חיסון קורונה בירושלים
A woman vaccinated against coronavirus at a clinic in Jerusalem
Photo: EPA
A woman vaccinated against coronavirus at a clinic in Jerusalem

Israeli vaccine deniers escalate campaign to reveal 'great conspiracy'

Online group calling itself 'Independent Journalism 2020' accuses officials of 'spreading coronavirus' and 'physically harming human lives'; unknown assailants vandalize vaccination clinic in Tiberias, writing 'the vaccine kills' on wall

Adir Yanko |
Published: 02.07.21 , 20:59
Israel's vaccine deniers have noticeably stepped up their efforts in the last few days, both online and on the streets.
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  • A group of deniers calling themselves "Independent Journalism 2020" distributed images online of Prof. Sharon Alroy Preis, head of public health in the Health Ministry, labeling her a "coronavirus spreader" since she is "a person or a group working to publicize and convince the masses of the existence of a deadly plague while physically harming human lives."
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    חיסון קורונה בירושלים
    חיסון קורונה בירושלים
    A woman vaccinated against coronavirus at a clinic in Jerusalem
    (Photo: EPA)
    Similar images which included Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein and former Health Ministry No. 2 Prof. Itamar Grotto, were also circulated on the group's Telegram channel.
    Last week, a Facebook group of deniers called on people to book appointments for the shot and then cancel them in an effort to spoil the vaccines and have them thrown out.
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    גרפיטי של מתנגדי החיסונים בטבריה
    גרפיטי של מתנגדי החיסונים בטבריה
    A social media post calling Prof. Sharon Alroy Preis a 'coronavirus spreader'
    Police have said that they have opened an investigation into the group.
    "I am speechless," said a Health Ministry official. "The level of discourse among deniers has reached a point we have not yet encountered."
    The women who circulated the post told a Ynet reporter: "You are collaborating with history's greatest conspiracy. You [journalists] are all a part of a massive sham. A witch hunt. I will not cooperate."
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    גרפיטי של מתנגדי החיסונים בטבריה
    גרפיטי של מתנגדי החיסונים בטבריה
    Graffiti at a clinic in Tiberias reading: 'The vaccine kills'
    In addition, unknown assailants Sunday morning vandalized a Maccabi health fund vaccination center in Tiberias, spraying "the vaccine kills" on the wall.
    This is not the first time a clinic has been vandalized by deniers.
    Last month, two clinics in Rehovot belonging to the Maccabi and Clalit health funds were also vandalized with graffiti that "vaccine is death" and that "we are not sheep."
    4 צפייה בגלריה
    גרפיטי של מתנגדי החיסונים בטבריה
    גרפיטי של מתנגדי החיסונים בטבריה
    A clinic in Tiberias in daubed with the words: 'We are not sheep'
    Despite Israel last Thursday scrapping the age limit for the vaccine and opening inoculations to all Israelis aged 16 and over, officials have seen a drop in turnout for people aged between 20 and 40 years.
    Among people aged 20-39 years, there has been only a 3% rise in turnout since the vaccination drive expanded.
    Health officials said that most of those who wanted to be inoculated have already done so, and now most that are left are people who are either hesitant or outright refuse to get vaccinated.
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