During Tuesday’s opening sitting of the Knesset, Prime Minister MK Benjamin Netanyahu laid out the government’s plans for the session, with an emphasis on the fight against the coronavirus.

“Today, most of the public sees that the decision I led, along with my colleagues, to impose a lockdown, was the correct decision. Without it, we would be marching straight into the abyss. Despite the criticism, despite the enlisted and enlisting media, despite the pressures within the government and outside the government, I am insisting that we preserve the health of the citizens of Israel and open the economy in a safe, cautious and gradual manner,” Netanyahu said.

“If we act precipitously, if we capitulate to the pressure of every sector, we will very quickly come to another lockdown. I call on all public leaders, from left and right, to act with mutual responsibility, lower the level of criticism and the level of violence, which is unacceptable in any situation, and together we will lower the level of morbidity,” he said.

“I call on the mayors of red cities – I want, together with you, to bring your cities back to the status of green cities, and therefore it is very important that you enforce the guidelines among your residents. Everyone is important to me – Jews, Arabs, Muslims, Christians, Druze, Circassians – everyone. I wish to say a word to the heads of the Haredi public: the world of Torah is dear to my heart, you know this. I am not pretending… Our Torah is a Torah of life, it sanctifies life, so tell your communities to obey the rules, and save lives,” Netanyahu.

“As opposed to the first wave, during which we were united, this time, unfortunately, we did not have a majority in the Knesset to continue the responsible policy. Populism won, and the citizens of Israel lost. We have learned lessons from the exit from the first lockdown, and I hope others in this house have learned them too.”