While the Israeli government’s crackdown on the coronavirus has been deemed the most effective in the world, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s government is considering even stronger regulations.
As of yesterday no more than 10 people can be together at one time. Cafes, entertainment centers, and other non-essential stores are to be closed under the new regulations. While many credit Netanyahu’s decision making as to what has slowed the growth of the virus, the government is considering even more draconian steps.
Even as more and more people have been grappling with closed schools, businesses, and weddings with only essential guests, the government may quarantine the entire country completely.
Professionals point to Italy, Spain, France, and others as examples of what happens when countries don’t completely shut down. However, with businesses closed in Israel and around the world, one wonders how much longer the global economy can handle this sort of stagnation.
“This is a battle for public health,” Netanyahu said at a press conference from the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem. “We are at war with an invisible enemy…We are adjusting as things develop. The situation is dynamic.” But, he said, “we can beat it.”
Netanyahu said it was imperative for Israelis to change gear and “adopt a new way of life” for the near future, noting that many Israelis appeared not to be heeding officials’ calls to avoid physical contact and displays of affection, but stressing that this was crucial for the nation to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Netanyahu said that the two most important issues, “personal hygiene” and keeping distance from each other. “A distance of two meters. This will protect us. It is very hard [but] it will help us stop infection.”
In that news conference the Prime Minister stressed that authorities “will continue to ensure crucial services to the market. First and foremost on food — because there was a rush on supermarkets. We have more than enough stocks…including for Passover. There is no justification for [panic].”
Unfortunately, despite Netanyahu’s leadership, Gantz and his cohorts on the Left have partnered with known terror supporters in the Joint List, despite their pledge not to. They have done this in order to oust the popular Prime Minister, even during a crisis.
Will the left’s political tricks work? Well, if Gantz is serious about partnering with the likes of Ahmed Tibi, a close friend of deceased arch terrorist Yasser Arafat then it may be possible.
Even if Gantz stumbles on his way to building an Arab backed coalition, he will have squandered 28 days the State of Israel needs to pass a budget that is critical to keep the economy going and increase funding for battling the spread of coronavirus.
Worst than the financial fallout from Gantz’s maneuver, he and his partners Gabi Ashkenazi, Yair Lapid, Moshe Yaalon, and others are now on the way to tearing Israeli society apart.
One reserve soldier Noam Sela wrote the following on his Facebook account:
“Gabi Ashkenazi, I will never forget the time when we were in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead, and you were walking around the buildings we had taken control of, slapping soldiers on the back. You were then Chief of Staff, a graduate of the Golani Brigade, a role model for me. I was proud of you as my Chief of Staff – but today? Today I am consumed with shame and my heart is bursting with pain.”
“How can you do such a thing? You, who led thousands of soldiers into battle, IDF and Golani fighters – how can you lend a hand to a Knesset member [Heba Yazbak] who applauds the murder of babies? How can you cooperate with lowly supporters of terror? … Gabi, the people of Israel are ashamed of you! … Hundreds of IDF soldiers have fallen and had their blood spilled in battle against those terrorists whose friends in the Joint List call them “heroes” and “martyrs.” How can you look at yourself in the mirror, Gabi? There’s an epidemic raging outside, but what you and your friends did today scares me a lot more.”
Whether or not Gantz succeeds may not matter, long term damage to Israeli society has already occurred. It will take the next generation and a unique leader to restore the trust needed to reunite the country.