Here’s how an ongoing failure in the energy field turns into a populist move that one can cheer on and vomit over simultaneously.
The Israel Electric Company has a “captive audience” of seven million people. Yet despite facing zero competition, its managers managed to produce over the years an unreal deficit of some NIS 50 billion (or more, depending on who you ask.) As a result, they announced that the Company will not be able to meet expected demand this summer, thereby becoming the world’s only managers who plead with customers not to use the product.
This mess is not under the responsibility of Environmental Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan, but rather, comes under the Energy Ministry’s jurisdiction. Yet when the government discussed preparations for expected power outages this summer, Erdan – who is already known as an enthused lawmaker – proposed that Gaza Strip residents have their power cut off first.
Wow! What imagination! What great creativity! Even before this issue materialized, already a way was found to score political points through it while winking to the right-wing camp. And really, could you imagine that in the State of Israel a kosher Jew won’t be able to study the Talmud at night while at the same time Hamas terrorists continue to produce bombs in the Strip?
That is, we did not see here even an attempt to rehabilitate, once and for all, the collapsing Electric Company, whose deficit is growing at a fatal rate. Instead, we are seeing a proposal that one seemingly cannot refuse: Handing out electricity according to a new, national and patriotic model.
This move, any way you look at it, is pathetic. Not only because of the stench that emerges from the very idea, but also because of the fundamental helplessness it reflects.
The question is, of course, why stop there? Here is an idea that could resolve all our environmental problems at once: After we prevent the Gaza Strip from receiving our electricity, why don’t we pour our sewage there, bury our garbage there, expel our polluting plants over there, and dump our nuclear waste there?
And then (this is my own personal suggestion,) we can send our politicians over there as well.