Weekly Commentary: Israel Needs a "Reset" On COVID-19 Policy And More
Dr. Aaron Lerner 10 October 2020
Israel Needs a "Reset" On COVID-19 Policy.
#1. COVID-19 restrictions according the "medical science" NOT "social
"Social science" = restrictions are imposed either to convince the public of
the severity of the situation or placate them that there is some kind of
"equality of suffering" in the restrictions.
"Medical science" = restrictions imposed truly make a significant
contribution to halting the spread of COVID-19 (wedding halls, synagogues,
[schools for higher grades?],etc.) while restrictions are dropped across the
board elsewhere - including open air protests.
Suffice it to say that taking the initiative on open air protests could
serve as a fantastic example for explaining the move from "social science"
to "medical science".
#2. Restoring the rule of law - demonstrations
We are proud that there is freedom to protest in our country regardless of
if the placards support or oppose our views. Unfortunately, public
confusion over the "rules" for protest were profoundly undermined when the
police let anyone with a wheelchair block literally any road in the country.
The enforcement of restrictions on road blocking, noise, etc. should apply
regardless of PR considerations.
#3. Revolutionary change in relationship with Haredi community
COVID-19 has provided us a disturbing vision of possible future relations
between the Haredi community and the rest of Israeli society.
Ultimately the key threat to our future associated with the Haredi community
is the prospects that they drag down the economy.
Adopting a K-12 educational voucher system with the voucher's value a
function of the family's socio-economic level (NOT self-reported as is the
case for determining the government's payment to schools today) and the
child's special needs (determined by a government authority) could very well
serve to insure that the current generation of school-aged Haredis are
equipped to carry their weight in our ever advancing economy.
Adopting a K-12 voucher system without imposing any content requirements on the educational institutions receiving the vouchers would remove math, English and other studies from the "culture war."
Yes. Some Haredi parents will no doubt use their vouchers to send their
kids to institutions which teach nothing but Jewish studies. But with
school curriculum no longer a source of State-Haredi friction, the fierce
competition for these vouchers would no doubt result in the overwhelming
majority of Haredi vouchers going to institutions which provide the skill
set needed to get ahead in life.
I daresay that a voucher system would do wonders for the quality of
education across the board.
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