Yair Lapid
Yair LapidFlash 90

Israel is going into an avoidable lockdown. The reason for this lockdown isn't Covid-19. The reason is the failed, political, negligent and hysterical management of the crisis by this government and by the Prime Minister.

The citizens of Israel don't understand what the plan is but that's because there is no plan. The government hasn't presented any idea except for closing down the country, they don't have a work plan beyond shutting people in their homes.

This is a failure and one person is responsible for it. This is a failure and it is Netanyahu's failure. This could have been managed differently, it should have been managed differently. There is no shortage of examples. From Taiwan to Finland. From New Zealand to Estonia. In every place where a serious government enlisted professionals, worked in an organized manner, kept the public informed and received the trust of the public, things look different to here.

It simply isn't true that the second wave has hit the whole world and there is no choice. It's another one of the lies that has led this government to lose the trust of the public. The second wave is hitting those who didn't prepare for it, in countries where the government didn't prepare.

Look at the graph of infection rates published by The Financial Times.

This isn't a mishap, it's a failure. It's the result of a government which has no idea what it's doing, a government which has lost the trust of the public.

All the experts were against a complete lockdown. Prof. Roni Gamzu was against. Prof. Grotto was against. The Finance Ministry was against. They were shut down. We're going into this lockdown without any sort of plan, without defining clear goals.

I join the call of Rabbi Yosef. Look after your families, pray in the open air, with masks. Saving lives comes above all else. We will adhere to the rules on protests even if they're being handed down for improper reasons. We'll go to the bridges, it is a thousand meters from our homes, we will protest in capsules of 20 people.

We will pray responsibly and we will protest responsibly. We will adhere to all the rules. We won't let Netanyahu turn this into a war between religious and secular. We don’t hate one another. We care about one another. We are all together in the fight against this virus and the fight to save the economy. The government isn't looking after us, so we will look after one another.

If we are heading into a lockdown then there are six things that have to be done. Here is our plan that the government should have presented but hasn't:

1. A coherent exit strategy with clear parameters. What is the measures of success? What are we trying to achieve? What is the drop in infection rates that will lead to a re-opening of schools, to a re-opening of businesses, to the end of the lockdown? Where do we want to get to? What number? What percentage positives? Give us a consistent number, not one that changes every day.

2. An immediate compensation framework that will go into effect as the lockdown begins, a safety net with unemployment benefits for the self-employed, the cancellation of the unpaid leave framework which has failed and a shift to the German model where people are paid through the employer.

3. The creation of a proper epidemiological tracing system to cut the chain of infections, local closures and enforcement alongside an emergency medical system able to deal with the rising number of a cases on a nationalwide level.

4. The appointment of a professional spokesperson for the crisis. No more political press conferences, just clear information and instructions delivered to the Israeli public every day.

5. A framework to hand over authority and resources to mayors and heads of local authorities to manage their own cities alongside the Home Front Command.

6. Leadership by example from all the members of the government. Any minister who breaks the terms of the lockdown has to resign immediately. That includes the Prime Minister. We have to rebuild public trust.

That is the minimum needed to get out of the lockdown. It creates order in place of the chaos that this government has led us to.