Archive for February 10, 2010

Campbell describes himself as a supporter of Israel

February 10, 2010 3 comments

By Bruce Kesler

ENCINITAS, California – In the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, former U.S. Rep. Tom Campbell is being accused of being anti-Israel by his Republican opponents, who cite his votes in the House of Representatives to reduce aid to Israel and his early advocacy of a Palestinian state. 

In a direct email exchange with this writer, Campbell answered a series of questions intended to probe his overall views on the Middle East.

1. Would Campbell have voted for, against, or abstained in the Senate vote on the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act (S. 2799)?

Yes, I would have voted in favor. Note that I’m already on record to support Israeli military action, if it comes to that, directed at destroying Iran’s nuclear capability. This Act is an attempt to increase the pressure so that Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon. It’s worth trying, but my patience has already run out with all forms of sanctions.

2. Would Campbell vote in favor, against, or abstain in the vote on the full $3-billion security assistance aid to Israel in President Obama’s proposed budget?

I have always voted for the military aid portion of assistance to Israel. Like the Netanyahu government, in the past and now, I favor lowering the amount of American economic assistance to countries more able to take care of themselves, so that US foreign economic assistance can go to the neediest countries.

3. Would Campbell vote in favor, against, or abstain in the repeated votes in favor of the US recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving the US Embassy there?

I always favored the United States paying Israel the respect we pay other nations, of recognizing the capital city of their own choosing, and placing our embassy there.

4.A. Would Campbell require an act of Congress under the War Powers Act in order to send emergency arms and supplies to Israel if attacked?

The War Powers Act is triggered only by the presence of US troops in “hostilities.” Nothing in sending arms and supplies to Israel would trigger the Act. So, no, I would not require an act of congress to send emergency arms and supplies to Israel if attacked.

4.B. Would Campbell vote in favor, against, or abstain in his vote for such an act of Congress?

I would vote in favor. My vote in favor of going to war when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait was as much a vote to defend Israel as to defend Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. All three nations were attacked.

5. Does Campbell support, criticize, or have no public position about the Goldstone Report?

I have not read the Goldstone Report, and would need to do so before offering an informed opinion.

6. Does Campbell believe, not believe, or stand undecided on whether the “Israel lobby” has excess influence on US foreign policy?

 All Americans have the right to petition Congress and the President, and those Americans who wish to do so on behalf of a stronger American-Israeli relationship should  not be criticized for doing so. The influence of those Americans is not “excess influence.”


Okay, politicians are politicians, and often say what they think the electorate wants to hear.  Campbell’s record of speaking his mind, however, has not followed that tacky pattern.  One may agree with him, or not.  It is most important  to remove Senator Barbara Boxer. 

Carly Fiorina, Campbell’s well-self-funded primary opponent, can directly speak to current issues and differences without selectively tossing mud-covered rocks.  That is jackelish. That only aids Boxer, and does not further Republicans or Fiorina, or Israel.

Kesler is a freelance writer based in Encinitas, California


Bees become addicted to caffeine and nicotine, study shows

February 10, 2010 Leave a comment

HAIFA (Press Release)–Bees prefer nectar with small amounts of nicotine and caffeine over nectar that does not contain these substances at all, a study from the University of Haifa reveals. “This could be an evolutionary development intended, as in humans, to make the bee addicted,” states Prof. Ido Izhaki, one of the researchers who conducted the study.

Flower nectar is primarily comprised of sugars, which provide energy for the potential pollinators. But the floral nectar of some plant species also includes small quantities of substances known to be toxic, such as caffeine and nicotine. The present study, carried out by researchers at the Department of Environmental and Evolutionary Biology and the Department of Science Education at the University of Haifa-Oranim, headed by Prof. Ido Izhaki along with Prof. Gidi Ne’eman, Prof. Moshe Inbar and Dr. Natarajan Singaravelan, examined whether these substances are intended to “entice” the bees or whether they are byproducts that are not necessarily linked to any such objective.

Nicotine is found naturally in floral nectar at a concentration of up to 2.5 milligrams per liter, primarily in various types of tobacco tree (Nicotiana glauca). Caffeine is found at concentration levels of 11-17.5 milligrams per liter, mostly in citrus flowers. In the nectar of grapefruit flowers, however, caffeine is present in much higher concentrations, reaching 94.2 milligrams per liter. In order to examine whether bees prefer the nectar containing caffeine and nicotine, the researchers offered artificial nectar that comprised various natural sugar levels and various levels of caffeine and nicotine, alongside “clean” nectar that comprised sugar alone. The caffeine and nicotine concentrations ranged from the natural levels in floral nectar up to much higher concentrations than found in nature.

The results showed that bees clearly prefer nectar containing nicotine and caffeine over the “clean” nectar. The preferred nicotine concentration was 1 milligram per liter, similar to that found in nature. Given a choice of higher levels of nicotine versus “clean” nectar, the bees preferred the latter.

According to the researchers, it is difficult to determine for sure whether the addictive substances in the nectar became present in an evolutionary process in order to make pollination more efficient. It can be assumed, however, based on the results of the study, that the plants that survived natural selection are those that developed “correct” levels of these addictive substances, enabling them to attract and not repel bees, thereby giving them a significant advantage over other plants. The researchers emphasized that this study has proved a preference, not addiction, and they are currently examining whether the bees do indeed become addicted to nicotine and caffeine.

Preceding provided by University of Haifa

Cantor Kathy Robbins to be guest at Temple Etz Rimon on Feb. 12

February 10, 2010 Leave a comment

CARLSBAD, California (Press Release) —  Rabbi Karen Sherman and Guest Cantor Kathy Robbins will lead services this Friday night (February 12) to services at Temple Etz Rimon.

Cantor Robbins has served as Cantor and Music Director for Temple Solel since 1984.  In 1988 she premiered Larry Zimmerman’s “Windsongs” (Transcontinental Music), which was written for her in observance of Yom HaShoah. 

Cantor Robbins’ creative contributions include a repetoire of original liturgical compositions in the contemporary and ethnic-fusion genres, a Meditation Minyan, Freilich Friday Shabbat Eve Services and Sermons-in-Song with her seven-piece band, annual Jazzfest concert and Adult Education Wellness Wheel, providing alternative and holistic paths to wholeness, within the context of Jewish spirituality.
Preceding provided by Temple Etz Rimon

Woodstock ‘father’ Artie Kornfeld comes to LFJCC March 10

February 10, 2010 Leave a comment

SAN DIEGO (Press Release)– The Gotthelf Art Gallery, part of the San Diego Center for Jewish Culture at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center, Jacobs Family Campus, has announced An Evening with Artie “The Father of Woodstock” Kornfeld, March 10, 2010 at 7:30pm.  Tickets are $15-$18 and are on sale now.

Rock music writer & producer Artie Kornfeld (who along with Mike Lang) created the legendary Woodstock Music & Art Fair from an idea that came at 2am in the morning after a bumper pool game and a few marijuana joints.  

“Never did I think that what started as an idealistic conversation among friends would become part of history” and what Rolling Stone magazine describes as one of the top moments that changed the history of rock ‘n roll.

“On the weekend of August 15th, 1969 an estimated 500,000 people from all over America descended on the 600-acre dairy farm of Max Yasgur, in Bethel, New York, for a three-day concert, the Woodstock Music and Art Fair.  On Monday, August 18th, they all melted back into America after witnessing legendary performances by, among others, the Who, Santana, Janis Joplin, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Joe Cocker, Sly and the Family Stone, Jimi Hendrix and, in only their second live show together, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.  

Despite delays, the danger of electrical shocks and general backstage anarchy, Woodstock pulled off the ultimate magic act of the 1960’s: turning utter rain-soaked chaos into the greatest rock festival ever and the decade’s most famous and successful experiment in peace and community.”  Rolling Stone Magazine.  Artie Kornfeld will share rock and roll stories and musical insight.  A co-producer of Woodstock at the age of 26,  Kornfeld has continued in the music business for over 40 years and worked with many of rock and roll’s most famous icons. 

fKornfeld is coming to La Jolla to celebrate the opening of Jews Rock! A Phototgraphic Celebration of Rock ‘n Roll’s Jewish Heritage.  A great deal is known about the contributions of Jewish actors, comedians, politicians and others.  More than 60 years after the birth of rock and roll, the importance of Jews in the evolution and popularity of this genre of contemporary music is a joyous discovery that deserves recognition.  Rock ‘n roll as an art form matters.  Being Jewish in rock ‘n roll matters.  Jews Rock! reveals key Jewish icons through the award winning photographs of photojournalist Janet Macoska.   Macoska, will also share highlights she has witnessed from behind her camera. 

The evening will be moderated by Dirk Sutro, the publicity director for UC San Diego’s Department of Music.  He is the former host of The Lounge, a nightly arts & culture program on KPBS-FM public radio, and is the author of the book Jazz for Dummies.

 Macoska and Kornfeld will participate in a book signing after the program.
Preceding provided by the San Diego Center for Jewish Culture

Gallery to examine Jewish contributions to rock n’ roll

February 10, 2010 1 comment

SAN DIEGO (Press Release) – The Gotthelf Art Gallery, part of the San Diego Center for Jewish Culture at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center, Jacobs Family Campus, announced the new exhibition Jews Rock! A Photographic Celebration of Rock ‘n Roll’s Jewish Heritage, running March 10, 2010 – May 19, 2010.  Art is for sale, with all proceeds benefiting the artists and the Gotthelf Art Gallery.

A great deal is known about the contributions of Jewish actors, comedians, politicians and others.  More than 60 years after the birth of rock and roll, the importance of Jews in the evolution and popularity of this genre of contemporary music is a joyous discovery that deserves recognition.  Rock ‘n roll as an art form matters.  Being Jewish in rock ‘n roll matters.  Jews Rock! reveals key Jewish icons through the award winning photographs of photojournalist Janet Macoska.

The Gotthelf Art Gallery is devoted to expanding and enriching cultural life in San Diego by presenting the finest in Jewish artistic expressions, encouraging the preservation of Jewish culture and heritage, and nurturing new creativity in the arts.

Preceding provided by the San Diego Center for Jewish Culture

Obama predicts significant sanctions against Iran

February 10, 2010 2 comments

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WJC) — President Barack Obama has pledged that the United States and its allies would soon deliver a “significant regime of sanctions” against Iran for its nuclear program.

At an ad hoc press briefing at the White House on Tuesday, Obama said a push for international sanctions against Iran was moving along fairly quickly and should be completed in the next few weeks. He stated that despite Tehran’s denials it was clear to him that Iran was pursuing a path towards “nuclear weaponization” and “significant action” was necessary as a consequence. Obama said the international community was unified over what he called Iran’s “misbehavior”.

The US president’s bold remarks came after Iranian media reported that Tehran had begun the process of enriching uranium to 20-percent grade. Obama said he was pleased at Russia’s quick disapproval of Iran’s latest move, but added that it was still unclear how China – one of the five countries on the UN Security Council with veto powers – would respond to his initiative.

In London, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said his Chinese counterpart had recently told him that Beijing was determined to stop Iran getting nuclear weapons. “It is very, very important that we therefore maintain maximum unity in developing the tactics to deliver on that goal,” Miliband said.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told European diplomats that “Iran is racing forward to produce nuclear weapons. This means not moderate sanctions, or watered-down sanctions. This means crippling sanctions, and these sanctions must be applied right now.”

Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of Russia’s Presidential Security Council: “The actions [Iran] is taking, including when it began enriching low-enriched uranium to 20 per cent, raise doubts in other countries, and those doubts are quite valid.” He added: “Political-diplomatic methods are important for a resolution, but there is a limit to everything.”

Meanwhile, the Brazilian government cautioned against new Iran sanctions. “We do not want Iran to have nuclear arms, let there be no doubt about that. They, like other countries, have the right to a peaceful [nuclear] program,” Foreign Minister Celso Amorim told reporters in the capital Brasilia. “We want to reach certainty [on the nature of Iran’s nuclear program] through dialogue and peaceful means,” he said. Brazil has lobbied for a permanent seat on the Security Council and hosted Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in November 2009.

Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress

Palestinians disrupt Israeli speakers in UK and US

February 10, 2010 2 comments

LONDON (WJC)–British police are investigating a verbal attack on Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon, after a student shouted “kill the Jews” during a talk Ayalon gave at Oxford University, in England. During the event, which was hosted by the university’s Student Union, a Muslim student got up and shouted in Arabic “Itbah Al-Yahud” – “kill the Jews” – as he was leaving the lecture hall. The incident was referred to the police on Tuesday and university authorities have promised to look into the incident once the police have completed its investigation.
“Our policy is always to await the outcome of police investigations where criminal offences are alleged, and to look at any internal disciplinary process after the police have finished their investigation. So we will await the outcome. We abhor racism but obviously now this is in police hands we cannot comment on the individual case,” an Oxford University spokesperson told the ‘Jerusalem Post’. The paper reported that Ayalon was heckled throughout his talk by accusations of war crimes and racism. At a demonstration outside the lecture hall, organized by the university’s Palestine Society, protesters chanted “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

Meanwhile, California police made a dozen arrests after a speech by the Israeli ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, descended into chaos. Hecklers interrupted Oren’s lecture at the University of California in Irvine over ten times, shouting “killers” and “how many Palestinians did you kill?” Oren was speaking about US-Israeli relations. The college’s Muslim Student Union released a statement prior to Oren’s appearance which said, “As people of conscience, we oppose Michael Oren’s invitation to our campus. Propagating murder is not a responsible expression of free speech.”

The ambassador was removed from the stage for a period because of the outbursts, prompting strong criticism by Professor Mark Petracca, chairman of the university’s Political Science department, who told the students: “This is no way for our undergraduate students to behave. We have an opportunity to hear from a policy-maker relevant to one of the most important issues facing this planet, and you are preventing not only yourself from hearing him but hundreds of other people in this room and hundreds of other people in an overflow room. Shame on you! This is not an example of free speech.”

Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress