Autism-related gene mutations occur in Alzheimer patients

January 2, 2020

Israeli researchers find significant overlap between Alzheimer’s-related mutations and those producing certain intellectual disabilities. Researchers believe that autism is caused by mutations in the egg or sperm or during pregnancy, particularly in the activity-dependent neuroprotective protein (ADNP) gene. A new Tel Aviv University study published in Molecular Psychiatry found that ADNP mutations continue to occur in old age and accumulate in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients.

The Perils of the Turkey-Libya Maritime Delimitation Deal

December 30, 2019

The November 27, 2019 signing of the maritime delimitation agreement between Turkey and the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, has heightened concerns among many countries in the Eastern Mediterranean. The deal will negatively affect Turkey’s relations with Greece, Cyprus, Egypt, and Israel; pose further challenges to the already questionable plans for the EastMed pipeline; and raise the stakes for outside actors involved in the Libyan civil war, likely prolonging the conflict there. It may, however, have a boomerang effect from Ankara’s perspective in that it strengthens Egypt’s determination to become an energy hub for the region.

Israel’s Economy: Island of Stability with Troubling Trends

December 27, 2019

Yohanan Plesner, President of the Israel Democracy Institute and Prof. Eugene Kandel, CEO Start-Up Nation Central, open the two day conference, welcoming senior executives from the public and private sectors. They've come together to work on a long-term vision for Israel’s economy and for addressing the market’s core issues.

Doctors perform historic surgery with aid of virtual reality

December 25, 2019

Surgical Theater began in 2010 with the idea of giving neurosurgeons the ability to prepare for specific surgeries the way fighter pilots prepare for specific missions. Today, the virtual reality visualization platform is in 15 leading US hospitals, such as New York University, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, Houston Methodist, George Washington University, Mount Sinai, Stanford and Children’s National Hospital.

Round Three in Israel: Domestic Dynamics and Foreign Policy Implications

December 23, 2019

With the Knesset dissolving itself last week and declaring a third election within a year, Israel seems paralyzed and polarized. The country has been stuck in a transitional government since December 2018, and the new vote will not take place till March 2, making for an immensely durable impasse. During this time of stalemate, the government has avoided major military operations and been unable to approve the military budget, among other high-priority fiscal issues.

The 2019 Israeli Foreign Policy Index of the MITVIM Institute

December 20, 2019

The seventh annual public opinion poll of the MITVIM Institute on Israel’s foreign policy was conducted in September 2019. It was carried out by the Rafi Smith Institute and in cooperation with the Friedrich-Ebert- Stiftung, among a representative sample of Israel’s adult population (700 men and women, Jews and Arabs) and with a margin of error of 3.5%. This report presents the poll’s key findings, grouped under four categories: Israel’s foreign relations, Israel’s Foreign Service, Israel and its surrounding regions, and Israel and the Palestinians.

A New Leadership at the European Union: A Chance for Better EU Ties with Israel?

December 19, 2019

In late November 2019, the European Parliament ratified the appointments of Charles Michel as President of the European Council and Ursula von der Leyen as President of the European Commission, as well as the appointments of the 27 commissioners under her responsibility over the next five years. The Commission is in effect Europe's government, responsible for implementing the strategy of the European Union and for ongoing management of various issues assigned to it by its members. After a new government is formed in Israel, it would behoove the Foreign Ministry and the Israeli delegation in Brussels to prepare an agenda for a first meeting between the political leadership of the EU and Israel.

Fed up with the waste, Israel is going plastic-free

December 18, 2019

Israel has a plastic problem. The Israel Union for Environmental Defense (Adam Teva V’Din) reports that Israelis produce twice the international average of plastic waste per person per day. Aside from all the plastic bags, takeaway containers, forks, knives and spoons, we throw out 250 million plastic cups every month. The Tel Aviv-Yafo and Jerusalem municipalities are working toward removing disposable plates, cups and cutlery from public preschools and schools.

The United States and Israel: The Risk of Growing Apart

December 16, 2019

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s assertion that “the establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not per se inconsistent with inter­national law” is merely the latest example of how US and Israeli policies have marched almost in lockstep since Donald Trump’s inauguration as president. However, the United States and Israel have shared an intense and intimate relationship that long predates the Trump Administration and goes beyond the chemistry of individual leaders. In many respects, in fact, that relationship is unique in American foreign rela­tions and uniquely critical to Israeli security.

(Podcast) Begin, Sadat and Carter: Camp David Breakthrough

December 13, 2019

This episode focuses on the first Arab-Israeli peace breakthrough, the Camp David Accords of 1978. Camp David resulted from Egyptian president Anwar Sadat’s electrifying visit to Jerusalem. Host David Makovsky discusses this major decision point with Dr. Ken Stein, who has been a professor of contemporary Middle Eastern history, political science, and Israel studies at Emory University for forty-three years.

Israeli medical experts fly to help Samoan measles victims

A medical team from Israel is on its way to the Pacific island nation of Samoa to assist overwhelmed healthcare workers trying to contain a serious measles epidemic and treat those already infected. A reported 65 people – mostly children — are reported dead from the outbreak, which has affected more than 4,400 citizens in the country of 200,000 since October. Unvaccinated children under age four are most at risk of deadly complications from the highly contagious virus.

What Will It Take to Repair Middle Eastern Economies?

December 11, 2019

The Middle East is among the world’s richest regions in natural resources, but despite the Persian Gulf’s ostentatious oil wealth, as a whole, the region teeters on the economic precipice. East Asia, South Asia, and even Latin America—once peers in business and development—have left the Middle East in the dust. Rather than embark on slow and steady growth, Middle Eastern economies remain trapped by boom-and-bust cycles of economic development, often a case of two steps forward, two steps back.