The less flattering side of Israel: the first country to once again impose a closure


“The first wave of the COVID-19 has almost no health consequences, but the second wave of the coronavirus threatens to destroy its health system.”

Coronavirus in Israel/ photo source Twitter

Israel becomes the first developed country to impose second general closure for three weeks, starting this coming Friday, in order to deal with the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

The media around the world have paid close attention to the Israeli precedent on the last day. “Israel will celebrate Rosh Hashanah under closure,” the New York Times wrote.

The media in Europe mentioned the resignation of the Minister of Construction and Housing, The Haredi Yaakov Litzman, in protest of the restriction of prayers in synagogues as a result of the closure. “Experts have warned that after Yom Kippur, when many Jews come to synagogues, the number of infected people could skyrocket,” the FAZ wrote from Frankfurt.

“The decision to impose the blockade has created a great deal of political tension in a coalition that is already largely dysfunctional,” the British news network Sky News reported, “and discussions on the decision lasted about seven hours.”

“Israel is closing again”, the German “Spiegel,” wrote, noting that the decision was made yesterday in the government due to “a record number of corona cases recorded in the country”, and that schools and “large parts of the economy” will be closed. Most of the media in Germany quoted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as saying that “hospital managers waved the red flag” as a reason for the closure.

In Spain, too, which is facing a significant second wave of illness, but in which the prime minister and health minister have made it clear in recent weeks that they are not currently considering imposing a general closure or declaring a state of emergency, news of the Israeli precedent has been central. “As an example and role model for other countries, Israel has managed to overcome the first wave of the plague with almost no health consequences,” wrote El Pais from Madrid, “but the second wave of the corona is now threatening to smash its health system.” Some provinces in Spain have in the past asked residents to stay in homes voluntarily, and some local closures have been imposed on significant outbreak sites, but a general closure such as the one announced in Israel has not been considered.

“Israel has become the first developed country to re-impose a closure,” wrote the British Guardian, which according to the Reuters news agency reported that Israelis would be limited to a range of 500 meters from their homes, but would be allowed to travel to work as usual. “Schools and malls will be closed, but supermarkets and pharmacies will remain open,” it read.

Le Monde reported that the closure was announced after a “local closure on 40 at-risk cities did not work” (although it was imposed only about a week ago, AA). “Curfews across Israel starting Friday” Which itself is facing the start of a second wave, as Chancellor Sebastian Kurz warned yesterday.

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