VFI News August 28, 2020

COVID Cooperation Among UAE and Israeli Health Ministries

Health Minister Yuli Edelstein and UAE Health Minister Abdul Rahman Ben Muhammad al-Avis agreed on Monday on the first act of health cooperation between the countries.

Each ministry will appoint a coordinator responsible for communicating with the other country, with an emphasis on the common struggle against the coronavirus. This is the beginning of the collaboration Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said would follow when he signed a peace deal with the UAE earlier this month.

According to Worldometers, the UAE has 67,282 cases of the virus and 362 deaths. It has a population of 9.6 million.

The health ministers said the cooperation was “excellent news for our countries.”

In addition, the two are already setting up delegations of businesspeople from both countries to start a joint business. Once the coronavirus crisis ends, the countries will also work toward creating student exchanges. (JPost / VFI News)

But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. —Jeremiah 29:7

Dubai’s Jews Come Out of Hiding Amid Normalization

At just 27 years old, Rabbi Levi Duchman has big shoes to fill. The Brooklyn-born Chabad rabbi in the United Arab Emirates has been helping to quietly build a Jewish community, which this month was able to emerge from its humble shadows.

In a quiet suburb of Dubai, local Jews have congregated in the small villa that serves as their synagogue on Shabbat and festivals. That remained a closely guarded secret until this month’s historic normalization of relations between Israel and the UAE.

“It is wonderful to share this truth with the government of the State of Israel and the Israeli public,” he said. “We look forward to receiving [Diaspora Affairs] Minister [Omer] Yankelevich in the UAE and hope it will soon be possible for Israeli visitors to visit this beautiful country.” (JPost / VFI News)

Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! —Psalm 95:6

“God, thank you for the progress that has been made in allowing your people to live with less fear and uncertainty. Please continue to bring this important work to fruition.”

Pompeo Heads to Israel, Sudan, Bahrain

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to land in Israel on Monday, the first of several stops in the region.

His itinerary includes Sudan and Bahrain, two countries whose ties with Israel have warmed recently and which could follow the United Arab Emirates in normalizing them. He also plans to visit the UAE.

The Secretary of State intends to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said in a press conference on Sunday that they will discuss making peace with more Arab countries “in the near future.”

The statement from Pompeo’s office said he and Netanyahu plan “to discuss regional security issues related to Iran’s malicious influence” several days after he triggered the “snapback sanctions” mechanism in accordance with the Iran nuclear deal.

Netanyahu and Pompeo also are expected to discuss how to implement the Abraham Accord between Israel and the UAE. It also will be on the agenda for Pompeo’s meeting with the UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi. (JPost / VFI News)

Let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. —1 Peter 3:11

UN Atomic Agency Chief to Iran: Give Us Access Now

The head of the UN’s atomic watchdog agency arrived in Iran on Monday to press for access to sites where authorities are thought to have stored or used undeclared nuclear material.

The visit comes as the US is pushing to “snapback” UN sanctions on Iran for allegedly violating its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, which the Trump administration unilaterally withdrew from more than two years ago.

Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany, the other signatories to the deal, have declared the US action illegal, saying it can’t withdraw from a deal and then use the UN resolution that endorsed it to re-impose sanctions.

The International Atomic Energy Agency repeatedly found Iran in compliance with the agreement until last year, when Tehran started openly exceeding some of the deal’s limits on nuclear enrichment in response to heavy US sanctions.

Iran has said the UN official’s visit is an opportunity for greater cooperation and has nothing to do with the US push for more sanctions. (TOH / VFI News)

Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight. —Proverbs 12:22

Non-Israeli Border Ban Extended Until October 1

The Israel Airport Authority announced on Sunday that foreigners coming from countries that are not on the green list won't be able to enter Israel until at least October 1.

So far, only Israeli citizens and residents were allowed to enter Israel, with a compulsory two-week quarantine from the day of their arrival.

Nonetheless, a few exceptions were made for foreigners who were family of couples getting married and for the grandparents who need to attend the birth or the bar/bat mitzvah of their grandchildren.

As of now, Israelis are allowed to enter the country without being quarantined for two weeks only if they arrive from one of the following countries: The United Kingdom, Slovenia, New Zealand, Georgia, Denmark, Austria, Canada, Estonia, Rwanda, Italy, Finland, Latvia, Hong Kong, Germany, Hungary, Cyprus, Lithuania, Greece, Croatia and Bulgaria. (JPost / VFI News)

“God, we ask that you bring a swift and merciful end to this pandemic.”

Bacteria-Killing Fabric: More Israeli Innovations

Israeli nano-tech firm NanoSono has invented a unique powder of antibacterial metals, among them gold and zinc, that kills any bacteria it comes into contact with. The powder can be used on fabrics in airplanes and hospitals, as well as for masks, among other applications.

Certain metals are famous for having antiseptic qualities, CEO Ronen Sarusi said on Monday, which have been incorporated into a powder with a nano-structure that eradicates the bacteria. The metals are housed in tiny structures called dots, each one composed of a shell and core made from different metal parts, Sarusi said.

Because the solution is based on the qualities of existing material in the seat fabric or the coating of the plane, the plane will continue to be a germ-free zone for as long as the materials are in it. “We are now testing to see if our solution can also kill the novel coronavirus,” he said, “we hope to know for sure in a few weeks.” (JPost / VFI News)

“God, we thank you for the continued innovations that your people are developing to keep us safe and support our wellbeing.”

Israeli Kidney Donations: A New Record

Over the third week of August, twelve kidney transplant operations were carried out in Israel, setting an unprecedented state and possibly worldwide record.

Twelve patients in some 24 operating rooms in various hospitals across the country received their new kidneys, owing it to an effort made by Matnat Chaim ("Gift of Life"), a volunteer organization dedicated to encouraging people who are suitable for kidney donations to save lives.

The organization was established by Rabbi Avraham Yeshayahu Heber, who died of coronavirus in last April.

Rachel Heber, the wife of the deceased Rabbi and the founder of Matnat Chaim, said that "when we started the organization in 2008, we did 4 transplants a year, thinking we hit a record... what happened this week is extraordinary and very gladdening."

Since the death of Heber's husband, Matnat Chaim successfully assisted in seventy-three transplants. (JPost / VFI News)

“God, we are truly in awe of your work. Thank you for inspiring acts of beauty and generosity in others. Please continue to bless us this way.”

1,100-year-old Islamic Coins Found by Israeli Teens

A rare hoard of 425 gold coins from the Abbasid Caliphate, dating around 1,100 years ago, was uncovered by teenage volunteers at an archaeological excavation in the center of the country, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced on Monday.

The trove was discovered by a group of young people carrying out volunteer work ahead of their mandatory army service.

“It was amazing. I dug in the ground and when I excavated the soil, saw what looked like very thin leaves,” said teen Oz Cohen.

“Finding gold coins, certainly in such a considerable quantity, is extremely rare. We almost never find them in archaeological excavations, given that gold has always been extremely valuable, melted down and reused from generation to generation,” the directors said in a statement.

“The coins, made of pure gold that does not oxidize in air, were found in excellent condition, as if buried the day before. Their finding may indicate that international trade took place between the area’s residents and remote areas,” the statement read. (TOH / VFI News)