Israel must implement a vaccine mandate now!

Opinion: Aware of the Omicron variant's dangers, Bennett must do his duty, get his petty and infantile government in line, and do his job and lead this country safely through the incoming COVID infection wave, or else we are all doomed

Sever Plocker|
The rise in coronavirus morbidity that Israel is currently experiencing is not only due to the spread of the new Omicron variant.
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  • The statistics don't lie: the rise in infections is increasing exactly the way health experts said it would following the Hanukkah festivities. Various mass events during the Jewish holiday posed a risk to countless people, and now are paying the price.
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    ירושלים
    ירושלים
    A man receives his coronavirus vaccine at a clinic in Jerusalem
    (Photo: EPA)
    The Omicron variant is hitchhiking across the country and taking all of us on a gruesome ride. Despite this rise in infections, public gatherings in confined spaces continue unabated, all the while Israel's health officials continue to warn us that worse is yet to come and that we need to roll out a host of restrictions accordingly.
    These measures should have been prepared a month ago because the new strain has likely been running rampant for weeks and was just not detected.
    It is inevitable that restrictions will come eventually, but it cannot happen too late in the game. Now is judgment day in our battle against the pandemic. Every minute is crucial.
    Reports of Omicron's rapid and dangerous spread come from all over the world and Israel's government continues to sit on the fence. Maybe when we reach 25,000 daily cases they will get off of it.
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    פיילוט חדש של חברת אל על לתוצאות מהירות של בדיקות קורונה לפני עלייה למטוס
    פיילוט חדש של חברת אל על לתוצאות מהירות של בדיקות קורונה לפני עלייה למטוס
    A coronavirus testing facility at Ben-Gurion International Airport
    (Photo: AFP)
    The negligent lack of action on limiting public gatherings is taking place alongside the vaccination campaign.
    While Israeli policy states that the Green Pass is only granted to adults who received the booster and children who were inoculated with both shots, the lack of enforcement of this mandate at mass events is frightening.
    You show up at a restaurant or a club, and the bouncer just gives your phone a quick glance at best. The definition of sloppy work if I have ever seen one.
    Another policy that proved itself useless in preventing the Omicron's spread is the requirement for the unvaccinated to show a negative coronavirus test.
    What is the point of showing a negative test from yesterday when new cases multiply every two days?
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    מבצע חיסוני הילדים בישוב אפרת
    מבצע חיסוני הילדים בישוב אפרת
    A Medic holds a vaccine vial at the West Bank settlement of Efrat
    (Photo: Yoav Dudkevich)
    The constant pleas by the unvaccinated to just leave them be must end now. The majority of the public as well as lawmakers support a vaccine mandate.
    Once it is made law, thousands will flock to get the jab since most of the citizenry is not too keen on becoming criminals.
    A vaccine mandate will finally validate the state's trust in the shot and will reflect on its seriousness to enforce health restrictions.
    This measure will pass easily if Prime Minister Naftali Bennett decides to do his job and lead.
    Unlike other world leaders, the premier is very aware of the variant's danger and what actions need to be taken to stop it.
    Two weeks ago, he was already prepared to declare a state of emergency, but eventually decided not to. Although Israel did decide to stop foreigners from entering Israel, you don't drain a lake with a spoon.
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    ישיבת ממשלה
    ישיבת ממשלה
    Prime Minister Naftali Bennett during a cabinet meeting
    (Photo: Emil Salman)
    Israel was a pioneer when it decided to implement the booster shot mandate, and may also do the same with the fourth vaccine dose.
    Similarly, it must take a leap of faith and implement the vaccine mandate, given that the state already has the legislative infrastructure for such an action.
    Unfortunately, as Bennett matures in the prime minister's chair, his government becomes more and more infantile.

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