Restaurant owners and workers protest outside Knesset against lockdown
Restaurant owners and workers protest outside Knesset against lockdownFlash 90

The Public Emergency Council for the Coronavirus Crisis today issued an "urgent call to Knesset Members to prevent the lockdown."

The Council is comprised of senior doctors in Israel who "can no longer stand on the sidelines in light of what is happening in Israel." The Council is an ad hoc volunteer group, not funded and not politically identified with any party.

They wrote: "Distinguished Members of Knesset, the Israeli government seeks to impose a third closure based on models and consultants who have repeatedly failed in the past. In fact, none of the prophesies of doom by the Israeli government's advisory teams came true. Some exceeded by thousands of percentages within weeks. How will you even now get unfounded predictions about 3,700 dead within a month?

"The countries with the highest mortality per million inhabitants are those that have imposed lockdowns.

"This destructive third lockdown will cause severe damage to hundreds of thousands of households in Israel. It will lead to another rise in domestic violence, dropout of more students from the education system, delay further diagnoses of cancer, increase rates of depression and anxiety, increase the loneliness of the elderly and many other heavy damages. And all of these heavy costs are unnecessarily. This lockdown is wrong and unnecessary. It is not health versus economy. This is a health hazard!

"We, the members of the Public Emergency Council for the Coronavirus Crisis, doctors and experts in immunology, epidemiology, some of us have written the book of procedures for treating epidemics. We are the people who throughout the years of the State have been entrusted with the difficult and sensitive junctures of the State of Israel, in whose hands you have entrusted the civilian and military health system, the academic institutions and the hospitals. We, whose whole interest is the good of the State and its citizens, and we have not a shred of incentive other than a sense of civic duty. From our various areas of expertise, our joint experience and the synergistic vision of the council's experts, we call on you - do not allow and apply the closure!

"Weighing all the factors - life, health, livelihood, welfare, happiness, and freedom - we state unequivocally that the closure is more harmful than beneficial. The health care system is not on the verge of collapse.

"We turn to you and call without hesitation: Each of you, the people's elected representatives, who raises their hands in favor of the closure, betrays his duty towards the citizens of Israel! We understand the concern about the great responsibility in voting against the lockdown. You may be exposed to accusations of rising morbidity and mortality. We place our integrity, the long-standing reputation we have accumulated, and are willing to take the professional responsibility for preventing lockdown.

"Please use our statement here to feel whole with opposing the lockdown. We feel it is your duty, as elected officials, to listen to other voices, and not just to the same mantra that is played over and over again to no avail. We all as one body commit before you - there are better and more correct tools than applying a general lockdown, the nature of which does not rely on science or medicine. Lockdown is not a responsible action - it is a reckless and harmful action!"

The letter is signed by:

  • Former IDF Chief Medical Officer and Medical Association Ethics Committee Chairman Brigadier General (Res.) Prof. Eran Dolev.
  • Former Health Ministry Director and Sheba Medical Center Director Prof. Mordechai (Motke) Shani.
  • AIDS medicine in Israel pioneer and Tropical Diseases and AIDS Center at Ben-Gurion University head Prof. Zvi Bentoitch.
  • Former School of Medicine Dean and Ben Gurion University President Prof. Rivka Carmi.
  • Israel Prize laureate post-trauma expert Prof. Zehava Solomon.
  • Former Health Ministry Geriatrics Division Institutional Services head, Dignity and Patients' Rights Committee Chairman, and National Council for Geriatrics member Prof. Yaakov Gindin.
  • Infectious diseases in children specialist and Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv Microbiological Laboratory Director Prof. Amos Adler.
  • Hebrew University Family Medicine Department and School of Medicine Head Prof. Amnon Lahad.
  • Tel Hashomer Hospital oncogenetic unit and clinic for high-risk women founder and former Health Ministry Supreme Helsinki Committee Chairman Prof. Eitan Friedman.
  • Professor of Social Work, former President of the Achva Academic College, and Ben Gurion University School of Social Work head Prof. Elian Alkrinawi.
  • Former English Hospital in Nazareth Director and Society for the Promotion of the Health of the Arab Population in Israel Chairman Prof. Elian Alkrinawi.
  • Former Meir Hospital Director and United Health Insurance Fund CEO Prof. Asher Elhiani.
Public Emergency Council for the Coronavirus Crisis
Public Emergency Council for the Coronavirus CrisisSpokesman