Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is under criticism at home because his wife and children are traveling abroad on Wednesday; even though, Bennett himself has called on Israelis not to leave the country due to the new Omicron Covid virus variant.
In addition, Israel closed its borders to foreign travelers for at least 15 days due to Omicron and returning Israeli must isolate for at least 3 days after coming home and pass two separate Covid tests before leaving home quarantine.
In recent days the Prime Minister increased his calls on Israelis to be careful to take steps to avoid infection and has even asked people not to travel abroad.
Israeli news on Wednesday evening showed interviews with numerous citizens complaining about what they feel is a double standard here.
Bennett’s political opponents are crying foul.
Opposition MK and former cabinet minister from the Likud party Yisrael Katz, for example, tweeted, “After advising the citizens of Israel not to fly abroad, Bennett’s wife and children take off for a vacation abroad. Simply Chutzpah.”
The Prime Minister’s Office said that Bennett’s family did change its destination due to the new Omicron variant. They were originally set to go to the African island of Mauritius. “The Bennett family will, of course, follow all the guidelines and rules that apply to Israeli citizens,” said the PMO.
Bennet himself posted on social media:
“My family is subject to exactly the same rules that apply to all Israeli citizens. From Friday we learned more about the Omicron strain, and the Corona Cabinet made decisions on which countries to travel to and under what conditions.”
“My family was supposed to go on vacation during the Hanukkah holiday in a country that turned out to be red (prohibited to Israelis for travel due to high rate of Covid infection). The holiday was canceled immediately, and after the new rules became clear, they booked a holiday to a country that is allowed to go.”
After Bennett’s explanation, Israel Katz responded, “Bennett’s explanation for his family’s trip abroad, contrary to the warnings he gave to the public, is worse than the act itself. ‘From Friday we learned more about the variant.’ So why did you not update the public and not change the recommendation? 0 Reliability.”
Citizens have been posting cynical tweets about the family’s trip:
Gilat Bennett responds: No Prime Minister with just 6 mandates is going to tell me what to do.
No matter how much Bennett messes up now, the media will explain it’s because his wife ran away overseas.
It appears that it’s not just the coalition that doesn’t count Bennett. Now his wife and children don’t count him either.
It’s no big deal to bring back the Oknim couple. Let’s see Lapid bring back Bennett’s family.
Bennett: We’re working to bring back my family to Israel without bells and whistles.
Chanukah miracle: Bennett’s one recommendation managed to become irrelevant in only 5 days.
Even Vashti didn’t listen to Achashveirosh.
Bennett asked for industrial quiet in order to not hurt the operation to bring his family back home.
JewishPress.com News Desk contributed to this report.