Eli Yishai targeted for his ‘Sephardi heritage’

Eli Yishai (Photo: Ariel Jerozolimski)

In the wake of Israel’s devastating Carmel fire, is it right that Eli Yishai, the Shas minister responsible for the Israel fire service’s under-resourcing, should have resorted to the ‘race card’ in his defence? The Jerusalem Post reports:

Interior Minister Eli Yishai on Monday said that calls for his resignation were “a lynching,” with members of his party saying he has become a target due to his Sephardi heritage, Israel Radio reported.

Yishai said that while the fires were burning in the Carmel he preferred not to respond to the criticism, however now that the fires have been extinguished he plans to react in the coming days.

Yishai told Israel Radio that during his time as interior minister, NIS 100 million were allocated to the fire system, but said it is not a large enough sum. He said that the fire services are unprepared, not for a normal situation and especially not for an emergency.

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Why Eli Yishai must not resign (with thanks: Eliyahu)


  • cont'd:
    Besides, so far Netanyahu is fairly popular and respected by the public. So in order for the anti-national camp to get back into full power, they have to tear him down. If they can't touch him they go after someone else in the govt who seems vulnerable. If Lieberman were interior minister, they would go after him. But he's foreign minister and the fire was an internal matter, so they have to go after Yishai. It's not simply that he is Sefardi, although with some of the media and Labor & Meretz politicians, that may be a factor [although Labor too is in the govt, but they want to be on top. They want to be the senior party in the govt, which they are not now.].

    I heard part of Yishai's remarks to the press where he claimed that he and his fellow Shas ministers were the only ones to vote for aerial support for firefighting, apparently during Sharon's term. That could be true. But since the failures in the firefighting area go back many years through several govts, with Labor and Likud and Kadima prime ministers, it is ridiculous to single out Yishai.

    To their credit, Amnon Abramovich [whom I usually don't like] and MK Sheli Yakhimovich [Labor], both labeled "leftists," defended the present govt [in Abramovich's case], pointing out that the failure goes far back through many govts, and that Yishai should not be a scapegoat [in Yakhimovich's case]. So much or most of the criticism and calls for Yishai to be dismissed are partisan [even if antagonism toward Sefardim is there too] and are meant to bring down the govt. Many in Labor would dearly like to bring down the govt and bring it back to its rightful owners [the Labor party], as they see it. And Obama and his Washington crowd want to do the same.

  • Re the attack on Eli Yishai:
    It is no news to us Israelis that much or most of the press/media/TV/radio is dominated by "leftists." Many of these people are also anti-national. That is the term that I would use rather than "leftist" which is misleading in my view since I reject the whole notion of a "left-right" spectrum.

    Be that as it may, the anti-national media activists/militants conducted themselves shamefully during the fire and since. Channel 2's news anchors in the studio were constantly trying to get interviewees, such as fire dept & civil defense officers, victims, experts, etc. to blame the present govt for unpreparedness for the fire, and for supposed lack of success in fighting it. They especially wanted to blame Netanyahu. Well, that didn't work, maybe because he was able to organize a lot of foreign assistance, from countries that you wouldn't think as being in a position to offer much help, such as Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Italy and Russia. And with this aid –including the later arriving aid from the UK, Rumania, France, USA, even Egypt, Jordan and the palestinian authority, the fire was basically contained and defeated, though not totally extinguished, in four days. Four days is a pretty good, pretty short time for quashing a major fire like this. So the anti-Netanyahu media couldn't complain so much about him. But they needed a scapegoat. And they found him in Yishai.

    Don't forget the "left" often operates by finding and sacrificing scapegoats. As Orwell showed in 1984, the "left" needs its 3 minutes of hate in order to keep its base loyal and mobilized. And human sacrifice is so satisfying [metaphorical sacrifice, of course]. Human sacrifice of the "guilty" makes the accusers feel so good and self-righteous.

    –to be cont'd

  • I was wondering… how about the idiots who started the fire? What happens to them?

    If you do this kind of stuff in some crazy countries – Brazil comes to mind – your jail time is higher than if you killed another human being.
    I couldn't believe when a guy who went to the beach 'steal' turtle eggs recieved a higher sentence than a killer.

    Maybe the guy who stole turtle eggs was Sephardi…


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