Tuesday 23 July 2013

Secret technology behind peace talks

Kerry earphones
US Secretary of State John Kerry has revealed the secret sauce behind his recent success in re-starting long-stalled peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians after years of frustration – and why he had to fly back and forth to Washington six times in four months.


Tuesday 16 July 2013

EU ban on support for projects in West Bank and Golan Heights

 Delegation of the European Union to the State of Israel
משלחת האיחוד האירופי למדינת ישראל
وفد الأتحاد الأوروبي إلى دولة إسرائيل

 Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Statement by the Delegation of the European Union to the State of Israel on the European Commission Notice

On June 30 European Commission adopted a Notice containing guidelines on the eligibility of Israeli entities and their activities in the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967 for grants, prizes and financial instruments funded by the EU from 2014 onwards. These guidelines set out the territorial limitations under which the Commission will award EU support to Israeli entities

These guidelines were prepared as a follow up to the political decision taken by the foreign ministers of the EU Member States at the EU Foreign Affairs Council of 10 December 2012. This stated that, "all agreements between the State of Israel and the EU must unequivocally and explicitly indicate their inapplicability to the territories occupied by Israel in 1967."

The guidelines are also in conformity with the EU's longstanding position that Israeli settlements are illegal under international law and with the non-recognition by the EU of Israel's sovereignty over the occupied territories, irrespective of their legal status under domestic Israeli law.

At the moment Israeli entities enjoy financial support and cooperation with the EU and these guidelines are designed to ensure that this remains the case. At the same time concern has been expressed in Europe that Israeli entities in the occupied territories could benefit from EU support.
The purpose of these guidelines is to make a distinction between the State of Israel and the occupied territories when it comes to EU support.

The European External Action Service has informed the Israeli Mission to the EU prior to the publication of the notice and has invited the Israeli side to hold discussions on the agreements which are in preparation.

Thursday 11 July 2013

Start-Up Soldiers

Israel’s Military-Entrepreneurial 
Complex Owns Big Data

Technology to track enemies powers Israel’s move into commercial prediction software.

By Matthew Kalman on July 11, 2013

Two years ago, a half-dozen programmers and entrepreneurs started working together in a Tel Aviv basement to create one of Israel’s 5,000 high-tech companies. It was a stealth company, but these 20-somethings were used to secrecy. Most had served together in the same military intelligence unit of the Israel Defense Forces.

In the army, they worked on algorithms that could predict the behavior of Israel’s enemies by plucking patterns from intercepted signals. Their new company was based on much the same idea–but it aimed to guess the preferences of consumers. It was called Any.Do. By the end of 2012 their productivity app for smartphones was one of the most popular downloads worldwide.

Each year, Israel’s military puts thousands of teenagers through technical courses, melds them into ready-made teams, and then graduates them into a country that attracts more venture capital investment per person than any in the world. The result, according to the 2009 book Start-Up Nation, is an “economic miracle” that’s seen high-tech exports balloon to $25 billion per year, about a quarter of Israel’s exports.


Wednesday 10 July 2013

Ground zero

10th-century inscription found in Jerusalem is earliest known

(Eilat Mazar / Noga Cohen-Aloro)

Hebrew University of Jerusalem archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar says she has unearthed the earliest alphabetical written text ever uncovered in the city, the university announced Wednesday.

The inscription is engraved on a large pithos, a neckless ceramic jar found with six others at the Ophel excavation site below the southern wall of the Temple Mount. According to Dr. Mazar, the inscription, in the Canaanite language, is the only one of its kind discovered in Jerusalem and could be an important addition to the city’s history.

The inscription is engraved in a proto-Canaanite / early Canaanite script of the eleventh-to-tenth centuries BCE, which pre-dates the Israelite rule and the prevalence of Hebrew script.

Reading from left to right, the text contains a combination of letters approximately 2.5 cm tall, which translate to m, q, p, h,n, (possibly) l, and n. Since this combination of letters has no meaning in known west-Semitic languages, the inscription's meaning is unknown.

Dated to the 10th century BCE, the artifact predates by 250 the earliest known Hebrew inscription from Jerusalem, which is from the period of King Hezekiah at the end of the 8th century BCE.

The university says it is therefore "from the time of Kings David and Solomon."

Read Israel's Sphinx Riddle HERE
Read my exclusive coverage of the James Ossuary forgery trial HERE
Read "Raiders of the Lost Relics" about headline-seeking archaeology HERE

Tuesday 9 July 2013

Human shields?

Waging Holy War, Women
and Children First


Invitation to the "Special children's tour of the Temple Mount" from the Joint Committee for Temple Mount Movements
Invitation to the “Special children’s tour of the Temple Mount” from the Joint Committee for Temple Mount Movements

Even before the dust settled after another stand-off between the Women of the Wall and their detractors on Monday, activists concerned about the future of the Temple Mount had unleashed a powerful new weapon: Jewish children.

Read the full post HERE

Monday 8 July 2013

Israel's sphinx riddle

4,500-year-old Sphinx Discovered at Tel Hazor
Photo: Prof. Amnon Ben-Tor and Dr. Sharon Zuckerman

Fragments of a rare 2-metre-high Egyptian sphinx thought to be 4,500 years old have been discovered at Tel Hazor, the large archaeological site in northern Israel. Hebrew University Professor Amnon Ben-Tor, director of the excavation, says an inscription between the legs of the sphinx suggest the face of the sphinx is Pharoah Menkaure, believed to have built the smallest of the three pyramids at Giza on the outskirts of Cairo. If so, it is the first likeness of Menkaure ever found.
"Finding something like this is very exciting," Ben-Tor told Israel Radio. "It seems this sphinx is of Menkaure, a king who ruled Egypt in 2,500 BCE. This is the only known sphinx in the world of this king. We know of many sphinxes of different kings in Egypt but no sphinx of this king has been found until now - either in Egypt or outside."
So far, only parts of the front feet and the chest have been retrieved, but archaeologists hope to find more of the sphinx as they continue the dig. The inscription says the sphinx was originally carved in ancient Heliopolis, near Cairo.
Ben-Tor believes the sphinx was brought to Tel Hazor 3,000 years ago, either as Canaanite war booty or as a gift to the then ruler of Hazor by an ancient Egyptian king.
See my exclusive coverage of the James Ossuary forgery trial HERE

Sunday 7 July 2013

New Moon rising


Police holding back W4W protesters, May 2013
Police holding back W4W protesters, May 2013

An epic showdown is brewing at the Western Wall on Monday morning as Women of the Wall and Women for the Wall face off for their third round.
Read the full story HERE