Tuesday, November 24, 2020

A Mask - to be or not to be

 For years, the most common of all lies, the most often told lie, was “the check is in the mail.”

Then we entered the technology age and parents of any teenager will tell you that the most told lie in the world became “If you’re over 18 click here.”

Today, in the throes of the pandemic of 2020, the two most common lies in my world – and probably in yours, are intertwined. The first big lie is, “I had COVID.” The second is, “I have antibodies.” I hear the arguments from people who don’t want to wear a mask in synagogue.

People tell these lies to bolster a claim that they can neither give nor get COVID. Claims that any serious doctor will tell you are incorrect. For those who never had COVID or never tested for antibodies, the statements are not only incorrect, they are also lies. The reason they feel compelled to make these claims is because, plain and simple, it’s easier to put it that way than to just say, “I don’t want to wear a mask” or “I don’t like wearing a mask.”

The quickest way to discover that they are lying about their antibodies is to ask them what their count was. Most people haven’t even gone to the trouble of researching what an antibody count should be for COVID. Just as they are too lazy to wear a mask, they are too lazy to do the research that would bolster their claim. It’s not that they don’t believe that masks are helpful or preventive or necessary – those people have facts and figures to support their opinion. It’s just that they feel masks to be cumbersome and uncomfortable. Which, I admit, they are.

What is most puzzling about people who say that they had COVID and then refuse to wear a mask is this: If you had it, if you suffered through this awful virus, wouldn’t you want to do everything you could to spare someone else the suffering? Something as simple as wearing a mask?!

For more on this go to https://tinyurl.com/y5mzs7au 

Arab State Snubs BDS

The UAE fruit and vegetable market if full of Israeli 
products with bold advertising under the Israeli flag


Tuesday, November 17, 2020

High Employment by Israel Arabs in Medicine and Pharmacy

 Arab members of parliament have a habit of calling opponents ‘racists’ and of portraying the Arab minority in Israel as oppressed and neglected.

High unemployment among Arab Israelis, they claim, is also the fault of the Jews in Israel and so are the gaps in income between the Jewish and the Arab sectors in Israel, according to the Arab MK’s

In the narrative of the Joint Arab list, Israel is also guilty of the rampant crimes and violence in Arab towns and villages while the Israeli police is accused of doing nothing against the indeed high number of violent crimes in these communities.

This claim runs counter to the data which indicate that Arab inmates make up 40 percent of prisoners in Israeli jails while they only make up a fifth of the Israeli population.

Anyone who bothers to investigate the reality in the Arab towns and villages, especially in the Galilee where the bulk of the Arab Israelis are living, will see that the reality is much more different than the narrative of the Joint List.

Take, for example, the Arab town of Arraba which is located in the Galilee and has 26.000 residents of whom 400 are working as physicians the highest number per capita in the world.

"Something strange is happening in our town. In every home, you will find three or four physicians. I have several clinics all over the country. Who comes to my clinics? (People) from many cities and villages, Jews and Arabs alike," says Dr. Yussef Nasar a plastic surgeon from Arraba.

Saeed Yassin, a veteran family physician from Arraba, says all of his 10 sisters and brothers are now working as a physician while the same is true for three of Yassin’s children.

"Every six months, you hear the fireworks being launched to celebrate the graduation of another 15 or 20 physicians who passed the medical exams," according to Yassin.

Due to medical problems with several of my family members over the past year I was able to witness myself that Israeli Arabs are in large numbers working in hospitals such as the Baruch Padeh Medical Center in Poriah near Tiberias.

In the Poriah hospital roughly half of the staff is Arab including many physicians and nurses.

Even in hospitals that are located in regions with a small Arab majority such as Asuta Hospital in Ashdod, Arab nurses and doctors are making up a large percentage of the medical staff.

In pharmacies, one can see the same phenomenon. Many pharmacists are Arab Israelis and the same counts for universities in Israel where Israeli Arab students are well represented many of them women.

Dr. Wuroud Yassin, a physician now working in the Carmel Hospital, says she “studied at Technion ( a university in Haifa) together with people from various backgrounds and religions, including Arabs and Jews."

"I was the only girl in my family, and I was taught that there is no difference between a boy and a girl. I was also taught that nothing is impossible if you work hard,” she added.

An Arab girl from Kfar Kanna in northern Israel told me this week that she was happy with her life in Israel and said she wears jeans and other modern clothing because she feels very Israeli. She emphasized she is a 'liberal' Muslim.

An Arab entrepreneur from Wadi Hama in northern Israel, who wished to remain anonymous, says he has a large picture of the late Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon behind his desk because he liked Sharon and because he did very good things for the country.

In this respect, also the current Israeli government led by Netanyahu is doing good things for the Israeli Arab community.

By the end of 2020 the Israeli government will have invested $4.3 billion in the Arab sector over the past four years while another $5.6 billion will be spent on developing the Arab high-tech sector which lags behind compared to its Israeli counterpart.

You won’t read this in the international mainstream media because it doesn’t fit into the narrative that is being promoted by both Arab members of the Knesset and the Palestinian leadership that rejected an American plan that would bring $50 billion in foreign investment to the Palestinian Arabs.

Discriminatory Laws That Do Not Discriminate


Recently, the Movement for Black Lives announced it would engage in BDS actions against Israel because, among other reasons, “Israel is an apartheid state with over 50 laws on the books that sanction discrimination against the Palestinian people.” It credits Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, as one of its “organizations currently working on policy.” The movement is an offshoot of the American organization Black Lives Matter.

Adalah calls itself “an independent human rights organization,” and thus its statements enjoy some of the halo effect attached to this self-anointed status. But Adalah has goals far beyond human rights. It seeks to nullify Israel as a Jewish state – as the nation state of the Jewish people.

Thus it promotes a constitution for Israel that would grant citizenship to all Palestinian refugees and all their descendants, wiping out the Jewish majority in Israel, and its provisions substitute a bi-national state for the Jewish one, with no “right of return for Jews” and with mechanisms to eliminate all Jewish symbols.

One of its most effective tools to delegitimize the Jewish state is the compilation and dissemination of its list of “more than 50 Israeli laws enacted since 1948 that directly or indirectly discriminate against Palestinian citizens of Israel.” This is the list that the Movement for Black Lives found so compelling that they embraced the BDS goals to work against Israel, which they call the “apartheid state.”

A basic underlying presumption used to condemn 21 of the 57 laws, is that any enactment defining or promoting Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people discriminates against Arab citizens of Israel (e.g., the flag law and the law to support Yad Ben Zvi, a prominent institution promoting Zionist study and values). But this flawed premise would delegitimize the vast majority of the world’s democracies, which are also nation states – that is, states established by and for a predominant ethnic or religious majority. As I pointed out in a Wall Street Journal article, “Most of the more than 60 democracies are built on the ethnic identity of a predominant group, which molds the character of the state while affording minorities full civil and religious rights. In this regard the Jewish state of Israel is a typical democratic country.”

Adalah claims that laws designed to protect citizens against terrorism are discriminatory because the predominant majority of terrorists are Arabs. What democratic country would repeal laws defending against terrorist attacks because the suspected terrorists caught and charged were predominantly Muslims or Arabs? Laws that provide equal rights for both majority and minority groups are nevertheless labeled discriminatory by Adalah. The Law and Administration Ordinance (1948) that defines the country’s official rest days, and the Law for Using the Hebrew Date, both explicitly exclude institutions and authorities that serve non-Jewish populations.

All members of minorities are guaranteed a day of rest on the day specified by his/her recognized religious faith or on Saturday, at the employee’s option. Apparently, Israeli law on Saturday is discriminatory, but not Moslem and Arab countries with Friday or Christian countries with Sunday (most of which do not protect minorities’ day of rest). But one thing is for sure, no Jew is discriminated on his day of rest in most of the Arab countries, because the Jews were kicked out in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Every single one of the 57 laws listed by Adalah list is proven by the Institute for Zionist Strategies study to be non-discriminatory. Anyone can read the laws and the Institute’s conclusions on the IZS site to verify this fact for him/herself. One can also visit the Adalah site, for many of its claims are absurd on their face.

Adalah, of course needs money to compile this list, to draft constitutions, to build attractive Internet sites in three languages, and to appear all over the world before international organizations to condemn Israel.

As reported by NGO Monitor, Adalah received generous funding from: Broederlijk Delen (Belgium), Bread for the World- EED (Germany), Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (Switzerland), Oxfam-Novib (Netherlands), Human Rights and International Law Secretariat (joint funding from Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands), Christian Aid (UK), European Union, UNDP, and others. From 2012 to 2015, Adalah received direct funding from foreign governmental bodies of NIS 12,719,902. From 2008 to 2014, the New Israel Fund, which tells its donors that it will not support BDS efforts and that it will support Israel, authorized grants for Adalah in the amount of $1,874,656.

And this funding continues.

More on this at https://tinyurl.com/y5kwmr86

Monday, November 16, 2020

The Era of Changing Supply Chains

BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,788, October 27, 2020

The world is an increasingly unstable place. This is reflected in the way supply chains, a pillar of the globalized world, are changing. More and more countries are considering moving away from their dependence on China to the Indo-Pacific region, which has a burgeoning population and rising economies. This process will accelerate as differences between the West and China multiply.

For Israel this means continuing to walk the diplomatic tightrope as a result of the many Israel-China agreements that have been entered into. There are the ongoing suspicions of the Chinese government as the COVID-19 pandemic ramped up discussion about changing global supply chains. This notion was present before the epidemic, when tensions with China were growing on a number of fronts: trade; Beijing’s geopolitical ambitions related to its flagship project, the “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI); issues related to Hong Kong; and ethnic problems in Xinjiang and Tibet.

 The trend is growing in intensity as the West’s disagreements with Beijing approach the insurmountable.In this difficult year, the West has come to see how vulnerable it is to supply chains that are largely focused around China. To prepare for future disruptions, it is expedient for the West to evaluate the possibility of reorienting supply chains of major products toward countries that are geopolitically close.

An interesting development in the West’s rhetoric over the course of Beijing’s handling of the pandemic is its near-complete disillusionment with China’s government system. This made calls for reorienting supply chains to democratic countries more insistent. As has become clear, at least as far as the rhetoric suggests, democracy now matters as much as or even more than access to a cheap workforce. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Will Obama's Policies be Repeated

 By the time this is read, the results of the voting for the American presidency will likely be known. With Obama now getting involved as an advisor to Biden, there are great concerns in the Arab world that Obama’s policies will again come into effect

On October 15, 2020, Saudi journalist Badr bin Sa'ud warned, in the Saudi Al-Riyadh daily, that a Biden victory would mean a replay of what he called Obama's highly flawed presidency and he Democrats' support for the Muslim Brotherhood (MB). Harshly criticizing the latter, bin Saud stated that the Obama administration had made a pact with Qatar and with the MB, and had supported the "so-called Arab Spring," thus wreaking havoc and destruction in Arab countries. He also argued that Obama had allowed MB members to attain senior positions in his administration and to take part in setting U.S. policy against the Arab countries and in favor of their enemies Iran, Turkey, and Qatar. The MB's Machiavellianism, he added, and the Democratic Party's phony idealism join together in an alliance that serves both their interests.

Other articles in the Saudi press sought to allay concerns and downplay what they called the danger of a possible Biden win. For example, Saudi journalist Muhammad Aal Al-Sheikh wrote in his column in the Al-Jazirah daily that while a Trump victory is definitely in Saudi Arabia's interest, a Biden win would not necessarily be a catastrophe, because some think that Biden is more of a moderate than Obama was. A President Biden would not be able to disregard either the regional terrorist activity of Iran and its proxies such as Hizbullah or the consolidation of the European view opposing Erdogan's conduct, he said. Stressing that a President Biden would also not be able to ignore the fact that Saudi Arabia is an important and influential country with a strategic relationship with the U.S., he downplayed the significance of the current criticism of it and of other Arab countries in the U.S. media. He noted that this criticism was aimed more at President Trump than at the countries themselves, and stressed that such criticism is part and parcel of a populism that will dissipate after the election.