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Saturday, March 11, 2017

From Ian:

The BDS Movement Claimed Eight Victories in 2016. They Were All Actually Losses
One of the key tactics of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign is to make claims that are, at best, overstated—and in many cases provably false—in order to bolster their appearance of success.
For example, organizers claimed in 2010 that the American rock band the Pixies had cancelled a show in Israel due to their advocacy. In fact, the Pixies cancelled due to security concerns, and eventually played a concert in Israel in 2014. The Pixies are even planning to return to Tel Aviv for two shows this summer. Other big names to tour Israel in recent years include Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, Bon Jovi, and the Rolling Stones.
An article on the website of the Palestinian BDS National Committee, the main BDS advocacy organization, claimed that the campaign chalked up eight impressive victories against Israel in 2016. Predictably, the claims are misleading, overstated, and often outright false.
Below is each claim, followed by an explanation of why it is wrong.
Hamas trains UNRWA pupils to become terrorists
An excerpt from an upcoming documentary on the relationship between the Hamas terrorist organization and UNRWA shows Gazan children being led into a mock terror tunnel, where they are taught how to attack an Israeli kibbutz.
"The UNRWA kids were recruited by Hamas to help build the tunnels, and then infiltrate through the tunnels," said David Bedein, the director of the Center for Near East Policy Research, which is producing the documentary.
Bedein said that Hamas has diverted international aid to construct tunnels with which to attack Israel. "At the same time, Hamas has been getting full supplies, including from Israel, for the past year, and they are able to get cement to continue building [the tunnels]."
He said that the tunnel in the video was a "model tunnel that they built" for training purposes, including the training of school children to kill Israelis.
"Hamas controls the UNRWA teacher's union, and Hamas comes into the schools and [takes the children for this training] as one of their after-school activities."

Trita Parsi’s Accusations Over Kansas Shooting Are the Least of NIAC’s Problems
Last week, Trita Parsi, the president of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), co-wrote an article for The Huffington Post called “Trump Didn’t Start The Anti-Iranian Fire.” In it, Parsi and NIAC fellow Tyler Cullis write about a deadly February shooting at a Kansas Applebee’s, after which the suspect, a middle-aged man named Adam Purinton, told a bartender that he’d shot “two Iraninans.” For the authors, the shooting proves that the “anti-Muslim and anti-immigration rhetoric that rode Donald J. Trump to the White House has now spilled over into fear for the physical safety and security of Iranian Americans.”
Per Parsi and Cullis, journalists, think-tankers, and policy advocates who have allegedly demonized the Islamic Republic regime also bear some responsibility for the Kansas atrocity. More than a few people on Twitter noticed that the only people the authors’ called out by name—Michael Rubin, Eli Lake, Adam Kredo, Josh Block, and David Keyes—had one curious thing in common: They are all Jews.
Parsi and Cullis argue that these five, a list that includes a Bloomberg columnist, the CEO of The Israel Project, and the English-language spokesperson for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, “push war with Iran in the most hyperbolic terms, all the while defaming those – most particularly, those in the Iranian-American community – who urge a peaceful resolution to the historical tensions between the two countries.” The Kansas shooting, the authors argue, was the inevitable result of this group’s allegedly warmongering work. “A decade of messaging like this, though, has now had its payday: Adam Purinton walked into a bar and shot to kill what he believed to be Iranians.”
The authors rhetorically connect five of their perceived political opponents to a hate crime without going through the effort of proving that the shooter had drawn any inspiration from their work, or even knew that these five people existed. The causal nexus between the Kansas killing and the Washington Free Beacon is left unexplained.
But these logical leaps represent the least of NIAC’s current issues, as the organization is now facing increasingly visible opposition from the constituency it claims to represent.

Rebel Media in Israel: Gaza could be another Dubai, but...

Raising children in the shadow of Islamist terror

Bill Clinton: If Rabin had lived, the world would be a different place
Former US president Bill Clinton warned on Thursday that the assassination in 1995 of Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and the preceding uptick in nationalism was a “microcosm of what is coming full bloom across the world today.”
Speaking at a Brookings Institution event on the occasion of a book launch for Itamar Rabinovich’s “Yitzhak Rabin: Soldier, Leader, Statesman,” Clinton said he remained convinced that if Rabin had lived, the world would be a different place today, in part because a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians would have been achieved long ago.
The former president, who campaigned with his wife, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton last year, said Rabin’s murder at the hand of a Jewish extremist on November 4, 1995 “was maybe the worst day I had in the White House.”
Yigal Amir is serving a life sentence for the assassination which he carried out after Rabin signed a 1995 peace accord — Oslo II — with then-Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, under the auspices of the Clinton administration.
“I remain convinced that had he lived we would have achieved a comprehensive agreement with the Palestinians by 1998 and we’d be living in a different world today,” Clinton said, adding that he never thought it would be easy.
'The time has come to make a deal,' Trump tells Abbas
A comprehensive agreement settling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would advance peace across the region and the world, US President Donald Trump told Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in a phone call on Friday, according to a readout of the conversation released by the White House.
In his first call with the Palestinian leader, Trump said that "peace is possible and that the time has come to make a deal," underscoring that an agreement must be negotiated directly between the two parties.
"The United States will work closely with Palestinian and Israeli leadership to make progress toward that goal," the White House said.
"The President noted that the United States cannot impose a solution on the Israelis and Palestinians, nor can one side impose an agreement on the other." Trump invited Abbas to visit Washington for consultations "very soon," Abbas's spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeinah, told Wafa, the official PA news site.
A Palestinian source, who was present at the phone call, said the call lasted ten minutes and was cordial. The source added that the topics of settlement construction and the American embassy's location were not discussed.
Trump invites Palestinian Authority President Abbas to White House
US President Donald Trump invited Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to the White House on Friday during the first phone call between the two leaders.
“President Trump extended an official invitation to President Abbas to visit the White House soon to discuss ways to resume the political process, emphasizing his commitment to a peace process that leads to real peace between Palestinians and Israelis,” Abbas’s spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeinah said in a press release to Wafa, the official PA news site.
The call lasted ten minutes and was cordial, according to a Palestinian source.
Palestinian and Trump administration officials have only met twice since the new US president assumed office, while two top Israeli officials including the Prime Minister Netanyahu have already made official visits to Washington, D.C.
In early February, PA General Intelligence Chief Majid Faraj and National Security Administration officials met in the American Capitol.
A week later, Abbas and CIA Director Mike Pompeo met in Ramallah, a day before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in Washington to hold talks with Trump.
According Abu Rudeinah, Abbas also stressed his firm belief “in peace as a strategic choice to establish a Palestinian state alongside the State of Israel,” without mentioning the two-state solution.
Abbas tells Abdullah of Trump’s commitment to peace process
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas spoke Saturday with Jordan’s King Abdullah II to brief him a day after his first conversation with US President Donald Trump, saying that the US leader has a commitment to an “authentic” peace process.
Abbas’s conversation with Abdullah, who plays a key role in the region, was their second in just 24 hours, according to the official Palestinian news agency Wafa.
Abbas briefed the Jordanian monarch “particularly the part about the two-state solution and Trump’s commitment to an authentic peace process,” Wafa said.
Abbas and Abdullah also spoke about an upcoming Arab summit scheduled for the end of this month in the Jordanian capital, Amman, and Arab efforts to unify ranks and support the Palestinian cause, Wafa said.
Ahead of the conversation with Trump, the PA president had spoken to Abdullah to coordinate stances on the peace process.
State Department: Obama money reached Palestinian Authority
One of the first decisions the Trump government took after becoming President was to freeze $220.3 million that his predecessor President Obama earmarked for the PA just before he left the White House.
However, the State Department has confirmed that Obama's money has reached its destination. Acting State Department spokesman Mark Toner said last night (Wednesday) in a press briefing that the money was mostly for humanitarian purposes in the Palestinian Authority and Gaza, and in part used to pay Israeli creditors of the PA.
"None of the funding was to go directly to the Palestinian Authority," stressed Toner in response to questions on the subject.
At the same time, Toner criticized the conduct of UNRWA: "UNRWA is obviously something where ...we’ve been very vocal about our concerns given some of the allegations ... some of UNRWA’s programs and how it’s spent or used some of its funding...we certainly made those concerns clear to UNRWA’s leadership."
The disbursal was one of President Obama's last acts in the White House, and it was approved just hours before the exchange of Presidents.
Mike Pence to keynote AIPAC conference
Vice President Mike Pence and a bipartisan slate of top members of Congress are scheduled to address AIPAC’s upcoming annual conference.
An American Israel Public Affairs Committee official confirmed to JTA that Pence will keynote the conference scheduled for March 26-28 in Washington, D.C.
Pence, who enjoyed a long relationship with the pro-Israel lobby as a congressman and later as Indiana governor, spoke last month at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual confab and has taken a lead in condemning recent anti-Semitic incidents.
Also scheduled to speak will be top lawmakers from both parties, including Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., its ranking member; and Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., the U.S. House of Representatives majority leader, and Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., the minority whip.
Israel Concerned by Reported Pending Deal Between Iran and Assad Regime That Would See Islamic Republic Build Military Base at Mediterranean Port of Latakia
Iran is on the verge of reaching a deal with the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad to build a military base at the port of Latakia on the Mediterranean coast, an Israeli diplomatic official told the Hebrew news site Walla on Friday.
According to the report, this would be Assad’s way of paying Iran back for the extensive military and financial support it has provided to the Assad regime since the outbreak of the ongoing war in Syria six years ago.
The Jewish state, the report said, views the establishment of an Iranian military presence on the Mediterranean Sea as an “extreme step” that would “foster instability in the region and promote terrorism against Israel.” Among other things, according to Walla, it would bolster Iran-backed Hezbollah and increase the threat to the Israeli home front. Latakia is located less than 200 miles up the coast from Israel’s northern port of Haifa.
After his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement, “I made it clear that regarding Syria, while Israel is not opposed that there should be an agreement there, we strongly oppose the possibility that Iran and its proxies will be left with a military presence in Syria under such an agreement. I think that this was made clear in the best way. From my experience with President Putin, these matters are important not only in preventing misunderstandings, but in the end they will also find expression on the ground.”
During Moscow Visit, Netanyahu Receives Special Gift From Putin — a Nearly 500-Year-Old Copy of Josephus’ The Jewish War
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received a special gift from Russian President Vladimir Putin during his visit to Moscow on Thursday — a nearly 500-year-old copy of Roman-Jewish historian Josephus’ book The Jewish War.
The copy given to Netanyahu at the Kremlin on Thursday was printed in Italy in 1526.
The Israeli prime minister said he was “moved” by Putin’s gesture.
The Jewish War is an account of the Great Revolt — the uprising of the Jews of the Judea Province against the Roman Empire in the first century CE.
“This is without a doubt an important book in the historical heritage of our people,” Netanyahu said. “This book greatly influenced my beloved father, Professor Benzion Netanyahu z”l, and I read it for the first time when I was 16.”
Netanyahu further stated that Putin’s gift would be handed over to the National Library of Israel.
Relatives of IRA man shot dead by SAS lose legal battle to have inquest verdicts quashed
McCaughey and Grew died after an SAS unit opened fire on them at farm buildings near Loughgall, County Armagh in October 1990.
Although both men were armed neither of them fired any shots, provoking claims that they could have been arrested.
But in May 2012 an inquest jury found the killings were justified.
It ruled that the soldiers had used reasonable force during the operation and that the IRA men's own actions contributed to their deaths.
They put their own lives in danger by being in the area close to a stolen car which was expected to be used in terrorist activity, according to the findings.
McCaughey's sister, Sally Gribben, appealed following a previous failed attempt to have inquest verdict quashed.
Iran UN envoy says Israel behind assassinations of nuclear scientists
Iran’s ambassador to the United Nation’s atomic agency claimed that “Israel-hired terrorists” were behind the assassinations of several nuclear scientists in recent years.
Speaking with the IAEA Board of Governors, Reza Najafi on Thursday also criticized Israel for not adhering to international nuclear treaties, and the international community for ignoring it.
“While nuclear scientists across the entire Middle East have been assassinated by Israeli-hired terrorists, the regime’s nuclear experts are allowed access to some countries’ nuclear facilities,” he said, according to reports in Iranian media.
“Unfortunately, the Zionist Regime has ignored the rightful requests of the international community in the last years, and having the blind support of some western countries and with infringing all international laws and regulations, has pushed its dangerous military nuclear program forward.”
At least 4 Iranian scientists were assassinated between 2010-2012, and Iran has long claimed Israel’s spy agency was behind the killings as part of a campaign to sabotage its rogue nuclear program.
Israel has remained silent on the allegations, though various political leaders and security chiefs have hinted at acts of sabotage against Iran.
IDF report highlights Palestinians who ‘seek suicide’ through attacks
A new Israeli army report highlights attacks by Palestinians over the last year and a half that the military says were motivated by a desire to commit suicide, rather than by ideology.
The report, published on Thursday by the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the IDF branch responsible for civil Palestinian affairs, details three admissions by attackers that their violent actions were the result of “difficult backgrounds that pushed them to commit these attempted suicide attacks.”
The admissions were made during interrogations after the attacks, the report said.
The brief, entitled “Beyond the Knife: How Domestic Problems Can Lead to Terror,” also details three other instances in which the media, family members or Palestinian officials revealed that problems at home led people to commit attacks.
Since October 2015, 40 Israelis, two Americans, a Palestinian and an Eritrean national have been killed in stabbing, car-ramming and shooting attacks.
Hamas Rocket Attack Fails, as Gazan Civilians Unharmed (satire)
Rockets fired from the Gaza Strip were deemed a failure by the militant group Hamas, as no Palestinian civilian injuries were reported.
Hamas officials expressed disappointment that the missiles launched by the group, which landed in southern Israel, failed to strike any Palestinian schools or UN camps or draw an Israeli response that could be condemned by the international media.
“We were sure at least one of the rockets would fall short of Israel and land in an apartment building, or that [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu would announce some new settlements in response,” one senior Hamas official complained. “We just wasted five perfectly good rockets for nothing.”
Several left-wing NGOs and celebrities also expressed their aggravation, saying they had rushed to their computers to draft a press release condemning Israel for genocide only to be disappointed.
“I was getting ready to tweet and use the #Gazaunderattack hashtag and show everyone how political and compassionate I am,” whined actor Mark Ruffalo. “Then I read that no one was killed. Epic letdown!”
The UN Human Rights Council (HRC), however, didn’t let the absence of casualties stop them from taking action. Just minutes after the rockets landed outside the Israeli city of Ashdod, the HRC issued its first of what will likely be many condemnations.
Analysis: America takes the plunge in Syria
Last week US marines were sent to Syria to aid in the battle to oust Islamic State from its capital in Raqqa.
This brings the total US troops there to almost 1,000, according to multiple reports. As the Marines were arriving, the US 75th US Ranger regiment carried out a very visible maneuver, driving around the outskirts of a town called Manbij flying the Stars and Stripes in a show of force to warn off Turkey and its Syrian rebel allies.
The Turks had threatened to attack Manbij which is being held by US allies, known as the Syrian Democratic Forces.
The US decision to up its commitment to Syria comes amidst six years of bloody war, which is one reason why it was not met with major surprise. Russians intervened in Syria in 2015 to support the regime and Turkey sent troops into the country in 2016 to support Syrian rebels. The American role is not unique in this respect, it is backing its mostly Kurdish allies in the east.
Twin bombings kill at least 46 in Damascus Old City
Twin bombs targeting Shiite pilgrims on Saturday killed 46 people in Damascus, most of them Iraqis, a monitoring group said, in one of the bloodiest attacks in the Syrian capital.
There have been periodic bomb attacks in Damascus, but the stronghold of the regime of President Bashar Assad has been largely spared the destruction faced by other major cities in six years of civil war.
A roadside bomb detonated as a bus passed and a suicide bomber blew himself up in the Bab al-Saghir area, which houses several Shiite mausoleums that draw pilgrims from around the world, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
“There are also dozens of people wounded, some of them in a serious condition,” Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.
State television said there were 40 dead and 120 wounded after “terrorists detonated two bombs.”
Convicted Terrorist to Keynote Anti-Israel Confab at Hyatt Hotel
A prominent hotel chain located in Chicago is coming under pressure from local Jewish community figures to cancel an upcoming conference hosted by an anti-Israel organization that supports boycotts of the Jewish state and that is set to have a convicted terrorist give a keynote speech.
The Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, located in downtown Chicago, has agreed to host later this month a conference organized by Jewish Voice for Peace, or JVP, an anti-Zionist organization that has spearheaded efforts in favor of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, or BDS, which seeks to wage economic warfare on the Jewish state.
One of the featured speakers at the conference will be Rasmea Odeh, who was convicted by Israel of engaging in terrorist bombings that killed and injured many. Odeh is currently locked in a battle with the U.S. immigration system over allegations that she lied about her ties to terrorism on immigration forms.
Also scheduled to speak is Linda Sarsour, a prominent anti-Israel activist who has lashed out at the Jewish state’s leaders in derogatory terms and once appeared to praise child terrorists on social media.
BDS event triggers outrage in German city
The German Jewish community in the city of Bonn and a leading social democratic MP on Friday called on a foundation to pull the plug on an event propagating a boycott against the Jewish state.
The BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) event targeting Israel is "out-and-out antisemitic propaganda" wrote the Social Democratic deputy Michaela Engelmeier in a letter to the head of the Foundation Pfennigsdorf.
She said the slated March 27 event titled "For human rights and international law in Palestine--what does BDS want?" should be cancelled because it is a "new formulation of the inhumane demand: Don't buy from Jews."
Engelmeier said one of the organizers of the BDS talk, the German-Palestinian NRW-South organization, says it is dedicated to peace but"stresses on many places that Israel is exclusively to blame for the Middle East conflict."
The second organizer is the organization BDS-Bonn who campaigns against Israel and its products in the city of nearly 320,000.
University Trustees: Educational Boycotts of Israel Threaten Academic Freedom
The campaign on university campuses to boycott Israel poses a threat to academic freedom, a report published Thursday by an academic nonprofit group stated.
The report, compiled by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, showed how the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign has stifled academic freedom, a value that the report said was “at the heart of America’s long record of achievement in higher education.”
The report cited calls from academics and university administrations for “more productive ways of addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” to replace the “aggressive, antidemocratic tactics galvanizing deep inter-group suspicions” that has marked the BDS campaign’s activities on many campuses.
Examples included the shouting-down of Israeli professor Moshe Habertal at the University of Minnesota in 2015; the disruption of an event hosted by Professor Ami Pedahzur of the University of Texas that same year; the interruption of a talk given by Israeli diplomat George Deek last year at the University of California, Davis; the withdrawal of Israeli filmmaker Shimon Dotan’s invitation to speak at Syracuse University last September; and the disruption of a talk by Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat at San Francisco State University that same month.
BDS activists who engage in such disorderly conduct are likely not protected by the First Amendment, the report stated. And when such disruptions target Jewish events, “it arguably does violate the Civil Rights Act,” exposing universities to potential legal liability.
Another big test for Bishop Andrew Watson
HP readers will no doubt recall that, in February 2015, Stephen Sizer was banned by Revd Andrew Watson, the Bishop of Guildford, from any campaigning on the Middle East. The Bishop imposed the ban after Rev Sizer had posted an article alleging Israeli involvement in 9/11 on his Facebook page. The Bishop’s then statement included the following words:
“In order for Stephen to remain in parish ministry, I have therefore asked for – and received from him – a solemn undertaking, in writing, that he is to refrain entirely from writing or speaking on any theme that relates, either directly or indirectly, to the current situation in the Middle East or to its historical backdrop.” [emphasis in original]
“He has promised to refrain, with no exceptions, from attendance at or participation in any conferences which promote or are linked to this agenda; from all writing, tweeting, blogging, emailing, preaching and teaching on these themes, whether formally or informally – a prohibition which of course includes posting links to other sites; and from all background work in this area which may resource others to act as spokespeople in Stephen’s stead. [emphasis added]
“Should Stephen be deemed by the Diocese to have broken this agreement, in letter or in spirit, he has pledged to offer me his immediate resignation, which I will duly accept…”
End of Year Scorecard for 2016 BBC Reporting on Palestinian Terrorist Incidents
The Israel Security Agency’s report on terror attacks (Hebrew) during December 2016 shows that throughout the month a total of 98 incidents took place: 87 in Judea & Samaria, ten in Jerusalem and one attack from the Gaza Strip.
The agency recorded 67 attacks with petrol bombs, 19 attacks using explosive devices, two stabbing attacks and nine shooting attacks in Judea & Samaria and Jerusalem as well as one shooting attack from the Gaza Strip.
Six people – two civilians and four members of the security forces – were wounded in shooting, stabbing and IED attacks in December. Additional incidents included an attempted stabbing at Tapuach junction on December 8th, an attempted vehicular attack near Qalandiya on December 13th, a shooting attack near Ramallah on December 14th and a shooting attack near Beit El on December 25th.
The BBC News website did not provide coverage of any of the 98 attacks which took place during December.
Throughout the whole of 2016 the BBC News website reported a total of thirty-nine incidents – i.e. 2.8% of the terror attacks which actually took place. Only one of the ten barrages of missile attacks from the Gaza Strip which took place during 2016 received (belated) English language coverage. In contrast with the previous year, the BBC did report all the Israeli fatalities resulting from terror attacks that occurred during 2016.
Polish Jews commemorate anti-Semitic campaign of 1968
Polish Jews held a ceremony commemorating the anti-Semitic campaign of March 1968, when Polish authorities forced several thousand Jews who survived the Holocaust to leave the country.
Golda Tencer, director of the Jewish Theatre in Warsaw, and the Shalom Foundation, organized the ceremony on Wednesday.
“Our parents, after the experiences of war, a dozen years later, experienced a second exodus,” Tencer said. “For me, this station was a symbol of all stations, from where Jews were leaving. They threw us away, but no one could break up our friendship.”
Michal Sobelman, a spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in Warsaw whose family left Poland in 1969, said that year was a symbol of the end of the thousand-year history of Polish Jewry.
“Although it’s been 50 years, the Polish government did not do one thing. The citizenship, brutally taken away from Jews living in their country here, has never been given back. It seems to me that the time has come to do this, “said Sobelman.
Seattle shul vandalized with graffiti saying ‘Holocau$t i$ fake hi$tory’
Seattle police were investigating a suspected hate crime Saturday after graffiti claiming the “Holocau$t i$ fake hi$tory” was spray-painted on the wall of a local synagogue.
NBC affiliate King 5 News reported the graffiti was discovered a day earlier outside Temple De Hirsch Sinai, a reform congregation with members who are Holocaust survivors themselves.
The letter “S” appearing three times in the sentence was fashioned as a dollar sign.
“The vast majority of Americans need to stand up and resist this type of intolerance and to demonstrate in no uncertain terms, that it is not acceptable and not permissible,” synagogue Rabbi Daniel Weiner said.
“Temple continues to take vigilant, substantive security measures to ensure the safety and well-being of our community. In light of other recent threats and upcoming celebrations, we have further enhanced these measures,” said Weiner.
New Agreement Installs Israeli Monitoring Software in New York Power Plants
The New York Power Authority (NYPA), the state’s largest public power organization, and the Israeli company mPrest, which creates monitoring software, announced that they will jointly deploy a groundbreaking predictive analytics application, which will enhance the reliability and cost-effectiveness of NYPA’s critical assets network.
mPrest’s Asset Health Management application monitors the operational health of NYPA power transformers in real time. The system is already being used at NYPA’s Niagara Power Plant, which is one of the largest renewable energy sources in the U.S.
“Our transformer system is a critical piece of our statewide power infrastructure, raising the voltage or ‘electrical pressure’ of power so that it can be transmitted long distance over the state’s grid,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO.
“Through our collaboration with mPrest, we can now accurately predict potential failures through better diagnostics and prognosis. As we actively pursue becoming the ‘first completely digital utility in the country,’ it is through cutting-edge technological innovation like this one, made possible with the intelligence, dedication and cooperation of our partners, that we have developed a unique, effective way of monitoring our transformers.”
The NYPA-mPrest partnership will reduce costs while ensuring that New York remains at the forefront of technological innovation.
Purim Parody Aspiring conflict journalist leaves Israel without finding conflict
He hoped to find conflict while being able to drink and relax on the beach in Tel Aviv.
He had heard from friends that Israel was a perfect place to live the most posh and relaxing life while also becoming a grizzled war veteran. But after six months searching for suffering and conflict, Bob Worthington III has left Tel Aviv in disgust.
“There was no conflict. I came to see Palestinians throwing stones and Israeli soldiers oppressing people, but despite months here, I haven’t found it.”
Mr. Worthington says he only ventured into the West Bank twice during six months, but he thought that would be enough to become a war-worn conflict expert.
“My friends back in London and New York told me that they had come to Israel for a few days and written about the conflict and are now considered veteran war correspondents. They’ve been living off those three days for years, discussing their war years. Some of them even wrote books about their experience. One guy even had to wait at Kalandia checkpoint for 10 minutes. He was really traumatized.”
But Worthington says that the conflict didn’t find him while he was here. Part of the reason is that he spent most of his time in Tel Aviv relaxing on the beach. But the other problem was the unwillingness of what he calls “the natives” to act as he had been told they would.
“I was told Israel was Hobbesian, fascist state. We heard there was shooting and tear gas and killings. But I’ve seen none.”
Purim Parody US Embassy finally moves to Jerusalem as a classic 24_7 diner
The “US Embassy” will move to Jerusalem on May 15 to coincide with Israel’s Independence Day this year.
That’s the message from Sam Spiegelmanberg, a new American immigrant who wants to overturn seven decades of US foreign policy in the Holy City.
Spiegelmanberg, in partnership with incoming US Ambassador to Israel Daniel Friedman, is the proprietor of the newly trademarked “US Embassy” brand and he hopes to open his first branch in Jerusalem at a snazzy new location on Jaffa Road. At first he hopes to serve classic American food, such as hamburgers, pizza, California rolls and burritos, but intends to expand to Asian fusion fare in the fall.
“The ‘US Embassy in Jerusalem’ is a great brand. It’s an epic topic of discussion and really the center of controversy. They say all publicity is good publicity,” says Spiegelmanberg, sitting at Cafe Hillel watching the light rail meander its way through throngs of people.
“Look at this city, fought over for thousands of years, and they say that many countries have threatened ignite new conflict if the embassy moves here, so I hope that by opening my US Embassy, I will create a real talk of the town.”
By trademarking and patenting the name “US Embassy,” he hopes to capitalize on what befell Yosemite National Park in the United States.
For Purim, Ivanka bakes hamantaschen with her kids
Ivanka Trump, the daughter of US President Donald Trump, marked the Jewish holiday of Purim over the weekend by posting a picture of her and her children making the traditional hamantaschen cookies.
“After-school fun making hamantaschen for Purim with Arabella and Joseph,” Trump posted to her Instagram account on Friday.
Purim, which starts Saturday night, commemorates the Biblical tale of an averted genocide of the Jews in the Persian empire some 2,500 years ago, and is a festive occasion celebrated with costumes, parades and street parties in cities around Israel.
One of the most iconic symbol of the holiday are hamantaschen — called oznai haman, or “Haman’s ears,” in Hebrew — named after the villain of the story.
Brother of fallen IDF soldier puts on Purim dance in his memory
The Bnei Akiva Jewish youth movement published online a Purim video of its members performing a dance choreographed by the brother of a fallen Israeli soldier.
Hemi Goldin, whose brother, Hadar, was killed by Hamas in 2014 and whose body has not been returned for burial, invented the dance routine in memory of his brother’s joviality, World Bnei Akiva said in a statement about the video, which was uploaded to YouTube on Thursday.
Hadar Goldin was an instructor for Bnei Akiva.
The video, entitled “Happy Purim — Dancing Around the World,” features boys and girls from Jerusalem, Milan, Amsterdam, Dusseldorf, New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Sydney, Rio de Janeiro and Hong Kong dancing to the sounds of the hit pop song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams.
Some of the dancers performed the routine in front of well-known monuments, including the Sydney Opera House, the Milan Cathedral and the Ipanema Beach in Rio. Drawing the attention of passersby, the dancers also wore costumes for Purim.
The video ends with a statement calling for the release of Hadar Goldin’s body.

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Carl in Jerusalem: "...probably the most under-recognized blog in the JBlogsphere as far as I am concerned."
Aussie Dave: "King of the auto-translation."
The Israel Situation:The Elder manages to write so many great, investigative posts that I am often looking to him for important news on the PalArab (his term for Palestinian Arab) side of things."
Tikun Olam: "Either you are carelessly ignorant or a willful liar and distorter of the truth. Either way, it makes you one mean SOB."
Mondoweiss commenter: "For virulent pro-Zionism (and plain straightforward lies of course) there is nothing much to beat it."
Didi Remez: "Leading wingnut"