With the recent spike in the measles outbreak in Israel, Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, head of the Tzohar rabbinical association’s ethics department, has said that the state should enact punitive measures against parents who do not vaccinate their children. There have been close to 900 cases of measles since the start of the year largely attributed to a reduction in vaccination rates in the country. The outbreak has led Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman to consider sanctions against parents who do not vaccinate their children, including denying their children entry into schools.In 2017 there were only 33 cases of measles, and just nine in 2016. Ninety percent of the cases reported this year resulted from people who had not been vaccinated or came into contact with unvaccinated persons, the health ministry said.Speaking to The Jerusalem Post, Cherlow said that from a liberal perspective families should have the right to refuse to vaccinate their children since it can be presumed that they want the best for them and that they firmly believe in their anti-vaccination stance.But, he continued, when such decisions affect not only one’s own children but others around them, then the state is justified in taking measures to protect wider society.“This is where my liberalism stops, and I feel that it is an obligation to get vaccination,” Cherlow said.From an ethical perspective, all parents should get their children vaccinated, but he said a law obligating people to do so would be ineffective and ethically unjustifiable.Cherlow said, however, that withholding rights from such people would be acceptable and warranted.“The state cannot force someone to do a medical procedure, but you can withhold rights for someone who doesn’t get their children vaccinated.”The rabbi conceded that even withholding rights is a coercive measure against the state’s citizens, but that it was still justifiable because of the risk that unvaccinated people pose to vulnerable young children and the elderly.“I would support a law for the revocation of school education for non-vaccinated children. It’s a balance of private rights and medical opinion with the fact that others may pay the price,” he said.