Newsletter : 8fax0630.txt
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>JN June 30, 1998, Vol. 6, No. 113
Netanyahu Rejects Early Elections
By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected a call by
the country's president for early elections because of the deadlock
in the peace process. Netanyahu says, as far as he is concerned
the next Israeli elections will be held as scheduled in the year
2000, and not before.
Netanyahu says he knows Israelis are impatient for the next steps
in the peace process, but he said he will not move forward until he
is convinced the Palestinians are living up to their existing
commitments, particularly on security issues.
The prime minister said "No pressure, no thing, no person" will
push him to deviate from the goal of "secure peace for Israel."
He said there are still wide gaps between Israel and the
Palestinians on issues in dispute -- mainly the extent of the next
Israeli West Bank withdrawal and parallel Palestinian security
measures. But he also said an agreement can be reached by the time
the Israeli parliament begins its summer recess next month.
President Ezer Weizman called for Netanyahu to hold early elections
to find out how the Israeli people want the peace process to
proceed. The government had been planning a referendum, but
officials now indicate that might not be possible. Weizman said the
logical alternative is to hold elections.
Netanyahu is working under nearly permanent threats from various
parties in his coalition to quit and force early elections over the
peace process and other issues. But none of the parties has been
willing to force early elections. They apparently fear they would
emerge with fewer parliament seats than they have now.
Weizman wields some influence from his largely ceremonial position,
but members of the coalition say his comments will not push them
into elections they are not ready to hold. Many criticized the
president for making such a political comment.
Rats with Damaged Spine Partially Recover
Innovative treatment enables paralyzed rats to regain partial use
of their hind legs. Weizmann Institute scientists have managed to
partially heal the damaged spinal cords of laboratory animals,
according to a study reported in the July issue of Nature Medicine.
A team led by Professor Michal Schwartz of the Neurobiology
Department used an innovative treatment which allowed rats to
regain partial movement in their hind legs that had been paralyzed by
damage to the spine.
"The results of our experiments are promising," says Schwartz.
"However, for the moment they have only been achieved in rats, and
much additional research still needs to be done before the new
treatment is available to humans."
It has long been known that "lower" animals, such as fish, can
repair damaged fibers in the central nervous system -- the spinal
cord and the brain -- and restore lost function. In contrast,
mammals, including humans, can only repair injuries to the
peripheral nerves, while injuries to the brain or spine leave
them permanently paralyzed or otherwise handicapped.
The new approach is based on Schwartz's theory, which states that
the loss of this repair ability occurred in the course of evolution
due to a unique relationship between the central nervous and the
Schwartz believes this loss was probably dictated by the need to
protect the mammalian brain from the effects of the immune system:
While immune cells normally help to heal damaged tissue, their
access to the brain would disrupt the complex and dynamic neuronal
networks that build up during an individual's lifetime.
Dana International; "Hitler was a Hero and Brilliant"
The British Observer interviewed Dana International, the Israeli
transsexual who gained fame after taking first place in this year's
Eurovision Song festival. According to a report in Yediot Achronot,
International told the Observer that Hitler was "brilliant, a hero,
and a genius, even though I could strangle him barehanded."
She was answering a question, How were you affected by popular
personalities in history?
International told interviewer Peter Conrad, "Not that I hate men.
My man needs to be stern but also gentle, not a person that hits.
Human beings need not strike one another. Even Hitler was a hero,
a brilliant man. Yes, yes, I know he did terrible things and I
would choke him with my bare hands. The devil is also a smart
person. Why didn't Hitler use his intelligence to cure the world of
Conrad, startled from the response, asked how will the Israeli
population accept these answers?
"That is not the problem, only the religious fanatics hate me. They
call me 'worse than Sodom.' The secular popular admires me."
Senior Bezeq Official Accused of Stealing Phone Time
Raphael Peleg, 38, a senior Bezeq management official in northern
Israel, was accused of stealing tens of thousands of message units by
making calls to erotic phone services abroad. Peleg was charged
with making NIS 97,000 in illegal calls in 1995. He used the Bezeq
international exchange to connect to the international operator.
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