Archives For Ron Cantor

Should it surprise anyone that Israel is on the forefront of finding treatments for the COVID-19 virus? Check this out! The “cytokine storm” that can be fatal in some patients with COVID-19 could be calmed with molecules found in kefir, according to a team of researchers in Israel.

A study published recently in the peer-reviewed journal, Microbiome, shares the findings of the pre-clinical research being done at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) into the usefulness of kefir in treating inflammatory responses.

Kefir is a fermented, probiotic, yogurt-type drink made from goat or cow’s milk and good micro-organisms such as bacteria or yeast. Professor Raz Jelinek, Vice President and Dean for Research and Development at BGU, and Ph.D. student Orit Malka identified molecules in the kefir yogurt that had impressive antibacterial and anti-inflammatory attributes.

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Tests and vaccines will be required, but tourists in organized groups will start to flow back into the Holy Land once again at the end of May, according to an announcement Tuesday from Israel’s Health and Tourism Ministries.

“It is time that Israel’s unique advantage as a safe and healthy country starts to assist it in recovering from the economic crisis,” Tourism Minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen said in the joint statement.

Tourism, which fuels a large portion of Israel’s economy, suffered an 81 percent drop in the number of visitors in 2020 than the previous year.

Elana and I cannot wait to host a group of Israel-loving believers, as we have done for years. We are already planning our next tour, trying to get dates from the tour operator with whom we work. We are moving cautiously, as we don’t want people to make plans that they cannot keep. Hopefully, we can do something this fall.

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Researchers at Tel Aviv University have discovered a protein that may hold the key to preventing the spread of glioblastoma, an aggressive brain or spinal cord cancer. While it is a relatively rare disease, glioblastoma is most often fatal and affects thousands of people each year, notably U.S. Senators John McCain and Ted Kennedy, Beau Biden (President Joe Biden’s son), and Johnny Cochrane, attorney to O.J. Simpson.

Professor Ronit Satchi-Fainaro, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, and her international team recently found that a failure in the brain’s immune system could actually be used to turn the tide on the advance of the cancer.

“We examined the interactions between the immune cells in the brain and the glioblastoma cells in tumors that were recently removed from patients’ brains,” Satchi-Fainaro said in a press release.

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This week, Israel marked the 73rd anniversary of its independence and resurrection as a modern state among the nations. As the country celebrates its hard-fought-for freedom, tensions are palpable as Israel’s ancient enemy, Iran, breathes threats of annihilation on at least three fronts.

At an escalating pace, attacks and counterattacks have mounted in the last few weeks in an ongoing shadow war between Israel and Iran. Over the last few days, top U.S. defense officials have met with Israel leaders in person and virtually to reassure them of America’s continued support in the Middle East.

On Sunday, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz and affirmed that America’s commitment to Israel was “enduring and ironclad.” U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said on Tuesday in a virtual meeting of the U.S.-Israel strategic consulting group that the Biden administration maintains an “unwavering commitment to Israel’s security and to ensuring that Iran will never obtain a nuclear weapon.”

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Despite a fourth inconclusive time at the polls and no clear path to forming a government, Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin reluctantly tasked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday with forming a governing coalition. Rivlin said “this was not an easy decision” given the divisive political climate and Netanyahu’s personal prospects amid his ongoing corruption trial.

Netanyahu, leader of the Likud party, has 28 days to negotiate with the 13 parties who make up the 120 member Knesset (parliament) and form a coalition of 61 seats. His party has 30, and his right-wing allies (Shas, United Torah Judaism, and Religious Zionism) bring another 22 to the tally.

Rivlin addressed the members of 24th Knesset after they were sworn in. Rivlin said he believed that Netanyahu has a “slightly higher chance of forming a government” than Yair Lapid (centrist Yesh Atid party) and Naftali Bennett (right-wing Yamina party) who had proposed a “healing government” where they would share power and rotate as Prime Minister. Their idea failed to gain traction. It was also thought that the Islamic Ra’am party might be a “kingmaker,” but they abstained from endorsing any candidate.

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