Friday, April 22, 2016

From Ian:

The Peace Process Is an Obstacle to Peace
And it always has been, because its premises are false
This Palestinian demand is in fact an assault on the sovereignty of the Jewish state and thus part of the century-old campaign against Zionism. It asserts that Israel should not be allowed to exercise the fundamental, indeed defining, prerogative of sovereignty—the control of its own borders. It would also deny to Israel another sovereign prerogative, deciding who has the right to citizenship. By flooding the country with people hostile to it, finally, the result of implementing the Palestinian “right of return” would be the destruction of Israel, which is surely the reason that the Palestinians insist on it.
In peace-process orthodoxy, the “refugee problem” is classified as one of the “final status” issues—problems so difficult that they can be addressed only after all the easier ones have been resolved. In fact, the insistence on a “right of return” assures that negotiations will fail, and thus should not be started in the first place, because they amount to the Palestinian insistence on achieving what is not negotiable: Israel’s disappearance.
If and when the Palestinians do signal their acceptance of Israel by abandoning this claim, it will become possible to address the issues that do require negotiation: the border between Israel and a Palestinian state, which may well require uprooting some Jewish settlements to the east of Israel’s eastern border of 1967, and the disposition of military forces between the new border and the Jordan River. As long, however, as the Palestinians make clear, by asserting their “right of return,” that they refuse to live peacefully side by side with a Jewish state, negotiations are at best a waste of time and at worst a way of perpetuating the conflict by encouraging the Palestinians to persist in their goal of eliminating Israel.
To be sure, the two necessary changes to the American approach to the peace process will not, in and of themselves, bring peace. Only the abandonment of the fundamental Palestinian attitude to Israel can do that; and the United States does not have the power to transform that attitude. The changes would, however, have desirable consequences. They would discourage the strategy of delegitimation by making it clear that the United States rejects the strategy’s premises, which would in turn reduce, although not eliminate, the constituency for that strategy in the United States and in the place where it is most popular, Europe. Reducing support for it would send to the Palestinians the message that, like a frontal military assault and terrorism, delegitimation will not succeed in destroying Israel. The two changes would also improve the moral tone of American foreign policy. Telling the truth about the Israeli–Palestinian conflict would affirm American support for international law, democracy, the peaceful resolution of international disputes, and the principle of equal rights for all peoples. It would also affirm American opposition to aggression and terrorism. It would, that is, put the United States—to use a term favored by recent administrations—on the right side of history.
U.S. Investment in - not Foreign Aid to - Israel
Israel is no longer a supplicant – as it was in its early years of independence – transformed from a net-national security and economic consumer to a net-national security and economic producer, generating substantial military and commercial dividends to the U.S., which exceed the highly appreciated $3.1 billion annual investment in Israel by the U.S.
The annual U.S. investment in Israel – erroneously defined as "foreign aid" (Foreign Military Financing) – has yielded one of the highest rates of return on U.S. investments overseas. But, Israel is neither "foreign" nor does it receive "aid."
A Partnership
From a one-way street relationship, the U.S.-Israel connection has evolved into an exceptionally productive two- way mutually beneficial alliance. The U.S. is the senior partner, and Israel the junior partner, in a win-win, geo-strategic partnership, which transcends the 68-year-old tension between all American presidents (from Truman through Obama) and Israeli prime ministers (from Ben Gurion through Netanyahu) over the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Palestinian issue.
According to the former Supreme Commander of NATO forces and Secretary of State, the late General Alexander Haig: "Israel constitutes the largest U.S. aircraft carrier, which does not require a single U.S. boot on board, cannot be sunk, deployed in a most critical region to the U.S. economy and national security. And, if there were no Israel in the eastern flank of the Mediterranean, the U.S. would have to deploy to the region a few more real aircraft carriers and tens of thousands of troops, which would have cost the U.S. taxpayer some $15 billion annually. All of which is spared by the existence of Israel."
Israel has been the most cost-effective, battle-tested laboratory of U.S. defense industries; the most reliable and practical beachhead/outpost of the U.S. defense forces; sharing with the U.S. unique intelligence, battle experience, and battle tactics. Thus, Israel extends the U.S. strategic hand at a time when the Pentagon is experiencing draconian cuts in its defense budget, curtailing the size of its military force and the global deployment of troops, while facing tough international industrial-defense competition and dramatically intensified threats of Islamic terrorism overseas and on the U.S. mainland.
Ben-Dror Yemini: An Israeli initiative is needed now
Fighting BDS is a right and good thing to do, but we can’t do it by merely reacting: Israel needs to be proactive in offering solutions.
The Washington lawyer and the IDF officer are both correct. The struggle against the anti-Israeli campaign on US campuses isn’t simple. The claims against Israel sound reasonable because there’s a perception that Israel isn’t doing anything. I’ve spoken in campuses in recent weeks, as well as in synagogues and community centers. I’ve listened to the various voices, including the worried ones. It’s not enough to say that the Palestinians have rejected every peace proposal so far and that and Israeli withdrawal could make things worse.
That’s all true, but it doesn’t counteract the tough queries. It wouldn’t be a mistake to say that 90 percent of US Jews have a hard time understanding the logic in the continued settlement project. And I’m talking about pro-Israel activists here.
The government’s determination in dealing with the anti-Israel campaign is a step in the right direction but PR alone, with all due respect, has a limited scope of influence. We need policy too. We need a show of good will.
The government has allocated NIS 100 million to combating the anti-Israel campaign, but that’s not very much at all. An Israeli initiative would cost $10 billion at least. Why the heck does the Prime Minister of Israel not understand what Israel’s supporters around the world understand very well? Why does he insist one doing nothing?
Why does he insist on helping the BDS movement?

Fred Maroun: My heart lives in Israel
I was born in Lebanon in 1961, and I grew up in the streets of Beirut. Before the civil war that started in 1975, we played in the streets unsupervised, unaware of the fratricide hatred that was brewing. During the war, I saw Arabs kill Arabs, Muslims kill Muslims, and Christians kill Christians. When the war ended in 1990, a quarter million people had been killed.
We took a country that was thriving and beautiful, and we turned it into ruins. My Lebanon has not yet recovered, 27 years after that war ended.
Next door to Lebanon, I saw a country fending for its life, repelling Arab attack after Arab attack. When they weren’t fighting their attackers, they were building a nation. In only a few decades, they had made the desert bloom, and they were a light unto the nations.
We Arabs chose to fight each other, and we chose to fight the Jews. We chose to make them our enemies rather than our friends, and we chose to destroy rather than to build.
I now live in Canada, a great, beautiful, and successful country, but it will never be truly mine. When I watch events unfolding in the Middle East, my body remains here, but my heart keeps travelling back, and it invariably takes me to Israel.
When Israelis live with daily rocket attacks, my heart is in Israel.
At climate deal signing, Abbas says settlements ‘destroying the environment’
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday condemned Israel’s settlements for “ruining the environment,” and urging the international community to intervene.
“The occupation is ruining Palestine, and the settlements are ruining the environment,” Abbas said as representatives of 175 countries gathered at the United Nations headquarters in New York to sign the Paris Agreement on climate change.
“Please help us stop the occupation and the settlements,” Abbas said.
Israel’s UN envoy Danny Danon hit back at Abbas’ comments, saying that “Instead of spreading hatred here at the UN, President Abbas should act to stop Palestinian terror.” He also accused Abbas of taking advantage of the forum to press his own agenda.
How to Answer an Israel Boycott
Moreover, the terms of the boycott are such that they leave no room for doubt as to the political purpose. The boycott is not rooted in claims of discrimination against Arabs or the manner in which democratic Israel treats Palestinians. Its terms call not merely for any Israeli institution or scholar to disassociate themselves from their country’s policies but to work to change its borders and to potentially replace it with a Palestinian state — the stated goal of Hamas and even that of the moderate Palestinian Authority that regards all of pre-1967 Israel as “occupied” territory.”
Let’s not mince words about the basic purpose of Israel boycotts. Those who advocate for them are seeking to treat the one Jewish state on the planet differently than any other country. By denying the Jewish people the right to self-determination in their ancient homeland and the right of self-defense against those who seek its elimination, the boycotters are practicing a form of discrimination. Though anti-Zionists claim not to be prejudiced against Jews, what they are doing is an act of bias. Acts of bias against Jews are anti-Semitism.
The perversion of a group that was founded to promote scholarship about America into one that aims at attacking Israel is a scandal. But as this suit shows, it is also illegal. Let’s hope that the courts heed the strong arguments in the filing and put the ASA and the entire scholarly world on notice that such illegal and prejudicial conduct will not be tolerated. At the very least, it will stand as a warning to other such associations that they cannot take part in illegal boycotts of the Jewish state with impunity.
Congressional Panel Queries U.S. Education Department on Campus Anti-Semitism
Citing reports of an increase in anti-Israel activity on college campuses, a bipartisan congressional task force on anti-Semitism asked U.S. Education Secretary John King to outline how his department is tracking anti-Jewish bias.
The letter sent Wednesday to King by 38 members of the U.S. House of Representatives who belong to the Bipartisan Taskforce for Combating Anti-Semitism cites reports of 500 anti-Israel programs on campuses in 2014-2015 and 29 Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaigns sponsored by student groups in the same period, which it said were respectively a 38 percent and 21 percent increase over the previous academic year.
The signatories said in the letter that they “hope you share our view that any campus activity that threatens, harasses, or intimidates Jewish students should not be overlooked simply because it is presented as ‘anti-Israel’ or ‘anti-Zionist.’”
It asks King how many cases of anti-Semitism the department’s Office for Civil Rights is currently investigating; what instructions regional department staffers get to detect anti-Semitic bias, and whether they specifically receive guidance on how to ascertain whether discourse about Israel devolves into “hostile environments;” and whether staffers are told that according to a 2004 Department of Education directive, staffers may regard hostility targeting a faith group as equivalent to hostility targeting an ethnic group.
Great Lengths Taken to Conceal Identity of Harvard Law Anti-Semite Who Called Former Israeli Foreign Minister 'Smelly'
The man is revealed to be Husam El-Qoulaq, a third year Harvard Law School student, a graduate of UC Berkeley (big shock, there), and a member of the radical Muslim Brotherhood affiliate, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Justice for Palestine (JFP).
While his credentials are in and of themselves far from shocking, what raises eyebrows is the fact that so many different organizations are going out of their way to conceal his affiliation with them. Canary provides a glaring overview of these blatant attempts:
Numerous eyewitnesses were present at the panel discussion with Livni and observed El-Qoulaq's remarks. In fact, the entire event was recorded, but according to CanaryMission, Harvard Law then "went to lengths to conceal El-Qoulaq’s identity and their published video of the panel was edited to exclude El-Qoulaq’s question."
UK Jewish students call on new NUS chief to denounce ‘anti-Semitic’ remarks
The umbrella organization of British Jewish students on Friday called on the newly elected leader of Britain’s National Union of Students to disassociate herself from her previous allegedly anti-Semitic remarks.
Malia Bouattia, an activist in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, has in the past publicly advocated for Palestinian violence against Israelis, and refused to condemn the Islamic State group.
She was elected the president of the NUS on Tuesday, and will become the first black Muslim leader of the student group when she takes the helm of the inter-university organization in September.
Union of Jewish Students campaign director Russell Langer said Wednesday that although Bouattia had denied her remarks were anti-Semitic, she must go further to condemn her previous remarks, including one in which she called Birmingham University “something of a Zionist outpost.”
Calls To Ban ‘Anti-Semitic’ Left-Wing May Day Protests
The Alternative for Germany (AfD) wants to see a ban on a left wing protest in Berlin they say is overtly anti-Semitic.
May 1st is one of the biggest days of the year for those on the left side of the political spectrum. Known as International Worker’s Day, the event usually revolves around leftists getting together to march in cities all over Europe and North America.
Berlin is no different, and plans are already under way for a protest to be organized.
The anti-mass migration party AfD has said that the protesters message has changed in recent years. They say that the tone of the protests has become increasingly anti-Semitic and that those types of attitudes should not be permitted on the streets of the German capital. The party has called for a ban to the protest entirely, reports Junge Freiheit.
Berlin AfD Deputy Chairman Hans-Joachim Berg said that if the openly anti-Semitic slogans and attitudes of radical left organizations are allowed to march in the May 1st demonstration then, “the Senate proves that its commitments to Israel are worthless.
Hackers Flood University Printers With Anti-Semitic Messages
Hackers have forced printers in several German Universities to print anti-Semitic posters and messages.
Multiple German universities including the University of Hamburg had their printers hacked on Wednesday. The individuals who apparently perpetrated the attack found gaps in the security of the printers, which are often connected to wireless networks, and used the access to force the printers to spew out message of hate and anti-Semitic propaganda.
The University of Tübingen described the attack as happening, “as if by magic.” The university spokesman Karl Rijkhoek told media that the attack happened on all the printers at the same time and that the anti-Semitic messages printed over 190 times. At other universities various numbers of printers were effected by the hackers.
In Hamburg 12 printers were affected and in Nuremburg ten printers were hacked, though they only printed hate filled page each.
Former BBC Director: How Could Jews Vote for Labour Under Corbyn?
Being a British Jew and voting for the Labour Party under party leader Jeremy Corbyn is like being an American Muslim and voting for Donald Trump, former BBC television director Danny Cohen told the Times of London on Saturday.
“If you are Jewish how can you vote for them? How could you?” he asked. “For me it would be like being a Muslim and voting for Donald Trump, how could you do it?”
Cohen also criticized what he saw as the party’s anemic response to anti-Semitism in its ranks. “You have to feel absolutely confident that it is totally unacceptable and it won’t be tolerated and I personally haven’t felt comfortable that it is happening yet in the Labour Party,” he said.
Sadiq Khan, the Labour candidate for mayor of London, said two weeks ago that anti-Semitism in Labour was a “badge of shame” for the party. Prime Minister David Cameron called on Corbyn last month to address the anti-Semitism issue following the resignation of the co-President of the Oxford University Labour Club, who said that members of the club “have some kind of problem with Jews,” as well as reports that most Jewish Labour MPs were on Corbyn’s “enemies list.”
Cohen had previously pointed out the problem of anti-Semitism in Britain in December 2014, telling Israel’s Channel 2, “I’ve never felt so uncomfortable being a Jew in the UK as I’ve felt in the last 12 months.”
Horowitz Defends Anti-BDS Poster Campaign from Charges of Racism and Intimidation
In a fiery rebuttal issued Wednesday, David Horowitz defended his reputation and that of his organization, the David Horowitz Freedom Center, from charges by a UCLA administrator that posters hung by the Freedom Center on UCLA’s campus targeting supporters of the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel are “hateful” and “thuggish” and use the “tactic of guilt by association, of using blacklists, of ethnic slander, and sensationalized images engineered to trigger racially tinged fear.”
University of California-Los Angeles Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Jerry Kang sent an email attacking Horowitz to the entire UCLA community—some 50,000 individuals—calling the Freedom Center’s posters “repulsive” and “personalized intimidation” and stating that they produce “chilling psychological harm” that “cannot be dismissed as over-sensitivity.”
Kang also falsely characterized the Freedom Center’s previous poster campaign as “accusing two student organizations — the Muslim Student Association (MSA) and Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) — of being murderers and terrorists.”
In his response, Horowitz termed this accusation “a lie” noting that “The posters did not accuse SJP of being an organization of murderers and terrorists, as the Vice Chancellor claims. They accused SJP of being ‘Jew-haters’ because they support the murderers and terrorists of Hamas, which they do… In a public statement I also called on UCLA to remove the campus privileges and university funding of SJP because they are a hate group and their activities routinely violate UCLA’s ‘Statement of Principles Against Intolerance,’ which Vice Chancellor Kang professes to champion.”
BBC ignores Jordanian cancellation of US brokered Temple Mount plan
Recently we noted on these pages the lack of any follow-up from the BBC concerning a story it reported back in October 2015. That means that as far as BBC audiences are concerned, the information they were given in that article concerning Temple Mount still stands.
“Israel and Jordan have agreed on moves aimed at reducing tensions surrounding a prominent holy site in Jerusalem, US Secretary of State John Kerry says. […]
The steps he announced include round-the-clock video monitoring and Israel’s agreement to reaffirm Jordan’s historic role as custodian of the religious complex.”
That, however, is not the case.
Following Palestinian opposition to the plan and repeated delays in its implementation, the Jordanian authorities have now finally announced its cancellation.
IsraellyCool: Amnesty International Employs Journo Who Disavowed Her Report Of Hamas Firing Rockets From Hospital
Back in 2014 during Operation Protective Edge, Aishi Zidan, a reporter for Finland’s Helsingin Sanomat, admitted that Hamas was firing rockets from a hospital.
After the video went viral, she expressed her dissatisfaction that her words were being used as a “propaganda weapon.”
Finnish blogger Tundra Tabloids has discovered that Zidan has a new gig – press officer/publicist for the Finnish branch of Amnesty International.
According to Johansson’s Twitter profile, he is “on sabbatical, writing a book.” Whether or not this is an impose sabbatical can be the subject of speculation. Either way, he clearly has time to retweet Edward Snowden from time to time.
We already knew Amnesty International is very biased against Israel. The leadership of Frank “scum state” Johansson and appointment as press officer of Aishi Zidan – for whom Hamas firing rockets from a hospital is a really inconvenient fact – just reinforces this.
The NRK reaches a new low! Glorifies Hamas terrorists and shames Israel for defending itself in propaganda documentary.
lifted from, uncorrected google translate
NRK has reached a new low
With a notorious boycott activist disguised as a reporter’s voice, made NRK new documentary to rib Israel the right to exist, the right to defend themselves and the right to be heard and believed in the media. How abusing NRK your license money on the coarsest.
The documentary USA, Midtausten and media, with the original title Occupation of the American Mind was sent on NRK2 both Monday and Tuesday this week. The film is available on NRK’s ​​website. It is a tragedy that a film that is so full of anti-Israeli propaganda and so totally without motrøster are quality stamped by state channel as a journalistic product and paid with our license money. The film is in reality an activist tool for delegitimization of Israel. In simplest view attacked the world’s only Jewish state in 55 minutes. NRK has reached a new low point in its unjust treatment of Israel.
Belgian school ignores anti-Semitism to avoid upsetting Muslims
The mother of a Jewish boy who said she took her son out of a Brussels public school because of anti-Semitic bullying filed a police complaint against the school’s management for alleged incitement to discrimination.
The complaint, first reported Tuesday by the RTBF broadcaster, concerns the school’s alleged inaction on reported abuse that, according to the pupil, went on earlier this year at a high school in Uccle, an affluent neighborhood. The mother said the bullying at the Athénée Royal Uccle 2 school forced her to enroll her son at a Jewish school last month.
The boy was identified only as Samuel (not his real name) and his mother as Helene.
According to the report, the abuse began after Samuel had a falling out with his former best friend, who was the only person at the school whom Samuel had told that he was Jewish. The friend told the rest of the class Samuel was Jewish and on Feb. 5, a classmate allegedly told Samuel “get lost, dirty Jew.” A fistfight ensued, ending without serious injury, according to Helene, who said the school treated the incident as a common brawl rather than racist harassment.
35% of Hungarians are anti-Semitic
A new study revealed that 35% of Hungarians hold "high or moderate” anti-Semitic views, and 41% of voters favoring the ruling party admit that they have a negative opinion of Jews.
The survey, which questioned 1,200 Hungarian citizens on their views toward Jews, was initiated by the Action and Protection Foundation, a Hungarian organization combating anti-Semitism in the country.
Twenty-three percent of respondents claimed to hold “extreme” anti-Semitic views towards Jews, while 12% claimed to hold “moderate” anti-Semitic views towards Jews.
When asked about their political affiliation, an alarming 59% of voters who support the extreme-right party Jobbik admitted to holding anti-Semitic beliefs. Meanwhile, 41% of voters who support the ruling Fids party also gave anti-Semitic views.
Jews and Serbs boycott Croatia's remembrance of death camp victims
Members of Croatia's small Jewish community, the Serb minority and an anti-fascist group boycotted the annual ceremony in protest at what they say is the authorities' feeble reaction to recent events that they say "downplay and revitalize" the World War Two Ustashe government.
These include the shouting of the Ustashe greeting at a recent street protest in Zagreb and Ustashe chants by some home fans at a Croatia-Israel soccer match in March.
"Revitalization of the Ustashe regime is only exceptionally condemned. It is an avalanche that reminds us of what was happening in the so-called Independent State of Croatia," a Jewish community leader, Ognjen Kraus, said in Jasenovac last week.
Jews held a separate commemoration in Jasenovac last Friday. The Serbs and an anti-fascist group will do so on Sunday.
A few Jews and Serbs did attend Friday's official ceremony, however.
Croatia's new center-right government, which took office in January, condemned the crimes of the Ustashe government this month, but Kraus said that happened only after Jewish and Serb groups announced the Jasenovac boycott.
No punishment for London men who shouted ‘kill the Jews,’ threw eggs
London police let off with a warning four men accused of shouting “kill the Jews” at a motorist in London while pelting his car with eggs.
The men were arrested on April 8 in the vicinity of the Blackwall Tunnel in eastern London, where the incident took place, a spokesperson for CST, British Jewry’s anti-Semitism watchdog, told JTA Thursday.
Shomrim, a charity that patrols Jewish communities in London, said the men shouted “F***ing Jews” and “Kill the Jews” at the man, his partner and their baby late at night, according to the Daily Mirror.
The punishment “is definitely on the lighter end of the scale,” the CST spokesperson, Dave Rich, said, “and we would understand if it [is] seen as a bit lenient.” But he added the victim was “satisfied with police’s handling of the case.”
According to the Metropolitan Police, the assailants, who were not named, drove alongside the car of the 28-year-old victim, who wore Orthodox Jewish attire, while shouting anti-Semitic abuse at him.
Growing Number of French Jews Move to London Following Attacks
For Kevin Nakache, the breaking point came last year. First, one of his friends was gunned down in the attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris a few days after the Charlie Hebdo massacre. Then, in October, Mr. Nakache’s former Hebrew teacher barely escaped a knife attack in Marseille, his hometown in southern France, where violence against Jews is on the rise.
Fed up, Mr. Nakache decided last fall to follow many other French Jews and leave the country. But rather than going to Israel, an increasingly popular destination for those choosing to leave France after the Charlie Hebdo attacks, or the United States, Mr. Nakache chose to emigrate to London. In so doing, he joined a growing stream of French Jews who see the British capital as a convenient and less threatening option as France grapples with the radicalization of young Muslims and a rise in antisemitism.
'My boo Hitler': Tila Tequila shocks with tribute to the Führer on his birthday... in epic Twitter rant about Jews, black people and gays
Tila Tequila has been on a 24-hour Twitter tirade that began with wishing Adolf Hitler a happy birthday on Wednesday.
In a bizarre rant, the 34-year-old glamour model and reality star called the Nazi leader her 'boo,' claimed to be the reincarnation of the dictator and posted a photo of herself wearing a Nazi cap, Hitler mustache and Swastika armband.
'On this great day of 420 I will HONOR our TRUE KING! They tried to destroy your legacy, but I will fight for you!' she tweeted along with a black and white photo of Hitler.
In another tweet, she wrote: 'And happy birthday to my past life historical figure, most epic legend of all time, Mein Furhor (sic), Adolf Hitila! The MOST HIGH!'
'We all knew this day was coming! The 2nd coming of Christ in the end times prophecy has been fulfilled! #HeilHitila.'
Tequila's diatribe, which continued Thursday morning, also included remarks about Jews, black people and gays and was filled with gay and racial epithets and slurs.
Montreal mayor pledges to rename street, park honoring Nazi sympathizer
Montreal’s mayor pledged to rename a street and a park that honor a Nazi sympathizer who won the Nobel Prize for medicine in 1912.
Alexis Carrel, a French biologist and surgeon who died in 1944, earned fame for pioneering a new technique in vascular surgery.
But he was also an avowed eugenicist who in 1936 praised Adolf Hitler’s racial policies, supported the Nazi-controlled Vichy regime in France and advocated for the state’s elimination of “undesirables.”
Eugenics is a social philosophy that aims to “improve” human genetic traits.
LifeBond’s surgical sealant gets EU approval, FDA fast-track status
LifeSeal, the no-leak sealant solution for patients who have undergone gastrointestinal (GI) surgery, is now approved for use in the European Union. The sealant, developed by Caesarea-based LifeBond, will allow doctors in 32 countries to use the unique “glue” that prevents leaks after bariatric and GI operations.
In addition, the company said, LifeSeal is now also on the fast track to FDA approval. The product was given the FDA’s Expedited Access Pathway (EAP) designation, and is now eligible for quicker approval consideration, which the company hopes will take place after it begins its new international study which will include sites in the United States and Europe. The FDA reserves its EAP designation for products that provide a solution for an unmet medical need.
“LifeSeal offers surgical units and hospitals an innovative, high quality surgical tool that both easily integrates into the surgical practice, and has been proven in clinical studies to make a major positive difference for patients,” said Ittai Harel, chairman of the board of LifeBond and managing general partner at Pitango, the venture capital firm that led the company’s recent $27 million Series D investment round. “The CE Mark as well as the EAP designation are not simply formalities, but a confirmation of the significance of this product and the important benefits it can produce.”
Israeli Doctors Harness Cord Blood to Fight Cerebral Palsy
A day after she was born, Noa had a stroke and began convulsing. Now, two years later, a promising new treatment at the Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer, outside of Tel Aviv, could help her battle cerebral palsy (CP).
Noa, whose real name is being withheld at the request of her family, is the first patient to undergo this special treatment at an Israeli hospital. It involves a cord-blood transfusion from siblings or a suitable match, and it is performed only on children and babies. It was approved specifically for use on Noa due to the unique circumstances of her case, in what is often referred to as “compassionate use.”
“Studies have shown that cord blood, and the stem cells it may contain, can help to treat brain injuries,” said Omer Bar-Yosef, a pediatric neurologist and at the Edmond and Lily Safra Children’s Hospital at the Sheba Medical Center.
Astronaut 'fascinated' by view of Israel from space
Days before Passover, NASA Astronaut Jeff Williams on the International Space Station uploaded a breathtaking photo of Israel and its neighbors, and shared his feelings with the world.
"We finally have a Sunday (no cargo vehicle this weekend!) with some personal time to take in the view out the window," Williams wrote on Facebook on Sunday.
"Every time we pass over, I have been fascinated with this view, considering it contains the vast majority of Biblical history. My father, a high school history teacher, gave me a love and appreciation for history, and I have a special appreciation for that history. 'Your testimonies are my meditation.' It is a good day of rest off the planet!"
Williams headlined the post: "I have been fascinated with this view."
Real ‘Inglorious Bastard’ who parachuted into Nazi territory dies at 94
Frederick Mayer, a German Jew who fled Nazi Germany in 1938 and parachuted back in seven years later as an American spy, has died.
Mayer died on Friday in Charles Town, West Virginia, at the age of 94, his daughter Claudette confirmed to The New York Times on Thursday.
During “Operation Greenup” in February 1945, Mayer posed as a German officer for more than two months in western Austria, sending intelligence on Nazi troop movements to his commanders back in the United States in the Office of Strategic Services, which later became the Central Intelligence Agency.
Shortly before the end of the war, he was imprisoned and tortured by the Gestapo, which had discovered that he was spying for the United States. Despite waterboarding and pistol-whipping, he did not reveal the location of other American spies and soldiers, according to the Times.
Mayer became one of the subjects of a 2013 documentary, entitled “The Real Inglorious Bastards,” which tells the tale of Operation Greenup.
Israel gets its first 3D tech bus – courtesy of NY bar-mitzvah boy
Many bar- and bat-mitzvah kids mark their special day by doing something to “give back” to the community – volunteering in a soup kitchen, or raising money for a new TV at a senior citizen’s center. Raising $76,000 to establish Israel’s first mobile printing lab, replete with brand new 3D printers and other equipment, would probably be a bit more than most kids would want to bite off.
For 13-year-old Noah Helfstein, a 7th-grader at New York’s Abraham Joshua Heschel School, however, it seemed like just the project to undertake. “I chose this project because of my passion for new technology and because I wanted to give disadvantaged children in Israel the same educational opportunity to interact with new technology that I have,” he said. “My family and I worked with UJA-Federation of New York’s Give a Mitzvah-Do a Mitzvah’ program to put my idea into action.”
That program is designed for kids who want to do something unique to celebrate their graduation into Jewish adulthood. “You’ll start by focusing on your own interests and hobbies, and then get together with a mitzvah coordinator at UJA-Federation and brainstorm about how you can truly make a difference,” the organizers said. “You can design a project to be carried out in New York, Israel, the former Soviet Union, or any number of other locations around the world — wherever your imagination takes you… The sky’s the limit when it comes to developing your mitzvah project.”
Historic NY matzah factory hits the big screen
“Streit’s: Matzo and the American Dream” is far more than a Jewish Horatio Alger story. It is that, of course — the film documents the story of an immigrant baker who came to the United States and started what ultimately became the largest (and now only) privately owned matzah company in the country.
But it’s also an inspirational story of a family that didn’t just want to take the money and run. In a way, too, it’s about a modern Diaspora — in this case, gentrification, in which a neighborhood that once was home to Jewish immigrants now hosts a millennial hipster culture of bars and high-priced condos.
The film’s director, Michael Levine, has familial roots on the Lower East Side. He knew the iconic Streit’s factory at 150 Rivington St. from the neighborhood. He was certain there was a story to be told there — though when he got permission to film in 2015, he had no idea how pivotal a year it would be.
Levine set out to make a documentary on a retro place where matzahs were “baked with pride on the Lower East Side.” Instead he documented the demise of manufacturing in Manhattan along with the displacement of the neighborhood’s workers and Jewish roots.
Aron Streit first opened a bakery on the Lower East Side in 1915. A decade later he and his sons, Jack and Irving, started Streit’s Matzo Co., which became the basis of a kosher empire that eventually expanded to four contiguous tenement buildings in the neighborhood and an operation in New Jersey.
Eager for their exodus, Ethiopian Jews prepare world’s largest Seder
It takes a community to hand-bake 50,000 pieces of matzah for Gondar’s 6,000 Jews. More than 40 people work from sunup to sundown for a week before Passover to ensure that there is enough of the crunchy stuff for Seder night and the rest of the week.
Also on the shopping list for Seder night: 2,000 eggs, 300 kilograms of potatoes, 400 kilograms of bananas, and 40 kilograms of raisins to make homemade wine in two large trash barrels.
More than 3,000 people are expected at the Seder on Friday night, making it likely the largest Seder in the world. The next largest Seder is thought to be at the Chabad house in Nepal, which is expecting 1,500 backpackers this year, similar to previous years.
What makes this Passover different from all other Passovers that the Ethiopian Jews have celebrated in Gondar? This time “Next year in Jerusalem” won’t just be something they say.
Capt. Zehava's exodus from Ethiopia
Back in 1488-1486, when he traveled from Italy to Jerusalem, Rabbi Ovadia of Bartenura wrote in his travel journal: "By one of the borders of Abyssinia [the Ethiopian Empire], past the Sambatyon River, in a very hilly land, are the lost People of Israel."
Five hundred years later, Ethiopia experienced a severe drought that led to a major famine and a bloody civil war. The ruler, Mengistu Haile Mariam, would soon flee to Zimbabwe. Ethiopians were facing real danger. In the midst of all the chaos was the Elias family, who joined thousands of other "lost People of Israel" on a difficult journey by foot, beginning in early 1991: from the Semien Mountains in the Ethiopian highlands northeast of Gondar all the way to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capital city. There, the family whispered among themselves the rumor that had spread through their entire community: They would be brought to Israel like their brothers before them in Operation Moses of 1984.
The father, Ergau, a Jewish community leader, and the pregnant mother, Deveritu, led their 11 children toward their millennia-long dream. After months of walking, the family arrived at the improvised camps set up outside the Israeli Embassy in Addis Ababa. Two of the children died during the harsh journey. Within a few days, moments before the words "Operation Solomon" would spread through Israel, an Israel Air Force plane took off, carrying them to the Promised Land. But there was also a new ray of light for the family: a girl was born, baby Zehava.
Peres posts ‘Passover selfie’ showing him at pyramids during Exodus
Shimon Peres, Israel’s 93-year-old former president embraced the holiday spirit on Friday, sharing on social media a Passover-themed meme poking fun at his age.
On his Facebook page, the former president posted the “Exodus selfie,” a photo that shows him superimposed on an image of the pyramids.
“If something is running wild on social media, it must be true,” he captioned the photo, tagging it “feeling nostalgic.”
Within hours, the black and white photo garnered close to 25,000 likes, and over 1,000 shares.
The comments were flooded with messages from amused Israelis who hailed Peres for his sense of humor.

Happy Passover! Celebrate Freedom with the IDF!
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