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NYT/BBC Laud Israel’s Vaccination Drive, NYT Quotes HaRav Zilberstein

Health officials and politicians around the world have been stunned by Israel’s lightning-fast vaccination drive, the fastest in the world.

The New York Times, in an article published on Friday entitled: How Israel Became A World Leader In Vaccinating Against COVID-19, stated: “More than 10 percent of Israel’s population has received a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, a rate that has far outstripped the rest of the world and buoyed the battered domestic image of the country’s leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, at a critical juncture.”

“Israel’s heavily digitized, community-based health system — all citizens, by law, must register with one of the country’s four H.M.O.s — and its centralized government has proved adept at orchestrating a national inoculation campaign, according to Israeli health experts,” the Times continued.

“The health minister, Yuli Edelstein, said in an interview on Friday that Israel had entered into negotiations with drugmakers as an “early bird,” and that the companies were interested in supplying Israel because of its H.M.O.s’ reputation for efficiency and gathering reliable data. ‘We are leading the world race thanks to our early preparations,’ he said.”

“Prime Minister [Netanyahu] the prime minister has won praise for his efforts even from some longtime critics, after being widely blamed for mishandling the crisis last year.”

“’We can’t blame Netanyahu for all of Israel’s ills — correctly, most of the time — and then ignore his contribution when something works,’ wrote Gideon Levy, a columnist for the left-leaning Haaretz newspaper this week.”

The Times article continued to describe the reluctance of the Arab sector to be vaccinated, adding that “Israel’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, which has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic, was also seen as a population that might resist vaccinations. But those initial fears appear to have dissipated.”

“Rabbi Yitzchok Zilberstein, a leading ultra-Orthodox authority in Jewish law, issued a public ruling after consulting with Professor Balicer saying that any dangers posed by the vaccine were negligible compared with the dangers of the virus. Several important figures in the community were photographed getting the vaccine.”

The Gadol HaDor’s grandson, Rav Aryeh Kanievsky, is vaccinated against COVID-19.
After receiving vaccine, Rav Elimelech Firer speaks with chairman and founder of Ezra LeMarpeh; Yoel Har-Even, director of the International Department at Sheba Medical Center; Prof. Arnon Afek, associate director general of Sheba Medical Center; and Prof. Ehud Grossman, director of the Sheba’s internal wards. Photo: Sheba Medical Center
Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Dovid Lau receiving the coronavirus vaccine. Also pictured is UTJ MK Yitzchak Pindrus.

The BBC article, published on Motzei Shabbos, was entitled: Israel Leads Vaccine Race With 12% Given Jab.” The article, much shorter and less comprehensive than the NYT article, stated that Israel advanced ahead other countries by “securing supplies of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine following negotiations early on in the pandemic. It is contacting people with priority access to the vaccine through its health care system – by law all Israelis must register with a recognized health care provider.”

Other countries around the world have also been praising Israel, with several examples provided by i24News. “This is how thousands of people get inoculated daily,” the broadcaster on the French television news show Télématin stated outside a Kupot Cholim clinic in Jerusalem. “Israel is winning against the coronavirus.”

The German Süddeutsche newspaper published an article entitled Israel Vaccinates At Record Speed, stating that not only did Israel begin its vaccination campaign at record speed but it even increased the pace along the way. “It appears that Israel will be the first one to emerge from the pandemic. It will most likely become the example of vaccination initiatives worldwide.”

Germany’s neighbor Austria scheduled a conference with Israel to glean knowledge about Israel’s successful vaccination campaign.

In India, the Hindustan Times published an article stating that “the world is currently looking at Israel and learning from it.” The article also mentioned Israel’s efforts to fight against Facebook groups spreading rumors and conspiracy theories about the vaccine.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

10 Responses

  1. I have tremendous hakoras hatov to the government and my H.M.O. (Maccabi) for carrying out the entire vaccination campaign (and, specifically, my own vaccination shot) in so efficient a manner. Thank you so much!
    If anyone so happens to have noticed my general commenting trends regarding the State of Israel and is shocked at this expression of hakoras hatov (toward the Zionist Israeli government) coming from me, I remind you that hakoras hatov is a basic chiyuv; it is unaffected by my general hashkafos regarding the state.
    Again, thank you to the government and thank you to Macabi… and, indeed, to all the H.M.O.s.
    A most special thank you to Bibi himself (as it has been speculated that his personal international relationships have had a lot to do with the success of the Israeli vaccination drive).

  2. Israel’s lightning-fast vaccination drive, the fastest in the world. It’s really so simple to explain:- The entire western world has effectively been shut down from before xmas thru new year, and wouldn’t even consider cancelling their pre-planned days off, to accelerate these life saving vaccinations.
    Fortunately Israel even despite being the very country where the alleged historical events of December 25th {if anyone even believes it} doesn’t observe this foolish myth, so was up & running business as usual during this entire period of time.

  3. A favorable writeup by the lying NYT should be considered a misfortune. Intellectual people who used to swear by the NYT now despise them and don’t believe a word they’re writing. Thanks NYT but no thanks

  4. @Git Meshige: Don’t worry; I’m American and not Israeli… and I got it just as easily as everyone else here. Seriously, there are ridiculous numbers of Americans in Eretz Yisroel. lol. By the way, I know people who carry dual citizenship (Israeli-American), and who flew to Eretz Yisroel just to be vaccinated here. If you have dual citizenship — and you can swing the quarantines, ticket price, days off from work, etc. and arranging insurance here that would be able to give you teh vaccine… perhaps you should think about that option.

  5. @Git Meshige: Wait, I just realized, if you could swing an entry permit into Eretz Yisroel for something… maybe you could even manage to come and get it here even if you only have American citizenship; I would look into it.

  6. @Git Meshige: You would also need to belong to a demographic that is being offerred the vaccine currently… although they will probably be expanding the vaccination campaign soon.

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