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A Knesset full of chametz

April 01, 2009 06:36

Like new PM Bibi Netanyahu, I’ve been trying to work out just how to fit a large number of people comfortably round my table. Bibi wasn’t thinking about Seder night, of course; his problem was trying to fit 30 ministers and eight deputy ministers round a table that will only seat 27 - at a squash. In order to accommodate everyone he invited to join the cabinet, he had to ask for an extra table to be brought out of the Knesset storeroom.

It’s odd to recall now how enthusiastically he supported a bill submitted to the previous Knesset by Gideon Sa’ar (incoming education minister) and Reuven Rivlin (incoming Speaker) that sought to limit the cabinet to 18 members.

When Sa'ar put forward the bill, he said at the time: "There is no justification for a government of more than 18 ministers. This is a waste of public money being made at the expense of other essential public needs."

And Rivlin commented back then: "It is unacceptable that in the State of Israel, which suffers from deteriorating economic and social conditions, an economically disproportionate government is being established.”

We’re all pre-occupied right now with removing chametz – the symbol of puffed up ego and arrogance - from our lives, and replacing it with the unassuming, flat matzo, which has no pretensions about being bigger than it really is. Even without the impetus of Pesach, an ever-increasing number of Israelis are being forced to live more simply due to the current financial crisis. Yet Bibi has somehow found the money to create the largest cabinet – for which read the largest collection of bloated self-important individuals – in Israeli history. In short, it is a Knesset full of chametz.

No wonder, then, that a poll taken yesterday shows that 54% of us are already dissatisfied with the shamefully over-inflated new government.

April 01, 2009 06:36

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