Calls To Fire Litzman For Violating His Own Ministry’s Regulations And Praying In A Shul

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Health minister Yaakov Litzman speaks during a press conference at the Prime Ministers office in Jerusalem on March 12, 2020. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90

JERUSALEM (VINnews) — After Israeli Health Minister Yaakov Litzman tested positive Thursday morning for coronavirus, politicians and public figures including the prime minister were forced to isolate themselves due to their association with the health minister. However after it was reported on N12 that Litzman had been praying with a minyan both in a synagogue and in a private house near his home despite the health ministry’s own regulations prohibiting such activities, public figures and politicians sharply criticized his behavior and called on prime minister Netanyahu to fire him peremptorily.

Government ministers said that Litzman had “knowing endangered them” in the last two weeks by “flouting regulations and not maintaining proper distance” from them, while others criticized the ministry for not publishing epidemiological details of who Litzman had been close too in the past two weeks ,including numerous doctors, advisers and health officials.

Health ministry officials also claimed that Litzman “did not understand the magnanimity of the event” and worked against the interests of his own ministry when they countered religious practices, such as regarding the issue of closing synagogues and mikves and making Purim celebrations.

The Movement For Quality of Government called on the prime minister to fire Litzman “this evening”, since “a publicly appointed official who makes a mockery of the law has no place in leadership, not in normal times and certainly not in times of emergency. When the minister himself violates directives, they have no more validity in the eyes of the public- neither ethical not legal.”

Journalist Avri Gilad reacted even more angrily and dubbed Litzman a “biological terrorist” who should be “isolated in solitary confinement in jail for needlessly endangering the entire leadership of Israel” with his behavior. Gilad added that all those who condone Litzman’s behavior are “partners in crime.”

Litzman’s bureau defended his behavior and said that during the last few weeks he had made every effort to maintain regulations, had cancelled all regular meetings and had not met with anyone unnecessarily. “It should be emphasized that Litzman adhered to all the health ministry regulations during prayer, regular activities and in his bureau.”

The regulations against praying in a minyan were not placed in force until after the previous Shabbat and “people should not make political attacks during times of emergency.”

 

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14 COMMENTS

    • That’s how it is in most areas of life. Heading up a government department, or a corporation, requires a different set of skills than are needed in sub-departments.

        • Try looking up his biography (every MK has an entry in the Knesset web site). He knows multiple languages (he grew up in the US until age 17, as example), his was high level administrator (reaching director) for large educational institutions. Since 1990 he had served as advisor to MK’s. In the 15th Knesset (1999) he was chairman on finance and served on 9 committees (including science, health and budget) and served in nearly every knesset since then. So that gives him 30 years of actual Knesset dealings (starting at least since being advisor in 1990), as well as decades of learning-on-the-job about science, health and the like from the experts and the politicians, as well as deep involvement in understanding government finance/budget and simply “the way things work” in government.

          And he has a track record of promoting health issues, including food nutrition in schools, food nutrition labeling

        • Administrative. For example, he was the principal of a Bais Yaakov school. And just as you don’t expect a principal to know how to cook, even though the cooks in the school report to him, so you shouldn’t expect that a minister of health has to be a doctor.

    • Look up the list in Wikipedia. There is something like one person with some medical training in the whole list going back to anyone who still alive today who had at one time held that position in the Israeli government.

  1. When did he daven in a shul? Could it have been during the time that it was permitted (with 2-meter distancing)? When he davened in a private house, was the davening inside or outside? Was it done with 2-meter distancing? Was it during the time when these modes of davening were permitted?
    If Litzman did all these things AFTER he was diagnosed with Corona, then he indeed should be fired.
    But something tells me that he did all those things when they were permitted at the times he did them. But why let facts spoil things? At least let us get the real facts and then decide?

  2. Odd he would not let his temperature be taken when he entered the Knesset. He was the only person who refused. I wonder why? Guess we will find out soon enough

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