Daily TIP

The Daily TIP: Survey Shows that Britain Had Record Number of Anti-Semitic Incidents in 2018

Posted by Tip Staff - February 07, 2019

Survey Shows that Britain Had Record Number of Anti-Semitic Incidents in 2018
Israeli Invention Saves Grain by Putting a Zip(loc) on It
Study: At Least 860 Journalists Have Been Arrested, Jailed, or Executed in Iran Since 1979
Israeli Company Creates Home Robot Without the "Creepy Factor"

Survey Shows that Britain Had Record Number of Anti-Semitic Incidents in 2018

The year 2018 saw a record number of anti-Semitic incidents in Britain, a fact that comes down to “anti-Semitic” politics, not news about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, according to a new survey by the Community Security Trust (CST).

The number of recorded anti-Semitic events rose 16 percent in the last year to 1,652 incidents around the country, The Jewish Chronicle reported on Thursday. This represents the highest number of incidents against Jews since the watchdog began tracking anti-Semitic incidents in 1984.

While most of the attacks were non-violent in nature, the CST said they occurred at an alarmingly regular rate over the 12 months period. For the first time, the watchdog recorded over 100 incidents in every month.

Reacting to the publication of the report on Thursday, CST Chief Executive David Delew said: “Since the early 2000s, there has been growing awareness that overseas conflicts cause sharp, sudden increases in domestic antisemitism. Of course, this was most obvious when Israel was in the news.

Now, 2016, 2017 and 2018 are all the worst years on record, but there is a very different dynamic. Put simply, Israel has not been fully at war and this latest antisemitism is about the condition of Britain today. It cannot somehow be blamed upon anti-Israel hatred, acted out against British Jews. Nor can it somehow be blamed upon British Muslims, as some people might rush to do.”

The report showed that of the 1,652 antisemitic incidents recorded during 2018, 456 involved language or imagery relating to the far-right, while 254 involved references to Israel and the Palestinians alongside anti-Semitism. Only 29 involved references to Islam and Muslims.

The CST also established a correlation between the overall spike in anti-Semitic incidents in 2018 and political anti-Semitism in the Labour Party under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn. Almost 150 incidents were linked to the party, according to the report.

Read more at The Tower.

Israeli Invention Saves Grain by Putting a Zip(loc) on It

A company headquartered in Concord, Massachusetts with Israeli roots is playing an important role in curbing global hunger, saving millions of people from malnutrition, and pulling farmers around the globe out of the cycle of poverty. Its invention is already doing great things, but much more can be done to help the people of the developing world. The Grain Cocoon, a hermetic storage bag, should be a standard arrow in the quiver of every global development agency, including USAID, that works with farmers.

Worldwide, 805 million people are chronically undernourished, and many farmers in the developing world still use burlap sacks to store their goods. Insects can easily infiltrate these bags, often destroying more than half of a farmer’s harvest. When farmers use pesticides, they often lead to extreme sickness and even death. And worse, over time, toxic products also become ineffective.

Inefficient storage techniques result in the loss of roughly 1.3 billion tons of food annually. That’s one-third of all food produced for human consumption, an amount sufficient to feed every starving person in the world. Reducing these losses, experts say, would play a critical role in the fight against world hunger.

Shlomo Navarro came to Israel from Turkey as a young adult in the 1960s. He later became a research entomologist at the Israel Agricultural Research Organization (VOLCANI), a prestigious institute where he worked for many years. As a result of his work, he developed the Grain Cocoon, a large, hermetically sealed bag for rice, grain, spices, and legumes. The bag can hold anywhere from five to 300 tons of grain. It’s made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a strong material that doesn’t tear easily. When farmers seal the bag, it traps bugs and their eggs inside and deprives them of oxygen, suffocating them to death, which makes pesticides unnecessary. On average, Navarro says, the cocoon can save more than 99 percent of a farmer’s crops. It can be used any time after harvest collection, and once grain is placed inside it, the insects generally die within about 10 days. Farmers can easily remove the dead bugs using a sieve or other techniques.

To read the complete essay, please click here.

Study: At Least 860 Journalists Have Been Arrested, Jailed, or Executed in Iran Since 1979

The Islamic Republic of Iran arrested, imprisoned, or executed at least 860 journalists in the three decades between the 1979 revolution and 2009, according to leaked Iranian justice department documents, the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said on Thursday.

February 7 marks the 40th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution that ended the monarchy and led to the creation of the Islamic Republic, RadioFreeEurope/Radio Liberty reported.

The media rights group had spent months cross-checking the records against its own documentation and found that tens of thousands of Iranian citizens – including minorities, opposition members, journalists, and individuals accused of non-political crimes – have been illegally detained, tortured, and executed by the regime.

"The file is a register of all the arrests, imprisonments, and executions carried out by the Iranian authorities in the Tehran area over three decades," said RSF Secretary-General Christophe Deloire.

"After months of detailed research work on the file's entries, RSF is in a position to say that at least 860 journalists and citizen-journalists were arrested, imprisoned, and in some cases executed by the Iranian regime between 1979 and 2009, the period on which RSF focused its research,” he explained.

Deloire said the group had identified at least four journalists who were executed, including Simon Farzami, a Swiss-Iranian of Jewish origin, who was bureau chief of the French news agency Agence France-Presse when he was arrested in 1980.

Read more at The Tower.

Israeli Company Creates Home Robot Without the "Creepy Factor"

In the fourth season of the American TV sitcom “The Big Bang Theory,” theoretical physicist and all-around nerd Sheldon decides that he no longer wants to physically interact with his friends and colleagues. He cobbles together a telepresence robot with his face on its screen, which navigates around his home and office and turns to face whomever Sheldon is speaking to.

This fictionalized glimpse of a future filled with personal robots is simultaneously hilarious and creepy.

“We took the creepy factor into account when we designed our robot,” says Danny Isserles, CEO of the US division of Temi, an Israeli robotics firm that is building an almost functionally identical (but a whole lot spiffier) version of Sheldon’s telepresence unit.

Temi has a sleek, semi-rounded body – it looks a bit like a high-tech vacuum cleaner with a subtle human presence – and stands 3 feet tall on its four wheels. Inside Temi are two main computers. The first comprises Temi’s “face” made from a customized version of an Android tablet.

“It’s nothing special,” Isserles concedes in an anything but robotic conversation with ISRAEL21c. As with most Android-based mobile devices today, the Temi tablet can display video, play music or call up the Internet by voice command.

“We’ve done a demo of Temi controlling a smart home. It can turn the lights on and off,” Isserles says. Any Android developer could add other apps, for example to make Temi control a smart home thermostat.

Temi’s “body” has a full Linux-based computer inside plus an array of sensors – LiDAR, 2D and 3D cameras, encoders measuring the wheel’s movements – that help Temi navigate smoothly.

Temi’s designers “built an algorithm to connect all the sensors together and enable Temi to construct a path through a space,” Isserles says. “Because of the navigation, we have a platform with abilities no one else has yet achieved.”

(via Israel21c)

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