The contagion rates, serious case numbers and death toll are dire and worsening. They are not yet exponential, but they will be soon in the absence of a coherent, credible strategy
By David Horovitz | 1 October 2020
THE TIMES OF ISRAEL — Israel is flailing on the very brink of catastrophe.
Having started off so well in its battle against COVID-19, it finds itself in the last few days with a higher death rate per capita than the United States. A higher daily rate of new confirmed cases than just about anywhere else on Earth. A rate of positive tests rising, with some 40 percent of the most recent cases being diagnosed in the ultra-Orthodox community. More than 800 serious cases in our hospitals — the level, we have been told for months, at which the health service would be fully stretched — prompting an emergency directive from Health Ministry Director General Chezy Levy to free up 1,500 more beds in hospitals nationwide for COVID-19 patients.
So often tactically innovative, Israel has been exposed as strategically hapless in this pandemic, hamstrung by its bloated and dysfunctional government, which spends days bickering about regulations that it then changes week to week — toying with a public that is losing its (physical and mental) health, its income and its freedom of movement. Leaks from these cabinet marathons point to endless arguments between ministers, with relentless allegations that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and some of his loyalists have sought to skew decision-making, both to try to focus on restrictions that would thwart the mass demonstrations against him, and to avoid or delay measures that would antagonize the ultra-Orthodox political parties. […]