“The Bennett family will, of course, follow all the guidelines and rules that apply to Israeli citizens,” the PMO stated.
By Gil Tanenbaum, TPS
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is under criticism at home because his wife and children are traveling abroad on Wednesday even though Bennett himself has called on Israelis not to leave the country due to the new Omicron Covid virus variant.
In addition, Israel closed its borders to foreign travelers for at least 15 days due to Omicron. Returning Israeli must isolate for at least three days after arriving back in the country and pass two separate Covid tests before leaving home quarantine.
In recent days, the prime minister increased his calls on Israelis to be careful and to take steps to avoid infection, and has asked people not to travel abroad.
Israeli news on Wednesday evening showed interviews with numerous citizens complaining about what they feel is a double standard here.
Bennett’s political opponents are crying foul.
Opposition Likud MK and former cabinet minister Itwisrael Katz, for example, tweeted, “After advising the citizens of Israel not to fly abroad, Bennett’s wife and children take off for a vacation abroad. Simply Chutzpah.”
The Prime Minister’s Office said that Bennett’s family changed its destination due to the new Omicron variant. They were originally set to go to the African island of Mauritius. “The Bennett family will, of course, follow all the guidelines and rules that apply to Israeli citizens,” said the Prime Minister’s Office.
Bennett himself posted on social media:
“My family is subject to exactly the same rules that apply to all Israeli citizens. From Friday we learned more about the Omicron strain, and the Corona Cabinet made decisions on which countries to travel to and under what conditions.
“My family was supposed to go on vacation during the Hanukkah holiday in a country that turned out to be red [prohibited to Israelis for travel due to high rate of Covid infection]. The holiday was canceled immediately, and after the new rules became clear, they booked a holiday to a country that is allowed.”
After Bennett’s explanation, Katz responded, “Bennett’s explanation for his family’s trip abroad, contrary to the warnings he gave to the public, is worse than the act itself. ‘From Friday we learned more about the variant.’ So why did you not update the public and not change the recommendation? Zero reliability.”