It's true that his academic degrees are in aerodynamics, but we haven't found a way yet to eject him from his seat. Whether or not he is dismissed, he will no longer be the Education Ministry's chief scientist. To be the "chief" you have to be a scientist.
I believe Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar when he says in Gavriel Avital's defense that he is not the only person to be appointed by a political sympathizer. But if it's already our fate and the minister's, it would have been better to appoint Avital chief janitor.
The courtyards are a fitting place for political appointments. What's all this similar to? It's similar to appointing Israel's "x-ray rabbi" - known for his supposed ability to diagnose medical ailments - and self-styled psychic healer Oren Zarif as chief physicians at the Health Ministry, or to reading the Book of Psalms when medicine is powerless to help.
After all, this man, Gavriel Avital, also pleads with us "in the spirit of the times" to rely on our Father in Heaven. "The earth," he calms our fears, "will not be destroyed. The Lord, blessed is He, has promised us." I don't recall a promise to this effect; on the contrary, I remember existential threats from the prophets in the name of God: If we do not mend our ways, the Creator will return the earth to a state of chaos, and it would be best for us to save our souls and obey his laws. We have been warned.
A chief scientist who is a man of faith should certainly assume that it's possible that God is watching his creations who are likely to drown. Anyone who has eyes in his head, even if he is not a scientist or God, sees that icebergs are melting and that for the first time ships can make their way through the Arctic Ocean. For the first time the eternal snow on the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro has disappeared. For the first time the oceans are rising and island states are considering whether their end is near, and the deserts are spreading to all the fertile land, and the plague of drought has gone berserk and is causing the numbers of starving and poverty-stricken to multiply.
Not only Avital, but each of us must maintain a certain degree of skepticism. Let's assume we are mistaken and that the earth is poisoning itself and that it's not we, the humans, who are spreading this poison. Then what have we lost? We have only gained; we have gained cleaner air, purer water and less-polluted soil. In that way we will be healthier, we will raise children with better immune systems, and we will bequeath to the coming generations a world that is pleasant to live in.
And more secure to live in. The addiction to exhaustible forms of energy only empowers shady regimes where most of the oil is - to their benefit and our loss. These are the regimes that spawn terror and fund it. No country should be interested more than Israel in expanding the enlightened part of the earth and shrinking the dark part.
Meanwhile, however, Israel is making do with Yaakov Meridor's bulb-to-light-all-Ramat Gan "invention" of the 1980s and forgoing renewable energy - sun, water and wind. And the chief scientist, who sees in the green organizations signs of "fanaticism and a great deal of evil" and "insists on throwing plastic in the regular garbage bin" is revealed as a collaborator with a medieval Saudi Arabia and an Iran that is acquiring a nuclear capability.
Not everyone who denies the climate catastrophe is a right-wing nationalist. But almost all are. It will be interesting one day to explore this crazy and mysterious phenomenon, which is incomprehensible. Those who wish to explain Israel's position never have a moment's rest. First our reputations were besmirched as people who use camels and cook on barbecues, and now there is a new libel - that of the monkey and the chief scientist, which we shall likewise refute with the upright back of Homo erectus.
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