“Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice greatly with her, all you who mourn over her.” Isa. 66:10
ISRAELIS JOYFULLY VISIT MALLS AND MARKETS: Newspaper headlines across Israel on Thursday, 7 May portrayed what looked like the grand opening of an array of festivals. Malls, outdoor markets, and gyms reopened that morning after six weeks of closure, as Israel’s numbers of daily new cases of the novel coronavirus remained in the low dozens. In Jerusalem, patrons lined up early outside Jerusalem’s landmark Mahane Yehuda market, where guards checked their temperature before allowing them to enter and made sure the market was not overcrowded. “This is a day of celebration for Mahane Yehuda,” said Tali Friedman, a union representative for the shop owners. “The market is open and we hope it remains open.” Pini Tzidkiyahu, who runs a fruit store in the market, told Army Radio: “We will protect the public’s health. The fruit is only in boxes, everyone is wearing gloves and everyone who needs a mask gets one.”
In Tel Aviv, the Carmel and Levinsky markets also reopened Thur. morning, along with several other open-air markets in Haifa and Beersheba. Malls and outdoor markets have been shut since mid-March 2020 as part of a series of sweeping measures put in place by Israel to attempt to contain the virus, though they came at the expense of hundreds of thousands of jobs. Shopping malls and markets will face various restrictions, including limiting the number of shoppers allowed to enter shops to one person for every 20 square meters and working to ensure a distance of two meters between customers. They will also be required to put up signs listing the maximum number of people allowed on the premises. (VFI News)
ISRAELI MASKS WITH ANTI-PATHOGEN FABRIC ENTER US MARKET: The Israeli startup Sonovia which sped up efforts to manufacture masks using its anti-pathogen fabric at the start of the coronavirus crisis in Israel, has now become a commercial business ready to launch sales. Israeli masks designed with unique anti-pathogen fabric have now entered the US market. The company’s technology is based on a lab-scale sonochemical process that was developed at Bar-Ilan University. Sonovia started manufacturing its product in March 2020 at a plant near Nahariya when Israel had only 200 patients and has sold 30,000 masks. Sonovia uses lower-cost, metal-oxide nanoparticles, to impart antibacterial protection. The research found the one-step process to be effective. Ultrasonic irradiation causes the formation of antimicrobial metal-oxide nanoparticles and actively impregnates them into textile fibers. Moreover, those fabrics impregnated with the zinc and copper oxides were shown to retain significant antibacterial activity even after 100 wash cycles at 75ºC. (VFI News)
TRUMP: A VIRUS WORSE THAN PEARL HARBOR ATTACK: US President Donald Trump, along with other world leaders, continue to ponder and take stock of the damage being done on a global scale as a result of the carelessness of small groups of mankind. For example, who or what circumstances can be blamed for novel coronavirus? Is it those people eating bats, and pangolins from local Chinese wet markets known for their unsanitary conditions, or a disease that spread as a result of an accident in a Chinese badly-tended weapon’s laboratory? And this is not the first time a virus has been loosed upon the world from China. The Asian Flu of 1956 killed between one and four million people worldwide. In 2002 Sars infected 8,098 and killed 774 in seventeen counties. H7N9 emerged ten years later to strike at least 1,223 people and kill four out of every ten of them. Now, the milder, yet more infectious COVID-19 has sickened some 3.7milliion people resulting in thousands of deaths. The assessment from members of the exclusive intelligence-sharing group seems to undermine forceful claims by Trump and Pompeo in recent days, as they have doubled down on the assertion that the outbreak originated from a laboratory in Wuhan, China, rather than a wet market in the same region. Trump has said of the pandemic that it is a worse “attack” on the United States than either Pearl Harbor or 9/11, aiming once again at China, which he says should have stopped the disease in its tracks. “It should have never happened,” Trump says of the disease that emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan last year. “Could have been stopped at the source. This is really the worst attack we’ve ever had,” Trump tells reporters. “This is worse than Pearl Harbor. This is worse than the World Trade Center.” The Japanese assault on the Pearl Harbor naval base in Hawaii drew the United States into World War II. The 11 September 2001 jihadist attacks killed about 3,000 people and triggered two decades of war. So far, more than 73,000 Americans have died of COVID-19, and Tom Frieden, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has predicted the US toll could top 100,000 by the end of May 2020. (VFI News)
ISRAELIS DO WELL COMBATING DISASTERS: THEY’VE HAD PRACTICE. This year, the Jewish nation has mourned the loss of every life snuffed out by coronavirus, but compared to other Western democracies with advanced economies and health systems, Israel has a lot to be thankful for regarding the number of deaths. One reason involves the mentality of Israelis and the unique culture that exists in this country: Israelis are people used to states of emergency, unlike any other Western democracy. Tell Israelis to enter bomb shelters, they know how to. Tell them to stop their car on the side of the road when an air raid siren goes off and to duck into a ditch, they can do it. Tell them to keep their eyes open on buses, to report suspicious bags on street corners, or to just be hyper-vigilant, Israelis come through. (J.Post/VFI News)
A VISITATION OF PLAGUES ON IRAN: At least two people have died and more than 22 others were injured in an earthquake in northern Iran on Friday 8 May 2020: According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the epicenter of the earthquake was at Damavand, just northeast of the capital, at the depth of 6.2 miles. One resident in the Iranian capital told reporters that the shaking of the ground felt “very strong.” Boulders were also seen blocking the roadway leading to the mountainous Damavand area. Many people in Tehran have left their homes out of fear of possible aftershocks. Officials urged people who spent the night outdoors to observe social distancing to limit the spread of the coronavirus that has killed nearly 6,500 and infected more than 103,000 in Iran. They assured the public there was no shortage of petrol as people rushed to gas stations to fill up after the quake.
Also, Iran for the second time this year is expecting widespread swarms of locusts. It will be the worst outbreak of the destructive insects in 50 years. Keith Cressman, senior locust forecaster for the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization explained, “The issue this year is that swarms from outside invaded the southwest of the country, while seasonal rains came early” and hatched the local population. Now, new swarms are in Iran for a second visit. Desert locusts are yellow flying insects that grow to 10 centimeters and are considered the most destructive migratory pest in the world. A swarm covering one square kilometer contains up to 80 million locusts and can eat as much food in one day as 35,000 people. And they move fast – up to 150 kilometers a day. Female locusts lay up to 80 eggs and live three to five months in three stages: egg, hopper, and adult. Originating from the desert known as the Empty Quarter, which spans parts of Saudi Arabia, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen, large locust swarms spread uncontrollably last year to both East Africa and Iran. In late February 2020, Iran was once again infested when seasonal rains arrived early and provided a fertile breeding ground. This year, the insects have invaded at least seven southern provinces. (VFI News)
CANADA’S ANTI-SEMITIC VIOLENCE INCREASES BY 27% IN 2019: The coronavirus is only making Jew-hatred worse, according to Ran Ukashi, the director of the B’nai Brith League for Human Rights. Ukashi spoke of “utterly false” notions that Israel developed the COVID-19 virus to boost the pharmaceutical industry and that Orthodox Jews are deliberately spreading the virus. “That’s the nature of the anti-Semitic activity that we are hearing regarding the alleged culpability of Jews in COVID-19,” B’nai Brith CEO Michael Mostyn said. Canada has experienced a record number of anti-Semitic incidents for the fourth straight year – and they’re becoming more violent. According to the annual audit by B’nai Brith Canada, the 2,206 reported incidents in 2019 represented an 8% increase over the previous year. The Jewish community remained the most targeted religious minority in Canada. Violent incidents in 2019 rose by 27%. They included Hasidic children sprayed with tar by construction workers in Montreal and Toronto-area Orthodox Jews being assaulted. (VFI News)
The suggestions, opinions and scripture references made by VFI writers and editors are based on the best information received.
Blessings from Jerusalem,
Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff