Israel takes tough measures to fight Covid-19, but not everyone adheres to it. The conflict with the religious begins again.
The corona virus shows all societies their weak points. One of Israel's Achilles heels is the relationship between the state and the Orthodox. Israel takes drastic measures very quickly taken to curb the corona pandemic. But in the orthodox community the measures were only implemented after a two-week delay. The result: Orthodox quarters are strongholds of the corona virus. In Bnei Brak, an orthodox city on the border with Tel Aviv, a third of those tested were positive. Half of all Corona patients in hospitals are Orthodox.
Israel's Orthodox live in their own world. they use kosher cell phones without internet access, visit their own schools, follow their own judicial system, have their own communication channels. They follow their rabbi's instructions, not those of the state.
Two weeks ago, the rabbis largely announced in unison that the Torah study must continue and the religious schools should not be closed. Most of them are now ordering them to follow state directives. But when police officers in Jerusalem wanted to close some synagogues that were still open on Monday, Orthodox threw stones at them.
With regard to the Orthodox, the Israeli state often measures by two standards. When the Ministry of Health decided that public gatherings should be limited to 10 people, police officers were instructed to divert up to 20 people in synagogues.
The Israeli state must finally understand what role religion should play in the state
When Israelis were no longer allowed to leave the house on Sunday, 400 Orthodox buried a respected rabbi undisturbed. The police, it was said, were concerned about clashes.
The double standard by which Israel acts in relation to its Orthodox is taking revenge now that the number of people infected with corona is increasing. The crisis makes it clear once again that the Israeli state must finally understand what role religion should play in the state.