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January 23, 2017 / 25 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Haifa’

Haifa Researchers say Cannabis Oil May Help Epileptic Children

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

by Ilana Messika Researchers at the Neurology Unit at the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa say trials conducted with an oil made from cannabis showed positive results for children suffering from epilepsy.

Dr. Aharon Schif, a specialist in pediatric neurology at the Ruth Rappaport Children’s Hospital, the Center’s pediatric wing, and head of pediatric neurology Dr. Sarit Ravid said that several children of various ages suffering from epilepsy responded well to treatment with the experimental oil. The children had already undergone conventional drug therapy.

Medical cannabis oil droplets are specifically enriched with Cannabidiol (CBD), one of the chemical compounds identified with cannabis but different from the one existing in regular marijuana. For this reason, the cannabis does not act like an intoxicating drug.

“Researchers currently believe that cannabis decreases neural transmission during periods of intense cellular activity like in an epileptic seizure,” explained Drs. Schif and Ravid to Tazpit Press Service (TPS).

“Preliminary results indicate that medical cannabis can be used to improve behavior, alertness, language, communication, motor skills and sleep in epilepsy patients,” Schif added.

The Epilepsy Foundation defines epilepsy as “a chronic disorder, the hallmark of which is recurrent, unprovoked seizures.” Electrical events in the brain will produce those symptoms affecting any part of the body. Different people suffer a variety of types of seizures.

According to Rambam’s statistics, epilepsy affects approximately 0.7% of children living in Israel, about a quarter of whom are considered “seriously ill,” do not respond to drugs and suffer from frequent seizures of very high intensity. Schif and David said that approximately a third of epilepsy patients suffer from drug-resistant epilepsy, meaning a failure to stop seizures by at least two medications. The efficacy of other medications is also limited, which is why there is a great interest in developing new treatments.

“The general treatment options for the treatment of epilepsy are medications, adequate protein (or ketogenic) diet, vagus nerve stimulation surgery,” they said.

The use of cannabis to treat epilepsy was already described in early 19th century. But only in the last three years have the medical community, parent groups and the media expressed growing interest in its administration cases of intractable epilepsy in children.

The cannabis treatment was approved by the Israeli Ministry of Health about two years ago, if the patient meets certain requirements, and only for certain hospitals. Rambam is the only hospital to provide the treatment in Northern Israel.

Despite such promising results, however, Schif and Ravid pointed out that the trial is still considered controversial because the long-term side affects are unknown remaining uncertainties

“We should emphasize however, that medical reports on the positive effect of medical cannabis for epilepsy are still preliminary. Further clinical trials are warranted. There is also not enough evidence on the long-term side effects of cannabis in pediatric population,” Drs Schif and Ravid said.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Israel Conserves Seal of Sultan Abdul Hamid II, Builder of the Jaffa Clock Tower

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

The familiar seal of sultan Abdul Hamid II, builder of Jaffa’s clock tower, is once again on display on the city’s famous landmark.

Over the past year, Jaffa’s clock tower has undergone conservation measures and engineering reinforcement implemented by the Ezra u-Biratzon Company of the Tel Aviv-Jaffa municipality. In the course of the project it became apparent that the original marble seal (tughra) bearing the symbol of Sultan Hamid Abdul II (ruler of the Ottoman Empire in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries) was in bad need of preservation. Not only had the marble long since lost its original color and it was no longer possible to identify the relief on it, but the seal’s plaque, located 36 ft. above the sidewalk, was in danger of collapsing. The marble was cracked and partly detached from the wall, and its surface was crumbling.

The marble plaque bearing the sultan’s seal after conservation.

The marble plaque bearing the sultan’s seal after conservation.

This seal, located on the southern side of the tower, was the last original seal out of a total of four to be preserved on the structure. In 2001, three glass replicas adorned with the sultan’s seal were installed there in place of the marble plaques that did not survive. Conservators at the Israel Antiquities Authority who examined the last original marble seal that remained on the tower determined that its critical condition required it be saved. Tt was detached from the wall using chisels and transferred to the conservation laboratory in Jerusalem. There, conservator Mark Avrahami performed the conservation and restoration work: a new support for the seal was created, the seal, which had faded completely, was accentuated utilizing pigments, and upon completion of the work, the marble plaque was returned to its original location two weeks ago.

Faina Milstein, the IAA conservation architect in Old Jaffa, said in a statement: “The clock tower, which is in the center of what is today Clock Square, was built next to Jaffa’s monumental sites: the Qishla – the Ottoman period police station, and the Saraya – the Turkish government house. More than one hundred clock towers were constructed throughout the Ottoman Empire in honor of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the reign of Sultan Abdul Hamid II, of which six clock towers are in Israel: at Jaffa, Acre, Jerusalem, Haifa, Tsfat and Shechem. A seventh tower, which may not have been a clock tower, is located in Nazareth.”

According to Dr. Yoav Arbel, an archaeologist with the Israel Antiquities Authority, “The tughra first appeared as the seal of the second Ottoman sultan, Orhan (1326-1362 CE) and has since represented the sultans of the Ottoman Empire, as well as the kingdom itself. The tughra is a monogram that incorporates the sultan’s name, his titles, his father’s name and blessings, along with symbolic characteristics of the Ottoman Empire. It served as the sultan’s official seal for use on documents, public buildings, coins etc.”

The tughra also appears at the top of the Qishla, near the clock tower, and above the impressive sabil (a public fountain) called Suleiman’s sabil, in front of the city gate, which was also treated in recent years by the conservators of the IAA.

JNi.Media

Rescuing My Home And Neighborhood From The Haifa Fires

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

At 9 a.m. on November 24, I began to smell smoke and the smell of things burning. Simultaneously I began to receive calls on my United Hatzalah emergency phone about a large fire outside of the Paz Bridge, located near the central fire and rescue building in Haifa.

I raced out of my house on my ambucycle to respond to the emergency calls that were emanating from the nearby Givat Oranim neighborhood.

I arrived to Givat Oranim and was nearly paralyzed with fear as I saw the fire climb the hill toward the east, where the neighborhood of Ramot Sapir is located. The image was a hard one to stomach, even for experienced rescue personnel. When a large fire grabs hold of the neighborhood where you grew up, and you watch your childhood memories go up in flames, it is very tough to watch. As the fire drew closer to my own house it became that much harder. I didn’t believe the fire would get as far as my own home.

Later in the morning the smoke began billowing toward my own neighborhood. I raced home, turned off the gas lines and all the electricity, and closed the gas balloons. I called my wife, Tal, and asked her to leave work and return home. She picked up our daughter Leah from kindergarten and headed home.

At that point I still didn’t believe there was a direct threat to our house and our neighborhood, but people began to evacuate, carrying some of their belongings with them. I received more emergency calls. I responded to one such call together with Moshe Adler, the chapter head of United Hatzalah Haifa region. We found a 40-year-old man who was unconscious and having severe respiratory problems. No ambulances were available as the entire area was jammed up with traffic and closed off.

Another medic, Yigal Maor, joined us. We checked the unconscious individual for any other physiological ailments and then gave him high flow oxygen. Yigal put the patient in his own car while Moshe and I attempted to clear a path for his evacuation to the Carmel Medical Center. The patient needed to be intubated and receive respiratory assistance immediately. After a very difficult ride we were able to get the patient to the shock treatment center at the hospital.

It was approaching 1 p.m. I saw that the valley by the street where I live was burning. This was when I understood the danger to my own home and the homes of my neighbors. I raced to my house and what greeted me will never leave my mind. Our backyard was ablaze. The storage unit, which we had just built the week before and filled with everything we couldn’t find room for in our house, was burning.

I grabbed the garden hose and attempted to put out the fire there as well as the fire in our neighbors’ backyards in order to prevent the flames from advancing to our houses. I fought the fire until the water pressure began to dwindle. The water main to our house had begun to melt due to the intense heat.

A short time later, four other United Hatzalah volunteers arrived to help put out the flames that threatened my home and the homes of my neighbors. At 4:30, firefighters were finally able to arrive and they quenched what was left of the flames. About an hour and a half later, the firefighters had finally managed to put out the fires threatening our neighborhood.

I headed over to the mobile command center that had been set up by United Hatzalah in Haifa. The director, Moshe Teitelbaum, asked whether my family needed anything and offered us a place to stay. The organization replaced my depleted medical equipment and gave my ambucycle a tune-up on the spot. I was invited to eat, something I hadn’t done all day long. I ate a few slices of pizza and then headed to my family at the safe location to which they’d been evacuated.

We couldn’t sleep that night, thinking of all the medics and emergency personnel still involved in the battle for our beautiful city of Haifa, of the fire that refused to be put out, of our green forests that provided us with so much, and of our neighbors who lost everything dear to them.

The next morning I went with a fellow EMT to see the house. The sight was a very difficult one for all of us. The blackened rooms bore down on us. As our neighbors began to return home we all took solace in the unity of our tragedy and began to work together to figure out who to call and how to handle the situation. How do we rebuild what was lost? How do we restore water and electricity to our homes? Where could people stay in the interim?

My friends from United Hatzalah never ceased to call and offer assistance. Fellow EMS personnel provided food and blankets for Shabbat. People from as far away as the Golan and Jerusalem offered us places to stay for the weekend. We were overwhelmed with love and attention.

While we are still crying from the tragedy, our eyes are somewhat dried from knowing we will not have to go through this alone. We have an entire organization – 3,000 volunteers and staffers – standing behind me, my family, and my neighbors. When United Hatzalah is involved, no one is alone, and I am incredibly thankful for that.

We have begun restoring our homes to what they were, and I wish to thank all those who stood with us in our time of crisis.

Doron Shafir

Breaking the Silence: Teaching Hebron’s Real Jewish History to Young Israelis

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

In recent years, radical-Left NGOs have marked Hebron as a strategic target through which to facilitate and promote international pressure on Israel. Rightwing Jewish movement Im Tirtzu is planning to change that, inviting thousands of Israeli students to visit the city of Hebron on regular tours aimed at strengthening the historical national connection to the city. The program, run by Im Tirtzu and the Jewish Community of Hebron, exposes students to the realities of Hebron, their main goal being “to connect more students to the history of Hebron and to strengthen each student’s deep connection to the place.”

Tour organizers expect a turnout of 5,000 students throughout the academic year.

The first tour takes place on Thursday, leaving from Bar-Ilan University on the outskirts of Tel Aviv. According to Im Tirtzu, the tours provides a balancing point of view in a milieu where radical, anti-Israel groups use tours of the city to slander and delegitimize Israel. They will visit the Cave of the Patriarchs, David HaMelech Street, the ancient Jewish cemetery, Tel Romeda, Beit Romano, and the Hebron Heritage Museum.

The program organizers have discussed potential run-ins with radical anti-Zionist groups during the tour, concluding that “if students on the tour encounter foreign journalists, European MPs, or anti-Israel propaganda tours led by radical Left NGOs, they will be permitted to provide them with educational materials that expose the hypocrisy and double standards of the delegitimization campaign against Israel.”

“Of course,” the organizers stress, “there must be an emphasis on appropriate conduct and politeness.”

The program is expected to run at all the Israeli universities and colleges with Im Tirtzu groups, including Hebrew University, the Technion, and Tel Aviv, Ben-Gurion, Bar-Ilan, Haifa, and Ariel universities.

Spokesman for the Hebron Jewish Community Yishai Fleisher noted that “Hebron and the Cave of the Patriarchs are at the foundation of the People of Israel and represent our historical right to the land. It is astonishing that the anti-Zionist narrative brazenly chooses to rip out these deep historical roots – entrenched in Jewish consciousness and borne out by archaeological proof – in their slanderous tours of the city. Apparently, they believe that the Jews and the world have forgotten history, and so they promote a false narrative depicting Jews as foreigners and as occupiers of their own country.”

Fleisher expressed his hope that the Im Tirtzu tours will help “thousands of students to learn the historical truth of Hebron that will strengthen their connection to the city. They will also learn about the heroic spirit of Hebron that is much-needed today. In the end, the program will empower the students, the State of Israel’s presence in Hebron, and the entire Zionist narrative.”

Im Tirtzu CEO Matan Peleg has written the leaders of the Jewish Community of Hebron that “Im Tirtzu recognized that radical organizations are trying to harm one of the most important historical locations of the People of Israel. Bringing hundreds and thousands of students to Hebron this year and in upcoming years is the best answer to all those who are trying to rewrite the history of Israel.”

“These tours,” Peleg continued, “will ensure that the historical connection to Hebron will be passed on to the next generation of Israelis who will see with their own eyes what’s happening in the city and will learn about the lies perpetrated by radical organizations.”

Peleg expressed his commitment that Im Tirtzu would help keep Hebron at the heart of the Israeli consensus “despite the efforts of foreign-agent organizations.” Noting that Jewish history in Israel began in Hebron, with the purchase of the Cave of the Patriarchs some 3,500 years ago, Peleg promised that Im Tirtzu would help “the future of Israel continue to prosper in Hebron.”

JNi.Media

Foreign Aerial FireFighters to Leave Tuesday

Monday, November 28th, 2016

The international aerial firefighters who came to the rescue of the State of Israel in its hour of need will return home Tuesday after receiving the thanks of the nation at a special ceremony led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Hatzerim Air Force Base in southern Israel.

Northern and central Israel remain on high alert, but the rest of the country is gradually returning to normal — as normal as is possible, that is — in the aftermath of a week in which 2,000 fires ravaged the Jewish State. After two full days without any major fires, officials sent home about half of the Home Front Command reservists called into service as tens of thousands of dunams of forest and brush land went up in flames along with hundreds of homes.

Last week, firefighting aircraft arrived to help battle nearly 2,000 blazes from Russia, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Canada, Spain, France and the United States, which responded to a request for its “SuperTanker.” The U.S. Boeing 747 SuperTanker from Colorado Springs is the largest firefighting aerial aircraft in the world and is capable of continuing to battle flames even after dark, while carrying up to 19,600 gallons of water or fire retardant. It also produces enough pressure to create eight rounds of a rain-like environment in fighting any blaze — a boon to any force battling a major forest fire, as was happening in Haifa and in the Jerusalem Hills.

Russia sent two giant Beriev Be-200 firefighting aircraft, each of which has a capacity of 12 tons (3,170 gallons) of water, or up to 72 passengers. The aircraft also have contain unique fire-fighting equipment that allows the plane to scoop water while skimming the water surface at 90-95% of takeoff speed — a crucial necessity in battling the constantly-appearing blazes that dogged firefighters all along the central and northern coastline.

Fire Services spokesperson Yoram Levy said fire stations in the north and along the coast would remain on alert with extra personnel due to the severity of the fires that had struck those areas. He added that firefighters had battled a total of 1,773 brush fires from November 18-26 but that no active sites remained at this point.

In Haifa alone, some 1,600 residents were left homeless with 527 apartments completely destroyed; 75,000 in the port city were forced to evacuate from their homes in 11 neighborhoods. These figures do not include the hundreds of other Israelis who were also forced to leave their homes, including dozens who were left homeless, in Zichron Ya’akov, communities in the Jerusalem Hills — including Moshav Beit Meir — and communities in Judea and Samaria, such as Halamish.

Hana Levi Julian

New Netanyahu-Supertanker Corruption Scandal Brewing [Satire]

Sunday, November 27th, 2016

Raviv Drucker of Channel 10 reported a new scandal this evening involving Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Drucker claims the Supertanker sent from the US to Israel, to fight the inexplicable fires burning down the country, was seen diverting from its flight path multiple times during the day and circling over the Prime Minister’s official residence at least three times.

Unnamed witnesses claim they saw the supertanker emptying its water tanks on the Prime Minister’s vehicles parked outside his homes in Caesarea, Jerusalem, the official government residence, and at the cabinet meeting in Haifa, thoroughly washing all the Prime Minister’s vehicles — completely at the taxpayers’ expense. One witness claimed the Prime Minister’s pool in Caesarea was also filled up by the Supertanker.

Drucker claimed that Sara Netanyahu had the plane fly over the vehicles at the official residence three times, as she wasn’t happy with the cleaning job the first two.

Peace Now co-founder Professor Amiram Goldblum claimed that Netanyahu was the main benefactor of bringing in the Supertanker, and that Netanyahu started the arson spree to get the free car washes.

The pilot denies any wrongdoing, and says he only opened the water valves in locations where he was told there were threats to human life and property. He could not recall who gave him the list of locations to fly over or why he circled over one location in Jerusalem so many times.

Minister Naftali Bennett said even if the Prime Minister’s cars were washed then it was for the good of Israel’s security, as that is the Prime Minister’s only concern.

Bennett added, if there really was corruption involved, then obviously the cars would have been waxed and polished too, which he points out they weren’t.

On that point, Raviv Drucker noted the unusual conversation between PM Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas, where Netanyahu thanked Abbas were sending over a few crews to help in Haifa, Caesarea and Jerusalem.

Netanyahu’s spokesperson said the phone call was to thank Abbas for his humanitarian gesture, and that the Arab crews sent over did not wax and polish the Prime Minister’s cars as Drucker was implying. Sara could just as easily had some cabinet members or MKs do that for her if she needed it.

There’s also a rumor that a former cleaning lady now in rehab who once interviewed for a job at the PM’s house saw Sara Netanyahu pass to a foreign diplomat a blank envelope with a free carwash coupon inside. This is still unconfirmed.

Technically, Raviv Drucker’s latest report became connected to the submarine scandal once the Prime Minister’s cars were submerged under the thousands of gallons of water that were dumped on them.

Netanyahu’s personal attorney, David Shimron who reportedly brokered the Supertanker deal, was unavailable for comment.

[Reminder: This is satire]

JoeSettler

Cabinet Holds Special Meeting in Fire Plagued Haifa

Sunday, November 27th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu assembled his cabinet on Sunday morning in Haifa, the Israeli city that has suffered more than any other large urban center in the week of blazes, both the natural and the man made kind. The prime minister said: “First, I would like to commend the IDF soldiers who, this morning, successfully repelled an attack against in the border triangle area (where Israel, Lebanon and Syria meet). We are well prepared on our northern border and we will not allow any ISIS or other hostile elements, under cover of the war in Syria, to establish themselves adjacent to our borders.

“En route here this morning I spoke with Rama Ben-Tzvi; her and her husband’s restaurant in the Jerusalem hills was completely burnt. I think that we all know how much love they have invested in this, their life’s work, for 20 years, and in an instant, it went up in flames. The fire there and in other places burned property, it burned objects replete with memories, it even burned animals in some places, but to our joy, this time we were well-prepared and it did not burn lives; we saved lives. I told Rama that we would help her rebuild her restaurant forthwith. The Director General of the Prime Minister’s Office has already spoken to her. This, in effect, is our message to all Israeli citizens whose homes and property were hit by the fires: We will help you rebuild your homes and your lives forthwith and this is the main goal of this special Cabinet meeting this morning in Haifa.

“We have come to Haifa and we have invited council heads from across the north whose communities were affected by the fires in order to give them clear message: All government ministries are committed to extending a hand to you quickly, to shorten the bureaucracy, and I say to brutally shorten the bureaucracy, to bring you assistance, relief and rebuilding as soon as possible. In the meantime, we will do everything necessary to maintain your remaining property.

“Immediately upon concluding my remarks, I will ask my fellow ministers – the ministers of Public Security, Finance and Interior – who, I must say, from the outset, have worked tirelessly in the field, to report on their ministries’ activities.

“Later, I will ask the other ministers to do so. Of course, we will be measured by results and not by processes, by deeds and not words. We will be measured by results. The event is still not over. There are reports now of a fire in the Zichron area and several other locales, that seem as if they are rekindling. We are working on all fronts, including law enforcement. Whoever starts a fire, either by malice or negligence, whoever incites to arson – we will act against them with full force.

“There is no doubt that thanks to the courage of the firefighters, the pilots from Israel and abroad, and to the determined response of the Israel Police, MDA, IDF, Home front Command and the other rescue forces, the local councils represented here and the extraordinary spirit shown by Israeli citizens – thanks to all these, we achieved impressive control of the fires which, to a certain extent, were much more complicated and much more difficult than the Carmel fire.

“On Friday, I received a meteorological report, which indicated difficult conditions vis-à-vis dryness and the weather, the combination of temperatures and the wind and continued dryness, it was 30% more difficult than the conditions that prevailed during the Carmel fire. Along with all the government ministers here, I salute all those who took part in dealing with this crisis, in extinguishing the fires, and in guarding life and property. We have built an impressive ability to fight fires on the ground and from the air and it proved itself. I do not want to imagine what might have happened if we hadn’t built this ability.

“I would like to thank the many governments who sent assistance in the form of firefighting aircraft, pilots and firefighters and I would like to thank the personnel at the Foreign Ministry and the National Security Council and especially you, Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Zeev Tzuk-Tam who supervised very impressive international coordination. It is not simple to bring here so many elements, pilots, planes and materials from so many countries.

“Against the mighty forces of nature, countries worked together and the principle that has guided me and the government was – better over-ability than the risk of under-ability.

“During the events, I personally visited several centers of the fires and I already instructed that a team be established to learn lessons so that we will be even better prepared in the future. I am initiating the establishment of a multi-national force that will be coordinated not just for action in time of disaster, but also to acquire planes and allocate the acquisition of various types of planes so that we might thereby achieve multi-national effectiveness, and not just national effectiveness, in dealing with gigantic fires. I have spoken about this with several leaders from the region. I must say that they have shown great interest in the idea and we will advance it.”

Jewish Press Staff

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/cabinet-holds-special-meeting-in-fire-plagued-haifa/2016/11/27/

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