VFI News February 9, 2021

New Israeli Drug Cured 29 of 30 Moderate/Serious COVID Cases in Days

A new coronavirus treatment being developed at Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Medical Center has successfully completed phase 1 trials and appears to have helped numerous moderate-to-serious cases of COVID-19 quickly recover from the disease, the hospital said Friday.

Hailing a “huge breakthrough,” the hospital said Prof. Nadir Arber’s EXO-CD24 substance had been administered to 30 patients whose conditions were moderate or worse, and all 30 recovered — 29 of them within three to five days.

The medicine fights the cytokine storm — a potentially lethal immune overreaction to the coronavirus infection that is believed to be responsible for much of the deaths associated with the disease. (TOI / VFI News)

“God, we ask that you continue to bless us with new medicines and other medical breakthroughs.”

The articles included in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Vision for Israel. We try to provide accurate reporting on news pertinent to Israel, the Middle-East, the diaspora, and Jewish issues around the world—and we hope that you find it both informative and useful for intercessory prayer.

Netanyahu Scraps UAE, Bahrain Trip Over COVID-19 Restrictions

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has canceled his planned trip to the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain for this week, citing the halting of all passenger flights in and out of Israel due to COVID-19, “despite the importance of the trip,” the Prime Minister’s Office said.

“Netanyahu very much appreciates the invitations from Crown Prince [of Abu Dhabi], Sheikh Muhammad bin Zayed and the King of Bahrain, Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa, and the historic peace between our countries,” the PMO said in a statement.

This is the third time Netanyahu has postponed a trip to the UAE due to corona-related restrictions and political developments at home. (JPost / VFI News)

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. - Jeremiah 29:11

Israeli Minister Proposes Making Vaccinations Mandatory, is Shot Down

During a cabinet meeting on Israel’s coronavirus response Thursday, Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz proposed advancing legislation that would obligate the public to be inoculated, or face punitive measures, according to a television report.

Steinitz compared the matter to sanctions on civilians who refuse to enter bomb shelters during wartime, Channel 12 News reported.

The report said Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit shot down the proposal, asking, “Are you proposing to sanction anyone who runs away from a needle?”

Additionally, the energy minister proposed vaccinating children aged 14-16 (an age group currently excluded from vaccination — only ages 16 and up participated in vaccine trials), suggesting Israel could lead trailblazing research on the matter. (TOI / VFI News)

“God, we ask that you help us strike the right balance between good public health policy and personal freedom.”

US Senate Votes to Keep Embassy in Jerusalem Permanently

The US Senate voted overwhelmingly Thursday to keep the United States Embassy in Jerusalem, with only three senators voting against establishing funding to maintain the diplomatic mission.

In a move welcomed by Israel and bitterly opposed by the Palestinians, the Trump administration recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in late 2017 and moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city in 2018. It was one of a string of diplomatic gifts delivered by former US President Donald Trump to Israel.

President Joe Biden is expected to take a more balanced approach toward Israel and the Palestinians, but he has said he does not plan on moving the embassy back to Tel Aviv. (TOI / VFI News)

At that time Jerusalem shall be called the throne of the Lord, and all nations shall gather to it, to the presence of the Lord in Jerusalem, and they shall no more stubbornly follow their own evil heart. - Jeremiah 3:17

Paris Adopts IHRA Definition of Antisemitism

The city of Paris adopted the IHRA Definition of Antisemitism during a session of the Council of Paris on Thursday, joining a growing number of cities around the world, including London and more recently the French city of Nice, to make the move.

The decision was taken by the Council of Paris, headed by Paris' Mayor Anne Hidalgo, which consists of 163 councilors and that is responsible for governing the French capital.

The IHRA definition is an internationally agreed classification of antisemitism, which also provides contemporary examples of how antisemitism too often plays out in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere. (JPost / VFI News)

“God, we ask that you continue to root out antisemitism, wherever it exists in the world.”

From Israel to Dubai: Vertical Farms Agreement Signed

Israeli vertical farm company Future Crops signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the United Eastern Group (UEG) from the United Arab Emirates on Thursday to consider the joint establishment of vertical farms in one of the first agricultural cooperations between Israel and UAE companies.

Vertical farms are indoor, multi-level facilities that optimize plant growth in a highly controlled environment, maximizing land usage and produce yields, which allows for pesticide-free produce to be farmed vertically within containers big enough to fit in a parking lot, using only one-tenth the amount of water usually needed.

Future Crops announced the signing of the MOU, explaining that it will allow both parties to examine the establishment of a venture that will use Future Crops' vertical agriculture technology to establish a facility for growing various crops in the UAE. (JPost / VFI News)

“God, we ask that you continue to strengthen peaceful relations between Israel and her neighbors.”

Ruth Dayan, Matriarch of an Israeli Dynasty, Dies at 103

Ruth Dayan, the matriarch of one of Israel's most famous families, died on Friday, a month before her 104th birthday.

The story of her life is entwined not only with contemporary Israeli history but with the story of the wandering Jews, who after centuries of exile, finally came home.

Born in Haifa in March 1917, in the final period of Turkish rule as the elder daughter of Russian immigrants Rachel and Zvi Schwartz, she lived through the British conquest and subsequent mandate, the proclamation of the State of Israel, all the wars in which Israel was involved and in numerous efforts to resolve the conflict with the Palestinians. (JPost / VFI News)

I will be your God throughout your lifetime— until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you. - Isaiah 46:4

Israeli Teams Discover Ancient Olive-Eating Practices Below the Sea

In an underwater site, dated to approximately 6,600 years ago, archeologists have discovered two stone structures filled with thousands of olive pits. The pits, most well preserved and whole, provide evidence that olives were processed industrially for eating at this very early stage. Previous evidence was unclear, with the earliest indications pointing to olives first being eaten in the first millennium BCE.

Olives and their oil are a key ingredient in the Mediterranean diet and hold symbolic value in many countries. This latest study now shows that the residents of the area have not only been using olives for oil for thousands of years – as was previously revealed – but eating them as well. (JPost / VFI News)

You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth and wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man's heart. - Psalm 104:14-15