Newsletter : 8fax1104.txt
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Iranian Jews Want Chabad in Tehran
A group of Iranian Jews has asked Chabad in Azerbaijan to set up a Chabad house in
Tehran. Army Radio reported Monday morning that the Chabad organization had not yet made a
decision in the matter.
There are over 4,000 Chabad emissaries spread throughout the world. The organization
reported that it has standing requests for emissaries to be stationed in Bosnia, Iceland,
a city in El Salvador and Nigeria.
Large Segments of Arabs in Mideast Support Obama
By Edward Yeranian (VOA-Cairo)
A large segment of popular opinion, across the Middle East, appears to be supporting
Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Barak Obama in Tuesday's contest against Republican
John McCain. But portions of the political elite in the Gulf, as well as many Christians
in Lebanon and Egypt appear to favor the latter.
Elections in the United States are a major topic of interest for Arab audiences.
Popular satellite TV networks Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya are devoting large portions of
their coverage to the subject. Political commentators on both networks say that Arab
public opinion, across much of the Middle East, is widely in favor of Obama.
The Arab daily Asharqalawsat is running a caricature, in Monday's edition, of Obama and
McCain wielding clubs and preparing to beat up an Arab man, who is supposed to represent
the Middle East, in a subtle indication that the paper thinks neither candidate will be
good for Arabs.
The Syrian government, which has made no secret it would prefer to see Obama as the
next American president, continues to blast McCain in the official government media. The
Syrian daily Techrine went to so far as to accuse the Bush Administration of mounting an
alleged raid against the Syrian border town of Sukkariya to "help get McCain elected."
Meanwhile, a number of Gulf leaders are reported to prefer Republican McCain, because
they think he will better for their business interests, in addition to continuing the Bush
Administration's policy of isolating Iran, which is perceived as a threat by various Gulf
Prof. Paul Salem, who heads Carnegie Center for Middle East Peace in Beirut, said that
Obama is the favorite of popular opinion, but not of all Arab leaders:
"I would say public opinion is very much with Obama and some of the elite opinion might be
In Lebanon, many Christians say that they favor McCain over Obama, because McCain will
better represent their interests. Dany Beyrouthi, who supports the Christian Lebanese
Forces Party, says that McCain represents the part of America that he admires most:
"John McCain, I think, is a good president because he is Christian and I am Christian,
too. I like about McCain his fight in Vietnam and I fight here in Lebanon with the
Lebanese Forces. I think that any man who fights for freedom in his country, I think he
knows very well what he wants," he said.
Dr. Hassan Nafae, who is professor of political science at Cairo University and heads
the Amman-based Arab Thought Forum, says that Obama is the clear favorite of the Arab
public, and that he, too, hopes Obama will win.
"I think there is no question at all that most Arab people in all the region support
Barak Obama, but they do not think he will be able to change radically the American
foreign policy, but at least he will not commit again the same mistakes that have been
done by Bush. America now needs the world much more than ever," said Nafae.
Nafae argues that many Islamic extremists in the Middle are rooting for America's
demise and that they think that McCain will take America to its final downfall.
Muslim Claim: Israel Plans to Build Temple Over al-Aksa Mosque
An Arab researcher said he has long range plans from the Israeli Antiquities Authority
that outline strategies for the construction of a Jewish Temple on the site where the
al-Aksa Mosque now stands, according to a report on Monday by the Bethlehem-based Maan
Doctor Ibrahim al Fanni showed the newspaper sketches outlining the demolition of
al-Aksa Mosque and the Marwan mosque (Solomon's stables) beneath al-Aksa, as well as a
plan involving the opening up the Fatima Halls, which are also located under al-Aksa.
Al Fanni claims the halls would be turned into a Jewish Temple, and construction would
gradually move to the upper part of the compound, taking over space in Al-Aksa. "Plan B"
would see the demolition of the Al-Aksa Mosque and the construction of a Jewish "Royal
Palace" on the same site, which Muslims believe was the spot from which the Prophet
Muhammad started his journey into the heavens.
Breast Cancer Research Pinpoints Ashkenazi Jewish Women for Risk
Two genes that are five times more likely to be defective in Ashkenazi Jewish women of
European descent than in the general population are the focus of researchers who are
looking to prevent cancers which are caused by the defective genes.
BRCA1 and BRCA2, dubbed the "Jewish breast cancer genes," were discovered in the 1990s,
and are now among the most heavily researched genetic mutations in the world of cancer
research. The pair of genes is responsible for creating proteins to fix broken DNA
strands. But when the genes are mutated, the cells produce proteins which are unable to
repair broken DNA, leading to the creation of cancer instead.
A new research project out of New York University - the Jewish Women's Breast and
Ovarian Cancer Genetics Study - was launched in late September. Researchers will travel
across the United States, collecting DNA samples of thousands of older Jewish women who do
not have cancer in order to determine why they were spared, with a focus on how the cancer
process might be prevented.
A recent trend among women with the genetic defect is to preemptively remove both
breasts in order to all but eliminate the risk of breast cancer. Some women have also
opted to have their ovaries removed, to prevent ovarian cancer and reduce the risk of
A concurrent study is being done on a drug which was created to act specifically on
defective cells caused by BRCA1 and BRCA2. The new drug would eliminate the need for
chemotherapy or other procedures which also eradicate healthy cells, only killing cells
with mutated BRCA genes.
The drug could also be developed as a prophylactic treatment in women who are
predisposed to cancer caused by BRCA mutation, but who have not yet developed the
Other research is being conducted into women who have mutated BRCA but who do not
develop cancer. A consortium of investigators from the University of Cambridge is looking
into genes which interact with BRCA genes, leading to a higher chance of cancer.
A recent report from Israel's Ministry of Health shows that cancer in women in the
Jewish State declined by 13 percent between 2000 and 2006, with breast cancer dropping
Israeli Fashion Designer Sews Abbas' Suits
In spite of the rift between Palestinians and Israelis, it seems someone is still
interested in sewing peace. Tel Aviv-based fashion company Barbaros has recently supplied
Ramallah and Gaza clothing stores with hundreds of business suits valued at hundreds of
thousands of dollars.
According to the owner of Sudani Center, a Ramallah clothing store, the suits, carrying
the label "Made in Israel" were purchased in advance by the Palestinian Authority. One
hundred suits were ordered for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' office, and more were
ordered for four other PA ministers. "I have been working with the Palestinians for 30
years now," said Yossi Jenudi, owner of Barbaros.
"They love my suits and my taste and prefer brown, olive green and beige suits. My
friends mock me, 'You really found the best people to sell to,' but I say to them, 'Maybe
these suits will bring us peace.'"
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