Archive for May, 2007

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Your cube neighbor is blogging about you

May 26, 2007

This has NOTHING to do with the subject of my blog, but it’s just about the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. It’s this dude who has such a loud co-worker in the cubicle next to him, that he decided to blog the random stories that come out of his mouth.

You can read the blog here. It is updated almost every day.

Thanks to Nalts for bringing this to my attention.

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‘Band Aid’ – Israelis for Congo

May 21, 2007

Humanitarian organizations and Israeli artists join forces in a rock concert for the benefit of rape victims and their families in East Congo.

To sponsor aid, leading Israeli artists including Aviv Gefen, Ehud Banai, Ahinoam Nini (Noa), and Idan Reichel, will perform in a joint rock concert on Friday, May 27, in Hangar 11 in Tel Aviv. Revenue from the concert will be donated for the building of medical clinics, medical equipment, and training professionals to help rehabilitate the rape victims and their children.

This concert is led by journalist Itay Engel who visited East Congo in 2006. This an excerpt from a column he wrote upon his return:

On the whole planet, there is no place more terrible at the moment than eastern Congo. In a six-year war, close to four million people have died. This fact is so terrifying that the phenomenon of women being raped seems insignificant. If I chose to be a journalist, and I try to tell the stories most important for the world to hear, then Bukavu in east Congo is a place I have sworn to come to for years.

Except now, after arriving and taking pictures, I am completely frustrated at the thought that maybe you can’t even hear this story. Everything here is just too much. I mean, six women who have been raped, their lives shattered, is a tragedy. Thirty rape victims is madness. Hundreds of thousands is incomprehensible. You cannot process it. You cannot relate to it.

Read the rest of the letter and the article here on Ynet.

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Israel helps Iraqi children and other cool snippets of info

May 21, 2007

I try every week to give you some positive info about Israel as well – sports achievements (no one getting hurt at a soccer game sounds like a win to me!), international relations, cooperations, medical breakthroughs, etc. Many of these come from the Good News newsletter which you can read in its entirety here. So let’s get to it:

There’s a program at Schneider Children’s Hospital in Petach Tikva that performs life-saving heart surgery on children from all over the world, all expenses paid. And now five children from Iraq are here in Israel with various life-threatening problems and they will be attended to at the Rambam Hospital in Haifa. The country has done all it can to get them into surgery as soon as they can. This isn’t the first time Israel has treated Iraqis. Back in 2005, an Iraqi man came to Israel to get a birth defect in his heart fixed.

In medical news, Dr Shulamit Levenberg of the Technion in Haifa has been chosen by “Scientific American” as one of the worlds fifty leading scientists. Basicall she has produced muscle tissue in the laboratory that is not rejected when implanted in the body. This is an enormous step forward in effectively replacing damaged or injured tissue.

I will continue to update about other cool stuff as it happens when I have more info to give. Have a wonderful week!

Update: Mark Cohen of Good News Israel updates me that the oeprations took place at Rambam hospital in Haifa, and not at Schneider where the program takes place. Thanks!

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Israelis and Palestinians establish business council

May 20, 2007

As corny as it sounds, as long as people on both sides are making an effort to work together, anything can still happen. I don’t think that all Palestinians are bad and not all are against peace with us, I just think that they made a poor choice in electing the government that represents them.

Joint council to be headed by Cellcom CEO Amos Shapira and Palestinian businessman Walid Najjab of PalTel communications company

Sixty leading businessmen from Israel  and the Palestinian Authority have announced the establishment of a joint business council.

The council will be headed by Cellcom CEO Amos Shapira and Palestinian businessman Walid Najjab of the PalTel communications company.

The announcement was made over the weekend in a joint press conference held at the World Economic Forum on the Middle East at Jordan’s Dead Sea resort.

“The idea was born due to the difficult political situation, but we have no plans or pretensions to deal with diplomatic processes,” Shapira told Yedioth Ahronoth on Sunday.

The Palestinian chairman of the council, Walid Najib, said, “We will do what we know how to do best: Take advantage of possibilities on the business and economic level.”

Source: Ynet.

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Israel launches humanitarian mission in Vietnam

May 20, 2007

A 54-member medical staff left for Vietnam last week to treat sick and poor people all around the country and provide them with financial aid.

The team set up medical camps in which some 2,500 children that have never seen a doctor before were treated. Patients in need of an operation were transferred to a city clinic, which performed all the operations free of charge.

Food, clothing and toys were also distributed among the poor children.

The week-long mission, which was greatly praised by the Vietnamese government, will come to its end on Tuesday.

You can read more about this here.

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Murdered Arab will be recognized by Israel as terror victim

May 17, 2007

Taisir Karaki, the Arab cab driver from Jerusalem who was murdered in Tel Aviv Tuesday, will be recognized by the State of Israel as a terror victim, National Insurance Institute officials estimated.

The decision is pending the approval of the defense establishment.

Karaki was allegedly murdered by Julien Soufir, a new immigrant from France, after Karaki drove him to Tel Aviv. According to suspicion, Soufir invited Karaki to come up to his apartment and use his bathroom, and then slit his throat with a knife.

You can read the rest of the article from Ynet here.

I’m waiting for the announcement that the Palestinian Authority will pay the families of all the victims who died in terrorist attacks carried out by their people. Many of whom were commissioned by Hamas. Which their government.

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OVer 50 rockets launched at Israel in the past few days

May 17, 2007

One of the rockets launched this morning landed inside a classroom at a high school where students were taking their finals.

Luckily, the classroom was empty since it was not fortified, which is the only reason a huge disaster was averted. Several students were hurt in a nearby classroom and all exams were suspended.

The only students who arrived at school today were those who had to take their matriculation exams, and they were placed in fortified classrooms.

Eli Moyal, the mayor of Sderot, said that although the country and Gaydamak had buses take residents to nearby towns, it was only to “catch a breath” and not to get everyone out of the town.

That would be giving them what they want.

Extensive retaliation is being planned for Gaza.

Rocket hit at the school

 

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Over 20 rockets lauchned today – dozens injured

May 16, 2007

And this isn’t a war zone? Watch this video from Channel 10 News in Israel. Someone was video taping one of the rocket attacks and the rocket landed just by him – literally. In their back yard.

Israel is going to plan a retaliation, and I’m normally against it, but seriously – over 40 rockets launched in the past 2 days, and this didn’t just start now. Dozens injured, many “only” shocked, but that’s still not normal.

Again, in case this is the first time you’re reading my blog, these rocket attacks are being carried out by the Palestinian “government” led by Hamas (along with Fatah, but they aren’t the ones trying to annihilate us.)

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Over 30 rockets launched into Israel over the past 24 hours

May 16, 2007

One of the rockets landed in a courtyard shared by several residential apartment buildings, wounding a 70-year-old woman. Emergency medical teams evacuated her to the hospital in Ashkelon with injuries to her limbs and stomach.

Earlier today, rockets landed in and around the city as well as near neighboring kibbutzim where children spent the night in bomb shelters.

Schools remained closed in Sderot on Wednesday, which is a problem since the matriculation exams – the finals – are set to begin in the next few days for the high school students. Officials said these age groups would join their peers in Beer Sheva on Thursday for classes until a better solution could be found.

Residents seeking to flee Sderot wrote to businessman Arcady Gaydamak, asking for his help. Like the last time they asked, the billionaire complied, and he sent buses and arranged for hotel accommodations in Beer Sheva and Ashdod (who had a few rockets yesterday).

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Over 20 rockets launched yesterday; 7 already launched today towards Sderot and Ashkelon

May 16, 2007

Israel said it would NOT go into Gaza, and is not planning retaliation. IDF choppers did fire at open fields in Gaza where the rockets were launched from, but there were no injuries.

You can read more details about it here.

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10 more rockets launched; it’s only 12:50 am.

May 15, 2007

Also, 2 mortar shells were fired earlier today at a kibbutz in the south from Gaza. As a reminder: This group is actually their government.

I’m going to sleep. Unlike the people of Sderot, I will sleep peacefully tonight.

I wonder how many more rockets will be launched before I wake up in the morning.

I’ll let you know tomorrow.

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13 rockets launched into Israel; Hamas threatens more

May 15, 2007

Some of us thought that since the Palestinians were too busy killing each other over the last few days that we’d get a break.

Apparently not.

Today 13 Qassam’s were launched into Sderot, a town that has been hit by these rocketsfor years now. 18 people were wounded, including a mother and her son, when one of the rockets hit their home. Other rockets fell all over the city, including another residence and almost completely destroying an elementary school.

Hamas, who IS the government in the Palestinian Authority, has said they will continue to launch more throughout the night.

This is following the 3 rockets launched at Sderot yesterday.

I’m just not understanding how we are supposed to make peace with a government literally led by a terrorist organization.

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Metal will bring peace to the Middle East

May 15, 2007

It seems that the first peaceful dialogue to follow the Second Lebanon War comes out of the music scene. Two heavy metal bands, one Israeli and the other Lebanese, met online and joined forces to perform a new song, “Everything We Are”.

“Obviously, the song deals with the last war between Israel and Lebanon, and its implications. It speaks about the silent majority around the world that does nothing while extremists spread their ideals of hatred and violence,” Kfir Gov, leader of the Israeli band, “Seek Irony” told Ynet.

Rab, the Lebanese lead vocalist of “Blood Ink”, and his family reside in northern Lebanon in an area that was mostly outside of the range of the fighting.

“I’ve been listening to this music for as long as I can remember,” Rab, the 23-year-old Christian singer, told Ynet in an email interview.

“The story my family tells is that my sister, who is a metal fan, used to put the headphones on my ears when I was just a month old. She used to put me to sleep listening to ‘The Wall’ by Pink Floyd.

“I somehow grew up in this atmosphere, at age 14, I was already listening to the Scorpions and Aerosmith. Then I discovered the harder styles, and it went on,” Rab said.

Click here to read the rest of this story from Ynet.

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Seinfeld and Tori Amos on their way

May 15, 2007

I don’t really like either of them, but I know a lot of people do. Ynet is reporting that Jerry Seinfeld will be coming to promote his new flick, Bee Movie, and Tori Amos will be arriving for a show in June.

They will be joining an already-impressive line up of artists this summer including Evanescence (if they don’t break up) and Blonde Redhead. There have also been talks about bringing The Rolling Stones (yey!) with Britney Spears (ugh…).

Last summer we had a bunch of great performers including Roger Waters, The Blackeyed Peas, 50 Cent, Sting, and more, even though we got stood up by Depeche Mode. But I can’t talk about that.

It still hurts.

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Since I’ve been gone

May 15, 2007

I’ve been offline for quite a few months, so I will only give an update from the past few weeks:

  • In a survey published recent an Switzerland, Israel was first in terms of investment in research and development out of the 55 most developed countries. It was also second in raising capital and second in development of IT.
  • New York Magazine named Tel Aviv as one of the four recommended cities for spending a brief holiday. They even suggested Betty Ford, the restaurant where my co-workers and I do lunch often (it’s not a rehab!)
  • Some science stuff:
    • Israeli astronomer Prof. Zvi Mazeh and his team have discovered a new planet that they named HAT-P-2b. This is especially great since Pluto isn’t a planet anymore. 🙂
    • The robotics class at Ostrovsky High School in Ra’anana won the 14th annual World Robotics Championships for the second year in a row.
  • Some sports stuff:
    • The Israeli youth team for pairs bowling won the Gold in the European Bowling Youth Championships, gold in the boys’ masters final, bronze in the boys’ team even, and silver in the all events competition.
    • The girls won a silver medal in the girls’ trio and one of the participants, Roni Aharonowitz, was the first female ever to bowl a perfect 300 game in the history of the competition.
    • Israel’s delegation to the World Swimming Championships for Disabled Youth brought home six gold medals and four silver medals.
    • Arik Ze’evi the Judoka won a bronze medal from the European Judo Championships. So did Gal Yekutial (different weight categories).
  • Some medical stuff:
    • Newsweek called Dr. Eyal Gur, head of microsurgery at Ichilov Hospital as one of the best microsurgeons in the world.
    • They also named Prof. Lior Gepstein from the Technion for developing heart tissue and pacemakers from stem cells.
    • And Dr. Shulamit Levenberg, also from the Technion, for creating muscle tissue that they body doesn’t reject.
    • AND Dr. Hossan Haick, also from the Technion, for inventing an electronic “nose” that can diagnose cancer.
  • And some good news to finish off with: The Jewish National Fund is working with the Palestinian Authoriy, Egypt, and Jordan to plawn 5 million olive trees along the common borders.

I’d like to mention that some of these items were taken from the Israel Good News Digest.