The Health Ministry said yesterday that it identified the second case of the new Omicron covid variant in Israel yesterday. The person, living in Raanan, recently returned from a visit to South Africa. Over the weekend the government decided to shut down Ben Gurion International airport to all foreigners for 14 days. Israelis returning from abroad must self isolate. The government also voted to authorize the use of mobile phone surveillance for contact tracing to curb the spread of the variant.
President Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey would take steps to improve ties with Egypt and Israel. To read more, click here.
Foreign Minister Lapid and his British counterpart wrote a joint Op-Ed in Britain’s Telegraph newspaper that their two countries would work together to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power.
New US Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides arrived in Israel today to begin his post. Nides will be residing in a rental house in Jerusalem. To watch ambassador’s welcome video, click here.
The government has approved the aliyah (immigration) of 3,000 Ethiopians with family members living in Israel. The government, however, does not consider these people as Jewish, under Jewish religious law.
Despite the latest shut down of the airport to foreigners, the Miss Universe beauty pageant will be hosted as planned in Eilat on December 12. Pageant participants will receive special waivers. The pageant will be broadcasted in 174 countries.
Last night was the first night of Hanukkah. The holiday, celebrating the Jewish victory over, and freedom from, the Syrian-Greek empire in around 164 BCE. It also commemorates that miracle in the Temple, when the only remaining flask of non desecrated oil that was supposed to light the Menorah for only 1 day, last for 8 days. That’s why we light our own menorahs for 8 days. Last night, PM Bennett lit the menorah at the Western Wall and President Herzog lit the menorah at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron.
May we all merit to see miracles in our own lives and for the State of Israel. Happy Hanukkah!