Prof. Retsef Levi, an expert in risk management and health systems at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a member of the Public Emergency Council for the Coronavirus Crisis, wrote in a piece published on Thursday by Channel 12 that Israel is in a state of "moral bankruptcy" as a result of its coronavirus policy.
"The State of Israel is in the midst of moral and value-based bankruptcy caused directly by the hysterical, forceful and vindictive policies of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz and the heads of the Ministry of Health, and enabled by de facto support or thunderous and embarrassing silence by the vast majority of government ministers, MKs, Supreme Court justices, intellectuals and the media.
"Anyone of sound mind who listens to Dr. Coetzee, the prudent and intelligent South African physician who discovered the appearance of the omicron variant and reported it to the world, understands that the omicron is actually a highly contagious cold, affecting most of the population at the level of a few days of runny nose, sore throat and possibly fever, and certainly less by orders of magnitude than influenza. Reports from around the world reinforce the understanding that the omicron, fortunately, spreads rapidly, provides long-term immunity to the infected, but does not pose any threat to most of us, the vaccinated as well as unvaccinated - a cold, unpleasant but going away within a few days.
"The omicron also completely collapsed the narrative of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Health, not to mention making it a laughingstock. The lofty talk of victory in the battle against the virus through vaccines, the Green Pass, and more vaccines have crashed in the face of reality. It has become clear over and over again that the vaccinated become infected and infect, and even - what can you do? - the 'protected' become infected and infect en masse. It turned out that corona vaccines will not defeat this virus, even if the Ministry of Health uses them as a preventative treatment given every four months.
"With a startup past we would expect Bennett to do what is called in high-tech pivoting, changing direction, and recognize the new reality, and the need to return to sanity and a normal life in the country. We would expect him to finally announce that the state of emergency in Israel has ended, and if he doesn't, the Knesset should do so, and if not the Knesset, the Supreme Court should do so. You would expect him to focus on protecting vulnerable populations, and restoring the mental health of Israeli children. But instead, all of these officials seem to have joined together in the goal that the prime minister has defined of 'embittering the lives of the unvaccinated.' The economy, businesses, children, education and even health are not important, but only to embitter the lives of those who are unvaccinated, unprotected.
"Those who are not vaccinated include about 40% of the Israeli population, many of them combat soldiers and commanders in the army, scientists, teachers, police officers - the salt of the earth. The Ministry of Health calls them in sponsored advertisements and statements in the media by the contemptible derogatory nickname 'anti-vaxxers,' although most of them are vaccinated with all routine vaccines, and even the first two vaccines for corona. To them senior members of the health care system, and 'liberal' thinkers, claim medical treatment should not be given. According to them, a person who has evaded military service, smokes, drinks alcohol excessively and eats to the point of morbid obesity should be treated if he has been vaccinated with three corona vaccines. According to them, a terrorist who remains wounded at the scene of an attack should be treated, but Heaven forbid not a decorated commander, a talented scientist or a dedicated teacher, if they dared to exercise their right not to be vaccinated, or even if they refused to take a booster. Absurd and disgraceful.
"The State of Israel is in the midst of moral bankruptcy, because while the Ministry of Health is considering whether to allow a [corona] confirmed doctor to treat patients, it insists on house arresting a child who tests negative, after being exposed to a confirmed 'protected' teacher, only because his parents decided not to vaccinate him. No science, no health - vindictiveness for its own sake. This is a betrayal, no less, of the state in its basic duty to provide and enable education for all Israeli children without discrimination. The mask seems to have been removed, and there is no longer even a pretense - they are embittering the lives of the unvaccinated children. Disgraceful.
"'There is no choice,' they have been telling us in the Ministry of Health for two years, it's an emergency, the health system is about to collapse. Those with in-depth understanding who have managed the major health systems in Israel will say without hesitation that this is completely incorrect. However, it is also worth telling the Ministry of Health and the Government that if after two years you have not learned to strengthen the excellent and dedicated medical staffs in hospitals and the community, in order to allow normal life in Israel alongside corona, flu and other winter viruses, you should hand in the keys and go home.
"And yes, it is possible to do things differently. There are countries, unfortunately few, where healthy children go to school all the time, and even without masks. States like Florida that are thriving economically, and where the leadership understands that educating children is health, that people working is health, that normalcy and calm are health.
"Prime Minister, Health Minister, ministers, Knesset members, Israeli judges - restore normalcy, cohesion, compassion and health to the citizens of Israel - or you will be directly responsible for this moral bankruptcy."