China’s acting ambassador to Israel apologized on Sunday after comparing the closure of several national borders to Chinese citizens amid fears of a replacement virus from China to the avoidance of Jewish refugees during the Holocaust.
Dai Yuming told reporters at a English-language news conference in Tel Aviv that the “errors to limit or maybe ban entries of Chinese citizens” reminded him of “the old days, the old stories that happened in war Two, the Holocaust, the darkest days in human history.”
“Millions of Jewish were killed, and many, many Jewish were refused once they tried to hunt assistance from other countries. Only very, only a few countries opened their door, and among them is China,” Dai said.
The Chinese Embassy in Israel later issued a press release saying “there was no intention whatsoever to match the dark days of the Holocaust with the present situation and therefore the efforts taken by the Israeli government to guard its citizens.”
“We would really like to apologize if someone understood our message the incorrect 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 within the past fortnight . Israeli citizens who returned from China are instructed to stay quarantined reception for 2 weeks so as to stop the spread of the new coronavirus, which has killed quite 300 people and sickened thousands of others in China.
The number of coronavirus cases worldwide has passed 14,550, consistent with China’s National Health Commission and other countries.
Most reported incidents are in China, but around 150 cases are reported in twenty-four countries round 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 nonce . He said he has instructed the country’s Health Ministry to develop a vaccine for the fast-spreading virus.
“We also are updating the Palestinian Authority on all preventive steps and public health measures that they need to take under consideration here also ,” he said.
The world marked the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp last week.