No Time to Rest

The government is living on borrowed time and its days are numbered, and the Knesset is preparing to celebrate.

MK Michael Eitan of the Likud is competing for the voters' attention, private legislation is at its height, the billionaires are flying to and fro, and there is no coalition to stop the craziness.

The only barrier remaining is the law requiring that a majority of 51 MKs is needed to pass a private bill with a cost of over NIS 5 million a year. That is not always an easy thing to do. Therefore, MKs have found a way to bypass the law: proposed laws at the expense of private businesses. After all, everyone knows that companies do not have a vote.

Two months ago MK Moshe Kahlon managed to pass an outrageous law that requires the Israel Electric Corporation to provide electricity at a substantially reduced rate to everyone who lives on a guaranteed income allowance.

That is how we encourage living on the dole. The law allows the welfare minister to expand the fraternity of those granted the privilege of a discount to include such needy sectors as single-parent families - according to a number of tests: per capita income, number of family members, health and neighborhood.

The government will establish committees and determine who will pay - and how much. Just like in North Korea or Cuba.

Last week it turned out that this was just the beginning. After Kahlon's law, two other benevolent MKs showed up: David Azoulay of Shas and Haim Oron of Meretz. They proposed forcing Bezeq to provide a discount to everyone who calls to the nonprofit organization for psychological assistance hotline - or for those who want to hear the daily Talmud lesson read out over the phone.

Communications Minister Ariel Atias of Shas agrees with the initiative. He also adds that he is in favor of giving a discount to everyone who receives guaranteed income allowances. Another way to encourage not working. Eighteen Mks voted in favor and only one righteous man remained sane: Michael Eitan of the Likud, who voted no.

Eitan said he was willing to write a personal check to help the underprivileged, but what was the sin of Bezeq's shareholders?

Why should they suddenly have to share their profits with whomever Azoulay and Oron decide? It was for a good reason that Reuven Rivlin of the Likud summed up the debate: the MKs have lost their minds.

So if they want to go crazy, why stop with the price of electricity and telephone? There are many other necessary products, such as water, bread, milk, computers and more. It is desirable that all of these should be passed out at half price to whoever the MKs decide. This will certainly give them a few more votes on election day.

These same MKs are enchanted with the Bolshevik method of management. They are fans of the good life in North Korea and the wealth of Cuba. There everything is wonderful.

There all prices are set from above, not just electricity and telephone. There, the happy citizens risk their lives in order to flee from the Garden of Eden - which Kahlon, Atias, Oron and Azoulay miss so much.

In the week we celebrated World Environment Day, it would be fitting to tell the story of a certain taxi driver, who drove on Friday, June 1 at 11 A.M. on the Maaracha Road heading west.

Just before Ben-Eliezer Bridge he opened the window of his cab - a Mercedes, license plate 66-908-25 - and apathetically threw out an empty water bottle, right into the road divider between the two sides.

The driver actually looked like a nice guy, so why was he so apathetic about his environment, and about us?