Israel in the News Dec/Jan 1999/2000

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“Plane Scent” to Hit the Skies
(Taken from Arutz-7)
In the not-too-distant future, El Al will spray its airplanes with aromatic smells, in response to the offensive odors that often permeate airplanes. A “sample” plane will be sprayed on each flight at first, and after studying the impact of the fragrances, all planes on all of the company’s routes will receive the same treatment. An El Al spokesman said the company is conducting extensive tests with a scent called “Heavenly Skies,” designed especially for aircraft; he promised it would be an especially “refreshing and relaxing scent.”

MDA to Help Kosovo With Blood Collection
(Taken from The Jerusalem Post)
The International Red Cross has asked Israel’s equivalent—Magen David Adom—to help the health authorities in Kosovo establish a centralized blood collection and processing center. MDA is not a member of the IRC because the international organization has never recognized its red Star of David symbol.

Palestinians to Get Their Own Suffixes to Use on Internet
(Taken from Jewish Telegraphic Association)
Palestinian addresses on the Internet will soon end with the suffix .ps to signify a Palestinian state. Palestinians now use the suffix .wg on their Web pages to signify the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Palestinian official Nabil Sha’ath said that the new suffix symbolizes Palestinian independence.

Molecule May Cause Toxemia
(Taken from Arutz-7)
Barbara Sofer’s Hadassah Netletter reports that Professor Simcha Yagel, a Hadassah Mount Scopus Hospital obstetrician and gynecologist, has discovered the possible mechanism for the development of toxemia, a common and dangerous complication in pregnancies. Toxemia develops in up to 10 percent of pregnancies and is characterized by high blood pressure, swelling, and protein in the urine. In its most severe form, it produces seizures in the women and retards the baby’s development.

“We have found that a protein molecule called HLA-G may be involved in the condition’s development,” said Yagel. He explained that HLA-G sits on the top of fetal cells called “trophoblasts,” enabling them to enter the uterus where they anchor down the placenta and widen the uterus to maintain sufficient blood flow to the placenta. When HLA-G is missing or reduced, the trophoblasts are attacked by white blood cells and can’t do their job in the placenta, starting off the unhappy process of toxemia. Yagel’s discovery provides new understanding and may be the missing puzzle-piece in curing this dreaded disease.

Israeli University Honors American College President
(Taken from Israel Wire)
Dr. Vera King Farris, president of The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, has received a medal from Ben-Gurion University as a tribute to her contribution toward commemorating the Holocaust, Hatzofe has reported.

Dr. King, an African-American, initiated a program for Holocaust studies which enrolls thousands of students, most of whom are not Jewish.

Children of both Holocaust survivors and of Nazi war criminals attended the ceremony.

Nazareth Moslems Appeal to Egypt on Mosque Dispute
(Taken from The Jerusalem Post and Ha’Aretz)
A group of Moslems from Nazareth left for Cairo to ask the supreme sheik of Al Azhar Mosque to issue a religious ruling, or fatwa, stating that a disputed land parcel in front of Nazareth’s Church of the Annunciation is really a Moslem trust. The Moslem appeal to Sheik Jad Al Haq came in response to statements by representatives of the Vatican and local church leaders opposing construction of the mosque on the sensitive site, which had been earmarked for a millennial plaza.

“If the pope gets involved, so will the rest of the Moslem world,” warned Ahmed Zuabi, a spokesman for the Moslems in Nazareth. Zuabi said the Vatican and local church leaders are trying to sabotage a government-brokered compromise in which the Moslem group would construct a mosque on half the disputed half-acre plot, while a plaza for millennial pilgrims would go up on the remainder. He said the Moslems had accepted the government offer.

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