B’nei Menashe Covid19 Blackout Intensifies

(June 10) With 100 or more B’nei Menashe immigrants to Israel sick with Corona in isolation centers and hospitals in New Delhi and Jerusalem, the blackout regarding them has become total. Degel Menashe’s sources in both cities have gone silent. As of the beginning of this week, none of the immigrants or their families, nor anyone in Israel’s ministries of health or immigration, nor at New Delhi’s previously forthcoming Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Covid Care Centre, has been willing to divulge information. Most of our Newsletter’s calls have gone unanswered.


One can only speculate about the reason for this. Clearly, heavy pressure not to speak has been applied all around. “It has all the indications of a cover-up,” Degel Menashe’s Executive Director Yitzhak Thangjom told our Newsletter. “Something obviously went wrong with the initial testing of the immigrants in Manipur, which was supposed to have been carried out by Shavei Israel, and there is apparently much embarrassment, as well as fear of word of what actually happened getting out. We know that Israel’s Health Ministry was reluctant to okay the operation in the first place and only did so because, given the gravity of the Covid19 situation in India, it was considered a matter of saving Jewish lives. Now the opposite has occurred: Jewish lives have been endangered and the virulent Indian strain of the virus has massively entered Israel. Hopefully, it will be contained, but this all could have been avoided had proper procedures been followed with a measure of transparency. Instead, Shavei Israel conducted its testing in Manipur under a heavy mantle of secrecy, and no one knows to this day exactly how it was done.”


Thangjom is confident that the truth will come to light. “These things can’t be swept under the rug forever,” he says. “Someone is responsible, and whoever it is will be held to account. A serious probe must be instituted to determine what went on and to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.”