Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Wouldn't this be a good project for Shinuy's Yosef 'Tommy' Lapid to invest part of the 700 million which he was promised by Sharon in order to secure his party's support for the government's budget? Israel is losing its technological edge - our biggest national asset - very fast, not in the least because of typically Israeli short-term thinking, planning and budget cuts. If between 10 and 15 % of the 700 million were spent on the national supercomputer unit, at least its annual development budget of $2 million needed "to retain Israel's status in the field" would be guaranteed for a decade. To me that seems a more worthwhile cause than the privately funded Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, which is not known for lacking funds ( or for charging low tuiton fees ). Yesterday it appeared that part of the sum promised to Shinuy would go to that center, which happens to be headed by professor Uriel Reichman, who happens to be the party's council president. By the way, before the deal between Sharon and Lapid was made professor Reichman urged his party to abstain during the vote on the budget, rather than vote against it, as the party's MKs were expected to do.
By giving the impression that its support for the budget was a result of oldfashioned political bargaining rather than being inspired by a feeling of national responsability ( the disengagement plan ), in many Israelis' eyes Shinui ( meaning 'change' in Hebrew ) has proven to be just another political party, not any better than the religious parties which it has always attacked for being extortioners.

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