The head of Israel’s small business federation said Thursday that if the government imposes a national lockdown to stop the rocketing second wave of coronavirus infections, it would be a death sentence to businesses.
The small business owners and independent operators threatened to keep their businesses open unless the government first comes up with a compensation package to prevent more businesses from going bankrupt.
“We are approaching anarchy. In the first wave we could barely hold our heads above water, in the second wave we drowned,” said Roee Cohen, president of the Israel Federation of Small Business Organizations.
“Another closure is a death sentence for businesses,” Cohen said, adding that the government has “long lost its legitimacy in the eyes of the public.”
Government officials have warned that a national lockdown is needed in order to control the second wave of infections, which last week drove the country into the top spot with the world’s highest per capita infection rate.
Cohen’s organization says a general closure of the economy during the High Holy Day season, which starts September 18, would deliver a fatal blow to some 220,000 self-employed people who are still recovering from the closure restrictions of the first wave of infections last spring.