Cabinet meeting

Israeli ministers assail government for 'conceding COVID battle'

Cabinet members say public confused due to constant policy shifts and ample discrepancies; 'We will find a way to balance a functioning economy with an efficient pandemic management policy,' PM reassures

Itamar Eichner |
Published: 01.09.22, 18:52
Israeli ministers on Sunday vented their frustration at the government's lax COVID-19 response as new cases of the Omicron variant explode nationwide.
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  • "The public doesn't trust us and there is a lot of confusion," said Social Affairs and Social Services Minister Meir Cohen at the weekly Cabinet meeting. "On the one hand, we allow large gatherings in sporting events, while not allowing gatherings in other places — and it is confusing the public."
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    ישיבת ממשלה
    ישיבת ממשלה
    Cabinet meeting
    (Photo: GPO)
    "We are not clear in our orders, and the public constantly demands clarifications," said Economy Minister Orna Barbivai. "The current public sentiment is that the government has given up the battle against the COVID pandemic."
    Barbivai also took aim at Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman's refusal to dole out aid to businesses and workers harmed by health control measures, saying it "causes a lot of pressure on the public."
    Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz also supported the move.
    Prime Minister Naftali Bennett instructed Liberman and Culture Minister Hili Tropper to draw up an outline for businesses that incurred dire economic circumstances due to the pandemic. "The situation is not simple, and I'm aware of that. We will find a way to balance between a functioning economy and an efficient pandemic management policy," he reassured.
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    ניצן הורוביץ
    ניצן הורוביץ
    Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz
    (Photo: Moti Kimchi)
    Immigrant Absorption Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata opposed a proposal to do away with the Green Pass — a document that allows Israelis who are vaccinated against COVID-19 or recovered from the disease access to public accommodations — since it may further confuse the public.
    The Cabinet decided to postpone the vote on the abolition of the Green Pass in shopping malls as some ministers expresses their objections to the move.
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