Tag Archives: Israel

This afternoon.

Jerusalem, Israel.

Via Haaretz:

Dozens of cars briefly blocked a main highway in Israel for a short while on Monday in protest of coronavirus regulations, causing heavy traffic at the entrance to Jerusalem.

Based off of a similar protest movement in Canada, the convoy of anti-vaccine activists aimed to reach the Knesset, and hung signs on their cars reading “liberty,” “new world order,” “no more restrictions, going back to normal,” “cancel the mask mandate” and “a free nation in our country,” among other slogans.

“I”m here for my children, so that they can have a better world,” one of the protesters explained. “Rights are being taken away from citizens with no real justification, and we need to fight that.” She added, “We are no one’s enemies.”

“performs Jerusalema dance*

Israeli ‘Freedom Convoy’ Blocks Main Highway in Protest of COVID Measures (Haaretz)




A Rabbi gets vaccinated in Tel Aviv, Israel last year

Last night/this morning.

Via Washington Post:

In what it’s calling a global first, Israel’s Health Ministry announced that it will offer a fourth coronavirus vaccine shot to citizens 60 and older and other at-risk groups as concerns about the omicron variant proliferate.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said he ordered the government to immediately prepare for distributing fourth doses.

“As we did with the booster in the delta surge, we intend to be active and groundbreaking, and do everything to win,” he tweeted. “The world will follow us.”

Israel says it will become first nation to offer fourth coronavirus vaccine dose: ‘The world will follow us’ (Washington Post)



German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach has said that a fourth vaccination will be necessary in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic due to the more contagious Omicron variant.

He said that Germany has ordered 80 million doses of a vaccine made by Biontech specifically targeting Omicron and should arrive in April or May.

Germany has also ordered four million doses of the newly approved vaccine Novavax – seen as more acceptable to vaccine sceptics – and 11 million doses of the new Valneva shot, which is waiting for marketing authorisation, Mr Lauterbach said.

Fourth Covid-19 jab needed – German health minister (RTÉ)


Chief Medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said there is “a substantial job to do” to issue a third vaccine to those over 40 who are at risk of severe infection and he asked them to come forward.

He said that “vaccines really work, particularly when boosted, in preventing infection from becoming severe infection and we expect that to be the case with Omicron”.

“Don’t put off the opportunity to be vaccinated if it comes your way,” he added.

Rapid rise in Covid cases in 16-34 age group – Holohan (RTE)

The Sheba Medical Centre, Israel

This afternoon.

Via Haaretz:

The new coronavirus variant, omicron, has been detected in two Israeli doctors, one of whom had returned from a conference in London in the past week, a spokesperson for Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv confirmed.

The two doctors had received three doses of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine, and so far have shown mild COVID-19 symptoms, the hospital said.

The physician who had returned from Britain had probably infected his colleague, it said.

…Israel shut its borders to foreigners from all countries for 14 days on Saturday to try to contain the spread of omicron and has reintroduced counter-terrorism phone-tracking technology to trace contacts of a handful of people who have likely been infected.

Two Doctors in Israel Diagnosed With Omicron COVID Variant (Harretz)


The head of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has said Covid-19 vaccines will continue to provide protection against new variants.

Emer Cooke added that there were key differences between the situation in Europe and in southern Africa, where the new variant is thought to have originated.

In Europe there was a larger proportion of the population already vaccinated, the population was older, and a booster campaign was already under way, she said.

“So there are a whole lot of factors ongoing at the moment that could impact the spread of the Omicron variants in Europe,” she added.

EMA chief says vaccines will give protection against new variants (RTÉ)


Adi, 7, receives her first vaccination last night in Tel Aviv, Israel after the country approved vaccinations for children aged 5-11

This morning.

Via RTÉ:

Israel has begun rolling out Covid-19 vaccines for children aged five to 11, becoming one of a handful of countries to inoculate children so young as it seeks to ward off another pandemic wave.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has said the country is experiencing a “children’s wave” with about half of the recently confirmed cases among children below the age of 11.

While the campaign for younger minors was set to officially start today, doses were already being administered by last night.

Israel vaccinates children as young as five against Covid (RTÉ)



Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennet at COP26 yesterday

This afternoon.

Via RTÉ News:

As of 8am, there were 493 people in hospital with the virus, down 22 on the same time yesterday.

Of these, 90 were in intensive care units, down one from yesterday.

Mr Martin said the use of antigen testing is increasing and if people “collectively remain cautious we can avoid the need to have a backward return to restrictions”.

The Health Service Executive said it has issued by post 6,976 antigen test kits to people who are close contacts of a confirmed case.

Mr Martin also said he spoken to Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennet at the COP26 summit in Glasgow, who told him that Israel’s booster campaign had been “very successful and impactful” on the latest wave of the virus there.

Mr Martin said that “no one can guarantee anything”, but the vaccines work and Ireland was in a different position to last year.

Rise in Covid-19 cases ‘very concerning’ – Martin (RTÉ)




Sally Rooney brought to book over Normal People’s publication in China (The Times)

Previously: Lost In Translation



 Sally Rooney


This afternoon.

Via Sally Rooney:

“Firstly, I was very proud to have my previous two novels translated into Hebrew by Katyah Benovits. I would like to thank everyone involved in the publication of those books for supporting my work. Likewise, it would be an honour for me to have my latest novel translated into Hebrew and available to Hebrew-language readers. But for the moment, I have chosen not to sell these translation rights to an Israeli-based publishing house.

“Earlier this year, the international campaign group Human Rights Watch published a report entitled ‘A Threshold Crossed: Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution’. That report, coming on the heels of a similarly damning report by Israel’s most prominent human rights organization B’Tselem, confirmed what Palestinian human rights groups have long been saying: Israel’s system of racial domination and segregation against Palestinians meets the definition of apartheid under international law.

“The Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) movement is a Palestinian-led, anti-racist and nonviolent grassroots campaign calling for an economic and cultural boycott of complicit Israeli companies and institutions in response to the apartheid system and other grave human rights violations. It is modelled on the economic and cultural boycott that helped to end apartheid in South Africa.

“Of course, many states other than Israel are guilty of grievous human rights abuses. This was also true of South Africa during the campaign against apartheid there. In this particular case, I am responding to the call from Palestinian civil society, including all major Palestinian trade unions and writers’ unions.

“I understand that not everyone will agree with my decision, but I simply do not feel it would be right for me under the present circumstances to accept a new contract with an Israeli company that does not publicly distance itself from apartheid and support the UN-stipulated rights of the Palestinian people.

“The Hebrew-language translation rights to my new novel are still available, and if I can find a way to sell these rights that is compliant with the BDS movement’s institutional boycott guidelines, I will be very pleased and proud to do so. In the meantime I would like to express once again my solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle for freedom, justice and equality. Thank you.”


This morning.



Translation: When God was doling out brains, you were asleep.



This morning.

Butt Bridge, Dublin 1.

Labour TD Ivana Bacik joined Palestinian children living in Ireland to launch a new campaign to highlight ‘the difficulties, dangers and dread that Palestinian children face as they go back to school in their towns and villages’, organised by Sadaka, The Ireland Palestine Alliance  and Defence for Children International Palestine (DCI).