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Rivlin: ‘We’re going into lockdown so as not to kill each other’

President of Israel Reuven Rivlin today, Thursday, addressed the nation ahead of the beginning of the lockdown this evening and commented on the events in Washington. In his remarks, the president called for full compliance with the restrictions and warned against anarchy.

“My dear fellow Israelis,”

“Firstly, allow me to send congratulations to President-elect Joe Biden, as the certification of the election results by the US Congress concludes. I am sure that President-elect Biden will continue to strengthen the relations between us and the United States of America, our closest friend and the greatest democracy in the world.”

“The pictures of the disturbances from Capitol Hill are shocking. They remind us all that democracy, even when it is strong and deeply-rooted, is not to be taken for granted.”

“Over recent years, with all of the election campaigns that we have had, and the painful questions that have been on the Israeli public agenda, the distance between us has grown perhaps greater than ever. But we must ensure that even if the gaps are deep, our democracy will protect us as a people, as society and a state. The right to vote, the voice of the citizen exercising their democratic rights, alongside the strength of the judiciary and maintaining the rule of law, must be principles shared by us all. Even with the pain, the disagreement and the atmosphere of mistrust, we must never forget that. These are the principles with which we are going into the lockdown that has been announced and will begin this evening,” Rivlin said.

“I call on all public leaders – in all towns, from all sectors of society, political leaders and spiritual leaders, mayors, heads of civil society organizations – please, do your duty and stop the threat of anarchy. The lockdown, with all its restrictions as decided by the government, applies to us all. Whatever your position, this lockdown is the decision of the government, Israel’s elected government, on the recommendation of the professional medical advisors responsible for our health, the health of the people as a whole without any deviation or political views.”

“We are going into lockdown so as not to kill each other!”

“We are going into lockdown because the corona wards and the hospital ICUs are close to overload. We are going into lockdown to protect our children. We, all of us and without exceptions, must follow its rules.”

“All sectors of society, Jews and Arabs, secular, religious and haredi.”

“Not only because equality before the law is a cornerstone of our democracy, but because disobeying the law erodes the basic principle that allows us to continue living together in this land. The ability to work together to build and live in the Jewish and democratic state, the home of all of us. Disobeying the law, particularly the coronavirus regulations – and even more so, calling on others to disobey – is not only undermining our joint efforts to limit the spread of the disease. It is a tragedy that will remain with us, leading – heaven forbid – to deepening the schisms that have opened between the different groups in our society,” he said.

“I would like to say at this point that even if there are or will be those who disobey the regulations or the law, that does not give anyone else, nobody at all, the right to break the law. I know health and economic stability, the most basic of all things, seem harder than ever. Israeli society faces a complex challenge, and we must do all we can to meet it. I believe with all my heart that we can do so, to buckle down, stay at home and obey the law. The reservations and criticism should be heard, but only through following the guidelines, without exceptions. Please remember that when we disobey the regulations, we are putting those dearest to us and closest to us, as well as all Israelis, in real danger.”

“There will be better days. We have gone through bad times in the past and overcome them. The effect of the vaccine is close at hand, and we will return to normality. Until then, we must be patient and disciplined, and do everything we can to minimize infection. God bless you all, my dear ones,” Rivlin concluded.

Source: Arutz Sheva