Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, received President of Israel Isaac Herzog, the first such official Presidential visit to the UAE. The national anthems of the two countries were played, while 21 rounds of artillery were fired to welcome his visit.Read more here
Video of Israel’s National anthem played in the UAE. (1 min 12 secs.) View here
President Isaac Herzog and his wife, Michal, opened Israel national day at Expo 2020 Dubai on Monday morning, saying that Israelis share Emiratis’ “high regard for religious faith bound with ingenuity.” Read more here
The UAE on Monday intercepted a missile fired by the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen in the third such incident this month, as Israeli President Isaac Herzog visited the country.Read more here
Israeli company Watergen has supplied generators that create drinking water from the air to Abu Dhabi’s National Exhibition Centre which is currently hosting the World Future Energy Summit 2022, the leading international business event and exhibition for future energy, clean-tech, and sustainability. It is the first exhibition of this size to become plastic-free, with clean drinking water produced from the air available to all attendees. Read more here
Israel’s cabinet recently approved a joint Israel-UAE R&D fund to support tech projects involving Israeli and Emirati companies. Read more here
Israel’s Defence Minister Gantz is in Bahrain for 2 days, the first such visit by an Israeli defence minister. He signed a memorandum of understanding with his Bahraini counterpart on Thursday, formalizing the security relationship between the countries. Read more here
Figures from 2 weeks ago where available in brackets for comparison.
A total of 58,422 (72,000) new daily coronavirus cases were recorded in Israel on Wednesday. A third of all cases since the start of the pandemic have occurred within the last month due to the high transmissibility of the Omicron variant. 1,096 (541) patients are in serious condition of whom 258 (105) are intubated. The majority of serious or critical cases (84%) are in patients over the age of 60. The R rate is currently standing at 0.9, indicating the lessening severity of the Omicron wave. Read more here
In a relatively rare case, an 11-year-old Israeli boy has been infected with three different coronavirus variants, the Alpha, Delta and Omicron strains. Read more here
Israel’s Pandemic Response Team and the Advisory Committee on Vaccines recommended on 25/1 that a 4th coronavirus vaccine be administered to those over 18 who have either recovered or received the third dose at least 5 months ago. Data had shown that after the 4th dose, a person has between 3-5 times the amount of protection against severe morbidity and double the protection against being infected in comparison to those who have received only 3 doses. The figures were based on 400,000 Israelis who received a fourth dose and 600,000 who received three doses. Read more here
The recommendation was partially adopted on 26/1 when the Health Ministry approved a 4th shot for those over 18 with medical conditions that put them at greater risk. The 4th shot will also be available for carers of at-risk people, and those whose vocation includes a high chance of exposure to an infected person. Read more here
The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs has donated a substantial amount of food aid to the children of Tonga, impacted by the devastating volcanic eruption and tsunami on Jan. 15.Read more here
The Israeli Foreign Ministry Agency for International Cooperation (MASHAV) has several aid and cooperation campaigns currently active around the world. It is in the midst of its Better Together initiative, which has seen assistance packages containing hundreds of kilos worth of personal protective equipment (PPE) gear, syringes, medications, and more sent to medical staff in 52 countries across the globe, including Kenya, Peru and Bulgaria. Read more here
Israel has donated 563,000 syringes to support immunization efforts in Nepal after Nepal had put the vaccination drive on hold due to a shortage of syringes. Israel has previously sent supplies to support Nepal in its fight against Covid-19 on several occasions. Read more here
The Institute for Monitoring Peace and Tolerance in School Education has uncovered thousands of pages of new teaching material produced by the P.A., some of which directly calls for violence and promotes anti-Semitism, despite an EU “roadmap” created with the PA to ensure new textbooks produced in 2021 would be free of hate. The new material contains content that is worse than current or previous Palestinian textbooks, with a greater number of lessons that directly incite violence and propagate overt anti-Semitism and includes teaching about the “characteristics” of Jews who are devious and treacherous and Israelis who are described as “Satan’s aide.” The material demands that students die as martyrs to liberate the Al-Aqsa Mosque and that those who do so will be greatly rewarded. Read more here
Hundreds of Palestinian activists took part in an online protest against Hamas. The “kidnapped Gaza” protest kicked off last Thursday with an audio chat on Twitter, organized by five Gazans who left the territory after taking part in the “We want to live” protest of 2019. The activists accuse Hamas of stashing billions of dollars abroad, while Gazans are starving or forced to emigrate.Read more here
The EU has earmarked $736 million for the construction of a 2,000-megawatt undersea electricity cable that will link the power grids of Israel, Cyprus and Greece. Read more here
Israel’s first female Muslim district court judge Osaila Abu Assad was appointed last week.Read more here
Israel has officially launched a NIS 225 million ($70 million) programme to promote entrepreneurship among Arab communities and better integrate them into the country’s booming tech industry. The programme, is part of a 5 year initiative to advance high-tech and science programmes in Arab communities, and a wider government plan to allocate over NIS 32 billion ($10 billion) for Arab communities in fields like education, economic development, health, and crime-fighting. Read more here
German company Dynamit Nobel Defence, a subsidiary of Israel’s Rafael, has announced a 19 million euro contract to supply RGW90 man-portable, anti-tank weapons to the Belgian Army.Read more here
The Israeli Andalusian Orchestra Ashdod is known for its medleys of traditional Sephardic and Arab-Jewish music, and currently its members include 5 musicians born and trained in Morocco, who are living and performing in Israel for a year. Read more here
Four ice skaters and two skiers will represent Israel at the Beijing Winter Olympics.Read more here
1,700 athletes from 12 countries participated in the annual Israman iron triathlon events on Friday near Eilat. The competition included a 3.8-km. swim, a 180-km. bike ride, and a full marathon 42.2 km. run. Read more here
The report labels Israel as “apartheid”.
The US, Germany and Australia were among countries immediately rejecting the label:
A number of articles critiquing the report:
Yoseph Haddad:EXTRACTS: Israeli Arabs like me live under the democratically elected government of Israel with equal rights like any Jewish citizen. No matter how many times Amnesty International tries to erase my identity to advance their political agenda, that doesn’t make it the truth.
I was a soldier in the Israel Defence Forces protecting the north of Israel – where most of the Israeli-Arab community lives – from terrorist rocket attacks by Hizbullah. I was also a commander of dozens of Jewish soldiers. What kind of “apartheid” would let Arabs give orders to Jews?Read more here
According to Amnesty, Esawi Frej, the Israeli Minister for Regional Cooperation, is a citizen under an apartheid regime. Just as with Salman Zarka, Israel’s Covid Czar. One cannot forget Osila Abu Assad, who just yesterday was appointed Israeli District Court judge, or the chairman of Bank Leumi, the largest bank in Israel, Samer Haj Yahya, all of whom are Arabs, allegedly living under apartheid rule.Read more here
Ian Austin (Lord Austin) EXTRACT: The South African legal system enforced discrimination. The Israeli system upholds equal rights for all with freedom of speech and assembly for everyone. The education system, health services, the police and armed forces are completely integrated. In South Africa, they were totally separate.
An Arab judge tried and jailed a Jewish former president of Israel. The Knesset is one of the most disputatious and diverse legislatures in the world representing all parts of Israel’s multi-ethnic society. An Arab party is part of the governing coalition – a government that has both Jews and Arabs serving together. Read more here
Melanie Phillips: EXTRACT: Amnesty falsely claims: Israel maintains Jewish domination over the Palestinian economy through the exclusion and intentional neglect of Palestinian communities inside Israel.
Yet Israel’s largest Arab-majority city, Nazareth, is a high-tech hub, hosting R&D centres from Amdocs, Microsoft, Broadcom and Salesforce. Nazareth hosts over 70 startups. Thousands of Arabs work in technology and the number is skyrocketing. Read more here
Wall Street Journal Editorial EXTRACT: Amnesty makes no attempt to explain Israel’s laws and practices in the context of the many wars Israel has had to fight since 1948. The report ignores that Hamas, which controls Gaza, is sworn to destroy Israel and that Israel has no choice but to impose security measures to protect against terror attacks.
Above all, the report all but ignores that Israel is a democracy that accords more rights to Arabs and Palestinians than does any other state in the region. Read more here
CAMERA:Read more here
NGO MONITOR: Read more here
Ahmed Al-Jarallah: Despite their (Palestinians’) support of Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait and their participation in acts of intimidation, abuse and killing against Kuwaiti citizens, the Gulf nationals, especially Kuwaitis, continued to support the Palestinians and their resistance factions.
The Palestinians stood with the Iranian Houthi aggressor against Saudi Arabia and the Gulf….It is time to put an end to all this by starting with cutting support from them. Let them rebuild what they destroy by their own acts… They have been encouraging terrorism against us, issuing calls to kill us, and raising slogans such as “The path of liberation passes through Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Manama, Riyadh and Doha.”
All the Gulf states should normalize relations with Israel due to the fact that peace with this most advanced country is the right thing to do. Let the foolish fend for themselves.
The writer is editor-in-chief of the Arab Times. (Kuwait) Read more here
David M Weinberg: Meanwhile, in the real world, this is what was happening: Israeli doctors continued to treat thousands of Palestinians in Israeli hospitals and conduct world-class humanitarian medical work around the world.
Israeli hospitals regularly admit patients from countries across the Middle East – including Arab countries that have no diplomatic relations with Israel – and from the Palestinian-controlled areas. For example, no fewer than one-quarter of the patients in the Safra Children’s Hospital are Gazan kids with cancer or congenital heart ailments.
Hadassah Medical Centre plays a similar role for West Bank Palestinians. The Save a Child’s Heart organization also treats many Palestinian patients, as well as children with heart defects from across the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe…
Palestinian leaders and their family members, including Hamas chieftains, get the best medical care in Israel even though they constantly issue the most bloodcurdling libels about Israeli “apartheid” as they plot Israel’s demise. Read more here