When COVID-19, constitutional crisis, and political deadlock meet: the Israeli case from a disproportionate policy perspective

Moshe Maor*, Raanan Sulitzeanu-Kenan, David Chinitz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article describes the efforts made by the Israeli government to contain the spread of COVID-19, which were implemented amidst a constitutional crisis and a yearlong electoral impasse, under the leadership of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was awaiting a trial for charges of fraud, bribery, and breach of trust. It thereafter draws on the disproportionate policy perspective to ascertain the ideas and sensitivities that placed key policy responses on trajectories which prioritized differential policy responses over general, nation-wide solutions (and vice versa), even though data in the public domain supported the selection of opposing policy solutions on epidemiological or social welfare grounds. The article also gauges the consequences and implications of the policy choices made in the fight against COVID-19 for the disproportionate policy perspective. It argues that Prime Minister Netanyahu employed disproportionate policy responses both at the rhetorical level and on the ground in the fight against COVID-19; that during the crisis, Netanyahu enjoyed wide political leeway to employ disproportionate policy responses, and the general public exhibited a willingness to tolerate this; and (iii) that ascertaining the occurrence of disproportionate policy responses is not solely a matter of perception.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)442-457
Number of pages16
JournalPolicy and Society
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, © 2020 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • Covid-19
  • Disproportionate response
  • Israel
  • netanyahu
  • overreaction
  • rhetoric
  • underreaction

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