Photo Credit: Avshalom Shoshoni; Yossi Aloni / Flash90
Education Minister Yoav Galant vs. Leader of the Opposition MK Yair Lapid.

Leader of the Opposition MK Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid-Telem) said on Monday, “We deserve more. Yesterday’s cabinet meeting began with [the Prime Minister and the Alternate Prime Minister]… Doing their best to insult each other, while 2.5 million children are sitting at home, and while some 90,000 businesses have closed down in the State of Israel, and while, as of this morning, we are at 5,388 [corona-related] deaths. And they are busy insulting each other. We deserve more than this government.”

Lapid was addressing Education Minister Yoav Galant (Likud), who had been summoned by 25 MKs to discuss the “state of the education system in Israel.”

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Responding to the motion, Education Minister Galant said that “given the current morbidity figures, and according to the recommendations of many experts, we have reached the point where the education system – from kindergarten through the 12th grade – can be opened fully in ‘yellow’ and ‘green’ cities. There is no reason to keep pupils home. We at the Education Ministry are fully prepared for this. In addition, some grades in ‘orange’ cities may be opened as well.”

Galant told the plenum he believes the “conditions are ripe for such a decision,” and it must be reached before restrictions are lifted in other areas. “We must put the children before everything else, and education must come first,” he said. “There is no sense in opening other sectors before education, and the condition for returning to a healthy and open economy is students in school and parents being available for work.”

Lapid responded, saying, “We deserve a government that does not say ‘huge success’ when thousands of dead people are piling up in hospital basements. We deserve a government that will enforce the law. This is the most basic duty of a government – that the law be the same for everyone, regardless of which party they have.”

Another opposition MK, Oded Forer (Yisrael Beitenu), said Minister Gallant and Prime Minister Netanyahu “abandoned the children of the State of Israel on the altar of their political interests and considerations,” adding, “The government’s grade in managing the crisis – is a fail. Instead of leading and initiating an action plan that will allow studies during the crisis and using all of the state’s resources – teacher soldiers, non-commissioned education officers and girls and boys in the National Service – in order to activate the system, the government was busy satisfying the appetite of their political partners Litzman, Deri and Gafni.”

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