Wednesday, May 30, 2012

"I'll be killed if deported to territories"

The following story illustrates the difficulties Palestinian women face in their own societies and the conflict within Israel on how to deal with such matters.

From our own personal experiences in Haifa, protected homes are set up for abused women and some of the residents are young Arab women who fear for their lives because they do not want to marry the person that the father has chosen for them.

West Bank woman tells Tel Aviv court she will be murdered for 'disgracing' her family after refusing to marry her cousin at young age

Gilad Morag,  Published: 05.29.12, 23:36 / Israel News

A 23-year-old Palestinian woman who was arrested more than a week ago for residing in Israel illegally said she would be killed if sent back to the Palestinian Authority for "disgracing" her family.

"I'm originally from the West Bank, but I've been living in Israel for the past three years," she told the Tel Aviv Magistrates' Court on Tuesday. "I refused to wed, and I tarnished the family's honor by running away. They’ve been trying to track me down ever since.

"I moved from place to place, slept in cemeteries. I've been through some tough times," she told the court. "All I ask is for is an opportunity to turn a new page and be allowed to live here in Israel and work."

The court ruled that the woman must remain under house arrest for an additional eight days. She will be staying with friends in Tel Aviv.

The woman told the court she had refused to marry her cousin at a very young age because she wanted to study and "get ahead in life." She claimed that in light of her decision, her father and cousin began to physically abuse her and denied her of basic living conditions.

The Palestinian woman said that after another attempt to get her married at an early age, she fled to Israel with the help of a police officer. Shortly after entering Israel she was deported and was once again subjected to abuse in her family home. The woman claimed that her father had even turned to assassins and asked that they bring her body back to him.

The woman's attorney, Kfir Daniel, said "it was made clear to me that if she is expelled to the territories - it would mean a death sentence for her."

Following the court hearing, the attorney filed an urgent petition with the High Court asking that it issue an injunction that would prevent the woman's expulsion and allow her to reside in Israel legally.

Illegal residents are routinely returned to the Palestinian territories.

Israel's Theatre Group Success at Shakespeare Festival

Despite efforts of the UK Guardian, the boycotters and the BDS lobby to claim that they disrupted the Israeli group, Habima, Shakespeare performance at the Globe last night, the reality was very different and their attempts to disrupt failed miserably.

When there WAS a small disruption the performers were unphased and pre-briefed, and the Globe staff handled the situation quickly and effectively and are to be greatly congratulated, not just for handling a potentially explosive situation so well, but also for not giving in to huge pressure they received to cancel the invitation to Habima.

Theatregoers in the main were angered by the intrusion and later by the shouting and obstruction they were subjected to as they were leaving the theatre after the performance,

There was a large and peaceful pro Israel counter demo with music and Israeli dancing in the streets, which was in huge contrast to the shouting abuse and demonisation of Israel of the anti Israel demonstrators.

Habimah were delighted by the warmth of their welcome from the community and Christian groups and although they won't admit it the Palestinian Solidarit Campaign, (PSC), the Boycott Israel Network and Jews for Justice for the Palestinians must be really disappointed.

Their main achievement was that they ensured two sellout performances for Habima, something they and the Globe can't fail to be pleased about. Hopefully, despite the extra work this provided for the Globe, it is hoped the outcome empowers them to know that inviting Israel performers gains more support than opposition, and they will invite Habima back again.

For once, there was a tremendous communal effort, together with Anglican Friends of Israel, Christian Friends of Israel and individual Christians who turned up as they always do to stand up for Israel, to counter the attempts of the boycotters, who first tried to get the Habimah invitation cancelled, supported by some ill-informed fellow artists, and then to cause effective disruption during their performances.

The Globe are to be congratulated for standing firm and putting in place all the necessary security to contain any disruptions. There is the added bonus of Habimah getting glowing reviews for their performance.

The comment in the article in the Guardian from Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, co-ordinator with the Boycott Israel Network is ludicrous. Israelis and Israeli Arabs performing in the UK are not whitewashing anything. They are using their talents to promote peace and harmonious co-existence. Just what do the boycotters think they achieved for the Palestinians last night. They just made a lot more people aware of the futility and aggression of the BDS campaign and, perhaps, did Israel a great favour.

Congratulations are due to all the organisations who worked so well together to achieve this outcome, from the Zionist Federation in London and StandWithUs UK who were proud to work alongside all the organisations who came together on this and helped to achieve this result.

Hopefully one outcome will be that more Israeli groups will be invited to the UK which would be the best outcome of all.

Please do not allow the false impression that the disrupters succeeded to gain credence.

There is massive social media traffic on Twitter and Facebook congratulating Habima and the Globe, (@habima and @globe) and the pro Israel demonstrators and those attending the perfomance last night are to be congratulated for their restraint in not rising to the disrupters.

Reviews and audience reaction have been amazing, congratulations are due to the Globe management and to everyone who supported either inside or outside the theatre on both nights.

This was a real blow to the BDS movement and a great example of cross community cooperation to get the strategy right with the cooperation of the Globe management It has been a boost for those of us who were starting to be wary of having major Israeli events and productions because of the anti activity they generated but this has shown what can be done and the experience of all working together has been a great one and certainly the way forward to greater success.

A strong recommendation – contact or email the Globe to thank them for the way they handled things last night or Tweet @theGlobe and @habima

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7902 1400

Friday, May 18, 2012

Hostile BDS Meeting

A number of friens in the UK attended a meeting of the Co-op organisation who have adopted a policy of boycotting Israeli products produced in Judea and Samaria.

Following is their report which shows what a small number of people can achieve in such a hostile environment.

When the next motion was due to be put, the chairman read out a lengthy statement from the national Board reiterated the Co-op's policy of not sourcing anything from the illegal occupied territories. Cleverly in my view the motion had Morocco tagged on to Israel for boycott, a cynical move in my view designed to stop being able to claim it was a policy aimed only at Israel.

He said as the motion had been withdrawn he would not allow any debate but that one woman has said she wanted to make a statement. It turned out to be a known local Palextinian Solidarity Committee (PSC) person who congratulated the Co-op and said how delighted she was that their ethical stand against a country with such a bad human rights record was being boycotted

The chairman however had claimed in his opening remarks, and I believed it was reinfoced in the statement that it is not a "boycott of Israel" and the Co-op does business with around 20 Israel companies.

After the first woman another PSC supporter spoke up. It was clear the chairman wanted to close the issue but I jumped up with a point of information (which it wasn;t really but nor was it a legitimate point of order) and demanded the right to put the other point of view as he had allowed two speakers to welcome the policy. I said I could not understand why the Co-op was adopting such a selective policy when there were countries like China, Turkey Syria and Libya who were not subject to this treatment

I also rammed home how it would only be the Palestinians who work agriculture in the territories who would suffer from this policy I also said I wanted to challenge the term Illegal agricultural exploitation as it was neither illegal nor exploitation At that point the chairman insisted I was actually debating the motion which he repeated he would not allow. I said I would respect the chair but just wanted to remind people that this boycotting of Agrexco and other companies would mean the loss of Palestinian jobs and I wanted everyone to think about being responsible for that

AT that point Raymond Solomon sttood up and said he was determined to have his say. Teh Chairman tried to resist this but Raymond would not be silenced and was able to ask the question as to why the Co-op was operating a boycott when even the Palestinian Authority Government did not support this.

Most of the people in the room looked as they didn't have the slightest clue waht was going on!!!

However one or two people did come over and say they were pleased we had spoken up, I was able to distribute quite a few Boycotts damage the Palestinians fliers I had prepared and also gave out some SWU booklets to a lot of the key committee people Raymond and I also used comment cards a helpful committee member provided for us, and we made a lot of the points we would have made if proper debate had been allowed and they will be submitted for answers

The experience reinforced the importance of being at these meetings to counter the PSC line and to ensure fair and balanced coverage of the issue

I advise as many people as possibe to sign up for Co-op membership so we can be better prepared and organised in the future and perhaps present our own motions for debate. I think we need a concerted campign to gun down the Co-op boycott policy by drawing their attention to the selective and discriminatory policy they have in place and to point out with detailed examples how selective they are being. If they hide behind the"ethical" label we need to draw their attention to countries where women have no rights, where gays and lesbians are under threat of being killed, where Christians and Jews are not welcome or are harrassed and downtrodden etc etc.

I took time at the end of the meeting to talk to the chairman (who apologised for cutting me short but said it was only right I could have a say!!) the regional chairman and the regional secretary, and reinforced my arguments. I asked them how many of their pharmaceutical products are of Israeli origin and I also spoke with the Regional Secretary to ask if senior representatives of the Co-op would be willing to go to Israel to see the reality for themselves

He promised to take that forward to Head Office

Although not entirely satisfactory, I still felt it was a job well done and much needed. I am hoping to have people at two other local meetings at least and I am stressing to them not to allow themselves to be silenced, to remain calm and polite, but to refuse to give way

One thing is for sure we took the PSC people and the committee entirely by surprise and I cannot stress how important it is to have presence at meetings like this and to not be afraid to demand to be heard

Monday, May 14, 2012

Profiles of Trafficking - MASHAV, Haifa

Poverty and lack of economic opportunity cause women and children to become potential victims of human trafficking, through traders connected to international crime rings ( They are more vulnerable to false opportunities for employment in other countries and many women who receive proposals of work from apparently legitimate sources find themselves in situations where their documents are destroyed and their families endangered. And while women and children are especially at risk of sex trafficking, human trafficking is not limited to sexual exploitation alone; it also includes trade within marriage, in sweat-shops, on agricultural plantations and in domestic service.

A Workshop on “Profiles of Trafficking: Patterns, Populations & Policies” is taking place at the Golda Meir Mount Carmel Training Center (MCTC), (MASHAV) in Haifa, in cooperation with the Israel Ministry of Justice, the American Embassy in Tel Aviv, UNODC, OSCE & TAIEX.

The program includes lectures, workshops and study tours on the topics of different populations of victims of trafficking, different patterns of trafficking in humans and preventive policies. The activity will provide a platform for exchange of experiences and ideas about different methodologies used around the world.

In addition, one day of the Workshop will be devoted to a Seminar on The Relationship between Government and Non Governmental Organizations, with the participation of experts from Israel and abroad to which I have been invited..

The Workshop objectives are:

• To analyze problems in the law and in public policy, as they relate to trafficking in humans

• To widen the participants’ knowledge and experience on trauma and rehabilitation of victims, studying selected texts on the topic

• To establish a human network to foster cross-border cooperation between Israel and countries of origin and destination, aiming to achieve concrete cooperation and to learn from experience in the joint struggle against trafficking in humans

• To exchange experiences and ideas from countries of origin and destination, Israel and the US.

• To become acquainted with a variety of programs in Israel about trauma, specifically rehabilitation of trafficking victims.

Yet another amazing conference organised by MASHAV

Friday, May 11, 2012

The 2012 Terror Attacks Against Israel You Never Heard About | | IDF Blog | The Official Blog of the Israel Defense ForcesIDF Blog | The Official Blog of the Israel Defense Forces

The 2012 Terror Attacks Against Israel You Never Heard About | | IDF Blog | The Official Blog of the Israel Defense ForcesIDF Blog | The Official Blog of the Israel Defense Forces

12 Ways Israel Feeds the World

Abigail Klein Leichman - Israel 21C, May 10th, 2012

Food security is a major concern for our rapidly growing planet. As resources dwindle and the population rises, smart solutions for better agriculture and safer food storage are essential.

No other single country – certainly not one as young and as tiny as Israel – has contributed more breakthroughs in this area than Israel.

Since the 1950s, Israelis have not only been finding miraculous ways to green their own desert but have shared their discoveries far and wide through channels including MASHAV, Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Here are 12 major ways Israel helps feed the world.

1. Drip irrigation

Probably no other advancement has been quite as significant. While the concept of drip irrigation existed well before Israeli statehood, it was revolutionized by Israeli water engineer Simcha Blass, who serendipitously discovered that a slow and balanced drip led to remarkable growth. He created tubing that slowly released water where it was most effective, and in 1965 Kibbutz Hatzerim built a whole new industry, Netafim, based on his invention.

Israeli drip and micro-irrigation solutions rapidly spread worldwide. The newest models are self-cleaning and maintain uniform flow rate regardless of water quality and pressure.

Just one recent example of how this method has impacted food supply in foreign countries is Tipa, literally “Drop,” an Israeli-developed kit that has allowed 700 farming families in Senegal to reap crops three times a year instead of just once, even on infertile land.

Tipa is “a simple drip irrigation system that uses gravity when there is no water supply or water pressure coming to rural areas,” MASHAV’s Ilan Fluss told ISRAEL21c. The organization has similar activities in Kenya, South Africa, Benin and Niger.

2. Grain cocoons

Israeli-designed GrainPro Cocoons provide a surprisingly simple and cheap way for African and Asian farmers to keep their grain market-fresh.

The huge bags, invented by international food technology consultant Prof. Shlomo Navarro, keep both water and air out. They’re used all over the developed world, including Africa and the Far East, and even in countries that have no diplomatic ties to Israel, such as Pakistan.

As much as 50 percent of every grain harvest and 100% of every pulse harvest is lost to pests and mold, Navarro told ISRAEL21c. Subsistence farmers in developing countries tend to store their crops in primitive baskets or bags, which are not effective in keeping hungry bugs and micro-contaminants out. The Cocoon solves that problem, even in extreme heat and humidity. The Cocoon stores crops safely.

3. Biological pest control

On Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu, a company called Bio-Bee breeds beneficial insects and mites for biological pest control and bumblebees for natural pollination in greenhouses and open fields. Subsidiary Bio-Fly sells sterile Mediterranean fruit flies to control this major pest in fruit trees.

R&D manager Dr. Shimon Steinberg told ISRAEL21c the company’s top seller worldwide is two-millimeter-long, pear-shaped orange spider that is a highly efficient enemy of the spider mite, a devastating agricultural pest.

“Sixty percent of California strawberries since 1990 are treated with this predatory mite from the Holy Land,” he reported. In Israel, Bio-Bee products have enabled sweet-pepper farmers to reduce the use of chemical pesticides by 75 percent.

Bio-Bee exports eight different species of biological control agents, plus pollinating bumblebees, to 32 nations from Japan to Chile. Bio-Fly collaborates with Jordanian and West Bank Palestinian Authority agricultural experts.

4. Dairy farming

Hof Hasharon Dairy Farm, SAE Afikim and SCR Precise Dairy Farming all makeadvanced systems for herd management, monitoring and feeding used on dairy farms worldwide.

SAE Afikim is one of 10 Israeli companies involved in a five-year project in Vietnam to implement every aspect of a vast $500 million dairy farm project. It’s the largest project of its kind in the world.

The operation will encompass 30,000 cows at 12 state-of-the-art mega-dairies and a milk processing plant supplying 300 million liters per year. By the end of 2012, 500,000 liters are expected to be produced daily.

In the meantime, China is sending groups of dairy farm manager trainees to Israel to learn how to boost milk production there as well.

5. Tailor-made farm solutions

Kibbutz-based Agricultural Knowledge On-Line (AKOL) makes unique software to help producers grow fruits and vegetables, raise poultry and dairy cows, manage vineyards and make olive oil.

Hosted in IBM’s “cloud,” AKOL’s latest project gives farmers anywhere in the world access to information from Israeli experts. Hundreds of thousands of farmers can obtain tailor-made solutions, arrange group purchases of supplies and communicate with colleagues.

CEO Ron Shani told ISRAEL21c that AKOL applications advise farmers on when to plant, irrigate and harvest; how to cope with drought; how to choose the crops best for their area; how to implement ideal storage and temperature control procedures based on climate; and how to track the growth of chickens, livestock and fruit, among other ideas for running a modern, professional farm.

6. A better potato

It took nearly 30 years of research, but Hebrew University’s Prof. David Levy developed strains of potatoes that thrive in hot, dry climates, and can be irrigated by saltwater.

Potatoes are one of the top sources of nutrition in the world, but they never before grew well in hot, desert regions like the Middle East. Now farmers in these regions can grow potatoes as a cash crop.

Levy told ISRAEL21c that he also intended his research to enhance understanding between Israel and its neighbors, as scientists and officials from Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and Morocco meet with Israeli scientists to share knowledge and build bridges of information and technology.

7. Squeezing every drop of water from the air

Tal-Ya Water Technologies developed reusable plastic trays to collect dew from the air, reducing the water needed by crops or trees by up to 50 percent.

The square serrated trays, made from non-PET recycled and recyclable plastic with UV filters and a limestone additive, surround each plant or tree. With overnight temperature change, dew forms on both surfaces of the Tal-Ya tray, which funnels the dew and condensation straight to the roots. If it rains, the trays heighten the effect of each millimeter of water 27 times over.

Inventor and CEO Avraham Tamir told ISRAEL21c that the trays also block the sun so weeds can’t take root, and protect the plants from extreme temperature shifts. “Farmers need to use much less water, and in turn much less fertilizer on the crop,” which translates to less groundwater contamination.

8. Unparalleled crop protection

Two years ago, Hebrew University’s tech-transfer company teamed with Makhteshim Agan, a world leader in crop protection products, to develop and commercialize slow-release herbicides and a targeted insecticide that doesn’t harm beneficial insects.

The total worldwide herbicide market is valued at more than $15 billion, of which approximately a quarter is dedicated to soil-applied herbicides and other pesticides. The Israeli approach incorporates herbicides into micelles or vesicles, which are absorbed onto negatively charged clay minerals to enable a slow and controlled release, reducing leaching to deeper soil layers. This enhances efficiency and reduces the required doses.

The novel insecticide kills caterpillars of night-flying moths – a common scourge for farmers worldwide – but unlike common commercial preparations, has minimal or no effect on any other creature. High levels of control can be achieved with much less product, greatly minimizing environmental impact.

9. Fishing in the desert

Overfishing is a serious threat to the food supply, a grave situation since fish is the main source of protein for hundreds of millions of people. But what if fish could be raised virtually anywhere, even in the desert? That is just what the Israel’s GFA (Grow Fish Anywhere) Advanced Systems has made possible.

The Israeli “zero-discharge” system eliminates the environmental problems in conventional fish farming, and doesn’t depend on electricity or proximity to a body of water. Specially developed microbes purify fish waste byproducts right in the tank, with no need for spillage and refilling.

The largest facility using GFA technology, in New York, produced about 100 tons of sea bream, bass and tilapia in 2010.

10. Food from greenhouse gas

Israel’s Seambiotic clean-tech company recently launched a commercial algae farm in China and does business in the United States and Italy as well.

People don’t eat algae, but algae ponds nourished by power-plant effluent conserve farmed produce for human consumption because they generate 30 times more feedstock for biofuel than do land-based crop alternatives.

Plus, the tiny plants, which thrive on carbon dioxide and sunlight, produce a valuable nutraceutical food additive that is especially popular in the Far East.

11. Reintroducing carp to Africa

Half a century ago, Lake Victoria carp was a significant part of the diet of the nearby Ugandan villagers. But when Nile perch was introduced to the lake, it decimated most of the smaller fish including the carp. Villagers had neither the equipment nor the expertise necessary to start fishing the huge perch, and symptoms of protein deficiency started becoming apparent in their children.

Prof. Berta Sivan of Hebrew University came to the rescue with a multiyear project near to help these African families. Her team was able to apply techniques developed over many years for Israeli fish farmers.

The Israeli project not only successfully spawned carp on Ugandan fish farms, but also provided training on how to dig and fill ponds and raise the small fish. Now local children have an abundant supply of protein to eat with their fruit and vegetables.

12. Hardier seeds for better crops

Hebrew University agricultural scientists Ilan Sela and Haim D. Rabinowitch developed TraitUP, a trademarked technology that enables the introduction of genetic materials into seeds without modifying their DNA. This method immediately and efficiently improves plants before they’re even sowed.

The university’s Yissum Research Development technology transfer company licensed the seed treatment technology to Morflora Israel for curing fruit-tree diseases in orchards and groves, and for seedling treatment in the nursery.

“The new ability to deliver traits within days instead of years, and to offer a treatment with results similar to breeding to all current species, answers a long and unmet need that will revolutionize modern agriculture and significantly impact the vegetable and commodity crop markets,” said Dotan Peleg, CEO of Morflora.

"Palestine" a Land Without Israel

A children's program teaching arts and crafts on official Palestinian Authority TV instructed children how to make models of "Palestine." The shape of the map of "Palestine," which was cut out of paper, included all of Israel. Adding a political message, PA TV taught the children to cover the entire model with the colors of the Palestinian flag, symbolizing Palestinian sovereignty over the whole area.

This is the introduction to yet another video by Palestinian Media Watch which reports incessant indoctrination of children into believing Israel can cease to exist.

And the world continues to fund from the pockets of its citizens this distorted education, an "occupation" of children's minds against all the principles set down in human rights legislation