Resigned Paz-Pines reflects on unfinished projects

November 21, 2005 23:36
2 minute read.


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


A few hours after Interior Minister Ophir Paz-Pines joined other Labor members of the government in resigning his office Monday, he took a swipe at the new centrist party Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is forming. "It's impossible to build a party like it's a lego," he said in a television interview. "It won't work. There's no stable basis for it. There's nothing real in it." Earlier in the day, at a farewell press conference, Paz-Pines reflected on projects he was leaving unfinished, including a reform of the immigration policy. "To my sorrow, we didn't finish it," he said of the reforms to the Population Registry, adding that the committee charged with recommending a comprehensive immigration law must present something "rational" with a "logical connection" to the legislation of the issue. He also touched on the issue of children of foreign workers, some of whom received citizenship under regulations he shepherded through the government. The stringent guidelines, he noted, mean that though the government is expected to extend status to some 2,500, it seems that far fewer will be eligible. He advocated relaxing the criterion, though he said that in principle, it was important that only those born in Israel be granted status. Before leaving office, he presented a final piece of legislation Monday. It is a proposal to reduce the involvement of the ministry in the running of local authorities. The law would set up four tiers of ministry oversight: virtually none for towns that need no money from the state, only slightly more for those that need government money to meet their expenses but not because of mismanagement, and greater involvement for cities who have deficits and those who are in serious financial trouble. The last category comprises about 50-60 locales according to the ministry, around a fifth of all local authorities. Additional features include hiring committees to fill top city posts according to professional standards for hires; giving cities the ability to share professionals and service contractors to save money and other efficiency measures. The proposal would be considered by the next Knesset. Paz-Pines stressed, however, that "the image of local authorities is worse than what they deserve." At the end of the press conference, he was asked if he would like to be Interior Minister in the future. "Absolutely," he answered. "This is the ministry that is connected to all the aspects of life in this country and serving its citizens."

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town