Israellycool http://www.israellycool.com Down Under Punditry in the Middle East Sat, 28 Mar 2015 17:40:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 Klout Suggests… http://www.israellycool.com/2015/03/28/klout-suggests/ http://www.israellycool.com/2015/03/28/klout-suggests/#comments Sat, 28 Mar 2015 17:40:08 +0000 http://www.israellycool.com/?p=75284 I logged into Klout for the first time in a while. It asked me what my interests were. I selected, “Israel”.

Klout

Thank you Klout. Your services are no longer required.

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Reader Post: Faces Of Israel http://www.israellycool.com/2015/03/27/reader-post-faces-of-israel/ http://www.israellycool.com/2015/03/27/reader-post-faces-of-israel/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 10:56:52 +0000 http://www.israellycool.com/?p=75275 Many college students have gathered together from all across the United States and Canada to be featured in Tal Charnes’s music video “Faces of Israel.” Find out what Israel means to him and his friends in this video.

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Special Guest Post (Phil Soussan): How Little We Know You Mr President http://www.israellycool.com/2015/03/27/special-guest-post-phil-soussan-how-little-we-know-you-mr-president/ http://www.israellycool.com/2015/03/27/special-guest-post-phil-soussan-how-little-we-know-you-mr-president/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 09:11:37 +0000 http://www.israellycool.com/?p=75173 Phil Soussan picture from his blog landscapePhil Soussan is a bass guitarist, songwriter and producer who has gained fame as a member of a host of famed rock and roll bands, including some fronted by such vocalists as Ozzy Osbourne, Billy Idol, Vince Neil, Johnny Hallyday and John Waite, as well as a membership in Beggars & Thieves. Soussan has also played in bands featuring Jimmy Page, Steve Lukather, Edgar Winter and Richie Kotzen. Check out his Facebook page here.

How little we know, Mr President and all of your minions…

To understand Israel, you only have to look at the demographics of the voting in the country. The people that have recently adopted the name of the “Palestinians” for most part are not from the region – they are from Libya, Egypt, Afghanistan and other places and are sponsored by rogue Islamic nations. During their occupation of Judea and Samaria, the British renamed their mandate “Palestine”

The Palestinians became the name applied to all who lived in the area – Jews, Christians, Arabs and Hashemites. When the British left, they subdivided the country into two, creating a new country – Jordan, after creating a new royal family with King Abdullah as the new monarch of Jordan. Those Arabs who were in Israel remained in Israel and became Israeli Arabs. A few decided to leave Israel under the promise, by surrounding hostile countries, that Israeli Jews would be destroyed in an invasion and at that time they could return and claim all the spoils of war for themselves. This never happened as they were defeated after 1948, and a few of those who were left decided to adopt radical methods to reclaim their “right of return”.

Eventually the Jordanians decided that they wanted nothing to do with this group and they ejected them from Jordan. Somehow now Israel, and not Jordan, has been deemed responsible to absorb these radicals that want nothing to do with integration. Their radical agenda attracted more extreme foreigners and they became today’s Palestinians.

They are NOT the same as the legitimate Israeli Arabs who live in Israel, and here is the interesting information.

About 1.7 million Israeli arabs live in Israel – about 20% of the population (yes, the population of Israel is only about 7 million – a quarter the population of Los Angeles county!)

So how did they vote in the recent election?

And here is the kicker…

  • 77% of Arabs prefer have an Israeli vs Palestinian government.
  • 70% of the Arabs care more about their socio economic status education, healthcare, women’s rights and employment than about the Palestinian conflict.
  • 64% of them showed up to vote showing confidence in the Israeli government system.
  • Only 12% of Israeli arabs do not think that the Israeli Knesset is not the best platform to advance their agendas – that is 88% that DO believe that the Israeli government represents their interests the best.

This is why Netanyahu won the election.

Current political Arab involvement aims at peacefully coexisting with – rather than confronting – the Jewish majority. In 2015, most Israeli Arabs strive for political and civic national self-determination, and improvement of their civic status, within the boundaries of the Jewish State. A growing majority of Arab voters appreciate Israel’s democracy, especially when observing the flaming Arab Tsunami on the Arab Street throughout the Middle East, devoid of civil liberties, replete with violent intolerance towards minorities and each other.

The problems with Israel are imagined by a naive White House to be in the coexistence of two states – one Jewish and one Arab. In fact two states are already in existence. An Israeli state, with Jewish, Arab and Christian citizens and a Jordanian state.

What the Palestinians want is the eradication of Jews from the region – with a little help from their friends – Iran, and Barack Obama.

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Younis The Menace Follows In Shirley Temper’s Footsteps http://www.israellycool.com/2015/03/27/younis-the-menace-follows-in-shirley-tempers-footsteps/ http://www.israellycool.com/2015/03/27/younis-the-menace-follows-in-shirley-tempers-footsteps/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 08:21:07 +0000 http://www.israellycool.com/?p=75269 TM comes the latest in exploited palestinian kids put in potential harm's way by their parents]]> From the makers of Shirley TemperTM comes the latest in exploited palestinian kids put in potential harm’s way by their parents.

Introducing Younis The Menace TM

palestinian boy finger pointing

I am not sure who he is, but there is every chance he is related to Shirley, given the photo is from Nabi Saleh and was posted by Tamimi Press, along with another showing her nearby.

shirley temper nearby

By the way, I say “potential harm’s way” because the parents know the soldiers will not deliberately harm the children. The potential exists because of the rock throwing and slingshot action going on around them.

Update: There’s a chance it is the boy standing next to Shirley in the iconic photo, albeit three years older.

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I Stand With Israel http://www.israellycool.com/2015/03/27/i-stand-with-israel/ http://www.israellycool.com/2015/03/27/i-stand-with-israel/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 06:22:13 +0000 http://www.israellycool.com/?p=75263 ryan and alan dershowitzI attended the StandWithUs Conference in Los Angeles with mixed feelings but came away extremely glad I went.

StandWithUs is the organisation which, if you follow me on social media, you know took me to Israel last year. They are one of the few organisations that fulfill their mandate to defend Israel and they were founded by some people who I respect greatly, including one woman who I consider to be one of my personal heros, Roz Rothstein. My personal opinion is if you are fighting BDS or anti-Israel events on your campus, they are the singular organisation to ask for help, as their research department run by Dr Roberta Seid and Max Samarov is second-to-none and they are incredibly dedicated. StandWithUs understands that the fight against BDS is incredibly important and they spare nothing in this fight, which is why I respect them so much and am always willing to help out.

So why were my feelings mixed? For a few reasons. One, I was saving money to go to Hawaii which is my second favorite place on earth, and I ended up spending the money I had saved up to go to the conference. Life is about choices, and I feel like it was a tough choice, but not a difficult one given I agree that fighting BDS is extremely important and has ramifications in my own people’s struggles. The second reason was I believed that such a conference , given its location (Beverly Hills), its cost (it is expensive) prohibits the very people that we need to reach the most. I figured it would be great for schmoozing and looking for donors for my Indigenous to Israel trip (and it was). I also figured it would be unlikely to have very many grassroots activists (I was wrong). While I still think some form of subsidised tickets should be made available for outstanding community activists, I was very happy to see students being encouraged to attend and being subsidised.

I will speak a bit about the conference first. It was amazing, the schedule was very intense, and I believe if you are not committed to this struggle, it would be way too intense. However, for people who eat, sleep and breathe this struggle, it was tough but doable. The speakers StandWithUs chose were all incredible. I learned a huge amount from them – some of them I am already friends with on Facebook, some of them I became friends with afterwards, but the amount of knowledge that was in that conference was staggering. I took copious amounts of notes, and my groups Calgary United with Israel and One Nation will both benefit, as we got great ideas for some initiatives and some excellent ideas for events. The pace was frenetic; we had speakers at meals, working groups, and so many speakers that even my large head was quickly filled to overflowing. Some of the best conversations, though, came at meals when we could discuss things in a more personal way.

I thought about detailing the conference, and maybe I will another time, but I learned some things that I believe will be more valuable for people to hear.

We need to involve people who are not Jewish. This seems like it would be common sense, but the truth is that it’s difficult, and we discussed ways to get those people more involved. I personally believe one group that we must get more involved are minorities.

The other side is pretty base and low when they appeal to that group. They have a one-size-fits-all approach that is only tailored insofar as they change the names to whatever persecuted or oppressed minority they are trying to co-opt. For example, a typical anti Israel supporter will say “Hey _________( insert minority group here) Your struggle is just like the Palestinians, because ________(insert ridiculous comparison here). They misuse words like genocide, and ethnic cleansing, because they don’t care if it sounds credible to intelligent informed people, it just has to resonate with people who don’t know better.The reason people buy it is because they feel isolated and alone and they WANT to feel like someone feels their pain, even when that someone is making ridiculous statements.

I am seeing this in the academic world with my own people. The proliferation of panels talking about “Decolonization from Turtle Island to Palestine” – where they have a token Indian who usually gets 5 minutes to speak in order to give the panel some legitimacy, and then have some Arab talking about Israel for 45 minutes using false narratives and fallacies in order to generate anti-Israel feelings – are becoming noticeable. The ridiculous assertion that a people who are a conqueror people who colonised and conquered what was almost the entire known world, are in any way comparable to an indigenous people who have struggled against oppression and marginalisation, should be offensive to any educated or aware person, yet until now they have been relatively unopposed, even in academia where people know better.

I feel like these are groups we should be able to reach with the right approach. For one thing, Jews are very community oriented. The concept of Tikkun Olam is something that resonates with Indians, and the fact that history shows that Jews are an indigenous people who were forcibly displaced a number of times but who maintained their nation in exile and then reclaimed their ancestral lands, is a story that indigenous people need to hear.

Other minorities as well should be easy sells. Gays in particular have full human rights in Israel, and in every other country in the region, would be risking their lives to be openly gay. For instance Chris Gunness, the head of the extremely anti Israel UNRWA, lives in Tel aviv with his boyfriend, even while attacking and delegitimizing Israel and working for its destruction. Women have full equal rights in Israel and honour killings are not considered acceptable as they are in several Muslim states. How is it that we have not reached out more effectively to these groups? How is it that gays are more vocal in support of a regime that would kill them for being gay than they are in support of the regions only country that accepts them? How is it feminists are so vocally against Israel when Israel clearly is more pro woman than any other country in the region?

Now I am not saying that we don’t need to preach to the choir as well, because frankly many Jewish communities are ignorant – ignorant about their own peoples history, about Zionism and about human rights –  yet Jewish people remain one of the most active and supportive groups when it comes to OTHER human rights struggles. We just have to teach them that its OK to stand up for themselves and their own people. We need them to understand that Zionism is not a dirty word. The StandWithUs conference was rejuvenating for me, because sometimes I get annoyed with some Jews who do not seem to understand some things I believe are key for them to understand. Simply put, to be around people who shared my beliefs, and who have the same passion for them, recharged my batteries, I have a great support network in Calgary and on Facebook, but sometimes it feels like we are all just the crazy people. Hearing that other people are just as “radical” and extreme in their belief that Jews do not need to be apologetic, was important for me.

I want my friends in Israel to know, it doesn’t matter if you are in Tel aviv, Hevron, Maale Adumim, Kiryat Arba, Psagot, or some hilltop in Judeah or Sammaria. You are in Israel, the ancestral homeland of the Jewish people, and people like me are here fighting for you because we believe in the rights of indigenous people to live in peace and security on their ancestral lands.

I am sending you my love because you are amazing people, resilient people, indigenous people, and we are all in this together.

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Karma Can Be A B**** Even In Jerusalem http://www.israellycool.com/2015/03/26/karma-can-be-a-b-even-in-jerusalem/ http://www.israellycool.com/2015/03/26/karma-can-be-a-b-even-in-jerusalem/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 20:41:08 +0000 http://www.israellycool.com/?p=75253 Back in 2013, Brian noticed a car illegally occupying two spots in the Mamilla Mall in Jerusalem – two electric car charging spots out of twelve in the mall.

So he did what any self-respecting person would do. Blog it.

From Car Buzz:

Street races take place all over the world. But Jerusalem? Cities don’t get more holy than this, and the man upstairs clearly wasn’t happy about this Ferrari 458 challenging a Range Rover to a night-time duel in his back yard. Thanks to Yossi, we have these images of the aftermath (and a single shot of the supercar prerace) as well as some info as to what went down. According to the Jerusalem native, the Ferrari hit the Range Rover, before crashing into a fence and pillar.

The drivers quickly fled the scene, as punishment for this sort of reckless behavior is very severe. Chances are the drivers will claim their cars were stolen to escape the wrath of the law. However, come judgement day things might not go so well for them.

ferrari crashed

And how do we know it’s the same guy? Behold:

ferrari

Is the end of the road for the driver’s douchiness? Stay tuned!

Thanks to our eagle-eyed Judge Dan.

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Did The US Department Of Defense Betray Israel With Report On Nuclear Secrets? http://www.israellycool.com/2015/03/26/did-the-us-department-of-defense-betray-israel-with-report-on-nuclear-secrets/ http://www.israellycool.com/2015/03/26/did-the-us-department-of-defense-betray-israel-with-report-on-nuclear-secrets/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 20:31:31 +0000 http://www.israellycool.com/?p=75232 I have never been as angry at my own government as I was yesterday when I saw the jaw-dropping headlines that the US government had released a 1987 report describing Israel’s nuclear program in detail. Before I put pen to paper to rail against the US President (well OK, it was after I vented in an angry draft that will now never see the light of day) I did some fact-checking.

Here’s what I found in the space of about an hour and a half, with no background in journalism, and no access to information other that what is readily available, for free, on the internet.

The timing of the release of the document has raised many eyebrows, with some reporters noting that Grant Smith, the man who sought the release of the document, had been trying to obtain them for three years. Although Smith’s first FOIA request was about that long ago, his court case was only filed in September of 2014. From that point the timing seems about normal for a response to a document request.

Several reports highlight the fact that while the report in question included information on France, Italy, West Germany, and “other Nato allies,” all of the information on those countries is blacked out, and only the information on Israel is revealed. This is because Smith, who seems to be rabidly anti-Israel, only asked for information about Israel, and agreed to allow the government to redact the information on the other countries. Contrary to what is being implied, this alone is not indicative of malice on the part of the US government.

(click to enlarge and read this page from the report)

Page from report on Israeli nukes released by DOD

According to reports of the court case, the US Department of Justice did consult Israel before releasing the documents, and it seems as though Israel had a chance to review both the request and the report before it was released. I did not see anything, however, that indicates what the Israeli response was.

Again, all of the above was available on the internet, without any pay barriers, to anyone who took the time to look.

Finally, I went to the online database that makes federal court documents available to the public, with registration and for a nominal fee. A stipulation filed in the case shows that, once the court case was filed, a decision was made by the Department of Defense to release the report. It was not done subject to a court order. I still did not see any indication, however, of what the Israeli response to the request was. A transcript of court proceedings also makes clear that, contrary to news reports claiming that the document has been “declassified,” the 1987 report was never “classified” to begin with.

(click to enlarge and read this page from the court transcript)

Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 2.38.20 PM

What is still unknown is how Israel responded when it was consulted on the request. That is the point that journalists should be trying to ascertain. That the current US administration has not been a friend to Israel can’t really be in dispute at this point, however, on this particular issue, without knowing what Israel’s position was on this matter, it’s not clear yet whether or not there has been any betrayal.

Beyond that, people who want to cast blame have two places to look: First, US President Reagan’s Department of Defense, for unknown reasons, never labeled the report “Classified” to begin with, despite the fact that it contains the nuclear secrets of several other US allies in addition to Israel. Second, the existence of the report was first disclosed by the Jerusalem Post in 1990. If the Post had never mentioned the report in an article about supercomputers, Smith would never have asked for it first in a FOIA request and then in court.

The spark for the current outrage seems to have come from the Jewish Daily Forward, and others seem to have picked the story up from there. What we are seeing is a very typical process in which a misleading but inflammatory story is repeated without other news sources doing their own diligence. Israel’s supporters are used to seeing this process work against us, when one publication (not naming names but it’s frequently one that starts with an “H” and ends with a “z”) publishes something hostile to Israel and it is picked up around the world without any additional fact checking. This time it has worked in the other direction, but the fact is, news media must learn to do their own diligence, and this should not happen at all.

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6 of the World’s Sexiest Kayakers Train in Israel http://www.israellycool.com/2015/03/26/6-of-the-worlds-sexiest-kayakers-train-in-israel/ http://www.israellycool.com/2015/03/26/6-of-the-worlds-sexiest-kayakers-train-in-israel/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 12:08:16 +0000 http://www.israellycool.com/?p=75191 Co-written with Anat Tamir

L to R: Ilya Medvedev (RUS), Stefan Domeisen (SUI), Eran Lev (ISR), Miika Von Dietrich (FIN), Ilya Podpolynyy (ISR), Fabio Wyss (SUI)

L to R: Ilya Medvedev (RUS), Stefan Domeisen (SUI), Eran Lev (ISR), Miika Von Dietrich (FIN), Ilya Podpolynyy (ISR), Fabio Wyss (SUI) (Photo: Ronit Shaked)

As the waters rose on the Sea of Galilee this winter, the level of heat reached unprecedented levels, requiring an advisory for women: Beware of ripples – ripples on abs so hard that you might lose your breath and drown. As the harsh winter overtook Europe and Russia, some of the hottest champion kayakers took to the warm Kinneret Lake for a five week training camp hosted by the Jordan Valley Kayak Sprint Club. While Israel is not famous for Olympic medals – whether due to the Jewish emphasis on books or security – the Holy Land has brought home four of its seven Olympic medals in water sports. Thanks to these hunks, Israel is bringing glory back to this overlooked and under-appreciated sport. Now it’ll be “over” looked for a different reason. The Kinneret never looked this beautiful.

#1 Fabio Wyss (SUI)

???????????????????????????????Fabio 1
The name says it all. Fabio is just fabulous, in part because he doesn’t even realize just how fabulous he is. His beauty is Bar Rafaeli-esque, but he doesn’t think he has what it takes to model. With a head on those broad shoulders, he would actually prefer a career in journalism over modeling. But one dream for now: Gold at Rio de Janeiro in 2016. The Swiss national champ placed in the top 12 at World and European championships. The invitation to train in Israel came during Operation Protective Edge, but who’s Fabio to fear anything? As the Israeli southern skies cleared and the Swiss skies got murky, he convinced teammates Stefan and Miika, (#5 and #6) to make the pilgrimage, citing the warm weather, proximity to Europe and the Israeli standard of living. His spiritual side makes him a sight to behold as he strokes meditatively on the Sea of Galilee.

“I love to be out on the lake, nature,” Fabio said. “I go on the water, especially if I go by myself, and I’m in a different world – without any cell phones, without humans, sometimes there’s a stupid fisherman. We’re living such a busy life, I need a small escape, and this sport gives me that.”

#2 Ilya Podpolnyy (ISR)

Ilya P4Ilya Podpolnyy (3)
Ilya is the man responsible for reviving the Jordan Kayak Sprint Club’s popularity among world-class kayakers – and it’s not because of his sparkling green eyes and body of a Greek god; after all, his target is to train with other men. (In case you were wondering, they’re all straight.) At a competition in Italy, he invited Fabio (#1) to Israel, a training destination the Swiss champ might have otherwise never considered. Having made aliyah by himself at age 15 from Russia, Ilya is currently a lone soldier with the “outstanding athlete” status in the Israeli army, so he gets time to train and compete – and also goof around. His teammates are drawn to his fun-loving personality (just take a look at this fun video) and his superior athleticism. It’s no wonder he easily allayed any fears about Israel’s safety; this handsome hulk could take down an entire Hezbollah terrorist cell with one smack of his paddle.

“I see it as helping people,” Ilya said of why he invites athletes to train here. “The athletes also come as my training partners. I don’t have partners who are on my level.”

Completely understood. To use Ilya’s favorite phrase: “Oh my gosh!” (Photos: Ronit Shaked)

#3 Eran Lev (ISR)

Eran LevEran 2
Israeli champ Eran returned throughout the winter to his hometown of Ein Gev on the Golan Heights to race his European counterparts. Having represented Israel at World and European championships, this Tel Aviv resident is now studying for his bachelors’ degree in insurance. The most senior of the group, he is also the seasoned statesman, having represented Israel gracefully, ready to beat out any coach or athlete who would make racist anti-Israel comments – on and off the water.

“You need to behave like an ambassador. We are diplomats on a small scale,” he said.

Coming here, he believes, is the best way to dispel misconceptions athletes might have about Israel from watching the news. Now, if only Israel would give these patriotic athletes the support they deserve.

“In Israel it’s hard to succeed if you don’t have the support of proper agencies – the government, the sports union, the medical community,” he said. Don’t worry, Eran. We have your back – and your abs. (Photo right: Amir Buchnik; Photo left: Ronit Shaked)

#4 Ilya Medvedev (RUS)

11033864_10206482416284396_1704200168_oIlya Med
The most decorated of the bunch, this Olympian said that when he doesn’t train in Israel, he just doesn’t win medals. Credit that, perhaps, to the spiritual nature of the Jordan River, holy to Jews and Christians (he grew up Christian.)

“The whole time we had practice in this River, after that we were in very good condition because of this saintly, magic river,” he said in broken English from his home in St. Petersburg, a few days after his Israeli training.

But, just like the rest of the guys, he also knows how to party. So far, he has celebrated four Purim parties at Kibbutz Degania.

“For us it was great memories.” What does he love about Israel? “The sun, the food. Russian camps don’t have it. And, of course, Israel was cool.” (Photos: Ronit Shaked)

#5 Miika Von Dietrich (FIN)

Miika from FacebookMiika
The Nordic and Finnish champion, Miika, might as well have kayaked all the way from Finland from the way his abs and arms are so strong and sculpted. His warm smile and crystal eyes make one think of a Viking king – a kind one. “I like the sun the most. The warm weather, nice waves, kibbutz food,” he said, recalling fondly his community meals at Kibbutz Degania, where he and his teammates boarded. Thanks for bringing the muscle back to Israel’s first kibbutz!

#6 Stefan Domeisen (SUI)

Stefan1Stefan 2
What makes Stefan so sexy is his shyness, mystery, and potential. Having placed 13 in the European champions, he’s slated to follow in the footsteps of Fabio as Switzerland’s best. While his teammates outmatch in him English proficiency, he doesn’t necessarily have to talk. Stefan, we’re happy just watching you on the lake.

Check out the feature in the Jerusalem Post about the kayak training camp in Israel. For more hotties, check out Orit and Zahava Englard’s feature on the Sexiest Settlers.

Anat TamirAnat Tamir works as a human resource professional in Tel Aviv, which enables her to see the potential in the people around her. This fun-loving Tel Aviv native enjoys Tel Aviv restaurants, nightlife, and discovering the beauties of the land of Israel.

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Sincerest Form Of Flattery Moment: UK Government Copies The IDF’s Talpiot Scheme http://www.israellycool.com/2015/03/26/sincerest-form-of-flattery-moment-uk-government-copies-the-idfs-talpiot-scheme/ http://www.israellycool.com/2015/03/26/sincerest-form-of-flattery-moment-uk-government-copies-the-idfs-talpiot-scheme/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 11:28:32 +0000 http://www.israellycool.com/?p=75231 talpiot symbolPress release from the UK Government:

Francis Maude, Minister for Cabinet Office, announced the new Cyber First scheme to enhance the UK’s cyber security skills base.

Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office with responsibility for Cyber Security, today (24 March 2015) announced a new Cyber First scheme to enhance the UK’s cyber security skills base and meet the increasing demand of this rapidly growing sector.

Speaking in Parliament, the minister launched a pilot student sponsorship programme called Cyber First. This is aimed at identifying the individuals who have the aptitude to become the next generation of UK cyber security experts. Cyber First will draw on talent from the broadest range of backgrounds to meet the UK’s future national security needs in government or companies involved in national security. It will find those already showing potential for a top career in cyber security through school competitions such as the Cyber Security Challenge Schools Programme and national maths competitions.

Cyber First will offer both financial assistance for those studying relevant science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) courses at undergraduate level and include work experience with government or UK private sector firms within the field of national security. There is a guarantee of employment upon graduation. GCHQ will run this as a pilot scheme which will provide funding of £4,000 for each of up to 20 student places. It is intended that a full scheme across participating departments, agencies and industry will be implemented in 2016, building on the pilot and lessons learned.

The scheme is based on the Israeli Talpiot scheme which identifies exceptional cyber promise to create a cyber elite force who go on to great careers in government and the private sector. Israel has more high-tech start-ups and a larger venture capital industry per capita than any other country.

The Talipot scheme mentioned in that last paragraph is an ultra elite part of the Israeli Defence Forces. This isn’t elite in the SAS or Navy Seal meaning, this is academically and intellectually ultra elite. But it is still, very much, part of the compulsory military service that most Israelis go through. Somewhere around 50 youngsters are chosen each year for this unit and quite a few will drop out. It’s an intense combination of academic university education and military leadership training combined.

From Wikipedia:

Talpiot program is an elite Israel Defense Forces training program, for recruits who have demonstrated outstanding academic ability in the sciences and leadership potential. Graduates of the Talpiot program pursue double higher education while serving in the army, and then utilize their expertise to further IDF research and development in technological leadership positions.[1][2] The program was inaugurated in 1979.[3]

It’s nice to see the UK Government strongly endorsing this part of the IDF by adopting its methods and aims even if they choose not to mention that it is part of the IDF in this press release.

H/t Matthew Kalman on Facebook.

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Special Guest Post (Roseanne Barr): In Praise Of Israeli Democracy http://www.israellycool.com/2015/03/25/special-guest-post-roseanne-barr-in-praise-of-israeli-democracy/ http://www.israellycool.com/2015/03/25/special-guest-post-roseanne-barr-in-praise-of-israeli-democracy/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 18:47:19 +0000 http://www.israellycool.com/?p=75154 Roseanne_BarrRoseanne Barr is an American comedian, writer, actor, director and producer, peace & freedom candidate and the subject of a tribeca documentary, by Eric Weinrib, roseanne for president. She tweets at https://twitter.com/therealroseanne

I supported Bibi Netanyahu because I support democracies – those pluralistic societies that have representative governments, which can coalesce to solve actual problems of their citizens. Israel right now, in my opinion has the most vibrant democracy in the world, and feel free to correct me (minus hate speech) if you feel I am wrong. Let me make my case first. Before, I do, I want to say, that my words in no way are meant to insult US President Obama. But, as we older people say, “If the shoe doesn’t fit, you must acquit.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is the elected leader of thirty seven percent of the world’s Jewish people, who are Israelis. As we all know, Israel was made a state by the UN in 1948, with the partition of Palestine into a Jewish State and a Jordanian-Palestinian State, in an agreement/peace treaty which guaranteed that only a small portion of The British Empire’s Confiscated and Occupied Jewish Ancestral Homeland would be returned to the Jewish People, based on the writ, “The Balfour Declaration.”

Many opine that without the grotesque and savage fascist state sanctioned murder of another third of The Jewish People, none of the lands might have ever been returned at all.

My case: Still, there is a point when things become so ridiculously unjust, that they cannot continue, and this point has been reached, and tipped. It is always democracy itself that tips that point. The combined voices of the marginalized people, who have fought to be included in a system which has excluded them is the ultimate triumph of democracy, and it has just occurred in Israel! I salute you for this! I am proud of you!

All of you – you have shown the world why Israel is a great state, an inclusive state, a state where divergent opinions are shared in the process of creating just law, and correcting unjust ones.

This is what I hoped for when I supported Bibi. Israeli democracy proves that it is more inclusive than any other democracy on earth. It has communists, socialists, capitalists, labor activists, Arabs, Druze Christians Muslims, Africans, Asians, Kurds, even Bahai and atheists gays, lesbians, trans, visionaries and artists, many of whom are women who are allowed to excel and profit. It has right wing anti Zionist Jews and Zionist Jews and atheist Zionist Jews and Jews who hate Jews who don’t hate the right Jews.

Bibi listens to the people he represents, though he is often crude and overbearing, like all Jewish fathers can be – you know who you are! It’s proven that only his words, and the words of no other Israeli, can move people and bring them to the polls to vote for him, or against him. That is why people win elections, or lose them, after all.

He says what people in his base want to hear, like President Obama does, so they know that he has listened to them. He assures right wing Jews that he will never compromise their safety, because he has to say that. When President Obama promised his base that he would immediately closed Guantanamo Prison, upon his election, he had to say that or his base would not have voted for him either.

Unlike most US Presidents, Netanyahu speaks the words of one who has been a soldier, who has fought a war with his own hands, mind and body.

Even if those words are wrong, backward, and will be rescinded the next day, or campaign promises broken, he accepts that people want their viewpoints known spoken and heard – that is how democracy, the mother of diversity, functions.

I also favored him because he was not aligned with J street, JVP SJP or the USPC which I think are fronts for the Nazi BDS movements on US campuses. He assures we US Jews that Israel is there for us, if indeed BDS’ program of harassment, blacklisting and profiling and swastika-laden violence grow more powerful against us here.

As a socialist, I applaud that he does not listen to Medea Benjamin or to Valerie Jarrett, which is very much a ‘pro’ in his favor, for me. I thought we needed a respite from their total ideological capitulation to Stalinism, rather than the more progressively correct Trotskyism.

The best part of democracy is diversity, and shared responsibility, accountability and power. Arab voters, and the indigenous Mizrachi and Sephardic Jewish voters, forced out of the Judenrein Arab countries, and more women than ever, being included in Israeli government is of great and historic significance which would not have happened if not for Netanyahu.

He wanted the job more than his opponents did, and so he got the job, by activating democracy! It’s telling that he not only received 70% of the Bedouin vote, but that Israel encourages Arabs to vote at all, something that doesn’t happen in Gaza.

Palestinians in WB and Gaza no longer have elections, so they don’t have to ‘pander’ to, or appease their own people’s desire for peace or war. Also, while people are saying Bibi is against peace negotiations, the truth is that Abbas, by unilaterally seeking UN interference, has stepped away and gone against every signed agreement since Camp David.

This election, however dirty, and I consider the constant demonization of Israel and its Prime Minister to be dirty campaigning, also proved that Mr. Netanyahu can unite rather than divide. He can heal rather than wound, he can lead rather than follow, so surely, he can extend his listening skills and craft a workable peace agreement with his neighbors. It’s not as if he has to beat the President of The United States in order to do that, or anything!

The hope I had, after LISTENING to – rather than censoring – his words, and watching him interviewed, was that if he had a more firm authority in the Knesset, he would no longer need to pander to the far right, (his base)’s worst fears. I thought he could be able to begin to honestly negotiate for peace, without fear that his coalition would collapse, calling for new elections and all the other ways of avoiding the movement toward a workable solution to the problems between Israeli and Palestinian people. Some say that while he is forming a government, the Palestinian National Authority is re-forming one of its own, one that will work to solve problems for its people, instead of dividing them against one another, too. I hope and pray that is true!

Bibi is smart enough to have made a great trade deal with China and another great trade deal with India, for not only Israel, but the entire region, which are very progressive deals, which look to the future, independent of the West, which is good, at this point. Israel needs to be freed of bondage to any system or matrix which holds Jewish Sovereignty hostage.

I’m hoping praying, and holding my breath, that Bibi will prove himself the man for these challenging changing times.

Democracy is The Revolution! Jewess, we can! – roseanne barr – 4 Nissan 5775

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