cancer cells 88.
(photo credit: )
Ordinarily, the annual launch at Beit Hanassi of the Israel Cancer Association's annual door-knock campaign excites very little media attention, but on Tuesday evening reporters, photographers and television crews almost outnumbered the volunteers from 70 ICA branches around the country who had come to participate in the ceremony.
The newshounds were sniffing for anything they could get with regard to President Moshe Katsav, who despite his legal predicament, was as well groomed as ever and maintained a calm, and occasionally interested expression on his face.
The media stood like a pack of wolves in front of the barricade that would enable Katsav and his wife Gila easy access to their seats in the main reception hall. Were it not for Katsav's beefed-up security detail they would have swamped him.
The ceremony started 15 minutes behind schedule, and when ICA director-general Miri Ziv asked for everyone to be upstanding for the president's arrival, the guests in the hall not only stood, but applauded.
During the ceremony, Katsav expressed appreciation to the business community and the private sector for their enormous contributions to the ICA, noting that funds raised are used for research and for cancer awareness information campaigns.
"Once we used to talk about matching funds," he said, "but now the Cancer Association is raising more money than the government contributes."
Voicing the hope that Israel would maintain its leadership role in cancer treatment and research, Katsav added: "I pray we find a scientific means to eradicate cancer, just as science was able to do away with other life threatening illnesses."
Katsav urged the public to contribute generously to the door-knock campaign to enable continued research, better medications and a better quality of life for victims of the dread disease.