After Pressure, It’s Curfews over Lockdowns for Israel
The cabinet of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has opted for nightly curfews in some 40 locales particularly hard-hit by a resurgence of coronavirus infections rather than full lockdowns for about a dozen of those hit the worst. The decision was taken after the mayors of four primarily ultra-Orthodox towns targeted for lockdown bitterly complained that their constituents had been turned into “enemies of the people” and would remember this come election time. The toned-down policy was announced after Netanyahu met with the leaders of the two ultra-Orthodox parties that have supported him through thick and thin – but now were said to be wavering over deep dissatisfaction among their constituencies. One of them is reportedly still dissatisfied, preferring a lockdown of the entire country over selective curfews, believing this still stigmatizes sub-sectors of the population. Israeli-Arabs, the other population group suffering a spike in infections, were also targeted for lockdowns; their leaders are now said to be expressing satisfaction that there will only be curfews.