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Kfar Kana Mayor Sends Condolences to Families of Suicide Bombers


The mayor of the Israeli Arab municipality of Kfar Kana Tuesday sent condolences to the families of suicide bombers. In his Land Day 2004 address, Mayor Ravhi Amarah stated, "We gathered to condemn Israel's elimination of Sheik Ahmed Yassin, and we send condolences to all the families of the Shahidim (Martyrs)."

Report: Circumcision Likely to Decrease HIV Infection in Men

By Jessica Berman (VOA-Washington)

Circumcised men are much less likely than uncircumcised men to become infected with the AIDS virus, according to a new study published in Britain. The finding provides support to those who say that biology rather than behavior is a major factor in the decreased risk of HIV infection in circumcised men. But opponents of male circumcision are not persuaded that the procedure has any health benefits.

Scientists have long noted that circumcised men appear less likely than uncircumcised males to become infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. The explanation for this, some believed, was somehow linked to behavior: There are fewer AIDS cases in countries where circumcision is prevalent, because circumcised males must be doing a better job of protecting themselves against infection.

But a new study by U.S. and Indian researchers disputes this theory. Investigators followed 2,300 men at three clinics in Pune, India. At the beginning of the study, all of the men were HIV-negative, according to Bob Bollinger, a professor of infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

At the end of seven years, circumcised men were 6.5 percent less likely than uncircumcised males to be infected with the AIDS virus. But they had the same rates of other sexually transmitted diseases, including syphilis and gonorrhea, as males who still had their foreskins.

Bollinger says the results are not surprising based on other studies. But what's different about the Lancet study, says Bollinger, is that researchers are now offering a clue as to why circumcision is protective. The Indian researchers took their findings to the lab and found that the foreskin contains cells that promote HIV infection. "These are cells that have a molecule called CD-4 on their surface which is essentially a magnet, if you will, for HIV infection," says Bollinger. "Circumcision by itself is not sufficient to reduce your risk of HIV infection." The study on circumcision and HIV transmission is published in The Lancet, a British medical journal.

Panel OKs Residency for Non-Jewish Parents of IDF Soldiers

By Ha'aretz

A special ministerial committee on Tuesday approved a request by Interior Minister Avraham Poraz to award temporary residency status to parents of Israel Defense Force soldiers, who are otherwise not eligible for citizenship under the Law of Return. When the child completes his or her military service, the parents would be able to receive permanent residency status in Israel.

The government on Sunday backed Poraz's decision to grant Israeli citizenship to the non-Jewish parents of IDF soldiers. The Population Registry Committee has refused to support the move. Poraz filed an appeal with the government following the Population Registry Committee's decision to deport at least 35 non-Jewish parents of soldiers. Despite its agreement in principle with Poraz, the government placed restrictions on the granting of citizenship.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon charged the Population Registry Committee with formulating specific criteria under which citizenship would be granted to a soldier's parent. One parent would obtain citizenship during the soldier's period of service in the IDF and the second parent would only receive citizenship following the child's discharge from the military.

According to the Interior Ministry's current regulations, only one non-Jewish parent of a child serving in the IDF is permitted to remain in Israel and obtain citizenship status. Poraz asked Population Registry Committee members to alter the regulations allowing both parents of an IDF soldier not eligible for citizenship according to the Law of Return to receive citizenship. The committee refused his request.

Why We Are Here in Israel

By Ephraim Kishon (Humor) via Proteksia News

This is the only country where the unemployed strike. This is the only country where the 'cross country' road ends before it reaches its half way, "Airport City 2000" is still closed in 2004, the water import begins on the rainiest year ever, and Pee GLILOT (where they produce gas) is being dismantled for over eight years and still exists.

This is the only country that has two Treasury Ministers and neither of them has a dime, a 101 year old rabbi establishes a political party, the prime-minister is not allowed to be the minister of Defense in accordance with a state committee resolution, the opposition forgot to elect a candidate for the capital city and the MPs who chose the right to be silent don't shut their mouths.

This is the only country where a corporal's mother has the commander's telephone no., (so he should watch it!). This is the only country that has a communication satellite, but nobody lets you finish a sentence. This is the only country where missiles from Iraq have exploded, katushkas from Lebanon, suicide bombers from Gaza and rockets from Syria, and still a three-room apartment costs more than in Paris.

This is the only country where female porn stars are being asked "what does your mother say about it", soccer players come to the field with their daddy to shout at the coach, and on Friday night when going to the parents, you sit on exactly the same chair you've been sitting on when you were 5.

This is the only country where an Israeli meal is made from an Arab salad, Romanian Kebab, Iraqi pita, bread and Bavarian mousse (which is a state in Germany). We must like eating anti-Semitics. This is the only country where the guy with the open shirt and stain on it is the honorable minister and the guy beside him with the suit and tie is his driver.

This is the only country where the phrase "I didn't interfere," means that I want to interfere. This is the only country where Muslims sell sacred souvenirs to Christians, in exchange for bills that have the RAMBAM's face on them. This is the only country where at age 18 you leave home and at 24 you still live in it.

This is the only country where people who come to visit you for the first time ask you if it's OK to "take something from the fridge." This is the only country where you can tell what the security situation is from the songs that are being played on the radio. This is the only country where the rich are on the socialist left, the poor are on the capitalistic right and the bourgeois pay for everything.

This is the only country where it's no problem to get software that launches a space shuttle, but you have to wait for a week for your washing machine to be fixed. And only here (if we're touching the subject) there's a time unit called "I'll come sometime between 11 and six." This is the only country where on the first date you ask a girl where she served in the army. And this is the only country where she was probably in a more militant job than you.

This is the only country where between the happiest day and the saddest day there are exactly 60 seconds (Memorial Day and Independence Day). This is the only country where most people can't explain why they live in it but they have loads of reasons why they can't live elsewhere. This is the only country where if you hate politicians, hate clerks, hate the situation, hate the taxes, hate the quality of service and hate the weather, it must mean that you like it (the country).

This is the only country I could live in. It's my country.

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