News Digest — 7/11/19

‘Passionate Zionist’ Boris Johnson Says ‘Wild Horses’ Won’t Keep Him From Israel

British MP Boris Johnson, considered a frontrunner to replace resigning Prime Minister Theresa May at the helm of the Conservative Party, says that he is a “passionate Zionist” and that “wild horses wouldn’t keep me away” from visiting the Jewish State as British premier.

Johnson was quoted in “the only Jewish media interview of his campaign to become prime minister,” which appeared in the British Jewish News.

On Iran, Johnson said he is “prepared” to consider sanctions against the Islamic republic on the heels of its announcement that it has begun enriching more uranium than permitted under the terms of the 2015 nuclear agreement reached with world powers, including Britain.

“My strong, strong advice to the Iranians would be to cease this madness, not to take any further steps that would break the terms of the agreement, and not to acquire a nuclear weapon,” stated Johnson.

“I think that there are enough tensions in that region without triggering a nuclear arms race, whose consequences would be very hard to foresee, and which would certainly pose very difficult choices for any Israeli government,” he told the Jewish News, adding that “as Prime Minister, I’d make sure we continue to do everything we can to constrain Iran’s disruptive behavior in the region.”

Johnson maintained that he “could see the logic” in moving the British Embassy to Jerusalem but believed the “moment for us to play that card is when we make further progress,” the Jewish News  reported.

He said that he agreed that the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel is part of an anti-Semitic “syndrome,” adding that “anybody who knows anything about it knows that actually, the boycott and divestment movement will probably hit hardest the Palestinian community people who are in jobs, who are benefiting from Israeli investment, Israeli farming, whatever.” 

Johnson condemned the Palestinian policy of paying salaries to terrorists. “I think it is ludicrous that there should be any kind of financial incentive or compensation for terrorist activities,” he said.



Israel’s Version Of Air Force One To Be Ready For December – Batya Jerenberg

After more than three years in the works, Israel’s version of the Air Force One jet will be ready by the end of the year, Israeli television reported Tuesday (9th).

The evening news show presented the first glimpse into the accoutrements of the refurbished 767 jet, which will be used by the prime minister and the president on their official trips abroad.

Although, the plane is over 20 years old, it has been jam-packed with the latest electronics, including encrypted satellite communications, anti-missile systems, and full protection from cyberattacks.

Sitting behind the cockpit, there is a workroom and bedroom, complete with private bathroom and shower. Then comes a kitchen and a meeting room, and further on, a fully-equipped mini-situation room.

As with all airplanes, the main body contains seating, which will be used by the leaders’ advisers and aides and any accompanying delegations. The press contingent will have an Internet-enabled area, furnished with computers and separated from the others by a partition. According to the model exhibited on the screen, the section seems to be one large business class, with four comfortable-looking chairs in each row – two on each side of a single aisle.

The December delivery date is almost nine months later than the original deadline.



Israeli Scientist Creates ‘Nanoghosts’ To Combat Cancer

Israeli professor and researcher Marcelle Machluf, 56, hopes to revolutionize cancer treatment.  For the past twelve years, she has worked to develop a targeted-drug-delivery-system to combat cancer, called “nanoghosts.”

The nanoghost system offers the possibility of acting as a universal carrier for targeted drugs, making it a breakthrough in the fight against cancer.  It uses adult stem cells to transport medicine directly to cancerous tumors.

They are able to “identify the tumor, hook to the tumor and deploy their drug into the tumor cells, and the tumor cannot do anything about it,” Machluf told The Times of Israel. “It can target multiple cancers at different stages with diverse drugs, which it can release solely into the tumors without affecting surrounding tissue.”

Current cancer treatments involve radiotherapy and chemotherapy. These drugs, usually given intravenously, are unable to target only cancer cells, causing damage to healthy tissue as well.

Though targeted-drug-delivery against cancer has become a major research focus, existing systems only work on a limited amount of cancers.

The nanoghost system has already succeeded in treating pancreatic, lung, breast, prostate and brain-cell cancers in mice.

Machluf is now seeking funding to extend her research. “Now I am setting up a company to prepare it in industrial clinical quantities to start tests on humans,” she told news media.

Machluf, the daughter of Moroccan immigrants who could not read or write, is the dean of the Faculty of Biotechnology and Food Engineering at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.  She is world-renowned in her field.



Christian Zionists Push Bill To Bolster US Action Against Campus Anti-Semitism

WASHINGTON – Christians United For Israel (CUFI) ended a three-day summit in Washington with its 5,000 activists lobbying Tuesday (9th) for a bipartisan bill that would facilitate U.S. government action against anti-Semitism on campus.

The Anti-Semitism Awareness Act adds a controversial definition of anti-Semitism to Title VI protections under the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination in the education system.

The measure codifies the definition of anti-Semitism advanced in 2016 by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.  The definition includes some attacks on Israel, including holding Israel to different standards than other states, and denying a Jewish right to self-determination.

Israel critics and free speech advocates say that codifying the definition would inhibit speech freedoms.

Some administrations have been wary of extending Title VI to anti-Semitism because of the difficulties of distinguishing between discrimination on the basis of religion, which is still protected in some instances under U.S. law, and on the basis of race or ethnicity.  The government could deny federal money to institutions seen as violating Title VI.

The CUFI summit drew top Trump administration officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Adviser John Bolton and Vice President Mike Pence, an unusually broad array for a pro-Israel conference.

On Tuesday morning (9th), before the activists went to Capitol Hill to lobby, they heard from a number of Republican senators, including Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, an initiator of the anti-Semitism measure with Pennsylvania’s Robert Casey.



After A Year, Twitter Finally Removes Anti-Semitic Farrakhan Tweet

Nation Of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan’s 2018 anti-Semitic tweet comparing Jews to termites has been removed following a year of complaints that led Twitter to expand its rules against hate speech.

“To the members of the Jewish community that don’t like me, thank you very much for putting my name all over the planet…I’m not mad at you, cause you’re so stupid,” Farrakhan tweeted in October.

“So when they talk about Farrakhan, call me a hater, you know they do, call me an anti-Semite.  Stop it. I’m anti-termite! I’m not an anti-Semite, I’m anti-termite.”

The tweet was linked to a YouTube video of a speech Farrakhan gave marking the 23rd anniversary of the Million Man March in 1995.  YouTube has since deleted the video for violating its policy on hate speech.  However it is still available on the Nation of Islam website.

On Tuesday (9th) Twitter announced its new policy change in a blog titled “Upholding our Rules against Hateful Conduct.”  The new rule prohibits “language that dehumanizes others on the basis of religion.”

The blog explained that its first upgraded regulation concerns hate towards religious groups following comments from over 8,000 Twitter users located in more than 30 countries.  

The Farrakhan post is widely considered the catalyst for the policy change.

Both Facebook and Instagram banned Farrakhan last week, labeling him “dangerous” for his anti-Semitic rants.