One would think that after several recent public relations disasters when Jewish or Jewish-connected organizations honor people who support political and economic warfare against the State of Israel, that Jewish groups would stop doing this.
But one would be wrong.
First there was Yeshiva University’s Cardozo Law School which presented a human rights award to one of the world’s leading defamers and delegitimizers of Israel, former U.S. president Jimmy Carter.
Then there was the 92nd Street Y which came very close to providing a public platform from which leading BDS advocate Roger Waters would spew his venom against Israel. Luckily for the 92nd Street Y, Waters had to change the date of the appearance, and the Y took that opportunity to slip out of the noose it had created for itself.
Then there was the incredible fiasco of the State of Israel itself inviting a long-time critic of the Jewish State, scientist Stephen Hawking, to a major scientific conference in Israel. A little due diligence would have revealed that Hawking was already on record as embracing a hostile narrative against Israel. But no, Israel invited Hawking to give a talk at the President’s Conference. Hawking rebuffed the Jewish State, backing out of his commitment because he wanted to support the academic boycott against Israel. And Hawking and, especially, those who make the demonization of Israel their life’s work, were thrilled to chalk up a victory in the BDS war against the Jewish State.
Now we learn that the American fundraising arm of a wonderful Israeli institution – Soroka Medical Center – is poised to honor yet another soldier in the delegitimization war against Israel.
On June 18 at the Harvard Club in New York City, the American Friends of Soroka Medical Center will hold its annual gala. The Statesman for Health Award is being given to a man who helped the virulently anti-Israel Jewish Voice for Peace support the boycott of Ariel Cultural Center. Mandy Patinkin not only supported the Ariel boycott, he allowed his name to be used to recruit other celebrities to vilify the cultural center in the Jewish town of Ariel. Some statesman.
Patinkin has done more than simply sign a letter of support for artists boycotting a cultural center in Israel, he has also assisted in a fundraiser for Jewish Voice for Peace, and has long been a national board member of Americans for Peace Now. Just last year, at a conference in Israel he talked about having had his eyes opened while on a tour of Hebron with his good friends from Breaking the Silence, an organization committed to demonizing the Israel Defense Forces as a military force of terror, bent on acquiring territory, and not a defensive, ethical military.
Patinkin, unlike some with whom he associates, is not an Israel hater. He simply believes that Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria are the nub of the problem and if Jews would just get the heck out of the area, peace would break out.
Patinkin said he supports Israel in a variety of ways, but says the “settlements ignite the situation” between Israelis and Palestinians. For Israel to build a new theater “in an illegal settlement” was adding fuel to the fire.
It is hard to listen to Patinkin and imagine anything other than that he has a warm, loving soul and just wants everyone to get along. But he’s a big boy now, one with an audience who listens to him. And with that following comes a responsibility.
The same is true for the American Friends of Soroka.
It is not enough to find a sweet Jewish man with a beautiful voice, one whose star is on the ascent because of his role in a huge television series hit. If the American Friends of Soroka wanted to honor someone, it would have been nice if they found someone who loves all of Israel, someone who doesn’t encourage economic warfare against any of it.
And now Jews are left with the choice of not going to a fundraiser for a wonderful, non-political medical center in Israel, or going and watching as an American Jew who encourages the economic boycott of a Jewish town is given an award. It’s a tough choice that Jews should not make other Jews make.
Captain Ziv Shilon, who was taken to Soroka Medical Center in critical condition after being wounded by a Hamas bomb in the Kissufim area near Gaza on Tuesday regained consciousness on Wednesday, saluting his commander with the arm doctors are fighting to save.
When Southern Command Head Major General Tal Russo arrived at Shilon’s bedside following his return to consciousness, Shilon, who is still on a respirator, saluted with his right arm, which was mangled by the Hamas attack. Channel 10 news reported Russo was deeply moved, choking up at the gesture.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called Shilon’s mother, Margalit, who told Israel’s leader that “I ask that he will prevail and live. I have cancer and cannot get out of bed, I ask you to see to it that he receives good treatment.”
Walla News reports that a 64-year-old woman was run over by a car Thursday morning, Yom HaShoah, on King Shaul Street in Be’er Sheva, as she was standing at attention during the memorial siren. She was trapped, unconscious, under the car that hit her and was rescued by MDA teams.
The woman was rushed to Soroka Medical Center in critical condition, suffering from multi-system damage.
Another woman was injured during the siren, on highway 44 between Holon and Azur. As she was getting out of her car to stand at attention, a car hit her from behind. Her condition is medium to light.
Researchers at Soroka Medical Center and Ben Gurion University in Be’er Sheva are saying they’re past the preliminary stage of developing a unique method that may provide early detection of many types of cancer, using a simple blood test. Clinical tests which were performed recently yielded detection in close to 90 percent of patients.
“The research is still using small-scale clinical tests,” said Prof. Joseph Kapelushnik, head of the center’s children’s meta oncology department. “But our aim is to develop an efficient, cheap and simple method to detect as many types of cancer as possible.”
Early detection, coupled with a rapid assessment and a quick and effective response is viewed as the best and most cost-efficient ways of dealing with cancer. But the process of detection can be cumbersome and costly, and each procedure reveals only a limited number of cancer types.
Prof. Kapelushnik’s team developed a unique method which makes it possible to detect cancer cells through a blood test, using infrared light. A sample of only one cubic centimeter (less than a teaspoon) is placed in an instrument which examines the spectrum and yields results which point out the presence of cancer in the patient’s body.
“We’ve managed to distinguish between different types at a rate of around 90 percent sensitivity,” said Prof. Kapelushnik. “The data is limited for now, and we’ll have to test thousands of patients to determine that the method works, but at the moment we are pleased with the results.”
Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital and Johnson & Johnson, to name just one team, are among groups of scientists who are in the process of seeking a simple blood test that may be able to identify cancer cells in the blood stream. But Prof. Kapelushnik thinks his research is at a more advanced stage than competing, similar efforts.
“We should be able to detect the cancer before it had a chance to metastasize,” he says. “And this can mean fewer treatments, less suffering and many more lives saved.”
The Soroka University Medical Center is the largest medical center in southern Israel, and the second largest in the country.