While the rocket fire of recent days has now quieted down, there are still plenty of explosive impacts in the Israeli political arena with the release of State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss's report on the December 2010 Carmel wildfire that claimed the lives of 42 people – most of whom were Prison service cadets on a bus that was overtaken by flames.
Mr. Lindenstrauss defines his report on Carmel disaster as the most severe in his seven year term.
He assigned “special responsibility” to two ministers Mr. Eli Yishai who is in charge of the Ministry of Interior who for years knew that the Fire and Rescue Service was in shambles and did nothing about it, and Mr. Yuval Steinitz who is in charge of the Finance Ministry for delaying budgets to the Fire and Rescue Service.
He placed overall responsibility upon Israel's Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and another Mr. Yitzk Aharonovich – Minister of Public Security.
What happens now? The Attorney General received the conclusions and will decide how to proceed.
The bereaved families of those who have lost their loved ones in the fire are to appeal to Israel's High Court of Justice to have those dismissed who have been deemed responsible in this report.
So far the Israel media has commented in general that whoever really wants to learn the lessons and take steps to change the situation can see from the report that the firefighting situation today has the same deficiencies that have gone on for years.
There is also a lot of pessimistic responses claiming that neither Netanyahu, Aharonovich, Stenitz, nor Yishai will be politically hurt by the report because “when was the last time a minister here was hurt by a major screw-up?”
It is clear Mr. Lindenstrauss wants Ministers to take responsibility for their elected/appointed positions. However, with Mr. Netanyahu clearly controlling the Knesset, and an opposition with no backbone, there will be no political fallout from this severe report on responsibly for this sad national disaster.
Middle East Correspondent