The empty suit at the head of the table

What a damning Report Card

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett never held any real executive office, and he never had to implement his plans for beating the pandemic, applying sovereignty, or defeating Hamas.

 By  Caroline B. Glick, ISRAEL HAYOM

The empty suit at the head of the table

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett held a primetime press conference about his COVID-19 policies Monday evening. It went poorly for him.

Channel 12 News reporter Ofer Hadad spoke for many Israelis when he said, “Mr. Prime Minister, on the one hand, you’re signaling urgency and fear, and on the other hand, confusion.

“You decide to require a Green Pass for entry into shopping malls, and then you do an about face. You call for children to get vaccinated and then we discover that the education minister is – at best – refusing to mobilize the school system to this end. You ask the citizens of Israel not to travel abroad. And then your family flies off to the Maldives. You’re confusing us.”

Bennett’s confused and contradictory policies on COVID-19 are of a piece with his confusing and failed policies in every other major policy sphere. From his dealing with the Biden administration, the Palestinians, Iran, Diaspora Jewry, the economy and beyond, Bennett’s policies are a muddle of self-defeating contradictions.

Consider the situation with the Biden administration. Bennett said that by forming a radical ruling coalition dominated by the Left and the Islamist Ra’am Party, he would vastly improve Israel’s relations with the administration. Bennett and his partner, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, insisted that then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had brought Israel-US relations to a crisis through his close relations with then-President Donald Trump and the Republican party. Bennett and Lapid claimed that once they took charge, ties with the Biden administration would vastly improve.

But the opposite has occurred. On Tuesday, Channel 13 News reported that for the past three weeks, President Joe Biden has refused to speak with Bennett. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken refuses to engage in any serious discussion of the administration’s Iran policies.

In a phone call with Bennett three weeks ago, Blinken reportedly refused to seriously discuss Iran’s nuclear program and the nuclear talks in Vienna. Instead, he focused obsessively on Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and Jewish neighborhoods in northern, eastern and southern Jerusalem, to which the administration passionately objects. Blinken escalated the administration’s demands that Israel stop construction for Jews in Jerusalem’s northern Atarot neighborhood.

Blinken’s animosity reinforced the already strong sense that the Biden administration views Israel as an irritant, not an ally. For Blinken, Biden and their colleagues, Israel is the problem in the Middle East. As for their supporters on the radical left, Biden and his team wrongly view Israel as the “occupier” in its capital and national heartland.

Biden’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan arrived in Israel on Tuesday. Whereas Bennett’s advisors told the media that the purpose of his visit was to discuss Iran, a US official insisted that Sullivan’s primary goal was to step up the pressure on Israel to stop Jews from building homes in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria, and only after that would he discuss Iran.

Following Sullivan’s meeting with Bennett Wednesday, Israel Hayom reported that as far as Iran was concerned, far from coordinating positions and reaching a joint plan of action to block Iran from becoming a nuclear power, Sullivan merely presented a vague plan of increased sanctions and Security Council condemnations of Iran that the US might implement against Tehran at some point in the future if the Iranian regime fails to agree to reach a nuclear deal in Vienna.

Bennett has no policy for managing relations with the most hostile US administration in history. Although Bennett ostensibly opposes Washington’s dictates on nullifying Jewish property rights, Defense Minister Benny Gantz is essentially toeing the administration’s line. After Yehuda Dimantman was murdered last Thursday by Palestinian terrorists on his way to his yeshiva in Homesh in Samaria last week, Gantz didn’t order the destruction of the terrorists’ homes. He ordered the destruction of Dimantman’s yeshiva.

Gantz has given retroactive approval for thousands of illegal buildings in Area C that the Europeans built for the Palestinians, and approved the construction of thousands more.

This brings us to Iran’s nuclear weapons program. According to Gantz and Lapid, Iran’s achievement of independent military nuclear capabilities is imminent. Yet Bennett has no policy for dealing with this state of affairs. Once a week the media report the IDF’s detailed operational plans for destroying Iran’s nuclear installations. Twice a week the media report that Israel lacks the capacity to attack Iran’s nuclear installations and needs America to take care of Iran for us.

These opposing views presumably reflect the points of view expressed in Bennett’s security cabinet. There, apparently preventing Iran from achieving independent military nuclear capabilities is presented as an all-or-nothing deal, with no middle ground. Israel has no diplomatic options. It has no option to help the Iranian people bring down the regime. Sabotage is apparently off the table.

Either the entire Israeli Air Force flies to Iran to destroy all of its nuclear sites, or America will rescue Israel – at the cost of Israel’s sovereignty and national identity.

What is the source of Bennett’s strategic confusion?

Bennett’s COVID-19 policies provide a clue. To date, Bennett has only fully implemented one clear-cut decision. He barred all non-Israeli citizens from entering Israel.

Whether you are a grandparent who wants to see your Israeli grandchildren, or a high school class scheduled to spend a year in Israel, if you don’t have an Israeli passport, Bennett says, “Keep out.”

To date, criticism of Bennett’s ban on tourists has focused on the economic price Israelis are forced to pay. According to the Israel Association of Travel Agencies and Consultants, by banning entry to foreigners, Bennett has caused severe economic distress to 100,000 travel agents, tour guides and their families.

But there is an additional, much deeper cost: the Jewish cost.

Over the past week, expressions of outrage at Bennett’s blanket ban among Diaspora Jews have multiplied. Jews worldwide express feelings of hurt, outrage and humiliation at what they perceive as an abandonment and betrayal. Israel is the homeland of the entire Jewish people – wherever they dwell. Despite this, Bennett is making a distinction between Jews based not on the COVID-19 status, but on the passports they hold.

After South African native Eliyahu Kay was murdered last month as he made his way to work at the Western Wall, members of the South African Jewish community flew to Israel to pay their respects. While their flight was in the air, the government announced a ban on entry to non-Israelis arriving from Africa. The first people to be turned away were the Kay family’s friends. They arrived on a Friday morning and were forced to return to South Africa, in violation of Shabbat.

South Africa’s Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein lashed out in anger at Bennett’s actions.

The ban on Diaspora Jews, he said, “is causing terrible human suffering. It’s dividing families, people can’t come for family celebrations, or just to see their relatives. It’s a moral disgrace, and cannot be defended on the grounds of medical safety.”

Bennett’s move, Goldstein and many other Diapsora Jews say, is a betrayal of the central foundation of Zionism.

As Goldstein put it, “The future sustainability and success of Israel depend on if it fulfills the reason for its existence. That is to be a Jewish state. If you violate the Jewish identity of the Jewish state, if you take away its reason for being, that is a strategic threat to the state of Israel.”

At the outset of his Coronavirus cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Bennett said, “We are discussing the heart of the policy. We who are responsible, have no good options.”

Bennett’s statement touched the essence of leadership – deciding between imperfect options in an environment of uncertainty, and implementing policies whose ultimate outcome is unknowable.

To succeed at policymaking in conditions of deep uncertainty, every leader requires three things – core convictions, experience, and public support. Unfortunately, Bennett lacks all three.

In the past, Bennett presented himself as a conviction politician. He wrote a book on how to fight COVID-19. He published a plan to apply Israeli sovereignty over Area C and another one to destroy Hamas. When Bennett abandoned his ideological camp to form a government with the left, he abandoned all of his books and plans and any glimmer of a conviction. Now, as prime minister, he has no ideological foundation to guide him.

When Bennett abandoned his ideological camp, he also abandoned his voters. And thus he lacks public support.

Public support is important for two reasons. First, leaders without public support lack the ability to convince their colleagues in government to stand with them. Second, leaders with a public behind them are expected to serve that public.

As for experience, Bennett never held real executive office. Bennett’s experience was as a pitchman. He sold start-ups. He set out perfect policies he never had to implement in the real world. He ran campaigns.

So when Prime Minister Bennett talks to his ministers about choosing between bad options, he has no convictions and no experience to guide him. And he has no constituents to whom he owes allegiance. Bereft of all three components of leadership, Bennett is the apotheosis of an empty suit.

Bennett’s blanket ban on entry for tourists demonstrated his lack of all three.

To be sure, with the advent of the highly contagious Omicron COVID-19 variant, Israel, like all other states, is compelled to take steps to limit insofar as is practicable the spread of the virus. At the outset of the pandemic two years ago, lacking sufficient COVID-19 tests and treatment protocols, and with no vaccines in sight, the government’s decision to temporarily close the borders to non-citizens – like its decision to enact a national shutdown – were understandable.

But today, tests, treatments and vaccines are abundant. An experienced leader guided by Zionist convictions and sensitive to the cost his policy would impose on voters and other important stakeholders, would look at the situation and recognize that there are more options than having the country completely open or completely closed to tourists. For instance, the government could require tourists entering the country to abide by the Green Pass requirements of vaccinations, PCR tests and quarantine. Such a policy would reduce the danger of contagion, while limiting the damage to the economy and relations with Diaspora Jewry.

Bennett can repair the damage he has caused Diaspora Jewry fairly easily by cancelling his entry ban and applying the Green Pass criteria to foreign visitors. Repairing the damage his inexperienced, conviction-free and unsupported positions in all other spheres are causing will not be so simple.

December 24, 2021 | 40 Comments »

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  1. the covid vax was untested and killed people, not the answer, we see now covid is gone and communities that never went near the vax are fine

  2. I think this is good analysis

    …focused obsessively on Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and Jewish neighborhoods in northern, eastern and southern Jerusalem, to which the administration passionately objects. Blinken escalated the administration’s demands that Israel stop construction for Jews in Jerusalem’s northern Atarot neighborhood.

    Blinken’s animosity reinforced the already strong sense that the Biden administration views Israel as an irritant, not an ally. For Blinken, Biden and their colleagues, Israel is the problem in the Middle East. As for their supporters on the radical left, Biden and his team wrongly view Israel as the “occupier” in its capital and national heartland.

    I disagree though with the radical left description. They are not socialist. Islam is a problem for us.

    But this analysis gets to the heart of it which has been going on a long time and is contained on this forum also.

    Actually I see the govt move into Gola as a measure which gets to the heart of the crisis.

    Building many houses in the Golan goes right against the need to defeat global warming of the earth. It is a serious attack on that need.

    The Golan is already safe. Israel is able to fully defend the Golan.

    The areas of trouble to Israel are not the Golan but the three others. These areas are obvious

    Gaza

    Judea and Samaria

    Muslim Arabs inside Israel…at least these

    Here in these the Israeli leaders have betrayed.

    It is as a cover and distraction that Bennett comes up with this.

    There are many reasons to oppose this move.

  3. Congratulations you are capable of writing a one sentence response! I was trying to help you out with the background of the political party that Glick was actually involved in that is all. Not trying to prove anything to you.

  4. @Bear
    Not sure how this relates to your claim that she is a “hypocrite” due to her lack of support for Bennett as PM…

  5. First Caroline Glick is a true Zionist who has lived her ideals and is very admirable.
    I simply disagree with her non stop attacks on Bennett.

    She joined a NEW party (the New Right) with Bennett and Shaked in 2019. Go to this link to find out about her and what happen. Nice five minute video also about her background which the party produced to introduce her when she ran on the slate (however unsuccessfully). https://www.jta.org/quick-reads/jerusalem-post-columnist-caroline-glick-joins-new-right-wing-party-in-israel

  6. You are debating about the wrong party. I know you like to argue but try and get the basic facts correct to argue about. I am not so much into arguing for arguing purposes.

  7. @BEAR_

    I see nothing wrong with Glick being highly critical of releasing the 1000+ terrorists for Shalit. I am a strong Netanyahu supporter as you know, but I was outraged. But I could see that it took a long time, and the pressure from certain parts of the public was enormous, fueled by Shalit’s family who were all over the screens and news outlet in an unrelenting attack. I don’t blame them for wanting their son freed, but they should have considered the cost. Their gratification has resulted in the murders of dozens of innocent Israeli victims by some released terrorists, and they are to blame.

    They have blood on their hands. That they have an incompetent, useless and lazy son is beside the point. That he contributed majorly to his own capture is very much to the point. He was the sort of nebuchal who never should have been left alone to guard a derelict shell of an old rowboat.

    And his fellow soldiers must have known this, so they also are at fault.

  8. @Bear

    in the event the party won.

    What you suggest is rediculous…Yamina win the election?? I don’t believe any member of Yamina believed or even hoped for such an outcome. They were lucky enough just to pass the minimun requirement to gain the minimal 4 seats and they knew this from the outset. Yamina could not have won the election even if they imported all the Democrats to count their votes. This is silly.

    Glick did not believe Bennett should be PM in 2019 or she would have stated it in one of her many articles then or since. But if you can find her stating differently, please share that link.

  9. Really so when Glick ran under Bennett in 2019 New Right Party List she was not supporting him to be Prime Minister in the event the party won. Perhaps you were not aware of this. She has flipped on him completely.

    Sorry I only read bit of your comment as it is way too long. As always we all are have are own views and a right to them.

  10. @Bear

    do not tell Bennett’s experiences and prior positions are no longer qualifying to be Prime Minister and I call bullshit.

    This is, of course, not a fair statement. It has never been Glick’s intention to support Bennett for PM, period. His experience and prior Minister postings are not relevant to this fact. Glick’s decision to lend her popular support for Bennett and his Party 3yrs ago was for Bennett and his party to succeed in making it into the Knessett, but her support was never for him to be PM, only an MK and party leader. These are not in any way similar in required leadership skills, and you would have to agree with this fact. She did not support Bennett for PM in 2018, or on any day between then and now. She only supported Bennett and joined Yamina in hopes that the Right could muster enough votes to be in a position as they stand today, where they could easily support a Right wing PM, and her pick for that position has never wavered from the person of Bibi Netanyahu.

    As things unfolded, she has also never wavered in her deeply heartfelt disappointment and outspoken objection to Bennett pursuing the role of PM for himself and laments weekly over his current role as such. It is therefore unfair to call her a hypocrite by her claim that Bennett is a neophyte and unqualified for the task based on her prior opinion of him or for him, politically. PM and MKs and even Ministers have very different needs of experience to solidify support in these different roles and she spoke of Bennett’s lack of experience when she first attacked him for standing for PM.

    In truth, the best test of leadership is to actually successfully lead, in many ways, including by example. The reporter’s comment truly asked a question which Bennett would have been wise to answer more capably than he did. He, in fact, had to expect this question would be placed before him sooner or later given the significant policy changes, not to speak of his families foreign getaway in the midst of this terrible “plague”. It did not help matters to see that his daughter returned with Covid, first causing him to be placed in quarantine, and then for him to be seen to break quarantine while breathing the same air as all the Knessett members and attending aides – another image of poor optics to project to the public of the significance of his Covid restrictions even as he continues to urge them to take these restriction seriously.

    Should Glick be taken at her word that she finds Bennett’s work experience and political background significant enough to qualify him in his current position is for each of us to assess. Yet, Bennett’s actions to openly and repeatedly defy routine policies, put in place by his own govt, regarding Covid restrictions, while quickly changing course in midstream are matters that should be more directly addressed than he found the capacity for doing at this press conference. Instead here is the rather disappointing response to the reporter’s question that he offered:

    “There are different opinions, we are a diverse government,” Bennett replied. “We eventually converge on decisions and move on. Epidemic management is a complex thing and Omicron is different” from previous mutations.

    https://www.timesofisrael.com/as-omicron-rises-bennett-tells-parents-protect-your-kids-5th-covid-wave-is-here/

    A more targeted answer to the question posed should have been offered, one which qualified the specific difficulties which led to the perceived radical shifts in policy and further characterize his family’s vacation, rather than this political dodge offered as a response. It was a fair question, and offered Bennett a moment to gain greater support for the restrictions and policies he holds as significant. Perhaps, having passed on this glaring opportunity is what brought Glick’s criticism so sharply to bare on this point regarding his experience.

  11. When Caroline Glick ran on the New Right Ticket (Yamin ha Hadash) in 2019 under Naftali Bennett. Here is some of the reporting of the time. She no longer supports Bennett (having gone back to Journalism after failing in politics) which is her right but she does sound two faced in her relentless attacks on Bennett lately.

    Announcing her candidacy for the Knesset, Bennett said Glick “brings with her experience and understanding of Israeli society from her many years as a journalist and a commentator.”

    Glick clearly identifies with the Israeli right in her writings, and has been critical of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, notably over the 2011 deal to release more than 1,000 Palestinian security prisoners to secure the release of Gilad Shalit from Hamas in Gaza, which she called immoral and irresponsible.

    Glick’s uncompromising views have occasionally stirred controversy. Earlier this year she was criticized for sharing an image depicting various Israeli leaders labeled by the sins Jews ask God for atonement for on Yom Kippur

    .

  12. @ BEAR-

    You certainly can make unsubtle pejorative connotations from normal behaviour.

    When Glick agreed to go with Yamina (you may recall how reluctant and hesitant she was to get mixed up in politics from n MK viewpoint) she had no idea , nor had any of millions of people how Bennett’s overwhelming obsession with being PM would over ride any Right Wing inclinations.

    Also, she had the advantage of becoming a big fish in a little pond, a NEw, “dynamic”(?) Party of mostly younfer people. Although a seasoned political writer, she was a complete neophyte, and as it turned out she was too far down the liust.

    My opinion is, that if she had gained a seat, as soon as Mennett reneged, sh’d have voted witb LIKUD every time. And that’s not much of a guess.

    gt is Bennett who is the hypocrite here, and that’s a mild work for such a deep dyed vote stealing scoundrel.

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  13. Glick is turning into a hypocrite as she ran on the Yamina slate previously with Bennett in the number one spot of the ticket. Her praise for his talents and experiences never stopped in those days.

    Okay tell me you do not like the makeup of the coalition and do not approve. That I understand. However, do not tell Bennett’s experiences and prior positions are no longer qualifying to be Prime Minister and I call bullshit.

  14. Israel declared sovereignty over the Golan heights

    Except no one except Israel and, possibly, the US recognizes Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

    My problem is with Israel provoking the pushback so that the Government Of Israel has a good excuse to shelve the project.

    I really hope this time will be different.

  15. There has been interest by Israelis in moving to the Golan for a while now because it is has clean air, no traffic jams, open spaces……

    The trouble has been no available housing. I lived there long time ago and it has my favorite weather in Israel. Unlike the coast it is not humid.

  16. @BEAR-

    O.K. Thanks, The info I read in the JP must be either wrong or outdated. But I saw that 80% of the Druze were Syrian subjects and they refused to change.

    I recall some years ago that when the question came up that if they still wanted to be Syrians, they should relinquish their Israeli residence permits. They ALL refused-(naturally)

    Yes, it would be likely that any population increase by an Israeli govt would consist of Jews. But with the vacuous nonsense going on with Bennett, It was not a certainty.

  17. @READER-

    It is ours, and I don’t suppose it makes any difference. The Golan has been serving us well since 1967.

    And…since Bennett has just announced that he intends to DOUBLE the population of the Golan, and considering his shifty actions, I wonder what kind of population he means…

    80% of them are DRUZE most of whom hold on tightly to their Syrian citizenship.

  18. @Ted Belman

    One of the issues the court will be deciding is whether there is still an “emergency.”..

    I think this is beyond the jurisdiction of the court simply because the only people who are competent to decide whether there is still an emergency are independent (not American) epidemiologists with impeccable credentials and not some judges or attorneys who have no medical or scientific training.

  19. I am willing to bet (unfortunately) that the Golan plan will be shelved the same way as everything else was after being very loudly and pointedly announced to enable the “world community” express its “outrage over the Zionist Entity taking over the Palestinian territories illegally occupied in 1967”.

    Why can’t they just shut up and build just like the Arabs do in Judea and Samaria?

  20. @Ted Belman

    Sometimes freedoms must be shelved for the common good.

    The key question here – who determines what the common good is?

    Bill Gates & Co.?

    It sure looks like it.

    Hitler, for example, thought that the common good included exterminating every Jew in the world, conquering Europe and the USSR thus starting another world war in less than 30 years.

    Stalin thought that it would really help the common good to either send the “enemies of the people” to work camps in the far northeast of the country (-50C in winter) or to build dams, etc. to help the country’s economy or to execute a few of them who he thought were especially threatening to his regime.

    The simple majority vote won’t work because the ignorant masses can be easily swayed (we’ve been watching it every day for two years already) in just about any direction, and they have no idea what that common good might be.

    SCOTUS?

    The same SCOTUS which 10 years ago allowed corporations to contribute unlimited amounts of money to political campaigns, i.e., made it perfectly legal for the super-rich to buy politicians outright?!

  21. Leadership from Bennett as Cabinet enacts plan to double size of Golan Population in five years plus create two new towns on the Golan plus provide much needed housing in Katzrin and elsewhere om Golan.

    Side note I lived on Golan when Katzrin was a bus stop plus a kiosk. Only people living there were the people who ran the kiosk.


    This is our moment’: Israel okays major plan to boost Golan, double its population
    Cabinet meeting held on strategic plateau, with ministers approving $317M development plan; Bennett hails Trump recognition.

  22. Bennett Biography in part: He served as Minister of Diaspora Affairs from 2013 to 2019, as Minister of Education from 2015 to 2019, and as Minister of Defense from 2019 to 2020. He has led the New Right party since 2018, having previously led The Jewish Home party between 2012 and 2018.[3]

    Minister of Economy and Religious Services from 2013 to 2015, before being appointed as Minister of Education in 2015. In December 2018, Education Minister in June 2019. He regained his seat in the September 2019 Knesset election and he was appointed Minister of Defense, before leaving the position the following year. In 2020, Bennett succeeded Shaked to become the leader of the Yamina alliance.

    Edgar, did you business have 100s of employees and did you sell for $135 million also. Bennett was a successful businessman who understands economics. A plus in a political situaltion. He has a fitting background for PM.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naftali_Bennett

  23. Yes he “built” a political party…one which just a few polls ago got zero seats, and before or since, has never passed 6.(5% of electorate)

    I have no idea what you have done in life, but according to you…If you yourself were a business executive, you should then be capable, of running a country.. ??? I was a successful business executive at one time. Then my 2 late brothers, took my place, and continued our build up into a major enterprise, the largest in our country, and spanning several other countries, with exclusive contracts and products, many hundreds of employees etc.. One of our factories covered over 5 1/2 acres full of buildings. Much more than comparable with Bennett’s achievements. And we were all interested in politics, particularly of Israel’s.

    But ask any of us to run even a minor Ministry…Oy Veh.

    There is a HUGE difference between a business “executive” and the executive expertise in political governing that Glick is talking about. She uses the term “executive” for want of a more suitable word, but it’s much more than that.

    Bennett’s amateur efforts are plain for all to see.

    She may be on “witch hunt” as you say, but it is not a witch hunt if she is correct in her assertions; and I and many others, I’m sure, believe that she is damned well right on the mark. His meagre polls, poor results, and his low level numbers say it all. And those are FACTS.

    I know you like and prefer Bennett, but…after all. Bear…..

    Why did Bennett ask citizens NOT to travel abroad, and then hie off merrily on a vacation overseas himself.

    Maybe he works by “RULES are for THEE, but not for ME”…

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  24. I have some trouble with this because I believe that if an individual’s refusal can be proven to cause, lets say 10 deaths, should he not be forced to take the jab or be quarantined.

    I do not know whether the Court is being asked to consider this.

    Ury and I differ in another respect. I speculate that the long term effect of the vaccine wont be different from the short term effect. Ury speculates that it will be much worse. And I will concede that Ury knows a lot more than I do. This would suggest that his speculation is on firmer ground than mine.

    Obviously this makes a big difference in the judgement call.

  25. Ury Weiss wrote.

    https://youtu.be/W1jrdHs5HBE

    Please watch this short video and share widely. Japan, is one country on our planet, which didn’t lose it’s collective mind.

    Japan has come a long way since WW2 when it allied itself with Nazi Germany. They pay special attention to the Nuremberg Code, which was established following Nazi doctors experimented with human beings without consent. They know full well that when this current war on “we the people” will conclude with defeat of the Luciferian forces of evil, thousands who forced and coerced unwilling people to inject poison cocktails in their bodies in order to be able to feed their families, will be hanging high from cranes in public squares for everyone to see and truly never, ever repeat these Nazi style practices which have been strictly forbidden almost 80 years ago.

    I believe the Luciferians already know they lost the war. The new and future variants only reinforce this fact. With each new season of this Turkish soap opera, fewer and fewer are getting poked and therefore they must resort to harsher and more insane draconian measures. Slowly but surely, even the most dimwits amongst us start to grasp the sinister meaning of the “15 days to flatten some imaginary, non existing curve”.

  26. I watched the interview also. I agree that the vaccine has been successful in reducing the number of deaths from corona. But I don’t necessarily think that the mandate is wrong. Sometimes freedoms must be shelved for the common good. SCOTUS will rule on the mandates by Jan 10/22 I believe. I will accept their judgement.. They will set the standard for approving Mandates. This standard will vary depending on what is being mandated. i.e., vaccines, masks or social distancing.

    Also, I would expect a different standard regarding children because different considerations apply.

    My problem with the current policy in Israel and the US is that they have banned therapeutics from being given as a preventive measure. They have waged a war against them. This is unpardonable.

    One of the issues the court will be deciding is whether there is still an “emergency.”..

    I am hoping that the Court will condition their judgement on whether the Governments are banning therapeutics and order them not to. . Unfortunately, I do not think this issue has been raised in the current challenge..

    Another problem is this. If the Court rules against the mandates, it should add to its ruling the necessity to permit the dissemination of information on the whole debate so people can make informed decisions. This includes liberating doctors to prescribe them.

    The idea that courts can limit your freedoms is well established in Law. Although we are guaranteed freedom of speech, the Courts have imposed a limit, holding you can’t yell fire in a crowded theater nor can you spew hate if your remarks are an incitement to violence. Thus the court has held the rights of the other supersede the rights of the individual.

    Similarly it is against the law to abort a fetus late in the second trimester. except in certain situations. In effect the law says that as the pregnancy continues and the fetus approaches viability outside the womb, the government decides rather than the mother. Thus the rights of the unborn child take precedent over those of the mother. Can this principle be applied to the rights of the public over the rights of the individual to say no. This what the Court will soon decide.

  27. Considering that the number of Positives doubled in a week to 1.775, it’s not much of a “jump” for the Serious cases to go from 80m to 90., a 12.5%
    stroll. It’s very low, rather.

    I understood that Trump originally was treated with HCQ, which caused his early recovery. He could have continued with it surely, -as a prophilactic. As for pushing the Vaccines, his intentions very of the best, unlike the Faucis and other mamzerim.

    Not being in any way scientifically knowledgeable, he’s have to go with their advice, I suppose.

    .

  28. Donald Trump and Naftali Bennett agree that it important and prudent for people to get vaccinated against Covid. The large overwhelming majority of medical people also concur.

    Trump told Owens that people unvaccinated against coronavirus are the ones getting ‘very sick’ and encouraged all Americans get the jab all while taking credit for its creation.

    ‘I came up with a vaccine – with three vaccines,’ Trump told the Daily Wire host, referring to the development of the Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines while he was still president. ‘All are very, very good. Came up with three of them in less than nine months. It was supposed to take five to 12 years

    Anti-vaxxer Candace Owens says Donald Trump only got COVID booster and defended vaccines because he’s ‘too old’ to use the internet and read online testimony against the shots

    Candace Owens reached out to her followers and told them that Trump only praised vaccines because he is not savvy enough to do better research

    This comes after Trump pushed back against Owens anti-vaccine rhetoric during an interview that aired earlier this week

    Trump told Owens that people unvaccinated against coronavirus are the ones getting ‘very sick’ and encouraged all Americans get the jab

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  29. Vermont has the lowest rate of death per 100,000 people in the USA from Covid

    Vermont has the highest percentage of Vaccination against Covid of any USA state.

    Vermont is an example of why a high rate of vaccination leads to less deaths and is thereby desirable by any rationale objective measure.

  30. @Bear
    Vermont’s vaccine record of efficacy has actually been a enormous tragedy. This is true of the deaths, the active cases, and the daily new cases. Prior to the vaccine rollout, there were only 77 deaths. As of today, a year later, deaths are at 460, which is a 6X increase. This counts none of the non-Covid deaths associated with the vaccines such as anaphylaxis, blood clots, heart attacks, stroke, etc.

    The number of active cases in the state before the vaccine rollout was never more than ~2,100 cases, and was pretty much zero thru October 2020, when cases slowly rose to the 2,100 cases at the time of the rollout. As of today, there is a new peak in active cases at ~11,500 cases. That is a 5.4X increase in peak active cases compared to what existed before vaccines.

    The peak number of daily cases prior to vaccine rollout occurred on Dec. 8 with 117 new cases. It went on to reach a new peak on Jan. 13 with 173 cases and again on April 4 with 181 and since Sept, there have been a series of 4 new peaks in daily cases with the most recent being on Dec. 7 with 488 new cases. This is a 4.2X increase over what existed before the vaccines.

    I am not sure if you can find a location with high vaccine rates where these trends are not similarly present, but if you can, Vermont is certainly not the candidate of vaccine success that your comment suggests.

    The truth is that there are confounders in comparing 2020 to 2021, as the population is one year older, and those who died in 2020 should be expected to have been to most vulnerable, so the remaining population would be less vulnerable, but there were only 77 deaths. So the confounders would likely not be that confounding, though to be well analyzed these matters should be normalized to prevent confounding bias. This record is, however, quite devastating.

    The article cited is careful to only analyze Vermont against the national average rather than Vermont’s own record at fighting Covid without the Vaccines. It should be noted that Vermont has always had an amazingly strong record combating Covid as compared to the national average and this was especially true before the rollout.

    Also, Delta is not more severe than the Wuhan strain nor Alpha nor Beta as suggested. It is less severe. Alpha had a case fatality rate (CFR) of ~2% and Delta began with a CFR of ~0.25 and most recently this rose in the Fall to ~0.75 as it became more deadly.

    It just struck me the title of the article you shared is “How Vermont Is Winning the COVID Vaccination War”. The simple reality is that it isn’t.

    So for what it is worth, the article you cited is another bit of vaccine propaganda. It will be hard to find a popular press article that does not carry the flag pole for the vaccines. The press has been completely co-opted to perform the Pravda role for the state, and the state has a goal to sell vaccines.

    **All dates and case numbers are based on Worldometer.com using a 7-day rolling average to limit the affects of outlier data points.

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  31. @Bear

    however, 75% of severe patients were unvaccinated.

    It would be important to know how many of the “75% of severe patients were unvaccinated” actually did receive a shot but became ill before their timing window closed and were therefore counted as unvaccinated. The true reality of these matters are purposely fudged and in a way that the egg can not be unscrambled. The result is survivors bias and it purposefully and necessarily provides a perfect outlook for such state-managed policies, almost like they are reading their own propaganda for proof they were right. Who knows, maybe they would be shown to be right if they counted the casualties of being vaccinated from the day they are vaccinated. Since it is an arbitrary measure to do so, I suspect it is more meaningful to their purpose than not- this opinion is well argued, I think. They do, however, purposely choose not provide a quantifiable image of reality – and this fact can not be proven otherwise. This fantasy of employing unquantifiable data as useful could be easily remedied. Til such time that it is, such perfect results are perfectly useless and, regardless of their survivor biased “data”, they will simply do as they want because they want to do it.

    Regardless of all this vaccine talk, though, the ill are ill regardless of whether they are injected or not. Bennett has had every opportunity to pursue dozens of treatments available which are safe and effective and available to cure this plague, without any need to use new drugs with limited testing and severe side effects that will be counted as Covid side effects. These safe and effective treatment options have been available since Feb. 2020 and well described in the peer reviewed literature since Aug. 2020. It is a common failing for Bibi and Bennett/Lapid, each, to have failed to recognize this fact and remedy it by treating the ill, and they share the great shame of this fact, but only Bennett/Lapid could alter this fact to the benefit of the Israeli people today. It is a great regret that they remain steadfastly set against doing so.

  32. Vermont in the USA has a relatively great results against Covid deaths.

    Vermont 460 deaths 737 per million deaths 623,989 population https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/

    Vermont has the highest rate of complete COVID-19 vaccinations in the country, according to USAFacts, and the Readsboro trip reflects the reason for the Green Mountain State’s success. As of early November, about 80% of Vermonters had received at least one shot of the vaccine.

    Vaccinations are not perfect but they clearly help populations were there is a high concentration of vaccination. Vermont is just one example. They save people’s lives.

  33. Wow. I was, of course, aware of these details, but for them to be captioned so well together in the midst of a press conference without any adequate response(as I have read) is quite damaging.
    Channel 12 reporter asked:

    “You decide to require a Green Pass for entry into shopping malls, and then you do an about face. You call for children to get vaccinated and then we discover that the education minister is – at best – refusing to mobilize the school system to this end. You ask the citizens of Israel not to travel abroad. And then your family flies off to the Maldives. You’re confusing us.”

    Here was Bennett’s response:

    “The government of Israel, this government is acting exceptionally … a government that has taken a country from a spin of elections and more elections … not passing a budget …”

    I have looked for the full response by Bennett without success, so if anyone has it please post a link. As reported here, this appears to be a perfect deflection of the questions raised, but whatever his full statement contains, it is clear there will be no use of early treatments.

    Hence, Bennett has missed a perfect opportunity, and not for the first time, to broaden his approach to Covid and to allow effective early treatments to advantage his people to retake their rights and liberties. This is not the first time he has failed to act on such an opportunity. Had he chosen differently, he could, in fact, prevent the suffering of disease, the trauma of being hospitalized and the tragedy of death. Dr. McCullough references 85% reduction in such tragedies. Yet, as cases increase, his only reference is to get a vaccine for a virus that is already spreading. Like getting dressed on the battlefield, this is a very bad defense to an existing viral threat by a severe consequence to such a disease as Covid. This is a tragic knee jerk return to a dependency upon a policy that is not sufficiently effective to prevent the tragedy that should be the focus of govt efforts – namely the reduction of hospitalization and death.

    Bennett’s blind obeisance towards his vaccination goal is not purposefully helpful to prevent the spread of disease as the vaccine suppresses the ability of the immune system to protect the patient during a window of time best described as immune vulnerability. This period can be between one week and one month. Regardless of its duration, it is a perilous Achilles heal in the vaccine program, which only counts its mistakes among the unvaccinated. The use of medical treatments cause no such window and demonstrate very spontaneous effects and does not require them to end the foolish obsession with a vaccine that is not serving its intended purpose, nor does it require the end to quarantines and violations of civil rights. They can still pursue such inexplicably unhelpful policies, as it seems to give the govt some comfort they are having an effect on something. But they should treat the ill as if they are needing of care and early treatments, because they are truly needing of care and early treatments.

    No doubt this heavy handed quarantine or vaccinate policy will claim victory for Omicron being so less lethal than Delta. How redundant this all becomes, and disappointing and damaging.

  34. Not that Bennett has done everything correctly in his short stint as PM. He has done a good job overall. Glick is on a witch hunt for Bennett since he formed the coalition.

    She errs when she no one supports him and she errs when she says he has no executive experience. As she well knows, he built a couple of businesses from the ground up very successfully and sold them to make a fortune.
    He also built a political party.

    Glick is a very capable writer who should stop the witch hunt it is beneath her.

  35. While all of this sounds very negative and a far cry from Bibi’s efforts, it just may be the opportunity to keep those pesky NGOs out of the country or at least under tabs.
    Just think of the relief in Judea and Samaria if they can no longer support the illegal building or file constant complaints about this or that to clog up the courts.