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Did You Know?

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

Sunday, September 29, 2013

IAF's Hercules Squadrons United in a Ceremonial Sortie Over the Skies of Israel

Click To View Video - IAF's Hercules Squadrons United in a Ceremonial Sortie Over the Skies of Israel

Watch the sortie over the skies of Israel celebrating the union of the Israel Air Force's Hercules squadrons, into one Hercules fleet.

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Israel sends ‘Bethlehem’ to Oscars

'Bethlehem' cast members on stage
‘Bethlehem’ cast members on stage

Film focusing on relationship between Shin Bet agent, Palestinian informer takes home Ophir Award for Best Picture. Movie to represent Israel at Academy Awards in Best Foreign Language Film category

Two days after hitting cinema screens across Israel and after winning the feature film competition at the Haifa International Film Festival, Director Yuval Adler’s “Bethlehem” took home the Ophir Award for Best Picture on behalf of the Israeli Academy of Film and Television on Saturday evening.
The thriller, which takes place between Jerusalem and Bethlehem on the backdrop of a wave of terror attacks and the Shin Bet’s battle to thwart them, will represent Israel in February at the Oscars, where it will compete for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
“Bethlehem” was co-written by Adler and former Ynet reporter Ali Waked. The film focuses on Sanfur, a teenage Palestinian boy from Bethlehem whose brother is the commander of the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades in the city, who becomes a Shin Bet informant under the guidance and support of his Israeli operator, Razi. A suicide bombing in Jerusalem and the hunt for its masterminds threaten the close relationship between Razi and Sanfur – and their lives.
Adler’s debut film won a total of six prizes (out of 12 nominations) for Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Film Editing (Ron Omer), Best Casting (Liron Zohar and Naama Zaltzman) and Best Actor in a Supporting Role, which was given to Tsahi Halevi for his portrayal of Razi.
Shhadi Maryee, 19, who plays Sanfur, lost the Best Actor in a Leading Role Award to veteran actor Makram Khoury who won for “Magic Men.” Adler comforted him on stage as he received the Best Director Award: “Shhadi, it’s a good thing you didn’t win. You’re too young.”
“It’s very exciting,” Tsahi Halevi told Ynet. “It’s surprising, just like the entire process I went through with ‘Bethlehem,’ starting with the casting, the rehearsals, the shooting period, up to the audience’s amazing reactions and the film industry’s support. It was a refreshing and challenging experience for me, and so is the film – surprising, refreshing, humane, and an experienced engraved deeply in one’s memory.”
Asked about his future plans, Halevi said: “Just like we did until now, taking one day at a time, one step at a time. The important thing is the way, and what leads us is the dreams.”

Israeli innovators map future of indoor GPS


How do you get around unfamiliar maze of new shopping center, where location-pinpointing satellites don’t reach? As global race for next big app heats up, startup nation charges forward

A modern scenario: You check Facebook on your phone and see that a friend has posted about a one-hour-only, everything-half-off sale at a high-end electronics store in the new mall on the other side of town.
By clicking on the name of the store in your friend’s post, your phone automatically pulls up driving directions. You get in your car and, using the phone’s navigation system, arrive quickly at the shopping complex. But the sale is soon ending, and as soon as you enter the mall, your phone’s GPS no longer works.
Then you have a dilemma: When everything else in the world is just a few finger taps away, how do you get around the unfamiliar maze of a new shopping center, where location-pinpointing satellites don’t reach?
Upwards of 70 companies around the world are trying to solve this problem, and several Israeli startups are among the best – and latest – to enter the race.
Haifa-based GeinusMatcher recently released Mally, their indoor GPS app, at a shopping center in Toledo, Spain, with three more malls in that country signed up to begin using the service in the next couple months.
Mally is unique among its peers for its relative ease. A commercial complex wishing to utilize the program simply pays a monthly fee to GeniusMatcher, and shoppers can download the app for free to their mobile phones.
Other malls in Spain currently use technology wireless Internet-based technology from Google to provide in-store navigation for customers. With Mally, the Israeli developers wanted to prove: “It isn’t enough.”
The app, which is available in English, Hebrew, Spanish and Catalan, uses the phone’s internal camera to determine where you are standing and then provides a 3D map steering you toward a desired location.
“Our solution is hardware free. We don’t need to go and install anything in these places,” said Frida Issa, a 31-year-old engineer of computer science and management information systems, who is co-founder of GeniusMatcher.
It’s also light on battery use. Whereas a mobile map from Google, for example, might continue providing directions even when it’s in your pocket, Mally only navigates when you need it. Now, a two-hour trip to the neighborhood mega-mall won’t leave you with a dead phone.
“We don’t want that experience draining your battery,” Issa explained.
Lest you worry about entering a shopping center full of screen-bound strangers with no time to talk, by the end of 2013, Mally’s developers hope to have social functions fully integrated into the application, allowing users to meet old friends or make new acquaintances based on who else is in the mall and using the program.

Jerusalem's Machane Yehuda Market - a feast to your senses

Click To View Video - Jerusalem's Machane Yehuda Market - a feast to your senses

Jerusalem's popular Machane Yehuda Market is a feast of colors and tastes, where Jerusalemites and tourists can find fresh produce along gourmet restaurants and designer boutiques.

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Children Help Clean Up the World in Ben Shemen Forest

Children Help Clean Up the World in Ben Shemen Forest Photo: kkl
Children Help Clean Up the World in Ben Shemen Forest Photo: kkl

Over 250 thousand volunteers from 250 localities took part in this year’s International Cleanup Day, an event that KKL-JNF has orchestrated in Israel for the past thirteen years.

Over 250 thousand volunteers from 250 localities took part in this year’s International Cleanup Day, an event that KKL-JNF has orchestrated in Israel for the past thirteen years. People of all ages, religions and walks of Israeli life took part in this year’s Cleanup Day, which was held with the support of KKL-JNF’s Friends in the USA. The main event, which took place in Ben Shemen Forest, opened with a grand cleanup campaign carried out with the help of some 350 youngsters from primary schools in the city of Modiin. Other major cleanup events were held in Nesher Park in the north and in Lahav Forest and Sderot in southern Israel.
“Litter is not a fate imposed upon us by the decree of a higher power,” KKL-JNF World Chairman Efi Stenzler informed schoolchildren at the ceremony held in Ben Shemen Forest. “Today is the day when we raise our awareness of the need to keep the environment clean. By respecting the environment we also show our respect for other people, and we all want our country to be clean and beautiful.”
The World Chairman’s words appeared to have the desired effect, and hundreds of children deployed themselves in every nook and cranny as they picked up litter and collected it in large garbage bags, leaving swathes of beautifully clean ground behind them.
“We’ve come to clean up the forest, so that it’ll be fun to walk around here,” explained eleven-year-old Alma Kalifa. Her classmate Uri Shohat was excited to be taking part in a project shared by other children all over the world. “It’s a really special feeling to know that children in so many different places are also setting out to clean up their environment, each in his own country,” he said.

Israeli Parliament to Hold Historic Meet at Auschwitz

On January 27, 2014, the largest-ever delegation of Knesset (Israeli Parliament) members will convene overseas — on the grounds of Auschwitz-Birkenau, together with Holocaust survivors, for a historic gathering on combating anti-Semitism.
The symbolism could not be any more striking — mere metres away from the gas chambers where millions of Jews were once murdered, will meet the representatives of the Parliament of the Jewish State of Israel.
The event will be held on the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a memorial day in honor of the 6 million Jews who perished during the Holocaust. The years 2014 will also mark the 69th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau by the Soviet Army and Allied troops in 1945.
The event organizer and the person behind the project is Jonny Daniels, an Israeli, who is the Founder and Executive Director of ‘From the Depths’, a non-profit organization devoted to preserving the memory of the Holocaust and ‘connecting the Jewish past with the Jewish future.’
Asked why not wait another year for the 70th Anniversary to hold such a symbolic commemoration, Daniels says, “there is never the right time to hold an event like this,” adding “there is no shortage of symbolic events that happened over the years, that any given day is a special anniversary.”
According to the ‘Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Victims in Israel’, at least one survivor in Israel dies every hour. Daniels warns “there is no time to wait as we are getting very close to the point where there will be no more first-hand accounts left. The onus falling on us, not just as Jews and Israelis, but humanity as a whole, to learn, to be with the survivors and to really understand what happened and to ensure it never repeats again.”
The Israeli delegation will include over half the Knesset, with at least 60 members from all the major parties, and will be led by Speaker of the Knesset, Yuli Edelstein. Each politician will be accompanying a Holocaust survivor, with a specially chartered plane flying the group from Israel.
In addition, the Israeli delegation will include senior representatives of the Israel Defense Forces, the Chief Rabbis of the State of Israel and representatives of various student groups, signifying the living link between the past and the future.
According to Edelstein, the dramatic rise of anti-Semitism in Europe is “very worrying”, saying it has reached a level “unprecedented since the end of the Holocaust.”
Edelstein notes “the Holocaust did not start with Auschwitz-Birkenau, but with boycotts, words and throwing stones at Jewish shop windows.” He is also particularly concerned about some of the “openly anti-Semitic” parties and politicians that exist around the world today, especially in Europe.
The primary objective of the mission according to Edelstein is to highlight the importance of remembering the Holocaust and to “have a conversation with elected officials from around the world about what needs to be done to make sure nothing of the kind ever happens again, anywhere in the world, especially as far as Jews are concerned.”
Edelstein warns that anti-Semitism “is not just a Jewish or Israeli problem alone” and that while “it starts with the Jews, it doesn’t end with the Jews.”
The Israeli delegation will be joined by a large number of elected officials and Parliamentarians from around the world, especially Europe, but also including North America. It will be a “symbolic show of strength” that the fight against anti-Semitism is a “global struggle,” says event organizer, Daniels.
According to Sam Nunberg, the Director of North American Outreach of ‘From the Depths’, the international delegation will also include a senior bi-partisan group of leaders from the U.S. Congress. They will be joined by a number of Holocaust survivors from North America, headed by Nobel Laureate and survivor, Elie Wiesel.
In addition to the Knesset hearing at Auschwitz-Birkenau, Yuli Edelstein, Rabbi Lau and Elie Wiesel will lead the delegation in a symbolic walk through the camp. A special memorial service will then be held to mark the 70th Anniversary of the deportation of Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz-Birkenau, before symbolically ending with the singing of the Hatikva and afternoon ‘Mincha’ prayers.
Noting the “importance and urgency of combatting anti-Semitism”, Edelstein warns “we must not wait until the trains start going to Auschwitz-Birkenau once again.”


Idan Ofer gives London school £25M

London Business School

Shortly after moving to British capital, Israeli billionaire announces largest single donation to UK business school where he studied in 1980s, in addition to contribution to development of special scholarship program for Israeli students

Shortly after leaving Israel for London, billionaire Idan Ofer has given £25 million (about $40 million) to the London Business School, where he studied in the 1980s. This is the largest single donation received by a UK business school.
The donation was made by the Idan and Batia Ofer Foundation, which also announced the development of a special scholarship program for Israeli students at London Business School.
About a month ago, the institution received a £10m donation from South African Jewish billionaire Nathan Kirsh.
The scholarship program, whose scope was not disclosed, will be launched soon. It is aimed at further exposing Israel’s future business leaders to the global economy, while helping them accumulate knowledge, understanding and connections.
Ofer said in a statement, “I have enjoyed a long association with the School and believe that it offers something uniquely valuable in the world of business education, combining strong fundamental business and management education with an emphasis on the business community being part of the solution for a better society.”
The project, he noted, “is an important step towards ensuring the School can continue to grow and prosper in the future, creating new generations of leaders who can address the challenges of business and wider society.
“My father Sammy enjoyed learning from others and throughout his career in shipping was known to spend many hours speaking with seamen and officers of vessels, rather than being tucked away in his office. This sense of curiosity resonates strongly with London Business School’s community where students are not just stretched intellectually; they become a part of an ever-expanding international community, learning as much from each other as from the faculty.”
He added that “one of the goals of The Idan and Batia Ofer Foundation is to ensure the next generation of Israeli entrepreneurs is equipped to cope with the challenges of globalization. London Business School is at the forefront of helping to meet these challenges. The Foundation hopes in this small way to contribute to economic growth in the region, ultimately improving the prospects for peace and stability.”
Idan Ofer, Israel Corporation’s controlling shareholder, moved to London recently after being criticized in the past few years for benefits received by the Israel Chemicals (ICL) company (which is controlled by Israel Corp) and the low royalties it paid the State. These royalties were raised in recent months. In addition, the government vetoed ICL’s talks for a merger with Canadian fertilizers giant Potash Corporation.

Indian metro uses high-tech Israeli cameras

India Israel

The use of Israeli high-tech surveillance cameras on the Indian metro is yet another example of the rising global prominence of the Jewish state’s technology sector, which is now widely considered to be second only to Silicon Valley.

$130 Million Gift From Li Ka Shing Foundation To The Israeli Technion

Li Ka Shing
Li Ka Shing

The gift is the largest ever to the Technion and one of the most generous in the history of Israeli higher education

The Israeli Technion Institute of Technology and Shantou University in China will establish a joint academic technological institute in China under the name: Technion Institute-Guangdong Technology (TGIT), with a donation of $130 million from the US based Li Ka Shing Foundation .
The Technion Guangdong Institute of Technology (TGIT) – sponsored by the Li Ka Shing Foundation (LKSF) with a US$130 million grant – will represent unprecedented cooperation between the People’s Government of Guangdong Province and Shantou Municipal Government, Technion, and STU. Guangdong Province and Shantou Municipal Government will set aside RMB900 million (approximately US$147 million) to fund construction and initial operations, as well as 330,000 square metres for the campus to be located next to STU.
The US$130 million grant from LKSF is the largest ever to the Technion and one of the most generous in the history of Israeli higher education. It will be allocated for strengthening the Technion’s home campus in Haifa, for the benefit of its students and researchers, to enable the Technion to fulfil its leading role in TGIT.
Mr Li Ka-shing, Chairman of the LKSF, Will speak at today’s ceremony in Tel Aviv to formalise the memorandum of understanding for the establishment of TGIT. The agreement will be signed by Technion President Professor Peretz Lavie and STU Provost Professor Gu Peihua, and will soon be brought for the approval of the Technion’s and Chinese statutory authorities.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Israeli forces raid Kenya shopping mall to end terrorist siege

Israeli forces have joined efforts in Kenya to end a deadly siege launched by a Somali militia on a Nairobi mall, a security source said on Sunday.

"The Israelis have just entered the premises and are rescuing the hostages and the wounded," the source said.

At least 59 people have been confirmed dead in the Somali militia attack on a luxury shopping mall in Nairobi, a government minister said on Sunday, while Kenyan troops clashed with gunmen still holding an undetermined number of hostages.

Heavy gunfire was heard. Kenyan security officials said that they were trying to kill or capture the remaining attackers and end the 24 hour bloodbath in the Westgate Mall.

Among the dead were renowned poet and Ghanaian statesman Kofi Awoonor. Al-Qaida inspired al-Shabaab rebels in Somalia said the killing in the Israeli owned property was in retaliation for Kenya's military intervention in Somalia, where African Union troops are fighting Islamists.

Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku said 59 people died.

"A number of attackers are still in the building, ranging from 10 to 15 armed men," he said in a statement. "We believe there are some innocent people in the building, that is why the operation is delicate," he said.

Click To View Video

A Kenyan security official says Israeli forces have entered a shopping mall in the capital, Nairobi, where Somali militants have already killed dozens of people and an unknown number of hostages are still being held.

Local security officials say the Israeli forces have joined Kenyans to end the deadly mall siege on Sunday. The Kenyan troops backed by Israeli forces are now battling against gunmen holding dozens of people hostage inside the shopping mall for the second day.

"The Israelis have just entered and they are rescuing the hostages and the injured," media outlets quoted an unnamed senior Kenyan security source as saying.

Kenyan military spokesman noted that a large number of well-equipped forces are fighting the assailants that attacked the mall, killing nearly 60 people and injuring some 200 more. "We are still battling with the attackers and our forces have managed to maroon the attackers on one of the floors," said Colonel Cyrus Oguna, adding, "We hope to bring this to an end today."

There are reports of sporadic gunfire inside the mall as Kenyan forces try to kill or capture the remaining 10 to 15 gunmen who are holding about 70 people hostage.

The carnage on Saturday started when gunmen stormed the Westgate Mall in an upscale neighborhood, throwing hand grenades and indiscriminately firing at people.

Somalia's al-Shabab fighters have claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was in retaliation for Kenya's military intervention in Somalia.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta says he has lost family members in the deadly attack. He also vowed to bring perpetrators and attackers to justice for targeting innocent civilians "Let me make it clear. We shall hunt down the perpetrators wherever they run to. We shall get them. We shall punish them for this heinous crime," Kenyatta said in a televised address to the nation late Saturday.

The attack was the worst in Nairobi since an al-Qaeda bombing at the US Embassy killed over 200 people in 1998.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Israeli farmers aid Gaza counterparts: Palestinian farmers gain from Israeli knowhow

Click To View Video

Dozens of farmers from the Gaza Strip have taken part in an agricultural exhibition organised by the Israeli agriculture ministry. Israel's coordinator for government activities in the Palestinian Territories invited the farmers to learn about innovative agricultural production methods and new fruits and vegetables developed in Israel.

New bone-growing treatment accelerates healing

BoneCure makes pets like Rosa feel better.
BoneCure makes pets like Rosa feel better.

BoneCure, a revolutionary artificial membrane that speeds and simplifies bone re-growth in pets, may also be headed for the human market.

Meet Rosa. She’s a much-loved St. Bernard dog who was hit by a car and suffered severely broken bones. She may not have survived the trauma had she not gotten a new bone-growing treatment from Israel.
Rosa is one of the 200 pets in the United States, Canada, Australia, Israel, Germany and the UK that have been treated with BoneCure, developed by the Israeli company RegeneCure.
BoneCure is a unique artificial membrane rolled into a sleeve by veterinary surgeons, encasing the space where lost bone should grow. It is the only solution of its kind on the market, the company says.
Anchored with bolts or sutures, BoneCure’s thin membrane is made from the same artificial materials used to coat slow-release aspirin. Designed to disintegrate over time, and loaded with a positive charge, BoneCure encourages new bone cells to “sit” on its surface, business development VP Harry Langbeheim tells ISRAEL21c.
The sleeve — created in Israel in 150, 200, or 350 millimeters in thickness — comes as a small sheet that can be cut to size.
Small perforations in the material allow growth factors to pass in and out of the area where the bone should grow, preventing unwanted tissue from entering the future bone zone.
Complete instructions on how to set it in place are available on the company website, meaning that no complicated tutorials or training sessions are needed, says Langbeheim, who earned a PhD in immunology from Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science.
Dr. Itamar Tsur, an Israeli veterinarian, was hired to manage about 35 clinical cases using BoneCure. So far he has used the technology in five dogs and a few cats. The product, he tells ISRAEL21c, “seems to do the job without a second operation.”
This is in contrast to the standard procedure of taking a bone graft from the pet’s buttocks area, which means another operation, more pain and more cost.
Tsur also says the regenerating membrane product could aid in cases where broken bones are not knitting as they should. “This membrane draws in the stem cells with its positive charge on the membrane of this medical device, and reboots this process,” Tsur says.
Overall, the BoneCure sleeve helps speed up healing time and reduces the chances of severe infection. That is welcome news, considering that about five to 10 percent of all severe bone fractures end in infection and more time under the knife, says Langbeheim.
His company’s solution can create accelerated bone growth 43 percent faster than without it, meaning eight weeks rather than five months of healing time until dogs like Rosa can hit the backyard running.


Targeting human bone re-growth

The company is also working on a yet-to-be-named product to help accelerate bone re-growth in humans.
The cost for the human market will range from $200 to $500 per sheet of material, much less than an allograph (bone transplant from another region of the body or from a cadaver or animal).
RegeneCure is targeting the dental implant and orthopedics markets with results of clinical trials in growing jawbone for dental implants due out this fall.
“We hope that in this trial of 40 randomized patients, 20 with and 20 without our technology, that we can prove the acceleration of bone augmentation,” says Langbeheim, “and reach that 43 percent improvement endpoint that we claim.”
About 500 existing companies in the dental market, says Langbeheim, rely on collagen –– a protein-based scaffold that comes from cows or pigs and is not compatible in all people. RegeneCure still needs to prove that its unique technology, classified as a medical device, will help bone re-grow faster.
The safety of the material has been proven scientifically and has been used for the past 35 years for other medical purposes.
RegeneCure built its technology based on pending patents licensed from Yissum, the tech transfer company of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and from Hadasit of Hadassah Medical Center, also in Jerusalem. The company of eight, founded in 2010, is based in Jerusalem and has gotten about $3.5 million in funding. An additional investment round of up to $8 million is now sought.
Meanwhile, RegeneCure is starting clinical trials in orthopedics at Hadassah and at Leeds General Infirmary Hospital in England, a clinic that specializes in guided bone regeneration.
The American army has expressed interest in using BoneCure for treating gunshot wounds sustained by soldiers serving in Iraq, pending the results of clinical trials.
“We can do the same thing as the state-of-the-art technologies – but faster,” says Langbeheim.

Youtube sensation EmmaMade in Japan gets a taste of Israel, literally.

“Tasting a selection of sweet and savory Israeli treats — including halvah, honey cookies, and a special tinned vegetable — sent to me from viewer Todd on this episode of Emmy Eats Israel on Emmymade in Japan”
Click To View Video

Date Ma'amoul
Osen Bamba Peanut Snack 
Joyvah Halvah Marble
Osem Bissli BBQ
Chocolate dipped fluffy cookies
Galil Honey cookies
Pesek Saman Elite
Osem Bamba Halva
Buei Darom Eggplant in Brine
P'SP chocolates
Halva Shamit Pistachio Halva
Hashahar H'aole chocolate spread
Chocolate hazelnut wafer cookie
Osen Bissli Falafel snack
Schneidner's Delinut Color
Milk Chocolate bar
Popping Chocolate sticks

Lemon wafer cookies

Israeli brothers buy Versace mansion

Versace Miami

Owners of clothing manufacturer Jordache Enterprises purchase Miami Beach home of murdered Italian fashion designer for $41.5 million, edging out Donald Trump by about $500,000

Clothing manufacturer Jordache Enterprises Inc. has purchased the Miami Beach mansion of murdered fashion designer Gianni Versace for $41.5 million.
Raphi, Avi, and Joe Nakash, who created Jordache Enterprises, edged out real estate tycoon Donald Trump by about $500,000.
According to the three Israeli-born siblings, they plan to make the property available to the public in some way although they are as yet unsure if it will take the form of a hotel, restaurant or event space.
The home, known as Casa Caurina, was built in 1930 by renowned architect and author Alden Freeman and is modeled after the palace in the Dominican Republic built by the son of Christopher Columbus.
The mansion has 10 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms and has an impressive 23,000 square feet of living space.
The property features a 54-foot mosaic pool lined with 24-carat gold, and many of its rooms are also adorned with hand-painted frescoes, Italian marble and stained glass.
The Nakash brothers own five other hotels along Miami Beach, including Hotel Victor next door, and they hope to continue to use the Versace name pending the family’s permission.
Fashion designer Gianni Versace was murdered on the steps of the mansion in 1997. He bought the property in 1992 for $3 million and spent $33 million renovating it.
Clothing manufacturer Jordache Enterprises Inc. has purchased the Miami Beach mansion of murdered fashion designer Gianni Versace for USD 41.5 million. Raphi, Avi, and Joe Nakash, who created Jordache Enterprises, edged out real estate tycoon Donald Trump by about USD 500,000.

Oxford Uni rejects Israel boycott: Oxford Student Union votes overwhelmingly against BDS

Click To View Video

Here at Oxford University students have voted against the idea to introduce a motion to boycott Israel. But who voted and what was the reason behind their decision?

Interior Ministry recognizes 2 men as boy’s biological fathers

Gay rights

For the first time, the Interior Ministry recognized two men as a child’s biological fathers. In December 2011, for the first time in Israel, a transgender gave birth to his first boy; however, the Interior Ministry refused to recognize his partner as the biological father of their shared son.

Only after the couple turned to Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar and Knesset’s Internal Affairs Committee Chairwoman Knesset Member Miri Regev, the ministry agreed to list both fathers as the child’s parents.

BUYCOTT Alert: Get your SodaStream machines and refills at Canadian Tire

We need your Buycott support! Canadian Tire is being targeted for carrying SodaStream products. You know what this means. We need you to go and buy them out of their SodaStream machines and refills.

Don't forget you can also thank Canadian Tire for carrying SodaStream through Twitter or Facebook.
It's a factory that builds a 'do-it-yourself' carbonated-water maker. SodaStream is an Israeli-based company that has set up shop in the West Bank and it's building more than just fizzy water makers, it's building a bridge between Palestinians and Israelis.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

‘Jerusalem’ by National Geographic

National Geographic

Jerusalem takes audiences on an inspiring and breathtaking tour of one of the world’s oldest and most enigmatic cities. Destroyed and rebuilt countless times over 5,000 years, Jerusalem’s enduring appeal remains a mystery. What made it so important to so many different cultures? How did it become the center of the world for three major religions? Why does it still matter to us?

Given unprecedented access to Jerusalem’s Old City, the filmmakers answer these questions and more as they follow three young Jerusalemites—Jewish, Christian, and Muslim—and their families. Through their eyes, as well as from the perspective of a noted archaeologist working in the region, audiences will learn what it means to call Jerusalem home, and understand why it remains a city revered by half the world’s population. Learn more about the film at Narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch.

Palestinian Telecom Entrepreneur Pays $10.5 Million for Israel’s Alvarion


Hani Alami, a Palestinian entrepreneur, has purchased Alvarion, a once-promising Israeli telecommunications company, for NIS 38 million ($10.5 million).

Israeli company Sigma Wave Ltd. offered to acquire Alvarion’s assets for the same price, but Alami won the bid after offering 10% of the company’s shares to Alvarion’s 48 employees, and promising them they would all keep their jobs.
According to Israeli business website Calcalist, Alami is a Palestinian telecommunications entrepreneur who currently lives in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina. Alami has established a number of telecommunications companies — the most prominent being Coolnet, an Internet service provider (ISP) that operates high-speed Internet services.
“I don’t care whether Alvarion is an Israeli or a Palestinian company. As far as I’m concerned, it’s just business. I know the company. And I worked with it for long years. I am interested in running the company, and eager to bring it to success. As a native of Jerusalem, I can tell you that if each of us does his own share, as best he can, we may yet achieve peace,” he told Calcalist.

Israeli Parliament Plans to be Solar Secure by 2014


Years after the plan was first suggested, the Israeli Parliament building will finally boast a large rooftop solar array that will give the Knesset a sound measure of energy security by 2014.

Despite having some of the best solar irradiation in the world, not to mention several leading solar energy producers, Israel has been relatively slow to take up this clean, renewable energy source.
In part, this can be attributed to a legislative environment that has favored fossil fuels – at whatever environmental and social cost. But the Public Utilities Authority has stepped up its game to make it a lot easier for independent households and businesses to both produce and consume their own energy.
“Solar power has become economical in Israel, and we’re at the start of a process which will change the urban landscape over the coming years,” Renewable Energy Association of Israel CEO Eitan Parnas told Globes.
Sources told the paper that the Knesset’s flat roof is perfect for a large 1MW solar array that could potentially generate one quarter of the building’s energy needs during full session. During limited sessions, the rooftop panels will make the structure completely independent of the national grid.
The Israeli parliament building will be among the world’s first to embrace solar energy, but Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince was way ahead of the game.
The court of HH Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan – the ruler of one of the world’s most oil-rich nations – was crowned with active solar panels back in 2011, when President Obama was still prevaricating over the issue of Jimmy Carter’s White House solar plan.
Despite its Leviathan natural gas discovery, and a tenacious oil shale scheme, it’s good to know that Israel is embracing clean energy as well – where it counts the most.
Source: GreenProphet

Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, Donna Karen Attend Kaballah Center Founder Rabbi Berg’s Funeral in Safed, Israel

Rabbi Phillip Berg’s funeral in Safed, Israel. Photo: Channel 2 / Screenshot.
Rabbi Phillip Berg’s funeral in Safed, Israel. Photo: Channel 2 / Screenshot.

Hollywood actors Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis, along with fashion designer Donna Karen, were in Safed, Israel, on Wednesday to attend the funeral of Kaballah Center founder Rabbi Phillip Berg, Israel’s Channel 2 reported.

Channel 2 said 5,000 people attended the funeral, nearly all dressed in white, as Rabbi Berg had requested.
The Los Angeles-based spiritual organization announced the death of Berg — known to followers as the Rav — on its website Monday.
Berg had been in ill health since 2004 when he suffered a stroke. The center said he was 86; public records indicate he was 84.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Israeli scientists offer solution to famine

International firms expresse interest in technology. Famine in Kenya
International firms expresse interest in technology. Famine in Kenya

Team led by chancellor of Kinneret College develops new technology which may enable crops to weather draughts worldwide, thus minimizing famine, strife

An Israeli team of scientists has developed a new technology which may enable crops to weather draughts worldwide, thus minimizing famine and strife.
The team, led by Professor Shimon Gepstein, chancellor of the Kinneret College, genetically engineered a plant that can withstand draughts by “freezing itself” after not receiving water for a certain period of time, and then “returning to life” after the water supply is renewed, and this without incurring any damage to the plant’s physical structure.
The finding was discovered by chance while running experiments on prolonging plants’ longevity and the shelf-life of vegetables. Experimenting on tobacco leaves, the scientists were able to develop a plant that lives twice as long as the average tobacco plant, providing flowers and fruits long after the regular plants have withered and died.
When the tips of the leaves were cut off, the regular plants yellowed and died after a week, whereas the genetically engineered plants stayed green for a full 21 days.
The breakthrough was revealed when some of the plants were left in the green house unattended for four weeks. Tobacco plants require watering every two to three days. When the plants were discovered they had not lost their vitality.
The team decided on a series of monitored tests. Regular and engineered plants were not watered for three weeks. The regular plants died, and the engineered plants once again began to grow after receiving water, having incurred no damage during the “draught period.”
This discovery is especially significant for the State of Israel. Wheat is planted at the beginning of the winter and sprouts after the first rain, but will die if there is no subsequent rainfall.
With this new technology, the wheat shoots will be able to withstand considerable amounts of time with no rain. Furthermore, scientists forecast more common world-wide draughts in the future as a result of climate changes, and this newly acquired knowledge may serve as the solution to this looming global threat.
Lastly, the plants flourished with only a third of the water usually required to water plants. With water sources dwindling, this new Israeli technology may be the key for the survival of agriculture in various areas in the world.
A spokesman for the Kinneret College told Tazpit News Agency that the findings have are already being implemented, at that international firms have expressed interest in the technology.

Israel imports Moroccan citron for 1st time


First deliveries of 1,500 etrogim arrive from African country just in time for Jewish holiday of Sukkot

The Agriculture Ministry has permitted the import of etrogim (yellow citrons) from Morocco ahead of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.
First deliveries of 1,500 etrogim arrived in Israel several days ago. This is the first time the Jewish state imports etrogim from Morocco.
The Moroccan citron which grows in the Atlas Mountains is considered the original etrog from the biblical times, according to researchers specializing in the plants of the Bible.
The Moroccan citron is mostly popular among Sephardic communities, and the import is being done at the request of the communities’ leaders in Israel.

NEVADA Promo Video and Bar Refaeli @ Sears Eaton Centre

 Bar Refaeli

She’s one of Israel’s hottest exports, and she paid Canada a little visit last week!

Bar Refaeli is the new face of Sears Canada’s NEVADA line… She launched it last week @ the Sears Eaton Centre.
Click To View Video - Bar Refaeli Super Model - Nevada at Sears Canada

Sexy and beautiful supermodel, Bar Refaeli arrived in Toronto this morning at Sears Canada (Eaton Centre) to promote the Nevada Apparel.

A large crowd was on hand to witness the super beauty in person. Bar went on stage and spoke with the Emcee and told the crowd that this was her first time in Toronto. She loves the Nevada clothing line, in particular, she likes the sweaters that Nevada apparel has in its clothing line.

Take a look at what happened behind-the-scenes at the Bar Refaeli for Nevada photo shoot! You can view the Nevada collection here:

"What is Israeli food?" by Chef Meir Adoni

Click To View Video - "What is Israeli food?" by Chef Meir Adoni

Israeli chefs use their creativity to reflect the diversity of Israeli culture.
Chef Meir Adoni from Tel Aviv excels in modern colorful cuisine.

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Presidential Medal to be presented to Kahalani, Wiesel, Spielberg

Elie Wiesel (Photo: AP)
Elie Wiesel (Photo: AP)

President Peres announces names of Israel’s Presidential Medal; winners include Elie Wiesel, Steven Spielberg, Avigdor Kahalani, among others

President Shimon Peres announced on Thursday the names of the winners of Israel’s Presidential Medal.
According to the president’s office, 2013 recipients will include: Brigadier General (Res.) Avigdor Kahalani, Professor Elie Wiesel, filmmaker Steven Spielberg and Rabbi Elimelech Firer.
The committee deciding the medal recipients included dignitaries such as former Supreme Court President Meir Shamger, who headed the committee, and Israel’s fifth president Yitzhak Navon.
Regarding Kahalani, the announcement stated that he had “won the Presidential Medal for his courage, leadership in the battlefield, contribution to the defense of the State of Israel, being a role model for thousands of teens regarding the willingness to carry the burden of State security, and public activity for IDF soldiers and officers.”
“Kahalani, carrying badges of honor, which he received for the bravery he exhibited during the Six Day War and the Yom Kippur War , is an extraordinary Israeli icon, due to both his personality and his actions, and is a soldier and a leader who is always at the top and serves as an outstanding role model for his soldiers, his subordinates and his nation.”
The statement added that “In the Yom Kippur War, (Kahalani) was appointed officer in harsh battles against the enemy, and courageously led the force that managed, along with many others, to stop the Syrian army from invading the area of the Kinneret… Since then and until today Kahalani has been working tirelessly for the good of IDF soldiers, defense establishment and the State of Israel.”
Professor Elie Wiesel will also be awarded the medal, for “making his mark on all humanity, as his international public activity uniquely contributed to the commemoration of the legacy of the Holocaust and to the promotion of a message of peace and dignity to the entire world,” the announcement noted.
Wiesel has published over 40 books and was awarded the Noble Peace Prize in 1986.
Film director Stephen Spielberg was also on the list of Presidential Medal recipients, “for his 50-year work in the film industry and his unique contribution the memorializing of the Holocaust, including the film ‘Schindler’s List,” one of the most important and most influential Holocaust film in the world,” the committee wrote.
Regarding Rabbi Elimelech Firer, the committee noted he had “formed a medical assistance system… and is known as someone who acquired vast medical knowledge and has become someone any sick person can turn to.”
One of the recipients whose identity cannot be revealed is a representative of security forces.
Dr. Tzvi Tavor, cofounder of the National Physical Laboratory of Israel, supported by David Ben Gurion, was awarded the medal for being a “groundbreaking researcher in the field of solar energy. In his inventions he contributed to Israel’s economic… independence… and brought forth scientific and technological developments.
The Presidential Medal is awarded to people and organizations that have contributed to the welfare of the world’s population or the Israeli society.