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September 3, 2015 / 19 Elul, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Australia’

Australian Singer Breaks Israeli Journalist’s Legs in Traffic Accident

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

New Zealand-born rock singer Jon Stevens accidentally ran over visiting Israeli journalist Akiva Eldar this week and broke his legs, Australian media reported.

Eldar, 60, reportedly was visiting his mother-in-law in Australia, where Stevens now lives. He is a veteran Haaretz journalist whose views reflect the newspaper’s left-wing stance.

Stevens formerly was the singer for the Noiseworks group in Australia. He previously has been convicted of drunken driving, After Steven’s BMW hit Eldar as he was walking near his mother-in-law’s home in a posh Sydney suburb, the singer attended to the journalist. Police said tests showed Stevens was not drunk at the time.

He later said, “I hope the gentleman is OK, police and paramedics assured me he is but I’ll be checking in to make sure. It was just an accident…. I’m devastated.”

Stevens has been involved in a number of bad scenes lately. Last week, he was among a group that was in a fracas in a pub. Three months ago, Stevens was charged with after an altercation with his then-fiancée.

The accident has delayed Eldar’s return to Israel by several weeks.

Israel Ranks 11th Happiest Nation in the World

Saturday, April 25th, 2015

Pharel Williams knew what he was doing when he came to Israel to collect footage for his on-and-on “happy” music video.

The Jewish State has again found itself among the happiest nations in the world, ranking number 11 in this year’s annual World Happiness Report for the second year running.

Published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), the report placed Switzerland as the happiest country in the world among 156 countries surveyed in 2014.

Following closely were Iceland, Norway, Denmark and Canada, along with Finland, Netherlands, Sweden, New Zealand and Australia.

The United States is not nearly as happy: America ranked at Number 15.

Israeli-Australian Researchers Discover How to Regrow Heart Muscle

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

Scientists in Israel and Australia have discovered a way to regrow heart muscle cells, a breakthrough that may have major implications for heart attack victims. According to World Health Organization (WHO) statistics, coronary heart disease is the number one cause of death in the State of Israel.

Researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot and the Victor Chang Institute in Sydney have discovered a way to stimulate the growth of heart muscle cells, according to the study’s principal investigator, molecular biologist Gabriele D’Uva.

Professor Richard Harvey of the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, a key member of the team, spoke with The Guardian newspaper about the findings, which were published Tuesday in the scientific journal, ‘Nature Cell Biology.’

“There’s always been an intense interest in the mechanism salamanders and fish use which makes them capable of heart regeneration,” Harvey explained. “One thing they do is send their cardiomyocytes, or muscle cells, into a dormant state, which they then come out of to go into a proliferative state – which means they start dividing rapidly and replacing lost cardiomyocytes.

“There are various theories why the human heart cannot do that, one being that our more sophisticated immune system has come at a cost, and because human cardiomyocytes are in a deeper state of quiescence, that has made it very difficult to stimulate them to divide,” he continued.

While studying lab mice, however, the team discovered a way to overcome that barrier, at least in the lab, by stimulating a signalling system in the heart that is driven by a hormone called neuregulin.

When neuregulin was stimulated, heart muscle cells divided “spectacularly” in both adolescent and adult mice. However, in humans this hormone is blunted about a week after birth. Likewise, it’s muted about 20 weeks after birth in mice as well, according to the research.

Triggering the neuregulin pathway following a heart attack in the mice led to a replacement of lost muscle, however – repairing the heart and helping it regain its former health, almost completely.

“We will now examine what else we can use, other than genes, to activate that pathway, and it could be that there are already drugs out there – used for other conditions and regarded as safe – that can trigger this response in humans,” Harvey told The Guardian.

“The dream is that one day we will be able to regenerate damaged heart tissue much like a salamander can regrow a new limb if it is bitten off by a predator.”

Anti-Israelis Read the Riot Act at Australian University [video]

Friday, March 13th, 2015

A dozen anti-Israeli students barged into a lecture hall at the University of Sydney this week and accused the guest lecturer from Britain of supporting genocide because he has strongly defended the IDF’s counter-terrorist campaign against Hamas.

Retired British army Col. Richard Kemp was speaking when the students burst into the hall and screamed, “Richard Kemp, you can’t hide, you support genocide.”

Security guards had to use force to remove the students.

“Kemp was giving a lecture about ethical dilemmas of military tactics and dealing with non-state armed groups,” the Australian Jewish News reported.

The YouTube below shows that the audience was from appreciative of the violent disruption.

Professor Jake Lynch, the director of the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies at the university, shouted in the faces of students and screamed that attempts to remove the protesters was a violent attack on freedom of speech by security guards, AJN reported.

Kemp said:

This protest was about my perspective on the IDF. I was in Israel during the 2014 summer conflict and I do believe that the IDF in their attack on Hamas in Gaza … were doing everything they could to protect civilians … people have told me I am wrong, but no one has told me what more steps Israel could take to minimize civilian casualties.

The Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS) said the protest was a deliberate attempt to intimidate Jews in the audience, and described it as an “aggressive attack on the academic pursuit of knowledge and information, as well as free speech.”

“AUJS thoroughly condemns the highly aggressive tactics used by the purportedly ‘pro-Palestinian’ protestors to intimidate audience members and impede on their right to listen to a public lecture given by a highly respected expert, who happens to disagree with their view of the world,” AUJS national political director Julian Kowal said.

AJN added, “AUJS called on the university to ‘have all options available in deciding how to discipline Professor Lynch’, who it said intimidated Jewish students by hurling verbal abuse and filming them without their permission ‘after he was repeatedly asked to stop.'”

Israel Hits Back at ICC

Sunday, January 18th, 2015

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman has taken the first steps in hitting back at the ICC for its eagerness to try and prosecute Israel for fictitious war crimes.

Liberman said on Israel radio that Israel will ask Israel’s friends in Canada, Australia and Germany to stop funding the ICC. Israel and the US are not members of the ICC.

Japan’s Prime Minister is currently in Israel and Israel will also ask Japan to stop contributing to the ICC.

In the international community there is concern that the Palestinian Authority’s actions may destroy whatever credibility the ICC may have had. They’re right to be worried.

Giant Chabad Menorah Lit Without Ceremony in Martin Place, Sydney

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

In Sydney, Australia, a public Hanukkah menorah still stands tall in the very same place it has stood in Martin Place for the last 30 years.

The 10 meter high menorah was not the center of festivities this year, however: instead, a message was prominently displayed for the public to read.

“The Jewish community of Australia expresses our deepest sympathy for the families of the Martin Place tragedy. May the Lights of the Festival of Chanukah bring comfort and warmth to our nation.”

The decision to cancel the annual Lighting Ceremony of the Hanukkah Menorah in Martin Place, scheduled for Thursday Dec. 18, the third night of the holiday, was made “after lengthy discussions and consultation with the authorities and communal leaders,” explained Chabad-Lubavitch emissary Rabbi Elimelech Levy, Director of Chabad NSW and coordinator of the annual “Chanukah in the City” celebration.

“While the event was canceled, the presence of the Giant Menorah sends a powerful message that light will always overcome darkness,” Levy said.

“As we mourn the loss of life and the atrocity that has taken place, people of goodwill will continue to shine the light of freedom and communal harmony, which is what the Chanukah Menorah is all about,” he added.

According to Chabad officials at the movement’s World Lubavitch Headquarters at “770” Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, NY, the Martin Place Giant Menorah was indeed lit and cast its Light upon the area as it does each year. However, in deference to the memory of the victims, no public ceremony was held to mark the occasion.

The manager of the Lindt cafe and a local barrister were killed last Tuesday after being held hostage together with at least 15 others by a lone gunman, Man Haron Monis. The victims were shot as special agents stormed the cafe in an attempt to free the hostages. The self-styled Iranian cleric had forced his captives to hold up a flag bearing the Shahada — the Islamic creed, written in Arabic — in the window, for hours.

An earlier article about the Menorah contained an error about the lighting ceremony due to a misunderstanding which has since been clarified.

The Diapora’s Dilemma in Sydney

Friday, December 19th, 2014

The cancellation of the tradition public lighting of the Chabad menorah in Sydney this week epitomizes the excruciating neurosis of Jews in the Diaspora, torn between living freely as Jews and having to co-exist with the somewhat tolerant if not ignorant ruling powers.

I do not pre-judge the cancellation of the public lighting on the public area very near the scene of this week’s siege of the Lindt’s Café, in which another Islamic loony held hostages for 16 hours before police stormed the store. Two of the hostages were killed.

It would be too easy and wrong to write smugly from Israel that the Jewish community caved into pressure to cancel the public lighting. It may even have been the Jewish leaders’ own initiative to do so “out of respect” to the families of the victims.

If the victims had been Jewish, God forbid, they might have made the same decision that is politically correct but fundamentally wrong. Beneath the surface lies the eternal contradiction of Judaism and Jews in the Diaspora.

The need to be socially and culturally acceptable among the non-Jewish hosts in a foreign country – foreign meaning outside the Jewish home of Israel – clashes with the individual need to live Judaism fully.

The non-Jews cannot be expected to understand Judaism’s inner meaning and spirituality, but it is a tragedy that Jews’ understanding is tainted by their living in the Diaspora.

Hanukkah is universally recognized by lighting the Menorah, the Dreidel, the sickening sufganiyot –those unhealthy fried donuts once filled with jelly and now stuffed with everything from peanut butter to bubble gum – and the Xmas-inspired gift-giving.

Of all of these symbols, the Menorah is the only one that touches on the real meaning of Hanukkah, two victory of truth over evil in the war against the Greek conquerors of Jerusalem and the Holy Temple and the miracle of pure olive oil that was found in the debris of the Temple and which burned for eight days even though it was thought to be enough to burn for only one day.

For the non-Jew, and unfortunately as well as for many Jews, lighting the menorah has about as much meaning as lighting a Xmas tree, which has nothing to do with the origins of the holiday.

Light is beautiful. It is uplifting. It is fun. Hanukkah is also known as the Festival of Lights.

The light of Hanukkah represents the belief in God, the belief in good over evil, and it symbolizes the victory of the Jews over those who want to destroy the light, such as the mad Muslim of Lindt’s.

The Xmas tree’s decorations are nice and pretty but have no meaning other than one’s individual thoughts of God, the beauty of light and nature, and the cost of electricity. They have nothing to do with the meaning of the holiday (AFAIK).

For the families of the siege of Lindt’s Café, the public lighting of the Menorah nearby the scene of the crime indeed would seem disrespectful because they do not understand nor cannot be expected to understand the deep meaning of Hanukkah.

For the Jew who understands the meaning behind the Menorah, lighting it in public would seem exactly the message needed to show that terror and murder cannot and must not conquer.

But Jews in the Diaspora must behave as they are expected to behave.

If God forbid the siege had taken place in downtown Jerusalem or Tel Aviv, I dare say that more Menorahs would be lit than ever before. The expression of the belief in God and not in the fear of terrorist and murders would be omnipresent in public.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/first-person/the-diaporas-dilemma-in-sydney/2014/12/19/

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