Newsletter 51: Disatisfaction with the Government
Practically every year students strike. Now the reason is to have a government committee scrapped because they suspect that amongst other findings of the committee they will also find that fees need to be increased.
At the same time teachers are on strike for higher pay and anesthetists are on strike for more staff.
This all comes after the big demonstration accusing Olmert of mishandling the war in Lebanon last year.
To top it all the president of the supreme court of Israel, Beinish, declared in a lecture that the government institutions were corroded and falling to pieces.
Taken together these events express dissatisfaction with the government.
Those hoping for the government to resign, however, were sadly disappointed this week when the government won a "no confidence vote" brought by the opposition.
Excepting for these episodes and the stormy hot desert wind that's blowing through the country, however, I can't sense a real feeling of dissatisfaction with the government.
On the contrary, I can sense a wonderful spirit of satisfaction among the ordinary people.
Of course I may just be an incurable optimist with a false sense of security. But I don't feel that this is the case. I feel that my estimation of the mood in the country is well founded.
Practically every day for the last two months I've guided tourists throughout Israel. There can be no more encouraging sign than that.
It seems as if everybody is touring, both visitors and locals.
I could, however think that being a tour guide out on the road all the time; I was detached from the common Israeli in the street.
As I live here, however, on one of my free days, yesterday I went to the industrial neighborhood of Jerusalem, Talpiot to get my wife's bathroom mirror fixed. There it seemed as if everyone was shopping and busy redecorating their homes. I could hardly believe my eyes. If things were so bad why weren't all these people out demonstrating?
One could say they were put off by the heat, but then how could I explain the great number of people in the unbearable sweltering heat calmly walking around the home builder's center looking at fittings and furnishings.
The busses are crowded, the cinemas are crowded and you need to reserve a place if you plan to eat out.
I feel really sorry for students who can't afford tuition and teachers who are underpaid and anesthetists who are overworked, but I really am finding it difficult to be dissatisfied with the government.
The chief judge of Israel, however was a difficult one to overlook. Then that too was explained by a lawyer, Mr. Hoter Yishai. He's obviously an old opponent of Mrs Beinish's.
According to him her comments arose from a personal vendetta against the minister of Justice who refused to appoint one of her protégés as a high court judge. Her sweeping criticism of the government lends credibility to Mr. Yishai's allegation.
I am not dissatisfied with Olmert's government but now I am really dissatisfied with Mrs. Beinish and hope that she is soon removed from her bench.
Wishing you a great no news day.