Time to Differentiate

It may not be politically correct, but there is no possible justification for treating all Israelis in the same way. Restrictions have been imposed, shops closed and businesses destroyed on the basis of nationwide statistics as to the number of confirmed coronavirus cases.

Professor Ronni Gamzu understood how mistaken that approach was when he proposed more than six weeks ago differentiating between various parts of the country based upon the number of cases. The “traffic light” system as it is known would have classified towns as red, amber or green based on the number of corona cases in the particular location relative to its population size. Restrictions would reflect that.

Figures updated by the Clalit Healthcare Services this Sunday show that nearly half (7,601) of the number of confirmed new cases in the twenty-five towns worst hit by the virus were found in just six locations.

Tel Aviv with a population of over 400,000 residents had only 691 confirmed new cases. Relative to population size, Bnei Brak’s figure was seven times higher!

Now there can be no possible justification for treating the two towns similarly by shutting down shops and small businesses and restricting movement when the number of confirmed new cases in Bnei Brak is so much higher.

Should Professor Gamzu’s proposal not be implemented, the only conclusion that one can draw is that the refusal to differentiate between towns is motivated by political considerations rather than health interests.

Many of those who have seen their businesses destroyed, are now unemployed and are being held in captivity by the latest lockdown will wonder why local infection rates are not determining how they get treated.

About the Author
Rabbi Boyden was educated and received his rabbinical ordination in London, England. Having served as the rabbi of Cheshire Reform Congregation for thirteen years, he made aliyah with his family in 1985. He has established Reform congregations in Ra'anana and Hod Hasharon and previously served as director of the Israel Reform Movement's Beit Din.
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