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PAGE 18A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, SEPTEMBER 5, 2014 ALS From page 1A use program, resulting in functional improvements and halting the progression of the disease for about 18 months now. "According to the data we have, the treatment makes a beneficial change in the progression of the disease. This is the first step. Now the U.S. study is starting, and we are collaborating and consulting with them," says Karussis. "We probably need to improx e the protocol to do multiple injections for the longer term, and find the best way of administration in each individual patient." No mysteries BrainStorm CEO Dr. Tony Fiorino tells ISRAEL21c that 48 patients will Participate in the multicenter, double-blind, randomized trial beginning in Massachusetts General Hospital, the University of Massachusetts Memorial Hospital and the Mayo Clinic. "Each of the three sites is headed by important thought leaders in the field of ALS," he notes. In this study approved by the US Food and Drug Ad- ministration (FDA), 36 of the patients will receive NurOwn enhanced stem cells from their own marrow, and 12 will receive a placebo. After the study is completed in early 2016, the results will be ana- lyzed for safety and efficacy. Fiorino says, "This is re- ally a platform technology with applications outside of ALS, though ALS is our lead indicator. The ceils can apply in any disease where neurons are dying," such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's. "There are many compa- nies in the stem-cell space," he adds. "What makes us unique, first of all, is that we're in the clinical phase. Secondly, many others have a 'shotgun approach' in which they use early stem ceils with the potential to turn into differentiated ceils. We have taken our cells and converted them into factories that pump out growth factors. We know exactly where we want to use them; there are no mysteries." Fiorino says BrainStorm's approach is "highly innovative and proprietary, and repre- sents a fruitful collaboration between an Israeli academic institution and an Israeli biotech company." Meanwhile, Karussis is starting a large placebo- controlledstudywith multiple sclerosis patients at Hadassah, not connected with Brain- Storm but also using modified stem cells. Nations From page 2A program. With Iran's Shiite leaders the natural rivals of Saudi's Sunni rulers, the kingdom is concerned that the growing power of Iran threat- ens Saudi Arabia's political, economic and religious clout in the region. " Saudi antipathy toward Iran and Shiite hegemony accounts for the kingdom's hostility toward Hezbollah, the Shiite terrorist group that serves as Iran's proxy in Lebanon. After Hezbol- lah launched a cross-border attack that sparked a war with Israel in 2006, Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al- Faisal blamed Hezbollah for the conflict. Hezbollah's actions a re "unexpected, inappropriate and irresponsible," Saud said at the time. "These acts will pull the whole region back to years ago, and we simply cannot accept them." More surprising, perhaps, was Saudi criticism this sum- mer of Hamas, a fellow Sunni group. While former Saudi in- telligence chiefTurki al Faisal condemned Israel's "barbaric assaulton innocentcivilians," he also blamed Hamas for the conflict, overall. "Hamas is responsible for the slaughter in the Gaza Strip following its bad deci- sions in the past, and the haughtiness it shows by fir- ing useless rockets at Israel, which contribute nothing to the Palestinian interest," Saud told the London-based pan-Arab newspaper A- Sharq A1-Awsat. Saudi rulers oppose Hamas because they view it as an affiliate of the Muslim Broth- erhood, which they believe wants to topple Arab govern- ments. Likewise, when ISIS declared earlier this summer that it had established an Islamic caliphate, al-Faisal called ISIS "a danger to the whole area and, I think, to the rest of the world." The Wahabbis who rule Saudi Arabia may be reli- giously conservative, but they're not so extreme as to promot overtly the violent export of their fundamentalist brand of Islam through war, jihad and terrorism. Of course, just because their interests are aligned doesn't mean the Saudis love Israel. The Saudi ambassador to Britain, Prince Nawaf AI- Saud, wrote during the Gaza war that Israeli Prime Minis- ter Benjamin Netanyahu"will answer for his crimes before a higher authority than here on earth." But common foes increas- ingly are bringing Saudi and Israeli interests together. Qatar At first glance, Qatar may seem like a benign, oil-rich emira e of 2 million people liv- ing in relative peace, spending heavily on its media network, AI Jazeera, and planning to wow the world with construc- tion for the 2022 World Cup. But Qatar is also amajor sponsor of Islamic extremism and terrorism. The country funnels money and weapons to Hamas, to Islamic militants in Libya and, according to Ron Prosor, Israel's ambas- sador to the United Nations, to groups in Syria affiliated with al-Qaida. In an Op-Ed column in Monday's New York Times, Prosor disparaged Qatar, which is home to Hamas leader Khaled Mashal and serves as a base for Taliban leaders, as a "Club Med for Terrorists." "Qatar has spared no cost to dress up its country as a liberal, progressive society, yet at its core, the micro monar- chy is aggressively financing radical Islamist movements," Prosor wrote. "Qatar is not a part of the solution but a sig- nificant part of the problem." Syria When the uprising against Syrian dictator Bashar Assad began, champions of democ- racy cheered the revolution as yet another positive sign of the Arab Spring. It took a while, but the Obama administration eventually joined the chorus calling for the end oftheAssad regime. In Israel, officials were more circumspect, fretting about what might come next in a country that despite its hostility had kept its border with Israel quiet for nearly four decades. Three years on, the conflict in Syria is no longer seen as one of freedom fighters vs. a ruthless tyrant. Assad's opponents include an array of groups, the most power- ful among them Islamic militahts who have carved out pieces of Syrian territory to create their Islamic State. Now the Obama admin- istration is considering air- strikes to limit the Islamists' gains--and trying to figure out if there's a way to do so without strengthening Assad's hand. For Israel, which has stayed on the sidelines of the Syrian conflict, the prospect of a weakened but still breathing Assad regime seems a better alternative than a failed state with ISIS on the march. lran Where is the Islamic Repub- lic in all this? Compared to the newest bad boy on the block, this one-time member of the "axis of evil" looks downright moderate. Iran is negotiating with the United States over its nuclear program, and both view ISIS as a foe and threat to the Iraqi government (which Iran backs as a Shiite ally). Last week, State Depart- ment deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf indicated that the United States may open to cooperation with Iran in the fight against ISIS, which is also known by the acronym ISIL. "If they are interested in playing a constructive role in helping to degrade ISIL's capabilities, then I'm sure we can have that conversation then," Harf said. Whether working with Iran is good or bad for Israel depends on one's view of the Iranian nuclear negotiations. If you think the talks have a realistic chance of resolving the nuclear standoff with Iran diplomatically, the conver- gence of U.S.-Iran interests may ultimately serve the goal of addressing this existential threat to Israel. If you think Iran is merely using the ne- gotiations as a stalling tactic to exploit eased sanctions while it continues to build its nuclear project, then Iran- U.S. detente may distract from the larger issue. Where all this turmoil will leave the region is anyone's guess. One thing is certain, as made clear by the U.S. decision to intervene against ISIS: Ignoring what's happen- ing in the Middle East is not an option. Phillips From page 4A "Brothers in Arms: One God, one homeland, one enemy, one goal!" If anyone doubts whose side Fatah is on, this makes it crystal clear. A video segment on Fa- tah's Facebook page shows a masked Fatah member stand- ing amidst a huge arsenal of rockets, declaring: "Praise Allah, our jihad fighters have managed to develop these rockets so they will reach the Zionist depth, Allah willing, to a distance of 45 kilometers in- side the occupied Palestinian territories...With these rocket we will liberate our Jerusalem. With these rockets we will crush the Zionist enemy..." HANDYMAN SERVICE Handy man and General Maintenance Air Conditioning Electrical Plumbing Carpentry Formerly handled maintenance at JCC References available STEVE'S SERVICES Call Steve Doyle at (386) 668-8960 And Fatah's assault has not been limited to words. On July 7, Fatah's Facebook page announced that Fatah's military unit, the AI Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, "targeted the enemy's bases and settle- ments with 35 rockets." (Translations courtesy of Palestinian Media Watch.) When the Oslo accords between Israel "and the Palestinians were signed in 1993, the State Depart- ment removed Fatah from its list of terrorist groups. Removing it was not just a statement of how the U.S. views Fatah; it also made it legally possible for the U.S. to start sending $500 million annually to the Palestinian Authority and the PLO, of which Fatah is the largest faction. Now that Fatah'has openly boasted that it is car- rying out rocket terrorism against Israel, it's time to put Fatah back on the U.S. list of terrorist groups. This week, avideo posted on YouTube by Fatah's military wing, the A1-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, shows a Hamas- Fatah"joint operations room" in Gaza, where Fatah ter- rorists are shown displaying three-barrel rocket launchers, anti-tank rocket launchers, and assault rifles. One of the Fatah members tells the cameraman that "the rifle" is the only way to "free the occu- pied lands." (Even though 98 percent of Palestinian Arabs in Judea- Samaria are "occupied" by the PA and 100 percent of Gaza residents are "occupied" by Hamas--not Israel.) The fact that Sandy Berger, of all people, is advising Is- rael to hand Gaza to the PA should raise eyebrows. When Berger first joined the Clinton administration, as deputy na- tional security adviser in 1993, friends of Israel bere alarmed because he had been a finan- Cial supporter of Americans for Peace Now. Those concerns about Berg- er were borne out when he publicly justified Palestinian violence, in a speech that he gave at Tel Aviv University on May 21, 2000. He said Palestin- ian violence against Israel was not just a curse, but also "a blessing," because "the trag- edy that awaits in the event of inaction also constitutes the greatest incentive for im- mediate action" in the Israeli- Palestinian negotiations, l vo months later, Berger reiterated his point in a July 31 conference call with members of the Con- , ference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organiza- tions, saying, "Either there will be an agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians, or there will be a conflict... If there is no agreement, we may be sadder and bloodier, but then maybe they'll be prepared to make a deal." Berger and the others who put their trust in the PA have been proven wrong time and again. Fatah and Hamas are part- ners in terror. The moments of tension between the two movements reflected either internal disputes unrelated to Israel, or differences in tactics regarding Israel--not differences in their overall goals. The unity pact they signed earlier this year makes their true motives all to clear. Moshe Phillips and Benya- rain Korn are members of the board of the Religious Zionists of America. This article is part of a series. To view previous installments, please visit http://www.phillyreligiouszi- gaza-war/. 2859761 34 91 7483562 4361 52789 372591648 .169348275 854627-391 698715423 721834956 54326.9817 Sharkansky Frora page 4A in the same category help Israel maneuver against the Presby- terians and their friends, leftist crazies among Jews, and BDS led by Palestinians claiming a high road of morality. It is not proving easy to cre- ate an international alliance against Islamic barbarians. Europeans may be worried about provoking their sizable Muslim populations, as well as allying with an Obama administration perceived as flaky and unreliable. For a decent review of America's problems, see this. The good signs are that sev- eral Muslim governments are among those concerned about Islamic extremists. One hears from Israeli commentators that it may be wiser to bet on cooperationwith Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and some of the Gulf Emirates than on the Obama- Kerry combine. No one is suggesting that Israel abandon the U.S., with friends at various places in its complex government, the important Jewish popula- tion, economic and political weight. Butsome are counting the days to January 20, 2017. The Muslim countries contributing to the battles against extremists should modify, but not erase, the view that Islam is at the root of our problems. Perhaps most of the billion Muslims want nothing more than peace and a bit of prosperity. Yet Islam is at the core of blood lust across the Middle East and down into Africa that rivals anything associated with Christian Crusaders a millennium ago. The secondAmerican killed while fighting with Jihadists in Syria has brought forth concern about home grown Islamic crazies. According to "senior administration of- ficials", dozens of Americans have gone to Syria to fight with extremist groups. "The threat we are most concerned about to the homeland is that of fighters like this returning to the U.S. and committing acts of terrorism." Iran and Qatar are the prin- cipal sources of finance. The world is awash with munitions produced in China, Russia, the U.S., Europe, as well as Israel. It is hard to predictwhat Turkey will do. If Islamists get their hands on the oil of Iraq and Libya, we'll have more to worry about Ira Sharkansky is a profes- sor (Emeritus) of the Depart- ment of Political Science, He- brew University of Jerusalem.