Thursday, July 31, 2008

Israeli scientist’s delivery system for Type II diabetics

Is Oral Insulin Pill On Horizon?
Israeli scientist’s delivery system for Type II diabetics still in early testing stage.
by Sharon Udasin
Staff Writer

Six months ago, when 51-year-old marketing director Jeff Dunetz was experiencing an unexplained decrease in energy, his doctor eventually diagnosed him with adult onset, or Type II, diabetes.

Dunetz, who lives in Long Island, is currently taking Glimperide, a drug that makes the body better able to use insulin produced internally. While such medicines combined with rigorous exercise and strict diet may slow the disease’s progression, in time, many diabetes patients in Dunetz’s stage will eventually become fully insulin dependent — that is, they will have to self-administer insulin injections daily and prior to every meal. Since the 1920s, when Drs. Frederick Banting and Charles Best first discovered insulin, diabetics have been pricking themselves multiple times a day to manage erratic blood sugar levels.

But in the coming years, patients may be one step closer to discarding their syringes — or at least stowing them in the bathroom cabinet for many years longer.
That’s because an Israeli scientist has produced a potentially viable oral insulin capsule, to be taken once daily, which aims to prolong the early stages of Type II diabetes and postpone the time at which patients will become dependent on insulin injections. After 30 years of research, Dr. Miriam Kidron, a former senior researcher in the Diabetes Unit at Hadassah University Hospital in Jerusalem, and her team of scientists will be marketing their new drug through an Israeli start-up pharmaceutical company called Oramed, established by her 34-year-old son, Nadav Kidron, in March 2006. The company is also working on rectal insulin suppositories geared toward children with diabetes, as well as an oral influenza vaccine.

While the diabetes drug is only in the early stages of testing, experts believe it could hold promise for those with Type II diabetes.

“If they can document that it’s efficacious and is as effective as either oral medications or insulin in an appropriate clinical program, clearly it would have significant advantages,” said Dr. Michael Bergman, clinical associate professor of Medicine at New York University, in the Endocrine Faculty Practice.
“[Results] often appear to be much more positive in early clinical trials, and until you see data from late stage trials, it’s very hard to know how innovative this is,” Bergman said.

There are currently 23.6 million cases of diabetes in the United States and 246 million worldwide, according to estimates. Among these instances, 90 to 95 percent qualify as Type II, an adult-onset condition in which cells do not use insulin properly, often caused by old age or obesity. The remaining 5 to 10 percent of those affected have Type I Diabetes, in which the immune system completely destroys the pancreatic Beta cells that would normally produce insulin.

When production of Beta cells is reduced to 50 percent in patients like Jeff Dunetz, they qualify as Type II diabetics and will typically begin taking medications to stimulate natural insulin usage, Nadav Kidron explained. Yet while these drugs do reduce resistance to insulin, they can break down the pancreatic cells and actually quicken the progression to full insulin dependency, he said.

For Type II patients, according to the doctors at Oramed, the new oral insulin may be a healthier way to treat diabetes, particularly in its early stages. While the insulin will not repair any past damage, it intends to delay further cell degradation. Rather than first passing through the bloodstream as insulin must do through injection, the capsule will enter the digestive system and arrive entirely intact at the liver, the ultimate recipient of the missing chemical, Nadav explained.

“The intent here is by using oral insulin, it has an effect on the liver to decrease blood sugar and would tend to decrease the stress on the pancreas and therefore maintain the function of the pancreas for a longer period of time,” said NYU’s Bergman.
Because insulin is a peptide — a sequence of amino acids — the oral capsule requires special protection to ensure that enzymes in the digestive system do not break it down on the way to the liver, according to Dr. Ehud Arbit, the director of Research and Development at Oramed and a former professor at Cornell University Medical College.
“A lot of us have been skeptical for 20 years — when the oral insulin came out, everyone said it would be broken down in the gut. However, the new formulation may bypass this problem,” said Dr. Derek LeRoith, chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Bone Diseases at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine and a member of Oramed’s scientific advisory board.

According to Arbit, Kidron’s capsules are able to remain undamaged because their coating degrades only in the intestines. Once the capsule reaches the intestine, the insulin is absorbed through the portal vein into the liver.

Oramed has completed two small clinical trials of its oral insulin treatment in Israel, on groups of non-diabetic subjects, according to Nadav Kidron. Subjects have exhibited no side effects and have shown an increase in insulin and a decline in glucose levels, he said. The company is nearing completion of trial begun in April on a group of diabetic patients, and results will be available this summer.
Oramed is just beginning the process to gain Federal Drug Administration approval. The company will soon begin running expansive trials in India, South Africa and Israel.

Monday, July 28, 2008

New Israeli Invention Will Identify Luggage

New York - Using colored ribbons to identify luggage coming off the conveyor belt at the airport may no longer be necessary – thanks to a new development by Israeli startup Easy-2-Pick. The company has developed a special “remote control” device that identifies your bag with a special signal. When your bag is within 15 meters of the remote control, a beep is heard and lights go off.

The chip and a remote sensor attached to the bag are paired, so even if everyone else is using the Easy-2-Pick system, you’ll be alerted only to the presence of your bags. The company has signed a deal with American Express Travel Services, which will offer it as an option to its customers.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

VIDEO: Israeli-developed device allows paraplegics to walk again

An Israeli company has developed a revolutionary quasi-robotic system that will enable wheelchair users to walk again.

Argo Medical Technologies' wearable upright mobility system, or "exoskeleton," was specially designed for individuals with lower-limb disabilities, according to Los Angeles-based Israeli news Web site ISRAEL21c.
n a clip the company posted on the video-sharing Web site YouTube, a man described as having been confined to a wheelchair for over 20 years is shown walking, descending stairs and even driving a car.

Dr. Amit Goffer PhD, founder and director of Argo, and ReWalk's developer, explained the project's goal to ISRAEL21c.

"What we want to do is have the person wake up in the morning, put on clothes, put on the ReWalk, go to work and go throughout the day, wearing it," Goffer said.


The Moses Of Impressionism

(courtesy of the Jewish Week, N.Y,)

In a long career, Camille Pissarro — one of his artistic movement's only Jews — painted a wide range of landscapes and got caught up in the Dreyfus Affair.

Caroline Lagnado - Special To The Jewish Week

Ethereal cityscape: Pissarro's
Camille Pissarro may have been reluctant to embrace his Jewish background, but his work is no stranger to New York's Jewish Museum. Opening this Sunday, "Camille Pissarro: Impressions of City and Country" is the museum's third exhibit about the 19th-century artist. This multifaceted show is drawn mainly from pieces borrowed from private collections, and is replete with many harvest scenes.

Born Jacob Pizarro in 1830 on St. Thomas, Pissarro enjoyed a long and productive career, painting the French countryside in addition to England and the Danish West Indies. A founding member of the Impressionists, a radical group of 19th-century artists that decided to take their easels outside, use visible brushstrokes and embrace scenes of everyday life, Pissarro was one of the only Jews to exhibit with them.

Considered the "Father of Impressionism," for sporting a long, flowing white beard, adopting the nickname Moses and being perhaps the most committed Impressionist artist, Pissarro exhibited in and helped coordinate each of the movement's eight shows until the group's dissolution in 1886.

Joachim Pissarro, Camille's great-grandson and a preeminent scholar of the artist's work, notes in a catalog from a 1994 exhibit at the Israel Museum that though Pissarro didn't live a particularly Jewish life, he never denied being Jewish. In fact, Pissarro saw his espousal of Impressionism as somewhat ironic, "he himself a Jew, belonging to a millennia-old tradition, was making a total break with all forms of tradition."

Pissarro's family, Sephardim originally from Portugal, were Marranos who later became re-involved with Judaism, enough to hold prominent standing in the St. Thomas Jewish community. However, his father Frederic's relationship with the community became strained when Frederic married his uncle's widow, Rachel. This arrangement is permitted in neither Christian nor Jewish law, and children born are considered illegitimate. It wasn't until Pissarro's mother gave birth to their fourth child that the synagogue legitimized the marriage.

It is probable that after such an ordeal with the Jewish establishment, Rachel and Frederic raised their children to view religion with a critical eye. Until the Pissarro children were legitimized, they went to school with the children of slaves and were most likely among the only white and non-Christian children there.

In choosing to become a painter instead of a businessman, Pissarro rejected his father's life. He moved to Paris to paint in 1855 and later married a non-Jewish servant. Adopting an anarchist ideology, he saw art as the philosophy of his time, despised authoritarianism and raised his children without religion, encouraging them to instead value their independence and autonomy.

The France of Pissarro's time was relatively tolerant towards its sizable and mostly Ashkenazi Jewish population, a community in which the Sephardic Pissarro may have felt uncomfortable. Pissarro did fit in with the Impressionists, and enjoyed his position as an established, successful artist, discussing work with fellow artists like Degas and Cezanne.

Associate curator Karen Levitov focuses on Pissarro's use of paths in his art, a natural intersection of nature and civilization. Pissarro's own path or his trajectory as painter of the country to painter of the city is followed throughout the show.

As art historian Meyer Schapiro has noted, Pissarro began his career with bucolic scenes, and as he aged, painted streets and crowds, the opposite of his peer, Monet. His earlier works are signed C. Pizarro, the Sephardic spelling of the artist's name. He stopped spelling his name with a "z" in 1859, shortly before the writer Emile Zola took note of Pissarro's art and commended him on a landscape.

Pissarro shows himself to be expert at integrating his figures into their backgrounds; it is sometimes hard to distinguish one from the other. In "Kew Gardens, London, The Rhododendron Path," from 1892, the figures shown walking on a path are tiny, almost overtaken completely by Pissarro's depiction of nature using bright and vibrant, sometimes unmixed, colors. In "The Haystack, Sunset, Eragny," from 1895, Pissarro adopts a familiar Impressionist theme. This foreground-heavy picture includes two figures at the left who are so small they seem almost like an afterthought. In her catalog essay, Levitov asserts that Pissarro felt a kinship with the peasantry because of his "marginal status in society as a non-French (Danish) citizen, an anarchist, and a Jew."

Though France was one of the first European counties to grant Jews full civil equality around 1791, anti-Semitism was latent in the society, rising to the surface during the Dreyfus Affair, when Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish officer, was wrongly convicted of treason. While Pissarro and Emile Zola hadn't been in touch because of what Pissarro considered Zola's "critical attitude" towards Impressionism, once Zola published "J'Accuse," an open letter on the front page of L'Aurore newspaper, accusing the French government of mistreating Dreyfus's case, Pissarro immediately wrote a letter of support to Zola. The streets of Paris housed anti-Semitic mobs and Monet and Cassat joined Zola as Dreyfus supporters.

Degas, a misanthrope and anti-Semite, blamed France's troubles on the Jews and was joined by Cezanne and Renoir in siding with the government. The artists still admired each other's work even though they couldn't stand each other. Renoir and Degas were said to have shunned Pissarro, who called Degas a "ferocious anti-Semite" in a letter to his son, Lucien.

Throughout the Dreyfus Affair, Pissarro tried to remain focused on his work and continued painting prolifically: he produced nearly 50 pieces. By this point he was painting city scenes in addition to rural scenes; he never depicted the anti-Jewish riots. These later pieces, like the ethereal "Place du Theatre Francais and the Avenue de l'Opera, Hazy Weather," of 1898 from the Klapper collection, are often painted with a bird's-eye view from his hotel room high above Paris. They show Pissarro to be keeping "a certain distance while viewing the outside world," commented Levov.

Following the success of a blockbuster exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in 2005 (which also traveled to Paris and the Los Angeles) and a more recent exhibit in Baltimore last spring, Pissarro's name is well known.

The Jewish Museum show is mounted on earth-colored walls, with the exception of a small red room that brings out strong contrasts on small yet lovely etchings hung there. This exhibit can appeal to different viewers with its three foci: a great Jewish artist, Impressionist art and a rare glimpse at many privately owned pieces rarely seen in museum settings. n

"Camille Pissarro: Impressions of City and Country" runs from Sept. 16 to Feb. 3 at The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave. at 92nd Street. Saturday-Wednesday, 11a.m.-5:45 p.m., Thursday 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Closed Fridays and all major Jewish holidays. For more information, go to or call (212) 423-3200.

Lisbon anti-Judaic massacre of New Christians in 1506-Memo

Lisbon anti-Judaic massacre of New Christians in 1506-Memorial
(All Jews in Portugal were forcibly baptized in 1497)


The following resolution was unanimously approved by the Lisbon City council on January 30, 2008. Thank you for all those who wrote the mayor after the intial resolution was deferred (see some sample letters under Lisbon-anti Judaic label). Also special thanks to Dr. Jorge Martins, author of the three volume "The Jews of Portugal" for having started a petition in support of a memorial and presenting it to the mayor of Lisbon, his worship, António Costa. Thank you also all those who signed the petition.

PROPOSAL N.º 423 /2007
translated my mlopesazevedo

Considering that:

1. In the year of 1506, the city of Lisbon was the scene of one of the most dramatic and bloody anti-Judaic episodes of all that are known in our territory;

2. During three days, 19, 20, and 21 of April, these events, which occurred next to the Dominican convent (presently St. Dominic’s square), led to about two thousand Lisbonites, for mere suspicion of professing Judaism, of being barbarously assassinated and burned in two enormous bon fires in the Rossio and Ribeira;

3. Evoking this hideous crime that comprised the massacre of 1506, inscribed in the politics of intolerance, which according to Antero Quental, contributed to the decadence of these Peninsular people, should be to bring posthumous justice to all the victims of intolerance and thus constitute an unequivocal affirmation of Lisbon as a cosmopolitan, multiethnic, and multicultural city.

4. The pedagogy of combating racism, discrimination, xenophobia, and all analogous forms of intolerance, constitutes a fundamental base of democracy and of the peaceful coexistence amongst people.

The councillors of the Socialist party, of the list of the “Citizens for Lisbon”, and of the Left Bloc…(citation of enabling legislation), have the honour of proposing that the Municipal Council of Lisbon, at its meeting of January 30, 2007 (sic), deliberate:

1. To install in the city of Lisbon a memorial to the victims of Intolerance, evocative of the Jewish massacre of Lisbon in 1506 and all victims who suffered discrimination and personal indignity because of their origins, beliefs or ideas;

a) The memorial is to be located in St. Dominic’s Square and should be composed of a mural evocative of the victims of intolerance, which conception, execution and installation to be carried out by the municipal services;

b) This project is also to encompass the arrangement of the surrounding area, including the placement, in the same square, of pieces of sculpture contributed by the Catholic and Jewish communities:

c) The inauguration of the memorial shall be on April 19, 2008, in a ceremony sponsored by the municipal council of Lisbon, to which all ethnic and religious communities of the city shall be invited.

The Councillors.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Israel’s Revenge

By Mitchell Bard on History

It is a difficult day in Israel. On one hand, everyone is happy that the remains of two soldiers, Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser, have been returned. The joy is mixed with grief over the death at the hands of the terrorists of Hezbollah who killed them and then held their bodies hostage, refusing for nearly two years to provide any information about their well-being.

It is a measure of the depth of feeling for soldiers in this country that the government agreed to exchange prisoners, including one who led a terror attack that led to the death of five Israelis (who received a hero’s welcome in Lebanon), for the remains of their men. It was a difficult choice for a nation that does not believe in leaving anyone behind on the battlefield because everyone is aware that the trade is likely to encourage future kidnappings as a way to force Israel to free additional terrorists. Even now, Gilad Shalit, a 22-year-old soldier kidnapped two years ago by Hamas, is being used as a bargaining chip by the Gaza terrorists. Seeing what Israel was prepared to give up for two dead soldiers has convinced them that a live soldier should be worth a much larger number of Palestinian prisoners.

This is not the first such trade. Israel has periodically swallowed hard and exchanged disproportionate numbers of men who have committed heinous crimes for a small number of soldiers living or dead. Bringing their boys home is worth more than the propaganda victory claimed by Hezbollah or the future risks.

The Ultimate Revenge

Israel still has a way to exact revenge. The best way, however, is not a helicopter gun ship targeting terrorists or some other military operation. No, the most effective strike against those who wish Israelis ill is the thriving state that has grown over the 60 years and is now enjoying a boom time.

View from Jaffa to Tel Aviv, Israel. Credit: Oliver Benn, Stone/Getty ImagesI just returned from Tel Aviv where my hotel room overlooked the packed beach where I could watch kayakers and surfers navigate the waves of the Mediterranean Sea. Earlier I visited Jerusalem where throngs of tourists were in the shops and historical sights, and hundreds of native Israelis prepared for the Sabbath buying some of the best looking and tasting fruits and vegetables you will find anywhere in the Mahane Yehuda market, which was the scene of terrorist bombings in 1997 and 2002 that killed 23 and wounded more than 200.

Just two years removed from the war with Hezbollah, and still under almost daily missile attacks from Gaza, and the growing danger from Iranian nuclear developments, Israel’s economic growth rate is expected to be 4-5% for the fourth consecutive year. According to a Business Week economics reporter, the Israeli shekel is the strongest currency in the world. In fact, Israelis find themselves asking if they should be rooting for or against the economy because as it grows stronger the dollar has fallen in value against the shekel and had a significant impact on many individuals and organizations. Tourists feel it in sticker shocks at hotels that just a few years ago were struggling to fill any rooms at $100-200 a night and now are packing them in at Manhattan-like prices of $300-500 a night.

Israel continues to experience a leadership crisis. The Prime Minister is under investigation and has had anemic public approval since the war with Hezbollah. Still, this is one of the most active periods in Israel’s unceasing effort to reach accommodations with its neighbors. Even though rockets keep falling, Israel negotiated a truce with Hamas.

Simultaneously, the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister have been engaged in ongoing talks with the Palestinian Authority leadership in an effort to reach at least an outline for an agreement before President Bush leaves office. Recently, we learned that secret talks mediated by Turkey have also been going on between Israelis and Syrians and some analysts believe an agreement may be possible that will return most of the Golan Heights to Syria and perhaps lead to a reorientation of Syria away from Iran and toward the West.

For those familiar with Middle East history, of course, most of these developments are viewed with suspicion and cynicism. Still, the fact that this is all taking place is yet another example of the confidence Israelis feel at the moment. Their neighborhood remains tough and the choices they face tougher, but if you want to see a vibrant society in one of the most beautiful places on earth, it’s a good time to visit Israel.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Estelle Getty of 'Golden Girls' dies at 84

Estelle Getty of 'Golden Girls' dies at 84
By BOB THOMAS, Associated Press Writer 31 minutes ago
Estelle Getty, the diminutive actress who spent 40 years struggling for success before landing a role of a lifetime in 1985 as the sarcastic octogenarian Sophia on TV's "The Golden Girls," has died. She was 84.

Getty, who suffered from advanced dementia, died at about 5:30 a.m. Tuesday at her Hollywood Boulevard home, said her son, Carl Gettleman of Santa Monica.

"She was loved throughout the world in six continents, and if they loved sitcoms in Antarctica she would have been loved on seven continents," her son said. "She was one of the most talented comedic actresses who ever lived."

"The Golden Girls," featuring four female retirees sharing a house in Miami, grew out of NBC programming chief Brandon Tartikoff's belief that television was ignoring its older viewers.

Three of its stars had already appeared in previous series: Bea Arthur in "Maude," Betty White in "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and Rue McClanahan in "Mama's Family." The last character to be cast was Sophia Petrillo, the feisty 80-something mother of Arthur's character.

When she auditioned, Getty was appearing on stage in Hollywood as the carping Jewish mother in Harvey Fierstein's play "Torch Song Trilogy." In her early 60s, she flunked her "Golden Girls" test twice because it was believed she didn't look old enough to play 80.

"I could understand that," she told an interviewer a year after the show debuted. "I walk fast, I move fast, I talk fast."

She came prepared for the third audition, however, wearing dowdy clothes and telling an NBC makeup artist, "To you this is just a job. To me it's my entire career down the toilet unless you make me look 80." The artist did, Getty got the job and won two Emmys.

It culminated a long struggle for success during which Getty worked low-paying office jobs to help support her family while she tried to make it as a stage actress.

"I knew I could be seduced by success in another field, so I'd say, 'Don't promote me, please,'" she recalled.

She also appeared in small parts in a handful of films and TV movies during that time, including "Tootsie," "Deadly Force" and "Victims for Victims: The Theresa Saldana Story."

After her success in "The Golden Girls," other roles came her way. She played Cher's mother in "Mask," Sylvester Stallone's in "Stop or My Mom Will Shoot" and Barry Manilow's in the TV film "Copacabana." Other credits included "Mannequin" and "Stuart Little" (as the voice of Grandma Estelle).

"The Golden Girls," which ran from 1985 to 1992, was an immediate hit, and Sophia, who began as a minor character, soon evolved into a major one.

Audiences particularly loved the verbal zingers Getty would hurl at the other three. When McClanahan's libidinous character Blanche once complained that her life was an open book, Sophia shot back, "Your life's an open blouse."

Getty had gained a knack for one-liners in her late teens when she did standup comedy at a Catskills hotel. Female comedians were rare in those days, however, and she bombed.

Undeterred, she continued to pursue a career in entertainment, and while her parents were encouraging, her father also insisted that she learn office skills so she would have something to fall back on.

Born Estelle Scher to Polish immigrants in New York, Getty fell in love with theater when she saw a vaudeville show at age 4.

She married New York businessman Arthur Gettleman (the source of her stage name) in 1947, and they had two sons, Carl and Barry. The marriage prevailed despite her long absences on the road and in "The Golden Girls."

Getty was evasive about her height, acknowledging only that she was "under 5 feet and under 100 pounds."

In addition to her son Carl, Getty is survived by son Barry Gettleman, of Miami; a brother, David Scher of London; and a sister, Rosilyn Howard of Las Vegas.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


A Gentile's View of Today's Germany By William E. Grim
William E. Grim is a writer who lives in Germany and is a native of Columbus, Ohio. USA

I'm not Jewish. No one in my family died in the Holocaust. For me, anti-Semitism has always been one of those phenomena that doesn't really register on my radar, like tribal genocide in Rwanda, a horrible thing that happens to someone else. But I live in a small town outside of Munich on a street that until May of 1945 was named Adolf Hitler Strasse. I work in Munich, a pleasant metropolitan city of a little over a million inhabitants whose Bavarian charm tends to obscure the fact that this city was the birthplace and capital of the Nazi movement.
Every day when I go to work I pass by the sites of apartments Hitler lived in, extant buildings in which decisions were made to murder millions of innocent people, and plazas in which book burnings took place , SS troops paraded and people were executed. The proximity to evil has a way of concentrating one's attention, of putting a physical reality to the textbook narratives of the horrors perpetrated by the Germans. Then the little things start to happen that over a period of time add up to something very sinister. I'm on a bus and a high school boy passes around Grandpa's red leather-bound copy of Mein Kampf to his friends who respond by saying "coooool!" He then takes out a VCR tape (produced in Switzerland ) of "The Great Speeches of Joseph Goebbels." A few weeks later I'm at a business meeting with four young highly educated Germans who are polite, charming and soft-spoken to say the least. When the subject matter changes to a business deal with a man in New York named Rubinstein, their nostrils flair, their demeanor attain a threatening mien and one of them actually says, and I'm quoting verbatim here: "The problem with America is that the Jews have all the money ." They start laughing and another one says, "Yeah, all the Jews care about is money."
I found that this type of anti-Semitic reference in my professional dealings with Germans soon became a leitmotif (to borrow a term made famous by Richard Wagner, another notorious German anti-Semite). In my private meetings with Germans it often happens that they will loosen up after a while and reveal personal opinions and political leanings that were thought to have ceased to exist in a Berlin bunker on April 30, 1945. Maybe it's because I have blond hair and my last name is of German origin that the Germans feel that I am, or could potentially be, "one of them." It shows how much they understand what it means to be an American.
Whatever the reason, the conversations generally have one or more of these components:
(1) It was unfortunate that America and Germany fought each other in World War II because the real enemy was Russia.< BR>(2) Yes, the Nazis were excessive, but terrible things happen during wars, and anyway, the scope of the Holocaust has been greatly exaggerated by the American media, which is dominated by Jews.
(3) CNN is controlled by American Jews and is anti-Palestinian. (Yes, I know it sounds incredible, but even among the most highly intelligent Germans, even those with a near-native fluency in English, there is the widespread belief that the news network founded by Fidel Castro's friend Ted Turner, who was married to Hanoi Jane Fonda, is a hotbed of pro-Israeli propaganda.)
(4) Almost all Germans were opposed to the Third Reich and nobody in Germany knew anything about the murder of the Jews, but the Jews themselves were really responsible for the Holocaust.
(5) Ariel Sharon was worse than Hitler and the Israelis are Nazis. America supports Israel only because Jews control the American government and media.
For the first time in my life, the n, I became conscious of anti-Semitism. Sure, anti-Semitism exists elsewhere in the world, but nowhere have the consequences been as devastating as in Germany. Looking at it as objectively as possible, 2002 was a banner year for anti-Semitism in Germany. Synagogues were firebombed, Jewish cemeteries desecrated, the No. 1 best-selling novel, Martin Walser's Death of a Critic, was a thinly-veiled roman a clef containing a vicious anti-Semitic attack on Germany's best-known literary critic, Marcel Reich-Ranicki (who was a survivor of both the Warsaw ghetto and Auschwitz); the Free Democrat Party unofficially adopted anti-Semitism as a campaign tactic to attract Germany's sizeable Muslim minority; and German revisionist historians began to define German perpetration of World War II and the Holocaust not as crimes against humanity, but as early battles (with regrettable but understandable excesses) in the Cold War against communism.
The situation is so bad that German Jews are advised not to wear anything in public that would identify them as Jewish because their safety cannot be guaranteed. How can this be? Isn't this the "New Germany" that's gone 60 years without a Holocaust or even a pogrom, where truth, justice and the German way prevail amidst economic wealth, a high standard of living that is the envy of their European neighbors, and a constitution guaranteeing freedom for everyone regardless of race, creed or national origin?
What's changed? The answer is: absolutely nothing. My thesis is quite simple. While Germany no longer has the military power to enforce the racist ideology of the Nazis and while all extreme manifestations of Nazism are officially outlawed, the internal conditions, that is, the attitudes, world view and cultural assumptions tha t led to the rise of Nazism in Germany are still present because they constitute the basic components of German identity. Nazism was not an aberration; it was the distillation of the German psyche into its essential elements. External Nazism may have been utterly defeated in May of 1945; internal Nazism, however, remains, and will always remain, a potential threat as long as there exists a political and/or cultural entity known as Germany.
Now hold on a second, I hear many people saying. You can't possibly claim that Germans are as anti-Semitic today as they were during the years 1933-1945. It is true that Germany today is much different than during the Third Reich. What is different is that due to its total defeat by the allies, Germany today is a client state of America and must do its bidding. That means repression of overt anti-Semitism. It's bad for business. The other thing that has changed is that, even though Hitler lost W orld War II, he was phenomenally successful in carrying out his ideological agenda. Germany, indeed virtually all of Europe, is essentially Judenfrei (free of Jews) today due to the efficiency and zeal of the Germans as they perpetrated the Holocaust during the Third Reich. In fact, a very convincing case can be made that Nazism is one of the most successful political programs of all time. It accomplished more of its goals in a shorter amount of time than any other comparable political movement and permanently changed the face and political structure of several continents
Germany is wealthy, stable, relentlessly bourgeois, and for all intents and purposes, free of Jews. Yes, there is a tiny minority of Jews, mostly centered in Berlin, and yes, there have been a number of Jews from the former Soviet Union who have emigrated to Germany, but most of the immigrants from Russia are not practicing Jews and do little if anything to promote a unique Jewish -German identity. The result of all this is that Germans today are able to reap the benefits of Hitler's anti-Semitic policies while paying lip service to the "need to remember." Young Fritz doesn't have to be overtly anti-Semitic today because his grandfather's generation did such a bang-up job of the Holocaust. There just aren't that many Jews left to hate any more, and besides, the Germans have their old buddies, the Arabs, to do their hating for them. You might call the overwhelming German support for the Palestinians to be a form of anti-Semitism-by-proxy. The German government has made cash payments to the State of Israel, as well as to individual Jews, to settle claims of murder, torture, false imprisonment, slave labor and genocide. Talk to most Germans and you'll soon discover that they think that the score has been settled between Germany and the Jews, that somehow the return of just a portion of what the Germans stole from the Jews is fair recompense for the deliberate murder of millions of people. If you think the Germans are truly sorry for what they did to the Jews, think again. There's never been an official "tut mir leid" offered by the Germans to the victims of the Holocaust and their descendants because that would admit culpability. Germany has paid off all claims against it without acknowledging responsibility in the same way that the Ford Motor Company engages in recalls of automobiles. It's all done to avoid liability.
I have previously mentioned that Germans overwhelmingly support the Palestinians as opposed to the Israelis, and that this overwhelming support represents a form of anti-Semitism-by-proxy. Germans may claim to be supporting the Palestinians because they think they are an "oppressed people," but let's be honest, they are supporting the Palestinians and their Arab handlers because the Palestinians and Arabs share the same ideals as the Nazis. There's a lon g-standing history of German co-operation with the Arabs. In 1942 Hitler personally assured the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem that as soon as German forces conquered Great Britain, the Jews in Palestine (which was then under control of the British Mandate) would be exterminated.
We should also keep in mind that the Arab terrorists who perpetrated the 9/11 atrocities did their planning in Germany. There are several reasons for this. The first is the well-known bungling and de-centralized chaos of the German federal bureaucracy where literally the "linke" hand doesn't know what the "rechte" hand is doing. The second is that Arab terrorists can count on a substantial number of Germans who share their anti-American and anti-Semitic views. The former members of the SS and Hitler's praetorian guards, along with their neo-Nazi supporters, who gather weekly in Munich beer halls, made Osama bin Laden an "honorary Aryan" after the 9/11 attack.&n bsp; Mein Kampf is also a best seller in the Arab world, especially in Saudi Arabia, America's putative "friend." Indeed, there is very little difference between the anti-Semitic ranting of Hitler and those of the so-called "spiritual leaders" of al-Qaeda, Hamas, and Fatah. The Arabs also owe Hitler and the Germans big time. Hitler killed off the Jews, and Konrad Adenauer and his "democratic" descendants replaced them with the Turks. Yes, the Turks aren't Arabs, but they are Muslim, and although Turkey is a member of NATO and has relations with Israel, many Turks identify and support their radical Arab co-religionists. Turkey remains as fragile a democracy as Weimar Germany during the 1920s. It wouldn't take much for Turkey to fall into the dark side of Muslim extremism. The end result of Muslim immigration into Germany has been twofold:
(1) It allows the Germans to feign liberalism and being open to freedom and diversity; and
(2)&nbs p; By replacing the Jews they murdered with Muslims, who, for the most part, are as viciously anti-Semitic as were the Nazis, the Germans have cynically assured that those few Jews who remain in Germany will be unable to reassert political power even in a minority role.
A final point I would like to make concerning the reasons for the resurgence of anti-Semitism in Germany is one that many will find at odds with the prima-facie evidence, or even appear to stretch the boundaries of common sense. Yet, I ask you to consider carefully my line of reasoning. In many respects Germany got away with the Holocaust without paying much of a price. Yes, many Germans died as a result of German perpetration of World War II and the Holocaust, and yes, there was much physical destruction in the country, but the situation is like the little boy who steals a cookie from the tray when it is cooling on the kitchen table. For his efforts he may have gotten his han d slapped by his mother, but the stolen cookie remains eaten nonetheless.
After having committed the worst crimes in the history of humankind, the Germans were allowed to regain their sovereignty after only ten years; their infrastructure was completely rebuilt thanks to the generosity of the American people; and relatively few Germans were brought to trial for their monstrous crimes. Even those who were tried and convicted received relatively short sentences or had those reduced or commuted in general amnesties. For example, some members of the Einsatzkommandos, those Germans who, before the construction of the death camps, hunted and murdered Jews by the hundreds of thousands, received sentences of as little as five years imprisonment. If there were true justice in the world, Germany would no longer exist as a separate country, but would have long ago had its territory divided up and dispersed among the Allies.
It was an unfortuna te historical coincidence that the Cold War began just as Germany was at last being brought to task for its many crimes and atrocities extending back to the First World War. The new threat of the Soviet Union took precedence over a just settling of accounts with Germany. The tragic result is that many of the countries raped and despoiled by Germany, such as the Czech Republic and Poland, are just now coming out of decades of economic decline, while Germany, fat, sassy, arrogant, self-satisfied, and essentially Judenfrei, has enjoyed four decades of undeserved economic prosperity. We can't turn back the clock to redress all of the historical wrongs that have been committed by the Germans, but there are a number of things that can be done to assure that
Germany can never again be in a position to threaten the rest of the civilized world.
First and foremost is the realization that, while not all Germans are anti-Semitic, there is an anti-Semitic tendency withi n German culture that extends back to the time of Martin Luther. Germans are instinctively anti-Semitic in the same way that Americans are instinctively freedom loving. Anti-Semitism has been and unfortunately remains the default ideology of the German people. All things being equal, Germans will instinctively support the enemies of the State of Israel. Therefore, America will need to monitor closely and be ready and politically willing to intervene at a moment's notice in German affairs when it appears that Germany is back-sliding into anti-Semitism. Additionally, it should be a goal of American foreign policy to oppose and to accelerate the dismemberment of the European Union. We must not allow German domination of the EU to accomplish through parliamentary maneuvering and brokered deals what Hitler and the Germans were unable to accomplish during the Third Reich.
Given Germany's resurgent anti-Semitism (and that of France as well), a strong, German-do minated EU that tolerates and even benignly encourages anti-Semitism, and is diplomatically allied with the Arab world, is potentially the greatest threat to Judaism since Nazi Germany and a major threat to the United States as well. The enemies of Israel are the enemies of the United States. Let all Jews and Americans stand united as
we proclaim never again to both the Holocaust and 9/11.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Jackie Mason on Boxing

The Yiddish Dictionary of Fools

The Yiddish Dictionary of Fools

By Marnie Winston-Macauley

Legend has it that Eskimos (Inuit) have hundreds of words to describe
Snow. We Jews have hundreds of words for,"pains in the neck."

Among the many majesties of Yiddish, is its magical ability to turn
Words into an emotional thesaurus. Both the "good" and the "bad" alike
Are not merely "said." No. They're felt - in all their subtle nuance
And multiple meanings. This is never more true then when we're talking
About a "fool" or a "nudnek," a "shliemel," or a "schnook." Face it.
We Jews don't bear fools lightly. Who had time?

So is it surprising that we have more words in Yiddish for fools than
There are Golden Arches? These words are so delicious, many have
Become part of American jargon. Do you have the story about these
Words, and what they truly mean? In case you don't, as a public
Service, we from Jewlarious are proud to present the first ...

Yiddish- Yinglish Dictionary of Fools


An ox, with no class. He'll move your house on his back - without

Chaim Yankel:

A mister nobody. His favorite color is beige.


A shrew. If her pastrami's fatty, she'll make a federal case.


A pig: He'll take home the cheap wine he brought you for Passover.


She one not only forgot her address, she's in the wrong city.


He's got a head like a rock.

Gantseh Makher:

He made a few bucks selling whoopie cushions, so suddenly he's Trump.
Synonym: K'nocker


Unscrupulous, a thief. His partner's sent out an APB.

Grubber yung:

Crude. A big mouth who has dirt (from grabbing) under his fingernails.


Clumsy. She falls over her own sneakers- fastened with Velco.


A whiner. The food's salty, the place is chilly, eating out -who needs


A dreamer - who never wakes up. He could paint a masterpiece, if only
He had an easel - and knew how.


A loony. Whether he thinks his underwear is after him or barrels over
Niagra Falls, he's one letter short of an M&M.

Moishe Kapoyr:

Today he'd be called "oppositional." The family votes to hold the
Reunion in Vegas. He votes for Vilna.


He left his law practice to become a clown.


A doormat. When he's robbed, he apologizes for being short on cash.


A hapless unfortunate. He gets stepped on by accident a lot.


A hanger-on. She shleps the 200 pound camping gear for the group.


A persistent bore. She doesn't stop with the talking, the asking, the
Annoying till you want to staple his lips together.


A pesty badgerer. She tells you twelve times to check the locks.
Unlike the nudnik, it could be an occasional occurrence.


A self-involved blowhard. If his last name is Moses, he thinks the
Bible gave him a mention.


Unpopular outcast. Think David Duke at a Hadassah meeting.


A revolting, corrupt person. For him, there would be a very short


A drunk. She has a little chaser with her Cheerios.


A pathetic, clumsy loser. He drives over - through your living room.


An unlucky loser. He's the one the shlemiel was visiting.


Unkempt, saggy. She shleps, stooped, with her hair in strings.


And idiotic doofus. Short of a "meshuganah," he's sure he'll make a
Killing with his musical toilet seat ... and acts like a makher about


Nincompoop. A fraternal twin to a shlemiel, he's thinner and weaker.


A likeable patsy. You could sell him a time-share in Area 51, and
He'll pay top dollar - for vacationing on an historical site.


A beggar. He's forever borrowing, taking advantage. Bad for a potluck


A lazy braggart. Not only does he blow his own horn, he doesn't own one.


A loud-mouthed, boorish female. In Loehmann's dressing room she'll
Yell "It would fit if you lost a few pounds!"


Socially inept. He takes you to a restaurant with a clown face and
Spends the evening discussing his train collection.


Lazy slob. He shows up with schmutz on his untucked shirt. To Archie
Bunker, "meathead" looked like a zshlub when he met him - although
He'd never say it.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Israeli Connection

Israelis are justifiably proud today to have learned last night that a sizeable group of agents from the Mossad and the Shin Bet were involved in the dramatic and successful release of hostages in Colombia who had been imprisoned for five years.

Israeli TV Channels 2 and 10 broke the news last night, saying that for the first time it could be reported that the Israelis were "intimately involved in great depth" in the successful liberation of the captives, along with their American counterparts.

Ingrid Betancourt, the Colombia politician who was restored to her family (pictured above embracing her daughter) said in her statement to reporters after her release: "I am not aware of a precedent to such a perfect mission. Maybe only the Israelis with their wonderful commandos may be reminiscent of the mission that took place here."

Betancourt's reference to Israel's military history is not by chance. Last year, a group of Israeli military advisors, receiving approval from the Israeli Defense Ministry, resided in Colombia in order to assist the army there and especially the special units.

The Israeli mission was focused mainly on intelligence issues, special operations and integration and coordination between different security elements. This was in order to prepare them for a coordinated and productive campaign within a short period of time. The group was headed by Major-General (Res.) Israel Ziv, who served as the head of operations in the elite Sayeret Matkal unit up until four years ago.

Ziv and at least some of his men have already returned to Israel but the assistance the Israeli team provided to the Colombian security forces assisted them in attaining the list of successes they have been achieving lately against the FARC rebel organization, most notably the "perfect" rescue of the hostages.

The TV announcer said last night, "The names of the agents involved will never be made public but they are in fact our anonymous heroes."

How Did Jews Choose Their Last Names?

Many Jewish family names are those of cities in Europe, often with a suffix that means ‘a resident of.’ For example: Berlin-er, Frankfurt-er, Minsk-y, Pinsk-y, Slutsk-y, Posnan-ski, Smolensk-y, etc. But surely these families weren’t known by the names of their cities while they were living there: They must have acquired them when they moved elsewhere, just as El Greco was known by that name not in his native Greece but after he moved to Spain. So when and why did so many Jews leave their former place of residence, taking its name with them, and where did they go?”

The above is only partly correct . When talking about Jewish family names, or at least, about the names of the Ashkenazic Jews of Eastern and Central Europe from which the great majority of American Jews descend, it is important to keep one fact in mind: Until the late 18th or early 19th century, very few Jews had such names at all. Every Jew, that is, had a Jewish “last name,” but it was a personal one that was not passed on to children, since it was the name of one’s father that was used on ritual occasions. If your name was Boruch and your father’s name was Simcha, you were called up to the Torah as Boruch ben-Simcha; if your name was Rokhl and your father’s name was Dovid, you were mentioned in a ketubah or marriage contract as Rokhl bas-Dovid. But your son Aryeh was called to the Torah as Aryeh ben-Boruch, and your daughter Rivka was written in the ketubah as Rivka-bas-Eliahu (if that was the name of Rokhl’s husband). Such “last names” were one-generational.

The introduction of permanent last names into European Jewish life came with the decision of European governments to make their Jewish populations, which had previously been granted a large measure of communal autonomy, fully subject to the same state regulations and bureaucratic record-keeping as were other citizens. In the Austrian Empire, which ruled much of southern and eastern Poland, Jews were ordered to take such names in the 1780s and ’90s; in Germany, in 1797; in tsarist Russia, in 1804.

How did a Jew choose a last name? There were various methods. Some Jews stuck with tradition and put a German or Russian suffix on their father’s name, as in Jacobsohn or Chaimovitch. Some, in Yiddish-speaking areas where children were distinguished from other, similarly named children by their mother (e.g., Leib Sorehs, “Sarah’s Leib,” or Velvel Chayes, “Chaye’s Velvel”), took their mother’s names. Some, who were priests or Levites, called themselves Cohen, Levi or one of the many variations of these. Some took the names of their professions, by which they may already have been known locally: Thus, Itzik der shekhter, Itzik the slaughterer, became Itzik Schechter, and Yosl der shuster, Yosl the shoemaker, became Yosl Schuster. Some arbitrarily took names that appealed to them: Rosenblum, “rose blossom,” for instance, or Goldstein, “gold stone.” And some named themselves for places.

Now, it would stand to reason, as Mr. Sherman writes, that if you were named Leybl and had moved from Pinsk to Minsk, where there were quite a few other Leybls, you might have become known in Minsk as Leybl der pinsker, and so taken the name Leybl Pinsker. This probably happened fairly often — Jews, after all, were extremely mobile compared to other Eastern-European populations and often moved for reasons of marriage or work — and certainly must account for many names such as those Mr. Sherman mentions. And if you were Leybl der pinsker and wanted your official name to sound more Russian, you might prefer to become Leybl Pinsky.

But there were other ways, too, in which you might have gotten such a name. Perhaps you continued to live in Pinsk but worked (as many Jews did) as an itinerant peddler, going from village to village with your wares; in that event, you might also have been known in the villages you frequented as Leybl der pinsker and chosen Pinsker or Pinsky. Or it may have been that you were proud of living in Pinsk, or simply couldn’t think of a better alternative, and registered yourself with the Russian authorities as Pinsker or Pinsky not because you had left Pinsk, but because you hadn’t. There must have been cases of that happening as well.

And finally, there were, in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, renowned rabbis — generally, Hasidic ones — who were also known by the places they lived in, so that Rabbi Aron of Karlin, for example, was called der karliner rebbe or der karliner, and Rabbi Yakov Yitzchak, the “Seer of Lublin,” der lubliner. Could not some of the Karliners and Lubliners in the world today be their descendants? Had El Greco been famous in Toledo, he might still have been El Greco even if he had never gone anywhere

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

How to tell if you are a Jewish redneck

) You think a Hora is a high priced call girl.

2) You light your Shabbat candles with your cigarette.

3) Your belt buckle is bigger than your yarmulke.

4) Instead of a noisemaker, you've fired a shotgun at the sound of
Haman's name.

5) You have a gun rack in your Sukkah.

6) You think "KKK" is a symbol for really kosher.

7) You think marrying your first cousin is required according to Jewish

8) You don't ride on Shabbat because your car is up on blocks.

9) When someone shouts L'chaim you respond L'howdy.

10) You are saving a bottle of Mogen David wine for some special

2000 yr-old biblical scroll found in Israel

JERUSALEM - A secretive encounter with a Bedouin in a desert valley led to the discovery of two fragments from a nearly 2,000-year-old parchment scroll - the first such finding in decades, an Israeli archaeologist said today.

The finding has given rise to hope that the Judean Desert may yield more treasures, said Professor Chanan Eshel, an archaeologist from Tel Aviv's Bar Ilan University.

The two small pieces of brown animal skin, inscribed in Hebrew with verses from the Book of Leviticus, are from "refugee" caves in Nachal Arugot, a canyon near the Dead Sea where Jews hid from the Romans in the second century, Eshel said in an interview with The Associated Press.

The scrolls are being tested by Israel's Antiquities Authority. Recently, several relics bearing inscriptions, including a burial box purported to belong to Jesus' brother James, were revealed as modern forgeries.

More than 1,000 ancient texts - known collectively as the Dead Sea Scrolls - were discovered between 1947 and 1956 in 11 caves overlooking the western shores of the Dead Sea.

"No scrolls have been found in the Judean Desert" in decades, Eshel said. "The common belief has been that there is nothing left to find there."

Now, he said, scholars may be spurred on to further excavations.

Archaeologist and Bible scholar Steven Pfann said he had not seen the fragments. If authenticated, they would "in general not be doing more than confirming the character of the material that we have from the southern part of the Judean wilderness up until today."

But "what's interesting and exciting is that this is a new discovery," Pfann added. "This is the first time we've seen anything from the south since the 1960s."

Eshel said he was first shown the fragments last year during a meeting in an abandoned police station near the Dead Sea.

A Bedouin said he had been offered $20,000 for the fragments on the black market and wanted an evaluation.

The encounter that both excited and dismayed the archaeologist who has worked in the Judean Desert since 1986.

"I was jealous he had found it, not me. I was also very excited. I didn't believe I would see them again," said Eshel, who took photographs of the pieces he feared would soon be smuggled out of the country.

But in March 2005, he discovered the Bedouin still had the scroll fragments. Eshel bought them with $3,000 provided by Bar Ilan University and handed them over to the Antiquities Authority, he said.

"Scholars do not buy antiquities. I did it because I could not see it fall apart," Eshel said.

The finding constitutes the 15th scroll fragments found in the area from the same period of the Jewish "Bar Kochba" revolt against the Romans, and the first to be discovered with verses from Leviticus, Eshel said.

The Dead Sea Scrolls were written by the Essenes, a monastic sect seen by some as a link between Judaism and early Christianity. The scrolls comprise more than 1,000 ancient texts found a half century ago in the caves above Qumran in the West Bank, one of the most significant discoveries in the Holy Land.


1. Scientists in Israel, found that the brackish water, drilled from underground desert aquifers hundreds of feet deep, could be used to raise warm-water fish. The geothermal water, less than one-tenth as saline as sea water, free of pollutants, and a toasty 98 degrees on average, proves an ideal environment.

2. Israeli-developed designer-eyeglasses, promise mobile phone and iPod users, a personalized, high-tech video display. Available to US consumers next year, Lumus-Optical's lightweight and fashionable video eyeglasses, feature a large transparent screen, floating in front of the viewer's face that projects their choice of movie, TV show, or video Game.

3. When Stephen Hawkins visited Israel recently, he shared his wisdom with scientists, students, and even the Prime Minister. But the world's most renown victim of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's disease, also le arned something, due to the Israeli Association for ALS' advan ced work in both embryonic and adult stem cell research, as well as its proven track record with neurodegenerative diseases. The Israeli research community is well on its way, to finding a treatment for this fatal disease, which affects 30,000 Americans.

4. Israeli start-up, Veterix, has developed an innovative new electronic capsule that sits in the stomach of a cow, sheep, or goat, sending out real-time information on the health of the herd, to the farmer via Email or cell phone. The e-capsule, which also sends out alerts if animals are distressed, injured, or lost, is now being tested on a herd of cows, in the hopes that the device will lead to tastier and healthier meat and milk supplies.

5. The millions of Skype users worldwide will soon have access to the newly developed KishKish lie-detector. This free Internet service, based on voice stress analysis (a technique, commonly used in crim inal investigations), will be able to measure just how truthful that person on the other end of the line, really is.

6. Beating cardiac tissue has been created in a lab from human embryonic stem cells by researchers at the Rappaport Medical Faculty and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology's biomedical Engineering faculty.
The work of Dr. Shulamit Levenberg and Prof. Lior Gepstein, has also led to the creation of tiny blood vessels within the tissue, making possible its implantation in a human heart.

7. Israel's Magal Security Systems, is a worldwide leader in computerized security systems, with products used in more than 70 countries around the world, protecting anything from national borders, to nuclear facilities, refineries, and airports. The company's latest Product, DreamBox, a state-of-the-art security system that includes Intelligent video, audio and sensor management, is now being used by a major water authority on the US east coast to safeguard the utility's sites

8. It is common knowledge that dogs have better night vision than humans and a vastly superior sense of smell and hearing. Israel's Bio-Sense Technologies, recently delved further, and electronically analyzed 350 different barks. Finding that dogs of all breeds and sizes, bark the same alarm when they sense a threat, the firm has designed the dog bark-reader, a sensor that can pick up a dog's alarm bark, and alert the human operators. This is just one of a batch of innovative security systems to emerge from Israel, which Forbes calls 'the go-to country for anti-terrorism technologies.

9. Israeli company, BioControl Medical, sold its first electrical stimulator to treat urinary incontinence to a US company for $50 Million. Now, it is working on CardioFit, which uses electrical nerve stimulation to treat congestive heart failure. With nearly five million Americans presently affected by heart failure, and more than 400,000 new cases diagnosed yearly, the CardioFit is already generating a great deal of excitement as the first device with the potential to halt this deadly disease.

10. One year after Norway's Socialist Left Party launched its boycott Israel campaign, the importing of Israeli goods has increased by 15%, the strongest increase in many years, Statistics Norway reports.

In contrast to the efforts of tiny Israel to make contributions to the world so as to better mankind, one has to ask, what have those who have strived to eliminate Israel from the face of the earth done other than to create hate and bloodshed?

Friday, July 4, 2008

A Vaccine For Melanoma! (Thanks To Israeli Scientists)

By Darnell Clayton

Professor Tamar Peretz and Dr. Michal Lotem, from the Hadassa Medical Center have come up with a unique vacccine for Melanoma, a skin cancer that can cause death in a patient.

(Israel National News) Israeli scientists have developed a method of vaccination against melanoma, a type of skin cancer often caused by over-exposure to sunlight. The vaccine is prepared by removing cells from a melanoma growth. The vaccine is designed to prevent recurrences of the disease amongst previous suffers and to increase chances of survival for current ones.

Even though this may not be considered a major disease (at least against the general population) its good to see Israeli medical scientists taking one more plague off the list.

As far as the other cancerous diseases are concerned, Israeli scientists are hard at work finding new ways to kill these cells in various labs across the country.

From The Red Sea To The Dead Sea (Jordan And Israel)

By Darnell Clayton

Last month, President Shimon Peres and King Abdullah II of Jordan met together to discuss constructing a pipeline that would pump life giving water from the Red Sea, and pour it into the Dead Sea which borders both nations.

(IsraCast) After years of study and evaluation, the current plan, as envisioned by Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority, is to construct a 112-mile (180 km) partially covered pipeline across the Wadi Araba (Arava), a desert region between Israel and Jordan that stretches from the Gulf of Aqaba in the south to the Dead Sea in the north. [...]

Theoretically, enough Red Sea water flowing into the Dead Sea could restore most of its water level over time. Moreover, hydroelectricity generated from the water coursing down the gradient would power a large desalination plant. Potable freshwater could then be delivered to urban areas, such as Jordan’s capital Amman, to relieve existing shortages. In addition, the canal’s supporters argue that construction could spark more joint Israeli-Jordanian-Palestinian tourism and development projects in the Wadi Araba region.

Peres it seems has been promoting cooperation between Jordan and Israel, which has helped ease tensions between the two nations--not to mention help build up dialogue as well as respect.

Despite their past, both Jordan and Israel have been steadily moving closer together (at least economically) which gives hope to the future that Arabs and Jews can live side by side, regardless of their differences.

An ‘Angel’ From Alabama

A Lubavitcher man desperately needed a kidney. A Pentecostalist woman answered the call, and ended up dancing at his only daughter’s wedding in Crown Heights.

by Sharon Udasin
Staff Writer

For Marisa Hester, a Pentecostal Christian from Prattville, Ala., choosing an outfit for an ultra-Orthodox Crown Heights wedding wasn’t easy. Sorting through her two sets of formalwear, she eventually opted for a knee-length floral skirt and a high-necked black chiffon blouse, embellished with sparkling beads.

She worried, however, that her slightly sheer sleeves were too revealing and would insult her newfound family.
But at the June 24 wedding, the bride and her relatives could not have been less offended.

A year ago, Hester, 26, gave an invaluable gift to the bride’s father, Hershey Fellig, 47, whose struggle she had read about on an e-mail list-serve. With the slice of a scalpel, Hester gave Fellig — a perfect stranger — her kidney, thereby saving his life.

“It took someone from Alabama who never met a Jew to come to my rescue,” Fellig said. “There are only a few people out there who do reach out.”
Fellig, a school administrator in Los Angeles, first learned that he would need a kidney transplant about five years ago. By mid-2005, his condition worsened, and physicians told Fellig he could only survive for another five years on dialysis. Meanwhile, his only child, Chani, was quickly approaching marriage age, and he wanted nothing more than to be there for her wedding.
“I have one daughter and she’s the pride of my life,” Fellig said.
Desperate, Fellig said he placed an ad on the Web site, asking if anyone would be willing to donate a kidney to him. Quickly, he received a response from Lauren Finkelstein, the founder of Save One Person, a New York-based organization whose purpose is to help those in need. Formerly a television publicist, Finkelstein decided that she wanted to save lives after she narrowly avoided a Jerusalem terror attack in 2001.
“I thought to myself, I’m not married, I don’t have any kids, I want to do something meaningful with my life,” said Finkelstein, the single mother of a 2-year-old. She immediately made it her mission to find solutions for those in critical need, finding organs and bone marrow for those who would otherwise die.
Joining forces with her long-time mentor, Rabbi Simon Jacobson, a Crown Heights author and lecturer, she established the nonprofit Save One Person in January of 2002 and hopes to eventually transform the volunteer-based organization into a fully staffed company. In one of Jacobson’s classes, she met entrepreneur Eric Targan, who decided to feature Save One Person notices in his Joke of the Day e-newsletter each Thursday.
Fortunately, Marisa Hester had been a Joke of the Day subscriber for several years, and as she was browsing her e-mails, a post about Fellig’s emergency situation touched her.

“Just seeing that someone was in need, I thought what would it hurt to have a blood test done?” Hester said. “It was all God — he orchestrated it.”
Hester and her family belong to the Church of God, a fundamentalist branch of Pentecostal Christianity that emphasizes personal connection with God through baptism with the Holy Spirit. Living in a predominantly Christian community, Hester had never met a Jew before Fellig, but she maintains that Christian and Jews believe in the same God who blessed her decision.
Fellig agreed, explaining that Christians, Muslims and Jews all worship the same God, and he has no qualms with Hester’s religious beliefs.
“She decided to have a higher calling,” he said.
Due to her relatively rare Rh-negative blood type, Hester knew that she would never be a match for her children, if either one of them ever needed a kidney. During her own pregnancies, her blood type caused her body to develop antibodies against even her own children when she was carrying them.
“I knew that something could eventually happen to my kids one day,” she said. “I did it for him, just as I would want somebody to do for me and my children.”
Her initial blood test revealed that she was a match for Fellig, but initially doctors found another donor, Hester said. Soon after, however, the doctors called her again to say they needed her, and Hester agreed to give her kidney to a man whom she had never met.

“I wanted him to be able to see his daughter get married and have children,” Hester said.
With no compensation beyond flying costs, her donor preparations began with a series of urine tests back home in Prattville, a city of 30,000 in central Alabama. In October 2006, she flew to Los Angeles to endure eight hours of further testing at Cedar-Sinai Medical Center, where she remembers filling 23 vials with blood. Doctors maintained that she was an ideal candidate as long as she lost some weight, and after doing so, she flew again to Los Angeles in January 2007 to undergo more exams.
Six months later, Hester and her children arrived on the West Coast for the operation, scheduled for July 20. Reluctant to hide the truth from her children — now 4 and 9 — she explained to them exactly what was going to happen.
“They were worried that something would happen to Mommy,” Hester said. “Never in my life had I had a surgery before.”
Her 9-year-old daughter Hannah, though proud, was also afraid. “I felt kind of scared because I was afraid she was going to get hurt or something,” said Hannah, who also attended the wedding. “She did the right thing because saving someone’s life is the best thing you could do.”
According to both Hester and Fellig, the two surgeries went smoothly, with minimal side effects. Following the transplant — which occurred on a Friday — Fellig stayed in the hospital for a week, where he experienced some initial organ rejection. After the early problems, however, his body ultimately accepted the organ, and he made it home in time for the following Shabbat, he said.
Since the transplant, Hester and Fellig check on each other regularly, and Fellig said that he now has his best test results — he currently sees the doctor only once every three months. When Fellig’s daughter Chani announced her engagement, he immediately thought to bring Hester to the wedding.
“I’m extremely happy to have him alive, dancing at my wedding, and I’m looking forward to many more years with him,” Chani said, smiling.
After the ceremony, Hester and her daughter left the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s library and crossed Eastern Parkway to join the party at the Ohelei Torah ballroom. Clearly new members of the extended family, the Hesters joined hands with the other guests on the women’s side of the mechitza, bobbing to the live klezmer melodies. Hannah jumped in sync with the Lubavitch children, for whom such weddings were routine and whose feet had memorized the dances. A bit more hesitant than her outgoing daughter, Hester dropped in and out of the throbbing circles, but was never abandoned by her chasidic companions.
“They say that doctors are angels of healing,” Fellig said. “[The transplant] is a miraculous occurrence, and she was the angel of mercy for me.”

ON THIS DAY | 4 | 1976: Israelis rescue Entebbe hostages

1976: Israelis rescue Entebbe hostages

Israeli commandos have rescued 100 hostages, mostly Israelis or Jews, held by pro-Palestinian hijackers at Entebbe airport in Uganda.
At about 0100 local time (2200GMT), Ugandan soldiers and the hijackers were taken completely by surprise when three Hercules transport planes landed after a 2,500-mile trip from Israel.

About 200 elite troops ran out and stormed the airport building.

During a 35-minute battle, 20 Ugandan soldiers and all seven hijackers died along with three hostages.

This operation will certainly be inscribed in the annals of military history, in legend and in national tradition.

Yitzhak Rabin, Israeli Prime Minister

The leader of the assault force, Lieutenant Colonel Yonatan Netanyahu, was also shot dead by a Ugandan sentry.

The Israelis destroyed 11 Russian-built MiG fighters, which amounted to a quarter of Uganda's air force.

The surviving hostages were then flown to Israel with a stopover in Nairobi, Kenya, where some of the injured were treated by Israeli doctors and at least two transferred to hospital there.

Speaking at the Israeli Knesset (parliament) this afternoon, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin who ordered the raid said: "This operation will certainly be inscribed in the annals of military history, in legend and in national tradition."

Air France plane seized

The crisis began on 27 June, when four militants seized an Air France flight, flying from Israel to Paris via Athens, with 250 people on board.

The hijackers - two from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and two from Germany's Baader-Meinhof gang - diverted the plane to Entebbe, where it arrived on 28 June.

The hijackers - who were joined by three more colleagues - demanded the release of 53 militants held in jails in Israel and four other countries.

Uganda's President and dictator Idi Amin arrived at the airport to give a speech in support of the PFLP and supplied the hijackers with extra troops and weapons.

On 1 July, the hijackers released a large number of hostages but continued to hold captive the remaining 100 passengers who were Israelis or Jews.

Those who were freed were flown to Paris and London.

Among them were British citizens George Good, a retired accountant and Tony Russell, a senior GLC official, who arrived in London on Friday.

The crew were offered the chance to go but chose to stay with the plane. The remaining hostages were transferred to the airport building.

The hijackers then set a deadline for 1100GMT for their demands to be met or they would blow up the airliner and its passengers. But their plan was foiled by the dramatic Israeli raid.


In Context

The mission, originally dubbed Operation Thunderbolt by the Israeli military, was renamed Operation Yonatan in honour of Netanyahu - elder brother of Binyamin Netanyahu, who was Israel's Prime Minister from 1996 to 1999.
The raid continues to be source of pride for the Israeli public, and many of the participants went on to high office in Israel's military and political establishment.

Among them was Dan Shomron, who was in overall command of the rescue operation. He became Chief of Staff of the Israel Defence Force.

Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated during his second term in office in 1995.

Idi Amin was humiliated by the surprise raid. He believed Kenya had colluded with Israel in planning the raid and hundreds of Kenyans living in Uganda were massacred soon afterwards.

But from this time, Amin's regime began to break down.

Two years later Idi Amin was forced into exile in Saudi Arabia.

He died in Jeddah in August 2003.