Bennett during the TikTok meeting
Bennett during the TikTok meeting Koby Gideon/GPO

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Wednesday evening held a live meeting on his TikTok page with young people about the return to classes against the background of the fight against the coronavirus, the vaccines, the education plan and the "Green Pass".

Also participating in the broadcast was Dr. Meir Ezra-Alia, a pediatrician wit Maccabi Healthcare Services and founder of the Mehusgan non-profit association, who gave a professional response to questions on various issues. During the meeting, prominent creators of content on TikTok were invited to join the conversation and ask questions on dealing with the coronavirus.

The event was held pursuant to the joint initiative of TikTok and the Health Ministry, which in recent weeks have begun to encourage vaccination among young people. In the framework of the joint initiative, prominent TikTok users have been invited to ask any question that may arise about the vaccines, all of which have received answers from Prof. Tzachi Grossman, chairman of the Israel Pediatric Association.

"As you remember, my strategy has been to not repeat last year's lockdowns including the lockdowns during the school year, but to use a different system: Many actions, many tests, and many vaccinations in order to beat – in this case – the Delta strain, without locking down Israel," Bennett said.

"This is a much more difficult approach because it would be so easy to lock down the country and here, you won. The problem is that this is destructive: It destroys businesses. It is awful for young people, who for long months are stuck on Zoom, staring at their screens," he added.

"Then where are we at the moment? The battle is close but I can tell you that if we all continue acting the way we have been, meaning going to get vaccinated and wearing masks in closed places, we can overcome the current wave without lockdowns, if we do the right things."

"Just as you know, this year we fully and successfully opened the school year throughout the country. Almost all pupils carried out the self-tests. In our house as well, we carried out self-tests for the coronavirus for our four children."

"This is an experience that all parents in Israel have gone through, and this is how we kept their friends safe from infection. This was very successful," explained the Prime Minister.

"We are doing many creative things that have not been tried in other places because we must beat the coronavirus and live our lives. The other good news is that as things look, we will be celebrating Rosh Hashanah, and Israel will be open, with the family, not like last year when everyone was alone," he concluded.

TikTok Israel CEO Asaf Saguy said, "It is important for us that members of our community be happy and healthy so that they might continue to have experiences and share them on TikTok without fear for their safety. We hope that through creative measures we will be able to increase awareness, promote transparency on controversial issues and alleviate young people's concerns about the vaccine."

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