JEWISH COMMUNITIES IN GULF MARK ISRAEL’S HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE DAY: Jewish communities on the Arabian Peninsula hosted a series of events marking Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day on Thursday in a further sign of the warming ties between Gulf states and their Jewish populations.
On Thursday, the Association of Gulf Jewish Communities hosted a webinar discussing the Holocaust moderated by Emily Judd from the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity, which will involve both Muslims and Jews. The webinar featured two young Muslims, Fetama al Harbi from Bahrain and Thoufeek Zakriya from the United Arab Emirates, who discussed their experiences during their recent visit to Yad Vashem. They were also joined by members of the Jewish community in the Gulf and discussed how Muslims and Jews can cooperate in the region. (JPost / VFI News)
PARIS-AREA JEWS CATCH AND OVERPOWER SUSPECTED STABBER FLEEING THE SCENE: Jewish residents of a Paris suburb chased and overpowered a man whom witnesses said tried to stab three Jews, then handed him over to police.
The suspect, a 35-year-old Pakistani man, approached the men from behind near a synagogue in Sarcelles on Wednesday evening. The men were wearing yarmulkes. René Taïeb, a leader of the local Jewish community, said the incident may have been an antisemitic attack. Residents who saw the scene unfold from their balcony warned the three men, who ran away unscathed. The suspect, who was carrying an 11-inch blade that is used to slice plasterboards, also fled. But local Jews alerted to the commotion pursued and overpowered him, holding the man until police arrived. (JPost / VFI News)
ISRAELI STARTUP PARTNERS WITH US RADIOLOGY PRACTICE TO APPLY AI SOLUTIONS: US-based Radiology Partners (RP) will be teaming up with Israel-based Aidoc “to offer unparalleled AI capabilities to its hospitals and health systems and to accelerate the adoption of AI as the standard of care in radiology,” the two have announced in a statement.
RP is one of the leading radiology practices in the United States, while Aidoc is a leader in artificial intelligence solutions for medical imaging. RP’s equity reportedly totals $4 billion before the addition of the strategic partnership. “AI has the potential to unlock enormous value for the entire healthcare ecosystem, and I believe our partnership with Aidoc will turn out to be the tipping point for AI in radiology, a medical specialty that has a systemic influence on the overall delivery of patient care,” said CEO and Chairman for RP Rich Whitney. (JPost / VFI News)
ISRAELI FORCES CARRIED OUT STRIKE ON IRANIAN SHIP IN RED SEA: Israeli forces carried out a strike on an Iranian ship in the Red Sea in retaliation for previous strikes by Iran against Israeli vessels, according to a Tuesday report.
A US official told The New York Times that Israel notified the US that Israeli forces attacked the ship around 7:30 a.m. local time on Tuesday. The development came as the US and Iran opened indirect talks aimed at rescuing the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal. Israel strongly opposes the deal’s revival. The anonymous US official said Israel called the strike a retaliation, and that the ship had been hit below the waterline. Israel has not officially commented on the incident. Israel rarely confirms or denies strikes against Iran-linked targets, but sometimes claims credit for attacks that are a direct response to aggression by Iran or its proxies. (TOI / VFI News)
VACCINATED OR RECOVERED FOREIGNERS PERMITTED TO ENTER ISRAEL TO VISIT RELATIVES: Foreigners who are vaccinated or recovered COVID-19 patients and who have first-degree relatives in Israel will be able to enter the country to visit them, the Population and Immigration Authority announced on Tuesday.
Visitors are permitted to enter with their partners and children. Israeli citizens or permanent residents and their families whose “center of life” is abroad may also come to Israel to visit first-degree relatives. Foreigners seeking to enter Israel must submit a formal request to the Population and Immigration Authority and receive approval prior to their flight. They must also show proof of vaccination or recovery and proof of relation to those they are visiting. (TOI / VFI News)
CORONAVIRUS DAMAGE ON ECONOMY FOUR TIMES WORSE THAN 2008 CRISIS: The damage from the coronavirus pandemic on the economy to date is about 5% of GDP, four times the damage from the sub-prime crisis of 2008, and similar to the fallout following the dot-com crash of 2001-2003, the Bank of Israel said in its annual report presented Tuesday.
The main challenges facing Israel’s economy now are taming the fiscal deficit and restoring unemployment to normal levels, Bank of Israel governor Prof. Amir Yaron said. GDP in 2020 fell by 2.5%, led by a 9.5% in private consumption. nemployment averaged 15.7% over the course of the year. While Israel may eventually need to raise taxes in order to reduce the debts it incurred during the coronavirus pandemic, tax rates are not expected to rise in 2021, Yaron said at a press conference upon presenting the central bank’s annual report. (JPost / VFI News)
SUDAN MOVES TO CANCEL ISRAEL BOYCOTT: Sudan moved toward repealing its law mandating a boycott of Israel in a cabinet vote on Tuesday.
The cabinet voted to cancel the 1958 law, which forbade diplomatic and business relations with Israel, it said in a statement. The Sudanese decision still needs the approval of a joint meeting of Sudan’s sovereign council and cabinet, which serves as Sudan’s interim legislative body. The government in Khartoum had also promised Israel it would cancel a law used to imprison migrants who left Sudan and then returned, which would open the opportunity for some of the 6,200 Sudanese migrants in Israel to return. (JPost / VFI News)
PFIZER HALTS CORONA VACCINE SHIPMENTS TO ISRAEL AFTER COUNTRY FAILS TO PAY: Pfizer has halted shipments of coronavirus vaccines to Israel in outrage over the country failing to transfer payment for the last 2.5 million doses it supplied to the country.
Senior officials at Pfizer have said they are concerned that the government-in-transition will not pay up and the company does not want to be taken advantage of. They said that they do not understand how such a situation can occur in an organized country. A shipment of 700,000 doses was expected to arrive in Israel on Sunday but was delayed until further notice. (JPost / 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