Tuesday, April 14, 2020

From Ian:

Coronavirus death toll rises to 121, with 11,868 infected
The death toll from the coronavirus pandemic in Israel rose to 121 on Tuesday evening, with the Health Ministry also reporting a jump in the number of daily tests to nearly 10,000.

The latest fatalities were identified as an 86-year-old woman who succumbed to the virus at Ramat Gan’s Sheba Medical Center and an 81-year-old man who died at the Ichilov Medical Center in Tel Aviv, the ministry said.

Later Tuesday, a 71-year-old resident of a nursing home in Tiberias died due to complications from the coronavirus, the Baruch Padeh Medical Center in the northern city announced, adding that she suffered from preexisting conditions.

In Jerusalem, a 78-year-old man died at the Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem and a man, 90, died at Shaare Zedek Medical Center.

The updated ministry figures of 11,868 infections across the country represented a rise of over 600 cases in 24 hours. The ministry said 181 people were in serious condition, 136 of them on ventilators. Another 168 were in moderate condition, with the vast majority displaying mild symptoms.

The ministry said 2,000 have recovered from the virus.
Israel under lockdown as final days of Passover commence
Israelis are entering the final days of Passover under coronavirus restrictions similar to Seder night that requires the public to stay in their homes and celebrate only with their nuclear families.

The government unanimously approved that until 5 a.m. on Thursday, Israelis will not be permitted to leave their towns and cities. In Jerusalem, movement will be restricted within pre-defined neighborhoods.

Moreover, to prevent crowding following the conclusion of Passover on Wednesday evening, bakeries and supermarket bread departments will not reopen until Thursday morning.

As Passover ends, the government, the National Security Council, the Health and Defense ministries are supposed to hold a series of meetings to decide on the first phase of the country’s exit strategy.

However, even if the economy is opened more in general, it was reported that a Passover-like lockdown is likely to be implemented for Memorial Day through the end of Israeli Independence Day, the Hebrew website N12 reported.

Memorial Day, Yom HaZikaron in Hebrew, starts April 27 at night and Independence Day ends April 29 at sundown.

The purpose of the expected move is to prevent people from attending memorial ceremonies in mass, holding large gatherings in cemeteries or throwing barbeques and other parties in large groups and in public spaces, as is common on Independence Day.

The decision to implement restrictions will be based in part on how well the public does or does not adhere to the Passover restrictions and if the number of people infected with coronavirus per day continues at its current rate or decreases or increases.
Deep Analysis Of Global Pandemic Data Reveals Important Insights
A massive amount of data about the pandemic is generated every day. Although organizations such as WHO, CDC, Johns Hopkins University, and Worldometers are disseminating important statistics daily, the data is not analyzed in an efficient way to provide insights. The COVID-19 pandemic is a complex system involving biology, human behavior, companies, and governments, and it’s influenced by healthcare, economics, governance, and geopolitics. Sophisticated analytical methods could help improve economic, societal, and geopolitical stability. Deep Knowledge Group has developed advanced analytical frameworks to analyze this data. The results are presented in the form of open source country rankings to help people and governments make informed decisions that maximize beneficial outcomes for humanity.

When the seriousness of the pandemic became clear, Deep Knowledge Group adapted its existing analytical frameworks, previously applied to complex domains such as as AI for Drug Discovery and NeuroTech, to the global COVID-19 pandemic landscape. A team of experts collected and analyzed data generated for 200 countries around the world. The results, based on deep analysis of 60 countries, was released today. To communicate the insights in a practical way, the analysts developed a ranking system. The rankings can be used as a tool for businesses and governments to aid in effective decision making and could assist response efforts in order to maximize health, stabilize economies, and help communities reopen for business. The analytical methodology will be adjusted over the next few months for advanced and qualitative assessment and AI may be used to analyze this data in the most efficient way.
Country Ranking Methodology

The COVID-19 analytical frameworks have been designed to rapidly assess the changing situation in countries as they strive to mitigate the health and economic consequences of the virus. Big Data Analysis is applied to quantified and relevant parameters. By comparing them in tangible ways, they are able to serve as practical tools for decision makers. The analytics are fact-based and unbiased and can be accessed free of charge. Proprietary metrics and analytical techniques may be disclosed to relevant organizations and responsible governmental bodies.

The analysis revealed that some countries proved very effective at combating COVID-19 early on. These countries focused on early prevention by deploying quarantine measures before the number of confirmed cases surpassed 50,000, and using efficient methods for treating hospitalized patients. For example, China and Germany rapidly mobilizing emergency efforts early on to contain the virus and increase hospital capacity. They utilized technologies including AI, robotics, and big data analysis, in combination with medical treatment and healthcare management techniques structured in a sophisticated way.

Top Israeli prof claims simple stats show virus plays itself out after 70 days
A prominent Israeli mathematician, analyst and former general claims simple statistical analysis demonstrates that the spread of COVID-19 peaks after about 40 days and declines to almost zero after 70 days — no matter where it strikes, and no matter what measures governments impose to try to thwart it.

Prof Isaac Ben-Israel, head of the Security Studies program in Tel Aviv University and the chairman of the National Council for Research and Development, told Israel’s Channel 12 (Hebrew) Monday night that research he conducted with a fellow professor, analyzing the growth and decline of new cases in countries around the world, showed repeatedly that “there’s a set pattern” and “the numbers speak for themselves.”

While he said he supports social distancing, the widespread shuttering of economies worldwide constitutes a demonstrable error in light of those statistics. In Israel’s case, he noted, about 140 people normally die every day. To have shuttered much of the economy because of a virus that is killing one or two a day is a radical error that is unnecessarily costing Israel 20% of its GDP, he charged.

Prof. Gabi Barbash, a hospital director and the former Health Ministry director general, insisted in a bitter TV exchange that Ben-Israel is mistaken, and that the death tolls would have been far higher if Israel and other countries had not taken the steps they did.
Gabi Barbash, Director General at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, April 7, 2020. (Channel 12)

But Ben-Israel said the figures — notably from countries, such as Singapore, Taiwan, and Sweden, which did not take such radical measures to shutter their economies — proved his point. (He also posted a Hebrew paper to this effect on Facebook, with graphs showing the trajectories.)

When Barbash cited New York as ostensible proof that Ben-Israel was mistaken, Ben-Israel noted the latest indications from New York were precisely in line with his statistics that indicate daily new cases figures peaking and starting to fall after about 40 days.
United Hatzalah Founder Eli Beer Off Ventilator, Begins Recovery From COVID-19
United Hatzalah founder Eli Beer woke up from a coma and was taken off a ventilator on April 9 at the University of Miami Hospital, where he is recovering from the coronavirus.

The 46-year-old, who is also president of the U.S.-based organization Friends of United Hatzalah, is now breathing on his own and able to communicate with his family. He has also begun physical therapy, United Hatzalah told Yeshiva World News.

Beer has since tested negative twice for COVID-19, and as a result, is being moved out of the COVID-19 ICU unit and into the hospital’s surgical ICU unit. He was in a medically induced coma and breathing through the use of a ventilator for the past three weeks.

He apparently contracted COVID-19 while in the United States after coming in contact with the rabbi of a Miami synagogue who was also diagnosed with virus, entering the hospital in mid-March.

“Thank you to all those who prayed and did acts of kindness in his merit,” Mark Gerson, chairman of United Hatzalah, told The Jerusalem Post. “He has a long recovery ahead, and we ask everyone to give him and his family time before contacting them. We will continue to share updates on Eli’s progress as well as ways to send him well wishes.”
StandWithUs: Grill the experts with Max Samarov, Charlotte Korchak and Neil Lazarus.
Join us live as our experts answer your burning questions about Israel, the Middle East, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

WHO’s Anti-Israel Bias Raising Questions About Organization’s Direction
The World Health Organization's decision-making body has a history of singling out Israel for criticism, fueling concerns of bias as the United Nations organization faces criticism of its response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The World Health Assembly, WHO's policymaking body, has only one item on its agenda directed at a specific country—Israel—according to research by Human Rights Voices (HRV) and the Touro Human Rights Institute, which monitor bias at the U.N.

Agenda items sponsored by WHO have targeted Israel for criticism since at least 2000. Of all the reports produced each year for the World Health Assembly on the health of humankind, only one report targets a specific state—again, Israel.

WHO's focus on Israel is contributing to mounting concerns about the organization's bias and mismanagement, particularly in light of accusations the agency helped China obfuscate the number of deaths and illnesses from coronavirus.

The Touro Institute views this as a "pattern of highly selective handling of U.N. member states, beginning with WHO's unique singling out and condemnation of Israel."

The Trump administration signaled on Friday it is likely to cut U.S. funding to WHO over what it says is a botched response to the coronavirus pandemic. The administration pointed to multiple statements by WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who goes by Dr. Tedros though he is not a medical doctor, praising China as the virus spread across the globe.

The organization's bias against Israel could factor in to any decision made this week by the Trump administration, which has often criticized the U.N. and its decision-making bodies for unjust bias against the Jewish state.

John Hagee: Israel and United States Are Working Together to Overcome Coronavirus
America is at the start of what President Trump has warned will be a painful and tough month ahead. Political and faith leaders, healthcare providers, and the entire global population are and will be tested like never before.

We are facing this together, however. And while we crave community and cannot be together physically – we can become one through faith, compassion, solidarity, friendship and cooperation.

The Book of Genesis says, “I will bless those who bless you,” and for hundreds of years – long before the reestablishment of the State of Israel – the American people have stood beside the Jewish people and supported Jewish statehood. Today, as a plague ignites our world, we are blessed to have friends in a strong, secure Israel.

It’s important to recognize that our alliance has never been more important than it is today. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said as much on behalf of his country ahead of an early March conversation with U.S. coronavirus task force response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx. “Links with the U.S. are essential,” he said. “I view them as one of our greatest assets in dealing with this crisis.”

I am thankful that Israel and the U.S. have quickly moved to overcome this pandemic together. The two states have established a cooperation mechanism for Israel’s National Emergency Management Authority and FEMA to coordinate. Leaders of both nations have instructed their coronavirus teams to consult each other on technological and scientific developments to address and overcome the challenges posed by this deadly virus, with Vice President Pence ensuring that Birx is part of these critical conversations.

But the friendship and cooperation between our great nations extends beyond government intervention alone. Israelis and Americans stand united, as evidenced by Tel Aviv City Hall’s illumination in the stars and stripes, and Israel’s Teva Pharmaceuticals, the leading generic drug company in the U.S., is donating millions of doses of potentially lifesaving drugs, like hydroxychloroquine sulfate tablets, to America.
The Two-State Solution and U.S. Interests
The two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as traditionally envisioned, is unrealistic and the Trump administration is wise to adjust U.S. policy accordingly. For the two-state solution to become viable, Hamas must collapse, Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank must craft a shared vision of the future, and then they must march in lockstep toward a compromise with Israel. The number of stars that must align for this vision to become reality is too great to count.

For a quarter century, U.S. leaders have stubbornly insisted on treating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as if it were ripe for settlement. Between 1993 and 2017, three presidents and dozens of their senior aides invested thousands of hours in pursuit of a permanent peace agreement. No other diplomatic goal has received this level of sustained attention across administrations. The meager fruits of this work do not justify the massive investment.

In the last 25 years in the Middle East, Washington has seen the rise of Iran, the disintegration of Arab states, the advent of jihadism, the reemergence of Russia as a spoiler, and the deterioration of U.S.-Turkish relations. More than ever before, Washington's interests lie in building Israeli power to shore up the battered U.S. regional security structure, not in tearing it down in the pursuit of a peace fantasy.
Misrepresenting Transnational Jihad
Last month, in one of the last public lectures before universities shut down in-person gatherings in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Darryl Li, an assistant professor of anthropology and lecturer in law at the University of Chicago, ventured to Philadelphia to address an audience of about twenty-five graduate students and professors at the University of Pennsylvania's Middle East Center (MEC).

The topic was his new book, The Universal Enemy: Jihad, Empire, and the Challenge of Solidarity, which deals with the Balkans crisis of the early 1990s. Li was introduced by MEC's interim director, John Ghazvinian, who made a point of noting that the Center is a federally funded National Resource Center under Title VI of the Higher Education Act. Ghazvinian said that, in practice, that meant attendees were requested to fill out evaluation forms to be reported back to the government. Given the ongoing concerns expressed by several members of Congress about the misuse of Title VI federal funds by Middle East studies centers, Ghazvinian's request might have been a savvy strategy to demonstrate Penn's commitment to transparency and apolitical scholarship. If so, he only partially succeeded.

Li said the aim of his book is to "blow up the little story" of jihadis converging on Bosnia to defend Muslims.

Ghazvinian introduced Li as "extraordinarily talented" for having obtained both a Ph.D. and J.D. and, quoting Li's faculty page, said his book "develops an ethnographic approach to the comparative study of universalism using the example of transnational 'jihadists' -- specifically, Arabs and other foreigners who fought in the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia Herzegovina." Much of his evidence comes from his interviews with these former volunteers who fought on the side of the area's besieged Muslims.

Li, a young, charismatic academic, claimed the '90s Balkans war had the "United States looking for a justification or organizing principle for its sort of geopolitical supremacy or primacy in the world." That this war coincided with the fiftieth anniversary commemorations of events during World War II and the Holocaust led the U.S. to conclude "that the prevention of mass atrocity and humanitarian [crisis] would be an ideal way of justifying this particular set of affairs."
PM, Gantz suspend talks for holiday, will meet again Wednesday ahead of deadline
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz suspended talks on forming a unity government for the last day of Passover holiday that starts Tuesday evening, promising to continue on Wednesday evening just hours before a deadline to ink a deal.

After talks throughout the day Tuesday, Blue and White and Likud issued a joint statement saying that Netanyahu and Gantz, and their teams, would “meet again after the holiday with the aim of reaching an agreement on establishing a national emergency government.”

The statement gave no details on the talks and with the holiday ending Wednesday evening, that would give them just a few hours before Gantz’s mandate expires at midnight, after already receiving a 48-hour extension from President Reuven Rivlin.

“I promise to to keep taking the right decisions for Israel’s citizens and to work toward unity and reconciliation for the nation,” Gantz said after the talks without giving a further indication of where they stand.

The two met late Monday at the Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem, where they asked Rivlin to extend Gantz’s mandate to assemble a government, which expired at midnight.

The president granted the request, giving Gantz until Wednesday midnight to finalize a deal. A statement from the President’s Residence said he agreed to do so “on the understanding that they are very close to reaching an agreement between them.”
Hamas said demanding release of 250 prisoners for info on missing Israelis
The Hamas terror group is demanding that Israel release 250 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for information on two Israeli captives in the Gaza Strip and on the remains of two IDF soldiers killed in the 2014 Gaza war, according to a Lebanese news report on Tuesday.

According to the Al-Akhbar daily, Hamas officials in Israeli prisons have drawn up the list of 250 prisoners it seeks freed in the first stage of the deal and has conveyed it to the Hamas leadership in the coastal enclave.

The daily said that a German mediator who was involved in the 2011 Shalit deal, which saw Israel release over 1,000 prisoners for captured IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, was again mediating between the sides.

Israel relayed its willingness to Hamas, by way of Egyptian mediators, to take steps toward a prisoner exchange deal with the Gaza-ruling terror group, the Al-Araby Al-Jadeed newspaper reported Sunday. The London-based pan-Arab paper said the terms would be as outlined by Yahya Sinwar, the Hamas leader in Gaza.

Reports last week said the proposal included provision for Israel to free a number of women, children and elderly Palestinian prisoners in exchange for information on slain IDF soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, who were killed during fighting in July and August 2014 during a war with Hamas and whose bodies have since been held by the terror group.

The reported proposal would be modeled on a 2009 agreement that saw Israel release 20 female prisoners in exchange for video footage of Shalit, an IDF soldier who was held in Gaza after being captured by Hamas during a cross-border attack in 2006. Shalit was released in 2011 as part of a prisoner exchange in which Israel freed over 1,000 security prisoners, among them Sinwar.
Assessing the Palestinian Response to the Coronavirus
In the battle against the coronavirus pandemic, the Palestinian Authority has adopted Israel's health policy, which is based on closure, isolation and the opening of designated recovery centers for coronavirus patients. It is also receiving test kits from Israel and the international community. The number of patients that the PA is reporting should be viewed with skepticism due to its general lack of transparency.

PA head Mahmoud Abbas is conducting backstage management of the crisis from his home. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh has taken charge of internal responses, and in the process has strengthened his position in Fatah for the day after Abbas.

PA officials under Shtayyeh's leadership have been inciting against Israel, accusing it of having an interest to increase the disease among the Palestinian population - an obvious falsehood that ignores the ongoing coordination and requests for further assistance.

Until recently, Israel has allowed tens of thousands of Palestinian workers to remain in its territory, but under a now more stringent policy, it is gradually returning most of those workers. With 100,000-plus Palestinians dependent upon work in Israel for their income, the return of Palestinian workers to the West Bank ratchets up the social, economic and health pressures on the PA.

In Gaza, the Hamas leadership is fully aware of the potential for massive damage to its rule if the pandemic takes root. It has set up 22 isolation centers for treating patients and has received economic assistance from Qatar. For now, Hamas has significantly decreased its terror activities against Israel in order to focus on the health threat.
PA rebuffs call to stop ‘incitement’ campaign blaming Israel for its virus cases
Senior Palestinian officials refused on Monday to back down on accusations that Israel has been responsible for intentionally spreading the coronavirus in the West Bank, after Jerusalem called such claims “incitement” and warned of significant consequences for repeating them.

“We will not bow to blackmail in any form,” Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said during a press conference.

The premier was responding to a question regarding Hebrew media reports, according to which Israeli defense officials have been furious about the rhetoric coming out of Ramallah in recent days, where officials have implied or outright accused Israel of seeking to spread the virus among the Palestinian population.

In addition, the PA Health Ministry has listed on its website the cause of the confirmed Palestinian coronavirus cases in the West Bank as “the occupation state.”

PA officials say that the vast majority of the 261 Palestinian coronavirus cases in the West Bank have been individuals working in Israel or those who had come in contact with them upon their return.

A Channel 12 report said the source of contagion of nearly 75 percent of cases that have tested positive for COVID-19 in the PA has been traced to Palestinian workers employed in Israel. The PA has utilized this statistic to allege that Israel is “polluting” PA areas via both Palestinian workers and the IDF.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Why Does No One Care About These Palestinians?
Those in the international community expressing concern about the possible spread of the virus in the Gaza Strip are ignoring the existing tragedy of the Palestinians in Syria, particularly those held in various Syrian government-controlled prisons.

While Palestinian Authority leaders have been urging Israel to release Palestinian prisoners in Israel out of fear they may be infected with coronavirus, these same leaders have left, without saying a word, hundreds of Palestinians held in Syrian jails.

"Such practices represent flagrant violations of international law which criminalizes all forms of torture and mistreatment against civilians," the Action Group for Palestinians of Syria (AGPS) stated.

An Arab persecuting or torturing an Arab never seems to be condemned by the international community.... The reason the world does not care about the atrocities committed against Palestinians in Syria: they cannot blame Israel for them.

Unfortunately, the Palestinians of Syria live in an Arab country. Were those Palestinians living in the West Bank or the Gaza Strip, the international media, the United Nations and human rights organizations would have interrupted the daily media fare of coronavirus by shouting day and night about Israel's purported persecution of the Palestinians.
PMW: Palestinian girl to Trump: "Brother of a whore, [if] you want war - we will declare war"
After US President Trump revealed his peace plan for the Middle East, the PA organized numerous protest rallies. At one rally in February, a girl recited a poem addressing Trump as the “brother of a whore” and the “son of a dog.” She promised Trump a “war” that will be “ignited in the east and west,” and that will enable Palestinians to “throw out the Zionists”:

Girl: “[If] you want war – we will declare war,
We will ignite it in the east and west.
We will trample your honor, wretched one,
Brother of a whore, Trump.
[If] you want war – we will declare war,
We will ignite it in the east and west…
My homeland is not a toy in your hands.
The Zionists will be thrown out of my homeland…
Listen well and hear this, son of a dog!”

[Official PA TV, Feb. 11, 2020]

An official PA TV host who broadcast from the rally in Ramallah set the mood from the beginning, addressing “crazy Trump” and stating that all of “Palestine” belongs to the Palestinians “from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea” – erasing the entire State of Israel:

Official PA TV host Samer Taym: “Listen, crazy Trump, we will not relinquish our homeland… The map is ours, the map is ours, O people of Jerusalem! … Our map is rooted in our hearts, from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea…”
Unidentified speaker: “Trump, son of a dog.”
Audience: “Trump, son of a dog.”
Unidentified speaker: “Palestine is in the heart!”
Audience: “Palestine is in the heart!”

[Official PA TV, Feb. 11, 2020]

Palestinian Media Watch has documented that the PA abuses children by using them to promote violence and terror as this girl did with her poem at a public rally. Recently, an even younger girl recited a poem on Palestinian radio that taught Palestinian kids that they are merely “ammunition.” Fatah later published the poem to an even wider audience on Facebook:

Egypt opens Gaza border for returnees stranded by outbreak
Egypt reopened its border crossing on Monday with the Gaza Strip after nearly three weeks, allowing hundreds of Palestinians stranded by the coronavirus pandemic to return home.

Hamas, the militant group ruling Gaza, has coordinated the timing of Rafah crossing's one-way reopening with Egypt to coincide with the completion of 1,000 rooms to place the returnees into mandatory quarantine.

The arrivals were taken into buses, without their luggage, under police escort into the quarantine centers. Sick returnees would be placed in hospitals and the old at hotels. Security forces and medics waited for the arrival in full protection clothes.

Hamas and its governing bodies are struggling to keep the COVID-19 threat at bay after its spread in neighboring Israel and Egypt. Only 13 cases have been diagnosed in the Palestinian enclave that the two countries blockaded following Hamas' violent 2007 takeover. Nine have recovered. The cases were discovered among travelers who returned from abroad via Israel and Egypt in March.

But experts say the numbers could be low owing to the limited testing capacity.

Gaza's health system is gutted due to the blockade, Palestinian political divisions and conflicts with Israel. International organizations warn that an outbreak would be catastrophic among the 2 million people packed in the narrow enclave, where poverty and unemployment levels have jumped over 50%.

Iranian health ministry holds antisemitic coronavirus cartoon contest
The senior vice president for international affairs for the Anti-Defamation League, Sharon S. Nazarian, blasted Iran’s health ministry for squandering time on stoking antisemitism instead of combating the massive outbreak of the deadly coronavirus disease.

Sharon S. Nazarian tweeted on Monday: “At a time when it should be focused on saving lives, Iran’s health ministry sponsored a cartoon contest on COVID19. As you could imagine, some of the submissions we found were horrifically and sadly unsurprisingly antisemitic.”

Her tweet contained images of the antisemitic cartoons tinged with anti-Americanism.

One cartoon shows the deadly virus dancing on top of a hat with a Star of David while a hook-nosed US Uncle Sam representative appears to have released the disease.

The National Director and CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, Jonathan Greenblatt, told a US congressional hearing on antisemitism in January that the Islamic Regime of Iran is the top state-sponsor of Holocaust denial and antisemitism.
Iranian Academic Mohammad Marandi: Iran Among Few Countries Not Affected Economically by COVID-19
Dr. Mohammad Marandi, a professor of English literature and orientalism at Tehran University, said in an April 12, 2020 interview on Mayadeen TV (Lebanon) that ironically, the economic sanctions against Iran have isolated Iran economically and “protected” it from the economic instabilities caused by the coronavirus pandemic. He elaborated that since Iran has been unable to export goods, and since it does not have a large tourism industry, the pandemic has minimally affected its economy. In addition, Dr. Marandi added that the “resistance economy” Iran has maintained under the sanctions has enabled Iran to build the infrastructure for producing its own goods, as he says it has been doing with testing kits and medical supplies.

Abdel Bari Atwan: Coronavirus Will Bring End of US; Let China Rise – It Won’t Be Worse than America
Abdel Bari Atwan, a Palestinian journalist based in the United Kingdom, said in a video he uploaded to his YouTube channel on March 27, 2020 that he leans towards believing the conspiracy theory that America deliberately brought the coronavirus to China. He speculated that the widespread coronavirus infections in the U.S. are proof that the virus originated in America, and he said that the pandemic will bring the end of the American empire. Saying that the world does not want America to lead the world and that America can “go to Hell,” he criticized America’s “criminal heritage” of starving people, stifling people, and supporting fascist regimes like Israel. Praising China’s humanitarian efforts in Italy, France, Lebanon, Algeria, Morocco, and other countries, Atwan added: “Let China rise... It won’t be worse than America.”

Yemen Friday Sermon by Houthi Islamic Scholar: Allah Brought Coronavirus upon the West, China
Houthi Sheikh Ibrahim Al-Ubeidi said in a Friday, April 3, 2020 sermon in Sanaa, Yemen that aired on Al-Eman TV (Houthis – Yemen) that Allah brought COVID-19 upon the West, China, and other Asian countries so that they would have to wear face masks, as punishment for having forced Muslim women to expose their faces by legislating laws against the wearing of the hijab. He said that these people have become arrogant and forgotten Allah, and he led the audience in a chant: “Allah Akbar! Death to America! Death to Israel! Cursed be the Jews! Victory to Islam!”

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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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