Monday, June 06, 2005

Regarding "Police want to adopt the 'Giuliani Method'..." and "New c'tee to improve law enforcement...", Ha'Aretz, June 6, 2005: The decision not to fire thousands of policemen right after the disengagement plan will be implemented - if at all - is a good example of a typically Israeli political decision. First of all, it is not an investment - something that you would expect if we really are talking about a "national priority" - but a reduced budget cutback. Secondly, and more importantly, this is tackling a problem from its tail end instead of eliminating its root causes. We should not be surprised that we are witnessing such a rise in both violent and white-collar crimes. After all, corruption and a lack of true respect for the law have for a long time been a visible part of politics and public life in Israel. Also, budgets for education and for social services have been slashed as long as I can remember, and an ongoing state of war and our occupation of the territories have contributed to an erosion of some of our moral values, causing us to get used to violence and to become insensitive to the suffering of others. Apparently it has become clear to some of us that crime ( either by politicians, by public officials or by businessmen ) and violence do pay, whereas being honest and gentle, or working in education or other hardly valued professions, is not really worth the effort. As long as the roots of the decay are not dealt with all that we can do is send more and more policemen and -women into the streets. Still, generally a plaster does not help when surgery is needed.

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