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Issues of the Day When the Government Fails to Lead, the People Must

The daily Haaretz reported today that over the past few months, Prime Minister Netanyahu has finally begun doing what he should have occupied him from the start of his two-year old administration: Looking at maps to on where the border might be drawn as part of negotiations with the Palestinians.

That the prime minister has begun these inquiries only in advance of the upcoming UN vote on Palestinian statehood is yet another example of his penchant for failing to take initiative on the most important issues facing Israel. Just as his swollen government did not notice the people's socioeconomic distress until we took to the street en masse this summer, it remains detached from anything that distracts it from its primary focus, maintaining the coalition in order to remain in power.  It is a government dedicated only to crisis control, not to defusing the conditions that produce them.

Israel faces many serious challenges as we approach the Jewish New Year: Palestinian statehood attained unilaterally as a result of the suspension of negotiations, regional hostilities as order in neighboring states decays, the persistence of terrorism, international isolation due in no small part to the bellicosity of our foreign minister, crises in education, rising costs of living, economic concentration, and corruption among public figures. In view of the government's multiple failures, it is the people who must lead.

In addition to the marches and rallies, a well-conceived program of change and inspired policy for reforms should be formulated by those academics and other specialists advising the protest leaders.. This program should then be communicated to the people through public education and discourse with an eye to arriving at realistic reforms to be implemented by a post-Netanyahu government.

© Yosef Gotlieb, . All rights reserved