Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Conservative Orthodox On Ascendancy Numerically and Politically?

Hamas replenishes and Iran says it is not in violation.  (See 1 and 1a below.)
Will the Orthodox, who are conservative politically, eventually supplant the Reform who are predominantly liberal?  If so, it is about time. (See 2 below.)
More Israeli medical inventions. (See 3 below.)
Obama felt it was important the world heard from him after 11 days of self-imposed isolation.  (See 4 below.)
1) IDF official: Hamas has replenished its missile capability since 2014 war

The military assumption, the official noted, is that Hamas is not looking for a confrontation with Israel in the near future.

An IDF senior military official on Wednesday told Channel 2 that Hamas has fully replenished its military capability it had lost following 2014's Operation Protective Edge.   

During an interview with the Israeli broadcaster, the official said that the terror organization had used the proceeding years since the 2014 offensive to work on its tunnels and shore-up its missile programs.

A large part of Hamas's missile stockpile are self-made weapons from inside the Gaza Strip. The official said the material for making of the weapons came through the Egyptian controlled Rafah border crossing following peace talks between Hamas and Cairo.

The military assumption, the official noted, is that Hamas is not looking for a confrontation with Israel in the near future. 

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Hamas's military wing said Tuesday that Israel's concern with the organization's network of clandestine terror tunnels was proof of Hamas's success during the 2014 war. 

The Hamas spokesperson sighted an anticipated report on Operation Protective Edge that is expected to contain scathing criticism of Israel's military and political leadership.  

"In the near future, there will be even larger forces that will fall," the Hamas spokesperson said.

The Knesset State Control’s classified subcommittee announced on Sunday that it had approved publishing of the State Comptroller’s Report on the 2014 Gaza war.

According to pundits, the report is expected to be a political bombshell for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in terms of his reputation as “Mr. Security,” with consequences ranging from eventually bringing down the government to being another shot against his standing as rivals wait for a moment to strike.

Hamas military operatives were also in full force Tuesday participating in a ceremony honoring one of its members, who was allegedly killed in a Mossad operation in Tunisia late last year. 

Mohhamed Zawari, known to Israel's security echelon as "The Engineer," was found shot to death inside his vehicle in the city of Sfax, local media reported. 

Zawari, an aviation engineer and scientist, was shot three to seven times by unknown assailants in his car near his home.

The motive behind his shooting remains unclear.

1a) Iran confirms new missile test, says did not violate nuclear deal

The White House said it was aware that Iran had tested a missile, and said they were "looking into" the details.
Iran's defense minister said on Wednesday the Islamic Republic had tested a new missile, but added the test did not breach Tehran's nuclear accord with world powers or a UN Security Council resolution endorsing the pact.

Iran has test-fired several ballistic missiles since the nuclear deal in 2015, but this is the first during US President Donald Trump's administration. Trump said in his election campaign that he would stop Iran's missile program.

"The recent test was in line with our plans and we will not allow foreigners to interfere in our defense affairs," Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan said, according to Tasnim news agency .

"The test did not violate the nuclear deal or the (UN)resolution 2231," he said.

Israel urged the world to take action after a US official said Monday that Iran carried out a test launch of a medium-range ballistic missile over the weekend, seemingly in violation of UN Resolution 2231, which forbids the Islamic Republic from carrying out such tests for a period of eights years.

The official said the test was carried out from a site near Semnan, east of Tehran. The official added that the last time this type of missile was test launched was in July 2016.

The United Nations Security Council was scheduled to hold an emergency meeting on the test at the request of the United States.

The US request came after Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon called for the meeting, saying of the test, "This aggression is not only directed toward Israel, it is directed toward the entire Western world." 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that in light of reports of the Iranian ballistic missile test, one of the issues he will raise with US President Donald Trump during their meeting on February 15 will be the re-imposition of sanctions on Iran. 

He said it is forbidden that Iranian “aggression” go without a response.

The White House said it was aware that Iran had tested a missile.

"We're looking into that. We're aware that Iran fired that missile. We're looking into the exact nature of it, and I'll try to have more for you later," White House spokesman Sean Spicer said during a press briefing.

On Tuesday, Iran said that the ballistic missile tests carried out by the country were neither part of a nuclear agreement with world powers, or the UN Security Council resolution endorsing the deal.

Neither confirming or denying US accusations that Iran had carried out a missile test on Sunday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif stated that Iran would never use missiles made in Iran to attack another country.

Zarif also said that such tests were not part of any United Nations resolution ratifying accord.

"The missiles aren't part of the nuclear accords. Iran will never use missiles produced in Iran to attack any other country," said Zarif, speaking at a joint news conference held with French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault. "No Iranian missiles have been produced to carry nuclear warheads."

American Jews are becoming more conservative

Steve Feinstein’s recent article, “Why American Jews Are Overwhelmingly Liberal,” omitted a crucial part of the story: its conclusion.  While I do not take issue with the article’s facts, the truth is that a wave of conservatism, based on religious values, has been deeply cultivated and is robustly emerging on a major scale in the most vibrant and enduring segments of American Jewry.

Studies have demonstrated that America’s secular and mostly liberal Jewish population is shrinking and disappearing, as a result of intermarriage and abandonment of Jewish identity and tradition.  Liberal Jewish congregations are dwindling and shutting down, and even seeking non-Jews to join, as there are no longer enough Jews to fill these emptying houses of worship.  The same is true with liberal Jewish schools and organizations.
In contrast, the American Orthodox Jewish population is growing, and it is projected that this population, which is politically conservative and which strives to live by biblical values, has strong family units, and adheres to a traditional way of life, will replace the liberal Jewish communities.

The most notable impact on American society of this seismic change will be in the political arena, as Orthodox Jews predominantly vote Republican.  Other changes will be seen as well, especially in the areas of support for traditional family values, as Orthodox Jews are pro-lifeoppose gay marriage, and support school choice.  And on a more recent note, much of the greatest Jewish support for the appointment of Steve Bannon came from the Orthodox Jewish media.

The ascendancy of Orthodox Jewry and the decline of liberal Jewry are largely unknown to those outside Jewish institutional life.  Equally unknown to most is the fact that a sizeable amount of the current Orthodox population consists of former liberal, non-Orthodox Jews who renounced their heterodox religious allegiances and embraced the Judaism of tradition, transforming their lives to center on God and the authentic Law of Moses.  These Jews  most of whom are exceptionally talented and highly articulate, creative individuals  sensed the emptiness of a shallow religious experience, in which “feel-good” mantras and political correctness came to replace genuine belief and divinely ordained commandments.  Orthodox outreach organizations such as the National Council of Synagogue YouthChabad, and Aish, among many others, exposed secular-liberal Jews to the beauty of their tradition and inspired many of them to return to it.

Jews are typically idealists, searching for purpose and higher meaning, whether they realize it or not.  Liberal Judaism, which came about as an accommodation to radically changing social and political trends in 19th-century Western Europe, marketed a life philosophy of veritable purpose and higher meaning, but instead sold its constituency an empty bag, stuffed with promises and platitudes but little substance and zero long-term endurance.  (Think of the “Obama Greek Columns” speech.)  Such purchases are inevitably returned or disposed of.  Those liberal Jews who recognized what the real article is rejected the religious identity of their upbringing and proceeded to align themselves with their bona fide tradition, while the rest of their brethren are sadly and silently disappearing, unbeknownst to general society.         

The Orthodox Jewish spectrum is broad, and it is rich in vibrant ideas that connect contemporary life to religious tradition and biblical values.  This old-new conservatism is the emerging and future face of American Jewry.  Get ready for major change.

Avrohom Gordimer serves on the editorial board of Jewish Action magazine, is a staff writer for the Cross-Currents website, and is a frequent contributor to Israel National News.  By day, he works as an account executive at a large Jewish organization based in Manhattan.  The views expressed in the above article are solely those of the writer.
3)Scientists Invent Breathalyzer for Disease Diagnosis

System developed by international team headed by Technion's Prof. Hossam Haick can identify 17 diseases so far, including cancers and neurodegenerative conditions.

By Ruth Schuster

The Technion's Prof. Hossam Haick illustrates how exhaled breath can be analyzed.
The Technion's Prof. Hossam Haick illustrates how exhaled breath can be analyzed.

Diagnosis is notoriously an art form, but now your doctor – or rather, a mass spectrometer – may be able to tell what ails you by the smell of your breath.

An international team of researchers has proved that different diseases, including certain types of cancer and even Parkinson's Disease, are characterized by different chemical signatures in exhaled breath. The findings were published in ACS Nano.

Disease diagnosis through breath analysis has been developing for years. In 2014, for instance, the Journal of Breath Research dwelled at length on work being done at Oxford to rather crudely diagnose diabetes though identifying acetone in exhalations. An Italian team also worked on identifying volatile organic compounds unique to colorectal cancer in the breath. But the present team, which includes 56 researchers from five countries, is the first to categorically prove that different diseases can be characterized by distinct chemical breath signatures. 

The study comprised over 1,400 patients in Israel, France, the United States, Latvia and China and encompassed 17 unrelated conditions: cancers of the lung, colon, head and neck, ovaries, bladder, prostate, kidney and stomach; Crohn’s disease; ulcerative colitis; irritable bowel syndrome; two distinct types of Parkinson’s disease; multiple sclerosis; pulmonary hypertension; preeclampsia; and chronic kidney disease. 

The team, led by Prof. Hossam Haick of the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, found 13 chemicals common to all these diseases. Each disease has a unique composition of these 13, explains Haick. "Just as each of us has a unique fingerprint that distinguishes us from others, each disease has a chemical signature that distinguishes it from other diseases and from a normal state of health."
The nanotechnology system Haick developed samples the breath and analyzes the data obtained from the sensors. The team claims the device works well. "Our system has detected and classified various diseases with an average accuracy of 86%," Haick stated, adding that the technology can be developed to provide diagnosis at quickly and at a low cost. 

“Breath is an excellent raw material for diagnosis,” Haick also points out. “It is available without the need for invasive and unpleasant procedures, it’s not dangerous, and you can sample it again and again if necessary.”

ALERT: Obama Back… Begins His Move Against Trump

We were all wondering how long Barack Obama could hold off before breaking tradition and speaking out against his presidential successor, Donald Trump.

Yes, it turns out that the former president couldn’t even go two weeks without throwing rhetorical shade on Donald Trump. And when he did it, he did it in the most hypocritical of ways.

According to Politico, Obama spokesman Kevin Lewis issued a statement Monday saying that the former president was pleased about the demonstrations going on at airports and in communities across the country against President Trump’s temporary restrictions on immigration and travel from seven countries with histories of terrorism.
Lewis said Obama “is heartened by the level of engagement taking place in communities around the country.” That “level of engagement” includes a Trump supporter cold-cocked by a liberal protester at the airport in Portland, Oregon; the Trump supporter lay unconscious while other protesters shouted over his body.
Heartening, indeed. Lewis continued to dig the president’s hole, saying, “With regard to comparisons to President Obama’s foreign policy decisions, as we’ve heard before, the president fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith or religion.”
Lewis apparently forgot that his current boss had done the exact same thing Trump did. In 2013, ABC News reported that Obama’s State Department had suspended Iraqi refugee entry for six months in 2011 after several al-Qaida operatives were found to have entered the United States under a refugee program.
At that time, America’s airports remained curiously unclogged of protesters, and there was no talk of a “Muslim ban.” This was probably because, then as now, the president’s broad powers on immigration made it entirely legal.
In November of 2016, Barack Obama said that when it came to speaking out against his successor, “I want to be respectful of the office and give the president-elect an opportunity to put forward his platform and his arguments without somebody popping off in every instance.”
George W. Bush gave Obama eight years. Obama couldn’t even give his successor two weeks — and all over a broken program he refused to fix on numerous occasions.
My guess is that this won’t be the last time we see the former president “popping off,” either. In fact, why don’t we just pencil him in for another one next week?

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