Are you still concerned about what’s happening here? Angry? Insulted about being treated like idiots? Here’s another reason, which is concealed in the item “The Israel Electric Corporation once again cut off power to Jenin and Nablus” (Haaretz, February 26, Jack Khoury and Barak Ravid). It reported that after the company cut power two days in a row, National Security Adviser Yossi Cohen convened an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis of the Palestinian debt to the IEC. Participating in the discussion were representatives of the ministries of defense, finance and energy, and the chairman of the IEC.
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Does it seem logical to you to convene a discussion after cutting off the electricity rather than before? In that case, note what came next: The Prime Minister’s Office said that the Electric Corp.’s decision to cut off power “was not under our instructions,” and that the Electric Corp. operated “without instructions from the political leadership.” The defense minister’s office said “they were surprised by the company’s step and are opposed to it.” The next day there was another report, to the effect that a sum from the frozen Palestinian tax money held by Israel will be transferred to the Electric Corp. to partially cover the debt.
I have only a few questions: If there are no instructions from above, where did the blackout come from? Whose company is it, for God’s sake? Who granted powers to the Electric Corp. chairman, Yiftah Ron Tal, to cut off power and perhaps to heat things up, while the national security adviser, the defense minister and the coordinator for government activity in the territories were vehemently opposed? How does that happen? And how is it that the Jewish National Fund and the Israel Lands Authority also act as though there is no government in Israel?
In the past, politicians and media people used to speak in praise of the great advantage of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has difficulty making decisions. And not only on political issues. It’s lucky, whispered senior members of the defense establishment who spoke to senior members of the media, that he’s a coward. If not, we would long ago have been in deep trouble.
That’s a problematic formula that doesn’t contain even the slightest solution to our problems. Because Netanyahu the coward is sometimes even more dangerous than the diligent fool. The thousands of words that have been said and written about his speech to Congress attest that the coward has demonstrated courage deserving of a medal of honor in endangering relations between Israel and the United States. His constant tendency to refrain from taking responsibility – and not only on the issue of housing prices – and fobbing it off on his predecessors, his rivals and the media, attests that the coward demonstrates great courage when it comes to creative solutions for handling crisis situations. See the case of former chief caretaker of the Prime Minister’s Residence, Meni Naftali. And see his courageous refusal to get involved in the issue of the dismissal of Israel Chemicals employees.
Fear has strong legs. They reside in Jerusalem, but they do a lot of walking. On some days they walked from the Western Wall to Washington. From David Ben Gurion to Levi Eshkol. From the War of Independence to the Six-Day War. I have suggested that Netanyahu be awarded the Israel Prize for Theater, or the “prize for Zionist creative work,” or both. But if he wins the election and serves for another term, Netanyahu will receive the Israel Prize for Lifetime Achievement, not for the longest ever tenure as prime minister, but for his contribution to the destruction of the State of Israel. What did they used to say in the Palmach? “Don’t waste your despair, we will need it.”
Very funny. But behind it lies profound sorrow. Isn’t it a shame? The efforts of generations are invested in this country. Isn’t it a shame to destroy what still remains of the tremendous effort that our parents made, that we made, and that our children are making? Will we continue to place our lives in the hands of the worst prime minister in Israel’s history? Or perhaps we should ask whether we will continue to forfeit our lives by doing so.