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Jewish Settlers Warn of Violence if Gaza Pullout Goes Forward

By VOA News

Angry Jewish settlers who will soon be evicted from their homes in the Gaza Strip said they would take their fight to the streets, warning of massive protests and possible violence. The settlers lost their political battle on Monday, when Israel's parliament voted down a proposal to hold a national referendum on Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's pullout plan. Some settler leaders said they would try to refrain from violence, but that the situation could spin out of control. They also have promised to mobilize tens of thousands of protesters to disrupt the withdrawal. The settlers have until the last week of July to accept compensation and leave voluntarily or else they will be evicted.

Israeli Study - Turmeric Prevents Colon Cancer


A new Israeli study has found that the ingestion of the well-known spice turmeric lowers the risk of colon cancer, pancreatic cancer and prostate cancer.

A team of scientists led by Prof. Nadir Arber, the head of the Center for the Prevention of Cancer at the Medical Center of Tel Aviv, and Prof. Dov Lichtenberg, the head of the Sackler School of Medicine, found that curcumin, which gives turmeric its Hebrew name "curcum," strengthens the influence of the drug Celecoxib, which lessens the risk of the onset of the aforesaid types of cancer.

A supplement of turmeric in the diet of a cancer sufferer makes possible the lessening of the dosage of Celecoxib, thus lessening the side effects of the drug. The researchers have filed a patent for the new combination. The research was done in the framework of the Master's work of Shachar Lev-Ari, who is studying at the aforesaid distinguished institution.

Israeli Therapy Uses Adult Stem Cells to Treat Parkinson's Disease

By ((c) 2005)

Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics has developed a novel stem cell therapy to treat Parkinson's Disease - using a patient's own bone marrow stem cells to produce the missing chemical that enables restoration of motor movement. The process - which successfully alleviated symptoms of Parkinson's in rats - will be tested on monkeys next year, with human clinical trials scheduled for the following year.

About 1.5 million Americans have been diagnosed with Parkinson's, a chronic progressive neurodegenerative disease. Parkinson's affects those brain cells responsible for production of dopamine, the neurotransmitter that directs motor movement. Insufficient dopamine levels result in tremor, rigidity, slowness of movement and impaired balance.

The Tel Aviv-based BrainStorm uses adult stem cells to repair neurological damage. Developed at Tel Aviv University, the company's propriety technology - NurOwn - has been proven capable of generating neuron-like cells derived from human bone marrow. The cells produce dopamine, which can then be implanted into the PD patients.

NurOwn was developed by Prof. Eldad Melamed, Head of Neurology of the Rabin Medical Center and member of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, together with Tel Aviv University cell biologist Dr. Daniel Offen and Dr. Yosef Levy. In June 2004, BrainStorm acquired the exclusive worldwide rights to commercialize NurOwn technology through a licensing agreement with Ramot, the technology transfer company of TAU.

Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on a Palestinian State


Netanyahu said Tuesday that such a state would be acceptable if it dropped all dreams of destroying Israel - something that requires a "total reformation" in the PA's political structure.

Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, speaking at the Jerusalem Conference, was asked to explain his position on the establishment of a Palestinian state. He did not totally rule out such an eventuality, but said that it could be acceptable only if it "shakes off all dreams of destroying Israel, and instead nourishes the idea of co-existence and appeasement." He said that the critical question is, "Who will control the borders?"

"Our problem with a Palestinian state," Netanyahu said, "is, first of all, that if it aspires to the liquidation of Israel, then its establishment is essentially giving a platform and base for the hope of our destruction. The assumption that this hope will disappear even as it receives the basis for the implementation of this hope - is mistaken. But just like President Bush said, there must be total reforms in their political system - this is the very foundation [of what is necessary]. Not just dismantling the terror infrastructures, but shaking off all hopes of destroying Israel.

"Establishing a state that wishes to destroy its neighbor, i.e., Israel, will clearly not serve the interests of peace, but will rather harm the peace - unless it gives up its dreams of destroying Israel, and instead nourishes the idea of co-existence and appeasement. This is a simple test.

"But since we can't know if this positive change will happen, and even if it does begin, we don't know whether it will take root, we have to prepare for the other possibility. Even if we reach agreements, we have to assume that they can be reversed. When I carried out agreements that I inherited [from the Rabin-Peres government], I reduced them in scope, and I made them contingent upon the other side carrying out its commitments. And when they didn't, the process was stopped, on the spot...

"But the most important issue is that of borders: Who will control the borders of that state? If they can import weapons and rockets and terrorists, [then what have we done?] In these tentative agreements... we encourage their 'evil inclination' of destroying us, because we're giving them not only territory, but territory that will be ready to take in terrorists and weapons...

"If we allow our control over the borders to be weakened, then their natural tendency to want to destroy us will become stronger. And therefore I objected and continue to object to giving up control to Egypt of the Philadelphi Route [between Gaza and Egypt]. What, we should rely on Egypt? We see the difficulties we have now in controlling the area even when we're in charge - the new dangerous missiles that have been smuggled in; so we should allow them to be in charge? ... So it doesn't matter what exactly will happen inside those areas, or whether it's called a state or whatever; what's important is what happens on the borders of that entity."

'Venus de Beit She'an' Debuts in Jerusalem

By Ha'aretz

The Israel Museum Tuesday unveiled a rare marble statue of Venus, the Roman goddess of love, discovered a decade ago in excavations of the ancient city of Beit She'an. According to curators, the statue is unique because of the original coat of paint that can still be seen on it. The museum hopes the "Beit She'an Venus" will become one of the most famous statues of its kind.

Professors Gideon Foerster and Yoram Tzafrir of the Hebrew University's Institute of Archaeology found the statue, dated to the second century CE, during the excavation of the eastern bathhouse at Beit She'an. It is of the type known as Venus pudica, or modest Venus, because of the way the figure's arms are crossed in an attempt to conceal her breasts and pubic area. Eros appears her side, in the form of a pudgy child riding a dolphin.

The professors think that the half-ton, 160 centimeter Beit She'an Venus was sculpted in a large workshop in the town of Aphrodisias in Asia Minor, now Turkey. The statue's head, hands and feet are missing.

Technicians at the Israel Museum and Israel Antiquities Authority laboratories have worked for years to clean and repair the statue, which was broken in several pieces and covered in hardened sediment when it was found. The red, blue and yellow paint that originally covered the statue can still be seen in several places. Dudi Mevorach, chief curator of the museum's Roman, Hellenistic and Byzantine exhibits, said the pigments are the best preserved on any Roman-era statue anywhere in the world.

Foerster said the statue stood for 400 years, including 150 when Beit She'an was under Christian rule. The city, known as Nisa-Scythopolis during the Roman period, had two bathhouses, as well as temples, paved streets and numerous public buildings. At its height during the fourth century CE, the city's inhabitants numbered some 40,000. An earthquake on Jan. 18, 749 CE, destroyed Beit She'an. Two years after the initial discovery of the statue, Foerster found one of its legs nearby. He believes additional pieces may still be found.

The statue is currently on display as part of the Israel Museum exhibit, "Beauty in Holiness," the first in a series to mark the museum's 40th anniversary.

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