Wind of Change

It's definitely in the air, a wind of change is felt here. I hope I will be able to make you feel the wind wherever you are. There is a wave of Israeli public awareness to the issue of the microwave radiation, the antennas, the not-so-safe-as-thought cell phone, following non-usual strong media activity in the last two weeks, a chain of reactions happened as a result of my new book which exposed new data to one reporter who decided this was a good reason for him to investigate this issue and bring it to the TV prime time, and shook the 3 national newspapers as well. (Yediot Ahronot, Maariv, Haaretz).

1. Last Friday night on prime time was part 2 of a show inside the weekly news, a show that focused on the cellular technology and gave a non-"balanced" view but a public health point of view. THIS IS RARE! The commercial channel, which gets most of its funding from the cellular industry, exposed:

- How they Israeli law had been prepared two years ago, a law which gives total freedom to the companies to erect antennas everywhere. The communication minister then, Reuven Rivlin, is the one who cooperated with the companies to delete one clause from the law: a clause which said that the public had the right to oppose to antennas. A technion professor, Rachel Alterman, was kicked out of the committee on the subject because she was the only one to insist that the public would have the right to resist.

- Sorek and Refael, two state bodies which are supposed to be independent on the issue of the radiation safety, receive money from the cellular industry for their work. The problem: they publish biased information to the public about the safely of the radiation, and this information says that there are no known negative effects, no known a-thermal effects, cancer is "probably not" a possibility from the radiation [cited from Sorek's brochure]. In addition they are involved in preparing the antennas and they support the view that we need maximum antennas in the country. In addition they mamage the whole issue of radiation measurements to the public, (and their equipement is found to be calibrated in a strage way), so how can these bodies be taken as real "independent" bodies? !!

Refael expert who is responsible for the radiation safety in the country, and is a state worker, is also a paid consultant to three cellular companies, the power company and the wired phone company. He said in the show that he doesn't see any problem here.

- The companies erect the antennas in the eyes height of people, under their nose, for example it showed antenna which looks like a big box and is located about 1 meter from a desk in a store, behind the desk the workers stand and the box is behind them without them knowing it's cellular antenna, and it's not above them, it's just near their bodies.

- Stelian Galberg, responsible for antennas in the country, in the Environmental ministry, who usually is very supportive for the companies view, says to the camera that what's going on with the antennas is "rape".

- A worker of the Env. Ministry says that he is responsible for 2000 antennas and can follow only about 3% of them.

- the former responsible for antennas in the Env. ministry says that he wouldn't allow his children to live near antenna like he wouldn't allow them to live in front of a smoking power station.

- My message as shown on screen was that
1. People are flooded with disinformation about the radiation, they are told that it is a matter of opinions rather than facts, they are told that the matter is "not proven and not refuted" and other sentences which sound beautiful, but they are actually not provided with INFORMATION in hands. I also said in reaction to the exposure about Sorek and Refae"l that they are perceived as neutral bodies and the public believes their distributed information about the radiation ["there's is no problem"], and rely on them, without being aware that there are vested interests here. I hope I raised the doubt in people's minds. I did get good reactions from people saying I said brave things they hadn't think about before.

2. Before the show and during the week, the 3 newspapers were full of the antennas issue, telling of some of the things the show would expose, and published a map with hidden antennas in the country.

3. PM Ofir Pines is leading a very important move - he wants to change the law, so that people and municipalities will have the right to resist. According to the law municipalities don't have the basic right to say "no" to antennas and two municipalities in Israel filed a suit to change that. Herzelia is one of them. The mayor of Herzelia wants to prevent antennas being placed near sensitive places but she cannot do it because of the law.

4. The show "Popolitics" on cellular antennas last Tuesday was very hot, I think the peak moment was when the mayor of Herzelia, Yael German told of how she was threatened by the Cellular Forum [PR office of 3 Israeli cellular companies]. Tal Zilberstein, the Cellular Forum executive threatened the Mayor of Herzelia that he would consider to turn off all Herzelia from cellular communication if she continues to lead her public activity to against cellular antennas inside cities. Yael German brought the letter to the TV and read it, she also reported it to the person in charge of preventing cartels in the country, with the request to close down the Cellular Forum because the Forum aim was supposed to be to raise public awareness and not threaten mayors.

Roman Bronfman, the PM who leads a move to prevent erecting 18,000 for the 3G, who was attacked by the cellular companies [they complained to the ethics committee of the parliament saying he was lying about the 18,000 number which had been their own report !...] said on screen that the Cellular Forum would be closed down.

5. The part 1 Friday TV programme about the cellular phones showed the DNA breaks found by Prof. Franz Adlkofer in the REFLEX project. He told that the industry's reaction was to totally ignore his finding, and that the DNA breaks contradict the common knowledge which held the opinion that the non-ionizing radiation is too weak to damage big molecules.

Dr. Elihu Richter said that the dizziness and headaches the phone-users feel is evidence for internal damage inside the brain. Dr. Sigal Sadezki, who leads the Israeli arm of the Interphone study was vague in her message but did say that she was worried about children, that their use of phones should be limited, and that Ahlbom's study caused her a "switch" because if something can cause benign tumors, it can also cause malignant tumors. The fact the reporter caused her say these things, raised many eyebrows. People who know her position as it has been for many year, were surprised, including people who work with her. Her position has been to ignore research and evidence (epidemiologic and labratory) on DNA damage and cancer in her lectures to the public, and not warning the public nor children. She says that only the Interphone study would bring the answers, and that "it is not proven nor refuted". She has a serious problem giving legitimation to Hardell's studies, she prefers to ignore his findings. Don't think for a sec that I buy her "new" face: I am not deaf and she said on the same programme that "it is not known whether a-thermal effects exist". HA!

The general public didn't notice this but I don't need another proof to see that she didn't really do a switch, and that is why I was disturbed by the fact that the programme focused on her and presented her as the main actor in the scientific field in Israel: "The most senior researcher in Israel". I think that if the most senior researcher in Israel doubts non-thermal effects, we have a serious problem in Israel in catching up with the last 40 years of scientific research !!

Also in that part 1 programme I presented Dr. Alasdair Philips COM device near a cell phone showing that cell phone irradiates to distance, saying to the reporter that if he speaks on the phone and his wife is near him, then he is not the only one to absorb the radiation but his wife as well, and it can also be the baby, the dog. The COM device showed red color even at 1 meter distance. It was a strong illustration and first time the public learnt of the passive exposure from the phones.

Part 1 (phones) was rather weak and vague and full of technical effects, but still showed things that had not been shown in the mainsteam ever. Even the findings on Ahlbom, which had not been published in the main newspapers until this day, were presented on the screen in front of 20% rating rate, which is enourmous. In spite of my efforts to make the TV present Hardell's findings as well, I encountered huge power of interests who caused these findings to be shut up. Anyway they are presented in the book. The efforts to shut them up only tells me how much they threaten on the industry. In contrast, part two (antennas) was very strong, and was presented in a serious, clear way.

I know of parliament departments which changed their wireless phones to wired phones, and citizens who did that as well. I know that several municipalities were flooded with phone calls from worried citizens, and the TV was flooded as well with hundreds of calls. I know of people who now have a problem when they pick up the cell phone. They don't look at it as an innocent device anymore. No, these are not all people, but these are enough people for a good start !

Iris Atzmon.


I must say there is a real groundswell of anti mast activism now isn't there? The anti mast demo outside Brighton Town Hall (outside a planning meeting) on Thursday is a first in this area and I'm amaxed at the extent to which other people have taken the initiative and advertised it extensively via flyers and door to door leafletting. A lot of people have had enough of those spineless gits on the planning committee just waving applications through - about time we put the wind (of change) up them!!!!!!!


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März 2005

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