Ignore the Headlines

The media is having a field day with the Winograd report, detailing the failures of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Amir Peretz, and former Chief of Staff Dan Halutz. In a different country they would be right to do so – an official commission like this one declaring in such clear terms the personal failures of these leaders would certainly lead them to resign in shame.

Not here. In this country, the only way to get rid of the Prime Minister is for the Knesset to vote to dissolve itself and go to new elections. Most Knesset Members make this decision based on one thing – whether or not they have a good chance to be elected again. If the answer is no, then they stay put. Superglue should use them as fodder for their commercials – you’ve never seen anything so stuck as a Knesset Member to his seat in government.

The media is interviewing bereaved families and others who are starting to call for public protests to bring down the government. Those of us who protested against the disengagement plan are justifiably cynical about the chances of this making a difference. We had hundreds of thousands of people out in protests, not to mention thousands who blocked roads. The stakes – 10,00 fellow Jews forcibly taken out of their homes, appeasement of terror, and the dangers of what might happen (and did!) afterwards (Kassam rockets falling in Sderot and Ashkelon and the strengthening of the terrorist gangs in Gaza) couldn’t budge the government to even call for a vote (national referendum), let alone dissolve itself. What makes people think that a report on some failures in the past will have a greater impact on the politicians?

Our leaders have less character than a doorknob. I still try to instill in my kids (and myself!) the value of taking responsibility for mistakes and doing what is right, even if it means a personal loss – and most Israelis still do too. Our leaders, unfortunately, have forgotten these values.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. jerusalem joe
    May 01, 2007 @ 08:27:38

    There certainly is a difference – the elites were unanimous in wanting to get out of Gaza, so all the demonstrations and protests against the expulsion were downplayed or ignored. If a significant part of the elites really want olmert out then they will fan the flames of protest and use them to put pressure on him and other Mks.I’m not sure they would want that though considering the alternative is a right wing government which is apparently much worse than the destruction of this country.
    We’ll see.

  2. Yoel Ben-Avraham
    May 02, 2007 @ 13:03:25

    the value of taking responsibility for mistakes and doing what is right, even if it means a personal loss

    It should NOT come down to “doing what is right”. If the SYSTEM was effective goodwill would have little to do with this. What is needed is a REVOLUTION. Reforming the political system so elected officals are ACCOUNTABLE to those who elected them; a Judicial systemn which reflects the values of the citizens it purports to represent; agencies of Law Enforcemebnt which are NOT above the law and who’s primary task is to protect the public not enforce government policy. All this I call the ORANGE REVOLUTION. Other things are required to heal our country but inj my humble opinion these are the basics that will cause the rest to happen.

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