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Posts Tagged ‘Israel’

Cell Phone Trap

November 26, 2010 Leave a comment

A wireless walky talky thingy dingy.

A wireless walky talky thingy dingy.

Joel S. Hirschhorn

It is now inconceivable that our world could function without the 5 billion cell phones used globally.  The new book by Devra Davis “Disconnect” deserves your attention.  Indeed, if you use a cell phone a lot it should be mandatory reading.

It also seems inconceivable that the trillion dollar cell phone industry and governments worldwide could have pushed this technology without ever having solid research results proving the safety of cell phones.  If true that would be deadly frightening.  But that is exactly the reality.

Is this a bizarre slip up or an intentional conspiracy between corporate and government interests?  The more you learn the more you fear.  Nightmarishly, cell phone technology has become too big to fail, no matter its deadly risks.  Government won’t protect you, so you have to protect yourself.

Let me note that I rarely use my cell phone.  Very few people have my number and I rarely turn it on, except when I need to make a call.  As a former professor of engineering I have always seen technology as offering risks, not just heavily commercialized benefits.  The risks are often dismissed, poorly studied or just plain ignored.

And by now everyone should be concerned that neither government regulations nor corporate responsibility protect us very well from harmful foods, prescription drugs and manufactured products.

Facing the truth is often painful, but if you care about protecting your health and the health of people you love, then this is a book you definitely want to read and get others to read.  Make no mistake, what you learn will upset you, but beyond getting angry at companies and the government for not adequately protecting against a man made public health disaster, you will be motivated to change your behavior.  The subtitle sums up the theme: The Truth About Cell Phone Radiation, What the Industry Has Done to Hide It, and How to Protect Your Family.

Here are some of the eye-popping facts and insights I picked up from reading of this book.

Tests show young men who keep their phones in a pants pocket have reduced sperm counts.

Some scientists have, for decades, known about the adverse effects that radio-frequency causes in the brain.  For example, radio-frequency allows chemicals and toxins from the blood, which are normally kept away from the nervous system, to enter the brain and cause disease.

The work of Dr. Lennart Hardell in Sweden should make cell phone users reconsider their practices.  Swedes who have used cell phones the most and for the longest times have more malignant brain tumors than others.  After a decade of use the risk of brain tumors is doubled.  Similar results were found by scientists in Israel, Finland, Russia and England.  Hardell has also found that teenagers using cell phones end up after a decade with four times more brain cancers.

The book highlights what the distinguished research scientist Dariusz Leszczynski said: “we clearly showed that radiation from a phone had a biological impact.  After this work, which in fact repeated that of many others…the world could no longer pretend that the only problems with cell phones occurred after you could measure a change in temperature.  This view was always mistaken, of course, and our work showed that.”  In other words, much lower power than in microwave ovens does not mean the absence of effects on our bodies.

Davis makes the inescapable point at the end of the book that “we need to invest in cell phones’ safety as we do with other modern technologies.”  But it is not clear whether that is proceeding as it should.  Do you think industry and government will do the right thing and risk getting research results that could devastate cell phone usage?  With corporate interests corrupting Congress it is highly unlikely that what is needed in terms of research and regulation will happen.

What should cell phone users do?  They and children in particular should not be using cell phones without “ear buds.”  They should not keep cell phones that are turned on in their clothing next to their body.  Use the speaker option.  Recognize that texting and other phone functions can be less dangerous than holding a phone next to your head to hear.  Remember that cordless phones also pose similar radiation hazards, so minimize their use at home.

I wonder whether the richest and most powerful people in society, like President Obama (and his children), have been strongly advised to not hold cell phones next to the head.

Bottom line: Your addiction to cell phone use just might be your downfall.  How much risk do you want to take?  Smart phones are the rage.  Now we need a lot more smart people.  Disconnect.  The more you use your cell phone, the more trapped you are.

[Contact Joel S. Hirschhorn through delusionaldemocracy.com.]

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Yael Naim – She Was a Boy

November 23, 2010 Leave a comment

ZORIAH – zoriah.net blog


Source article

Two years ago I began a friendship with two of the wold’s most kind and talented individuals, Yael Naim and David Donatien. Before I get into our friendship, let me tell you a bit about how we met.

Yael_naim_she_was_a_boy_cover_zoriah
Above is the photo we used for the cover of She Was a Boy

Music plays a big role in my work, although most of you would never know it.  I studied music in university and it has been my passion, probably even more so than photography, for many, many years.  As a photographer, music inspires me both while I am creating images and especially while I am editing them.  My first four years working as a photojournalist I almost always had music on while I was shooting.  As I grew and refined my stile I focused more on getting close to my subjects and relating to them and saved my music for before and after shoots.  But the music is always there.

In 2008 I had an album with me on my travels and this particular album was played more than any other.  It kept me company in Iraq and was my inspiration during my projects in Gaza and the West Bank.  This album was Yael and David’s first album together.

It was months later that I would find out that while I was listening to Yael’s album in her birthplace, Israel, she and David were watching me on television in my birthplace, Colorado.

Over the past two years I have spent a lot of my free time with Yael and David and learned to love them, and their music, more than I could have ever expected.  Their music continues to inspire me and I truly hope that my work is able to do the same for them.

For the past year I have been photographing Yael and David regularly.  I have photographed their concerts, countless recording sessions, day trips, night trips…you name it.  With the release of their new album today there will be a limited edition set of CD‘s that will come with a photography book of about forty images behind the scenes during the recording sessions.

About the new album, She Was a Boy:  Most of you probably know Yael and David from their hit song New Soul which you may remember from the Macbook Air ads on television.  The rest of that album is also a brilliant mix of styles, languages and sounds and if you haven’t bought it yet, do so soon.  She Was a Boy is, in my opinion, an evolution in Yael and David’s work.  It is a wonderful journey and I am happy and proud to have been there while it was recorded.  I can tell you that each and every track on the album is an amazing accomplishment in music.  So much time went into perfecting each song, so many people worked with them to make a wonderful fusion of sounds and emotions.

I would like to quickly thank Yael and David for their kindness and friendship and congratulate them on the album, I know how much work you put into it and all I can say is thank you from all of us who will enjoy listening to it!  Thanks to everyone at the record label, Tot au Tard, it has been a pleasure working with all of you on this project and I look forward to more in the future.

Yael Naim and David Donatien’s web site

Yael Naim and David Donatien’s blog

Here are a few of the images that will be in the limited edition book.  We also plan to work on a full, coffee table book together after I tour with them this spring.  I will keep you all posted on that project.


Yael-naim-she-was-a-boy-zoriah_20100630_0334-1
Yael Naim hiding in a tree before a concert in France.



Yael-naim-she-was-a-boy-zoriah_20100519_0332
Yael Naim during a recording session for She Was a Boy in her home outside of Paris

Yael-naim-she-was-a-boy-zoriah_20100410_0237
David Donatien listening to a recently recorded track

Yael-naim-she-was-a-boy-zoriah_20100703_0025
Yael Naim working through a new song on her guitar

Yael-naim-she-was-a-boy-zoriah_20100613_0138
Yael Naim and David Donatien working on the production of a track from She Was a Boy in their studio

Yael-naim-she-was-a-boy-zoriah_20100613_0240
Yael Naim and David Donatien laying out new tracks in their studio

Yael-naim-she-was-a-boy-zoriah_20100604_0288
Yael being punished by David for being a naughty girl

Yael-naim-she-was-a-boy-zoriah_20100410_0030
Yael Naim in the evening light during the recording of She Was a Boy

Yael-naim-she-was-a-boy-zoriah_20100613_0604
This was one of the press pictures we shot in the forest outside of Paris

Yael-naim-she-was-a-boy-zoriah_20091024_0256-1
Yael Naim on the streets of Paris

Yael-naim-she-was-a-boy-zoriah_20090516_0009
Yael Naim in the car on the way to perform in a concert
Yael-naim-she-was-a-boy-zoriah_20100515_0502
A shot of Yael Naim in the window of her apartment in Paris.  This is one of the images we considered for the cover.

Israel and U.S. struggling to conclude settlement pact

November 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ...

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected the initiative, as have other members of his ..

Fri Nov 19, 2010 9:19am GMT

By Crispian Balmer

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Talks between Israeli and U.S. officials aimed at reviving Middle East peace negotiations have hit snags over incentives promised by Washington to persuade Israel to resume a freeze of Jewish settlement building.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unveiled the U.S. inducements to his cabinet last weekend and appeared hopeful the ministers would back plans for a temporary halt to building in the occupied West Bank to overcome a hurdle to the peace talks.

However, an Israeli official said on Friday the United States had not yet provided the guarantees that Israel wanted, with Washington reluctant to commit to paper all the promises Netanyahu says he was offered verbally last week.

The latest snag concerned a pledge that Israel says U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made to provide the country free of charge 20 F-35 stealth warplanes worth $3 billion.

Politicians said Washington was backtracking and now wanted some sort of payment for the coveted fighter aircraft.

“It looks like the free stealth fighters have slipped,” said Benny Begin, a minister from Netanyahu’s Likud party who is opposed to the proposed U.S. deal, warning that Washington was setting a trap to extract major concessions later down the line.

“One may wonder if you cannot agree to understandings from one week to the next, what could happen over three months,” he told the Army Radio on Friday.

The U.S. state department is making no comment about the situation, which if unresolved would be hugely embarrassing for both parties, while Netanyahu has said “intensive” discussions continued to get the necessary “understandings.”

“If I receive such a proposal from the American government, I will bring it before the security cabinet and I have no doubt that my colleagues will accept it,” he said late Thursday.

FOCUS ON BORDERS

U.S. President Barack Obama invested substantial political capital in persuading the Palestinians to resume direct talks with Israel in early September, after months of mediation.

But, true to their warnings, the Palestinians halted negotiations when Netanyahu refused to extend a 10-month partial settlement moratorium when it expired at the end of September.

Washington hoped its diplomatic and defence enticements would persuade Israel to renew the freeze for 90 days, opening the way for three months of intense negotiations that would focus on the future border of a Palestinian state.

However, Netanyahu’s coalition allies demanded a written pledge from the United States to make clear the building freeze did not include occupied land in East Jerusalem and to spell out there would be no U.S. pressure for any subsequent moratoria.

The Palestinians themselves have expressed outrage in private over reports of the U.S. offer, saying it was a bribe to get Israel to fulfil basic international obligations.

The Israeli official said there appeared to be a disconnect between the White House and State Department with Obama unhappy that Clinton had offered so much for such a minimal concession.

However, he added that Netanyahu’s office thought a deal could be reached in the coming hours and that the prime minister would get the necessary backing from his cabinet at the weekend.

Political sources say seven ministers are ready to support the plan, while six were firmly opposed, leaving two ministers from the ultra-Orthodox Shas Party holding the balance of power.

Newspapers say they are likely to abstain, but they are facing growing pressure from the pro-settler lobby to vote against and prevent any halt to settlement building.

(For additional stories click on

(Additional reporting by Allyn Fisher-Ilan; editing by Ralph Boulton)

© Thomson Reuters 2010 All rights reserved

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Canada PM: The Jewish homeland has become a scapegoat

November 12, 2010 Leave a comment

Stephen Harper, Canadian politician

  • Published 10:27 12.11.10
  • Latest update 10:27 12.11.10

Stephen Harper affirmed his strong commitment to the state of Israel and the eradication of global anti-Semitism, in a speech at Ottawa’s Parliament Hill earlier this week.

By Riva Gold

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has affirmed his strong commitment to the state of Israel and the eradication of global anti-Semitism, in a speech at Ottawa’s Parliament Hill earlier this week. 

“When Israel, the only country in the world whose very existence is under attack, is consistently and conspicuously singled out for condemnation, I believe we are morally obligated to take a stand,” Harper said to a gathering of international parliamentarians on Monday.

“Under the shadow of a hateful ideology with global ambitions, one which targets the Jewish homeland as a scapegoat, Jews are savagely attacked around the world,” he added.

The Conservative leader made his remarks at the start of a two-day Ottawa conference on anti-Semitism for Holocaust Education week. While he conceded that Israel is receptive to fair criticism, he argued that Canada is obligated to stand up for its ally when it comes under attack from others.

“Not just because it is the right thing to do, but because history shows us, and the ideology of the anti-Israel mob tell us all too well, that those who threaten the existence of the Jewish people are in the longer term a threat to all of you,” said the prime minister.

Harper was subject to heavy criticism for his support of Israel when Canada lost its bid for the UN Security Council seat in October.

“There are, after all, a lot more votes- a lot more- in being anti-Israel than in taking a stand,” says Harper,” adding that: “The easiest thing to do is simply to just get along and go along with this anti-Israeli rhetoric, to pretend it is just about being even-handed, and to excuse oneself with the label of ‘honest broker’… But as long as I am prime minister, whether it is at the UN or the Francophonie or anywhere else, Canada will take that stand, whatever the cost.” “

At his caucus meeting on Monday, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff was critical of Harper’s position on Israel, calling for Canada to become an honest broker in the global community.

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Benjamin Rothschild: The United States is finished!

November 11, 2010 Leave a comment


Here’s a quote from a recent interview with Baron Benjamin de Rothschild published on the haaretz.com website today.

What stage of the crisis are we now in – the beginning, the end, the middle?

“I don’t have a clue in hell. You tell me. Anyone who answers that question is either a genius or a fraud. The American economy is still in the grip of a serious crisis; they have an employment problem that is going to get worse. One of the strengths of the United States lay in people’s ability to move from one job to another. That has now come to a halt. They can’t relocate because they can’t sell their home. The United States is finished, at least for the moment. There will be more oversight, but people will always come up with new financial products that are not amenable to oversight. What’s happening is that the firefighters keep arriving after the fire.”

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Israel ranked 15th in quality of life

November 5, 2010 Leave a comment

Source article

Annual UN report concludes ‘people today are generally healthier, wealthier and better educated than they were in 1970’
News agencies

The United Nations ranked Israel 15th in its annual flagship report on comprehensive human development, which was published on Thursday.

The Human Development Report, issued annually by the UN Development Program (UNDP), assesses the state of human development on the basis of health, education and income indicators, as an alternative to purely macroeconomic assessments of national progress.

Norway is leading in the UN rating, followed by Australia, New Zealand and the US. Niger, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zimbabwe occupy the last three positions in the list.

Asia was the region that progressed fastest in terms of human development since 1970, with China and Indonesia leading the way. Some Arab countries, especially Oman, and many Latin American nations showed marked progress as well, the report said.

There were five Asian countries on the top 10 list of countries showing the most improvement: China (No. 2), Nepal (No. 3), Indonesia (No. 4), Laos (No. 6) and South Korea (No. 8).

Arab countries made up the other five on the list: Oman, now heavily investing its energy earnings into public education and health, was No. 1, followed by Saudi Arabia (No. 5), Tunisia (No. 7), Algeria (No. 9) and Morocco (No. 10).

Life expectancy in Arab countries overall increased from 51 years in 1970 to almost 70 today, the greatest gain of any region. Infant mortality rates in the Arab world plunged from 98 deaths per 1,000 live births to 38, below the current world average of 44. School enrolment in Arab countries nearly doubled over 40 years, from 34 per cent in 1970 to 64 per cent today.

The UN has divided the 169 countries in its list into four groups according to a level of human development: “very high,” “high,” “medium” and “low.”

The UN report concludes that “people today are generally healthier, wealthier and better educated than they were in 1970.”

“The majority of developing countries have made dramatic but underestimated gains in health and education in recent decades, although severe inequalities within and between countries remain,” the UN said on its website.

Progress made by many countries is “not directly linked with national economic growth, showing that impressive long-term gains can and have been made even without consistent economic performance.”

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Cell Phone Trap

November 4, 2010 Leave a comment

Cell phone tower cleverly disguised to look li...

Cell phone tower cleverly disguised to look like an evergreen tree. Located in New Hampshire.

Joel S. HirschhornIt is now inconceivable that our world could function without the 5 billion cell phones used globally.  The new book by Devra Davis “Disconnect” deserves your attention.  Indeed, if you use a cell phone a lot it should be mandatory reading.

It also seems inconceivable that the trillion dollar cell phone industry and governments worldwide could have pushed this technology without ever having solid research results proving the safety of cell phones.  If true that would be deadly frightening.  But that is exactly the reality.

Is this a bizarre slip up or an intentional conspiracy between corporate and government interests?  The more you learn the more you fear.  Nightmarishly, cell phone technology has become too big to fail, no matter its deadly risks.  Government won’t protect you, so you have to protect yourself.

Let me note that I rarely use my cell phone.  Very few people have my number and I rarely turn it on, except when I need to make a call.  As a former professor of engineering I have always seen technology as offering risks, not just heavily commercialized benefits.  The risks are often dismissed, poorly studied or just plain ignored.

And by now everyone should be concerned that neither government regulations nor corporate responsibility protect us very well from harmful foods, prescription drugs and manufactured products.

Facing the truth is often painful, but if you care about protecting your health and the health of people you love, then this is a book you definitely want to read and get others to read.  Make no mistake, what you learn will upset you, but beyond getting angry at companies and the government for not adequately protecting against a man made public health disaster, you will be motivated to change your behavior.  The subtitle sums up the theme: The Truth About Cell Phone Radiation, What the Industry Has Done to Hide It, and How to Protect Your Family.

Here are some of the eye-popping facts and insights I picked up from reading of this book.

Tests show young men who keep their phones in a pants pocket have reduced sperm counts.

Some scientists have, for decades, known about the adverse effects that radiofrequency causes in the brain.  For example, radiofrequency allows chemicals and toxins from the blood, which are normally kept away from the nervous system, to enter the brain and cause disease.

The work of Dr. Lennart Hardell in Sweden should make cell phone users reconsider their practices.  Swedes who have used cell phones the most and for the longest times have more malignant brain tumors than others.  After a decade of use the risk of brain tumors is doubled.  Similar results were found by scientists in Israel, Finland, Russia and England.  Hardell has also found that teenagers using cell phones end up after a decade with four times more brain cancers.

The book highlights what the distinguished research scientist Dariusz Leszczynski said: “we clearly showed that radiation from a phone had a biological impact.  After this work, which in fact repeated that of many others…the world could no longer pretend that the only problems with cell phones occurred after you could measure a change in temperature.  This view was always mistaken, of course, and our work showed that.”  In other words, much lower power than in microwave ovens does not mean the absence of effects on our bodies.

Davis makes the inescapable point at the end of the book that “we need to invest in cell phones’ safety as we do with other modern technologies.”  But it is not clear whether that is proceeding as it should.  Do you think industry and government will do the right thing and risk getting research results that could devastate cell phone usage?  With corporate interests corrupting Congress it is highly unlikely that what is needed in terms of research and regulation will happen.

What should cell phone users do?  They and children in particular should not be using cell phones without “ear buds.”  They should not keep cell phones that are turned on in their clothing next to their body.  Use the speaker option.  Recognize that texting and other phone functions can be less dangerous than holding a phone next to your head to hear.  Remember that cordless phones also pose similar radiation hazards, so minimize their use at home.

I wonder whether the richest and most powerful people in society, like President Obama (and his children), have been strongly advised to not hold cell phones next to the head.

Bottom line: Your addiction to cell phone use just might be your downfall.  How much risk do you want to take?  Smart phones are the rage.  Now we need a lot more smart people.  Disconnect.  The more you use your cell phone, the more trapped you are.

[Contact Joel S. Hirschhorn through delusionaldemocracy.com.]

BACK to margotbworldnews.com