Even Reporters Laugh at State Dept. Spokesperson

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki was openly mocked by the assembled press corps Thursday after saying President Obama “doesn’t give himself enough credit for what he’s done around the world.” Associated Press reporter Matt Lee asked sarcastically whether he deserved 200 percent credit, while another one wondered for what “accomplishments” Psaki meant he deserves more praise. “For engagement initiatives like Iran, what we’ve done on Ukraine, efforts to dive in and engage around the world,” she said. “I mean, Russia has still annexed Crimea,” another reporter asked. “I mean, Iran — there’s ongoing negotiations, but is that the success here that you’re talking?” 

“We’re talking about engagement in the world and taking on tough issues that present themselves,” Psaki said. “And the United States continues to play a prominent role doing that.”

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Jay Leno: Israel is ‘a little paradise in the Middle East’

Israel is “a little paradise in the Middle East,” television comedian Jay Leno, in Israel to host the first ever Genesis Prize ceremony, told Ynet on Wednesday.

In an exclusive interview, Jay talks about life after “The Tonight Show,” his plans for the future, his impression of Israeli people, and his Israeli tree…

Click here for video.

Poll: Three out of four French Jews considering leaving France

franchBreitbart (May 25) — Nearly 75 percent of French Jews who participated in a recent survey said they are considering emigrating, according to a JTA report.

The survey by the Paris-based Siona organisation encompassed 3,833 respondents from the Jewish community across France.

The results paint a bleak picture for the future of Jewish life in France. More than half of respondents considering emigration cited anti-Semitism or a desire to preserve their Judaism as their motivation.

A disturbing number of French Jews have personally experienced anti-Semitism, though fewer are bothering to report the incidents to the police, as the complaints rarely lead to positive results.

Overwhelming majorities of respondents – over 90 percent – considered French institutions powerless to stop anti-Semitism, and implicated French mass media as being partly responsible for that nation’s pervasive anti-Semitism problem.

Of the 74.2 percent of respondents who said they are considering leaving, 29.9 percent cited anti-Semitism as their primary reason. Another 24.4 cited their desire to preserve their Judaism, while 12.4 percent said they were attracted by other countries. “Economic considerations” was cited by 7.5 percent of the respondents.

In total, a staggering 95.2 percent of all respondents said they viewed anti-Semitism as “very worrisome” or “worrisome.”

More than half, or 57.5 percent, of respondents, agreed that “Jews have no future in France,” while about half that number, 30.6 percent, said there is a future for Jews there.

Asked whether they had personally experienced anti-Semitic incidents in the past two years, more than one in seven, or 14.5 percent, replied in the affirmative.  Of those, only 21.2 filed a complaint with police; of those complainants, 27.6 percent indicated that their deposition had led to concrete results.

Fewer victims are even bothering to report anti-Semitic incidents to the police.  A similar survey from 2012 showed a quarter of Jews who experienced anti-Semitic incidents filed a complaint, Siona noted in a statement, adding, “The results give cause for concern.”

Ninety-three percent said the French state had no efficient means for countering “Islamic exclusionist and pro-Palestinian propaganda,” whereas 93.4 percent said French mass media are partially responsible for France’s anti-Semitism problem. Roughly three-quarters said French Jewish institutions were helpless to stop anti-Semitism.

French immigration to Israel has rapidly increased in recent years, and quadrupled in the first quarter of 2014 from the same period a year earlier.

Saeed Abedini, American pastor imprisoned in Iran, beaten in hospital, family charges

pastor-saeed-abedini-sent-back-to-iranian-prison-from-hospitalFox News (May 25) — The American citizen being held in Iran for alleged crimes related to his faith and work as a Christian pastor was yanked from a hospital bed, beaten and taken back to one of the Islamic Republic’s infamous prisons, his family charges.

Pastor Saeed Abedini had spent the past two months in a hospital for injuries allegedly suffered at the hands of guards and inmates in Iran’s Evin and Rajai Shahr prisons when he was once again beaten and hauled back to prison, according to family members who say they witnessed the beating.

“This news is devastating to our family,” his wife, Naghmeh Abedini, told FoxNews.com. “This development also came as a complete shock to all of us. Saeed’s family, who was present at the hospital when this occurred, witnessed the severe beatings that Saeed received – at one point seeing him collapse before being taken away. We’re very concerned about his health.”

In March, when Abedini was transferred to a private hospital in Iran, where he was told he would receive further tests for his worsening medical condition as well as surgery for the chronic stomach pain suffered as a result of repeated beatings. But soon after being admitted, he was shackled and beaten by guards, according to family members. He was also denied medical treatment and was not allowed to see family members initially, they said.

It was not immediately clear why Abedini was suddenly transferred back to Rajai Shahr.

“It is a very disturbing development that underscores what we have known from the very beginning – there is much upheaval and uncertainty in Iran,” Jordan Sekulow, executive director of the American Center for Law and Justice, which also represents Abedini’s family, told FoxNews.com. “We’ve been hopeful since Pastor Saeed has spent the last two months in the hospital, instead of a prison cell. But this unexpected move raises great concern.”

Click here for full article.

Little Girl Proclaims ‘I Shall Buy a Bullet’ on Hamas TV’s Anti-Israeli Children’s Show

The Blaze (May 25) — The children’s show on Hamas television that recently portrayed a giant bumble bee character who encouraged Palestinian kids to punch, throw stones at and shoot Jews has broadcast a new episode showing a little girl reciting a poem proclaiming that she would walk through thorns and fire in order to buy a bullet “at any price.”

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reported that the episode of “Pioneers of Tomorrow” was in honor of the anniversary of the “Nakba” or “catastrophe” as many Palestinians refer to the founding of the State of Israel in the spring of 1948.

Hamas-TV-Girl-Bullet

The child, Zahra, was prompted by a child host of the show and the bumble bee character named Nahoul to recite her poem called “The Bullet.”

“That’s great. How wonderful, Zahra,” the bee proclaimed.

“I shall walk barefoot. I shall walk in the pouring rain. Through thorns, despite the fire, Despite the pain…I shall buy a bullet, at any price,” Zahra recited from memory.

“They dispersed my family. They ripped apart my books, And they stole my smile,” the girl said of Israel.

“Between me and them, there are wars and bloodshed. So I shall buy a bullet, at any price. I shall buy a bullet, at any price,” concluded the little girl with painted fingernails, wearing a dress embroidered in the traditional Palestinian style and a Palestinian flag painted on her cheek.

MEMRI reported that this latest episode aired on May 16 on Al Aqsa TV. Another past episode of the program which received Western media attention showed a character that was a knock-off of Mickey Mouse who proclaimed the “answer” to Israel “is an AK-47” and his aspiration was for “world leadership under Islamic leadership.”

The political leaders of Hamas are currently finalizing a unity agreement with the PLO’s Fatah faction, which would have the radical Islamic group join the Palestinian Authority government. Hamas is officially designated a foreign terrorist organization by the State Department and, therefore, if it were to join the government of President Mahmoud Abbas, U.S. lawmakers have said that it would lead to a cut in the more than $400 million annual direct U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority.

Hamas’ Prime Minister in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh last week said, “We will not give up the weapon of resistance, and we will not forsake resistance,” suggesting the group would not under any unity government agreement give up terrorist attacks on Israel.

Here is an excerpt from the Hamas children’s program with English translation courtesy of MEMRI:

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Click here for full article.

Israel’s Good News Newsletter to 25th May 2014

From the free weekly newsletter verygoodnewsisrael.blogspot.com:

In the 25th May 2014 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

  • Bone grown in an Israeli laboratory was transplanted back into the original donor.
  • Israel has sent medical and humanitarian aid to Serbian flood victims.
  • Two Israeli companies have joined forces to develop night-vision display glasses.
  • A new Israeli robot can clear landmines without human intervention.
  • France’s top association of cheese makers has recognized Israeli boutique cheese.
  • Novak Djokovic and Billie Jean King have invested in an Israeli tennis training system.
  • This year’s Israel Festival in Jerusalem promises to be the best yet.
  • Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv won the Euroleague Basketball Championships.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
 
First-ever bone graft, using bone grown in lab.  (Thanks to Atid-EDI) A human patient with deficient jawbone has received a successful bone transplant using bone grown by Israel’s Bonus BioGroup using the patient’s own fat cells. The company expects the graft to be fully tolerated, without immunological rejection.
 
Protein could reverse Alzheimer’s damage.  A protein discovered by a Tel Aviv University research team may reverse the damage caused by Alzheimer’s.  Laboratory tests showed that TAU (tubulin-associated unit) restored levels of the dementia-protecting protein NAP.  It also restored disease-shrunken brains to normal size.
 
Protecting the brain during heart operations.  Israeli biotech Keystone Heart’s TriGuard is a cerebral protection device specifically designed to minimize the risk of brain damage during heart valve replacements and other cardiovascular procedures.  Keystone has just raised $14 million of investment funding.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
 
PA and Gaza farmers learn Israeli techniques.  Palestinian Arab farmers participated in a five-day course in post-harvest techniques held at the Volcani Institute, within the Israeli Agriculture Ministry complex in Beit Dagan.  The farmers explored a variety of issues related to the packing and storage of fruits and vegetables.
 
Sheriff surprised by Israel.  Virginia State Sheriff Danny Diggs was one of 17 National Sheriff’s Association members visiting Israel for the first time. He said, “You saw people in traditional Muslim attire, traditional Jewish attire and in modern clothing walking along the street, working side-by-side and coexisting”.
 
Arabs want Israeli justice system.  Three Arab writers admired Israel for jailing ex-Israeli PM Ehud Olmert.  No similar result would have occurred in Arab countries.  One said, “Law is above all and this is real democracy. Israel is the only real democracy in the Middle East.”
Israel sends aid to Serbian flood victims.  Israel has sent 1.5 million tons of medical and humanitarian aid to Serbia.  The first shipment of emergency aid included medicine, food, blankets and rain gear.  Israel is due to send more aid, including water pumps. The second link includes both aid to Serbia and to other disaster areas.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
 
Israeli glasses can see in the dark.  “Lumus” and “Opgal“, two cutting-edge Israeli optics companies, have collaborated to develop a Google Glass-style night-vision display system. The Therm-App mobile device, mounted on headgear, transmits high-resolution images to the Lumus wearable display.
 
Blazing performance.  Israel’s BlazeMeter has developed a cloud-based platform for self-testing of mobile and Internet performance.  Its systems include the JMeter mobile testing platform and have conducted more than 500,000 tests over 50,000 users, including Fortune 100 companies.  It has just raised $6.5 million in finance.
 
Joint cyber defense research with the UK.  Britain’s Office of Cyber Security and Information Assurance and Israel’s National Cyber Bureau have signed a pact in London to finance joint cyber defense research. 
Robot to clear landmines.  Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has presented SAHAR – an autonomous robotic route clearance system.  The system handles functions such as environmental terrain mapping, surveillance, removal of roadblocks, and disposal of IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices).
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ECONOMY & BUSINESS
 
National debt ratio falls again.  Israel’s debt-to-GDP ratio – the most important index for measuring a country’s fiscal and financial soundness – fell to 66.1% in 2013 from 67.1% in 2012.  In 2006 the ratio was 82% and in 2002 it was over 100%.  The average debt-to-GDP ratio among developed countries is 108.5%
 
Israel becomes a “big cheese”.  The France-based international cheese makers’ association, La Guilde Internationale des Fromagers, is opening its first office in Israel.  A delegation from the prestigious association awarded membership to chef Meir Adoni, gastronomist Michal Ansky and six local boutique cheese makers.
 
Global Confidence in Israel’s Long-Term Viability.  Ex-Ambassador Yoram Ettinger writes a positive summary of Israel’s recent business and economic activity.
Tennis stars invest in Israeli training system.  World number two tennis player Novak Djokovic and tennis women’s legend Billie Jean King have joined in the latest $3.5 million round of funding into PlaySight Interactive – the Israeli company that has developed the SmartCourt sports analytics system.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
 
Jerusalem Light Festival.  The annual Light in Jerusalem Festival Jun 11-19 is free to the public. Highlights for 2014 include four light trails to follow; Light body designers and amazing street performers; 17-meter high light towers.  The two videos below are of last year’s event.
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Don’t miss the Israel Festival.  (Thanks to www.Janglo.net) The Israel Festival (May 29 – Jun 20) is hosting free jazz and street theatre performances at the First (railway) Station in Jerusalem. Events also take place at Sultan’s Pool, the Israel Museum, the Jerusalem Theater and the Convention Center.
 
Israeli beer.  Please watch this new video and maybe plan a visit to Tel Aviv’s “The Dancing Camel”.
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Maccabi are European Champions.  What was deemed as impossible just a few months ago became a reality on Sunday night, with Maccabi Tel Aviv recording a stunning 98-86 overtime victory over Real Madrid in Milan to claim a sixth European basketball championship title in club history.

Teenage Syrian Girls Are Being Sold Into Forced Marriages To Save Their Families

“No mother wants this,” says one woman as she tries to sell her daughter to an older man. “But this is our life now.”

A Syrian refugee girl stands in front of her family’s tent at Zaatari Refugee Camp in Mafraq, Jordan. / AP

A Syrian refugee girl stands in front of her family’s tent at Zaatari Refugee Camp in Mafraq, Jordan. / AP

Buzzfeed (May 22) — Samira Ismail doesn’t want to sell her young daughter into a marriage with a man she had never met, but she can’t see any other way for her family to survive.

Earlier this week, she found herself in the awful position of trying to marry her 17-year-old daughter off to a much older man who had offered to pay her family up to $3,000, money that could keep Ismail’s small family afloat for nearly a year.

Like many Syrian refugees, Ismail once dreamed of lavish weddings for each of her four daughters. In Syria they would have married in the spring, she said, when the days are long but not too hot. She would have invited the entire village, and made sure that three types of meat were served. Her daughters would have borrowed her aunt’s antique lace veil, and worn gold bracelets on their arms.

But that all changed when Samira was forced to flee her village near the southern city of Homs as the violence that has claimed more than 160,000 lives intensified. Eighteen months ago, she arrived in the Zaatari refugee camp, where she lived in a tent for four months before moving to an already crowded apartment near the Jordanian city of Ramthe. The men in her family try to find odd jobs to make ends meet, but they almost always come up short.

There are more than one million Syrian refugees in Jordan, and like them, Samira and her family are left to watch helplessly as violence continues to rage at home. They are increasingly aware they may never return home. This left them with no choice, she said, but to marry off one of her daughters.

“No mother wants this,” said Ismail. “But this is our life now.”

She was sitting in the grubby apartment of a well-known broker of Syrian brides in Amman, who only agreed to speak to BuzzFeed so long as she could use the pseudonym Dima. She isn’t proud of the work she does, but Dima’s ties to several families in the Gulf mean she can set up prospective grooms with Syrian brides.

It was not long before one of the several phones on Dima’s desk rang. On the other end was the cousin of a prospective groom. He had been tasked, he said, with finding an appropriate wife.

“[The men] all want the same thing. They want blue or green eyes, very pale skin, and very young,” said Dima. “Very, very young. That is what they all say.”

Click here for full article.

Here Are the Anti-Obama, Anti-Kerry Jokes Jay Leno Delivered in Israel

Jay Leno humble as always, praising Israel:

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The Blaze (May 23) — Comedian Jay Leno joked about the Obama administration’s Middle East policy Thursday night while hosting an awards ceremony in Israel honoring former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the audience.

According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Leno drew his “biggest laughs and applause” when he said, “President Obama has declared the month of May Jewish American Heritage Month. He is calling it an opportunity to renew our ‘unbreakable bond with the nation of Israel.’ And he knows it’s unbreakable because he’s been trying to break it for the last five years.”

Shortly after, he turned his sights on Secretary of State John Kerry, saying, “I’ve been doing my research. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, here in Israel the most popular boys name is Noam. The least popular boys name? John Kerry.”

Relations between Netanyahu’s government and Obama administration have been strained over failed peace talks with the Palestinians, exacerbated by suggestions by Kerry that Israel could become an “apartheid” state.

Leno said this was his first trip to Israel, though he has always felt a strong affinity for the Jewish state, telling the Associated Press earlier this month, “It’s a great honor. It’s a great country. It’s a great people.”

He said that while he sees both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he considers himself to be “very pro-Jewish, very pro-Israeli.”

“At some point in your life, you have to sort of take sides. I tend to side with the Jewish point of view on many things, especially issues like this one. I realize how important Israel is,” Leno, who is of Italian heritage, told the AP.

“It is a democracy in the Middle East and I don’t like to see the little guy getting picked on by the big guy,” Leno told the AP in Jerusalem.

“It’s the only democracy in the Middle East. I look around the Middle East and I see people being stoned to death because they’re gay and women being not allowed to drive or not allowed to vote. And here’s this one little paradise in the Middle East where freedom reigns and there’s a democracy, you vote people in you vote people out,” he told an interviewer for Israel’s Ynet before the awards ceremony (the full interview can be viewed at this link.)

Jay Leno earlier this month joined protesters outside the Beverly Hills Hotel that is owned by the oil-rich Southeast Asian nation of Brunei which recently instituted a criminal code based on Islamic sharia law which includes death by stoning for homosexuals.

Leno told the protesters, “Evil flourishes when good people do nothing, and that is pretty much what this is. This is not complicated. These are not crazy left-wing wacko people.”

At his Thursday performance, Leno also joked about local Israeli political scandals.

Leno said he tried to get tickets for a friend. “When I first tried to get him tickets, they were sold out. But luckily, two tickets became available when former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said he wouldn’t be using his. You guys are tough. You sentenced your former Prime Minister to six years in prison! Did you hear Olmert’s defense? Not the best strategy. He blamed the whole thing on the Jews.”

Olmert received a sentence of six years imprisonment in early May after being convicted of bribery.

Leno went through a list of past Israeli prime ministers, saying “Israel had some great leaders, David Ben Gurion, Golda Meir, Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Rabin. People were really touched by them. Well, of course, not as many people as were touched by former President Katsav.”

Former President Moshe Katzav is currently serving a seven-year prison sentence for rape, sexual harassment and other charges.

“I was stunned by how many Israeli politicians are going to prison. When you ask an Israeli politician what his cell number is, it has a whole other meaning,” Leno said.

Leno was hosting the first ever granting of the $1 million Genesis Prize in Jerusalem which was given to Bloomberg for his public service and philanthropy.

Bloomberg said he would use the prize money to set up a new fellowship via the Genesis Philanthropy Group, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Click here for original source.

Netanyahu and Jay Leno have a chinwag

Retired talk show celebrity to host first $1 million Genesis Prize as well as perform a little stand-up

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The Times of Israel (May 21) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed talk show host Jay Leno to Israel on Wednesday at the start of a trip during which the TV celebrity is to host the $1 million Genesis Prize ceremony and tour the country.

“It’s a huge honor,” Leno said as the two men shook hands in the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem. “I just want to thank you.”

“No,” replied Netanyahu, “thank you.”

According to the Genesis Prize Foundation, the award is aimed at individuals who have gained international recognition in their field and whose action “embody the character of the Jewish people through commitment to Jewish values, the Jewish community and/or to the State of Israel.”

The prime minister is to headline a list of more than 400 dignitaries in an audience that will also include business leaders, Nobel laureates, philanthropists and entertainers. Grammy-winning pianist Evgeny Kissin will perform.

It is Leno’s first trip to Israel. At a time when pro-Palestinian activists are urging entertainers to boycott the Jewish state, he said in an telephone interview earlier this month that he doesn’t have “any problem” with his decision to appear in the country.

While he said that he sees both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Leno said he considers himself to be “very pro-Jewish, very pro-Israeli.”

“At some point in your life, you have to sort of take sides. I tend to side with the Jewish point of view on many things, especially issues like this one. I realize how important Israel is,” he said.

Click here for full article.

Next phase of Russian operations imminent

russian-apc-APBreitbart (May 20) by Dr. Sebastian Gorka — Recent announcements by the Kremlin of a withdrawal of Russian forces from along the Ukrainian border are part of a misinformation campaign in preparation for the next phase of subversive operations in Eastern Europe.

As the mainstream media has reported, President Vladimir Putin has ordered the thousands of Russian troops and military fighting vehicles arrayed along the Russian-Ukrainian border to return to their bases. What has been reported far less is that this is the third time the former KGB Lieutenant Colonel has made such a statement and that in each previous instance the announcement led to no drawdown of forces.

Despite this fact, Western leaders have already responded by assuring the Kremlin — which used force earlier this year to annex the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine — that the West would not provoke Moscow by stationing troops in Central European NATO states or deploy nuclear weapons onto their territory.

As a result the Kremlin has achieved exactly what it wanted to without making any concessions to either America, NATO, or the aggrieved party, Ukraine. During the Soviet era such techniques were termed dezinformatsia (disinformation) and maskirova (military deception) and part of larger strategy known as Reflexive Control, all terms that LTC Putin would have been meticulously drilled in by his trainers in the KGB.

Reflexive control, which is detailed in a fascinating report from the Latvian Defense Ministry published after the crisis began, and also discussed in a US Army monograph, exploits the enemy’s strategic culture against themselves. Having studied the West incessantly for more than half a century, the Russian military and intelligence establishment knows what we want to hear and uses this against us.

Brussels and Washington want to hear about Russia’s “deescalation” of the crisis. The Kremlin obliges. In the meantime preparations are made for the next phase of operations. Given that Ukraine is just days away from holding a general election and that Moldova — long eyed with avarice by Moscow — is on the cusp of signing an agreement of association with the EU (just as Ukraine was about to before the Kremlin took action), the next deployment of balaclava-clad special forces troops is imminent. More of Ukraine with be threatened, as will the Trandniester area of Moldova.

The essence of strategy is to have a clear idea of what you are fighting for and to know the enemy better than he knows himself. If you know these two things you can leverage the enemy’s weaknesses and exploit surprise in order to achieve what the master strategist Sun Tsu called the ultimate victory: wining without having to fight.

Vladimir Putin has clearly read Sun Tsu’s The Art of War. How many have done so in NATOHQ or the National Security Staff is another question entirely.

Sebastian Gorka PhD has recently been appointed the Major General Horner Chair of Military Theory at the Marine Corps University and is the editor of national security affairs for Breitbart.com.

Kill ‘all’ Jews, Hamas TV host urges kids

Palestinian child told to punch Jews and ‘turn their faces into tomatoes in order to liberate Palestine’

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Times of Israel — A children’s show on Al-Aqsa TV, the official Hamas-run television channel broadcasting from Gaza, broadcast a segment calling for the mass killing of Jews.

In a clip of the kids’ TV show “The Pioneers of Tomorrow,” broadcast on May 2 and uploaded Thursday by the MEMRI media watchdog, the host of the program, a young girl in a hijab, interviews two very young children, one of whom says she hopes to be a police officer like her uncle Ahmad.

The host asks what policemen do, and, after establishing that they catch criminals, adds that “they shoot Jews, right?” and stresses to her young guest that “you want to be like him.”

“I will shoot the Jews!” the little child says.

“All of them?” the host asks.

“Yes,” the girl says

“Good,” the host answers.

In a previous segment, a co-host of the show, an anthropomorphic bee character, talks on the phone with a child in the West Bank Jenin refugee camp, and encourages him, if Jews come into the camp, to “punch them” and “turn their faces into tomatoes in order to liberate Palestine.”

The bee also tells the child caller to “beat them up” and to “pick up a stone, and when the Jews come, take it and throw it.”

The “Pioneers of Tomorrow,” a children’s program with a Sesame Street -like format of live actors interacting with puppets and humans in animal costumes, has repeatedly come under fire for violent anti-Semitic and anti-Western themes, often presented to children as young as 3 or 4.

In one segment extensively reported on in Western and Hebrew media, a Mickey Mouse-like character, who relentlessly espouses the beliefs of militant, radical Islam, is eventually beaten to death by Israeli soldiers after he attempts to liberate Tel Aviv. Other animal characters on the show have met a similar fate.

Click here for full article.

Israel’s Good News Newsletter to 18th May 2014

Highlights from the free weekly newsletter at verygoodnewsisrael.blogspot.com:

  • Israeli trials show that a synthetic vitamin reduces fatigue in Multiple Sclerosis sufferers.
  • An Israeli is the first female Arab Bedouin doctor in the world.
  • Israel offered to help rescue kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls and also trapped Turkish miners.
  • An Israeli company is building a power plant in North Carolina that uses energy from a landfill site.
  • An Israeli smart water filter irrigates trees and plants only when they are thirsty.
  • Egypt wants to buy Israeli natural gas.
  • Hundreds of exhausted migrating birds recover in Eilat.

 

ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

 

Vitamin reduces fatigue in MS patients.  Dr Anat Achiron of the Israel’s Sheba Medical Center in Tel-Hashomer has reported that in controlled trials, a synthetic analog of vitamin D significantly reduced fatigue, which is common in patients with multiple sclerosis.  The compound is 1a-hydroxyvitamin D3 (alfacalcidol).

http://eng.sheba.co.il/Sheba_News/412.htm

 

Preventing dangerous growth in heart muscle.  Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have discovered that the protein Erbin is an important brake that helps prevent cardiac hypertrophy – the stage before heart failure when the heart grows in an attempt to increase its output.

http://new.huji.ac.il/en/article/21138   http://www.pnas.org/content/111/16/5902.abstract

 

Breakthrough in understanding genetic disease.  Scientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have demonstrated the molecular basis of Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) – perhaps the most studied among the class of diseases that involves defects in parental imprinting. PWS is due to a defective gene on chromosome 15.

http://new.huji.ac.il/en/article/21168

 

The genetic “switch” that thalidomide corrupted.  It is 57 years since the thalidomide tragedy that resulted in thousands of deaths and babies born with severe limb deformities.  Now Tel Aviv University scientists have pinpointed the genetic regulator “switch” responsible p53 and its downstream target gene, MicroRNA34.

http://www.aftau.org/newsroom?b1c560a6-bf84-4a99-94b6-84502b651338

 

ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

 

Special Service.   Teenagers that are unable to join regular Israeli Defense Forces units are not forgotten in the Jewish State.  Please watch, as they (and their parents) are proud to help serve their country.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZC42c8lMqg&feature=youtu..be

 

Academic campus for Israel’s haredim.  Rivka Yeruslavsky was born into an Israeli ultra-Orthodox family and studied computer science. She then went on to open the Strauss Campus of Lomda – Israel’s largest vocational institute, designed to bring more haredim into the workforce.

http://baltimorejewishlife.com/news/news-detail.php?SECTION_ID=37&ARTICLE_ID=48774

http://www.strausscampus.co.il/en/    http://docstalk.blogspot.co.il/2012/07/lomda-bridge-to-equal-burden.html

 

Israeli Arabs entrepreneurs get more help.  The Israeli government is offering promising Israeli Arab entrepreneurs and scientists 200 hours of free business consulting, plus research and development grants of up to 85 percent of the funding required to produce their new ideas in the lab.

http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/05/11/israels-chief-scientist-bringing-innovation-economy-to-israeli-arabs-with-200-hours-start-up-consulting-85-rd-funding-interview/

 

The first female Bedouin doctor is Israeli.  Israel’s Dr. Rania Okby, a specialist in maternal fetal medicine, is the first female Bedouin doctor in the world and a role model for Bedouin women in Israel.

http://www.aabgu.org/media-center/bgu-making-a-difference/bedouin-role-model-rania-okby.html

 

Nigeria thanks Israeli offer to help locate abducted schoolgirls.  Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan welcomed the offer by Israel’s Prime Minister to send a team of counter-terrorism experts to assist in the search and rescue operations for nearly 200 Christian schoolgirls kidnapped by Islamic terrorists Boko Haram.

http://www.jspacenews.com/israel-aid-recovery-276-kidnapped-nigerian-girls/

 

Israel’s MDA offers Turkey help in mining disaster.  Israel’s emergency service Magen David Adom has offered the Turkish Red Crescent assistance after an explosion and fire in a coalmine in the town of Soma that killed more than 200 people.  MDA said they could provide valuable manpower and medical equipment.

http://www.jpost.com/International/Israels-Magen-David-Adom-offers-Turkey-assistance-as-death-toll-in-mine-blast-tops-200-352227

 

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

 

Transforming phone camera imaging.  Israeli startup Corephotonics has developed a dual-lens phone camera that can produce crystal-clear images on a smartphone even when the zoom function is used.  It uses two 13-megapixel lenses with their own sensors, thus improving low-light performance and producing cleaner images.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/israeli-technology-transforms-phone-camera-imaging/

 

Turning waste into energy in North Carolina.  Israel’s Bluesphere is to construct a 5.2-megawatt power plant in Charlotte, North Carolina, with the fuel for the plant coming from organic waste from the city’s landfill site.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/israeli-trash-to-gas-tech-to-make-power-for-nc/

 

Israeli teens take another top international physics prize.  Pupils from Ilan Ramon Youth Physics Center in Beer-Sheva have won their 45th prize in the “First Step to Nobel Prize in Physics” competition.  Israel has won the most prizes since the US-based competition began in 2007 – more than the USA, Russia, South Korea etc.

http://www.aabgu.org/media-center/bgu-making-a-difference/high-schooler-physics-prize.html

 

ECONOMY & BUSINESS

 

UK on-line retailer uses Israeli software.  UK’s online retail giant Shop Direct, based in Liverpool, has teamed up with Israel’s Cimagine Media and yRuler to launch a new service that will allow shoppers to try-out products virtually before they buy them. The brands include Very, Isme and Littlewoods.

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/business/shop-direct-technology-offers-shoppers-7092638

 

El Al boost number of flights from USA by 30%.  El Al Airlines’ Spring schedule now has 31 weekly nonstop flights between North America and Israel.  They include 22 flights from New York (JFK/Newark), five from Los Angeles and four from Toronto, Canada.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4517757,00.html

 

Tourism at new record levels.  (Thanks to algemeiner.com) The number of tourists visiting Israel in April was a record-breaking 385,000 – 9% more than in Apr 2013.  Even after accounting for the Passover/Easter effect, the increase was still 5%.  Over 1 million tourists have visited Israel in 2014 – 16% more than in 2013.

http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/05/12/april-sees-four-new-records-for-israel-tourism-upward-trend-continues/

 

Finance raised to drill Leviathan gas.  The developers of Israel’s massive natural gas deposits at the Leviathan field have successfully raised the $2billion necessary to continue the project.  Leviathan’s 18 trillion cubic feet of gas should start flowing in 2016, ensuring Israel’s future energy requirements are secure.

http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Energy-Resources/2014/05/12/Leviathan-part-of-Israeli-gas-revolution-exec-says/9001399902921/?spt=sec&or=bn

 

First Turkey, now Egypt wants Israeli gas.  Israel’s new found energy resource could be a big peacemaker.  Following Turkey’s announcement that it was buying natural gas from Israel, now Egypt’s suppliers have signed a letter of intent to purchase supplies from Israel.  Israel used to import Egyptian gas but not any more.

http://www.jpost.com/Enviro-Tech/Tamar-partners-sign-letter-of-intent-to-supply-gas-to-Egyptian-liquefaction-facility-351430

 

THE JEWISH STATE

 

Green Eilat “saves” hundreds of birds.  The recent sudden heat wave affecting the Middle East took its toll on migrating Corncrakes as they ran out of fat and muscle during their flight from Africa to Europe and Asia.  Luckily they were able to reach Eilat – the first patch of green habitation after endless deserts.

http://www.jpost.com/Enviro-Tech/Hundreds-of-Corncrake-birds-land-in-Eilat-due-to-heat-wave-351559

 

The future is bright.  Gideon Israel writes the facts that refute any claims that Israel is isolated.  He cites Israel’s improved relations with China, India, Central Asia, South Korea, the USA, Latin America and eleven European countries. (Without even mentioning friendships with Canada, Australia, Japan, Africa, etc. etc.)

http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/gideonisrael/israel-at-66-not-a-pariah-not-isolated/

 

UK Rabbis learn more about Israel.  UK Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and 49 Orthodox British Rabbis have completed a 4-day mission to Israel.  Northwood Synagogue’s Rabbi Dr Moshe Freedman said that the trip would help him communicate to congregants not to be emotional about Israel but to seek more information.

http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/118038/we-need-understand-israel-better-says-chief-rabbi-ephraim-mirvis

Report: UN organization concerned by rise in honor killings in West Bank

Jordanian women head coveringThe Jerusalem Post (May 17) — UN Women, the United Nations’ organization for women’s rights, is “seriously concerned” by rising rates of violence against women, including honor killings in the West Bank, according to a report by the Palestinian news agency Ma’an.

The UN statement highlighted the Palestinian Authority’s recent endorsement of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

“The Palestinian Government has demonstrated a political will to end violence against women through the adoption of a zero-tolerance policy on violence against women,” the statement said.

However, the UN group urged that “political will must be translated into urgent concrete action.”

Some activists believe the rise in honor killings indicates social and economic problems are mounting in the West Bank.

Palestinian female participation in the labor force stands at 17 percent, a figure the World Bank called “abysmally low,” noting that employers appeared to favor men, among whom joblessness was almost a third lower in 2013.

Palestinian media occasionally reports the discoveries of a women’s bodies in what are called “hazy circumstances” – a common euphemism for honor killings. Names are concealed and the news is rarely followed up.

A 2013 study estimated an average of 15 to 20 honor killings occur every year in neighboring Jordan, with a population of around 6.3 million, compared to around 4 million in Palestinian lands.

Watch a Hero Cat Charge Down a Dog Brutally Attacking a Child

TheBlaze — A little boy was out enjoying his bicycle in his family’s driveway on Tuesday when out of no where he was attacked by a loose dog.

Luckily, a hero cat was on hand to save the day — yes, a cat.

The incident occurred just before 5 p.m., in Bakersfield, California, according to KERO-TV.

Different angles from the home’s surveillance camera show the boy and then the dog prowling around the corner. When the canine spotted the boy on the other side of an SUV, he trotted over and then lunged, violently pulling the boy from his toddler bike.

Then, the family’s cat, Tara, charged and jumped on the dog, frightening him away from the child and chasing him off the property.

Watch the footage courtesy of KTVU-TV:

Pregnant Sudanese woman sentenced to death for apostasy

A pregnant Sudanese woman who married a Christian man was sentenced to death Thursday after she refused to recant her Christian faith, her lawyer said.

Meriam Ibrahim, whose father was Muslim but mother was an Orthodox Christian from Ethiopia, was convicted of “apostasy” on Sunday and given four days to repent and escape death, lawyer Al-Shareef Ali al-Shareef Mohammed said.

The 26 year old, who is eight months pregnant, was sentenced after that grace period expired, Mohammed said.

Amnesty International immediately condemned the sentence, calling it “abhorrent.” Mohammed called the conviction rushed and legally flawed since the judge refused to hear key defense witnesses and ignored constitutional provisions on freedom of worship and equality among citizens.

Ibrahim and Wani married in a formal church ceremony in 2011 and have a son, 18-month-old Martin, who is with her in jail. The couple runs a farm south of Khartoum.

Sudan’s penal code criminalizes the conversion of Muslims into other religions, which is punishable by death.

As in many Muslim nations, Muslim women in Sudan are prohibited from marrying non-Muslims, though Muslim men can marry outside their faith. By law, children must follow their father’s religion.

Sudan introduced Islamic Shariah laws in the early 1980s under the rule of autocrat Jaafar Nimeiri, a move that contributed to the resumption of an insurgency in the mostly animist and Christian south of Sudan. An earlier round of civil war lasted 17 years and ended in 1972. The south seceded in 2011 to become the world’s newest nation, South Sudan.

Sudanese President Omar Bashir, an Islamist who seized power in a 1989 military coup, says his country will implement Islam more strictly now that the non-Muslim south is gone.

A number of Sudanese have been convicted of apostasy in recent years, but they all escaped execution by recanting their new faith. Religious thinker and politician Mahmoud Mohammed Taha, a critic of Nimeiri and his interpretation of Shariah, was sentenced to death after his conviction of apostasy. He was executed in 1985 at the age of 76.

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