February 9, 2009

Pt 1: Israeli Election - Israeli politics is notoriously fractured. But as the country goes to the polls in another general election -- its fifth in the last decade -- Israelis are unusually united around one issue. At the height of Israel's military operation in Gaza, 94 per cent of Israeli's supported the campaign. And that's shifted Israel's electoral politics further to the right.

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Pt 2: Israeli Election - Israel's shift to the right is being attributed largely to the popularity of the military campaign in Gaza. But many believe that another factor is the inability of the Israeli peace movement to offer a credible alternative to military strikes.

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Pt 3: Isotopes - By the end of today, close to four thousand Canadians will have undergone a medical procedure that uses radioactive isotopes. Isotopes are used in a wide variety of diagnostic imaging procedures. And a little over a year ago, medical professionals - and patients - all over the world got a brief taste of what it means to go without.

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It's Monday, February 9th.

A man from Quebec City plans to auction off what he says is the oldest hockey stick in the world.

Currently, The authentication on the stick itself is a little sketchy. But the DNA on the blood stuck in its tip is pretty convincing.

This is The Current.


Israeli Election - Reporter

Israeli politics is notoriously fractured. But as the country goes to the polls in another general election -- its fifth in the last decade -- Israelis are unusually united around one issue. At the height of Israel's military operation in Gaza, 94 per cent of Israeli's supported the campaign. And that's shifted Israel's electoral politics further to the right.

According to the polls, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu -- the leader of the right-of-centre Likud Party -- has a slim lead over the ruling Kadima party of Tzipi Livini. And Avigdor Lieberman -- the leader of the hardline conservative Yisrael Beiteinu party -- is making unprecedented gains that could affect the balance of power. .

For some perspective, we were joined by Margaret Evans. She's CBC Radio's Middle East Correspondent and she was in Jerusalem.


Israeli Election - Peace Now

Israel's shift to the right is being attributed largely to the popularity of the military campaign in Gaza. But many believe that another factor is the inability of the Israeli peace movement to offer a credible alternative to military strikes.

For his thoughts on that, we were joined by Yariv Oppenheimer. He's the Secretary-General of Peace Now, a group founded in 1978 and considered to be Israel's oldest peace group. He was in Tel Aviv.


Israeli Election - Author

Jonathan Schanzer has a different take on the situation. He was a counterterrorism analyst with the United States Treasury Department and is now the Deputy Executive Director of the Jewish Policy Center. He is also the author of Hamas Vs. Fatah: The Struggle For Palestine. He was in Washington.

 

Isotopes - Doctor

By the end of today, close to four thousand Canadians will have undergone a medical procedure that uses radioactive isotopes. Isotopes are used in a wide variety of diagnostic imaging procedures. And a little over a year ago, medical professionals - and patients - all over the world got a brief taste of what it means to go without.

You may remember that's when the nuclear power plant in Chalk River, Ontario was shut down because of safety concerns. It was back up and running after five weeks, but because the plant produces close to half the world's supply of radioactive isotopes ... it left a lot of people with a lot of questions about the security of the global supply.

Those questions have been renewed in the last few weeks since the news broke that the Chalk River nuclear reactor had sprung a leak and that the leak had not been reported to the public. We aired some tape with the fallout in the House of Commons. The federal government says Atomic Energy of Canada is changing its policy and will now voluntarily disclose any incidents at the Chalk River nuclear plant.

But the incident has left many feeling vulnerable. Especially at a time when the world's other major isotope producer in the Netherlands is temporarily shut down for repairs. Like Canada's - the Netherlands' facility is aging - it's about fifty years old. And there's uncertainty about the future of Canada's Chalk River plant since it's licence to operate runs out in 2011.

And that has people like Christopher O'Brien wondering where isotopes are going to come from in the not-too-distant future. He's the Medical Director of Nuclear Medicine at Brantford General Hospital. He's also the President of the Ontario Association of Nuclear Medicine and Christopher O'Brien was in Hamilton, Ontario.


Isotopes - Scientist

Tom Ruth is working on a solution to this problem ... a way of ensuring a stable and long-term source of radioactive isotopes. He's a research scientists at Triumf, a nuclear research lab at the University of British Columbia. He's also a senior scientist at the B.C. Cancer Agency and he was on Hornby Island, British Columbia this morning.


Isotopes - Government

Lisa Raitt is the federal Minister of Natural Resources. Her ministry oversees the production of radioactive isotopes in Canada. She was in Toronto this morning.

 

Auschwitz Museum - Spokesperson

Every year, more than a million people walk through the gates at the Auschwitz Birkenau State Museum in Poland. Inside is one of the most notorious places on earth ... a complex of buildings where, at the height of the Holocaust, 1.1 million people -- 90 per cent of them Jews -- were systematically murdered.

But these days, many of those buildings are crumbling ... simply rotting away slowly. The museum doesn't have the money to fix them. And the people who run it say that without a significant influx of cash, the museum -- a monument to remembrance -- will have to shut its doors.

Pawel Sawicki is with the public relations office at the Auschwitz Birkenau State Museum in Poland and that's where we reached him.


Auschwitz Museum - Historian

As a young woman, Bronia Sonnenschein was imprisoned in Auschwitz in one of the barracks that is now threatened by the ravages of time. Today she lives in Vancouver and we aired a clip.

But today, as the Auschwitz Birkenau State Museum fights to save the site, one of the world's leading experts on Auschwitz isn't sure that's the right thing to do.
Robert Jan Van Pelt is a professor of architecture at the University of Waterloo. He's also the author of several books about Auschwitz and he was in Toronto.

 

Last Word - Hockey

Stay with us on CBC Radio One. "Q" is next. And later today, on The Point, host Aamer Haleem will tell you about the security problems with the new hi-tech drivers licenses being issued in some parts of the country. The Point is at 2 o'clock -- 2:30 in Newfoundland and parts of Labrador. And, tonight at 10 o'clock on CBC Television, The National will have the story behind the story of the school in New Brunswick that dropped the singing of O Canada.

And tomorrow on The Current we're going to be taking a look at the role fighting plays in hockey culture. We'll delve into the sport's psyche and how it's tied to masculinity in this Country.

And with that in mind, we ended the program today with a poignant ballad. It's called "Hit Somebody!" by singer Warren Zevon. It's about a sensitive hockey goon who wanted nothing more than to shed his tough guy role on the ice and just play the game.

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