(July 13, 2020 / JNS) Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz has called for a 10-day nationwide lockdown to combat the sharp rise in coronavirus infections.
In an interview on Monday with Ynet, Steinitz said he believes that the country should enforce a closure, while still allowing Israelis to work.
He said that the government was too quick to reopen the economy in May, following the first nationwide lockdown in April, and did not invest enough in enforcing public-health directives.
Regarding Israel’s omission from the list of countries with a low COVID-19 infection rate, which means that Israeli visitors and tourists are banned from entering Europe, Steinitz said that it is “essential to the economy” that Israel remain connected to the rest of the world.
Steinitz said that being disconnected from Europe and the rest of the world for “more than two or three months” will damage “the basic mechanisms of the economy.”
“Aerial disconnection from the world is financially dangerous,” he said. “Sometimes, it is better to make it difficult for ourselves for two weeks in order to make it easier for the rest of the year.”
Thousands of Israelis demonstrated in Tel Aviv on Saturday, protesting what they call Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s failure to address economic woes brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
With economic stress deepening in recent weeks, many Israelis believe that the government has not done enough to compensate hundreds of thousands of workers who lost their jobs as a result of restrictions and shutdowns. Unemployment has surged more than 20 percent since the start of the coronavirus crisis.
Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision
One of the most intriguing stories of the sudden Coronavirus crisis is the role of the internet. With individuals forced into home quarantine, most are turning further online for information, education and social interaction.
JNS's influence and readership are growing exponentially, and our positioning sets us apart. Most Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas. JNS is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.
During this crisis, JNS continues working overtime. We are being relied upon to tell the story of this crisis as it affects Israel and the global Jewish community, and explain the extraordinary political developments taking place in parallel.
Our ability to thrive in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters. Monthly donations in particular go a long way in helping us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make during these challenging times. We thank you for your ongoing support and wish you blessings for good health and peace of mind.