Netanyahu won't take action against Yishai, Steinitz

Following publication of State Comptroller's Carmel fire report , opposition MKs say ministers must be fired; Lapid: Report indicts PM.

June 20, 2012 16:46
1 minute read.
Eli Yishai

Eli Yishai 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Ammar Awad)


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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.

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“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 the gatekeeper.”

Meretz activists protested outside the Prime Minister’s Office in Tel Aviv Wednesday night calling for Yishai’s resignation.

“The 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.”

Gal-On, unlike 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 responsibility.”

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 immediately.

“The comptroller’s report proves that the ministers failed,” Hasson said. “They are responsible for the lack of preparedness that led to the disaster.”

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