UPDATES 8 pm Israel time, Friday, February 21 2014:
**According to statistics released yesterday, 2013 was a banner year for Israeli high tech start-up companies. The value of 80% of the companies who tried to raise venture capital increased compared to their previous financing rounds. Not even U.S. Silicon valley start-ups showed such a mark-up in valuation, coming in at 69%. At the same time, more than $6.45 billion of international money was spent buying Israeli companies in whole or in part.
What is the bottom line? International high tech investors see Israel as an extraordinary place in which to invest.
**The last 24 hours have seen major changes in what is happening on the ground in Syria. First came the news that newly “moderate” Iran is doubling down in support of Assad’s barbaric and murderous regime. The Iranian Al-Quds Force will dramatically increase its assistance in logistics, special forces, intelligence gathering, and weapons.
At the same time, there are indications that Hezbollah may be pulling out of Syria by the end of the month after continuing to suffer major losses in fighters and material. A particularly gruesome picture circulating the internet yesterday showed Syrian rebel forces celebrating around the severed heads of 9 Hezbollah fighters. More than 70 funerals for Hezbollah “martyrs” have been held in southern Lebanon this past week.
What is the bottom line? The most obvious answer is that Iran is stepping up to cover Hezbollah’s retreat–though that analysis may be premature.
**International lawbreakers and Palestinians have staged another march through Hebron this afternoon.
Molotov cocktail throwing (see picture above) which was eventually suppressed by Israeli troops firing rubber bullets.
More unrest took place today at the Tomb of Rachel just outside of Bethlehem. Your humble servant mentions this because of an article that appeared in an Egyptian daily newspaper yesterday, part of which read:
“Dozens of Israeli settlers burst into the Bilal mosque on Thursday morning, at the very north of Bethlehem, claimed that this was the burial place of the “Rachel the Matriarch”, and desecrated the mosque by performing a Talmud study ceremony there.”
The lengths to which the Palestinians and their Arabic cohorts around the world go, in an effort to obliterate Jewish history, is extraordinary.
In the case of Rachel’s Tomb, the Palestinians and Arabs themselves called it “Khirbet Rachel” until the 1990s at which time they dropped any reference to “Rachel” and ludicrously began calling it the Bilal Mosque.
Your humble servant ends today’s blog with a picture from Rachel’s Tomb–which according to the Palestinians and Arabs has no meaning for Jews: