Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis, head of public health services at the Health Ministry, said on Friday she had been given a panic button by authorities to alert police of any potential danger, following continued harassment and threats by anti-vaxxers.
“These aren’t easy days, you need to remember that aside from being a public worker I am also a human being, with a family. When my seven-year-old son asks me why people stood by the house and called me a ‘child killer,’ it’s very difficult,” Alroy-Preis told Channel 12 news.
Dozens of anti-vaxxers staged a protest outside Alroy-Preis’s home last month, with some participants heard calling her the “daughter of the devil” and a “Nazi murderer.”
“When my 9-year-old son sends me a YouTube video of the protesters outside the house and asks ‘What is this?’ — it’s very hard,” she added.
Alroy-Preis told the network that after receiving threats, she had been given a distress button.
“The discourse has descended into an abusive, violent, shallow, and degrading form and something needs to be done about it,” Alroy-Preis said.
She added that she had submitted a complaint with the police over the threats she says she received. “This is abnormal in a democracy where a public servant does their job,” she said.
הפגנה מול ביתה של אלרואי פרייס???? pic.twitter.com/WDi2oCE69D
— Real News IL (@RealNewsIL) July 28, 2021
On Monday, a Zoom participant at a Knesset panel was heard using a curse word while she was talking.
She said that the person who interjected with the term, “bat zona,” which can be loosely translated as “daughter of a whore,” has not been identified yet.
“It’s an embarrassment to the Knesset that there was no investigation of this because this cannot pass in silence. I find it hard to believe that in the 21st century it is not possible to investigate thoroughly and find out who this person is,” she added.
Alroy-Preis has been exposed to intense criticism in the past, including from members of the cabinet, who — while demanding anonymity in leaks to the media — have accused her of taking too extreme a position in favor of COVID restrictions.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz both put out statements last month defending Alroy-Preis, saying that they would not tolerate personal attacks against her, and praising her as a dedicated public servant.