| In-Depth Issues:
U.S. Lists Egyptian Group as Foreign Terror Organization - Samuel Rubenfeld (Wall Street Journal)
The U.S. State Department said Wednesday it listed Ansar Bayt
al-Maqdis, an Egyptian group created following the uprisings in 2011, as
a foreign terror organization.
The group is responsible for attacks on Israel, as well as security services and tourists in Egypt.
Egypt applauded the U.S. move.
See also Terrorist Designation of Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (State Department)
See also Video Shows Suicide Bomber Who Killed 16 in Egypt (AP-Washington Post)
A video by the al-Qaeda-inspired Egyptian group Ansar Bayt
al-Maqdis (Champions of Jerusalem) posted online Thursday shows a
suicide bomber attacking a security headquarters in the city of
Mansoura, an assault that killed 16 people in December.
House Follows Senate in Passing Bill to Bar Iran's UN Pick from Entering U.S. - Ashish Kumar Sen (Washington Times)
The House, in a unanimous vote, passed a bill Thursday that prevents
individuals found to be engaged in espionage, terrorism or considered a
threat to national security from entering the U.S.
The Senate passed a similar bill earlier this week which would bar
Hamid Aboutalebi, who Iran named as its permanent representative to the
Aboutalebi was in the student group, Muslim Students Following the
Imam's Line, which stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and held 52
Americans hostage for 444 days.
The bill now goes to President Obama for his signature.
The U.S. usually must grant visas to other countries' choice for
permanent representative to the UN, but it has restricted the movement
of some foreign diplomats.
Israel Gave My Grandmother Sanctuary after Holocaust, Says UK Labour Leader Ed Miliband - Peter Beaumont (Guardian-UK)
Ed Miliband, the first Jewish leader of the Labour party, is
visiting Israel and the Palestinian territories as part of a three-day
At the Hebrew University in Jerusalem he talked of first visiting
his grandmother in Israel as a seven-year-old and spoke of his
gratitude to the country for providing a sanctuary for her.
"For me, Israel is the homeland for the Jewish people, and the
reason I put it in those terms is because it is not just a theoretical
idea for me, it's my family's experience."
See also Ed Miliband Visits Jerusalem Memorial to Holocaust - Steven Swinford (Telegraph-UK)
Ed Miliband spoke on Thursday about how the lives of 17 of his
relatives were saved during the Holocaust by the Vos family in southern
Belgium, as he met the son of a woman who sheltered alongside his family
members from the Nazis.
During a visit to Israel, the Labour leader spoke about the
"incredible courage" of a family who sheltered his aunt, uncle and more
than a dozen other relatives, and saved them from being deported to
concentration camps by the Nazis.
More than 60 members of Miliband's family were killed during the Holocaust, including his maternal grandfather.
French Jews See New PM as a Hero - Cnaan Liphshiz (JTA)
When teenagers started throwing stones at Jews walking to synagogue
in Evry, France, in 2002, Manuel Valls, then the mayor of the Paris
suburb, did more than issue a condemnatory news release. Valls, who
became prime minister last week, joined the weekly synagogue walk,
signaling that the Jews had a powerful ally.
To many French Jews, Valls is something of a hero for his unusually
robust defense of Israel and the French Jewish community.
At a speech last month by Valls at a rally marking the two-year
anniversary of the slaying of four Jews in Toulouse, Valls said that
anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.
Valls has explicitly linked his pro-Jewish views to his Jewish wife,
the violinist Anne Gravoin, saying in 2011 that his marriage connected
him "in an eternal way" to Israel and the Jewish people.
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
- UN Receives Palestinian Letters on International Conventions - Michelle Nichols
The UN said Wednesday it has received 13 letters from Palestinian
officials for accession to international conventions and treaties.
Palestinian UN Ambassador Riyad Mansour said their accession to those
treaties will come into force within 30 days. The Palestinians became
eligible to sign on to the treaties after the UN General Assembly
upgraded the Palestinians' status at the UN in 2012 from "observer
entity" to "non-member state." (Reuters)
See also Palestinians Join Geneva Convention - Barak Ravid and Jack Khoury
The Swiss Foreign Ministry said Thursday that it had received the
Palestinian request to join the Fourth Geneva Convention. The Swiss
added that Palestinian membership will become effective immediately.
- Israel to Withhold Palestinian Tax Fees
The Israeli government will stop transferring tax money to the
Palestinians in retaliation for their recent drive for further UN
recognition, an Israeli official said Thursday. The Palestinians owe
Israeli companies hundreds of millions of dollars for electricity and
other services. The Israeli official said Israel would deduct the
Palestinian debt against its monthly transfer of tax money that it
collects for the Palestinians. Israel transfers about $100 million a
month to the Palestinians.
See also Arab League Pledges $100 Million a Month to PA - Daniel Siryoti
PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said Wednesday that the Arab League
has promised a "financial safety net" of $100 million per month in the
event that the Palestinians suffer from economic sanctions following the
collapse of talks.
- Jordan Assists Rebels in Syrian War - Ben Hubbard
During three years of civil war in Syria, Jordan has quietly provided a
staging ground for rebels and their foreign backers on Syria's southern
When rebels want to return to Syria to fight, Jordan's intelligence
services give them specific times to cross its border. When the rebels
need weapons, they make their request at an "operations room" in Amman
staffed by agents from Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the U.S. But this
covert aid has been limited, reflecting the Obama administration's
reluctance to get drawn into another Middle Eastern conflict.
(New York Times)
See also Report: U.S. Urges Israel to Attack Syrian Forces Threatening CIA-Trained Rebels in Golan
Western diplomatic sources said the Obama administration has urged
Israel to stop a Syrian Army advance toward U.S.-trained rebels sent
from Jordan who captured a Syrian Army outpost at Tel Al Ahrar in the
Golan Heights last month, Middle East Newsline reported. The sources said this marked the first U.S. request for Israel's military to intervene in Syria.
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
- Israel Makes New Offer to Extend Peace Talks with Palestinians - Yuval Bagno
Sources in Jerusalem confirmed Thursday that Israel has presented the
Palestinians with a new package aimed at extending peace talks. A
diplomatic source said that "if the Palestinian Authority agrees to stop
its plans to join a number of international treaties and conventions,
Israel will agree to a new prisoner release package in return for the
continuation of negotiations until the end of the year at a minimum."
"At the same time the U.S. mediator sent a message to Israel: the
release of Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard from a U.S. prison is still a
possibility the U.S. administration will consider, if the sides reach a
deal that includes Israel freeing terrorists," the sources said. The
sides are still not close to an agreement due to the Palestinian demand
that Israel freeze settlement construction and due to the fact that
agreement has not been reached on the details of a new prisoner release
Sources in Jerusalem said: "The crisis which we are trying to get
out of is the full responsibility of the Palestinians, but the prime
minister is not interested in a breakdown in talks, and his goal is to
seek their extension." (Jerusalem Post)
See also Still No Agreement to Extend Peace Talks - Herb Keinon and Khaled Abu Toameh
After a meeting Thursday between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators, a
knowledgeable source said there has been no breakthrough in the
negotiations, but the sides are continuing to talk to see if it is
possible to break the impasse.
See also Israel Aims to Deport Palestinian Veteran Prisoners to Gaza
Israeli negotiators suggested to deport to Gaza 10 of the veteran
prisoners expected to be freed by Israel, but the Palestinian side
refused to discuss thet proposal, a senior official said Thursday.
- Ending the Three-Way Talks May Be Healthy - Mitch Ginsburg interviews Maj.-Gen. (res.) Uzi Dayan
Former Israeli national security advisor Maj.-Gen. (res.) Uzi Dayan
suggested that if there is a rise in terror as a result of the end of
the American-sponsored talks, this would simply mean "that Israel has to
take security into its own hands....It's not dramatic."
Instead, the more significant results of the end of the trilateral
talks, he said, would be unpleasant "but healthy."
The unpleasantness revolved around the realization that the
Palestinians under Abbas are incapable of reaching an end-of-claims
agreement, and the understanding that the very presence of American
officials in the negotiating room dooms the negotiations to failure
because it prompts both sides to negotiate with the Americans rather
than with each other.
"The chances of reaching a final status solution are next to nil,"
he said. But when this round of talks expires, Israel and the PA could
well sit down again, without the U.S., and reach a deal for peaceful
coexistence. (Times of Israel)
- Gaza Mortar Explodes in Israeli Community - Gadi Golan
A mortar fired by Palestinians in Gaza exploded and damaged
infrastructure in a community in southern Israel on Wednesday. "The
fact that no one was wounded was just a matter of luck," a local
resident said. The incident was part of continued sporadic rocket and
mortar fire emanating from Gaza and aimed at nearby Israeli
- U.S. Policy and the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse - Robert Satloff
While diplomacy may be on life support, it is not necessarily dead.
The real challenge for Israel is to sustain important security and
economic relations with the PA while battling the PLO on the
international political and diplomatic front.
A look at the specific UN conventions Abbas signed suggests a
long-term strategy is at work.
The problem with this strategy is that it does not get the Palestinians
any closer to statehood. Just as Israelis seek Palestinian recognition
of Israel as a Jewish state because only the Palestinians can provide
the legitimacy they seek, so too one would expect the Palestinians to do
everything possible to maintain negotiations with Israel because it is
the only actor that can provide the most basic ingredient of statehood -
A Palestinian strategy of internationalization puts Israelis on the
defensive. Israel is not without assets, however, including relations
with key governments, international institutions, and private
corporations that are more resilient than many believe.
The writer is executive director of The Washington Institute.
(Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
- Israel Will Never Walk Away from Negotiations - Jonathan S. Tobin
The Middle East peace process isn't quite dead yet. Talks between Israel
and the Palestinian Authority are still taking place. Nevertheless,
the Palestinians haven't really budged an inch on any substantive issue
since the talks re-started last year. They have already demonstrated
that they are only interested in forcing Israel to pay for their
presence at the table with concessions like the release of terrorist
murderers or building freezes in the West Bank or even Jerusalem.
But if the Palestinians do keep talking after April, there's no
doubt that the Israelis will be there too. Prime Minister Netanyahu
understands that Israel must never walk away from negotiations no matter
how futile they are. If Netanyahu is, despite everything, going to
keep showing up every time the Americans beckon, it's because he has the
unpleasant task of managing a conflict that can't be solved by peace or
Though President Obama and Kerry laud Abbas as a man of peace, his
unwillingness to speak of an end of the conflict indicates that he is no
more willing to compromise and accept the legitimacy of a Jewish state
no matter where its borders were drawn than Arafat was.
- Europe's Unaccountable Palestinian Aid - Michael Theurer
The EU is today the largest donor to the Palestinian Authority, but
European lawmakers have a duty to ensure that EU funds aren't diverted
from the noble purpose for which they're intended.
In its report, issued in December, the European Court of Auditors
revealed major dysfunctions in the management of EU financial support to
the PA, and called for a serious overhaul of the funding mechanism. The
PA is the only body that receives EU funds regardless of its
human-rights record or economic performance.
The court revealed that, since 2007, "a considerable number" of PA
civil servants in Gaza have received their salaries partly funded
through EU aid - even though they "were not going to work due to the
political situation in Gaza." How exactly can the EU preserve its
credibility back home when it pays salaries to people who don't work,
while millions of European citizens are unemployed?
Moreover, there is reason to believe that EU financial assistance
has allowed the PA to use its own general budget to pay salaries to
Palestinian prisoners convicted of terrorism offenses. These salaries
are up to five times higher than the average salary in the West Bank. The writer is chairman of the European Parliament's Committee on Budgetary Control.
(Wall Street Journal Europe)
- Palestinians Must Come to the Table for Peace - Alan Dershowitz
Israel lawfully captured the West Bank from Jordan in a defensive
war. The land at issue was never part of a Palestinian state.
While the Palestinians want it, unless they are prepared to negotiate
with the Israelis, they can't get it.
Possession is 9/10th of the law, and in this case, 9/10th of morality as
Those who seek a change in the status quo have the burden of coming
forward and showing a willingness to negotiate. (Jerusalem Post)
- Palestinian Militants in Jenin Believe Peace Process Is at an End - Robert Tait
Former gunmen who surrendered their weapons after the intifada have
declared themselves ready to resume the armed struggle and are urging
Mahmoud Abbas, the PA president, to abandon negotiations.
They also want him to end the security cooperation with Israel.
Mohammed Abu Ali, 30, a veteran of the second intifada who still
receives a PA salary as a reward for giving up his gun, said militant
groups rejected the non-violent popular resistance strategy advocated by
Abbas and other Palestinian leaders.
"We believe in [armed] resistance," he said. "The truce that was signed
in 2005 [with the end of intifada] will be over on April 29....There
will be no extension of the negotiations. The al-Aqsa Brigades don't
want negotiations anymore. If they extend, we won't honor it."
However, Yasser Kasarweh, 41, owner of the Bisan computer store in
"If the talks end, things will remain as they are. There will be no
third intifada because people are tired and don't want to get involved.
If they don't work, they will starve. I'm still suffering from the last
- Pity the Palestinians? Count Me Out - Norman Podhoretz
Everyone is so busy weeping over the allegedly incomparable sufferings
of the Palestinians that hardly a tear is left for the tribulations of
other peoples. This picture of the Palestinian plight is nothing short
of grotesquely disproportionate.
In Syria, untold thousands of fellow Arabs are starving, while in
South Sudan, 3.7 million people, amounting to one-third of the
population, are now facing imminent death by starvation.
And the Palestinians? True, when they wish to go from the West Bank into
Israel proper, they are forced to stop at checkpoints and subjected to
searches for suicide vests or other weapons in the terrorist arsenal.
But no Palestinians in the West Bank are dying of starvation. Nor is
anyone facing the same fate in Gaza today.
Three times in the past 15 years the Palestinians have refused
offers of a state on most of the territory taken by Israel in 1967 and
with Jerusalem as its capital. What they truly want is not a state of
their own living side by side with Israel, but a state that replaces
Israel altogether. The writer was the editor of Commentary magazine from 1960 to 1995.
(Wall Street Journal)
- Updating the Palestinian Narrative - Adi Schwartz
If Israel is expected to give up strategic territory, it has to be
assured that a peace agreement with the Palestinians puts an end to all
future demands. If the Arab side continues to dream about dismantling
the Jewish state - and to act accordingly - it makes no sense for Israel
to give up territory.
Only a crystal clear message from the Arab side that the conflict is
over, merits ceding territory. Such a clear message means acknowledging
that Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people, and will remain
Arab officials correctly observe that such recognition would mean
accepting the Israeli narrative regarding Jewish rights over some of
Indeed, a peace agreement and a process of reconciliation would
necessitate an update of the Arab narrative that views the entire land
as exclusively Arab and Muslim.
- Defining a Bad Agreement with Iran - Ephraim Asculai
Besides giving in to Iran by avoiding all major points that were
imperative in the UN Security Council resolutions concerning Iran, the
Joint Plan of Action (JPA) agreed upon in November studiously
avoided adding any demands that would clarify the outstanding issues and
bring about a halt, albeit temporarily, to Iran's unrelenting progress
toward the reduction of the potential timetable of producing a first
nuclear explosive device.
How much time is needed, in a realistic situation, before a breach
of Iran's obligations is discovered, reported and responded to? This
period should be as long as possible so as not to enable Iran to "break
out" and produce a first nuclear device and test it without being found
Assigning a year to this period is probably much too low. Two years is a
much more rational and acceptable time.
The issues are too serious for vagueness. Every case of
non-compliance has to be dealt with promptly. The Iranians have the
experience and the temerity to exploit each and every weakness and use
it to deceive, distort and circumvent in order to arrive at the desired
result. Any agreement that does not take these possibilities into
account, and ignores the fact that Iran has been (and probably still is)
seeking a military nuclear capability, will be a bad one, and should be
avoided at all costs.
The writer is Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv.
- Inside Iran - Paul Mcgeough
Iran is a nation squeezed in, first by a religious straitjacket that for
35 years has restricted the lives of its 77 million citizens, and
second by the vice-like clamp of international sanctions aimed at
disrupting its advancing nuclear program. The economy here is really
"Show-trial" actions by the U.S. Treasury, alleging
sanctions-busting deals by some of the world's biggest banks, have
proved highly effective. Britain's Barclays was hit with a $176 million
fine in 2010, the London-based HSBC for $375 million in 2012, and the
Dutch bank ING for a whopping $619 million in the same year. More than
145 banks in 60 countries have been warned off and virtually the entire
global shipping business sailed in the other direction.
By one account, tens of thousands of automotive workers have been
laid off, caused partly because of a shortage of parts. Drive around
Tehran, and virtually every construction site appears to be at a
standstill. Earnings from the export of oil and gas have more than
halved. Government salaries can go unpaid for weeks at a time.
(Sydney Morning Herald-Australia)
- European Dual-Use Exports to Iran Continue - Soeren Kern
Although the EU bans the export to Iran of certain dual-use machinery
and technology that could be used to aid Iran's military program,
loopholes abound and enforcement remains patchy. The illegal transfer
of dual-use equipment to Iran continues unabated, due to the failure of
European governments to adequately understand the deceptive methods
used to conceal the illegal trade in security-related goods to Iran,
according to a 2013 study on penalties and prosecutions of dual-use
offenses in Europe.
A confidential UN Panel of Experts report that was leaked to the
media concludes: "Iran continues to seek items for its prohibited
activities from abroad by using multiple and increasingly complex
procurement methods, including front companies, intermediaries, false
documentation, and new routes. These require additional vigilance and
expertise on the part of states in order to identify suspicious
The writer is a senior fellow at the Gatestone Institute and at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estrategicos.
Israel and China
- Israel and China, Win-Win - Amos Nadai
At a time when U.S. support for Israel is under pressure and there is
rising animosity and hatred towards Israel in Europe, among the Chinese
leadership and public there exists a broad base of support for Israel,
in a society that has never known anti-Semitism and believes in the
Jewish genius. China views Israel as a model to emulate. Israel's per
capita GNP and number of Nobel prizewinners in the sciences are a source
of respect among the Chinese.
The Chinese are undergoing economic and social processes that Israel
can contribute to. There is no reason that Israel, with its unique
abilities and advantages for the Chinese, should pass up such serious
commercial opportunities. The possibilities are practically endless.
The writer was Israel's Ambassador to China (2007-2012) and head of
the Asia and Pacific Division of the Israel Foreign Ministry.
(Yediot Ahronot-Hebrew, 8April2014)
- China Helping to Build Railroad through Israel Linking Red Sea with Mediterranean
Israel and China are forging ahead with a new freight rail link through
Israel that could provide an alternative to the Suez Canal. The project
would connect the 300-plus kilometers between Eilat on the Red Sea and
Ashdod Port on the Mediterranean. The Israeli cabinet recently decided
to fast-track the Red-Med project. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
said, "It's the first time we'd be able to assist the countries in
Europe and Asia to make sure they always have an open connection."
Ilan Maor, a former Israeli consul to Shanghai, says China's
involvement in the project "shows the Chinese government [and] Chinese
companies believe that Israel holds a significant potential for business
cooperation." The EU is China's number-one trading partner, so easy
access to the continent is very important.
According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies,
Egypt's political uncertainty has left the Sinai Peninsula a "lawless
zone for jihadists and Bedouin militias," highlighting a
rocket-propelled-grenade attack last August on a Chinese-owned container
ship in the Suez Canal. Lloyd's insurance market has even recommended
that ships take the 6,000-mile route around South Africa instead.
- Chinese Investments in Israel: Opportunity or National Threat? - Yoram Evron
Chinese activity in Israel is unexceptional, and is rather part of a
global phenomenon, given China's increasing participation in the global
economy. Still, Chinese activity around the globe and especially in the
West arouses suspicion. Yet any attempt to thwart China's interest in
Israel will not only block economic resources but will also deny Israel
useful political means at a time when China's involvement in the Middle
East is on the rise. The writer is a research fellow at INSS. (Institute for National Security Studies-Tel Aviv)
- China in the Middle East - David P. Goldman
China's attitude to the world beyond its borders is governed by
self-interest, which mainly means arrangements conducive to the flow of
trade. Outside of that, the Chinese have no wish to become imperial
masters. They do not particularly like other cultures and other peoples,
believing their own to be the best and most virtuous, and do not wish
upon themselves the trouble of ruling them. In private conversation,
Chinese officials insist that they are content to follow the American
lead in such matters as Iran's nuclear program.
China is Saudi Arabia's biggest trading partner and will depend on
Saudi oil indefinitely. It buys hydrocarbons from Iran, but far less.
China has more to lose from regional instability than any other country,
given its energy dependency. If it wished to put pressure on Iran, it
surely could, by a number of means.
- Israel-Russia Ties Strong Despite Ukraine - Paul J. Saunders
Israel decided not to vote on a March 27 UN General Assembly resolution
on the situation in Crimea. Israel was far from alone. Some 93 countries
did not support the resolution and just 100 supported it.
The Israeli government's unwillingness to confront Moscow over Crimea
makes sense, given Israel's generally cooperative relationship with
Russia based on growing economic ties, substantial tourism (600,000
Russian tourists visited Israel last year), and similar approaches to
combating Islamic extremist terrorism.
Israel's attitude is widely regarded as having contributed to
then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's decision to suspend the
delivery of already-contracted S-300 missiles to Iran in 2009.
For Israel, Russia has too many connections to the Middle East - in
Syria and Iran, with the Palestinians, and increasingly with Egypt too -
to be safely ignored, much less gratuitously annoyed.
The writer, executive director of the Center for the National
Interest, was a State Department Senior Advisor during the George W.
- Violence Is Disproportionate in the Muslim World - Ayaan Hirsi Ali
On Tuesday, Brandeis University revoked its invitation to Ayaan Hirsi
Ali to receive an honorary degree in May after protesters accused her
of being "Islamophobic." Here is a version of the remarks she planned to
In Syria, at least 120,000 people have been killed, not simply in
battle, but in wholesale massacres. Violence is escalating in Iraq, in
Lebanon, in Libya, in Egypt. Organized violence in the world today is
disproportionately concentrated in the Muslim world.
Another striking feature of the countries I have just named, and of
the Middle East generally, is that violence against women is also
increasing. In Saudi Arabia, there has been a noticeable rise in the
practice of female genital mutilation. In Egypt, 99% of women report
being sexually harassed and up to 80 sexual assaults occur in a single
The connection between violence, particularly violence against
women, and Islam is too clear to be ignored. We do no favors when we
shut our eyes to this link, when we excuse rather than reflect. So I
ask: Is the concept of holy war compatible with our ideal of religious
toleration? Is it blasphemy - punishable by death - to question the
applicability of certain seventh-century doctrines to our own era?
It is only through truth, unsparing truth, that your generation can
hope to do better than mine in the struggle for peace, freedom and
equality of the sexes.
The writer is a fellow at the Belfer Center of Harvard's Kennedy
School and a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
(Wall Street Journal)
- Palestinian Entrepreneur Sees Israel as Ally, Not Foe - David Shamah
Ramallah-based entrepreneur Hani Alami told the Times of Israel:
"Economically, there is no reason the two sides cannot cooperate, and in
fact that would benefit both the Israelis and Palestinians." Alami runs
Coolnet, a Ramallah-based Internet service provider that specializes in
bringing service to rural areas where broadband is afraid to venture.
The Coolnet site unhesitatingly lists several Israeli partners,
including Radwin, Radcom, RadVision and Ceragon.
For Alami, partnering with Israeli firms - and with Israelis - is
(Times of Israel)
- High Israeli Birthrate Unique in Developed World - Paul Morland
In the 1990s Israeli Jewish women were having on average a little over
Today, when other advanced populations in the Mediterranean area have
seen fertility rates plummet, the average Israeli Jewish woman has a
little over three children. By international comparison, this is
astonishing. It is twice the level of Greece and more than twice the
level of Italy, Germany or Spain. In no developed country besides Israel
does the level approach three.
Meanwhile, the family sizes of Israel's neighbors have started to fall,
rapidly. Egyptian fertility rates are now about the same as those of
Israel and falling. Today, Iranian women have more than one child
fewer than Israeli Jewish women.
In the 1960s, Israeli Muslim women were still having nine children.
Today, Muslim Israeli women have around three and a half children.
Arab Christian and Druze women have a fertility rate of a little above
The writer is an Associate Research Fellow at Birkbeck, University of London. (Jewish Chronicle-UK)
- Intelligent "Wrapping Paper" Heals Broken Bones in Half the Time - David Miller
The time it takes to heal a broken bone may soon be cut in half thanks
to an intelligent "wrapping paper" from Israeli company Regenecure.
The "wrapping paper," technically called a membrane implant, enables
bones to heal faster and more evenly by attracting healing stem cells
and fluids while keeping soft tissues from growing around the broken
The membrane looks and feels like plastic wrap, it can be cut with a
pair of scissors to fit any bone in the body and is naturally absorbed
into the body after 10 months.
The material has already been used in dental procedures to replace bone
- Israeli Tech Turns Jellyfish into Paper Towels - David Shamah
Cine'al Ltd., an Israeli nanotechnology start-up, is developing
technology to turn jellyfish into "super-absorbers," suitable for use
in diapers, tampons, medical sponges, even paper towels.
During spring and early summer, millions of jellyfish appear near
Israeli beaches, making swimming next to impossible.
"One-third of disposable waste in dumps consists of diapers," said
Ofer Du-Nour, president of Cine'al.
Highly-absorbent products are made of synthetic materials. The challenge
was to find a bio-degradable material that was at least as absorbent.
TAU researchers found the solution in jellyfish.
Using nano-materials, jellyfish are converted into Hydromash,
which absorbs high volumes of water and blood in seconds. The process
also adds nano-particles which allow for the addition of anti-bacterial
and tissue-healing attributes, flexibility, colors, scents and more.
The result is a product that absorbs several times its volume,
bio-degrades in less than 30 days, and can compete with synthetics on
price. (Times of Israel)
"Occupied Territories" Is a Flawed and Biased Term - Alan Baker (JTA)
When New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie apologized for using the term
"occupied territories" to refer to the West Bank, Jon Stewart of "The
Daily Show" ridiculed the apology, insisting that the phrase is "widely
accepted" and accurate.
While the term is indeed widely used, that doesn't make it
accurate. Indeed, the term is legally, historically, and factually
flawed. Determination that the territories are Palestinian or that they
are occupied is based on incorrect and partisan readings of the factual
situation and of the relevant international legal documentation.
The historic and legal rights of the Jewish people to this
territory renders it unique, involving a basic indigenous Jewish
presence since at least 1500 BCE, long before the arrival of Islam in
the 7th century CE.
These rights have been acknowledged and encapsulated legally
and historically in official, binding, and still valid international
documents: the 1917 Balfour Declaration, the 1920 San Remo Declaration,
the 1922 League of Nations Mandate, and the 1945 UN Charter.
Thus, by any objective criteria, the status of the territory
is "disputed," subject to an agreed-upon negotiation process between
Israel and the Palestinians. Demands that Israel withdraw to the "1967
lines," which are in effect the 1949 armistice demarcation lines, are
equally flawed and misleading. Such demands attempt to prejudge an open
Efforts to assign the territory to the Palestinians, prior to
a successful conclusion of the negotiating process, or to deny the
rights and status of Israel, demonstrate nothing more than political
ignorance and bias.
The writer, former legal counsel to Israel's Foreign Ministry and
Israel's ambassador to Canada, is director of the Institute for
Contemporary Affairs at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.