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French Jews face trinity of hate from left, right, and Islamists, says author

(Photo: by Frederick Florin / Pool / AFP)

(Photo: by Frederick Florin / Pool / AFP)

By Robert Sarner - June 16, 2019

As the global pandemic of anti-Semitism worsens, its impact deepens. According to Paris writer Marc Weitzmann, such is the situation for Jews in France today that many play down, if not conceal, their Jewish identity in public. Weitzmann himself readily admits to not exhibiting outward signs of his Jewishness when circulating in the city.

Having just spent the past four years studying the resurgence of Jew-hatred in France for his new book, Weizmann is keenly aware of the potential, sometimes lethal, danger Jews face in his native country.

“I definitely take precautions,” Weitzmann says in fluent English during a recent interview with The Times of Israel. “For instance, when I’m in the subway or in a bar, I’m careful about what kind of book I carry. If it’s about a Jewish topic, I don’t show the cover too obviously. I wouldn’t wear a Star of David outside, and not just in Paris. Today, you can expose yourself to insults and worse pretty much anywhere in France. I first started having this concern about 15 years ago when things started to change for Jews.”

Read More: Times of Israel

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Archaeologists Identify City Gate From Time of King David

(Photo: Stephen G. Rosenberg)

(Photo: Stephen G. Rosenberg)

By Zachary Keyser - June 6, 2019

A city gate from the time of King David was discovered after 32 years of excavation in the ancient city of Bethsaida in the Golan Heights’ Jordan Park, opening up a world of new possibilities, opinions and theories about the ancient landscape of the Land of Israel.

According to Professor Rami Arav of the University of Nebraska, chief archaeologist overseeing the excavations, told the Jerusalem Post that the gate and further findings found within the ancient city give the notion that it was possible that Solomon and David might not have been the sole kings of the Israelite kingdom at their respective times, but instead chieftains of large tribes of Israelites.

The previously uncovered gate found in the area last year was cautiously identified to be a part of the biblical city of Zer, a name used during the First Temple period. However, the newly found gate dates back to the time and rule of King David, which is purportedly from the 11th to 10th centuries BCE.

“There are not many gates from capital cities in this country from this period,” said Arav. “Bethsaida was the name of the city during the Second Temple period, but during the First Temple period it was the city of Zer.” Arav cited Joshua 19:35, which says: “The fortified towns were Ziddim, Zer, Hammath, Rakkath, Kinneret.”

Read More: Jerusalem Post

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Pope welcomes Israeli, Jordanian, Palestinian bird experts

(Photo: Vatican Media)

(Photo: Vatican Media)

By Abigail Klein Leichman - June 6, 2019

Israeli, Jordanian, Palestinian and Swiss bird experts recently traveled to the Vatican to discuss their successful cross-border project using barn owls for biological pest control.

The project eliminates the use of toxic pesticides in agriculture and has promoted cooperation among Jewish and Muslim farmers.

“The meeting with Pope Francis was an extraordinary experience,” reported Tel Aviv University Prof. Yossi Leshem, the Israeli ornithologist who spearheaded the project in 1983 at Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu, with the first installment of 14 nesting boxes.

“The Pope moved us with the simplicity of his manners, his informal communication, his intelligence, and his tremendous excitement for the protection of biodiversity and his interest in the protection of Earth, which he characterize as God’s creation and the duty of every believer to protect and save from extinction.”

In 2002, Leshem expanded the barn-owl project to farms in nearby Jordan and Palestinian Authority territories. It became a national initiative in 2008 in cooperation with the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel and the governmental ministries of Agriculture, Environmental Protection and Regional Cooperation.

Read More: Israel21c

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Israel to ally with Arab neighbors around Red Sea in bid to save world’s corals

(Photo: Maoz Fine)

(Photo: Maoz Fine)

By Melanie Lidman - June 7, 2019

In a race to save the colorful corals that dot the shores of the Red Sea, Israel has joined a unique regional collaboration along with seven other majority-Muslim countries, many of whom do not have diplomatic relations with the Jewish state.

The Red Sea Transnational Research Center, to be managed by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, will study the Red Sea’s vast coral reefs and how they have managed to resist bleaching effects that have led to the imminent collapse of other reefs around the world.

The alliance will include all the countries that border the Red Sea: Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Israel only has diplomatic relations with Jordan and Egypt.

Read More: Times of Israel

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Arab Israeli Women Joining The Labor Force In Large Numbers

(Photo: Aloni Mor)

(Photo: Aloni Mor)

By Linda Gradstein - June 3, 2019

Economists agree that there are two groups who are under-represented in the Israeli labor force and are dragging down the economy, namely Arab women and ultra-Orthodox men. In both cases there are educational, cultural and systemic barriers to their employment. The Israeli government is working hard to make the changes that will encourage more women to join the labor force.

A decade ago, only about 22% of Arab women were working outside the home. Today over 40% of them are part of the labor force.

“The major reason is the increase in the educational level of Arab women and internal changes within Arab society,” says Aiman Saif, director of the Authority for the Economic Development of the Minorities Sector and Senior Advisor at Portland Trust, in an interview. “There are more workplaces and more opportunities for women – therefore we see an increase.”

Read More: Jerusalem Post

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Israeli sailor, 15, makes history at European Championship

(Photo: Dean Bikel)

(Photo: Dean Bikel)

By Abigail Klein Leichman - June 5, 2019

Fifteen-year-old Yogev Alcalay of the Sdot Yam Sailing Club in Israel took home four gold medals and a trophy from the EurILCA (International Laser Class Association) 2019 Laser 4.7 Youth Europeans in Hyeres, France, concluded on May 25.

Yogev made history by besting male competitors not only in the under-16 category but also in the entire under-18 boys’ category in both the open and European divisions – meaning he was the top laser sailor among 270 male competitors. Altogether, the competition included 400 participants from 50 countries.

The ninth-grade honors student from Caesarea trains six times a week in the water and two in the gym at Sdot Yam Sailing Club, where he had his first sailing experience during a summer camp in 2012.

Read More: Israel21c

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Fourth-grader unearths 9th century gold coin during educational dig

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By TOI Staff - June 2, 2019

A ten-year-old girl experienced the thrill of being an archaeologist when she spotted something sparkling during an educational dig on Thursday and discovered a ninth century gold coin.

Shira Sofer, a fourth-grade student at the Bachar Rousseau school in Tzur Moshe, near Netanya in central Israel, is one of hundreds of children taking part in a Lev HaSharon Regional Council archaeology program.

They are working at a village from the Byzantine and Early Islamic periods (the Talmudic and Geonic period, 5th to 11th centuries CE), among excavations that have revealed dwellings along with the everyday objects owned by their ancient owners, such as pottery, glass, coins and weights.

Read More: Times of Israel

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US Army Veterans Find Comfort in Israel

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By Alan Rosenbaum - May 27, 2019

I struggled for years trying to find healing from the moral injury of war and was overwhelmed by the impact that Jewish National Fund-USA (JNF-USA) had on my experience with Heroes to Heroes in Israel. Everywhere we went, JNF-USA was there!” said Joe Walters, 71, from Suffolk, Virginia.

A Vietnam War veteran, Walters is one of 277 US Army veterans who has traveled to Israel with Jewish National Fund-USA partner Heroes to Heroes, a US-based organization that provides spiritual healing and peer support for American combat veterans who have attempted suicide or are on a path to self-destruction. In partnership with JNF-USA, American and Israeli military veterans are also able to meet and bond during a 10-day journey to Israel, where teams of 12 to 14 US vets are led by program alumni. While in Israel, the vets are joined by their Israeli counterparts and visit various sites important to Israel’s path to independence.

Read More: Jerusalem Post

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South Koreans are flocking to Israel for Bible study… why?

(Photo: Avital Turel)

(Photo: Avital Turel)

By Naama Barak - May 26, 2019

Studying ancient texts is fascinating. But it’s one thing to examine them in a stuffy classroom, and quite another to immerse yourself in the world from which they originated. Just ask the South Korean students studying the Hebrew Bible bang in the middle of the Holy Land.

You won’t have much difficulty finding them. Over the past few years, the Bible department at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan has hosted numerous students from South Korea who have traveled across the world to study sacred texts in their original language and setting.

One such student is Kim Kyoungsik, a 38-year-old Christian pastor from Seoul.

“As a Christian, we know the Hebrew Bible; we call it the Old Testament,” he tells ISRAEL21c. “I was born as a Christian, so since I was very young I read the Bible and I heard the message of the Bible from parents and church, and naturally I wanted to learn Hebrew to understand the Hebrew Bible in its original language.”

In Korea he could not learn the Hebrew language at a deep level, he adds. “I also have a great interest in the Holy Land itself, so I also wanted to experience the geography of Israel.”

Kyoungsik is now completing his doctoral dissertation on plot conventions in the Scroll of Esther, and recently returned home after studying in Israel for almost eight years.

“I could experience the Bible and Israel through the physical geography. I traveled a lot during my studies and that kind of experience cannot be done in other countries,” he notes. His favorite discovery was the Judean desert.

Read More: Israel21c

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Israelis rush to aid Venezuelan refugees in Colombia

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By Abigail Klein Leichman - May 21, 2019

Israeli humanitarian aid agency IsraAID reports that it has dispatched an emergency response team to the city of Cúcuta, on Colombia’s border with Venezuela, which is a flashpoint in the ongoing Venezuelan displacement crisis.

Thousands cross the Simon Bolivar Bridge from Venezuela into Cúcuta every day seeking relief from the continued economic and political crisis in the country.

On May 17, IsraAID’s team distributed relief materials and conducted hygiene-promotion activities for 500 newly arrived Venezuelans at the border crossing, in partnership with Fundacion Venezolanos en Cúcuta, an organization of Venezuelans who provide support to new arrivals entering Colombia.

Read More: Israel21c

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Ben-Gurion University researchers create hybrid flying/driving robot

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By Shoshanna Solomon - May 20, 2019

Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev said they have developed a “groundbreaking” hybrid robot that can both fly and drive, as well as squeeze into tight spaces, all while using the same motor.

The square, four-wheeled, winged machine can fly up stairs, roll over rough terrain, flatten itself or raise its body, and quickly move from driving mode into flying mode. It can adjust its width to crawl or run on flat surfaces, climb over large obstacles and up walls, or squeeze through a tunnel, pipe or narrow gap. The robot can move on the ground at a speed of up to eight feet per second (2.6 m/s) and uses low energy to operate.

Read More: Times of Israel

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How Tel Aviv’s Levant Fair came to host Eurovision

(Photo: Iris Mazel)

(Photo: Iris Mazel)

By Rachel Neiman - May 6, 2019

This week, Tel Aviv welcomed the first of the contestants in the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest, here to rehearse in preparation for the competition which commences on May 14.

They may not be aware that their venue – the Expo Tel Aviv, formerly called the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds – has a history that stretches back almost to the city’s founding, with a symbol that has become wholly identified with the “nonstop city.”

Since the mid-19th century, expositions and fairs have been an engine for trade and relations between countries. As early as 1898, an “International Scientific, Industrial and Philanthropic Fair” was planned as part of the celebration of the German Kaiser’s visit to Ottoman Empire-era Jerusalem, according to philatelic historian Dr. Arthur Groten.

While that fair never took place, agricultural exhibitions in the Yishuv (the early modern Jewish settlement) were held on a regional basis. After World War I, under the British Mandate, regional fairs were held throughout the Near East.

Read More: Israel21c

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Japan's Quest For Smart Automation Brings It To Israel

(Photo: Noriko Hayashi/Bloomberg)

(Photo: Noriko Hayashi/Bloomberg)

By Amir Mizroch - May 11, 2019

TEL AVIV --Executives from Israeli cyber intelligence firm, KELA Group, which monitors hacking threats in the dark recesses of the Dark Net –a vast unknown and encrypted part of the Internet that most of us never see--recently met with a large Japanese carmaker with news that it was wide open to a particularly vicious hacking attack called WannaCry. There were signs the hackers were about to launch the attack on automated processes the carmaker heavily relies on. Once in control of the automation systems at the factories, the hackers would extort a ransom, a method known as a ransomware attack, recalls Doron Levit, a KELA executive. What’s worse, Levit said, is that the attackers had exploited a known cyber vulnerability which the carmaker’s security team had not patched, and which had already sowed chaos at manufacturers and hospitals worldwide.

It was their lucky day,” Levit says, adding that the tip-off was very well received by the Japanese company's management.

It was a lucky break for Levit’s company too, who had recently signed a business development partnership with Japanese investment firm Hijojo Partners to access large Japanese industrial corporations dealing with complex automation and robotics processes –two areas of increasing strategic economic priority for Japan.

Read More: Forbes

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Lighting torch, SpaceIL chair Morris Kahn says he’ll fund 2nd Beresheet moonshot

(Screenshot/Channel 12)

(Screenshot/Channel 12)

By TOI Staff - May 8, 2019

SpaceIL chairman Morris Kahn decided Wednesday to boldly go where no one has gone before, veering wildly off script at Israel’s carefully staged national Independence Day ceremony to announce he will again contribute funding for a second attempt to land an Israeli spacecraft on the moon.

Kahn, a South African-Israeli billionaire philanthropist, made the announcement while lighting a torch on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.

Beresheet, the world’s first privately funded moon lander, crashed into the lunar surface in April during an attempted landing, apparently due to a technical glitch that caused its main engine to stop mid-landing.

Kahn, 89, put his glasses on to read his prepared lines but then looked up and winged it, thanking all those in the project and making a little announcement about Beresheet 2.

Read More: Times of Israel

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Massive 82% Spike in Antisemitic Hate Crimes in New York City, NYPD Finds

(Photo: Kena Betancur/Getty Images/AFP)

(Photo: Kena Betancur/Getty Images/AFP)

By Jeremy Sharon - May 4, 2019

The New York Police Department has reported an 82% increase in antisemitic hate crimes in the city in the first three months of 2019.

The statistics, released on Thursday, also showed a 67% increase in overall hate crimes in New York City over the same period.

The Anti-Defamation League’s 2018 Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents, published earlier this week found that there was an even bigger rise of antisemitic hate crime in New York State of 170% from the third to the fourth quarter of 2018.

In the latest in the ongoing series of incidents of harassment and assault against Jews in New York, a passerby spat at and cursed a Jewish man in Brooklyn on Wednesday. The incident which was captured on video and published on social media.

Read More: Jerusalem Post

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Attacks on Israel: Not just from Gaza

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By Josh Ahrens - May 8, 2019

This has been an extremely difficult week for Israel as the terror organization Hamas has launched seven hundred deadly rockets from Gaza into Israeli communities.

Most in the international community and mainstream media have chosen to do what they do every time Hamas attacks Israel. They take the opportunity, not to call on Hamas to stop firing rockets at innocent civilians, but to report on the conflict in a way that demonizes Israel for responding to these acts of terror.

After Hamas relentlessly bombed Israeli communities, this is how Sky News chose to report on that... "5 Dead in Gaza amid Failed Israel Ceasefire Talks." They left out Hamas, and the Israelis Hamas has killed. I would suggest wording it like this... "Oppressive Terror Organization Hamas Breaks Ceasefire with Israel, Renews Rocket Attacks, Causing Deaths on Both Sides."

Words matter.

Adding fuel to the fire, the New York Times chose to publish this antisemitic cartoon (which looks lifted straight out of 1940’s Nazi propaganda.)

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Jeremy Corbyn, the leader (!!) of the British Labor Party, recently did the same, endorsing a book which repeats Nazi tropes about Jews controlling the media.

Indifference to such careless words has helped spread the agenda of Hamas to nearly every area of life in the West. French Jews are leaving France in record numbers because of antisemitic attacks. American university campuses continue to perpetuate incidents against Jews, rising in frequency year after year. Canada has seen its third straight year of record-breaking antisemitic attacks. It's the same story in Sweden. In this article written by IC alum Jeff Walton, we see the Presbyterian Church (USA) continue to unfairly malign Israel.

Could we have imagined this list of events ten years ago? Will we rise to the challenge and share the truth and beauty of Israel with those in the audiences God has trusted us with? Will we be counted among those who saw the warning signs early and spoke up? Are we willing, as Jesus followers first and foremost, to pay a cost if necessary?

There is a correlation between these cartoons, the biased news reporting, and the false teaching pervading some Christian denominations: It all leads to violence (or tolerance of that violence) against Jews.

You, the Israel Collective, leaders of the next generation, are the key. We must educate our audiences on what antisemitism is, and how to respond to it with love, courage, and truth.

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Israelis reach out to southerners under rocket attack

(Photo: Noam Rivkin Fenton/Flash90)

(Photo: Noam Rivkin Fenton/Flash90)

By Naama Barak - May 6, 2019

A ceasefire hopefully marking the end of the latest round of violence on the Gaza border came into effect on Monday morning, giving relief to Israelis under attack from hundreds of rockets launched into the south of the country over the weekend.

While schools in the south are now open again allowing 210,000 affected children to go back into the classroom, and people are gradually going back to their regular routines, the weekend saw many residents stuck in safe rooms or trying to find respite farther from the border as a barrage of 690 missiles hit southern Israel killing four people, injuring hundreds, and destroying many properties.

Read More: Israel21c

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Israeli invents device that can test pesticide residues on food in real time

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By Abigail Klein Leichman - April 24, 2019

Avner Avidan watched in horror as a TV news exposé revealed the alarming amount of invisible pesticide residues on supermarket fruits and vegetables. According to World Health Organization estimates, a variety of food contaminants sickened one of every 10 people during 2018.

“There is something wrong with this picture,” says Avidan, an Israeli who is passionate about plant-based eating and fitness.

“For me, the understanding that I can still cause significant damage to my body with these contaminants even if I try to be healthy and most of my diet is comprised of fruit, vegetables and soy, was shocking. I thought it required a different solution.”

Hoping to develop an accurate handheld device for shoppers to check produce for pesticide residue, Avidan put in six months of research and concluded this couldn’t yet be done reliably on the consumer level.

But he did discover that on a larger scale, food manufacturers, farmers and retailers were seeking faster, cheaper, and more reliable solutions to comply with government regulations requiring that their products do not exceed maximum residue limits (MRLs) for chemical contaminants including pesticides.

Read More: Israel21c

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A Jew, a Muslim and a Christian walk into a classroom

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By Naama Barak - April 22, 2019

A Jew, a Muslim and a Christian walk into a classroom. No, this is not the start of a joke, but a most accurate description of a unique course on interreligious dialogue at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University.

“The class as a whole is meant as an opportunity for Jewish and Arab students at Bar-Ilan University to get an appreciation of each other’s cultures and see the commonalities in religious traditions as a basis for dialogue,” says course lecturer Ben Mollov.

“They’re gaining the personal perspective of each other and that leads to a type of relationship building and relationship transformation.”

Mollov, a lecturer in political science and conflict management at Bar-Ilan, has been involved in Arab-Jewish dialogue from a religious perspective for the past 20-odd years. And while he’s a veteran enthusiast of this sort of dialogue, the current course emerged as an initiative of his students.

Read More: Israel21c

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Israeli scientists unveil world’s first 3D-printed heart with human tissue

(Photo: JACK GUEZ / AFP)

(Photo: JACK GUEZ / AFP)

By Delphine Matthieussent - April 15, 2019

AFP — Scientists in Israel unveiled a 3D print of a heart with human tissue and vessels on Monday, calling it a first and a “major medical breakthrough” that advances possibilities for transplants.

While it remains a far way off, scientists hope one day to be able to produce hearts suitable for transplant into humans as well as patches to regenerate defective hearts.

The heart produced by researchers at Tel Aviv University is about the size of a rabbit’s.

Read More: Times of Israel

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