China envoy compares coronavirus travel bans to Holocaust

China envoy compares coronavirus travel bans to Holocaust

China’s acting ambassador to Israel Dai Yuming apologized after comparing the closure of several national borders to Chinese citizens amid fears of coronavirus from China to the turning away of Jewish refugees during the Holocaust.

The envoy said at a press conference in Tel Aviv that the "errors to limit or even ban entries of Chinese citizens" reminded him of "the old days, the old stories that happened in World War Two, the Holocaust, the darkest days in human history."

"Millions of Jewish were killed, and many, many Jewish 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 AP cited him as saying.

The Chinese Embassy in Israel later 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."

Israel halted direct flights to China last week, and Israel’s Health Ministry has authorized border control agents to deny entry to non-Israelis who have visited China in the past two weeks. Israeli citizens who returned from China have been instructed to remain quarantined at home for two weeks in order to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.

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