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December 4, 2016 / 4 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Latin America’

PM Netanyahu to Visit Australia, Singapore, Kazakhstan & Azerbaijan

Sunday, October 30th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans a multi-stop tour of the eastern hemisphere in the next three months, with visits to Australia, Singapore and Kazakhstan, all of which have never before been visited by an Israeli prime minister.

Netanyahu also will visit Azerbaijan, where he once made a stop in 1997 during a previous term as prime minister. Israel buys most of its oil from Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.

The prime minister of Singapore has already visited Israel, back in April 2016, so Netanyahu’s visit comes as a reciprocal call, and the Israeli leader has been talking for months about a visit to “down under” as well.

Netanyahu is also planning a trip to Togo in Spring 2017 to attend a summit with West African nations.

In addition, President Reuven Rivlin is set to travel to India in two weeks, following the recent visit to Jerusalem this month by India’s President Pranab Mukherjee.

“Israel’s international relations are spreading in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and many other places,” said Netanyahu in remarks at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting.

“We realize that this development flows from Israel’s technological and economic strength on one hand, and its security and intelligence capabilities on the other.

Both of these facilitate the development and flourishing of our international relations,” he added.

“This is not to say that we will not be challenged in international forums, like we saw in the scandalous UNESCO decisions, and it is likely that this will continue at the UN, but there is no doubt that even in international institutions, even in these scandalous votes, we have seen a change.”

A specific schedule for the travels of the prime minister and president has not yet been set.

Hana Levi Julian

Global Forum on Anti-Semitism This Year in Buenos Aires

Sunday, July 17th, 2016

For the first time, the Global Forum on Anti-Semitism (GFCA) traditionally held biennally in Jerusalem is taking place this weekend (July 16-18) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The conference this year is organized by the Hispanic Israel Leadership Coalition (HILC) subsidiary of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference; the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and the Latin American Jewish Congress, the regional chapter of the World Jewish Congress.

Anti-Semitism is rising around the world, and this year’s conference is focused on creating an action plan to respond to the attacks on an international level.

On Monday forum participants are slated to attend a ceremony marking the 22nd anniversary of the bombing of the AMIA Jewish Center in Buenos Aires. The attack was suspected to have been perpetrated by Iran via its Lebanon-based terror proxy Hezbollah. In that attack 85 people lost their lives and hundreds more were injured.

“The first GFCA in Latin America presents a unique opportunity to discuss the issue of anti-Semitism in Latin America and develop an action plan that would complement the one drafted at the last GFCA in Jerusalem in June 2015,” the HILC said in a statement.

The New York-based Anti-Defamation League (ADL) sent experts to the conference to participate in a panel discussion on best practices in tackling cyberhate – the spread of anti-Semitism online.

ADL resources which have been translated into Spanish and Portuguese are being presented during a session on identifying and opposing cyberhate and community safety online.

“With the advent of various social media platforms, and the volume of pernicious content, no continent is immune to the growing phenomenon of online hate,” warned Jonathan Vick, ADL Assistant Director for Cyberhate Response.

Hana Levi Julian

Spanish, Portuguese Jews Support Sephardi and Mizrahi Heritage Empowerment Program

Friday, July 8th, 2016

Reconectar, the movement to reconnect the descendants of Spanish and Portuguese Jewish communities and the Jewish world, welcomed the recommendations made by Israel’s Ministry of Education’s Committee to Empower the Heritage of Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews in the Education System, led by Chairman Erez Biton.

“It is an important day for Sephardi Jews where our history, culture and tradition will be recognized and taught in the Israeli school system,” President of Reconectar Ashley Perry (Perez) said. “This has taken far too long, but it is vital that the scope of Jewish history and culture be widened to include Jews from the Mediterranean, North Africa and the Middle East.”

“However, there is still more work to be done and it should be widened further to include our millions of Sephardi brothers and sisters who were forcibly disconnected from us over the centuries and are seeking a reconnection to the Jewish world. Our education system should be preparing the formal Jewish world for the immense and necessary challenge of reconnecting our people,” Perry said.

Beginning in the 14th Century, hundreds of thousands of Jews were forcibly converted, or otherwise disconnected from the Jewish People, and many among their descendants, numbering around 100 million, are seeking different levels of reconnection with Israel and the Jewish world.

Perry, who is also Director General of the Knesset Caucus for the Reconnection with the Descendants of Spanish and Portuguese Jewish Communities, Chaired by MK Robert Ilatov, said that the more Israeli children travel to Spain, as the recommendations state, the more they will encounter the story of the Anousim who are becoming more and more aware of their Jewish roots.

“We have an enormous opportunity to use our shared history and traditions, to empower and embolden relations with those who share our roots and heritage whether in the Iberian Peninsula, Latin America or among Latinos and Hispanics in the US,” Perry said. “We have a moral, ethical and even a halakhic mandate to do so, and the more we learn about our roots in the Hispanic world and the more the Hispanic world learns about their possible Jewish roots, the closer the potential relations between our communities will grow.”

Perry was also heavily involved in placing the issue of the Jewish refugees from Arab countries on the national and international agenda while he worked in government as advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and other politicians, including former MK Dr. Shimon Ohayon, who passed a law to create a day of commemoration in the official Israeli calendar.

“The history of the Jews of the Middle East and North Africa is sadly overlooked, even though every other Jew in Isr

ael comes from this region,” Perry said. “It is vital for Jewish Peoplehood that the vibrant and ancient Jewish communities of the Middle East and North Africa and their subsequent ethnic cleansing in the Twentieth Century are understood and studied.”

“It is absurd that it has taken 68 years for Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews to be able to learn about their own history and culture, and it is hoped that their history will be placed on an equal plane to the history of other Jews from around the world,” Perry said.

Jewish Press Staff

Smugglers’ Cross-Border Tunnel Discovered in San Diego

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

It’s not only Israel contending with tunnels, although for Israel tunnels pose an existential threat.

For the third time this month, a cross-border tunnel was discovered Wednesday (April 20) leading from Mexico to California. Authorities seized seven tons of marijuana and more than a ton of cocaine.

The tunnel, measuring nearly half a mile, is believed to be the longest ever found in California. It was equipped with a rail system, ventilation, lights and a large elevator, making delivery of the smuggled goods much easier and more efficient. Some tunnels along the U.S.-Mexico border have been discovered with hydraulic lifts and electric rail cards, according to Fox News.

The exit on the U.S. side was about three feet wide. Six people were arrested last Friday in San Diego and charged with constructing tunnels and other drug-related crimes. They were not identified and their affiliation is not known.

There are numerous drug cartels doing “business” throughout Latin America, including a number who carry out transactions with Lebanon’s Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorist organization.

Agents found 1,600 pounds of marijuana inside the tunnel. Another 11,000 pounds of cannabis and 2,242 pounds of cocaine were found in the truck that had been collected from the handy trash bin strategically placed to hide the mouth of the tunnel, as a pickup site for smugglers. In addition, another 1,430 pounds of marijuana were found in the bin.

Hana Levi Julian

Weizmann Institute Drug Approved for Prostate Cancer Therapy in Mexico

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

(JNi.media) A therapy invented at the Weizmann Institute of Science and clinically developed in collaboration with Steba Biotech (Luxembourg) has been approved by Cofepris, Mexico’s health authority, for the focal treatment of early-stage prostate cancer.

The therapy involves a laser and a novel drug, TOOKAD® Soluble. A successful Phase III clinical trial in Latin America (Mexico, Peru and Panama), involving 80 patients, confirmed the high rate of local cures and minimal side effects already reported in Phase II clinical trials, as evidenced by negative biopsies and maintenance of patients’ potency, continence and overall quality of life.

The marketing approval in Mexico comes in the wake of the recent completion of a second Phase III clinical trial in Europe. This randomized pivot study compared disease progression, cancer-free rate and urinary and erectile functions in patients treated with TOOKAD® Soluble and those undergoing active surveillance with a follow-up of two years. It involved more than 400 patients at 43 hospitals in 11 European countries and is currently under evaluation by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

The approved therapy follows a new paradigm developed by Prof. Yoram Salomon of the Biological Regulation Department and Prof. Avigdor Scherz of the Plant and Environmental Sciences Department in the framework of photodynamic therapy. It comprises an intravenous infusion of TOOKAD® Soluble, immediately followed by near-infrared laser illumination through thin optic fibers that are inserted into the cancer prostatic tissue, under ultrasound control. Tookad® Soluble was first synthesized in Scherz’s lab from bacteriochlorophyll, the photosynthetic pigment of certain aquatic bacteria that draw their energy supply from sunlight. The drug stays in the patient’s blood circulation until it totally clears 3-4 hours later, and it shows no toxicity. Confined illumination of the diseased tissue activates the circulating drug locally, resulting in the extensive generation of short-lived toxic molecules: oxygen and nitric oxide radicals. These highly reactive molecules initiate rapid occlusion and destruction of the tumor blood vessels, followed by necrotic death of the entire tumor while sparing nearby structures and their functions. The use of near-infrared illumination, together with the rapid clearance of the drug from the body and the unique non-thermal mechanism of action, makes it possible to safely treat large, deeply embedded cancerous tissue using a minimally invasive procedure. The recent marketing approval was provided to both the drug (TOOKAD® Soluble) and the laser illumination device (Laser), together designated Vascular Targeted Photodynamic Therapy (VTP) with TOOKAD® Soluble.

In the currently approved focal therapy setting, TOOKAD® Soluble VTP (TS-VTP) is a day-case procedure lasting approximately 90 minutes. Patients are released a few hours later and can return to normal activities within a few days, with none of the side effects frequently associated with prostate removal by surgery or radiotherapy. This new minimally invasive technology offers a good alternative to patients diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer. The number of these patients has dramatically increased in the last two decades due to widespread screening relying on levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA). This population faces the dilemma of undergoing the radical treatment of prostate removal with the risk of high morbidity, or remaining under active surveillance with increased risk of further cancer progression.

Tookad® Soluble answers an unmet need in providing this category of patients with an appropriate treatment, which combines good efficacy with a preservation of the quality of life.

Weizmann institute and Steba Biotech are currently pursuing an extensive oncological research program in collaboration with several clinical groups at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. Four clinical studies for more advanced prostate cancer and other oncological indications stemming from this research are scheduled to start in 2016.

JNi.Media

The Stars Keep Falling on Israel

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

Efforts to bring Hollywood stars to Israel have extended to include Latin America, with a delegation of TV personalities and news executives arriving Monday from Central and South America as well as from the United States for a week-long visit.

The trip was announced by America’s Voices in Israel (AVI), part of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and is partly sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, David InterContinental Hotel, Inbal Jerusalem Hotel and El Al Israel Airlines.

The latest visitors will tour Israel’s burgeoning hi-tech and medical industries and listen to briefings with the IDF, Israeli diplomats and Knesset Members.

Among the personalities in the Latin-American delegation are superstar Mexican actress and comedienne Angelica Vale, best-selling author Teresa Rodriguez, who also is the first woman to anchor a national newscast in the United States, and media and [political strategist Alida Garcia, who orchestrated a large turnout of Latino voters for President Obama and now works for Mark Zuckerberg’s new advocacy organization.

Also in the group is Otto Padron, President and CEO of the Muruelo Media Holding, based in Los Angeles.

 

Jewish Press News Briefs

Guatemala Recognizes Palestinian Authority as a State

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

Guatemala has recognized Palestine as a state, which it believes will help bring about a peace agreement with Israel. It joins several Latin American countries that have recognized a sovereign state of Palestine in the last two years.

The Guatemala’s president’s office said in a statement that it decided to “recognize the State of Palestine as a free, sovereign and independent state” in order to “gain new momentum” in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

“The decision in no way alters Guatemala’s long tradition of friendship and cooperation with the State of Israel, a relationship the Guatemalan government highly values,” the statement added.

Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Ecuador, Chile, Peru and Guyana all have recognized an independent Palestinian state, some specifying that it be located within 1967 borders.

 

 

JTA

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/guatemala-recognizes-palestinian-authority-as-a-state/2013/04/11/

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