In Menachem Begin’s Rise, Lessons for the #Resistance to Trump
No one saw him coming.
Certainly not the nation’s entrenched political class: To them, he was one part clown and one part petty tyrant. They mocked his hyperbolic way of speaking—to him, everything, from his supporters to his family, was very, very great, the best, the most—and warned that if he somehow got elected, it would be the end of democracy. But they didn’t really think he could win, so they continued to campaign at a leisurely pace and rely on the sycophantic media to present their candidate as inevitable.
He, on the other hand, campaigned furiously. Knowing that the press had it in for him, he set up a series of mass rallies all over the country. His fans came out in droves to see him. They were working class folks, and they felt that the elites had pushed them around for too long. In him, they found an unlikely messiah: He wasn’t of them, but he seemed to understand their frustrations and, most important, offer them some sort of nostalgic promise. He could make the nation great again.
Besides, the rallies were such good fun! He was funnier than anyone ever gave him credit for, and he mocked his political rivals mercilessly, commenting on their looks and ridiculing their weaknesses. Still, no one seemed too worried: There was no way, they thought, that Menachem Begin could really win the election.
But on May 17, 1977, he did, sending Israel’s upper crust into a tailspin. Anyone who wants to understand the current American political moment would do well to study Begin, who began his political life as a boogeyman and ended it as one of the greatest leaders in the nation’s history.
Ben Shapiro: How Trump Haters End Up Helping Trump
Perhaps those cheering such extreme rhetoric think they’re doing a world of good. In truth, their hatred for Trump, extended to his supporters, is actually emboldening Trump and strengthening his base of support. Even those of us uncomfortable with Trump’s character aren’t likely to side with Waters or crowds shouting down Cabinet secretaries eating dinner. Nor are we likely to go along with labeling Trumpian immigration policy Nazi-like — particularly without any serious historical references, and combined with on-the-ground activism that sometimes looks like a fair bit like brownshirt thuggery. Last week, George Will called on Republicans to vote for Democrats in order to check Trump — but no self-respecting Republican is going to vote for the people who call them Nazis and who avoid making serious arguments in favor of shouting about Orange Hitler.
The great irony is that Trump is an unpopular president by any objective measure — he’s spent his entire presidency hovering around 40 percent, despite a booming economy and a dearth of foreign crises. All the left would have to do to win over independents and disenchanted Republicans is provide some semblance of stability and decency. Instead, hatred for Trump has driven the left to polarization — and that polarization is forcing the same binary choice that led to Trump’s presidency in the first place. Trump hatred has led to disproportionate, irrational responses that have pushed people into his corner. These unhinged attacks against Trump don’t defeat Trump. They strengthen him.
Caroline Glick: The Grand Bazaar, AMIA and Lockerbie
News coverage of the large and growing anti-regime protests in Iran this week has included warnings by Iran “experts” insisting that the vocal support the protesters are receiving on social media from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is counterproductive.
Israeli and US statements of support for the Iranian people and their desire to rid themselves of the regime that oppresses them will only weaken them, experts warn. But several counter-indications make clear that these warnings should be disregarded.
In 2009, when millions of Iranians took to the streets in the Green Revolution, then-US president Barack Obama refused to support them. Like today’s experts, Obama argued that it would be counterproductive for the US to support the protesters as they demanded the overthrow of the regime that had just stolen the presidential election. Obama claimed that the US is so hated that the regime would use its support of the protesters to discredit the demonstrations.
In the event, Obama’s silence demoralized the revolutionaries who asked again and again why he refused to stand with them. Perhaps more importantly, by refusing to stand for the men and women of Iran who risked death to stand up to America’s bitter enemy, Obama gave Iran’s dictator Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his henchmen a green light to brutally repress the revolution. Which is exactly what they proceeded to do with nary a whimper of protest from the Obama White House.
Charles Krauthammer: Why the Media Never Gets the Middle East Right
On October 24, 1993, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) held a conference at Brandeis University titled: “The Media, the Message, and Middle East Peace.” Among the speakers at the conference was Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Charles Krauthammer. To honor his memory, we are republishing his speech.
Let me begin with the good news. I brought with me a cartoon that ran in a major newspaper on July 31. It shows a bunch of people, including some children, with bombs exploding over their heads, running for their lives. Why? They are being chased by a large creature, a Tyrannosaurus Rex. But not your ordinary T Rex. This one is wearing an army helmet with a Star of David on it. This is a cartoon about Southern Lebanon. The caption reads: “Sixty million in the making, one week in destroying. Jewrassic Park, a.k.a. Southern Lebanon.” Jurassic is spelled Jew-rassic.
Why is this good news? Because it ran in the Irish Times. It is much harder to find that kind of thing in this country. However biased, unfriendly, and off-the-mark is American media coverage of the Middle East, it cannot hold a candle to the rest of the world and in particular Europe. After all, Ireland is not a country well known for its raging anti-Semitism. Yet this is your typical European view of the Israeli campaign in Southern Lebanon this summer in response to the Katyusha rocket attacks.
So my first piece of good news is this: It could be worse. (I always like to start talks with good news. Chesterton once said of Zola: “He was worse than a pornographer, he was a pessimist.” I’m here to cheer you up.)
My second piece of good news is that the anti-Israel bias in the media is, in my view, not primarily a function of malice. This is good news because malice is incurable. The bias in the media is, in my view, a compound of other factors, principally sentimentality, ignorance, laziness, and over-attention. And some of those – particularly ignorance – you can do something about.
In the preface to his book Enemies and Neighbors: Arabs and Jews in Palestine and Israel 1917-2017, Ian Black claims that he tries “to tell the story of, and from, both sides,” yet, notes Asher Susser, these two sides turn out to be “the victorious Israeli villain and the vanquished Palestinian victim.” Although Black breaks with the now-popular academic view that Zionism is a form of colonialism, and recognizes the Jews’ historical and religious attachment to the Land of Israel, he fails, writes Susser, to grasp the intensity of Arab anti-Semitism or to display skepticism toward the claims of Arab propagandists and anti-Zionist historians—accepting unquestioningly, for instance, the tale of a “massacre” at Lydda. Susser also notes more subtle problems:
When it comes to Palestinian (or British) [deaths], Black’s language tends to become more graphic. During the second intifada, when Israeli missile strikes killed Palestinian operatives, meticulously singled out for their personal responsibility for the deaths of Israelis, we are told that the victims were “incinerated.” The booby-trapped corpses of two British soldiers hanged by the Irgun Jewish underground in the summer of 1947 were “blown apart” when they were cut down. But hundreds of Israelis, murdered indiscriminately by Palestinian suicide bombers in the second intifada, were always “killed,” never “blown apart.” It is only the Israelis who “incinerate” and “blow apart” [others]. . . .
Israeli leaders, Black says, have refused to admit responsibility for Palestinian suffering. He faults the Israelis for not accepting “the passionately held Palestinian demand for Israel’s recognition of its responsibility for creating the [refugee] problem in 1948.” But the responsibility shoe is very much on the other foot. Israeli leaders have been prepared, at Taba in 2001 for example, to accept their share of responsibility for the consequences of 1948. But they have never been willing to accept sole responsibility. The Palestinians, on the other hand, have never taken any responsibility for the decisions they made in 1947-1948.
Nakba, [the Arabic term used to describe Israel’s creation], means a natural disaster like an earthquake or a flood and, as Sadiq al-Azm has argued, the very use of the term is, in itself, an act of “exoneration and the evasion of responsibility and accountability, since whoever is struck by a disaster is not considered responsible for it.” The Israelis, needless to say, are entirely responsible for all their deeds and misdeeds, but they cannot also be held responsible for the decisions and actions of the Palestinians. . . .
Avi Zimmerman: “Israel is not an afterthought to the Holocaust”
Avi Zimmerman, executive director of Friends of Ariel, debunks some of the fake news and propaganda spread by Israel’s enemies.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously passed controversial legislation on Thursday to target boycott efforts against Israel and Israeli businesses, advancing the measure to now be considered by the entire House chamber.
The Israel Anti-Boycott Act prohibits “US companies from participating in boycotts promoted by international organizations, like the UN, that target US partners, like Israel,” said Rep. Ed Royce, a California Republican who chairs the panel.
Liberal advocacy groups, however, argue the legislation poses a constitutional infringement on Americans’ First Amendment protections, which includes a constitutional right to participate in political boycotts.
Faiz Shakir, national political director of The American Civil Liberties Union, wrote a letter to House members last year saying the bill “would impose civil and criminal punishment on individuals solely because of their political beliefs about Israel and its policies.” He urged them not to co-sponsor or support the bill.
The measure’s supporters counter that, if passed and implemented, this law would prohibit discrimination on the basis of national origin, in this case, directed at Israeli companies and individuals.
A group of five activists from the far-left IfNotNow Jewish organization infiltrated a Birthright group currently in Israel this week, and offered a tour of Hebron to other members of the group with the Breaking the Silence organization.
IfNotNow, which says it seeks to “end American Jewish support for the occupation,” launched a new campaign this week called Not Just A Free Trip, in which it says it is using “a diversity of methods” to teach Birthright participants about “the daily nightmare of Occupation.”
It appears that one of the methods is to actively infiltrate Birthright groups without the organization’s knowledge, and influence the other participants regarding the political conflict with the Palestinians by offering them tours and other activities without Birthright’s permission.
The five IfNotNow activists were part of the Birthright group from the outset, which was organized by Mayanot, participated in the full ten days of the trip and received the trip for free like all other participants.
On Thursday, video footage emerged on social media of one such group where an IfNotNow activist stood up on the bus at the end of a trip and offered other participants the opportunity of going on a tour of Hebron with the hard-left Breaking the Silence organization.
Yisrael Medad: Dealing with IfNotNow’s “Facts”
I decided to take a closer look at IfNotNow’s new Stay-After-Birthright campaign with its “Ask Us” theme:
So, I looked for their facts:
and now, I’ll ask them a few questions. After all, fair is fair. First, some general ones.
This “occupation” to which you keep referring, would that be the occupation by Arabs of the territory of the Jewish national home by any chance? You do know that Arabs conquered and occupied the Land of Israel in 638CE, yes?
The Arabs who engaged in an ethnic cleansing operation between 1920-1948, expelling the Jews that survived the pogroms and murderous riots in Hebron, Gaza, Shchem (aka Nablus), Gush Etzion, Jerusalem’s Old City, Neveh Yaakov, Atarot, Nahlat Shimon, Shimon HaTzaddik, Shiloach and other areas?
An author, historical archivist, and curator employed by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has encouraged readers to contribute to an organization that has repeatedly published comparisons of Israel to the Nazis.
Dr. Rebecca Erbelding recently authored “Rescue Board: The Untold Story of America’s Efforts to Save the Jews of Europe.” The book focuses on a small US government agency, the War Refugee Board, that helped Jews in the final months of the Holocaust, and somewhat controversially credits then-president Franklin Delano Roosevelt for the board’s achievements.
In a tweet on June 10, Erbelding offered to send a free copy of the book to anyone who contributes $50 or more to the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) or two other charities. The AFSC, a Quaker organization, has promoted claims that Israel’s policies are similar to those of the Hitler regime.
The tweet appeared on Erbelding’s private twitter account. However, she has become a spokesperson for the Holocaust museum following the launch of its new exhibit, “Americans and the Holocaust,” which she co-curated.
A bunch of numbskulls of varying levels of celebrity have penned a letter in the Guardian, attacking Germany’s Ruhrtriennale festival’s decision to drop Scottish band The Young Fathers for their support of BDS.
You may recognize many of the signatories as the usual scum and villainy behind other similar letters.
Note the antisemitism disclaimer I bolded – the “anti-Zionist-not-antisemite” clause, as I like to put it. It is completely disingenuous, given the list of signatories includes actual antisemites.
Take Roger Waters, for example, whose antisemitism I have discussed on a number of occasions. And let’s not forget Ken Loach, who has defended Holocaust denial and attacked those who attack Jew hatred.
Meanwhile, I, for one, appreciate these letters, because it helps me determine whose “work” I can boycott.
University of Lethbridge professor Anthony Hall doesn’t only think 9/11 was a Zionist job; no, he also thinks ISIS is in bed with Israel. The University of Lethbridge suspended Anthony, but then reinstated him. The professor was back to talk about one of his favorite topics, “Islamophobia,” earlier this month, asserting the existence of “philanthropic families of Jewish background” behind an “Islamophobia industry,” reported The Algemeiner.
This is, of course, what the left does with every privileged identity group. You can write a completely straight news piece, just sticking to the facts, but if it makes one of their special pet victim groups look bad, you’re no longer espousing truth; you’re suddenly preaching hatred. But let’s talk a bit about Anthony’s obsession with false flags. Joshua Blakeney, one of the guy’s graduate students, received a $7,714 scholarship to study 9/11 conspiracy theories. Oh and the “ongoing financial commitment of the Province of Alberta” made this possible, according to National Post.
That’s all of you Albertans out there who actually contribute to society in meaningful ways to earn YOUR money. And it’s not just scholarships…the University of Lethbridge itself is publicly funded. As for Anthony, he has a pretty middling Rate My Professors score. Some people praised him for being “extremely passionate” and an “energetic hippie with fascinating concepts” but then you get to the reviews noting his left-wing bias, claiming he “abuses the stage he receives as a ‘teacher’” and suggesting he’s not too tolerant, saying “you cannot tell people that they are wrong just because they disagree with you.”
When Mayor Bill de Blasio picked Bernie Sanders to swear him in for his second term, it was a sign, much like a groundhog signaling six more weeks of winter, that the heart of the Democrat Party was changing — even if Bernie himself still refuses to acknowledge that he belongs to it.
And while Sanders-endorsed candidates have floundered nationally, they got a big win last night when 28-year-old Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez breezed past establishment figurehead Joe Crowley in the primary for the relatively safe 14th District.
She has yet to offer any solutions on how to pay for her fairytale platform, of course, beyond the standard manifesto answer of taxing the rich. Ocasio-Cortez also supports impeaching President Trump, which many Democrats quietly support but candidates aren’t supposed to say out loud, as the midterm electorate might be wary of spending the next two years mired in such shenanigans.
Her radicalized anti-Israel stance became apparent in a tweet blaming Israel for the recent violence in Gaza perpetuated by Hamas: “This is a massacre. I hope my peers have the moral courage to call it such. No state or entity is absolved of mass shootings of protesters. There is no justification. Palestinian people deserve basic human dignity, as anyone else. Democrats can’t be silent about this anymore.”
She also blamed Palestinian deaths on Trump’s decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Jewish state’s capital, Jerusalem.
Along with her tweets, a former New York City Council candidate whose platform was to “defeat the greedy Jewish landlords” both volunteered for her campaign and attended her election-night victory party.
Last September, Pasternak formally requested a strategy for dealing with extremist rallies that are held on city property. Among his ideas was to hit rally organizers with costs.
The Al-Quds rally used to take place on the grounds of the provincial legislature, but in 2015, Queen’s Park denied organizers a permit, formally citing the PanAm and Parapan Games as the reason.
Last year, the rally moved to a municipal park just north of the legislature, despite a bylaw that prohibits protests and demonstrations in city parks. Marchers then traversed Queen’s Park, en route to the U.S. Consulate on University Avenue.
Speakers at past Al-Quds Day rallies in Toronto have referred to Israel as “a cancer,” glorified terrorism and called for Israelis to be shot. Last year’s rally featured an American Holocaust denier and police are still probing a music video from that year that allegedly called for Israelis to be stabbed, decapitated and run over with vehicles.
Following this year’s protest on June 9, B’nai Brith Canada filed a hate crimes complaint with police, alleging that a Muslim cleric from Kitchener, Ont., said that Israelis should be “eradicated.”
All rallies have featured people flying the flag of Hezbollah, which Canada considers a banned terrorist group.
Citing server problems and widespread user ignorance, Facebook Tsar Mark Zuckerberg is reportedly contemplating a ‘total ban’ on anything related to the polarizing Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.
“Look, I’m a billionaire genius and I didn’t build this social media platform for Israelis and Palestinians to post as if they’re all suffering from OCD, and certainly not for a bunch of white people outside the region who don’t know jack shit about the conflict apart from what they see on ‘nonpartisan’ news or Wikipedia,” Zuckerberg reportedly said. “All of these Facebook Pages, Facebook Groups, and individual comments on timelines are fucking up our servers… except for The Mideast Beast. We’re all kind of fine with those idiots.”
Such a ban would mark a significant escalation in the behemoth’s efforts to censor user activity. As The Mideast Beast’s Marcus Thunderbolt reported, Facebook has also previously mulled introducing a ‘minimum postgraduate education requirement for commenting’ on Israel and Hamas’ repeated military confrontations, as well as the Arab-Israeli Conflict in general.
RELATED: Man Changes Position on Israeli-Palestinian Conflict after Reading Facebook Comments
However, despite Zuckerberg’s enthusiasm, the proposed ban on ‘anything related to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict’ is unlikely to be enforced. “We’re struggling with a concept widely known as ‘Freedom of Speech,’” said a Facebook legal expert. “I won’t lie, sometimes I wish it was known as a ‘privilege’ rather than a ‘freedom’ or a ‘right’ – kind of like having a driver’s license or health insurance in the U.S.”
Felix Klein, Germany’s first-ever anti-Semitism commissioner, couldn’t believe his eyes: Just weeks after assuming his post, created by Germany’s Parliament this year amid concern over an apparent rise in incidents, he found out from the media that he had unwittingly become a star in BDS advocate Roger Waters’ latest concert tour. Waters, once the frontman of the iconic rock band Pink Floyd, incorporated messages of incitement against Klein into his current show, because the veteran diplomat criticized banks for managing the BDS movement’s accounts.
“Like many others, I was stunned when Waters, who was in Berlin as a musician, used his concert mainly as a platform to make a political statement,” Klein told Israel Hayom. “I was very happy that most of the journalists in Germany condemned the fact that he turned a musical performance into a political event. I am not afraid of confronting Waters, but I would rather do it in the setting of a political debate and not in the way that he chose to do it. I was surprised that he had researched me. Me and my efforts have become well known among circles that weren’t necessarily aware of my work. Waters contributed immensely to my celebrity.”
Q: Have you received death threats since you were appointed commissioner?
“No. I’ve received a number of anti-Semitic emails. Even though I’m not Jewish, I can be targeted in anti-Semitic attacks. They claim that I’m doing the Jews’ bidding, for example. The senders don’t identify themselves, obviously, but I believe they are Germans.”
In light of the alarmingly growing rate of anti-Semitic incidents in Germany in recent years, the local Jewish community demanded that the government take action. The ceremonious declarations made by politicians were no longer cutting it for Germany’s Jews. One of the ideas that were floated was to appoint a government commissioner, who would gather and compile all the information on anti-Semitic incidents and devise plans of action to combat the phenomenon. In addition, the commissioner would then brief various government bodies on how to identify and respond to anti-Semitism.
A senior German government official called on Wednesday for a German-American bilingual school in Berlin to take clear action to prevent further bullying after an anti-Semitic incident involving a ninth-grade student.
According to German paper Berliner Zeitung, several students repeatedly harassed the Jewish student for months on his way to and from school.
In at least one instance, another student blew cigarette smoke into his face, telling the Jewish student to think of his ancestors killed in Nazi gas chambers, Berliner Zeitung wrote.
Managing director of the John F. Kennedy School and principal of the high school, Brian Salzer, told reporters that police were involved as the “level of consequences” from the school was inadequate.
“This hurt is deep with this family,” Salzer said.
Felix Klein, who holds a new government post in charge of combating anti-Semitism, told Die Welt newspaper that he was deeply shocked by the latest in a series of anti-Semitic incidents reported at schools in Berlin.
A Ukrainian military prosecutor suggested that Jews seek bloodshed in his country, prompting calls for his dismissal by the Simon Wiesenthal Center and others.
Colonel General Anatoliy Matios, Ukraine’s chief military prosecutor and a highly-decorated officer who also holds the title of deputy prosecutor-general of Ukraine, spoke about at least one Jew in an interview that the Insider magazine published Monday. In it, he named a communist Jewish theoretician, Alexander Parvus. The revolution that Parvus supported “drenched Slavs with blood for decades.” Noting Parvus’ Jewish ethnicity, Matios added: “There is always a Parvus. They want to do the same to Ukraine.”
Efraim Zuroff, Eastern Europe director for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, called Matios’ claims “outrageous and false.” Whereas Matios and other communist leaders were Jewish, “they weren’t acting as Jews. Their inspiration was in Moscow, not Jerusalem.” Matios “need to be fired,” he said. Zuroff said the “anti-Semitic implication from Matios’ words are undeniable.”
On Twitter, Dovid Katz, a prominent activist against anti-Semitism in Lithuania and Eastern Europe, wondered whether “there is any chance” that Ukraine’s president and government “would consider, you know, firing this madman? Any senior EU military official who suggested Jews wanted to drown the country in blood would be removed immediately,” Katz wrote, adding: “And you do want to join the EU, right?”
Germany’s foreign intelligence agency has confirmed that the daughter of top Nazi Heinrich Himmler, who led the SS, worked for it as a secretary in the early 1960s.
The BND told the Bild newspaper Friday that Gudrun Burwitz-Himmler, who herself was a notorious postwar supporter of the extreme right, worked as a secretary from 1961 to 1963.
The agency says it ordinarily doesn’t comment on personnel issues but confirmed Burwitz worked there as part of its effort to be transparent about Nazi links in its past.
Burwitz-Himmler worked at the BND at a time when it was led by Reinhard Gehlen, a controversial ex-WWII German general who also worked for US intelligence postwar and employed many former military officers and Nazis as spies.
Burwitz-Himmler died in May at age 88.
A study by eight leading Holocaust historians has found that a new exhibit at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum distorts and minimizes President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s abandonment of Jewish refugees during the Holocaust.
The study, titled Distorting America’s Response to the Holocaust, is a comprehensive analysis of the museum’s recently-opened exhibit, Americans and the Holocaust.
The report has been published by the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, in Washington, D.C. A PDF has been posted at www.WymanInstitute.org and printed copies are available by calling 202-434-8994.
The 70-page report features chapters by leading scholars in the field of American responses to the Holocaust:
Many historians assume SS head Heinrich Himmler stopped exterminating Jews at Auschwitz-Birkenau in November 1944 and destroyed the crematoria and gas chambers there because the Russians were coming and he was trying to hide the evidence quickly. To New York Times best-selling author Max Wallace, that conventional narrative never made sense.
As he told Aish.com, “The Russians were two months away. The Germans could have killed the remaining Jews – eyewitnesses to their crimes.”
In his new book, In the Name of Humanity: The Secret Deal to End the Holocaust, Wallace reveals how a Swiss Orthodox Jewish housewife helped engineer a deception that could have spurred Himmler’s actions – and saved the lives of countless Jews.
Her name was Recha Rottenberg Sternbuch, daughter of the chief Orthodox rabbi of Antwerp. Her father’s role provided Recha with important credentials, writes Wallace. She and her husband, Rabbi Isaac Sternbuch, managed to enlist former fascist Swiss President Jean-Marie Musy in a plan to deceive his friend Himmler into thinking he should stop killing Jews at Auschwitz and end the deportation of Hungary’s remaining 200,000 Jews. By doing so, Himmler would achieve a separate peace with the West so they could turn on their common enemy, Stalin.
Among the 25,000 books consumed by the flames in Berlin’s Opernplatz on May 10, 1933 were those of Alfred Kerr.
An acclaimed Jewish essayist and critic who edited the theater pages of the liberal Berliner Tageblatt newspaper, Kerr’s writings had earned him the nickname the “Kulturpapst.”
They had also earned him the emnity of the Nazis; a hostility which the socialist writer heartily returned.
Given the fate to which Josef Goebbels consigned Kerr’s books, it is perhaps fitting that his daughter — who turned 95 on June 14 and is still going strong — is now one of Britain’s best-loved children’s authors and illustrators.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of Judith Kerr’s first book, “The Tiger Who Came To Tea.” It was an instant classic, remains in print and is one of the best-selling children’s books of all time.
Its premise – an uninvited tiger turns up at a child’s home, and eats and drinks everything, including her father’s beer and, most famously, “all the water in the tap” – is both simple and surreal. With its accompanying sketches by Kerr, it has charmed and delighted both children and adults for half a century.
Once it was Three Mile Island, then Chernobyl – but today, the name that evokes the horror of nuclear radiation is Fukushima, the site of a tragic 2011 incident in which an earthquake and subsequent tsunami led to three nuclear meltdowns, hydrogen-air explosions, and the massive release of radioactive material into the air.
Seven years later, the Japanese government says that the cleanup of the site is nearly complete, and that it is safe to return to Fukushima. It is not known how many people died or got sick due to radiation at Fukushima, but a WHO report predicted a rise in some cancer rates in contaminated areas.
At the completion of several four-year studies, Haifa-based Pluristem Therapeutics has reported positive results that show that its placenta-based PLX-R18 cells are effective as a treatment for radiation damage to the gastrointestinal tract and bone marrow.
Under a memorandum of understanding with Pluristem, the Fukushima Global Medical Science Center of Fukushima University has been developing targeted animal models of acute radiation sickness and testing these models to evaluate the efficacy of PLX-R18 in treating radiation damage to the GI tract and bone marrow of mice. Data from the studies showed that PLX-R18 cells significantly increase survival rates, preserve GI stem cells activity that enhance the recovery of the GI system and prevent severe damage to the intestinal lining, suggesting PLX-R18 potential as a multi-organ therapy for acute radiation syndrome, the company said.
Pluristem has for the better part of the last decade been working on a cure for acute radiation syndrome, also known as radiation disease, the mass destruction of tissues and cells caused by exposure to extremely high levels of radiation, such as could occur in a nuclear catastrophe, and incorporating potentially lethal damage to the gastrointestinal tract, lung, skin and bone marrow, as well as other systems.
Researchers at Tel Aviv University have developed smart nanoprobes that turn on a florescent light in presence of cancerous cells, which they say “may dramatically improve” post-surgical outcomes for cancer patients.
The researchers created a so called “smart probe” that, when injected into a patient a few hours before surgery to excise a primary tumor, may help surgeons pinpoint where the cancer is situated down to several cancer cells, permitting them to guarantee the removal of more cancer cells, and with the least possible damage to surrounding healthy tissue, they said in a statement.
The interdisciplinary team behind the research was led by Prof. Ronit Satchi-Fainaro, chair of the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at TAU’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine. The study was published in May in Theranostics.
In many kinds of cancers, it is often not the primary malignant tumor, but rather metastasis — the spread of lingering cancer cells to other parts of the body — that kills patients.
The massively popular American HBO cable company and the international arm of Keshet are currently filming a series about the stormy days before Operation Protective Edge, the 2014 summer war with Hamas.
Following the “Games of Thrones”, “Westworld”, “Oz” and “Sex and the City”, HBO came to Israel to shoot the flagship series, ‘Summer 2014,’ which describes the turbulent days preceding Operation Protective Edge.
The American cable network series, produced in cooperation with Keshet International, the international arm of the Israeli television company, will deal with riots and confrontations that took place throughout the country, including the kidnapping of the three youths Gil-Sha’ar, Naftali Frenkel and Eyal Yifrach. It is being produced in three languages: English, Hebrew and Arabic.
This is a huge production by one of the largest television companies in the world, and possibly the largest international production ever to take in Israel. The set, built at a cost of millions of dollars in the Rishon LeZion dunes, is actually a reconstruction of parts of the territories and the Shuafat neighborhood of Jerusalem.
The massive production features more than 400 professionals, including actors, extras and production people. Among the Israelis participating in the production: esteemed director Joseph Cedar and Israeli Arab actor Shadi Mar’i.
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