Israel in the News Feb/Mar 1998
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Missiles pose existential threat
The threat of missiles aimed at Israel is the most significant since the War of Independence, Defense Minister Yitzhak Mordechai warned recently.
“They can hit our most vital asset, the civilian population we are supposed to be defending,” he told an international conference in Tel Aviv on ballistic missile proliferation in the Middle East.
Mordechai said that under certain circumstances, he would favor a “pre-emptive strike” against long-range missiles and systems that threaten Israel.
Speaking at the conference hosted by the Galili Center for Strategy and National Security, Mordechai reiterated his warning to Syria, Iran and other states that any missile or non-conventional strike at Israel’s civilian population would elicit a “painful and heavy” retaliation.
He said that it is incorrect to compare the missile threat today to the Iraqi Scud attacks during the 1991 Gulf war. “They can now cause greater harm, particularly if they are equipped with non-conventional warheads,” he said.
Israel pledges $50m. to Jordan
Israel will provide $50 million in assistance to Jordan in the coming year. In a letter sent to members of the House and Senate appropriations committees, Ambassador Eliahu Ben-Elissar said Israel is reaffirming its commitment to provide the aid. An embassy official said he hopes the reassurance is enough to free the more than $75 million of Israel’s own aid package that Congress has withheld…while the US and Israel discussed how to fund additional aid to Jordan.
New drug for Parkinson’s patients
A new locally developed Parkinson’s disease drug that is meant for treating patients in the illness’s advanced stages may also serve as an alternative for the main drug currently used, L-Dopa. The new drug, called L-Dopa ethyl ester, was developed by Prof. Daphna Atlas of the Hebrew University and Prof. Eldad Melamed of the Rabin Medical Center-Beilinson Campus, and financed by Teva Pharmaceuticals. Atlas was cited for this work with the Kay Prize for innovation. The material, synthesized in Atlas’s lab in Jerusalem, has three US patents registered by the Hebrew University’s Yissum research and development corporation.
Egypt: “Prepare for end of peace”
Egyptian Defense Minister Mohammed Tantawi has warned that the Egyptian military must be prepared for a rapid transition from peace to war, because of the downward spiral in the Mideast peace talks
…Tantawi said Egypt is stepping up training, maintaining high levels of readiness, and perfecting its call-up of reserves. However, he insisted Cairo’s strategy is based on peace between Egypt and Israel.
Large crowd treated to breakfast on mile-long table
The Israeli breakfast has reached new heights, or lengths, as the case may be. Tel Aviv awoke recently to the longest breakfast table in the world. Stretching south 1.8 km from Gordon Beach to the Dolphinarium, the table secured a place for Israel in The Guiness Book of Records. The buffet included 20 tons of assorted cheeses and nine tons of yogurt. Alfred Jevnisek, Austrian-born executive chef at the Carlton Hotel, stressed the importance of the Israeli breakfast: “Israel’s multinational community has given the Israeli breakfast its richness.” Frenchman Salomon Gabah, watching the crowd estimated at 70,000, said: “They should do this every day.”
“It is to…tell everybody in the world that Israel is not only politics and Israel is not only terror and wars,” said Shlomo Liran, general manager of Strauss Dairies, which set up the event along with Tel Aviv chefs and city officials.
Conversion bill could hurt business
Stanley Gold, outgoing chairman of Hebrew Union College and a major player in Israeli economics, recently blasted Israel’s treatment of non-Orthodox Jews, describing the conversion bill as an ax poised to sever the tie binding Diaspora Jewry to Israel. “Investors fear that the new atmosphere in Israel could hurt share prices of all Israeli companies…” he said.
(All articles taken from The Jerusalem Post.)