Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews

Netanyahu is handling the pandemic beautifully!

Public support for Israel’s PM has plummeted, according to polls. He points out that Israel is doing fine but that is not what everyone wants to hear. He did fine. And it’s just a short-lived dip from mean incitement.

Netanyahu’s position was from the start: first save lives because if you first save the economy, you’re going to down the economy more than the other way around. And, of course, there is the old Jewish principle that saving human lives goes before almost anything else. And no restrictive measures were announced that would not be heeded.

The Austrian leader has thanked Netanyahu for making that clear to him, saving thousands of Austrian lives. But a prophet is typically not honored in his own country. It is overlooked easily that Bibi also saved 1000s of Israeli lives. But he did. Many of the mistakes he’s blamed for he did not make. And the baseless incitement against him is on an all-time high.

And what to say to those who want to say that now the economy is in shambles and we’re also all going to die in a second wave?

1. The economy will recover. In half a year, no one will remember the economic hardship we went through. It will get better.

It is important to support people now without a job. But clearly, in the near future, Israel will again have busses running, plane loads of tourist entering and leaving, have restaurants and event halls functioning, etc.

2. There is no second killer wave. Look at the next two recent stats.

WORLDOMETER: Coronavirus: World / Countries / Israel, July 16, 2020.

The top one shows an explosion of new cases of the second wave. Much higher than the first wave’s height.

But the bottom one shows the number of deaths, despite the much higher infection rates, climbing much less steep than in the first wave.

It’s possible that the death rate, lagging a few weeks behind the infection rate, will still start climbing steeply again, but that’s not to be expected.

Also, a jump in the number of cases turns out to be an artifact, not real.

In other words: We have here a second wave of a much more infectious virus that more easily infects people — to no fault of the people or the government. But, fortunately, such more-contagious microbes cannot be as deadly (as I predicted and explained 6 weeks ago: here).

At the beginning of this pandemic, we learned that the virus could survive long times on surfaces (counters, door handles). Now we know that they can still be detected after days, but they’re not that infectious there. What will save us is breathing smartly via social distancing:

  • Stay at home.
  • Avoid crowded closed places, especially for more than 15 minutes.
  • Avoid gatherings, especially mass gatherings.
  • Keep a few meters distance from others’ breathes.
  • Stay 15 meters away from those shouting, singing, or sporting.
  • Have all parties who meet wear facemasks or remove yourself.

If we just do that, we’ll continue to do fine in Israel.

A cure may be closer than a safe and working vaccine. Either way, this is not going to last forever. And for a next pandemic, we will be well prepared, both in knowing how to stop it socially and medically.

There is every reason to be cautious but optimistic. And there is every reason to be grateful to Israel’s leadership for not trying to please anyone but for doing the right thing consistently and continuously. Thank you!

On the financial front, Netanyahu is smart and practical enough to listen to the smartest pencil in the lot, Andrew Yang, and begin to distribute Universal Basic Income to jumpstart the economy. Good for him! He’s being accused of everything under the sun, but he just wants to do the right thing. Being popular is not his goal anymore. A true leader.


But, I don’t think too many people in the USA can be grateful for their president’s coronavirus response. He used to call it the China virus. That was unfounded and racist. But it would be o so real to start calling it the Trump virus for all his negligence, bullying, lying, and incompetence.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to two Dutch survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are: his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach, and, lehavdil bein chayim lechayim: Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff, and Rav Meir Lubin. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years, he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (statistics), Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, LGBTQIA, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quite a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second-generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. November 13, 2018, he published his 500th blog post with the ToI. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having a peek outside of your cultural bubble. * NEW: To see other blog posts by him, his overspill blog you can reach by clicking on the Website icon next to his picture at the head of every post. There you may find precursors to later TOI blog posts, addition or corrections of published TOI blog posts, blog posts the TOI will not carry, and some thoughts that are too short to be a TOI blog post. Also, the TOI only allows for one blog post per blogger per 24 hours. Sometimes, he has more to say than that. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.
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