Thursday, September 15, 2016

From Ian:

The ADL Takes Sides Against Israel
When Abe Foxman retired from his post as national director of the Anti-Defamation League after 50 years there, including 28 at its head, there was uncertainty about the direction his successor would take the organization. Unlike Foxman, Jonathan Greenblatt wasn’t a longtime staffer at the anti-Semitism monitoring group nor was his background in pro-Israel advocacy or Jewish philanthropy. He was, instead, representative of a new generation of Jewish leaders, an entrepreneur and corporate executive with experience in non-profit charitable work. But the items on his resume that stood out the most to those with an eye on ADL’s ability to interact with the political world were those that spoke of his time as a staffer in both the Clinton and Obama White Houses. That raised questions as to whether the veteran Democratic operative would stand up for Israel in conflicts with his former boss.
This week we received the answer to that question in the form of an article in Foreign Policy by Greenblatt attacking Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Greenblatt took issue with Netanyahu’s video posted last week accusing the Palestinians of advocating “ethnic cleansing” because of their efforts to force the eviction of hundreds of thousands of Israelis from their homes in the West Bank and Jerusalem in order to create a Palestinian state where Jews could no longer live. The Obama administration reacted to the comments with fury. The administration views arguments about whether Jews have a right to live in the territories as irrelevant to the quest to create a Palestinian state.
But rather than side with Netanyahu on a question of Jewish rights or even maintaining a stance of public neutrality while voicing his opinion behind the scenes, Greenblatt dove headfirst into this debate with an opinion piece. Echoing the administration’s talking points, Greenblatt said the prime minister was wrong to assert that Palestinians should accept the potential presence of Jews in their state the same way Jews accepted Israeli Arabs as fellow citizens with equal rights. Since Israeli settlers in the West Bank and Jerusalem consider themselves Israelis and need to be protected by the Israeli Army, he says there’s no comparison. More than that, the ADL head says that by using the phrase “ethnic cleansing,” Netanyahu is invoking the specter of genocide in an inappropriate manner for “crass political ends.”
Greenblatt’s stance is deeply troubling.

UN Watch: UN Watch questions High Commissioner on Israel bias
We commend the High Commissioner for his statement highlighting abuses in many countries. At the same time, we wish to request some clarifications.
The High Commissioner rightly mentioned abuses by Venezuela, and said his office would speak out at “every opportunity.” If so, why has his Twitter account, followed by 1.5 million people, refused to post even one word on Venezuela over the past 6 weeks of escalating hunger, arbitrary arrests, and oppression?
The High Commissioner mentioned Crimea, Abkhazia, and Nagorno-Karabakh — yet failed to say that, under international law, these are occupied territories. Instead, he only used that term in one case: for the Palestinian territories. Why?
Finally, the High Commissioner criticized Iran, Syria and North Korea for refusing to cooperate with UN inquiries—and he then lumped in Israel with that list.
Let us be clear: UN Watch continues to demand that all countries cooperate with legitimate UN inquiries. But what if a UN mechanism is manifestly not legitimate?

Black Lives Matter's Anti-Semitic Bedfellows
What accounts for this extraordinary nihilism on the part of supposedly progressive BDS activists? Holding an extreme position on Israel is one thing—that can be the result of ideology, religious beliefs, ignorance or something else. Being willing to sacrifice all other causes and concerns ordinarily convergent with one’s worldview for the sake of hurting the Jewish state is something altogether different.
This unusual grade of obsessive, self-destructive antipathy is a hallmark of classical eliminationist anti-Semitism. Unlike ordinary intergroup prejudice “found in the suspicion and resentment which are often directed against neighbors of another tribe, another race, another faith, or from another place,” explains historian Bernard Lewis, anti-Semitism is a “special and peculiar hatred” that attributes to Jews “secret and diabolical power.”
Against such a perceived enemy, no sacrifice is too great. Nazi Germany’s diversion of much-needed resources in the final months of World War II from fighting the Red Army (and providing for the escape of German refugees) to exterminating more Jews makes sense only to someone who sees the latter as a cosmic evil.
Although anti-Semites often go to great pains to avoid expressing their hatred as anti-Jewish (indeed, they coined the term “anti-Semitism” itself as a politically correct euphemism for Judenhass), this unique cognitive signature is easy enough to spot—just take a measurement of what the subjects are prepared to sacrifice to harm Jews.
To date, however, mainstream liberals in America have been reluctant to call out the anti-Semites wreaking havoc within the ranks of the Left. If black lives—or socioeconomic justice, peace, women’s rights, etc.—really matter to them, why have they allowed the cancer to metastasize this long?
Labour Whitewashes its Anti-Semitism
A range of questions, some meandering, others (notably those of Chuka Umuna) penetrating, followed. Corbyn proceeded to duck and weave, giving loose answers to well-defined questions, and defending Labour against accusations of racism, relying on his definition of Jewishness as an ethnic matter, slipping past quotations from Labour party anti-Semites by shrugging them aside. His Director of Communications, Seamus Milne, a Trotskyite and former Guardian journalist, was pointedly described by one MP as having openly expressed his admiration for Hamas and its violent struggle against Israel. Corbyn evaded the issue, simply stating that Milne had done sterling work for the party. In a later answer about whether he supported Israel's right to exist, he agreed it had that right but at once started to pronounce a very negative judgement against the country, a judgement that came very close to precisely the sort of anti-Semitism defined above.
Nor was that all. Not long after the report was made public, Jeremy Corbyn nominated Chakrabarti for a peerage, the only one offered by the Labour Party this year. She has refused to answer whether the offer was made before or after she agreed to chair the inquiry, and many on both sides of the Commons, including Tom Watson, Corbyn's own deputy, have expressed outrage about what appears to be a blatant reward for services rendered. Ephraim Mirvis, Britain's Chief Rabbi, said the "credibility of her report lies in tatters" after accepting the peerage.
Neither the inquiry report nor Corbyn's performance before the home affairs committee will have reassured Jews and supporters of Israel in the least. The problem of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party remains unaddressed and likely to remain a thorn in the party's flesh for a long time to come.
As the battle rages over whether Corbyn should remain leader of Britain's second party, with a large majority of Labour MPs calling for him to resign and vast numbers of party members saying he should do no such thing, it is not at all impossible that the party will split, with a moderate membership dumping the far left activists and reforming a Labour Party more in keeping with the humanitarian and electable institution it once was. We have to hope that the anti-Semitism, mainly in its anti-Israel form, will hang on among the communists and Trotskyites, and vanish among the decent people who have rejected Corbyn as a millstone around their necks.
US General: Israel is key to fighting world’s terrorism problem
“Israel is a key piece in the puzzle” to solving the world’s growing terrorism problem, US Brig. Gen. (ret.) Russell Howard said Wednesday at the IDC Herzliya Conference on Counter-Terrorism on the university’s campus.
Howard made the comment as part of a panel on learning lessons from recent major terror attacks around the world.
He expressed confidence about the US ability’s to cope with the ongoing terror threat, but serious concern that Europe was not up to the job.
The retired general also said that Europe has a bigger problem as in 2015 it had around 5,000 European citizens fighting in Iraq and Syria, meaning it could have 5,000 battle-hardened terrorists returning back to its shores. In contrast, he put the number of US citizens fighting in the same area at a much more manageable 200.
Another panelist, Editor of the CTC Sentinel Paul Cruickshank, put the number of European-citizen-fighter who might return as high as 6,000-9,000.
Friedrich Grommes, Germany’s Head of Directorate TE, International Terrorism and International Organized Crime, described the terror threat as evolving from earlier periods.
Will France adopt controversial Israeli practice to deter terrorism?
A top anti-terror French opposition parliament member dropped a political bombshell on Wednesday saying of his country, “we need to have administrative detention,” and that he will visit Israel’s detention center at Ofer Prison as a possible model.
The official, MP Georges Fenech, head of the French Parliamentary Special Commission into terror attacks in France, made the surprising comments at the IDC Herzliya Conference on Counter-Terrorism on the university’s campus.
“I know as a judge that it is hard” to reduce civil liberties,” he said. “But when someone is on the S register, not the 15,000 [suspicious] people, the first few hundred on list – should we wait for them to act or should we act before them? “If you want to insist, you can wait for them to have a lawyer, but in the meantime people are killed. Or you can sacrifice a little of your freedom, arrest them before they act, put them in detention centers to evaluate how dangerous they are.”
The French MP added that “all of this is in the framework of the law.”
Countering anticipated criticism, Fenech noted how “people said you want to build a French Guantanamo. Of course not. There is no detention without control. We don’t want people humiliated. We want the minister of the Interior, when he wants to decide to put someone in administrative detention, that within 48 hours a judge will approve the decision with information provided by the intelligence services.”
Further, he said, “the detention will be limited in time.
This is the main debate today in France.”
France Battling Islamist Terrorism on Daily Basis, Admits Prime Minister Manuel Valls
France, home to one of the Europe’s largest Muslim population, is facing an uphill battle against Islamic terrorism. According to France’s Prime Minister Manuel Valls, security forces have been foiling terror plots “every day” and warned of more terrorist attacks in the near future. French officials estimates that around 15,000 radical Islamists reside in the country — and going by the current EU-wide trends — these numbers were only expected to go up.
“We have nearly 700 French jihadists and residents, who are currently fighting in Iraq and Syria,” Valls told French media, adding that this number included “275 women and dozens of children.”
The French prime minister’s statement comes at a time when the city of Paris is on maximum alert after police busted an ISIS terrorist cell that planned to bomb the Paris’ iconic Gare de Lyon railway station. Paris-based broadcaster France24 writes:
“Every day, intelligence services, police, military police are thwarting attacks, dismantling Iraqi-Syrian networks, tracking terrorists,” Prime Minister Manuel Valls told French media on Sunday. “There will be new attacks, there will be innocent victims.”
Valls said that nearly 15,000 people are believed to have been radicalised in France. He added that, overall, 1,350 have been jailed and are under investigation, 293 of whom are being held on suspicion of having direct ties to terrorist networks.
France's 'first all-female ISIS cell' allegedly sought to strike Eiffel Tower
Authorities have reportedly uncovered the first all-female Islamic State cell in France after several suspects were detained over alleged plans to attack the Eiffel Tower.
The four-woman cell's purported leading member was arrested last week in connection to an explosives-laden car found near another Paris landmark - the Notre Dame cathedral.
The leading suspect, an alleged 29-year-old mother-of-three was named as Ornella Gilligman. She reportedly told French authorities that her jihadi cell had preferred to target the iconic Eiffel Tower, and not in fact the cathedral.
The other three members of France's purported first all-female ISIS cell were supposedly named as Ines Madani, 19, Sarah Hervouet, 23, and Amel Sakaou, 39. As of Sunday, authorities were still questioning the three.
On Friday, the Paris prosecutor announced that the three women were arrested after the car was found. He said they were directed by Islamic State militants in Syria and were completely committed to the cause.
Ambassador Power’s UN Speech on Antisemitism Ignores Islamic Jew-Hatred
A prominent survey recently concluded: “Perpetrators of the most extreme cases of violence against European Jews in recent years were Muslims.” And on US college campuses, the radical Islamist group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) is the major perpetrator of antisemitism.
It was thus deeply disappointing that during her speech at the United Nations “antisemitism” conference on September 7, 2016, US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power failed even to mention “Muslim” or “Islamic” antisemitism, which happens to constitute a major portion of the physical and verbal anti-Jewish attacks around the world today. For instance, Ambassador Power stated: “On July 1, a cement-filled bottle was thrown through the window of a local Jewish center in Santa Fe, Argentina with the message, ‘This is a warning, the next one explodes.’” Ambassador Power left out the fact that the note attached to the cement-filled bottle also read “Allahu Akbar,” and included the logo of the Islamic State.
Ambassador Power also failed to mention instances of even more violent antisemitism in South America, such as the Muslim who stabbed to death a Jewish man (and wounded the Jewish victim’s son) in Uruguay in March, while shouting “Allahu Akbar.”
And in still another example, Ambassador Power referred to the “horrific terrorist attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris,” without mentioning that the perpetrator of this deadly attack on Jews was a radical Somali Islamist who also declared “Allahu Akbar” as he murdered victims that he selected for their Jewish faith.
It is also deeply disappointing that the only time Ambassador Power mentioned Muslims during her entire speech was when she misleadingly complained that rising antisemitism goes “hand in hand” with “xenophobic” efforts to bar Muslim immigration. In fact, Muslim immigration goes “hand in hand” with rising terrorist attacks on Jews and persons of other faiths in Western nations. It is not “xenophobic” to want to limit immigration by a population infiltrated with ISIS members and other radical Islamists — and who, according to FBI Director James Comey, can’t be properly vetted.
500 eminent Israelis urge diaspora to help 'end the occupation' in open letter
An open letter signed by "500 eminent Israelis" is garnering attention on social media Thursday, with a message directed at diaspora Jews urging them to help end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The petition, sponsored by the "Save Israel, Stop Occupation" organization, includes Israeli luminaries such as author Amos Oz, Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman and 20 former Israeli ambassadors.
"A call to the Jews of the World," the letter boldly begins, "If you care about Israel, silence is no longer an option!"
The petition goes on to warn that after almost "50 years of occupation... Israel stands at a crossroad," adding that "the prolonged occupation is inherently oppressive for Palestinians and fuels mutual bloodshed."
"We call upon Jews around the world to join with Israeli partners for coordinated action to end the occupation and build a new future, for the sake of the State of Israel and the generations to come," the appeal adds.
All-female flotilla sets out from Barcelona to Gaza
Two boats carrying 22 women in all set sail Wednesday night from Barcelona toward Gaza, in an attempt to breach Israel’s maritime blockade on the Hamas-run Strip.
The flotilla, organized by the Women’s Boat to Gaza group, is the latest in a series of boat trips that Israeli officials have termed provocations, a number of which have sparked major international incidents.
Those aboard the newest attempt include Swedish European Parliament Member Malin Bjork and Dr. Fouzia Hassan of Malaysia, according to Al Jazeera.
The two boats — named Amal (hope in Arabic) and Zaytouna (olive in Arabic) — are slated to near Gaza’s shores in early October.
“We are carrying food and medicine on the boat that will be distributed to Gazans upon arrival,” Zohar Chamberlain Regev, a spokeswoman of the initiative, told Al Jazeera.
“But mainly we are carrying a message of hope and solidarity, because we think Gazans want that most of all,” she said.
The Women’s Boat to Gaza is part of the larger Freedom Flotilla Campaign, which announced the initiative last November.
IsraellyCool: WATCH: Mocking The Flotilla-holes: Basel Ghattas
You may recall that when the last flotilla to Gaza set forth last year, I took some of the lame videos put out by various passengers, and made a mockery of them.
I had so much fun putting those out that, with the latest flotilla about to head our way, I thought I’d repeat the treatment.

The World Council of Churches’ Ongoing Anti-Israel Obsession
The World Council of Churches (WCC) is at it again. The umbrella organization that represents approximately 350 Orthodox and Protestant churches — and was once infiltrated by the KGB and turned into an anti-Western megaphone — is working to undermine the legitimacy of the Jewish State in the minds of Christians throughout the world.
Every September, the WCC hosts a “World Week for Peace,” which highlights the work of two organizations affiliated with the Council — the Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine Israel (EAPPI) and the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum (PIEF).
The first organization is comprised of activists who go to the West Bank to gather images and stories of Israeli Jews behaving badly, and the second organization is comprised of religious leaders who broadcast anti-Israel polemics disguised as theology and liturgy.
This year, the publicity materials associated with the “World Week for Peace” include a poem that opens with the line “It’s time for Palestine.” It declares that it is time for peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, but as a text, it only highlights those aspects of the conflict that can be blamed on Israel, not on the Palestinians.
Norway: The Labour party campaigning to boycott Israel
The Norwegian Parliamentary campaign has already started, with general elections scheduled for September 2017. Pollsters are unable to predict who is in the better position, with many wishing it would be Mr. Store and his brand of capitalist socialism, where he gets to earn filthy amounts of money, while making sure that the private initiative would be left gasping for air under his army of ham-fisted bureaucrats.
So apparently, in a bid to secure the far left vote that the Labour Party is in need of in order to get its project off the ground, This automatically translates into efforts to boycott Israel but not, interestingly any concerns for the millions of Syrians who suffer an awful fate just a mere kilometers from my house. So the desire to boycott Israel, under the pretence that the Israeli gasfields in the Mediterranean somehow are under international dispute, is mainly a way to expressing good old anti-Semitism. This is the way of the Labour party. Do not be fooled.
Permanent Link to Anti-BDS Faculty Group Lauds Quick-Thinking Moderator for Nipping Disruption of Netanyahu Panel Discussion in the Bud
The recent disruption of an Israel-related event at Georgetown University (GU) was a “flop,” due mainly to the quick thinking of its moderator, the head of an academic organization told The Algemeiner on Wednesday.
Kenneth Waltzer, executive director of the Academic Engagement Network (AEN) — a group of American college faculty members who oppose the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement — was referring to a disturbance created by anti-Israel activists during a September 8 panel discussion on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s career, hosted by GU’s Center for Jewish Civilization.
The disruption in question was described by panel moderator Robert Lieber as “very brief.” In his words, as soon as the discussion began,
…[A] young woman began screaming about Palestinians, Zionist panelists and genocide, and two students unfurled a banner reading, “Palestine From the River to the Sea.” The GU campus police, with whom we had coordinated before the event, swiftly removed the banner and its holders from the hall. From the podium, I calmly but forcefully stated that the woman’s interruption was utterly unacceptable, that she was in blatant violation of the University’s speech code in preventing a speaker from speaking and the audience from hearing. I stated that her reference to “genocide” was unacceptable and indeed obscene, and I then added, either leave now or get in line to ask a question — which she did a few minutes later (once again referencing Palestinians and genocide)…
One of the keys to this was the firm statement at the outset of the event about the speech code. As a result, when the outburst did occur, it was in a context where the audience understood and was receptive to the rules and had no doubt the protesters’ behavior was unacceptable and in violation of the GU policy.
Daily Freier: Palestinian Unilaterally Disengages From British Man-Date (satire)
London: The Daily Freier joins the Staff of Israellycool in mourning one Big Naqba of a Breakup: The end of the Roger Waters-Rula Jebreal Couplehood. The BDS power couple, who seemed to have more sexual chemistry than Yassar Arafat and his bodyguards back in the ’70’s that special spark, called it quits. Rula apparently spent the morning returning all of the gifts Roger had given her, to include 3 keffiyehs, some really good hummus from Jericho, and a sturdy shovel.
When reached for comment, Mr. Rogers was despondent. “I really thought this would last forever, or until the end of Mahmoud Abbas’ First Term of Office. Same thing really.”
In this time of mourning, The Daily Freier and Israellycool ask our readership to refrain from making any tasteless or inappropriate comments about the former couples’ relationship to include “Occupying Territory“, “Gaza Withdrawal“, or “Laying Pipe at the Gates of Dawn”.
Thank You.
Indy’s snapshot of Israel: War crimes, racism and misogyny
In summary:
Two articles pertain to accusations of war crimes against Israel or its leader.
Two articles paint Israel as a misogynistic country with ultra-conservative attitudes towards women and modesty.
One article highlights comments by Israel’s police commissioner interpreted as a justification for racism.
One article focused on the alleged harassment (by settlers and police) of a Palestinian man who recorded the moment an Israeli soldier shot a disarmed Palestinian terrorist.
One article – the only one that didn’t attempt to paint Israel in a negative light – focused on a building collapse in Tel Aviv.
Though this is only one day’s view of the Indy’s Israel page, it’s indicative of a larger pattern of systemic bias against the state at the news site – one which we’ve been documenting for years.
HR Prompts The Independent to Remove Paragraph Questioning Jewish History
The Independent reports on criticism of the State Department’s negative reaction to the video from the Donald Trump campaign. It included the following paragraph:
Israel doesn’t have to “claim” that Jews have been living there for thousands of years. History and archaeology prove it. It is only during short periods of time such as the Jordanian occupation of the West Bank from 1948-67 that Jews have not lived continuously there. Whether one agrees or disagrees with current Israeli settlement policies is irrelevant.
The Independent had effectively questioned the very credibility and legitimacy of Jewish history in the region.
We contacted editors at The Independent and they agreed that the paragraph was problematic, removing it in its entirety.
Sole surviving kippa from shul burned in Kristallnacht on display
A kippa salvaged from the ashes of a Polish synagogue destroyed during Kristallnacht is on display at the Górnośląskie history museum in the city of Bytom. The display is part of an exhibition that opened this week in the presence of local leaders, and showcased the history of the city, formerly the German city of Beuthen.
The kippa belonged to a teenage boy named Shmuel Hirsch, who escaped the horrors of the “Night of Broken Glass” and moved to Israel ahead of the rest of his family. Shmuel’s kippa survived the flames that engulfed the family’s synagogue and was rescued by relatives. It is the only tangible remnant of the shul, save for a monument that now stands there.
The Beuthen pogrom was staged on November 9-10, 1938, during which Nazis smashed windows and burned down Jewish businesses, homes and synagogues and killed dozens of Jewish residents.
After the attacks, many of the city’s Jews were among the hundreds of thousands sent to concentration camps. The Hirsch family managed to flee to Israel, and took Shmuel’s kippa with him. Shmuel had by that time settled in Yokne’am in the Lower Galilee, where he worked in agriculture and became deeply involved with his synagogue.
World’s oldest man to have bar mitzvah, 100 years late
The world’s oldest man, 113-year-old Yisrael Kristal, a Holocaust survivor living in Israel, will celebrate his bar mitzvah.
Kristal’s daughter, Shulimath Kristal Kuperstoch, told the DPA news agency that about 100 family members will gather in Kristal’s home city of Haifa in the coming weeks to mark the rite.
“We will bless him, we will dance with him, we will be happy,” she said.
Kristal had his birthday last week. He was recognized as the world’s oldest man in March.
He missed his bar mitzvah due to World War I. His father was in the Russian army and his mother had died three years earlier, Kuperstoch said.
Born on Sept. 15, 1903, in the town of Zarnow, Poland, Kristal moved to Lodz in 1920 to work in his family’s candy business. He continued operating the business after the Nazis forced the city’s Jews into a ghetto, where Kristal’s two children died. In 1944, he was deported to Auschwitz, where his wife, whom he had married at 25, was killed.
In 1950, he moved to Haifa with his second wife and their son, working again as a confectioner. In addition to his son and daughter, Kristal has many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Archeologists find 1st-century gold coin with Nero’s image in Jerusalem
A rare, well-preserved gold coin struck in 56-57 CE, bearing the image of Roman Emperor Nero, was found by archeologists from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte during a recent excavation on Jerusalem’s Mount Zion, just outside the Old City, it was announced Wednesday.
Described as an “emperor, theater actor, poet,” Nero, a flamboyant ruler who took the throne at age 17, was perhaps best known for killing his mother, who married his great uncle Claudius.
He was also notable for persecuting Christians, before taking his own life during a Roman revolt.
The last of the Julio-Claudian line, Nero was emperor for 14 years (54-68 CE). He had a reputation for being a tyrant, and some believed he was responsible for the devastating fire of 64 CE that resulted in the burning of much of Rome.
“The coin is exceptional because this is the first time that a coin of this kind has turned up in Jerusalem in a scientific dig,” said Dr. Shimon Gibson, who co-directed the excavation with Dr. James Tabor and Dr. Rafael Lewis.
“Coins of this type are usually found only in private collections, where we don’t have clear evidence as to place of origin.”
Teva, Intel join forces to monitor Huntington disease
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. said Thursday it would collaborate with Intel Corp. to develop a wearable device combined with a machine learning platform to try and improve treatment for Huntington’s disease.
The jointly developed platform will continuously monitor and analyze key symptoms that impact the daily lives of patients with Huntington’s in an effort to better understand the progression of the disease and the impact of treatment on patients, Teva said in a statement.
Huntington’s, a fatal and neurodegenerative disease, is a devastating illness that urgently requires new treatment options, the statement said, including ways to continuously and remotely assess and quantify symptoms that can give useful and actionable feedback to doctors, patients and caregivers.
The disease is characterized by uncoordinated and uncontrollable movements, cognitive deterioration and behavioral and/or psychological problems. Progression of the disease is characterized by a gradual decline in motor control, cognition and mental stability and generally results in death within 15‐25 years of clinical diagnosis.
Permanent Link to Strides in ALS Treatment Made at Israel’s Ben-Gurion University
A new study published by researchers from Ben-Gurion University (BGU) in the Negev explores a molecular mechanism that could help develop new treatments for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Published online in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), the study done on mice found that a gene regulating cell inflammation and immunity acts as a chaperone to the misfolded protein that causes the death of motor neurons found in 20 percent of genetic ALS cases. When the researchers eliminated this gene, they found the accumulation of the protein increased and the disease accelerated.
“This study provides insight into the potential therapeutic role” of the studied gene, said Dr. Adrian Israelson, head of the cellular and molecular neurodegeneration lab in the BGU Department of Physiology and Cell Biology.
“Correct protein folding is critically important, which is why we are focusing on the diverse set of complex cellular mechanisms, including molecular chaperones, that promote efficient folding and prevent toxicity,” Israelson said.
Israeli Marksman, Rower Win Bronzes at Rio Paralympics
Israel won its first two Paralympic medals of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games earlier this week: Rower Moran Samuel won a bronze medal in the women’s single sculls competition on Sunday, and sharpshooter Doron Shaziri took the bronze in the men’s 50-meter rifle final on Monday.
Samuel, a former member of the Israeli national women’s basketball team, only took up rowing in 2010, four years after she became paralyzed after suffering a spinal stroke. Despite her late start at rowing, she came in fifth in the 2012 London Olympics and won gold at the World Cup event in Italy.
“An Olympic medal is very sweet. For everyone at home, I wanted to hear the Israeli national anthem on the podium. I gave it all that I had. I knew that I didn’t finish first and it broke my heart a bit but I’m happy to have captured a medal,” Samuel told Ynet.
Shaziri, who captured the gold for shooting at the 2015 Open Championships in Germany, has earned a spot on the medalists’ podium at six consecutive Paralympic Games. Among them are four silver medals, the most recent one at the London Games in 2012, where he bore the Israeli flag at the opening ceremony. He was a sniper in the IDF’s elite Golani Brigade until he lost a leg to a landmine while serving in Lebanon in 1987.
Ricky Martin shakes his bon-bon (and everything else) in Tel Aviv
At the MTV video music awards in 1999, a frustrated Chris Rock vented that all anyone could hear that year was Ricky Martin’s most famous hit - Livin' La Vida Loca.
“I’m tired of Ricky! On The Tonight Show - Vida Loca, on The Today show - Vida Loca, on the Flintstones - Vida Loca!,” he exclaimed.
The catchy tune was truly inescapable as the century drew to a close and probably the defining song of his career to an English speaking audience.
But to the audience at the Menora Mitchavim Arena in Tel Aviv on Wednesday night, Martin was more than that.
The crowd, mostly Israelis of Latin American decent, happily danced to the few English hits he performed, but their excitement was reserved for his Spanish hits that have continued to make him popular across the Latin world.

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