ISRAEL - Religious Rebellion in Corona Crisis

Arno Froese

Eighty percent of Israeli Jews believe the actions of the haredi (ultra-Orthodox) and Arab sectors during the COVID-19 crisis have negatively affected Israeli societal cohesion, according to a new study by the Jewish People Policy Institute.

The coronavirus crisis caused severe ruptures in Israeli society, with splits along different religious, ethnic and political divides.

In particular, both the haredi and Arab communities witnessed large-scale violations of coronavirus regulations, leading to high levels of infections in those sectors at different times.

Large weddings and funerals in both sectors caused outrage among the general population, while widespread civil disobedience in the haredi sector, including when tens of thousands of families sent their children to school in defiance of government orders, further exacerbated the secular public’s frustration.

According to the JPPI’s new survey, 81% of Jewish Israelis agreed with the statement: “The behavior of the haredim/the Arabs during the coronavirus pandemic undermined Israeli unity.”

-www.jpost.com, 12 April 2021

Arno's Commentary

Israel is a model country when it comes to fighting the coronavirus compared with others. Statistica reports coronavirus deaths per 1 million population (as of 13 April 2021):

Hungary 2,426
Belgium 2,046
UK 1,898
US 1,706
Israel 696

Yet, as the article identifies, there are problems: particularly with religious people—in this case, the Haredi Ultra-Orthodox Jews.

Britannica.com states: “Haredi (or ultra-Orthodox) Jews have traditionally been exempt from military service on the condition of religious practice, though increasing the number of Haredi Jews in the military remains a highly contentious political issue.”

Louis Finkelman, a fervently observant Jew, had this to say: “The great codes of Judaism all require us to preserve health. Dangerous situations require us to take protective action—pikuah nefesh—even when doing so overrides nearly all other demands of Jewish law.”

Apparently, the keepers of the law are the breakers of the law. That’s applicable to Ultra-Orthodox, Arabs, and also certain Christians. We point to Matthew 5:17: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.”

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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