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The Daily TIP: Pro-Israel Students at Columbia to Protest "Unacceptably Hostile Environment"

Posted by Tip Staff - October 04, 2018

Pro-Israel Students at Columbia to Protest "Unacceptably Hostile Environment"
Netanyahu, Merkel Highlight German-Israeli Cooperation, Threat from Iran
Anti-Israel Boycott Group Calls on EU to Scrap Israeli-Palestinian Event
Israeli Researchers Develop Bacterial Cream to Fight Fungal Infections

Pro-Israel Students at Columbia to Protest "Unacceptably Hostile Environment"

Students in New York and their allies are planning to protest the culture of hostility towards Zionism at Columbia University, where Jewish students “are harassed and systematically silenced” on campus, Shiri Moshe reported in The Algemeiner on Wednesday.

The demonstration, which is set to take place on Thursday afternoon outside the school’s main gates, was organized by Columbia’s Students Supporting Israel club. The group, which complained to the administration office in March about the anti-Israel activity on campus, criticized the university for a lack of action.

Pro-boycott groups, such as Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), are fostering “an unacceptably hostile environment for those who wish to exercise their constitutionally protected rights in ways that differ from the narratives of these groups,” the students charged.

The sentiment echoes an SSI complaint filed in January with Columbia’s Student Governing Board, which failed to result in meaningful action.

The group said it has since filed several complaints about anti-Israel activity on campus and online. These include a complaint about a “Gaza solidarity rally” held by JVP and SJP in April, a couple of hundred feet away from where SSI was hosting a candle lighting in commemoration of Yom HaShoah, Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Dalia Zahger, president of SSI, charged that the incident breached the university’s rules of conduct, however, the administration “has taken no action … and left us — its students — without any protection from harassment and bullying.”

Netanyahu, Merkel Highlight German-Israeli Cooperation, Threat from Iran

In statements made at a joint press conference, both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the German Chancellor Angela Merkel emphasized the close ties between the two nations and the threat that Iran poses towards Israel, The Jerusalem Post reported Thursday.

Merkel expressed support for Israel’s right to protect its northern border from Iranian forces, and said that Iran should be kept off the Golan Heights in Syria.

In his address, Netanyahu spoke of the close economic cooperation between Israel and Germany.

“There are very few economies in the world today that have our capacity,” the Israeli leader said. “I truly believe that the talents in Israel and Germany are among the greatest in the world.”

The prime minister also spoke of the threats that Israel is facing.

“We are being challenged by forces of radical Islam, primarily by ISIS on one side and Iran on the other,” Netanyahu said. He also reiterated his opposition to the nuclear deal with Iran, which “put billions of dollars in the hands of the leading sponsors of terrorism.”

Merkel, like Netanyahu, hailed the ties between Israel and Germany, observing, “The cooperation between our two countries is close and has even grown in the last years.”

The German leader said that her nation had a special obligation to fight anti-Semitism, saying, “We continue to carry the responsibility for the Holocaust and we will continue fighting it.”

Earlier in the day, Merkel, in answer to a question during a meeting with students from Haifa University, said that Germany and Israel “share the view that everything must be done to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons.”

Anti-Israel Boycott Group Calls on EU to Scrap Israeli-Palestinian Event

An anti-Israel group has called on the European Union to cancel an event bringing Israelis and Palestinians together, The Jerusalem Post reported Wednesday.

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), which coordinates the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, sent a letter to the head of the EU delegation to the West Bank and Gaza, Ralph Tarraf, protesting an upcoming event as part of a program called, “Israeli and Palestinian Young Leaders at the European Parliament.”

According to PACBI, the event bringing Israelis and Palestinians together "violates the relevant BDS guidelines agreed upon by the vast majority of Palestinian civil society.” PACBI also charged the EU with being “highly complicit in Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights and international law.” It further called upon the EU to “end all forms of complicity and to halt all its normalization programs."

The EU is a member of the Middle East Quartet, which, among other things, calls on the Palestinians to recognize Israel.

Though the BDS campaign often claims that it is fighting for Palestinian rights, its leaders have made clear that their goal is the destruction of Israel.

Omar Barghouti, one of the founders of BDS, said in 2004, “We are witnessing the rapid demise of Zionism, and nothing can be done to save it … I, for one, support euthanasia.” He also said in 2014 that Palestinians have a right to “resistance by any means, including armed resistance.”

Israeli Researchers Develop Bacterial Gel to Fight Fungal Infections

The incidence of fungal infections is rising due to factors such as the aging population, widespread use of antibiotics and possibly even global warming.

Most people will experience a fungal infection at least once in their lifetime, but today’s oral antifungal medications don’t always work well and come with a spectrum of negative side effects ranging from headaches and rash to liver and kidney toxicities.

Now, researchers from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology’s Faculty of Biotechnology and Food Engineering reveal in the journal Advanced Functional Materials that they successfully cured fungal infections in mice using a soil-dwelling bacterium.

The target fungus in the study was Candida, a type of yeast that is one of the primary sources of fungal infections. Candida resides in most people’s bodies harmlessly, but it can grow out of control under certain conditions. The researchers in Haifa found that bacteria called Bacillus subtilisnaturally produces and secretes substances that inhibit Candida growth.

“Our first challenge was to develop a transport system that would enable application of the live bacteria on the infected lesion without impairing their ability to proliferate and secrete their therapeutic substances in the target site,” said lead researcher Assistant Professor Boaz Mizrahi.

Ayelet Shabtay-Orbach, a staff member of the Technion’s Laboratory for Biomaterials, and graduate student Maayan Lupton developed the bacterium into a unique thermo-responsive gel that is in liquid form in the refrigerator and at room temperature (enabling easy application on the skin), but hardens within seconds after being applied to the skin.

The gel not only contains thermo-responsive polymers but also food substances meant to maintain the life of the bacteria on the skin, so that they continue producing antifungal agents to treat the infection.

(via Israel21c)

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