Suddenly, one rainy day, we discovered the word "anarchy." At the start of the cabinet meeting the prime minister turned to the medical residents and said: "I understand the desire to improve your employment conditions, but nobody in Israel is above the law. We all have to honor decisions, otherwise there will be anarchy here."
Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, shortly before Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, also suddenly used that word. He spoke in favor of a norm of honoring agreements that were reached through the intervention of the High Court of Justice, and warned that if this norm was not respected we would arrive at anarchy.
When such a charged word is tossed into the air by representatives of the government, it should not be allowed to disappear in the blink of an eye. We should take a moment to examine its meaning and the way it is used, and ask who is really contributing to anarchy here.
It really is exciting to hear the prime minister and his cabinet fighting enthusiastically for the rule of law and the powers of the High Court. Especially when the policy and initiatives of this government constitute the greatest threat to the rule of law and the High Court that has ever been seen here. Crudely, without shame, the government is trying to determine the composition, nature and leadership of the Supreme Court by changing the composition of the Judicial Appointments Committee, overturning the law that requires the Supreme Court president to have at least three years left to serve, and other initiatives.
Hypocrisy is rife: On the one hand an unprecedented battle against the High Court, its powers and its independence, and on the other, when it comes to incitement against the residents and their just battle to improve their conditions and halt the consistent destruction of public medicine in Israel, why not wave the flags of the High Court and rule of law? Why not embark on a scare campaign against anarchy? Why not present the residents as undisciplined anarchists who are threatening the very foundations of society?
But unfortunately, the main contribution to anarchy here actually comes from the government. Anarchy is when a resident is required to work long shifts without sleep, to treat dozens of patients when his eyes are about to close. Anarchy is when patients suffering from chronic pain are forced to wait for almost an entire year before receiving treatment. Anarchy is when the government tries to turn the Supreme Court into its satellite, a group of yes-men who won't intervene in its scandalous decisions.
Anarchy is when public systems here are falling apart for lack of government support. Anarchy is when the state evades its responsibility for its citizens in a variety of areas such as health, education, housing and security, and abandons them to their bitter fate. Anarchy is when longstanding laws, such as the law mandating compulsory education from age three, are not even implemented. Anarchy is when the rules of the democratic regime are practiced under unrestrained attack and are no longer self-evident.
Nor are the prime minister and finance minister correct in their interpretation of the High Court intervention in the crisis of the residents. The High Court initiated mediation between the parties, and as we know, mediation is a process in which both sides, including the state, waive some of their demands. The residents have already given in by accepting the conditions of the agreement with the Israel Medical Association and by reducing their demands regarding the time period for implementation. Now it is the government's turn to give in and reduce the period for implementing the agreement.
The current government lexicon, which defines mediation as unconditional surrender, and functioning state-supported public medicine as anarchy, is horrifying. When the government speaks against anarchy it is opposing itself. In light of that we should consider, instead of Netanyahu's proposal to import doctors from India, to import a government from India. It's preferable.
קראו כתבה זו בעברית: מי בעד אנרכיה
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