Never Mind Netanyahu, Where Is Eini?

Had the airport decided to give the IMA head additional power, had they only threatened to strike − with or without Eini’s encouragement − the protest would have ended long ago.

From every side they are calling on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to intervene in the conflict. Don't make me laugh. If there's a need to awaken a prime minister after 130 days of protest, that means that he's a schlemiel who couldn't save us if he tried.

The chairman of the Israel Medical Association is asking and crying out: Where is Bibi? And nobody is asking as to the whereabouts of the chairman of the Histadrut labor federation, or where he has disappeared to.

This should have been the Histadrut's finest hour, but it has sunk into a deep coma. Only two days ago there were signs of an awakening, Ofer Eini finally blinked. Sources close to the Arctic Circle told Haaretz that the last of the bears wakes up there already at the end of March.

When Eini replaced Amir Peretz, a sigh of relief was heard across the land: "Thank God we're rid of him. Now a nondescript but balanced and responsible person is succeeding a hotheaded loudmouth, who calls national strikes every other day."

Six years have passed since then, the situation of the workers has deteriorated, poverty has worsened, private expenditure on education, health and welfare have grown and the middle class is falling apart.

All the rights to the major crisis are reserved for Netanyahu the privatizer, but Eini, who has turned a social organization into nothing more than a trade union, is not blameless.

They explained to us that with his moderation and his pleasant behavior, in cooperation with the lords of the economy, and through understanding with the government, he, as opposed to his predecessor, would achieve more for the workers; he achieved less. Only recently Eini conducted two battles: one on behalf of the social workers and one on behalf of the state prosecutors, and both ended in bitter disappointment for his charges.

In recent months, he has disappeared entirely. Reward offered if found. Is the chairman, who never challenged the economic system but instead joined it, actually collaborating with Bibi? Is he in cahoots with the tycoons? Is he a puppet of the large trade unions, belonging to them exclusively? Should other unions be encouraged to leave the Histadrut and join a small but loyal organization such as Koach Laovidim (Power to the Workers )? Has the strongman lost his strength, now limited to the election of MK Shelly Yachimovich as head of the Labor Party?

To be clear, I have nothing against the large and strong trade unions, who could turn out our lights. Let them be fruitful and multiply in the hour of the tycoons. But I do object to selfish unions, who know only how to take care of themselves. Tell me, friends, are you never sick? So why not demonstrate a bit more solidarity with your doctors?

I recall a strike of the employees of the local authorities and the religious councils, who didn't receive a salary for months going into years. At the time Peretz closed the airport for their sake, and 24 hours later the Finance Minister returned the stolen goods to their owners. The government doesn't much care whether the deceased in Safed remain unburied due a strike, but it cares very much whether people are buried alive in Lod, when flights are not allowed to take off.

Below is the answer to the abovementioned question: It's true that the Israel Medical Association is not a branch of the general Histadrut, it hasn't been for 100 years, but what difference does that really make? The doctors' struggle is just, there is no argument about that, and it deserves full support.

Had the airport or the Israel Electric Corporation decided to give IMA chairman Dr. Leonid Eidelman additional power, had they only threatened to strike - with or without Eini's encouragement - the protest would have ended long ago.

But that's how it is in Israel: Every man for himself. Everyone is immersed in his own affairs, as though he were the center of the world.