Swine Fever: Health Ministers Respond

Saudi Arabian health minister Abdullah Al-Rabeeah responds to the threat of swine fever:

“…we have intensifed precautionary measures to protect the public…We have been following the latest development of the disease through reports received from the World Health Organization (WHO). We have also instructed all health centers and departments to inform the ministry of suspected cases.”

Israeli deputy health minister Yakov Litzman responds to the threat of swine fever:

“We will call it Mexican flu. We won’t call it swine flu”

Judaism and Islam of course both have a taboo against pork; I’ve sometimes seen the Judaic proscription explained as being some kind of divinely-inspired hygiene advice, while the same Islamic objection is mocked as a risible and morbid superstition.

Benjamin L. Hartman, writing in Ha’aretz (hat tip to Failed Messiahis dismayed:

While this may seem to be just the semi-weekly “Haredi government minister gone wild” comment that makes for great office banter, the truth is that it’s just one more in a series of state-sanctioned declarations by a government official that serves only to further humiliate Israel in the eyes of the world…Litzman’s absurd first act in office is merely a glaring symptom of the disease of Israeli politics…This attempted rebranding of swine flu raises another issue about the dangers of Israel’s lack of separation of synagogue and state…the constant ability of the religious, when put in charge of government ministries, to make a mockery of a modern, would-be sophisticated western country that sees itself as a beacon of pluralism and modernity in a region darkened by religious fundamentalism and political extremism.

2 Responses

  1. Jews and Muslims united as they laugh at our love of pig.

  2. Bacon is God’s punishment for the pig’s sin of being so tasty.

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