An installation of 1,000 empty chairs placed in the Rabin Square in Tel Aviv on Monday, was an act of protest against the governments mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic as well as a memorial for Israelis dead as the result of the disease.
Activists from the Standing Together organization placed the chairs in the square with a sign on each of them reading, "A coronavirus victim will not be sitting here" and under a banner with the message, "Stop the failure."
Deputy Director of the Sheba Medical Center, Prof. Rafi Valdan, said that the coronavirus crisis followed years of neglect of Israel's health system, which manifested in an acute lack of physicians, nurses and hospital beds.
"In all of these parameters, Israel is behind among OECD countries," Valdan said.
"The pandemic has shown the dedication of medical teams and how much they were prepared to risk their own lives," Valdan said.
"It has also shown how disconnected the government and politicians are and how preoccupied they are with political games while neglecting public health. This is a failure," he said.
Alon-Lee Green, one of the organization's leaders, said the government has no plan to deal with the health crisis.
"Citizens have been neglected and there is an urgent need to set up a commission of inquiry into the government's failures," he said.
"Empty chairs symbolize the vacuum left by all those who have died and will not be joining their families during the upcoming High Holidays because of the mishandling of the pandemic," he said.