May 18, 2024
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LA Mom Takes On Texting Drivers

( She may be an Orthodox Jew, but a California mother of four has taken an unorthodox approach to stopping drivers from texting while they drive by encouraging drivers to turn their cars into mobile billboards bearing anti-texting messages.

Using a window marker, Margot Grabie wrote an anti-texting message on her rear windshield in May, hoping it would encourage drivers to put down their phones. She never expected that one message to take off the way that it did.

“People starting taking pictures of my car and friends started asking me to write on their back windows also,” said Grabie. “My kids wrote on the back of my father’s car and he knows that he can’t let them down.”

Grabie’s campaign began to mushroom and she began offering free window markers so that others could spread the anti-texting message as well. People have been sending her pictures of their own cars bearing anti-texting messages.

A resident of Hancock Park in Los Angeles, Grabie says she has been contacted by people in South Africa and Australia who have followed her lead and adorned their vehicles with anti-texting messages.

“There is something about a hand written message that captures the attention,” said Grabie. “People are nosy and they want to read and see if maybe someone got married or something else. Sometimes when I drive I get honked. At first I thought, ‘What did I do wrong?’ but then drivers give me the thumbs up.”

Grabie has a free app called Drive Easy App, which has been under development since January and will be available shortly on both iPhone and Android. She hopes that drivers will activate the app before putting their keys in the ignition.

“When you touch your phone, a picture comes up with a pre-recorded message,” said Grabie. “People need a reason to stop texting and need to condition themselves to stop doing it. I am hoping that if someone sees a picture of their kids when they touch their phone, and hears their children saying ‘Mommy don’t text while you drive,’ it will tap into their emotional side and will stop them from texting.’”

Her website,, shares her anti-texting message and also offers free window markers to anyone who wants to participate in the campaign. She estimated that she has given out 250 markers so far.

“I just want to be able to say I made a difference,” said Grabie. “If I saved even one person then I met my goal.”

Assad: Iran Deal is Proof That We Must Not Compromise

( Syrian President Bashar Assad on Sunday praised Iran for its agreement with world powers and attacked the West for its “hypocritical” approach to the civil war that has ravaged his country for four years.

“The nations that are devoted to their rights must win,” said the embattled Syrian leader in his first public address in months. “Iran is the best proof for this in terms of its achievements in the nuclear department.”

Assad described the nuclear agreement as a great victory for Iran. “This is a country that was under siege for three decades and was at war for eight years, in which its infrastructure was destroyed, and despite this, it is the first in the Islamic world in terms of nuclear production and industry.”

The Syrian president also said that Western nations define events as terrorism when they are the target, but call them liberty and revolution when they affect its enemies.

“When the criteria are consistent and the revolutionaries are considered terrorists, and the opposition forces are considered little collaborators, then the West will speak clearly,” he said. “Or to the contrary, when they allow the opposition in their nations to take up arms and fight, then we will believe them.”

Assad added that “the West’s goal today is only to manage terror and not eradicate it. What they do has caused terror to grow and has not defeated it.”

Assad also praised Hezbollah for its support in Syria, but emphasized that no one could replace Syria’s army in the fighting.

‘Smart Cities’ Tech Comes to Israel

( First, smartphones exploded on the Israeli market. Now, smart watches are also sure to have a significant presence. But Israel has bigger plans than what goes on your wrist – the “smart city” has been born, and the high-tech nation is jumping on board for the ride.

Cisco Israel is leading the drive to bring Israel’s cities into the technology age, as shown in a presentation in Tel Aviv on Wednesday where the latest advancements were on display.

“Smart cities provide benefits to residents of the city and improve the municipality’s connection with residents as well as infrastructure, and make the area more pleasant to live in,” said Roei Hermon, a manager in the field of smart cities at Cisco Israel. “In a smart city, you can understand congestion in public places, how Tel Aviv port will look when it’s full, etc.”

As presented by Cisco, smart cities reach their citizens with technologically advanced kiosks complete with touch screens and straight-forward instructions that can help you find free parking or the nearest available parking garage and even movie theaters. Cities may also benefit economically from some of the new technologies, including smart street lights that shine only when needed and a more efficient irrigation of public parks and fountains.

Google Removes Hamas App from Android Store

(Israel HaYom/Exclusive to Google has removed from its Android app a cell phone application built by Hamas. The app, which the Palestinian terrorist organization created to improve its connection with its followers, appeared in the Google Play Store, but was removed at 10 p.m. Saturday night (Israel time). Earlier Saturday, Hamas announced via its @HamasinfoEn Twitter feed, “Today we launched the android app for the Arabic version of our website, while Apple refused to host the iOS application.” Hamas launched an English-language website on June 25.

The app included, among other features, historical information about the group, an overview of its terrorist activities, and updates about terrorists being held in Israeli prisons. Google said in a statement that it removed apps that violate its policies, such as those that incite hatred.

Holocaust Survivor and ‘Schindler’s List’ Producer Gives Oscar to Yad Vashem

( Auschwitz death camp survivor Branko Lustig, who was one of the producers of Steven Spielberg’s award-winning 1993 movie “Schindler’s List,” this week presented the Academy Award he had received for his work on the film to Israel’s Jerusalem-based Yad Vashem Holocaust museum.

“I’m very honored, I feel this is a good [resting place] for the Oscar,” Lustig told Reuters. “I’m not parting with it, I am leaving it to the nation, for generations to come…All Yad Vashem’s visitors will see it. At my home there is only my wife and my daughter.”

The 83-year-old Lustig was born in Croatia and survived both the Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen concentration camps. The Yad Vashem ceremony was attended by Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, who said the donated Oscar statue is a “beacon of light” and a reminder of the sacrifices made by non-Jews who saved Jews during the Holocaust.

“His decision to separate himself from the award which means so much to a producer, to a creator, and to send it to Yad Vashem for eternity is very meaningful,” said Yad Vashem’s chairman, Avner Shalev.

Award-Winning American Jewish Author E.L. Doctorow Dies

( Award-winning American Jewish author E.L. Doctorow died Tuesday at age 84 due to complications from lung cancer, his son Richard Doctorow told the New York Times.

Doctorow wrote a dozen novels, three volumes of short fiction, and one stage drama. His most well-known written works were fictional historical novels such as “Ragtime,” “Billy Bathgate,” and “The March.” He also wrote essays and commentary on literature and politics.

“The distinguished characteristic of E. L. Doctorow’s work is its double vision. In each of his books he experiments with the forms of fiction, working for effects that others haven’t already achieved; in each he develops a tone, a structure and a texture that he hasn’t used before. At the same time, he’s a deeply traditional writer, reworking American history, American literary archetypes, even exhausted subliterary genres. It’s an astonishing performance, really,” wrote literary critic Peter S. Prescott in Newsweek in 1984.

Huckabee: Obama Marching Israelis To ‘Door Of The Oven’

(Vosisneiaz) Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has denounced the deal reached by the United States and other world powers on Iran’s nuclear program by saying President Barack Obama is marching Israelis “to the door of the oven,” a reference to the Holocaust.

The head of the Democratic National Committee on Sunday demanded an apology by Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor whose comments came in an interview with a conservative website on Saturday.

“This president’s foreign policy is the most feckless in American history,” Huckabee told “Breitbart News Saturday.” “It is so naive that he would trust the Iranians. By doing so, he will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven.”

Huckabee’s reference was to the Nazi death camps where millions of Jews and others were killed during World War Two. “This is the most idiotic thing, this Iran deal. It should be rejected by both Democrats and Republicans in Congress and by the American people. I read the whole deal. We gave away the whole store. It’s got to be stopped,” Huckabee added.

U.S. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, said Huckabee’s rhetoric “has no place in American politics.”

Huckabee is seeking his party’s nomination for president in the November 2016 U.S. election. A CNN/ORC poll released on Sunday showed him in 7th place with the support of 5 percent of Republican and Republican-leaning registered voters.

Israeli Archeologists Find Evidence of 23,000 Year Old Cultivation

( Israeli archeologists have found evidence indicating hunter-gatherers made a small-scale attempt to cultivate wild cereals 11,000 years before the onset of agriculture.

The 23,000-years-old prehistoric site of Ohalo II on the shores of Lake Kinneret was discovered in 1989 when a severe drought caused a significant decline in the level of Lake Kinneret. Since, several archeological digs in the area found huts, a gravesite, a large collection of animal remains, edible plants and flints.

According to Prof. Ehud Weiss, the head of the Archaeological Botany lab at the Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology at Bar-Ilan University, the findings at the site are exceptionally well preserved because they were burned, charred and sealed by the sedimentation of silts sealed in the low-oxygen conditions under the waters of the Kinneret.

The Ohalo II prehistoric site, which over the years has become synonymous with characteristics of the hunter-gatherers, allows researchers to study the way cereals were sown, reaped and used. Researchers found the remains of 150,000 plants, including edible grains such as wild wheat, barley and oat. Remains of starch found on a grindstone at the site shows that bread was baked there.

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