Israel and Morocco normalize ties; Pfizer vaccine on deck: Israel Update

December 11, 2020

Israel and Morocco have agreed to reestablish diplomatic relations, US President Donald Trump announced Thursday—marking the fourth Arab-Israel agreement in four months. As part of the negotiated deal, Trump said he also signed a proclamation recognizing Moroccan sovereignty over the Western Sahara, a disputed territory. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel and Morocco plan to reopen their economic liaison offices—closed in 2002—and work quickly to exchange ambassadors and begin direct commercial flights between the countries, building on historic connections between the two countries and their people. The White House plans to hold a ceremony to make the agreement official before Trump leaves office on January 20. Netanyahu is expected to speak with the Moroccan King on Friday to further discuss the normalization agreement. Numerous Jewish organizations welcomed the announcement, including our own here


Israeli Health Minister Yuli Edelstein hailed the US FDA’s recommendation to approve the Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine as "great news for the citizens of Israel." Edelstein further announced he had instructed ministry officials “to review the approval and present their recommendations in the coming days.” Israel has agreed to purchase millions of vaccines from Pfizer and, according to some reports, could receive up to four million doses by the end of the month. The Food and Drug Administration must still sign off on the panel’s recommendations, but is widely expected to do so. Israel is expected to follow suit. 


The Israeli government will not impose additional pandemic restrictions over the Chanukah holiday, according to reports on Thursday, but may tighten health rules if the number of daily cases reaches 2,500. The decision came after ministers in the coronavirus cabinet protested the plan to ban Israelis from visiting the homes of others during the evening hours of the holiday, which began Thursday night. It was unclear how police would have enforced such an order, as they cannot legally enter homes without a warrant. Reports said the senior ministers had agreed that if or when the daily caseload hits 2,500 or the coefficient of infection reaches 1.32, the following would result: all businesses that accept walk-in customers would be closed; schools in high infection areas would be shuttered; and public transportation would be reduced to 50 percent capacity.


Two opposing protests were held at Beitar Jerusalem’s training compound, Friday, in the wake of an Emirati sheikh’s purchase of half of the soccer club. Several dozen members of the hardcore fan club "La Familia" demonstrated against the sale. Meanwhile, more than 100 fans rallied in support of the deal between the owner Moshe Hogeg and Emirati businessman Hamad bin Khalifa Al Nahyan—a member of Abu Dhabi’s royal family. On Monday, Beitar Jerusalem announced Sheikh Hamad had bought a 50% stake in the club, and had pledged to infuse $90 million into Beitar over the next 10 years. On Tuesday, co-owners Hogeg and Al Nahyan said they were determined to show that Jews and Muslims can cooperate and do great things together, and that sports is an excellent place to demonstrate that mission.


The safety, health, and well-being of all community members is a priority for the Jewish Federation. Like many of you, we are closely monitoring the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic. This page has been developed to help our community stay informed about efforts to support the community during this time. This page will be continually updated. 


Shabbat Shalom, 


Jackie Congedo, Director, JCRC


P.S. If you or a friend would like to get our own, up-to-the-minute Israel Update, you can sign up here; when asked for "interests" click "weekly Israel Update."

Former Israeli Space Security Chief Says Extraterrestrials Exist


Netanyahu rival leaves Likud to challenge for premiership


Abbas: Palestinians Ready to Resume Peace Talks with Israel


SpaceIL's Beresheet 2 Moonshot Set for 2024


PA Silent; Hamas, Islamic Jihad Condemn Morocco-Israel Ties as ‘Betrayal’
Screen Shot 2020-12-11 at 7.38.20 AM.png
Screen Shot 2020-12-11 at 7.40.03 AM.png
Screen Shot 2020-12-11 at 7.41.27 AM.png

Our JCRC is curating a diverse schedule of webinars, hosted by our local and national partners, on Israel and other issues related to our work. Click here to view this calendar.


Together, we can do virtually anything. If you or a loved one need help during this crisis, please reach out to our COVID-19 Hotline.


 Follow the Jewish

Community Relations

Council on Facebook



• Follow director Jackie

Congedo and the JCRC

on Twitter



• Visit our website for

more information and


About Us

The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) is the non-partisan, public affairs arm of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati.

Contact Us

Jackie Congedo, Director 

Jewish Community Relations Council 

513-985-1501 |

© Copyright 2018. All Rights Reserved.