Yehuda Lave is an author, journalist, psychologist, rabbi, spiritual teacher, and coach, with degrees in business, psychology and Jewish Law. He works with people from all walks of life and helps them in their search for greater happiness, meaning, business advice on saving money, and spiritual engagement.
Unilever deal ends Ben & Jerry's anti-Israel boycott in hit to BDS
Unilever distances itself from BDS, and announces a new deal to allow the sale of Ben & Jerry's ice cream to Israelis in Judea and Samaria.
By World Israel News Staff
British consumer goods giant Unilever announced Wednesday the end of an anti-Israel ice cream boycott that drew heavy criticism, triggered sanctions by some US states, and even provoked a lawsuit.
In a statement, Unilever said it has secured a "new arrangement" for the sale of its Ben & Jerry's brand ice cream "throughout Israel and the West Bank". The ice cream will now be sold exclusively under its Hebrew and Arabic names.
The move effectively ends the boycott of Israeli towns in Judea and Samaria the company imposed in July 2021.
As part of the new arrangement, Unilever has sold its Israeli rights to the Ben & Jerry's brand to Avi Zinger, owner of American Quality Products Ltd, the company which hitherto had distributed the ice cream in Israel as a licensee.
The deal will allow the sale of Ben & Jerry's ice cream across Israel, including in Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria, without Unilever's direct involvement in the sales.
"The new arrangement means Ben & Jerry's will be sold under its Hebrew and Arabic names throughout Israel and the West Bank under the full ownership of its current licensee," Unilever said.
Unilever agreed to the change after consultations with the Israeli government, the company said, calling the issue "complex and sensitive".
"Unilever has used the opportunity of the past year to listen to perspectives on this complex and sensitive matter and believes this is the best outcome for Ben & Jerry's in Israel. The review included extensive consultation over several months, including with the Israeli Government."
The company "unequivocally" condemned any form of discrimination or intolerance, saying anti-Semitism "has no place in any society". Unilever also distanced itself from the anti-Israel BDS movement, without explicitly condemning it.
"We have never expressed any support for the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) movement and have no intention of changing that position."
The Three Musketeers at the Kotel
The Three are Rabbi Yehuda Glick, famous temple mount activist, and former Israel Mk, and then Robert Weinger, the world's greatest shofar blower and seller of Shofars, and myself after we had gone to the 12 gates of the Temple Mount in 2020 to blow the shofar to ask G-d to heal the world from the Pandemic. It was a highlight to my experience in living in Israel and I put it on my blog each day to remember.
The articles that I include each day are those that I find interesting, so I feel you will find them interesting as well. I don't always agree with all the points of each article but found them interesting or important to share with you, my readers, and friends. It is cathartic for me to share my thoughts and frustrations with you about life in general and in Israel. As a Rabbi, I try to teach and share the Torah of the G-d of Israel as a modern Orthodox Rabbi. I never intend to offend anyone but sometimes people are offended and I apologize in advance for any mistakes. The most important psychological principle I have learned is that once someone's mind is made up, they don't want to be bothered with the facts, so, like Rabbi Akiva, I drip water (Torah is compared to water) on their made-up minds and hope that some of what I have share sinks in. Love Rabbi Yehuda Lave.
He Who Must Not Be Named: Responding to Mass Murders By Rabbi Benjamin Blech
Grief, despair, anguish – all of these words express, in the limited way words can convey heartbreaking pain, our response to the horror of this past week's murderous rampage in the elementary school in Uvalde, Texas that took the lives of 19 children and two teachers.
In the aftermath of the Columbine massacre, a few months after teen shooters brutally murdered 12 of her classmates as well as her father who tried to intervene and save intended victims, Coni Sanders was standing in line at a supermarket with her young daughter when they came face-to-face with a shocking magazine cover. It prominently pictured the two gunmen responsible for one of the deadliest school shootings in American history. Coni realized that very few people know anything about her father who had saved countless lives, whereas virtually everyone knew the names and the tiniest of details about the murderers.
What do the killers want above all? Money is not the greatest motivator. Above all it is fame and notoriety that are the primary goals of those who commit the most horrific crimes – assured of the media spotlight for weeks, if not months and years.
Adam Lankford, a criminologist at the University of Alabama, who spent years studying the effects of media coverage on future shooters, concluded that in all probability the most powerful deterrent to copycat crimes is to ensure that the murderers never achieve the personal fame that served as primary psychological motive. "A lot of these shooters want to be treated like celebrities. They want to be famous. So the key is not to give them that treatment."
A mere four days after the 2017 Las Vegas concert shooting, an event which remains the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history, Lankford publicly urged journalists to refrain from using shooter's name, photos, or writing in exhaustive detail about his supposed motivations – ideas which could inspire others to justify similar actions.
James Alan Fox, the Lipman Family Professor of Criminology, Law, and Public Policy and former dean at Northeastern University, singles out over-the-top coverage that includes irrelevant details about the killers, such as their writings and their backgrounds, items not only irrelevant but which "unfortunately and unnecessarily humanizes them." It grants them the gift of being perceived human when our efforts ought to concentrate on their inhumanity.
Many law enforcement agencies have adopted the lead of the Aurora Illinois police chief who spoke just once the name of the gunman who killed five coworkers and wounded five officers: "I said his name one time for the media, and I will never let it cross my lips again," Chief Ziman wrote in a Facebook post.
It is an approach that I believe has a precedent in the Bible.
The Torah recognized the most appropriate punishment for ultimate evil: "God will blot out his name from under heaven" (Deuteronomy 29:20).
King Solomon put it this way in his book of Proverbs: "The memory of the righteous is a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot (Proverbs 10:7).
Thankfully, the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Team, in collaboration with the FBI, developed the "don't name them" campaign to minimize and/or to totally avoid naming and describing individuals involved in mass shootings.
A name, according to the Talmud, is our most prized possession. The Hebrew word for name, shem, is represented by the two letters central to the word neshamah, soul. Those who, by their actions, destroy the sanctity of their souls no longer deserve the preservation of their names.
They do not merit fame – only infamy.
Inventor of Drugs for MS, Cancer, Prof. Michael Sela Passes Away
photo Credit: courtesy, Weizmann Institute of Science
The inventor of medications to treat multiple sclerosis and cancer, Professor Michael Sela, has passed away at age 98.
Sela, a world-renown immunologist and winner of the Israel Prize in the Natural Sciences, served as the sixth president of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot. He passed away this past Friday.
English was the professor's seventh language after Polish, German, Russian, Romanian, French and Hebrew. After mastering English, he learned Italian and Czech.
Sela is survived by his wife, Sara Sela, and three daughters.
The scientist was awarded more than a dozen honors in Israel and abroad. He co-invented and held the patents on Copaxone — used to treat multiple sclerosis (MS) — and on Erbitux, used to treat cancer.
Copaxone has been marketed in dozens of countries worldwide, earning billions of dollars for Teva Pharmaceuticals, which, for many years, held its exclusive manufacturing rights.
But Sela was most proud of his part in research that did not directly cure disease or result in patents.
Noted for Research on Synthetic Antigens He was particularly recognized in the scientific world for research on synthetic antigens — molecules that trigger an immune response.
The main theme tying together Sela's many years of scientific research was the elucidation of the chemical structure and biological function of biologically relevant macromolecules.
His primary interest was in the structure, function and mechanism of action of proteins, and in the understanding of the molecular basis of immunological phenomena and of the genetic control of immune response.
He also turned to cancer research, with the idea of creating small molecules that would block the receptors on cancer cells. Apart from Erbitux®, studies he conducted with colleagues provided the basis for the development of two other cancer drugs: Vectibix® and Portrazza®.
Changed the Face of Immunological Research "Throughout his illustrious career, Prof. Sela made numerous discoveries that forever changed the face of immunological research worldwide.
"But his impact was felt well beyond his research bench," Weizmann Institute of Science President Prof. Alon Chen said in his memory.
"He was a leader and a role model for multiple generations of students and scientists on campus, and he undertook a long series of leadership roles.
"His legacy will live on for years to come, and we can all take inspiration from his extraordinary passion, sharp intellect and vision."
Aliya at Age 17 Born in Poland in 1924, Sela originally thought he would specialize in chemistry. He arrived in Israel at age 17, after his family had first fled Poland and then Romania.
In 1941, shortly after his arrival, he enrolled in the chemistry program at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
After completing his MSc in Jerusalem, he went to Geneva to conduct PhD studies, but several months later he moved to Italy where he helped whisk European Jews – mostly Holocaust survivors – to Israel.
When Israel's independence was declared, Sela became a commercial secretary in the Israeli legation in Czechoslovakia. His immediate family had escaped to Israel, but many other relatives had perished at the hands of the Nazis.
His Teacher Became an Israeli President Returning to Israel in 1950, he joined the Weizmann Institute of Science and became a student of the acclaimed biophysicist Prof. Ephraim Katzir, who later became president of Israel.
Katzir worked with poly-amino acids, synthetic models that facilitate the study of proteins, because they had interesting properties and promised chemical applications, but Sela thought that the same molecules might perform biological functions.
Specifically, he suggested that they could serve as antigens. He received his PhD degree in protein chemistry from the Hebrew University for research undertaken at the Weizmann Institute, which at the time did not award degrees of its own. In 1963, he was appointed professor.
Served Weizmann Institute in Multiple Capacities Prof. Sela served the Weizmann Institute in various important capacities. In 1963, he founded the Institute's Department of Chemical Immunology and for the next twelve years, served as its first head.
From 1970-73, he was dean of the Institute's Faculty of Biology, from 1970-71, the Institute's vice president and from 1975-85, its president. He then served as deputy chairman of the Institute's Board of Governors and was named Institute Professor.
Overseas appointments included stints as a visiting scientist or professor at the National Institutes of Health, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, College de France and the Pasteur Institute.
At the Weizmann Institute, he was the incumbent of the W. Garfield Weston Professorial Chair of Immunology. He published more than 800 articles, chapters and books in the fields of immunology, biochemistry and molecular biology.
Within the international scientific community, Sela also achieved prominence.
International Honors and Memberships In 1967, he became a foreign member of the Max-Planck Institute for Immunology. From 1970-74, he served as vice chairman and as chairman of the Board of Advisors to the Basel Institute of Immunology.
From 1975-79, he was chairman of the Council of the European Molecular Biology Organization. In parallel, between 1978-81, he chaired the Scientific Advisory Committee of the newly-created European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg. From 1977-80, he was president of the International Union of Immunological Societies. At the same time (1979-82), he was a member of the Global Advisory Committee on Medical Research of the World Health Organization.
From 1989-96, he served as president of the Scientific Council, Institut Pasteur – Weizmann Institute; he then became an honorary president of the Pasteur-Weizmann Council.
In 2000, he was elected a member of the Academic Committee of the Open University of Israel. Academy memberships included the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, the National Academy of Sciences of the United States, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Russian Academy of Sciences, the French Academy of Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.
Self-Service COVID-19 Testing Stations Arrive in Israel
Self-service COVID-19 testing stations have arrived in Israel, according to a report published Monday by the Hebrew-language Ynet site.
The automatic coronavirus sampling stations are being scattered throughout the country to make it possible for anyone age 18 and up to perform a PCR test alone, in front of a camera.
No need for a medical professional, and no need to wait in line outside the HMO clinic in the sweltering heat.
Sound too good to be true?
Maybe, but clinical tests with tens of thousands of participants came back with 100 percent validity, according to Ynet.
The pilot for the device was carried out under the approval of Israel's Health Ministry at selected sites that included Ben Gurion International Airport.
The sampling is performed in front of the camera, with artificial intelligence verifying one's identity and documenting the procedure. The sample is then inserted into the machine, where it is picked up and taken to a laboratory for processing.
The self-service COVID-19 testing machine was developed by AID Genomics. The software that is used to analyze the sample was developed in a joint project by AID Genomics and another Israeli firm.
So far, the self-test kiosks have been installed at Good Pharm and M'Tayel (Traveler) branches nationwide.
11 Astonishing Facts About Horses
Horses have existed for 50 million years. Our own human history has been greatly shaped by our partnership with these creatures, and they have been shaped by us as well; since domesticating the horse 6,000 years ago, humans have created hundred of horse breeds, used for everything from racing and war to plowing and pulling carts and carriages.
In honor of the great horse, here are 11 fascinating facts you never knew about them.
1. Horses Have a Wide Range of Vision
Horses' eyes are located on the sides of their heads, so they have a wide range of vision. They can see nearly 360 degrees and have blind spots only immediately in front of and behind their bodies.
Horses mostly use monocular vision, when both eyes are used separately. That means a horse can see and process different things happening on different sides of its body. When a horse switches to binocular vision, it's to focus both eyes on a single object in front of it.
2. They Cannot Vomit
Horses are physically incapable of vomiting. There are a number of anatomical reasons for this, such as the strength of the muscles in the esophagus, the specific way the esophagus connects to the horse's stomach, and the location of the stomach itself.
The evolutionary reason for this isn't known for sure, but one theory is that it is protective. The back-and-forth motion of a full gallop could theoretically induce vomiting that would allow a predator to catch it, so evolution may have eliminated the concern entirely.
3. They Are Related to the Rhinoceros
Horses are members of the genus Equus, which is considered the only extant group in the horse family. The genus includes not only the domesticated horse (Equus caballus) but also the Przewalski's horse, zebras, and asses such as donkeys.
But they are not the horse's closest living relatives. As an odd-toed ungulate, the horse is closest related to the similarly hooved rhinoceros.
4. Arabian Horses Have a Unique Build
Arabian horses stand out for their historical importance, particularly to the culture and lives of desert tribes in the Middle East. But they are also distinct from other horse breeds because of their unique build.
Arabians have a greater bone density than other horses, and they also have a shorter back with one fewer lumbar vertebrae. Additionally, Arabians have one fewer pair of ribs, and their ribs are set wider apart. And while they are known for carrying their tails high like a flag behind them, that may have less to do with high spirits and more to do with having two fewer tail vertebrae than other horse breeds.
5. Ponies and Miniature Horses Are Different
All miniature horses are ponies, but not all ponies are miniature horses. Any horse that is shorter than 14.2 hands (58 inches) at the withers qualifies as a pony. According to the American Miniature Horse Association, miniature horses must be no taller than 34 inches, which puts them squarely in the pony category in addition to being their own group.
However, many enthusiasts consider miniature ponies to be a distinct breed of horse because they maintain standard horse body proportions, unlike ponies that have shorter legs, longer bodies, and an overall stockier build.
6. Their Teeth Contain Lots of Information
Much can be learned about a horse through its teeth, starting with its gender. Male and female horses have a different number of teeth; males have 44 while females have between 36 and 44. So if you ever look at a horse skull, you can likely discern its gender simply by counting its teeth.
You can also estimate a horse's age by looking at its teeth. According to the University of Missouri, this can be done by observing the occurrence of permanent teeth, the disappearance of cups (indents in each tooth), the shape of the surface of the teeth, and the angle at which the top and bottom rows meet.
7. There Is Only 1 Truly Wild Horse Species
There is only one subspecies of horse that is truly wild, not feral: Przewalski's horse. It's had a narrow brush with extinction and is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List.
However, there have been worldwide efforts to bring this horse back from the brink. Just one example is the Foundation for the Preservation and Protection the Przewalski Horse; it worked for almost 40 years on breeding strategies and ultimately released over 350 horses in Hustai National Park in Mongolia.
8. They Have Muscular Ears
Horses' ears may be small, but they are mighty. Each ear contains 10 muscles (compared to humans' three) and can move 180 degrees, from facing directly forward to directly backward. They can also distinguish and identify distinct sounds by directing their hearing to specific areas.
Horses also use their ears to communicate, such as by pinning them back to indicate anger or for guidance. In a 2014 study by the University of Sussex, horses were found to make decisions based on where another's ears were pointing, telling us that the animals may use their ears to direct each other.
9. Their Funny Faces Aren't Laughter
When a horse curls its upper lip and raises its head in the air, many people see it as a funny face or an expression of laughter, but that's inaccurate.
The behavior is called the flehmen response, and it's about getting a better whiff of an interesting smell. This action allows pheromones and other scents to transfer to the vomeronasal organ (VMO), which then sends signals to the brain that can trigger physiologic and behavioral reactions.
Stallions show the flehmen response most often as they pick up the pheromones of mares. Mares will flehmen shortly after birth as a response to the pheromones of their newly born foal.
10. One Breed Has a Metallic Coat
The Akhal-Teke horse is famous for its coat. While many well-tended horses have beautiful sheens, this breed boasts a metallic shine.
It all has to do with the structure of its hair. In most horse breeds, hair strands have an opaque core, but for the Akhal-Teke, that core is extremely small or completely absent. The transparent part of the hair takes its place, bending and refracting light as it passes through and giving each hair an apparent shimmer.
11. They Are Highly Intelligent
Horses are smart creatures, and there are studies to prove it.
Research published in 2012 found that horses use input from several senses to identify — and remember — people. The horses were able to distinguish between a familiar and unfamiliar human by their voices alone (without using sight or smell). The horses could also do the opposite, telling the difference using just the sight and smell of the people, not hearing their voices.
Meanwhile, the Equine Research Foundation has disproven an assumption about horses that they cannot transfer information between different sides of the brain. Their study found that horses were easily able to employ this skill of interocular transfer, recognizing objects with one eye that they had learned about with the other.
"Poll: 23% of Arab Israelis would support Arab invasion in Israel" — i24 News headline, May 15, 2022
Paradoxically, an incident that vividly illustrates the indelible Arab enmity for the Jews is an event that began with a display of Arab goodwill—indeed, gallantry—towards a Jew.
In mid-June 2020, an Arab construction worker, Mahmoud Abu Arabian, heard a woman's cries for help. He rushed to her aid to find her under brutal attack by her boyfriend, who had stabbed her multiple times. At considerable risk to himself, he managed to overcome the (Jewish) attacker and extricate the wounded (Jewish) woman, who was rushed to hospital, where doctors managed to save her life.
After the victim's recuperation, Abu Arabian stated that he would have liked very much to visit her, but did not do so because of disapproval in his social circles, who frowned upon his decision to rescue a Jewish woman and save a Jewish life.
To a large degree, this episode affirms the dour results of a recent poll, which indicated that a massive majority (75%) of Israeli-Arabs reject the right of the Jewish people to sovereignty and the status of Israel as the nation-state of the Jews. Even more ominous, when asked about their response in case of an Arab attack on Israel, almost a quarter answered that they would support the Arab aggressors, while over half would remain neutral. Only a bit more than a quarter (26%) would support Israel.
Inert lack of loyalty or latent disloyalty?
These numbers, grave as they are, are not or should not be unexpected. After all, in the last election, Israeli Arabs voted almost monolithically for parties that promote an anti-Zionist agenda—over 80% for either the Joint List or the Islamist United Arab List (Ra'am). Even a cursory glance at the official platforms of either of these majority-Arab parties will reveal a rejection of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people that is both unabashed and undisguised.
This comes after Israel's Arab citizens have enjoyed full civilian rights for well over half a century, living standards higher than those in Arab countries—with the exception, perhaps, of those blessed with oil riches—and more personal liberties than anywhere in the Arab world. This makes Arab reticence to support Israel against potential Arab aggression a perverse puzzle.
It matters little if the poll cited above is not entirely accurate. Even if we allow for significant imprecision, one thing is evident: A considerable portion of the Israeli-Arab population not only has no allegiance to their country of residence, but a sizeable segment would be complicit in an enemy assault on it.
There is, then, little alternative but to reconcile oneself to the fact that for the indisputable majority of Israeli Arabs, the attitude towards Israel ranges from an inert lack of loyalty to a latent disloyalty that waits for an opportune moment to manifest itself.
An archetypical zero-sum game.
The failure of the Israeli establishment to grasp the scale and scope of the rejection of Jewish sovereign statehood among Israeli-Arabs is reflected not only in Israel's domestic policy but in its foreign policy vis-à-vis external Arab adversaries—in particular, the Palestinian Arabs, the supposed root of the Arab-Israeli dispute.
In this regard, it is perhaps worthwhile to recall the wise dictum of eminent social psychologist Kurt Leven, who observed: "There is nothing so practical as a good theory." After all, action without comprehension is a little like swinging a hammer without knowing where the nails are—and just as hazardous. In this regard, good theory helps us understand cause and effect and thus facilitates effective policy.
To devise effective policies to contend with abiding Arab enmity, Israel must conceptualize the conflict over the issue of Jewish sovereignty in the Holy Land in an accurate manner. The unvarnished truth is that, under an accurate conception, the conflict between the Jews and the Palestinian Arabs over control of the Holy Land is revealed as a clash between two rival collectives with irreconcilable foundational narratives.
They are irreconcilable because the raison d'etre of the one is the preservation of Jewish political sovereignty in the Holy Land, while the raison d'etre of the other is the annulment of Jewish political sovereignty in the Holy Land. This creates irreconcilable concepts of "homeland."
As such, the conflict between the Jews and the Palestinian Arabs is an archetypical zero-sum game, in which the gains of one side imply an inevitable loss for the other. It is a clash of protagonists with antithetical and exclusive core objectives. Only one can emerge victorious, with the other vanquished. There are no consolation prizes.
Grudgingly accepted or greatly feared?
As a clash of collectives, the outcome of which will be determined by collective victory or defeat, the Israeli-Arab conflict cannot be personalized. The fate of individual members of one collective cannot determine the policy of the rival collective, and cannot be a consideration that impacts the probability of collective victory or defeat.
The imperative of Israel's survival, then, dictates that it must forgo the pursuit of warm and welcoming approval from the Arabs. For the foreseeable future, this seductive illusion will remain an unattainable pipe dream. Rather, Israel must reconcile itself to a stern but sober conclusion: The most it can hope for is to be grudgingly accepted, and the least it must attain is to be greatly feared. More benign policy goals are a recipe for disaster.
To underscore the crucial importance of this harsh assessment, I would invite any prospective dissenter to consider the consequences of Jewish defeat and Arab victory. Indeed, a cursory survey of gory regional realities in the Middle East should suffice to drive home what would accompany such an outcome.
Only once a decisive Jewish collective victory has been achieved can the issue of individual injustice and suffering in the Arab collective be addressed as a policy consideration. Until then, neither the individual well-being nor the societal welfare of the opposite collective can be considered a primary policy constraint.
After all, had the imperative of collective victory not been the decisive factor in the Allies' strategy in World War II, despite the horrendous civilian causalities that it inflicted on the opposite collective, the world might well live in slavery today.
When we consider the fate of individual members of the opposite collective, it is imperative to keep in mind that, while there are doubtless many Palestinian Arabs with fine personal qualities who wish no one any harm, the Palestinian Arab collective is not the hapless victim of radical terror-affiliated leaders. Quite the opposite. It is, in fact, the societal crucible in which those leaders were forged and from which they emerged. Its leadership is a reflection of, not an imposition on Palestinian-Arab society.
The conclusion is thus unavoidable: The Palestinian Arab collective must be considered an implacable enemy, not a prospective peace partner—and it should be treated as such.