Peaceful coexistence has been destroyed

Co-existence 2.0, what was will no longer be

It is fairly certain that the aftermath of the violent and treasonous behavior of so many of Israel’s Arab minority will spell the end of Jewish Arab coexistence as we know it.

By Ron Jager, May 13, 2021    

For the past few days, gangs of Israeli Arab rioters have roamed the streets of the City of Lod (a mixed city of both Jewish and Arab residents), physically attacking Jewish bystanders, damaging property belonging to Jews including the burning of a Synagogue and pelting vehicles with rocks. We are not talking solely of hooligans, but of Arabs who lived in the same buildings as Jewish families, helping each other and enjoying friendly and neighborly relations. Israelis could not help recalling the Hebron massacre of 1929, when Arab mobs murdered and tortured the Jews with whom they had lived peacefully for years.

This brazen violent behavior by Arab rioters spread to other Israeli Arab localities throughout Israel. All this while Israel is responding to a massive missile attack of over 1000 missiles on southern and central Israel by the Palestinian terror organization Hamas. Although Israel is in the midst of a major military response to the missile attacks emanating from the Gaza Strip, the Israeli Arab rioters have been continuing their nightly rioting in seeming support for the missile attacks on Israel,

It is fairly certain that the aftermath of the violent and treasonous behavior of so many of Israel’s Arab minority will spell the end of Jewish Arab coexistence as we know it.

The President of Israel, Reuven Rivlin, who has made support for Jewish Arab coexistence a central part of his Presidency and enjoyed across the board support of Israel’s Arab minority, launched a scathing attack today on Israeli Arab leaders, following a night of violent unrest in many of Israel’s mixed Jewish-Arab cities. “The silence of the Arab leadership about these disturbances is shameful, giving support to terrorism and rioting and encouraging the rupture of the society in which we live and in which we will continue to live once all this has passed,” the president said in a statement.

President Rivlin made his comments in the wake of serious disturbances in several Israeli towns and cities, including Lod in the center and Acre, on its northern Mediterranean coast. President Rivlin denounced “bloodthirsty Arab mobs” after rioting by Arab-Israelis spread across Israel following lethal exchanges of rocket fire and airstrikes over the Gaza border. “The sight of the pogrom in Lod and the disturbances across the country by an incited and bloodthirsty Arab mob, injuring people, damaging property, and even attacking sacred Jewish spaces is unforgivable. Tearing down the Israeli flag by Arab rioters and replacing it with the Palestinian flag is a brutal assault on shared existence in the State of Israel.”

The sudden outburst of street violence by Israeli Arab rioters surprised the general Jewish population but in actuality, the writing has been on the wall for some time, we just refused to acknowledge the basic facts of Islamic radicalization. In most Western countries, this blindness towards Islamic radicalization is widespread and is not just a problem for Israel. Israeli Arabs also feel resentment, frustration, and inferiority at their inability to retrieve what they unwarrantedly consider theirs, including Jerusalem. As Muslims, Israeli Arabs cannot remain indifferent to the enflamed anti-Israeli arguments advanced by radical Islam all around them here in Israel and from the Islamic countries surrounding Israel.

Despite the full integration of Israel’s Arab citizens into Israeli society enjoying the full benefits of a free and democratic society, working in every sphere, and despite the great economic prosperity that Israel has given to all of her citizens including Israeli Arabs; the Israeli Arabs cannot free themselves of the self-imposed belief that they are being deprived of the accepted norms of equality from Israel’s Jewish majority, coupled with the hostility and suspicion of their Palestinian Arab neighbors for being so well integrated into Israeli society. For many of the younger generation among Israeli Arabs, Islamization was the way out from this suffocating dilemma. This became the vehicle from which the younger generation could escape their historical failures to retrieve what they see as holy Muslim land.

Radicalization became the only true option that allowed this young Muslim generation to express their preferred Palestinian identity and see themselves as the vanguard of Palestinian rights in the future. Many of Israel’s Muslim religious leaders received their training and indoctrination abroad among Islamic fundamentalists at Islamic institutions of higher learning, and have for years been delivering radical sermons in mosques, schools and social gatherings. The resulting radicalization and violent rioting we have witnessed over the past week is the end result of this process among young Israeli Arabs.

The current atmosphere of insurrection coupled with nightly street violence should raise a red flag concerning the pervasive misconception that Israeli Arabs are loyal to Israel, because clearly they are not. They can no longer have it both ways. Every year, while Israel celebrates Independence Day, the Israeli Arabs commemorate the Nakbah (the Arab term for catastrophe), that’s their way of rejecting the State of Israel. The time has come to not ignore this refusal to recognize the establishment of the State of Israel.

Israeli Arabs, we must realize, will always automatically side with their Palestinian neighbors in any confrontation with Israel even when the Palestinian side declares war on Israel and sends thousands of rockets and missiles into Israel causing widespread damage and disruption of life, not to mention those killed and wounded. Israeli Arabs see themselves as Palestinian Arabs and not as Israelis despite full democratic rights that they willingly accept and enjoy. The potential manifestation of the rejection of being Israeli creates the potential for rebellion, insubordination, and outright violence, rage and hostility. The end result is anti-Israeli rhetoric and what we have seen in recent days.

In the past years coexistence has been a hot commodity and highly popular among liberal and progressive NGO’s and donors and has enabled Israeli Arabs to enjoy the benefits of lavishly funded coexistence programs. It seems that these programs have only contributed to the radicalization of Israel’s Arab population rather than balance civic responsibility with ethnic affiliation. Coexistence cannot be a one-way street that empowers Israeli Arabs to reject their Israeli identity and identify with the enemies of Israel even as Hamas, the Palestinian Arab terror organization, is firing thousands of missiles into southern and central Israel.

Those that refuse true coexistence, should simply be shown the door, what was will not be.

Ron grew up in the South Bronx of New York City, making Aliyah in 1980. Served for 25 years in the IDF as a Mental Health Field Officer in operational units. Prior to retiring was Commander of the Central Psychiatric Clinic for Reserve Solders at Tel-Hashomer. Since retiring has been involved in strategic consultancy to NGO’s and communities in the Gaza Envelope on resiliency projects to assist first responders and communities. Ron has written numerous articles for outlets in Israel and abroad focusing on Israel and the Jewish world.

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Hamas is responsible for the violence

This has nothing to do with Sheikh Jarrah

It’s about Hamas seeing a chance to seize the narrative and increase its own influence and control over Palestinians in Jerusalem

Reprinted from Times of Israel, May 12, 2021

As I write this, rockets are raining down on Israel from Gaza, and protests are being instigated in cities throughout the country. People have already died as a result of this senseless violence and more will surely follow in the next few days. As a Palestinian living in Jerusalem, I am frustrated and angry — and I can only blame Hamas. The fanatics who rule over Gaza with an iron first cannot resist the opportunity to stir up anti-Jewish violence for their own political gain. If innocent Jews and Muslims die in the process, all the better for them.

The pretext for the latest missile barrage and social media incitement is Sheikh Jarrah, where a long-running legal dispute was scheduled for a court hearing. This had been a private matter between Jews who have an old property deed from the 1800s and the residents of four homes who have lived there for decades and do not want to pay rent. It is the kind of situation that should be handled by a local municipal court. This could happen in any other country and there would be no public interest. But this is Jerusalem, so you have to view everything in the context of the political situation. You also have to ask yourself: who stands to gain from political violence right now?

After Palestinian PM Mahmoud Abbas canceled highly anticipated elections, Hamas simply saw an opportunity it could not pass up, exploiting the Sheikh Jarrah situation and an already tense environment during the holy day of Leylat Al Qadr and Jerusalem Day. Hamas is currently running a social media campaign calling for Palestinians to incite violence during demonstrations in Jerusalem and elsewhere. They are encouraging Palestinian youth to throw their lives away by hurling rocks and makeshift bombs at police.

Hamas-led riots outside of the Al Aqsa Mosque prove that Israeli police are not at fault for the dangers preventing Muslims from praying. Hamas has incited mobs and provoked violence with the intention of framing Israel for ethnic cleansing. Just today, provocateurs filled several busses to travel to Jerusalem to participate in the “historic” riots and answer the Hamas call to incite violence.

Most significantly, Hamas leaders ordered hundreds of rockets to be launched in the general direction of major Israeli cities. Many of them did this from the comfort of their luxury villas in Doha, Damascus, or elsewhere, knowing full well they themselves are safe from any blowback. It is important to remember that Hamas’s penchant for murder is almost matched by their blundering incompetence, which is partly the reason one out of every three of their rockets crashes into Gaza where the only possible victims are Palestinian. They also apparently shelled Abu Ghosh, an ancient Arab village.

This dispute is not actually about four houses in East Jerusalem. This is about Hamas seeing a chance to seize the narrative and increase its own influence and control over Palestinians in Jerusalem. Don’t buy their fake news and let them dilute their own blame. In the coming days, Jews and Muslims are both likely to die because Hamas saw political upside in violence. Don’t forget it.

Bassem Eid (born 5 February 1958) is a Palestinian living in Israel who has an extensive career as a Palestinian human rights activist. His initial focus was on human rights violations committed by Israeli armed forces, but for many years has broadened his research to include human rights violations committed by the Palestinian Authority (PA), and the Palestinian armed forces on their own people. He founded the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group in 1996, although it ceased operations in 2011. He now works as a political analyst for Israeli TV and radio.

Johns Hopkins embraces antisemitism

Johns Hopkins University played host to a high-profile antisemitic incident last fall. The school is still trying to cover it up.

You may remember the story of the JHU teaching assistant who polled her social media followers about whether or not she should give failing grades to Jewish students who she suspected may be supportive of Israel. University officials pledged to investigate and recently claimed that the investigation has concluded. So where are the results? And, just as importantly, why is the antisemitic TA Rasha Anayah still teaching students?

Educators have a basic responsibility to uphold fair academic treatment for all students. Anayah clearly failed to uphold this responsibility when she made these hateful public postings and threatened to punish her students on the basis of their religious identity. We also do not know how she identified these unnamed students as “Zionists” and whether she made assumptions based on their last names or physical appearances.

For this and many other reasons, Johns Hopkins did the right thing by opening an investigation into the incident. But now, an entire semester later, they appear to have closed it without releasing any findings. Anayah appears to be teaching students.

Her bigotry has real consequences for the future of the students she discriminates against, and if JHU does not release the results of their investigation, the university itself risks becoming complicit in her actions. They also may be breaking the law, as Jewish students are protected from this kind of discrimination by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Johns Hopkins would do well to remember its moral and legal obligations to investigate instances of antisemitism. Universities can no longer hide from the accountability they owe to students generally and minority groups in particular.

Vulgar antisemitism cannot be ignored or tolerated at JHU or any other campus. Jewish students should be able to select classes without worrying about whether or not their TA is going to fail them because of their religious affiliation or ignorant assumptions about their feelings towards the Jewish state.

Johns Hopkins’ lack of transparency is doing nothing to create a safe environment for learning on campus. In fact, by remaining silent on this high-profile incident, they are contributing to a culture wherein discrimination can thrive. It may start with Rasha Anayah and antisemitism but it won’t end there. In a world where hatred continues to show its ugly face, we must be intentional in our work to stop it. Johns Hopkins needs to come clean about this investigation and impose real accountability based on its results.

Bassem Eid (born 5 February 1958) is a Palestinian living in Israel who has an extensive career as a Palestinian human rights activist. His initial focus was on human rights violations committed by Israeli armed forces, but for many years has broadened his research to include human rights violations committed by the Palestinian Authority (PA), and the Palestinian armed forces on their own people. He founded the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group in 1996, although it ceased operations in 2011. He now works as a political analyst for Israeli TV and radio.

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Practicing physicians promote Ivermectin for COVID

Ivermectin is a proven treatment for Covid-19, so let’s use it

Extensive study shows ivermectin can reduce the risk of infection by 92.5% and is the standard of care in many countries

By  Dr. George Coetzee

Although the ongoing vaccination campaign shows promise in turning the tide against the coronavirus, gaps in access and acceptance persist, posing a particular threat to underserved populations and developing nations.

I have worked on the front lines during both of SA’s Covid-19 waves, and seen first-hand that the drug ivermectin is effective in preventing and treating the disease, with great potential as a supplement when vaccine administration lags. SA has recently cleared the way for that approach. Other nations and institutions should follow suit.

On April 6, a high court order determined that as ivermectin is an active ingredient in a medicine registered by the nation’s health products regulatory authority, this allows it to be prescribed “off-label”, that is, for uses other than those on the label of the registered medicine. I’m proud of the work I did with civil rights group AfriForum to obtain this victory. And I’m confident that it’s grounded in sound science and proper public health policy.

Off-label prescriptions are nothing new. Indeed, they’re a key tool for doctors to assess and treat emerging health threats. Once a drug is known to be safe and effective for one use it is entirely reasonable for healthcare providers to use that drug for other purposes where there’s sufficient evidence of efficacy. That’s precisely the case here.

In my work in SA, I’ve treated dozens of Covid-19 patients daily. I’ve prescribed and administered ivermectin to hundreds of people, and tracked more than 50 patients who were moderately to severely ill, including several with severely compromised immune systems. I’ve seen ivermectin make a difference in their outcomes — and the research backs this up.

Extensive study shows ivermectin can reduce the risk of getting Covid-19 by 92.5%. This is based on seven controlled trials conducted on thousands of healthcare workers and family contacts. Six were prospective trials, not retrospective studies like those criticised by opponents of other preventative treatments. And three were also randomised, meeting anyone’s standard for a credible study. These trials were designed by various institutions in multiple countries, and they all show the same thing: ivermectin substantially reduces the chance of infection.

On February 20, the technical working group of the British ivermectin recommendation development (Bird) group presented a comprehensive assessment of existing ivermectin trials to their recommendation development panel. They laid out a systematic review and meta-analysis of 21 randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of ivermectin on more than 2,500 patients. The panel was made up of more than 65 GPs, specialists, researchers and patient representatives, representing more than 15 countries.

The Bird panel followed a process consistent with World Health Organization (WHO) standards. It reviewed not only the RCT data but also a summary of studies and numerous epidemiological analyses. This research showed positive effects on population-wide rates of excess death from distribution and treatment adoption of ivermectin.

A three-quarters majority of panel members found moderate to high certainty of this comprehensive evidence base. Importantly, the panel identified no conflicts of interest among the trials. The panel consensus chose the strongest recommendation option for ivermectin to be adopted both to prevent and treat Covid-19.

This is in keeping with a trend across many national and local health authorities around the world. Bulgaria and Slovakia have approved ivermectin for nationwide use. India, Egypt, Peru, Zimbabwe and Bolivia are distributing it and registering rapid decreases in deaths. A growing number of regional health authorities have advocated for or adopted ivermectin across Japan, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and SA. And it is now the standard of care in Mexico City.

Universal vaccination may be the appropriate end goal, but too many gaps in access and acceptance persist, particularly in developing nations or among underserved populations, even in developed ones. Health agencies and professional bodies should encourage doctors to use their discretion in selecting from every appropriate, available measure to stop this infection, rather than discouraging this practice.

The WHO has unfortunately refused to recommend the use of ivermectin outside clinical trials. While the worldwide effort to rollout vaccines is taking hold, I simply cannot understand why it and other professional and regulatory bodies disregard this promising treatment, which could be saving lives around the world right now.

The WHO and others need to endorse an “all of the above” solution to win the fight against this scourge. And frontline doctors should use their best professional judgment to treat patients, in line with the research and the best traditions of our profession.

• Coetzee is a practising physician in Pretoria.

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Critical minerals needed for clean energy

Clean energy demand for critical minerals set to soar: IEA

“Today, the data shows a looming mismatch between the world’s strengthened climate ambitions and the availability of critical minerals that are essential to realising those ambitions,” said Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA.

Supplies of critical minerals essential for key clean energy technologies like electric vehicles and wind turbines need to pick up sharply over the coming decades to meet the world’s climate goals, said the International Energy Agency (IEA) in a new report.

The special report “The Role of Critical Minerals in Clean Energy Transitions” is a comprehensive global study to date on the central importance of minerals such as copper, lithium, nickel, cobalt and rare earth elements in a secure and rapid transformation of the global energy sector. Building on the IEA’s longstanding leadership role in energy security, the report recommends six key areas of action for policy makers to ensure that critical minerals enable an accelerated transition to clean energy rather than becoming a bottleneck.

“Today, the data shows a looming mismatch between the world’s strengthened climate ambitions and the availability of critical minerals that are essential to realising those ambitions,” said Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA. “The challenges are not insurmountable, but governments must give clear signals about how they plan to turn their climate pledges into action. By acting now and acting together, they can significantly reduce the risks of price volatility and supply disruptions.”

“Left unaddressed, these potential vulnerabilities could make global progress towards a clean energy future slower and more costly – and therefore hamper international efforts to tackle climate change,” Dr Birol said. “This is what energy security looks like in the 21st century, and the IEA is fully committed to helping governments ensure that these hazards don’t derail the global drive to accelerate energy transitions.”

The special report, part of the IEA’s flagship World Energy Outlook series, underscores that the mineral requirements of an energy system powered by clean energy technologies differ profoundly from one that runs on fossil fuels. A typical electric car requires six times the mineral inputs of a conventional car, and an onshore wind plant requires nine times more mineral resources than a similarly sized gas-fired power plant.

Demand outlooks and supply vulnerabilities vary widely by mineral, but the energy sector’s overall needs for critical minerals could increase by as much as six times by 2040, depending on how rapidly governments act to reduce emissions. Not only is this a massive increase in absolute terms, but as the costs of technologies fall, mineral inputs will account for an increasingly important part of the value of key components, making their overall costs more vulnerable to potential mineral price swings.

The commercial importance of these minerals also grow rapidly: today’s revenue from coal production is ten times larger than from energy transition minerals. However, in climate-driven scenarios, these positions are reversed well before 2040.

In climate-driven scenarios, mineral demand for use in batteries for electric vehicles and grid storage is a major force, growing at least thirty times to 2040. The rise of low-carbon power generation to meet climate goals also means a tripling of mineral demand from this sector by 2040. Wind takes the lead, bolstered by material-intensive offshore wind. Solar PV follows closely, due to the sheer volume of capacity that is added. The expansion of electricity networks also requires a huge amount of copper and aluminium.

Unlike oil – a commodity produced around the world and traded in liquid markets – production and processing of many minerals such as lithium, cobalt and some rare earth elements are highly concentrated in a handful of countries, with the top three producers accounting for more than 75% of supplies.

Complex and sometimes opaque supply chains also increase the risks that could arise from physical disruptions, trade restrictions or other developments in major producing countries. In addition, while there is no shortage of resources, the quality of available deposits is declining as the most immediately accessible resources are exploited. Producers also face the necessity of stricter environmental and social standards.

The IEA report provides six key recommendations for policy makers to foster stable supplies of critical minerals to support accelerated clean energy transitions. These include the need for governments to lay out their long-term commitments for emission reductions, which would provide the confidence needed for suppliers to invest in and expand mineral production. Governments should also promote technological advances, scale up recycling to relieve pressure on primary supplies, maintain high environmental and social standards, and strengthen international collaboration between producers and consumers. – TradeArabia News Service

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Diet and exercise can boost immune system

Do Immune System Boosters Really Work?

“Good nutrition is needed to support the immune system’s varied functions, but this is achieved over time by high-quality dietary patterns.”

Over a year into the pandemic, vaccines are rolling out and it feels as if there’s finally a light at the end of the tunnel. For many Americans, however, there is still a bit of a wait before they can receive their shot, depending on the state they live in. As we strive to stay healthy while the country works toward building herd immunity, it’s natural to continue to look for ways to bolster your immune system. You may have heard claims that vitamin D could help combat COVID-19 (the jury is still out on that one), or maybe you’ve stayed up late Googling the benefits of probiotics. But is it really possible to truly boost your immune system? And if so, how? To start with, it helps to understand the basics of how the immune system works.

Okay, so how does the immune system operate?

“The immune system is complex, distributed throughout the body, and highly active,” explains David C. Nieman, a professor of biology at Appalachian State University, and director of their Human Performance Lab in Kannapolis, North Carolina, who specializes in research on nutrition immunology. “Good nutrition is needed to support the immune system’s varied functions, but this is achieved over time by high-quality dietary patterns.”

In other words, there’s really no such thing as a quick fix when it comes to your immune system. The experts agree that there’s a reason why it can be difficult to find studies proving that supposed immune boosters such as the ones listed above are effective. According to Nicolai van Oers, a professor of immunology, microbiology, and pediatrics at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, each individual is different in terms of what their immune system needs. “Many of the benefits suggested are documented in test-tube experiments and simply cannot be achieved in vivo because one can never take up the levels that are needed,” he adds.

Willow Jarosh, a registered dietician nutritionist based in New York City, echoes this sentiment. “In some cases, the immune boost you might see reported from a study is seen in people who were deficient to begin with,” she says. “So taking that nutrient may not have any benefit to someone who isn’t deficient.”

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some oft-touted immune boosters and what the experts have to say about their efficacy. And, as always, consult your doctor before deciding to take any supplements.

Which immune boosters actually work?


Van Oers says that acupuncture may be able to reduce inflammation — with a caveat: “This is… very individual-specific and may not work in many people.”

And it seems to be the consensus among experts. “If acupuncture helps to reduce your anxiety levels, helps you sleep, etc., then there is a likely immune benefit,” says Jarosh. “It’s more about addressing something that may have been preventing the immune system from fully functioning as opposed to boosting the immune system beyond what it would otherwise be capable of.”

Niket Sonpal, an internist and gastroenterologist based in New York City agrees that acupuncture can be beneficial for stress reduction, explaining that “small studies have suggested it can be helpful in alleviating stress and anxiety which can have a positive effect on the immune system.”


“Elderberry is [a] supplement I get asked about quite often,” Jarosh says. “There is some research indicating that elderberry might help shorten [the] duration of influenza and sinusitis. But again, nothing conclusive.”

Sonpal says that any potential benefit from elderberries is all about the antioxidants. “Elderberries are packed with antioxidants and vitamins that directly boost the immune system,” he explains. “Epidemiological research has found links between antioxidant-rich diets and a reduced incidence of cancer.”

If you do choose to incorporate elderberry into your diet, talk to your doctor first, proceed with caution, and look closely at the supplement. And avoid uncooked elderberry, as it can cause stomach upset.


Sonpal says that garlic could be another option to add to your diet, particularly aged garlic extract, which some studies have found contains heightened antioxidant properties. “Research is more clear in terms of garlic’s boosting of the immune system,” he says. “Scientists have also found compounds within garlic that increase the immune response in white cells, which helps them combat viruses and symptoms of sickness.”

According to Jarosh, “there are some studies that indicate garlic may be able to stimulate or support aspects of our immune system.” So feel free to use that as justification for adding twice as many cloves in your favorite recipes.


According to Sonpal, probiotics are live bacteria that help diversify our gut microbiome and help the immune system regulate inflammation. “The more diverse our bacteria colonies are in our gut, the better we tend to feel,” he says.

There is a catch, of course. “Without question, the bacterial species that live in the stomach and intestines can definitely influence the immune system’s behavior. However, simply adding probiotics does not change the normal populations of these bacteria,” explains van Oers.

“What is the appropriate diversity needed for this is not known and may differ from one person to another,” he continues. “A probiotic mixture is just that, a mixture, and is likely to be completely ineffective for most individuals.”


Research has found that [turmeric] may help downregulate some inflammatory responses and help regulate immune responses in other cases,” Jarosh says. She stresses that researchers are still trying to figure out exactly how it does these things, which is an essential step when it comes to figuring out who can benefit from it.

Sonpal points to a few possible ways turmeric could help your body regulate the immune system. “The curcumin in turmeric serves as a prebiotic that helps feed the bacteria in your gut,” he explains. “It battles inflammation and cell damage as it has plenty of antioxidant content.”

He adds that it can also help boost your immune system by lowering stress: “Turmeric can also help lower cortisol levels, which are the hormones that trigger our fight-or-flight response when we are stressed.”

Vitamin C

Vitamin C gets a thumbs-up from van Oers, although he says it depends on where your body gets the vitamin. “[The] best source is from citrus fruits,” he says… Simply increasing vitamin C in the form of [taking a] vitamin results in most of the vitamin C not being absorbed through the stomach.”

Sonpal agrees that vitamin C plays an important role in your immune system because it “helps stimulate the production of lymphocytes, which are white blood cells that help protect the body against infection, [and it] allows white blood cells to function better and protects them from damage.”

“When people have pneumonia their vitamin C levels typically decline,” Sonpal adds. Studies such as this one have shown that vitamin C supplements may help with recovery time.

Vitamin D

There has been increased public interest in vitamin D ever since some research noted its possible connection to the immune system’s response to COVID-19.

“The role that vitamin D plays in keeping the immune system healthy is very complex because the immune system has to be perfectly balanced,” explains Sonpal. “Low levels of vitamin D have also been associated with frequent infections. In 2009, a National Institute of Health-funded study found low vitamin D levels associated with frequent colds and influenza.”

However, there’s a good chance that you don’t need vitamin D supplements. “Vitamin D can also boost the immune system,” says van Oers, citing its ability to help weaken infections such as influenza. “But this is generally when people do not get enough vitamin D from sunlight. And for most Americans, enough sunlight exposure occurs, even in winter.”


The experts agree that zinc can be beneficial, but only if you need it, which is why it’s always best to speak to your doctor before starting any supplements. “Zinc can definitely improve immune functions, but this is generally in the elderly when the normal absorption of zinc has diminished,” says van Oers.

“With both zinc and vitamin D, the benefits are seen more in people who were deficient,” Jarosh concurs.

What can you actually do to boost your immune system?

All four experts emphasize the importance of a balanced diet. Nieman suggests not worrying about any one superfood or herb. Instead, increase your intake of fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants and flavonoids.

Jarosh also advises eating a variety of nutrient-rich foods and warns against overdoing it with alcohol consumption as well as fad diets and cleanses. She points out that managing stress is an important part of immune system upkeep. “This can certainly include stress around dieting, especially with headlines focusing on people’s weight during the pandemic.” You may also find it helpful to cut back on consuming media that triggers stress or unhealthy habits for you.

Exercise is another vital piece of the puzzle. “Recommended amounts of moderate-intensity physical activity typically range between 150 to 300 minutes per week and are consistent with enhanced immunosurveillance and lowered risk for respiratory illness,” explains Nieman.

If more vigorous forms of exercise are beyond your reach for whatever reason, van Oers says that walking, yoga, and even meditation and breathing exercises can be beneficial as well. The most important thing is consistency. As Jarosh puts it, “Find a way to move regularly that you enjoy, or at least don’t hate.” Dancing around your living room to your favorite music definitely counts.

Other simple but essential habits for a healthy immune system include sleep (van Oers recommends getting seven to eight hours every night), staying hydrated, and washing your hands regularly and properly. And if you do take any vitamins or supplements, Jarosh advises that you see your doctor and “have basic blood work done to identify any places where you may be deficient and then supplement accordingly.”

Finally, if you can get the COVID-19 vaccine, van Oers recommends doing so. “Vaccinations are very important,” he explains. “For example, measles can wipe out 50 to 70 percent of the immune system’s memory for unvaccinated children if they become infected. COVID-19 can also wipe out components of the immune system, which increases a risk for other infections.

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Distrust in government, media, and big tech

The New World Order Is Taking Its Mask Off While Telling You to Keep Yours On

These two events — the pandemic and nationwide riots — began to usher in a New World Order. Americans tolerated our government behaving as if citizens were subjects to be ruled. Children took classes on Zoom at home and employees of public and private organizations began to see overtly racialized curriculum where the color of a person’s skin determined whether they were oppressed or oppressor

By Stacey Lennox Apr 16, 2021

New World Order used to be the province of conspiracy theorists. However, the phrase is now descriptive of what we see daily in the news. There is tremendous pressure to reorder society in the West, using the pandemic as a pretext. In America, the result has been an assault on our God-given rights on an unprecedented scale. Political leaders proclaimed they were following the science to protect public health and stripped citizens of their ability to work, to associate, to worship, and even to petition our government.

Big Tech jumped in to help and made sure that no information that contraindicated their favored experts was easily accessible to the public. Using the pretext that the global and national health bureaucracies are the only experts Americans should listen to, they set out to ban or suppress information that contradicted the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control. Permissible content changed from day to day because those two agencies often disagreed.

Then the entire country — and, to some extent, the West overall — was rocked by consistent and unmitigated street violence. What happened last summer, including a days-long siege on the White House, has been memory-holed by the corporate media. If not for brave, independent journalists who navigated to nightly mobs, those who did not live in affected areas might not have understood the extent of the violence and damage. Nineteen people were killed in the first 14 days of the riots following the death of George Floyd. Rioting and looting in the name of racial justice were exceptions to pandemic restrictions. Lockdown protests were not.

Now, it is nearly certain that the nation will see a repeat performance after the trial of the officer involved in Floyd’s death. The outcome will not matter. America is now a nation that tolerates riots in the wake of police-involved shootings and trial verdicts. Americans don’t even pay attention to near-nightly violence and arson in Portland’s once beautiful and vibrant city—a city that is now a microcosm of a failed state.

These two events — the pandemic and nationwide riots — began to usher in a New World Order. Americans tolerated our government behaving as if citizens were subjects to be ruled. Children took classes on Zoom at home and employees of public and private organizations began to see overtly racialized curriculum where the color of a person’s skin determined whether they were oppressed or oppressor. Group identity, rather than the individual, and color of skin, rather than character, determine what benefits and opportunities an individual may enjoy in society. The ideology of the New World Order, demanding equity rather than equality, has even infected the Oval Office.

Whether by design or by accident, politicians, the corporate media, billionaires, and the expert class figured out that if they crushed the economy and terrified citizens, they could convince them of almost anything. Now they tell us COVID-19 vaccines are a miracle, and everyone should get them, but you can’t go back to living your life mask-free and without restrictions even if you get one. Both of these things cannot be true, and the data says something completely different, but people still obey. Now we are being told to prepare for a “permanent pandemic.”

Now, they’re going to do it all over again. You can count on CNN to say the quiet part out loud, which is the only valuable thing it does.

The newly designated “climate emergency” is designed to bring about global equity. If you wonder why you feel like you are being conditioned for something, because what you hear doesn’t match reality, you are not alone. And CNN just let you in on the secret even if they did not mean to. Massive global redistribution is on the horizon, and it can only happen if you are broke, scared, and ashamed.

Whether it is The Great Reset from the World Economic Forum, Agenda 2030 from the United Nations, or the Green New Deal disguised as “infrastructure,” the ruling class needs to make sure you buy into its narratives. COVID-19 will be a terminal crisis, the planet is dying, and Western societies can never escape from their original sins of colonialism and slavery.

These three narratives are conditioning Americans to accept another massive spending package. President Joe Biden wants to spend trillions in an economy experiencing a V-shaped recovery with declining unemployment. Even the restaurant industry, one of the hardest hit during the pandemic, outperformed with a 17% uptick in retail sales. The industry is now only 5% below pre-pandemic levels despite ongoing capacity and operating restrictions. Another $2 trillion package makes zero sense in these economic conditions.

The pandemic and associated lockdowns pushed 150 million people out of the middle class and into poverty, the first decline in this socioeconomic class in over 30 years. In America, small businesses were hit hardest during the pandemic. Government spending to date has already caused prices for lumber, gas, and other commodities to rise significantly. Groceries are getting more expensive. Injecting more money into the economy will just encourage more and potentially excessive inflation. The middle class is the one that suffers when prices go up and wages stagnate.

Those who seek power and elite status have known for some time that the primary barrier to their plans is a robust and content middle class. Committed Marxists figured out that this is why proletariat revolutions did not occur spontaneously in the early 20th century. So, policy, messaging, and restrictions will be aimed at breaking this class. No policy proposed by the Biden administration benefits the middle class, and many of its policies will hurt it. Pandemic checks and inflated unemployment payments are conditioning people to rely on the government.

Managing the narratives is why Governor Ron DeSantis and health experts from Oxford, Stanford, and Harvard can’t remain on YouTube. It is also why Chelsea Clinton is waging a campaign to get Tucker Carlson removed from Facebook, accusing him of vaccine misinformation when he is simply questioning the mixed messaging. Senator Ted Cruz must be shamed for unmasking post-vaccination, and respected, well-intentioned researchers who try to relieve the public’s anxiety, like Yale epidemiologist Dr. Harvey Risch, must be silenced.

This is also why the implied threat of riots and violence will continue along with the continued pressure to be ashamed of America’s history, heritage, and heroes. Meanwhile, a unified Democrat government in Washington, D.C., seeks to destroy every institution that provides for deliberation, moderation, or protection of constitutional rights. The Senate, the Electoral College, and the Supreme Court are all targets for destruction through their policies.

Hopefully, human nature will take over. After allegiance to family, allegiance to a nation is strongest. Most Americans would view national policy dictated by unelected and accountable global organizations, global corporations, and ideologues as a New World Order. That is what The Great Reset and Agenda 2030 are driving and the Biden administration is a willing partner. The most successful nation in the history of the world will morph into something that is not America if citizens do not object. And it won’t take long once the ideologues are in charge. Just ask the residents of Portland.

Posted in Education, Health Sciences, Mental Health, Opinion, Recent Posts | Comments Off on Distrust in government, media, and big tech

Palestinian Authority Needs Reform

    • Restoring U.S. Funding to UNRWA – A Great Obstacle to Israeli-Palestinian Peace

    • Einat Wilf and Adi Schwartz (Newsweek)

    • Reprinted from Daily Alert, April 15, 2021
    • By resuming U.S. funding for UNRWA, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, the Biden administration is choosing to fund an agency that is institutionally committed to ensuring that peace will never be possible. UNRWA, under the cover of providing social services to Palestinians, is giving political cover to the dream of undoing Israel by nurturing and legitimizing the demand to settle millions of Palestinians inside Israel.
      UNRWA is one of the greatest obstacles to peace between Israelis and Palestinians. The vast majority of UNRWA refugees, the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the original refugees, are also citizens of other countries or living within territories governed by Palestinians, and so are not actually refugees and in no need of resettlement. UNRWA sustains many of them in perpetual limbo, in the elusive promise that they will one day be able to “return” to Israel.
      There are perfectly rational, humane and effective ways to provide public healthcare and education services to Palestinians without fueling the conflict with Israel. As long as Palestinians are indulged by the West in their belief that the war of 1948 remains an open case, there is zero possibility that peace will be achieved. It is hard to imagine a more anti-peace U.S. policy choice.
      Dr. Einat Wilf, a former Labor member of the Israeli Knesset, and Adi Schwartz, a former senior editor at Ha’aretz, are the co-authors of The War of Return: How Western Indulgence of the Palestinian Dream has Obstructed the Path to Peace. (Newsweek)
    • Is the U.S. Supporting Palestinian Dictatorship? – Khaled Abu Toameh
      A recent decree issued by PA President Mahmoud Abbas effectively turns Palestinian NGOs into government-controlled institutions. The organizations are now required to present to the PA government an “annual action plan and estimated budget.” This means that the organizations will be working for the PA.
      “This [decree] undermines the professionalism, independence and freedom of civic activity, including its monitoring role over the performance of the executive authority and its objective to hold this authority accountable for its violations,” several Palestinian civil society organizations said in a joint statement.
      Abbas is worried that Palestinian civil society organizations would criticize him or his government on the eve of the planned elections and hurt his (and his ruling Fatah faction’s) chances of winning. The U.S. is about to pump millions of dollars into Abbas’ coffers to help him cut off the emergence of new and young leaders and to help him maintain his authoritarian rule over the Palestinians. (Gatestone Institute)
    • See also Improved Vetting Is Key to U.S. Reengagement with Palestinian NGOs – Yona Schiffmiller (JNS)
    • Can Biden Fund the Palestinians without Breaking the Law? – Jonathan S. Tobin
      The 2018 Taylor Force Act – named for a non-Jewish American veteran who was murdered by a Palestinian terrorist in Israel – mandates that no American funds can be transferred to the Palestinian Authority as long as it is paying pensions and salaries for convicted terrorists. The only exceptions are money allocated for hospitals, vaccines and water-treatment projects. The PA has not halted its terrorist subsidies, but the administration has announced a $235 million aid package for the Palestinians.
      $150 million will go to UNRWA, the UN refugee agency devoted solely to the Palestinians, which operates a vast number of institutions to support the millions who claim descent from the original 1948 refugees, including schools and food assistance. Another $75 million will go to economic development programs in the West Bank and Gaza, while yet another $10 million will go to “peace building” initiatives.
      The administration says these allocations won’t violate the Taylor Force Act since none of the money will go directly to the PA but to partner agencies that are supposedly independent of either the corrupt Fatah government in the West Bank or Hamas who rules Gaza. But as is well known, Palestinian NGOs have no real independence from their government.
      Moreover, the package clearly violates the intent of the Taylor Force Act since the money is fungible and allows the PA to spend other funds on supporting terrorists. Congressional intent was clear. No more American money was to go to the PA – let alone Hamas – so long as it was in the business of backing terrorism.
      The same reasoning was behind the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 by a Democratic-controlled Congress, which similarly banned any U.S. assistance to the PA if it had initiated an investigation into bogus charges of war crimes by Israel by the International Criminal Court. (JNS)
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Israeli President stresses unity and partnership

An Interview with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin

Israel is the most daring enterprise in the history of the Jewish People, and we are full partners—not only in the establishment of Israel, but also in its development. All Jews are true stakeholders in this wonder called Israel.

By Larry Cohler Esses

In 2015 you described the internal challenges faced by Israel and your vision of four “pillars” to strengthen social cohesion (a sense of sector, shared responsibility for the well-being of the state, equity and equality and a shared sense of “Israeliness”). Do you agree with that vision today? 

At the beginning of my presidency, I spoke of a far-reaching transformation in Israeli society. I said that it was neither trivial nor was it something we could avoid. But I also noted that we should be wary of speaking in apocalyptic terms, or of casually referring to one group or another in our society as a danger.

The simple truth is that we have gone from being a society in which a sizeable majority of Israelis are both Zionist and secular to one in which we have four main groups of relatively equal size. This is what I referred to as the “four tribes” of Israel, a society comprising religious, secular, ultra-Orthodox and Arab Israelis, each living largely separate lives. When I spoke of this in 2015, I called for an honest evaluation of the situation: “We need to look bravely at this reality…out of a deep commitment to find the answers to these questions, out of a readiness to draw together all the tribes of Israel, with a shared vision of Israeli hope.”

Since then, we have turned that “vision of Israeli hope” into Israeli Hope, or in Hebrew Tikvah Israelit, the flagship program of my term in office and our response to the challenges that we face in this new reality. Tikvah Israelit works in five key areas—schools, academia, sports, local government and employment—to bring the four tribes of Israeli society together in meaningful and constructive partnership.

Creating partnership between communities who have been largely separate from each other is a process that requires time and patience. Each group needs to know that its fundamental identity is not under threat, but that it will be protected and valued as part of the broader fabric of society. Only if our own identity is secure can we reach out to others and get to know them. I believe, too, that shared responsibility remains a key element of this new view of Israeli civic society. If we are all partners, we all bear responsibility for the success and the future of the country—our country. No one group is more or less responsible for ensuring our safety and security, no one group is more or less responsible for ensuring our economic resilience, no one group is more or less responsible for setting and maintaining the moral or ethical standards we aspire to, or the cultural and ethnic sources we draw from.

But we still face significant barriers to such partnership. Unless and until we address the question of equality, Israeli society will continue to be divided. Over the course of my own lifetime—I was born ten years before the State of Israel was established—we have created a state that is nothing less than a miracle. We can rightly be proud of our status as a world leader in technology and innovation, with outstanding achievements that truly make the world a better place. But we must not let that blind us to another reality, in which structural gaps, whether in budgets, infrastructures or allocation of land, between some Israelis and others are significant and persistent. Only when the aspirations and talents of every young Israeli are allowed to determine the course of their lives, not their ethnic or social origins, can we build a shared future.

The result of this process is not just the end of sectarianism, although that would be reward enough. We must aspire to more—to forge a new Israeliness of diversity and cultural richness, of partnership and shared responsibility, where our differences inspire our humanity and sensitivity. If we truly believe that we were not doomed to live together, but rather destined to do so, I believe we can make this vision a reality.

Each group needs to know that its fundamental identity is not under threat, but that it will be protected and valued as part of the broader fabric of society. Only if our own identity is secure can we reach out to others and get to know them. I believe, too, that shared responsibility remains a key element of this new view of Israeli civic society.

Do you think that these four “pillars” apply worldwide; are they universal? Are there lessons that can be learned? 

Israel is not unique in addressing the questions of social resilience and cohesion. All over the world, countries are dealing with the polarization and radicalization of political and social discourse, and struggling to find a national identity that is inclusive and diverse and still maintains a distinctive flavor of its own.

But as a global people, we face an additional challenge. The State of Israel is home, and always will be home, to every Jewish person. We are one people, and the global Jewish community is a full partner in the most daring enterprise in our history—the establishment of our sovereign, independent, Jewish and democratic state. The global Jewish community is with Israel in its times of joy and of crisis. We share dreams and we address tough realities together. The challenge is to put that relationship beyond any argument or disagreement, to recognize differences, to understand alternative perspectives and to be strengthened by them. As the four tribes of Israeli society face the challenges of creating social cohesion, we look to the fifth tribe—the global Jewish community—as full partners.

Has Israel advanced toward your stated goals since 2015 or has it regressed? How have the attitudes and actions of each of the “four tribes” changed? How can schooling be reconfigured to encourage a deeper commitment to community? 

What began as a description of the new reality facing Israeli society has become a vibrant program of work that is delivering real change. One example is Israeli Hope in Education, one of the five areas of work undertaken by the Office of the President to bridge the gaps between the four tribes. Our pilot program has already brought together close to 1,000 teachers from the religious, secular, ultra-Orthodox and Arab school systems on a three-day journey. The program allows them to gain and deepen their knowledge about each sector, to explore the areas of sensitivity and cultural strengths of the different groups, and to develop the tools for education towards a shared society. The success of this pilot has led to its adoption by the Ministry of Education, which will now take 1,500 educators each year through this process, creating real and sustained change in our education system by connecting Israelis from across our society with each other.

We are also working with the next generation of Israel’s teachers, encouraging those in teacher training to work in a school system different from the one they were educated in, and giving them the tools and cultural competency to do so successfully. If the teachers’ lounges in our schools are more diverse, we send a strong message to the next generation of Israelis that our diverse society is a source of strength and pride.

Is there an example or a personal experience you have had that illustrates how to build community in today’s world? 

Over the last seven years, there have been countless moments that have filled me with pride and hope for the future of our country. The Open Sukkah event at Beit HaNasi, where all are invited to celebrate together, shows the amazing diversity of our society. The gardening club established in the grounds by my late wife Nechama brought local schoolchildren to plant and grow things and to learn to appreciate our wonderful nature.

But perhaps the most tangible example of community building that comes to mind is the work done by Tikvah Israelit. In the field of education, we have pioneered programs that bring together teachers to break down the barriers between us. One group includes Sarit, an ultra-Orthodox mother of eight who teaches in a secular school; Ya’ara, from the national-religious community who teaches in an Arab school; Sahar from the Israeli-Arab town of Tira who teaches in Petah Tikva; and Guy from Haifa who teaches Hebrew to kids in Sakhnin whose first language is Arabic. According to Sarit, “The differences between us are only external. I wear a long skirt and the other teachers wear pants. But I had to learn a new language—secular. I feel like a bridge.” Sahar, who teaches mathematics to Jewish kids, is often the first Arab they have ever met. When teachers and students meet each other, the part of society they come from is a background detail. It remains important, but it is not their whole identity. The same is true across the different fields of Israeli Hope—sports, academia, local government and employment. This is how we can build community, by finding meaningful ways to get to know each other, to live alongside each other and to appreciate each other’s unique characteristics.

Finally, I would like to add some words to world’s Jewry. Early last year, we hosted an historic gathering of some 50 global leaders to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. This solemn occasion, the largest of its kind in our history, was an opportunity to stand together, here in Jerusalem, and pledge to work for Holocaust remembrance and education for future generations, strengthening our bonds of commitment to stand up to anti-Semitism, racism and hatred of all kinds.

The State of Israel was, and will always be, the home of every Jew: Orthodox, Reform, Conservative, secular, traditional, Ashkenazi, Sephardi. We are all one people, and Israel is dear to all of us. Israel is the most daring enterprise in the history of the Jewish People, and we are full partners—not only in the establishment of Israel, but also in its development. All Jews are true stakeholders in this wonder called Israel. You stand beside us at times of crisis and joy. You dream with us. You challenge us. You help keep us strong. And we are strong. This cannot be taken for granted. and I thank you for this sense of family and for your unconditional support and love.

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