Opinion: While PM is dealing with West Bank annexation, the virus is still showing resilience, with no leader showing even a semblance of either control or responsibility for it
Einav Schiff – www.ynetnews.com
It’s impossible to compare between the prime minister we had at the beginning of the coronavirus epidemic and the one we have now.
Especially given the fact that the novel virus has shown a hard resiliency against a line of variables, from the warm weather and so-called health experts calling it “just a flu virus,” voicing their opinions with the help of irresponsible TV news shows.
Moving forward from the March 2020 elections, it was clear who oversees the situation: Benjamin Netanyahu and some guy named Moshe Bar-Siman-Tov, who has since become everybody’s next-door neighbor “Barsi.”
But since then, several events occurred, among them the alternative leadership of Benny Gantz folding under the pressure of an “emergency” government and the start of a corruption trial for bribery, fraud, and breach of trust, of a person some might have heard of.
Add to that Netanyahu, who defined the epidemic as the “worst crisis humanity has faced since the Dark Ages,” the kind of emergency which causes an unprecedented economic fallout, decides that the most necessary thing to do is to annex parts of the West Bank.
It’s interesting how a man who works within the equation of “the state and I are one” is wasting a sizeable amount of energy and resources on an issue – annexation, which according to public polls, is at the very bottom of citizens’ priorities.
At the same time, it is becoming evident that a leadership vacuum has emerged in the complicated and delicate management of the virus crisis which has rocked the bedrock of so many nations worldwide.
The nearly month-long delay in restarting the country’s railways, an oxygen line for many of the nation’s workforce, is merely a Metaphor for the fiasco that is Netanyahu’s “an exit strategy.”
Nation after nation has proven how irreplaceable public faith in the system is to help in the recovery from the 200-ton sledgehammer that is the coronavirus, regardless of how much you close our eyes and ears to it.
From the enormous success of New Zealand, the dogged determination of Germany, to the immense failures of the U.S., Brazil and the UK.- in Israel, the people see their representatives ignore public health orders all the while businesses and shops are slapped with fines for the most ridiculous infractions; hear reports about the embarrassing failures within the testing and epidemiological systems, and mainly see the complete absence of a figure willing to charge at the issue gung-ho.
It’s easy, and justifiable, to criticize the Blue & white party which has taken on (if not buried under) the mission to prevent a fourth election by joining the Netanyahu led coalition, and whose involvement in the coronavirus crisis is within the realm of statistical error.
Benny Gantz wasn’t there during the late-night press conferences of the early days of the pandemic, or the absurd victory celebration masquerade as a press conference during the first easing of restrictions imposed to fight it.
Who knows, maybe Netanyahu heard the rumor that the political system was already set for a 2021 vote, which will shock the defense minister, and that his Likud party has skyrocketed in the polls.
Sure, let us not forget the “coronavirus cabinet” and the Facebook posts of assurance, but let’s admit it: Israelis are sick and tired of the restrictions and the illogical handling of the epidemic.
The media was just dying to move on to a different issue and so was the prime minister, who has since elegantly exited from the picture. Well, you have to adhere to social distancing, don’t you?