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Zev Chafets

Israel's New Covid Strategy Is Cruel to Be Kind

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett adopts the U.K. “personal responsibility” approach to Covid management -- with a twist.

Keeping a lid on things.

Keeping a lid on things.

Photographer: AMIR COHEN/AFP via Getty Images

Naftali Bennett began his term as Israel’s new prime minister praising his predecessor for the successful Covid vaccination program and promising more of the same: “Vaccinations, not lockdowns” has been his mantra. The pivot from state-mandated measures to personal responsibility was straight from Boris Johnson’s playbook.

Bennett will have noticed that “Freedom Day” hasn’t gone quite as hoped in the U.K. as the delta variant interferes with plans for a carefree unlocking. Now the Israeli leader is sounding a little less British too. In reality, though, the Israeli approach is just different enough from the U.K. one to allow Bennett to claim he’s both opened up and stayed vigilant.