Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made clear in recent days to Interior Minister
Eli Yishai and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz that he would not fire them
despite the “special responsibility” State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss gave
them for the December 2010 Carmel fire.
But opposition and Kadima MKs
said Yishai and Steinitz as well as Netanyahu should lose their jobs over their
handling of the fire.
“In a properly functioning country, the prime
minister, interior minister and finance minister would turn in their keys and go
home,” Meretz MK Ilan Gilon said.
“Netanyahu avoided making decisions
that had to be made and I hope that his skills in fleeing problems he should not
have caused will not succeed this time. Steinitz acted with the usual arrogance
of the Finance Ministry, and Yishai apparently did not take the firefighting
services seriously enough. They should not be allowed to get away with blaming
Meretz activists protested outside the Prime Minister’s
Office in Tel Aviv Wednesday night calling for Yishai’s resignation.
difficult things in the report prove that the interior minister must quit,”
Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On said. “In a normal country, the interior minister
would have to realize by himself that he needed to go home, but in our screwed
up political culture in Israel, unfortunately it won’t happen and the public
will continue to pay a heavy price for Yishai’s blunders.”
Gilon, did not blame Steinitz. She said it was absurd for the finance minister
to be blamed.
“He is responsible for economic growth and debt, not for
the firefighters,” Gal-On said.
The fiercest statement criticizing
Netanyahu came from Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, who said that “just like [last
week’s comptroller’s] report on the handling of the Mavi Marmara
, this report is
a harsh indictment of Netanyahu’s negligent management and lack of
Kadima put out an official statement blaming only the
political system for problems raised in the report. But MK Yoel Hasson said his
faction should demand that Netanyahu remove Yishai and Steinitz from their posts
“The comptroller’s report proves that the ministers failed,”
Hasson said. “They are responsible for the lack of preparedness that led
to the disaster.”