Tuesday, March 7, 2017

N.Y Times Doublewrite? U.N Head Changes Tone But U.N. Staffer Joins Hamas. Avi Jorisch. Daniel Turns 40!

That does not mean that Soros is not evil…


Which NYT's story do you believe? (See A below.)
New Head of U.N., either fearing a cut off of funds from America, or because he is a decent human changes the tune of the U.N's attitude toward Israel. (See 1 below.)
Erick Erickson unimpressed with new health care legislation proposed by Republicans.

I have not read the bill as yet but , even before I do, it needs to be given to an author who knows how to write in a laconic manner and/or a professor of English who is capable of restyling and editing. (See 2 below.)
Liberal Jews are digging their own grave in the mistaken belief adopting PC'ism will shield them.  (See 3 below.)
U.N staffer in Gaza now Hamas leader. (See 4 below.)
My friend, Avi Jorisch, has written an article about Israel's involvement in the driver less car.  Avi also has just completed a book on Israeli innovation.

If I can get Avi to come to Savannah he is a must attend speaker. (See 5 below.)
Today our only son turns 40.  Heartiest congratulations.

  • if you believe the N.Y Times is the most reliable source in the universe ,please tell me which story to believe. is this about trump ? or,is this about the truth ? do you know with any degree of certainty what are the facts,or do facts no longer exist ?

SAME NY Times Reporter Said Trump Team Was Wiretapped In Jan., But Said TRUMP Lacked Evidence In March

by Jeff Dunetz | 

On January 19th and 20th 2017, The NY Times reported that wiretaps of people on the Trump team were passed along to the Obama White House, one of the story’s authors was Michael S. Schmidt. On Saturday that same Michael S. Schmidt was one of the reporters who wrote the story, “Trump, Offering No Evidence, Says Obama Tapped His Phones.” That’s right, the same NY Times reporter who was one of the sources for the President’s claim, said that there was no evidence for the claim.
The first story by Mr. Schmidt appeared on the NY Times website the evening of January 19, 2017 and appeared on the front page of the paper the morning of Inauguration Day, January 20, 2017:
WASHINGTON — American law enforcement and intelligence agencies are examining intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of a broad investigation into possible links between Russian officials and associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, current and former senior American officials said.
The continuing counterintelligence investigation means that Mr. Trump will take the oath of office on Friday with his associates under investigation and after the intelligence agencies concluded that the Russian government had worked to help elect him. As president, Mr. Trump will oversee those agencies and have the authority to redirect or stop at least some of these efforts.

It is not clear whether the intercepted communications had anything to do with Mr. Trump’s campaign, or Mr. Trump himself. It is also unclear whether the inquiry has anything to do with an investigation into the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s computers and other attempts to disrupt the elections in November. The American government has concluded that the Russian government was responsible for a broad computer hacking campaign, including the operation against the D.N.C.

The counterintelligence investigation centers at least in part on the business dealings that some of the president-elect’s past and present advisers have had with Russia. Mr. Manafort has done business in Ukraine and Russia. Some of his contacts there were under surveillance by the National Security Agency for suspected links to Russia’s Federal Security Service, one of the officials said.
Mr. Manafort is among at least three Trump campaign advisers whose possible links to Russia are under scrutiny. Two others are Carter Page, a businessman and former foreign policy adviser to the campaign, and Roger Stone, a longtime Republican operative.

The F.B.I. is leading the investigations, aided by the National Security Agency, the C.I.A. and the Treasury Department’s financial crimes unit. The investigators have accelerated their efforts in recent weeks but have found no conclusive evidence of wrongdoing, the officials said. One official said intelligence reports based on some of the wiretapped communications had been provided to the White House

Counterintelligence investigations examine the connections between American citizens and foreign governments. Those connections can involve efforts to steal state or corporate secrets, curry favor with American government leaders or influence policy. It is unclear which Russian officials are under investigation, or what particular conversations caught the attention of American eavesdroppers. The legal standard for opening these investigations is low, and prosecutions are rare.

On Saturday, the day the POTUS tweeted that he was wiretapped, the NY Times claimed President Trump had no evidence. If you look at the bi-line of the story, you will see the same Michael S. Schmidt:

This is the ultimate in liberal media bias.  In January Michael S. Schmidt perpetuated the rumor that team Trump had Russian connections, and to support his point he said that Trump’s people were wiretapped. However when President Trump claimed his people were wiretapped, the same guy,  Michael S. Schmidt said there was no evidence.

Either the Times editors and Mr. Schmidt are trying to skew the story, or they are all suffering from a form of dementia and have no memory.


1)Speech Of New UN
Secretary-General That Has Caused
Palestinian Seething
By Aussie Dave 
A few days ago, on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, António Guterres, the new UN Secretary-General, gave the following speech, which caused palestinian hysterics.

Today is a day to remember, reflect and look forward.

We are here to honour the victims of the Holocaust, an unparalleled crime against humanity.
We are together to mourn the loss of so many and of so much.

The world has a duty to remember that the Holocaust was a systematic attempt to eliminate the Jewish people and so many others.

I am humbled by the presence here today of Holocaust survivors. Thank you for bearing witness across seven decades so that others may live in dignity. There is no better education for the future than the guarantee that we will always be able to remember the past and to honour the victims of the tragedies of that past.

I would like to pay tribute to one survivor in particular, Elie Wiesel, who passed away last year. He became one of the world’s most passionate voices for mutual respect and acceptance, and the United Nations was proud to have him as one of our Messengers of Peace.

It would be a dangerous error to think of the Holocaust as simply the result of the insanity of a group of criminal Nazis. On the contrary, the Holocaust was the culmination of millennia of hatred and discrimination targeting the Jews – what we now call anti-Semitism.

Imperial Rome not only destroyed the temple in Jerusalem, but also made Jews pariahs in many ways. The attacks and abuse grew worse through the triumph of Christianity and the propagation of the idea that the Jewish community should be punished for the death of Jesus – an absurdity that helped to trigger massacres and other tremendous crimes against Jews around the world for centuries to come.

The same happened in my own country, Portugal, reaching its height with the order by King Manuel in the 16th century expelling all Jews who refused to convert. This was a hideous crime and an act of enormous stupidity. It caused tremendous suffering to the Jewish community – and deprived Portugal of much of the country’s dynamism. Before long, the country entered a prolonged cycle of impoverishment.

Many Portuguese Jews eventually settled in the Netherlands. Lisbon’s loss was Amsterdam’s gain, as the Portuguese Jewish community played a key role in transforming the Netherlands into the global economic powerhouse of the 17th century.

The Portuguese example also demonstrates that anti-Semitism, more than a question of religion, is essentially an expression of racism. The proof is that the converted Jews, the so-called “new Christians”, faced discrimination by the old Christians, and suffered continued persecution by the Portuguese Inquisition.

When I became Prime Minister in 1995, I felt it was absolutely necessary, even if only with a symbolic gesture, to demonstrate my country’s rejection and repentance of Portugal’s
merciless attacks against the Jewish community.

In 1996, Parliament revoked the letter of expulsion. I then had the honour of visiting the Portuguese Synagogue in Amsterdam to formally present a copy of that decree and apologize on behalf of my country. Tragically, that beautiful synagogue was almost empty, because the community Portugal had expelled was almost completely destroyed by the Holocaust. Anti-Semitism always tends to come back.

Portugal recently adopted a law allowing the descendants of those expelled in the 16th century to regain Portuguese nationality. Last year, more than 400 took advantage of this offer.

I am also very proud to note that just a few weeks ago, my wife signed, on behalf of the Lisbon Municipality, an agreement with the Israeli Community of Lisbon to establish the Lisbon Jewish Museum. This will be a way to pay tribute to the memory of those my country mistreated so badly.

History keeps moving forward, but anti-Semitism keeps coming back.

The renowned scholar Simon Schama has noted that in the 19th century, Jews were even blamed for modernity, including for disasters of international finance in which they themselves were among the first victims.

Schama also noted that Jews often faced a lose-lose situation. When they successfully integrated and came to “look like” anyone else, they became subjects of suspicion. Others who looked different were blamed for that, too. Both groups came together in the Nazi crematoria.

After the Holocaust, the world seemed eager to find a more cooperative path. The founding of the United Nations was one expression of that moment. The UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Genocide Convention enshrined a commitment to equality and human rights.

Humankind dared to believe that tribal identities would diminish in importance.

We were wrong. Those like me who grew up in the post-war era never imagined we would again face rising attacks on Jews in my own part of the world – in Europe.

Anti-Semitism is alive and kicking. Irrationality and intolerance are back.

But we still see Holocaust denial, despite the facts. There is also a new trend of Holocaust revisionism, with the rewriting of history and even the honouring of disgraced officials from those days.

Hate speech and anti-Semitic imagery are proliferating across the Internet and social media.
Violent extremist groups use anti-Semitic appeals to rouse their forces and recruit new followers.
All this is in complete contrast to tolerance, the primacy of reason and universal values.

Moreover, as the former Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom, Lord Jonathan Sacks, said last year, “The hate that begins with Jews never ends with Jews”.

Today, we see anti-Semitism, along with racism, xenophobia, anti-Muslim hatred and other forms of intolerance, triggered by populism. I am extremely concerned at the discrimination faced by minorities, refugees and migrants across the world.

I find the stereotyping of Muslims deeply troubling. A “new normal” of public discourse is taking hold, in which prejudice is given a free pass and the door is opened to even more extreme hatred.

Steps from this chamber, you will find a powerful exhibition on Nazi propaganda. It is called “State of deception” and is the product of our fruitful partnership with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
As this exhibition details, propaganda helped erode the bonds of humanity. The word “Jewish” was used constantly in association with society’s ills. Hardship and instability created fertile ground for scapegoating. It is true that many citizens disapproved of discrimination. But a majority accepted such sentiments, even if only passively. Ultimately, indifference prevailed, dehumanization took hold, and the descent into barbarity was quick.

These are lessons for our time, too.

We need to be vigilant. We need to invest in education and youth. We need to strengthen social cohesion so that people feel that diversity is a plus, not a threat.

The United Nations itself must do more to strengthen its human rights machinery, and to push for justice for the perpetrators of grave crimes.

Our “Together” campaign is focusing on countries hosting refugees and migrants. Our Holocaust Outreach Programme is active on all continents.

The Holocaust also saw great acts of heroism, from ordinary people who protected others to diplomats who, at grave risk to themselves, defied the Nazis to enable thousands of people to escape certain death. Some of these are well known – Sweden’s Raoul Wallenberg and Japan’s Chiune Sugihara. Some are less so — Iran’s Abdol Hossein Sardari and, I am proud to say, Portugal’s Consul in Bordeaux, Aristides de Sousa Mendes.
Today, we can be inspired by many cooperative efforts to bring diverse groups together. We need to deepen this solidarity.

After the horrors of the 20th century, there should be no room for intolerance in the 21st.

I guarantee you that as Secretary-General of the United Nations, I will be in the frontline of the battle against anti-Semitism and all other forms of hatred.

That is the best way to build a future of dignity and equality for all – and the best way to honour the victims of the Holocaust we will never allow to be forgotten.

Thank you very much
Can you guess why?

Even on a somber day like International Holocaust Remembrance Day, our “peace partners” cannot help themselves, and are making it all about them.

Then again, it seems fitting they would remind us all about their constant attempts to erase our history on this day.

In the meantime, it was nice to see the new UN Secretary-General contradicting the recent UNSC resolution 2334, which, among other things, determines that the Jewish Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem is ‘occupied territory’.

The Republican Healthcare Plan is Just Obamacare With a Different Polish

The biggest winner in Washington this week is Barack Obama, whose signature legacy is going to remain largely untouched by Republicans who are going so far as to keep the individual mandate. Of course, they will not call it that, but individuals will get a 30% penalty, i.e. a fine, if they do not keep insurance. That is the individual mandate in all but name. In fact, this is actually of questionable constitutionality because the government imposed fine would be paid to the insured person’s previous insurance company when they subsequently try to buy a new policy.

Gone? Most of the ways Barack Obama paid for his healthcare plan. In? A death panel for senior citizens. Under the Republican plan, senior citizens can be charged up to five times higher than young people who can enter an insurance plan with a pre-existing condition. By keeping the pre-existing conditions provision, which causes rates to increase, along with the permitted increase in senior citizen insurance costs, the Republicans will price a large number of seniors out of the insurance market.
To be sure, insurance companies should be able to charge whatever they want to charge, but requiring the pre-existing conditions coverage distorts the market and will harm seniors through even higher rates.
On top of it all, the GOP does not even want to get phase out the Obamacare medicaid expansion until 2020, which means they do not really want to get rid of it. By hinging the completely implemented changes on the next Presidential election, the GOP looks to be making their rebranded Obamacare a campaign issue.
The bill’s structure suggests the GOP is catering to more moderate elements within the party and they are hoping conservatives will kill it. Then they can blame conservatives for the failure to repeal Obamacare.
Trump supporters, however, should not be too concerned. President Trump promised a government run healthcare plan and that is what this is — Obamacare in Republican face.
Republicans have a difficult problem. They have a slim majority in the Senate and have to cater to factions throughout the party. But trying to put spit and polish on Obamacare does not really repeal it as they promised. It seems more and more certain that Obamacare is here to stay.
If the GOP is so convinced Obamacare is going to collapse on its own, perhaps they should let it instead of repackaging Obamacare and owning the collapse.
3)Why Do American Jews Want Thousands of Jew Haters in America?

Dennis Prager

By Dennis Prager

Last week, the Jerusalem Post and other news agencies reported that in a Paris suburb, two Jewish brothers wearing kippot (Jewish skullcaps) were attacked while driving their car by Middle Easterners driving another car.
According to a case report: "While the vehicle was in motion, the driver and a passenger shouted anti-Semitic slogans at the brothers that included 'Dirty Jews, You're going to die!' ... The vehicle forced the brothers to stop their car, and they were surrounded by several men ... The men came out of a hookah cafe on to the side street ... The alleged attackers surrounded the brothers, then kicked and punched them repeatedly while threatening that they would be murdered if they moved. One of the alleged attackers then sawed off the finger of one of the brothers."

Attacks on Jews in France and elsewhere in Europe by Muslim immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa, or MENA, are so common that for the first time since World War II, Jews in France fear wearing a kippah or a Star of David in public. So many French Jews are leaving France that two years ago, then-Prime Minister Manuel Valls gave an impassioned speech pleading with French Jews to stay in France.

It has gotten so bad for Jews in Europe that The Atlantic, a liberal magazine, recently featured an article titled "Is It Time for the Jews to Leave Europe?"

In Sweden, attacks on Jews in Malmo, the country's third largest city, are so common that Jews are leaving the city and the country.

Last year, the Jerusalem Post published an article about a Jewish couple that had lived in Sweden since the middle of World War II. Dan and Karla (not their real names) are Danish Jews who were smuggled into Sweden as children. Their gratitude for Sweden has been immense.

But they have now left their homeland, the country that saved their lives, to live in Spain. They lived in Malmo. In Dan's words, the immense saturation of Jew hatred in the city was caused by "the adverse effects of accepting half-a-million immigrants from the Middle East, who plainly weren't interesting in adopting Sweden's values and Swedish culture. ... The politicians, the media, the intellectuals ... they all played their parts in pandering to this dangerous ideology and, sadly, it's changing the fabric of Swedish society irreversibly."

The Post continued, saying, "Karla, who'd sat passively, occasionally nodding in agreement at Dan's analysis, then interrupted, saying, 'If you disagree with the establishment, you're immediately called a racist or fascist.'" (Sound familiar?)

The British newspaper The Telegraph recently reported: "Jewish people in Malmo have long complained of growing harassment in the city, where 43 per cent of the population have a non-Swedish background, with Iraqis, Lebanese and stateless Palestinians some of the largest groups. The Jewish community centre in the city is heavily fortified, with security doors and bollards on the outside pavement to prevent car bombs."

An article in the left-wing HuffingtonPost reached a now-familiar conclusion, saying: "Migrants streaming into Europe from the Middle East are bringing with them virulent anti-Semitism which is erupting from Scandinavia to France to Germany. ... While all of the incoming refugees and migrants, fleeing Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and other Muslim lands, may not hold anti-Jewish views, an extremely large number do — simply as a result to being raised in places where anti-Jewish vitriol is poured out in TV, newspapers, schools and mosques. ... 'There is no future for Jews in Europe' said the chief Rabbi of Brussels."

Yet, despite all this Muslim-immigrant Jew hatred, more than a thousand rabbis have signed a petition to bring large numbers of MENA Muslims into America, and virtually all Jewish organizations outside of orthodoxy and the Zionist Organization of America have condemned President Trump's administration for enacting even a temporary travel ban (one due entirely to security concerns) on immigrants and refugees from seven (of the world's more than 50) Muslim-majority countries.
How is one to explain the widespread American Jewish support for bringing in a massive number of people, many of whom will bring in anti-Jew, anti-Israel and anti-West values?

First, they are staggeringly naive believing, for example, that marching at airports with signs that read "We love Muslims" will change those Muslims who hate Jews into Muslims who love Jews.

Second, never underestimate the power of feeling good about yourself that exists on the left (the self-esteem movement originated on the left). And it feels very good for these Jews to say: "Look, world. You abandoned us in the 1930s, but we're better than you."

And third, when American Jews abandoned traditional liberal and traditional Jewish values for leftist values, they became less Jewish, less American and more foolish.

Top UN staffer in Gaza said elected to Hamas leadership

Author(s):  Times of Israel staff     

Muhammad al-Jamassi, UNRWA’s infrastructure chief, reportedly sits on terror group’s political bureau; UNRWA last week suspended teacher accused of senior Hamas role

Palestinians receive their monthly food aid at a United Nations distribution center in the Rafah refugee camp, in southern Gaza Strip, February 8, 2015 (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

A senior Palestinian employee of a Gaza-based United Nations humanitarian agency was reportedly elected to Hamas’s political bureau, the top governing body of the terrorist organization rules the Strip.

One the 15 members elected to the bureau in February’s internal elections was Muhammad al-Jamassi, a senior engineer employed by UNRWA, the UN agency in charge of Palestinian refugees, according to the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center.
Jamassi has held various positions within Hamas since 2007, including in the group’s public relations department and its affiliated charities, the center said.
He currently serves as board chairman for the UNRWA engineering department in central Gaza, and oversees all off the agency’s infrastructure projects in the area.
The February 13 vote saw another UNRWA staffer elected to a top leadership position in Hamas.
Suhail al-Hindi, a teacher heading the agency’s employee union in Gaza, was suspended by UNRWA after Israel demanded his immediate termination.
The claims against al-Hindi were made by COGAT, the Israeli Defense Ministry agency responsible for civilian affairs in the West Bank and Gaza, and the Foreign Ministry.
UNRWA initially denied Hindi’s Hamas affiliation, saying in a statement that the agency had “neither uncovered nor received evidence to contradict the staff member’s denial that he was elected to political office.” Its statement quoted Hindi as saying that he has “no relation whatsoever with the issue.”
Three days later, however, UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness announced Hindi was suspended based on “substantial information” it had been provided.
He insisted the decision to suspend Hindi pending the outcome of an internal investigation was made independently of Israeli demands.
Israel has long claimed that some of UNRWA’s Palestinian employees support terrorist activities and spread anti-Semitism online.
Last month, a UN watchdog group released a report showing screenshots from the Facebook pages of 40 UNRWA school employees in Gaza and other parts of the Mideast that it said “incite to Jihadist terrorism and anti-Semitism, including by posting Holocaust-denying videos and pictures celebrating Hitler.”
UN Watch said it had petitioned UN chief António Guterres, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and US envoy to the UN Nikki Haley, urging them “to take action and demand UN and UNRWA condemnation of the incitement, and the immediate termination of the implicated employees.”
In 2015, the US gave UNRWA — which provides Palestinian refugees and their descendants with education, health care, and social services — $380 million in funding.
Gunness recently told The Times of Israel that UNRWA was aware of the incitement allegations, and was “looking into [them] as part of our ongoing commitment to maintaining the Agency’s neutrality.”
In the coming months, Gunness said UNRWA would begin rolling out “compulsory” online social-media training to all of its 30,000 local staff members.

Israel's Self-Driving Future
How to Supercharge the Autonomous Vehicle Industry

by Avi Jorisch
Foreign Affairs
What will the car of the future look like? It may not be long before we know. In early February, Ford announced that it will allocate a staggering $1 billion over the next five years to develop the first fully autonomous vehicle, and almost every global automaker is working feverishly to create the ultimate self-driving machine. The consensus is that people will soon be using "Jetsons-like" cars powered not by humans but by smart computers.

But policymakers and businesses interested in the car of the future should look beyond the traditional industry hubs in Detroit, Frankfurt, and Tokyo to a place that might appear to be an unlikely location: Israel.

Fiat Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Google, Lyft, and Uber are testing autonomous cars in six U.S. cities. Volvo recently announced that it intends to test its self-driving cars in China, and industry experts predict that fully autonomous cars will be on the road by 2030 and that revenue from this industry will grow to $40-$60 billion by then. Israel is playing a major part in all this, developing a significant number of the technologies required to enable self-driving vehicles to run.

Future cars will use less sheet metal and iron and rely more on software. Engineers must overcome huge challenges to seamlessly integrate cutting-edge computer chips, communication devices, and data analytics, all while protecting vehicles and drivers from potential cyberattacks. Israel's strong military and academic culture, along with its edge in information technology and cybersecurity, gives it a competitive advantage.

Israel has more than 5,000 startups and 750 venture-capital-backed companies, and the country attracts more venture money than any other country in the world relative to the size of its economy. In addition, Israel's so-called Silicon Wadi, or valley, has the second largest number of technology startups per capita, right behind California. Even though Israel lacks a native automobile production industry, companies focusing on this global sector comprise about 15 percent of Israel's industry sector businesses, and their numbers are growing steadily. In the last two years, Israeli automotive startups have raised $820 million, according to Yoram Oron, founder of Vertex Ventures and a member of the Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings. In addition, over 500 Israeli companies are currently focused on creating the infrastructure for driverless vehicles.

Israel's automotive companies primarily fall into one of four categories: electric cars, autonomous vehicles, smart mobility, or conventional vehicle technology. For the most part, the successful companies have developed strategic partnerships with global car manufacturers. In fact, it should come as no surprise that auto giants and their executives are flocking to Silicon Wadi to meet with and invest in local companies. In 2016, Volkswagen invested $300 million in Gett, whose platform is similar to Uber's, to kick-start its fleet of smart vehicles. The German auto goliath also invested in a cybersecurity firm owned in part by Yuval Diskin, former head of the Shin Bet security agency. Last July, BMW and Intel signed a collaboration agreement with the Israeli firm Mobileye to produce a fully automated car by 2021. Mobileye's revolutionary technology—a device that emits a sound if the vehicle gets too close to the car ahead or the driver veers out of his lane in an unsafe way—is being integrated into cars manufactured by Audi, General Motors, Hyundai, Renault-Nissan, Tesla Motors, and Volvo. NNG, whose headquarters are in Hungary, bought Israeli automotive cybersecurity firm Arilou, and Ford bought Israeli company SAIPS, which specializes in both computer vision and machine learning. The list goes on. "Israel is a highly developed business location," says Dr. Volkmar Denner, CEO of the world's largest supplier of automotive components, Robert Bosch GmbH. "Relative to its population, no other country is as innovative."

For now, the auto industry and governments worldwide should consider a number of ideas to supercharge the development of an autonomous vehicle industry.

Israel has over 250 research and development centers owned by multinationals. Last year, General Motors and Daimler joined ranks to form such a center, and Honda and Volvo teamed up in February to establish an innovation center in Tel Aviv. Daimler's center "is aimed at boosting the global R&D array with the help of Israel, the high tech nation," notes Professor Thomas Weber, who was previously responsible for Daimler Group research and Mercedes-Benz Cars development. Other American, Asian, and European car manufacturers should consider establishing similar centers, in addition to directing their venture capital funds to invest in promising Israeli companies as a way of further accelerating their growth. Israeli technology companies have been extraordinarily successful in fostering innovation in fields that directly affect the autonomous car industry: cybersecurity, communication, computer vision, sensors, and artificial intelligence.

Auto manufacturers should likewise establish in-house incubators for joint ventures with talented Israeli startups to test their technology. Depending on the stage of development, car companies could provide seed funding, but more importantly, senior executives should be incentivized to provide guidance and insight to encourage innovation. Sponsors could take a small royalty on future sales, but above all, startups would have access to experience and brainpower with an eye to promoting a better society.

Government agencies have an important role to play as well. Last May, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and his Israeli counterpart, Yisrael Katz, signed a formal partnership to examine autonomous vehicles. This involved a Memorandum of Cooperation stating that Israel will build a $40 million center to develop autonomous vehicles, paid for equally by Israel and the United States. They also pledged to collaborate on cybersecurity best practices and share successful models of public-private partnerships. European and Asian governments should follow suit and structure similar relationships with the Jewish state to exploit Israel's competitive advantage for their own benefit.

Following Foxx's visit to Israel, the U.S. government took an important step with an Israeli company to implement "smart" policies. Last November, as part of the Smart City Challenge, the U.S. Department of Transportation chose Columbus, Ohio as the recipient of $40 million in "smart car" grants to support its advanced transportation projects, including outfitting the city's public bus system with Mobileye. And in February 2017, Mobileye installed its anti-crash technology on 4,500 rideshare cars in New York City.

Michigan is exploring joint opportunities with Israel as well. Last December, Governor Rick Snyder signed into law a bill allowing autonomous cars and taxis on public roads with no driver in the front seat. The governor followed up the next month with a trip to Israel, where he met with a wide variety of companies in the auto industry. "Israel has an important role in the development of autonomous vehicle technology," says Snyder. "The United States, and Michigan in particular, [have] a lot to learn from the Jewish state and we welcome their expertise." Snyder should consider following the lead of California's Jerry Brown, who signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2014, as Michigan would benefit from techniques pioneered by Israeli scientists and engineers in this emerging field. In addition to Michigan, four other U.S. states—California, Florida, Nevada, and Tennessee—and the District of Columbia have passed autonomous driving laws. If the Wolverine State wishes to remain at the head of the pack in terms of technological innovation, it would serve its interests well to work closely with Israel. This type of agreement would also encourage exchanges of startup delegations, summits, and above all, a heightened awareness of capabilities.

Finally, the Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets, the auto industry's autonomous-driving lobbying organization, would benefit from meeting with Israeli policymakers and industry leaders, which so far has not happened. The members of this coalition, launched in April 2016 to foster policies that advance self-driving vehicles and realize the industry's full potential, include Ford, Google, Lyft, Uber, and Volvo.

The automotive industry is undergoing a transformation. In the not-too-distant future, how humans use their cars will fundamentally differ from how they use them today. Policymakers, industry experts, and drivers should strap on their seat belts and get ready. As the auto industry transitions from semi- to fully autonomous vehicles, it should continue to look to Israel to help it cross the finish line as quickly and safely as possible.

Avi Jorisch (@avijorisch) is a Senior Fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council and author of a forthcoming book on Israeli innovation.

No comments: