Shas launched a personal offensive on State Comptroller Micha Lindestrauss Thursday, firing back against a highly critical report stipulating that the chairman of the party, Interior Minister Eli Yishai, should be held accountable for the devastating outcome of the 2010 Carmel Fire.
"A moment before Grandpa Micha descends into oblivion, he is taking advantage of every minute to fire in every direction," wrote Avraham Rozen, a political commentator for Shas mouthpiece Yom Leyom. Thursday's edition of the paper was mostly dedicated to analysis of Lindenstrauss' report.
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"He doesn't really remember the limits of his authority anymore," Rozen added. "It's too bad there is no responsible adult to remind him what is permitted and what isn't."
In line with statements made by Yishai immediately after the report's release on Wendesnday, the ultra-Religious party's newspaper made attempts to put a positive spin on the findings.
"Minister Yishai succeeded where others failed," one headline read, allegedly quoting Lindenstrauss' 506-page document.
Rabbi Moshe Shafir, an editor at the paper, slammed the outgoing comptroller for tailoring the report to a "predetermined" agenda. He further asserted that the document won't be taken seriously because Lindenstrauss failed to give the appropriate weight to warnings that Yishai issued about the decrepit state of the Fire and Rescue Services.
"These are the rules here in the jungle," he wrote.
Seeking the limelight
Haredi journalist Yaakov Eichler suggested that Lindenstrauss' condemning review was meant to attract the attention of the media.
"The comptroller is the greatest hazard within the State Comptroller's Office," he wrote. "Upon taking office he sought power. It is clear now that the microphones and the cameras became that power."
The harsh report attributed "special responsibly" to Yishai and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz for the devastating outcome of the fire, which claimed the lives of 44 people and is regarded one of Israel's worst civilian disasters.
Lindenstrauss ruled that the Interior Ministry, headed by Yishai, was responsible for ensuring that the Fire and Rescue Services were adequately prepared to deal with such a disaster. While Yishai made efforts to solve some of the problems plaguing the FRS, he did not focus on anything but gathering resources, according to the report.
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