VFI News February 16, 2021

Latest Israeli Data Proves Vaccines Work - 0.1% Infected

Less than 0.1% of individuals who received their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine contracted the disease, according to data released Thursday evening by Maccabi Healthcare Services.

Vaccine effectiveness in Israel is now 93%, according to the data. The Pfizer vaccine was proven to be 95% effective in its Phase III clinical trials.

The report showed that as of data tracked until February 11, when a week had passed since 523,000 people had received their second shot, only 544 people were infected.

“The data unequivocally prove that the vaccine is very effective and we have no doubt that it has saved the lives of many Israelis,” said Dr. Miri Mizrahi Reuveni, head of Maccabi’s health division.

No one who was vaccinated died. Moreover, the majority of those who did contract the virus had only mild or no symptoms.

“Out of 544 infected, only 15 people needed hospitalization,” the report said, “four of which were defined as in serious condition, three in moderate and eight mild.” (JPost / VFI News)

“God, please continue to bless the people of Israel with access to lifesaving medicines—and quickly end this pandemic for all.”

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.

Three BDS Resolutions Defeated at Florida State University

Three Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) resolutions were defeated at Florida State University (FSU) earlier this week following a concerted effort by pro-Israel organizations, including StandWithUS, the Jewish Student Union, Noles for Israel, CUFI, and Mishelanu, according to a press release from the former.

The resolutions were tabled by the Student Senate President Ahmad Daraldik at FSU, who has been accused of making antisemitic statements that led to his removal and later reinstatement as a senator.

According to StandWithUS, two of the resolutions attacked the IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance) definition of antisemitism, while the third resolution called for divestment from companies conducting business in Israel.

The resolutions were defeated in committee prior to them reaching the Student Senate floor. The anti-IHRA definition resolution failed with a vote of 0 in favor, 7 against, and 3 abstaining. (JPost / VFI News)

“God, we ask that you continue to defend Your people against the evils of antisemitism.”

Drone Strike Reported on Pro-Iran Militia Arms Shipment on Iraq-Syria Border

Unidentified drones have targeted a weapons shipment making its way from Iraq to Syria near an illegal military crossing used by pro-Iranian militias, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Wednesday afternoon, citing unnamed sources. Several Iraqi news outlets attributed the strikes to Israel.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the rare daylight incident happened near Albu Kamal in the eastern Deir Ezzor province. The report said the vehicle was loaded with weapons and ammunition, adding that there is no information on casualties and the extent of the damage.

Israel has reportedly bombed sites connected to Iran’s alleged missile production and transport efforts in the area before. (TOI / VFI News)

Iran Produces Uranium Metal, IAEA Says, in Latest Breach of Deal

Iran has carried out its plan to produce uranium metal, the UN atomic watchdog confirmed on Wednesday, despite Western powers having warned Iran that would breach their 2015 nuclear deal as uranium metal can be used to make the core of an atom bomb.

Iran began breaching its nuclear deal with major powers step by step in 2019 in response to former US President Donald Trump's withdrawal from the deal the previous year and Washington's reimposition of sanctions on Tehran.

Iran has in recent months accelerated those breaches of the deal's restrictions on its atomic activities, potentially complicating efforts to bring the United States back into the deal under President Joe Biden. (JPost / VFI News)

“God, we ask that you continue to safeguard the world from nuclear war.”

In Possible Signal to Iran, Haliva Appointed Head of IDF Intelligence

In what might be a signal toward Iran, Maj.-Gen. Aharon Haliva was appointed on Thursday to be the next head of IDF Intelligence.

Haliva is currently the head of the IDF’s Operations Directorate, which is in charge of overseeing and coordinating the IDF’s readiness for war.

Some see this move – at a time when tensions between Israel and Iran are high – as a sign that the IDF wants an experienced, well-informed officer heading the Intelligence Directorate.

Haliva was previously commander of the Paratroopers Brigade and the IDF Training Base 1 officers’ school. (JPost / VFI News)

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! “May they be secure who love you! Peace be within your walls and security within your towers!” - Psalm 122:6-7

Israel’s Immunai Hopes to Reprogram Immune System with $60M Funding

Immunai announced Thursday $60 million in new funding, making it better poised to answer the most pressing questions in immuno-oncology, cell therapy, infectious disease, and autoimmunity.

The company, based in New York with its research and development arm located in Tel Aviv, has raised $80m. so far.

Immunai is on a mission to reprogram the immune system to advance personalized medicine to better detect, diagnose and treat diseases, company co-founder Noam Solomon told The Jerusalem Post. It does it through its AMICA (Annotated Multi-omic Immune Cell Atlas) database composed of data from a diverse group of the world’s top hospitals that has been harmonized so it can be used for clinical purposes. (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... - Jeremiah 30:17

Let It Snow: Israel Looking Forward to 'Storm of the Season' Next Week

Jerusalem may be at least sprinkled in white this week, as forecast models indicate that a cold wave and stormy weather is headed for the Holy Land starting on Tuesday night.

"We're seeing something that hasn't been seen since 2015," Alon Abarbanel, an economics student at Tel Hai and an amateur meteorologist, told Kan on Thursday. "There will be a very cold air system that slides in our direction. We are seeing snow that could accumulate in places like Jerusalem and Metula and not just in the Golan Heights. We're all just waiting for it, especially with the slightly disappointing winter that has been until now. To get the icing on the cake would be amazing."

Meteorologist forums expressed excitement at the possibility of winter weather, with many expressing hope that this week would bring snow to Jerusalem and the mountainous regions of the country. (JPost / VFI News)

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater.” - Isaiah 55:10

Bank of Israel Buys Nearly $7 Billion in Foreign Currency to Stem Shekel Appreciation

The Bank of Israel said on Sunday it bought $6.832 billion of foreign currency in January, helping to weaken the shekel from a 24-year peak and taking forex reserves to a new record high of $179.5 billion.

Last month, the central bank said it would buy $30 billion of forex in 2021 to try and stem the shekel’s appreciation, after buying $21 billion in 2020.

The shekel hit 3.11 per dollar on January 14, its strongest level since April 1996. With the help of the central bank’s intervention, it has eased back by about 6%, although the Bank of Israel believes that part of the shekel’s strength stems from a weak dollar globally. There was no shekel trading on Sunday, but on Friday the representative rate was set at 3.286. (Haaretz / VFI News)

“God, we ask that you care for the financial security of your people, to return them to health and stability.”