Science helps Israeli Relations amid Pandemic

Lt. Gen. Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, a senior official from Dubai Police, has urged Arab states to normalise relations with Israel, tweeting: ‘The truth is that it`s meaningless not to recognize Israel’

‘Israel is a country built on science, knowledge, prosperity and
strong relations with all developing countries.’

One sign of the countries’ improving relationship was the first direct flight of a United Arab Emirates commercial aircraft to Israel last month.

Rabbi Marc Schneier noted that four of the six Gulf States are currently in contact with Israel. Such moves are perhaps encouraged by a need for help in combatting the coronavirus pandemic.

Israel’s reputation for scientific innovation is one of the major attractions of formal relations. Among many developments it has recently revealed the invention of a one-minute coronavirus breath test that could have enormous implications for international travel later this year.

The device was developed at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and uses frequency spectroscopy to detect the COVID-19 virus, which means it does not suffer from the shortage of reagents that has limited availability of current swab-based tests. The new device has achieved a success rate of more than 90 percent in trials, comparing favourably with other tests which achieve success rates between 70 and 95 percent.

Examples of Israel’s scientific and technological prowess like this one mean that it is not just the Gulf States that are seeking improved relationships. Earlier this year Benjamin Netanyahu met Abdel-Fatah Al-Burhan, the head of Sudan’s sovereignty council, in Uganda to explore normalising relations between their two countries. The decision now rests with the Sudanese government.