The Jewish holidays in Israel (New Year’s Day, Yom Kippur and Feast of Tabernacles) and the associated corona contagion led to the second „lockdown” in the country. The number of people infected had already increased dramatically before October. Until 18 October, the population was only allowed to move 1,000 metres away from their homes, go shopping and do sports. In exceptional cases, people could go to work. Any contact with more than one person was prohibited, kindergartens and schools remained closed, as did the popular shopping centres. Restaurants and cafés were only allowed to offer „take away” food. The secular population of Israel rants because most of the infected people belong to the religious, orthodox population group, who do not follow the government’s guidelines, but are not prosecuted by the authorities either. For example, schools in the Orthodox quarters opened against the instructions of the Ministry of Health, and the schools of the largely secular population of Israel are still closed. Large parts of the Israeli retail trade are now groaning under immense financial losses.
According to official figures, the number of people suffering from corona has declined considerably and this „lockdown” is considered a success. The demonstrations of dissatisfied people in Israel continue unchanged and a split in society and the associated increasing readiness to use violence (unfortunately sometimes by the security forces) is becoming more and more visible. The call for new elections is becoming increasingly audible in a divided Israeli coalition. The people of the country are disappointed, clueless and outraged by the behaviour of politicians in this corona crisis, who are mainly preoccupied with themselves. A peace treaty between Israel and the Arab Emirates and Sudan, supported by the USA with weapons and money, is a foreign policy success that should contribute to stability in the Middle East. We hope that it will be a „human peace” based on encounters, getting to know each other and anchored at the grassroots level and not just on a peace paper between governments. The flight routes from Israel to the USA and to South America have already become much shorter, since EL AL is now allowed to fly over these countries.
The Palestinians feel betrayed by these Arab countries and, as so often before, have missed the boat. Maybe it will lead to more pragmatic decisions to find a peaceful settlement of the coexistence with Israel, we are curious and wish all sides courageous and constructive steps.
In the Palestinian territories there was no lockdown, the number of corona patients was kept within limits (also because less testing was done), there were not many seriously ill people and we hear of no threatening overcrowding of hospitals. Palestinian workers were allowed to work in Israel despite the lockdown and crossed the border legally every morning.
Lifegate continued to operate normally this month, too. Family members of our children and teenagers and also individual employees in Lifegate tested positive for Corona, then we carried out the measures prescribed by the health authorities. (e.g. all direct contacts among employees and children had to stay at home for up to 14 days and take the test). Since we all wear face masks in the house, keep a safe distance and constantly clean surfaces and door handles, we have not experienced a wave of infection in our facility so far – it was always only individual people who brought the virus in from outside.
The number of our children in the kindergarten and the special school is back to the level it was before a small virus disrupted our whole lives and in the kindergarten we even opened a new class. Since May we learned to deal with the Corona situation and to focus our work on the protection of children and young people.