Monday, August 23, 2010

Boycott Campaign in U.S. Sputtering Out

(IsraelNationalNews), the online edition of the Boston Globe, has made a gallant, but failed, effort to show that boycotting of Israel is gaining steam in the U.S.

The article in question, published yesterday, begins as follows: “In May, rock legend Elvis Costello canceled his gig in Israel. Then, in June, a group of unionized dock workers in San Francisco refused to unload an Israeli ship. In August, a food co-op in Washington state removed Israeli products from its shelves. “

Each of these “examples” deserves individual attention. The “food co-op in Washington state” is actually a small, two-store concern, both of whose stores are in one city – Olympia. The little company made headlines by demanding that Israel accept the PA position in its entirety. Click here for a detailed analysis of the co-op’s stance.

The dock workers who “refused” to unload the Israeli ship actually were not there when the boat arrived; a group of protestors had arrived to stop the unloading of the ship, but they succeeded only in blocking a Chinese ship from being de-cargoed; when the Israeli ship arrived several hours later, the local union followed rules by not ordering night shift workers to unload it. It was unloaded uneventfully the next day.

Costello, who made headlines at the height of his career in 1979 when he used racist profanities to describe black singers Ray Charles and James Brown, canceled his two summer appearances in Israel after tickets had been sold – even though the so-called “intimidation and humiliation of Palestinians in the name of [Israel’s] national security” about which he complained had not changed from the time he signed the contract for his Israel appearances. On the other hand, Elton John braved a call by British academics to cancel his performance in Israel, following other international stars such as Paul McCartney, Madonna, Leonard Cohen, and others.

In short, though’s Farah Stockman writes that “the so-called ‘boycott, divestment, and sanctions’ movement aimed at pressuring Israel to withdraw from land claimed by Palestinians” is now showing signs of “picking up momentum,” this conclusion should be taken with a dollop of salt.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

New Meds Could Stop Cancer by Cutting Off Its Blood

(Note: Antisemites/anti-Israel people really need to read this - they're the ones whining about how Israel is the world's "welfare queen")

Researchers at Tel Aviv University are developing a new family of medicines that could provide preventive treatment for cancer, or turn existing cancer into a chronic disease that one can live with for years.

Details of the study, which was conducted in the laboratory of Dr. Ronit Satchi-Fainaro of the Physiology and Pharmacology Department in the Sackler School of Medicine, will be published in the September 2010 issue of FASEB Journal – the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.

The study is based on the idea that doctors can prevent a cancerous tumor from growing bigger by damaging the process of angiogenesis – the formation of new blood vessels that provide the tumor with oxygen and nutrients.

The researchers tested the efficacy of innovative polymeric carriers designed to deliver medicines directly to the cancer cells. In this way, the medicines do not harm healthy tissue and the amount of medicine required is significantly reduced, as are its side effects.

The carriers were developed by Dr. Ronit Satchi-Fainaro, Dr. Paula Ofek and colleagues at Berlin University. They were connected to a siRNA-type gene-suppressant and injected into laboratory mice with cancerous tumors. The results were very encouraging: the carriers took the siRNA directly to the cancer cells, and the compound passed through the cell walls and silenced the target genes, without causing the poisoning symptoms that usually accompany cancer treatments.

The researchers now hope to do the same thing with siRNA that can silence a gene that plays a key role in angiogenesis.

Dr. Satchi-Fainaro said that this kind of treatment could revolutionize cancer therapy. People who are not sick but are at high risk of developing cancer – like former cancer patients or carriers of certain genetic mutations – will be able to receive preventive treatment. In people who have cancer, the medicines will keep the tumor in a state of “hibernation” and turn the cancer into a chronic disease that can be managed for many years, while maintaining a high quality of life.

(Courtesy of

Iranian Website Denies Holocaust Using Anti-Semitic Caricatures

A new Iranian website has launched, dedicated to denying and mocking the Holocaust, particularly through caricatures. The website,, has unsurprisingly angered Israel — and is actually relatively consistent with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s views.

The website — which can be viewed in Farsi, Arabic and English – features several cartoons and dedication to those who died “under the pretext of the Holocaust.” The Pink Panther theme music plays in the background.

The Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Centre in Jerusalem called the website “the latest salvo emanating from Iran that denies the facts of the Holocaust and attempts to influence those who are ignorant of history.”

From a statement issued Thursday:

“The vulgar and cynical approach of the website, a combination of Holocaust denial and distortion, illustrated with anti-Semitic caricatures, further illustrates Iran’s disregard for reality and truth vis-a-vis the Holocaust, Jews and Israel.”

Ahmadinejad has expressed anti-Semitic and anti-Israel views numerous times in the past, and caused a stir when he called the Holocaust a “fairy tale” in 2005. Iran’s clerical regime has “repeatedly questioned or denied the Nazi genocide of 6 million Jews” and the country has hosted a conference “endorsing Holocaust denial.”

On the more technical side, the website has painfully slow loading times, testing the patience of its visitors. Salon’s Judy Mandelbaum argues that this is what will prevent the site from becoming a problem:

If you can endure the excruciating loading times and then commit to slogging your way through all the primitive, intellectually insulting drawings and boneheaded texts without nodding off, then maybe, Houston, we really do have a problem. But let me suggest that if this is the best Tehran can throw at the supposedly defenseless West, we can leave Houston to its own devices for some time to come.

We’ll just have to wait and see.