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The Daily TIP: Hamas Paid Family to Say Baby Who Died from Natural Causes was Killed by IDF

Posted by Tip Staff - June 21, 2018

Hamas Paid Family to Say Baby Who Died from Natural Causes was Killed by IDF
Part 3: How Durham Came to Discriminate Against Israel and the Jewish People
HRW, Other NGOs Blocked U.S. Efforts to Reform UN Human Rights Council
Israeli-Developed IBM Computer Successfully Competes against Human Debating Champions

Hamas Paid Family to Say Baby Who Died from Natural Causes was Killed by IDF

A 20-year-old Palestinian indicted Thursday on terror-related charges told Israeli authorities that the leader of Hamas in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, paid his relatives to falsely tell the media that his baby cousin died of tear gas inhalation during the Hamas-orchestrated border riots.

The Times of Israel reported that Mahmoud Omar was arrested along with another member of Fatah’s armed wing, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, when they attempted to breach the fence and torch an unmanned IDF post.

During his interrogation, the suspect disclosed to investigators that he was related to Layla Ghandour, the 8-month-old baby whose death on May 14 was originally reported to have been caused by inhalation of tear gas sprayed by the Israeli military during the riots at the border fence.

Omar told authorities that he was part of the 40,000 men-strong crowd that rioted on the day of the opening of the embassy, when his mother called to inform him that his baby cousin had died.

According to his account, Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar paid Layla’s parents NIS 8,000 ($2,206) to tell the media that the infant had died due to inhaling tear gas sprayed by Israeli forces.

Thursday’s indictment was filed a month after the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry said the infant’s death remains under investigation. However, doctors in Gaza have raised doubts over the ministry’s claims, charging that Leyla had suffered from a serious pre-existing medical condition which led to her death.

Part 3: How Durham Came to Discriminate Against Israel and the Jewish People

On April 16, 2018, the city of Durham in North Carolina became the first U.S. city to ban police exchanges with Israel, following a campaign orchestrated by Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) and other Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS)- supporting organizations.

As hurtful as the Durham City Council’s discrimination against Israel and the Jewish people has been, it has also brought the gift of unity to the local, mainstream, Jewish community. I will list and summarize just a few of the many highlights.

Strong letters of support were sent to the Durham City Council opposing their demonization of Israel by the Anti-Defamation League, the President of the Durham County Fraternal Order of Police, and by retired Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey.

Eight rabbis representing local congregations and a range of political perspectives wrote a very strong letter to the council stating, “The petition is biased and bad policy for Durham and its police department…We believe that once you examine the matter carefully, including listening to experts in security, you will reject the petition and instead, embrace the myriad of proven activities that can be done in the City that promote less bias at home without singling out one of the World’s strongest democracies for unfair and false charges.” Sadly, the council ignored the rabbis.

To read the rest of today’s report, please click here. Part 1 is here. Part 2 is here.

HRW, Other NGOs Blocked U.S. Efforts to Reform UN Human Rights Council

Human Rights Watch (HRW) and other NGOs banded together to block initiatives launched by the United States to reform the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), The New York Times reported Wednesday.

The report surfaced following a critical letter United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley wrote to 18 organizations, including HRW, in which she charged that the groups "sought to undermine our attempts to improve the Human Rights Council."

HRW, the Times reported, "was among the nongovernmental organizations that opposed Ms. Haley’s push for a General Assembly vote."

In the letter, Haley asserted that the U.S. was attempting to fix two problems with the UNHRC, "(1) improving the quality of Council membership and (2) removing the anti-Israel bias from the Council's agenda." The second is a reference to the council's Agenda Item 7, the only agenda item which singles out a single country. In this case it is Israel.

The ambassador also recounted that the United States had engaged with over 125 Member States to discuss reform of the UNHRC.

In May, the U.S. submitted a draft resolution to reform the UNHRC to "a small group of Member States for edits." Haley wrote, "to this date, we have not received not one written edit from a single Member State." The only responses the U.S. received were from Russia and China, as well as a joint letter from HRW and other NGOs, "all requesting the same thing — that Member States oppose our resolution and not engage on the text."

Israeli-Developed IBM Computer Successfully Competes against Human Debating Champions

IBM’s new artificial intelligence (AI) system engaged in the first ever live, public debate with two Israeli student debating champions on Monday, demonstrating the computer’s ability to deliver persuasive arguments against humans on complex topics.

Named Project Debater, the AI was unveiled at IBM’s Watson West site in San Francisco, where it began by preparing arguments for whether governments should subsidize space exploration and whether the use of telemedicine should be increased.

Preparation for Project Debater began six years ago at the IBM’s Haifa research lab, but IBM Research principal investigator and creator of Project Debater Noam Slonim said the AI system only gained the ability to participate in debates with people two years ago.

During the first debate, the computer was pitted against 2016 Israeli national debate champion Noa Ovadia. Both sides delivered a four-minute opening statement, a four-minute rebuttal, and a two-minute summary in their arguments for each topic.

The second debate between the computer and Israeli debate expert Dan Zafrir featured opposing arguments on whether we should increase the use of telemedicine.

So who won the debates? The crowd judged that the AI system outperformed the human debaters in its ability to use a wide range of information in its arguments, but the humans had the edge when it came to delivery.

Project Debater is the latest AI innovation from IBM, whose “Deep Blue” system took on chess world champion Garry Kasparov in 1997 and Watson beat human champions on Jeopardy! in 2011.

(via Israel21c)

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