COVID-19 Highlights anti-Israel Myth

Since late March it has been noted that Arab and Jewish medics are working together on the frontline of Israel’s battle with the novel coronavirus.

Such co-operation is not new, nor is public health the only sector of Israeli life in which Arabs and Jews co-operate. But it is receiving more attention now that the country is grappling with the pandemic affecting most of the world.

Jewish and Arab medics at prayerJewish and Arab medics at prayer (photo: Magen David Adom).

Some of Israel’s healthcare facilities are ranked among the best in the world. The Sheba Medical Centre is one of them and its directors have previously attributed that success to its team of Arab and Jewish health professionals caring together for their patients.

More evidence of co-operation has come in a recent survey. The Israeli Voice Index for April 2020 revealed that the public gives the government its highest assessment of performance in the health sector.

It also reveals most of the public thinks the coronavirus crisis has positively affected the relationship between Jews and Arabs in a more general sense.

Survey results on relationshipsSurvey results regarding relationships

When asked how Israel’s coronavirus crisis has affected a variety of relationships, 56 percent of Jewish-Israelis and 64 percent of Arab-Israelis responded that relations between Jews and Arabs in Israel have improved.

Consequently, a World Israel News report claims that ‘the coronavirus pandemic has done something that almost every political initiative has failed to do.’ Their article highlights the fact that Arab-Israeli doctors and nurses have been honoured in a recent video titled, “Partners in Fate, Partners in the Government”.

That video has been viewed over 2 million times. It reveals that many, initially masked, Arab-Israeli doctors and nurses have not only been risking their lives alongside their Jewish colleagues but have been working double-shifts in the process.

Even the English-language version of the video, titled: ‘Partners English’, has been viewed more than 10,000 times.  

But whilst the pandemic might have highlighted co-operation and even increased it, the truth is that there has been much co-operation for a long time. It tends to be ignored by western media, but even extends to the Israel Defence Forces – something that featured in a BBC report back in 2016.