Coronavirus: Israeli Prime Minister closed for family trip amid travel restrictions
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL – Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett was fired on Thursday after his wife and children flew abroad just days after the Israeli leader urged people to avoid international travel because of the variant new coronavirus.
Gilat Bennett and her children took off on Wednesday for a personal visit, sparking a storm of criticism against the prime minister for not following through on his own undertakings.
Their trip comes after Israel tightened travel restrictions due to the Omicron variant. Israel has closed its borders to foreign visitors and banned travel to much of Africa, but Israelis are still allowed to fly to other countries and are subject to quarantine upon their return.
The episode drew comparisons to incidents at the beginning of the pandemic, when former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former Israeli President Reuven Rivlin spent the Passover holiday with family members living outside the residence. their own, even as they urged the Israelis to celebrate away from their loved ones. That sparked an outcry and raised questions about the public’s trust in leaders at a time of great crisis.
Bennett has been attacked by political opponents and every day Israelis want back to normal.
Israeli lawmaker Katz told Israel Army Radio: “It’s a testament to his behavior, his responsibility to the public, to his lack of personal example. He thinks he has got something to do with him. I can do what I want.”
Israelis have taken to social media to insult the prime minister on his social media sites, questioning his leadership.
“Dearest to family abroad while we all languish here with restrictions,” wrote a user named Anna Gechtman.
In a Facebook post Wednesday answering questions about the new variant, Bennett was asked about his family’s trip and said they weren’t breaking the new travel rules. He said they were expected to fly to a country that had subsequently banned travel for Israelis and then change their destination. He also said much has been revealed about where the virus has spread since his decision to restrict travel.
“I understand the criticism,” Bennett wrote. “People are leaving while following the restrictions and will of course be in quarantine as required.”
Bennett on Friday announced the tightening measures during a press conference on Friday. He advises Israelis not to bother booking vacations as he expects more countries to be added to the travel ban list.
“If you ask me, I wouldn’t recommend flying abroad right now with such a level of uncertainty,” he said.