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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Solared Powered Robot Planes?

Although I can see this technology used for military operations (as it would save the government on fuel, batteries, etc.) this technology could easily be sold to NASA for future probes on Mars.

(Globes Online) Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) will unveil a solar-powered unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) at an aeronautical show tomorrow. The UAV has extended drawing on solar energy collected during the day for night operations.

Since this article was posted two days ago, the show actually happened yesterday. Aside from military and space, we may one day see this technology used on commercial airlines (as it would definitely help cut down on CO2 pollution, satisfying the global warming crowd).

An Alcohol Free Bar In Jerusalem? Huh?

It looks like the mayor of Jerusalem is pioneering a new way to prevent foreign youth from getting drunk in the city. I think MADD would be proud.

(Jewish Telegraphic Agency) Lugar opened its doors in central Jerusalem on Monday with a teetotaling format geared toward minors.

The initiative was conceived by Mayor Uri Lupolianski following growing evidence that youths in Jerusalem, including many foreigners on study visits, were increasingly abusing lax controls on alcohol consumption in public places.

I'm not too sure how successful this bar will be, but if it actually works you'll be able to add this to the stack of problems solved by Jewish ingenuity.

Israel And Scientist To Share AIDS Drug Revenues

It looks like the state of Israel and a scientists looking to help fund research to fight AIDS, have reached an agreement on how to distribute the profits of this new drug.

(Globes Online) Accountant General Dr. Yaron Zalika has reached an agreement with former Israeli State Veterinary Services and Animal Health director Prof. Zeev Treinin to develop and patent an AIDS drug. In exchange, the state will receive royalties from profits from the drug, if any. Treinin reached the agreement because he discovered the drug’s basic ingredient when he was a civil servant, which means that the state owns the intellectual property.

I did not see any more information on Globes regarding how useful this new drug is, but that may be because a patent has not been secured for the drug. Hopefully this doctor receives the necessary funds to complete his research as AIDS is one of the less friendly diseases roaming around on our planet.

Israeli Producer's Film Generates Hollywood Buzz

It looks as if Ram Bergman will be launching a new film entitled "The Brothers Bloom" which is a movie about two cons deciding to perform one more act of misconduct before retiring.

(Ynet News) Bergman, who is currently working in Hollywood, managed to recruit actor Adrien Brody ('The Pianist,' 'King Kong'), British-Jewish actress Rachel Weisz (who won an Academy Award last year for best supporting actress in 'The Constant Gardener'), and Japanese actress Rinko Kikuchi (who is nominated this year for an Academy Award for best supporting actress in 'Babel') to participate in his intriguing and all-embracing production.

Director Rian Johnson wrote 'The Brothers Bloom,' inspired by the film 'The Sting.' Johnson has already worked with Bergman on 'Brick,' a successful movie which won Bergman recognition as one of the 10 prominent producers in American independent cinema.

Bergman says that the film industry is extremely intrigued by the new movie ("everyone in Hollywood wants to work in this film"), referring to Johnson as "the next Tarantino."

With the film hosting an incredible cast I would not be surprised if this was nominated for an Academy Award. No word when this movie is scheduled for release in the states, but from my estimates films like these can generally take up to two years (or more) to produce, edit and release.

Jewish Kids With Down Syndrome Receive Help

Although this pertains mainly to the UK, I thought it was a nice enough article to mention here.

(Jerusalem Post) The Leads Trust, a charitable organization that promotes the language and educational achievements of Jewish children with Down's, was founded by Rabbi Michael Bernstein, the father of a child with Down's syndrome.

The new trust will provide a range of educational and awareness services and programs, the first of which will enable any Jewish child with Down's throughout the UK to receive specialist speech and language therapy. Sessions are heavily subsidized through private donations and will be delivered by therapists with specific training and experience in working with children with Down's.

It is a good sign to see Jewish leaders helping those who are not as fortunate as they are within their community. Hopefully we will be able to see program grow, and perhaps expand into the promise land itself (as I am unsure whether something similar exists in Israel).

US Poll To Israel: Vital Friend Indeed

According to a Gallup poll, Israel is viewed by many Americans to be a "vital friend," even more so than the states traditional allies such as Australia, Canada and yes, England too.

(Ynet News) A Gallup poll surveying US opinion on geopolitics singles out Israel as only foreign nation Americans feel favorably toward and also say that what happens there is vitally important to the US. [...]

Of the countries viewed both favorably and important, only Israel was named, with 55 percent of Americans deeming it a 'vital friend.'

This is probably a result of a combination of Jewish and Christian organizations working together to present a favorable image of Israel (to counter what's been displayed in the media).

Although already fairly well known to Israel's friends and foes alike, America pretty much has Israel's back (and the same could probably also be said visa versa). One only has to look at who's currently running for president in America to see how the US views its friend across the Atlantic pond.

Google Adsense Gets Kosher (Now In Hebrew)

It looks like the search engine king has finally enabled Hebrew ads for Hebrew sites. Basically if your from Israel and you speak, read and type Hebrew fluently, you will now start seeing ads displayed in Hebrew on your webpage.

(Inside Adsense) This week, we’ve launched AdSense for content in Hebrew. If you're a publisher with a site primarily in Hebrew, feel free to begin displaying contextually-targeted ads on your pages by logging in to your account and generating your ad code under the AdSense Setup tab. As you may know, it can take up to 48 hours for our crawler to visit your site and determine which are relevant ads to display.

I've already started seeing some Hebrew ads on my site, although I (currently) have no clue what they are saying (I am going to have to find time to hire a Hebrew speaker one of these days).

Update: Republished on Israpundit.

Monday, February 19, 2007

And All Of The Pregnant Women Rejoiced!

With all of the stress of a woman carrying a child, it looks like one electronic invention will remove one painful test out of the lives of pregnant women everywhere.

(Israel 21st Century) Traditionally, monitoring the progress of labor must be done through intrusive and repeated manual examinations. Measurements are generally obtained every one to four hours by inserting the fingers towards the cervix. Measured by finger-lengths and not objective measurements, multiple examinations even by the same person often provide varied results. These uncomfortable examinations increase stress and anxiety for birthing mothers while increasing health risks.

The CLM uses proprietary ultrasound technology to monitor the progression of labor. Signals from disposable sensors track cervix dilation and fetal head descent, providing continuous and accurate data throughout the birthing process. The results are available in real-time on a user-friendly monitor visible to both the medical team and the birthing mother.

It looks as if the women in the article are enjoying the benefits of this technology as much as the doctors (if not more). Unfortunately this technology has not traveled beyond Israel's borders, although they are trying to introduce this technology to the medical community (as well as some colleges) in the US.

Note: I was going to include the press image, but in order to keep this site "family friendly."

Israel Likes Their Female CEO's

Despite the freedoms that permeate both the US and Israel, the Jewish state does seem to have on business advantage for females compared to their American friends.

(Globes Online) Israel has double the proportion of women CEOs than the US, relative to the size of the population, says Business Data Israel (BDI). The average CEO in Israel's top 500 companies is 50, married with three children, resides in the center of the country, and has an MA in Economics or MBA.

It looks as if the glass ceiling in Israel is a little bit thinner than it is in the United States. Although I wonder if most of those women CEO's (in Israel) are from the technology sector or from health?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Vringo Suggests Video Tones Over Ring Tones?

Vringo, Image Credit: Israel 21st Century
I'm sure that everyone who is anyone who has a cell phone is familiar with ring tones, as well as where to pay to download your favorite song as the mobile chime.

But it seems that a company called Vringo is asking "Why use an audio tone when you can upload a video tone instead?"

(Israel 21st Century) "The idea is as you move from audio to video in choosing your ring tone, you're moving from the individual to the community," explained Medved from his startup's offices in Beit Shemesh, halfway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

"Until now, you chose a ring tone for yourself - for instance The Rolling Stones, and that describes something about you to those around you when your phone rings. But otherwise it doesn't tell any story about yourself. In enabling people to share video clips - a snippet of comedy show or a joke, or to their own 10-second video message with their cell phone camera saying something like "Get up!" or "Why are you avoiding me?" - then it becomes something that you're not creating for yourself, but for your friends."

According to Vringo VP Benjamin Levy, "video greetings are a much better expression of who you are."

After checking out the FAQ, Vringo is free for all, although you will have to pay for licensed video's. They still seem to be in beta (so no review of the phone technology over here) but hopefully Engadget (or their mobile site) will post a review of this mobile kosher technology.

Oleh Records Seeking Jewish Rockers

It's one thing for an Israeli band to be huge inside the holy land. It's quite another to crossover "the Atlantic pond" and attempt to make it big in the states. One organization trying to bridge the gap (and provide direction) for Jewish rockers touring in America is Oleh! Records.

(Israel 21st Century) [...] Hulsh's Oleh! Records is reaching out to a very specific segment of the music industry in Israel: bands who perform in English. At the same time as striving to help the musicians he signs to book tours and land record deals in the US, as well as the UK, Canada, and Australia. Hulsh's parallel goal is to facilitate face-to-face 'encounters' and dialogue [sic] between Israelis and Americans.

Oleh! will take on traditional recording label responsibilities such as promoting and marketing its acts. But musicians will not be required to sign exclusive contracts. "If your band receives an offer from a major label, you're free to take it at any time," Hulsh told the appreciative crowd in Tel Aviv at the official launch of the label.

This is probably an ingenious way to reach out to the American youth culture, as music is pretty much the language of communication (if not the universal one for our planet). Props to Hulsh for launching this program, although he may want to consider launching an English version of his site (other than MySpace) if he wants to attract viewers from the states.

Saudi Arabian Prince To Build Tel Aviv Hotel?

Despite heading the worlds best known Islamic theocracy's, it seems as if the Saudi Arabian prince is making plans to build a hotel in one of Israel's largest metropolis.

Is it me, or is the middle east getting weirder by the day? (I mean in a good, kosher type of way)

(Israel Today) Saudi Arabian Prince Alwaleed bin Talal plans to invest into Israel as he is in negotiations to build a hotel on Tel Aviv's coastline.

Bin Talal already has two architects working on the project. One is Basel al-Beiti, the prince’s private architect who has experience in designing oriental hotels around the world. The other architect is former Tel Aviv Chief City Engineer, Yisrael Gudovich. [...]

According to recent blueprints submitted to the Tel Aviv Municipality, the hotel is to be an eight-story, 150-room complex on the Mediterranean Sea.

Bin Talal is the nephew of the late Saudi King Faisal, and is believed to be worth $26.4 billion.

It would probably be a hotel for the "rich and famous," although I would love to catch a photo of the hotel when its done. The prince seems to be more "pragmatic" than his religious counterparts, although I pray his venture would lead towards greater diplomatic ties between the two nations in the future.

A New Way To Treat Heart Failure?

The cool thing about this company, called BioControl is that they have already developed a product to treat urinary incontinence, a disease which almost 60 million around the world suffer with.

Now it seems that they are using the same technology (although slightly tweaked) to treat another deadly symptom--heart failure.

(Israel 21st Century) CardioFit is the first known device that treats heart conditions via nerve stimulation. The electrical stimulator system is designed to improve heart function through the controlled stimulation of the vagus nerve which is found in the neck. Pre-clinical and preliminary clinical data demonstrate that vagus nerve stimulation has a therapeutic role in treating heart failure as it may reduce the heart rate and ventricular volumes, in addition to restoring regular rhythm.

"It's been found that this stimulation reduces stress on the heart and lets it heal," said Cohen. "The sympathetic nerve system increases activity to the heart and the parasympathetic system reduces stress on the heart. Whenever there's a shortage of oxygen or blood supply to the heart, the sympathetic system kicks in to supply more. With more blood, there's more oxygen, but that's the cause of heart attacks - the heart can't cope with that extra stress. By increasing the parasympathetic system - which we do with electrical stimulation, we overcome that imbalance."

To my knowledge, usually what happens is that a doctor prescribes one drug or another that will hopefully slow down the heart failure, but not strengthen the heart (at least to full strength).

What makes this technology great is that patients will not have to worry about chemical side effects (which can sometimes sound worse than the affliction) which should make this device VERY attractive--at least in America and Europe.

Oracle Opens First R&D Center In Israel

Oracle, which is very popular in the US has decided to open up its first research and development center in Petah Tikva.

Although this is nothing new in Israel (as other companies have R&D centers in the promise land), what makes this unique is that it's based on an Israeli startup they purchased not too long ago.

(Globes Online) Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq:ORCL) today inaugurated its new R&D center in Petah Tikva, its first center in Israel. The center is based on the technology and personnel of start-up Demantra, which Oracle acquired in May 2006 for $41 million.

The R&D center will supply Oracle with Demantra's demand forecasting applications. Oracle Demantra VP development Bart Feldman said that the center would integrate Demantra’s products with Oracle CRM applications acquired from PeopleSoft and ERP applications acquired from Siebel Systems.

Oracle is already thinking about spending at at least $2 million in no less than eight other companies, and seems very satisfied with the kosher capital coming from Israeli citizens.

There is no word on whether or not they are hiring anybody, but I wouldn't be surprised if someone saw "wanted ads" in the Jerusalem Post for positions.

More Ethiopian Jews Make Aliyah

It looks like Israel is beginning to respond to the requests of their Ethiopian kin.

(Ynet News) The State of Israel is in the final stages of bringing Ethiopian Jews of the Falashmura from the outskirts of Adis Ababa to Israel.

The Interior Ministry reported that so far, over 90 percent of the Falashmura were found eligible to immigrate to Israel.

This is good news indeed. I hope we see more of this.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Video: The Protocols Of The Elders Of Zion?

If you are Jewish and have a sense of humor (or simply a gentile who loves to laugh like me) then you will sure enjoy this video.

Here is some background info from the ever kosher Aish:

( The unusual story of Shmuel Skaist begins when he was a rabbi in a yeshiva high school for boys in New York area. Trying to come up with a way to get his unruly teenage students to stay seated and actually listen, he attempted something unconventional -- he brought in his guitar and started playing. "It was then that I realized the power that music had as a way to communicate with people," says Skaist who goes by the name "Rav Shmuel" when performing because that's what his students call him. [...]

"I started getting a little bit of a following," admits Skaist humbly. "Not thousands of people mind you, but after a while fifty to a hundred people would start coming to a show if they heard that I was playing."

The Jewish Music Group, a not-for-profit Jewish recording label, noticed the success and helped produce Rav Shmuel's first album: Protocols.

For those of you who are interested, you can purchase a copy of his CD over at the Jewish Music Group.

Note: Perhaps I should mail out a copy to those who actually take the Protocols of the Elders of Zion seriously? Heh!

Better, Faster Airport Check Points

If anyone has ever flown anywhere, whether over seas or across your country, one which often slows boarding is the airport checkpoint. Usually it takes five minuets per person (if not longer) to search their belongings, and with a hundred plus people boarding a plane, the lines can seem like forever.

However this may all change thanks to some Jewish innovation.

(Globes Online) Security technology company TraceGuard Technologies Inc. (Bulletin Board:TCGD.OB) has successfully completed trials of its automated explosives detection system. The company’s product, "CompactSafe" inspects complex items at passenger and baggage screening checkpoints, and works in conjunction with security equipment currently in use to improve accuracy and efficiency in detecting explosives.

TraceGuard chairman and CEO Dr. Ehud Ganani said that the trials showed that the system was 10 times more efficient than manual baggage inspection, and that it took 30 seconds only to scan baggage compared with the four to five minutes needed to carry out a manual inspection. CompactSafe is due to begin trials for licensing by the US Transport Security Administration (TSA) within the next few months.

Despite the fact I would enjoy this being implemented tomorrow, it is good to see that those long checkpoint lines may be a thing of the past for carry-on luggage.

If this becomes popular throughout the states, Israel will have 300 million grateful Americans (not to mention 33 million Canadians) thanking them for making our stressed out lives a little easier.

Those Crazy Bukharian Actors

Disclaimer: I'm joking.

Anyways, it seems that a humorous musical is catching some attention in Israel. The plot: a man and his family perform Aliyah and try to survive in their new homeland.

(Ynet News) The musical "In Bukhara I Was Boi" (rich) was performed for the seventh annual conference of the Bukharian Jewish Congress, under the leadership of Lev Leviev. [...]

The playwright, director and actor, Chai Davidov (of Bukharian origin) was called to duty to write the musical that is based on the lives and experiences of the Bukharian immigrants to Israel.

The musical tells the story of 'Mula Chai-Abu Albanat', who emigrated with his family from Bukhara to Israel, and struggles with the hardships of absorption, cultural differences, language issues, and the social and financial struggles that his family experiences. His family is composed of seven people - Chai, his wife Mazal and their five daughters.

The play sounds very humorous, especially when the father has to find suitable husbands for his daughters (who end up choosing their own mates to his horror). All seems to end well though, despite the fact that the sons-in-law give Chai a few gray hairs. ;-)

If the musical is this good, I wonder if they will release this on Broadway (New York) anytime soon?

Foreigners Invested 1.4 Billion Dollars In Israel

Ironic isn't it? While the media continue to say one thing about the promise land, people's money is saying something entirely different.

(Globes Online) Foreign investment in Israel totaled $1.4 billion in January 2007, after totaling $20.9 billion in 2006. Foreign investment in securities listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) totaled $804 million in January, and direct investment totaled $570 million.

Despite being the size of New Jersey, Israel is attracting foreign investors despite what some of "the experts" say regarding this kosher state.

Could it be that investors such as Donald Trump see something inside Israel that defies expectations? Or is it something a little more obvious?

Video: Rabbi Positive

Here is an interactive video from Rabbi Yaakov Salomon with a humerous (yet powerful) story on focusing on the positive.

Note: You need to click on the image in order to view the video.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Can Spielberg Create Peace In The Middle East?

Steven Spielberg is planning to create a new film in order to promote peace between the Palestinians and Israelis. The major difference between this film, and his previous ones is that he won't be in the pilot's seat directly shooting the film.

(Israel Today) Upon arrival in Israel to promote the film, Spielberg will distribute 100 small video cameras to Israelis and 100 to Palestinians. Their assignment will be to document their daily lives, which Spielberg will combine the footage for his new film. [...]

"The youngsters will be busy filming instead of throwing Molotov bottles and they will get a chance to see how the other half lives," said Spielberg. "Furthermore they will come to realize that we are all human beings who wish to live in peace. I want you to make movies not war."

This idea has already received praise from Dan Gillerman, Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations who hopes that this project will not only unite the individuals who make the film, but also hopes that this will turn into "something much bigger."

If so, scenes like this will hopefully become more popular in the future.

Note: It also seems as if Spielberg is considering forming joint film academies in Tel Aviv and Ramallah. If so, I wonder if he will link up either of them via internet and video?

Israel To Europe: Upgrade My EU Status!

Despite the fact that Israel is not physically located in Europe (as any fifth grader who knows geography can tell you), Israel is seeking to increase its status within the European Union in order to boost its business.

(Ynet News) Israel is trying to upgrade its standing in the European Union to be equal to that of Switzerland and Norway.

Although the two countries are not members of the EU, they have free passage for people, capital and merchandise between them and the rest of the EU countries.

The Israel-EU Association Council – a council of European foreign ministers who monitor European-Israeli relations – is scheduled to convene in Brussels in March, with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni.

Although some may see this as bad (as you can tell in the comment section of Ynet), upgrading Israel's status will actually benefit the nation, as it will allow more interaction between Europeans and Israeli's.

Not only would this be good for business on both sides, but Israel and Europe may discover that they have more in common with each other than their current political differences.

An Israeli Festival In Manhattan?

Great! Here is one party I would love to go to, but I am almost a thousand miles away from the event!

And in one of my favorite cities too! (after Tel Aviv that is)

(Israel Today) The Jewish Community Center (JCC) of Manhattan in partnership with Israel’s Foreign Ministry have found a way to bring Israeli culture to the world, spicing up New York City with some Israeli flavor during the 6th annual Israeli Non-Stop Festival.

The festival is a non-stop marathon celebrating today's Israeli artists by showcasing them in the Big Apple.

The six-day event, scheduled for the end of February, will feature Israeli singer Mosh Ben-Ari. Ben-Ari was born in Israel, but with his Yemenite and Iraqi background, he mixes guttural Middle Eastern sounds into his blend of rock, reggae and world music.

They will also be hosting hummus samples for everyone to enjoy for free, not to mention some Israel jazz! For those of you who enjoy wine, there will be some taste testing there as well.

Perhaps the folks at Isrealii could cover this for all of us unable to attend. (with video of course!)

Kosher Training For American Fire Chiefs

In our day and age, it's always better to be safe than sorry, something us Americans learned on 9/11.

Now it seems that our fire chiefs will be taking lessons from Israel on how to properly respond to terrorist attacks.

(Jewish Telegraphic Agency) Fourteen American fire chiefs went to Israel to learn about responding to terrorist attacks.

AIPAC's American Israel Education Foundation partnered with the International Association of Fire Chiefs for the trip. [...]

"Our goal is to ensure that U.S. first responders have the opportunity to learn from Israel's vast experience and bring home those important lessons to help save American lives."

This should definitely help us out here in the states as most fire fighters probably have little experience in dealing with these kind of threats. The firefighters came from "New York City, Atlanta, Baltimore, Miami and Las Vegas."

I wonder if any other cities will participate in these types of events in the future?

Another Day, Another Jew Comes Into The World

(Hat Tip: Jewlicious)

But it's not just any Jew. It's Harry and Ziva's new daughter (who they named Tzofia).

Congrats to the duo (but mostly to Ziva) for bringing Tzofia into the world.

Note: How do women do this stuff? I know the answer, but I'm amazed they willingly go through this. Props to them!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Penguins, Neutrinos And Antarctica, Oh My!

Well, there were no penguins mentioned in this article, but they did mention a Jewish scientist studying neutrinos in a place I would love to visit (but never live)--the frozen continent of Antarctica.

(Israel Today) Hagar Landsman of the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology is the only Israeli participating in the "Ice Cube" research project in Antarctica along with physicists from around the world.

She and physicists from other parts of the world are conducting research on sub-atomic particles called neutrinos. [...]

"The conditions here are not easy," she said. "It's very cold and dry, and there isn't enough oxygen. In this season of the year, there is daylight round the clock, the rooms are tiny and one can shower only twice a week for two minutes."

Sounds almost fun. Apparently Hagar is using this to help all of us understand our universe a little bit more (via astrophysics). I wish her and her team all the luck and prayers in the world.

But for the life of me I would not trade places with her, as Antarctica is way too cold for me (and that is coming from somebody who enjoys snow).

Will Japan Invest In Israel?

I guess after the kosher cookie swept the land of the rising sun away, Israel is looking to increase its presence within Japan.

(Globes Online) Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Labor foreign trade administration director of Asia Pacific division Amiram Halevy-Laher said that the investment houses and corporations attending the forum has invested $500 million in Israel in recent years, and that the event had drawn substantial interest from Japanese companies.

Addressing the forum, Fischer urged the Japanese executives to invest in Israel. According to Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor bilateral trade agreements division director Boaz Hirsch, the event represented yet a further indication of the warming of economic relations with Japan. This has been seen primarily in a new openness towards Israel, and an interest on the part of the Japanese, to form economic ties.

Israel has already begun partnering with China, and it looks like it wants to deepen its economy with the eastern economic powers that be (at least for now). Unlike Israel, Japan is recognized globally as a technology leader, and Israeli exposure could help both nations maintain a competitive edge within their respective regions.

Yad Sarah Becoming Popular Among Muslims?

It looks like an Israeli method of hospitality is catching the interest of their Arabian cousins.

(Israel Today) The Islamic countries of Senegal and Mauritania are interested in franchising Yad Sarah in their countries. In cooperation with Israel's Foreign Ministry, these two nations' citizens will benefit from the organization.

Yad Sarah is an Israel-wide network of volunteers aiding disabled, elderly, and housebound people. The organization provides medical equipment to anyone in need.

For those of you who don't know, Senegal and Mauritania are located in northern Africa, alongside the Atlantic ocean. Despite their tiny representation of Muslim society, they may help further open a door towards real interaction between Issac's descendants and Ishmael's.

Update (2/9): Republished on IsraPundit.

Czech Government Endorses Israel

With the increasing threats against Israel from an Iranian madman, the Czech government has decided to declare their support for Israel and against her foes.

(Jewish Telegraphic Agency) Officials ranging from the prime minister, foreign minister, deputy foreign minister, Parliament leaders and other Cabinet members signaled strong backing for Israel during a visit by leaders of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. [...]

Czech officials responded positively to the idea of officially making Ahmadinejad persona non-grata in Europe, Hoenlein said, adding that Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek told the group he would "smash any form of anti-Semitism in the Czech Republic."

Despite what you may read in the news or online, their are A LOT of people (and countries) who not only support Israel's right to exist, but also support Israel's right to self defense.

For those of you who have websites or blogs online, you can find a list of those who are proud to display their support for the tiny Jewish state via the Friends of Israel page.

Jewish Hands Rock Out PlayStation3

For those of you who are gamers (I use to be a heavy one several years ago) you may be surprised to discover that one of the major game consoles sold last year received some much needed help from several Israelis.

(Israel 21st Century) Moshe Leibowitz has never been much of a Playstation fan. But that didn't stop the manager of circuit technologies at the IBM Haifa Development Lab from heading a team that played an integral role in developing the new Sony Playstation3.

Leibowitz's Israeli team helped develop the Cell Broadband Engine chip controller conceived by the Sony-Toshiba-IBM (STI) team which powers the Playstation3 console. [...]

"My team is quite young, most of them are around 30, so they have some gaming background," Leibowitz told ISRAEL21c with a laugh, while confiding that he had never sat behind the controls.

I think the last Sony game console that I've laid my fingers on was the original PlayStation, although it quickly lost its appeal once PC's started to come out with better graphics and video cards.

Either way, I've heard great reviews of PlayStation 3 on television, as well as online. If Israeli "geeks" did an excellent job rocking out Sony's game console, we may see more of their influence on other platforms in the future.

And I'm Back...

It's been a while since I've been able to post here. In fact, I haven't posted on most of my blogs at all for almost a week, if not longer (shame, shame on me).

Well, I'm backlogged with articles to post about, but fortunately other pro-Israeli bloggers have been picking up on many of these stories (so I won't repost them here).

The only IsraGood thing I can report on while I was absent was I was fortunate enough to attend "A Night To Honor Israel" event in the states, (which is sponsored by Christians United for Israel) and I was surprised by the number of people who came to the event (I think 800 total).

Although most of the people there were Christians, there was a considerable size of Jewish individuals, as well as a Druze who showed up to display their support of the holy land, politically as well as financially.

I took some pictures via cell phone (most of them turned out to be horrible) but I'll upload some of them later on, or grab one from a reporter who had a fancy camera. little time and so much to blog about.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Israel From Outer Space, Via Columbia

Here is a video of Israel, as seen by the Columbia team that tragically perished while returning to Earth.

I didn't really notice before, but Israel looks really green from way up there. Perhaps one day Israel will be able to take up the journey again to record this beautiful site for their citizens.

Pope Knights A Jewish Man?

And it seems that this Jewish man was knighted for his ability to help bridge the cultural gaps between Catholics and Jews (not an easy thing as I recall the tension between the two when I was in the holy land).

(Jewish Telegraphic Agency) The head of Pave the Way, a non-sectarian group in New York, became the first Jewish man to be knighted by two popes.

Gary Krupp was promoted to the highest Pontifical Order of St. Gregory the Great, receiving the Silver Star in a Jan. 15 ceremony in Rome, after Pave the Way presented important Christian documents to the Vatican Library. Krupp "has encouraged, promoted and achieved high levels of cultural cooperation between Catholic and Jewish institutions," said Father David Jaeger, the Vatican's representative to Israel.

Krupp sees religion as a tool to help unite people, instead of dividing them with violence (a common problem in today's world). The Vatican has been aggressively courting Israel over the past few years, and hopefully we will see more of this not only in Rome, but throughout Europe as well.

Israeli Cookies Invade Japan

(Hat Tip: Isreality)

It's called the Jerusalemite pretzel, and it seems to have attracted the taste buds in a region where pastries are not very popular.

(Ynet News) The Abadi Bakery was founded in Syria and reopened at the Mahane Yehuda open market in Jerusalem 70 years ago. The bakery's bagel-shaped cookies had already conquered Israel, and may also become a big hit in Japan.

How did the Japanese come to discover the Israeli cookies? Officials at the Israeli embassy in Tokyo said that a local food company first came across the cookies at an international food festival.

They must have enjoyed the taste of those cookies, enough to purchase over four million cookies for NIS 1.5 million (which is about USD $350,000).

Despite having spent time in Israel, I never had the chance to actually partake of this delicacy. I guess it's one more thing to add to the list when I go later on this year.

Britney Spears Did What?

You gotta be kidding me.

(Ynet News) According to The Sun newspaper, Britney has dyed her hair dark and was seen wearing a Jewish Star Of David said to impress boyfriend Isaac Cohen while they were out on a dinner date in LA.

The singer has been rumored to have broken up with Jewish Isaac, and also to have used him to try and win back her former boyfriend Justin Timberlake, the report noted.

However sources close to the singer are saying that perhaps her choice of symbol is a sign of true devotion to Isaac, her Jewish boyfriend.

Well, at least she looked Kosher, even she is far from being kosher. You gotta at least give her credit for that.

Note: I wonder what Isaac's mother thinks about all of this?

Israel Celebrates Indian Ties

It has been 15 years now since Israel and India declared each other to be friends. Which is a good thing for me because I happen to have friends in both countries.

(Jewish Telegraphic Agency) The world's most populous democracy has since become a major trading partner for Israel, and also provide a key diplomatic inroads to Asia, which has large Muslim countries.

"The challenge is to strengthen and deepen our relationship and to tap the almost unlimited scope of our bilateral cooperation," the Foreign Ministry said.

With Israel having very few allies in the east, knowing that at least it has the backing of 1/6th of the world's population is a comforting thought indeed.

Of Israeli Doctors And Iraqi Fathers

Now this is something you do not hear about everyday. A father from Iraq has to choose between regional hatreds and saving his daughters life.

Fortunately for her, he decided to defy the status quo and opted to save her life.

(Israel Today) Faced with the choice of saving his daughter's life while potentially jeopardizing his family in northern Iraq, Abu Sakar chose life.

It wasn't a hard decision for the father of three, but it was one laden with great risk as he left his home town in northern Iraq to head to Israel.

"Yes there was a danger in coming here, but they gave me a dream," Abu Sakar said as he watched his now healthy 10-year-old daughter, Sakar, bounding through the Old City in Jerusalem and shyly smiling for the camera.

Sakar was diagnosed with a fatal heart disease and would have died without a specific surgery that she could not get in Iraq. In a most unlikely scenario, a Christian organization, Shevet Achim, brought this Iraqi family to Israeli doctors for a new chance at life.

Abu Sakar's visit to the holy land changed his entire world view about Israel, revealing a land filled with "wonderful and kind" people as apposed to the "evil Zionists" often seen on Arabian TV.

Now if Abu could discover that Jews are not all that bad, then their may be some hope for the media. :-)