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Global Weekly Aliyah News: July 17, 2020

Jul 17, 2020 • By Aliyah News Reporter

Aliyah News Report

July 17, 2020

Aliyah Estimates Hold Steady Despite COVID-19 Surge in Israel

Despite concerns raised by some opposition lawmakers in Israel’s Knesset (Parliament) about the rising rates of COVID-19 infections, Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog is reportedly sticking to his prediction made two weeks ago at the Jerusalem Post conference that 250,000 Jews will make Aliyah (immigrate to Israel) in the next five years. Sources in the Jewish Agency said that the perception among potential immigrants is that Israel has handled the crises better than most other countries around the world and that despite higher infection rates in recent weeks the morbidity rate is still among the lowest in the world.

“This crisis will eventually end, and Israel must get ready for it,” a source close to Herzog said.

In related news, Masa Israel Journey, an organization that coordinates long-term volunteer projects and other opportunities for young Jews from around the world to experience life in Israel in the hopes that it will encourage them to make Aliyah, announced a new project this week designed to make remote work in Israel easier. The program is timely as remote work is becoming a growing trend around the world amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and Israel is considered one of the easiest places to engage in such work due to its high quality network connections and high-tech ecosystems.

Israel Blesses the World

News portal ISRAEL21c reported on Tuesday that Bio-Wall, a nasal spray under development at the Israeli company BioChange and holding promise as a partial solution to the COVID-19 pandemic, is in the advanced testing phase. The spray, which can be taken internally or applied to surfaces, acts to eliminate the dissemination of virus particles in the air, closing off the main route of infection for COVID-19 and many other diseases.

“Once Bio-Wall is sprayed over the mucosa, it masks the tissue from pathogen penetration and infectious disease such as the COVID-19 virus” for several hours, BioChange Chairman and CEO Ishay Attar told ISRAEL21c. “Bio-Wall is based on the innovative BioChange scaffold technology, re-engineered to serve as a pathogen trap, preventing virus attachment to its receptor. This will eradicate viruses in the initial infection phase, just as they land in the body.”

Incidents of Physical and Online Anti-Semitism On the Rise

Reports emerged this week of a dramatic rise in the number of members and supporters of the Iranian-backed Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist organization in Germany. The reports are based on statistics published in the recently released report of Germany’s domestic security agencies. The report came amidst a steep rise in anti-Semitic incidents targeting Jews in several Western countries, including the United States. The incidents involve physical attacks targeting people dressed in traditional Jewish clothing and entering or leaving Synagogues and Jewish community centers as well as rhetorical attacks in the public sphere as well as online.

Israelis Protest Governments Handling of Economic Crisis

A crowd estimated to be in the thousands assembled Tuesday afternoon on Jerusalem’s Balfour street, adjacent to the Prime Minister’s residence. The demonstration was intended to send a message of discontent with Benjamin Netanyahu’s leadership during the ongoing COVID-19 crises and attended economic downturn, despite a recently passed government rescue package intended to provide assistance to the un/underemployed in the Jewish State through June of 2021. Some of the protesters reportedly clashed with police resulting in injuries, including to journalists attempting to cover the event, and at least 50 arrests. The demonstration followed a pattern of escalating protests regarding the difficult situation in recent weeks which have accompanied a devastating economic recession which have left, according to a recent poll, nearly half of Israelis worried that they will not be able to afford basic necessities like food and rent.

Analysis – What Does All This Mean?

The good news about a continued high level of interest in Aliyah to Israel and Israel’s contributions to solutions to the problems posed by the COVID-19 pandemic is accompanied by less cheerful news about the rising levels of anti-Semitism in the world as well as the very difficult economic situation for those living in the Jewish State. 

To address this last issue, the government has implemented a range of measures which, it is hoped, will allow Israelis to continue living at an acceptable quality of life until the pandemic has faded and routine levels of economic activity can continue. However, the massive amount of money, resources and attention devoted to these economic relief measures leaves precious little for other priorities, including Aliyah and absorption of new immigrants.

That is why private initiatives like the Aliyah Return Center are needed, to provide a safety net to catch those Jewish immigrants to Israel who fall through the cracks that have been created by the government’s inability to be everywhere at once. The need for such a safety net has never been more urgent, as the surge in Anti-Semitism around the world ensures a rise in Jewish immigrants to Israel whether the government is ready or not. 

As Psalm 91: 1-3 says; “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust!” For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper and from the deadly pestilence.”

This reminds us that the Lord will protect those who put their faith in Him from both physical violence and disease. As more and more Jewish people make their way to Israel fleeing both of these threats, let us remember that God uses ordinary people to fulfill His purposes, and He might be calling YOU to do that very thing right now. If you feel so called, please help us to do our part in assisting these new immigrants as they begin their new life in their ancestral homeland.

Aliyah News Reporter

Bringing you weekly Aliyah updates from the land.

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Aliyah Return Center is an Israel based registered non-profit organization, helping Jewish new immigrants establish roots in the land of Israel and thrive.

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