Netanyahu blames Bennett for 1,392 COVID deaths

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s hesitation had cost the lives of the 1,392 COVID-19 victims since he became prime minister, Netanyahu said.

 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Knesset plenum, October 4, 2021. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Knesset plenum, October 4, 2021.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu accused Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in the Knesset plenum on Monday of being at fault for every COVID-19 death since he took office.

When Bennett became prime minister, almost no one was dying of the coronavirus, he said, urging him to start administering the third vaccine to keep it that way.

Bennett’s hesitation had cost the lives of the 1,392 COVID-19 victims since he became prime minister, Netanyahu said.

“Most of these lives could have been saved if you did not waste precious time,” he said. “We didn’t urge you to lock down the country but to bring the third vaccine on time to prevent the deaths.”

The Likud deserved credit for there not being a lockdown during the High Holy Days and Sukkot because he already had ordered the vaccines, Netanyahu said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomes the first shipment of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine to Ben-Gurion Airport, Israel, December 9, 2020 (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomes the first shipment of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine to Ben-Gurion Airport, Israel, December 9, 2020 (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

He criticized Bennett’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly, saying Bennett should have attacked Iran’s leaders instead of Israel’s top healthcare professionals.

Bennett had missed out on an opportunity to voice opposition to returning to the Iran deal and warn the world that Israel could take military action against the Islamic Republic, Netanyahu said.

“Instead of attacking the agreement that is being drafted, you chose to attack our terrific healthcare system,” he told Bennett. “What was claimed to be a government of healing instead attacked the doctors. Instead of debating [Iranian supreme leader Ali] Khamenei, you bullied [head of Public Health Services Dr.] Sharon Alroy-Preis.”

Noting that Bennett had promised different results on COVID-19, Netanyahu sarcastically said he had kept that promise.

Netanyahu also attacked Foreign Minister Yair Lapid for enjoying the fruits of the Abraham Accords that his government had achieved.

“Yair, how was it in Bahrain?” he mockingly asked Lapid.

A no-confidence vote in the government on its “failure to manage the coronavirus” was set to be defeated in the Knesset on Monday night.