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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Sderot parents: Olmert is crazy

Last week, Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert was called on the carpet by the Supreme Court for ignoring its May 29 ruling to protect all the primary and secondary school classrooms in Sderot. On Saturday and Sunday, Olmert made statements rejecting the ruling, saying that his dhimmi government would decide how to protect (or not protect, as the case may be) the country. Today, Sderot's parents are furious, calling Olmert crazy. (Note - no scare quotes).
Batya Katar, the head of the Sderot Parents' Association, told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was "crazy" and that government ministers over the past seven years were "murderers." This was Katar's bitter reaction to Olmert's statements on Saturday and Sunday that he rejected a High Court of Justice ruling handed down on May 29 ordering the government to fortify every primary and secondary school classroom in Sderot and the rural settlements in the Gaza periphery.

"Olmert, the man who is supposed to be the number one lawman in the country, says, 'What do I care what the High Court says?'" said Katar.

"What kind of example is he for the rest of us?" She accused the government of doing nothing for Sderot. "We've been in range of Palestinian rockets for seven years," she said. "What do you call a government that doesn't give us protection and doesn't go into Gaza to eliminate the threat? Murderers."

Katar warned that the schools in Sderot would not open on September 1.

"For the third year in a row, the schools will not open," she said. "I guess Sderot doesn't belong to the state of Israel and is not to be found on the map."

With only about five weeks left until schools are scheduled to re-open, there appears to be no solution for Sderot. The government has not provided the money to fortify classrooms for pupils above third grade, the Education Ministry has not come up with an alternative plan for teaching children outside the danger zone, and the head of Sderot's education department will not grant permits for individual pupils to attend schools beyond the Gaza periphery.

"I'm waiting for a solution," said Katar. "The children of Sderot will not be refugees like the children of Darfur. They will not be thrown around from one place to another." Katar added that if the government worked hard, it could fortify all the classrooms in two or three schools before September 1. But there are two high schools and 11 primary schools in the city.
Of course, if the government admitted they need to fortify all the classrooms they would in essence be admitting that it was a mistake to expel all the Jews from the Gaza Strip two years ago today. And the Olmert-Barak-Livni government isn't ready to admit that, because it might come back to haunt them when they try to give away more land.

So what's likely to happen? Here's one of several legal analyses in the Post:
Navot predicted there would not be a "war" between the High Court and the prime minister. No one may challenge Olmert until September 1, she said. If the classrooms are not fortified by then, the government could be held in contempt of court. But at that point, it is likely that the state will declare it did not have enough time to implement the court decision and ask for an extension. It is also likely that the court will agree, said Navot. "The court is not looking for a fight with the prime minister," she said.

If legal action on this issue ensues after September 1, it is likely that the state will propose an alternative way to cope with the security threat in Sderot. According to reports, the army will claim that it needs the money extra school fortification would cost to help finance its anti-missile program, which is meant to deal with threats to the entire country.
MK Shai Hermesh (Kadima) told the Post that at best, the missile solution would only be ready in 2011. "What are the children supposed to do until then?" he asked.

But Hermesh was angrier at Olmert for his alleged failure to keep a promise he made to his party colleague in 2001 to allocate NIS 300 million on concrete safety rooms for all families in Sderot and the Gaza periphery. He said that Olmert had broken his promise.

Hermesh said public shelters did not solve the Kassam problem because residents only had 15 seconds to reach safety after the warning siren went off. He estimated that each nine sq. meter unit would cost NIS 75,000.
Hermesh may be angry but God forbid he should try to bring down the government over this and risk losing his Knesset seat. As to Olmert, he is so used to lying that he cannot tell the difference between the truth and a lie anymore. Just like Pinocchio.

Read the whole thing.


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