Photo Credit: Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, November 29, 2021.

By Eli Barak, deputy manager of Israel Hayom’s news division

Imagine a situation where the prime minister has no real control over his government and makes no real decisions or imposes any real restrictions. This is where he turns from the premier to merely a person who makes recommendations.

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In a prime-time televised address on Sunday, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett called on the Israeli public – begged them, really – to accept his recommendations on how to best deal with the fifth coronavirus resurgence, the onset of which is looming.

He recommended businesses allow employees to work from home, but stopped short of ordering them to do so. Why, then, should they do as he says?

He also recommended Israelis refrain from traveling abroad – but when his own family ignores this plea and chooses to vacation in the Maldives (sharing photos online, of course) – why should the rest of us listen?

Bennett recommended everyone vaccinate their children against COVID-19, while a member of his cabinet – Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton, who is responsible for 2.5 million children – has stated she does not believe there is any reason to panic and vaccinate children in the school system. So why should parents heed his recommendation?

For a moment, it seemed like Bennett was about to put his foot down and insist that shopping malls demand visitors to present a Green Pass. Alas, then his government decided to overturn the decision and leave it to the mall owners’ discretion. And just like that, we were back in the gray zone between recommendation and recklessness.

One cannot ignore the fact that Bennett, who sits as prime minister despite the fact his faction holds only six seats in parliament, wields – at best – little influence over lawmakers.

Being a prime minister means sometimes making unpopular decisions – tough decisions that may upset some members of the public.

Recommendations are great if you’re in a youth movement, in social studies class, or at home, where sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. But when one is running a country, one must use clear laws, make unequivocal decisions and, if need be, impose sanctions on those who violate them.

When a global pandemic is raging outside, making critical decisions is inevitable, and that, Mr. Prime Minister, is the only way an epidemic can be defeated.

{Reposted from the IsraelHayom site}

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