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The Daily TIP: Czech President Zeman: Opening of Czech House in Jerusalem Prelude to Embassy Move

Posted by Tip Staff - November 28, 2018

Czech President Zeman: Opening of Czech House in Jerusalem Prelude to Embassy Move
Israel's Deputy FM Asks Foreign Diplomats to Reassess Their Nations' Support for UNRWA South Korea Buying Israeli Radar Systems to Counter Missile Threat
New Israeli Safety System Detects, Alerts Drowsy Drivers

Czech President Zeman: Opening of Czech House in Jerusalem Prelude to Embassy Move

Czech President Miloš Zeman and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu inaugurated the so-called Czech House in Jerusalem on Tuesday, The Times of Israel reported. In his speech at the opening ceremony, Zeman said that he expected to open the Czech embassy in Jerusalem on his next visit.

“Friends, let me declare the Czech House opening, and I firmly believe that my fourth visit to Israel will be the opening of the Czech embassy,” Zeman said as he cut the ribbon for the center to loud applause from the audience.

The opening of the Czech House, which is tasked with promoting tourism and trade, is seen as a “first step” towards moving the country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, as the United States did in May. So far only Guatemala has followed the U.S. in relocating its embassy.

Netanyahu called the Czech leader “unsurpassed in his friendship to Israel,” adding that he was “deeply appreciative” of that friendship. Israel has “flourishing relations” with an increasing number of countries, the Prime Minister added, noting the recent breakthrough in bilateral ties with Chad, and warming relations with the Gulf states.

The opening of the Czech House was also attended by U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, Deputy Foreign Minister Zipi Hotovely, Jerusalem mayor-elect Moshe Lion, and other dignitaries.

In April, the Czech Republic announced the beginning of a three-stage process to move the country’s diplomatic missions from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Zeman, however, acknowledged, that as president he has limited executive power, and Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis previously opposed a full-fledged relocation.

Zeman concluded the ceremony, promising, “I’ll do my best in order to realize the third step, after [the] honorary consulate and after [the] Czech House and you can guess what is to be the third step.”

Israel's Deputy FM Asks Foreign Diplomats to Reassess Their Nations' Support for UNRWA

Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister on Tuesday called on the international community to fundamentally rethink its support for UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, in a briefing with 50 foreign dignitaries, JNS reported.

“Israel’s policy is to close UNRWA. They are the problem, not the solution,” said Tzipi Hotovely. “Over the years, we have seen how instead of settling the original refugees, UNRWA has acted to increase the number of refugees, as it did when it automatically transferred refugee status from generation to generation,” the minister added.

In her remarks, Hotovely praised the decision by the United States for demanding that UNRWA undergoes a “fundamental re-examination” of its mandate and for cutting all aid to the organization over its perpetuation of the refugee problem.

“There is no parallel for this in the world, and it only perpetuates the [Israeli-Palestinian] conflict,” Hotovely noted. “After 70 years, why are there still Palestinian refugees, when it is clear to all that fewer than 100,000 Palestinians from the time of the [1948] War of Independence are still alive?” The minister charged that, “The Jordanian model, in which Jordan de facto naturalized the refugees, is also the right model for Syria and Lebanon.”

The actual number of Palestinians who can still meet the true definition of “refugee” today is no more than several tens of thousands. Yet UNRWA uniquely defines virtually every Palestinian born since the Arab-Israeli war of 1947-1949 as a refugee; a number that reaches over five million by UNWRA’s Palestinian-only definition.

Tuesday’s briefing was the first time that a group of foreign dignitaries were briefed on the Israeli government’s alternative vision for aiding Palestinian refugees. Dozens of officials attended the event, including ambassadors and diplomats from Austria, Belgium, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Russia and Sweden.

Giving the keynote address at the briefing was former Labor MK Dr. Einat Wilf and co-author of the book “The War for Return.” Ongoing Western support for UNRWA, Wilf said, constitutes an obstacle to peace by using a unique criterion for defining Palestinian refugees.

South Korea Buying Israeli Radar Systems to Counter Missile Threat

South Korea announced that it is buying two Israeli-made radar systems to counter missile threats, despite warming ties with North Korea, The Times of Israel reported Tuesday.

Seoul is purchasing two Green Pine radar arrays made by ELTA Systems Ltd., which is a subsidiary of the state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries. The deal is worth $292 million according to South Korean officials.

The South Korean government said that the systems can “spot and track ballistic missiles from a long distance at an early stage.” The announcement did not explicitly mention North Korea.

Experts believe that the radars could possibly deter North Korea from actually launching missiles against its southern neighbor.

Though South Korea has an earlier version of Green Pine, the current iteration of the radar system, known as Block C, has the capability of not only detecting an incoming missile but also operate together with a missile defense system to intercept the threat.

South Korea bought its first pair of Green Pine arrays in 2009. At the time the nation said that the Israeli radars would be used together with Patriot interceptor missiles purchased from the United States.

The latest version of Green Pine is reported to have the ability to track multiple threats concurrently and have a greater range than South Korea's current system. The earlier radar system is said to have a range of 800 kilometers (500 miles).

In recent months, the leaders of South Korea and North Korea, Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong Un, have engaged in negotiations to ease tensions between their two nations. The two Koreas, which fought a war from 1950 to 1953 that ended in a ceasefire, technically remain in a state of war.

New Israeli Safety System Detects, Alerts Drowsy Drivers

Israeli computer vision company eyeSight uses a single camera embedded into the windshield or rear-view mirror, plus proprietary algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI), to judge if the driver is prepped to take the wheel.

Even in a standard vehicle equipped with eyeSight technology, if you’re not paying attention your steering wheel will vibrate or beep. It’s like Mobileye for distracted driving.

There’s a big opportunity here: In 2020, new Euro NCAP (New Car Assignment Program) rules come into effect, requiring any manufacturer wishing to receive a 5-star safety rating on its models to have a driver-monitoring system installed.

eyeSight just raised $15 million to drive the expansion of its vehicle AI computer-vision system. All told, the company has raised nearly $50 million, CEO Gideon Shmuel tells ISRAEL21c, including a $20 million investment in 2016 from Chinese investor Kuang-Chi.

China’s carmakers are prominent on eyeSight’s client prospect list. In June, eyeSight joined forces with Soling Industrial, a Shenzhen-based automotive integrator with sales in more than 60 countries and clients including Mazda, Toyota and Fiat.

eyeSight initially integrated its technology into consumer electronics. On the company’s website, you can see images of people gesturing with their hands rather than clutching a mouse or a keyboard to operate PCs and smart TVs. eyeSight’s facial analysis can also souse out details like age and gender to present relevant content (read: ads) to viewers.

In the consumer space, eyeSight has deals with NTT Docomo and Sony in Japan. Sony is launching a portable projector called the Xperia Touch with eyeSight gesture controls built in.

(via Israel21c)

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