Social media, morning news and talk shows on Sept. 10 focused on the question of whether it is appropriate for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to fly to Washington next week for the White House signing of Israel’s normalization agreement with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) while the coronavirus pandemic rages uncontrollably throughout Israel. According to Netanyahu associates, he will be absent from the country for four whole days. The ceremony in Washington is scheduled for Sept. 15.
Netanyahu’s planned absence has been generating growing criticism over the timing of the trip and the decision to leave the country rather than devoting himself to curb the spread of the disease. The debate grew more heated this morning following the latest Health Ministry report that indicated that another record of daily infections had been broken in the previous 24 hours, with over 3,900 Israelis testing positive for the virus — compared with fewer than 1,000 in early July at the start of the pandemic’s second wave in Israel.