Wednesday, April 01, 2020

From Ian:

Mosaic: Even In a Pandemic, Columbia Students Promote BDS
Where, finally, is the Jewish community in all of this? In past struggles, the organized American Jewish community was careful always to frame its defense of Jewish rights, and its policy toward anti-Jewish discrimination, in terms of the liberties due to all other Americans similarly under threat. The approach, which had its drawbacks, was logical and justifiable even if not always successful. But whatever its virtues or deficiencies, as a strategy and a policy it is useless in the present situation. No other group at Columbia is under such systematic attack; in this fight, Columbia’s Jewish students are entirely alone.

That the referendum on Israel will likely be taking place online means there will likely also be reduced fanfare surrounding its result. Whatever happens, though, the hardships faced by Columbia’s Jewish students appear destined to endure. Many will continue to opt out of taking classes on the Middle East or in a range of other fields (like anthropology and modern history) because they recognize that, as Ofir Dayan puts it, “as soon as the professor realizes who you are, you are never allowed to talk again.” They will shy away from associating themselves publicly with Israel, be wary in picking their friends, and exercise discretion even among their fraternity brothers and sorority sisters and in their student clubs.

This academic year, for the first time in recent memory, Jewish students at Columbia did not even sing Hatikvah—the emblem of Jewish hope, and the Israeli national anthem—at their annual Simḥat Torah celebration. No doubt, they refrained out of an “abundance of caution,” as we’re all now learning to say.

It is common knowledge that among Columbia’s major donors are many Jews who are likewise heavily involved in the Jewish community. How bad will things have to become for those with power and influence to take action?
Corona Pandemic Souvenirs
Here's the link: Souvenir.pdf

Yes, you can download Our Absolutely Free Paper Table-Top Pandemic Souvenirs. They'll keep you company now, and you'll treasure them for years to come.

PMW: Female terrorists are female role models: A mass murderer, a bomb maker, a plane hijacker - PA message to women on International Women's Day
On International Women’s Day, PA TV paused from its almost continuous reporting on Coronavirus, to present female terrorists as role models for Palestinian women.

Marking the day, official PA TV showed images of several prominent Palestinian women. But besides the worthy writers, politicians and educators, PA TV included several female terrorists and even a mass murderer:

Dalal Mughrabi
Terrorist murderer, who led killing of 37,
among them 12 children Shadia Abu Ghazaleh
Terrorist, bomb maker

Laila Khaled
Plane hijacker Fatima Barnawi -
Terrorist, who placed bomb in theatre


In addition, PA TV chose this day to honor terror mom Um Nasser Abu Hmeid, who is famous and admired for being the mother of 5 terrorist prisoners serving multiple life sentences for murder and one dead terrorist “Martyr.” [Official PA TV, Special Interview, March 8, 2020] Click here to view this video

In another broadcast, PA TV said that Palestinian women “are the prisoners and the Martyrs” and “the praiseworthy rebels who have carried the weapons.” While this was said, the edited broadcast showed visuals of terrorist Israa Ja’abis, who carried out a car bomb attack; terror mom Um Nasser Abu Hmeid; and mass murderer Dalal Mughrabi. A poster of Mughrabi included the text “Heroic Martyr Dalal Mughrabi”:

Official PA TV narrator: “[The Palestinian women] are the prisoners and the Martyrs, daughters of the Martyrs. They are the mothers of the leaders and the sisters of the heroes. They are the praiseworthy rebels who have carried the weapons and created generations of educated people.”
[Official PA TV News, March 8, 2020]


Palestinian Media Watch has exposed numerous times that the PA exploits International Women’s Day to put female terrorists on a pedestal, including suicide bombers and other murderers, and encourage Palestinian women to belike them. Even now, during the Coronavirus crisis, the PA and Fatah continue to promote female terrorists as role models.


Life under coronavirus is like life under fire. That means that Israelis are one up on everyone else in coping with this global pandemic. Life under fire is, after all, our normal state of being.
That made it almost anticlimactic when on Friday night, there was a missile attack on Southern Israel. Living through a global pandemic AND a terror attack? It’s like one big Jewish joke.
Now throw in ISOLATION when the entire purpose of the BDS Movement is to isolate Israel. Which means we have actual experience at this thing: in being isolated from the rest of the world. We’ve been isolated by everyone everywhere. At the UN, by politicians like Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, by the BBC, in social media, on college campuses and in the ivory towers of academia
Director of Human Rights Watch Middle East and North African Division and Quincy Institute scholar Sarah Leah Whitson, responds to Jew-hating Jewish Israeli journalist and BDS supporter Mairav Zonszein.
If anyone knows isolation, by God, it’s ISRAEL. You might even say we’re the champs of isolation. Quarantine? Pshaw. Quarantine in a bomb shelter? We’re cool. (Not really. But little tip: that’s the front we put up, and the front actually helps us deal, you know?)
Whelp. What can I say? From my Israeli and (possibly nauseating) perspective, the one thing this global pandemic has going for it is that we are all in this together (cue the orchestra). This is a good feeling because, for a change, we are not the ones! I say this with joy as both a Jew and an Israeli.
But the reverie is broken when we read of the evil ones who blame corona on the Jews, though Jewish communities have taken a huge hit, with many Yidden dying. The feeling of community evaporates when we hear of evangelicals targeting Israeli children with Christian television programming at a time when kids are under lockdown with unlimited screen time. 
Israel has only two anti-missionary laws. 1. It is illegal to offer compensation in the form of money or goods in exchange for conversion. 2. It is illegal to convert a minor without the presence or consent of their parent. Missionaries have targeted Israeli children with Shabbat programming for years. With the coronavirus, Israeli children are a captive audience under lockdown 24/7, with unlimited screen time.

And we are forced to observe and acknowledge that some politicians, terrorists, and even plain old garden-variety Jew-haters will always exploit a tragedy to smear Israel and to spread antisemitic conspiracy theories.

I stumbled on this antisemitic, anti-Israel meme while looking for funny memes to cheer up my friends. I reported the post to Facebook, but they say it doesn't violate their Community Standards.

With the immoral things they say and do, these liars and evildoers take themselves out of normal human society. They too, are in isolation, but it is a kind of self-isolation: a choice born of hate to separate themselves from all that is good. The message these people give brings ugliness to our world. This, at a time when it seems like that world might be ending, like we might soon be judged for how we behaved on God’s earth.
I am glad I am not one of them, the people who choose to be bad. If there is happiness to be found in this calamity of epic proportions, it lies in the possibility to ally myself with the others—the good people, Jewish and otherwise—who shop for an elderly neighbor, or reach out with a phone call to those who are alone.
Right now, the good ones are the only ones I care about.
And I’m hoping they're most of the humans in world.


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  • Wednesday, April 01, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon
Mohamed Hadid, the real estate mogul from California whose two daughters Bella and Gigi are supermodels, went to Spain and posted that a mosque there broatcast a call to prayer for the first time in 500 years.



He writes, "For all of us to heal we might be from different religions but we are all the servants of God."

But he is actually an antisemite. He has repeated a number of times a ridiculous story that his mother sheltered a family of Polish Jewish refugees in Safed for two years (because no Jew in Palestine would ever help a Jewish refugee family...) and then that they "kicked us out of our own home." It is all a lie.

What actually happened in Safed in 1948 is that the Arabs planned to murder all the Jews in the city. Benny Morris writes in his book 1948:


One of the stories about how the Arabs fled from Safed was their fear of the Davidka mortar, an ineffective weapon that made a very loud sound. There are a number of differing accounts that all say that the Arabs were afraid that the Jews had the atom bomb because of the great noise it made, and this prompted them to flee. Some say that they knew that some of the atom bomb developers were Jewish and that is what made them make the connection.

But I just read this story, which is plausible and too good not to share:

The battles raged for months, until the spring of 1948, several days before Israel was declared a State. In late April, an artillery piece, nicknamed "The Davidka" was delivered to the Jews. They shot it off several times, but the mortars did little damage.....the main effect was the tremendous noise. However, the weather changed, and, unusually for that time of year, it began to rain. The rumor quickly spread through the Arab community that the Jews had acquired the atom bomb [thinking the rain was nuclear fallout - EoZ], and the entire Arab community left that night. With their exit, morale deteriorated among the Arab troops, and the Haganah was able to secure the city.

Several years later, a local tour guide, curious as to how the rumor of the atom bomb had spread, asked some of Tzfat's old-timers to recount the story. Several of them told him the same story.

Seems that before the Arab riots of 1929, when the Jews and Arabs used to shop together in the common marketplace, the women became friendly, and although they hadn't had contact since the riots, they remembered each other. When the hostilities broke out in the winter of 1948, they got into the habit of coming to the "no-man's land" in the evenings, when there would be a lull in the shooting, and yelling at each other. The Jewish women would yell at the Arab women in Arabic, and the Arab women would yell at the Jewish women in Yiddish.

The evening after the Davidka was shot, one of the Arab women asked "vos is dus?" to which one of the Jewish women, sarcastically, replied "we have the atom bomb". With that, the rumor spread, and what had once seemed to be impossible became a reality - the battle for Tzfat was won.
Safed/Tzfat might have been saved by the Jewish women of the town!



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From Ian:

Three more die of coronavirus, bringing Israel’s death toll to 24
Three more people died in Israel on Wednesday afternoon, taking the country’s death toll from the coronavirus up to 24.

Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center announced the death of a 69-year-old woman as a result of the virus, saying she suffered from “severe and complicated” underlying health issues.

The Wolfson Medical Center in Holon minutes later announced that a 74-year-old man died from COVID-19. The hospital said he had been sedated and hooked up to a respirator in very serious condition and had numerous preexisting conditions.

The Sheba Medical Center said a 66-year-old woman also died from the coronavirus. She too was said to suffer from preexisting health problems.

There were no immediate details on the identities of any of the victims.

The announcements bring Wednesday’s virus death toll to four and came after the Health Ministry on Wednesday raised the tally of people infected with the coronavirus to 5,591 as Israel recorded its largest single-day jump in new cases.

The ministry data prior to the two latest fatalities showed 233 new cases since Tuesday night and 760 in the last 24 hours. The previous high for a 24-hour period was the 663 new cases recorded between Monday and Tuesday evenings, 527 of which were included in the latest Health Ministry tally.

There were 97 people in serious condition, three more than the previous night, with 76 of them on ventilators.

Another 118 people were in moderate condition and the rest had mild symptoms. So far, 226 Israelis have recovered from the virus.
Inside an Israeli Coronavirus Hospital
This is the eight-step dressing regimen of Adham Abdalrazik, a nurse at the Galilee Medical Center in the northern Israel town of Nahariya, before seeing patients in this COVID-19 era. In a cramped supply room, he grabs a pair of thin shoe covers from a plastic bin and slips them over his feet. At the next bin, he pumps a sanitizer jug and cleans his hands. He continues to his left, progressively donning blue gloves, a blue gown, hair netting, an N95 mask, a face shield, and another pair of gloves.

Abdalrazik normally works in the hospital’s geriatrics department. But these are not normal times, so the geriatric patients were relocated from here to the internal medicine department three weeks earlier and a COVID-19 department was configured in its place. Abdalrazik’s patients now—three patients on this day—are solely those with COVID-19.

It is Wednesday, March 25, and we are in the department’s Yellow Zone. Abdalrazik’s patients are maybe 10 steps away in the hermetically sealed Red Zone. The department has 24 beds and nine rooms, including a six-bed room reserved for critical-care patients, of which there haven’t been any yet. Only five patients have been hospitalized here with COVID-19, all with mild cases of the highly contagious virus. Each patient has been young: a 49-year-old and the rest 23 to 29.

“Oh, Prince Charles now has coronavirus,” said Sharon Mann, who works in the hospital’s international-affairs department, of the news appearing on her smartphone.

A few buildings to the north, in the complex’s rehabilitation center, sits the COVID-19 department’s 30-bed intensive care unit. The unit is empty for now.

This is the calm before what the hospital’s medical officials expect, and what Israeli leaders have cautioned for weeks, will be the storm of this global pandemic.

“We have to prepare ourselves for much more,” said Dr. Masad Barhoum, GMC’s chief executive officer, who stopped in at the department during my visit. “This is just the opening stage.”


Israeli unemployment exceeds one million: 24.4% of workforce
The number of unemployment benefit claimants exceeded one million for the first time on Wednesday, climbing to 24.4% of Israel's entire workforce.

While the unemployment rate stood at just 4% prior to the coronavirus outbreak, over 844,000 individuals applied for unemployment benefits since the start of March. The vast majority - nearly 90% - are employees placed on unpaid leave. A further 6.4% have been made redundant.

"Unfortunately, our forecasts materialized - we reached one million jobseekers in March alone," said Israeli Employment Service director-general Rami Garor. "We are working to create the conditions so that next month can begin with lower unemployment, with the gradual return of the economy to normal, as far as possible and following the guidelines."

A significant increase in new applicants was identified on Tuesday compared to recent days, with nearly 35,700 applications submitted by jobseekers. About 24,000 new applications were received by the Employment Service on Sunday and Monday.

"The big question, both in Israel and in most economies affected by the virus, is whether this extremely exceptional situation is just temporary or could be long-lasting," Prof. Eran Yashiv, an economics professor at Tel Aviv University's Eitan Berglas School of Economics, told The Jerusalem Post.

"There is a real danger that a significant fraction will not be able to resume work when this stoppage ends. Obviously, the longer the containment policies last, the worse the situation will become."

  • Wednesday, April 01, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon

Dr. Leonhart Rauwolf traveled to the Holy Land in 1575. His description of Jaffa is most interesting:
A short Relation of my Travels by Land from the Harbor of← Joppe → , to the City of Jerusalem.
IN the Morning early as soon as the day did appear, which was the 13th day of September 1575, we got on shore, and dispatched immediately some to the Town of Rama, two Leagues distant from thence, to get us a safe Conduct, or Pass, from the Sangiach, and to bring along with them some Mockeri, or Ass-driving Carriers, to provide us Carriage to Jerusalem. In the mean while we stay'd upon the high Rocky shore, where the Town ← Joppe → did stand formerly, which at this time was so Demolish'd, that there was not one House to be found, where the Pilgrims at their arrival could shelter themselves, save only three large Vaults, which went very deep into the Hill, and extended themselves towards the Sea. Into these are sometimes the Pilgrims let in, but being that at that time, a great deal of Corn was laid up there, whereunto they still daily added, on purpose to supply Constantinople during the scarcity, it was forbidden that any Body should be let in.
...
← Joppe → at that time was very well Built and Fortify'd, which doth appear, because a good many of the Jews did, at the time of the Desolation of Jerusalem, retire thither, to defend themselves against the Might of the Romans, although it was but in vain; for being that the time of the punishment, that was to befal them, was at hand, the City therefore was two several times one after another, besieged and taken, and demolish'd, and as Josephus testifieth, about 12600 Jews were killed in it. We also read, That after the time of Gotfrid de Boullion, when the Christians lost again the Land of Promise, that then this Town also was retaken again by the Infidels, and razed to the Foundations; so that now there are no Antiquities at all to be seen. And I should have doubted very much whether there did ever stand such a Town there, had not I seen some large pieces of the Ancient Town Walls still remaining, which are so near to the Sea, that there is hardly room to go at the outside of them.
Rauwolff was not the only traveler to testify that Jaffa was empty.

Jean Cotwyk described Jaffa as a heap of ruins when he visited in 1598. ("Iaffa" is "ruinosum hodie," meaning ruins today.


It seems that Jaffa was not the continually occupied Arab town it has been characterized as.

(h/t American Zionism, a fantastic find!)




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  • Wednesday, April 01, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon


On March 27, The Lancet published a purely political anti-Israel screed, complete with footnotes, pretending to be concern for Palestinian health in Gaza:


Structural violence in the era of a new pandemic: the case of the Gaza Strip
David Mills
Bram Wispelwey
Rania Muhareb
Mads Gilbert
“Hope for improving health and quality of life of Palestinians will exist only once people recognise that the structural and political conditions that they endure…are the key determinants of [Palestinian] population health.”

As the world is consumed by the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), it should be of no surprise that epidemics (and indeed, pandemics) are disproportionately violent to populations burdened by poverty, military occupation, discrimination, and institutionalised oppression.2 Structural violence rooted in historical, political, and social injustices determines health patterns and creates vulnerabilities that hamper the effective prevention, detection, and response to communicable disease outbreaks. In the occupied Gaza Strip, the convergence of these forces in the era of a pandemic have the potential to devastate one of the world's most vulnerable populations.

The colonial fragmentation of the Palestinian people and their health systems, combined with a neoliberal development framework implemented during the past decades, has created a profound dependency on aid, placing health care at the mercy of increasingly restrictive international donor politics. Since 2007, Israel has imposed a crippling land, air, and sea blockade over the Gaza Strip's 2 million Palestinians, 1·4 million of whom are refugees,6 subjecting them to extreme crowding in one of the world's most densely populated regions.

As a result, the Gaza Strip faces high levels of poverty, unemployment, food insecurity, and lacks sufficient clean water, while the blockade disrupts medical supply chains, curtails the movement of patients and health workers, and severely inhibits medical capacity-building and public health development. Preventive measures and containment of COVID-19 will be extremely difficult now that the pandemic has reached the Gaza Strip. While prisoners in Iran and elsewhere are temporarily being released to protect them from contained spread, for Palestinians, living in what is described as the largest open-air prison in the world, there is nowhere to go—unless, of course, they are granted their legal and moral right of return.

Guided by our moral values and professional obligations, the international community must act now to end structural violence by confronting the historical and political forces entrenching a cyclical, violent, and mutable reality for Palestinians. A COVID-19 pandemic that further cripples the Gaza Strip's health-care system should not be viewed as an inevitable biomedical phenomenon experienced equally by the world's population, but as a preventable biosocial injustice rooted in decades of Israeli oppression and international complicity in the struggle for the health, fundamental rights, and self-determination of all Palestinians.
We declare no competing interests.
Among the footnotes is one to the UN General Assembly Resolution 194 where they justify the "legal and moral right of return" - even though the resolution has no legal validity nor does it say there is a right of return nor does it say anything about morality. But, hey, its a footnote, so it must be true!

To give an idea of how much these people care about humanity, Mads Gilbert has explicitly said that he supported the 9/11 attacks on the US (a position he retracted 8 years later only after he was shamed by it:)

In a statement made to Dagbladet in the wake of the September 11 attacks Gilbert stated: "The attack on New York did not come as a surprise with the politics the West has followed the last decades. I am upset by the terrorist attack, but I am at least as upset over the suffering that the US has caused. It is in this context that 5000 dead has to be seen. If the U.S. government has a legitimate right to bomb and kill civilians in Iraq, the oppressed has a moral right to attack the U.S. with the weapons they may create as well. Dead civilians are the same whether they are Americans, Palestinians or Iraqis." When asked if he supported a terrorist attack against the US he answered: "Terror is a poor weapon, but my answer is yes, within the context I have mentioned."
Bram Wispelwey wrote an article for Praxis Center that waxes poetic about the weekly Gaza "Return" protests, claiming that the thousands of people bussed to the Gaza fence by Hamas were acting spontaneously, and in the end he justifies Palestinian - and, in fact, all - terror:

While we tend to automatically justify our own violent American revolution—which, let’s remind ourselves, was about taxation and political representation—we’ve often hypocritically held different standards for those who protest or revolt against deeper historical injustices (e.g. the Haitian Revolution), or who refuse to accept dispossession, displacement, mass incarceration, and other conditions no human beings should be asked to tolerate. Such double standards flood the Western conversation on Palestine, leading to the constant parsing of non-violent vs. violent resistance at the expense of a rigorous conceptual framework that explicates violence through its origin, maintenance, and current power structure.

Brazilian educator and philosopher Paulo Freire contends that “never in history has violence been initiated by the oppressed…It is not the helpless, subject to terror, who initiate terror, but the violent, who with their power create the concrete situation which begets the ‘rejects of life.’”
Here Wispelwey is echoing Gilbert in saying that violence is justified because the other side is always more guilty. Whether he realizes it or not, he is supporting 9/11 and ISIS as well, as Paulo Friere's appalling logic works on literally every terrorist act in history.

 David Mills had previously written a letter to another medical journal with Gilbert and Wispelwey where they claimed that Israel deliberately targets medical workers during Gaza protests. He went to Ben Gurion University of the Negev but does not mention that in his affiliations for the Lancet letter, perhaps due to embarrassment that his BDS buddies would be unhappy that he collaborated with the hated Zionists.

Rania Muhareb is not a doctor or even a med student. She is an undergraduate student at SciencesPo and works for Al Haq, a BDS-supporting Palestinian NGO with links to the PFLP terror group.

The idea that these career Israel haters have "no competing interests" is only one of many lies.

The good news is that soon after people complained about this letter, The Lancet's editor removed it from the Lancet webpage.  Copies still exist elsewhere on the Internet but the Lancet link - here gleefully posted at the PLO webpage - is dead.

Maybe The Lancet actually learned something from its reprehensible behavior in freely allowing anti-Israel lies to be published in the past.

(h/t Tomer Ilan)




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  • Wednesday, April 01, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon
Here is last night's livestream where I discuss yesterday's article about the UN report on Palestinian gender laws as well as the Palestinian prime minister and court system explicitly saying that their signature on the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women is worthless.

I get a little passionate.






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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

From Ian:

Caroline B. Glick: Israeli sovereignty and Gantz's bad faith
The coalition talks between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White Party leader Benny Gantz are being held behind closed doors. A lot of contradictory information is being leaked about the issues on the table and about the form of the deal for a unity government being hammered out.

But all the leaks are consistent about one aspect of the discussions.

Gantz and his colleagues oppose applying Israeli law to the Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria. This state of affairs is both surprising and disturbing.

It is surprising that Gantz opposes applying Israeli law to the areas, which are home to half a million Israelis because just two months ago, Gantz pledged to support the move.

On January 27, the day before US President Donald Trump published the details of his peace plan, he presented them to Gantz at the White House. The plan, which includes US recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and the Israeli cities, towns and villages in Judea and Samaria assumes that Israel will apply its legal code, and through it, its sovereignty to the areas immediately after a new governing coalition is sworn in.

According to a senior official who participated in Gantz's meeting with Trump, "Gantz committed in the Oval Office that if he became prime minister, he would form a government of people that would support the deal."

For President Trump and his team, the implications of Gantz's statement are straightforward. Since both Netanyahu and Gantz, (the two candidates for prime minister), support implementing the deal, the administration expects Israel to apply its laws to the areas immediately after the next government is sworn in.
David Singer: Gantz Trojan Horse threatens Israel as the Jewish National Home
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has paid a high price for the National Unity Government being forged with Benny Gantz - by agreeing to Gantz becoming Israel’s Prime Minister in 18 months’ time without going to an election.

Netanyahu had run out of time to explore other options – having had that decision foisted on him by two extraordinary High Court of Justice cases ordering the Knesset Speaker – Yuli Edelstein – to convene the Knesset contrary to the Knesset’s own rules and procedures. Compliance by Edelstein would have unleashed a train of events that would have caused havoc and instability at a time when unity was sorely needed. Edelstein resigned.

It is indeed a miracle that Netanyahu convinced Gantz to break up Blue & Whtie and rescued Israel from this rapidly escalating political and constitutional crisis at the same time as Israel is coping with the ravages of Covid-19.

Gantz’s courage in dumping his partners in Blue & White – Yair Lapid and Moshe Ya’alon - when any hope of averting the crisis seemed lost and just as the doors of the Knesset were shortly to open - was praised by the Right but condemned by Lapid and Ya’alon in bitter and derogatory terms.

Gantz’s new found short term ally – Yisrael Beyteinu’s Avigdor Liberman - was left high and dry – ruing his stupidity at having missed three opportunities in the last 12 months to be in Government with Netanyahu - making demands he absolutely refused to compromise on during negotiations with Netanyahu. Liberman was relegated to the Opposition benches with his six colleagues – a kingmaker no more.

Forgiven was the havoc caused when Gantz started to flirt with the Joint Arab List – the bloc comprising 15 members from the four Arab political parties - who endorsed Gantz to form the next Government - persuading Israeli President Reuven Rivlin to regrettably give Gantz first try to do so.

Joint List’s objectives include dismantling Israel as the Jewish National Home.

  • Tuesday, March 31, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says that Israeli jets targeted the Al-Shayrat airbase in Homs with more than eight missiles.  An explosion was heard believed to be caused by anti-aircraft defenses while intercepting these strikes.

Syria's news agency SANA quoted a military source as saying that "at 20:25, Israeli warplanes over Lebanon launched a group of missiles towards eastern Homs, and the air defense forces immediately confronted the enemy missiles and intercepted a number of them."

Al-Modon said that there were three air strikes  that targeted a cell with Iranian militias are present. There are also warehouses where Iranian militias transferred weapons and ammunition to it during the past days.

Nice intelligence, as always.



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  • Tuesday, March 31, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon
On Sunday, after I noted that as of Friday the two New Jersey towns with the highest religious Jewish populations also had the highest number of coronavirus cases, I tweeted that I was very concerned about what would happen in Lakewood this week:


While the vast majority of religious Jews in Lakewood have been taking the social distancing guidelines seriously, there have been reports up through yesterday of some Jews ignoring the rules and continuing to hold gatherings - yesterday for a bat mitzvah on a lawn and a school bus filled with kids  caught traveling (this was not true), and another school caught with 35 people inside.

Teaneck, on the other hand, has been - to all reports - taking the rules very seriously since March 12.

So, sadly, Lakewood has just zoomed past Lakewood and other New Jersey towns with a hundred new cases in just 24 hours.

Here is the chart mapping five communities with significant numbers of Orthodox Jews - Toms River is essentially a suburb of Lakewood and Clifton a suburb of Passaic, with the Jewish community traveling in the same social circles.


Teaneck's curve shows social distancing works.

Lakewood has been more lax and we are seeing the results now - and they will get much worse in the future. The Lakewood incidents are fueling a huge increase in antisemitism online, so much so that the governor of the state has denounced it along with anti-Asian bigotry.

Jews are dying today because too many on their community laughed off the risk since it became apparent that shuls and schools would have to close. 

Within days, it will become common knowledge that the hotbed of coronavirus in NJ is in a town most people never heard of that is filled with religious Jews. The very name Lakewood, instead of being synonymous with Torah learning as it is now, will become associated with the few Jews who decided that they can ignore the government and their own religious leaders, and thereby endanger everyone else.

This minority that think they are above the rules is hurting all religious Jews in the United States. It is a massive chilul Hashem.



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  • Tuesday, March 31, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon
(This post is the top one on my site today, scroll down for other articles)

During the current pandemic I've been working harder than ever to get timely, original information out to you.

Besides the usual array of articles that you won't find anywhere else, I've been working overtime to make posters, videos, webcasts, and cartoons. I've been fighting the lies from the anti-Israel community and embarrassing the politicians who repeat their lies.

And this is only in the past couple of weeks!

My tweets made an astonishing 7.8 million impressions in the first three months of this year.

I still have expenses in running this site, and I want to pay my great columnists and amazing linkdump editor more that I have been (which is more than virtually every Internet site pays their writers - nearly all of them don't pay a dime.).

So, please donate to EoZ. You can use PayPal for a one time donation, or you can use the sidebar on the main blog site to subscribe and donate automatically every month. Alternatively, you can subscribe and become a patron through Patreon. Or you can send me an Amazon gift card.

Thanks again for all your support, and wishing all of you health and happiness and a wonderful upcoming holiday season - together while apart. 





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From Ian:

‘Science will conquer this’: Inside the race for a coronavirus treatment
In a small lab on the Givat Ram campus of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Professor Shy Arkin and his team of three are “throwing chemicals” at some of the proteins that constitute the coronavirus, hoping that one or more of them will stick.

Or at least that’s the kind of non-scientific language Arkin helpfully uses to describe the frantic research that is taking place in his and thousands of other labs around the world, in the battle to counter the pandemic that has gradually brought much of human endeavor and interaction to a near-halt.

In whichever constrained environment this article finds you, therefore, you’ll be pleased to hear that he’s optimistic. The virus, Arkin acknowledges, is particularly devastating among the elderly and other high-risk groups. But social distancing is at least a partially effective interim measure, buying time for the scientific community to come up with a real solution. And that solution, he is confident, will be found.

Arkin is among the scientists who feel they have something of a head start in the race to stop the pandemic, having spent close to two decades studying the components of influenza and SARS 1, the current COVID-19’s “remarkably similar predecessor,” which killed 774 people in 2002-3. And he says that at least some of COVID-19’s two dozen or so components are proteins that are known to be “drug-able” — that scientists have been able to inhibit.

The particular race in which his and all those thousands of other labs are frantically engaged is to test some 6,000 chemicals — drugs that are already approved as non-toxic to humans — against the virus’s constituent compounds: “You throw chemicals at it… If one of the chemicals inhibits a component, and that component is crucial to the virus, the chemical is immediately a potential antivirus drug.”

Sounds simple? Well, yes and no, as this interview attempts to make clear.

It was conducted on Sunday, first in Arkin’s office and then, briefly, in his small lab — one of the very few places on the university campus still working. We kept the obligatory two meters apart as we spoke — a task that became slightly more difficult when we entered the lab, and two members of his team showed me some of the testing process.

The Times of Israel: So, how goes the search for a coronavirus treatment?

Prof. Shy Arkin: We’re working in frantic mode. We’re a small team, and we are serving chemicals against a component of the virus that we identified many years ago.
British-Israeli Project Aims to Identify Anti-Covid-19 Drug
Teams at the Weizmann Institute for Science in Israel and the Diamond Light Source laboratory in Oxfordshire outlined their current findings and research plans in a discussion hosted by Weizmann UK on Thursday. Weizmann Vice President for Public Affairs and Resource Development Roee Ozir said, "We have probably somewhere between 20 and 30 initiatives of talented and creative scientists who are trying to push their research very quickly and look for remedies as soon as possible."

Dr. Nir London, who is leading the team at Weizmann that is searching for a drug candidate, said they are seeking to develop an anti-viral drug which will target protease, one of the 30 proteins that are essential for the activity of the virus. The Weizmann Institute and its international partners are seeking to conduct multiple stages of its research concurrently and thereby shorten the research cycle.

Weizmann has pioneered a form of research that is "completely open and shared in real time with the entire scientific community." To find the compounds that are able to inhibit protease, "instead of following up on only a few tens of compounds, we aim to follow up on 500 to a 1,000 compounds in parallel and so drastically shorten the timescale," London said.

The team published the data that they had gathered online and issued a "call to arms to medical chemists around the world" inviting them to submit proposals for which compounds might be best placed to bind to the coronavirus. "Within a few days, we got hundreds of proposals from medicinal chemists all around the world....Our premise is that if there is a safe compound which shows efficacy against the virus, humanity needs to know about this fast."
World Health Organization insists coronavirus not an airborne disease as experts raise possibility
The World Health Organization doubled down on its claim that the COVID-19 virus is not transmittable by air even as some experts suggest it is possible and as Western officials recommend that doctors and nurses take precautions.

“FACT: #COVID19 is NOT airborne,” WHO declared in a Saturday fact-check tweet. "The #coronavirus is mainly transmitted through droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks.”

But a study in the United States suggests otherwise. Carried out by more than a dozen health experts working with the National Institute for Health’s Rocky Mountain Laboratories, the study released this month found "aerosol … transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is plausible, since the virus can remain viable and infectious in aerosols for hours.”

One of the authors of the study that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Jamie Lloyd-Smith, a UCLA professor and infectious disease researcher, told the Los Angeles Times that singing may have spread virus through the air at a church in Washington state, where a choir rehearsal in early March was deemed the cause of a fatal coronavirus outbreak.

Polly Dubbel, a county communicable disease manager, told the Los Angeles Times that airborne transmission at the Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church was “all we can think of right now.”

She told the Washington Examiner: “It was a group of approximately 60 people just singing in close proximity to each other for over an hour — they weren’t eating, they weren’t shaking hands, they weren’t engaging in any other high-risk activities — and that’s all we know.”

One early March study in Singapore also suggested "that small virus-laden droplets may be displaced by airflows and deposited on equipment such as vents.” A non-peer-reviewed study out of China stated that the intensive care unit, the cardiac/coronary care unit, and general patient rooms in one Wuhan hospital and the patient hall inside another “had undetectable or low airborne SARS-CoV-2 concentration.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s most recent disinfection guidelines state “based on what is currently known about the virus … spread from person-to-person happens most frequently among close contacts (within about 6 feet).” The guidance adds that “this type of transmission occurs via respiratory droplets, but disease transmission via infectious aerosols is currently uncertain.


  • Tuesday, March 31, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon


I just found this 2018 report from the UN that describes the laws that discriminate against and hurt women under the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.

I do not remember a single news article about this report when it was released. The taboo against saying anything bad about Palestinian rule is very deep - there are more international journalists in Israel and the territories per capita than anywhere else on Earth and yet they hardly ever report anything that puts Palestinians in a bad light.

Here are the Palestinian laws that the UN found problematic for women:

Domestic violence: Palestine has no domestic violence legislation.

Marital rape: Marital rape is not criminalized.

Abortion for rape survivors: Abortion is prohibited in the West Bank by the Jordan Penal Code (Articles 321–325) and in Gaza by the Criminal Code of 1936 (Articles 175–177).

Sexual harassment in the workplace: Sexual harassment is not criminalized by the Labour Code.

Honour crimes: Mitigation of penalty Laws allowing mitigation of penalties for ‘honour’ crimes were repealed in 2011 and 2018 in the West Bank. However, the government in Gaza has not applied the reforms.

Adultery: Adultery is an offence in Gaza and the West Bank. In the West Bank, Article 282 of the Penal Code criminalizes adultery

Human trafficking: Palestine does not have comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation. Some provisions of the Penal Code of Jordan apply to trafficking in the West Bank.

Sex work and anti-prostitution laws: Prostitution is prohibited by Articles 309–318 of the Penal Code in the West Bank and Articles 161–166 of the Criminal Code of 1936 in Gaza.

Sexual orientation: Homosexual conduct between consenting adults is criminalized by the Criminal Code of 1936 in Gaza, with a penalty of up to ten years of imprisonment. The Penal Code 1960 in the West Bank has no similar prohibition.

Marriage and divorce: The personal status laws for Muslims require the husband to maintain the wife. A wife owes obedience to her husband. A husband can divorce by repudiation (talaq). A wife has the right to divorce on specified grounds. She can also apply for a khul’a divorce without grounds if she forgoes financial rights.

Male guardianship over women: Muslim women require consent of a wali (male guardian) to marry. There are some weak legal protections for women under guardianship. Women can seek permission from the court to marry if the guardian withholds consent without a legitimate reason.

Minimum age of marriage: The Muslim personal status laws set the minimum legal age of marriage as 15 years for girls and 16 years for boys in the West Bank, and 17 years for girls and 18 for boys in the Gaza Strip. The ages can be lower if a judge allows it (with a guardian’s approval in the case of the girl).

Guardianship of children: Fathers are the sole guardians of children.

Custody of children: After divorce the mother has custody up to a certain age, but automatically loses custody of her children if she remarries. Inheritance Sharia rules of inheritance apply to Muslims. Women have a right to inheritance, but in many cases receive less than men. Daughters receive half the share that sons receive.

Polygamy: Polygamy is permitted.

Legal restrictions on women’s work: Some legal restrictions exist on women’s employment in certain industries that do not apply to men, such as mining.

This list is even worse once you realize that "Palestine" signed the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) with no intent to actually implement any of its rules, and part of the Palestinian government in Ramallah denounced the idea of equal rights for women.

And yet we never hear a word from today's feminists - most of whom are against Israel and support a Palestinian state that would continue its official discrimination against women.








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  • Tuesday, March 31, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon
The BDS Movement is clearly not happy about the coronavirus pandemic.

Not because it has the potential to kill hundreds of thousands or even millions of people. Of course not. Their concern is that the pandemic is distracting the world from what is really important: hating Israel, the great moral imperative of our time.

So they have set up a webinar, during the month of what would have been "Israel Apartheid Week" on campuses, to try to ensure that their mindless troops don't get distracted by minor issues like trying to keep themselves or loved ones safe.


Security! Racism! The Wall! Solidarity! Pandemic! Surely one of those keywords or the photo will attract people to listen to yet more rabid hate for Israel!

Here's the description:
For Israeli Apartheid Week 2020, Rebecca Vilkomersen and Khury Petersen-Smith will explore the concept of security and the racist ways it is deployed, and examine solidarity as a counterpoint. They will discuss the relevance of these concepts during this time of a global pandemic, and share strategies for nonviolent resistance against racism, in keeping with this year’s Israeli Apartheid Week theme, United Against Racism.
The ironies are too many to count. As the entire world tries to secure itself from a deadly virus, BDS wants to argue that security is racism - and the only reason they say that is because Israel emphasizes its security, so it must be wrong.

As a counterpoint, they suggest "solidarity," yet they are against Israel cooperating with Palestinians to fight the pandemic. (You can be sure they won't say a word about how the EU fragmented itself as each member country chose to defend itself rather than the continent.)

Finally, they claim they are against racism when the entire raison d'être of BDS and this seminar is to instill and strengthen a crazed, illogical hate against the Jewish state - an irrational hate that is psychologically identical to hate for people of color or gays.

If someone wants to waste an hour of their lives, I'd love to know how many people actually show up for this - and how many people in the "Palestine Time" timezone.



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  • Tuesday, March 31, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon
The New York Times has an article about how countries are restricting freedom in the times of the pandemic - and what it says about Israel is quite inaccurate.


 "Israel’s prime minister has shut down courts and begun an intrusive surveillance of citizens."

In reality, Israeli courts have not been shut down. The Justice Minister together with the Courts Administration authority have postponed all non-essential hearings. The courts are still open.

The surveillance is of mobile phone metadata finding where potentially infected people have traveled. It is not much different than correlating the data from ubiquitous security cameras.

And neither measure was done at Netanyahu's order. The limits on what court cases will be heard were carried out by the Justice Minister and Courts Administration. The surveillance was ordered by the Government (i.e., by vote of all the Ministers), in consultation with Attorney General, and approved by the Supreme Court (which has not been closed either.)

What this shows is that the Leftist tropes of an autocratic Bibi have become accepted by the media.

Moreover, the article is biased by what it doesn't say. The only Arab nation it mentions is Jordan:
 In Jordan, after an emergency “defense law” gave wide latitude to his office, Prime Minister Omar Razzaz said his government would “deal firmly” with anyone who spreads “rumors, fabrications and false news that sows panic.”
But autocracies like Syria and the Palestinian Authority don't need new laws to limit speech. Palestinians have arrested journalists under an "electronic crimes law" that forbids saying anything the government doesn't like. Syria has detained doctors who dare say that they have seen cases of coronavirus that the regime does not admit. Police in Lebanon have dismantled protest tents. Egypt expelled a journalist that said things not to the regime's liking. Morocco passed a new law limiting what could be said on social media, similar to Jordan's law.

But the New York Times decided that Israel was the autocracy where citizens' human rights are threatened. These Arab regimes who really are using the emergency to grab more power are barely worth mentioning.

(h/t YM and A)




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Monday, March 30, 2020

From Ian:

Ronald Lauder: Coronavirus Fight Should Bring Us All Together, Not Divide Us by Promoting Hatred
In frightening and uncertain times - like those we are facing now with the coronavirus - some people all too often and dangerously look for and unjustly blame scapegoats. Holding Asian-Americans responsible for the coronavirus merely because it originated in China is deeply offensive and a genuine threat to them. Such scapegoating is terrifyingly familiar to my community, the Jewish people. And we are also being targeted now.

When the bubonic plague swept through 14th century Europe, Jews were held responsible. Thousands of innocent men, women and children were viciously slaughtered, and entire Jewish communities were wiped out. Needless to say, all that Jewish blood did nothing to stop the plague. Now, messages and images implying that Jews are exploiting positions of power in politics, finance and health care to spread the virus have emerged.

It is vital that the Jewish people and all Americans take an unyielding stand against any and all efforts to vilify any individual, community, people or nation for the crisis unfolding around us. This is a moment for coming together in a globally shared experience as we recognize what we have in common. We are all in this together. We will not allow COVID-19 to rob us of our civility, our pride in our nation's diversity, and our ability to build a more perfect union across the many communities that call America home.
Ultra-Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn are fighting COVID-19 – and antisemitism
Last Saturday, Yidel Perlstein, chairman of Community Board 12 in Borough Park, Brooklyn, started to feel sick. By Tuesday, he tested positive for coronavirus.

“I’m like a little supermarket. Everything hurts, and every day I get out of bed in the morning, I go to the bathroom, and I think I’m doing better,” he told The Jerusalem Post. “Then I start getting dizzy and weak. I go back to bed, just wait for it to be calm at night and go to sleep. And this has been going on like that every single day.”

“They told me I’m better off staying home as long as I can instead of going to the hospital, which is overcrowded,” he said. “It is better to stay away for as long as possible. So far, I don’t feel any better than last week. It is probably worse.”

“My message is straightforward,” Perlstein said. “If you would have gotten [the coronavirus] and you would know how painful it is, you would have rather stayed home for six weeks than going out and getting it, even with the light case.

“People have no idea. People cannot relate to how painful it is and how you could just lay in bed like you’re almost dead for days and days – and there’s nothing to do.”

New York State has some 60,000 cases and nearly 1,000 people who have died from coronavirus, the largest number in the US by far. Most of the patients, some 33,000, live in the New York City metropolitan area. The new situation affects the sizable Jewish population there, forcing synagogues, schools and yeshivas to close.

Some “99.9%” of the synagogues are closed, as well as schools and most of the stores, Perlstein told the Post.


Netanyahu limits all gatherings to 2 people, except for family members; demands ‘lockdown Seder’
Netanyahu says there are “particular groups” in the country not adhering to emergency directives — “deliberately breaching and even showing contempt” for the rules– and that he therefore ordered security forces to step up enforcement in areas with a high number of violations.

He stresses that most Israelis, including those in the ultra-Orthodox community, are acting responsibly. The “extremist groups” who are flouting the rules, he says, endanger themselves and everybody else, and are trampling on the principle of “love thy neighbor.”

“There won’t be gatherings of over two people who are not from the same nuclear family,” he announces.

Additionally, he says no kind of prayer will be allowed even in open areas — “pray only on your own” — and that religious events should be restricted as much as possible.

Even weddings must be restricted only to immediately family, he says. Funerals remain limited to 20 people, and circumcisions to 10 — all while maintaining two-meter social distancing.

Netanyahu also calls on Israelis not to visit family during the Passover holiday.

This year’s Passover Seder will be “the lockdown seder” — with only the nuclear family attending. “Don’t visit relatives on the eve of the festival either,” he stresses.

“These same restrictions apply as relevant to all faiths,” he notes.

  • Monday, March 30, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon
The pandemic gives us a chance to highlight one of the most ridiculous demands by BDS (and by many Palestinians and Arabs themselves) against "normalization" with Israel.

In order to fight the coronavirus, everyone has to work together. But working together with Israel violates one of the core BDS principles, of being against "normalization" with Israel.

By BDS' definition, normalization is "the participation in any project, initiative or activity, in Palestine or internationally, that aims (implicitly or explicitly) to bring together Palestinians (and/or Arabs) and Israelis (people or institutions) without placing as its goal resistance to and exposure of the Israeli occupation and all forms of discrimination and oppression against the Palestinian people.”

Therefore, a meeting last week between Palestinian doctors from Jericho and Israeli experts on how to fight the coronavirus would be a violation of the BDS demands. And so is all the other cooperation between Israelis and Arabs on fighting the pandemic.



How absurd that a movement supposedly meant to help Palestinians would prefer that they not cooperate against a worldwide threat! But there you have it - BDS doesn't care about Palestinians.

And Israel does.






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  • Monday, March 30, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon
The current pandemic has reduced the number of terror attacks and riots in Israel and the territories to nearly zero.  In fact, today is "Land Day," a major event that is usually marked with mass anti-Israel rallies, and this year the Palestinians can do virtually nothing.

Hamas, which is built on a culture of glorifying death and "martyrs," has very little to talk about without physical attacks.  So its top story on the Al Qassam Brigades website is about the "martyrdom" of someone who just died of injuries from a car accident four years ago.

Al-Qassam Brigades said in its military statement that the Mujahideen Muhammad Issa Baraka from Khan Yunis, died today, Saturday 4 Shaaban 1441 AH corresponding to 3/28/2020 AD, as a result of his injury in a traffic accident 4 years ago.

"To go to his Lord after a blessed life full of giving, jihad, sacrifice and bond in the way of Allah, we count him among the righteous martyrs who are pure and do not commend ourselves to Allah."

We ask Allah to accept him in the martyrs, and to accommodate him in his spacious gardens, and to provide his family with beautiful patience and good consolation, and we belong to God and to Him we shall return.
Pity poor Hamas who needs to scrape the bottom of the barrel to find new "martyrs" to praise.

I guess the terror group didn't want to waste their martyr photos:










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