President Reuven Rivlin told the Israeli public on Sunday to “keep calm and avoid hysteria.”
Speaking ahead of his meetings with members of the 23rd Knesset to receive their recommendations before announcing which member of Knesset will be tasked with forming a government in the next 28 days, the president reminded people to “follow the rules and instructions and do not give way to fear and panic.
“More than ever, the success of the State of Israel in dealing with this extreme crisis lies in the hands of our civil society,” said the president. “Now is when we are asked to give our children, on our own, a positive and normal routine. Now is when we are asked,more than ever, to take responsibility for our fellows, particularly the elderly among us – in our buildings, communities, neighborhoods, and those who are at the highest risk not just of getting sick, but of finding themselves isolated and without supplies.
“That is the spirit, our spirit, and if we maintain it, it will take care of us,” the president said.
He made clear that he did not believe that dealing with the coronavirus emergency - there are now around 200 people with the sickness in Israel - would be at the expense of Israeli democracy. Rather, he said, as in the past, dealing with enemies “has rather strengthened it and made our country, the State of Israel, more resilient.
“We are committed, more than ever, in light of the urgent need for a government, to hold essential democratic processes, even in a time of crisis,” he said.