Israel Daily News Wrap
Monday, January 11, 2021
Should prisoners in Israel get the vaccine? Is it wrong to renovate the Old City? And a painting goes missing from an exhibition in Tel Aviv.
- Starting on Wednesday, Israel will be expanding vaccination to people over the age of 55. This expansion of the group currently allowed to receive a vaccine was made possible due to the delivery of about 700,000 new doses that arrived in Israel today. More are scheduled to come next week. The Health Ministry reports by last Tuesday morning Israel had vaccinated 1,870,652 total people. The country is leading the world when it comes to vaccinations.
- The Israeli fabric maker, Sonovia, has announced that its SonoMask can neutralize the coronavirus at an effectiveness of just more than 99 percent. Sonovia’s reusable antiviral masks are coated in zinc oxide, which destroys bacteria, fungi and viruses. Results from the most recent round of testing in China showed that the mask has the ability to neutralize fallen traces of the virus within 30 minutes after the traces make contact with the fabric. The SonoMask maintains its protective properties for 55 wash cycles.
- Palestinians and Jordanians are accusing Israel of trying to “Judaize” the Western Wall Plaza because of renovation work that is being done there. They’ve called for an immediate stop to the so-called “excavations.” They claimed that the renovations contradict international humanitarian law, including decisions made by UNESCO, or the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. The chairman of the Supreme Islamic Council and former PA mufti of Jerusalem, denounced the renovations as an “assault on Muslims with the aim of changing the identity of Jerusalem and tampering with Islamic heritage and antiquities.” We tried to figure out which exact changes constitute a tampering of Islamic heritage, but none of the five news articles I looked into could identify it. Surely the Old City is undergoing many constructions and renovations, but from my knowledge, the antiquities society is very involved in maintaining the authenticity of the place. A private note from me — I have visited the Temple Mount, which is the holy site for Muslims behind the Western Wall, and my sisters and I were asked to hide our Jewish star necklaces beneath our clothes so to not aggravate the Muslims there. The guard told us not to speak, so that the people would not think we were making a prayer in Hebrew. I think these items are important to note.
- Just days before US President Joe Biden takes officer, Israel’s Defense Ministry approves plans for more than 800 new settler homes in the West Bank or Judea and Samaria, whichever language is more comfortable for you. Next week the Civil Administration of High planning is expected to approve 500 units in the settlements of Itamar, Beit El, Shavei Shomron, Oranit and Givat Ze’ev. That’s according to Kan Israel’s public broadcaster. 100 units are expected to be put into Tal Menashe, which is the city where Esther Horgan was recently killed allegedly, by a Palestinian man while she was out for a jog. 200 homes are set to be added in the Nofei Nehemia outpost.
- Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz is speaking out against a decision not to vaccinate prisoners in Israel — including those who are behind bars and over the age of 60. Gantz says the move is illegal, politically motivated and life threatening. The ruling came down from Public Security Minister Amir Ohana. Gantz says keeping them from vaccinations will only make it more difficult to fight the pandemic.
- Exclusive: A young French immigrant in Jaffa is currently confused about how to feel after her large piece of art was stolen from an exhibition.The municipality of Tel Aviv Jaffa put on an art show including works from 150 artists. The idea was to beautify Jerusalem boulevard, which runs through the city of Jaffa. Currently, there’s a ton of construction, since a Lightrail train system is being built there. All the artwork posted up comes voluntarily from artists — whether amateur or professional and clearly — someone was so impressed with a piece called Serendipity by Jenn Amouyal that they stole it overnight Saturday. The painting is 5 foot by 3 foot or 150 centimeters by 100 centimeters. The painting is bright and wonderful with a red backdrop and the side profile of a Vietnamese woman. The artist, Amouyal took the photo of the woman while traveling and has turned it into a painting. She received an offer for the work of $900 dollars before it was stolen. We at the Israel Daily News Podcast got in touch with her and asked how it made her feel that her piece was taken away. Take a listen.