Wednesday, August 1, 2007

A shell of a man

Israel Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, has lately decided on increasing the compensation for Holocaust survivors by a puny 88 NIS (about 20$) a month. This decision was introduced to the government (and public) in a speech saying (my own translation):
'We are fixing a wrong of 60 years which was never resolved... the negligence [of Holocaust survivors] will not be continued. We will take care of it... it's important to make sure the survivors will get these additional compensations so they can live in dignity.'
While the words are just and inspiring, the actions are petty and insulting. The amount decided is not enough for the basic medical needs most survivors (now old and crippled by the horrible traumas they suffered) need. It isn't enough even for a daily hot meal, which the poorer of these people are lacking. Olmert's proclamation was rejected and mocked by most commentors.

Sadly, this is not the first time that I find myself nodding and clapping my hands while hearing the Prime Minister, but disgusted and dismayed while seeing the actual actions he take. The obvious example is the war in Lebanon, where his public speech at the Knesset was much to the point, stating the reasons for war and the targets we wish to achieve - which I wholeheartedly agreed with - but Olmert knew at the time he had no intention or possibility to pursue. Another example would be his recent praise of the judicial system, in contrast with his appointment of Daniel Friedman to minister of justice and backing him up in his fight to diminish the Supreme Court.

It seems that Olmert has reached a stage in his political career where he thinks that the appearance (some would say 'the spin') is the only thing that the public notices. He no longer feels it is needed to match his words with actions - say one thing, do the opposite. No one will know.

Empty from within, lacking any moral, political, economical compass, Olmert is left as nothing more than a shell of a man, of the prime minister he could have been.

1 comment:

irit said...

you should read today's, 12.8, Haaretz comments. you'll find there a cullom claming the same, that we became so apathic to whatever he says, knowing it means little.