Israel's leaders have betrayed the public trust

Opinion: They ordered us to remain at home, to isolate and spend Passover alone, while they celebrated Seder with their own families; how can Rivlin and Netanyahu expect us to have faith in them during this unprecedented crisis when they act with impunity?

Sima Kadmon|
Save us the apologies, keep the explanations to yourselves. It's easier to (get your spokespeople) to apologize than it is to ask permission.
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  • It is even easier than standing in front of the cameras and telling the people to stay at home and not let their son the student or daughter the soldier into their homes for Seder Night and then do the exact opposite yourself.
    4 View gallery
    Avner Netanyahu attending his parents' Seder in Jerusalem while the rest of the country was under curfew without their families
    Avner Netanyahu attending his parents' Seder in Jerusalem while the rest of the country was under curfew without their families
    Avner Netanyahu attending his parents' Seder in Jerusalem while the rest of the country was under curfew without their families
    (Photo: Screenshot)
    So drop the explanations and apologies. There is nothing that can justify this lack of the most important characteristic needed for leadership - leading by personal example.
    That is where both President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed. This is not an exaggeration and it is no small matter to be looked over.
    With all due respect, Rivlin's explanations about the participation of his daughter, her husband, and his grandchildren at his Seder just don’t hold water.
    There are tens of thousands of widows and widowers in Israel, both older than Rivlin and without a team of staff at their beck and call, who spent the Seder alone.
    4 View gallery
    רחוב אבן גבירול בתל אביב בצל הקורונה
    רחוב אבן גבירול בתל אביב בצל הקורונה
    Tel Aviv's central Ibn Gvirol Street is deserted during Passover
    (Photo: Nitzan Dror)
    There are thousands of sick people for whom who this might be their last Passover, who adhered to state instructions and spent the Seder alone without their children and grandchildren.
    And it is not only during the Seder. They have not seen their families for long weeks; their hearts broken and the loneliness and longing unbearable.
    Still, they saw our president telling them to keep safe, to distance, to isolate and to celebrate Passover alone, all for the sake of celebrating together next year.
    And our prime minister, the one who tells us each evening to distance ourselves, to use tissues, to cough into our elbows, and instructs everybody to move around wearing a mask.
    4 View gallery
    חיילי פיקוד העורף מחלקים אוכל לנזקקים בבאר שבע
    חיילי פיקוד העורף מחלקים אוכל לנזקקים בבאר שבע
    IDF troops distributing food to the elderly in Be'er Sheva
    (Photo: Roee Idan)
    So insensitive, so obtuse. What pathetic explanation can he offer for his son's attendance at his Seder? There was not even any effort to show the slightest bit of semblance or solidarity.
    So he was in an enclosed space for two weeks? By all means, let the Shin Bet show the public the exact location of his cellphone over the last two weeks - surely we are at least owed that much.
    We haven't even touched on the matter of coronavirus tests, which should have by now reached 10,000 or 20,000 every day. But instead we are barely reaching 6,000.
    We don't even have enough kits to test staff in care homes, so it is another slap in the face to discover that our leader's children are getting the tests the rest of us are are starved of.
    We lack trust in those who are keeping us in our homes, limiting our movements and disrupting our everyday lives, those whose regulations have led to more than one million people becoming unemployed.
    4 View gallery
    Israelis queue for the supermarket in the run-up to Passover
    With one hand they ordered us into isolation and with the other let hundreds enter the country without testing their medical condition.
    This lack of leadership is dripping into the political scene as well. How can you talk about the need to form an emergency government due to the coronavirus and then torpedo negotiations due to a disagreement over judicial appointments?
    On one hand, the prime minister says we are in the midst of a crisis not seen since the Dark Ages and on the other he abuses the crisis to try to escape his day in court.
    How do our leaders expect us to cooperate during one of the worst crises Israel has ever known when our confidence in them is crumbling?
    The real heroes of this crisis - obviously besides the medical staff and the institutions supporting them - are the Israeli public, who are going doing their utmost to do better despite the duplicitous leadership.
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