Ultra-Orthodox Jews are being blamed by many Israelis for the spread of coronavirus. Yaakov Lederman/Flash90

Coronavirus is Rocking the Ultra-Orthodox Jewish World

Hatred between secular and religious Israelis has gone critical, and things will never be the same


Israel Channel 12 reporter Rina Matzliach seems to have gone a step too far in using the massive coronavirus outbreak in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Barak to lash out at the ultra-Orthodox community as a whole.

Among other things, she said that “the Orthodox have got to learn, they must accept the state [of Israel] no matter what.” Matzliach’s rant reflects a multitude of false assumptions and was a part of long list of inciteful Hebrew-language social media posts that more-or-less echoed the antisemitic comments one now hears in New York, where the local ultra-Orthodox Jewish community is also widely blamed for the uncontrollable spread of the coronavirus.

To give but one example, a New Yorker tweeted that the Jewish “people are the biggest parasite/virus threatening the entire world population.” And in Israel one can read on social media things like “we will shut down your Yeshivas – parasites,” or “primitives start integrating – be normal.”


Dangerous hatred

What started this wave of incitement were the endless media reports from Bnei Barak informing Israelis over and over...