Monday, August 16, 2021

From Ian:

We can no longer ignore anti-Zionist Jews - opinion
The new anti-Zionist Jews are not like members of the Satmar Hassidic community who hold the theological belief that Jews should not have a state of their own until a miraculous messianic era. The new anti-Zionist Jews are Jews who have decided to wage war against other Jews. They are Jews who advocate for economic boycotts of Israel, which will rob other Jews of their means of livelihood; they are Jews lobbying to limit weapons sales to Israel, choking the Jewish state's ability to defend itself, they are Jews seeking to tilt public opinion against Israel and seeking to diplomatically isolate Israel. This is not about Israel being in the land of Israel with all of the historical and religious meanings that might have; this is about waging war against the largest Jewish community in the world. It is about taking an active role in seeking to harm other Jews.

Peter Beinart could have taken whatever position he wanted on what the meaning of Zionism is. Joining Ben and Jerry's campaign to actively boycott other Jews, whether they live inside or outside the Green Line, in Uganda or Iran, crosses a red line. It is the kind of behavior we cannot contain as a community. This brings us to why it is that Zionism plays a role in our communities when not religiously mandated or inspired.

Two things that have always brought together Jews regardless of place or ideology have been the concept of arevut – a commitment to the well-being of fellow Jews – and a shared belief in the need to secure the future of the Jewish people. Jewish institutions in America did not just pop up. They were built with immense sacrifices.

I think of my grandfather Rabbi Bernard Poupko who miraculously fled the Soviet Union in the 1930s just to come and help build Hillel Day School and much of the Jewish communal structure in Pittsburgh, or of my friend and hero, Rabbi Joseph Polak, who survived the Holocaust to become the Rabbi of Hillel in Boston University and raise funds to build one of the most beautiful and successful Hillel Houses in North America. They sweated and bled because of their commitment to the Jewish people and our shared future.


It is time for Palestinians to acknowledge Israel's existence - opinion
ALTHOUGH MILLIONS of Israelis still sympathize with the Palestinian cause and want to end the conflict on the basis of a two-state solution, they are often treated with disdain by other Israelis because they are assumed to be ignorant of the Palestinians’ real intentions. And of course, leave it to the Palestinians to engage in a narrative that inflicts the most injury on themselves and obscures their legitimate demands to end the occupation and establish a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza.

Meanwhile, look at what has transpired over the past 73 years. Israel has become one of the most advanced nations in just about every field of endeavor and with formidable military prowess, while millions of Palestinians continue to languish in refugee camps. Why? Every Palestinian of conscience and knowledge must ask this question. Why have their so-called leaders led them astray one generation after another clinging to an illusion, and betrayed every Palestinian who wants to live with dignity and grow and prosper in peace and security?

I am the last one to suggest that Israel did not play a role in perpetuating the Palestinian plight; it certainly took advantage of the Palestinians’ weak leadership while successfully pursuing a policy of "divide and conquer," pitting one Palestinian segment against another. Meanwhile, Israel is expanding its foothold and taking hard measures against the Palestinians in the occupied territories to keep them at bay. Moreover, Israel uses national security as a blanket insurance policy under which it could justify the occupation, the settlements and its continued resistance to the creation of a Palestinian state. To that end, Israel developed the most comprehensive security apparatus, and no longer feels pressure. For a growing number of Israelis, the status quo has become the new normal with which they can live comfortably.

One other sad implication of the Palestinians’ unruly resistance to Israel’s right to exist is that the Arab states who championed the Palestinian cause for decades are losing patience and no longer make normalization of relations with Israel conditional upon the establishment of a Palestinian state. In addition to Egypt and Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco have recently normalized relations with Israel because their strategic interests outweigh their concerns over the Palestinian cause.

It is a wake-up call for all Palestinians, from the most moderate to the staunchest extremist. They must disabuse Israel of the belief that the Palestinians cannot be trusted and instead put Israel on the defensive by ending the dead-end narrative of from the river to the sea, and mean it. To be sure, the longer they hammer this illusion, the establishment of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza will become an illusion too.
The United Church of Christ's obsession with Israel - opinion
At the 33rd General Synod in July the church took an approach very different from its approach heretofore. Instead of framing the conflict in political terms, it focused on theological interpretations grounded in a document issued in July 2020 by Kairos Palestine, the Palestinian Christian group that actively solicits American Christian denominations, including the Presbyterians, Methodists, and UCC. “Cry for Hope: A Call for Decisive Action,” the Kairos document, proclaimed that “support for the oppression of the Palestinian people, whether passive or active, through silence, word or deed, is a sin.”

This year’s Synod statement “is not just a call to action. It is, centrally, a confession of faith and principles,” wrote Hans Holznagel on the UCC website in May, ahead of the July virtual conference. The resolution, “Declaration for a Just Peace Between Palestine and Israel,” adopted on July 18 by a vote of 462 to 78, declared “Israel’s continued oppression of the Palestinian people a sin in violation of the message of the biblical prophets and the Gospel.” It firmly rejected “the notion that Israel’s occupation of Palestine is a purely political problem.” Notable is the lack of clarity of what constitutes Palestine in the view of the UCC. The “text of the motion,” following the preamble, opens with “whereas for over seventy years Palestinian people have faced dispossession of their land.”

This view that the “occupation” began not in 1967 but in 1948 is the conviction of extremist Palestinians, notably Hamas, who firmly believe that the Jews are colonial intruders, have no connection to the land, and must be expunged. In the entire UCC declaration there is no mention of Hamas, which has governed Gaza since 2007, is committed to Israel’s destruction, opposes any peace initiatives, and in May initiated another conflict by firing thousands of rockets indiscriminately at Israel’s cities.

The UCC declaration rejects “the imposition of so-called peace agreements by Israel or the United States,” but does not identify any of them, while totally ignoring genuine peace offers by Israel, with American support, that have been consistently spurned by the Palestinian Authority.

THE LATEST UCC resolution is a disservice to those truly committed to achieving durable Israeli-Palestinian peace and no doubt will be enshrined in the permanent record of UCC policy toward Israel. Other Protestant churches may well emulate the UCC’s new theological approach when they convene next year and, as they do regularly, prepare and adopt statements condemning Israel. Repetitions of accusations and judgments do not make them any truer and certainly do not advance peace.


The “Antisemitism/Anti-Israel” Phenomenon: What Do Israeli Campus Professionals Think?
The past few years have seen concerns regarding antisemitism regularly expressed in Jewish circles.

The United States campus community is considered by many to be a center of anti-Israel activity and antisemitic sentiment.

The Jewish campus professional, whose life focus is the campus community, is uniquely positioned to assess the nature and extent of these activities.

We report here on data gathered from campus professionals in 2015 and 2021 and analyze the trends and differences.

The data suggest that while specific campuses may represent centers of antisemitic and anti-Israel activity, the broad generalization of “the campus” as a problem for Jewish students may be inaccurate.

We also found that contrary to sentiment in the general Jewish American community, the assessment of campus professionals is that liberal and progressive groups represent the more significant source of antisemitic and anti-Israel sentiment on campuses than do more conservative groups, who are viewed as generally supportive.
The world of BDS
BDS, Boycott, Divest and Sanction of Israel is a policy shared by millions upon millions if not billions of people. BDS is meant to destroy Israel, the Jewish homeland for more than 3000 years. Why? Because these people are Jew haters. Hitler tried to kill us. He managed to murder a third of the Jewish individuals; 6 million. BDS wants to destroy Israel itself. I mean, what else does “Palestine will be free from the river to the sea” mean?

BDS accuses Israel of being an apartheid state – like South Africa.

From the BDS horse’s mouth:
The BDS movement was launched by 170 Palestinian unions, refugee networks, women’s organizations, professional associations, popular resistance committees and other Palestinian civil society bodies. Inspired by the South African anti-apartheid movement, the Palestinian BDS call urges nonviolent pressure on Israel until it complies with international law.

So what is Apartheid? It is an Afrikaans word meaning ‘separation’ and was the name given to the system of racial segregation and subjugation of the African and other non-white population of South Africa by white settlers from 1948 to 1994.

According to BDS, there are many similarities between apartheid in South Africa and modern day Israeli apartheid. South African apartheid was characterised by settler (white) colonialism and the forced displacement of the indigenous population (black), the division of the colonized into different groups with different rights, severe restrictions on movement and violent suppression of resistance. These, say BDS, are all key characteristics of Israel’s modern day regime over the Palestinian Arabs.

Really? It’s not the Palestinian Authority? But I digress.

Hmmm. Muslims are in the Israeli government and Arab Israelis serve on the Supreme Court. Awad Suleiman is the first Druze colonel to take command of Air Maintenance Unit 22.Col. Talk about diversity inclusion and equity – here it is.

Were people of colour in office in South Africa? Just going to Google that… give me a minute …wait – no; no people of any colour in their government or courts. But what about separate housing, hospitals, hotels, restaurants, doctors’ offices depending on race/skin colour? Does that type of separation exist in Israel as it did in South Africa and for that matter the South in America during the Jim Crow years?

No.

But you can find roads in Israel that are prohibited to the Jews and there is a water fountain on the Temple Mount – I call it the Temple Mount because the Mosque sits ON TOP of two Jewish Temples; the first built in 957 BCE. So that’s almost 2000 years before Mohamed, that is only for…wait for it…Muslims! Hmmm.
Canadian War Museum Features Exhibit Glorifying Palestinian Terrorism
The Canadian War Museum in Ottawa is a crown corporation that describes itself as “Canada’s national museum of military history and one of the world’s most respected museums for the study and understanding of armed conflict.”

And yet, the War Museum recently hosted an exhibit which contains images that glorifies Palestinian terrorism and ignores Israel’s legitimate security concerns.

The Museum featured a World Press Photo exhibition that started on July 23 and ended on August 15. The exhibit displayed images from Antonio Faccilongo of Getty Reportage, who won the 1st prize of the World Press Photo Story of the Year for his work entitled: Habibi.

The exhibit stated the following: “Habibi, which means ‘my love’ in Arabic, chronicles love stories set against the backdrop of one of the longest and most complicated conflicts in modern history. The photographer aims to show the impact of the conflict on Palestinian families, and the difficulties they face in preserving their reproductive rights and human dignity. The photographer chooses not to focus on war, military action, and weapons, but on people’s refusal to surrender to imprisonment, and on their courage and perseverance to survive in a conflict zone.”

The exhibit also said that:
Nearly 4,200 Palestinian security detainees are being held in Israeli prisons, some serving sentences of 20 years or more. Conjugal visits are denied and physical contact is forbidden, except for children under the age of ten. Since the early 2,000’s, long-term Palestinian detainees hoping to raise families have been smuggling semen out of prison, hidden in gifts to their children. Habibi (my love) chronicles people’s courage and perseverance against the backdrop of one of the most longest and most complicated conflicts in modern history.”

One photo showed a portrait of a Palestinian named Atta Abdelgami, who is serving three life sentences in an Israeli prison, with an assault rifle which could be interpreted as lionizing terrorism. No context was given about why Abdelgami is in an Israeli jail and what earned him three life sentences.


UK Filmmaker Ken Loach, Staunch Supporter of Former Labour Leader Corbyn, Expelled From Party
Famed leftist filmmaker Ken Loach, a staunch opponent of efforts to combat antisemitism in the UK Labour party, has been expelled from party ranks, a move supported by a top UK Jewish group.

The Guardian reported Saturday that Loach himself announced the expulsion, stating, “Labour HQ finally decided I’m not fit to be a member of their party, as I will not disown those already expelled.”

“Well … I am proud to stand with the good friends and comrades victimized by the purge,” he said. “There is indeed a witch-hunt.”

The Board of Deputies of British Jews disagreed, with President Marie van der Zyl saying Loach’s expulsion was “absolutely the correct decision. Over the last few years, he has tarnished his legacy as a filmmaker by repeatedly standing with antisemites.”

Loach, whose films are noted for their ferociously left-wing bent, was a major supporter of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, and passionately defended Corbyn against accusations of antisemitism and claims that the party had become systemically antisemitic under his leadership.

After several Labour MPs attended a demonstration against antisemitism, Loach said they should be expelled from the party, and referred to reports of antisemitism in Labour as “exaggerated or false.”

The expulsion of Loach appears to be part of current Labour leader Keir Starmer’s attempt to cleanse the party of antisemitism, something he pledged to do after he took over from Corbyn, who led Labour to a landslide defeat in the 2019 elections.


Wired Magazine ‘Reviews’ 5-year-old Palestinian Propaganda ‘Video Game’
Wired is one of the world’s leading tech magazines, with each edition read by an audience of hundreds of thousands. In its pages, readers can find critiques of the latest gadgets, in-depth articles about the social ramifications of technological advances, security news and reviews of the latest video games.

But the decision to publish an article about a five-year-old Palestinian propaganda mobile phone “game” is incredibly puzzling.

“This Game Set in the Gaza Strip Doesn’t Let You Win,” by Wired writers Sofia Kuan and Iglesia provides an important example of how easily those in fields far removed from geopolitics can be influenced and used to peddle context-free disinformation. False Claims and Missing Context
The video game in question, “Liyla and the Shadows of War,” was developed by Rasheed Abueideh, a software engineer from Nablus, and released in 2016, two years after a war between Israel and the Gaza-based Hamas terrorist organization. That conflict began when Palestinian terrorists in the enclave fired rockets into Israel after the country’s security forces had detained some 300 Hamas members in the West Bank suspected of involvement in the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers.

Of course, none of that context is provided in the relentlessly grim game, whose raison d’etre is seemingly to induce players to sympathize unquestioningly with the Palestinian cause.

In fact, Wired’s review of the game begins by outlining its plot thus:
You play the game as Liyla’s father, jumping through rubble, hiding behind trash containers, and running from Israeli bombs hitting the Gaza Strip. Your goal is to protect your daughter. But you can’t—no matter how many times you play, no matter what you do.”

The game’s genesis is then described:
In 2014 the Palestinian software engineer watched from his home in Nablus as Israeli ground bombardments and air strikes hit the West Bank, a mere 130 kilometers from him.”

There are a number of glaring problems with this sentence, chief among them the fact that there were no “Israeli ground bombardments and air strikes” in the West Bank in 2014. This assertion is either a blatant lie, or a case of the writers being unaware of the local geography.

Either way, this is fundamentally misleading.
Holocaust scholars in Poland win closely watched libel case on appeal
An appellate court in Poland on Monday rejected a lawsuit brought against two Holocaust scholars in a case that has been closely watched because it was expected to serve as a precedent for research into the highly sensitive area of Polish behavior toward Jews during World War II.

Poland is governed by a nationalist conservative party that has sought to promote remembrance of Polish heroism and suffering during the wartime German occupation of the country. The party also believes that discussions of Polish wrongdoing distort the historical picture and are unfair to Poles.

The Appellate Court of Warsaw argued in its explanation that it believed that scholarly research should not be judged by courts. But its decision appeared not to be the final word: a lawyer for the plaintiff said Monday that she would appeal Monday’s ruling to the Supreme Court.

The ruling was welcomed by the two researchers, Jan Grabowski and Barbara Engelking, who declared it a “great victory” in a Facebook post.

“We greet the verdict with great joy and satisfaction all the more, that this decision has a direct impact on all Polish scholars, and especially on historians of the Holocaust,” they said.

Monday’s ruling comes half a year after a lower court ordered the two researchers to apologize to a woman who claimed that her deceased uncle had been defamed in a historical work they edited and partially wrote, “Night without End: The Fate of Jews in Selected Counties of Occupied Poland.”
After Melbourne lockdown breach, hospital intern says send Jews to ‘gas chamber’
An Australian hospital worker has said on social media that dozens of Jews who violated a strict coronavirus lockdown in Melbourne by holding an engagement party should be put in “a gas chamber,” amid an outpour of antisemitic rhetoric directed at the local Jewish community after a video of the event was shared online.

Among numerous other incidents, a synagogue and a Jewish institute have both received hate calls.

“It’s been a terrible day for the Jewish community,” Dvir Abramovich, chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission, told The Times of Israel on Monday, adding that there have been thousands of antisemitic remarks recently made on social media.

During a discussion about the party in a Facebook group, user Doreen Bonello posted a comment saying: “Put them in a gas chamber.”

Abramovitch posted a screen capture of the comment which was shared by members of the Jewish community, many of whom are descended from Holocaust survivors, and who identified Bonello — according to her own profile — as a clinical assistant at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

Community members contacted the hospital to complain, and several of them later posted a response they received that stated: “We have been alerted to the post and have escalated the issue to our executive team for action.

“These comments do not reflect the Royal Melbourne Hospital and our values,” the response said, adding that the medical center had “reported the post.”

“We understand this language can be triggering for members of the community and are working to rectify this situation,” the hospital said.
In video, UK soccer team shows Anne Frank among fans who died of COVID
English Premier League soccer team Everton was said to be “appalled” Saturday after a video it posted honoring fans who died during the coronavirus pandemic turned out to also feature an image of Holocaust victim Anne Frank.

The picture of Frank, who perished in a Nazi death camp in 1945, appeared in the four-minute-long video released on the club’s social media channels. It had been put together after an appeal to fans to contribute names and photos.

It remained online for almost seven hours despite an increasing number of fans taking to their own social media to point out the error.

Everton declined to comment but Britain’s Press Association said team officials were “appalled” by those who saw fit to sabotage the tribute, which was collated using submissions from hundreds of fans.

The new version of the video, published shortly before 10 p.m. (2100 GMT), included the message: “Today was all about you. Those reunited with us at Goodison, but sadly also those that couldn’t be there who we have lost over the course of the pandemic. RIP Blues.”

The video had been released on the first weekend of the new Premier League season and just before Everton defeated Southampton 3-1 in their opener.
Lithuania scraps plan for swish $25M conference center on old Jewish cemetery
Lithuania’s government has shelved controversial plans to build a flashy conference center on what used to be a Jewish cemetery, in the capital city of Vilnius, because of how the COVID-19 pandemic “has changed the conference tourism market and environment.”

The Chancellery of the Government of Lithuania made the statement to the news site Alfa on Monday.

A massive, run-down former sports complex that closed in 2004 already sits on top of part of the area that used to be the Piramont Cemetery, where thousands of bodies — including many Jewish luminaries, such as the legendary 18th-century sage known as the Vilna Gaon — still lie.

The government’s plan was to turn the old complex into a $25 million conference center, with construction starting in 2023.

Opponents of the plan include Dovid Katz, a Yiddish scholar and activist who has fought against the proposed conference center for years, and many other members of Lithuania’s Jewish community of about 2,500. They argued that the concept was an insult to the memory of the people buried there.

Nazi soldiers and their collaborators nearly wiped out Lithuania’s Jewish population in the Holocaust.

“Imagine that the Piramont Cemetery is the cemetery where the kings, priests, sages of your nation are buried,” Ruta Bloshtein, a member of the Jewish Community of Vilnius, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in 2015.
Israeli NGO Sends Emergency Team to Help With Devastating Earthquake in Haiti
An Israeli non-governmental humanitarian aid agency is sending an emergency team of responders to Haiti, after a devastating hurricane hit the Caribbean island on Saturday.

The Haitian government declared a state of emergency after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck, destroying thousands of homes, causing major damage, and leaving more than 700 dead and thousands more injured in the country’s south-west.

“Our thoughts are with the families of the victims of the devastating earthquake in Haiti and we pray for a speedy recovery for all those injured,” Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, said Sunday. “Israel stands with Haiti and we will deliver immediate humanitarian support.”

The emergency response team of Israeli NGO, IsraAID will distribute urgently needed relief items and assess immediate needs on the ground, focusing on relief distribution including water, sanitation & hygiene, and psychological first aid and mental health support. According to IsraAID, vulnerable communities recovering from the disaster are now threatened by Tropical Storm Grace, which is expected to bring heavy rains and possible flooding and mudslides on Monday.

“Haitian communities are made up of some of the most resilient people we have worked with and we will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them for as long as we are needed to build back better,” Yotam Polizer, IsraAID’s CEO, said. “Haiti is one of the most disaster-vulnerable places in the world and communities across the country have been through so much in recent years, from the 2010 earthquake to the 2016 hurricane to the recent political crisis.”

“IsraAID has a long history in Haiti and we are committed to doing what we can to provide urgent support in the midst of this crisis,” Polizer added.

IsraAID’s initial response team includes Haitian former staff members from the organization’s eight years of previous work in Haiti, who will be joined by Israeli and international team members in the coming days.
All clichés are on the table in German TV’s ‘Friday Night Jews’ talk show
“Jude, Jude, Jude einfach nur ein Wort.” The phrase — “Jew, Jew, Jew is just a word” — comes near the start of the opening rap theme song to the German talk show “Freitagnacht Jews” (“Friday Night Jews”), a state-sponsored program aimed at broadening the German public’s understanding of Jews and questions of Jewish identity.

The rap goes on to other punchy lines, such as “Antisemitismus ist in Deutschland Sport” (“Antisemitism is a sport in Germany”), before lapsing into a refrain of “Jude, Jude, Jude” like a kind of techno niggun.

At the start of every episode, viewers join the show’s host, Jewish actor Daniel Donskoy, in the kitchen. He’s busy whipping up a mix of traditional Jewish dishes for his guests, like latkes and borscht, or Moroccan chraime, as taught to him by Shani Leiderman — the owner of the Israeli restaurant Beba in Berlin.

Next, the episode’s guests are introduced. Joining Donskoy thus far at his roundtable have been figures such as Helene Braun, poised to be the youngest and first openly LGBTQIA rabbi in German history, and Sascha Chaimowicz, editor in chief of Zeit-Magazin (the prestigious magazine of the widely-read Zeit newspaper), who has a German-Jewish father and a mother from Trinidad and Tobago.

“We talk to [Sascha] about what it means to be Black and Jewish in a country where Lenny Kravitz doesn’t exist, where Drake doesn’t exist,” Donskoy says.

While parts of American society are far more familiar with the basics of Jewish culture, humor and history — thanks in no small part to the ever-growing slate of TV shows and films with Jewish characters — Jewish representation in German media is largely limited to Holocaust films, deeply tying public perceptions of Jews to the tragedy or to Israel. In that context, “Friday Night Jews” is a radical and ambitious program. It recently finished up its first season of eight episodes, and while a second season has not been announced yet, viewers can watch the first online (in German).
A Twitter account puts the ghosts of Manhattan’s former synagogues on the map
Writer Luc Sante calls them the “ghosts of Manhattan.” Those are the souls of the poor and marginal people, now dead, whose presence can be felt like a shade in the history of now affluent US neighborhoods, “where they push invisibly behind it to erect their memorials in the collective unconscious.”

Sante’s poltergeists came to mind after I stumbled on a strange little Twitter account called “This Used to Be a Synagogue” (@OldShulSpots). Once a day or so the account delivers a photograph of some nondescript street view in Manhattan, with a tweet stating the address and name of the congregation that used to sit on the site.

That nail salon at 90 Clinton St.? That used to be Linath Hazedeck Anshei Sadlikoff. The deli at E. 104th St.? Something called Mac’zikei Torath Kodesh.

I felt that if I stared at the photos long enough the color would fade and I’d see spectral images of Jewish ancestors entering these long-gone places after dodging horse-drawn carts, or steering boxy automobiles with high fenders and wide running boards.

Even the teeth-cracking names in the old Ashkenazi spellings hinted at something both ancient and familiar, like a cave drawing or the empty mezuzah cases you see in medieval ghettoes.

For a time the account didn’t explain much about who was behind it. I assumed it was a white-haired amateur historian of the Lower East Side or a Jewish conceptual artist who was making a point about gentrification.

So I sent a direct message and soon heard back from the creator, who identified herself as Amy Shreeve and agreed to chat on the phone. Shreeve explained that she started the account as an academic project in something called commemorative geography, which is the study of memory and location. She said that she was a history major and had accessed a public database from the Ackman & Ziff Family Genealogy Institute at the Center for Jewish History in Manhattan.
A million Israelis get third dose, with early data showing heightened protection
More than one million Israelis have received the third-dose booster shot as the government races to squelch the spread of the Delta variant through another vaccination blitz, officials said Monday.

The government launched its latest vaccination campaign over two weeks ago, urging Israelis over 60 (since lowered to over 50) to get their third dose “booster,” which officials hope will help protect Israel’s most vulnerable from the new highly contagious variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.

The latest figure — 1,048,767 — marks slightly over half the eligible population: The 1.9 million Israelis who are over 50 and got their first two vaccine shots over five months ago.

The campaign has now gone on long enough to produce the first useful data about the third dose’s effectiveness, officials said.

According to Health Ministry figures, the results are very promising. Third-dose recipients appear to be 2.5 times more protected from infection than those who only received the first two doses of the Pfizer vaccine. The added protection appears appears to reach its peak about a week after the third dose is given.

“We’ve reached a million citizens who have taken responsibility for themselves and their surroundings and gotten their third vaccination,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said, in a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office and the Health Ministry.

“That’s a wonderful figure and a great achievement, but there’s a lot of work still to be done. Hundreds of thousands of people understand that our decision to administer the third shot is the need of the hour. Israel’s citizens are the first in the world to receive the third dose, and that’s not something we should take for granted. It’s the only way to safeguard our health and our livelihoods. Everyone who has yet to get vaccinated, go get vaccinated right now.”

“The vaccine is the most effective method we have to battle the Delta variant, to protect our health, our economy and our daily routine,” Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz said.











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