VFI News December 8, 2020

Israel, Moderna Sign Deal for 6 million COVID Vaccine Doses

Israel has signed an expanded supply agreement with Moderna to receive an additional four million doses of the company’s messenger RNA (mRNA) coronavirus vaccine candidate, the Health Ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office said on Friday, bringing the total secured doses of mRNA-1273 to six million.

Last week, Moderna announced that it had applied for US and European emergency authorization of its COVID-19 vaccine based on results of a late-stage study showing that it was 94.1% effective, with no serious safety concerns. The company also reported a 100% success rate in preventing severe cases.

In addition, Moderna said in a statement that it has already initiated the rolling regulatory review process with Israel’s Health Ministry. (JPost / VFI News)

For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the Lord, because they have called you an outcast: ‘It is Zion, for whom no one cares!’ - Jeremiah 30:17

Israel to Receive Pfizer Coronavirus Vaccines in Weeks

Israel could begin receiving doses of the Pfizer vaccine within the next few weeks, Health Ministry director-general Chezy Levy said Thursday during a video meeting with the country’s hospital administrators.

Some four million doses are expected to arrive, he said – enough to vaccinate two million people. However, even though the vaccines could enter Israel even before they are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, no one will be inoculated before approval.

The announcement comes against the backdrop of another day of spiking infection.

Health Ministry officials are eager for the coronavirus cabinet to convene and begin discussing ways to reduce infection; the cabinet had not convened for 10 days as of Thursday. However, due to tensions between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz, Netanyahu opted to hold a smaller, closed-door meeting on the subject Thursday evening. (JPost / VFI News)

O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me. - Psalm 30:2

France May Shutter Dozens of Mosques Suspected of 'Separatism'

The French Interior Minister has called for an investigation into 76 mosques and plans to close those who are teaching Islamic extremism.

The statement came from Gérald Darmanin, according to The Guardian. Investigations would specifically be looking for mosques that were “breeding grounds for terrorism.”

Those found to be harboring such would be closed. France continues to deal with Islamic terrorism in light of recent attacks. A Tunisian man has been charged with the killing of 3 people at the Notre-Dame basilica in Nice. Samuel Paty, a teacher, was beheaded in the street by 18-year-old Abdullakh Anzorov. Paty was supposedly targeted for showing students the caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad published by the Charlie Hebdo satire magazine. (DC / VFI News)

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NSC: Iran Plotting to Attack Israelis in Neighboring Countries

Israelis visiting countries neighboring Iran could be targets for terrorist attacks, the National Security Council warned in a rare public statement on Thursday.

“In light of the threats heard recently from Iranian factors, and in light of past involvement in Iranians in terrorist attacks on various countries, there is a concern Iran will try to act in this way against Israeli destinations,” the NSC cautioned.

The notice came almost a week after the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the scientist at the head of Iran's nuclear program and an officer in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Iranian officials have blamed Israel for the killing and have threatened to retaliate. (JPost / VFI News)

But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one. - 2 Thessalonians 3:3

“God we ask that you continue to protect your children, no matter where they live in the world.”

First Immigrants from Ethiopia Land as Part of Op. Rock of Israel

The first flight of Operation Rock of Israel brought 316 members of the Falash Mura community from Ethiopia to Israel early on Thursday together with Aliyah Minister Pnina Tamano Shata and they were greeted at Ben Gurion Airport by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz, Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog, and other dignitaries.

About 100 more Falash Mura community immigrants will arrive on Friday as part of a plan to airlift some 2,000 of the group by the end of January 2021.

Activists supporting Falash Mura immigration have, however, condemned Netanyahu and the government because more than 7,000 of the community remain in Addis Ababa and Gondar despite his promises before the last election that all those waiting would be brought to Israel by the end of this year.

Those arriving on Thursday are the children or grandchildren of members of the community who immigrated here many years ago. (JPost / VFI News)

Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. - Psalm 107:6

“God, we ask that you provide a safe haven for all those who seek it.”

3000-Year-Old Gold Bead Found by 9-Year-Old Jerusalem Boy

The first-ever First Temple-era gold granule bead was discovered during wet sifting of earth from the Temple Mount by a nine-year-old boy, the Temple Mount Sifting Project (TMSP) announced earlier this week.

While sifting through the dirt with his family in August, Jerusalem resident Binyamin Milt uncovered a perfectly preserved small, flower-shaped cylinder, created by four layers of tiny gold balls, unaware that the artifact he was holding was likely forged around 3,000 years ago.

The bead was so well preserved in fact, that when the boy brought the bead to the supervising archaeologist, he initially wrote it off as likely being an unidentified modern object, not even writing down the boy's contact information before hurrying back to continue sifting.

It was only while sorting through the summer's artifacts in Dr. Gabriel Barkay's backyard that he realized the bead was strikingly similar to several similar items he had found when he excavated burial systems from the First Temple period in Katef Hinnom. (JPost / VFI News)

English Premier League Adopts IHRA Definition of Antisemitism

The English Premier League, the highest level of soccer in England, has adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism, the organization said on Thursday.

In a press release, the league said it had adopted the definition as a part of its “ongoing commitment to promote equality and diversity and to combat discrimination of any form in football.”

Executive director Bill Bush said: “The Premier League is committed to tackling any form of discrimination in football,” adding that “our adoption of the IHRA’s working definition will enable us to be more effective in dealing with any antisemitic behavior targeting our clubs or personnel.”

Former Labour Party MP Lord John Mann, who is the UK government’s independent adviser on antisemitism, said that “the adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism by the Premier League will rightly be heralded by the footballing community and clubs worldwide. (JPost / VFI News)

“God, we ask that you continue to build understanding among the nations of the seriousness of antisemitism.”

Slow-Baked Yemenite Bread ‘Jachnun’ is Europe’s Next COVID craze

After Gal Graber and Tal Goldman had a disappointing experience with store-bought jachnun, the two Israelis living in Amsterdam set out to make the slow-cooked Yemenite bread on their own.

“As with many Israelis, jachnun is connected in our minds with Saturday mornings, with quality time,” Graber told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “But the frozen ones for sale here are not great. So we decided to make our own.”

It turned out to be a prescient undertaking. Earlier this year, the restaurant where Graber was working — & moshik, which had two Michelin stars thanks to its Israeli chef Moshik Roth — shut down during the Netherlands’ first coronavirus lockdown. Like restaurant workers around the world, Graber and his French girlfriend, Mathilde Lair, who was head pastry chef at & moshik’s, both lost their jobs. (TOI / VFI News)