Lights in the Distance

Observations and musings regarding new mommyhood and life in general.

Friday, May 07, 2004

Going for a ride in a handbasket...

Not that we needed anyone to tell us, but the second part of the annual report written by State Comptroller Eliezer Goldberg only reinforces my belief that the state of domestic affairs in Israel is going to hell in a handbasket. I won't bore you with most of the gory details regarding the illegal funneling of funds to various settlements and outposts (some of which, were unauthorized outposts), the dreadful state of affairs in our hospitals and fraudulent voting, in which a number of dead people managed to make it to their local polling stations to cast votes for the Knesset. One particular issue mentioned in Haaretz yesterday afternoon stood out in the typical Israeli fashion of cutting corners and not making the effort to get things right the first time around:

"The comptroller also discovered that a bridge built by Israel Railway at a cost of NIS 8 million near the new terminal at Ben-Gurion International Airport will have to be demolished because it deviates from building limits for the area and interferes with the flight path at the new terminal."

Perhaps it happened because the new terminal - referred to as Ben-Gurion 2000 because it was supposed to begin operations back in the year 2000 - along with its flight path, still aren't finished, and it was difficult for them to gauge the correct distances by envisioning where the flight path would eventually be. That might explain the flight path interference issue (though I'm highly inclined to doubt it), but what about the issue of the deviation from area building limits? Who's the intelligent official behind that particular display of creativity? Any fool can build according to the limits, but it takes a special brand of idiocy to ignore the regulations AND build the bridge in the wrong place, resulting in astonishing amounts of money being wasted in building and then in tearing down said bridge. Maybe this individual felt that by creating facts on the ground (something our governments have always been strongly in favor of, opponents be damned), they would instead be able to change the flight path - a mind-numbing thought, but always a possibility.

I read another frightening article on the Haaretz Website recently. Apparently, the Knesset voted down a bill that would have called for a prime minister to resign in the event that he (or she) is indicted. I find it troubling that our elected officials often seem uninterested in many of the real social issues plaguing our society, yet they always seem to make themselves available for voting on those issues that are geared towards bettering their own situations or smoothing over their own legal troubles. The moral and ethical bankruptcy emanating from our government simply boggles the mind, and I imagine that it must come as a surprise to no one that our beloved country (and I do love Israel, don't get me wrong - I'm just not terribly keen on the way it's being run) is mired in a veritable plethora of crises of every conceivable nature. Perhaps if our politicians would make an effort to straighten up and fly right - in essence, get over themselves and start acting responsibly towards the nation as a whole instead of deviously wrangling on behalf of narrow interest groups on the fringes of society, our collective situation will finally take a turn for the better.


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