Category Archives: Israel

The CDC Doesn’t Collect Data on Vaxxed Who Contract COVID: ‘A Dearth of Rigorous Data’

The CDC Doesn’t Collect Data on Vaxxed Who Contract COVID: ‘A Dearth of Rigorous Data’

Yes, why would the CDC stop tracking or collecting, reporting this, what seems like a very basic metric. mrossol

Aug. 11, 2021

By Jon Fleetwood 4 hours ago

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stopped monitoring how many vaccinated people contract Covid-19 in May.

  • A “breakthrough” case is one in which a person who is vaccinated against the coronavirus nevertheless becomes infected with the coronavirus.
  • The CDC stopped publicly reporting “nonsevere” breakthrough cases—cases not resulting in hospitalization or death—as of May 2021, according to The Hill.
  • The CDC is only publicly reporting breakthrough hospitalizations and deaths, “not the total number of cases.“
  • The agency said the change was intended to “help maximize the quality of the data collected on cases of greatest clinical and public health importance,” The Hill reports.
  • An opinion piece from The Guardian argues that because “vaccinated people are experiencing breakthroughs,” it is clear that “we cannot afford to navigate yet another phase of the pandemic without data to guide our way.”

Release the data!!— Ktob (@KateOBoyle2) August 7, 2021

  • A recent opinion piece from The Guardian says “The US is stumbling in the dark when it comes to breakthrough cases.”
  • The piece claims the because the CDC is not collecting breakthrough case data we don’t know “how many people,” “which populations, are having breakthrough infections,” or “what are the chances they will develop long Covid.”
  • “[T]here’s a dearth of rigorous data on breakthrough cases in the United States,” the piece argues.
  • The piece goes on to urge “This is the kind of information that the public needs in order to understand the risks of daily life during the pandemic, and that scientists need to assess the shifting epidemiology of the virus.”
  • “We should be able to rely on the CDC to collect and share this data.”
  • The piece claims the CDC is not as “thorough” in its surveillance of breakthrough cases as it could be.
  • “The general public must have this information so they understand how and why to protect themselves, even if they are vaccinated.”
  • Moreover, “researchers must have it so that they can understand how the virus is evolving and track any emerging vaccine-resistant variants that may be driving breakthrough cases,” says the piece.

Why has the CDC stopped collecting data on breakthrough Covid cases?— Asher Wolf (@Asher_Wolf) August 9, 2021



Hamas Tests Israel—and Biden

WSJ  5/11/2021

The jihadists of Hamas on Tuesday launched the biggest single-day rocket attack on the Jewish State in memory, with hundreds flying toward Jerusalem and Tel Aviv as well as the usual civilian targets in southern Israel. Israel struck back at 500 targets in Gaza, and this has the potential to become a larger conflict after a relatively long period of Mideast quiet.

The Hamas attacks come after days of Palestinian riots in Jerusalem, some prompted by long-running property disputes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. Israeli courts ruled in favor of Jewish owners and against Palestinian leaseholders who claim rights to the property dating to Jordan’s occupation of East Jerusalem after the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. The case’s Supreme Court hearing was delayed.

Mahmoud Abbas, who runs the Palestinian West Bank region adjacent to Jerusalem, has been held up as a moderate negotiating partner for Israel. Yet his party fomented the Jerusalem violence, broadcasting that it “calls on everyone to raise the level of confrontation in the coming days and hours in the Palestinian lands,” according to Palestinian Media Watch.

The 85-year-old Mr. Abbas, who has headed the Palestinian Authority since 2005 without standing for re-election, may want to turn up the temperature to compensate for falling public confidence in his rule. He’s in competition with Hamas and even more extreme groups, which he shut out of power in the West Bank last month by postponing elections yet again. Hamas, which promises the destruction of Israel, one-upped Mr. Abbas’s riots by reigniting its military confrontation.

Regional politics are at work too. Hamas is funded and supplied by Iran, whose Supreme Leader last week praised “the pure blood of Resistance martyrs” in Palestine. The Biden Administration’s courtship of Iran in renewed nuclear negotiations has been met by Houthi escalation against Saudi Arabia and now Hamas escalation against Israel. The regime may think that the more its proxies clash with U.S. allies, the more eager the U.S. Administration will be to make concessions.

The Biden Administration will also have to resist pressure from its left flank to distance the U.S. from a key ally engaging in self-defense. Sen. Bernie Sanders tweeted Tuesday that “we are seeing how the irresponsible actions of government-allied right-wing extremists in Jerusalem can escalate quickly into devastating war.” He must think Israel is firing those rockets on its own civilians.

The White House has given the Democratic left virtually everything it could hope for since Inauguration Day, but if there’s one issue on which the Administration still sounds more like the old guard, it’s the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It has not endorsed the left’s distorted interpretation of the conflict as a dichotomy of privilege and victimhood, with Israel responsible for every wrong.

That position will come under pressure if casualties mount and passions rise. Let’s hope Mr. Biden is prepared to affirm that America’s top regional alliance is more important than the dictates of social-justice ideology.


Jews Don’t Get Equal Treatment

I am amazed that the media will not address this kind of issue.
WSJ 11/26/2018 By Eugene Kontorovich

Two very different organizations took action last week against Jews owning property in the West Bank. The Palestinian Authority sentenced two Palestinians to 15 years hard labor for selling land to Jews. And Airbnb, the tech behemoth and online marketplace for lodging, announced it would no longer serve Jewish communities in the West Bank. The two actions differ in brutality but are based on the same idea: Jews should have no home in the West Bank.

Under Airbnb’s policy, an American Jew with a rental property in the West Bank is barred from listing it for rent on the website. But an American Arab is welcome to list his home a few hundred meters away, even though the Palestinian law forbidding real-estate deals with Jews carries a maximum penalty of death. That openly racist policy doesn’t trigger Airbnb’s delisting policy.

Airbnb admits the West Bank is the site of complicated “historical disputes.” Until 1948, the West Bank was part of the League of Nations’ 1922 British Mandate for Palestine, created to become a “national home” for the Jewish people. In 1947, the U.N. General Assembly passed a nonbinding resolution suggesting the territory be divided into Arab and Jewish states, an idea the Arabs immediately shot down. Indeed, when the mandate ended and Israel declared independence in 1948, all its Arab neighbors invaded immediately. Jordan occupied the West Bank and massacred or expelled every Jew in the area, took their homes and destroyed their synagogues. Israel only regained the West Bank after Jordan foolishly attacked again in 1967. Many Jews then returned, including to lands Jews had purchased before Israeli independence.

Since then, the dispute has narrowed. Israel signed the Oslo Accords with the Palestinian leadership in 1993, leaving all settlements—the new and returning Jewish communities— under complete Israeli control. Jordan and Israel signed a peace treaty in 1994. To be sure, the Palestinians still demand the removal of Jews from the entire West Bank. But Airbnb’s policy applies only to the Israeli—primarily Jewish—communities in the disputed territories.

Israeli cities in the West Bank are open to any lawful resident of Israel, including Arabs. By contrast, any Jew who enters the West Bank’s Palestinian towns risks his life.

Why has Airbnb singled out Israel from all the nations? The company tried to ward off accusations of hypocrisy by noting, “each situation is unique and requires a case-by-case approach.” But so far the only situation unique enough to warrant delisting is the one involving Jews.

Airbnb lists homes in Moroccanoccupied Western Sahara, one of the world’s most brutal occupations. It lists vacation homes in northern Cyprus, which Turkey invaded, expelling almost all Greek Cypriots and expropriating their homes. Nor does Airbnb have a problem serving Kashmir, Tibet and other such places. Last week a Kohelet Policy Forum report revealed many major companies active in the West Bank also do business in occupied territories and with settler regimes around the world, without a word of criticism from the groups that pressured Airbnb.

Airbnb had rebuffed prior boycott requests, but its reversal pre-empted by one day a Human Rights Watch report on its listings in the West Bank. Airbnb also is reportedly on a forthcoming U.N. Human Rights Council blacklist of firms operating in Israeli settlements.

Airbnb’s capitulation underscores the need for Congress to pass the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, which would bar U.S. firms from complying with U.N. boycotts of Israel, like they’re already prohibited from adhering to the Arab League’s boycott. Many U.S. states also have laws prohibiting their pension funds from investing in companies that boycott Israel or territories it administers. State pension boards will likely be looking at Airbnb’s policy before its planned initial public offering next year.

Airbnb’s exclusion of Jewish communities in the West Bank cannot be ignored. Many states, such as Florida and Alabama, let public employees traveling on official business use Airbnb. These governments should immediately suspend permission to use Airbnb until its discriminatory policy is reversed.

Mr. Kontorovich, a director at the Kohelet Policy Forum in Israel, is a professor at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia School of Law.


Pence at the Knesset

Needs no additional comment. Pence speaks for himself.
WSJ 1/24/2018

As I walked out of the Knesset following Vice President Mike Pence’s Monday afternoon address, an Israeli cameraman turned to me with a jovial expression. Speaking in Hebrew, he asked me about the man whose speech he had just heard: “Was that the messiah, or the vice president of the United States?” He was, perhaps, referring to the rapturous reception Mr. Pence had received from the Knesset members and the hundreds of spectators in the gallery. Yet the cameraman was also probably struck by how religious, and biblically based, the speech was. Mr. Pence threaded his remarks with references to Scripture, a rhetorical technique Knesset audiences have rarely heard from a political leader since Menachem Begin resigned as prime minister in 1983.

Mr. Pence’s address was one of the most Zionist speeches ever given by a non-Jew in the Knesset. The vice president is a devout evangelical Christian, and he said that in the birth of the modern state of Israel, we see nothing less than a fulfillment of the biblical promises of God. The speech was a milestone in American-Israeli relations, and a window into the heart of many American Christians who, like Mr. Pence, observe Israel’s emergence with wonder and reverence.

Drawing on the Book of Deuteronomy, Mr. Pence described how through “conquests and expulsions, inquisitions and pogroms,” and a Holocaust “that transformed the small faces of children into smoke under a silent sky,” the Jewish people nevertheless “held fast to a promise through all the ages, written so long ago, that ‘even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens,’ from there He would gather and bring you back to the land which your fathers possessed.”

Citing Isaiah, Mr. Pence suggested that in Israel’s 1948 founding “the Jewish people answered that ancient question: Can a country be born in a day, can a nation be born in a moment?” For Mr. Pence, the birth of modern Israel also reaffirmed the Jews’ covenantal bond to both the Holy Land and Jerusalem, where “Abraham offered his son Isaac, and was credited with righteousness for his faith in God,” and where “King David consecrated the capital of the Kingdom of Israel.” In the emergence of the modern Jewish state, Mr. Pence concluded, we see the hand of God: “The miracle of Israel is an inspiration to the world.”

These are powerful words, and many Jews in attendance felt the vice president’s description of the Jewish state as a miracle comported with their own view. Yet it is worth noting one wondrous occurrence Mr. Pence didn’t mention. For many centuries the Jewish people received little love and much hate from the nations of the world. Today tens of millions of non-Jewish Americans share Mr. Pence’s sincere affection for Israel.

As the vice president noted, certain predictions in Hebrew scripture about the Holy Land have actually come true in the past 70 years: The Jews have returned, their state has been re-formed, and the desert is blooming. Yet Isaiah also predicts that one day multitudes of non-Jews will be moved by devotion to the God who dwells in Jerusalem to shower love upon the people whose capital it has always been. Anti-Semitism is still rampant, of course, and Israel remains surrounded by states seeking its destruction. But the existence of multitudes of gentiles who are also Zionists has no precedent in the Jews’ millennia-long history.

Mr. Pence received a sustained and resounding standing ovation when he spoke in Hebrew. Many visiting statesmen have tried out a Hebrew phrase or two in the Knesset, but the vice president went further than previous American leaders. Noting that April marks the 70th anniversary of Israel’s founding, Mr. Pence reflected on this historic milestone: “I say, along with the good people of Israel, here and around the world:

“shehecheyanu, v’kiyimanu, v’higiyanu la’z’man ha’zeh.”

Strikingly, Mr. Pence didn’t translate or explain. The American reporters travelling with the vice president may not have understood what he’d said. But most Jews in attendance recognized his words as an expression of gratitude to God, “who has kept us alive, and sustained us, and allowed us to reach this day.” The blessing has been recited by Jews for thousands of years. We speak it when we receive joyous tidings and when we commemorate historical miracles. Many in the audience felt like saying the blessing themselves, not only for the miracle that is Israel, but also for the blessing that is the millions of Americans who, like Mike Pence, love the Jewish state.

It’s a blessing that many Israelis, and many Jews around the world, will not soon forget.

Rabbi Soloveichik is minister of Congregation Shearith Israel in New York and director of the Straus Cen-ter for Torah and Western Thought of Yeshiva University.