Why Israel Is Going Back Into Lockdown

Sep 16, 2020

Israel announced it will be the first country to order a second national lockdown due to the coronavirus.

The regulation lasts until at least October 11, stretching through the Jewish High Holidays – Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, and Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year and a day of atonement.

Cases of COVID-19 are surging around the country after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu boasted that his country was a model for the rest of the world in terms of containing the coronavirus.

But anti-Netanyahu protests have been going on for months. From TIME:

Meanwhile, the demonstrations calling for Netanyahu’s resignation are set to continue. Guidelines issued by Israel’s Ministry of Health on Tuesday state that the new travel restrictions do not prevent Israelis from attending protests, but there remains a lack of clarity over what is and isn’t permitted.

“The situation here is completely chaotic. We don’t understand the rules,” says Emma Maghen Tokatly, a Tel Aviv-based cultural curator who for 12 successive weekends has joined demonstrations in front of the Prime Minister’s residence in Jerusalem. “I just saw a message saying up to 1,000 people can be in a Synagogue. But I can’t eat my Rosh Hashanah dinner with my parents?” Whatever the regulations turn out to be, Tokatly adds, continuing the protests is crucial, “to let the government know they’re failing us.”

How are Israelis handling a second lockdown?