The Chinese embassy to Israel on Sunday apologized for a statement made by Dai Yuming, Deputy Chief of the Chinese Mission in Tel Aviv, comparing Israel’s banning of Chinese travelers suspected of being carriers of the coronavirus to the banning of Jewish refugees during the Holocaust.
Dai Yuming told reporters at a press conference that the “errors to limit or even ban entries of Chinese citizens” were reminiscent of “the old days, the old stories that happened in World War Two, the Holocaust, the darkest days in human history.”
“Millions of Jewish (sic) were killed, and many, many Jewish (sic) were refused when they tried to seek assistance from other countries. Only very, very few countries opened their door, and among them is China,” the Chinese official said.
The Chinese Embassy in Israel issued a statement saying “there was no intention whatsoever to compare the dark days of the Holocaust with the current situation and the efforts taken by the Israeli government to protect its citizens. We would like to apologize if someone understood our message the wrong way.”
Israel started banning direct flights from China last Thursday, and the health ministry has authorized the border police to deny entry to travelers—not including Israelis—who visited China in the past two weeks. Israeli citizens returning from China were instructed to remain in a self-imposed quarantine at home for two weeks.