Israeli PM Naftali Bennett Slammed over Family Vacation After Recommending Against Travel

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett gives a speech during a ceremony for the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah for Israeli soldiers in Jerusalem on November 29, 2021. - Bennett earlier charged that Iran was re-entering talks on its nuclear programme to seek sanctions relief in exchange for "almost nothing," insisting Tehran …
GIL COHEN-MAGEN/AFP via Getty

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has come under fire after his office announced his wife and children were going on vacation abroad, contravening the Israeli leader’s recommendations to avoid all travel overseas.

According to the Times of Israel, Bennett later attempted to walk back the directive, saying he no longer recommends against international travel after understanding more about the omicron strain.

“After the COVID cabinet decision to leave the skies open for the travel of Israelis,” the family will be heading abroad and “observing all guidelines and rules” related to COVID-19, the report cited a statement from his office as saying.

On Friday, when Israel announced it was closing its borders to foreign nationals, Bennett said: “If someone asked me, at the moment I wouldn’t recommend flying abroad right now amid a level of uncertainty like this.”

A staff member assists arriving passengers at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport in Lod, east of Tel Aviv, on November 28, 2021. Israel has closed its borders to all foreigners in a bid to stem the spread of the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus. (AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images)

“That’s the truth,” he said.

Lawmakers in former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s opposition Likud party lashed out at Bennett for being hypocritical.

“That’s how it is when the political lies become the norm and personal example is publicly trampled. Simply impertinent,” Likud MK Israel Katz tweeted.

Bennett responded on Facebook: “I understand the criticism, but since Friday we’ve learned a lot more about the variant and in which countries it’s spreading, and the cabinet made decisions about which countries it’s permitted to travel to and under which conditions.”

“They are all going in accordance with the restrictions and, of course, will be in quarantine as is required,” he said, according to a translation of his remarks by the Times of Israel.

 

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