Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Friday that he “accepts” the criticism waged against him over his family’s vacation abroad, which took place after he asked Israelis to avoid travel in light of the new omicron coronavirus variant.
Addressing the public backlash on Friday, Bennett wrote in a Facebook post: “About my family’s trip to a holiday abroad: First, I am open to criticism, and in this case I also accept it.”
“Not every criticism is a personal attack, And not every decision we make is perfect,” the prime minister added.
‘Biggest change since COVID started’: What’s Omicron and how to beat it. LISTEN
According to the Prime Minister’s Office, the trip was “planned in advance.” Bennett’s family members were originally planning to fly to Mauritius, though that trip was cancelled after the east African country was deemed high-risk. The new vacation destination is in accordance with Israel’s travel guidelines, the Prime Minister Office said Wednesday.
Responding to public criticism, Bennett said that his family must abide by the same rules as all of Israel’s citizens.
“I understand the criticism, but in recent days we’ve learned more about the [omicron] variant and in which countries it’s spreading. The coronavirus cabinet decided to which countries travel is allowed and under what conditions.
“My family (except for me, I’m staying with you) was supposed to go on vacation during Hanukkah to a country that turned out to be ‘red.’ The vacation was immediately cancelled, and after the new rules were agreed upon, they planned a vacation in a country where travel is allowed,” he added.
- Israel’s number of confirmed omicron cases rises to seven
- Israeli media’s ludicrous obsession with Naftali Bennett’s wife
- Omicron variant is yet to spread in Israel, unlike uproar over Bennett family’s vacation
The COVID cabinet reaffirmed last week’s decision to add about 50 countries and territories in Africa to the list of “red” destinations, effectively barring Israelis from traveling there and barring entry to any non-residents coming from these areas.
Israel also shut its borders to foreigners from all countries for 14 days on Saturday to try to contain the spread of omicron and has reintroduced counter-terrorism phone-tracking technology to trace contacts of a handful of people who have likely been infected.