Israel To Conduct COVID “Genetic Scanning” For All Inbound Air Passengers

The world’s most “ultra-vaxxed nation” Israel is continuing to struggle to keep its coronavirus infections down, despite enacting some of the most stringent rules and requirements on its population, including rolling out one of the earliest versions of a vaccine passport to visit public venues, which has to be “updated” each six months or so based on a booster shot timeline. 

Now Israel will go so far as to conduct “genetic scanning” for travelers arriving in the country. It’s considered a huge and experimental high tech step in screening inbound passengers for coronavirus infections at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett made the announcement at a meeting of his cabinet on Sunday, confirming plans to eventually deploy it at Ben Gurion. “We are working on a scanning system for everyone who comes into Israel,” Bennett said. The statements were reportedly not intended to be made public, but were leaked to local Israeli media.

“Israel will thus become the radar for the virus,” he added. However, no further details on how the ‘genetic scanning’ will work were given, nor whether there might be an opt-out mechanism. Thus a Covid passport, which Israel calls its “green pass” – may be linked to an eventual regimen of forced genetic testing at international travel points.

The technology, which will no doubt be hugely controversial given privacy concerns, is being discussed as part of Israeli efforts to keep further Covid variants from entering the country, as The Times of Israel describes:

Bennett expressed support for Social Equality Minister Meirav Cohen, who had warned that “the next variant will come to Israel through Ben Gurion,” saying the proposed genetic testing would help prevent that from happening.

Conventionally since the start of the pandemic airports have often monitored passengers’ temperatures with a quick and simple thermometer scan of their foreheads, but Israeli health officials are now seeking a method which might given greater certitude over whether someone has the virus or not, and especially whether they are carrying a variant.

Keep reading

Israel Unveils New Armed Robot Amid Outcry Over “Death Machines”

Israel unveiled a new remote-controlled killer robot Monday at a major weapons fair in the U.K. that human rights advocates are criticizing as an event to sell “death machines” and tools of abuse.

Developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), the Rex MK II is a four-wheeled vehicle mounted with two machine guns to carry out remote attacks. According to a press statement from the state-owned company announcing the release, the robot has already been sold to global customers.

The weapon was unveiled Monday at Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEI) in London, an event that occurs every two years and is one of the world’s biggest arms fairs. The weapons expo has faced sustained condemnation from anti-war campaigners who say it’s a venue “where those who profit from war, repression, and injustice do business.”

IAI describes the robot as an unmanned land vehicle that can carry a load of 1.3 tons and execute operations including intelligence gathering using “electro-optical sensors and radar.” It can also be used to launch attacks with “remotely controlled weapons systems including a 7.62mm machine gun” and “a cal 0.50 heavy machine gun,” the company says, and serve “as a multi-mission multi-purpose platform to support additional missions based on troops needs.”

Keep reading

Hot Mic Catches Israeli Health Minister Admitting Vaccine Passports Are About Coercion

Unaware that he was on a hot mic and being broadcast live on a TV station, Israeli health minister Nitzan Horowitz admitted that vaccine passports were primarily about coercing skeptical people to get the vaccine.

“Imposing “green pass” rules on certain venues is needed only to pressure members of the public to get vaccinated, and not for medical reasons, Israeli Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz said on Sunday, ahead of the weekly Cabinet meeting,” reports Jewish News Syndicate.

Unaware that his words were being broadcast live to the nation on Channel 12, Horowitz told Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked that not only should the green pass be removed as a requirement to dine at outdoor restaurants, but also, “For swimming pools, too, not just in restaurants.”

“Epidemiologically, it’s true,” said Horowitz, adding, “The thing is, I’m telling you, our problem is people who don’t get vaccinated. We need [to influence] them a bit; otherwise, we won’t get out of this [pandemic situation].”

The health minister went on to acknowledge that the system wasn’t even being enforced in most venues.

Keep reading

Meet Toka, the Most Dangerous Israeli Spyware Firm You’ve Never Heard Of

This past Sunday, an investigation into the global abuse of spyware developed by veterans of Israeli intelligence Unit 8200 gained widespread attention, as it was revealed that the software – sold to democratic and authoritarian governments alike – had been used to illegally spy on an estimated 50,000 individuals. Among those who had their communications and devices spied on by the software, known as Pegasus, were journalists, human rights activists, business executives, academics and prominent political leaders. Among those targeted political leaders, per reports, were the current leaders of France, Pakistan, South Africa, Egypt, Morocco and Iraq.

The abuse of Pegasus software in this very way has been known for several years, though these latest revelations appear to have gained such traction in the mainstream owing to the high number of civilians who have reportedly been surveilled through its use. The continuation of the now-years-long scandal surrounding the abuse of Pegasus has also brought considerable controversy and notoriety to the Israeli company that developed it, the NSO Group.

While the NSO Group has become infamous, other Israeli companies with even deeper ties to Israel’s intelligence apparatus have been selling software that not only provides the exact same services to governments and intelligence agencies but purports to go even farther.

Originally founded by former Israeli Prime Minister and Jeffrey Epstein associate Ehud Barak, one of these companies’ wares are being used by countries around the world, including in developing countries with the direct facilitation of global financial institutions like the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the World Bank. In addition, the software is only made available to governments that are “trusted” by Israel’s government, which “works closely” with the company.

Despite the fact that this firm has been around since 2018 and was covered in detail by this author for MintPress News in January 2020, no mainstream outlet – including those that have extensively covered the NSO Group – has bothered to examine the implications of this story.

Keep reading

How (and why) Israel changed what “fully vaccinated” means

Israel has been at the forefront of the vaccination push ever since November 2020, when they signed agreements with Pfizer to run what were essentially medical experiments on their civilian population.

They were the first country to roll out the Pfizer vaccine. They were the first country to try out the (since abandoned) “Green passes” system of medical segregation. And now they’re the first country to change the terms of the “get vaccinated and get your freedom back” contract.

That’s right. Just as “three weeks to flatten the curve” turned into around 18-months (and counting), “double jabbed” is now evolving into “triple jabbed”.

To quote Dr Salman Zarka, Israel’s “coronavirus czar”:

We are updating what it means to be vaccinated,”

So, there you have it. In Israel, officially, those who have been injected with two doses of Pfizer’s so-called vaccine are no longer counted as vaccinated.

What does this mean?

Well, first of all, it means all those “vaccinated” people can kiss their recently acquired freedoms goodbye, unless they’re willing to get at least one more booster.

According to the Wall Street Journal [paywalled article]:

Holders of Israel’s vaccine passports must get a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine within six months of their second dose, or lose the so-called green pass that allows them more freedom.”

It should also be noted that the third booster is not considered the last. The Israeli Ministry of Health “has not ruled out further boosters in the future” and the third shot will only extend the “vaccinated” status for six months, not permanently.

So, essentially, the precedent has been set that your freedoms are the state’s to take away on a whim. And, if you comply, they will simply use your compliance as an excuse to take even greater liberties (pun very much intended).

Israel has been the Petri dish for this since the beginning. If it works there, expect the “booster shot requirement” to be instituted in other countries all over the world fairly quickly.

To all the people who have taken the vaccine, and are now realising they may have done something foolish. Sorry, but we did try to warn you this would happen.

Financially speaking, this is yet another boon in a golden year for Pfizer, who can now ship even more doses of their experimental and unnecessary gene therapy to people who are literally legally obliged to use it. If you don’t want to take the jab, just take some of Pfizer’s new magic anti-Covid pills instead.

So don’t worry about the death of freedom and democracy in the name of an almost-completely-harmless disease. At least the Pfizer shareholders can afford that second private island and golden costumes for their human chess sets.

Keep reading

It’s Time To Reassess Our Relationship With Israel

In April 1996, Israeli artillery shells rained down on a United Nations compound where hundreds of civilians were taking refuge. As the shells exploded and the building collapsed, 106 civilians died and another 116 were injured.

The attack, now known as the Qana Massacre, was part of a larger Israeli offensive known as Operation Grapes of Wrath, a 16-day campaign of aggression in southern Lebanon.

The United Nations investigated the Qana Massacre and determined the Israeli shelling was deliberate. Then-UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghani condemned the attack, writing it was “all the more serious because civilians, including women and children, had sought refuge” in the compound the Israelis destroyed.

The commander of the unit that launched the assault was a man named Naftali Bennett, who’d go on to boast, “I’ve killed lots of Arabs in my life and there’s no problem with that.”

Bennett, of course, is now Israel’s prime minister. And on August 25, he arrived for a visit at the White House.

When President Biden took office, he promised to pursue a foreign policy based on human rights and the “rules-based international order.”

Those commitments already seemed at odds with the long-running U.S. support for Israel. Whether it’s giving Israel nearly $4 billion in military aid every year or providing diplomatic protection at the United Nations, the United States allows Israel to act with impunity even after repeated instances of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

But Biden’s promise to put human rights and international law first seem especially at odds with supporting a government like Bennett’s. Bennett’s war criminal past is troubling enough, but his current positions flout international law – and longstanding US support for a two-state solution – just as aggressively.

Keep reading

Mysterious skull fossils expand human family tree — but questions remain

Fossils found in China and Israel dating from around 140,000 years ago are adding to the ranks of hominins that mixed and mingled with early modern humans.

The fossils from Israel hint that a previously unknown group of hominins, proposed to be the direct ancestors of Neanderthals, might have dominated life in the Levant and lived alongside Homo sapiens1,2. Meanwhile, researchers studying an extremely well-preserved ancient human skull found in China in the 1930s have controversially classified it as a new species — dubbed Dragon Man — which might be an even closer relative to modern humans than are Neanderthals3,4.

But both findings have sparked debate among scientists. The studies are based on analyses of the size, shape and structure of fossilized bones — methods that are subject to individual judgement and interpretation. As is often the case for fossil finds, there is no DNA evidence.

Separating early hominin specimens into unique species, working out if and how they interacted with others, and tracing their evolution are all difficult and contentious: “It’s very messy,” says Jeffrey Schwartz, an anthropologist and evolutionary biologist at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania.

Keep reading