“It’s not a war. The way the response to the coronavirus has been characterized isn’t only unnecessary and wrong, it’s also very dangerous. The danger is that an incorrect analogy leads to incorrect decisions.
A virus has its own rules. Israel’s government had a duty to explain to the public that until there’s a vaccine or treatment, we’ll have to change our way of life for an unknown period of time.
In the absence of an understanding of the implications of labeling the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, the government created the illusion that flattening the curve would achieve the goal needed to handle the virus.”
Former MOSSAD Director Tamir Pardo (July 2020)
August 4 2020 — Former MOSSAD Director Tamir Pardo is very worried about the impact of the crisis on society. Pardo believes it was dumb to call this crisis a war. Follow us on Twitter: @Intel_Today.
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Tamir Pardo (born 1953) is the former Director of the Mossad, taking over the role from Meir Dagan on 1st January 2011. He was succeeded by Yossi Cohen on 5 January 2016.
What’s the problem with calling it a war?
“In a war, there is a defined enemy with intentions, capabilities, strategies and varied forces by air, sea, land and cyberspace. The objective of a war is to defeat the enemy, destroy it and force it to wave a white flag, or at least agree to stop the fighting when it has been deterred and won’t try to use force again to achieve its aims.
A virus is neither a state nor a terrorist organization. It consists of genetic material enclosed in a protein shell and isn’t even considered a living creature. A pandemic isn’t an unconventional weapon that’s deployed by an enemy, just as earthquakes, floods, droughts or hurricanes aren’t an enemy.”
Implications on three levels
“The pandemic has implications on three levels: health, economic and societal. The most deadly is the societal. Missteps in this area could lead to a societal disintegration stemming from a total loss of trust in the systems of the state and government.
The coronavirus is a pandemic requiring that we contend with a stubborn and deceptive virus over the long term. The very act of declaring war on it gets the public believing that the authorities have the power to destroy it and that deploying concentrated and effective force in the short term will defeat it.
Such a claim is sleight of hand, throwing dust in the eyes of the public. It’s dangerous on all three levels. Israelis understand war and they know its rules. The longer it continues, the greater the effect of the economic and societal components, until the public is often willing to settle for less than the total defeat of the enemy in order to return to its daily routine.”
Flattening the curve…
“When the curve was flattened, the government celebrated it as a victory, misleading the public as if the ‘war’ had ended. It was a shortsighted way of looking at things that indicated a fundamental and unjustified misunderstanding.”
No need for Generals
“There’s no need for generals and senior commanders to manage the crisis. What are needed are administrators who can plan, manage and execute in situations of uncertainty. The government must assign the tasks while clearly defining the goals and give them the authority and responsibility to draw up alternatives, submit them for approval and carry them out.”
Pardo believes that society is in grave danger if the public no longer trusts the government and does not understand the measures being taken to fight the pandemic.
“Even situations of great uncertainty require complete transparency and decisions that are logical and doable.”
Israel Botched Its Handling of the Coronavirus by Dubbing It War, Former Mossad Chief Says — HAARETZ
Former MOSSAD Director Tamir Pardo : “Military should not be managing the COVID-19 crisis.”