סטלה וינשטיין
Gym owner Stella Weinstein
Gym owner Stella Weinstein (left) barges into a Knesset Coronavirus Cabinet meeting

Gym owner crashes coronavirus cabinet meeting in plea for solutions

Woman implores board members to discuss reopening gyms posthaste, claiming currently available data about gyms does not justify financial damage caused by forced closure

Nina Fuchs |
Published: 07.09.20 , 17:59
A gym owner barged into a Knesset Coronavirus Cabinet meeting on Thursday and beseeched the board to provide solutions after the government ordered her to close as part of the national effort to stave off the spread of the pathogen.
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  • Stella Weinstein, a mother of three from Ashdod and the owner of the "Lazuz" fitness center, asked the committee to deliberate on the reopening of gyms as soon as possible after she claimed there were no virus infections in gyms throughout the entire month of June and only 15 confirmed patients had visited a gym that month.
    סטלה וינשטיין מאמנת חדר כושר התפרצה לדיון בועדת הקורונהסטלה וינשטיין מאמנת חדר כושר התפרצה לדיון בועדת הקורונה
    Gym owner Stella Weinstein (left) barges into a Knesset Coronavirus Cabinet meeting
    "The Israeli government shut me down without permission," said Weinstein. "The Israeli government ruined the lives of 120,000 people in just 47 seconds. Don't push the discussion to next week, I beg you, have the discussion today."
    The head of the committee, Likud MK Yifat Shasha-Biton, sympathized with Weinstein's plea and said that it is not clear to the committee itself why gyms were included in the last round of restrictions.
    Shasha-Biton added that the committee is making an effort to obtain relevant data from various ministries.
    "When we look at the data, we can make an informed decision whether or not to cancel the order. You'll have to understand, we will do it in a serious manner and return with an answer."
    סטלה וינשטיין מאמנת חדר כושר התפרצה לדיון בועדת הקורונהסטלה וינשטיין מאמנת חדר כושר התפרצה לדיון בועדת הקורונה
    Gym owner Stella Weinstein (left) at a Knesset Coronavirus Cabinet meeting
    Weinstein, unsatisfied with the answer, blamed the government for its poor management of the crisis and brought to mind the fact that restaurants were not obliged to close their gates under the new restrictions.
    "You got the mandate way back in March, please stop disappointing us, have mercy on us. I beg of you, have mercy on us as you had mercy for the restaurants. Have the discussion today, every day you wait is a death sentence for another business and another family and another home. I beg of you."
    After the discussion, Weinstein told Ynet that she decided to gatecrash the meeting due to her declining financial situation beget by the forced closure of her source of income.
    "I opened the door and went in," said Weinstein. "At first, they wanted to drag me out, then [Likud MK] Miki Levi and MK Shasha-Biton exchanged a few words between them and decided to let me speak for a few minutes. I remember as I spoke, I looked at them, they looked so desperate and helpless."
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