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Israeli government's tight grip on pandemic slips

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett had labeled himself as Mr. Coronavirus, but now that he is at the helm, the pandemic just keeps spreading.
A family arrives for a rapid COVID-19 antigenic test at Israel's Magen David Adom medical service in Jerusalem on Aug. 8, 2021.

The Aug. 9 announcement by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that it was cautioning travelers to avoid Israel due to the renewed spread of the coronavirus should be a wake-up call to the Bennett-Lapid government and the soft-handed policy it has adopted in dealing with the epidemic.

Thanks to an effective public relations campaign, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has, until now, marketed himself as being more in control of the situation than his predecessor, Benjamin Netanyahu. Bennett really wants to convince the public that he has maintained his composure; he certainly doesn’t want to scare them. The problem is that all of his efforts don’t seem to be enough, at least not until now. The fact that a friendly country such as the United States has decided that the coronavirus situation in Israel poses a serious threat raises many questions about the way the prime minister is handling the situation.

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