The day we lost our basic freedom

When the unimaginable becomes a reality. Have we all fallen willingly in a world dystopia, to fight an invisible enemy?

The health crisis is undeniable, and it is scary, tragic, and heartbreaking. The decision of our Prime Minister Netanyahu to act fast to close our borders and quarantine travelers from abroad was the right one.

The decision he took last night to jail and to surveil its citizens is not only wrong; it is horrifying!

Until now, Israel rejected spying on its citizens, but last night, after announcing the closures of schools, offices, gyms, restaurants, synagogues, and about everything around us, our Prime Minister also announced he would allow civilian espionage to fight the virus.

It is time for all to take a deep breath and start thinking about the new reality around us and its potential impact on our future and the future of our children. Do we want to be the generation that gave away its civil liberties without even discussing it?

In the best-case scenario, the Corona crisis will last a couple of months. During that time, the economy most probably would have collapsed, and therefore we will be facing the next crisis, requiring exceptional measures again. This cycle is almost unstoppable; little by little, crisis after crisis, our civil liberties will be taken away. Think about the way the government has grown over the years, more programs, more taxes, more regulation, a lot of them were adopted in time of crisis but stayed in good times also.

Our government, even if it is the most benevolent, is a collection of human beings under high stress, operating at an extreme level of uncertainty. Is it reasonable or cautious to blindly follow in the name of a national emergency?

Israelis certainly remember the summer of 2014, when we all rush to buy underwear and essential hygiene products to bring to our soldiers fighting in Gaza because the government wasn't prepared.

Are they better prepared now that they are jailing and surveilling us?

Do we want to take the same risk when it comes to our fundamental freedom? Do we trust that our government will abandon all surveillance and other measures at some point? Who will decide that we won the fight against the Corona, and life can return to normal?

As Ronald Reagan said, "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same."

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