Litzman: Deri and I will not allow High Holidays lockdown

Housing Minister slams Prof. Ronni Gamzu for acting against Uman pilgrimage but not against mass anti-Netanyahu demonstrations.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Yaakov Litzman
Yaakov Litzman
Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Housing and Construction Minister Yaakov Litzman (United Torah Judaism) promised Thursday that he would not allow the imposition of a lockdown on Israeli citizens during the High Holidays.

"There is no chance that we can close the synagogues on holidays. Not on Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) and not on Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) and not on Sukkot (the Festival of Tabernacles). These are holy days where everyone, haredi, religious, traditional, and secular people go to synagogues and there is no chance of them being closed. The Knesset will be open. [Interior] Minister [Aryeh] Deri (Shas) and I will not allow a lockdown during the holidays," Litzman said.

Litzman attacked the conduct of coronavirus czar Prof. Ronni Gamzu. "It needs to be clear, the guidelines have to be kept and distance maintained to prevent morbidity. But there also needs to be transparency, honesty, logic and uniformity," he said.

He criticized Gamzu's focus on preventing the annual mass pilgrimage to Uman in Ukraine this year. "I didn't know that Gamzu was the Uman project manager. Do you know what he wrote to the President of Ukraine? He wrote to him that he should beware of Jews who will come and pollute the city and bring sickness. How can he talk like this? He did this with no accountability. So I called for him to be fired. He's the project manager for the State of Israel and not of Ukraine."

Addressing the restrictions on synagogues, he said that "it cannot be that the synagogues have a limit of 20 people and Balfour st. 20,000 people. Everyone must be treated equally. The mass demonstrations have destroyed the instructions to the public and damaged public's confidence. I'm not against demonstrations. This week there was a demonstration at my house and nothing happened. That's part of the job."

"But what does bother me is that there is no equality. I have not heard that he wrote a letter to the Supreme Court justices about Balfour that they do not go with masks and do not stand two meters apart , so I demand that there be equality and only with credibility and transparency can we restore public trust and the cooperation of the people to stop the disease."