JERUSALEM (VINnews) — In a shocking example of secular incitement, a journalist in the Haaretz newspaper called on the left to “ignite a secular intifada” against the Chareidi public, stating that “whoever does this will become a megastar.”
Uri Misgav, a journalist for Haaretz, wrote in the wake of the rising number of Chareidim infected by coronavirus, which reached 37% of all those infected in the past week. Misgav states that “the Chareidim are more dangerous to Israel’s present and future than Hezbollah rockets and the Iranian nuclear weapon. Their damage is tangible and not potential. The coronavirus, like other dramatic crises, revealed the truth. The Chareidim are the rulers of the land. Israel is suffering from coronavirus mainly due to them. In Tel Aviv this week there were 4% positive tests, in Haifa 6%. This is not a disease of secularists. In Jerusalem, Bnei Brak, Beitar Illit and Modiin Illit it is not enforced anyway and the infections rise accordingly. In the coronavirus chain Chareidim become part of the state only when they require medical attention.”
Misgav claims that “Israel did not initiate differential closures according to infection rate due to fear of the Chareidim. In the past half year they were the first to receive budgetary increases of hundreds of millions of shekels to their yeshivos and educational institutions which continued to open without disturbance. The secularists are ruined and the Chareidim are well maintained.”
Misgav goes on to praise Avigdor Liberman and his party for “confronting the Chareidim” and asks why the left-wing doesn’t do the same and “pick up the electoral asset which is staring it in the face. Here’s the story, idiots: The Chareidim are ruining and destroying the country.”
Misgav’s lies are shocking in their mendacity and sheer crudeness. There is hardly one fact in the article which cannot be disputed: The Chareidim, far from ruling the country, are given far lower proportionate budgets per capita than their secular counterparts. Almost no cultural budgets reach the Chareidim even though they represent more than 12% of the population. Despite this they are not only “part of the state when they require medical attention”. Numerous Chareidi first aid and medicare organizations have been at the forefront of the pandemic, providing medical attention, ventilators, care packages and other assistance to all sectors of the Israeli public.
The Chareidi sector has suffered far more economic damage during COVID-19 than the secular public in Israel. Many of their low-income jobs have disappeared, leaving them with few sources of income even after the pandemic will be over. There were no budgetary increases in the past year because there is no budget in Israel – as everyone knows there is an election instead. The yeshivas and Talmud Torahs have closed and Chareidi children are studying on the telephone, which is far more challenging than their secular counterparts who zoom in to their classroom. Differential closures were not initiated but this was not due to Chareidi pressure but due to the alarming number of infectees throughout the country.
The reason for higher Chareidi infection is clear to most Israelis and has been stressed by medical professionals: They live in crowded, close quarters and cannot maintain social distancing in the dense conditions they are in. If one secular person is infected, he has a room where he can seclude. No such luxury is available to the Chareidim and therefore the infection will spread to his family and to others who came in contact with them. The price paid by the Chareidi public in Israel is heavy- more than 400 Chareidim have died of the pandemic – but this is very much a secular disease as the other 3700 people who died of it in Israel were mainly of secular origin.
Misgav should be condemned and denounced for his unbridled diatribe against a million law-abiding citizens in Israel and it would behoove the police to open an investigation for incitement and demagoguery regarding such despicable anti-Chareidi propaganda.