who is getting sick from COVID

jpost.com

Who is most likely to develop severe COVID-19 even after a second jab

“Overall, we can say that the main thing is that these are not healthy people,” Brosh told The Jerusalem Post in an interview. “Almost all of them (96%) had comorbidities: heart disease, lung disease, renal disease, dementia, cancer, or other common ailments. So, people who get breakthrough infections and are admitted are sicker than a usual person.”

.By MAAYAN JAFFE-HOFFMAN   JULY 14, 2021
Reprinted from Jerusalem Post

Older individuals with many underlying medical conditions and immunosuppression are more likely to contract coronavirus and would develop a severe case of COVID-19 even after being fully vaccinated, according to a world-first study conducted in Israel.

A minority of vaccinated individuals will contract coronavirus and a small percentage of those will end up hospitalized because of the virus. This is called a breakthrough infection.

But who are these people?

A team of Israeli doctors led by Prof. Tal Brosh, head of the Infectious Disease Unit at Samson Assuta Ashdod University Hospital, studied 152 fully vaccinated patients from 17 hospitals who developed COVID-19 more than seven days after they received their second vaccine dose and required hospitalization before the end of April.

The cohort was small because not many vaccinated people who contract coronavirus develop a severe infection, as the vaccine is 97% to 98% effective against the standard variant – and is proving to be almost as effective against the Delta variant. So far, despite a rapid spike in coronavirus cases in Israel, the number of serious cases seems to be climbing slowly.

“Overall, we can say that the main thing is that these are not healthy people,” Brosh told The Jerusalem Post in an interview. “Almost all of them (96%) had comorbidities: heart disease, lung disease, renal disease, dementia, cancer, or other common ailments. So, people who get breakthrough infections and are admitted are sicker than a usual person.”

Of those who ended up in hospital, 38 had what were defined as “poor outcomes,” meaning they were mechanically ventilated or had died.

Specifically, 71% had hypertension; 48% diabetes; 27% congestive heart failure; 24% chronic kidney disease; 24% chronic lung disease; 19% dementia; and 24% cancer. Only 6% did not have any underlying medical condition.

Moreover, the study showed that 40% of patients were immunocompromised.

“If your immune system does not function well, you are at higher risk for not developing protection from vaccination,” Brosh said, adding that some 35% of patients had no detectable antibodies – meaning they had failed to mount an immune response to the vaccine.

The median time that elapsed from the second dose to hospitalization was 40 days. The median age of the patients was 71. In most cases the source of the patient’s infection was unknown.

Brosh said that although this study was conducted when the Alpha variant was active in Israel and the majority of cases had that virus strain, he said it is likely that the characteristics still apply currently – to those who are infected with the Delta variant that now accounts for more than 90% of infections in Israel.

He said that the Delta variant seems to break through the vaccine more than its Alpha predecessor, but it is still unclear if the variant causes more severe infections – despite some suggestions of this by the Health Ministry.

Still, he said there is an important message that the public should heed:

“If you are older and have comorbidities – and definitely, if you have a lot of comorbidities – or are immunocompromised, you cannot assume you will be well protected by the vaccine,” Brosh said. “When there is a lot of transmission in the community, you should take care of yourself.”

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End pandemic now

studyfinds.org

COVID-19 cure already discovered? Ivermectin ‘can end this pandemic’

“We did the work that the medical authorities failed to do, we conducted the most comprehensive review of the available data on ivermectin,” says Pierre Kory, M.P.A., MD, president and chief medical officer of the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC), in a media release. “We applied the gold standard to qualify the data reviewed before concluding that ivermectin can end this pandemic.”

 

Reprinted from Study Finds, July 8, 2021

WASHINGTON — A COVID-19 treatment capable of ending the pandemic once and for all may already be available for use. A team of researchers, including three U.S. government senior scientists, are calling for governments around the world to start treating coronavirus patients with ivermectin. Their findings reveal the drug not only prevents people from contracting COVID, but also defeats the virus and saves lives.

“We did the work that the medical authorities failed to do, we conducted the most comprehensive review of the available data on ivermectin,” says Pierre Kory, M.P.A., MD, president and chief medical officer of the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC), in a media release. “We applied the gold standard to qualify the data reviewed before concluding that ivermectin can end this pandemic.”

Researchers conducted a comprehensive review of 27 reports from clinical, in vitro, animal, and real-world studies. These include 15 randomized controlled trials, which are the preferred scientific method of the World Health Organization, the U.S. National Institutes of Health, and the European Medicines Agency.

Those findings reveal treating COVID-19 patients with ivermectin resulted in large drops in coronavirus deaths. The recovery time from an infection and the time it takes to clear COVID from someone’s system also saw significant reductions among patients on ivermectin.

Additionally, three randomized controlled trials and five observational controlled trials which included nearly 2,500 healthy participants discovered using ivermectin noticeably reduces the risk of contracting COVID-19.

Many countries are already using ivermectin, but why not everywhere?

Study authors note that several regions globally now recognize this drug as both a powerful vaccine and treatment for COVID-19. The countries of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Mexico, and India have all approved ivermectin’s use during the pandemic, according to the team. Researchers add their findings show that immediate global distribution of ivermectin will likely lead to “rapid population-wide decreases in morbidity and mortality.”

So the question is, why aren’t doctors in the United States and elsewhere using ivermectin to treat COVID patients in 2021? Study authors don’t have an answer for that, but are urging doctors everywhere to demand that local and national health officials add ivermectin to the list of approved coronavirus treatments right away.

“Our latest research shows, once again, that when the totality of the evidence is examined, there is no doubt that ivermectin is highly effective as a safe prophylaxis and treatment for COVID-19,” adds Paul E. Marik, M.D., FCCM, FCCP, founding member of the FLCCC and chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School.

“We can no longer rely on many of the larger health authorities to make an honest examination of the medical and scientific evidence. So, we are calling on regional public health authorities and medical professionals around the world to demand that ivermectin be included in their standard of care right away so we can end this pandemic once and for all.”

The findings appear in the American Journal of Therapeutics.

About the Author, Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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Israel threatened by Arab citizens

mailchi.mp

Efraim Karsh: Israel’s Arab Citizens Are the “Main Danger” to Its Future

Comprising roughly one fifth of the population, over the past quarter century Israeli Arabs have increasingly come to adopt a Palestinian identity, “reject Israel’s continued existence as a Jewish state,” and employ “both violent and … sophisticated means to achieve this goal.”

by Marilyn Stern
Middle East Forum Webinar,  July 6, 2021

https://www.meforum.org/62483/karsh-israels-arab-citizens-are-the-main-danger

Efraim Karsh, editor of the Middle East Quarterly and director of the BESA Center for Strategic Studies, spoke to a June 7 Middle East Forum webinar (video) about the growing radicalization of the Israeli Arab community.

According to Karsh, the “main danger to Israel’s continued success, or even existence over the long run,” is posed not by Iran or the myriad armed Islamist proxies operating along its frontiers, but by Arab citizens of Israel. Comprising roughly one fifth of the population, over the past quarter century Israeli Arabs have increasingly come to adopt a Palestinian identity, “reject Israel’s continued existence as a Jewish state,” and employ “both violent and … sophisticated means to achieve this goal.”

Israeli Arabs increasingly “reject Israel’s continued existence as a Jewish state.”

Israeli Arab radicalization is not based on economic grievances. Then-outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “improved the lot of the … Israeli Arabs over the last decade by a huge margin,” with Israeli Arabs becoming more “[integrated] in Israeli society” and enjoying improved “economic and social wellbeing.”

Although the “historic roots” of Israeli Arab radicalization can be traced back to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and the emergence of the PLO in the 1960s, what really jumpstarted the process was the 1993 Oslo Accords. The Oslo process “brought the Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO] into Israel’s politics.”

Ahmad Tibi (right) with Yasser Arafat

PLO chairman Yasser Arafat addressed Israel’s Arab population, which he called the “the 1948 Arabs,” by citing Quranic verses to incite them against the Jews and promising to put them “on top” of their oppressors. A new generation of Arab Israeli leaders and newly formed Arab Israeli political parties (e.g. Balad and Ta’al) openly embraced Arafat and mirrored PLO talking points by calling for Israel to become a state of “all its citizens” – code for “the end of the Jewish state.” Ta’al leader Ahmad Tibi even served formally as Arafat’s advisor. A 2006 “Future Vision” paper published by a committee of the heads of Israeli Arab municipalities referred to the state of Israel as “colonial” implant and demanded state recognition of “Palestinian Arabs” in Israel as “an indigenous national group” with a formal “right to veto” laws. A recent anti-Netanyahu demonstration In Tel Aviv’s Habima Square had “PLO flags there by the dozens, [but] not a single Israel flag.”

The escalating demands of Israeli Arabs have gone hand-in-hand with “growing violence” by Israeli Arabs “every time” Israel has come to blows with its adversaries. The 11-day Israel-Hamas war in May witnessed Israeli Arab violence on an unprecedented scale. As Hamas was firing thousands of missiles into Israel, Jews were attacked in the streets of demographically mixed Israeli cities that were “supposed to be showcases of coexistence,” said Karsh. “Synagogues were torched, about a dozen,” and ” hundreds of shops [and] private houses were ransacked.”

The violence underscored not only that Israeli Arabs are growing “more nationalized, more radicalized, [and] more Islamized,” but also that Hamas has supplanted the PLO as the lead influencer inside Israel.

Mansour Abbas

Karsh was scathing of the inclusion of Israel’s Islamic party, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, in Israel’s new governing coalition. Even if the pledges of its leader, Mansour Abbas, to “use the Israeli system” to advance Israeli Arab interests are genuine, “pragmatism is not to be confused with moderation,” he said. “Pragmatist means ‘I’m not going to achieve my goal by beating my head against the wall time and again’,” and plenty of “pragmatists” went on to become some of history’s worst offenders. “Hitler was a pragmatist up to a point – he got Czechoslovakia without firing a single shot.”

Going forward, the IDF must “prepare for a multi-front war” in which Israeli Arabs join Hamas and Hezbollah in attacking Israel. There are “half-a-million illegal weapons in Arab neighborhoods” by Karsh’s estimation, and collecting them will entail a major IDF operation involving “house-by-house” searches.

Meanwhile, Jewish Israelis must set clear “red lines and rules of the game” regarding Arab Israelis, welcoming their integration into society with full rights but steadfastly emphasizing that “Israel is a Jewish state … [and] there is nothing you can do about it.”

Marilyn Stern is communications coordinator at the Middle East Forum.

Related Topics:  Israel & Zionism This text may be reposted or forwarded so long as it is presented as an integral whole with complete and accurate information provided about its author, date, place of publication, and original URL.

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COVID-19 has serious consequences

healthline.com

Vaccine Side Effects vs. COVID-19 Damage? There’s No Comparison

While the vaccines’ side effects are mild and short, the damage caused by COVID-19 can be long lasting and even fatal.


Experts say that even the rare cases of heart inflammation from COVID-19 vaccines pale in comparison to the damage the actual disease can cause. Morsa Images/Getty Images
  • Experts say that the mild and rare side effects from COVID-19 vaccines are nowhere near as serious as the potential damage the disease itself can cause.
  • They say that the long-term consequences of COVID-19 can include increased risk of stroke, lung damage, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.
  • They add that there have been reports of rare cases of Bell’s palsy developing from COVID-19 vaccines but that the rate appears to be lower than that of the general population.

Which would you rather have: muscle fatigue or permanent lung damage?

Would you prefer mild, short-term inflammation around the heart or severe damage to that organ that could lead to heart failure?

Would you rather have moderate pain in your upper arm for a few days or increase the possibility of developing Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s disease?

These are just a few examples of the stark contrast between the side effects of COVID-19 vaccines and developing the disease itself.

While the vaccines’ side effects are mild and short, the damage caused by COVID-19 can be long lasting and even fatal.

As of this week, more than 330 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the United States, and nearly 158 million people here are now fully vaccinated.

So far, the most common physical reactionsTrusted Source to the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, nausea, sore throat, diarrhea, and vomiting.

There have been some reports of rare but more serious side effects from the vaccines.

In late June, scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announcedTrusted Source that there’s a rare but “likely association” between the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccines and a higher risk of heart inflammation, particularly in adolescents and young adults.

These include cases of myocarditis, which is inflammation of the heart muscle, and pericarditis, which is inflammation of the outer lining of the heart.

In both, the body’s immune system causes inflammation in response to an infection or some other trigger.

Through follow-up, including medical record reviews, CDC and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials have confirmed 518 reports of myocarditis or pericarditis.

But these conditions have produced mild cases, with no deaths or lingering issues reported.

The people who develop these conditions usually return to normal daily activities in just a few days when their symptoms improve, but they’re advised by CDC officials to speak with their doctor about returning to exercise or sports.

The CDC continues to recommend Trusted Source COVID-19 vaccinations for everyone 12 years old and older, given the risk of COVID-19 illness and related, possibly severe complications.

Dr. Stuart Berger, a pediatric cardiologist and medical director of the pediatric Heart Center at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, told Healthline that the vaccines are quite safe.

The heart inflammation tends to occur in men ages 16 to 24. Berger noted that the CDC is looking at some 500 cases out of more than 170 million vaccinated people in that adolescent and young adult demographic.

“That puts it at .00025 percent. That is very rare,” he said. “From what we know, it is actually less common than myocarditis in the general population.”

On the other hand, even if you survive COVID-19, the disease can do permanent damage to the heart.

Imaging tests taken months after recovery from COVID-19 have shown lasting damage to the heart muscle, even in people who experienced only mild COVID-19 symptoms.

This may increase the risk of heart failure or other heart complications in the future.

The type of pneumonia often associated with COVID-19 can also cause long-lasting damage to the tiny air sacs (alveoli) in the lungs. The resulting scar tissue can lead to long-term breathing problems.

Even in young people, COVID-19 can causeTrusted Source strokes, seizures, and Guillain-Barré syndrome — a condition that causes temporary paralysis.

COVID-19 may also increase the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

Other potential long-term effects of the virus include blood clots, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes, and psychological issues from being on a ventilator that include post-traumatic stress, depression, and anxiety.

Some early reports suggested that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine could increase the chance of getting facial nerve palsy, also known as Bell’s palsy.

But the FDA doesn’t consider these reports to be more than the rate expected in the general population.

In Israel, where all residents are automatically a part of the national digital health registry system, some conclusions about the virus and the vaccines can be reached with early data.

In a recent studyTrusted Source, scientists in Israel looked at whether the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is associated with an increased risk of acute-onset Bell’s palsy.

In this case-control analysis, investigators concluded that there was no association between recent vaccination and risk of facial nerve palsy.

While science has shown these vaccines to be safe with few side effects, the rumors still fly, especially online.

You can read everything from “the vaccine can give you COVID” to “there are microchips in the vaccines” to “there are fetal cells in the vaccines.”

There’s no validity to any of these claims.

Neal Reddy, 19, a sophomore at Princeton University in New Jersey and survivor of Hodgkin’s lymphoma, is an intern at Teen Cancer America, which supports teens and young adults with cancer.

He said that he’s heard a variety of wild, unfounded rumors about the vaccines’ side effects.

“I see a lot of it on social media from people my age, the rumors about this and that,” said Neal, who wants to study medicine.

“There’s this idea among some in my age group that your own research on social media will enlighten you more than a scientific clinical trial,” he told Healthline.

Reddy added that some people in his age group even made a big deal out of the fact that one of the effects of the vaccine is a sore arm.

“Like that is a bad sign,” he said. “When I heard that mRNA vaccines were coming out, I was confident that this would be effective and with limited side effects.”

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Common lies about Israel and Arabs

blogs.timesofisrael.com

12 falsehoods about the Israeli-Arab conflict

Those groups that criticize Israel without ever praising it, criticizing the Palestinians, or putting Israel’s actions in context, add fuel to a corrupt fire.  This point applies to groups such as Jewish Voice for Peace, and T’ruah and to individuals such as Peter Beinart and Rabbi Jill Jacobs.  Their incessant criticism of Israel is not the stuff of moral greatness; quite the contrary, it reflects profound moral failure.

Yitzchak Blau
Yitzchak Blau

Reprinted from Times of Israel, July 7, 2021


Militaristic trends in the Religious Zionist world trouble me enough to have written multiple articles both in Hebrew and English attempting to counter them. I have critiqued RZ attitudes to war and peace, to civilian casualties, to the religious thought of R. Yitzchak Ginsburgh, and to desecration of God’s name. Moving from religion to politics, my wife and I made aliyah in 1997 and voted in many subsequent Israeli elections. My voting record includes no parties to the right of Likud, but does incorporate Labor and Yesh Atid. Thus, it can hardly be said that I am a card-carrying right-winger.

Nevertheless, I find prevalent attitudes to Israel on the Jewish left profoundly troubling.  To convey the problem, I will list 12 sentiments popular in liberal circles and explain their falsity.

  • The settlements are the major obstacle to peace. A cursory glance at the history of the Arab Israeli conflict reveals the foolishness of such an assertion.  The Arab world rejected the partition plan in 1947.  The three Nos of Khartoum meant that the Arab world turned down a full return of the land Israel conquered in 1967 in exchange for peace.  Since then, the Palestinians have rejected various peace offers that give them sovereignty over more than 90 percent of the territories.   Whether or not the settlements are a good idea, the main obstacle to peace is that the Palestinians will not accept a Jewish state on any part of the land of Israel.
  • Israel must withdraw from the territories immediately. It would certainly be better if we did not have to exert control over another population but withdrawals, whether of the negotiated or unilateral variety, lead directly to more Israeli deaths. In the two and a half years after the Oslo accords in 1993, close to 150 Israelis died in a series of suicide bombings.  The Israeli withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 led to Hamas taking over in Gaza and their ability to shoot rockets in to Israel from a much closer distance.  It is easy to say Israel must withdraw when one ignores the ensuing Israeli death toll.
  • Israel resembles 20th-century colonialism.  France could withdraw from Algeria and England could leave India without endangering themselves in the slightest. The Algerians were not threatening Paris or Strasbourg.   In the case of Israel, ceding territory means more lethal attacks on Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
  • We can rely on the international community regarding security concernsIn 1967, Egypt’s Abdel Nasser closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping and simply kicked out the United Nations force meant to ensure that the Straits remained open.  Many anticipated that the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, which involved removing more than 9,000 Israelis from their homes, would generate ongoing international good will but it completely failed to do so.  Given the track record, Israel has little reason to rely on other countries or the UN.       
  • The blockade of Gaza is immoral. If Hamas would dedicate their resources into schools, businesses, and hospitals rather than military goals (note their expensive and extensive network of tunnels intended to enable infiltrating Israel), the blockade would immediately be eased. Furthermore, critics usually leave out Egypt’s involvement in the blockade.
  • The international community can be trusted as impartial evaluators of the conflict. The United Nations Human Rights Council was founded in 2006.  Since then, it has passed 45 resolutions condemning Israel which is almost half of the country specific resolutions passed altogether.  The 2001 conference against racism in Durban singled out Israel for intensive censure.  Reasonable people would have to conclude that the world has some obsession with criticizing Israel.
  • Pointing to Israel’s relatively good track record on gay rights is a form of pinkwashing covering up Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. Evaluation of a country should incorporate many aspects of behavior.  Tel Aviv is a haven for LGBT people whereas homosexuals in Iran are subject to imprisonment and even execution.  In Israel, women have been Prime Minister, President of the Supreme Court, Minister of Education, Minister of Justice, and Mister of the Interior while Saudi Arabia just granted women permission to drive in 2018.  Gideon Levy and Amira Hass have castigated Israel for years in Ha’aretz, the country’s most respected paper.  Contrast this with the Palestinian authority which recently beat critic Nizar BInat to death.  Even if we think Israel mistreats the Palestinians, how could it be that these other differences play no role in progressive discourse?
  • Israel has no right to complain that other countries do far worse because that is morally irrelevant. What would happen if your child went to a school where everyone else was allowed to break the rules but your child was consistently punished for doing so?  Would you be sanguine with the principal saying that other’s wrongdoing does not excuse your child?  Moreover, this mode of functioning should influence us to question the validity of the criticism.  Those exclusively focused on expressing negativity towards one country are likely not evaluating from an objective ethical standpoint.  For example, where are the university groups calling for divestment from China for persecuting the Uyghurs or from Venezuela for its abysmal human rights record?
  • The only viable option now is the one-state solution. Many of us care passionately about Israel’s character as a Jewish and democratic state and the one state solution will erase both essential aspects of the state.  A growing Arab majority will erode the Jewish aspect and no Arab country has yet succeeded in establishing a democracy.  This is not due to anything inherent in Arab character, but simply the current cultural reality.
  • The Palestinian Authority is ready to make real concessions for peace. Let us first note that Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Authority, wrote a doctoral thesis which is a form of Holocaust denial, a fact that does not fill one with confidence about his ability to come to terms with a Jewish state. Furthermore, no Palestinian leader has ever spoken about relinquishing the right of return. Keep in mind that in no other international conflict have refuges been kept in camps for decades instead of being resettled. Nor is there another conflict where the great-grandchildren of refuges receive refugee status. Since the entry of so many Palestinians to Israel would mean the end of the Jewish state, no Israeli government will ever agree to such an arrangement.  If so, there is little basis for dreaming of a final status agreement right now.
  • Israeli intransigence on the Temple Mount is a major source of tension. After Israel conquered the Mount in 1967, it allowed the Waqf, Islamic religious authorities, to remain in charge of the site and Islamic prayer continues unimpeded.  Israeli law actually prohibits Jews from praying on the Mount.  Contrast this with the period of time between 1948 and 1967 when the Jordanians did not allow Jews to pray at the Wailing Wall.
  • Israel is guilty of genocide. The term genocide applies to the Nazis attempting to wipe out the entirety of the Jewish people and the Turks annihilating millions of Armenians.  Comparison to the actions of Israel does not begin on any level.  The Israeli military warns Palestinian civilians before striking but, due to Hamas situating itself among civilians, ends up killing some civilians as a form of collateral damage when retaliating against Hamas forces.  To refer to this as genocide is obscene, yet the Yale student council, the Palestinian Foreign Minister, actor Mark Ruffalo, and the Movement for Black Lives have all done so.

All of the above does not mean that Israel is flawless; indeed, there are deeply troubling trends in Israeli society.  If some fans at one soccer stadium chant “Death to Arabs,” that is certainly one stadium too many.  Israelis must acknowledge that Israeli Arabs and Palestinians have legitimate complaints against the Jewish state.  At the same time, the Arab world should admit its role in generating and perpetuating the conflict.

Where does this leave an ethically sensitive Jewish group?  On the one hand, every society needs to engage in self-criticism and Israel is no different.  On the other hand, the incredibly one-sided criticism of Israel in segments of the Western world should make a critic hesitant to contribute to that distortion.  For a Jewish group engaged in internal conversations, criticism of Israel is crucial.  Sadly, there are Jewish voices incapable of acknowledging any Palestinian claims and they need to encounter another view. However, those playing on a more universal stage must temper their criticism with an approach that restores balance to the discourse.  Someone attending a university whose faculty or students portray Israel as the Satan should grow somewhat more circumspect about enumerating flaws of the Jewish state,   Those groups that criticize Israel without ever praising it, criticizing the Palestinians, or putting Israel’s actions in context, add fuel to a corrupt fire.  This point applies to groups such as Jewish Voice for Peace, and T’ruah and to individuals such as Peter Beinart and Rabbi Jill Jacobs.  Their incessant criticism of Israel is not the stuff of moral greatness; quite the contrary, it reflects profound moral failure.

Rabbi Yitzchak Blau is a rosh yeshiva at Yeshivat Orayta and also teaches at Midreshet Lindenbaum. He is an associate editor of the journal Tradition and the author of Fresh Fruit and Vintage Wine: The Ethics and Wisdom of the Aggada.

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Squad is wrong about Israel

investigativeproject.org

Bassem Eid: It’s Time Ilhan Omar and “the Squad” Learned the Truth About Israel and Hamas

Politicians like Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spend a considerable amount of time attacking Israel for the supposed harm it inflicts on Palestinians. If they truly care about the well being of Palestinians, they ought to focus their attention elsewhere. These days, the vast majority of suffering Palestinians experience is the direct result of the corruption of the Palestinian Authority and the influence of the terrorist group Hamas.

by Bassem Eid
Special to IPT News
June 30, 2021


U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” Tuesday, and was asked by host Jake Tapper about her long record of virulently anti-Israel comments (which included her comparison earlier this month of Israel to Hamas) and why some of her Jewish congressional colleagues had called her out for again issuing anti-Semitic tropes.

As Omar has done so many times in the past, she blamed her critics rather than take responsibility. “I’ve welcomed any time my colleagues asked to have a conversation to learn from them [and] for them to learn from me,” said Omar, D-Minn. “I think it’s really important for these members to realize that they haven’t been partners in justice.”

I’m a Palestinian who grew up in a UNWRA refugee camp outside of Jerusalem, and been a human rights activist all my life. Let me say this as directly as I can: Rep. Omar does not know what she is talking about. Worse, for years, Rep. Omar has been engaged in not arguing any facts, but simply throwing out dirty anti-Semitic epithets, a mirror image of the anti-Semitism by “white supremacists” she claims to decry.

Politicians like Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spend a considerable amount of time attacking Israel for the supposed harm it inflicts on Palestinians. If they truly care about the well being of Palestinians, they ought to focus their attention elsewhere. These days, the vast majority of suffering Palestinians experience is the direct result of the corruption of the Palestinian Authority and the influence of the terrorist group Hamas.

Corruption affects every aspect of life for Palestinians. It cripples our economy, which in turn makes government jobs among the most highly prized. However, those jobs are awarded based on connections rather than qualifications, which perpetuates the cycle of corruption. No announcements are posted for new government jobs. This lack of transparency is pervasive throughout the West Bank and Gaza.

The vaccine distribution process is one recent example of this corruption. A number of Palestinian human rights and civil society groups recently alleged that wealthy government officials were taking vaccines intended for medical workers. The Palestinian Health Ministry eventually admitted that many of the doses it received were administered to government ministers. Until this corruption is addressed, Palestinians will continue to suffer.

Hamas has been designated a terrorist group by Israel, the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and many other countries. Hamas originated with the goal of destroying Israel and killing all the Jews. It continues on this mission today. Hamas also rules Gaza and has a tremendous following among West Bank residents, especially after instigating the recent bloody conflict with Israel and showing off its relative competence compared to the pathetically inept Palestinian Authority.

Hamas continues to recruit and use child soldiers. According to The Jerusalem Post, more than 30 Palestinian children and teens were enlisted in stabbing attacks against Israelis from 2015-2016, another 30 Palestinian children have been successfully used as suicide bombers (many more unsuccessfully attempted), and more than 17,000 Palestinian children were recruited into Hamas child militia programs in 2019. At least one of the children that authorities claimed had been killed during the recent war in Gaza was a Hamas member. The use of child soldiers is always abhorrent and unethical. Hamas will continue to make life worse for Palestinians as U.S. media and politicians continue to focus on criticizing Israel.

Calling for boycotts, sanctions, and the destruction of Israel does not create real positive change for Palestinians. There are some brave leaders, like Mansour Abbas, who are working for real positive change. Abbas is Palestinian Arab by culture and heritage and an Israeli by citizenship. He is a devout Muslim. He also recently joined the new Israeli government as a deputy minister and secured an impressive list of benefits for his constituents.

Abbas’s Ra’am Party is the first exclusively Arab political party to fully join an Israeli government. He has said he will work to negotiate large increases in government spending and improve social services in Arab communities. The coalition agreement already included the allocation of over 53 billion shekels ($16 billion) to combat violent crime and improve infrastructure in Arab towns. This is how you improve the lives of the Palestinian people – not through violence, corruption, and terrorism.

In this same spirit of willingness to come together, I invite Representatives Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to meet with me, a Palestinian living in the West Bank, to discuss the problems of the Palestinians and the best solutions to address them. These congresswomen say they are willing to listen and learn, Well, if they really are, here’s their chance.

Bassem Eid is a Jerusalem-based Palestinian political analyst, human rights pioneer and expert commentator on Arab and Palestinian affairs. He grew up in an UNRWA refugee camp. Follow him on Twitter @eid_bassem

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Jews expected to meet higher standards

 The price of always holding Jews to a higher standard

In a moral world, you don’t execute based on what “may have” [resulted] – unless those to be sentenced are Jews.

By Ron Jager, June 19, 2021,   www.ronjager.com

This past week on June 19, 1953, was the 68th commemoration of the execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. This Jewish American husband and wife were convicted of passing nuclear secrets to the USSR and of espionage on is behalf. The Rosenberg couple were executed by the federal government of the United States at the Sing Sing correctional facility in Ossining, New York, becoming the first American civilians to be executed for such charges and the first to suffer the death penalty during peacetime.

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed in the electric chair, just before Shabbat, in an unprecedented and disproportionally harsh sentence. . In the case of the Rosenbergs, they also left two young boys behind to grow up as orphans under the shadow of one of America’s greatest miscarriages of justice. This tragedy and travesty of Justice proves once again and beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jews – wherever they may be – are always held to a higher standard and inevitably pay a disproportional price for being members of the Chosen People.

Although a number of leftist organizations protested the verdict, Jewish organizations were conspicuously absent in the Rosenbergs’ defense. Public condemnation of the Rosenbergs, a general identification of Jews with left-wing causes, and the shadow of McCarthyism made many Jews fear that their own loyalty was under scrutiny. Some Jewish leaders, including the American Jewish Committee, publicly endorsed the guilty verdict.

The unprecedented sentence incensed protesters world-wide, who claimed that the Rosenbergs had not been given a fair trial, and that the punishment was disproportional to the crime of which they were accused and convicted. Demonstrators around the world called on the US government to revoke the Rosenbergs’ death sentence, while defense attorney Emmanuel Bloch fought to reverse the decision to execute the Rosenbergs.

On the day of the execution, thousands rallied in Paris and London to protest the Rosenbergs’ fate, and hundreds picketed in front of the White House. Attorney Bloch fought to the bitter end for the Rosenbergs, pleading at the gates of the White House for a final hearing with President Eisenhower in his clients’ last hours of life.

But to no avail. That Friday, Julius and Ethel became the only Americans in history to be sentenced to death in peace time for espionage, meeting their fate on the electric chair.

In a statement released that day, President Eisenhower said: “I am not unmindful of the fact that this case has aroused grave concern both here and abroad in the minds of serious people aside from the considerations of law. In this connection I can only say that, by immeasurably increasing the chances of atomic war, the Rosenbergs ‘may have’ (quotes added, R.J.) condemned to death tens of millions of innocent people all over the world.”

In a moral world, you don’t execute based on what “may have” [resulted] – unless those to be sentenced are Jews.

So, despite the Rosenbergs having been convicted, President Eisenhower wouldn’t go any further than claiming that they “may have” been spies, maybe he knew something that the public didn’t know, but it seems that the principle of a higher standard against Jews was put into play. In a moral world, you don’t execute based on “may have” – unless those to be sentenced are Jews.

Fast forward thirty-five years, another case involving a Jewish spy, sentenced to life in the US for spying for an ally. Jonathan Pollard, was convicted of spying for Israel in 1987. Just before Pollard’s sentencing, Senator Chic Hecht of Nevada, a senior member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, telephoned the leaders of every major Jewish organization to warn them not to support Pollard in any way. Pollard had done something so horrible that it could never be made public. Washington insiders thought they knew the big, dark secret: secret documents confirming that Pollard’s spying had resulted in the loss of lives of U.S. intelligence agents.

Pollard had supposedly given Israel a list of every American spy inside the Soviet Union. The CIA reasoned that the Mossad had been infiltrated by one or more Soviet spies. In a matter of months, every American spy in Russia — more than 40 agents — had been captured or killed. At least that was the accusation, but the basis for it was actually kept secret from Pollard and his defense counsel. And it was all untrue. Pollard wasn’t the one responsible for the death of so many American spies in Russia. The Jew didn’t do it – it was Aldrich Ames, a drunken senior CIA official who sold the names of America’s agents to the Russians for cash. Pollard was framed for Ames’s crime, while Ames kept on drinking and spying for the Soviets for several more years.

In fact, Israeli intelligence later suspected that Ames played a direct role in framing Pollard. But no one in America then knew the truth. Ames was arrested in February 1994, and confessed to selling out American agents in the Soviet Union. Ames, however, was released after beginning his prison sentence and sent to live out his remaining years in luxury in Russia as part of a deal between Russians and the U. S..

Would America now admit that they had been conned into blaming Pollard? In the U.S. Navy’s intelligence service, a decision was made to re-examine the Pollard case in view of the convictions of Ames. With sickening chagrin, the Navy discovered that the evidence needed to clear Pollard had been under its nose all along. The list of American spies inside Russia had been kept in a special safe with a special “blue stripe” clearance needed for access. But Jonathan Pollard didn’t have “blue stripe” clearance. That was the bombshell that would clear Pollard of any possible connection to the deaths of the 40 American spies.

Pollard was released from prison in 2015 after sitting behind bars for an unprecedented 30 years and then released under extremely strict parole conditions, including a prohibition against leaving the US. In November of last year, President Trump approved the Justice Department’s decision not to renew his parole restrictions, and Pollard was allowed to make Aliyah to Israel

Within a historic perceptive, both tragic cases, those of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and of Jonathan Pollard, have shown that in comparison to others accused of similar crimes, Jews are held to a higher legal and moral standard and are judged by a different yardstick. No doubt it is reprehensible anti-Semitism, but maybe we ourselves can also look at it another way.

So, brothers and sisters, while it’s difficult for us to endure the evil visited upon us by the hypocrisy of the world, let us hold our heads up high and proudly proclaim: “Mi k’amcha Yisrael,” Who is like your people Israel? “Goy echad ba’aretz,” a unique and special people in the world. If our mission in this world is to be “spiritual role models”, then let’s accept it with dignity and honor and live up to these expectations.

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.

   To contact: medconf@gmail.com                       Website: www.ronjager.com

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Jewish silence on anti-semitism

jewishworldreview.com

Jackie Mason – Thank G od for the gentiles!

Jews, our lives are once again in peril. What we saw on the streets of New York, Miami, Los Angeles, London, and Paris were not isolated events. We are living in a new reality, reminiscent of an all too common old reality that most Jews alive have not yet experienced first-hand.

Jewish World Review

The Jews are their own worst enemy, and that’s putting it lightly.

For much of their history, they have brought upon themselves suffering. That’s not to say that those who chose, and still choose, to persecute them were not acting out of irrational and inexplicable hatred, but if the behavior of most contemporary Jews are any indicator, these kinds of terrible situations have undoubtedly been due to the actions and ideas of our co-religionists.

We can’t wipe our hands clean and say we are purely victims, although on an individual basis that might be the case, because surely the collective has some complicity in what occurs to them.

Unfortunately, the events of the past month have not surprised me. The viciousness and brazenness of the anti-Semitic incidents taking place in many of the World’s major cities weren’t any more vicious or brazen than events that occurred countless times in our people’s history. It’s the deafening silence amongst our own that has boggled my mind.

It takes a lot to boggle my mind. It’s the lack of response from the Jewish community that disturbs me. It’s like the slogan Never Again has turned into Yes, Please, Once Again.

Of course, there are noteworthy exceptions, but they are exceptions nonetheless. We’re talking about serious topics, possibly the most serious topic anybody who reads this will ever read. I’m not even joking.

Jews, our lives are once again in peril. What we saw on the streets of New York, Miami, Los Angeles, London, and Paris were not isolated events. We are living in a new reality, reminiscent of an all too common old reality that most Jews alive have not yet experienced first-hand. They might have been told about it by older relatives, or read about it in books, or seen it on some screen, but most Jews alive today have not encountered hatred on the street.

Some of my naive friends, and I use the term friends very broadly, exclaim “but I have never, never, not even once seen anti-Semitism!” That’s because they don’t have such a good eye doctor, and their prescription is way off.

The people chanting in the street Free Palestine are interested in one thing, and one thing only. Don’t kid yourselves, they want you dead. They don’t care about human rights, and they don’t care about their brethren. They glorify martyrdom, they celebrate death. There is a reason they chant “Death to the Jews.” Why don’t you believe that they are serious and would do it if given the chance?

The young man arrested last month for beating up a Jew in Midtown Manhattan, said after being released that day that he would do it again. There is no concept of remorse. The fact that the rule of law still reigns in most places is why these abominable chants don’t get a chance to be actualized.

Like the Ethics of the Fathers, Pirkei Avos says, without the government a neighbor would swallow up his neighbor.

Just look at what’s happening to our beloved New York. With the policing becoming more lax, we have seen the rule of the Jungle return. What seemed impossible just a few short years ago, is now a waking nightmare. Try taking the subway without feeling a twinge of fear. My friends, we are in trouble, and instead of responding in a loud and courageous way, we hear nothing from our elected leaders.

Yes, I’m talking to you Charles Schumer. Our vaunted Senator from New York. I’m sure he is a nice guy — and a coward, as well. When going on numerous taxpayer paid foreign trips to Israel he got plenty of opportunity to see the situation. When it was time to raise money, he touted his support of Israel to pull in big donations. Now this precious ally of ours is being attacked, Jews are being attacked on the streets, and what do we hear from him? Nothing!

It is politically inexpedient for him, so he doesn’t take a stand, and we see retroactively that all his outspokenness was just empty grandstanding. The irony is that he is only protecting his political hide, but he is too conservative for the progressive wing of the Democrat party. He will eventually be replaced anyway.

That goes for Dianne Feinstein and any of the other mainstream Jewish Democrats who will be unseated due to their suddenly retrograde views. The Squad as they have been called will take them all down. Their only mission is to make everyone hate their own country, in the guise of “criticism” and being for “the people,” and they will succeed in dismantling the country from within, starting with the old dinosaurs who until recently had firm control of the Party.

Yes, the donkey dinosaurs will go the way of the dodo. Extinct! And the new crop of Democrats will continue to betray the only democracy in the Middle East resulting in the most dangerous situation our people have seen in years. Yes, we’ve made it until now, but that’s no guarantee that we will continue. Yes, this is a depressing article. It is a depressing situation. But we still have a couple options.

We have the power of free speech, we have the power to speak up when real injustices are perpetrated. We can’t just snap our fingers and say “problem solved”. It’s a complex one, probably more complex than it’s ever been, but also we have the ability to get our voices heard more than ever.

There is a tremendous noise from the other side, with tweets, and likes, and whatever else keeps people’s attention these days, but we have to be bold in sending out bright clear signals that leave no doubt as to what is right. Sometimes it takes half-Jews or quarter-Jews or even, non-Jews to do the job.

Just listen to Bill Maher eviscerating Nicholas Kristof of the NY Times with obvious, common sense arguments. Anyone who is unsure of what is what in the Middle East just has to listen to what Maher had to say last week on his show.

The bottom line is that Republican Gentiles stand up for Israel, and what it represents, at all costs. Thank God for the Goyim.The Democrat Jews in office are more concerned about their votes in the next election than truth.

Not all politicians are liars, and not all Democrats are anti-Semites. Look at Congressman Ritchie Torres and his courageous stance against the trends of his party. AOC and her Squad are expected to be anti-Israel and anti-Semitic. They’re just ignorant of history, and collectively don’t have much for brains to begin with, but Schumer the Harvard educated Jewish wonder boy is a different story altogether.

Schumer’s silence has been deafening, and a real disgrace. Doesn’t he have a Jewish mother to tell him he should be ashamed of himself? Well, I will be that Jewish mother, and I’ll grab him by the ear and drag him into the Senate kicking and screaming to stand up for his people and to stand against the obscenity of anti-Semitic violence that we’ve begun to see with alarming frequency again.

And only when Jews like himself and all the rest of the deluded Jews in Park Slope and the Upper West Side wake up to the short sightedness that they have been engaged in, will the possibility of real enduring peace and harmony be on the horizon.

JACKIE MASON needs a bio — Seriously?! You may reach him via Cameo or at Jackiemason.com

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