“The sheer amount of interaction that religious Jews have with their communities made Orthodox Jewish communities Ground Zero for the coronavirus”

Religious Jews are among the biggest victims of COVID-19
Sunday, March 29, 2020

Boro Park. Flatbush. Crown Heights. Forest Hills. Fresh Meadows. Every single New York neighborhood with a large religious Jewish population has the highest percentage of patients testing positive for the coronavirus, according to this map published by the NYC Department of Health. Looking at New York State as a whole, the heavily Jewish Rockland County has a higher percentage of COVID-19 cases per capita than New York City (as far as I can tell, second only to Westchester County.) And in New Jersey, the two towns with the highest number of COVID-19 cases are not the major cities of Newark (155) or Jersey City (130) or Camden (2) or Trenton (7). READ MORE

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“Police say they decided to allow hundreds of ultra-Orthodox to attend burial for important rabbi to avoid clashing with participants, tout victory that ‘only 400 people’ took part”

Failure to stop mass Haredi funeral reveals distancing’s fatal flaw: Enforcement
by Judah Ari Gross
March 29, 2020

The Israel Police on Sunday exposed a fatal flaw in the government’s effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus by forbidding gatherings: It is unwilling to enforce the restrictions if there’s a likelihood of opposition. In the predawn hours of Sunday morning, residents of the overwhelmingly ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak — one of the areas hardest hit by the coronavirus — held a mass funeral procession and burial for Rabbi Tzvi Shenkar, a leading figure in the so-called Jerusalem Faction, a hardline group known mainly for holding large protests against mandatory military service. READ MORE

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“In what Freud might have analyzed as a classic case of the narcissistic wound run amok, the Never Netanyahus fell victim to a kind of collective insanity rooted in their own sense of virtuous entitlement”

Bibi, King of Israel
by Liel Leibovitz
March 27, 2020

After 24 hours that would have filled several seasons of a great Netflix political drama, the once and future prime minister of the State of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, has struck a coalition deal with former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, whose Blue and White political party immediately disintegrated, thus dealing a lethal blow to the Never Netanyahu alliance that has spent the last year and a half feverishly and fruitlessly trying to unseat King Bibi. If you’ve been otherwise preoccupied, here’s a very brief summary of Israel’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad month…READ MORE

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It’s decided: “Gantz to be defense minister under Netanyahu, Gabi Ashkenazi to serve as foreign minister”

Blue and White splits as unity deal with Likud approaches
by Gil Hoffman
March 26, 2020

In a dramatic turn of events, the Blue and White Party, which served as the alternative to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the March 2 election, broke up on Thursday after party head Benny Gantz decided to enter Netanyahu’s government. The three parties that made up Blue and White – Gantz’s Israel Resilience, Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid and Moshe Ya’alon’s Telem – all went in different directions. Israel Resilience is joining the government, Lapid will head the opposition and Telem will split up, with Ya’alon on the outside and divided. READ MORE

TIMES OF ISRAEL Netanyahu, Gantz, Ashkenazi meet to iron out details of unity government deal Telem MKs Hauser and Hendel reportedly plan to join coalition, giving PM leverage for right-wing agenda; premier said to seek legislation that acting PM can serve under indictment

JNS Jonathan Tobin: Israel’s democracy was never in danger The resolution to a long coalition standoff was messy. But Netanyahu’s continued hold on power was rendered inevitable by a democratic process, not attempts to undermine it.

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“Coronavirus exposed a truth that global village fans have spent the past generation denying: Borders are important”

ISRAEL HAYOM (by agreement with JNS)
Israel and the demise of the global village
by Caroline B. Glick
March 27, 2020

In the face of the steeply rising number of coronavirus patients and the breakneck speed of political changes in Israel, few people have stopped to notice that the world we have grown accustomed to living in for the past generation is falling apart. The global village is collapsing under the weight of the pandemic. How Israel deals with this dramatic turn of events today, and in the coming weeks, months and years will determine both how we emerge from the present crisis and how we manage in the new world now taking form. READ MORE

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Still on Facebook, “a truly horrific painting clearly intended to reawaken age-old hostilities toward the Jewish people”

Italian Artist Posts Image of Jewish Ritual Murder on Facebook Page
March 25, 2020

Giovanni Gasparro, a popular artist in Italy, has posted images of a painting of a Jewish ritual murder on his Facebook page. The title of the painting, which appears to have been produced by Gasparro during the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020, is “The Martyrdom of Saint Simon of Trent, For Jewish Ritual Murder.” Images of this painting can be found on Images of this painting can be found on Gasparro’s Facebook page [feel free to report the posts if you find offensive]. Gasparro has been commissioned by Catholic officials in Italy to adorn their basilicas and churches with his work. The painting (which CAMERA will not show) depicts numerous hook-nosed Jews of varying ages looking on in glee as one of their fellows prepares to plunge a dagger into the baby’s chest. READ MORE

For those of you with the stomach to see the entire painting, click here.

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“This bunker is another tool for managing, controlling, oversight and tracking” the coronavirus, said an Israeli official who requested anonymity”

Israeli leaders open up nuclear bunker in war on coronavirus
March 26, 2020

The Israeli government has opened up a war bunker in the Jerusalem hills to help coordinate its campaign against the spread of the coronavirus, Israeli officials said on Thursday. The bunker, called the “National Management Centre”, was built more than a decade ago because of concern about Iran’s nuclear program and missile exchanges with Lebanese Islamist movement Hezbollah or Palestinian militant group Hamas. According to Israeli officials, it includes living quarters and command facilities and can be accessed from the government complex in Jerusalem and the western foothills leading to Tel Aviv. READ MORE

JERUSALEM POST Mossad’s Yossi Cohen goes to war with coronavirus and Iran When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced late Tuesday night that Mossad Director Yossi Cohen was taking over the country’s efforts to purchase medical equipment abroad, it was not a huge surprise. Already last week, Cohen succeeded in bringing to Israel 100,000 test kits, with an estimated four million more on the way. The Jerusalem Post learned at the time that the kits were obtained from countries which Israel does not have diplomatic relations with…

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