President joins world of social networking, launches Israeli, international Facebook pages with help of Mark Zuckerberg
The president of the State of Israel is joining Facebook and is set to receive a near-royal welcome. Shimon Peres is planning on taking advantage of the social network to call on citizens of the world to ask him questions through his official page on the site and even to suggest ideas that could promote peace in the Middle East.
Peres’ page in its Israeli version will be launched on Friday and the international version will be launched with more pomp and ceremony at the Facebook headquarters in San Francisco.
The initiative is part of a new project to promote peace. Its main goal is to create communication with citizens of countries that Israel does not necessarily have diplomatic relations with, with an emphasis on younger citizens from Arab countries. The plan aims to enable them to propose ideas on possible methods of bringing people, rather than just countries, closer.
The president is expected to set out for a visit to the US during which, on March 6, he will visit the Facebook headquarters in the Silicone Valley where he will meet with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
Peres will also give an interview which will be transmitted live on Facebook Live. Facebook members from around the world will get the opportunity to ask the president personal questions.
As part of preparations for the launch, the President’s Residence asked musician Noy Alooshe – who was responsible for the Gaddafi ‘Zenga Zenga’ clip – to produce a video clip that would be broadcast on social networks in which Peres asks web surfers to be his friends on Facebook. The clip, Be my Friends for Peace will be premiered when Peres visits the Facebook offices.
Yet Peres’ cyber campaign doesn’t stop there. The President’s Residence noted that they are preparing to launch the project “Peres 360″ which will see him becoming “available” 24 hours a day on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and the President’s Residence.
The social networks will be synchronized to allow maximum accessibility to the president’s activity in real time.
“Launching a Facebook page for the president is an extremely important move to strengthening the ties between the president and the broad public throughout the globe,” added the Director General of the President’s Residence Efrat Duvdevani, “and it will form a platform to promote President Peres’ vision of peace while offering positive exposure for the State of Israel.”
At 10:00 am on the dot, the signal will be given and the first ever Facebook peace conference will take off. The conference will include representatives from the Arab world and from Israel and is being promoted by the Peres Center for Peace and the Yalla Palestine Initiative.
A former Israeli peace negotiator says thousands of young Jewish and Arab activists from across the Middle East plan to participate in the peace conference this week on Facebook.
President Shimon Peres, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, actress Sharon Stone, Barcelona football coach Pep Guardiola, National Basketball Association Commissioner David Stern and others are set to address the virtual gathering. Some will do so via video link while others have sent in a written message.
Uri Savir, Director of the Peres Center for Peace, a sponsor of the Facebook group said that the purpose of the conference is “first and foremost to shape the agenda for the Middle East’s next generation with regards to the region’s future.
“The second goal is to adopt four joint projects or initiatives that will be industrial parks that will include the establishment of online academic programs, training young leaders in cooperation with major US universities, promoting music projects and more.”
When the Yalla initiative was launched it’s founders thought it would become a web-based venture that would attract maybe 2,500 members – a typical number for this kind of initiative. Yet Israel’s social protests last summer and the revolutions in the Arab world in which Facebook had a major role, acted as a springboard for the initiative.
Today, the initiative has 37,000 members on its page including 9,000 from Egypt, 3,500 Israelis, 2,500 Palestinians, 1,500 Algerians, 1,400 Moroccans, 1,050 Iraqis, 700 Saudi Arabians, 500 Libyans, 190 from Lebanon and representatives from other countries as well.
Nimrod Ben-Zeev, the site’s administrator, says the conference aims to send a message of peace to the region’s leaders and create concrete programs, such as online leadership academy.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
Soldier released from Hamas captivity catching up with technological innovations of past five years
Former captive soldier Gilad Shalit is taking another step in his rehabilitation process and has recently opened his own Facebook account.
His personal account includes a slightly blurry profile picture, and he uses it through an iPhone application as well.
The Shalit family reported that several days after returning to his home in Mitzpe Hila, Gilad began to catch up with technological innovations and learn about the immense popularity gained by the social network during his years in Hamas captivity.
At this stage, other Facebook users cannot add his as a friend, send him messages or write on his wall. In addition, he has yet to install the social network’s latest addition – the Timeline, which tells a person’s life story through photos, friendships and personal milestones.
Shalit currently has only few people on his friends’ list, including his sister and close friends. He appears to have a sense of humor, as he has joined a group calling for his release. The group, which has more than 300,000 members, is naturally no longer active.
Shalit also recommended a link to a video titled, “The best basketball shot of 2011,” from American college basketball.
Gilad’s father, Noam, said in response: “He is a big boy. He acts independently, so your question should not be directed at me. But I do know that he has opened a Facebook account.”
Is it his real profile?
“Yes, I believe it is his profile judging from the list of friends.”
by Benji Lovitt
Thank heavens United States Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords survived the horrific shooting attack back in January. If not for an innovative Israeli-designed bandage, her fate might have been less clear. Bernard Bar-Natan, a Brooklyn native who immigrated to Israel, is credited with the creation of a unique pressure-applying bandage. Used in armies around the world including the US, the county in which Giffords was shot began using the bandage in 2009. Whew.
Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg. Heard of them? They’re kind of a big deal. As part of their plot to take over the world, Facebook acquired the Israeli start-up Snaptu back in March for between sixty and seventy million dollars. We’re not betting men here at Size Doesn’t Matter but let’s just say that while this was the first, it probably won’t be their last acquisition of an Israeli company.
We’re double-dipping a bit here, borrowing April’s Better Place story from our 2011 top 10 list. And why shouldn’t we? This might only be the biggest technological innovation since, I don’t know, the internet? Electric cars could completely change not just the auto industry but the energy industry as we know it. And from where I come from, that’s pretty INNOVATIVE.
A wise sage once said, “I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way.” This past May, at the 12th Asian Physics Olympiad hosted in Tel Aviv, Israel’s future became a little bit clearer as one of their students became the country’s first gold medal winner since 2003. With countries such as China, Russia, and India also in attendance, the strong performance gives good reason to believe that Israel’s technological future continues to shine brightly.
No doubt about it-using your cell phone while operating a vehicle is dangerous. Well…can you allow us to make an exception? If you seem to always be getting stuck in horrendous traffic jams, your life just changed. Meet Waze, the Israeli app which combines GPS with user input. By tracking drivers’ locations, speeds, and more, Waze tells you the best route to your desired destination and keeps you updated on traffic accidents. You’ll thank us later.
Ok, so maybe this doesn’t rival putting a man on the moon, but for the lives of pedestrians who are tired of stepping in Fido’s dinner from last night, isn’t this a bigger deal, really? NUFAR Natural Products has developed a harness which attaches to your dog, eliminating the owner’s need to…you know, shovel $#%&. Estimates for first year sales are around one BILLION dollars. If it’s not the most innovative event of the year, it might just be the most awesome.
Tech Crunch is the most respected technology blog today. So when they decided to handle the increasing number of Israeli start-ups attending their Disrupt conference back in September, let’s just say we noticed. With Israeli company Soluto winning first place in the 2010 competition and the unrivalled number of start-up companies coming out of the “Start-Up Nation”, Tech Crunch gave these companies their own area at the conference, branded with Israeli flags and colors. Here’s hoping to holding the conference in Tel Aviv next year!
If it wasn’t official already, now it is: there’s a whole lotta stuff happening here. Google…Intel….Microsoft….and now you can add arguably the most “it” technology company in the world to Israel with December’s announcement that Apple plans to open a semiconductor R&D center in the Holy Land. When you consider that this will be the very first time Apple has opened an R&D center outside of California, well, consider us impressed.
Microsoft got a lot of attention for its Kinect motion-sensing game device. Leave it to Israeli company Extreme Reality to take it to another place, combining cell phones with motion technology for, voila, a motion-sensing cell phone. Just last month, it was announced that one of Silicon Valley’s heaviest hitters, Ron Conway, was behind the funding raised by XTR who scooped up another $8 million in the last round of funding. No more taking off your gloves in cold weather to make that oh-so-important phone call. One swipe and you’re connected. Wow.
We may not yet have won the war on cancer but we’re certainly putting up a fight. Just days ago, researchers at Tel Aviv University announced a new procedure to blast cancer tumors, reducing the risk of the disease returning after treatment. Working much like a cluster bomb, atoms disperse alpha particles not in one place but at increasing distances. In testing, those treated with this procedure had tumors reappear in only 50% of the cases as opposed to 100% when the tumor was removed via surgery. While cancer is nothing to smile about, these breakthroughs give us hope that we are in fact getting closer to wiping it out completely.
Israel is the worldwide leader in monthly social network use, a U.S.-based research firm indicated on Thursday, with Israeli users spending twice as much time chatting and posting more than the global average.
According to the report by U.S. internet marketing research company comScore on data collected during October, Israelis spent an average of 11.1 hours using social networks, more than double the world average of 5.7 hours, and ahead countries like the U.K. (7 hours) and the United States (6.9 hours).
Just behind Israel’s avid users were their counterparts in Argentina (10.7 hours), Russia (10.4 hours) and Turkey (10.2 hours).
The comScore report indicated social networks were the most popular online activity, with users representing 82% of the global internet community – about 1.2 billion people.
Israel stands tall in the standing here as well, with 94% of Israeli internet users using social networks.