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Did You Know?

Israel engineers are behind the development of the largest communications router in the world, launched by Cisco.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Israel Apartheid Week: Teaching Hate on College Campuses

Online Documentary Exposes Anti-Israel Incitement on Campus During “Israel Apartheid Week”
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2012 marks the 8th annual “Israel Apartheid Week,” which takes place in February and March on dozens of college campuses and in cities around the world.

The event, which will be held in the United States between February 27 and March 3, is a well-organized political assault designed to delegitimize, demonize, and cause the collapse of Israel by falsely portraying it as an apartheid state and applying double standards of moral conduct.

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As part of this week, a series of events will be held in cities and campuses across the globe in an attempt to characterize Israel as an apartheid state and to build support for the growing global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

In response, United With Israel is joining, to present a free screening of their powerful 30-minute documentary film Crossing the Line: The Intifada Comes to Campus, which exposes and counters this growing anti-Israel movement. Crossing the Line, produced by and part of their 5 part film series campaign, Step Up For Israel.

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Step Up For Israel is chaired by Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz and former Ambassador of Israel to the United Nations Dore Gold. “Films like Crossing the Line play a critical role in the information process by spotlighting basic truths about the Arab-Israeli conflict that are often ignored,” says Professor Dershowitz. “When students hear allegations about Israeli brutality or illegally built structures being leveled, they will now have the resources to respond in an informed and effective manner.”

Click below to watch the video:

Please follow these two easy steps to spread this SHOCKING film:

STEP 1 – Email the following text to your contacts (copy and paste):
2012 marks the 8th annual “Israel Apartheid Week,” which takes place in February and March on dozens of college campuses and in cities around the world. Unfortunately, many people are unaware that this event exists. It is for this reason that we at United With Israel have teamed up with to make their, Crossing the Line: The Intifada Comes To Campus, available FREE online. Crossing the Line tells the full story of what is happening on college campuses across the U.S and Canada and is the lead film in the Step Up For Israel film-series campaign. The Step Up For Israel campaign is co-chaired by Alan Dershowitz and Dore Gold.

STEP 2 – Promote and share with your Facebook friends.

Sign up to learn more and take Step up For Israel’s mini-course by clicking here.

We urge you to contact Harvard University which will be hosting the “One State Conference,” organized entirely by student groups that advocate the elimination of the Jewish character of Israel. WE URGE YOU TO TELL HARVARD THAT THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE.

Email Harvard University directly at:

Click To View Video 

Pro bono surgery saves girl’s life

Volunteer doctors from Eye from Zion organization bring Ethiopian girl to Israel to remove rare tumor from her eye

A delegation of Israeli doctors and volunteers from the Eye from Zion organization traveled to Ethiopia recently to perform 160 cataract surgeries in a portable operation room donated by Chaim Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer. During their visit, they met Kavda Imsak, a 10-year-old girl who suffered from a large tumor in her eye.

Since Ethiopian hospitals are not equipped for such operations, Imsak had to live with the large growth until the Israeli delegation arrived.

At first the team, headed by Dr. Nachum Rosen, preformed a preliminary surgery to discern whether the tumor was cancerous or benign. Later on, they decided to bring her to Israel to remove it.

“The chances of recovery are very slim,” said Eye from Zion founder Nati Marcus, who insisted on bringing the girl to Israel. “As soon as I saw her I decided to take a chance,” he explained.

Once it was decided to bring her to Israel for surgery, arrangements were coordinated with MASHAV, Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation, the Foreign Ministry, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and the surgeons who agreed to operate pro bono.

According to Marcus, many offered to help, including the best doctors in the country who asked to take part in the complex operation, and hospitals that offered to donate surgery and recovery rooms.

A complex team work

Imsak arrived in Israel with her older sister, and was admitted to Sheba Medical Center. After extensive examinations, she was successfully operated on by two eye plastic surgery specialists, Dr. Guy Ben-Simon and Dr. Nahum Rozen. In a few days she is expected be taken to Haifa, where Dr. Yoav Vardizer will fit her for a prosthetic eye. She is then to return home to Ethiopia.

“This is not a routine surgery and it can’t be done by a single person” said Dr. Ben-Simon. “I have consulted with many colleagues around the world before entering the OR.” According to Ben-Simon, a large team participated in the complex surgery, including an imaging team.

Ben-Simon said that although the tumor was benign it had life threatening implications for the girl, in addition to blindness and obvious aesthetic harm. Its size made it impossible to completely remove without harming important blood vessels, but the team removed as much as they could.

“The hospital performs orbit surgeries on patients from all over the world, and there aren’t many cases of tumors like this,” Ben-Simon said. Now that the surgery was successful everybody feels relieved, he added.

Imsak is facing a long recovery, but the doctor said he hopes to participate in next year’s delegation to Ethiopia, and follow up on his patient there.

This is not the first pro bono operation for Ben-Simon. Together with friends and colleagues he volunteers in various places with Eye from Zion and independently. The delegations consist of volunteers who fund their own travel.

Eye from Zion operates in various places including Vietnam, Azerbaijan, Micronesia, Myanmar and Ethiopia, sending advanced equipment, specialists, operating room nurses and experts to remote locales.

According to Marcus, the volunteers are the best ambassadors Israel can ask for. “This is the pretty face of Israel,” he said.Ben-Simon said that although the tumor was benign it had life threatening implications for the girl, in addition to blindness and obvious aesthetic harm. Its size made it impossible to completely remove without harming important blood vessels, but the team removed as much as they could.

“The hospital performs orbit surgeries on patients from all over the world, and there aren’t many cases of tumors like this,” Ben-Simon said. Now that the surgery was successful everybody feels relieved, he added.

Imsak is facing a long recovery, but the doctor said he hopes to participate in next year’s delegation to Ethiopia, and follow up on his patient there.

This is not the first pro bono operation for Ben-Simon. Together with friends and colleagues he volunteers in various places with Eye from Zion and independently. The delegations consist of volunteers who fund their own travel.

Eye from Zion operates in various places including Vietnam, Azerbaijan, Micronesia, Myanmar and Ethiopia, sending advanced equipment, specialists, operating room nurses and experts to remote locales.
According to Marcus, the volunteers are the best ambassadors Israel can ask for. “This is the pretty face of Israel,” he said.


Bloomberg Cites Tel Aviv Index as Best Investment

Today, as news organizations around the world reported on the DOW hitting 13,000 points for the first time since the “Great Recession” began, there’s one stock index that has outperformed them all, withstanding every bubble and crisis over the last 10 years. The Bloomberg Riskless Return Ranking showed that the Tel Aviv TA-25 yielded the highest returns for developed nation benchmark indexes over the past 10 years, with an average of around 7.6 percent on investment. In a region known for instability and chaos, Israel is not only the only politically stable democracy, its economy is a global leader to boot! Coming in second is an economic powerhouse you might have heard of – Hong Kong at a return of 6.7 percent.

Said a former hedge fund manager in an interview with Bloomberg,“Israel is an exciting place to invest… the country is surrounded by enemies, it’s always on the edge of extinction, but it expands and prospers.”

Bloomberg’s report made it to the desk of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who called it a “great achievement.”

So how are these returns calculated? Analysts divide total return by a numerical representation of the daily price volatility, or how likely it is to swing for big gains or dip for big losses. When adjusted for risk, Israel’s TA-25 index provided the best returns on investment.

Israel’s economy has been booming in recent years, and shows no signs of slowing down. The Ministry of Finance projects 2012 growth to be 3.2 percent, which is significantly higher than the 1.2 percent average grown that the economic powerhouses in the G-10 are projected to grow.

To read more, check out the full piece in Business Week here.

eBay recruiting dozens of Israeli workers

After buying three Israeli companies, online retail giant officially announces it is setting up development center in Holy Land

Global eBay has officially declared the establishment of eBay Israel and unveiled its activity in the country.

The online retail giant has decided to unite its two activity centers in Netanya and Tel Aviv into one development center and significantly expand it.

The company plans to recruit dozens of new workers, mostly computer engineers, industrial and management engineers and information system engineers, turning eBay’s center of activity in Israel into one of its only technology centers in the world.

Apart from five development centers in the United States, the company has one center in India and one in China.

eBay Israel will be headed by Yuval Matalon, who manages the company’s activity in the Holy Land.

The main activity of the united development center will continue to take place in Netanya and partly in Tel Aviv, but the company is looking for a new complex for the entire activity.

The Israeli development center will focus on building catalogues, creating information on products and developing tools for social commerce, aimed at allowing collective purchases and sharing the buying process with other users.

The company’s entry into the catalogue field and their integration in its websites were made possible after it acquired Israeli company, which engages in price comparison on the Internet and specializes in building catalogues.

Last year eBay also bought Israeli startup The Gifts Project, which developed an application for online group gifting.

Center of gravity shifted

When it first entered Israel, eBay divided its activity between the operation of Netanya-based as an independent company and the use of the Israeli company’s expertise by global eBay’s digital markets service.

Over time, the activity’s center of gravity was shifted to the development of eBay’s technological infrastructure, while continues its business activity in the field of price comparison.

Now, following the acquisition of Tel Aviv-based The Gifts Project, eBay employs more than 200 workers in Israel. The company decided recently to step up its activity in Israel and is preparing to recruit dozens of workers.

According to eBay representatives in Israel, the company’s activity in the country is also aimed at monitoring the development of the Israeli online retail market and investing specifically in eBay’s Israeli customers.

Another Israeli company acquired by eBay is Fraud Sciences, which specializes in developing tools for securing online payments.

eBay operates the world’s biggest and most popular online retail website, with more than 100 million users, and tops the list of high-tech and Internet corporations.

The company, which was founded in 1995 in San Jose, California, as the operator of an auction website, recorded a significant growth in recent years and is now valued at some $68 billion.

The company’s total income in the last quarter of 2011 amounted to $11.6 billion – a 35% increase compared to the previous year.

Apart from the eBay Marketplace online auction website, eBay Inc. also includes global e-commerce business PayPal, GSI Commerce, which provides e-commerce solutions and services, and open source based e-commerce Web application Magento.


Israeli pastry chef conquers Manhattan

Zohar Zohar’s family-style café in East Village, where she bakes her grandma’s recipes, has won over New Yorkers’ hearts, stomachs

Israeli chef Zohar Zohar has conquered Manhattan in recent months with her successful Zucker Bakery. Zohar, 40, arrived in New York over 17 years ago. Her only plan was to save up some money and travel with her high school sweetheart Yaniv.

In her wildest dreams she never imagined that years later she would be opening up a bakery in the Big Apple, reminiscent of her grandmother’s kibbutz home, selling homemade cakes and cookies based on her family recipes.

“I left Israel in my twenties and went out to see the world,” she tells Ynet. “When Yaniv and I arrived in New York my plan was to work for six months and then continue to travel. We’ve been here ever since.”
Zohar says she has been passionate about cooking and baking since she was a child. “When we got to New York I decided to go to culinary school. I went to a very prestigious school and afterwards worked for many esteemed restaurants in New York.”

After deciding to start a family Zohar left the demanding culinary world, but continued to bake at home. “I never studied to become a pastry chef, but it turned out I really loved it,” she explains.

“A close friend, who is one of the leading pastry chefs in the United States, tasted my pastry and was very impressed,” Zohar recalls. “At one point it became very clear to me and Yaniv that we wanted to open a café with a bakery.”

Up for an award

Their dreams came true. Four months ago the couple opened their business in the big city and named it Zucker Bakery, after Zohar’s maiden name.

“I knew I wanted it to feel very homey, like you’re sitting in someone’s living room with a kitchen behind you,” she says. “I wanted it to be very Israeli and look like my grandmother’s home.”

Zohar collected her family’s old recipes for the East Village shop. “When Israelis come here they recognize about 90% of the recipes. The Americans, however, don’t recognize anything, but despite that they tell me it makes them feel like I just took them to visit their grandma’s home.”

The Israeli-style bakery is filled with alfajores, rugelach, halvah-and-date breakfast pastry, dried fruit, chocolate balls and more.

“I was very surprised by people’s reactions and the success of the place,” Zohar admits. “People come in, smell the baking aroma, taste, and tell me how their grandmother would make the same things. After they get up, they fix the napkin on the sofa, put back the dishes. It’s part of the experience here. It’s a living-room feel, very different from the New York trend. Everything is more personal here.”

When it first opened, Zohar’s parents arrived from Israel to celebrate. They were excited to see the bakery was named after their family.

Meanwhile, just this week Zohar learned that the Zucker Bakery is a finalist on Time Out Magazine’s annual food awards.

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Israel rated second-best cleantech innovator in the world

Israel was named one of the most innovative countries in the world in cleantech innovation in a study released Monday, with young Israeli companies leading the world in developing new ideas, methods and products for water reclamation, agricultural development, and energy production. Israel came in second on the first-ever Cleantech Global Innovation Index of 38 countries for its efforts in development and commercialization of environmental technologies, behind Denmark, which topped the study.

Clean technology, also called cleantech, refers to the intersection of business interests and investment with environmentally friendly products and services that use alternative energy sources, water purification methods, and the like.

The study was conducted by the Cleantech Group, which represents thousands of investors and companies in the cleantech industry (the company says it represents companies with $3 trillion in assets), and theWorld Wildlife Fund. The countries were evaluated on 15 indicators related to the creation and commercialization of cleantech start-ups, companies and ideas, with an index measuring each country’s relative potential to produce entrepreneurial start-up companies and commercialize technology innovations over the next 10 years.

Israel came in second on the index, the report said, because “it leads the pack in its capacity to produce new innovative cleantech companies” — meaning there are more innovative cleantech companies per capita developing new technologies in Israel than in much larger countries like the US, Canada, Germany, France, Japan, and many others (most of the countries listed in the study are OECD members). Two factors kept Israel out of the top spot: Israel’s small domestic market, and a lack of government support for cleantech development.

“Israel places second on the overall index, primarily due to its very high score for evidence of emerging cleantech innovation,” the report said. But Israel comes in second on the index instead of first because “the country lacks a cleantech-supportive government policy.” However, the dearth of state money is somewhat made up by VC activity, with venture funds and angels funding many small, promising projects, the report added.

Israeli companies also lead in patent activity. As an example of Israeli innovation, the report cited a company called TaKaDu, which develops software-based technologies to detect and prevent leaks in commercial water systems (TaKaDu was named Cleantech’s Company of the Year in 2011, and was one of the Wall Street Journal’s top innovation award winners last year as well). “Israel is especially strong in water innovation, driven by the serious water scarcity that affects the region and supported by Mekorot, the highly innovative water utility that regularly partners with local cleantech start-ups,” the report said.

Although Israelis have developed many great ideas, not enough have been implemented at home. “Israel’s success in giving birth to cleantech companies is not matched by its performance on the evidence of commercialized cleantech innovation factor — the country places 14th,” the report said, adding that “this is likely due to the limited domestic market in Israel as well as a scarcity of local expansion capital.” Most of Israel’s ideas are actually being implemented abroad, benefitting the entire world – but not Israelis.

With a little effort, though, Israel could duplicate the experience of Denmark, the top country on the index. “Denmark places first on the overall index, despite a quite average score for general innovation drivers.

Denmark’s top score for cleantech drivers is primarily founded on strong government policy and public R&D spending.” Israel, which leads in innovation, should strengthen government cleantech policy, and implement some of its ideas at home, the report adds.


A live CNBC interview with Amir Peleg, Founder and CEO of TaKaDu, in SIWW

Donald Trump to visit Israel may invest in Real Estate, Tourism

After brief presidential campaign, celebrity businessman planning to visit Israel to consider investment in real estate, tourism

Billionaire businessman Donald Trump, a known supporter of Israel, met with Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov over the weekend. During the meeting the Israeli minister advised Trump to visit Israel in order to consider the possibility of investing in tourism and local real estate.

Trump is considered as one of the biggest real estate entrepreneurs in the US, with properties not only in the US but around the world. Recently, Trump became more politically involved, although his attempt to win the Republican Party’s presidential nomination was a very short one.

“Your visit will signal the world that Israel is a safe place for tourists,” Misezhnikov said to Trump. The minister stressed that an investment in Israel is a smart financial decision and not only a statement of political support.

Trump responded positively to the offer, and requested Executive Vice President at the Trump Organization Michael Cohen to set preparations for the visit as soon as possible.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Palestinian Farmers Attend Israeli Agricultural Exhibition

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Israeli coordination and liaison administration for the Gaza Strip coordinated a visit of 40 Palestinian farmers from the Gaza Strip to Arava Open Day 2012 - Israel's largest agricultural exhibition held in the Arava Region.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Oldest Couple to Make Aliyah!


The oldest couple ever to make aliyah landed in Israel on Tuesday from Baltimore. Welcome to Israel, Phillip and Dorothy Grossman, ages 95 and 93.
They are part of a Nefesh B’Nefesh group with more than 40 other new immigrants from North America. The Grossmans immediately headed for their new home in Jerusalem.

“We love Israel and we are very excited about our Aliyah,” said Dorothy Grossman. “We are also extremely happy that we can live close to all our family in Israel.”

The couple was born in the United States and has been married for 71 years. Grossman is a retired accountant.

One of their three children already lives in Israel, and a second plans to move to the country this summer.

israeli flags

They also have five grandchildren, three of them in Israel, 14 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren, many of whom greeted them at the airport upon Tuesday morning.

“Phillip and Dorothy are probably the oldest Olim couple that the State of Israel has ever absorbed, and they are proof that it is never too late to fulfill your dream and make such a significant decision in life,” said Erez Halfon, Vice Chairman of Nefesh B’Nefesh. “We congratulate them and wish them many more years of health and happiness living together with their family in Israel.”

The oldest person ever to make aliyah is a woman from New York who moved to Israel at the age of 102.

Nearly six years ago, another Baltimore resident and a former friend of the Grossmans made aliyah at the age of 99.

Israel - Nurturing Great Minds

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What do all these Israelis have in common?

Prof. Daniel Kahneman (2002), Prof. Aaron Ciechanover & Prof. Avram Hershko (2004), Prof. Robert Aumann (2005), Prof. Ada Yonath (2009), and this year (2011) Prof. Dan Shechtman:

In the past decate, They all won a Nobel Prize in various fields of research.

Israel finds great pride in the acknowledged achievements of each and every one of them.

Apple to use chip by recently acquired Israeli startup in iPad 3

Anobit’s chip is responsible for making gadgets faster – it enhances flash drive performance through signal processing.

Apple is expected to incorporate technology from Israeli startup Anobit into its iPad 3, which is likely to be released in early March, sources said over the weekend.Anobit’s flash memory technology was used in the iPad 2. Last month, Apple admitted that it had indeed acquired the startup, its first Israeli acquisition.Anobit’s chip is responsible for making gadgets faster – it enhances flash drive performance through signal processing.

It has been used in products including the iPhone and the MacBook Air. The iPad 3 can be expected to be even faster than its predecessor.

News of the iPad3′s expected March launch came following a report in the website AllThings late last week, with the event will be held in San Francisco, likely at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, which is Apple’s preferred site for product launches.

Apple has typically introduced the latest versions of its iPad in the first few months of the year. The current iPad 2 was introduced on March 2, 2011. The original iPad was introduced at the end of January 2010.

Apple’s iPad dominates the nascent market for tablets even though deep-pocketed rivals are taking aim at the lucrative segment. Inc’s Kindle Fire, which sells at half the cost of an iPad, has chipped away at the lower end of the tablet market.
Apple iPad tablet sales doubled in the December quarter to 15.43 million units from a year earlier.


PICTURES of preparations for the upcoming Jerusalem Ice Festival

Jerusalem is preparing for its first ever Ice Festival… Yes, Jerusalem, Israel is having an Ice Festival… I wouldn’t mind a drink at this Bar…

In Israel, Whitney Houston remembered for huge voice and one strange visit

Pop superstar, who was found dead in a Beverly Hills hotel room at the age of 48, made one, particularly memorable 2003 trip to Holy Land.

As news of Whitney Houston’s untimely death at the age of 48 sent powerful ripples around globe, Israelis could look back at a brief often eccentric 2003 tour of the Holy Land by the six-time Grammy winner, which, sadly, proved to be her first and last visit to Israel.

In 2003 the U.S. diva, already past the prime of her career and still married to Bobby Brown, made a memorable, if not altogether strange visit to the Holy Land, hosted by the Black Hebrew Israelites, a group centered in the southern desert town of Dimona.

Houston, protected by a ring of publicists and family, rarely spoke to the local media during her trip, even famously evading a hand shake with then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon while meeting him with Brown in Jerusalem.

Noting that this was their first trip to Israel, Sharon hoped it would be the first of many, to which Houston replied, “Yes.”

When Sharon asked her how she felt in Israel, Houston said, “It’s home, it’s home.”

Click To View Video

Speaking of the awkward encounter, Israeli entertainment reporter Guy Pines remarked in a panel interview to MSNBC at the time that Sharon gave “her his hand, she like pulls Bobby’s hand, very very strongly and she doesn’t want to give the prime minister her hand and she makes Bobby shake his hand.”

“If I had a dollar for every time I said ‘strange’ in this interview, I’d be a rich man by now,” Pines said.

Speaking to the media in the American superstar’s stead, Houston’s sister and acting spokeswoman Patricia Houston said of the visit at the time: “She is loving it.”

“She is a spiritual woman and wanted to come here and touch the land and be around the saints of Dimona,” Houston’s sister added.

The quirkiness of Houston’s Israel visit was a mark of the latter part of her career, which found the musical titan wading in a sea of personal challenges, involving drug abuse and a troubled 14-year marriage to Brown.
In 2000, she and Brown were stopped at an airport in Hawaii, and security guards discovered marijuana in their luggage. In a 2002 TV interview, she admitted using marijuana, cocaine, alcohol and prescription drugs.

The pair also starred in a reality TV series, “Being Bobby Brown,” which painted an often unflattering portrait of the couple.

A unique tribute by Israeli violinist Miri Ben-Ari “Whitney Houston-I Will Always Love you”

Miri Ben-Ari in her home studio, playing a tribute to one of her favorite artists, Whitney Houston, I Will Always Love You.

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Miri Ben-Ari in her home studio, playing a tribute to one of her favorite artists, Whitney Houston, I Will Always Love You.!/miribenari

The ‘Tel Aviv Museum of Art’ named ‘Best Museum’ by Travel+Leisure Design Awards 2012

Best Museum

Herta & Paul Amir Building, TelAviv Museum of Art
Designed by Preston Scott Cohen
Wedged into a tight, triangular site within the city’s central cultural complex, this piece of architectural origami uses a soaring, twisting, 87-foot-tall atrium, called Lightfall, to link a series of refreshingly uncomplicated galleries. In contrast to many dramatically shaped new art museums, it succeeds in being at once breathtaking and deferential to the art on display.

From the Jury

“The Tel Aviv museum is quite a piece of sculpture, but it is a sculpture that accepts art.” —Billie Tsien, architect

Honorable Mention: Clyfford Still Museum, Denver; designed by Allied Works Architecture; 1250 Bannock St.; 720/354-4880;

For full list of awards click here

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

BUYcott Israel Alert: Support a Local Business, Shop at Vancouver’s Lavan
Support a Local Business, Shop at Vancouver’s Lavan
Lavan: Body Mind and Soap This small local business has once again been targeted by anti-Israel demonstrators.  Show your support for the right of Vancouver based stores to carry Israeli products without the fear of harassment
We urge you, BUYcotters, to go one of these days to buy your Lavan Soaps.
Lavan Body Mind and Soap
Sunday, February 19th and 26th
1:00 - 4:00 P.M.
840 Granville St (Granville and Robson), Vancouver

Don't live in Vancouver ? You can support Lavan by visiting their Online Store

Happy Shopping!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Israel’s Mossad spy agency reveals story behind 1960 capture of Adolf Eichmann in Argentina

 In this handout photo provided by the Israeli Government Press Office, Nazi criminal Adolf Eichmann sits in his cell in Galami Prison, waiting for his trial to open, near Haifa, Israel, in 1960.
In this handout photo provided by the Israeli Government Press Office, Nazi criminal Adolf Eichmann sits in his cell in Galami Prison, waiting for his trial to open, near Haifa, Israel, in 1960.

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL—Lifting a half-century veil of secrecy, Israel’s Mossad spy agency is opening its archive this week to reveal the story behind the legendary 1960 capture of Nazi mastermind Adolf Eichmann.

The “Operation Finale” exhibit, curated by a Mossad officer who can’t be fully identified, displays never before seen items, names and documents that led to Eichmann’s nabbing in Argentina. It also discloses new details, such as how forensic experts identified Eichmann by his ears.

Eichmann was in charge of implementing Adolf Hitler’s “final solution,” the plan to exterminate the Jews of Europe. Six million Jews were killed by the Nazis and their collaborators during World War II.

The Mossad’s exploits typically become known only when something goes wrong. This exhibit tells a success story, offering the most comprehensive picture to date of the complex operation that helped shape the agency’s image — bringing a top Nazi criminal to justice.

“This is the first time the Mossad carried out a huge operation overseas, and it had to invent all this ‘James Bond’ stuff in the process,” said the curator, who can be identified only as Avner A. because of agency regulations.

“This operation made the Mossad,” he said. “It proved to itself and to the entire world that it could pull off an operation at the end of the world with a variety of bodies, under all kinds of identities and with various technical and technological means.”

Avner said the agency’s tactics and strategies have evolved since then. Even so, the exhibit was initially intended to remain classified, but “the Eichmann story is so strong that we just couldn’t keep this one to ourselves.”

Among the highlights of the exhibit at the Beit Hatfutsot museum of the Jewish people in Tel Aviv are the original Mossad file on Eichmann, code named “Dybbuk” — Hebrew for “evil spirit,” the briefcase with a concealed camera that took the first pictures of Eichmann in Buenos Aires, the fake licence plates the agents made for vehicles to track Eichmann, the gloves used to nab him, the needle used to sedate him and the forged Israeli passport his captors used to smuggle him out of Argentina.

Eichmann’s 1961 trial in Jerusalem captivated the country and the world with gripping public testimony of more than 100 Jews who survived extreme torture and deprivation in concentration camps and brought to life the horrors of the Nazi “final solution.”

Eichmann was convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity and was hanged the following year, the only time Israel has carried out a death sentence.

After the war ended in Germany’s defeat, Eichmann escaped American captivity and fled to Argentina in 1950, assuming the name Ricardo Klement.

There he kept out of sight until 1957, when his eldest son, Nick, befriended a girl named Silvia.

Her father, Lothar Hermann, was a Holocaust survivor. After becoming suspicious of the young Eichmann, he dispatched a letter, displayed in the exhibit, to Fritz Bauer, a fellow Jewish Holocaust survivor, who was the German state of Hesse’s chief prosecutor. Bauer informed the Israelis, who started investigating.

Two years later, Mossad agent Zvi Aharoni located the family home on Garibaldi Street in Buenos Aires and returned with photographs of Ricardo Klement that matched those taken of Adolf Eichmann. Israeli forensic experts matched the details of the ears in each photo for final confirmation.

On the evening of May 11, 1960, a seven-man team waited near the bus station where Eichmann arrived each evening from his job at a Mercedes Benz factory.

After Eichmann got off the bus, agent Zvi Malkin jumped on him, making sure to put his gloved hand inside Eichmann’s mouth, in case he had a cyanide pill hidden inside a tooth as some former top Nazis were known to have in case of capture, Avner said.

Two agents helped shove Eichmann into the getaway car where a fourth agent, Aharoni, awaited.

“If you move,” Aharoni told Eichmann, “you will be shot in the head,” according to the Mossad exhibit.

Eichmann mumbled back in German: “I accept my fate.”

The exhibit also showcases the personal effects found on Eichmann’s body — a comb, a pocket knife and a plastic cigarette holder.

Eichmann was held in a safe house for nine days until the group flew out in an El Al Israel Airlines plane that had brought an official Israeli delegation to mark Argentina’s 150th anniversary. Eichmann was drugged, dressed in an El Al uniform, seated in first class and passed off as a crew member who was ill.

The operation was so secret that even diplomat Abba Eban, who later became Israel’s foreign minister, had no clue he was providing cover for a plane to return to Israel with Eichmann and the Mossad team, leaving Eban and other diplomats behind.

In researching the operation, Avner said he made several new discoveries. For instance, there was a Plan B, should the airlift fail, to smuggle Eichmann in a freighter ship transporting frozen meat, and even a Plan C that called for him to be dropped off at a halfway house in Europe before a final trip to Israel.

Avner even found the Israeli optometrist who agreed to prepare glasses for Eichmann, after his original pair were broken during his capture. The glasses were made of plastic to prevent Eichmann from using glass to slit his wrists.

“The more I discover new details, the more I realize that I don’t have the full story,” said Avner, before adding. “We’ll probably never truly know the full story.”

IDF Month in a Minute - January 2012

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This is the first episode in a new series called Month in a Minute. Each month, the IDF will review all of the major news and events.

For the latest updates, you can always check us out at:

‘Israel to have water surplus within decade’

National water company predicts that increase desalination will create substantial surplus of water within eight years

Israel may face a happy predicament within a decade – a water surplus. Mekorot, the national water company, said Wednesday that the increased desalination of seawater will eventually enable Israel to rehabilitate all of its fresh water reservoirs.

The heads of Mekorot briefed the Knesset’s Economics Committee on the situation of Israel’s water market, in a meeting marking the company’s 75th anniversary.

Currently, Israel is missing 2B cubic meters of water, but Mekorot’s data suggests that by 2013, 75% of Israeli households would be using desalinated water.

Israel has six desalination facilities, which produce 600 million cubic meters of water a year.

Existing fresh water reservoirs would remain a pivotal source for the water market and stand to enjoy the reduced production, the company said; adding that reduced pumping would also help rehabilitate the Coastal Aquifer – one of the most important sources of groundwater in Israel.

Mekorot also said that one of its long-term goals is to create a second, desalinated water-designated carrier to funnel the water, which are currently used mostly for irrigation.

Israel’s agricultural irrigation is slated to be based completely on desalinated and brackish water by 2030.

Mekorot Chairman Alex Wiznitzer added that the company was also exploring the possibility of building its own power plant, adjacent to the desalination facility in Ashdod.

Mekorot stands to receive government funds amounting to NIS 6 billion (roughly $1.61 billion) over the next five years in favor of its desalination projects.


Israel recruiting gay envoys

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Israel is recruiting gays and lesbians as unofficial envoys. In a bid to boost its international image, the country's Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs has established a framework of diverse volunteers who speak about Israel around the world. The ministry is encouraging minorities and members of the gay community to step forward. Ministry spokesman Gal Ilan said the goal was to highlight Israel's diversity. Israel has recently been promoting itself as a gay friendly oasis in an intolerant Middle East.

In the spirit of V-day…. Check out Israel’s Most Eligible Bachelors/ettes

It’s nearly Valentine’s Day, so it means it’s time for grading the most desirable bachelors in Israel. This is the 7th year running that Pnai Plus magazine in Israel (the equivalent to the US ‘Entertainment Weekly’) combines this infamous list, according the to popularity of celebrities, the interest that they raise in gossip, and their romantic status. Here’re the top 5 on the list this year:

Number 1: Harel Skaat, Singer
After gaining an army of female fans and raising a lot of speculations about his sexuality, finally last year he came out of the closet and exposed his long-term relationship with Israeli model Idan Ravel. This is the first time a gay stands at the top of the list.

Number 2: Bar Refaeli, Model
This is the first time she appears on this list, since her 5-year-relationship with Leonardo DiCaprio prevented her from being eligible. Her internationality and beauty is unquestioned.

Number 3: Ran Danker, Actor
The actor for whom the music ‘Danny Hollywood’ was written especially, (and now it’s been sold to the CW) topped this list in 2007. Two years ago he moved to New York to try make it in America, but looks like he’s now back in Israel, and is still single.

Number 4: Noa Tishby, Actor, Producer
The woman who started the whole “adapting Israeli TV series” with selling ‘In Treatment’ to HBO, has announced about a month ago, that she and her husband, Australian TV host Andrew Gunsberg, are separating. Being “new meat in the field” makes her very desirable.

Number 5: Assi Azar, TV Host (‘Big Brother Israel’)
Another gay guy on the list: Assi, who recently toured America with the screening of his documentary, is still desired by many men and women in Israel, due to his charm and sweetness on screen, as the most watched TV show in Israel’s history.

For the rest of the link check out

Audi Street Party 2011 - Israel

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Yaron Barbi & Itay Dor & Xdream

Electric Cars: Making the World ‘A Better Place’

With the launch of the first nationwide electric car networks rolling out in Israel and with Denmark just months away, the Israeli electric car company known as Better Place today reports that it has secured another $200 million in financing, on top of the $550 million already invested in it.
The company, which is developing infrastructure for electric cars and thus speeding up the process of getting a quick “charge” needed for electric cars, says it will use the money to expand its business in Western Europe. It will also build on projects in Northern California, Southern China, Japan, Ontario, Canada, and Hawaii.

According to a recent press announcement the company will go fully commercial in both Israel and Denmark early in 2012, although a pilot run of the Better Place charge stations around Israel is supposed to be in effect. By the second quarter of 2012, Better Place expects to go commercial in Canberra, Australia.

“We’ve worked hard over the past four years to engineer and build a technology solution that competes with oil-based transportation,” said Shai Agassi, the founder and CEO.

Investors in the Series C round include General Electric, and UBS AG, among others, with existing shareholders including Israel Corp., HSBC Group, Morgan Stanley Investment Management, VantagePoint Capital Partners, Ofer Group and Maniv Energy Capital.

We get a lot of announcements and updates from the company. Here’s what’s happening on the ground:


In Israel, Better Place has seen a demand from both fleets and consumers, as over 400 corporations, representing a potential of 80,000 employee cars, have signed letters of intent to begin switching their fleets to Better Place as the cars and the service become available.

In Denmark almost 7,000 people have come to the Better Place Center in Copenhagen, opened earlier this year, with 90 percent expressing an interest in buying an electric car in the future. The company has received over 1,000 pre orders from both private and business customers. Better Place also has been successful in reaching agreements with 50 of the country’s 98 municipalities, covering 69 percent of the population, related to infrastructure deployment and fleet transitions.

In Australia, the company’s first large country deployment, Better Place has announced a series of agreements with multi-national companies, including Renault and GE, and leading local companies including ActewAGL, Lend Lease, and the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV), for the introduction of electric cars and the rapid deployment of an electric car network.

By the end of 2013, Better Place expects to have the largest electric car network in the world in Australia, rivaling other competitive efforts underway in the US and China.

With the roads getting tighter, and air pollution getting worse everywhere, this might be one of the only fully electric car solutions that could work –– at least for the people who are commuting to work and who need to know they can get a quick charge while out on the road.


Monday, February 6, 2012

Israel Cancer Association: 60% of Deaths can be Prevented

It is possible to prevent 60 percent of cancer deaths by lifestyle changes, early diagnoses and proven medical interventions, according to the Israel Cancer Association.

world cancer

The Israel Cancer Association marked International Cancer Day on February 4, 2012.

Every year, 12.7 million people around the globe are diagnosed with cancer, and 600,000 die in an average month, a total of 7,200,000 a year. Estimates are that as the population ages, the world death rate from cancer will reach 12 million by the year 2030.

In Israel, 28,000 people – adults and children – are diagnosed yearly, and about 10,000 of them die of it. These figures, said the ICA, have not only huge personal implications but also major economic and societal effects.

The World Health Organization has stated in advance of the international day that of 57 million cases of death in 2008, 36 million resulted from non-communicable diseases such as cancer, heart disease, chronic respiratory disease and diabetes complications. If nothing is done to fight tobacco, the WHO says, the annual number of deaths caused by smoking will rise from 3.4 million now to 6.3 million in 2030.

The World Economic Forum in 2011 said obesity raises per-capita expenses for medical care by 36 percent, smoking by 21% and heavy use of alcohol by 10%. All of these increase the risk of death from cancer. Annual world expenditure for treating noncommunicable, lifestyle diseases is $30 trillion, it added.

The forum said in 2009 that noncommunicable diseases is one of the greatest threats on the world economy. People with chronic diseases work as many as six hours less per week.


ICA Director-General Miri Ziv said that despite the worrisome statistics, scientific studies show that six cancer deaths out of 10 can be prevented by living a healthful life, early diagnosis, immunizations and adequate national allocation for interventions that have been proven effective.

Cancer is the most damaging disease to the economy. The financial cost of 13 million new cancer patients each year was $290 billion in 2010. The figure is expected to reach $458b. in another 18 years.

There was good news, though. Breast cancer survival rates per year in Israel grew from 80.5% in 2002 to 86% in 2008.

The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) called on the various national government to allocate money to apply the International Cancer Treaty in their health systems and reduce death from cancer and other non-communicable diseases by a quarter in 2025.

The ICA pointed out that in the last decade, the prevalence of thyroid cancer has increased in all population groups, but especially in Arab women. It is considered a slowly growing tumor with a low death rate. While it is less common in the general public, it is more common in Arabs, even though the rate is very small.

Survival from thyroid cancer is over 90% over five years.

To avoid a wide variety of cancers, maintain normal weight over the years, without yo-yo dieting. Exercise regularly and minimize the number of fattening foods you eat. Youth should exercise daily, if possible, but at least three times a week. Cut the number of hours you spent sitting or lying down and watching TV.

Minimize the amount of high-calorie, salty and sugary foods you eat and prefer vegetables, fiber and fruit. Poultry and fish are much preferable to red and fatty meat. Prefer baking and cooking to grilling and frying meat. Whole wheat products are much more healthful that those made from white flour.

Eating garlic reduces the risk of colorectal cancer, according to recent research. There is no evidence, the experts say, that artificial sweeteners used in normal quantities raise the cancer risk, and they are preferable to sugar.

There is no agreement among scientists that eating organic foods are more effective in reducing cancer risks than ordinary food, the ICA said. Wash produce with water (and soap if possible). Avoid trans fats that are produced from turning vegetable oil to solid fat such as margarine.

Source: JPost

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Canada 1st, Israel 2nd most educated country in the world, study shows

According to OECD report, 78% of money invested in education is taken directly from public funds, while 45% of Israel’s population has completed post-secondary education.

Israel is the second most educated country in the world, says a report released by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

According to the OECD’s Education at a Glance 2011 report, 78% of the money invested in education in Israel is taken directly from public funds, while 45% of Israel’s population has a university or college diploma.

Israel also had the largest increase in overall population, approximately 19.02% from 2000 to 2009.
The report shows that while education has improved across the board, it has not improved evenly, with some countries enjoying much greater rates of educational attainment than others.

According to 24/7 Wall St., which helped compile the data, the countries included in the list have had educated populations for a long time. While they have steadily increased the percentages of their populations with post-secondary educations, the increases are modest compared to developing countries.

According to the report, the ten most educated countries in the world are: Canada, Israel, Japan, US, New Zealand, South Korea, Norway, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Finland.


Canada-Israel friendship continues to foster – Statement by MP Mark Adler in Parliament

Mark Adler speaking in the House about Minister’s Flaherty and Baird visit to Israel.

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Israel’s tallest skyscraper to be built in Tel Aviv suburb

Givatayim office tower will reach 70 stories; construction to last five years.

A Tel Aviv-area planning committee approved on Thursday a plan to build what will become Israel’s tallest skyscraper.

The 70-story high-rise, approved by the Tel Aviv District Planning and Construction Committee, will be built in the Tel Aviv suburb of Givatayim and rise to a height of 235 meters.

The new skyscraper will contain offices, a shopping center, a conference center and a hotel, as well as the new offices of the Givatayim municipality.

Construction is expected to cost approximately NIS 1 billion ($268 million) and last approximately five years. The project is being constructed by Eurocom Real Estate, owned by businessman Shaul Alovitch.

The tower will be built adjacent to the neighboring city of Ramat Gan’s Diamond Exchange district, where Israel’s current tallest building, the 68-story Moshe Aviv Tower, is located.

Another office tower slated for construction in the area is expected to surpass it in the future, with a height of 270 meters and reaching 72 stories.

Givatayim Mayor Reuven Ben Shahar said the city’s policy was to promote high-rise construction on the edges of the city, while preserving the urban fabric of quieter residential neighborhoods. He added that the new building and other planned high-rises would significantly increase the city’s municipal tax base.

Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, which opened in January of 2010, is currently the world’s tallest building, at 830 meters and 163 habitable floors.


Israeli actress Moran Atias in the New Will Smith Movie?

While she’s currently in Israel, filming a new TV drama “Allenby,” Moran Atias has received exiting news – that she’s got a role in Will Smith’s next movie.

The rumor is that Atias auditioned for the role of Smith’s wife and the mother of his 13 year old son, but after watching her audition, which was really good, Smith claimed that she looks too young to be a mom of a 13 year old boy, and offered her another role in the movie, a role of a cop.

After finishing her filming in Israel, Moran will pop over to Los Angeles to meet with the casting director and Smith himself, and see if she can officially take the role.

The movie that the role is rumored to be in is “After Earth”, a Sci-Fi where the elder Smith is playing a hero, while Jaden Smith, Will’s real life son, portrays his son, who’s considered a failure as a warrior. When the two crash-land on Earth, it is up to the son to save the dad.

The Hollywood Reporter claims that the role of Will’s wife eventually went to Brit actress Sophie Okonedo, and according to screenwriter Gary Whitta’s twitter, shooting begins next week in Costa Rica. “This week the AFTER EARTH cast & crew moves to Costa Rica to begin filming!” Whitta twitted, “Then onto Philadelphia, Utah, and Northern California”.

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Israelis make headway in cure for Crohn’s

Weizmann Institute scientists manage to trick immune systems of mice into targeting one of body’s players in autoimmune process

In diseases such as Crohn’s and rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s tissues.

But today, thanks to a group of Weizmann Institute scientists, the immune system is learning that “turnabout is fair play.”

The Weizmann Institute of Science, located in Rehovot, Israel, is one of the world’s leading multidisciplinary research institutions.

The scientists at the Weizmann have managed to trick the immune systems of mice into targeting one of the body’s players in the autoimmune process, an enzyme known as MMP9.

Prof. Irit Sagi of the Biological Regulation Department, along with her research group, has spent years looking for ways to block members of the matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) enzyme family.

But, when these proteins, which expedite wound-healing and offer other benefits, get out of control, they can actually help autoimmune disease and cancer metastasis. Blocking these proteins might lead to effective treatments for a number of diseases.

Originally, Sagi and others had designed synthetic drug molecules to directly target MMPs. But these drugs had extremely severe side effects.

Application for patent

Dr. Netta Sela-Passwell began working on an alternative approach in Sagi’s lab, when they decided that, rather than attempting to design a synthetic molecule to directly attack MMPs, they would try to trick the immune system into creating natural antibodies that would target them through immunization.

Just as immunization with a killed virus induces the immune system to create antibodies that then attack live viruses, an MMP immunization would trick the body into creating antibodies that block the enzyme at its active site.

Soon, an artificial version of the metal zinc-histidine complex at the heart of the MMP9 active site was created. They then injected these small, synthetic molecules into mice and then checked the mice’s blood for signs of immune activity against the MMPs.

The antibodies they found, which they dubbed “metallobodies,” were similar but not identical to TIMPS, and a detailed analysis of their atomic structure suggested they work in a similar way – reaching into the enzyme’s cleft and blocking the active site.

The metallobodies were selective for just two members of the MMP family – MMP2 and 9 – and they bound tightly to both the mouse versions of these enzymes and the human ones.

As they hoped, when they had induced an inflammatory condition that mimics Crohn’s disease in mice, the symptoms were prevented when mice were treated with metallobodies.

“We are excited not only by the potential of this method to treat Crohn’s,” says Sagi, but by the potential of using this approach to explore novel treatments for many other diseases.”

Yeda, the technology transfer arm of the Weizmann Institute, has applied for a patent for the synthetic immunization molecules as well as the generated metallobodies.


From Ben-Gurion’s Vision to Ramon’s Legacy

Here, he is a household name, a national hero in the eyes of these bright students. Nine years after his untimely death, Ilan Ramon, the first and only Israeli to travel to space, is a powerful inspiration for the hundreds of Israeli students reaching for the stars.

On my recent trip to Israel, I witnessed the dedication of the Frank Family Aerospace Center at The Zimmetbaum High School in Arad, one of the schools in the ORT network. Dr. Charlotte K. Frank, a board member of the America –Israel Friendship League and Senior Vice-President of McGraw-Hill and its generous benefactor, launched a fully equipped computer classroom, planetarium and roof observatory to encourage today’s high school students to dream big.

Highly advanced telescope at the ORT School. Part of their innovative planetarium.

Today, February 1st, 2012 is the ninth anniversary of the shuttle Columbia’s ill-fated reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere after a fifteen-day mission at the International Space Station.  All seven of its astronauts perished, including payload specialist Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli Astronaut. Ilan’s mission sadly was never completed. On that Saturday afternoon, as two nations were holding their collective breaths, the Columbia mission came to its tragic end.

Ramon has become a contemporary Jewish hero and a symbol for Israel’s prominence in science and technology. For Israelis, they see Ramon’s legacy as a continuation of its founder, David Ben-Gurion.

Ben-Gurion’s vision for Israel emphasized excellence in science and technology as essential for the survival of the Jewish State.  He felt that Israel’s place in the world would be defined by its achievements in science..

Today, Ben-Gurion’s vision is realized in Israel’s high-tech entrepreneurship, second only to Silicon Valley.

The recently announced partnership between Cornell University and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology to create a state-of-the-art applied sciences campus on Roosevelt Island in New York City is just the latest example of foreign investment in Israel’s “Silicon Valley East.”

Ilan Ramon was a product of the Israeli education system, and a model for the nation’s values.  From my recent visit to Israel I learned that when it comes to being pioneers, Israelis are not only cultivating the arid land, but also not afraid to reach for the stars. Ilan Ramon’s legacy lives on.