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Coronavirus & Israel
By Micah Halpern

Monday March 9, 2020

I've Been Thinking:

Israel is responding to Coronavirus very aggressively. 150,000 people are in isolation - most in self isolation. Many borders with neighboring countries, specifically Egypt, are closed. Flights from many other countries, in Europe and Asia, are not permitted in.

Now they are seriously considering isolating every single person who arrives in Israel from any destination - Israelis, tourists and business people.

All this may backfire. The virus has already arrived. As of late Sunday 39 Israelis have tested positive. That is more than most other counties in the world. Actually, Israel ranks 33 in the world out of 196 countries with numbers of people with coronavirus.

Israelís response probably has a political side to it.

Netanyahu needs to be seen as a capable leader handling - and or protecting - his country from a huge danger. No one else can do this. But the more leadership responds and comments, the bigger the crisis becomes. And by extension, the better a leader Netanyahu becomes.

On all levels, Netanyahu can do things and make decisions that his counterpart, Benny Gantz, cannot do, especially because his counterpart is embracing the Joint Arab List which is anti-Zionist and some membrane even preach the destruction of Israel.

If the virus spins out of control Netanyahu's plan could backfire. It could also backfire if Gantz can show that Netanyahu is causing more damage than good.

The tourism industry, a major source of revenue in Israel, had ground to a halt.
The virus is not just a medical headache. Itís tendrils reach all segments of society and government.

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10 March 2020 02:03 PM in Thoughts

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