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Bennett Ruda
7,794 followers -
Blogging About Israel
Blogging About Israel

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We interviewed over 20 Startups in Tel Aviv and here’s what we found
Rei Biermann, Amazon Web Services

Last week we had the opportunity to meet with over 20 startups in Tel Aviv. You may have caught our recent blog post “The Israeli Recipe”  where we shared a look into this thriving startup ecosystem. With 5,720 technology companies being responsible for 45% of their GDP, it’s no surprise these companies are building in every imaginable industry. We had the great fortune to sit down with some of these founders, hear about what they are building, and find out how AWS is helping to power their innovation.
 
Here is an aggregate list of the startups visited. Stay tuned on @awsstartups for upcoming Startups On Air videos where our Global Startup Evangelist Mackenzie Kosut will be visiting London, Singapore, China, Spain, Portugal, and more to meet and talk with some of the most exciting startups in the world.

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Israeli Archaeologists in Ancient Synagogue Dig Discover 1,800-Year-Old Donor Plaque
TheTower.org Staff, +The Israel Project

Archaeologists have discovered and restored a stone column with Hebrew inscriptions from an 1,800-year-old synagogue in the town of Peki’in in the western Galilee region, the Israeli Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced this week.

The column was found as part of the Authority’s work on the ancient synagogue in Peki’in.

“The stone was found upside down in the building’s courtyard, and upon discovery of the inscriptions, archeologists from the IAA arrived at the site to examine the special find,” the IAA said in a statement Tuesday. “A preliminary analysis of the engravings suggests that these are dedicatory inscriptions honoring donors to the synagogue.”

Yoav Lerer of the IAA explained to The Jerusalem Post that the Talmud tells of numerous sages who lived in the area at the time, including Rabbi Shimon ben Zakai. While some doubt that modern Peki’in is the same Peki’in mentioned in the Talmud, Lerer said, “I believe that these inscriptions will add an important tier to our knowledge about the Jewish settlement in the village of Peki’in.

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Bonds go beyond hope for peace
Alex Ryvchin, The Australian

There is much to celebrate about the visit of Benjamin Netanyahu to Australia; the first time a sitting Israeli Prime Minister has graced our shores.  We will hear much about the common bond of nations, of shared values and destinies as liberal democracies and secular states governed by the rule of law. 

We will also hear of Australia’s hand in the formation of the Jewish State in 1948. The 4th Australian Light Horse Brigade captured Beersheba on 31 October 1917, dealing a critical blow to the Ottoman Empire’s hold on the neglected backwater that had become Palestine. Two days later, the British Foreign Secretary delivered the famous Balfour Declaration which supported returning Palestine to the Jews, nearly two millennia after the collapse of the last Jewish kingdom there at the hands of Rome. 

Doc Evatt chaired the United Nations’ ad hoc committee on Palestine that in 1947 recommended partition and two states for two peoples. Australia then cast the first historic vote as the General Assembly ratified the partition plan. The ensuing Israeli declaration of independence was a thing of beauty that saw, for the first time in human history, an exiled, displaced nation return to its ancestral home to exercise national self-determination once more. Meanwhile, the united Arab declaration of war was a tragedy of enormous proportions that unleashed a fresh hell on the Jewish people and their infant state of socialist pioneers and Holocaust survivors. It also precipitated an unceasing state of Palestinian grievance and entitlement, not to mention a refugee problem largely of their own making.

..The Israeli leader’s visit is about opportunity. Israel is a technological marvel. It has to be. It is bereft of natural resources, is dominated by desert, and is surrounded by autocrats and populations who pray daily for its destruction.  Israel’s advancements in biotech, cyber-security, emergency response, medicine, defence, water all have the capacity to materially improve the lives of Australians. Remarkably, Israel now does more business with China, Japan and India than with its staunchest ally the United States. In recent years, it has turned to Asia and deepened its engagement with Singapore, Vietnam, and even Indonesia. Israel has not been sluggish in diversifying to meet the challenges of a changing Europe and an unpredictable United States.



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Palestinian Kids at EU-Funded Festival: “Jihad is Needed, Pull the Trigger”
TheTower.org Staff, +The Israel Project

The winning performance at a recent Palestinian youth dancing competition in Nablus called for violence against Israel and featured the lyrics “jihad is needed, pull the trigger,” the watchdog organization Palestinian Media Watch reported Monday.

The event took place at the Yafa Cultural Center, which is funded by Germany, Norway, and the European Union itself. The winning dance was performed by 14-year-old Ru’a Ahmed Sa’id Hamdan to the song “Pull the Trigger,” which was previously broadcast on a Palestinian Authority television channel in 2010.

The song includes the lyrics:

We replaced bracelets with weapons
We attacked the despicable [Zionists]
We do not want [internal] strife or disputes
While this invading enemy is on the battlefield
This is the day that Jihad is needed
Pull the trigger.
We shall redeem Jerusalem, Nablus and the country.

Hamdan and the competition’s top two runners-up received trophies bearing a map of “Palestine” that encompassed the entirety of Israel and the Palestinian territories.

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India’s Modi approves NIS 9.4 billion missile deal with Israel
In latest sign of growing Israeli-Indian defense cooperation, Barak 8 system set to be deployed by 2023
+The Times of Israel

...The system is under joint development of Israel Aerospace Industries and the Defence Research and Development Organisation, India’s primary state military research and development agency.

According to the Mail Today report, “the system can shoot down enemy aircraft, drones, surveillance aircraft and AWACS planes at the strike range between 50 km to 70 km in the sky and will help the country in filling gaps in air defense.”

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WATCH: Australian PM Welcomes Netanyahu on Historic Visit, Blasts UN’s Anti-Israel Bias
TheTower.org Staff, +The Israel Project

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull greeted his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu in a joint press conference in Sydney on Wednesday by highlighting the two countries’ historic friendship and criticizing the United Nations’ treatment of the Jewish state.

Turnbull noted the support Australia have given Israel over the past century, including fighting in Beersheba during World War I and voting at the UN in 1947 to support Israel’s founding. He highlighted the similarities between the two nations:

We’ve also talked about the remarkable achievement of Israel as truly a miraculous nation; a nation founded on the most ancient history, yet at the cutting edge of technology and innovation, inspiring others. Of course, as you know, we have our landing pad as part of our Innovation and Science Agenda in Israel. We are deepening that cooperation with agreement on technology and innovation, and we are enhancing, too, the people-to-people connections with an air services agreement. We are delighted at the way the working holiday visa arrangements have been operating. So many of our young people are travelling to each other’s countries and getting to know the Australian way of life, the Israeli way of life.

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Defending Trump, ex-envoy to US says nobody blamed Obama for leftist anti-Semitism
New Jersey-born deputy minister says Jew-hatred is not new in the US; hails PM for being ‘responsible’ in not criticizing US president’s Holocaust statement that didn’t mention Jews
+Raphael Ahren, +The Times of Israel

Those who charge US President Donald Trump with fueling right-wing anti-Semitism should recall that no one had accused his predecessor, Barack Obama, of spurring anti-Semitism from the left, Deputy Minister for Public Diplomacy MK Michael Oren said Thursday.

...Oren, who was a noted historian of US-Israeli history before entering diplomacy and politics, did not deny that Jew-hatred was a growing concern in the US but pointed out that it was by no means a new phenomenon.

“Obviously there is problem with anti-Semitism and we have to take it seriously,” said Oren, a member of the centrist Kulanu party. “But there is anti-Semitism on the left, and nobody blamed Obama for that. During my time in Washington [as Israeli ambassador], I never encountered right-wing anti-Semitism, but I experienced a lot of anti-Semitism, mainly on campuses. Ask Jewish students in America if they fear anti-Semitism. They do — not from the right, but from the left.”

Just as Obama should not be blamed for these incidents, Trump cannot be blamed for the current wave of attacks apparently inspired by right-wing ideologies, he argued.


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UCL is second university to cancel Israel Apartheid Week event
Authorities say Palestine Society failed to follow "proper process" in arranging discussion to highlight "racial tension in Israel"
Lee Harpin, +The Jewish Chronicle

A second UK university has cancelled an event scheduled to take place as part of Israel Apartheid Week.

University College London confirmed that an event planned by the campus Palestine Society will not be allowed to take place because the group advertised it "without having gone through proper process".

Note: The University of Central Lancashire was the first: http://bit.ly/2mfbFPd



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New York Times Laments anti-Semitism...Gives Op-Ed Space to anti-Semitic Group

Twitter link: http://bit.ly/2mk4npU
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Nine Questions About the Muslim Brotherhood
Josh Block, Progressive Policy Institute

...1. Can the Muslim Brotherhood participate in a government where Egypt continues its obligations to Israel under the Camp David Accords? Could it lead such a government? 

Muslim Brotherhood party leader Mohamed Ghanem said on Iranian TV that Egypt should stop selling gas to Israel and prepare the Egyptian army for a war with the Jewish State, echoing the 2010 declaration of Muslim Brotherhood Chairman Mohammed Badie that the Camp David Accords violate the laws of Islam and have “lost all credibility.”­  Likewise, a Brotherhood leader told NHK TV this week that as soon as there was a post-Mubarak government it must break peace with Israel.
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