Thursday, April 30, 2020

Israel's Home-Imprisoning of Citizens

In a disturbing segment on Wednesday’s CBS Evening News, it was reported that Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has authorized the nation’s intelligence agency, Shin Bet, to track people’s locations retroactively who have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus, and then order a mandatory quarantine of anyone who was around that person during those backtracking searches. It’s yet another disconcerting move by a government that also forces all men to serve in the armed forces. 

Americans may not behave perfectly in these extreme circumstances, but I think that we have it right in not allowing the government to essentially spy on our whereabouts, and then, as a result of certain movements, create what is essentially a home-arrest situation.  I would think that a government for predominantly Jewish people would have better insight into behaviors that smack of totalitarianism than what seems to be happening. 

In the U.S., I think we are all greatly aware that the government exists to serve the people and not to rule their behaviors.  I know Israelis who have moved to the U.S. for better opportunity and even recently came across a letter from an Israeli who, during the time he wrote the letter, expressed a clear unhappiness of having to soon serve in the Israeli army. I also know Israelis who have remained in the U.S., and though they identify still as Israelis, would rather not live there, nor raise their kids there.  It's a harsh country because of all of the political strife, and, though the people of the nation are very strong, many expatriots feel that it's not a stable enough place for a life there.  

With regard to the Shin Bet citizen monitoring activity, each nation state and its populous has to decide what is right and what is wrong for that country.  But it seems that Israel has overreached in this circumstance.  It’s not difficult to imagine that there is a large percentage of the citizenry who are very unhappy about how Shin Bet is being allowed to use their intelligence capabilities.