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Man in Serious Condition after Snake Bite


An Israeli working in the Bahai gardens in Haifa on Tuesday was stung by a bee before falling to the ground and being bit by a snake. He was rushed to the hospital in serious condition.

Experts warn that snake season is beginning in Israel, when the reptiles awake from winter hibernation and have a high level of venom in their systems.

Peres to Obama: No Choice but to Compare Iran to Nazis

By Ha'aretz

The world has no choice but to compare the threat posed by Iran to that of Nazi Germany, President Shimon Peres told U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday, adding that Israel must support U.S. overtures to Iran.

"Iran is a threat not just to Israel, but to the whole world. As Jews, after being subjected to the Holocaust, we cannot close our eyes in light of the grave danger emerging from Iran," Peres said. "If Europe had dealt seriously with Hitler at that time, the terrible Holocaust and the loss of millions of people could have been avoided. We can't help but make the comparison."

Peres also said that Israel must support Obama's efforts to engage Iran diplomatically over its contentious nuclear program. "We should be loyal supporters... If it will succeed, it can be the best thing. I told [Obama] that a great change has begun, because today most of the Sunni world does not see the problem as Israel, but Iran."

Peres added that Israel is prepared to negotiate a peace settlement with Syria and the Palestinians, adding that the benefits of the process would outweigh the risks. "[Israel] is ready for negotiations with the Palestinians, with the Syrians," Peres told reporters after his talks with Obama at the White House. "I believe this is an opportunity that is not worth forfeiting. I can't say there won't be difficulties, but it would be a serious mistake not to take advantage of the opportunity."

The meeting between Peres and Obama, which was scheduled for 20 minutes, stretched to 40. "At the end, the two of us spoke alone for 15 minutes."

After their meeting, the White House released a statement saying: The President appreciated the opportunity to welcome President Peres, in recognition of the enduring friendship between the United States and Israel."

Peres also said that the American president said Israel's security was and would remain a top priority fort the United States. He said Obama told him he believed they could work together in a pragmatic and positive way.

Peres said that since Netanyahu's election, he did not hear the prime minister express himself against a two-state solution. "I believe Netanyahu is seeking a historic peace; I say this from conversations I have had with him." Peres also said he told Obama that Netanyahu would respect agreements signed by his predecessors.

When asked whether he thought the American administration was tending toward the Arab world at Israel's expense, he said: "It's not that they are for the Palestinians and we are against them," Peres told Ha'aretz. "The prime minister has said specifically that he will respect the obligations of his predecessors, with everything that implies settlements, the road map and the continuation of the peace process. He has said he does not want to rule the Palestinians."

Netanyahu Plan Calls for Fresh Approach to Peace with Palestinians

By Luis Ramirez (VOA-Jerusalem)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is calling for what he says is a fresh approach to peace with the Palestinians, but is not making any mention of a two-state solution.

The Netanyahu administration wants to abandon the old formulas of trading land for peace and creating a separate Palestinian state; plans that the new Israeli leaders say are not working. His administration says Iran and its support for Hamas and Hizbullah - terrorist groups that want to destroy Israel - are the real problem.

Netanyahu addressed members of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a pro-Israel lobby in Washington, via satellite from Jerusalem late Monday. He said he believes it is possible to achieve a final peace agreement with the Palestinians, but that it requires a fresh approach.

"The fresh approach that I suggest is pursuing a triple track toward peace between Israel and the Palestinians: a political track, a security track, an economic track," he said. "The political track means that we're prepared to resume peace negotiations without any delay and without any preconditions, the sooner the better."

The Israeli leader wants to boost the Palestinian economy, saying that jobs and prosperity will give young Palestinians hope in the future and prevent them from being - in his words - "hostage to a cult of death, despair, and hate."

Netanyahu made no mention of a two-state solution, putting him at odds with the United States, which has called on all sides to work for the creation of an independent Palestinian state. Palestinian leaders say they are prepared to restart negotiations only if a two-state solution is one of the goals.

IDF Preparing Troops to Fight Arab Fifth Column in Wartime


The IDF is training troops to fight against Arab Israeli citizens, if they rise up during wartime as they did in 2000. According to Ma'ariv/NRG, the army is training infantry battalions to seize control of the strategic Wadi Ara (Nachal Eeron) road in wartime, should the need arise.

The battalions are currently employed in routine security in Judea and Samaria. However, should a northern war front develop, they will be attached to the Home Front Command and sent to Umm El Fahm to beat back any attempts by the Arabs there to block the road. They have been trained in urban warfare for this purpose and have been acquainted with the methods for carrying out this "sensitive" mission.

Highway 65 connects the coastal area near Caesarea with Megiddo and Emek Yizre'el (the Valley of Esdraelon) and is strategically vital for the IDF when it seeks to transport tanks and other vehicles between northern front and the other fronts. The section of Highway 65 that passes through Nachal Eeron, or Wadi Ara, is part of the biblical "Sea Road" (Via Maris), which connected Egypt with Babylon and Assyria and was used by armies and traders since ancient times.

The road is a segment of Highway 65 that runs through a concentration of Arab towns, including the city of Umm El-Fahm, which is a hotbed of Islamic radicalism and support for terrorism. When the Palestinian Authority under Yasser Arafat launched a terror war against Israeli citizens in 2000, thousands of Israeli Arab citizens streamed out of their homes and attacked Jewish motorists. One motorist, Bechor Jean, was killed by a rock thrown from a bridge, and others barely escaped lynch attempts.

In response to the report of the IDF's plans, Arab Knesset Member Afu Agbariah (Hadash), a resident of Umm El Fahm, accused the IDF of "inciting against the Arab population and the residents of Wadi Ara." He added: "We hope that the IDF will not mercilessly slaughter the Arabs of Wadi Ara, who are citizens with full rights, as it did to the residents of Gaza."

Ahmadinejad: Zionists like `Killer Bacteria'


Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called Zionists `Killer Bacteria' in a press conference with Syrian President Bashar Assad on Tuesday. He also claimed that "it is the right of every country to have nuclear weapons for peaceful purposes."

Ahmadinejad said, "The presence of the occupying Zionists on even one meter of our land is like a center of killer bacteria." He also said that the UN is outdated and praised Syria.

And General Commander of the Iranian Army Ataollah Salehi spoke openly about "wiping Israel out of existence" in a TV report which aired on LBC TV on May 3 that was translated by MEMRI. "The truth is that Israel does not have the courage to attack us. If we are subjected to any attack by Israel, I do not think we will need more than 11 days to wipe Israel out of existence."

In the report, Iranian Chief-of-Staff General Hassan Firouzabadi added, "We are fully prepared to confront any attack that would threaten the interests of Iran. We have sufficient means and the necessary force to defend our territory."

Israeli Ambassador to Spain Called 'Jew Dog' at Real Madrid Soccer Game

By Ha'

A torrent of anti-Semitic epithets met Israel's ambassador to Spain, Rafi Shotz, Saturday evening as he walked home from a Real Madrid-Barcelona soccer match in the Spanish capital. Shotz said the three perpetrators, patrons of a pub, shouted slurs like "Jewish dog" and "dirty Jew" until they were driven off by Spanish police escorting Shotz.

Shotz and his partner Michal chose to walk from Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu Stadium to their nearby home. Three patrons of a pub noticed the ambassador, whom they apparently recognized from having seen him on television.

In a wire report Shotz sent the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem under the heading "Anti-Semitism - a personal testimony," Shotz wrote the perpetrators stood mere meters from him, shouting slurs like "Jewish dog," "dirty Jew" and others "which cannot appear in print."

The ambassador and his partner ignored the slurs and continued walking; meanwhile dozens of bystanders watched the scene, but did nothing to stop the verbal assault.

Shotz told Ha'aretz, "It was an ugly incident, the kind one hears about or reads about in a newspaper, but to experience personally the force of hatred and anti-Semitism is difficult and emotionally charged."

Spain's ambassador to Israel, Alvaro Iranzo, told Ha'aretz that "Spanish security forces protected the ambassador and prevented any harm coming to him."

Spain has seen an upsurge in anti-Israel sentiment in recent years, fueled by critical media reports about Israel Defense Forces operations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, including Operation Cast Lead earlier this year.

Stopgap DNA Repair Needs a Second Step

By Newswise

One can have a dream; two can make that dream so real, goes a popular song. Now a Weizmann Institute study has revealed that it takes two to perform an essential form of DNA repair.

Prof. Zvi Livneh of the Weizmann Institute's Biological Chemistry Department has been studying DNA repair for some two decades: "Considering that the DNA of each cell is damaged about 20,000 times a day by radiation, pollutants, and harmful chemicals produced within the body, it's obvious that without effective DNA repair, life as we know it could not exist. Most types of damage result in individual mutations – genetic `spelling mistakes' – that are corrected by precise, error-free repair enzymes.

"Sometimes, however, damage results in more than a mere spelling mistake; it can cause gaps in the DNA, which prevent the DNA molecule from being copied when the cell divides, much like an ink blot or a hole on a book page interferes with reading. So dangerous are these gaps that the cell resorts to a sloppy but efficient repair technique to avoid them: it fills in the missing DNA in an inaccurate fashion. Such repair can save the cell from dying, but it comes at a price: this error-prone mechanism, discovered at the Weizmann Institute and elsewhere about a decade ago, is a major source of mutations."

In a recent study he conducted with graduate students Sigal Shachar and Omer Ziv, as well as researchers from the US and Germany, Livneh revealed how the error-prone repair works. The team found that such repair proceeds in two steps and requires two types of enzymes, belonging to the family of enzymes called DNA polymerases, which synthesize DNA. First, one repair enzyme, "the inserter," does its best to fit a genetic "letter" into the gap, opposite the damaged site in the DNA molecule; several enzymes can perform this initial step, which often results in the insertion of an incorrect genetic letter.

"Next, another enzyme, "the extender," helps to restore regular copying of DNA by attaching additional DNA letters after the damaged site; only one repair enzyme is capable of performing this vital second step. These findings were published recently in The EMBO Journal.

Understanding how this major form of DNA repair works can have significant clinical implications. Since defects in this process increase the risk of cancer, clarifying its nuts and bolts might one day make it possible to enhance it in people whose natural DNA repair is deficient. In addition, manipulating this mechanism can improve the effectiveness of cancer drugs. Cancer cells can resist chemotherapy by exploiting their natural repair mechanisms, and blocking these mechanisms may help overcome this resistance, leading to a targeted destruction of the cancerous tumor.

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