Ultra-conservative, Netanyahu’s ally, fuel Israel COVID spike

Two weeks ago, as the Israeli government stopped lifting its second national coronovirus lockdown, families affected by the closure of schools were treated with a worrying view of ultra-Orthodox children who were returning to the classroom.

Some children wore masks, and some directed toward learning the pod. But mostly, the boys’ screws ran when they reopened Tallumi TorahAs, Bible-centric primary schools for ultra-Orthodox boys are called.

These children – or, more accurately, their parents – were following the edits of Rabbi Chaim Kaniewski, the most prominent ultra-orthodox voice in Israel who commanded Tallumi Torah The same day when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government decided to keep the schools closed.

Kanivsky’s disregard of the lockout sparked widespread outrage. But it made almost no fuss by Israeli officials, who broke only half-heartedly, at best, on rule-breaking and virus-spreading activities in the ultra-Orthodox community, such as sectarian studies and mob- Fucked marriages, which are largely fueling. Second wave of COVID-19 cases.

What to do about haredim, Called ultra-orthodox in Israel, has now become the largest test of Netanyahu’s response to the pandemic. According to the Israeli Ministry of Health, ultra-Orthodox people make up about 11% of the population, but more than 50% of COVID-19 patients 65 and older are filling hospitals.

But the gloves that treat the child haredim Has highlighted the external influence of its leaders’ victory in Israel – and to the extent of Netanyahu’s dependence on him to remain in power. Away from the image he prefers the project of a strong leader, Israel’s longest-serving premier even amid a small religious minority and a politically raging public health crisis for his demands.

Netanyahu is also the first Israeli prime minister to be convicted of criminal charges, and is hearing three corruption cases, which could result in a 10-year prison sentence. That legal vulnerability, and the alliance’s agreement with its rival ex-soldier Benny Gentz, only increased its dependence on ultra-orthodox parties. Yohannan Plessner, president of the Israeli Democracy Institute, said that there is a “strategic imperative” that has guided Netanyahu’s entire career, even at a very high cost.

“As long as he accepts 100% of their demands in the domestic arena,” Plessner said, “Netanyahu understood that they were making sure they would guarantee something like a monopoly on political power on their behalf.”

If by now most Israeli leaders have gone about their business oblivious to the intricacies of Netanyahu’s political maneuvers, the coronovirus crisis has made it impossible.

His government’s own disregard Scientific experts, including “Corona Caesar” Ronnie Gamzoo, who recommended targeted sanctions rather than another nationwide lockdown, have seen the prime minister’s popularity and voiced vocal and continued opposition against him.

It has also widened the growing rift between Israel’s secular majority and its super-religious minority, which Netanyahu has so far shown little appetite to resume.

“When Netanyahu, as an individual – not just as prime minister – relies too heavily on his ultra-conservative allies, it is almost ridiculous to think that he will confront this population or its political leaders.”

This has increased social tension that has produced some extraordinary scenes in Israel.

When Gamzu, the director of Tel Aviv Hospital, a nonprofit appointed by Netanyahu, visited Modi’s Ally Orthodox city only three months ago, Sabbath, the residents call him “Everader!” And “Don’t close the Synagogues!”

After that hostile reception, Netanyahu’s coalition partner Gant said: “For some there may not be one law and for others there may be another law. … We should pay attention to their needs, but we cannot accept anarchy. ”

Even as Gamzu visited Modi’in Ilit, national news station Kann Broadcasting posted a video of a crowded ultra-orthodox seaside wedding in Bat Yam, south of Tel Aviv, where masks and social disturbances give little evidence Was in Such videos have become a daily occurrence, leading to fierce criticism of police for the lax enforcement of the lockout – and over-conservative for their apathy towards public health.

“I think we just have to put up a barrier [their] Cities. Let’s cut them, ”Gabby Barbash, former director of Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, said in a television interview. He said, “Let them do what they want and we will only allow the ambulance to the hospital.” It is clear that it will reach that position – and perhaps this is the right way to deal with them. ”

To date, 300,000 Israelis have been infected with coronovirus, and 2,300 people have died. The ultra-Orthodox, who live in densely populated, densely populated communities where women cover their hair and wear men’s beards and long black dresses, have suffered untimely losses.

But, he haredim – Long accustomed to following the rabbi, not the government – believing that coronovirus poses a greater spiritual risk than a physical one.

“Judaism is together today. These are gatherings around the Rabbi’s table, lessons in Yashiva [seminary], The crowd for ritual baths, ceremonies and philosophies, “said Israel Frey, an independent ultra-conservative journalist.” This is what it means to mean ‘religious life’.

“You can keep social distance for a month,” Fr. said. But for young men who make the backbone of haredim The world of tradition, “What will they do without fame?” The rug has been pulled from under their feet. They see this as a loss of their religious way of life. ”

Coronovirus threatens to shatter a fragile social and political treaty in the midst of crisis haredim And the state that has existed since the foundation of Israel.

Several months before Israel’s 1948 declaration of independence, soon-to-be Prime Minister David Ben Gurion exempted 400 ultra-Orthodox youths from compulsory military service in exchange for the blessings of their rabbis on the nascent secular nation, considered by many to be profane . Working in the Holy Land.

Today, the number of state-backed Yashiva students has grown to 65,000, and Ben Gurion’s latest successor, Netanyahu, specializes in a politically expedient deal with ultra-conservative leaders.

Yet this time may not be enough to save Netanyahu.

The Israelis appear suspicious at best about the possibility of a suspected prime minister appearing in court three or four times a week, as expected in January, when witnesses are called to testify at their trial Will go. In addition, some Israelis hope Netanyahu respects power-sharing agreement With Gantz, who calls Gantz Took over as Prime Minister in one year.

If the agreement is not upheld, the government is likely to collapse before the end of the year, Netanyahu was thrown out of the pity of deeply unhappy voters.

Last week, a poll by the Israel Democracy Institute found that only 31% of Israelis Trust dealing with your epidemic, and another survey found that 64% believed the second lockdown was based not on science but on politics.

Yossi Waiter, a political columnist for the liberal daily Haaretz, wrote on Friday, “The only alliance for the prime minister is with ultra-orthodox, for which he will sacrifice all of us.” “At the time of relative economic and social stability, there was no problem. They paid the ultra-orthodox they wanted and passed on the burden to all. …

“The coronovirus crisis is bringing home the disability of man’s leadership. ‘Netanyahu and Hardim’ is in essence a crisis management failure. ”

Tarnopolsky is a special correspondent.

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