Jackie Levy

Privatizing ourselves to death

Civilian who killed terrorist symbolizes growing government ineptitude

The bulldozer attack in Jerusalem featured an unusual killing machine, and we should hope and pray that we don’t see a wave of such attacks. Yet much more powerful than that was the image of three people climbing on the bulldozer, two in uniform and one in civilian clothes.


Yet it was the civilian – a soldier on leave – who realized that if they didn’t want this attack to go on forever, something needed to be done. So he grabbed the gun of the security guard next to him, sent a long arm above his head, in a move that we haven’t seen in any movie, and put an end to the killing spree.


Now isn’t that the most accurate representation of what’s going on in Israel today? The government’s representatives, wearing uniforms and enjoying access to weapons and a budget, are standing around while doing almost nothing. The brave ones among them were somehow holding on to the bulldozer, in fact waiting for the civilian to do the job.


Whether it has to do with building or razing, it doesn’t matter – they are simply unable to do anything about it. And then, out of nowhere, arrives the civilian, or the non-profit organization, or the company, and solves the problem.


Will security services be privatized?

Isn’t it symbolic that the only one who insisted on hiding his identity, modestly downplaying his role in the incident, was the civilian in the blue t-shirt, even though it was clear to everyone that he is the real hero? Was it a coincidence that at the same time, the police officer attempted to come up with some kind of personal victory speech? After all, we all saw that he bravely charged at a body.


It is needles and frustrating to mention all the cases where civilians were required to stand up and do something that the State was unable to do or shirked responsibility for. It is no less needless and frustrating to make note of all the cases where government officials sought to take credit for a random success story they had nothing to do with, be it an Olympic medal or a heroic act.


This list in long and it is becoming more “diverse” with the passage of time. Soon we may see not only private welfare organizations and soup kitchens, but also police and security services initiated and funded by civilians.


And perhaps this is the essence of the vision of privatization. Slowly, all functions of government will be handed over to the people, to the civilians, and to the neighborhood association. Problems will be taken care of by a righteous man who happened to walk by or by the hero of the moment. And then our leaders will finally have time to deal with the things they really care about.


פרסום ראשון: 07.04.08, 14:04
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