News Digest — 10/27/20

Hadassah Medical Center In Talks To Set Up Hospital In United Arab Emirates

One of Israel’s largest hospitals, the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, is supposedly in negotiations with medical organizations in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to discuss the setting up of a branch of the hospital in the capital of Dubai.

The idea reportedly grew out of a visit that the Hadassah Medical Organization director-general, Prof. Zeev Rotstein, made to Dubai, as part of an official Israeli delegation that met with Emirati government ministers.

“I’m thrilled that the name of Hadassah has reached the UAE and that they want to bring Hadassah to them,” said Rotstein.  “I could never have dreamed of such a thing and I pinch myself to check if it is real.  They want to take Hadassah, build new homes, a series of buildings, and new equipment for our staff in Dubai.”

Rotstein added that the talks are in a preliminary stage with many issues to be ironed out, and said that a concrete proposal has yet seen the light of day.

It is thought that Dubai would want to relocate 1,000 Hadassah doctors and nurses to the emirates, along with their families.  Any staff that would be prepared to move would likely request generous remunerations and other conditions.

“They are offering staff amazing terms, homes, jobs for their families, free education and full healthcare,” Rotstein maintained.  “They have unlimited money.  We asked that they also help here in Israel but it’s not certain that that’s in mind.”

Hadassah’s director-general said that talk of opening a branch in Dubai was not a bargaining chip in negotiations with the Finance Ministry.  He maintained that the ministry would have to decide whether “it is interested in the continued existence of Hadassah as a leading hospital only in Israel, or not.”



Erdan: Now Everyone Sees Palestinian Incitement

Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations chided the Security Council Monday (26th) for its “muted response” to the recent peace and normalization agreements between Israel and three Arab nations.

“I have witnessed a jarring dissonance between what this council chooses to focus on and what’s actually happening  in the Middle East,” Erdan said.  “While the Council’s talking points have not changed for decades, the Middle East has.”

“In the two months since I arrived in New York, I have witnessed that this council routinely overlooks critical issues and focuses only on the ‘Palestinian Question.’  It has been that way for 20 years.”

Erdan called on the Security Council to “break free from old paradigms and address the reality in the Middle East.”

He further criticized the council for its apparent disregard for other factors that jeopardize the stability and security of the region.

Pointing to the undemocratic nature of the Palestinian Authority, Erdan said that “Israel has held more elections in a year than the Palestinians have held in the last fifteen.”

He further noted the PA’s vehement condemnation of the recent peace deals.  “Now everyone can see that the Palestinians incite against any country that seeks peace in the region, even its fellow Arab League members.  The fact that the Palestinians attack those who make peace with Israel, demonstrates that, for years, the council has been applying pressure to the wrong side.”

Last month, Israel signed the Abraham Accords, a peace agreement with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.  Last week, US President Donald Trump announced that Sudan had also agreed to normalize relations with Israel.



US Assistance To The Palestinians Was “A Bridge To Nowhere”  – US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman interviewed by Felice Friedson

→ “For some odd reason, prior US administrations decided to indulge Palestinian fantasies about what could happen that were totally out of touch with reality.”

→ “I spent time recently in closed door meetings, with US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, Prime Minister Netanyahu, and the finance minister of the United Arab Emirates….and I was in the room seeing people who really, really want to advance the ball as far as it will go….They were almost…tripping over each other to come up with more and more ideas about what could be done.  The sky is truly the limit, and it’s fun to watch, because…we don’t need to police this or oversee it; they’re doing that on their own.”

→ “I think the Palestinians are sort of in one of those final stages of denial.  It’s hard to watch.  It’s completely self-defeating.  There is a leadership problem, and significant corruption at the top…I’ve traveled with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the United States.  I’ve been on his plane a few times….He flies like a regular commercial passenger.  While Mahmoud Abbas, where the Palestinian GDP per capita is 1/15 that of Israel, flies around in a $75 million Boeing business jet….You’ve got a lot of concentration of wealth among the upper elite Palestinian leaders and a lot of the people are really unhappy about it.”

→ “America has provided the Palestinians with more financial, humanitarian assistance per capita than any other place in the world by far.  And we have given more money to the Palestinians compared to any other nation by a power of at least five compared to every other country.  So, we’ve got nothing to apologize for in terms of our assistance to the Palestinians….It is a bridge to nowhere.  The Palestinians want to take, but they are not willing to really engage in a serious way.”

→ “We want to help the Palestinian people – the State of Israel wants to help the Palestinian people.  It is in Israel’s interest for the Palestinian people to be healthy, to be prosperous, to have hope and optimism about their lives….Enough of the histrionics.  Enough of the tantrums.  Just sit down and have civilized discussions on serious issues and there’ll be progress.”



Palestinian TV Glorifies Efforts Of Terrorists Who Murdered Israelis

The Palestinian Authority recently ran a TV filler praising the efforts of terrorists who had targeted Israelis, according to a Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) report.

The filler ran the names of fifteen Palestinian terrorists, some responsible for the murder of Israelis, while a song of praise ran in the background.

“The siege will not make you bend, chains will not worry you, you are all witnesses,” the song went, according to PMW.  “You O Martyrs, you create our glory, our honor and life… You are the heroes; your glory is the struggle.”

The terrorists featured in the video were responsible for stabbings, murders, attacking IDF soldiers and attempted bombings.

Ghassan and Uday Abu Jamal were responsible for the attack on the Har Nof synagogue in Jerusalem in November 2014 that attacked worshipers with guns, knives and axes, murdering six.

Muhammad Halabi assaulted a family with a knife in the Old City in October 2015, murdering two while injuring a mother and her two-year-old son.

A third, Baha Alyan, hopped on a bus with a fellow terrorist and then proceeded to shoot and stab passengers with a gun and a knife, murdering three.

According to the report, this type of praise comes from the Grand Mufti, who is the religious authority in the PA.  On national television, he described all Palestinian terrorists currently being held in Israeli prisons as “heroic.”

“We ask Almighty Allah for a soon and speedy release for all our brave prisoners…Our heroic prisoners – all of them without exception – are sons of this precious homeland,” said the Grand Mufti.  “The entire Palestinian people and every free person in the world views them with admiration and honor.”

He added: “If the Arabs continue to pressure us together with the Israelis and the Americans – we will change the rules of engagement with the Israelis.  We won’t open fire on the Arabs and we don’t want to escalate against anyone, but we are capable of controlling the rules of engagement.  And, by the way, all options are open.”



Israel-Sudan Treaty Deals Blow To Terror-Axis – Yoav Limor

Unlike the peace deals with the UAE and Bahrain, the treaty with Sudan has little to offer from an economic standpoint.  Sudan has nothing to export to Israel, and given the state of Khartoum’s coffers, it is doubtful whether it can import much from Israel.  Some business deals are on the horizon, mostly involving Israeli technologies in water, agriculture and food, to help bring Sudan into the 21st century.

The peace deal with Sudan goes beyond having declarative importance.  Diplomatically, one less country will vote against Israel in international organizations and forums, and will no longer join efforts to impose boycotts or sanctions on the Jewish state.

From an Arab-Muslim standpoint, the accord means another dent in the wall of opposition Israel faces in the Arab world.  Sudan has now become the fifth Arab nation to recognize Israel.

Behind the scenes, a diplomatic battle is now being waged for Qatar’s allegiances.  The US and Israel are trying to mediate rapprochement between Qatar and Saudi Arabia in an effort to pull Doha ( capital of Qatar) away from the radical Islamist axis, including Iran and headed by Turkey.



Booby Traps Set By ISIS In Sinai – At Least 14 Killed In 2 Weeks

More than a dozen civilians, including women and children, have been killed in Egypt’s restive northern Sinai Peninsula over the past two weeks from explosive devices laid down in their homes by terrorists, security and medical officials said Sunday (25th).

Islamic State members attacked several villages in the town of Bir-al-Abd in July, forcing people to flee their homes.  The military then secured the villages in August and allowed residents to return to their homes a few weeks later, the officials said.

The ISIS members, however, had laid booby traps in several houses that killed at least 14 people, including six from the same family late on Saturday (24th), officials said.  The casualties included women and children.

At least 10 others have been wounded since October 12 and were taken to the hospital for treatment, they said.

Bir-al-Abd was the site of a horrific extremist attack on a mosque in 2017 that killed over 300 worshippers, some of them fathers and sons praying.  The tribes of North Sinai have been heavily targeted by ISIS, forcing a mass exodus of residents from the area which has long been underdeveloped by the Egyptian government.

The conflict has largely taken place out of public view, with journalists and outside observers barred from the area.  The conflict so far has not expanded into the southern end of the peninsula where popular Red Sea tourist resorts are located.

In February 2018, the Egyptian military launched a massive operation in Sinai that also encompassed parts of the Nile Delta and deserts along the country’s western border with Libya.  Since then, ISIS attacks in Sinai’s north have diminished, until recently.