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Don’t count on Israelis to follow their government’s coronavirus recommendations

Health Minister Director General Moshe Bar Siman Tov thinks well of us. “Today we’re going to take a risk. It’s a controlled risk, because we’re counting on you, citizens of Israel, to obey the rules,” he explained to us slowly, in one more of his serial appearances with the prime minister on Saturday night.

Bar Siman Tov is also counting on employers, the elderly, and in general, as he concluded, like a bar mitzvah boy, “Thank you for bringing us to this point.” We in turn say to him: “It’s us who thank you for bringing us this far.”

The problem is that Bar Siman Tov, or Barsi – we’re friends, after all – really has no one to count on. Not because people have started breaking the tangle of rules, regulations, instructions and recommendations that even the police can’t find their way around. It’s because the public refuses to take responsibility for the failures of the government, and of its prime minister in particular.

Because when they drop quarantine on us but don’t check up on the most isolated people of all, the ones living in nursing homes, and let them die; and when medical teams, who are justifiably praised, aren’t protected in their battlefield, and couldn’t get face masks for days on end; and when the prime minster doesn’t dare fire the health minister – don’t drop the responsibility on us.

Now we will be burdened with a government that isn’t really governing. It’s a national emergency government cobbled together by a man under criminal indictment and a man with no backbone. It’s an invention that even Prof. Marc Lipschitz, Netanyahu’s private expert “from Harvard University,” could not have imagined would serve as the cure for the coronavirus.

If so far we’ve “only” had a corrupt prime minister, now we’ve got a corrupt government, thick and heavy, that will take large bites out of what’s left of the budget.

This is a government that will be in long, deep isolation, utterly cut off from the public and protected by the coronavirus, which has given it an emergency and created a vaccination certificate for it. It wasn’t born to deal better with the virus and its effects, nor with the major economic crisis that has resulted from it.

This government bears no good tidings, neither for democracy nor for human rights. It is a political militia that is preparing itself for the committees of inquiry that will arise after the coronavirus, and its purpose is to expand the basis of shared responsibility for the failures that have come to light and will continue to do so daily, and to establish the foundation to extricate the prime minister from trial and imprisonment.

This is a government that is selling us a cover-our-butts exit strategy. Our lives during the emergency will not be run by the general who became foreign minister or the finance minister known for the blunders he made with Israel Railways as transportation minister.

This is a bunch of officials better suited to the adventures of a children’s secret society, hiding their decision-making, which will continue to confuse us with conflicting instructions, and at the same time patting us on the head and commending us for our obedience.

The coronavirus doesn’t need an emergency government. It needs responsible leadership the public can have confidence in. But the toxic stew cooked up on Monday that produced a gang of horse thieves cannot be called leadership, and it shouldn’t count on us.

If we continue to wear masks, we won’t be doing it because we trust the supreme wisdom of a bloated government head by a thug, but to protect ourselves from the stink that will rise from the Knesset.

But perhaps we are already immune, by virtue of herd immunity. The mixture created in the laboratory of the Prime Minister’s Residence on Jerusalem’s Balfour Street shows that the public can swallow anything; and that all the people can be fooled all of the time; that elections are a circus run by skilled ringmasters; that democracy is a unique natural wonder which one must visit European nations to behold; and that the coronavirus is child’s play compared to the political gangrene masquerading as a cure.

No mask can hide the abomination of this government, and if its members have taken off all their scarves, so can we. Don’t count on us to continue to obey you. The agreement between us is over.

Original: Zvi Bar’el – HAARETZ