Opinion: A blasé homily has long defined state policies, leading to a deterioration in the health system and allowing one fifth of the population to remain uneducated – creating a future without the professionals that every modern country needs to thrive

Welcome to the land of “Everything will be fine.” This is the country that has sent its sons and daughters into the greatest war since its creation with depleted stockpiles and empty arsenals – and expects them to just wing it with resourcefulness.

The same country has dispatched its medical teams to fight the most dangerous virus with no supplies because we Israelis know how to improvise. The price we will have to pay for this is still unclear.

טיפול בחולי קורונה במרכז הרפואי הלל יפה בחדרה
Observing coronavirus patients at Hillel Yaffe Hospital in Hadera (Photo: Dafna Nevo)


This is also the same country that is providing a third-world education to half of its population, the fastest-growing sector – and believes “everything will be fine” when these kids grow up uneducated and unable to catch up.

This is the same country, despite having built the largest number of hospitals in its first two decades of existence, has since the late 1970s allowed the number of hospital beds per capita to drop to the lowest among industrialized nations. But hey, everything will be fine.

Depleting the health service has also led to a shortage of doctors and nurses, leaving Israel with the lowest number of professional medical staff per capita in the West.

עומסים במחלקות הפנימיות בבית חולים
Illustrative: Overcrowding at an Israeli hospital before the coronavirus epidemic


In the land of “Everything will be fine,” there is no recognition of the fact that long-term neglect is destined to eventually blow up in our faces with unbearable hospital overcrowding and a shortage of critical equipment and experts.

Israel’s annual mortality rate from infections has doubled over the past two decades, with 73% more cases than any European country – and that was before the coronavirus pandemic.

The writing has been on the wall but those responsible for the policy of neglect were not made to vacate their posts.

And it is only medicine that has been neglected. Many other fields have suffered the same fate while our leaders blind us to reality with inconsequential matters while placing our futures under threat.

A country that excuses one-fifth of its school kids from studying basic language, math, science, and history – inconceivable in any other modern society – thinks it will all be fine.

Illustrative: Yeshiva students in Jerusalem
Illustrative: Yeshiva students in Jerusalem (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)


A growing number of graduates from the Haredi education system are realizing that they need to be educated, but most are unable to complete university studies and more than half drop out.

Half of all Israelis will be Haredi within two generations, considering the high birthrate in that community (7.1 children per family compared to 3.1 in the general population,) and none of them will become the future doctors, engineers, architects, physicist or any other professionals a modern 21st-century society needs.

Who will pay taxes in the future – as it is laid out before us – when 92% of all tax revenue already comes from only 20% of the population?

The land of “Everything will be fine” is urging its military chiefs to spread falsehoods about the number of Haredi IDF conscripts because politicians fear conflict with religious leaders.

אכיפה של המשטרה במאה שערים
Police arrest a Haredi man for violating coronavirus regulations in the Mea Shearim area of Jerusalem (Photo: Gilad Cohen)


Surely the soon-to-be minority of secular Israelis will rush to enlist and protect those who are exempt from national service.

When a community is excused from adhering to laws and norms of modern society it is no wonder that they resist Health Ministry directives.

The risk of coronavirus spread is of no interest to them and anyway, if people get sick, they can go to the hospital, because “everything will be fine.”

This maxim applies Israel’s policy in other matters as well. Elected officials are leading us steadily towards a one-state solution with the Palestinians, putting our entire democracy at risk.

Democracy as a concept is misunderstood by politicians who weaken our judicial system and challenge the very foundations of a democratic society.

The same politicians legislate for their personal advantage while demonizing anyone who calls them out.

בנימין נתניהו
Benjamin Netanyahu, a prime minister under criminal indictment (Photo: EPA)


In the land of “Everything will be fine,” a man under criminal indictment can be prime minister.

But there must be a limits in this land that is also our country.

While there is still time, I urge our leaders to realize that the coronavirus won’t destroy Israel but this policy of “everything will be fine” actually will.

As reported by Ynetnews