'Coercion, Dictatorship, and Infringement of Rights': Israeli Tweeps Angry Over New Green Pass

© REUTERS / AMIR COHENA medical worker prepares to administer a vaccination against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a temporary Clalit Healthcare Maintenance Organization (HMO) centre, at a sports hall in Netivot, Israel February 4, 2021
A medical worker prepares to administer a vaccination against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a temporary Clalit Healthcare Maintenance Organization (HMO) centre, at a sports hall in Netivot, Israel February 4, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.10.2021
According to new regulations, Israelis who have not been vaccinated with a third dose of a COVID vaccine, will not be able to enter restaurants and many other public places. Neither will they be able to travel abroad and may even lose some of their social benefits.
On Sunday, Israel introduced its new green pass, given to only those who have been inoculated with the third dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Their number currently stands at nearly 3.5 million people.

More Restrictions Looming?

The practical meaning of this is that only those who have gotten a booster will be able to enter public places freely. They will also be those who can go abroad and come back without the need to quarantine.
The remainder of the nation's residents, including those who have received two shots of the vaccine, will need to produce negative PCR tests to attend concerts, enter restaurants and public places, or even to go to work.
Reports have additionally suggested that companies would even be able to fire employees if they're not inoculated with three shots, the unemployed would not be able to obtain their unemployment benefits, whereas a number of western states are being encouraged to bar entry to Israelis who cannot produce proof of a booster shot.

Embracing the Move

The move has already triggered a lively discussion on social media, with some Twitter users expressing their support for the government's decision to introduce the pass.

"The green pass is needed to protect anyone, who wants to live. Saying anything else is wrong, just as it is wrong not to get vaccinated", wrote one Twitter user.

Another chimed in: "I am in favour [of the move] because it significantly lowers the chances of getting infected, and significantly lowers the chance of becoming seriously ill... Plus, it's exactly the same thing they injected the first two times, and millions of people around the world have received it, so its safety is probably very good".

Infringing Upon People's Rights?

But not everyone agrees, with many Tweeps voicing their anger and frustration.
Some have called the government's move undemocratic. Others have hailed it as "coercion" that infringes upon their basic rights. And there also those who compared it to fascism and dictatorship.
"As of tomorrow [Sunday], I, who had received two shots, will be regarded as an anti-vaxxer. I am against coercion, the green pass, the firing of employees, the cancellation of unemployment benefits I am against a crazy state".
Another tweep wrote: "The green pass is coercion. I am against these evil measures. Anyone who supports it is taking part in this fascism and dictatorship, and they are helping to eliminate human rights and people's freedoms".
"I am against coercion, incitement, and the dangerous processes that [are currently] taking place... I have a green pass, but I will not use it. It is a means of coercion and not medicine, and I believe that the number of people who will understand that will increase over time", one netizen said.
On Saturday, hundreds of Israelis gathered in Tel Aviv to call on the government to stop its "discriminatory" measures against those who refused to get their third shot.
Similar protests were also held in other Israelis cities on Sunday, with protesters blocking roads and calling on the authorities to cancel the green pass.
Yet, the government doesn't appear to be backing down from its decisions. On Sunday evening, the coronavirus cabinet met for the first time in nearly a month to discuss further measures to curb the spread of the Delta strain of COVID.
So far, the authorities are not planning any further restrictions given that the number of daily coronavirus cases continues to decline, but will that mean a reduction in public anger? Not necessarily.
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