Saturday, July 05, 2008

What is our government doing?

Israel faces turmoil but ministers are preoccupied with insignificant quarrels

Roni Sofer Published: 07.05.08, 11:55 / Israel Opinion

This week started and ended with the efforts to secure the release of our captives in the north. During the week, Qassam rockets and mortar shells continued to hit Sderot and Gaza-region communities. In addition, we saw threats being traded in respect to what we shall be doing to Iran, and what Tehran shall be doing to us.
We also had a third round of talks with Syria on Turkish soil, while painfully watching a Palestinian armed with a bulldozer going on a killing spree on Jerusalem's Jaffa Street.

This is the essence of what Israel faces at this time: Abductions and death, civilians being fired at in the south, fears of an archenemy Advertisement

who may acquire nuclear weapons, and a horrifying act of terrorism by an Israeli resident from east Jerusalem.

When you wake up in the morning you don't know what will happen by noon, and at night you pray that you will not wake up to horrifying headlines the next day. Instead of planning their summer vacation with their children, Israel's citizens are preoccupied with the latest political, security, or criminal drama.

A whole state is suffering from hyperactivity, yet there is nobody out there who can provide it with Ritalin.

Livni barely talks to Olmert; PM barely talks to Barak
However, while all this is going on, our ministers are quarreling as if there is no tomorrow. Justice Minister Friedmann is trying to lead a government decision on establishing a commission of inquiry into the police's conduct in the Ramon affair; elsewhere, Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter calls on the prime minister to quit while a giant bulldozer is on a rampage five minutes from there, murdering three and wounding dozens.

Meanwhile, Shas Chairman Eli Yishai is still demanding that child allowances be increased, or else he will quit the coalition; Livni is barely talking to Olmert, and Olmert is barely talking to Barak; perhaps they will decide to appoint Knesset Member Eli Aflalo to a ministerial position, because the Olmert camp needs to be boosted.

A senior coalition figure who wants elections to be held as early as possible told us: "We should not be surprised by those who paint a picture meant to show that the government is functioning. For them, the welfare of the government comes before the welfare of the country. I am only surprised by the public, which is accepting this."

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