Tuesday, 28 June 2016
Israeli Tech Firm Hires Gazan Programmers in Bid to Boost Cooperation
by ISRAEL21c | 06.27.16 3:28 pm
An Israeli high-tech company has hired four programmers from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip and plans to employ at least six more by 2017.
According to Reuters, 10 percent of Mellanox Technologies’ workforce is already comprised of Arab programmers living in Israel and in territories administered by the Palestinian Authority, including Ramallah.
“From our experience in Ramallah, we think we have the potential to collaborate and make our neighbors successful,” CEO Eyal Waldman told Reuters.
Mellanox Technologies creates products that link computers, servers, and databases. It has a large need for programmers and wants to avoid outsourcing the work to a different time zone.
Many unemployed Arab software engineers reside in Gaza on Israel’s southwest Mediterranean shore. Israel evacuated all Jewish residents from Gaza in 2005 and the territory has been ruled by Hamas since 2007.
Mellanox worked with Ramallah software firm ASAL Technologies to facilitate the hiring process in Gaza, as Israelis are not permitted to enter. Mellanox said it was not aware of other Israeli tech company employing Gazans.
It remains to be seen how a travel ban between Gaza and Israel will affect the working relationship. Waldman said he believes audio and video conferencing will be sufficient.
“This will bring both peoples closer,” he said. “The more we interact, the more we strive for coexistence.”
Palestinian leader admits his claims at the EU were baseless but rejects "blood libel" claim of the Israeli PM.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has retracted comments he made this week about an alleged plot by rabbis calling on Jewish settlers to poison the drinking water of Palestinians.
Abbas' office acknowledged on Saturday that his comments were "baseless", adding he "didn't intend to do harm to Judaism or to offend Jewish people around the world."
In a speech to the European Union in Brussels on Thursday, Abbas made claims of a plot to poison Palestinian wells, sparking accusations of anti-Semitism.
Shortage forces Palestinians to resort to water rationing
Abbas's speech, denouncing Israel for stalling the peace talks, received a standing ovation from European lawmakers, but his allegation about the water poisoning drew strong condemnation from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Netanyahu said Abbas showed his "true face" by spreading such a "blood libel" and called on him to cease inciting against Israel.
For Jews, allegations of water poisoning strike a bitter chord.
In the 14th century, Jews were accused of deliberately poisoning wells that caused plague across Europe.
Another allegation from the Middle Ages -- that Jews murdered Christian children to use their blood for ritual purposes -- gave rise to the term "blood libel".
UN’s Moral Ban-Kruptcy
Today, U.N Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon landed in Jerusalem for a final visit before the end of his term. During his 10-year stint as Secretary General, he has seen Palestinian “innovation” flourish. From bus suicide bombings, to rocket fire, and their latest “terrorvation” - underground terror tunnels.
While in Israel, will Mr. Ban condemn the Palestinians digging these terror tunnels and aiming rockets at Israeli children in towns like Sderot? Will he unequivocally condemn the terror attacks in the midst of our cities? Will he speak out at all against the ongoing incitement and hatred so prominently displayed in the Palestinian territories? The answer is - unlikely.
During Operation Protective Edge (2014), Mr. Ban visited the region while Israel faced hundreds of terrorist rockets raining down on its cities and towns and dozens of terror tunnels designed to murder our children. The Secretary General arrived on a private jet financed by the government of Qatar. Conveniently enough, he chose to disregard the fact that every rocket flying out of Gaza has the same Qatari wings as the plane he arrived on and that every terror tunnel dug, bears the imprint ‘courtesy of Qatar’.
All these facts make it highly unlikely that Mr. Ban will use his influence to stop incitement, end terrorism, or move us any closer to a lasting peace in the Middle East.
Through my four and a half years at the United Nations, I have gotten to know Secretary Ban personally. He is a good and decent man, but he has found himself under pressure supporting a very bad cause. The Secretary-General has proven his willingness to downplay or simply ignore tragic events as well as supporters and instigators of violence in an apparent effort to appease and get along with some of the world’s most brutal regimes, and the extreme and hateful ideologies that they represent.
During my tenure as Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, I learned a great deal about the world body’s hypocrisy, its duplicity, and the triple standard it applies to world affairs - one for dictatorships, one for democracies, and a special critical standard designed only for Israel.
There are dozens of examples of this bias in action. Below are just a handful of examples:
Secretary-General Ban has been easily intimidated by the Arab Group and its allies in the non-aligned movement, which constitute a numerical majority in the UN’s General Assembly. He almost broke a guinness record for the quickest retraction when he apologized to the Moroccan government for describing the country’s annexation of Western Sahara as an “occupation.”
The Secretary-General again succumbed to Arab pressure to stay silent as Leila Zerrougi, his Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict who is also by coincidence an Algerian, produced a report suggesting that Israel be added to the U.N.’s list of terrorist groups, which includes Boko Haram, Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Mr. Ban was quick, however, to remove Saudi Arabia - a leading peddler of radical Islam and a known “human rights and women’s rights “advocate”- from the same list.
In a Security Council speech earlier this year, Mr. Ban gave terror a very unnecessary tail wind and blamed Israel for the latest wave of brutal Palestinian terrorist attacks, arguing it is “human nature to react to occupation.”
Nowhere is anti-Israel bias more obvious than in the Geneva-based Human Rights Council. The council addresses the human rights abuses of all countries in the world under a program known as Agenda Item 4. That is, all countries but one. Israel is the only nation that is singled out for criticism. We have our own Agenda Item 7 at each and every meeting. A result, according to the Geneva-based monitoring group UN Watch, is that more than 50 percent of all condemnatory resolutions are directed at the Jewish state.
The United Nations, once a beacon of hope in the dark days following the conflagration of World War II and the Holocaust, has been overrun by repressive regimes that violate human rights and consistently undermine international security. It is clear that the inmates have taken over the asylum and the warden has been glad to give them the keys.
Friday, 17 June 2016
Please Help, Jo’s family have set up a fundraising page to support three organisations close to her heart.
As I write this, I’m still reeling in shock and horror at the murder of Jo Cox, the MP for Batley and Spen, who was so brutally killed yesterday. I had a meal with her husband, Brendan, only the night before. Now he is a widower and their two young children face life without a mother. I find it hard to imagine their pain.
But as much as I feel pain, I also feel anger. How dare someone snuff out such a bright voice of hope in this manner? A principled and passionate MP, who championed women’s and refugee rights. What gives the killer the God-given right to make this choice? Jo, a former head of policy at Oxfam, had a bright future as both a mother and a Member of Parliament. Now that’s all gone.
Today I have written a blog for Newsweek to express my anger at her death and the poisonous politics of fear and hate that has dominated the EU debate in recent weeks. Whatever the outcome next Thursday, we are going to be dealing with the consequences of this toxic debate for months and years to come.
Jo’s family have set up a fundraising page to support three organisations close to her heart. I am humbled that HOPE not hate is one of them.
I would urge all our supporters to give to this fund
Over the last 24 hours we have seen the worst and best of Britain. We had nigel Farage and his hateful poster and we had Jo’s senseless murder. And then we have had the genuine outpouring of grief and solidarity that has accompanied her death by people who felt inspired by everything Jo stood for.
Please, stand with me in making a pledge to build a better world