Let's all sign a collective sigh for our sad Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert. He wanted to take a vacation with his family in a private villa in Northern Italy, and his security team decided that it would be too dangerous for him, and that the extra security would cost Israeli taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. To quote the newspaper Haaretz, "that's the last thing he needs right now." Here he was, doing us Israeli taxpayers a favor, by choosing not to travel and relax within his own country, because he did not want to inconvenience the standard Israeli family on vacation.
Sigh. (Tear drops fall from my eyes in sympathy for his plight.)
Last week, one of the cars in this same Prime Minister's security motorcade, ran over a ten year old girl at a cross walk. It was not the car in which the PM himself was sitting, his security entourage scurried the girl off to Hadassah Hospital, and only told the Big Man that they almost killed one of his constituents when he was safe in his home. After all, Olmert need not be bothered with the little people and the small details. The girl is currently listed as being in "Moderate Condition," which means that she may only lose a limb or two.
I am overwhelmed by the accountability our PM feels for us lowly citizens.
When Olmert started his serious political career as Mayor of Jerusalem, he spent more time outside the country than taking care of the filth issues, the poverty problems and the crime statistics in the Holy City. He has great friends in high places all over the world, because while he was being wined and dined in the international setting, he handed over the running of Jerusalem to the Ultra-Religious politicos, who then ran the city into the ground.
As Prime Minister, he continually blurts out gaffes which show the gap between his understanding of and commitment to the Israeli citizens he is meant to represent. Like the time he announced to the world that we in fact have nuclear capability, a secret every other PM in history has officially kept from our Arab neighbors. Like the time he announced, during the war last summer, that this is the best time to give away more land and evict more Jews from their homes, because the Gaza pullout worked out so well. Like the time he told a bunch of teenagers at a high school that the government was not working all that hard to return the three MIAs, because "they were probably dead already anyway."
And way to show sensitivity by telling Holocaust survivors that they would receive an extra "life changing" $20 per month, when most of them are living in poverty and ill health, with no support from their family. Imagine a group of people almost exterminated by the Nazis, being told by their Jewish Prime Minister that he 'worked really hard' and 'gave it a lot of thought' and 'pushed for their benefit,' for an extra $20 a month. Disgraceful, that same amount of money would not buy Olmert one of his illegal Cuban cigars.
The two major parties, Likud and Labour, have hand picked new party leaders with the express purpose of ousting Olmert once and for all, trouncing his Kadima party in the next election. As far as I am concerned, Olmert needs to resign now, before the full release of the Winograd Report on his inadequacies during the war, and before he can do any more damage.
PM Olmert, while you are confined to your home during your vacation, instead of mingling with celebrities and heads of state in Italy, here are some projects you can attempt to resolve, while you still have the power and position to do so. (There will be a test at the end of the week.):
1. Three missing MIAs, no visible activity to get them home, dead or alive. Whatever happened to the Israeli ethic of leaving no soldier behind?
2. Over a million and a half children below the poverty line, not to mention the spade of children dying in cars this summer, because of lack of social services and proper education. Pay attention to the next generation.
3. Jerusalem, the capital of Israel and holy to all religions, is one of the dirtiest and poorest cities in the entire country. Shame on us.
4. Almost all of your top officials and advisers have already been convicted of crimes and corruption, or are on their way to prison. How about some staff changes?
5. The probable war between Israel and Syria, are we at all ready for another attack from outside and within our borders?
Israel has also exhibited a lack of initiative in highlighting and helping to prevent anti-Semitism around the world. We are meant to be a beacon for Jews, who must be able to feel that they have a homeland, a safe haven. Only 2% of the population [with a margin of error of plus/minus 3%!] respects this current administration, hardly the confidence needed to bring Jews to Israel, and to help its citizens feel secure from the threats surrounding us.