Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

15 Sivan 5761 - June 6, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Special Discussion in Knesset on Versailles Disaster
by Eliezer Rauchberger

"Every day, we pay a heavy, terrible and superfluous toll in blood, which is the result of negligence, conceit, egotism. and superficiality. In Israel there are people with unusual talents in all areas of life, who, to my dismay, too frequently become lost in the sea of amateurism."

These remarks were made this past Wednesday (8 Sivan) at a special deliberation of in the Knesset over the Versailles disaster in which 23 people were killed and more than 300 injured.

The Prime Minister stressed: "I know that it is forbidden to make generalizations. However, we must admit that here in Israel negligence in planning, implementation, following-up and reporting prevails."

Sharon delivered a speech in which he sharply attacked the "semoch -- rely on me" approach of Israelis. "It is shocking to hear boasts and dares in the style of: `Laws were made to be bypassed.' Laws and regulations are to be kept, so that our communal lives will proceed smoothly. How many times have we heard people who returned from trips abroad, mocking European or American citizens for being `square' and saying: They stand on line, and pay even when no one is there to inspect them.

"We have to stop our craving to outsmart others, quite often only in order to earn easy profits. We have to shorten long, slow and complicated processes. There is no connection between dragging out the time for receiving a permit, and the effectiveness of the planning and the supervision. Quite the opposite is true.

"Respect for others, a professional attitude, precision and exactitude could have prevented many of the tragic incidents in which people lost their lives. Those weren't accidents. They were the outcomes of the gross trampling of the rules the public fashioned in order to safeguard its welfare and security. We must stamp out this behavior from the root, by means of education, on the one hand, and strict and deterring punishment on the other hand," the Prime Minister said.

Sharon stressed that the national investigation committee which was founded by the government, will not deal with the investigation of the police. "Its purpose isn't to handle the terrible disaster directly, but rather the behavior of all of us in public places, both in respect to following directions and keeping the law. I hope that this committee will regard these issues in a broad manner, and will try to bring about a change in our lives, with a special emphasis on the schools and the educational system, from an educational aspect, and from the physical aspect of the conditions of the school buildings." The Prime Minister concluded: "Let us begin to behave the way we should. Let us do what is incumbent on us. Even if we have only been aroused by the shocking and terrible incident, let's do it."

The chairman of the opposition, Yossi Sarid read very disconcerting statistics from a special report about businesses in 256 local authorities throughout the country, which are operating without business licenses. The report, according to Sarid, is up-to-date from July 2000.

According to the statistics, 30 percent, or 28,558 of the 92,000 businesses which require licenses in the large cites, are operating without licenses. In the local councils 50 percent, or 5193 of the 10,819 businesses which require licenses are operating without them. In the regional councils, again more than 50 percent, or 4,603 out of the 8,510 businesses are operating with out licenses. All in all 38,345 of the countries 111,000 businesses are unlicensed.

The main reasons these establishments lack licenses is that they lack permits from some or all of these bodies: the Health Ministry, the Police, the Environment Quality Department, and the Local Building and Planning Committee.


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