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

Israel Update 2.12.21


Happy Chanukah to all my readers HRG






Israel has been sharing intelligence with the United States showing that Iran is reportedly “taking technical steps to prepare to enrich uranium” to weapons-grade 90 percent purity. The preparations could enable Tehran to reach weapons-grade level within just a few weeks. There is no civilian use for 90% enriched uranium. Read more here




The spokesman for Iran’s armed forces, Brig.-Gen. Abolfazl Shekarchi, on Saturday urged the total elimination of Israel. Read more here




In a dramatic change, senior Iranian officials have admitted that Iran has plans to build offensive atomic weapons. (Hebrew source) Read more here





British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid on Monday signed a 10-year memorandum of understanding for deepening ties on issues such as cybersecurity, technology development, defence, trade and science. They declared they will work “night and day” to stop Iran getting a nuclear weapon. Moreover, the agreement will see Israel become one of the UK’s most trusted allies in thwarting cyberattacks. Read more here




Israeli P.M. Bennett urged world powers Monday not to “give in to Iran’s nuclear blackmail,” as negotiators from Iran and world powers gathered in Vienna to resume talks aimed at reviving a 2015 nuclear deal. He said that Tehran is seeking “to end sanctions in exchange for almost nothing” and keep its nuclear programme intact while receiving hundreds of billions of dollars once sanctions are lifted. Read more here



On Wednesday, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported that Iran had started the process of enriching uranium to 20% purity with advanced centrifuges at its Fordow facility, which is buried inside a mountain. Israeli PM Bennett then called for world powers to halt nuclear talks with Iran. Read more here







Britain’s veterans minister Leo Docherty has hailed the way Israel honours its military veterans as injured UK servicemen and women spoke movingly of how taking part in an historic sporting event with their Israeli counterparts had transformed their lives.Read more here








The Health Ministry on Wednesday clarified that only two cases of the Omicron variant have been confirmed in Israel. The two infected women were a tourist from Malawi who had been inoculated with AstraZeneca’s vaccine, and an Israeli who had received 3 doses of Pfizer-Biontech’s shot, and who had recently returned from South Africa. The ministry is looking into 17 cases of suspected exposure to Omicron.  Read more here




Reportedly two Israeli doctors have also been confirmed as infected with the Omicron variant. One had recently returned from a medical conference in London. Both were triple vaccinated with Pfizer. Read more here




After the first case of Omicron was detected in Israel on Friday, new rules were approved by the coronavirus cabinet late on Saturday. The decisions took effect at midnight between Sunday and Monday and will remain in effect for 14 days including: “The entry of all foreign nationals to Israel is prohibited, except for cases approved by the exceptions committee.” Read more here





It was announced on Sunday evening that travellers arriving from abroad will not be allowed to use public transportation serving the airport. Read more here








Israel is to donate a “very significant” number of doses of coronavirus vaccines to African countries, Israel’s Health Minister said Tuesday. Read more here









A special form of radiation known as millimeter waves can kill 99% of corona and polioviruses from surfaces within two seconds, new research from scientists at Ariel University has shown. The results can have important implications on how to disinfect environments and equipment in a fast and efficient way. Read more here







On Nov. 25, 20 vulnerable families in Rulindo District were given a cow each by the Embassy of Israel in Rwanda, in line with the government’s Girinka program, also known as “One Cow Per Poor Family,” initiated in 2006. In 2020 and June 2021, Israel donated 40 cows to families in Nyamasheke and Gisagara Districts.Read more here








The World Squash Federation announced on Monday that the World Men’s Team Squash Championship scheduled for next week in Kuala Lumpur was cancelled after Malaysian authorities refused to allow entry to Israeli athletes. Read more here







Dr. Daphne Haim-Langford, founder and CEO of Israeli pharmaceutical company Tarsier Pharma was among three winners of the 2021 EU Prize for Women Innovators, awarded annually to female entrepreneurs who have founded a successful company and brought innovation to the market. Her company, founded in 2016, develops treatments for autoimmune inflammatory ocular diseases. Read more here









Israeli malaria-fighting startup ZzappMalaria won the prestigious IBM Watson AI XPRIZE Competition in June, for its groundbreaking mobile app that utilizes AI to locate malaria hotspots. The company’s technology has been implemented and tested in pilots across Ghana, Tanzania, Zanzibar, and Ethiopia.  Last week, Zzappa signed a deal with Israeli autonomous drone solutions platform Airobotics for a $300,000 pilot project that will supply ZzappMalaria with a system that will help it locate stagnant water where mosquitos are likely to congregate across sub-Saharan Africa.Read more here








The Indian Army has deployed 4 new Heron drones from Israel with advanced anti-jamming capabilities to monitor China’s movements in the Ladakh region of Kashmir. Read more here




Estonia has ordered 120mm mortars from Elbit Systems of Israel under an agreement worth $17 million. Read more here







Prof. Hossam Haick’s chemical engineering lab at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology has created a smart suture-less dressing that binds the edges of a wound together, wards off infection, and even digitally reports on the wound’s condition to the surgeon. Read more here








Tel Aviv has overtaken Paris and is now ranked as the world’s most expensive city to live in, the Economist Intelligence Unit found in a new study. Tel Aviv’s rise mainly reflects the strength of the shekel against the US dollar and increases in grocery and transport prices. Read more here








The Black Eyed Peas — will.i.am, apl.de.ap, Taboo, and new member J. Rey Soul — performed at Jerusalem’s Pais Arena Monday night, the first major international show in Israel since the beginning of the COVID pandemic. Read more here







The International Birding & Research Centre in Eilat has won UN recognition for community-based conservation of the flyway for millions of migratory birds. Read more here







For the first time, a woman has been appointed as a squadron leader in the Israel Air Force’s flight school. Read more here








Remains of a building from the time of the Sanhedrin have been uncovered in Yavne, is the ancient city where the supreme Jewish legislative assembly relocated to escape the destruction of the capital Jerusalem and the Second Temple in 70 CE., or the first time. Read more here



A lead sling stone bearing the name of a Seleucid leader who fought against the Hasmoneans was recently found in the southern Hebron Hills. Read more here







Around 40 of the Miss Universe pageant contestants gathered for tea in Jerusalem and met local female politicians and heads of non-profits as well as Mayor Moshe Lion. Women from all Jerusalem religions and cultures were present. The pageant takes place next week in Eilat. Read more here







Bassam Tawil: On the eve of the meeting in Norway of donor countries to discuss providing financial aid to the Palestinian Authority, PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh reminded Palestinians that there is no such thing as Jewish history in Jerusalem…. “Jerusalem has Canaanite, Roman, Islamic, and Christian antiquities, and no one else has any traces in it.” Western donor countries seem not to understand that the refusal by Palestinian leaders to recognize Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people remains a major obstacle to peace and the “two-state solution.” They might wish to consider Palestinian anti-Semitism and incitement against Israel and Jews the next time they open their wallets to the PA.  Read more here