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Rare color pictures from the 1910-20s in the Middle East (PHOTOS)

Continue reading Rare color pictures from the 1910-20s in the Middle East (PHOTOS)


One killed and at least 13 injured in Tel Aviv stabbings

Three separate attacks by Palestinians across Israel come on same day US vice-president Joe Biden arrived for talks with leaders Netanyahu and Abbas

Three attacks by Palestinians in the space of just over an hour and a half left one dead and at least 13 injured across Israel on Tuesday evening, in incidents that including a mass stabbing in Jaffa during a visit to the coastal city by US vice-president Joe Biden.

The person killed in Jaffa was reportedly an American tourist.

In the spate of attacks – in east Jerusalem, Petah Tikva and Jaffa – attackers used guns and knives against both Israeli police and passersby in one of the of the worst recent days in several months of almost daily attacks.

They coincided with the arrival of Biden on Tuesday for meetings with Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas.

Biden was reportedly visiting the Peres Centre for Peace, a mile away from where the stabbing took place. Initial accounts of the attacks were confused and contradictory.

The worst incident saw a Palestinian stab three Israelis near Jaffa’s port before attacking three more near a popular restaurant on the city’s boardwalk.

An eyewitness identified as Yosef told the Ynet news website: “The terrorist, who was young and wearing a hoodie, came from the Jaffa Port area. Once he was on the boardwalk, he attacked a tourist couple. The woman was stabbed several times, tried to flee, and fell.

“The terrorist then continued to stab the man, and stabbed him in the leg. I was in my car. I ran to him, took the aluminum pylon, and hit the terrorist in the back. He tried to stab me, then he ran.”

The assailant, later identified as a 22-year year old Palestinian man from Qalqiliya, was shot dead by police as he tried to flee towards neighbouring Tel Aviv. Hospital officials later reported that one of those stabbed had died of their injuries.

The series of assaults began with an attack on an ultra-orthodox man who was followed into a liquor store in Petah Tikvah and stabbed.

The victim and the shop’s owner managed to overpower the assailant, who was reportedly stabbed to death with his own weapon.

Jerusalem was the scene of the second attack shortly after when a gunman opened fire on Israeli police in Salah e-Din street in east Jerusalem, seriously injuring two officers before he was killed himself.

Police later identified the gunman as Fouad Tamimi, 25, from the east Jerusalem neighbourhood of Isawiya.

WW100 – The Ottoman-German Attack on the Suez Canal — 1915

German painting of Bedouin fighters against English troops at the Suez Canal (Ottoman Imperial Archives)

WWI battles in the Middle East preserved in photos by the armies of the waning Ottoman Empire.

Turkish Camel Corps in Be’er Sheva (Ottoman Imperial Archives, 1915)

The opening shot of World War I in the Middle East was fired along the Suez Canal when the German-led Ottoman army attacked British positions along the Suez Canal in January 1915.

German commander of the Suez attack, Gen. Kress von Kressenstein (Library of Congress)

The Canal was essential for keeping the ties open between Britain and its colonies, such as India.

Turkish artillery on the march to the Suez Canal (Ottoman Imperial Archives)

In fact, Indian troops were stationed along the Canal when the attack began.

Turkish troops leaving Jerusalem, passing through the Jaffa Gate (Ottoman Imperial Archives, 1914)

Over the next three years, the war would rage across the Sinai Peninsula.

British and Indian troops in Suez Canal trenches (Q15566, Imperial War Museum – UK)

North to Gaza and Be’er Sheva, through Jerusalem and the Dead Sea area, and to Amman and Damascus.

ruze prince from Lebanon mobilized for the battle at the Suez Canal (Ottoman Imperial Archives)

The Ottoman Imperial Archives provides German illustrations and photograph of the Ottoman attack.

German captions: From the battle of our Turkish allies on the Suez Canal, Turkish encampment in the Egyptian desert. (Ottoman Imperial Archives)

The photographs also show Turkish mobilization in Jerusalem, Be’er Sheva and the Sinai.

Illustration of Turkish guns firing at British planes over the Suez Canal (Ottoman Imperial Archives)

The Bible Reduced To Minimalist Posters


The Bible is often referred to as the word of God. In reality, it’s significantly longer: around 775,000 words spread across 66 different books, when all is said and done.

How do you distill the word of God down into a single cover, then? If you’re Joseph Novak, you don’t: you create a minimalist cover interpreting each and every one of the Bible’s many books.

A Presbyterian pastor who moonlights as a graphic designer, Novak describes his Minimum Bible as a “visual diving board” into the text of the Old and New Testament.

Composed of 66 minimalist posters, the project is Novak’s attempt to distill each book of the Bible into a single symbolic design.

For each book, Novak’s designs take one of two different tacks. Many of his posters broadly represent plot: the Book of Lamentations, for example, shows the destruction of Jerusalem reflecting in the pupil of an eye.

Likewise, Jonah‘s design shows the silhouette of a subaqueous leviathan with a man in his belly.

Others are harder to figure out, since they are obviously symbolic interpretations of the Bible. The Book of Haggai‘s poster appears almost like a fractal, which could represent the Babylonian prophet’s urgent message to rebuild the Jewish temple, or the author’s own fractured writing style.

This isn’t by accident. Novak wants his posters to encourage people to think more deeply about the Bible. Consequently, his designs tend to encourage multiple interpretations.

Novak’s design for Genesis, for example, features seven nesting circles, seemingly representing the Biblical account of creation: the seventh circle is colored red, marking the day man entered the world.

But Novak’s concept was actually more complicated, and the design is meant to represent the ripples mankind created in the clear pool of a sinless world.

“It’s the first book of the Bible, it’s an origin story–it’s the backstory of the group of people living and writing in Babylon who are landless, kingless, and temple-less. How did they get here, what happened?” Novak says on hiswebsite “At its heart, the story is really this brief image in a reflecting pool of Utopia but by the third chapter, a stone has been tossed into the pond and the ripples of that stone spread throughout the rest of the book.”

In addition to encouraging people to think more deeply about the Bible, Novak hopes that the Minimum Bible might inspire some increased design awareness among Christians. “I’d love for a publisher to recruit some designers and make a version of the Bible that offered some modern design–sculpture, print, and mixed media–to symbolize and interpret the biblical text,” Novak says.

That’s not a bad idea. If Penguin in the 1960s had split up the Bible into 66 different paperbacks, its covers probably would’ve ended up looking a lot like Novak’s designs; I’d love to see them make that fantasy a reality.

In the meantime, Novak’s posters can be purchased individually starting at $25 a print on the Minimum Bible website.

Israel: No Gaza deal until security needs met

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: Hamas suffered a ‘major military blow’ in Gaza [AP]

Netanyahu says there will be no long-term truce agreed at Cairo talks without ‘clear answer’ to Israel’s security needs. 

Israel will not agree to any long-term ceasefire in Gaza unless its security needs are clearly met, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said.

His comments came as Egyptian-brokered, indirect talks between Israel and Palestinian factions resumed in Cairo on Sunday. A five-day truce between the two sides is set to expire at midnight on Monday.

“The Israeli delegation in Cairo is acting with a very clear mandate to stand firmly on Israel’s security needs,” Netanyahu told ministers at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem.

“Only if there is a clear answer to Israel’s security needs, only then will we agree to reach an understanding,” he said, as Israel’s negotiating team made its way back to Cairo for indirect talks with the Palestinians over a long-term arrangement to end more than a month of bloodshed in Gaza.

Al Jazeera’s Kimberly Halkett, reporting from West Jerusalem, said the prime minister faces deep divisions within his cabinet on whether to support plans for a long-term ceasefire

She said hardliners are opposed to any discussions of the development of a seaport in Gaza, one of the key demands of the Palestinian negotiators.

Hamas ‘commited to achieving Palestinian demands’

In Gaza, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the Palestinians would not back down from their demands, central of which is a lifting of Israel’s seven-year blockade on the enclave, and that the outcome of the talks was in Israel’s hands.

“We are committed to achieving the Palestinian demands and there is no way back from this. All these demands are basic human rights that do not need this battle or these negotiations,” Abu Zuhri told the AFP news agency.

“The ball is in the Israeli occupation’s court.”

But Netanyahu warned that Hamas, which he said had suffered a major military blow, would not walk away from the Cairo talks with any political success.

“If Hamas thinks it will make up for its military losses with a political achievement, it is wrong,” he said.

“If Hamas thinks that by continuing the steady trickle of rocket fire it will force us to make concessions, it is wrong. As long as there is no quiet, Hamas will continue to suffer heavy blows.

“Hamas knows we have a lot of power but maybe it thinks we don’t have enough determination and patience, and even there it is wrong, it is making a big mistake,” he said.

At least 1,980 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since fighting began on July 8, as well as 64 soldiers and three civilians on the Israeli side.

The Gaza strip, home to 1.8 million Palestinians, has been under blockade since 2007, which has restricted the flow of goods as well as the movement of Palestinians in and out of the coastal enclave.  

Israel’s Mobileye safety system supplier raises $890 million in IPO

A device, part of the Mobileye driving assist system, is seen on the dashboard of a vehicle during a demonstration for the media in Jerusalem October 24, 2012. Mobileye, which makes technology to help drivers, expects sales to more than double every year for the next few years as car manufacturers look to offer more safety features and self-drive cars gain in popularity. REUTERS/Baz Ratner (JERUSALEM - Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY TRANSPORT BUSINESS) - RTR39IZE


(Reuters) – Mobileye N.V., which makes software and cameras that help cars avoid accidents, said on Monday it has launched a road show for its U.S. initial public offering of around $500 million.


The Israeli based company will sell 27.75 million shares – 8.325 million by Mobileye itself and another 19.425 million by the selling shareholders.

Mobileye said it expects the IPO on the New York Stock Exchange to price at $17 to $19 a share and list under the symbol MBLY. That would bring in proceeds of $472 million to $527 million.

The selling shareholders have also granted the underwriters an option to purchase up 4.16 million additional shares to cover any over-allotments.

Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are lead underwriters.

The company’s collision-avoidance technology is used in more than 3 million vehicles made by the likes of BMW and General Motors.

Mobileye’s systems include a windshield-mounted camera that takes pictures of what is in front of the driver. The images are processed and, in real-time, a small device on the dashboard gives the driver audio-visual warnings.

Amnon Shashua, the firm’s chairman, and Ziv Aviram, its chief executive, each own 9 percent in the company.

Mobileye’s other top shareholders include Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Fidelity Investments, BlackRock, and Enterprise Holdings, the No 1 U.S. car rental company.

Mobileye’s revenue doubled to $81.2 million for the year ended Dec. 31. The company swung to a profit of about $20 million in the year from a loss of $53 million a year earlier.

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