The Fire Next Time
Tue, 12/21/2010

Both Michele Chabin’s article, “Focus Turns To Blame After Tragic Wildfire” (Dec. 10), along with Jeffrey Goldberg’s ivory tower argument that only Israel’s government should correct the situation (“Debate Over ‘Schnorring’ For Fire Trucks”), fall well-short in their perspectives, past and future. The apparently faint — or is it feinting — efforts by some to shift blame, and the seeming neglect of serious other constituencies, come to mind in assessing accountabilities for (still another) such disaster that always lurked on the horizon, yet evidently has been beyond their ken.
For example: Why have the Jewish National Fund and other entities not been as assiduous in pursuing protection of the very fruits of their massive national endeavors? Why didn’t the major conflagrations of forests that highlighted the glaring deficiencies in Israel’s fire-fighting forces and equipment “light a fire” under the powers-that-be to beef them up? Why could not even a fraction of the national budget that has been wrested by the Interior Minister’s party and sundry others as political inducements for participating in coalitions, have been allocated for super planes and other up-to-date fire-fighting resources?
Finally, why shouldn’t the costs for remediating the several shortcomings be shared by private sources of funding? After all, what is the use of paying to plant trees if they can so readily be leveled to cinders?
Let’s hope the powers that be will at last see the light and pull together for the sake of everyone.

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