Tomorrow we are expecting a general strike in Israel. This is of course bad news. Not only will many things come to a stand-still, including Ben Gurion airport, but the 3,500 English fans expected for the Israel-England soccer match on Saturday won’t even be able to land! What a mess.
The strike is being called by the Histadrut trade union because the salaries of over 3,000 municipal government workers have not been paid for months. This is entirely a result of mismanagement since the Government established a Committee and a fund to pay the workers some months ago. But, even though many of them have in fact now been paid, about 650 so far have not, and the Histadrut is finally calling a strike over this.
Incidentally, most of the municipalities that are in breach of the law and are bankrupt are Arab municipalities (about 75%) and this is partly because the Arab citizens generally do not pay their taxes, as a consequence of which these municipalities do not have the funds to pay their workers. In addition there is a fair amount of corruption.
Because of the mismanagement that happened during the “second war in Lebanon,” today there is a full national emergency drill, and the sirens went off at 2 pm (an eerie sound that I remember from WWII). The Israeli Govt. was so neglectful of its responsibilities during the war, that the Report on the Home Front from the Comptroller General Micha Lindestrauss is expected to be very critical of the Govt. leaders, including PM Olmert and Defense Minister Peretz. Now a full scale re-evaluation of the Govt. role and the IDF’s readiness is underway (we are told). The new Chief of Staff Ashkenazi had his first meeting with all the top military brass last week. At least we hope that if/when there is a next time, things will be managed better.
In order for the graves of soldiers killed in the “war” to be labelled as such the Govt. has to declare it an actual formal war. This a special Committee of the Knesset has just done. So it really was a war, but so far they have not decided what the name should be. Perhaps the “last Lebanon war”, unfortunately probably not.


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