Thursday, April 2, 2020

Israel: The Please-Like-Us Virus We Seem Unable to Get Over - by Sheri Oz

Israeli society has not yet seen the need for applying Israeli ingenuity to serious study of the Please-like-us virus.

Sheri Oz..
Israel Diaries..
02 April '20..

At the close of the March 31 episode of Uvda, her weekly news investigation program, Ilana Dayan told the viewing audience that we may soon get news that Tuvia Tzafir has recovered from the Coronavirus. Tzafir is one of Israel’s veteran comedians, and a much loved one. He was interviewed while under quarantine at home.

Seventy-four years old and with other health problems, it is remarkable that Tzafir has overcome the infection in his own home when so many others have to be hospitalized. He and Yael, his wife of almost 50 years, have an easy banter and apparently light-headed approach to life. Perhaps, as they say, ‘laughter is the best medicine’.

Earlier in the program, Dayan explored the new ‘Operations Center’ for the ‘War against the Corona Pandemic’. For the first time, medical professionals were working together with experts from the armed forces, the security industries and the Mossad, one of Israel’s intelligence agencies. Viewers were shown how this new collaboration is enabling Israel to acquire medical supplies that the Health Ministry and hospitals would have been unable to appropriate on their own. Not only that — laboratories that engineer weaponry have now been put to the task of engineering re-usable masks and respirators. Israeli ingenuity at its best.

In an interview with H’, Director of the Mossad’s Technology Department, a highly impressed Dayan suggested that the collaboration may open up opportunities previously unimaginable. She wondered how:

… with respect to Iran, the new enemy may be useful, perhaps, in the war against old enemies. A new world of possibilities may open up for the Mossad. … I am just thinking – this comes from me and not from you — what would an Iranian nuclear scientist be prepared to do today in order that someone would resuscitate his mother?

In this one question, Dayan shows us that there is an infection beyond which many Israelis seem unable, or unwilling, to move. That is the ‘See-what-we-can-do-for-you-so-please-like-us’ Syndrome. And it has afflicted us from our very start as a new modern state.

Much of Israeli hasbara concerns itself with describing new medical and technological inventions each of which improves the lives of so many people around the world. And if we do such good for humanity, the thinking apparently goes, maybe they will stop hating us and maybe the UN will stop passing resolutions attacking Israel’s right to exist.

I doubt that any Iranian nuclear scientist or political leader would change his or her mind about Israel because an Israeli invention was needed to resuscitate his or her mother.

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