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These last few months have challenged us in ways that we never fathomed. And the coronoavirus has not receded - neither the disease itself nor its companions on the economic and mental health fronts.

Yet many of you are most likely beginning to emerge from this crisis, as governments loosen lockdowns and warmer weather beckons.

To mark this milestone, enjoy this all-good-news DARA newsletter. And don't forget about our exciting new series of DARA webinars, with details available at the bottom of this email.

Take care, everyone, and stay safe!

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Bedside diplomacy treats hate in Israel

You probably recall hearing stories of this genre: Jewish-Israeli doctor treats Arab-Israeli or Palestinian patients - occasionally a terrorist injured while executing an attack. The doctors treats the patient and ignores politics.

This COVID-19 story takes a different tack. In this case, one of Israel's Arab health care professionals treats a Jewish patient and builds diplomatic bridges. The patient, Jesse Michael Kramer, is an ultra-Orthodox Jew suffering from coronavirus at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital. The doctor, Fadi Kharouf, lives in Hebron.

“I am sure we may have extremely different political views, but they are very respectful to me,” said Kharouf of his Jewish patients, who are mostly ultra-Orthodox.

As the article points out, Israel's Arab minority is well-represented among the.doctors and nurses work at Israel's hospitals. During the coronavirus pandemic, Israelis from across the spectrum have found new ways to engage in the bedside diplomacy the country's hospitals have claimed as their brand.

The Jewish physician currently heading Hadassah’s COVID-19 intensive care units recalls treating a Palestinian terrorist during her first shift at the hospital in the early 1990s. This political neutrality - nay, basic health-care professionalism - continues.

“No religious Jew has ever told me, ‘I don’t want to be treated by an Arab doctor,’ ” said Sigal Sviri. “No Arab patient ever says, ‘I don’t want to be treated by a settler nurse.’ They wake up on different sides of the fence and they meet at Hadassah.”

Israeli lab isolates coronavirus antibody

Israel has isolated a key coronavirus antibody at its main biological research laboratory, the Israeli defense minister said earlier this month.

The “monoclonal neutralizing antibody” developed at the Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR) “can neutralize it (the disease-causing coronavirus) inside carriers’ bodies,” said Defence Minister Naftali Bennett.

As COVID-19 spreads around the world, researchers have sought the elusive vaccine that can quell the outbreak. The breakthrough in Israel represents one of the brightest opportunities to find an antidote.

The antibody developed in Israel is monoclonal, or sourced from a single recovered cell. It can potentially provide more value in yielding a treatment than polyclonal antibodies - those sourced from two or more cells of different ancestry.

DARA webinar: COVID-19 and antisemitism

Register now for the webinar.




 

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