Friday, June 26, 2020

Hadassah Treats COVID-19 Patient With New Concentrated Passive Vaccine

by Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman   June 24, 2020

Hadassah Medical Center has treated its first COVID-19 patient with a new “passive vaccine” that the hospital developed in conjunction with Israeli biopharmaceutical firm Kamada. According to Hadassah head Zeev Rotstein, “the patient reacted positively.”

He said: “She started to improve hemodynamically… We have our fingers crossed for the successful treatment of this patient.”

Though he could not share details about the patient, he described her as a young woman suffering from several underlying medical conditions. She has been hospitalized for weeks and is intubated. He said other treatments have not shown any results.

The antibody (immunoglobulin or IgG) concentrate was developed using plasma that Hadassah harvested from recovered corona patients: those who had the disease and now test negative for the virus. 

Those who develop any virus, including the novel coronavirus, develop special antivirus proteins or antibodies in their plasma, which could therefore help sick patients, cope with the disease.

the disease, and your immune system creates antibodies to protect you.
Hadassah was able to collect 40 liters of plasma – enough to produce serum for as many as 70 patients.

Although this is the first antibody concentrate administered to a patient, several Israeli patients have been treated with frozen plasma via transfusion. Back in April, a 29-year-old haredi coronavirus patient, who was in serious condition and being treated at Samson Assuta Ashdod University Hospital, reportedly stabilized after receiving multiple doses of plasma from a donor who recovered from coronavirus, a spokesperson for the hospital told the Post.

Before being able to donate plasma, a patient must wait 14 days from the time he or she was confirmed as being negative for coronavirus via two separate swab tests.

Thursday, June 25, 2020


Cross posting from Grandma's Army 

The corona virus is not the only virus to appear on the world scene. COVID-19 will eventually be eradicated, but the virus of anti-Semitism, which has mutated in various  forms throughout history, has again become virulent. When the Jews did not feel safe and were oppressed, enslaved, expelled and massacred, it was in places and at times when there were unstable and traumatic conditions  among the populace.

Contrary to antisemitic claims, the Jews have never considered a doctrine of supremacy and world domination. Unlike Christianity and Islam, they do not seek converts. In every country in which they settled, they have proved themselves to be decent, law-abiding and industrious citizens - contributing in every way to its welfare and prosperity.

When things go badly and people cast themselves as the victims they search for scapegoats to blame. The scapegoat of choice has long been the Jews. It is easy to blame Jews because they are both conspicuous, and a minority. For over one thousand years, they were the most prominent non-Christian minority in Europe. Today, the state of Israel is the most significant non-Muslim presence in the Middle East.

The mutation of anti-Semitism  in today’s world can be defined in many ways as anti-Zionism. It is more acceptable for people to project their anti-Semitism sentiments onto the state of Israel, whilst referring to themselves as anti-Zionists.

The Palestinian Arabs have forged a phony history of their own, while using every means to erase indisputable historical facts, such as the presence of Jews in their homeland for the last 3,000 years.

There is a growing amount of anti-Israel propaganda, not only in Arab Palestinian textbooks, but also in high schools and universities - including maps which delegitimize the Jewish ties to Israel. The fast-paced information arena of the digital age, has proven a hotbed of fake news,  falsified videos, and incitement, demonizing Isael.

Since Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion made his decision, against all odds, to proclaim the birth of a new state in 1948 - no other country in the history of mankind has had to continually struggle in order to survive. No other country has been in a permanent state of turmoil. No other country has had to forfeit the fruits of victory after facing wars of aggression – not once, but three times! To compound the injustice, no other country was required to make concessions to its enemies after defeating them! As I wrote in a previous blog, other nations when victorious on the battlefield dictate peace terms. But when Israel is victorious it must sue for peace. Israel is called upon to make concessions, to be generous, when no other nations has voluntarily yielded a bare outcrop of land to others.

Anti-Semitism has little to do with Jews, and everything to do with dysfunction in the communities that harbour it. Blaming the Jews is not going to heal society.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Sovereignty, Yes or No?

Cross posting from Arlene Kushner

One of the arguments made against application of sovereignty is that it will cause a “conflagration” – greatly increased violence by Palestinian Arabs in Judea & Samaria.

Maybe a new intifada.

These threats are in some measure just that: threats that will not materialize. It would be interpreted as a sign of weakness in the Arab world if Israel were to back off on intended actions because of such threats.

Khaled Abu Toameh, writing in the JPost this week, tells us that there is apathy amongst the Palestinian Arabs, who are refusing to heed the call of the PA and Fatah to go out in the streets in large numbers, “much to the dismay of senior PA and Fatah officials.” There are a host of reasons why this is so, primary among them a lack of confidence in PA leadership.

Abu Toameh cites Palestinian political analyst Marwan Ezzadin, who said he does not believe that the Palestinians are prepared for another Intifada. “The Palestinian Authority and Fatah are making a big effort to send thousands of people to the streets to protest the annexation plan. We may see large demonstrations in the coming days, but neither the Palestinian Authority nor Fatah want an all-out confrontation with Israel. They know that a new Intifada would have catastrophic consequences on the Palestinians.” (Emphasis added)

And so, it is extremely unlikely that Judea & Samaria will go up in flames if sovereignty is applied.
What particularly distresses me is the fact that the onus in this situation is put on Israel: Don’t do it, it will be your fault if there is violence.

There is no groundswell of verbal and written protest among analysts and commentators deploring the fact that the PA – which has had ample opportunity to establish a state – “negotiates” by promoting violence. It’s as if this is a given, and it’s up to Israel to defuse the situation.
Yet in spite of this, it was something else that was the last straw for me:
When Boris Johnson was elected British prime minister, he sounded like a fairly good guy with regard to Israel. There were a few provisos that perhaps rang bells, but all in all his approach seemed reasonably positive.

That is, until the issue of Israeli application of sovereignty was raised, at which point he declared:

“I believe that what is proposed by Israel would amount to a breach of international law and we strongly object to it, and we believe profoundly in a two-state solution and will continue to make that case.” (Emphasis added)

Come again? A breach of international law? This from the prime minister of Britain?

Look, I get it that Britain has a large and volatile Muslim population, and Johnson might feel obligated to pump for a Palestinian state. He might, for example, have spoken in vague terms about Palestinian Arab longing for national independence (a crock, a carefully constructed myth, yet one that might have served his purpose).

But for him, of all leaders, to make this charge is over the top.

I wanted to say to him (forgive the modest lapse in professional language): “Are you totally a dimwit, or just pretending to be one?” Does he truly lack knowledge of his nation’s history going back a hundred years?”

What I allude to, of course, is the fact that Britain was the mandatory power for Palestine – accorded this role by a unanimous vote of the League of Nations in 1922, following the earlier decision of the San Remo Conference.

As mandatory power, Britain was charged with establishing a homeland for the Jewish people in Palestine, “facilitating Jewish immigration” and “encouraging…close settlement by Jews on the land.”

And that, my friends, truly was an article of international law.

What is more, Winston Churchill, British Secretary of State for the Colonies at this time, observed:

“…in order that this community should have the best prospect of free development and provide a full opportunity for the Jewish people to display its capacities, it is essential that it should know that it is in Palestine as of right and not on sufferance. That is the reason why it is necessary that the existence of a Jewish National Home in Palestine should be internationally guaranteed and that it should be formally recognized to rest upon ancient historic connection.”

Britain subsequently failed to honor its responsibility as the mandatory power because of pressure from the Arabs.

But how dare the current British prime minister suggest that Israeli plans to establish sovereignty in part of Mandate land would breach international law.
This exemplifies a disregard for history and law that is at the core of the current deplorable state of matters in the international community.

There is no such thing as truth, only subjectivity.

But we must not let this pass. We cannot let it stand, that a nation such as Israel should be consistently “dissed” by the international community. The distortions of truth with regard to the Middle East that are rife today favor the deplorable Palestinian Authority.
And so?

Prime Minister Netanyahu must stand tall and proud in the face of all of this: cognizant of what Israel is and what our rights are. He must not back down in the face of threats – from the EU, the UN, Jordan, or others. Rather, he must make his decision on how to move forward based on what is right for Israel.

Those who love Israel must raise their voices at every juncture – challenging the lies and putting forth the truth, which the world is reluctant to hear. Please, familiarize yourself with the information on Israel’s rights. Become conversant with the Mandate; understand why the so-called “partition plan” of 1947 is null and void; invoke Uti Possidetis Juris, a little known principle of international common law.

Make Israel’s case then, in letters, talk-backs and op-eds. Challenge misrepresentations of fact. Raise the issue with your elected national officials and with your family, friends and acquaintances. In the end, they may not listen, but it is important that you not remain silent. To be silent is to acquiesce or admit defeat on the issue.

As always, share this with others in every venue.

George Floyd and Anti-Semitism

Quite amazing how every event world wide is now being used to demonise Israel

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

UAE says “not speaking to Israel is not getting us anywhere”

By RAPHAEL AHREN 17.6.2020 1:01 am  
A senior official from the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday called for increased cooperation with Israel and explained his country’s ongoing rapprochement with Jerusalem, saying it wanted to separate disagreements over the Palestinian issue from the mutual benefits of cooperation in other fields.

Addressing a major US-Jewish online conference, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash reiterated his view that the decades-long Arab boycott of Israel has not yielded the desired results and advocated for “open lines of communications” and increased liaison with Jerusalem in various areas, such as technology and health.

His statements appeared to mark a significant turnaround from just days earlier, when a senior Emirati diplomat warned in an Israeli newspaper that annexation would spell the end of any rapprochement between Israel and the Gulf.

Gargash reiterated Abu Dhabi’s opposition to Israel’s planned unilateral annexation of parts of the West Bank, but underlined his country’s policy of “decoupling the political from the non-political.”

“Can I have a political disagreement with Israel but at the same time try and bridge other areas of the relationship? I think I can. I think that is fundamentally where we are,” Gargash said during an interview for the American Jewish Committee Virtual Global Forum.
Egypt, Jordan and Turkey already have formal relations with Israel, and Qatar and other Gulf states “led the way on having more normal relations with Israel,” he went on.

Gargash, a member of the UAE’s federal cabinet, said there was no reason not to cooperate with Israel on efforts to bring medical aid to Palestinians suffering from the coronavirus pandemic. Such collaboration, which last week led to the second of two Emirati airliners landing in Tel Aviv, does not affect his country’s opposition to Israel’s planned annexation, he stressed.

The Palestinians oppose any attempts by the Arab world to normalize ties with Israel before a peace deal is signed. The Palestinian Authority has refused to accept the UAE supplies on the planes.

Gargash noted that decades of Arab hostility toward Israel has only bred animosity that now makes it harder to work together for the common good.

“The UAE is clearly against any annexation as is being proposed by the current Israeli government. Having said that, that is the political domain. Do I have to really look at all the other domains and make them almost static because of the political domain? We have tried that, as a group of Arab countries, over many years, and I don’t think it has really led to what we want in terms of bringing stability to the region,” he told the interviewer.

The Emirates wants to promote stability in the Middle East,  “What we see today is that negotiations, and having lines of communications open, actually will yield better results for us and for the Israelis,” he said.

The traditional Arab policy of “stonewalling and closed lines of communications” has only radicalized the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, the senior diplomat added.

During the 45-minute interview, which the AJC hailed as “a historic public appearance by a senior Arab government official before a global Jewish organization,” Gargash referred to Israel’s much-maligned plan to apply sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and all settlements in the West Bank three times.

As opposed to the UAE ambassador to Washington, Yousef al-Otaiba, Gargash did not explicitly warn that annexation would spell the death of the recent rapprochement between Jerusalem and Abu Dhabi.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

‘‘Gov’t failing to stop second wave of coronavirus”

By Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman   June 16, 2020        
 Full article at
According to Weizmann Institute of Science Prof. Eli Waxman who headed the panel of experts advising the National Security Council during the first wave of COVID-19. “There are no miracles here there is a reasonable chance we’ll have to reinstate the closures because the Health Ministry is not doing what it needs to do.”
Speaking with The Jerusalem Post on a day that 258 more people were infected with the novel coronavirus and the number of serious patients increased by four, including four more who are intubated, he said the public should take note that while the number of serious people in intensive-care units is low, “it is the fraction we would expect. For every 400 new people, we expect two or three new ICU patients with a delay of about a week, and this is what we see. The numbers are not surprising.”
On Tuesday, the Health Ministry reported that 14,371 people were screened for coronavirus, making the country’s infection rate for the day around 1.8%. The rate on Monday was close to 2%. Health experts believe that if the infection rate surpasses 1% for too long, there is a likelihood that the health system could be overwhelmed.
“We see a direct correlation between the opening of the economy and the rise in morbidity,” Prof. Sigal Sadetsky said Tuesday at the Knesset. “There are significant increases in the number of cases found throughout the country, with an emphasis on children.
The geographic spread of the virus in Israel is being called a “second wave..
According to the Health Ministry, 690 medical staff throughout Israel are in quarantine. Also, some 627 students and faculty are infected, the Education Ministry said. Some 168 schools are closed, and there are 21,807 students and staff in isolation.
Moreover, a report by the Health Ministry shows that the virus is spreading throughout the country, including in Arab and haredi (ultra-Orthodox) cities, which had among the highest per capita rates of infection during the first coronavirus peak.
 “Bnei Brak is back on the map, there is mass infection [among] foreign immigrants [in southern Tel Aviv], the virus is all over Israel; I am not sure what is scarier,” Prof. Gabi Barbash, a former director-general of the Health Ministry said.
Waxman said the only way to stop the spread now is to implement fast contact tracing to enable the Health Ministry to cut off the infection chain, “but that is not operative.”
People are not aware of the danger, or maybe they are fed up with all these rules and the fact that we were isolated and could not celebrate Passover or Independence Day. But studies show that wearing masks can reduce the rate of infection by as much as 85%, so the government should make people do it, he said.
While one cannot predict the future, if only around 2% of the population was thus far exposed to the virus – as preliminary antibody testing results have shown – and if the hot weather has little impact on transmission, there is little reason to believe that anything has changed.
“I don’t want to sound too dramatic, but we already see a rise in critical patients,” he said.
The coronavirus cabinet is expected to meet Wednesday evening to discuss the situation. Health Ministry officials are reportedly planning to ask to put a halt to opening up any more of the country, while politicians are likely going to push to allow cultural events and institutions to resume operation.
Cabinet members have committed not to go backward and to continue with the country’s policy of designating red zones. Currently there are four: southern Tel Aviv, Rahat, Hura and Arara. At the meeting, the cabinet is expected to decide on Ashdod, Baka al-Gharbiya, Bnei Brak, Elad and Netivot.
Hospital health professionals have said they could handle about another 1,000 intubated coronavirus patients. After that, the hospitals would need more ventilators, more doctors, more nurses and an increased budget.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Palestinians prefer living under Netanyahu over Abbas.

“I prefer Israeli sovereignty, a hundred percent,” said one PA resident.
By Josh Plank, World Israel News
There may be a huge gap between the opinions of Palestinian Authority (PA) officials and PA residents concerning Israel’s sovereignty plans, Channel 13’s Arab affairs commentator Zvi Yehezkeli reported on Tuesday.
Yehezkeli interviewed several Arab residents of Judea and Samaria about their opinions on Israel applying sovereignty over portions of the territories. Some were interviewed openly, while other interviews were documented with hidden camera glasses.
“It is a million times better for Israel to be responsible for the entire territory. We’re ready to live under Israel’s military boots rather than under the head of Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas],” one person said.
“What has the PA done for us?” one businessman asked. “I don’t want a state. I want money. Money is preferable to a state. The entire Palestinian people wants this. What does it want? It doesn’t want the PA. The PA robbed us and destroyed us.”
When asked why Palestinians always say they want a state, resistance, and intifada, the businessman replied, “Our government is looking for it. We want money.”
Yehezkeli asked another man who would win if an election was held in PA-controlled areas between Abbas and Bibi Netanyahu. “Bibi,” the man responded without hesitation.
“In Israel there’s law and order. Life is good,” said a PA policeman, adding that in the PA “all the money goes to Abu Mazen, to the PA, to those leaders.”
“I prefer Israeli sovereignty, a hundred percent,” he said.
Yehezkeli also noted that when the United States moved the embassy to Jerusalem, the PA promised a wave of violence, but the public mainly chose not to take to the streets. He feels that on the issue of annexation, the gap between PA leadership and the people may be even wider.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Annexation vs. sovereignty: Words matter

Words matter. They drive narratives. They influence policy. And they shape people’s perceptions.

The current debate over whether Israel’s proposed actions in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank)—in accordance with U.S President Donald Trump’s “peace to prosperity” plan—amount to “annexation” or the “application of sovereignty” is a prime example.

Much of the international community, NGO world and foreign press, even some in the Jewish community, have been referring to this aspect of the plan as “annexation.”

This is partly a function of naiveté and a lack of understanding about what the term “annexation” actually connotes. But there are those who know the distinction—and its implications—very well, and are using it to create a dangerous perception.

In essence, annexation means one state imposing legal authority over the territory of another state acquired by force or aggression, normally during war.
The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court defines “annexation by the use of force of the territory of another State of part thereof” as “constituting the grave Crime of Aggression.” Russia’s annexation of Crimea and Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus are prime examples of such cases.

U.N. Security Council Resolution 242—which, since 1967, when Israel regained control of Judea and Samaria in the Six-Day War, has been a bedrock of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians—makes explicitly clear the “inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war.” The U.N. Charter also prohibits the annexation of another state’s territory by force.

Those who use the above rulings to argue against Israel’s plan to “annex” parts of Judea and Samaria omit three crucial points, however.

a) all apply to territory acquired by force or in an offensive war. The Six-Day War, in which Israel was compelled to defend itself from neighboring Arab armies seeking the Jewish state’s destruction, was defensive.

b) in 1967, there was no “state of Palestine,” nor does such an entity exist today under international law. Therefore, Israel is not, and cannot, be annexing the territory of “another state.”

c) and perhaps most importantly, all of the above negates the Jewish people’s inextricable connection to Judea and Samaria, which is rooted both in historical rights, and in undeniable legal ones.

One hundred years ago in April, after World War I, the allied powers gathered in San Remo, Italy and adopted an unprecedented resolution, for the first time ever entrenching the Jewish people’s pre-existing historical rights to the land as unequivocal legal rights under international law.

The San Remo Resolution, which followed the 1917 Balfour Declaration that called for the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, formed the basis in 1922 of the adoption of the Mandate for Palestine.
The Mandate for Palestine, adopted by the League of Nations, the precursor to the United Nations, recognized the “historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine” and the “grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.”

Even Article 80 of the U.N. Charter enshrined the guiding principles of the San Remo Resolution—notwithstanding the dissolution of the Mandate—by holding that “nothing in this chapter shall be construed in or of itself to alter in any manner the rights whatsoever of any states or any peoples or the terms of existing international instruments to which Members of the United  Nations may respectively be parties.”

Therefore, even after the adoption in 1947 of the U.N. Partition Plan, and since then with all subsequent U.N. resolutions, the legal rights granted to the Jewish state at San Remo have been retained.

One may ask, then, how can you annex territory to which you are legally entitled and that which already has been assigned to you?
Indeed, it is factually incorrect to assert that Israel intends to “annex” parts of Judea and Samaria—territory to which it has legitimate claim and that never has been part of a “state of Palestine.”

More accurate would be to say that Israel is “extending Israeli sovereignty” or “applying Israeli law” to parts of Judea and Samaria.

This, too, has historical precedent. In 1981, then-Prime Minister Menachem Begin made the decision to apply Israeli law to the Golan Heights—also territory that the Jewish state re-captured during the Six-Day War. At the time, Begin was insistent that the move was not “annexation,” but rather “an application of law,” 

The main difference between that move and the one spelled out in Trump’s peace plan is that the Golan Heights had been in the hands of Syria, while Judea and Samaria never have been in the hands of the Palestinians.

One may reasonably argue about the policy merits of Israel’s proposed actions in Judea and Samaria, but to call such actions “annexation” is false.

Arsen Ostrovsky, international human rights lawyer and Col. Richard Kemp CBE 

Monday, June 8, 2020

Billion Doses’ of Covid-19 Vaccine by Next Year?

Former IDF Medic Foresees a ‘Billion Doses’ of His Firm’s Vaccine by Next Year

A former Israel Defense Forces medic who is now the chief medical officer of Moderna, one of five drug companies that the US government has identified as finalists in the race for a Covid-19 vaccine, is expressing optimism about the chances that a vaccine will be deployed next year.

“We really expect this to work,” the drug company official, Tal Zaks, said in an online video event this week. He noted the firm had contracted with a manufacturer, and that in 2021, “we expect to be able to make a billion doses.”

Moderna’s vaccine relies on a technology using “messenger RNA,” which Zaks described as “the software of life.” The New York Times reported June 3 that Moderna would be one of five companies chosen as part of the Trump administration’s “warp speed” project to test and deploy a vaccine that would protect against the novel coronavirus. In mid-May, the company announced positive results of an eight-person human trial.

The federal government’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority has reportedly agreed to provide $483 million to back Moderna’s vaccine development efforts.

Moderna was founded in 2010 and Zaks joined in March 2015, leaving a much larger firm for a young start-up. He said his wife asked him at the time, “What are you doing?” He said he explained at the time that the messenger RNA technology was promising because of its versatility: “If we can make it work, it can work time and time again.”

For example, he said, the firm was also testing its technology against congenital cytomegalovirus, which can cause hearing loss.

Zaks credited “the first-rate education that I got” at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, but said the story of how Israel put him on his present course “actually starts from the times I was a medic in the IDF.”

As for other drug companies competing in the effort to develop a vaccine, Zaks said: “I have only two competitors in this race — the virus and the clock.”

The phase three trial of the Moderna vaccine is scheduled to being in July, with results “hopefully by the end of the year.”

As for how long a vaccine would last, Zaks said, “we will worry about durability in 2022. If it is a problem, we just give a booster shot.”

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Iran ‘opened Pandora’s box’ in cyber attack on Israeli water system

by Yaakov Lappin (June 2, 2020 / JNS) 

The Iranian cyber-attack in early April on an Israeli water-treatment facility, designed to get computers to add too much chlorine to the Israeli water supply, represents a new phase in Iranian aggression, a former Israeli defense official has said.

Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror, former national security adviser to Israeli Prime Minister told JNS on Sunday that there is no historical experience for cyber wars and their consequences, and that therefore, much caution is needed when assessing them.

According to international media reports, Israel retaliated by paralyzing Iran’s key seaport—the Shahid Rajaee port in the city of Bandar Abbas, which is a strategic hub for Iranian sea imports, exports and trafficking of illicit weapons.

“It is not possible to know whether Israel’s reported response will deter Iran, which to a certain extent has opened a “Pandora’s box’ in a cyber-attack designed to harm civilians,” said Amidror.

In its attack, Iran also “placed itself at great risk,” he added.

Amidror, who is also first distinguished fellow at the Jewish Institute for the National Security of America (JINSA), said that cyber maneuvers have the potential to deteriorate into war, if the side that is attacked “feels that it has been greatly harmed, and it cannot suitably retaliate against its enemy, and therefore remains vulnerable to attacks from it.”

However, as in any difficult decision, he added, “decision-makers must also take into account whether responding to a cyber-attack with a kinetic [physical] strike will succeed, and what price might be paid if the adversary also decides to respond kinetically.”

A ‘cyber winter is coming’

April’s cyber strike on Israel’s water systems was a “synchronized and organized attack” designed to harm civilian infrastructure, Yigal Unna, who heads Israel’s National Cyber Directorate, said recently.

In comments relayed by the Associated Press, Unna said that recent developments have marked the start new era of covert cyber war, warning that a “cyber winter is coming.”

“Rapid is not something that describes enough how fast and how crazy and hectic things are moving forward in cyberspace, and I think we will remember this last month and May 2020 as a changing point in the history of modern cyber warfare,” Unna told a digital international cyber conference. “If the bad guys had succeeded in their plot we would now be facing, in the middle of the corona[virus] crisis, very big damage to the civilian population and a lack of water and even worse than that,” he added.

A Western intelligence official told the Financial Times that had the Iranian attack succeeded, it would have “triggered fail-safes that would have shut down the pumping station when the excess chemical was detected, but would have left tens of thousands of Israeli civilians and farms parched in the middle of a heatwave.”

Professor Uzi Rabi, director of the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies at Tel Aviv University, told Israel’s 101 FM radio station in recent days that the reported cyber-attack on Bander Abbas port sent a powerful message to Iran’s regime about Israel’s cyber capabilities.

Bander Abbas “is not far from Hormuz Straits, which is outlet for shipping from the Persian Gulf to world,” noted Rabi. He described the port as a “central life artery” for Iran for exports, imports, sea trade and military activity.

The Washington Post reported that Israel was accused of a cyber attack that crashed the port’s computer systems and caused “total disarray,” including kilometers-long truck lines and long lines of sea vessels outside of the port. Satellite imagery was shown in the report of the chaos.

“There is no doubt if you turn off the switch with a hidden hand, that calls out for attention,” said Rabi, in reference to the reported attack on the port. “If it’s true that Iran tried to intrude with a polluted hand into Israel’s water infrastructure and harm the civilian world, then at a public-awareness level, a line has been crossed. Israel could not let this pass.”

The reported Israeli retaliation will give the Islamic Republic reason to think twice before launching a new cyber-attack on Israeli civilian targets, assessed Rabi.

Israel’s reported response hit an Iranian nerve center, and demonstrated to Tehran “how big the asymmetry is, including in the cyber field,” argued Rabi, although, he added, Iran is making progress in its cyber-attack abilities.  “This is how the Iranian regime needs to be treated … Israel must speak in a Middle Eastern language. The message to Iran is: Find a different tree to climb. If you climb the Israeli tree, the price will be very high.”