February 1, 2023

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03/31 Links Pt2: Caroline B. Glick: Israeli sovereignty and Gantz’s bad faith; NY Gov. Cuomo renames legislation to honor deceased Monsey stabbing victim


From Ian:

Caroline B. Glick: Israeli sovereignty and Gantz’s bad faith
The coalition talks between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White Party leader Benny Gantz are being held behind closed doors. A lot of contradictory information is being leaked about the issues on the table and about the form of the deal for a unity government being hammered out.

But all the leaks are consistent about one aspect of the discussions.

Gantz and his colleagues oppose applying Israeli law to the Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria. This state of affairs is both surprising and disturbing.

It is surprising that Gantz opposes applying Israeli law to the areas, which are home to half a million Israelis because just two months ago, Gantz pledged to support the move.

On January 27, the day before US President Donald Trump published the details of his peace plan, he presented them to Gantz at the White House. The plan, which includes US recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and the Israeli cities, towns and villages in Judea and Samaria assumes that Israel will apply its legal code, and through it, its sovereignty to the areas immediately after a new governing coalition is sworn in.

According to a senior official who participated in Gantz’s meeting with Trump, “Gantz committed in the Oval Office that if he became prime minister, he would form a government of people that would support the deal.”

For President Trump and his team, the implications of Gantz’s statement are straightforward. Since both Netanyahu and Gantz, (the two candidates for prime minister), support implementing the deal, the administration expects Israel to apply its laws to the areas immediately after the next government is sworn in.

David Singer: Gantz Trojan Horse threatens Israel as the Jewish National Home

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has paid a high price for the National Unity Government being forged with Benny Gantz – by agreeing to Gantz becoming Israel’s Prime Minister in 18 months’ time without going to an election.

Netanyahu had run out of time to explore other options – having had that decision foisted on him by two extraordinary High Court of Justice cases ordering the Knesset Speaker – Yuli Edelstein – to convene the Knesset contrary to the Knesset’s own rules and procedures. Compliance by Edelstein would have unleashed a train of events that would have caused havoc and instability at a time when unity was sorely needed. Edelstein resigned.

It is indeed a miracle that Netanyahu convinced Gantz to break up Blue & Whtie and rescued Israel from this rapidly escalating political and constitutional crisis at the same time as Israel is coping with the ravages of Covid-19.

Gantz’s courage in dumping his partners in Blue & White – Yair Lapid and Moshe Ya’alon – when any hope of averting the crisis seemed lost and just as the doors of the Knesset were shortly to open – was praised by the Right but condemned by Lapid and Ya’alon in bitter and derogatory terms.

Gantz’s new found short term ally – Yisrael Beyteinu’s Avigdor Liberman – was left high and dry – ruing his stupidity at having missed three opportunities in the last 12 months to be in Government with Netanyahu – making demands he absolutely refused to compromise on during negotiations with Netanyahu. Liberman was relegated to the Opposition benches with his six colleagues – a kingmaker no more.

Forgiven was the havoc caused when Gantz started to flirt with the Joint Arab List – the bloc comprising 15 members from the four Arab political parties – who endorsed Gantz to form the next Government – persuading Israeli President Reuven Rivlin to regrettably give Gantz first try to do so.

Joint List’s objectives include dismantling Israel as the Jewish National Home.

NY Gov. Cuomo renames legislation to honor deceased Monsey stabbing victim

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he is renaming proposed state hate crime legislation in honor of the Monsey stabbing victim who died on Sunday.

“I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Josef Neumann, who suffered brutal stab wounds after an attacker invaded the home of Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg on the final night of Hanukkah three months ago,” Cuomo said in a statement Monday.

“This repugnant attack shook us to our core, demonstrating that we are not immune to the hate-fueled violence that we shamefully see elsewhere in the country.”

Neumann had remained in a coma from the time of the Dec. 28 attack to his death. He was 72. Four others were injured in the attack.
Following the attack, Cuomo proposed legislation that equates hate crimes with domestic terrorism. The legislation will be called the Josef Neumann Hate Crimes Domestic Terrorism Act.

Cuomo called on the state legislature to pass the act in the budget due this week.

“We owe it to Mr. Neumann, his family and the entire family of New York to get it done now,” the governor said.

Stephen L. Miller: The best message the State Department could send Beijing and the WHO

Shortly after the video call went viral on Twitter, Aylward’s name was scrubbed from the WHO website. Taiwan’s foreign minister said that the WHO should ‘set politics aside in dealing with a pandemic’.

But the WHO has been nothing but political throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. It has deferred to China almost every step of the way, presumably because China wields considerable power and influence over it.

The Trump administration should put both China and WHO on notice, and with them the parts of American media who refuse to acknowledge China are not being forthcoming with their data of confirmed cases. The real numbers would offer us more accuracy in tracking the virus’s trajectory.

A great way for the Trump administration to do this would be to finally recognize Taiwan’s independence from China. If the WHO is going to attempt to spurn Taiwan, a country dealing with the fallout of Beijing’s cover-up, the official diplomatic backing of the United States would indicate there will be consequences for China inflicting this on the world.

A declaration from the State Department would also signal to the American media that they should not ignore the faulty data and equipment coming out of China. Sections of media that have thus far tacitly covered for China would be forced to choose between the free people of Taiwan or their bottom lines.

Noah Rothman: China’s Century Interrupted

National-security professionals and trade protectionists alike have long warned that the globe’s reliance on Chinese manufacturing is a profound vulnerability. Still, untethering global commercial needs from the Mainland’s ability to meet them entails much economic pain and hardship. This vulnerability has been allowed to fester. Well, the pain that public officials so wanted to avoid imposing on their publics is here today. Amid full-scale trade hostilities, American analysts have long feared that China would play its ultimate ace in the hole: the weaponization of the many hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of U.S. treasuries it holds. But China has been steadily unloading these holdings for months, and the increasing issuance of U.S. debt (which has exploded alongside pandemic-related stimulus measures) has diluted the theoretical power of this weapon. If there was ever a time when the pain of recalibrating the West’s commercial relationship with China could be justified and absorbed, it might be now.

China’s geopolitical influence may contract as a result of the present crisis, but that is not to say that this will be an advantageous process for the United States. If protectionism is the order of the day, it will sacrifice trade as a powerful tool for the promotion of liberalism, to say nothing of the human flourishing and geostrategic stability that it promotes. This crisis is sure to accelerate already prevalent trends away from integration in international institutions and toward a more atomized, nationalistic understanding of geopolitics.

China’s fragility was apparent well before this crisis. The precarity of its nationalistic project was evident, and the scant independent reporting now escaping China paints a grim picture of social and political instability. It would seem like an odd time for Beijing to ratchet up military tensions in potential flashpoints like the South China Sea absent some significant domestic political pressures, but that’s precisely what the People’s Republic has done. This is a challenge the U.S. is obliged to meet, but Washington can only deter China by guaranteeing that the risks associated with Beijing’s provocations outweigh the rewards. Under the strain imposed on it by this virus, China may be willing to accept a whole lot more risk.

This is a period of intense flux, and it’s difficult today to forecast the events of next week much less next year. But it is a shallow analysis that suggests China will be the unqualified beneficiary of the crisis it imposed on the world.

StandWithUs: ‘Fighting Palestinian Terrorism Through Law’ – StandWithUsConnect

Join our StandWithUsConnect webinar with Noah Pollak, entitled ‘Fighting Palestinian Terrorism Through Law’.

The Taylor Force Act was passed by Congress and signed into law in 2018. It is the first law of its kind—conditioning U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) on the PA’s cessation of payments to terrorists and their families. In this StandWithUs webinar, you’ll hear from Noah Pollak, a political operative who was intimately involved in the effort to pass this historic bill. He will discuss the new law, the yearlong media and political campaign behind it, and what the pro-Israel community can learn from the success of this initiative.

Density is not destiny: Economist tweet misinforms on Gaza COVID 19 woes

In a recent post on errors in a March 26th Economist article (“Gaza, already under siege, imposes lockdown”, March 26), blaming Israel for Gaza’s coronavirus-related health woes, we neglected to address one other misleading claim:
A [COVID 19] outbreak would be catastrophic. Gaza is one of the world’s most densely populated places.

We decided to address it after we noticed that they actually devoted a tweet to that very claim in order to promote their article:

Our CAMERA colleague Gilead Ini recently addressed this very point, in a post about the anti-Israel group If Not Now:
The Gaza Strip has “one of the highest population densities in the world,” they say. With about 13,000 people per square mile, the Gaza Strip is, without a doubt, very densely populated, and that is cause for concern with a highly contagious disease. But it’s not even the densest area in the region, nor even close. Just a five-hour car ride from the Gaza Strip, for example, is the Cairo metropolitan area, where people are packed about twice as densely into an area larger than the Gaza Strip.

The urban areas of Lagos, Shenzen, Rio de Janeiro, Istanbul, Buenos Aires, Karachi, Kolkata, Guangzhou-Foshan, Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto, Beijing, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Shanghai, Manila, Delhi, Seoul, Jakarta all have at least similar, and often significantly higher, population densities than the Gaza Strip, with the tightly packed sections of most of those megalopolises stretching over vastly larger expanses of territory than the Strip. Dakha, which is about the same size as the Gaza Strip, has nearly 10 times more people.

And Gaza City, the largest and densest city in the Gaza Strip, is less dense than Yaounde, Solapur, Hyderabad, Irbil, Casablanca, Pyongyang, Saharanpur, Patna, Douala, Dakar, Homs, Alexandria, Rajkot, Mbuji-Mayi, Bogota, Kananga, Chittagong, Hama, Aleppo, Siliguri, Vijayawada, Moradabad, Ahmadabad, Kinshasa, Bukavu, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Surat, and Mogadishu, none of which are smaller in area, and many of which are significantly larger, than the Gaza Strip.

Our sister site BBC Watch has also addressed this media myth:
According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the population density in the Gaza Strip was 5,453 persons/km2 in mid 2019. According to the department of planning in New York City…the population density is around 10,424 persons/km2 and in the city of London… the population density is reported to be on average 5,590 persons/km2 with some districts having a population density of 11,200 persons/km2.

Moreover, though it’s true, as our colleague acknowledged, Gaza’s population density is a cause for concern with a highly contagious disease, it’s far from the most important factor in successful prevention.

CBC Host Michael Enright Claims Gaza Is World’s “Biggest Open-Air Prison” in Corona Pandemic Coverage

Just last week we reported that CBC Radio host Carol Off used the Corona virus pandemic as an excuse to tacitly criticize Israel. This week, another CBC host, Michael Enright, did the same on his Sunday Edition radio show.

On March 29, Michael Enright declared that Gaza is the world’s biggest open-air prison in a discussion about the affects that the Corona virus is having on impoverished regions around the world and those at states of war.

As is commonly known, Israel and Egypt’s blockade of the Gaza Strip isn’t pretty, but let’s face it, the genocidal Hamas terror organization runs Gaza and it’s committed to the Jewish state’s destruction, it doesn’t recognize Israel’s existence and commits daily terror attacks targeting Israeli innocents. That’s why Gaza has been effectively hermetically sealed by Egypt and Israel as Hamas and its terror partners continue firing rockets and trying to smuggle weapons into the Strip via land, tunnels or by sea.

Naturally, none of this was acknowledged by Enright in his interview with Paul Rogers (pictured right), a U.K. security expert and peace studies professor on geopolitics during the pandemic. At the 20:11 to 22:45 mark of the interview, the following conversation ensued with CBC Host Enright and Professor Rogers both claiming that Gaza is an “open prison”:

BBC News Channel grossly misleads on Israeli courts

Having told audiences of media censorship, curfews and deployment of the military in Thailand, she went on:

Madera: “While compare that to Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu there saying that…who was…he was set to stand trial on corruption allegations but in fact now he’s shut down the courts. He’s also permitted the tracking of Israeli citizens’ phones and the prime minister says that the move will help track individuals who’ve come into contact those who contract Covid 19 but critics argue that this could lead to a Big Brother-style society.”

Once again the BBC failed to inform its audiences that the surveillance measures are in place for a period of 30 days, that there is a Knesset sub-committee overseeing them and that the High Court has conditioned the measures on legislation. Moreover, while failing to provide that highly relevant information, the BBC once again amplified the therefore context-free claims of “critics”.

As for the claim that the Israeli prime minister – and he alone – “shut down the courts”: it was in fact the Justice Minister who cut back the activity of the courts on March 15th.

“Justice Minister Amir Ohana declared a 24-hour “state of emergency” in Israel’s court system early Sunday morning, “as part of the national effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.”

The decision means that courts can only sit for urgent hearings on arrest and remand orders, administrative detention orders, offenses under legislation “relating to the special emergency” and certain interim relief in civil matters.”

On March 21st the Supreme Court Justice Esther Hayut published a press release in which she clarified that the courts continue to function throughout the country, providing essential services to the public. Her statement emphasized that the courts are not closed and that they would continue to provide services while observing the emergency restrictions issued by the Ministry of Health. She clarified that any current – and, if necessary, future – reduction in the activity of the courts due to the Corona pandemic was in accordance with her decisions as President of the Supreme Court.

In other words, the BBC’s claim that Netanyahu has “shut down the courts” is completely inaccurate and misleading to BBC audiences.

That failure to adhere to BBC editorial guidelines on accuracy would of course be egregious at any time but it is all the more reprehensible at a time when the BBC is promoting itself as the ‘trusted’ antidote to Fake News concerning the Covid 19 pandemic.

Examining BBC reports on Corona-related cell phone tracking

On March 29th listeners to the afternoon edition of the BBC World Service radio programme ‘Newshour’ heard a report (from 37:10 here) by Krassi Twigg of BBC Monitoring about “fears that some countries are seeing new levels of intrusion which could have a damaging effect on societies”.

The report mentioned South Korea, Italy, France and (from 40:57) Israel.

Twigg: “…and Israel has ordered its domestic security agency to track the mobile phone data of suspected Coronavirus cases. The Shin Bet normally uses such surveillance methods on Palestinians suspected of planning attacks on Israelis. Joel Greenberg, BBC Monitoring’s Israel specialist, said the use of these methods against [sic] Israeli citizens has been hugely controversial.”

Greenberg: “Critics of the policy have challenged it in the Supreme Court and they argue that it’s a dangerous invasion of privacy by the government. The government has said that the use of mobile phone tracking will be strictly limited to the battle against the Coronavirus but still the critics say that there may be no going back. Once the Shin Bet has begun tracking the cell phones of ordinary Israelis, the policy may be used again.”

The story is however by no means as simple as those three BBC reports spread over a period of twelve days tell audiences. Only in the written report was it made it clear that “Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the new powers will last for 30 days only”.

US expert: Berlin antisemitism center ignores Israel-related antisemitism

The prominent American historian, Dr. Jeffrey Herf, sharply criticized the Berlin Center for Antisemitism Research for failing to address radical left-wing, communist and Islamic Jew-hatred.

Herf, one of the world’s leading experts on antisemitism, wrote on Thursday in the German paper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) that, “The Center for Antisemitism Research in Berlin has been noteworthy in recent decades for standing outside this scholarly consensus due to its reluctance to address the Communist/radical leftist, as well as the Islamist strains of antisemitism.“

He added that, “Scholars at the Center for Antisemitism Research, despite being located within a short distance from the key archives of the former DDR [German Democratic Republic], did not write an archivally based history of the East German diplomatic and military assault on the Jewish state. I did. No amount of theoretical gymnastics can avoid the simple truth that those in the Soviet bloc, including the DDR, who used force and falsehoods to attack and defame the state of Israel with the hope of destroying wrote a chapter in the longer history of antisemitism. “

In 2016, Cambridge University published the distinguished historian Herf’s monumental work: Undeclared Wars with Israel: East Germany and the West German Far Left, 1967–1989.

The highly acclaimed book was published in German by Wallstein publisher in September 2019.

“Three Faces of Antisemitism: A Response to Stephanie Schüler-Springorum,” was the title of Herf’s FAZ article. Schüler-Springorum is the director of the controversial Berlin Center for Antisemitism Research.

Herf teaches German history at the University of Maryland.

The scandal-plagued Berlin Center for Antisemitism Research has faced intense criticism over the years for employing a researcher who worked for an organization that promoted an Iranian regime-sponsored rally calling for the destruction of the Jewish state.

The Jerusalem Post reported in 2018 that the center, which is part of the Technical University of Berlin, hired Luis Hernandez Aguilar, who was previously listed as a research officer of the Islamic Human Rights Commission, a main organizer of the Iranian regime-sponsored al-Quds Day march.

Germany’s antisemitism commissioner: Jewish communities are thriving

Felix Klein, Germany’s commissioner on antisemitism, when asked on the state of German Jewish life in an interview with the German Catholic news agency KNA, said that communities throughout the country are thriving.

“There is still a thriving, growing Jewish life in Germany. I think society should take a much closer look at Jewish life today, This is a great development — that Jews trust in our country is something very special after the horror of the Shoah. We should make this diversity even more tangible by holding Jewish cultural days, exhibitions and joint celebrations,” Klein said,

Klein also hinted to the possibility of infusing more Jewish life into the public conscience by marking public cultural days, and to mark 1,700 of Jewish life in Germany, special stamps highlighting the upcoming holiday of Passover in April.

When asked how he is able to justify his claim that German Jewish life is thriving, despite reports of a rising number of hate crimes targeting Jews, Klein pointed to a new synagogue that was built in the southern German city of Constance, in addition to another newly-built synagogue in Lübeck, northern Germany. He also noted that many Jews from abroad wish to make Germany their home, including from Israel.

Public discussions on the safety of Jews in Germany has come amid rising numbers in hate crimes perpetrated against the community. Recent surveys indicate that in 2019, 1,839 hate crimes were committed against Jews in Germany. In October 2019, an antisemitic far-right Nazi sympathizer shot and killed two people at a synagogue in Halle while live streaming his actions on Facebook.

“The unresolved crisis of antisemitism nearly cost us our soul”, says Jewish former MP Ruth Smeeth of Labour in stinging rebuke of Jeremy Corbyn

The Jewish former Labour MP, Ruth Smeeth, has declared of her Party that “the unresolved crisis of antisemitism nearly cost us our soul” in a stinging rebuke of the Party’s outgoing leader, Jeremy Corbyn, of whom she said: “his failure on anti-Jewish racism will rightly forever tarnish his reputation – and those around him in both Parliament and the Party.”

Writing in The House magazine, Ms Smeeth wrote of how “I experienced the horror of being a Jewish female Labour MP at a time when it felt that the leadership of my Party thought that Jews were fair game – something I still can’t believe I’m writing.” She went on to describe how “I sat in meetings with Corbyn as he refused to acknowledge that we had a problem or that he should take any responsibility.”

Referencing Mr Corbyn’s numerous failures to deal with antisemitism, Ms Smeeth observed how she was ignored, even abused. “The justification of ‘that’ mural; the ‘Zionists don’t understand irony’ video; his association with known Holocaust deniers; his support for Ken Livingstone, Chris Williamson and those who minimised the scale of the problem, and of course his ‘present but not involved’ laying of a wreath to honour terrorists who murdered Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics. Each time, I and others fought back.

“For three years, nearly every week, we would see yet another antisemitism scandal. Every week I, with others, tried to make Corbyn act to fix it…But we were ignored and dismissed – occasionally shouted at.”

Black metal festival with bands accused of promoting neo-Nazism moved to Edinburgh after Glasgow venue cancels booking

A black metal festival due to include bands accused of promoting neo-Nazism had its booking in Glasgow cancelled after concerns were raised, but it has now been moved to a venue near Edinburgh.

The event, which is tied to the National Socailist Black Metal scene within black metal music, was scheduled to take place in November 2020, but the Classic Grand venue in Glasgow withdrew, saying it would not provide “a platform to any form of hatred” after becoming aware of “certain connections to fascist ideology being associated with the festival.”

The organiser of the event rebuffed the suggestion that some of the bands promoted neo-Nazism, accused critics of a “witchhunt” and announced that the festival would proceed at an undisclosed, “privately-owned space” near Edinburgh.

Last year the event took place in Glasgow, and the organiser implied that the rescheduling of this year’s event, called Darkness Guides Us, was tied to logistical changes arising from the COP26 climate summit and COVID-19.

ADL Issues Advice on Preventing ‘Zoom-Bombing,’ as Extremists Troll Online Video Platforms During Coronavirus Crisis

One of the leading US Jewish civil rights organizations issued advice on Monday on how to deal with “zoom-bombings” — the disruption of virtual meetings by online trolls who upload racist, pornographic and other offensive images.

Named in reference to the videoconferencing platform that has soared in popularity with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, all that is presently required for a user to engage in “zoom-bombing” is the URL of the targeted meeting.

In one of many instances of extremists abusing the platform, an Anti-Defamation League (ADL) briefing on the problem highlighted how a March 24 webinar about antisemitism hosted by a Massachusetts Jewish student group was interrupted by a convicted white supremacist who pulled down his shirt to reveal a swastika tattoo on his chest.

The individual was identified by the ADL as Alan Auernheimer — also known as “weev” — who “has a long history of publicly expressing his antisemitic and racist views and exploiting technology in order to gain attention.”

Auernheimer’s act demonstrated “the potential for extremists to exploit these systems,” the ADL observed.

How Baghdad plague led to Sephardi cultural revival

In these coronavirus days, Point of No Return is moved to reflect on the impact of epidemics through the ages. Quite a few affected the Middle East, and no doubt devastated the local Jewish communities. But the plague of 1743 brought an influx to Baghdad of 50 Sephardi families from Aleppo, led by Rabbi Sadka Hussein, born in 1699. Although he and his sons Nissim and Yacoub were to die in the plague of 1772 -3*, he exerted a significant Sephardi influence on Jewish cultural life in Baghdad.

According to Wikipedia:
In 1743 there was a plague in which many of the Jews of Baghdad, including all the rabbis, died. The remaining Baghdad community asked the community of Aleppo to send them a new Chief Rabbi, leading to the appointment of Rabbi Sadka Bekhor Hussein.

Culturally, it would prove a decisive moment when Chief Rabbi Shmuel Laniyado of Aleppo picked his protegé for Baghdad. It is said he was accompanied by fifty Sephardic families from Aleppo.
Many of them were Rabbis who were to sit on the Beth Din of Baghdad and Basra.

This led to an assimilation of Iraqi Judaism to the general Sephardic mode of observance. Jewish culture revived, with communal leaders as Solomon Ma’tuk being renown for his work as an astronomer, library and piyyutim.

This brought the leading Jewish families of Baghdad, and with it, their Jewish practice into the network of Sephardic scribes and later printing presses established in Aleppo, Livorno and Salonica. Surviving records of the contents of the library of Solomon Ma’tuk shows a great number of books purchased from Sephardic scribes and some even originally from Spain.

Further driving this process was the high esteem in which Rabbi Sadka Bekhor Hussein was held as a halakhic authority.[27] This saw him accepted as a halakhic authority by the Jews of Persia, Kurdistan and the fledgling Baghdadi trading outposts being established in India.

The Jewish world according to Jackie Mason

AT THE AGE OF 92, Jackie Mason sits down more than he stands, but he won’t keep shtum. Dividing his time between New York and Florida with wife Jyll, the comic who fictionally fathered The Simpsons’ Krusty the Clown is officially retired but, as a former Democrat turned registered Republican, he is controversial and vocal about his allegiance.

Born in Wisconsin and raised in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, every male in Jackie’s family from his father to his great, great-grandfather was a rabbi, so inevitably he followed them to the bimah and, from there, told jokes. The congregation loved him so much he quit to become a comedian, saying: “Somebody in the family had to make a living.”

And he made a very nice living, with a global fan base charmed by his deprecating Jewish wit delivered in an accent stranded between Delancey Street and the shtetls. “I didn’t emphasise my Jewishness because I wanted to. I just happen to have been raised in a family where everybody happened to talk like this. So why would I talk like somebody else?”

Invited to share his ancient wisdom, he wrote 2,500 words and then a few more. You won’t agree with them all, but Jackie has given you something to think about.

Every year the Jewish people gather around their seder tables and have one question,”How long until we eat?”

101-Year-Old Holocaust And Spanish Flu Survivor Just Beat COVID-19

A 101-year-old man, identified as ‘Mr. P’ has been released from isolation after recovering from COVID-19 in the Italian city of Rimini. Mr. P., a WWII and Spanish Flu survivor was admitted last week to a hospital in northeast Italy after he was tested positive for the Coronavirus.

According to Gloria Lisi, Vice-Mayor of Rimini, as the patient began to recover it became “the story everyone talked about” in the hospital.

“Everyone saw hope for the future of all of us in the recovery of a person more than 100 years old,” Lisi said in a televised interview.

“Every day we see the sad stories from these weeks that mechanically tell about a virus that rages and is especially aggressive on the elderly. But he survived. Mr. P. survived.”

According to an article in Forbes, this is the second pandemic the man has survived. Mr. P was born in 1919, in the middle of the Spanish flu, estimated by the Centers for Disease Control to have infected 500 million people, about a third of the world’s population.

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