December 16, 2010

Zionism by firelight

I know I'm very late with this but I only read about the condition of Israel's firefighting services in The Week a few days ago.   You can only get it in hard copy magazine format but a bit of googling took me to an Independent report on the fire that killed over 40 people and had neighbouring states and even the Palestinian Authority scrambling their own firefighters to save Israeli lives after Israel pleaded for help.

From memory, the fire seems to shed some light on many aspects of the zionist project.  A fire that raged for the best part of a week was blamed on two Druze boys who, it is alleged, negligently disposed of smouldering charcoal in a forest.

Palestinian firefighters coming to receive a commendation for their help weren't allowed to cross a checkpoint.  Remember, it's Israel that has no partner for peace.

The ministry responsible for the fire service is controlled by Shas, the Mizrahi religious group in the Israeli parliament and government.  This is a token office because public safety is only an issue if Israel can use it as an excuse for killing natives and neighbours.
Much of the media and political criticism focused on Interior Minister Eli Yishai, leader of the ultra-orthodox party Shas, whose department is responsible for the fire service, which the fireman's association said has one fireman for every 7,000 people compared with one per 1,000 to 1,200 in most European countries.

Mr Yishai hastened over the weekend to defend himself by calling for a commission of enquiry, blaming his predecessors for serial neglect, and claiming that he had done "whatever we could" to increase the budget of the firefighting services. But media critics pointed to the combative right-wing minister's repeated and contrasting success in securing large funding increases for his own religious constituency in pre-budget discussions. Yaron Dekel, host of a popular radio talk show, echoed many commentators by declaring: "In a proper country, after such a failure, you simply go home."

There was little immediate sign that Mr Yishai would be forced to resign however, not least because of the pivotal role played by Shas in successive Israeli Cabinets, including Mr Netanyahu's, where the Interior Minister has been prominent in opposing any suggestion of a freeze on building Jewish settlements, especially in East Jerusalem.
So, where were we? Blaming Druze boys for the state's deficiencies, a token ministry for Mizrahim, natives barred from most of the country, potential partners for peace slapped in the face for their racial inferiority, money for settlements but not for safety, and anything else?  Well yes there is something else.  Don't the racist war criminals of the State of Israel keep telling us they are frightened of Iran and of other threats to their lives and even their existence?  How come they have so much fewer firefighters than European states?  Well, that's because they spend their money on other stuff  of course.  But if they truly feared an attack using long range missiles, weapons of mass destruction even, wouldn't they invest more in their civil and public safety systems?

This fire, as tragic as it has been, has shone a light on zionism, the racism and the lies.  So will it be a turning point?  Probably not but I do hope that whenever Netanyahu pops up on UK tv to talk about the "threat" from Iran or anywhere else, his interviewer asks him why Israel has such a small budget for public safety but a bottomless pit for construction of Jewish only settlements and for waging war on civilians?

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