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

Israel Update 23.9.21


Chag Succot Sameach to all my readers.





A group of anti-Israel lawmakers forced the US House Democratic leadership Tuesday to cut $1 billion for Israel’s Iron Dome from a short-term government funding bill.  Moderate House Democrats slammed their colleagues for their anti-Israel stance. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.) called removing the funding “irresponsible.” “Iron Dome is a purely ‘defensive’ system – it protects civilians when hundreds of rockets are shot at population centres. Whatever your views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, using a system that just saved hundreds, if not thousands, of lives as a political chit is problematic.”
Read more here




The US House of Representatives will vote Thursday on authorizing $1 billion for Israel to resupply its Iron Dome missile defence system. The system was used extensively in May, when Hamas fired rockets from Gaza toward Israel, the vast majority of which were intercepted by the system. Read more here





A total of 34 countries, including the US & the UK, boycotted Wednesday’s conference at the UN marking the 20th anniversary of the World Conference Against Racism in Durban because of antisemitism and anti-Israel bias at the 2001 event.

Only 14 had opted out of the previous Durban Review Conference in 2011. Read more here


Context to the Durban saga from UN Watch:Read more here






(Figures from last week’s Update in brackets for comparison)



5,921 (9,539) new cases of coronavirus were confirmed on Wednesday in Israel.

723 (650) patients were hospitalized in serious condition, of them, 197 (172) were connected to ventilators. The death toll since the start of the pandemic stood at 7,592 (7,444). Read more here


Pupils returning to school following the Sukkot vacation will be required to present a negative COVID antigen test. On Saturday 59% of the approximately 7,500 Israelis testing positive for the virus, were school-age children. Read more here



On Sunday 70% of serious cases were among unvaccinated patients, while most new infections were found among school-age children (over 50%), and in the Israeli-Arab community (40%). Read more here

Senior Israeli health officials on Thursday called to limit public gatherings in order to drive down COVID-19 infection rates that have seen the number of seriously ill remain stubbornly high despite an ongoing vaccination campaign. Read more here







A new study conducted in Israel, including data from over a million Israelis, indicates that individuals given a third COVID-19 vaccine dose are nearly twenty times more protected against serious illness and more than ten times more protected against infection, compared with those who received their second dose at least five months previously. Read more here




An Israeli study has found that the two-dose Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine against Covid-19 is initially effective in reducing the viral load of breakthrough infections — even with the Delta variant. The lower the viral load, the lower the chance of transmitting the virus and developing symptoms. However, the vaccine’s protection starts declining two months after the second dose and disappears by about six months. The third vaccination caused a more than four-fold reduction in viral loads but forhow long the booster’s protection remains effective is a question that can be answered only by further research. Read more here






The Israeli-developed vaccine, BriLife, is currently in Phase IIb/III trials in Georgia and will soon begin to be administered in Ukraine. An initial small study indicates that BriLife, given at a high dose, provides longer-term protection than some other vaccines. Some 200 volunteers who received the highest dosage of the vaccine were notified that they did not need a third dose of the vaccine, as their protection remained high six months after getting a second dose. Read more here








Israel’s health maintenance organizations (HMOs) will begin on Thursday providing the potentially life-saving COVID-19 treatment Regeneron to some patients, at high risk of developing severe symptoms. Among the recipients of the treatment are those suffering from obesity, heart and lung patients and unvaccinated individuals who are treated at home under the supervision of their healthcare provider. Read more here









Israel’s Foreign Minister Lapid has proposed what he called a “new vision” for Israel’s relations with the Gaza Strip, outlining a two-stage plan for changing the economic reality on the ground in Gaza. He said that a combination of international investment, Israel-Palestinian cooperation, and a quiescent Hamas could change life on the ground for ordinary Gazans,

The proposal was swiftly rejected by the PA Prime Minister as well as Gaza rulers Hamas, but some within the Palestinian Authority are quietly in favour. Read more here



Three Gazans carrying knives and bolt cutters were detained by IDF soldiers after trying to infiltrate into southern Israel on Saturday. Read more here



In the second infiltration attempt within three days, two Gazans into Israel on Monday, but retreated after spotting an IDF squad heading to the scene. Read more here







Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) in Israel is forging collaborations with Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) and Université Internationale de Rabat (UIR) in Morocco, expected to be among the first formal collaborations since the two countries signed a normalisation agreement in December 2020. They will sign a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on scientific research projects and student and faculty exchanges in the areas of agriculture, water, energy and ecological restoration. Read more here







Vulnerable Afghani women now have reliable telecommunications access so that local mental health workers can continue supporting their psychosocial needs during the current unrest, thanks to Israeli nonprofit SmartAID which is providing cell phones, solar-powered battery packs, and data packages to at-risk women in Afghanistan. Read more here



Several Israeli philanthropists have helped bring to Abu Dhabi dozens of asylum seekers, including female athletes, fleeing Taliban rule in Afghanistan. The Israeli international humanitarian agency IsraAID and officials from several governments also were involved in the rescue operation. Read more here







Israeli medical solutions firm MeMed Diagnostics announced that it has been granted clearance from the US FDA for a test that can distinguish between bacterial and viral infections which,  are often clinically indistinguishable, leading to the prescription of antibiotics that are ineffective because the doctor thinks the patient has a bacterial infection when it’s actually viral. Antibiotic misuse drives the emergence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), which is considered one of the biggest healthcare challenges of our time. Read more here







Israeli security forces overnight Saturday arrested the two remaining Palestinian security inmates who had escaped from Gilboa Prison nearly two weeks ago previously. They were apprehended in the West Bank city of Jenin. Read more here








Thousands of people attended the traditional priestly blessing event at the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem during Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles).    Read more here







Israeli-Arab actor Salim Dau will join the cast of the television series ‘The Crown’ for the upcoming season 5, andwill be cast as Mohamed al-Fayed.

Read more here








David Horowitz – (Extract) Editorial Times of Israel:


That Democratic members of Congress today would even wish to prevent, never mind succeed in preventing, the smooth approval of funding for Iron Dome dismally underlines the immorality taking hold in small but now self-evidently potent areas of that party when it comes to Israel.

For seeking to deny funds to Israel for Iron Dome is indeed immoral. This is a military system whose sole purpose and capability is defensive. It keeps people alive despite terrorists’ best attempts to kill them. It is the vital first line of defence against the war crime of indiscriminate rocket fire directed at civilians.

Those US legislators doing their utmost to deprive Israel of its protection are attempting to abandon Israelis to that deadly fire. They are opposing Israeli civilians’ right to a shield against murderous terrorism. Read more here