Thursday, February 21, 2008

Cry It From the Mountains!!!

[This article just appeared in the Jerusalem Post, and deserves to be carefully read and then disseminated throughout Israel. A few highlights below.]

Dangerous infatuation
Daniel Doron

Israelis - and especially their university educated elites - seem to have a dangerous infatuation, a puzzling delusion about the capability of their governments to solve almost any problem. Otherwise how can one explain the recent crop of suggestions by ostensibly mature people, holding responsible positions, that government protect them from the vagaries of the dollar exchange rate or from rising housing costs.

For decades Israelis have been taking cruel and usual punishment, from runaway inflation to low wages, to monopoly induced inflated costs, to the erosion of their pensions, as a result of their trust in government management of the economy. Yet they keep asking for more, at ever growing costs, though it should have become obvious that governments cannot deliver what they expect. Governments can no more control powerful economic forces that change the rate of the dollar or the costs of housing, than they can control the rise and fall of tides.

Israelis should have discovered by now that the more government over reaches, the less it can deliver. In fact governments create, and then aggravate, most of our problems. When governments' fingers are stuck, as in Israel, in every pie, they are incapable of doing anything. They cannot even perform their legitimate tasks, like protecting the people of Sderot from Kassam attacks.

Liberals who choose to believe in governments' endless capacity to do good - despite overwhelming evidence that governments are innately incompetent, that they are bedeviled by too may goals, mostly conflicting or confusing, that their executive arm, their bureaucracies, lack the capacity for the efficient execution of policy - should travel from Tel Aviv to Ben-Gurion airport.

From the flat landscape they will see rising a huge mound - the Hiriyah garbage dump. It is really a monument for the capacity of Israeli governments, Left and Right. They failed, for over 50 years, to move this dump from its present location on valuable real estate, to the Negev desert. Still we expect them to provide us with good education, health care, pensions and what not.

OUR GOVERNMENTS have been failing even in their provision of security, internal and external. ...

As for external security it is puzzling why we need to be periodically reminded by investigative commissions that our highly motivated, powerful and excellent fighting forces have been rendered dysfunctional by an increasingly incompetent and corrupt political leadership and by the army's own politicized leadership.

The Yom Kippur War, the first and the second Lebanon wars and the many severe security lapses in between should have alerted us to the rot spreading through our political and security establishments.

Our leadership conveniently embraced the stupid notion that terrorism cannot be vanquished by force, though all historical evidence (from the Assassins in the 11th century on to The Arab Revolt of '36-'39, Communist insurrections in Greece and in Malaya, the Red Brigades, The Shining Path, The Bader Meinhoff gang and others) proves that only force, mostly the wholesale elimination of the terrorists' leadership (which Israel has failed to do) is what vanquished them.Small wonder that when you do not expect to win you cannot put a stop to seven years of Kassam barrages by a couple of thousands rag tag terrorists, or that you fail to cope with the better trained 15,00 strong Hizbullah fighters.

We face many serious problems in Israel. They are only aggravated by our blind faith in government, in a bunch of politicians who cynically pursue their own self interest at our expense.

[Thanks to Aiwac for the reference.]

1 comment:

Ben Bayit said...

Yup, Israelis suffer from "big daddy" syndrome.

Question - how does point 3 of RYBS' 3 points on territorial compromise square with the above assessment. If you take Doron's POV at face value then any attempt to delegate decision making to the "experts" (who by definition are in government - be they generals or politicians - in Israel there is little difference between the two) is doomed to failure.