Thursday, June 25, 2015

Why I need to tell my truth about serving in Israeli army

We must counter the hypocrisy of Breaking the Silence and show that IDF has thousands of soldiers who try to live up to high ethical standards.

By Matan Katzman, Opinion for Haaretz

I admit, I was nervous.

My heart was racing because this was the first time I had addressed a foreign parliament, but I knew the courage of my convictions in the justice of the cause would see me through. As they called my name to speak at the EU Subcommittee on Human Rights in Brussels last week, I knew that I was representing not only myself but the men and women of the Israel Defense Forces.

To my right was a representative of the NGO Breaking the Silence. For years, their representatives have regularly traveled the world to speak in parliaments, on campuses and in communities. Their message is a litany of horror stories about the actions of IDF soldiers, which are often void of context and unverified. Their global travel undermines the credibility of their claim to be an organization that seeks to influence Israeli civil society from within.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Israeli start-up freezes breast cancer in its tracks, without surgery

IceCure says that its cryoablation system can kill 
early-stage growths within minutes without surgery, let alone scarring.

By Inbal Orpaz for Haaretz

Breast cancer is the most common malignancy among women. Usually, treatment involves mastectomy and chemotherapy or radiation therapy. But there is a lesser-known alternative: cryoablation – to freeze the tumor in its tracks. Literally. No scarring, no hospital stay, though chemotherapy or radiation will still apply, IceCure Medical stresses.

This would be good news for women, given the American Association for Cancer Research projection of 440,000 breast cancer cases in 2030, compared with 283,000 in 2011. (Yes, that rate is faster than population growth, because of rising incidence in elderly women.)

Cryoablation has been around for 25 years and is commonly used to remove external skin blemishes, such as warts. Some companies, like IceCure, have developed it to freeze tumors too, but the Israeli company claims its technology is better.

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Monday, June 22, 2015

Study: Two-State Solution will Boost both Israeli and Palestinian Economies

Rand Corporation study indicates that a two-state solution will boost both Israeli and Palestinian economies by billions

By: Daina Goldfinger for ShalomLife

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one that has been disputed for decades with no avail so far. Now, a recently released study from Rand Corporation, an American think tank and non-profit global research company, shows some new and promising insights.

According to the study done by Rand, the Israeli and Palestinian economies will both flourish extensively if a two-state solution is implemented in the region. Israel has the potential of gaining $120 billion (NIS 460 billion), while the Palestinians would gain $50 billion (NIS 193 billion). The difference in numbers concerning the acquisition of dollars is due to the fact that Israel simply has a larger economy than the Palestinians.

If no solution is enacted between the Israelis and Palestinians however, then this could cost them both billions of dollars. Even with nonviolent conflict, the international boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement alone could cost Israel $50 billion within the next 10 years.

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An American Charter School Teaching in Hebrew S

Israeli TV 10 Segment on Sela Public Charter School

This news feature was aired on Israeli TV Channel 10, featuring the children, teachers, and administrators of Sela Public Charter School, part of the Hebrew Charter School Center network of dual-language charter schools in the US.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Saving Grandma and Other Innovative Solutions to BDS

As the BDS movement gains momentum, VOI's Ari Abramowitz and Jeremy Gimpel discuss innovative solutions. They are joined by Assaf Luxembourg, CEO of Crowdmii (, and Gidon Rogers, CTO of My MDBand, to discuss their mobilizing of Israel-lovers around the world to neutralize boycotts with "buycotts." This means standing by, facilitating and promoting the success of Israeli startups, whose contributions are not only amazing, but also life-saving.

Listen to the Full Show

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

You can’t win a PR war by fighting on the enemy’s side

By Evelyn Gordon

Israel needs to stop arguing the Palestinians’ case and start arguing its own

Responding to last week’s column about the importance of stressing Israel’s achievements rather than its failures, a reader wrote that while she agreed with me, this alone wouldn’t suffice to fix Israel’s broken public diplomacy. And of course, she’s right, because that column addressed only one of two major flaws in Israel’s public diplomacy. The other is no less important: Quite simply, Israel needs to stop arguing the Palestinians’ case and start arguing its own.

I can’t think of another conflict in history where one side devoted so much time and energy to selling the world the other side’s narrative rather than its own. And then, after two decades of actively supporting the two most important Palestinians claims against it, Israel actually wonders why the world views it as the villain.

Claim number one is that the West Bank and Gaza are “occupied Palestinian territory.” This is a crucial issue, because if Israel is just a thief occupying stolen Palestinian land, then it has no right to retain any of this land or set any conditions on its return, and deserves opprobrium for even daring to pose such demands. In contrast, if Israel has a valid claim to these lands, then it’s being laudably generous in offering the Palestinians a state there and has every right to impose conditions on this generosity, like retaining certain areas or demanding specific security arrangements.

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Monday, June 15, 2015

Can Israel Unite?

By Edward Grossman for Mosaic Magazine

Here in Jerusalem there are pensioners old enough to remember how, almost a half-century ago, Israel’s first national-unity government was born. You might say its father was Gamal Abdel Nasser, president of Egypt. He’d blockaded the Straits of Tiran via which Israel got oil from Iran, booted the UN peacekeepers from Sinai, massed his army there, and declared that his objective in any resulting war would be the end of the Zionist entity. “Death to Israel!” chanted the multitudes in Tahrir Square. Meanwhile the U.S., which ten years before had promised to keep the straits open, was too busy in Vietnam to keep its word.

Things in 1967 were clear. We faced an emergency, faced it by ourselves, and faced it with a government most of us didn’t trust anymore. “The government in its present composition,” said the editors of Haaretz, referring to the coalition headed by the Mapai party (the precursor of today’s Labor) under Levi Eshkol, “cannot lead the nation in its time of danger.” A few days after this call for a change, Eshkol and the Mapai barons who’d founded, built, defended, and run the country practically by themselves for its first nineteen years did what had to be done. They brought into the cabinet not just the one-eyed Moshe Dayan of the breakaway Rafi party but the radioactive Menachem Begin, founder and chief of Herut, the successor of the pre-state Irgun and precursor of Likud.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

2,700-year old tomb of Hebrew prophet in danger from ISIS

A family of Assyrian Christians has been guarding the tomb of Nahum the Elkoshi for generations. That tradition may be ending soon.

By Sheren Khalel and Matthew Vickery

Al Qosh, IRAQ – Nahum the Prophet warned the world about the impending end of the Assyrian empire and the destruction of its capital, Nineveh. More than 2,600 years later, his tomb, inside an ancient synagogue in the Iraqi city of Al Qosh, may face the same fate, courtesy of ISIS.

Smooth domes topped with crucifixes rise slightly above the beige stone houses in Al Qosh, the modern town built on the ancient Nineveh plain. The town is a treasure trove of history from the Assyrian empire and the beginnings of Christianity. Less well known is the town’s Hebrew heritage, emblemized by the Prophet Nahum.

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Monday, June 1, 2015

Tens of thousands attend NYC Israel solidarity parade

51st annual Celebrate Israel event attracts over 30,000; anti-Israel protesters turned away by police

By Cathryn J. Prince, The Times of Israel

NEW YORK — Tens of thousands of people gathered in the streets of New York on Sunday to mark the 51st annual Celebrate Israel Parade.

American and Israeli politicians joined 30,000 other people who marched up Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue in a show of solidarity with Israel for the all-day event marking Israel’s 67th birthday.

A number of Knesset members, including Minister without portfolio Ofir Akunis, Minister of Science, Technology and Space Danny Danon (Likud), Avraham Naguise (Likud), Yoav Ben Tzur (Shas) and Revital Swid and Ksenia Svetlova (Zionist Union) represented the Israeli parliament at the parade.

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