The Minister and the Agenda / If Only There Were More Like Her

Some journalists - Amnon Abramovich, for example - are excessively antagonistic toward politicians. Others follow in his wake. What was the point, anyway, of Esterina-gate? That a person with disabilities is incapable of being a cabinet minister? Is that the message?

FYI to all the spiteful, narrow-minded people out there: There are certain positions that by their very nature are meant to be part-time. The position of minister of tourism, it should be known, is one of these. It's not every day, after all, that some spokesmodel like Bar Rafaeli or Moran Atias volunteers to launch a major campaign in London or Rome on behalf of Zion and in the presence of the minister himself. That's not all: Not even the best tourism minister can bring in even one additional tourist, because it isn't the minister who brings in tourists but rather the situation (and maybe the prices, too), and as we all know, the situation could be better.

Let's assume that the new minister, Esterina Tartman, is only capable of working half-days; is that unfortunate fact necessarily a bad thing? Isn't there something positive about it as well? And if she were able to work 12, or even 16, backbreaking hours, what advantage would that bring, exactly?

From my own ministerial experience, I know that when ministers meet with their colleagues from abroad, they speak first of all about world and local politics, exchanging notes and impressions. When Minister Tartman, of Yisrael Beiteinu, makes her virgin voyage as a cabinet member, she will pack an agenda in her suitcase. She will tell her colleagues and the tycoons of tourism about what awaits us here in the not-too-distant future: a small population transfer for Israel's Arabs, an inevitable war in the territories, a "war of no choice" in the North, a preventive strike on Tehran, and, just to be on the safe side, something in Aswan as well. One can easily imagine Tartman's interlocutors paling in an instant. Apocalypse Now is not necessarily a surefire recipe for a thriving tourism industry.

Thus, there are advantages to part-time work that avoids superfluous overactivity. If only there were more of Tartman's ilk in the cabinet. If only Ehud Olmert and Amir Peretz had been like her last July - and today as well. Perhaps it would have been possible to limit the damage, if not to avoid it altogether.

If only Daniel Friedmann, another example, were to stop at three or four hours of work a day. Maybe he wouldn't have initiated his bill to restrict the High Court of Justice. More precisely, a draft law co-sponsored by him and Tartman, to which more than 50 MKs from various parties are signatories. How fates do collide, and how one new minister is drawn to another new minister, as if the two were meant for each other. The justice minister prefers the judgment of MKs over that of the Supreme Court justices. Perhaps now he will reconsider, in light of the latest revelations about "severe impairment to memory, to concentration and to attention."