A group of haredi mayors from across Israel blasted Israeli premier Binyamin Netanyahu Sunday over the government’s plans to impose a lockdown over nearly three dozen towns and cities, including a number of haredi-majority communities.
In a letter to Netanyahu, which was published Sunday by Channel 12, the mayors of Bnei Brak, Beitar Illit, Emmanuel, and Elad vowed not to cooperate with state authorities in the enforcement of the lockdowns, which are slated to begin Monday and last for one week.
“As the person managing this crisis, you never bothered to hear us out, to understand our difficulties or to try to work with us to advance ways of flattening the curve,” the mayors wrote.
“You were not interested in hearing us and you didn’t bother to ask us or to understand and to learn about a major portion of the population of Israel.”
“Time and again you imposed lockdowns on haredi cities. But they never yielded any substantial change.”
“You have turned the haredi public into a punching bag…without thinking for a moment about the suffering of tens of thousands of people caused by imposing [closures] over and over again.”
“Now, once again, you’ve intentionally pushed the decision to impose a closure on haredi cities, this time on the eve of the Tishrei holiday season.”
“We are notifying you that the entire haredi public will never forget this injustice you’ve done.”
Last Thursday, the Coronavirus Cabinet voted to impose a comprehensive lockdown on 31 cities and towns – later raised to 33 – which have high coronavirus infection rates.
A majority of the communities on the list are Israeli Arab towns, though a number are haredi-majority towns, including Emmanuel, Elad, Rekhasim, Bnei Brak, Beit Shemesh, and Beitar Illit.