Jerusalem Post: 20% of returning Israeli travelers from Turkey test positive for COVID-19

Jerusalem Post: 20% of returning Israeli travelers from Turkey test positive for COVID-19. “Turkey has been for years a primary travel destination for Israelis. But in these times of coronavirus pandemic, it can be dangerous. Indeed, out of 988 Israelis returning from Turkey between October 1 and October 28, some 197 of them tested positive for coronavirus, according to data from the Health Ministry, the website Intellinews reported. This ranks Turkey first place regarding the coronavirus infection rate among Israeli travelers.”

Israel Hayom: Google plans Israel-Saudi Arabia link in massive fiber-optic project

Israel Hayom: Google plans Israel-Saudi Arabia link in massive fiber-optic project. “The underwater cable project, called Blue Raman route after Indian physicist Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman, will be more than 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles) long and is expected to cost $400 million. If completed, the network would mark the first time two nations with no formal diplomatic ties will be linked directly as part of an internet infrastructure project.”

Haartetz: Netanyahu Celebrates Deal, but Pfizer ‘Keeps Right to Do Anything It Wants’ With COVID Vaccine

Haaretz: Netanyahu Celebrates Deal, but Pfizer ‘Keeps Right to Do Anything It Wants’ With COVID Vaccine. “Albert Bourla, Pfizer’s CEO and chairman, was quoted as saying that his company had reached an agreement with Israel which will allow its citizens to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as the vaccine is approved by regulatory agencies. However, reality is more complicated. The company holds immense power vis-à-vis countries wishing to purchase its vaccine. The deal with Israel states dates and quantities, but includes no sanctions in case Pfizer does not deliver the goods.”

Daily Beast: Israel’s Hospitals Are at Brink of Collapse in Devastating Second COVID Wave

Daily Beast: Israel’s Hospitals Are at Brink of Collapse in Devastating Second COVID Wave. “Israel’s hospital system is overwhelmed and on a fast track to collapse, according to the nation’s top experts responsible for COVID-19 patients. At an extraordinary press conference, Dr. Avishai Elis, the secretary of the Israel’s Internal Medicine Association, warned the public of an imminent disaster and the ‘tragic implications’ of the paralysis which has taken hold of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government regarding the nation’s hospitals.”

Coronavirus: Israel marks Jewish New Year with second lockdown (BBC)

BBC: Coronavirus: Israel marks Jewish New Year with second lockdown. “Rosh Hashanah is traditionally a time for big, family get-togethers. But under the new three-week lockdown, Israelis must stay within 1km (0.6 miles) of their homes, with exceptions, and the number of people allowed in synagogues has been greatly reduced.”

Jerusalem Post: Israel Film Archive website gives access to historical treasures

Jerusalem Post: Israel Film Archive website gives access to historical treasures. “Researchers, history buffs and movie lovers will rejoice at the news that the Israel Film Archive at the Jerusalem Cinematheque has launched a website … that gives access to thousands of the films and clips in its collection. The launch of the site, which is available in both Hebrew and English, is the culmination of more than seven years of work to digitize the IFA’s films. The vast majority of the material on the IFA site is free, with a few VOD options that require a onetime payment.”

Coronavirus: Israeli minister resigns over plans for second lockdown (BBC)

BBC: Coronavirus: Israeli minister resigns over plans for second lockdown. “An Israeli cabinet minister has resigned in protest against plans to impose a second national lockdown. Housing Minister Yaakov Litzman said the restrictions would prevent Jewish people from celebrating religious festivals later this month. The lockdown is due to come into force on Friday, the Jewish new year, and affect Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, on 27 September.”

Coronavirus: Israel considers nationwide lockdown as cases spike (BBC)

BBC: Coronavirus: Israel considers nationwide lockdown as cases spike. “Israel’s cabinet is to consider whether to impose a nationwide lockdown, as the country struggles to halt a steep rise in coronavirus infections. The health ministry reported 3,904 new cases on Wednesday, a new daily record that brought the total to 142,582. The death toll also rose by 11 to 1,054.”

New York Times: When Covid Subsided, Israel Reopened Its Schools. It Didn’t Go Well.

New York Times: When Covid Subsided, Israel Reopened Its Schools. It Didn’t Go Well.. “Confident it had beaten the coronavirus and desperate to reboot a devastated economy, the Israeli government invited the entire student body back in late May. Within days, infections were reported at a Jerusalem high school, which quickly mushroomed into the largest outbreak in a single school in Israel, possibly the world.”

Katz Center, University of Pennsylvania: National Library of Israel’s Suspension of Services

Katz Center, University of Pennsylvania: National Library of Israel’s Suspension of Services. “One of the greatest treasures of Israel and of Jewish academic life internationally is the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem. Recently, as a result of budget cuts and the Covid-19 pandemic, the library has announced that it will suspend public services and put its 300 employees on unpaid leave as of Monday, August 17. The many services that the library provides will cease, including the lending of books and teacher training, and there is great concern for the furloughed staff members and the larger circle of employees affected by the closure.” I’ve seen many national libraries cutting back on services, of course, but none that shut down so completely. Shocking.

Washington Post: Israel’s Netanyahu was a pandemic hero — until a second wave plunged him into crisis

Washington Post: Israel’s Netanyahu was a pandemic hero — until a second wave plunged him into crisis. “In May, Benjamin Netanyahu was riding high. He had just started his fifth term as Israel’s prime minister after surviving a string of near-death elections, had co-opted his main rival into a unity government and was enjoying a surge in popularity after successfully leading the country through the initial onslaught of the coronavirus. Just two months later, with Israel suffering a second wave of infections, the prime minister finds himself enduring a hot summer of collapsing poll numbers, swelling protests and dissenting lawmakers. Even some of Netanyahu’s fellow Likud party members have challenged his handling of the resurgence, a break in the ranks rare for Israel’s longest-serving leader.”

Yeni Safak: Israel records highest daily coronavirus count

Yani Safak: Israel records highest daily coronavirus count. “Israel on Thursday confirmed a record 2,032 more infections of the novel coronavirus. According to the Health Ministry, total cases in the country number at 56,748, including 433 deaths, since the virus was first detected on Feb. 21. A total of 23,560 people have so far recovered and been discharged from hospitals, while 295 remain in critical condition, the ministry said.”

DubaiLad: Has Palestine Really Been Removed From Google And Apple Maps?

DubaiLad: Has Palestine Really Been Removed From Google And Apple Maps?. “Palestine is a small region of land around 2,400 sare miles in size and is recognised as the State of Palestine by the United Nations. But it’s not officially represented on Google Maps. And while it’s often referred to as the region between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River, and can include Gaza Strip and the West Bank, there isn’t an official border. Which has lead to controversy in the region over who owns the land.”