Energy Minister Steinitz demands closure of synagogues

Heated argument in government about closing synagogues to stop spread of COVID-19. 'We need a 2-week lockdown to reduce infections.'

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Yuval Steinitz
Yuval Steinitz
Hadas Parush/Flash90

The government met Monday afternoon to discuss the option of closing synagogues in response to the growing number of coronavirus cases.

An argument broke out between the ministers when the Shas party representatives refused to consider closing the synagogues, Galai Tzahal (IDF Radio) reported.

Higher Education Minister Ze'ev Elkin said that "if synagogues allowed to open with up to 20 people, then it should also be possible to open summer camps. We just opened them a few days ago."

Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz repeatedly raised the issue of synagogues as a vector for the spread of the disease. He demanded that synagogues be closed and that the public pray outdoors.

"We need to have a two-week lockdown as quickly as possible in order to halt the surge in morbidity. Only in this manner can the rate of infection be dramatically reduced and we can end the European boycott of flights from Israel, which is one of the main causes of the damage to the economy," Steinitz said.

Housing Minister Yaakov Litzman angrily demanded why Steinitz continued to call for the closure of synagogues so often. Steinitz refused to argue with him.

Health Minister Yuli Edelstein stated: "We must have increased enforcement. Otherwise this plan will not succeed and will have no effect. Then we will be forced to institute a lockdown."