The Bottom Line / A Bad Lesson in Civics

Israeli children learned a lesson in civics yesterday, the day of remembrance for slain prime minister Yitzhak Rabin: They learned about democracy and respect for the law.

At the same time, their parents received a lesson from the former director general of the Education Ministry, MK Ronit Tirosh (Kadima), on how to break a law passed only a few months ago by the Knesset. Tirosh prepared a booklet titled "Drying out the Tax," filled with practical advice for the public on how evade the so-called drought tax.

Something is wrong here. Israeli students learned to respect the law yesterday, while Tirosh - who was once a teacher and principal herself - is teaching voters the exact opposite: how to break the law.

She set a similar personal example just a few years ago when, after the Attorney General filed an opinion against her, she sued the state to increase her pension from the Education Ministry.

Even if Tirosh and her fellow rebels have justifiable criticism of the tax, they must present it via the legal avenues available to them, for example by proposing to change the law. They cannot hide behind their parliamentary immunity to lead a populistic movement to encourage the public to not pay their taxes. Where will it all end?