The majority of Israelis are disgruntled with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s government management of the COVID crisis, a Channel 12 News survey on Sunday found.
The poll showed that 63% of the public thinks that Bennett’s management of the fifth COVID wave is “bad.”
An even higher percentage, 65%, think that Education Minister Yifa Shasha-Biton, who has been accused of being a COVID denier and has repeatedly clashed with Bennett and Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz over COVID policies, is failing in her role.
The worst rating, 66% disapproval, was earned by Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who refuses to consider compensating businesses for losses due to COVID issues.
Cabinet members complained during Sunday’s meeting about the dissonance of tightening and loosening requirements — then allowing people to crowd soccer stadiums for games.
“We keep getting asked for clarifications all day long,” said Economy and Industry Minister Orna Barbivai. “The sense among the public is that the government has conceded the fight against the coronavirus.”
For his part, Bennett has said almost daily that he understands the frustration as the parent of four children and someone who’s recently been quarantined.
He has tried to calm people by boasting of preparations for the current wave, offering a second round of booster shots to older Israelis and stocking up on hard-to-get medicines to treat people with the virus.
On Monday, Bennett personally escorted a 9-year-old girl to a vaccination center at a shopping mall in the central town of Modiin. The event was broadcast live on Channel 12, with Bennett wearing a microphone throughout the visit.
Bennett stopped with the girl and her mother at a candy shop to buy her chocolate before the jab. As he paid for the candy, he made sure the women behind the counter were vaccinated.
“We’re going to get through this together,” he told the girl as they entered the center.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem & AP)