A few weeks ago I introduced you to our Health Minister (72), saying he was a danger to Israel and ill-equipped to be in that position. The ultra-Orthodox community is only community that did not quickly agree to the new rules against gatherings and as a result, despite making up only 10% of the nation, they are 50% of the corona patients. Now, Police are seeking to quarantine the entire city of Bnei Brak (ultra-Orthodox Neighborhood next to Tel Aviv). And now Minister Litzman and his wife join that group as the have both tested positive from Covid-19. Reports say he is feeling okay.
“Some have alleged [Litzman] put the interests of the ultra-Orthodox community ahead of the general public in his handling of the fight against the pandemic. He reportedly pushed to delay stringent restrictions on public gatherings that would have affected observance of the Purim festival last month, and fought bitterly against last week’s closing of synagogues.” (timesofisrael)
Netanyahu has been urged to replace him with a professional. Most ultra-Orthodox grow up with almost exclusively religious studies, as opposed to math and science. It seem ludicrous that during this crisis that a man with no background in medicine is our health minister.
I am not sure what this means for the Prime Minister and others in the government, who have been working closely with them.
[Update: A beleaguered Bibi got out of quarantine this morning and had to go right back in, after news broke regarding MK Litzman.]
In defense of the ultra-Orthodox (Haredim), information was not getting to them fast enough. Minister Litzman has been criticized for not being more aggressive in making them understand how real this is. They are largely cut off from the rest of Israel. They are discouraged from watching TV or having a smartphone. They did not understand the gravity of the situation. And, they distrust the government and are prone to think that it could be a trick. Below is an article that might help.
While only 6511 Israelis have tested positive for COVID-19, official’s believe that 38% or 75,000 of the residents of Bnei Brak have the Coronavirus!
The tweet below from just two weeks ago shows ultra-Orthodox Jews celebrating at a wedding, just as the rate of infection jumped thought out the nation.
פרסמנו הערב במהדורה תיעוד מאירוע שמתרחש עכשיו בבית שמש: חתונה של משפחות אדמו״רים בהשתתפות כמאתיים בני אדם. עם כל המאמץ לא להכליל זאת כבר לא רשלנות או חוסר מודעות נקודתיים אלא זלזול ורמיסה של אמצעי הזהירות. הראשונים להיפגע חלילה יהיו החוגגים עצמם ומשפחותיהם, ובהמשך כולנו. pic.twitter.com/tqVwRNIguJ — יאיר שרקי (@yaircherki) March 17, 2020
On the other hand, their leaders embraced the mantra “canceling Torah study is more dangerous than the coronavirus.” Turns out they were wrong. And, you can actually read the torah as much as you want from your home.
To help you understand how brainwashed these folks, notice the child coughing on police calling them nazis, for seeking to enforce the new rules.
Disgusting behavior: Ultra-Orthodox in Jerusalem coughing on Policemen and calling them Nazis. pic.twitter.com/k15UQQusU8 — Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) April 1, 2020
“However, most of these were the actions of fringe extremists groups. As the coronavirus began to spread within the Haredi community, its mainstream leaders began taking things more seriously,” writes The Times of Israel.
Nevertheless, there are our people and I have been working with a pastor in the north to get food to a very poor village of religious Jews. Thanks to you, we were about to provide them with 3,600 shekels of quality food.
You provided this food for Passover for some of the poorest Religious Jews in the country. Thank you. The note (bottom right), is proof of reception and a thank you note.