Jewish World Update May/Jun 2019

U.S. technology giant Intel Corp. has announced it will invest an unprecedented $11 billion to expand its operations in Israel. “The expansion,” reported The Jerusalem Post, “is expected to add 1,000 new employees to Intel’s workforce of nearly 13,000 in Israel.” Intel plans to build a new factory in the south of the country.

The deal includes a grant of $190 million to Intel from the Israeli government “in return for investing an additional $5 billion in its existing Kiryat Gat fabrication plant and hiring an expected 250 new employees and purchasing domestic products worth $570 million,” said.

Last year the company invested the $5 billion to begin upgrading its existing factory in the southern Israeli city of Kiryat Gat, where it plans to build its new facility, according to the Globes news website.

Some estimate the new plant will bring Intel’s total investment in Israel to $50 billion since it began operations there in 1974. reported, “Intel facilities in Ra’anana are currently working on high-speed WiFi connectivity, GPS, and 5G mobile communications with WiGig technology. There is also an artificial intelligence (AI) center in Haifa developing an AI chip for servers in conjunction with Facebook. Intel also has Research and Development centers in Jerusalem and Petach Tikva.”

The California-based computer-chip giant is already one of the biggest investors in the Jewish state. Israel’s Economy Minister Eli Cohen called the $11 billion investment the biggest ever of its kind, adding it would “strengthen the economy and employment in Israel.”

According to, “Intel is in the process of transitioning from being a producer of silicon computer chips to a data-centric company, with activities ranging from the manufacturing of chips to developing safety features in vehicles, wireless phone connections, drones, and cloud-based technologies.”

Several loud anti-Israel voices were elected to Congress in 2018, and many people wonder what their influence will do to U.S.-Israel relations.

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) is a 37-year-old Somali native who came to the United States in 1995. A Muslim who wears a hijab on the House floor, Omar is “a former acolyte of
anti-Semitic minister Louis Farrakhan,” wrote David Harsanyi in The New York Post.

In 2012 she tweeted, “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel. #Gaza #Palestine #Israel.” She also wants to normalize relations with Iran. Omar was recently appointed by speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is a 29-year-old Bronx-born socialist from New York who worked on Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign. She refers to the “occupation of Palestine”; has called Israel’s defensive operations on its Gaza border a “massacre”; and praises British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who has a long history of condemning Israel.

In the 1980s Corbyn sponsored a movement that stated it wanted to “eradicate Zionism.” “Last fall,” reported The Times of Israel, “a video was discovered in which Corbyn in 2011 was filmed applauding a speaker at a conference who called for the dismantlement of Israel.”

Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) is a 42-year-old Detroit native who was born to Palestinian immigrants. She wants to cut aid to the Jewish state because supporting it “doesn’t fit the values of our country,” The New York Post reported.

In January she made headlines by employing an age-old anti-Semitic tactic by suggesting U.S. senators who backed an anti-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions bill hold dual loyalties and are not fully faithful to the United States.

The United States has purchased Iron Dome systems from Israel for the U.S. Army to use against ballistic and airborne threats. The army had asked Congress for $373 million to buy two batteries that included 12 launchers, two sensors, two battlement management centers, and 240 interceptors. Washington wants delivery by 2020.

Showing its ignorance of Middle East history, Amnesty International is throwing its support to Airbnb and demanding that online tourism companies stop doing business in Judea and Samaria, United With Israel reported. Viewing the areas as “occupied territory,” even though they have been part of Israel since biblical times, Amnesty International says Israel’s presence there breaks international law and doing business there constitutes “war crimes.” Airbnb, which will book lodging in other parts of Israel, refuses to do so in Judea and Samaria.

Israel is building the final phase of a 20-foot-high, 40-mile-long galvanized steel fence with barbed wire and sensors that will completely surround the Gaza Strip in hopes of blocking terrorists from infiltrating into Israel. “The fence will connect to the barrier recently built out into the Mediterranean Sea from north of Gaza,” The Times of Israel reported. “Over the past two years,” The Times said, “work has persisted on the underground sensor-studded concrete wall, despite regular riots and clashes along the border and occasional attacks on the construction sites.” The project is projected to cost $833 million.

Israel-based Augmedics Ltd. has developed goggles called xvision that give surgeons X-ray-like capabilities, The Algemeiner reported. They enable surgeons to “‘see’ through the patient’s skin, muscle tissue, and bone.” “The imaging is projected onto the surgeons’ retina using the transparent display headset, allowing surgeons to simultaneously look at their patient and see the necessary navigation data without averting their eyes to a remote screen.” Dr. Daniel Sciubba, professor of neurological surgery, oncology, and orthopedic surgery at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine praised the invention: “With xvision, I can actually see the details of the three-dimensional anatomy through the patient,” he said in a statement. “It is lightweight, easy to use, and translucent, so you can see through the actual image.”

The prominent Cleveland Clinic in Ohio fired a first-year resident after discovering her anti-Semitic posts on social media, including a 2012 tweet that said, “I’ll purposely give all the yahood the wrong meds.” Yahood is an Arabic term for Jewish people. In other tweets, Lara Kollab, 27, referred to Jews as “dogs” and said in Arabic, “Allah will take the Jews.” Other posts called for violence against Jews, defended Hamas, and trivialized the Holocaust, CBS News said. Kollab has since taken down her tweets.

Terrorists are taking advantage of the anonymity of cryptocurrency to raise funds to carry out attacks, a report in The Wall Street Journal uncovered. “Cryptocurrencies,” reported, “use a digital ledger called a blockchain to trade without relying on banks and exchanges, and therefore are not subject to legislation applied to those institutions.” Terror groups can fake profiles online and conceal themselves. The Journal report “detailed how in 2015, Virginia teenager Ali Shukri Amin was sentenced to 11 years in prison for explaining on Twitter how to send bitcoin to the Islamic State,” said.

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan defended Congresswoman Ilhan Omar following an anti-Semitic Twitter storm in which she accused the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) of paying American politicians to be pro-Israel, The Jerusalem Post reported. At an event in Chicago, Farrakhan spewed anti-Semitic venom, calling Jews “wicked” and blaming them for anti-Black racism, colonialism, dehumanization, “pervasive rape culture, sex trafficking and prostitution,” and claiming they have “exploited the American people through institutional usury and predatory lending practices.” Farrakhan also claimed the Federal Reserve is run by “a family of rich Jews,” The Algemeiner reported. Farrakhan’s remarks came a month before Omar (D-MN) was scheduled to speak at a benefit for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which “has a long history of affiliation with the terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah,” The Jerusalem Post said.

Anti-Semitic violence in Germany is up a staggering 60 percent over 2018, the BBC reported. And in eastern France, around 80 Jewish graves were defaced with swastikas recently amid a 74 percent surge in anti-Semitic acts. France houses the largest Jewish population in Europe.

An Israeli government-owned company has $55 million in projects underway to improve the Jewish Quarter for residents and tourists. They include providing shaded and recreational areas; installing uniform outdoor furniture and advanced lighting; and laying out clearly marked tourist routes, including signs leading to the Western Wall, reported.

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