Tel Aviv's Jewish museum reopens after $100 million upgrade
A man walks near the entrance to the Jewish museum in Tel Aviv, Israel, Tuesday, March 9, 2021. Israel's revamped Museum of the Jewish People is reopening after a $100 million renovation project, offering visitors a comprehensive look at more than 2,500 years of Jewish life, history and culture from around the globe. Its exhibition space has tripled, making it the largest Jewish museum in the world, officials say. Another $52 million came from other U.S.-based philanthropists and foundations, and $18 million from the Israeli government. It focuses on the diversity of Jewish culture and the accomplishments of the Jewish people, not just its tragedies, she said.
Vaccination 'passports' may open society, but inequity looms
Still, the reanimating experience Monday night above a shopping mall north of Tel Aviv night was not accessible to everyone. Only people displaying a “green passport” that proved they had been vaccinated or had recovered from COVID-19 could get in. Inside Israel, green passports or badges obtained through an app is the coin of the realm. Ad“The core human rights principle is equity and nondiscrimination,” said Lawrence Gostin, a Georgetown University professor and director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center on National and Global Health Law. As those countries begin vaccinations, wealthier nations are starting to talk about “green passport” logistics, security, privacy and policy.
Israel trades Pfizer doses for medical data in vaccine blitz
Israel has struck a deal with Pfizer, promising to share vast troves of medical data with the drugmaker in exchange for the continued flow of its COVID-19 vaccine. Neither Israel nor Pfizer would say how much Israel has paid for the vaccines, though Edelstein called it a “classical win-win” for both sides. Israel had already announced the acquisition of millions of vaccine doses before the Pfizer deal was announced. But the Palestinians and major human rights groups say Israel remains an occupying power and is responsible for providing them vaccines. With tens of thousands of West Bank Palestinians working in Israel and its West Bank settlements, experts say Israel should share vaccines on ethical and practical grounds.
Critics in Israel say Netanyahu using coronavirus as pretext for massive power grab
As he has every night since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed Israeli citizens on Wednesday evening. Legal experts say the measures ostensibly taken to protect public health is a power grab without precedent in Israeli history, including wartime, and may serve as an example to other leaders as the crisis unfolds. Here, Edelstein and Netanyahu decided to simply blow up the rules and undo Israeli democracy. AdvertisementBut Israelis seemed more concerned about international and domestic developments regarding the coronavirus than about the institutions of state. David Bitan, who represented the party on the national elections commission, refused to ratify the final vote count.latimes.com
Israeli elections looming, Netanyahu asks for immunity from prosecution
Benjamin Netanyahu, Israels longest-serving prime minister, who is trying to hold on to power with elections looming in two months, formally requested immunity from prosecution on Wednesday in three criminal cases in which he was indicted in November. It is a risky gambit: If the Knesset grants him immunity, he could be free from prosecution for as long as he serves in parliament. AdvertisementCritics also accused him of hypocrisy and backtracking, noting that Netanyahu had promised not to seek immunity before the parliamentary elections of April 2019. The Knesset may grant Netanyahu immunity from prosecution in any or all of the cases, but in its current conformation Netanyahu does not have a majority of votes to approve his request for immunity. More than a third said Netanyahu should have resigned when indicted and only 15% supported the notion of immunity.latimes.com