October 14, 2019

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07/30 Links Pt2: Israel Is in the Middle East, Israelis Are Middle Easterners, and Don’t You Forget It; I’m an Israeli settler. This is why I spoke with J Street’s first ‘alternative Birthright’ group.

http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2019/07/0730-links-pt2-israel-is-in-middle-east.html

From Ian:


Israel Is in the Middle East, Israelis Are Middle Easterners, and Don’t You Forget It
It’s not European. And it doesn’t divide into right and left, religious and secular. Matti Friedman, author of a new book about Mizrahi spies, on why Israel baffles and infuriates

Israel is in the Middle East.

That may sound like one of the more banal opening sentences to an article, but it’s a fact, argues Matti Friedman, that seems to continually elude many commentators and critics of Israel, many Diaspora Jews who pronounce themselves baffled by some of Israel’s actions and policies, and, indeed, many Israelis themselves.

Friedman, 41, is an acclaimed Canadian-born Israeli author (“The Aleppo Codex,” “Pumpkinflowers”) who recently published a most unusual book, “Spies of No Country,” about Israeli espionage at the time of the state’s founding — unusual in that its protagonists are Israelis born in the Arab world who ventured back there, into what was at once familiar and highly dangerous territory, in the service of the nascent state. Friedman chose to focus on the heroes of what was sometimes known as “the Black Section” of Israel’s bare-bones initial intelligence apparatus because, he told The Times of Israel in an interview last week, “I thought we needed stories that better reflect the real Israel — not just stories of secular Ashkenazi pioneers and survivors of Warsaw.”

That “real” Israel, Friedman argues, is the Middle Eastern Israel, Israel as “part of the continuum of Judaism in the Muslim world.” The more you understand and internalize that, he says, the better you understand this country — everything from its cuisine and its music to its behavior and, crucially, its politics.

Which is why it seemed like a good idea to interview Friedman just as Benjamin Netanyahu overtook David Ben-Gurion as Israel’s longest-serving prime minister — chiefly, says Friedman, because Netanyahu so well recognizes the cutthroat, merciless reality of Israel’s Middle East location — and as the combined forces of the center and left try, yet again, to alight on a formula to defeat him in the year’s second general election.

I’m an Israeli settler. This is why I spoke with J Street’s first ‘alternative Birthright’ group.

After two hours of brutal, sometimes argumentative, sometimes tear-filled back-and-forth, I felt it was time for some hard truths.

I looked him and the others in the eye and explained why it was important for me, a “settler,” to address this anti-occupation group.

“I hate J Street,” I started. “I’ve followed the organization since its inception and I disagree with its positions and philosophy.”

After letting that sink in, I continued, “But if you put [J-Street CEO] Jeremy Ben-Ami and me in a room together, and ask us to write down all of our thoughts on Israel on a legal pad, after hours of writing, 90 percent of both of our thoughts would be the same. We both want a safe Israel, we both want the best for the Arabs in Israel. My problem with J Street is that they always seem to focus on the 10 percent that divides the people concerned about Israel.”

While I only had two hours with them, the participants on the trip seemed to be caring, sensitive and brave people who genuinely cared about improving the lives of the people they met. As a whole, these were good people who will be great citizens. I finished off my thoughts with them, “I was concerned that on this trip all you’d hear about is the 10 percent that J Street uses to demonize Israel. I wanted to make sure you heard about the 90 percent that we can all be proud of.”

Israel: Canada’s censure of settlement wines ‘encouraging’ BDS

Israel on Tuesday lambasted a Canadian Federal Court ruling that wines produced in Israeli settlements can no longer be labeled as “Made in Israel,” saying the decision will embolden the pro-Palestinian Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement.

“The Canadian court’s decision concerning labeling of Israeli products encourages and lends support to boycotts and the BDS movement. Israel objects to this,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Israeli embassy in Canada will continue to act against discriminatory treatment and the singling out of Israel in the matter of product labeling in Canada,” it said.

Challenging a previous decision by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Judge Anne L. Mactavish determined on Monday that labels describing wines made in the settlements as Israeli products are “false, misleading and deceptive.”

In her ruling, she did not take a position on how exactly such wines should be labeled, saying that was for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to decide.

Mactavish also noted that settlements are not considered part of the State of Israel, as Canada does not recognize Israeli sovereignty beyond the pre-1967 borders.

While the judge’s decision is legal and not political in nature, it could potentially strain otherwise strong ties between Jerusalem and Ottawa . (h/t IsaacStorm)

Israeli minister: Anti-BDS House resolution has one major flaw

Minister of Jerusalem Affairs Ze’ev Elkin avoided congratulating the U.S. House of Representatives last week on its passing of an anti-BDS resolution because it included language supporting the creation of a Palestinian state.

In an interview with Dov Eichler of Kan Israel Radio, Elkin expressed a mixed reaction to House Resolution 246, which passed overwhelmingly, 398-17, with five abstentions.

“You know my personal opinion is that a Palestinian state is not the solution, it’s the problem – even the source of the problem, so I’m not enthusiastic about this resolution,” he said.

He immediately added, however, that the resolution was “important” because “a very big majority in the Democratic party stood up to a radical fringe that has inserted itself into the party and has gotten a lot of attention lately … and are very anti-Israel and openly support BDS.”

The message of the non-binding resolution, he said, is “We’re not with you,” meaning that the impression that the party has been taken over by these radicals was wrong.

Elkin pointed out that the language wasn’t particularly surprising, since “everyone” in the Democratic party and many Republicans support the creation of a Palestinian state, “and it’s also not clear where the president exactly stands” on the issue either.

Prof. Kontorovich on anti-BDS laws, antisemitism and freedom of speech

Eugene Kontorovich, professor of law at George Mason and head of the international law department at Kohelet Policy forum spoke at the Justice Department Summit on Anti-Semitism. 15 July 2019

HonestReporting’s Daniel Pomerantz Debates BDS Co-founder Omar Barghouti

HonestReporting’s Executive Director Daniel Pomerantz debates Omar Barghouti, one of the founders of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. Watch highlights from the interview on CGTN’s The Heat news talk program.

Yisrael Medad: When Did Boycotting Zionism Begin?

September 1, 1922 would be a start*:

October 1922 would follow:

A near-perfect pitcher, Mariano Rivera, in an imperfect world

For Silverman, for The Daily Beast, for all Progressives, the Israelis have no right to defend themselves but must serve their enemies as sitting ducks.

Silverman’s Yellow Journalism begins so – “The Yankees Legend Has Managed To Keep His (Far-Right) Political Leanings Hidden For Decades.”

Not at all, you jerk. Rivera was always an open book, if anybody asked. But nobody asked, except how he struck out the side mixing fast ball and cutter.

That Rivera, a practicing Christian, walked through his fame humbly and privately (as decreed through Judaism) is not to be considered in his favor. It must be SINISTER.

According to some umpires, Silverman and The Daily Beast may well be guilty of 1, anti-Semitism, 2, sensationalism,3, racism – Rivera is a Panamanian-American, a Man of Color.

That’s three strikes.

I recommend this top-notch piece from Guy Benson at Townhall in which Silverman and The Daily Beast are taken down properly.

This baseball fan and booster of Israel can’t take much more from these creeps who pick on our heroes, and anything that is good and wholesome, to justify their puny miserable lives.

How IfNotNow is getting 2020 Democrats to talk occupation

Keyak, who now co-runs Bluelight Strategies, a DC-based consulting firm, argued that Democratic candidates shouldn’t mistake IfNotNow’s effective mobilization as reflective of widespread American Jewish or left-of-center thinking.

“They’ve been somewhat successful in working toward their own goals but we can’t let these types of groups dictate the conversation we’re having in the Democratic Party,” he told The Times of Israel. “I appreciate that in the media world, on Twitter, these outside voices get more attention than they would get otherwise, but we have to remember how unrepresentative they are.”

He cited that only 16 out of 235 House Democrats voted against a resolution last week that rejects the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. (IfNotNow does not “take a unified stance” on BDS.)

Nevertheless, Democratic hopefuls may not want to get mired in a debate over Israel and the Palestinians when their number one mission is to unseat US President Donald Trump, who liberal Jews argue, is trying to “weaponize” Israel against Democrats — and use it to drive a wedge between them.

Trump has strongly sided with Israel by moving the American embassy to Jerusalem, cutting aid to Palestinians, and officially recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

As a consequence, some analysts have argued that Trump is politicizing the alliance, and that the bipartisan consensus over how to manage this policy portfolio might soon disappear, if it hasn’t already.

Lubow thinks the anti-occupation cause is gaining traction with the Democratic candidates. She is currently planning with her colleagues the next phase of their outreach.

“Going forward, we’re going to need to see their plans,” Lubow said. “What are you going to do about it if you’re the president and have the power to do something about it? That will become the next logical question.”

From Lubow’s point of view, the change is already starting to happen. “I feel hopeful, actually, because the politics on this issue versus two or three years ago are dramatically different,” she said.

NCYI slams Bernie Sanders for threatening aid to Israel

The National Council of Young Israel (NCYI) slammed Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders for threatening to use US foreign aid to Israel as leverage to pressure the Israeli government to act differently.

Sanders issued his warning about cutting aid to Israel during a recent interview, in which he also maintained that “our policy cannot just be pro-Israel, pro-Israel, pro-Israel,” and referred to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s government as an “extreme right-wing government with many racist tendencies.”

Sanders’ threat to slash aid to Israel comes despite the fact that President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu entered into a Memorandum of Understanding in 2016, in which the U.S. pledged to provide Israel with $3.8 billion in security assistance annually for a term of ten years. The aid is primarily spent in the U.S. for military equipment, and the funds being spent are in the United States’ national security interest.

“In addition to openly bullying a stalwart ally of the United States in a shameless attempt to coerce Israel to accede to his political will, Senator Sanders is effectively threatening to rip up a written commitment that was made by President Obama to the people of Israel,” said NCYI President Farley Weiss. “Unlike the Palestinian Authority, which squanders its foreign aid on glorifying terrorism and inciting violence, Israel uses its foreign aid to sustain its qualitative military edge and defend itself against the existential threats that it faces on a daily basis.”

Ilhan Omar co-sponsors Never Again Education Act

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has co-sponsored a bill that aims to establish a federal fund to support Holocaust education.

The bill, known as the Never Again Education Act, was first introduced in the House of Representatives at the end of January by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Elise Stefanik (D-NY).

“We are at a dangerous moment in time. Antisemitism is on the rise around the world and here at home, and the memory of the Holocaust is fading for far too many Americans,” Maloney noted. “We can combat this by making sure we teach our students, tomorrow’s leaders, about the horrors of the Holocaust. It is simply not enough to condemn hateful, violent attacks against the Jewish community – we need to be proactive, we need to take action.”

Omar signed onto the bill on July 19, according to the official website for US federal legislative information.

So far, the bill has been sponsored by 168 Democrats and 67 Republicans.

IsraellyCool: The Demise of Aussie Dave

Even though my real name has been out there for a while, I still stuck with ‘Aussie Dave’ (and ‘Ozraeli Dave’ on Twitter) because I figured not every antisemite is even smart enough to use Google. At least make them work a bit to ID me!

But today, I officially left my day job (sorry, Jew haters, but I left voluntarily and on great terms with my former employer). So I see no more need to write under the pseudonym ‘Aussie Dave.’

From now on, I will be changing my author name to my real name: David Lange. And I am dedicating myself, profession-wise, to Israel advocacy (feel free to hit the donate button under the post if you would like to support my efforts).

So antisemites and Israel haters, watch out. Not only will ‘doxxing’ me no longer be a thing, but I will be spending more time making your lives hell.

And Aussie Dave, it was a pleasure knowing you.

Honest Reporting: Exposed: Amnesty International’s Deceptive Press Release

The episode should act as a cautionary tale to journalists not to rely on press releases for more than one reason.

The stunt was designed to draw attention to the first anniversary of the destruction of the al-Mishal Cultural Center in Gaza. In its press release, Amnesty wrote:
The scheduled performance – which is fully booked – would have marked exactly one year since the destruction by an Israeli airstrike of the Mishal Cultural Centre last year, the only working theatre in Gaza which housed numerous arts projects in the beleaguered Palestinian territory.

That’s one way to describe the theater. A more objective statement would have recognized that the theater was believed to have served as a command and control center for the Hamas terrorist group in Gaza in its ongoing hostilities against Israel.

For a self-described human rights organization, it’s hard to understand how a commitment to human rights is being served when Amnesty allows itself to be used as cover for Hamas’ human shields policy, in which the terror group embeds itself in civilian infrastructure in order to conceal its presence and avert being struck, even after being discovered. (Significantly, under international law, the responsibility for any civilian casualties and collateral damage incurred in the event of a military strike on such a military installment would fall firmly on Hamas’ shoulders.)

None of this seems to interest Amnesty International UK, whose media department failed to mention the controversy entirely.

When human rights organizations wage media campaigns to gain public sympathy while possibly providing cover for terror organizations committing war crimes, the cause of human rights is being shamelessly, deceitfully used for political ends.

To be clear, HonestReporting has no problem with PR stunts. They are a reality in the media world, are often ingenious, entertaining and sometimes thought-provoking, We do, however, have a problem with NGOs and activists conning journalists by pretending that their actions are not a PR stunt at all.

How BBC management of online content works

On July 18th the BBC News website published another report on its ‘UK’ and ‘Middle East’ pages headlined “Ayia Napa: Twelve in court after ‘British woman raped’” in which readers were informed that:
“Twelve Israelis have appeared in court in Cyprus over the alleged rape of a 19-year-old British woman.”

On July 28th the BBC News website published a third report on its ‘UK’ and ‘Middle East’ pages titled “British woman arrested over ‘false rape claim’ in Ayia Napa”.
“A British woman who alleged she was raped in Cyprus has been arrested on suspicion of making a false allegation, according to news agencies.

The 12 Israelis arrested over the alleged attack, which was said to have taken place on 17 July in Ayia Napa, have all been released.”

However, the editorial managers responsible for the creation of those first two articles have not bothered to update them with a link to the third report, meaning that anyone accessing the content published on either July 17th or July 18th – for example via the ‘tourism’ tag which only appears on the second report – would remain unaware of the significant later development in the story.

It is surely obvious that best practice would be for the BBC to uniformly ensure that any developments in stories concerning alleged crimes should be added to earlier reports as a link under the “more on this story” heading at the bottom of the article in order to avoid inaccurate and misleading information becoming part of the “permanent public record”.

BBC Radio 4 again purports to explain antisemitism

The programme’s panel included Melanie Phillips, Mona Siddiqui, Tim Stanley and Matthew Taylor. The ‘witnesses’ were Julia Neuberger, Adam Sutcliffe, John Inge and ‘Jews for Justice for Palestinians’ member Robert Cohen who has previously appeared in similar Radio 4 content in which the BBC fruitlessly ‘discussed’ issues already addressed by expert bodies, while failing to inform its audiences of the existence of accepted definitions of antisemitism that have already answered the question of whether anti-Zionism is an expression of antisemitism.

This programme was no better and did little to contribute to audience understanding of the issue of antisemitism in British society in general or in the Labour party – not least because falsehoods such as the portrayal of Israel as a “settler colonialist project” and the claim that Israel is “besieging Gaza” were inadequately challenged.

Despite its own dismal record and the plethora of evidence illustrating that the BBC does not have the authority or the expertise – let alone the remit – to define antisemitism, it continues to insist on producing content purporting to inform its audiences on that issue.

California gunman posted about anti-Semitic screed before killing 3 at festival

Before a 19-year-old gunman opened fire on a famed garlic festival in his California hometown, he urged his Instagram followers to read a 19th century book popular with white supremacists on extremist websites, but his motives for killing two children and another young man were still a mystery Monday.

Santino William Legan posted the caption about the book “Might is Right” with a photo of Smokey the Bear in front of a “fire danger” sign. He posted another photo from the Gilroy Garlic Festival minutes before he shot into the crowd Sunday with an “AK-47-type” weapon, killing a 6-year-old boy, a 13-year-old girl and a recent college graduate.

Under it, he wrote: “Ayyy garlic festival time” and “Come get wasted on overpriced” items. Legan’s since-deleted Instagram account says he is Italian and Iranian.

The 1890 work “Might is Right” also called “The Survival of the Fittest,” is filled with misogynist and anti-Semitic rhetoric. It is often cited by neo-Nazis and white supremacists on extremist sites.

Legan also posted slurs against mixed-race people, and made misogynistic comments about “hordes” of Silicon Valley workers “overcrowding” towns, according to NBC News.

Syrian citizen arrested in attack on German man wearing kippah

A resident of Potsdam who was wearing a kippah with a Star of David on it was the victim of an antisemitic attack.

The victim reported being followed, spat upon and insulted in the weekend attack.

Police quickly arrested two men, a 19-year-old Syrian citizen and a 17-year-old of unnamed origin. The younger of the two is now being treated as a witness, not as a suspect, police told the German press agency dpa.

In a statement after news of the attack broke, Potsdam Mayor Mike Schubert said he expected swift results from the police investigation, to clarify the motivation for and legal consequences of the attack.

There must be “no tolerance for politically and religiously motivated hate and violence in our city,” he added.

‘My Experience Hardly an Isolated Case,’ Victim of Antisemitic Attack in German City of Potsdam Says

The 25-year-old Jewish man verbally assaulted and spat on by two Syrian refugees who spotted his kippah in the German city of Potsdam on Saturday has since remarked that his experience was “hardly an isolated case.”

Speaking on Monday to the right-wing media outlet Tichys Einblick — a news and opinion site edited by Roland Tichy, a conservative columnist — the victim of Saturday’s attack said that he and other active members of the Jewish community experienced antisemitic harassment “on a weekly basis.”

Named only as Marvin F., the victim, who is a student, said that members of the community were “usually exposed to verbal insults and attacks on a weekly basis” especially when using public transport.

He emphasized that most of these incidents were almost never reported to the police, because of the common feeling among targeted Jews “that the perpetrators are often not caught anyway, or not really punished.”

Describing his own experience, the student said that he had been spotted by two Syrian teenagers in the central railway station in the city of Potsdam — part of the Berlin region — while wearing a kippah with a Star of David symbol. The older of the two teens spat at the victim and assailed him with antisemitic and homophobic epithets, including “you dirty Jew!”, before running off.

German historian who fabricated family’s Holocaust history found dead at 31

German historian and blogger Marie Sophie Hingst, whose invention of a family Holocaust history was outed in a Spiegel Magazine article in June, has died in Dublin at the age of 31.

She was found dead in her apartment on July 17. Police have not confirmed the cause of death, but said no foul play is suspected.

In June, Hingst was stripped of a “Golden Blogger” award following revelations that she faked a family history of suffering in the Holocaust.

According to Der Spiegel magazine, which broke the story last month, Hingst sent 22 pages of testimony for nonexistent people to Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial and archive, in 2013. She reported about her “family” in her blog, titled “Read on my dear, read on.” She later took the blog offline, and her writings appear to be lost.

Hingst “sought to establish close ties to the Jewish community,” the popular magazine reported. “She moderated panel discussions for the Association for the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, she works for the Selma Stern Center for Jewish Studies Berlin-Brandenburg and she became involved in the Jewish Society at Trinity College.”

German authorities raid suspected members of far-right group

German authorities said they carried out raids Tuesday on suspected members of a potentially violent far-right group.

Federal prosecutors said the apartments of six suspects and four other people who aren’t suspects were searched. The raids took place in four German states.

The suspects are alleged to have founded a group called “Storm Brigade” last year as a sub-organization of an outfit called “Wolf Brigade.” Prosecutors said in a statement that the group’s stated aim is the “re-invigoration of a free fatherland” in accordance with a “Teutonic moral law,” and that they suspect it may be prepared to use violence.

Prosecutors said the aim of Tuesday’s raids was to gather more evidence and determine whether the suspects had weapons.

Germany’s domestic intelligence agency recently reported an increase in the number of those identified as far-right extremists alongside a sharp rise in anti-Semitic acts of violence. In its annual report, released this June, the BfV agency stated that incidents of anti-Semitic violence increased by 71.4 % in 2018. It also said that the number of far-right extremists rose by 100 to 24,100 people. The agency stated that more than half of them are potentially violent.

Swastika found painted on Jewish leadership building in Argentina

A swastika was found painted on a Jewish Cultural Association building in Santa Fe, Argentina this week, just days after antisemitic graffiti appeared in the same place.

According to the Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism, the graffiti from days before had been painted over with white paint. The antisemitism watchdog said that Jewish leaders had already filed a report with the police following the incident.

There have been a spate of antisemitic incidents reported across Argentina recently, ranging from graffiti and social media posts to physical attacks.

Four people were convicted last week for spray painting antisemitic graffiti at a school park in 2016, as well as threatening a leader from the Argentine Jewish community.

Also last week, a study done by Web Observatory – an Internet watchdog that works toward creating a discriminatory-free web – found that the Spanish words for “Jew” and “Zionist” were used the most between 2015 and 2018 in an antisemitic context online and on social media in Argentina, the Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism reported.

Earlier this month, the organization also reported that a judicial employee from the northeastern city of Resistencia posted antisemitic content on her social media page. The post included a picture of Jewish children playing in a park near a Jewish school with a caption reading: “I think they forgot to tell the little Jews that it’s summer vacation. And then they asked why Hitler hated them.”

Barbra Streisand says she will address anti-Semitism in memoir

Barbra Streisand has been “writing a lot” about modern anti-Semitism in her memoir, which she has been working on for years.

“It’s an extremely complex topic, and there’s not enough room in this interview to adequately cover it,” the US show business icon said in an interview with the Chicago Tribune last week.

“So I’ll just say, as [a] person who is proud of my Jewish heritage, it’s deeply concerning. It’s undeniable that anti-Semitism is one of the most vexing, terrifying issues of our times.”

She continued, “But this anger and hatred has actually been here for 3,500 years. It just reveals itself in different ways through the millennia, but it’s ever-present. Jews have always been the scapegoats, blamed for the ills of the world.”

Israeli satellite ‘Amos-17’ to be launched into space next week from Florida

Israeli satellite “Amos-17” is scheduled to be mounted on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and launched into space from the Kennedy Space Center next Sunday or Monday, Ynet reported.

Intended to improve TV, cellular and Internet services to Africa, Europe and the Middle East, Amos-17 has an expected lifespan of about 20 years, and will orbit 36,000 km. above central Africa.

“Africa is a huge continent,” said an official at Spacecom, the Israeli communication company that owns the satellite built by Boeing. “It’s the fastest growing continent. By the end of this century, Asia and Africa will be equal in terms of population, which means that in terms of the percentage of the young population, it will be the largest young population in the world, so there will be a demand for content. It’s hard to reach some points on the ground there so a satellite solves that problem.”

The company said it has a sales backlog of $58 million for communication services to Africa and for other services.

“We provide satellite communications internationally, but first and foremost we are an Israeli company,” Spacecom CEO David Polak told Ynet. “We are the only Israeli satellite operator. We operate these satellites at a different point in the sky which are of importance to the State of Israel.”

Twelve licenses approved
for gas, oil exploration off Israel’s coast

The Petroleum Council, the national body tasked with advising the energy minister regarding petroleum rights, approved granting 12 new licenses – for gas and oil exploration offshore Israel – to two consortia on Tuesday.

After reviewing bids submitted to the Energy Ministry during its second offshore energy tender process, council members recommended awarding eight exploration licenses to a consortium – made up of British companies SOCO International and Cairn Energy together with Ratio Oil Exploration – and four licenses to a consortium of the British firm, Energean Oil & Gas in partnership with Israel Opportunity.

The two consortia submitted bids for 12 out of 19 offshore blocks available for exploration in Israel’s economic waters under the recent tender.

“This is another milestone for the discovery and development of additional natural resources in the economic waters of the State of Israel,” said Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz.

“I have no doubt that in the coming years, we will see further gas and oil discoveries, and the participation of additional European companies for exploration will enable the utilization of resources and increased competition to dismantle the monopoly [in the energy sector],” Steinitz continued. “The primary beneficiaries of the tax revenues and decreased air pollution in Israel are the citizens of the State of Israel.”

Israeli researchers discover how to disable Natural Killer cancer cells

The future of cancer treatments rests also on the shoulders of Natural Killer cells, according to a recent study conducted by Israeli Professor Angel Porgador, of the Shraga Segal Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Genetics, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University, and the National Institute of Biotechnology in the Negev (NIBN).

The study, published in the July issue of Cancer Immunology Research, described Porgador’s discovery: a protein in the cell membrane of cancers that inhibits the body’s immune system, allowing the cancer to proliferate undisturbed. This membrane protein protects the cancers by disabling Natural Killer cells (NKs), the white blood cells that are responsible for attacking tumors and viruses. While such proteins were known to exist in the nucleus and cytoplasms, their detection in the cell membranes is novel.

According to Porgador, these membrane proteins could provide a target for new treatments.

“This is the real proof that a very important protein in the cancer life, or in the proliferating cell life, has a version that goes in the membrane,” he said, “and this protein could be a target.”

Using mouse cells, Porgador and his team were able to develop an antidote to the inhibiting proteins in the form of an antibody. Now, they are in the process of turning the mouse antibody into one that will work on human cells. Their goal? A fully FDA-approved form of cancer therapy that will be administered intravenously or intramuscularly to patients.

Jewish athletes competing in Hungary honor 1st Jewish Olympic champion

Athletes participating in the European Maccabi Games are scheduled to unveil in Budapest a new commemorative headstone at the grave of the first Jewish Olympic champion, Alfred Hajos.

The ceremony will take place Wednesday at the Hungarian capital’s Kozma Street Jewish Cemetery, according to a statement published on Saturday night by the organizers of the Maccabi Europe Games, a Jewish sporting event that is held every four years and that this year is being hosted in Hungary.

One participant, marathon runner Peter Hajdú, 65, is running 331 miles from Prague over 10 days to the opening ceremony Tuesday.

Hajos, born Arnold Guttman, was a swimmer, soccer player and architect who won the swimming competition of the 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens, the first modern edition of the Olympics. He competed and won in two out of three Olympic swimming events, freestyle 100 meters and 200 meters, which were held in the chilly waters of the Mediterranean Sea in early April.

It made Hajos, who died in 1955, both the first Jewish Olympic champion and the first Hungarian one.



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