Photo Credit: Police Spokesperson
Police in T'veria cuffed an unmasked man who refused to identify himself at a local mall, Aug. 8, 2021.

While in the US the war over facemasks is raging—on July 30, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis banned school districts from imposing mask mandates in the coming school year, and on Sunday, a group of Florida parents asked a judge to block his executive order—while Israel has decided that masks are back on the face again for public safety.

A case in point: on Sunday, at the Big Fashion Danilof mall in Teveria, an Israeli citizen who did not wear a mask and refused to identify himself was handcuffed and detained for questioning in front of dozens of people who were there at the time.

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The man’s wife is cussing in Hebrew in the background of this video – please do not watch if you find this offensive.

The thing is, the cops were pretty rough with the man, a riot broke out at the scene, and in the bodycam video released by the police, he is seen lying on the floor with the police handcuffing him, while people shout insults at the officers. Passers-by also yelled at the cops that the man had fainted, but after a while, he recovered a little and put up a serious fight as the cops were taking him away to Teveria police station. He was dragged through the crowded mall and was taken down the escalator with his body practically suspended in the air, with the officers holding on to him.

The man’s wife argued with the police that she had a medical note allowing her not to wear a mask, but the cop told her: “If you have medical clearance, don’t enter the mall. Why should people get infected because of you? I don’t know if it’s allowed or not, I’m arguing with you, if you have a complaint, go to court.”

This is essentially what the parents in Florida have done – in the opposite direction, they went to court so their kids would be allowed to wear facemasks when the school year begins in September.

The Palm Beach County school district announced it would require students to wear a mask on school buses and inside school buildings unless they bring a note to the contrary, signed by a parent—in essence letting those parents decide healthcare policy for the district. But all staff members and all visitors must wear a mask, no notes to the contrary, please.

Finally, Israel Police issued a statement on Monday morning, saying:

“Unfortunately, once again we are witnessing an attempt to discredit the activities of the police using partial and biased documentation that shows only the moments of the arrest and not what preceded and led to them. During a shift at a shopping center in Teveria, a police officer identified an unmasked couple, approached them, and asked them to identify themselves to receive a summons. As can be seen from the policeman’s bodycam, the husband refused to identify himself, ignored the policeman’s repeated calls, and began to leave the place, with the policeman following him and constantly asking him to identify himself. Despite that, the suspect persisted in his refusal and was therefore told that he was being detained, but even at this stage, he continued to resist and the policeman had to use force to arrest him. It was certainly an unfortunate incident that could have been prevented had the citizen cooperated, identified himself as required by law, and obeyed police instructions.”

Now comes the opinion part (and to make it clear, not necessarily the position of the paper)…

It’s my opinion that it’s high time we all realized we are at war against a cunning, invisible enemy, and in war sometimes democratic values, precious though they may be, are set aside in favor of the bigger value of staying alive. Today, the numbers in Israel are discouraging, as the fourth wave of the Corona, in its Delta phase, is breaking through the barricades set up by the health system. But in the US the numbers are truly terrifying, with Florida’s total cases standing at 2,770,817 with 39,695 dead, in a population of some 21 million. While less than many other states, those are still devastating figures, in light of which, it’s my opinion that permitting citizens to enjoy the freedom to infect others is not democracy, it’s criminal.

Florida’s Department of Health released a statement that Florida’s daily rates as published by the CDC are incorrect, and that the CDC combined multiple days into one.

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.