Bayreuth, which is located in the German state of Bavaria, is slated to award 10,000 euros in April to the anti-Israel and pro-BDS (Boycott, Sanctions, Divestment) group Code Pink. The decision to award the Wilhelmine-von-Bayreuth-Preis to Code Pink - an organization that participated in an Iranian regime run conference with Holocaust deniers in 2014 - prompted sharp criticism in Germany, Israel and the United States.
NY schools pull anti-Semitic videos after outcry
A New York state legislator is calling on all state districts to avoid using an educational publisher whose videos inaccurately depict Judaism.
On Wednesday, New York State Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski spoke out against the California-based Study.com, after the Jewish Federation of Rockland County raised concerns about two of its videos shown at public schools at two separate districts in the suburbs north of New York City recently, The Journal News reported.
In one video, Jews were described as being “aloof,” whereas in another, about first-century Palestine under Roman rule, Jews are depicted as aggressors and having “got what they deserved,” according to The Journal News.
In a letter to the company, Zebrowski urged it to review its videos to ensure its materials are “accurate and appropriate, especially when the materials are being used to introduce young, impressionable students to complex topics such as religion, race and ethnicity.”
Salon Passes Off Anti-Israel Diatribe as News
Online magazine Salon published an article ("74% of Gaza homes destroyed by Israel in summer 2014 war have not been rebuilt, as violent repression escalates," Feb. 9, 2016) that contained little news but instead rehashed many anti-Israel falsehoods. Author Ben Norton, who seems to have a penchant for anti-Israel rants as numerous Salon items indicate, uses a January U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) report as his news hook but cherry-picks details and quotations from it and then veers completely off into old and disproven claims about the 2014 Gaza war.
Norton telegraphs his bias when his first sentence declares that, “Almost 18 months after Israel's summer 2014 war in Gaza,” reconstruction or repair has not even begun on the vast majority of damaged Gaza homes. Norton calls Operation Protective Edge “Israel's summer 2014 war in Gaza.” Even OCHA, notoriously unfriendly to Israel, refers in the report to the “2014 Gaza-Israel hostilities” and neither the article nor the report mentions the cause of the fighting: the incessant and deadly rocket, missile, and terrorist attacks launched against Israelis from the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.
The article states that “roughly 160,000 of the homes that were damaged have been repaired, but hundreds of thousands more remain.” While this huge number might be technically accurate, the OCHA report itself declares the fighting “destroyed 11,000 homes and severely damaged or rendered uninhabitable an additional 6,800 homes.” The remaining 142,200 homes suffered only “minor” damage. The hyperbole-dependent author does not include this essential fact.
UK Media Watch prompts correction to false claim on #Israeli “gay conversions”
As we reported recently, a Feb. 4th Associated Press (AP) story by Daniel Estrin reported that an American Jewish group promoting the discredited practice of “gay conversion therapy” was recently ordered to close by a US court.
The article focused on the fact that, in Israel, the Health Ministry strongly advises against so-called “gay conversion” therapy, but that some Israelis who use the “therapy” have professional ties to the recently banned US-based group.
However, some news outlets twisted the story to suggest that, after being ordered shut, the group (Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing – JONAH) physically relocated to Israel.
Remarkably, the journalist himself (Mr. Estrin) posted a message on his Facebook account explaining how news outlets got the story wrong, noting that nothing in the article suggested that JONAH actually relocated to Israel.
Congressman Grills U.S. Iran Deal Chief About Location of Enriched Uranium
During a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Chris Smith (R., N.J.) questioned the Coordinator for Iran Nuclear Implementation, Ambassador Stephen Mull, over where the enriched uranium that was to be removed from Iran has gone.
After Rep. Smith initially asked where the uranium was, Mull responded that he was not sure but that it was either in Russia or on a ship bound for Russia.
“Where did it go? It’s gotta be somewhere,” Smith said.
“It’s on a Russian ship, in Russian custody, under Russian control,” Mull said.
“It’s actually on a ship right now?” Smith said.
“I believe if it has not arrived yet, it will very soon and it will be kept within controlled Russian facilities,” Mull said.
Smith expressed concern that Iran’s nuclear material was being handled without U.S. oversight by a close ally of Iran, Russia.
Congressman Blasts Failed Iran Policy On 'Islamic Victory Day'
As Iran celebrates “Islamic Victory Day” Wednesday, Rep. Peter Roskam took to the House floor to comment on what he believes is the utter failure of U.S. policy towards Iran.
“The regime celebrates 37 years since the violent coup that brought the Ayatollah Khomeini to power and transformed Iran into a fundamentalist Islamic theocracy and the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism,” said Roskam.
Roskam referred to the nearly 40-year rule of the Islamic Republic as “a dark period of history” in which “thousands of innocent people were killed as the revolutionaries consolidated power.”
Iran’s Atomic Energy Agency Says Nuclear Program Not Set Back by Deal With World Powers
Iran’s nuclear agency said that Tehran’s nuclear program has not been hampered by the deal reached with world powers in July, regime-aligned news agency Tasnim reported on Wednesday.
Atomic Energy of Iran Organization spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi dismissed the notion that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action’s restrictions had set back the program. To the contrary, he said, the JCPOA created a framework for Iran to cooperate with other countries and learn from their achievements in nuclear technology.
US Intelligence Threat Assessment: Iran Has Largest Ballistic-Missile Arsenal in the Middle East
Iran already has the largest ballistic-missile arsenal in the Middle East, Director of National Intelligence Jonathan Klapper told the members of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Tuesday.
Additionally, “Iran’s progress on space launch vehicles — along with its desire to deter the United States and its allies — provides Tehran with the means and motivation to develop longer-range missiles, including ICBMs,” Klapper said, in a Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community.
He said the ballistic missiles would be Iran’s likely preferred method of delivering nuclear weapons, should the country’s government decide ultimately to build them.
The report came as Iran’s Defense Ministry announced it would test the long-range Emad ballistic missile, which was shown stored away in an underground warehouse by the Revolutionary Guards in the Iranian press last month.
Iranians mark anniversary of 1979 Islamic revolution holding 'Death to America, Israel' signs
As Iranians held reenactments of the captivity of US Navy soldiers by Iran last month, President Hassan Rouhani called for political unity in Tehran on Thursday marking the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
A video of a crowd burning US flags was posted on social media.
Iranian media reported that millions of Iranians rallied to mark the anniversary, though Agence France-Presse put it at hundreds of thousands and NBC News at tens of thousands.
NBC posted video of the main rally in Tehran’s Azadi Square, which included chants of “Death to America and Israel” and anti-Western signs.
Iran Mocks Capture of U.S. Sailors at Islamic Revolution Parade
Participants in a rally celebrating the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution recreated scenes of Iran’s capture of 10 U.S. sailors last month.
Photos of the celebration in Tehran have been circulated on social media, showing several participants dressed like the U.S. sailors kneeling with their hands on their heads. They were surrounded by individuals, who appear to be armed, mimicking the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) personnel who arrested the sailors at gunpoint on Jan. 12.
Iran marked the anniversary of the 1979 revolution that ousted the U.S.-backed Shah on Thursday.
The scenes at the rally appeared to mimic photos released by Iran state media following the sailors’ release from captivity on Jan. 13. The sailors were pictured during their detention kneeling with their hands over their heads. Other images showed the American personnel with their weapons and equipment seized.
Iran arrested the sailors in the Persian Gulf after accusing them of drifting into Iranian territorial waters.
Iranians take missile selfies, deride US to mark revolution
Iranians waved “Death to America” banners and took selfies with a ballistic missile Thursday as they marked 37 years since the Islamic revolution, weeks after Iran finalized a nuclear deal with world powers.
In the capital, hundreds of thousands converged on the historic Azadi (Freedom) Square, where President Hassan Rouhani made a speech addressing Iran’s political camps. Some waved a banner depicting President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry with Pinocchio-style liars’ noses, and the text “Unreliable.”
“True (conservatives), true reformists and true moderates are all revolutionary,” Rouhani said in remarks broadcast live on state television.
Ted Nugent digs in amid anti-Semitic accusations — and calls for his NRA ouster
Gun owners are pressuring the National Rifle Association to boot longtime board member Ted Nugent from the organization’s leadership ranks after the rock star’s social media outburst that depicted prominent American Jews as the men and women “really behind gun control.”
Nugent, an outspoken Second Amendment advocate, posted a photo on Facebook earlier this week calling Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), “Jew York City Mayor Mikey Bloomberg,” former senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, among many others, “punks” who would “deny us the basic human right to self defense and to keep and bear arms while many of them have paid hired armed security.”
The Israeli flag appears over or next to each of the 12 faces in the photo, which is the same one that has been shared many times in white supremacist circles, according to the Anti-Defamation League.
The post prompted applause from anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi groups.
UK Mother Decries Apathy of Passengers to Son’s Falling Prey to Antisemitic Abuse on London Underground
The concerned mother of a 23-year-old and his girlfriend who were abused by a man shouting antisemitic epithets on the London Tube has called on fellow Britons to stand up for the victims of antisemitism.
“Please, if you hear someone being yelled at for being Jewish, don’t believe this is not in your name. Otherwise, who knows? Next time it might be you getting the ‘nothing to worry about’ text, when you should have been worrying long before…” wrote Angela Epstein, in a piece in the UK’s Daily Telegraph on Thursday.
The story began when Epstein received a casual text message from her son, Sam, reading: “Nothing to worry about, but…. just been verbally abused by a stranger calling me a ‘f***ing Jew’ on the Tube.”
Apparently, “a complete stranger who appeared to be Muslim, began screaming at him for being Jewish. He also called Sam and his ‘people’ murderers for killing ‘my people.’ As the rant continued, the rest of the carriage buried their heads in their free newspapers or peered in fascination at their laps. Even though the stranger alighted at the same stop as Sam and persisted with his poisonous invective,” she wrote.
Jewish Group Offers $5,000 Reward to Locate Stabber of Son of Prominent Brooklyn Rabbi
An international Jewish organization is offering a cash reward for information leading to the arrest of the perpetrator of Wednesday’s stabbing attack against an Orthodox Jew in Brooklyn, New York.
The Anti-Defamation League announced it would pay $5,000 for such information.
The NYPD is searching for a black male who fled the scene after stabbing 25-year-old Yehuda Brikman — the son of a prominent local Chabad rabbi — outside of a check-cashing center in Crown Heights. Brikman is being treated for stab wounds to the back in Kings County Hospital, where his condition was stabilized. It emerged that Brikman was married last week.
The attack is being investigated as a possible hate crime by the NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force.
Israel, Russia reportedly say 'Da' to free trade agreement
Russia and Israel are planning to ink a free trade agreement in the very near future, a Kremlin official is quoted as telling the Russian news agency TASS on Friday.
According to Russia’s deputy agriculture minister, Sergey Levin, discussions on the matter with his Israeli counterparts have progressed to the point where an agreement is expected to be reached.
"We’ve discussed the prospects of forming a free trade zone, which the government plans to put on paper within the shortest period of time," Levin said.
News of an imminent deal was confirmed by Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel. The two sides plan to consummate the agreement, which entails the establishment of joint ventures in the field of agriculture and hi-tech.
Russia also plans to boost the amount of wheat, meat, and eggs that it sells to Israel while Israel, in turn, will share its technical know-how and expertise in the field.
India Puts Final Touches on $3b Military Deals With Israel
Before this time next year, Israel is likely to be one of India’s top three arms suppliers.
New Delhi is putting the final touches on a package of bilateral military deals and projects planned with Israel totaling $3 billion.
Three of the deals are ready for a final vote by India’s Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) ahead of the first state visit to Israel by Prime Minister Narendra Modi later this year. “It should be cleared by the CCS within a month or so,” said an India Ministry of Defense source.
Among the contracts are the sale of 164 ‘Litening-4′ or laser-designation pods for IAF fighters like the Sukhoi30-MKIs and Jaguars, and 250 advanced ‘Spice’ precision stand-off bombs capable of taking out fortified enemy underground command centers.
The two countries are still negotiating over the cost for 321 ‘Spike’ anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) systems and 8,356 missiles, according to the Economic Times. The ATGMs have a strike range of more than 2.5 kilometers and fire-and-forget capability. The Indian Army wants to equip all its 382 infantry battalions and 44 mechanized infantry units with ‘Spike’ ATGMs. According to the report, the project would involve an initial off-the-shelf induction followed by large-scale indigenous manufacture by Bharat Dynamics Ltd. (BDL) to equip India’s 1.18-million strong military.
Drug-free Alzheimer’s treatment to seek FDA approval
Based on expected results of a just-completed multicenter study involving 131 patients, Israel’s Neuronix medical device company will apply next month for US Food and Drug Administration clearance of its neuroAD system to slow and even reverse progression of Alzheimer disease.
The novel technology combines transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and cognitive training of specific brain regions to slow the rate of mental deterioration in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative disorders. Study participants received the intervention daily for six weeks.
Based in Yokneam with offices in Massachusetts, Neuronix already has CE clearance for neuroAD in Europe. The treatment is commercially available in centers across Europe and Asia, as well as two clinics in Israel, in Ramat Gan and Jerusalem.
New citizenship law has Jews flocking to tiny Portugal city
Five years ago, this city’s tiny Jewish community was so strapped for cash it couldn’t afford to fix the deep cracks in its synagogue’s moldy ceiling.
The Jewish Community of Porto was also too poor to hire a full-time rabbi because of its small size (50 members) and the paucity of donors in a country gripped by a financial crisis.
But last month the community, situation 200 miles north of Lisbon, showcased its stunning turnaround. Hosting the biggest event in its history, it drew hundreds of guests from all over the world to the city’s newly opened kosher hotel and newly renovated synagogue. The community also has a new Jewish museum and mikvah ritual bath, and there are plans to build a kosher shop, Jewish kindergarten and school.
The money, community members say, came from a massive influx of Jewish tourists that coincided with the implementation of Portugal’s 2013 law of return for Sephardic Jews and their descendants.
‘Aliyah Day’ Bill Passes Preliminary Knesset Reading
A bill designating the 10th day of the Hebrew month Nissan as “Aliyah Day” passed a preliminary reading in the Israeli Knesset on Wednesday.
The bill is intended to create a day dedicated to immigrants to Israel (olim) and their contributions to Jewish state. The day would be marked around the country in schools, the Israel Defense Forces, the President’s Residence, and the Knesset. Israeli Members of Knesset Robert Ilatov (Yisrael Beiteinu), Miki Zohar (Likud), and Avraham Neguise (Likud) proposed a number of bills intended for this purpose.
Century after Einstein predicted them, scientists see gravitational waves for 1st time
In an announcement that electrified the world of astronomy, international scientists said Thursday they have finally glimpsed the first direct evidence of gravitational waves, or ripples in space-time, which Albert Einstein predicted a century ago.
Some scientists likened the breakthrough to the moment Galileo took up a telescope to look at the planets.
The discovery of these waves, created by violent collisions of massive celestial objects, excites astronomers because it opens the door to a new way of observing the cosmos. For them, it’s like turning a silent movie into a talkie because these waves are the soundtrack of the universe.
“Until this moment we had our eyes on the sky and we couldn’t hear the music,” said Columbia University astrophysicist Szabolcs Marka, a member of the discovery team. “The skies will never be the same.”
Einstein writings show dramatic theory 100 years ahead of time
It took a century, but the theory from Albert Einstein handwritten neatly on paper that is now yellowing has finally been vindicated.
Israeli officials on Thursday offered a rare look at the documents where Einstein presented his ideas on gravitational waves, a display that coincided with the historic announcement that scientists had glimpsed the first direct evidence of his theory.
“Einstein devised this with pen and paper, but it took humanity 100 years to develop the tools to catch a glimpse of it,” said Roni Grosz, curator of the Albert Einstein Archives at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, pointing to two pages.
One was the first document in which Einstein fully presented his theory of gravitational waves, while the other was a page from his 46-page theory of relativity, written in 1916 and 1915 respectively.
They were written neatly in German, with corrections made within the text.
The theory of gravitational waves was developed by the German physicist 100 years ago.
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