Israel in the News Nov/Dec 2015
EU Boycotts Israeli Products
The European Union’s parliament recently voted in favor of a resolution to differentiate labels on products made in Judea and Samaria, eastern Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights from those made in the rest of Israel.
The labels were backed by 525 European Union (EU) parliament members and opposed by 70; 31 abstained. EU officials claim this is not a boycott and represents an extension of existing EU law, which considers the regions beyond Israel’s pre-1967 lines to be “occupied territory” and not legally part of Israel.
“It is simply a distortion of justice and of logic,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “I think that it also hurts peace; it does not advance peace. The root of the conflict is not the territories, and the root of the conflict is not the settlements.”
Israeli researchers at Tel Aviv University (TAU) have identified the trigger that transforms melanoma from harmless, non-invasive cells to an invasive killer that accounts for most skin cancer deaths. This breakthrough will allow scientists to catch the cancer early enough to save more lives.
“The trick was to solve the mystery, and we did,” said Dr. Carmit Levy of the Department of Human Genetics and Biochemistry at TAU’s Sackler School of Medicine.
Melanoma is a cancer that originates in the epidermis—the outermost layer of skin, where it is relatively harmless. But it eventually invades the dermis—the lower layer of skin—and the bloodstream, spreading throughout the body.
When melanoma cells come into contact with the remote epidermal layer, that contact triggers the activation of “notch signaling,” which causes changes in the melanoma cells to make them invasive and possibly lethal agents.
“Maybe, in the future,” Levy said, “people will be able to rub some substance on their skin as a prevention measure.”
Israel Gives Arabs Aid Money
The Israeli government will give Israel’s Arab municipal councils $230 million in aid before the end of the year. Many of the predominantly Arab towns and councils in Israel are poor. “The aid plan is a significant rectification and yet another step designed to integrate Israel’s Arab citizens into Israeli society as equals among equals,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, Israel Hayom reported.
Gazans Prefer Israel Over Hamas
Prolonged disputes between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have left Gazans without electricity for eight-hour stretches, and Gazans say they prefer Israel over their Hamas rulers as the crisis continues.
“The Israelis are better,” Ibrahim, a Gazan, told Israel’s Channel 2 news. “[Hamas has] no mercy. Whoever opens his mouth will be sent to jail for a year or two.”
Gaza’s main power plant has been out of order since July, when Hamas accused the PA of raising tax levies beyond the point where the plant was maintainable. Since then, Gazans have clashed with the Hamas police force over the electricity crisis.
Police Investigate Suspicious Tunnel
Jerusalem police are investigating a suspicious 98-foot tunnel leading from a Palestinian woman’s home in eastern Jerusalem to the city’s famous Rockefeller Archaeological Museum. The woman’s neighbor told police he had seen men digging in the woman’s garden for several weeks.
Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld reported that the woman said the workers told her they were working for the municipality and electric company to fix pipes. Rosenfeld said, “Every time she asked them what they were doing, they replied ‘fixing, fixing, fixing.’”
Police suspect the men may have been digging the tunnel to steal artifacts from the museum. To date, however, the museum has not reported anything missing.
Amazon Removes Anti-Israel Items
The Internet retail giant Amazon has agreed to remove several products featuring a bloodstained Israeli flag following outrage and condemnation by the Israeli government and consumers.
Items featuring the same bloodied flag were available for purchase on the website through third-party sellers hosted by Amazon.com. Items included a cellphone cover, shower curtain, welcome mat, mouse pad, an umbrella, and a throw pillow.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry said it was “shocked and revolted in light of Amazon’s agreement to sell anti-Israel and anti-Semitic products of the worst kind,” Israel’s Channel 2 reported.
Shenkar Ranked Fifth in World
Business of Fashion publication has ranked Israel’s Shenkar College of Engineering, Design and Art as the fifth most “influential” design school in the world and the 11th best school of its kind.
The publication wrote, “Situated within the metropolitan area of Tel Aviv, Shenkar blends both the technical and conceptual in its curriculum. During the four-year…course, students are exposed to small group peer and faculty critique, where they must defend their concepts and processes in arriving at their finished projects.”
Students graduate Shenkar feeling equipped for professions in the fashion industry. Eighty-three percent of graduates reported they secured jobs in the fashion industry within six months of graduating.
Shenkar President Yuli Tamir called the ranking “an unprecedented international achievement, particularly regarding the design industry,” according to Yedioth Ahronoth.
Israel Commemorates 9/11
On five acres of hillside in Jerusalem stands an American flag. It’s not your typical flag. It was carefully craft ed of granite, bronze, and aluminum; and its base came from the steel wreckage of the World Trade Center, sent to Israel from the city of New York.
Nor was it built by Americans. Designed by Israeli artist Eliezer Weishoff, the 30-foot structure that curves like a flame is the centerpiece of the 9/11 Living Memorial Plaza commissioned by the Jewish National Fund (Keren Kayemet LeYisrael, JNF-KKL) at a cost of $2 million.
Completed in 2009, it is the largest 9/11 memorial outside the United States and the only non-U.S. monument that lists the names of all the nearly 3,000 who died when Islamic terrorists attacked America on September 11, 2001.
This year, as countries abandon Israel, the Jewish state still stands with America. On September 11, JNF-KKL still held a service at the memorial for the 9/11 victims. “This is a torch for those who want and believe in peace and in the rights of human beings,” said JNF-KKL Chairman Efi Stenzler. “We today salute the fighters and the families of the victims, and we look forward to better times.”