Yossi Cohen, head of Israel’s Mossad, has learned a very interesting lesson over the recent weeks: It is easier to “steal” the Iranian nuclear archives and transfer them to Israel than to procure medical ventilators and bring them to Israel’s hospitals. Cohen, who orchestrated in 2018 the unbelievable operation in which Mossad agents went off with the Iranian files under the noses of the regime in Tehran, now heads the unprecedented effort to bring to Israel ventilators, medical equipment and more in the war against the coronavirus. Cohen now heads a secret undercover operations room that was created in the Sheba hospital. Hundreds of his people are combing every corner of the globe for vital equipment and technology. They don’t have a limit on their budget, and the order they received was to do everything and anything to guarantee that Israel will be able to cope with the virus under optimal conditions.
Israel correctly responded to the coronavirus early in the game. The initial decisions to close Israel’s airspace and limit entrance to people from China and other places were made just in time. This gave the country some breathing space before the virus actually erupted. But almost nothing was done with regard to anti-coronavirus equipment until the virus inhabited the country and began to spread. The Israeli health system was caught unprepared; it had been subject to ongoing budget cutbacks, as well as general neglect, in the last decade.