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‘This lockdown is a mistake and a disaster’

Yesh Atid-Telem chairman and Opposition Leader Yair Lapid demanded the government cancel the planned nationwide lockdown, calling the second national closure a “disaster” for Israel.

Speaking at a press conference Wednesday morning, MK Lapid called the government’s decision to impose a new lockdown “an admission of failure” by the coalition.

Israel, said Lapid, is “the only country in the world putting its citizens into a second lockdown,” adding that the government “needs to resign first. It’s an admission of failure. The citizens are being punished because the government failed.”

“We are 48 hours away from the lockdown and no-one understands what is meant to happen. This lockdown is a mistake, it’s a disaster. They’re shutting the country down in a move that isn’t properly planned and isn’t being done professionally.”

Lapid cited criticism of the lockdown plan by health officials, saying the closure would “cost lives” rather than save lives.

“We’re calling on the government to stop. Doctors are telling you to stop. Business owners are telling you to stop. The self-employed are telling you that if you don’t stop they’ll collapse. The unemployed are telling you to stop. Cancel the lockdown.”

“This lockdown won’t save lives, it will cost lives. Depression kills, hopelessness kills. People won’t go to hospital with a heart attack, the elderly will be home on their own.”

“A lockdown is only when there is no other choice but there is a choice. There are other steps we can take.”

“This lockdown isn’t necessary from a healthcare perspective. It’s a death blow to the Israeli economy. People have just began to recover a little from the first lockdown. They’ve learnt to live with the coronavirus, learnt to work according to the new regulations.”

In place of the lockdown, Lapid called on the government to return to the “traffic light” plan drawn up by Israel’s Coronaviruz Czar Prof. Ronni Gamzu, which imposed partial restrictions on towns, cities, and neighborhoods based on local infection rates.

“There is an alternative. The Corona Czar put forward the traffic light plan. They started and then suddenly cancelled it because of pressure on Netanyahu. We’re going into a national lockdown because of politics, because of problems in the coalition. Who cares about politics at a time like this? People are losing their lives. Whole sectors are collapsing. Hotels, restaurants, gyms, culture, events halls.”

“If there was no alternative that’s one thing, but there is an alternative. The government needs to cancel the lockdown, we need to go back to the traffic light system, focus on the high-risk areas and high-risk groups including the elderly and those with background illnesses.”

“According to the Finance Ministry estimates, this lockdown will create another 300,000 new unemployed in Israel. Many of them won’t go back to work. All just so that Netanyahu won’t have to admit that he was wrong about the unpaid leave model he put into place.”

“If the government decides to go ahead with this unnecessary lockdown, at least prepare properly. Not this half-baked job they’re doing now. Give businesses compensation in advance, not two months from now, so that they have a safety net.”

Source: Arutz Sheva