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January 19, 2017 / 21 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘israeli’

Seven Fascinating Discoveries Israeli Archaeologists Made in 2016

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017

{Originally posted to the Tower Magazine website}

Palestinians, pushing their claims for statehood, have regularly denied the Jewish historical connections to Israel. In fact, the 20th article of the Palestinian National Charter states, “Claims of historical or religious ties of Jews with Palestine are incompatible with the facts of history.”

Following this counterfactual ideology, the United Nations’ cultural agency, UNESCO, passed two resolutions in October denying the historical Jewish connection to Jerusalem.

Writing in The Tower, Eylon Aslan-Levy described the aim of the resolutions as “a bid by dictatorships (with the acquiescence of democracies) to render Israeli sovereignty over the Old City utterly illegitimate, do[ing] the most damage by prejudging how the international community should approach the question of the holy sites in any future accord.”

As it so happens, this year saw several significant archaeological finds that established the facts of the historical Jewish connection to Israel and Jerusalem and contradicted campaigns to delegitimize Jewish history.

• It was announced this week that a coin from the time of the Maccabean revolt had been discovered in Jerusalem. The coin depicted King Antiochus IV Epiphanes, under whose rule Jews were barred from practicing their religion, which led to the uprising. The Maccabees’ victory is commemorated annually with the holiday of Chanukah, which will be observed this year beginning Saturday night.

 In October, archaeologists found the site where Roman troops breached the walls of Jerusalem nearly 2,000 years ago, shortly before they destroyed the second Jewish Temple. The researchers discovered the remains of a tower surrounded by dozens of stones and boulders fired by Roman catapults at the Jewish forces guarding the wall. This matched the description given by the historian Flavius Josephus, who documented the revolt in his first-century work The Jewish War. The anniversary of the breach of Jerusalem’s walls is commemorated by the fast of the 17th of Tammuz, which takes place during the summer.

• A week later, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced the discovery of a papyrus with the oldest known Hebrew-language mention of Jerusalem. The papyrus documents a commercial transaction. Carbon dating determined the scroll to be around 2,700 years old, around the time of the first Jewish Temple.

 Shortly thereafter, archaeologists announced that they had discovered relics on the Temple Mount dating to the first Temple Period, including pottery fragments and animal bones. The excavations, which were carried out with the cooperation of the Muslim Waqf, marked the first time archaeologists had found artifacts from the first Temple on the Temple Mount itself.

• Proof of the Jewish connection to Jerusalem also came from an unexpected source. A previously-ignored inscription on an ancient Hebron-area mosque contained a reference to the Jewish Temple. The inscription declared that the surrounding area was “an endowment to the Rock of Bayt al-Maqdis and the al-Aqsa Mosque.” The term “Bayt al-Maqdis” is a verbatim Arabic translation of “Beit Hamikdash,” the Hebrew name for the Jewish Temple.

 In September, scientists announced that they had reconstructed a burnt 2,000-year-old biblical text, which made it the oldest known copy of biblical scriptures as they are canonized today. According to National Geographic, which announced the results, the scroll “bridges a centuries-wide gap in the history of biblical text.”

• It wasn’t only Jewish history that was confirmed through archaeology. Evidence of the Christian history of Jerusalem also emerged in late October when workers restoring the Church of the Holy Sepulchre uncovered the historic tomb of Jesus, which was buried under layers of marble for centuries.

David Gerstman

Chinese Pharma Investing $20 Million in Israeli Smart Shirt Startup

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017

HealthWatch, an Israeli pioneer in harnessing textile technology to produce fashionable, smart-digital garments with interwoven sensors that unobtrusively measure vital signs at hospital-grade quality on Monday announced that Shijiazhuang Yiling Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. Has invested $20 million in the Israeli startup. Shijiazhuang Yiling is traded on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange at a $2.5 billion market cap.

Woven into the fabric used in HealthWatch’s hWear shirts are very thin electrocardiogram sensors that take in the data associated with the wearer’s vital signs and upload this information to the wearer via a mobile device, or to a doctor. The patient can be alerted to seek medical attention without having to first get to a clinic for an ECG exam.

The hWear shirt works with HealthWatch’s MasterCaution line of products, which use mobile and cloud technology for monitoring and reporting critical health information. It is designed for people who are active (the shirts are machine-washable).

“We sell peace of mind,” said HealthWatch chairman Dr. Yoram Romem, whose website explains: “We have developed a pure textile smart garment incorporating specialized three-dimensional (3D) dry textile electrode sensors with proprietary advanced knitting software.

“The 3D dry textile electrodes maintain flexibility and stability when the garment is moved, bent or machine-washed. They also eliminate the need for time-consuming skin preparation, such as shaving adhesives, by maximizing the contact area on the skin. Our advanced knitting software enables automatic self-placement of electrodes, removing the need for a medical professional, and saving valuable clinical time.

“Our smart clothing technology enables accurate vital sign monitoring anywhere. For cardiac patients our hospital quality, continuous 12-15 lead ECG monitoring can see the full ECG cardiac picture in real-time outside the hospital setting. This may enable the discovery of previously undetectable cardiac conditions such as cardiac ischemia, and more accurate monitoring of arrhythmias for improved patient safety. All other homecare smart wearables on the market are 3-5 lead ECG’s so lack this accuracy. Our patented platform technology can be adapted to fit wider market needs with new textile sensors (e.g. Bispectral Index (BIS), Electromyogram (EMG)) developed to extend clinical applications.”


European Union Drone Spies on Jewish Towns, IDF Bases in Judea, Samaria [video]

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

A drone fitted with a video camera sailing through the skies over Mount Hebron crashed in a forest on Mount Hebron this week, prompting the residents of Moshav Ma’on to pick it up and take it to the Regavim organization, an NGO known in English as the Movement for Preservation of State Lands.

Regavim posted some of the video footage online.

According to a report broadcast by Israel’s Channel 2 television news, footage retrieved from the drone revealed an extensive operation by the European Union, acting in concert with residents of local Arab communities to gather intelligence on Jewish communities.

Numerous videos revealed footage of Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria, some of which also contain IDF bases. One of the videos showed the drone flying low over the residents of Ma’on before it crashed next to a car.

The last video contained film of its eventual crash.

“What started as illegal construction continues and now is harmful to security,” said Regavim Land Division director Oved Arad. He warned the reconnaissance mission was logical, given the government’s weak response to European Union support for, and construction of illegal Arab houses and other structures in Area C.

“For years the European Union has been involved in illegal construction in Judea and Samaria. Now it’s clear that EU officials, with the Palestinians, are even documenting Israeli settlements and sensitive locations in Judea and Samaria,” he said.

“The Foreign Ministry must respond strongly and unequivocally against this activity, which crosses a red line and is very dangerous.”

Hana Levi Julian

Israeli Research Produces New Hope for Breast Cancer Patients

Sunday, January 1st, 2017

Weizmann Institute scientists have identified a promising new combination therapy for a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer, according to a recent report in the Cancer Research journal on the findings of their research.

Triple negative breast cancer is harder to treat than other types of breast cancer because it lacks three receptors that usually serve as targets for the anti-cancer drugs. As a result, treatment options are limited, and standard chemotherapy is often ineffective.

The potential dual-acting therapeutic strategy identified by Prof. Sima Lev and the research team not only inhibits tumor growth and survival, but also avoids the problem of drug-induced resistance.

In their study, Prof. Lev, postdoctoral fellows Drs. Nandini Verma and Anna-Katharina Müller of the Weizmann Institute of Science’s Molecular Cell Biology Department and colleagues identified a subset of triple negative breast cancer patients whose tissue samples expressed higher levels of two particular molecules: EGFR and PYK2.

Combining two inhibitors (right) was much more effective than either alone in preventing cancer growth, said Prof. Sima Lev.

Combining two inhibitors (right) was much more effective than either alone in preventing cancer growth, said Prof. Sima Lev.

EGFR – a cell-surface receptor – has been implicated in a number of cancers when it is over expressed due to mutations. PYK2 – a robust molecule previously discovered by Lev – plays a key role in breast cancer metastasis.

The scientists found that, in animal models, inhibiting either of these molecules alone led to a slight tumor reduction, but inhibiting them both together resulted in a more potent therapeutic effect, leading to a significant decrease in tumor size.

Hana Levi Julian

Israeli Arab Woman among Istanbul Club Dead

Sunday, January 1st, 2017

The body of an 18-year-old woman, Lian Zaher Nasser, from the Israeli Arab village of Tira, was discovered in the Reina nightclub in Istanbul, Turkey, her family reported. A girlfriend, Rua Mansour, was wounded and two other young women, also from Tira, have suffered severe anxiety attacks.

At least 39 people were killed in the attack Saturday night, including 16 foreign nationals, and 69 injured, when an assailant believed to have been dressed in a Santa Claus costume opened fire at the crowded Reina nightclub during New Year’s celebrations.

Rua Mansour’s father, Sofian Mansour, told Haaretz that his daughter, 18 and a half, on Friday traveled with her three girlfriends to Istanbul, on a one-week vacation they had been planning for some time. Mansour said at 9:30 PM Saturday he had spoken to his daughter over the phone and she told him they were waiting for a taxi to take them to the club. After the attack, “I tried to call her but there was no answer,” he related. “We knew that the attack took place in the same club and we were all anxious, we didn’t know what to do. Only at six in the morning Rua picked up the phone and said she had been shot in her lower body, underwent surgery and is now in stable condition in the hospital.”

The other two women, Ala Tarek Abed Alkhi, 27, a dentist, and Iya Akhsan Abed Alkhi, 26, were declared as suffering anxiety attacks and evacuated to a nearby police station. Ala told Haaretz in a phone conversation from the police station: “Shooting started from every direction and I saw dead people killed and wounded people dropping next to me. I hid in a corner and didn’t know what to do. Everybody was screaming and crying and the shooting didn’t stop. It felt like an eternity.”

The families and Israel’s foreign ministry are in touch with Turkish authorities and Israel’s Consul General in Istanbul Shai Cohen are working on bringing the women home.

David Israel

President Rivlin to Israeli Christian Leaders: ‘United Jerusalem Is the Eternal Capital of Israel and It Will Remain So’

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday morning marked the civil New Year welcomed with the traditional annual reception for leaders of Christian communities in Israel, and wished all the Christian leaders and their congregations “a year of mutual understanding and respect. A year of justice and fairness.”

The reception, held in cooperation with Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, was attended by the Greek Patriarch Theophilos III, the Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, and the Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem Nourhan Manougian.

President Rivlin noted that “Looking back on the last year, there is a lot we should be proud of. We have continued to build good relations between the Jewish and Christian communities.” He added that “we may have different faiths, but we share many common values. We share a deep respect for mankind, created in God’s image. We share a commitment to love our neighbor. We share a hope for peace. And in this city, we all, the children of Abraham live together, side by side.”

“I see my role, and the role of the State of Israel, as guardians of this city,” the president continued. “As guardians, our sovereignty over Jerusalem will never compromise the freedom of worship and religion for all believers. United Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel and it will remain so. There is no international body with the power to revoke this. And as sovereigns of the city, I stand here today to repeat in the clearest way: the State of Israel is deeply committed to ensure the religious rights of all faith communities in Jerusalem and throughout Israel.”

The President stressed that “Israel is committed to finding a way to end the tragedy between us and the Palestinians. Time and again, we have held out our hand in peace, and called for direct negotiations, without pre-conditions, and without any delay. The decision to take Israel to the UN Security Council, was wrong in trying to force pre-conditions, but also in the way it was done. The international community’s, most important job in helping us solve the conflict, is to build trust between the sides. How can we hope, as the Pope said, “to write a new page” in the history of Israel and the Palestinians, without this trust?” He said firmly, “The Security Council vote, was a blow to peace, and it was a blow to trust.”

Speaking on behalf of the Christian leaders, Greek Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem said, “We take this opportunity of this holiday gatherings to express our gratitude for the firmness with which you defend the freedoms that lie at the heart of this democracy, especially the freedom of worship. We are always encouraged by your commitment to the sacredness of life and your condemnation of all forms of terrorism. These fundamental commitments are the basis of any society that understands that we share a common human destiny. The State of Israel takes pride in the fact that this state was founded on democratic principles in the Middle East, and that it guarantees full freedom of worship. We are confident Mr. President that you will continue to resist any restrictions of religious practices.”

He concluded, “We are keenly aware this season of the unspeakable experiences of those who suffer around the world, and especially those who suffer in the countries around us. So many are suffering for the mere fact of their religious allegiance, and as those who serve the moral values of our respective religious traditions we are deeply concerned.”

Minister Deri said, “Our ability to celebrate the festivals side by side, reminds us of the great extent to which we share common histories and future. The destruction of faiths has occurred in this land, and the State of Israel is the only, and the only secure state in this region where the Christian population lives and grows – not decreasing but increasing – all the while in other counties there is mass immigration and expulsion of the Christian community. Here the Christian community stands at 120,000 and its proportion to the general population continues to flourish.”

“The Government of Israel, and my office which is responsible for religious affairs, has been and remains committed to the strengthening and prosperity of the Christian community in Israel,” Deri added. “We are doing all in our to allow freedom of religion and worship to each according to their faith and outlook in their holy places. We are preserving and conserving the holy places as much as we are able. Last night I declared the launch of the strategic plan to strengthen the northern region, together with the Finance Minister, and in the presence of the Prime Minister. This is the region where 70% of the Christian community in Israel lives, and will directly benefit together with the other residents of the region from this initiative.”

Going into details, the minister explained that “the project funded by more than $5.2 billion will see investment transport infrastructure, and in the fields of health and education. In addition, in recent years, with the support of the President who pushed for the economic plan for the Arab regional authorities – where the Christian community also live – we have transferred $91 million in 2015-16, and in the framework of development grants we are transferring $208 million.”


Bennett’s ‘Breaking the Silence’ Bill Bars Anti-IDF Groups from Israeli Schools

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Habayit Hayehudi) is pushing, along with MKs Shuli Mualem and Bezalel Smotrich, as well as Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid, and MKs Merav Ben Ari (Kulanu), Oded Forer (Yisrael Beiteinu), and Yoav Kisch (Likud) a bill barring groups that harm the IDF, such as Breaking the Silence, from appearing in Israeli schools. It is estimated the bill would be approved by the ministerial legislative committee in the coming weeks.

“The bill seeks to give the minister of education, as chief of the educational system who is responsible for the students in Israel, the power to ban individuals or organizations that are not part of the education system from conducting activities in an educational institution when said activities undermine educational goals, or harm IDF soldiers who are part of the consensus in Israeli society,” the bill explains.

“Organizations which are wandering abroad and harming IDF soldiers will not enter our schools,” Minister Bennett stated.

An earlier attempt on the part of the education minister to ban BtS from entering Israeli schools was mired in legal difficulties for close to a year, until finally, two weeks ago, the ministry’s attorneys were able to decide on an acceptable language and a memorandum was sent out to school principals across the land – who read it and went right ahead, inviting those groups to their schools. Which is why Bennett decided to make it outright illegal to permit those groups to teach Israeli students about the “war crimes” they’d be ordered to commit as soon as they turn 18 and enlist.

Lapid said about the law that “Israel’s school system must not permit entry of organizations that slander IDF officers and soldiers, calling them criminals and encouraging insubordination. Consider what happens to a student who hears these stories just before joining the Army. What does it do to his motivation and his willingness to contribute.”

BtS issued a statement saying, “Bennett is free to continue his efforts to turn his education system into an occupation education system, crushing every democratic value on the altar of the settlement enterprise – it failed in the past and it will fail this time, too. Those who harm IDF soldiers are the ones who have turned the IDF from being Israel Defense Forces into an army protecting the illegal outposts. To the indignation of Bennett and his ‘brother’ Lapid – we will continue to fight the Bennett and Smotrich occupation of everywhere, even in the education system.”

Well, not if they’re not allowed into the building – although the line in proverbs about how “stolen water is sweet” should also be considered.

Meretz Chair MK Zehava Galon accused Bennett and Lapid of McCarthyism, although, to be fair, neither politician has accused the Communists of conspiring to overtake the Israeli government, they only wish to keep them–or, rather, their heirs–from appearing in schools. Galon also argued that BtS are patriots. Yes, but of which country?

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/bennetts-breaking-the-silence-bill-bars-anti-idf-groups-from-israeli-schools/2016/12/27/

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