Photo Credit: Amos Ben-Gershom (GPO)
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at the start of his weekly Cabinet meeting, July 19, 2021

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett appealed to the Israeli Arab sector of the population on Sunday, urging those who have not yet been vaccinated to do so right away.

“Dear citizens of Israel from the Arab sector, I am appealing to you with an important personal request. Your lives and those of the members of your families are very important to me,” Bennett said.

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“The Delta pandemic is sweeping the world and has caused severe morbidity and much death in many countries,” Bennett pointed out, adding that the Delta strain is also active in the State of Israel.

“Older people are the most vulnerable: Father and mother, grandfather and grandmother,” Bennett warned.

The prime minister went on to say that Israel has acquired booster vaccines — the third dose — “in order to protect the over-60 population.”

The rate of vaccination in the Arab sector is “too low,” Bennett said. “From here, I call on everyone over 60 to get vaccinated with the third dose, the booster. It saves lives.

“I call on the young people who have not been vaccinated at all, and there are many of them, go get vaccinated today. This is how you will neither be infected nor infect others. This will save the lives of your loved ones. I am relying on you to do this,” Bennett added.

“Thank you. Shukran jazilan.”

Half a Million-Plus Unvaccinated
The Israeli Health Ministry reported Sunday that just 16,000 of the 100,000 eligible Israeli Arab senior citizens have received a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Altogether in the Israeli Arab sector, 547,000 eligible citizens ages 12 and up remain unvaccinated.

There are many reasons for these numbers, among them is a basic lack of trust in the Israeli establishment, Channel 12 reported.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.