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.”