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Did You Know?

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

Friday, December 28, 2012

Tel Aviv, the city that never goes offline

Public wireless network will enable residents of Tel Aviv and visitors to enjoy free high-speed Internet connections • The project will include 80 Wi-Fi relay stations at a cost of around 6 million shekels ($1.6 million).

Residents of Tel Aviv and visitors to the city will soon be able to enjoy free high-speed Internet connection throughout the city. The project is said to cost the municipality around 6 million shekels ($1.6 million).
Motorola Solutions, the company that won the tender to establish the citywide wireless network, will in the coming months install 80 base stations for Wi-Fi connection throughout the city in stages. The locations of the stations will include sites along the coast, main boulevards in the city, Charles Clore Park in the south, Florentine neighborhood, the Hatikva market area, public parks in the north and south, Lahat Promenade (Herbert Samuel Street), Old Jaffa neighborhood, Ibn Gvirol Street and other sites.
The project calls for an assistance service to be made available for Internet users 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Alon Solar, a member of the municipality’s governing council and an initiator of the project, said that in this age of smartphones and laptops, most of us want to be connected all the time. “In the 21st century, free access to the Internet is a basic service that every municipality should offer its residents and local and international visitors,” he said.
Motorola Solutions Israel CEO Shimon Dick said, “I am glad that Tel Aviv has joined our other clients, like Israel Railways and Ashkelon municipality, and has chosen a solutions based on advanced and high quality Motorola technological systems. The project is one of many the company has implemented throughout the world.”

Source: IsraelHayom

Israeli apps make Apple’s ‘Best of 2012′ list

Israeli apps rated best of 2012: Two Israeli applications made the Apple App Store’s Best of 2012 list, published this week.

Apple chose Any.Do, an Israeli task-management application, in the Intuitive Touch category. The application, which shares the name of the company that created it, allows users to manage a task list using voice commands or touchscreen technology. GroupShot, a photo-editing created by the Israeli company Macadamia was also chosen in the Photo & Video Magic category. Available for download for $0.99 for iPhones and iPads, it allows group photos to be edited so that everyone looks their best.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Christmas Greeting 2012

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Christmas Greeting 2012

Israel Breaks Tourism Record Again

Israel has set another tourism record. According to the Ministry of Tourism, in 2012 Israel welcomed 3.5 million tourists to the country, up 4 percent from 2011 and ahead of the 2010 record of 3.45 million.

The most tourists arrived from the United States (610,000) and the second most from Russia (590,000). Total tourism output this year is estimated at NIS 36 billion (about $9 billion), 4% more than in 2011.
Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot provides more details:
58% was Christian tourism, 23% Jewish tourism.
62% of tourists visited Israel this year for the first time.
29% defined the purpose of their visit to Israel as a pilgrimage, 24%were touring and sightseeing, 9% visited for recreation. In total 62% defined the purpose of the visit as tourism. 20% to visit friends and relatives, 12% for business and conferences.
75% of tourists stayed in hotels, 16% with relatives / friends, 5% youth and Christian hostels and 4% owned or rented apartments.
Jerusalem had the most tourists, with Tel Aviv and the Dead Sea registering the second and third most visits.
Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov said the data “reflect the achievements of the professional and hard work of the last three years.”
Source: Algemeiner

FashionBar TLV 2nd Anniversary Party | FashionTV

FashionTV is at the 2nd anniversary of the Fashion bar in Tel Aviv, Israel. Drinks are passed around and the beauties are getting the crowd ready to dance by passing around the champagne.

FashionBar TLV 2nd Anniversary Party TEL AVIV - FashionTV is at the 2nd anniversary of the Fashion bar in Tel Aviv, Israel. Drinks are passed around and the beauties are getting the crowd ready to dance by passing around the champagne.

Fashion - Spring Water, for Babies to Billionaires




FashionTV's YouTube network features coverage of fashion shows, fashion week, runway highlights, front row celebs, backstage, hair and makeup, models, designers, photo shoots, red carpets at the biggest events in Hollywood, and much more. The total source for worldwide fashion coverage, FashionTV has new uploads EVERY DAY - See it on YouTube first.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets the Prime Minister of Estonia Andrus Ansip

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Christmas in the Holy Land

Christmas in the Holy Land is true magic. Whilst there’s no snow, it is the most incredible time to experience the land where the Christmas story happened, and will change your perspective on Christmas for years to come.

Because Israel’s population is mostly Jewish and Muslim, there are less Christmas symbols around the country than you might find elsewhere. However, in the major Christian and religious centers of Nazareth, Jerusalem’s Old City, and Bethlehem in the West Bank, you will find that Christmas is everywhere and the tale is brought to life.
Christmas in Nazareth is a special and interesting time to visit the city, with many special events. In Haifa, the Christian population combine with the other religious groups to put on theHoliday of Holidays event, whilst many events take place in the Old City of Jerusalem - check out all the events for Christmas in Jerusalem.
Source: TouristISrael

Old Jerusalem Train Station to Become New Culture Center

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Israel, Canada strengthen trade ties

Signing of dual agreements on customs cooperation, upgrading of Double Tax Avoidance Treaty to increase bilateral trade.

Israel’s strong trade ties with Canada received a boost with the signing of two separate agreements in Ottawa on Tuesday night.
The two countries signed an agreement on customs cooperation, committing to share information on trade and assist each other in the fight against smuggling.
They also upgraded the existing Double Tax Avoidance Treaty.
The agreements were signed by Miriam Ziv, Israel’s ambassador to Canada, and Vic Toews, Canadian Minister of Public Safety. A number of Israeli representatives attended the signing, including Tax Authority Director Doron Arbeli and Deputy Finance Minister Yitzhak Cohen.
Arbeli said the agreement, together with the 1996 Free Trade Agreement, would create a comfortable “platform” for Israeli firms to do business in Canada, and vice-versa. He pointed out that Israel has 33 such customs agreements, including one with the European Union.
Bilateral trade between Israel and Canada rose 5 percent in 2011 to $1.25 billion. Israeli exports to Canada stood at $803 million, around 64% of trade between the two countries.

Winter surfing in Israel

The water is warm and the waves are excellent, so check out Israel's many surfing centers.

Surfers from as far away as New York and Europe like to come to Israel for the Mediterranean's surf scene.

"The water is warm and the waves are excellent in Tel Aviv. There's really a lot of awesome surfers," says a tourist named Michal. "Surfing is getting [to be a] real big deal here in Israel, and I love it."

Carmel agrees: "Israel is such a small country but we have a lot of surfing centers, [and] there are a lot of surfing instructors here. The waves are pretty awesome ... because we have rocks on the bottom of the sea, which makes the wave open."

"When the weather in Europe is cold and hard, many tourists are coming to Israel to enjoy the beaches, the sun, the waves," says Orian, who runs Topsea Surfing Center ( in Tel Aviv.

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Encouraging coexistence through art in Haifa

A walking tour through Haifa’s Arab quarter is an impressive display of art and artistic interpretations of life in Israel.

“She goes to his grave, holding their newborn child,” said Asaf Ron, executive director for Haifa’s Beit HaGeffen Arab Jewish Cultural Center. “She asks how their son should be raised. ‘If I raise him Arab, he won’t have a good life here, if I raise him Jewish, he won’t have a good life because his mother is Arab.’”
Ron is paraphrasing the final monologue of the main character in A Trumpet in the Wadi, a dramatic love story by Israeli author, Sami Michael. The story takes place in Wadi Nisnas, the Arab quarter in the city of Haifa.
Today, the walls, buildings and streets of the neighborhood are an outdoors museum of street art that reflect on the complicated narratives in Israel that Michael first touched on in his literature. The decision to use Wadi Nisnas as a canvas for art came through the inception of Haifa’s annual “Festival of Festivals.” Each year artists contribute more works to the neighborhood in line with the theme of the festival. In addition to the art in the neighborhood, the Beit HaGeffen gallery has new contributions based on this year’s theme of “Log in, Log out,” in a nod to the digital age.
The “Festival of Festivals” began in 1993 when the Muslim holiday of Ramadan, the Christian holiday of Christmas and Jewish festival of Hanukka all took place simultaneously. Ramadan was in August of this year but Ron joked, “we are optimistic that in 19 more years, Ramadan will be back in December.“
On Friday’s and Saturday’s in the month of December, the art of the neighborhood is promoted through walking tours put on by Ron and the Arab Jewish Cultural Center. The focus of the cultural center is to bridge gaps in the community among Arabs and Jews. “It’s easier to bring people together around art and culture and not debates,” Ron said.
It’s surprising how the impressive works of ceramic mosaics, sculptures and paintings can so easily be missed. The “Festivals of Festivals” provides an opportunity to highlight these important works of art.
The tour begins at the center’s location on HaGefen Street. Lining the building are three, two-dimensional metal sculptures. On the crown of three metal domes that stand side by side are a cross, Star of David, and an Islamic crescent moon. The artwork is a metaphor for the goal of religious co-existence in Haifa.”If you look for the differences you will see them immediately,” said Ron. “If you look for the similarities, you can see them too.”
Heading into the winding streets of Wadi Nisnas, children run in and out of apartment buildings and Christmas decorations make this neighborhood like any other. The prominence of the artwork is subtle at first. A turn of a corner and suddenly, what seems like an ordinary wrought iron fence is actually a sculpture, combining different metal-works and colors and an English sign reading “Peace & Love.”
Themes of peace inspire most of the works throughout the outdoor gallery, although humor is also on display. In reference to the popular local drink “Café Afuch,” or “upside down coffee,” protruding from the roof of a building is an upside down tray complete with coffee pot, grinder and cups to share.
One of the most famous artists of Wadi Nisans is Chaya Toma. The themes of her artwork often reflect on the conflict between Jews and Arabs. Toma’s personal history also greatly factors into her work. Toma, a Jewish woman, entered her second marriage to Dr. Emil Toma, an Arab-Israeli. Bringing with her a Jewish son from her first marriage, had to reconcile what it meant to be part of a mixed family, especially with the birth of Toma’s second son. In one of the final pieces leading out of Wadi Nisnas, Toma created a window with a picture of her two young sons, side by side and smiling.
Toma’s works feature prominently in the neighborhood and were mostly installed during the second intifada. Her signature medium is ceramic wall sculptures with the main subject usually being an olive tree. The olive tree is a symbol with many meanings in the Mediterranean. The olive branch is a symbol of peace, but the tree also represents livelihood and business. It is a source of contestation in the ongoing conflict as orchards are cut down for arguments of defense.
Other stand out pieces of art is the “Dove of Peace,” one of the first sculptures at the inception of the Festival in 1993. Contributed by a Druze artist from the Golan Heights, the outline of a ceramic dove on the wall of a building leads out to five stones, reducing in size. Each stone is said to represent countries in the Middle East with the smallest at the end representing Israel. The stones are hollowed on top, filling with water when it rains. For the artist, this is meant to symbolize that the rain from the sky doesn’t discriminate and it will give water to all.
Often overlooked, Haifa is a curious municipal experiment that combines a rich history, diversity among religions and a modern international community. First settled in the mid 19th century by German immigrants, Haifa changed hands first under the reign of the Ottoman Empire and then the British Mandate of Palestine. It’s large bay and deep port have made it an invaluable resource in trade and the historically religious Mount Carmel rises above the city and adds to its mystique.

StandWithUs Achievements in 2012

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StandWithUs Achievements in 2012

Music by - Zeji Ozeri

#Israel and #Canada make Twitter’s list for top trending countries in 2012

Twitter releases list of topics for which they saw a noteworthy spikes in Twitter conversations.” When it comes to countries, Israel and Canada made the list.

Yiddish becomes hit among Israeli Arabs

One-quarter of Yiddish students at Bar-Ilan University are Arab. ‘I have always felt a connection to this language,’ says Yusuf Alakili of Kfar Kassem

“I find a certain mystery in Yiddish, a refined and enigmatic musical note. I cannot explain it, but I have always felt a connection to this language.”
Contrary to what one might expect, the speaker is not a Polish poet or a German philosopher. He is Yusuf Alakili, 50, of the Arab Israeli town of Kfar Kassem, who is working on his master’s degree at Bar-Ilan University’s Literature of the Jewish People Department, while studying Yiddish for his own pleasure.
How did this affair begin? “In the 1980s I worked with a Jew of Polish descent in Bnei Brak, where Yiddish was the dominant language. I was fascinated by its sound and decided to study it earnestly. My dream is to read Sholem Aleichem’s ‘Tevye the Dairyman’ in its original language.”
And what bothers him? “I don’t know who to blame, but I don’t understand why this magnificent language, which has such an extensive body of literature, is being neglected. Did you know that (Nobel Prize laureate Shmuel Yosef) Agnon started writing in Yiddish and only later turned to Hebrew?” he asks.
Alakili is not alone. About one-quarter of the 400 students studying Yiddish at Bar-Ilan University are Arab, says Dr. Dov-Ber Kotlerman, the academic director of the the Rena Costa Center for Yiddish Studies.
According to Dr. Kotlerman, some of the Israeli Arabs are looking for ways to connect to the Jewish culture which they must get along with, and it’s not easy.
“Jews also searched for a way to connect to the local culture in the Diaspora, and it’s wonderful that Yiddish can serve as an ambassador and bridge between nations and cultures,” he says.
“For example, take Tevye the Dairyman, whose daughter married a Christian and he sat shiva (the week-long mourning period in Judaism) for her. Two years ago, I was approached by an Arab student who told me her father would do the same thing had she ever fell in love with a Jew.”
Salam Bashra, 22, of the Arab Israeli city of Tira, is completing her bachelor’s degree in Arabic literature. The Yiddish language and culture move her, she says.
“Even back in high school I loved Hebrew literature. During my Yiddish studies I became acquainted with Sholem Aleichem and the early writings of Agnon, and I also saw different films, like the wonderful movie ‘The Cantor of Vilna.’
“The experience of losing the cantor’s son is a universal experience, which everyone can identify with,” says Bashra, who hopes one day to write her master’s thesis on the similarities between Arab and Yiddish literature.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

PM Netanyahu's message to American people following massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's message to the American people following the massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

דברי רה"מ לעם האמריקני בעקבות הטבח בביה"ס בקונטיקט
צילום: לע"מ, איתי בית און
סאונד: לע"מ, איתמר בוטון

Thursday, December 13, 2012

From Silicon Valley to Beantown, Israeli high-tech moves east

Israelis are responsible for a huge chunk of immigrant-founded high-tech companies in the U.S., and after years of concentration in Silicon Valley, they are finding a new hub in Boston.

Doron Reuveni is bracing himself for another freezing Massachusetts winter. The CEO of uTest, a start-up that uses the crowdsourcing model to offer a range of software testing services, is a member of a growing community of Israeli high-tech entrepreneurs living in the United States, many of them on the East Coast. “We pay a price for not living in Israel. Usually, it’s the weather and the lack of decent hummus,” quips Reuveni.
According to estimates, 150,000 Israelis, including entrepreneurs and their families, live in California’s Silicon Valley alone. Most work in leading technological firms, act as investors or work as investment bankers or attorneys.
Thousands more, like Reuveni, live on the East Coast – in New York, Massachusetts and other states. While many are chastised for living abroad, their involvement in high-tech usually benefits Israel, often through the establishment of R&D centers back home.
According to a joint study by researchers from Duke, Stanford and the University of California, Berkeley, Israelis living in America are the sixth most active group when it comes to founding start-ups in the United States. The study, entitled “America’s New Immigrant Entrepreneurs: Then and Now,” evaluated the rate of immigrant entrepreneurship in the U.S. from 2006 to 2012 and traced the complicated relationship between immigrants to the U.S. and their host country’s economic development.
According to the data, 3.5 percent of all companies started by immigrants in the U.S. between 2006 and 2012 had an Israeli at the helm. Thirty-three percent were founded by an immigrant from India; 8.1 percent by Chinese; 6.3 percent by British; 4.2 percent by Canadians and 3.9 percent by Germans. Adding to the significance of the study’s findings is the fact that all the other countries in the top six have a much larger ex-pat population in the U.S. than does Israel. Earning greenbacks, but no green card
The American researchers speak of a “reverse brain drain” – the return of entrepreneurs who gained experience and knowledge in the U.S. to their countries of origin. This is a trend that undoubtedly benefits the Israeli economy. The study found that one of reason entrepreneurs return to their home country is the difficulty they have obtaining a green card in the United States. “My partner has been waiting three years for a green card that will allow him to travel back and forth,” says Reuveni, “even though he’s an entrepreneur and a shareholder in a company whose investors are all Americans.”