VFI News February 2, 2021

Israel Leads the World in Time Spent in Coronavirus Lockdowns

Israel, leading the world in coronavirus vaccinations, is also the leader in the amount of time spent in coronavirus lockdowns, as well as among the highest-ranking in the stringency of its response to the pandemic.

The country scored 86.28 – higher than any other country – on the Containment and Health Index developed by the Oxford Coronavirus Government Response Tracker (OxCGRT) project.

The index is based on school closures, workplace closures, cancellation of public events, restrictions of public gatherings, closures of public transportation, stay-at-home requirements, public information campaigns, restrictions on internal movements, international travel controls, testing policy, the extent of contact tracing, requirements to wear face coverings, and policies pertaining to vaccine rollout.

The highest score possible is 100, with higher scores indicating stricter responses. (JPost / VFI News)

"Lord, we ask that You will pour Your healing over the people of Israel and the world and bring a swift end to this pandemic."

Netanyahu to Davos: Israel is 'World's Laboratory for Immunity'

Israel is “in an arms race between vaccination and mutation,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Davos World Economic Forum (WEF), held online this year.

“All the virus mutations you see, you are two weeks too late when you spot them. And the new ones, you won’t know about for a few more weeks. That’s why we had to close down flights.”

Israel closed its airports Monday for at least a week, the first country in the world to do so.

The country has vaccinated 82% of the population over age 60, so far, and aims to reach 95%, Netanyahu told Børge Brende, president of the WEF. “There will be more [mutations] in the future. That means we have to race as fast as we can.” (JPost / VFI News)

“God, we ask that you protect Israel from further disease and its negative effects—and that you allow the recovery to start there as well.”

Ukraine’s President Zelensky Unveils New Babyn Yar Monument

The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky unveiled a new monument commemorating the Babyn Yar massacre on Wednesday, January 27. At the ceremony, marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the start of eightieth-year commemorations of the massacre, messages of support and appreciation were broadcast from international leaders, including Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin.

The monument, titled “A Glimpse into the Past” was commissioned by the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center (BYHMC) and created by prominent Ukrainian artist and architect Anna Kamyshan. It includes a tree with broken branches, as a metaphor for a life cut short.

At both ends of the tree stands untreated stone boulders. Each one includes a viewfinder through which can be seen pictures taken by the German photographer and propagandist Johannes Hähle in the aftermath of the Babyn Yar massacre. The stone boulders stand at the exact spot where the original photographs were taken, pinpointed by researchers at BYHMC. (INN / VFI News)

“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die...” - John 11:25-26

Survey: Israelis Clock 12hrs Screen Time Per Day

Under isolation at home during the pandemic, Israelis spend an average of 12 hours a day in front of a screen, according to a report.

“During the past year, the screen, which was previously perceived as a divider between people, has become a connecting factor and it seems we cannot do without it,” said Keren Leizerowitz, Bezeq’s VP of Marketing and Innovation. “Corona has left us all in homes and changed the way we work, buy and study, and most importantly emphasized the need for a stable Internet that has become a basic consumer product in every home.”

The Internet seeped into all aspects of our lives in 2020, including fitness. Some 57% of survey respondents said they now exercise at home, and 71% of those work out with guidance from videos on YouTube. (JPost / VFI News)

“God, we ask that you bring healing and rest to those who have screens as their only window to the world.”

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Israeli Scientists Say They’ve Found ‘Achilles’ Heel’ of Cancer Cells

A team of researchers led by scientists at Tel Aviv University say they may have stumbled upon the “Achilles’ heel” of cancer cells, which could in the future lead to the development of an entirely new array of cancer drugs and treatments.

Dr. Uri Ben-David of the Sackler Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University, who led the research, told The Media Line that scientists have known for well over a century that malignant cells have an abnormal number of chromosomes. Humans have 46 chromosomes (two sets of 23) but in cancer, this number changes because, during cell division, chromosome segregation takes place that can lead to a phenomenon called aneuploidy.

Aneuploidy, the presence of an abnormal number of chromosomes in a cell, not only causes common genetic disorders but is also a hallmark of cancer cells. Not all cancers exhibit aneuploidy, but roughly 90% of solid tumors and 75% of blood cancers do, to a certain degree. (JPost / VFI News)

“God, we ask that you continue to bless the research and progress that Israeli scientists have made in this and many other areas of healthcare innovation.”

Biblical ‘Royal Purple’ Found at Timna Offers Look At King David Wardrobe

The special purple described in the Bible and wore by the kings of Israel, including David and Solomon, was recently identified on 3,000-year-old fragments of fabrics unearthed at the iconic site of Timna in the Negev.

“King Solomon made for himself the carriage; he made it of wood from Lebanon. Its posts he made of silver, its base of gold. Its seat was upholstered with purple, its interior inlaid with love” reads the third chapter of Song of Songs.

Jesus is also described in Christian sources wearing the same color. The purple – “argaman” – was considered a status symbol of the elites in ancient societies in the southern Levant. (JPost / VFI News)

Explosion Reported Near Israeli Embassy in New Delhi, India

An explosion occurred near the Israeli embassy in New Delhi, India, Israel's Foreign Ministry confirmed Friday. Indian police said that the explosion was caused by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED).

The blast occurred shortly after 5 p.m. (11:30 GMT), while Indian President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were participating in a military ceremony a kilometer away.

The site of the blast was quickly cordoned off by police. Israel is treating the explosion as a terrorist incident, an Israeli official said.

Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi spoke with his Indian counterpart Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, who assured Ashkenazi of the "fullest protection for the Embassy and Israeli diplomats." He added that "no effort will be spared to find the culprits." (JPost / VFI News)

“God, we ask that you bring all those to justice who would do Your people harm.”

Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity, and I have trusted in the Lord without wavering. Prove me, O Lord, and try me; test my heart and my mind. For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in your faithfulness. I do not sit with men of falsehood, nor do I consort with hypocrites. I hate the assembly of evildoers, and I will not sit with the wicked. - Psalm 26:1-12

US Embassy in Jerusalem Plans Ambitious Expansion

When the American embassy moved to Jerusalem three years ago, the hope was that once the US does it, other nations would follow and Jerusalemites would live in what once seemed a Messianic dream: a city filled with embassies, consulates, and cultural centers hard at work building the best possible relations between the Jewish state and the nations of the earth.

Two new permits the city green-lighted recently – one an expansion of the current location on the slopes of Arnona to a five-floor building and the other, construction of a 10-floor building as part of a larger compound at northern Arnona (or Talpiot) on the corners of Hebron Road, Daniel Yanovski St. and Hanoch Albek St. – envision the US Embassy being an “anchor” that will transform the entire urban space around it into a diplomatic sector, Deputy Mayor for Foreign Relations, Economic Development, and Tourism Fleur Hassan-Nahoum said.

She pointed out that the current plans have been deposited at the local council, the next stage will be to show them to the district committee, after which members of the public may present their objections. (JPost / VFI News)

Jerusalem—built as a city that is bound firmly together, to which the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, as was decreed for Israel, to give thanks to the name of the Lord. There thrones for judgment were set, the thrones of the house of David. - Psalm 122:3-5