Yehuda Lave is an author, journalist, psychologist, rabbi, spiritual teacher, and coach, with degrees in business, psychology and Jewish Law. He works with people from all walks of life and helps them in their search for greater happiness, meaning, business advice on saving money, and spiritual engagement.
In my last column, I described how I have come to better understand the moral problem of the "good German," which is "the term used to describe the average, presumably decent German, who did nothing to hurt Jews but also did nothing to help them and did nothing to undermine the Nazi regime."
Watching America accept the rationally and morally indefensible physical and economic lockdown of the country, I concluded: "Apathy in the face of tyranny turns out not to be a German or Russian characteristic. I just never thought it could happen in America."
In one week, it has gotten worse. Now we are faced with a lockdown on speech the likes of which have never been seen in America. And the parallels with Germany are even more stark. The left-wing party (the Democrats) and the left-wing media (the "mainstream media") are using the mob invasion of the Capitol exactly the way the Nazis used the Reichstag fire.
On Feb. 27, 1933, exactly one month after the Nazis came to power, the German parliament building, the Reichstag, was set ablaze. The Nazis blamed the fire on their archenemy, the communists, and used the fire to essentially extinguish the Communist Party and its ability to publish, speak, or otherwise spread its message. Using the Reichstag fire as an excuse, the Nazis passed the Enabling Act, a law that gave the Nazi chancellor, Adolf Hitler, the power to pass laws by decree – without the Reichstag.
Now to America 2021.
On Jan. 6, a right-wing mob of a few hundred people broke away from a peaceful right-wing protest involving tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of American conservatives and forced its way into the U.S. Capitol. One Capitol policeman was killed after being hit in the head with a fire extinguisher, and one of the right-wing Capitol invaders was shot by a Capitol police officer. (A handful of others who died in the vicinity of the Capitol did so of nonviolent causes.)
Their intent is still not clear. It seems to have been largely catharsis. They hurt no legislators, and if they intended to overthrow the government, they were delusional.
Beginning the next day, the American left used the Capitol mob just as the Nazis used the Reichstag: as an excuse to subjugate its conservative enemies and further squelch civil liberties in America – specifically, freedom of speech. Twitter not only permanently banned the account of the president of the United States. It also banned any Twitter account found tweeting Donald Trump.
The left was able to do this not only by using the Capitol mob incident but also by engaging in a series of lies. The first was blaming the attack on President Donald Trump. Over and over, in every left-wing medium and stated repeatedly by Democrats, Trump is blamed for "inciting" the riot in his speech just before it took place.
Almost never is a Trump quote cited. Because there is none. On the contrary, he said, "I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard" (italics added).
Another lie was the immediate labeling of the mob attack on the Capitol as "insurrection." All left-wing media and Democrats now refer to the event as an "insurrection," a term defined by almost every dictionary as "an act or instance of revolting against civil authority or an established government."
As morally repulsive as the actions of the mob were, they did not constitute a revolt against civil authority or an established government. Disrupting the work of legislators for a few hours – as wrong as that was – does not constitute a "revolt."
But what proves the left's "insurrection" label is a lie is that Democrats and their media never once labeled the left-wing riots of 2020 – which involved the destruction by fire and/or occupation and vandalizing of police stations, and the establishment of "autonomous zones," which, by definition, revolted against "established governments" – as an "insurrection."
The enormous number of businesses burned down, looted, or otherwise destroyed was barely covered by the mainstream media, and their violent perpetrators were almost never prosecuted, let alone condemned, as engaging in an insurrection. Dozens of people were killed in these riots, yet there was more outcry and condemnation against the hours-long occupation of the U.S. Capitol than against six months of left-wing violent riots.
Then, like the Nazi regime after the Reichstag fire, the left immediately moved to further curtail civil liberties, specifically conservatives' ability to promote their ideas. Twitter and Amazon made it impossible for the alternative to Twitter – Parler – to exist, all in the name of preventing another right-wing "insurrection."
In the name of the Capitol "insurrection," the Democrats announced they would impeach the president of the United States, though he had only 14 days left in office.
In the name of the Capitol "insurrection," the editor of Forbes, Randall Lane, announced that Forbes media was "holding those who lied for Trump accountable" in what he called "a truth reckoning": "Hire any of Trump's (press secretaries)," Lane warned, "and Forbes will assume that everything your company or firm talks about is a lie."
In the name of the Capitol mob attack, 159 law professors at Chapman University have called for the firing of John Eastman, a tenured fellow law professor and holder of an endowed chair at Chapman – because "his actions Wednesday (that) helped incite a riot." Eastman had spoken at the Trump rally.
The professors ended their Los Angeles Times letter: "He does not belong on our campus."
Words well chosen.
What the left is doing is announcing – and enforcing – that conservatives "do not belong" in our society. The parallels to 1933 are precise. And most good Americans are keeping silent, just as did most Germans. Though they do not risk being beaten up, are Americans in 2021 as afraid of the American left as Germans in 1933 were of the German fascists? We're about to find out.
Israel Number on the wold in time spent in lockdowns with one of the highest ratios of infected persons--obviously lockdowns don't work
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Israel has been in lockdown for 139 days, longer than any other country.
Israel, leading the world in coronavirus vaccinations, is also the leader in the amount of time spent in coronavirus lockdowns, as well as among the highest-ranking in the stringency of its response to the pandemic. The country scored 86.28 – higher than any other country – on the Containment and Health Index developed by the Oxford Coronavirus Government Response Tracker (OxCGRT) project.
The index is based on school closures, workplace closures, cancellation of public events, restrictions of public gatherings, closures of public transportation, stay-at-home requirements, public information campaigns, restrictions on internal movements, international travel controls, testing policy, the extent of contact tracing, requirements to wear face coverings, and policies pertaining to vaccine rollout. The highest score possible is 100, with higher scores indicating stricter responses. The country with the next-highest index score is Cyprus, at 84.49.Tourism Minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen expressed outrage on Thursday that Israel has been in lockdown for 139 days since the beginning of the pandemic, longer than any other country. By comparison, Germany has been in lockdown for a total of 88 days, the UK for 79 days, and Spain for 67 days. She called for a gradual reopening to take place alongside enforcement, localized handling of outbreaks, aid to hospitals, and the implementation of the green passport plan. The government was to meet on Thursday to discuss extending the current lockdown for an additional week. Despite the strict measures, Israel still has one of the highest ratios of infections per million people, with over 71,303 confirmed cases per million. In comparison, the US has reported 76,874 cases per million people, and the UK has reported 54,880. However Israel's case fatality rate – the number of deaths compared with the number of those infected –is much lower than in many other countries, including the US and the UK. The country with the highest number of cases per million people is Andorra, which reported 125,749 cases per million people. Andorra has a population of just 77,265 people.
So now the numbers are in. We have runaway infections with the lockdowns, so what did the lockdowns do besides run the economy and businesses. We would have had the same results without the lockdowns and the ruining of the economy. Think about it!
Democrats were for riots before they were against them
Now, as the Democrats expect to take power, they suddenly decided that rioting is bad.Their outrage is a farce.
In 2018, the media was writing up glowing stories about the hundreds of Women's March members who were engaging in "direct action" to disrupt the Senate's Kavanaugh hearings.
Hundreds of members from the radical leftist group had invaded the hearings and were arrested. Their travel expenses and bail for the disruptions were covered by the Women's March.
Radicals from the March and other leftist groups blocked hallways, shouted down Senate members, and draped protest banners from balconies. Democrats cheered them on.
When a leftist mob assailed the Supreme Court, pounding on the doors, MSNBC called it an "extraordinary moment" and praised the crowd, "besieging the Supreme Court" and "confronting senators".
"If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them," Rep. Maxine Waters had urged earlier that year.
Later, the Democrat House member told MSNBC, "They're going to absolutely harass them".
In 2020, Black Lives Matter rioters vandalized the Lincoln Memorial and the WW2 Memorial, along with statues of Gandhi, General Kosciuszko, and Andrew Jackson. The racist thugs marched through the city starting fires, including at a historic church, and tried to besiege the White House. Attempts by federal law enforcement to fight BLM terrorism were falsely denounced as a brutal attack on "peaceful protesters", and as "militarism" and "fascism".
Democrat House members took to proposing bills to protect the racist mobs from law enforcement. Meanwhile the BLM mob besieged the White House and battled Secret Service personnel, allegedly forcing the evacuation of President Trump and his family to a bunker.
This was the new normal enthusiastically supported by Democrats and the media.
A bail fund backed by Senator Kamala Harris and Biden campaign staffers focused on helping the rioters and looters get out of prison. Along with any other criminals along for the ride.
Violent protests, including those targeting public officials and legislative bodies, had been championed and normalized by Democrats and their media over the last four years. That included the harassment of officials, property destruction, and assaulting law enforcement.
Now, as the Democrats expect to take power, they suddenly decided that rioting is bad.
Before the Save America protest even began, the same Washington D.C. authorities who had championed and protected the Black Lives Matter riots, prepared for a crackdown.
"We want the military, we want troops from out of state out of Washington, D.C.," Mayor Muriel Bowser had ranted when BLM was attacking national memorials and the White House.
"We will not allow people to incite violence, intimidate our residents or cause destruction in our city," Bowser now insisted, demanding that the National Guard come out to stop the protests.
Unless they're Democrats, she failed to mention.
D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine had responded to the Black Lives Matter assault by condemning law enforcement. He had issued a statement falsely accusing President Trump of "responding to nonviolent demonstration with war-like tactics".
"We —the Mayor, the Council, OAG, and MPD—must commit to standing in between our community and the boot of tyranny. And we must act on this commitment. We must start by promising to defend our residents from harm while they engage in peaceful, nonviolent protest."
"My level of anxiety is high. My preparation is even more intense than that," Racine was telling the media before the pro-Trump Save America rally now.
The double standard was obvious and blatant. The Democrats and media had cheered Black Lives Matter violent protests. They had colluded in previous invasions of Congress and the harassment of elected officials. But now they wanted a violent riot they could condemn.
And such a riot would helpfully put to bed any further questions about a rigged election.
After a massive peaceful rally by Save America protesters, who had been addressed by President Trump, a smaller group marched on Congress. The MPD however reacted very differently than it had to previous Black Lives Matter and four years of leftist rallies.
In the resulting confrontation, a number of fringe elements, Neo-Nazis, Groypers, Boogaloo Bois, a leftist-libertarian anarchist group that collaborates with Antifa and Black Lives Matter, took the opportunity to cause damage and stage photo-ops for the media. Unfortunately some legitimate conservative protesters who had entered the building were caught in the violence.
But the media stars of the confrontation were not conservatives and were anti-Trump.
One picture showed Tim 'Baked Alaska' Gionet, a former Black Lives Matter supporter and BuzzFeed employee, who has a history of circulating around the Groypers and aligning with the alt-right. Another appeared to show Matthew Heimbach, formerly with the National Socialist Movement, an alleged Neo-Nazi leader, who had previously argued in court that his actions were President Trump's fault and that Trump should be held legally liable.
The purpose of the entire circus was to provide a propaganda opportunity for the Left.
Much as in Charlottesville, marginal figures who were hostile to President Trump, to Republicans, and to conservatives, had taken center stage at the behest of the media.
The purpose of the entire circus was to provide a propaganda opportunity for the Left.
The outrage over the protests is a farce coming from a political movement that advocated terrorizing Republican elected officials, that aided invasions of Congress, and that supported the Black Lives Matter riots which, aside from terrorizing D.C., also wrecked much of the country.
Why is broken glass on Capitol Hill so much more precious than the broken glass that ended the dreams of store owners in Kenosha? Where was all the outrage, the tears wept for our country when Black Lives Matter thugs were prying open shops around the country, looting them, and assaulting their owners on a scale so vast it racked up $2 billion in damages?
"Please, show me where it says protesters are supposed to be polite and peaceful," CNN's Chris Cuomo had barked while his news network showed rioting and looting in New York.
Riots are obviously wrong. Except that Democrats and the media decided that wasn't true.
Martin Luther King's infamous quote, "a riot is the language of the unheard", popped up in Time, USA Today, and on CNN. "Violence was critical to the success of the 1960s civil rights movement," a Washington Post op-ed argued. The AP urged reporters to use "uprising" instead of "riot" to describe the violence, while suggesting that protests can be violent and that reporting should not focus on the "property destruction", but instead on the "underlying grievance".
A subsidiary of one of the big 5 publishers put out a book titled, "In Defense of Looting."
You can't normalize political violence and then expect it to be a one-sided affair. After months in which BLM mobs attacked a federal courthouse in Portland, throwing fireworks and shining lasers in the eyes of law enforcement personnel, toppled statues across the country, and injured hundreds of police officers, the Democrats and their media are suddenly outraged.
How, in the midst of all this rioting, could anyone get the idea that rioting is okay?
Laws only work when they apply to everyone. When violence is okay for some, but not for others, then a violent struggle ensues until a totalitarian monopoly on violence is achieved.
Or until we come to our senses.
The protesters in D.C. had a legitimate grievance. And they still do.
There's little question as to which side of the political spectrum has championed and mainstreamed violence for over a century. The very different fate of Kluxers and the Weathermen, trailer parks for the former and academic careers for the latter, show which side finds political violence not only acceptable, but praiseworthy. And this is no different.
Contrary to the media's spin, Republicans have never normalized violence. And Republican political power doesn't depend on political terror and violence. Leftist power invariably does.
The Left began a new age of political violence in 2016. It can turn it off anytime it wants to.
The problem is that it won't, and an illiberal partisan media and accompanying cultural establishment will never dare to suggest that maybe there should be fewer riots and threats.
And that means the violence will escalate. Opportunists will seize the moment to play agent provocateurs, creating memorable images for media propagandists to justify a crackdown.
The protesters in D.C. had a legitimate grievance. And they still do. The outrage over stolen elections won't be suppressed this way. The mass movement in D.C. is the true resistance.
There is a great deal of irony in quoting "a riot is the language of the unheard" to describe the race riots of a movement with unlimited political and corporate backing, whose message is heard all the time, but not to address a movement that is genuinely unheard. Before the fighting started, there was virtually no media coverage of President Trump's speech and the rally.
Press conferences that mention election fraud aren't aired. Articles and videos questioning the election are censored. That is the true voice of the unheard who are more so than ever.
Democrats and the media normalized violence when they were in the opposition and now want to normalize the suppression of political protests and speech as they expect to take power.
But media spin isn't real life. And it's a lot easier to break a country than to put it back together.
Daniel Greenfield is a journalist investigating Islamic terrorism and the Left. He is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center
Report: Housebound Israelis Smoke 30% More Cigarettes, 35% More Weed
There has been a significant increase in smoking—both cigarettes and cannabis—during the corona crisis, according to data presented Tuesday at a conference of the School of Public Health of the University of Haifa. The data presented show that almost 30% of cigarette smokers reported smoking more and about 35% of cannabis smokers reported smoking more.
Various studies were presented by school researchers on the Corona crisis in Israel. Prof. Lital-Keinan Boker, director of the National Center for Disease Control at the Health Ministry and a senior researcher at the School of Public Health at the University of Haifa, presented data from a survey in which 2,580 participants were questioned on two dates: the end of the first wave of the corona pandemic, the opening of the economy and removal of restrictions (5/13/2020 to 9/17/2020); and the beginning of the restrictions of the second wave, with the increase in recurrent morbidity, ending in the second lockdown (9/17/2020 to 7/8/2020).
The results of the survey show that 21.7% reported avoiding or postponing medical treatment at the HMOs due to fear of contracting the coronavirus; 4.4% reported delaying going to the hospital for urgent medical treatment for fear of the coronavirus; and 13.9% reported having some difficulty finding treatment.
Regarding the level of the public's general anxiety level, the survey found that during the second lockdown period 12.8% reported a state of general anxiety, compared to 7.7% who reported anxiety at the end of the first lockdown when restrictions had been removed.
The survey also found that 21.1% reported a decrease in sleep quality; 28.6% reported that their weight had increased since the onset of the corona pandemic; and 28.6% reported that they smoked more.
Dr. Sharon Schnittman also showed an increase in smoking among cannabis smokers. In a study she conducted with Dr. Nehama Lewis of the Department of Communication, Dr. Dennis Rosenberg of the School of Public Health, and in collaboration with the moderators of the Cannabis Magazine forum among 755 cannabis users over age 18 who smoke at least once a month, found that 35% of them reported smoking more cannabis during the crisis, which constitutes "an increase in cannabis use," according to Dr. Schnittman..
Media: Israel Must Be Denigrated for Its World-Beating Vaccination Program
Prejudice against the Jewish state is so intense in the Western media that praiseworthy actions guaranteed to hit the headlines if attributable to any other country are frequently ignored, diminished or denigrated when it comes to Israel. When there is a disaster anywhere in the world, for example, Israel is often the first, or among the first, to offer assistance and send in relief workers. Most recently, last month the Israel Defence Forces dispatched a team to Honduras following the devastation of category 4 hurricanes Eta and Iota which left thousands homeless.
In the last 15 years IDF relief missions have deployed in Albania, Brazil, Mexico, Nepal, the Philippines, Ghana, Bulgaria, Turkey, Japan, Columbia, Haiti, Kenya, the US, Sri Lanka and Egypt — and many other countries in the years before.
Under Operation Good Neighbour, between 2016 and 2018, the IDF set up field hospitals on the Syrian border to treat civilians wounded by violence in their country and sent vital supplies directly into Syria, a nation which is at war with Israel, to help suffering people there.
Few outside Israel, Jewish communities around the world and the places that have benefited from IDF assistance have any idea of any of this because the media is not interested. In some cases, news items about countries contributing teams to disaster relief have omitted Israel despite knowing the IDF was playing an important role.
The same negative policy extends to other major benefits that Israel has brought to the world, including scientific innovation, medical technology and life-saving intelligence. It goes against editorial agendas to report on the Jewish state in a positive light unless they can somehow twist a good story to turn it bad.
This week we have seen exactly that in newspapers and broadcast media on both sides of the Atlantic as they contort themselves — and the truth — to bash Israel over its remarkable success in vaccinating against Coronavirus. In the UK, the Guardian newspaper reported:
"Two weeks into its vaccination campaign, Israel is administering more than 150,000 doses a day, amounting to initial jabs for more than 1 million of its 9 million citizens — a higher proportion of the population than anywhere else".
With the world so focused on Coronavirus and national reactions everywhere, papers such as the Guardian could hardly avoid reporting Israel's achievement, much as they would likely have preferred not to. So the article had to be headlined: "Palestinians excluded from Israeli Covid vaccine rollout as jabs go to settlers".
Effectively accusing Israel of racism by neglecting Palestinian Arabs, the Guardian wrote: "Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza can only watch and wait". Across the Atlantic, the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) gleefully headlined its article on Israel's success with: "Palestinians left waiting as Israel is set to deploy COVID-19 vaccine". The Washington Postpublished similarly malign sentiments under the headline: "Israel is starting to vaccinate, but Palestinians may have to wait months".
Predictably the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs leapt onto this rickety bandwagon, publishing on its website a joint statement by a range of human rights organisations, levelling the same criticism and erroneously claiming violations of international law. Ken Roth, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch — an organization which its founder, the late Robert L. Bernstein, left precisely because of its unjust stance against Israel — in a tweet alleged: "Israel's discriminatory treatment of Palestinians" and claimed in a separate tweet: "it has not vaccinated a single Palestinian".
Unwilling to be left out of these gratuitous efforts to attack Israel, Amnesty International also levelled accusations of contravening international law by not vaccinating Palestinian Arabs.
As with most Israel-related stories in the mainstream media and the propaganda relentlessly churned out by so-called human rights groups, these slanders are entirely false. Palestinian Arabs living in Judea and Samaria, or the West Bank, and Gaza, are not even Israeli citizens and they are not signed up to Israeli healthcare providers.
Under the Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestinians in the 1990s, which created the Palestinian Authority (PA), it alone and not Israel is responsible for the health care of Palestinians, including vaccinations. Nearly 150 UN members recognise "Palestine" as a state, yet these media and human rights bodies, displaying deplorably predictable bias, cannot bring themselves to allow it agency.
The Palestinian Authority has its own plans for vaccinating its people, including in conjunction with the World Health Organization's Covax scheme, which have been reported in the same media that is attempting to traduce Israel.
At the time when Israel was planning its vaccination programme and procuring vaccines, the Palestinian Authority had broken off relations with Israel. Since contact has been restored, until now, neither the PA nor the Hamas terrorist regime that runs the Gaza Strip have asked Israel for any help with vaccinations, evidently preferring their own paths. However, as late as January 5, a Palestinian Authority official claimed the PA is now discussing with Israel the possibility of some vaccines being supplied to them, which the Israeli authorities are reportedly considering.
Reports also suggest that some doses of vaccine had already been secretly provided by Israel to the Palestinian Authority, following earlier unofficial approaches. The reason for this smoke-and-mirrors approach is the embarrassment the PA has at publicly seeking assistance from Israel, which it unfailingly rages against and vilifies at every opportunity. None of this is likely to be known or covered by the majority of media: it doesn't fit their agenda.
The idea advanced by some media and human rights commentators that Israel might be allowed to vaccinate the citizens of Gaza, whose rulers have been firing lethal rockets at Israeli territory before and since the pandemic began, is derisory. What are these media commentators and so-called human rights groups doing to persuade the international community to help Gazans in their plight?
Contradicting allegations of a racist or "apartheid" policy, Israel has been vaccinating its Arab citizens since the programme began. Given some reluctance to be vaccinated among these communities, the Israeli government, in conjunction with Arab community leaders, have been making concerted efforts to encourage them, including a visit by Prime Minister Netanyahu to two Arab towns in the last few days for this purpose.
Jerusalem Post journalist Seth Frantzman personally confirms that Arabs in eastern Jerusalem have been and are being vaccinated. These people are classed by Ken Roth as Palestinian citizens, by his own lights giving the lie to his assertion that Israel "has not vaccinated a single Palestinian".
According to Frantzman, there are cases of non-citizens in Israel getting vaccinated by showing up at the mass vaccination points. He cites the example of a Palestinian citizen in Judea who was vaccinated by Israeli authorities despite not having an Israeli health card, illustrating that "Israel's health authorities are doing all they can to vaccinate as many people as possible, regardless of whether they are Arab or Jewish".
As anyone who actually knows Israel even slightly would expect, its government will be doing everything it reasonably can to help Palestinians in Judea and Samaria and in Gaza with their fight against Coronavirus.
Despite the usual allegations to the contrary, the IDF say they have accepted and facilitated all requests for medical assistance of any kind into the Gaza Strip, including ventilators, oxygen generators and Coronavirus testing equipment. This accords with their track record of making all possible efforts to coordinate humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza, even during periods of intensive conflict initiated by Gaza terrorists.
The New York Times also takes a swipe at Israel but from a different angle. While noting the criticisms over "failure" to vaccinate Palestinians, the paper majors not on that but on strong and laboured implications that Israel's success is driven by Prime Minister Netanyahu's desire to "bolster his own battered image". One way or another, journalists are determined that Israel's achievements must not be painted in a positive light.
The same approach can be seen over the Abraham Accords of 2020, historic achievements in a hitherto elusive peace between Israel and the Arabs. These have often been received with callous cynicism in the media as well as among veteran peace processors, whose own prescriptions have repeatedly failed. Many political leaders in Europe have followed suit. Their decades-old opposition to the Jewish state was actuated largely by a self-interested desire to take sides with an Arab world vehemently opposed to Israel's existence even to the point of battle.
Lord David Trimble, former First Minister of Northern Ireland and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, in November nominated Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the prize, along with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi. Lord Trimble recognised that Netanyahu is the driving force behind the Abraham Accords, whose origins date back to his speech to a joint session of US Congress in 2015, when he made a stand against Iran's nuclear ambitions. Netanyahu's solitary stance was seized on by Arab leaders, who began to realise they had common cause with the State of Israel, which could lead to a brighter future for them than one encumbered with unnecessary animosity.
There has been no greater move towards peace anywhere in the world in decades. We will see whether Netanyahu receives the Nobel Prize in October. If not, it will be due to the same contempt that the New York Times and many self-proclaimed Western intelligentsia have for this prime minister who, though controversial both at home and abroad, represents the Israeli spirit that they seem determined to denigrate at every turn — even in the face of such monumental achievements as the Abraham Accords and a world-beating vaccination programme.