Adonis Diaries

Archive for October 21st, 2017

 

UK Prime Minister: ‘staunchly supports’ Israel and

Sold $12 billion in weapons to Israel

Last updated Sat 19 Jul 2014

The Prime Minister has reassured Israel of Britain’s support in the ongoing conflict between the Jewish state and Hamas in Gaza.

David Cameron has offered the UK's support to Israel in response to 'appalling' attacks carried out by Hamas.

“The Prime Minister reiterated the UK’s staunch support for Israel in the face of such attacks, and underlined Israel’s right to defend itself from them.”

Netanyahu has warned that Hamas will pay a “heavy price” for the rocket attacks and at least 47 people have been killed by Israeli air strikes in Gaza since yesterday, according to Palestinian officials.

Britain admits selling $12 billion in weapons to Israel

david_cameron_official.jpg

David Cameron contemplates how to aid Israeli apartheid.

(10 Downing Street)

Journalists love rows. We love them so much that we often let them distract us.

Last week was no exception. Fascinated by an apparent bust-up between Israel and the European Union, most Middle East analysts (myself included) missed a very important story: Britain’s arms sales to Israel are far higher than David Cameron’s government has previously confessed.

Data published in a new report from the House of Commons in London states the value of all British military exports to Israel currently being processed comes to £7.9 billion ($12.1 billion).

This data was supplied by Vince Cable, Britain’s business secretary, who oversees the weapons trade.

I had to do a double-take when reading this information as until now Britain has indicated that the value of its arms sales to Israel are measured in millions, rather than billions.

Each year, the EU issues a report on weapons exports for the entire Union, based on information provided by its individual governments.

These reports stated that Britain approved military export licenses for Israel worth €5.7 million in 2011 and €7.2 million in2010.

Taken at face value, the annual reports suggest that Britain has reduced its weapons exports to Israel since Operation Cast Lead, the murderous 3-week attack on Gaza in late 2008 and early 2009. During 2008, Britain authorized weapons sales of €31.5 million to Israel, according to its official data.

Discrepancy

Because I was puzzled by the huge discrepancy between all these statistics, I asked Vince Cable’s department to help me out. I didn’t get a clear answer.

But a spokesperson speculated that the gap could be explained by how the yearly figures may not cover equipment that “hasn’t been shipped out yet.”

The latest data, on the other hand, could relate to licenses that have been “granted but not fully executed,” the spokesperson added.

A more plausible explanation, in my view, is that the British government — both under Cameron and his Labour Party predecessors, Gordon Brown and Tony Blair — has been dishonest about the full scale of its weapons sales to Israel.

Pressure from some diligent members of Parliament might have finally led Cable to provide them with more comprehensive figures.

The Commons’ report doesn’t go into much detail about the type of military equipment involved. It is telling, nonetheless, that the largest single deal itemized for Israel involved more than £7.7 billion worth of cryptographic technology.

“Battle-tested”

As far as I can see, there is no accompanying information about this contract — not even a date for when it was rubber-stamped. But anyone familiar with the nature of the Israeli economy should be able to make an educated guess about what is going on.

Israel has exploited the opportunities afforded by occupying the land of another people in order to develop a world-class “homeland security” sector. Israel’s drones are the best-known example of innovations routinely “battle-tested” — a term favored by arms traders — on Palestinian civilians.

Britain, it seems, is providing cartloads of sophisticated material to Israeli entrepreneurs intent on perpetuating the crimes of apartheid and occupation. If I’m wide of the mark, then I challenge Cable to spell out what exactly he and his predecessors have approved.

Despite the large sums involved, this new data does not give the full picture about military cooperation with Israel. Exports of components from Britain to America’s weapons industry are excluded, as far as I can tell, even though there’s a strong chance they will end up in Israeli hands.

Nor does the new data deal with how Britain is an important customer for Israeli weapons. Elbit, a leading Israeli warplane manufacturer, is assembling a series of drones for use by the British Army under the £700 million Watchkeeper program.

Elbit is among the Israeli companies scheduled to take part in the world’s largest weapons fair in London this September.

There can be no excuse for any military cooperation with Israel. An EU law on arms exportsmakes it clear that weapons should not be sold if they are likely to facilitate repression or aggravate tensions in a particular region.

Brazen

Britain’s foreign ministry has named Israel as one of 27 “countries of concern” for human rights abuses.

Of those 27, Israel is the largest destination for British arms exports. Saudi Arabia — long thought to be the biggest client for Britain’s weapons industry — is actually in second place.

The brazen effrontery of the British establishment was on display again today, when it convinced other EU governments to blacklist Hizballah as a “terrorist” organization. The move was taken at the behest of Israel, which alleges that Hizballah was behind a bombing in Bulgaria last year.

The EU has been willing to swallow Israel’s version of events — even though the Union’s own police agency Europol has acknowledged there is no proof of Hizballah’s involvement.

Reports of a major rift between the EU and Israel — as many a headline indicated last week — are, therefore, exaggerated.

Without question, Hizballah has done things that can be considered criminal — especially in Syria. Yet there would be no Hizballah if it wasn’t for Israeli aggression towards Lebanon.

Hizballah is a symptom of the problems in the Middle East. Britain, on the other hand, is the cause.

It was Britain’s political establishment which “gifted” Palestine to the Zionist movement in 1917. All these years later, Britain is arming Israel to the teeth.

Wishing vs. doing. Line or staff?

By giving people more ways to speak up and more tools to take action, we keep decreasing the gap between what we wish for and what we can do about it.

If you’re not willing to do anything about it, best not to waste the energy wishing about it.

Line or staff?

The most urgent jobs tend to be line jobs. Profit and loss. Schedules to be drawn and honored. Projects to deliver.

The line manager initiates. The line manager delivers.

Staff jobs are important, no doubt about it.

The staff keeps the lights on, provides resources on demand and is standing by ready to help the line manager. But the staff person doesn’t get to say yes and doesn’t get to say go.

In fact, the best staff people get that way by acting like they’re on the line.

When you can, take responsibility. Say go.

Des physiciens de Rennes 1 ont percé le mystère de la dyslexie

Samuel NOHRA.

Physiciens à l’université de Rennes 1, Albert Le Floch et Guy Ropars ont découvert le secret de la dyslexie ou plutôt pourquoi des gens sont dyslexiques.

Leur étude est publiée mercredi, dans la prestigieuse revue de référence The Royal Society. Et si vous êtes dyslexiques, c’est d’abord une question de symétrie trop parfaite de vos taches de Maxwell qui se trouvent dans vos yeux.

Explications.

C’est un trouble qui touche près de 10% de la population mondiale soit près de 700 millions de personnes: la dyslexie. Une de ses principales conséquences étant des difficultés à la lecture et à l’écriture (voir encadré ci dessous).

Deux physiciens de l’université de Rennes 1, Albert Le Floch et Guy Ropars, viennent de faire une découverte qui permet de mieux comprendre pourquoi des personnes sont dyslexiques et par conséquent de trouver de nouvelles voies pour les aider. Leur étude est publiée ce mercredi dans la prestigieuse revue scientifique The Royal Society.

« Dans chaque œil, nous avons ce que l’on appelle une tache de Maxwell, du nom d’un célèbre physicien du XIXe siècle » explique Albert Le Floch. Une tache qui a la particularité de ne pas laisser la lumière bleue.

« Chez les gens non dyslexiques, ces taches ne sont pas les mêmes. Celle de l’œil directeur est parfaitement circulaire tandis que l’autre a plutôt une forme de patate diffuse. »

Une petite différence qui est loin d’être négligeable.

« Si par exemple vous regardez la lettre « b », votre œil directeur va parfaitement l’imprimer dans une partie de votre cerveau tandis qu’une image inversée fantôme, donc un « d », sera stockée dans une autre partie. Mais le cerveau ne tiendra pas compte de cette lettre fantôme. »

Vers de nouveaux traitements

Sauf que les deux physiciens ont réussi à prouver que les dyslexiques ont, quant à eux, deux taches de Maxwell identiques et parfaitement symétriques.

« Ils n’ont donc pas d’œil droit ou gauche directeur et l’image fantôme de la lettre ne va pas s’effacer. » Le cerveau ne sait plus donc quelle lettre sélectionner.

Ils ont mené leur étude sur deux cohortes. L’une sur 30 étudiants dyslexiques et l’autre sur 30 étudiants non dyslexiques. A chaque fois, les résultats sont conformes à leurs observations.

« Nous avons compris ce mécanisme et également mis au point un système de lampe de lecture qui permet de corriger cette anomalie. Nous espérons que ça pourra déboucher sur de nouvelles approches de traitement de la dyslexie. »

La dyslexie, qu’est ce que c’est ?

Définition de la fédération française des DYS: Il s’agit d’une altération spécifique et  significative de la lecture (dyslexie) et/ou de la production d’écrit et de l’orthographe (dysorthographie).

Ces troubles  apparaissent dès les premiers moments de l’apprentissage sous la forme d’une difficulté à maîtriser le stade dit alphabétique de l’apprentissage de la lecture.

Au stade suivant, le trouble se manifeste par une incapacité à mémoriser la forme visuelle des mots et à les reconnaître globalement (stade orthographique).

Ceci entraîne une lecture généralement hésitante, ralentie, émaillée d’erreurs qui a pourtant exigé beaucoup d’efforts. L’orthographe, qui normalement se développe au fur et à mesure que s’automatise la reconnaissance globale des mots, est touchée.

La déficience liée à la dyslexie est d’intensité variable selon les individus. Elle peut être accompagnée de troubles du calcul, de la coordination motrice (et en particulier du graphisme) ou de troubles d’attention, avec ou sans hyperactivité.

Comment déterminer quel est votre oeil directeur?

Une petite expérience pratique et facile à réaliser expliquée en vidéo par le physicien Guy Ropars:


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