U.S.-Israel Grant Funds
Landmark ALS Collaboration
wo pioneers in the thera-
peutic application of stem
cell research have received a
$50,000 grant from the United States-
Israel Binational Science Foundation
for their research on amyotrophic lat-
eral sclerosis (ALS).
Eva L. Feldman, M.D., Ph.D., at the
University of Michigan in Ann Arbor
and Benjamin E. Reubinoff, M.D., Ph.D.,
of Hadassah University Hospital in
Jerusalem will collaborate to develop
human tissue containing the genetic
defects for ALS in-vitro. They will
employ harmless viruses to infect
embryonic stem cells with genetic
material that they believe will recreate
the conditions of ALS.
At the same time, they will repro-
gram skin cells from patients with the
familial (genetic) form of ALS back
to an embryonic state. They then will
study these stem cell lines to determine
if they resemble each other and wheth-
er they express the pathology seen in
If successful, medical scientists for the
first time will have reliable human cell
JERUSALEM (JTA) --
The Israeli people "are
no longer divided into
two opposite camps':
Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu said during
the main memorial cer-
emony for Yitzhak Rabin.
"There is a lot less
screaming here now; a lot less animosity.
We listen to one another. Our positions
are becoming more similar. The gaps are
Netanayahu said Oct. 20 at
the gravesite of the assassinated prime
minister and his wife, Leah, on Mount Herzl
"One part of the nation has recognized
the fact that we cannot continue to exist
without order and without compromises,
while another part of the nation under-
stands today that it is not the only one
aspiring for peace, that Israel is not nearing
the end of days and that not everything is
in our hands."
Israeli President Shimon Peres and
Rabin's daughter Dalia spoke at the cer-
emony marking 15 years since Rabin was
murdered during a peace rally. Rabin's son,
Yuval, recited Kaddish.
The assassination "must not be forgiven
or forgotten': Peres said Oct. 19 at a candle-
lighting ceremony in memory of Rabin.
Peres spoke about the man with whom
he was awarded the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize.
Rabin family members, public figures,
youth movement members and students
attended the ceremony. "We are holding a
memorial evening because we must fight
forgetfulness," Peres said. "Such forgetful-
ness is the enemy of man. It's also puts
democracy in danger:'
Also Oct. 19, Israel's Defense Minister
Ehud Barak praised Rabin during a speech
at a conference.
"Yitzhak Rabin was a real fighter and a
man of peace;' Barak said at a kibbutz in
Shefayim, 15 miles north of Tel Aviv."We
have not forgotten him for a single moment,
but we must all do more to make sure
today's youth know about Rabin and the
influence he had on Israel."
A ceremony on Oct. 18 at the Rabin
Center in Tel Aviv also marked the anniver-
sary."Yitzhak Rabin is not with us today,
but his spirit and legacy continue to guide
us and with that his hope that there will be
an equal, united and inventive society here':
said the army's chief of staff, Lt.-Gen. Gabi
A national memorial ceremony is sched-
uled for Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, where the
prime minister was gunned down on Nov.
4, 1995, by Yigal Amir.
Bible No Basis
ROME (JTA) -- A meet-
ing of Mideast bishops
declared that Israel
cannot use the Bible to
justify territorial claims
to land in Israel.
The final statement of
the two-week Synod of
Bishops of the Middle
East in Rome that ended on Oct. 23 blamed
Israel for the conflict between the Jewish
state and the Palestinians.
It rejected the use of the biblical posi-
tion of the Promised Land to justify Jewish
settlement of the West Bank.
"Recourse to theological and biblical
positions which use the Word of God to
wrongly justify injustices is not acceptable':
the bishops said.
The statement called for a two-state solu-
tion to the conflict and to create a peaceful
atmosphere that will prevent an exodus of
models of ALS to test new therapies.
Reubinoff, director of the Hadassah
Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research
Center, was one of the first research-
ers to derive embryonic stem cell lines.
Feldman, director of the A. Alfred
Taubman Medical Research Institute
at U-M, is conducting the first human
clinical trial of a stem cell treatment
for ALS. Their collaboration began as
a result of a $300,000 donation from
Bloomfield Hills philanthropist A. Alfred
Taubman to Hadassah, the Women's
Zionist Organization of America.
United States-Israel Binational
Science Foundation is a grant-awarding
institution that promotes research
cooperation between scientists from
the United States and Israel.
Christians from the region.
The document also criticized Jewish
settlement of Jerusalem, saying, "We have
meditated on the situation of the holy city
of Jerusalem. We are anxious about the uni-
lateral initiatives that threaten its composi-
tion and risk to change its demographic
Participants included more than 170
Catholic bishops from Muslim countries,
as well as other Church figures and non-
Catholic representatives and experts.
Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister Danny
Ayalon rejected the statement.
"We express our disappointment that
this important Synod has become a forum
for political attacks on Israel in the best
history of Arab propaganda," Ayalon said.
"The Synod was hijacked by an anti-Israel
In his Sunday Mass in St. Peter's Basilica,
Pope Benedict XVI called on countries in
the Middle East to guarantee religious free-
dom to non-Muslims. He said Middle East
peace and a two-state solution were vital to
solving the problems of the region.
"Peace is possible. Peace is urgent. Peace
is an indispensable condition for a life wor-
thy of the human person and of society," the
pope said. "Peace is also the best remedy to
avoid immigration from the Middle East."
ADL On Obama
-- After meeting with
Israeli leaders, ADL
called on the Obama
"close all doors" to a
unilateral declaration of
The Anti-Defamation League leader,
Founded in 2007, the A. Alfred
Taubman Medical Research Institute
seeks to provide U-M clinician scien-
tists the freedom, resources and col-
laborative environment to push the
boundaries of medical discovery, to
produce breakthroughs in cures and
treatment of disease and ultimately to
alleviate human suffering. Visit www.
speaking to JTA from Jerusalem after
meeting on Oct. 19 with Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, among
others, said it was his impression that
the Palestinians are accelerating plans to
have the U.N. Security Council recognize
a unilaterally declared state.
"The Palestinians are engaged in an
effort to see if they can pre-emptively
establish a state Foxman said. "They
seem to be engaged in this fantasy that
the world will deliver them a state with
very little. What it takes is for the U.S. to
close every exit door and say, 'Get off this
kick, you will not have our support."
The Palestinian Authority suspended
direct Palestinian-Israeli peace talks
last month, barely weeks after they were
renewed, because Netanyahu refused to
extend a 10-month partial moratorium
on settlement building.
The Obama administration wants
Israel to extend the freeze and has offered
Netanyahu a package of incentives of
diplomatic and security guarantees as an
Foxman suggested that Netanyahu
might be more forthcoming about
extending the freeze if the Palestinians
stand down from threats of unilateral
"I believe there will be an extension of
the settlement freeze he said, barring
the "disincentive" of activity toward a
unilateral statehood declaration.
Foxman cast his appeal in terms of
Obama's commitment to Jewish leaders
in the summer of 2009 to equally pres-
sure both sides.
The Obama administration "continues
to press Israel on settlements, but doesn't
press the Palestinians on anything:' he
said. "I'm not sure it has learned from its
Roundup on page 12
10 October 28 • 2010