The famed General
Staff Reconnaissance Unit, or Unit 269, more commonly known as Sayeret Matkal,
is helping with medical logistics in the IDF’s fight against the coronavirus,
The Jerusalem Post has learned. Its commandos have been counting the number of
respirators in hospitals and healthcare facilities throughout Israel. The elite
unit is more accustomed to gathering field intelligence deep behind enemy
lines, carrying out counter-terrorism operations and rescuing hostages. It is
now playing a key role in the fight against COVID-19.
director-general Moshe Bar Siman Tov last week said Israel has 2,864 available
ventilators, including some owned by the IDF. But some reports said the Health
Ministry does not know the true number of ventilators in the country.
“The State of Israel
must develop independent capabilities in everything related to dealing with the
COVID-19 virus pandemic,” Defense Minister Naftali Bennett said Tuesday. “We
cannot remain dependent on procurement from other countries. We must develop
independent, advanced capabilities.”
Amid fears that the
number of patients needing respiratory assistance may exceed the number of
respirators available, the Defense Ministry, along with Israel Aerospace
Industries and Invoytec, will also begin producing Israeli-developed
“The Directorate of
Production and Procurement (DOPP) and the Directorate of Defense Research and
Development (DDR&D) at the Defense Ministry, in collaboration with medical
company Inovytec and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), have completed the
establishment of a first-of-its-kind production line for Ventway Sparrow
ventilators,” the ministry said in a statement.
The first 30
ventilators have been delivered to the Health Ministry.
With a lack of
ventilators in Israel and around the world, Inovytec and IAI established a
production line for ventilators within days. It was inaugurated on Tuesday at a
classified IAI missile production site.
“The best minds in
the field of missiles, aviation and space joined Inovytec, under the auspices
of the defense and health ministries, and together we have established in just
a few days an advanced production line for ventilators,” said Boaz Levy,
general manager and executive vice president of IAI Systems, Missiles and Space
The production line
was built in a short time to expand the production of Ventway Sparrow machines,
the ministry said.
“Turning a missile
production line into a ventilator assembly plant is a very complex task,”
DDR&D director Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Dani Gold said, adding that the ministry
is “continuing in the race around the clock to translate the extraordinary tech
capabilities of the defense establishment to the fight against corona.”
The Ventway Sparrow,
which provides life-sustaining respiratory care for patients with COVID-19 in
various conditions, is a state-of-the-art, turbine-powered, lightweight,
easy-to-use ventilator that enables effective invasive and noninvasive
mechanical ventilation for adults and children.
The cynical exploitation of a global health crisis by
so-called human-rights organizations sends a clear message: These groups aren’t
about justice and morality.
advocacy non-governmental organizations (NGOs), which constantly attempt to
demonize and delegitimize the Jewish state, the COVID-19 pandemic’s domination
of the global news cycle poses a significant challenge—the world now has real
problems to deal with.
NGOs have a solution. Namely, they have decided to link their agendas to
COVID-19. This is consistent with previous attempts by NGOs to capitalize on
the prevailing public discourse, such as manipulating narratives of climate
change and LGBTQ rights as part of their anti-Israel campaigns.
Take, for instance,
the offensive and anti-Semitic sentiment expressed in a tweet by Sarah Leah
Whitson, the former head of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East department and now
with the Quincy Institute. Not for the first time, Whitson deployed classic
anti-Semitic tropes, in this case the blood libel.
In response to a cynical tweet that “6 million Jewish [sic] Israelis” will now
understand life under “occupation” due to virus-related restrictions, Whitson
lamented that it was “such a tiny taste. Missing a tablespoon of blood.”
To be sure, not all
NGOs have gone that far. Some have stuck to their standard anti-Israel
nonsense. One common theme is the “occupation,” where the COVID-19 virus has
been appended to standard anti-occupation rhetoric and campaigns that, for some
obsessed NGOs and activists, are still the most pressing global concerns. Of
course, their complaints about Israeli policy in the West Bank do not seriously
grapple with whether it will effectively curb the spread of disease, but rather
presume Israel must be acting in bad faith, because “occupation.”
On March 10, for
example,Students for Justice in
Palestine at the University of Marylandhosted an event
with the title, “Corona and Countering the Occupation.” According to the poster
advertising the event, the issues to be discussed included “How is corona being
handled in Palestine?” “How does occupation worsen the situation?” and “What is
the best way to counter the occupation.”
Another example is a
tweet by the American fringe group IfNotNow, claiming
that “Demolishing Palestinian homes will worsenthe
coronavirus spread. It was already inhumane to displace people, now it’s also
an urgent matter of public health. The Israeli army must stop demolishing homes
and focus on the health and wellness of all Israelis and Palestinians.”
A second theme is
“Blame Israel for Gaza.” For the 15 years since Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza,
NGOs continue to attribute a “humanitarian crisis” to Israel, based on a unique
standard of international law applied to Israel alone. NGOs deny Hamas and other
actors agency for diverting resources from public infrastructure and services
to weapons, tunnels and terrorism. In the current context, NGOs have been using
COVID-19 as an excuse to condemn legitimate anti-terrorism policies and to
preemptively blame Israel for an outbreak in Gaza.
For example, on
March 15, Ken Roth, Human Rights Watch’s Israel-obsessed executive
director, tweeted, “The
coronavirus will test the wisdom of Israel’s policies for crippling the economy
and health systems of Gaza and the West Bank. As the occupying power (for Gaza,
too, given Israel’s severe restrictions on movement), Israel is responsible for
health care.” The Israeli NGOGishasimilarly
published an article,“Crossings update: Israel to impose
extensive travel restrictions at Erez Crossing over coronavirus concerns,”
belittling Israel’s policy of restricting access to its borders, including
Gaza’s, to curb the spread of the virus.
terror-linked organizations are also exploiting the public health crisis for
their anti-Israel advocacy. For instance,Samidoun, a group
with noted ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)
terrorist group, posted anarticleon
its website, “Israeli apartheid, COVID-19 and Palestinian prisoners: Freedom
now!” The NGO claims, “Palestinian prisoners are continuing their struggle to
confront Israel’s apartheid COVID-19 response that poses a threat to
Palestinian prisoners and, indeed, all Palestinians. No Palestinian prisoners
have yet been diagnosed with coronavirus, but their conditions of confinement
present a serious concern.”
Addameer, another PFLP-tied
group, has also shared articleswith
sentiments such as, “at the moment, while the world is suffering from the
pandemic, COVID-19, Palestinian prisoners are still suffering medical
exploitation of a global health crisis by so-called human-rights organizations
should therefore send a clear message: In times of emergency, expect the
regular drumbeat of anti-Israel propaganda from organizations claiming to
espouse justice and morality.
While Israel is working
overtime with Palestinians to curb and prevent the spread of the coronavirus,
the Arab states appear to be doing what they do best when it comes to helping
their Palestinian brothers: nothing at all.
the past few days, Israeli authorities delivered 200
coronavirus testing kits to the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. In
addition, Israeli and Palestinian professional teams have been working together
to prevent the spread of the virus.
Israeli authorities have also delivered another 200 coronavirus testing
kits to the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, despite the thousands of rockets and incendiary and bomb-carrying balloons that
the ruling government, Hamas, has launched from there towards Israel.
addition, Israeli authorities have coordinated the transfer of 20 tons
of disinfectant material from Israeli factories to the Palestinian health
sector. The material included chlorine and hydrogen peroxide, used for
disinfection, preservation of hygiene and sanitation. These disinfectant
materials are used for cleaning
surfaces in open areas and help in cleaning closed areas, including mosques and
is worth noting that Egypt, which has a shared border with the Gaza Strip, did
not send any test kits or disinfectant materials to the Palestinians living
in Lebanon, meanwhile, are worried that the Lebanese authorities may use the coronavirus
as an excuse to intensify restrictions even further on their refugee camps.
Geagea, a Lebanese politician and chairman of the Lebanese Forces, an
anti-Palestinian Christian political party, has come under sharp criticism for
calling for the immediate closure of the 12 Palestinian refugee camps in his
of January 2019, there were 475,075 Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, according to the United Nations Relief
and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). "Palestinians in Lebanon
do not enjoy several important rights," UNRWA pointed out.
cannot work in as many as 39 professions and cannot own property [real estate].
Because they are not formally citizens of another state, Palestinian refugees
are unable to claim the same rights as other foreigners living and working in
Lebanon. The conflict in Syria has forced many Palestinians from Syria to flee
to Lebanon in search of safety. Nearly 29,000 of them are receiving UNRWA
assistance in the country, including cash assistance, education, health care,
refugees are barred from
numerous professions in Lebanon, including medicine, law and engineering.
more than seventy years, Lebanon remains the country where Palestinian refugees
suffer the most, where they are deprived of many of their economic and human
rights, including working in certain professions, procedural complications in
obtaining work permits, and denial of the right to own property," said Dr. Mohsen
Saleh, Director-General of the Zaitouna Center for Studies in Beirut.
JERUSALEM – AT A medical center outside
of Tel Aviv, 11 Israelis remain quarantined after disembarking last week
from the Diamond
Princess luxury cruise ship in Japan, where hundreds of
passengers became sick with coronavirus. But even after two of these
quarantined Israelis have tested positive for the new virus, medical staff have
hardly touched the group. Instead, they are relying on telemedicine tools to
remotely monitor and communicate with the isolated patients.
"We have been able to meet all their medical needs without
exposing the staff," says Eyal Zimlichman, the doctor overseeing the
group's isolation and care at Chaim Sheba Medical Center, a sprawling campus on
a former military barracks.
The model reflects the increasing embrace of telemedicine in
general in recent years, and its potential in dealing with the new virus,
officially known as COVID-19, which emerged in Wuhan, China, late last year and now
affecting at least 40 countries, health officials say.
environment certainly makes for an interesting proving ground (for) existing
solutions," says Crystal Riley, a lecturer in health administration at New
York University's Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. "It's not
outside the realm of possibilities that new technologies will emerge from this
Chaim Sheba's innovation center recently put out a call to
entrepreneurs in Israel, which has a large
digital health sector, and around the world for proposals for new solutions to
test and treat patients with coronavirus.
"Word has gotten out that we have this group of people here
and we have gotten so many emails from startups offering us their
solutions," Zimlichman says. "This is like a living lab here."
Last week, when the passengers from the cruise ship arrived on a
chartered flight to Israel, medical officials transported them in shuttles to
Sheba. Upon arrival, doctors wearing protective gear physically examined the
patients, none of whom had any symptoms of the virus.
But since then, doctors have not had much physical contact with
the patients. Rather, each day, the patients use hand-held smart devices from
Israel-based startup TytoCare, which they hold over their chests, allowing
doctors to listen to their heart and lungs remotely. They also use the devices
to let doctors look into their ears and throats. Under their mattresses, a
sensor system from the Israeli medical device company Early Sense, which never
touches the patient, monitors their breathing patterns for subtle changes and
potential signs of respiratory infection. The EarlySense system collects and analyzes
more data than traditional methods, and is not invasive, which is key in
getting people who may not even be sick to comply with precautionary medical
monitoring, doctors and company officials say.
Health officials hope a new directive for those in Israel who
are worried about possible coronavirus symptoms or exposure to call a hotline
rather than visit a medical facility will help prevent any spread of the virus.
The hotline, run by the Magen David Adom emergency response service and the
ministry of health, allows callers to have video conversations with doctors,
nurses and medics.
"Barriers to telehealth are largely in people's lack of
education on the utility of it," says Mariea Snell, professor and
assistant director of the online doctor of nursing program at Maryville
University in St. Louis. Another challenge is scale, Zimlichman says,
especially when it comes to new products.
UK foreign aid is helping fund schools in Gaza and the West
Bank that use textbooks on martyrdom in lessons.
Jihadi textbooks in schools
funded by £100 million of OUR, British, cash as foreign aid goes on science
material that teaches physics in Palestine by showing a slingshot being fired
·1. Foreign aid cash is funding schools
where textbooks on radical Islamism used
·2. Money goes via United
Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees
·3. Agency's work includes
healthcare, but 58 per cent of funding is for education
·4. Books include
reading exercise for six-year-olds with words 'martyr' and 'attack'
·5. Nine-year-olds learn
maths by adding number of martyrs in Palestinian uprisings
Ministers pledged urgent action last night after it
emerged that British foreign aid cash is funding schools where
textbooks on martyrdom and radical Islamism are used.
The Daily Mail has discovered that tens of
millions of pounds of UK foreign aid is helping fund schools in Gaza and the
West Bank that use such material in lessons.
The money goes via a UN agency that some
other nations have chosen to stop financing because of concerns.
The textbooks include a reading exercise for
six-year-olds with the words 'martyr' and 'attack', plus poems for
eight-year-olds which include phrases such as 'sacrifice my blood' to 'eliminate
the usurper from my country' and 'annihilate the remnantsof the foreigners'.
UK foreign aid is helping fund schools
in Gaza and the West Bank that use textbooks on martyrdom in lessons. Pictured
is a page on Newton's Second Law, used to teach 11-year-olds, showing the image
of a boy with a slingshot targeting Israeli soldiers. A caption alongside it
reads: 'During the first Palestinian uprising, Palestinian youths used
slingshots to confront the soldiers of the Zionist Occupation and defend
themselves from their treacherous bullets. What is the relationship between the
elongation of the slingshot's rubber and the tensile strength affecting it?
What are the forces that influence the stone after its release from the
slingshot?'. Textbook examples research and translations by Impact-se. The schools are attended by 325,000 pupils, up to age
Nine-year-olds learn maths by
adding the number of martyrs in Palestinian uprisings in textbooks illustrated
with pictures of their funerals.
And ten-year-olds learn the most
important thing is giving their life for 'sacrifice, fight, jihad, and
Newton's Second Law is taught to
11-year-olds through the image of a boy with a slingshot targeting Israeli
The Mail has also learned that teachers who work at them
have called for Jews to be murdered, abused them as 'pigs and apes' and praised
And the schools are said to be 'fertile
grounds' for terrorist groups to recruit with scores of suicide bombers and
jihadi leaders among past pupils.
Other pages from the textbooks - which
are funded through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for
Palestine Refugees - show children being taught violence. Next a page teaching
reading comprehension with a glorified account of terrorist Dalal
al-Mughrabi, who led the 1978 'Coastal Road Massacre' in which 38 Israelis
including 13 children were murdered on a bus.
The British aid money goes via the United Nations Relief
and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). During the past five years,
the UK has given £330million and pledged another £65million for this year.
Although the UN agency's work also includes
healthcare, relief and social services, most of the funding it receives – 58
per cent – goes on education.
Of that money, about 62 per cent is for
schools in West Bank and Gaza – which means about £120millon of UK funding has
gone where the textbooks are used. UNRWA insists these schools have to follow a
curriculum set by the Palestinian Authority, which produces and pays for the
During an official Palestinian Authority TV
program called Workers' Affairs, which focused on internal labor issues for
Palestinians, Israel was lauded for its better conditions for Palestinians.
Israeli labor laws, positive working conditions, higher pay, health benefits,
vacation time and more that Palestinian workers enjoy while working for
Israelis were praised by Palestinian workers and their lawyers. As a result of
the better treatment by Israelis, Palestinians choose to work for them rather
than Palestinian employees:
This PMW report documents the basis for these
conclusions as found in interviews with Palestinian labor lawyers and workers
on PA TV and in the official PA daily, and with statistics from the Palestinian
Bureau of Statistics.
"Whenever Palestinian workers have the
opportunity to work for Israeli employers, they are quick to quit their jobs
with their Palestinian employers.” - [Official PA daily,
Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 21, 2014]
The daily salary for Palestinians working for
Israelis is more than double the average West Bank salary from Palestinian
employers and more than four times the average salaries in the Gaza Strip:
“The average daily wage for employees in the
West Bank was 98.8 shekels compared with 56.7 shekels in the Gaza Strip… the
average daily wage for the wage employees in Israel and the Israeli settlements
reached 233.3 shekels in the 3rd quarter of 2017.” - [Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, Labour Force Survey.
(July-September, 2017), Nov. 9, 2017, English original]
“The average daily wage
for wage employees in the West Bank was
107.9 shekels compared with 62.6 shekels in Gaza Strip in the 2nd quarter
2018…The average daily wage for the wage employees in Israel and the Israeli
settlements reached 247.9 shekels in the 2nd quarter of 2018 compared with
242.5 shekels in the 1st quarter of 2018.” - [Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, Labour Force Survey
(April-June, 2018) Round (Q2/2018), English original]
The higher Israeli salaries have been consistent
for years according to surveys published by the Palestinian Central Bureau of
Statistics. In addition, Palestinian workers who work for Israelis have much
better working conditions than those employed by Palestinians, and by Israeli
law receive the same rights and protection that Israeli workers have.
Israeli Arab labor lawyer Khaled Dukhi, who
works with the Israeli NGO Workers' Hotline, says that Israeli labor law is
"very good" because it does not differentiate between men and women,
Israelis and Palestinians, or Muslims and Jews. However, he explained that
Palestinian workers who work for Israelis still suffer because Palestinian
middlemen "steal" a significant part of their salaries, especially
those of women:
Attorney Khaled Dukhi of Workers’ Hotline: "Israeli
labor law is a very good law regarding workers' rights, for both men and women.
Israeli law does not differentiate between a worker who has entered Israel
illegally or legally... Unfortunately, even though it is very good, in
practice, the law has become very bad for female Palestinian workers. For
instance, the Palestinian female workers in the agricultural sector enjoy many
rights, like any Israeli worker in the agricultural sector: The salary is
higher than the minimum wage, 14 vacation days a year in the first four years,
2,000 shekels convalescence pay [yearly] in the first year and 2,200 shekels in
the second and third year for every worker in Israel, payment for holidays,
whether Islamic or Jewish. It is a matter of choice."
An article in the official PA daily lauded
Israel and Israeli employers of Palestinians for their positive employment
ethics towards their Palestinian workers, while condemning Palestinian
employers for taking advantage of their workers.
This past week
in Israel, leaders from around the globe – from Pence to Putin to Prince
Charles – gathered dramatically in Jerusalem to commemorate the Shoah and to
spotlight both the victims and the villains of the Holocaust.
The Nazis were
masters of deception, ingeniously creating a pervasive false reality that
masked their crimes and their central cause – the murder of every Jew on the
planet. Concentration camps were “labor farms,” roundups of Jews and mass
murder were “Aktions,” and death camps were “resettlement centers.” Show camps
like Theresienstadt put a false face on the horror, while signs of “Arbeit
Macht Frei” on the outside gates masked the terror within. Much of the world
was fooled, with disastrous consequences for our loved ones.
today, the Palestinians create a parallel universe made up of smoke and
mirrors, forging a phony history of their own while using every means to erase,
expunge and obliterate our truth: the truth of King David and King Solomon, of
the Temple in Jerusalem and the 3,000-year presence of Jews in our homeland.
Our holy texts affirm without a shred of doubt our legitimate claim to this
land, while they are the authors of the shortest book in history: Ancient Palestinian
Culture and Custom.
YET I wonder: Will the true events of Jewish history remain
fact in the years to come, or will they be turned into fiction? The question is
worth considering, for indeed our accomplishments in the last century boggle
the mind and invite disbelief.
generations to come believe that we could survive the devastating Shoah and
emerge to revive and recreate our ancient land and language?
Could we have
really won a War of Independence against all odds and predictions, and then,
soon after, vanquish seven Arab armies in just six short days?
Could we have
actually taken in millions of immigrants – many of them elderly and
impoverished – and could we have increased our population by 1,000% in just two
possibly have made our tiny nation the hi-tech capital of the world, dramatically
bestowing innovations of all types upon humanity, increasing its quality and
longevity of life?
Will all this
be acknowledged by future generations as fact, or will it be dismissed as
fanciful fairy tales concocted by creative Jewish minds?
There are two
conflicting narratives fiercely competing in the world today. One suggests that
the Jews are an oppressive, malevolent force, robbing the world of
its resources, stealing the property of others and espousing a doctrine of
supremacy and worlddomination.
affirms that the Jewish people are benevolent, decent, industrious citizens who
hold the moral high ground and bring abundant blessing to every nation in which
It is our
sacred task, I suggest, to fight passionately for the truth we know to be real,
to dispel the clouds of doubt and defamation that too often swirl around us.
It is an
uphill battle, to be sure, because ignorance is a societal cancer that spreads
exponentially, perverting and polluting even the best and brightest of minds.
We have the obligation to devote
ourselves to separating the facts from the fables and declare, with unabashed
pride: Israel is real.