Israel Struggles With Renewed COVID-19 Surge

Siegal Sadetzki, Israel’s Director of Public Health for the Ministry of Health resigned last Tuesday, July 7. In a Facebook post, Sadetzki stated that “Israel is heading to a dangerous place.” Sadetzki stated that her opinion on how to handle the pandemic was ignored and that the reopening of the country was mishandled. “To my regret, for a number of weeks now, the handling of the outbreak has lost direction,” Sadetzki posted. “Despite systematic and regular warnings in the various systems, and discussions in various forums, we watch with frustration as the hourglass of opportunities runs low.” Reported by Fox News.Read more… The following day, Israel’s president, Reuven Rivlin likewise criticized the government for failing to develop a “clear coronavirus doctrine.” Rivlin said that the country does “not have a single body centered on the knowledge, the struggle, the coping, the control and the discourse with the public.” Rivlin also said, “The coronavirus epidemic further deepens the need for drafting a comprehensive national security concept for the State of Israel, which not only examines itself through the sights of a rifle, but takes into account at its core social, economic and even health issues.” Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more… Then, on Friday, Yair Revivo, the mayor of Lod and a longtime Netanyahu supporter, blasted the government on Israel’s Channel 2 saying, “This government is one that was forced onto the public against its will. There are too many ministers, too many opinions. They’re busy engaging in internal wars and on matters that have nothing to do with the coronavirus and the economy.” Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…

There are those who think coronavirus restrictions are unfair. UTJ lawmaker Yisrael Eichler is urging the two ultra-Orthodox parties that make up part of the government, United Torah Judaism and the Shas, to temporary pull out of the government to protest what he calls “selective” targeting of Jewish neighborhoods for coronavirus lockdowns. “I call on the Haredi ministers to temporarily quit the government until they remove the selective closures from Haredi neighborhoods,” Eichler said this past Friday. He made his call after lockdowns went into effect in neighborhoods in five towns hit hard by coronavirus. Many of them are ultra-Orthodox. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…

Meanwhile, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein warns that the government could reimpose a nationwide lockdown if the number of daily virus infections climbs to 2,000. “If we reach 2,000 patients a day, this will be a flashing red light,” Edelstein purportedly told his associates. “We’re trying not to get there, but this will likely lead us to a general lockdown.” More than 1,600 infections were recorded between Wednesday evening, July 8, and Thursday evening. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…