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Israel suspends Cooperation with UNESCO Over Jerusalem Draft that denies the deep, historic Jewish connection to Holy sites in Jerusalem
JERUSALEM, October 15, 2016: Israel suspended cooperation with UNESCO on Friday, a day after the U.N. cultural agency adopted a draft resolution that Israel says denies the deep, historic Jewish connection to holy sites in Jerusalem.
UNESCO’s draft resolution, sponsored by several Arab countries, uses only the Islamic name for a hilltop compound sacred to both Jews and Muslims, which includes the Western Wall, a remnant of the biblical temple and the holiest site where Jews can pray. The validated resolution is expected early next week, but the wording is unlikely to change.
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Israelis and many Jews around the world viewed it as the latest example of an ingrained anti-Israel bias at the United Nations, where Israel and its allies are far outnumbered by Arab countries and their supporters.
The draft resolution, seen by The Associated Press, diminished the links of two important holy sites in Jerusalem’s Old City to Judaism. The text refers to the site known by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and by Jews as the Temple Mount only by its Muslim name. The draft resolution refers to the Muslim holy site of Al-Buraq Plaza without quotations, but puts the site’s Jewish name, the Western Wall Plaza, in inverted commas.
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Education Minister Naftali Bennett informed UNESCO of Israel’s decision on Friday.
“Following the shameful decision by UNESCO members to deny history and ignore thousands of years of Jewish ties to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, I have notified the Israel National Commission for UNESCO to suspend all professional activities with the international organization,” Bennett said.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said he was “outraged” by the resolution.
“Would UNESCO vote to deny the Christian connection to the Vatican? Or the Muslim connection to Mecca? The UNESCO vote claims that there is no connection between the Jewish people and the Western Wall. In fact, it is the UNESCO vote that has no connection to reality.”
The spat is the latest in Israel’s rocky relations with UNESCO, which it accuses of making decisions out of political considerations.
Israel captured east Jerusalem, with sites holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims, in the 1967 Mideast war. Palestinians claim the territory as part of their future state, and its fate is one of the most contentious issues in the decades-old conflict.
Jews refer to the hilltop compound in Jerusalem’s Old City as the Temple Mount, site of the two Jewish biblical temples. Muslims refer to it as al-Haram al-Sharif, Arabic for the Noble Sanctuary, and it is home to the Al-Aqsa mosque and the golden Dome of the Rock. It is the holiest site in Judaism and the third holiest in Islam, after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.
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Irina Bokova, the head of UNESCO, expressed dismay with the wording of the draft resolution, stating that “different peoples worship the same places, sometimes under different names. The recognition, use of and respect for these names is paramount.”
“The heritage of Jerusalem is indivisible, and each of its communities has a right to the explicit recognition of their history and relationship with the city,” Bokova said.
“To deny, conceal or erase any of the Jewish, Christian or Muslim traditions undermines the integrity of the site, and runs counter to the reasons that justified its inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage list.”
Palestinians approve of draft
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ government in the West Bank welcomed the resolution, as did Hamas, the Islamic militant group that rules the Gaza Strip. A spokesman for Hamas, which is pledged to Israel’s destruction, called the resolution a “step in the right direction.”
The dispute over Jerusalem’s holiest site ignited a wave of violence this time last year. Since then Palestinian attackers have killed 36 Israelis and two visiting Americans, mainly in stabbings. About 220 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire, most of them identified as attackers by Israel. The Palestinians, as well as Israeli and international rights groups, say forces have in some cases used excessive force to subdue attackers.
Israel has blamed the violence on incitement by Palestinian political and religious leaders, compounded on social media sites that glorify violence. The Palestinians say it is rooted in some 50 years of military rule and fading hopes for independence. (VOA)
While wine has long been linked to a lower risk of heart disease, a new study shows that alcohol-free versions may also give you all the health benefits of the real stuff. According to researchers at Anglia Ruskin University, it's not the alcohol, but the benefit of wine comes from antioxidants in grapes, the Daily Mail reported. The team analyzed data from nearly 450,000 people aged 40 to 69 to look at the impacts of moderate alcohol consumption on their health.
The study, published in the journal Clinical Nutrition, showed a 40 per cent reduced risk of coronary heart disease among people who drank up to 11 glasses of wine a week compared to non-drinkers and binge drinkers. The same reduced risk was found among those who regularly drank non-alcoholic versions, suggesting the goodness of grapes, the report said. Grapes are high in antioxidants called polyphenols, which can improve the function of the inner lining of the heart and increase levels of good cholesterol.
While wine has long been linked to lower risk of heart disease, a new study shows that alcohol-free versions may also give you all the health benefits of the real stuff. | Photo by Mathilde Langevin on Unsplash
On the other hand, drinking a moderate amount of beer, cider, or spirits, was linked with about a 10 per cent increased risk. There is an "undeniable protective beneficial relationship" and drinking grape-based alcohol, lead researcher Dr. Rudolph Schutte, Associate Professor at the university was quoted as saying. "This relationship is also seen for alcohol-free wine, so it suggests the benefits are thanks to the polyphenols in the wine rather than the alcohol," he said.
However, the positive associations between wine and health benefits are offset by other risks, especially from cancer, the report said. Those who drank low levels of beer, cider, and spirits had higher levels of heart and cerebrovascular disease, cancer, and mortality, the study found. The researchers noted that their findings "do not support the notion that alcohol from any drink type is beneficial to health", the report said. Schutte said drinking alcohol, even at low levels, can be damaging to health.
"A group of non-drinkers will contain individuals who abstain from alcohol due to various pre-existing health reasons, making this reference group surprisingly high-risk. "Comparing a group of low to moderate drinkers to this 'risky' reference group of non-drinkers could wrongly indicate that alcohol is beneficial to health," Schutte said. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Wine, alcohol, free, grape, advantages, diseases, health
Have you ever matched with someone online and realised you have no idea what to say to them? Do you worry about setting a bad impression with the first thing you say? In the world of virtual dating, it can be hard to think of ideas to go beyond 'hey' or 'hello', but nothing beats the chemistry of a good conversation to calm the nerves! Your first (virtual) date should be lighthearted and a two-way street. The easiest way to do so is to ask questions that matter to you and check your partner's interest in the same. All in all, don't be afraid to be yourself, after all the aim is to find someone as like-minded (or goofy) as you are.
Having introduced people to their love stories for over two decades from all around the world, dating app OkCupid lists down five conversation starters that will get you and your date talking!
'What's something that you really want to do?'
Being able to uninhibitedly discuss your dreams, goals, and desires on a first date can be a terrific approach to get to know someone better. Your goals don't have to be strictly professional-sharing what you'd like to achieve, whether it's learning to play the guitar or mastering Italian cooking, might help your date gain a better understanding of your life and priorities. Break the ice with your partner and ask what they seek from their life and what they truly wish for. In fact, 34 per cent of daters on the platform find questions around the partners' goals, plans and wishes a good conversation starter.
Your goals don't have to be strictly professional-sharing what you'd like to achieve. | Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash
'Dogs or cats?'
Pets too have been perfect conversation starters for millennials; getting to know if your date is a pet parent, their views on adopting pets, and their bond with these furry creatures can reveal interesting insights about their personality while also giving them the opportunity to learn about you. Safe to say, millennial daters in their search for unconditional love, look at the relationships their potential partners have with their furry friends with 31 per cent of daters reveal that pets are an ideal way to start a conversation with their match.
Pets too have been perfect conversation starters for millennials. | Photo by Andrew S on Unsplash
'What's next on your watchlist?'
There's no shortage of streaming services or access to movies, shows, or literature in today's world. With this in mind, discussing TV shows you're watching, recommending must-see movies, and telling your match more about your all-time favourite novels can help keep the conversation flowing while you and your date learn more about each other's personalities and favourite characters. And who knows, this might even lead the way for a virtual movie date or book reading session!
Discussing TV shows you're watching, recommending must-see movies, and telling your match more about your all-time favourite novels can help keep the conversation flowing. | Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash
'What do you want from a relationship?'
When seeking a long-term relationship, it's important to know if the person across the screen is looking for the same thing. Twenty per cent of the daters revealed that learning about their partner's perspectives and what they seek from a relationship is an intriguing conversation starter. This can stem from the fact that dating has changed phenomenally during the pandemic, and millennials have discovered an impatience with entertaining dead-end connections and instead truly investing in the one with potential. The focus has shifted to discovering romance and compatibility with a potential partner through the quality of conversation and time spent together.
The focus has shifted to discovering romance and compatibility with a potential partner through the quality of conversation and time spent together. | Photo by Stefan Cosma on Unsplash
'What's next on your travel bucket list?'
Travel! The perfect conversation starter to break the ice and transport your date into a dreamy world where you could go wherever you want to -- soaking under the sun by a beach, backpacking across the country, or watching the Northern lights. Travel will open the door to a multitude of other topics such as food, cuisines that your partner is fond of, places that they've been to already or what's on their wishlist. And this just might help you and your date decide where to get a bite in the city or try something that you wouldn't have otherwise!
avel will open the door to a multitude of other topics such as food, cuisines that your partner is fond of. | Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash
(Article originally written by: N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: date, world, virtual, pet, interests, pets, travel, dating
Every part of South India changes colour on Onam and Vishu when Malayalis begin their celebrations. They cannot be missed for they decorate themselves in subtle shades of gold and white, and dot the streets in their traditional attire.
The white kerala saree, known as kasavu, has a rather interesting history. It grew to prominence when the Portuguese reached India, and began trade. Gold was exchanged for spices, and women began to incorporate gold into their sarees. The white part of the kasavu is believed to be inspired by the Greco-Roman one-piece, also known as 'toga' or 'palmyrene'.In Ravi Verma's paintings, the Malayali woman is visibly very similar to the European contemporary when she is decked in her adornments.
A classical dancer dressed in gold and white kasavu Image source: wikimedia commons
The traditional malayalis used to wear what is called a mundu, or a settu-mundu, which consisted of a rectangular piece of cloth tied around the waist. They did not cover their upper bodies. Later, women began to wear a blouse or place a cloth to cover their upper body, and the mundu became a two-piece affair. Today, women wear three different pieces. The blouse is worn with one cloth wrapped around the waist, and another wrapped around the chest. Colours are also incorporated according to each one's taste.
The kasavu yarn is spun and dyed in the required colours, and stretched, ideally in the early hours of the morning. It is also soaked and stamped to make it soft. It is then mounted on the loom and woven. The stretching allows the fabric to become resilient, and it does not break easily. Once woven, it is immediately turned into sarees or mundus. Since it is a relatively plain weave, it does not require a post-weave process.
The kasavu saree is very simple and common among the malayalis, and with added colours, even among other south Indians. The luxury of this saree lies in the fact that it is woven with real gold in the borders.
Keywords: Kasavu, mundu, Kerala, Gold, White