Friday, March 13, 2020

From Ian:

Jonathan S. Tobin: Pandemic panic a breeding ground for Jew-hatred
What happened during the period when the bubonic plague through Europe from 1347 to 1351 has been burned into the historical memory of the Jewish people. The "Black Death" was one of the greatest demographic catastrophes to afflict the human race in recorded history. Historians estimate that up to 50% of Europe's population died in the pandemic with death rates as high as 75% in Italy, Spain, and France, where the disease was present for four years.

The tragedy for Jews was not just the risk of a deadly contagion. In the midst of unimaginable suffering, many European Christians wanted a scapegoat. The Jewish minority – often set apart in ghettos, and subject to demonization from both church and state – was an easy choice, and massacres and pogroms targeting Jews across Europe followed.

Though the world changed a great deal in the following centuries, the impulse to find someone to blame for diseases or other calamities is still embedded in the human psyche. It's hardly surprising to learn that there has been a surge of anti-Semitic activity in which anti-Semites have sought to tie Jews to the creation and/or spread of the coronavirus.

As JNS reported on Monday, a group of George Washington University students attended the AIPAC policy conference and, due to fears of an affected person being at the event in Washington, DC, were briefly quarantined. Some of them found themselves being targeted on social media by other students who spread the lie that people would get the disease because of the actions of "white supremacists" and "Zionists." Another student, who wears a kipah, reported that he was surrounded and taunted by a group who called him "yahood" (Arabic for "Jew") and asserted that Jews had "started" and "produced" the virus.

The presence of an infected person at AIPAC also drew an unhealthy interest from many Israel-haters with none other than Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) reportedly retweeting (and then subsequently deleting) an account of what happened – either out of a sense of schadenfreude or to please fans of the hate she's spread about Israel and its Jewish supporters.

The disturbing reactions to the AIPAC story weren't isolated incidents. The Anti-Defamation League reported in early February that neo-Nazis and white supremacists were using the Internet to spread conspiracy theories about Jews being behind the disease. Since then, the contagiousness of anti-Semitic bile has kept pace in parallel with the spread of the virus and likely will continue to build, as frustration over the increasing shutdown of communal life gives idle minds even more time to waste staring at the screens of computers and smartphones.

There are some obvious conclusions that can be drawn from this depressing example of humanity's weaknesses.
Melanie Phillips: Will a microbe seal the fate of Iran's virulent regime?
This week, the International Atomic Energy Authority has reported that Iran is accelerating its production of enriched uranium and is blocking its nuclear inspectors from inspecting Iranian activities. Some analysts suggest that Iran has dramatically shrunk its theoretical "breakout" time to acquire a bomb's worth of weapons-grade uranium to less than four months.

The regime's failure to protect Iranians against the virus has provided a fresh outbreak of public protests. More ominously for the regime, the people are openly mocking it. Since mockery is a sign of condign disapproval in Iran, the regime will be well aware that its already fragile hold on power over the public is slipping further.

This all adds to the increasing pressure the regime has been under through the resumption of sanctions, not to mention the grievous blow it suffered from the US drone killing of its principal military strategist, Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

In addition to all of the above, having empowered the Shia from Beirut to Baghdad, the regime is now finding that these people are also turning against it. They are blaming its corruption, ineptitude and foreign adventurism for causing their many woes. In Iraq, the Shia are literally praying for the coronavirus to kill the mullahs.

This week, two Americans and one British soldier were killed after the Taji military camp hosting US and UK troops in Iraq was hit by a rocket attack. No one has claimed responsibility, but the most plausible suspect is Iran.

If so, this suggests that the regime is panicking. For when fanatics feel cornered, they are likely to lash out on the basis that if they're going down, they'll take down with them the enemies they believe are their Divine mission to destroy. Perhaps that's also why it's not fanciful to suggest that the coronavirus is "a blessing" they wish to magnify.

This microbe might just achieve what humankind has failed to do and seal the fate of the regime itself. With the pandemic predicted to reach its peak around Passover, the coronavirus may thus lay claim to becoming the 11th plague.
Caroline B. Glick: What happened to the Israeli Left?
This week, with the liberal mass media providing wall-to-wall support for Blue and White's efforts to form a post-Zionist government dependent on the anti-Zionist Joint Arab List, it appears that over the past 19 years, Shelah's post-Zionism has moved from the margins to the mainstream. The media's energetic attempts to defend Blue and White's efforts show that post-Zionism is the predominant position of the Israeli left.

How did this happen?

Dozens of leading lights of Israeli society signed the Kinneret Charter in July 2001. The next month, the ideals they embraced were bludgeoned by the international community. In late August 2001, the UN convened its anti-racism conference in Durban, South Africa. At Durban, UN member states and the most prominent non-governmental organizations in the world came together to libel and criminalize the Jewish state and people with unprecedented brutality.

Just ten years before, in 1991, the US used its post-Cold War clout at the UN to repeal UN General Assembly resolution 3379 from 1975. Resolution 3379 defined Zionism, the Jewish national liberation movement as "a form of racism." At that time, it was still taken for granted in the Western world that it is anti-Semitic to deny the Jewish people's right to self-determination in their homeland.

Two conferences were convened at Durban – a conference of UN member nations and a conference of non-governmental organizations. In both, Resolution 3379 was not merely brought back from the dead. It was transformed into the cri de coeur of the UN and the international NGO community. The NGO conference produced a shocking resolution that called for Israel's destruction as a Jewish state and accused Israel of being a Nazi, Apartheid regime that was committing genocide and other war crimes. UN member states and NGOs were directed to enact a total boycott of Israel.

The international boycott campaign against Israel was initiated shortly thereafter.

One of the groups most responsible for the diplomatic pogrom at Durban was an Israeli Arab legal advocacy organization called Adalah. The heads of Adalah played leading roles in drafting the resolution. Adalah, which is funded by the EU and anti-Israel foundations in the US set about organizing the Israeli Arab community around the NGO resolution. Arab MKs all parrot the language of hatred and rejection of Israel and Jewish peoplehood that was so violently expressed in the Durban resolution.

Together with other subversive, anti-Zionist NGOs, Adalah works through the post-nationalist Supreme Court to block elected officials in the government and Knesset from enforcing the laws of the state towards Arab Israelis. In accordance with the Durban NGO resolution, they demand that Israeli Arabs be accorded "communal rights," and so effectively undermine Israel's ability to operate as a democracy governed by the rule of law. Internationally, Adalah is actively involved in boycott efforts against Israel whose goal is to criminalize Zionism, Israel's supporters abroad and Israel's very existence. The anti-Israel portion of the Black Lives Matter charter was reportedly written by Adalah.

Among Israeli Jews, views like Adalah's have long been dominant in many universities. Already at the outset of the Palestinian terror war against Israel, professors from Israel's premier universities signed petitions calling for IDF soldiers to refuse to serve in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza and calling for the economic boycott of Israel.

PMW: PA: Jewish history in Jerusalem is "fables and myths" and "imaginary history"
Jews visiting the Temple Mount "defile" the Al-Aqsa Mosque according to the Palestinian Authority. The entire Temple Mount belongs to "Muslims only" and Jews have no rights there because it is an Islamic "waqf"- an inalienable religious endowment in Islamic law. Moreover, the PA repeatedly lies to its people that there is no Jewish history in Jerusalem, nor in the entire "Palestine" – despite extensive and conclusive archaeological evidence that testifies to the Jewish history in Israel. The PA needs to maintain this false narrative to justify its rejection of Israel's right to exist.

The following are some recent examples of the denial of Jewish history and the antisemitic notion that Jews on the Temple Mount "defile" the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound – all disseminated by official PA sources:

PA: Jews "are defiling our Al-Aqsa Mosque"
Official PA TV narrator: "The blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque (i.e., the Temple Mount) is being subjected to many methodical forms of Judaization, including almost daily invasions of herds of settlers supported by the occupation authorities and under the protection of the Israeli police… They are defiling our Al-Aqsa [Mosque]."
[Official PA TV, filler named Jerusalem, Nov. 13, 2019 and Jan. 28, 2020]

Official PA TV rebroadcast this filler on Jan. 28, 2020 on the day US President Trump revealed his Middle East peace plan.

The PA and its leaders misrepresent all of the Temple Mount as if it is part of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Therefore, they vilify any presence of Jews on the mount as an "invasion" as stated by the PA TV narrator. It should be noted that Jews who visit the Temple Mount only enter some sections of the open areas, and do not enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque or the Dome of the Rock. Israeli police ban Jewish prayer at the Temple Mount because of threats of violence by Palestinians.

PA denies Jewish history: Israel looking for "proof of the alleged Temple," invents "imaginary history… in Jerusalem"
Official PA TV narrator: “The occupation authorities intended to excavate a number of tunnels under the surroundings of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in an attempt to find proof or artifacts of the alleged Temple. A search for Jewish archaeological artifacts is likely to constitute proof of the historical presence of Jews in Jerusalem, as the occupation authorities are striving to invent an imaginary history while claiming the connection of the archaeological finds to the Hebrew period in Jerusalem.”
[Official PA TV, filler named Jerusalem, Nov. 13, 2019 and Jan. 28, 2020]

The revival of Nazi motifs at Europe's carnivals
There were antisemitic carnival floats in three European cities. They have once again drawn substantial attention to the hard core Jew-hatred which has been an integral part of European culture for more than a thousand years. One such event occurred in Aalst in Flanders, the Dutch speaking part of Belgium. Two others took place respectively in the city of Badajos and the village of Campo de Criptana in Spain.

Aalst, a sizable town with almost 300,000 residents, is located less than 30 kilometers from Brussels. In Belgium under the Nazi occupation, 50% of the Jewish population was murdered. There was substantial local collaboration. This is the second year where there have been antisemitic floats in Aalst. In Spain, no Jews were murdered or persecuted by the Franco regime. The awareness in Aalst of Nazi antisemitism should be far greater than in Spanish cities.

These expressions of discrimination against Jews should be viewed in a much broader context. After the Second World War, Nazi-type antisemitism open and crude, was no longer politically correct. It is even prohibited in many countries. The reappearance of antisemitic hatred in a carnival indicates that this type of antisemitism has been pushed to the margins of society. During carnival festivities the normal is replaced by the abnormal.

The offensive 2019 Aalst carnival float is described by Cnaan Lipshitz of JTA, posted on Arutz Sheva “Two huge puppets depicting pink-clad Haredi Orthodox Jews. One of them leers while smoking a cigar, a rat perched on his shoulder. Against a synagogue facade, the puppets have money bags at their feet. A platform following the float carried revelers dressed like the puppets who danced to a song about ‘bulging coffers."

Lipshitz described the antisemitic floats in Aalst of this year as having people dressed as Haredi men wearing “an ant’s abdomen and legs attached to their backs and a sticker that read ‘obey’ on their lapels… Another group wore fake hooked noses and Haredi Jewish costumes as protest. Their float had a sign labelled ‘regulations for the Jewish party committee,’ and it included: ‘Do not mock Jews’ and ‘Certainly do not tell the truth about the Jew.’” Representing Jews as insects was at the heart of Jewish demonization by the Nazis.

Belgium with its horrible antisemitic war past is not comparable to the United States. The U.S. is easygoing on extreme hate-mongering. Comparing Jews to insects can be done in the U.S. due to the obsolete and inadequate American concepts of freedom of speech.

The country’s leading antisemite, Louis Farrakhan, is the leader of the Nation of Islam. This extreme hatemonger can freely call Jews ‘termites.’ Various Democrat politicians including Barack Obama before he became a presidential candidate did not mind being seen with Farrakhan. He even had a photograph taken with Farrakhan, both laughing. This photo was suppressed when Obama became a candidate for president.
In Bernie's failed leftist world, only Israel and AIPAC are ‘racists’
And where was Mr. Sanders when Jews needed him during the battle to free Soviet Jewry? In all those decades he never said a word of support, since his Soviet comrades could not be racists. Only Israel is racist.

And most urgently, Mr. Sanders has refused to voice support for the Jews of his former Brooklyn who remain under daily attack by blacks, since blacks can not be racists, only Jews are racists.

But, if Mr. Sanders really wants to seek out truly dangerous racists, all he needs to do is look into the faces of those antisemites he has gathered around as campaign staff and supporters. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Jeremy Corbyn, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Linda Sarsour, Tamika Mallory, Cornel West, Rep. Ilhan Omar and so many other antisemites who publicly support and work for Mr. Sanders’ bid for the Democratic nomination.

And, painfully, there’s much more:
In 1994, Sanders voted against a Congressional resolution condemning remarks by Khalid Abdul Muhammad, a leading member of Farrakhan's Nation of Islam movement, who gave a speech saying Hitler must have had a good reason for exterminating European Jewry.

However, the always-moral Bernie Sanders voted against condemning Muhammad, since blacks could not be racists, according to Mr. Sanders. Only Jews are racists.

Again, calling Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli government and AIPAC racists is part of Mr. Sanders’ well-worn playbook to silence those who do not ascribe to his warped leftist views of the world.

In Bernie’s world, leftist antisemites must not be condemned, black antisemites must not be condemned, congressional antisemites must not be condemned. In Bernie’s world, only Jews are condemned as racists.

But, as we all know, if Mr. Sanders wants to really expose the number one racist who reflexively applies an antisemitic double standard to Israel and always turns a blind eye to those seeking to destroy the Jewish state and the Jewish people, all Bernie Sanders needs to do is look into the mirror.

And remember that we need to maintain some perspective about Sanders’ libeling Netanyahu about being a racist. For long, long after the self-hating Jew Bernie Sanders has returned to dust, never to be remembered, the legend of Benzion, Jonathan and Benjamin Netanyahu will be told and retold.

ADL publishes antisemitism guide for candidates
The Anti-Defamation League has released a guide to contemporary antisemitism for candidates running for national office.

“Antisemitism Uncovered: A Guide to Old Myths in a New Era,” identifies some of the most persistent tropes about Jews, explains why they are dangerous, provides the backstory behind the myths and shows how they have evolved to today,” according to the league.

“As violence against Jews is already at historic levels, we call on all public leaders, particularly during this heated political season, to avoid invoking antisemitic tropes,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement. “The tropes this guide explains are the roots of anti-Semitism, and have led to violence against Jewish communities around the world over centuries. Today, they are still modern drivers of anti-Semitic violence, finding voice in the tweets and public statements of elected officials, or resonating with the extremists who carried out violent attacks against Jews in Pittsburgh, Poway and Jersey City.”

Each chapter of the guide addresses a well-known antisemitic trope, including that Jews have too much power, are disloyal, killed Jesus, and use Christian blood in religious rituals. The guide also addresses Holocaust denial, anti-Zionism and the delegitimization of Israel.

Green Party co-leader and mayoral candidate Sian Berry expresses “frustration” that her party still hasn’t adopted International Definition of Antisemitism
The Green Party co-leader and mayoral candidate, Sian Berry, has expressed her “frustration” that her Party has still not adopted the International Definition of Antisemitism.

Speaking at a campaign briefing for the Jewish community, Ms Berry observed that motions to adopt the Definition have been placed before the Party’s conference twice, but blamed the failure to adopt it on other priorities for the membership. She also noted that she sponsored another motion for the Party’s Spring conference this month but that it was ruled “out of order”. She said: “That’s really frustrating to me because we didn’t get another chance to rewrite it to be in order. So it isn’t going to the current conference that we’re about to have in March.”

(The Green Party’s Spring conference has now been cancelled due to concerns over COVID-19.)

Ms Berry noted that she supported the adoption of the Definition by Camden’s local authority, where she is a councillor, and hopes the Greens will eventually do the same, as the Definition “gives you clarity on what is prejudice and where the line is”. She rejected the criticisms of the Definition on free speech, declaring them to be “unfounded”. “There is quite a lot of clarity in the definition,” she said.

Campaign Against Antisemitism welcomes Ms Berry’s remarks, her support for the adoption of the Definition in Camden and her continued efforts to secure adoption of the Definition in her Party.
Leading journalist Robert Peston says Labour antisemitism so “toxic” he feels the need to declare that he’s a Jew before reporting on it
A leading journalist has revealed that Labour’s antisemitism crisis is so “toxic” that he feels he must declare that he is Jewish before reporting on it.

Robert Peston, ITV’s political editor, made the remark at the annual Cudlipp Lecture, saying that “in the current febrile political climate, it matters – and I say this with regret – that I am Jewish,” as he described the “toxic question of antisemitism in the Labour Party.”

Mr Peston, who is the son of a Labour peer (although he has not been a member of a political party since he was 24 years old) and who recently moderated the Labour leadership hustings of the Party’s Jewish affiliate, describes himself as secular, and explained that “I feel I have to say [that I am Jewish] – because although I strive to be as impartial in covering this issue, as I would a general election, or reporting on a corporate takeover, I cannot shed my Jewish identity in the way that I can cease to be a member of a political party or can dispose of shares in a company.”

He went on to explain that “there is an argument, that because antisemitism is a personal issue for me, I should not report on it,” adding that he is “someone who believes in the importance of impartial journalism.”

According to Mr Peston, Seamus Milne, Jeremy Corbyn’s head of communications, criticised his reporting, saying it had “not been remotely fair or balanced and included a high degree of slanted editorialising.” The “low point” was Mr Peston’s interview with the Chief Rabbi following his courageous intervention in the general election, which Mr Milne cited as a reason not to permit ITV news to interview Mr Corbyn, Mr Peston said. Mr Peston maintains that the interview was “impartial”.

Rick Steves Keeping Faith With the Mullahs, Not His Viewers
Rick Steves, the beloved producer of travel shows for PBS, has a pretty explicit agenda for his journalism. He wants to promote empathy for people who live in other countries, especially countries that many Americans regard with fear and hostility. “I think it’s good character to know people before you bomb them,” he said to great applause before a TedX Rainier audience in Washington state in 2009.

Steves offered this bromide to explain why he went to Iran in 2008 to produce a softball travel segment about Iran that aired on PBS stations in 2009. The way Steves tells it, he was approached by the “local people from the United Nations” (whoever they might be), who were concerned about a rush to war and the saber rattling that was going on in the US at the time. They asked him if there was anything he could do to “help calm things down.”

“I said really the only thing I could do of any consequences would be to produce a TV show on Iran,” he said. Steves told the unnamed UN officials who approached him that he was too busy to do the paperwork necessary to visit Iran, but that if they did it for him, he’d bring his camera crew to Iran, produce an hour-long show, “and get it run on public television.”

Lo and behold, the folks from the UN got the Iranian government to give Steves and his crew permission to film there. Upon arriving in the country, Steves made it perfectly clear to Iranian officials that he wasn’t there to challenge the mullahs who run the country.

“I made it very clear in my presentation to the Iranian government that we are not interested in politicizing it,” he said in a lecture he gave in 2009. “I didn’t want to deal with their funding of terrorism. I didn’t want to deal with their treatment of homosexuals or Baha’is. I didn’t want to deal with nuclear issues. I just wanted to be a travel writer and go there and understand the culture because it’s a rich culture and it’s 70 million people.”

In sum, Steves marketed himself to the mullahs as a human billboard for a country whose leaders murder gays and lesbians, brutally oppress women, and terrorize religious minorities under their control.

The limits of BBC News reporting from PA controlled territories
Listeners would learn little more from Foster’s conversations with a student, market vendors, a hotel manager and a mother of two and her closing observation that “a whole community is suffering” could of course have been made in many other locations around the world. As in Foster’s previous report on the topic, listeners heard nothing about Israel’s efforts to help the Palestinian Authority deal with the outbreak of Coronavirus.

Given the BBC’s long record of highly limited interest in reporting internal Palestinian affairs, it was not surprising to see that Foster showed no interest in reporting a story that began with televised remarks made by the Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas concerning a recent doctors’ strike.

“Some trade unions, like the doctors’ union, have declared a strike. […] Why? They want a raise. What raise? They want to double their salaries. I can’t pay their original salaries, so how do they expect me to pay for a raise? Nevertheless, I told them that if we overcome our financial crisis, and if our money stops being confiscated [by Israel] and things get better, we can talk about it. I met the people at the doctors’ union, and their secretary-general. They had made me promises that they later recanted and declared a strike. Why a strike? Is it reasonable for the doctors’ union to strike today when we are being confronted by the coronavirus? Even if there were no other [problems], once the coronavirus appeared, they should have dropped everything and went to work. The measures taken by the doctors are irresponsible. To declare a strike at a time like this, when we have the Deal of the Century on the one hand, and the economic and financial siege on the other hand, and on top of that, we have the coronavirus…”
Historians quit Belgian Holocaust museum over honor for anti-Israel activist
Half of the scientific committee of Belgium’s national Holocaust museum resigned over the institution’s plan to host an event that was to honor a promoter of boycotts against Israel.

The resignation Tuesday of nine historians from the Kazerne Dossin memorial followed an outcry over its plan from December to host the awarding of a prize by the Pax Christi Catholic aid group to Brigitte Herremans, the Belga news agency reported.

Herremans has said that Israel’s supporters inflate anti-Semitism to distract from its actions and called for the European Union to sanction both the country and its citizens when they enter European soil.

The plan to host the award ceremony was canceled amid protests by Belgian Jews. Kazerne Dossin, which at first said it was merely serving as a venue for Pax Christi rather than a co-organizer, did not explain the cancellation.

The controversy showed that “Kazerne Dossin, as a memorial site, cannot become a place where the current policies of the State of Israel are placed on the agenda,” the nine historians wrote in a joint statement.
Louisiana Man Arrested for 2018 Antisemitic Vandalism
A Louisiana man has been arrested for allegedly vandalizing a synagogue in September 2018.

Caine Zander Brown, 20, was arrested on Tuesday and will be charged with damage to property by spray-painting two swastikas and a cross, in addition to the words “burn” and “synagogue of satan,” on the exterior of the Northshore Jewish Congregation in Mandeville.

“Brown stated he had traveled to Mandeville during the time frame of the graffiti incident. Additionally, Brown was discovered to have made numerous social media posts espousing Nazi beliefs, including denial of the Holocaust and use of the term ‘synagogue of satan,’ law enforcement said,” reported the local affiliate Fox 8.

An informant placed Brown near the synagogue at the time of the graffiti.
Re-Killing the Jewish Dead: Another Tragedy in Yemen
The Arab states are known for their sweeping and brutal violations of human rights. It is no wonder that where human life is given little value, the dead too are accorded no dignity. This phenomenon is now being demonstrated in Aden, where the main burial place of Yemeni Jewish dead is being systematically destroyed.

The Jewish (and English) cemetery in the Yemenite city of Aden is being systematically destroyed. This action is in keeping with the long tradition of imperial Islamic conquest, when Arab/Muslim occupiers rushed to construct mosques above churches and synagogues in order to obliterate all evidence of a non-Islamic past.

The current desecration of the cemetery in Aden is being done in the service of a huge construction project in a much-sought-after neighborhood in the city, not far from the sea. The buildings are to be erected on top of the ruins of the cemetery.

This is contrary not only to the accepted values ​​and ethics of the Western world, but to Islamic values ​​and Muslim law as well.

This does not appear to be a limiting factor in the minds of the “Transitional Council” in Yemen, established in 2017 under the leadership of Gen. Aidarus Zubeidi. The Council views its control over Aden as a springboard for the establishment of an independent state in southern Yemen, and it does not intend to be thwarted by ethical or religious reservations.

The construction project will bring about the final erasure of the last remnants of the Jewish community in Aden, whose roots are considerably older than Islam itself.
Israeli Paralympic Medalist Builds Wheelchairs for Athletes
Doron Shaziri was 20 when he lost his left leg to a landmine in Lebanon. While in rehab, Shaziri got into wheelchair basketball and started playing professionally. He won his first two Paralympic medals in Atlanta in 1996 and has participated in five Paralympics since.

Now 53, Shaziri's other passion is fitting athletes with customized wheelchairs compatible with their chosen sports. "A regular chair mostly needs stability to be able to go over challenging terrains like grass," he said. However, in basketball, the terrain is a smooth parquet floor and speed is what matters most. That is why wheelchairs built for basketball have angled back wheels offering better maneuvering capabilities. He also makes chairs for tennis, badminton, and rugby.

In his day-to-day life, Shaziri said he does not feel like he has a disability. "I walk, I drive a stick, and even ride a bike."
Israeli digital exports likely to rise amid coronavirus disruption
Worldwide disruption to supply chains and manufacturing caused by the novel coronavirus outbreak is likely to accelerate exports of Israeli digital innovation, according to Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute chairman Adiv Baruch.

Nearly half of Israel’s record-breaking exports in 2019, totaling more than $114 billion, were services, primarily hi-tech exports that do not rely on the physical shipment of products.

“Most of the technology companies acting in the digital space, for example, digital healthcare and financial businesses, are increasing their activities because all those exporters are relying on existing ecosystem channels in their geographic locations,” Baruch, a veteran of the country’s hi-tech sector, told The Jerusalem Post.

“We are ready and moving into the digital space much faster,” he said. “We will see an increase because Israel is a hub of innovation to the world in some sectors.”

Baruch highlighted the field of digital health, where Israel has led the way in gathering electronic medical records, at-home healthcare and digital hospitals. When it comes to monitoring vital signs without physical contact, Israel is in “a very advanced position in the world,” he said.

Service exports have soared 160% during the past decade, from $21.5b. in 2009 to almost $56b. in 2019. Recent years have seen significant shifts in the destination of exports, with sales to China rising 402% over the past 10 years. There were major leaps in sales to the United Kingdom (286%), Poland (162%), Japan (73%), Turkey (66%) and Brazil (61%). (h/t Zvi)
Coronavirus: seven tips on how to avoid going stir crazy in quarantine
As tens of thousands of Israelis find themselves in a 14-day self-isolation due to the coronavirus pandemic, not to mention the millions forced to stay at home all over the world, a pressing question is how to deal with the situation without surrendering to anxiety, boredom and a whole host of negative emotions.

If people think massive amounts of binge-watching and social-media time will do it, they should think again, Prof. Julie Cwikel, director of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev’s Center of Women’s Health Studies and an expert in social epidemiology, told The Jerusalem Post.

There are different populations who are experiencing the crisis, and they might have different needs: people who were forced to enter isolation after traveling abroad or coming in contact with someone who was infected, people who have suspected symptoms but are not sure whether they are ill, families with children, the elderly and people living alone, she said.

For everyone, the key to remain in shape, both physically and mentally, is to stay active and to fight the sense of isolation while avoiding spending too much time just occupied with screens.
Here are seven tips to do so effectively:
1. Maintain principles of self-care, i.e. take care of yourself
2. Reach out to people, talk, express how you feel
3. Do what helps you relax
4. Limit the time looking at screens
5. Be playful with your children
6. Don’t feel embarrassed
7. Keep physically active from your living room using online resources

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.


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