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ISRAEL

NEWS WITH VIEWS ON THE MIDDLE EAST

Helen Mirren rejects efforts to boycott Israel In Jerusalem to host Genesis Prize award ceremony, Oscar-winning actress says she’s a ‘believer’ in the Jewish state

http://www.timesofisrael.com/actress-helen-mirren-rejects-efforts-to-boycott-israel/Helen Mirren rejects efforts to boycott Israel | The Times of Israel

Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren says she is a “believer” in Israel and rejects efforts to boycott it.

Mirren showered Israeli artists with praise Wednesday and said she opposed efforts by pro-Palestinian groups to boycott them.

Mirren is in Israel to host the Genesis Prize, an award known as “the Jewish Nobel.” The $1 million prize is being awarded to Israeli-American violinist Itzhak Perlman for his accomplishments as a musician, teacher and advocate for the disabled.

Mirren, who first visited as a volunteer in the 1960s, says she has a strong connection to Israel.

Mirren is one of the few actors to have won the so-called Triple Crown — an Oscar, Tony and Emmy. She received her Academy Award for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in the 2006 film “The Queen.”

Brexit restored sovereignty to the UK – now it must be Israel’s turn. Victor Sharpe

The intellect of so many in Israel’s governments have led them along the dead end path of the peace process, forcing them to taste the bitter fruits of appeasement.

Sovereignty refers to the defined right of nations, the ‘ownership’ of their territories and national interests.

A nation is referred to as ‘sovereign’ in terms of its independent identity and rights. Sovereign rights are exercised within national territories.

A nation has the legal right to insist on its sovereign status and the right to protect its interests. As the Governor of Texas stated recently on the Sean Hannity program, “Sovereignty is a key component of a Nation.

The British people groaning under the increasingly onerous and tyrannical power of the European Union finally had had enough and in a national referendum voted to leave the EU and regain their borders and national sovereignty. Other nations, such as Holland, Hungary, Poland and even France, may in time follow Britain’s lead.

But will Israel assert its rights in its own sovereign, ancestral and biblical lands from the River to the Sea?

Will its leadership have the courage to withstand the burdensome and illegitimate pressures that the Obama regime, the United Nations and the European Union place upon it to abandon its heartland and give it away to the Jew hating Muslim barbarians who call themselves Palestinians?

For 49 long years, since the liberation of east Jerusalem and biblical Judea and Samaria from illegal Jordanian occupation – territory the world grotesquely prefers to call the ‘West Bank’ – the beloved Jewish heartland has remained in a political limbo and not fully annexed. Instead, too much has been sinfully abandoned.

Israel’s foolish failure to declare again and again its historical and ancestral patrimony in its own biblical, physical and spiritual homeland has allowed a hostile world to thus assume that Israel itself does not believe it has legal or indigenous sovereignty in its own territory or in its eternal capital, Jerusalem.

Jews Portrayed Sympathetically in Egyptian TV Series; Public Backlash Causes Actors, Directors to Deny Support for Normalization With Israel: Ruthie Blum

For the second year in a row, Egyptian television is portraying Jews in a positive light during Ramadan, much to the chagrin of some of the public and members of the country’s media, pro-Israel blogger Elder of Ziyon reported on Tuesday.

According to the report, this year’s series that is relatively sympathetic to the Tribe – through one of its characters — is called “Mammon and Associates.” Egyptian press coverage of the backlash the show has elicited includes a “defense” of the show’s directors, who – Elder of Ziyon paraphrases – “are generally uniformly anti-Zionist and against any sort of ‘normalization’ with Israel,” quick to make a distinction between Jews and the Jewish state.

Last year, as Elder of Ziyon reported at the time, an Egyptian actress portraying the role of a Jewish woman in a series launched on Ramadan, released a statement to assure viewers that the show’s intention was not to “beautify the face of Israel.”

Menna Shalabi, co-star of “Haret al-Yahood” (“Jewish Quarter”) – a historical drama about Egypt’s vanished Jewish community – “pleaded for critics and the public not to rush to judgment on the work before its full release.”

Elder of Ziyon quoted a Times of Israel description of the series, launched on June 18, 2015 for the Ramadan holiday:

The plot … unfolds in Cairo between two landmark events in 20th century Egyptian history: the 1952 Revolution — which replaced the ruling monarchy with the militaristic Free Officers Movement led by Muhammad Naguib and Gamal Abdel Nasser — and the 1956 Suez Crisis, known in Israel as the Kadesh Operation and in Egypt as the Tripartite Aggression.

It depicts a love story between Ali, an Egyptian army officer played by Iyad Nassar, and Laila, a young Jewish woman, played by Mona Shalabi. As one might expect, the romance is marred by the rising wave of Egyptian nationalism and the social tensions brought about by the creation of Israel.

Turkey and Israel: Happy Together? by Burak Bekdil

Ironically, the futile Turkish effort to end the naval blockade of Gaza is ending in quite a different direction: Now that Turkey has agreed to send humanitarian aid through the Ashdod port, it accepts the legitimacy of the blockade.

Ostensibly, almost everyone is happy. After six years and countless rounds of secret and public negotiations Turkey and Israel have finally reached a landmark deal to normalize their downgraded diplomatic relations and ended their cold war. The détente is a regional necessity based on convergent interests: Divergent interests can wait until the next crisis.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon welcomed the deal, calling it a “hopeful signal for the stability of the region.”

Secretary of State John Kerry, too, welcomed the agreement. “We are obviously pleased in the administration. This is a step we wanted to see happen,” he said.

And Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thinks that the agreement to normalize relations will have a positive impact on Israel’s economy. “It has also immense implications for the Israeli economy, and I use that word advisedly,” Netanyahu said, in likely reference to potential deals with Turkey for the exploration and transportation of natural gas off the Israeli coast.

A few years ago, according to the official Turkish narrative, “Israel is a terrorist state and its acts are terrorist acts.” Today, in the words of Turkey’s Minister of the Economy, Nihat Zeybekci, “For us Israel is an important ally.”

Turkey has long claimed that it would not reconcile with Israel unless its three demands have been firmly met by the Jewish state: An official apology for the killings of nine Islamists aboard the Turkish flotilla led by the Mavi Marmara which in 2010 tried to break the naval blockade of Gaza; compensation for the victims’ families; and a complete removal of the blockade. In 2013, Netanyahu, under pressure from President Barack Obama, apologized for the operational mistakes during the raid on the Mavi Marmara. The two sides have also agreed on compensation worth $20 million. With the deal reached now and awaiting Israeli governmental and Turkish parliamentary approvals, the narrative on the third Turkish condition looks tricky.

Abbas’s Satisfied Customers Why European leaders cheer accusations of Jews poisoning Palestinian wells.Caroline Glick

“Our only prospect for impacting this diseased, racist environment is to appeal to the conscience of those Europeans who still have one. Beyond that, the time has come to write them off.”

One of the more remarkable aspects of the blood libel sounded by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in his address before the European Parliament in Brussels last week is the claim that he ad-libbed the part about rabbis poisoning Palestinian wells.

After refusing to meet President Reuven Rivlin who was also in Brussels last week, Abbas ascended the podium in Brussels and began his custom of demonizing Jewish and Israel. Clearing his throat, the man whose incitement is most responsible for the fact that the Palestinians are the most anti-Semitic people in the world, began his speech by saying, “We are against incitement.”

Then, as is his wont, Abbas proceeded to incite mass murder of Jews by accusing rabbis of ordering the poisoning of Palestinian wells.

In his words, “Just a week ago, a week, a group of rabbis in Israel announced, in a clear announcement, demanding their government, to poison, to poison, the water of the Palestinians.”

“Is this not incitement? Is this not clear incitement, to the mass murder of the Palestinian people?” It’s not quite clear what it was that he was ad-libbing but a reasonable bet is that he was embellishing what was already in his planned speech. In the days preceding his speech, the Abbas-controlled PLO media put out stories claiming that a non-existent rabbi, who heads a non-existent rabbinical council issued an opinion that Jews in Judea and Samaria should poison Palestinian wells.

As the IsraellyCool website pointed out, by Abbas’s telling, it wasn’t just one non-existent rabbi, who heads a non-existent rabbinical council that told Jews in general to poison wells. In Abbas’s ad-libbed version, the entire non-existent council, led by the non-existent rabbi ordered the government to poison Palestinian water.

At any rate, whether Abbas winged the blood libel or just embellished a less powerful one, far from being a mitigating factor for judging the significance of his statement, the claim that he was speaking on the fly makes it all the worse.

Abbas simply couldn’t help himself.

The Palestinian Authority’s Crackdown On Journalists by Khaled Abu Toameh

According to his account, Abu Zeid was also subjected to shabah-style torture, where a detainee’s hands and feet are tied in painful positions while his head is covered with a bag. He said that one of the interrogators threw him to the floor and kicked him in sensitive parts of his lower body.

The interrogators also threatened to arrest Abu Zeid’s wife, a female colleague and his lawyer. That would have been the closest he would have gotten to the lawyer: in the 37 days of detention, Abu Zeid claimed that he was prevented from meeting with his lawyer or any representative of a human rights organization.

The report noted that the year 2015 witnessed a “deterioration” in human rights in the territories and described the situation there as “catastrophic on all levels — political, security and human rights.” The report pointed out that Palestinians, including journalists, were being arrested by the Palestinian Authority (PA) because of their work and postings on social media.

Ironically, this campaign by the PA against journalists, which has failed to draw the attention of the international community and mainstream media in the West, is designed to prevent the world from understanding that the PA is a dictatorship. So far, the plan is working.

On May 16, Palestinian Authority security officers raided the home of Palestinian journalist Tareq Abu Zeid in the West Bank city of Nablus. After ransacking the house, the officers confiscated a computer and mobile phone before taking Abu Zeid into custody.

Abu Zeid, 40, who works for the Al-Aqsa TV channel, which is affiliated with Hamas, was held in detention for 37 days at the notorious Palestinian Authority-controlled Jneid Prison in Nablus.

On June 22, a Palestinian court in Nablus ordered the release of the journalist on a 5,000 Jordanian dinar (about $8,000) bail. The same court had ordered Abu Zeid remanded into custody three times during his detention. The court had turned down seven petitions demanding the release of the journalist during his incarceration.

No charges have been filed against Abu Zeid, who is originally from the West Bank city of Jenin. It is also highly unlikely that he will ever stand trial.

Palestinian security sources said he was suspected of “publishing news that harms the public interest and fomenting strife” among Palestinians. Although the sources did not provide further details, it is believed that Abu Zeid was accused of publishing stories that reflected negatively on the Palestinian Authority and its leaders. In other words, the journalist failed to serve as a mouthpiece for the Palestinian Authority and its leaders.

Abu Zeid is not the first Palestinian journalist to be targeted by the PA. Such arrests have become commonplace under the Palestinian Authority. But now it seems that the Palestinian Authority has moved from the phase of intimidation to torture.

MEKONEN-THE JOURNEY OF AN AFRICAN JEW

By Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman/JNS.org http://www.jns.org/latest-articles/2016/6/2/mekonen-puts-a-face-on-the-stories-of-the-idf-and-ethiopian-jewry#.V3D8SjU_nSY=

Squeals of laughter and high-spirited traditional Ethiopian dancing, coupled with deep and mournful cries of loss and pain. The piercing sound of bullets whizzing above a soldier’s head. “Ready, aim, fire.” The quiet smile of a night under the stars with your fellow comrades.

“Mekonen: The Journey of an African Jew,” the latest production from the film-focused educational non-profit Jerusalem U, is the story of an intrepid and introspective young Ethiopian-Israeli soldier.

The film, which debuted on Israeli Independence Day last month, is a spinoff of Jerusalem U’s previous documentary, “Beneath the Helmet: From High School to the Home Front” (2014), which followed five Israel Defense Forces (IDF) recruits, including Mekonen Abebe, through their military training. “Mekonen” follows up by honing in exclusively on Abebe, a young Ethiopian shepherd who overcame financial and familial hardships to realize his dream of becoming an officer in the IDF.

“After nearly every screening of ‘Beneath the Helmet,’ the audiences had burning questions about Abebe. They connected with him and wanted to know more about where he came from and how the next chapter of his story would unfold,” said Rebecca Shore, Jerusalem U’s creative director and the director of “Mekonen.”

The film, according to Jerusalem U CEO Raphael Shore, is part of the organization’s series of mission-driven productions that are meant to engage, educate, and empower Jewish young adults—particularly on college campuses, where anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism are on the rise.

“We create these products to try to inspire and push back,” Shore said at the premiere event for “Mekonen” in Israel, which welcomed more than 200 youths who were culminating a year studying in Israel before attending college in the United States. “We all tend to think of ourselves as small. But we are all leaders. I hope you step up.”

“There is definitely growing anti-Semitism on campus—swastikas being painted on houses, assaults. We see it growing,” said Moshe Lencer, an international ambassador for the Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi). “But on the other side, the pro-Israel camp is growing, too.…The students use these movies to help put a face to the story.”

But as much as “Mekonen” is a pro-Israel film, it is also the universal story of the Ethiopian aliyah (immigration to Israel)—and of aliyah in general.

“I decided to participate in ‘Mekonen’ to be there for others who need hope,” Mekonen Abebe, charming and modest, said in an interview with JNS.org. “It’s to give the weaker segment of society, those who are struggling, an example that you can win from nothing.”

EFRAIM KARSH : IT’S NOT THE “OCCUPATION”

As the blood dried at the scene of the latest Tel Aviv massacre, the city’s mayor rushed to empathize with the terrorists’ motives.

“We might be the only country in the world where another nation is under occupation without civil rights,” he claimed. “You can’t hold people in a situation of occupation and hope they’ll reach the conclusion everything is alright.”

This prognosis was quickly followed by the usual Israeli “hope” peddlers.

“The terror will continue as long as the Palestinian people have no hope on the horizon,” argued a Haaretz editorial. “The only way to deal with terrorism is by freeing the Palestinian people from the occupation.”

But this precisely what Israel did 20 years ago.

The declaration of principles (DOP, or Oslo I) signed on the White House lawn in September 1993 by the PLO and the Israeli government provided for Palestinian self-rule in the entire West Bank and Gaza Strip for a transitional period not to exceed five years, during which Israel and the Palestinians would negotiate a permanent peace settlement. By May 1994, Israel had completed its withdrawal from the Gaza Strip (apart from a small stretch of territory containing a small number of Israeli settlements that “occupied” not a single Palestinian and were subsequently evacuated in 2005) and the Jericho area of the West Bank. On July 1, PLO chairman Yasser Arafat made his triumphant entry into Gaza, and shortly afterward a newly- established Palestinian Authority (PA ) under his leadership took control of this territory.

On September 28, 1995, despite the PA ’s abysmal failure to clamp down on terrorist activities in the territories under its control, the two parties signed an interim agreement, and by the end of the year Israeli forces had been withdrawn from the West Bank’s populated areas with the exception of Hebron (where redeployment was completed in early 1997). On January 20, 1996, elections to the Palestinian Council were held, and shortly afterward both the Israeli Civil Administration and military government were dissolved.

“What happened… in the territories is the Palestinian state,” gushed environment minister Yossi Sarid. “The Palestinian state has already been established.”

Hizbullah Threatens Israel—As Its Own Support Sinks Even the terror group’s longtime Lebanese backers are fed up. P. David Hornik

How is Hizbullah doing after about four years of fighting in Syria on behalf of the Assad regime, as part of the axis led by Iran?

In terms of bluster, and particularly threats against Israel, Hizbullah hasn’t changed much. But in other ways—and not only with regard to the often-cited 1500 fighters Hizbullah has lost on Syrian soil—the war is taking a toll on the Shiite terror organization. That includes growing unpopularity in Lebanon itself—even among its traditional supporters.

On June 18, speaking to a Lebanese audience on Hizbullah’s Al-Manar TV channel (as translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute, MEMRI), Hizbullah MP Walid Sukkarieh painted a scenario in a future war between Hizbullah and Israel.

He asked: “What would the capturing of settlements mean?”

Hizbullah has indeed been planning for years to capture Israeli communities in the Galilee in a prospective war.

Answering his own question, Sukkarieh said:

First, we would be liberating land. Second, we would take hostages, prisoners. The Israeli people would be a prisoner in your hands. This would prevent Israel from targeting civilians on your side. It would not be able to implement the Dahiya Strategy. They have threatened that in the next war, they will implement this strategy and destroy all of Lebanon. What will they destroy if we hold settlements hostage? We will have hostages. If they kill us, we will kill them.

GOOD NEWS FROM AMAZING ISRAEL: MICHAEL ORDMAN

ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

SACH saves its 4000th child. (TY Hazel) 4-year-old Sanusey was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect. The surgery needed to repair his heart is not available in Gambia. Sanusey is now recovering from open heart surgery at the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, Israel. He is the 4,000th child saved by Israel’s Save a Child’s Heart organization. Other children currently being treated include five from Iraq and Zead from Gaza.
http://www.saveachildsheart.com/sach_news/save-childs-heart-saves-4000th-child/
http://www.timesofisrael.com/sanusey-4-is-4000th-child-helped-by-save-a-childs-heart/?
http://www.saveachildsheart.com/global/children-we-help/children-currently-in-israel/

Good trials of colon X-ray capsule. (TY Atid-EDI) I reported about Israel’s Check-cap previously (Feb 2012) that requires no prior preparation or hospital visit. After 4 years, trials on 54 participants of its ingestible and disposable low-dose 3D imaging capsule proved safe and well tolerated and detected small and large polyps.
http://ir.check-cap.com/2016-05-25-Check-Cap-Announces-Preliminary-Data-Evaluating-its-Preparation-Free-Colon-Screening-Capsule

US approves CT radiation safety system. (TY Atid-EDI) The SafeCT-29 solution from Israel’s Medic Vision Imaging Solutions produces high-quality medical scan images but reduces radiation doses by up to 80%. SafeCT-29 works with any CT scanner and has just been approved by the US FDA.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIxekstfs5k http://www.medicvision.com/en/home

Canada approves tremor treatment. (TY Atid-EDI) Canada’s federal department responsible for helping Canadians maintain and improve their health, Health Canada, has approved the Exablate Neuro system for the treatment of essential tremor developed by Israel’s Insightec. http://www.insightec.com/news-events/press-releases/2016/health-canada-approves-insightec-s-exablate-neuro-system-for-the-treatment-of-essential-tremor/

Skin stickers to monitor activity. A new medical innovation, developed at Tel Aviv University’s Center for Nanoscience & Nanotechnology, uses ‘stick it and forget it’ electrodes affixed to the skin, to monitor muscle activity. Applications include monitoring driver alertness and individuals with neuro-degenerative diseases.
http://unitedwithisrael.org/new-israeli-developed-stickers-can-detect-and-map-emotions/
http://mfa.gov.il/MFA/InnovativeIsrael/ScienceTech/Pages/New-electrode-maps-emotions-20-June-2016.aspx

The science of daydreaming. Scientists at Bar-Ilan University have used low-level electricity to increase the rate at which daydreams – or spontaneous, self-directed thoughts and associations – occur. They also discovered that daydreams have a positive effect on task performance.
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/289896.php

Help for patients and care-givers. Israeli Marni Mandell launched the startup CareHood to provide patients and care-givers with a website where they can learn what has helped other people in similar situations. They can then build a care package of services, gifts, tasks and errands that their friends and family can assist with.
http://www.timesofisrael.com/when-medical-crisis-strikes-carehood-tries-to-answer-how-can-i-help/

Monitoring cancer in the genes. Israel’s NovellusDx monitors the effect of cancer therapies on a patient’s genetic mutations. NovellusDx reports to the oncologist on the contribution of the driver mutations to the activation of the signaling pathways. NovellusDx has just received $2.5 million funds from the VC Orbimed.
http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-orbimed-invests-25m-in-cancer-profiling-co-novellusdx-1001133996 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zBQzAXFDrQ

Making any fabric antibacterial. I reported on Israel’s Nano Textile previously (Feb 2015) when it announced its antibacterial Zinc Oxide (ZnO) nano-coating for bed linen and clothing to prevent hospital infections. Nano Textile has now announced that it can make any fabric (natural or synthetic) antibacterial.
http://www.timesofisrael.com/nano-textile-says-it-can-make-any-fabric-antibacterial/
http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-israeli-co-nano-textile-introduces-antibacterial-fabric-1001131859