We are Modern Orthodox and are a constituent member of the United Synagogue

Israel Update 11.2.21




(Last week’s figures in brackets for comparison)


5,540 (7,385) new cases of Covid-19 were diagnosed on Wednesday, the third day in a row that daily cases fell. 1,027 (1,103) are in serious condition.  The death toll has reached 5,265 (4,947). 40% of Israelis have received the first dose of the corona vaccine and 25% have received both shots. Read more here


The number of Israel’s hospitalized COVID-19 patients under the age of 60 has overtaken the number of patients of that age and over, in a further indication of the widespread vaccination campaign starting to show its effect. The figures are similar for the number of serious patients. Some 80% of Israelis over 60 have been immunized, and hospitalizations among that population have been going sharply down since mid-January. Read more here



Israel’s largest COVID-19 testing lab has evidence indicating that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine significantly reduces the transmissibility of the coronavirus. Overall, the results appear to show that once someone is vaccinated, even if they have the virus in their system, they are less likely to pass it on because they have fewer infectious SARS-CoV-2 droplets hanging around their noses and throats.Read more here


Another study found that patients who test positive for the coronavirus and are confirmed to have been at least partially vaccinated, have far smaller viral loads than those who haven’t received the vaccine. The viral load was shown to be reduced fourfold on average for infections occurring 12 to 28 days after the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.Read more here




A new coronavirus treatment being developed at Ichilov Medical Centre has successfully completed phase 1 trials.  Prof. Nadir Arber’s EXO-CD24 substance was administered to 30 patients whose conditions were moderate or worse, and all 30 recovered — 29 of them within three to five days. Read more here


The largest hospital in Greece will take part in the trials of the new EXO-CD24 treatment, subject to overcoming regulatory hurdles. Read more here


A group of Israeli researchers have launched a Phase II study of a drug that they believe could keep patients off mechanical ventilation  and speed their recovery. The drug is based on a naturally occurring peptide, angiotensin 1-7 to help counter the impact of COVID-19 on the lungs. Read more here




Tel Aviv city hall and the Sourasky Medical Centre are administering COVID-19 vaccines free of charge to the city’s foreign nationals, many of whom are undocumented asylum seekers. Posters provide information in English, Tigrinya, Russian and Arabic. Recipients include foreign workers from the Philippines, Moldova, and Nigeria, as well as Sudanese and Eritrean asylum seekers. Read more here


Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel’s national emergency service, rolled out a vaccination campaign Wednesday for all Palestinian workers who hold valid work permits allowing them to enter and work within Israel.Under the terms of the Oslo Accords, the PA is responsible for the healthcare of its own population.Read more here




On Monday, Israel and Greece announced a deal mutually to recognize each others’ “green passports,” enabling the vaccinated to travel freely between the two countries. Israel is also reportedly negotiating a deal with the UK and Estonia on a travel corridor between the countries for the vaccinated and is in talks about similar agreements with Romania, Serbia, Cyprus, Georgia and Seychelles.Read more here




A forum was held in Khartoum on Saturday to support the normalization of relations between Sudan and Israel. Organizers said the aim was to “enhance tolerance and social peace in Sudan, promote national and human values, and call for peaceful coexistence.” Read more here




Thousands of ultra-Orthodox Israelis thronged the streets of Bnei Brak on Sunday night, for the funeral of a senior rabbi who succumbed to the coronavirus earlier in the day, in the community’s latest mass violation of public health guidelines.Read more here


An ultra-Orthodox teenager, 16, was indicted Monday on charges of torching a bus and attacking the driver and a passerby during violent riots in Bnei Brak last month. Read more here




Last week the U.S. Senate voted 97-3 to keep the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. The three opposing votes were Senators Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Tom Carper (D-Del.) Read more here




Israeli medtech firm Inovytec, has received clearance  from the FDA for its Ventway Sparrow ventilators and intends to sell and market the compact devices across the United States.Read more here


Israeli startup Nanomedic Technologies Ltd., maker of a medical device that can dress burns and other wounds with an artificial skin layer, said that Rambam Health Care Campus has started using its wound-care system. Read more here


Gamida Cell Ltd., a maker of cell and immune therapy technologies, on Wednesday published the results of a key late-stage clinical trial of its flagship drug, which aims to increase the success of bone marrow transplants in blood cancer patients.  Read more here


A new and extremely accurate blood test developed by researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has the potential to diagnose a wide array of diseases including cancers, liver diseases, immune disorders and more. Read more here




Senior ICC Judge Peter Kovacs in a dissenting opinion wrote that the majority of his colleagues had erred repeatedly in their interpretation of the law when they ruled that the ICC has jurisdiction in the Palestinian territories. Read more here


Judge Kovacs’ Opinion: Read more here


Israel rejected the decision on several grounds. Read more here


The US opposes ICC attempts to affirm territorial jurisdiction over the Palestinian situation. Read more here


Australia, Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Brazil, Uganda & Canada expressed their opposition to the ICC investigation. Read more here




JPOST Editorial: (EXTRACT) What makes the (ICC) court’s decision ridiculous is that it puts Israel on equal footing with terrorist groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad. These groups intentionally target civilians with rockets, while Israel acts to defend itself. The restraint Israel has shown over the years in the face of these rocket attacks should be applauded, not undermined with an immoral war crimes charge. Read more here


Lahav Harkov: Those who think the lack of phone call (from President Biden)  is indicative of some kind of crisis may want to consider whether it is in Israel’s interest to always be at the centre of attention. Israelis often inveigh against double-standards when every move the government or military makes is turned over and picked at constantly by the international community. A little peace and quiet from Washington could do us good. America – or at least its leadership – is touting a return to normalcy. Israel might benefit from being treated like a normal American ally, as well.  Read more here