Monday, July 22, 2013

From Ian:

Khaled Abu Toameh: Extremism Escalating in the West Bank
The anti-Jewish and anti-American tirade came as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry resumed his efforts to force Abbas and the Palestinian Authority leadership to return to the negotiating table with Israel.
Even if Abbas agreed to return to the negotiating table, he would always be afraid of the extremists, who are expected to step up their attacks on him as the talks with Israel proceed.
Unlike Kerry, Abbas sees and hears the voices of the extremists at the Aqsa Mosque and other Islamic holy sites in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. And this is precisely why Abbas will never agree to sign a peace deal with Israel: it would turn him into the biggest traitor in the the Palestinian and Islamic world.
US, Canada condemn ECOSOC anti-Israel resolution
Only the US and Canada opposed the resolution (43 yes, 2 no, 1 abstention-Haiti), which followed accusations from the Palestinian delegation of “racism and colonization,” and phrases such as “occupation is the ugliest form of racism and terrorism,” and “the State of Israel is a state of terror, settlers are terror, military are terror.” This was only matched by Syria which accused Israel of “stealing historical artifacts to lie about history” of the Golan and “imposing Hebrew on students.”
Another low point for the UN today.
The European Union: What Was Not Said
The EU might truly help the Palestinians by helping the development of the Palestinian economy, and the introduction of the rule of law, equal justice under law, transparent and accountable governance, a free press, and other human rights. Sadly, however, it is hard not to come to the conclusion that the EU is not so much interested in helping the Palestinians so much as in helping them to sabotage Jews.
Isi Leibler: Europe hypocritically lashes out against Israel
We must not concede to this malevolent new EU demand which, if played out further, would entail abandoning hundreds of thousands of law-abiding citizens. We must make every possible effort to prevent the EU from expanding this move toward broader sanctions. And we must make clear that while this discriminatory clause remains in effect, we can no longer consider the EU an honest broker or an intermediary in peace negotiations.
The European initiative is a wake-up call. While Israel has a powerful and resilient economy that can withstand trade restrictions, it cannot endure further isolation. We cannot write off Europe, but instead must exploit all our resources to shame the EU and more aggressively expose the double standards and bias it continues to employ against us.
Legal Experts to Tell Ashton: Cancel the EU Boycott
The appeal, which was declared on Saturday, is led by former Israeli Ambassador to Canada Alan Baker, who now serves as head of the International Action Division at the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel.
Other signatories include former Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman and top jurists and international law experts Professor Eliav Shochetman and Professor Talia Einhorn, according to Israel Hayom.
The appeal, which the signatories plan to send to Ashton in the coming days, urges the European Commission to rescind its directive, arguing it is "based on misguided and legally flawed assumptions about the status of the Israeli settlements and the validity of the 1967 lines as Israel's borders.
Israel's fast evolving demography
Compared with the rapidly developing political and military situation in the Middle East, demographics change at a glacial pace. Yet demographic developments in Israel in recent years have been unfolding with unusual speed, and seem to be accelerating.
In the first 12 years of the current century the number of Arab births in Israel has almost completely flatlined at around 40,000 per annum. This despite the growing size of the Arab population, which means that the Arab birth rate – births relative to population size – has fallen. Over the same period, Jewish births have risen from 95,000 to 130,000. In the first four months of 2013, the most recent period for which data is available, Jewish births were up 38 percent during the same period for 2001, and Arab births down 6%.
Israelly Cool: Mira Nair’s Hypocrisy
Mira Nair, who apparently made some movies, said she is boycotting the Haifa Film festival because Israel is an apartheid state.
And who finances said film? The human rights bastion that is Qatar.
And what is the DFI? Just another racist oil-sheikh money laundering scheme. It may come as no surprise to you that although they claim that “Eligibility for DFI Grants has been extended to films from all nations“, Israel is not part of their world.
UK Clergyman Calls on Church to Repent for Past Anti-Semitism
An Anglican clergyman spoke on the church’s history of anti-Semitism and called on the institution to repent at the annual UK conference of the Church’s Ministry among Jewish people.
“The Apostles would not recognize much in the church today. A Christianity divorced from its Jewish roots has always opened itself up to the demonic spirit of anti-Semitism,” said Rev. Simon Ponsonby, a theologian from St Aldate’s Church in Oxford, UK, according to the ASSIST News Service.
Natalie Portman heads to Israel to scout film locations
Hollywood megastar Natalie Portman is planning to visit Israel in the near future to scout locations for a new film. The film, based on the epic autobiographical novel "A Tale of Love and Darkness" by Israeli author Amos Oz, will be Portman's directorial debut. The actress will also star in the film.
According to sources, Portman's itinerary indicates that she will be landing in Israel this coming September.
From music student to infantryman
The 22-year-old soldier is part of the Givati Brigade, an amphibious combat unit. Currently based in the West Bank, he patrols and protects the borders and checkpoints. As a commander, he is responsible for the lives of 12 soldiers.
He had never thought he would be here.
After finishing high school in the suburb of Silver Spring, Maryland, Hoffman taught English in Beit Shemesh and studied at a Jerusalem yeshiva before returning to the US to attend New York University. He took classes in music business and formed the five-member Jewish rock band, JudaBlue.
Israel’s ‘museum-friendly’ app maker does the Guggenheim
Museums have benefited quietly but enormously from the smartphone revolution with apps guiding visitors through exhibits. These apps can save museums money and hassle by delivering information directly to visitors, enabling them to post fewer docents on the floor to answer questions.
Just as big a beneficiary has been an Israeli company called Espro Acoustiguide Group, a Kfar Saba-based company that supplies the technology for apps in use in hundreds of museums, national parks, zoos, and city tours around the world.
How to bolster ‘natural killer’ cells against flu
Our immune systems are equipped with “natural killer” (NK) cells that recognize and eliminate influenza-virus-infected cells in order to keep the virus from spreading.
If NK cells always worked perfectly, nobody would get sick with the flu. Obviously, something can go wrong because many people do get flu. Israeli doctoral student Yotam Bar-On tackled this mystery, and his findings could lead to a whole new way of treating this sometimes deadly viral infection.

A great CAMERA video:



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