Text size

These past few weeks have not been easy, not at all. A dear man is present among us who is sad all the time, terribly sad, as his facial expression bears out. This man is in great agony, and the public agonizes along with him, without knowing why. What sin have we committed?

Quite a bit of effort has been made to satisfy him - to no avail. The situation is just getting worse, particularly his mood - his bad mood never leaves him. Will no one be found to play the harp, as David did for Saul, bringing him relief?

His feelings are understandable. His ill-humor and fury can certainly be explained. After all, this man was intended for greatness; from his earliest youth the baton of prime minister protruded from his sheath. After all, rabbis and great kabbalists have given him their blessing, and from the moment the job became available, he skipped lightly to it and grabbed it with all the strength of his sense of affront.

As to the matter of the premiership - who is worthy and who is not - we know two schools of thought. The first says one must be "head and shoulders above the rest"; or at least head and ears, or at the very least eyebrows. The other school contends that anyone is worthy of, and can be, prime minister, and there are precedents for this.

Indeed, according to version B, he was a step away from getting elected. Just a few hundred votes of the port workers - air and sea. Since that time he is choking back a sea of bitter tears, lamenting his defeat, and will not be comforted. And since that time we are all living on borrowed time. We cry out to him: Have mercy on us, brother.

Now I'm putting a gun to your heads, and I insist that you tell me whether you can point to any achievement at all of the Israeli transportation minister, who has been at his post for three years. Not a gun, not even a firing squad, could pry from your memory an achievement worth its salt. And so we revisit an interesting issue - is it reasonable for there to be a link, even an indirect one, between a person's success at one job and his pretensions to move on to another? Need there be a connection, even a tenuous one, between a person's accomplishments and advancement?

On what basis does Shaul Mofaz seek to lead Kadima on his way to the premiership? There have been other failures as transportation ministers before him - Meir Sheetrit and Avigdor Lieberman, for example - though none was a greater failure. From the outset the ministry was too small for him by a number of sizes. The roads of Zion continue to be clogged and bumpy; they are roads of mourning - who by car, who on foot and who by derailed train. Over the past few days we have once again realized what can happen when two bus drivers fall prey to road rage. What might happen when two driver-leaders of Kadima are mutually ill-disposed, and both hold the same steering wheel?

Over the weekend, it became known that supplications had come to naught, and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration downgraded Israel to the low level of Gambia and Zimbabwe because of serious flight-safety deficiencies, after repeated warnings had fallen on deaf ears. Our air space is no-man's-land, even God can no longer save us in the middle of the night.

And I ask - what does the transportation minister have to do that is more urgent and important? What the hell is he doing there in his office if not devoting all his time to saving a plane and its hundreds of passengers from a certain and imminent crash? And when a plane does fall, what excuse will he make for having sat and done nothing? The primary? Chasing after vote contractors and the chairmen of work committees? He still has time left to whisper to Trojan horses from Likud. And now, with the downgrading, sanctions will be imposed on us, as they should be. That is the only language we understand. Only international sanctions might save us from Mofaz's failures.

To the injustices that have already been done to him we will add one more: Mofaz is not the only minister whose dreams have no connection to reality. Why should he be considered any worse than his colleagues - from Tzachi Hanegbi to Ze'ev Boim, from Avi Dichter to Eli Aflalo, from Haim Ramon to Ruhama Avraham Balila. And why should these be differentiated from many of their colleagues in Labor and Likud?

The time has come for some education reform: When they ask to be promoted to the next grade, let them show us their report card from the previous grade. Only in this way can we know whether they should be rewarded for their work, or perhaps they deserve punishment.