It's a pretty wild morning here in Israel: Popular President Trump has tested positive, and so has 92-year-old Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky - one of the leading rabbis of the non-hassidic haredi world
As opposed to most countries outside of the U.S., Donald Trump is a very popular president here in Israel. Which is why it’s interesting to follow reactions to the news of him testing positive for covid-19.
However, what makes it even more interesting is the fact that leading orthodox rabbi, Chaim Kanievsky, has also tested positive for the virus, at the age of 92. The reason this is such an interesting development, is because haredim now make up around 40% of people diagnosed with coronavirus each day in Israel. Reminder: we’re hitting numbers of 9,000 positive a day. It’s out of control.
And, these two high profile cases carry quite a bit of symbolism: both leaders, Trump and Kanievsky, can be seen as guilty for the spread of the virus in their respective communities (Trump by spreading fake news, Kanievsky by not doing enough to close synagogues and so on), and both are crucial allies of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.
So, let’s get started. As usual, I’ll be updating this post throughout the day, and if you see any interesting tweets, please throw them my way.
I’m pretty sure Netanyahu was one of the first leaders to wish him well, but I might be wrong (feel free to correct me).
Israeli Transport Minister and leading Netanyahu fawner, Miri Regev, wrote in Hebrew (so Trump could understand?):
“To President Trump and his wife Melania - good health and quick recovery! The People of Israel pray in the Holy Land for your recovery!”
Ariel Kahana, the Senior Diplomatic correspondent of Sheldon Adelson-owned newspaper Israel Hayom, wrote:
“He who blessed our forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob he will bless and quickly heal Donald, son of Fred Trump, and his wife Melania, who contracted the corona virus, for all the good deeds he did for Jews and their State, who brought peace upon Israel, and gave sovereignty to the Jewish people in Judea and Samaria, and recognized the Golan Heights and moved the embassy to Jerusalem.”
Stand-up comedian Noam Shuster Eliassi tweeted Trump a well known Arabic phrase (used a lot in Israel by Jews, as well), which translates to: “Every dog has its day.”
I love comedian and writer Ruth Elbaz. She cracks me up almost every tweet. This is one of them:
“So, I understand the coronavirus grabbed Trump by the pussy?”
Y’all know I love the snark and wit of Haaretz political correspondent, Chaim Levinson, here taking aim at those on the Right who are saying the protests against Netanyahu have been super-spreaders of the virus:
“By the way, Trump was infected at the Balfour protests.
Share this, so they don’t hide the truth.”
Ronit Tzach is a very influential progressive voice on both Facebook and Twitter, here taking a jab at the Netanyahu’s and their shortened quarantine after returning from the signing of the Abraham Accords in D.C.:
“So, Trump and Melania have corona. What about that whole event at the White House, with no masks or social distancing, where other infected people have been discovered? Remind me why the indicted one, the convicted criminal (his wife - AK), and the keyboard of mouth filth that they spawned were not forced to quarantine as required? Are they hiding something from us?”
Oh, and remember the story of Netanyahu doing his laundry at the White House? One of the funniest guys on Hebrew Twitter, Ido Kenan, writes:
“Chaos at the Balfour residence: Following Trump’s infection with corona, Netanyahu demands sending all the laundry for another cycle in a green country.”
One of the wittiest, yet anonymous, Hebrew Tweeters out there, Nefolet, says:
“But who infected Melania?”
Business journalist at the daily ‘Calcalist’, Roee Bergman, tweeted on the “double infection” story:
“First Trump and now Kanievsky? I guess this is the day when all the stars align exactly in the right place on the virus’ horoscope”
Here’s Twitter user Omer Gerzon, making some fun of how Netanyahu usually claims that anyone who goes against him must be a Leftist (as if that’s a bad thing…) with a sarcastic TV news stripe:
“First response of Netanyahu to the news of Kanievsky and Trump’s infection:
Stripe: ‘Netanyahu: The coronavirus is part of the Left’”
As I said above, I’ll keep adding as the day goes on.