1. Canadian FM: Israel has no better friend than Ottawa!
'Delegitimization of Israel is new anti-Semitism'
By HERB KEINON
Visiting Canadian FM John Baird says Israel has no better friend than Ottawa.
Israel has no greater friend in the world than Canada, Canadian Foreign Minister
John Baird said during a warm address at the opening of the 12th-annual Herzliya
Conference on Monday night.
Ottawa stood with Israel because it was a Canadian tradition 'to stand for what
is principled and just, regardless of whether it is popular, convenient or
expedient,' Baird said.
The Canadian government supported Israel so strongly, he said, because it
embodied the values Canada held dear and respects, and because it was 'a beacon
of light in a region that craves freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule
Slamming the 'constant barrage of rhetorical demonization, double standards and
delegitimization' of Israel, Baird characterized this as the new anti-Semitism.
'Harnessing disparate anti- Semitic, anti-American and anti-Western ideologies,
it targets the Jewish people by targeting the Jewish homeland, Israel, as the
source of injustice and conflict in the world, and uses, perversely, the
language of human rights to do so,' he said. 'We must be relentless in exposing
this new anti-Semitism for what it is.'
He likened terrorism to fascism and communism, and cautioned against appeasing
it. Quoting Winston Churchill, he said 'an appeaser is one who feeds a
crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.'
2. Beware Baby-Faced Politicians
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 1/31/2012, 2:45 PM
Prof. Maoz provided Jewish-Israeli respondents with a fictional news item
containing a peace proposal and a fictional Palestinian leader's photograph. The
photograph was manipulated to appear as either baby-faced or mature by making a
15 percent change in the size of eyes and lips. Respondents were then asked to
evaluate the peace offer and rate the trustworthiness of the politician who
Although both images were based on the same original, the baby-faced politician
was judged as more trustworthy and his peace proposal received greater support
than the same offer from the mature-faced politician.
"People generally associate a baby face with attributes of honesty, openness and
acceptance," explains Prof. Maoz, "and once you trust your adversary, you have a
greater willingness to reach a compromise."
The study suggests that in situations of protracted conflict, the face of the
enemy matters. Visual information conveying subtle, undetected changes in facial
physiognomy were powerful enough to influence perceivers' judgments of the
opponent-politician and of the proposal he presented for resolving the conflict.
Previous studies have shown that people with relatively babyish facial
characteristics, such as proportionally large eyes, a round chin, and thick
pudgy lips, are perceived as kinder, warmer, more honest and more trustworthy
than mature-faced people with small eyes, square jaws, and thin lips. Baby-faced
people also produce more agreement with their positions.
The Hebrew University research is the first study that systematically examines
the impact of facial features of politicians from the opposing side in a
The study also gauged the extent to which manipulating facial features can
affect populations with different have pre-existing attitudes, overcome hawks'
resistance to change and increase their perceptions of opponents as trustworthy.
While individuals with hawkish positions held markedly negative initial
attitudes towards peace and the opponents in a conflict - attitudes that tend to
be rigid and resistant to change ' they surprisingly showed a more significant
response than dovish respondents to differences in facial maturity.
Maoz adds that there are situations in which a baby-face is not advantageous:
"Although features of this type can lend politicians an aura of sincerity,
openness and receptiveness, at the same time they can communicate a lack of
assertiveness. So people tend to prefer baby-faced politicians as long they
represent the opposing side, while on their own side they prefer representatives
who look like they know how to stand their ground."
3. The 10 Most Educated Countries in the World: Canada and Israel top the List!
In order of Listing:
5. New Zealand.
6. South Korea.
[Note: 8 of the top 10 are Israelite Nations!]
Posted: January 31, 2012 at 6:49 am
In the past 50 years, college graduation rates in developed countries have
increased nearly 200%, according to Education at a Glance 2011, a recently
published report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
(OECD). The report shows that while education has improved across the board, it
has not improved evenly, with some countries enjoying much greater rates of
educational attainment than others. Based on the report, 24/7 Wall St.
identified the 10 developed countries with the most educated populations.
The countries with the most highly educated citizens are also some of the
wealthiest in the world. The United States, Japan and Canada are on our list and
also have among the largest GDPs. Norway and Australia, also featured, have the
second and sixth-highest GDPs per capita, respectively. All these countries
aggressively invest in education.
The countries that invest the most in education have the most-educated people.
All of the best-educated countries, except for the UK, fall within the top 15
OECD countries for greatest spending on tertiary ' that is, college or
college-equivalent ' spending as a percentage of GDP. The U.S. spends the second
most and Canada spends the fourth most.
These are the 10 most educated countries in the world.
> Pct. population with postsecondary education: 37%
> Avg. annual growth rate (1999 ' 2009): 1.8% (3rd lowest)
> GDP per capita: $36,585 (14th highest)
> Pop. change (2000 ' 2009): 3.15% (10th lowest)
Finland is a small country relative to the other OECD members. The share of its
adult population with some sort of postsecondary education, however, is rather
large. This select group is reaching the end of its expansion. From 1999 to
2009, the number of college-educated adults increased only 1.8% annually ' the
third-smallest amount among all OECD countries. Finland is also one of only two
countries, the other being Korea, in which the fields of social sciences,
business and law are not the most popular among students. In Finland, new
entrants are most likely to study engineering, manufacturing and construction.
> Pct. population with postsecondary education: 37%
> Avg. annual growth rate (1999 ' 2009): 3.3% (11th lowest)
> GDP per capita: $40,719 (6th highest)
> Pop. change (2000 ' 2009): 14.63% (3rd highest)
Australia's population grew 14.63% between 2000 and 2009. This is the
third-largest increase among OECD countries. Its tertiary-educated adult
population is increasing at the much less impressive annual rate of 3.3%.
Australia also spends the sixth-least amount in public funds on education as a
percentage of all expenditures. The country also draws large numbers of
8. United Kingdom
> Pct. population with postsecondary education: 37%
> Avg. annual growth rate (1999 ' 2009): 4.0% (9th highest)
> GDP per capita: $35,504 (16th highest)
> Pop. change (2000 ' 2009): 3.47% (13th lowest)
Unlike most of the countries with the highest percentage of educated adults, the
UK's educated group increased measurably ' more than 4% between 1999 and 2009.
Its entire population only grew 3.5% between 2000 and 2009. One aspect that the
UK does share with a number of other countries on this list is relatively low
public expenditure on education institutions as a percentage of all educational
spending. As of 2008, 69.5% of spending came from public sources ' the
fourth-smallest amount among OECD countries.
> Pct. population with postsecondary education: 37%
> Avg. annual growth rate (1999 ' 2009): N/A
> GDP per capita: $56,617 (2nd highest)
> Pop. change (2000 ' 2009): 7.52% (14th highest)
Norway has the third-greatest expenditure on educational institutions as a
percentage of GDP, at 7.3%. Roughly 23% of that is spent on tertiary education.
In Norway, more than 60% of all tertiary graduates were in a bachelor's program,
well more than the U.S., which is close to the OECD average of 45%. The country
is one of the wealthiest in the world. GDP per capita is $56,617, second only to
Luxembourg in the OECD.
6. South Korea
> Pct. population with postsecondary education: 39%
> Avg. annual growth rate (1999 ' 2009): 5.3% (5th highest)
> GDP per capita: $29,101 (13th lowest)
> Pop. change (2000 ' 2009): 3.70% (14th lowest)
Korea is another standout country for its recent increase in the percentage of
its population that has a tertiary education. Graduates increased 5.3% between
1999 and 2009, the fifth-highest among OECD countries. Like the UK, this rate is
greater than the country's recent population growth. Korea is also one of only
two countries ' the other being Finland ' in which the most popular fields of
study are not social sciences, business and law. In Korea, new students choose
to study education, humanities and arts at the greatest rates. Only 59.6% of
expenditures on educational institutions come from public funds ' the
5. New Zealand
> Pct. population with postsecondary education: 40%
> Avg. annual growth rate (1999 ' 2009): 3.5% (14th lowest)
> GDP per capita: $29,871 (14th lowest)
> Pop. change (2000 ' 2009): 11.88% (8th largest)
New Zealand is not a particularly wealthy country. GDP per capita is less than
$30,000, and is the 14th lowest in the OECD. However, 40% of the population
engages in tertiary education, the fifth-highest rate in the world. The country
actually has a rapidly growing population, increasing 11.88% between 2000 and
2009. This was the eighth-largest increase in the OECD. Part of the reason for
the high rate of tertiary graduates is the high output from secondary schools.
More than 90% of residents graduate from secondary school.
4. United States
> Pct. population with postsecondary education: 41%
> Avg. annual growth rate (1999 ' 2009): 1.4% (the lowest)
> GDP per capita: $46,588 (4th highest)
> Pop. change (2000 ' 2009): 8.68% (12th highest)
The U.S. experienced a fairly large growth in population from 2000 to 2009.
During the period, the population increased 8.68% ' the 12th highest among OECD
countries. Meanwhile, the rate at which the share of the population with a
tertiary education is growing has slowed to an annual rate of 1.4% ' the lowest
among the 34 OECD countries. Just 71% of funding for educational institutions in
the country comes from public funds, placing the U.S. sixth-lowest in this
measure. Among OECD countries, the largest share of adults with a tertiary
education live in the United States ' 25.8%.
> Pct. population with postsecondary education: 44%
> Avg. annual growth rate (1999 ' 2009): 3.2% (10th lowest)
> GDP per capita: $33,751 (17th lowest)
> Pop. change (2000 ' 2009): 0.46% (6th lowest)
In Japan, 44% of the adult population has some form of tertiary education. The
U.S. by comparison has a rate of 41%. Japan's population increased just 0.46%
between 2000 and 2009, the sixth-slowest growth rate in the OECD, and the
slowest among our list of 10. Japan is tied with Finland for the third-highest
upper-secondary graduation rate in the world, at 95%. It has the third-highest
tertiary graduation rate in the world, but only spends the equivalent of 1.5% of
GDP on tertiary education ' the 17th lowest rate in the OECD.
> Pct. population with postsecondary education: 45%
> Avg. annual growth rate (1999 ' 2009): N/A
> GDP per capita: $28,596 (12th lowest)
> Pop. change (2000 ' 2009): 19.02% (the highest)
Although there is no data on the percentage of Israeli citizens with
postsecondary education dating back to 1999, the numbers going back to 2002 show
that growth is slowing dramatically compared to other countries. In fact, in
2006, 46% of adults ages 25 to 64 had a tertiary education. In 2007 this number
fell to 44%. Only 78% of funds spent on educational institutions in Israel are
public funds. The country is also only one of three ' the other two being
Ireland and Sweden ' where expenditure on educational institutions as a
proportion of GDP decreased from 2000 to 2008. Israel also had the largest
increase in overall population, approximately 19% from 2000 to 2009.
> Pct. population with postsecondary education: 50%
> Avg. annual growth rate (1999 ' 2009): 2.3% (5th lowest)
> GDP per capita: $39,070 (10th highest)
> Pop. change (2000 ' 2009): 9.89% (10th highest)
In Canada, 50% of the adult population has completed tertiary education, easily
the highest rate in the OECD. Each year, public and private expenditure on
education amount to 2.5% of GDP, the fourth-highest rate in the world. Tertiary
education spending accounts for 41% of total education spending in the country.
In the U.S., the proportion is closer to 37%. In Israel, the rate is 22%. In
Canada, nearly 25% of students have an immigrant background.
Charles B. Stockdale, Michael B. Sauter
Read more: The 10 Most Educated Countries in the World - 24/7 Wall St.
4. A Tragedy Shrouded in Silence: The Destruction of the Arab World's Jewry
Adi Schwartz - AzureOnline, July 1st, 2011
On the eve of the establishment of the State of Israel, at least 780,000 Jews
lived in Arab countries.7 Today, this ancient diaspora numbers only a few
thousand at best. These numbers alone should give us pause: Emigration of more
than 99 percent of the population in such a short time is unparalleled in modern
Jewish history. Even the Jewish communities of Europe, which experienced the
most extreme iteration of antisemitic violence, did not vanish entirely, or so
The Muslims' conduct toward the Jews was determined to a great extent by the
guiding principles of their faith. Believers were required to humiliate
non-Muslims living under their rule, as befits those who reject the divine
truth. And yet, until modern times, the Islamic debasement of the Jews was
distinct from the virulent hatred that characterized European Judeophobia.
Bernard Lewis emphasizes that
# in contrast to Christian antisemitism, the Muslim attitude toward non-Muslims
is one not of hate or fear or envy but simply of contempt. This is expressed in
various ways'. The negative attributes ascribed to the subject religions and
their followers are usually expressed in religious and social terms, very rarely
in ethnic or racial terms, though this does sometimes occur'. The conventional
epithets are apes for Jews and pigs for Christians.10 #
As non-Muslim subjects of the Muslim state, Jews were assigned the inferior
status of dhimmi ('dependent'). This position ensured the protection of their
lives and property, the right to practice their religion, and a degree of
internal communal autonomy. In exchange for all these, however, the Jews were
required to submit to various forms of legal and social discrimination.11
... the Shi'ite law introduced in Yemen by Zaydi imams determined that a Muslim
who murdered a Jew should not be sentenced to death. Jews were obligated,
moreover, to wear simple-looking clothes and to refrain from donning a
headdress. And if this were not enough, many Jewish orphans were abducted by
Yemen's authorities and forced to convert.14
....[Iran] From the end of the nineteenth century until the 1940s, Jews [in
Iran] were forbidden to ride a horse, build a wall around their homes, own a
store in the bazaar, or go out in the rain and snow, lest the water mix with
their bodily fluids and defile their surroundings.16 Jews from Iran have told of
relatives who were murdered by Muslims simply because they dared to drink from a
cup in a public place.17
The hostility toward the Jews in Iraq, for example, had already exacted a bloody
toll. In 1941, during the holiday of Shavuot, a pogrom known as the 'Farhud'
took place in Baghdad. During the riots, over 150 Jews, including infants, were
brutally murdered, and many hundreds were injured; women were raped, homes were
plundered, stores and businesses were looted, and thousands of families were
On May 15, 1948, immediately following Israel's declaration of independence,
Iraq went to war against the Jewish state; at home, the military regime began to
systematically persecute its Jewish citizens. Hundreds were fired from public
service, and draconian restrictions were placed on Jewish merchants, leading to
severe deterioration in the economic state of the community. Jews were denied
basic health and sanitation services, and required to 'donate' money to the
military struggle against Israel.20 Most gravely, over the next two years,
hundreds of Jews were arrested on various pretexts and brought before military
courts, which sentenced them to incarceration and heavy fines. Prisoners were
sent to the Abu Ghraib jail south of Baghdad, where they were subjected to all
manner of torture.21 ...
In March 1950, Iraq allowed Jews to leave the country on condition that they
relinquish their citizenship. Those who left were forced to sell their property
for a negligible price, since they were forbidden to leave Iraq with more than
50 dinars (equivalent to about $200 at the time) and a few personal possessions.
A year later, the Iraqi government confiscated the assets of tens of thousands
of Jews who had applied for emigration to Israel but had not yet managed to
leave. By the end of that year, approximately 90 percent of the 135,000 Jews
living in Iraq had left, leaving behind a wealth of possessions and enormous
... In 1969, nine Jews were hanged in Baghdad and two more in Basra on charges
of spying for Israel.25 Afterward, the remainder of Iraqi Jewry sought to leave
the country in any way possible. In a matter of just a few decades, one of the
largest and most prosperous centers of the Jewish diaspora was reduced to
The Jews of Syria came in for a similar fate. The community's ranks had already
been dwindling steadily in the years before the establishment of the Jewish
state: Whereas in the 1943 census Syria had close to 30,000 Jews, only five
years later the number had shrunk by a third, standing at only 20,000.26 Then,
on December 1, 1947, two days after the UN Assembly's partition resolution,
riots broke out in the Jewish neighborhood of Halab (Aleppo). One hundred and
fifty homes, fifty stores and offices, five schools, and eighteen synagogues
were damaged or destroyed.27 In August 1948, thirteen Jews, among them eight
children, were killed in violent clashes in the Jewish quarter in Damascus.28
Similar incidents, which occurred throughout the War of Independence, took the
lives of dozens more Jews across the country.
By the end of 1949, approximately two-thirds of Syrian Jews were forced to leave
the country due to repeated harassment. From the testimony of those Jews who
arrived in Israel in 1953, we know that 'the mental anguish [of those who
remained] was unbearable. They did not dare to leave their homes after dark, and
stone-throwing at synagogues and houses was routine'. No less severe was their
treatment by the three branches of the [country's] internal security service.'
Jews were frequently summoned for investigation and often even tortured.'31
By the mid-seventies, the Jewish population of Syria had shrunk to roughly
4,000, with the remnants forced to live in ghettos in Damascus, Halab, and the
township of Kamishli. .. Even school exams were intentionally scheduled on
Saturdays.32 The determined efforts of the Ba'ath government to make the lives
of the Jews unbearable bore fruit: According to recent estimations, only one
hundred Jews remain in Syria today.
The anti-Jewish wave spilled onto the Arabian Peninsula, as well, where tens of
thousands of Jews had lived before the War of Independence. On December 2, 1947,
three days after the Partition Plan resolution, the Jewish community in the
British colony of Aden (today part of Yemen), consisting of 7,500 people, fell
victim to a bloody pogrom that lasted three days: 97 Jews were killed and 120
injured, stores and schools were looted, homes and cars were burned. Bedouin
guards, sent by the colonial authorities to protect the Jews, joined the rioters
until British soldiers finally intervened and brought an end to the attacks.33
The events in Aden hastened the mass evacuation of Yemenite Jews to Israel,
which began a year later as part of Operation Magic Carpet. The secret
emigration of nearly 50,000 Jews from Yemen was further expedited by the
drowning of two Muslim girls in a well in the city of Sana'a on December 18,
1948. The blame was placed on the Jews; a large financial penalty was imposed on
the community and sixty of its members imprisoned.34 By December 1949 the
evacuation of most of Yemen's Jews was complete.35 Thousands more escaped the
country in the early 1950s and most of those remaining left four decades later,
in 1992-1993, as a result of continual oppression and deteriorating living
[The article continues and briefly
describes the experiences of Jews in Muslim coujntires, country by country. In
every case Jews were downtrodden, persecuted, abused, tortured and killed.]
5. Israelis are Europe's baking champions, Germans second, Australia third.
Leaving culinary powers like France and Germany behind, Israeli team takes first
place in 2012 Bread Baking Cup in Rimini, Italy
The Israeli team took the first place in the European 2012 Bread Baking Cup over
the weekend, beating culinary powers like France and Germany and leaving
countries like Portugal and Britain far behind.
The competition, held in Rimini Fiera in Italy, included four different
categories. Israel won two of them: Innovative Bread with a Health Focus and
The German team took the second place in the championship, while Australia came