Coronavirus: China's Israel envoy compares travel bans to Holocaust

Topics Coronavirus | China | israel

Medical officers spray Indonesian nationals with antiseptic after they arrived from Wuhan, China center of the coronavirus epidemic, before transferring them to the Natuna Islands military base to be quarantined. Reuters

China's acting ambassador to Israel apologized on Sunday after comparing the closure of several national borders to Chinese citizens amid fears of a new virus from China to the turning away of Jewish refugees during the Holocaust.

Dai Yuming told reporters at a English-language press conference in Tel Aviv that the errors to limit or even ban entries of Chinese citizens reminded him of the old days, the old stories that happened in World War Two, the Holocaust, the darkest days in human history.

Millions of Jewish were killed, and many, many Jewish were refused when they tried to seek assistance from other countries. Only very, very few countries opened their door, and among them is China, Dai said.

The Chinese Embassy in Israel later issued a statement saying there was no intention whatsoever to compare the dark days of the Holocaust with the current situation and the efforts taken by the Israeli government to protect its citizens."

We would like to apologize if someone understood our message the wrong way, the embassy said.

Israel halted direct flights to China on Thursday, and Israel's Health Ministry has authorized border control agents to deny entry to non-Israelis who have visited China in the past two weeks.

Israeli citizens who returned from China have been instructed to remain quarantined at home for two weeks in order to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, which has killed more than 300 people and sickened thousands of others in China.

The number of coronavirus cases worldwide has passed 14,550, according to China's National Health Commission and other countries.

Most reported incidents are in China, but around 150 cases have been reported in two dozen countries around the globe.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told ministers on Sunday that the country had closed land crossings, seaports and airports to arrivals from China for the time being. He said he has instructed the country's Health Ministry to develop a vaccine for the fast-spreading virus.

We are also updating the Palestinian Authority on all preventive steps and public health measures that they must take into account here as well," he said.

The world marked the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp last week.


(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel