Former defense minister calls for national unity to avert catastrophe, warns country is headed for catastrophe.
By Paul Shindman, World Israel News
The leader of the right-wing Yamina Party appealed to all Israelis Thursday to show unity and responsibility as coronavirus infections and deaths reached record levels in Israel.
In an interview with Channel 12 News, former defense minister Naftali Bennett warned that unless everybody cooperated, the country was heading for a catastrophe. He slammed the government and opposition for haranguing each other about whether or not to allow public demonstrations and prayers in synagogues.
“I tell the public, we are on the brink of disaster, stop blaming each other,” Bennett said. “These people are protesters, and these people want prayers and weddings. No. We are all in the same boat, each one should be responsible, take care of his community.”
Bennett chastised all groups who either downplayed mask wearing or didn’t adhere to it consistently.
“People know it [wearing masks] prevents infection, they do not know that wearing the mask, even if infected, can turn a terrible disease into a mild disease and be asymptomatic,” Bennett said. He posted a video on his Facebook page earlier in the week explaining that masks apparently can reduce the severity of the disease of one does inhale the coronavirus.
Bennett said everybody had to put their ideologies aside and confront the pandemic together.
“We are now at the height of the war, I am not getting into accusations, time is running out,” Bennett said. “I do not like many of the government’s decisions, the government has made terrible mistakes, but this is the government we have at the moment. We will settle the score later.”
“At the moment the public must act responsibly. The government must put everything aside, recruit epidemiological researchers, increase capacity in hospitals,” Bennett said, claiming that promised new hospital beds have not been added and the healthcare workforce was overworked and understaffed.
Although he is known to have a fractious relationship with Prime Minister Netanyahu, Bennett called for the mass anti-Netanyahu protests held around the country to stop. He also called on Jews not to go to synagogues over the upcoming Yom Kippur and Sukkot holidays.
“I am a great democrat, and I am also a man who wears a kippah. And with all due respect to demonstrations and democracy, nothing bad will happen to democracy if there are no big demonstrations for two weeks.
“As a person who wears a kippah, God told us to take care of our bodies. God does not want us to go into synagogues and die. Sanctity of life comes first. We are all in the same boat,” Bennett said.